Hell is for Homophobes

Few things are less Christlike than Christians when they’re attacking the LGBTQ community.

There is a malice and sadism they’re capable of that simply defy explanation and fully deny the heart of Jesus. Incredibly, these folks are somehow able to simultaneously claim faith in Christ, while responding with a cruelty, viciousness, and violence that he never once demonstrated, continually condemned, and wouldn’t tolerate from anyone in his presence then or now. It’s the very kind of galling hypocrisy that is rendering organized Christianity fully irrelevant to more and more of a watching world who can see it from a mile away. I see it too—and it’s a flat-out, deliberate sin they need to repent of.

This week Christian music star Vicky Beeching, who came out in 2014, announced that she was taking a break from social media due to the relentless vile, profane, abusive attacks she’s endured from Christians.

Continual, horrible bullying—from Christians. Not Muslims. Not Atheists. Not immigrants or refugees or terrorists or Democrats. Not from any of the go-to boogeymen religious folks like to throw out there as the ever-present danger to us all.

Christians.
Self-identified Jesus followers.

Professed disciples of the benevolent, compassionate “Love your neighbor as yourself”, “Blessed are the peacemakers”, “Judge not lest you be judged,” rabbi, who touched lepers, fed multitudes, healed the sick, turned his cheek, and forgave his executioners.

(Yeah, that Jesus.)

The cognitive dissonance on display is astounding; that these people can manage to believe they’re actually doing the will of God or sharing the Gospel, while berating and bullying and beating the hell out of strangers simply because of how they identify or who they love. Worse still, is that these sanctimonious, high-horsed zealots will try to use the very same Bible they persecute the LGBTQ with—to glorify guns, justify war, refuse refugees, endorse racism, perpetuate misogyny, and validate Donald Trump. Talk about miraculous.

It’s an exercise in wildly selective Bible usage and self-serving theology—and it would be laughable if it wasn’t such a complete perversion of Jesus’ life and ministry.

One of the most hurtful displays to Vicky, was a meme that was shared tens of thousands of times, stating “You may be gay or you may be a Christian, but you cannot be a gay Christian. Do not be deceived” and urging her to read 1 Corinthians 6:9.

Theologically speaking such a statement is out of context, historically flawed, and exegetically lazy.
Humanly speaking—it’s a hot, steaming pile of heretical horse manure.

Nowhere in the Bible are there requirements on who can and can’t claim faith in Jesus, and certainly no permissions are given to anyone to establish such requirements for anyone else. The heart of the Gospel is that the invitation is to all, period—without caveat, exception, or condition. (That’s why it’s called Grace—at least when the hypocrites are claiming it for themselves and reprehensible Presidents they’re shilling for.)

The original sentiments of the meme itself (ones Christians so easily toss out) are patently ridiculous and those who share them, out themselves as angry, vicious people who simply want Jesus to consent to being as hateful as they are and to justify their prejudices. He does not. He never will. They need to come to grips with this.

Anyone can be a Christian. Anyone can follow Jesus. The prostitutes and tax collectors and soldiers and beggars all found home in his presence, as did the doctors and fisherman and the religious elite. The radical openness of his table was the very reason he was scandalous and offensive to the self-righteous in his midst. The idea that any LGBTQ human being needs something more to make them eligible for proximity to Christ is ludicrous. People do not require another person’s blessing or approval or permission—to declare Christianity or more importantly to be fully embraced by the love of God—certainly not of those determined to craft a Jesus in their own bitter, judgmental image.

In fact, the spectacular irony on display, is that while Jesus never mentions any restrictions on who can follow him based on gender identity or sexual orientation, he speaks explicitly and often about those who profess faith, while living with contempt for others; those who do damage and leverage power to inflict wounds, those who neglect and ignore and prey upon the marginalized, those who wield religion like a weapon. (The very kind of malignancy Vicky Beeching has endured publicly, and that millions of LGBTQ folk deal with every day in their classrooms, homes, hallways, workplaces, and neighborhoods.) If there’s anything the road to Hell is paved with, it’s bigotry and violence done in the name of Jesus.

The truth, is that an LGBTQ Christian isn’t an oxymoron, but a hateful one most certainly is. The choice to be horrible and to use religion as the reason, is a disconnect of the greatest order. The Gospel testifies to this over and over again, and we who come in love, loudly amen this—and we’re not having this nonsense anymore on behalf of our faith tradition.

To Vicky Beeching, and to the millions of people around the world who identify as LGBTQ, both those who claim faith and those who do not—I’m sorry for those trying to retrofit Jesus to their hateful hearts; for the way they twist the Bible and distort the voice of God that you hear in your head, and for the daily, living Hell you go through at their hands and words. They don’t speak for anyone but themselves—not for me, not for millions of Christians, and certainly not for God.

And to the religious who believe they can oppress and harass and insult people until they are driven to isolation or tears or self-harm or suicide, all in the name of Jesus—I’d take a good, long look in the mirror, I’d let your knees hit the earth, and I’d do some serious soul-searching.

You may be closer to Hell than you think.

You may be getting really, realy warm.

 

 

471 thoughts on “Hell is for Homophobes

  1. One hundred percent truth! Every time I have someone say something rude about my sexuality, they’re a Christian. Not a Muslim, Atheist, Buddhist, Hindi, or any other religion. They’re always a Christian.

    What’s crazier is, when they start using slurs like “tranny”, “fag”, “shemale”, “freak”, or any of the plethora of other slurs I hear, they say they’re just “sharing God’s love” in hopes that I will “repent my sins of the flesh”. Really? So insulting me, calling me names, in some cases threatening physical violence, those are acts of love? That doesn’t make me want to repent. It makes me want to do a lot of things, but repent isn’t one of them. Something about kicking and teeth…

    Anyway!

    You want to show me love? Welcome me, try to understand me, get to know me. Those are loving things. Shunning me, insulting me, attacking me…. those are things that make me defensive. And I will defend myself and my right to exist.

    • Caitlyn– you said

      “You want to show me love? Welcome me, try to understand me, get to know me. Those are loving things. Shunning me, insulting me, attacking me…. those are things that make me defensive. And I will defend myself and my right to exist”

      This is exactly how I have felt about it. Why don’t these christians who are so willing to hate me, get to know me instead of being hateful and abusive towards me?

      It seems to me they don’t understand human sexuality and biology and they don’t understand what love and compassion is.

      • Agree, Agree, Agree. Maybe they are afraid that if they get to know you they won’t be able to feel superior because they would probably like you. In some twisted recess in their minds they must have fear, that is the only thing, to my mind, that would generate such hatefulness. Peace and Love,

        • A lot of it is, to be honest, a jealousy that we’re living our lives out and proud while they’re in a closet. The rule of thumb is, the more hateful a person is, the more likely it is that they’re exactly who they hate. The expression of hate is often truly directed inwards as a way of suppressing their guilt and shame over their true sexuality.

          An actual conversation I had once:

          Him: You f**kin’ trannies are all freaks.
          Me: Let me ask you, have you ever know a transgender person?
          Him: Hell no! I would never want to be around those weirdos!
          Me: Okay, have you ever known a gay person?
          Him: No, I wouldn’t want that sh*t to rub off on me.
          Me: Are you married?
          Him: Yeah, I got a wife and two kids.
          Me: How often do the two of you have sex?
          Him: Sex is only for procreation! We only have sex when we decide we want another baby.
          Me: So you and your wife aren’t intimate?
          Him: I told you, sex is for making babies!
          Me: Buddy, you really have some issues. I’m not trying to make you angry, but I guarantee that if you looked into it, your wife has at least one person on the side since you won’t be intimate with her. Bow, when you’re ready to step out of your vloset, I’ll have a pair of heels waiting for you.
          Him: *angry, profanity laced tirade*

          Less than a year later, I ran into the same guy in a bar. Or, rather, the same girl. Her wife had been sleeping with a friend of hers pretty regularly, and had been about to leave her. So, she came out as trans, and was mid-transition. She was about to go for a brow lift and tracheal shave, and possibly breast augmentation. She and her wife had never been closer, they were finally being intimate, and for the first time, she felt good about herself.

          Ironic, isn’t it?

          • My husband and I have always thought, the more the protest, condemnation and hate, the more likely that person is somewhere in the LGBTQ spectrum. Nothing else has ever made sense. Otherwise you would be able to just say Not my thing, and get on with your life.

          • Oh yeah. I’ve heard it numerous times.

            “Those tranny freaks!”
            “Well, do you know any trannies?”
            “NO! They are freaks.”
            “So … you wouldn’t know how to recognize one if you saw one?”
            “Huh?”
            “Well … you see, they can look like … you know … just like … (whispers) normal people.”
            GASP!

      • I suspect they are not interested in doing so for a reason. They are not treating you this way because they love you. They are treating you this way because they think—seriously—that one day they are going to be rewarded in Heaven for abusing you. In those moments when you are incurring such abuse, just step back and watch for a moment. What you are really seeing is a loud prayer to God that goes something like this:

        Lord Jesus!!! See me!!! Yeah, it’s your old friend Freddie. See this person named Anonymous!!! I just abused the crap out of her for being LGBTQ. I called her every name in the book, told her what a vile sinner she is, and screamed her straight to Hell. I just want to be sure you noticed that Lord. Now, Lord, I know how much you hate these LGBTQ people— and so do I. I also know you are one day going to richly reward me for this number I just did on her–you know—curbing the LGBTQ menace to American society. Please notice Lord. Oh, how I long for that reward from you. Please show me a sign that you noticed.”

        • You just wrote what I have been saying for as long as I can remember. It’s the beating on the chest syndrome.

        • Even the Scriptures tell them they should not go out on that limb…””Woe to you experts in the law, because you have taken away the key to knowledge. You yourselves have not entered, and you have hindered those who were entering.”

          “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to.”

          “But if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men; you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

          “Woe to you, destroyer, you who have not been destroyed! Woe to you, betrayer, you who have not been betrayed! When you stop destroying, you will be destroyed; when you stop betraying, you will be betrayed.”

          “Jesus said to his disciples: “Things that cause people to stumble are bound to come, but woe to anyone through whom they come.”

          “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”

          “But as for you, you have turned aside from the way; you have caused many to stumble by the instruction; you have corrupted the covenant of Levi,” says the LORD of hosts.”

          “But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.”

          “Therefore let us not judge one another anymore, but rather determine this–not to put an obstacle or a stumbling block in a brother’s way.”

          “But Jesus, aware of this, said to them, “Why do you bother the woman? For she has done a good deed to Me.”

          “And it will be said, “Build up, build up, prepare the way, Remove every obstacle out of the way of My people.”

          All of these verses seem to indicate that God will not take it lightly if you use religion to make someone else turn from God or to exclude anyone from God. That is just not how any of this works.

            • Jamrs, don’t even bother arguing with Joe, he’s the biggest stinking, green, steaming pile of cognitive dissonance I’ve ever seen. I don’t even bother with him anymore, he isn’t worth my time.

              • I can understand your opinion, Caitlyn.

                But I’m of the “”When one of us does a foolish thing, you should tell them it is a foolish thing. They can still continue to do it, but at least the truth is where it needs to be.” mentality.

                A significant part of the problem with conservatives is they live in their own bubble world in which they never challenge their views and they never think about what they’re being told. The GOP has devolved from a political party to a political cult.

                And part of the problem with Democrats is…well..I’ll let the West Wing character of Bruno Gianelli say it:

                • Joe just wants to regurgitate a word the Catholic church has used in the past. He doesn’t care to think about that word, he doesn’t care to think that if that word was used against him he would be insulted. He simply wants to hide behind the coattails of the church as if that justifies his being an ass.

                  Religious belief is not justification to be an asshole.

                  • As far as I can tell, James, Joe doesn’t think. He merely spews his misunderstood version of RCC dogma.

                    • I’m not a cafeteria Catholic. You’re a cafeteria Episcopal so you wouldn’t understand what I mean or the significance of it.

                      I did much thinking in order to become a Catholic. My thinking says that it makes no sense to belong to an organization or belief system only to take out what is easy and reject those things I don’t want to do or which will make me unpopular.

                    • And in all this “much thinking” you have done Joe Catholic, how does it make sense to belong to an organization or belief system only to consistently and rather constantly harp on only one aspect of that doctrine? You sure seem to “take out” a lot and only keep what you want to obsess over. So maybe you do “reject” those things you don’t want to do.

                    • I’m a Cradle Catholic. Catholic schools, taught CCD, CYO Secretary. My parents met through CYO. All cradle Catholics. All have left because the rules the church makes don’t match the love of Christ. Though I do love the new Pope. If he keeps moving the church in the direction he’s trying to I may come back

              • James, adding to what Caitlyn Anne said. Joe delights in dragging people down into his steaming pile. One time he was asked why he was here and he admitted that he enjoys baiting people. The more you reply, the more sick pleasure you give him.

    • Ms. Anne, as I see it, God made you the way He made you. It is not up to me to question why he does anything that he does. That is why is called ~ ‘faith’. [If we knew what was going on, we’d call it ‘science’, right?]

      Your Soul does not match your flesh?

      Big, freaking deal. Flesh, blood and bone comes and goes in a matter of decades ~ a blink of an eye in the Scheme of Creation. The Soul is Eternal and Immortal.

      This is God’s Will and the path He has laid out for you. God does not create anything He does not Love. He loves you, so, as a fellow Wander in God’s Creation, I owe it to Him and to Christ, to do my best to hold affection for you as well.

      I think we can take it for granted we are going to disagree about a whole bunch of stuff. This will not be one of them. We are both people, made in God’s image.

    • Right you are Caitlyn and only those “loving things” can bring anyone to God. We are not desert nomads who need to be afraid of God to serve him. Why people act like we need to fear God remains a mystery. God has made every effort to give us life, opportunity, love, self-awareness, coping, goodness and decency. There is no reason God would punish us if we are being ourselves and not hurting others.

    • Bigotry is alive and well. God is not the author of it; but He gets dragged into it again and again.
      I’m so sorry for the hate that is perpetuated. This is not of God; He is LOVE. Jesus is Love.
      You are loved.

    • I’m so sorry that some “Christians” have been so awful to you. I’ve always been LGBTQ+ friendly. I look at how people conduct themselves and how they treat others to form my opinion of them. I have friends & family who criticize me for my position, but I don’t care. I’ll choose my friends as I see fit.

      • A Christian is someone who identifies as a Christian. Unless you know the person has misunderstood the Gospel of Grace, and are able to guide them, biblically.

    • Truly spoken by a Child of God., bless you Caitlyn and know HE has your back., as do we.
      In His love and Service
      From Vancouver, B.C. Canada
      Bob and Lloyd Peacock
      followers of Jesus Christ, our Living King., who has given us SO FAR,
      49 great years together., and we are looking forward to many more, until he takes us home.

  2. This one is perfect. Once again you seem to know the thoughts that float around in my head. You said what needed to be said and did it so very well. Thank you for your voice because the world needs voices like yours. It must be tiring for people to live with so much hate. Perhaps they will have the ears to hear and lay the hate down.
    Peace and Love,

  3. Dear John Pavlovitz:

    ‘responding with a cruelty, viciousness, and violence that he never once demonstrated, continually condemned, and wouldn’t tolerate from anyone in his presence then or now.’

    Ditto on support of war on Iraq, Syria, Libya, Yemen, etc., etc.

    Seemingly, you shall know them by their hate.

    Blessings!

    • Jesus Never Protrayed Hate except when it violated Gods santity.
      Jesus said ( Go and sin no more) , Take up your cross, Follow me and i will make you fishers of men, There is a way that seems right to man, and the way is death.
      Like a ship sinking , he commands us to throw life boats to the sinking, and invite all who would follow Jesus Christ to come on board. ALL, No exception. no matter
      He ( Jesus is the only way anyone can be saved from their wrong way of thinking.
      He ( Jesus Christ ) said unless a man, women , person be born again they ( whoever ) cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven.
      Yes that’s right all other ways go down , sink with the sinking ship, the mother earth, the mankind way of thinking.
      Only those who by way of Trust, Obey, Follow , Seek Jesus Christ and Turn from ungodly LUST, Passion, Pleasure, persistent following of Fleshly desires will be saved. NO EXCEPTION

      • Good Morning Mr. Freeman. I see you have been quite busy this morning. I hope you will be able to enjoy this day that God has blessed us with.

        Peace

      • and yet, Chris, you use Jesus’ teachings to promote and spout hate and fear.

        The problem isn’t with Jesus.

        The problem is with you.

  4. Thank you for speaking the truth John.

    I have 50 years of life standing between the pseudo-Christian and gay kids that attests to it.

  5. I am a retired teacher in Texas. One year one of my colleagues, supposedly a “Christian,” refused to participate in a program encouraging random acts of kindness for her students because one of the MANY co-sponsors of that event was the LGBTQ community. The hypocrisy is stunning – all her students missed out on such a growth experience because of her despicable prejudice. Thank you for writing this article!

  6. I just left your name on her web site. I find that so odd. I saw her post by reading RuPaul’s site. It made me hurt for her,and I posted it on my site, then wrote a note on her site that there are millions of Gay Christians ,which is even a Facebook site. Next, I mentioned that she should follow you. I hope Vicky sees your name and finds you. You have been a miracle sent by God for so many. Thank You Again.

    • May I just add one thing to what you said, there are also millions of Christians who are not gay but are supportive of those Christians who are. I truly hope the day comes when this is not a big deal but just who someone is. Peace and Love,

      • Exactly Kathleen, I am not gay or black or an immigrant or a refugee or an Atheist, but I support my LGBTQ, black, immigrant, refugee and Atheist brothers and sisters because it is the right thing to do. Period.

  7. “The idea that any LGBTQ human being needs something more to make them eligible for proximity to Christ is ludicrous. People do not require another person’s blessing or approval or permission—to declare Christianity or more importantly to be fully embraced by the love of God—”

    JP- would you please come to my town, to a family dinner I’ll arrange. Stand on top of the dinner table, and declare these words-please? These words to a group of people that claim they love me but look at me suspiciously. Who scrutinize my denomination, my Bible version… Who question my salvation. Who do in fact believe I need a SPECIAL kind of grace because… I’m gay.

    It would be really great if you could do that.

    I do try to fight back the cynicism. And I know that, as Christ’s spirit dwells in me, I am blessed beyond measure. And that’s the only response I have for them anymore.

    • As an old, really old, follower of Jesus, I declare you don’t need any special grace, I would not question your salvation, I’m having enough trouble working on my own. I know that a strangers words aren’t the same but I just needed to say them. Know that there are a lot of us, of all ages, who do not see any difference. I believe you will have to love and take care of the least of us, the same as I, to be a follower of Jesus. Nothing more, but nothing less. Peace and Love,

    • Susan, whether they accept it or not, we are all under the exact same Grace and we are all a child of God. Never let anyone make you believe otherwise.

    • Susan, I would gladly do it! I’ve started down a few parents, family members, and Pastors in defence of my kids… God’s perfect love drives out all fear

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  9. For 54 of my 63 years on this planet. In 2003- the year I turned 50- the Supreme Court finally decided I was no longer a criminal just for existing. So kind of them. Payback’s a bitch. And those in the anti-gay movement will find out- when they die- just how far from heaven they actually are.

    • Stop exaggerating please. Nobody said you were a criminal for existing. There is and was no such law. The closest law to that idea are abortion laws which allow unwanted babies to be sentenced to death. They are treated like criminals for existing.

      • Actually…

        Per the sodomy laws that were in place in several states prior to 2003, while homosexuality itself wasn’t illegal, homosexual sex was. It was actually a felony. A man who was in prison in Texas because the local sherif had his underwear in a bunch had him prosecuted because he was gay and having gay sex. SCOTUS finally overturned the conviction, and struck down the sodomy laws as an invasion of privacy.

        Oops.

        • Once again, Joe Catholic demonstrates he has no evidence, facts, historical citations to support his uninformed ignorance.

          Plus, he completely misses out on the compassion of John’s words, the compassion shown by all who have commented to demonstrated what a lack of compassion he has.

          He made this clear in the comments on “Guys, Stopping Campus Sexual Assault is on You” when the first thing he saw fit to write about was his perceived “attack on Trump” when John wrote about some actual facts about Trump’s behavior. Joe Catholic never once offered any sympathy, empathy, or compassion for those of us who experienced rape and sexual assault.

          • Gloriamarie:

            That’s because, as you well know, Joe Cath. is a single issue Catholic. Every time I see his posts I shake my head.

            • Actually when I see it, it makes me wonder how long it will take for him to dismiss everything everyone has said to get to that single issue. And will he be creative about that or just through it in our faces.

            • It’s such a shame that Joe wants innocent children to live and not have their arms and legs ripped off all in the vain name of “choice”

          • As usual you have taken something out of context and distorted it so that you can indulge in vilifying and also to give Miss Me Too another opportunity to join in the fun.

            A poster exploited the horror and tragedy of sexual assault to denigrate the President. I called him out for his gratuitous remark. Your problem should be with him and not me.

            • My problem is with you. I did NOT take you out of context.

              You wrote two short sentences, somehting about what a shame John P chose to take a pot shot at Trumpo, whio IS a sexual predator.

              You never showed any compassion, empathy, sympathy for those of us here who have shared our stories of sexual assault.

              You dismissed them as unimportant so you could defend the god you worship, Trump.

              If you are actually an adult and not the ten year old child I think you are, you need a strong spiritual director who will challenge all of your prejudices and obsessions.

              • Any spiritual director in the Catholic Church knows that a same-sex attraction is disordered and that to indulge in it is disordered and sinful behavior. He would have the same “prejudices.”

