Update: Myth of Black Athanasius
See ancient maps of "Africa". Was Athanasius an "African" bishop? We must be careful to read history AS IS rather than making history fit our modern world.
Response to LGBTA Rights and the Charge of Intolerance
May, 10th, 2008
(edited June 1, 2012, August 11, 2012, May 26, 2013, Dec 26, 2013, Feb 10, 2014)
Feb 21, 2014
This page contains something of a response to the progressive (those who used to call themselves "liberals") presentation of redefining sexuality and gender. It is my opinion that Christians must hold firmly to the clear presentation in the New Testament; this might be THE key issue of our day. Thirty years ago the key issue was abortion and basically the Church held firm. One could say that we never won the war, but at least we held our position and now public opinion seems to be swinging back to our side. It is crucial, however, that our stance not be based on public opinion. When the NT is clear - we must stand firm.
"As a Christian I cannot agree with this behavior just like I cannot agree with abortion, yet our culture is quickly moving to the place where we are NOT allowed to hold our religious view..."
CNN Piers Morgan interview of Trans-woman
Janet Mock leads to Tweet war
I am deeply concerned with how many young Christians (high school and university age) have an "open" attitude to the LGBT lifestyles and seem to think that God must be "ok" with it...since people cannot help the way they were born. After a steady drumbeat from the progressive media, academia, the Democratic Party and our public schools, it is no surprise that this is happening.
Do I want to outlaw such behavior? Legislate morality? This is the cry of the Progressive Left - that traditionalists want to hunt down this kind of behavior and outlaw it. NO, that is not my position. I would prefer that the LGBT community be left alone to mostly do what they want, but I would also like to avoid having this behavior stuck in my face at every turn. As a Christian I cannot agree with this behavior just like I cannot agree with abortion, yet our culture is quickly moving to the place where we are NOT allowed to hold our religious view - we are now being accused of denying someone their civil rights. Our young people are slowly being brainwashed on this issue and I think we need to be able to give them sound reason and logic for WHY we cannot accept the gender/sexuality paradigm being trumpeted by the Progressive movement.
A new story on the Gay Rights/LGBT front is the Janet Mock story. I realize the gay community might scoff at me for lumping this story with theirs, but these communities have joined forces by adding the "T" in "LGBTA." I could write another article on this move to include transgenders and now (because the goal is to try to garner as much support as possible) "A" has been added for Ally. I could have sworn that I first heard the "A" standing for "advocate," but this is part of the article I am writing - aggrieved groups continually change their naming conventions and "proper" ways for the general public to refer to them and then are offended (surprise!) when people like me (or in the case you are about to read, Piers Morgan) do not get it right.
Recently Janet Mock appeared on Piers Morgan to promote her new autobiography, describing how she had been born as a girl trapped in a boy's body. I have not read her book and I do not know if she uses this terminology, but for the purpose of my article it does not matter. I have used terminology that is commonly heard and that most "straight" people would be able to understand: being "trapped in a boy's body."
I am not a huge fan of Piers Morgan, but I thought he conducted a very good interview. During the initial interview Morgan was curious and asked several questions that I thought were completely fine - questions a straight person like me would ask. Mock seemed quite happy during the entire interview, but two (or four) days later when the interview aired she began to berate Morgan on Twitter. This led to an explosion of angry and nasty tweets from the Transgender community against Morgan with his reactive tweets as well. Apparently Mock and the trans community had been offended by CNN running subtext during the interview that Mock had been "born as a boy." Morgan invited Mock back for a second interview to mend fences, which she accepted. This was also, in my opinion, a good interview. The two openly disagreed, but I think Morgan continued to be genuinely concerned that he not be labeled a bigot. He defended himself and did not back down. I thought he did a good job of showing his support of the trans community, but also expressing his dismay at being attacked.
After this second interview Morgan hosted a panel of three guests to discuss the Morgan-Mock conflict. This is when the REAL progressive (and LGBTA community) agenda was expressed. One of the panel members was Marc Lamont Hill. Hill has been a guest on FoxNews, CNN and numerous other channels. He has taught on the university campus and is an intelligent person, but if you read the bio on his site he is noted more for being a television personality than anything.
