Conservative Christian Men’s Weird Sexual Addiction

There are three words guaranteed to strike fear in the hearts of most Conservative Christians—especially the men: Sex, Sexuality, Gender.

Any one of these subjects, whether spoken of explicitly or peripherally, is sure to induce panic attacks and leave Bible Belt Jesus dudes breaking out in a cold sweat, turning fifty shades of red, and sprinting for the nearest exit.

The evidence is everywhere, in a myriad of forms:

– The recent round of “bathroom bills,” all built upon a perceived danger of Transgender people in public restrooms.
– Continued Evangelical opposition to women in the highest levels of pastoral and political leadership.
– A pattern of attacks on qualified women in positions of power, often directed at their appearance or parenting.
– The Conservative church’s advocacy of dangerous Reparative Therapy, proposing to spiritually de-program those who identity as LGBTQ.
– The caveman mentality many Conservative politicians and pastors still apply to sexual assault, which usually ascribes blame and responsibility solely to women.
– The American Christian teen purity culture perpetuated in student ministries, which idolizes abstinence and attaches stigma to any sexual activity, but particularly that of girls.
– The political Right’s never-ending fight against Planned Parenthood, women using birth control, and in general being sexual on their terms.

Together, these illustrate a misogynistic Christianity with an unhealthy obsession with sex and anything it deems approaching, alluding to, or suggesting it—which turns out to be lots of stuff:

Women having autonomy over their own bodies and physical expression.
Dinner with a person of the opposite sex who is not your spouse.

The LGBTQ community being allowed to love and marry the person of their choosing.
Two consenting adults doing what they choose to behind closed doors.
Anyone other than them having sexual pleasure of any kind.

The Evangelical Church in America has a weird sexual addiction and it has only itself to blame. For decades organized Christianity has conspired to make sex taboo, our bodies and desires evil, physical pleasure a spiritual flaw, and to turn people’s sexual identities into moral indictments against them.

Worse than this chronic fixation on sex, gender, and sexuality, is that Conservative Christianity has somehow deputized itself as qualified and entitled to police such things for the world, with the Bible (not Science, facts, or reason) as its sole authority on the matter. More accurately, not merely the Bible—but the Bible as carefully filtered through a repressed, puritanical, selective interpretation crafted almost exclusively by men raised to believe that God was a dude and that Eve ate the fruit and seduced poor Adam.

And since the Church at large is still dominated by white men, the result is a historically sexist strain of our religious tradition, whose primary task still seems to be controlling women, the LGBTQ community, and any sexual expression that intimidates or frightens them—which, it turns out is most kinds. 

This obsession with sex also yields a bizarre confluence of incompatible ideas that reflect no moral or objective consistency. It’s why someone like Vice President Mike Pence can loudly advocate for Reparative Therapy for gay teens, breathlessly pursue bathroom legislation targeting Transgender folks, claim to be morally responsible by not having dinner alone with a woman other than his wife, and cast the tie-breaking vote against Planned Parenthood—all while being the devoted Right Hand Man of a professed genitalia-grabbing, three-time married, serial adulterer whose misogyny and contempt for women are at Olympic levels.

The staggering hypocrisy isn’t escaping the watching world outside the Church, who can see the unhealthy preoccupation it has with some of the most natural and beautiful aspects of our humanity—people not raised in a culture of guilt, condemnation, and misogyny all supposedly sanctioned by God “himself.”

They can see that not only is this addiction resulting in harassment of really good, perfectly healthy people, it’s making normal sexual activity and expression seem dirty, and it’s shaping in young people a dangerous and distorted sense of identity and body image. It’s also turning the very natural spectrum of sexuality into a liability, something to be eliminated. 

The Church at large has a lot of work to do. It needs to figure out how to understand and express morality in a way that doesn’t always revert to people’s bedrooms and bathrooms, one that transcends body parts and personal plumbing. It needs to find a way to de-weird sex in its own corporate head, so that it can begin to figure out how to talk about these things in responsible, reasonable, and emotionally healthy ways—or it will continue its steady march toward irrelevance and continue to do incredible damage in the process.

Conservative Christian men in particular, need to own their unhealthy preoccupation with sex and their proclivity toward policing the world. They need to learn how to respect, encourage, and defer to strong women in their midst. They need to learn how to move in respect and not fear toward the LGBTQ community. Regarding sex, gender, and sexuality, they need to jettison a heavy, cumbersome burden of dangerous theology, guilt-peddling, and shame-throwing. 

For their own sake and for the sake of those their lives impact, these men need to get their hands off of other people’s private parts, their noses out of other people’s bedroom business, and their minds out of the gutter. Then they, like Jesus—might be free to actually major in love and to do something beautifully redemptive here.




946 thoughts on “Conservative Christian Men’s Weird Sexual Addiction

    • I think its a great idea for a husband to avoid being alone with a woman that is not his wife. That’s humility. (which is very attractive! –to his wife.) Smart guy.

      • It isn’t humility. It’s a fear that he’s so weak that he won’t be able to keep his pants on. That isn’t humility, and it’s far from attractive. It would be like me not being able to go out with a female friend because my wife isn’t there.

        Before I transitioned, I had mostly female friends. If I was or wasn’t dating someone, that made no difference as to how I behaved around them. I treated them all with decency, and as individuals equal to me. Post-transition, that simply hasn’t changed. Men like Mike Pence are so weak inside that they’re afraid they won’t be able to resist trying to sleep with a woman they’re having lunch with, so they need their spouse to police them. Why is it so difficult for them to just, oh, I don’t know, consciously stay faithful to their spouses?


          • LOL! Reminds me of a certain preacher who used to visit my wife when I was at work, not long before we resigned our membership. He seemed to believe he could charm her, but she was far too smart for him. His threats, or cajolings, if you will, were all Bible verses, FWIW.
            We had pledged to support him and his family, so we continued to pay “tithes” until he moved away. I’ve never been sure it was a wise move, and I never learned just why he left that church within the year. I have my suspicions, though, and I still wonder about his marriage and future work as a pastor though it was over forty years ago.

        • Did you ever stop to consider that a married man’s avoidance of being alone with women other than his wife comes from the same ideological box as the prohibition on teachers/coaches being alone with students?
          The fear of inappropriate actions isn’t the only motivator here – there’s also the fear of scandal, caused by wagging, busybody tongues, and the fear of blackmail, stemming from false accusations. We live in a nasty world, and we Christians aren’t the only “nasty” people in it.

          • Again, you assume the worst in people. I know a lot of teachers, and many of them will actually work with students after school if they need extra help. I won’t say that they haven’t had students come on to them, but they understand how inappropriate, unethical, and illegal any impropriety with a student is, and they very quickly put a stop to it. They actually have self-control, something Mike Pence appears to lack.

            • Caitlyn. Since Mike Pence, lacks self-control, then isn’t it a good thing that he avoids being alone w women other than his wife? [Some alcoholics avoid bars, some over eaters avoid all you can eat buffets, some shopaholics avoid Nordstrom & recovering drug addicts avoid their dealer’s house.] Is that wrong?

              It’s good to know your weaknesses, and it’s good to avoid un necessary temptation.

              • Regardless of his motivations, this perpetuates the male buddy-buddy system that denies women mentorship and access to promotions and higher levels of work. It keeps the glass ceiling in place. The VP can mentor men but not women. Appropriate measures can be put into place to allow the VP to be alone with a woman who is not his wife, especially at a meal — restaurants are public places.

                Demonizing women who will cry rape when they are not raped (not the norm or the usual, certainly) is not the answer.

                • Thank you Katy. You said it all right there. It’s just another way of projecting onto women the notion that we hold some sort of power in our vagina that must be kept in check. That we are so cunning and conniving that our mere presence exudes a lure so strong a happily married man who proclaims he follows the Lord in all things can’t possibly help but betray his marital vows. Please. It’s about control. It’s always been about control and always will be about control. Men controlling women. Period.

                • My take on this is by claiming a “weakness” they have an excuse for their bad behavior. Other folks just figure out that some behaviors are neither wanted or healthy.

              • Leslie,
                The weaknesses you compared this too are inanimate. Alcohol, food, shopping… are not people. You cannot have a position such as his and just NOT interact with people!!

                I guess he should avoid elevators too, just in case he found himself in one with another woman alone?

              • Leslie, good character is better than strict rules.

                That Pence has to place such strict rules on himself means he does not have good character.

                And it would be one thing if he just placed such strict control on himself. The problem is compounded because he wants to do the same to everyone else.

                Sorry, it is not the job of Pence and the rest of the Christian right to stick their noses into other people’s bedrooms.

              • Does Pence ever take a business lunch with men? If he does man-to-man business networking then how can he exclude a business lunch with a woman? Oh wait, women should be home, barefoot and pregnant. Fundie Christians with this attitude of separating from women are very much espousing the Sharia Law they profess to hate.

              • Knowing your own weakness if fine. Attributing them to all men is another matter. Trying to force laws through Congress that will impose your views on ALL men, whether they share you weakness or not, is still another. That is what Mike Pence has spent his career doing. If he had his way, he would be telling the rest of us not only WHO we can play with, but how. I’m not kidding. This man will, if he can find a way, tell you what position you can use (go ahead. Guess.) how many sex toys you may own (there is already such a law in Texas) and whether you can leave the lights on.

                • I don’t think it has to do with Pence’s self control. I think his attitude reflects that ancient idea of woman as inherently flawed, and therefore dangerous.

            • If one is religious and faithful the only eyes that matter are the eyes of god. Wagging tongues should not move a wife to not trust her husband unless he has given her reasons to be untrustworthy. My relationship with my husband is much stronger than the whispers of jealous strangers. If your relationship cannot sustain such small snags it is not made of a strong fabric. It most certainly is not made of a strong faith either.

            • I admire his wisdom in the decision to avoid any possible rumors or attacks on his integrity or his marriage! Something so many people must be unable to grasp!

              • With all the homosexual acts by the Christian society as if late (in secret, and denial) is he sure he’s really safe alone with a man without the presence of his wife? Those same tongue waggers can do the same with all his attention only on men. This whole excuse is bogus to put the women down and untrusting. I can think of numerous men I’d rather start a rumor about that the ducks in the WHITE House. The rumors can start with men too.

          • Why should there be fear? You tell your wife you’re having dinner with a woman friend, you have dinner, you hug the friend and go home to your wife. I’m a married woman and both my husband and I have friends of the opposite sex. We don’t go out of our way to have dinner separately from our spouses, but if circumstances changed, we’d still have dinner with our friend, without our partner. And we’d talk about it when I returned. No fear needed – everything upfront and above board.

            The fact that Pence deals in such absolutes worries me. He doesn’t even question if the woman is married, or a member of the family – just won’t do it!

          • Cynthia R Gee, no. Because the news reports re that he avoids being alone with women in public places.

            Coaches/teachers/priests/pastors are allowed to be private with people as long as doors are open and the people can be observed.

            Pence is not showing women that degree of respect. His message is that we are not worth his time.

            • I’m sure he will meet with women under those circumstances. Going out to dinner with just himself and a woman is like a “date” and he has too much respect for his wife and his marriage to do that.

                • Exactly. He has no respect for women. He has proven that his entire career. He thinks we don’t have any brains.

              • Oh FFS, this is EXACTLY the xtian hypersexualization of all encounters which John has posted about.

                Such hypersexualization comes from a perspective that views the other gender as alien, and lacks a conception of how to communicate. It’s the teenage boy saying “OMG, she’s got tits and a snatch – how can I talk to her?” without realizing that the mind is the atomic unit of humanity.

                It’s Jungian projection writ large. And it’s horrifying. And it’s not just gender relations; it’s occurred in other ways.

                There’s a story, famous among diplomats, of a postwar British diplomat seated next to a Chinese diplomat at a state dinner. Fearing what to say, he asked, in pidgin, “Likee soupee?” The Chinese man proceeded to give a highly nuanced speech (in English, no less) to the room on diplomatic relations in the postwar world – and upon returning to the table, looked at the Englishman and asked, with deserved hauteur, “Likee speechee?”

                The thinking of the British diplomat – that differences are so extreme that there’s no bridging them – are the same as the motivations for xtian sexual idiocy. That it acts as a monstrous instrumentality of control is a by-product – useful to the dominating, to be certain, but ultimately driven by fear of the unknown.

            • Nailed it. That’s what most xtian religion is based on: Fear.

              Fear of death
              Fear of where we go when we die
              Fear of hell
              Fear of sin
              Fear of homosexuality
              Fear of women having ANY rights
              Fear of other countries
              Fear of anything that sounds foreign
              Fear of other religions

              and the list goes on and on. They’re even called “God-fearing”… go figure.

          • So your saying he should concern himself with impressions that others have of his dinner with a woman. That goes against not judging others, as described in the Bible. He should not be concerned with idle gossip.
            Does he not trust himself and thinks temptation will prevail and he will be unfaithful? Strange that he would not trust himself. Especially if the dinner was a professional meeting with a colleague. Is he saying he can’t be a professional? That does not reflect well on him in either scenario. His religion should give him strength against temptation.
            What about dinner with another man that might or might not happen to be gay? How does that play out? Especially if he was not aware the man was gay but others knew. Would they judge him and assume he was having an affair.
            He better not have dinner with anyone but his wife. That would seem to be safe conclusion for him. And completely ridiculous at the same time.

          • Cynthia, if Pence can’t trust himself with women that aren’t his wife..then why is he so bent on legislating and controlling what other women do?

          • And THAT is MY take on it having been a victim of such wagging tongues and we weren’t even alone! About 1973, I went to a rival little hot dog/hamburger stand. My boss came in shortly after me – we did know thud other was going to be there. He asked to if it was okay to sit with me as the little stand was pretty full. Some had called his wife before lunch was even over. U never went back to that place at lunch as long as I worked with him. A d I dud a paper on Bulky Graham in college a d he would not close his office door while alone with a wiman. Is i think that part IS about wagging tongues. I don’s think they ha e a problem dropping. Their their pants as long as they don’t think they will get caught.

          • A major difference is teacher/coaches and students where there is an adult and a minor. We are talking about 2 adults. If Pence cannot be trusted to be alone with a woman or cannot conduct himself in a way to avoid a scandal, he therefore should not be legislating women’s bodies or health issues.

          • Nobody said it is easy, nor did anyone say that Christians are nasty.

            There certainly is a faction of Christian men who feel they are in a position (if you’ll excuse the unintended pun) to tell the rest of us how to behave sexually and how we should or shouldn’t treat people who are other than themselves.

            They have no business thinking they should do that, and they have no business using their religion to (again, please) Lord it over the rest of us, male or female or whatever gender we are.

            Everyone should be treated with equality and dignity and deference and respect.

            Those men don’t do that, and they are being called on it.

            As they should be.

          • Then that man should recuse himself from all leadership positions and leave those to men whose personal practices will not stand between women and their livelihoods.

        • Or perhaps this kind of man thinks that the pull of his own manly attractiveness could not be denied by any mere woman, who would immediately try to tempt and seduce him. (We are like that, you know. Ever since Eve.) How arrogant.

          • Oh, I know! Whenever I see someone attractive, I just can’t resist throwing myself at their feet and screaming, “take me right here and now, you gorgeous beast!”


            If we women just weren’t so sexy, we wouldn’t have to worry about unwanted sexual advances.


            Or, how about this: Maybe if men actually respected women and saw us as more than sperm receptacles, they would be able to exercise some self control and not think “hi!” was equal to “Let’s go to bed, baby!”.

            • Yeah, Joe – about as arrogant as men who assume that they know what every woman’s motivation is for getting an abortion.

              • But are you not now assuming Joe assumed he knows every woman’s motivation for getting an abortion? You are kind of proving his entire point. Assumptions are a very dangerous thing and often lead to division that need not be there.

        • It makes you wonder how much of men’s repression of women is caused by their weakness, by their fear of women’s strength.

        • Knowing their weaknesses and avoiding occasions of sin is being faithful and is doing the right thing. It’s also good to avoid the appearance of impropriety.

          So Trump is the “serial adulterer” and Pence is “Mr. Clean” and both are trashed over their morality.

          • The reason their morality is in question is because they’re at extremes. Trump can’t resist not only cheating on his wives, but denigrating women with comments like “when you’re rich, you can do anything… grab them by the pu**y…”. (I dare him to try that with me, he would probably lose a hand.)

            Pence, on the other hand, is so afraid he might find a woman attractive or that a woman might make a pass at him (sorry, he isn’t that attractive) that he can’t bring himself to be alone in the same room with a woman.

            If someone makes a pass at me, I have the good sense to say, “Sorry, I’m married, and that makes me uncomfortable, would you mind not doing that?”, even if I find them attractive. I have the fortitude to remain faithful to my spouse. The fact that Mike Pence doesn’t tells me that he’s either been caught cheating before and doesn’t want to risk his political career if his wife were to leave him, or that he’s considered cheating and knows he would follow through if given the chance.

