‘Pro-Life’ Christians Killing LGBTQ Teenagers

Joe and Terry go to the same church. It was my church once, too.

Joe is a pro-life Christian—at least that’s what he would tell you. That’s what his Twitter bio and bumper sticker both say. In Joe’s head, he is a fierce lover of life.

Terry is a gay college student. Being in college is new for him—being gay isn’t. He’s always been gay, something he realized in middle school. Terry is fully alive, though he doesn’t feel quite that way in Joe’s presence. In fact he usually feels rather worthless.

Joe spends a great deal of time talking about embryos on social media; about the sanctity of the life within them, about their priceless intrinsic worth, about the sin of those who would disrespect that precious, God-initiated life. Joe also regularly shares self-righteous religious think pieces and self-assured Facebook posts about why people like Terry are confused, why they are unnatural, why they just need Jesus to be fixed. 

Terry already has Jesus.

For his entire two-decade life he’s been both gay and Christian—and for his entire two-decade life he’s had to hear from people like Joe, why he can’t possibly be both. He’s been bullied and diminished and relentlessly bruised by professed lovers of life like Joe—often until he feels like he doesn’t want to live.

There are reasons why the suicide rate of LGBTQ youth is several times higher that of cis-hetero teenagers. Chief among those reasons, is professed pro-life Christians like Joe who can’t seem to find the sanctity in their lives, people of Jesus who respond to their existence with disregard—who offer them no spirited protection, no passionate defense, no effusive words about being fearfully and wonderfully made in God’s image. These young people daily bear the incredible weight that the Joes of the world heap upon their tiny shoulders, until they can no longer endure it.

I remember when Terry came out to me in seventh grade; how his lip quivered and his voice trembled, and most of all how worried he was to tell his parents who were pillars in our Pennsylvania church and good friends with Joe.  It makes me sad to see that nearly a decade later Terry is still in the closet, though his family has known since the week he shared his truth with me. I see that Terry’s parents are still pillars in their church and that they still spend a lot of time with Joe. They still like Joe’s think pieces and Facebook posts—and I imagine the fresh wounds this inflicts for Terry and wonder if they understand the incredible damage they’re doing.

When Christian parents choose their fears or their standing in the church before their children, it grieves me. I think it grieves Jesus.

When religious people claiming to be pro-life show such contempt for living, breathing, loving, creative, intelligent men and women—it infuriates me. Jesus said “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them.” I think this hinderance infuriates him too.

I imagine Joe doesn’t see the inconsistency of his pro-life position. He likely sees none of the hypocrisy that Terry sees. I often wonder if Joe knew which of the embryos in his think pieces and Facebook posts would one day come out in middle school, if he would still defend those as boldly as he does when they are simply an abstract idea. I’m guessing not. Terry can probably verify this.

I wish more pro-life Christians could manufacture the slightest bit of reverence for the sanctity of LGBTQ lives; if they could muster a fraction of the compassion they so readily wield for what they claim God makes and breathes life into. 

I wish people like Joe would passionately protect people like Terry instead of regularly injuring them. I’d find their declaration as lovers of life to be more believable, more commendable—and more life-affirming. I’d like to see them as eager to march Pride parades as they are to protest clinics.

If you identify as a pro-life Christian and you find condemnation for LGBTQ easy to dispense, I’d ask you to consider the lives on the other side of that finger wagging, Bible Thumping, and lazy exegesis—lives like Terry’s.

If you identify as LGBTQ and you aren’t celebrated in your Christian home or family or church, I want you to know that I and many others celebrate you.

I want you to know that we see the sanctity in your life and that we will defend it.

To all the Terrys out there enduring the cruelty of Christians: be encouraged and know that you are loved.

*Joe and Terry are fictional names based on actual people.

 

Order John’s book, ‘A Bigger Table’ here.

110 thoughts on “‘Pro-Life’ Christians Killing LGBTQ Teenagers

  1. “I wish more pro-life Christians could manufacture the slightest bit of reverence for the sanctity of LGBTQ lives; if they could muster a fraction of the compassion they so readily wield for what they claim God makes and breathes life into. ”

    On another topic, “I wish more pro-life Christians could manufacture the slightest bit of reverence for the sanctity of the lives of people who are already here and alive; if they could muster a fraction of the compassion they so readily wield for what they claim God makes and breathes life into. ” Here my topic is abortion. Where is the reverence for the lives of the women who seek abortions?

  2. John, this is more bull! Nobody is causing gay people to kill themselves. Gay people are responsible for their own choices, and there is no such thing as a “gay Christian”. That is a myth!

    • No Nekked. People like you may not be pulling the trigger—but you are making the room all ready for it and putting on all the mean-spirited pressure necessary to drive the kid’s finger inexorably toward the trigger because he or she sees no other way out of the set of cruel conditions you fundies checkmate the kids into—and as you fundies are so fond of saying: GOD IS GOING TO JUDGE YOU FOR IT.

      The decision as to whether gay people are Christians is not your decision to make. God makes that decision—NOT YOU. But because you have already sat on his throne and made his decision for him in your post—-which is the very essence of original sin—and the one that pisses God off far beyond and above all other sins—GOD IS GOING TO JUDGE YOU FOR IT.

      You know what Nekked? It is one thing to be a fundie. It is quite another thing to be a fundie that is not very bright—and well—“You beat all Barney!!! You beat all!!!”

    • Obtain and read a book, “Prayers for Bobby” its about Bobby Griffith. After the constant badgering by his “christian” mother and how that eventually drove him to jump off of an Interstate overpass directly into the path of an oncoming Semi. He died instantly. His mother was left to try and understand why and how it all happened. She came to realize how her church’s teaching pushed her to try and change her son and how “that” DESTROYED his sense of self-worth. Read that and tell me again what John is saying is BULLSHIT!

        • Joe C.,

          You really are a Johnny One-note. Not everything is about abortion. Nor are you required by any law or god to try to shoehorn your obsession into every comment thread. This particular post and thread is about the church’s mistreatment of LGBTQ+ youth. Let’s try to focus on that, okay?

        • Good old Joe. If the subject is not abortion, why Joe just steps right up and tries to steal the thread. Apparently, he has nothing to say about anything else.

        • Joe always changes the subject to abortion because that is the only place where he feels he holds the moral high ground. On every other subject, he demonstrates a total absence of love for humanity.

      • It seems like my same gender crush in high school, Pat, followed exactly in Bobby’s footsteps, except for the semi part. It took me 30 years to start dealing with Pat’s suicide and it had paralyzed me in so many ways in relationships that I wasn’t aware of. It still hurts and the pain will never go away. The revelation of the sexual abuse of alter boys in the Catholic Church turned me into an ex-Catholic and now I have less reason to go back.

        Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. It will be a painful reminder that there is no unconditional love in the church of my youth nor in the town I went to High School in and now live in. It is now only my wife and friends I can turn to when I face my pain.

        Brian, may you find peace in a way I cannot.

    • Are we commanded by God to kill anyone or to celebrate suicide? If so, where is it written. I remember being commanded to love one another, and to leave any vengence to him.

      • Right on, Bernie. According to Naked Truth my male high school crush wasn’t driven to suicide by threats of being beaten and killed for because they suspected him of being gay. If he was discovered to be gay he would have been thrown out of the house and left to the “mercy” of the bullies. He would have been one more guy “hit and killed by a train when crossing the tracks” as many confirmed gay students were found in our town. He couldn’t live with the threats and potential rejection of his own family. But none of that matters to Naked Truth or others.

    • He doesn’t care! He just wants people to hate other Christians who don’t agree with him. He doesn’t understand we are all on our separate paths of growth with the Lord. I have had gay friends since I was a teenager and a Christian. He likes to alienate people.

    • The Naked Truth: First of all being gay is not a choice just as heterosexuallity is not. There are gay Christians. My guess is that you dont have any gay friends; perhaps if you did you would not be so adamant about what you say.
      And, yes, we are affected by the society we live in. Gay youth face bullying , hate and condemenation.
      You do not seem to have an compassion. Jesus did though, enough for all of us.

    • I know a number of gay Christians. Go to the East Coast, loads of churches with lesbians and gays praising God. Go to Canada. Numerous open churches with lovers of God, with lovers in pews. Go to So America, Korea, So Africa and Poland, where you will find professing Christians who are also gay, married, and with Christian children, all together at church together-in prayer. No myth-pure reality.

    • Hey Naked, just so you can hear it directly from one of the millions of horse’s mouths – I was constantly suicidal as a teen because of your exact attitude, seen in hundreds of so- called Christians throughout my life. You have no idea what that does to your head and heart, you just don’t know. But as an example: you just called an entire group of people ‘a myth’. How do you plan to spread the good word and live as Christ taught if you cannot even see the humanity of others? Go to God with this, not to others with bigoted views.

    • You have NO idea what you’re talking about….
      but boy, that doesn’t keep you from being a
      complete nut case!
      Did you try to just tend to your own business?

  3. 1st of all folks
    Let us establish what is a true christian and what is not.
    Believer, preacher of jesus salvation, Doing works of preaching, teaching, loving your neighbor, following jesus christ (no matter what )
    Faith in bible as inherant word of God
    Read : Gospel of John 3:all , 14: all , Romans : all
    James: all , Hebrews 11:
    Jesus said UNLESS a man be born again , he, she, they cannot inherit the kingdom of God, Cannot See Truth, Don’t know what Truth is.
    This is the Difference: Those who Truly believe Do Good Works, Preach Jesus Christ The only Way, Live and Let other s Live as : Judgement is up to God, NOT US
    God is the only one who is in power not mankind
    If you still believe these are Christians ( then you don’t Know what a christian is. )
    What is Not :
    People who Kill in the name of jesus , God, who ever they trust
    People who Hate , persecute in the name of who ever they feel like following
    People who Dont Obey the TEN Commandments
    If you really want to Know > Deny Your self daily and follow the bible, ten commandments , rules for Holy Living.
    NOT Churchyanity in the name of Jesus
    Truth, Obedience, Self Sacrifice in Obedience to God, Denial of Fleshly ways , Denial of Selfish Views
    Only One way, Jesus Christ , Savior to the World for the Remission of Sin, YOUR sin, My sin, OUR sin born into thru adam and eve.
    Repent and Be Baptized in the Name of the Father, the Son, the Holy Spirit

  4. Thank you, as always, for saying this, John. I just pray that God would give people like Joe ears to hear it and hearts to feel the trauma they’re inflicting.

    I’ve lost count of the number of people who have told me that being a transgender woman and a Christian is a contradiction. I’ve lost count of how many times I’ve heard, “here’s some good news about God: He hates you and you’re going to burn in hell, and you don’t deserve His love and grace.” (Spoiler alert: None of us do; that’s what makes it grace.) I’ve lost count of how many times people have told me I need to just turn from my sinful choices and accept Jesus, and learn to be okay with the body I was born with. (Another spoiler alert: I transitioned 19 years ago and had gender confirmation surgery in 2015, so that ship has kinda sailed.)

    But here’s the thing: I DO accept Jesus. I love Jesus. I love God. I’m committed to my faith. It’s just that my understanding of my faith, of God, of Jesus, and of what it means to be a Christian is rooted in something much different than people like Joe. My job, as I understand things, is to ever move toward love. Loving God and loving people, that’s my responsibility. All that judging and condemning and convicting stuff? That’s God’s responsibility. My responsibility is to pour love out into the world, in every way I can, and when people ask me why I do it, to tell them about the wondrously, gloriously unboundedly loving God that I know, the God that overflows with grace and that never turns His back on us.

    I wish people like Joe could experience THAT God, instead of the contained, constrained, fear-limited one they seem to worship.

    • ” I’ve lost count of how many times people have told me I need to just turn from my sinful choices and accept Jesus, and learn to be okay with the body I was born with. ”

      I always wonder whether people like that heap the same judgement on people who’ve had surgery to fix a cleft palate, or to repair a hole in the heart. I suspect not, and I cannot for the life of me understand why. Why is it only in the area of sex characteristics that they cannot accept that some bodies are born with flaws?

      *hugs* if you’d like them Tammy – I’m so sorry that you’ve had to go through such a rough time with people, and so glad that your relationship with God has been so strong and loving.

      • Yollie I read 1 Corinthians 5:11
        I’m not quite sure what your point is as it can be taken several ways…

        1. If you think someone can’t be a Gay Christian AND you think being gay is sexually immoral (I don’t). Then the verse proves you can be a gay christian. As it is talking about your sexually immoral brothers and sisters (fellow Christians) not the people in the world (v9).

        2. Alternatively it says don’t associate with christians who are slanderers – people who lie and say nasty things about someone – like the christians who say you can’t be a gay Christian for instance….
        This is the New Testament way of saying, ‘Don’t Feed the Trolls.’

        3. It talks about judging. We are not allowed to judge non-christians, what business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? (v12) But we can judge between fellow christians ch6. By that it means sort out disputes (lawsuits) amongst yourselves rather than take someone to court. So a dispute is not – I don’t like gay people. It is where YOU have been wronged personally like You stole my car. It goes on to say that it is actually better to accept the wrongdoing than fight with your fellow christians – if you have to get revenge or justice you have been defeated already. LOVING your neighbour (or brother/sister) is more important than being right and getting justice.