                • Actually, you are wrong about that, Ted. You do a disservice to spiritual directors of the RCC. They are not the results of a cookie cutter.

                  I have a certificate in Spiritual Direction from a local RC university and we were not taught that trash you speak about.

                    • since you love tossing about that insult “disorder” joe how about we start referring to you and your fellow conservatives as being disordered.

                      See how long it takes you to cry foul.

                      Because being gay isn’t a choice. But being an asshole in God’s name most definitely is. So congrats..you’re being an asshole in God’s name.

                    • James, I know you and I have had some disagreements, but I love this comment. Thanks for this, hun. ^_^

                    • That’s the term your Church uses, James. Your Church says that homosexuality is a disorder. It’s not an insult. We all have some kind of disorder, but disordered desires should be resisted.

                    • unless the church, Joe, has it’s hand up your rear end and is making you say that word then you should probably find the 50 brain cells necessary to figure out how insulting it is.

                      Sorry, joe, you don’t get to hide behind the coattails of the church to excuse or justify you knowingly and purposely being insulting.

                      So since you conservatives so love to talk about personal responsibility, Joe, take personal responsibility for the words you yourself chose to use.

                    • The word “disordered” is being charitable. It’s not an intent to insult or demean. That’s how you choose to take it. What in your mind would be a better way to express the fact that homosexual behavior is disordered?

                    • Um… Accept the fact that it’s not disordered at all? Accept the fact that no reputable psychological or psychiatric organization considers it disordered? Accept the fact that your judgement of people is driving LGBTQ kids to suicide at an alarming rate? (And yes, it is the judgement because the suicide rate of kids from accepting homes is only slightly above normal and the rate from unaccepting homes is about 5x higher)

          • Nailed it Gloriamarie!

            Is it just me or are the Emails from this forum stopped could dead? I have clicked on the Notify me checkmarks and noting comes to the inbox or junk folder like they did last week. Weird.

            • Robin, I have discovered that I have to unsubscribe from older posts in order to get notifications about newer ones.

              Every mail notice comes with info at the end about unsubbing.

      • In many countries . . . right now . . . it is a crime punishable by death to even be suspected of being gay. It is a crime if you suspect that your neighbour or friend or family member is gay and you do not report it to the police. This is no exaggeration.

        • Obviously he hasn’t heard about the kill the gay laws that our very own citizens have been spreading around the world. Shame on you, Joe. At least try to be enlightened before you make your comments.

          • Bruce said his existence was against the law. I presume he’s a US citizen and not living under Sharia law. His “existence” was never illegal.

            • And I was not talking about Sharia Law. I was talking about men who claim to be Christians going to countries like Uganda and encouraging and writing their laws to kill the gay. I am talking about your buddies friend in Russia sanctioning the killing of gays. So don’t lay this all on the Muslims, this is Christians too. And I say Shame on them and I believe that God is not going to treat them well. The biggie is Thou shalt not Kill, no exceptions were written.

              • I don’t know anything about that. What does that have to do with Bruce who lives in the US saying it was a crime for him to exist?

                • Because the Americans who were in Uganda agitating and writing laws on Kill the Gay were legislators in this country. I would worry if I were gay that these self same people would do it in this country if given the opportunity. By the way they professed to be Christian also. One of the reasons I no longer use that phrase, because I don’t want anyone to confuse me with those haters. In my opinion, they are evil. Do your homework,

                  • Of course they would do it in this country—if they could get away with it. My guess is that these people in Uganda are Christian Reconstructionists or CR sympathizers. We must never allow them to do this in our country, and the way to ensure that is to inform nonfundie Christians and the American people in general what these evil men are doing in the name of Jesus. If they ever start calling for killing LGBTQ people here in the United States, you can bet fundie pastors will fall right in line with it and demand that their lemmings support it—and they will.

                    • Charles, I have never doubted that they would do it here if they could. I think their messing in Africa was a dry run to see how to do it here. I also agree that now is not the time to sit on our hands. I have and will continue speaking up because that is the only way to combat that kind of hatred. I have said it before and I will say it again, the phrase “and they came for me and no one was left to speak up for me” has become my mantra. It rattles around in my head all of the time, esp now. Peace,

                    • That’s actually a huge fear of mine, and a lot of people I know are afraid of that as well. I had to pass up a huge research project in Africa because part of it was in Uganda, looking at novel ways to control the spread of mosquito-borne malaria. But, my safety is more important than a big payday

                      Unfortunately, a lot of crimes against LGBTQ, and especially transgender, people go unsolved, and in many cases don’t even get investigated. A simple Google search will lead to a list of every transgender person murdered in the past year. Most, if not all, are unsolved cases.

                  • There are pastors and people right here in this nation that do advocate for killing gay people and applaud when it happens.

                    ” the confab over the weekend, where he introduced Huckabee, Jindal and Cruz to the audience — and where Ted Cruz’s father, Rafael Cruz, an anti-gay Tea Party crusader, was a star speaker — he reiterated his death penalty call, adding that homosexuals should first be given some time to repent before the executions begin. There’s nothing subtle about what he said, and you can watch it for yourself, including his statements about what he would do if he were one of those parents of a gay person”
                    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/michelangelo-signorile/post_10496_b_8544540.html

                    Not to mention Pastor Steven Anderson who claimed “homosexuals are a bunch of disgusting perverts,” and celebrated the Orlando nightclub shooting.

      • Your ignorance is showing- Joe Asshole. Although laws against sex between consenting adults regardless of gender had begun to fall over the last 50+ years- in a state by state way- ONLY (you stupid motherf*cker) after the Supreme Court FINALLY declared them all unconstitutional in 2 Thousand and g*ddamned-03 did I finally become something other than a criminal. And I have arrest records to prove it- you bastard. I’d suggest you pull your head out of your ass- but I know it’s your preferred viewpoint.

        However- I grew up in a religious community- where I was relentlessly tormented for being a FAG by your so-called “religious” counterparts. And they would have killed me for being gay if they’d thought they could get away with it. As has happened over and over again in this so called free country of ours. Kill a Fag for Christ is one of your rallying cries. You are dumber than dirt. And that’s an insult to dirt.

        Sorry- (to everybody else) if you don’t like my language.

      • Perhaps you forget J Cath, that your cohorts believe & state often that we gay men are all pedophiles. To them our very existence is criminal. No exaggeration.

        Move on. It’s getting yucky in here again!

      • Joe, don’t speak from ignorance.

        To quote: The closest law to that idea are abortion laws which allow unwanted babies to be sentenced to death. They are treated like criminals for existing.

        And are you going to demand that the government ensure those babies and their mothers have adequate food, shelter, health care? Are you going to demand that the government take in those unwanted babies? Are you going to pay the taxes to do so? Are you going to demand that corporations, in the name of their greed and pollution, stop harming and killing those babies and the rest of us?

        Because if not, Joe, then you don’t give a rats ass about those babies at all.

    • I am sorry for the evil that was heaped on you and I do believe those that heaped the evil will find out they are on the wrong side. Peace and Love,

        • Obviously by what you have posted you think you have been given that discretion, I don’t think I have. I only know that the God I believe probably will judge hate and the haters. I don’t have any idea what hell is, my mother in law believed it was life on earth and if you messed up you would have to keep coming back until you got it right. Her theory was that you would be sent away from God. I like that about as much as any. I don’t waste my time worrying about what comes after I die, I am worried about what is happening now to all and I mean all God’s children. Wherever they are, whoever they are, whatever color they are, whatever religion they practice or not. Also to the earth, so you can spend your time worrying about yourself, not me, I am going to worry about those around me and if I love and take care of the least of them, then God will take care of me.

          • Jesus thought Hell was a big deal. That’s why he talked so much about it and went to the cross on our behalf- if we turn from our sins and place our faith in Him as Lord and Savior we have eternal life.

    • J Bruce, I think you are correct. On this and on other issues that some Christians use their Bible as a weapon for, they will indeed, “find out- when they die-” (if not before) ” just how far from heaven they actually are”.

  10. JP says there is no Hell, but he conveniently creates one for those who vote for Trump or who believe there are such things sexual sins.

    Of course nobody should be persecuted, especially for a disorder they have through no fault of their own, but neither should the Christian condone any sexual sin in others or in themselves. That’s not love either.

    • Good Morning Joe. Hope your day will be a good one.

      In the Catholic church a person needs to get a legal divorce. He also needs an annulment granted by the Church. So, as I think you have stated before, an adulterer just has to say he is sorry, get a divorce and annulment and is free to marry again. He or she can repeat this behavior into infinity with no repercussion. It is the same outside of the Catholic Church minus the annulment requirement. I am not picking on the Catholic Church. Part of my heart belongs to the Church. It has been a generational thing in my family. Some of my practicing Catholic family are even, gasp, Democrats. So you are right in saying the Church requires no allegiance to a political party.

      My point is why is a person who treats marriage as a joke, allowed to consistently display the same behavior and given a pass on mortal sin while another couple, who happen to be gay, are discriminated against when they set an example of a loving committed relationship? And also again, nothing in the 10 Commandments addresses this. Just my opinion but the hypocrisy stinks to high heaven and is illogical. This is a man made dogma.

      • No they cannot keep repeating the process of marriage, divorce, and annulment. First of all, an adulterer should not divorce because of the adultery, but should instead strive to save the marriage. Secondly, there is no guarantee one can receive an annulment. If the Church investigates the marriage and it’s found to be valid, no annulment will be granted. Thirdly, nobody who confesses a sin is forgiven if he doesn’t intend to stop sinning. There is no forgiveness for someone who is making a mockery of the process. One must make a commitment and effort to refrain from that sin in the future.

        Nobody should treat their marriage as a “joke.” That’s a problem that needs to be resolved and it’s not something that should be excused. But it can’t be compared to a gay “marriage” because there is no such thing as a “same sex” marriage, at least from a Catholic perspective and the perspective of many Protestant churches.

        The 10 Commandments are “unpacked” by the Catholic Church. Here’s a break down of the 6th Commandment:

        http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p3s2c2a6.htm

        • Good Morning Joe
          I read the page from your link. When did they “unpack” the Commandments? Did they do this for all the Commandments? I found it sad. It is written like a technical manual.

          Anyway I noticed that it said an annulment could be approved if one spouse abandons another. It would have been nice to have heard that 35 years ago. When I asked about getting an annulment they told me the only way was to say you knew going into the marriage that it was not a valid marriage. It might have just been an error on the part of the person I spoke to.

          Peace

          • I think you might have misread that one. An annulment is granted if it is found that all the ingredients for a marriage were not there when the marriage occurred. Some examples would be that there was no intent by one of the spouses to remain faithful, that some serious issue was kept hidden, that there was mental illness, that one or both of the parties did not understand the meaning of marriage, that there was pressure such as a “shotgun wedding,” etc.

            If you want to read more about it:
            http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/marriage-and-family/marriage/annulment/

            Anyway, abandonment is not grounds for an annulment, although the fact that it happened could be an indicator that his head was not screwed on right when the marriage occurred, so there very well could be pertinent grounds for an annulment.

            “Unpacking” was a word I just thought of when I posted that. Because something isn’t in the Bible or the Ten Commandments doesn’t mean it’s ok. For example pornography isn’t prohibited by Jesus or the Ten Commandments directly, but it’s in there. So it’s explained, perhaps dryly, but I don’t find that “sad.” It’s a “manual” in a way, but it’s nice to have that guidance. God did not leave us orphans regarding a Church and how to interpret Scriptures.

            • Joe
              How do you interpret this?

              2386 It can happen that one of the spouses is the innocent victim of a divorce decreed by civil law; this spouse therefore has not contravened the moral law. There is a considerable difference between a spouse who has sincerely tried to be faithful to the sacrament of marriage and is unjustly abandoned, and one who through his own grave fault destroys a canonically valid marriage.179

              I am pretty sure my ex-husband felt he was justified in walking away because he fell in love with another woman. You cannot force someone to love you. How he justified his inability to love his own 3 sons and not even acknowledge them for the last 37 years is another matter My youngest son is 37 years old.

              Am I to take responsibility because I didn’t realize what he was before I married or during the 10 years we were married? Maybe I am the village idiot.

              Peace and have a good day

              • What they are saying is that the civil divorce is reasonable and you would bear no fault for that. But that didn’t invalidate the marriage and there was still the issue of seeking an annulment before another marriage.

                Of course what he did is horrible and inexcusable just in a husband and wife situation, but also abandoning four young sons is incomprehensible. I don’t have much respect for your ex.

                Just curious, do you or any members of your family ever see him? Has he ever admitted that he was wrong?

              • That you didn’t realize what he was when you married him might very well be grounds for an annulment. He might never have been sincere.

                The point is, if you want to do it by the book, in spite of how unjust the situation was, the first step before entering into another relationship would have been to seek and annulment, and if not granted, the only option would be to stay single and hope for reconciliation.

                I’m not making any judgments and I don’t know what I would have done in a similar situation.

                • Joe, When I knew my relationship with my current was meaningful, I did call the church to inquire about an annulment. Whoever was on the line, I don’t remember now, told me that I would need to sign a paper saying I went into the marriage knowing it was not a good Catholic marriage. I told them I would not sign my name to a lie. I did not question what I was told nor did I pursue it further. That is on me. Things were different over 35 years ago.

                  I have kept up a relationship with my ex husbands family. I loved his parents dearly and I know they died feeling confident that their son would some day care about his sons. They loved my sons unconditionally. My sister in law has been the sister of my heart since she was 14. We are close. My brother in law lives out of town but has always attended the boy’s weddings etc.

                  Last year my ex husband was going to have an operation and he thought he was going to die. He called my middle son (because that son had tried to establish contact before) crying saying he was sorry. My son told him no one hated him and they always had a father who was there for them so were not without someone. My son told me he was hopeful that maybe this man might someday want to meet his grandchildren. After the operation my ex realized he wasn’t going to die and cut off communication. This is the same son, bordering on manhood, who asked me if I thought it might be hereditary that he wouldn’t be able to love his own children. All of my sons are excellent fathers.

                  Because my family has that quirky sense of humor the old joke was no one would ever speak to him unless he came with a truckload of 30+ years of Christmas and Birthday presents. Now the joke is
                  he really did die but his wife buried him in the back yard so she could still collect his money.

                  I believe he is still going to hell for crushing my son’s hopes one more time.

                  I married a widower with one son. Three are my biological children the other still my son, but not biological. Just as my grandchildren are all my grandchildren.

                  Wow another example of my “too many words” disease.

                  Peace Joe

                  • What a story. It’s a real tragedy for your ex as well. Too bad his near death experience didn’t change him. To think he would turn his back on his son a second time when he had the opportunity to establish a relationship with a son gracious enough to not hold a grudge. Or is it possible he was just too embarrassed and ashamed to follow through.

                    The lady at that the church messed up. That wasn’t what she should have said.

                    Thanks for sharing your story.

                    • Thank you for your kindness. Our story has a happy ending as our family thrives. So many here have so much more. tragedy in their lives.

                      I would not change anything in my life if it meant I would not end up where we are at this moment now.

                      Peace

        • Joe, I don’t think I got enough sleep last night. You really do not have to respond. I wrote 37 but it has been 38 years and the boys and I are just fine. I have been happily married for 35 years this July and my husband has been there for my sons every single day. It is all good. I wouldn’t change a thing because I cannot imagine my life without these boys.

          • I think that is great, but you still should not be held liable for someone else’s sins. At least that is how I see it. Peace,

            • Kathleen, I am sure you remember how it was when we were younger. It wasn’t just the church it was the attitude of the time. A man leaving was usually because his wife couldn’t make him happy. I lived in a small town. I hate when I let myself remember what it felt like.

              You would think attitudes would change but it seems nothing ever does. Remember during the campaign when Trump retweeted someone else’s tweet that said “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America.” I am in good company – ha.

              Peace

              • I believe a lot of churches are excellent at punishing innocent people for the sins of others. Christian hypocrisy and hate are the biggest source of atheists in America now. If I was a millennial I would probably consider myself to be an agnostic in that I would believe in G-d but not in the nature that is not comprehensible to us.

              • You certainly are in good company. You would think that because there are more women than men, this attitude would change. Go figure. I guess we will have to teach the young girls to think for themselves before this all changes. Peace and Love

                • I know an elderly Catholic man whose wife left him for another man while still raising their children. I don’t know if he ever pursued an annulment, but he remained single. This kind of thing happens to men too.

                  • Yes Joe women do walk away from their children and their husbands. Their ability to walk away from their children without a backward glance is what is unfathomable.

    • Shut up and go away.

      God creates people, or so you keep on insisting, so if people are born gay it is because it delighted God to make them so. It is His will.

      Accept it.

      • For someone that brags about their theology credentials from seminary you miss the mark on Christianity more than Stevie Wonder would miss a bullseye in archery

        • I do not always agree with GloriaMarie, I do not comment often and when I do I am usually acerbic, cynical and ironic, so I am not terribly popular either.
          That said, I do have a small bit of credibility here because I have the balls to use my real name and take responsibility for what I say.

            • If you were able to read with comprehension, you would understand no one has asked you to use your real name. We have only asked the various “anonymous” to adopt some sort of identity so we can tell the anonymous apart.

              Use “Donald Duck”. Use “Tipperary. ” Use “I am always right and you are always wrong.”

              Please, everyone who posts as anonymous, select some identity and stick to it so we can tell you apart.

          • #1) My name is NOT GloriaMarie

            #2) No one has to agree with me, but when they disagree, please do so in a respectful and validating manner.

            • With you I always am because you are respectful.
              I merely return what I am given. I am just better at it due to life experience.

              As I have told people since 1960 “I am not a smartass. I am a highly trained and skilled professional in observing the obvious, and I am very fluent in sarcasm, cynicism and irony.”

              A friend told me someone made a meme out of that statement, whatever a meme is.

              • P. Sturm, pretty sure you may google “meme.”

                As a practising Benedictine, I take seriously his admonition against cynicism, ridicule, and sarcasm. He didn’ want people in community making fun of each other, mocking each other etc. He wanted them to love each other.

                While I do not perfectly restrain myself from expressing myself in a cynical, ridiculing, and sarcastic manner, it is my goal to cease to do that in order to be faithful to the Rule of St. Benedict.

    • There is not a single verse in the Bible that says that consenting sex between a married couple either same sex or married is sin. The Bible encourages sex within marriage! All the verses about homosexual relationships are about abusive sexual relationships which are discouraged just as much for heterosexuals as LGBT folks.

      • Unfortunately this article leaves the impression that there are two extremes and only those possibilities. That people hate homosexuals and treat the cruelly, or that people must approve of everything homosexuals do. But that’s not the case. Everyone should be treated with dignity and compassion, but sins should not be condoned or encouraged. Not mine and not yours either.

        It’s not a sin to have an attraction but it is a sin for men to have sexual relations with men or women to have sexual relations with women, within or without a “marriage,” which is impossible in the Christian sense.

        It’s clear in the Bible and it’s clear in 2,000 years of Church teaching.

        https://couragerc.org/

        • I will agree with you that same-sex sexual relations have been taught as sin by the church, but I will not agree with you that that is clear in the Bible. When you read the Bible in the original languages, each verse in context, and each book in its cultural context, there is no valid statement to be made that the Bible is clear on this issue, but there is a good argument to be made that the church (and by this I mean the church catholic, not strictly the Catholic Church) has made the whole thing up to back up their prejudices.

          • Thank you, Patricia. I suspect it will be fruitless though. There are some people who would rather others do their thinking for them. Who would rather others do their reading for them and others do the interpreting for them. I thank you for all the others who might have ears to hear. Peace,

            • Shame on you Gloriamarie. You’re insinuating I’m gay and using gayness as an insult.

              Can someone ten years old be “in the closet”? Isn’t that a little young? I’m still playing with firetrucks. (OK I do have a Barbie doll stashed in the closet, but that doesn’t mean anything…)

          • The Bible came from within the Catholic Church so why is she not qualified to interpret her own book? If the book is taken out of its context, then it can be interpreted to mean just about whatever one wants it to mean, and some will go further and say there are mistakes and errors.

            Of course I could take the Bible and “do my own thinking” and conclude that it’s ok to have three wives and six girlfriends and maybe some gay lovers on the side for variety, but I have a Church to help inform my conscience and keep me in line.

            The bottom line is that a text without a context is a pretext and with the bible alone it seems that anyone can justify just about anything.

            • The Bible certainly did not come from the Catholic Church! The NT was written for the Jewish and Gentile converts of the 1st century!

              • Once again, Joe reveals he is ignorant of Church History, you may try, Martin, but Trump’s wall has been built around his mind.

                • The irresponsible thing Joe does is equate the Catholic Church with the Roman Catholic Church. Before 1054 there was the Catholic Church. After 1054 there was Eastern Orthodoxy and the Roman Catholic Church.

                  Additonally, all of the documents were written before there was a Christian cultus. There needs to be a Christian cultus before there can be a Church with a capital “C.”

                  We signs of that developing in the late third century but it is not until the fourth century that the Christian cultus is fully formed.

                  By then, of course, the NT documents were written and there was healthy debate about which documents were to be considered canonical.

                  A great book: The Formation of the Christian Bible by von Campenhausen

                  About the development of the Christian cultus, one could hardly do better than The Study of Liturgy by Cheslyn Jones (Editor), Edward Yarnold (Editor), Geoffrey Wainwright (Editor), Paul Bradshaw (Editor)

                    • The Roman Catholic Church is the Catholic Church or Universal Church. You had it right the first time and it’s not too late to go back home.