            It must suck to live life that way, to not only not trust your spouse, but to not trust yourself.

          • A Catholic Perspective, odd that you would “defend” Pence’s inarticulate and goofy comment as “Knowing their weaknesses and avoiding occasions of sin” as merely “being faithful and is doing the right thing” but hey, knock yourself out. For someone who has placed themselves onto such a soapbox it is indeed “good to avoid the appearance of impropriety”.

            The issue here is not that comment in a vacuum, a nothing happens in a vacuum. Whether it is Pence’s fidelity to piety yet condemnation of others as sinners, or Trump’s sin yet pretense of faith, the problem is that the actions taken out them both.

            Their “morality” is more than their sexual activity. The policies they support that harm the poor, needy and working class are also part of their morality. And both fail on that test as their records reflect.

            A moral governor works to help those who need it. A moral businessman does not womanize and brag about it, cheat vendors, lie, con and take advantage of others. And now you expect us to believe they have the best interests of America at heart? LOL, good one.

          • I’m curious that you are concerned with the *appearance* of immorality. That’s an easy way out for men in power. There are plenty of ways to be alone with women and keep it above board.

            I agree that avoiding sin is key to leading a faithful life. Of course. But make no mistake, this refusal to be alone with women is neither about the appearance of immortality nor of avoiding sin. It is about denying that women deserve the opportunities that men deserve.

            Having dinner with a woman and *not flirting, not sleeping with her, not engaging in inappropriate behavior* actually shows engagement with women as full human beings. Both the President and the VP could use a lesson in how to do this.

            • Katy, sadly some people think the “appearance of immorality” is as bad, if not worse than actual immorality.

              The “appearance of immorality” is something that has controlled women’s behavior for centuries so she can keep her good reputation and marry so some man will take care of her.

              Sadly many men, and some women, still participate in that mindset. This is because some people can’t figure out how to get their noses out of what is none of their business.

              Pence has said something stupid, but the kneejerk Christian Right are desperate to make it sound intelligent. They cannot ever make something stupid into something intelligent. It’s like believing it is possible to turn a base metal into gold. It will never happen.

            • I think he doesn’t want to be ALONE with a woman in a restaurant. I don’t think he precludes meeting with women under what are to him more acceptable and proper circumstances. Lots of men would love to have the EXCUSE of dining with a woman. Probably Teddy Kennedy, being such a champion or rights of women, didn’t hesitate AT ALL to be alone with women and show them that he considered them as equals.

              I admire him for being so principled. I have had attractions for other women during my marriage (no affairs or anything close to that, though) and looking back I can see that those affections would not have grown had I kept a more healthy distance. Looking back I can see that I was like a moth trying to get close to the flame without getting burned. It’s better to instead deny oneself.

              There is a Catholic principle of “avoiding the OCCASION of sin” which makes a lot of sense. If you have a drinking problem, you don’t go to bars. You are humble and realize that you could fall any time and you protect yourself. To put oneself in dangerous situation IS a sin.

              • Ted Kennedy didn’t run around declaring himself such a morally superior Christian nor did he think it was government’s job to force Christianity down people’s throats using the laws of the United States.

                Mike Pence does. That’s been pretty much the SOP of the so called Christian right all my life.

                General rule of humans and faith: The more you have to proclaim yourself morally superior and pious the less moral and pious you actually are.

                To use Trump as an example the reason he runs around proclaiming what a great person and businessman and that he was top of his class and he knows more than the US generals how to fight ISIL despite chickening out of Vietnam?

                Because he doesn’t fit those things. But his ego can’t allow admitting that so his ego drives him to make patently ludicrous proclamations about himself. Like when he had his doctor declare him the fittest/healthiest person to run for President ever. Right…because a near 300 pound fat ass is healthier than every person to ever run for US president in 200+ years.

                And I’m the King of Norway.

                Same thing with fundamentalist Christians like Pence. Deep down they know their morality is lacking but they’d rather hide behind the veneer of moral superiority rather than be honest.

                There’s also the one thing that is common with fundamentalists of every religion. They repress sexuality so much that it becomes twisted. Hence how groups like Al Qaeda can convince themselves that each suicide bomber will receiver 72 virgins in heaven.

                Or a little closer to home…Josh Duggar. Or Congressman David Diaper Vitter. Or former Congressman Michele Batshit Bachmann hiding in the bushes, literally, at a progay rights rally in Minnesota.

                Fundamentalists also have a tendency to treat women as property, not as individuals with rights of their own. That the only purpose of a woman is to, as someone else here said it, be a sperm receptacle and carry progeny.

              • So you’ve admitted you are one of the sexually addicted Christians the author talks about.
                Good to know.

                Your addiction makes it impossible for you to interact with women in a healthy, respectful way. So YOU should never be alone with a woman.

                Just like a Catholic priest who is a pedophile should never be alone with a child.

                Just as importantly, neither should EVER be allowed to have rights over the object of their addiction.

                Even the Church (of which I am still a member, thanks only to the work and example of Pope Francis) has recognized this about pedophile priests.

                Does your Catholic Perspective tell you that you know more than Pope Francis?

          • A Catholic Perspective, Trump and Pence are both trashed because they are two sides of the same coin. They both view women as sexual objects that are good for one thing. Their response to that belief is different but essentially they view women the same way.

          • Well first off Pence isn’t that moral.

            Second he should quit trying to legislate his faith based morality, what there is of it, down other people’s throats using the civil government.

            The question you should be asking, ACP, is this:

            Why are, apparently, conservative males so incapable of controlling themselves? Why do they insist on making it the woman’s responsibility for what the men want to do or actually do?

            • Thank you, James Kessler. That is exactly the question we women have been asking for millennia.

              How very lowering it is to reflect that men have ignored us. Will they instead listen to other men? How even more lowering.

        • I personally don’t think that he desires women, he is making himself conform to what he thinks that the Bible wants, he must be in agony every day ,.

          • Obviously not, since I can type more than a four word insult in response to a statement. Besides, that’s still better than being completely ignorant.

          • If you think Caitlyn Anne is being judgmental, then you don’t know much about the subject except the judgmentalism you display toward her.

            You have heaped on the labels without asking for clarification of the points that bother you. IOW, you think your interpretation of her words is all that matters.


        • This is an amazing assertion. Wisdom extends beyond fear and temptation. Perception is also key as well as honor. Ask Mr. Pence how his wife feels about his choice to honor her in this way. Does it leave her feeling more or less secure? Does it leave her feeling more or less honored? People who assert this choice as one made in fear, fail to acknowledge that Mr. Pence seems to care far more about honoring his wife and not giving any room for public perception (based on the REAL marriages that have been destroyed by infidelity in Washington, D.C.) to lob ignorance-based character attacks on him or his wife than he does about meeting some assumed social expectations of those in public office. Pence owes the American public nothing more than honesty and integrity and leadership. I can certainly respect him for his personal convictions, of which he has not placed an expectation on anyone else to follow his lead.

          • Jason, you bring up an excellent point. Albeit you likely did not mean to. How many on the Christian Right judge women who wear hijab (the head covering scarf of Muslim women)? How many bother to ask how the woman “feels” about the choice rather than just assume she is forced to do so. How many have wondered if this is a religious choice for her? Does it leave her feeling more or less secure? Does it leave her feeling more or less honored? People who assert this choice as one made in fear or force fail to acknowledge that it can also be a choice of modesty freely made.

            Maybe they care more about keeping modest in public than giving any room for public perception to lob ignorance-based character attacks about meeting some assumed social expectations too.

            Not sure why but the defense of Pence by so many who would likely never do so for a Muslim family is just really fascinating to me.

            • Sandi, I have the flu or something and am not up for intelligent conversation, but reading this reminded me of a cartoon I’ve seen which explains everything.

              There are a lot of Muslim refugees in my neighborhood. Most of them are women and children because the husbands didn’t make it out, defending their families as they fled Ethiopia, Sudan, Eritrea, etc. We chat as we wait for prescriptions, in the supermarkets, etc.

              The politically correct term is hijab. Muslim women are offended by “head scarf” which to them is an insult to their feminism. And oh, yes, they dress as they do as an act of feminism.

              Link to cartoon:


          • Pence’s refusal to have dinner with any other woman except his wife makes sense…if this was 1955. With both women and men being in power in business and government, and with a culture of doing business on the golf courses and restaurants then his statement and actions seem archaic, goofy, and down right discriminatory in today’s world. I don’t want to return to 1955.

        • This has to be one of the dumbest comment I’ve ever read. Ask Billy Graham if he ever got in an elevator alone with a woman that wasn’t his wife. Do you think he didn’t because he didn’t think he could control himself?
          He said he wouldn’t do it because he never wanted someone to have the opportunity to accuse him of inappropriate behavior.
          It’s commonly referred to as covering your ass.

          • Anonymous, are you serious? I guess we can all be thankful that Jesus did not set the example for the Billy Graham Rule! It sure speaks to a much bigger issue than the inarticulate remark I took it to be when Pence put it out there. What grown, God serving man refuses to meet, travel, get on an elevator or eat with a woman alone because they are afraid they would be accused of something?

            What is wrong with these supposed “men of God” that they cannot do normal everyday things without such thoughts? This is not even ‘lust in my heart” this is malicious thinking about another human being (a woman). WOW, I am actually stunned here. What an admission this has turned out to be.

            Silly me, not to have known better. You all don’t see dead people, you see women as sex crazed beasts apparently. How sick and sad and far from Jesus.

            • You will note that these are the same people who keep telling us to trust in Jesus, but they don’t have trust. Peace…….

            • It’s called setting “boundaries.” It’s normal. It’s a good thing. It’s good to protect a marriage and respect a wife or husband. Affairs can and do “happen.” They don’t happen if don’t go to a motel room with another woman or man and tempt fate and yourself.

              You trash Trump for being a immoral and Pence for being moral. Whatever someone on the right does, you’ll criticize it and figure out a way to make it dirty or find an evil motive that doesn’t exist.

              • Oh my, more neon from Joe Catholic. There are plenty of ways to “set boundaries” without acting like women are pariahs.

                Pence may not be a cretin like Trump, but he is not moral under my definition of the word.

        • I agree with you. It’s a sign of weakness….couldn’t trust himself! That’s the truth and nothing but the truth!

        • Caitlyn Anne the real “MAN”……before he “transitioned”. You are funny, and no real man would ever pay you a bit of attention! See, real men are not remotely interested in being with someone that has a penis and testicles…like they do!

          • Wayne, once again you prove that being a disgusting right-winger is repulsive to see and read. You are what is wrong with any public forum that is not moderated. You use what decent, loving people share as a weapon. And yet, none of your pals will call you out on it, they will call us out for Charles being harsh in a second though.

            You are sickening and I pray God will deal with you before you post here again.

              • Thank you Wayne! If I ever find people like you admitting my credibility, I will indeed fear for my soul and my sanity. But you should get that looked at, thinking you know “sane and thinking people”, much less are among them seems a bit delusional.

          • Have fun living in your racist, misogynistic, LGBTQ fearing, xenophobic bubble. The rest of us will leave you behind. If you want company I am sure there are a few compounds that would welcome you into their like-minded community, just look under Southern Poverty Law Center under hate groups to find the one you fit in.

            • Robin, leftwing nut cases like yourself lives in a delusional state. You think that a man can become a woman, how sane people pity you! When Almighty God created the soul, spirit, and body of either a male or female, that is just what HE deliberately did, and no mental illness or surgeon’s knife can change that reality, so deal with it!

              • Wayne, you could not be a better testament to what John P is saying if someone had paid you to come here and show the evil and hate in the Christian Right. He should just collect and frame your posts to prove everything he says.

                • Sandi,
                  i hate no one, not even left wing nut cases like yourself and John. The “hate” comes from the gay community and their surrogates. They’re angry because sane people don’t approve of men ripping apart the anuses of other men, and we don’t approve of women slobbering in the vaginas other women. That’s what this comes down to according to the LGBT community, and the devil has planted men like John to further their wicked and evil cause, but God will not be mocked! He will judge all unrepentant sexual deviants!

                  • Wayne, I am not sure our language has an insult low enough to be appropriate for you. Do you even have the sense to know that heterosexual couples engage in the exact same kind of sex you so crudely speak of? And yet you seek no ban on them in any church or wedding. You are a sick, twisted, hate-filled, repulsive creature.

                    • Sandi, Gays always make an attempt to denigrate and intimidate those that know that their chosen lifestyle is repulsive. We always hear the same words: “A LOT OF GAY MEN DON’T HAVE SEX”……but interestingly, they have the highest percentage of STD’S than any other demographic of people on the face of the earth…..and gays make up barely 2% of the population. It is God’s diving judgment on nasty and abominable behavior. He has promised to judge unrepentant immoral behavior. Again, deal with it!

                    • Wayne- my sex life is none of your f*cking business. Go to hell. 2%? All the bisexual married men I’ve gotten to know over my lifetime prove you to be dead wrong. I am an accomplished artist- and a lot of other things. You are a f*cking moron. I’d put you out of your misery if we were in the same room- and everybody would cheer me on. And you’re welcome. You don’t deserve to live.

                    • J. Bruce Wilcox:

                      I’m not remotely interested in your “sex” life. The thought of a man putting his penis in your feces filled rectum is a sickening thought to say the least. You are not well! What real man would let other men do such barbaric behaviors on them? You’re not well! If I were in your presence, you’d do nothing but scream and holler like a little girl.

                    • You must be god- wayne- since you seem to know everything. I don’t want to be a women. I’ve never wanted to be a women. I’m perfectly happy being my very male self- loving and sexually interacting with other men- who also don’t want to be women. I’m not particularly submissive- as you so obviously think all gay men are. I’m 6’4″- and very strong- and completely comfortable wearing a male form/body. There is no weakness in me anywhere- yet a profound level of empathy and sensitivity is present. But for you- all there is- is contempt for your ignorance. Your hetero assumption that sex is ONLY INTERCOURSE- and therefore- for male/male contact that means anal intercourse- is so stupid it just indicates how clueless you really are. And you apparently know nothing about cleansing yourself thoroughly- so your ass must really be filthy. Gay men know better. Sad. You are a useless human and don’t deserve to live.

                    • Hi Bruce, welcome. Don’t mind Wayne, he’s just green with jealously because we are comfortable with who we are. 🙂

                    • Wayne is a lot of things, none of them good. He is another who ruins this site for decent people and he does that on purpose. We need a tagline to warn the new posters, but we do not need to go down the drain with him and his hate or judgment. People like him will not stop, but they do not deserve even the implied respect in a reply.

                    • “Sandi”, more stupid Gay Rhetoric! Anything new to add? All sane heterosexuals know that if we call out the barbaric and perverted behavior of homosexuals and homosexuality, we’re going to be called a myriad of names and given many tiles, so we have become quite numb to it. So do you have anything new to add to the Gay Rhetoric?

                    • Wayne, I would only add that I am not the one you need to be worried about. What I think, what I say, what I believe is right (like common decency, compassion, empathy and decorum) is not the issue. You will meet God with that mouth and mind, not me! Thanks be to God!

                    • Sandi, and you will meet God with that abominable lifestyle! And according to 1 Cor. 6:9-10, no homosexuals will inherited eternal life, so I’d be worried.

                    • Sandi, I’ve been “Born Again” of the Spirit of God, so I have no worries about my eternal destiny as my complete faith and reliance is upon Christ my Lord. All unrepentant and defiant Homosexuals have everything to be worried about, even those that falsely profess faith in Christ!

                    • Well, good luck with that Wayne, I think there is a bit more too it, but hey, who am I? You go on judging, being crass, crude and cruel and time will surely tell you just how “saved” you are.

                    • Sandi, keep on having perverted sex and see what happens! Keep allowing yourself to be deceived by Satan, and see what the end will be.

                    • Wayne, keep on judging and see what happens! Keep accusing and threatening with God, and see what the end will be.

                    • Wayne, I am not “confused” or “misguided” at all. I will meet God with love in my heart and you will meet him with this anger, crassness and judgement you have displayed. I like my chances.

                    • And there you are again with that judging Wayne. I will be fine. God either loves as he promised or God is vengeful like you think. I think the former is the one who will know my heart.

                    • The thing is wayne, the Bible has more verses than just those. Like “it shall be more tolerable on the day of judgment for the land of Sodom than for you.” The word “homosexuality” didn’t even “show up in English translations before 1946”, so how can you bet your soul on condemning it?

                      There are about 2000 verses that talk about the poor, wealth and poverty, and social justice there are 6 that you all use to exclude, malign and insult the LGBTQ community. How many verses are there about adultery? Jesus even mentioned that one, but you do not deny, insult or seek to judge anyone on that.

                      Do you all keep the other Levitical laws? We know better.