        4. If you read ch5-6 you will get a fuller picture of the sexual immorality being talked about. A Man and his Mum which was not even tolerated outside the church. The other immorality mentioned has a common theme – excessive greed/lust. This can lead to hurting others – thief, swindler, reviler, slanderer, prostitution, pimping, human trafficking; or idolatry where something is more important to you than God – alcohol, worshiping with a temple prostitute, worshiping money.
        All things are lawful but I will not be dominated by anything – don’t get so out of control you hurt each other and stop loving God and each other. ch6v12

        • A well-written synopsis of 1 Corinthians.

          However, there are two things we must remember:

          Victims of assault by the church clergy had used point 3 to stifle the voice of victims and actively prevented justice and reconciliation with the victims. That makes the entire church party to the wrongdoing and puts their salvation in jeopardy, but few in the church will acknowledge that. That leaves victims not only injured and aggrieved but actively shamed and blamed for being a victim. The right thing to do is for the ENTIRE CHURCH to truly apology, take the blame, and do everything in their power to make it right. Because no church I know of has done that we tend to rely on our deeply flawed justice system of the state to try to make it right, where the victims are lucky to get a penny of justice for a guinea of hurt. Going to the authorities and court are usually the last resort, not the first, for those victimized by leaders in the church.

          Also remember that it is not Jesus who is writing these letters. These letters are written by men locked in of their time and their culture, which is different than our own. The basis of our religion is not the Letters of Paul, instead they are the words and deeds of Jesus. We have a different understanding of the world than back 2000 years ago. Human nature is constant but the way we deal with the world is vastly different.

          • Revise:
            When dealing with the victims of assault by the church clergy, the clergy had used point 3 to stifle the voice of victims and actively prevented justice and reconciliation with the victims.

            I blame the mistake on a lack of caffeine, stream of consciousness, and just plain my fault.

  5. They won’t see themselves in your piece. They’ll continue to claim that they are “hating the sin.” Total BS, of course. They just enjoy hating LGBTQ folks. That it puts kids at risk of self-harm is immaterial.

    • They say that they hate the sin but love the sinner—like God does. However, they seem to forget that God flings both the sinner and his sin into the Lake of Fire. As one fundie discovered by reading scripture in the Old Testament—and put forward here a couple of months ago. Well, his quote was: “God actually hates both the sinner and his sin.” That is more in line with what God actually does in terms of sending people to Hell. With regard to unrepentant sinners, I have never seen anything in the Bible about God throwing a persons hated sins into Hell and keeping the unrepentant sinner he loves (who committed those sins).

      Y’all ever thought about that? It is just one more example of how screwed-in-the-head fundie nonsense is—and how it deviates from what the Bible actually says.

      • One more reason why I am glad I am not a Christian. Your ideas about what God is and what he’ll do to people are a projection of the weakness of humans.

        My gods are the forces of Nature and the universe. Christians see God within a book written by fallible humans; I see the Creator of Life in a quasar or a tree.

  6. Human Rights are the principal rights assured in the Constitution, religion comes under the category of liberty, or a freedom to choose. Being gay is not a choice, an anatomy or an ailment. It is a condition, it is normal.

  7. This is a great and relevant piece – thanks John 🙂

    Despite what the Church thinks about ‘the world’, and how it’s always pandering to the ‘gay agenda’, I consider that the world actually hates gays. Gays are persecuted not only by Church people but also by those outside the Church as well.

    To me, this means that St. Paul’s guideline in Romans 12:2, to no ‘longer conform to the pattern of this world’, means to go against the grain of society and actually affirm gay people. Be the opposite of the world, and LOVE gay people where the world doesn’t. Be different from the world; ‘in the world but not of it’ – be different!

    The way the Church is at the moment, with all the gay-bashing? They are no different from the ‘world’ they decry so vehemently.

    But they can change. They can be transformed by the renewing of their minds – this is called ‘repentance’.

    Don’t be like the world. Don’t persecute gays. Love them instead. That’s the way of Jesus.

    Here is my blog post on this subject:
    http://www.flyinginthespirit.cuttys.net/2017/10/22/conforming-to-the-pattern-of-this-world/

    • Hi Tony. But there is this current-day fundie narrative to deal with:

      “Have you seen gay people literature. They hate Christians. They hate us so-o-o-o-o bad—they want to kill us all. They are organizing against us in large numbers—and one of these days—they are going to come after us. We have to organize too—organize to fight back against them to save ourselves and our families from maiming, torture destruction, and death. They hate us Christians—I tell you. They despise all of us and want to mow us down like blades of grass. Once they get laws that protect them from discrimination and persecution, they will be both powerful and untouchable. That is when they will make their move against us “true” Christians. We have to get more organized and move against them first—take them down before they take us down.” Let’s git going!!!”

      I would not be at all surprised to see Nekked leading the charge. What do LGBTQ people—particularly LGBTQ Christians—do with this current-day narrative that is running wild in Fundieland.

      • I went to a church this morning that has a priest who is gay. He is also an excellent preacher, he obviously loves Jesus, and he has a thorough knowledge of scripture. He is the antithesis of the fundamentalist belief that a person cannot be both Christian and LGBTQ. Of course, fundamentalists will not believe that he is a Christian. Nevertheless, his life is a model of the lessons Jesus taught about loving your neighbor and going the extra mile. But for those who want to believe that what a person does in the privacy of their bedroom is more important to God than how they treat their neighbors, only God can create a scenario that will make them see the truth. Human effort will never be enough.

  8. I was borne and raised Jewish.
    But I came to believe in the words and wisdom — the way — of Jesus … which labeled me “Christian,” a follower of Jesus.
    Ultimately, I became a pastor of a progressive congregation … but not until I went through the “Bible is God’s inerrant word; it’s literally true; everyone must be ‘saved’ or will end up in hell; and, of course, only these conservative self-professed (and possessed) “Christians” were equipped to meet and be greeted by their Maker joyfully.
    My point here, however, is that for too many years, fingers were pointed at me and challenged: “You can’t be both Jewish and Christian.” Especially antagonistic were family and friends.
    At that point — over 40 years ago — my stock answer to my interlocutors was: “Jesus was Jewish. So were his first followers. Judaism was the religion of Jesus. Christianity is the religion about Jesus.”
    A lot older and little bit wiser now, I know that God meets us in different places along our spiritual paths and sacred journeys.
    Ours is not to pull down but to lift up … to answer condemnation with compassion, and judgment with charity and forgiveness.
    That’s hard. And whether Gay/Christian, Jewish/Christian, or Whatever/Christian, it doesn’t get any easier generationally.

    • I don’t want to beat this issue too much … but let’s be perfectly clear: IF YOU ARE A CHRISTIAN THEN YOU ARE NOT A JEW.