              • Martin, who did you think decided to put the New Testament together and decided what was and what was not in it?

                I’ll buy you a clue. It’s initials are RCC.

                • James, ordinarily I agree with everything you say, but the RCC did NOT put the NT together because the NT was put together centuries before the RCC existed.

                  The canon of the NT was closed in the 6th century. long before the RCC existed.

                  The RCC did not come into existence until 1054, the same year the Eastern Orthodox Church.

                  It is historically irresponible to claim the RCC existed before 1054

                    • All you do is communicate your truly patheic ignorance of the history of the Christian Church.

                      All you do is revel you have you no desire to be informed by evidence, facts, and actual history.

                      You have shown us that you have no compassion for raped women. You have no credibility here, Theodore Seebers.

                    • I have 2,000 years of church history, the Pope, hundreds of bishops, thousands of priests, the Catechism, the writings of the saints and much more in agreement with me and who can back me up. Why should your prejudices and a college course trump all that?

                • Yes you are true and what a terrible decision that was! That has led millions of believers into misunderstanding and deception! The documents that compose the NT (and men decided which they would be not God) should have been left how they were. Documents written to a specific group for a specific purpose in a specific historic context.

                  Reading the Bible as though it was written to us and about us has caused so much trouble over the years!

                  • “Reading the Bible as though it was written to us and about us has caused so much trouble over the years!”

                    While that is true, Martin, it is not the Bible’s fault if it has been interpreted that way because the Bible is still “Documents written to a specific group for a specific purpose in a specific historic context.”

                    Nothing about the Bible has changed. It’ people who have treated it in a less than responsible manner.

            • You have used an argument style that I despise. In your first sentence, you made up something that I didn’t say or imply and then challenged me to defend that misstatement. I will not defend your lie. I do wish that you would attempt to have a respectful conversation without the use of this kind of deceit.

              • Patricia, this is his SOP. Another one is to claim he has been misrepresented. He whines so much I am convinced he is a ten year old.

          • Just a quick note here Patricia. Roman Catholic morality and ethics are not based on the contents of the Bible. It is based on an extra-Biblical philosophy of ethics that goes by the official term “Natural Law.” Many people do not know that, but it is the policy of the church.

            • That’s why you and the Fundies are in error. You rely only on the Bible as if it just fell out of the sky and fail to understand it in its fullest context, the Church.

            • Charles, I had hoped that I was making myself clear that the church’s teaching was not based on the content of the Bible, but I guess I failed. Thank you for clarifying and then taking it a step further.

            • Earth is about 6500 years old. Read the Bible and understand history. Do you know about the receding of the Moon? If you did, you’d understand the earth is young.

              You can go back to building your bomb shelter.

              • I’m betting you’re also a flat-earther, believe the Earth is the center of the universe, and believe the Moon landings were faked, am I right? Science long ago proved through a whole host of various methods that Earth, and the universe in general, is many, many billions of years old.

                One thing so many people refuse to acknowledge is that the bible was written long before there was any sort of understanding of science. Science as a whole was still in its infancy prior to the 1700’s, and even then, many discoveries were regarded as witchcraft or heresy. Galileo was killed because of his scientific experimentation.

                Instead of regarding the bible as any sort of science book (it isn’t), try cracking open an actual, real science book some time. It may prove to be a rather enlightening experience for you, Ted.

                • Actually Galileo Galilei survived the Inquisition with house arrest after being convicted of Heresy for publishing material related to the Copernician system. This set back science inquiry in Southern Europe and let the Northern European countries, outside the reach of the RCC, to continue their scientific inquiry.

                • I remember reading somewhere that if the church had not been so vigilant and sometimes violent in cracking down on any scientific advancement that didn’t agree with the Bible, that we would have achieved flight in the 1700s. They also severely delayed medical advancement by prosecuting and persecuting midwives and herbalists.

                  • I’ve never read that. Can you quote your source or is it my job to dig that up somehow? The first hospitals were because of the Catholic Church. The author of the Big Bang Theory is a Catholic priest. The Church is not anti-science.

                    Unless of course you’re talking about another church or sect.

                • Wowza, is there really someone here who is so intellectually challenged that they think the Earth is only 6500 years old?

                  Well, if anyone who believes that does the math in Genesis, then Noah’s Flood would have drowned Adam, Eve, Cain, Seth, and every other person named in Genesis.

                  Of course, the flood story is mythos.

        • Joe, remember me saying that it’s fine for the church to decide for itself that it will not marry same sex couples but that the civil laws of the United States don’t answer to any religious text?

          Yeah..I repeat that.

          • Because it’s rather arrogant, Joe, to demand that people who aren’t Christian to obey Christian religious belief.

            Just fyi.

            • I don’t believe that there should be civil same-sex unions but that’s what we have. Otherwise, I don’t think religious beliefs should be imposed by law except the basics, such as thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not kill.

              This discussion is not about the law but about Christians relating to homosexuality. I see that JP has made another either/or situation, but there is another perspective besides mistreating gay people or totally accepting and condoning their behavior, and that’s the Catholic position of compassion and aid for the person, but opposition to indulging in the attraction.

              • To quote: I don’t believe that there should be civil same-sex unions but that’s what we have. Otherwise, I don’t think religious beliefs should be imposed by law except the basics, such as thou shalt not steal and thou shalt not kill.

                I’ll be over here waiting for you to figure out that your first sentence is in direct contradiction to your second sentence.

                Because your only reason for opposing same sex civil unions is your religious beliefs.

                This is how far your rights to your religious beliefs on the subject of same sex marriage go:

                That you have the right to not marry someone of the same gender as you.

                That’s it. No one else is required to abide by your religious beliefs.

    • Joe, on what basis do you think homosexuality is a disorder?

      I’ll be specific. On what medical basis.

      To quote: but neither should the Christian condone any sexual sin in

      then you conservatives should go take care of your own sins. Because you conservatives have the highest divorce rate, the highest adultery rate and oh yeah..the highest usage of porn rate. Especially gay porn.

      • How about because our Catholic Church says so? This is doctrine and not conservative vs liberal.

        Are you going to tell me that one can be a practicing Catholic while being in a same-sex relationship?

        How about because of common sense? That two men joining their reproductive organs can never reproduce?

        • If you’re going to base the ability to marry on the ability to reproduce, then there’s a large number of heterosexual couples that also shouldn’t be married because one or both partners is sterile.

          I was born sterile, thanks to Partial Androgen Insensitivity Syndrome. By that logic, regardless of whether or not I transitioned, I should never have been allowed to marry.

          That’s a piss-poor argument.

          • The argument was that two men can NEVER copulate and make a baby. NEVER. It’s impossible.

            Doesn’t it seem “ordered” that a screwdriver fits into a screw to accomplish a task? Two screws or two screwdrivers aren’t going to joint two pieces of metal.

            For a man to join his reproductive organ to the digestive organ of another man is not what either organ was ordered to do. It’s a disordered act.

            • Believe it or not, there is more to a relationship than sex. It’s who you love and how you build a life together. If your relationship is just about how your parts fit together, I feel sorry for your wife

              • I think maybe you’re on to something. If two men have an attraction for each other they should keep their relationship on a platonic level. They don’t need to fit parts together that were not meant to fit together in order to love each other.

                • But they still need marriages. To protect their rights to build a life together. What they choose or don’t choose to do to show affection isn’t the point. The fact that you don’t have the right to stop them from building a life together. You don’t have the right to decide which parts join where. Only they, in their own relationships, have the right to decide. Just like no one but you and your wife have the right to determine what kind of life you have, how you build a family, how many kids you have, or what you do to show each other affection

                • So basically, a gay couple shouldn’t be allowed to be sexually intimate because of an outdated religious construct thar the vast majority of society disagrees with? How deep in the closet are you?

              • What a nut! We are getting screwed here by Joe trying to hammer his point and drill it into our heads while we are taking an axe to his wedge issue of abortion. Without this issue we could bury the hatchet but instead he ropes us all back into his plane so we keep trying to throw a monkey wrench into his arguments because he is not on the level.

                • Robin, I have come to the same conclusion. I have decided that for me there is no Joe C, he does not want to have a conversation, he is out to derail anything positive that might happen here, so I’m going to make the attempt not to engage him. I wouldn’t if I met him on the street so why waste my time on here. He is a negative force, he chooses to be a negative force and I don’t have time for that. All he does is bring people down, I have yet to hear anything uplifting from him. That is my take. Peace and Love

            • And yet, millions of heterosexual couples are engaging in the exact same behavior as we speak, all around the world. But that’s okay because they’re not gay, regardless of who’s getting penetrated, right?

      • All true.

        Truth be told, any time I’ve been to a gay bar, or especially a bar that caters to transgender people, the majority of the men that hit on me are very religious, and many have been pastors, deaxons, or other religious leaders. Many of the cisgender women I talk to lead very religious lives, but they’re so bored in their marriages that they start looking elsewhere for intimacy.

        And yet, these are the same people that, in public, wouldn’t hesitate to spit on me.

  11. God does not Discriminate, prejudice or play favorites ,
    HE is just.
    Righteous , Loving, Long suffering God.
    He Waits Patiently until the last second of time which by the way was created for mankind.
    There is many ways which seem right to the limited, futile mind of mankind. All of which lead to the same place .
    Separation from God, Life with out Jesus Christ, and Eternal Separation from a loving, living Relationship with the Father who created mankind for his good pleasure.
    All the attributes of man were created Perfect in the beginning.
    But Mankind with HIS or HER great wisdom , rebelled and told God , its our way or the highway.
    Well Judgement occurred shortly after , and that s why the mess were are in .
    So God Demanded sacrafice for sin. NO dice
    Then He provided a Savior , Still no Dice.
    Man in his, her infinite wisdom thinks he, she, they are soooooo smart .
    Well God Does not Change, Does not Care how smart , or dumb mankind is.
    He only cares of Restoration of his people back to him. A sinful mankind to a Holy God thru a relationship of forgiveness of sin thru Jesus Christ.
    If YOU HUMBLE YOURSELVES , Confess your sin, turn from your wicked way of thinking, turn to the cross, ask god for salvation , He will forgive YOUR sin, Heal YOUR heart, and Restore your mind, will, emotions to Him.
    Damages Done, Time to Heal , God is and will always accept YOU no matter who, what , why you are where you are.
    Hell is for Rebels who Dont want Jesus Christ to Save them and think they have it handled.
    Heaven is for those who want a Savior , confess sin, turn to God with a reverent, fearful , repentant heart.

    • Sorry but the above description of what ‘salvation’ entails is no where to be found in the Bible! There is not a single verse in scripture that supports a ‘hell’ where unrepentant sinners go! The NT teaches that all of mankind has already been ‘saved’ without our choice or permission. Repentance and confession simply brings us into the experiential reality of what is already true of us. God has never needed or demanded a sacrifice for sin. Jesus sacrifice on the cross was for our sakes not God’s!

      • Romans 1
        Romans 3: 23
        Romans 6:23
        Romans 8:9&10
        Romans 10:9&10
        Leviticus 18: all , Romans 1: all
        John : 3:16 , John 1:1
        John 14: all
        If you dont read , you will never see truth, If you dont seek the cares of the world will overtake your way of thinking.
        and the statement above are written all thru out scriptures, if you would like I will send detailed scriptures of the list given.
        God is not Dead, stupid, like mankind.
        Proverbs details this.
        List Email : I will send hundreds of detailed scriptures and evidence . to support and Prove this out.
        God Truly Blinds the eyes of the wicked, depraved, lustful, self seeking, selfish people who deny Truth, Follow worldly lust and passions , and seek their own way.

  12. John, you bring a sharp focus on a huge issue and it will take decades of non-believing “christians” dying and getting out of the way for true progress to happen. That includes politicians stuck in the dark ages.
    One disagreement, since the only hell is what we do to and against ourselves in this physical plane, many of the so-called “christians” suffer little because they have found a way to insulate themselves while doing damage to others. The great thing is when their own family members come out and they begin the torturous process of changing their viewpoint.

    • Ellis…. China is against gay marriage, India is against gay marriage, Pakistan, Russia, Indonesia, entire Middle East, 38 countries in Africa, — all against homosexual marriage. In fact, it’s mostly the Christian friendly & Christian oriented countries that accept Gay Marriage. So, if you want to move world acceptance forward, then you should do what you can to convert people to Christianity.

      (I don’t think Muslim countries will ever accept gay-marriage, and Islam is growing much faster than Christianity.)

      • Islam is not growing faster that Christianity, there are more Christians on the earth right now that at any other time in human history and a greater percentage than ever before. (about a 1/3 of the worlds population) More people have converted to Christ in the last 10-20 years than in the whole previous 2000 years of Church history. For the 1st time in human history conversion rates are higher than the natural birth rate! Every 24 hours for the past 30 years 24,000 a day in china, 20,000 a day in sub Sahara Africa and 20,000 a day in Asia convert!

    • Issue is Rebellion, Lust , Passion, Depravity and wrong way of thinking, UNGODLY Passions
      God hates sin( rebellion) False Gods and will allow judgement on all who do so. NO EXCEPTION
      Infact the only way to stop Gods Judgement is If YOU seek him with your whole heart, repent, turn from your wicked ways, follow a Jesus Christ of love, understanding, and self control.
      2 cronicles states very clearly that if and only if gods people will Repent, Turn from thier wicked way of thinking, ways that lead to death, lust, passion and Pride , the He Only God will Heal the Land, the people, Restore Peace.
      War is Judgement

  13. Yes, John. So right on yet again. Never understood judgement & hate, esp. from anyone claiming a faith and to be a follower of Christ. Love wins~

    • Also never understood the time & energy some folks spend worrying (judging) about who someone loves or their body parts. There are people without homes & children without food! That’s something to get fired up about.

      • Excellent point Cathy, we all have our hands full just tending to our own soul, life and faith. If you have room to take on someone else’s house that way, you likely have holes in your own roof.

        • I hve often thought that we were to busy ourselves doing the things Jesus ******actually***** tells us to do, instead of wasting our time on things He never speaks about. such as feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick and meeting needs, we would all fall into bed at night much too exhausted to worry about who has managed to find love with whom.

  14. John, thank you. Love what you wrote. Over the decades I have been horrified at the brutality some “Christians” have to others not in their clique. Tribal mentality harms. It separates. It is divisive.

    Jesus unites.

    I am sick to death of homophobes. Go to therapy and get over it because I can assure you that your homophobia is not rooted in the Bible. That is merely your excuse. Your homophobia is rooted in two possibilities:

    1) You might be afraid that a gay man will rape you despite no evidence that gay men have ever done that. If you are afraid of rape, welcome to the world of women. I’m afraid I can’t have much sympathy for your fear because if you are the kind of “Christian” man who is homophobic, you are also probably the sort of man who thinks it’s a woman’s own fault when she is raped.

    2) Personally, I think this is the most like option. You are terrified that you yourself are gay. You probably are. There have been studies done which demonstrate a very close correlation between homophobia and being in the closet. So I invite you to come out of the closet, let the light of truth pierce your darkness and allow the truth to set you free.

    http://elitedaily.com/news/world/homophobic-men-aroused-gay-male-porn-surprised/

  15. they’re gleeful about it! they get to judge someone. pity the poor homosexual whose sin is apparent all over their face, attire, bearing. right there in the open, so they can easily detect and judge the sinful. they do not care about, rape, pedophile youth pastors, domestic violence, war for oil, drugs. oh and liars, arsonists and embezzlers! murders! all far less judged than gay people. christians are absolutely obsessed with butt sex. perhaps they’re a little [lot?] latent? someone please give pat buchanan a bj so he will finally shut up

  16. I came out at the tender age of seventeen; I had been closeted through most of my teens but I realized I could not keep it up if I wanted to live an authentic life, free of lies and hiding.

    Was it easy? No. Would I do it again? Absolutely. Was it rewarding? You have no idea how much. To be able to live my life without lies or hiding, to be able to just BE who I was…there really are no words to describe the relief and the freedom that living authentically has provided me.

    So if you think my life is somehow shameful, well that’s just too bad for you. I have thirty-seven years of joyous life behind me to prove you wrong.

  17. Thank you, brother, for those words. I’m lined up with the crowd that is cheering you on!
    We’ve talked about this before, but I still come back to this: Jesus asked people to follow him (and do those 6 tasks mentioned in Matt 25:31-46). I don’t think that you have to even believe in Jesus to be working those tasks. But I do think that all the “stuff” the neo-christians (my term for them, lower case “c” on purpose) say you “have” to do to be a Christian…all that stuff is made up by men. (Well, yes, actually men because women had almost no say in the establishment of the new religion.) Coming forward into our own time, there are women who insist, persist, and will not desist about “being saved” (always being saved, like it doesn’t happen just once), about how God HATES (group du jour).
    If you’re right and your God is filled with HATE, I want nothing to do with him–or his kid. HATE is the antithesis of everything I believe. I believe in LOVE and those 6 tasks are not “tasks” to me. They are the natural consequences/results of LOVE. By the way, that means LOVE for every single being on this planet (and any that might be *out* there). We are beings, together. Everything else is just meaningless details.

  18. Your courage gives me courage. Your need to speak out has ignited the same need in myself. I will never be quiet again when I hear hateful, ignorant things. I have two daughters (both bisexual) and a straight son. I will not tolerate anyone suggesting that my daughters are “disordered” while their brother is “normal.” I am committed, in every instance from this moment on, to speak up when someone says anything prejudicial or gratuitously hurtful – to anyone. It’s always been easier to “not make a thing” out of it, so as not to seem as impolite as the offender, but not anymore. I won’t rationalize silently standing by while people are hurting. Thank you for consistently raising the bar in championing the hurting and marginalized. Your work and your words matter a great deal to me.

    • I agree JM. Christians who are not Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals and the rest of the nonfundie American people need to band together and quit being silent. We outnumber the fundies 3 to 1 or 4 to 1. Now is the time to speak up—LOUD.

    • Good point JM, he does “raise the bar” and his challenge is for all of us to do the same. I intend to make his effort mean something too.

  19. To live and love chastely is to understand that “only within marriage does sexual intercourse fully symbolize the Creator’s dual design, as an act of covenant love, with the potential of co-creating new human life” (United States Catholic Conference, Human Sexuality: A Catholic Perspective for Education and Lifelong Learning, 1991, p. 55). This is a fundamental teaching of our Church about sexuality, rooted in the biblical account of man and woman created in the image of God and made for union with one another (Gn 2–3).

    Two conclusions follow. First, it is God’s plan that sexual intercourse occur only within marriage between a man and a woman. Second, every act of intercourse must be open to the possible creation of human life. Homosexual intercourse cannot fulfill these two conditions. Therefore, the Church teaches that homogenital behavior is objectively immoral, while making the important distinction between this behavior and a homosexual orientation, which is not immoral in itself. It is also important to recognize that neither a homosexual orientation, nor a heterosexual one, leads inevitably to sexual activity. One’s total personhood is not reducible to sexual orientation or behavior.

    Respect for the God-given dignity of all persons means the recognition of human rights and responsibilities. The teachings of the Church make it clear that the fundamental human rights of homosexual persons must be defended and that all of us must strive to eliminate any forms of injustice, oppression, or violence against them (cf. The Pastoral Care of Homosexual Persons, 1986, no. 10).

    It is not sufficient only to avoid unjust discrimination. Homosexual persons “must be accepted with respect, compassion and sensitivity” (Catechism of the Catholic Church, no. 2358). They, as is true of every human being, need to be nourished at many different levels simultaneously. This includes friendship, which is a way of loving and is essential to healthy human development. It is one of the richest possible human experiences. Friendship can and does thrive outside of genital sexual involvement.

    The Christian community should offer its homosexual sisters and brothers understanding and pastoral care. More than twenty years ago we bishops stated that “Homosexuals . . . should have an active role in the Christian community” (National Conference of Catholic Bishops, To Live in Christ Jesus: A Pastoral Reflection on the Moral Life, 1976, p. 19). What does this mean in practice? It means that all homosexual persons have a right to be welcomed into the community, to hear the word of God, and to receive pastoral care. Homosexual persons living chaste lives should have opportunities to lead and serve the community. However, the Church has the right to deny public roles of service and leadership to persons, whether homosexual or heterosexual, whose public behavior openly violates its teachings.

    http://www.usccb.org/issues-and-action/human-life-and-dignity/homosexuality/always-our-children.cfm

    • Tell me what a Church who’s leaders are celibate, therefore no nothing about marriage or parenting and condoned and hid child abuse by priests for decades talk with any integrity about what the Bible says about sexuality and marriage?

      • An unmarried priesthood is a discipline and not a doctrine. There are married priests. At any rate it doesn’t follow that celibacy means knowing nothing about marriage or parenting. Yes I know there were some bad people in the Church who did some bad things. They hurt people including the vast majority of good priests and those of us in the pews as well. That doesn’t invalidate the authority of the Church Christ established, nor does it cancel out the good works done by Catholics or the saintly examples in the Catholic Church. It doesn’t excuse anyone else’s bad behavior.

        • however, Joe, it DOES mean that the Catholic church and we catholics have to take responsibility for the bad things done in our name instead of constantly playing No True Scotsman.

          • We have to acknowledge it but I don’t know about “responsibility.” Most of the bad stuff happened before I became a Catholic and any that happened afterwards wasn’t with my help or blessing or yours either.

            We can’t hide from it, but we can’t let detractors use it to shut us up either. A bad priest doesn’t invalidate Catholic doctrine and shouldn’t reflect on the thousands of good priests who sacrifice much to serve God and man.

    • Hi Theo Seeber! I remember when you posted that on RLC! You used your real name there, though. Until you got banned anyway.

