Dear Christians, This is Why People Hate You Sometimes

Dear Christians, This is Why People Hate You Sometimes September 13, 2013

Gay detective’s mother kicked out of church.

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  • Dave G.

    Nice Mark. Way to declare it’s because of ‘those Christians over there’ that people hate Christians. Can I see problems in what the did? Would I have done it differently? Sure. But my head isn’t so far up my ass to miss that people hate Christians for things such as that, or the Church not marrying gays, or ordaining women, or allowing abortion, or flying into the next war, or any one of a thousand things. To single some other group out is a cheap shot more in line with the old fundamentalist tent revival preachers I used to hear than a solid assessment of a story being used to ramrod an obvious agenda (assuming that, deep down, I don’t agree with the agenda).

  • Irksome1

    I’m not sure it’s so easy to assign fault to the church in question either. A church member behaved, publicly, in a way that was problematic. She was given an opportunity to atone, again, publicly, or to clarify, she declined.

  • Sus_1

    The Church of Christ in my town marries gay people.

    We have 3 churches in town – Church of Christ, Methodist and Catholic. The 3 pastors get together every couple of weeks for lunch. This causes much gossip because the members of the churches don’t think the pastors should be lunching together.

    • Dave G.

      With the CoC, is it a United Church of Christ or just a Church of Christ?

      • Sus_1

        It is United Church of Christ. Thank you! I was wondering how it could be so different.

        • Dave G.

          No problem. The intricacies of Protestant denominationalism are not for the faint hearted.

  • SteveP

    “This is an in-church private issue. Because emotions are so inflamed at this point, I choose not to comment any further,”

    Wise course of action.

  • Michael McCleary

    wonder if this church asks it’s divorced members to leave, ’cause I’m pretty sure the Bible is against that too (O:

  • Stu

    The mother apparently publicly supported the daughter’s fight to legitimize homosexual relations in the eyes of law and from other articles believes that a “homosexual lifestyle” is not a choice. The pastor of the church asked to her publicly clarify within the church that such was a sin (I assume to avoid scandal) and she refused because she doesn’t think it is sin.

    Sounds like some Catholic politicians to me.

  • ladycygnus

    um…she publicly supported the sins of her daughter and the church asked her to clarify or repent. Isn’t it the church’s job to point out the errors of her members in order that they might repent and be saved? Isn’t the point of excommunication to emphasize the wrong done and encourage the sinner to return to communion – or at least make it clear where church teaching ends?

    Yes, this is why people hate us. People always hate the church for telling them “no” and Christians do this by their way of life alone.

    • moseynon

      According to the news articles , the mother’s “public support” of the sins of her daughter consisted of nothing more than sitting next to her daughter during the court case. However, because the court case got much media attention, including television, the church felt it needed to take action.

      For the church to construe the mother’s emotional support of her daughter as something which required repentance in front of the entire congregation seems excessive, even pharisaic.

      • ladycygnus

        Given that this is a mainstream media article obviously written with a bias *against* the church. AND given “…Along the way, the mother publicly supported her daughter…” I suspect she did more than just sit beside her in court.

        Her daughter was forcing the state to submit and pay for what most would consider unethical and unhealthy and – by extension – making it illegal for any Christian to disagree with her at risk of loosing livelihood and/or being thrown in jail for thought crimes. If she were my daughter I’d say “sorry hon. I love you but I cannot sit beside you and make it appear as if I’m supporting these evil actions anymore than I could sit beside you as you drugged yourself into oblivion.”

        • Rebecca

          “The most important one,” answered Jesus, “is this: ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.’ There is no commandment greater than these.”

          Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you – Ephesians 4:32

          Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven – Luke 6:37

          Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God – Romans 15:7

          Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing – 1 Thessalonians 5:11

          Finally, all of you, live in harmony with one another; be sympathetic – 1 Peter 3:8

          For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, BUT IF YOU DO NOT forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. – Matthew 6:14-15

          The Lord did not say, “He who is without sin cast the first stone, EXCEPT FOR…” We will all receive judgement from Jesus when our time comes, but he said that while here on earth, we must love one another and forgive. We are not Christ, we were instructed to only show love.

          Good for that mother, she is a true follower of Christ.

          • ladycygnus

            Two can play that game…

            “If your brother sins against you, go and tell him his fault, between you and him alone. If he listens to you, you have gained your brother. But if he does not listen, take one or two others alongwith you, that every charge may be established by the evidence of two or three witnesses. If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector.” – Matthew 18:15

            Jesus declared. “Go now and leave your life of sin.” – John 8:11

            “Warn a divisive person once, and then warn them a second time. After that, have nothing to do with them.” Titus 3-10

            To support someone’s sin is exactly the opposite of loving them as you love yourself. ” It is not enough for a man to disapprove of Pimlico: in that case he will merely cut his throat or move to Chelsea. Nor, certainly, is it enough for a man to approve of Pimlico: for then it will remain Pimlico, which would be awful. The only way out of it seems to be for somebody to love Pimlico: to love it with a transcendental tie and without any earthly reason.” – Chesterton

            You equate love with simply approval – that is not love.

            • Rebecca

              Since Jesus said himself that the greatest two commandments were to love Him, and also love others, I believe that takes precedent over all else.

              You do not have to approve to love. Just love. No matter how perfect we strive to be, in the end Jesus says we are all sinners. Don’t judge someone else for sinning differently than you.

              • ladycygnus

                This same Jesus said that if we lead others into sin it would be better for us to have a stone tied around our necks and be cast into the sea. I for one, don’t want that guilt. So if I were destroying my relationship with God and others through grave sin I would HOPE and PRAY that the community would protect others from my example so as to keep me from that end. Perhaps, their effort to separate me from the community would wake me up to the evil I was doing and I’d repent.

                Love doesn’t mean being nice, approving of people or not judging sin for what it is. Love is saying “what you have done is wrong, please repent before it’s too late.” which is EXACTLY what this news article says this church community did before the woman chose to go to the media.

                Judge a person: “you are damned – get out”
                Judge an act: “what you have done is wrong, please repent before it’s too late. If you don’t repent you will have to leave before you harm others.”

                They look the same, but they are entirely different – we are forbidden from doing the first, but we are ordered to do the second.

                • Rebecca

                  Well, I see we disagree on what “love” means.

                  Also, no one is leading anyone else into sin simply by showing compassion to one of God’s fellow children (as the mother did for her child), or for that matter, the gay woman being a member of her church (romantic preference is not contagious, and I’m not afraid I’ll catch it). ONLY Jesus can judge us and our actions, and it is not our business to attempt to do that for him.

                  On another note, I found this article a while back, I think it is a good read and a point of view worth considering.

                  • Stu

                    Supporting her daughter in something misguided may be a sign of compassion, but it doesn’t make it charitable.

                    And yes, we are called to judge actions. We can’t judge culpability.

                  • Dave G.

                    13 The Passover of the Jews was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. 14 In the temple he found those who were selling oxen and sheep and pigeons, and the money-changers sitting there. 15 And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. 16 And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.” 17 His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” There you go. By your definition, Jesus failed his saving throw vs. love. Which probably means your approach doesn’t hold up to a traditional Christian understanding of love, or even a practical one.

                    BTW, the article wasn’t insightful in the least. I’ve heard that a hundred times if I’ve heard it once. It’s a not-too-subtle sleight of hand approach that says ‘if you don’t support homosexual normality, then you’re on the side of the slave owners.’ A weak argument to be sure, but surprisingly effective.

                    • Rebecca

                      It seems we both interpret the word of God differently. I believe that Jesus would be pleased and proud of you for trying to follow his word, but ashamed of you for having so much disdain towards your fellow neighbor. All your comments just make me shake my head in sadness. Your above bible passage and comment was not relevant at all.

                      I know my God is an almighty and loving God, and for you to insult my “approach” to love in general and to Christianity just makes me thankful that I don’t have horribly negative people such as yourselves in my life. But since Jesus loves you too, I’ll refrain from any other thoughts. I won’t post here/be back again. I have a God to love, and joy to spread.

                      I’m sorry that all of you have so much hatred in your hearts.

                    • Dave G.

                      I’m sure I make Jesus ashamed for a million different reasons in any given week, but never for disagreeing with you on your interpretation of Scripture. If you think that of yourself, that your definition and interpretation is the infallible judge of people’s lives, I’d see someone about it. Fact is, you have said that this church violated your definition of love by driving someone out of the Church, since apparently love cannot abide such a thing. Jesus did that very thing to the money changers. Explain. If you can’t, you just can’t wave your hands and say it’s not relevant. It’s very relevant. It demands you explain all these alternate biblical passages that people have provided. Especially if you are going to divide sheep from goats based upon your particular definition of love based upon “your” God.

                    • Rosemarie

                      BenYachov here!

                      You tell them David!

                  • ladycygnus

                    Have you not read what we are saying? By the tone of the article she didn’t JUST show compassion, she actively supported her daughters efforts to harm herself by sin. THIS IS NOT LOVE. I do NOT “hate” this woman and I’m not even “judging” her soul. I’m saying “given the information on hand her actions were wrong.”