      Christianity and Judaism are two different religions. If you are one, you are NOT the other. If you believe that Jesus of Nazareth was the Son of God, who came to earth to die for your sins, then YOU ARE NOT A JEW! You are a Christian. ONLY a Christian.

      Period. End of discussion!

  9. Thanks for saying what some many will not say!

    Pro-lifers should rename themselves to Pro-birthers. They want to interfere with a woman’s right to choose whether to give birth. They have no regards for how the children who are born will live. Whether they will have food, shelter, clothing, opportunity, and love. They simply want to control whether or not they will be born.

  10. IMO – Those who claim they are “Pro-Life” are in actual fact…they are merely “Pro-Birth”. Once a child is born, they want no part of it’s life other than to control it for their own purposes.

    • What would be the opposite of “pro-birth”? Would that be “anti-birth”?

      What’s wrong with being “pro-birth,” btw?

      If you’re pregnant and as a pro-lifer I talk you out of having an abortion and you give birth to your daughter or son instead of killing her or him before birth, how is that a bad thing, and then how am I able to “control it for my own purposes”?

      But I think you’ll find the compassion pro-lifers have for the unborn extends to the born as well. They know lots of born people. They are one themselves. They support crisis pregnancy centers.

      Besides that, even if they didn’t give two hoots about them after they are born, they are not killing them. If you save me from drowning and then want nothing more to do with me, I’ll still be grateful to you even if you don’t want to support me.

      I think I understand that you see pro-lifers as hypocrites, but don’t you think it appears hypocritical to don the mantle of compassion while supporting the right of Planned Parenthood to kill the unborn?

    • Have you ever thought about this one? God creates human souls so they can come to Earth and be saved. Why not just cut out the middle man (Earth) and create these souls “already saved” in Heaven—and just keep them there forever? God could do it if He wanted to do so.

      Fundies think the only purpose of this life is for humans to go through a series of trials and tribulations as a test to see who is worthy of eternal life. They see the Earth as the Department of Quality Control in God’s Soul Factory. Those who pass Inspector No. 7 get to move on to Heaven.

      Damned narrow view of creation and God’s purposes if you ask me!!! The ancient Jews were not allowed to make graven images of God because the human mind is incapable of imagining what God is truly like. If we are incapable of knowing what he is truly like in our human condition, we are equally incapable of knowing the full range of his purposes for the creation of Earth and for man. If we think that we can do that—like the fundies do—we are trying to put ourselves on God’s throne (a metaphor). This is just another example of how fundies commit the gravest of sins—by playing God.

  11. It breaks my heart that people suffer because of the inability of others to obey Jesus. In this case, it is people like Joe and his ilk.

    People like Joe and his ilk seem to forget that Jesus and every single Christian writer of the Patristic era, the Early Medieval era, the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the Reformation, the Post-Reformation, right up until the middle of the 19th century, made it quite clear that a person needs to be concerned with his or own sins and struggling with those would keep a person too busy to worry about the sins of everyone else.

    People like Joe and his ilk are also most likely the sort of people who ignore Jesus, the Prophets, and all those authors cited above who tell us Christians need to spend their time making sure the hungry are fed, the naked clothed, the sick cared for and needs get met.

    People like Joe and his ilk are also the kind of people who are 100% convinced that when Jesus tells us to love our neighbors as ourselves that Jesus couldn’t possibly have meant x,y,z, overlooking the fact that when Jesus said this, the statement was delivered without exceptions, footnotes, a list of appendices or stuttering.

    I am a sinner. Every single day I sin. Every single day I confess to God and ask His forgiveness for all the ways in which I fail to be a loving person. I struggle against my attempts to rationalize my disdain and disgust of some but I have no excuse. It is unconscionable for me or anyone else to fail to love a person.

    And by loving a person I do not get to decide what is best for another person. That is God’s job, not mine.

    People like Joe and his ilk think they know what is best for other people. By doing so they betray that they do not 100% trust God. By doing so they betray that they do not 100% believe that God knows what is best for someone. By doing so they betray that they do 100% sin.

    Every single day I work to make this world a safe place for all of God’s creatures, including people like Joe and his ilk but more especially for the marginalized, because let’s face it, people like Joe and his ilk are convinced of their own entitled privilege.

    If you would like to join me to make a better world for all God’s creatures, especially the marginalized, please join me on Facebook, Gloriamarie’s Progressive Stuff.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/gloriamariesprogressivepetitions/

    • blockquote>I struggle against my attempts to rationalize my disdain and disgust of some but I have no excuse. It is unconscionable for me or anyone else to fail to love a person.

      Gloriamarie, you cannot hold those like Joe or myself to a standard that you yourself cannot attain. You’re not that good.

  12. After reading this, I reflected on the last 5 years and some months since I made the final decision to release my will and life to the care of Christ.

    I met Christ initially at 14, in the midst of trying to figure out all the strange same-sex feelings I’d been having and I couldn’t make go away. There was no one to talk with except God. The major human influences in my life at the time were my church, my Christian parents, school, and sports; and they didn’t want to talk WITH. The talk I heard ABOUT gayness wasn’t good; was threatening and shaming. I kept silent. What I heard from God was “I love you” and “keep me first” and I did… until I went to college. Then I allowed the world to quiet His voice and I raised mine. And a lot of ____ happened. Mostly mine, but yours, and ours.

    After decades His voice came back loud and clear. And it wasn’t what I expected. He said “I love you” and “keep me first”. I said I was sorry that I’d forgotten Him and made Him last. He said “you’re forgiven, let’s begin again, you ready?” And we have nearly hourly talks together since; time spent with Him is the joy of my life.

    I cannot say whether the way I express my human love, affection, and devotion to another human is right or wrong. I should know-wouldn’t you think? I honestly have taken thoughts of self-justification out of the questioning and I’ve asked Him a million times. But He made me, blessed me, showed me grace and mercy… followed me through life.

    What He has said… what I’ve heard, I believe and choose to live to. Because He has proven true.

    I will not presume to tell LGBTQ+ others what is right or wrong… to affirm or pass judgment. That is just not my place because, frankly I don’t know. (And don’t throw around scripture to me… because I live it.)

    But I’ll gladly tell them He loves them and desires them; wants to make this life journey with them and be first in their life. Then they can talk and work it out with Him. I know this to be true.

    John- I want to thank you for being a compassion warrior. Your ability to break the silence is remarkable. I’ve learned so much. Thank you. I will not post comments any longer but only read. I’ve come to the conclusion that to lend my voice here, regarding Jesus, is not beneficial. But thank you for the space and time.