      Over, and over, and over….

      And over, and over, and over.

      Are you surprised? Don’t be surprised. You’re so easily identifiable. Of course I know who you are. As anonymous as you think you are, you’re not…

      Say hello to your fellow Knights of Columbus for me! <3

      You need to change up your tactics, if you truly want to be anonymous. Simply choosing a pseudonym just won't do.

      • Ah, Theo Seeber? I’ll add it to the list of his various pseudonyms. Thanks, Traci.

        Many here wish he would be banned from here. Even the people who engage him in the admirable way they do. Of course, his mind won’t be changed, Trump’s wall is built around it and no actual information is permitted into his country but maybe the opposition will demonstrate to others just how untrustworthy is he of the many names.

        • Actually Gloriamarie. Now that I think about it. Ted was one of the few people that John P. actually banned from this blog—not the ban you were talking about and hoping for recently—but another ban that occurred before you ever showed up here. Man!!! Was John P. ever publicly pissed. Ted had made some outrageous and hurtful statement directed at some suffering gay person John knew personally. John P. broke in, and wrote a post telling Ted he was gone forever—and John P. made it stick too. I think I am remembering this right. If not, I apologize to Ted.

            • Wow, another one. And what if he isn’t? (Which he isn’t). You don’t mind accusing me of something for which you have zero proof? Naughty naughty.

      • Ted. Is that really you? I thought you ducked out of here on a permanent basis more than one year ago. What happened? Did Donald Trump reinvigorate your spine?

        Folks. If “Anonymous” truly is Ted, he is an old-time poster on the JP blog—going almost back to the time when it was first formed. Ted is a classic, hardboiled fundie. Welcome back Ted—if that is indeed really you. There is no need to hide your name under “Anonymous” anymore if we know who you are. Here is a big smooch!!!!!

      • Well, Traci, I googled “Theodore Seeber” and found his facebook page and his blog.

        Might as well drop the “Joe Catholic” and go with your own name.

        And please stop claiming to be a Republican, Joe, when on your wall, you have a banner for the American Solidarity Party <<<>>>

        http://solidarity-party.org/platform/

    • I find it cute how Joe is now quoting from Catholic Social Teachings..and yet he conveniently continues to ignore the parts that deal with economics and the excesses/failures of capitalism* and worshipping of the rich and the government’s responsibility therein.

      *Oh I’m not saying capitalism in total is a failure. But there are parts of that simply don’t work.

    • Love and acceptance , Repentance, Change, Turning You heart to the true risen Jesus Christ.
      If you Compromise , God will judge your household and bring leaness to your soul.
      That means accepting anything, any way of thinking, all wrong ways of thinking, and all lustful ways of life as the norm.
      If God judged the nations, people of the past, history and they did not survive his judgement .
      Do you really think God is some liberal mouse who just accepts every wind of doctrine and lets man do what ever they choose with out consequence.
      NO , He does not, He does judge Sin. and allows man to suffer so they will cry out to Him for salvation.
      YOU see when all is well, safe, feed up, content with what you do, have, see,
      then the Pride of life, Lust of Flesh, Selfish ambition takes over .

  20. So- Joe whatever- it’s perfectly OK for me to be whoever/whatever I am- as long as I never have sex. Well- dumbass- since I have an extremely charged up with the Divine Spirit human sexuality- yet I have no sexual interest in women- that would mean that my sexuality is a curse from your dumb-as-shit god. Sorry. Your god is stupid. Your rules are stupid. You are stupid. Brain-dead.

  21. This is part of why I lost my faith. God wouldn’t let His children discriminate against others for any reason if He were real. He would punish bigots, racists, and misogynists in the here and now, not wait until they die. Also, if He was real, he wouldn’t let people like Donald Trump and Neil Gorsuch get into positions of power.

    • You have some interesting presuppositions. But you overlook a very important theological point: God created us with free will to choose whatever sanity or insanity we wish.

      God doesn’t control us. God respects that free will.

      My faith is not based on what people do or do not do. It is based on Jesus.

    • Ryan, you would be right if God had created a world in man’s image. God would play chess with us all if he was as small, spiteful and revenge oriented as mankind. But He didn’t and He isn’t. You should not lose your faith over something that is not correct. God is not a master manipulator.

    • Whoa! I hope you will take a step back, Mr. Ryan, and consider this: God has given us two great gifts. One is the Promise of Salvation for our Immortal Souls. The other is Free Will.

      Salvation lies in the next life and what we do in this life will carry on into it for eternity.

      Free Will means we have to navigate, given the message and teachings we embrace into this World and make the best of it we can.

      We shouldn’t blame God for giving us the chance to behave like adults, to make a difference and to succeed, or fail, based both on our merits and by our own measure. He never loses faith in us even when we lose faith in Him. That is the wonderful part about faith – he is always waiting to pick us up when we are ready.

      All He has ever asked of us is to try. He knows life can be unfair. Sometimes challenges can seem overwhelming. Sometimes victories do not come in the classical sense of utterly overcoming all obstacles and achieving all your aims. Sometimes you try and get absolutely nowhere ~ today. Try again tomorrow.

      There will be times we are so tired, confused, or frustrated we don’t want to try. That’s okay. God isn’t going anywhere. Of all the infinite choices laid out before us, even doing nothing is an option ~ thus our Free Will. He leaves the decision ‘to do’ in our hands … because he has entrusted us with Creation.

      Take care.

    • NO Rebellion is
      Wrong way of thinking
      Selfish pride
      The thinking that if not my way the highway.
      The Truth is YOU did not want to see truth.
      YOU just want to see it your way.
      Turn your heart to Jesus Christ, Repent, Humble Yourself so you can see God, Read, Study, Seek out Truth. and you shall be saved from a world going down with the ship

  22. Oh yeah- Joe whatever- your god is abusing me. How dare he. Your religion is abusing me. Who does it think it is? Your heterosexism is abusing me. Pathetic. YOU are abusing me. Who do you think you are? Jesus? Not that that will matter to you. But it does make you and your belief structure and your version of god- ABUSERS.

  23. I would like to point out something important. Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ citizens falls heaviest on the shoulders of pubescent children who wake up one morning with same-sex inclinations and urges they never planned for or expected to have. Most are surprised, hurting, and emotionally confused about their situation. It is Hell for these children.

    If they are members of a Christian fundamentalist or conservative evangelical family and church, they will often become victims of discrimination and persecution by the members of their families and the members of their churches. Physical and emotional abuse will often be their lot as parents try to beat and scream the LGBTQ out of their children. Fundie parents will often disown their LGBTQ children and kick them out into the streets to fend for themselves. Fundie parents and church members will subject them to so much harassment that they will be pushed into mental illness and eventually suicide.

    You can argue all day about whether being an LGBTQ child is a sin. However, you cannot argue that emotional and physical abuse of a child is proper behavior toward LGBTQ children—whether it be from family members at home or from the pastor and pew sitters at church. regardless of the LGBTQ factor, many of these same fundie families and church members embrace regular physical and emotional abuse of their children as a required act of God under the old “spare the rod” mentality.

    Personally, I have had it with this physical and emotional abuse Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals—and their churches—dish out to LGBTQ children. I think it is high time that all nonfundie Christians and every other American citizen who is a nonfundie should get together and push for severe criminal penalties against fundie parents and churches who abuse their LGBTQ children physically or emotionally and/or drive them into mental illness and suicide. I firmly believe that a mandatory 10 year prison sentence and a $100,000 fine is not unreasonable. Hiding behind the First Amendment is not an option and American courts will not tolerate this for long: “The destruction I heaped on my LGBTQ child was just me exercising my freedom of religion.”

    LGBTQ discrimination and persecution will not last long in the United States because most American citizens (who far outnumber the fundies) are reasonable and fair-minded people who are by nature sentimental to the “underdogs” among us. The current fundie push for legal discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ citizens will slowly fade away. The time to begin pushing hard for criminal penalties for fundie parents and churches who abuse their LGBTQ children is NOW. As the current push for discrimination and persecution of LGBTQ citizens wears thin on the vast majority of nonfundie American people—and it definitely will—an already well-organized and well-funded movement to put abusive fundie parents, pastors, and church members behind bars for abuse of their LGBTQ children will be successful. No more abuse of children in the name of Jesus!!! Watch the video:

      • Charles, I am LGBT and I hope I die before the persecution of christians yo describe begins in America — We need healing not retribution.

        • since we Christians are 70% of the population, Anon, what persecution do you think we’re undergoing?

          Seriously, not being able to shove your religious beliefs down peoples throats and use said religious beliefs as a weapon is not you being persecuted.

    • Mr. Charles … wow … this is a nightmare.

      I’m a firm believer people are born LGBT. It is not an ‘affliction’, condition, or something which can be, or should be, ‘cured’.

      On the other hand, this DOES run smack into the 1st Amendment because the defining intervening factor is religious – not even limited to fundamentalist Christians, but other religions which denounce LGBTQ+ as well.

      “Worse” it proposes ‘limits’ on how parents raise their children based on principles of what ‘indoctrination’ is unhealthy and harmful.

      And here is how it is worse … there is currently a war being waged about the very matter of gender and gender identity right now. There is an argument being advanced which states ALL children are born ‘gender fluid’ and parents/society ‘artificially’ impose gender upon their children.

      And it keeps getting worse when you realize which one of the two members of the base binary genders is under attack as ‘unhealthy’ and in need of modification.

      I am not making this stuff up.

      See, your law couldn’t only cover fundamentalist Christians. After all, what about the Atheist parents who didn’t want their son growing up to be a ‘sissy’? Why wouldn’t your law cover them?

      So now you are stepping into the realm of social engineering ~ though in a very small way – initially. The problem is, since the law cannot be codified to exclusively religious in its prosecution, you have opened that door to putting every parent on trial for every parenting decision they’ve made when a child is tragically lost.

      This is a legal idea with good intentions, but the price tag could be worse than where we are currently. I say that knowing two of my Daughter’s friends were removed from their public school when the older brother joined the LGBTQ+ club. The parent’s freaked out and withdrew both kids after they learned the High School sanctioned the group. This is an ugly situation.

    • Unless a man, women, child repent they cannot see the kingdom of heaven. God is no respector of mankind, and wont change for mankind.
      NO Matter what , God is Holy, Just, Loving
      YOU must cry out to , turn your heart to , repent, change, cast your hurts to and onto God, Thru Jesus Christ to be saved from this fire.
      This Hell, Fire, Damnation, eternal separation from god is Reserved for the God Haters, Rebellion against God, Those who hate god in everything they do. That s right even pastors, elders, churches who lie, deceive, cheat, take advantage of others will suffer this judgement .
      That is why the bible is clear. Judge YOUR own heart daily to see if you are in the faith.
      Cry out to god in repentance . Seek like no other to see what truth is.

      • Charles, I am LGBT and I hope I die before the persecution of christians yo describe begins in America — We need healing not retribution.

  24. Eish, that took a while to get to the comments box. Comments on this blog seem to start out connected, then some fulltime contrarian says something he or she has said a million times before, and all of a sudden that’s the conversation and Jon is forgotten. Oh well. I still want to talk about the blog.

    I wanted to say that IME “Christian” homophobia tends to be more subtle, seldom is it clear bullying or “being horrible” and perhaps that is because the dominant anti gay discourse in church circles is so seldom challenged. The mantra is “love the sinner, hate the sin” with no understanding that the so called sin is a person’s very identity. And that sex is not the issue, it is love that sinks the ship of denial, giving people the courage to face any persecution. Or that ones own discomfort with sexuality, adherence to patriarchy, or gender identity is driving it and not faithfulness to the Bible which is just the convenient excuse (the definition of taking the Lords name in vain?)

    What is more, homophobes and patriarchs may have powerful ministries and are wildly popular in South Africa. One of them, Angus Buchan, held a call to prayer today and over a million believers showed up with millions more praying elsewhere. Buchan is a sincere and humble man but a thorough complementarian.

    Our own Bishop insists that gay people can and should seek healing, despite the repudiation of this by medical science, and the explicit protections of our national Constitution from such discrimination. They get away with it and will continue to do so until more constructive engagements become common…but who will engage them?

    I wish it was so simple as consigning people to hell, but it’s not. All I can do is look at myself: how often do I speak out? How often do I fail? how often do I plead ignorance or non responsibility? How often must I remind myself of those known to me who were brave to come out, and be willing to share their rejection? I know what Jesus would do, though thanks to Jon for the reminder.

    Now I ask your prayers for the wisdom and strength to speak up, and the forgiveness of gay sisters and brothers for the many times I kept silence when I should not have done.

    • I am a transchick. I think I might be bi, though I’ve only dated other women previously. I will pray that God continues to give you strength and courage. Thank you being an ally. <3

      • Glad to see I’m not the only transchick here. ^_^ Nice verbal “smacking around” and near-doxxing of Joe, by the way. That was pretty awwsome! ^_^

      • If you seek after worldly lust, passions, and selfish love , that is what you will find.
        you will not see truth.
        You will reap what you sow.
        Spiritual or Fleshly
        YOUR choice.
        but dont blame others, God for your own choices.
        God is Clear in the Bible , if you read it you too will see this. YOU must be sincere
        God is NOT some gene y who gives takes, does the will of mankind.

    • Ms. D,
      “… and the explicit protections of our national Constitution from such discrimination.”

      Sadly, the words in a Constitution mean little if there isn’t the political will and police & judicial determination to support them. We’ve seen it time and time again on the international stage ~ pretty words =/= no Quality of Life impact.

  25. Thank you John P, may the deaf ears hear it, the blind eyes see it and the cold hearts feel it. Using the Bible as a weapon against anyone who wants to come to Jesus is a sin I cannot fathom God forging. Thank you for being a light that shines!

    • I , We, YOU are commanded by the one, true, Holy, Just , loving God to 2 tim. 3:16 to preach, teach, train others to deny worldly passions, fleshly desires, ideologies that deny god, and server the flesh. and to preach the word ( bible ) in season and out.
      To do the work of an evangelist
      The life boat is out , It is YOUR Choice what you do with it.
      Remember you have until death to make that crucial decision.
      who will you serve
      who will you follow
      who will you trust with your soul
      Where will you spend eternity
      YOU dont know when your life will be taken , required of you.
      Today is that moment in time when God , Jesus Christ is inviting you to make a commitment to follow Jesus Christ NO Matter what the cost.

  26. Just in case anyone might care, I have a new post up on my blog. It was written by a gay Christian more than 21 years ago, but it is just as salient today as it was “tweeny” years ago. You may access it by clicking on the following safe link:

    https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

    Just as a heads up, my next post later tonight or tomorrow will be about Kim Jong-Un. “Ho!!! Kim Jong-Un!!!”

    • If your a gay christian , then you dont know what the bible says, and have not studied what the truth is.
      If God Destroyed Sodom, Gomorah and Judgement was at had , and if God destroyed the whole earth by water ( the flood ) and history shows this evidence , The do you really think he will not judge you .
      He will say Depart from me you workers of inequity, lustful passions of the flesh.
      God is Just and will NOT , Not judge Sin. Rebellion from God.
      Romans 1:
      Levitus 18:
      All thru out history shows evidence of nations destroyed by outsiders , invaders, others while the nation being judged was in the Acts of Sin, and rebellion against God.
      NO DEED UNPUNISHED

  27. A SLIGHTLY DIFFERENT VIEW: Pastor P, I know you are angry and hurt for Vicky. But, you can’t fall into the same category as haters. As much as you or I might like to be the ones who decides who does and does not go to hell we just don’t have that right. Besides in reading this blog over the last couple weeks no one will go to hell and Jesus isn’t the only way. I have been to the middle east and I have friends who are Muslim. In some countries to say your gay means the death penalty or stoned. If you will show love to your adversary (same as Jesus) and just have a better idea and realize there will always be haters, I implore that you do not fall into the trap of being a hater too. You can use your blog to influence, persuade, show a better way. Please though don’t be condemning as people were who were unkind to Vicky. Review Jesus response as he faced physical and emotional humiliation.

    • No James. This is a classic fundie tactic to get fundie haters off the hook and Scot free for their behavior. It tries to shift the blame for THEIR hatred to those who are coming down hard on the fundies and their hatred. What the fundie haters are actually saying is:

      “Quit calling me out and accusing me of hatred and persecuting people. It is interfering with my mission of hatred and persecution against LGBTQ people. Please quit and quit trying to hold me back—or I may be unsuccessful in my mission of hatred and persecution.”

      Nothing doing James. We want them to be unsuccessful in their mission of hatred and persecution. They are going to get called out every day and be slammed hard. This is WWE, and they are going down for the three-count in the court of public opinion.

      • Charles, I know you are probably hurt especially if you are gay. You can’t shift blame. It is owned or not owned. Any shifting is always seen. I want you to think about someone I consider to be one of the greatest Americans in our history as a nation. His name was Dr Martin Luther King. You probably know from history what he endured and never raised a fist. (I know he wanted to). But, night after night the news saw the injustice. I never tire of his speech “I have a dream.” If you harbor anger and resentment it will eat at you and rob you of joy. Don’t let people who hate put that on you. We live in a secular nation not a theocracy. There are laws to protect the rights of all. They are not perfect but someone can’t refuse to hire you because you are gay. I have a dear friend who is gay who works in a high level I.T. company. And, I could go on and on. When you return hate with kindness the hate will melt away. It will be exposed for what it is. Be mad, but don’t stay mad. And, don’t condemn. That is all I am saying. I have to ask you; what the heck is a fundie??

        • James. I am not LGBTQ. Martin Luther King, Jr. did not shoot guns at people or use explosives. He used a more powerful weapon than those. He used well-crafted wording to slam the enemies of African-American freedom, and he did it masterfully. I have not shot anyone or blown up any cars or buildings—and I do not intend to do so. I use well-crafted words. I am also not the idiot you must think I am. I live in a “free work” state where a person can be legally fired from their job if the boss prefers Navy blue dress socks over your black dress socks. The state law is so constructed that no person has any legal recourse whatsoever in such as situation. That was the intent of the law when it was passed and signed into law by our governor.

          LGBTQ people are in danger of discrimination and persecution in my state—one of the reddest in this nation. The Southern Baptist Convention holds sway over this state, and the people in their pews hate LGBTQ people with a perfect hatred. They may say that they do not hate them, and their pastors may say it, but I never see them speaking out against any discrimination against or persecution of an LGBTQ person when it happens. The silence is deafening, which means they applaud the discrimination and persecution inwardly and outwardly cover up their true feelings with lies. Of course, lies in the fundie community are a way of life.

          • They are in danger of discrimination in most red states. Some just have to be more creative than others. But the discrimination is real.

        • It sounds to me like you are just another typical fundie hater who is scared to death that someone is going to restrain or stop your hatred. You may not believe this, but studies have shown that that fundamentalisms in all of the worlds religions, including Christian fundamentalism, are built on the same foundation—fear that their faith is about to be made extinct by the modern world.

          So naturally, you would do anything, make any accusation to stop criticism of your belief system. Christian fundamentalists are not used to people criticizing their belief system because they have always been on the militant offensive to criticize the religions of others—including the nonfundie Christian denominations you hate. Get used to the criticism—a whole lot more is coming your way from millions of other Christians in the years ahead. Your militancy will face a militancy set against you. Considering how hateful and mean-spirited you people have been to most American citizens over the past 100 years—and considering how much you have hurt and destroyed people and lives in the name of Jesus—believe me—no one will shed a tear when Christian fundamentalism becomes extinct—and it will—because it does not honor Jesus—his sayings—and his doings.

          • Wow! You know so much about me and Christians! I am so impressed a hater like you calls out others for “hate.”

            Since you’re so smart and obviously know everything please let me know who’s going to win the Stanley Cup, World Series, and Super Bowl.

            Have fun with your bomb shelter, hating others like you, and staying regular.

            Don’t forget to buy yourself more Metamucil.

              • Actually, no. You didn’t touch a nerve. I’m simply displaying sarcasm towards your ridiculous and insane comments that come from someone who says they are “passionate about being compassionate” yet is a hateful bully towards anyone not like them and who provides about as much truth as the old Weekly World News Report.

                • Paula. Just remember what Jesus said to the kinds of people who torment you:

                  Listen Jerk. If I find a person beating up an LGBTQ person because they are LGBTQ, I will break in and stop it— and then lend aid to the LGBTQ person. I will have compassion on that LGBTQ person. If the police want to have some compassion on her assailant, they can call the ambulance for them. If I am a hateful bully for stopping the assailant—then I wear that with pride. So go f*ck yourself because I doubt anyone else would want to do so.

                  • Who’s Paula? You’re all over the place! And I thought Steven Tyler came off as ADHDDDDDDDD in his autobiography! You make him look very attentive.

                    I will give you credit- You do remain consistent as a foul mouth bully and a hypocrite because you are not compassionate. You hate anyone not like you. Have you Jesus loved all people. You only love your fellow liberals and “Pavlovites”- Those blindly following John Pavlovitz (i.e. small minded, biblically illiterate, people like yourself)

                    Have you ever had a heart attack? Not sure how anyone can function with so much hate yet talk about how compassionate they are. Then again, are you just doing shtick? If so, you’re hilarious!

                    By the way, I like the WWE reference in a previous earlier post 🙂

                  • Bravo, Charles. Except for the F word. I do so wish you stop using language like that. It detracts from what you are saying and only gives the Usual Suspects something to hold against you so that they ignore everything else you write.

                  • Wow, way to go Charles in proving his point. I can see why you are the darling of the libs here and why they say nothing about your abusiveness. They let you do their dirty work.