                    Show me where it says not to judge another’s actions! As far as I can tell the bible is one long list of judging actions…”Adulterers, fornicators, murderers will not enter the kingdom of God.” The KEY is to recognize that God forgives and we never know the state of another’s soul.

                • Sus_1

                  Pope Francis 2013-09-13 Vatican Radio:


                  “Those who live judging their neighbor, speaking ill of their neighbor, are hypocrites, because they lack the strength and the courage to look to their own shortcomings. The Lord does not waste many words on this concept. Further on he says that he who has hatred in his heart for his brother is a murderer. In his first letter, John the Apostle also says it clearly: anyone who has hatred for his brother is a murderer, he walks in darkness, he who judges his brother walks in darkness”.

                  “A Christian murderer…. It’s not me saying this, it’s the Lord. And there is no place for nuances. If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother. And every time we do this, we are imitating that gesture of Caine, the first murderer in History”:

                  “Go and pray for him! Go and do penance for her! And then, if it is necessary, speak to that person who may be able to seek remedy for the problem. But don’t tell everyone! Paul had been a sinner, and he says of himself: I was once a blasphemer, a persecutor, a violent man. But I have been mercifully treated”. Perhaps none of us are blasphemer – perhaps… But if we ever gossip we are certainly persecutors and violent. We ask for grace so that we and the entire Church may convert from the crime of gossip to love, to humility, to meekness, to docility, to the generosity of love towards our neighbor”.

                  • ladycygnus

                    “And then, if it is necessary, speak to that person who may be able to seek remedy for the problem. But don’t tell everyone!”

                    Given the tone of the article the leaders of the church went to talk to this woman privately about it and SHE decided to leave and the SHE went to the press about it. Remember this line: “[the church minister] declined an on-camera interview with WTVC but released a written statement. ‘This is an in-church private issue…'”

                    As far as I can tell, SHE is the one speaking ill about her neighbors by making a fuss on the way out the door.

                  • Dave G.

                    “If you speak ill of your brother, you kill your brother.”

                    Sop according to that, this entire post should never have happened, correct?

              • Stu

                Because I love my children, I instruct and correct them.

        • sharon autenrieth

          Stats to prove that “most” Americans consider it “unethical and unhealthy” be in a lesbian relationship? I’d love to see them.

          • ladycygnus

            Yea I would too – I didn’t realize I’d written that. Should have just written “is unethical and unhealthy.” Ethics and health aren’t determined by majority vote.

            • EdinburghEye

              Deciding against all evidence that same-sex relationships are all unethical and unhealthy is called bigotry, and bigotry is always unethical.

              • Dave G.

                Do you have any evidence that they aren’t unethical? What’s that mean? What evidence do you intend to use to prove same sex relationships are not unethical? What are the standards? What is the proof and how does it relate to ethics? Please explain.

                • EdinburghEye

                  An ethical relationship, Dave, is regarded as a basic and trustworthy relationship that two people have with each other.

                  Any relationship may be flawed. But where both partners are consenting adults and in the absence of evidence against either or both partners, it’s fair to assume that the couple have an ethical relationship.

                  Your presumption seems to be the other way round: that a couple need to show evidence that they have a basic trustworthy relationship with each other before you’ll accept that they have an ethical relationship. That may be based on your unfortunate experiences, in which case you have my profound sympathy and my assurance that whatever unhappiness you have experienced, for most people, ethical relationships are an expectation, not a rare occurence.

                  Or you might be making a prejudgement about same-sex relationships in general. Which prejudice is more briefly referred to as bigotry.

                  • Dave G.

                    Based on what standards? I mean, where does that definition come from? Has science proven it? Is it in the Bible? I mean, where does it come from? And no, my assumption is that if we are going to hoist one of the most serious and destructive labels in our modern society (bigot) on a person, we ought to be able to make some case of it. After all, getting pegged with the bigot label today is like getting pegged with the Commie label in the 50s.

                    FWIW, my relationships have, as humans go, been pretty nice. I’ve had a few rough ones, but they don’t enter into the discussion. Mine is based on the assumption that there are truths we all strive for, and that our values and beliefs should be informed by those truths in a consistent and open way. A society that tries to pretend otherwise is a society ready to drop off life support, IMHO.

                    So again, I ask. What is the source of those standards you mention? It can’t be just your opinion. It can’t be a laundry list of like thinking individuals. It has to be the source. What scientific, philosophical, theological, whatever source says what you just said? We can go from there.

                    • EdinburghEye

                      Based on what standards? Hm. The Golden Rule – treat others as you wish to be treated yourself – has been expressed in many ways in many cultures, and many languages, but one expression of the definition of an ethical relationship that I like and you should be familiar with is: “‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” (Mark, 12:31)

                      Now, you claim that “bigot” is “one of the most serious and destructive labels in our modern society”

                      But where’s your evidence for this? The school in question has, in the past calendar year, sacked two teachers for being gay – Ostendorf because she came out, the other teacher because he was outed in the media. Where is your evidence that the school has suffered any serious/destructive consequence for its bigoted treatment of staff?

                      It may be unpleasant to have your bigoted views about gay people called out and identified as such, but Dave, can you show any evidence that you have suffered any serious/destructive consequences from being identified as an anti-gay bigot? These two teachers have been fired from jobs that they held for many years, not because of anything they’d said or done on the job but purely because they were now publicly known to the staff of the school to be gay. Nor are they the only teachers (and this is not the only Catholic school) which has treated gay staff in this way.

                      Find me an example of an instance where schools have summarily fired teachers not because of anything they’ve said in the classroom but because it has become known they believe that gay people are inferior and their relationships “unhealthy and unethical”. I don’t think you can. In my own country, LGBT teachers who want to work in Catholic schools (a significant proportion of the state schools in Scotland are Catholic-identified) know that they have to keep their sexual orientation secret – not only from their students, but from the other staff. In non-Catholic schools there are plenty of examples of teachers known to be gay being bullied and harassed by other staff and sometimes by the students. There is no equivalent pattern of discrimination against teachers who bully and harass LGBT staff or students. So your assertion that being identified as a bigot has “serious and destructive” consequences does not appear to be supported by evidence.

                      Mine is based on the assumption that there are truths we all strive for, and that our values and beliefs should be informed by those truths in a consistent and open way.

                      Which is what Kristen Ostendorf tried to do, and was promptly sacked for doing so. Do you feel that the school that fired her is a “society ready to drop off life support”?

                    • Dave G.

                      Hello Edinburgh Eye. I’ll assume your comment finally posted above.

                      My evidence is watch what happens to someone that the bigot label is placed upon. When you get hit with the bigot label, you are out. In some circles, that is the goto reason for dismissing someone or something. Like Barry Lynn says, this country has no place for tolerating religions that teach hatred and bigotry (that is, you are only free not to be a bigot, and we’ll leave folks to figure how bigotry is defined). To miss that is to spend way too little time missing the movements of our modern society (in the US at least).

                      As for the Golden Rule, it says no such thing. It says whatever you wish men would do to you, do so to them. It says nothing at all about whether a same sex relationship is ethical as long as the two people involved love each other. I want the source for that particular understanding of the acceptability of same sex relationships. The GR is not a blank check to say ‘whatever, everything is OK.’ It doesn’t mean everyone is OK and we can do anything and nobody can do anything about it.

                      So again, what is the source that says ‘there is nothing unethical about same sex relationships’? Something that actually says ‘same sex relationships are just fine and dandy ethically speaking.’

                      And I’m sure that’s what Kristen was doing. I have no problem people making truth claims, but if they begin to draw a line in the sand that says those outside of those truth claims are something as vile as a bigot, I want to know what their sources for those truth claims happen to be.

                    • EdinburghEye

                      When you get hit with the bigot label, you are out.

                      Out of what, Dave? What evidence can you show that being identified as a bigot carries any damaging consequences?

                      this country has no place for tolerating religions that teach hatred and bigotry

                      Got any evidence for that? I can’t think of any. There are plenty of branches of Christianity in the US that teach hatred and bigotry, and I have seen no evidence myself that any of them are denied a place in US culture.

                      As for the Golden Rule, it says no such thing. It says whatever you wish men would do to you, do so to them.

                      Yes. Dave, do you wish for all men to condemn your relationship with your wife or husband as “unethical and unhealthy” – without knowing anything about you, without knowing anything about your spouse, without knowing anything about your love for each other? Is that what you wish for – to be condemned without knowledge?

                      That’s not a rhetorical question, Dave. I’d like an answer.

                      . I want the source for that particular understanding of the acceptability of same sex relationships.

                      Why distinguish between same-sex and mixed-sex relationships and demand that all same-sex relationships prove to you that they’re not “unethical and unhealthy” while giving all mixed-sex relationships default acceptance until they prove otherwise? Unless you answered yes to the question at the end of the sixth paragraph of this comment, you are a hypocrite as well as a bigot: you are not practicing the Golden Rule and you are condemning people without knowledge.

                      An ethical and healthy relationship is one where two people treat each other in a trustworthy way. That applies whatever the gender or sexual orientation of the relationship. You want the “source” for my belief: you will find this in a thousand contexts, in a thousand texts,religious and irreligious, worldwide, and I cited you just one of them: Jesus’s instruction as to one of the two most important commandments. Do you believe it?

