How The Christian Right Turned the Good News into Fake News

The bullhorn-wielding sign wavers and pulpit-pounding preachers are right: Jesus condemned many things in the Bible.

He condemned those who neglected the poor and the marginalized.
He condemned those who leveraged their religion for financial gain.
He condemned the religious hypocrites who spoke of loving God while having toxic hearts.
He condemned spiritual leaders who spread a cancerous religion to others.

He condemned people with a facade of piety concealing their hidden sickness. 

Jesus pulled no punches with those who would broadcast their faith loudly while doing great damage in the world to its most vulnerable—but curiously the bullhorn-wielding sign wavers and pulpit-pounding preachers won’t ever mention those things. 

Over and over in the Gospels, Jesus reiterates that those who would bear his name, would be fierce protectors of the poor, they would be sacrificial in their giving, they would be deeply burdened to serve, they would be marked by a palpable love for humanity. 

There are literally hundreds of times in the Bible when Jesus calls out the power-hungry, money loving charlatans who feigned faithfulness, while warning good people to be wary of them—and where he maps out a benevolent, gentle, humble life for his followers.

And do you know how many times in the Bible Jesus condemned, lectured, or threatened anyone based on their gender identity or sexual orientation?

Zero times.

Never.

Ever.

This is revelatory when you pay attention at what the professed people of God on the far Right are doing right now in America; the false narrative they’re trying to write for Jesus and his followers.

Republican Christians and Conservative Evangelical preachers would have you believe the opposite of the Biblical accounts of his life is actually true. They would have you believe that Jesus was clearly, repeatedly, and vehemently critical of LGBTQ people (when in reality he was completely silent on such matters)—and that defending the welfare of the sick and the poor and the vulnerable were never a concern (when such commands are frequent and unavoidable).

This manipulation of information is how self-righteous sociopaths sleep at night.
It’s how they make peace with the disfigured Savior and distorted religion they’ve created.
It’s the only way they can explain their contempt for the very people Jesus spent his days advocating for—how they can justify rewriting the Gospels and fashioning a God in their own bitter, greedy, homophobic image.
It’s how they turn the Good News into fake news, making something beautiful into a weapon, how they crafted exclusion out of invitation.

This inverted religion allows them to simultaneously craft legislation leaving millions without healthcare, to forever cast the LGBTQ as encroaching demons needing to be eradicated—and to claim to be emulating Jesus through it all. Never mind that the preponderance of the Biblical evidence flies fully in their faces. If we are to use the actual words of Jesus recorded in the Gospels—then these Christians are the threat he spent his days warning people about.

You can’t say you’re a “Biblical Christian,” if you ignore the lion’s share of his commands about caring for the least and welcoming the outcast and sheltering the endangered and feeding the hungry. You can’t disregard his incessant appeals to compassion and mercy and kindness, while kicking poor people to the curb and persecuting a group of people he never gave you permission to persecute. This is merely retrofitting Jesus to your politics and prejudices.

These people are welcome to want to take away healthcare from the sick and the elderly, and they’re free to bully the LGBTQ community—but they can’t do either in the name of Jesus, at least not if they’re going to use his life and ministry as their justification. They both argue vehemently in opposition.

So the bullhorn-wielding sign wavers and pulpit-pounding preachers can call it whatever they want: preference or fear or the need to be horrible, but they can’t call it Christianity. 

Jesus won’t permit it.

 

 

166 thoughts on “How The Christian Right Turned the Good News into Fake News

  1. Something that people tend to forget is that Jesus lashed out at the leaders of his own religion for using it as a way of gaining power.

  2. This is blessed truth. I found Christ through the Evangelical tradition and am equally horrified at the marriage with the right wing haters. What amazes me most is how few Evangelicals speak out like you do. I had always believed them to be a saved and insecure lot, needing the security of a color by numbers version of Christ but being strong Christians in other ways. I had actually considered good, faithful Evangelicals to be good Christians I could emulate on many levels. I have lost all faith in that due to recent events. They can accept and endorse any amount of immorality from the wealthy, from the banks from the lazy inheritance class and the global cabals. Few if any Evangelicals are troubled by obvious blatant immorality. I’m so glad you are and you write about it. The Baptists and such are turning millions of young people away from Christ, those seeking him anyway. Those seeking greed, money and power will be just fine. Christ is real and much more exciting now, when its so obvious that literalism is not the path to him or heaven. We must find it by faith and give and receive grace every day.

    • Response

      Sermon on the Mount: “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even the pagans do that? Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”

      Though the LGBTQ may hate christians it is still our duty to love and correct them. The problem now is keeping the “love” in love and correct.

      Are we not sinners too? And are not all sins equally offensive to God, though some may have varying degrees of destruction on earth?

      • Jeddy Walton, Some of “the LGBTQ” may hate Christians, but I have found that the majority of those people have first been disowned by their “Christian” families and churches. They have been told they are going to hell, that they are sick and inherently disordered, that they are disgusting, and that God himself despises them. I have never met someone who chose to become gay out of hate for Christians.

        However, many LGBTQ people (including myself) are still Christians, diligently seeking to honor God with our lives.

        Perhaps if you get to know some LGBTQ Christians (without an agenda or seeking to correct them “in love”), you too will see the fruit of their lives and ministries and be blessed.

        • Something that breaks my heart is the large number of LGBTQ people I know who love the Lord with every fiber of their being and who have also been told they cannot possibly be loved by God.

          There are too many places full of superstitious nonsense such as this church.

          “AP finds authorities repeatedly tried to derail investigation of anti-gay abuse in NC church

          “The AP has found that authorities repeatedly tried to derail a proper investigation of anti-gay abuse in a North Carolina church where members were repeatedly assaulted by congregants in a horrific effort to expel “homosexual demons.” Former congregant Matthew Fenner “not only told law enforcement agencies about what happened to him,” noted the AP investigation, “but also warned of ongoing abuse in the church.” Inside the church, leaders pressured congregants to lie to authorities about the beatings in order to protect the influential church.”

          remainder of this may be read at
          https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2017/6/26/1675403/-AP-finds-authorities-repeatedly-tried-to-derail-investigation-of-anti-gay-abuse-in-NC-church?detail=emailLL

      • Wow Jeddy that is twisted. You hate LGBT people and so they hate you back and you spin it to say you are being hated.

        How blind and self serving is that?

        • By the way not “all” LGBT people hate you because deep down we are genuinely hurt and heartbroken by how we have been treated by certain bigoted christians.

      • Yeah. I suspect where the problem arises is “correct” part of “love and correct them.” I’m too busy worrying about the logs in my own eyes to spend time worrying about the specks in others’. I read that somewhere.

  3. Once again, so much truth here. Never stop being the real “Jesus” John, your voice and words are needed. Simply ignore (as best one can) the trolls and haters. You speak the truth in love. And that scares people.

  4. What a fiery and spot on sermon this Sunday morning! Thank you John P for blessing us with a clear-eyed, documented and vivid truth about how so many are being led so far away from Jesus for political power and control of others!

    We must all be on our guard not to be led in that direction, we must read the scripture you gave us, we must learn that to live in Jesus is to fulfill his commands not the “Pharisees” who try to tell us what His commands are.

    God gave us “free will” so that we can choose to serve God or serve ourselves or some political agenda. We are only Christians if we choose to serve God and we only serve God by doing as commanded, not serving the direction of others, the lure of power, the hubris of control or the vanity of pulling verses out of context to use as weapons.

    Whether you believe the Bible to be the “inerrant and infallible” Word of God, or Holy Scripture translated, transcribed and edited by man, to choose to weaponize the Bible has to be a sin past redemption.

    • There is no “sin past redemption.”

      Even an abortionist can be forgiven for killing thousands of babies.

      Even the sin of men sodomizing each other can be forgiven.

      But it’s s not a sin to say a sin is a sin and it’s not a sin to not see the government as our mommy and daddy.

      • My sex life- no matter what you think- isn’t a sin. It’s just my sex life. I don’t need god’s forgiveness- and I don’t need your opinion- at all. Your opinion is meaningless.

        • God created sex with an intention in mind. I think that the configuration of genitals, or the fact that children aren’t an accident after sex both show us what it is made for. Food and sex both give pleasure, but, like abusing food, you can abuse sex–twisting its natural ends for the sake of pleasure. If gluttony is a sin, why isn’t sodomy?

      • Can those who support cutting millions from their health insurance causing tens of thousands to die in order to cut taxes for the rich be forgiven if they refuse to acknowledge their sin?

        • The AHCA, if passed, will be a disaster

          “Millions of people have a lot to lose under the AHCA
          By Josh Bivens • June 21, 2017

          “If the Senate votes to pass the American Health Care Act (AHCA), millions of Americans will be unquestionably worse off. In addition to the 23 million Americans who will lose their health insurance coverage by 2026, the economic impacts of repealing and replacing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are large and wide-reaching.

          “As Medicaid is slashed, households’ premium costs skyrocket, and protections for people with preexisting conditions are eliminated, 23 million Americans will lose their health insurance by 2026. The majority would lose it to breathtakingly large cuts to the vital Medicaid program (almost $900 billion over the next decade). Further, millions more would lose the coverage they get through their employer if AHCA passes”

          There is more to read at: ww.epi.org/publication/millions-of-people-have-a-lot-to-lose-under-the-ahca/?utm_source=Economic+Policy+Institute&utm_campaign=50e819bfcb-EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_2017_06_23&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_e7c5826c50-50e819bfcb-58189357&mc_cid=50e819bfcb&mc_eid=613f73f377

          • Shifting Dollars From Poor to Rich Is a Key Part of the Senate Health Bill
            Margot Sanger-Katz @sangerkatz JUNE 22, 2017

            The Affordable Care Act gave health insurance to millions of Americans by shifting resources from the wealthy to the poor and by moving oversight from states to the federal government. The Senate bill introduced Thursday pushes back forcefully on both dimensions.

            The bill is aligned with long-held Republican values, advancing states’ rights and paring back growing entitlement programs, while freeing individuals from requirements that they have insurance and emphasizing personal responsibility. Obamacare raised taxes on high earners and the health care industry, and essentially redistributed that income — in the form of health insurance or insurance subsidies — to many of the groups that have fared poorly over the last few decades.

            The draft Senate bill, called the Better Care Reconciliation Act, would jettison those taxes while reducing federal funding for the care of low-income Americans. The bill’s largest benefits go to the wealthiest Americans, who have the most comfortable health care arrangements, and its biggest losses fall to poorer Americans who rely on government support. The bill preserves many of the structures of Obamacare, but rejects several of its central goals.

            More to read here: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/upshot/shifting-dollars-from-poor-to-rich-is-a-key-part-of-the-senate-health-bill.html?emc=edit_nn_20170625&nl=morning-briefing&nlid=58601879&te=1&mtrref=undefined&gwh=F5AA6357D67317CF321A2E6F6881E83C&gwt=pay&_r=0

        • Edwin. … if God judges Republicans by what the Govt does, you cannot say that Democrats did not play a part.

