LGBTQ Rights And The Hypocritical Christian Outrage Over Sharia Law

LGBTQ Rights And The Hypocritical Christian Outrage Over Sharia Law November 6, 2015

T

For some reason I have a lot of anti-Muslim articles and blogs that flow through my newsfeed. Recently it’s been around the issue of Sharia law– Christians warning that America must not allow Sharia to be practiced in the United States; arguing that Sharia is oppressive, and that others should not be forced to live by another’s religious code. (As a side note, it’s hard to make a blanket statement about Sharia law and have such a statement be true, because there are varying interpretations of it globally.)

While I don’t share their fear that Sharia law is coming to America and that I’m going to get 30 lashes by the religious police because they hate my blog, I do share the general sentiment these conservative Christians are articulating: no one in a free country should be forced to live by another’s religious codes or ethics.

I mean, that should be a simple concept, right? Everyone is free to practice their religion, but no, your religious rules and regulations should not become the law of the land. If such religious codes were to become part of law, this by definition would mean these religious rules would be enforced through violence or the threat of violence, as all laws ultimately are. And well, I’m not interested in having anyone’s religious code forced on me by threat of violence.

That seems like a concept most people could get on board with. In fact, I can’t really think what would even be controversial about it.

You’re free to live your life and practice your religion, I’m free to live my life and practice my religion, and neither one of us gets to use the violence of government to force the other to comply to our individual religious convictions.

While I think most of these anti-Sharia Christians are often guilty of half-truths, stereotypes, and outright lies when it comes to Islam and Sharia, I do agree with them in principle. It would be morally wrong for one group to make their religious codes the law of the land, and then hold others to our own ethics.

However, here’s the thing: it seems most of the anti-Sharia Christians are gross hypocrites in this department.

You see, conservative Christians often aren’t really anti-Sharia, they’re just anti-Islamic Sharia.

They’re actually very pro-Sharia, highly engaged in trying to establish more Sharia, but instead are trying to establish Christian Sharia.

We’ve seen this most notably in recent history with conservative Christians fighting against LGBTQ equality. While they totally lost the marriage issue, they have taken the fight to new corners, and they’ll continue doing so. Most recently, they went to the polls in Houston to vote down a bill that would have given transgender individuals the legal right to use the correct bathroom in public, instead of being forced into the humiliation of using the opposite gender bathroom.

And, they won’t stop there. Between now and election day, Franklin Graham will be touring the country encouraging Christians to run for government office so they can “turn America back to God.” Which, I can translate for you: he wants more Christians to run for office so we can make laws that reflect a very particular conservative Christian viewpoint.

AKA, he wants more people to run for office so they’ll have the numbers to overturn their losses and expand Sharia law when it comes to LGBTQ individuals (and a host of other issues).

And this is the hypocrisy of this whole “let’s be afraid of Sharia law” thing: those who systematically fight agains the rights of LGBTQ citizens on the basis of their individual religious conviction, already support Sharia law.

Just not that Sharia law, cause, you know, Muslims.

Personally, I think we should use this fear of Sharia to our advantage. Next time you encounter a Christian who wants US law to reflect their personal religious code on LGBTQ issues, let’s ask them why they support Sharia law in America.

Because let’s be honest: we already have oppressive Sharia law in the United States– it’s just the anti-LGBTQ, conservative-Christian version.


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  • Terry Firma

    I mostly agree with this, and anytime you choose to highlight Christian hypocrisy, I applaud you.

    Still, apples and kumquats. Not giving transgender individuals access to the correct bathroom is petty and hateful and deserves straight-up contempt, but it isn’t nearly the same as the torture, maiming, and death advocated by Sharia supporters. Transgender people face discrimination by rightwing U.S. evangelicals, but no Christians in this country want to chop their limbs off or push them off of tall towers. Maybe that’s a difference worth keeping an eye on. I’m not against a little hyperbole, but the operative word in that statement is “little.” ;-)

  • For the record, the overturned law in Houston covered a whole lot more ground than bathrooms. Bathrooms were just the chosen rhetoric for the people who fought to get it overturned.

  • Colin Smith

    Yes, agreed with all that. Those most eager to argue against Sharia (and many other supposed impositions) are only too keen to impose their own values, whether based upon their spiritual beliefs or socio-economic ideologies.

    I would further argue that the arguments against abortion and euthanasia are essentially based on a spiritual (usually Christian) idea of what ‘life’ is and fail to account for beliefs that regard human life as something other than ‘sacred’.

    Admittedly, we need a moral law that crosses all beliefs (including agnosticism and atheism) and applies to everyone but the only reasonable basis for it is the Golden Rule of do as you would be done by whereby I value your life (etcetera) in exchange for you valuing my life and etcetera.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    It always surprises me a bit when people start freaking out about the supposedly imminent incursion of Sharia law onto the USA law-books. Why? Separation of Church and State, my friend, Separation of Church and State, in the form of our very First Amendment to the Constitution. Our founders put it there for a reason, and if we just supported it, we wouldn’t have to worry about Islamic religious law taking us all over. It’s only if we erode and ignore it that there will be a problem . . . which I suppose these people are doing. For years they’ve been insisting that there is no separation of church and state, and I just thought it was self-serving talk, but maybe they actually believed it? Because if Separation of Church and State doesn’t exist, we actually do have a problem because we need some basis to ensure that religious laws don’t become the laws of the land.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    As stupid and unChristian as these people may be to equate opposition to the barbarity and blood thirsty essence and particularity of the islamic code of “law” called sharia as hypocritical, is just so much semantic rubbish!

  • Jonathan

    I don’t necessarily see it as hyperbole. For me, the recent Houston thing is just one example of many (Some concerning LGBT issues, some not). If you think about it, there’s also the whole thing about mandated prayer in schools (which really, all things considered, isn’t all that different from the mandatory five-times-daily call to prayer in some Muslim nations), or insisting on displaying religious symbols and monuments on public/government property, or being against same-sex marriage for no other reason than “God said” it’s between one man and one woman, or wanting to illegalize abortion but only wanting to offer the “girls need to keep their legs together and dress modestly” alternative (that conforms to their religion) rather than sensible ones like readily-accessible birth control or comprehensive sex education (alternatives that aren’t religion-based).

    All that to say, while this article primarily focuses on gender identity discrimination, it’s not a stretch to say that it is in fact a myriad of issues that reflect the Shari’a problem in the US.

  • C. True

    This law in Houston was not only about transgender individuals. It also included the rights of fully intact males “who identify as female” to use public restrooms and locker rooms along with women. Simple biology… if you have male genitalia, it could be upsetting and offensive to a woman who is expected to share a restroom and change/shower along with a person who has MALE genitalia. A woman has a right to privacy and dignity. If the surgery has not been done and you are a male in a dress, you are still a man biologically.

    If Sharia law came to the US, the homosexual community wouldn’t need to be worried about if they can marry or not. They would be murdered. Please disregard “interpretations” of Sharia and read exactly what the Koran says about Sharia. Don’t be fooled, Islam is dangerous. Christians are not stopping people from being gay, and certainly not killing them!

  • Guy Norred

    While rare and extreme cases, it isn’t as if there aren’t actually people saying that is exactly how things should be in this country, and doing so using Christianity as their reason. Neither religion is universal in its interpretation of itself, so it should be disingenuous to hold such an interpretation from outside.

  • You can be female and look like a stereotypical male. And vice-versa.

  • Jonathan

    “It also included the rights of fully intact males “who identify as female””

    …And that’s what “transgender” means.

  • Jonathan

    Though for some reason, it seems to be much more awful and shameful (at least to the evangelical mind) to be male and look female. Or to be the “passive” (read: female-like) partner in a gay relationship. Perhaps the stigma surrounding LGBTs stems from an older problem of thinking men are better than women.

  • It makes sense – unfortunately. :(

  • Seán

    Although I believe your understanding of the definition of “transgender” is a little off, I do understand your sentiment. I fully support the rights of the LGBT community in many ways, but biology does still play a role that must be considered. Not only for the reasons you offered, but there are others as well. There are many “whack-jobs” (for a lack of a better term) out there who could use this to their advantage. Quite simply you could have males (in every sense of the word) decide they want to go into women’s bathrooms/locker rooms/showers just to sneak a peak in a more perverted manner. Then once caught, they can claim they are transgender. I do not want this for my wife, daughter, mother, sisters, aunts, or any other woman out there. This is simply not a case of not supporting transgender rights, but recognizing it is not all clear cut and supporting the rights of women as a whole as well.

  • Proud Amelekite

    “Christians are not stopping people from being gay, and certainly not killing them!”

    … any more.

  • Proud Amelekite

    It is apples to a different strain of apples. Both different due to locations and conditions but both also the same. Christianity would be every bit as bad as Islam and has been in many countries. It is the collar of the Enlightenment and secularism that keeps the wild dog of Christianity under control. With Islam, the dog has no collar, and we see what that leads too.

  • Exactly right. “Religious freedom” from the fundies almost always means “Christian theocracy.”

  • VMWH

    I have been saying this for years.

  • TM

    Sorry but your article does not make any sense; I’m a
    practicing catholic and I never in my life try to force anyone to become a
    catholic, I never say convert and die, I never forced a woman to wear burka, I
    never stone any women for committing adultery, my religion never stopped me
    from making friends who are not religious or prefer different religion. My
    neighbors are not Catholics, but we are great friends. I try to live by Ten
    Commandments as close as my human nature allows me. Yes I sin and go to
    confession and then sin again, because I’m only human. I’m not telling anyone
    that they MUST live by Ten Commandments; however I expect my society around me
    to return a favor and don’t do things which will impair my ability to follow
    them and accommodate my religion in every aspect of my life, i.e. my daughter working
    in local drugstore should not be forced to dispense RU486 since she believes
    that our religion, does not allow us to participate in murder of the innocent. The
    problem is not Christians who are forcing our religion on you; it is the
    government and atheists trying to prevent us from living according to our
    religion. No one should be forced to choose between her or his job and faith;
    system should be flexible enough to accommodate religious people. If we can accomplish
    that, you will never have to right such one sided argument.

  • Nimblewill

    http://www.cnn.com/2015/11/03/us/illinois-school-district-transgender-ruling/index.html

    Do you believe that this student should have full access to a girls locker room.

  • Friend

    This does happen, sometimes as a frat prank. Yes, men dress as women and sneak into the women’s locker room or restroom. They have done this without the supposed protection of what would be, for voyeurs, an elaborate legal dodge.

  • Seán

    Thank you for your comment, but I am talking about more than a simple prank, which is bad enough. As you said, this happens without a “legal dodge” so with it the potentiality of those events could rise. Furthermore, there would no longer even be the need to “dress as women” because there is definitely enough neutral clothing (jeans/t-shirt/sneakers) to render the need of disguise as pointless. I was thinking more along the lines of more severe perversion with more severe intent.

  • The Bofa on the Sofa

    I’m surprised you didn’t bring up the recent examples of where businesses and other enterprises insist that all disputes are resolved through “Christian arbitration.” Surprisingly, courts have upheld it.

    So here’s a case where Christians DO want to insist that we be subject to “Christian rules”

  • Falken

    I hate to do this, but I can’t give proponents the free pass opponents want. The issue wasn’t over bathrooms. Transgender individuals here, that were passable, have been using the bathroom of their identified gender for years. That was a red herring. The real issue was without this ordinance, we’d see the same discrimination against LGBT we see elsewhere – and here- in the wedding industry, employment, housing, even in doctor’s offices and education.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    however I expect my society around me to return a favor and don’t do things which will impair my ability to follow them and accommodate my religion in every aspect of my life, i.e. my daughter working in local drugstore should not be forced to dispense RU486 since she believes
    that our religion, does not allow us to participate in murder of the innocent.

    I’m going to be honest: I don’t care if your daughter distributes any medication at all . . . assuming someone* in that drugstore is willing to do it. It’s only when everyone is saying, “Oh, well, I don’t want to do it!” that it becomes an issue. Unless, of course, that the real issue isn’t that your daughter doesn’t want to personally distribute a drug, but rather that she wants to make sure that people don’t get that drug. If the first issue is really a smokescreen for the second (if people are pretending that it’s about personal rights to not distribute when what they really want is to prevent people from getting the drug), then we have a problem. So I have to ask: what is your daughter going to do to make sure that, assuming she doesn’t want to personally distribute a lawful drug, that a person who comes in wanting that drug is able to receive it?

    It’s kind of like I don’t care if there is a Scientologist in the drugstore who doesn’t want to give me my anti-depressants. It doesn’t really make a difference to me, assuming someone gives it to me. But if that drugstore is staffed only by Scientologists who won’t give me my lawful anti-depressants? Then we have an issue.

    *Although I will make a side note that if I worked in a drugstore that it would probably irk me something fierce if I had to go do someone else’s job because they weren’t willing to do it for themselves.

  • $136305622

    I think the way you describe how you are living is in line with the article. You are not forcing people to live by your religious code. Perhaps there should be some leniency, although I suspect there is already, regarding being forced to do things one considers immoral on the job – your example is RU486. I assume your daughter does not dispense any birth control, stock condoms, lube, work on Sunday, dispense medication to treat sexually transmitted diseases, or dispense Prep. But as long as a customer can get it at the pharmacy, then there isn’t a big deal with her passing those tasks to others. So I do agree with you on that point. I have not seen or heard of many folks being forced to choose between their jobs and their faith like you describe, but if it is happening then there probably needs to be a discussion on it.

  • $136305622

    Christians may not be stopping people from being gay (much to their chagrin!), but they definitely support measures that punish them for being gay. That is what the article is bringing up.

  • $136305622

    Very well said. Yes, I think a good part of anti-gay male sentiment is grounding in misogyny.

  • Herm

    TM, our religious beliefs don’t come free. If your daughter cannot perform her job within the margins allowed all other employees for mental, physical or spirituals reasons then she is unsuited for that job. Practicing Sabbath keepers cannot perform in a job that requires they work on Saturday. The illiterate in math cannot perform in a job that requires counting. The color blind cannot perform jobs that require interpreting color codes. A person without arms cannot be a life guard at the public pool.

    You are self indulgently wrong to say, “No one should be forced to choose between her or his job and faith; system should be flexible enough to accommodate religious people.” You have every right to be a conscientious objector to war, because of your faith, but you cannot fully perform the job of a soldier. You have every right to be a conscientious objector to dispensing RU486, because of your faith, but you cannot then fully perform the job of dispensing legal drugs in the local drugstore. Your daughter needs to find a job where she can fully perform within her physical, mental and spiritual constraints.

  • Herm

    Yes! I would not allow, for safety reasons, a girl predator in a girl’s locker room nor a boy predator in a boy’s locker room. For modesty reasons, I would not allow anyone in any locker room, irregardless of gender, to make another the brunt of their aggressive misunderstanding of the differences between us all. None of us are exactly the same as another in any human trait. Gender identification can be the abused or the abuser and neither is acceptable to me.

    If a physically identifiable male identifies as a girl to the point where she is seriously uncomfortable using the male facilities then the responsible adults should supervise facilitating a solution. There are plenty of males and females uncomfortable sharing any locker room facility with others at first, even with the same genders, until they become accustomed to the environment.

    I have now comfortably become accustomed to Blacks, Hispanics, transgenders, gays and women using the same locker room and bathroom facilities as I. This was not always so because I did not, knowingly, do so in the public schools of my youth. Now it is not an issue at all with me and I would prefer that it not be an issue with our youth. It just takes getting used to. In our children’s schools we do depend on adult monitors to make certain our children are safe as they learn to live with one another.

  • Noonehere20048485

    I appreciate your answer. It’s one I’ve been looking to hear. I do have a follow up. I know the predator question is a red herring, but regarding locker rooms, they’re separate for modesty reasons, and it doesn’t really make sense for me for a transgender person to use the locker room they identify with because it directly goes to the modesty issue for the others in the room.
    It also doesn’t make sense for the person to use the locker room of their birth gender. I’m not really sure what to do, considering I know there are some transgender folks who want to use the locker room they identify with.

  • Herm

    N.O.H., thank you for your appreciation. I believe we could dialog better if you would share with me your definition of “modesty reasons”.

  • Theo

    Your comment made me think of another question. Why do we have such open locker rooms in schools? Because I’m certain there’s a huge level of discomfort in people changing in front of anyone. When I was in high school, there were people who never changed for gym because they didn’t want to get undressed in front of others. No solution is perfect, but I think it wouldn’t be unreasonable for there to be changing-room-like stalls in the locker rooms.

  • Noonehere20048485

    Sure. Some of it is general discomfort people feel with transgenderism as a whole, which I recognize as not being too terribly different than the discomfort some feel about gay marriage. That is, to say, people will ultimately get past it.
    However, in the lockerroom, the idea is that there is a ‘sameness’ to everyone there. As well, many people do have concerns with leering gazes. I know that would really be no different than a person who is lesbian or gay or lesbian leering in a lockerroom, but there is an element of plausible deniability to both the leerer and leeree, in the case of someone who is gay. I also know that people who are transgender just want to change and leave, but that concern that someone is pretending in order to get into the locker room is real.
    Lockerrooms are separate for a reason, and I start from that premise.

    I don’t really know what to do, since it’s equally absurd for a transgender person to use he lockerroom of their birth gender. I’m stuck on this one.

  • DH85

    What if it were a gay man doing it in a men’s room?

    it doesn’t matter if they are transgender or not; if they’re perving, the courts can deal with them the same way.

  • Herm

    Is it possible that modesty is actually undefinable on a societal level as it must be defined only according to the individual’s level of comfort? Is there not a spectrum of modesty relative to presenting our bodies before others beginning at fully modest, with all skin covered, and ending at fully naked, with no skin covered? We, also, have individual phobias that could be considered unnatural but are no less a necessary societal consideration relative to functional modesty.

    I love the Genesis story where Adam and Eve had no idea that they were naked, before all of God and themselves, until they digested the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. Doubt came into play in their relationships that God honored by making them clothing to replace the fig leaves they hid their bodies behind. Was not the visual of sin metaphorically their modesty?

    I wonder if we don’t sin against others when we can’t accept their willingness to be naturally naked in our company. I know we would be sinning against them if their nakedness causes us to lust for their bodies. This is why, as a responsible adult, I could not knowingly allow a predator, no matter the age or gender, in a vulnerable area to our children.

    I once realized I was destructively homophobic when I didn’t allow perfectly qualified teachers to teach my children because they were gay. I still do not knowingly allow any predatory teacher, heterosexual or gay, with my children for obvious safety reasons. I no more want a heterosexual person aggressively influencing their sexuality on my children than a homosexual person. This applies in the locker rooms and the bathrooms equally as much.

    Modesty should be honored as did God in the Garden. The phobia scar which manifests itself in unwarranted modesty can heal with education usually best beginning at home but continued at school, especially elementary school before hormone confusion. I know men who must use an enclosed stall to urinate only because of modesty. I know of people from both sexes who cannot use public restrooms because of modesty, period, end of discussion for them. I, at the other extreme, know of people who share the same bathrooms and locker rooms with all genders simultaneously and comfortably.

    Could what I just shared have some bearing on why you find yourself stuck on this one?

  • Herm

    What if it were a heterosexual couple doing it in the public restroom? … if they’re perving the courts can deal with them the same way.

  • DH85

    Them too. Lesbian in a women’s room, teens of any gender/sex combination getting hot and heavy in the “family changing room” at the pool, a middle aged couple trying to recapture their youth behind the stadium – whether it’s indecent exposure or taping mirrors to their shoes, the mechanisms are in place to deal with them, no matter what’s between their legs and whether that matches the gender on their driver’s licence.

  • Progressives have learned nothing from years of jihadists attacks on the West except for new terms of abuse for conservatives, Exhibit CCXXVI.

  • Jodi Pattinson

    I would agree it is not our right to deny any individual equal rights, however, what important issue that needs to be addressed is the one regarding anal sex among heterosexuals and homosexuals alike. The plethora of deadly and drug resistant diseases, virus’s and parasites related to this activity that puts the entire community at risk physically and economically is reprehensible. Christians need to absolutely speak against and lobby against anal sex. It is absolutely, scientifically proven to be of massive concern. More over, both heterosexuals and homosexuals need to take responsibility for the mass number of sexual murders being committed via HIV/AIDS, etc. Anal sex and promiscuity can not be condoned by Christians as an act God would condone. Even if you don’t believe in God the science is undeniable. It’s not about forgiveness, it’s about public health and wellness. Also in a perfect world no one would be legally married. Legal marriage continues to oppress and be used as a tool to subjugate.

  • seashell

    It appears that you have mixed up Ben’s blog with the drama department’s blog for auditions.

  • This would be awesome on an online dating profile.

  • Yeah, man, it’s all I can do to fight off the hordes of angry Muslims when I go to work.

  • Who’s forcing your daughter to work in a drugstore?

  • According to Jesus, fundamentalist Christianity is a by product of the Devil, and it’s had its way here for quite some time. If we’re going to shut fundamentalist Islam down in the U.S., then let’s make sure we also shut down Christians who essentially read their Bible the same way Muslims read the Koran.

  • It’s the same book, chapter, and verse that says Islam is from the Devil.

  • Frankie Lee

    And, they won’t stop there. Between now and election day, Franklin Graham will be touring the country encouraging Christians to run for government office so they can “turn America back to God.”

    Me:It’s so wonderful Franklin encourage Christians to run for Office,and our brethren take charge of secular affairs,to turn country back to God,and to quash Homosexual’s Activists agendas,which is the Same sex marriage Abomination,which cursed USA to the core.

    Every Christian welcome fellow brethren runs for office,so its obvious only those enemies of God,child of Satan,and for people like Corey,doesn’t want that to happen,and they would most likely dislike it,oppose it.

    Who had imposed strict code for USA,the “”Sharia””,redefine marriage,and is that not the LGBT Crooks of USA,and those evil hooligans?

    I believe Corey wants to be seen as absolutely Discredited,by self Implodes in his own messages.Or plainly speaking,Benjamin L. Corey,he is dumb.

  • Herm

    Is that the sound of hypocritical Christian outrage??? It is not a right to keep a job but in the USA it is a right to object. It is a right in the USA to be served available legal drugs according to legal prescriptions without the bias of a faith that is not yours. It is a right to be served by your paid elected servants a legal marriage license without the bias of a faith that is not yours. To deny citizens the legal public service you are being paid to perform due to your faith and the presiding court supports you to keep your job that precedent becomes sharia law.

  • You wrote, “As a side note, it’s hard to make a blanket statement about Sharia law and have such a statement be true, because there are varying interpretations of it globally.)”

    Take a look at how it is practiced in Islamic countries–Iran, Saudi Arabia, Sudan, Iraq, Pakistan, the Maldives, etc.

    SCARY and unjust.

    Thankfully there are human rights organizations which oppose the horrific laws of Sharia. Join Amnesty International or another h.r. group and promote the Enlightenment.

    And I agree with you that Christians at times seem to be imposing their own form of “sharia” under the pretext of claiming to be persecuted when they are really the ones doing the persecuting.

  • Father Thyme

    “…the Quran derives from a Syriac Christian lectionary.”

    The Christian Origins of Islam
    by Peter Leithhart
    http://www.firstthings.com/web-exclusives/2012/12/the-christian-origins-of-islam

  • Father Thyme

    Biblical “Public Health and Wellness:”

    Behold, I will corrupt your seed, and spread dung upon your faces… Malachi 2:3

  • Father Thyme

    > no Christians in this country want to chop their limbs off or push them off of tall towers

    Tennessee Televangelist: God Commands Christians To Kill Gays | August 18, 2015
    patheos.com/blogs/progressivesecularhumanist/2015/08/tennessee-televangelist-god-commands-christians-to-kill-gays/

  • Father Thyme

    Dispensing RU 486 is Biblical.

    Pro-Life? Pro-Choice? No Choice! – Awkward Moments Bible
    awkwardmomentsbible.com/project/no-choice-why-would-mary-lie/

  • Matthew

    I´m a bit confused about this topic, especially as it relates to the city of Houston and the ordinance situation.

    Maybe I´m not understanding things correctly, but in my mind if someone is transgender and has already had physical changes done to their bodies that are now in line with their new sexual identity, what is the problem if they now use public bathrooms or locker rooms that match their new sexual identity? Am I missing something?

    I guess where I might have a problem is if say, a man, still identifies as a man physically but mentally thinks he is now (or has always been) a woman and now wants to use a woman´s bathroom or locker room. This new scenario seems a bit odd … no? Also … what if a person is half man and half woman … what then?

    This stuff makes my head spin … really!

  • RidgewayGirl

    It’s not different that an individual being uncomfortable changing in the same room as a person of a different religion or skin color.

    Most locker rooms have changing cubicles for those who need them. It might be best for someone who is intensely uncomfortable changing in the presence of others to use such a room, or to change in a toilet stall. It might also be useful to point out to them that people in changing rooms are not there to look at other people. They are intent on getting changed and moving forward with their day.

  • RidgewayGirl

    If people are having sex in front of you in the locker rooms you frequent, I respectfully suggest changing health clubs.

  • Vitor Grando

    Is defending the traditional concept of marriage the same as defending DEATH PENALTY to homossexuals, adulterous women? The same as defending polygamy, pedophilia (Muhammed and his 6 yrs Aysha, remember?)? Or perhaps is it the same thing as defending amputation of thieves, sex slavery, subjugation of non-muslim people? Do you REALLY believe that?

    I see only two options here: or you dont know NOTHING about what you are trying to say or you are deliberately trying to deceive your readers.

  • Bones

    Where’s this health club?

  • RidgewayGirl

    We’re talking about locker rooms and then Jodi tells us how upsetting sex is to her. I figured there must be a connection.

  • TK

    Your argument is uncharacteristically stupid! The rejection in Houston was about Sharia law, Christians, or the right wing. It was about the equipment that you have dictating what restroom you use. I would not what a man walking in a restroom where my Wife or Daughter are in, period!!

  • Bones

    Oh darn.

  • Herm

    Matthew, to be transgender is defined as someone who relates to a gender, man or woman, boy or girl, opposite to their sexual genitalia, male or female. A person has to transition from transgender to transsexual to conform their bodies to their mental identity. For a medical doctor to perform the surgery necessary the transgender must live in the gender role they desire to be for a year.

    To confuse you further no less than one out of 2,000 babies are born with the genitalia of both sexes each year.

    The dysphoria you are feeling is multiplied exponentially for children to adults who are aware of the fact in their own life with no one to explain and/or define why and who they are as they are. Ignorant children of all ages see such people as freaks of nature and tend to attempt to terrorize perfectly harmless conditions out of their life.

    No one person is exactly the same as another, never has been and never will be. God can handle that fact, we cannot. No one is ever all male or all female. No one is all man or all woman.

    Matthew, all people, except the mentally psychotic, are capable of living all the law and the prophets noted in Matthew 7:12.

    Love you and my human kind when they too live accordingly. Did this help or only confuse further?

  • $136305622

    You are right that the defending traditional marriage (it does not need defending from homosexuals’ threat btw) is not the same as the death penalty for gays. That was not the article’s point. The article was about using religious doctrines to dictate the laws of those who are not even your religion. In that regard, there is a similarity. People focus on marriage, but there are more intrusive ways in which Christian doctrine creeps its way into law where gays are denied housing, jobs, etc. all because of religious views. Is that right? Of course not.

  • Matthew

    I would agree that extreme Islam and its interpretation of Sharia law looks nothing like what most on the left would label Christian Sharia, however,
    the larger point is that the secular realm should not be controlled by any religious tenants of any particular religious group. There simply is no place for this in a free, democratic, pluralistic society.

    Morality is not meant to be legislated upon the non-believer. If they are to come and follow, it is to be of free will enticed by love.

  • Herm

    Thank you Patrick, you have helped. Seems like your sisters have helped, also, for you and I to appreciate more fully what they must go through to do something perfectly natural but different than you and me. Thank them for me if you would!

  • Matthew

    A little more clear Herm, a little less clear … if you know what I mean. Explanations sometimes bring on more questions.

    My next question is:

    If one has the genitalia of a man, but the mind of a woman, is it O.K. for him (or her) to use a woman´s bathroom or change in an all woman´s locker room?

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    Your comparison is null and void. Canon law is hardly sharia if for no other reason than it is essentially administrative but that is for another day’s debate. Minuit you say, really, what about the latest polls throughout the Moslem world that the overwhelming majority of Moslems believes beheading is justified for “infidels” that is you and I by the way as well as death sentences for women who are raped, gay people, and a host of other offences to “allah”! Ask a former Moslem who has endured death threats from their own families as well as from the Moslem community how “personal” the interpretation of this mayhem can be! Lastly when I see the streets of the Moslem world filled with outraged over the beheadings including of little children, the stoning of women, the practice of slavery, child brides as young as 9 and on and on instead of outrage over a silly cartoon of a warlord who founded this ideology then we can agree!

  • Seán

    I concede that you both make good points that it could happen in a multitude of ways, but at the same time you seem to be missing my point entirely. Furthermore, you seem to have a much higher view of “the courts” than I do as well. Each of the circumstances you have suggested are obvious events of wrongdoing, or inappropriate behavior. What I am talking about blurs those lines and a defense of such actions would be put in place for the courts. What you suggest has no defense. No matter what biology is still significant and should be taken into consideration. This is the problem I have. Whereas I support and empathize with the challenges transgender people face, and I wish I had the “best” answer to those challenges, people still need to recognize it is not black and white. Those who have objections are not necessarily being discriminatory (although many are) and they should be heard as well. People spout tolerance and acceptance, but they seem to only want it for one side.

  • Matthew

    What if someone with male “equipment” thinks they are actually a woman? Where do they relieve themselves when in a public place?

  • Herm

    If it is an all women’s locker room yes by definition. If it is and all female locker room then no by definition. In Houston no locker room is legally available to change in for the intersexed (one person having the genitalia of both sexes) or a transgendered. This to protect under the law the modesty of those who were taught from childhood that sexuality and/or gender is black or white with no acceptable gray areas. No different than children taught that God wants us to be all the same with no variations. If we know the Son then we know the Father, as it is written, so They must be the same. It is, also written, that to call oneself the son of God obviously has to make one equal with God and that’s impossible so we will crucify the impostor in God’s name to maintain our sanity.

    We are all allowed to be, and can only be, equal in God’s eyes if we are each distinctly different. If we children of Man must only be one or the other in God’s image (male and female), then the ones must all be the same as each of the ones as then must the others all be the same as each of the others. To have to conform to be exactly the same as another makes equality an impossible pursuit as we have proven throughout our recorded history of trying. This concept of the difference between equality and sameness is confusing to the more simplistic fundamentalists but not at all to the God I know and am uniquely a one in as a little child.

  • Herm

    I am pretty certain Jesus did not write a double negative in the sand. I see no one left to accuse you. Go my son and sin no more!!!

  • Matthew

    Thanks Herm.

  • Peter Calabrese

    The they should find a restroom that allows one person at a time. Their feeling like a woman does not trump the majority of women’s right to decent modesty and privacy. Someone may feel uncomfortable but the guy feeling like the woman should have respect for the woman who feel like women. And if he wants to eb a woman and share all the female bonding then maybe his first act of sisterhood should be to admit that his sisters feel uncomfortable.

  • Peter Calabrese

    totally wrong. Christians are against same sex marriage because the state is redefining an anthropological definition of humanity -that yes was imprinted there by God. Opposing these things reflects anthropological facts taht yes also impact our religious freedom, but are not really about imposing doctrinal disciplines. Christiasn are in no way seeking to enshrine their total theology on America the way Sharia law would.

  • It’s interpreted horrifically. I remember all the letters my wife and I have written for Amnesty International and other human rights groups to Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, Iraq, Iran, etc. tp appeal for the release of women, prisoners of conscience, etc..

    Read up on what these Sharia laws do to people:-(

    Saudi Arabia actually executed a Saudi citizen for private prayer in his own house, because his prayer was to the wrong religion!

    Pakistan regularly arrests people if they disagree with Muhammad or allegedly say anything bad about the man.

    Women in Iran and many other Muslim countries are persecuted, must cover their hair, are beaten, can be arrested for blasphemy–meaning they disagree with Muhammad, etc.

    In many such countries, a woman’s word is worth only HALF that of a man.

    And it only gets worse…read a bit about Sharia Law in Afghanistan.

  • “No one in a free country should be forced to live by another’s religious codes or ethics.”

    Exactly, the point being made here is that it is never OK to force your religious beliefs on someone else. One only has to look at the history of Christianity to see that unless there is an absolute wall between church and state bad things happen.

  • Herm

    Sharia law is the body of Islamic law. The term means “way” or “path”; it is the legal framework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Islam.

    Sharia law is the body of Christian law. The term means “way” or “path”; it is the legal framework within which the public and some private aspects of life are regulated for those living in a legal system based on Christianity.

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

  • I was once offer a job at a company that made light armored vehicles. I turned it down even though it would have meant a lot more money and very good benefits. As a pacifist and follower of Jesus I could not work in a place that literally manufactured the machinery of death. Some times discipleship has a cost.

  • Herm

    My first act of brotherhood is to admit that my brother Peter feels uncomfortable trying to digest the fruit of the knowledge of good and evil. I have found myself uncomfortable around Stephen Hawking because I don’t understand how he can be so much smarter than I. What evil does one pose in a restroom when using it as meant only because they are different? Are not all of us different from one another? Where and why do you draw the line?

  • Jocelyn Newton

    Herm!! This is awesome!! Letting the truth of your statement sink in is like a lightbulb going on!!!

    “…what THEY must go through to do something PERFECTLY NATURAL but DIFFERENT THAN YOU AND ME.” (the caps are mine for emphasis!)

    I wonder if there would be far less “flak” from the herterosexual part of society towards the LGBTQ community if they saw this truth!

    “What is natural for them is natural for us – just a “different natural.”

    “Heterosexual natural” is attraction to opposite gender
    “LGBTQ natural” is attraction to same gender, bi-gender, trans-gender

    – Sorry – I realize this is a tad off-topic, but you just helped me with a fundamental truth, and I wanted to thank you for it!!

  • Peter Calabrese

    The same reason we in general have male vs female restrooms. in general no one goes into a restroom to do anything untoward, but we keep separate public restrooms for privacy and modesty. It has nothing to do with my being unable or uncomfortable digesting anything. It is just an extension of common decency that has been in our culture. The real question is why is this being jammed down our throats under the guise of charity and/or rights? Thera re ways to make other accommodations like single sex bathrooms but what is being forced upon us is a different situation. I have every right to dispute a proposed solution to a given problem. If someone is going to accuse me of hatred or prejudice over it then I am going to say good faith in the argument is lost and an agenda is being pushed

  • Peter Calabrese

    Sharia law has nothing to do with the Body of Christan Law, which is duly noted in the Sacred Tradition and the legislation of the Cahtolic Church.

  • TK

    That man either finds a single restroom or uses the stall. Just because a small minority is confused or uncomfortable about their gender is not a reason for women do give up their privacy or jeopardize their safety.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    How silly can you be! Jewish kosher laws or Catholic canons are no more a version of sharia than the little red riding hood is a version of Shakespeare! Kosher laws existed long before Islam as did canon law maybe you can google the history of these so your ignorance of historical events are not so evident. Common sense dictates that since in both instances they existed long before the rise of the ideology of a Middle Eastern tribal warlord it is nonsense to state a non existent definition. So tell me where are or was those “majority moslems” marching in the streets and shouting god is great as they condemned the butchery done in the name of Islam. Your sophomoric citing of crimes committed in the name of Christianity reminds of the little girl caught by her parents smoking and her defense was “well other kids smoke”!

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    Especially considering shari did not exist until after the both the Old and New Testaments were written! But in the face of continued acts of murder, oppression, torture,slavery, wife beatings and so called honour killings, and mutilation ordered by sharia courts the politically correct and self describe “progressive” apologists continue to attempt to explain away the brutality of this barbaric ideology. They remind me of their ancestors in 1938 Germany who argued that what is evident and factual wasn’t universally true of the Nazis and or Hitler. Those who agreed with them went to Aushwitch and those who did not went to New York!

  • Herm

    Peter, I love you the way Jesus has taught me He too loves you, by empathy and sympathy for you. The very same way He loves all of us children of Man which He chose to become just to be able to empathize, sympathize and serve as our Brother and as our Lord. Both of us understand that you are sincere and believe in blind trust of your religion. Both of us understand so does the devout Muslim.

    Neither Jesus nor I want you to become members of our religion, our church. Both of us want you to come to the Truth as a student (disciple) of only the Messiah Jesus. The good news (gospel truth) is that when whelmed (baptized) by the readily available Spirit of truth we can become a little child in God and God in us.

    You cannot cite your religious legislation for justification as you did against Sharia law by writing, “Sharia law has nothing to do with the Body of Christan Law, which is duly noted in the Sacred Tradition and the legislation of the Cahtolic Church” without that too becoming absolutely no different than Sharia law.

    The only legislation we, as students of our Brother Christ Jesus, are called to live within are the following:

    Jesus replied: “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.” Matthew 22:37-40

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

    In order to fully love and do to all others what you would have all others do to you you must empathize, sympathize and be willing to serve them as you would have them serve you. Jesus teaches us that and so, too, was it written over 1,900 years ago. This includes empathizing, sympathizing and serving all those siblings of Man that you do not understand, make you uncomfortable and threaten your self-indulgent modesty as you would have them empathize, sympathize and serve you. No need for legislation when we all abide by the sum of the Law and the Prophets of God. The only law ever written in stone by the hand of God is the Decalogue and it too is covered by those two commandments.

    The Roman Catholic Church is not Jesus’ church. I am worshipping today in the sanctuary of the temple Jesus built in three days. God is spiritual and not carnal. Children of God are spiritual and not carnal. There is no lasting reward for the carnal, only for the spiritual by the grace of God. I live in the Spirit of God and the Spirit of God lives in me. My heart, soul and mind that I am bound by love in God is spiritual. There is only one Teacher and Father I have full trust in and They are in heaven.

    “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers. And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah. The greatest among you will be your servant. For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted. Matthew 23:8-12

    It is not your fault that you place your faith in a carnal church organization and religious nation. It is your responsibility now no longer speaking as a child of Man to ask, seek and knock for the Truth rather than remain trapped by the traditions of your youth. This is what Jesus was speaking to in the following:

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27

    We cannot be taught truth by Jesus if we grade the validity of what He has to offer through the lens of undying love for the traditions taught by the teachers from our childhood of Man. This is true for all of mankind from any childhood of religious teaching, most especially a strict religious teaching in fundamentalism; Christian, Muslim, Hindi, Buddhist or … .

    Peter, I do understand your allegiance to the Roman Catholic tradition. I am sharing that by my life I can honestly testify that if you choose to live by that tradition, or any religious tradition of Man, you will die by that tradition. Only “in” God, as Their child, can we be born into an eternal life of awareness. Don’t ask me, ask Them! Your choice. Love you!

  • Herm

    Sin defined there means to miss the mark.

  • Herm

    Adam, the word legal makes all I wrote to be taken quite literally. If it is legal for a person to sell drugs for the legal intent of abortion and such would violate their conscience in doing so legally in performance of their legally contracted job description they must stuff their conscience or find employment they can fulfill their contract fully within.

    Get off your pitiful attempt to justify the infliction of your self-righteous conscience on others through the use of the phrase “killing babies”. I am clearly more fully pro-life than you because I don’t wish that any die. In that pursuit I have to trust those first responsible for the difficult triage decisions that have to be made within an all too limited time constraint. Life is not so simple as to be able to set back remotely to judge that a human baby’s life must come before any other human life. You are attempting to impose an all too simplistic law of no abortion or birth control because your heart says all life is sacred. So what? All human life will die and the only value we have left to give that lost life is through grief.

    If you wish shock and awe to shake you out of your self centered attempt to spare yourself more grief for life lost then I will respond to your abuse of the phrase “killing babies” as that is simplistically bullshit.

  • Stephen

    Great article….sure, the fundie’s won’t like it, deny they are doing it…but, in reality they make false claims, false harms, false judgments and discriminate….just as their Jesus told them to do??? To deny other’s the same freedoms…just goes past their own ignorance, and fulfills the need to continue divisive hate. Funny, all that they screamed about in same sex marriage, and other people’s freedoms has caused no harm….they only seek to cause more harm, disharmony, thus imposing it in politics (Christian sharia law). When your religiousity is only seeking and defining “sin and righteousness”, seems you totally forgot of love, tolerance, understanding, unity….those Christian main principles many ignorantly forget. Sad life of searching for negatives, just following your preacher man, and not allowing for a more loving world…for all.

  • Robert Conner
  • DrewTwoFish

    They’re not stopping people from being gay because, well, that isn’t possible – any more than you can stop people from being straight.

    And some high profile Christians, including some running for the presidency, are rubbing shoulders with those advocate death for gay people.

    http://www.salon.com/2015/11/02/put_gay_people_to_death_ted_cruz_bobby_jindal_and_mike_huckabee_to_speak_at_iowa_religious_liberty_conference_led_by_noxious_right_wing_radio_host/

  • That’s a logical conclusion if you also have no Scriptural backing.

  • Tom Griffiths

    Sharia law contains the death penalty for murder. Are USA now going to abandon this?

  • Bonnie Stone

    A person’t genitalia does not determine their gender people. Get it through your heads. Gender is a concept. Sex parts are not.

  • P J Evans

    There are stalls in women’s restrooms. It’s far more private that a men’s room.
    You really need to learn about trans people, though. I’d recommend starting with ‘She’s Not There’. They’re not predators; they’re people whose mental gender doesn’t match the body they got. Ask your god why they were created.

  • P J Evans

    Women’s room. Stalls. Ask any female in your family. Then ask why someone who isn’t female gender would use one, bearing in mind that body does not define gender.

  • P J Evans

    They are not in the US. (The US Muslim population is quite small.)

  • P J Evans

    Who engages in sex in public? And why do you feel the need to regulate the private lives of other people, including those you will never ever meet?

  • P J Evans

    When I was in high school, it didn’t come up because we didn’t have time to be looking at anyone else. But for the very few extremely modest, there were stalls with toilets.

  • P J Evans

    Someone in transition, you mean?
    Because the fact that they feel they’re women is only the beginning of the process.

  • P J Evans

    No, if her religious views require her to not do parts of her job, then she has to choose which is more important: the job or her religion. If you’re in a business open to the public, you can’t say ‘I will do business only with people who agree with my views’. You can become a private (members-only) business, and continue to choose your customers. If you’re a pharmacist, you agree to dispense prescriptions to everyone, not just the drugs you approve of and the people you approve of.
    It’s called ‘render unto Caesar’.

  • P J Evans

    Babies are not affected by abortion: they’ve already been born. Claiming that they are is a LIE.

  • P J Evans

    There’s a lot of bullshit in your comment.

  • P J Evans

    Matthew Shepard.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    This article is right on the money… don’t force your religious beliefs on me… unless they’re the ones I agree with… then, everybody has to follow them or be called ‘unamerican’… so much for a democracy based on the rule of law.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Or as joni mitchell puts it “you get witch hunts and wars, when church and state hold hands” (Tax Free from the album dog eat dog).

  • P J Evans

    If you’re talking about sexual predators: there are laws about that, and they apply (or should apply) to all genders.
    If it’s just thinking that LGBT people are icky and you don’t want them around because the very idea squicks you – too damned bad. Grow up and recognize that they’re humans and have the same rights as you; the laws are behind.

  • P J Evans

    Something like 20 this year that are known to have been murdered – the police have a tendency to use the birth name and gender on reports, so it’s hard to tell.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Um, actually, no it was not imprinted by ‘god’… that’s merely YOUR particular brand of belief… and some xtians are most certainly trying to impose their theology on others… don’t gay marry, but please, don’t deny these folks the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen. Good grief, these are consenting adults… it’s simply NOT your business, and it’s no different than the civil rights movement when black people were not given equal treatment under the law. Religion was used then too… there’s your true perversion… this is a democracy and the rule of law is what defines a democracy… otherwise it may as well be a sharia-like theocracy… and we the people have spoken. Gay marriage is here to stay. Get over it, and find something useful to do with all that energy…

  • TK

    I know transgender people are not predators. I’m concerned about the predators that could take advantage. Are you willing to risk a young girl or woman, because a very few are uncomfortable. I’m not!

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    For those who don’t believe in your god or your church, we prefer a rule of law country… i.e., a democracy. You are mistaken about the origins of your country… and trying to rewrite history and turn back the clock now are futile pursuits of a frustrated, previously superior group who feel like equality is oppression. This is not the america of the 20th century. Move along, sparky.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    You are ignorant of what transgender is all about. sigh. hopeless.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    They’ve been doing for longer than that… the morality squad.. the Comstock laws, before and after prohibition, women voting was considered unchristian, etc., and in the 1930’s there were people like Lindbergh and Henry Ford who were as racist and isolationist as they come. They have traditionally catered to a crowd known as the “Know Nothing (and proud of it) Party…” the anti-intellectual, anti=scientific gimme that old time religion of hellfire, etc., and that’s what most of the goppers sound like today. The more it change, the more it stay the same… said John Lennon.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Yes, and taken to an extreme, fundies would wish the same thing on anyone who disagreed with them.. check out the preacher who says gays should be put to death… and guess who’s attending a conference with this lovely person… Huckabee and Jindal. Nice folks.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Oh please.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Oh get over your obsession with genitalia. It’s about sharing, caring, companionship, nurturing and helping a life partner. all you think about is horror and sex, sex, sex. That’s what’s sick here. You have no idea about these people you go on about. Love compassion tolerance understanding and the golden rule seem to have passed you by… maybe you watch too much negative news. All this bally-hooing about gays keeps us well away from focussing on what really matters … things like the economy. Just razzle-dazzle you so you won’t notice the great inequalities in this country. Gullible and hyper-media drenched.

  • Herm

    You really don’t get it. You curse the baby killers by your attitude when it is none of your business. I’m tired of your self indulgent holier than thou attitude which takes nothing into account relative to the pain you cause others that you know nothing about. I am a disciple of Jesus and feel the grief you who are not listening cause by sticking your nose in where it simply does not belong. This is very much in the spirit of sharia. You have used over and over “killing babies” as the obvious justification. I have simply valued such worth of that phrase as no greater to me than dung in the real world and in the kingdom of God. Why I felt the need to openly value it as such was answered in the last sentence of my comment.

  • paganheart

    “Unless, of course, that the real issue isn’t that your daughter doesn’t
    want to personally distribute a drug, but rather that she wants to make
    sure that people don’t get that drug.”

    Bam. They can scream about “religious freedom” all they want, but what these people are really hoping to do is block every woman’s access to these perfectly legal drugs by refusing to dispense them. It has nothing to do with being allowed to live by their own religious beliefs, and everything to do with forcing the rest of us to live by their religious beliefs. If that is not an example of Christian “Shaira Law” I don’t know what is.

    My husband was manager for a convenience store chain for several years. At one point, the chain’s ownership decided to start stocking some “adult” magazines. Shortly after, my husband started receiving complaints that one of his employees on the graveyard shift was refusing to sell the magazines to customers. When he confronted the employee, the man said that he believed the magazines were pornographic and pornography was a sin, and he would be violating his religious beliefs if he furnished pornography to others. When my husband pointed out that those customers might not share his religious beliefs, the man replied something to the effect of “That does not matter. What matters is that I have a right to my religious freedom in this country.” To which my husband replied: “You have a right to practice your religion. You do not have a right to force others to practice your religion, nor do you have a right to a job. If your beliefs won’t allow you to perform your job duties, perhaps you should look for another job.” The man quit.