                    • Dave G.

                      The tolerating religions that promote hatred and bigotry was from Barry Lynn during an interview with Anderson Cooper on CNN. It was Lynn explaining why James Dobson supporting a Supreme Court Justice was the brink of doom, but religious leaders telling congress not to pass a marriage amendment was A-OK. That was Lynn’s explanation. A viewpoint he has repeated since. And he’s not exactly a voice in the wilderness there either. The NYT ran an editorial about two years ago in which we learned that people were beginning to question whether things like freedom of speech and religion should trump more obvious absolute rights like gender equality and sexual orientation.

                      And being called a bigot, I mean, do you think calling someone a bigot is a nice thing? A good thing? Something that helps in society? Hey Dan, you’re one hell of a bigot! Gee thanks guys, now I know I’ll get that job! Please, let’s not be obtuse here. Get hung with the bigot label in our country and see how easy it is to participate in the public forum.

                      And yes, you keep avoiding the subject. Where do you get that definition of an ethical relationship that includes same sex relationships? What is the source? Maybe all should condemn me. Maybe I’m the worst. Maybe my marriage is a sham. Fine. But upon what authority are you turning to make these judgments? The Golden Rule is not blank check for no rules, just right.’ A person doesn’t say ‘Hey, so what if I gang rape babies, Golden Rule dude!’ The Golden Rule doesn’t suddenly mean acceptance of homosexual normality is right or ethical. So what is the authority? What specifically says that a relationship need only be defined by two or more adults in a loving relationship with trust? What source are you appealing to. Where is the authority that you appeal to for that particular definition of an ethical relationship that includes same sex partners?

                    • EdinburghEye

                      Well, I don’t know Barry Lynn, so I wouldn’t take his word as gospel, okay?

                      And being called a bigot, I mean, do you think calling someone a bigot
                      is a nice thing? A good thing? Something that helps in society?

                      Yes, I do. When a bigot is expressing bigoted views, it’s not nice for people listening and not helpful to society, to politely refrain from publicly identifying the bigot. It’s a good thing to publicly identify bigoted views. It’s bad to keep silent. “In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends.”

                      I’ve asked you to give me evidence that openly expressing anti-gay bigotry is damaging in the way that being openly gay is. So far, you haven’t done so. Can you?

                      t. Where do you get that definition of an ethical relationship that includes same sex relationships?

                      I’ve given you my source twice so far. Disagree with me as you please, but stop evading the subject. You seem to think it’s okay to diss all same-sex relationships as “unethical and unhealthy”. I’ve asked you – and you haven’t answered – if that kind of blank bigoted condemnation is something you want for your own relationships.

                      person doesn’t say ‘Hey, so what if I gang rape babies, Golden Rule dude!’

                      Of course not. That’s because a man who is raping a baby does not have – ugh – a “trustworthy relationship”. No rapist has a “trustworthy relationship” with their victim. Your readiness to compare rape with consensual adult same-sex relationships is an expression of an extremely bigoted view about gay people.

                    • Dave G.

                      Barry Lynn is the president of Americans United for Separation of Church and State, one of the most influential and well known advocacy groups supposedly about keeping religion out of the political sphere, but as he has made clear, using the front as a means for leveraging against the societal and political inclusion of those who don’t conform to his values and beliefs (such as gay marriage).

                      As for the bigot thing. You’ve put the cart before the horse. You speak as if it’s simply a proven fact that same sex relationships are ethical, therefore it’s obviously true that to oppose them is bigotry. Well, you’re the one making the charge, and in this particular country, making the charge places the burden of proof on your shoulders. You, not I, have to prove that same sex relationships are ethical. And then for kicks you have to show that disagreeing is not merely an opinion that can be held by good people can disagree. What would be swell is if you then proved (after proving the first) that to disagree is itself bigotry, by showing the proof and the sources. Then, upon doing so, feel free to level the charge. You don’t get to start by saying ‘let’s just assume it’s obviously true and to disagree is bigotry’ and move on from there.

                      Of course not to the Golden Rule. That was my point. So exactly what texts are you using to prove that the Golden Rule applies any time and always to two or more people in a trusting relationship, but not at other times? I’ve not heard that interpretation of it.

                    • Dave G.

                      Let me make a correction. Lynn is properly the Executive Director at this stage in the game. I could also mention the mayors and councilmen last year that tried to run a food chain out of their towns because of its president’s religious opposition to gay marriage. The good news? Most who call themselves liberal, atheist or pro-gay rights opposed the actions as flagrant censorship and a clear violation of religious freedom by government officials. The bad news? A surprising number of people either made excuses for them or worse flat out supported the dawning of the era of no tolerance for non-conformists to the pro-gay marriage cause. Nevertheless, the chain’s president was forced to back peddle a bit, as are most who cross that line of failing to conform to modern dogmatic definitions of diversity.

                    • EdinburghEye

                      Thanks for clarifying that, Dave. I was able to look up Americans United for Separation of Church and State on CharityNavigator, and found that it has an annual revenue of about $8 million.

                      But I also looked up influential lobbying groups who oppose equal civil rights for LGBT people and same-sex families, and I found that – for example – Focus on the Family has an annual revenue of $95 million: the American Family Association has an annual revenue of $18 million: the Family Research Council has an annual revenue of $13 million: all of these groups claim a religious opposition to same-sex marriage. Now please, Dave, do tell: what is the position of these groups in American culture? Are they excluded from the mainstream?

                      You speak as if it’s simply a proven fact that same sex relationships are ethical

                      In any set of human relationships – gay or straight – you will find some unethical, and many ethical. You speak as if all same-sex relationships should be dismissed as unethical: as if you have no ability to distinguish between Pierre Laveillee and Lew Pryeor, together 34 years and married for 6 of them – and some closeted man who goes out on the downlow and has sex with men and hopes his wife doesn’t find out. Your lumping all same-sex relationships together and dismissing them as “unethical” is completely bigoted.

                      So exactly what texts are you using to prove that the Golden Rule applies any time and always to two or more people in a trusting relationship, but not at other times?

                      That’s a misinterpretation of what I said that strikes me as an argument in extreme bad faith, Dave. Given your refusal to engage or respond and your persistent repetition of bigotry, I fear I have to disengage. Thanks for your time.

                    • Dave G.

                      You need to include such things as the National Public Education system, the vast bulk of Hollywood and the entertainment industry, the UN, and with the exception of FOX News (to a point), the entire National News Media, as well as at least one half of the US Government and a increasingly vocal progressive faith community. Not a bad collection to have on your side. Beyond that, there are just as many ministries and groups working for gay rights, and we could spend hours linking to them. And unlike those not accepting homosexual normality, they have the weight of those industries and organizations I just mentioned backing them up.

                      And of course in any particular relationship in any combination there can be bad people Gay people can be the best and non-gay the worst. The opposite is true. But ethics isn’t about who is nice or good or enjoying something or feeling fine. It isn’t. Nor is it about people being bad or good or getting something out of something. Trust isn’t bad, it’s actually good. But it’s not the bedrock of all morality, and I doubt you’d say otherwise in other situations.

                      And nothing was meant in bad faith. I’m just getting desperate trying to impress upon you the need to provide the basis for your conclusion that it is obviously true that same sex relationships are ethical and to oppose them is bigotry. That’s too much of an assumption. And yes, they can be unethical, as broadly understood, if same sex relations are not considered proper. That’s really the crux. Does one accept homosexual normality or not? If so, then obviously there would be nothing wrong with same sex relationships. Call that a big duh.

                      But if not, then naturally the relationship built upon that is not going to be an acceptable one on a moral level. Using the Golden Rule in a case of ethics right or wrong is misusing the Golden Rule. The Golden Rule does not say ‘have no standards’, nor does it say ‘accept gay rights.’ It says we should treat others as we would have them treat us. It assumes we don’t do things like accept people no matter what so they accept us no matter what. Of course not. It doesn’t apply to making cases of what is right and wrong. Again, no bad faith intended, but I’m growing a bit miffed at your assumption that you’re obviously right, and that’s all that needs said. That’s the point. You aren’t obviously right. You certainly haven’t built any better of a case for calling people bigots for disagreeing with you than a fundamentalist might for saying people are sinners for disagreeing with him.

                      But clearly, on reflection and rereading, I said nothing in bad faith. I merely repeated what you said to justify your use of the GR. I think you had no intention of providing anything at all and used that strange objection as your out. I’m afraid you have simply declared your definitions to be true by default, and it isn’t merely wrong to disagree but evil, with no more justification than that. It’s a powerful trick of the progressive movement, that while claiming diversity and tolerance (though less often in recent years), it draws a thick moral line in the sand against which all humans are measured. As Barry Lynn explained to Anderson Cooper all those years ago, when Cooper objected that those pro-gay marriage religious leaders were pushing their beliefs on Congress: It’s not religious beliefs [to support gay marriage] that they were pushing. It’s Truth. Capital “T” Truth. And of course those advocating Truth should be at one with our government, and those opposing? Well Edinburgh, you’ve provided the answer. Have a nice day and thank you for your time.

                    • Dave G.