                      How do you know that the thousands of years old translations are not speaking of idolatry, promiscuity, or prostitution as the “unnatural acts”? Maybe it is speaking of an abuse of power over someone, “elitist overindulgence, and misguided over-sexualized spirituality”. What if it is just about plain old lust? The lust for self-centered pleasure outside of marriage or committed stable relationships and outside the service of God. How can you possibly know, much less use the few words you choose to interpret to claim anyone is condemned? How can anyone think that a loving committed gay couple is the same as a perverted, lascivious, lurid, depravity and sexual immorality? Because that is the interpretation you have been told and that is the interpretation you accept.

                      There is no sex act that a homosexual does that a heterosexual person cannot. You can pretend God was only talking to the minority of the people on earth as you like, I think he was talking to all people who put their sexual needs and conquests above their service to God.

                    • This is the message that the entire LGBT community and their supporters needs to hear: What Biblical Love Is! This video is from the world’s greatest theologian and scholar, on the issue of human sexuality, Dr. Robert A.J. Gagnon.

                    • Matthew 7:1-3:

                      “7 Judge not, that ye be not judged.
                      2 For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again.
                      3 And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?”

                      Translation: Don’t point a finger at anyone because you have at least 3 pointing right back at you.

                      Another point, Wayne, you’ll also be facing the Great Creator come “Judgment Day”; not sitting next to Him or Her looking at the rest of us.

                    • Same Gay nonsense! “Repent, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand!” (Jesus Christ & John the Baptist)

                    • Wayne, your cross is yours to bear. Why can’t you leave people alone and not be a crude, rude and judgmental prig about it? Jesus treated no one the way you have. Even God who will judge us, has never been as crass and vulgar. You are just an abomination of love.

                    • J. Bruce:

                      Do you have a clue as to your insanity? I suspect not, as most gay people are ignorant to the reality that homosexuals are dealing with mental problems. Men are designed to be romantic with WOMEN, not other men! Please get that through your head, gay man.

                    • Wayne, All the things you say about gay sex can be said about straight sex. and I think you are exaggerating things because you want to make LGBT people appear worse than they are.

                      I think your obsession with anal sex is ridiculous considering straight people do it as well and not all gay men do it– so that doesn’t make sense to me.

                      What bothers me is your lack of concern for LGBT people. I see the fearfulness and disgust in your comments but I don’t see the compassion, understanding or hope for LGBT people.

                      I can appreciate someone who understands that I am different from them and I didn’t choose my sexuality and offered to walk along side me as a brother of the faith, and I do have friends who think marriage is only for one man and one woman— but you Wayne, give me the creeps.

                    • Patricia, amazingly, all gay people and their supporters make that stupid statement. What we know biologically is the anus does not lubricate for sexual intercourse. That distinction is with a woman’s vagina only as you obviously know. Men’s bodies are not designed to be sexually penetrated as the anus is for the express purpose of eliminating toxic human waste!

                    • Robin, I have a strong suspicion that it wouldn’t do any good. He seems to be extremely allergic to learning anything that doesn’t fit with the horrendous pack of lies that somebody has sold to him as God’s own truth.

                    • “What we know biologically is the anus does not lubricate for sexual intercourse. That distinction is with a woman’s vagina only as you obviously know.” I guess that blow jobs are out as well then, since the mouth lubricates for mastication, not for fellatio.

                      Interesting distinction that you make that it is only men’s bodies that must not have the anus be sexually penetrated. As we know, heterosexual couples use anal intercourse as a cheap birth control method, as well as for pleasure. Should they cut that out as well, or is it only yucky if it is a man being penetrated?

                    • Patricia, nice try, but anus sex even in heterosexual relationships is gross, unnatural, and is not designed by God for sex!

                    • Wayne, I am glad to hear that you are consistent in your contempt for anal intercourse. Now go and be consistent in the application of that contempt. Deny heterosexuals their rights if they cannot prove that they have never participated in anal intercourse, and don’t just take their word for it.

              • And God makes intersexual children with both male and female sex organs of varying functionalities. How does that square with your cherry-picked beliefs?

                • Sturm, God doesn’t do any such thing! Sometimes, things go wrong in the Hormonal/DNA, and Biological process….and that is a very, very small number, and in most cases, Doctors can fix that situation in consultation with the parents to decide what gender best fits the child after a myriad of other biological and emotional factors. Sorry to hurt your feelings, but there is MALE and FEMALE, not “everything” and “anything” one wants to be!

              • “Wayne” (ACP, is that really you?) has no knowledge of modern medical science and research into fetal development and the creation of LGBT individuals in the womb.

                Pay him no mind. He’s deliberately choosing to troll his prejudice without ever availing himself of ongoing medical research this area.

                • TC, everything you’ve said is nothing more than Gay Rhetoric. There is no science that causes men to want to be sodomized by other men! Not one iota of science or biology. You guys have been peddling that lie for years, still you’ve made no inroads.

                  • “Wayne”, thrusting your head in the sands of ignorance does not invalidate scientific facts — proven, actual medical research into brain and fetal organ development during gestation..

                    Can *you* provide decades of peer-reviewed medical brain research to back up *your* prejudice?

                    Yeah, don’t think so.

        • I don’t necessarily think it is because he is so weak. I have known several college professors, pastors, doctors and business owners who will NEVER meet with anyone alone. They have either their wife, an adult child or their personal assistant with them at all times so that they NEVER get into this he said/ she said kind of situation where people can impugn your character and you have no witness or record of things. I wish MORE congressmen, politicians or others would be like this and we would have a less stupid allegations floating around.

      • Conservatives will sexualize normal interactions. They are uncomfortable with their own sexuality. “jesus hates your high school dances.”

      • that’s not humility, leslie. that’s pence saying “I’m so much of a sexual predator that I have to restrain myself like i’m a caged animal.”

        It’s also the same mentality that fundamentalist Muslim males operate with.

        • Husbands and wives make sacrifices for each other = True love.

          By the way, every adulterous relationship (very damaging to a marriage) starts with being alone with someone other than your spouse. Taking steps to avoid that, is… actually –brilliant. Billy Graham was well known for adhering to that. That is one of the reasons he became such a trusted figure. It’s interesting to see the push back here, when it comes to sexual integrity.

          My Dad was in a profession where women flirted with him and made themselves available. In a weak moment (which there are many in a long marriage), anyone could succumb. It actually can become a stumbling block in a marriage. Especially, today, when there is no stigma attached to having a relationships outside of marriage.

          Common sense: We’re not talking about daughters, nieces, family friends. Or meeting in a group.

          • Both my parents each had instances where they had to spend time with someone of the opposite sex for some reason.

            They never once cheated on each other, Leslie. What Pence does isn’t admirable. What pence is doing is basically “Don’t trust me, I’m a beast in a cage.”

            Oh and btw care to guess the group with the highest rate of adultery in the country?

            It’s people just like Mike Pence. It’s conservative Christians. Curious how they’re the ones running around proclaiming they are oh so moral.

            And Billy Graham was not that moral. Billy Graham was a card carrying anti semite. And his son Franklin is even less moral.

        • No, that’s Mike Pence realizing he’s a weak man (as all men are) and that it’s better to avoid the occasion of sin. It’s also showing a great deal of respect for his wife and marriage which is a good thing.

          • The part that you continue to fail to grasp is that the people paying the price for his practice of not meeting women alone is the women. They don’t benefit from the mentoring, guidance, which lead to promotions etc. Your privilege is showing. Peace.

      • Sorry, boss. I can’t meet you in the office alone because my religion doesn’t allow me, a male, to meet a female, you, alone.

        • I meet with men and women all the time in offices. I’m not attracted to the men, so no problem there, and I’m professional enough that I can keep the conversation above board, even if I do find a woman attractive. It isn’t that difficult.

          • I was showing how absolutely and insanely stupid Pence’s thing of not meeting another woman alone is. Pence would not have been employed at my company when our office had a female boss. It is not to be lauded or even encouraged. Men should learn self control and that is simply not being taught to enough men.

            • No, it is not.

              After I was raped, for several years I fantasized that the legal punishment for rape would be for the rapist’s penis to be surgically removed and he would have to urinate into a bag. The rationale behind this punishment is the fact that he had demonstrated an inability to control his penis so he should be not be allowed the privilege to have one.

              After spending a lot of time in therapy, I got past this bloodthirsty desire into a more compassionate frame of mind toward my rapist but that was long after I divorced him.

              But every once in a while when I read what other women have gone through, I am reminded that I once thought this an effective punishment.

              Besides, it is not as if straight men have taken steps to stop other men from raping us.

              • I apologize, I didn’t mean to bring you pain. I know how bad it is to be brought back to the most painful parts of my life and I don’t wish to do that to anyone else, especially to someone as good as you.

                • Thank you, Robin. You have no responsibility for a flashback. It is the men such as the one’s described in John’s blog who cause that.

                  • Nevertheless I mean no pain, even to my enemies, let alone any one else, unless there is no choice to protect others. I know how it feels to have my mind to go back to painful moments and I assure you that was not my intent. Sticks and stones can break bones but words can hurt the heart and mind and for that I’m sorry.

      • No, in my experience it indicates the man is thinking only of himself and his reputation, not to the opportunities denied to women to receive the mentoring they need to grow and be able to exercise their own ministries.

        And then these same men turn around and preach sermons on John chapter 4.


        • And that’s why, if a male colleague would refuse to work on a project with me, or have a meeting with me in my office or my lab, I would probably ask that they be reassigned. If they’re that uncomfortable being in a room with me alone and staying professional, then I don’t want to work with them. I don’t have the time, or the resources, to make sure there’s extra people around to police some guy who doesn’t want to be there in the first place.

          Fortunately, that never happens.

      • So it completely locks women out of being able to network with him. Explusionof women with such a holy (…ier than thou) BS excuse.

        • Oh, he’s no idiot. Make no mistake, Mike Pence is a very calculating, very astute politician. What he is, is narcissistic, and probably a sociopath.

          And before Joe Catholic, Leslie, or anyone else comes at me, here’s the definitions for narcissist and sociopath:

          noun: narcissist; plural noun: narcissists
          a person who has an excessive interest in or admiration of themselves.
          “narcissists who think the world revolves around them”

          noun: sociopath; plural noun: sociopaths
          a person with a personality disorder manifesting itself in extreme antisocial attitudes and behavior and a lack of conscience

      • We’re not talking about an illicit dinner meeting here, we’re talking about a business dinner or something like that. If a man can’t keep it in his pants and remain faithful to his wife when she isn’t present, how does this Neanderthal get through the work day? Does he only deal with men? Maybe that’s what these repressed guys do. Maybe that’s why Republicans don’t want women in the work force. Funny thing is that it’s primarily these Evangelical Republicans who are closeted gay guys and have affairs with men.

        • Sue M, there is actually evidence of this

          Taliban or Religious Right?

          Something about the Tea Party was strangely familiar to me, even though they have been represented as a “new movement”. I set about searching for similarities between the Tea Party of today and past groups. I finally found what I was looking for; a connection between most of their views and the views of the religious right. After doing even more research I realized that the Tea Party, aka the religious right, has a lot to do with other extremist religious views and beliefs.

          I am going to ask a series of statements. See if you can determine which group each statement applies to.

          1). This group wants to dominate women and tell them how to act. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          2). This group wants there to be a national religion, barring other religions from the country. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          3). This group wants prayer to be a prominent part of education. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          4). This group wants to dictate their morals to the rest of the population, with severe penalties for non-compliance. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          5). This group is not interested in freedom of speech. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          6). This group is not interested in freedom of religion. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          7). This group wants their “law” to be the law of the land, regardless of what the people might want. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          8). This group wants to convert the entire world into their way of thinking. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          9). This group thinks homosexuality is an abomination and should be eradicated from the face of the Earth. Taliban? Or Religious Right?

          If you answered both to every one of these statements, then you are correct. As you can see, other than the country they are operating in, there is little, if any, difference between the two groups.

          The Religious Right of days gone by, are the Tea Party of today. If the Tea Party, having taken over the GOP, (a dream they have had for decades), gets into power, this is the agenda they are going to pursue. Along with getting rid of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance, and all of the safety nets that were put into place to keep people from ending up on the streets.

          They will be forever known as the Tea Party Taliban®

          • What the Taliban and Christian conservatives have in common
            Shifting meaning makes Sharia prone to manipulation for political ends
            March 27, 2014 7:00AM ET
            by Rafia Zakaria
            Pakistan has been conducting peace talks with the Taliban’s Pakistani wing, Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), for more than a month. The parade of bearded men holding these negotiations has become part of regular programming on Pakistani television networks. At each twist and turn, TTP’s demand has remained the same: the imposition of Sharia in Pakistan. This is a strange platform, since the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, as the country is officially known, already declares that all of its laws must be in accordance with Sharia.

            The term Sharia is subject to similar political manipulation in the United States, borne primarily from a growing suspicion of Islam and Muslims. For example, an online campaign known as “Creeping Sharia” aims to curtail “the deliberate and methodical advance of Islamic law (sharia) in non-Muslim countries, particularly the United States.” In this view, a surreptitious and secret movement is underway for the “Islamization” of the United States and requires a pre-emptive response.

            Both pro- and anti-Sharia campaigns draw their meanings from the political contexts from which they have emerged. In Pakistan, where the question of what it means to be an Islamic republic is a contested one, it is being interpreted by the Taliban to mean floggings, beheadings, and bans on music and girls’ education. This brand of Sharia vociferously and pointedly rejects all that is Western and imagines its interpretation as purely Islamic. In the United States, Christian conservatives use anti-Sharia campaigns to justify the threat of an “Islamic” enemy. For example, the conservative think tank Center for Security Policy, which supports bans on Sharia, believes it is slipping into U.S. courts and must be blocked. In Florida, an “anti-foreign law” bill was reintroduced for the fourth time this week with support from groups such as the far-right Florida Family Association. By and large, supporters of the Sharia bans in the United States seem motivated principally by their opposition to a multicultural and pluralistic society. One way for them to prevent that is to create legislative bars that seek to demonize minority communities.

            American proponents of Sharia bans pay little attention to the U.S. Constitution, which mandates the separation of religion and state. The campaigners continue to promote “anti-Sharia” legislation that seeks to ban Islamic law in U.S. courts, despite the fact that religious laws, Islamic or not, are prohibited from ever trumping American law. Its superfluity notwithstanding, the Sharia bogeyman has helped galvanize support for conservative Christians’ push for laws in a number of state legislatures across the country. In Oklahoma, one of the first states to pass a Sharia ban, a ballot initiative in 2010 resulted in 70 percent of voters approving the ban. Their votes followed a fervid pre-election campaign that painted the Sharia threat as pressing and imminent. At the end of 2013, nearly 26 U.S states had introduced some form of such legislation. So resolute are the anti-Sharia campaigners that they stand undeterred even after a federal judge in Oklahoma declared the bans unnecessary and unconstitutional last fall. In 2014, several states are expected to introduce new anti-Sharia bills into their legislative sessions.

            Why these confusions about Sharia and what it demands? The term itself is loose and multifaceted; it can mean anything from the Muslim belief in one God to a juristic interpretation of the Islamic rules of inheritance. Furthermore, there is no standard version of “Sharia” that can be relied on to sort out differences. Historically, it existed as a system of laws that draw from the Quran, the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet, scholarly consensus and analogical reasoning. Also in the mix were the prevailing customs in the local region. Many Islamic schools of thought existed and created a plurality of meaning that is markedly different from the legislation and precedence-based foundations of Western jurisprudence. Islamic law, along with its rules and procedures, stagnated with the end of the Ottoman Empire and the onset of colonialism. During colonial rule, many Muslim countries moved to legislative systems that persisted until independence.

            Sharia’s multidimensional meaning has made the term ripe for political manipulation. The Taliban’s demand for an imposition of its readings of Sharia is hence an effort to advance its broader political aspirations. Underlying its political project is the belief that a truly Islamic society can be achieved only through the most draconian and anti-Western interpretation of Sharia. It is also a reason that such literal readings of Sharia have become the mainstay of gun-toting hard-line groups such as the Taliban, Al-Shabab and Boko Haram. These groups hope their version of Sharia will help forge a unified Muslim society as well as their complete religious and political control over it.

            The Sharia bogeyman

            The pro-Sharia campaign in Muslim countries (which posits an invisible Western enemy) and the anti-Sharia campaign in the United States (which posits a Muslim one) have a common theme that contributes to each other’s nativist credentials in their local context.

            In Muslim countries, pro-Sharia groups seek to claim the singular right to determine what Sharia is, making it a vehicle on which their anti-imperialist political ambitions can ride. Similarly, anti-Sharia campaigns in the U.S. wrongly point to “Sharia” as an imminent threat, capable of subverting all American constitutional protections and judicial precedents to the contrary. Whereas the proponents of Sharia imagine Islamic authenticity as inherently anti-modern and anti-Western, their opponents privilege that interpretation by seeking a ban on the Islamic law within an American legal context.

