Pope Francis Is NOT A Champion Of The Marginalized

Pope Francis Is NOT A Champion Of The Marginalized August 23, 2017

Pope Francis is not a hero to the marginalized

Pope Francis has, by and large, been lauded by many progressive Christians since the earliest days of his papacy– I have been one of them. In fact, in 2015 I was interviewed by CNN as one of a variety of non-Catholic faith leaders who liked and respected him, even going so far as to say I had a “bromance” with him.

There are certainly a host of things to like and celebrate about Pope Francis, most especially when viewing those things in comparison to his predecessors. Some times, appreciating qualities of a leader is not absolute but is often relative. From washing the feet of prisoners, consistently speaking out in defense of the poor, to his more humble life that includes simple garb, sneaking out for pizza, and living in a normal apartment; I can find no shortage of things to appreciate about him. Because of some of these unique acts and qualities, the Pope has often been hailed as a hero of the marginalized, as if he is a shining example of what standing in defense of the vulnerable look like.

But unfortunately, that’s not true. As I continue to listen and learn from voices within marginalized communities, and as I push myself to dig deeper into issues of intersectionality when it comes to risk and marginalization, I am more and more aware that Pope Francis is no hero to the marginalized.

Not at all.

One cannot claim to stand for the marginalized and oppressed while continuing to stigmatize and contribute to the very factors that lead to one becoming marginalized. For example, the Pope recently stated that teaching children what it means to be transgender was “terrible” and a “war against marriage.” These types of statements show that while the Pope puts on a good front for many people pushed to the shadows of society, he still does not understand how many of the end up there.

The process of marginalization– pushing a certain group of people to the edge of society– often begins with how we speak about them. Negative language, derogatory terms, misrepresenting who they are, or ignorantly or falsely describing their desires and motivation, are one of the key ways by which the process of marginalization begins.

As these negative stereotypes, biases, and misinformation about various groups take root and permeate through culture, individuals end up either pushed to the margins of society, or are denied ever being included as a full and equal part of it to begin with.

And what happens then?

Once a people group begin to find themselves marginalized, things have a way of always getting worse. While stigmatization (beginning with the language we use) gives birth to progressive marginalization, marginalization often gives way to things like criminalization or destitution. When one is either poor, has limited access to physical or societal resources, has drastically reduced or limited opportunities in comparison to the average member of society, and/or is verbally maligned by society at large, they often find themselves in the difficult position of destitution or surviving via activities that for them are necessary, but for society are criminalized. Usually activities that those outside of a marginalized population don’t have to engage in if they don’t choose to, which makes the criminalization factor even more oppressive since it is largely only these marginalized groups who are affected. And of course, as we all know, once you have been criminalized life can get a lot harder moving forward.

The net result of this process of stigmatization leading to marginalization, followed by criminalization or destitution, is that it creates a vicious cycle where people have no way out. No hope. For many, life’s trajectory only moves in one direction: progressively worse.

While I applaud many of the overtures Pope Francis has made toward the poor and oppressed, the sad reality is that he is playing a role in how some of them get there to begin with. In addition, those who hear, internalize, and repeat some of the negative language or stereotypes he has made about marginalized communities, are doing the same.

Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, until he calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture– and certainly as long as he continues to make disparaging remarks about them– Pope Francis is no champion of the marginalized.

He’s actually contributing to their marginalization.

 

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Herm

    When someone shows me that a LBGTQ person is harmful to mankind, only because (s)he feels and acts LBGTQ, beyond sanctimoniously being believed to be abominable to God/Allah, then I will accept “the Pope recently stated that teaching children what it means to be transgender was “terrible” and a “war against marriage” as the Pope being a champion for mankind. War is a war against marriage, in and of itself. Marriage between a fertile male and fertile female serves only to propagate the carnal species of mankind, and in the Pope’s case populate his church. There is no marriage in heaven.

  • olbab

    Good stuff. Keep it up. Found a typo:
    “These types of statements show that while the Pope puts on a good front for many people pushed to the shadows of society, he still does not understand how many of the[m] end up there.”

  • You said, “For example, the Pope recently stated that teaching children what it means to be transgender was “terrible” and a “war against marriage.” These types of statements show that while the Pope puts on a good front for many people pushed to the shadows of society, he still does not understand how many of the end up there.” The Pope is simply being true to his Catholic beliefs.

    You said. “Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, until he calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture– and certainly as long as he continues to make disparaging remarks about them– Pope Francis is no champion of the marginalized.” That no Pope will ever do. You simply do not understand Catholicism

  • Iain Lovejoy

    What you have shown is that Pope Francis is a champion of the marginalised with a blind spot about LGBT people brought about by one aspect of his Catholic faith. Don’t fall prey to the small child’s fault of oscillating between blind hero worship and bitter feelings of betrayal because you find your idol is only human and imperfect after all.

  • Kurt 20008

    If the CEOs of HRC, the Victory Fund and the Task Force lived simply on the salary of Francis (€ 35,000/yr), I would take this all much more seriously.

  • Newton Finn

    Have we debased ourselves to the point where we consider free sexual expression as more important than food and shelter, healthcare and education, the right to a decent job for decent pay? If we only allowed LBGTQ people, or any other minority in our population, to compete equally as cutthroats in the neoliberal capitalist playing field of “hunger games,” would that be enough to satisfy our thirst (or God’s thirst) for justice and righteousness? The Catholic Church has a long history of conservatism in the area of human sexuality, one I disagree with in many ways, including its failure to fully embrace LBGTQ people. But it also has a long history of speaking out on behalf of the economically vulnerable and exploited. Are you seriously contending that the former trumps the latter? THIS is the weakness of today’s left.

  • Patrick

    Why would gender dysphoria and those who push children to reconsider how God made them not be harmful to God’s creating activity Herm? You might want to consider understanding resurrection on a deeper level. There may not be marriage in heaven but we will be males or females in the age to come based on what Yahweh has made us.

  • Herm

    Patrick, your phobia and carnal traditions are showing. Number one, Yahweh is a carnal word and God is spirit, spirit only. I know my Brother and my Father because I am in Them and They are in me, not by some mystical name. Number two, no one has to push any child to be different, all children are different; some effeminate with male organs and some masculine with female organs, and some with both organs, and some with no functional reproductive organs. Number three, what harm do any do to humanity simply because they are LBGTQ? Number four, on what evidence do you have it that a binary all male or all female is distinctly what each individual will be in heaven and why do you think that is? Number five, without human intervention there are, within other animal species on this earth, LBGTQ allowed to be by God.

    And last of all, what exactly is “God’s creating activity” and why do you think that is?

  • Short answer? No of course not!! Nowhere did I see in Corey’s post a mutually exclusive situation. LBGTQ people exist! God doesn’t make junk!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/56427e18369a00f103da336d9a20f0effb007a4766dbad10601498c118797dc1.jpg
    Carry on!!

  • Patrick have you ever read this? Galatians 3:28
    27For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28There is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
    So what do you think about that?
    https://youtu.be/rl7S1iv4mf0
    Here’s a nice song you might like!!

  • Word!!
    The Lord has been giving me good songs lately on YouTube!
    https://youtu.be/rl7S1iv4mf0

  • Newton Finn

    Carry on with what? Splitting the already weakened left by emphasizing issues of sexual expression over the life and death issues facing billions of our fellow human beings who struggle to survive on $2.50 of less per day (50% of humanity) or $10.00 or less per day (80% of humanity), while a handful of people own more wealth than the lower half of the human race, and our planet is being polluted and plundered to the point of ecocide by this obscene wealth accumulation? The key word here is “priorities.”

  • Patrick

    Herm, I suppose since you resorted to assuming (falsely, I might add) that I have a “phobia” and whatever it is you mean by “carnal traditions,” (if for some strange reason, holding to the teaching of the Church Catholic as it has been given us by God through the Two Testaments, One Canon, the Ante and Post Nicean Fathers and the Ecumenical Councils, that those are “carnal traditions”), well then my friend, I will say that you may be on the slippery slope of Gnosticism with your statements. First, how exactly is “Yahweh a carnal word?” One has to wonder with that statement if you believe that God is Father, Son, and Holy Spirit as given to us by divine revelation. Since you know “my Brother and my Father” then you would know that they are One. One in essence and substance and glory. With that being said, (and I don’t know what your opinions are of sacred scripture) St. John says it this way: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through him and without him was not any thing made that was made….And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth.” What does it mean that God is spirit? I would love to hear your response to that question before we go any further.

  • What’s Love Got to Do Got to Do with It?

  • Patrick

    Charles, I love the spirit of the song. And yes, I have read St. Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia and I believe it to a very convincing critique of Jewish exclusiveness and with that theme in mind, he tears down the old covenant system (law, temple, etc., also see his reference to Hagar) and how the New Covenant community and its in-breaking into the world through the crucified and resurrected Lord (see Paul’s reference to Sarah and the children of promise). In its proper context, Galatians 3:28 is reiterating that theme: unlike the old covenant where there was much exclusion to being in God’s presence and receiving his blessings where women were only able to go into the women’s court, and Gentiles (who were despised by Jews) were only able to enter into the Gentile court of the Temple and slaves were never able to enter into the temple especially with their masters, in the New Covenant, all — yes all, Jew or Gentile, no matter if they’re male or female, slave or masters, all are given the Spirit of God in this new humanity, this new community and are the Temple of God through faith in Jesus the Messiah. This isn’t about stripping away the sexual identity as God has made male and female.

  • Herm

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    John 4:23-24 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

    “I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when he, the Spirit of truth, comes, he will guide you into all the truth. He will not speak on his own; he will speak only what he hears, and he will tell you what is yet to come. He will glorify me because it is from me that he will receive what he will make known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine. That is why I said the Spirit will receive from me what he will make known to you.”

    John 16:12-15 (NIV2011)

    All of the above is from the mouth of the Messiah!

    The Spirit of truth came as promised and has been in our midst ever since:

    After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

    Acts 4:31 (NIV2011)

    There was no Christian Bible compiled under the authority of Constantine when the word of God was spoken boldly upon becoming fully filled, whelmed, immersed, baptized with and in the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth.

    “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 (NIV2011)

    This is true for all children of God, disciples (students) of Christ, who have been born of the Spirit on earth today.

    Christ never once condemned LBGTQ people, only those He expressed woe (grief) for.

    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 (NIV2011)

    Put together everything I just pointed out to you and you might begin to understand the rock Jesus spoke of to Peter was the influence of the Holy Spirit, the Advocate, the Spirit of truth and He who appeared as a Dove. He was the same Word in the beginning spoken of in the gospel according to John. He, the Spirit, was necessary before the carnal Jesus could be recognized as the Son of God, in all four gospels, and for Jesus, the promised Christ, to begin His three year ministry ending on the cross.

    As soon as Jesus was baptized, he went up out of the water. At that moment heaven was opened, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him. And a voice from heaven said, “This is my Son, whom I love; with him I am well pleased.”

    Matthew 3:16-17 (NIV2011)

    Just as Jesus was coming up out of the water, he saw heaven being torn open and the Spirit descending on him like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Mark 1:10-11 (NIV2011)

    When all the people were being baptized, Jesus was baptized too. And as he was praying, heaven was opened and the Holy Spirit descended on him in bodily form like a dove. And a voice came from heaven: “You are my Son, whom I love; with you I am well pleased.”

    Luke 3:21-22 (NIV2011)

    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 1:32-34 (NIV2011)

    The Spirit has remained with, in and on me, without pause, promised without end, when I asked my Father and my Brother to protect me from all evil, to teach me the truth and to fill me with the Holy Spirit. I am a sibling disciple of the Messiah who has ALL authority on earth and in heaven today. I passed all the prerequisites Jesus laid down in:

    “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 (NIV2011)

    I abide by the sum of the law and the commandments that the law hangs on:

    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 (NIV2011)

    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 (NIV2011)

    I meet all the requirements as a child of God to inherit eternal life:

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus. “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    I do that plus love my enemy while carrying my cross for my enemy.

    Out of all I have shared with you, regarding the law, where do you see a LBGTQ person not being able to inherit eternal life as a child of God born of the Spirit?

    Sin is where one is unable to empathize, have compassion for and forgive another as they would have another do to them, as they love themselves. Can you empathize, have compassion for and forgive a good LBGTQ person (who in no other way threatens you or yours except to express what to you is “dysphoria”) as you love yourself? Can you empathize, have compassion for, and forgive God, especially Christ, with your entire spirit self, graced you in the image of God: your heart, your soul, your strength, your mind?

    I truly hope you read everything I just shared and do check it all for context. Let me leave you with this from the end of the book of John, since you quoted the beginning:

    Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.

    John 21:25 (NIV2011)

    How much can you believe Jesus has done in the 1,984 years since His ascension?

    The Holy Spirit is with and in every child born of the Spirit, and with and in Christ, and with and in the Father that we may be one in heart and mind, as in the beginning, bound forever in all love. That is the nature of spirit with no beginning and no end. The nature of carnal is all things must die and on earth all carbon based life will return to the earth from whence it came.

    Love you!

  • Tim

    My thoughts as well.

  • kcthomas

    Corey seems to think that he or those of his ilk are the model for right thinking. The fact that the Church does not consider any people including atheists or enemies of the Church as lesser in any way must be first understood by him. The Church loudly proclaim that homosexual acts,infidelity, incest etc.are sinful and should be avoided. Jesus said lust is a sin .Does it mean that he taught that such persons should be hated or treated as lesser ? Not at all. If Corey loves LGBT ,he is free to accommodate them,offer food and clothing We are all taught to be helpful and not hateful. People who criticise Mother Teresa do not like to touch a dirty worm infested poor person lying in the street. Please be good and constructive in criticism.

  • This isn’t like you normally, Benjamin. I too have been dumbfounded at some of the statements Pope Francis has made; he sounds so very UNCatholic! Most of the time.

    I still view myself as a protestant who is against many of the false doctrines of Catholicism, though I have learnt to accept individuals in the RC church who have the same faith in Jesus that I have. ‘People are more important than theology’ is one of my mantras, though I love discussing theology until the cows come home.

    Change in church is a very slow process, as I’m sure you know from your studies of our history. The RC church is probably about the slowest to change, if ever! Accept that he’s being much more accessible and is reaching out to different groups and take it as a positive. I wish that attitudes would change in protestant churches too, but ingrained ‘fear and misunderstanding’ will always make us drag our heels behind any forward movement. Patience IS a virtue. I hope for a day that even in non-affirming churches, LGBT people would be accepted as actual humans in need of Jesus too, and not societal pariahs that must be condemned. That’s not coming soon, I’m afraid. Faith fails me in that field.

  • Realist1234

    ‘Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters…’

    – could you clarify precisely what you mean by this? That is, spell out what specific actions you expect the Pope to take for you to view him as being on the side of the marginalised?

  • G. David Daley

    It can’t be easy to be meaningfully ‘progressive’ while heading the most conservative institution on the planet.

  • Newton Finn

    Precisely. The battle for freedom of sexual expression in a predatory capitalist system means little if the system itself is not challenged but remains in place. LBGTQ people who climb to the top of the corporate ladder would become just another example of tokenism. Equality of opportunity to rise in a corrupt and exploitative environment has become the mantra of so much of contemporary progressive activism. If not joined with a direct attack on the system of oppression itself, it is nothing but a diversion and helps to provide a patina of fairness and equality, to allow the ruthless system to appear to have a human face.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…spell out what specific actions you expect the Pope to take for you to view him as being on the side of the marginalized?”

    I can’t speak for Ben, but retracting the following might be a good place to start, “…the Pope recently stated that teaching children what it means to be transgender was ‘terrible’ and a ‘war against marriage.'”

  • Realist1234

    I was thinking more of ‘positive’ action/words rather than retracting a ‘negative’.

    I look forward to Ben’s response.

  • Have you ever heard of Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire?

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pedagogy_of_the_Oppressed

    Here’s a quote from the Wikipedia page:
    “Freedom is acquired by conquest, not by gift. It must be pursued constantly and responsibly. Freedom is not an ideal located outside of man; nor is it an idea which becomes myth. It is rather the indispensable condition for the quest for human completion”. 
    Pedagogy of the oppressed is Dedicated to the oppressed and based on his own experience helping Brazilian adults to read and write, Freire includes a detailed Marxist class analysis in his exploration of the relationship between the colonizer and the colonized. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/373b9411e96f6c49c8e996a9f1f6e2826145683d43bc5f8a5710261891535128.jpg

  • I feel this could be the beginning of a good conversation!! Can you say more about what you are thinking about Christians, Christian history, Progressive Christians, Christianity in general and colonization? https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/a2b6cb923a263966ef67dd29a6c50505eea7df0174dde82741986a50de371764.jpg

  • I was wondering if you have had any LBGTQ friends? Seems a lot of stuff is all up in your head and no experience in my humble opinion. If that is so I look forward to exploring with you more conversations about experiences you will be having with real-world people. Fear not!! https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/c60e0c0d1aecd145e5f5ee0060bda639e609aa8c16d75a05e2194865c4aa9a6e.jpg

  • Newton Finn

    Haven’t read it but am familiar with Fanon’s work. Thanks for the recommendation. These days, I’m interested in anyone who can refocus the vision of the left, which has weakened and been deflected since the 60s.

  • Morgan Guyton blog Mercy not sacrifice was really good today. I highly recommend!!
    A conversation with my son about the difference between history and historiography

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/mercynotsacrifice/2017/08/24/conversation-son-difference-history-historiography/#iyw4SXGAJbHOlO64.99

  • $144948586

    How would you teach a child in school about transgenderism without confusing non-transgender kids about who/what they “truly” are?

    Edit*
    “What” is not in the derogatory sense as I wouldn’t do that. What is in the sense of “what gender”.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m not quite sure I understand

  • $144948586

    How would you teach a child in school about transgenderism?

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m still not quite sure I understand the question since it’s so open ended. Isn’t that kinda like saying how do you teach algebra? Doesn’t it just start with being truthful?

  • $144948586

    Yes it exists, then what?
    And what age?

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m not sure. For instance, I believe it is both right and proper to teach sex education, but just because I believe that to be so does not mean I am an expert in the best instructional practices and at what age it should be done. Isn’t that why we have educators and psychologists?

  • $144948586

    Admittedly I have distaste for most psychologists, but I won’t chase that here. As well, I disagree on the importance of sexual education in school. Of course, I also disagree with public school anyway. So, fair enough.

    Now to what end do we teach transgender or gender in school? What’s the purpose?

  • Neko .Zombie

    Ben we agree a lot and I find many of your posts inspirational and worth sharing. But I have to disagree here. I say this as an LGBT Christian: one need not stand for totality to be worth looking up to. Are we to dismiss Ghandi for his racist writings, despite his awe-inspiring work in nonviolence? Or Dr King for calling Homosexuality a ‘problem’ [lets not get into the debate of whether he would’ve changed his mind in modern times].

    If the Pope still has — lets put it mildly — some indelicate things to say about LGBT, so be it I suppose. Do I like it? No, of course not. But I have bigger problems at home, like a president who recently promised to fight for LGBT rights — only to ban the T in the LGBT from the military. This recent Pope is, by any account, a refreshing change of course for an institution recently caught up in the biggest child abuse scandal perhaps in history. Everything you say is correct. Words like these from a powerful man have an effect and may in the long run, harm me and my friends. But one can’t throw it all in the dustbin because of that.

  • Ron McPherson

    Well if you have a distaste for psychologists and public schools, then I’m guessing you wouldn’t like any response I give : )

  • $144948586

    I’m not bashing, just admitting my bias. I wpuld like to hear your response.

  • Ron McPherson

    I don’t view education as bad. Why would we not offer education in this area? Without it, truth gives way to stereotypes, bullying, bigotry, labeling, and misinformation. Education doesn’t cure all this, but it can go a long way to mitigating some of the internal and external trauma LGBT kids face.

  • $144948586

    Does that mean we should teach it to de-stigmatize/affirm that it’s OK to be transgender or any other LGBTQ?

  • Ron McPherson

    I sure hope it would lead to destigmatize.

  • $144948586

    But isn’t that indoctrination?

  • Ron McPherson

    How would combating stigmatization be indoctrination?

  • $144948586

    Is it not teaching kids to affirm transgenderism or LGBTQ are acceptable despite the what their parents would have them believe?

  • Ron McPherson

    So truth to help others should be withheld so as not to offend those desiring to stigmatize?

  • $144948586

    Well I can’t speak to their intentions; I just want to know how forcing upon kids a genders study is not indoctrination given that the goal is explicitly to de-stigmatize and affirm a gender-ism/orientation of any kind.

  • Discuss acting up? I got your reply on my notificationsite but it’s not showing up here. *sigh*. Hope this gets to you.
    Thanks for your reply! Would you like to go into more detail about What do you mean by
    “my view of history is influenced heavily by

    – Marx,
    – Engels,
    – Lenin and
    – Trotsky.”

    I realized I didn’t know what syncretism is: according to a reference I looked at Religious syncretism exhibits blending of two or more religious belief systems into a new system, or the incorporation into a religious tradition of beliefs from unrelated traditions.

    I wondered what a ‘full Christian confession’ is. I found this definition;
    Asking God for the Holy Spirit’s help to examine your conscience well by prayerfully reviewing your conduct in light of the commandments and the example of Christ.

    Now I’m curious about what you think a full Christian confession is?

    I’ve not been exposed to “the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ”
    I think you wrote that this “teaches me to read that book as a kingdom-of-God critique/manifesto by which Christians in any time and place can assess their faithfulness/faithlessness to Christ in terms of conformity to her Lord or to the fallen and demonic powers of this age.”

    A tool for research, I like, is the one mentioned in the proverb 27:17 Iron sharpens iron, So one man sharpens another.

    I feel The internet Fellowship is maybe such a tool or at least a supplement to Fellowship of like-minded, with history of church involvement, similar education, equipped to have a conversation. one might have had such in physical church or religious academic institutions if one were still connected.
    there is reason & wisdom one has stopped being enchanted/enthralled.
    one may have a good conversation in common with Those who are challenging the status quo. “out of the ashes a new Narrative of self may arise”-Anne Schaef-Wilson

    Until you mentioned him I never have looked into Leslie Newbigen although I’ve heard the name before. According to Wikipedia He(Leslie Newbigen) is especially remembered for the time after he returned to England from his long missionary service and travel, when he tried to communicate the serious need for the church to once again take the Gospel to post-Christian Western culture, which he viewed not as a secular society without gods but as a pagan society with false gods’ https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/23eccbaa54f0092d29f56bfff8748e75ecdc3f0d654fc5a502c1872f70c8c2ca.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3d82d65437e8f11e8c2e84919198d136d5ee0cc47ce84f8c5eedda0256e446bc.jpg
    https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3fc888dfce438ec1ccd5df23e2d64e907d56b54b6d53c4fd0d2c97f99a0a6963.jpg
    I like that very much about him!! It seems to me his time out of the Western World had been the equivalent of being given the burning coal treatment / Isaiah six 6:6

    Here is a quote I found on a Blog I read recently:
    ‘No matter how awesome and pragmatic your idea is, they’ll always be perceived by the general public through a filter of lies which contradict it, and it will have to be actualized within a society that is fully blinkered by narratives tilted to favor the ruling class. This is why fighting the propaganda machine is the single most practical thing that we can do to create a healthy world.-Caitlin Johnstone @caitoz

    You wrote: “For me, kingdom is the core Biblical motif, and a GENUINELY social[ist] perspective [in my opinion] is the best representation of that kingdom.”

    I did a little bit of studying about motifs per your suggestion. Here are a few Motifs that seemed interesting to pursue:

    The core confession –
    1.Christ died,
    2.Christ is risen,
    3.Christ is coming again.
    4.We all reflect God’s character differently.
    5.the attribute ‘justice.’

    Christians seem to represent the best and worst of humanity.
    6.By their confession, they’re bound to be the presence of Christ to the world.
    7.By practice, they too often embody the [demonic] world [systems & institutions].
    8. The reality of the Kingdom being here and yet coming more to be revealed.
    Luke 17. 20,21
    20When asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, Jesus replied, “The kingdom of God will not come with observable signs. 21Nor will people say, ‘Look, here it is,’ or‘There it is.’ For you see, the kingdom of God is in your midst.”

    Christian history:
    8.mediate a strained course between God’s kingdom and the kingdoms of this world.
    9.I wish I knew more about gnosticism!! How is it different from syncretism?
    I crave getting into conversations about:
    10. Progressive Christians, those that have walked away from organized religions and physical churches, the dones the nones, the millennials and the future of identity politics with regard to religion.

    10. You pose a very good question of; ‘why must I always have loving and hating relationship with Christianity?” I myself am in recovery from religious abuse, near cult experiences and and cult experiences. I think there is a demonic element to all of our institutions. Addictions to power and control and substance addiction is at the heart of fetishization, obsession and compulsion in my humble opinion.

    “The abolition of religion as the illusory happiness of the people is the demand for their real happiness. To call on them to give up their illusions about their condition is to call on them to give up a condition that requires illusions.”
    -Karl Marx
    Colonization:
    11.The status to which the US relegates other nations under the false flag of ‘liberation,’

    12.[allegiance to ]beastly policies of Rome

  • Ron McPherson

    Indoctrination to what? That stigmatization born from ignorance can be overcome by truth? How is that bad?

  • $144948586

    Well first we’re assuming that it’s acceptable and that it’s worthy of affirmation to be transgender or lgbtq, but that begs the question.

    Also I can’t speak to a parent’s unwillingness to teach their child that it’s acceptable to be transgender or lgbtq as ignorance; it might be a reasoned choice. Regardless, shouldn’t have parent retain some right over what their child is taught as truth or acceptable?

  • TS (unami)

    No, that’s teaching them that there are, in fact, a rare number of people who are born transgender. And that it’s another part of the human condition, nothing to be afraid of.

  • TS (unami)

    Joining in if I may… There are things in school that some parents already object to (e.g., evolution) but they don’t ask for science to stop being taught.

    If their religious teachings contradict science, they are still able to teach their children whatever view they like at home and in church. Just because the children attend school where evolution is taught is not indoctrination.

    Likewise for LGBT medical information. No one chooses to be gay, lesbian or transgender. It’s a factor of changes that occur in the fetal brain during gestation. There is growing medical research that bears this out.

    And just like evolution, being informed is not the same as being indoctrinated. Parents still have plenty of opportunities to teach their children contrasting views if they so desire.

  • TS (unami)

    You keep making it “either/or”, but it’s not… it should be “both/and”.

  • TS (unami)

    To be fair, look at the worldwide free perks that come with the job of being Pope. You even get an entire city-state to live in. :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    I couldn’t have put it any better : )

  • TS (unami)

    Thanks Ron :-)

  • $144948586

    Why can’t they just learn this on the playground and through the multifaceted means through which we all have thus far? Besides, you don’t have to have a whole class to say “x % of people are born ___”

  • TS (unami)

    I don’t quite follow… Are you saying that you prefer children to learn about biology and human sexuality on the playground? Surely not.

  • Kurt 20008

    I wouldn’t call HRC the most conservative, just the quickest to sell out to its corporate benefactors.

  • $144948586

    Welcome aboard!

    “There are things in school that some parents already object to but they don’t ask for science to stop being taught.”
    Well, no, because science is much bigger than evolution: there’s physics, chemistry, most of biology, anatomy/physiology, math, etc. That isn’t to say that parents haven’t (and don’t) ask for evolution to stop being taught, OR that there are opposing beliefs (and fields) which suggest that life forms are mostly “spontaneous”.

    “If their religious teachings contradict science”
    This begs the question that the science is settled; but more importantly

    “Likewise for LGBT medical information. No one chooses to be gay, lesbian or transgender. It’s a factor of changes that occur in the fetal brain during gestation. There is growing medical research that bears this out.”
    But, I highly suspect this hasn’t been proven.

    “And just like evolution, being informed is not the same as being indoctrinated.”
    Oh come on now; this begs the question of teacher objectivity. The fact is, teachers have long been shown (particularly during this election) to not be objective in the material they present. In fact, in my small hometown that demanded intelligent design to be taught, the science teacher notoriously would tell students “evolution is the way it happened, the science is settled.” And all it takes to disprove teacher objectivity in this matter is one piece of anecdotal evidence.
    But here ya go, https://www.hs.iastate.edu/news/2017/07/10/social-justice-in-teacher-education/
    First line: “How a teacher teaches is never neutral or apolitical.”

    This being said, this all pales in comparison to this:
    “they are still able to teach their children whatever view they like at home and in church. ”
    For most Americans public education is the only option for their kids, even if they chose to homeschool or private school they’d still owe taxes to that public education system, so what we’re really saying is that parents must allow their kids to learn what is “state-approved” regardless of if it’s parent-approved, and any other option is up to them at home or church. Is that not correct?

  • Kurt 20008

    I dunno. I think children need to be taught tolerance and people have the right to make lifestyle decisions. That being said, just as an atheist does not believe that people have a soul, I don’t particularly believe people have a inner “gender”. Science certainly hasn’t proven this.

  • $144948586

    No, I’d prefer to learn a bit about it from their parents. But my parents didn’t teach me about the birds and the bees, and I never took a sex ed course. I turned out alright.

  • Kurt 20008

    It is not the weakness of the Left, particularly the labor movement and agents of economic justice which receive much stronger support from the Catholic Church than the leading LGBT organizations (HRC recently stood almost alone of the major civil rights groups in not supporting worker rights in Mississippi).