                      One more thing. The whole thing that I was acting in bad faith and so you had to discontinue the discussion. I had to chuckle. That reminded me of the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where Bugs is with Dr. Jekyll. He eventually drinks the potion toward the end of the short. Dr. Jekyll then asks him if he drank the brew. Bugs becomes indignant and storms out when, as the audience knows, he did drink the brew as Dr. Jekyll guessed. I suppose it’s because the bad faith was simply following the very standard for the GR you were applying. Again, probably more of an excuse than a clear reason. But eh, it brought back some fun childhood memories.

                    • Rosemarie

                      BENYACHOV STRIKES AGAIN

                      Not to be “rude” but does someone from a country rife with anti-Catholicsim(in the 21st century no less! This isn’t 1700’s) get to come here and lecture Catholics on the Golden Rule?

                      “Physician heal thyself! Why care you about the stick in your brother’s eye but not the log in your own?”

                      see link


                    • Rosemarie

                      BENYACHOV CHIMES IN .

                      I love this guy! He calls us bigots for believing having sex with someone the same gender as yourself offends the Law of God and Natural Law but if I say Scotland is a country that has an anti-Catholic problem then I am “rude”?

                      Again hypocrite much?

                    • EdinburghEye

                      Hi Dave – I wrote a response, posted it, it seemed to be visible, but now it seems to have disappeared. If I’ve contravened the rules of the site, c’est la vie. I don’t feel inclined to retype it when I don’t know why it vanished.

              • Athelstane

                Well, when you’ve run out of arguments, name-calling is always hard to resist – but I wish you would have tried.

                Come on. You can do better than this.

              • ladycygnus

                I didn’t realize majority vote counted as evidence.

  • Churro Pope

    I have little doubt that the Catholic Church will eventually declare that anyone who gets gay “married” incurs latae sentenciae excommunication, so…

    • Irksome1

      I have never heard it suggested that this is something Rome has even contemplated. While I understand that there are those who would draw some measure of emotional satisfaction were such excommunications on the books, there are far more practical reasons, I think, why this would be a bad idea. The first is that this appears punitive, not medicinal and therefore represents a break from current practice as the person excommunicated in this fashion, for this offense, is more likely to be confirmed in his choice for such a “marriage” rather than to seek reconciliation.

      Also, it’s hard for me to figure out what the logistics of a reconciliation might be. Other such offenses are remedied by sacramental confession. It’s unclear that this would be sufficient in the case of a gay “marriage.” Must a divorce be finalized or is merely filing paperwork sufficient? What if the potential penitent does not have the filing fee? Does it matter if the marriage is sanctioned by the state or do private arrangements outside the law also count (e.g., civil unions, cohabitation)? What about cohabiting couples where no sex is involved, or should the Code presume sinful behavior in all legally arranged relationships involving two members of the same sex?

      My guess is that it would be easier to excommunicate someone for any physically manifested same-sex sexual act. Of course, that comes with its own problems. Given that you’re sure about this, and given the Church’s trend at reducing the number of offenses resulting in automatic excommunication, can you provide anything to substantiate your assurance beyond wishful thinking?

    • Andy, Bad Person

      I’m no canon lawyer, so there may be other factors involved but grounds for punishment already exist:

      Can. 1379 A person who, apart from the cases mentioned in Can. 1378, pretends to administer a sacrament, is to be punished with a just penalty.

      However, I also agree with Irksome1 that it’s probably not helpful either way.

      • kenofken

        A civil marriage is not a sacrament nor the pretense of one. If a priest illicitly sanctioned a same sex marriage that would be a different matter.

        • Andy, Bad Person

          It depends on the circumstances. A civil ceremony? I don’t know, but if a homosexual couple were to do so in a Church, it would be a pretty simple case.

  • Steve

    Mark, I would appreciate more of your thoughts on this. That is to say, something more than the sarcastic fake-quote above.

    Precisely what did they do that justifies public hatred? What should they have done? How does their handling of this situation differ from what Jesus told people to do in Matthew 18:17? Is the Catholic practice of excommunication incompatible with love?

    Something more than drive-by mockery is warranted, I think.

    • EdinburghEye

      Well, quite. The church in question has now made clear where it stands on loving your neighbour as yourself, if your neighbour’s gay. Church membership is voluntary, and anyone who belongs to that church who makes the mistake of thinking of gay people as human beings entitled to equal justice under the law, is now on fair notice that this sort of thinking is not wanted in that church.

      Let those who believe in love and justice and truth and kindness deal with that church that is against those things as they would with “a gentile and a tax collector”, since “Truly I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall have been bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall have been loosed in heaven.”

      • Steve

        Good sir, the case you’ve made may strongly state your position, but I don’t think it would be very persuasive to those who sympathize with the church in question.

        There are good people on this forum don’t think Christian “love” is just a sort of radical, unconditional niceness.

        • EdinburghEye

          Christian “love” is whatever it is: once you have to put inverted commas around it, you’ve obviously got a special meaning for the word.

          Anyone who sympathises with the church in question is clearly also of the view that gay people deserve neither justice as citizens nor the love of a neighbour nor even the love of a mother. So I agree, no one who sympathises with that evil church is going to be persuaded by me…

          Christian love – no inverted commas – is something alien to that kind of church: and therefore, while I accept that this church has a right to reject people who stand up for Christian love and to demand that its members embrace Christianity as a religion of rejection and contempt, well: who wants to belong to that church?

          I have no time for “radical, unconditional niceness”. The appropriate reaction to a church that teaches this kind of evil is angry contempt, not niceness.

          • Steve

            And you are indeed manifesting angry contempt.

            The inverted commas are called “quotation marks”, to the best of my knowledge.

            • EdinburghEye

              Indeed. When a word is being used ironically or outside its usual meaning, “quotation marks” are used to set it off from the text. Christian love versus Christian “love”.

          • Rosemarie

            MORE BENYACHOV or should I say MACJAMES(both mean “Son of James” which is the meaning of my online moniker)

            >Christian “love” is whatever it is: once you have to put inverted commas around it, you’ve obviously got a special meaning for the word.

            We are Catholics here keep your John Knox Protestant nonsense out of this! The idea that the Scripture is clear, perspicuous is heresy.

            You can’t interpret “love thy Neighbor” in isolation from the rest of Scripture & Tradition. Anymore than you can intepret “I come not to bring Peace but a Sword” from the rest of Scripture etc.

            Yup! Scotland has gone south IQ wise since my Great, great, great, great, great Granfather William Scott left her 200 years ago to seek his fortune at sea. Someone in my family should go back one day if only to boost the collective intelligence.

      • Rosemarie

        MORE BENYAHOV in this online Scotish Clan war!

        >Well, quite. The church in question has now made clear where it stands on loving your neighbour as yourself, if your neighbour’s gay.

        Where does the Catechism of the Catholic Church, Catechism of Trent, Catechism of St Pius X, Apostolic Tradition, Church Fathers, writings of the Saints, Church Councils or Papal decrees formally and dogmatically define “Love thy Neighbor” to mean allowing your neighbor to undermine the Holy Faith by there false beliefs or actions?”.

        It doesn’t. This is your interpretation & what gives you the right to impose it on us? Who the hell are you?

        I am not against reaching out to these people & helping them find other jobs but it was 100% just that they lost it.

  • kenofken

    If Friday is public linen washing day, it’s fair to point out that at a Catholic diocese in Colorado kicked a pre-school kid out of its school in 2010 because the kid’s parents are lesbians. Honestly, the obstinance and gall of these four-year-olds! If the kid had any moral fiber, she should not have endorse her moms’ sinful actions by living at home and letting them drive her to school! An Anglican outfit in the Dallas area did the same thing that same year.

    • Are you really characterizing an event like this this way? Are you a serious human being? As if the philosophy and attitudes of the parents had nothing to do with a school’s philosophy and attitudes. Schools absolutely should have the ability to set limits to what philosophies and attitudes the parents of its students may espouse. Schools are working with parents, and we should not be forced to engage in a lot of bulls*** happy talk about how it’s completely fine that Johnny has been unjustly deprived of a father and there’s nothing wrong with that at all.

      We tolerate divorce. We tolerate single parenting. But both of those things are acknowledged by all involved to be unfortunate situations – perhaps unavoidable, but still unfortunate. But we’re being instructed not to tolerate gay parenting, but to celebrate it, and that’s something Christian schools (Catholic or Protestant) just cannot do. Stop pretending we can.

      • Benjamin 2.0

        Still and all, the better approach would be to teach moral truth in the school and leave the pull-the-kid-out-of-the-system card in the “parents'” hands. You’re flirting with a stupid frivolous lawsuit either way, but that way the kid manages to learn something.

        • kenofken

          As it stands now, the Colorado Archdiocese succeeded where Richard Dawkins and Communist regimes failed for a century: They developed a 100% effective childhood vaccine that provides lifelong immunity from Catholicism.

          • Oh, balls. What provides a lifelong immunity from Catholicism is believing with all your heart that the judgments of the world are true and righteous altogether.

      • SteveP

        Of course he is a serious human being – cannot you not see
        he is walking on two legs and carries a whip in his trotter?