            Both campaigns — the politically motivated machinations of the Taliban’s Sharia in Pakistan and the misrepresentations of the Islamic law encroaching into the U.S. — are built on the suspicion of a pluralistic society where multiple faiths or interpretations of the same faith are permissible. It is a costly reductionism, based on the dated framework of Harvard political scientist Samuel Huntington’s theory of a clash of civilizations, in which the Muslim world is inevitably in conflict with the West. It is a vision of endless animosity and perpetual war. At the center of it all is “Sharia,” whose shifting meanings and varying symbolism have made it the ultimate tool for political maneuvering, both here and there. Recognizing this requires not a ban against Sharia in the United States but an understanding of its complexity, and a vigilance against its manipulations in both contexts.

            Rafia Zakaria is an attorney, a political philosopher and the author of “The Upstairs Wife: An Intimate History of Pakistan.”

            The views expressed in this article are the author’s own and do not necessarily reflect Al Jazeera America’s editorial policy.


      • Leslie, I agree that this is smart for any professional in a position of authority…be it male or female. Co-worker…meet in a public place or if in an office, the door is open or the door has been replaced to include a door with a window. The meeting has been documented in an appointment book and another person is present near-by. People should be able to meet, but “Safe Practice Policies” are established and understood by all. These are present in schools, many churches, and quite a few businesses. Our world relies on wonderful and healthy relationships. It does require prudence and intentionality though, regarding age and gender. Relationships are nurtured by boundaries and honesty. I am so happy and thankful for the female and male colleagues my husband has. …and “he walks humbly with his God.” (Micah 6:8) Pence is missing something vital for the misconception and fear-focus put on women that seems to be placed on women by the religious right. This is not Gospel truth but a Paulist approach to Christianity based on Paul’s letters to communities of Christians with specific needs and concerns. You are correct and it is sad that” Pence knows his weaknesses.”

      • It means every woman is viewed first and foremost as a sex object which is demeaning. It reduces all interactions to have a sexual overtone. It also limits opportunities for women in a political or corporate environment beacuse a man cannot be trusted to be alone with a woman. Socializing, dining and networking are part and parcel of most corporate roles.

      • You’re kidding, right? If my husband could only resist temptation by having others nearby to police him- I’d be very concerned if I were you.

        • Ara, why do you think that it is okay to force your values on another woman? There is NOTHING wrong with Vice-President Pence’s values and his conviction about being alone with other women. Even the great Evangelist, Billy Graham, made the same commitment and practice in his life and ministry, was he wrong?

          If it is okay for YOUR husband to hang out with other women, eat with them, sleep with them, then that’s your deal. Liberals get on my nerve with their asinine statements! Please grow up!

          • Oh, please.

            A business dinner in a PUBLIC restaurant does not mean either attending party is going to then sleep with each other.

            Grown ups can be professional, even when eating in a PUBLIC restaurant.

      • How about him simply being faithful and earning his wife’s trust? Dining with another woman isn’t an issue if he is an honest man.

      • I would personally rather have a man who is mature, trust-worthy and self-disciplined (not to mention enough in love with me as his partner/spouse) that having a meal with another human being wouldn’t cause me to worry they are going to strip naked and do it on the table. But hey. Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned romantic at heart. 😉

      • Leslie, so how does one conduct business with a woman…if “its a great Idea for a husband to avoid being alone with a woman that’s not his wife”?
        Unless, its okay in your world for women NOT to conduct any business?
        I want to know. Please enlighten me.

      • If you don’t trust your husband to be alone with a woman other than yourself, you probably shouldn’t have married him.

      • I agree. My husband admitted to me recently that he slept with a woman 14 years ago who worked in the same office building he did. They started their affair just by going to lunch together every day. It built from there. They were together for months. It is so painful,even now. They are a part of the same small professional community. He is leading a conference that she will be attending all day tomorrow. He runs into her every few weeks in the normal course of his job. I want to throw up when I think about them together. Married men should not go out to dinner with women by themselves. Boundaries get crossed and lives are devastated.

  1. John, you have knocked my socks off AGAIN! You NAILED it! You not only saw the dynamics but called them on it! I am sick and tired of these retrogrades damaging others for the sake of gaining and retaining sick control! I will share this post of yours! It is brilliant!

  2. Thank you John for writing so beautifully what I have always believed. I have to say that I enjoyed using the VP as what not to be. That was perfect. I have always had a theory that some of the most vocal, esp about LGBTQ things, probably are LGBTQ and are scared to death. I have always believed that their stance and rhetoric say more about them than God. Their God is mean, greedy and non-loving, Not my God, he/she wants only the best for us, and that includes everything. I was taught that women were equal, in every way equal and I should not ever let someone treat me otherwise and then I went out in the world. Still believe that but took a battering along the way for that belief. Please keep speaking truth, who knows who might hear it and change their minds. It also makes a safe place for people who believe as I do to have their voice heard. Peace, Love, Resist and Persist.

    • Not he is Just, Sincere, disciplined, Standardized, not selective, not pro toward mankind
      God is not unloving , Man is, God is Forgiving,
      God Knows the Heart and all who Rebel and do Evil what happens to a society that allows Lust to reign
      the end is Death to that society. Judgement to that society.
      God has Rule s that dont change with gender, society, pleasure, standard, people or race.
      Same God , same rules for all, same judgement for all , same Payment for all sin. for all. There is no preferential treatment.
      God is NOT FAIR , HE is JUST

      • Sexual desire is not dirty or shameful. God has told us that WITHIN MARRIAGE, it is a beautiful thing. This author is so lost, in more ways than one.

        • Define marriage. Without using the words “man”, “woman”, “preacher/pastor/minister”, or “’til death do them part”. Without demanding “purity”, aka “virginity” for the FEMALE. Without saying that procreation is the main “holy” reason for being married. Without quoting only Ephesians 5:22-24:
          “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. 24 Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in every thing.”
          And not finishing the lesson being given, verses 25-33:
          “25 Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; 26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, 27 That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. 28 So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. 29 For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: 30 For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. 31 For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. 32 This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church. 33 Nevertheless let every one of you in particular so love his wife even as himself; and the wife see that she reverence her husband.”

          If marriage is so important, so “holy”, how’s come Adam and Eve weren’t married? God didn’t perform a wedding ceremony for them that I know of. The first mention of being husband and wife comes at being cast out of the Garden when God CURSED the serpent, Eve and Adam. At the end of Genesis 2, God creates Eve and brings her to Adam, but there is no mention of marriage, only that they would be “one flesh”. In Genesis 3, God set forth the relationships of each (serpent, Eve and Adam) by punishing each of them–which THEN establishes the concept of “husband and wife”.
          This was not done in love for his creations, but out of anger and retribution. Mankind, particularly the man part of “mankind”, has used this portion of the Bible to push women into a subordinate position, to be a slave to men, without rights or freedoms of their own. The concept of the virginal bride was brought about by men to ensure that any offspring were from his seed–the human version of a new lion, after defeating the old king of the group, who then kills all the cubs so that he does not use his energy/resources for another male’s offspring. (Which also causes cuckolding to be one of the most offensive acts against a man, even in our modern world.)
          If marriage is supposed to begin with love and be built upon that love, the Biblical version is not a great example. If God is indeed Love, then ANY love will hold greater power than a written history, even if it is housed within the Bible. And that Love will not be determined by gender or sexual orientation, limited only to those who meet HUMAN requirements, because Love holds a greater power than the Bible, being a direct and specific incarnation of God, then it certainly holds a greater power than anything men can demand.
          If nothing else, it is none of our business to determine if any Love is the “right” kind. There is no such thing as the “right love”. There is only LOVE, eternal, ineffable, infinite and supremely powerful.

          • Kate GC, it’s rather disturbing to see that algorithm assigned you that gray quilt block avatar. That is usually a sign that the person of many names is posting under an alias.

            I am always so repulsed by the misunderstanding of these verses.

            First of all, we know Paul was egalitarian.

            Secondly, we know Paul was facing situations in the Greco-Roman world that by definition were hierarchical in structure and by law.

            Thirdly, the instructions are given to men and women living in the first century when the laws made women second-class citizens.

            Fourthly, women are no longer second-class citizens in many countries of the world.

            Fifthly, thus these verses do not define roles in marriage.

            Sixthly, why is the emphasis always on a women’s submission? Where is the emphasis on a husband’s love? Why, if these are words to Christians, have Christian men permitted and even contributed to a culture which abuses women?

            Sorry, don’t tell me what the Bible says about Christian marriage until Christian men accept that we are co-equal in the eyes of God and we don’t need any man’s permission to be anything that God has called us to be.

        • You really don’t sound as though you read it. You miss too many points to count. Thereby offering yourself as a validating example of the gentleman’s thesis.

      • And again Mr. Freeman, you manage to add nothing.

        Clearly the Christian Right is not “Just, Sincere, disciplined, Standardized”! They ARE “selective” they are NOT “pro toward mankind”. There is no debate, these are demonstrable facts. Demonstrated by the Christian Right.

        Reverend Pavlovitz is saying hat “God is not unloving , Man is”. Yes, “God is Forgiving” and “God Knows the Heart” but it is the Christian Right in America (Muslims in some nations, and zealots in some nations) who demand to decide who is a “Rebel” and who does “Evil” and how we must ban or punish them.

        Nothing he said means that we want “Lust to reign”. Projecting? Can you not control yourself? Our society will die no matter what we do, that is preordained. So is judgment from God.

        God does not change, but man deciding for him sure has. Why else do we have so many churches, with differing dogma and tenets they rank like sin? “Same God , same rules for all”? No, not hardly. “Same judgement for all” yes, but from God not you!

        Another word for “fair” is “just”. That is a fact too.

      • Love the Lord thy God with all thy heart and all thy mind and Love thy neighbor as thyself. In this is contained all of the laws and all of the prophets.

        Oh, and…

        Judge not that ye not be judged.

      • Thank you. Most of this guy’s writings seem to me to be more “political” than pastoral. I have only been aware of them recently. Of course a lot of people are going to agree with him and give him praise, as he twists, falsifies and virtually ignores the words of the Bible, because his philosophy seems to be that men and women are their own “gods” and they don’t even need to look to the real GOD for answers. How convenient! He calls other Christians, most of whom don’t think like him, all kinds of derogatory names, including judgmental – yet he is the one who sets himself up as a judge for them! It makes me sad for him, but even more sad for all the people who are being deceived by him.

        • Deborah Rogers, I guess you are another person who dislikes her reflection in the mirror that is John’s words.

          What is sad is that, since I presume from your name that you are a woman, you have bought into all nonsense that John P exposes.

          Christian women do not have to live under any sort of hierarchical structure. We are as equally made in the image and likeness of God as men and that means God meant for an egalitarian relationship between men and women from the very beginning of human life.

          • Thanks Gloriamarie….you speak for many of us and do it admirably! I’m so tired of this self righteousness. There are some individuals that must assume that they are so special that they will be chosen to stand at the gates of Heaven and will single handedly decide who can enter! They can’t even see their own egotistical views…so sad!

            • It is tragic when people hurt themselves, stay in denial and fail to see what is in their best interests. Particularly when it is women and non-white people.

              Everything the current administration has done demonstrates that the only people they care about are rich, straight, white males. If you are not one of those, you will be screwed over.

        • I find your comment to be overly political and anti pastoral. You set yourself up as judge, jury and executor of “God’s Law”* or what you assume “HER” law to be after reading “HER” mind. this is very arrogant and presumptuous of you.

          * The arabic word for this is sharia.

          • Well stated, Ed. What makes me laugh is, conservative Christians find it perfectly okay to impose “biblical law” in the US, but rail against the imposition of Islamic law in predominantly Muslim countries. What they refuse to acknowledge is they’re doing the exact same thing. It’s utterly hypocritical.

        • Deborah, you said, “derogatory names, including judgmental”. “Judgmental” is not a name, it is a behaviour that can often be negative and hurtful. A derogatory name would be if I called someone an a**hole. A derogatory name attempts to identify *who* someone is at their core. When someone points out that someone is being judgemental, it is an identification of a specific behaviour that does not call the entire personality into question.

          In your comment, you say that “he twists, falsifies and virtually ignores the words of the Bible”. In fact, he understands the Bible from a scholar’s perspective is giving a far truer reflection of scripture than is being promulgated by certain conservative Christians. If I were to respond to you with a derogatory name, I would call you a liar because you have completely misrepresented him. But I won’t do that. Instead, I will identify behaviours. You are misinformed. You are spreading falsehoods. You are participating in character assassination. These actions are not usually identified as acceptable Christian behaviours.

          • So where does he get from his Bible study that there is no Hell or that it’s fine and dandy if two men try to copulate? This “scholar” is smarter and wiser than 2,000 years of Church teaching and doctrine?

            You missed the overall sense of her post. JP DOES say derogatory things about those Christians who don’t agree with his liberal politics. He DOES twist and misrepresent and uses deceptive rhetorical devices.

            You overlook it because you like him beating up on Conservatives and Trump voters.

            • Joe Catholic (this week),
              Again you show your hypocrisy as you yourself have offered us dogma that was not from our Bible study to justify what you were pushing but when others do that you find fault?

              Since so much of the Bible was written in parable, analogy, odd tales and “laws”, the history, the facts, the documented truth has ALWAYS been up to interpretation and the three religions that are called “Abrahamic” all have varying points of overlap and agreement, as well as disagreement. They are all very distinct and different religions with their own doctrine, tenets, and interpretations. The Catholic Church is very different than the Episcopal Church too.

              Maybe you are positive what Heaven will be, I question the need we will have for mansions and streets of gold. Maybe you are positive that Hell will be a lake of fire for torture eternally, I question what can be so irredeemable in people to “earn” that from a loving God. You can say both of those make me less of a Christian (or no Christian at all), it would certainly not be the first time I have been “assured” of my own place in hell. But my point is, you are no more able to say he is wrong about Heaven and what is Hell than anyone else. I heard God loud and clear when he said we do not know, we will not know until he tells us. So he gets from his Bible study the interpretations he shares, JUST LIKE YOU DO.

              Are you claiming “2,000 years of Church teaching and doctrine” have not changed and evolved? Really?

              Sure, he does say “derogatory things”, as do we, about those Christians who don’t live and practice the teachings of Jesus. Over and over he makes that clear and yet you continue to distort that message as just being mean because you and the Christian Right won’t “agree with his liberal politics”. You, and Catholicism also “twist and misrepresent and uses deceptive rhetorical devices” and you know that too and you all manage to “overlook” for a reason yourself.

              We are not giving up and you will not change any minds. Yours is the failure he is speaking to.

      • “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

        Christopher, why would a god who is not pro-mankind do such a thing? If God is only just, judgmental, standardized, and rule-bound, where is there room in His/Her/Its/Their heart for love and mercy and forgiveness? Why would people love and worship a god who did not love them back? You may choose to worship the god you described, but I will not.

        • I still don’t get how sacrificing your son will save the world. It makes no sense. Religion is just a way to control people. Usually it’s men trying to control women. DON’T FALL FOR It. Just be kind to each other

        • There is a difference between ceremonial law and moral law, James. The former can change but the latter is absolute.

          It’s just as wrong today for two men to join themselves sexually as it was in the OT (and NT as well). That didn’t change and JP giving it his blessing and calling himself compassionate for doing so doesn’t change anything.

          • Joe Catholic (this week),
            And of course the dodge about the “difference between ceremonial law and moral law” and the demonstrable lie that moral law “is absolute”. What kind of Catholic are you? You KNOW better.

            By your own standards it is also “just as wrong today” for a man to divorce his wife, for a spouse to commit adultery, to lie, cheat, steal, con, or cause to sin…and yet NONE of you on the Christian Right want to take any rights away from any of them, they are welcomed into your churches and you vote for them.

            Maybe the God you think you know offers you no path to accepting that the LGBTQ community are all children of God worthy of our acceptance and blessing but we know God is compassionate and expects us to be as well. They are just like us, whether you accept that or not.

  3. Thank you for this statement. It’s been in my mind my entire life. Six decades’ worth. The divine has no gender. Blessings to you.

        • definition of lust: a very strong sexual desire.

          Is lust good or bad? Maybe we have learned something because science has shown this strong desire is called a sex drive which most people have to one degree or another, except for asexual people.

          Labelling people as lustful in order to shame them is ignoring the reality that human being have a sex drive and we need to talk about it, be honest about ourselves and understand it better.

          • Shame as a component to behavior control or modification also does not work. The more shame is used in the home to teach children about their sexuality, the more likely those children grow up to become sexual offenders or predators.

  4. The church today is the Church at Laodicia spoken of in Revelations .
    2 timothy explains well what is happening
    Matt. 24 , Luke 17:20-32 explains
    The church has grown apathic and full of luxury and lust for the world.
    We are at the end of the age and God is getting ready to Blossom Isreal for his Glory.
    Men, Woman, People in General are not Happy with how God Made them , and want something Different, They dont want control over thier Lust , They want self satisfaction.
    TV is the worst case for lies , deception , and programming society to LUST after Money, Success, Women, Men, Others they cannot have.