    Our LGBT national advocacy groups have been very weak on economic justice.

  • Kurt 20008

    It should. Neither the Church nor the LGBT organization have fully embraced both/and. That is why they all need to stay in the mix.

  • TS (unami)

    I can see your point about teacher bias and perhaps that goes both ways; as human beings with opinions, those are bound to come out despite all efforts to be completely unbiased.

    But back to the trans kids.

    Are they supposed to be just made to feel that they are “abominations” (as some insist) and “abberations” (as others would say)? They aren’t choosing to be trans — it is what it is and that’s not evil. There’s no way that a child or young adult is going to be able to grow without feeling utterly marginalized if those two views are the only voices on the playground or in the school.

    At some point, sex, gender and biology will need to be taught. Even if all the reports are not in concerning full causality for being born LGBT, we shouldn’t presume that gay, lesbian and trans people are “mentally ill” or “faking” their orientation or gender identity. It’s as sure for them as ours is for us — it’s innate.

    I know that you’re not taking those positions toward LGBT people, so thanks. :-)

    Full disclosure: I’m a happily married lesbian woman with young children. We’re friends with several transgender people, several transwomen and a transman. And we’re also Christians who are active in our church and community. Thanks for listening! :-)

  • TS (unami)

    I appreciate that you’re willing to look at things from multiple angles — that’s refreshing. You’re right that we should all try our hardest to teach our children to be welcoming and kind to those who may be different in some way from themselves. :-)

  • TS (unami)

    I know the feeling! My mom kind of gave me the Cliff Notes sex ed talk and that was about it. Years later, after I finally came out, she (a very conservative woman!) still loves and accepts me, my wife and our kids.

  • TS (unami)

    True. Stay engaged and talking.

  • $144948586

    “But back to the trans kids.”
    We weren’t talking about trans kids; we’re talking about teaching transgenderism and LGBTQ in school.

    “Are they supposed to be just made to feel that they are “abominations” (as some insist) and “abberations” (as others would say)?”
    Well, no. I would never support such a thing; that being said, I don’t believe public education is teaching that kids are abominations. Perhaps a portion (an ever-shrinking portion) of society says this, but I don’t think the answer is to use the state to oppose the parents by indoctrinating (that’s what it is) their kids in a system they’re forced to attend and subsidize.

    “There’s no way that a child or young adult is going to be able to grow without feeling utterly marginalized if those two views are the only voices on the playground or in the school.”
    I highly suspect these aren’t the only two views on the playground. This country is becoming more accepting, embracing, and affirming (admittedly, too affirming for me) everyday. After all, many LGBTTQ kids have groups in schools.

    “At some point, sex, gender and biology will need to be taught.”
    Why?
    If you mean, at some point LGBTTQ need to be accepted, then I understand and affirm that. But it doesn’t begin with teaching kids at their parent’s forced expense.

    “It’s as sure for them as ours is for us — it’s innate.”
    Of this, I have no doubt.

    “I know that you’re not taking those positions toward LGBT people, so thanks. :-)”
    One of the most profound people I’ve ever met was a great friend and wrestled with her sexuality and God. She’s now an engaged lesbian in a good relationship. I know and she knows God loves her, and adults wouldn’t accept it–classmates did though, including this (at one time) conservative, Southern Baptist.

    “Full disclosure: I’m a happily married lesbian woman with young children. We’re friends with several transgender people, several transwomen and a transman. And we’re also Christians who are active in our church and community. Thanks for listening! :-)”
    Thank you for sharing!

    For the record, I don’t use indoctrination solely in the sense of LGBTTQ issues; I’m an anarchist and opposed to any state-provided services particularly for the belief that it robs people of individual freedom of choice and action, whether that be choosing not to buy a product (like public education, roads, military, health insurance). So don’t take that term, which carries negative connotation, as an attack directly at LGBTTQ; it’s a term I direct towards the state.

  • $144948586

    That’s a good story to hear :)
    For me, I suppose I never had the talk because my dad never had a dad and he had to raise his sisters and their mom (she was bipolar/manic-depressive and would disappear for periods of time). She was a great nanny though, and I can’t wait to see her again!

    My mom had a dad, but her mom was a hippy and drug addict (still does “the weed” and would love some pain killers lol) and had several kids with several men. She is a great grandmother (both in the adjective and nominal sense lol)!

  • Peter Michael Beck

    The Pope is in a temporary position as head of the Church and can only do so much. The doctrine of the Catholic Church is and must remain stable and unchangeable. We support the sanctity of the sacrament of marriage, and while it’s definition has been legally muddied, it remains the same within the confines of the Church. Render unto Caesar… In spite of what some in the media claim, the Church does not preach hatred but rather love of all mankind. Catholic Charities does not ask whether the recipients of it’s considerable assistance are Christian or heterosexual. They simply do God’s work by feeding, clothing and sheltering the poor.

  • Newton Finn

    YES. But let me repeat the numbers which you can look up for yourself. Right now, as I write this response, 50% of the human race struggles to survive on $2.50 or less per day. 80% of the human race struggles to survive on $10.00 or less per day. Meanwhile, a handful of people own more wealth than the lower half of humanity combined, and capitalist wealth accumulation, which takes little account of so-called externalities like the plunder and pollution of our planet, has pushed the ecosphere to the point of immanent collapse. In the face of these staggering, sickening facts, shouldn’t every call for justice and equality, whether for black people or women or gay people or any other oppressed group, put front and center the suicidal obscenity of global neoliberal capitalism? Otherwise, to use an overworked metaphor, aren’t we merely rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic? I fully support the rights of all of these oppressed groups to justice and equality, but my first and by far most important demand is for justice and equality for all of humanity and reverence for all living things.

  • Herm

    So, to sum this all up, where is the in everything do to others (all others who are each different than another) as you would have others do to you? Is it destructive to the human species to be different when none are the same? Is it constructive to the human species when we all recognize to employ and share in all that each different individual has to offer that is positive regardless of race, creed, religion, gender or reciprocally shared adult sexual attraction? Is it ever positive for the whole to teach that any one difference is more important than another? Wouldn’t we all want others to value our productive and constructive differences as we would value to share in theirs?

  • Herm

    “For many are invited, but few are chosen.”
    Matthew 22:14 (NIV2011)

  • $144948586

    “So, to sum this all up, where is the in everything do to others (all others who are each different than another) as you would have others do to you?”
    Herm, bear in mind that I’m not the one who is pro-foisting upon others a certain teaching (except of course from parent to child). Thus, I’ll put the question back at you: would you prefer the state teach nationalism above all else? Prussia was really good at that; where do you think we modeled our public education system from?
    So my “do unto others” would be “I’ll allow you to teach your child; you allow me to teach mine.”

    I’m happy to answer your questions:
    “Is it destructive to the human species to be different when none are the same?”
    We each have our own beautiful story to be summed up in God. I wouldn’t want that story to be exactly the same–boring.

    “Is it constructive to the human species when we all recognize to employ and share in all that each different individual has to offer that is positive regardless of race, creed, religion, gender or reciprocally shared adult sexual attraction?”
    Yes, if such sharing is voluntary. I think a person voluntarily accepting another individual regardless of these is most constructive. I think foisting it upon them is not and leads to oppressive actions on the part of the one being foisted upon and the one doing the foisting.

    “Is it ever positive for the whole to teach that any one difference is more important than another?”
    Now you’re becoming vague. But, in regards to individuals, teaching one is more important than another is destructive in all circumstances. But forcing them to be equal is destructive too. Equality is the natural consequence of voluntary acceptance of one another. Nobody became not racist just because the state made them drink from the same water fountain.

    “Wouldn’t we all want others to value our productive and constructive differences as we would value to share in theirs?”
    Absolutely I desire this, but far be it from me to feel that I should enslave them in to valuing me or any one else through use of force.

  • Herm

    So, am I to understand that to be more perfect, we with the choice and resources to do something for one or the other (which I just can’t understand ignoring one for the other), we should work to equalize the human condition for the poor first? You use you computer and graced free time to scream priorities that we should be doing that you are not.

    Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”

    Matthew 19:21 (NIV2011)

    “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 (follower). And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple (follower).

    Luke 14:26-27 (NIV2011)

  • Newton Finn

    No one is screaming here, Herm. I’m simply talking about priorities in advocating for social and economic justice. Jesus’ teaching is the polar opposite of global neoliberal capitalism, which Pope Francis courageously recognizes. That’s what pushed my button here, that the author of this blog would denigrate the leader of a world religion who has the integrity to speak out about the great evils of our time, both economic and environmental–and refuse to acknowledge him as a champion of the marginalized–just because he is unable to break fully away from the conservative teaching of his church on sexual matters.

  • Herm

    Yes, you are screaming, by inserting numbers that not one of us can fully comprehend (eg: “80% of humanity” = 11.2 billion). Each one of us can comprehend, through empathy, compassion and forgiveness our good neighbor (regardless of race, creed, religion, economic status, gender or sexual attraction), to invest the resources at our command for justice and equality founded on the formula of in everything do to others as we would have others do to us.

    The Pope has been taught that:

    The poor you will always have with you, but you will not always have me.

    Matthew 26:11 (NIV2011)

    and

    There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.

    Deuteronomy 15:11 (NIV2011)

    He has, also, been taught that spiritual attitude precedes all carnal investment. In his leadership role all he has to do is teach that Christ, in no misinterpretation manner, never, when on this earth, marginalized any of mankind for their innate (even philosophically originating in the mind) but potentially good neighbor differences. Marriage between a male and a female was clearly relative to propagation of the species, for the Messiah made it clear that there is no marriage in heaven. Christ never once said there could not be other forms of marriage (contractual unity). In not teaching to love your good neighbor (eg: Samaritan to Jew, gay to straight, all shades of black to white, poor to wealthy, illiterate to literate, …, and all degrees of difference of each individual of mankind that could constructive (good) rather than destructive (evil)) as yourself the Pope encourages marginalization of individuals not like himself and that removes a segment of potentially constructive people from our body of mankind, which is destructive and thereby evil.

    You have the choice to give all your sizable wealth to the poor and there will still be poor. You can choose to love your good neighbor directly as yourself, sharing your wealth without suffering destitution, and the entire world will be wealthier because of it.

    If we, as the wealthiest nation on earth today, learned to be discerning of the oligarchy’s (including religious organizational influence) disenfranchising propaganda, maybe, then we would, as a true democracy/republic, begin to equalize resources and justice for all our own and the entire rest of the world. As it is, with only one vote to apply, the best I can be sure to do is treat my good neighbor as I would have my good neighbor treat me, (I intentionally repeat) regardless of race, creed, religion, tribe, gender or reciprocal adult sexual attraction.

    Only the Spirit of truth has been able to guarantee that the wealth graced me in reinvested where it will do the most good for all. Until the Pope begins to teach where the truth, available to all, from God’s divine wisdom can be found, he and his organization will be a source of marginalization no matter how many worthy causes he directs others to invest in. The Roman Catholic Church is along way from perfect when they hold back the wealth they control from the “80% of the human race struggles to survive on $10.00 or less per day“.

    Jesus Christ did not stand on pomp and circumstance to begin and maintain His church upon the rock of the Advocate. The Messiah spoke out against, to the point of grief, regalia in the religion He was born into.

    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 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

    Pope Francis goes along way toward humility, more than most before him, but stops short of setting the example of the high priest Jesus Christ. He emulates more the Pharisees’ and Caiaphas’ example than my Lord with all influential authority on earth and in heaven today.

    It is not one, the other, or all that my gifts can be best invested in for the sake of mankind. It is only by the lead of He who leads me in and toward all truth, that I can bear today, and forever more, that I can be sure the cross I carry serves the most for all time, beginning with my good neighbor.

    My interest to share with you is not because you want to serve the whole equitably and justly, that is good. My concern is that you would have us help the poor worldwide as the priority, without first supporting the self worth of our good LBGTQ neighbor living next door (no money necessary out of my pocket, just love as I love myself).

  • Newton Finn

    I try my best to love all those near me as brothers and sisters, fellow children of our Heavenly Father. I fall short, as all of us do, but recognize my duties to care for others as I care for myself. The Kingdom of God that Jesus preached is to come on earth, so we are to work toward that end as long as we are here, and a big piece of that work is to face up to, call out, and combat, to the best of our abilities, the systemic and structural evil that pervades our existence. Let me conclude my part of this dialogue with a quote from Albert Schweitzer, whose life comes close, at least in my mind, to that which Jesus would have us live. “The absolute impossibility of the continuance of the state in its present condition must become the universal conviction before things can become in any way better.” The absence of that conviction in the minds of most men and women goes a long way to account for the sorry state of our so-called civilization. On an encouraging note, more and more theologians are picking up on this crucial concept; for example:

    http://resistingstructuralevil.com/

  • Herm

    Let me conclude with the only foundation that allows any possibility of a steward species, especially in the image of God, continued existence:

    So in everything, do to others (of your species) what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:12 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    In answer to your first question:

    I would prefer that we of mankind (family, local community, state, nation and world) taught our children to value mankind above all else. We have no ability, beginning from a carnal child’s perspective, to empathize, have compassion for, or forgive a pure spirit deity by any name. None of our species has any ability to empathize fully with any other species of life than our own. All of us can be taught the value of empathizing, having compassion for and forgiving all others of our species as we would have all others love us. All of us members of carnal mankind will give our carbon based life form back to the earth but mankind has no sure deadline to get its influence felt throughout the cosmos.

    We all teach our children to the best of our abilities, mostly by our examples and hopefully how to find the truth for themselves beyond what we know.

    I would always want most for my children the checks and balances that allow them to overcome what I am not able to bear when they can bear more than me. As a person of spirit I am fully aware there is a whole eternity ahead of learning in shared adventure. That is why I am a very little child of God and not the all knowing authority for God. Today I have one Teacher whom I could not have conceived to accept as a carnal child. I had to have my carnal family to grow from to speak as a carnal adult. Today I am with and in the Spirit of truth who I did not accept, without pause or end, until after I was 50 years old. Most of those years I was an authority in organized earth bound Christian churches. I want most for my children and grandchildren to come to know with and in them the only Teacher who can lead us into truth forever.

    Your definition of equal does not match with mine. I cannot see how recognizing all others as equal is forcing anything. I can understand, without exception, that it is because we are all individually different that we are all equal to one another. We, though it is tried throughout the world and in most religions, cannot force anyone to be the same as any other, period.

    Speaking of enslaving, there are three attitudes that are most destructive to the continued existence of mankind: intimidation, manipulation and subjugation for any of Man. There are three attitudes that are most constructive to the continued existence of mankind: empathy, compassion and forgiveness for all of Man.

  • $144948586

    “I cannot see how recognizing all others as equal is forcing anything.”
    Then you haven’t been reading the posts, Herm. This was specifically about the teaching of gender studies in schools with explicit purpose of destigmatizing individuals (to affirm that it’s OK to be LGBTQ or transgender)…that is, indoctrinating kids against their parent’s wishes because they’re forced in to a public education school.

    If you fail to keep this context, then you obfuscate. And how dare you define my definitions of equality through the lens of obfuscation; it’s not loving, period.

    You can extrapolate only a little (which is what I did) by speaking in general terms the idea of forcing a belief or behavior on others–which is what happens in public education–it is enslaving.

  • Herm

    That is biased reasoning. If the cosmos was derived over 14 billion years then parents are lying to their children if they teach in disagreement. That lie is destructive to mankind and the child who says, “if it’s truth enough for mom and dad then it’s truth enough for me”. Mankind has to be able to step in and say it must be for the good of our species before the tribe’s good. Every time parents and differing churches step in to contradict provable evidence based only on family tradition mankind is divided even more. It is not enough to insist my tribe is more right than other tribes based on conjecture, so therefore if your tribe wants to be part of a united mankind then you have to accept my way as the only way, as I am going to teach my child to carry on.

    No one wants to teach gender studies in public school anymore than heterosexual studies. What is being discussed here is not to condemn difference that is in no other way harming your child. You are gender phobic and sexuality binary if you believe others to not be equally respected in their sincere constructive expression of self. If you cannot show, beyond a 2 to 4 thousand year old book, that expressing LGBTQ is harmful in and of itself to others then Matthew 7:12, for followers of Christ, becomes the only sum of the law, as well as love your different good neighbor as yourself.

    White Nationalists, Jihadists, and all forms of fundamentalist phobias are divisively detrimental to the growth of mankind and are taught primarily due to their parent’s wishes. In each of those learning environments there was no serious emphasis on in everything do to all others as you would have all others do to you, first.

    I recognize good/constructive LGBTQ people along with all other good/constructive members of mankind as equally good for mankind. Forcing others to act out on ignorant prejudice, be self centered, steadfast in me and mine before all others, to be manipulative, to be intimidating and/or to subjugate others is not acceptable to the good of mankind. Teaching tolerance, empathy, compassion, forgiveness and humility is not only acceptable to the good of mankind but the only way to unite all our certain differences to be equally constructive to mankind.

    There is no truth that I do not want my child to learn as they can bear. The truth relative to LGBTQ members of our species is that they can be, and more often are, as good for the whole of mankind’s continued existence as any other member, and more so when not marginalized by self centered ignorant bigotry, whether from the Pope or from around the family dinner table. Any accredited public or parochial school teaching our children that LGBTQ people are destined to eternal torture in the fires of hell and binary heterosexuals are destined for an eternity in heavenly bliss is obfuscating the two commandments necessary to inherit eternal life.

    “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    Luke 10:27 and Mark 22:37 – 40.

    Josh, it is you who fails to keep in context, “Pope Francis Is NOT A Champion Of The Marginalized“.

  • $144948586

    I’ve got it. You believe it’s okay for society to step in and dictate what your child believes more than a parent dies, when the parent may or may not be wrong. That is sick.
    And also robs the parent the right to do as a parent wishes. That is not individual Freedom. That is not christ-like. Sure the parent might get something wrong, but that is not up to society to dictate. What is up to society is when they come in contact with that child, those of us that are Christians can share the love that we found. We can also share it with the parents. What is sick though is to demand that they enroll in a school so that we can and indoctrinate them with stuff that we think is acceptable. This is particularly grotesque whenever you consider that you are saying that it’s appropriate for the state to do that or the society or whatever you want to call it has the right to do it in opposition to the parents.
    Now you came in late to the conversation, and what is being discussed here is not the idea of not condemning transsexual or transgender or lgbtq people. What was being discussed was gender studies in a school in which parents are forced to enroll their kids, and The Logical conclusion is that that is indoctrination. Whether or not that’s what you wanted to be about doesn’t make a difference, that is what the conversation was about.

  • $144948586

    Herm, I was the one who started the conversation. That’s in reference to that last sentence where I didn’t keep in contact Benjamin Corey’s article. Hell, you may as well get on the run for not keeping into context the article himself. He’s the one that posited teaching kids about gender issues. I mean all I did was ask questions, until I needed to clarify something.

    That being said, can you please elaborate on how a my reasoning is biased. Please go point-by-point so that way I may respond in kind.

  • $144948586

    Quick question:
    Who has the right to determine what a child learns? Their parent or their society?

  • Herm

    I read the entire thread. All adult teaching, especially by example, is indoctrination of children. If there is not a societal counter to parents that teach it is okay to hate and seek to destroy all Jews, Catholics, Blacks, Native Americans, Hispanics and any other of mankind but one’s own family heritage is destructive to the entire body of mankind. The one value that a public school has over any parochial school is the opportunity to learn to live with more constructively with difference. As long as there is always the check and balance of parents making certain that there is no intimidation, manipulation or subjugation biasing their children away from being empathetic, compassionate, forgiving and tolerant as their child would have done to them then all the children learn together to live more constructively sharing in each other’s strengths.

    So, you are pro parental choice free from government intervention right up to the age of 18, is that correct?

  • Herm

    Mankind has the right for the good of mankind. If you are Judaeo Christian that is easy to accept because it was mankind as one who was graced the image of God as one. If you are not, then consider that only mankind has the indeterminable life span dependent upon constructive choices, not each of its terminally ill members. If the Federal government is the greatest power representing the whole of its people then to build resources built upon truth to serve its nation and world constructively it is they, as one entity, who must set the standards; in a democratic/republic, by majority rule with consideration for the minority. Any other way has productive services and industry within the nation working on too many different standards to be cohesive for the good of mankind’s existence.

  • Sherlang

    My God Ben…this is so ridiculous. I feel like all you ever do is condemn and point out the flaws in everyone and just look for the negative qualities to demean. Look at all the good things Pope Francis has done…why not write an article on that? If we’re going to look for people who 100% line up with us, the only place we’ll find it is in the mirror. Is Pope Francis perfect in all that he does? No. And neither is anyone else. We all have room to grow. But I have been so encouraged by this Pope in a time where religious leaders are shamelessly following Trump and destroying any credibility they have, and I am frustrated that you mention all the good things he has done just as an afterthought to prove your point. Pope Francis is a champion of the marginalized, and to try to police what that means and demand perfection just makes you a Pharisee

  • Bones

    I’ve been teaching 8-13 year olds for 20 years and haven’t raised this issue once.

    We teach kids to accept that people are different and bullying others because they are different is not acceptable.

    Honestly you people are hysterical about transsexual people and think they are everywhere.

  • Bones

    We also don’t teach white supremacy.

    Some parents will be offended by that as well.

    You should home school your kids if exposing them to different ideas is going to upset you.

  • Bones

    Both.

  • Bones

    we teach kids it’s OK to be gay, to be black, to be white, to be straight, to be different.

    If you don’t like that you can home school.

  • Bones

    Meh. …he’s been disappointing on the child abuse front as well.

    He’s supporting his mate in Australia who’s up on charges and who has a history of supporting abusive priests and blaming victims.

    A lot of it is PR.

  • Herm

    Sherlang, don’t you think that if someone leads 1.2 billion people in the world today that open criticism is required when (s)he does marginalize a very significant percentage of the world without just cause? There are approximately 9 million people in the USA, alone, who openly identify as LGBTQ and, we know, a whole lot more in the closet. The world is full of those abominations who do no harm in being just LGBTQ; such as does those in greater numbers having other gods before God, worshiping graven images, taking the Lord’s name in vain, not remembering the Sabbath, not honoring their parents, murdering, committing adultery, stealing, bearing false witness, coveting, intimidating, manipulating, subjugating, and not worshiping God in the Spirit only. Oh, to sum it up, in everything doing to all others as they would have all others do to them.

    Why do you use the extreme word “condemn” rather than “criticize”? Why do you try to associate Dr. Corey’s authority with the authority of a Pharisee? I have read and reread this article and find nothing calling for the condemnation of Pope Francis, nor an implication by Ben that he believes he has the authority to do so.

    I hope you were able to get your excess Pope pity out with this comment of yours so that you are not having to call out the Vatican military to string up all who call out the “Pope” for destructive errors to the health of mankind. 1.2 billion followers is a sizable junk of this earth’s 7.5 billion population, of all too easily hysterical human beings, to risk stirring things up as a lynch mob against LGBTQ people. The neo-Nazis and fundamentalist Christians/Jihadists do enough damage already in this world today, without the Pope’s help. It took far less to vote to string up Christ in place of Barabbas, inspired by Caiaphas’ efforts to marginalize the followers of Jesus.

    The Pope is clearly not the least exalted personage on earth today, ultimately by his choice to accept, though he has made significant positive steps at personal humility and service to the world compared to other tyrant Popes. The problem I see here is that he only momentarily steps down from his influential position over billions, to immediately step back up, still wearing the regalia of a very high office of authority. It would have behooved us all if Caiaphas had at least done so, as this Pope has, by stepping down momentarily to wash Jesus’ feet in recognition of God’s spirit in the room. The high priest, reigning for the last 1,984 years, was laid flat to be pinned on his cross wearing rags, to earn all knowing authority in heaven and on earth then, today and forever, according to the Pope’s sacred guidebook.

    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 23:11-12 (NIV2011)

  • Herm

    Oh, do I have a most despicable thought crossing my mind regarding ineffective contraception and deciding how a woman must use her body in the name of the church.

  • kaydenpat

    “Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters”

    Never gonna happen. Not going to see women ordained into the priesthood either. Or the church change its stance on birth control and abortion.

  • kaydenpat

    “Pope Francis is a champion of the marginalized”

    In what way? And if the definition of marginalized doesn’t include the LGBTQ, it is not good enough.

  • G. David Daley

    Would I like to go into more detail about what I mean by “my view of history is influenced heavily by Marx, et. al.?

    No. I wouldn’t.

    Doing justice to your latest requires something on the order of a graduate level examination paper. I’m not going to do that. If each answer brings more questions, I’m in trouble. I ought to have stuck with another ‘one liner.’ I also refuse to attempt to explain dialectical materialism to the uninitiated.

    But your vulnerability in sharing your personal struggle touches the heart. Without attempting to ‘Christianize’ Marx, et. al, I will attempt to prepare a few remarks on their ‘common grace’ insights which I believe illumine and enrich Christian task. Real time commitments are ongoing. But if you’ll be patient, I’ll take a stab at this stuff. Blessings!

  • Sherlang

    Was Martin Luther King Jr a champion of the marginalized?

  • I appreciate your willingness and patience!! I didn’t get an academic education. I guess I am what you would call an autodidact. I look forward to hearing from you again. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/d8123638ae7647d11fd0eae3bfeff2e6b19d25988e8ffbc5a4a238a855bdb903.jpg

  • Herm

    … even for the LGBTQ, the Caucasians, the Hispanics, women’s rights including contraception and pretty much anyone of mankind who did not, in and of themselves, threaten anyone else, yes!

  • Herm

    … then he will never be fully embraced by direct followers of Christ and the Roman Catholic Church will be criticized until the earth is no more.

  • Bones

    If I became Catholic would I have to get my vasectomy reversed???Or will that consign me to purgatory????

  • $144948586

    Please, make the case for how society has any right, let alone the right to what my child learns, of my child.

  • $144948586

    So, are you purporting that kids are only not-racist, not-homophobic because you teach them to not be?

  • $144948586

    “If you don’t like that you can home school.”
    Why must I resort
    to homeschooling? Why can’t I choose instead to have my kids educated
    at a private institution? Why can’t I allow my kids to be educated by
    persons for whom their specialties lie in the education of their
    respective fields where as I am one person, I can, at any time, have my
    kid taught by 7 experts in 7 fields chosen from a field of a million or
    so individuals? You might say, “Well that’s how it is with public schools now.” And I say that the outcomes don’t appear to be so:
    http://www.pewresearch.org/fact-tank/2017/02/15/u-s-students-internationally-math-science/
    https://www.theatlantic.com/education/archive/2015/03/why-im-a-public-school-teacher-but-a-private-school-parent/386797/

    You might say, “Well you can; just enroll them at the
    local private school.” To that I say that’s not true; first, after
    government is done pillaging 25-30% in taxes, some of which is dedicated
    to that public school down the street, I must use the rest for housing,
    food, transportation, medical, and bills. As well, I still have to pay for daycare during summer months
    because most likely my wife is working too to afford this lifestyle:
    after all, most lifestyles are competing with two-income families.

    Not to mention, private schools currently must compete with the public education system, and the fight certainly isn’t fair. After all, private schools aren’t allowed to coerce entire neighborhoods into funding them, private school tuition is not tax deductible, and they aren’t allowed to raise prices just by having a town hall meeting, because they actually have competition.

    That being said, I’d love to home school over choosing public education. I’m certain the outcomes would be better and more holistic. However, this doesn’t change that I’m still subsidizing the competition.

  • $144948586

    “If you are Judaeo Christian that is easy to accept”
    What if you’re not? What if you’re a narcissist?

    ” If the Federal government is the greatest power representing the whole
    of its people then to build resources built upon truth to serve its
    nation and world constructively it is they, as one entity, who must set
    the standards; in a democratic/republic, by majority rule with
    consideration for the minority.”
    This completely ignores the idea that government is wasteful, damaging to the environment in ways unimaginable to private individuals, has positions sought after by primarily narcissistic and ruthless individuals,and incredibly hard to change WHEN it becomes tyrannical.
    I can forgive you if you willfully ignored my whooping I gave you about Federal borrowing (something you ignore when you consider resource scarcity),
    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/formerlyfundie/franklin_graham_blame_white_terrorism_on_those_who_voted_to_remove_the_racist_monument/#comment-3486684241
    For God’s sake, you’d be hard-pressed to state that THE STATE is the beacon to follow if you read 1 Samuel 8.

    “Any other way has productive services and industry within the nation
    working on too many different standards to be cohesive for the good of
    mankind’s existence.”
    Please explain how an infrastructure that murders 30k people a year is “cohesive for the good of makind’s existence.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motor_vehicle_deaths_in_U.S._by_year

    Now, I’m going to ask again. This time be less wordy:
    When you say “Mankind has the right for the good of mankind,”
    Who has the right to determine what a child learns? Their parent or their society?

  • $144948586

    ” If there is not a societal counter to parents that teach it is okay to hate and seek to destroy all Jews”
    You do realize this was really the product of the Prussian school system, yes?
    http://www.historylearningsite.co.uk/nazi-germany/nazi-education/

    “If there is not a societal counter”
    Whoa, whoa, I never said there was not societal counter. I just don’t think it’s place is in a public school in which enrollment is forced or the funding is coerced.