    • Rosemarie


      So if two Messianic Jewish parents(i.e. similar to Jews for Jesus) sent their kids to an Orthodox or Conservative Jewish Yeshiva they should be allowed to sue them if their kids are kicked out because their parents are trying convince other Jewish People to confess Jesus as the Messiah of the Jewish people? They should also be shocked at the narrow mindedness of the non-Jesus believing Jews who run the school & be indignant how they are punishing the innocent kid for their parents belief?

      Maybe I could get a job working for the next Democratic Presidential candidate and act all indignant when someone catches me making cold calls for the Republican candidate & fires me?

      Think of my poor kids being punished because of the intolerance shown their Father’s different beliefs & the injustice of me loosing my Job?

      That makes sense to you doesn’t it Ken?

    • Valerie Hurst

      Good. Every child should have a father. A woman with a crewcut is not a substitute. You are very silly.

  • An Aaron, not The Aaron

    Menacing Gay Visigoth for Tolerance (MGVT) forces town to subsidize her sinful lifestyle. Mother of MGVT, rather than trying to help her daughter turn away from a lifestyle that could imperil her soul, publicly supports not only MGVT’s lifestyle but also MGVT’s efforts to force the town (including, presumably, members of the mother’s church) to subsidize her sinful lifestyle. The church, rightly concerned about the mother’s apparent lack of interest in her child’s spiritual well-being and her public support of her daughter’s efforts to force them to subsidize her daughter’s lifestyle with their taxes, calls the mother on it in a manner, that appears to mirror how Jesus told the Apostles to handle such things in Matthew 18:15-17. Faced with the mother’s defiance and willful violation of the church’s teachings, the church acts pretty much like St. Paul did in 1 Corinthians 5. Not sure where the problem is here, Mark. Perhaps you can explain your objection a little more clearly?

  • Rosemarie


    If the Church is a “hospital for sinners,” I’m generally more in favor of sinners remaining in the hospital rather than being sent out to die in the streets. Excommunication should only be done as a last resort in extreme circumstances and not for punitive purposes. I’m still mulling over this incident, but I’m leaning toward the idea that they should have kept her in the congregation and prayed
    for her to see the light. If she was, from a position of authority in the ecclesial community, obstinately and vocally teaching church members that homosexual activity is not sinful, then maybe excommunication would have been in order. But if it was just her actions outside of church maybe she should have been treated differently. Like I said, I’m still pondering this.

    Of course, this wasn’t a Catholic church so that complicates matters a little. They’re not bound by Tradition or any kind of canon law so they can pretty much do as they please according to their private interpretation of Scripture. Also, they don’t have all seven Sacraments so it’s not like I can say, “She should stay in the Church to benefit from sacramental grace.”

    • Dave G.

      You’re right about it not being the Catholic Church. There are several factors that make something like this very difficult for a small denomination or a church like this. Of course CNN is using this for a reason. And we do nothing but help that reason by jumping on board. But it is more complicated than CNN allows (assuming, again, the story is spot on regarding what happened and there aren’t sides we haven’t heard). In a situation like this, when you have to confront something in a smaller congregation (even the largest churches in Evangelical churches are minuscule compared to many Catholic parishes), it’s difficult in the best of days. Given the whirlwind and so many added motivations, I can only imagine what was going on in that church when this happened.

      • Never, ever, ever accept the MSM’s take on a local matter, no matter what. Everything they observe is interpreted through an interpretive filter that causes them to misunderstand everything.

        I don’t know who’s right, here. I just know CNN’s wrong.

        • Rosemarie


          Part of why I haven’t come to a conclusion yet is because I suspect we’re not getting the full story from the MSM. If the mother was just sitting there quietly I’d say the fellowship overreacted. If she was loud and outspoken that could shed light on why they did what they did.

          • Dave G.

            Well done. If only others had followed your lead.

    • Athelstane

      “I’m still mulling over this incident, but I’m leaning toward the idea that they should have kept her in the congregation and prayed for her to see the light.”

      I think that’s where I am as well.

      It they continue to teach the wrongfulness of these acts, but the mother continues to believe otherwise, she’ll leave of her own accord – barring an intervention of grace.

      • Rosemarie


        Yeah, and that might have been the better way to go. Even the Catholic Church rarely excommunicates anyone, and then it’s more likely to be a member of the clergy. Lay people are rarely excommunicated though they often leave on their own due to disagreements with the Church.

        (I’m talking ferendae sententiae excommunication, not latae sententiae which occurs automatically for such things as procuring abortion. When they kicked this woman out of her fellowship it was more like a ferendae sententiae excommunication. Though, of course, it wasn’t actually that because they don’t possess the same authority as the Catholic Church’s hierarchy).

  • bob

    Wow. All I can say to you people is … Wow.

    • Dave G.

      Which people? You have some condemning the actions of the church in question and some either defending or at least saying they can understand the actions of the church in the article.

      • bob

        If you can’t tell whichside of his debate is the crazy side, then… Wow.
        How is it even possible to sympathize with the idea that someone should be thrown out of her church merely for loving her dàughter?
        How deep must run you hatred to think that a woman appearing SILENTLY ata public hearing constitutes giving scandal?
        How warped must be your heart to argue that excommunicating someone for disowning her daughter, or for not publicly disavowing her, constitutes some kind or moral correction?

        • Dave G.

          Wow bob, what’s it like to be the gold standard against which all moral living is measured? Most of us haven’t got that high on the mount yet. FWIW, some see this as a slow encroachment into the Church itself. After all, this is ‘inside a church’ where the issue is supposed to be up to the churches which are, we all know, exempt from the demand to conform to homosexual normality. Stories like this are, of course, to remind us that such a distinction must ultimately go the way of the dodo bird.

          BTW, the concept of excommunicating doesn’t apply to a denomination like the CoC. If you don’t know that, please do yourself a favor and cease commenting now before you embarrass yourself.

          Oh, and all those on this thread who have been a pastor of an Evangelical denomination like this, please feel free. Otherwise, don’t comment on what you couldn’t understand (unless there are other motivations at hand for jumping on CNN’s rather obvious agenda driven bandwagon).

          • bob

            First, Dave, here’s the meaning of the word excommunication:
            “an ecclesiastical censure depriving a person of the rights of church membership.”
            I took it from this crazy new fangled modern invention of Satanists and Protestants. It’s called a dictionary. Please, Dave, know what words mean. (And news flash, Catholics: you don’t get to decide the meaning of words.)
            As for the gold standard of morality: nope, not me. But I sure do know what modern day bigotry looks like when I see it.

            • Dave G.

              So when a Catholic church excommunicates someone it must be the same exact thing as when a Church of Christ “excommunicates someone?” Amazing how those Satanists and Protestants (all I need to know BTW) can be so different from the Church and yet so much the same. Don’t use a word and then rush to the dictionary to defend it. Shockingly, the word might have different meanings in the two traditions.

              But being the gold standard is required when you define bigotry as not conforming to your standards. Yes, it’s the great sleight of hand of the liberal movement that gave rise to gay rights. On one hand, it was about live and let live, tolerance, diversity and respecting other opinions. On the other, you could either be evil or conform. Since that’s obviously your opinion, I doubt further discussion will work. It’s enough to say that you’re just who CNN was playing to with this story, with a little help from Mark.

        • Stu

          Gee, Bob. If it were my daughter, I could still love her without supporting her choice to engage in a homosexual lifestyle or support her efforts to change society to promote homosexual lifestyles. Not everything our children wants is good for them.

        • kenofken

          When non-Christian religions require members to severe close family ties or shun their loved ones as a condition of doctrinal purity, we call that creepy and a hallmark of what it means to be a cult. In Scientology, it’s called “disconnection.”

  • EdinburghEye

    But, cheer up, Mark. Kristen Ostendorf got sacked by her Catholic school employers before she could start persecuting them and showing her contempt for democracy by being open about being in a relationship with another woman. Thus demonstrating how tolerant and loving the Catholic church is towards everyone, unless you’re gay.

    • Melissa

      No, she didn’t show her contempt for democracy by being in an open relationship with another woman. She showed contempt for the values and morals of her employers and the families that attend that Catholic school by being in an open lesbian relationship. There is a difference.

      • EdinburghEye

        I suppose she did, since the values and morals of her employers required that she be dishonest about her other half, and indeed her employers had already sacked another gay person for being honest about his relationship. Values and morals which set dishonesty above love are only worthy of contempt.

        • Stu

          Again, how was she required to be dishonest?

          • EdinburghEye

            She was required to be dishonest if she wanted to keep her job.
            As was demonstrated, when her honesty cost her her job.

            • Athelstane

              Perhaps she should have worked to obtain a job with an employer that does not have a moral stance on relationships like hers.

              • EdinburghEye

                As she says in the interview I linked to:
                “The fact is, I stood up in a room of 120 people [her colleagues at the school] and said, ‘I’m gay, I’m
                in a relationship with a woman, and I’m happy.’ Probably I’m never going to work in the Catholic Church again.”

                She’s a Catholic. But, because she is now an openly-gay Catholic, no Catholic institution will employ her.