In the panel video linked above Hill introduces the problem that I want to address here when he says this about Morgan's initial interview with Mock (I saw this panel live, but I am citing from the panel transcripts):
"Trans identity does not change upon surgery. You can have a penis and still be a woman, a trans-woman."
One of the other panel members, Ben Ferguson (a conservative radio talking head and political commentator) had just defended Morgan by stating the obvious, "She was a boy...when she was born." This is how Morgan had presented Mock in the initial interview, like most people would: a person's sex or gender is presented at birth by their sexual organs.
Here is where Marc Hill gives his "academic" argument,
"...I agree with you [Morgan]. I actually wish Janet in the interview had questioned you and challenged you on your use of language around boy and manhood. I think you're wrong to do it....the bigger issue isn't the use of language. It's the fact that so much of the interviews centered around the sensational aspects about genitalia that [there's] so much more about trans life, trans experience that I wanted you to cover..."
Morgan cut Hill off and challenged him, "I never mentioned her genitalia at all ever in either interview. You're the first to mention. I didn't mention this."
Hill's reply: "Well, when you say. Well, no, you alluded to it when we talk about -- if you talk about surgery and when you talk about saying a boy until 18, it implies that she -- her womanhood is [the issue]..."
The first thing to note is that Hill has not been accurate. He first states that Morgan's interview "centered around...genitalia," but when challenged had to admit that it was "alluded to." For most academics their words are quite important; most attempt to be very precise with their words. Hill should have acknowledged that he mispoke, but he does not. Later in the panel discussion he disagrees with Ferguson and states "You're confusing sex and gender. You should really read a book on this." When someone with a Ph.D. presents their position as if it is not questioned, they are typically being disingenious. While there are some academic positions that are mostly universally agreed upon, the majority are not. This leads to my main point regarding this gender issue.
The trans community, and apparently the new academic niche called "Gender Studies" has decided that sexual organs no longer define the sexuality or gender of a person. Marc Hill accurately reflects the trend within gender studies beginning with Simone de Beauvoir, "One is not born, but rather becomes, a woman." (The Second Sex, p.283)
First, Gender Studies is a fairly new field and there are many psychologists and sociologists who would not agree with some of the "fundamentals" presented in this field. It is a "soft" science and therefore rife with opinions ("hard" science shares in this as well).
This type of language offends me: that it is now wrong, bigoted and ignorant to state a person was a boy at birth is ridiculous on it's face. Gender Studies (Note: Marc Hill's Ph.D. is not in this discipline) has only really been a separate category for 10 years at the most (Harvard changed it's Women's Studies program in 2003 to include Gender and Sexuality). Thus when Marc Hill (or anyone else in Gender Studies) acts as if his opinion is settled science, he is living in an alternate universe (some would indeed say this about the liberal academy).
But THIS IS the new battleground: the progressive movement seeks to redefine our terms which constantly keeps their intellectual opponents off balance. It is difficult to effectively argue a position when your opponent is able to redefine terms at will. In reading Beauvoir I understand what he is saying and I agree with him to a point, but the Gender Studies crowd has grabbed this concept and aggressively pushed the argument in many ways that do not stand up to scrutiny. They get away with it because they do not allow conservatives to have a voice. I will readily admit there are problems with the conservative/conventional position, but I can illustrate in a few ways how the above Gender Studies argument fails.
First, if the sexual organs of a newborn baby does not in ANY way define the person, picture how it would look: no more little boy or girl clothing; all children are approached and dealt with in a unisex way. What happens to the overwhelming majority of children who DO FEEL consistent with their sexual organs? In other words, what do you do if/when a small person with a penis actually "feels" like a boy? Do we urge him to suppress that feeling because Gender Studies has decided that you "become" your gender and since some might be confused we need to protect all? That would be treating everyone equally. How do we decide if and when we allow that small person to dress and act out his feelings of being a boy?
My guess is that Janet Mock wishes she could have had that surgery at an earlier age (she and Marc Hill acted as if mentioning sex change surgery was akin to using a racial slur...a gender slur). But who would ever give parents the green light to change the sex of a child? Hopefully nobody.
Secondly, sexual or gender feelings are dynamic. It is not uncommon for children to be sexually attracted to the same sex...to both sexes...or to seemingly be devoid of sexual feelings. This seems to be more like what Beauvoir was saying in the context of "One is not born...a woman." There IS a development that happens with ALL children. It is not equally seen or felt, however. We are all unique.