    “The one value that a public school has over any parochial school is the
    opportunity to learn to live with more constructively with difference”
    How can you prove this?

    ” As long as there is always the check and balance of parents making
    certain that there is no intimidation, manipulation or subjugation
    biasing their children away from being empathetic, compassionate,
    forgiving and tolerant”
    Herm, FOR GOD’S Sake, we’re not talking about encouraging/discouraging certain character traits. Quit obfuscating; you’re trying to make me look like a bad human being. We were talking about teaching a genders course whose intention is to affirm that it’s OK and affirm-able to be “this way and that way”. As for character traits, private schools would also encourage these or else they wouldn’t stay in business.

  • Herm

    Their society for consistency in truth!

    What does deaths due to automobile travel have to do with government?

    Try living in a group of 323.1 million without a government, no enforced traffic regulations and no regulation of infrastructure. The republicans, holding the purse strings, have obstructed infrastructure maintenance for the last 6.5 years. I guess that is why the deaths went up in 10.5% in 2015.

  • Herm

    If you believe that gender is binary then you are a bad observer and would be a bad teacher for your children. There is absolutely no one that presents all masculine or all feminine. No one person is exactly the same as another in gender, sexuality, likes, or dislikes. Gender and sexuality is a spectrum that no one occupies the same point as another, and never has. The point is that gender or sexuality that is not forced, and does not force, through intimidation, manipulation or subjugation does not in any way transgress God’s law, eg: the Decalogue, Matthew 7:12 and 22:37-40.

    As far as sexuality or gender being forced on any one, whether at home, at church, in public or in school it does not matter whether it is LGBTQ or straight, it is wrong and destructive. As far as learning to respect all people who do you and your children no harm, I would hope that is taught in all schools and homes.

    I have been real clear but you refuse to see that if left to the teaching of parents alone children would grow up without learning to live together. The more you insist that you know better than any school, better than anyone else, regarding gender and sexuality the more you are the one making yourself look like the bad guy, not me.

  • Bones

    You can do that as well.

    You can have your children indoctrinated at a private institution – like a Muslim or fundamentalist school. Where they can learn to hate gays….

    Most people don’t want their children indoctrinated into religious dogma.

  • Bones

    Some are.

    I also feed them when their parents couldn’t be bothered.

    And I report parents who sexually abuse their kids.

  • Bones

    Society has heaps of rights especially to stop your child becoming a criminal because you couldn’t be halfarsed teaching your child right from wrong or giving them a future.

    Good quality public education is also an asset to countries. It breeds innovation.

    You really would have loved the early days of the industrial revolution.

    There’s an old saying
    “It takes a village to raise a child”.

    I’d be concerned for your children.

  • $144948586

    I didn’t ask that. I asked is that the reason that people are not racist? What is inherent in this question is the claim that the primary reason that people are not racist is because of what the institution teaches them. So is this the case?
    Yes or no.

  • $144948586

    Bones, you’re obfuscating. There are plenty of secular private schools as well that you would be able to choose from. But it doesn’t change the fact that you’re subsidizing its underperforming competition.

  • Bones

    I said for some it is.

    It’s called education btw.

  • Bones

    Yes, you can pay so that you don’t have to have your child mix with poor people.

    That of course is the false dichotomy of public v private schools.

    Btw I’ve taught in private schools. Their education was shite.

    And they used to tell parents of disabled kids to take them to the public school down the road.

    You know, the ones you subsidise and which accepts everyone regardless of ability.

  • $144948586

    Men and women grew up learning to live together long before public education existed.

    “The more you insist that you know better than any school, better than anyone else, regarding gender and sexuality the more you are the one making yourself look like the bad guy, not me.”
    Yet you first said,
    “I have been real clear but you refuse to see that if left to the teaching of parents alone children would grow up without learning to live together.”
    That’s you’re saying that you don’t trust parents. But really what you don’t trust is straight parents.

    “I would hope that is taught in all schools and homes.”
    I got it. You would rob parents at their individual freedom to teach their kid as they see fit as long as it’s good for the self judged “good of mankind”

  • $144948586

    This is absurd. There is regulation for traffic whenever you own the road you can regulate it. Yet governments the one that owns the roads and they kill 30,000 people a year.
    Herm, you know I’m not a republican. So stop with the cloaked at hominem attacks

  • $144948586

    First of all that it takes a village comment I believe was made famous if not created by Hillary Clinton the statist.

    Society doesn’t have rights to my child just because they have to keep them in line. The reason my child has to stay in line is because other people have the individual right to freedom and liberty and the pursuit of happiness just like anybody else because these are called natural laws. So if my half arsed child hurt them, that would be an encroachment on their Liberties. Not on society.

    And you say that public education is a good for a country. But that begs the question of why does the country ( really, we’re talking about government) have any right over my child in the first place.

    Bear in mind, I never agreed voluntarily to have myself forced to tithe to some monolith who has guns and says if I don’t pay taxes they’ll come and get me.

  • Bones

    Actually the quote is African. And it shows the importance of a whole community in raising children.

    It’s nothing new ffs and existed pregovernments.

    Try not feeding your kids and you’ll see if the government has rights over your kids.

    They’ll be off you and given to someone who will look after them before you can blink.

    And some people think natural law doesn’t apply to gays or blacks.

    So your half arsed child would be raised by their parents to treat others as sub humans.

  • Daniel Fisher

    So I’m curious: is it not possible to speak against any particular behavior, and to warn people about the dangers thereof, without being guilty of “marginalizing” people?

  • Herm

    No, Josh, you are not a died in the wool republican because they at least embrace limited government. You embrace no government. You have no idea why even a bad leader is better than no leader at all, for the continued survival group of people trying to support each other. I am not going to address all your “go it yourself” egotistical arguments, this is it.

    You have displayed a definite lack of education to be understood or to understand another speaking by what you display as what you think is USA English. The phrase is “ad hominem” and you are not under attack improperly related to a position or a relationship to any other but what you present as yourself. You hold parenthood as the most reliable and highest sure form of uniting governing necessary for mankind to survive and grow.

    All moms and dads are more ignorant than all knowing, individually and collectively. No one person, or family, has omnipresence at their disposal to discern the next best direction to proceed. All moms and dads on this earth will cease to be aware and be influential before they become 120 years of age. All children on this earth will cease to be aware and influential on this earth before they become 120 years of age. Just call me a prophet who accepts that it is your choice and responsibility to believe me or not.

    Now, listen up Josh, the only reliable status all parents share is to propagate their species, they are breeders and nurturers for the continued existence of, in our case, mankind. Bearing children does not magically make parental choices and teaching best for the constructive and productive growth of their children and/or their species. Each member is constructive or destructive to the continuance of mankind’s survival, while each is certain to die, when mankind’s lifespan is indeterminate. Get over your “my way or the highway” attitude, it is most destructive to life. The humility of working together by equally utilizing our, each unique, strengths, to the common goal of improving to savor the best of mankind for all as long as we are each allowed, is the most constructive attitude any of us can be to life.

    The most constructive and productive government there can possibly be, is similar in spirit to a carnal family unit, and that is a benevolent dictatorship. The problem is that even the most benevolent dictator we have as an example on earth eventually died and no no mortal dictator had the omnipresence or the omniscience to make the best decisions alone. They required without counsel from others to make the best choices. So it is with parents, each needs counsel from others to make the best decisions.

    How many kids get killed every year?
    About 29,000 children under the age of five – 21 each minute – die every day, mainly from preventable causes. More than 70 per cent of almost 11 million child deaths every year are attributable to six causes: diarrhoea, malaria, neonatal infection, pneumonia, preterm delivery, or lack of oxygen at birth.

    https://www.unicef.org/mdg/childmortality.html

    Where were the parents governing the survival of their children? Do you blame the government for those deaths, also?

    Compare those 29,000 daily deaths to your 30,000 annual deaths for just a little more reality.

    I am through trying to persuade you to become a viable part for the future of mankind. All I can leave you with that, may be of help, is it would behoove all those children you care so strongly for is to learn when to lead and when to follow. Unity in growth requires one head coordinating the combined efforts of all limbs moving the same direction as the supporting and supported core.

    Bye!

  • $144948586

    “It’s nothing new ffs and existed pregovernments.”
    So the it takes free willing individuals working voluntarily for collective good? Got it.
    I’m sure it didn’t exist before government.
    “Ffs”
    Good to know whose sake you care about.

    “They’ll be off you and given to someone who will look after them before you can blink.”
    This still begs the question of why they have any legitimate right at all over you or your child.

    “And some people think natural law doesn’t apply to gays or blacks.”
    Then hopefully we would not be so stupid so as to create a position of power that they have a legitimate chance at getting.

    “So your half arsed child would be raised by their parents to treat others as sub humans.”
    I would never raise my child to treat other people subhuman. That being said, Society just wouldn’t have to do any business with that person. They’d have the free choice.

  • $144948586

    Bones, stop with the ad hominem attacks. Quit trying to make me look like a jerk all because I would rather private school teach my kid than an underperforming public school that I have to subsidize. It has nothing to do with not going to school with poor people and to make it about that issue is to have to lie.

  • $144948586

    But is it the primary reason? I could say that my teaching of kids at a park that is not right to bully one another helps some. Thus, it’s just as legitimate as you using some here. So is public education the primary reason that people don’t grow up racist?

  • $144948586

    “a bad leader is better than no leader at al”
    This is the stupidest statement I’ve ever heard from you, Herm. I guess Hitler was better than having no Chancellor Germany. I guess stalinist Russia was better than a no governing Russia. I guess a Mao China is better than no country China
    I guess Pol Pot was good for Cambodia and Kim Jung Un is “better than no leader”.

    And thank you for the correction. I know what the term actually is, but that’s what happens when you use the Google microphone instead of actually typing it yourself.

  • $144948586

    Hey Herm, for that statistic that you posted about the kids dying due to things like malaria and diarrhea, how many of those kids are in countries that have Kings? How many of those countries have free market economies?

  • $144948586

    ” Get over your “my way or the highway” attitude, it is most destructive to life.”
    How is my teaching that everyone should be free to make individual, voluntary choices a “my way or the highway” approach?

    “Bearing children does not magically make parental choices and teaching
    best for the constructive and productive growth of their children and/or
    their species.”
    I never said it does.

    “I am through trying to persuade you to become a viable part for the future of mankind.”
    Then you missed the entire point of the conversation which was and HAS BEEN about how human’s are enslaved to society which has no legitimate right to or over the individual. What you’ve been trying to persuade me is that this is the case, “Mankind has the right for the good of mankind”.

    If you’re trying to persuade me to become a viable part of the future of mankind, that’s a different conversation. I’m ALL FOR loving one’s neighbor, which is that I love you though you are mindbogglingly frustrating and say some pretty stupid stuff. But I feel I have to tell you that out of love, and I’m willing to sacrifice some of my time appealing to that, for your sake.
    That being said, I don’t believe becoming a viable part of the future of mankind entails ceding my child’s education to a faceless bureaucracy which has a terrible track record for informative discussion (and even has a track record of creating staunch national socialists).
    I don’t believe in ceding my liberties or my child’s to some authoritarian structure who says “I’ll shoot you if you don’t comply.” I also don’t believe in ceding my welfare or my child’s to some authoritarian structure which thinks it’s OK to start wars and draft our youth, if necessary. Nor do I believe that, given EVERYTHING we’ve seen about governments, the society will act better in utilizing resources than will a private individual seeking private gain. After all, look at tilapia, look at pigs, cows, sheep; now look at the black rhino.
    http://www.liberaterva.com/2015/07/08/how-the-market-can-save-endangered-species/

  • Your generous reply to me was not picked up by discus and and displayed here. I’m reprinting it now so it shows up on Ben’s blog.

    G. David Daley reply to charlesburchfield
    Marx:
    “Both thorns and thistles it shall grow for you; and you will eat the plants of the field; by the sweat of your face you will eat bread’ [Gen 3:18-19].
    Without denying human spirituality, I offer that we are material beings, pursuing material necessities through material means – and this engine is a prime driver of history. Much of Marx’ work exposes earth’s ‘stinginess’ in economics and explaining the class-basis for this. This applies to another key, Marxian insight: the coerced extraction of ‘surplus value.’
    Engels:
    “You who hate good and love evil, who tear off their skin from them and their flesh from their bones, who eat the flesh of my people, strip off their skin from them, break their bones and chop them up as for the pot And as meat in a kettle.” [Mic 3:2-3].

    Marx can be pedantic, but Engels’ describes class struggle in terms recalling Micah’s eloquent work. Writing in ‘the Condition of the Working Class in England [1845], Engels explained social murder this way:
    “When society places hundreds of proletarians in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and an unnatural death, one which is quite as much a death by violence as that by the sword or bullet; when it deprives thousands of the necessaries of life, places them under conditions in which they cannot live—forces them, through the strong arm of the law, to remain in such conditions until that death ensues which is the inevitable consequence—knows that these thousands of victims must perish, and yet permits these conditions to remain, its deed is murder just as surely as the deed of the single individual.”

    Flint Michigan, Grenfell Tower, the Meetho tamulla garbage dump tragedy – Micah and Engels alike ‘exegete’ these events by examining the consequences of class dynamics. As Prof. James Cone explained that the cross and the lynching tree explain and interpret each other, so also with conditions/events of our time. If whatever ‘preachers’ proclaim is not incarnationally grounded in lived reality as much as Scripture, it isn’t ‘Christian’ at all. It’s Gnosticism.
    Lenin:
    ‘The kingdom of heaven is like leaven, which a woman took and hid in three pecks of flour until it was all leavened’ [Mat 13:33].
    Among his copious achievements, Lenin propounded the idea of a disciplined, vanguard party walking with the masses to guide and shape the working class response to the Russia’s oligarchic assault on them. And while social revolution is not a Biblical prescription for resolving the human predicament, the relationship between the party and the masses Lenin elucidated better than many ecclesial leaders pictures the mode of Christian existence and how Scripture prescribes that believers function in relation to the society around it.
    Trotsky:
    ‘My name will be great among the nations’ [Mal 1:11] … ‘that repentance for forgiveness of sins would be proclaimed in His name to all the nations, beginning from Jerusalem’ [Luk 24:47].
    And what has this to do with Trotsky? Nothing – except the shared universal scope of respective tasks.
    Among Trotsky’s numerous contributions was his theory of ‘permanent revolution.’ For him, the idea of ‘socialism in one country’ [Stalin’s monstrosity] was nonsense. And Trotsky was correct. So long as Capitalism can restructure itself and/or hide its resources in other countries, social advances made in any given country will not stand long. Ecclesial mission is likewise a world-wide endeavor which requires cooperation of baptized believers in all lands.
    Jesus and Marx are a study in contrasts. They certainly make an unlikely pair. Yet when at their best, the movements they left behind can hint at some uncanny commonalities. Moreover, Marxists more than Christians seem to ‘get’ the essential role of justice that is inherent to the kingdom Jesus proclaimed. Christians claim theological reasons for their actions; but Marxian analysis often reveals other motives for their doings which otherwise would escape necessary scrutiny.

    Marx is no messiah; nor is Jesus the revolutionary some present him to be. But if Christians can tolerate a dialogue with Marx, they just might make better Christians who are more aware of their motives and ready to speak truth to power.
    A full Christian confession:
    That was a mistake. I ought not to have said that. Ultimately, there is no ‘full Christian confession’ other than Christ who believers claim is the embodiment of all truth and knowledge. In that sense, Christ IS the full Christian confession.
    What I had in mind was a fuller statement of Christian faith in contrast to a summary. There are a number of summaries which appear as confessional/creedal statements in Scripture [ex: Mic 6:8; Mat 22:37-40; Phi 2:5-11; 1Ti 1:15, etc.]. ‘Christ is died, Christ is risen, Christ is coming again’ is not a Biblical confession, although that confession is Biblical. It is in fact a liturgical confession often made following the Great Prayer of Thanksgiving in the sacrament of the Table. It does state rather admirably the heart of Christian confession about Christ.

    Of course you’ve been exposed to the Apocalypse of Jesus Christ – although you may not know it by that name. It is the last book of the New Testament. It is better known as the revealing or unveiling – or ‘the Revelation’ of Jesus Christ. Of the four systems [Preterist, Futurist, Continuo-Historical and Ideal] by which that book is read, the ‘Ideal’ interpretation most resonates with me. Among other things, it is characteristic of the Ideal interpretation to read ‘the Revelation’ not as a roadmap of specific predictions leading to literal fulfillment, but as a revelation of God in Christ, his judgments and liberation as they relate to the calling/struggle of believers in any time or place, and under any system of governance.
    In a Christian perspective, it is always the kingdom of God, or the Satan’s domain of grunge, tyranny and death. God’s people are always tempted by the kingdom/powers of this world/age. But they don’t always see it. ‘The Revelation’ lets believers assess where they stand with those two kingdoms.
    When War, Famine, Pestilence and Death bestride the earth, the ‘four horsemen’ ‘have their way’ with the peoples of earth. A quarter century of war has produced just that in multiple theaters. It threatens new wars with North Korea, China, Iran and Russia. Those who for any reason or on any basis rationalize what these ‘horsemen’ do in God’s Name fulfill the role of the false prophet. The point is not that the US fulfills the role of anti-christ. The point is that whomever the cap of Edom/Egypt/Philistia/Babylon/Tyre/Rome etc. fits in any time or place, under any system of administration – there you see the work/power/kingdom of anti-christ.
    Deep down, Christians know that this is the case. They are desperate to avoid addressing this problem. So they push the theology of the Revelation into the future and pretend that this gives them a means of holding on to the Satan’s kingdom of grunge in this life, and still living forever with God in the next. I think we should disabuse them of this lie. Do you?
    I’ve already addressed ‘Christ died, Christ arose, Christ is coming again.’ Those were not mind. That we all reflect God’s character differently is my own. It’s based on the recognition that believers have differing gifts, and means that they more naturally reflect some or another attribute of God’s character. The love of justice comes more naturally to me. For another, it is faith, or love, or generosity, or … well … you get the picture.
    Gnosticism the most blasphemous belief system devised in the history of the world. It is infuriating subtle and bestrides the church in every day. The core belief is that there exists an inviolable gulf between the spiritual and physical worlds. Gnosticism assumed a different form in every city where it took hold. Paul addressed Gnosticism in embryonic form.
    A very base form of early Gnosticism took hold in Corinth. Some reasoned that since Christ saved the soul, it really didn’t matter what you did with the body. ‘The stomach is for food, food for the stomach’ [1Co 6:13]! Ditto for sexual organs! ‘I have the right to do anything’ [1Co 6:12]! Gluttony, debauchery, incest – Corinth had it all.

    Colossae reasoned in an opposite direction. Since the soul is what’s saved and is what really matters, the body should be starved and repressed. If Gnosticism in Corinth was very ‘base,’ the Gnosticism of Colossae prescribed harsh treatment of the body employing many man-made rules [Col 2:20-23].
    More than it guesses, the evangelical community displays some deeply Gnostic tendencies. Many fundamentalist sects unwittingly adopt Gnostic and Platonic ideas. The body is regarded as the prison of the soul from which the later must be cleansed and set free. Christian believers are a ‘spiritual’ people [in the sense that the body doesn’t matter and that it is far more important to save souls than to feed starving people]. People who think/speak that way would recoil to hear this. But they think/speak this way because they have a weak view of creation and the incarnation. We’ve never been particularly good at recognizing Gnosticism.

    The best and worst of humanity…
    By ‘the presence of Jesus Christ, I refer to the Biblical statement that believers are the ‘body’ of Christ. And while it is true that some believers truly practice the idea of self-sacrificial love in service of others, others are charlatans whoring for earthly recognition and power. Robert Jeffress, Betsy De Vos, Jessie Jackson, Al Sharpton and many others like them represent the interests of the top 1%, or the next 9%. They hope to bind the conscience of all to serve their agendas in God’s Name. It was in part to critique just such alignment with earthly powers that the Apocalypse was written.
    Saint John the Theologian depicted the relationships between earthly power, wealth and worship under the imagery of the beast, whore and false prophet. Today, the relationships John forbade Christians under these images are incarnated before us in the likes of those I mentioned, and the many religious yahoos who follow them.

    Their beliefs and practices [peddled under false flags of ‘patriotism,’ reformism, and the like] bind them to the demonic powers that drive corrupt systems and institutions. Thus they take the ‘mark of the beast’ to their forehead [beliefs] or hand [practices]. John in the Apocalypse sets the seal of the Spirit [which is baptism – Rev 7:3 cf. Eph 1:13; 4:30] and the mark of the beast [Rev 13:16] in contrast – both borne on the forehead. That you bear one or the other shows that allegiance to these the kingdoms of God and of this age are mutually exclusive.
    It is therefore Christ OR Caesar, NOT both Christ AND Caesar. Clergy that stand in pulpits, praising politicians who unleash War, Famine Pestilence and Death upon the earth, baptizing those monstrous powers, evidence their alignment with the beast and the anti-christ. Other believers find themselves caught between ‘either Christ OR Caesar.’ In that sense, they too often seek a strained course between the two systems.
    I’m the old guy on the block. I have the bald head, full, white beard and poor eyesight to prove it. I understand exactly why millennials and those after them flee the confessing ‘church’ in droves. Why wouldn’t they? Like it or not, ‘church’ [if there’s anything left of it in 100 or even 50 or 25 years] is going to look very different than now. It has to figure out how to do ministry in ways unseen for 1700+ years. It is essential that our youth see past ‘identity politics’ and embrace a vision for being the presence of Christ to the whole world, including every social class. God bless our youth! In the little time we have left, we must stand by and support them as they find their way.

    It’s nap time. I’m quittin g for now …
    1:40 p.m., Sunday Aug. 27 | Other comments by G. David Daley

  • When the so-called dangers are based on centuries of myth and urban legends, probably not. For example:
    https://www.splcenter.org/fighting-hate/intelligence-report/2011/10-anti-gay-myths-debunked

  • It’s purgatory for you, young man!

  • There is a difference between being a Christian and being a Christ follower. One is a religion, the other a way of life. He is caught between to masters. The mechanisms of power in this world and the power of the Holy Spirit. I do pray for him. I think the spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.

  • “To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.” Parable of the faithful servant, Luke 12:35-48. The Pope is, religiously, one of the most, if not THE most influential, powerful leaders in the church. His influence reaches far beyond the Catholic Church. It’s been 2000 years, plenty of time to get this whole following Jesus thing down. He needs to step up and declare the radical nature of the inclusive love of God for all people. Nothing would please me more than to see the Pope “out-Jesus” the likes of Jerry Falwell, Robert Gagnon and James Dobson.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    Churches are ridiculous.

  • Ivan T. Errible

    So the Catholics and Orthodox are only “indirect” followers of christ?
    LOL, you and they both deserve each other.
    You must enjoy fantasy life so much!

  • Daniel Fisher

    Well, that wasn’t exactly my question; but based on you limiting your “probably not” to certain dangers, can I conclude your answer would be “yes”, that it is possible to speak against some behaviors and warn people about those dangers without being guilty of “marginalizing” them?

  • What you are referring to is commonly called “loving the sinner but hate the sin.” The problem is I have yet to see conservative evangelicals pull it off effectively due to the smug certainty they have over all other Christians, that they alone know how best to interpret Scripture. They tend to be woefully ignorant to their own sins.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I think that far, I am in deep agreement. But nonetheless, the fact that so many do it poorly (or don’t even attempt to love at all) is not evidence that it cannot, or should not, be attempted, no?

  • It’s tricky, the judging other’s sins stuff. Part of the problem stems from how one deals with legalism. Is Christianity supposed to be just another set of rules replacing the Jewish ones? Do we define following Jesus in terms of do’s and don’t’s? Is Christianity to be defined by it’s center (Christ) or it’s boundaries and fences? To be truly effective requires a great deal of humility and a certain brokenness before God. In the end it is probably best to deal with one’s sins rather than address the sins of others. One can hope that they are setting a Christlike example, but in humility realize they fall short and that an another’s walk may be entirely different than theirs. Remember, Paul says we are free in Christ, but not all things are expedient, nor should we be ruled by things other than Christ.

    Having said that, I am aware that it is not just conservatives who fail at that, but progressives like myself as well. If, and this is a big if, conservatives, postconservatives and progressives can discuss honestly differences of Biblical interpretation concerning, say Gay marriage, and truly hear each other, much can be accomplished. But there are different suppositions and agendas that prevent this time and time again. Coupled with a “perfect storm” of social rejection of classic concepts of authority, new ideas of sexuality and inclusiveness, conservatives are feeling the pinch and often react out of fear rather than “hearing” arguments for a new understanding of Scripture.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Interesting, but i really was interested primarily in the core question of whether, at core, one can stand against any particular behavior, preach against it, exhort people to avoid it, without being “guilty” of marginalizing those engaged in such behavior. I was thinking of illicit drug use and adultery in general. Consider Corey’s blanket statement:

    “One cannot claim to stand for the marginalized and oppressed while continuing to stigmatize and contribute to the very factors that lead to one becoming marginalized.” If he is correct, then my attempt to stigmatize dangerous illegal drug use or adultery is contributing to “marginalizing” and oppressing people who are practicing such behaviors?

    If so, then what behavior can we not speak to? Shall I not speak against racism for fear of being guilty of marginalizing racists?

    But if not, then we must agree that, in principle, a person can with love and kindness speak against homosexuality (and various other sins) in a way that does not inherently or automatically make them guilty of”marginalizing” people, no?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Now, to speak to your own thoughts… of course I would agree that following Jesus is more than just keeping a list of rules. But is it less than that? For instance:

    “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.”
    “Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me.”
    “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?”
    “Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.”

    So, respectfully, I fail to see how someone can claim to “follow Jesus” and not notice that part of following Jesus does in fact involve obeying various commands? I don’t think it was the fundamentalists that came up with the idea that “if you love Jesus, you will keep his commandments.” If that is a faulty ideology, we can blame the originator of such language.

    Also, “best to deal with one’s sins rather than address the sins of others.” Perhaps, “best to deal with one’s own sins BEFORE addressing the sins of others”? That I could deeply agree with. If I see someone embracing a sin, like drug addiction, that will lead to heartache and pain and destruction, i would hardly be loving if I didn’t address it in some way, no? Besides, Jesus said we should take the log out of our own eye so that we could see clearly to remove the speck in our brother’s , not so that we could refrain from addressing his speck, no?

  • Daniel Fisher

    “Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our racist brothers and sisters, until he calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture– and certainly as long as he continues to make disparaging remarks about them– Pope Francis is no champion of the marginalized.”

    Sir, I am genuinely curious… would you agree with and stand by your above sentiment, given the slight edit I made?

    If not, then might we agree that your real issue is not whether we marginalize people, but rather on on what basis it is proper for certain people’s views and behaviors to be stigmatized and/or marginalized?

  • There are two issues here. Interrelated but separate.

    1. Which sins do we ‘call out’? I have long questioned fellow believers and ministers/pastors who are friends, about condemning greed – it’s a common thread in my blogs http://www.thealternativeulsterman.com – Jesus warned a would-be follower that he had to give up his wealth in order to follow him, BEFORE he could do so. He stated that it was easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle (and, no it is NOT a gate in Jerusalem!). Greed is listed in many of the NT lists of sinful behaviour right alongside sexual immorality, drunkenness, theft, slander… Paul even warns the Corinthians to not even eat with ‘such people’! (1Cor. 5:11). The same preachers who demand that a Christian must not even touch alcohol refuse to mention greed, with excuses like ‘how do you define wealth?’ We simply cannot be wilfully blind to clear commands (e.g. the conservative attitude towards taxation flies in the face of Jesus’ direct command) and then insist on other commands being adhered to, to the point of death. That’s simply hypocrisy.

    2. HOW do we call out sinful behaviour? I DID hear of a local church where a prominent member was about to buy himself a Rolls-Royce. The church elders had a conversation with him about the ostentatiousness of such a display of wealth, and he decided not to purchase. Personally I would have gone further (see above) but at least it wasn’t done from the pulpit at the front of the church. It was personal pastoring. ALL sin should be dealt with in such a way IMHO. A preacher hollering about what might be right or wrong is not a welcoming church with a heart. How would people who have a lot of wealth feel were they to visit a church and hear a sermon condemning them vocally for the money they had made? IF that was done in any church! Jesus spoke personally to the rich young man. He did give him clear warning but it was face-to-face. THAT is loving behaviour. The man felt comfortable enough to approach Jesus and ask how he could become a follower. Do we make others comfortable enough to ask us?

  • Following from what I said about HOW we address issues, then I believe Corey is right to point out how harmful the sort of ‘blanket’ statements made publicly by Pope Francis can be. That is the sort of rhetoric that leads to or adds to marginalisation in society.

  • Daniel Fisher

    1. Completely agree with your first point….up until the idea that Jesus directly commanded certain tax policies?? maybe you could provide me specifics? Is 45% on those making >$100K clearly in line with Jesus’ direct command, whereas 42% would clearly fly in the face of his direct command? Or did Jesus clearly directly command a graduated income tax, but not a flat tax? Or does Jesus’ direct command clearly preclude a sales tax in lieu of income tax, as some conservatives have proposed? If a person genuinely believed that lower taxes would better invigorate the economy as a whole, providing far greater benefit to the poor than alternative taxation schemes, I may or may not think him economically mistaken…. it would be out if bounds, though, to accuse him of greed simply on the basis of his recommended taxation figures.)