    Pharmacists and pharmacy techs who oppose birth control should do the same. They are, in effect, forcing others to live by their own personal religious beliefs when they refuse to dispense birth control or morning-after pills that they personally oppose to women who do not share their opposition. (And it is always women who get this treatment; I have yet to hear of a pharmacist claiming that selling condoms or Viagra to men would violate their “religious freedom.”) No one forced these people to work in a pharmacy, and the fact that they persist in doing so and demand the right to deny birth control to all women who don’t share their religious beliefs, shows what their true (and frightening) motivation really is.

  • Herm

    Adam, bad example as rebellion is likened to the sin of divination. Rebellion is not likened to the word sin.

    For rebellion is like the sin of divination, and arrogance like the evil of idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:23

    This is how sin is defined as used in 1 Samuel 15:23

    Hebrew Strong’s Number: 2403

    Hebrew Word: ‏חַטָּאת‎

    Transliteration: ḥaṭṭāʾt

    Phonetic Pronunciation: khat-taw-aw’

    Hebrew Word: ‏חַטָּאָה‎

    Transliteration: chaṭṭâʾâh

    Phonetic Pronunciation: khat-taw-aw’

    Root: from

    Cross Reference: TWOT – 638e

    Part of Speech: n f

    Vine’s Words: Sin

    English Words used in KJV:

    sin 182

    sin offering 116

    punishment 3

    purification for sin 2

    purifying 1

    sinful 1

    sinner 1

    [Total Count: 296]

    or chatta’th, khat-tawth’; from (chata’); an offence (sometimes habitual sinfulness), and its penalty, occasion, sacrifice, or expiation; also (concrete) an offender :- punishment (of sin), purifying (-fication for sin), sin (-ner, offering).

    This quoted from dabhand.org: http://www.dabhand.org/Word%20Studies/sin.htm

    The Hebrew word châṭâ’ (H2398) is itself rendered ‘sin*[2]’ on 184 occasions and it is the root behind three other Hebrew words rendered as ‘sin’. The word literally means ‘to miss'[3]: it is therefore generally used of sinning although in the Piel and Hithpiel form it can mean to cleanse from sin. We do in fact find châṭâ’ rendered as: cleanse(7), purify(10), committed(6), offended(4) and others.

    The Greek word for sin is hamartanó and is defined in http://biblehub.com/greek/264.htm as:

    originally: I miss the mark, hence (a) I make a mistake, (b) I sin, commit a sin (against God); sometimes the idea of sinning against a fellow-creature is present.

    Your reading comprehension leaves much to be desired. In your definition of sin you have missed the mark.

  • Herm

    By your fruit I do not believe you have been whelmed by the Holy Spirit. You make it your business not even supported by the Bible, much less the living word of God, but only by the support of your religious organization.

  • Bones

    Aaaah yes.

    Hands up who has the REAL Jesus.

    FACT: Banning abortions doesn’t work.

    Is it any of your business that children are born into poverty and impoverished families or are not allowed in your country but left to die in theres? What about blowing babies up in an Afghanistan hospital like a couple of weeks ago?

    Nah, that’s none of your business.

    Your Jesus isn’t interested in that.

  • Seán

    Apparently you have not fully read each of my comments. Or, you have but since they do not match up with your thoughts exactly you feel it is necessary to become antagonistic. I am very grown up about the matter, and I recognize all people, regardless of how he/she may be defined, as humans. You seem to think that by pointing out it is not as simple as some may claim that I find LGBT people as “icky.” Well, the truth of the matter is that I am trying to keep their rights and feelings in mind while also trying to keep the rights and feelings of others in mind. So yes, I recognize them as human, but I also recognize others as human. Get off your damn soapbox and take a look at yourself and maybe you’ll see it is you that needs to grow up a bit. I never said I had the answers and admitted it is a difficult situation, but I stand by my point that biology is important and it should be taken into consideration so that ALL people can feel loved and welcomed. Comments like yours only serve to strengthen the problem instead of searching for solutions.

  • Hell, I know this! I lived in Palestine/Israel where religious Jews and atheistic Jews, and Muslims and secularists and Christian Baptists all were dedicated to killing each other.

    Tribalism and religious and ideological intolerance fills history and is still present now.

    Fundies of the past caused the French religious wars, the 30 Years War, the English Civil War, the U.S. Civil War, the Great War, etc.

    There are right now Christians who claim that slavery isn’t wrong such as the famous Christian leader in Idaho. (Heck, there are Atheistic ideologues who claim that too, just had the misfortune of dialoging with them recently.)

    Read up in any scholarly book of history and you will find it agrees with you totally!

    Have you read Jesus Wars by Phillip Jenkins about the early persecution and killing of Jews, other Christians, and Pagans by early Christian leaders?

    But the difference is that here in the U.S. for the most part, such religious hatreds are stopped by separation of church and state which came mostly from Enlightenment thinkers such as Thomas Jefferson.

    However, in most ISLAMIC countries there is no separation of church and state.
    If you want to reject your religion, you will be arrested, imprisoned, and executed.
    There are Islamic leaders here in the U.S. which believe in Sharia Law. I’ve spoken with them.

    It’s scary:-(

  • On the contrary, they are in the U.S. I’ve spoken with such Muslim leaders. Really scary!

    Do a google search. There are plenty of Muslims in the U.S. which advocate horrific actions because of the Qur’an.

  • Clay Tablet

    I hope so.

  • Herm

    The Christ and the only Rabbi I will ever need is who I serve as a brother and disciple. A disciple (student) learns to serve as the Teacher already serves. Jesus does not intimidate with the phrase “killing babies”. Jesus’ Father asked His baby to die for us rather than put up 12 legions of angels to protect Him from us. If you were listening to the Rabbi you would know.

  • Herm

    Predators can be women, too.

  • K Frantz

    There is another concerning movement in employment and other contracts where a Christian arbitration clause is gaining notoriety… arbitration that is presumably based on a scriptural viewpoint. A reminder to know what you are signing and what the ramifications might include.

  • Still Seeking

    Blessings, Adam, and all praise and glory be to our Lord Jesus. He has promised us that His Word shall remain eternal. That is our strength when we have been gifted with His eyes to see how the trampling on His Word can be disguised even as light. May the love of Christ grow ever stronger in us as as He continues to allow us to share in His sufferings for the Kingdom.

  • Bones

    Was the woman a witch?

    Hard to believe people in this age are still quoting texts about witchcraft.

  • One of my favorite albums.

  • Snooterpoot

    I don’t know a single woman who got the vapors when she saw an unexpected penis.

    We are stronger than you give us credit for. Sure, some women would shrink back in horror, but I think most of us would grab the bastard and laugh at his penis.

    As to your final scenario, a man who would do that will likely be caught and is also likely to be on the sex offender registry.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    JJ: F*** it… tonight I’m goin’ dancing, with the drag queens and the punks… big beat deliver me from this sanctimonious skunk….” me too!!

  • Peter Calabrese

    In what way am I mistaken about the origin of my country? I don;t seem to have posted anything at lest on this thread that could at all give you any basis to judge that. You can have a rule of law country just remember that the First Amendment still applies regardless of what God or Church you believe in or choose to ignore. Learn some logic Trixi to go with your pop psychology. If you think I am I feel today we have oppression then you are mightily confused, but nor am I so naive to not see the hate of the secularists. But calling what Christians want imposition of Sharia Law is laughable. Try your act in ISIS controlled territory to find out what a theocracy is really like. Until then the comparison is left wing Kool Aid.

  • Peter Calabrese

    First of all this is a Christian blog so belief in God’s existence is a presumption. Then again you fail at logic. My actual sentence says that whether you believe in God is immaterial to the anthropological fact that human beings exist based on male-female complementarity. While there may indeed be people whose brains are wired to be sexually attracted to the same sex that is in fact not normal. Physiology and psychology tell you the parts don’t fit. Those are anthropological not theological facts, though Faith being in sync with reason also supports that complementarity. My faith tells me to treat people with such attractions with love and respect, but I see no need for the government to promote such relationships. Secondly marriage is by nature a public act. It is an act of society recognizing something so I certainly have the right in a democracy to speak out as to what relationships the state should recognize and promote. The line about if you don’t want a gay marriage don’t get one is logical babble since in is essence marriage is not about just what two people want to do but how those people and their children relate to society at large. Finally marriage is really about family and children have a right to a mom and a dad. Children have a right not to be sociological experiments for adults to raise them in same sex households.
    Actually the people did not speak – Ultra far left justices spoke at the federal level and most states did not vote for it, it was rather imposed by liberal ideologues in use of raw judicial power. Marriage redefinition is illogical and while the government may misappropriate the right to redefine marriage I can certainly work to mitigate it’s absurdity and make sure the government never pits kids against their parents with this absurdity.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Your statement that body does not define gender is an assumption, hardly proven, that is more an ideological statement of fairly recent origin.
    Regardless of that ideological argument no one has yet to tell me why even if a transgender person “feels” a certain way they should be entitled to violate the privacy of the 99.9% of the people who will be using that restroom. At a certain point they too live in society and being “different” does not give them the right to run the world. It is good policy for many reasons to go to the room for the equipment you have irrespective of how you feel, if for no other reason than to protect the privacy and modesty of the majority. No one has yet to give me a good reason other than hurt feelings to violate that privacy. So right now it is feelings vs feelings. If need be hit one person bathroom seems pretty simple to me. The truth is it is the Trans community that wants to impose themselves on everybody else and be applauded for it. It is an inappropriate request and they should be told so, nicely, but told so.
    Having wandered into the women’s room by accident on two occasions I can tell you the presence of stalls is not the guarantee of privacy they seek.

  • $136305622

    “redefining an anthropological definition of humanity” – that doesn’t even make sense. Marriage, if that is what you are referring to, is not a definition of humanity. Humanity is much more than that. Also, if we look to anthropology then we would realize there are many many versions of “marriage” so if we are changing the way it is defined (as only between one man and one woman) then that is just another variation. It was never defined anthropologically as one man and one woman in all cultures and all times. So God never defined it as such (I assume you would argue that God has been around since the beginning so it would have been defined as such from the beginning).

    “Opposing these things reflects anthropological facts taht yes also impact our religious freedom, but are not really about imposing doctrinal disciplines.” What does that even mean? I think there are big words there whose meaning you don’t fully grasp. Being against same sex marriage reflects anthropological facts? Really what facts are those? These anthropological facts impact your religious freedom? Huh?

  • $136305622

    The respondent made no claim that she nor anyone else should not believe in God. So your first sentence is off base. The rest of your comment is not supported by “anthropological facts”…I think there is a problem with understanding what anthropology actually is…

  • Brandon Roberts

    agreed 100% and these christians probaly also oppose immigration (though jesus spoke out against that) and support banning islam (though that’s more clear hypocrisy)

  • Matthew

    If someone simply thinks they are a woman, but is still physically a man and then wants to use a woman´s public bathroom or locker room, this is what I think I would have problems with. However … like I said in another comment … this stuff makes my head spin. I´m not sure what to think.

  • Bones

    I’m glad that Jesus calls us to love people regardless of their gender……

  • Peter Calabrese

    Sure it is. Our sexual organs are made for reproducing. Not desiring to use them for that but only use them for the pleasure associated with normal use of htose organs has a purpose in giving pleasure sure but is a misuse that even the CDC says is unhealthy. I think anthropology and physiology stand on teh side of complementarity, though teh promotion of homosexuality as normal will no doubt begin to skew the type of research that psychologists and sociologists do. The fact taht the APA removed homosexuality for the DSM has more to do with teh political corruption of science than a true scientific inquiry. Unlike others in the modern world I do trust science but I do not make it an idol. I know that all human beings including scientists are fallen and there is no reason to believe they are immune from the same corruption that at times infiltrates, teh Church, businesses and all other aspects of society. As for my statement about the blog being religious yes my interlocutor complained about my using a faith comment which is perfectly legitimate considering where the discussion is located. If I am speaking in a government forum I dont; need to use faith at all to explain why SSM is illegitimate. It is only when I enter into the discussion with believers who on principle accept the Bible’s propositions that i make further use of arguments related to faith.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Trsut me I grasp my words ocmpletely – maybe oyu ned to reread slowly a few times. While it is true taht marriage has not ALWAYS been defined as one man and one woman it has NEVER been defined as same sex and even if it you can find some places where MAYBE it has the point remains that are species propagates based on complementarity that is the norm. Deviations form the norm may exist but they prove the rule not eliminate it. And yes GOd defined it in Genesis 1-3 and Jesus reaffirmed that definition as did St. Paul. The allowance for polygamy was probably much like the allowance for divorce – again see Christ’s and Paul’s comments on the pedagogical nature of the Law vs. the fullness of time in Christ. As for polygamy if that is your argument well that is precisely what opponents of SSM have been saying – if oyu begin to redefine it you can;t stop other redefinitions. We have been assured that that is not the case but the fat is the court cases are already being drawn up. Bottom line is fro purely human reasons we have a right to say that a chuild deserves a father and mother and redefining society for the pleasure and economic power of a few adults is not so much a civil right but a desire taht can be debated. teh mistake is in automatically assuming that someone has a “right” to have their relationship recognized as marriage by teh state. that is the false leap of logic. One could argue more correctly for decriminalization, though as Scalia correctly predicted decriminalization would lead to SSM. He was told how wrong he was at the time but oh how right he was when the Texas SCOTUS case was actually used in the later SCOTUS decision re: SSM. Time and time again those who are for traditional customs and mores are told to get with teh times. We continue to point out the flaws and make valid predictions – see Humanae Vitae of Paul VI for predictions regarding contraception – but are told “move along Sparky, you are on the wrong side of history.” Well history may move things along but not all change is progress. we have been proven right at evey stage so far and sadly we will be proven right on this one too.

  • $136305622

    You say that “deviations” prove the rule not eliminate it. This is actually true. No one is arguing that opposite sex marriage be eliminated. No one is arguing that people stop procreating (which happened before marriage ever was invented), that would never happen. Gay marriage has absolutely no impact on marriage as we have seen it in our culture for hundreds of years.

    I never brought up polygamy (so that is not “my argument”).

    Again, I did not need to re-read any more times (trust me I read your comments MANY times). No one is redefining anthropological definitions. And again, the phrase anthropological definition of humanity makes no sense in this context (because marriage does not define humanity).

  • $136305622

    I would love to know what a government forum is! Seriously. Also, I can’t conceive of a non-Biblical reason that one would use to say SSM is illegitimate (arguing procreation, of course, is not a legitimate argument since we allow sterile couples to marry).

  • $136305622

    Very true – all parents tend to be legitimately concerned about perverts and peeping toms and their children’s safety. Believe it or not LGBTQ parents are no different! The defeat of the Houston anti-discrimination law had nothing to do with parents protecting their children. It had to do with denying rights to a group of people who do not have those rights (can be fired for coming out, can be denied housing, etc. with no legal recourse that most people share).

  • $136305622

    Amen – It amazes me that people who call themselves Christians would claim that treating another human as lesser than themselves is “good”. Where it is claimed as “good” to fire someone simply because they mentioned their partner who is the same sex. We are in a weird age for sure!

  • Herm

    “The people of Houston and other cities have decided that their community will have some standards.”

    “And this is not about some sort of hatred, bigotry, or so-called homophobia. I hear that all the time.”

    I am sorry Guthrum that your community and you don’t understand the depth of hatred, bigotry and homophobia that their standards now are. I am sorry because your children will continue to have that barrier of false modesty from perfectly harmless and contributing LBGTQ people who are equally as safe in “open areas of dressing rooms, locker and shower areas.” Your children will not be able to learn to live with other people types who are living perfectly well in other communities whose children have learned more reality of community.

    Your community just voted to continue to foster the phobia that is based purely on those “other” people are not suitable to work with, play with, live with, use the same bathroom or drink from the same drinking fountain as us. If that sounds familiar so should separate but equal. Do the Black others still have their very own equal drinking fountains or did you vote to just get rid of drinking fountains all together as too expensive?

    Predators and others of community destructive perversion come appearing exactly like you, your community, LBGTQ, Islamic and Black. Being LBGTQ does not make a person any more dangerous or safer than anyone else in your community and to your community. Your community’s now publicly obvious bigoted phobia is a predatory destructive perversion to any community including our nation. Isolating any constructive and loving members from the body of mankind always is. I am most sorry for your children.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    If a majority of the white people in Houston were uncomfortable with sharing a rest room with black people, would it be OK to insist they use separate facilities?
    If a pre-op transgender person uses a stall in your restroom, how would you even know, unless you peeked under the cubicle wall to stare at their genitalia? If post-op, how would you know at all?
    (And the legislation was about restrooms, not e.g. open showers, where there is an issue, I would agree with pre- (but not post-) op transexuals.)

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I am not sure why an arbitration clause agreed between two parties is imposing anything.

  • Herm

    Peter calm down. We humans tend to be more angry when we know we’re on thin ice. Read what you just wrote as an opening:

    “Trsut me I grasp my words ocmpletely – maybe oyu ned to reread slowly a few times.”

    I read that, and all that you have repeated over and over again, very slowly.

    The thin ice is that there are others than the immediate community of family (religious and secular) that you trust in who know better than the logic you think is sufficient to dialog in this community.

    Let me give you an example from what you just wrote:

    “Bottom line is fro purely human reasons we have a right to say that a chuild deserves a father and mother and redefining society for the pleasure and economic power of a few adults is not so much a civil right but a desire taht can be debated.”

    Using pure working logic you should know in your heart and mind together that this is not true if you are not blind to the single mothers and fathers right there in your immediate community. LBGTQ people are just as loving and nurturing for children as any people who have been taught the love of God and their merciful neighbor.

    Calm down. Think. Feel. Think, again. Just blasting away erratically to relieve your frustrations is not the solution to this community problem and becomes an even worse problem for us all worldwide. Ask God directly and trust to wait calmly for a definitive answer that you can understand enough to share in the solution.

    Love you!

  • Herm

    … bigger or smaller hands proportionally? :-)

  • Herm

    anthropology

    noun

    the study of humankind, in particular.

    1. the comparative study of human societies and cultures and their development.

    2. the science of human zoology, evolution, and ecology.

    “My actual sentence says that whether you believe in God is immaterial to the anthropological fact that human beings exist based on male-female complementarity.”

    Peter, maybe I am just too dumb to see it but I do not see complementarity of structure and function having anything to do with zoology, evolution and ecology relative to the LBGTQ marriage as to our acceptance in our community of humankind. In fact, with what I know of our past and other present cultures LBGTQ have been very productive and constructive in the nurture and development of their respective communities, especially when allowed to be recognized as contractually married to one another.

    As to the anatomical male-female complementarity being necessary to procreate I would agree that our carnal species is dependent upon that 10 minute coupling and then 9 months of protective gestation. What do we, as a whole species, do for the remainder of that life spawned that is dependent upon the male-female complementarity? What if that life is actually different, like, say, they are intersexed?

    Help me understand, please!!!

  • Herm
  • Hmmm…so, in your logical framework where locker room experiences are fodder for lust (which may say more about you than you intended), what do you do with people who are gay and bisexual?

  • “It is the community setting standards to protect families.”
    Protect families from what? What is the threat that you fear? The normalization of homosexuality? Perhaps you’re ooerating under a different understanding of homophobia than I am.

  • The world’s largest Muslim populations are in Indonesia and India (from where I write this comment). It is not Islam that wrecks havoc, it’s fundamentalists. Fundamentalism is arguably the evil that you describe.

  • Robert Conner

    Basically raised in Alpine, I’ve lived in Dallas, Houston, Austin, El Paso, Temple (yes, Temple!) and have a degree from the University of Texas so I can speak from some experience. Texas is part of the deeply creepy neo-Confederacy. Outside the small urban bubbles of blue and pink, it’s the Loon Star State which I have called (in print), “North America’s largest free range insane asylum.” Texans regularly elect politicians who are whackjobs, people who make the world a worse place, a more dangerous place, a less rational place. Will Texas every become a rational place where evidence prevails over belief? Not in the lifetime of anyone currently on earth.

    If you are an individual or corporation seeking to relocate to Texas, be advised that the culture outside the urban core of some of the larger cities is dominated by gun nuts, conspiracy cranks, and religious crazies. I’ve been out of Texas for quite a while, have zero intention of ever setting foot in it again, and would not be surprised by anything that occurs there. Texans will, and do, believe anything which goes some distance in explaining the types of grifters, fraudsters, hucksters and incompetents they routinely elect. When they’re not rewriting textbooks to conform to their peculiar beliefs about history and science, flying the Stars and Bars, or barbecuing something, they’ll be looking for someone weaker to bully. Usually that would be Hispanics, but at the moment it’s the LGBT community.

  • Bones

    Selective quote mining of any texts to justify your bigotry.

    No doubt Islamic fundamentalists are doing the same with the Bible.

    Fundamentalism – the game where you hate everyone.

  • So, um, we do have people advocating torture, maiming and death for LGBT people, and some of them don’t even bother disguising it as “therapy.”

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    There’s a troll on this site with the initials PC… he’s anything but. Guess who?

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Gunthrum is a troll who goes on these sites for some reason I can not comprehend… he’s a ‘regular’… good luck trying to have a reasoned discussion with whoever this is.

  • If men are so inherently suspicious, why force transwomen to use the bathroom and showers with them?

  • Well, it wouldn’t be the first time we’ve created a law to protect people from things that basically never actually happen, only to discover that those protections, oddly enough, make life a lot harder for a certain class of people.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    You’re an idiot… you have no idea what you’re talking about. You’ve fallen for the biggest bunch of propaganda since Goebbels. Predators aren’t these folks… they are usually men who identify as heterosexuals… do some research (which you won’t) and learn some reality… and stop blathering on about something you know nothing about. How many LGBT and transgendered folks do you know, are close friends with? These folks just want to be who they are and live their lives. Check out who the convicted pedophiles are, sparky.. and you’ll soon find out that the men who stalk children and rape are NOT from the LGBT and trans communities. Recently, I read about several ‘straight’ men who kept girls locked in their homes for years… and pastors raping 9 year old girls… these are the SAME people that go on about ‘perverts’ … they WANT you to focus on others… then you won’t focus on who, statistically, is doing all the stalking and peeping. Straight men. Fact. So, in other words, your so-called ‘standards in the community’ is based on fear-mongering and bullshite. Period.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    No such thing.Please take your religion out of the picture… it is not my religion, nor is it the religion of 1/3 of the U.S… not the way you describe it.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    You lost. Deal with it. We aren’t going away. We being the tolerant, compassionate ones.. you being the bigoted hateful ones who justify your discrimination using some religious stuff that is irrelevant and shouldn’t be misused like that anyway. A complete perversion of the message of the ‘prince of peace’… you’re ‘hawk-right militant’.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    I can feel him frothing at the mouth as he types… the gnashing of teeth, the rising blood pressure of ‘righteous indignation’… so then… what’s he doing on a site called Formerly FUNDIE??

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Formerly fundie?? Um, formerly.

  • however I expect my society around me to return a favor and don’t do things which will impair my ability to follow them and accommodate my religion in every aspect of my life, i.e. my daughter working in local drugstore should not be forced to dispense RU486 since she believes that our religion, does not allow us to participate in murder of the innocent.

    And therein lay the rub, because in such a position, it becomes quite easy to require that someone live by the tenets of your faith by denying them the freedom to practice their own. Yours is the only drugstore in town? Ah, then no contraception for anyone unless they’re willing to drive 20 miles to the next town over and hope their drugstore isn’t run by a member of the same faith. That turns out to be the case? Oops, then I guess a significant number of people within a 50 mile radius is forced to live under Catholic strictures!

  • Nice tone policing there. “I don’t want to argue with the substance of your post, so instead I’ll throw a hissy fit over the style! A BAD WORD WAHHHH I’M NOT A GROWN-UP.”

  • You do realize civil disobedience doesn’t come packaged with immunity to the repercussions of your actions, right? If you refuse to do your job, you lose that job. If you break the law, you face whatever punitive measures used to enforce that law.

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    re: gun-thrum – no he’s not… his is just another thinly disguised same-old, same-old bagger banter…

  • There was a case awhile back of a young man who was charged with statutory rape for his relationship with a (fully consenting) girl of the same age. He was threatened with something like a two year sentence and the judge offered a plea bargain — attend church every week for the next year and write out Bible verses for the pastor, plus marry the young woman, or else go to jail.

    Sharia law.

  • Your statement that body does not define gender is an assumption, hardly proven, that is more an ideological statement of fairly recent origin.

    I take it you haven’t seen any of the numerous studies which show that the physical structure of a person’s brain resembles the physical structure of the brain of another person who identifies as that gender, regardless of what either of their genitals look like?

    In other words, a person’s gender identity is a neurological phenomena, not a theological one.

  • Which is more likely to be true — a man wears a dress because he is a predator who wants to target women in a bathroom, or a person wearing a dress in a men’s room will be targeted by men in that room?

    Protip: One of these has never actually been found to be the case.

  • Peter I understand your fears, I held them too up to about a year ago. What largely affected a change was the unChristlike attitudes presented by the religious right towards, not just Gays, but historically towards Blacks, women, immigrants, Catholics, basically anyone not white, male and conservative Protestant. Read Matthew Avery Sutton’s “American Apocalypse” for a good historical analysis of the Fundamentalist/Evangelical rise to power. Also, I don’t usually agree with Christianity Today, but a recent article makes some positive suggestions as to how Evangelicals can respond to a society where same-sex marriage is normal: http://www.christianitytoday.com/ct/2015/november/how-christians-can-flourish-in-same-sex-marriage-world-cult.html?utm_source=ctweekly-html&utm_medium=Newsletter&utm_term=17445998&utm_content=394247246&utm_campaign=2013
    I think you’ll find it helpful. A partial quote:
    “We start with a dose of realism. We do not assume that every evangelical holds to the traditional view of marriage, but an overwhelming majority do. And they will need to adjust to living in a same-sex-marriage world. This does not mean they have to endorse gay marriage. But they will need to operate in a world where gay marriage is legal. However important the legal definition of the family, returning to the traditional concept would require reversing decades of social change, of which same-sex marriage is the latest (and not the last) outworking. This is a massive cultural project, not an immediately attainable goal.

    Very practically, traditionally minded Christians will need to take up social projects alongside people who support gay marriage. In some cases, they will need to work cooperatively alongside people in gay marriages. Since parents of gay children often find their perspective changed, divisions on this issue lie not only between political and social groups but also within families and churches. Important social goals, including strengthening marriage and families, will need to reach across these barriers.”

  • Physiology and psychology tell you the parts don’t fit.

    I’m not sure on what scientific basis you make this claim, but it seems to ignore a great deal of, y’know, actual science. I take it you’re one of those Christians who defines “real science” as “that which comes to the same conclusions my faith does.”

  • D.M.S.

    That’s your belief. Are the theological allowed their belief?

  • D.M.S.

    And what would those be?

  • You are entitled to your own belief, but not to your own facts.

  • The other big one is voting fraud. For all intents and purposes, the amount that happens is statistically negligible, yet a number of people have blown it up to be widespread and rampant, passing laws which affect hundreds of thousands of voters — and in almost every case, the people who are affected have been majority nonwhite communities.

  • Sherlang

    I love ya Ben but this is the stupidest article you have written. We all have those days

  • Seán

    No one claimed they were inherently suspicious. If that is all you got from my posts then you obviously do not want to have a real conversation.

  • gimpi1

    The way I see it, Terry, is that the principle reason some of the more extreme conservative Christians can’t engage in the torture, maiming and death advocated by Sharia supporters is because they don’t have the legal power that many extremest conservative Muslims have. There are Christians who advocate the death-penalty for homosexuality, one of them even tried to run an initiative campaign in California not only mandating the death-penalty for being gay, but empowering citizens to carry it out if the state balked. Now, he didn’t qualify for the ballot, but he tried. There are Christians who advocate for stoning women for “unchastity before marriage.” There are Christians who very much want a state church.

    We are no where near as vulnerable to Christian Sharia as most Islamic states are for two reasons; firstly, we are a secular state with a secular constitution — something most majority-Muslim countries don’t have and secondly, perhaps because of this, the majority of Christians don’t really want to impose these rules. They’ve lived under secular law, mostly been educated in secular schools, and know people from different faiths. That tends to open minds.

    However, in areas of the U.S where church and state are more blurred, where there are few people who aren’t Christian (or those non-Christians keep their heads down,) where home-schooling and private Christian schools educate a growing number of the population, you find much more support for sharia-like rules.

    I don’t think Christianity is immune from the disease of desiring tyranny. I think we in the west have been wise enough and lucky enough to not give any religion the chance at secular power these days. And that, sadly and terrifyingly, can change.

  • gimpi1

    I don’t know if you’ve used women’s public restrooms, but all facilities are enclosed in stalls, I frankly don’t care one way or another the gender of the person in the next stall. Most of the gyms I’ve belonged to have enclosed shower-stalls as well. I just don’t see this as a big deal.

  • gimpi1

    I don’t understand the “sneak a peak” thing. Women’s rest rooms have all facilities in enclosed stalls. So do many gyms, and that trend is growing, as most women prefer it. I’m a woman, I use women’s facilities, and most of what your are likely to glimpse is legs below the knee, under the stall door. I can’t see this as a real issue. How does it happen?

  • gimpi1

    However, there was a time when all the things you mention were practiced in Christendom, with the full authority and endorsement of the church. It was the enlightenment and the gradual disentangling of church and state that put an end to it, not Christians no longer wanting it.

    There are quite a few Christians in the U.S. who bemoan the enlightenment and claim separation of church and state is either a myth or undesirable. I agree, the west is not, currently in the same state as the middle-east. However, if some of the more extreme Christians get their way, that could change.

  • gimpi1

    I have a couple of questions for you, if you will, TM:

    Do you want to outlaw abortion?

    Do you want to ban some or all forms of birth-control?

    Do you want to prevent insurance companies offering policies that pay for some or all forms of birth-control?

    Do you want to prevent the state from recognizing same-gender marriages?

    Do you want to prevent same-sex couples from adopting?

    If you can answer no to these questions, I feel you’re right, you simply want to practice your beliefs in peace. If you answer yes to any of them, I feel you want to enshrine your beliefs in law, and compel those who don’t share them to follow them.

    Does this make sense to you?

  • D.M.S.

    Amazing how a person has no problem getting an I.D. so they can sign up for welfare. But it’s discrimination if it’s for voting.

  • gimpi1

    Except it’s not “the murder of babies.” You just believe it is. That’s called a hypothesis. You haven’t proven your case. In order to pass laws based on your hypothesis, get busy and put it to the test. Define your terms, scientifically. Design an experiment to verify or falsify your hypothesis. Perform it and publish the results.

    If you can’t’ prove it, you can’t write laws based on it. You can live your life around it, but you can’t demand anyone else do the same.

  • D.M.S.

    Which facts would those be? You mean like evolution is like Grimm’s fairy tales, imaginary.

  • gimpi1

    If you’re referring to a refusal to dispense legal medications as civil disobedience, then you should be just fine with the likely consequences of that, losing the job. A basic principle of civil disobedience is the willingness — in order to make your point — to take the consequences of your actions. If you aren’t willing to lose your job for violating employment rules or go to jail for violating the law, it’s not civil disobedience. It’s whining.

  • D.M.S.

    Pretty soon the entire world will be living under the rule of CHRISTIANITY.
    HALLELUJAH !

  • Seán

    I said bathrooms/locker rooms/showers. Forget about the potentiality of a predator, there is simply also the level of comfort to consider. Obviously we all have different levels and many may not be bothered, but many might be and that should be respected as well. I have said multiple times now that I do not have the answer, and that it is a tough situation, but to discount the legitimate concerns and feelings of one side just for the sake of the other is not really solving problems. I would like to see the problems solved rather than the continued bashing that goes on in these threads. There is really little “good” discussion (although there is some). Most on here are quite fundamentalist, but it is hidden in their hatred for right-wing conservative fundamentalism or their hatred of so-called liberal progressivism. It is nothing but attacks and belittling of the “other” side. Regardless of which side you take, if you take it with force and a closed-mind you are quite fundamental, and that is what I see from most on here. It would be nice to see people who claim to be loving and compassionate offer those graces to both sides. Sorry for all of this on your comment, it was not specifically directed at your statement, however your comment just happened to be the most recent response to me and I decided to air it out here.

  • D.M.S.

    I like the ” awhile back ” part that’s classic. Considering the case you’re talking about took place in the 1950’s. :-)

  • gimpi1

    That was my feeling, Ridgeway. Women’s public restrooms have stalls. Women’s locker rooms have curtained changing-rooms. Some have shower-stalls, and that’s becoming more and more common, since customers prefer it. I’m not sure if men really understand that most women aren’t stripping or using the toilet in full view in public facilities.

  • gimpi1

    I think used to be done in schools because it’s cheaper, but I think that may also be changing. Most of the newer construction seems to have changing rooms and such available.

  • Seán

    I did not claim that trans people attacked anyone in a bathroom so your provided link does not apply to anything I have said. I obviously do not articulate my words very well since everyone who comments on them seems to miss the point. It is either that or there are simply too many trolls who simply like to be provocative.

  • D.M.S.

    Thanks! Now I know where I’m going to retire too. Lubbock here I come in 10 months.

  • gimpi1

    **whispers** (I think someone needs to inspect his own sanity…)

  • gimpi1

    Since I assume you’re a man, I was just wondering if you were aware of how women’s locker rooms and restrooms are set up. Some men don’t seem to be, and the whole idea of “sneak a peak” seems to be based on the misconception that women are visible rather than in stalls.

    As to the solution, someone down-thread described what they do in their country of origin. ( I don’t know which country, he didn’t say.) They have unisex facilities, with private cubicles with locking doors. Basic privacy for everyone.

    Personally I would like that just fine, and not just for easing the situation for inter-sex people. One of the problems that men don’t encounter is the long lines in women’s rest rooms. Women need to use these facilities much more frequently than men, but the number of facilities is often either equal or more are provided to men. Unisex, locking facilities would cut these lines down. It would also be much easier for handicapped people to use, My mother was wheelchair-bound, and I often stood lookout while my father carried her into the men’s room, since she couldn’t get her wheelchair through a stall-door.

  • gimpi1

    I am a woman, use women’s rest rooms, and I’ve never seen anything that violates privacy in 50+ years.

    I do like the idea of unisex-locking restrooms. That seems simple. However, as a woman, I wouldn’t be overly upset if I thought there was a man in a stall. I’m not sure of what I’m supposed to be “protected” from, but I’m pretty sure I don’t need that protection.

    The thing is, people in transition generally dress as the gender they are transitioning to. That means someone walking into what appears to be the wrong rest room. That seems more disruptive than them going into the facilities of the gender they identify with and using an enclosed stall in it.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, what Sam quoted was not a belief. It was a study that cited brain-structure. It’s been peer-reviewed and repeated. The hypothesis has proved up. It’s now regarded as a fact. Theology does not trump facts, or it shouldn’t. That way leads to lunacy, or worse, Ken Ham.

    (I’m sorry for the off-topic segue, but I’m married to a geologist, and when he hears some of Mr. Ham’s statements, smoke comes out his ears.)

  • RidgewayGirl

    I liked what I saw in some places in Denmark. There was a corridor with doors, and behind each was a toilet, sink and hand dryer. They were simply labelled “toilets” and it just removed the issue.

    And it meant that there was not a long line outside of the women’s room and an empty men’s room next door, and that a parent could help a young child without anyone being upset about which bathroom a four-year-girl out with her father should use.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    Christianity as the state religion employed all the tools of the state including torture and in so doing betrayed both its Founder and his Gospel and those psychopaths who would endorse violence in his Name today are equally guilty of betrayal and indeed rejection of that Founder! The difference and it is a profound difference between Jesus and Mohammed is so evident that to ignore that is both dishonest and dangerous. Jesus did not kill anyone nor did he preach that anyone who should be killed Mohammed who was in fact a war lord not only personally beheaded hundreds of Jews and others but instructed his followers to do the same! Jesus did not take 6 year old child brides nor did he endorse slavery or stoning or slaughter of those refusing to accept his message Mohammed did. Jesus taught we were in a loving relationship with God whilst Mohammed taught we were Allah’s slaves! It is really had to have a reformation let alone an enlightenment when your ideology is based on violence, submission and deceit.

  • gimpi1

    I still don’t get this. How can a predator “take advantage” in a ladies room with enclosed stalls? And, generally, there are several women in the rest room, either washing, waiting to use a stall, combing their hair or tending to children. Stalls are private, women’s rest rooms are generally pretty populated. What do you see some predator doing?

    This seems to be more of a fear held by men about women, not something people who use women’s rest rooms worry about, or at least that’s my view.

  • gimpi1

    Your statement that gender was imprinted by God is a religious statement. It can neither be proven or falsified. It has no place in law. Using it as a point of law is a form of Sharia, or religious law.

    Marriage has changed over the aeons. Polygamy was once the norm. There were different sorts of “wives” some of which were slaves. Women could be bought and sold as concubines. Wives were under their husband’s rule, and could be legally beaten or abused. Infidelity was a death-offence for wives and winked at for husbands. Most marriages were arranged by the parents, with the children having little or no say in who they married. Some couples met for the first time at the altar. Women often could not initiate divorce. In some cases, divorce was banned. There were rules about who could marry, based on status, race or religion. All that has changed over time.

    Today, marriage is a partnership. Most marriages are equal, and the law does not recognize a “head of household” that has legal authority over other adults. People choose their own spouses, can marry whoever they choose without regard to race or other factors and can divorce if they no longer want to be married. Most of us are much happier, being able to choose our spouse and choose wether or not to marry. Most people prefer egalitarian relationships. Almost no one wants to go back to legal domestic violence. Things are better for most people, myself included.

    Recognizing same-sex marriages is just one more change. It makes things better for many people, and really causes no harm to anyone. Why does this change upset you, and the other changes I mentioned (presumably) don’t?

  • Herm

    You really are limited in discussion here when you can’t even try to empathize to sympathize with people other than in your limited environment. LBGTQ people are persecuted by professing Christians for being gay, transgendered, transsexual, intersexed and even too effeminate or butch for their tastes, comfort, and puritanical modesty. People from each definition of LBGTQ have been beat up and killed by church going Christians.

    Now, what do you think happens when a male body dressed in a women’s clothing goes into a Houston (where men are men and women are women ’cause that’s what my pappy taught us with his belt and all else is against the will of God and pappy) men’s restroom or locker room?

  • gimpi1

    I’m not going to debate the validity of Islam. I live in the U.S. and the first amendment to our constitution grants religious freedom, and that includes Muslims. I’m sure they might have answers to your objections, but to me it’s not relevant. People have a right to their beliefs, period. Your beliefs about Islam don’t negate that.

    As to the idea that Christianity becoming a state religion corrupted it, that’s possible. Power corrupts. The thing is, I have no reason to believe that, if given that power again, the same thing wouldn’t happen again. Christians in the past used parts of the Christian Bible to justify their witch-hunts, heretic hunts, anti-semetic pogroms and religious wars. The best course of action appears to be to keep secular power and religious belief firmly separated.

  • gimpi1

    Patrick Van Der Ven down-thread said the same thing about where he lives, in Australia. I think it’s the best solution all around.

  • gimpi1

    Thanks for the folllow up.

    Ridgeway up-thread said they have similar arrangements in some Northern European countries. It seems like a good solution to many issues, not the least of which is the long lines we see outside women’s rest rooms next to empty men’s rest rooms that we see so often in the U.S.

  • gimpi1

    I must admit, I did not think it was a coincidence that this ordinance passed in a state that used to have “Jim Crow” racial separation laws in place. The fear of “those people,” whoever those people are today, and of any sort of “contamination” still appears to be a part of the culture.

  • Fulgentian

    The reasoning in this article leads to it being hypocritical.

    Ben’s argument runs as follows:
    1. It is wrong to impose your religious views on someone else
    2. When conservative Christians campaign against LGBT rights they impose their religious views on others
    3. Therefore it is wrong for conservative Christians to campaign against LGBT rights

    But the problem is I could make this argument:
    1. It is wrong to impose your religious views on someone else
    2. When Benjamin Corey campaigns against conservative Christians he imposes his religious views on others
    3. Therefore it is wrong for Benjamin Corey to campaign against conservative Christians

  • Fulgentian

    Why should I not force my religious beliefs on you?

  • Peter Calabrese

    But ti is a religious discussion – and I was actually pointing out that just pure anthropology points to complementarity as the norm for humanity. But you all keep missing the point because you read a religious blog then complain when – OMG ther’s a Faith statement. Have a good day. You also can;t prove whenther a perosnis really transgender or just wants to peek in teh other bathroom. Which is why I say go where your biological gender tells you to go. Without being crass once oyu go theorugh the physical operation then fine go where you want to go. In the meantime respect the rights of others too.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Your anecdotal personal opinion is fine but it is not good basis for reformulating policy.

  • Peter Calabrese

    See what teh CDC says about same sex relationships. even after it has been tainted by liberal ideology under obama they still have to admit it is unhealthy. I take it you are one of those liberals that defines real science as that which promotes my far left agenda.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    We should end all state supported religions and yes the American Constitution does grant religious freedoms though it is not a total freedom of expression. Some religious practices are recognised as not covered by the Constitution nor should they be. By the by I was not asking you to be an apologist for Islam nor was I claiming my objections to that ideology negated their right to believe whatever they want. My objection and one which is supported by Constitutional history,practice, and decision is that an ideology that insists it is above that constitution on the grounds of religious freedom is inherently wrong including those who would use this argument to deny GLBT folkes the right to state sanctioned marriage.
    Whether it is religion in the traditional sense or religion disguised as the state as in the case for Nazism or science acting an as absolute authority unto itself, power corrupts and has since the beginning of time.

  • Herm

    …because that is the definition of fundamentalist sharia law fundamentalist Christians are outraged over???

  • Herm
  • gimpi1

    No, this is not an exclusively religious discussion. Ben welcomes people of all faiths and none. There is no need to adhere to a specific religious belief to comment here. You’re welcome to comment based on your faith, and others are welcome to challenge it.

    Proof of the existence of transgender people is not in question. They exist. Since most trans people dress as the gender they identify with, that means trans women are dressed as women. What you discuss would mean having them walk into a men’s rest room. In some parts of the country, that can get you assaulted. You know that, right? In fact, that far, far, more likely than the “male perv in the ladies’ room” scenario that is so often cited.

    Apparently, other countries including Australia and some Northern European countries have gone with unisex, locking “dunnies.” It seems to work very well.

    Again, why does this change upset you?

  • Fulgentian

    But I can’t see why the statement ‘I have forced my religious beliefs on someone’ is morally wrong…

  • gimpi1

    And yours is?

  • Seán

    You are correct that I a man, and I do not frequent women’s facilities. Therefore, I cannot speak of the “usual” or “common” makeup of women’s bathrooms, locker rooms, or shower facilities. I do know, however, since I am a man, that I have been in several bathrooms, locker rooms, and shower facilities that are designated for men, and although there may be some common aspects to them, they also come in a variety of patterns. Therefore, I can only assume that this would hold true for women facilities as well.
    I also noticed the solution offered in the thread from a different country. I believe that is a good idea, and that is one of the cases where I believe there has been some good discussion on the topic. It is a proposed solution to the problem and not simply attacking different views. In fact, I was fortunate to visit some European countries back in the late 90s. While there, I encountered in more than one place this type of unisex bathroom. As an American, I was initially taken offguard by it, but overall I did not see the problem. However, this was only in public bathrooms (and not all bathrooms as many were still designated for different sexes) and I did not go to any type of locker room or shower to see how those situations were handled.
    But, I would add that even if this solution was put into effect, and it could be. It would take time for it to take place. It would take money, that many would not want to spend, to make the appropriate changes to the facilities for accommodation. In the interim, if that was chosen as the best solution, consideration would still need to be taken to differences of comfort level and other potential risks that may, or may not, come to fruition.
    Thank you for taking the time to reply in a respectful and thoughtful manner.

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for your response. I disagree with you regarding same-gender marriage, but that’s fine. As long as disagreement is civil and discussion ongoing, it’s possible for everyone to add to their knowledge-base and grow.

    I see absolutely no down-side to expanding the ability to pick marriage-partners to same-gender. I heard howls of rage when it was expanded to include different races, and that worked out fine. I know many religions discourage marrying outside of the faith, but they can’t enforce that in law anymore, and that’s great. Forced arranged marriages are illegal, and that’s great. To me, this is just a continuation of that process, letting people make their own choices about their lives, rather than arbitrary codes enforced by the beliefs of others. That’s how I see it, anyway.

  • Herm

    You see Peter you don’t comprehend that this is not a religious discussion. This is a community searching only for the truth and open to all provable spiritual, social and physical sciences (studies). I testify that Jesus is my only Teacher and here is why and how I know this to be true according to what we know today as mankind. You offer only your logic based on the religious nation of your parents which has murdered millions in the name of God. Jesus and I picked up our crosses to give those of your mortal logic a chance to see that Caiaphas knew not what he did in the name of God … to give all of humankind a chance to live as children of God today.

    What is wrong with your keyboard that makes you appear so illiterate?

  • Peter Calabrese

    First of all the fact that some people who hold an idea are uncharitable in no way affects the validity of the thought. Don’t let my aggressiveness in responding to these interlocutors let oyu think I disagree with the sentiments and ideas in the quote. In fact I do try to implement broadly what you are saying. Within that goal however there are some things that I feel need to be fought for. I think defending our families frm certain excesses by individuals and by the government is legitimate. God blesss.

  • Herm

    I know you can’t.

  • Fulgentian

    Right, but why do you think it’s morally wrong? This is a genuine question, I’m open to be persuaded either way!

  • gimpi1

    It might be a transition over time, as you suggest. We could build all new construction with locking unisex facilities. We remodel to the new code when renovations are made. It’s sort of like putting in emission limits on new cars, over time, as old cars wear out, the newer ones start reducing pollution.

    As to locker rooms, in general women’s facilities seem to have more privacy built in than men’s, or so I assume from what men describe. However, that is also changing a bit. Newer gyms are offering more privacy, and it seems to be a good policy, since their customers prefer it.

  • Peter Calabrese

    SO my point then is that what is actually a disorder is now being treated as a source of rights that impugn the broad rights of a larger community. Obviously there is something not going on properly in the brain. That does not mean that this entitles such person to use whatever bathrooms they want. There is a disorder there and while such persons need to be treated with mercy and charity it does not entitle them to act in ways that put others at risk. So it is an ideological jump that such disorder needs tobe treated as a source of absolute rights to act contrarily to the biological sex. accommodations can be made but teh rights and privacy of others must also be respected within those accommodations for this disorder.

  • Herm

    “If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even their own life—such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. Luke 14:26-27

    So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets. Matthew 7:12

    He replied to him, “Who is my mother, and who are my brothers?” Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:48-50

    You are the one in excess acting against those of my family in both Man and God!!!

  • Herm

    Why do you think Christ did not ask His Father to send 12 legions to force Rome and Israel to His religion? Why, to be a student of His, must we first pick up our cross?

