Does GOD "Hate Fags" ?
[  http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/God&gays.html ]

What makes "Christians" superior to Homosexuals?

The GOP may hate Gays

What makes so-called "evangelical" Christians feel so morally superior to others?  I believe that many such people know in their hearts that they are "petty" people, i.e. the French word for "small" (intellectually, emotionally or morally, if not physically), but they try to build up their self-image by trying to tear other people down.  Sadly, many such people who have been nurtured in Christian communities have been taught ways of using the holy scriptures to view homosexuals as moral inferiors, just as their Christian forebears were taught to use those same scriptures to despise Jews, and then black people.  Every now and then such people seem compelled to prove just how "normal" heterosexuals like themselves are by brutalizing and/or killing supposedly "abnormal" homosexuals !
        Matthew Shepherd was a kind, gentle and unassuming young college student, until he crossed the path of the wrong "normal" people.  Matt was lurred into a trap by two men who pretended to be gay. He was then viciously beaten, after which he was tied much like "the good thief" to a fence far from town, and left there to suffer alone, freeze and die.  What makes Matt's case stand out from the hundreds of other such cases is his funeral, because several dedicated so-called "Christians" went out of their way to attend his funeral in Laramie, Wyoming and to demonstrate with their signs and their shouting their firm belief that "God hates fags".  They succeeded in communicating their message of hate, not only to Matthew's family and community, but to the whole world through the television coverage they rightfully expected this funeral would receive.
        The Rev. Phelps who inspired this (and many other such demonstrations)  has dedicated his life to this "ministry", using among other tools, his internet site, where he proudly displayed a daily count of how many days Matthew Shepherd had supposedly been in hell. 
P. S. Some conservatives, including Republican Congresswoman Foxx on the floor of the House, claim that because Shepherd's wallet was taken, his killing should not be considered a hate crime.  Everybody knows that in addition to robbing them, it's common practice for thieves to beat their victims viciously and then tie them to fences and leave them to die in agony!

A letter from a son who left the Phelps family / church :

Mark Phelps wrote the following to the citizens of Topeka, Kansas, homebase for his (in)famous father.  It is printed at his request in The Capital-Journal on May 19, 1993.  Contacted by telephone in California July 7, 1994, Mark Phelps said the letter still represents his feelings.  He also cautioned people against taking the letter out of context, saying there is "gentleness" in the context of the letter and a hope that the community can better understand Fred Phelps based on what the letter contains.

"Many people have been asking me, over the past several weeks, about my father.  They want to know what I think about him and 'What is he really like?' People's interest in what I think baffles me, but after careful consideration, I decided to respond.
        What is he like? Well, it's been 19 years since I left home, but his behavior still appears to be the same.  He considers his environment to be against him without admitting, acknowledging or taking responsibility for how he contributes to that.  He likes to show himself as being moral, pro-family, pro-Bible, but his actions just don't add up to that.  I believe in God and the Bible, and my father's behavior doesn't fit the description of behavior that would show in the life of one who loves God; behavior characteristics such as Love, Joy, Peace, Longsuffering, Kindness, Goodness, Faithfulness, Gentleness, Self-control.  Instead, my father's behavior characterizes, I believe, Hate, Outbursts of Wrath, Contention, Jealousy, Vengefulness, Misery, Harshness, and Selfish ambition.  He misstates the truth about his own behavior, about others, about the Bible, with apparent ease and regularity.  He behaves with a viciousness the likes of which I have never seen.  He accepts no genuine accountability in his life and is subject to no one.  His lifestyle betrays the sacred trust of what a pastor, husband, father and grandfather should be.  I suppose if a comparison were made between the life of Jesus Christ and my father, there would not be much to compare.
        I also realize that my father is a very unstable person who is determined to hurt people.  And because he is so bound to be hateful and hurtful, and because he's so untrustworthy, I believe it's a good idea to respond to him with caution much like the caution used when dealing with a rattlesnake or a mad dog.  You see, the causes that he crusades for, including the Bible, are not the issue here.  He simply wants to hate and to have a forum for his hate.  If the causes he focuses on were the issue, that is, if they really meant something to him in his heart and he meant for the things he does to be for the good, his behavior would not be what it is.  He would not betray his message with his behavior.  But, when he needs to, to vent his hate, he readily goes outside the bounds of any previously stated 'value' or 'cause' he may have supported.  He experiences no moral dilemma when it comes to doing what he wants to do.  If it weren't the homosexuals, it would be something else.
        Yet checks and balances on his behavior are appropriate, on the part of the community, in order to at least confine his destructive behaviors and to limit his influence.  I believe that Topekans are making a good effort to try and stop him and should continue to do so.  He can seem very intimidating.  He can use foul language and come across with a booming voice to the community, but the truth is, like the Wizard of Oz, when Toto pulls the curtain back, instead of this big powerful individual, it's only a small, pathetic old man.
        I feel sorry for my father as I would for anyone who displays this kind of hate and evil viciousness.  These can only be the manifestations of tortured, injured and agonizing souls."
        – Mark W. Phelps