          God sees all as guilty –because we are guilty. Cue Jesus.

          • leslie m,” if God judges Republicans by what the Govt does, you cannot say that Democrats did not play a part.”

            What role did the Dems play in writing the heinous AHCA which will only funnel money from the poor to the rich, leave millions of us stranded without healt insurance.

            Pray tell me, in what are the GOP “caring for the sick?”

            • Here’s some other ways in which the Dems are superior to the GOP

              Would Hillary Clinton have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords?
              Would Hillary Clinton have greatly accelerated deportations of illegal aliens?
              Would Hillary Clinton have attempted to ban Muslims from entering this country?
              Would Hillary Clinton have appointed Chelsea Clinton to an important position in the White House?
              Would Hillary Clinton have encouraged foreign diplomats to pay inflated prices for her products?
              Would Hillary Clinton have invited Rodrigo Duterte, the thuggish President of the Philippines, to the White House?
              Would Hillary Clinton have terminated the practice of celebrating Ramadan at the White House?
              Would Hillary Clinton have lied about the number of people attending her inauguration?
              Would Hillary Clinton have fired the FBI director?
              Would Hillary Clinton have accepted a call from the President of Taiwan?
              Would Hillary Clinton have had her subordinates secretly meet with the Russian government before her inauguration?
              Would Hillary Clinton have given highly classified intelligence information to the Russians?
              Would Hillary Clinton have worked to repeal Obamacare?
              Would Hillary Clinton have attacked NAFTA?
              Would Hillary Clinton have refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand?
              Would Hillary Clinton have praised Vladimir Putin as a ‘strong leader’?
              Would Hillary Clinton have lied about how many people voted for her?
              Would Hillary Clinton have lied about being bugged by the Obama Administration?
              Would Hillary Clinton have refused to endorse Article 5 of the NATO treaty?
              Would Hillary Clinton have called climate change a hoax?
              Would Hillary Clinton have appointed a conservative to the Supreme Court?
              Would Hillary Clinton have refused to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?
              Would Hillary Clinton have appointed a racist to be the Attorney General?
              Would Hillary Clinton have appointed 12 rich white men, 1 black, and 2 women to her cabinet?
              Would Hillary Clinton have appointed climate change deniers to be Secretary of Energy and to head the EPA?
              Would Hillary Clinton have gutted the Dodd-Frank Act?
              Would Hillary Clinton have cut funding for abortion advice in foreign aid?
              Would Hillary Clinton have threatened the city of Chicago with martial law?
              Would Hillary Clinton have restored the Keystone XL pipeline project?
              Would Hillary Clinton have removed the climate change pages from the EPA website?
              Would Hillary Clinton have required all EPA scientific research to be approved by political appointees?
              Would Hillary Clinton have insisted that three million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election?
              Would Hillary Clinton have set in motion plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico?
              Would Hillary Clinton have required the DHS to publish weekly lists of crimes committed by immigrants?
              Would Hillary Clinton have planned to reinstate the “black sites” used by the CIA before Obama?
              Would Hillary Clinton have endorsed the use of torture in interrogating suspected terrorists?
              Would Hillary Clinton have required her cabinet members to lavish effusive praise on her?
              Would Hillary Clinton have encouraged intelligence chiefs to undermine an official investigation?
              Would Hillary Clinton have required her cabinet members to refuse to give information to Congress?
              Would Hillary Clinton have accused London’s mayor of being indifferent to terrorism?
              Would Hillary Clinton have abandoned an ally like Qatar, which hosts an American airbase?
              Would Hillary Clinton have claimed that she knew more about ISIS than the US military?
              Would Hillary Clinton have praised Rodrigo Duterte for killing thousands of suspected drug dealers?
              Would Hillary Clinton have released a budget with a $2 billion math error?
              Would Hillary Clinton have shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of her way?
              Would Hillary Clinton have disputed the Office of Government Ethics’ legal authority to oversee government ethics?
              Would Hillary Clinton have prosecuted a woman for laughing at the Attorney General?
              Would Hillary Clinton have knowingly hired a paid agent of the Turkish government as her national security advisor?
              Would Hillary Clinton have threatened to sabotage America’s insurance markets to coerce Republican votes?
              Would Hillary Clinton have used the State Department’s website to promote her business?
              Would Hillary Clinton have praised a cable-news anchor who was fired for sexual harassment?
              Would Hillary Clinton have jeopardized an ongoing litigation with personal remarks?
              Would Hillary Clinton have threatened cities adopting a “sanctuary city” policy.
              Would Hillary Clinton have violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution?

          • leslie m, where in his comment did Edwin mention Republicans, Democrats or even Congress? I think he meant ALL who support this legislation.

            IMHO, God will judge all who support such things not just the politicians that passed the law. And rightfully so.

          • The Democrats played zero part in this atrocity.

            If everyone is equally guilty then no one is at fault. How convinient for the evildoers.

          • Um, leslie m. – in case you missed it (and apparently you did), the Democrats have not been invited to participate in the health care process in any way, shape or form. Pray tell, what part did the Democrats play in all this that makes them as guilty as the heartless, gutless Republicans?

      • “it’s not a sin to not see the government as our mommy and daddy.” What’s your point? who actually argues that it’s a sin to not see the government this way? When it becomes a sin is when you lot refuse to recognize the need for us to look after “the least of these.” As Jesus and Paul both commanded us, no matter how much much you lot argue otherwise.

        • There needs to be a calm discussion of what things the government should do and what things they should not do. Many nations think health care is a right. If it is not, should hospitals turn away emergency room cases that don’t have money? and if hospitals don’t turn them away who should be stuck with the bill. Today we have a non-insurance insurance in health care where everyone is stuck with the bill for those that can’t pay, and that is one reason medical costs are so high. None of these problems is simplistic, and I have not heard any politicians declare that our whole medical industry and how we treat illness needs to be examined in detail to see how it should be dealt with.

          • As a person who is disabled (after working damn hard most of my life) by a congenital condition, American health care gives me the willies. If we lived there, my “preexisting condition” would have disqualified me from insurance. How anyone can reconcile that with the Gospel is beyond my comprehension.

            • PC, your pre-existing condition would not bar you from insurance under the ACA

              Should the heinous AHCA pass, many of us with pre-existing conditions will die.

          • “f it is not, should hospitals turn away emergency room cases that don’t have money?”

            yes, let’s due that. let’s not treat sick people who have contagious diseases. yeah, that’s smart.

      • God alone determines what is a sin….and humans have been instructed not to….. : “judge not lest ye be judged.”

    • I just said the same thing on a post where a little girl of 12 announced that she was a lesbian at a LDS meeting. They removed her from the podium. Anyway I said man has edited and rewritten scriptures because God
      Loves all his children. Yo said it much better than I. Great post.

  5. Humanity is messy. Too many have nots. Too many will nots. Too many you’re not welcomes. Too many you don’t belongs. Too many outsiders from all religions- because we just won’t comply with our own demise. Because- God! Because Allah! Because Jesus! Because because because. Look within long and hard before you continue to project your hatred out. It would do you some cosmic good.

  6. “Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain” is not about cursing but about using God’s name to legitimize your own agenda.

  7. Wowza, John P nails it.

    What I would add is that the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures also ” hundreds of times in the Bible when they called out the power-hungry, money loving charlatans who feigned faithfulness.” These prophets addressed their words to individuals, the king, the nation, making it clear that feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, caring for the sick, providing for needs is the responsibility of individuals, the king, the nation.

    What happened to Israel and Judah when they ignored the prophets?

    The Good News of Jesus is not merely about “saving souls” or inviting people into a personal relationship with Jesus, it is also about what it means to live as a saved soul and how to live in a relationship with Jesus. It isn’t about music that makes us feel good or the warm fuzzies of cozy fellowship groups, it is, more importantly, getting into the nitty gritty of living a holy life, redeemed and sanctified. Matthew 25 is clear instructions about what living a redeemed and sanctified life looks like.

    John writes “You can’t say you’re a “Biblical Christian,” if you ignore the lion’s share of his commands about caring for the least and welcoming the outcast and sheltering the endangered and feeding the hungry. You can’t disregard his incessant appeals to compassion and mercy and kindness while kicking poor people to the curb and persecuting a group of people he never gave you permission to persecute. This is merely retrofitting Jesus to your politics and prejudices.”

    It’s also turning one’s back on the Holy Spirit and Jesus calls that the unforgivable sin.

  8. John, I have been reading a lot of political views from both sides. This is how I see things.
    I think that we need to refocus on what the real difference between Republicans and Democrats really are and their distinct agenda. As I listen to and filter out all the personal attacks, character assassinations, and hearsay, the underlying argument is that the government is involved in the lives of people too much. I continuously hear a great deal about FDR, and I realize that the agenda is to eliminate all social programs that was established through his administration and thereafter. Though it may hurt a great deal of people, I think that the far right Republicans would be happy if Social Security, SNAP, WIC, educational loan support, EPA, Medicare, Medicaid, support to other countries, SSI etc were discontinued and much of the services turned over to private and non-profit systems with no oversight from the government whatsoever. The sole responsibility for the government is to ensure the security of the country, and so should only be putting its money and effort into the military along with the VA, internal security and defense, federal justice systems, and operating budget. By doing so, they believe that the government can easily achieve a balanced budget with low taxes for everyone- with no tax refunds. Included is the taxation of churches and church property. By limiting government involvement, hardline Republicans believe that they are given back their rights to do whatever they want without government interference.
    The Democrats believe that it is the responsibility for the government to care for the poor, elderly, handicapped, the environment, disenfranchised, etc. They believe that the government should protect people. They believe that without oversight, people or companies/businesses or organizations will prey on people. They believe that companies often care only for their shareholders and their executive and CEO incomes which are now hundreds or thousands of times more than the incomes of the people that work for them. They don’t believe that the companies care about their customers or the environment which affects their health, but only what they can get from them. They feel used. They also see how companies/businesses get around rules, leaving the consequences to be felt years later (as attested to the many environmental issues that now plague our country and our oceans). They see the exodus of manufacturing jobs as a testimony of greed whereby companies can make more money at the expense of the well-being of others. They also see how education has become a commodity whereby the rich can afford the best education and the poor are limited in their education choices or left with no education at all. This commodification of education continues even today. They believe the government should look out for the bullied. The Democrats see the role of the government to find ways to break social and economic power systems which are often hegemonic.
    The Republicans believe power inequality to be a choice by people who are lazy and abuse the system that they are paying for. If they want what they have, then they need to work for it. Poverty and sickness is a choice and it is not the government’s problem.
    The real war is whether the whole country will share in the caring for the poor. If so, then it is the government’s role to make sure everyone shares the responsibility. Republicans feel they don’t have a choice because they believe the Democrats are forcing them to pay. Under the ideal Republican government system they would have a choice. They can care for people if they want to and the way they want to. Interestingly, this is a mirror of the abortion issue whereby women want a choice of what to do with their bodies vs those that feel that women should not have a choice. Instead, just replace money as the issue. The Republicans would be “Pro-Choice” and the Democrats would be “Pro-Life.” Ironic don’t you think?
    Both sides have merit. Both do not trust each other because both have long lists of examples of experiences of betrayal. Republicans seem to think that writing a check to the States would suffice as a starting point to withdrawal. Democrats think the country as a whole should take responsibility and that the government is a viable medium.
    So, if you love Trump, state the underlying reason why. You love him because he is a deconstructionist who has and will unhook the government from being involved in the lives of the people in the country. He started with the EPA. He is not filling his cabinet because it is not needed. He is cutting back on government workers. He is getting rid of regulation. And if he and the hard line Republicans had their way, they would rid of the ACA immediately regardless of what it will do to people. I suspect that real dismantling will be done after Trump is re-elected and he will not have to worry about dealing with the fallout afterward. Yes, we may have bread lines. We may have another Great Depression. We may have massive suicides. We may have companies that will fall and have massive layoffs. Unemployment may surge to over 30 percent. We may have a massive exodus to other countries because the dollar will not be worth anything and people will be searching for jobs. Then we will have a major war so that it will kick-start our economy again like WWW I and WWW II. Still, we will have a lean government with no debt, we won’t have a problem with illegal immigrants for nobody will want to come into our country, and everyone will have a gun in their house so they can protect themselves from their neighbor who may steal their food.
    Still, it is what we want, right? A dispassionate and uninvolved government? Hopefully, we might have a neighbor who cares.