    I want to say a special ‘thank you’ to someone who has blessed me these past 5+ years. Without your spiritual guidance and knowledge, I wouldn’t have made it. Thank you for your “Return to the Lord”. I feel your prayers. I apologize. I love you dearly.

    And to another… You are precious in His sight. Don’t give up. Listen to Him (not “them”) because He loves you. Thank you for being there when I needed a friend the most; for being my healing friend. I love your silly ways. He did a good thing when He made you.

    And Charles… Man, you rock!

    Peace and love to all, in Christ Jesus.

  13. I am currently reading “A Bigger Table” and loving it. I don’t understand how some people who call themselves Christian cannot find any understanding for the LGBTQ community. Thank you John for being a champion for those who are so misunderstood.

  14. “Pro-Life” proponents are not really about life. You know that, right? These are mostly the same people who will tell you that the rights of an unborn blob of cells that couldn’t possible live on its own outweigh the rights of the living, breathing, woman who carries those cells. They will say that if the choice must be made between the mother’s life and the baby’s life (and I use that term loosely; it may still be just a blob of cells or perhaps it is formed but not mature enough to be out of the womb), the “baby” is the one that should be saved. They completely disregard the already living, already able to be independent woman as being nothing more than a walking uterus. I don’t call them “pro-life” any more; I prefer the term “anti-choice”.
    These so-called Christians, these fanatics about “right to life” are far more interested in POTENTIAL life, even if it would not, on its own, actually reach it’s full potential and be living. Here’s a scientific fact that would probably horrify most of them if they knew it: “It is estimated that as many as 75 percent of fertilized eggs do not go on to result in a full-term pregnancy. This statistic includes both miscarriages and failed implantations that usually pass without the mother ever missing a period.” (From here: https://www.verywell.com/making-sense-of-miscarriage-statistics-2371721)
    In other words, Nature ends the potential pregnancy before it has a chance to mature. Nature does not waste reproductive energy on a mass of cells that won’t grow as it should. (Also from same article: “Laboratory studies on IVF patients have found that a very large percentage of eggs harbor chromosome abnormalities (the leading cause of miscarriage).”)
    So apparently for those who hold this particular “anti-choice” view, it’s somehow a logical association to believe that any person who is not born binary cis-gender heterosexual is an abomination. You’re right, I don’t see the connection either. “Pro-Life” is not at all life-affirming, not at all welcoming and accepting of all life. It’s not about life at all.
    “Pro-Life” is about controlling others, especially the others who are “other than (I) am”. It’s about denying those same “others” the autonomy of their own bodies–in the name of God. Who, in the person of Jesus, NEVER SAID ONE WORD ABOUT ANY OF THIS.
    Jesus NEVER talked about abortion, homosexuality, transgender, or any of the various descriptors for the “other” (like race). Not one word. Jesus spoke of LOVE, compassion, treating others well.
    Based upon my understanding of what Jesus said and what is in the Bible–in other words, upon those “Pro-Life” Christians’ own book!, I suspect that Judgment Day for them is going to look VERY different from what they are picturing in their head. (Matthew 25:31-46 specifically addresses this; I quote it often because it seems like a lot of Christians aren’t aware of it.)
    For me, all of this–both abortion and LGBTQ issues–comes down to just this: if you say that you are saved because you asked for redemption from Jesus, that you are a Christian and follow his teachings, AND you are still trying to hurt people through your words and actions? You just don’t understand what Jesus told you to do and you need to STFU and go read the Gospels again.
    Remember “WWJD?”? What would Jesus do, if he met a LGBTQ person? Or a woman who has had an abortion? (Scary thought, you anti-choicers: you cannot tell by looking at a woman whether she has had an abortion or not. So how can you decide who to vilify? Oh, that’s right, you don’t. You seek to force ALL women to submit to your idiotic ideas of how useless they are — except of course as a walking uterus, to pop out the fruit of the man’s seed.)
    What would Jesus do? He would do exactly the same for these two groups of people that he did for EVERY SINGLE OTHER PERSON HE EVER MET: Greet them with love and invite them to his table.
    And who are you to say differently?
    Jesus is LOVE. And “4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (I Cor 13:4-7) If you want to be a follower of Jesus, show LOVE. If all you’re showing is hate, you’re not following Jesus. Stop saying you are a Christian. You’re embarrassing him.

    • Abortion kills babies. Just look at the pictures.

      All you need is half a brain and a heart that is not totally hardened to see the horror and injustice of it.

      But our abortion culture is sadly ruled by our passions and selfishness and the inconvenient unborn get in the way of that.

      Jesus did not talk about abortion, so therefore it is good? Jesus did not talk about a lot of thins that we would agree are bad things to do. But the Church he established makes it very clear that abortion is an injustice, though this should be a matter of common sense and compassion, and even the unchurched should be able to see that.

      • Joe C. – Until the millions of unwanted fetuses that are NOT aborted stop populating our prisons, and ghettos, and gangs, and drug houses, your point is moot. How do those precious fetuses become adults who hate and thieve and murder and live in a haze of drugs and alcohol?

        Obviously, something is going dreadfully wrong in the lives of children who are born to parents who don’t want them. Children who grow up in loving homes are not likely to end up in prison or homelessness or gangs or enslaved to substance abuse. (I know it happens, but the likelihood is much lower.) IMO, some things are worse than death, and at least for me, being raised by parent(s) who didn’t want me or love me would have been at the top of my list.

        If you are serious about ending abortion, the solution is to insure that no unwanted fetuses/children are produced, and that requires changing the minds, circumstances, and environments of the adults who are most likely to produce unwanted fetuses. And those people (who used to be precious fetuses themselves) are in our jails, and housing projects, and youth gangs, and homeless shelters, and walking the streets, and unemployed, and everywhere else you find the “least of these.” So, whatever you and the Church, and anyone else who cares are doing to address the source of the problem that leads to abortion, it isn’t nearly enough.

  15. You cant stop stupid.
    Look what happened to Jesus.
    If you really believe in Jesus, and have read St. Paul’s letters, you will KNOW how to deal with this level of hate….

  16. Thank you, Rev John.

    I am not, but many in my church are gay. At Trinity Episcopal Church On Capitol Square in Columbus, Ohio we welcome ALL people. Those who forbid gays are missing so many blessings.

    Although I wouldn’t choose abortion as an option for me, I believe that there are situations that warrant it. I believe it is a matter that is between God, and the woman who considers it.

    This is what I don’t understand: Why are fetuses more important than the people who already exist? The same people, who speak out against abortion, care little about the people who already exist. They walk past the homeless like they are vermin; they attack LGBTQ, treating them in horrific ways, and seldom help the poor and needy. They are racist bigots who worship the Trump-et as if he were a God.