    2. Generally agree, except that the preacher has a responsibility to teach something about the sin of greed from the pulpit, no? Granted it is rude and ineffective to call out specific people, or perhaps specific violations (such as those greedy conservative tax schemes), but would it not be Christ-honoring to reinforce the basic teachings of Jesus about greed? Jesus did the one-on-one thing with the rich young ruler, but he also preached about lust, adultery, hatred, murder, and greed to large groups, no?

    But I concur with your ideas in general… far too many people like to focus on the “bad” sins others commit and gloss over or ignore the ones they ought themselves to struggle with… greed, lust, envy, sloth, gluttony, etc. and how one preaches against sin should be winsome… in an attitude where the listeners really believed that the preacher sincerely ranked himself as the chief of sinners.

  • I was in no way wishing to discuss taxation methods or ideologies, but just point out that it seems to be acceptable for Christians to pursue tax avoidance when Jesus simply said “give to Caesar’s what is Caesar’s” – in political circles one can discuss the pros and cons of progressive income tax over a flat sales tax until the cows come home, but for the believer the command given to us could not be simpler: pay what tax your government demands from you. This sits at the heart of the separation of church and state; two different entities.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I don’t generally disagree, but not sure exactly what you mean by “tax avoidance”? I personally use every legal and ethical deduction and credit the government entitles me to, and that is giving to Caesar precisely what Caesar demands, no more, no less. And my use of those Caesar-authorized “tax avoidance” deductions and credits allow me to give thousands more to charities than I otherwise could. So I hesitate to use the language that Jesus somehow commands us not to minimize our tax burden through Caesar-authorized-and-approved means.

    (Nor, given our representative democracy, would I see it a violation of his instruction to “render unto Caesar…” for a person to vote or lobby Caesar to require less, so long as, until Caesar should in fact require less, that person renders what is so required.)

  • Daniel Fisher

    Tim, I’d be curious, then, your perspective… if Pope Francis made similar blanket statements publicly condemning the actions of racists and white supremacists, I imagine that Mr. Corey and others would not be so offended, or concerned about the pope “marginalizing” such people?

    Hence, the real issue for Mr. Corey, unless I am very much mistaken, is not whether it is wrong or right to marginalize some people, it is the question of which people it is or is not right to marginalize, and what is the basis by which we decide what views should or should not be marginalized?

  • Daniel Fisher

    (P.S. – I peeked at your blog… you’re from NI and you’re a Star Trek fan… two reasons for me to have the deepest admiration and respect for you!

    As I find time I may have to chat with you on your blog about the Borg and John Calvin, with your permission. I have used similar Star Trek analogies myself on many occasions. That or I’ll have to take you to lunch next time I’m in NI.)

  • $144948586

    I think you raise a good point, and I hope used stick around to defend it. But I think that the big difference is that the racist, or rather the supremacist I know you didn’t say that, though are for limiting the liberties of other classes of people. I don’t know that this is the same as the lgbtq community.

    In which case, I don’t really see a problem with opposing the ideologies of those looking to limit the freedoms of other people. And, I wouldn’t call that the same thing is marginalization.

  • Bones

    Why do you think gay people are now accepted?

    Education.

    The acceptance of gay and trans people is being led by young people….not their parents.

  • Bones

    It’s the truth.

    The reason why public schools are seen as ‘underperforming’ is because private schools are selective in who they take.

    You don’t want your kids with the poor and disabled.

    I’m happy to know that you’re still subsidising public schools no matter how much you bark about it.

    It makes me happy actually.

  • $144948586

    “Why do you think gay people are now accepted?”
    So you agree that gay people are now accepted?

    “Why do you think gay people are now accepted?
    Education.”
    By education, do you mean public education?

  • Bones

    Ancient and tribal communities were collectives and children were raised by the village.

    That’s common knowledge.

    Your insular protective view of parenting is a new western phenomena which is more about the insecurities of parents and the loss of community.

    “Then hopefully we would not be so stupid so as to create a position of power that they have a legitimate chance at getting.”

    You obviously know nothing of history ….even recent history.

    “I would never raise my child to treat other people subhuman. That being said, Society just wouldn’t have to do any business with that person. They’d have the free choice.”

    That person will be drawn to others like it, creating their own community. Hence why we have gangs, Neo Nazi groups etc…..

    You have an incredibly naive view of society as if it some homogeneous group.

  • $144948586

    “The reason why public schools are seen as ‘underperforming’ is because private schools are selective in who they take.”
    Except that charter schools are specifically for underperforming inner city public school…they take these “underperforming” kids.

    That being said, “private schools are selective in who they take.”
    Well, no doubt, because parents sending their kids their have to subsidize it’s competition. Obviously, it’s well-to-do kids who get to go, and well-to-do people have certain “demands”. I’m not saying this is right–well, I guess I can say that it IS right, because private schools and the families attending them have the right to dictate exclusivity. However, I do find this morally reprehensible and think God will handle this in His time [something about vengeance is His], and I certainly wouldn’t be sending my kids to a private school (if that were a viable option for me) that had a reputation of barring disabled and poor kids–; I’m saying this is the economics of state intervention.

    “You don’t want your kids with the poor and disabled.”
    This just isn’t true for me; it’s disgusting that insinuate something like this, and really says something about your character.

    “I’m happy to know that you’re still subsidizing public schools no matter how much you bark about it.”
    I get it; you like theft. You like shakedowns. You like the mafia.

  • Bones

    “So you agree that gay people are now accepted?”

    Obviously not in Saudi Arabia nor by religious extremists or people like yourself.

    But the opinion polls of western countries on gay marriage make it clear the the majority support the acceptance of gay people so much that their unions should be recognised as marriage.

    Do you think this acceptance of gay and transpeople came about because their parents taught them? (and these parents were brought up in times when homosexuality was a criminal offence)

  • $144948586

    “Ancient and tribal communities were collectives and children were raised by the village.”
    Not with a state-run curriculum in which parents have no say.

    “Your insular protective view of parenting is a new western phenomena which is more about the insecurities of parents and the loss of community.”
    A phenomena birthed out of state-run curriculum in which parents have no say.

    “You obviously know nothing of history ….even recent history.”
    Keep in mind you make this claim in the context of me saying: ‘Then hopefully we would not be so stupid so as to create a position of power that they have a legitimate chance at getting.’
    Retort: Hitler.

    “That person will be drawn to others like it, creating their own community.
    “Hence why we have gangs, Neo Nazi groups etc.”
    The LGBTQ, Feminist, BLM rallies….
    Ya ya, people form groups.
    But we’ve still got those groups today, even with intervention in schools telling us not treat one another as subhuman.

    “You have an incredibly naive view of society as if it some homogeneous group.”
    How can I believe it’s homogeneous when I believe everyone should have individual liberties only usurped by that person’s voluntary action? Again, you resort to ad hominem attacks.

    So, will you now please make the case of society’s legitimate right:
    You’re statement:
    “They’ll be off you and given to someone who will look after them before you can blink.”
    My statement:
    This still begs the question of why they have any legitimate right at all over you or your child.

  • $144948586

    “or people like yourself.”
    Ad hominem. There’s nothing in my responses that says I don’t accept gay people. I don’t accept the state or a class in gender studies that I’ve no voluntary say in.

    “But the opinion polls of western countries on gay marriage make it clear the the majority support the acceptance of gay people so much that their unions should be recognised as marriage.”
    Thank you, I’ll be sure to bring this up in future conversations.

    “Do you think this acceptance of gay and transpeople came about because their parents taught them?”
    I’ll answer this question when you answer mine:
    Your statement:
    “Why do you think gay people are now accepted?
    Education.”
    By education, do you mean public education?

  • It’s quite simple, actually. We know that just because something is legal, this does not make it moral. WE may preach against abortion, but a woman going to a clinic to avail of the service is not breaking any law (except in NI or ROI, where it’s not available, of course). Why then, do we allow simple ‘legality’ excuse someone who has more than most to be able to pay less of their share to the national revenue system? If Jesus commanded us ‘pay your taxes’ then why should any believer make the effort to circumvent that? Especially when we know that the ‘average’ taxpayer (the majority) cannot benefit from such schemes? I count tax avoidance as immoral; were I wealthy and were offered access to such schemes, I would not. Then again, if no Christian was overly wealthy, this would not be an issue among believers!

    Now there is a principle that each believer must follow their own conscience. Some believe they must tithe, some don’t. Those who do not tithe get quite irked by those who try to tell them they must. I would not, on principle, tell another believer that they MUST pay all taxes without attempting any avoidance, but I still see it as something that is unnecessarily prevalent in a church that has aligned itself with politically conservative principles (actually, recently it’s been more libertarian). Somehow those beliefs tend to trump biblical commands and push them aside in a ‘worldly wise’ way that I believe Jesus would condemn.

    If the money you save is given to good causes, then fine, let your conscience dictate that. However, Corey also posted a great blog asking a question of all the conservative churches that say ‘the state’ should not ‘steal our money’ to provide services but the church should do these things; where are the hospitals these churches are building? Where are all the services being provided by the millions of tax-free dollars that these churches have? And is what they have enough to address the national shortfall? Such arguments are too often a cop-out for “I want to be rich!”

  • Good question. I can’t answer for Benjamin, of course, but I think we need to distinguish these things. I live in a different culture to Corey’s; the US prides itself on its first amendment rights while the UK has laws against ‘hate speech’ that has resulted in convictions. In the US, any of the racists who were seen marching in Charlottesville who lost their job could take a case of discrimination against their employer saying that they were sacked for their beliefs. If the employer could show that the personal beliefs were not the issue but the open marching to declare things like ‘Jews will not replace us’ was, then they would be sacked for their ACTIONS. How that would play out in a US court since such utterances would be claimed to be under the first amendment remains to be seen.

    It’s not so difficult in the UK since the expression of their views could very easily be seen as illegal and could warrant disciplinary action by an employer.

    Would this mean they are being ‘marginalised’? Such racists have already been marginalised by most of Western society since WWII after we have seen just where their ideology has taken us before, and we are under no illusion that they would advocate the same policies as Hitler, and open the camps again. You would need to show that LGBTQ people are a similar hate group with an agenda that would persecute and attack other members of society. Saying “I get taken to court if I don’t bake them a cake!” is in a different ball park.

  • Feel free to comment on my blog. No comments are moderated… yet! All views welcome. I tend to get a lot more discussion on my Facebook page when I post the blogs.

    And a theological debate over lunch is always a good idea ;)

  • $144948586

    “Actually the quote is African. And it shows the importance of a whole community in raising children.”
    For the record, ” In 2016, NPR decided to research the origins of the proverb, and concluded it was unable to pinpoint its origins, though academics said the proverb nevertheless holds the true spirits of some African cultures.”
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/It_takes_a_village

    Er go, it’s not necessarily African.

    That being said,
    “In Lunyoro (Bunyoro) there is a proverb that says ‘Omwana takulila nju emoi,’ whose literal translation is ‘A child does not grow up only in a single home.’
    In Kihaya (Bahaya) there is a saying, ‘Omwana taba womoi,’ which translates as ‘A child belongs not to one parent or home.’
    In Kijita (Wajita) there is a proverb which says ‘Omwana ni wa bhone,’ meaning regardless of a child’s biological parent(s) its upbringing belongs to the community.
    In Swahili, the proverb ‘Asiye funzwa na mamae hufunzwa na ulimwengu’ approximates to the same.”

    What we notice here is that each of these specifically mention the object of the phrase/sentence (the child). What we don’t notice in “It takes a village” is the actual object being mentioned. Er go, it might be an African proverb (and certainly in the same vein/perhaps even inspired by), BUT it does not smack of an actual proverb in that it dremains ambiguous on what the object of the sentence is.

    My guess is that it’s a bastardized version of a proverb and was, indeed, given popularity by HRC’s book. But, that’s just me.
    And in addition, none of these end with “against their parent’s wishes.”

  • Herm

    George, who is your lord, or do you have more than one?

    Is (s)he available to be with and in you always without pause?

    (Do)es your lord(s) perfectly reciprocate your love, in greater portion first, before you offer yours?

    How many fathers, teachers and instructors do you have to know the truth as you can bear?

  • $144948586

    Who is a direct follower of Christ in this case?

  • Herm

    Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said: “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 14:25-27 (NIV2011)

    “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 (NIV2011)

  • $144948586

    Great; so, you don’t have to be a government subject?

  • $144948586

    What about the high rates of suicide an drug use that takes place in these communities?

  • $144948586

    “were I wealthy and were offered access to such schemes”
    This sentence appears to suggest that the wealthy take scheme to avoid taxes illegally; is this what you’re insinuating?

  • Herm

    “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

    Matthew 22:21 (NIV2011)

    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 (NIV2011)

    As a child of Man I am subject to Man’s (Caesar’s) rule. As a child of God I am subject to God’s rule. Christ never claimed not to be a child of Man (carbon based body) even when agreeing that He was a child of God. The Messiah was not free from becoming subject to the rulers of mankind on earth, even to accepting his cross, rather than asking His Father to send legions of angels to protect Him. Christ never once said, nor does He now say, His followers could possibly live separate from the imposition of Caesar’s rule on earth.

    The single physical animal species called mankind was made in the one image of God. It is the one mankind that is the focus of the one God. It would do you and yours well to realize that your focus of awareness and influence must be on the survival of your species first, for on earth you and yours cannot survive without mankind. Though my treasures are stored in heaven (spirit) my example witnesses for my Father on earth (carnal). I am, as are all my subsequent seed, inescapably physically subject to the governing success of a fragmented (due to too many choosing self love over love for their species) temporal mankind while, simultaneously, I am spiritually united with and in God, without pause, bound in all love, eternally.

    Alone you cannot avoid being subjected to one tribe’s government rule and/or another. There is no land on earth upon which you can reside that you can escape the influence of other ruling bodies, even if it is only global warming or polluted air and water. You can choose to influence from within tribal government or possibly separate from having any influence at all in your planet’s governing. Either way you and yours are guaranteed to return the awareness and influence of your carbon based bodies back to the earth.

  • $144948586

    “Corey also posted a great blog asking a question of all the conservative churches that say ‘the state’ should not ‘steal our money’ to provide services but the church should do these things”
    Firstly, Corey never posts great blogs. BOOM.
    Second, I second this motion.

    “where are the hospitals these churches are building?”
    Third,
    Hmm, well there is Baylor, Christus, St. Jude, Methodist hospitals, and those are off the top of my head.
    Sure, I’m sure like all government (er, taxpayer) incentivized institutions, these get government (er, taxpayer) funds–but I also believe they are non-profit.

    Now where are the completely charity run ones? Hmm, well ask government about the AMA and the whole host of restrictions that create barriers to entry in the markets.

    “Where are all the services being provided by the millions of tax-free dollars that these churches have?”
    I just told you; not to mention worldwide missions work.

    “And is what they have enough to address the national shortfall?”
    No, because the government has created monopolies through artificial monopoly. It has also taxed the populace to subsidize substandard facilities, and fails to reimburse doctors adequately because their government programs always face budgetary shortfalls.
    Thus, they don’t cover the national shortfall, because government is busy being wasteful, inefficient, and irresponsible as always–thus the shortfall is ALWAYS bigger than it would be in free markets and no government intervention (including in the form of taxes).

  • $144948586

    ““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.””
    And I and you, are not one of these.

    “As a child of Man I am subject to Man’s (Caesar’s) rule.”
    My children are only subject to my rule until they’ve come of age to reject my rule and make it out of my house.

    “The Messiah was not free from becoming subject to the rulers of mankind on earth”
    This is crap:
    “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.” – Jesus

    “rather than asking His Father to send legions of angels to protect Him.”
    I don’t request this either.

    “Christ never once said, nor does He now say, His followers could possibly live separate from the imposition of Caesar’s rule on earth.”
    What the hell are you talking about?
    He also never said you couldn’t possibly live separate. For God’s sake, what about Adam’s family? What about Israel in the wilderness, what about the judges? My God!

    “The single physical animal species called mankind was made in the one image of God. It is the one mankind that is the focus of the one God. It would do you and yours well to realize that your focus of awareness and influence must be on the survival of your species first, for on earth you and yours cannot survive without mankind.”
    Be careful of your philosophy that you impose on top of your bible.

    “even if it is only global warming or polluted air and water.”
    Unequivocally caused by government interventions more than free markets.

    I don’t know what you’re mixing with scripture, but it’s more than Christianity, and it’s incredibly disturbing, Herm.

  • Daniel Fisher

    It may be that I just don’t understand the U.K. Tax system, and we are speaking past each other…. the “average” taxpayer in the US most certainly, and near automatically, benefits from many of the government’s established “tax reduction” schemes. One’s taxes are automatically reduced, for instance, based on how many children one reports. Also is reduced if you simply report how much you spent on child care, or their education, for instance. To fail to report to the government how much I gave to charity, or how many children I have, in order to avoid decreasing my taxes due, would in effect be to 1) lie to the government, and 2) pay more than they have specifically requested from me. Thus I just can’t see the immorality inherent.

    In other words, the government specifically asks me to honestly tell them how many children I have, how much I’ve spent on child care, home improvements, mortgage, charity, etc., and after I tell them the truth regarding my family size and various expenses, they then tell me how much taxes they charge me. Are you suggesting I ought to lie to them, withhold the true information from them which they have requested, so that my tax burden will be larger? This seems inherently to give to caesar more than he has requested, accomplished by lying to Caesar…, for which I see no biblical or Dominical requirement, explicit or implicit.

    If you have extra money after paying what the govt has asked of you, and freely choose to write a check to the government, I suppose you would be within your rights. But if I want to send a check to World Vision or St. Jude’s hospital (*ahem*) rather than give it to the government, after I have paid in full completely what the government has asked of me, I’m not sure in what world I could be seen to be in violation of Jesus’ teaching.

    Finally, asking “where are the hospitals these churches are building?” What an odd question… I was born at “Holy Cross” hospital, and in recent years have been a patient at Presbyterian hospital, Baptist medical system, and Adventist… none of these are government run institutions…. A quick Google search tells me there are ~ 600 Catholic hospitals in the U.S…. Maybe you might send Mr. Corey a map, if he lacks knowledge regarding where these church-affiliated hospitals are?

    But having said all that, I do agree that all too often the real underlying motive is “I want to be rich.”

  • Herm

    “even if it is only global warming or polluted air and water.”
    Unequivocally caused by government interventions more than free markets.

    If I have caused you to be this unhinged from reality then I am truly sorry for you and yours, please forgive me.

    You go your way…

  • $144948586

    Unhinged? Um, Soviet Russia? Um, Petrobas?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Tim, I’m enjoying the conversation. But if I may be so bold, the appropriateness of “marginalizing” something is about whether the behavior in question is immoral, not whether or not it is or is not a “hate group.” Adulterers, NAMBLA supporters, prostitutes (and their customers), human traffickers, extortionists, thieves, pornographers, drug pushers, gossipers, are also engaging in behavior that is immoral and which ought be marginalized in any moral society… (you, presumably, would add “those who don’t pay their fair share in taxes” to that list?) but not because they could be classified as “hate groups”. Some are legal, some are not, but anyone who marginalized such groups would do so because they saw the behavior as inherently immoral, not because it fit the definition of a “hate group”, no?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Well, I specifically meant racists… people who held racist beliefs and proclivities, not necessarily those pursuing policy based on that racism.

    But substitute any immoral behavior: swindlers, prostitutes, pornographers, drug users, child molesters, whatever. Ought they be “welcomed in as full and equal members of church and culture”. If we mean, simply and strictly, as human individuals worthy of dignity as God’s image bearers and offered forgiveness for their sins, then sure, anyone is welcome in my church and culture regardless of any sin… white supremacy, prostitution, racism, child molestation, anything. They are all welcome, along with me, to seek the undeserved forgiveness and mercy from Christ as we each repent of our respective sins before the cross.

    But if we are talking about inviting and welcoming people to continue practicing these behaviors without challenge and without a call to repentance… no, I am not in that sense going to welcome unrepentant pornographers, child molesters, or racists as “full and equal members of the church and culture” if it means to welcome and approve their behavior. And I will continue to make disparaging remarks about child molesting, racism, and pornography production, even if it means Mr. Corey would accuse me of “marginalizing” those who continue to unabashedly and unrepentantly practice these behaviors.

  • $144948586

    That’s a good answer, Daniel. This type of response, if you believe homosexuality is one of these immoral behaviors, will get you accosted here.
    Corey, and his followers, believe in affirming LGBTTQ lifestyles, and they believe that any trouble in their community (such as drug use and suicide) is not a product of who they are but of societal (and church) affirmation. Thus you’ll see me here occasionally making hay; you will be attacked eventually.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I don’t mind being accosted, but I do plead for consistency in logic and rhetoric. One can’t criticize the pope for “marginalizing people” or speaking negatively when one is doing one’s best to marginalize and speak negatively against all sorts of other groups, behaviors, and beliefs (Trump supporters, prosperity gospel, fundamentalists, religious right, Franklin Graham, etc.).

    I imagine it comes down to, “well, it’s ok for me to marginalize all these other groups, because they are evil and wrong and immoral and deserve it.” OK, fine, but then “marginalizing” isn’t really the issue, is it?

    I fear it is (perhaps unintentional) equivocation on Mr. Corey’s part. The real core question is not whether or not it is right to “marginalize” or “stigmatize” certain behaviors. The real question is whether or not homosexuality is immoral and against biblical intent and command. If so, then it, along with EVERY other sin we find in our society and hearts (including those otherwise “respectable” sins as greed, lust, envy, contention, strife, pride) ought rightly to be condemned, mortified, and yes, “marginalized.”

    However, If it is a lifestyle blessed and approved by God, then it, along with EVERY other God-pleasing behavior (marriage, child rearing, compassion, honest work, charity, humility) ought to be extolled and embraced, and ought most certainly not be “marginalized.”

    But the idea of criticizing the pope because he is “marginalizing” people by condemning their behavior is just a clever diversion, and is irrelevant: it avoids the only relevant question – is homosexual behavior sin or is it not.

  • something’s happening but you don’t know what it is do you mr. Jones?
    https://youtu.be/hC4r3QFnmQ8

  • And being Gay “causes” drug use or suicide? Evidence, please.

  • $144948586

    I didn’t say that, not did I suggest that.

  • Standing against drug abuse does not “stigmatize and contribute to the very factors that lead to one being marginalized.” Cory is talking about oppressing people for being different not for having a drug habit. You are falling back on a common arguement used by evangelicals, to equate self destructive actions and choices with being Gay. This is an assumption based on how evangelicals interpret scripture but not on science or the actuallities of real life. Your assumption is clear in your stating “a person can with love and kindness speak against homosexuality (‘and various other sins’)…”

    Next let’s address something else that caught my eye. Earlier in the post you stated, after again equating being Gay with “any immoral behavior: swindlers, prostitutes, pornographers, drug users, child molesters, whatever,” that if we welcome Gays that we might as well allow all these other types of sinners to be “welcomed in as full and equal members of church and culture.” I won’t belabor the false equivalency of being Gay to the abuses you’ve mentioned but I couldn’t help but notice your linking of church and culture together. I think this is where I find my main problem with the Religious Right. We have freedom of religion and a “wall of separation” between church and state. You and whatever denomination you identify with are free to believe whatever you want about the Bible, about sin, hell, Gays and whatever you imagine goes on in their bedrooms. It can be freely preached from your pulpits. People are free to attend those churches or avoid them like the plague. Likewise, as churches are private “clubs” they get to set their own rules as to who can be members of not. What the church doesn’t get to do, at least in America, is to decide who are “members” in good standing in America as a society and as nation.

    It’s when strictly religious views are pushed on society in an attempt to legislate that we enter into dangerous territory. The American founding fathers were smart enough to see the dangers and set up an institution of government to guard against that. When the Pope makes comments about transgender children being against the family he does have a “right” to say those kind of things, but it is questionable if he is being helpful. As I don’t see the Pope as trying to push religious agendas into law anywhere, I personally shrug my shoulders and think, “well he’s Catholic.” Disappointed, yes, but not shocked or surprised.

  • Then why bring it up?

  • $144948586

    Because, you said the dangers are a myth. I just think the correlations are worth exploring.

  • Correlation means there is a connection. What is the connection you are hinting at?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Kirk, thanks for the reply, I may try to touch on more of your items later, but one quick clarification. You said:

    “I couldn’t help but notice your linking of church and culture together.”

    And somewhat belabored that point.

    Just to be clear, that language was simply lifted from Mr. Corey’s original, as I was trying to engage with his thoughts. “until he [the Pope] calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture…” were his words, I was merely quoting.

    Thus, I respectfully request if you would be willing to redirect all that criticism of conflating church and culture to him. I was simply borrowing his language in order to engage with his perspective.

  • Matthew

    What about gluttony and selfishness?

  • I heard this song and thought you might like it.
    I love you lord.
    https://youtu.be/Fq2Uas8HqAI

  • I see that now. Sorry for misunderstanding you. My issue with the Religious Right’s campaign to make Gayness illegal remains.

  • Daniel Fisher

    but you, presumably, have no issue with the religious left’s campaign to make gayness legal? One side injecting their morality into society is an abomination, but the other side can push their religiously derived moral agenda into society with your blessing? I have trouble following.

    Hence I would genuinely would be interested to see your critique of Mr. Corey for his conflation of church and culture. You were quick enough to challenge it when you thought these were my words…. I am genuinely curious if you still feel as quick to speak against his eagerness to inject his religious perspective into current cultural debates?

    Or is it merely the evangelicals that should keep their nose out of American culture, while the liberal or progressive Christians get a pass?

    Or am I missing something else entirely?

  • Ah, I was waiting for you to go there. Yes you are missing something intirely. Dealing with the issue at hand: gayness and transgender, evangelicals base their push for prohibitive and punitive legislation solely on their understanding of scripture. They attempt to bolster their attack with discredited and out-of-date psychological assessments from decades ago, but the fact remains they have not been able to legally prove in a court of law that individuals who’s sexuality is non-binary are a threat to society, are worse parents than heterosexuals or tend to be pedophiles. The objections are purely religious. On the other hand, those in the church with a more inclusive view may believe conservative Christians have it wrong, and believe Christ’s command of love leads them to embrace those who are marginalized, but in working with the broad consensus of secular society, psychology and the findings of the court, the coalition formed is largely secular. Progressive Christians are merely agreeing that the direction American society has gone in this regard is consistent with the Gospel. It is therefore not an attempt to push a religious agenda on the public as a whole.

  • Daniel Fisher

    What about them? I already mentioned gluttony earlier in a conversation with a Tim (look further down the page). But they fit into the pattern just like any other sin, no? To rephrase what I said above:

    People who are gluttons and selfish (like me) are similarly, along with me, welcome into my church to seek the undeserved forgiveness and mercy from Christ as we each repent of our respective sins before the cross.

    And on the either hand, no, I would similarly not welcome unrepentant gluttons or self-absorbed prigs as “full and equal members of the church and culture” if it means to welcome and approve their behavior, and I will continue to make disparaging remarks about those two sins as well.

    (The only difference being that it is a bit more difficult to clearly delineate when someone is living in an unrepentant manner in regard to these sins… a person has seconds of desert at the church potluck, are they living in unrepentant gluttony warranting church discipline? Every sin is selfishness to some degree, and a Christian life is one of continual repentance. How selfish must one be to initiate discipline? These sins, while real sins, are simply harder to clearly tell if someone is living in them in an unrepentant fashion.

    But if a person goes to work every day to produce pornography, it is a bit more clear that said person probably is not living in “repentance” over that sin. But gluttony and selfishness ought to be addressed just like any other sin and treated just as seriously, with mortification and, dare I say, marginalization.

    Did that address your thoughts?

  • Daniel Fisher

    I still can’t see any consistency here…. bottom line remains: liberal religious views are blessed and welcome in the public sphere because they happen to align with current consensus of secular society, secular psychology, and current legal perspectives? Evangelical views are off-limits and forbidden in the public sphere, however? A liberal Christian works in legal manners to get his view of morality established in culture and law, and you cheer; an evangelical does the same, and you jeer?

    So if culture shifts in the future, and the evangelical perspective happens to be the one to agree with consensus of secular society, psychology, and the legal system (say, just as it did in the 1950s and prior)…. then you would endorse the propriety of the evangelical view injecting their perspective into culture? Since, after all, in that hypothetical scenario, evangelicals would merely be agreeing that the direction American society were going in that regard was consistent with Scripture, and therefore not an attempt to push a religious agenda on the public??

  • $144948586

    Kirk, I don’t know. I agree that there is an obvious connection; the suicide rates and drug rates are too high relative to normal suicide and drug use rates, but what that connection is I couldn’t tell you.

  • Matthew

    Yes it did. Thanks.

  • Gender dysphoria is a common symptom of, but not synonymous characterization of, being transgender. Many people who are trans never experience it, and the most effective treatment for gender dysphoria is external transition and expression of the person’s internalized gender.

  • Having studied the farce that was the Pontifical Commission on Birth Control, two things come to mind:

    1) He is not necessarily being true to his Catholic beliefs — he is reinforcing upper Catholic hierarchical doctrine. What those lower on the hierarchy believe is often at odds with the upper authority figures.