                    • Oh, I get it now. Trumpers can berate, shout, insult, denigrate, and even beat people that are protesting them but if other people do it to Trumpers then are the “victims” and “being oppressed”. BS.

                      A lot of the people here had their life threatened for being who they are. Let. That. Sink. In. We are the ones that faced being ostracized by our own family. We are the ones that bullies like to beat up. We are the ones that had to hide while trying to figure out who we are really, often without any information or help. We are the ones that can be fired for who we are in most of the US. We were the ones that had to relive our private nightmares after the Orlando attack. Are you oppressed like that? Seriously dude?

                    • Further than that…

                      Joe, when have you ever been beaten up, stabbed, or shot at for being catholic? When has someone ever spray-painted or scratched an anti-catholic slur into the side of your car or your home? When has anyone shouted anti-catholic slurs at you while in a public place? When has anyone called you an abomination or aberration for being a catholic? When has your catholicism ever been called a “disorder”?

                      If those things start happening, you can claim persecution. Until then, you don’t have a single clue what persecution feels like, and you have absolutely no right to claim that. None. You’re just another ass who feels butthurt because the general public isn’t putting up with their hateful rhetoric anymore.

                    • The single most abusive person on this blog is Joe Catholic. He beats Wayne solely by the sheer volume of his posts. Someone should tell his employer how much time he spends during the workday berating people here.

        • well Anon, let us know when fundies stop trying to legalize discrimination against those they don’t like.

          Then you can talk.

    • James, he is far, very far, from falling into “the same category as haters”. Read Matthew 23 and 25 for a better idea of what it is to call out those you think are doing harm. In Matthew 23, Jesus is not kind, he is not patient, he is not forgiving.

      • It is out outrageous that a christian whether he be pastor or any other member call for the death of anyone for any reason.
        The best way to fight that is to take the recording and broadcast it. Let the people decide. Suppose you are opposed to gay rights. Even if you are you have no right to deprive that person of his/her constitutional rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. My next fear is that they call for the death of chubby people (close to home), I mean make a long list. No one is safe. If there is a Christian reading this and hold to that view please please reconsider as you are on the wrong track. God is the judge – not you!

      • God Calls His People , True Believers to Accept, Love , Preach, Teach all people , including and especially Gays, lesbians, Transgenders in the hopes of change.
        God is at work to change to a Repentant Heart
        All who Sin , not just gays, All who rebel against God, Not just a select few
        All who have rejected the payment for sin to follow worldly passions, lust, pleasure will suffer Judgement and pay the price
        Eternal separation from God
        YOU all must repent, turn to , change lifestyle, leave the past behind, follow Jesus Christ, to be saved from the sinking earth.

        • Christopher, many LGBT people have turned to God because we have been shown God’s love through Christ — it is a process of walking by faith and we need christians to walk along side us– not continually badger us.

  28. Some years ago, I started talking to a very nice man on Facebook, and I knew that he was a Catholic Priest, and he had agreed to talk with me about any spirit questions that I had a lot of them. Though, we discovered that many years ago, when we were in HS, we found that we lived about 20 miles away, and we were both the same age, so we probably ran into each other and never knew that, we also talked a lot about the areas we used to live back then also, back in those days. When we were talking about the negotiations with the Indian Fishing Rights and AIM, when I mentioned that my uncle was the one who was sent there for the State , he did know who my uncle was. He was there because he also is half Native American/Irish and why he was at the negotiations. His tribe is from Canada, and he is also a Fancy Dancer. He is also a Two-Spirit as well. I don’t know where he went, he might have taken himself off Facebook, or something could have happened.

    Well, check out about Two-Spirit people, and when homophobes showed up. https://www.theguardian.com/music/2010/oct/11/two-spirit-people-north-america

    • Kathi V, sounds to me as if you miss your friend. I hope all is well with him. Thank you for sharing that story.

      • Thank you Gloriamarie. Sure, he was certainly a nice guy. He was gone for quite some time, and then he showed up for a couple of days to mostly just to say hi to me, and then he was gone, and I just checked it out, and he is not on facebook anymore.

        Well, you can tell what I wrote is that he is a Catholic priest and also gay. He is the one who told me about Two-Spirits are LGBTQ people, and that was really cool to see that they were considered very important to their tribes/communities, in fact they were very special honors for them, and how important they were to their tribes to survive and thrive together. Then when the British Colonies and the Spanish showed up, well, it must have been hellish to the Two-Spirit people back then.

        • I am sorry your friend is absent from your ife.

          Interestingly enough the Viking culture also had a concept similar to Two Spirits.

        • That’s not how Catholic priests talk. Was he still a priest? A Catholic priest may not be “gay” in the sense that he has a partner. I hope that’s not the case. He should be celibate. Heterosexual Catholic priests should not have girlfriends either.

            • Thanks for the clarification. I am confused about the term “gay.” I had heard that if that term is used it means “practicing” and not just an inclination.

              What does “two spirits” mean? I’m not being critical in asking. I just don’t get it.

              • In North American First Nations cultures pre-contact, and in other Aboriginal cultures around the world, people who are not heterosexual are believed to have both a feminine spirit and a masculine spirit, making them able to perceive and understand things more broadly. They were honoured and held positions of importance, such as healers, religious leaders, negotiators, diplomats, etc. The nations didn’t all speak the same language, so there were many terms used to describe these people. When English became the common tongue, the term “two spirit” was coined to acknowledge that belief that two spirits are being contained in one person.

                As for “gay”, there is an understanding among some people that one is only gay or homosexual if one is sexually active. It defies logic because a person who is straight or heterosexual can be a virgin or celibate or both and still be recognised as straight or heterosexual.

                The term “gay” was originally coined as an umbrella term that encompassed anyone who was not cisgender heterosexual, but language changes with usage and the word “gay” came to be primarily used to indicate cisgender homosexual men. Although the word is still used in its umbrella understanding, so one has to be careful in determining which way is intended.

                As for your use of the word “inclination”, it is loosely correct, but to say exactly what you mean it would be better if you used “sexual orientation”.

                And then there’s “practicing”. There is a joke that says, “I’m not practising. I’m doing it perfectly.” But seriously, practising is again a way to loosely say what you really mean. The words you should be using are “sexually active”.

                Neither of these last two terms are in any way “dirty” and they are quite correct to use in polite company. Please feel comfortable to say what you mean.

    • Thank you, Ms. V.

      Not the first. Not the last. Time and time again we have encountered societies with more than the classic binary gender roles – on five of the seven continents (I’m unsure if it has ever occurred on Australia among the Aborigines and I’m only counting humans, not penguins, in this example) – and their civilizations didn’t collapse, implode, or degenerate.

      Children weren’t raped (inside, or outside, of bathrooms).
      No one was ‘converted’ to ‘their side’.
      They weren’t ‘unstable’, or a drain on their social group’s resources.

      In fact, in those societies, no one made a horribly big deal about it. No, those societies concentrated on things like preparing for the next season, the communal raising of young, working their trades and performing the rituals which bound them together as a people. They functioned just fine without making a big deal about there being an alternative to the binary among them ~ because the non-binary folks were just as much a part of their society as everyone else.

      In some cases these non-binaries were ‘special cases’, behaving in a religious function, acting as mediators and counselors, or as specialized performers and artisans. It was never ‘one size fits all’. It never should be.

      {I use non-binary instead of LGBTQ+ because in these more medically-primitive societies without the ability to help a trans person fully transition, they were still stuck in the binary, or sole non-binary positions in those societies. Likewise, I am unaware of a society in this mold which allowed gender fluidity, so again, I was left with the gender binary/non-binary position.}

  29. I believe that the LGBT Community is a social expression of God’s Evolution of Mankind. Jesus and God did not fall asleep at the wheel 2000 years ago. The Higher Powers presence is with us and a daily basis.

    • Evolution of Rebellion of mankind, Seeking his own pleasure to cover up the hurts of what mankind has done or sown in past .
      The bible is very clear in old testament about how God judges the people who hate him unto the 4th generation and those who rebel against his truth, way, commandments
      History is very clear , if you , we want to see truth.

      • Christopher you said, “Evolution of Rebellion of mankind, Seeking his own pleasure to cover up the hurts of what mankind has done or sown in past .”

        It’s true, human beings drown, thier sorrows in drink and pleasures– but if the church would reflect God’s love with purity instead of hypocrisy people would find God’s love is better than anything on this earth.

        We are all like babbling children– grabbing toys from each other — crying and pointing fingers– like the selfish needy human beings we are.

        We need God’s love more than ever.

  30. I think that the evangelical church is going to have to answer for the way we have excluded, criticized and generally made our LGBTQ brothers and sisters unwelcome. Who did Jesus turn away? No one. What other type of behavior do they feel they need to “tell the truth in love” about? Only gay sex. I grew up in a very homophobic church environment and I am thankful to God that He has allowed me gay friends who welcomed me into their lives. We must shift this way of thinking and throw the doors of our communities open wide to anyone and everyone who will come.

    • Also, please don’t forget the most important thing of all. Jesus experienced rejection by the social and religious elites of his day—and they killed him. He knows what it is like better than anyone, and I seriously doubt He enjoyed it. However, he did give one of them a promise—and I want to be there and see it when it is fulfilled:

      “And Jesus said unto him, Thou hast said: I am: and nevertheless I say unto you, Henceforth ye shall see the Son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming on the clouds of heaven.”

    • This is not about who pays, answers, gives an account.
      This is the battle of God , Holiness, Truth, Justice for the Souls of mankind.
      last days before God, Holy God Judges mankind for thier rebellion .
      What you see is not what is really going on.
      All Sin is Sin.
      All rebellion is Rebellion
      All False gods are just false
      All vain, worldly, fleshly, lustful ways are just that
      mankinds atempt to make it with out god, no accountability , no respect for him/herself , just following what ever gives pleasure.
      Selfish, Self seeking the end is death

  31. What do you expect from religious people? They live without the ability to distinguish between mythology and reality. They have a caveman-level understanding of science. They live their lives in superstitious fear of being punished for all eternity by an invisible, magical, all-powerful (yet so neglectful that he has to be continually reminded about everything through prayer) imaginary deity.

    You can’t expect toddlers to solve calculus problems, and you can’t expect religious people to understand… well, anything.

    • YOU are decieved , YOU must repent, YOU must turn to and trust God, Holy God, UNselfish God.
      YOU must become as a child so as to see the truth, True things of god. and the Spitural Side of god.
      God is Holy and with out , you or anyone else cannot see God.
      God is not stupid, Does not allow mankind to exist past his life span which is around 70 years, used to be 1000 before sin.
      God allows all to live until death in hopes of salvation.
      There is a way that seems right to any man, and the end is death, eternal separation from god .
      God Hides Truth for the Proud, Arrogant, Vain, Lustful, Selfish, Self seekers, and those who HATE God in every thing they do. they show it in speech and actions

      • Take a deep breath Christopher the aggressiveness with which you respond to Breed7 only makes them doubt more. Don’t you want to help people?

      • Mr. Freeman … God wants me to grow up and be an adult, to take responsibility for myself and to follow His Message to the best of my ability.

        I was born His Child, but I have grown up to be a servant in His Cause. As an adult I will make decisions I will be judged by. These are things an innocent ~ a Child ~ cannot do.

    • Breed7, when you make broad, sweeping, over-generalizations of religious people, you make the very same mistake of which you accuse them.

      Even the most cursory reading of the comments disproves your claims.

      But given the way you feel, I wonder why you would bother to read a blog that attracts religious people who are well able to distinguish between mythology and reality, have scientists among us, and hold to a view of God that is nothing like you describe.

    • Breed 7, some of them do and that is a fact, but many more don’t. Many more are fighting every day for the rights, lives, education, health and safety of others. Many more are reaching out to the LGBTQ community in support and standing with them fighting for equal rights and equal protection. Many more are talking to their friends and family and announcing their love and support for gay friends and supporting the marriages of gay friends and family. Many more are finding ways to support and befriend co-workers and neighbors. Do not sell us all short because of the minority who live in such fear they risk losing the God they think they serve. Pity them, this is totally their loss.

  32. Honestly I think they will welcome Hell. Especially if God himself told them that they where wrong.

    It’s obvious how ravenous homophobic fundamentalists can be and just how spiteful and cruel they are to the LGBT community. They can call their treatment love, but they are only trying to fool themselves. They where willing to let 10,000 children starve to death with no hesitation or remorse just to make a statement against gay marriage. They had the gall of pretending they are the good guys, and that it was a “difficult decision” for them.

    I don’t think I’m lying or exaggerating when I say that if there was an LGBT affirming church in the Middle East, evangelicals would call for them to be left to Isis. In the event of the Vatican coming out as gay affirming, it would trigger what can only be described as a religious civil war. I wouldn’t put it past them; I can honestly say they won’t truly be happy until there’s an inquisition against gays, transgenders, progressives and muslims – and the only reason they won’t do it is because they can’t get away with it. And if they actually went through with it, they’d use the backlash it as fuel for the persecution complex fire.

    They also absolutely refuse to be called out against their sins against the LGBT community. They are adamant about not taking responsibility or owning up to their cruelty, insist what they are doing is a virtue. And it’s clearly fuelled by a self righteous narcism, I read this one blog of an anti gay pastor talking about gay suicides and the possible responsibility against them; his response amounts to “It can’t be our fault, that would make US the villains!”

    I often ask what they’d do on the judgment hall; Susan Cottrell wrote a hypothetical of an Anti Gay pastor meeting Jesus in the afterlife. Jesus calls him out on his treatment of gay people in his life and even reveals that the ones driven to suicide are in heaven. In this story, the pastor is remorseful, but in real life I wouldn’t by it. Realistically I think such a person would angrily reject Jesus on the spot, denouncing him as caving in onto worldly pressure, and defying the book that was written centuries after his death. They would rather throw themselves into Hell, if it meant eternal separation from a gay affirming God.

    ….which would make universalism all the more just.

    • I agree Christopher. Those that are consumed with anti-LGBTQ hate would rather burn in hell than simply love someone who is LGBTQ. The bad thing about hate is that is it like drinking poison in hopes to watch an enemy die. It is horribly self destructive.

    • Christopher, I cannot refute what you say and it is beyond sad, but their numbers are not the ones that are growing. There is hope and there is an avalanche created with enough snowflakes.

  33. As a trans woman, having dealt with rejection from Christians for so long, I’ve come to hope that the atheists have it right, and that when I die, I experience oblivion. A heaven full of transphobes and homophobes doesn’t sound like a better or worse option than eternal damnation. Indeed, given the horrendous acts committed in God’s name, I’m not so sure that even if the author has it right, that the homophobes are consigned to perdition, that I’d want to accept an invitation into heaven. “Wow, after all that I’ve seen and gone through, I’m supposed to THANK YOU? No thanks – oblivion please.” But I don’t expect that. Somehow, I feel certain that whatever happens in the afterlife, barring oblivion, that the universe will prove to be as hostile and inimical as it’s always been to people like me throughout our lives.

    • As a follower of Jesus, I would like to apologize for those who claim they are Christian and then behave in such a hateful and vindictive manner. There are a lot of us who abhor that. Personally I have stopped using the identifier of Christian. I prefer not to be thought of as one of those who spew hate. Please know there are some of us who are not happy with them either. Peace and Love,

      • I know that you mean well by apologizing, and I appreciate your feelings. But an apology doesn’t really help. 41% of trans people attempt suicide – I should know, I was one of them. We face injustice and discrimination at every turn. And make no mistake, the hateful fundamentalist evangelicals want us dead. In my own state, Texas, as well as several others, they are debating, and trying to pass laws, about whether or not we should be allowed to use public restrooms. Can you imagine such a thing?

        If you want to make a difference, oppose the hateful who defile the name of your Savior. Contribute to groups who oppose them. Speak out against them.

        Apologizing is no more useful than praying for us. God doesn’t answer those prayers – I’ve seen so much that I have no doubt of this. God works through people, I believe, so be one of those people.

        • I hear you, and I appreciate where you are coming from. I do speak up, now more than ever, although I have always been one to speak my mind especially were discrimination of any kind is evident. I do belong to and contribute to many org that are fighting so that there aren’t any laws that discriminate. I am and have always been passionate about keeping the church or religion out of our government. But I also realize that unless more people do this what I do won’t matter. I did not mean to be condescending in my apology so I hope that is not the way it came across. I think I just wanted you to know that there are people who don’t like what these so-called christians have done in the name of Jesus. Peace,

        • Paula Ellis, you are right and I agree with you, the time for changing hearts and opening minds is long past, we have to fight with all we have. I oppose their hate in every place I encounter it and in no uncertain terms. I vote against them, I write letters to the papers, I spoke out in church and in Sunday School, I join and contribute to groups who oppose them and support the LGBTQ. I may only be one voice, but you may count on me to speak out against them. Every day, in every way I can. They are wrong and they need to be rebuked! Love will win!

    • Paula, I am truly sorry that you have experienced such treatment from boors.

      I hope for your sake that you will get to heaven and discover that all the phobic people who are there have discovered how wrong they are and they will flock to apologize to you.

      • Gloriamarie, thank you for the nice sentiment. Let me ask you something though – why would I forgive them?

        I see my life ending in one of about three different ways:
        1. I’ll die by attrition, or from lack of medical care, because so few doctors will work on transgender people.
        2. Someone will kill me for being trans.
        3. As I age, when I near the time to enter senior care, I’m going to be faced with the lovely option of entering a facility run by, and full of, people of my generation, who, by and large, hate transgender people. I will take my own life before I’ll *ever* let them put me into one of those places. (#1 devolves into this unless, horror of horrors, I’m too sick to effectively end my life.)

        And so after whatever awful end I come to – and it will, almost certainly, be awful – I’m supposed to greet the folks who hated me as they arrive in heaven (since I’ll likely get there before them, unless suicide to avoid torture automatically consigns me to hell) and tell them “I forgive you?” I think that I am a good person, I certainly try to be, but I’m not sure if I am capable of forgiving people who’ve done literally nothing to deserve my forgiveness.

        Odds are, I’ll never benefit from any of the work I’ve done, and others have done, to help my community, not in my lifetime.

        I know that I am doomed – it’s just a question of which violent end I’ll meet. (If I’m lucky enough to die quickly like that.) That is my reality.

        I hope you can understand the calculus I live by, and given it, why the concept of redemption, at least for someone like me, seems just so improbable. This is why I hope for oblivion, because at least that way, the suffering finally stops.

        • I am so sorry for the tragic circumstances in your life. I understand that you have no reason to feel hope. I have plenty of hope as life has been much so easier on me. My hope is that your actual future will not be what you see because you do not deserve that. Peace

        • Paula, listen to me, DO NOT GIVE THEM THAT POWER! You are playing right into their hands when your despair leads you to harm yourself or give up. I know it has to be hard to live in this world, God knows my own struggles now that America chose such an evil person as leader, but to give up, to give in or to let them have the victory is not in me. Don’t let it be in you!

          You fight on and create a life that will allow you the freedom and the safety you deserve. If you have to move, then move. If you need new friends, find them. Create a support network and work it because what you feel is beyond doubt felt by others. Find them and build a bridge. Find a PFLAG group and be active, they are supportive and helpful and this is the way we make a difference. Forget the hearts that reject you and reach for the hearts that don’t. That is the group that is growing.

          • >>Find a PFLAG group and be active, they are supportive and helpful and this is the way we make a difference.

            I am one of the leaders in my community involved in support for transgender people. I’ve talked many out of suicide. I’ve bailed trans people out of jail. I’ve rescued them from psychiatric facilities where they’ve been abused. I lead a support group for trans people and their loved ones. I’ve helped trans people find medical and legal resources. I’ve helped them change their names and gender markers. I’ve been to their funerals, after they’ve taken their lives. My group operates with basically no funding.

            I understand the resources that are available. They are insufficient, and this is unlikely to change to the extent needed by the time my life ends, however that happens. I try to help others have such life as they can, and to help improve things for those who come after me.

            I’m not giving up – I’m just being realistic. We need doctors, and attorneys, and many other things that are just totally broken for us. Are we working on those things? No, not really – we’re trying to fight to continue to be able to use the bathroom in public.

            We need support for elderly LGBT people, including trans people. None of this stuff is likely to be fixed during my lifetime. One of the things you take for granted in your life that are difficult or missing from mine is liable to kill me. It takes time to get curriculum into medical schools – none of them really teach about how to care for us now, not even basic stuff, much less specialized surgeries and treatments we need. Our surgeries aren’t even standardized, no two doctors really do them the same way. Then it takes time for doctors to study that and enter the work force. There’s a lot of stuff that needs to be developed for us. It’ll take 30 years. I doubt I have that much time. Assuming our present leadership doesn’t stop all progress for us for another 30 years, as Reagan did in the 80’s.

            Anyway, I don’t mean to sound like I’m despairing – I’m not. I just know that my future prospects aren’t very good. I have hope for people younger than me. My entire life has been like this, more or less.

            I try to appreciate each day for what it is.

            • I have hope for the millennials. My grandson and his friends have spent a lot of time in our home and I see a decided difference in their attitude. Some come very conservative households but while they won’t argue with the parents they are thinking for themselves and they are not buying into the hate. As long as they don’t burn the planet I have hopes that they will turn things around.

              • Yes, I have a lot of hope for the transgender children just now coming to terms with their gender identities that by the time they reach my age, their lives will be much better, and that most people will see them as human beings like anyone else. I probably won’t live to see that day.