    • Concur with your analysis, and your projection of the future has merit. I might add that their are many on the religious Right who believe that we are heading for Armagedden and betting they are on the right side (no capital). Let all those chips fall where they may, because GOD is in control. They followed their power leaders, so no need to even read something as analytic as you have written.
      Furthermore, the government in a democracy reflects the social conscience of the constituency, and therefore is responsible for policies that contribute to the common good (an abborent concept to some) or promote unjust accumulation of power and wealth.

  9. Ezekiel 16:49-50 New International Version

    49 “‘Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. 50 They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.

  10. Here is some definitive evidence of what John P writes about today.

    Senators Drafting Secret Health Care Bill Backed by Insurance and Pharma Campaign Money

    The small group of senators secretly crafting a bill to eliminate the Affordable Care Act collected an average of $214,000 in campaign contributions from health insurance and pharmaceutical industries between November 2010 and November 2016 – nearly double the amount received by colleagues excluded from the process, according to a MapLight analysis.

    The group of male senators selected by Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., to craft a bill that would repeal and replace the 2010 Affordable Care Act has scheduled no public hearings about the landmark legislation that would overhaul health care for millions of Americans – leaving almost everyone guessing about the bill’s key components.

    The lack of transparency and public information about the bill makes it impossible to analyze the impact on the insurance and pharmaceutical industries, but indications from stock prices earlier this year showed investors were betting GOP legislation would be a boon for pharmaceutical companies and health insurers.

    Four of the senators working on the bill have received more than $300,000 from the insurance and pharmaceutical industries. Senators excluded from the process received an average of $115,000 from the health insurance and pharmaceutical industries.

    Please go here to see which GOP senators received staggering amounts of money from insurance industries.

    https://maplight.org/story/senators-drafting-secret-health-care-bill-backed-by-insurance-and-pharma-campaign-money/

    • Will, the majority of people who proclaim to follow Jesus would condemn him if he were here today. A single man who has no job, hangs around with the homeless, the sick, the prostitutes, the drug addicts. Lives with 12 other men. Relies on others to provide him with food and shelter.
      I can just hear them. “What a loser. ” “Just a lazy do nothing who wants a handout” “why doesn’t he get a job?” and yes “Libtard”.

  11. Well said

    This is not just an American problem – they are just the loudest.

    This needs to be heard all over the world.

    Let’s live the Real Christian life.

  12. Thank you for your voice. This is so spot on it is scary. Thank you to all those who commented, you all added to John’s post and are appreciated. Peace and Love,

  13. That is right John, Because if YOU love me you will obey me, keep my commands and follow me
    Carrie YOUR cross, Preach the word , do the work of an evangelist.
    Be a good disciple , Teaching other s to deny worldly passions, lust, pride, anything which takes your heart from god.
    Be loyal to none except one , Jesus Christ and by doing this you will preach, teach Truth, Not acceptance by mankind, or love in the pure nature.
    love your neighbor
    Love God with all your heart.
    Dont Condemn , Just Teach Truth.
    God has already condemned all who hate him.
    It s your job to teach the Way, The Truth, The life in Jesus Christ.
    The Bible teachs us to repent, be baptised, follow christ

    • Christopher Freeman, I know you want all to think you are a “good disciple,” who is “teaching others, loyal to none except Jesus Christ… and by doing this you will preach, teach Truth…love your neighbor…Dont Condemn, Just Teach Truth.” But for those of us who have seen behind your veil and heard you insult Obama and Clinton, while praising Trump, there will be ‘no sale’.

    • Edgar, I am 100% confident that Jesus would say all this and more were He to walk this earth again.

      What we do have is the Holy Spirit and She inspires John to write as he does. IOW, John P has the gift of exhortation which he speaks with a prophetic voice.

      • John, refer to the link I posted. The gentleman speaks very profoundly on the issue. Jesus upheld the moral standards of the holy Law, and that Law clearly condemned all sexual immorality outside of the Heterosexual marriage relationship.

        Jesus never said a word about incestuous relationships, bestiality or pedophilia, yet we know His silence on these and other sinful behavior, doesn’t mean that He gave His endorsement to them. In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus affirmed Heterosexuality, Heterosexual intimacy, and of course, Heterosexual marriage! There’s simply no wiggle room.

        • To be frank, Laralynn, I think you need to be educated about LGBT people by listening to our history, our struggles and our stories. That is where you will find the truth about us.

          Ancient people, and the authors of the Bible, understood LGBT people about as much as they understood the stars in the sky. They knew we existed but were ignorant, fearful and held irrational beliefs about us. In a similar way they were prejudiced towards slaves, gentiles and women .

          The Bible is not a user manual that tells human beings how the parts of their bodies operate or function. You go to a physiology book for that. We’ve learned so much about human sexuality and biology that I think it is time religious people started respecting science…. and common sense.

          • Excellent points Beamer! Just as we know that the earth is not flat, that it rotates, that there is a universe out there, so too we have learned that our DNA is unique and different and our sexuality is not a “choice” or a “lifestyle” we adopt.

            I wonder if those who use the Bible as a weapon of division will ever connect the dots they have to ignore to get to their bigotry? Do they even read the research, or do they only trust science when it too agrees with them? How can they not at least have a pause when even religious scholars have come to a different conclusion?

            This certainty that exclusion and condemnation is the way when the Bible and Jesus over and over affirms the love and acceptance of all is just hard to get my head around.

            • Sandi you said, “How can they not at least have a pause when even religious scholars have come to a different conclusion?”

              Yes, this question alone has bothered me all my life. I think there are Christians who have only socialized with people in their own denomination’s culture and they are sheltered by their lack of awareness of other people and other traditions OR there are christians who have bought in– invested in their denomination’s culture and some arrogantly think they are owners of the truth.

          • Beamer, I am well aware of gay people and their struggles. My husband and I have plenty of gay members in our respective families, and so there is not an argument or position that is germane to the LGBT community, that we have not heard or been brought into the discussion .

            I think that you might very well get more understanding and compassion if you stop assuming that just because someone doesn’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle, that that necessarily means that they don’t know what you’re going through.

            Take Care,

            Laralynn

            • So are you saying I don’t deserve your compassion ?

              And what about LGBT people outside your family and LGBT people in your community, in history and in other countries who suffer under harsh and dehumanizing laws?

              • What books have you read? What courses have you taken about LGBT history. ? What LGBT organizations have you spoken with? Ect …

              • Beamer, I think you can read, and therefore you know that I said nothing remotely about you “not deserving my compassion.” As I previously stated, I am very aware of the issues surrounding gay people and their issues, so I’m very informed. Now, I would challenge you and other members of the LGBT community to stop approaching those that disagree with you or the life that you choose to live, with derision, hostility, and anger, and start to realize that the vast majority of the Heterosexual community do not hate you.

                Take Care,

                Laralynn

                • Laralyn I think that was a dodge.

                  If you reach out and talk to LGBT groups and offer to volunteer at their office or walk in a gay pride parade and ask the people you meet about themselves or rub shoulders with LGBT people in a gay bar and watch a drag show and clap in appreciation (because they are awesome!) and afterwards talk to a couple of drag queens about their lives, their hair, their dress or read a gay newspaper or research what is happening in Uganda, Nigeria, Russia or the other countries which treat LGBT people horribly– then in my opinion you have done research.

                  If you do these things I would be more than happy to know that.

                  I don’t mind being wrong.

        • Something I learned as a very basic academic criterion while earning a BA in Biblical and Theological Studies and later with my MA in Church History, no person with critical thinking skills gives credence to an argument from silence.

          Jesus repudiates the Levitical Law. He tells us that all the Law and all the Prophets are summed up in the Two Great Commandments and Paul speaks quite explicitly about those who insist that followers of Jesus must follow the Levitical Laws.

          Tell me, do you keep a kosher household? Are you considered unclean by your family during your monthly courses and do you go to bathe in a special place when they are finished? Do you offer burnt offerings? Do you wear clothing of mixed fibers?

          Unless you adhere to ****all*** of the Holiness Code you cannot apply only a portion of it to a demographic you dislike.

        • Laralynn, you admit that “Jesus upheld the moral standards of the holy Law,” and in your mind, and the minds of those you “follow” or agree with, “that Law clearly condemned all sexual immorality outside of the Heterosexual marriage relationship.” BUT do you condemn all the other immorality that is called out in the Bible? Do you even call out, much less malign all the other sexual immorality in the world? How so?

          You claim some other immoral things Jesus did not mention as no reason not to think he condemned the LGBTQ or others, but Jesus was VERY clear on the subject of divorce. So do you want to take the civil rights or equality of divorced people away? Do you call them out as you do the “immoral” LGBTQ community?