  • Snooterpoot

    Nice try. Ben is writing about Christians who want to enact laws that force everyone to comply with their beliefs. That’s different than “imposing your religious views on someone else .”

    I hear a lot from some Christians about returning our government to be based on the Bible. That’s no different than a Muslim calling for our government to be based on the Qur’an. Muslims have Sharia law that is interpreted differently among its different sects. Christians have Biblical law that is interpreted differently among its different denominations. The problem arises when fundamentalists demand having their interpretations of their holy books enacted into civil law.

    You can impose your views on me by writing comments that judge and condemn people like me. Or you can impose your beliefs on me by protesting at a funeral and holding signs that say, “God hates fags.” I can choose to ignore you, or I can be in your face flinging insults at you.

    The difference is that I have the freedom to stop reading your comments, or to walk away from your signs, but if you succeed in enacting your version of Christianity into law (and it is the Christian version of Sharia law), I am forced to comply with your theology even though I reject it out of hand.

    Fundamentalist Christians do not call their rules Sharia law, but the concept is the same.

  • Fulgentian

    OK. When we campaign for something, or argue for something, do we not do it on religious grounds? I agree it is wrong for someone to force others to accept their religious views, but the article above suggests that whereas it is wrong to impose your RELIGIOUS views on others via the law, it is not wrong to impose your MORAL views on others via the law. For surely any law which allows homosexual marriage or abortion is based on a moral view and is not neutral?

  • Fulgentian

    Firstly – my arguments are valid until one of the premises is shown to be false.

    “Christians who want to enact laws that force everyone to comply with their beliefs”

    Liberal Christians could be accused of the same thing when they argue for things like homosexual marriage and abortion. And I can’t see how this IS different to imposing your religious views on someone else.

    “The problem arises when fundamentalists demand having their interpretations of their holy books enacted into civil law.”

    Why is that NOT a problem when liberals demand having their interpretations of their holy books enacted into civil law?

    “writing comments that judge and condemn people like me”

    How did my comment judge or condemn you? The problem with liberals is they equate disagreement with condemnation. And why have you suddenly made it personal? I’m not waving any flags. I’m just highlighting fallacious reasoning.

    “Fundamentalist Christians”

    I’d like to quote Alvin Plantinga on the word ‘fundamentalist’:

    “…its cognitive content can expand and contract on
    demand; its content seems to depend on who’s using it. In the mouths of certain liberal theologians, for example, it tends to denote anyone who accepts traditional Christianity, including Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin and Barth; in the mouths of devout secularists like Richard Dawkins or Daniel Dennett, on the other hand, it tends to denote anyone who believes there is such a person as God.

    The explanation is that the term has a certain indexical element:
    its cognitive content is given by the phrase “considerably to the right, theologically speaking, of me and my enlightened friends”. The full mean of the term, therefore, can be given by something like “stupid sumbitch whose theological opinions are considerably to the right of mine.””

  • Matthew

    What makes more conservative Christians like yourself want to be here on this blog? I’m really curious.

  • Fulgentian

    I am thoroughly convinced it is unhealthy to stay within one’s own ‘bubble’. I want to challenge my own convictions by seeing what others say about them. It may be that they don’t hold up, and I need to change them, or it maybe I convince others of the validity of my position. I believe there is too much suspicion between different parts of the chuch and not enough civil discussion…
    Also I find that within my ‘bubble’ there isn’t much conversation about these issues – everyone just accepts them. And I love a bit of discussion!

  • Herm

    Both of those laws you bring up are based on facts separate from moral, ethical or religious views. It is only those with views and prejudices disagreeing according to their moral, ethical and religious views, separate from facts, who are campaigning to overturn those laws. In a nation of many separate religious views any law that is dictated only by one unique morality, ethic and/or religion is destructive to the cohesive fabric of that nation’s resource of constructive diversity. To impose my will legislatively on another based on my ideology is in the spirit of sharia law no different than the Taliban or ISIS.

    The view is different from the one holding the sword as compared to the one about to lose his/her head. Your view supports only from the perspective of the one holding the most powerful sword. Truth and reality is not a competition nor can be arrived at competitively.

  • Fulgentian

    Hmm. Do you not, then, think that there is “one unique morality”, objectively and ontologically speaking?

  • Psalm023

    Public restrooms……hmmm……usually when I have to use one, it’s zip in, zip out and I don’t even have time to notice other people in there. I wouldn’t be offended if a transgender used it, as they have decided they feel comfortable with other women; and as I’d expect they had hyper bladder as some of us, not using it because they want to ‘hang’ around preying on people. In my whole lifetime, I’ve never felt threatened in a public bathroom before, nor with my kids. Go figure.

    With all the problems we face daily, it’s incredible how some Christians have nothing better to worry about.

  • Psalm023

    Agree somewhat with the article. Lately, I find it almost scary reading christians comment, and find no commonality with commenters on christian sites, as they border (sometimes) on being hysterical and over-zealous on the LGBTQ rights. If that zeal was for their relationship with Christ, they’d be concerned about the things that the Lord wants us to be concerned about. If they want just religion, then this is what’s commanded: James 1: 27 tells us “Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, ‘To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world”.

    Keeping unspotted from the world, to me, doesn’t mean razzing on unbelievers and the worldly, and trying to force them out. It means being in the world, but not part of it. We still have to go out to the world and hope to share the gospel. Next time a transgender or Sharia Law Muslim is in your bathroom, try sharing Jesus with him/her.

  • Seán

    That would definitely be one way to go about it. Of course, there would end up being some grandfather clauses where some would not have to be renovated, but over time I believe most would anyway for conformity as well as a means to attract. This actually would serve everyone, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or comfort level. In fact, it helps make privacy considerations more private and would have been a good idea long before our current topics of discussion.

  • Psalm023

    I wonder sometimes if those who would have a church/state system of christianity would ask their representatives to pass a bill against divorce? Does God hate divorce? If he does, then a christian nation should impose all laws against what God hates.

  • gimpi1

    It’s also much easier for handicapped people. As I mentioned up-thread, my mother was wheelchair bound long before the ADA act. There were literally no accessible facilities. We had to plan around this, and many times I first scouted a ladies’ room, then guarded the door as my dad carried my mother into a stall. But private dunnies could, as a matter of course, be fitted with grab-bars. They really aren’t expensive. If every third or fourth dunnie was wide enough to admit a wheelchair and featured grab bars, I know it would make it easier for handicapped people to be out and about, without worrying about restrooms.

  • Seán

    Exactly. This takes care of many situations and offers consideration to every person in any circumstance. Additionally, as there are already in most bathrooms, baby-changing stations would/should remain. The only downside, that I can think of, is that this idea will require more space for accommodations and privacy, which obviously translates to more expenditures. In large public facilities such as sporting stadiums, it would require significant room. Where people/businesses decide to limit the number of available spaces due to cost considerations the dreaded long lines would possibly increase. I guess in those situations they could leave the standard facilities available for those who do not want/desire/require/request more private facilities, and then add for those that do.
    Overall, I do believe it is a good idea and offers a solution that should be acceptable to everyone, even though there would be some who would still have problems with it for various reasons, such is the nature of some humans.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    i think you misunderstood my view of same gender marriage. I am absolutely in favour of and have witnessed same gender marriages over 30 years ago! I think people who are civil servants or officers of the court who try and use “religious freedom” as a defense when denying licenses to same gender people are wrong both constitutionally and morally.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, it might not result in lines. Again, you may not know this, but long lines in women’s rooms are common, already, since women need to avail themselves more often. However, (according to my husband) men’s rooms are often almost empty. A smaller number of unisex stalls might work out better, with women not needing to wait in line outside of or inside the rest room, since every facility could be used by anyone.

  • gimpi1

    You’re right, I did misunderstand. Thanks for the correction! See, I learned something…

  • SamHamilton

    I’m not worried about Muslim religious law being instituted in the U.S. any time soon. I think Christians in the U.S. have more to fear from the culture of American materialism, individualism and sexual liberation than we do from Muslims.

    But I think two major points are missed in this blog entry:

    1) Mr. Corey writes that the argument that some Christians make is that “no one in a free country should be forced to live by another’s religious codes or ethics.” Is this really the argument these Christians are making or are they saying that Muslim sharia law is bad and they don’t want it here? This is an important distinction because Mr. Corey rests his “hypocrite” charge on it. Some quotes from professed Christians who oppose Muslim sharia law might be helpful.

    2) More importantly, don’t all Christians, to some degree or another, want to do exactly what Franklin Graham wants to do? Not that we all want his version of conservative Christianity forced into law, but I’ll bet we all want policymakers elected that will enforce our view of right and wrong on other people. And aren’t Christians, from the most conservative to the most progressive, interested in imposing their interpretation of Christian justice on other people through the force of law? Unless you’re an extreme libertarian or anarchist, or completely disinterested in politics, you’re just as guilty of this as any sharia law Muslim, conservative Christian or progressive Christian BGLT activist – we’re all trying to force our religious beliefs on others who don’t subscribe to them.

  • SamHamilton

    How about the locker room at your local school? Should a person with male genitalia be given unfettered access to a girls’ locker room? I think there are decent, humane ways for local institutions to work these situations out on a case by case basis, but making a blanket right to use the bathroom or locker room of one’s choosing doesn’t allow for that.

  • SamHamilton

    That discourse on “fundamentalist” is great. The word truly has no meaning. It’s merely a slur.

  • SamHamilton

    Unless you’re an extreme libertarian or an anarchist or something, we all want our interpretations of our holy books enacted into civil law. I’ve heard Jesus’ admonitions as well as other Biblical passages quoted to buttress arguments on public policy issues ranging from health care to immigration to “creation care” to abortion to the death penalty to foreign policy. We all do this. If you complain about others doing it, but do it yourself, you’re just as hypocritical as the “fundamentalists.”

  • SamHamilton

    Didn’t the same electorate that rejected this Houston ordinance choose a lesbian as its mayor? (I assume that’s the reason why you decided to write two paragraphs criticizing Texas.)

  • Seán

    For the men’s room it always depends on timing. For example, if you go to a baseball game and try to use the restroom between innings there can definitely be lines with all the guys relieving themselves of beer consumption. However, if you are willing to miss some action and go while the game is in process the lines aren’t near as long. But, I was thinking this would require bigger facilities with less capacity which could increase lines. I could be wrong, but thinking there is the potential for it.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    It’s always “imposing” when it’s the other guys doing it; when it’s your own side doing it, it’s “speaking truth to power” or “bringing us to the right side of history”.

    Which means you’re either blind to irony or completely sneaky and hypocritical. But that’s typical for the religious, isn’t it? Because Jesus.

  • SamHamilton

    Herm,
    It sounds like you’re saying that enacting some religious beliefs into law (therefore forcing them on others) is okay because those beliefs are backed up by facts, but enacting other religious beliefs is not okay because they’re not backed up by facts. This sounds fine in theory, but aren’t most arguments in favor of one policy or another more like opinion than “facts?” For example, saying that whether abortion is a human right or not isn’t a verifiable fact. Neither is whether we should enforce our immigration laws or grant amnesty. Nor is whether we should more tightly regulate pollution or regulate it less strictly. Most public policy debates aren’t based on fact but on opinion, or differing values or differing beliefs, many of which are religious in nature. And people on both sides of all these debates base their views on religious belief.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why the rhetorical question? Why not just answer the question without evasion? Too threatening?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I could be uncomfortable with sharing facilities with non-White people, but I satisfy my aversion to non-Whites by living in Vermont and vacationing in Provincetown and Ogunquit, places whiter than a sheet. It’s funny-nobody ever calls me on choosing to live in virtually all-White areas, either. It’s like being gay gives me a free pass against accusations of racism.
    Naturally, the previous is only a hypothetical statement.Everyone knows that “progressive” places like Provincetown and Ogunquit and Vermont are very well integrated-look how well Bernard Sanders is doing with non-White voters!

  • Ivan T. Errible

    The Black “others” still have their own churches; even “progressive” denominations/groups (Reform Jews, Episcopalians, United Church of Christ, Unitarians, Quakers) remain over 95% White and middle/upper middle class. Which means either these groups don’t have very good outreach/”diversity” programs or they’re hypocrites.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    How come we never heard about this until about 5-10 years ago? Who comes up with these revelations of ultimate truth that the rest of us have to follow or risk social condemnation?

  • Hillary Allen (aka Canuck)

    Because they are unfalsifiable (sp?) and bob’s yer uncle.

  • SamHamilton

    I think your first paragraph is what I’m getting at. I don’t think it’s particularly true of religious people as opposed to others. There are all sorts of people who use this tactic.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Uh it is a religious blog with an article complaining about Christians so if it si not then why are you talking about faith and reading a religous blog? Judging by your latest rant which made no sense tome I would say any illiteracy coming from my keyboard is the result of downloading pages with your posts on them ;-) God bless.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Women don;t like when I go in their bathrooms and tend to chase men out of them when it happens by accident or on purpose. When I go to the gym I note that I am not invited into the women’s locker room.

  • SamHamilton

    I’m pretty confident that if the proposed law had stuck to housing, employment, etc. then it would have passed. It’s when you get into bathrooms and locker rooms that people start getting bothered.

    There’s a reason that women feel uncomfortable with men in their bath rooms and locker rooms and visa versa. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with people being uncomfortable with that. It’s not bigotry for a woman not to want men in there. So I don’t know why it’s all of a sudden unacceptable for women to not want a person with a penis in their bathroom or locker room, even if that person says his body parts don’t match his brain. People’s discomfort with this stuff isn’t based on what’s going on people’s heads; it’s based on body parts.

  • $136305622

    I agree that women don’t want men in the bathroom. Since this was a bill allowing transgender people to use the bathroom that matched their expressed gender, the women would never know they were sharing the bathroom with a person with a penis.

  • $136305622

    I will say, though, that it is reassuring at least that you think a measure that was just about equality (separate from the bathroom) would have probably passed. That is certainly progress! maybe the transgender movement will get there in a decade…sad but true.

  • SamHamilton

    It’s not a matter of what people would know, it’s a matter of what our society says is okay. You or I could probably find a way to sneak into the bathroom of the opposite sex today and no one would be the wiser. But we don’t want our society to say “that’s okay” or encourage behavior like that, which is what this law would have done. And the issues will not just stop at bathrooms. The federal government is forcing it in locker rooms too (see the case in Illinois).

    Shouting “you’re a bunch of ignorant bigots for not wanting people with penises in your private areas” to women isn’t a good strategy. (not that this is your exact strategy) Why is this getting access to bathroom and locker rooms so darn important? Why can’t a person with a penis, regardless of what’s going on in that person’s head, use the men’s room? I just don’t get it.

  • $136305622

    I see where you are coming from. I certainly did not shout “you’re a bunch of ignorant bigots”; never would. I just think that a transgender person dressed in female attire will have a hard time in a men’s restroom…but that is just my thought (and of course we see so many instances of violence against such individuals in such cases). I don’t believe transgender people are seeking to do harm in the restroom. I suspect they, like 99% of the population wish to piss and shit :)

  • SamHamilton

    I’m sure that’s true (why transgendered people want to use certain restrooms). I don’t think they’re interested in harming anyone.

    No one’s forcing a transgendered person to dress in female attire. What we all wear is mostly a choice we make.

  • $136305622

    This comment is very revealing of why this measure made little traction due to misunderstanding transgender people: “No one’s forcing a transgendered person to dress in female attire. What we all wear is mostly a choice we make.”

    I definitely feel for them and the struggle they have when that is the mindset out there.

  • Herm

    It is a formerly fundamentalist blog making it clear that there is no difference between conservative fundamentalist evangelical Christian sharia law and conservative fundamentalist evangelical Islamic law. It is hypocritical of both to legislate as though one is better than the other when neither recognizes the rights for another to be mercifully different than the other. Case in fact is that anyone feeling and thinking they are LBGTQ are not necessarily a threat to anyone, especially when honoring fully the spirit of Matthew 7:12 (nothing religious in that scripture), except to challenge their religious beliefs. Exactly why a merciful loving Christian or different merciful loving Muslim is considered a threat to ISIS. The facts are that people identifying as LBGTQ are a significant part of every culture and are by the numbers less dangerous to any culture than the fundamentalist religious types. Christ as my brother is not a religion to me but a relationship. Christ is not all male, nor all female, but is transgendered as according to Genesis we were created in the spiritual image of God, male and female. All children in God are one in God and God in them.

    Your illiteracy logic is not logical.

  • Arbustin

    It’s not all that surprising that secular courts would uphold arbitration clauses. Arbitration by religious courts, like the Beit Din [“House of Judgment”] in Judaism, has been around for a long time in the US, including for commercial and contractual disputes. (Both parties must be Jewish)
    If you’re talking about the recent New York Times article, I would note that both plaintiffs in the Christian arbitration cases were at least nominal Christians, and both received either an arbitration award or settled with the defendant and recovered damages. The Scientology case is tougher legally, due to the outright hostility a Scientologist arbitrator might have toward a Suppressive Person.

  • Herm

    The most segregated organizations in the United States of America are Christian churches. Jesus is not in reality a religion for us to interpret but is an actual living relationship for us to learn from as His students (disciples). To believe we can define to legislate God from our isolated perspective is folly. We are not called to teach beyond living according to His commandments as in Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40 and as a disciple 5:43-48. We are called to make students for Him directly as one in Him and He in them.

    The segregation is most poignant when in a predominately Black Christian church a Christian Caucasian assassin is freely invited to participate his will in their church’s Bible study of the Prince of peace.

  • Arbustin

    Whether she has the right to keep her job would depend on the specifics of how big the pharmacy is, how many other employees are available to dispense drugs, and whether there are other pharmacies available. In other words, a reasonable accomodation of religious belief.

  • Guy Norred

    The thing is that defining gender on whether there is a penis or not (which does seem to be the preoccupation–it comes off sounding as if this is some sort of inherently dangerous thing) ignores the reality of the transgender life. For most people, these physical traits are important, but if they are honest, they are NOT what defines their gender. I doubt very seriously that many men would suddenly start living as a woman if they lost their penis in some sort of accident. When a woman has a mastectomy, she is not suddenly considered a man. These things DO cause psychological trauma, but in the end, they do not mean that someone switches gender.

  • Mr. G.

    re: “Liberal Christians could be accused of the same thing when they argue for things like homosexual marriage and abortion.” – Nope – no liberal Christian is trying to tell anyone that it should be against the law to marry the consenting adult of your choice and no liberal Christian is trying to force anyone to have an abortion.

  • Herm

    There is fact. There are religious beliefs. With all the differing religious beliefs influencing our many nations of mankind’s rule religious beliefs will occasionally coincide with fact. Because we are, in the scope of what we know there is yet to know, closer to totally ignorant than totally knowledgeable we do have a responsibility to discern from the least harmful opinion. Marketing an individuals profitable lies sways the opinions of too many illiterates, especially in our capitalistic democratic republic, to exercise their influence without facts. We as a majority today know now that tobacco kills when not too long ago we were taught by the industry that the scientists were wrong. The same is happening with climate change today when all the real facts we can prove today with real science is marketed by the Koch brothers as being a lie to protect their fossil fuel industry. The same thing happens with each religion organized by mankind and given a name. Each religion today takes on a life of its own and instinctively will do everything necessary to survive, even to market lies for their own profit and survival. Our corporations do the same.

    This does not negate that in our hearts and minds we can know the truth to the same degree that we knew as children when presented with the truth of our parents. Their truth was often filtered by our siblings and our peers to confuse the facts because they could only understand from their limited experience compared to our parents It is even more uncomfortable as to who to believe, even when presented as only an opinion, when we realize how little our parents actually knew of what there is to know and how little we will ever know to make life and death decisions from. Even in our most life saving of endeavors medicine remains an art much more than a science. We still have to resign ourselves to at least a second “opinion” too be certain we have the most facts available to make the best decision for our survival.

    The really strange fact of Jesus’ teaching gleaned from the Bible is He spoke against religion and for relationship as the way to the truth. It is strange because though it seemed to start out that way like at Pentecost by the the book of Revelations it was an organized, legislated and officiated religion again. In Revelations we see seven churches all missing the mark of a direct relationship in God as was known to be chronicled at Pentecostal and at the end of Acts 4.

    Jesus promises that, as His disciples, we are in Him, in the Father, the Father in us and Christ in us as His siblings in God then, today and eternally … relationship as one learning by our Messiahs lead only. How many Christian religions do you know who put forward this fact as even just an opinion this might be true?

    Sam, I wish I could tidy this up so that it made all the sense in the world but that is not my job and well above my pay grade as a little child of God. The fact is I can only point, for only those who dare to hate the trained traditions of their childhood of Man, to accept to be whelmed by the Spirit of truth to know every fact necessary as they need to survive taught by the Teacher with all authority over heaven and on earth today. I’m not selling my religion but I am sharing my relationship for there is many rooms in my Father’s house.

    Galileo knew more facts and truth than his religion. Those facts threatened the authority of the church so Galileo was place under house arrest for the remainder of his life. This didn’t change the facts as truth.

    I am not debating my religious view to win over someone else’s religious view. I am trying to share what was once referred to as the good news. Spiritual is everlasting and physical is not. We have been given the opportunity to become one in the body of our spiritual creator purely by the grace of God and trusting to live according to Luke 10:27 eternally (the combination of heart, soul, strength and mind spoken of are distinct spiritual individuals in the image of God and each remains responsible to choose where their rewards will be stored).

    If you noticed I did not answer to our queries as though deriving fact and truth is possible without God. I think both of us know this to be true or we wouldn’t be on a spiritually founded blog.

    Thanks for your questions!!

    Love you!

  • Speaking as someone with a background in psychology, transgender identities do not meet the diagnostic criteria to be a disorder. Different thinking is not evidence of a mental disorder, and years of practice and research have concluded that chief among the methods of treatment for the related condition gender dysphoria is reconciling the person’s self-perception with that of their observable gender, usually through gender transition or sex reassignment.

    Part of this is, in fact, which bathroom they use and how safe they are in using it. You speak of putting people at risk, but what is assuredly true is that attempting to police a person’s gender identity, to force it to be in line with external biases, causes demonstrable harm and a far greater risk than that posed by the total lack of any historical record of people dressing as the opposite sex and preying upon others in the bathroom. One of these happens every day, and one has never happened at all.

  • Would you care to share your CDC sources, and demonstrate cognizance of their meaning?

  • No, it’s happened more than once, apparently. I wasn’t able to find records for it because of several similar cases in recent history clogging Google results (when the results didn’t pull up sexual predator pastors and similar church staff scandals). Examples:

    Oklahoma judge sentences teen to church for ten years.

    South Carolina judge sentences drunk driver to Bible study.

    Judge Thomas P. Quirk found guilty of ordering over 1200 people participate in religious exercises.

    For bonus points, related to the original topic, Arizona senator debates mandatory church attendance bill.

  • Blatant troll attempt disregarded.

  • What I get is that you are very concerned about the mere possibility of some form of sexual predation taking place in the bathroom, but are neglecting to consider what happens when a transperson uses the bathroom of their alleged “real” sex. If people are as horrible as they’ve been made out to be, then the transperson’s life should be a living hell.

  • Actually, I don’t know if it’s like this in other states, but in my area, if you don’t have ID when you go to the DSHS, they’ll often help you get it. They want to help people. I’d rather deal with a DSHS agent any day of the week than someone at the DMV (where I was twice refused an ID).

    It also helps when there is a DMV you can conveniently visit. Shortly after instituting a strict set of voter ID laws, the state of Alabama then closed 31 licensing agencies, all of which in areas with a majority of nonwhite citizens, leaving several counties without a single DMV office and the nearest one a substantial drive away.

    Now, I’m white and I live in a liberal area, and it took me three tries to get my ID renewed. The first time was because I didn’t even know about the new A list and B list identity criteria documentation. The second time was because my documentation wasn’t complete. The third time they tried to send me home (because my school transcript had been printed out a month ago and it needed to be brought in within the week or printing), I requested a document review specialist who looked at the document for less than a minute before approving it.

    Imagine trying to get an ID while being treated like this with the nearest DMV office being 40 miles away or more, and you not having the luxury of taking entire days off from work.

    Ah, but I forgot, “You shall know Christians by their snide condescension for anyone unlike themselves.”

  • Seán

    “very concerned” my be an overstatement. I am simply trying to recognize the possibilities and that is something could take place, and I am trying to show that it is not as simple as we may want it to be. On the contrary to how I may have explained myself, I do not think I am neglecting to consider the transperson’s situation but rather trying to consider everyone regardless of their situation. We are a nation and culture of extremes. We go on warpaths when we decide something is wrong and we over-correct which inevitably comes at someone else’s expense. I want something that could satisfy everyone. I realize the saying that if you try to please everyone you end up pleasing no one, but I do think we could get closer than we seemingly do time after time after time. Look, if it was only me I would have a different view, after all I am human and have my opinions, but I try as much as possible to take everyone’s situations and feelings into consideration. That is all I am saying, but have done a poor job of expressing it.

  • Robert Conner

    Not a resident of Houston, so I don’t know the details. Obviously the lesbian mayor got in under the wire and has been popular. That said, lesbians and women in general seem less scary than gay men and transexuals because (I suspect) female sexuality is seen as less threatening generally. I would imagine that the mayor has a core constituency concentrated in the urban center which tends toward blue. It also appears that national hate groups didn’t try to make the mayor’s race a test case and put money and negative ads into play. It is not, however, coincidental that the states most opposed to LGBT rights were also the states that resisted desegregation. That speaks to a deeper cultural issue. And, BTW, I’m old enough to recall when Baptist preachers in the South referred to Martin Luther King as “Martin Lucifer Coon.”

    So, long story short, don’t bother putting lipstick on this hog because it won’t stick.

  • Robert Conner

    I don’t know if I originated that–probably not–but I can attest that Texas has a strong element of crazy and that they’re proud of it. They’re not just a bunch of regular crackers, they’re TEXAS crackers!

  • Robert Conner

    Yep, you’re spot on! They have some “standards” all right, the same standards that drove the push back against desegregation. Long story short, these Texans ain’t gonna let some bunch of liberals who can read, write, and do sums tell them not to discriminate!

  • D.M.S.

    Pastors are just as human as you are, and make mistakes also.

  • D.M.S.

    He’s probably like me, science wouldn’t even exist without GOD. PTL.

  • MCB

    Ok, seriously, where is the epidemic of transwomen attacking people in restrooms and locker rooms or flashing their genitals? I’ve yet to hear of it, even in cities that freely give them access to the facilities they want.

    That’s probably because most people who are trans are, like most people in general, respectful of others’ privacy. And know that while they might be protected for using a restroom/locker room, they won’t be protected for doing anything illegal (assault, harassment, etc.) in those places.

    Nor are cismen likely to abuse the law, since no judge is going to believe that they all of a sudden started identifying as women and immediately decided to celebrate by leering at women.

    Meanwhile trans people who ARE forced into the “correct” room, when their dressed physical appearance generally matches their gender rather than what’s expected of their sex, they are much more likely to BE victims of crime than to perpetrate them.

    You’re afraid of a problem that doesn’t exist. Or could be solved by installing a few curtains and everyone being polite.

  • D.M.S.

    When the CHRISTIANS take over, which will be quite soon. Secular power and the constitution will be gone. PTL.

  • D.M.S.

    GOD/JESUS will always trump fact. You wouldn’t have your facts without them. Evolution is a fairy tale. PTL.

  • I agree that your post also contained the word “are.”

  • Bonnie Stone

    So oppression from an institution that claims to have the revelation of ultimate truth that there is only male and female and it all has to do with what body you were born into is better? Indeed, reading my comment hurt your binary heteronormative manhood so much that you had to bring up some phallic argument that because we haven’t heard of gender as being a concept rather than a natural body characteristic and accuse me of “social condemnation”? As if THAT is FAR WORSE than people being erased and oppressed day in and day out? Really?

    There is far greater variety than the gender binary-far too many people exist outside of it, it’s downright imbecilic to close our eyes and tell those people to conform to something they truly cannot.

  • Are you including the part of science that entails constantly questioning and double-checking your own and others’ results?

  • Snooterpoot

    Liberal Christians could be accused of the same thing when they argue for things like homosexual marriage and abortion. And I can’t see how this IS different to imposing your religious views on someone else.

    The difference is that none of your civil or human rights are abridged. Tell me how, exactly, the Supreme Court’s decision recognizing the right to civil marriage has caused you, society or so-called traditional marriage one iota of demonstrable harm.

    Why should the Christian denominations that affirm the dignity of our marriages, and that perform the rite of marriage for us, not have the same legal authority, vested by the state, that denominations that perform only opposite sex marriages have? You seem to think it’s perfectly fine to prevent other Christian denominations or other religions from fulfilling their theologies as they see fit.

    So, in case you missed it, the difference is that fundamentalist Christians who strive to enact your theology into civil law want to do that to restrict the freedom of people of whom you disapprove, while people like me seek to uphold the secular values upon which our nation was founded and to expand freedom.

    Why is that NOT a problem when liberals demand having their interpretations of their holy books enacted into civil law?

    Can you provide even one example of that happening?

    How did my comment judge or condemn you? The problem with liberals is they equate disagreement with condemnation. And why have you suddenly made it personal? I’m not waving any flags. I’m just highlighting fallacious reasoning.

    Did I say you have done that? Or did I say that you can do that? It’s not the same thing.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse?

    I take issue with Alvin Planting’s comment. First, it sounds like a cop out. Second, when talking about “traditional Christianity” he leaves out Christian denominations that have existed for centuries and that many would consider to be traditional. This omission supports his point of view, but it doesn’t make it valid.

    Your last paragraph is nothing but a whine, and doesn’t deserve a response.

  • Snooterpoot

    I have not ever seen or heard of any liberal ever advocating enacting our “holy books” into law. What I do promote is leaving religious theology out of our secular government altogether.

    I don’t think your argument is really about enacting theology into civil law as much as it is about the resources people use to support their arguments.

  • Peter Calabrese

    No you can check the website and see which types of sex it calls high risk.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Sure because the APA bought into teh agenda years ago starting with the removal of homosexuality. But I think being honest one would admit that having the body of one sex and the brain of the opposite counts as a disorder. Actually a Johns Hopkins psychiatrist who did the first gender reassignments says that it is the wrong approach and this is a disorder. See the lastest Time magazine for details. He talks about gender reassignment does very little for the health of transgender people.

  • You appear to be conflating particular sexual acts with the entirety of same-sex relationships. What do you make of the statistics indicating that lesbian sexual activity is safer than any heterosexual sexual activity by far?

  • Peter Calabrese

    OF course the moment you use Christian as an adjective with Sharia I see there is no charity and it is done for provocation. Anyway the whole idea is stupid. Protestants pretty much gave up on theocracies after Calvin. SOme Anabaptists and Amish still do it a little bit, but any comparison between Islamic Sharia Law and the involvement of Christians in American politics is an absurdity. It’s like comparing a shower with standing under Niagara Falls. All you have to do is go to ISIS controlled territory to see the difference, or you can just watch the news with a smidgen of objectivity.

  • So in other words, you agree with psychologists who come to the same conclusion that you have, and any others, no matter how numerous (and they are numerous), are untrustworthy. Interesting, especially in light of your implicit denial that you reframe science to only accept those sources that agree with your conclusions.

    It also creates an interesting conundrum. What you’re implying is that it is impossible to change your mind. Any person, with any amount of evidence, immediately loses credibility if they make a declaration with which you do not already agree.

    That being the case, how do you expect to change people’s minds, when you make it abundantly clear that you have rejected reality and her liberal bias?

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much Fulgentian. I guess the reason I asked is because sometimes more conservative folks who contribute to the discussion on this blog don´t seem really interested in a civil discussion at all. To be fair, though, there are some less conservative folks who are just as fiery in their commenting as well.

    I think the “bubble” reason is a really good one for why people should get outside their own think tank so to speak. It´s one of the reasons I am here as well.

    My hope is that Jesus is glorified in all that we share here on Formerly Fundie and that people see another side of the Christian faith that draws them closer to our Lord.

  • Christians want an ever closer union between Church & State so that their failed religion can be forced upon everyone else.

  • Bones

    That’s completely ridiculous and shows a complete lack of understanding of separation of church and state and secularism.

  • Bones

    “Firstly – my arguments are valid until one of the premises is shown to be false.”

    Well that’s easy.

    Equality and human rights are not necessarily religious views but they are secular views which even you try to use.

    ARGUMENT. SHOT. DOWN.

    PREMISE. FAIL.

    “Liberal Christians could be accused of the same thing when they argue for things like homosexual marriage and abortion.”.

    Well no, because the basis for that is equality and human rights on which our secular societies are supposedly based on.

    Which the Bible isn’t really into….

    Most western countries also have secular constitutions in which equality and rights come before any attempts at Christian or Muslim sharia.

    “Why is that NOT a problem when liberals demand having their interpretations of their holy books enacted into civil law?”

    I actually believe the morality of the Bible is immoral. So I don’t know what you’re talking about. That’s a complete FAIL.

    “How did my comment judge or condemn you? The problem with liberals is they equate disagreement with condemnation. And why have you suddenly made it personal? I’m not waving any flags. I’m just highlighting fallacious reasoning.”

    Your reasoning is fallacious and no different to the Muslim nutters who want Muslim sharia.

    “I’d like to quote Alvin Plantinga on the word ‘fundamentalist’:”

    Good for him.

    What do you think the term Islamic fundamentalist means?

    Fundamentalist = narrow minded, judgemental, bigotted, anti-progressive, anti-science, literalist, ignorant, exclusivist, nutter, arsehole.

  • Bones

    Like Islamic Fundamentalist.

    Yeah right……

    Nah it has meaning.

    Really most Christian fundamentalists are a milder or nicer form of Westboro Baptist.

    At least they’re more honest.

    Heck I even heard one pastor say he was proud of being a fundamentalist.

    Wonder what he was talking about?

    Surprise, he didn’t like gays either….

  • Bones

    Good I’m glad you like having your convictions challenged.

    Because they will be.

    You up for it?

    Or too scared?

  • Bones

    You do not understand morality.

    Morality is totally subjective. Many people see the Old Testament as immoral and by our standards it is. Having slaves is immoral. Having concubines is immoral.

    Polygamy was a sound tribal economic practice in an ancient culture. It’s really bizarre the way Christians go crazy over it. We don’t live in that society but one where overpopulation is a problem. So we’ve legislated against it.

    It was morally correct in the 1800s to beat your wife.

    It isn’t now.

    It was immoral for married women to work.

    It was immoral for women to show their arms and legs in public.

    A child born out of wedlock was a bastard – now no one refers to them like that.

    It was not moral for a black man to be with a white girl…..

    It was moral to burn people alive in the Middle Ages….

    My mother was 16 when she married in the 1930s. Some would consider that immoral….

    My first cousins married….some would say that is immoral.

    ” For surely any law which allows homosexual marriage or abortion is based on a moral view and is not neutral?”

    The law is based on equality and rights – not morals which change from person to person……

  • Bones

    Define morality……

  • Bones

    “Most public policy debates aren’t based on fact but on opinion, or differing values or differing beliefs, many of which are religious in nature. ”

    Really.

    Maybe in the US.

    Should public state schools be teaching all religious views on creation or just the scientific one accepted nearly universally in science classes?

    Should we be withholding vaccines because of the rants of a hysterical and ignorant few despite what the facts say?

    Should we do nothing about Climate Change because well some bloggers are against it?

    Public policy should be based on facts and the good of the public.

  • Bones

    Marriage is what the government says it is.

    Always has been.

    You aren’t married unless the government recognises it, no matter what institution marries you.

    Get over it….

  • Bones

    There are different forms of sharia beyond what you see in Saudi Arabia eg sharia civil courts work the same way as Jewish courts do and are subject to the law of the land.

    They are mainly used for mediating grievances between muslims.

    If a Muslim is not happy with it they can opt to use the secular system.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Sorry, I’m from the UK and have completely lost track of what was true, untrue, hypothetical or sarcastic in the above.

  • Bones

    “But I can’t see why the statement ‘I have forced my religious beliefs on someone’ is morally wrong…”

    Maybe you should go visit ISIS and have them explain it to you.

  • Rev. Andrew R Gentry

    The profound difference is sharia “courts” order beheadings,stoning amputations , slavery, flogging, burying people alive, burning people alive, executing male children of “infidels” if they have reached puberty, and all of the other enlightened rulings these barbaric practices so order. Saudi Arabia may be the one of the more brutal and uncivilised examples of Islamic teaching and “justice” but throw in the all other Islamic nations that are essentially theocracies and you find the same thing. Pakistan is a shining light of this ideology with “civil” courts ruling beatings and burnings of non Moslems as justified!
    It is always interesting to me to hear the blatant contradiction between the sanitised version of hype and spin put out by sophomoric far leftists and the testimony of people who are formerly Moslems and or the statements of imams screaming the demand of sharia and the murder of anyone who is opposed to that implementation. As to secular law being an option tell that to the rape victim in Sweden whose attackers were released because a sharia court had ruled the rape justified under Islamic law! Or tell this to the gay men hanged in Iran because Sharia law demands death for gay men and the civil court so ordered their executions!

  • SamHamilton

    If it has a true meaning or definition, what is the definition of a fundamentalist?

  • SamHamilton

    How so?

  • SamHamilton

    My point is the city can’t be all that closed minded if it’s willing to elect a lesbian as mayor. Perhaps this recent ordinance went simply too far for the average, normal person to accept. That doesn’t make the city a bunch of raging bigots.

  • SamHamilton

    I never said I was worried about trans-women attacking people in restrooms and changing areas. Your comment is entirely devoted to rebutting something I never said.

    Curtains sound like a good solution to me. But curtains weren’t good enough for the federal government. See the most recent case in Illinois where a high school was told that requiring a trans student to change behind a curtain in a locker room was discriminatory. This is exactly what I’m talking about. People are trying to find solutions to these problems but the activists aren’t happy with anything short of a person with a penis having full unfettered access to facilities meant for women.

  • SamHamilton

    Yes, really, they are mostly based on opinion. Some people buttress their opinions with facts, but at the end of the day, what people think the proper public policy decision is based on values, beliefs and opinion. “The good of the public” is a subjective value.

  • SamHamilton

    Honestly, Herm, I have no idea what you’re saying or how it relates to what I said in my comment. Probably my small brain.

    There is truth out there. There are facts. We don’t know them all, but they’re there. But most every law we pass is ultimately based on belief, values and opinion. For example, Fulgentian brought up abortion laws. We can look at facts and use them to support our ultimate position on whether abortion should be legal, but at the end of the day, the position we take is an opinion or based on belief about human nature, rights, etc. “Abortion should be legal/illegal” is not a statement of fact.

    To say that one shouldn’t impose his will or morality on another because that’s no different than ISIS is silly. We all want to impose our beliefs on other people. If you’re politically active, you want to do to that. The existence of truth or facts doesn’t mean we don’t want to do that.

  • SamHamilton

    Snooter – You’re being very literal all of a sudden. No one in the U.S. that I’m aware of wants to literally enact their entire holy books into law. I assumed when you used that phrase originally you meant that people want to enshrine many of the principles in their holy books into law. And we all want to do that. I’ve yet to meet a Christian – conservative or progressive – that doesn’t want their interpretation of Biblical principles reflected in our laws and uses the Bible to buttress their position.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m hoping for some Stanley Clark, Jan Hammer, Spira Gyra and
    Jean-Luc Ponty.

  • Paul Schlitz

    Why is it that it is the fundamentalists of any religion that are the most blood thirsty?

  • Herm

    Peter I cannot continue to share with you why your shotgun logic is not contestable. You offer no supportive substantiation relative to actual physics, biology and anthropology. You offer no biblical references or any otherwise spiritual study.

    Beginning with “of course” only relative to what you alone see is not going to make any reciprocal dialog possible. Possibly if you understood this articles’s comparison made between ISIS pushing their religious agenda into law supported by their courts/police as being no more destructive, or different, than Christians pushing their religious agenda into law supported by their courts/police???

    It is only your discomfort supported by the legislation, courts/police of the Vatican that give you credence to deny any people full rights to life, liberty and happiness in the USA simply because they identify as LBGTQ, Black or as a woman. This true even if you identify as protestant. This is in exactly the same spirit as sharia law. To be sincerely outraged over one spiritual fundamentalist group’s outrage because they interpret and enforce their spiritual guide book different than your fundamentalist spiritual group’s interpretation and enforcement of your spiritual guide book is hypocrisy.

    Peter, you appear to be arguing just to be disagreeable. This gets old when you have spoken so kindly of Christian wrongs and so negatively of those who highlight those wrongs, all without any support but your logic. I claim the counsel of the Spirit of truth full time in my heart and mind. That would be considered my logic for those who do not have the same Spirit in their heart and minds. I attempt to use acceptable references understood by my audience all the time to refute dangerous logic such as yours. You have not accepted any to refute or support.

    I am leaving all further dialog with you up to any others who feel compelled to still try and get through to you as to why your arguments outside of your head are destructive to mankind. I will leave you with two biblical references, once again, regarding all the legislation any disciple (student with and in counsel by the Holy Spirit) of Christ ever needs for eternity; Matthew 7:12 and 22:37-40. Your heart may agree, I cannot make that judgement, but what you spout from your logic clearly does not.

    God bless you and thank you for taking the time and effort to offer a typographically clean comment. Love you!

  • tyler

    apparently christians are going after the children of lgbt families now. i suppose they enjoyed attacking lgbt children so much that they decided to expand the pool of kids they can harass under the guise of “love the sinner.”

  • Peter Calabrese

    The government once said blacks were 3/5 of whites. The government once said people could own people. Teh government certainly has the power to redefine marriage and even personhood, but that does not mean it does it correctly. Get over your idolatry of government.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Oh it is possible to change my mind – but being open minded does not mean I suspect I will be changed on this one. Yes I do distrust teh PAA because people who were involved AT THE TIME have admitted it was a decision made for political not scientific reasons. My simple acknowledgement that yes even psychiatrists are subject ot the Fall and to being formed in something wrong does not mean I won;t listen to them on various issues, but when the evidence is that the LGBTQ community bullies anyone who does not glorify them yes I feel free to look very carefully at what they say. It is a conundrum only for those who can;t think critically. I can think critically and discern. I don;t ignore al of psychology, but their research on human sexuality is flawed at best at its beginnings and is often driven not by science but on the idolatry of sexual libertinism. Let me put it this way. if they told oyu that kleptomania or OCD was normal and should be praised and promoted you would laugh so why when they say that homosexuality, which is clearly a disordered deisre for the use of our sexual organs, a good to be promoted and not disordered. RIgh now they they are planning to classify pedophilia as a sexual orientation. They will claim that they are not promoting it and will rely on the government to insist on a majority age of consent, but in reality as far as they are concerned nothing sexual is disordred, that is an ideological position based on a philosophical assumption. My gripe is not that when they do science tehy are incapable of doing science ti si that their fundamental philosophical assumptions about sexuality are flawed, thus skewing their data.

  • Peter Calabrese

    Sotty not skewing their data skewing their ocnclusions abot the data. I hit post too early

  • Ruthitchka

    The news stories I’ve read refer to a new official rule made by the Mormon Church, that the children of LGBTQ couples cannot become full members of the church until they reach adulthood. I think the adult children must renounce their parents’ “lifestyle” in order to become a full member.

  • Stephen

    Case in point here, just yesterday…with Republican presidential candidates, Cruz, Huckabee and Jindal attending, is it really ok with them?? Take the time to watch the video….a Christian “liberties” conference?? And yet, even in the holocaust of Germany, when people turned the other way, or seeing it as just….selling hate, misinformation, and hiding his own demons, afraid of who he is??? So, do we really ignore this….not really…pure insanity, yet sold as religion and hopefully law? Yet people do not believe this happen, an undercurrent of utter deadly hate…based on Religion. http://www.towleroad.com/2015/11/rachel-maddow-kill-the-gays/

  • Herm

    Sam, we don’t all want to impose our beliefs on other people. This is where we are in complete agreement. That is the simplistic beauty of all the laws and prophets being summed up in Matthew 7:12. Through empathy we can grow to be more constructive for the successful future for all mankind as one body utilizing other members’ beliefs and different perspectives. I would hope for mankind’s survival that we aren’t all so self-indulgent to believe it’s our way or the highway.

    You really don’t understand the premise of the declaration of independence, the preamble, or the constitution of the United States of America if you believe our forefathers were establishing their will on other people. All of Man is created different and equal by God.

    According to the Bible mankind as one entity is created in the image of God as one entity (of which we know of three members by name; Father, Son and Holy Spirit … and an enumerable (by us) children of God). God as a whole cares first for mankind as a whole and that is the will of our Father that mankind survives.

    I, known carnally, will die but my spirit (heart, soul and mind) in the image of the Son of God will not die. I in spirit am so immature that I am unaware and unable to communicate without my physical body. At the physical death of my son of Man body I in all essence will know nothing and my influence will be eventually be forgotten. As a little child of God, through the Holy Spirit in my spiritual heart and mind, I can maintain awareness and be able to continue to communicate to learn from my very mature spiritual Brother. That is my awareness and to you my belief right at this moment.

    Matthew 22:37-40 is the fullness of legislation I need to abide in to inherit eternal life as a child of God beginning today (refer to Luke 10:25-37). This is the Good News lost in all the churches and religions that seek to establish their will of opinion based on their evolved tradition of spiritual belief. Jesus spoke against all additional legislation, creeds, theologies, dogmas, idolatries and any repeating by rote any sayings in public or private as though each was a magical incantation to summon God’s support. Jesus taught then and teaches now that our spiritual creator God is a dynamic and reciprocal relationship possible by the “Dove”, as it was with the Son of Man to be one in our Father.

    My will is that mankind survives not I, or even mine. Just as our nation’s fore-fathers agreed to provide a mechanism whereby all of Man, created equal in the image of God, could potentially find life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness by way of a constitutional unity of states so do I for all of mankind throughout the world. I have nothing to lose in my endeavor to offer mechanisms to unite all people in relationship dynamically balanced by all people in everything doing to and for all others as they would have all others do to and for them. I am not forcing my will but trying to reflect the will of all to be heard and dialoged. If they choose the destructive to mankind evil, as is their privilege I cannot force to change, then I will do all in my carnal and spiritual power to isolate them from further harm to the survival of mankind. If they choose to live out their life without being in counsel with the Holy Spirit as their guide but still abide by the principal (which was chronicled before the Messiah in many different communities) of living with one another empathetically and sympathetically as in Matthew 7:12 then I will support them to the good of mankind.

    What establishes the good or evil of our legislation is not my beliefs or opinions, for I am but a 71 year old child somewhere inside infinity, but what promotes the life of all of mankind on this earth. If my beliefs and opinions are only self-indulgent, self-centered and self-promoting for me and mine then I can be pretty certain my influence is destructive to an otherwise viable part of mankind’s survival. This is why I see very little difference in the spiritual religious fundamentalism under any banner who enforces their will at the demise of others. Jesus’ religion of birth did the same to the Samaritans, even the good and merciful neighbor Samaritans. So unnecessary when we each have today our divinely capable Father and our Messiah always available directly in our hearts and minds to provide, nurture and teach us all together (united) well beyond our infant opinions and beliefs. I will continue to try to get better at imposing my love on others and not my will for that is the will of God united.