The Logic of Extension needs to be set free!
How many times have you heard someone use extension by the analogy of the Nazis and been accused of equating whatever the topic was with the Nazis? Or to have Godwin's Law invoked on them? It goes both ways. If a gay person says that conservatives are like Russia's Putin, wanting to outlaw the gay lifestyle; he should not be accused of trying to equate the two. Most conservatives do NOT want to outlaw the gay lifestyle. So when I bring animals into play I do not think it is fair to invoke something like Godwin's Law. Bestiality is a real issue.
What do we do with children who "feel" pulled in unacceptable sexual ways? "There is no normal sexuality." Really? Do we allow children to play sexually with adults? With animals? Oh No You Didn't - Anytime a conservative brings up animals the progressives go crazy, acting as if one is equating the two. Somehow they miss the logic of extension or ad absurdum.
What about a person who "feels" some kind of sexual desire for an animal? Many will think this to be ridiculous, but bestiality has been around from the dawn of the ages. I am NOT equating gay, lesbian or transgender sexual activity with bestiality. What I am suggesting is IF we claim that a person can have "feelings" for the same sex or be trapped in the wrong body I wonder how we can dismiss the claims of people being attracted to animals. I realize that PETA and others might object on the basis that the animal does not have a choice in the matter, but that does not address the fundamental question: should we refrain from judgement of such behavior? Should we celebrate this as we are being told to do with LGBT activity?
One could argue, "No child ever "feels" this attraction to an animal."
1. Can we be sure of this? My guess is that somebody, somewhere is bound to have had such an attraction.
2. Philosophically we must address this possibility. Does it seem absurd? Yes, but we know people have had sexual interaction with animals. I have personally known of four young men who have had sexual relations with an animal. Can a person help this? Were they born with this attraction? It is difficult for me to listen to the LGBTA argument of being born this way, when they will not honestly and logically deal with issues like this: logically, they should be inclusive of this group.
I know this is another argument that gets Progressives foaming at the mouth, but what about adults who "feel" sexually attracted to children? Again, I am NOT equating LGBT behavior with pedophilia, but using the same arguments we MUST point out that Progressives cannot logically condemn such behavior when the "child" reaches a certain age. What that age is must obviously be determined by somebody. That is problematic, but does not negate the argument. If early teens are having sex and having babies, then who is to say that a 13 year old girl cannot have "feelings" for an older man?
Progressives want to simply dismiss these arguments as hysterical rants made by Fundamentalists who want to hunt LGBT people down like they apparently do in Russia, China and some Muslim nations. I just viewed a video of such a group in Russia and it makes me sick. But we must still answer the logic of the argument:
Do we condemn men who "feel" this attraction to children? Or do we celebrate children who seem to "feel" attracted to adults?
We are experiencing numerous examples of school teachers (men and women) seducing teenage students. I can tell you that there have always been young men who fantasized about having sex with a teacher. Should we make allowance for this attraction? "People cannot help the way they were born."
This is the slippery slope argument and it should not be quickly dismissed. Using the same logic being used by Marc Hill and Janet Mock, these other less savory activities can be condoned, even celebrated. The more our society opens the door to abnormal sexuality the more bizarre things will become...and the more likely that the culture will slowly condone, then give approval to the bizarre.
Our young people need to hear this kind of logic to challenge the ubiquitous message being pounded into their minds day after day in movies, on TV shows, in their classrooms and during the halftime shows of the Super Bowl.
Dec 26, 2013
Duck Dynasty Stirs the Water
The homosexual issue again hit center stage with the Duck Dynasty star making crude comments that have put him on the wrong side of the PC media and gay rights groups.
I am NOT here to justify, or argue for what Phil Robertson said, but as most agree he has the right to say what he believes. Beyond that, most Christians who believe the New Testament text would agree with what he said. But this is an example of a Christian offering his/her opinion rather than having the LGBT issue being shoved in their face.