          Surely you know that not all Christians much less clergy agrees with you? The “former seminary professor and church official Jack Rogers argues unequivocally for the ordination of homosexuals and for the extension of full and equal rights in society to all people who are homosexual. Christianity, he observes, has moved through history in the direction of ever-greater openness and inclusiveness. Today’s church is led by many of those who were once cast out: people of color, women, and divorced and remarried people. It is inevitable, he believes, that gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people will one day walk in the same steps as other Christian leaders. Rogers, an evangelical, begins by discussing his own personal change of heart and mind on the issue, a change that has moved him into the middle of this controversy in his own church, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He examines how the church misused the Bible to justify slavery and the denial of rights to women, and links these efforts to efforts today to use biblical texts to deny equal rights to gays and lesbians. He shows how neither the Bible nor the Confessions are opposed to homosexuality and debunks frequently used fundamentalist stereotypes and myths about gays and lesbians. Rogers concludes with his thoughts on how the church can heal itself and move forward.”

          https://www.amazon.com/Jesus-Bible-Homosexuality-Explode-Church/dp/0664229395

          I think the real issue here is that some people do not want to admit that the Bible could be interpreted any way but theirs. That Jesus could only mean what they claim He meant and that God is on their side. But that is NOT the lesson of the Bible. The lesson of the Bible, over and over and over is Love and make sure you are on God’s side.

          While some people think they can pull a few verses out of the thousands in the Bible and justify exclusion, condemnation and even force of law against LGBTQ people, many of us have come to see that as directly in opposition to the message and purpose of following Jesus. And, whether you like that or not, we do so with a totally Biblical based view!

          • Dear Sandi, I actually responded to you in a very thoughtful way, but so far my posting hasn’t been put up. I don’t know, but maybe the administrator of this blog thought it was too insightful.

            The bottom line is the issue of homosexuality will always be a controversial one because people on both sides of the spectrum will always see it differently.

            I am very much at home with how I see the issue, and I think that my spiritual and academic worlds have prepared me well to defend the historical Christian faith, and as soon as I finish the PhD program that I am in, I hope to serve in a capacity wherein I can help others deal with many of these divisive issues, but I’m confident that the truth will always prevail. Have a wonderful evening, Sandi, and be assured of my sincere wish for you that you enjoy a happy and productive life.

            Thanks,

            Laralynn

            • Oh of course you are right Laralynn, based on your comments here, I am certain your first answer was likely just “too insightful” to be allowed here. Sincere thanks for the block innerwebs! I might have fallen right over with the vapors!

              I agree that the issue of homosexuality will always be controversial because one group of people are so “at home” with ranking sin and claiming it wrong they will continue to argue any Biblical love anyone else sees.

              I doubt anyone is going to deny that Christianity has that insular element that will keep you and more like you in your comfort zone on this and other issues for longer than we live.

              It still does not mean there is no Biblical basis for those of us who see God as much bigger, better and more loving than some are capable of seeing Him.

              I hope you manage to serve in a capacity where you can help others too. But I pray that is far, far away from vulnerable young people in the LGBTQ community.

              • Sandi, I join you in that prayer, I don’t want any more people to take their lives or try to because of some peoples narrow vision of God. Thanks,

              • A beautiful retort, from the heart and Spirit. The haters have all the power and are comfortable in their pods of nodders. Their hearts are hard. Sin is something others do. But God is the judge.

              • “I agree that the issue of homosexuality will always be controversial because one group of people are so “at home” with ranking sin and claiming it wrong they will continue to argue any Biblical love anyone else sees.”

                I also agree. The reason it will remain controversial is brcause there are Entirely Too Many people who don’t have the first clue about how to mind their own business and to cease to snoop into the lives of other people.

                ” But I pray that is far, far away from vulnerable young people in the LGBTQ community.”

                I also pray this.

    • Laralyn, we’ve had this conversation many times on this blog and while you can give us your Biblically based view, others here will counter it all.

      I might as well start and do as I always do, recommend books:

      Reasonable and Holy: Engaging Same-Sexuality
      by Tobias Stanislas Haller
      Reasonable and Holy addresses the conflict over homosexuality within the Anglican tradition, demonstrating that the church is able to provide for and support faithful and loving relationships between persons of the same sex, not as a departure from that tradition, but as a reasonable extension of it. It offers a carefully argued, but accessible means of engagement with Scripture, the Jewish and Christian traditions, and the use of reason in dealing with the experience and lives of fellow- Christians. Unlike most reflections on the topic of homosexuality, Reasonable and Holy examines same-sex relationships through the lens of the traditional teaching on the ends or goods of marriage: procreation, union, the upbuilding of society, the symbolic representation of Christ and the Church, and the now often unmentioned remedy for fornication. Throughout, it responds to objections based on reason, tradition and Scripture. Based on a series of popular blog posts, it includes a number of independent, but related resources in the form of side-bars and single-page expansions of particular themes, suitable for reproduction as handouts.

      God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships
      by Matthew Vines
 As a young Christian man, Matthew Vines harbored the same basic hopes of most young people: to some-day share his life with someone, to build a family of his own, to give and receive love. But when he realized he was gay, those hopes were called into question. The Bible, he’d been taught, condemned gay relationships.

      Feeling the tension between his understanding of the Bible and the reality of his same-sex orientation, Vines devoted years of intensive research into what the Bible says about homosexuality. With care and precision, Vines asked questions such as:

      • Do biblical teachings on the marriage covenant preclude same-sex marriage or not?
      • How should we apply the teachings of Jesus to the gay debate?
      • Can celibacy be a calling when it is mandated, not chosen?
      • What did Paul have in mind when he warned against same-sex relations?

      Unique in its affirmation of both an orthodox faith and sexual diversity, God and the Gay Christian has sparked heated debate, sincere soul search­ing, and widespread cultural change on the issue of what it means to be a faithful gay Christian.

      Same-Sex Unions in Premodern Europe
      by John Boswell
      Both highly praised and intensely controversial, this brilliant book produces dramatic evidence that at one time the Catholic and Eastern Orthodox churches not only sanctioned unions between partners of the same sex, but sanctified them–in ceremonies strikingly similar to heterosexual marriage ceremonies.

      Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality: Gay People in Western Europe from the Beginning of the Christian Era to the Fourteenth Century
      by John Boswell
      John Boswell’s National Book Award–winning study of the history of attitudes toward homosexuality in the early Christian West was a groundbreaking work that challenged preconceptions about the Church’s past relationship to its gay members—among them priests, bishops, and even saints—when it was first published thirty-five years ago. The historical breadth of Boswell’s research (from the Greeks to Aquinas) and the variety of sources consulted make this one of the most extensive treatments of any single aspect of Western social history.

      Now in this thirty-fifth anniversary edition with a new foreword by leading queer and religious studies scholar Mark D. Jordan, Christianity, Social Tolerance, and Homosexuality is still fiercely relevant. This landmark book helped form the disciplines of gay and gender studies, and it continues to illuminate the origins and operations of intolerance as a social force.

      Gay Unions:In the light of Scripture, Tradition and Reason.
      Rev. Gray Temple (Jr.)
      Gray Temple presents the argument for the sacramental equality of gay and lesbian couples, which is to say they are entitled to full participation in the sacraments, including Marriage. Gray Temple bases his discussion on the Anglican concept of discerning the will of God through Scripture, Tradition, and Reason. In the argument from Scripture, Gray Temple’s basic premise is that we cannot presume to know what the Bible says to us if we do not understand what the biblical writers thought they were saying. He discusses the ways in which the concept of sexuality in the minds of biblical writers was very different than ours. He carefully analyzes the most often-cited biblical passages assumed to prohibit homosexual activity and shows why they are not saying what we think they are saying. In the argument from Tradition, Gray analyzes the roots of various traditions coming to the conclusion that traditions generally evolve to maintain privilege. Tradition has been used, for example to bar women from ordination. We are veering dangerously away from the Anglican tradition of the via media. In the argument from Reason, he presents answers to assumptions about homosexuality both from an impassioned liberal stance and from a stance designed to lead to a dialogue engaging the hopes and fears of the conservative and liberal sides.

      As a liberal charismatic who prayerfully came to the conclusion that his homophobia was not a stance favored by God, Temple is in a unique position to take on this topic. Gray Temple deeply understands the ethos of conservatism and his understanding of that ethos provokes him to engage conservative arguments with rigor and sympathy.

Gay and Christian? Yes!
      by Rev. William H. Carey
      Can a person be Gay and Christian? Many churches say no. Many quote Bible passages that make it appear that God condemns homosexuality. But if we take a closer look, reading the scripture in the original Hebrew and Greek, we discover that God never condemned homosexuality, and that same-sex marriage existed in Bible times.

      Hounded by God: A Gay Man’s Journey to Self-Acceptance, Love , and Relationship, by Joseph Gentilini
      is based on years of journals that this spiritual gay man kept.  It chronicles his coming out experiences, dealings with family and friends,  his commitment to his partner, Leo Radel, and, most importantly, his relationship with God.

      Confessions of a Gay Married Priest: A Spiritual Journey by Maurice Monette,
      who was a member of a religious order for 30 years, and has been married to his partner for 24 years.  The book is an autobiography which chronicles the high points and low points of the spiritual road that Monette trod.  The book has been praised by several high-profile Catholic leaders.

      Bible, Gender, Sexuality: Reframing the Church’s Debate on Same-Sex Relationships by James V. Brownson

      This thought-provoking book by James Brownson develops a broad, cross-cultural sexual ethic from Scripture, locates current debates over homosexuality in that wider context, and explores why the Bible speaks the way it does about same-sex relationships.

      Fairly presenting both sides in this polarized debate — “traditional” and “revisionist” — Brownson conscientiously analyzes all of the pertinent biblical texts and helpfully identifies “stuck points” in the ongoing debate. In the process, he explores key concepts that inform our understanding of the biblical texts, including patriarchy, complementarity, purity and impurity, honor and shame. Central to his argument is the need to uncover the moral logic behind the text.

      Written in order to serve and inform the ongoing debate in many denominations over the questions of homosexuality, Brownson’s in-depth study will prove a useful resource for Christians who want to form a considered opinion on this important issue.

      • Gloriamarie, thanks for sharing your resources. On the subject of homosexuality, I am forevermore clear that God purposely created Male and Female, gave them the comparable, complementary and corresponding body parts for them to enjoy the “One Flesh” concept through sexual oneness that can come only through that God ordained relationship.

        Jesus gives the death blow to any other relationships in Matthew 19:4-6:

        And He answered and said to them, “Have you not read that He who made them at the beginning ‘made them male and female,’ and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So then, they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let not man separate.”

        Jesus goes all the way back to Creation, and showcases God’s purpose for mankind as it relates to human relationships. Notice, God the Father and God the Son both affirmed:

        Heterosexuality
        Heterosexual intimacy
        Heterosexual marriage

        And it is clear that God affirmed that union alone when Jesus said, ” What God Has Put Together, Let No One Put Assunder!”