                The interesting thing is, Athelstane, that in theory the Catholic Church also has a “moral stance” on divorce, doesn’t it? Eighteen years ago, when she first got the job at the school, she was married. Her husband also worked at the school. They got divorced. They both went on working at the school. So does the Catholic Church no longer have a moral stance on divorce?

                • Stu

                  Catholics can divorce. The issue is when they attempt to remarry.

                • Rosemarie

                  BENYACHOV HERE!!!!!!!!

                  >You are of course free to insult my country as you please: to coin a phrase, I support your right to free speech, but I defend to the death my right to think you an asshole for saying it.

                  It’s my ancestral country too so I will say what I like & in the most curmudgeonly way possible as is the tradition of our people being my actual name is James McLellan Scott. So there ya daft git!

                  >Yenyachov, can I just correct a few mistaken assumptions you’ve made about Kristen Ostendorf?

                  Yes I confused her with the Lesbian woman that got fired & sued the school. Never the less my point stands. If I worked for an Orthodox Jewish Yeshiva for 18 years then announced I am now a member of Jews For Jesus I shouldn’t act surprised if I get the sack. If I worked for the Society for Promoting Atheism and Freethought I should not be surprised if I am asked to leave if I inform them I now believe in God & am devoted to missionary work.

                  If I worked for the Obama campaign I should get the sack if I tell them I am giving out vote for Romney leaflets. If I get a sex change or have an openly gay relationship then I shouldn’t work for a Catholic School. This phony baloney pseudo-progressive nonsense it just an excuse for fascism and imposing your views on others.

                  >She’s a Catholic. But, because she is now an openly-gay Catholic, no Catholic institution will employ her.

                  I’m a registered Democrat who openly votes for Republican and Conservative candidates I can’t get a job working for a Democratic candidate either. I believe in God so I can’t get a Job working for any organization that has as it’s mission statement the promotion of Atheism and “free thought”. I believe Jewish people should freely choose to accept Jesus as their Messiah & no Yesheva will employ me.

                  Boo freakin shoo! I have the world’s smallest bag pipes here on the tip of my pinky playing Danny Boy for ya.

                  You outrage is phony & am unimpressed!

                  • Rosemarie

                    BENYACHOV again

                    PS I know, my wife informs me Danny Boy is an Irish American song. So what? I have Irish and Welsh ancestors too. Besides I’m not going to dis Eyeboy by recommending Scotland the Brave or Flower of Scotland. I love Scotland but I don’t much care for anti-Catholic Scots & I have no problem letting them know it.

                  • EdinburghEye

                    It’s my ancestral country too

                    It’s my country. This is where I live. We’re used to rude American tourists, including those who like to claim that Scotland is “their ancestral country” because maybe one of their grandparents was born here. Benyachov, no American tourist as rude and phony as you would get the time of day in Scotland.

                    • Rosemarie

                      BENYACHOV RESPONDS!

                      >It’s my country. This is where I live.

                      It’s my Faith & my Church! It’s where I live no matter where I go.

                      Is the Catholic Church your Church? Well fess up!
                      So what gives you the right to open your fat mouth?

                      So it’s OK for you to attack Catholics & to criticize our Church but I criticize Scotish Society(which has a problem with anti-Catholicism BTW) that is off limits?

                      Gee hypocrite much? Not to mention a whiny wee girl!

                      >We’re used to rude American tourists, including those who like to claim that Scotland is “their ancestral country” because maybe one of their grandparents was born here.

                      But attacking a Catholic School for merely enforcing Church teaching & accusing us of being unloving isn’t rude?

                      Typical Scott you have no problem being a jerk to others but can’t stand it when given a taste of your own medicine!

                      (Come to think of it I have that problem. Must be genetic)

                      >Benyachov, no American tourist as rude and phony as you would get the time of day in Scotland.

                      If you mean from Neo-Fascist Politically Correct hypocrites like your self ye can keep the time. I’ll bring an I-phone.

                • Athelstane

                  So does the Catholic Church no longer have a moral stance on divorce?

                  No, it still does – even if it gets soft-peddled way too often by priests and catechists without chests (as Lewis might put it).

                  And let me say this: If these teachers were divorced and received no annulment (and yes, I know, the annulment process has been abused too often, with too many granted for dubious grounds) but remarried, I think the school had a responsibility to not employ either of them. (And I do know Catholic schools which have released employees who have done just this, and I think they were correct to do so).

                  If they merely divorced and did NOT remarry…there’s a risk of scandal, and that requires prudential consideration. It’s also true that mere separation is not against Church teaching. If they undertake to live lives of celibacy, this could be acceptable.

                  But there are no conditions whatsoever where a homosexual relationship could be acceptable. It’s disordered. I know you disagree with that, Edinburgh, and I’m sorry for it; but the Church has always taught this, and it has the right to teach this.

            • Stu

              Sometimes being honest comes with consequences. Question of priorities. But no one required her to be dishonest. That was her choice.

            • chezami

              No. She was required to be quiet. She knew what her employer’s requirements were.

        • Rosemarie


          Have you asked yourself the question? Why would someone want to work for a religious School which taught her chosen lifestyle is a sin? I can’t see myself working for a Muslim School that required me to repudiate the Trinity or Deity of Christ. I simply would not choose to work there.

          If I lied and pretended I rejected the Trinity when I don’t then what does that say about me? Aren’t there a host of public schools where this Lesbian woman living with another woman could work?

          OTOH if I was intent on being a pseudo-Progressive Fascist pill who wanted to punish Catholics for being Catholics I can understand getting a job at a Catholic School. Agreeing to respect Catholic teaching then break my word & suing them when they kick me out for breaking that word. All I have to do then is find an Jury of anti-Catholic jerks like the ones who inhabit the halls of power in modern Scotland.

          I can see when my 5th Great Grandfather left that country 200+ years ago the collective IQ dropped an order of magnitude. But at least the people in the Cayman Islands and Alabama got smarter.

          • EdinburghEye

            Benyachov, can I just correct a few mistaken assumptions you’ve made about Kristen Ostendorf? She’d worked at Totino-Grace High School for 18 years. Your presumption that she got the job as “a pseudo-Progressive Fascist pill who wanted to punish Catholics for being Catholics” would seem to be in error, unless you’re assuming an awfully long lead time.

            While it’s possible she may have grounds for a lawsuit (while the school may have had the legal right to fire her for coming out about her relationship with another woman, it seems unlikely that they followed proper procedure since she came out on 21st August and was sacked only days later) – there is no indication that she has in fact sued them, or that she wishes to do so.

            You are of course free to insult my country as you please: to coin a phrase, I support your right to free speech, but I defend to the death my right to think you an asshole for saying it.

    • chezami

      Dude: You go to work in a Caholic school, you agree to live by school rules.

      • EdinburghEye

        And the school rules are: if you’re gay and in a relationship, you’ve got to lie to everyone about your relationship. Got it. Catholic values, according to you, are that gay people are required to be dishonest.

        Have to say – as I said to Melissa – that a school whose values require teachers to lie, is a school that a teacher should feel honoured to have been sacked from.

        • Stu

          Or be honest and accept the consequences. That’s the standup thing to do.

          • EdinburghEye

            Exactly. Just what she did.

            • Stu

              Then there is no problem.

              • EdinburghEye

                Only if you don’t see a problem with a woman being fired from her job after 18 years because she was honest about herself.

                • Stu

                  I’d be more impressed if she voluntarily resigned because it was obvious that her values didn’t coincide with that of the institution from which she took money.

                  • EdinburghEye

                    You’re still trying to make Kristen Ostendorf the villain of the story. Doesn’t work, Stu.

                    • Stu

                      Villian? Not at all.

                      Misguided? Absolutely.

                      Some manner of hero? No way.
                      If she wants to stand up for her beliefs, then take what comes with it. Don’t do it ant then whine. Her lifestyle choice is incompatible with a teaching position with the Church. The fact that she isn’t quick enough to figure that out on her own only reaffirms that she needed to go.

                    • Athelstane

                      Well said, Stu.

                      It’s a free country, as they say. Kristen is free to live in a homosexual relationship; no one is breaking down her door.

                      But the Church has a clear teaching on this: Homosexuality is disordered, and homosexual acts are gravely evil. Nonetheless, they “must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity.” But that does not mean they are entitled to teach our children in Catholic schools. By allowing them to do so, we re creating a terrible witness that undercuts our own teachings.

                      Look, the bottom like for “EdinburghEye” isn’t really the employment policies of Catholic schools, but the teaching of the Church itself. Well, EE, you are, as they say, entitled to your belief; but you have no right, and neither does this teacher, to force your belief on our Church and on our schools.

    • EdinburghEye

      To summarise the various commenters below: You are all trying to make Kristen Ostendorf the villain in the story of how she came out spontaneously to her work colleagues, and got promptly sacked from the school where she’d worked for 18 years. And this doesn’t work. Because she isn’t.

      • SteveP

        I’d summarize your comments here as: without a villain there is no drama; without drama, there is no gay.

  • Melissa

    Joe Carter at Get Religion did a post on this a few weeks ago. It’s really not fair to judge a Christian congregation simply by a one-sided story done by CNN.

  • Dave G.

    The more I look a this thread, my vote goes for those who say ‘Gee, maybe the CNN story isn’t the final word and we should wait to find out more, and reserve judgement since it’s really a congregation working things out.’ Well done. Strike one for the better way to approach issues like this.