    I hope this was clearer. It is so simple to feel and think but so difficult to impart. Fact and truth is most clear to God. We cannot, as no child can, know the fullness of fact and truth and have to rely on our mentors who do know to help us in our influences of belief and opinion. If we rely the sibling organized and officiated clubs (as is organized religion) to guide our beliefs and opinions we are only the blind little children leading the blind little children. Jesus pointed to family as the answer with the Father as the ultimate decider and chief. Jesus pointed to the Spirit to whelm (baptize) each open heart and mind to make us one in God and God in us. I point to the same and testify, for that is the only influence of truth I have, that God is real and available with a love for all.

    Thanks Sam for forcing me to share my opinion and belief! Love you!

  • You seem to be under the impression that I would respect them purely because they are authority figures, rather than because I can discern the nature of their work and understand the definitions and criteria they use. In psychiatry, there’s a rule of thumb for diagnoses called the Four Ds. In order to qualify as a disorder, something must-

    Be Deviant, that is, not readily explained as a facet or product of a person’s culture or upbringing. Belief in an invisible man who lives in the sky/a parallel plane and constantly intervenes in human affairs is a pretty radical and not particularly well supported idea, but because we accept religion as a part of our culture, most people don’t consider it deviant thinking, much less disordered thinking. (Yes, there are anti-theists who do, but they’re hardly representative of the majority, much less of psychiatry.)

    Kleptomania behavior is associated with theft and often excessive hording, neither of which are societal norms. Obsessive compulsive disorder is characterized by persistent irrational fears, by definition not normal.
    Be Dangerous, that is, posing a threat either to the one afflicted, or to those around them. This threat must be as a direct result of the disordered thinking, such as misperceiving social interaction and seeing threats or suspicious activity, or failing to recognize others as deserving of the same rights as one’s self. Dangerous thinking cannot be ferreted out by statistics, since they take no consideration into a person’s environment. People often parrot suicide rates as proof that transgender people are inherently unbalanced, without taking into consideration that suicide can be motivated by many things external to the person suffering. A transgender friend, for example, briefly but seriously contemplated suicide when threatened with reparative “therapy”, knowing the severe psychological harm known to arise from such “treatment.” The motivating factor then was not being transgender, but fear of persecution for being transgender.

    A person with kleptomania causes indirect harm to others by stealing from them when in a society that values personal possessions, and direct harm to themselves when living in a home they are unable to properly maintain due to excessive possessions. People suffering OCD often cause injury or neglect to themselves because of their compulsions; for example a germaphobic person may wash their hands with scalding water to purge nonexistent bacteria from their flesh, or may become so distracted or anxious that they cease proactive safe behavior. “I mustn’t step on any cracks in the sidewalk or my mother will break her back,” the person thinks as they step sideways into the oncoming traffic lane.

    Cause Dysfunction, that is, impairing a person’s ability to function in a manner not deviating from societal norms. A person plagued by disordered thinking is often unable to participate in day to day life without grievous hindrance. They may fail to perceive the world in the same way as others, or cease to be able to interact with society. Their impairment may prevent them from holding to a routine or schedule, or render them incapable of carrying out many tasks.

    Kleptomania impairs a person’s ability to respect the boundaries of others and their possessions and often leads a person to participate in criminal activities. Obsessive compulsive disorder sufferers often become completely unable to carry out day to day tasks because of their compulsions and anxiety. They often have trouble holding to even the simplest schedule as they find themselves, for example, repeatedly leaving work and returning to their home in order to check that the front door is locked, even several times throughout the same day, each time fearfully convinced that they might have unlocked the door while checking it the last time.

    Cause Distress, that is, the disordered thinking is a significant and causal factor in the person’s negative perception of the world or themselves. They may hallucinate, or suffer paranoia, or be so callous that they disregard the rights of others. Whether inward or outward, their thinking impairs not only their functionality, but also their perception. This is frequently grouped along with dysfunctional behavior.

    People with kleptomania and obsessive compulsive disorder both suffer compulsions which override normal thinking and cause anxiety when defied. Navigating life becomes a challenge for them as they try to avoid, or to act upon, urges which lead them into difficult situations. The inability to avoid these situations becomes burdensome and causes impairment and distress.

    An argument can be made that aspects of transgender identities meet some of these criteria, but none of these entities is a simple binary condition. There will always be those of us in society who do things which are deviant, or who suffer distress or have difficulty participating in day to day activities for any number of reasons. Professional diagnoses revolve around determining how much difficulty in their lives is caused by their own errant thought processes, versus how much is imposed on them by other factors, from external (a child who constantly acts out may be doing so because of abusive parents, for example) to secondary internal causes (such as drug addiction or brain damage).

    In a society which has begun to explore its mores and taboos surrounding gender roles and identity, a person claiming a gender role outside of that traditionally prescribed to them is less deviant than in past years. A clear path can be traced from the emergence of feminism to the present day outlining the numerous battles in which a person’s apparent sex has been argued to be irrelevant as a means of predicting their internal traits. Furthermore, with a growing number of people identifying as transgender and being accepted by others, a cultural paradigm is emerging causing this to become a new norm.

    A person suffering gender dysphoria may experience dysfunction and distress or even seek to do harm to themselves, but one at peace with their identity in an accepting environ suffers none of this to any unusual degree, hence gender dysphoria is a diagnosis while being transgender is not, and one may be treated without erasure of the latter in many (although not all) cases.
    Emergent science has also indicated that a possible causal factor of a person’s gender identity not matching their outer appearance may be found in the formation of their brain, as the physical structure of a person’s brain closer resembles the sex they identify as, regardless of which they were assigned at birth. If this is found to be a true causal factor, then even gender dysphoria may also be regarded differently in psychiatry because of the physical component (though it is worth noting that a psychiatric approach can ease the symptoms of dysphoria by teaching the mind, as it were, not to get so hung up on the dangly bits).

    … did I mention you are attempting to speak authoritatively about psychology to a person who, in countries which didn’t treat education as a capitalist venture, would have a Masters degree in psychology?

  • Snooterpoot

    All of a sudden? I don’t think so. I have made references to “holy books” many times while commenting on Disqus blogs, and I don’t think the meaning of that term is unclear.

    As I previously said, the liberal/progressive stand is that no one’s religious beliefs or laws should be enacted into civil laws in our secular government.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Don’t care. Come and get me. And I’m an atheist and couldn’t care less about religious institutions.

    You and the Fundiegelicals deserve each other.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    You and the fundiegelicals deserve each other.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Couldn’t care less. Doesn’t happen to me.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    I like your big, goofy upper incisors!

  • Ivan T. Errible

    F*ck your pathetic mythology!

  • SamHamilton

    Then how come I keep hearing liberal/progressive Christians quote the Bible when they advocate for or against certain public policy proposals?

  • Bones

    What holy books do atheists want enacted into civil law?

    Secular governments are based on equality and human rights.

    It is a completely ridiculous and fallacious argument.

  • Bones

    You’re ridiculous.

    Same sex marriage is fundamentally based on equality and human rights.

    Some people might try to use the Bible to support that to justify their stand to Christians who are against it but that is not the issue.

    I’m for same sex marriage not because of anything the Bible says about it.

    It is because of equality and human rights.

  • SamHamilton

    Herm,
    Do you think laws are coercive? Do you think that by advocating for a law that that says “you must do X and if you don’t you’ll be subject to legal sanction” that you’re working (in conjunction with other people) to force others to abide by your belief about what is right and wrong in that specific instance? This is not a rhetorical question, but a question I’d like you to answer so that I can better understand your philosophy.

    I get the feeling you’re deliberately not directly addressing the points I’m making or the questions I’m asking and writing long, high-falootin commentary no one finds outside of theological journals published for academics. Seriously man…write for the lay person.

  • SamHamilton

    There are other issues than same-sex marriage. I didn’t mention same sex marriage in my list above. I listed health care, immigration, creation care, abortion, the death penalty, and foreign policy. I’ve heard progressive Christians quote the Bible on all those issues, other than possibly abortion.

  • SamHamilton

    Atheists don’t have holy books, but they do have beliefs that they want enshrined in law and forced on other people. That’s my point. We all want our own beliefs put into law. You do. I do. Muslims do. Atheists do. There’s nothing wrong with this. Complaining about it (unless you fall into one of the exceptional categories I mentioned above) when someone else tries to do it is hypocritical.

  • Snooterpoot

    I, personally, have used scripture when asked to cite it to support my point of view. I cannot speak for other people who share my political ideology, but I suspect that they quote scripture for the same reason.

  • Snooterpoot

    I’ve never heard of creation care, so I have no idea what that means. Since the Bible doesn’t say anything about abortion there is nothing to quote.

  • Jeff Preuss

    From what I could Google, it seems creation care is a term referring to environmentalism from a spiritual angle. In other words, being the stewards of God’s creation as we are told early in the Bible.

  • Guy Norred

    You know–as opposed to let’s use the whole thing up as soon as possible so Jesus will come back

  • Herm

    Then why reply at all???

  • Herm

    thanks!

  • Herm

    Your choice. Why are you here and feel the over whelming need to denigrate out of proud ignorance by your own admission?

  • Penis or not, if she is a trans woman then she’s a WOMAN. She should have the right to use womens locker rooms, bathrooms, etc., just like any other woman.

  • Nope. This would only work if Ben was demanding that all straight Christians suddenly be gay. That would be imposing. He’s just saying, don’t make laws that make life harder for your fellow citizens. Let all citizens have the same rights. Remind me how that forces you to change your religious behavior?

  • How does providing equal rights to all citizens force anything on you? It means you can worship as you want, live as you want, etc.

  • MCB

    If they’re not attacking people, then why are you worried about them being there? Because a child might see their genitals? You know there are cultures with coed bathing, right? And yet somehow those societies survive.

    Now, I *do* know the argument that some women who’ve suffered rape can find that traumatizing, and I actually once read a trans woman on the internet argue that, out of consideration for *fellow women,* she *voluntarily* changed behind curtains. Which is what I meant by a curtain solution, not compulsory segregation, which yeah, would be discriminatory.

  • Herm

    law – noun

    1. the system of rules that a particular country or community recognizes as regulating the actions of its members and may enforce by the imposition of penalties.

    2. a statement of fact, deduced from observation, to the effect that a particular natural or scientific phenomenon always occurs if certain conditions are present.

    Sam, do you think that the laws of physics are threatening or do they spell out if you do X then Y will happen? Would you feel that the laws of God are threatening to use force or do they more spell out that the natural result of doing X leads only to Y whereas if you do V instead under the same condition the result leads to Z? When deduced as fact as repetitive fact to be fully trusted there is no advocating for what is already a regulating truth.

    The system of rules human kind has adopted for regulating the actions of its members include civil, criminal, military and religious law.

    Any law that does not aid in the viable cohesion of the entire community is a destructive law. An extreme example never imposed for obvious reasons would be a law that insisted everyone had the right to drive by law on any side of the road they wish at any speed. Would you advocate for such a law? Why not? Perhaps, because that law would be destructive to many while not serving to regulate to facilitate the resource of driving for the good and survival of the community in any way???

    Mankind is one body of members with the instinct to survive as strong as any species on earth. I don’t know how to explain this any other way. I am sorry if it is too highfalutin for the lay person. I am struggling to reach an understanding with you.

    As with our physical body there are members that do not perform to the survival of the body; cancer cells as an example. The law is that if we do not regulate, isolate or eradicate those members that body will cease to function. I advocate for that law and choose not to give cancer free and independent access to my well behaved, constructive and cohesive cells. Those cancer cells don’t know that if they get total control the body dies and they do too. If I could retrain those destructive cells I would but only after I have isolated them from perpetrating any further damage to my body. If I knew they were masochistic and sadistic to intentionally choose, with full knowledge, to destroy my body I would instinctively have no choice but to attempt to stop them completely in order to survive.

    I advocate for all laws which strengthen mankind and oppose all laws which weaken mankind as one body. For members of our body of mankind who would ignore the constructive laws, intentionally or ignorantly, yes there must be the threats of penalties and force applied to isolate or eradicate those cancerous cells or mankind as a whole dies. My beliefs have very little to do with law when we know the constructive or destructive effects from certain causes. If I defend mankind to kill a clear and obvious assailant then the law I advocate for the good of mankind will support me. If I kill another to profit in my self-indulgence, mankind be damned, then the law I advocate for will firmly, by force, regulate, isolate and/or eradicate my influence from the body of mankind for its health. That is the fundamental of my “philosophy” regarding law.

    I do believe that treating a woman as the no choice bearer of children with the potential children ranked at a higher value to mankind is destructive to the health and survival of mankind. I do believe that order and chaos are necessary to the health of mankind. I actually do believe it is better that I die in the service for the good of mankind than I and mine live at the cost of mankind.

    Is this, also, presented as too much to understand? If it is then I am not certain there is a direct lay person answer possible.

  • Snooterpoot

    Thank you, Jeff. I appreciate that you took the time to research this.

  • Jeff Preuss

    My Google Fu is strong. :)

  • Bones

    Well let’s look at what we mean by islamic fundamentalism.

    That would be:

    Closed minded, literalist, exclusivist, anti-progressive, anti-science when it goes against their beliefs, anti-other religions, possessors of the absolute truth.

    The exact same as their Christian counterparts.

  • Bones

    Well that’s ridiculous.

    So having had your argument of progressive Christians using the Bible to force their beliefs down people’s throats smashed, you’ve moved the goalposts to include any belief any person has, which is patently ridiculous.

    Fact: Western societies are secular and based on a separation of Church and State.

    That’s not a belief, that’s a fact.

    Fact: secular societies are based on equality and human rights.

    Not a belief, but a fact.

    Equality trumps your right to tell people what they can’t do based on your religion.

    Now if you or your Muslim counterparts don’t like that I would suggest a move to maybe Africa or the Middle East.

  • Bones

    “I’ve heard progressive Christians quote the Bible on all those issues, other than possibly abortion.”

    So?

    There are many arguments for those issues which have nothing to do with Bible.

    We are a secular country who has universal healthcare.

    Our society has decided this is a good safety net for everyone in our country.

    We don’t have the death penalty which we did away with over 40 years ago.

    Once again no Bible there.

    It no longer suited our society. We don’t want to kill people.

    Immigration’s a thorny one because we’re signatures to the UNHCR.

    As for foreign policy, you don’t need the Bible to tell you that the War in Iraq was the biggest f**k up ever.

    As for the climate, that’s based on a certain thing called science.

  • Don B

    Hey, Ben. I think this goes along with what you are saying. I hope you will give it a look. I never thought about Sharia law as applying to what we are seeing. But you are so right. I supported Billy Graham and Franklin Graham for many years, but since 2012 I have seen a decidedly antagonistic and un Christlike attitude from Franklin. I think God is about to do some major cleaning. As believers, how we view sin affects how we view sexual orientation and gay marriage. That became very clear to me over the weekend of October 24, Ben.
    Being saved by grace through faith is the gift of God, not faith itself. Something similar is
    echoed through Galatians 3:22: But the Scripture has shut up everyone under
    sin, so that the promise by faith in
    Jesus Christ might be given to those who believe. Galatians 2:20 says I
    have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ
    lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who
    loved me and gave Himself up for me. Notice it doesn’t say that the life I now live
    is by doing things for God. Instead
    it is our trusting Him to do His
    works in and through us. This is huge. This is what the reformers missed. How
    we define sin totally impacts our understanding of this verse. If we believe
    sin is a part of the believer as the reformers and most evangelicals do, we
    will see our sanctification as trying to rid ourselves of this sin by
    confessing it, promising God we’ll do better, abstaining from certain
    activities, praying more, and reading our Bibles more all the while feeling
    guilty and condemned because of failing to master sin, and becoming alienated
    from God. But if we see sin distinct
    from our regenerated selves and as a foreign invader—as indeed the apostle Paul
    did in Romans 7:17 and which he further explained in the rest of Romans 7 and
    through Romans 8:17—we will gain victory over the sin we have so often
    surrendered to, choosing instead not to be duped by sin any longer. More
    importantly, we will see and know the God who tenaciously loves us and made our
    regenerate selves perfect (Hebrews 10:14) and unable to sin (1John 5:18)
    However, if sins do occur in our lives, we can confidently rest in the fact
    that those sins are distinct from us. Even more so, we can bask in His love, through
    the renewing of our minds that comes from reading our Bibles through the lens
    of sin distinct from us rather than through the lens of sin as a part of
    us. By seeing the scriptures in that
    way, you will see the God who did it all for us—the One who has had our back
    since before the creation of the world.

    God has been
    showing me portions of the above since the summer of 2009. But everything above
    became crystal clear on the weekend of
    October 24 of this year. I was sitting on my couch asking God to show me the
    truth about sexual orientation and gay marriage. I was weary of seeing what I
    viewed as hate, fear, and ignorance
    displayed by so many posters on Franklin Graham’s website as well as by the
    blogs and sermons by many high level evangelicals. I told Him I didn’t care
    which side that truth landed upon but only that He show me the truth. Two words
    popped into my head – grace and 1John1:9. I googled those words and on the
    first page of results was a link to Escape to Reality about 4 links
    down. I started reading some blogs and other resources on the site owned by
    Paul Ellis, of whom I had never heard before God directed me
    to his site , But by the time I was done reading many of his writings I felt like I had been born again again. I
    will never be the same. The PDF file attached tells what happened. It can
    change your life as it has mine and the
    lives of millions. God is using gay marriage as a lightning rod to bring out
    the worst and the best of people and is spreading the second half of the gospel
    that the reformers failed to see.

  • gimpi1

    Well, since that would require suspending the constitution and declaring martial law illegally, both profoundly unlikely and hard to do, I’m not going to hold my breath…

    Where do people get these ideas?

  • gimpi1

    So, facts wouldn’t exist without your beliefs…

    OK, what you’ve stated is a hypothesis. Now comes the hard work. Prove it.

  • Jeanne Fox

    That Rev. Swanson has some serious mental health issues.

  • D.M.S.

    I forgot to mention one essential item when the CHRISTIANS take over the world. JESUS the Christ will be in charge in the flesh. Hallelujah!

  • D.M.S.

    My proof is the existence of
    GOD/JESUS/HOLY SPIRIT. They are everywhere, watching, listening and in control of everything.
    Hallelujah!

  • gimpi1

    Well, since people have been predicting that for a couple of thousand years and it hasn’t panned out yet, I’m still not holding my breath.

  • gimpi1

    OK, what you’ve done is just restate your hypothesis. You haven’t offered any proof.

    Proof is something that can be independently verified. Your job now is to figure out how to verify what you just said, in a way that others can get the same result if they do the same experiment. Then perform the experiment and get back to us with the experiment model and the results.

    For instance, on another thread, someone was claiming that praying for cities with high crime-rates could lower those rates. That’s testable. Pick several cities, and arrange for people to pray for them over a set period. Pick several other cities with similar rates for your control-group and be sure no one prays for them. At the end of your period, compare results, and see if your prayers made any difference. Get it?

    Now, I have no idea how you can verify the hypothesis you stated, but that’s not really my job. It’s yours.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Scientifically, you couldn’t even accurately test the prayer hypothesis, since there is nothing to prevent other outside groups of people to pray for your control group of cities. Conversely, you couldn’t without doubt guarantee there aren’t people actively praying for either group of cities to be punished by fire, either.

    So…testable? :) (And, I fully know you weren’t offering this as a truly scientific process. I’m funnin’ with you.)

  • gimpi1

    Yeah, I know:-)
    I used this example because I was attempting to explain to an apparently nice but clueless fellow what constituted evidence. He was simply saying that, in response to gun-violence, people should pray for crime-ridden cities and that would make things better. When I asked him how he would know if his suggestion worked, he drew a blank. I proposed this simplified “experiment” as a way to test his idea. The whole concept of putting your hypothesis to the test was so foreign to him that I kept it pretty simple. I’ve used it since, as an example of how to at least start thinking about how to independently verify beliefs, something many folks have never considered.

  • seashell

    I think you’re thinking of the Rome, GA statutory rape case of Marcus Dixon. A tragedy and travesty of justice.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Well, it’s an interesting notion when conversing with those who have a sketchy idea about what constitutes proof. :D

  • The article doesn’t say anything about the person being offered an alternative sentence of mandatory church attendance, so I don’t know. I hope my above links demonstrate that it has happened on numerous occasions, though (one of them specifically says the judge has a history of passing out such sentences).

  • Trilemma

    So God is in control of every abortion.

  • seashell

    Your links do demonstrate what you hoped, but it’s my experience that facts Don't Mean Shit to people like DMS.

  • Given that person’s recent posts in another channel, which include smiling support for women dying in childbirth, I suspect you’re right.

  • seashell

    Because every sperm is sacred, you know. And God was watching to make sure not a drop was spilled.

    “… Christians must concede that all things considered, this [watching people have sex] is one of God’s less onerous activities.”

  • Stephen

    Why would we even honor that type of hate with calling someone “reverend”?? Sad, but it exists under the cover of religion.

  • Jeanne Fox

    That nut needs to go to the nearest mental health clinic.

  • seashell

    I know it’s a lot to ask for, but someday I hope to see when people’s lives matter to these conservative Christians more than their bad theology that was hastily drummed up when the IRS took notice of a certain racism problem.

  • Jeanne Fox

    My pastor said something similar to that a couple years ago. He said that when Jesus returns, all human rights will be trumped by God’s kingdom (the Church).

  • Liberal Christians could be accused of the same thing when they argue for things like homosexual marriage and abortion. And I can’t see how this IS different to imposing your religious views on someone else.”

    It’s different because “liberal” Christians simply want everyone to have the freedom to decide for themselves on these issues. Which takes nothing away from Christians who don’t want to engage in homosexuality or have an abortion. They still have every right to not do those things. However, the other side want to restrict everyone’s ability to make those choices. They want to make those choices for everyone else. That’s where they’re different.

  • People who don’t read the contracts they sign only have themselves to blame. That said, if the arbitration clause is acceptable to them, no problem. If not, don’t work there.

  • K Frantz

    I won’t argue the need for people to read and understand what they are signing. The larger concern is whose scriptural viewpoint will be applied? Where will that viewpoint fall on the progressive/conservative (literal/non-literal) continuum ? This represents a dangerous precedent in my understanding unless both parties agree on the arbitrators.

  • Justice McPherson

    And why aren’t the people who rage about ‘but genitals’ worried about the fact that their bathroom law REQUIRES guys with flat chests, deep gravely voices, balding heads and beards to walk into the womens’ room wearing guy’s clothes with their daughters, and also REQUIRES women in dresses and skirts to walk into the men’s room with their husbands?

  • Robert Kendall

    What is this “REQUIRES” thing you’re talking about? What you said corresponds to nothing I’ve ever once heard of.

  • Robert Kendall

    I agree, in the case fo minors I fthink it is different. In fact, parents should not be allowed to commit their child, while stilla minor, to anything that menas a gender change is their only hope.

  • Robert Kendall

    That could be applied to the anti-slavery movement, the extensive church & synagogue participation the civil rights movement, or Jane Addams’s houses.

  • Robert Kendall

    I agree; a minor ina locker room should be gentially based. Needs to be.

  • Robert Kendall

    Yes, an adult should have that right.

  • Robert Kendall

    You’re missing her point. she regards the simple fact that all people *have* values as disqualifying them from complaining.

  • Robert Kendall

    It’s not a matter of beign “literal” by someone else, it’s about your beign ridiculous.Any governemnet of huamns ahs to reflect a system of values, some kind of system

  • Robert Kendall

    People have the right to derive their values form wherever they wish, and speak about those values.

  • Paul Schlitz

    I think Don B is onto something. Get rid of the Grahams and get into Galatians!

  • Don B

    Hey, Paul! My thoughts have reached the Presidents office at Focus on the Family. Timothy Masters responded with a very long email this morning. I then responded to his email just moments before I saw your comment :) Check out Paul Ellis’ site when you can. Change is coming. And God is giving people like MacArthur and Franklin Graham the opportunity to change their minds about Sharia law as well as gay marriage. Should they continue to be blind to the truth til the end of their lives, they will see that they were wrong and guilty of misleading perhaps billons of people. I wouldn’t want to be them on Judgment Day. But they still have time to change their minds, and I pray they do.

  • SamHamilton

    I agree completely. And the effect of speaking about our values in context of public policy discussions is to shape our laws that reflect our values. And laws, by their nature, are coercive. So by speaking about public policy, we’re trying to force others to live by our values. We all do this.

  • SamHamilton

    To what laws are you referring?

  • SamHamilton

    If you want to argue that women who don’t want men in their locker rooms and bathrooms need to get over their fears and lighten up, go for it. I’ll bet most women in our society won’t go for it though. I realize other societies are less touchy about nudity than ours, and that’s probably a good thing. But our society is what it is and if women (or men) are bothered by someone with the other set of genitals in their private area I think that should be taken into consideration as local institutions work out solutions on a case by case basis.

  • SamHamilton

    Exactly. We all want our values enacted into law.

  • SamHamilton

    Yep!

  • SamHamilton

    My objective in pointing out that liberals quote the Bible to advance their policy positions was to show snooter that it’s not just politically conservative Christians who want to enact their values into law. Liberals do it too.

    I understand there are non-faith-based arguments for many different policy positions as well. You’re free to make those. Christians employ them too. But Christians, and people of other faiths, also use faith-based arguments. There’s nothing wrong with that.

  • SamHamilton

    My argument that progressive Christians want laws to reflect their faith has been “smashed?” When and by whom? Of course they do. As I’ve said in other comments, progressive Christians consistently quote Jesus and the Bible to justify their public policy preferences. There’s nothing wrong with this.

    My original comment was not restricted to progressive Christians, so I haven’t moved the goal post. I specifically said “we all want to…”.

    Don’t confuse Western societies with Western governments. Our governments, in general, are secular. Our societies are not. Our societies are made up of people of all sorts of faiths, or no faith, that have a lot of influence over culture, social institutions, and yes, our laws.

  • SamHamilton

    I think I understand what you’re saying here. It sounds reasonable and logical to me. It also sounds like you’re answering “yes” to my question. Let me know if I’ve got that wrong.

    If I’ve got that right, and you agree that laws coerce other people, then you, when you engage in advocacy for a public policy position, are trying to force your values/beliefs on other people through the law. I don’t object to this at all. I do it too.

    But you said above that “To impose my will legislatively on another based on my ideology is in the spirit of sharia law no different than the Taliban or ISIS.” Isn’t that what you’re doing when you engage in public policy advocacy? You’re trying to impose your will legislatively. Again, nothing wrong with that, but to say it’s the same as what ISIS is doing is nuts (unless you’re including yourself in this category as well). We’re all trying to impose our wills legislatively when we engage in public policy advocacy.

    I realize you made a clarification about laws based on “belief” versus laws based on “facts.” But as I pointed out to you, most laws aren’t based on facts, but on belief or opinion. We use facts to inform our values and beliefs, but ultimately it’s a value judgment. Whether or not abortion should be legal or the sales tax rate should be 3% or 6% or whether we should allow more or less immigration is a value judgment or a belief. You recognize this in your second to last paragraph above. So to say that there are people who want laws based on facts (good guys) and laws based on belief (bad guys like ISIS and some Christians) doesn’t square with reality.

  • SamHamilton

    Our laws go far beyond ensuring everyone has equal rights. But even the idea that everyone deserves equal rights is a value or belief. It’s one I happen to agree with, but it’s still a value or belief that I want to force on others.

  • SamHamilton

    I don’t agree.

  • SamHamilton

    Ok, then your beliefs, and the beliefs of other Christians, about public policy are at least partly based on your faith. Your faith influences your public policy views. There’s nothing wrong with this. Mine does too. But it’s hypocritical to complain about other people of faith using their beliefs to justify their support for certain laws when you do it too.

  • SamHamilton

    You’ve never heard of the term “creation care” in reference to taking care of our natural world? Sorry, it’s a term many Christians use to refer to environmental policy.

  • A John

    typo at the end: anit-LGBTQ

  • Allowing people the freedom to choose their own pursuit of happiness is not “forcing” anything on them. The value is actually the opposite of force, the opposite of control.

  • I can tell.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why the need for rhetorical questions?

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why do people go to zoos?

  • Bones

    Who do you think makes your laws? Government makes laws.

    You continue to have no idea of the separation of church and state. This is obviously about same sex marriage and the need of the few to tell the majority how to live whether based on the Koran or the Bible.

    You also have no understanding of history and why this separation came about.

    “progressive Christians consistently quote Jesus and the Bible to justify their public policy preferences. ”

    That’s because progressive Christians beliefs are in line with equality and a secular society eg the discrimination of Israel against Arabs, abortion rights, gay rights and same sex marriage.

    As an example many progressive Christians have issues with abortion because of the Bible or whatever. But a woman’s rights trumps those issues.

  • MCB

    If I weight some women possibly being “bothered” versus some women (namely, trans women) being beaten, murdered etc. when forced to go into men’s room, yes, the rest of us can learn to get it over it a little for their sake. That’s why improving public awareness of the dangers that trans people face when denied access to the facilities they need is essential. I’m not perfect – I don’t entirely grok how trans people experience gender identity and definitely would be “bothered” myself – but I’m willing to put myself second to help someone else.

    Which is, like, literally the basis of Christian ethics, so.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Why do people go to zoos?

  • Justice McPherson

    A runner-up to appear on the cover of Men’s Health magazine is a guy with a beard and muscles who looks buff and fit and very manly. He has a vagina.
    A lot of very attractive women who fit in as women have a penis. Atrophied, mind you, because estrogen changes the thing, but they have one.
    So you are requiring a man who looks like a man to walk into the women’s room. Mind you, nobody is doing a crotch check at the door, so that guy with a mustache you are demanding use the ladies room may or may not have a vagina. You are also requiring women who look like women to walk into the men’s room. That’s a safety hazard on the one hand, and on the other hand, isn’t it a bit sketchy to see a bunch of attractive girls in lipstick and short skirts wandering in and out of the men’s room?
    Seriously, this seems a lot easier to abuse than the worry of having cross dressing people in a bathroom.

  • Robert Kendall

    As I’ve said, sucha fundamnetla reshaping oif one’s life has to eb ana dult decision. I just couldn’t follow your sentences.

  • Mitya1102

    I’m new to Corey’s blog. Hmmm… It’s interesting that those who reject “fundamentalism” (a term that I think is supposed to connote something negative but would include all traditional sexual mores from the time of Jesus to the year 1990) end up toeing the liberal secularist party line. Hey, Corey! I have an idea. Scandalize your liberal brethren occasionally. That would be so unorthodox it might cause you to lose your blog. Real martyrdom!

    But seriously, this sharia analog only works if you deny that there are implicit metaphysical commitments in any law. Is (lingering, vestigial, and now logically inconsistent) resistance to incest a form of sharia law being imposed? What about resistance to throuples? What about resistance to violent and degrading forms of consensual sexual practice? Look up the concept of malum in se (“evil in itself”). What I’d like to see is more Christians abandoning their attempts to wrest scripture into what they want it to mean (even when that is diametrically opposed to its most obvious meaning–see Romans 1) and start just applying philosophy.

    Bad philosophy leads to sloppy theology, Corey!

    And finally, why do we assume that Christianity is good for the community of faith and not good for the whole world? Jesus didn’t come to give some finicking, nuanced moral code to Christians. He came to reveal reality to us, to show us what it looks like to live as a creature in perfect communion with the Creator.

    So charity in all things, yes. But holding up the good as good is a charitable act, is it not?

  • Snooterpoot

    Thank you, Sam. I grew up in the mountains of east Tennessee. I have seen the destruction caused by surface mining and mountain top removal. In my view it is obscene.

    You could drive around the area where I grew up and see abandoned strip (surface) mines with highwalls, eroding and sustaining no habitat. These are the result of an earlier method of strip mining. Enforcement of land reclamation laws was virtually non-existent, and when mine owners were cited and fined it was less expensive to pay the fine than to reclaim the land.

    I grew up camping and hiking in the mountains and it gave me great appreciation for the wondrous planet we have been given. My parents raised my brothers and me so that we took nothing from the place where we were, except memories. Today I am an amateur photographer, and nature photography is my passion.

    Thank you again, Sam.

  • Snooterpoot

    Sam, I think the difference is that, at least in my experience, scripture is often used by Evangelical Christians as a basis to restrict the liberty of others. I think this is especially true with Evangelical Christians’ efforts to enact laws that are harmful to people who are LGBT and our familes, or when Evangelical Christians advocate enacting their religious beliefs into law so as to make abortions more difficult to get.

    I, as a liberal, believe that enacting restrictive laws that are based on religious beliefs is damaging to our secular government, and to the people the laws are intended to control.

    I tend to use Matthew 25:35-40 most frequently to support my strong belief that Jesus instructed us to take care of people who are needy, sick and who are the outcasts of society. I don’t believe that we can do that via charities and churches alone, and that the government must provide assistance to the poor if we are to call ourselves a civilized society.

    We do a crappy job of it, but we do try, and I think that is the important thing.

    So again, I see this as pulling in opposite directions, with some Evangelical Christians advocating for laws that restrict freedom and cause harm to others, while people with beliefs that are similar to mine advocate for expanding freedom and for maintaining our laws as the secular government that our founders established.

    If that’s hypocritical, I plead guilty.

  • Justice McPherson

    The issue is that it is a decision that actually CANNOT be put off until they are 18 without a lot of negative consequences. And anyways, developmentally they know what they are in grade school. Age 2-6 is when they lock all the concepts they need to answer “Are you a boy or a girl?” in a concrete, consistent, and confident way. requiring them to undergo permanently disfiguring hormonal changes as a teenager before being allowed to try to undo some of them at drastically increased cost and risk is needlessly cruel. You worry that transition is a “major, life-changing decision”. So is the choice to slash their wrists lengthwise in the tub and bleed to death. Often, the choice is between those two options. The survival rate for that chunk of time without support and medical intervention is slightly worse than playing Russian Roulette with two bullets chambered. That’s not a chance i feel comfortable forcing someone to watch their child take.

  • The destroyer

    Amen

  • The destroyer

    Yes indeed

  • The destroyer

    Good points

  • The destroyer

    Yep and as God caused many abortions in the OT is cannot be a sin unless God sins.

  • The destroyer

    Good points

  • The destroyer

    Funadmentalist Muslims who want Sharia Law are only slight more backward than the Conservative Evangelicals who hate LGBT people, love war, love death penalty and hate women having equal rights.

  • The destroyer

    Yes Christians lying to go to war and other Christians justifying this evil. For shame!

  • In its most obvious meaning in Greek, Romans 1 is a quotation by Paul of Paul’s opponents, because he changes to a vocative in Romans 2:1. Bad exegesis leads to sloppy theology.

  • Realist1234

    I would consider myself a conservative (with a small c) charismatic evangelical (from the UK) and I can assure you I do not ‘hate’ gay people, even if I disagree with gay sexual behaviour, I do not love war, I do not love the death penalty (I am against it), and I want women to have equal rights. And I am sure there are many like me. And you confuse hate with disagreement. There’s a big difference.

  • Mitya1102

    You’re clever, Phil. How’s that working out for you? It does seem at least to be a pretty good strategy for dodging the issue.

    My point was to put aside the exegetical arguments to make some space for reason. So, yes, you can continue to try to make the Bible’s morality seem quaint and bigoted. I don’t think anyone can or would stop you at this point, Phil. (I would be curious to know what, exactly, the moral good you’re proposing is, but I won’t press for that.)

    Let’s start at square one: What do you think of murder, Phil? Is criminalizing the slaughter of others in the name of God an imposition of some sharia-like moral code? To clarify: I’m asking about the CRIMINALIZING of such acts. If we can agree that it’s “wrong” to unjustly and intentionally take the life of another (the necessary elements for murder to be established), then we are moving into some pretty metaphysically-troubled waters. (What is the meaning of “unjustly”? Wherein can “intent” be discovered? And what is the nature of a human “life”–that is, when is a person “alive” and “not alive”?) So let’s not pretend that there are no metaphysical impositions in secular law. They’re all over the place!

  • Matthew

    I think European evangelicals tend to lean a little more to the left than their American brethren. I also think European evangelicals are less likely to combine religion with politics like American evangelicals tend to do. I don´t think many Americans are aware of the differences in evangelicalism on both sides of the pond.

    Nevertheless …. really good points Realist1234.

  • Mitya1102

    You’re not playing by the rules, Realist1234. If you are a Christian, you are supposed to be bigoted, gun-toting, death-loving, and tyrannical in your politics. And in trying to parse the difference between disagreeing with someone else’s morality and hating them, you are really just splitting hairs. Stay within your little box, Realist1234!

    Like you, I find the categories…problematic, at best. And like you, I disagree with homosexual behavior but do a pretty good job (if I do say so myself!) of treating people who engage in such acts with respect, dignity, even (dare I say it!) love. I am an educator; I deal daily with students who make moral choices that I believe are self-destructive, cruel, self-centered, etc. And I am not thinking exclusively of sexuality here. But I have to be gracious to all, no?

    Also, I don’t think I have ever been accused of having a “phobia” when I speak out against, say, the death penalty or exploitative forms of capitalism or bloodlust when these things crop up among Christians. Am I plutophobic because I believe that a life lived in pursuit of wealth is unwise? Do I have a “phobia” of killing when I encourage other Christians to live lives of peace inasmuch as they can? Strange days….

  • It’s working pretty well for me, I guess, but I’m still waiting for someone to actually pay me to be clever. I tried opening a Cleverness Store a few years ago, but it did not go well.

    Sure, of course there are philosophical assumptions in secular law (and every statement that has ever been made about anything). I was just responding to the idea that you de facto assume what the “Bible says” about sexual issues isn’t very de facto.

    Aside from that, Jesus did not come to give us a better set of metaphysics – he came to save his people from their sins. He’s not a philosopher, nor does he engage in a critique of the ontology of the society around him.

  • Don B

    My best bros are gay. They are more Christ like I would say than a majority of the people attending my former church.or those commenting on Franklin Gaham’s Facebook : ) The MacArthurs, Mohlers, and Grahams of the world are pushing away the very people God is trying to reach with His gospel of grace. They are quenching the Holy Spirit. These evangelical leaders have been exposed to the truth but they stubbornly cling to presenting and preaching a gospel contrary to that preached by the apostle Paul. Paul clearly shows that a born again believer is separate from sin. We are not out sin. sin tries to convince us that it is part of us. Once we realize it is not, we start to have victory over it because we don’t want to be duped any longer by this very real enemy. At the same time, we don’t have to walk on eggshells . We can enjoy all that God has given us. Much of what people have taught us is sin, is not. When we trust Christ for our salvation, we become Sons and Dsughters of our Father . We don’t need to live in fear. Yes, we can sew to the flesh and reap corruption, but when you see sin as your adversary and not part of you, like the apostle Paul, you will realize that all thugs are permissible for you but not all things are profitable for you. Sexual promiscuity among believers –straight or gay–can lead to serious consequences –but not to condemnation by God or to a loss of salvation as so many evangelicals of the Franklin Graham stripe assert. Step out believers and enjoy the freedom He has given you. Don’t be enslaved by dead religion!

  • SamHamilton

    I didn’t say that the value of equal rights for all is “forcing” anything on anyone. But the very act of declaring that “equal rights for all” will be our value system for everyone, is an act of force.

    Regardless, our laws and regulations go far beyond enforcing equal rights for all.

  • Realist1234

    ‘plutophobic’ – I thought that was a fear of a Disney dog, or of a planet that apparently is no longer a planet!

  • SamHamilton

    It all depends on your perspective. You see a law restricting abortion as being restrictive to women. Others see it as a law freeing a human being from having its life ended by other people. You see a law providing material benefits to certain people as liberating, but others see it as a law restricting the freedom of others to do what they want with their money (because it needs to be garnished by the state to pay for those benefits). It all depends on how you choose to look at a law.

    Bottom line is, it’s simplistic to say “one side wants to force it’s beliefs on the other, while the other side doesn’t” and “one side wants freedom enhancing laws and the other side doesn’t.” We all do it. It’s hypocritical to complain when the other side does it. Again, I’m not arguing with your public policy conclusions in all these cases – I think it’s worth restricting freedom in some cases for the common good – but it’s not so easy to bifurcate as some people make it out to be. We all want to force our values and beliefs on others.

  • SamHamilton

    JC is a Lefty, the original commenter, is from the UK, I believe.

  • SamHamilton

    In a representative democracy, we make our laws through our government. In what way do I continue “to have no idea of the separation of church and state?” What don’t I get about history?

    It sounds like you’re saying it’s okay to attempt to enact your faith-based values into law if those ideas align with “secular society.” Not only does this not make any sense (there isn’t one “secular” view on everything), but it sounds like you’re admitting that progressive Christians actually do want to enact their faith-based principles into law, but that it’s okay (as opposed to when conservative Christian want to do it). I’m glad you’re finally admitting that what I’ve been arguing all along is actually true: We all want to enact our faith-based beliefs into law.

  • SamHamilton

    Great points. Welcome to the blog.

    It seems like it’s “good sharia” if it hasn’t (yet) been discarded by certain segments of the society and “bad sharia” if it has. As I’ve been saying in my comments, all Christians, assuming one is not completely inactive in politics, want to force our beliefs and values on others through law.

  • seashell

    No, Sam. There is only one secular view; (1)whether or not a law was enacted for the purpose of promoting a religion, and/or (2) whether or not a law has the effect of promoting a religion. If the answer is yes to either one of these questions, the law violates the 1st amendment and is unconstitutional.

    Take the example of creationism being taught in public schools. Progressives advocate for evolution because it is based on science and accurately explains the origins of life. It’s not their particular viewpoint, as they will go with wherever the evidence takes them. In this case, it’s evolution. Conservatives know that Intelligent Design (creationism) is not scientific and is based on Christianity, but they advocate for teaching it anyway. Not because ID is the truth, but because it’s what agrees with their worldview and is biblical.

    See the difference?

  • SamHamilton

    I don’t think that’s what Bones meant by “secular.” He seemed to be saying, or at least I read him as saying, that because progressive Christians’ views on certain issues align with secular Americans’ views on certain issues, it’s okay for the progressive Christians to make faith-based arguments. If that’s not he was saying, he can clarify what he meant by “secular.”

    Your example of creationism/evolution in the schools is a good example of one instance in which progressive Christians are not trying to enact faith-based public policy. Just because they’re not doing it in that instance doesn’t mean they aren’t doing in any other instances though. In fact, in the public policy areas that I mentioned, progressive Christians are much more likely to bring their faith to bear than conservative Christians.

  • “But the very act of declaring that “equal rights for all” will be our value system for everyone, is an act of force.”

    That just doesn’t make any sense. Unless you’re a despot living under such a value system, I guess. Then, I suppose, you’re being forced to not be a despot. Is that what you meant?

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much for the heads up. I shouldn´t have by default concluded he was from the U.S. even though most people who contribute here I assume are.

  • The destroyer

    So it is fine for them to marry? And you do not support war very good. And you do not support the death penalty again very good. And you are happy to have women teaching men in the church and women working and so forth all very good.

  • The destroyer

    Glad you will support gays to use all B&B’s and can eat cakes from everyone.

  • Realist1234

    I do not agree with gay ‘marriage’ but if secular society wants it, then so be it, but do not expect churches to endorse it. But that does not mean I hate gay people as you applied to all conservative Christians. I did not say I do not support war, but rather I do not love war. In my opinion, war is sometimes justified, as a last resort.

  • The destroyer

    OK so you ignore Jesus on war but take OT verses to condemn gay marriage. OK

  • The destroyer

    Good take on the issues

  • Mitya1102

    Non sequitur. I think I know what you are driving at, though. You think that my effort to be charitable means that I support our nation’s laws. History shows how that can be problematic, no? Speaking the TRUTH in love sometimes requires coming off as a hick, a bigot, a “hater.” Well, that may be the little martyrdoms of our day–for a little while more, at least. The call is not to “gloss over” the truth with love, or to “deny” the truth in love, or to “obfuscate the truth” in love. It’s to do the hard work of being truthful and loving at the same time. No simplistic resolution here, neither on the “lefty” side or the “righty” side of this issue. So let’s not give in to the temptation to oversimplify.

    But it seems you want to ferret out my convictions on these particular issues. In general, I would like to find my ultimate citizenship in the City of God rather than the City of Man. I want to be a Christian first, an American second. And I want to continue to resist any temptation either to collapse that distinction or reverse it. So, first, I feel strongly that we should NOT compel people to act against conscience whenever we can avoid doing so. The conscience, when violated, has a hard time recovering. And compelled actions can alter one’s conscience. (This is why we sometimes make children do the right thing: “Tell your sister you’re sorry.” Doing is a teacher. Likewise, the law is a teacher.)

    This conviction that we possess dual citizenship (with one of those being higher than the other) should compel me at times to act in accord with the “laws” of the City of God when they conflict with the City of Man. I know that people will say, “But Jesus hung out with drunks and prostitutes!” Yes, and he did so as an act of mercy, for they knew who they were. His metaphors often highlight their errant ways: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” (So judgmental!)

    But more interesting to me is the question of rights versus charity. So getting back to the conscience question–let’s rethink those B&B owners and bakers who DON’T want to “support gays” (what does that mean for a Christian?) by providing rooms or gestures of blessing to their practices. Should the Christian be on the side of sexual license, or should the Christian be on the side of conscience?

    Your turn.

  • Ay-men. Yes, Ay-men, bro. Freedom beckons…..

  • I always wonder how you can ‘speak the truth in love’ to someone you don’t know. Surely love implies relationship, or at least the desire for relationship. Most of the time, we don’t know the person we are ‘correcting’ with the ‘truth’ anywhere near well enough to be able to ‘speak the truth in love’ with any credibility. Hence, in my view, Jesus’s injunction not to judge others!

  • Don B

    Thanks Tony! I do feel as if I’ve been born again again! I often wondered why God didn’t make us sinless when we were reborn. He did!! Sin is not part of the new man. It truly is separate from us. When we actually realize that , we understand so much. Any LGBTQ or other acronym is saved and fully accepted by God when they trust Christ as their Savior. It takes the same belief that Abraham showed in Romans 4:18 to the end of the chapter. He trusted God to do HIMSELF what He promised. We trust God similarly. It is not do do do but Done Done Done. I have to wonder what kind of discipline and/or punishment awaits these high profile evangelicals for misleading millions if not billions about this matter.

  • Realist1234

    You really are very good at misrepresenting people, aren’t you. I won’t bother with any further conversation.

  • The destroyer

    No misrepresentation at all

  • The destroyer

    So you are encouraging Christians to hate gays by refusing services to them so yes this is bigotted

  • Absolutely. Done, done, done; I love that! As for the punishments, well I have been forgiven much, and Christ is all-sufficient for me, so why not them too? They’ll be fine.

    I love the way that God deals with our ongoing ‘issues’ post-salvation. He calls up what He want us to sort out and then helps us through them. And all in His own good time too. This is another reason why we must not ever – ever! – judge others’ state of salvation or ‘sinfulness’, including attacking LGBTQ people. Because if God has a problem with any of His children for any reason, He will sort it out in His own way and in His own time. And IF, and that’s a big IF,He has any problem with anyone’s sexuality, again, He will sort it out. It’s not up to us to try to sort people out for God!

  • Mitya1102

    Is this a serious response? I can’t tell.