        I refer you to the world’s best and most prolific scholar and theologian, Dr. Robert Gagnon’s website. He is without question the world’s most learned scholar on human sexuality, and very few scholars, especially gay revisionists, will even debate him on the subject.

        http://www.robgagnon.net

        Thanks, Gloriamarie!

        • Laralyn, when I read something such as you have written above I really find myself wondering exactly how deep in the closet that person is.

          The fact of the matter is that sexual orientation occurs in the womb. It is a matter of how God chooses to create people.

          If we assert that God doesn’t make mistakes, if we assert God is Love, if we assert that God creates all people as unique individuals called to a unique vocation, then it stands to reason that God chooses to create some people to be homosexuals because it delights God to create them so.

    • Laralynn. thanks for the link. I had read it before. To me, the whole bible, from Genesis to Revelation points to the superiority of God’s design for human sexuality. I believe that Jesus had plenty to say about Human Sexuality. After all, Jesus created Man & Woman, and he designated them to Marry (after they left their parents, who also happened to be Man & Woman). Jesus said that fornication is wrong. Jesus said that adultery is wrong. Those two commandments alone, exclude homosexual coupling as an option for God’s Children. Jesus supported Marriage for his Children. He began his Ministry at a wedding between a Man & Woman. A joyous occasion, the wine flowed, as Jesus Celebrated his creation –Man & Woman!

      I totally get that Progressive Christians disagree with that understanding. They don’t believe that Jesus spoke the whole bible, not just the ‘Red Letters’. And I respect their right to believe what they wish.

      However, it begs the question, what do Progressive Christians consider to be sexually immoral, and where do PCs go to to discern sexual immorality? Do they go to the bible? [I know they believe that sex out of wedlock is morally acceptable. ]

        • It was people like you and Leslie M. that made me want to take my life at 15. I hung around to be an aggravation…

          I’m 60 now. It took me many years to get that Jesus loves me, and people like me, also. Now I’m here to be your blessing.

          He’s changed me, He can change you also.

          • And I for one am glad you didn’t end your life because we would all be the poorer. Keep aggravating. Peace and Love,

          • Susan I am glad you are here to tell your story. Mine is similar.

            At 15 I realized people hated me and I was facing a lonely life of hiding from hateful dangerous people. I spent two weeks planning and obsessing with how to kill myself because I was told I am a freak and an aberration.

            A couple of things happened to convince me to stay and give life a chance. One of the reasons was my mom saying ” Homosexuals are people too and they need to be left alone to live their lives” – after we watched a new report on NBC about a protest led by Anita Bryant condemning gay people.

            My mom had common sense

            • That one statement voiced by my mom during a time of desperation, saved me, even though she didn’t say it to me directly she said it out loud, for people, who I understood in my 15 year old mind, were like me.

              I had my first girl crush when I was 12 years old it only took me less than 3 years to want to end my life– directly because of the hostile world around me.

            • And I am glad that both of you are here. The world would be a little dimmer without the two of you. Beamer, I hope you thank your mom. Peace and Love,

          • As one Susan to another, I’m glad that you’ve weathered the storm to be here now. I’m glad you’re blessing us with your thoughts and your presence!

        • Laralynn…. I’m a big ‘fan’ of Dr Robert Gagnon… he is a man of faith. Full of courage, he uses his God-given brilliance for God’s Kingdom.

          An equally sincere truth warrior is professor Dr Peter Jones, Director of Truth-x-Change. (Escondido, CA) http://www.truthxchange.com One of my favorite books he wrote, which I always keep nearby is, ‘Gospel Truth / Pagan Lies’. (I held pagan beliefs for 25+ years, before I got saved by Jesus).

          His new DVD teaching series ‘Gay Identity’ is a discourse on homosexuality that Pastors need that is not demonizing but deeply theological.

          • Hello leslie m.

            I am very connected to the truthxchange ministry due to having done my Masters of Theology with a couple of the people on their staff. They are all wonderful men and women who love the Lord and others.

            Thanks for Sharing,

            Laralynn

      • leslie m– First, few ‘Progressive Christians’ would ever dream of speaking for anyone other than themselves without the express approval of those they claim to represent; what follows are my own views and may or may not represent the thinking of others who identify as ‘Progressive’.

        I want to make that very clear– I will not speak for others without their consent. Because that is at the heart of sexual immorality, isn’t it? Consent? Few these days would say that rape isn’t immoral, yet in the OT, rape wasn’t rape anymore if the rapist married the girl. The girl was now ‘worthless’ to her father because she was no longer a virgin. There went the cows, sheep or goats he would have gotten when he sold her into marriage (with or without her consent). Would you consider a man who sold his daughter (at ANY price) moral? The Bible says he is. Would you force your daughter to marry her rapist? After all, the Bible tells you to…

        Do you see where this is headed leslie? In the OT, a woman did not have the right of consent, period. Or any other rights for that matter. Women were property, not people. Is that the world you want today? I don’t want that world and millions of other women don’t either; including, I would imagine, most of the women in your church when it came right down to it.

        So where do I look for how to discern sexual immorality? I look at consent. Was un-coerced consent given? Was the person able to freely give such consent? (i.e., where they mature enough, not under the influence of a mind/mood altering substance, etc.) Where I do NOT look is at a purity culture where a women’s value is determined by whether or not her hymen is intact. And I believe it is immoral (and rather creepy) for me to have ANY concern about what consenting *adults* do in private. That is being obsessed with sex, or as Paul put it, “burning with lust”.

        Outside of rape and pedophilia (because consent), the only person’s sexual morality I need to be concerned about is my own.

        • A. Nonymous. — God never condoned the practice that you mentioned above. There are lots of horrible practices in the bible, but that doesnt mean God approves . What God teaches & approves of are easily separated from what Man does and what Man says.

          ‘Consent’ is NOT at the heart of what is immoral or moral.

          There are (too many to mention) ways to be sexually immoral with two that ‘consent’. Also, what is ‘consent’? [That can very easily be a gray area for some people.] Sadism and Masochism is immoral, regardless of consent.

          Progressives make plain their beliefs. I don’t need their permission to talk about this topic. Just as Pastor John doesn’t need my permission to talk about evangelical Christians. [Shutting down opposing voices is destructive.]

        • “Outside of rape and pedophilia (because consent), the only person’s sexual morality I need to be concerned about is my own.”

          A.Nonymous, very well said. I especially like it that you challenged leslie m over-generalization of progressives. She doesn’t get to speak for me.

          There are a lot of “Christians” out there who don’t believe rape ever occurs in marriage because once a woman marries, she loses ownership of her own body, I know this because I was told this by many Christians, including women, after my husband raped me after I told him I didn’t feel well enough for sex that evening. I was actually ill.

          I’ve heard any number of Christians say that chastity is a Christian virtue. If that is so, what is chaste about peering into the sex lives of other people?

          Voyeurism is an ugly thing in which to participate.

      • Laralynn (and leslie m), while I note your clear-eyed certainty, I still have to ask; what if you are wrong? Sure, maybe, blaming “the world’s best and most prolific scholar and theologian” for your position will satisfy God when you are called to explain your division instead of love, but what if that is not enough? Certainty can be comforting, but it can also be proved wrong or be clung to in error.

        My understanding of the Bible means that I have to stand before God and explain that my belief in the love He commanded would not let me condemn, punish or exclude the LGBTQ children of God. Not in churches, not in law, not in life.

        I do not dispute that God purposely created Male and Female, and allowed incest till the whole started to branch out a bit. I do not dispute that God allowed slavery, concubines, mobs to stone sinners, sex with slaves, child brides to old men, treating women as chattel, gave credence to racism, misogyny, sacrificing innocent animals, and other things we find abhorrent today. BECAUSE WE LEARNED THINGS.

        I think maybe the reason we have “free will” is to learn and to decide whether to love and serve God or not. If the Bible lays the foundation for learning and revelations to come, why can it not do so for the LGBTQ as it did for all that other stuff I mentioned?

        Why can the verses used to persecute the LGBTQ community of people the same as the rest of us not be seen as even possibly being about promiscuity, force, engaging in sex unnatural to you, not to mankind etc? In other words, you ignore thousands of verses about love, acceptance, and duty to dwell on a few? WHY?

        Jesus gave a MUCH bigger “death blow” to divorce in the verses you conveniently left out of Matthew 19. Let’s go past verse 6 shall we?

        7 “Why then,” they asked, “did Moses command that a man give his wife a certificate of divorce and send her away?”

        8 Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”

        10 The disciples said to him, “If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry.”

        11 Jesus replied, “Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. 12 For there are eunuchs who were born that way, and there are eunuchs who have been made eunuchs by others—and there are those who choose to live like eunuchs for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it.” Maybe you should ponder accepting that you do not know all you need to know before condemning anyone?

        Since the Bible clearly has widows and widowers who can remarry and not just for procreation, is it possible you do not possess all knowledge of our sexuality or the “purpose” of marriage? What if a woman or man cannot have children?
        Was that Biblical grounds for divorce?

        You know what else God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit “affirmed?” Ever heard of love and acceptance instead of hate and rejection?

        I get you are devoted to Gagnon but he is NOT “without question the world’s most learned scholar on human sexuality,” and whether people want to debate someone so pedantic reveals nothing of the validity of his point.

        And leslie m>/b>, of course we do not believe “that Jesus spoke the whole bible,” because the Bible clearly tells us who wrote most of the Books and to my knowledge none is attributed to Jesus. Hence the ‘Red Letters’ for what Jesus is remembered to have said. I am truly sorry if you believe he was followed by a scribe.

        Since you want to know, Progressive Christians consider adultery, promiscuity, cruelty, force, or abuse in any sexual manner to be immoral. Even the Bible does not do that but we can infer Jesus was not down with all that went on.

        I am not sure where you get the lie that we “believe that sex out of wedlock is morally acceptable,” because we do not. Maybe you are conflating “morally acceptable” with us not publicly shaming, condemning and punishing them for it?

        • sandi. –I’m not devoted to Gagnon. I do like him though. I am devoted to Jesus.

          LGBTQ are not condemned, excluded or shamed in the bible, any more / less than anyone else.

          All are welcome to accept Jesus’ gift of Salvation, by faith , thru grace. Everyone is free to choose, Man’s way, or God’s way. The way of Jesus, or the way of Satan.

          • Clever, leslie m. But that was is not the issue. Where in your devotion to Jesus can you justify ranking sin or denying LGBTQ people the same civil rights as the rest of God’s children enjoy because of that ranking of sin?

            While you say that the “LGBTQ are not condemned, excluded or shamed in the bible, any more / less than anyone else.” You know that is not true of the Christian Right.

            Sure, “All are welcome to accept Jesus’ gift of Salvation, by faith , thru grace. Everyone is free to choose, Man’s way, or God’s way. The way of Jesus, or the way of Satan.” But do you consider homosexual marriage to be “the way of Satan?” Is that how you see this “choice” you think exists for them?