    • Dave G.

      Who put a thumbs down on ‘maybe we should wait for more facts before we condemn other Christians?’

  • mitchw7959

    Thank God I was baptized and raised as an Episcopalian, and as a result my parents and I have never had to put up with this kind of bigotry and hatred from our faith community.

    • Dave G.

      The irony of your statement is stunning. All the church did was oppose the only thing that matters to 21st century America. And in return they are dealt a string of self righteous hatred and contempt by people – who weren’t even there and only have a CNN article to go with I might add – in a way that makes Jack Chick’s view of Catholicism seem respectful and fair by comparison.

    • Athelstane

      Spoken like…a true Episcopalian.

    • Neihan

      The Episcopalian, standing by himself, was praying thus, “God, I thank you that I am not like other people”.

      • Dave G.

        That’s it! That’s what was in my mind when I read these ‘look at those vile Christians over there, what disgraces to the Pure Gospel they are! comments. Something kept buzzing about in the back of my mind and I couldn’t place my finger on it.. Thank you, thank you. Not that we can’t say I think someone is wrong or didn’t do something in a good way. But it’s *how* and *what* we’re saying about it. When I see a post or some of the comments like this from now on, I’m thinking Luke 18.

  • Kirsten Hey

    Can someone please tell me where in the Bible Jesus condemns homosexuality? I’ve read the gospels several times and as far as I can see, he doesn’t mention it once. The way some of the churches go on about it, you’d think it was all he ever talked about. But he didn’t, which makes me think perhaps he wasn’t bothered about it. He does say an awful lot about being nice to each other, looking after the poor and vulnerable, and being nice to each other though.

    • Dave G.

      Well Jesus didn’t specifically condemn pornography either, but most Christians find fault with it. The idea that if Jesus doesn’t specifically condemn something it doesn’t matter isn’t a very strong one given the vast number of specific topics Jesus doesn’t address. Jesus *does* assume a male/female marriage when the subject is brought up, if we’re that worried about what Jesus would say. And of course homosexuality is clearly presented as a departure from acceptable sexual behavior in both the OT and NT, which traditionally were understood as important parts of the biblical witness.

      Attempts to suggest that they didn’t mean homosexual relationships in Romans, or Paul really meant fellows who were of a particular cultural standing never hold much weight, especially if the entire canon is looked at as a whole,. A simple face value reading shows, like the great David Gushee once pointed out in an ethics lecture, that like it or not, the Scriptural witness is that homosexuality is seen as a particular example of deviation from God’s plan for sexuality as a whole. And it’s consistently presented as such.

      • Kirsten Hey

        But wouldn’t you think the churches would do better to concentrate on the things that Jesus clearly thought were the most important, as evidenced by the number of times he talked about them? If he says “be nice to each other, love each other, forgive each other, be kind to each other” 200 times and doesn’t mention homosexuality once, isn’t it obvious which mattered most to him? Isn’t it obvious that the churches should spend more time being kind and less time being harsh and judgemental?

        • SteveP

          Jesus did seem pretty harsh – look at Luke 12:13 where a brother is asking for equality. How about we update the question to reflect the contemporary issue: Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my [municipality] to share the inheritance with [my ‘domestic partner’].”
          Does the Jesus’ answer change as well to “be nice”?

        • Dave G.

          It’s worth noting Kristen that I’ve been a Catholic for almost eight years. I’ve visited many parishes. I’ve heard many homilies. I have yet to hear the word ‘Homosexuality’ mentioned. On a couple of occasions there has been mention that marriage is between a man and a woman. But that’s about it. The idea presented in the media that Catholics gather on Sundays and say ‘the heck with this Eucharist stuff, let’s trash homosexual!’ is far from the mark. Even in my evangelical days, believe it or not, the subject usually only came up when we were hit with it. The issue has been made a major topic by forces well outside the walls of the church. And those forces, as this article rather clearly and subtly suggests, have no desire to stop at the church door. Still, in it all, most church’s I’ve known Protestant and Catholic alike spend scant time with this issue in the actual living out of the faith.

        • Chesire11

          Christ taught us about love, and warned us against the things that lead us away from love. Those things are usually described as the seven deadly sins: pride, greed, jealousy, envy, lust, sloth, and wrath, but what they all amount to is an ordering of the will away from God, in favor an idolatry of the self. Christ did not need to enumerate every single possible manifestation of this falling away from grace any more than a math teacher must teach his class the answer to every possible equation. The fact that a thing was not specifically prohibited by Christ doesn’t mean that it is therefore permissible. He does not dictate every detail of every prohibition to us, rather, He taught us the Truth, and it is up to us united in His Holy Church to apply them to the context of our times, or rather to read our times in the light of the Truth.

          The awful tyranny of the self manifests its challenge according to the culture and the age. In Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany it presented itself as a denial of the rights of man, subordinating them to the authority of the state, or the impersonal power of the historical dialectic, and so the Church championed the sacred dignity of every individual, made in the image and likeness of our creator.

          Today the threat manifests in a fetishization of the individual that severs the bonds of the human family, and preaches a libertine creed of moral relativism; and so today the Church asserts the solidarity of the human family and the existence of moral authority.

          My point is that there really wasn’t much need to preach against the moral danger of homosexuality in times and cultures where the danger was almost universally understood. (Similarly, there is little need to denounce the evils of slavery to 21st Americans.) Just as the cry, “Man overboard,” serves little purpose when all is well, but once man falls into the sea, becomes imperative, so it is that only in modern times, when the moral consensus against homosexual sexual activity has broken down that the Church needs to raise its voice to correct us from error, and so this is the warning cry for our times.

        • God loves you

          God will judge us all one day. One day every tongue will confess he is God. Even the smallest sin is still sin.
          Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
          Their is your answer
          Kirsten hey.

          • Pieter

            Hi Good day God loves you.

            You just preached a great deal o love, great to see that is what Christianity has to turn to! Fear!! You just tried to scare the living daylights out of everyone by saying we will all be judged! It is true though we will be judged, one thing you have wrong is that we will not be judged for our sins but if we accept Jesus Christ as our God! I know user name is God loves you, so why don’t you try it, maybe it works when you love and not judge and try to put the fear of hell into people. As far as I know the Bible God isn’t fear but love and just! It gives me great sadness when I see Christians that can not respond in a loving way like there Father!

    • chezami

      You do get that Jesus was a Jew and accept the moral teaching of Judaism about the morality of homosexual acts, right?

    • lindor1695

      Jesus doesn’t say anything. The haters are so full of guilt and shame they make it up to judge everyone else.

  • Lilac

    Well actually the Bible does talk about homosexuality, that in fact there is a direct statement against homosexuality…..Leviticus 20:13 – “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.
    —–SO if you are a Christian that supports gay rights you need to reevaluate your doctrine, because you’re not actually abiding by it…
    I feel that the Christians of today, speaking as an atheist, take scriptures that are convenient and ignore the scriptures that interfere with their wants and needs

    • Eliana

      Thank you for mentioning Leviticus 20:13. It makes me mad when people talk about the Bible as if they read it every day. The word homosexual is not in the Bible but the act of homosexuality is described. Also people keep saying that God loves everyone so he also loves homosexuals. Yes, God loves the sinner but does not love the sin. As a Christian, I do not believe that homosexuality is right but that does not give me the right to be mean or to discriminate a homosexual. I treat them just like I treat everyone else, with respect.

  • atheist

    Christians are hypocrites they think they re better than every one. I think Christianity should be illegal since Christians cause so much damage in people’s lives.

    • Protozooooone

      actually the BAD christians do that. Same with the BAD muslims and BAD atheists and BAD gays and.
      We shouldn’t outlaw any belief. If you outlaw them, War Will Come. Everyone has the right to believe and listen to what they want. But no one has the right to harm anyone with those beliefs. This applies to everyone.
      The Final Solution: “Try to be good. But don’t fck anyone for mistakes” 🙂

      • Amir

        Gay nor homosexuality is NOT a religion.

  • OO

    I agree. It is a way to brainwash others.

  • Truth_Faceit_or_Leaveit

    The real truth is that most people suck. Whether Christian, Muslim, Atheist, White, Black, Asian, Gay, Bi, Priest, Politic or whatever, A LOT of people suck. They abuse religion for their own gain. I’m Christian and think that everyone is equal gay or Muslim or neither. I might disagree with homosexuality. But I have no right to judge you guys for it.
    -The good Christian’s motto is: “I disagree with you, but do whatever you want as long as it doesn’t hurt me or my loved ones. Jesus loves you and me equally :).”
    -The nominal bad christian’s motto: “I disagree with you. And I’ll make life miserable for you because I’m better and gooder more special and more loved than you by Jesus. FCK YOU! ”

    Christians brothers…. don’t do the hypocriscy thing plz.

  • Bsylesom90

    I heard this once: “Jesus is about grace, but a lot of christians are disgrace.”

    • fdakdas454

      exactly and also kindless

  • monkey

    You people keep talking about good Christians. I haven’t met one yet. You’re all full of hate and hypocrisy.