What is so special about biblical injunctions against homosexuality?

The bible recommends and/or condemns all kinds of behaviors.  Why the obsession in our day and age with what the bible may say about this one behavior?  Could it be that Conservative preachers who don't want to upset the majority of their followers by preaching about many of the others behaviors condemned in the bible find it convenient to "scape goat" this unpopular minority, which they perceive to be outsiders? Don't all of these preachers profess to believe in the Ten Great Commandments?  Yet, what are they doing about the Sabbath Commandment?  Are they insisting that those who don't observe it properly be killed, as they are clearly told to do by "God's Word"?  Are they requiring that none of their flock work or patronize any kind of business on that day?  How many businessmen would support such churches if they were being told to shut down their businesses, and not make any money on that day each week, including entertainment and transportation businesses?  See much more on this topic at sabbathobservance.html, including a letter of mine which was published in one of Connecticut's leading newspapers, The New Haven Register

The Biblical sin of Sodom wasn't about homosexuality

No story in the Bible has been used more to persecute homosexuals than the story of Sodom (and Gomorrah). By the Middle Ages, Thomas Aquinas had come to see all disasters of any kind as God's wrath at homosexual sin. Earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, collapsing buildings, runaway horses, women falling into ditches – all these and more were understood to be expressions of God's displeasure at "the wickedness of Sodom."  But people who view the biblical narrative of Sodom and Gomorrah as a story about "Sodomy" (or homosexuality) haven't read the rest of the bible.  If all one reads in the Bible is the 19th chapter of Genesis, the first book of the bible that would be an honest mistake.  But read through the 48 references to the word "Sodom" in the rest of the bible and you learn that the writers of the bible hardly ever associated the fate of Sodom with what Conservative Christians now call "Sodomy".
        Although today's Christians have been programed to view this story as an account of homosexuality gone wild, that's not what the bible authors themselves saw in that story:

  • In Deut. 29: 23-26 . . ."destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboiim, which the Lord destroyed in his fierce anger – they and indeed all the nations will wonder, "Why has the Lord done thus to this land? What caused this great display of anger?" They will conclude, "It is because they abandoned the covenant of the Lord, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt. They turned and served other gods, worshiping them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them"
  • Deut. 32:32 also speaks of Sodom and Gomorrah, without any hint of homosexuality.
  • The prophet Ezekiel, for example, wrote in 16:49-50 : "Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy. And they were haughty, and committed abomination before me: therefore I took them away as I saw good."
  • The first chapter of Isaiah speaks of God's unhappiness with Sodom and Gomorrah, but says nothing whatever about homosexuality. What it does say is " learn to do good; seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow." (1:17)
  • Isaiah mentions Sodom again in 3:9 and in 13:19, but there is no clear connection with homosexuality in either of those verses.
  • Jeremiah also mentions Sodom, but without any reference to homosexuality.
  • The Prophet Amos likewise mentions Sodom in 4:11, without any reference to homosexuality.
  • The Prophet Zephaniah likewise mentions the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah in 2:10 without any connection with homosexuality, but rather "in return for their pride, because they scoffed and boasted against the people of the Lord of hosts."
    The Deuterocanonical books identify the sin of Sodom as the worship of competing gods (idols), as pride and as inhospitality:
  • In Wisdom 19:13-14, we read "...whereas the men of Sodom received not the strangers when they came among them."
  • In Ecclesiasticus 16:8 the sin is recognized as pride: "He did not spare the people among whom Lot was living, whom he detested for their pride."
    In the New Testament, too, there is reference to Sodom and inhospitality:
  • In Luke 10:10-13, Jesus compares the fate of towns that are inhospitable to his disciples to that which beset Sodom of its inhospitality."Whenever you enter a town and they do not welcome you, go out into its streets and say, 'Even the dust of your town that clings to our feet, we wipe off in protest against you. Yet know this: the kingdom of God has come near.' I tell you, on that day it will be more tolerable for Sodom than for that town."
  • Paul referred to Sodom and Gomorrah only once ( in Romans, 9:29 ) and not in connection with homosexuality.
  • The same is true of the Book of Revelations, which referred to Sodom only once (8:11) and not in connection with homosexuality.
  • Peter likewise referred to Sodom and Gomorrah only once ( in 2 Peter 2:4 ) and not in connection with homosexuality.
  • Finally, in one of the very last books of the Bible, Jude (1:7), the punishment of Sodom and Gomorrah is attributed to unnatural lust, i.e. "Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