                That’s OK, after all the horrors I’ve witnessed, death will be welcome when it finds me. I mean no disrespect to anyone’s beliefs when I say this, but again, I hope for simple oblivion. That is my most optimistic hope for myself. The stories about the afterlife (Heaven, Hell, reincarnation, etc) from the Great Religions all fill me with nothing but dread at this point. I don’t want an eternity to contemplate the horrors I’ve witnessed, even if it’s in pleasant seeming circumstances, surrounded by the souls of the people who in life never really viewed me as human. I can’t believe their casual misunderstanding of me damns them somehow, because if it does, Heaven will be awfully empty.

                I don’t wish this on anyone else – I hope the others here who read this, and everyone else who wants it finds that Heaven is everything they want it to be. But not me. I want out.

                • Then go where I will go. Your tormentors will not be there, only those of us that accept you as you are. That is Heaven. I believe The Father will set a table for everybody, but your tormentors will not want to sit with you so they will leave the table, leaving the rest of us who do accept you as you are. When the time comes I will ask where you went and I will follow.

                • Perhaps you can take comfort in what my mother in law believed about the afterlife. She thought that hell was life here on earth, not being in the presence of God, that you had to keep doing it over until you got it right. So in her theory all those awful people are here on earth, making your life miserable and they aren’t going anywhere because they will have to come back and do it all over again. I kind of like that idea because there are a number of people I would rather never see again. Peace,

        • Paula, I hear that you are suffering and I hear that you are afraid. I face number 1 and number 3 on your list. Well, Number 1 to the extent that I am a senior with many health issues who is also impoverished so I too am denied a lot of health care I need.

          I share number three to the extent that I am also going to be dependent upon some facility. I am not trying to minimize what you face, just trying to say, we have common ground.

          I don’t want you to die by any form of violence and I strive every day to make this a better country, to make this a better world where **all** of God’s creation is cherished and flourishes.

          My faith rests on God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, not on the actions and choices of people. People have chosen to dreadful things to other people and I hate it. But God doesn’t will evil, even if there are people who think God does.

          As for why to forgive… Something I’ve learned is that the act of forgiveness benefits me more than the person I’ve forgiven.

          • Hi Gloriamarie. I’m not afraid. I simply don’t see much reason for optimism. There isn’t too much difference, I suppose, in being told “we don’t serve your kind” – which is the response I get from healthcare providers, and “you don’t have enough money – good luck.” Many face such dire straits. I’m sorry that you do – I really mean that. It’s a terrible thing and a great shame on our country.

            I think I misspoke about my feelings about forgiveness. That really wasn’t the right feeling I was trying to express. I feel ostracized from much of humanity. I have a large picture of Satan being cast from paradise on the wall of my living room. This is exactly how I feel – I have been cast out. I despaired about this for quite some time. But there is a certain freedom in this, in being cast out, in being viewed as a monster. It may be lonely, and it is surely dangerous. (You haven’t lived until you have wondered “do I try to deal with this myself, or do I dial 911 and hope that whoever arrives makes things better, not worse?”) But it is also liberating. I question everything now – why would I not? I know they lied about people like me, why should I trust anything else they say? And indeed I’ve found a great many other things I was taught to be untrue.

            What should I find compelling about your view of the afterlife? I’m suddenly allowed “back on the island” in death after being an outcast in life? No thank you. Being in a place with people who rejected me in life for all eternity doesn’t sound like paradise. I can forgive them, but how would I ever trust them? What would we have in common – they rejected me and we lived apart? Again, I respect that visions of Paradise is meaningful and compelling and inspirational to you and so many others. I hope that all works out well for you, I mean that sincerely. I understand wanting eternal life, unending joy, etc., but I simply can’t imagine such things, and I am ready, when death finally comes for me, for this to be over. To simply not exist, to have no consciousness, to fade into nothingness would be a relief. But not today, and probably not for quite some time. I have a sense that I have far too many more horrors to witness before I find relief. I am certainly witnessing quite terrible ones right now.

            • Paula, I am very concerned about the depth of despair you seem to me to be communicating. If you really do have this deep despair, I hope you have someone to talk to.

              While there are some pretty horrible people here on this blog, a lot of us are not. We support you.

              Bob Peacock wrote about LGBTQIS2… I confess my ignorance that I only know what LGBTQ means but not IS2, but I am pretty certain I’d support them too.

              God is love. The two great commandments are to love God with every fiber of our being and to love our neighbors as ourselves as God first loved us. When Jesus tells us to this he did not list any exceptions, He did not footnote His statement nor did He write an appendix that starts with “except for.”

              The people who persecute you for being the way it delighted God to create you are being disobedient to God. That’s the bottom line. What’s more, they are unrepentant of it. They seem to think they know exactly what will happen to those who are unrepentant and I daresay they will reap what lack of repentance shows.

              IOW, according to what they themselves preach, they themselves will not be cluttering up heaven with their hatefulness.

              • It’s not really despair Gloriamarie, it’s just the reality we live in. I have a young trans woman of color visiting with me today. She’s 25. She doesn’t expect to see 35 because she’ll likely be slain. So far this year, 9 trans people (that we know of, doubtless far more in reality) have been murdered for being trans, 8 of those 9 were trans women of color, like my friend. We can only hope she beats the odds. Perhaps if she does beat the odds, and lives to be my age (I’m 54), the situation for trans people will have improved substantially. This is by no means certain, twice in the past century we’ve been set back by decades – first during the third reich (the books in the famous book burning photos from that era are a library of the scientist who was studying transgender people), and then again during the Reagan administration, when actions taken by the administration made medical care for trans people exceedingly difficult to obtain for about 30 years. We are facing a much more serious backlash now than we did during the Reagan administration, and if those who hate us succeed in passing bathroom bills and other anti-trans legislation, many, many of us will die, and improvement of our lot during my lifetime would be unlikely. (For one thing, my lifetime would likely be much shorter.)

                I spoke to a psychiatrist about all this a few months back. He admitted to me, after the session, that he was scared as hell about what would happen to us.

                The things I worry about are, unfortunately, based in reality, I’m afraid. We aren’t currently fighting on improving our rights. We’re too busy struggling to not lose hard fought rights we already have.

            • I promise you, you will not be with people that hate you after death. They have drawn a little circle to keep themselves in and you out. When people do that Jesus is always out of the circle. He is always with the outcast. These people will stay in their little circles while we walk away. We will leave them to their tiny little islands. You will be with people that support you.

              When I die I will ask where did you go and I will follow.

  34. Just reading over the blog and found out the meaning of “fundie” since no one would tell me! Is it fundamentalist? Anyway here are some words that we should strike from our vocabulary that divide people and hang labels on them and keep us from seeing them as unique, creative individuals: STRIKE THE FOLLOWING : Snow flake, homophobe, right winger, left winger, Trumper, Crazy liberal. Did I leave anything out? We should speak in a healing way that wins over. Example; So, I understand you opposed to gay rights. Tell me about that. etc. etc. etc. Make a freind. Win them over.

  35. Oops! Forgot my name above. Left anonymous by mistake. Phone rang while posting. Just to clarify my position I think we should strive for building bridges, communicate with respect. Almost every night on the news (pick your channel) people are protesting and few of them even know what they are protesting. Those who at odds with each other have more to agree on than they know if they would take time to show respect and communicate with an open mind and a open mind. I actually lost a customer a few years ago. The customer said you do business with (name withheld). I said yes, he is a good business person. He said you know he is gay, right? I said, what difference does that make? He discontinued being a customer but we remained civil. He regrets his choice. I forgive. Build bridges in kindness. James

    • But James, does he regret his stance or just losing the relationship with you? Unless it is his hate he regrets you have only agreed to overlook it and built a bridge to nowhere. From my perspective there is only one successful way to win people from their hate and that is when it finally hits close enough to home.

      Most, like the bakers and florists who denied their services to gay couples, and their supporters, just blamed the “libtards” and “the PC crowd” for pushing their agenda. I am not familiar with a one of them who changed their hateful stance. Some even chose to close their business. Others just continued to support the right-wing political haters. Some even got a lot of money in support of their hate. There is no bridge for that.

      • It’s not “hateful” to refuse to support an immoral ceremony. I know that a baker served a particular gay couple for years when they came into her shop. She knew they were gay and didn’t refuse them service. She refused to take part in their wedding ceremony, however. And they sued her and she lost a lot of money and her business. I do see “hate” but not from this woman who simply didn’t want to be forced to participate in and give her stamp of approval to something she felt was wrong.

        Everything that libs don’t like gets called “hate” or “hatespeech” or “bigotry.” How about try to understand where the other guy is coming from.

        • Joe. What type of participation did they request of her? Driving the cake over, setting up the flowers, and cutting and serving the cake at the reception is hardly participation in a wedding service. The reception is a social event that comes after the ceremony.

          Regardless, in my opinion, your friend just wanted to make a public statement against same sex weddings and then fly back to her home church, tell her pastor what she did, and get a big round of applause from the gathered congregation on Sunday morning for “fighting against the rabid gay menace that is destroying America” or some other such trumped up fundie B.S.

          I have said it before, and I will say it again. If a person can refuse an LGBTQ person services on these grounds, then any business is free to deny a loaf of bread to a hungry child because her dad has committed some sin widely known in the community. I and many millions of other Americans over the coming few years are going to battle hard in the court of public opinion, Congress, and the judicial system to prevent Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals the right to use “my religious freedom” as grounds to discriminate against and persecute LGBTQ people and any other American citizen fundies think are “undeserving because of their sins.” This country does not have an LGBTQ menace. What it has is a Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical menace that thinks it owns the USA as its personal property. It wants to own all Americans as its personal property so they can boss them around and make them do their fundie bidding. All I can say is this. If that is what they want, they are going to have to do it over millions of dead American bodies because we shall stand in their way and scream back.

          My advice to other readers here is simple. Refuse to do business with Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical store and business owners like Joe’s friend. If they cannot serve every American citizen on an equal basis, which is the classic and traditional system of American fair play, run them out of business and deep-six their personal bank accounts. Let the fundies demonstrate what most Americans already know about the fundies—when push comes to shove—their only real god is their m-o-n-e-y. Jesus is just a cheap insurance policy for most of them—just in case he might really have been resurrected.

          • Charles, Thank you, I decided quite some time ago to use my dollars where they are welcoming and not where they aren’t. By the way, in Indiana it paid to be a bigot. A small pizza shop went public saying they would not serve gay marriages, as if a self respecting gay couple would serve pizza, but anyway someone set up a go fund me page and they got over a million dollars and closed their shop. Go figure. I would add that they do not truly believe in freedom of religion, they believe it means freedom to inflict their beliefs on every one else. Peace,

          • I don’t know this person. She isn’t a “friend.” She was a business woman who was on friendly terms with those women who would frequent her store to buy her goods. She never denied them service.

            There is a difference between selling goods to all, or to perform an act that condones something. If I’m a sign maker I should be able to refuse to make a sign that says “Pro Same-Sex Marriage.” If I sell medical equipment, I should be able to refuse to sell instruments to Planned Parenthood in fear of them being put to evil use.

        • We lost the ability to deny service based upon a group of people due to the Greensboro sit-in in 1960. If that is the worst these business owners face then it is far better than what we LGBT people face. If they want to discriminate then they need to be a private club, not a public business.

        • Just to be clear, they didn’t sue the baker because she refused to bake a cake; they sued the baker because she publicised their names and address, which severely jeopardised an adoption that was in progress, and brought violence and hatred to their doorstep. That part doesn’t get mentioned by the conservative side because it wouldn’t help their propaganda for their sweet baker to be seen as who she is.

          • I wonder who else “their sweet baker” discriminates against?

            We need laws to protect the civil liberties and civil rights of all citizens. No one gets to discriminate against anyone for any reason.

            Church and state are separated in this country by the U S Constitution. Discrimination is an act of violence toward another person.

            I personally don’t want a return to the 1950s when we discriminated against African-Americans, Jews, Catholics. I remember all too well being discriminated against because my grandparents came from Italy.

            The USA has just got to grow up.

            • I think Joe is referring to Sweet Cakes by Melissa in Oregon.

              Of course Joe blithely ignores the fact that Oregon public accommodation law reads thusly:

              From: https://www.oregon.gov/boli/CRD/Pages/C_Crprotoc.aspx

              Discrimination in Public Accommodation
              A place of public accommodation is defined in state law as any place that offers the public accommodations, advantages, facilities or privileges, whether in the nature of goods, services, lodging, amusements or otherwise. It is illegal to discriminate in places of public accommodation on the basis of race, sex (including pregnancy), sexual orientation, national origin, religion, marital status, physical or mental disability, or age (18 years of age and older).

              Tell us, Joe, what are the two words right before “national origin” and after it?

              Would you like to explain why Christians should be protected by the law on one hand while being allowed to violate it on the other hand?

              Would that not be a violation of the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause and oh yeah..Jesus commanding us to treat others as we would want to be treated ourselves?

              Because I rather doubt, Joe, that you and your fellow conservatives would ever agree to allowing businesses to refuse to serve you because you’re Christians….

            • In fact, the article completely supports what I wrote. What is below the article is a correction, not a retraction. The correction is just that the reporter got a detail wrong; a detail that doesn’t affect the outcome of the case, which is that the baker was ordered to pay damages because they had caused real harm to the couple.

              • The “harm” that they had to pay through the nose for was because they didn’t sell them that cake. The retraction refutes your original assertion. Just admit it. It’s ok to make a mistake.

                • The article reads, “the ruling shows the bakery owners had made Laurel and Rachel Bowman-Cryer the victims of persecution and makes clear the payment was compensation for damages”. The correction was that in a previous article, the reporter misspoke suggesting that the baker was being held responsible for the actions of others, which is not a legal possibility. You can only be held accountable for your own actions. They were held accountable for publicising the names and address so that they could be harrassed and threatened.

        • We understand fully where the other guy is coming from because it is always in our faces. I do not want to be tolerated or do I need to be constantly berated for who I am and who God made me to be., I am a unique and fabulous piece of art and work that he (God) has created and he gave his one and only Son (Jesus Christ) to die for me as well as for you. So, I have HIS love and understanding, grace and mercy. Maybe , we understand you more than you think.

        • Joe, since it is against the law for a business to refuse to serve someone because that someone is Christian..would you like to explain why a business owned by a Christian should get to do to others what no business can do to that Christian?

          Do you really want to try arguing that it isn’t a massive violation of the 14th amendment for we Christians to be allowed to discriminate against, in this case, gays on one hand while being protected from the same exact discrimination on the other hand?

        • Joe if she doesn’t want to make wedding cakes for a gay couple there is exactly one legal avenue for her to take.

          She stops making wedding cakes period. For everyone.

          She doesn’t get to pick and choose who she provides a service to when. She has to provide the same service to all her customers.

          Sorry, we are not repeating Jim Crow no matter how much you want to.

          And since it is illegal for the businesses she is a customer at to start refusing to serve her because she is a Christian she doesn’t get to refuse service to gays. She doesn’t get to do to them what can’t be done to her.

          I seem to recall Jesus saying something to the effect of “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”

          Or did you conservatives decide that doesn’t apply?

          Because boy howdy would you and your side be jumping up and down screaming if it was legal for Business A to refuse to serve Person B because Person B was a Christian.

          • Actually, Joe, I have a proposal.

            If you conservatives want to be able to refuse service to gays then you can prove your sincerity.

            By making it legal to do the same exact thing to you conservatives. You will agree to be treated in the same exact manner you seek to treat gays.

            Either you and yours are going to subject yourselves to what you want to do to gays..or you and yours can STFU and quit acting like you’re being victimized when you’re not allowed to be assholes to gays and treat them like they’re second class citizens.

            Which will it be?

          • For all her life this woman believed as most of do and even as Bill and Hillary Clinton once did and even as Barak Obama once did before he “evolved” that a marriage was between a man and a woman.

            The law changed the definition of marriage and she’s supposed to change her moral beliefs overnight? She went into that business in good faith, never dreaming that marriage would be redefined.

            • Marriage is redefined regularly. One should come to expect it. If you didn’t purchase your wife with sheep and goats, you have to accept that marriage gets redefined to suit the culture and context of the era.

    • James. My advice to you and other readers here is simple. Refuse to do business with Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical store and business owners who discriminate against LGBTQ people and other perceived sinners on the grounds of their fundie “religious freedom.” If they cannot serve every American citizen on an equal basis, which is the classic and traditional system of American fair play, then run the fundie business owners out of business and deep-six their personal bank accounts.

      Under federal law, business owners are not allowed to discriminate against customers because of the customer’s religion. However, there is no law or past judicial ruling (local, federal, or state) that says citizens cannot boycott a store or business for religious reasons. It is perfectly legal to refuse to do business with a store that mistreats LGBTQ people or any other perceived sinner on religious freedom grounds or any other religious grounds. My family and I are absolutely committed to refusing to do transactions of any kind with businesses that discriminate against LGBTQ people on religious freedom grounds. If you find a business that is doing such discrimination, be sure and send them an e-mail message or letter stating why you are no longer doing business with them and be sure to alert your local newspaper to the fact that this business is doing such discrimination and persecution. A good, old-fashioned crucifixion, tarring/feathering, and burning at the stake in the news media does wonders to correct bad business owner behavior.

  36. Mr. John Pavlovitz, once again you have hit the nail on the head, and brought forward a very inspiring and heartfelt blog to those of us who Identify as LGBTQIS2 in this Universe and THANK YOU for your support and for your great BLOGS , on all subjects. Your heart is so very huge, and those of us who follow you are so impressed, inspired and blessed as you continue to listen to the call of God in your life and the move of Holy Spirit, that gives you strength, knowledge, and much wisdom to continue on this path. Once again, we so appreciate and love you. So blessings continue to pour on you and through you and your family.
    Bob and Lloyd.

  37. Lets examine the disorder of the GOP/Conservatives.

    1: They support an self admitted sexual predator who has bragged about walking in on naked teens as President.

    2: Dennis Hastert was their Speaker of the House.

    And then there’s this:
    Republican County Constable Larry Dale Floyd was arrested on suspicion of soliciting sex with an 8-year old girl. Floyd has repeatedly won elections for Denton County, Texas, constable.

    Republican judge Mark Pazuhanich of Wilkes Barre, Pennsylvania pled no contest to fondling a 10-year old girl and was sentenced to 10 years probation.

    Republican Party leader Bobby Stumbo of Floyd County, Kentucky was arrested for having sex with a 5-year old boy.

    Republican teacher and former city councilman John Collins of Asbury Park, New Jersey pled guilty to sexually molesting 13 and 14 year old girls.

    Republican campaign worker Mark Seidensticker of Nashua, New Hampshire is a convicted child molester.

    Republican Mayor Philip Giordano of Waterbury, Connecticut is serving a 37-year sentence in federal prison for sexually abusing 8 and 10-year old girls.

    Republican Mayor John Gosek of Oswego, New York was arrested on charges of soliciting sex from two 15-year old girls.

    Republican County Commissioner David Swartz of Richland County, Ohio pled guilty to molesting two girls under the age of 11 and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.

    Republican Speaker of the Puerto Rico House of Representatives Edison Misla Aldarondo was sentenced to 10 years in prison for raping his daughter between the ages of 9 and 17.

    Republican Committeeman John R. Curtain of Monroe County, Pennsylvania was charged with molesting a teenage boy and unlawful sexual contact with a minor.

    Republican anti-abortion activist Howard Scott Heldreth of Kannapolis, N.C., is a convicted child rapist in Florida.

    Republican zoning supervisor, Boy Scout leader and Lutheran church president Dennis L. Rader of Witchita, Kansas pled guilty to performing a sexual act on an 11-year old girl he murdered.

    Republican anti-abortion activist Nicholas Morency of Camden, New Jersey pled guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer and offering a bounty to anybody who murders an abortion doctor.

    Republican campaign consultant Tom Shortridge of Soputhbay, California was sentenced to three years probation for taking nude photographs of a 15-year old girl.

    Republican racist pedophile and United States Senator Strom Thurmond of South Carolina had sex with a 15-year old black girl which produced a child.

    Republican pastor Mike Hintz of Des Moines, Iowa, who George W. Bush commended during the 2004 presidential campaign, surrendered to police after admitting to a sexual affair with a female juvenile.

    Republican legislator Peter Dibble of New London, Connecticut pled no contest to having an inappropriate relationship with a 13-year-old girl.

    • Republican advertising consultant Carey Lee Cramer of Arizona was charged with molesting his 9-year old step daughter after including her in an anti-Gore television commercial.

      Republican activist Lawrence E. King, Jr. and Republican lobbyist Craig J. Spence both of Washington, D.C. organized child sex parties at the White House during the 1980s.

      Republican Congressman Donald “Buz” Lukens of Columbus, Ohio was found guilty of having sex with a female minor and sentenced to one month in jail.

      Republican fundraiser Richard A. Delgaudio of Burke, Virginia was found guilty of child porn charges and paying two teenage girls to pose for sexual photos.

      Republican activist Mark A. Grethen of Colorado Springs. Colorado was convicted on six counts of sex crimes involving children.

      Republican activist Randal David Ankeney of El Paso County, Arizona pled guilty to attempted sexual assault on a child.

      Republican Congressman Dan Crane of Illinois had sex with a female minor working as a congressional page.

      Republican activist and Christian Coalition and South Carolina Republican leader Beverly Russell admitted to an incestuous relationship with his step daughter.

      Republican Judge Ronald C. Kline of Orange County, California was placed under house arrest for child molestation and possession of child pornography.

      Republican congressman and anti-gay activist Robert Bauman of Maryland was charged with having sex with a 16-year-old boy he picked up at a gay bar.