    Let’s think about this. Say, for example, that I have befriended a prostitute. And to keep the example more parallel, let’s imagine that she is a prostitute working in a city where her “profession” is legal. As a Christian, I believe (A) that her work is inherently sinful (i.e. it cannot be practiced in a moral or righteous way) and (B) that I would like to see her doing something else with her life. Now imagine that I make a living driving for Uber. I am my own boss, so to speak, and I make my living driving people from place to place. My friend, the prostitute, doesn’t own a car, so she is frequently one of my customers, whom I drive to the store, the bank, to her mother’s house every Tuesday, etc., etc.

    But I have told her how I feel about her work; she knows that I believe it is degrading to her and harmful to the men/women she has sex with. So I have asked her never to use my driving service if she is going to meet one of her “clients.” I don’t want to cut off her friendship, but I don’t want her to put me in a place where I become her assistant, her unwitting bawd. And, as my friend, she respects my decision.

    In my imagined scenario (do you have an imagination? do America’s lawmakers?), I can even envision times where I was tricked into aiding her in her work by driving her to meet a customer. I was disappointed that I had been tricked. She understood why. I had unwittingly been asked to go against my conscience.

    The issue of denying service in the example that I think you have in mind is very similar. No one is denied service in, say, the bakeries when they come in to have coffee and a muffin. There are many Christians, however, who think that something sacramental, takes place when a man and woman marry (see Eph. 5:32: “This is a great mystery…”). Eating a muffin and providing food–those are human not sacramental. And, of course, there are already laws in place that made denying basic food service illegal in those states where the media had its momentary feeding frenzy.

    I would repeat what I wrote earlier: Let’s not try to make a complicated issue simplistic! Complex issues require complex thought. Life in the world is pretty complex. Unless you want to just choose up sides and start lobbing grenades at each other, you might want to think about this issue a little.

  • Mitya1102

    It seems to me that the “in love” part for a Christian is pretty comprehensive. Love your neighbor and love your enemies–in the context that those are commanded, I think that includes everyone. So the “love” part of “speak[ing] the truth in love” does not seem to be the issue. The issue being highlighted in that mandate, as I understand it, is the requirement that we speak. The apostles were pretty good about speaking up and making enemies by doing so. Stonings, crucifixions, etc. were the consequences of speaking. The difficulty is to speak the truth in love to those who will (A) be angered by that truth and then (B) set out to destroy your life. It’s quite easy–enjoyable even–to speak the truth in indignation or in anger or in self-righteousness. It’s difficult, I would think, to speak the truth knowing that you must love those who are bending over to pick up stones because of the words coming out of your mouth.

    It seems to be about courage. And, of course, what happens to those who love enough to speak truthfully. To botch a favorite quote, if you love, you will suffer; if you love completely, you will be killed.

    (Here’s the actual quote; it is Herbert McCabe’s: “If you do not love, you will not be alive; if you love effectively, you will be killed.”)

  • Don B

    Hey, Tony! I can’t help thinking about what Paul said to the Galatians. If anyone should preach a gospel different from mine may they be accursed. Aren’t these high profile evangelicals preaching a gospel contrary to Paul’s and misleading their supporters? And Paul also says tax hers will be held more accountable. These evangelicals Know about Paul Ellis and others like him. Yet , they continue to stubbornly cling to the lies they preach and in so doing alienate those God wants to save and mislead their flocks which number in the hundreds of millions. Yet, at the same time , their flocks should be reading the scriptures for themselves and not blindly following their equally blind leaders. I’m just so thankful that I finally know the truth , and it is supported by scripture. I don’t take the Bible lightly . It IS the Word of God.

  • Thanks for your interesting and thoughtful reply. I’d agree with most of it, except with the proviso that still you can’t really correct someone you don’t know. We see it all the time on these forums; complete strangers pointing out others’ errors, but lacking much grace in so doing. It’s not a very good ‘witness’ to be honest! But I do take your points about the courage required – the only problem being, I think, is that (as you perceptively mentioned) it’s easy and sometimes enjoyable to speak in ‘anger or in self-righteousness’; sadly, it appears that this is how many of these commenters come across. Hence the bad witness, you see. Interesting, thanks! :)

  • And yet God has it all under control, something that perhaps we don’t give Him enough credit for. Something else worth pondering too is that actually it’s Jesus that is the Word of God. The Word became Flesh, not the Word became a Book. Pedantic, maybe, but I feel it’s an important distinction. In another forum, I have recently called the Bible the ‘vehicle’ by which God speaks (or, at least, one of the main vehicles), analoguous to how an iPod plays music: the music is what you listen to via the iPod, but the iPod is not the music. Similarly, the Bible is not God, but God is Whom we hear through the Bible. Certainly not to be taken lightly, then, as you say!

    Don Francisco wrote an interesting and controversial article on Facebook on a similar theme here:

    https://www.facebook.com/hesalive/posts/10153480604724048

    And yes, loads of people’s heresy alarms went off. But he was right.

    ;)

  • Don B

    Hey, Tony! I agree with you. One look at the majority of comments on Franklin Graham’s Facebook page is enough to turn off any person seeking the truth and Christ. Such a terrible witness. They are modern day Pharisees thinking they are defending God while actually they are unwittingly be used by Satan to keep others from knowing the love and grace of God. A very sad situation :((

  • Don B

    LOL I agree with you , Tony! Jesus IS the Word. Didn’t Ben say something similar? Our relationship isn’t with the Bible but with the the One who inspired it. Maybe even Andy Stanley said that. Andy Stanley is one of my fav pastors

  • Yep, we don’t really need to defend God. Just be Jesus to our neighbour. On the question of witness, you might be interested in a couple of my blog posts, today’s:
    http://www.flyinginthespirit.cuttys.net/2015/11/18/the-graceful-approach/
    and one from last month:
    http://www.flyinginthespirit.cuttys.net/2015/10/17/the-ultimate-bad-witness/
    Shameless plug, admittedly….. ;)

  • Hehe thanks bro :) Yes, I have walked with Him for 35 years. Not with Church for all that time, but with the Master. I’ll look up Andy Stanley; oh and btw who is Paul Ellis, please?

  • Or just don’t tell them that this is your sexuality. Not like they’re going to know unless someone says so, are they? ;)

  • Brilliantly observant, Don. And we are no longer sinners, but we are new creations. As long as those who wish to control us keep telling us we are sinners, they have a handle. But we’re not. We may sin, but we are not sinners; that is no longer part of our nature so to do. Again, my take on this: http://www.flyinginthespirit.cuttys.net/2015/03/11/freedom-and-purity

  • You really would love my blog, ‘Flying in the Spirit’. The title alludes to the freedom we have, which is so like flying!

  • Don B

    Paul Ellis runs the Escape to Reality website. On October 24th, two word popped into my head: grace and 1John1:9. I googled that and his site came up 4 links down from the top. He lives in Auckland, NZ now but has lived in Australia, the US, and Hong Kong. He preaches grace like no one I’ve read. Check him out. Under Resources, click “Frustrated”. I told Paul about Ben : ) he hadn’t heard of Ben’s site. I also mentioned Paul to Ben.

  • Don B

    Hey, Tony! I’ll check out your blog. God has shown each of us the same thing–how cool is that ?? : ) He would give me glimpses for the last six years. But on October 24th, He fed me the whole enchilada : ) like you, I’ll never be the same . No more walking on eggshells. We can have true victory over sin when we realize it isn’t us. The new you and me are separate from our sin. That only makes us love Him more. So glad for people like you, Ben, and Paul Ellis. God is doing a mighty work here!

  • Don B

    Exactly , Tony! Those people had a handle on me for most of my 33 years as a believer–but no more. I have friends who have known Billy and Franklin Graham as good friends for many years. One has known Tullian T since he was born. They say Frankikn should never have assumed his current position but should have stayed in Samaritans Purse, where he did so much good. Like us, these friends of mine support gay Christians. They accept them totally as they are and leave it to God to work in their lives as He sees fit. You said something similar , bro : )

  • Don B

    Hey, Tony! I left two messages on your post. That is exactly what God has shown me . He has shown that to us independently but allowed us to share in that joy together. We can’t put a date on Christ’s return, but it sure appears that He is doing something greater now than any time in history, including the Reformation, which didn’t have a grasp on the second half of the gospel. He is showing that part of the gospel to you, me, and many others at this time. We are so blessed to be a part of this –words can’t adequately describe the freedom and love I now have. I’m thinking you feel the same way , bro : )

  • Ron McPherson

    I think another problem with ‘speaking the truth in love’ is that the one doing the speaking may only possess what they themselves THINK is the truth. Often it’s not so much that the receiver hates the truth but only that they hate the fact that their accuser PRESUMES to know it with 100% certainty.

  • Very perceptive comment, Ron, agree totally :)

  • The destroyer

    Prostitution and gay/lesbian marriage is not the same at all. Gay/lesbian marriage is not a sin. You can take the 8 verses mention homosexuality (most refer to shrine prostitution anyway) and condemn them. This is not correct and not in context.
    So you can discriminate against your customers and this is definitely bigoted. I wonder if you would with hetrosexual couples no wonder Jesus pointed out the hypocrites.
    Do you support just war? If you do then your argument about gay marriage being sinful belongs in the garbage bin as you use context to justify your viewpoint let condemn others ignoring Jesus at the same time.

  • The destroyer

    how do you know? You know sweet fa about me.

  • The destroyer

    Amen the climate change deniers only care about their pockets.

  • The destroyer

    Tell that to couples who cannot have children naturally

  • Bones

    People don’t get married to have kids. I didn’t get married to have children. I married my wife to express my love for her.

    You can have kids without getting married.

    I know plenty of people who do.

    No, you get married to declare publicly and celebrate your love and commitment for another and it is into that relationship children are nurtured.

    Heck I know people who are married I wouldn’t leave a dog with let alone a child and unmarried couples who are wonderful parents.

    You seem to have made marriage an idol.

  • The destroyer

    What points are these?

  • CDidioT

    Bathrooms are biology, not religion. And last time I checked even the most radical evangelical Christians aren’t hurling gay men out of 10 story buildings.

  • Fritz Keppler

    They are not permitted to, yet.

  • CDidioT

    Yea, because that is the most logical next step from legalizing gay marriage is summary execution. Do you even think about the drivel you type or do your fingers just have some sort of Pavlovian response that kicks in?

  • Mitya1102

    I really am having a hard time following your logic here. You can proof-text your way to just about anything you want in scripture. That’s why I’m not arguing scripture here. I have been trying to argue–in a too-subtle way, I guess–that there are Christians who (still) believe that the Bible ACTUALLY DOES have something to say to us about our existence as creatures, creatures who engage in morally-loaded sexual practices. (Or is all sexuality amoral and God really doesn’t care about what we do in the bedroom so long as people want it done? If so, then prostitution and incest and throuples are on the table, right?)

    In really basic terms, sexuality is the lynchpin. If we can get people to reimagine sex in a way that is not in accord with deep complementarity built into God’s Creation (goes something like this in Genesis 1–heaven is to earth AS light is to dark AS land is to sea AS seed-bearing plants is to fruit-bearing tree AS sun is to moon AS man is to woman), then we can get them to rethink all of existence. So proof-texting can make particulars appear just about any way you want, but can it change the very fabric of Creation?

    In any case, I’ve been trying to support the right of Christians to ACT according to conscience (and not just pray a particular way in private settings). You introduced B&Bs and bakeries. This used to be protected as freedom of religion; now it is being reinterpreted as freedom of worship. Those aren’t the same things. Religion includes pots and pans and apparel and genitalia. Worship is much narrower, much more private, must less public.

    What concerns me most, even after all this, is the new push from the left to JUST DO WHAT YOU’RE TOLD! The “left” used to be the side that spoke truth to power, that stood up against tyranny, that did not let the posited law stand in the way of what was REALLY right. In other words, when slavery was a peculiar and perfectly legal institution in the South, when Jim Crow was perfectly legal into the 1950s in the South, and when the Vietnam War was perfectly legal, the “left” said, “Damn your laws! They are immoral laws, and we won’t stand for them!” Now those on the “left” are telling people like me to “Do what you’re told! It’s legal. Get used to it! Who do you think you are to invoke some ‘Higher Law’ that would dare to question our regime du jour?” Strange reversal, no?

  • Fritz Keppler
  • Fritz Keppler
  • CDidioT

    So one crack pot lawyer has you reeeellly scared? Of course you have legitimate concerns that this will come to pass? *eye roll*

  • CDidioT
  • Peter Calabrese

    But that is historically the goal of marriage,a tleast the reason fo r government acknowledgement and regulation of it, to grant rights and require responsibilities of of parenthood. I agree with you 100% the redefintion of marriage began when it became about the self-gratification of adults rather than the celebration of the creation of a family. No the people who want to call their same sex relationships marriages have made it an idol they idolize it so much they have redefined it to call their ersatz marriages marriages.

  • Peter Calabrese

    I don’t have to tell them they experience that pain for themselves which is why they resort to IVF or adoption. I don’t have to tell them it is a terrible suffering – I know my sister endured infertility for years trying to have children. Teh true unification of the spouses occurs in the child common to beoth. I don;t treat them harshly but compassionately.

  • SamHamilton

    Am I wrong?

  • SamHamilton

    What I mean is that any time you impose a value on other people using the government, you’re using force. Again, I like this particular value (equal rights for all), but it’s still being imposed by force. Force is not necessarily a bad thing in my mind either.

    Regardless, our laws and regulations go far beyond enforcing equal rights for all.

  • D.M.S.

    Free will!

  • Trilemma

    Your can’t have it both ways. Either God is in control or there is free will. Most Christians who argue for free will claim God has the power to control everything but chooses not to in order to allow free will.

  • D.M.S.

    GOD is in control and there is Free Will. Yes we can have both.

  • Trilemma

    What you have is an illusion. Control and Free are antonyms and are therefore mutually exclusive. You can’t have both.

  • Fritz Keppler

    When the silence of three Republican candidates at the Freedom 2015 conference give consent to Rev Swanson’s threat, yes.

  • CDidioT

    That’s stupid. So Hillary gave consent to have Carly Firiona strangled? Martin O’Malley really believes that ONLY black lives matter? Don’t be a child. Any public speaker worth his/her salt won’t engage with someone like that.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t have to prove any thing to a world, that wouldn’t believe it even if I could. All that matters is that CHRISTIANS believe. The secular world doesn’t have a clue.

  • D.M.S.

    You don’t get to tell me how to believe. I love you too, neighbor.

  • gimpi1

    Well, if you want anyone to listen to you, take you seriously, or not simply dismiss you as a crank, yes you do have to learn how to prove your points.

    However, if all you want to do is preach to the choir and be rightly ignored by the people you won’t attempt to communicate with in a rational manner, go right ahead. You’re doing fine.

    P.S., the “secular world” includes the many of the scientists making cures for diseases you might get, many of the geologists (among them, my husband) who are studying how to better understand and predict earthquakes, many of the architects who design the buildings you enter, many of the engineers who design the airplanes you fly in, many of the developers who write the code that runs the computer you posted on, and many, many more. We’re nice, smart people who make much of the world work. We do matter, and we have more than a clue.

  • Trilemma

    Theological paradoxes are for people who don’t want to make up their mind. You’re free to believe whatever you want according to how God controls you.

  • D.M.S.

    When JESUS the Christ becomes your Lord, Savior and Master you will know what’s going on in the world. Until then you haven’t got a clue.

  • D.M.S.

    But I still have free will
    To go back to your Vile, Disgusting world, if I choose too.

  • Bones

    Bringing up children was A function of marriage. Not THE function. And that was back when it was fashionable to call children from unwed mothers bastards and in some instances (with church support) take them away.

    Well people don’t need to get married do they.

    You don’t understand what marriage is.

    Marriage has nothing to do with the quality of your relationship and the ability to bring up kids.

    It’s not like you get married and bingo you’re a great parent and your relationship is better than an unmarried couple’s.

    If you haven’t worked that out then something’s wrong with you.

  • Trilemma

    Only if God wills it. Or are you not under God’s control?

  • The destroyer

    The Bible says nothing about homosexual marriage and the homosexual condemnation is all about the sex related to shrine prostitution.
    The creation account does not have anything to do with homosexual marriage and does not condemn it.
    Your last para is just a silly rant which is applicable to the right wingers. The right wingers supported the wars and slavery and the like.

  • The destroyer

    yesay!

  • Marra Nathar

    I am sorry guys…you have got it so wrong! It says to work out your salvation with fear and trembling…you are walking away from salvation and taking others with you. You cannot live in sin and expect salvation. Sin nailed Jesus to the Cross, your sin and mine. You cannot continue to fornicate – straight or gay. You cannot choose sin over righteousness and think you will be acceptable. When Jesus comes back will you be ready to face him if you are smack bang in the midst of sin?

  • Mitya1102

    I’m starting to think that engaging you in thoughtful, reasoned dialog is not possible. Of course those you would label “right wingers” (thought that is a bit of a misnomer) were supporting those immoral-but-legal practices. That’s EXACTLY my point! And it’s not a very subtle point. (Please try not to accuse me of a rant if you are not going to read it carefully and then rant back at me.) In other words, I agree that liberals on the left stood up to the institutionalized immorality (i.e. the LEGALIZED wrongdoing) back when those were the issues.

    And here, again, was my point. (Stick with me, JC is a lefty! I think you can do this.) When they did so, they did not let “The Law” be the last word. To paraphrase MLK, who was paraphrasing Thomas Aquinas, an immoral/unjust law is no law at all, and one has AN OBLIGATION not to obey such laws. So the “left” of the past did not let laws be the last word. Laws had to answer to something higher than themselves. Now the reversal is this: It is the “left” who is telling the right to “Shut up and get used to it! It’s the law of the land.” Or, as a writer for Mother Jones recently put it, “So long, [. . .] erstwhile idea of democracy; hello, civil rights.” For the contemporary illiberal left, that’s a good thing, but for the “left” of the past, that was the problem.

  • Marra Nathar

    But when the Son of Man returns, how many will he find on the earth who have faith?” Luke 18

    It seems the number is dwindling fast.

    Acceptance of sin and disregard for God’s laws is rampant.
    So is the putting down of Christians who wish to uphold God’s Laws as if it is somehow “wrong”.

    The Sharia of Islam is not of God. Full stop.
    It does not deserve a place in any society, for it allows the marriage of old men to children, and women to be subjugated.
    And those whose views differ to die.

    If you ARE Christian…then be Christian for this is what Jesus says:

    Revelation 3:16New Living Translation (NLT)
    16 But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth!

  • Bones

    “In really basic terms, sexuality is the lynchpin. ”

    Says who?

    This is a god who’s more interested in who people fall in love with and have sex with than who they kill.

    That’s crap. The lynchpin is how we treat others.

    Christ Himself said that.

    Your preoccupation with sex isn’t from god.

    Stop making shit up.

    “”Do what you’re told! It’s legal. Get used to it! Who do you think you are to invoke some ‘Higher Law’ that would dare to question our regime du jour?” Strange reversal, no?”

    Strange? You mean like after segregation ended and ‘lefties’ told racists its now legal for black kids to go to school with white kids. The ‘higher law’ is equality and civil rights. You know that which western secular society is founded.

    It’s strange that you people don’t even understand that.

    I suppose Christians don’t get the notion of equality and civil rights.

  • Bones

    “To paraphrase MLK, who was paraphrasing Thomas Aquinas, an immoral/unjust law is no law at all, and has AN OBLIGATION not to obey such laws.”

    Yes and there are people who still think it was unjust to end segregation….I take it the left of the past had no problem with that.

    The simple fact is the government has to force people not to discriminate others and respect their fellow human beings and citizens. It says a lot that governments have to force Christians to treat people with dignity.

    You can still whinge about and hate gays and blacks but you cannot take away their civil rights.

    Your analogy fails.

  • gimpi1

    Oh, I know a great deal. Two plus two equals four, no matter who is doing the addition. The movement of the earth’s plates can be measured from space, no matter who looks. The magnetic banding of the sea floor can be tracked no matter who looks. The affect of increased energy on systems can be charted, no matter who writes the charts.

    I’m beginning to think you don’t even know what constitutes objective fact. And that’s fine. Have fun shouting at the world. I have better things to do.

  • gimpi1

    And frightening. Hundreds of thousands of people were tortured and killed because of beliefs such as the ones Adam is stating. In more superstitious parts of the world, it still happens. To me, this sort of thinking is a big, red, flashing warning-light about what happens when you allow secular law to be undermined by irrational beliefs.

  • gimpi1

    In part because that’s when we cracked the human genome and developed a much deeper understanding of our genetic make-up. Our understanding of our DNA and chromosomal make-up started making radical jumps forward in the very late 1990’s and early 2000’s.

    Thats why you saw a huge growth of more and more advanced medicines — such as the biologic modifiers that I take to control an autoimmune disorder. These drugs imitate a bonding agent that occurs naturally in the body to strip out a specific element in the blood that targets cells for attack. In 1990, neither the bonding element or the targeting agent were known about.

    That same growth in knowledge has shown us that the make-up of gender appears to be much, more complicated than we understood earlier. There appear to be real, genetic reasons that trans-people and intersex-people develop the way they do, and most of those reasons have to do with fetal development.

    It’s not “ultimate truth.” It’s just new knowledge, as we can use both micro-imaging and increased computing power to delve deeper and deeper into our basic DNA and chromosomal make-up.

  • gimpi1

    Because, in a free society such as we claim to have in the U.S., no one should be able to infringe on anyone else’s life or choices simply because they want to. The law exist to prevent harm. If someone’s actions cause no objective harm to another, the law has no business intervening. You can argue about your beliefs, discuss and attempt to persuade, but you have no right to use force of law.

    Also, if you believe it’s moral for you to force your beliefs on others, do you also believe it’s moral for others to force their beliefs on you? If you won’t accept the religious rule of others the way you appear to think others ought to accept yours, that would be hypocritical.

  • gimpi1

    ” We all want to impose our beliefs on other people.”

    Actually, I don’t. I don’t think the law has any reason to impose my beliefs on anyone. I have an egalitarian marriage, but I have no desire to outlaw complimentarian or patriarchal marriages. I decided not to have kids, but I have no desire to limit other people’s reproduction-choices. I am married to a man, but I have no desire to outlaw same-sex marriages. I’m mostly not religious, but I have no desire to prevent other people from worshipping.

    I want to live my life as I see fit, and imposing my beliefs on others would make me a hypocrite if I didn’t grant others the same agency.

    Are you confusing persuading people with imposing? I am perfectly willing to attempt to persuade people that I have some good ideas, but I have no desire to impose those ideas on people who don’t like them. Do you?

  • gimpi1

    Laws are coercive by nature. That’s why I don’t want laws banning people from doing things that aren’t harmful. What laws do you feel that you are subject to that aren’t about preventing harm?

  • gimpi1

    If they are, they shouldn’t be. There really is such a thing as objective fact. Sadly, I think many people don’t understand the difference between opinion and fact. I’ve noticed this, when discussing things that can be objectively proven, such as the age of the earth or the process of the formation of its current configuration. When facts, real verifiable facts such as the process of sea-floor spread, magnetic banding or subduction zones are brought into the discussion, some people retreat behind, “Well, I’m entitled to my own opinion.”

    Except, this isn’t a matter of opinion. These things are independently verifiable.

    I would also argue that in some cases, “the good of the public” is also independently verifiable. One example would be Social Security in the U.S. Before it’s inception, extreme poverty in old-age was so common as to be a stereotype. Elderly people are much better off today by any measure. Another example is single-payer medical insurance. By objective measures such as life-expetancy, stillbirths, maternal death-rates, rates of communicable disease, overall health-care costs and other factors, it’s possible to show objectively that societies that adopt a single-payer system provide better health care at lower costs.

    Not everything can be objectively proven. However, there is often very good evidence for solution A over solution B. The problem, in my view, is that many people confuse evidence with opinion. We should work to get past that.

  • gimpi1

    To me, there’s a difference between repealing a law that restricts behavior and imposing a law that restricts behavior. I have a much higher standard for the latter.

    Also, people in general will often try to use an argument that will appeal to the person they are trying to persuade. It’s good strategy. They don’t necessarily have to believe the argument to employ it. You see it in politics all the time. Consider Mr. Gindrich, pontificating about traditional morality while having multiple affairs and divorcing two of his wives to marry his mistresses.

    Of course, that’s an extreme (and hypocritical) example. But it happens all the time. (I’ve worked in advertising. I know.) People use arguments that they hope will sway the person they’re talking to, and that sometimes means phrasing things in terms that person can relate to.

  • The destroyer

    Good post. Some Christians do not understand Jesus at all.

  • gimpi1

    From my outsider perspective, killing, exploitation, cruelty and obsessive pursuit of wealth can all be shown objectively to cause harm to other people. Committed same-sex relationships can’t. Wanting to control the behavior of others when they aren’t causing any harm is fine if all you want to do is try to persuade them, but problematic if you want to use force of law.

    In fact, I think making their relationships illegal is causing harm to people who simply want to live their lives according to their own beliefs and desires. I don’t know about phobic, but it’s demanding a degree of control over others for no valid reason to want such laws.

    At least, that’s how it looks from the outside.

  • gimpi1

    Personally, I think everyone, Christian or not, should be on the side of freedom. People should live their lives according to their own beliefs, and encourage others to do the same. Laws should only exist to keep us from harming others. If our actions cause no objective harm, the law shouldn’t be invoked.

    I have a problem with your “truth.” It’s not objective. Your “truth’ appears to be different than Ben’s, mine, or any number of other people. And that’s fine, unless and until you demand that I ignore my “truth” and follow yours.

    That’s why I prefer facts as the basis for law. Facts that can be objectively verified. Numbers that add up the same way no matter who does the math. Outcomes that are measurable. Can we base every regulation on objective fact? No. However, I think we should have a bloody high bar when we want to impose a belief on others. In my view, the conservative Christian beliefs regarding sexual morality and homosexuality don’t pass that bar.

  • Don B

    Have you checked out Escape to Reality? The apostle Paul was very clear when he said that your old self was crucified with Christ and that sin is separate from the believer. People choose not to believe that because we are so used to being rewarded for our performance . It’s not DO DO DO, it’s DONE DONE DONE. Tony and I aren’t alone in God’s showing us this. But He did show us independently of each other. I know may gay Christians. Franklin Graham , Al Mohler, John MacArthur , and so many other high profile evangelicals are WRONG. they refuse to believe the truth because it would cost them $$$. They are funded by equally blind professing Christians. They are the ones preaching heresy.
    Please check out Escape To Reality. Go to Resources and click “Frustrated”. See the truth for yourself.

  • SamHamilton

    You don’t like in the UK? I could have sworn you told me once that you did.

  • gimpi1

    How do you feel about the American southern Christians who sincerely believed that segregation was godly and integration was against the will of God? Was it wrong of the government to say, in essence “The right of people to do business, vote, hold jobs and function in society trumps your beliefs. Believe what you choose, but either open any public accommodations to everyone or shut down.” Is it the same as your example? Different? How?

    Sincerity of belief is no excuse to me. People have sincerely believed a ton of shite over the centuries. Tradition is no excuse to me. Many traditions stink. Scripture is no reason for law to me. Our laws are not founded in Scripture, but in a representative democratic process.

    I don’t find the current trend a “strange reversal.” To me, it’s just extending basic rights to another marginalized group. No different than women earning the right to vote or the end of Jim Crow. It’s all about people being equal before the law and able to live as they see fit.

  • gimpi1

    You’re right, Realist, churches should not be required to endorse anything that flies in the face of their creeds. That should have no impact on secular law.

  • gimpi1

    To me, you’re ignoring the most basic difference here.

    Slaves did not want to be enslaved. People living under discrimination did not want to be discriminated against. What you refer to as the left was fighting to give people the freedom and rights that they wanted, that others in society already enjoyed. It was about justice

    Gay people want the right to marry. What you refer to as the left is, again, supporting people who were being denied something in law that others in society had gaining access to that something. Again, justice.

    I understand that your religion views their actions as sinful. Some religions view eating pork or trimming your beard as sins. But bacon and barbers are legal.

    This is about justice and freedom. Or at least that’s how I see it.

  • Mitya1102

    “Good post” = “I agree with you.”

  • Mitya1102

    “Gay/lesbian marriage is not a sin” = petitio principii

  • Mitya1102

    Q: “How do you feel about the American southern Christians who sincerely believed that segregation was godly and integration was against the will of God?”

    A: I feel that they were wresting scripture to mean what they wanted it to mean. I’m ashamed of humanity’s unwillingness (even my own) to acknowledge that sometimes self-interest wins out over the truth.

    Q: “Was it wrong of the government to say, in essence ‘The right of people to do business, vote, hold jobs and function in society trumps your beliefs'[?]”

    A: No, it was right for the government to do that. But it was not right BECAUSE the government said it was right. The government recognized (but did not create) the dignity of slaves. And it also recognized (but did not create) the violation of human dignity inherent to the institution, a violation that harmed the psyches of both slaveowners and slaves.

    Q(?): “Believe what you choose, but either open any public accommodations to everyone or shut down. Is it the same as your example? Different? How?

    A: Not the same. In fact, counter metaphysically (although similar in appearance politically). Slaveholders were violating a human right. The civil laws allowed that violation, but the civil laws could not turn an evil into a good. The human trumps the civil, and (thank God!) the human won out in the matter of slavery. In your example, there is a human that is being ignored FOR THE SAKE OF a posited civil right. But the civil right might be a violation of a human one.

    Q: “Sincerity of belief is no excuse to me. People have sincerely believed a ton of shite over the centuries.”

    A: I agree wholeheartedly! That knife cuts both ways.

    Q: “Tradition is no excuse to me. Many traditions stink.”

    A: Complementarity of the sexes is not exactly a “tradition,” now, is it? And would you agree that you are working within a progressivist tradition, one that has been around at least since the Enlightenment?

    Q: “Scripture is no reason for law to me. Our laws are not founded in Scripture, but in a representative democratic process.”

    A: OK. Scripture may not be the basis for our laws (I’ve tried not to appeal to scripture much), but do you really want them to be grounded “in a representative democratic process”? Surely you want more than that! Was slavery in American not a the product of a “representative democratic process” for a couple hundred years? Was Nazism in Germany not the same? Don’t laws–even ones adopted according to a “democratic process”–have to answer to something outside themselves to be legitimate?

  • Mitya1102

    Sexuality is the lynchpin for overthrowing nature. I did not even come close to suggesting that it was the lynchpin for the Christian religion.

  • Mitya1102

    Yes, Bones! You have shown me the error of my ways, Bones. I have never felt like I hated gays and blacks, and I have tried very hard to repent of hateful feelings toward anyone, but I see now that I was wrong. I have also hated mean people by opposing their meanness, and anyone else I have ever disagreed with. You have convinced me with your powerful reasoning that any opposition to another’s wrongdoing is hatred, and I now know that I had better just start goose-stepping alongside you. Thank you! I dearly needed that corrective. Now I can be just like you and all other citizens of the World State.

  • gimpi1

    I think we agree on much, and have a few points of divergence. I’ll focus on them for brevity:

    I have no idea what you mean by “metaphysically.” To me, yes, slaveholders were violating human rights. So were the supporters of segregation. And, yes, telling me that I can marry my husband because he’s a man and I’m a woman, but telling a man he can’t marry another man he loves or a woman she can’t marry another woman she loves is a violation of their rights, in my view. If people are equal before the law, they must have the same opportunity to make their own choices, and live as they believe. I can’t demand that for myself and deny it to others.

    I also don’t know what you mean by “complementarity of the sexes.” I’ve heard that term used to support everything from polygamy to men dominating women to ‘different spheres’ which winds up denying women and men opportunities. I don’t care for any of that. Do you mean something else? Of course, there are basic gender-differences. However, they are no where as near as simple or as polar as we once believed. I think people should be able to do whatever they can, and don’t support any limits on what they can try.

    I also don’t know what you’re referring to as a “progressivist tradition.” The enlightenment was a fundamental part of the American revolution, and I am pretty pleased with how that turned out. The whole concept of equality was a product of enlightenment thinking.

    And, yes, I do want our laws to be “grounded in a representative democratic process.” Yes, it makes mistakes. However, it’s also the best self-correcting system. It’s like science. Does science sometimes come to wrong conclusions? Yes. However, it also fixes its wrong conclusions. Do democratic countries sometimes mess up. Absolutely. However, they are also able to fix their errors better than any other system I’m aware of.

    Good talk!

  • Mitya1102

    By “metaphysical,” I mean something beyond the physical. There are certain concepts that we appeal to or invoke that instantiate themselves in the physical world but are not defined by it. One can see, for example, instantiations of loyalty, justice, love, etc., but those instantiations are never perfect, so perfect justice (against which all just acts are measured) is the “metaphysical” reality; the instantiations make up the physical reality.

    Your point about “telling a man he can’t marry another man” is not some arbitrary, posited “reality”–a mere convention that, because it is a convention, needs to be jettisoned. Telling a man he can’t marry another man is a little like telling a square that it “can’t” be round, or telling a fish that it “can’t” breathe air. It’s equivocation on the word “can’t” that is confusing the issue. I can’t have a child with someone of the same sex NOT because it’s illegal. I “can’t” do it BECAUSE it’s impossible.

    Remember that old rule about “can” and “may”?

    American Man: “Can I have a child with another man?”

    Answer: “No, you cannot.”

    American Man: “May I drive on the left side of the road?”

    Answer: “No, you may not.”

    Both answers are “no.” One is the “no” of nature; the other is the “no” of art. Both can manifest themselves as conventional laws, right?

    So your concern that all be equal before the law–fine, I share that concern. But we need to be clear here. All citizens are equal before the law, but citizens come in different forms. All male citizens are equal before the law AS MEN. All female citizens are equal before the law AS WOMEN. In many cases (speeding, property rights, voting, et al.), the biological distinction doesn’t matter. In other issues, it does–especially those concerning human sexuality. And, even though we try to deny this fact, the consequential nature of sexuality logically flows from its connection to procreation.

    Finally, what I mean by “complementarity” is no great mystery. (The MEANING of this complementarity is a mystery, perhaps, but its existence is not.) What I mean is that your existence, my existence, and every human being’s existence from now all the way back depends upon a male and a female. Human existence, human BEING, and sexual complementarity are inseparable. We exist because there are two distinct and complementary sexes. If we deny that distinction, and pretend that it doesn’t matter (“Make of your bodies what you will, for matter doesn’t matter!”), then we are denying something woven into the fabric of humanity.

    You write, “Of course, there are basic gender-differences. However, they are no where as near as simple or as polar as we once believed.” I disagree. What I’m talking about is pretty simple, pretty polar.

    You also write, “The whole concept of equality was a product of enlightenment thinking.” I think there’s more than one way to discover equality, and I don’t think it began in the eighteenth century. But, OK. I see your point.

    Then you write the following, drawing an analogy between our laws and science (your presuppositions are showing): “It’s like science. Does science sometimes come to wrong conclusions? Yes. However,
    it also fixes its wrong conclusions.” Well, science can fix its scientific errors, sure. For example, when the chemist misreads the data, or when the biologist’s hypothesis is incorrect, better science can move them further along toward the truth. But sometimes science errs in a way that it needs outside correction–not an error of means but of ends. The science of Nazi doctors was methodologically “good,” I assume, but it was absolutely diabolical in its ends. Perhaps Einstein can say it better than I can. Here’s how he said it during WWII:

    “What hopes and fears does the scientific method imply for mankind? I do not think that is the right way to put
    the question. Whatever this tool in the hands of man will produce depends entirely on the nature of the goals alive in this mankind. Once these goals exist, the scientific method furnishes means to realize them. Yet IT CANNOT FURNISH THE VERY GOALS. […] Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem – in my opinion – to characterize our age.”

    To paraphrase, the goals of science are not determined from within. If science is going to be a good “tool,” then it must be directed toward right ends, and those ends are not determined by good methodology.

    In the same way, the good of a democratic process is not determined by good methodology. The good of a democracy will be achieved when the process is directed toward a good end.

    So we are back to the “metaphysical.” Our regime must answer to something outside of itself if it is going to be ethical and moral. So we must welcome the metaphysician.

  • esmerelda_ogg

    DMS, DMS, DMS. Lots of Christians – like me – accept facts; by definition, facts are true (something we determine by looking at the evidence), or they wouldn’t be facts. I keep telling you this, and you keep refusing to listen.

  • Bones

    Stop being a sook.

    You’re the one who used black civil rights as an example.
    Won’t anyone think of the civil rights of the poor white racists. The old lefties would….

  • Bones

    He speaks the truth. Your posts are quite silly.

  • Bones

    “I’m starting to think that engaging you in thoughtful, reasoned dialog is not possible.”

    You do realise you’re writing to yourself……..

  • Bones

    “Sexuality is the lynchpin for overthrowing nature.”

    That makes even less sense…..

  • Bones

    Wrong.

    For the umpteenth time, western governments are secular and based on equality and human rights. (Good luck fitting a Nazi analogy into that but I’m sure you’ll try)

    There are places around the world where you can go, that support your ideology eg Saudi Arabia, some countries in the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

    And on Einstein’s quote you left the end out in which he establishes the goals of humanity,

    “If we desire passionately the safety, the welfare and the free development of all men, we should not lack the means to approach such a state. Even if only a small part of mankind strives for such an aim, their superiority will prove itself in the long run”. (Einstein, The Life and Times)

    Sounds like a democratic, secular state to me.

    Einstein just knocked your argument on the head….

    But some aren’t interested in the welfare and free development of all humanity…..

  • Bones

    Wow, a slippery slope analogy. Must be the first one this week.

  • Bones

    No, you can’t get the ideas of civil liberties and equality (good sharia) into your head.

  • Mitya1102

    Please point out the slippery slope in that posting. I didn’t intend to make that argument. But, just for the record, slippery slope is not the name of a fallacy. Sometimes pointing out the slippery slope is the rational thing to do, like when a person is stepping unguardedly onto one.

  • Mitya1102

    If there is one thing that a non-metaphysical (materialist) view of the world will reveal, it that all men are NOT created equal. Speaking from a strictly materialist perspective, one cannot come to such lofty ideals as “the equality of all” or “human dignity.” Just look around yourself, Bones. In what respect are we equal according to a purely secularist, materialist, non-metaphysical worldview?

    And while we are on the topic, why are confusing metaphysical with “religious”? Religion might concern itself with metaphysical matters, and it certainly has developed a pretty rich vocabulary for those things, but it is not the only way to go metaphysical.

    Adding more verbiage from Einstein does not a refutation make. What, in the name of Albert, is contained in those tacked on lines that has any relevance WHATSOEVER, or any smidgen of contradiction to the passage I quoted? (You are reading Einstein like some folks read the Bible, Bones!) His point is that science cannot discover its proper external ends. It can discover internal ends. It can do what science is for: analyze sensible data. It CANNOT know what it is not designed to know. I can’t see with my hand. I can’t smell with my ear. I can’t decide what to have for breakfast with my toe. And I can’t determine what a GOOD life is with my scientific faculties. You don’t have to be Einstein to get it, but he did get it. So, no, Einstein has done no great damage to my argument. He couldn’t anyway; the argument is his own.

    I think I am interested in the welfare and free development of humanity quite enough. But those terms need to be thought about carefully, don’t they?

  • Ron McPherson

    “You cannot live in sin and expect salvation.”

    So you are saying one can only expect salvation provided they stop sinning? If so, then what did Christ’s cross accomplish? If however you do allow that one can sin and yet be saved, then where do you draw the line between merely sinning vs living in sin?

  • Bones

    “If there is one thing that a non-metaphysical (materialist) view of the world will reveal, it that all men are NOT created equal. ”

    The racists agree. No wonder you have problems with western secularism. That seems to be a common Evangelical meme.

    “In what respect are we equal according to a purely secularist, materialist, non-metaphysical worldview?”

    That’s an astounding question for someone who’s trying to make themselves appear intelligent. Maybe you should go back to school and ask some black people or Native Americans.

    Actually where are you from? The Middle East?

    “Adding more verbiage from Einstein does not a refutation make. What, in the name of Albert, is contained in those tacked on lines that has any relevance WHATSOEVER, or any smidgen of contradiction to the passage I quoted? (You are reading Einstein like some folks read the Bible, Bones!) ”

    Actually you are reading Einstein like you read the Bible, You misquote and take verses out of context. Your attempt to use Einstein as some vindication of your theory of a need for ultimate authority is quite dishonest. You can’t worm your way out of that by using big words. Einstein is pointing out that science is to work for the good of humanity. The simple fact is Einstein has articulated the values of a secular society which are at odds with yours. Therefore yours is inferior according to Einstein.

    “I think I am interested in the welfare and free development of humanity quite enough. But those terms need to be thought about carefully, don’t they?”

    I highly doubt that you’re interested in the welfare and development of gay people beyond making them not gay so they don’t offend you.

  • Mitya1102

    You’ve dodged the point (and attempted to degrade the dialog) again, Bones. Let’s take the high road together, shall we?

    Can you answer these questions?

    1. What can the materialist point to that would establish the equality of all men?

    2. Why do you assume that a secular society must be devoid of any metaphysical concerns (and don’t try to conflate metaphysical with religious, please)? If our inalienable rights flow from “nature and nature’s God,” then why do you assume that we are non-metaphysical secular state?

    3. Again, in what respect are we equal according to a purely secularist, materialist, non-metaphysical worldview? (I don’t want to go back to school. I want to ask someone educated enough to answer this difficult question, Bones. Can you help me out here?)

    4. Why do you want to know where I’m from? Do you determine the validity of your interlocutors’ arguments by their identities? If so, do you realize that’s the fallacy of ad hominem? It also smacks of racism and bigotry. Would you judge one’s claims to be true or false based upon who that person is, not upon what she said? (Surely you didn’t t mean to suggest that you could evaluate my ideas based upon my skin color or my religion or my nationality or my gender, did you? That would be…bigoted. In the worst way.)

    4. How do you know how/if I read the Bible since I’ve tried very hard not to invoke it as an authority?

    5. What big words did I use?

    6. How does the fact that “Einstein is pointing out that science is to work for the good of humanity” alter his other point–namely, that the good of humanity must be determined by something extrinsic to good scientific methodology?

    7. Setting aside your doubts concerning my sincerity in desiring the welfare of others (why would you doubt that?), please answer: Why do you assume that encouraging people to do what they want to do is the same as being concerned about their welfare? Is this your definition of seeking their “welfare”? And how did you determine that this is the meaning of human welfare “scientifically”?

  • Bones

    I take it you’re over your sook,

    1. Civil rights. Ask black people about that if you need more information.

    2. Whose metaphysical concerns should secular society abide by? Catholics? Yours? Muslims? You can still rage about gays and blacks. You cannot take away their rights.

    3. Once again civil rights….. see 1

    4. You kind are a dime a dozen. At least the outright Evangelicals are more honest.

    5. Look back over what you wrote. You don’t impress anyone

    6. Because he named what that extrinsic goodness is, which is quite different to yours. He also wrote: “A man’s ethical behavior should be based effectually on sympathy, education, and social ties and needs; no religious basis is necessary. Man would indeed be in a poor way if he had to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death.”

    7. Once again see civil rights see 1. Which you wish to deny. There are people who argued segregation was beneficial to the blacks as well. As much as you’d like to, you can’t lock gay people up for having sex any more. And who are you to stop a gay couple publicly expressing their love (ie marriage) any more than an interracial couple.

    You might need to put the dictionary away and study human and civil rights because you don’t seem to understand the concept.

  • seashell

    Tail wag to you Bones for keeping it simple and clean on secular govt. Yet another conservative Christian wants science’s approval, and if not that, to change the rules of science to fit religion. Sheesh. And also to play God with rights and then mash them all together to get a bunch of smelly shit.

  • Mitya1102

    I think I understand the concept(s) of civil rights and human right well enough not to confuse the two. If you think they are the same, then…at least one of us is wrong.

    In fact, the difference between the two is EXACTLY what we disagree about, right? You think that all “human” rights are bestowed by the state. That means that they are “alien” to people until the state decides that they are allowed to have them. Any alienable right is not a human right.

    A human right cannot be given (because it’s already possessed by the human), nor can it be taken away. It certainly can be violated by bad laws. And it certainly can be recognized and protected by good laws. Civil rights, however, can legally and justly be denied certain people. Minors can’t vote. Siblings can’t marry (yet).

    So civil rights cannot establish new human ones. Again, what civil law can do when it is good is recognize a human right that people already possess. When it is bad, it can violate a human right.

    Finally, you keep quoting Einstein without acknowledging the important and debatable points in his writing. Thomas Jefferson comes to mind as one who understood metaphysics without any real interest in religion. And Jefferson, to my knowledge, certainly did NOT think that one needed “to be restrained by fear of punishment and hopes of reward after death.”

    Like Einstein, however, he did seem to recognize that an ethical regime depends upon goods that transcend the purely civic. So when you quote Einstein and words like “ethical” and “welfare” and “freedom” appear, you are lapsing into the thorny realm of metaphysics. Could there be a simplistic definition of “ethical”? Is there an easy way to understand “welfare”? And among all the different conceptions of “freedom,” which is right? These questions may not be difficult for you to answer, Bones, but if you can answer them, then you have resorted to something beyond mere sound science to do so. And I am still persuaded that Einstein is my ally on this point.

  • Mitya1102

    With all due respect, there’s plenty of self-righteousness to go around. Just read through the thread here, sensitive to the tone. If you believe what the Church has believed throughout the first 1990 years of its history, you are bigoted, hateful, a nominal (at best!) follower of Christ, and more likely a monster. It reminds me of a Dickinson poem:

    Much Madness is divinest Sense –

    To a discerning Eye –

    Much Sense – the starkest Madness –

    ’Tis the Majority

    In this, as all, prevail –

    Assent – and you are sane –

    Demur – you’re straightway dangerous –

    And handled with a Chain –

  • Mitya1102

    When I think of speaking the truth in love, I don’t have in mind a scenario in which one would be speaking to “correct someone you don’t know.” When Paul preaches on Mars Hill, is he correcting or is he telling Good News? When a minister preaches “Christ crucified,” is he correcting or is he offering hope? And when one speaks up for the goodness of creation, is that person correcting or pointing others toward what they may have never seen?

    What I sense is happening in this transformation of human sexuality and marriage within the Church is a denial of the goodness of God’s creation. So when a non-traditionalist (unlike myself) says that God’s created order is not necessarily good, then we are at risk of denying reality. We are at risk of not only being apostate but also of being unjust–not praising the beautiful as beautiful.

    “There be three things which are too wonderful for me, yea, four which I know not: The way of an eagle in the air; the way of a serpent upon a rock; the way of a ship in the midst of the sea; and the way of a man with a maid.”

    How with this rage shall beauty hold a plea?

  • Bones

    “So civil rights cannot establish new human ones. ”

    Huh. Women were once denied civil rights including the right to vote. Is that a human right or a civil right? You seem to think your own presumptions are to be accepted as fact.

    Seems someone is making up their own definition of civil rights;

    Civil and political rights are a class of rights that protect individuals’ freedom from infringement by governments, social organizations and private individuals, and which ensure one’s ability to participate in the civil and political life of the society and state without discrimination or repression.

    Civil rights include the ensuring of peoples’ physical and mental integrity, life and safety; protection from discrimination on grounds such as race, gender, national origin, colour, sexual orientation, ethnicity, religion, or disability; and individual rights such as privacy, the freedoms of thought and conscience, speech and expression, religion, the press, assembly and movement.