    Our Lord wants us to love one another. He didn’t add an ‘except’ in that sentence. Hate is wrong, it is abhorred by Jesus Christ. He said it was equivalent to death. “Love the fetus, but to Hell with the living.”

  17. So does Joe have two strikes against him? He’s against homosexuality and for the unborn having the right to live.

    Does his (apparent to you) hypocrisy make you feel better about Planned Parenthood killing millions of innocent babies?

    Just curious…why do you have no love for those waiting to be born as well? Many more of them are victims than those like Terry.

    • Joe Catholic, quit drinking the Kool Aide. Years ago I used to watch EWTN. I was even in Seminary at one point… None of it helped me make sense of my world. When I finally began to find my Relationship with Unconditional Love (Jesus for me), I found so much more than I could ever have imagined. I quit going to the Catholic Church – which in recent years has grown more imprisoned to the thinking and Self-Righteous attitudes of Traditionalists. I will not go back, unless Jesus makes it plain to me that that is where I belong…

      • Brian “Not” Catholic I returned to Rome 12 years ago after 15 years an LGBTQ activist and before that, an evangelical minister, married to a very decent and kind Christian woman. To say that my life was “together” and that I simply threw it all away would simply be a lie though. I had no experience sexually with either women or men when I was married and so never thought of myself as LGBT. But in those quiet and honest moments I knew–I had recalled feelings from age 11 that clearly indicated I was not in a marriage or life that was natural–at least for me.

        I studied, fasted, prayed, and finally became convinced that I needed to move onward, not just for me but for her. For years I remained away from the Church totally, and then finally began to investigate early Christian tradition and my even earlier cradle Catholicism. But here is what I have found after 12 years of EWTN, daily Mass and rosary, and sharing my story with literally hundreds of thousands. I think even “Joe Catholic” may have read or heard of it and it is still on at least one EWTN affiliated website as well as having been in print on the Catholic Answers website and several other venues by radio and print. Here is what I have learned after that journey–I have been so completely alone over the years that I do not really know how to be otherwise. And even from Genesis we are told that it is “not good” for humans to live life alone.

        The “good Catholics” who know my story have given me their admiration but rarely their friendship. A few have. I still spend most of my holidays alone. The LGBTQ activist world I was once part of sees me as a traitor and the traditional Catholic Christians does not totally trust me, although they “admire” my changes in life. The bottom line is that I am tomorrow becoming part of a local Episcopal parish who loves me as I am and has given me more friendship in a few months of attendance than the entire 12 years of what became, like it or not, a desert of loneliness and at times near despair.

        I still see the value in so many of the traditions I returned to such as the holy Rosary and the Eucharist. I have not and am not turning my back on them. But the Catholic Church, which I love in so many ways, is still busy trying to decide if or when to give the last Sacraments to dying homosexual persons. Just in the last few months 2 bishops have publicly forbidden their priests to do so unless they see clear “signs of repentance” in legally married gay couples. How Christ-like is that? It isn’t. I am almost 62 years of age and need to see Christ in some human faces a lot more regularly than I have in now many years. Theologically I find myself a bit more on the liberal side of the Church than in the past but I believe we are missing the point if we think we must choose between pro life Christians and pro LGBTQ Christians. Nor was that the point of the article. But they should be one in the same. Not either/or.

        The doctrine of the Church does not need to change nearly so much as the attitudes and pastoral outreach. That is what the Holy Father Pope Francis is aiming towards and it is coming–but I may not see it in my lifetime so I sojourn to a place where I can grow in my soon upcoming waning years and be at peace with who I am. LGBTQ is not “who” I am. But it is part of that package. And I own it gladly. Brian my heart goes out to you–and I relate more than you can know. God bless you in your search.

  18. I question my sexuality. I am am also a white autistic male who was raised a Methodist. I’m told every day that “all lives matter.” I’m here to say screw those lives, especially those other white male cis-hetero Chrisitan lives.

    And I’ll tell you why.

    After Orlando, I decided to fully embrace the label of “homofascist.” I am sick and tired of the religious having unwarranted “opinions” about who I was born as and how I should live my life. I’m tired of being told that I am no better than the people who are oppressing me when I fight back. I’m tired of other people being allowed to have say in my personal affairs so much that I am ready to get violent. I’m ready to start breaking noses.

    I’ll happily wear the label of a gay bully if it means making sure that I will be able to secure my independence.

    • Hi Taylor,

      Don’t give in to your rage.

      People who claim to be both pro-life and anti-gay need to be reminded that these are not their bodies. They have no authority over you or me or the pregnant woman who must make her own choices. If they believe their own religion’s precepts then they know it is not for them to judge. If they don’t live that belief, then they aren’t who they say they are.

      -Jonah

  19. Anti-gay “christians” don’t know their Bible. Jesus never said a negative word about gay people. And he said He told us everything God told Him. Obviously God does not condemn gay people. Next, Jesus was a descendant from the House of David. David had an amazing love affair with Jonathan, King Saul’s son. Jesus never said a negative word about David and his love for Jonathan. Obviously, Jesus knew of his lineage and said nothing. It wasn’t important. Third, Jesus healed the gay lover/servant of the Roman centurion. And then praised the centurion for having the greatest faith in all of Judea. Fourth, Jesus said to his 11 male disciples at the Last Supper, “Here is my new commandment for you. Love each other as I have loved you.” Jesus even had a male disciple leaning on his chest at the Last Supper. Fifth Jesus loved Lazarus.

    • And pro-homosexual lifestyle “christians” don’t bother to read all of Christ’s words, both in the Old Testament and the New. They don’t want to hear about the sinfulness of a lifestyle that thumbs its nose at the God of heaven, who has so clearly given us rules that are good for mankind and honouring to Him. It is breath-taking to see the arrogance of the “progressive, liberal” group that thinks that it can roll back 2000 years of good doctrine, grounded in good people passing down the same teaching, generation after generation, because it thinks that it has a better, more informed view on the Bible in a post-Christian world. This new, groupthink will endear you to the non-Christian world because you don’t have the moral courage to say, “Go and sin no more”. It will not put you in the category of deplorables that Jesus said you’d be in if you follow His ways. And please check your examples of what you’ve claimed to be gay men in the Bible….these are just fantasies dreamed up to support your chosen world view.

      • You have much to learn about biblical hermeneutics and church history because you are only parroting the cultural relativism biases that you have been raised within which is not the complete story of the aforementioned theological disciplines nor is it the correct one.

  20. This sums up my views in a nutshell. I am still “pro-life.” But I think it means caring about the death penalty, the environment, guns (not banning them but at least caring about who gets their hands on them and yes, banning assault weaponry and the like), and the environment, a President who regularly taunts and teases the world with nuclear threats, and the list goes on. And on. And yes it does include runaway LGBTQ youth who are in such danger of suicide or death at the hands of adults luring them into unprotected sex or worse, primarily due to the rejection they feel at home. None of it is even remotely acceptable in a nation that claims God as the one that they trust in, both individually and as a group. This man of God’s blog is well worth reading.