            • sandi. i only go by what the bible says. not what a pastor says, or any church.

              It’s not even possible to change the biblical definition of Marriage. I think Civil Unions offer the necessary legal protections for Gays & Lesbians.

              There is only one God-given right. ‘The right to become a Child of God.’ Choose God the Father, or –stay w/ Satan.

              4% of Gay men & 6% of Lesbians have a marriage license from their State.

              (50-70% of heterosexuals are married.)

              • leslie m, thank you for not choking on allowing civil unions, I truly appreciate that.

                But in all honesty, between all the denominations, sects and independent churches, it is more than “possible to change the biblical definition” of most anything in there. That is a big part of the problems we are all arguing.

        • Dear Sandi:

          Thanks for your response to my posting. I am sure that I can be wrong about a lot of things in life as no human being knows everything, including you. But on the subject of human sexuality and God’s stated purpose and design of the human anatomy, I am 1000% sure that God got it right when He created “Male and Female”.

          When you cited that Jesus was speaking concerning Divorce in the Matthew 19 passage, you actually bolstered my point even more. Yes, Jesus condemned the culture’s “No-Fault” divorce practice……..and in condemning it, He further cemented what marriage is and who it is to be between.

          According to Jesus, only “Heterosexual married persons” can be married, and only Heterosexual married persons can be divorce, as that is the only relationship that God the Father and God the Son recognizes in the first place (What God has joined together, etc.)

          As to Jesus speaking further in the chapter, His speaking about “eunuchs” doesn’t mean that He was speaking about homosexuals, as the word doesn’t mean homosexual.

          I am currently a PhD student at the University of Manchester, and have recently worked on an exegesis assignment on this subject, so I know it VERY WELL.

          In context, this verse cannot be used to support the idea of people being born as homosexuals because of how the term eunuch is used in its three instances, as well as its overall context.  First of all, Jesus is speaking about marriage and divorce, Matthew 19:3-10, not about homosexuality.  Remember, marriage was a social expectation in the Jewish culture.  Therefore, we must look at this in the context of biblical marriage which would necessitate a denial of homosexuality.

          Consider also that the word “eunuch” is used three times in the verse, which suggests three kinds of men who are given to not marry.  The first two usages were already familiar to the disciples.  Jesus mentions those who are eunuchs from birth; that is, they were either incapable of marriage (i.e., physical deformity which prohibited having children) or have no desire to marry.  The second is speaking of physical castration.  Such eunuchs were often used in guarding harems.  The third is the new category: those who choose to be single “for the kingdom of God.”  In both cases there is not even a suggestion that people are born with homosexual orientation. If anything, the implication is to not be involved in marriage and sexual activity, which would negate homosexuality as an option.

          Finally, you must learn to not accuse people of being “unloving” or being “unchristian” simply because they see this matter through different lens. While I certainly do not speak for leslie m, I saw nothing in what she wrote that would constitute hate of an unloving spirit.

          To believe that the only way that a person can show love and compassion for another, is by believing what they believe or by agreeing with them, is very juvenile and quite immature.

          My husband and I have gay relatives on both sides of our families, we very often interact with them, go to parties with them, celebrate with them, cry with them, go to dinner with them, and they all know our positions, respect our positions, and we enjoy a very loving and fruitful relationship with all of them.

          We simply do not believe that homosexual is what God intended when He created male and female. In closing, I actually came across a wonderful letter that a loving Christian wrote, and I want to post the link here, as I believe that it speaks very truthfully concerning this issue. Sandi, I wish you well and much happiness in your life.

          https://truthfortheworld.org/blog/2014/10/dear-homosexual

          Sincerely,

          Laralynn

          • Laralynn, for someone who claims ” I know it VERY WELL,” you certainly managed to skip right over my entire point.

            The question is not whether God meant people to be LGBTQ. People ARE LGBTQ and it is ludicrous to claim it is a “lifestyle choice” or a practice of sin since that is the way God made them. It is not like in the days of ignorance when it was considered a perversion. We now know better. God helped us to know better.
            Do you think the physically and mentally handicapped are demon possessed too?

            At any rate, I am not the one you will have to answer to for your feelings against equal rights for one sinner over other sinners Jesus was VERY specific and intentional in speaking of. You can also take up that whole “inerrant and infallible” Word of God cover to cover with the One who will know. Good luck with that.

            • Dear Sandi:

              I addressed the issues you raised. I’ve already stated that I in no way believe, and there is nothing in the holy Scriptures, that teaches that “God create people gay” as you assert.

              I’m not sure what your question concerning handicapped persons has to do with what we were discussing, but I said nowhere about homosexuals or handicapped persons being “demon possessed”.

              The key in meaningful dialog is for both sides to be honest and not ascribe to the other something that was not intended or conveyed.

              Anger will cause one to do exactly that unfortunately. Take care, Sandi, and I wish you well and much happiness.

              Laralynn
              There is nothing factual about that statement.

              • “I’ve already stated that I in no way believe, and there is nothing in the holy Scriptures, that teaches that “God create people gay” as you assert.”

                hmmm. I admit i struggle with this statement. Are you seriously asserting that if its not in Scripture, it can’t be true? Therefore, there is no such thing as mental illness, just “demon possession?”

                I would be very careful with such statements. Don’t say its different, please. because it isn’t.

                • “I’ve already stated that I in no way believe, and there is nothing in the holy Scriptures, that teaches that “God create people gay” as you assert.”

                  Do you believe God creates each person as a unique individual? Do you believe God does not err?

                  If you answer “yes” to those questions, then you have to admit to the logic that people are born gay since we now know that sexual preference is formed in utereo.

                  Of course, you might be clinging to the lie that people choose homosexuality.

          • As well Laralyn I think there is logic to the complimentary design of a man and a woman, however it does not solve the position LGBT find themselves in.

            And if you are going to parties with relatives who are gay and it is fruitful then, in my mind, it doesn’t matter that they gay, who they love or who they marry. They are accepted by you so I am not convinced that your position is tenable.

            In the world we live in LGBT have been brought from the fringes to the mainstream and that inclusion, in my opinion, is the redemptive work of Christ. LGBT people can marry, be faithful and fruitful.

          • You are not homosexual, I’d say then, because you do not have a personal frame of reference, your “research” will be forever incomplete and biased.

            That’s why I don’t attempt to question or disprove that you, being heterosexual, we’re born that way.

            I’ll just take your word that you know about being heterosexual.

        • Dear Sandi:

          There is one more thing that I need to address, which is very common whenever this topic comes up, and that is whether the apostle Paul’s words are less than or equal to the words of Christ.

          The apostles epistles are a part of the complete Canon of Scripture, thus they are every bit as authoritative as the words of Christ Himself. Why is that? because the true author of the Holy Scripture is the Holy Spirit Himself, not human beings.

          “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness,  that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

          For we did not follow cunningly devised fables when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 For He received from God the Father honor and glory when such a voice came to Him from the Excellent Glory: “This is My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 18 And we heard this voice which came from heaven when we were with Him on the holy mountain.
          “And so we have the prophetic word confirmed, which you do well to heed as a light that shines in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts;  knowing this first, that no prophecy of Scripture is of any private interpretation, for prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit.” (2 Peter 1:16-21)

          In both passages of Scripture, we see the Holy Spirit’s work and action as it relates directly to the origin of the Holy Word of God. Human beings were simply tools in the divine hand and plan of God.

          So when I hear people say, “But Jesus never said that” or “That’s just Paul’s saying”, I immediately know that they do not understand what the Spirit has done.

          Thanks Again!

          • I get what you are saying Laralyn, Paul was inspired to speak by the Holy Spirit yet he wasn’t speaking to me or those in 2017, but to those he wrote letters to or to the people around him and the culture they lived in.

            I think this is true of all scripture. Paul and David would disagree on quite a few things because of the culture they lived in. Don’t you think ?

          • Laralynn. what a gift we have been given. The Word. All of it. [It’s perfect as it is.]

            What is the outcome for those that make a decision not to believe all of God’s Word?

            Sooner [or later], it does them in. Because the ‘mental gymnastics’ that it takes to rearrange the Word, take out some, leave in some, change some, is not sustainable.

            • Leslie M. (and Laralynn) I’ve been following along here with interest.

              I am Christian above all else. The Spirit of Christ dwells in me; and both of you can accept or reject that, it’s neither here nor there with me.

              In flesh, I am many things, including being gay. It just is; and not by choice. And again, whether you accept or reject that is inconsequential.

              I encourage all, gay and straight, to cease the clamor in their lives and risk putting out their heart and hand to Christ. I am a whole-Christ Follower, not a brass ring seeker. I don’t believe in a cross-objectifying, utilitarian faith. I believe in not only His atonement and justification for sin and resurrection, but also His ministry on how to live as kingdom people here and now.

              My prayer is, that the Holy Spirit speaks through me, to those I meet and they too, come to know His light and peace, as I now know. And I can only then trust that the Spirit will speak into each risk-takers heart what He wants them to know about many things, including the function of their flesh; as He has spoken to me.

              When I had a recommitment of my faith some years ago, I committed my whole heart and body to Him. I declared before Him that I would live to Him, for whatever years I had remaining. He became my betrothed. And yes, I have been tested greatly. That is the path we have worked out together, Him and me alone. And I truly know this is the way it works for everyone.

              I find this whole discussion of flesh, gay, straight, etal laborious and tedious. This comparing scripture, interpretations, resources, research, opinions. The focus is surely in the wrong place. The intent of the Bible, in it’s entirety, is to move one into relationship with God through a belief in Christ. Then it’s hands-off. The Spirit then speaks to each individually His truth to their lives.

              To the saved and unsaved, it is not for you and I to be stinky detractors but fragrant. We are not to be judges but greeters, inviters and welcomers and empathizers in the best sense of the Word. Witnesses to His wonders.

              Everybody, including me, needs to stick to their jobs, their assigned positions sans judgment; and let Him do his work.

              • Hooray, this little old straight lady says You are spot on. Thank you, I am really tired of the judgments. I don’t understand why people can’t just love one another. I don’t care a fig about what sex your partner is, what I care about is do you love each other, do you care for each other and do you make the world around better with each other. That is all we should be concerned about. I have enough trouble caring for my own soul, I figure you get to care for your own. Peace and Love,

              • Susan, would to God in Heaven that is how it all worked!

                I appreciate your vision and your faith journey. Mine has called me to stand in the breach. I am a middle-class, white, straight, happily married, mother of two grown children -neither of whom is LGBTQ. But I have seen the harm, the hurt, the damage that those who profess the faith of leslie m and Laralynn has inflicted on the people in that community I do know and love.