    It’s obvious that the arguments against gay marriage outside of my god says or my holy book says, don’t stack up. So the argument to deny gays the civil right to celebrate their love and commitment and relationship to each other which they have anyway, goes the way of the ban on interracial marriage. Many secular governments are coming to that conclusion. There is no reasonable basis outside of religion to deny gays their civil rights. (I’m interested as to what other civil rights you don’t think gays should have).

    And no not even Thomas Jefferson can save you from dishonestly using Einstein.

    As for straining on definitions of words, heck religion can’t even agree if it’s ok to kill gays or not. So it’s not as if we’ll be turning to religion for definitions on welfare, ethics, freedom and especially not rights.

    You seem to have forgotten why we have secular governments and a little thing called the separation of church and state. Maybe you should do some study on history as well as human and civil rights.

    As for your little false equivalence about incest, my aunt married my uncle and they were first cousins and that was back in the 50s. Some would consider that relationship incestuous and heck Abraham married his half-sister. (Gen 20:12)

    You need to get out more and stop worrying what other adults are doing with their sex lives. Maybe take up a sport or hobby….

  • KIZMET

    Actually Sharia law is “of” God just not of Jesus of Nazareth, hence Muslims being Semites as Jews are but Christians aren’t.Muslims actually uphold the majority of the the 613 commandments actually laid down by God, over the paltry 10, many Christians on a GOOD day, actually observe. Would you like to discuss this further, Marra Nathar?

  • Bones

    As one of our senators said:

    “Gays have every right to be as miserable as heterosexuals”.

    Was the church correct about slavery which it sanctioned for most of it’s existence?

    And once again: separation of church and state – study it…..

  • Bones

    We’re all speaking the truth…….in love of course.

    Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…..

  • Mitya1102

    You don’t really think in cliches, do you? “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder…”? Come on, Bones! We can do better than that.

    And to even pretend for a moment that you have been “speaking the truth in love” in our ongoing exchange just taxes the imagination too far.

  • Mitya1102

    You know, I’ve tried…

    You are proving what most of us already know, Bones. The internet is not a helpful medium for serious, engaged dialog. In fact, it may be one of the great aids in degrading conversation. Please don’t be one of those who EVER voices a complaint the society’s inability to have a real conversation.

    Your tone is petulant, smug, mean, and PAINFULLY self-righteous. You have either implicitly or explicitly accused me of wanting to do everything from killing gays (show me where you found THAT in my writing) to sympathizing with Nazis to being a perversely obsessed with other people’s sexuality. You accuse me of using a dictionary because I know a couple of three-syllable words. (For the record, I did not use a dictionary–but why is that such a bad thing, Bones, you who love to copy and paste in great quantities of other definitions of civil rights, etc.?)

  • Mitya1102

    “So civil rights cannot establish new human ones. ”

    No, of course granting some a right to vote (a civil right) does not somehow endow them with an inherent right to participation in self-governance. Having a say how one is ruled, most would say, is a human right; safeguarding that right in a particular form (e.g. the right to vote) is the civil right that flows from the human one. It’s not the other way around. To bestow new human rights on people is to do away with the very concept of them being inalienable.

    When women were granted suffrage, it was because the laws had for too long denied them a basic human right.

    Do humans have a right to reproduce asexually, Bones? (The answer is “no.”) So it would be absurd to set about protecting that human right with derived civil ones. And if we do grant them at the civil level, then it would be absurd to assume that we have somehow infused humanity with a new human right. Sheer nonsense!

    Then you use the LPT (“long-proof-text”) maneuver on me–not unlike what you did with the extra Einstein. But you must INTERPRET that long definition of civil rights, not just present it. So, for example, when your definition speaks of civil rights as “rights that protect individuals’ freedom,” the freedom is already granted. Humans are free ACCORDING TO NATURE (so the argument goes). Civil rights come along and safeguard that freedom. They do not CREATE it. And if there are civil rights to, say, health care, then it is because the government has recognized a more fundamental human right to life and all that that entails. Health care is no human right, but arguments for it flow from human rights. So I stand my ground on this one, too: Civil rights cannot establish new human ones. They can protect (when good) or violate (when bad) what already exists. If that is not the case, then the “good” and the “bad” are really no more than what the government says they are today. You know surely that that is a bad path to walk down.

    To say that “it’s obvious that the arguments against gay marriage outside of my god says or my holy book says don’t stack up” sounds a lot like, “I don’t understand?” To say that one doesn’t “get” another’s arguments is not the same as saying that the other’s arguments are wrong.

    When you write of a civil right to “celebrate…love,” you’ve lost me. (Is this legal theory by Peabo Bryson and Roberta Flack?) And again, “There is no reasonable basis outside of religion to deny gays their civil rights” may be the same as saying, “I am not able to follow the reasoning you’ve offered.” Fair enough. Maybe I’ve not been clear, maybe I’ve not been persuasive, or maybe I am not the problem. These are only a few of the possibilities.

    You write, “I’m interested as to what other civil rights you don’t think gays should have.” I don’t want to deny gays ANY civil rights. None. Have I satisfied your interest?

    I’m not sure what the point of your and and uncle and Abraham and his half-sister are. Are you saying that you don’t have a problem with incest? You wrote of the incest reference as my “little false equivalence,” but then your examples seem to be in favor of such unions/marriages, so by your own reasoning, any suggested equivalence of gay marriage to incestuous may be more true than false.

    Then you (speaking the truth in love, of course) write, “You need to get out more and stop worrying what other adults are doing with their sex lives. Maybe take up a sport or hobby….” (Come on, Bones! Really? This is your idea of a conversation?) I don’t care twopence what gays do with their sex lives. What concerns me is sloppy rights talk. I do not believe it will end as hopefully as you think.

  • Bones

    You came…you saw….you failed.

    We get it, you don’t like gays no matter how clever you think your argument sounds, that’s what it boils down to.

    The year was 1966 and they were wearing their wedding bands
    She was black and he was white and some people didn’t understand
    The judge said that’s not legal, the preacher called it a sin

    But they couldn’t stop them cause he loved her and she loved him

    CHORUS
    Don’t tell me who to love, don’t tell me who to kiss
    Don’t tell me that there’s something wrong because I feel like this
    I know what’s in my heart, that should be enough
    Don’t tell me, don’t tell me no, don’t tell me who to love

    VERSE TWO

    Maybe you’re in love today and you’ve been making wedding plans
    But there is someone in your way shouting things cause they don’t understand
    The judge says that’s not legal, the preacher calls it a sin
    Oh you just remember they were wrong before and they’re wrong again

    REPEAT CHORUS

    BRIDGE

    Now there always will be hatred and voices that condemn
    Oh but I believe that true love is gonna make it in the end

  • Mitya1102

    Oh, dear. We’ve resorted to popaganda. Well, if we are going to quote artists, my man in the ring is Dostoevsky:

    “He was sentimental. He was wicked and sentimental.”

  • Mitya1102

    Had you written, “I don’t think that you like gays,” that would have been fair play. Instead, you write this kind of thing: “We get it, you don’t like gays.” But see, Bones, I do like gays.

    And here’s one of the dangers of your rhetoric: You want to push me into a corner–create fallacious either-or scenarios (“Either you support gay marriage or you hate gays!”)–so that you can feel that feel the power of Righteous Indignation. If I am doing an injustice, you get to relish that passion in your soul. So you continue to dehumanize and villanize and oversimplify my position because it allows you to “scratch your itch” emotionally.

    But an even greater danger is your use of the “We.” This is a subtle attempt to form little cohorts, little virtual coteries, where you can sidle up to those who share your opinions, and say, “Yes, WE all see what you’re doing! WE can’t be fooled! You’re a hater, and WE all see it.” The desire to form a virtual mob–after all, there are many who sympathize with your positions who aren’t quite so vitriolic and uncharitable–is a kind of might-makes-right move that puts free speech and free thought at risk.

  • Bones

    Yeah you did try really hard…..

    And your arguments SOUNDED so good and so intelligent. Pity they were based on nothing but fallacious reasoning, dishonest quotations, and false equivalences. For all that your argument against gay marriage comes down to being against some ‘metaphysical’ law which you think all of humanity should ascribe to because well you think all humanity should ascribe to it.

    Here’s news. It doesn’t.

    Instead of sulking and worrying about what your gay neighbours are up to, go do some study on the history of the separation of church and state as well as human and civil rights. Maybe some study on the role of government as well.

  • Bones

    Dude, you’ve been using propaganda and dishonest quotations all along.

  • Mitya1102

    The term I used was POPaganda. Not a typo.

    You can keep saying that I used the one Einstein passage as a “dishonest quotation,” but continuing to assert it doesn’t make it so. You have never really showed me that you even understand what Einstein is saying. (Hint: it has something to do with the distinction of means and ends, and distinction that is analogous in Einstein’s passage to civil rights and human rights.)

  • Bones

    Yawn.

    The content of your arguments actually give you away.

    That you have to take people’s quotations out of context and dishonestly use them to back up your position says a lot as well as the fallacious arguing and false equivalences which we’ve heard a thousand times.

  • Mitya1102

    I wish you would stop trying to play the “you-should-go-learn-your-history” or “you-should-go-do-some-more-studying” card. I’ve done more than my share of study. Maybe, if we really want to make some progress toward the truth, we should stop telling others, in not so subtle ways, that they are idiots. Your tone, Bones! It doesn’t help. Really. And your presumption! Wow…

  • Mitya1102

    It must feel good to be on the side of power–that is, it must feel good when you equate might with right. That’s why your response is “yawn.”

    I remember once being threatened by a brute. A real one, not a virtual one. The brute and I had a mutual friend. I said to our mutual friend, before the confrontation with the brute, that the brute was not being very philosophical, and he really needed to think about his reasons for wanting to pound me to dust.

    Our mutual friend then turned to me and said, “Can you whip him?” That’s what your yawn reveals. The reasons of your opponents–good or bad, fallacious or valid–don’t have to be dealt with if they can’t “whip” you.

    Your “side” has my “side” whipped politically. Feel good in your position of power since that’s the comfort you seek. But don’t start invoking “human” rights with the civil circumstances reverse.

  • Bones

    I can’t help it if your arguments lie in tatters.

    I’m doing you a favour and pointing out the obvious which someone as clever as you can’t see.

  • Bones

    “Do humans have a right to reproduce asexually, Bones?”

    Here’s news.

    You don’t get married to reproduce and you don’t need to be married to reproduce…..

    What is this obsession with marriage and reproduction?

    I didn’t get married to have kids. You get married to publicly declare your love and commitment to a partner.

    The idea that married couples are any better at raising kids is nonsensical.

    I can only assume it’s this obsession you have with sex.

    As for the rest of your waffle, the government has decided that your brilliant arguments outside of scripture don’t stack up and given that your clinging to some ancient view of marriage as being about reproduction I’m not surprised.

    Like, is that all you’ve got.

    You can’t get married because you can’t have kids.

    Complete and utter nonsense.

    Yet again it’s your assumption which must be right because you said so.

    “To say that “it’s obvious that the arguments against gay marriage outside of my god says or my holy book says don’t stack up” sounds a lot like, “I don’t understand?””

    No. That means most people think you’re talking bs. Once again go look up separation of church and state.

    “When you write of a civil right to “celebrate…love,” you’ve lost me.”

    Then maybe you need to go and study what marriage is about in a secular culture…..

    “And again, “There is no reasonable basis outside of religion to deny gays their civil rights” may be the same as saying, “I am not able to follow the reasoning you’ve offered.” Fair enough. Maybe I’ve not been clear, maybe I’ve not been persuasive, or maybe I am not the problem. These are only a few of the possibilities.”

    The reasoning and argumentation you offered was fallacious and flawed. So no there is no reasonable basis outside of the religion to deny gays their civil rights. That’s seen in secular countries across the world.

    “I don’t want to deny gays ANY civil rights. None. Have I satisfied your interest?”

    Oh only marriage…and having sex…and maybe raising children….because after all they can’t be married.

    “I’m not sure what the point of your and and uncle and Abraham and his half-sister are. Are you saying that you don’t have a problem with incest? You wrote of the incest reference as my “little false equivalence,” but then your examples seem to be in favor of such unions/marriages, so by your own reasoning, any suggested equivalence of gay marriage to incestuous may be more true than false.”

    Just a little aside on your false equivalency of incest.

    “Then you (speaking the truth in love, of course) write, “You need to get out more and stop worrying what other adults are doing with their sex lives. Maybe take up a sport or hobby….” (Come on, Bones! Really? This is your idea of a conversation?) I don’t care twopence what gays do with their sex lives. What concerns me is sloppy rights talk. I do not believe it will end as hopefully as you think.”

    Oh you poor thing. Of course it concerns you, because you want to deny people civil rights. We all know that. The only thing sloppy has been your argumentation and reasoning.

  • Bones

    “It must feel good to be on the side of power–that is, it must feel good when you equate might with right. ”

    You were on the side of power for over 2000 years. How did it feel? Actually my country hasn’t legalised gay marriage yet so yeah you guys arr in power or some shit….Not for long though. . The yawn was for the constant whining and same fallacious argument put up over and over.

  • Bones

    Oh I have shown you what Einstein is saying. But you want to try and hide yourself in semantics.

  • Mitya1102

    Well, thank you for the favor! I should have known.

    (“It’s for your own good,” he said as he and the mob beat the man into submission.)

    But you really must admit that this adversarial tone really is an attempt to turn communication and rhetoric into nothing more than another form of power. I’ve not thought of as that. I’ve thought of our little dialectic exercise (when you’ve allowed me to)–and I will continue to think of such exercises–as quests for truth, not competitions. One “wins” in competition at the expense of the other; it’s a zero-sum game. But one “wins” in the quest for truth and others “win” with him.

    The moral of the story: Don’t use the internet for meaningful discussion.

    One more quote (even now, I anticipate an accusation of using it falsely), again from Dostoevsky:

    “Love in action is a harsh and dreadful thing compared with love in dreams. Love in dreams is greedy for immediate action, rapidly performed and in the sight of all. Men will even give their lives if only the ordeal does not last long but is soon over, with all looking on and applauding as though on the stage. But active love is labor and fortitude, and for some people too, perhaps, a complete science.”

  • Mitya1102

    Mitya1102: “Do humans have a right to reproduce asexually, Bones?”
    Bones: “Here’s news. You don’t get married to reproduce.” (Not exactly answering the question, Bones.)

    Then again, you write, “[M]aybe you need to go and study what marriage is about in a secular culture.” (Another admonishment from Bones that I go study.)

    Again, when I try to engage your thoughts on the incest examples, your only response is, “Just a little aside on your false equivalency of incest.” (That’s commentary on your own commentary. That’s not a response. Dodge again.)

    You know, I am beginning to see that when you post and I attempt to engage your thoughts, you move on to the next “Oh you poor thing” or accuse me of being pouty or bigoted. When I reveal that I am in favor of ALL civil rights being extended to gays, your response amounts to, “No you’re not! You’re lying.” How is that a conversation? That’s a 7-year-old’s petulance.

    As long as I have freedom to think, I will do so. Right now, my thought is that you don’t want to acknowledge (although you seem bright enough to know it) that there is a difference between hatred and disagreement.

  • Snooterpoot

    In really basic terms, sexuality is the lynchpin. If we can get people to reimagine sex in a way that is not in accord with deep complementarity built into God’s Creation (goes something like this in Genesis 1–heaven is to earth AS light is to dark AS land is to sea AS seed-bearing plants is to fruit-bearing tree AS sun is to moon AS man is to woman), then we can get them to rethink all of existence.

    The complementary argument again? Why is it that you and others who share your theology are obsessed with genitals and what strangers do with them?

    Why aren’t you obsessed with feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, providing for people who are needy, taking care of people who are sick, and welcoming strangers (immigrants and refugees), as Jesus taught us we should do?

    Matthew 25:35 For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:
    36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.
    37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?
    38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?
    39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?
    40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.

    Call this proof texting if you want to. I think the scripture is pretty clear on this.

    When you stop thinking about the sex that strangers are having, and start to live fully in the unconditional love that Jesus showed for us then everyone will be better off.

    Do not try to tell me that you are acting from love when you tell people who are homosexual that our intimacy is sinful. That is not loving. It is hateful and self righteous.

    Oh, and stop shouting. If you want to give some of your text emphasis learn about HTML tags. They’re easy. Google it.

  • Snooterpoot

    You are not speaking from love. You are speaking self righteously. Stop it.

  • Mitya1102

    There is no single shade of self-righteousness. In fact, it often shows itself in a rainbow of colors.

  • Mitya1102

    Well, I am not “obsessed” with genitals. It just so happens to be a central aspect of the article to which we’re all responding. And if it’s not about genitals, then we are not in the realm of homosexuality. We are in the realm of friendship–deep, even intimate, perhaps even eroticin a sense–if the genitalia aren’t relevant. If it weren’t, on some level, about genitalia, then there never would have been an argument about marriage in the first place.

    “The complementarity argument again?” Well, it’s not like it’s going away. IF complementarity is the way of the world, then it is not some drummed up argument–some trend. It’s the nature cannot be changed. Ignored, yes. Violated, yes. Acknowledged and respected, yes. But changed, no.

    I don’t think I have given anyone any insight into the work that I have/haven’t done for the poor, the dispossessed, the dying, the widows, and the orphans. Have I said anything about my position concerning refugees. (For the record, I think the US should be taking them in. But I have locked my door at night for years, and I won’t stop doing that. What about you? Do you lock your doors?) If you want to generalize, to try to prove my guilt by some (presumed) association, then you are guilty of prejudice. Guilty by association is prejudice. Just sayin… And more importantly, being concerned about one issue does not mean I am not concerned about others. (“Hey Shakespeare, why don’t you stop obsessing about those silly poems. Real artists write plays and stuff!”) [The purpose of the analogy is to show that people can concern themselves with more than thing. It’s not to claim that any of us is a Shakespeare. Not to say that you are not. Who knows? I mean… I’m just trying to make sure that you don’t waste your time typing up red herrings.]

    When you write, “Do not try to tell me…”–is that just a figure of speech, or are you trying to take away my freedom of speech?

    Let me ask: Is there ANY kind of legally consensual sexual intimacy that you would consider sinful?

    Oh, and as for HTML tags… You know about HTML tags. I don’t. You are a superior human being. OK. If that’s how we are going to judge people, you win. I couldn’t care less about such things. I don’t even want the honors that are attached to knowing that kind of thing. (To me, it’s a little like adults telling a little kid, “Dude, you need to up your Candyland game! If I played you, I would TOTALLY destroy you!”)

  • Snooterpoot

    Of course you are obsessed with genitals and with how strangers use them. All of you are, and all of the denial in the world will not cover up this fact. You should stop. It’s one of the reasons why so many people look down on Christians..

    Since the First Amendment’s guarantee of freedom of speech applies only to government interference, I’m going to presume that you need a civics refresher.

    I made no assumptions whatsoever about any charitable work that you might be involved in, but nice try at a straw man argument.

    As long as a legally consensual sex act doesn’t harm anyone I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t think about the intimate activities of strangers, though. I think it’s creepy.

    Typing in all upper case is considered to be shouting in internet etiquette. Shouting is rude.

    So, here’s a quick lesson for you so your comments won’t be rude. It’s up to you whether you use them. I am going to include spaces inside the angle brackets, but don’t use them when you are emphasizing text.

    If you want to use a quotation, use

    To end the quote use

    .

    For boldface text use to begin and to end. For italics use i instead of b. For underscored text use u instead of b.

    HTML tags are case sensitive, so don’t use upper case letters.

    [Editing to clarify that I meant “you” collectively, not individually.]

  • Snooterpoot

    Here’s the deal, Mitya. If your audience, whether one or many, does not perceive what you are telling them as loving, then it is not loving. It is something entirely different. When you tell us that our love and intimacy is sinful, that is not loving; it is self righteous.

    Stop it. Just stop it! You are not reflecting the unconditional and inclusive love of Jesus, and your ego prevents you from seeing it.

  • Mitya1102

    So am I supposed to understand (and while we’re talking about “etiquette,” notice how politely I try to avoid excessive use of the second person pronoun; avoiding the “you” in one’s posts allows the reader not to feel as if he/she is being commanded)…am I supposed to understand the first amendment to protect me from the government when it wants to inhibit my speech, but an average citizen off the street can deny me that freedom? Civics refresher or not, that just doesn’t seem quite right.

    The point of my snarky comment is that there is a REAL attempt to drive anyone who shares my opinion out of the conversation. It goes something like this: X disagrees with Y, so X wants Y silenced.

    I’m happy to read that you “made no assumptions whatsoever about any charitable work that [I] might be involved in.” That clarifies that earlier passage that reads, oh, something like this: “Why aren’t you obsessed with feeding the hungry, sheltering the homeless, providing for people who are needy, taking care of people who are sick, and welcoming strangers (immigrants and refugees), as Jesus taught us we should do?” (Straw man argument…?)

    And just to get back on track, I’m really not as concerned about the sex play going on between people around the world. It’s marriage that is the issue. Only marriage. Lots of people do things I disagree with everyday. I’m used to that fact, so I don’t need “to get used to it.” Calling these new romances marriages is a new thing.

    Finally, although I’m almost certain that this will fall on deaf ears, I have tried VERY deliberately not to make biblical arguments about this issue. In fact, almost every argument I have made an evolutionary biologist and an atheist philosopher could also make. So please don’t try to paint me as a Bible-thumper. Even that complementary passage in Genesis requires no great inspired prophet to see that it’s the case. For instance, an ancient pagan could recognize that there are striking similarities between a woman’s fertility and the lunar month. To say man:sun::woman:moon is not posited arbitrarily. It’s not just a captivating image. It’s the way of the cosmos. So it’s either an amazing strange coincidence, or it’s more than that. Male/Female sexuality operates according to the same patterns and cycles as the other rhythms of the Creation. Again, I’m working here with no Bible in sight, and none needed.

  • Snooterpoot

    …am I supposed to understand the first amendment to protect me from the government when it wants to inhibit my speech, but an average citizen off the street can deny me that freedom? Civics refresher or not, that just doesn’t seem quite right.

    Yes. That’s exactly what the guarantee of freedom of speech ensures. Even that is not open ended. Go stand in front of the White House and talk about how much you’d like to kill the president and see how far that gets you.

    It doesn’t matter if it doesn’t seem quite right; it’s what the Amendment means.

    Marriage is a civil entity. Notice how an officiant at a wedding ceremony says, “by the power vested in me by the state” I now pronounce you married? Holy Matrimony is a religious entity, which some Christian denominations affirm by performing the rite of marriage for us.

    Finally, although I’m almost certain that this will fall on deaf ears, I have tried VERY deliberately not to make biblical arguments about this issue. In fact, almost every argument I have made an evolutionary biologist and an atheist philosopher could also make. So please don’t try to paint me as a Bible-thumper. Even that complementary passage in Genesis requires no great inspired prophet to see that it’s the case.

    Evolutionary biologists? Really? Do you think that a same sex orientation is limited to human beings? It isn’t.

    http://www.yalescientific.org/2012/03/do-animals-exhibit-homosexuality/

    I think the creation story in Genesis is allegorical, not literally true. I’m fairly certain that you disagree with me, but I think that relying on that story to establish the complementary argument is rather weak.

    I’ll end with this. Homosexuality is a regularly occurring variation of normal human sexuality. The percentage of human beings with a same sex orientation has been pretty stable at about 2%. There must be some reason why this occurs, or natural selection would have evolved beyond it at some point in human history.

    Who knows what the purpose is? I sure don’t. I just know that it is a big part of my identity, I am not ashamed, and the hair on the back of my neck is always going to bristle when someone says our intimacy is sinful.

  • seashell

    In fact, almost every argument I have made an evolutionary biologist and an atheist philosopher could also make.

    Sorry, but there are no true and valid arguments against same sex marriage that can be made outside of religion. Atheists can offer arguments against SSM outside of religion but they are subjective and not valid, either.

    …am I supposed to understand the first amendment to protect me from the government when it wants to inhibit my speech, but an average citizen off the street can deny me that freedom?

    Yes. People can walk away, thus depriving you of your words to them, if that’s how you want to look at it. Or the blog moderator can ban you. BUT, you have the freedom to do the same as a person and if you are a moderator. See how freedom works?

    Finally, below are three HTML tags, with exact spacing that would help your paragraphs with flow and format:

    <blockquote>Quote Goes Here</blockquote>

    <i>Words to be Italicized Go Here</i>

    <b>Words to be Bolded Go Here</b>

  • Mitya1102

    Yes, people can walk away. I was being slightly ironic when I asked for clarification on the first amendment. What I don’t think people in good conscience can do is tell other people to stop talking.

    Why is this such a strange concept in our day? Freedom of speech has long been considered a freedom that will result in some annoying opinions being voiced. But its worth it. MLK was once an “annoying opinion.” Some of today’s agitators–maybe on this issue, maybe on others–who annoy the heck out of others may end up being justified by history. So freedom of speech allows for the self-corrective. Tell people to “just stop,” as I am often told can be said, but anyone who says it really should not expect to be taken very seriously. Of course people can walk away. What does their unwillingness to listen have to do with my freedom to speak? (And who cares about the moderator. Yes, private entities can do as they please…in some cases, driving away those with whom they disagree. I’m just concerned about the general tenor of how we disagree and the limits of our “tolerance” of those with whom we disagree.)

    Please don’t waste your time with the HTML stuff. (Why are you folks always shouting HTML at me?) I’ll try my hardest NEVER to learn another internet trick that is I don’t need. If I were really concerned about formatting, I’d just type my replies in Word and copy and past them in. That’s a simpler version that gets the same results.

  • Mitya1102

    Almost forgot… The rather (ahem!) comprehensive claim that “there are no true and valid arguments against same sex
    marriage that can be made outside of religion” needs to be thought about. IF marriage is whatever we want it to be, then, yes, you are right. But IF it is not–it it has its own givenness, if it has a “grain” to it, if it has an ontos, a nature–then there are probably some true and valid arguments that can be made against it.

    And IF it does not have an ontos, an essence, then the knife cuts both ways: No true and valid arguments could be made against but none could be made for it either. If we really do think that reason works better when we are thinking about something that has no nature, then we all need to go back to Philosophy 101. But I have a hunch that we are all more interested in learning HTML stuff–you know, STEM stuff (so much shouting!)–than taking a philosophy refresher.

    Three principles from our favorite sophist, Gorgias:
    1. Nothing exists.
    2. If something were to exist, it could not be known.
    3. If something could be known, then that knowledge could never be communicated.
    These are the principles that rule the day. All the arguments that amount to “marriage is what we define it to be” are grounded in these principles. I, for one, disagree with Gorgias.

  • Mitya1102

    Again, I’m not talking about intimacy. I’m talking about marriage.

    Concerning freedom of speech, you lost me. You seem to say initially that freedom of speech guaranteed that I would be free from governmental interference but not from private citizens who want to inhibit my freedom. When I asked for clarification, you wrote back, “That’s exactly what the guarantee of freedom of speech ensures.” Then you gave this example: “Go stand in front of the White House and talk about how much you’d like to kill the president and see how far that gets you.” You are moving in the wrong way down the spectrum. The recognized authority (the state) must protect my freedom of speech even when I speak out against it. But a citizen, no more powerful than myself, can step in and take my freedom away…? Again, surely you don’t mean that. It’s patently false. It has nothing to do with the amendment (as you say, perhaps) because the protection of one citizen from another is guaranteed in a number of ways that do not require the amendment. My point is this: If I am free to speak out against the government (within reason), then I am even more free to speak out in disagreement with a fellow citizen.
    A fortiori.

    I think the creation story is allegorical to. But whether God spoke or whether God did it through evolution or with a giant protractor and compass doesn’t change a thing about the nature of nature. It is a wonderful figurative way of revealing to us deep truths about the cosmos that were intuited, as I tried to point out, not just by the Bible’s writers, but also by others sensitive to the world’s being.

  • Snooterpoot

    The recognized authority (the state) must protect my freedom of speech even when I speak out against it. But a citizen, no more powerful than myself, can step in and take my freedom away…?

    Yes, a citizen can step in and take your “freedom” away. No one is obligated to listen to anything you say. People can politely ask you to stop, or to change the subject, or people can rudely tell you to shut up. The state has no obligation whatsoever to protect your private speech.

    I have seen comments removed and people banned from Patheos blogs. The blog owner has a right to do that and the state has no interest in or obligation to prevent it.

    You completely failed to address the fact that same sex orientation occurs in nature, and you did not respond to my point about homosexuality being a regularly occurring variant of normal human sexuality. Do you not have opinions on those points?

    Finally, God created people with an opposite sex orientation. Why do you think God would not create people with a same sex orientation? Or people who are bisexual? Or asexual?

    Why would you deny same sex couples the joy and happiness that marriage creates? My wife and I have been married for five years. We got married in a civil ceremony on our tenth anniversary as a couple. The public recognition of life long commitment and faithfulness to each other gives us tremendous joy.

    No one has been harmed by our marriage. Society has suffered no harm. Not one church, mosque, temple or other religious organization has been forced to perform the rite of marriage for us, and that is never going to happen. I don’t understand why anyone would deny us the joy we share. Can you tell me?

    Do you support a Constitutional Amendment to ban same sex marriage? Please tell me why, or why not.

  • radiofreerome

    Bullshit! Three Christian Republican candidates campaigned at a Christian conference which promoted government execution of homosexuals and discussed the timing of this mass murder and the methods and Christendom didn’t object. Christians are every bit as primitive and murderous.

  • seashell

    No true and valid arguments could be made against but none could be made for it either.

    In order to restrict anyone’s liberty, valid reasons against the action must be given, but no reasons in favor of the action are needed. (Philosophy 101)

    This doesn’t mean there are no pro SSM arguments, just that they aren’t needed in deciding whether to restrict liberty.

  • Marra Nathar

    Sorry the Islamic god Allah is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob at all, so no, Islam really has nothing to do with Judaism except for poaching of ideas, laws and prophets.

    The Islamic god Allah was worshiped in Arabia by both the pagans and the Muslims in Mohammed’s day, but it was not worshiped by the Christians OR the Jews. That the Jews and Christians were persecuted by Mohammed for NOT worshiping Allah is evidence that Allah is not of the Abrahamic faith. Saying it is…does not make it so.

  • Marra Nathar

    One can be gay, and a Christian.
    But one cannot be a practicing gay Christian.

    If you think that the latter is possible, then you have been deluded.

    The biology of the human being God created is male and female and heterosexual. He did not create a separate species called homosexual. If God did not create it, then it is not acceptable and it is from the enemy of our souls.

  • Don B

    You most certainly can be a practicing gay Christian. God is not a respecter of persons. No person can do anything to be saved. He /she merely agrees with God that apart from Him we are toast. There is none righteous , not one. we have all missed the mark. When you were born again, you were given Christ’s Righteousness. You can’t improve upon that. Your feeble attempts to be “good” are just that –feeble. And it’s an insult to Him if you think you must do something to stay saved. sin is not part of our regenerate self. It tries to make you think it is , but it is NOT. Graham, MacArthur, Focus on the Family , and millions of others are teaching and preaching heresy. It is not the gospel the apostle Paul preached. Control freaks like to think they must do something after they are saved. Original sin was unbelief , not disobedience. To reverse that there must be belief and obedience. Jesus was obedient to the cross. Our job is to believe the gospel. He provided the obedience. Do yourself a favor and enjoy God and all He has done for you. Get off the performance treadmill. Jesus said my yolk is easy and burden light. Rest in His finished work. Neither Sexual orientation nor sexual behavior affects your standing with Him. This is not to say that sexual promiscuity of any type does not have consequences. It can–STIs, family breakup , emotional numbness can happen. BUT there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.

  • Bones

    Well you lost here.

    That you’re now just posting nonsense unrelated to anything and sulking about how your arguments were treated shows that. Let us know when you actually have something sensible to add.

    The moral of the story: You aren’t as smart as you thought you were.

    Maybe should post on Charisma where people are more receptive to your ‘truth’. You’ll get lots of backslaps there and people saying you are a genius.

  • Mitya1102

    I’m not sure I lost. I’m certain that you think I lost. But those

    are different things. We have, however, already had a fair bit of difficulty keeping distinctions in place (marriage versus “marriage,” civil versus human). So no real surprise there.

    If the Dostoevsky passage came across as nonsense, I am sorry. The point is that working out what it means to love someone is difficult–incredibly difficult–“for some people too, perhaps, a complete science.”

    No, I don’t think I’ll try Charisma. I’m not looking for back slaps.

  • Bones

    Still sulking.

    Most of us don’t have an obsession with sex.

    And I take it then that for all your nonsense you are in favour of gays getting married and having children seeing after all you ar in favour of ALL civil rights being extended to gays..

    Oh an as for human and civil rights, let’s go to the experts, not some internet wannabe

    The Australian Human Rights Commission considers that the fundamental human rights principle of equality means that civil marriage should be available, without discrimination, to all couples, regardless of sex, sexual orientation or gender identity. The Commonwealth Parliament, and some state parliaments are now considering legislation that would provide all couples with the same access to civil marriage that is currently confined to opposite-sex couples. This paper considers how the human rights principle of equality underpins legislative recognition of marriage equality.
    ++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    The world has changed since Joslin. Over the past decade there has been an increasing trend for countries to legislate for marriage equality. There has also been an increasing number of judicial decisions finding in favour of marriage equality on the basis of the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The principle of equality supports recognition of marriage equality. Given this, in providing access to civil marriage to all couples, legislators would be supporting human rights and equality for all couples

    https://www.humanrights.gov.au/lesbian-gay-bisexual-trans-and-intersex-equality-0

    Darn it, there’s that equality again…..Oh that’s right, you don’t believe in equality….

    “A smart man makes a mistake, learns from it, and never makes that mistake again. But a wise man finds a smart man and learns from him how to avoid the mistake altogether.”

    Roy H Williams

  • Bones

    Nonsense, next you’ll be saying you can’t be a Christian and a remarried divorcee.

  • Mitya1102

    This begs the question of whether homosexual couples REALLY have that liberty. This has been discussed ad nauseam, so I don’t think I’ll go into it. Here’s a short foray.

    The nation of Mongolia (landlocked) could pass a law that made legal the killing of whales. Fine. But that would not change the reality of their situation: There are no whales. Legal or not, it cannot be done. The same
    nation could pass a law making it legal for anyone 16 years or older to get a driver’s license. That might be a change from the previous legal age of 18. That changes things because there are both 16 and 18 year olds in the country.

    The issue is whether the redefinition of marriage is like
    whaling in Mongolia or the driving age in Mongolia.

    If it more like the former (whaling), then legalizing it for
    the nation’s citizens doesn’t change a thing. I believe that marriage already has its own nature. To say that any two people can marry doesn’t change its reality one bit. We live in a realm where marriage is restricted by nature.

    So now we are taking your point about “restrict[ing]” one’s liberties and turning it on its head. Can we expand liberties that nature doesn’t provide the potential for? Can we give humans the right to
    breathe underwater? Or more to the point, can we give humans the right to reproduce asexually?

    What about that? Is there a human right to reproduce asexually?

  • Mitya1102

    No, I’m not sulking at all. But I also don’t want to defer to “authorities.” I’d like to think for myself. I think I am REALLY finished, though.

  • Bones

    No of course you don’t want to defer to ‘authorities’.

    You like making your own stuff up.

  • Mitya1102

    The citizen’s freedom to walk away is not tantamount to inhibiting another’s freedom to speak. Sure, I cannot make someone stay and listen to me. The freedom of speech is not the freedom to coerce. You write, “People can politely ask you to stop.” Fair enough. [“People can politely ask you] to change the subject.” Again, fair enough. “[P]eople
    can rudely tell you to shut up.” Still, fair, to a certain extent. What would you feel about a group of citizens trying to shout down a gay pride speaker? Freedom of speech, or inhibition of freedom of speech. Some of your examples work easily; others are problematic.

    And, yes, I know that I am here at the will and pleasure of the proprietor. They have the right to run their business as they see fit. It is theirs. There are other outlets and other media where I can practice my freedoms. If they don’t want me here, it is no great infringement on me. (This is starting to sound strangely familiar….)

    I failed to acknowledge the point about homosexuailty occurring in nature because it’s a minefield. All I can say is that the Christian religion (and I tend to agree with this as much as I agree with anything in that religion) has long thought of nature as “fallen.” Now, before you jump all over that, I should say that I consider that concept of “fallenness” to be something like a deficiency, an inadequacy on its own. So even with heterosexuals–Christians would not say simply, “Act out your heterosexual desires.” With, say, those who have a genetic predisposition to philander, Christianity would say, “That desire needs direction and order.” In short, to say that God is creator is in line with Christian teaching. To say that God made me a hot-head or a philanderer is something else entirely. (I know, I know. I’m gonna get it now.) But nature is not, nor has it ever been, the Christian’s absolute guide.

    If “God created” people bisexual, then He created beings that are designed for something other than monogamy. I’m glad you are willing to be consistent and go so far with your example. Most Christians want to say something like this: “Gay marriage is fine if it is monogamous and committed.” Well, if God created bisexuals, then monogamy has to go out the window. Or at least committed monogamy does, right?

    I really have to stop. I’m sure you’ll raise very interesting points and ask important questions, but don’t you feel that I am not ever going to give an answer that makes one bit of difference? Don’t you feel like the convention of allowing for “comments” after articles like this, as if we readers are supposed to engage in some kind of real exchange of ideas, is a bit of a charade? So I had better bow out now.

    I do want you to know that I prayed tonight, with all these exchanges on my mind, that people who are thinking/arguing about these issues would find what they are really looking for. I have made this my prayer over the last few years even with people sincerely practicing other faiths. When I pass a nearby Buddhist monastery, I always pray that those devoted monks will find what they are really looking for. I don’t pray that they will be converted or made to think like me, but just that they will continue on toward their true, real happiness. So that’s what I will pray for all here, as well.

  • Mitya1102

    Do you think I haven’t ever read? Really?

    Last word…

  • Marra Nathar

    That is God’s judgement not mine.
    But you cannot fornicate and get into heaven, no matter who or what you are.

  • seashell

    I believe that marriage already has its own nature… We live in a realm where marriage is restricted by nature.

    Why? There’s no such thing as marriage in nature, although there are same sex pairings. Marriage is a human-made device that in the past provided paternal assurance that a child was genetically his own. We now have other ways of doing that. As a human-made device, marriage has evolved and changed over time due to technology and preferences and there’s no reason for it to stay static as our own horizons continue to grow.

    A belief that marriage has its own nature is about as useful as believing that Mongolia needs a whaling law.

    Edited to add: We don’t need humans to reproduce asexually. The majority of couples are hetero and reproduce sexually. Not everyone has to reproduce, you know.

  • Marra Nathar

    First we must REPENT.

    Repent means turning away from sin.

    ” BUT there is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.” is not a licence to indulge in sin.

    I have heard the Muslims accuse us of this and wondered where they got it from – now I know.

    God created heterosexual beings. He did not create Homosexual beings. That is an abberation of normal. The desire for that OTHER eg BDSM or any other Philia, than what God created is in another realm and it isn’t God’s.

  • Marra Nathar

    Once Sharia comes in LGBTQ etc etc will be a thing of the past. They will be dead or in hiding. No flamboyant Mardi Gras etc. Marriage rights recinded. Gone.

  • Bones

    Your analogy falls flat as usual.

    Marriage is a legal arrangement as has been pointed out to you.

    Has nothing to do with whales in Mongolia which is really quite dumb.

    “To say that any two people can marry doesn’t change its reality one bit. We live in a realm where marriage is restricted by nature.”

    Nope. That’s your opinion not fact. Most people disagree with you including the Supreme Court. Just because certain churches don’t recognise the marriages of divorcees, doesn’t mean they are not married because it is the state who legally recognises marriage, It is the state who defines who is or isn’t married. It is the state who gives the civil right to be married.

    It’s pretty dumb comparing breathing underwater and whales in Mongolia with same sex marriage relationships.

    But the argument is familiar and was used in favour of segregation.

  • Bones

    Only sites on fallacious reasoning and fabricated equivalences….

    Actually I would say you’ve been reading pro-segregation sites because you’re employing the exact same reasoning.

  • Bones

    I think they should ban old people from getting married.

    The thoughts of two 90 year olds getting it on gives me the creeps.

    And it’s not as if they can reproduce.

    Or maybe the problem is with me…..

  • Bones

    So you just judged them anyway.

    Way to go god.

  • Charlie Howard was a gay man who was hurled off a bridge in Maine by three young Christian men.

  • You mean like America in the 1950’s?

  • Things you can disagree with me about and not a bigot:
    – My lack of religious belief
    – My politics
    – My music tastes
    – The value of Humanism
    – How to interpret historical events.

    Things you cannot disagree with me about and not be a bigot:
    – My sexual orientation
    – My ethnicity
    – My nation of origin

    In other words, anything that is an inherent part of my humanity and the expression thereof. Not too difficult.

  • What LGBTQ people need is DEFINITELY more anti-gay people like yourself patting themselves on the back for how loving they are to us.

  • “If you believe what the Church has believed throughout the first 1990 years of it’s history”

    I’ve never read something so laughable. The Church has never been universally allied on any one subject, ever. Hate to break it to you but the Protestant Reformation was kind of a big deal.

  • Oh please. European Evangelicals are just as spiteful, vicious, and violent as their American counterparts. I grew up hearing from Protestant Calvinists that Romani people (such as myself) cannot achieve salvation because we are not among the elect. And their treatment of LGBT people has been nothing short of brutal. Tell me how far to the left that is.

  • “I’m new to Corey’s blog.”

    “Hey Corey! I have an idea! Scandalize your liberal brethren occasionally!”

    If you don’t see why I’m finding your faux outrage so uproariously funny, there’s nothing more I can do for you.

  • Realist1234

    You presume that one is born with a particular sexual orientation, in the same way that one is born with a particular ethnicity or in a particular nation, but that presumption has yet to be shown as fact. You therefore cannot view sexuality as ‘inherent’ in the same way as ethnicity or nationality.

  • I don’t think that’s helpful. Pinning a man’s virulent, violent hatred on ‘mental health issues’ is a disservice to millions of people who struggle with mental health and manage not to issue calls for the execution of LGBT people. Don’t give him an excuse for what he’s saying. He’s 100% responsible for it.

  • Realist1234

    You seem to be arguing that as a Christian you will still sin. That’s true, and includes gay sexual sin as well as straight sexual sin. But both are still sin regardless of being saved or not. The apostle Paul, whom you mention, would be the first to say Christians should not behave in such ways – he specifically said that being saved does not give us a license to sin. And one has to ask, if a Christian continues to willingly sin with no repentance, has their heart really been saved? Or have they hardened their heart to such an extent that they no longer hear the Holy Spirit?

  • Mitya1102

    “New to Corey’s blog” does not mean I can’t read through archives to get a pretty good sense of the blog’s purpose and the general tenor of his writings. And, yes, the outrage was faux outrage.

    Concerning the claim of universal disagreement on ALL church issues…. Well, that’s a rather sweeping claim. And on the issue of homosexuality, there may be disagreement. On the issue of homosexual marriage,…I may be slightly overstating the agreement, but show me that robust body of theology that would try to ground family units in anything other than heterosexual unions? You know, you won’t be able to do so. And do you know why? It’s not there because the belief that families could be grounded in anything other than heterosexual unions depends upon technology that wasn’t available until the last century. So technology has ushered in this new age. We did not just become enlightened in the last couple of decades. The technology came first, and then it has allowed for something the world has never seen or known. So, yes, because nature’s limits had not been cast off until recently, the Church (and all of humanity) had a rather universally shared opinion on this matter.

  • Snooterpoot
  • The fact that sexual orientation as a concept has only really been understood since around 1890 throws a wrench in your historical musings.

    Yes. We’ve learned a lot more about sexual orientations. Things that make the Bible’s vague (and violent) references to homosexuality outdated and ethically unsound. If you still cleave to these teachings in spite of that, you are as much of a bigot as someone who thinks black people remain under the curse of Ham (another teaching that dates back centuries into Church history).

    You don’t get a free pass just because it’s in the Bible.

  • Sure I can. We don’t know exactly what combination of factors cause sexual orientation, whether genetics, prenatal factors, or early childhood influences, but it is a scientific fact that it is an unchangeable factor of a person’s humanity.

    Christians like yourself tried to ‘cure’ us, remember? It didn’t work.

  • Mitya1102

    To say there is no such thing as marriage in nature is true enough. But it misses the point. Marriage is a conventional arrangement that flows out of nature. While half the time, the pro-same-sex marriage crowd says, “It’s not about procreation! It’s about affection,” that is almost instantly countered with, “Why can’t same-sex couples have children? We have the right!” My point has always been that same-sex love is really not that interesting as a topic for debate. But when we start thinking about family units, we are redefining what it means to be human. To raise a child, who is the biological product of a man and a woman, in a household that denies one half of humanity responsible for the child’s existence is to radically alter what it means to be a human. If it takes two, then it takes two.

    So nature does not give humans the power to procreate asexually. Thus, there is no need to establish a civil right to protect something that nature does not provide for.

    I’m glad you were honest in acknowledging the importance of technology in this cultural revolution that’s taking place. We have long been infatuated with technology. We place the hope of Mastery in it. These new families are more the symptom than the cause of our love affair with technology.

  • Mitya1102

    First, by your account, the “Church” is a nominal reality.

    Second, if you skim through my postings, I very rarely appeal to scripture. If I do so, it almost never to condemn homosexuality. It is to remind Christians of the call to charity and of the goodness of God’s creation. So I have not proof-texted against same-sex marriage–not once.

    Finally, why is The Irish Atheist telling me how to interpret the Bible?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Whenever people go off on stuff like this, I always wonder if they hold the rich to the same standard (i.e. if they hold that there aren’t rich Christians the same way they hold that they hold there aren’t gay Christians). Because we all know what Jesus had to say about not helping the poor. But wait! I’m sure the excuses for the rich will come rolling in any moment now. Because it’s Not The Same Thing, you know. ^_~

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Marriage isn’t about procreation. I have no idea if I can have children or not. No clue. I am perfectly capable of getting married. If it turned out that I couldn’t have children, no one would dispute my marriage. No tests are required to see if I can have children. I’m even on medication that could cause birth defects and no one would care. Even if I waited until I was too old to have children, it would be allowed. In fact, women I have known who were unlikely to be able to have children were able to get married (and still don’t have children) without problem. And (insert fun music) I don’t have to be married to have children, and if I do have children, I’m not pressured by law into marriage.

  • I’m not telling you how to interpret the Bible. I’m telling you that you are responsible for your words and actions no matter what theology you use to justify it.

  • Snooterpoot

    What would you feel about a group of citizens trying to shout down a gay pride speaker?

    I have been in this situation, and it made me angry. The government, however, had no responsibility to remove those people unless they threatened us with bodily harm. Threats move from freedom of speech to a violation of the law.

    I failed to acknowledge the point about homosexuailty occurring in nature because it’s a minefield.

    Wow! How is observable science a minefield? I don’t understand that at all.

    All I can say is that the Christian religion (and I tend to agree with this as much as I agree with anything in that religion) has long thought of nature as “fallen.”