      • It’s rather sad Joe, that everyone who does not espouse the same beliefs as you, with the same kind “passion” as you, WANTS to KILL babies… You don’t know that. I will tell you this, the church did more to propagate the Abortion Crisis through it’s constant use of TOXIC shame aimed at young women who became pregnant out of wedlock. I am all too familiar with your kind of Self-Righteous Angry Pharisee Men, especially among the clergy. You FEEL Justified to spray your brand of shame on people who can’t live up to your standards. And now, those in the Church who talk and think like you and can only dole out Conditional Love toward those who are not as Right as you, you seek to use the state to “FORCE” everyone to OBEY you, because you have all lost the moral authority of your teachings. All the while chanting, we’re killing babies, killing babies, killing babies. Don’t assume that because I don’t obsess over these things, that that is what I want to do. You may think you know people like me, but you don’t. I don’t have to believe what you do to oppose abortion as a means of birth control. I already know you haven’t read or heard a single thing I’ve written here. Anyone who doesn’t spew out the same anger and righteous indignation as you are evil and terrible… So Sad.

  21. You are brave and honest, John Pavlovtiz. I KNOW Christ would weep at the anti-love, anti-healing pro-aggressive beliefs of many of his followers today.
    Thank you for witnessing to the truth of love. We really need to hear this in these aggressive, fearful times.

  22. I live in a very conservative, very Christian area of the country. Every day I send my sparkly, kind, creative, empathetic , shockingly bright, very LGBTQ child out the door to middle school. Every day I remind myself to breathe.
    It’s already started, the pro-life Joes’, the mini pseudo tough guys whose names mean “warrior” in some culturally appropriated language. The calls from the school. The tripping on the stairs. The shunning, the breaking down of my child by your loudly Christian one.
    Your child is trying to prove something, to himself, to the world, to his parents, his peers, his church, perhaps even to his god as he understands him. My child just wants to laugh, learn, make human connections, use the bathroom without being terrorized, to survive.

    • Feel free to visit my blog and read about the “so-called Christians” who are terrorizing your child in the name of Jesus. Just click on the following safe link and read the 200 blog articles there—and be sure to read the “About” and “My Profile” sections. Your child’s tormentors are not anywhere near being the “saints” they claim to be, and you can tell it by their fruits. Just click on the following safe link and read a lot—and I do mean a lot:

      https://faith17983.wordpress.com/

  23. I never thought I would meet a false prophet, but here we are, you are IT! Please do not misguide the young and immature anymore. They will come out of the confusion that they are in right now, but you, you know what you are doing. Shame on you! Leave the lambs alone. Leave the teaching to the godly men and women of Christ – you, sir, are corrupted to the core.

    • If the “Godly” teachers you speak of, showed more of the Unconditional Love of Jesus, most of this wouldn’t be a problem. If you want to know the damage a “Godly Teacher” can do to a gay child, read “Prayers for Bobby.” It is the true story of a young man badgered by his “christian mother” to change his orientation, read how at his darkest moment he found no other way to deal with his depression and despair than to jump off of an Interstate overpass directly into the path of an oncoming Semi. He died instantly. In her effort to understand what had happened, Mary Griffith, his mother, realized how she helped to destroy his sense of self-worth. Read the book, if you have the courage to do so, then tell us again how John is a false prophet. I don’t think you will. You “Believe” you are right no matter what. My experience with folks like yourself is that you will go to your grave denying the light of Grace and Unconditional Love Jesus showers on everyone. Read “Prayers for Bobby” and tell me how wrong I am.

  24. When Christian parents choose their fears or their standing in the church before their children, it grieves me. I think it grieves Jesus.

    The parents are not choosing their fears above their own children here, they are choosing to stand on the truth, something their child has not done. That’s a parent leading by example, and Jesus always approves of choosing the Truth.

    • No Ed. Jesus always approves of the LOVING thing to do. Jesus is not the vile Old Testament legalist that you and your fundie buddies are. Jesus spoke to you well in Matthew 23 Ed. Open up your Bible, go there, and allow Jesus to flame your sorry ass for about 10 minutes.

  25. Just the title of this is dangerous and wrong headed. And did it ever occur to you that the discomfort Terry and others like him might be feeling is correction coming from the Holy Spirit? The holy spirit convicts us in our spirit when we are off base. If you are a pastor you should know this. To ignore it, and worse yet…attribute it to the religious beliefs of another is wrong headed too.

    • No. The discomfort Terry is/might be feeling is not what you think. It is the fear being rejected by people who are supposed to follow the Loving example of Jesus; people who are supposed to follow Unconditional Love. If you want to know how bad that can be, read “Prayers for Bobby.” It’s a true story of a young man who jumped into the path of an oncoming Semi and died instantly, because of the “good intentions” of his “christian” mother. I doubt that you have the courage to do so, because you’d rather persist in your prejudice than have your mind our your heart opened to other possibilities.

  26. “I imagine Joe doesn’t see the inconsistency of his pro-life position. He likely sees none of the hypocrisy that Terry sees. I often wonder if Joe knew which of the embryos in his think pieces and Facebook posts would one day come out in middle school, if he would still defend those as boldly as he does when they are simply an abstract idea. I’m guessing not. Terry can probably verify this.”

    You might consider the reverse of your argument. I wonder why you don’t care about killing the inconvenient unborn who might one day “come out in middle school.”

  27. ‘If you identify as LGBTQ and you aren’t celebrated in your Christian home or family or church’ .. Find another church to go to. One where you will be accepted as just another member of the congregation where you are valued for who you are and what you bring, all of who you are.

    • David, I came out late in life. I was 54. This month marks seven years since that happened. One of the first consequences was I finally cut my ties to the Catholic Church. I am praying and waiting for Jesus to guide me to a new home, if that is what he wants for me. I am in no hurry.

      • I am “not” Catholic as well. I came out last year, at 53, after suppressing memories of a same sex attraction in high school. my crush killed himself shortly after graduating, in the same year my sister started dating women and was kicked out of the house, and, in the same year, death threats were written in my college’s bathroom stalls against fellow gay students.

        Currently there is no close by church that is LGBTQ affirming. All of those seem to be in the big city, not in my little town. Some days I wonder if dropping Christianity in general would be a good idea, since the Christian churches here seem to know little of the hungry, impoverished, and homeless wondering preacher of 2000 years ago, Jesus of Nazareth, also from a nothing town much like mine, back then.