    God commands Us to Put away Worldly Lust, Deny selfish Greed. But the Pleasure of life, society, Noteriety, and acceptance has decieved Many.
    If You Really Want Repentance It requires Something.
    Full Denial of Self, Full Obedience of God, Seeking after Godliness, Not Lustfulness, After others Best , Not others Lust.
    God is NOT STUPID and does not Forget His people who call out for him. He interceeds and give s peace to all who deny self and take up the cross of jesus christ, the un accepted approach in our society.
    Accept other s , NOT what they do. Not thier Lifestyle. YOU MUST Repent or YOU will not see the kingdom of heaven.
    YOU have until death , then no other chances, Judgement is imminent.

      • Are Christians supposed to embrace and approve of sexual immorality?

        That’s “creepy”?

        This isn’t a man vs women thing. It’s good vs evil.

        People should be free to choose, make their own mistakes, and commit their sins, but we’re not supposed to say that it’s good. It’s not good for women. It’s not good for men.

        Pavlovitz is once again creating a false narrative. He’s built another strawman he can knock down.

        • YOU do not have to “embrace and approve” of anything. What you have to do is accept the laws and the Constitution once an issue is decided.

          In many cases, for centuries it has been “a man vs women thing” NOT a “good vs evil” because a lot of evil has been done to women.

          Yes, “people should be free to choose, make their own mistakes, and commit their sins” and you are free to have an opinion about that but you are not free to try and legislate your version of morality and that is what you do.

          YOU are once again creating a false narrative.

        • Sorry, the whole shame thing reeks of voyeurism and IS creepy. Almost every single man I have known personally who preached the “sexual immorality” refrain were also men who spoke to my breasts instead of my face, blamed women for their own “lust” and slut shamed up one side and down the other.

          The one thing that has been proven to make teens delay their sexual initiation is knowledge. Comprehensive sex education on average delays the onset of sexual activity by as much as a year compared to religious based sex education (which is worse than no sex education at all). Faith based/abstinence only sex educational graduates are much more likely to become pregnant and have abortions. Moral arguments do not make teens wait. Statistics and knowledge does.

        • well ACP, do you really want to pretend that you conservatives don’t have an obsession with running around sticking your noses into other people’s sex lives?

          • I don’t really care what you do except in the general sense that I should hope and pray for you to not do something that will lead you to Hell, but that’s ultimately your choice.

            Politically speaking, I don’t want Christian organizations or individuals to be forced to do things contrary to their beliefs. I also don’t want abortions to be legal because abortion is a crime against humanity.

            How is that “sticking my nose in anyone’s sex life”?

            However, from a Christian perspective, I will speak out against so-called Christians or very ignorant Christians who put their stamp of approval on immoral behavior. They are deceiving others and leading them astray.

            • Joe Catholic (this week),
              Yeah sure, keep on “speaking out”. You do it so well and to such great effect. You and people like you are just seeing those church rolls swell with people aren’t you?

    • Well said, Christopher. This generation’s penchant for and acceptance of horrific sexual immorality, disguised (as the enemy is masterful at doing) as ‘MY choice’ is deeply rooted in pride and self-gratification. All we need to do is remember how the enemy became the enemy (I WILL!), and we will have the basis for the myriad sexual and gender sins that dominate our culture. It’s all rolled up in PRIDE, and pride goeth before the fall. Sad, but inevitablt and eternally true. Thanks again for your insight.

    • There sure is a LOT of CAPS in your post. I don’t like to be shouted at
      and FURTHERMORE there are plenty of good God-fearing Christians who don’t agree with you because they have learned to use their brain.

    • Name an evangelical preacher who has given all his worldly possessions to the poor and I may take your comments about “worldly lust” more seriously.

      • Ed Mix, your comment reminded me of something that happened at my seminary. My local Episcopal parish priest was teaching a class at the local seminary on the Spiritual Experience of the Middle Ages, a course received with a great deal of doubt at my seminary, but enough people enrolled so it was a go.

        The day we were talking about St. Francis of Assisi, the Evangelical Counsels (the vows of poverty, chastity, and obedience), and what Francis referred to as Lady Poverty, Fr. Mark commented on the lack of evangelical poverty embraced by the faculty talking about all the luxury cars in the faculty parking lot and that Christians are better off giving to the poor than they are buying luxury cars.

        What a ruckus we had that day in class.

        • I see pastors all the time who drive BMW’s, Mercedes’, Lexus’, all sorts of luxury cars. There was one when I lived in South Bend, Indiana who had a chauffeured limousine. I know of one in Chicago who owned a Lamborghini.

          So much for that whole “vow of poverty” thing.

          So to the fundies here, I have to ask, if the pastors who preach these things, like helping the poor, humility, and so forth, aren’t doing it themselves, aren’t their words hollow? Or is it “do as I say, not as I do”?

          • Caitlyn. ..this is for your previous post w the vocals video. Do you like Robert Smith? Hes my all time favorite. I had all his earlier recordings & took them w me wherever i traveled the world. Cassette days.

    • Christopher freeman, Do you Honestly think That capitalizing Every other Word will Make your Point more Acceptable?

      There’s an app for that, most likely…
      / sarcasm

  5. Thank you John. Keep speaking, writing, expressing so eloquently so much that the rest of us struggle to put into words.

  6. JP, this will drive the Fundamentalists into incoherent fits of outrage, but what you said is totally true and has to be said. Well done.

  7. Thank you, John P, for once again demonstrating you see and understand what we women are up against in this country. Clearly, a great many evangelical men want only one thing from women and too many men on the conservative Christian Right want Stepford Wives.

    I know that people who don’t know how to read carefully are going to blame you for “over-generalization” and stereotyping because they fail to understand that your words apply only to those evangelical and Christian Right men of whom these words are true.

    • Gloriamarie, it is not just women but anyone not a White, Conservative, Fundamentalist Christian, cis-gender, and heterosexual man that is in danger. I wish I could say that such churches will slowly adapt or fade away but they seem to be growing fast around my city and I don’t know why. They think it is a sign from G-d and are doubling down on their prejudices. I call people who follow this the “American Taliban” because they want to impose un-Constitutional law and order upon us “sinners”.

      • Well, yes, of course, Robin, but as a woman reading about the treatment of women by the Christian Right, then I am going to affirm what John writes.

        John has written other posts in the past and I am sure he will write them again in the future that addresses the points you raise. I will praise his words then as I have in the past.

        Unlike so many on this blog, I like to stay on topic. The Christian Right’s treatment of women is appalling. Especially women with intellectual gifts.

        • Indeed it is appalling how women are treated, not only in those churches, but by society itself. So many men psychologically destroy women just for kicks and society backs up the men in some way or other. These men want to police women’s own body as if these women are undeserving of the rights even a corpse has. Now we have a President that will embolden this horrible behavior, and I despair because I can’t do anything to stop it.

          • Oh, but, Robin, there is plenty you can do to stop it.

            One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.


          • Half the Christians in our country are Catholics and you know very well what you’re saying doesn’t apply to Catholics or the Catholic Church.

            There are sick people of both genders but Christian men don’t “destroy women just for kicks.” What a ridiculous thing to ascribe to so many men, especially Christians. Also a “corpse” has more rights? You’re really going off-the-wall now.

            Tell me how anybody wants to “police” women’s bodies?

            • That’s easy. Here’s a list.

              We have to pay more for health care, we have to (in many places) get permission from our spouses for certain health care procedures, we have limited choices for reproductive health examinations as well as a slew of regulations as to how those procedures have to be carried out, if we need birth control or hormone replacement it isn’t often covered by insurance, and we have to jump through an unbelievable number of hoops to obtain it, if we happen to get a prescription the pharmacist can refuse to fill it on religious grounds (bet they don’t do that for Viagra!), if they fill the prescription we have to deal with people like you calling us “sluts”, if we don’t want to have sex we’re called “prudes”, if we do we’re “whores”…

              I could easily go on, but I’m starting to get nauseous.

              • Caitlyn, Thankyou!!!!! I have often talked about the dichotomy of “prudes”
                “dick teasers” etc. when a woman refuses to have sex but they are whores when they do have sex. It is a no win situation. Men like that will find fault with women no matter what they do. And they will treat rapists as heroes for giving her what she deserved.
                Also, women not only pay more for healthcare, but for cars, dry cleaning, and a whole myriad of other things while getting paid less. And if you are colored it is even worse.
                It is time to get rid of these misanthropes who hate womenand want to control them, but lust after them uncontrollably and then blame the woman for their own lust.

                • You’re welcome. And yes, we do pay more for everything and anything. I’ve tripped up quite a few mechanics trying to overcharge me for car repairs. Unfortunately for them, I actually know quite a bit about cars (I do most repairs myself when I have the time), and I know pretty quickly when I’m being scammed.

                  (sidebar: Not a fan of the word “colored” when talking about minorities, since there’s serious racist overtones there going back to the civil rights era, but I’m not going to harp on it, because I know your intentions there are good from the context of your comment. <3)

                • Ellen, I like everything you say except for this one sentence which leaped out at me. “And if you are colored it is even worse.”

                  “colored?” Who uses that word any more except racists? Or am I mistaken? Do black Americans refer to themselves as “colored” in the same way they, for some reason use the n word when talking with each other?

        • I agree. John did not write this one very well. The topic of John’s post is not sexual morality. The topic is how Christian fundamentalist and conservative evangelical men go OUT OF THEIR WAY to discriminate AGAINST and PERSECUTE both women and LGBTQ people. I doubt very much that he would want is son or daughter f*cking every man or woman in sight just for the fun of it.

          However, I will say this—not in support of it but just as a simple fact— a rather large number of Southern Baptist men and women that I have known—devout believers in Jesus—no longer hold to Old Testament sexual norms. I think the pastors of Southern Baptist Convention and IFB fundie churches would be truly shocked beyond belief at how much illicit s*cking and f*cking is going on among both unmarried and married men and women in their congregations—all kept quiet behind closed doors. In years past, Christian women I have worked with have talked to me in depth about their rather vivid nonmarried sex lives because I am a good listener and women like men who are willing to just listen. In terms of Old Testament standards, in my opinion, the amount of sexual immorality within the church is not too much unlike sexual immorality outside of the church—just stating matters the way THEY ARE—not the way they should be.

          • There is one simple truth, the bigger the fuss someone makes against something, the more they arouse curiosity to the very thing they want others to avoid.

            Men of the Christian Right are the largest reason there has been a women’s movement since the nineteenth century. We finally got the right to vote, we have been fighting various glass ceilings, we highlight abuse and violence against women and children.

            We women are not going to stop resisting the male hierarchy and men’s perceived superiority over women.

            And the more men of the Christian Right and their brainwashed Stepford women, object, then the more we will continue to fight for women’s rights.

            Women’s rights, from my POV anyway, really means human rights because what this world needs is human liberation from all the various stereotypes, cultural mores, and other junk.

            God created humanity in God’s image and we humans need to claim the Imagio Dei for what it is. Not for what males have interpreted that to be.

    • I challenge your comment about those who do not “read carefully”. Mr. Pavlovitz clearly stated:

      “There are three words guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of most Conservative Christians…”

      If that is not over-generalizing and stereotyping, what is it? He making a grand assumption here that is simply not true. Perhaps from his personal experience or what he sees on the media this is his perception. Painting a picture of a majority based on what you see and hear in media is foolish at best. The media will never write or tell a story about the majority of Christians who do not hold these fears, there simply are not any ratings in stories of that nature. Instead, they feed on people such as Pavlovitz who seek out to judge and generalize. I am one of these spoken of Conservative Christians, and I have yet to attend a church in all my 51 years where any of these so called fears existed in anything other than a very small minority of the congregation. If you would rather believe what media tells you over what those who actually live it daily tell you, so be it. The fear from those eating up this article is much more pervasive than the fear the article falsely touts.

        • As I told me diverse group of friends, I may not understand totally the crap you went through or do you totally know the crap I went through, but society gave us all unnecessary hateful crap because of the way we were born and for no other reason than that.

        • Your truth and what you experienced was at the hands of the majority of Christians you have known? No offense, but I seriously doubt that. I don’t doubt your experiences, but it’s very likely they stemmed from a more diverse crowd than simply conservative Christian men. It’s this focus I have issue with, not the experiences you or others may have faced.

          • What a very strange comment to have made, Lloyd B. How can you fail to understand that the experiences of women here are exactly at the hands of white Christian Right men, exactly as John P talks about?

            Are you really going to call us liars as if you know better than we what our experience is? That condescending, mansplaining, patriarchal and patronizing attitude is exactly the problem.

            Men on the Christian Right, and sadly some women, do have an unhealthy, unnatural with sex. Read, learn, mark, inwardly digest, repent, and do better, please for the sake of your own soul.

            • You clearly misinterpreted what I wrote. My point was absolutely not directed at who her experiences were with, but rather the allusion that ‘most’ Christian Right men she has known were of the same mindset as those who contributed to her experiences. You can argue she did not intend to make that allusion, but then her response to me is out of context since that is the only point I’ve been making concerning the gross generalization of Conservative Christian men. You make many assumptions in your judgement of me that simply are not true. Making the grand leap to a mainsplaining and patriarchal attitude is quite the stretch based on what I’ve said here. I honestly think you should read back on your own words before making claims on condescension in others.

              • I don’t believe I misunderstood you at all. She, and I, have reported our acutal experiences and you have said “no, that is not what happened” as if you were there and observed it.

                Your attitude, mister, is exactly what John P addresses here.

                And, yes, it must be an attitude shared by most men on the Christian Right otherwise men on the Christian Right would have put an end to the sexual objectification of women.

                So please cease with the condescension, mansplaining, patriarchal patronization of women.

                • Believe what you like as you always seem to GloriaMarie, but yes, you misinterpreted my comment. I don’t doubt her experiences at all. It’s obvious you didn’t actually read my response or simply don’t care to correctly interpret it. Either way, it’s clear your need to direct your anger somewhere prevents you from having a civil discourse on the subject without jumping to incorrect assumptions and judgments against those who do not share your every view. The only solitary thing I have disagreed with is the gross generalization of Christian men in this article. Anything else you have taken upon yourself to incorrectly assume.

                  • Do what you must, but she will never look at herself or admit a mistake. She will double down in blaming you. If you persist, don’t be surprised at all if she implies that you are a “rapist.” (I’m NOT exaggerating!)

                    My advice is to treat her the same way you would treat someone who has road rage. Don’t look them in the eye. They’re not “normal.”

      • No over-generalizing and no stereotyping. Or do you fail to understand that “most” is a different word from “all” and they are not synonymous?

        I am pretty convinced that the only people who will be disturbed by John’s words are the people who most need to hear them.

        The majority of the comments are along the lines of “yes, that is my experience, too.”

        • Your analysis of most and majority is weak. As with any poll it depends on the area lived in, denomination, age of the men, class, education, family upbringing. People are complex beings and this kind generalization does a disservice to the individuals who read it. But that is what we do when try hard to prove a point rather than trying to understand. I believe we can get though to people by showing them consideration rather than hostility. Consideration is a tougher, harder and longer route to take.

      • LloydB, let me help you out a little you seem lost.

        Yes, Reverend Pavlovitz CLEARLY stated: “There are three words guaranteed to strike fear in the heart of MOST Conservative Christians…”

        Now LloydB, you can claim that is “over-generalizing and stereotyping” BUT the fact of the matter is that Trump is president based in large part on how massive much of Christian Right doctrine and thinking is. Also the Christian Right has supported and pushed Republicans further and further to the right for decades and their legislative efforts, speeches, candidate rhetoric and party platform all prove it. So no one is making any “grand assumption” he and we are just basing our opinions on what we have seen, heard and witnessed with our own eyes and ears.

        The people ‘painting a picture” are the people of the Christian Right. in media is foolish at best. The media seldom writes about what happens in churches all over this nation much less in families all over this nation so we are ALL trading in our personal experiences here and not some media story being pushed. The quotes are easily found on the internet, from the hateful Westboro Baptist protesters to the preachers who burn the Quran, say gays should be killed, believe in forced conversion of gays, boot camps to beat the gay out, all are readily available as are the hateful condemnations from both TV and radio “preachers”. Many of us also have our own personal experiences with this very “phenomenon”. So do not blame the media or the messenger, for telling what is clearly the truth just because you do not like how it looks and how it makes the Christian Right look.

        If you are not a Christian who thinks like that, talks like that or believes like that, all you have to do is say so. We don’t even check.

        • Well your condescending tone certainly put me in my place Sandi. I really needed to look no further than your line concerning Westboro Baptist Church to see media drives your logic more than you realize. You claim it’s not the media driving this topic and yet you point to an incident that created a media frenzy. You also ignore the fact that Westboro Baptist Church is criticized by most other churches and certainly is not a common example of what you would see in any other church you set foot in. You choose to discount the comment of someone who has spent their entire life around Christianity and has yet to experience a single one of the atrocities you speak of in any of the churches I have attended across the country. Have I met individuals who have these feelings? Absolutely, but they are certainly a minority with their views not generally accepted in any church. I’m not saying it’s impossible for your life to be filled with meetings with only fanatical right, ignorant, Christians, but based on my 50 years of dealing with likely many more Christians than you have, it’s extremely stretching it to claim that ‘most’ Christian men are like this article states. My argument was, and still is, that this is a gross generalization and stereotyping that is far off the mark. I’m not sure why people get so offended by this, nobody is claiming the mentality does not exist, but it absolutely is NOT most Christian men, not by a long shot.