    I’ve never heard a Christian say that. There may be Christians who believe that but I cannot see how they would denigrate God’s creations in nature. I am astonished by that.

    Christians would not say simply, “Act out your heterosexual desires.” With, say, those who have a genetic predisposition to philander, Christianity would say, “That desire needs direction and order.”

    Here we go again with sex. I really don’t understand why anyone thinks about the intimate activity of consenting adults.

    There is no “genetic predisposition to philander.” That is a ridiculous statement. Philandering is an active choice that adults make. It is not like sexual orientation, which is not chosen.

    In short, to say that God is creator is in line with Christian teaching. To say that God made me a hot-head or a philanderer is something else entirely.

    Do you seriously believe that God made people hotheads? Do you think that hotheads can learn to control their anger? This is a real stretch, Mitya.

    If “God created” people bisexual, then He created beings that are designed for something other than monogamy.

    I think you are seriously misinformed or ignorant. Sexual orientation has nothing to do with monogamy. Everyone has a sexual orientation. That is not chosen. Monogamy, or polygamy or polyandry or open marriages are choices people make, not something that is innate.

    I think conversations like this are important. I’m sorry you don’t feel that you can continue.

  • seashell

    Marriage is a conventional arrangement that flows out of nature.

    You are free to enjoy your fairy tales for whatever reasons you have. What you can’t do is offer them as facts without pushback or expect acceptance of them from people who prefer to live in reality. The population of this forum mostly lives in the reality that you deny, so you may want to move to a forum that is friendlier to your beliefs.

  • Matthew

    Well Irish Atheist, I don´t have stats so I can only speak from the experience that´s been gained in my corner of Western Europe. The evangelicals here don´t get involved in the culture wars in the extreme way many American evangelicals do and they tend not to mix religion with a political agenda. They also have no where near the power the conservative evangelicals have in the U.S. I certainly don´t want to paint with broad strokes, but where I am it seems that evangelicalism is a quieter species so to speak.

    That said, I´m sorry that you have had negative, personal encounters with evangelicals possibly on both sides of the Atlantic. I hope your time spent on this blog spot shows you something altogether different.

    Peace

  • gimpi1

    Thank you for your response. I appreciate the time and thought that went into it. However, I disagree on all points. Metaphysics as you describe it simply can’t be a basis for law. Nothing you said, with the exception of there male and female people can be considered an objective fact, and objective facts are the only reason to restrict the freedom of another person. We can’t legislate loyalty or love. We can outlaw overt treason, but we can’t command devotion. You can’t make me love you with force of law. I can’t make you believe as I do with force of law.

    Obviously, men can marry men and women can marry women. They’re doing it all over the world. The fact that you choose not to recognize those unions doesn’t invalidate them in law, in the eyes of the people so joined or their families and friends. You are perfectly free to not accept such unions, just as some people can’t accept interfaith or interracial unions. That doesn’t invalidate them for the rest of us.

    The whole idea that somehow any man can marry any woman (and remember, that wasn’t always true) is not equality. I had no interest in “any man.” I wanted to marry the person I loved. If someone is denied that choice, saying, “You can marry anyone with different plumbing,” is hardly equality. Marriages don’t happen just for reproduction. Many, many heterosexual couples don’t have kids. My husband and I chose not to. Humanity is far, far from an endangered species. The days when someone who doesn’t reproduce isn’t pulling their weight for the species are long gone.

    Sexuality and gender turn out to be much more complicated than simple binary “male and female.” As we’ve cracked the human genome, we’ve discovered that gender is much more of a continuum, with many variations along the line. You might want to look into this. It’s fascinating. Our chromosomal make-up turns out to be far more subtle than X or Y. Allowing people to live freely fits with that understanding. It’s also kinder.

    All people are equal before the law. No male or female disclaimers. I would point out that it’s only recently that the legal matters you mention where you think people ought to be equal — voting, property, criminal and civil matters — that we actually became mostly equal. I would also point out that gender differences were the stated reason why women were not full citizens. We were considered “too emotional” and “not able to reason clearly.” We couldn’t be trusted with property or the vote. That was bunk. I frankly regard most of the complimentarian stuff as bunk. You clearly don’t And that’s fine. You can live according to it, and I can blow it off, because this is a free society and neither of us is able to impose their views on the other.

    You’re not really understanding the nature of scientific correction, however. Science is self-correcting because of the process of demanding repeatable results and peer-review. If a scientist makes a mistake, or fudges his results, other scientists catch him. Many dead-ends of science such as the eugenics of the Nazi doctors you spoke of were proved to be dead-ends by other scientists. Science demands that only results that can be repeated by anyone with the same equipment and procedures be considered valid. No matter how elegant your hypothesis is, if your experiment can’t be duplicated, if your math doesn’t add up, your ideas won’t take hold. Science may have once thought the earth was the center of the universe, but it was also science that discovered that it wasn’t.

    As to the whole idea that democracy must be directed towards a “good end,” who decides what end is good. The majority of white people in the American south didn’t think ending segregation was a good end. Many people still don’t. I distrust ideas that put arbitrary limits on people, saying you can go here, but not there. If going there causes no real, verifiable harm, we have no right to set a boundary. We never did.

  • Proud Amelekite

    True. That is why we must leash the dog of monotheism with the collar of secularism. It worked for Christianity and it will work for Islam. Make it clear that God isn’t welcome in the west.

  • SamHamilton

    The examples of “good sharia” mentioned above by Mitya that have yet to discarded have nothing to do with civil liberties. Neither do the examples I’ve provided in numerous comments in this thread.

  • SamHamilton

    Hi gimpi, I think there’s a difference between repealing a law that restricts behavior and imposing a law that restricts behavior too, though I’m not sure what that has to do with the point I’m making.

    As to your second point, are you saying that progressive/liberal Christians don’t actually believe the arguments from faith they’re making and are, instead, just making them to try to convince conservative Christians that their faith supports certain public policies? I suppose that could be true, but from listening to them I highly doubt it.

  • CDidioT

    That was 30 years ago and I see no reference to religion being a motivation. And by three teenagers, not an agent of the government or a church.

  • CDidioT

    Examples of organized, christian religious groups executing homosexuals? Talk is cheap, that is what separates a few wack a doodle extreme Christians from millions of fundamental Muslims. The very worst organized group I can think of is Westboro Baptist Church and everyone hates them.

  • SamHamilton

    Of course there are objective facts. I’m not denying that.

    Even in cases where you can factually verify that an old age benefits program makes senior citizens better off, there’s still a lot of gray area about how to structure such a program (what age should it kick in?, how much should the subsidy be? how should it be paid for? should it adjusted for income? etc.). There’s a lot of room for people’s values and opinions and beliefs to kick in.

    Not to mention that the underlying value – that senior citizens should not have to worry about their income after they retire – is, in itself, a belief or opinion, not a fact.

  • DrewTwoFish

    @#$#. This gets so old. Is YOUR sexuality inherent? Exactly! Nationality and religion? Ultimately, choices.

  • SamHamilton

    Whether a law is meant to prevent harm is irrelevant to my overall point. Also, “harm” is a subjective term.

  • gimpi1

    I was just suggesting that you need a much higher standard to restrict someone’s life and choices, and that some people fail to grasp that. I don’t think you’re one of them.

    As to argument, you can tailor your arguments without disbelieving them. When discussing things with conservative Christians, progressive Christians will use Biblical arguments that they may well believe, but wouldn’t bother with if they weren’t dealing with someone who regards the Bible as supreme. Progressive people in general seem to care more about fairness, so they are talking with another fairly progressive person, fairness may be at the heart of their arguments.

    But conservative people seem to care less about fairness. The Bible certainly doesn’t appear to consider it much, except for some of Jesus’s parables. Basing your argument on fairness is a sure way to lose your audience, in that case.

    And, yes, I have known people to espouse things that — they didn’t so much not believe — but they tailored the language to their audience by using Christian metaphors and mythology to be better heard and understood. For instance, my rather Deist friend used specifically Christian language to help a friend of hers in figuring out how to deal with her addict son. She believes in mercy and second chances, she just framed those things in a way a devout Christian would find a bit more palatable.

  • gimpi1

    Actually, I think you can make an objective case that society as a whole is much better off with a broad middle-class that is fairly secure. It creates a stable economic base, lowers crime and other social ills and creates new business opportunities in industries such as tourism. A secure retirement is a part of that broad, secure middle-class.

    However, I appreciate that the evidence for this is not as objectively factual as the evidence for plate-tectonics.

  • SamHamilton

    These are all examples of areas in which you don’t want to impose your lifestyle on others. But just because you don’t want to impose your lifestyle in these areas, doesn’t mean you don’t want to impose your beliefs in other areas (I’m assuming). I don’t want to impose my decision to have children on other people, but I do want to impose my belief that stealing is wrong and should be subject to legal sanction or that you should wear seat belts while driving or that paying taxes is part of being a citizen. I assume you do to?

    I’m not confusing persuading with imposing. Unless 100% of the people are in agreement on something becoming law, an enacted law in an imposition on at least a few people.

  • Jeff Preuss

    “No flamboyant Mardi Gras etc.”???

    Mardi Gras…isn’t an LGBT thing. It was started by heterosexuals and is still mostly a heterosexual celebration. So, if you’re playing an ‘us v. them’ game, and bristling at the debauchery associated with New Orleans’ celebration, well, that’s all on your side.

  • gimpi1

    I suppose we disagree on terms.

    If an objective benefit can be shown, such as preventing horrific injuries in many accidents, I have no problem with accepting the consensus of research and imposing a law. To me, there’s a difference from a law requiring seat-belts, which has some objective backing and represents only a minor imposition, and restricting who people can marry, a restriction that serves no purpose I can see, and makes the lives of those it is imposed on much lesser.

  • SamHamilton

    Don’t get sidetracked by the relative imposition of my seatbelt law example. There are plenty of laws that are much greater impositions.

    But that’s beside my overall point – we all want to impose our beliefs on people. Just because one can marshall facts to support the benefit of a law doesn’t mean that the law should be enacted. Whether or not a particular law should be imposed on others, regardless of how many good reasons can be found for it, is an opinion or belief.

  • SamHamilton

    gimpi – I’m trying to take progressive Christians at their word. They say, for example, that because the Bible says we should welcome the alien among us that we should be hospitable to immigrants and welcome them with our public policies. This belief is what informs their public policy positions. You seem to be saying that if it wasn’t for their desire to persuade Christians who disagree with them and only had to contend with people of other faiths or no faith, they might not mention the Biblical admonitions but instead focus on less faith-based arguments. This would be a wise strategy (in my opinion), but it wouldn’t negate the fact that their faith is what underlies their public policy viewpoint that they want to enact into law.

    Regardless, progressive Christians state their beliefs as the basis of their public positions even when not trying to convince Christians who disagree with them. They say it amongst themselves in their own forums all the time.

  • gimpi1

    I’m not trying to say this is something all progressive Christians do, I’m pointing out that some people of all stripes attempt to tailor their arguments to make them more accessible to the people they’re having the discussion with.

  • SamHamilton

    Yes, that’s definitely true.

  • All three were members of local churches.

    You asked for examples. Stop moving the goalposts when I give them to you. You made no such clarifications initially.

  • CDidioT

    No, what I did was note what a load of crap it is to compare Sharia Law to anything going on the the USA. You compare a 30 year old single incident of teenagers murdering one person to ISIS systematically murdering thousands of homosexuals as a policy of their government. Can you really see no difference?

  • D.M.S.

    GOD /JESUS is coming very, very soon to take over the World.and there’s nothing you or anyone can do to stop this fact.
    Praise the Lord!

  • D.M.S.

    Well, you’ll be happy to know that the lgbtp will
    Not’ EXIST ‘ after the Lord JESUS return. Which thankfully will be very, very soon.
    No More SIN!
    Hallelujah !

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    In the USA, at least. Well, at least not very often?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    People have been saying that for around 2000 years and it still hasn’t happened yet.

  • Jeff Preuss

    But, but…soon!

  • D.M.S.

    I can only assume that you’re not a Christian, none of this prophesy can take place unless ” Israel ” is a nation. Israel was disbanded in 70 AD. And didn’t become a nation again until 1948. So in essence it’s really only been going on for 107 years approximately.
    Praise the Lord.

  • Trilemma

    Israel was disbanded in 70AD, never to appear again. The nation that now calls itself Israel is not ancient Israel reborn. It has no king descended from David and no high priest descended from Aaron.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Interesting thought! I’ve often wondered on what basis the current country called “Israel” had to call itself descended from or synonymous with the ancient country of “Israel.”

  • D.M.S.

    You will have to take that up with GOD/JESUS.
    GOD/JESUS had a reason for making ISRAEL a nation again and I’m sure it was to fulfill prophesy. Do you really believe that we mere humans know all of GOD/JESUS plans.
    Praise the Lord.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Just because you say God made Israel a nation again doesn’t mean it is so. Trilemma has made an interesting case that God has not made Israel a nation again, and you haven’t said anything to dispute that assertion.

  • KIZMET

    You don’t need to apologies for your err, Marra, but like it or not, Allah is the same as the GOD (again not Jesus of Nazareth but the G-d) of the Hebrews. Muslims merely see Jesus of Nazareth as a prophet. BTW if you want to speak of poaching ideas, how about we talk about the “3 wise men” as Christian tradition goes, taking that from Zoroastrianism, which ironically started in PERSIA *gasp* I suggest before you attempt to correct me on this, you go back and learn more than a little. A good start for you may be checking out the introduction of the whole “messiah” element of Christianity which only came into vogue circa 170bce. Start here. http://dss.collections.imj.org.il/

    Once you have read through all of that, I am more than happy to educate you further. ( BTW, I did my thesis for my D.DIV on the DSS). Thanks and have a nice day, Marra. :D

  • Marra Nathar

    Anyone who claims to have studied in Universities is likely to be an apostate these days. If your learned people are Bart and Karen, let alone Keith Moore – you have my sympathies. Most of your teachers in Seminaries and Universities are either Agnostic or Atheist. Regardless they do not have faith and are not filled with the Holy Spirit who is the author of what we know.

    Head knowledge just does not cut it with God. He is after heart knowledge. Knowing him personally. This cannot be found in University class rooms. So your credentials don’t impress anyone except yourself.

    The god Allah of the Muslims is NOT the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. IF you really studied the beliefs and doctrines and character of both the God of the Jews and the god of the Muslims you could not fail to come to this conclusion.

    One is a father and has a Son – the Messiah.

    The Other is NOT a Father and does NOT have a Son.

    One says

    Leviticus 17:11New King James Version (NKJV)

    11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

    The other says you can earn your way into Paradise. Which is somewhat like a brothel. And the easiest way to get in is to blow up a Jew in Israel. Or knife him /her, or shoot him/her. And then get martyred for it. (I had this discussion today with a Muslim)

    The 3 Wise men did in fact come from Persia. They were not JEWS. That you don’t know the real significance and reasoning behind the story makes me wonder what they teach you these days.

    You say that the concept of the Messiah was not apparent before 170 AD?

    Yet the Jews awaited the Messiah from Genesis to Jesus. And still wait because they didn’t recognise the Suffering Servant but were awaiting a King.

    Jesus himself called himself the Messiah, and said that the scriptures spoke of Him. The Jews crucified him because he said he was the Messiah and he made himself = to God. He called himself the “I AM” which is the name of Yahweh.

    Daniel 7 says this:

    13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14 He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

    Who is Daniel the Prophet speaking about?

    Then of course there is JOHN in Revelation:

    12 I turned around to see the voice that was speaking to me. And when I turned I saw seven golden lampstands, 13 and among the lampstands was someone like a son of man,[d] dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest. 14 The hair on his head was white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire. 15 His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters. 16 In his right hand he held seven stars, and coming out of his mouth was a sharp, double-edged sword. His face was like the sun shining in all its brilliance.

    17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead. Then he placed his right hand on me and said: “Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. 18 I am the Living One; I was dead, and now look, I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades.

    Frankly I prefer to believe the bible than you, despite your studies.
    Did you not know about the coming of apostasy in the end of time? Well it is alive and well and Jesus is coming back soon. And he does not represent a pagan god from Arabia..

  • Marra Nathar

    The Sydney Mardi Gras is definitely LGBTQ.
    That is what I am refering to. Those that are like this one.

  • Marra Nathar

    Who are YOU to say God is not welcome in the West?
    Are you in Charge of the West?
    If you don’t believe in God – then sit back and relax, because you will never know he’s even there!

  • Marra Nathar

    Scoffers were quoted too.

  • Marra Nathar

    Biblical prophecy, foretold 1000’s of years ago.

  • Marra Nathar

    NOt to mention that the land of Israel was deeded to Isaac and his seed from Abraham for all time, as a blood covenant.

  • But because you didn’t end your post with ‘Praise the Lord’, it won’t count. ;)

  • I saw this back in 2012, which was the last year I still carried a Republican voter card. There really isn’t much difference between Fundamentalist American Christianity and Fundamentalist Islam-both are extremely nationalistic and seek to make miserable the lives of everyone who doesn’t adhere to their particular view

  • Bones

    I think incest has everything to do with civil liberties.

    Normally it involves a power relationship as in sexual abuse.

    The purpose of the law of incest is the protection of children from abusive family relationships and adults from abusive relationships which may have started when they were children. More generally, it is to uphold the family as a place of trust and safety.

    Howard Davis, Human Rights and Civil Liberties, 21.4.3

    Let’s not forget Abraham married his half sister.

    Maybe God is a relativist because He didn’t have a problem with it.

  • The destroyer

    You are obsessed with genitals. Perve away!

  • DMS: ‘I’d like moo goo gai pan with fried rice, side order of fries and a Dr. Pepper. Praise the Lord’. ;)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Ah, well, I see now that one is specifically gay and lesbian, unlike most of the other Mardi Gras worldwide. My point still atands that you cannot assign us all blame for debauchery.

  • SamHamilton

    What civil liberties are being protected by prohibiting adult siblings from shacking up? What civil liberties are being protected by prohibiting three or more people from getting married to each other?

  • Mitya1102

    First, gimpi1, thank you as well for taking time to respond. I must say, it’s the first serious disagreement that I have found on this thread. Most people simple write something to this effect: “[Y]ou may want to move to a forum that is friendlier to your beliefs.” I really don’t care to engage in “discussions” with people who think like me. Why would I? And I don’t view a real argument about meaningful issues to be a purely partisan experience (preaching to the choir doesn’t seem very helpful, but that’s what I’m being encouraged to do, in more or less impolite ways). So, thanks!

    Concerning the relationship of metaphysics to law, you say that there is none, or there should be none. I don’t think it’s worthwhile to go into too many examples here, but it seems short-sighted not to recognized that every single law we have on the books flows out of a metaphysical commitment that science cannot discover or prove. One obvious example is murder: It flows out of a non-scientifically-verifiable claim about human dignity. I believe in human dignity, but science, and good scientific methodology did not teach me that. Voting laws are another example: Why do we require the people be of a certain age before they vote? Well, there are metaphysical beliefs about reason and the intellect and the potential for wisdom… Again, not very easily proven by science. (Some 13 year olds are far wiser than some 23 year olds, but we work with general human realities in such legal matters.) And science can never tell us about ultimate ends concerning ends. It can tell us about its own internal ends, but that’s it.

    By the way, I have first-year college students writing term papers for me right now that are wrestling with the ethical implications of using the “good” scientific discoveries of Nazi experimenters. In other words, there were some real breakthroughs (hypothermia and altitude sickness being two famous examples) made in those concentration camps, but they were the result of unfathomable human evil. So the arguments surrounding those experiments are not about the scientific discoveries. Rather, they are a disagreement ultimately about whether ends justify means, or whether an evil means cannot result in good end. (That question will not be answered by science. It will be answered by those willing to engage in some kind of metaphysical inquiry.)

    Yes, all people are equal before the law, but people come in two kinds: men and women. (To continue to argue that sex is more complicated than that is really to dodge the fundamental reality. Every single person’s existence–that’s all of us to date–has resulted from two different sexes [i.e. male and female] coming together, in some fashion, to bring about a new life. That’s one of the few clear lines that can be drawn. And because it is clear, it should serve as a starting point.) So a male is going to be tried differently when a woman accuses him of rape than a woman is when a man accuses her. Or take child support laws: A man who says to the woman he is sleeping with, “If you get pregnant, I don’t want the child, I don’t intend to have a child with you, and I am taking measures to ensure that you do not become pregnant.” None of those attempts to escape his responsibility would hold much water if the woman did end up pregnant and decided that she wanted to have the child. Child support would, in many cases, still be required of him, and it could last for 18 years. If, however, the roles were reversed–that is, the woman did not want the child but the man did–she would have the “right” to abort the child, even though her responsibility were limited to only 9 months of gestation and birth. So, regardless of how we feel about the justice of those decisions, the justice that the courts are aiming at is very much gender dependent. So to say the “complementarity stuff is bunk” is to deny something that is, at the procreation stage, patently true and, at the civil stage (courts, politics, etc.), implicitly recognized.

    You write, “Obviously, men can marry men and women can marry women. They’re doing it all over the world.” That reminds me of an old joke:

    Citizen A: Do you believe in faith healers?
    Citizen B: Believe in them? Hell, I’ve SEEN them.

    Your point equivocates on the term “can” (just at the joke hinges on an equivocation of the terms “believe in”). Yes, I believe it’s happening. But look at what else is happening in the world that may need to be rethought.

    Finally, concerning the repeated examples of women’s rights and blacks’ rights, we should at least consider that this is the case: When women gained the right to vote, it was because nature was finally being taken seriously. (It was not merely new posited law.) When blacks were given their civil rights, including the right to marry whites, it was because human nature (which is not defined by pigmentation) was finally being taken seriously. (Again, it was not merely posited law.) When same-sex marriage was made legal, it was because human nature was being ignored.

    I don’t think same-sex unions are really the issue. The issue is that same-sex unions will need to be granted the same freedom to form same-sex families with children. To do that will be a full and wholesale denial of human nature–a nature that depends upon the complementarity of the sexes.

  • Realist1234

    And yet some attest to a change – do you deny their experience to fit your own mind-set?

  • Trilemma

    Why would God make Israel a nation again when there is no prophecy that needs fulfilling? The Bible says God established a New Covenant. Why would God want to bring back the old one?

  • Trilemma

    That’s really a question for someone who knows more that I do. My guess is that the Jews want to in order to preserve their cultural identity and religion. Christians want to because they think it’s necessary to bring about the second coming of Jesus.

  • Considering that most of them have confessed they were lying and none of them bring into consideration the existence of bisexuality, yes.

  • D.M.S.

    To fulfill the New Covenant. And Israel is still GOD’s chosen people.

  • D.M.S.

    I can see by your own description that GOD did a great job of creating the Universe
    Praise the Lord!

  • Bones

    You seem to have trouble reading….

    Because there’s normally a history of incest, that’s why.

    A father wouldn’t be just humping his daughter when she is 25.

    It probably started much younger.

    Once again there’s normally a history of abusive power and coercion.

    See also here

    CIVIL LIBERTIES

    “What Happened to Me Is Pretty Normal”: On Incest, Coercion and the Normalcy of Sexual Abuse

    Genetic sexual attraction shouldn’t be shamed. But the abuse that it causes is unacceptable.

    http://www.alternet.org/civil-liberties/what-happened-me-pretty-normal-incest-coercion-and-normalcy-sexual-abuse

    From the above article:

    Consent is a simple word that overlooks so much. When a parent asks their kid whether they want to have sex, does the answer matter? Isn’t the question wherein the wrong lies? My father did ask for my permission before we first had oral sex, and I said yes. But it wasn’t me.

    That lack of control too often gets lost in our conversations about sexual abuse, but it isn’t really so complicated: coercion is coercive. Clearly, though, it’s harder to grasp that tautology than it is to blame the victim — or to make victims feel as if they aren’t victims at all, but rather equal partners in an inherently imbalanced relationship.

    Having said that, nobody should be locking up adults for having consensual sex with other adults. No matter what one thinks of them. Probably why God didn’t have a problem with Abraham marrying his half-sister. As a society we aren’t prepared to recognise incestuous marriages simply because of the dangers that incest poses to individuals in the family unit. That is their civil liberty to be safe and not coerced into sexual relationships.

  • Bones

    While we’re on the slippery slope argument of incest and polygamy, it’s quite clearly human rights which is the only prohibition against either.

    It’s clear that from the beginning, that the human race’s first ancestors whether Cain and Abel or Noah’s children, engaged in incest to breed the human race.

    Also polygamy and concubinage were widely practised in biblical and ancient times.

    It’s understandable that it was because it was a mechanism of tribal survival when men were slaughtered fighting on the battlefield. In fact it was always a quandary what to do with African Christians with polygamous families who converted to Christianity. It’s interesting in that some African Christians who have polygamous families denounce homosexual relationships….

    We have no need for polygamy in a world of overpopulation.

    However should a mass disaster happen then polygamy may well become the norm again.

    Interestingly if siblings are the last two humans on Earth should they mate to ensure the survival of the species? Like their ancestors of old?

  • gimpi1

    I also appreciate this discussion. “Preaching to the choir’ may be an easy way to reinforce your beliefs, but it’s pretty pointless. I always learn something when I discuss things in a civil fashion with people I disagree with, even if it’s only why I think what I think.

    Just a couple of points:
    You might want to research our current understanding of gender from both a genetic and psychological viewpoint. It really isn’t the binary understanding you have. It really is a continuum. The Y chromosome is largely only active during gestation, and depending on when and how it turns on, many variables are possible. It’s also possible to have two X chromosomes and a Y chromosome. This genetic structure affects the physiological make-up of the brain, which affects the psychological make-up of the person. It’s fascinating, and we’re learning new things every day about the process.

    Secondly, you’re mistaken regarding rape. Women can rape men (though it’s rare) and the female rapist will face the same charges and prison time if caught. We had a case in Washington a while ago where a female teacher raped one of her students. She was charged, convicted and imprisoned. As to pregnancy, it’ s again not that simple. Any pregnancy represents a potential threat to a women’s health. It’s not just a few months of “inconvenience” and all-clear. For instance. I have rheumatoid arthritis. The medication I take to control it causes both miscarriages and profound birth-defects. Any woman taking these drugs must not get pregnant. I had a tubal. A few women elect to use birth-control, and go off their meds when they decide to have children. However, depending on the severity of their condition, they risk being crippled for life. There are many health concerns with pregnancy, they are real and must be taken into consideration. That’s why the only one able to decide to take those risks is the one that would have to take them. Anything else looks like a form of bondage to me.

    As to the complementary nature of the sexes, let me tell you about my upbringing. Both my parents were profoundly disabled, my mother was wheelchair bound from a childhood case of polio and the same RA I suffer from. My father was in a horrific industrial accident, and suffered brain-damage when a drill-bit broke and essentially performed an accidental pre-frontal lobotomy. Because of my father’s injury, my mother was the decision-maker in our household. I was, in many ways, the most functional person from an early age, since I could both walk and remember. Both my mother and I did a great deal of the “head of household” things, things that women were, in the past, assumed unable to do. We did great. And, while my childhood was hard in many way, I grew up to be a confident, responsible person. Other than the poverty (there’s no poor like disabled poor) I wouldn’t change much.

    Women can lead. Men can follow. Men can nurture. Women can protect. There are very few traits that I find just in male or female. I know same-gender couples raising kids (I worked closely with one for years) and their kids are fine. Studies show this as well. In fact, both single parenting and same-gender groups raising kids was common in the past, it was just generally due to death. Widows would form households to pool resources. Again, the kids mostly came out just fine.

    As to the idea that we need metaphysics to determine that murder is wrong, well, no. All I need is to know that I don’t want to be murdered. Logically, I can therefore assume few people want that. A bit of empathy and logic is all I need to know that if I don’t want to be hurt, lose my possessions or be killed, that the vast majority of people don’t want this either, and laws to restrict such actions are reasonable. For me, “the dignity of humanity” is not the largest part of the equation. Empathy is.

    Again, good talk. Thanks.

  • expsy

    God didn’t create the universe, the big bang did.

  • expsy

    You mathematics are no good either.

  • expsy

    Good luck waiting for that sucker.

  • D.M.S.

    You are a very strange Christian! You spout Christian Bible verses left and right, but you don’t believe that our Lord JESUS is going to return and you don’t believe that Israel is still GOD’s chosen people. And JESUS condemned the lgbt and you don’t believe that either. ( John 10:30. ) And all of the people in the entire World, who don’t accept JESUS the Christ as their Lord, Savior and Master will be condemned to the Lake of Fire. Or don’t you believe in HELL, either.

  • D.M.S.

    GOD created the Universe. And every man, woman and creature on the Earth. Praise the LORD.

  • D.M.S.

    What matter would that be?

  • expsy

    Something that does not exist cannot create something. The big bang created the universe and evolution developed the human race and not very well.

  • Herm

    Even Stephen Hawking believes there has to be something before the big bang. It is difficult for mankind, with an average lifespan of 71 years, to understand a God with no beginning and no end with eons of patience. It’s our belief that we are capable of being in control and all revolves around us, a speck of influential nothing in the cosmos, that baffles me. Why can’t we simply accept our human life as a one time opportunity to improve the chance for the survival and quality of our species, mankind, for as long as Man has the resources, that we have not and cannot earn, available?

  • expsy

    I accept there is something before the big bang. I do not accept it is some mystical being. As to your last sentence. Please look at it carefully for the meaning escapes me.

  • Herm

    I would guess that “mystical” is a word with a root found in mystery. An intelligence greater than our own would be a mystery. I am certain than an intelligent and influential awareness with no beginning and no end has to be spiritual and not carnal. Spiritual is “mystical” to most of human kind.

    I understand what I wrote in the last sentence and perhaps eliminating the word “available” it would become more clear. We are hopelessly inadequate to earn anything on our own merits. The inescapable truth is that each one of us gets this chance to make a difference one time and then our bodies wear out. Why aren’t we applying our influence to improve mankind’s chances to survive rather than fighting ourselves that only our own might survive? Our own should be mankind and not our nation, church, or family traditions that we defend. Only mankind as a species has any hope of surviving longer than 120 years.

  • expsy

    Stop your arm chair philosophy. It is without merit. We are just another species and like 99.9% of all species that have existed at one time, we will eventually go extinct. We are nothing special. Your baloney about quote “an intelligent and influential awareness with no beginning and no end has to be spiritual and not carnal” is nothing but baloney. All this talk about spirituality is a load of hogwash. Everything about us is biological. There is no such thing as a spirit except in a bar.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’m a very strange person, yes, although I don’t think most people would identify me as a Christian; I’m too strange for that. Anyway, from what the Bible said, I would have thought He was going to return a long time ago, but no sign of that, so I don’t see why I should assume it’s happening soon when it hasn’t happened soon for anyone else who believed it was happening soon. Is Israel still God’s chosen people? We all agree that Israel as a country did not exist for more than a thousand years, and what I want to know is why taking a chunk of land ans sticking the label “Israel” on it automatically makes it Israel of old, to say nothing of making it God’s chosen people. It’s not a matter of belief, it’s a matter of asking what right man has to dictate these things. As for Hell, I don’t claim to be some kind of expert on what happens after one dies, and as such I don’t concern myself with it; if I can’t even keep this life straight, what business do I have flipping out about the next one? No, I’ll just do my best to worry about today and not worry about tomorrow, Jesus directed.

    To be honest, it’s kind of funny to me how goalposts get moved. Initially Christians are all, “Just accept Jesus into your heart as your personal Lord and savior!” but it’s not that simple, is it? Because even if you say, “Wow, what did you know: Jesus did save me! I think I’ll do my best to follow him.” you start getting all these weird sidelines. What do you think about Israel? What do you think about the gays? What do you think about hell? Because it’s all supposed to be wrapped up in the same thing to some people. It’s a cultural thing, not just a spiritual thing. No, you can’t just read your Bible and see that Jesus said feed the hungry and not at all see that he condemned the gays. That’s not enough. That’s insufficient.

    So, you’re right. I’m strange. But that doesn’t concern me overly. It’s what I am, just like I’m nearsighted. I’m just going to do my best regardless.

  • Herm

    expsy, you make too many assumptions for which you apparently have no clue. Since you do so on a blog that makes no pretense for speaking to spirituality that such could only be “a load of hogwash” you are challenging only to satisfy your ignorance.

    There are many here who know for certain of what you can only presume to argue as “no such thing”. Your argument stated as fact founded purely on the physical as the limit of existence you know.

    All of us here know where you are for we began there. Most of us here have grown to be aware that there is more than we were aware of from our infant cribs. A few of us here don’t fear the unknown as do you while we have this blessed opportunity grow to learn more each day. Fifty years ago, for me, the infinite and the eternal became reality worth understanding because they clearly exist to pursue. Your statements tell me you don’t know where we are who reside here.

    I would suggest that you to do more than make “I say it is so so therefore it must be so” arguments, as indisputable fact, if you sincerely wish to learn what most of us know that you do not. Otherwise all you are attempting to do is subjugate others to your comfort level of awareness.

    There really is being beyond your control and it isn’t nearly as threatening as you make it out to be. Ask, seek and knock and it will be given you, over time, one little step before the next.

  • expsy

    Wow, you really make presumptions don’t you. First , I have probably been around on this planet a lot longer than you have but your sense of superiority at knowing so much leads you to presume otherwise. Second, you are not my spiritual teacher so stop with the condescending attitude. Third, where do you get off presuming all people on this blog follow you idiotic philosophy, and where do you get off presuming what everyone knows. I do not believe there is anything called a spirit. I do not believe in spirituality. No one has ever shown any evidence that such a thing as a spirit exists. I do not believe in some magical guru in the sky suddenly made the universe appear and somehow is supposed to know everything about me. I do believe when you die that is it. I do believe that we are just biological machines, nothing else. Why do you think I want to sincerely learn what, according to you most other people know but I do not. I am not one iota interested in your ramblings for you write in such a convoluted way that it is very difficult to try to understand you. Stop your preaching. I am not interested.

  • Matthew

    How can you be absolutely certain that no spirit exists except what one finds in a bar?

  • Herm

    Then why do you respond, why do you preach, on a blog based on the Spirit? What is your interest?

  • expsy

    First, here is the definition of preach. deliver a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people, typically though not always, in church.
    Next. The article in question has nothing to do with spirituality. It has to do with the hypocritical attitude of some conservative Christians. Read the article.
    Next, this is not a blog.
    I was just stating my point of view. Nothing more nothing less. You were the one preaching, tell me why?

  • expsy

    Nothing is an absolute in science, therefore I cannot say with 1.0 probability there is no such thing as a spirit. However, we have listened to 5000 years of people telling us that we have a spirit without one iota of evidence to support the claim. You would think that there would be at least one piece of evidence in support of there being a spirit. I have never seen any. Therefore I believe there is a 0.99999 probability there is no such thing.

  • Herm

    expsy, you didn’t complete the definition of preach. Googled goes on to define as earnestly advocate a belief or course of action such as; “my parents have always preached toleration and moderation”. You preach your belief no more or less than I.

    “I was just stating my point of view” equals belief.

    You wrote, “The article in question has nothing to do with spirituality. It has to do with the hypocritical attitude of some conservative Christians.”

    Chris·tian

    ˈkrisCHən/

    noun

    plural noun: Christians

    a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

    This from the book which would define the hypocritical relative to the premise ascribed to by the title of the article: “LGBTQ Rights And The Hypocritical Christian Outrage Over Sharia Law”.

    God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.” John 4:24

    From just about any perspective, secular or religious, you are delivering a sermon or religious address to an assembled group of people by stating your solicitous point of view. To preach to this spiritually based blog (https://www.google.com/webhp?sourceid=chrome-instant&ion=1&espv=2&es_th=1&ie=UTF-8#q=define+blog) your atheist point of view is your spiritual belief that you seem to religiously adhere to.

    I can honestly testify here that I do have a relationship with God and you honestly counter with you do not because God can’t possibly exist in the world you know. Unless you can convince me that you know everything there is to know then you cannot convince me I am imagining my relationship with God. Between a relationship with you and God I have more hard evidence that They exist than I have that you exist.

    I preach that my fellows of mankind (whom I love as myself) ask, seek and knock for themselves. I preach to share because I know a certain peace and joy that I did not when God was a pulpit centered theory and not an active relationship. There are a great many sincere people in our species that actually seek that peace and joy.

    Just the fact that you are drawn to a God congregation to state that this life is all biological, that spiritual cannot exist, speaks to your lack of relationship. I know where you spiritually are at, I’ve been there. You do not know where I am at by your own admission of ignorance. I do not mean that to be derogatory as we are all ignorant and there is enough to yet learn to last us each beyond an eternity.

    Why do you preach if you have no interest?

    I do so love you! Thanks!

  • expsy

    Sonny Jim. Stop your proselytizing to me. I am not interested. If you have irrefutable evidence of your god then present it to me.

    Next, I am not preaching, I am stating my opinion. By your definition when I teach in class I am preaching. Hogwash. You only use that interpretation to satisfy your own point of view.

    Next. I did not get my definition of preach from google and frankly, as a scientist I do not consider google a good source of information.

    Next. I do not have a spiritual point of view. In fact, I have no idea what a quote ” spiritual point of view” is. Seeing as my belief is I have no spirit, how by that definition can I have a spiritual point of view.

    Next, atheism is not a religion. Your typical reaction is to relate all peoples belief to being a religion. That is not true and your insistence that someone who categorically states that they do not have a religion if frankly insulting. You are basically denying someone the right to say I am not religious.

    Next, your ill described definition of preach from google (not a definitive or particularly reliable source) includes quote ” earnestly advocate a belief or course of action” then by your definition, if I earnestly believe that Walmart is having a sale today and I advocate to anybody that they should take advantage of the sale, then by your ridiculous definition I am preaching. Hogwash.

    Next, I challenge you to produce definitive proof your god exists. I doubt you can give any.

    Next, I was not drawn to a quote ” God congregation to state that this life is all biological” You answered a post I had made to someone else on Disqus. So I did not search out a spiritual or god congregation. In fact I had no idea it was a so called spiritual site until you mentioned it. So get that idea out of your narrow mind that there was some type of divine inspiration that took me there. There wasn’t.
    Finally, you have no idea where I am spiritually because you know next to nothing about me. However, I will tell you where I am spiritually. The answer is nowhere because there is no such thing as a spirit. Once your dead you are dead end of story.

  • Herm

    I would rest my case if you would only reread what you just wrote objectively and with empathy. I repeat, between a relationship with you and God I have more hard evidence that They exist than I have that you exist.

    sci·ence

    ˈsīəns/Submit

    noun

    the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

    I do have certificates of continuing achievement and decades of experience as a scientist. The difference here is I have learned to included the sciences of social, physical and spiritual having begun each first from hypothesis to today’s relationship of trust. All of those systematic studies in structure and behavior do now actually compliment each other to establish a more full representation of the natural world as it is in fact.

    That you choose to specialize and not include observation and experiment in the spiritual (the avatar “expsy” may indicate that you once had a relationship in social science) is your prerogative. To discount other sciences as “hogwash” is pure self indulgent ego.

    Please, promote the science that you know so that we all can gain from your time spent in observations and experiments. If you have not observed and experimented in another’s science then you have nothing to offer those who have.

    Perhaps, if you could share with us as to whether all electrons are identically alike, all unique, or just some are exactly like others. Why does the laws of physics waste so much valuable real estate with such expansive polarized orbits? Is there and end to the macrocosm that our universe exists within? Where is the end of the microcosm within the freckle on my littlest toe? Can any life that is so dependent on a balance between chaos and order sustain itself when it knows it can influence each? This is your science though I can answer most more plausibly for myself when applying my relationships in the spiritual sciences. What are the results regarding each question from your experimentation and observation?

    I have not attempted to convert you from one religion, belief, or opinion to another. I have shared no more than the proof to me is in the relationship I know and trust. I have said nothing to discourage the relationship you know and trust. I have discouraged your disparaging of the relationship I know and trust founded only by your admission that you do not know that it could possibly exist.

    As a real life, pavement meets the road, scientific troubleshooter most of my life, it became an accepted truth that when all that is possible has been exhausted then the solution that exists is impossible. I learned to provide solutions that worked by then pursuing the impossible. When the impossible was applied to work it then became an industry accepted fact. You cannot claim what you do not know is impossible only because you have not observed it.

    You don’t have to know God personally to live this life. If you are perfectly happy with an unknowing eternal death then you will be happy. I could give a damn about heaven or hell because all I can know for certain is that I can choose to be more productive and constructive every day. I accept that responsibility of influence first.

    Having a divine Tutor has now made me desire learning without end within an environment of in everything doing to others as I would have others do to me.

    I would not proselytize my ignorance on anyone as you insist on doing. I would have others stand up in my defense to refute the proselytizer.

  • expsy

    So you obviously make big assumptions about me which, as are most assumptions wrong. My science is not physics.

    Next, why do you have this obsession of posting definitions all the time. Kind of ridiculous don’t you think.

    Next, you say quote “I do have certificates of continuing achievement and decades of experience as a scientist”. Frankly, I think you like to live in a fantasy that you are a scientist, but you are not. What was the discipline you received your PhD., in?
    Next, You keep on saying you have all this evidence that your god exists, then man up and present it.
    Next, whatever you may say there is no science of spirituality. For something to be a real science you need to produce hard data. For that you need at the very least a tangible independent variable and a dependent variable. Please tell me, in spiritual science what are these variables.
    Next, you only speak in generalities, nothing specific. You make bold claims, then try to show your self accepted superiority by some sort of meandering pseudo philosophy. Mostly written in bad English.
    Finally, I am in the social sciences and have been for decades. I have also published peer reviewed scientific articles. Have you published anything? I doubt it.

  • Herm

    If you only knew how long I defended my social science degree as more than just an art with the neuroscientists, physicists and engineers I’ve had the pleasure of working closely with. I find your scientific credentials humorous in retrospect.

    You choose to close your heart and mind to a greater natural world allowing scientific observation and experiment. If you are really a certified social scientist you then know that your behavior is childish.

    You have not read to learn anything I have shared with you, only to discount. I had not assumed any other science relative to you as was alluded to when I wrote, “the avatar “expsy” may indicate that you once had a relationship in social science”.

    If you read much of what else I write here you would understand that I don’t “man up” by succumbing to childish intimidation and manipulation. You would, also, know that I am not intimidating or manipulating you to believe as I share with you what is a possibility you have not disproved.

    Of all scientific disciplines for you to have applied, you should know there is no need for me to prove to you something you are not willing to research for yourself. My divine relationship is mine. I only share with you that there is a possibility that you can have your own relationship if you only risk to ask God directly; no church, denomination or any kind of fellowship with mankind necessary.

    I’ll leave you now to choose as you will. I pray that you one day can get beyond yourself. I am sorry that you feel so helpless.

  • expsy

    I can’t have a relationship with something that does not exist. As for your social science degree. A BA in psychology does not make you a social scientist. Frankly I don’t think you know what a social scientist really is. You talk about my work like you know what it is, yet you know less than nothing about my work, so where do you get your opinion from? You infer from the fact I don’t buy into your pseudo science claptrap. I have met plenty like you, wannabe scientists who have a little knowledge but big opinions. Keep your prays, they don’t work and I don’t want them. As usual you use the well worn tactic of making a statement like you have all this evidence that god exists, but when I challenge you to present it you say it is up to me to research it. No it is not up to me to research it. If, as you claim, that you know so much about science then you will know that one of the fundamental rules is if you make a claim it is up to you to substantiate it. If you cannot or do not then your claim has no validity. It is not up to other people to show proof of what you say. This is a clear indicator, for all your criticism of me based on no knowledge of what I do, you are a pseudo wannabe scientist.

  • Proud Amelekite

    His followers are animals who need to be kept on a short leash or convinced their God is absolutely and unequivocally a hoax. And, if we cannot convince them, we must bury the seeds of doubt in their kids and grand kids. It is the only way to stamp out monotheism.

  • Proud Amelekite

    We shall see. Even if you are right, I have plenty of time to ensure that children follow me to hell. Leading lambs astray is the least I can do for the God who made himself my enemy.

  • Proud Amelekite

    I can lead children into the darkness, if you are right. And I will.

  • Proud Amelekite

    True, though they aren’t hurling us off of buildings because we live in a Secular nation and that leashes them and keeps them inline. They are the same sort of mad dog. No question about that.

  • D.M.S.

    Your Enemy is Satan! And with thoughts like that your master is Satan. Please, Repent of your Sins, soon.

  • D.M.S.

    Those 3 young Christian men were not doing the Lords work. They were taught hatred by someone and it wasn’t GOD.

  • D.M.S.

    Not all of us. Some of us CHRISTIANS just want people to repent of their Sins and try and live a good life for JESUS the Christ. PTL.

  • D.M.S.

    I hope someday soon that you let go of your hatred. And ask for redemption from our Lord GOD.

  • kaydenpat

    Being Christian doesn’t equal being a Rightwing Christian. You’re quite mistaken in that belief.

  • radiofreerome

    How the f*** do you know how I or any other gay person live? Why don’t you repent of your self righteousness?

  • D.M.S.

    I know what it is to Sin, do
    you believe I’m Sinless, I used to be an alcoholic, fornicator, adulterer, idolater. I don’t commit these Sins anymore, after I repented of my Sins to GOD. As a Christian we’re to try and live a Sinless life as much as we can. Will we still be tempted? Yes we will, but we try to refrain as much as we can.

  • Proud Amelekite

    I think mot. If you are right then I will drink, happily, from the wine of Yahweh’s anger on judgement day and die with the beast.

  • Proud Amelekite

    Your pleas amuse me but meaningless. I’d sooner die then bow yo your idiot God and his coward son.

  • D.M.S.

    You’ve made your choices.
    Goodbye neighbor!

  • DrewTwoFish

    Yeah, we’ve heard that for a couple of thousand years.

  • D.M.S.

    Do you study Christian scripture? If you ever decide to do so, instead of listening to False Teachers. You’ll learn that our Lord JESUS can’t return until ISRAEL becomes a nation again. I hope for your sake that you start reading and studying Christian Scripture.
    Praise the LORD!

  • DrewTwoFish

    PTL’ing everything actually diminishes its impact.

  • Herm

    D.M.S., if you would have studied the Christian scripture in counsel with the Holy Spirit you would have been led to a very real and living Lord and Teacher with all authority over heaven and on earth today. I do hope for your sake, because you are truly loved, that you one day will find to become one with and in the word of God, the only Spirit of truth, as a child of God.

    By your own admission you don’t have a clue as to whom you praise. You have been misled by evolved manipulative, intimidating, and subjugating interpretive traditions of mankind’s reach for God.

    There is only one eternally living word of God, Teacher, Instructor and Father. Your church family speaks of Them, to Them, but is not in Them. Jesus is not their high priest.

    Jesus did not leave His little sibling disciples (students) orphaned at his ascension. Jesus took over the world 1,982 years ago. He is physically active today through all spiritual hearts and minds of mankind who are one with His heart and mind by the Holy Spirit bound in reciprocal love. That has been a period of our sun’s time that is longer than was between the birth of Moses and the birth of God’s only begotten Son.

    According to the Christian scripture this is fact directly from the mouth of Jesus, my Brother, even in the hard copy “Christian scripture”. If you are open I can show you where. Love you!