    • It is the same Christianity that was presented to me at the First Methodist Church in Gallatin, Tennessee, in the late 1950s and early 1960s. The fundie belief system that persecutes LGBTQ people is an “American tater” that was founded in the United States in the Northeast and Great Lakes Region. It is a “new kind” of man-invented “Christianity” that is quite different in many ways from the original, orthodox Christianity of the 1st through 3rd centuries A.D. in the Middle East and Mediterranean world. Some of my well-educated friends who were once Christian fundamentalists say that Christian fundamentalism is a counterfeit Christianity.

  28. Jesus would totally be hanging out with Terry if he walked among us in the flesh today. He would not condemn him for being gay – he never said a damn thing about homosexuality in the Bible. Jesus would affirm and celebrate Terry’s life. He would not be tight with the likes of Joe. Rather, he would find him to be rather insufferable. It’s difficult for me to wrap my head around how many Christians don’t recognize this.

  29. Thank you John, you get it and that means a lot in the face of those who don’t — it’s the difference between giving up and going on.

  30. I’ve been encouraged and challenged and irritated by your writing for a couple of years now. I appreciate your voice.

    You addressed something in this post that I haven’t heard you directly say before, something that has always nagged at me when I read your posts on this topic: “I’d like to see them as eager to march Pride parades as they are to protest clinics.”

    Here’s my question. Granting everything you’ve said about the humanity, dignity, value, and equality of LGBTQ people, what about the flagrant display/celebration/embrace/promotion of sex?

    I’m not saying “ew, anal,” I mean, gay people can be Christian, yes, but should they not be constrained by ANY discretion regarding their sexuality or sexual expression? I understand that pride parades may be “over the top” specifically due to the oppression that LGBTQ people have historically experienced, but your endorsement of pride parades without addressing their inherent debauchery seems a bit narrow.

    I could whole-heartedly celebrate the humanity of LGBTQ people at a gathering…but to cheer alongside them while they are twerking with their dicks out? I’m not okay with that. In all seriousness, where do you see appropriate constraints on sexual expression, LGBTQ or otherwise?

    I really mean this question for you, John, and not for your readers. (I’m sure I’d get flamed by them for my “puritanical” or homophobic views.) That’s really not what I’m after here. I am really having a difficult time understanding what behavior (again, LGBTQ or otherwise) you find appropriate (or not) within a biblical framework.

    If marital gay sex is okay, what about unmarried (or uncommitted) gay sex? If unmarried hetero sex is fornication and is sinful, wouldn’t it follow that unmarried gay sex is the same? Do you support sex only within marriage/civil union for LGBTQ people? If so, why the support for pride parades, which celebrate (to my eye) hedonism and promiscuity and uninhibited sexual license? If not, do you adhere to ANY biblical constraints upon sexual activity or expression?

    “If you identify as LGBTQ and you aren’t celebrated in your Christian home or family or church, I want you to know that I and many others celebrate you.” Amen!*

    *Wait, what are we celebrating exactly? Their humanity? Their value to God? Their fully equal standing alongside hetero people as worthy of love and respect and dignity? Amen! But to “celebrate” ANY person’s commitment to putting their genitals in/on/around/nearby any other person’s genitals without consideration for what God thinks or says about it, not amen.

    Again again again, I’m seeking a uniform standard here. I have a distaste for pride parades for the same reason I have a distaste for Nicki Minaj and Ariana Grande singing/rapping about “dick bicycles” and walking “side to side” because they got banged so hard that they can’t walk in a straight line. Come on.

    Speaking of lines, then, where should they be drawn?

    • Eric, do you know any LGBTQ people? Have you bothered to reach out and dialogue with any LGBTQ people? If you read and meditate on the Gospels Jesus had the greatest compassion for those who struggle with living life; those on the margins of society. He constantly reached out a non-judgmental hand to sinners and the marginalized. Have you noticed that even among heterosexuals there is not the kind of “sexual purity” that you accuse gay people of lacking? I eventually left my church because I sensed the presence of a community of “believers” who were always quick to judge. Frankly, I don’t see the Spirit of Jesus in many churches or church leaders. With John I see a charity of Faith that tells me he is not all about “beliefs,” but lives a real relationship with Jesus.

  31. Those who call themselves Christian these days must be distinguished from actual followers of Jesus. The aforementioned “Christians” are doing a bang up job of turning people off to the faith with their evil behaviour that all but them can see.

  32. Dear John Pavlovitz, you have touched something I had hoped we might find common ground on. Yet again, you have insidiously twisted a spiritual principle into a divisive lever. Proclaiming this as “you and us” you’ve establish the very division you crusade against. You are double dipping in the definition of hypocrisy. Your personal crusade to vilify all Christianity with exception of your own branded version has scuttled the very idea you’re trying to defend “reverence for the sanctity of life”.

    And John, please stop talking for Jesus, I assure you the Son of man represents himself just fine. John, I am praying for you. You will get there, you’re going to make it. Remember one of the for most quoted writers in the Bible, Saul threatened with every breath to destroy every Christian not conforming to his way of acknowledging the Holiness of Jehovah. He too thought it necessary to impose his idea of righteousness with respect too Jehovah. His meeting with God was so profound his name was changed to Paul. You too, have a divine appointment. Don’t miss it.

  33. Amen, John Pavlovitz! Yet another good word. I also follow others like you who urge us to welcome and support LGBTQ youth. I rejoice to see that your kindred spirits are increasing, and the fundamentalists are decreasing. Most of them will probably never change, but at least their numbers are getting fewer.

  34. Reading all of these comments, it makes me so glad I gave up believing in the big book of Jewish fairy tales. Basing one’s life on the prejudices and superstitions of a primitive pre-scientific middle-eastern tribe is completely illogical, and yeah go ahead and tell me how it is virtuous to eschew reason and logic because it proves your commitment to God. It’s circular thinking like that, that keeps you trapped in a world where you will actually argue over the most inane ideas, and that is exactly what religious beliefs are, ideas. No idea is exempt from rational scrutiny, and ridiculous ideas deserve to be ridiculed. Why not just believe whatever you want, and refrain from imposing your beliefs on others who are just living their lives the way they see fit? When it is your gay friend’s time to die, you will not take their place… so stop telling him or her how to live his or her life. You don’t have that right. And don’t give me that crap that you are only doing what God told you to do. God never told you anything and if you think (s)he did, you are in need of help. All you have is a book that has been translated and transcribed countless times from a supposed “original” that doesn’t exist. Put the book down and develop some compassion and some reason.

  35. Thank goodness I’m an atheist. I may not be gay but that doesn’t mean that I can’,t support and love gay people. Plus why do I care what other folks do with their genitals? My answer is that I don’t nor do I care what they do in their bedroom or anywhere else for that matter.

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