Here are the complete passages referred to above :

Deuteronomy 29 :24 –28  

they and indeed all the nations will wonder, "Why has the LORD done thus to this land? What caused this great display of anger?"  They will conclude, "It is because they abandoned the covenant of the LORD, the God of their ancestors, which he made with them when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.  They turned and served other gods, worshiping them, gods whom they had not known and whom he had not allotted to them; so the anger of the LORD was kindled against that land, bringing on it every curse written in this book.  The LORD uprooted them from their land in anger, fury, and great wrath, and cast them into another land, as is now the case."

Jeremiah 23: 13-14 

" In the prophets of Samaria I saw a disgusting thing: they prophesied by Baal and led my people Israel astray.  But in the prophets of Jerusalem I have seen a more shocking thing: they commit adultery and walk in lies; they strengthen the hands of evildoers, so that no one turns from wickedness; all of them have become like Sodom to me, and its inhabitants like Gomorrah."

Ezekiel 16:49-50 

"This was the guilt of your sister Sodom: she and her daughters had pride, excess of food, and prosperous ease, but did not aid the poor and needy.  They were haughty, and did abominable things before me; therefore I removed them when I saw it."

Jude 1:7  

" Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire."

The Sin is NOT Homosexuality

I've read a lot of the news reports on Rev. Barnes' resignation from his megachurch after he "confessed" his homosexuality. They all quoted a religious leader on the right who declared homosexuality a sin, and several stated their belief that homosexuality was a choice.
        None directly quoted a religious leader who flatly countered these positions. Let me do that here.
        There is no sin in being homosexual or in engaging in same sex eroticism in a loving, just relationship. The sin is homophobia, the denigration of our neighbors because they are physically and emotionally attracted to people of the same sex. The sin is heterosexism, the presumption that heterosexuality is normative for all people and morally superior. The sin is forcing people to deny their God-given gift of their sexuality and to suffer to try to live their lives in a way that is antithetical to who they really are. The sin is violence and discrimination against GLBT persons and denial of their civil rights. The sin is when any of us, whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual, violate our commitments to our partner and hurt our families. The sin is making sexual decisions that hurt us and hurt others.
        Reverends Haggard and Barnes are primary evidence against the myth that people choose their sexual orientation. Both confess that they have struggled with their same sex attractions their whole lives. They tried to pray it away; they tried to marry it away; they tried to make it go away by having sex with women they loved; they tried counseling to make it go away. From the news reports, it certainly seems that they did everything they could to "change."
        But, they couldn't. No more than I could change my sexual orientation...or you change your's.
        It's time for the churches that condemn homosexuality to learn that lesson. It's time for the congregants to think through what it means to "love your neighbor as yourself." I am reminded of this line from I believe Meister Eckart, "When will grown men and women stop believing in a God that makes them sad? It is a lie, any talk of God that does not comfort you."
        posted by Rev. Debra W. Haffner ,
a sexologist for 30 years, who was ordained as a Unitarian Universalist minister in 2003, after seven years of study and preparation; the author of five books, including two award winning books for parents, From Diapers to Dating and Beyond the Big Talk, as well as several books for congregations on sexuality issues.