We are moving more quickly to a place where Christians are not allowed to hold an opinion that is consistent with 2,000 years of doctrinal history. Do you ever wonder why the media never attacks fundamentalist Muslim belief like this? Could it be for fear that they might be killed for it? It is more likely because our PC Thought Police has hammered us to NOT say anything negative about Muslims. It is interesting: Phil Robertson gets hammered,
for speaking out what MOST Christian men THINK
for what many/most straight men THINK
for what Muslims openly believe in Muslim nations
Yet I am more likely to get hammered for saying this about Muslims than Muslims would be for what they THINK and/or say about homosexuality.
May, 26th, 2013
I also do not want to get graphic like Robertson did in his GQ interview, but just ask a straight man (an atheist, I do not think it matters what his religious beliefs are) if he would rather have sex with a woman or with a man. I hear gay advocates casting stones at Robertson for "equating" homosexuality with bestiality. Read the article - he did not do that. He was saying that if you do not have a moral code anything goes. I understand why the LGBT community gets offended by this kind of logic, but there are many people who agree with Robertson on this point.
It is also interesting that I have not heard ANYTHING negative about the GQ reporter for the "insensitive" comment he makes in the opening of his article. He uses a sexist slur that many would find offensive: most would say "wus," or "wussy." He references Robertson and the backwoods Louisiana country as "redneck." He uses the "F" word 2-3 times. Am I offended by this? Not really. But it is the hypocrisy of it all that offends me.
I heard some commentators saying there is a feeling that A & E may have signed Duck Dynasty thinking people would get a great laugh and enjoy making fun of them...only to discover a pot of gold, the goose that laid the golden egg. I think the point of this entry for me is that it is OK to make fun of "rednecks," or Christians (think of all the SNL skits against Christianity...which make me laugh as well), but other groups are off limits. Not only are you not allowed to make fun, but you cannot even say what you believe without getting condemned.
The latest in the fight for gay rights is the new Department of Justice document, circulated to all managers: "LGBT Inclusion at Work: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Managers."
While I do not agree with the interpretation I am reading in conservative publications, I do think the kind of thinking represented in this document is where we are headed.
"Number 7: Know How to Respond If an Employee Comes Out to You
DONíT judge or remain silent. Silence will be interpreted as disapproval."
Some conservatives are interpreting this to be the position of the DOJ - that you MUST be supportive; that silence is unacceptable. I think this phrase is meant to say what an LBGTA person might think, but this document and this phrase should stand as a warning for ALL those who do not agree with the LGBTA agenda. I DO think this is where we are headed.
We are being pushed to accept this alternative lifestyle...soon using the phrase alternative lifestyle will be seen as bigotry.
"Under Number 2: Use Inclusive Language
DONíT use words and phrases like "gay lifestyle," "sexual preference" or "tranny..."
What? "Gay lifestyle" is offensive like "tranny?" In this document a transgender woman complains about ongoing debates regarding her bathroom privilege.
When I first started this site I knew that some of my writings could hurt my chances at landing a teaching job. Think about it. I could easily be turned away from a teaching job, maybe a corporate job, for speaking my opinions. I have not engaged in truly offensive language - but I am guilty for not accepting, not being encouraging of something I disagree with...because
Silence will be interpreted as disapproval.
This page has become something of a "catch-all" page. While I apologize for this, to some degree it is called for: the "gay rights" issue has become a front page item that is not going to go away. The latest uproar was with the Chick-Fil-A incident and "The New Normal" TV show coming this Fall. The TV show only illustrates my point.
I have been asked to write a scholarly paper on how early Christianity viewed homosexuality. More precisely, what did the early church fathers have to say on this subject. I have not completed the research, but have been interacting with the ideas already, thus I would like to comment on something posted (I think) by Mark Poole.
It is this comment,
"There is a tendency within modern Christianity (as with society at large) to focus on one or two hot-button issues and to make these a litmus test for orthodoxy. This has happened today with regard to issues of abortion, homosexuality and evolution…"
While it is certainly true that sectors of Christianity tend to place far too much focus on secondary issues, there is a reason that the right wing focuses on the three issues Mr. Poole mentions.
1. Abortion - the focused attention on this issue started AFTER the 1972 Roe vs. Wade Supreme Court decision. From that point our government began to use tax dollars to pay for abortions, which continues to this day. If this were not the case, OR if there were only 1,000 abortions per year in the US (instead of around 1,000,000) I do not think Christians would be making this a "hot-button."