    2) The Pope reserves authority which can be used to create or contradict doctrine, and some popes have exercised it broadly.

    The TLDR version of the Commission was Pope John the 23rd created a commission to determine if there was any scriptural basis for prohibiting birth control. Laypeople said no. Pope Paul the Sixth, having newly taken over, didn’t like that answer and had theologians reexamine their findings. The theologians returned a vote to abolish the prohibition. The Pope decided otherwise, siding with a minority dissent which was, I quote, “The Church cannot change her answer because this answer is true.” The minority argued strenuously that being wrong meant being wrong, and they were literally incapable of being wrong. The Pope liked that answer, rejected the majority view, and the ban stands to this day.

    Papal authority is always a thing when it reinforces oppression, never possible when it upholds justice.

  • The day the Pope has to pay rent in Seattle, I’ll gladly agree his finances have something to do with anything.

  • I’d be curious to hear your examination of the prose Those Who Walk Away From Omelas. The premise is that a city of people live in complete utopia, with all of their needs and desires met to satisfaction — but at the cost of one citizen living in abject misery. It’s a contest of utilitarianism against other systems of morality. At what point does a system which benefits the majority become a system in which the majority have sold their souls for comfort?

  • I like this presumption that the parents’ rights are more important than children’s. It’s very authoritarian, and uniquely American — the one country which refused to sign the UN Rights of the Child treatise, because Americans view their children as possessions to do with as they please, and acknowledging that children have rights outside that which they are granted by parents “undermines parental authority.”

  • Ron McPherson

    Here’s the distinction in my mind. Are behaviors detrimental to others? For instance, swindlers, child molesters, and racism marginalize and oppress others. I know of no one (Ben included) who would advocate welcoming oppressors to the table lest we otherwise be accused of oppression ourselves. That’s obviously self contradictory.

  • Meanwhile, I’ve encountered numerous adults who grew up so thoroughly poorly educated on the subject that they still held ideas like

    * You can get pregnant from sleeping in the same bed as someone, even if there’s no physical contact between them
    * You can prevent the spread of STIs by taking a shower after sex
    * Rape never leads to pregnancy (bonus points, that was a Congressman)

    * You can tell who’s a virgin by whether their hymen is intact
    * The hymen breaks during a woman’s first sexual act
    * You can prevent pregnancy by only having sex during certain days of the month
    * You can’t catch an STI from your first sexual act
    * You can’t get pregnant from your first sexual act

    And so on, and so on.

  • Many years back, a solitary Pope held the power in his hands to abolish the ban on birth control. He chose not to, contravening the majority opinion of a Pontifical Commission.

    Somehow, the Pope never has power to end injustice, only perpetuate it…

  • George is the kind of guy who has now spent a couple of years repeating the phrase “Church is boring” to himself.

    This is not an exaggeration.

  • This post reminded me that to date, one of the most effective ways of getting people off hard drugs (once they’ve already started) is creating sanctuary spaces for them to act upon the habit and then gently offering ways to get off drugs while they’re there. Criminalizing drug use has been largely ineffectual.

  • As a result of being LGBT+, or of being a member of a marginalized community which is often rendered homeless, unemployable, and physically/psychologically abused? The distinction is important, because harping on about the dangers of being LGBT+, if is the latter, contributes to them.

  • $144948586

    “I like this presumption that the parents’ rights are more important than children’s.”
    It’s not a presumption; it’s a fact that children must have guidance lest they become victims of this violent world. I hold this truth to be self-evident–or we can turn to the several babies that were left in dumpsters who couldn’t, obviously, feed themselves.

    “It’s very authoritarian”
    Funny; I’d have said the same thing about some oversight body whose leaders receive our tax money and we have no say over.

    “the one country which refused to sign the UN Rights of the Child treatise”
    I find it odd that we have hubris to overcome 4 billion years of evolution (if you’re one of “those”) by decree or, heaven forbid, have the hubris to over throw the image of the very relationship God has over us.

    “acknowledging that children have rights outside that which they are granted by parents ‘undermines parental authority.'”
    Firstly, no one denies children have autonomous rights outside of parental control. But there’s a THICK line between meat for dinner and child marriage.
    It’s a natural law that my child is my possession, and as an individual with liberty and freedom to live, it is my responsibility (thanks again to natural law) to care for them.

    That being said, kids also have a fundamental ability that society doesn’t grant to individuals: they have the ability “revolt” against their parental masters as soon as they can overcome them. Of course, we socially set this age to a mostly arbitrary 18, but they’ll never stop being subordinates to government.

    To call this in to question really calls in to question whether or not humans should have the right to consensually have children. After all, if children are no longer subject to parents (but are, de facto, subject to the state), what’s to stop the state from saying (after all, you are de facto their subject) your sperm/eggs are the state’s property and not of your own.

  • Ron McPherson

    Here’s the problem that I see. Greed is in fact a respectable sin whether any of us want to admit it or not, at least here in America. Sin is nuanced and subjective within American Christianity. I’m preaching to myself here. But the inconvenient truth is that most American Christians don’t pay much attention to Jesus’ very strong words with respect to the poor. And he actually did address this one. Most of us aren’t very good in shunning excess, much less sacrificing for the poor. You won’t see people getting kicked out of churches for being materialistic. If we kicked the greedy out of churches like we do LGBT folks, many churches would be sitting largely empty. Hell, Christians are right in the middle of it. We don’t sacrifice our possessions. Yeah we may do an Angel Tree thingy once a year, go hand out coffee to the homeless once or twice a year, but we don’t sacrifice like Jesus taught. The early church actually got this. We don’t. And there is the rub. We live in our own little theological universe content that my sins aren’t that bad because, well, me and my tribe are accustomed to living in them. If you make as much as $50k a year, you are 100 times wealthier than over a billion people. Americans on average throw away a fourth of their groceries while 46 million other Americans rely on food banks. Realities like this are why the howling of so many Christians over the ‘sins’ of the LGBTQ community (which the crime for many is just actually, well, loving someone) ring hollow to an unbelieving world, skeptical of our professions of faith, given the reality of such stark disparities of wealth. Yet many professing Christ followers, at least by our own inaction, seem largely okay with world starvation. It may bother us for a second or two when we see sad images from those commercials during late night television, but most of us are a lot more disturbed over the pimple faced kid in the drive-through forgetting our fries than over masses of third world children starving to death every day. Most of us would get a lot more worked up over finding our car being keyed in the mall parking lot than the thought of 20,000 children around the world dying daily of malnutrition. I’m not trying to lay a guilt trip on anybody (again, I’m preaching to myself), but rest assured the ‘world’ sees right through this type of hypocrisy.

  • $144948586

    So you are saying that society doesn’t accept them?

  • $144948586

    What percentage of the populace holds these views today versus 50 years ago?

    Perhaps an even better question or set of questions would be were they sexually active as teens? Are they sexually active now?

  • Ron McPherson

    nailed it!

  • $144948586

    For the record, I find it hard to believe that you’ve found more than two people with this view…I mean, what do you do? Start every conversation with “Hi, I’m AnonymousSam. Did you know that the hymen doesn’t always break during a woman’s first sexual act?”

  • I’ve seen things like this before, but they’re not particularly apt comparisons. The LGBT+ community and those who reject it are not opposites; the opposite of people who reject the LGBT+ community are people who reject the cisgender, heterosexual community.

    Similarly, the opposite of people who oppose the right of gay people to marry is not gay people, it would be people who oppose the right of straight people to marry.

    When someone equates bigotry with the targets of that bigotry, it suggests that having the audacity to exist is equally as harmful as persecution.

  • Daniel Fisher

    You have my heartfelt agreement, and concurrence. Just a qualification, if I may… let me be detailed and I would appreciate your thoughts:

    first, is it fair to say there are really two classes of sin:

    1) on the one hand, you have behaviors like adultery, theft, assault, pornography, which, generally speaking, are quite clear if sin has been committed. Sure, there may be some small gray area, but in all practical terms, it is clear if the person is committing that sin, and if they are not. There is a rather obvious demarcation.

    2) on the other hand, you have some sins where the clear line of what is sin and what isn’t is not quite so clear…. hatred, drunkenness, lust, gluttony, greed, gossip, etc. sure, there is a level where many can look clearly and say, that is clearly sin… but the spectrum is huge. It isn’t (necessarily) immediately clear if someone has crossed that line or not….

    And for what it is worth, homosexual behavior (assuming the evangelical perspective that it is sin) would fall into the first category.

    Add to that, the idea of repentance. A person could fall into pornography daily, and each time, sincerely repent of it (deleting or disposing of the pornography he acquired). Thus a person may look like he is living in such a sin, but I may have to trust there is still genuine repentance. Hence a person may most certainly still exhibit gossip, slander, lust, pornography, adultery, homosexual behavior, drunkenness, gluttony, and yes, greed, and yet be welcomed into an evangelical church, if there is the assumption that the person is still genuinely wrestling with that sin and genuinely striving toward repentance. The church is a place for broken sinners who struggle with any sin.

    But can you appreciate that all this is categorically different than a man who proudly brings to church the woman he is having an affair with, right in front of his current wife and children? Or someone who proudly showed off their extensive pornography collection when I visited their home? evangelical churches of my familiarity at least are rather willing to be generous and give the benefit of the doubt to any sinner who is expressing even the intent to wrestle with whatever sin. But when someone blatantly, proudly, lives in that sin and proudly advertises their unwillingness to repent of it, this puts it into a different category.

    Again, the evangelical churches I know have no issue whatsoever embracing homosexual Christians, so long as they, like the rest of us, are actively struggling in repentance against all the sins that plague us. They are welcomed in the evangelical churches i know regardless of how many times they may continue to fall into homosexual behavior (not unlike the porn addict) so long as there is some expression of remorse and repentance and continued desire to repent. And I know plenty of evangelical pastors who admittedly have homosexual orientations, and who are entirely embraced by their church, denomination, and congregation.

    So all that being said, can you appreciate that it may not be that some evangelical churches are specifically targeting LGBT people, as much as when a gay couple comes into that church, they are pretty much advertising (in a way hard to miss) that they are living in what that church would recognize as unrepentant sin, much in the same category as the man that brings his mistress to church or who proudly boasts of his porn collection?

    All that being said, I don’t want to contradict what you said – I wholeheartedly agree that many, many evangelical churches are simply comfortable condemning “those people” since it is far more comfortable than taking the log out of their own eyes. And the greed that exists in American evangelicalism is rampant.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Ron. How do you respond to the “claim” that conservative Christians, for example, give very large amounts of their income to charity? Mind you … I have never really seen hard and fast stats re: this.

  • Still missing it. I will state it again. Wall of separation between church and state does not allow any religious organization to push its purely religious convictions on Americans. Who’s religious convictions would take precedence? Evangelical? Now if evangelicals could produce a shred of evidence showing that being Gay, a Gay parent or some other non binary sexual identity was harmeful to society that would be different because it was based on the needs of society, not merely a religious view. Evangelicals did their best to present a case for that to the courts and lost, because there really is no reason to legislate against sexual minorities other than religious convictions. Progressives realize that, conservatives do not. I do not know how to make it any clearer. Any more questions?

  • Yes, I think that is used in Sweden and Holland.

  • Well, let’s leave it at that then until we have stronger correlations to go on.

  • “…Christians now give less per capita than during the Great Depression. When we finally look at those in church, at best 25% of the congregation give.That’s at best. If you have that level of participation, you’re not in the norm, according to other research, which says only about 3-5% actually tithe in most cases. And, it’s not the wealthy who always tithe. The statistics suggest that if you make less than $20k, you’re eight times more likely to give than someone who makes more than $75k.”
    http://www.sharefaith.com/blog/2015/12/facts-christians-tithing/

  • Newton Finn

    I don’t believe in the usefulness of these sorts of theoretical quandaries. Would you torture and kill a child to save the world?, etc. I do think it’s useful, however, to ask practical questions about whether certain human needs and desires should take precedence over others when advocating for social justice. For me, the first challenge is to insure that everyone has sufficient resources to lead a decent human life. Then come issues such as the full expression of individuality. There is no reason, of course, that demands for the latter cannot be made simultaneously with demands for the former, and they sometimes are. But to emphasize the former while minimizing or ignoring the latter diminishes the moral weight of the advocacy, at least for me. I’m reminded of the old Black Power criticism of the Civil Rights sit-ins, to the effect that one must have the money for lunch before a seat at the lunch counter means very much at all.

  • Matthew

    Thanks Kirk Leavens :-)!

  • Ron McPherson

    I think the validity of that would be difficult to determine one way or another. My point was not so much about which group gives more, but rather the hypocrisy of Christian America. If the U.S. one day goes down in flames, I’m thinking it’s not for the reasons often preached in the pulpit. For instance, prominent SBC evangelicals in Nashville just issued a comprehensive anti gay statement that reads like the constitution. And Christian conservatives around America are applauding it while simultaneously supporting a president who glaringly displays unChristlike values. And they issue such a statement when the country needs unifying and also while Texas residents are under water. I’m like, are you kidding me?

  • Being a product of Catholic grade school and high school, I can empathize with your quandary.
    I resolved my discomfort by leaving the church and surprise; I found what I had been missing in the bible.
    The questions that I had were finally answered.

  • $144948586

    Sure thing; you dont call them so called danger based on myth, and I won’t reference the abnormally high drug and suicide rates.

  • *Nods* We’re capable of multitasking, certainly, which is part of why I think it’s fair to level criticism at Pope Francis for advocating for economic justice while seeking to curtail civil rights for the LGBT+ community. It’s not just re-prioritizing when the future he seeks would specifically include the tamping down of others in order to fit his desired mold. I can certainly meet him half-way when it comes to certain subjects, but it’s hard to compromise with a person who seeks your eradication.

    RE Civil rights sit-ins: I think you might be remembering Martin Luther King Jr’s words on that?

    *What good is having the right to sit at a lunch counter if you can’t afford to buy a hamburger*?

    King had some interesting economic ideas. What he advocated would straight up be considered Socialistic Communism today — a government guaranteed right to work in jobs of federally mandated quality with upward mobility and career opportunities, and assurance of every citizen to have at least a minimum guaranteed income suitable enough to cover the cost of living, suitable housing with free choice of neighborhood, education, health care, all without regard to a person’s socioeconomic status.

  • You’re under the impression it takes an intimate conversation for someone to reveal that they think the hymen is proof of virginity? … Are you aware the myth of hymen-linked virginity is literally thousands of years old, as well as the myth of “virgin’s blood”?

  • “It’s a natural law that my child is my possession”

    *Nods* You’re welcome to think so.

    And I’m welcome to think it makes you a reprehensible person to think that any person is your plaything simply because you helped make it.

  • Frequently doesn’t, no. A disproportionate number of homeless people are LGBT teenagers who were cast out of their homes. Polls indicate that the majority of society has come to terms with the fact that the LGBT community exists, but there are still plenty of places where accepting folk are fewer and further in between, and regardless of their existence, kids often don’t know them or even that they exist — especially the case when people treat being LGBT as taboo discussion material and thus they grow up unaware of the experiences and views of others around themselves.

  • And now in a few places in the US, where it is already being reported that such programs are having successful results. I’ve known a few stoners in my time, but few people who got on hard drugs and then wanted to stay on them if there was a way to mitigate the withdrawal symptoms.

  • That’d take more scrounging than I presently have the spoons to perform, but off the top of my head, I can recall one notable study on abstinence education which found that people who had received it were generally as knowledgeable about sexual health as people who had received no education at all on the subject, whereas people who received comprehensive sex education tended to be sexually active at about the same age, but were more likely to use birth control measures than their counterparts.

  • Hello again!! I just want to let you know that I’m studying the post you sent and finding some old and new inspiration from such. It will take me awhile to respond and comment. Meanwhile here is some of my latest thinking regarding my issues about bringing the kingdom and justice closer to perfection in the world.

    I think just as there is Kingdom Within one There is an enemy within one. Unresolved patterns of abuse and self-abuse that go on for Generations, triggers, flashbacks, addiction to substances and behaviors that require constant commitment to recovery and cannot be completely healed. per Romans 12:21 Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
    But how!!!

    This is a post from today’s blog experimental theology. The rest of the discussion can be found here:
    http://experimentaltheology.blogspot.com/2017/08/on-tribes-tribalism-and-self-criticism.html https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/95e98967154b82019b17e53c20a432b99b5f0fbbed92ce66b82bfa52868f29b5.jpg

  • Daniel Fisher

    Ron, one other quick thing…. you always come across thoughtful and fair in your comments, so wonder if I might respectfully request you to reconsider using one rather disingenuous rhetorical device: No evangelical Christian to my knowledge attacks any gay or lesbian person because they are “loving someone.” I know this is a very common rhetorical device designed to make those big bad evangelicals sound really bad because they object to someone “loving someone.”

    At best, this language is confusing and disingenuous, at worst downright dishonest. E.g., I have no issue if my son and daughter love each other; I do have issues if they have sexual relations. I have no issue if my local church pastor loves my wife. I do have issues if they have sex together. I have no issues if my daughters 4th grade teacher loves her, I have issues if he has sex with her. I have no issues if two men and three women in my church all love each other….

    So whether you agree or not with the evangelical perspective about homosexual sexual behavior being sinful or not, can we be upfront and honest about this point at least…. the issue is what evangelicals understand as unlawful or immoral sexual activity…. not on who they do or don’t “love”. The “crime” (to borrow your language) that evangelicals perceive is not, actually, loving someone. Their perspective, whether right or wrong, is that the “crime” is engaging in unlawful, forbidden, and/or immoral sexual conduct.

    It does no one any good to so radically misrepresent one’s opponent’s position, can we agree that far?

  • Daniel Fisher

    I can’t speak to the authority or accuracy, but I did a quick search and found this:

    ‘The high ranking of Bible Belt states is no accident, writes Mr. Zinsmeister: “Religious practice is the behavioral variable most consistently associated with generous giving. Charitable effort correlates strongly with the frequency with which a person attends religious services. Evangelical Protestants and Mormons in particular are strong givers.” ‘

    https://www.americamagazine.org/content/unconventional-wisdom/blue-states-get-dinged-almanac-american-philanthropy

    Now, while that may be, I would emphasize it doesn’t in any way negate Ron’s point about the rampant greed among evangelical Christians. They may (or may not) be less greedy as a whole than the less religious culture around them, but that wouldn’t in itself make them “not greedy”.

  • Bones

    No, it’s pretty consistent with your position.

    Neither is having gay sex ‘unlawful’.

  • Matthew

    Thanks

  • Bones

    “However, If it is a lifestyle blessed and approved by God, then it, along with EVERY other God-pleasing behavior (marriage, child rearing, compassion, honest work, charity, humility) ought to be extolled and embraced, and ought most certainly not be “marginalized.””

    So why are you doing it to gay people?

  • Bones

    I don’t know of any person who has been denied even access to the Catholic priesthood for gluttony or selfishness.

    Your false equivalence died in the arse.

  • Bones

    Yeah we know you hate gays.

  • Bones

    It seems slander and greed is a prerequisite to being an evangelical Christian.

    Over here Evangelicals are running tv ads against gay marriage warning that it will make your boys where dresses.

    “Again, the evangelical churches I know have no issue whatsoever embracing homosexual Christians,”

    Yeah this is the sit down and shut up while we tell you how bad you are, welcoming type…..

    A bit like this: https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/38167e626606c116d05fd70813e159f15495f212c7dd215acc0878ca3909da93.jpg

  • Bones

    We also call extremist Muslims for the bat shit crazies they are.

    Your generation will be the last of the gay haters.

  • Bones

    Nah…this is the Catholic Church calling people to task on morality….you know the church which has defended priests f***ing kids and allows its dioceses to transfer money so they can declare bankruptcy and not have to pay their victims.

    And yet is obsessed with what committed adults are doing to each other.

    Hopefully this just leads to more people leaving the Catholic church.

  • Bones

    Gay people aren’t doing anything wrong….though of course you’ve tried to lump them in with paedophiles and criminals which is pretty disgusting and says a lot about you.

    and since when are gossipers marginalised?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Many, but I’ll refrain from most and try to keep it short. In brief….

    Basically, so long as evangelicals can find some number (how many?) atheists or agnostics who oppose homosexual behavior or the like, then they would have your blessing to speak to the issue in the public sphere?

  • Bones

    So i take it your church isn’t doing cardiac surgery yet?

    Or being called out to apprehend criminals?

    Nah didn’t think so.

    The government will keep providing these for its citizens while you live in fantasy land.

  • Bones

    Yep…you’re unhinged.

  • Bones

    So you can’t be a Catholic priest and be selfish and a glutton?

    In your dreams.

  • $144948586

    Got sources?
    Do these sources show comparative teen pregnancy?
    Do these sources show comparative STI rates?

    “tended to be sexually active at about the same age”
    But, we’re not talking about age are we?
    We’re talking about rates.
    What percentage of these kids that believe “The hymen [always] breaks during a woman’s first sexual act” are/were sexually active?
    What percentage of these kids that believe “The hymen [always] breaks during a woman’s first sexual act” sexually active now?

  • $144948586

    That’s ok; you can continue believing that society has some legitimate claim to you and yours.

    Please, demonstrate its legitimate right.

  • $144948586

    Yes, I’ve seen it in an Ace Ventura movie.
    So you’ve never actually heard them utter these words?

  • $144948586

    “So i take it your church isn’t doing cardiac surgery yet?”

    Bones, I just gave four church hospitals that perform that exact surgery in the comment above.

    That being said:

    “The government will keep providing these for its citizens while you live in fantasy land”
    Yes, yes. The government will continue to inefficiently drain resources from the private sector so that it can continue it’s marvelous work of funding medicare, medicaid, social security, police/fire department pensions, and infrastructure spending.

    The church can keep taking the blame for not having done enough without noting the few bit of charity that comes with siphoning from the private sector and despite having set up multiple U.S. hospitals (even more than the 4 I listed) and world wide missions work which also producing AT LEAST basic medical care. But you know, that damn speck in the eye and all.

  • $144948586

    “A disproportionate number of homeless people are LGBT teenagers who were cast out of their homes.”
    I think you mean “A disproportionate number of homeless teenagers are LGBT”
    “who were cast out of their homes.”
    This is a bit ambiguous; only 43% of this population was actually forced out of their homes.
    Don’t get me wrong, this is a high number. I just want it to be clear what we’re talking about.
    http://williamsinstitute.law.ucla.edu/wp-content/uploads/Durso-Gates-LGBT-Homeless-Youth-Survey-July-2012.pdf

    I’m not saying it’s on them; I’d never not accept my child’s sexuality.
    But, so that we don’t get sidetracked and leave the issue at hand:
    Do you have other resources?
    Do these resources explain WHY suicide and drug use rates are so high?
    Do these resources show, statistically, that this group is responsible for the high rates?
    Do your resources conclude that “The distinction is important, because harping on about the dangers of being LGBT+, if is the latter, contributes to them.”

    “Polls indicate that the majority of society has come to terms with the fact that the LGBT community exists, but there are still plenty of
    places where accepting folk are fewer and further in between”
    Like what places?

    Meet Bones
    https://disqus.com/home/discussion/formerlyfundie/pope_francis_is_not_a_champion_of_the_marginalized/#comment-3490654400

    Key Word “Accept”.

  • $144948586

    This is what I’m talking about. Always resorting to ad hominem attacks even though this is completely untrue. It concerns me that the homosexual community the lgbtq community in full have such high suicide and drug use rates.

  • $144948586

    What’s the need to be so insulting to refer to my child as my play thing. Where have I given the indication that that is how I actually be my child? If you want to have a meaningful and respectful conversation, I would advise that you refrain from the disrespectful comments.

  • Ron McPherson

    “…you always come across thoughtful and fair in your comments”
    I do appreciate this, thanks.

    “…wonder if I might respectfully request you to reconsider using one rather disingenuous rhetorical device: No evangelical Christian to my knowledge attacks any gay or lesbian person because they are “loving someone.” I know this is a very common rhetorical device designed to make those big bad evangelicals sound really bad because they object to someone “loving someone.” At best, this language is confusing and disingenuous, at worst downright dishonest.”

    I honestly don’t wish to come across as dishonest, or even disingenuous, so I’ll clarify my point. There is a very wrong mindset among conservative evangelicals (not claiming every single individual here) that reduces the entire LGBTQ community down to a sex act. I once came from such an environment. And I think your post even bears this out as you’re purposely focusing on the sex part. No offense intended. And because of that, evangelicals can presumably accept gays provided they don’t have sex. But here’s the fundamental (sorry for the pun) disconnect. This isn’t about a sex act. This is about love, the same love my wife and I have for each other. I don’t define my relationship with my wife as a sex act. We didn’t get married just so we could have sex with one another.

    “So whether you agree or not with the evangelical perspective about homosexual sexual behavior being sinful or not, can we be upfront and honest about this point at least…. the issue is what evangelicals understand as unlawful or immoral sexual activity…. not on who they do or don’t “love”. The “crime” (to borrow your language) that evangelicals perceive is not, actually, loving someone. Their perspective, whether right or wrong, is that the “crime” is engaging in unlawful, forbidden, and/or immoral sexual conduct.”

    If you think that evangelicals don’t object to gays “loving someone,” then invite a gay couple to church and have them merely hold hands during the service. See what kind of reaction they get.

    “It does no one any good to so radically misrepresent one’s opponent’s position, can we agree that far?”

    A same sex married couple visited our church small group my wife and I lead. One of the other couples, more conservative than the rest of us, left because they did not want to be in community with this other couple. And it wasn’t like this gay couple would be having sex in the middle of our living room floor while small group was going on. They just didn’t want to be around any gay people.

  • Bones

    You hate gays having equal rights.

    Stop lying.

    You are so concerned you couldn’t be half arsed go ogling it.

    Here’s one factor

    Religious Conflict, Sexual Identity, and Suicidal Behaviors among LGBT Young Adults
    Jeremy J. Gibbs

    ” In our study, those who experienced a religious upbringing and are currently experiencing religious conflict were most at risk of considering suicide. Further, a religious upbringing in itself does not provide protection from suicidal ideation when compared to a non-religious upbringing. Thus, it appears that a religious upbringing that includes unresolved religious and LGBT identity conflict puts an individual more at risk of suicidal thoughts.”

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4706071/

  • Bones

    I’m talking about YOUR church.

    And I look forward to your church patrolling the streets to lock up lawbreakers.

    Once again…the reason why the government provides services is because churches don’the, won’the and can’take.

    As I said complete and utter fantasy.

  • Bones

    Oh dear.

    You really are a liar.

    “the proverb nevertheless holds the true spirits of some African cultures.”

    From which you conclude:
    “Er go, it’s not necessarily African”

    Yeah right.

    Your article just contradicted you.

    And your isolationist view of parenting is a recent phenomena.

    Better keep your kids away from the big bad world and homeschool them.

    Don’t want them mixing with gays and poor people.

  • $144948586

    “I’m talking about YOUR church.”
    Oh I see; it only counts if my arbitrary small church, which recognizes others as Christians–particularly the one’s I’ve listed, are also able to perform cardiac surgery.

    In that case, let me know when your cul-de-sac starts performing immunotherapy.

    “Once again…the reason why the government provides services is because churches don’the, won’the and can’take.”
    Except that I just listed church hospitals that do.

    Besides, why would EVERY church perform cardiac surgery when not nearly EVERY clinic doesn’t?
    You’re being trivial, Bones. The reason clinics don’t is because of economies of scale; they don’t need to, because there’s a surgical unit close enough. Same for a local church that is not built for certain sanitation standards. However, they, collectively, HAVE built many hospitals that optimize patient care–at least optimized within the framework of regulatory hurdles.

  • Bones

    Lol….

    Yeah the creationists would love to have a say in the science curriculum.

    Nah …f### off.

    Education is not open to the whims and fancies of every nut bag parent like yourself.

    Don’t like it…homeschool your child and let them grow up in a vacuum.

    They are protecting the rights of the child which is to be nurtured, fed, be safe and have shelter.

    You can’t do that you lose your child.

    I see you’re only interested in your rights.

    Not any one else’s.

  • Ron McPherson

    “But can you appreciate that all this is categorically different than a man who proudly brings to church the woman he is having an affair with, right in front of his current wife and children?”

    This would be wrong because of a very basic premise. To do that would be an egregious misstep by not loving his neighbor as he should (in this case his very wife and kids). I’m thinking greatest commandment here. I don’t see any correlation at all though to a gay couple coming to church. Who in that at church would they be sinning against?

    “Or someone who proudly showed off their extensive pornography collection when I visited their home?”
    I just don’t see how this relates to the LGBTQ issue, unless of course the gay couple were having sex in front of you lol.

    “…can you appreciate that it may not be that some evangelical churches are specifically targeting LGBT people, as much as when a gay couple comes into that church, they are pretty much advertising (in a way hard to miss) that they are living in what that church would recognize as unrepentant sin, much in the same category as the man that brings his mistress to church or who proudly boasts of his porn collection?”

    Let me push back a bit. It comes across as very hypocritical when sermons from the pulpit so utterly condemn the LGBTQ community as being ‘unrepentant’ (even if they do genuinely believe it) while totally ignoring so many other things going on within their church around them. Here’s an example (we’ve already talked about systemic materialism). Jesus actually DID talk about divorce. Why don’t we ever hear sermons (I’m glad we don’t) about how, according to Jesus’ own definition of adultery, divorced and remarried couples are living in a perpetually unrepentant state of sin for the duration of their marriage? I mean, I guess they could ask God for forgiveness every day they woke up still married. Maybe that counts as repentance. But even if so, gay people are not afforded that same standard. By the way, this is obviously not a condemnation of divorced couples, just making a point.