          • LloydB, I am really glad you picked right up on my “condescending tone”, some gloss right over that important effort. But your denials put you in your place, not me.

            Westboro Baptist Church is not “‘an incident”, it was an ongoing effort of religious zealots, like the Quran burning preacher, like the “conversion therapy” camps that beat and bully, like the brain-washing “Jesus camps”, like the so-called preachers who call for gays to be killed, like the protesters who yell at the clients and staff at Planned Parenthood offices, like those who want women punished for choosing an abortion. Don’t blame the media for reporting the truth of zealots. I am sure you don’t when they are reporting on Muslim zealot terrorists or crooked Democrats.

            No one said that most churches have not “criticized” anyone who brings scorn on the Christian Right but not being as hate-filled and activist does not mean that there is no truth in the message they do carry, the message they do “vote for”, the exclusion and hurt they do cause.

            Many communities know (as do the churches in them) that they have such zealots in their communities and in their churches and they make no effort to call it out. Shunned or not, they exist and they “preach the Gospel” as their hate sees it.

            You also “choose to discount the comment of someone who has spent their entire life around Christianity” and has experienced what I have said.

            You can claim the vitriol is in the minority and that is true, BUT, the choice to decry, deny, exclude and legislate the same is still the effort of the majority and you know that too. Minorities know it. The LGBTQ community knows it. Workers know it. Liberals know it.

            I’m not saying my life is “filled with meetings with only fanatical right, ignorant, Christians”, nor would I? But no, it is no where near “extremely stretching it to claim that ‘most’ Christian men are like this article states”.

            If you believe this was a “gross generalization and stereotyping that is far off the mark”, prove it. Offer up the sources for Christian Right churches that welcome the LGBTQ beyond just in the pews. Offer up the Christian Right churches that preach the love of Jesus and acceptance of liberals, government safety nets, equality, immigrants and refugees. Offer up the Christian Right leaders who are the people you claim are so prevalent as to be “most”.

            If this “absolutely is NOT most Christian men, not by a long shot”, you should have much evidence to back up that assertion. The partisan votes, the protests, the support of Trump, the decisions made at conferences, the rules of the church, the record of the church is as available to you to defend as it is to me to criticize.

          • Here’s what your words say to me in my over sixty years of experience in the church: you object to what John P says because you see yourself all too clearly in his words.

            You are in the wrong nd as do many people when it is pointed out to them that they are wrong, you come up with ways to deflect, and refuse to be a grown-up and say “I’m wrong.”

            Sandi may have the patience to converse with you but I fear mine has been exhausted. My gifts are better invested in creating conditions where men with attitudes such as yours cease to flourish.

            All are welcome to join me: One way to persist in resistance is my FB group, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff, where I post actions, petitions, info, actual news, evidence, facts. There’s a pinned post that I highly recommend people read. I also ask a screening question so I can keep the spammers and the trolls out. All who read this are invited.


            • Another thing I offer in response to the narrow views of what is/is not Christianity is a group where a great many Christian voices are represented. Again, all who wish to be part of the broader, rather than narrower experience, of our shared faith are invited:

              One can’t help but notice the many voices of those who are disillusioned by their experiences in various churches in the USA. Hard not to be, really, if one is a critical thinker. Hard not to be when one is a caring, compassionate, tender person.

Refuge is offered in the Facebook group ”Celebrate What Christians Have in Common” where a daily buffet is spread of Asceticism and art, cartoons and quotes, comics and contemplation, memes and meditations, music and musings, photographs and prayers, just about anything that is one of the many voices from the many flavors of Christianity.

              There is one discipline required of all who join: one must not utter a negative word because this space is a refuge, a respite, a place of peace and quiet. If one chooses to engage in discussion one may only write about one can affirm in the selection. No arguments, no vitriolic words, no spammers and trolls will be tolerated,

Please come and celebrate what Christians have in common and let us together remember our faith is based upon God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit and not the actions and choices of frail, sinful human beings.


            • Your first comment sums up everything I have a problem with in this thread. You immediately jump to conclusions and judgments about me simply because I take issue with the comment that ‘most’ Conservative Christian men follow the mentality exhibited in this article. The fact is you could not be further from the truth. I am very much in favor of everyone receiving equal rights, regardless of sex, gender, color or any other inherent trait they may possess. I was right there in the front row when my brother was finally able to marry his now husband and couldn’t have been happier for him. I have not judge a single person on this thread, but I have been judged many times and falsely characterized. It is clear you are going to read what you want to read in my answers in an attempt to simply put me in my place somehow. I’m well aware of the problems faced in this country and contrary to assertions here, have not denied they exist. What I do vehemently deny is that ‘most’ gross generalization that is simply unjust to the majority of Conservative Christian men that don’t feel this way and do stand up and fight for everyone’s rights every day. You can claim the 50.1% assertion all day, but deep down you understand that when an article claims ‘most’, then the majority of readers are going to attribute that to just about every Christian man they encounter and that does absolutely nothing to help anyone’s cause.

          • LloydB, not by you, right? You’d be in that group of “most Christian men” you’re so very sure are not misogynistic, right? And yet…. you begin your post by reminding us that women are not allowed to be pissed off (and, perhaps, a bit condescending) when they encounter a mansplaining man…. You’ve convicted yourself imho…. You would do well to just listen to women instead of trying to prove your arguments.

            • Thank you, Randy. Lloyd B reminds me of the sort of man that thinks a panel of men to determine women’s health issue and nary a woman on the panel would be fine with him.

              • Gloria, and once again your judgment of me would be wrong. It’s amazing how often people fail to see their own hypocrisy. I think any panel deciding anything, regardless of the issue, would be well served to have a woman on the panel. That doesn’t fit in with your preconceived narrative of me very well though does it?

                • Where do you get off disrepecting me this way? My name is not Gloria and if you can’t be bothered with a detail like that, why should I bother to trust anything else you say?

                  • Gloriamarie, if you saw that as a sign of disrespect, it explains many of my points here better than I ever could. My wife’s name is Gloria, honest mistake.

                    • Telling me that your wife’s name is “Gloria” is no excuse for failing to pay attention to my name.

                      Or possibly, you consider women interchangable. So man men on the Christian Right do.

                    • Gloriamarie, once again you make my point. I’m used to saying the name Gloria and read the name too quickly. My name gets spelled incorrectly on a daily basis, I’m pretty certain nobody is intentionally disrespecting me by doing so. You seem intent now on deflecting away from the topic and attempting to attack my character. If that’s going to continue to be your mantra please don’t expect any further responses from me.

                    • She loves to bully people who make that honest mistake. She does it all the time. It’s amazing how many people fall for it and beg for forgiveness.

            • He made some good points. It’s sad when the “victim card” is played, but it’s a cheap and easy way to just blow off an argument, isn’t it?

            • You sure read quite a bit into my first line. Nothing I said in that line had a thing to do with women, unless you are assuming only women can be condescending? Since when is being against condescension, being against allowing people to show anger? I would have responded with the exact some context if my response had been to a man so mansplaining assertions carry zero validity here. Throwing around these words simply to try and gain the upperhand in a debate is doing an injustice to the terms and what they truly mean.

              • Lloyd, to be honest, I would agree with a lot of what you’re saying here, except that you immediately jump on the “not all Christians” trope. That’s not what was being stated at all.

                Now, I will say that the discrimination I face in my life is carried out by people who profess to be Christian. I get looked down on by Christians, Christians try to shame me, I’ve been beaten up by Christians, and Christian politicians try to pass laws that would make my life difficult. In fact, prior to finding John’s blog, I had given up on faith, since I figured people like me didn’t belong. So yes, I agree with John’s statements wholeheartedly.

                Look, I appreciate that you don’t fall into the “most Christians” category. I’m very happy that most of the Christians you know are good people who don’t discriminate against or shame people. That’s not the Christians I’ve known, aside from the people I’ve met on here, and that represents a very small number.

                • Caitlyn Anne, thank you for the respectful response. Here is the main problem I have with this. People get upset by me defending my view that it’s not ‘most’ Christian men who fit the narrative described in this article. They counter it with their life experiences as proof that I am somehow wrong in my belief. I’m just curious what makes their life experience valid, but mine is somehow not? We all base our views on our experiences and what we have learned via others. I’m truly sorry for the experiences you have had with Christians in your life. My experiences have been exceedingly different and I believe very strongly that if you could somehow peer into the mind and soul of every Christian man in this country you would not find over 50% having a weird sexual addiction as alluded to in this article. I really don’t see how my viewpoint can be taken as disrespectful in any way to those posting here, and it certainly is not my intention.

                  • LloydB, the truth is that your view “that it’s not ‘most’ Christian men who fit the narrative described in this article” is yours to have and defend as you like, but as the article says and reality proves, it is indeed most of them. If it was not most of them, we would not have the crazy “bathroom bills” we are fighting over. We would not have needed the Supreme Court to rule on gay marriage. We would not be fighting religious sanctioned discrimination against the LGBTQ community or abortion rights. We would not be refusing refugees, we would not be protesting children at our borders. We would not be arguing over defunding Planned Parenthood. We would not be arguing over paid birth control. We would not be fighting over conversion therapy for gay teens. These are all major fights because most of the Christian Right is obsessed as he describes.

                    That simply does not have to be your experience for it to be true.

                    • Actually everyone’s experience is true… because it is what they experienced and felt… we need to respect that. I try to be cautious to not let my experiences make me treat everyone as if they would do they same thing, as the person who hurt me.

                      For example I dated a woman who could not trust me because her last partner cheated on her. I didn’t cheat nor am I a cheater but I was treated that way by her. She had a prejudice she was responsibility for letting go of … not me.

                      A small group of people can influence a large group of people which is proved by the your own election and style of government. So you cannot judge everyone by how people voted.

                      As well, once someone has a narrow perception of an ideology it influences how they see and the tendency is to assume, and lump all people in to that group, without making a distinction between the ideology and the individual person.

                      Unfortunately stereotyping is often wrong… and it is presumptuous to treat individuals you meet as if they embrace everything you have assumed a conservative to be.

                    • Sally Jane, I am not in disagreement with what you said, I do allow everyone their feelings and opinions and said so. When you say ” it is presumptuous to treat individuals you meet as if they embrace everything you have assumed a conservative to be” I am not sure what you mean. Most individuals I meet never go beyond the surface transaction so I could not “treat” them any particular way nor even know if they are conservative, so I treat them all the same. For those who make it clear they are conservative, it is then not at all “presumptuous”. Stereotypes exist for reasons and they are not invalid reasons.

                    • Thanks, I am so tired of people saying my truth must be a lie, because it is not their truth, especially men.

                    • I’m sorry Sandi, but it is from from being proven that most fit this narrative. If you truly believe that politicians in DC are a valid sampling of any of the populace on either side of the aisle then I’m not sure what else to say. Sadly the confuscated bills that get pushed around in Washington these days have very little to do with what their constituents actually want and the people rarely understand anything actually in the bills. This may surprise you, but the average American really isn’t very politically in touch, nor do they care unless it’s something affecting them directly. It’s a very sad commentary on our society, but it’s simple truth.

                    • LloydB, I can see this pains you but it is still true. It is not just that I “truly believe that politicians in DC are a valid sampling” of the people who sent them there, or that the politicians in every governor seat and state legislator are also a valid sampling of the people who sent them there, though I do. It is that the writings, posts, letters to the editors, commentary in conversations, and yes, what I have heard in and around churches that informs my opinion that “most” is the correct word to use.

                      Those pols did not elect themselves. The church doctrine does not vote on itself. The preaching is not by unanimous consent.

                    • Sandi, the bottom line is you simply can’t make the assertion of most as fact. It is your opinion based on your experiences and how you view what you witness around you. This is not the experience of all others and certainly not enough evidence to state this as fact. You can think I am incorrect just as I can think you are incorrect, but nothing more. It really is that simple.

                    • LloydB, I must question your understanding of the word “fact”. When did that definition change to include “the experience of all others”? At no point does a fact have to be your experience for it to be true and proven. Again if you were right, all that I said above would have turned out very differently, been legislated differently, been voted differently, been presented differently. This is way more than just me thinking you are “incorrect”. It really is that simple.

                    • Sandi, I must question your understanding of the definition as well. There is absolutely nothing in what you have said that proves most Christian men have a weird sexual addiction. Facts are backed by indisputable proofs, what you perceive to be fact, is actually assumption. I’m sorry, but yes, it really is that simple.

      • JP is only speaking what I believe he experienced, as have I. All I got from Conservative Christians, including my own Catholic Church, is to deny my feelings least I will subject of ridicule. I have see violence done to women in the name of morality from, you guessed it, Conservative Christians. When the people that tell you you are going to hell, or that I can’t be really who I am in church, or hated by Conservative Christians for not being “a real man”, what am I supposed to think? When I call these people on their behavior they turn it around and play the victim and blame me. I suspect I am not the only one.

    • OH, dear, so many of the keys stick on my old laptop.

      I meant, of course, without the venom and vitriol that overtakes so many people when they rush to defend their bigotry and prejudices.

      • I can see this sort of thing happening on both sides and each side thinks they are justified in it.

        Definition of vitriol – abusive language used to express blame or censure or bitter deep-seated ill will towards someone.

        a rude expression intended to offend or hurt; “when a student made a stupid mistake he spared them no abuse”; “they yelled insults at the visiting team”

        cause to experience or suffer or make liable or vulnerable to; “He subjected me to his castigating editorial”

        Attack in speech or writing; “The editors of the left-leaning paper attacked the new House Speaker”

  8. I just can’t decide. Do we want more than Christianity can provide? Or are they truly that out of touch with the overall message of the Bible and our faith walk with God that they concentrate on the splinter while ignoring the log (so to speak)?

    Some days I honestly think it would be better to stop trying. Better to just move on as a secular non-Christian than keep trying to make closed minds hear. I just cannot decide who knows God? My atheist friends seem to move through life just fine without this heartache. Who wears it better?

    • Sandi, I daresay part of the answer lies in where you choose to worship. I will not be part of a church community which relegates women to second-class citizen status. There are also church communities who would limit the number of voices in the choir.

      I happen to be Episcopalian. Our current primate is a black man, the first one to be named Presiding Bishop. Our next to last primate was a woman, the first one to be named Presiding Bishop. We have lesbian and gay bishops. For all I know we may also have bisexual and transgender people as bishops.

      All God’s people have a place in the choir in the Episcopal Church.

      Is being a Christian something you can turn your back on? Although I have been deeply deeply hurt by Christians, my faith is not based on how people treat me but on the person of Jesus, His words, His example. I can’t deny Him.

      • I thank God for our parish, a growing local Episcopal church. They accepted my family after we were turned away by our former church of several decades when I came out as LGBT.

        I often wonder about the persecution by the reigning American Alt-Right and their distorted hatred toward other people. It’s like they missed the whole point of Christ’s message of love toward ALL, especially those hurt, maligned and marginalized by the religious Pharisees of His day and ours.

        • TC, so glad to met another Episcopalian here.

          May I request that you cease to use the expression “alt right” which is an attempt to legitimize and whitewash white supremacists? Thank you for considering this,

          Otherwise I agree completely with what you write.

            • You need to demonize anyone who doesn’t worship at the altar of liberal politics.

              Anybody who is “pro-life,” for example, is a “racist and a bigot.” Nice deflection for those who support such a horror and injustice.

              Anyone who doesn’t rip the writings of Paul out of the Bible (or misinterpret them) is a “racist and a bigot” for not embracing immoral acts.

              • A Catholic Perspective, the truth is you all “demonize” yourselves. And clearly you demonize those you claim “worship at the altar of liberal politics”.

                No one has said that “Anybody who is “pro-life,”…is a “racist and a bigot.” but many do eventually show that side of themselves in discussions. And for someone complaining of name calling, you seem pretty good at it yourself. Is decrying “those who support such a horror and injustice” a compliment?

                No one has said that “Anyone who doesn’t rip the writings of Paul out of the Bible (or misinterpret them) is a “racist and a bigot” either, but you know that too. You are merely lashing out because you have no real legs to stand on and just want to claim we are “embracing immoral acts”.

              • But you are not pro life, you are pro birth even if that means the woman will die. This woman may have a husband and other children who love and need her, but you would condemn her to death. Even if that includes the fetus dying too. Then there are two deaths instead of only one.

              • A Catholic Perspective. I have the utmost respect and praise for your compassionate and thoughtful Pope. Since your words do not reflect his teachings–neither in doctrine, practice, and certainly not in his loving tone, may I suggest you change your name? Your posts are neither Catholic nor do they provide much thoughtful Perspective, imho.