2. Homosexuality - although homosexuality has always been something the Church has condemned, it did not become a "hot-button" until proponents started shoving the issue in the face of the public. I do not remember the subject ever coming up in public when I was a teenage Christian until it became clear that the piano player at our church was a professed homosexual. Once the gay community started trying to get grade schools to use "Heather Has Two Mommies" it became a problem. Now we are confronted with a steady drumbeat that we are homophobic, hateful and denying civil rights if we do not allow homosexuals to have the same marriage rights as heterosexuals.
3. Evolution - I was taught evolution in junior high and high school. At that time I had not become a Christian, thus did not know this was a "hot-button." But we now have some good scientists who have developed good materials to present Creation Science as an optional theory. Do they get the same opportunity as the evolution establishment to present their views? No. If you have not seen Ben Stein’s movie "Expelled" you should watch it. For those who refuse to watch it because they think it represents propaganda - please tell me you did NOT watch Al Gore on global warming or Michael Moore on the Iraq War. Ben Stein does a good of exposing the closed mindedness of our academic institutions. The academy is supposed to be a place where debate and discussion are welcomed - the US academy has become a protected liberal haven. The crazy evidence in the global warming debate has also exposed this bias.
What is a "Hot-Button" Issue?
You see, anything becomes a "hot-button" when proponents draw attention to it by trying to force it on the rest of the culture. When Mr. Poole says, "Many Christians spend a good proportion of their time and energy worrying about such matters…whilst conveniently ignoring weightier matters…" I would suggest that these "weightier matters" probably do get attention, although perhaps not as much as they would if the injustice were being shoved in the face of a Christian while telling that Christian to accept it as "normal, good, and right."
It is true that Christianity has not always reacted well to social issues. Christians do not always react well on an individual basis. I certainly fail consistently. But I have not heard of a single incident of Christians breaking into a Metropolitan (Gay) Church service to disrupt their proceedings like the gay activists have done (see, http://www.veritasrex.com/veritas_rex/2008/11/idea-4-2.html). If gays were to be openly attacked I have no doubt that pastors around the country would condemn that action - just like they did when abortion clinics were bombed in the 70’s and 80’s.
In the 70’s the homosexual community protested against homophobic violence. In the 80’s they protested against discrimination in the work place. In the 90’s they pushed to get a prominent presence in movies and on TV sitcoms. Then they pushed for equal rights to adopt children, bear children through artificial insemination, and to have visitation rights in the hospital (I agree with this one 100%). Now they want equal rights with respect to marriage. The homosexual community has moved from wanting to be free of violence (certainly a right), to being accepted as a viable alternative lifestyle, and now they want to be seen as "normal." In fact the title of this book is what they are looking for, "Beyond Acceptance" By Carolyn W. Griffin, Marian J. Wirth, Arthur G.Wirth. The sympathizer out there would ask, "Why is that so bad, to be seen as normal?"
The more scholarly studies I have seen in the past have maintained that between 4-7% of the general population see themselves as "exclusively" homosexual. The gay community wants to place the figure closer to 10%. Even 10% reveals that this lifestyle is NOT "normal." I have heard gay advocates respond to this by saying, "but the number of openly gay, and even bisexual people is growing." This is exactly what concerns the Christian community. IF a person is born with this sexual outlook, then why would the numbers be growing? It seems that the numbers should stay fairly consistent.
My educated guess is that the percentage of people who describe themselves as "exclusively" homosexual remains around the same. The number of people who would describe themselves as "bisexual," or have had a positive same-sex encounter has undoubtedly increased in the last 10-12 years, especially among women. Why?
Over the past 20 years we have had images of homo/bi sexuality shoved in our faces - The Ellen DeGeneres Show, Queer as Folk, Will and Grace, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy, Brokeback Mountain, Madonna and Britney kissing...I see women passionately kissing each other almost every week in various advertisements for other shows.