  • Ron McPherson

    My gosh, that chart is so true!

  • $144948586

    “You hate gays having equal rights.”
    This just isn’t true.

    “You are so concerned you couldn’t be half arsed go ogling it.”
    I’m not the one who has the burden of proof.
    This still begs the question, bones:
    Is religion the culprit?

    Well? Are resolved-religious LGBTQ also having suicidal thoughts?
    What percentage of suicides in the LGBTQ are attributed to unresolved-religious LGBTQ?

  • Bones

    Yeah I see you’re not going to provide pensions nor welfare.

    So I was right.

    You’re just going to sit and whinge about the government taking your money.

    Of course we’re not talking about JUST cardiac surgery. We’re talking the whole range of medical procedures for the whole country being apparently provided by four church hospitals which is complete and utter fantasy.

    Why do you keep ducking law enforcement?

    Surely the church can provide that?

    The trivial one here is the clown living in a fantasy land.

  • $144948586

    “Education is not open to the whims and fancies of every nut bag parent like yourself.”
    So insulting. You must be a great, unchosen, public-school teacher.

    “Don’t like it…homeschool your child and let them grow up in a vacuum.”
    Give me back my taxes, and I’ll choose for them a private school.

    “They are protecting the rights of the child which is to be nurtured, fed, be safe and have shelter.”
    I’m confounded that you don’t de facto require parents to do this.

    “You can’t do that you lose your child.”
    What?

    “I see you’re only interested in your rights….Not any one else’s.”
    Which is an ironic, and wrong, statement given that the only thing I’ve done here is to affirm that each human has individual liberties, and that each parent has responsibilities for their children, and that it’s wrong for me to encroach on someone else’s liberties.

    Now, will you please answer my question:
    “This still begs the question of why they [the state/society] have any legitimate right at all over you or your child.”

  • $144948586

    Well then the article clearly contradicted itself, “NPR decided to research the origins of the proverb, and concluded it was unable to pinpoint its origins”

    “And your isolationist view of parenting is a recent phenomena.”
    No it’s not.

    “Better keep your kids away from the big bad world and homeschool them.”
    Why ignore my statement for private school?

    “Don’t want them mixing with gays and poor people.”
    Ugh, we’ve gone through this before.

  • $144948586

    “Yeah I see you’re not going to provide pensions nor welfare.”
    Why should I pay people who’ve not done any work for me IF they could have?
    I’m not anti-charity.

    “We’re talking the whole range of medical procedures for the whole country being apparently provided by four church hospitals which is complete and utter fantasy.”
    You’re the one who chose to be arbitrarily small.
    You challenged the church’s ability to care, and we’re disproven. To expand that is to first ignore the original challenge “the church doesn’t provide care”, and the second is to change the demand, “I mean the whole country.”
    To which I already argued that so long as the government siphons money and wastes it in more ways than the private sector would, there will always be more potential have-nots given government involvement vs non.

    “Why do you keep ducking law enforcement?”
    Voluntary contract, if one wants it.

    “Surely the church can provide that?”
    Perhaps; I’ll leave it up to them.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I can appreciate that, even if I disagree. For what it’s worth, the reason evangelicals “focus on the sex act”, rightly or wrongly, is that it is the only thing that they see the Bible as condemning. And they have a point, no? Try to give them some credit for at least attempting to be consistent in applying the Bible? On the one hand, David and Jonathan, confessing he enjoyed each other’s love deeper than that of women, greeting the brothers with holy kisses, etc. but on the other hand, the rather clear denunciations of same-sex sexual activity.

    I concur about the initial reaction of holding hands together… but I have been to cultures where this is common among men who are just in a “bromance” (for lack of a better word.) There is the question of perception and what it implies’ of course. But if there was clear and honest conversation, and you had two men, even both of homosexual orientation, that chose to honor their understanding of God’s command and live in celibacy, but in a close relationship with each other, I know evangelical churches that would have no issue with such.

    Perhaps not the same, but I know of one church that was concerned about a woman living/cohabitating with a man she was not married to, who would come to church with him. Standard evangelical church with typical commitments. The elders felt it necessary to investigate and, while they still doubted the wisdom, they recognized that this was a platonic relationship, and therefore took no issue.

    I willingly grant that this would not be the case in many evangelical churches, but I can still attest that yes, some would attempt to be consistent with how they understand scripture’s commands and not take issue with two men -even of homosexual inclination- living together in a deep platonic close relationship. Of course, for clarity, we would likely not call that a “gay couple,” though.

  • Newton Finn

    I agree with almost everything you say. I’m glad you draw attention to MLK’s broad and deep social/economic vision, which was given short shrift by many in the days of the Black Power movement. But do you really believe that Pope Francis seeks the eradication of LBGTQ people? It’s that kind of over-the-top exaggeration–easily morphing into character assassination– that damages the just and timely cause you are fighting for. Pope Francis is a good-hearted man who is behind the times in this area of human sexuality. But he sees clearly when it comes to crucial issues concerning economics and the environment and is willing to speak out about them as the leader of a world religion. Why would anyone want to dampen his influence or demean his character when so many world leaders are firmly fixed in evasion or denial?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Perhaps I chose my analogies poorly if you didn’t see the point, but please see if you can follow me…. I chose the adultery simply to try to illustrate the public nature of such sins, not to correlate the damage and level of sins against others there. It is 1) one thing if a married man cheats on his wife and then confesses and struggles against that sin. It is another if 2) he without remorse continues in his relationship with his mistress. I am not trying to equate the badness of this with anything – merely to say that the one shows repentance, the other shows contentment with the behavior and demonstrates that the person is not even trying to repent.

    So on that, sole, singular, specific, particular point of comparison, can you appreciate that – given the evangelical perspective about the sinful nature of homosexual conduct – the homosexual person who commits homosexual acts daily, but who still struggles with them, repents of each, is more akin to #1 above, and the homosexual couple that goes through a “marriage” ceremony and lives without even attempting to turn away from that life is more akin to #2?

    And again, maybe I wasn’t clear… I wasn’t trying to suggest the hypothetical person showed me the content of their porn collection… point was again what is or isn’t a “repentant” lifestyle. So again, on the one hand, you have 1) the person who goes to porn sites daily… but who daily repents and deletes any pictures or videos he has downloaded, or who daily purchases pornographic magazines and dvds, but who also daily repents of such behavior and throws away his purchases. On the other hand, you have 2) the person who indulges in porn, and therefore amasses a large collection of magazines and dvds – one which he is proud of and has no intention of parting with, and is not remotely sorry he has it.

    So again, a homosexual who commits such homosexual activity daily, but who repents of such daily, daily struggles and confesses, is akin to #1 above, the homosexual person who has a wedding ceremony is more similar to # 2. in the limited, particular, singular point of comparison that the one is showing repentance and struggle against said behavior, the other is showing pride, contentment, and every intention of continuing with the behavior.

    So to sum up, the only real point is I was trying to make is that, when someone walks through the door of a church, a church member can’t generally meet them and and somehow instantly recognize they are living in unrepentant sin. A seriously overweight person comes in, they may or may not be be gluttonous, and if so they may be seriously struggling with their gluttony. A couple comes in who are dating… they may or may not be committing fornication, and if so, they may be repentant and struggling against such. But if two men come in, and one introduces the other as his “husband”, then there simply is no ambiguity. Given evangelical understanding of sexual morality, the man has just announced without room for confusion that he is living in what an evangelical would perceive as unrepentant and unremorseful sin.

    That was really the only point I was trying to make…. does that make sense, at least?

  • Ron McPherson

    “Try to give them some credit for at least attempting to be consistent in applying the Bible”

    It’s actually the inconsistency of it that is one of the biggest rubs with me. I was once there, deeply imbedded in conservative evangelicalism, serving for years in leadership roles. I’m not saying all conservatives are bad people lol, but I just couldn’t stand the hypocrisy I saw. And I still have friends and loved ones who are conservatives, but it is actually the inconsistency of the views that bother me so much.

  • No thanks to my schooling, in which we got the standard “I have a dream” truncated transcript of his speech and nothing else. A Letter from Birmingham Prison ought to be considered on par with scripture.

    Moreover, I am cognizant of the interrelatedness of all communities and states. I cannot sit idly by in Atlanta and not be concerned about what happens in Birmingham. Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. Never again can we afford to live with the narrow, provincial “outside agitator” idea. Anyone who lives inside the United States can never be considered an outsider anywhere within its bounds.

    Bread for the soul. Writing like this, and more classically Donne’s No Man is an Island, were a big influence on my socioeconomic philosophies.

    Anyway, the pope has a mixed record with regards to LGBT rights (for example, supports civil unions, but considers actual same-sex marriage “the envy of the devil” and “the destructive attempt toward God’s plan”), but given rhetoric both recent and past, it is clear he desires a world in which not a single person is LGBT. He might coach it in terms of desiring it as a world free from sin, but the equivocation of the LGBT community with pawns of Satan wreaking havoc on the world only contributes to a climate in which LGBT people are targets of hostility.

  • Ron McPherson

    If the same sex married couple profess Christ, have carefully weighed the biblical evidence and do not feel they are living an unrepentant lifestyle, do not feel convicted by the Spirit that they are sinning, and do their very best to live out Jesus’ greatest commandment in their daily walk, is posing no harm to other members of the church, would the church then welcome them with open arms?

  • Daniel Fisher

    Ron, wish I could take you to lunch sometime – I appreciate and resonate with so much of your thoughts and always enjoy our interactions.

    I cannot concur more with the lamentation about the blind inconsistency I see in general evangelical thought. I try to fight any such in myself when I find it (and why I like to discuss with people not in my “tribe”, who can more easily see and challenge inconsistencies they see in me).

    However, on this particular point at least, I have to conclude that the evangelical “focus on the sex act” is at least
    something that seems to me consistently derived from the Bible, which never seems to unabashedly condemn someone’s inclinations or temptations, or lifestyle in general, but simply forbids certain sexual relationships. If you do see a specific inconsistency on this point, I’d be interested in hearing your perspective.

    (If, however, by inconsistency you mean hypocrisy, where evangelicals are quick to literally apply the commands about homosexuality but pretty loose with others, then you and I have no disagreement on that point).

  • Ron McPherson

    Thanks for the kind words. Yes I was speaking with respect to what I perceive as hypocrisy, such that the spirit of the law overrides the letter in some areas but not others. Or how historical context and culture are taken into account for some things and not others. In other words, it is an inconsistent exegetical framework.

  • Racists, Neo Nazis and White supremacists have the right to free speech. I do not agree with them largely for the same reasons I don’t agree with the conservative stance towards Gays. The fact that I disagree with groups that exhibit bigotry does not remove their rights to free speech, but it also does not mean I give them my “blessing.” I think you’ll find that the above article does not suggest that the Pope does not have the right to say the things he does. Ben is critical of him using his platform to push for further alienation of a people the church has historically persecuted. He is merely stating that the Pope has not gone far enough in reaching out to marginilzed groups.

    So what exactly is the “issue” that you feel Evangelicals need to present in the “public square?” What is it that Evangelicals wish to get off their chests but are being denied? I am beginning to get bored with what I suspect is deliberate obtuseness, but I am curious.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Ron, Let me first respond with an analogous question, then I will respond specifically to your question as I have opportunity:

    If I profess Christ, have carefully weighed the biblical evidence, do not feel i am living contrary to biblical teaching, do not feel conviction of the Holy Spirit, and am doing my best to live out the command to love neighbor as myself, and yet maintain my belief that homosexual behavior is a sin… Would I be welcomed into, say, an Episcopal, PCUSA, Unitarian Universalist, or Metropolitan church with open arms? Invited to teach their Sunday School classes or perhaps become an ordained minister in their denomination? Start a “conversion therapy” ministry in their building?

    No, of course not. And there is nothing wrong with that. These churches have established their understanding and definition of orthodoxy, which would preclude me, or people like me, of having full freedom and participation to teach or exercise my sincere belief. They wouldn’t, I imagine, hire me as a music minister, a religious ed director, or the like. I may be welcome to attend their church, sure, but as for full participation with open arms, no, of course not.

    And that is right and fine for them to do – they establish what they understand as appropriate behavior and doctrine, and are free – and rightly free – to exclude “people like me” from certain aspects of their ministry, church life, leadership, and the like. If I continued to attend their church and speak against homosexuality in every conversation and with every member, I wouldn’t blame them if they decided to exercise some sort of discipline against me – perhaps telling me that my beliefs or attitudes are, dare I say, “not welcome” in their church?

    And again, I have no problem with that. They have every right in the United States to establish their boundaries of appropriate practice and doctrine; and if I fall outside of that, why should I complain? I could find another church to attend that would be “accepting” of people like me. Sure, I would hope they would be kind and considerate as they gently explain to me why my views are not appropriate in their church, or why I will not be permitted areas of leadership. But the fact that they don’t welcome me to lead a small group, to lead morning prayer, to be on some committee, should not surprise me.

    So why are evangelical churches criticized on these same grounds?

  • Ron McPherson

    I was speaking more from a position of being welcomed into the fellowship rather than serving in a leadership position or promoting one’s personal beliefs over that of the church as a whole. My issue is purely one of exclusion in that many conservative evangelical churches would maintain that one cannot be Christian and still gay.

  • Matthew

    I guess another point is that most conservative evangelical churches wouldn’t simply allow a gay couple (for example) to just be. I guess they would spend a lot of time attempting some sort of conversion therapy … either explicitly or implicitly??

  • Herm

    Daniel, in everything do to others before they do to you? Do you agree with the slight edit I made to the sum of the standard that Pope Francis is held to by his Lord and Master?

    By definition racists do not in everything do to all others as they would have all others do to them. Choosing to be, and/or being born LGBTQ, does not in and of itself have anything to do with in everything do to others as you would have others do to you. As far as the second command that all the law hangs on for Pope Francis, by my experience sharing with a well rounded cross section of people around the world, the percentage of those who love their good neighbor as themselves is about the same with binary heterosexuals as it is with the entire spectrum of LGBTQ people.

    So, on what criteria do you believe that any Pope must marginalize an “other” as he would have an “other” marginalize him?

  • Herm

    … could the high suicide and drug use rates possibly have anything to do with marginalization?

  • $144948586

    Not according to Bones or Anonymous Sam, except in the case that it’s parental/family rejection–which they’ve not provided stats that prove this correlation.

  • Herm

    Daniel, am I to assume, after reading this over many times, that you associate LGBTQ people with the behavior of “swindlers, prostitutes, pornographers, drug users, child molesters, whatever?

    Do you understand that all of those relational behaviors, with the exception of the prostitutes (though pimps could be), are founded on intimidation, manipulation and subjugation of another against their will? There is nothing that defies the law, according to Christ, within reciprocated and consensual adult LGBTQ relationships.

    Stick to interpreting exactly what the Messiah teaches and life, especially eternal, is so much easier and sure for all. His burden is light!

  • Herm

    What did Bones or Anonymous Sam write that disagrees with that possibility?

    Do you actually believe that you show that you love “gays” as you would have “gays” love you.

    Bones has only said, that by your written attitude, it appears to him that you “hate gays”, you know, like deem them abominable.

  • Herm

    tv ads against gay marriage warning that it will make your boys where dresses.

    … do they mean like the dresses Pope Francis wears, who I assume is someone’s boy?

  • $144948586

    “Do you actually believe that you show that you love “gays” as you would have “gays” love you.”
    Yes, I believe that loving someone means that you don’t fight alongside them if they’re wrong–OR if the evidence just isn’t there yet that they’re right. And sorry, I don’t think there are not dangers of being a part of LGBTQ community–I’m not saying LGBTQ causes it, BUT I’m not willing to say LGBTQ is not a “symptom” of something bigger that drives drug use and suicide. Thus, I don’t think such a lifestyle is necessarily affirmable (for the Christian) despite Corey’s continuously hypocritically judgmental urging.

    “Bones has only said, that by your written attitude, it appears to him that you “hate gays”, you know, like deem them abominable.”
    Yet I’ve not said anything of the sort. I’ve not been derogatory or marginalizing of gays; I’ve just made the claim that it can’t be proven that drug use/suicide are not symptoms of something bigger going on that envelopes the LGBTQ issue. To you guys, that IS “hate”.

    As for what they wrote:
    AnonymousSam: “Polls indicate that the majority of society has come to terms with the fact that the LGBT community exists”
    Bones went further: “But the opinion polls of western countries on gay marriage make it clear the the majority support the acceptance of gay people so much that their unions should be recognised as marriage.”

  • NOT AT ALL! I could go into a rant about how much is held illegally in accounts in various secretive banks around the world (we know of just ONE bank in Switzerland, through a whistleblower, that has 1000 UK account holders who have not declared those accounts – nothing done about it!!), but here I’m talking about accountants and lawyers who specialise in accessing legal avoidance schemes for those who have enough to invest in them. The average taxpayer would never avail of these since their tax saving would be so minimal, nobody would want it!

  • Herm

    Josh, most of the time sharing with you is like one of us from Mars and the other from Venus.

    Please, what do the statements of AnonymousSam and Bones have to do with marginalization. In other words, how does coming to terms with the fact that the LGBT community exists make such communities not marginalized? I accept that White Nationalism exists and I go out of my way to keep them as ineffective in my community by keeping on the peripheral. Does recognizing gay unions as marriage remove the marginalization of gay people in your church?

    I could get much deeper into why being LGBTQX is not a sin against God, or Man, anymore than being born with multiple disabilities (which all of us are) along with individually unique abilities (which all of us are). Please, for simplicity sake, apply Matthew 7:12 and 22:37-40 as well as Luke 10:25-37 to what a transgression against divine law actually is. If you can read your Bible better than you read my writing I believe you might just begin a new journey with Christ teaching you through the Spirit of truth rather than those teaching you who study God for your church (theologians).

  • Completely different healthcare systems in the US and the UK, so it’ll be difficult to compare, except to say that the US has just about the highest costs in healthcare in the developed world. It is far more controlled by market forces than in the UK (or at least it was – we’re allowing our current round of governments to start frogmarching us up that path!). Our NHS was always financed by need, and taxes raised to cover costs. Was it efficient? It maybe could have always been better run, nothing’s perfect, but outside assessments hailed it as probably the best system found anywhere (before it started getting defunded and partly privatised!!). It’s STILL one of the best despite the problems, so that’s DESPITE our crappy politicians. Thus I WOULD conclude that a ‘free market’ in healthcare, as in anything else, is a lie, and costs will NOT go down. I have a real bee in my bonnet about ‘free market’ nonsense: https://thealternativeulsterman.com/2013/04/13/thatcher-the-heretic/

    You can quote all the names of religious organisations running hospitals, fine. I’ve no idea how many there are in the US, or what percentage of patients they account for. I could well be misrepresenting the words of Corey from memory, so you’d need to go look for that blog to be fair. I’d be very surprised if all taxation was reduced and the most sincere Christians placed all that saved money into providing hospitals and the like that it would meet the need. Would be great if it did, but when you see how little a huge number of modern churches do practically, with the excuse that they don’t preach a ‘social gospel’, it would be no surprise to me if it did not.

    And don’t dismiss a blogger completely. Have you read ALL of Corey’s blogs? I can learn from anyone. Just for example, I cannot abide Hagee’s abject worship of Judaism, and think he may as well wear a yarmulke and phylacteries and wail at that wall… and I’ll not even start on his ‘blood moons’ (sorry, lunar eclipses) stuff. However, sometimes he preaches a really good sermon on aspects of grace and I can agree.

  • $144948586

    “nothing done about it!!”
    Probably because it’s not able to be proven illegal.
    Government will get theirs.

    “I’m talking about accountants and lawyers who specialise in accessing legal avoidance schemes for those who have enough to invest in them.”
    If you abolish the tax system and the idea that “the rich owe anyone else anything”, they don’t need to “hide it”.

    “The average taxpayer would never avail of these since their tax saving would be so minimal, nobody would want it!”
    A great argument for abolishing taxes.

  • $144948586

    “It is far more controlled by market forces than in the UK”
    Prove this. You ever heard of the AMA?

    “Our NHS was always financed by need, and taxes raised to cover costs. Was it efficient? It maybe could have always been better run, nothing’s perfect, but outside assessments hailed it as probably the best system found anywhere (before it started getting defunded and partly privatised!!).”
    Yet before Thatcher, 1 i n 5 doctors knew of patients who went without care due to rationing. 1 in 20 knew of patients who died because of RATIONING.
    –P.I.G. Socialism

    BTW, did you know that Obamacare was modeled off of NHS? Did you know that life expectancy went down after implementation of Obamacare?

    “I’ve no idea how many there are in the US, or what percentage of patients they account for.”
    Well, those are very large NFP’s who also happen to be “best places to work for”. Not to mention, yes they are in the U.S. and YES they give much to international efforts.

    “Would be great if it did, but when you see how little a huge number of modern churches do practically, with the excuse that they don’t preach a ‘social gospel’, it would be no surprise to me if it did not.”
    And yet you ignore that most members of churches are competing with their own taxed money: it’s siphoned by government and bids up rental prices of apartments/homes–yet, that damn church is so uncharitable.

    “I’d be very surprised if all taxation was reduced and the most sincere Christians placed all that saved money into providing hospitals and the like that it would meet the need.”
    Thus, you put much more faith in government than God–just like Corey and the others that frequent his blog.

    “Have you read ALL of Corey’s blogs?”
    Very very many, and I’ve complemented a few–admittedly, very few but >1.
    I was just being silly and snide with you about that.

  • I more or less replied this to another commenter. I don’t mean any sort of ‘standard’ tax deductions that a government can grant to families or married couples, or foster parents, etc. I’m talking about the legal schemes that exist where if you have a few million to invest, an accountant or lawyer can advise you on where and how to do this without breaking any law. Such schemes would never be available to the average taxpayer since the savings would be too minimal to pay for the advice or provide enough investment for that scheme. I’m against such things since the likes of you or I (I’m presuming you’re not a millionaire – the chances are slim!) cannot partake of them. It would be fine if such avoidance was open to anyone, but it’s not, and in a reversal of the principle of the widow’s mite, the rich get to keep more of their money percentage wise, than the lowest paid. We have all heard of multi-millionaires who manage to pay less tax in a year than a construction worker!! If only the construction worker could save even half of their tax bill without ending up in court! THAT is immoral. IMHO.

    Again, replied about the hospital question elsewhere but I would imagine the percentage of religious-run hospitals is fairly small in the big picture, and you’d need to go to that particular blog in case I was misrepresenting Corey’s words.

  • $144948586

    “Please, what do the statements of AnonymousSam and Bones have to do with marginalization.”
    Ugh Herm, you’re being willfully blind.
    How is one marginalized if “the majority support the acceptance of gay people so much that their unions should be recognised as marriage?”
    Now, how would there be so much marginalization that suicide, depression, drug rates are explained by this?

    “how does coming to terms with the fact that the LGBT community exists make such communities not marginalized?”
    You’re obfuscating, Herm. Hence the reason I said, “Bones went further:”
    And this is the problem with arguing with folks such as yourself. You’re so intent on trying to be right that you’ll straw man a person’s arguments, even when the stuff is right in your face.

    “Does recognizing gay unions as marriage remove the marginalization of gay people in your church?”
    Now you’re shifting blame, Herm. At issue is not whether or not the LGBTQ is being marginalized at my church–and no, not-affirming is not the same as marginalizing–it a matter of does this explain the rate of drugs and suicide.

    “I could get much deeper into why being LGBTQX is not a sin against God, or Man, anymore than being born with multiple disabilities ”
    Oh you could could you? I could also point you to a study which, while discredited on SOME accounts, what it isn’t discredited on is that children of LGBTQ parents are statistically significantly more likely to be LGBTQ as well. But I’m not interested in it not being sinful or nature/nurtured. What I’m interested in is NOT AFFIRMING something FOR KIDS or anyone else that has such high correlation to suicide and drugs. Research is needed.

    Matthew 7:12: I will not affirm for someone else a paradigm of suicide and drugs.
    Matthew 22:37-40: I think it’s loving to not affirm suicidal-linked behavior.
    Luke 10:25-37: I don’t see many people beating up LGBTQ; not in 2017.

  • I’m not sure I follow your reasoning, sorry. Maybe we’re meaning different things by ‘marginalising’? In the context of what Corey is saying here, that would mean those who are somehow pushed to the margins of society and have a poor sense of belonging, maybe also with persecution. When you consider that the proportion of LGBT people in stats like the homeless, those with mental disorders like severe anxiety/ depression, and even suicide, are higher than you’d expect looking at the whole population, you then ‘get’ what Corey is striking at here. I just heard recently of a man who got talking to a church leader here who ‘came out’ to his parents; now he’s gay and homeless. THAT’S marginalisation (by his own family!)

    Those who get marginalised for ‘immoral behaviour’ do include all the groups you mention, except for those who avoid their taxes. There IS a small pariah in the UK against celebrities who are found to have done some tax evasion but there are many far wealthier than them who just aren’t as well known who never experience any grief. Since we discussed legality against morality, then on biblical morality we must ask ‘is this behaviour in keeping with what Jesus commanded?’ so on NOT paying your fair share of tax, I WOULD say that it’s immoral. I know that most conservative Christians find that unfathomable, and I’d venture to say more so in the US, where you have a subculture that views words like ‘government’ and ‘taxation’ with the same revulsion as ‘venomous snake’ or ‘pornography’ – since I’ve never worn those glasses, I have no problem with paying taxes. Neither did Jesus!

  • It WAS illegal! My government can pursue me for an overpayment of £1000 on a family tax credit, even after I pointed out THEIR mistakes TO THEM! Yet of the 1000 who sneaked millions out of the country illegally, only ONE has been convicted. Some people have enough power to scare governments, so no, they only ‘get theirs’ from us, the poor and downtrodden!

    Abolishing taxes=able to get away without hiding it=criminal lords can live the lifestyle they’ve always wanted without recrimination. Remember how they got Capone? Those who push for rubbish oxymorons like ‘Fairtax’ are NOT on your side, believe me.

    Your argument then is that the average taxpayer should get back a pittance from the government to then spend on all the things they used to get FROM their government, while the rich get back shedloads instead! ‘Taxation’ is not a bad word, and since Jesus himself commanded it… I’ll rest my case there. It’s not ‘conservative’ but it IS biblical. :)

  • I don’t disagree, I just despise the irony that the Pope is capable of putting a halt to progress within the Church even if it means contradicting upper authority figures in the process, but is utterly powerless when it comes to helping enact a world of greater progress because it would buck authority in a manner a person allegedly appointed by God can never do. The system is clearly one-sided.

  • $144948586

    “only ONE has been convicted. Some people have enough power to scare governments, so no, they only ‘get theirs’ from us, the poor and downtrodden!”
    This is another argument for no taxes and no government.

    “criminal lords can live the lifestyle they’ve always wanted without recrimination.”
    This is hearsay and hysteric.

    “Remember how they got Capone?”
    Remember how Capone BECAME Capone? Government.

    “like ‘Fairtax’ are NOT on your side, believe me.”
    Duh; I’m not for oppression.

    “then spend on all the things they used to get FROM their government”
    Nope; only the things I actually want (like roads, but they can keep the public ed). Not to mention, governments are horribly inefficient. Look at the NHS rationing.

    “while the rich get back shedloads instead!”
    The rich also pay shedloads.

    “‘Taxation’ is not a bad word, and since Jesus himself commanded it”
    Lol, he didn’t command it in the perverse way your implying.
    If you’re referencing “Render to Caesar…Render to God”, well we’re talking about two VERY different rulers. One who is equal has subjugated others. The other who is very unequal cares deeply enough that, to Him, your hairs are counted. In the second, you’d want to give things to Him. In the first, you’re forced–AND the catch is that it doesn’t actually belong to him in the first place.

    “it IS biblical. :)”
    It can’t be both biblical and oppressive, unless of course your Christianity is ok with oppression.

  • Herm

    Mars, furthest from the light!

    To ever become a student of Christ, the Messiah, you will have to hate all the leading, teaching and traditions of your carnal family core; whether blood, tribe or church.

    “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.

    Luke 14:26 (NIV2011)

    Josh, by your fruit you aren’t there, yet, but I have hope for you. If I can help you lessen the shock of enlightenment directly from the Spirit of truth I will be here for you. Until then, I am no longer attempting to respond to your blind condition unless the Spirit leads me to do so. Bye!

  • $144948586

    “Josh, by your fruit you aren’t there, yet, but I have hope for you.”
    Oh Herm, at least I don’t obfuscate.

  • Herm

    To show you how fast the Spirit leads, I have one more essential definition of to marginalize: “treat (a person, group, or concept) as insignificant or peripheral“.

    For as long as an other is not loved as yourself, you marginalize them.

  • $144948586

    I don’t treat them as insignificant or peripheral; I’ve not once made a degrading/significant comment about them.