      Republican Committee Chairman and attorney Jeffrey Patti of Sparta, New Jersey was arrested for distributing a video clip of a 5-year-old girl being raped.

      Republican activist Marty Glickman of Florida (a.k.a. “Republican Marty”), was taken into custody by Florida police on four counts of unlawful sexual activity with an underage girl and one count of delivering the drug LSD. It was Glickman, interestingly enough, that claimed Bill Clinton came from a low rent state and had torn down all of the standards for the highest office in the land.

      Republican legislative aide Howard L. Brooks of Quartz Hill, California was charged with molesting a 12-year old boy and possession of child pornography.

      Republican Senate candidate John Hathaway who had relocated to Maine from Huntsville, Alabama after having been accused of having sex with his 12-year old baby sitter and withdrew his candidacy after the allegations were reported in the media.

      Republican preacher Stephen White of West Chester, Pennsylvania, who demanded a return to traditional values, was sentenced to jail after offering $20 to a 14-year-old boy for permission to perform oral sex on him.

      Republican talk show host Jon Matthews of Houston, Texas pled guilty to exposing his genitals to an 11 year old girl.

      Republican anti-gay activist Earl “Butch” Kimmerling of Anderson, Indiana was sentenced to 40 years in prison for molesting an 8-year old girl after he attempted to stop a gay couple from adopting her.

      Republican Party leader Paul Ingram of Thurston County, Washington pled guilty to six counts of raping his daughters and served 14 years in federal prison.

      Republican election board official Kevin Coan of St. Louis, Missouri was sentenced to two years probation for soliciting sex over the internet from a 14-year old girl.

      Republican politician Andrew Buhr, also of St. Louis, was charged with two counts of first degree sodomy with a 13-year old boy.

      Republican politician Keith Westmoreland of Kingsport, Tennessee was arrested on seven felony counts of lewd and lascivious exhibition to girls under the age of 16 (i.e. exposing himself to children).

      • Republican anti-abortion activist John Allen Burt of Pensacola, Florida was found guilty of molesting a 15-year old girl.

        Republican County Councilman Keola Childs of Hawaii County, Hawaii pled guilty to molesting a male child.

        Republican activist John Butler of Cass County, Illinois was charged with criminal sexual assault on a teenage girl.

        Republican candidate Richard Gardner of Clark County, Nevada admitted to molesting his two daughters.

        Republican Councilman and former Marine Jack W. Gardner of Lancaster, Pennsylvania was convicted of molesting a 13-year old girl.

        Republican County Commissioner Merrill Robert Barter of Boothbay, Maine pled guilty to unlawful sexual contact and assault on a teenage boy.

        Republican City Councilman Fred C. Smeltzer, Jr. of Wrightsville Borough, Delaware pled no contest to raping a 15 year-old girl and served 6-months in prison.

        Republican activist Parker J. Bena pleaded guilty to possession of child pornography on his home computer and was sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and fined $18,000.

        Republican parole board officer and former Colorado state representative, Larry Jack Schwarz, was fired after child pornography was found in his possession.

        Republican strategist and Citadel Military College graduate Robin Vanderwall of Virginia was convicted in Virginia on five counts of soliciting sex from boys and girls over the internet.

        Republican city councilman Mark Harris of West Bend, Wisconsin, who has been described as a “good military man” and “church goer,” was convicted of repeatedly having sex with an 11-year-old girl and sentenced to 12 years in prison.

        Republican businessman Jon Grunseth withdrew his candidacy for Minnesota governor after allegations surfaced that he went swimming in the nude with four underage girls, including his daughter.

        Republican director of the “Young Republican Federation” Nicholas Elizondo of Bakersfield, California molested his 6-year old daughter and was sentenced to six years in prison.

        Republican president of the New York City Housing Development Corp, Russell Harding, pled guilty to possessing child pornography on his computer.

        Republican benefactor of conservative Christian groups, Richard A. Dasen, Sr. of Kalispell, Montana, was found guilty of raping a 15-year old girl. Dasen, 62, who is married with grown children and several grandchildren, has allegedly told police that over the past decade he paid more than $1 million to have sex with a large number of young women.

        I have an suggestion, Joe. You and your fellow conservatives go worry about the “disorder” among your own. Leave the rest of the country the **** alone.

        • Oh I forgot my personal favorite example.

          Pastor Mack Charles Andrews, Jr of Alabama was arrested for having sex with a 9 year old girl.

          On her father’s grave. Literally.

          It’s a pity that conservatives don’t concern themselves with their own sins. But that wouldn’t allow them to sit on God’s throne in judgement of others.

        • And a bunch of priests molested children.

          Now what?

          Nobody should be a Catholic?

          Anything any other priest says is wrong?

          • Again, Joe, I wasn’t talking about the Catholic church.

            I was talking about you and your behavior and your word choice.

            Quit hiding behind the church’s coattails like a little kid. You are certainly smart enough to figure out how “disorder” is an offensive term.

            So as I said..take responsibility for yourself.

            • I see “disorder” as a neutral term. I also believe we all have disorders. If you’re fat, you’re likely to have an eating disorder. If you like pornography, you have a sexual disorder. If you drink to excess, you have a disordered addiction to alcohol.

              All of us are weak vessels and have disordered desires that we must keep in check as best we can. But we sometimes fail and that’s why we Catholics have Confession. So we can be sorry for giving into them and can start over a little bit stronger.

              I have disordered desires and inclinations that I struggle with. I’m not alone. But I won’t say it’s good to give into them. It’s not. Disordered desires should be resisted.

              • Hey Joe, I am curious about the whole disordered thing. You said it is a neutral term and yet temptation to sin is a serious business according to Jesus. In the scripture Jesus is quoted as saying ” Do not look at a woman with lust” But no one says it is evil for a man to be attracted to a woman which is an inclination and something he cannot help or change about himself.

                The difference being for a gay man, in your opinion, is he must deny his inclination to be attracted to men which is like trying to stop a reflex. If you see an attractive naked woman, chances are, you won’t be able to stop a feeling of arousal. That is not your fault. It would be the same for a gay man seeing a naked man, chances are, it would stimulate him sexually.

                So in my opinion being lesbian, gay or bisexual is not disordered , rather, it is a human physiological response.

  38. Caitlyn Anne wrote “Gomen nasai, demo wakarimasen” but the ability to reply disappeared.

    Brava, bravo, and bravi are latin words of praise. As are all the lanuages which derive from Latin, words have feminine , masucline, and plural endings.

    So when an opera diva belts out a gorgeous aria, it is incorrect to bellow “bravo” as an accolade because “bravo” is masculine and an opera diva is a woman, hence the correct approbation is “brava.”

    When the entire cast appears as a group for a curtain call, then the encomium would be “bravi” because that is plural. Bravi would also be correct when there are two or more women or two or more men.

    Here endeth the lesson.

        • I took Latin in grades 9 and 10 because my parents are linguists. Unfortunately, I don’t have a particular facility for languages, so I passed but I didn’t distinguish myself. (I took French for 13 years and still cannot speak the language.) Even so, only two years at average comprehension has stood me in good stead. It has helped my spelling and it has helped in figuring out what a new word means when I can see its root.

          I have to say though, that my classical training as a singer helped far more in understanding Latin, Italian, French, and German than any schoolroom classes did. But that just might be because the schoolroom method of teaching is not how I learn.

  39. I saw a reference earlier in the blog comments about someone denying services to someone because they are gay. My take is that if you own a business you can’t discriminate no matter what your personal convictions might be. For me I am amazed at the sheer beauty and perfection of the female and I don’t see how a man could be gay. But, if he is – he should be treated with respect and have the same protection under the law. God is the judge. He has the right to pursue God on his own terms. Thankfully we don’t judge each other as we would be far too tough.

    • My take is that if businesses were allowed to refuse to serve Christians Joe and most, if not all, of his fellow conservatives would be jumping up and down screaming in protest and outrage.

      Because they sure as **** never objected to the fact that the same exact laws that prevent businesses from refusing service to gays also prevent businesses from refusing service to Christians. Curious how their “businesses should be allowed to refuse service” only applies to gays.

      But then..these are the same people who 60 years ago thought the same about blacks.

      Some people just can’t live without seeking to turn others into second class citizens. It’s as if treating others as their equals offends them.

      • Then a homosexual sign painter cannot refuse to paint a billboard that says “Same-Sex Marriage Is An Abomination,” if so desired by a paying customer.

        A homosexual master of ceremonies cannot refuse to host an even that has to do with opposition of gay marriage. He cannot refuse to speak words from a script that he loathes.

        Right?

        • I don’t think so Joe, because one thing is not like another. You are saying a cake baker who is offering a service to someone they do not know and all they are doing is making a cake and delivering it, then leaving is the same as making someone who is gay speak to a group of people and read something that declares his life as an abomination. Do you not see how different that is?

          Beside those anti-gay people wouldn’t want a gay person anywhere within proximity of their place.

          Btw, one minute you are saying being gay is disordered and it is neutral then the next you are saying you loathe same sex marriages. So which is it? Because you argument appears to lack integrity.

          • I meant that the term “disordered” is neutral. Like saying someone has a “fever.” It’s not intended to be a pejorative.

            Those bakers did serve gay people in their shop. I didn’t say businesses should have the option to refuse gay people their general services. The point was that they were being forced to participate in the service which they politely declined to do.

            • Well if it is not pejorative what is the problem with same sex marriage?

              …and you made a reference to an example that gay people should submit to serving antigay people and I said the comparison is not the same.

            • well joe in this case “disordered” is very much a perjorative term.

              As for this piece of BS: Those bakers did serve gay people in their shop. I didn’t say businesses should have the option to refuse gay people their general services.

              Except part of their general services, Joe, are wedding cakes.

              a bakery is not a church…it isn’t performing the wedding. It’s making a cake for the reception afterwards. It has nothing to do with religious service and the idea that businesses should get the same exemptions as churches is a very slippery slope.

              Since a nonChristian baker can’t refuse to make a wedding cake for a Christian couple, joe, then your argument is hypocritical.

              We are not repeating Jim Crow.

              So unless, Joe, you conservatives are going to make it legal for businesses to refuse to serve you and yours because you’re Christian or you’re somehow offending their religious sensibilities…**** you.

              You don’t get to deny to your fellow Americans the same legal protections that you yourself hold. Get the **** over yourself, Joe, and grow the **** up.

              If you and your fellow conservatives don’t like having to obey the law then self deport your asses to some theocracy where you will be much more content and the rest of us won’t have to deal with your constant shit.

              because this special rights bullshit of yours..is just that..bullshit.

              • James, just wanted to say I truly admire you trying to explain all of this to Joe. I suspect it will be a case of ears that won’t hear, but I do admire the effort. Peace,

              • You are being hypocritical now. You said the sign painter could refuse to make an offensive sign, yet to the bakers it was an offensive to put the names of two women on a wedding cake, when they know there is no such thing as a true marriage between two people of the same sex.

                This is not about being a conservative but about freedom of religion.

                Your bleeped out cursing does not make your argument any more persuasive, btw.

                On a personal level as a practicing Catholic, are you in agreement with the Pope and our Catechism that same sex sexual relations are disordered and intrinsically evil? Do you believe a practicing Catholic can in good conscience have sexual relations with someone of the same sex?

                • Still not the same Joe. You require a gay person to call themselves an abomination but the cake bakers are only writing names on cake not participating in a ceremony.

                  • No, that is a religious statement. Same-sex marriage is an abomination. To refuse to paint a sign to that effect is to refuse service for religious reasons and discriminates against expression of a religious belief.

                    Personally, if I had a daughter and were to contact a videographer to cover her wedding and he refused because he was a Protestant and thought the Catholic Mass was idolatry and couldn’t be there, I would understand his misunderstanding and move on. I wouldn’t use it as an excuse to feel persecuted, ruin his business, or make some money.

                    There would have been plenty of alternative bakeries for that same-sex couple. They should have allowed the baker to make their conscientious objection. But they had to make an issue of it because they want to be in the faces of Christians who say that same-sex marriage is not a real marriage. They want to make them pay if they persist. They want their pound of flesh.

                    • No where does it say in the bible that same sex marriage is an abomination.

                      And saying that– is hateful to those LGBT people who are married.

                      One of thing Jesus came to change was the OT practice of ‘do not touch’. People are not an abomination.

                      Joe, what kind of world do you live in that discriminates against a group of people who tell the truth about themselves?

                      “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” Psalm 51:6

                      That is true repentance and humility before God.

                    • “Same sex marriage is an abomination”. Wow. You are one of the most hateful people I have ever met. Hoe dare you call my marriage an abomination. How dare you! At least I haven’t been married multiple times pr cheated on my spouse like some kind of cheap whore, like Trump, Gingrich, or any of the other politicians that you call “good people”. My wife and I have been more faithful than just about any other married couple we know, and yet we’re an “abomination”? Screw you, jerk!

                    • You go Caitlyn Anne. Most of the gay people I know have been with their partners far longer than the straight people. We could learn a thing or two from them about love, loyalty and marriage. Peace and Love,

                    • Caitlyn Anne, he seems to have forgotten Matthew 7:16-20.

                      16 You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Thus you will know them by their fruits.

                      < < <

                      I think that the fruits of your marriage are magnificent and show the love and wholesomeness that so many of the naysayers lack.

                      On a humourous note, I marched in several gay pride parades with the Anglican contingent. The year that I carried a sign that read "You will know them by their fruits" I got a lot of laughs for the double entendre.

                    • Thanks, Patricia. That does mean a lot. It just makes me a little angry when someone like that says mean, hateful things based solely on my sexuality. It’s demeaning, it’s insulting, but maybe the worst part is that it’s just plain ignorant. You’re going to make a judgement about me because I’m a woman who happens to love a woman? Seriously? My wife and I have been together 18 years in a monogamous relationship, which is more than anyone can say about Cheetolini, Gingrich, O’Reilly, or, really, most of the Republican caucus. They’re just jealous that they don’t have the kind of devotion to each other that we have.

                    • Caitlyn, it is ignorance and hubris and IMHO, they will regret it, but not in time for the damage they have already done in this life. You know, I know, most intelligent people know, there is nothing “wrong” with you.

                      The Bible says many things are “abominations” that they never so much as raise an eyebrow here over, much less comment on But just like President Johnson said of poor whites and black people, it seems to be human nature (and that of Pharisees) to look down on some group and it helps them feel less wretched. I think God will judge the judges far more harshly than us mere sinners.

                      http://www.dragonlordsnet.com/abomination.htm

                    • You’re right. I also feel that people like him are a dying breed, and while my activism may not help me much, future generations will have an easier time being themselves.

                    • I believe you’re right. Last night I was talking to my grandson, who is a millennial and he says none of his friends have issues with who someone marries, what bathroom someone uses, and some of them come from very conservative homes. They also are not very materialistic. I like this group and am hopeful that all people will have a better time of it. Here’s hoping. Peace and Love,

                    • I believe the key is, there has to be someone lower, so you aren’t at the bottom of the ladder. So rather than work to go up the ladder, they imagine someone lower, whether they are or not. It is laziness and bigotry walking hand and hand. Then they can beat themselves on the chest and say but I am not as sinful and wretched as them. Peace,

                    • Joe, In your frustration you over-step. You can live your life according to your faith. You have no right to insult someone else’s marriage. That is not the Catholic way. I know that, you know that, and every Catholic I know knows that.

                      The Bible says many things are an abomination, seeing your wife naked during her period is abomination, sleeping with another man’s wife is an abomination and cause to be put to death. Quite different than the wink and a nod that has followed for centuries.

                      Insulting and attacking is the opposite of what Catholicism tells you to do.

                      Peace

                    • I agree with Kathy A. that the Bible does not state that same sex marriage is an abomination. And even if it did, that word does not mean what you think it means. The Hebrew word in question translates as “not suitable for worship” or ritually unclean. If you do the thing in question, you get ritually cleaned up before you can go to worship. We have this stupid understanding that the English word abomination with its meaning of disgust and hatred and the sense that this is something that does not rightly exist in nature is what is meant in that passage. It isn’t. It never was. We can thank translators with agendas for this mess.

                    • You are misrepresenting what I said, Kathy A. Nowhere did I ever say “people” are an “abomination.”

                      I was making a point about a sign, that is a true statement for many Christian people. And you said that a sign maker had the right to refuse to make a sign declaring their religious position, because it was offensive to him. That’s a hypocritical position to take.

                      Also, though the Bible is clear, I’m not a “Bible only” Christian. I have the Church built on the wisdom of the Apostles and guided by the Holy Spirit to teach us about faith and morals.

                      The Bible wasn’t meant to be taken out of the Church and neither was is meant to be interpreted to suit personal desires or prejudices.

                    • Joe, when you say someone’s marriage is an abomination you are saying they are an abomination.

                      –and if you think the Bible is only for a select group of special people then you are missing the point of Jesus’s ministry because he spoke his words to all people who gathered round him– and did not set up private places that screened people and excluded them or forbade people from listening to him.

                    • Joe, get this through your little mind.
                      1: Marriage in this country is a civil institution.
                      2: the laws of the United States answer to no one’s religious holy texts. The US Constitution; not the Bible, not the Quran, not the Bhagavad Gita, etc is the Supreme Law of the Land.
                      3: You and your side had no more right to ban gay marriage than racist bigots decades ago had the right to ban interracial marriage.
                      4: People back then called interracial marriage an “abomination” so you might want to find your morality enough to figure out a way to not insult people while still disagreeing with same sex marriage. Practice more of that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” that Jesus commanded. Because you are sorely lacking. Because you would be protesting in outrage if you were treated in the manner you seek to treat gays.

                      And don’t go mouthing about “militant gays” again when your side got it in its act to be militant Christians in thinking you had some right to force everyone in the country to obey your religious beliefs under penalty of civil law.

                      And don’t go being hysterical claiming “they’re going to force churches to marry gays” because you need to go read the federal RFRA law.

                    • Jesus was referring to the importance of the covenant bond in marriage which would apply to those LGBT persons who are married as well.

                    • Wayne, you should not lift a bit of text out of context and give it another meaning. You can tell the beginning of the story is missing because you start quoting at “And He answered and said to them”. What was the question? Who are “them”?

                      If we read the missing verses from the beginning of the chapter, we learn that Pharisees were trying to trip Jesus up by asking him trick questions. The question was “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any cause?” The Chapter is even prefaced in some editions with the header “Divorce”. Jesus accurately quoted from the law.

                      The answer that Jesus gives is not original to Jesus and he gives no indication whether or not he agrees with that law. The answer gives the rules for divorce.

        • Joe, a sign painter may refuse to paint an offensive sign because said sign painter is applying the same standard to everyone.

          WHereas you want the Christian baker to be able to refuse service to a gay couple but no business can refuse to serve that Christian because they’re Christian.

          the standard, Joe, has to apply the same to everyone. You don’t get to pick and choose.

          And somehow I doubt your friend the baker, for example, was refusing to make wedding cakes for straight couples on their third marriages..

          • No, that was not an offensive sign. Only to him it was. The person who made it and his audience would see it as a valid statement.

            I think it was more than just making a wedding cake. It was participation in a ceremony as well. At any rate, it’s obvious to a Christian that a same sex marriage is immoral, but not so obvious if there is an illicit divorce and remarriage.

            • Joe, what kind of society do you think you should have? One that allows businesses to refuse services to LGBT people and make signs that make people feel less human than others?

              Think about the world you are suggesting should exist and then think about those who are trying to prevent that from happening.

              Joe, we all live in this world together and the reason we have democracy and a free society is not to give freedoms to bigots and haters but to allow everyone to have the fundamental right to freely pursue joy and live life in a way that makes you happy, as long as you don’t do anything illegal or violate the rights of others.

              As a business owner refusing to bake a cake for someone based on their personal prejudice was denounced during the civil rights movement. It’s a serious denial of someones basic rights and dignity. A wise judge would not want to set a precedent to allow that kind of discrimination.

              • The bakers felt that by putting those names on the cake they were cooperating and saying “I believe same-sex marriage is a valid option.” That’s not “prejudice” to believe that. That’s a bona fide religious belief.

                They were not denied an essential service, and they could have purchased a cake without the names and added them themselves. They had many options to get the job done while being gracious and understanding instead of being hateful and vindictive, and ruining someone’s business and livlihood.

                • Unfortunately they listened to bad advice and made the decision to discriminate against the couple for no good reason.

                  LGBT persons are not untouchable. You don’t get soiled by touching a gay person’s money.

                  • Are you missing the point on purpose?

                    What they were effectively called to do is make a sign that says “Same Sex Marriage Is Good.”

                    To them it is a serious sin and a sin to make such a statement.

                    They idea is that they were called on to condone a sin. There is nothing “untouchable” about those women. That’s a strawman you keep inserting into the discussion.

                    • Uhm , I doubt they were asked to write that.

                      I know Christians who think every marriage other than a straight christian marriage is not blessed by God.

                      So why do these people have businesses that make them interact and touch non-christians ?

                      Maybe you are missing the point– that this is about the Old Testament idea of clean and unclean.

                      But, Jesus said there is nothing outside of you that can make you unclean.

                      They lacked wisdom and got bad advice that lead to making a bad decision. In my opinion, they brought it on themselves by discriminating against a gay couple.

                    • To quote Joe: What they were effectively called to do is make a sign that says “Same Sex Marriage Is Good.

                      No, you are missing the point. They were violating a state law that they had willingly agreed to abide by when they registered their business with the state for their business license. They were demanding that they be allowed to violate the state law that no one can violate against them.

                      Sorry, Joe, you conservatives don’t get to violate the law on on hand and be protected by the same exact law on the other hand. You don’t get special rights.