NBC's Cast from "The New Normal"
The New Normal
Again, the new NBC TV show scheduled for the Fall of 2012 illustrates my main point. Just the title of the show, "The New Normal." What does "normal" mean anymore? The alternative lifestyle community calls anyone who disagrees with their lifestyle "bigots," yet they have the audacity to refer to a married gay couple as "normal." This community will not be content until they are seen as "normal:"
We donít want crumbs from the masterís table, we want the whole cake....Sometimes we gays are so happy we got this far, we donít want to rock the boat. People are telling us that we should be happy sitting halfway up the bus....I want to sit at the front of the bus and if I feel like it I want to drive the bus. ~ From www.pinknews.co.uk
But others wonder why more conservative people are not ready to open wide the doors for gay marriage? Ryan Murphy, the creator of the TV show makes it clear that he writes his material to change the views of society. He is gay and he wants everybody to know he is gay, to applaud his gayness, and to let him have the "whole cake," and to "drive the bus" if he feels like it. [reference]
I remember when the Gay and Lesbian Alliance started promoting their agenda at the University of Alabama. I was serving as a university pastor at the time and the GLA wrote an article for the school paper promoting itself. The next edition of the paper came out with an angry letter to the Editor by a bisexual male complaining that the GLA was discriminating against him - the GLA had not shown proper acceptance to him. The next edition of the paper showcased a HUGE "Ad" (most likely run for free) stating that the GLA was now the GLBA. Yes, they opened their doors for the bisexual community.
Now this community is the LGBTQIA community (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning, Intersex and Allies)
Why not? The more people that can be brought under their banner, the more "normal" it will be. I think some "item" should probably be around 80% or more before it is called "normal." For example,
- Is it normal to use Twitter?
- Is it normal for a U.S. Congress person to be female?
- Is it normal to be left-handed?
- Is inter-racial marriage normal in the USA?
These are all 15% occurrences and cannot be called "normal." Truly if something is not "normal" it is "abnormal," but I would never suggest that we should use that descriptive for any of these items. But what about beastiality? I know that is sick, but really? In another 10 years will I be called a "bigot" because I am "denying a civil right" to someone who wants to practice this "new normal?"
My Point? Simple. The "Right" responds more aggressively when an issue like homosexual marriage is presented as "normal." No, it is not normal, not in any sense of the word.
Why do you make such a big deal about this?
Don't you realize that you are not acting like Jesus? You sound like you hate gays!
What is motivating me is that our society has lost the ability to think critically. To call a gay married couple finding a young woman to "host" a child for them is not "normal." So the fact that this kind of word can be used without more people saying, "hold on" is concerning to me. Words mean something...or at least they used to. Secondly, to even suggest that my comments sound like I hate gays is absurd. I have never said I hate gays. I have never said that we should outlaw homosexuality or ban gays from being able to meet and do whatever they want. Again, our society has lost the ability to think and to argue logically and critically. It reminds me of those who want to call me a "racist" because I will not vote for Obama to be reelected. To those people it would not matter that I would vote for any number of black politicians (Condoleezza Rice, Alan West, JC Watts, Colin Powell, Herman Cain, etc.). My apologies to Ms. Rice - I realize that she is truly NOT a politician, but I can dream of it anyway.
The Chick-Fil-A Controversy
Here were my first comments on the Chick-Fil-A issue:
I find Rahm Emanuel's comments regarding Chick-Fil-A to be ridiculous. He has now climbed down from his lofty perch, but his comment that Chick-Fil-A values are not consistent with Chicago's values was ridiculous. I am curious...would he like to push all conservative Christian churches, synagogues and mosques out of his city as well? What were Dan Cathy's comments? He supports same-sex marriage? He did not make negative comments about gays, lesbians, bi-sexuals or any other sexual preference.
Of course, I was accused of being intolerant which led to this response:
Perhaps he prefers the rash of inner-city shootings in his city to the values of a good fast-food chain that teaches young people a good work ethic. Perhaps Chick-Fil-A turning a profit bothers Rahm; after all, Chicago is drowning in debt. Perhaps he should stop pandering to a political base when a private business owner exercises his first ammendment rights and speaks his mind. Rahm, you have your hands full right now. You need to concern yourself with the violence in your streets. Chick-Fil-A has not killed anyone.
Why is it that when Mitt Romney or Pat Robertson, or any other conservative makes a stupid comment he is held up to ridicule, but Rahm Emanuel makes this stupid comment and anyone who agrees with his viewpoint shouts "amen." It's really amusing...and sad.