  • Herm

    One more time I am led to respond. You misuse the word obfuscate in an attempt to render obscure, unclear, or unintelligible (bewilder) all that I share with you. Honestly, the only reason you are bewildered is that you are unable to understand, not that what I said cannot be understood by students (disciples) of the one Teacher instructed directly by the one Instructor. Students of those who study God, but have no direct relationship in instruction from God, are often bewildered by the truth. As Jesus bewildered Caiaphas, the most authoritarian of the church that crucified the Son of God in the name of God. Sad, for him the Holy of Holies was only a few steps away, but, even in the off chance that Jesus might actually be the prophesied Messiah, it just wasn’t worth the effort to counsel with the Holy Spirit.

  • $144948586

    “You miss use the word obfuscate”
    You misuse the word misuse.
    But you also misuse proper debate. You don’t deal with the points at hand; you misrepresent my position and then attack that and accuse me of being “bewildered” that you could be so ambiguous and irrelevant.

  • Herm

    Are they abominable to you and/or God? If not, what is their transgression against divine law, sin, according to Matthew 7:12 and 22:37-40 as well as Luke 10:25-37?

  • $144948586

    “Are they abominable to you and/or God?’
    No, they’re sons and daughters to inherit the kingdom.

    “If not, what is their transgression against divine law”
    First of all, that’s not what’s at stake here. I’ve already explained why one has reason to be timid of affirming LGBTQ

  • Herm

    Okay, I’m slow, so please slowly tell me why anyone has reason to be timid of affirming LGBTQ more than any other in one’s church of responsibility to Christ. If it is because of a higher rate of suicide and drug use than by your fully affirmed church people then be more convincing, please.

    You might wish to study the article below (note that the predictor for drug abuse is more income than sexual orientation):
    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3893631/

    You will see this as trying to change the subject but it is not. If you are much more timid of affirming one of your children than another, as an educated social scientist, I can guarantee the one most likely to attempt suicide. I can, also, guarantee which one will most likely join more accepting and affirming, marginalized, groups encouraging drug use to abuse. At this moment in the United States of America it is opioid addiction that is the national drug abuse crisis across the board for all group identities equally.

    I find it encouraging that you find LGBTQ equally qualified to inherit eternal life as you, thank you for that much.

  • $144948586

    “If it is because of a higher rate of suicide and drug use than affirmed by your church people then be more convincing, please.”
    So, you just wont accept the overwhelming evidence that these are correlated?

    “You might wish to study the article below( note that the predictor for drug abuse is more income than sexual orientation):”
    I don’t doubt this, and I’m not advocating people be rich.

    “If you are much more timid of affirming one of your children than another, as an educated social scientist, I can guarantee the one most likely to attempt suicide. ”
    But do you have statistics that actually prove this? Can the suicide rate differential from LGBTQ vs general population be explained by this statistic?

    “I find it encouraging that you find LGBTQ equally qualified to inherit eternal life as you, thank you for that much.”
    Well, like I’ve told Al Cruise, I’m probably much more liberal than Corey. I’m actually a Christian Universalist–that doesn’t mean that I don’t believe that Hell is where most of us will find ourselves after this life for a while.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Fair enough – i can’t speak for every church but at least some evangelical churches are trying sincerely to hold these things in balance:

    https://sojo.net/articles/why-gay-couple-barred-leading-worship-will-keep-singing-hillsong-church

    In churches I’ve been part of through the years, I have never had this scenario happen…. I’ve known plenty of people who struggled with homosexuality who were fully and completely welcomed (some ordained) into evangelical churches, but never a gay couple as you are asking. I have seen churches of my familiarity bring discipline for various things (which generally amounts to being barred from the Lord’s supper)… but those same people who the elders believed were living in unrepentant sin, while being excluded from the Lord’s table, were nonetheless quite welcomed into the fellowship of the church. If a gay couple was willing to accept that, based on our standards of recognizing their behavior as unrepentant sin, they would not be at liberty to take the Lord’s supper or have leadership positions in church… and given that they would probably have to deal with the church members regularly exhorting and encouraging them to repent, and that homosexuality would still be preached against, etc. …. if the couple was willing to deal with all that like it seems this couple that attends the hillsong church is, then yes, they would be welcomed into the fellowship in the same way as anyone else who was living what that church believed was unrepentant sin.

  • Herm

    Josh, yes, I do have the statistics that actually prove that affirmation is a major determinate for drug abuse and suicide.

    First read this in its entirety if you really care, again, please:

    http://kaybruner.com/blog/2017/3/13/my-journey-to-lgbtq-affirmation

    … then this very short article:

    https://affirm.org.au/truth-about-gay-men-and-suicide/

    … and here is a paper that includes actual therapy that I have applied successfully to heal those considering or attempting suicide:

    https://www.apa.org/education/ce/suicide.pdf

    Lack of affirmation is correlated with drug abuse and suicide, but being born with different sexual attractions is not. The most important word to heal anyone to grow and contribute positively to life is hope and the most important word to overcome a life atrophying is depression. There are many causes of depression, physical, social and spiritual, that not all can be overcome but most can, by medication for physically caused depression, instilling hope through affirmation and most importantly compassionately empathizing with the victim. We all have differences from each other naturally from birth and through nurture of our familial tribe. When our differences do not fit within the accepted binary we are not affirmed as constructive and productive for our familial tribe. When our differences fit within the accepted spectrum we are affirmed as constructive and productive for our familial tribe. If we are not valued we don’t really feel like we’re giving that much away to hide our sorrows in drugs or simply cease to be aware and influential because we are considered worthless.

    I really can go on and on how I know, from first hand experience dealing with drug abuse and suicide, that the degree of affirmation is the key to the degree of recovery. You can’t possibly know how a transgender, bisexual, intersexed, or homosexual child feels when they are marginalized for doing nothing otherwise destructive to mankind or God; just being who they are. It is hard enough growing up in a society that determines when, where and how a child’s heterosexual urges are properly shared, especially when each child’s hormones go off at different times than their peers. It is exponentially more difficult for the child attracted to the opposite sex from 11 to 15 years old when the child began to emulate the opposite gender from 8 to 10 years old (dysphoria when not fitting within the normally acceptable binary, but is often creatively healthy when affirmed as not destructive to the fabric of mankind). A gay child today has less dysphoria than the less obvious and more concealable (chameleon) minority sexual orientations because more people today can accept that is the way the gay (s)he was born; an innate condition more than a choice.

    I have gone this far with you only because you have agreed that, possibly only because a convicted Universalist :-) , LGBTQ will inherit eternal life. My conviction is not that generous because I do believe, so as not to make the kingdom hell for all throughout eternity, we each must do as is stated in Luke 10:27.

    There is so much more that convinces me that without full affirmation from some around us that we each will gravitate to those who affirm us the most. If a member of mankind abides by the tenets of the Decalogue, Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, Luke 10:25-37, and 14:26, 27, regardless of nationality, race, religion, sexuality and gender presentation, I can see no reason followers of Christ do not affirm each as a fully as a child of God born of the Spirit, with a full cup running over temerity and not with an uncertain timidity.

    I wandered around here because this has brought back memories of people I have worked with from outside and inside organized religion. I’ll just leave this where it is for the moment. Thanks for trying to do what’s best for all. I don’t agree with you.

  • Daniel Fisher

    https://sojo.net/articles/why-gay-couple-barred-leading-worship-will-keep-singing-hillsong-church

    At least some churches are trying to walk a balance in that regard. For churches that I am more immediately familiar with, I think it safe to say they would be welcomed in the same fashion we would welcome a heterosexual couple who professed Christ but who were living together in a sexual relationship outside wedlock, and who were themselves not convicted about such.

  • Daniel Fisher

    ‘Daniel, am I to assume, after reading this over many times, that you associate LGBTQ people with the behavior of “swindlers, prostitutes, pornographers, drug users, child molesters, whatever?’

    In a word, ‘no.’

  • Daniel Fisher

    Some churches are certainly attempting to be so welcomed while not shifting their core beliefs about sexuality in that manner:

    https://sojo.net/articles/why-gay-couple-barred-leading-worship-will-keep-singing-hillsong-church

    As for churches with which I am more immediately familiar, I suspect they would be welcomed pretty similarly to a Christian heterosexual couple who had no conviction about the sinfulness of living together in a sexual relationship outside of wedlock. One church I was part of brought discipline against one of its members who was living in such a relationship, and who was arguing it was justified and OK – barring this individual from participating in various leadership roles and in the Lord’s table – but in every other manner this person was (according to their own testimony and account) welcomed, loved, cherished. Yes, also exhorted and admonished, but welcomed and loved.

  • Daniel Fisher

    (Ron, Ive tried to post this in response to your question below and it keeps getting lost, let me try posting it here?)

    Some churches are certainly attempting to be so welcoming while not shifting their core beliefs about sexuality in that manner:

    https://sojo.net/articles/why-gay-couple-barred-leading-worship-will-keep-singing-hillsong-church

    As for churches with which I am more immediately familiar, I suspect they would be welcomed pretty similarly to a Christian heterosexual couple who had no conviction about the sinfulness of living together in a sexual relationship outside of wedlock. One church I was part of brought discipline against one of its members who was living in such a relationship, and who was arguing it was justified and OK – barring this individual from participating in various leadership roles and in the Lord’s table – but in every other manner this person was (by their own testimony and account) welcomed, loved, cherished. Yes, also exhorted and admonished, but welcomed and loved.

  • Herm

    Okay, so what is the basis for marginalizing LGBTQ people?

  • Oh my goodness!! I often say that believers have actually been ‘indoctrinated into a politico-religious cult’ and you are a SHINING example of that! You are SO married to your political conservatism (which is actually more like libertarianism!) that you warp your bible to fit into THAT box!!

    I pointed out a clear simple command that Jesus gave; they asked him “should we pay our taxes to Caesar?” He answered ‘yes!”

    But no, Caesar is an oppressor, taxation is oppression, we need to flee from this unholy stuff, won’t someone think of the children!!!! I would find it comical if it weren’t so ridiculous! There is a poor man languishing in one of your jails in the US who is a professional six-day creationist – he actually goes around teaching how Genesis is literal truth (well, he was able to before he was convicted), yet insists on NOT paying his federal taxes! If he only read that ONE verse as literally as Genesis, he’d be a free man!

    He would believe he’s suffering for his faith yet he’s in direct violation of Jesus’ own words! If you don’t ‘get this’ then there’s little hope left, sorry.

  • “Very very many, and I’ve complemented a few–admittedly, very few but >1.

    I was just being silly and snide with you about that.”

    Thank you for your honesty. I try to think through what I write before I post it. Don’t always achieve that, though, tbh.

  • $144948586

    “which is actually more like libertarianism!”
    I am a libertarian but anarchist.

    “He answered ‘yes!””
    He answered, “Give what belongs to him.”

    “I would find it comical if it weren’t so ridiculous!”
    You find it comical to believe in the power of God through His church to use charity?

    “If he only read that ONE verse as literally as Genesis, he’d be a free man!”
    Agreed; I’m not going to apologize for someone else.

  • Realist1234

    Sorry Ron for butting into this conversation. But,

    ‘I don’t define my relationship with my wife as a sex act. We didn’t get married just so we could have sex with one another.’

    Im glad to hear that (!), but I assume you wouldnt deny that sex was (and hopefully is, though perhaps less so) an important aspect of your loving relationship? Indeed one of the assumptions about ‘marriage’ is that it involves sex! I dont think its fair to say that evangelicals like myself simply reduce a gay relationship to sex, but surely if it is an important aspect of the relationship, then by definition it cannot be ignored. Of course gay relationships involve love and friendship, and a hope that loneliness will end, but they also involve sex. In talking to gay friends, I found that sex was a very important part of any relationship, indeed without sex it was not a ‘relationship’ but friendship.

    ‘If you think that evangelicals don’t object to gays “loving someone,” then invite a gay couple to church and have them merely hold hands during the service. See what kind of reaction they get.’

    To be fair, in Western society just about the only people who hold hands are parent/child or adults in a relationship. It may be more common in other societies for same-sex adults to hold hands, but not here. Here it tends to strongly imply a sexual, intimate relationship. As such, it is reasonable to conclude that 2 same-sex adults holding hands are more than friends.

    ‘A same sex married couple visited our church small group my wife and I lead. One of the other couples, more conservative than the rest of us, left because they did not want to be in community with this other couple. And it wasn’t like this gay couple would be having sex in the middle of our living room floor while small group was going on. They just didn’t want to be around any gay people.’

    – are you sure they just didnt want to be around any gay people, or was it they did not want to have fellowship with 2 same-sex adults who were in a gay sexual relationship? From this couple’s point of view, they may not have been having gay sex during the meeting, but they probably reasonably assumed they would be having sex later that night – they were ‘married’ after all. I am not sure how I would react in such a situation, but if you strongly believe gay sex is wrong in God’s eyes, do you simply ignore it from 2 people professing to be Christians but who continue in such behaviour?

    Peter

  • I DO have a lot of time on my hands, but I REALLY don’t have the time to catch up with all the conversations going on here. I’ve joined in a few but I’m moving on now, thanks.

    I am NOT an affirming Christian. I have read the theology behind the arguments. I am not convinced. However, I have always said that ‘people are more important than theology’. My real gripe has always been the selective nature of ‘calling out sin’ – when I challenge anyone I know to also warn the very rich about how their wealth will exclude THEM from heaven, I am laughed at or dismissed with an excuse! Inconsistency and hypocrisy abound!

    Here’s my most latest blog: http://wp.me/p2FH9L-tF

  • Ron McPherson

    Why are conservative evangelicals so concerned about the sex lives of others? Why is it their business what people do in their own bedrooms? To say, well I don’t want to be in the same room as a same sex couple because I’m assuming they’re having sex and my interpretation of the Bible condemns that practice, is hypocritical. Why don’t people say, well I can’t be in the same room as someone who overstocks their fridge each day cause they’re gluttons? I don’t look in their fridge, but seeing as they’re morbidly obese that’s a pretty good bet? Nah, it’s because gay people are viewed as some sort of immoral pariah who can’t be of God because their sins are yuckier than mine. Hell, I came from that kind of environment. It’s not like I’m unaware of conservative evangelicalism. I was deeply imbedded in it.

  • Herm

    affirm
    verb
    1. state as a fact; assert strongly and publicly.
    2. offer (someone) emotional support or encouragement.

    life affirming
    adjective
    1. making you feel happy and positive about life

    Christianity
    noun
    the religion based on the person and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, or its beliefs and practices.

    Christian
    adjective
    1. relating to or professing Christianity or its teachings.
    noun
    1. a person who has received Christian baptism or is a believer in Jesus Christ and his teachings.

    Tim, by all definitions, outside of the authority of carnal churches anointing themselves each as the true gatekeeper to the kingdom, just in what you’ve “always said that ‘people are more important than theology’” seems to make you “an affirming Christian“, in my humble judgment. The last commandment, just after the love one’s enemy lesson, Jesus gave to His disciples was to love one another.

    I read your latest blog. From it, it seems to me that you sincerely do actively have tolerance, empathy, compassion, and forgiveness for your sister and brother disciples, your good neighbors, and as much for your enemies as they will allow. As one touting a belief in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth you would be defined as much a Christian as any on earth. As one offering someone emotional support or encouragement you would be defined, as much as any Christian on this earth, as affirming.

    Leave those who study God (theologians) to define for themselves but not for you. There is only one sure Teacher of all relationship in life eternal for sibling students (disciples) who follow Christ, or are seeking to follow Christ. There is only one sure Judge, with all authority on earth and in heaven, who can determine and instruct, as the only experienced divine Son of Man/Son of God, what a transgression of divine law (sin) is. Most of us can rest assured that the law is summed up in everything to do to others as we would have others do to us. You seem to be doing just that as much as any child of God would be expected by her/his Father at such a young age within eternity.

    The sad part of having to defend continuing to be very rich requires ignoring that all the resources, education, nutrition, shelter and nurture it took to be competently wealthy was given to each without merit in their childhood; they did not earn it. The majority of the world’s people were not graced all it takes to be excessively rich. It is not what we’ve each been graced that determines eternal life but how we use it.

    He isn’t perfect but I honestly have to say that Bill Gates, as only one example for there are more, is and has done to others as he would have others do to him, regardless of his responsibility to overwhelming wealth at his disposal. He doesn’t ignore that he did not earn what he has, though he worked very hard at it exchanging a very productive product for others, and he has made more people rich throughout his business life than any other person of material wealth. He is no saint but, then, sainthood is highly overrated and only bestowed upon mankind by mankind.

    Let the Lord lead you to whom can use a little shaking to wake them up to his presence. Meanwhile, continue being a life affirming source for all who you can have tolerance, empathy, compassion and forgiveness for and we will all be better for it. Thank you! Love you!

  • Mr. James Parson

    So is it wrong to have a lack of faith?

  • Effectively calling someone out for a bad behavior can be nerfed into complete inefficacy by a need to equivocate in order to seem fair.

    When criticizing, it is not necessary to find something nice to say first. Often, that just confuses the audience as well as the subject, and the original point is lost.

  • Nobody’s telling the Church to take their ball and go home. Instead, if the Church wants to be a positive voice in the mix, accepting undiluted criticism is a prerequisite, as it is for anyone else.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    The problem is the article tries to make out that Pope Francis is not a “champion of the marginalised” *at all*. The article is a perfectly justified criticism of Pope Francis’ treatment of a particular marginalised group: what “confuses the audience” is its insistence without any basis at all that this somehow means Pope Francis’ well-documented and persistent championing of other marginalised groups isn’t genuine either. While I agree that there would be no need out of “fairness” to say nice things about the other things Pope Francis has done, it is quite illegitimate to deliberately try and imply that he hasn’t actually done them.
    The article would be better titled “Pope Francis is NOT a champion of *all* the marginalised” and if so would have been much clearer. I think Ben let the fury of a bromancer scorned get the better of him.

  • James, (if you and Charles don’t mind, I am jumping in with a comment here)
    #1 It depends on what one means by the word “faith.” For many years I taught Elie Wiesel and his experiences in concentration camps to students. Though I have most of his books right here in my library, I don’t recall him making such a statement as this. That doesn’t mean he didn’t, but the second sentence sure doesn’t sound like his philosophical view.
    Humans are equal and racism is wrong, BUT “faith”s, ideas, lifestances, etc. AREN’T equal. I do remember Wiesel judging and critiquing, and condemning some forms of “faith.”

    “Religious faith,” generally seems to cause endless intolerance, injustice, etc., unless one is speaking of it in the sense of some famous scientists who reject all forms of fundamentalism, but who do think existence and the universe have “meaning.”

    #2 And since at another blog, my points have been missed, and comments made which have nothing do with my actual views, I am answering what you asked me: “My life is not meaningful to understanding the weather on Mars. It is highly likely that 200 years from now, no one will care about me. So does Christianity fix this?”

    First, I am not a Christian, (though I was one). Second, I don’t think
    there is any after-life. When we die, we cease to exist. I think that “Christianity” has many contradictory identities which are illusionary. But Pope Francis represents one of the worst forms–Roman Catholicism (despite Pope Francis’ nice quotes).

    So, No, Christianity doesn’t “fix this.”

    Existence does have meaning, but it is in reason, math, ethics, the structures of reality that astrophysicists study, etc.

  • I guess it depends on what you have faith in. in this conversation we’re having, I’m assuming, wrong is the same as this does not work (for me) https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/3e22feb4141c30179189a35242a63f44780460524cb988e2019ffd35d1832fb5.jpg .

  • Mr. James Parson

    The more the better.

    I think faith is a very loaded term. When someone uses it, I want to understand how they are using it before I decided whether I go along with it or not.

    P.S please don’t copy a dictionary definition. Dictionaries describe usages, but that doesn’t mean that the person using it is following some dictionary definition of it.

  • I don’t use the term “faith” anymore because it has too many bad connotations. But there are thinkers who do use the term, defining it differently from organized religion.

  • Mr. James Parson

    Can we throw “Spirituality” out the door too?

  • Again, of course, it depends on what is meant by “Spirituality.”
    I’ve met Atheists, New Age, Muslims, Hindus, Buddhists, Pentecostals, Roman Catholics, etc. who have different understandings of the term. And it amazed me when a few atheists actually said they could be “spiritual”!

    What do you think?

    Maybe, point out something that you think is true about reality.

    Here’s at least 10 different views of reality:
    Living in a universe about 27 billion light-years across, and about 13 billion years old and, according to cosmologists, the cosmos will last more billions of years.

    This is educated speculation–

    What is “ultimate reality”:
    #1 All reality came about by cosmic chance. Seemingly the view of the French biologist Jacques Monod in Chance and Necessity, a powerful book I read a few years back, and the view of the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould.

    My take on this as an average person: I think this view is possible. I guess given cosmic time even the “laws” of nature, math, reason, life, ethics, consciousness could all blip into existence.

    #2 All reality came about by a cosmic determinism of meaningless matter and energy which is eternal. Everything is lock step. There are no choices, not for what I supposedly ruminate on having for lunch or whether or not to commit murder or what to choose for my career.

    Based on our studying this at university, and for many years since, and many times trying to imagine my “I” as an illusion who is only ‘done to’ by the cosmos, I think this is one of the least likely views of reality. But the view is very popular these days–sort of an atheistic version of Calvinism.

    #3 All reality came about somehow by a temporary, finite, imperfect, even distorted, expression of the perfect eternal Ideal Forms of Platonism.
    I’ve been influenced by Platonism.

    #4 All reality came about by emergent possibilities in a quantum singularity vacuum or some unknown ultimate reality. But where did the quantum singularity vacuum come from? Here goes “turtles all the way down.”

    This view seems to posit an eternal physical reality with no “super” reality ‘transcending’ it.

    Like in #1 humankind is a “fluke,” an “accident,” a “lucky” break.

    #5 All reality came about by an impersonal ultimate reality of cosmic beauty. Scientists such as Albert Einstein stated this was his view, that he thought the impersonal god of Spinoza was true. But this seems similar to a combination of #3 and #4.

    Unlike #2 and #4, the emergent-possibility cosmos isn’t meaningless and purposeless, but filled with meaning.
    Interesting, but I doubt it.

    #6 All reality is coming about by the everlasting but limited cosmic reality that is becoming. This is the view of thinkers such as philosopher and mathematician Alfred Lord Whitehead, philosopher Charles Hartshorne, etc.

    This cosmic but limited God who is far beyond human understanding works toward changing matter and energy and conscious life such as homo sapiens into increasing patterns and forms of beauty, meaning, and purpose. This is also the view of some Reform Jews.

    But where is the evidence for this?

    Process thinkers explain that consciousness, reason, ethics, mathematics, natural law, creativity, aesthetics, life itself, etc. are the evidence.

    This view is appealing, but most of the technical philosophical explanations are BEYOND me. I’m a relatively average retired literature teacher (who got born with a “why” in his throat;-)

    #7 All reality came about as just one of an infinite number of universes of an infinite multi-verse, the view of some modern cosmologists. What is the ultimate of the multi-verse is unknown or maybe the multiverse itself is ultimate.

    Intriguing, but seems too speculative for me. However, I’m not as skeptical as Martin Gardner, one of the co-founders of the modern skeptical movement who wrote a scathing dismissal of this view.

    #8 All reality came about by the impersonal Brahma God of Hinduism and the view of some modern New Age leaders such as Ken Wilber with his Integral Theory, and Deepak Chopra, etc.

    The impersonal God Brahma is conducting a cosmic dance in which it forgets its self and dreams into billions of separated forms including in one minor edge of the universes, thinking humans.

    But all is illusion. And all events both good and evil are produced by Brahman. That is why Ken Wilber and other such leaders claim that Brahman caused 9//11, causes all murders, all rapes, etc.

    Given that I am a human rights worker from way back, for about 55 years, obviously this isn’t my cup of philosophical tea. Also, I still vividly remember as a Gandhi devotee being shocked when a Hindu priest in L.A. tried to persuade me to go to Vietnam to kill (when I was drafted), saying insects are killed all the time in reality.:-(

    #9 All reality came about by unknowable factors. Everything beyond and before the Big Bang is such a complete unfathomable mystery that it will probably not ever be solved by finite humans at least not for a very long time.

    Allegedly the view of the Mysterians such as Gardner, Penrose, etc.

    #10 All reality continually comes about by infinite impersonal reality which never had a beginning. No creator god exists. Some forms of Buddhism (though other forms are theistic).

    At this point in my life, I lean toward some view of #3 and #6, though I am open to #1 as a real possibility.

    But, probably, we finite humans don’t have enough knowledge to even decide this question beyond a guess.

    Thanks for the dialog.

  • Mr. James Parson

    I normally settle for an “I don’t know”

    I am leaning towards #9

  • Daniel Fisher

    Oh, understood. Given that scenario, I have little disagreement with you. I recognize that that if we are talking about a business or corporation, Caesar may have good economic reasons for minimizing the tax that corporation pays (so that it can hire more people who might otherwise have no work, invigorate local economies, etc.). But yes, I grant the motivation that if we are talking about individuals who are seeking to utilize the loopholes and exact letter of the law without paying what is clearly the intent and spirit of the law; and in that context I have no significant disagreement with you.

    I imagine that this is why the U.S. government came up with the system of an “Alternate minimum tax” – I’m not terribly familiar with it, but it was established just so that people who made significant amounts could not utilize all these dedutions to pay almost nothing in tax. Appreciate the cordial conversation. I will try to visit your blog as opportunity permits.

  • Daniel Fisher

    I wouldn’t know – I don’t believe it is right to marginalize any person.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Well, a person who doesn’t want to be in the same room as someone else because that person is a sinner has issues Jesus would likely be quick to address.

    But if I can touch on this again – there is a categorical difference on the question of repentance regarding these sins that I fear you’re missing:

    If I am “in the same room” as an obese person, I have no idea if he overstocks his fridge – and if they do, I don’t know if daily, they throw all that food out (or maybe give it to a food shelter) out of sorrow for their sin and out of repentance. Basic decency requires me to believe the best about that person, and, in the absence of absolutely clear evidence to the contrary, I typically in charity assume that anyone is struggling with whatever sins I happen to notice them exhibiting in their life. I’m neither into witch-hunts or simply assuming the worst about people.

    But if a same-sex couple tells me they are dating, or plan to get married….? At this point they are pretty clearly advertising, in a way difficult to miss, that they have no remorse, struggle, sorrow, repentance, or any sort of wrestling regarding this particular behavior, no?.

    Put another way: I have no issue whatsoever embracing and deeply loving as a brother, and walking together as a brother in Christ, any man who tells me he got crazy drunk last weekend, or confessed he cheated on his taxes last year, or seriously and sinfully overate last Thanksgiving, or had sex with his girlfriend last week, or picked up a man and had sex with him yesterday… if I recognize that they, like me, are sorrowful for that sin, and wrestling with it just like all the sins we must wrestle with.

    But if any man tells me unapologetically he is looking forward to getting smash-faced drunk next weekend, or to developing a great scheme to cheat on next year’s taxes, or to buy a larger wardrobe because he plans on an eating binge over the entire holiday, or to having sex with his girlfriend after work, or to getting married to another man…. then *all* of these demonstrate a rather obvious lack of remorse, repentance, or struggle of any kind – it demonstrates an embrace of what I consider sin in each case. And that interferes with my ability to call them “brother” – it is *not* the specific nature of any particular sin, it is the lack of repentance that is the factor.

    Ron, I really appreciate that there are churches that simply react for the reasons you mention above – that they just find that particular sin more “yucky” than others, and out of a hypocrisy that prefers to look at the sins of others rather than their own…. this sounds like the churches you came out of, and I also share your aversion to this kind of approach.

    But that being said, please don’t entirely miss that there are Christian believers that are sincerely trying their best to mortify any hypocrisy in their own hearts and lives, and deeply wish to love and welcome those who are tempted toward any sin whatsoever. What you are instinctively perceiving as hypocritical condemnation of “those people” may, in some cases, simply be a reaction to the clearly and unapologetically unrepentant nature of those actively living in a gay lifestyle – not the specific sin itself.

  • Daniel Fisher

    “There is nothing that defies the law, according to Christ, within reciprocated and consensual adult LGBTQ relationships.”

    Sir, I’d be curious your specific biblical reference or references for such?

    Moreover, I’d be curious your perspective: would you also see nothing that defies the law of God within “reciprocated and consensual” adult heterosexual relationships? To include the unmarried, siblings, parents with their adult children, the polygamous, and/or the polyamorous?

  • Bones

    IT’s not an ad hom attack.

    You hate gays and trot out the tired worn out nonsense that gay ‘lifestyle’ is dangerous, when studies show that it is actually religion and internalised hatred of homosexuality which causes depression and suicide in gay people.

    So it’s people like yourself who cause harm to gay people. And then you balme for it.

    What a wonderful human caring human being!

    And you hate people who affirm gay relationships as well.

  • Bones

    Yes, religion is the culprit.

    When you are told you are disgusting and going to hell because of who you are then it’s a no brainer.

    Why are people like yourself so ignorant of history?

  • Bones

    Yeah nah…if you think you can be my ‘friend’ and tell me what I can eat and drink – you can f*** off.

    God, you people are sanctimonious twats.

  • Bones

    So yes, your god is obsessed with sex.

    Like you……

    Funny that….

  • Herm

    Daniel Fisher, you wrote…

    “Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our racist brothers and sisters, until he calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture– and certainly as long as he continues to make disparaging remarks about them– Pope Francis is no champion of the marginalized.”