                      So grow the **** up and deal.

                    • and Joe you and yours sure as **** weren’t worried about violating everyone’s religious freedom when you and yours were gleefully banning gay marriage.

                      So to be blunt..take your hypocrisy and shove it where the sun don’t shine.

                      Since you conservatives have never kvetched about the law preventing businesses from refusing service to Christians you don’t get to kvetch that your fellow Americans are afforded the same protection.

                      It’s time you stop kvetching like a little brat just because people you don’t like are treated as your equals.

                • As I said before, the couple didn’t ruin the baker’s livelihood, the baker did. It is one thing to refuse to bake a cake, but it another thing entirely to publish the couples’ names and address and encourage people to harass them. It is the second act that ruined the baker’s business, not the first.

                  • As usual, Joe C is full of insults because a woman doesnt agree with him.

                    Joe Catolic misses the most fundamental point of both his Roman Catholicism and Christianity.

                    “Our job is to love others without stopping to inquire whether or not they are worthy. That is not our business and, in fact, it is nobody’s business. What we are asked to do is to love, and this love itself will render both ourselves and our neighbors worthy.” —THOMAS MERTON, written in a letter to Dorothy Day

                    • Here’s another for Joe C who is unable ro grasp the simple concept that we have separation of church and state in the USA. Levitical law, sharia law, both against the Constitution as discrimination.

                      Get it through your head, Joe, what adults do with their bodies is none of your prurient interest.

                      Do not disturb yourself with vain curiosity concerning the affairs of others, nor how they conduct themselves, unless your position makes it your duty to do so. – Venerable Louis de Blois

                • Joe, the problem is the gays pay taxes and in a commercial secular society you can’t separate who is served. Next it would be no Catholics, no Baptists, no Muslims, No chubby people, No Democrats, No Republicans. It gets complicated. I know this is a deep conviction for you . But, be thankful we are not in a theocracy. I lived in a theocracy once and the spies would turn you in, and you would get punished. Not a cool deal. Keep working at it. You can keep your conviction and also be kind and merciful and get along. Keep on plugging away. Note to All: Be Kind to Joe!

                  • oh Joe will never be thankful this isn’t a theocracy.

                    Because he and his ilk dearly want to turn the United States into the Christian version of Iran.

        • The sign maker that has a business open to the public should not be able to refuse to paint the sign simply because someone is heterosexual, but he can refuse to paint your message on that sign and can refuse to be open on Sundays, or Saturdays, or Mondays, or Samhain, or Thor’s birthday. But go ahead and pretend that businesses that are open to the public should be able to treat LGBT people like they did Blacks in the 1950’s. I will refuse to set my watch back 60 years.

  40. Joe, where was your concern for religious freedom when your side was passing those gay marriage bans in the first place? Where was your concern for religious freedom when your side was forcing everyone to obey their religious beliefs under penalty of civil law?

    Where was your concern for religious freedom when your side was preventing houses of worship from marrying gays if they so chose?

    Where was your concern for religious freedom when your side was preventing bakeries and florists and what have you from providing their services for same sex weddings?

    Where was your concern for my religious freedom when your party near 16 years ago used my taxes to pay for a war in Iraq that I disagreed with, in no small part, on the basis of my religious beliefs? Or your side making me pay for your side’s precious death penalty?

    Where is your concern for my religious freedom when Trump demands that I pay for a wall that I oppose, again, partly on the basis of my religious beliefs.

    Curious how your side doesn’t give a damn about religious freedom in those cases. That really only leaves one conclusion. That this isn’t about “religious freedom” at all. That this is really about your side screaming “Wah! How dare you treat gays as our equals!”

    • The hardcore fundies like him are just angry that when they were young, daddy caught them fooling around with Billy down the street and got mad, so they take out their anger about being stuck in the closet on those of us who are out and proud.

      (Warning: after Joe’s last comment, I’m going to be absolutely merciless. It may get a bit risqué, so if I step over any lines or anything, I apologize in advance, but I will not have a lowlife like him denigrate me, my wife, or my marriage, or anyone else’s for that matter. He asked for it.)

      • Kaitlyn, your last paragraph shows you are merciful. Go have a cry and come back and continue to be kind which is your basic mode of operation. It is okay to get mad.

  41. TRUMP HAS IT RIGHT: GOP President-Elect Donald Trump Says Same-Sex Marriage Is ‘Settled’ Law. Therefore; since it is settled law we must abide by it. As people of good will we need to treat LGBT with respect just as any other citizen. Whether you agree or disagree. You may have religious views on this but we are not a theocracy. One concern is that the Muslim immigrants need to understand this. In their culture you get stoned for being gay. Not here. Most I would guess are willing to accept this truth. But, it needs to be clear. One other thing. If you want to make a sign that says “Homosexuality is an Abomination” the gay sign owner should make the sign, same as the cake maker. But, I cannot even understand why I would want to force someone to do that. It serves no purpose but to divide. Sometimes it is just better to say in a prayer: God, you didn’t give me the responsibility to judge. Thank you for that. Because frankly I couldn’t do it fairly as a human!

  42. This idea of a gay business owner refusing to serve a straight customer being the equivalent of a straight business owner refusing to serve a gay customer for religions reasons is ridiculous. A gay cake maker who refused to bake wedding cakes for straight couples would be unlikely to be in business for very long, because straight couples are the vast majority of the market in most places in America.

    The intention of allowing people “religious objections” is to allow them to ostracize minority groups that they are bigoted against. People in the majority are simply not at much, if any, risk of that same thing being done to them.

    By the way, I don’t care much about wedding cakes in terms of denying service because of “religious objections.” I care a lot more about healthcare professionals using such excuses to avoid treating LGBT people. Even without the cover of “sincerely held religious beliefs”, transgender people are frequently denied medical care from providers who are perfectly capable of treating our medical needs, often even in cases where the medical treatment has NOTHING to do with our being transgender.

    The principle problem with allowing “sincerely held religious beliefs” to exclude providing service to someone is that it allows majorities to effectively ostracize minorities from many aspects of public life. Trust me, I know what this is like. I am flying with my husband to New York next week for medical treatment because none of the dozens of doctors here in Dallas who perform the medical services he desperately needs to restore his health are willing to see him as a patient because he is transgender. We are fortunate to have resources to make that trip. Someone lacking those resources would likely ultimately face kidney failure, and if they lacked resources for dialysis, face a slow, agonizing, horrible death.

    I’ll be honest, I have difficulty caring about bakers when there are much larger, and more serious concerns related to this matter. Nobody dies from not having a wedding cake, but they sure as hell can if the medical professional they are stuck with in an emergency decides that Jesus wouldn’t want them to treat that horrible trans person.

  43. Joe, a bakery is not a church. A bakery is not a house of worship. A bakery is a for profit business and as such they do not get the exemptions a church gets.

    if the owners of that bakery don’t like having to abide by the laws of their state too bad. Their religious beliefs do not….I REPEAT…DO NOT place them above the law. And it certainly does not give them the right to dox anyone.

    You might want to recall Jesus Christ saying something about that. Or did you forget “Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s…” Well, child, the civil laws of the country are “Caesar’s.”

    We are not carving out exceptions for you conservatives just because you’re precious little snowflakes who get your feelings hurt if you’re not allowed to treat your fellow Americans like crap because of your religious beliefs.

    The compromise is simple. If your church doesn’t want to marry a gay couple that is the choice of your church. But for profit businesses are not churches nor are we going to start treating them as churches. I would suggest you take that compromise because if you try for the mile after gaining the inch you’re likely to lose the inch. Because swiss cheesing the law on the basis of religious belief is a slippery slope that can’t be allowed.

    Sorry, Joe, your side lost the right to complain about “religious freedom” when your side had no problem with violating religious freedom up the wazoo by banning gay marriage. Where did you get off thinking you have some right forcing churches or other houses of worship to NOT marry gays even if they chose to?

    For the last few years your side has been kvetching about a supposed war on Christianity. Well, joe, part of the reason people don’t have the highest opinion of Christianity is because you and your fellow conservatives keep on insisting on being assholes in God’s name. You and your fellow conservatives have insisted on using your religion as a weapon. And you conservatives keep on trying to create special rights for yourselves that no one else has. A large part of the reason the “nones” are the largest growing group in this country religiously is because to be blunt..the majority of the country is tired of your shit. Your side has a bad habit of thinking it gets to treat those of its fellow Americans as second class citizens and then you whine when you’re stopped.

    Since it is not legal for a business to refuse service to someone because that someone is Christian then no..a business owned by a Christian doesn’t get to violate the law that it’s owner is also protected by. Time for you conservatives to quit trying to pretend the 14th amendment doesn’t exist. And time for you conservatives to stop pretending that you get to ignore whatever law you damn well please.

    And I would suggest that you conservatives start being wary of the blowback y’all are likely to create for yourselves if you don’t start behaving well with everyone else.

    Because its not like you conservatives have a track record of long term wins.

    • This situation was not about conservative or liberal but about religious freedom.

      The couple who started that business did so in good faith believing that marriage was between a man and a woman, backed up by the opinions of the Clintons and Obama (who later changed their minds when it was politically expedient to do so). They were supposed to change their minds about it as soon as the law changed? What about some kind of grandfather clause? At any rate, it would have been kind and gracious of that couple to have looked elsewhere instead of playing the victim for financial gain and for the political gain of militant homosexuals.

      It was a mistake to go down the road of redefining marriage since there is no reason it can not be redefined further to include trios or quadruples or siblings or parents and their children. It really did undermine the meaning of marriage. The secular world benefited by the Christian influence, and there is nothing wrong with that. And there was never any discrimination because men and women were free to marry members of the opposite sex. That they might not have been attracted to the opposite sex was not the problem of the state.

      Thankfully we still have the Catholic Church and sensible Christian denominations who know that these marriages are farces and civil unions only. They are not Sacramental marriages. You know that as well as I do, unless you are fibbing about being a practicing Catholic.

      And thankfully we still have the freedom to practice our religion and not be forced to redefine marriage in our churches, though I expect that pressure will come.

      Once again, those bakers did not have it in for homosexuals and served homosexuals regularly. They had a problem with declaring that homosexual marriages are valid. Do I as a Catholic have to say they are valid if I don’t believe they are and if that goes against my religion? If I’m a sign painter I will not paint a sign that says “Gay marriages are real sacramental marriages.” Do I have the freedom to do that without being sued or fined?

      Also, as I stated previously, I would have no problem if with someone not wanting to do something that would support my religion if it went against his. For example if I asked a sign painter to make a billboard saying “The Catholic Church is the only true Church,” and he was a devout Baptist who did not believe that and who could not bring himself to doing that, thinking it would offend God, then he should be free to do that, and I could look elsewhere.

      It’s just a matter of having a little balance and common sense.

      Those bakers didn’t need to be scapegoated.

      Just for the record, since you say you are a practicing Catholic, as far as Christianity is concerned, are you in agreement that in the eyes of the Catholic Church, and therefore in the eyes of Christ, there is no such thing as a bona fide marriage between two men or two women? Are you in agreement that as far a Catholic is concerned, if he or she is attracted to the same sex and has no attraction for the opposite sex, that their course should be celibacy?

      • You didn’t read Mr Kessler’s comment, did you. He was very clear about the rights, responsibilities, and limitations in this situation as governed by law. Much of your comment’s argument was already answered by Mr Kessler.

        You continue to portray the bakers as blameless, but they initiated and then aggravated this situation. In denying the couple service based on their sexual orientation, they broke the law. A law that they had sworn to adhere to when they applied for a business license. In denying the service, they called the women abominations. Let’s be clear. They said the women themselves were abominations, not their imagined actions. People who act with kindness and morality do not do that. When they received the notice of complaint from the Oregon Department of Justice, they published the complaint (that included the complainants’ names and address) on Facebook. At the very least, this shows a severe lack of judgement.

        At the conclusion of the legal process, they were fined $135,000 which they refused to pay citing financial hardship. They had just raised over $500,000 through crowd funding. We can add lying to the list of their less than exemplary behaviours.

        At no point in this process did the bakers have to declare that homosexual marriages are valid. You are making that part up.

        The bakers were not scapegoated. They brought this whole mess down on their own heads. They are free to believe whatever stupidity makes them happy, but in operating a business servicing the public, they are not free to discriminate. If they were baking cakes in their home without registering as a business, they can choose to serve whomever they like, but the moment they have that license, they are governed by it and the law.

        In making the consumer complaint to the Department of Justice, they were entirely correct to point out a business that was in direct violation of their license.

        Others have spoken about your lack of compassion, and in your comment, that is fully on display. The couple was severely impacted by the bakers’ acts of prejudice and aggression. The media firestorm nearly caused the removal of their children. Having their humanity denied by being called abominations and having their names and address published aggravated the insecurity that gay people live with in your society. You called the couple unkind and ungracious. You charged them with playing the victim for financial gain. You called their marriage a farce. You said that they didn’t have balance or common sense. By your own words displayed in your comment, you have proven your lack of compassion.

        As for the bakers, I think they were harmed as well. They were swept up by the ultra-Conservative Christians and pushed into the limelight as martyrs in their holy war against the dastardly gays. They lost their privacy as well and will forever be known as the hateful bakers.

        • I think your view of the situations is spot on Patricia and James ! The conservatives punch LGBT people in the faces and don’t think they are going to get a punch to the face back. That is the way the world works– and very few people have the ability to turn the other cheek in the face of hate.

        • Once again, Patricia, you nailed it. That should be the end of this but I doubt it. Perhaps others who were on the fence or didn’t understand will have ears to hear but I am doubtful that Joe has ears to hear and his lack of empathy is appalling. Thank you for this comment for all of us who know the truth but don’t have your talent at being so succinct. Peace and Love,

          • Thanks, Kathleen B.

            I had known before today that grievous harm befell the couple. In reading the trial transcript before writing my comment, I learned just how horrific it was. I think I will forward your peace and love to them and add to it!

        • To quote Joe: This situation was not about conservative or liberal but about religious freedom. The couple who started that business did so in good faith believing that marriage was between a man and a woman, backed up by the opinions of the Clintons and Obama (who later changed their minds when it was politically expedient to do […]

          So should bakers be able to refuse to bake cakes for interracial marriages, Joe? After all..that was the prevailing opinion at one time and Presidents on both sides believed that way. Except that belief was wrong.

          The mark of leadership, Joe, is being able to change one’s mind when one is proven wrong. So why you think two Presidents changing their minds on something is bad I have no idea but under your “logic” blacks would still be slaves and women wouldn’t be allowed to vote and 5 year olds would still be working in mines and factories. Times change, Joe.

          And as for religious freedom..there is no religious freedom to disobey state law. They are not a church..they are a for profit business and they agreed to abide by all relevant state laws, Joe, when they applied for their business license. Not the laws as they were..not the laws as they wish them to be, Joe..the laws as they are. They agreed to abide by the law in good faith, Joe, and now you want to grant them the ability to disobey the law in bad faith.

          Your side argued this same bullshit when Jim Crow was struck down, Joe. What makes you think your argument is valid now when it was not valid then?

          And where the hell was your concern for religious freedom when your side was banning gay marriage and forcing everyone in the country to obey your side’s religious beliefs under penalty of civil law?

          I know you conservatives love trying to stand astride the flow of history and time yelling “Stop!” at the top of your lungs..but it never works. No matter what you do..no matter how much you protest, Joe, things change…the future marches on. At one point a majority of the country thought gay marriage was wrong. Now..they don’t. You and yours are the minority opinion now..grow the **** up and deal with it.

          We are not recreating Jim Crow just because you conservative snowflakes have gotten it in your heads that the law doesn’t apply to you and that your little feelings are hurt because *gasp* gays are treated exactly the same as you are.

          As I told you before, Joe, since it is illegal for a business to refuse to serve someone because that someone is Christian then no..you conservatives don’t get to do to gays what can not be done to you. Because we both know your side would throw the hissy fit to end all hissy fits if y’all were being subjected to the same crap you want to subject gays to.

          And don’t argue “Well just give us this inch” because we all know your side doesn’t want the inch..it wants the mile. Your party still can’t get it through its head that gays, by virtue of being Americans, are entitled to the same legal protections as you. Just last week members of your party in North Carolina tried introducing a bill that would nullify the US Supreme Court decision in that state.

          This isn’t about religious freedom no matter how much you want to argue otherwise, Joe. This is about your side wanting to be above the law and using religion as an excuse. This is about your side so dearly wanting to treat gays as second class. Your rights to your religious freedom, child, don’t place you above the law. If you don’t like that fact find the damn door.

          • Joe when you start using the same words and the same exact arguments as bigots did in defending Jim Crow..you probably should bother to find the morality to stop yourself.

            You have shown no compassion, no empathy for gay couples. You have never even said “No, we conservatives were wrong when we legislated our religious beliefs into civil law and forced everyone to obey them” And you harp about religious freedom? Be gone you hypocrite.

            So WTF should any of us give a damn about your opinion?

        • No, Patrician, he didn’t read James’ comment no will he read yours. He never reads anything that might cause him to re-think his own issues.

          May Jesus cure his blindness. Amen.

          • Hi, Gloriamarie. I love your typo! That is what my name means, of noble birth. Giving him the benefit of the doubt, if he does read, he doesn’t read either for comprehension or for gaining wisdom.

      • Nevertheless, Joe, the opinion of most people is marriage is good for all. Christians should get out of the marriage business then– if they can’t handle that. There are many businesses one can cross over to that doesn’t put christians in direct contact with marriage.

        However you will not escape having to interact, touch, take money from, sell groceries to, sella house to, financially counsel, remove an appendix from, or rescue from a car accident married LGBT people in this country. We are everywhere.

        • Once again you are misrepresenting me. Is that on purpose or have you not been reading carefully? I don’t have any problem with doing business with anyone. You at least got it someone right about the “marriage business” but those people who were destroyed by the militant homosexual movement were in the “marriage business” before marriage was redefined and before Barak Obama changed his mind about it.

          They’re not going to change the Church’s rules regarding the “marriage business” but I expect they will try.

          • Okay, Joe, if you think I am misrepresenting “you” that is certainly not my intention.

            Perhaps you are misrepresenting yourself…

            –because it sounds like your are saying LGBT marriages are an abomination to you and God

            — you are speaking for God when you haven’t a clue whether God is blessing those marriages or not

            –and it sounds like you are saying when a cake maker (who is in business to make cakes) is somehow tainted when they make a cake for a LGBT wedding

            — when Jesus said nothing on the outside can make you unclean (we live in the world unless you want to cloister yourself …but we are not taught that is necessary)

            — yet if you want to avoid the appearance of evil and you think LGBT people getting married is evil then avoid it

            — i.e.: don’t get in the marriage business.

            so, I don’t see where I am misrepresenting you

          • Joe, marriage was “redefined” when the Supreme Court struck down the bans on interracial marriage.

            Was the Supreme Court wrong then? SHould we have let racist business owners continue do what you want? SHould we have let racists hide behind “religious belief” in order to continue treating blacks as lesser than?

            Marriage, child, has been redefined countless times over the years.

            To quote: They’re not going to change the Church’s rules regarding the “marriage business” but I expect they will try.

            Oh quit being hysterical. The government has no right to order a church to do so. But a for profit business, child, and a church are two different things.

            And your concern there is hypocritical beyond belief since your side thought it a jolly good idea to have the church dictate to government civil law.

            Sorry, Joe, when your side got it in its head to force everyone to obey your religious beliefs regarding gay marriage under penalty of civil law you lost your ability to bitch that gays can now marry under civil law. Your side screwed with religious freedom, child. So your hiding behind it now is vastly hypocritical.

            perhaps your side should have kept its religious beliefs out of civil law but no..your side so dearly loves acting like the christian version of Iran’s ayatollah’s.

            Your religious beliefs don’t place you above civil law. If you don’t like that fact, Joe, then you and your fellow conservatives should find the damn door, move to some other country and leave the rest of us the **** alone.

            We are not creating special rights for you little snowflakes. We are not letting you swiss cheese the law.

            Because when a group of Muslim cabbies in my state a few years ago argued that they shouldn’t be required, because of their religious beliefs, to transport 1: dogs 2: drunk people 3: uncovered women what was the response of you conservatives?

            Did you rush to their defense?

            Oh hell no. You conservatives lambasted those Muslims for daring to think their religious beliefs exempt them from the law.

            Oh and before you try arguing, child, no we liberals didn’t think much of what the Muslim cabbies were doing either. They agreed to abide by the law when they got their cab licenses.

            just as that bakery agreed to abide by that state’s open accommodation law. If the owners of the bakery didn’t want to do so then they shouldn’t have opened their business in the damn first place.

            But they agreed to abide by the law.

            • Is it legal for a business to refuse to serve someone because that someone is Christian?

              Answer: No

              Is it legal for a florist or a baker to refuse to sell flowers/wedding cakes for a Christian wedding because the couple is Christian?

              Answer: Again…no.

              So again, Joe, since no one can do to you conservatives what you want to do to gays then your argument is worthless and hypocritical.

              It is far past time you conservatives stop trying to pretend that the 14th amendment’s equal protection clause doesn’t exist.

              You do not get special rights because you’re Christian, Joe. So grow the **** up and accept that fact.

    • James, Joe consistently fails to recognize several facts about life in these United States:

      1) church and state are separate;
      2) discrimination is illegal;
      3) if we allow discrimination against any, we open the door to everyone discriminating against whoever we please;
      4) if one is running a business, then one has to serve all who come to do legitimate business;
      5) homophobes are already in hell because their lives are ruled by fear and hate.

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