There was another sad time in our history when the church took the lead in treating various subgroups of society in poor ways, or at least looked the other way. Now the progressives want to shut businesses down that do not follow the latest PC rules, force churches to accept what their sacred texts denounce, and applaud knee-jerk accusations of "bigot," "racist," and other charges intended to paint a red "A" on a person who disagrees with them. My, how the tables have turned. In the second century the Romans called the Christians "atheists." Now Christians are quickly called bigots and racists. Why is it that I have never heard a progressive attack Islam like this? I am fairly sure that devoted Muslims, as a whole, reject homosexuality as well. I guess Chick-Fil-A is an easy target.
I hear that the gay/lesbian/bi-sexual community plans to demonstrate at Chic-Fil-A restaurants on August 3. I'll see you there. I will be happy to discuss my views in a civil manner with any on the other side of the argument while I enjoy a chicken sandwich...or maybe I will have a salad. I wonder if PETA will join in on the fun!
I am not sure I understand the comment due to the subtle nature, but I think Mr. Johnson proves my point. I THINK he is calling me intolerant. If so, I would suggest that he and others refrain from ad hominem attacks and try using good argumentation.
Part of my commentary is that to call someone "bigot," or "racist," and now "intolerant" is very poor debate/discussion. This, of course, is what has happened in Washington DC - rather than using good argument both sides resort to name-calling. Ad hominem ("to" or "against the man") is the easy, lazy way to argue. When teaching Ethics I would instruct my students that using ad hominem reveals that you do not have a good argument.
Turn the Chick-Fil-A situation around to see if your position is consistent. If the mayor of Montgomery, Alabama were to publicly say that a gay business owner was not welcome in his/her city because that person's values are not the same as the residents of the city, would Mr. Johnson (or Rahm Emanuel) be consistent? You see, I would say that IF that happened the Montgomery Mayor would be dead wrong. This, of course, was one of my MAIN points. This Chick-Fil-A situation encompasses more than the issue of marriage and gay rights to marriage. NO public official should ever make stupid comments trying impose his/her personal values on a business owner. That gay business owner has every right to run his business anywhere he wants within the existing laws (obviously we all must abide by zoning laws, etc.). My position is the same as with Chick-Fil-A.
The marketplace will decide whether a business owner is welcome or not. The alternative lifestyle community might not like Chick-Fil-A, but if enough of the public agrees with, and eats at their restaurants, then obviously their values must not be a minority opinion. Should the alternative community boycott the restaurant? It is certainly their right, but I would ask them if they want Christians to visit and boycott their social hangouts and businesses? Can you imagine how a gay business owner would feel if Christians stood outside their plant nursery (for example) to boycott them? I would not do it and I would not encourage it. You do not have to patronize Chick-Fil-A.
I will try my best to show up on the protest day, but not to debate gay marriage. I do not see much point in this since if you are in the alternative community you have already made up your mind...and so have I. I will discuss this tendency to use ad hominem and call people "bigots" and "intolerant." It is hate speech as much as calling a gay person by any well-known invective.
And NOW DC Comics has announced that the Green Lantern is Gay!
The Green Lantern is Gay - Really?
Do you get it yet? This is why the religious right has a problem with this issue. Yes, more young people are experimenting with same-sex encounters. The gay movement has been on the offensive (not defensive) and they are winning.
"But why does this bother you so much?"
Well, I feel very much the same way about violent video games. We have teenagers playing games in which they steal cars, kill people, brutally beat people, and rape women. Do I think this affects them in their psyche? I do. Does that mean all of these youngsters will become rapists and murderers? No, but I do think a percentage on the fringe will cross the line, encouraged to do so by the constant input they receive.
I know men who have had "positive" same-sex encounters and would tell you in a heartbeat that they are NOT homosexual. Then why did they engage in a homosexual act? Because they were sexually aroused and wanted to have a sexual release. None of the men I know in this category were "looking for love." I would guess that this is the case with most young women as well.
I have had two military chaplains inform me that the military will begin to demand that chaplains perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. One of these men resigned; the other is finishing out his last year to retire, but admits that if he were closer to his end date he would have to resign. Just like the attack against the Catholic Church regarding contraceptives, we are being forced to accept (not just to show tolerance) things that go against our Christian morals/ethics.