                • Ah, but Randy, what you don’t know is that ACP is a convert and therefore more Catholic than the Pope, who I believe to be a very saintly man and we are watching a saint come into being.

                • I don’t think you know any Catholic doctrine. My Pope is also against abortion and same-sex marriage. His teachings are 100% Catholic and I’m not saying anything against Catholic doctrine.

                  I have changed my name back to “Joe Catholic.”

                  • Your embrace and strident emphasis of the authoritarian reproductive rules of the church, to the exclusion of everything else, what I object to; the selective rules of the Curia above everything else.

          • Thanks for the heads-up, Gloriamarie, re: the term “alt-right”. I’ve only heard it used to describe current racists, but never to legitimize them (which they never should attain).

            • They invented the term themselves to give themselves legitimacy. They are an “alternative right”. But they are not a choice at all, no more than “alternative facts” are a legitimate choice.

  9. Well, when I was part of the evangelical church and dating, that was not my experience with a few dates. These men thought it was normal to try to man handle a girl (I was an innocent 18 years old). I does not matter what religion a man is in, it is a male’s basic instinct. Science as proven, among all male species, they will always choose sex over food consistently.

    • K.D., it is normal for many men to seek sex, however that doesn’t mean they have to act like brutes. It also doesn’t mean they have to treat others not like them with disrespect or even be discriminatory or be violent towards them. Many men are not animals driven solely by desire, fear, aggression, and the need for brutal dominance but there are many that are, unfortunately.

  10. Dear John- You’ve done a bang-up job of calling these pathetic fools on their absolute sexual terrorist bullshit- so thanks. And poor christopher freeman is already all up in his sin-sin-sinerness- to boot. But being part of a not/heterosexual sexual reality since I hit puberty- 54 years ago- I’ve been doing it for decades. It even occupies a couple of chapters in the book I’ve written- written to make christianites crazy with lust and desire in their addiction.

    And I quote: “people not raised in a culture of guilt, condemnation, and misogyny all supposedly sanctioned by God “himself.”

    This should have just read -raised in a CULT of guilt- because there is no culture there. Sorry. Enjoy! The firestorm is about to come raining down- as sexist religionists flagellate themselves and you in their attempt to prove you wrong and themselves sinfully right! Should be outrageously funny. Happy April Fools Day!

  11. John – Every Single Word – Thank You.

    I have worked almost exclusively with men for decades. Out of the hundreds I have had contact with only a handful got my creep-o-meter dial doing a 180. How did so many “of the others” end up in government – it has to be the go to safe space for the controlling, insecure and uptight. And, they actually spend a creepy amount of time discussing “women’s health issues” while never discussing “men’s health issues”.

    I grew up in an age where unwed mothers were scorned and vilified. Only slutty girls “enjoyed sex”.
    Husbands used the “you will like this” method of foreplay. Then when they strayed it was because they had a “cold fish” at home. Of course most men were not even close to that bad but those phrases were used as the “normal” behavior. Adultery has always been excused with a wink and a nod. And yes, women are guilty too. And there are women who walk away from their children also. No high road here.

    The importance placed on what two consenting adults do in privacy is creepy. What kind of person dwells on that? Go watch porn if that floats your boat. You won’t have to use your imagination. I don’t really know but shows on TV say you can find anything to fit your tastes out there.

    My solution for most unplanned pregnancies is to do all you can to avoid said pregnancy. We know it is not always possible because some women can get pregnant using 3 types of birth control at the same time. So how about we jail any man who does not use his protective force shield to cover his weapon of mass destruction. It’s a 2fer – we have an std epidemic on the rise and it should help lower the rate of unplanned preganancy. Will that “stigma” work do you think? It’s not like the “small government” could reach right in to steal your voice, your choice about your body or who or how you choose to love someone.

    • I have also been patiently awaiting all that legislation aimed at reining in male promiscuity. Where are the proposed laws to issue reversible vasectomies to boys when they reach puberty that can be reversed when they demonstrate the ability to provide for offspring?

      • Not to mention that while the GOP don’t understand why a man has to pay for insurance that includes a woman’s neo-natal and other gynecological care, they didn’t seem to think anything of asking for women to pay for health insurance that includes a man’s proctology care or treatment of erectile dysfunction.

        At some point the weight of the double standard must cause it to fall over and clobber the people who hold it.

  12. As a Hoosier, I have seen both Pence’s attitude and many others for years. I guess as a woman I didn’t realize that I wielded so much power. I have business lunches all the time with men – is it okay if there is more than one man? This is the same attitude as “her skirt was too short so I raped her because I couldn’t help myself.” The underlying issue is that men have been excused and women blamed for so much. I’m ready to ship them all to an island.

    But any man who calls his wife (in public) “Mother” has more problems than we can solve.

    • He calls his wife “mother”? That’s bad? Why?

      We Catholics call Mary the “Mother of God” out of respect to her and her Son.

      He calls her “mother” probably out of respect to her and the sacrifices she’s made to bear and raise children. There’s nothing wrong with that.

      • Ronald Reagan called his wife, ‘Mommy’. Come to think of it, my grandfather called my grandmother, ‘Mother’, sometimes. It’s a term of endearment.

  13. I appreciate everything in this article. I especially appreciate that it is written by a white male person with some clergy experience. At the same time I think it implies that such attitudes are more confined to conservative Christian circles than I have found to be so in my 20+ years of clergy experience in moderate evangelical and mainline Protestant circles. The inappropriate sexual attitudes, conversation and pastoral-like predatory behavior by clergymen who are professionally supportive of women in ministry is so much more complicated and slippery than the outright, bible quoting misogyny I experienced as a young Southern Baptist minister. None of which is to say I think Pavlovitz has missed the mark here, just that there is so much more to be said and written. So much more work for the church to do in cleaning up our side of the street.

    • Well, Annette, John Pavlovitz is a surgeon and has a laser pointed at the cancer in the body. He has named that cancer Conservative Christianity. Just not sure yet if his diagnosis is correct. Hopefully he is not cutting off health parts along with the unhealthy. I am more inclined to think that God is going to heal the cancer rather than allow the cancer to win.

  14. John, this is oerfect, and pretty much sums up yhe things I deal with every single day of my life. People spend so much time worrying about who I’m married to, what’s between my legs, what restroom I use, the clothing and makeup I wear, my hairstyle, the list goes on and on.

    What I want to know is, why. Why do people feel the need to inject their opinions into my life and try to make the case that I’m doing something wrong or evil by being myself? Why do you feel the need to legislate me further into the margins of society? What good comes from that?

    I haven’t had my gender questioned in years. I look, sound, talk, walk, and act like any other woman my age, so no one questions it. And yet, I’m scared to death to get on a plane because of how embarrassing and invasive the security checks can be. Women like me are often harassed by airport personnel because of our sexuality. There’s no reason for it.

    So, I want to know why my sexuality is so fascinating, yet so (apparently) disgusting, that the Christian right feel the need to make it their business. And I don’t want some answer with all sorts of flowery quotes from scripture, I want *your* reason, why it’s so personal for you.

    I know no one will have the guts to answer, and that I just wasted five minutes of my time, but I needed to say this.

    • “So, I want to know why my sexuality is so fascinating, yet so (apparently) disgusting, that the Christian right feel the need to make it their business.”

      Caitlyn Anne, they are jealous of your happiness.

      I daresay the loudest voices which attack you are those of men who are terrified that they are actually homosexual or born in the wrong body.

      As for airports, yes, those security checks are too invasive for all of us. While I am not saying we need to be complacent and not have security checks, when was the last time there was a terrorist attack on a plane here in the USA? These invasive security checks are an over=reaction to a non-existent threat.

    • Caitlyn Anne, Not a waste of time at all. If the only people reading this are the ones who are thinking of how they will take you down with their argument instead of really listening, yep it would be a waste of time. But they are not the only ones reading this. There are people like myself who have been on a different journey who might not understand someone else’s journey if not for people like yourself putting it out there. I think I have a richer understanding of many things by listening to your story and all the other people’s stories about their journeys. No two are alike and so unless we are all able to be a tad vulnerable and tell our stories, than I can’t understand, I can love, that should be without question but I won’t understand unless others speak and I listen. Not sure that all makes sense just felt the need to say that. Peace

  15. “The political Right’s never-ending fight against Planned Parenthood, women using birth control, and in general being sexual on their terms.”

    Conservative men AND women oppose Planned Parenthood because they oppose the injustice of abortion.

    Don’t twist this into something weird as a deflection. Killing babies isn’t nice.

      • Oh, thank you, let’s not have another one of those conversations where everyone says the same old same old while Joe ACP gets ever more hostile in his language.

      • It sure does. Planned Parenthood is a big player in the baby-killing game and that’s why Conservative Christians–men AND women–oppose them, not because of JP’s fantasies and false motivations he ascribes to them.

        • Your ignorance is only superseded by your prejudice.

          “Big player?” 3% of Planned Parenthood services is abortion and no federal funds are ever used for that as that is illegal.

          40% of PP services are screening men, women, and children for STDs. Would you rather have people spreading their untreaded STDs to others?

          provides sex education to 1.5 million young people and adults each year.

          Contraception accounted for 34% of the services it provided

          In 2014, Planned Parenthood saw:
          2 milion reversible contraception patients
          941,589 emergency contraception kits
          3,445 vasectomies
          718 female sterilization procedures

          Pregnancy tests: 1.1 million tests done in 2014
          Prenatal care: provided to 17,419 people in 2014

          Read the rest of the article and get educated:

          • If I give out 97 band aids and then perform 3 abortions, I can say “only 3% of what I do is performing abortions,” but so what? That 3% is a horrible injustice.

            If I hand out 97 lollipops to 97 children and 3 poisoned lollipops to 3 children, how wonderful is it that only 3% of those I give to are poisoned?

            Christians oppose Planned unParenthood because of the injustice of abortion and not because of a “weird sexual addiction.”


            WASHINGTON, D.C., January 4, 2016 (LifeSiteNews) – Planned Parenthood performed 323,999 abortions and received $553.7 million from U.S. taxpayers during the 2014-2015 fiscal year, according to its most recent annual report.

            Although it saw 200,000 less patients and provided 11 percent fewer services than the previous year, its taxpayer subsidy increased by nearly $25 million.

            Abortions are down from 2013, when the industry performed 327,653 abortions.

            “The stability of Planned Parenthood’s abortion count – between 324,000 and 334,000 since 2008 – is remarkable, given that national figures for abortions have been in a nosedive since 2008,” the National Right to Life Committee noted. “They have dropped 13 percent in just three years.”

            In 2014, Planned Parenthood provided 931,589 emergency contraception kits, a decrease from 2013.

            Nonetheless, the Planned Parenthood increased the amount of money it received from taxpayers over the previous year, when it received $528.4 million. Government revenues accounted for 43 percent of the abortion provider’s $1.296 billion in revenue during the 2014-2015 reporting period.


            • Please stop citing fake news. Thanks to the draconian Hyde Amendment, no federal funds can be used for abortion.

              Planned Parenthood does not use federal fund to pay for abortions.

              But it’s good to know that you simply don’t care about STDs and whether or not they get treated.

              Joe. we know that you don’t care anything about anyone living. All you care about are fetuses.

            • again, ACP, Planned Parenthood does not get tax money for abortions. It’s specifically forbidden by federal law.

              So all your party’s defunding of planned parenthood is going to do is going to increase the number of abortions.

              Because the federal funding PP does get is for such things as contraception.

              So congratulations, ACP, you and yours have increased the # of abortions.

              Keep on patting yourself on the back.

            • You know why abortions are down so much? Because the ACA made all kinds of birth control FREE. Those of us that understand that you can’t legislate what a woman does with her body and don’t consider clumps of cells the size of a pinhead “a baby” want to make sure 1. women have everything they need to prevent pregnancies they do NOT want and 2. that if they do manage to accidentally get pregnant they can abort it LONG before it is anything close to a “baby” (which frankly there’s even considerable Biblical support for) . If you want to have a conversation about stricter controls on late term abortions, that’s a discussion even most liberals are open to. But cutting PP funding will not stop abortions, it will cause MORE unwanted pregnancies and women trying to abort on their own.

            • Belle Watson, I am proud of Planned Parenthood’s response. No one should have control over a woman’s body except the woman. Where are similar restrictions over what men do with theirs?

              If Belle Watson is supposed to be a woman’s name, then you betray your gender if you take the GOP’s side on this subejct.

              • In Texas, a female state representative put forth a bill that would have required men to deliver all ejaculate from masturbation to a sperm bank, as each sperm is potentially equal to a human life and, as such, is sacred.

                Of course, all the men were utterly outraged.

                  • No, she understood it perfectly. She was making the point that women’s reproductive rights are heavily regulated in many places, while men enjoy total freedom.

                    Personally, I’d like to see a more comprehensive approach to men’s reproductive health. If they want Viagra or Cialis, they should have to have a full health work-up, including (but not limited to):

                    A trans-penile ultrasound (nothing like a rod up the urethra to check blood flow to wake you up in the morning).
                    A rectal prostate ultrasound (same rod, different opening, gotta make sure it’s fully healthy!).
                    A medical imaging testicular examination (think mammogram, but much lower).
                    An STD and circulatory system test (gotta make sure they’re healthy, right?).

                    I think if we’re going to legislate women’s reproductive systems, it’s only fair that men have to endure similar humiliation.

                  • Belle, if you conservatives are going to legislate women’s reproductive organs then why shouldn’t male reproductive organs be similarly legislated?

                    And why should PP have to give up performing abortions? THey’re legal, Belle, whether you like it or not.

                    So government should get to demand that business stop providing a legal service?

                    What was that about you conservatives being for small government?

                • Of course, that would be impossible, but the ludicrous nature of that bill ought to point out the injustice of males deciding what we do or don’t do with our own bodies.

                  Another female politician somewhere, maybe TX, I forget, said that men would be required to have written permission from their wives to have erectile dysfunction treated.

                  Makes sense to me.

              • It’s not just your body. I don’t care one lick what you do with your body. If you create a kid, a totally separate life, because of the choices you make, there is no argument that killing it is morally ok.

                If Gloriamarie is supposed to be a human name, you betray your species if you think elective abortion is ok.

                    • No, we were created to have a sex drive and it is a form of affection, recreation, and connection for humans (as well as procreation) which means, accidents will happen. If you planned a pregnancy every time you had sex in your life…well, I won’t believe you. If you say you would not choose an abortion, that is a choice I would support. Just as I support the woman who chooses an abortion.

                    • That’s a pagan response, but not one of a Christian.

                      That’s what the world says, but Christians don’t play fast and loose with their sexuality as if it’s a toy.

                      When reproductive organs are united it should come as no surprise when reproduction occurs and it should always be “planned for” but responsible and compassionate people, especially Christians. Making a baby is a big deal and killing it because it’s inconvenient is not an acceptable choice for a Christian and it’s been condemned by Christianity for 2,000 years.

                • Joe ACP, what I think of abortion is none of your business, as I have told you over and over.

                  What I object to is you men thinking you know better than women what we might or might do with our very own bodies.

                  • Then what of the women who have compassion for the unborn? Do they have any special say so about it? An abortion affects TWO bodies, btw.

                    • yeah. –it affects 3 bodies (mother, father, baby), plus the Triune God, plus family members.

                    • Joe, you claim to be so informed about Catholic doctrine, especially regarding abortion. Just above, regarding abortion, you said, “…it’s been condemned by Christianity for 2,000 years.” This is false. Until 1869, the Roman Catholic Church held the official position that the soul did not enter into a fetus (thus making it human) until the “quickening” or first movement felt by the mother, usually sometime around 20-24 weeks. This “life begins at conception” crap has been around for less than 150 years, not the 2000 you claim. Therefore, if a woman holds to what was the official Roman Catholic position for at least 1850 years, ending a pregnancy before ensoulment might be a sin but it is not murder.

                      If you are going to come here and try to proclaim Roman Catholic doctrine, at least get your facts right. Otherwise you look foolish or worse, like an outright liar, trying to hide the truth for the sake of your argument. I vehemently disagree with you, but I really don’t get the impression that you would deliberately lie.

                      As a woman who has made the difficult choice to end a pregnancy, I am qualified to correct your misrepresentation of me and my sisters who have also faced this choice. We do NOT lack compassion as you claim.* I’m sure women who terminate pregnancies have the same statistical levels of compassion as any other group. But we extend that compassion to ourselves, to the other human directly involved (i.e. the father), to the children and extended family we all ready have and yes, even to the child itself. Pence would mandate that a child doomed to knowing only suffering until death because of genetic defect must be born, knowingly inflicting harm and pain not only on that innocent infant, but putting the entire family through immense emotional and financial pain, often resulting in divorce. The Bible teaches that God is both merciful and just. I fail to see one shred of justice or mercy in forcing women to carry a such a pregnancy to term. And that is exactly what Pence tried to do in my home state while Governor.