                Just as the Bible was used to justify slavery, women as chattel, children as workers, black people as inferior, immigrants and refugees as enemies and yes the LGBTQ children of God as perversions, we must all stand and rebuke that use; each in our own way, but we must stand.

              • Susan wrote “My prayer is, that the Holy Spirit speaks through me, to those I meet and they too, come to know His light and peace, as I now know. And I can only then trust that the Spirit will speak into each risk-takers heart what He wants them to know about many things, including the function of their flesh; as He has spoken to me.”

                Thank you. That is wonderful.

                Here is something I will never understand about the homophobes (who are more than likely gay themselves and terrified at the idea) is this.

                Considering how miserable they think it is to be gay, considering how miserable they try to make people feel, considering the miserable things gay people suffer in other countries, why on earth do they persist to insist that people choose to be gay?

                Who would willingly choose to be abused, imprisoned, murdered?

                If we claim that God is love and doesn’t make mistakes and if claim that God creates each person as a unique individual, then it is only reasonable to accept that God chooses to create some people gay and some people straight.

  14. Dear John Pavlovitz,
    I recently read your impassioned Huffington Post article “White, Conservative, Christians Friends: I Wish You Were Really Pro-life,” in which you argued that conservatives — in particular, those who reluctantly vote for Donald Trump because of his pro-life position — are not acting in good conscience. As you say: “You see, it’s not that you’re really pro-life, you’re pro-straight, white, Christian fetuses.”
    Since your view of pro-life Christians isn’t novel among progressives, I’d like to briefly share my own experience.
    As an undergraduate college student at a diverse secular university, I have a lot of good friends who are not straight, not white, not Christian or not from America — and many who aren’t pro-life. And I wouldn’t have it any other way, because I know that these are real people — who have things that real people tend to have, like pasts, futures, loves, emotions, kindness, generosity and sincere beliefs. I know this because I have met them — they are my friends.
    The primary difference between most conservative reluctant-Trump-supporters, conservative Trump-opponents, and liberals does not lie primarily in heart or caring, but in factual belief.
    I also know that, for the most part, my Christian-conservative-pro-life friends, acquaintances, colleagues, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family (some of whom are planning to vote for Trump, and some of whom most definitely aren’t) are kind, loving, helpful and generous people who hold their beliefs sincerely, who possess and express genuine love for people of those outsider groups you described in your article. I disagree with most of them on some things, but this much I know.
    Because I know this, I know that the primary difference between most conservative reluctant-Trump-supporters, conservative Trump-opponents, and liberals does not lie primarily in heart or caring, but in factual belief — differences of opinion on things like: effective public policy, the definition of justice, unintended consequences, the situation in Asia Minor, the existence of a hell, the question of whether a few million unborn lives (the majority of them non-white, by the way) is a fair price to pay to keep Trump out of the White House — things like that. Things real human people are prone to disagree on.
    You, on the other hand, write as though you don’t know any conservative Christians (white or otherwise). If you do, you should direct your open letters to them (real people) not storybook villains — a sorry bunch of Bible-thumping, racist, xenophobic, Muslim-hating misogynists who bully homosexuals and, apparently, even ridicule obese people. Liberals like you often wonder why the conservative retrogrades of America never respond to your impeccable logic and luminous reasoning. They never respond because you refuse dialogue with them, preferring to direct your invectives at demons of your own imagination.
    Of course, storybook villains do exist. If one of them ever reads your article, I sincerely hope they will take it to heart, acknowledge their hypocrisy and change their ways. I hope they will become genuinely pro-life, put aside their prejudice and hatred, their absurd, ignorant tribalism, and fight to save the lives of everyone — starting with the most vulnerable.
    And I wish you would do the same.
    With love,
    A fellow Real Person
     
    Sid Cynewulf

    • Sid Cynewulf, the pseudonym of some fellow real person, Odd how you berate John P’s certainty as you relate your own…

      I am not aware that John P has said that any differences between Trump supporters and liberals “lie primarily in heart or caring,” so that straw-man will not hunt.

      Since you know them so well, do your “Christian-conservative-pro-life friends, acquaintances, colleagues, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and family” support LGBTQ equality in marriage and all civil rights including commerce in their “genuine love for people of those outsider groups?”

      Do these “kind, loving, helpful and generous people” only express their support for Trump in terms of “differences of opinion on things like: effective public policy, the definition of justice, unintended consequences, the situation in Asia Minor, the existence of a hell?”

      How is it that these conservative people you know so well, who ask “whether a few million unborn lives (the majority of them non-white, by the way) is a fair price to pay” actually believe that Trump can or will make women incubate their fetus by force of law because they want that control over women? Can you not see this is enabling abortion every day that dawns?

      Funny thing is, I have met far more conservative Christians who screech about us being “baby killers” and “libtards” who only seek “equal outcomes” and support the “lazy blacks, lazy immigrants, homo and deviant” in our nation. Clearly I need your better class of Christian conservatives to talk to. Maybe you could ask some of them to come here, now that you know we are here.

      The reality here is that John P is not aiming his words at any “storybook villains” because “Bible-thumping, racist, xenophobic, Muslim-hating misogynists who bully homosexuals” exist and want to control the government against those very threats to their paradigm.

      John P never has to “wonder why the conservative retrogrades of America never respond” because they do. Often. And what they lack in intelligence, they more than make up for in cruelty and hate. NO ONE wants to dialogue with them, because that is not what they want either.

      They are the ones who see demons. The fact that you think such people would ever read his article, and “take it to heart, acknowledge their hypocrisy and change their ways” is laughable because we all know that you know better.

      What you fail to acknowledge is that John P and liberal Christians are “genuinely pro-life,” we DO “fight to save the lives of everyone.” Starting with the comprehensive sex education that informs young people, adding prophylactics, the morning after pill, sterilization, and social support systems to empower women to have, raise, educate and find opportunity for the “most vulnerable.” What do you do? (Besides try to force incubation?)

      ~An actual real person, using her real name

    • Would Hillary Clinton have pulled out of the Paris Climate Accords?
      Would Hillary Clinton have greatly accelerated deportations of illegal aliens?
      Would Hillary Clinton have attempted to ban Muslims from entering this country?
      Would Hillary Clinton have appointed Chelsea Clinton to an important position in the White House?
      Would Hillary Clinton have encouraged foreign diplomats to pay inflated prices for her products?
      Would Hillary Clinton have invited Rodrigo Duterte, the thuggish President of the Philippines, to the White House?
      Would Hillary Clinton have terminated the practice of celebrating Ramadan at the White House?
      Would Hillary Clinton have lied about the number of people attending her inauguration?
      Would Hillary Clinton have fired the FBI director?
      Would Hillary Clinton have accepted a call from the President of Taiwan?
      Would Hillary Clinton have had her subordinates secretly meet with the Russian government before her inauguration?
      Would Hillary Clinton have given highly classified intelligence information to the Russians?
      Would Hillary Clinton have worked to repeal Obamacare?
      Would Hillary Clinton have attacked NAFTA?
      Would Hillary Clinton have refused to shake Angela Merkel’s hand?
      Would Hillary Clinton have praised Vladimir Putin as a ‘strong leader’?
      Would Hillary Clinton have lied about how many people voted for her?
      Would Hillary Clinton have lied about being bugged by the Obama Administration?
      Would Hillary Clinton have refused to endorse Article 5 of the NATO treaty?
      Would Hillary Clinton have called climate change a hoax?
      Would Hillary Clinton have appointed a conservative to the Supreme Court?
      Would Hillary Clinton have refused to attend the White House Correspondents’ Dinner?
      Would Hillary Clinton have appointed a racist to be the Attorney General?
      Would Hillary Clinton have appointed 12 rich white men, 1 black, and 2 women to her cabinet?
      Would Hillary Clinton have appointed climate change deniers to be Secretary of Energy and to head the EPA?
      Would Hillary Clinton have gutted the Dodd-Frank Act?
      Would Hillary Clinton have cut funding for abortion advice in foreign aid?
      Would Hillary Clinton have threatened the city of Chicago with martial law?
      Would Hillary Clinton have restored the Keystone XL pipeline project?
      Would Hillary Clinton have removed the climate change pages from the EPA website?
      Would Hillary Clinton have required all EPA scientific research to be approved by political appointees?
      Would Hillary Clinton have insisted that three million illegal votes were cast in the 2016 election?
      Would Hillary Clinton have set in motion plans to build a wall along the border with Mexico?
      Would Hillary Clinton have required the DHS to publish weekly lists of crimes committed by immigrants?
      Would Hillary Clinton have planned to reinstate the “black sites” used by the CIA before Obama?
      Would Hillary Clinton have endorsed the use of torture in interrogating suspected terrorists?
      Would Hillary Clinton have required her cabinet members to lavish effusive praise on her?
      Would Hillary Clinton have encouraged intelligence chiefs to undermine an official investigation?
      Would Hillary Clinton have required her cabinet members to refuse to give information to Congress?
      Would Hillary Clinton have accused London’s mayor of being indifferent to terrorism?
      Would Hillary Clinton have abandoned an ally like Qatar, which hosts an American airbase?
      Would Hillary Clinton have claimed that she knew more about ISIS than the US military?
      Would Hillary Clinton have praised Rodrigo Duterte for killing thousands of suspected drug dealers?
      Would Hillary Clinton have released a budget with a $2 billion math error?
      Would Hillary Clinton have shoved the Prime Minister of Montenegro out of her way?
      Would Hillary Clinton have disputed the Office of Government Ethics’ legal authority to oversee government ethics?
      Would Hillary Clinton have prosecuted a woman for laughing at the Attorney General?
      Would Hillary Clinton have knowingly hired a paid agent of the Turkish government as her national security advisor?
      Would Hillary Clinton have threatened to sabotage America’s insurance markets to coerce Republican votes?
      Would Hillary Clinton have used the State Department’s website to promote her business?
      Would Hillary Clinton have praised a cable-news anchor who was fired for sexual harassment?
      Would Hillary Clinton have jeopardized an ongoing litigation with personal remarks?
      Would Hillary Clinton have threatened cities adopting a “sanctuary city” policy.
      Would Hillary Clinton have violated the emoluments clause of the Constitution?

      • Thank God we will never find out! There is nothing honorable and trustworthy about Hillary Clinton, and that is why she is not and never will be our Nation’s President.

        • Laralyn, if you think the current administration is honorable and trustworthy, then I fear you have no ideas what those words mean.