Christian Groups on University Campuses being Forced to Accept Gays
Christian Groups Under Assault on American Campuses
The biggest problem I have with the gay community is that they want the rest of us to accept them as "normal." They will not stop shoving their agenda in our face until they get everything they want. They demand that we accept them as members in good standing in our churches, even as pastors in our pulpits. We must allow them to teach our children in kindergarten and grade school AND we must grant them the freedom to teach our children that our religious views are bigotry. We must not complain or be hesitant to be served in a family restuarant by an openly gay waiter/waitress. We must not say anything against them or their movement, else we are guilty of hate speech (my writing here, my freedom of speech must be curbed because it is hateful). We must grant the same "tolerance" not only to your basic homo/bi sexual, but also towards the transgenders, the transexual, Thomas Beatie (the former woman, now pregnant man - how in the heck do you explain that to your 5 year old?), and who knows what else in another 5-10 years.
Read the story of the pregnant man (http://abcnews.go.com/Health/story?id=4581943).
the couple struggled after the birth of their daughter and are seeking a divorce. How is this little girl supposed to understand this? Her dad is really a woman who became a man, then decided to have a baby, get married to a woman...but then got a divorce because his/her wife punched him/her in the groin. see reference
In the face of this madness I find it sad that I would be called intolerant because I want marriage to remain defined as the union of a single man and a single woman. Ultimately I guess we will be forced to adjust the definition to include future Thomas Beaties - OB-GYN doctors must show "tolerance" while performing pre-natal exams on partially bearded women with male equipment (TMI).
I have been following some of the blogs regarding this issue, especially the debates surrounding the Chick-Fil-A incident. I noticed that many called into question the method of defiantly going to the restaurant to buy their product. One blogger said, "it seemed like many were doing it to 'stick it to the gays'." I disagree. First, one the appreciation day what I noticed was happy people, willing to wait in line for an hour to place an order. Then most people waited another 35-45 minutes to get their order. I never heard one single caustic comment about gays. I did hear people saying that they wanted to stand up for the First Ammendment and Free Speech. It should also remembered that the Chick-Fil-A incident followed somewhat closely on the heels of the Obama-Contraceptive-Catholic Church incident. Conservatives had already had a thumb in the eye and "religious freedom" challenged in that whole incident. We saw Protestants standing with the Catholics even though most do not agree with the view of the Catholic Church - the issue, like with Chick-Fil-A, was freedom.
If we sit by and do nothing on a political/social level we can lose our freedoms. Is that what God wants? Maybe. But maybe we need to take a stand.
What would Jesus Do?
Which Jesus do you want? The one who told the Gentile woman that it was not right to give bread to the dogs (like her)? Or the Jesus that cursed the fig tree? Or how about the one who did not welcome his mother and siblings to one of his meetings?
My daughters challenged me during this discussion period, asking me why I was posting to Facebook about it. I wanted to send a private message to a woman who had posted a few challenging comments to ask her if she would like to "discuss" the issue privately. One daughter said, "Dad, why do you want to bother her; that woman is not going to change her mind."
This issue is important for the next generation. Most gays already have a negative impression of evangelical Christians. Do I care about them? Absolutely. But have Christians been saying terrible things about gays for the past 10-15 years? Not that I have heard. Sure, from time to time you will have someone say something ridiculous like the Florida church that protests military funerals with gay-hating signs, but is that "normal?" No.
Yet as this page has illustrated, our culture has been fed a steady diet of pro-gay propaganda and "normal" is becoming more blurred. How are we to respond? I posed this question to my daughters. "We should show gay people kindness when we meet them!" I agreed, but we should treat EVERYONE with kindness.
Should we respond like Apollos, like Peter, or like Stephen?
Apollos was good at debate and he did not mind a good intellectual joist.
Peter interacted with his audience and admitted that he was uncomfortable and was going against his training. Stephen, well, he was not so gentle and ended up getting stoned for his efforts. I know, I know. Jesus and the apostles were far tougher with the religious than they were with the lost. I agree.
In the second century some Christians threw themselves at the Romans begging to be martyred. Clement of Alexandria used Greek philosophy to reach out to the culture. Tertullian argued with precision and also railed against the Emperors. Who was more correct? I cannot say.
Love people. Argue positions. That is my point.
I am most concerned for children being born right now. What will their "normal" be in 20 years? My parents can hardly believe what they are witnessing right now. Heck, I am stunned when I think about it.
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