    … as a take off from this, in context, that Dr. Corey wrote:

    The net result of this process of stigmatization leading to marginalization, followed by criminalization or destitution, is that it creates a vicious cycle where people have no way out. No hope. For many, life’s trajectory only moves in one direction: progressively worse.

    While I applaud many of the overtures Pope Francis has made toward the poor and oppressed, the sad reality is that he is playing a role in how some of them get there to begin with. In addition, those who hear, internalize, and repeat some of the negative language or stereotypes he has made about marginalized communities, are doing the same.

    Until the Pope is ready to fully embrace and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, until he calls on everyone to welcome them in as full and equal members of the church and of culture– and certainly as long as he continues to make disparaging remarks about them– Pope Francis is no champion of the marginalized.

    He’s actually contributing to their marginalization.

    Your conclusion was, “If not, then might we agree that your real issue is not whether we marginalize people, but rather on on what basis it is proper for certain people’s views and behaviors to be stigmatized and/or marginalized?

    Why did you choose to stigmatize and associate with “our LGBTQ brothers and sisters” by your choice of “our racist brothers and sisters“?

    Was not the basis Dr. Corey established as “the net result of this process of stigmatization” sufficient to have negated any reason for you to make “the slight edit“? Did you really believe you were helping to make his article more clear?

    I do believe that it is right to marginalize racism, idolatry, intimidation, manipulation, coveting and any form of mankind subjugating mankind to divide, rather than unite, mankind as one, as the God mankind is in the image of is united as one. That is the entire reason for the second death, to finally separate the divisive from God’s children for the remainder of eternity.

    LGBTQ brothers and sisters of Christ are those who abide in Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, Luke 10:25-37 and 14:26-27 for the Spirit with and in them is the rock of Jesus Christ’s church. Being a racist is divisive and does not (cannot) abide in divine law. Being LGBTQ, fully in and of itself, is not a basis for stigmatizing and marginalizing but racism clearly is. When a world leader divides to marginalize LGBTQ people to the fringes of mankind, only for being LGBTQ, in the name of Christ (s)he must be called out as were the leaders of Jesus’ church called out by the Messiah, as Dr. Corey calls out the Pope in this article.

  • Bones

    So in other words you live in a complete fantasy…

    In the real world, the federal government is using your tax dollars to help the victims of hurricane Harvey.

    I know you’d hate that.

  • Herm

    Daniel, it is your personal definition of sin that is the crux of your problem here.

    Half of what you just described as sin, in your heart and mind, is not, in and of itself, a transgression against divine law (sin) according to the Messiah.

    Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, Luke 10:25-37

  • Herm

    Matthew 7:12, 22:37-40, Luke 10:25-37

  • Daniel Fisher

    Sir,

    Firstly, I listed 5 things, so I’d be curious if you would specify which are or are not sin, as you interpret Scripture. I don’t know which half of those 5 you are putting in which category.

    Secondly, and not to sound pedantic, but you are aware that Jesus gave various other specific instructions, as well as various affirmations of Old Testament law, beyond simply the (very excellent) summary of the law that you referenced, no?

  • Ron McPherson

    Daniel,
    What I am trying to get across is this. Most American Christians are living an unrepentant lifestyle in some form or another, gay or straight. And we welcome them to a seat at the table. Why would you have less of a problem with an individual knowingly and repeatedly sinning (yet feeling remorse each time) than with a same sex couple deeply committed in a monogamous relationship who has not felt conviction from the Spirit in this area? The former is sinning and knows it, the latter feels blameless before God.

  • You don’t get to pick which of the marginalized are worthy of consideration and which you’d rather further victimize, and then look for a “champion of the marginalized” trophy to be conferred.

    Ben got it exactly right.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I am not defending Pope Francis’ attitude to LGBT folks, only pointing out that the article asserts more than it demonstrates. You also seem to suffer from the same problem as Ben of being unable to deal with the notion that someone can be good in some respects and bad in others.

  • Yeah, I could add that to my short list of possible educated guesses. I think humans “know” a lot less than we think we do. I’ve been working my way through The Elegant Universe by Brian Greene, a book on cosmology. Amazing how complicated it all gets.

    It intrigues me that so many commenters and bloggers and writers (of various contradictory lifestances) think they have grasped the nature of reality and claim that anyone who disagrees with them is stupid, arrogant, and various obscene terms.

    Sheesh…even when I was a liberal Christian (Baptist, then Quaker) for many years, I always joked that on Thursdays, I was an Existentialist (like Albert Camus who wrote The Plague and The Rebel). Behind most of my views, doubts always banged on my door trying to get in;-)

  • Herm

    Daniel, the only attitude that is a clear transgression against divine law, that you used, according to the Messiah today is “ to developing a great scheme to cheat on next year’s taxes”.

    Apply all else to the following and there is nothing said that makes them a sin:

    And God spoke all these words:

    “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery.

    “You shall have no other gods before me.

    “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below. You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.

    “You shall not misuse the name of the LORD your God, for the LORD will not hold anyone guiltless who misuses his name.

    “Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a sabbath to the LORD your God. On it you shall not do any work, neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your male or female servant, nor your animals, nor any foreigner residing in your towns. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, but he rested on the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and made it holy.

    “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.

    “You shall not murder.

    “You shall not commit adultery.

    “You shall not steal.

    “You shall not give false testimony against your neighbor.

    “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house. You shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male or female servant, his ox or donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.”

    Exodus 20:1-17 (NIV2011)

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.

    “Which of you, if your son asks for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a snake? If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him! So in everything, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.

    Matthew 7:7-12 (NIV2011)

    “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    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 22:36-40 (NIV2011)

    On one occasion an expert in the law stood up to test Jesus.

    “Teacher,” he asked, “what must I do to inherit eternal life?”

    “What is written in the Law?” he replied. “How do you read it?”

    He answered, “ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind’; and, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’”

    “You have answered correctly,” Jesus replied. “Do this and you will live.”

    Luke 10:25-28 (NIV2011)

    I know, you’re going to hit on gluttony as a clear sin, well these are the only places in the Bible that speak to gluttony as, maybe, not the most pleasing of traits:

    For John came neither eating nor drinking, and they say, ‘He has a demon.’ The Son of Man came eating and drinking, and they say, ‘Here is a glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners.’ But wisdom is proved right by her deeds.”

    Matthew 11:18-19 (NIV2011) same as is found in Luke 7:33-35.

    If someone has a stubborn and rebellious son who does not obey his father and mother and will not listen to them when they discipline him, his father and mother shall take hold of him and bring him to the elders at the gate of his town. They shall say to the elders, “This son of ours is stubborn and rebellious. He will not obey us. He is a glutton and a drunkard.” Then all the men of his town are to stone him to death. You must purge the evil from among you. All Israel will hear of it and be afraid.

    Deuteronomy 21:18-21 (NIV2011) this really doesn’t quite meet the standards of Christ’s choices for sin and solution

    Listen, my son, and be wise, and set your heart on the right path: Do not join those who drink too much wine or gorge themselves on meat, for drunkards and gluttons become poor, and drowsiness clothes them in rags.

    Proverbs 23:19-21 (NIV2011)

    Not one of the above qualify drunkenness and gluttony as a transgression against divine law.

    To be an abominable person, to God or any other, does not transgress divine law. Christ was abominable to Caiaphas. Which was most sad because Caiaphas had the privilege to consult directly in the counsel of the Holy Spirit, and did not. Unless the New Testament writers got it wrong and Caiaphas was instructed to sacrifice the Son of God for our sins in the name of God. Wait, why, then, do I carry my cross to follow Christ as His sibling student? … is there more sin that our Father would sacrifice more children for?

    “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 (NIV2011)

    Daniel, Luke 14:26 is meant to tell you, the reader, that familial tradition before God is either the wrong school master or one is attempting to serve two masters.

    The 613 Jewish laws are not God’s laws, according to He with all authority in heaven and on earth, but are the laws of those sitting on the seat of Moses’ authority before Him. Most of those laws do fit within the eternal law adhered to by God as transgressions, but definitely not all, clearly when considered against the sum of all the law and the prophets or the two commandments all the law and the prophets hang on.

    You, Daniel, transgress divine law by not loving (empathy, compassion, forgiveness and tolerance) your good LGBTQ neighbor as yourself. Caiaphas transgressed divine law by doing to Jesus what he would not have Jesus do to him.

    Jesus gave commands to His disciples, of which I am one, that are beyond transgressions against divine law. Such as love our enemies, carry our own cross, hate carnal familial traditions of allegiance, and most especially to love one another as brothers and sisters with and in Him.

    Daniel, you force me to be pedantic because your sanctimonious attitude is destructive to Christ’s church, which is spirit, in the Spirit, and not in any way physical. There is only one Spirit of truth and he is not found through those who know only to study God (theologians) in the Bible while not knowing God personally enough to point to the only one Teacher of truth, as the Bible does when accepted as testimony, not the sacred word of God.

    You make too many assumptions based on mankind’s theology, familial tradition, and none founded on the rock of Jesus’ church. The Advocate given us by the Father, is our only salvation from the miscreants posing as God’s authorities, like were the Pharisees and scribes (teachers of the law) sitting on Moses’ seat. There is only one, for children of God, who has all authority in heaven and on earth.

    “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

    Matthew 11:28-30 (NIV2011)

    According to my Lord and my Teacher there is not the burden 613 sins, and counting, to remember that must be followed to the letter or we will let our Father down, and, maybe, consciously have to suffer hell fire without end, forever.

    Children of God are yoked together with Jesus. All of God is one immersed with and in the Holy Spirit to learn together for the rest of eternity. It really is easy with the weight of the responsibility to our awareness and influence becoming light, and lighter as we grow stronger.

    Daniel, you have responsibly accepted the carnal weight of the world on your shoulders when you can only express the law of God’s kingdom, and the awesome worship of God (by any carnal name), in physical terms. Carnal Man intimidates and manipulates you to accept that weight of responsibility to subjugate you to their will, as did the Pharisees and scribes. Wouldn’t you love to be a child, once again, to be responsible to only what you can bear to grow forever? God does so, beginning today, for all Their children on earth born of the Spirit.

    Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

    The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.”

    Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.”

    John 4:23-26 (NIV2011)

    Daniel, let the Messiah explain everything to you (not me or your sacred theologians) for it is my most honest testimony to you, as a most beloved brother of Christ, that He lives to do just that for you!!!

  • I have no problem recognizing that Pope Fluffy is an improvement over Pope Sidious.

    Doesn’t mean he should get praise for being something he isn’t.

  • Herm

    There is no marriage in heaven and that is where my treasure is stored. Sex is only for propagation of any carnal species, of which without the spirit image of God all mankind is. God, and Their children, are all spirit with a loving respect for the mankind who shared the Spirit of God by choosing to propagate their species with them first.

    Herm

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Great names!

  • Daniel Fisher

    Simply, for the same reason I would have less of a problem with a man repeatedly sinning by having sexual liaisons with other men and feeling remorse each time, than with a man who didn’t feel conviction from God about his continual drunkenness. Sure, the former is sinning and knows it, the latter feels blameless before God… but feeling blameless doesn’t make one blameless, regarding any sin, no? There are White supremacist Christians that presumably don’t feel the Spirit’s conviction.

    I’m curious how you think the church ought respond to any person who is clearly living in unrepentance regarding any sin – even if they feel no conviction from the spirit – whether that sin be sexual in nature, or regards gossip, alcohol, greed, sloth, anger, jealousy, racism, hatred, divisiveness? Ought we ignore their sin so that they feel welcome, and happily see them continue to displease God in ignorance?

    Jesus clearly turned away one young man from following him because of his unrepentant greed – and we can assume it was not due to Christ’s arrogance nor his unwelcoming spirit.

  • Daniel Fisher

    “Why would you have less of a problem with an individual knowingly and repeatedly sinning (yet feeling remorse each time) than with a same sex couple deeply committed in a monogamous relationship who has not felt conviction from the Spirit in this area”

    Simply, for the same reason I would have less of a problem with a man repeatedly sinning by having sexual liaisons with other men and feeling remorse each time, than with a man who didn’t feel conviction from God about his continual drunkenness. Sure, the former is sinning and knows it, the latter feels blameless before God… but feeling blameless doesn’t make one blameless, regarding anysin, no? There are White supremacist Christians that presumably don’t feel the Spirit’s conviction.

    I’m curious how you think the church ought respond to any person who is clearly living in unrepentance regarding any sin – even if they feel no conviction from the spirit – whether that sin be sexual in nature, or regards gossip, alcohol, greed, sloth, anger, jealousy, racism, hatred, divisiveness? Ought we ignore their sin so that they feel welcome, and happily see them continue to displease God in ignorance?

    For what it’s worth, the idea of excluding people in some manner due to a lack of repentance is not an idea that American evangelicals invented, after all.

  • Bones

    Aaah yes, the old purveyor of guilt. Can we add dancing, listening to rock music, masturbating and having a beer to your list? Yah better stop wanking or you’ll go to hell.

    If only we can make people feel bad enough about themselves they’ll stop doing it.

    To be fair I never felt the spirit’s conviction when I practised birth control.

    The vasectomy was a bitch though but I’m glad I did it.

    And according to you and Pope Francis I’m living in sin because of it and should feel guilty about it.

    I’m curious why you think you should tell people how they should have sex?

    Other people’s sex lives is obviously something you’re obsessed with.

    Is hating gay people a sin?

  • Bones

    Yeah right, number of people refused fellowship over anger, gossip, sloth and greed = 0. Whereas gay people are open slather.

    Greed is good – it’s more money in the plate. In fact it’s a sign of god’s blessing.

    Btw the number of people Jesus turned away over unrepentant gay sex = 0.

  • Bones

    Aaaand we can see just how concerned you are for the wellbeing of gay people that it’s really just an excuse for you to find a reason to hate gays.

    The best thing a gay person could do is stay away from people like yourself.

  • Bones

    Btw this is what people like YOU do to gay children and people……

    What Happens When Gay People Are Told That Homosexuality Is A Sin?

    Dr. Ilan Meyer, who has long studied the impact of minority stress on the LGBT community at the Williams Institute at UCLA’s School of Law, told ThinkProgress that “the message that homosexuality is a sin is not really simple. It is at the core of homophobia.” Because it’s an explicit tenet instead of just a prejudice, it creates the sense that nobody is really to blame for the harm that belief causes.

    “Religious condemnation is internalized by religious LGB people and their families, leading to a sense that the LGB person cannot be accepted and respected — not simply because of personal rejection of a family member — but because it is the Word of God,” Meyer said. “That is a high authority that is difficult to argue against.” The church community sees the LGB person as a sinner, and thus feels it has permission to disdain the person and ostracize them, including excommunicating them in some traditions.

    Haldeman saw the culmination of this rejection in his clients. Because the church is seen as an authority that consistently repeats the same message, “the internalization of those messages creates a thought loop inside that plays over and over again. It affects, really, every waking hour in one way or the other.” Every single time a gay person caught in that thought loop sees a person who they might find attractive — or even just thinks about such a person — they are reminded of that condemnation and the notion that there is something wrong with them. As the therapist whose job it was to try to help end that thought loop, Haldeman confirmed that the internal effects are “devastating.”

    According to Haldeman, this repetition, particularly over time, internalizes the beliefs as a way of being instead of just a conceptual idea. “As the brain develops, they become an intrinsic part of not just our thought process, but our feelings — obviously — and ultimately our self-perceptions.” Thus, individuals can’t just restructure their thoughts; it’s a much more complex process for gay people to untangle themselves from messages of condemnation.

    Ingrained At An Early Age
    Another reason recovering from these experiences can be so challenging is because of the way religious beliefs are often ingrained at an early age. “If you grow up in a religious environment, you are likely to hear the message that homosexuality is a sin well before you even begin to identify yourself as LGB,” Meyer explained. “You are likely to hear it from your religious leader and hear it reverberated in every aspect of your world (family, friends, teachers at school). It is in the water you drink and the air you breathe.”

    Because exposure to anti-gay beliefs often comes first, those beliefs establish the context for how a person undergoes the process of making sense of their sexual identity. “As a religious person begins to question his or her sexuality, maybe realizing that they are lesbian, gay, or bisexual, all these teachings become personally relevant in ways that lead the person to devalue him- or herself. That message, especially for a young person coming out, is very scary. It can be depressing, can lead to substance use and to suicide ideation and attempts.”

    This Is How Americans Learn LGBT Hate Starting At A Young AgeEducation CREDIT: Dylan Petrohilos/ThinkProgress Parents who object to seeing expressions of affection between two…thinkprogress.orgDr. Caitlin Ryan knows all too well how important it is to interrupt this internalization. As director of the Family Acceptance Project, she has been on the forefront of research about the impact of how families respond to young people coming out as LGBT. What her research has unequivocally found is that family rejection — even if it doesn’t lead to kids being kicked out or sent to ex-gay therapy — has incredibly negative consequences for the kids’ mental health nevertheless. Conversely, family acceptance not only ameliorates those consequences, but helps create a buffer that protects them from being rejected by others, “like a vaccine that protects their LGBT children with love.”

    But Ryan has observed that the belief that homosexuality is a sin has manifested some rather insidious tactics for rejecting it as an identity, such as the term “same-sex attracted,” which was first devised by Mormon religious leaders in the 1970s to reject the notion that people could objectively be gay. “It taught generations of lesbian, gay, and bisexual people that they didn’t exist and that there was no such thing as being lesbian, gay, and bisexual,” she explained to ThinkProgress.

    Thus, the idea that homosexuality is a sin isn’t an isolated idea, and what Ryan’s seen in her research confirms this. “These are messages that are condemning. They’re social rejection. Young people who heard these messages — which are also that ‘God doesn’t love you’ and ‘God will punish you’ — it affected their sense of self-worth and self-esteem. It contributed to depression and an underlying perception that there was something wrong with them — that perhaps, if there wasn’t a such thing as a gay person, then they were crazy. And this led to homelessness and suicidality, especially in a conservative social world.”

    Ryan has found that families often expose young people to home-grown conversion therapy efforts to change, alter, minimize, or deny their LGB identity, such as:

    * Making them pray or attend religious services to change their heart and their sense of who they are.
    * Making them read books or listen to recordings that tell them that homosexuality is wrong.
    * Using Scripture and doctrine to deny, denigrate, and change their sexual orientation but also to tell them that this is the wrong path and God will punish them.
    * Using religious language to teach them that this is incorrect, that this is a prescription in their lives for being alone and not being with their families.

    These kids, who are generally discovering their sexuality by the time they’re 10 years old, are being threatened with the loss of both their faith (including a happy afterlife) and their families at the same time that a core aspect of their identity is being rejected. But rejecting families often perceive what they’re doing as “trying to help their children, help them fit in, have a good life, be accepted by others, live a morally correct life. So they didn’t perceive what they were doing as being harmful, they saw it as being helpful. And they engaged in those behaviors out of love, care, and concern.”

    Perhaps the most important — if unsurprising — finding from Ryan’s research is that the least accepting families tend to be the most religious. “Religiosity was really at the core of the kinds of behaviors that families engaged in to respond to having an LGBT child.”

    Unfortunately, as the science on gender identity catches up with the science on sexual orientation, religious beliefs are increasingly being relied upon to reject transgender people in the same fashion. When the American Psychiatric Association (APA) stopped identifying homosexuality as a mental disorder in 1973, it triggered the launch of the ex-gay movement and many of the theological teachings that still define opposition to gay rights. The APA took the same step in changing the classification of transgender identities in 2012, and just 18 months later, the Southern Baptist Convention passed a resolution biblically rejecting the existence of transgender people. Indeed, religious beliefs are at the core of many of the ongoing political struggles about which bathroom transgender individuals should be allowed to use.

    ****************************************************************************************

    This similar trajectory for transphobia reveals what’s so insidious about how religious conservatives justify their rejection of all LGBT people. It illuminates the reality that the prejudice against LGBT people probably came first, but so long as there was no science challenging that prejudice, faith was not an important tool for reinforcing it. As research and visibility have undermined those prejudices, however, religious beliefs have become the popular — if only — foundation for maintaining that rejection.

    As Ryan’s work with families has helped to illuminate, so long as people espouse the idea that LGBT identities are sinful, LGBT people will be harmed. Unlike other marginalized groups, LGBT people can be born anywhere to any family. That means that so long as anybody is promoting beliefs that reject LGBT people, there will be children who are vulnerable to the mental health consequences of that rejection, including the risky behaviors and suicidal thinking that can result. No matter how much love any religious individual espouses for the lesbian, gay, or bi “sinner,” they are still propagating that harm.

    https://thinkprogress.org/what-happens-when-gay-people-are-told-that-homosexuality-is-a-sin-f2963a84d65b/

  • Ron McPherson

    Every one of those you listed are sins against others (well, alcohol isn’t unless it’s drunkenness which can definitely harm others; same with slothfulness). Goes back to Jesus’ greatest commandment. Test it against that. How are monogamous same sex couples harming others?

  • Ron McPherson

    Well thanks for mentioning greed, cause that goes back to my original point. His greed kept him from loving others as himself. That’s the problem with American Christianity. Speck and log. But we’re more concerned with excluding gays for loving one another.

    Edit: Are you referring to the rich young ruler? If so, Christ didn’t turn him away. The guy just walked away on his own. But you may have another instance in mind. Just wanted to make that clarification just in case.

  • Ron McPherson

    God bless you for posting this! Now if people will just read it.

  • Ron McPherson

    I wonder if there would be this much rejection from Christians if the only bible they had were the gospels, ya know, that part that quotes the author of our faith.

  • Bones

    You can bet he won’t read it.

    These people are locked into their saving gay people from themselves when really gay people need to be saved from them.

  • Ron McPherson

    I cringe at some of the things I was taught.

  • One4Life

    I debated about whether or not to post this on here — but here goes. I know many gay individuals – hundreds in fact. I have met and talked with everything from men who work for hire as male strippers/prostitutes, to men married to women who have renounced their homosexual past (and their former husband of 17 years). I’ve known men committed to one another for decades, and men who look for the next latest greatest sexual thrill all the time. One thing I think is interesting in reading arguments on sites like this is the idea that this group “gay people” can be treated as some kind of monolith – like “all gay people and their experiences are the same – and let me tell you just how we should treat them.” Just think if you tried to make that same argument.. only about straight people and what straight people really want and how the church should treat straight people, etc. etc. Kinda silly huh. Yea — kinda silly for sure. I read a book titled “Velvet Rage” which is about the gay experience – it resonated with me. There are some generalizations which seem to hold true – gay relationships tend to be shorter, there is unhappiness and despair in many gay men and women, feeling accepted in the broader culture continues to be an issue (family, work life, friends, etc.) — I mean think about it. Gay individuals do not participate in the “traditional life.” They typically (unless they hide their nature) do not have the common step stones of life – a marriage celebrated by family and the broader culture, having kids and raising a family with the support of a faith community and the culture, an extended family which adopts and takes in your spouse as a family member, etc. etc. So yes, inherently in gay identity, you will feel like an outsider — you are not having the same experiences as your peers your same age and often you have a family/community that not only does not support your significant other, but is actually GLAD when you have relationship issues or break-up. It’s the opposite of support. Gay men and women are not inherently politically on the left. Think if you were to assert any such notion about straight people – straight people support conservative politics… really? Umm, I don’t think you can categorize all straight people as anything… likewise gay individuals – I mean, think about it. So, indeed, the lives of gay men and women cannot be summed up by either side into points of argument and debate. It just doesn’t work with real people. I am confident in God though – his forgiveness through Christ offered at the cross for all. His death given for me – and offered to me in baptism and the Lord’s Supper. I am confident of God’s love and forgiveness in Christ. Arguments over affirmation/understanding/acceptance/repentance notwithstanding and completely irrelevant.

  • Daniel Fisher

    Ron, it is exceedingly difficult to maintain a productive dialogue when one’s position is repeatedly and so grossly misrepresented. I have genuinely tried to fairly understand and represent your position, it honestly hurts a bit to see that courtesy unreturned. Thus let me wrap up my side.

    It is a pretty clear guidance that we are not to associate (or even eat) with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality, greed, idolatry, is a reviler, drunkard, or swindler.

    (And N.B., yes, the rich young ruler walked away, after Jesus made certain requirements regarding repentance clear and the man didn’t like them…. so if that is your position, do note that one might argue that no evangelical church “turns away” any gay person…. the churches only make clear their requirement for repentance, which people then leave by their own choice because they don’t like said requirement).

    If you find church failing to uphold that standard regarding certain sins (greed), the answer is not to abandon the whole standard regarding the other sins for the sake of “consistency”, but rather call the church to consistency by upholding this and other exhortations regarding the so-called “respectable sins.” Yes, I agree: speck and log, but we take the speck out of our eye so we can help remove the brother’s log.

    The only real question is whether or not homosexual conduct falls into the category of “sexual immorality,” or does it not. If it does, then we follow biblical exhortations regarding this as we ought with other such sins, and repent of any inconsistency regarding the way we fail to similarly treat other sins on that list.

    If it is not in fact “sexually immoral,” then it ought be clearly endorsed and supported as an option for genuine Christian freedom., no different than the freedom to remain single or to marry.

    But the question of “we don’t treat other sins this way” is quite irrelevant. If we don’t, then there is rank hypocrisy, and the church needs to so treat other sins. But to not condemn homosexual conduct on that basis is simply non sequitur. Additionally, the question about “who is it hurting?” is singularly irrelevant. Do any of God’s other commands require our confirmation of it doing some sort of perceptible harm to receive our concurrence of it being sin? Are there not other sins that similarly demand disassociation that many would argue “do no harm”? You said drunkenness can be harmful, but it need not be. So long as one doesn’t drive, and does not harm anyone else while drunk, you would say it is therefore not sin? idolatry rarely “harms” anyone else in any obvious or perceptible way, at least given our cultural standards. Is it similarly not sin?

    Point is, if it is sin, then it does hurt both the individual and the individual’s partner, whether they or anyone else sees it or not, no differently than sins I may be utterly blind to. The only real question is whether or not God finds this conduct to be sin or not. Once that is determined, churches can discuss further how to so deal with it. But that is the first question that must be addressed. Please see that anything else is simply a diversion.

  • kcthomas

    Benjamin Corey seems to think that LGBT people should not be told that their sexual acts are sinful just to avoid marginalisation. And those who are not LGBT should not consider that marriage is anything sacred. In effect people ,rather Christians,need not think sexual lust or acts are anyway sinful.
    There are many like Damien and M. Teresa who served all types of people without “margin”. Can Corey think of accommodating few LGBT and few lepers in his house to teach the world about mon- marginalisation

  • Ron McPherson

    Daniel,
    I’m seriously not trying to misrepresent your position. Sorry if you took it that way. My comments are more generally directed to the state of conservative evangelicalism, not to you personally. But let’s be clear here and let’s not sugar coat how the LGBTcommunity has been stigmatized by the church. I personally know an individual who was fired as a staff member for being gay. He didn’t walk away on his own like the RYR. I know of a teen who was invited to leave the youth group for being gay. He was not even in a gay relationship. My point again is this. The conservative church in America has not removed the logs from its own eyes and does not place a premium on the things Jesus did. Instead, its actions are eerily similar to the religious authorities of Jesus’ day. The evangelical mantra is pray a prayer, join a church, how can Jesus make MY life better, maybe volunteer a couple times a year at a homeless shelter, do an Angel Tree at Christmas, and external sin management. For the record, I still serve in a leadership position at a large evangelical church, so I’m not coming from a position poisoned against ‘the system.’ I’m just calling it like I see it. There are far more serious problems that the church needs to tend to than managing the sex lives of others.

    Peace

  • “[T]he Pope recently stated that teaching children what it means to be transgender was ‘terrible’ and a ‘war against marriage.’ I’m no fan of Pope Francis, but he nailed this one. Teaching children about “transgenderism” is not only lying to them (God doesn’t put men in women’s bodies or vice-versa), it is child abuse, and it is absolutely despicable. The whole transgender movement is a war against God’s created order. Mr. Corey’s ideas are perverse.

  • Reducing gay relationships down to sex belies any sort of holistic, genuine love for the gay people in them.

  • Thank you very much, Herm. I always enjoy reading your comments, but I’m especially grateful for this encouragement. I may be on a journey. Many who are back at where I started are shaking their heads and tutting as they think I’m wandering ‘away’ from truth. Truth is, I was never really comfortable in the little sheltered spot they carved out for themselves and the fire they lit, which is not big enough for all the strangers to join. I might never find another sheltered place for myself until that glorious day, but if so, then let it be so. Maybe I was born under a wandering star lol.

    As a good younger brother of mine always says, “His grace is big enough for all of us”.

  • louisquinze

    Let’s not forget that we are all……..yes that’s right all….. made in the image and likeness of G-D – what that says about G-D raises more questions about G-D and us, than it answers. And for that i praise G-D. It means we can not assume we know very much at all; that our gender definitions are just that – ours – born to wall our egos and reinforce our tribe in self-righteousness. Let’s not fool ourselves that intellectual assent to any doctrine alone cuts the mustard. Jesus never mentioned doctrine when speaking of marks of his followers – only the fruit of discipleship, behaviour, and we are called to love G-D and our neighbour as ourselves. It saddens me that PT Barnum’s show should be seen as a ‘celebration of humanity’ in its acceptance of difference (The Greatest Showman’), and we are seen as a bunch of elites and excluders.