    Your religion furthers those hateful feelings. It gives you justification for them. I knew someone awhile back who I found of FB. She posted a comment that basically said “Merry Christmas. If you don’t like it, too fucking bad.”

    I then told her to fuck off and she then said I was a freak who needed professional help, and so on. This is a prime example of how Christian’s work.

    Also, I hate to break it to you, but Jesus didn’t even exist. Everything that was written about him came years later, as various writers added to the god lie. There is not one ounce of historical evidence that shows this guy existed. It’s the same with all religions.

    • chezami

      I’m sorry you’ve been treated badly. Still “all” is a big word. You might want to rethink it, since you just denounced everybody from Martin Luther King to Mother Teresa and St. Francis to Louis Pasteur to Shakespeare as “full of hate and hypocrisy”. Your personal experience on FB is not a reliable metric for writing off billion people as worthless.
      As to the existence of Jesus, you need to learn how actual historians and not quacks and cranks with an ax to grind, do history. You might start with _Jesus and the Eyewitnesses_ by Richard Bauckham.

    • Sergio Velasquez

      I’m very sorry that that these people that you have met, that call themselves Christians do these types of things. They’re not following the word of God, and they’re doing the exact thing that Jesus said not to do. they’ll be dealt with by God, so no need to worry about that. I also have a reason why I know that God all mighty IS real. I don’t need proof and evidence, all I need is faith. And through my faith I have been able to experience God’s presence through the Holy Spirit. Why do you think that people at Christian churches start crying and breaking down when God is praised? It’s because God is real, and when someone calls out to him he responds. When God’s presence is near you can feel it. It’s an over whelming feeling of happiness that you just can’t explain. That’s why I’m still a Christian. Personally I’ve heard and thought of many reasons of why God doesn’t exist, but its not about what you believe in, it’s what you knowing that God exists and having faith in him. Through faith and prayer you can feel God’s presence and once you have experienced his presence you’ll know that God isn’t a myth or a religion, he’s the creator if all things, including you. God bless you and I hope that one day you may experience his love and eternal salvation. I’ll pray for you tonight. 🙂

    • maf

      It is not a prime example of how Christians work. This may be a prime example of your experiences with Christians, but please don’t condemn the whole group. I am honestly sorry about your encounter with the girl you mentioned, however I could assure you that there are millions of Christians that feel differently. She may call herself a Christian, but the Bible preaches kindness and love and the fact that she did not display these things is disappointing.
      As for your comment about Jesus not existing, I’m sorry but in fact there is overwhelming evidence for the existence of Christ. However, I don’t wish to offend you in any way so I will leave it at that, but I pray that you have more positive experiences with Christians in the future, and that if you again run into one who treats you wrongly, I sincerely hope you will not be spurred to use such an experience as a “blanket statement” for all Christians. Like you are not the same as atheists/agnostics (I took the liberty of assuming this to be your belief, but if I’m incorrect I’m very sorry) that have committed terrible crimes, I and countless other Christians are also not hateful like the unfortunate few who are giving Christianity a bad name.

      God Bless.

  • im new

    um, i may be a tad bit late, (very) lol, but you shouldnt hate a group of people because of the act of a few. “one spoiled apple ruins the bunch.” i’ve been hurt by girls, guys, gays, Christians, atheists, Muslims, etc… but id hate the group. now thats just my personal thinking, you dont have to agree. oh and im Christian.

    • anti-hypocrites

      Christians also dislike groups as a whole. In dealing with artists and the National Endowment of the Arts, grants can no longer be given to individual artists. Also, some church groups hate landlords as a whole. They support drug addicts in rentals of landlords. I’ve even seen them support tenants who steal from landlords. This is wrong and goes against the 10 Commandments.

  • True Believer

    its very difficult as a Christian to reconcile our beliefs which are not flexible btw with the society we live in that basically spits in the face of God every chance they get. it takes grace and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit to turn the other cheek. When as a matter of fact, i know countless unbelievers who act vile and hateful with no moral compass to reign it in what so ever. it makes me feel physically ill when i have to read or hear an atheist talk about how wholesome they are in comparison to Christians. Yeah right. ive lived in the world you live in. i see how you treat eachother. But, its not you i hate. its your sin and my own sin. and if you cant sort out the difference between hating a behavior or attitude and hating the person who has that behavior or attitude, trust that a real Christian can tell the difference. Hating you would be a sin as its God’s highest commandments that 1, we love God Almighty with all our heart and soul. and 2. we love our neighbors as we would love ourselves and care for ourselves. it sounds easier than it actually is for someone who can see another person’s sin. But, alas, a good dose of humility teaches us that no Christian is perfect either or without sin themselves, and all sins lead to death, no matter how great or how small. they all are a death warrant in the eyes of God. despite our efforts, all human beings are deeply flawed and born into wickedness. Christians are saved by grace. its a gift from God for those who believe. i mean, really believe, not just lip service. Salvation is for those who love God more than their own lives. ive seen alot of hopelessness affect alot of loud mouth atheists who had no God to turn to when things finally fell apart in their lives and they always do fall completely apart, sooner or later, because there is no integrity in a Godless life and no truth to be found in them. Bad is good and good is bad until they are the ones who are compromised and then they realize too late their own sins have come home to roost. real Christians dont go through that desperation and misery and hopelessness. we never let things get that far out of control to the point where we could find ourselves in that situation. Our bodies do not rule us. we rule our bodies. we dont cultivate false pride and arrogance which is the root of all evil btw. we live in a way that is life affirming not promoting spiritual decay and death. and when we mess up we repent and actually change or at least try to change to be more like Jesus Christ. You know, if the world was full of people like Jesus Christ there would be no more suffering or betrayals or death. and thats all Christians stand for really. We want to be holy and we want to be like Jesus Christ. i can think of worse role models to have. of course, non-believers and atheists do not want to hear any of that. Thats hate speech to them. anything that in any way holds them accountable is considered hate speech now and thats very telling, a sign of the times, end times to be exact. Just because you are louder than us and complain more doesnt mean you are on the right side of history. ive read the end of the book and guess what? God wins. one way or another He is going to get what he wants. No matter how atheists try to spin it and no matter what lies are said. we are actually commanded to tell people the truth even though we know they wont listen. we are actually commanded to hate all sin whether its yours or our own. all sin is vile to a real Christian, not just yours. But, thats not the same thing as hating you. if we hated you you wouldnt be allowed to run your mouth and we would kill you. But, thats not our goal. Our goal is to spread the message of good news that Jesus Christ died on the cross as a sacrifice to cover the sins of the entire world simply because he loved us all that much, even 2000 years before we were born. In that gesture is a display of unconditional love for a very undeserving world. and its something we should all aspire to because its the only salvation we have personally or as a society, we cant cosign and offer encouragement to you in your sin anymore than we can accept our own sins. God wont accept it or change the natural laws of the universe just to accommodate you or me. Consequences still exist whether you believe or not. But, at least if you are willing to submit to God and his son, Jesus Christ, you can at least be guided in the right direction. the right direction is any direction that doesnt lead to death right? is that so very hard to understand? and yet i know it is impossible for some of you to understand. not because you are stupid or crazy. The reason why you cant understand is even more scary. it should have you very concerned but it wont and the reason it wont scare you is even scarier. Here is why : No matter what i say or any other Christian says, it will literally make no difference unless God wants it to make a difference. What we say will make no sense unless God wants it to make sense to you. We just plant seeds of doubt in your mind that maybe just maybe there is another truth, another reality other than the one youve bought into wholeheartedly without refrain. But, its God who will draw you to Him if he wants you to be drawn to Him. and, if you are an atheist or an unbeliever that should scare you to know God has given you over to your delusions and allowing you to wallow in death. The entire world is perishing. its dying. and if you are not alive in Jesus Christ, you are dying with it. its extremely dysfunctional how people can go completely off the rails spiritually at one point in their lives but then just magically one day God decides to draw them in and change their lives. But, before that happens, these people are living godless lives where consequences just dont exist. it becomes this vicious cycle of hurting people, repentance and on to the next person. So that through the entire process those who have repented are eating garbage from non believers until that one day when the non believers magically repent. and it just goes on and one like this. Christians are not strangers to persecution. But, Jesus said you will persecute Christians because you persecuted Jesus first.

  • Not going by a Christian

    I feel the reason people dislike Christians is due to the fact they say one thing and do another. I love jesus but I can not and will not EVER give myself the title christian again

    • Heather

      A) Christians are not perfect.
      B) People need to follow God more and judge other people less.

  • Carly

    I go to a Catholic school and whole heartedly am a Catholic. We must put aside all off the wrongs of the Catholic church and focus on the good. The Catholic church is the largest charitable organization of the world! Be proud if you’re Catholic. As for all of the atheists, I hope one day you can see how good God really is. Because you are really missing out.
    God Bless <3

  • nakedanthropologist

    Wow. Reading all these hateful and bigoted screeds in the comments section has made me even more grateful that I am no longer a Catholic. The collective bigotry against LGBT people is both repulsive and astonishing. No wonder the Catholic Church is bleeding members – if these comments are anything yo go by, all the decent and moral people are seeing the Catholic Church and its most fervent members for the vile bigots they are.