  • D.M.S.

    No! Human beings are the only ones who diminish the LORDS Impact.

  • D.M.S.

    Everyone that you come in contact with that speaks to you about the Love of GOD. And Salvation through JESUS the Christ, will be a Spiritual teacher to you. And there’s nothing you can do to stop that. Not even your Ridicule of us CHRISTIANS will stop many us from teaching to you and others like you about the Great Love of
    GOD/ JESUS!
    Praise the LORD!

  • D.M.S.

    So their is no second coming?

  • D.M.S.

    And the U.S. Is being sodomised by the secular world and soon our constitution will be null and void by this very institution that you speak so highly of. We’re drowning ourselves in the the world of Me,Me,Me and what is society going to do to Help us. GOD/JESUS is the ONLY way out of the mess that this Vile, Disgusting secular world has presented us with.

  • expsy

    Right, you impose it on us even though we don’t want it. That’s not teaching, that is enforced indoctrination. I don’t deny you the right to practice your faith, why should deny me the right to believe what I want to believe.
    Also, you have still not produced this mountain of evidence you have that your god exists. Also, you still have not shown me there is anything called a spirit. No spirit, no spirituality.
    You have no right to impose your teachings on me when I don’t want them. Go read the constitution.
    TO HELL WITH THE LORD.

  • D.M.S.

    I was exactly like you when I was an atheist! All of us CHRISTIANS are bound by scripture to go and spread the Gospel of the Salvation of JESUS the Christ to the entire world. That’s what we are doing when scripture states to
    Love our neighbors as we would Love ourselves.
    Praise the LORD!

  • expsy

    Even though the rest of the world doesn’t want it. That is indoctrination not teaching no matter how you put it. Incidentally, I use to be a devout Christian until I learned it was all a load of codswallop.
    Still no proof huh?

  • D.M.S.

    Yes, it’s called, FAITH!

  • Herm

    D.M.S., I do not mean to be flip but no child of God need be concerned about any second coming for they are in the Son and the Son is in them today. Their dependency for survival and nurture is totally in the hands of the Father with their Brother Jesus’ rule. By the Holy Spirit residing, without pause, in their spiritual hearts and minds they too are in the Father and the Father is in them. Read John 14:15-21 and then ask, seek and knock and it will be given to you. You can then rest in Christ Jesus as your Brother, Teacher, High Priest and LORD of all today long before any possible carnal rebirth.

    I once studied and have intellectually taught, as an ordained authority, prophesy within today’s Christian church. I am very much aware of what you ask. Today, differently than then, I am even more aware of what Jesus is chronicled to have spoken then and now speaks directly in those who are whelmed (baptized) by the Advocate. I am at peace trusting in my Lord’s lead finding true joy, that I did not know as a church official, simply being a very little sibling of my only Rabbi. I no longer need to hope for my own wellbeing at a second coming but I do hope in love for the wellbeing of those who aren’t yet within the family of our creator God.

    Paul wrote in 1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 how to win the respect of outsiders just before he revealed his concept of Jesus’ next coming before he, Paul, could die. Are you minding your own business and working with your hands? Do you truly love your enemy enough to die for them on your own cross (Luke 14:26, 27) having given up all despicable carnal family traditions? By your fruit the root (your familial foundation) and the vine is known to be attractive, nutritious and life sustaining or not. Attempting to coerce others when in everything you would not have others coerce you is not attractive, nutritious or eternally life sustaining … only competitive between us and them. ISIS today religiously attempts the same game in the name of the God of Abraham. Forgive them Father for they know not what they do!

    As you read the book of Revelations do so as it is written only to the seven churches while considering that all has already occurred. Eternal life can only be spiritual and not ever carnal. The image of God breathed into carnal mankind is the image of Their spiritual heart, soul and mind. Only spiritual rewards are of concern to the children of God for that is the only world they are loyal citizens of. The tree of life and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil both thrive for the partaking in the temple (the hearts and minds of God built on earth in three days) today, on either side of the flowing river of life, where you find the Father and the Son sitting on their thrones, serving Their little children.

    Blessings of peace and joy be on you and shortly in you!

  • expsy

    No, it’s not called faith. Faith is believing in something you cannot see. It has nothing to do with the indoctrination process you call teaching. Stop rationalizing your position. To rationalize is to tell a rational lie.

  • D.M.S.

    So after all of that Hogwash!
    I prefer Baloney or Manure!
    So there is No Second coming?

  • D.M.S.

    That’s your opinion.
    We CHRISTIANS call it FAITH!
    Praise the LORD!

  • Herm

    Why do you care?

  • D.M.S.

    Is the Rapture also hogwash?

  • Herm

    … and you care why?

  • D.M.S.

    JESUS the Christ is my Lord, Savior and Master.

  • D.M.S.

    Well it’s another prophesy! That you say that all the prophesies have been fulfilled. Or did I miss read what you were stating.

  • Herm

    Is He in you and you in Him? Who alone do you go to for eternal truth despising father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters—yes, even your own life?

    If you look to anyone but the Messiah for their support then Jesus the Christ is not your only lord, savior and master.

  • expsy

    Not my opinion. Statement of fact, something you are not very familiar with.

    Definition of faith, see nothing about teaching proselytizingor indoctrination in the definition.

    faith
    fāTH/
    noun
    noun: faith
    1. complete trust or confidence in someone or something.”this restores one’s faith in politicians”
    synonyms:trust, belief, confidence, conviction; More
    optimism, hopefulness, hope
    “he justified his boss’s faith in him”
    antonyms: mistrust
    2. strong belief in God or in the doctrines of a religion, based on spiritual apprehension rather than proof.

  • Herm

    I said that it is very much a possibility that all that was in the letter to the seven churches was fulfilled before canonized by the human patronage of Constantine. Inviting the counsel of the Spirit of truth I ask, for your sake, that you read the book of Revelations considering and asking about that possibility.

    When a little child of God we begin to understand how little we are capable of knowing and earning our survival. We are aware of how eternal life begins today learning in relationship with the only Rabbi all that will take longer than an eternity to master for ourselves. Then is peace and joy a reality actually trusting in our family relationship in God as Their adorable but bumbling little children.

  • D.M.S.

    There is not one family member that comes before my Savior JESUS the Christ.
    Mathew 10:32-40.

  • D.M.S.

    I am definitely Not adorable. But I am one of Gods many million bumbling children. There many prophesies that have not been fulfilled. We must not be reading an equivalent Christian bible.

  • Herm

    A.I.C., you cut off the question and the answer that is most significant.

    Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

    He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”
    Acts 1:6-8

    If you had the power of the Holy Spirit, so that Jesus was in you and you in Jesus, as well as the Father was in you and you in the Father, I ask again, why would you care about a second coming?

    “If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and keeps them is the one who loves me. The one who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love them and show myself to them.” John 14:15-21

    Has He shown himself to you?

  • Herm

    There is only one word of God and He is the Holy Spirit. All little children are adorable by the family who loves them. Love is not earned it is graced first from those who know how to love.

  • Herm

    Jesus is a child of God who put his enemy siblings of Man first.

    Then he said to them, “Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For it is the one who is least among you all who is the greatest.” Luke 9:48

  • D.M.S.

    You better find another way to present your first statement. Because it went over my head, because it makes no sense to me. I’m being as honest as I can. Because GOD/JESUS are one as far as I’m concerned. PTL.

  • D.M.S.

    I think that you’re trying to make a case to the world 1 John 2:15-17.

  • Herm

    The Messiah Jesus is the Word according to the scriptures you speak to. In those scriptures the only word of God testified about is the Holy Spirit who could be in your heart and mind as the Spirit of truth. Jesus, the High Priest of his church, did not canonize the New Testament. What we refer to as the New Testament was a compilation of fragmented testaments and letters before it was canonized and not ever considered “His Word”. The New Testament was only canonized by the church of Constantine.

    Testimonies, letters and blog comments inspired by the Holy Spirit in His disciples today are equally from the Word.

  • D.M.S.

    I have no problem telling people, that I don’t understand what theyre trying to tell me. About half of my time I’m looking up words that I’ve never heard or seen. There’s no way that you could of known that, if you don’t mind try to explain your statements another way. Thank You.

  • Herm

    D.M.S. I really do appreciate your honesty, thank you. I hope you know that I am being as sincerely honest with you. I am not trying to debate in competition with you but am sharing the truth as I know it today in my heart and mind. I direct you directly to God without any attempt to satisfy any church organization built on theoretical theology. God is real and available to serve you in all your needs today.

    The word baptized means to be whelmed and this is the commission to all disciples of the Messiah.

    Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Matthew 28:18-20

    Please note that Jesus surely will be with His disciples until the end of the age.

    His disciples today are His siblings in God with one Father.

    Pointing to his disciples, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers. For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother.” Matthew 12:49-50

    Jesus is the only begotten by God Son of Man and was at the beginning of Man in God’s image the Son of God present here:

    Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Genesis 1:26-27

    God is a plurality as is mankind in God’s spiritual image. God is one because each heart and mind of the Father and children are bound in reciprocal love by the Holy Spirit.

    Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. John 1:12-13

    Have you been whelmed, not over whelmed but simply and completely whelmed, by the Holy Spirit in your heart, soul and mind?

    Even Jesus had the Dove remain on Him to be able to be one in the Father while He fulfilled His Father’s will. So is it with each of Jesus’ disciples.

    I myself did not know him, but the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.” Then John gave this testimony: “I saw the Spirit come down from heaven as a dove and remain on him. And I myself did not know him, but the one who sent me to baptize with water told me, ‘The man on whom you see the Spirit come down and remain is the one who will baptize with the Holy Spirit.’ I have seen and I testify that this is God’s Chosen One.” John 1:31-34

    This is what little children of God have revealed to them.

    At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this is what you were pleased to do. “All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows who the Son is except the Father, and no one knows who the Father is except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” Luke 10:21-22

    Jesus is God, the Father is God, the Holy Spirit is the spirit of God and all the little children of God are one in God today.

    I have nothing to gain and to be completely honest with you I am only motivated to point to the only solution I know now who is available to guide us to overcome our otherwise self-indulgent competitions to the death of a very fragmented mankind. This body will die soon and I don’t fear beyond my carnal instinct to survive. My heart, soul and mind are living peacefully and joyfully today in God and God in me. This could be so with every member of mankind. I wish the same for you.

  • Herm

    D.M.S., you are doing very well. None of us know it all for that is what we get to strive toward for eternity. We who began and remain on earth see so minutely little of what there is to yet know of the physical. The spiritual is the reality of God and there is much more to learn in God’s kingdom than the physical we begin with.

    You are asking, seeking and knocking and all you need will be given to you. Little children are not expected to know enough to survive or earn their way. When you petition God, most particularly Jesus who knows what it is like to be of mankind, to be protected, nourished and taught the truth I can testify by my own undeserving experience that God provides all we will ever need to grow and enjoy. We must trust Them as we had to do our carnal families when little children of Man.

    Thank you for being as receptive to me. I really am not worthy of sharing the truth you need but I can point to Him I know who is. Invite the Holy Spirit to reside full-time in your heart and mind especially recognized when you think you might be sinning. That is when most people separate from the Spirit’s counsel, I did way too often. That is when they actually are sinning because they turned off their mentoring relationship with God.

    Please, forgive that I am so inadequate to lead you to where you seem to want to be. The best I can do is share with you as an equal little sibling either and/or both of Man and of God. The only thing I am not ignorant of is the power of the Holy Spirit in my life. This is what I am attempting to share with you.

    Oh, how I know you are loved exactly where you are at today!!!

  • Herm

    … and who told you that?

  • Mitya1102

    Sorry I did not respond earlier. Your willingness to write warranted a response.

    Just to clarify a couple of things… I did not mean to suggest that a woman could not rape a man. Of course that’s possible. My point earlier was to highlight that there are different burdens of proof required of the different sexes. So while we are equal before the law, the law is not robotic. Jurisprudence is required (note that word “prudence”) in the courtrooms, and that means some attention to the individuals involved. Sex cannot be ignored.

    Also, on sexual complementarity, I only intended the most basic complementarity. Can women lead? Sure. Can men follow? Sure. But there is a fundamental complementarity that is required for humans (naturally) to exist. In fact, it is still the case that every single human life depends upon the two sexes. So, yes, there is a spectrum in personalities. But it is not that complicated at the level of life itself. To deny a child his/her natural right to two biological parents is unethical.

  • gimpi1

    Well, if, “To deny a child his/her natural right to two biological parents is unethical,” then many families are “unethical” and gay marriage has nothing to do with it. My natural grandfather died before my mother was born. She was raised by my grandmother and a succession of step-fathers. That was common. As an average, marriages in the past didn’t last much longer than they do now, people just died. My grandmother was widowed four times. Strong men and women would bury a few spouses.

    Also, marriages break up. My husband’s father beat him and his mother. She divorced him. He was raised by her, and later by her and a step-father. Again, this is common. Should she have stayed with a batterer? Would that be more “ethical” than divorcing an abusive person?

    Life is complex. There are many kids in foster-care that desperately need a “forever-home.” Loving people — single, married, gay or straight — can provide that. Would you leave them in foster-care limbo? Is that a better alternative than adoption by any loving, stable person or couple?

    No childhood is perfect. Many people raised by their natural parents suffered abuse. Many blended families or single parents raise fine, happy children. You know know a few, I’m sure.

    Here’s a simple test:
    A widower asks his unmarried brother to move in and help with his kids after his wife passes away. Is that immoral? If not, how is it different from a gay couple raising kids — either their natural kids or adopted?

    In my experience, kids really don’t care about the bedroom activities of the adults that raise them. They care if they are loved, if their lives are basically secure, if they are provided for.

    Again, good talk. Thanks.

  • D.M.S.

    Thank you, sister for your faith. Please keep reciting the Lords word on these many different pages of the Internet. PTL.

  • D.M.S.

    I don’t have a clue to who I praise? JESUS the Christ is my Lord, Savior and Master. But I’m still a learning Christian as all of us are. Who am I supposed to praise. You?

  • D.M.S.

    We CHRISTIANS are not going to bring about the second coming of JESUS the Christ. Actually it is the World that’s apart from GOD/JESUS that help our Lord JESUS Return. Praise the LORD!

  • D.M.S.

    1000 years is the same as a DAY. To the Lord GOD! Yes, soon :-)

  • Herm

    Number one: as a child of mankind did you praise your mother, father, sister and/or brother? If you did why would not you praise your family as a child of God?

    Number two: I am not a “learning Christian” for that would be learning from an organized church administrated by mortals. I am learning from my Rabbi who is in me and I am in Him.

    Number three: we are not “supposed” to praise anyone. If praise does not come naturally from a feeling welling up inside you by all means do not praise anyone or thing. A forced praise is what dictators demand to flatter their self indulgent selves. If you are forcing to earn some favor from God you do not know the creator God.

    Number four: are you funnin’ me with the praise me routine?

    Number five: you truly don’t have a clue if you don’t know the Holy Spirit eternally full time in your heart and mind. How would you expect to inherit eternal life if you first cannot love the Lord God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength and with all your mind if you are not bonded in relationship with Him? You would not and you cannot earn a place in the family of God without real love that evokes heartfelt praise naturally.

    I love to praise my entire family of God from my Father all the way down to the least which is me. I love my merciful neighbor as I do myself even when not in my divine family. I truly hope you are beginning to sense a thread of spiritual reality which has everything to do with you and nothing to do with me. I so very much hope you are beginning to understand that Jesus the Christ is Lord and master who serves by teaching today all His little siblings. He and I love each other reciprocally and though I love Him with all I am He loves me more and loved me first … and I am least. We don’t sit around in a mutual admiration society, as do most churches praising His name, for we work and play together as family. We know the praise we have for each other because our hearts and minds are one in the Holy Spirit.

    I’m giving you a clue and I pray you are able to run with it for yourself. If you run back to your church to test if this crazy Herm is sharing the truth then you did not first ask Jesus directly expecting an answer. Don’t praise me as some intellectual of your fellow Man or your intellectual church constantly evolving in theoretical theology but do fall madly in love with our creator God as Their little child. You will then never ever have to ask who to praise for such wonderment in joy will flow naturally.

  • D.M.S.

    Number 1. I am a learning Christian and I will be until my death or the rapture which ever comes first.
    Number 2. I was raised an atheist. My mom waited until we were a little older as children to introduce us to going to church. But it didn’t take.
    Number 3. You don’t have the right to tell me how to believe. I leave that to the Holy Spirit to guide me through Prayer.
    Praise the LORD!

  • Herm

    D.M.S., you were funnin’ with me. I never once told you how to believe. The Holy Spirit and “praise the LORD” are simply not magical incantations that will gain you any favor with God. I can only share with you that our creator God is very real and available to talk with and/or be one within today. This is not a relationship you earn with disciplined creeds, sacraments, dogmas, theology or any physical worship but is a relationship available to accept when you are willing to come to God as a little child.

    These are your words that began this thread:

    Do you study Christian scripture? If you ever decide to do so, instead of listening to False Teachers. You’ll learn that our Lord JESUS can’t return until ISRAEL becomes a nation again. I hope for your sake that you start reading and studying Christian Scripture.

    Praise the LORD!

    I returned direct quotes from the “Christian scripture” you directed others to. You did not read to comprehend what each said. I try to share with you that you can learn directly from “our Lord JESUS” right here and right now because He is here alive and viable to perform His duties with all authority over heaven and on earth. You ignored that as an impossible premise. I did not share with you that regarding your desire that “”ISRAEL” becomes a nation again”. Read your scriptures and weep:

    Brothers and sisters, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. For I can testify about them that they are zealous for God, but their zeal is not based on knowledge. Since they did not know the righteousness of God and sought to establish their own, they did not submit to God’s righteousness. Christ is the culmination of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes. Moses writes this about the righteousness that is by the law: “The person who does these things will live by them.” But the righteousness that is by faith says: “Do not say in your heart, ‘Who will ascend into heaven?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ down) “or ‘Who will descend into the deep?’ ” (that is, to bring Christ up from the dead). But what does it say? “The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,” that is, the message concerning faith that we proclaim: If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved. As Scripture says, “Anyone who believes in him will never be put to shame.” For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:1-13

    I truly do have hope that you will risk to allow the Holy Spirit to join you to guide you in your heart and mind. He is the only faithful Spirit of truth advocating for our creator God … not your “Christian scripture” and not your church.

    Thank you Father for helping me with this!

    Love you D.M.S.! amen

  • D.M.S.

    If you’re trying to tell me that the ” Holy Spirit ” doesn’t have the power to teach me through reading and studying Christian Scripture. We have nothing more to say to each other.
    Praise the LORD!
    I state that phrase after each text to give honor to GOD.
    You will probably find fault with that also. I guess I’m about to see.
    Praise the LORD!

  • Herm

    It depends on how many other voices He competes with. Jesus says that you must hate all other voices competing for your heart and mind to be His student alone. It is fine with me if my voice is one you hate if it is His you’re focused on.

  • D.M.S.

    Goodbye Christian brother.

  • Herm

    Praise the LORD!

  • Marra Nathar

    1 John 2:15-17New International Version (NIV)
    On Not Loving the World
    15 Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, love for the Father[a] is not in them. 16 For everything in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—comes not from the Father but from the world. 17 The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.

  • Marra Nathar

    America is a the forefront of this idea of left wing and right wing and this is slowly being spread outwards to envelope and destroy & divide Christendom. There should be only Christians. The Liberal left with its Homosexual agenda, denying the diety of Christ and the tennents of the faith is causing those who believe in biblical Christianity to move to the right and those who believe in the former to move to the left. Christendom is dividing in these end of days. Being Christian means believing that Jesus is God.
    Being Christian means believing in marriage as God intended – between a male and female.
    Being Christian means upholding the inerrancy of the bible.
    To change this in 2015 to something less, is to walk away.
    If you don’t believe that – then you have already walked away.

  • Marra Nathar

    Thank you for your support and encouragement – sometimes I wonder if I am wasting my time…

  • Marra Nathar

    Sorry – it is flowing the OTHER WAY.
    Killing and persecuting homosexuals in Western secular society is the past, not the future….
    Gay marriage legisation has seen to that.
    UNLESS
    Islam takes over.
    So what must you do to ensure it doesn’t?
    Educate yourself on what Islam is and isn’t.
    Get rid of Barack Obama who wears an Islamic ring and whose father was a Muslim and who was trained in Madrassas.
    And stop Islamic dawah (proselitzing) in education curriculums. Yep it is happening and no-one is stopping it!
    Not to mention stop the immigration of those whom we are fighting overseas.
    How crazy it would have been in the middle of World War II to invite into our countries, Nazis affected by the bombing of Dresden, or Japanese who had been affected by the bombing of Japan and had lost loved ones because of it.
    THINK!
    BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!

  • Marra Nathar

    DMS – something about Herm’s words – doesn’t gel right with my spirit or the Holy Spirit inside me is nudging me about his beliefs. He sounds Christian…but something is not right. I can’t quite pick it…but generally I can sense who is a brother or sister in the Lord. Let’s test it.

  • Marra Nathar

    Herm – a simple Question with a simple answer.

    I believe that Jesus Christ is GOD.

    Can you also write the same statement with no hesitation or any other reasoning?

  • Jeff Preuss

    I think. I think you’re buying into some BS conspiracy theories about Obama, and it’s feeding into a set of your irrational fears.

    “Get rid of Barack Obama who wears an Islamic ring”
    http://www.snopes.com/politics/obama/weddingring.asp

    Why don’t you educate yourself on what is Islam, and what, despite all your frightening claims about Obama…isn’t.

  • Marra Nathar

    reply edited.

  • Jeff Preuss

    If you can’t see that you are believing only what fits your paranoid notions about Obama, maybe YOU don’t want to. The Snopes link I provided has a closeup of his ring. NO Arabic on it at all. It. Is. Gold. Loops.

    The gold loops prove he is a Muslim no more than they prove he is a knit sweater.

    But, just for kicks, here:

    http://jiactiongroup.com/michelle-obama-wedding-ring/michelle-obama-wedding-ring-different-ideas-23-on-ring-design-ideas/

    http://www.obamaconspiracy.org/2012/10/obamas-ring/

    http://www.obamareleaseyourrecords.com/2012/10/revealed-hi-resolution-image-of-obamas.html

    Even some who WANT to discredit Obama find the ring thing a hoax. EDIT to add: So, “all” reports state this? Not at all.

  • D.M.S.

    Me too. But it’s early in our discussions.if you want to read about me all you have to do is go to disqus and read. I think Herm is also open on disqus. On another note I believe it’s a good thing to praise our brothers and sisters in Christ who try to administer the word of our Lord to everyone they can. But that’s just me.

  • Herm

    yes

  • Marra Nathar

    Then please go ahead….

  • Marra Nathar

    After examining all of your evidence…I agree with you – it does appear to be a hoax. The lower pattern is definitely just a sepentine pattern, the upper one a damaged one of the same pattern.
    I am willing to admit I am wrong and you are right.
    There does not appear to be any Islamic writing on this ring.
    Thank you for your information. I am glad that you have brought it to my attention. I would rather admit that I am wrong than continue a lie for someone else’s agenda.

  • Herm

    Marra, can you write the statement that “all the little children of God on earth today are sisters and brothers of Jesus the only begotten Son of God”, with no hesitation or any other reasoning?

  • D.M.S.

    Now for a little sarcasm. Do you believe that the Holy Spirit will be able to direct me better if I read People, Post Gazzette, or Playboy? In stead of the Christian Bible. I don’t know you from a pound of Baloney. So I’m going to keep reading my Christian Study Bible and Reference Bible. And keep praying to GOD, JESUS, Holy Spirit to direct me in my life to serve my and our Lord JESUS the Christ. Goodbye.

  • Mitya1102

    Yes, life is complex. And it is sometimes quite sad. Your examples are clearly, to my mind, instances of when things have gone wrong. They are common examples, but that does not somehow make them a new standard for goodness. So the actual does not reveal the ideal.

    So nobody in these examples set out to deny any child of his/her right to know his/her two biological parents, and to be raised by them. This difference is that we are now moving into a new era wherein we seem to believe that this denial of the significance of half of the world’s population won’t make a bit of difference in the life of the child.

    It can also reduce women to the status of “breeders”–or perhaps only a certain class of women will have that status. Not sure.

    See this: http://breeders.cbc-network.org/

  • Herm

    I know that the Holy Spirit is the active and only living word of God available to all hearts and minds open to Him to guide them in whatever they read and do all day long all the way through eternity. The Bible is only a pointer to our creator God flawed by Man’s concepts and counter to God’s Spirit of truth. Why any one would think that human authors of the Bible would have been destroyed by God if they got the concept wrong I have no clue. God does not edit what we publish. The Pharisees, Sadducee and the high priests in the presence of God got their concept wrong and they were not destroyed but God in carnal form was. The Bible is errant. The word of God is inerrant.

    Read the Bible, People, the Post Gazette and Playboy in counsel with the Spirit of truth and you will duly serve as a little child of God in all you do.

    Children do not serve their family, they have nothing to offer but their faithful love, but their family serves their children by nurture, provisioning and love that they might survive. Children know nothing compared to their mature guardians.

    First, for actual peace and joy befitting a divine faithful child, you must clear your ignorant and immature heart and mind of the notion of sacrificing for God, a false indoctrination of your church, taught you by mankind as though you could earn some reward through disciplined service to God. Children cannot earn anything but by faith they can accept all that is graced them by their adult guardians. Then, as a little child trusting to learn the truth, you can then learn that God is real and actively available to serve you as a mature family. Jesus can then take you hand in hand along the way to one day become mature in the family of God beginning today only as a little child of Theirs on earth.

    Do not trust me or any of your religious influences of mankind. Go directly to God and accept the fullness of Their influence today. If They do not answer you, nurture you, and protect then you why would you believe they would do so after Jesus returns on a cloud or throughout eternity? Why would you believe that Jesus with full authority over heaven and on earth would be so impotent today? Accept the offer, shared in the New Testament gospels, that you can come to Them as a vulnerable and ignorant little child to then, through the whelming of the Holy Spirit, become God’s little child inheriting eternal life (Luke 10:25-37 is all that you must do for this to be so). Jesus taught first, which Judas just couldn’t conceive of a real God to do, that God serves from the bottom up and not from the top down (no trickle down theory in the kingdom). God comes to you exactly where you are at and does not expect you to even possibly be capable of coming up to Them.

    I have all the Christian study resources available to me and I use them to share what Jesus teaches me directly. I read all documentation of mankind as I am led. There is much to learn from my siblings even when they are wrong. It is my Messiah who instructs me in the way that I might discern what is true and what is false and what is somewhere between. My Brother never takes my choices away from me though He does gracefully and lovingly salve my wounds when I err.

    We are not in control but have been given a relatively safe playpen and sibling playmates to build our strength in mind and heart though childish testing. We carnally are truly a speck of nothing with nothing revolving around us but a dead moon. I know much of what is real carnally and spiritually because I read and experience all the resources graced me by God.

    Sorry for the “all over the place” reply here but time is short and I have to reel the pictures off to you as they flash in my heart and mind. Jesus knows your heart and mind better than I and can meet your needs precisely if you allow yourself to be completely open to Him, even and especially when you think you might be sinning. You will find sin isn’t what your church taught you.

    Truly, you do not have to respond back to me but if you are sincere you must respond directly to Jesus and/or the Father. I am only a child sharing the same playpen as you. If you sincerely ask, seek and knock of Them it will be given you, this I can testify to by my own relationship that this is true by my results (fruit).

    If all I said is counter (errant) to God’s will, and this just got published over the internet for all to read, why didn’t it get struck down when I just told you the Bible is errant? Think about that to come to know why you have to have the word of God only as your guide, advocate and connection inside Jesus and Jesus inside you to know the truth of God.

    Love you!!!

  • Proud Amelekite

    My master is Satan yet it is the Christians who do all the lying and the servants of God who do all the evil in the world. If Lucifer stands against your God I am his ally, now and forever.

  • D.M.S.

    Yes I know!

  • Marra Nathar

    So sad, but true.

  • Marra Nathar

    So you cannot write, say or declare unequivocally – JESUS IS GOD?

  • Herm

    Jesus the Messiah is God, Lord with all authority over heaven and on earth today and all His little siblings on earth are God as His brothers and sisters. Are you His disciple, also? Are you willing to make the same claim that you are His sister, or brother, today or are you on the counsel that did not know Him and put Him on the cross for His heresy to claim He was the Son of God?

    So Marra, what is your point? What are you trying to catch me in … exactly in the same spirit as the Pharisees and teachers of the law? Should I be asking my Father to forgive you for what you know not that you are doing?

  • Bloody convenient for your religion’s reputation, isn’t it?

  • Matthew

    It is true, there is not irrefutable proof for the existence of God — but I´m wondering if you might entertain the idea that clues exist that point to the possibility of something greater than our own personal biology and evolution?

    If you continue to doubt, it´s understandable. Some who actually saw the resurrected Christ on the mountain in Galilee where Jesus told them to go also doubted (recorded in Matthew´s Gospel chapter 28). I suppose doubt is so entangled in the human experience that even the New Testament, a set of books committed to supporting the testimony and witness of Jesus Christ, even speaks to the concept. Amazing really if you ask me.

  • gimpi1

    I don’t think thats’ entirely honest. I’ll be frank here, and I apologize in advance if this is offensive.

    I feel this concern with biological families is a new point of concern among many people, though I’m sure you don’t fall into that category. Many conservative policies have deliberately separated parents, mostly fathers, from their children for political or economic reasons, and they have generally had the support of the people now regarding such separation as a tragedy.
    A couple of examples:
    Poverty-relief rules that denied any aid if there was an able-bodied man in the home, forcing men who couldn’t find work to abandon their families so they could get aid. These policies have always enjoyed support among conservative groups.
    Dangerous workplaces that lead to (mostly) men being killed in preventable accidents in mines, on fishing boats, in lumber camps. Many conservative groups have traditionally fought making the work-place safer.
    Wars are one of the most common reasons families separate, as husbands and fathers enlist or are drafted. Yet there is generally a great deal of support for an overly-large military and aggressive action among conservative groups.

    I simply didn’t see this concern for biological families among conservative Christian people until gay people started adopting kids. Suddenly, faced with the fact that gay people can raise kids and do it well, biological families became all-important. Why didn’t they matter when it came to poverty-aid or dangerous workplaces or wars? Why, suddenly, is this all-important?

    I also can’t call it unusually tragic. Domestic violence such as my mother-in-law suffered is quite common. I served jury-duty on a domestic violence case. I was up-front about the fact that I had been battered by an old boyfriend and my husband had been battered by his father. I was not excluded because there were so many people that had either been battered, had seen their fathers batter their mothers, or had hit their spouses or girlfriends that the lawyers used up all their Voi-Dire challenges. Out of 36 people, they couldn’t find 12 who had not been touched by domestic violence. This isn’t new, it isn’t “liberal” and it isn’t caused by gay marriage. Yet, I think it’s one of the more destructive things to affect the family. Perhaps that might be a more important issue to focus on?

    Again, there are many, many kids in foster-care, for many, many different reasons. Do you really believe they are better off there than in a home? You also overlook that many gay couples are, indeed, raising the children of one of them. Would you take a child from its biological mother or father to put it in an unrelated, mixed-gender home? Why?

    Obviously, we’re not going to agree on this. And that’s fine. That’s what makes horses race.

  • expsy

    As to what you mean by clues to something greater than our own biology and evolution, I’m not sure which clues you are referring to. There are certainly forces of nature out there that we do not fully understand and probably will not for sometime to come. However, that does not mean we have to give them a supernatural meaning just because we don’t understand them.
    You talk of the resurrection of Christ yet I believe only two gospels talk of this and they give different accounts. Also, from a historical perspective it is doubtful it ever happened. The only two things all the gospel agree on was Jesus was born and he was crucified by the Romans. Also, the first evidence of any of the gospels is nearly 100 years after the death of Jesus and none were written by eye witnesses, as best we know.
    Throughout history supernatural credence have been given to things we do not understand. As science has progressed each of those supernatural meanings have been discounted and replaced with physical reasoning. I see no reason to give supernatural meaning to things we do not yet understand. For me at least, not yet understanding is sufficient. Giving supernatural meaning with no evidence has no value or meaning.

  • Jeff Preuss

    It’s the old No True Scotsman fallacy. Oy.

  • You’re a Christian. You’ve identified yourself as such in past comments. Don’t be so pedantic.

    And your blustering about not hating is all well and good but Christians such as yourself don’t seem to apply it to LGBT people among others, so no thanks.

  • Matthew

    Scientist Francis Collins puts it rather well in the following quote:

    “When you look from the perspective of a scientist at the universe, it looks as if it knew we were coming. There are 15 constants — the gravitational constant, various constants about the strong and weak nuclear force, etc. — that have precise values. If any one of those constants was off by even one part in a million, or in some cases, by one part in a million million, the universe could not have actually come to the point where we see it. Matter would not have been able to coalesce, there would have been no galaxy, stars, planets, or people.”

    Assuming Collins is correct, I see this as a clue that something bigger than blobs of evolutionary biology may indeed exist and that this “something” has indeed played a large role in the creation of the universe. Now you might say that although Collins may be correct, it still doesn´t prove that something supernatural caused these constants to fall into place — but could such precision truly have happened by chance or some sort of evolutionary process? Maybe … but probably not. Statistics and even common sense simply don’t support the notion.

    About your comments regarding the New Testament:

    The apparent contradictions in the Gospel accounts, the question of historicity, the doubts surrounding authenticity, etc. have been addressed in numerous books. I am certain a simple Google search with yield fruitful results, if indeed you are open to the other arguments that are out there. The theological authors who have dedicated there academic lives to Christian apologetics can do a much better job than me in terms of countering the garden variety objections you seem to have.

  • expsy

    You give a very long explanation, however, not one part of your explanation gives an iota of evidence concerning the existence of a supernatural force. The problem with your theory is it relies on the concept that if (at present) it is to complex to understand it must be supernatural. That is a false premise and the one that has been used for centuries and discounted many times. As for theological theorists. There premise is all conjecture. no hard evidence.

  • Matthew

    How then do you explain universal constants that need to be ever so exact in order for matter to coalesce? Is it simply too complex for you to offer any kind of hypothesis?

    Like I said in an earlier post, there isn´t irrefutable evidence for God or even supernatural involvement in creation, but there isn´t irrefutable evidence that God and supernatural involvement in creation is simply a myth. Where does that leave us now?

    You seem to be pretty well set in your viewpoint. I´m wondering then, from your perspective, if all we are are blobs of evolutionary biology that will eventually fade away into nothing, how then shall we live now, in this time?

  • expsy

    I don’t try to explain quote”universal constants that need to be ever so exact in order for matter to coalesce?” because, yes, they are to complex for me to explain. However, I don’t claim that because they are to complex for me to understand they must have a supernatural cause. I just think we do not have enough knowledge at the moment to explain them. As for giving irrefutable evidence that god did not have a hand in creation. It is impossible to prove a negative. In over 5000 years of history there has never been one single piece of evidence that god or supernatural phenomena exists. Not one piece.
    Yes I do believe we are just biological machines that will, like 99.9% of other species, eventually go extinct.
    You ask, how then shall we live in this time? I’m not sure what you are you are talking about but if you are inferring that because I believe that when we die that is it and the species will eventually go extinct there should be no moral values you are utterly wrong. It does not require a belief in a supernatural being or a belief in life after death in which there are consequences for our actions to have a moral code. All it requires is a respect for our fellow humans on this planet while we exist. Once you are dead then it is of no consequence.

  • Matthew

    Thanks so much expsy.

    I guess my last 2 question are:

    Why is it that biological machines believe that humans should respect one another? Has evolution taught them such a moral code?

  • expsy

    In a sense yes, evolution has taught us to respect each other. As a species we are not adapted to survive very well on our own and evolution is about survival. We cannot run fast, we cannot climb well, we have no sharp teeth or claws to kill or defend ourselves well. One of the reasons we have survived as a species is we have learned to live in groups. As a group we are well adapted for survival. Therefore it is in our interest to work well together as a group. As we became more conscious of ourselves and our place in the group we began to develop a moral code that allows for better survival.

  • Matthew

    Ah yes … another answer brings on yet more questions …

    If biological machines are products of evolution, and if evolution as a system is all about survival, why all this talk about eventual extinction as a species? Why try to survive if the end game is actually extinction?

    Also … have we (humans) really learned to live together well as groups? A quick look at the global reality says something altogether different to me.

  • expsy

    Yes evolution is about survival. When environmental conditions no longer support a species it either adapts or goes extinct. Pretty simple really.
    As for humans living together, of course we have to cooperate or we would not be here. However, now you are getting into the realm of how groups react with each other. Giving simplistic answers does nothing but negate what the group dynamics are.
    Humans survive in groups. In order to survive in groups then rules must be established and, what we call moral codes, set up. Someone who breaks the code or rules becomes a threat to the survival of the group and in turn to each member of the group. Therefore, the group sanctions them in some way.
    Equally, when one group is threatened by another group because they are competing for the same resources then conflict usually ensues. We see it throughout the animal kingdom and we are nothing except another species of animal.
    Look at the robber cave research by Muzafer Sherif. You may find it interesting.

  • Matthew

    Thanks again expsy. I hope you don´t mind, but I have some more questions:

    Who establishes these rules that the groups must play by? Where do the rules come from? If a group member steals something (for example), and the rest of the group(s) say that the member must be sanctioned because of the stealing … why? Why is stealing wrong? Simply because the group(s) says so?

    Morality seems like a very important component in the biological machine model … so important that I want to understand its roots more.

  • expsy

    I have no problem at all. It is nice to have an intelligent conversation instead of receiving the usual disparaging remarks.
    The rules of the group comes out of the instinct of survival. As I said before, humans survived because they formed groups. Individually they did not stand much chance of survival therefore they are by default social creatures. So, taking the premise that the survival of the group is important to the survival of the individual, if one individual does something that threatens the survival of the group, i.e., steals from another, then the group will sanction that individual. This is the beginnings of a moral code and we even see it in other species. One asset man shares with very few species is self awareness, The ability to recognize ourselves as an entity. Because of this asset we were able to discern certain features about ourselves (both biological and psychological). As these abilities became more apparent to us we started to develop rules, many unwritten but understood. Also, as we developed personalities, leaders were established. This is also something we see in other species, wolves for example. These leaders established rules and, overtime, as humans advanced and civilization started to be established (I sometimes think that term civilization is an oxymoron) rules started to evolve into moral codes. It was, I believe, a long and slow process, but so is evolution in most cases. Hope this helps.

  • Matthew

    I agree. We get nowhere when all we do is slam each other with our arguments and worldviews. Listening, discussing, asking more questions, etc. is really important and it´s something that comment sections in blogs are not often filled with :-(.

    Maybe stealing wasn´t the best example. That one seems pretty obvious. What about competing moralities that are less clear? For example, one group says that children should be able to go to war, another group says such is not acceptable (there could even be competing moralities between individuals in groups) — how does the evolutionary process sort that out?

    We see this kind of competing morality problem all the time in our current world. Think western worldview versus Middle Eastern worldview as an example. Both regions of the world contain humans who, from your perspective, are merely biological machines singing an evolutionary tune, yet these groups of humans have very different moral understandings.

    It seems to me that evolution should be producing a uniform morality that transcends all human people groups so that these groups have the best chance of survival. I don´t see that as being the case in our world.

  • expsy

    I understand what your saying. What you are trying to tackle is an extremely complex issue. You have to look for the common factor. The common factor is in the the way moral codes developed, not what the content of them is. Now I understand you may not agree with what I am going to say and that is OK. However, I am talking from my perspective.
    You basically ask why there are different codes in different places. The specifics are different but the structure is very similar. As society gradually developed, first with small groups and then with large towns and city states there was always a need to make sure the group had the best chance of survival. As the groups got bigger then the rules had to become more complicated. Add to this the fact that humans are a curious species. The question arose, why, even though we have done nothing wrong do bad things happen (climate disasters, illness, etc.,). When a logical answer could not be found, often it was attributed to the supernatural. This in turn gave rise to idea of a supreme deity. Because most groups were isolated then different ideas were put forward by different groups and thus different religions were born. If you look at human social structure, which is extremely complex, there appears to be certain constants that come through. However, the details change from society to society. One simple example numbers. All societies (that I know of) have some sort of numerical system, a constant. However, the details are different. Romans, Greeks, Arabic, Myan, all had different systems. For example, Romans had no concept of the number zero. Roman numerals have no zero. I hope this helps with what is a very complex subject. You may want to look at the work of Dr. David Buss. He is a Evolutionary psychologist and he has done some really great work on how humans choose a mate.

  • Matthew

    Is it possible that although (based on your perspective) different groups came up with different moral theories, religions, etc. that there is a univeral morality that surpasses all the individual manifestations — or — do you simply think all morality and ethical understanding is relative because that´s simply how people groups developed?

    Many people the world over would say that Mother Teresa was good while Adolf Hilter was evil. If all moral understanding is relative based on the evolution of people groups, then why the need to make this moral distinction at all?

  • Kristine Rowland

    “Not to mention stop the immigration of those whom we are fighting overseas.”

    We aren’t bringing in those we are fighting against. I don’t know how you can claim to love God, while hating others. The refugees are fleeing ISIS. Running away from ISIS. And they need a home. Christ commands us to help others who are in need. No excuses. No equivocations. No whining. Help others. Period. That includes Syrian (and other) refugees.

    You won’t incite me to fear. The Spirit God gives does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.

  • Kristine Rowland

    “You’ll learn that our Lord JESUS can’t return until ISRAEL becomes a nation”

    Isreal’s been nation since 1947. Further, God is God and can do whatever God wants. There is no “can’t” with God.

  • Kristine Rowland

    “Like you, I find the categories…problematic, at best. And like you, I disagree with homosexual behavior”

    I am bisexual, and have only dated other women, so I fall into the LGB spectrum. I’m also a T.

    I will outline my “behavior”

    I’m a geek I love working with, and on computers. I also love gaming. I watch movies often. I pray, and spend time with God. I also listen to music. I also go shopping, for food and other necessities. I don’t really do anything else, but bathe and sleep.

    I’d like to know what you find so offensive about my “behavior.”

  • Bones

    Guess what Arab Chsristians call God?

    I’ll give you a clue; starts with A and ends with h. Has two ‘l’s and an ‘a’ in the name.

    Let’s all sing with our Christian Arab brothers and sisters ” “How great is Allah”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oS3QNX_KBoI

    This is the problem when people believe any old shit their pastor tells them.

  • Bones

    Yes you are. You Muslim haters are a dime a dozen.

  • Bones

    Actually no.. You types didn’t give a flying f**k about gay people when they were being given electroshock therapy and put in mental institutions to cure them of gayness.

  • D.M.S.

    Does GOD make mistakes when GOD creates?

  • Russell Davis

    So, isn’t that what the Republicans are doing?

  • Brian B

    I recently came out of the republican party but what does bother me is that you never go after the liberals on any issues. Personally to be a conservative or liberal in my opinion is a sin because then we allow political view points to cloud our understanding. Why don’t you consider these conservatives might be mislead, when I first became a Christian, I started out at a fundi church but didn’t realize it at the time because I thought it was normal and it was what Christians believed, don’t you think many are in that same boat? If I would have read your blog when I was still a conservative I would have disregarded it as another Liberal name calling fest, which you must admit does happen constantly. I consider myself a Christian and show love to everyone even conservative Christians, because my Pastor showed love for me and in a loving way helped show me that both political sides and parties are wrong. So I consider myself a Christian and I try to follow the liberal ways of Jesus not the American Liberals because they are way different, American Liberals are more intolerant than Conservatives, even though conservatives do tend to be more racist. American Liberalism is a form of Sharia as well, they use labeling and name calling as a weapon to make everyone think like they do. Conservatives do the same, so my point is lets not cast stones while living in glass houses? I figured having a Masters degree would make you smarter and help you realize that Liberals are just as bad and want to force socialism which is a Christian idea on others. We should help the poor as individuals and Churches but we shouldn’t force non believers to do it because that is pushing religion as well. As for Sharia law I am against any form of sharia law in America, no matter what religion it is even Christianity, but yes there is a radical version of sharia law that we should all fear because it has already come to England and to deny that is to be blind or just not want to admit you are wrong. Please as a fellow Christian I ask that you point the finger at both sides, because both sides do wrong and instead of working with people they name call and belittle people to accept their opinions. I am intolerant of the intolerant Liberals and Conservatives.

  • Brian B

    Sadly the liberals and media are working together to force Christians to be of this world or be labeled as bigots. To be honest Democrats are just as big of bigots as Republicans if not more in some areas, both have hijacked Christians and fooled some of the smartest ones in to taking their side in order to get votes. A great example is the Author of this blog he wants us to love the sin and the sinner, but we shouldn’t love the sin but we should give radical love to the sinner. Excusing sin is not being tolerant it is allowing evil, but being so closed minded like most republican conservatives are is just as bad. We have to balance things and make sure they point to Jesus and not a political viewpoint we might think is the right one. We have been hood winked and forced to accept liberal or conservative view points or we get labeled as bigots, anti-semites, false Christians or worse. This is the real tragedy of our time we want to not be labeled so we love the sin as well, that is not what Jesus did, he always showed radical love but followed it up with “Go and sin o more.” I am not sayingf we wont struggle with sin but we shouldn’t accept it or think it is alright we should work on it and if we cannot we might have to ask ourselves if we are really saved. My biggest issue with American Liberal Christians is they are one step away from Atheism because sooner or later their own side will wear them down and ridicule them until they leave and realize Liberals are loud mouth thugs who want to control our thoughts. Sorry but I won’t be a puppet for either side, honestly I don’t care if homosexuals get married I love them but I will point out they are sinners just like ME. Until we get rid of political sides our view of Christianity will always be jaded.

  • austin slater

    I’m glad I found the blog and I like a lot of what you have to say. even in areas I don’t agree in your responses tend to be well thought out. I would like to see a little more balanced approach at times though. You’re right, Christianity doesnt have to equal the right but it also doesn’t have to equal the left either. You’re blog continually attacks one side when the left is equally bigoted at times. Too often political beliefs trump our faith on both sides. Anyway I do enjoy the blog and looking forward to more good stuff in the future.

  • Stivee

    Why worship a God who makes you afraid of him? Who forces you to worship blindly under threat of eternal torment? Your God is a monster worse than any North Korean dictator.

  • Stivee

    In the 50s and 60s you couldn’t be a Christian and marry a black person, supposedly. Watch “The Loving Story” and you’ll hear Christians apply the exact same arguments they apply to gay couples.

  • Stivee

    Paul also said men should cover their heads and women shouldn’t speak in church. Where’s your head covering?

  • Stivee

    That’s what Christians want–people like me to be dead. You’re disgusting.

  • Stivee

    John 10:10: “I and the Father are one.” Hardly the anti-LGBT bombshell you say it is. Jesus had little to say about gay people and a lot to say about Pharisees like the fundamentalists we see today.

  • D.M.S.

    How many times should Christ Jesus have to state what a sin is to Him?
    Once, twice, 5 times, 20 times? Once should suffice.
    Unless one doesn’t care if they sin, then they have chosen the wide gate.

  • D.M.S.

    I’m a Christian and I don’t want any person dead, including my enemies. What I want to be dead is Sin.