          The most thorough, profound and moving defense of Hillary Clinton I have ever seen.
          First of all — this is not my writing. It’s a Facebook post by someone I don’t even know, a man named Michael Arnovitz in Portland OR. But as a Facebook post it passes the fair use test and I’m quite certain he would not object that I share it here (he doesn’t). The original Facebook post is here: http://www.facebook.com/… So without further ado, it’s truly worth the read:

          ________________________________________________________________________

          “In the course of a single conversation, I have been assured that Hillary is cunning and manipulative but also crass, clueless, and stunningly impolitic; that she is a hopelessly woolly-headed do-gooder and, at heart, a hardball litigator; that she is a base opportunist and a zealot convinced that God is on her side. What emerges is a cultural inventory of villainy rather than a plausible depiction of an actual person.” —Henry Louis Gates The quote above comes from a fascinating article called “Hating Hillary”, written by Gates for the New Yorker in 1996. Even now, 20 years after it was first published, it’s a fascinating and impressive piece, and if you have a few spare moments I strongly recommend it to you. (www.newyorker.com/…)

          And I’m reading pieces like this because now that Hillary has (essentially if not officially) won the Democratic Primary, I have become increasingly fascinated by the way so many people react to her. In truth, I sometimes think that I find that as interesting as Hillary herself. And I can’t help but notice that many of the reactions she receives seem to reflect what Gates referred to as “a cultural inventory of villainy” rather than any realistic assessment of who she really is and what she has really done.

          You may read more at https://www.dailykos.com/story/2016/6/11/1537582/-The-most-thorough-profound-and-moving-defense-of-Hillary-Clinton-I-have-ever-seen

        • I had to laugh at your assertions (inferred) about Trump. I take it you read very different news sources than I. Just reading that made me feel like I had an aneurysm.

    • I struggle with your assertions here. Are you seriously saying you voted for Trump because he is pro-life? And if you did, i have a serious question. What about after that baby is born? You can’t seriously argue that Trump is pro-life, merely pro-birth. They are not the same thing.

      • PC, please understand that Sid Cynewulf is a person who have posted here under a great many names to destroy this blog, as he has told us. He has also told us he enjoys baiting and upsetting people. He changes his name so often because John bans him but he finds new ways to get back here,

  15. I agree with virtually all of this blog-post except this:

    “So the bullhorn-wielding sign wavers and pulpit-pounding preachers can call it whatever they want: preference or fear or the need to be horrible, but they can’t call it Christianity.

    Jesus won’t permit it.”

    I have often defended Pastor John’s decision to call what he preaches as Christianity as is his right within that he seeks out the Message of Jesus Christ, the Son of God, to save souls.

    He does not get to say that others within those same guidelines are not Christians. He is their judge. How the Message touches them is up to Jesus. Pastor John is well within his right to call them misguided and even hateful as we are all humans ~ thus flawed in so many ways.

    Can’t call it Christianity?

    That isn’t Pastor Pavlovitz’s call to make.

    • Mr. Dosher wrote, “He does not get to say that others within those same guidelines are not Christians. He is their judge. How the Message touches them is up to Jesus. Pastor John is well within his right to call them misguided and even hateful as we are all humans ~ thus flawed in so many ways.”

      John has made no pronouncement about who or who is not a Christian and you do him a disservice by falsely representing his words.

      What he said is that what they preach is not Christianity. John is correct. Jesus commands us to take care of each other. Were Jesus to walk into some of the churches today, I believe He would say, “I never said. Where did you get such malarkey?”

      • Ms. Amalfitano … and if Jesus did such I thing, I would pay heed … but he hasn’t.

        Christianity is far to full of Christians telling other Christians what they believed and taught wasn’t Christianity instead of believing perhaps Jesus talks to us in different ways. I am not one of the 12 who sat at His side come back to Earth. I am not a Pope, or Patriarch. I am not a prophet of any kind. I don’t feel the desire to cast any out and don’t feel any others have the God-given permission to do so either.

        I think Jesus’ Message is vast and beyond my ability to fully understand, thus my stance on Christians and Christianity. That’s all I can really say on the matter.

        • Mr. Dosher, I am astounded to read this disingenuous statement “I think Jesus’ Message is vast and beyond my ability to fully understand, thus my stance on Christians and Christianity.”

          There are parts of Jesus’ message that are simple enough for anyone:

          Love God with every fiber of your being
          Love your neighbor as yourself as God first loved you. An example is the parable of the Good Samaritan and Matthew 25.

          BTW, you have neglected to apologize for falsely misrepresenting John P’s words,

          • I posted the entire paragraph, Ms. Amalfitano. It is pretty tough to falsely misrepresent Pastor John’s words when I quote them in their entirety.

            He even ends with ~ “Jesus won’t permit it.”

            Pastor Pavlovitz doesn’t speak for Jesus. Jesus hasn’t struck down those speakers to prove to the World what He will, or won’t, permit. So, what Jesus will, or will not, permit is not something He is revealing to us. Pastor John saying it doesn’t make it so – not in my book.

            Abortion.
            Divorce.
            Same Sex Marriage.
            Polygamy.
            State-sponsored Executions.
            God before State.
            Tithing.
            No Sex Before Marriage.

            By all means, draw the line where you decide people are no longer Christians, or preaching “THE ONE AND ONLY TRUE” Christian doctrine.

            I don’t. I accept people will hear Jesus’ Message in different ways ~ ways I will sometimes disagree with. Others declaring I am, or am not, a Christian does not bother me because my faith is my Covenant with Christ – my Promise to Him to do my best with the lessons He has passed on to me via the Bible I’ve read and the people I’ve discussed Christ and my faith with including many Priests, Pastors and other religious leaders.

            In the same way, your faith is yours and how Christ has decided to reveal his compassion and Message to you. I don’t have to understand your faith, or accept it, to hold it to be true to Jesus Christ.

            Peace be with you.

            • Did the prophets of the Hebrew Scriptures speak for God? Indeed they did.

              Does the Holy Spirit speak through John P? Indeed She does.

              Therefore, John P speaks for Jesus. Especially since he is merely pointing out what Jesus said as recorded in the Gospels.

              • Ms. Amalfitano, while I don’t personally feel that is the cases, do you believe the Holy Spirit speaks solely through Pastor John these days?

                To clarify; is he the one and only voice of God today?

                • Mr. Dosher, your question “do you believe the Holy Spirit speaks solely through Pastor John these days” is a peculiar one.

                  Why on earth would you think I believe this? The Holy Spirit speaks through many of us and sometimes even very ordinary folk.

    • Mr. Dosher, you come here and offer your opinion and judgment so why is it that you seek to deny John P expressing his? He did not say you or anyone else has to agree with him. That is why he allows comments when he does not have to do so.

      You claim he cannot (or should not) say that he thinks they should not get to call those teachings, Christianity. Why not? With the exception of pulling a few verses out of context, what is Christianity in them?

      And he did not say anyone was not Christian, he said that those thoughts and actions were not Christianity. If you think he is wrong, prove they are the basis of Christianity?

      • Ms. Saunders, exactly how do I …

        … seek to deny John P expressing his [opinion]?”

        {From}
        “Mr. Dosher, you come here and offer your opinion and judgment so why is it that you seek to deny John P expressing his?”

        I come here to offer my opinion because I can. Pastor John permits me to come here and give my opinions. He hosts this blog. He could ban me. He could e-mail and ask me to stop and I would. He never has seen the need to challenge anything I have posted. It is not his style to respond to anything anyone posts so I don’t consider myself anyone special.

        Like everyone else, I am permitted to speak my mind. I do appreciate this reality ~ that without Pastor Pavlovitz’s forbearance, I would not be able to post my opinions here.

        I do not consider myself a ‘troll’. I do consider myself to normally be in opposition to the normal current here, but I don’t come here to pick fights. I try to make my arguments reasonable and have, on occasion, agreed with Pastor John.

        I have on rare instances resorted to mockery … such as the statement from another poster that there were no ‘White Christians’ … which I didn’t get a response to. Otherwise, I try to behave.

        • James D, you ask: “exactly how do I …
          … seek to deny John P expressing his [opinion]?”

          You did it in saying “He does not get to say…” and again in saying “That isn’t Pastor Pavlovitz’s call to make.” Very explicitly. And you did it by offering him the way he “could” choose to say what he wanted to convey.

          I am very well aware of why you and some others come here. You feel superior and want to defend it. I see it all day, every day that dawns. There is no “introspection” with you folks, there is not even an acknowledgment of anyone else’s pain or ideology as anything but something to be fought and dismissed.

          I defend John P and others here, as well as my own ideals, but unlike you all, I do not seek out blogs or forums of those I do not agree with and support, that is a special kind of arrogance. And the ONLY reason I can see to do such a thing, is that your hubris leads you to “set us straight.” That excessive pride and self-righteousness leads the collective you here all the time.

          If John P wants to allow your posts, that is his decision. I do not have to agree, respect or ignore what I see you “offer.” And I won’t.

  16. I cannot say whether man was made in God’s image but I am certain that God is now and always has been made in man’s image.

  17. Jesus was changed shortly after he died, by none other than Paul. Jesus was speaking of divorce when he said God made man & woman to become one flesh after marriage. It’s hard to cut one flesh in half & expect a goid outcome. Jesus didn’t say anything about homosexuality because that wasn’t the topic.

    Paul had a great deal to say. Just read Romans 1. I find that chapter as one which makes no sense. He’s trying to connect dots that aren’t even there. Paul’s teaching on women in the church also do not quote Jesus. We see Paulianity, not Jesus, when reading Paul, as well as in the forged epistles attributed to Paul.

  18. In Mr. Pavlovitz’s view, those whose views about good governance do not align with the liberal wing of the Democrat party are not real Christians.

    The posts I’ve read all follow the same blueprint. He uses straw man arguments that do not express honest policy differences but, as is so common with the leftists, assert a moral superiority for his favored views.

    Perhaps he did not have room in the post to express his “palpable love for humanity” which is apparently reserved for only those who share his political viewpoint.

  19. Well Edward, if your view is that Republican Christian Right views “about good governance” align with the Biblical teachings of Jesus, show us how?

    If a man’s whole entire premise is that people who profess to be Christians have to follow the teachings of Christ I do not see how anything he says in trying to understand and help people see the problems we face is any “straw man argument.”

    In truth, “honest policy differences” still have to be presented in a Biblical frame of reference if you are supporting them as a Christian. Are you even aiming to claim that it is uncommon for the “rightists” to “assert a moral superiority for his favored views?” Really?

    I think he made it very clear that he has a “palpable love for humanity” which is why he calls out those claiming to follow Christ who seem to lack same.

    It is so odd how you all married the Republican Political Party to form the Christian Right and then use your religious dogma to force political power and the rule of law while decrying our efforts to reconcile our Christian faith with our political perspective, but then, hypocrisy is not an anomaly.

  20. Pingback: How The Christian Right Turned the Good News into Fake News – FairAndUNbalanced.com

  21. I always enjoy reading your blog, John. Thank you for articulating what many of us feel. We know we are no longer welcome in the churches in which we were raised and it can be daunting to find — or create — a new spiritual home where Christianity is not wielded as a weapon.

    Thank you very much. Please keep speaking the truth.

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