                      Joe, I so want to believe there is a person sincerely seeking God and Truth sitting behind your keyboard and I beg the Holy Spirit to open your mind and heart to the deeper truths of the Gospel than what can be contained in mere mortal words. May the Spirit’s fruits of hope, faith and love flood your life until they cannot help but spill over to your neighbors, to whom the Spirit has given a different measure of Light or focused that Light in a way you do not understand. Christians are supposed to be able to be recognized for our love, not our moralizing.

                      *Of course there are always outliers in any group, but it is invalid to use them to illustrate the whole, as I’m sure you know. Otherwise, it would be correct to say that all Roman Catholic priests are pedophiles, which is untrue as well. Just as claims that all priests are pedophiles is false and inflames you, your implication that only women who lack compassion have abortions is likewise false and inflammatory.

                • So, Belle, the second you become pregnant I gain the legal right to dictate to you what you can and can’t do?


                  Are you going to pay for the health care of all those pregnant women? You going to pay for their food and shelter? You going to pay for the prenatal and neonatal care?

                  I mean surely you care enough about the life of that unborn child that you’re willing to pay for it out of your own wallet right?

                  That no matter how much it costs you’re willing to pay for it either directly or in the form of taxes for programs to do so…right?

                  Or do you simply want to control others because that unborn child is nothing but a prop to you? A means for you to force other women to obey your dictates.

            • I can’t think of a MORE obvious example of why we have a separation of church and state. Considering a fertilized ovum as a human being with rights is a RELIGIOUS position that many, if not most, people do not agree with. Currently it is 100% legal for women to have abortions. How then can the Federal government which is NOT a religious group even MAKE such a demand? It was completely inappropriate for a government official to try and force his own religious views on ANY organization.

    • You say, “Conservative men AND women oppose Planned Parenthood because they oppose the injustice of abortion.” So how many clinics has the Catholic Church opened to offer low or no cost STD screenings, Pap smears, exams, birth control or education to stop the unplanned pregnancies that lead to abortions? How any communities have such clinics?

    • Planned Parenthood has probably prevented more abortions than every right winger combined through free or low cost birth control. Abstinence has NEVER worked as a preventative lesson. Do a little research on teen pregnancy rates in Victorian, colonial and other times in history where records have been kept. In parishes in England that recorded weddings and births during Victorian times (one of the most sexually repressed eras in history) show that between 40-70% of all women were pregnant when they got married. The social judgement for unwed mothers was extraordinarily harsh, yet a majority had premarital relations.

      As far as I am concerned most conservative fundamentalists really do not give one farthing about abortion. They just use it as a battering ram against women and to get elected. If they truly believe abortion is murder they would do anything in their power to prevent it, and we know what DOES work to prevent unplanned pregnancies: comprehensive sex education, free and accessible birth control, universal health care and a living wage. So when I see fundamentalists putting their support behind these initiatives, then I will believe they care about unborn babies. They certainly have not shown me that they care about those already born.

      • I know mother’s who are alive today because PP found their cancer in time to treat it and not leave their children motherless. I guess he is against that also.

        • Probably why the current administration offered to continue funding them if they quit offering abortions. They declined, of course.

          • Blackmail is not cool Belle! “Let’s be clear: Federal funds already do not pay for abortions,” Dawn Laguens, the executive vice president of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America, said on Monday. “Offering money to Planned Parenthood to abandon our patients and our values is not a deal that we will ever accept. Providing critical health care services for millions of American women is nonnegotiable.”

              • Belle, I have never denied it was “about abortion” it is a legal right and someone needs to provide the medical site to accomplish that.

                The federal blackmail is unconscionable to sane people.

                • Something tells me you didn’t have similar qualms with the previous administration withholding federal funds to entities that didn’t bend to their positions.

                  • Since those “positions” did not amount to punishing people for your religious beliefs, you would be correct.

                    • So it’s not “federal blackmail” you have a problem with, rather “federal blackmail” by the other party.

                    • Oh Belle, one minute you are offering support of abortion, the next you are bashing abortion. One minute you are bashing my reading comprehension, the next you are proving your own lack of same.

                      Again, it is not “federal blackmail” I have an issue with per se, it is the “federal blackmail” that punishes people for your religious beliefs,

          • You seem to forget that no federal funds were ever used for abortion services — yet the current administration wants to “appear” to be “doing something” so they strive to defund all of the other many important health care services provided by Planned Parenthood.

          • cute Belle how you think blackmail is a moral thing.

            Where exactly do you get off thinking you have some right to force other people to obey your religious beliefs using the government of the United States?

          • So you are cool with us being a religious state? Like most Muslim countries? Because that is what you are supporting, a government forcing a religious opinion, NOT something supported by any kind of science or even widely supported in the general population, on a private entity. And these are the same people that constantly freak out about muslim countries having Sharia law?

        • I know of over 300,000 dead babies in one year because of Planned Parenthood. Do you have any concern or tears for them? What about PP giving up their abortion mills and just doing good deeds?

            • Just a friendly reminder, that as Believers, we are not our own. We were bought at price. ‘Therefore, be God honoring with your body.’

          • A Catholic Perspective, I am starting to think you do not believe in God’s promise of Heaven at all. If you do, you know very well that the aborted “baby” goes to God and has love and safe haven forever. We should no more “have any concern or tears for them” than we should for the devout who die.

            What about PP doing what their clients want and you leaving them alone? If you believe more in Heaven than in ‘human life’ why not? Are you one of those who thinks this is it?

            • And if God truly DID have a problem with aborting little clumps of cells, why are there so many ectopic pregnancies and miscarriages? Why genetic abnormalities that will cause a child to be born in terrible pain and die within days?

    • Raping a woman and causing her to become pregnant isn’t nice either. And it isn’t a man’s place to tell a WOMAN what she can and can’t do with her own body!

      • Exactly. Women are their own people, and we don’t need the approval of men to do what we feel we need to do with our own bodies, nor is it their place to treat us as objects. I don’t get what’s so difficult about this.

        • Once you get pregnant it’s no longer just your body, though, is it? There is a new, completely distinct life present.

          Abortion after rape, incest, or a genuine threat to the life of the mother is tragic but entirely defensible. Abortion just cause you don’t want the child created from a consensual sexual encounter is morally reprehensible. Don’t want a kid? Don’t willingly engage in the one activity that can result in one. Consequence free sex isn’t a human right.

          • Well yes Belle, the law says it is indeed a human right. We kill actual living children in war, by neglect, by not paying attention or offering aid, and by not having comprehensive health care for all.

            There is a point at which a fetus is indeed “completely distinct life present”, which is why there are restrictions, but the vast and overwhelming majority of abortions are done in the first trimester when that life is still forming and is not “completely distinct life” and until that life is viable outside of the womb, it is totally dependent on the woman. While you are free to believe you should have the right to force her to carry that child to term, and maybe decide what happens then too, human rights means no, you really don’t.

            I have learned to live with children suffering, dying and being collateral damage all over the world, allowing a woman to control her womb is just an extension of freedom and personal liberty. And unless you are doing more than just voting for anti-abortion politicians, you need to accept that.

            • A fetus is a distinct life from the moment of conception. A blastocyst has its own DNA before it burrows into the uterus. That’s not disputable. The debate is over whether or not that human life has value.

              And by all means, please post the law that guarantees sex without consequences. I must not have been paying attention when that constitutional amendment passed.

              • No Belle, the debate is over whether or not the woman has value, liberty, freedom, and the right to control her womb. The law says yes and I agree with that. Conservatives demand that value, freedom and liberty for their gun ownership so the womb is not an outlandish stretch.

                I did not say there was any “law that guarantees sex without consequences”. I am sure you are “paying attention” when there is a tangent you can use. For most sane people, abortion is a consequence.

                • Pregnancy, abortion, and STD’s are all possible consequences. However, we have technologies that can prevent all of those things from happening, essentially rendering sex virtually consequence free as long as people are willing to use a little common sense.

                  • I don’t disagree that modern medicine has made it less risky. That doesn’t, in my opinion, make it ok to kill a healthy unborn child when all your mitigation doesn’t do the job. How babies are made isn’t a mystery.

                • The law says, at least here in deep blue Oregon, as a landlord, I can jack up my rent to the point the tenants have to move out cause they can’t afford to stay. Doesn’t make it the right thing to do, but it is legal.

                  And yes I’m aware abortion is a consequence, it’s just that the unborn child takes the lion’s share of it.

                  • You really need to brush up on your rental laws. That’s very much illegal. Check pages 2, 3, 5, 6, 11, and 19-26. I feel sorry for your tenants.

                    If you’re so against abortion, why not support comprehensive sex education, unfettered access to birth control, and the removal of the stigma people attach to women who are sexually active.

                    (Sidebar: “Sexually active” does not equate to “promiscuous”. However, a double standard exists in that men who are sexually active, or even promiscuous, are considered “studs” and get patted on the back by their peers, while women who have sex with even a single person are considered “sluts”, and are shamed. That stigma needs to end.

                    • If “Belle Watson” weren’t so obviously an alias for Joe ACP, I’s suggest reporting him to the OR rental authorities for possible abuse of his tenants. But since it is yet another alias, alas, we can do nothing to protect his abused tenants.

                    • I’m not jacking up my rent. Though since it is well under market value, I’m well within my rights to do so. I like my tenants, though, so I don’t. My point is, something being legal, like, say, cheating on your spouse, doesn’t make it moral.

                      Again, where am I arguing against sex Ed and birth control? Nowhere. As far as contraceptives go, though, not getting something for free doesn’t mean I’m denying you access to it.

                    • The thing is, for men, things like “penis pills”, condoms, and so forth are extremely inexpensive. Viagra is fully covered by most insurance plans.

                      Birth control for women, on the other hand, with the exception of that obtained through Planned Parenthood, is pretty expensive. Not all insurance plans cover it, and it can be a pretty significant expense depending on which type you use (“depo-shot”, ethynil estradiol, estradiol and progestin, Nuva-ring, estradiol transdermal patch, IUD, Nexplanon, et cetera).

                      Again, it points to the double standard that women have to deal with, and it’s wrong.

                      (Full disclosure: I get my hormone replacement therapy through Planned Parenthood, as when I started transitioning, I didn’t have insurance, and it was, by far, the most affordable option for me. I stuck with them because they’ve treated me with total respect, kindness, and compassion, which is more than I can say for most health care options.)

                    • Yes Belle, “not getting something for free doesn’t mean I’m denying you access to it” but it does mean you don’t have a real beef to change the law on elective abortion if you do not support everything that might prevent it. I have “access” to a ‘nicely equipped’ Mercedes SUV, but I still cannot afford it.

                    • Isn’t contraception “for men” also contraception for women? Men don’t have sex with each other and make babies. Cheap contraception for a man is cheap contraception for his woman partner.

                    • I’ll give you that point. However, incorrectly used, condoms aren’t as effective as they should be, and you would be surprised how few men know how to properly put one on.

                      Birth control methods women use (in particular IUD’s and other implanted methods) are far more effective and safe, though use of a condom (if properly worn) is paramount.

                      (Sidebar: There’s directions on the box. This is not the time to “be a man” and disregard the directions. Read them. It’s pretty important.)

              • that’s your religious belief talking, belle.

                Unfortunately for you the United States is not a theocracy and you have no right to use it to force everyone else to obey your religious beliefs.

                If you want to live in a theocracy, child, move to Iran.

                • It truly is a delight to watch James Kessler so very deftly turn the tables.

                  I wonder why all of these Christian Right people who claim the Bible as a source of morality ignore the verses that say a child isnt alive until it draws its first breath? Can’t possibly breathe in the womb as the child would choke to death on the amniotic fluid.

                  Therefore a fetus is not alive until after it is born and breathes. That’s what the Hebrew Scriptures tell us.

            • Keep in mind, that all cells each have the same genetic makeup as each other… thus a fertilized egg, blastocyst, etc. is virtually the same as a tumor, or an organ, or any other body part that is not capable of surviving on its own. The ONLY difference between it and the mother is that the DNA is different. Most of us do not think bone marrow for instance is a “human” that is ensouled. This is why when a fertilized becomes an actual “life” will always be a religious question, which even Christians do not all agree on.

              Everything you write is just indicative of the evangelical issue with sex, and wanting to punish women that have sex by forcing pregnancy on them as punishment. Find me anywhere in the Bible that treats bringing life into the world as something that God punishes us with. And then talk to a child that was raised by parents that didn’t want them, and see what kind of life that was…. and maybe you won’t consider forcing it on women so “compassionate”. The world is not in need of more babies (far from it, we are suffering from major over-population issues, and climate change is resulting in that RAPIDLY becoming a severe issue) so arguing that not bringing thousands of unwanted children into the world is hardly a BAD thing.

          • Oh, but it would still be my body, were I able to become pregnant. My value as a person does not diminish just because I choose to become pregnant. As for terminating pregnancies due to rape, incest, or medical reasons (microencephaly comes to mind, what with the rise of the Zika virus in the western hemisphere, as well as the death of the fetus prior to birth, which could have deadly consequences for the woman), that shouldn’t even be a question.

            Where the Repubs have crossed a line with this is not just banning abortion in those instances. In Indiana, for instance, Mike Pence passed a law while governor that required women to have funerals in the case of miscarriage, regardless of how far along the pregnancy was.

            (Sidebar: This led to the rise of such organizations as Periods for Pence, which attacked the law not only with common sense, but with humor and sarcasm. I’m not sure if the law has been repealed yet, but it certainly pointed out the ridiculousness of such a law.)

            As for consequence-free sex being a human right, there’s a reason we have so many sound methods for birth control, from the pill, to condoms, to spermicides, to IUDs, and so on. There are many, many ways men and women can prevent pregnancy.

            In the mean time, here’s why we need comprehensive sex education in schools:

              • Belle dear, YOU said “you betray your species if you think elective abortion is ok”, did you mean you support forced abortion? Who reads that and thinks you are not “arguing for a total ban on abortion”, or that you support contraception and sex education? Do you suppose we can read minds?

                • I would have thought stating that abortion in the case of rape, incest, or a threat to the mother’s life was “entirely defensible,” as I did above, would make it clear I’m not in favor of a total ban. I apologize for overestimating your ability to comprehend English.

                  • Well, in my defense, you did say one, and then the other so forgive my confusion. I don’t think you overestimate anyone except yourself.

                    • No. I never said the other. You just wanted me to because it made for an easy argument. I was explicit in condemning elective abortions, not all of them.

                    • Belle, these “conversations” are based on the words we all use. ALL abortions are “elective” there are no forced abortions. You know that and to keep insisting you don’t mean those with reasons you “allow” when you said it betrays our species to support elective abortions is playing semantic games.

                  • How is abortion in the case of rape or incest “defensible”?

                    Is it justice to sentence a child to death because of the crime of his father?

                    • You’re assuming that sex offenders have any intention at all of being a “father”. They don’t. Sexual assault of any kind, in reality, has nothing to do with procreation. It’s a criminal act, and a woman should not have to suffer the consequences for that act.

                      Rape is about a man (or, yes, a woman) having power over another individual. It’s about humiliation, it’s about injuring someone physically and mentally in an irreparable way. It literally has nothing to do with procreation, which is why many sexual assault victims are murdered by their attackers.

                      Again, a woman should not have to suffer for such a significant period of time as a result of being the victim of such a heinous crime. Rape is indefensible, as is forcing a woman to carry the child of a rapist for nine months. It isn’t her fault she was attacked.

                    • Exactly Caitlyn, not to mention that any law forcing a woman to carry a pregnancy no matter what would further the rapist’s control, connection and humiliation for life. This kind of excuse is the cruelest of all in the forced incubator (Handmaid’s Tale) argument.

                    • Any woman who carries a child conceived via rape to term has my immense respect, but I don’t think anyone should force her to do it.

                    • ACP, are you not aware that a number of states have now granted parental rights to rapists? That means that if the poor woman is forced to bear that child, the rapist can then insert himself into her life permanently? He can rape her with impunity, because he’s the child’s father; he has legal rights. That’s sick and immoral – but oh, I forgot. It’s far more sick and immoral to terminate that horrific pregnancy so that delicate sensibilities like yours can be satisfied.

                    • While I don’t agree with this position, I have to respect those that stick with their religious belief in terms of a zygote being a sacred life, and thus not even rape being a reason for an abortion. I find it much harder to give credence to those, realizing how terrible it sounds to say a woman should carry the product of a rape to term, are okay with abortion in THOSE cases, but want to prevent women from having one for whatever hangups over sexual activity they have. There is NO other clearer example of exactly what John has written about than this, IMO.

              • Ah, kinda, sorta, actually no, A Catholic Perspective: “The law, which was passed by the Republican-heavy state legislature, does require that aborted or miscarried fetuses be buried or cremated. It also requires that women involved in these cases be given the chance to decide how this is carried out.”

                However, it did not require the women involved to be present during — or to pay for — the disposal of the mater