Honorable Discourse!

Honorable Discourse! September 23, 2010

Here are a few–though by no means all–highlights from the discussion that yesterday took place in the comments section of The Curse of the Crappy Christians:

“I DO think most people want the same things: the disagreement is almost always how to get from here to there. And it starts, I think, by grounding ourselves in lasting principles that are fair to all: I tend to favour human rights, constitutional freedoms and equal political rights, and respect for the dignity of personhood. I think none of these can be improved by religious beliefs extended into the public domain.”

“I am not afraid of gays, nor do I hate them, I have some very close friends who are gay and we talk about this issue a lot in conversations that are full of mutual respect and love. … I am struggling with this because of my commitment to God and for no other reason.”

“When laws are enacted that have no basis in fact or reality, only religion, people get hurt – and those doing the hurting sit back and rest on ‘the Bible says so,’ and don’t believe they have to consider the human toll of their actions.”

“I went to a concert a few years back in one of those non-denominational mega-churches in a small Midwestern city. The concert was wonderful. As my friend and I wandered around the church beforehand, we were astounded. It was a virtual campus, complete with a workout gym, a coffeehouse, cafe and a bookstore. A place for all the Christians to gather and socialize – and it seemed to us, to avoid crossing paths with the heathens of the world. What good does that do, really? When a group insulates itself from the outside world to a great degree, venturing out on mission trips en masse, they lose touch with the rest of the world. Of course those young people wouldn’t likely meet anyone who is openly gay – so they have no idea who they are, what their lives are like, or how their church’s teachings affect these people they don’t even know. I get that they would not, personally, be openly rude or critical or at all unkind to a gay person. But by subscribing to the unfounded but religious belief that the core of a gay person’s being is sinful, they are part of the perpetuation of the discrimination.”

“It took me four suicide attempts (three of which were supposed to be no-failures) before I realised that God loved me the way He created me and I was letting God down trying to change what he created me to be.”

“We think it a positive thing that Martin Luther had the nerve to speak truth to the Church, though some of what he had to say was bound to offend, and the offense was grave enough to result in big time condemnation. And look at the perfect Christian, Christ: He had some quite harsh things to say for those who expounded of the Scriptures not in accordance with the Spirit of God, but relying too heavily on their various traditions in understanding it and their own assumptions about the circumstances in which to apply it; towards the agents of oppression against those who do truly love the Lord—the God who is Love Himself—He could become downright mad (I’m thinking of money changers in the temple).”

“Christians lose the right to say they ‘love’ gays but ‘feel the need to follow God’ the minute they denounce not only church marriages, but also non-religious civil marriages. My partner and I had our silver wedding anniversary this year. We were married at the Metropolitan Community Church before gay marriage was legal in Canada, and in the United Church once it was legal. In both cases, God was present, and both were solemn and dignified. Also, I’ve only been married to the same man, so if you really want to support ‘traditional Biblical marriage,’ then start campaigning against divorce, something that evangelical Christians have down to an art, much like teenage pregnancy.”

“I believe that the moral arc of the universe bends toward justice, I believe that the tide of Christianity is changing toward justice, and I believe that one day demonizing gay people won’t be accepted in American society.”

“Change happens slowly and sometimes not at all. For a lot of people, religion is a comfort zone, so they dare not question it–any aspect of it–for fear that the whole thing will fall apart in their hands. So yes, people will use their religion to justify their bad behavior rather than questioning whether their religion truly demands that bad behavior–and if it does, whether that might be evidence that their religion is wrong (on that point, if not on others).”

“I’d rather be called a queer every day of my life and be able to marry someone I love than have everyone play nice but make it clear that I’m a second class citizen.”

“Question whether homosexuality is a sin, which the Bible seems to do (at least Mel relies on it to say so), and a belief in the inerrancy or even infallibility of the Bible is shattered. If so much of a person’s faith relies so heavily on that book, it ceases to Christianity in my view, it becomes bibliolatry.”

“I’ve started to pray again lately. I’ve started to speak with God again after a too long hiatus. And God continually tells me that the literal interpretations of God’s love and meaning are almost always wrong. That what God desires and has cast us into is a milieu in which we are to love and respect one another and solve our differences NOT through taking but by giving. By giving. Giving. That means giving up on our tired, old preconceptions about right and wrong – the baggage handed down from generation to generation of people who used God to exploit, to deny, to repress and to rationalize crimes against other humans. Oh, and to make themselves feel good…. [Our] job is to give, to provide all human beings with the love and respect they deserve. If God created this universe, then God chose to put homosexuals here along side heterosexuals. That’s the deal. God did it. Not as an experiment or example, but as a matter of fact – a fact of life. To deny them their basic nature is a form of torture and deprivation that is completely contrary to God’s creation.”

“I’m so freaking sick of being denied equal rights by the majority in the name of protecting me from myself. Yesterday the Senate voted to keep Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell. This means that my career plans are shot, because I’m gay. I can’t adopt here. I can’t marry here. I can’t do anything …”

“I will give you the example of my husband, whom I love dearly. He’s has never, once, read the Bible for himself, so all he has to go on is what his church leaders and parents have told him. He, with all his heart wants to be a good person and a good son. Since his parents are the neighboring naysayers and his church is the one that preaches that not all neighbors are worthy of love, it stands to reason that to him, being a good Christian means believing that he should be angry and hateful towards those who are different than he is. The love that Jesus taught is downright SCARY to him.”

“When I get frustrated about what I perceive to be an injustice to the cause of Christ, or outright hypocrisy, it is so easy for my passion to cross the slippery slope into ego and self-righteousness. I sense that I’m being taught more than a lesson on humility. It’s almost a realization that at our core, we all have more in common than we like to believe or explore.”

“Loving those who grate on our nerves and drive us bat shit crazy, those whom we think bastardize Christianity … well, if we can’t love them, we are no better than what we perceive them to be. Hate is easy. Love is hard.”

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