        When religion loses its credibility by Baptist preacher, Oliver "Buzz" Thomas, is another superb editorial / sermon that I highly recommend in its entirety.

An excellent YouTube video

Here's a great speech by advocate on behalf of GLBT youth who suffer abuse resulting from Conservative Christian homopnobic propaganda. I would use more tempered language, but it's pathetic for Conservative Christians who can't be persuade to object to the actual offensive teaching of the Bible to whine about Daniel Savages choice of words to describe that horrible teaching.

Biblical Problems with Gay Marriage :

If you believe that "the United States is a "Christian nation" and support the idea of a so-called "Defense of (biblical) Marriage Act" because of what the bible teaches, then you should prove your sincerity by promoting the rest of what the Bible teaches about marriage. To begin with, (in keeping with Gen. 29:17-28; II Sam. 3:2-5) that Act should be modified to read "Marriage in the United States shall consist of a union between one man and one or more women".  Then U. S. law should be revised to incorporate the following :

A. (in keeping with II Sam. 5:13; I Kings 11:3; II Chron. 11:21) marriage must not impede a man's right to take concubines in addition to his wife or wives. 
B. (in keeping with Deut. 22:13-21) in order to be considered valid, a marriage the bride must be a virgin.  If she is not a virgin, she must be executed.
C. (in keeping with Gen. 24:3; Num. 25:1-9; Ezra 9:12; Neh. 10:30) marriage of a believer and a non-believer must be forbidden. 
D. (in keeping with Deut. 22:19; Mark 10:9) since marriage is for life, neither this Constitution nor the constitution of any State, nor any state or federal law, shall be construed to permit divorce. 
E. (in keeping with Gen. 38:6-10; Deut. 25:5-10) when a married man dies without children, his brother must marry the widow.  If he refuses to marry his brother's widow or deliberately does not give her children, he must pay a fine of one shoe and be otherwise punished in a manner to be determined by law. 

A homosexual marriage in the Gospels ?

        According to Matthew's Gospel  1:16 Mary's husband Joseph was the son of Jacob, who traced his ancestry to King David through his son Solomon.  But contrary to Matthew's account, Luke's Gospel  3:23-24, claims that Joseph was the son of Heli, who traced his totally different ancestry to King David through his son Nathan.  So "the Word of God" states very clearly that Joseph had two fathers, Jacob and Heli.  Was this a "gay marriage"?  Or is this just one of the many contradictions to be found in the Bible?

        Here's a letter to everyone who, like Dr. Laura Schlessinger, choose a select few verses of the Book of Leviticus, which they consider "God's Word" when they want to lecture homosexuals, but which they completely ignore when it comes to a great many other prohibitions of that very same book, namely Leviticus, Ch. 18, which claims God Almighty for the source of all which follows, "The Lord spoke to Moses, saying:' Speak to the people of Israel and say to them: I am the Lord your God. You must not do as they do in the land of Egypt, where you lived, and you must not do as they do in the land of Canaan, to which I am bringing you. You must not follow their statutes. My ordinances you must observe and my statutes you must keep, following them: I am the Lord your God.  You must keep my statutes and my ordinances; by doing so one shall live: I am the Lord.' :
Dear Dr. Laura,
        "Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God's Law.  I have learned a great deal from your show, and I try to share that knowledge with as many people as I can.  When people try to defend the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination.  End of debate.
        It's so great to have somebody here who knows the Bible so well.,   Reading that part of the Bible, I've made a list of questions you can probably answer for me:

  • I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21.  In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her? I've got three, so I may be able to make a killing (so to speak)!
  • I know that I am not allowed to touch women while they are in their her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24).  The problem is, how do I tell which are and which aren't?  I have tried asking, but most women take offense.
  • Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.  A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians.  Can you clarify?  Why can't I own Canadians?
  • I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath.  Exodus 35:2 clearly states he should be put such people to death.  Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or are there priests or something I can report them to?
  • A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality.  Can you settle this?
  • Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight.  I have to admit that I wear reading glasses.  Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room here?
  • Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27.  How should they die?
  • I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear lambskin or wool gloves?
  • My uncle has a farm.  He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester blend).  He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot.  Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them?  (Lev. 24:10-16) Couldn't we just burn them to death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws?  (Lev. 20:14)
        I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident you can help.
        And thanks for reminding us of God's eternal and unchanging word of truth.
        Your devoted disciple and adoring fan."
On Oct. 18, 2000, West Wing's President Bartlett did a great job
of delivering many of these same lines to a "Dr. Jacobs" .
Two clips of that marvelous scene may still be available at
clip 1 & clip 2 (1.4 meg each).         Since "the Word of God" tells us that "A woman shall not wear man's clothing, . . . for whoever does these things is an abomination to the Lord your God" { Deuteronomy 22:5 }, why is that it's so difficult to find any picture of Dr. Laura wearing anything other than a pant suit?
    These children don't even know yet if they are homo- or hetero- sexual,  But ignorance has never prevented preachers from using others who are even less educated than themselves to promote their causes.
    If I were a great British former comedian and now internet sensation, like Pat Condell, this is the way I would summarize the contents of this web page in this 5:45 min video :

or this 4 minute video

"Marriages are not in trouble because 50% of them end in homosexuality!"

The "many a truth is said in jest" reporter, Jon Stewart,[ to Bill Bennett, June 07, 2006
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkLxVgXSveA&NR ]
"Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality" :
( Explode the Myths, Heal the Church )
, by Jack Rogers.

A life-long evangelical and a respected Presbyterian theologian, Rogers argues that fidelity to the Bible demands equal rights in the church and society for people who are LGBT. Jesus, the Bible, and Homosexuality describes Rogers' own change of mind and heart on the issue; charts the church's well-documented history of using biblical passages to oppress marginalized groups; argues for a Christ-centered reading of Scripture; and debunks oft-repeated stereotypes about gays and lesbians.
        "The best methods of interpretation, from the Reformation on down through today, call upon us to interpret the Scripture through the lens of Jesus Christ's life and ministry. Using this method we see clearly that Jesus and the Bible, properly understood, do not condemn people who are homosexual," Rogers writes in a stirring conclusion that is sure to provoke debate.

Why didn't Jesus ever condemn homosexuality?

In 2009 a scholarly friend of mine made me aware of the unique way in which some fundamentalist preachers interpret the words of Jesus quoted in Luke 17:34-35.  For centuries when Protestants read their King James bible and when Catholics read their Duoay Reims bible they read virtually the same translation, i.e. "I say to you: in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. Two women shall be grinding together: the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left."
        These particular preachers cite these verses as proof that Jesus of Nazareth condemned homosexuality. In fact, it's been reported that Rev. Jerry Falwell used the verses to condemn Ellen Degeneres on the Phil Donahue TV show.

  • However, if these verses had to do with behavior that Jesus was condemning as sinful, what would be the point of saying that one partner in the sin was punished, and the other not?
  • Verse 34 in the original Greek does not say "two men" but simply uses the masculine form of "two", which some translations now render as "two people".  But, even if the original had said "two men", it is a very recent luxury for people to have beds of their own. People of the same gender have had to share beds with others for centuries, and they still do in many parts of the world, without anybody thinking anything of it.
  • Similarly, verse 35 in the original Greek does not say "grain", but until some modern readers read into the verse women "grinding each other", most modern translations spell out what the original took for granted i.e. that "grinding together" meant "grinding grain together".
  • If you're the type who wants the Greek translation, and professional biblical Greek scholarship, email me.
Soulforce booklet on James Dobson
A False Focus on My Family:
(a booklet that you can download and print, or buy )
        Why every person of faith should be deeply troubled by Dr. James Dobson's dangerous and misleading words about the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender community.
        Christian Conservatives pretend that their negative view of homosexuality is the only Christian view.  But it isn't.  On Sept., 11, 2006, many church leaders gathered in Dallas, Texas and issued the following official statement:

Statement by Bishops and Elders Council :

“On September 11, 2001, some leading Christian extremists portrayed the tragedy of 9/11 as God’s judgment on America for the presence of gays and lesbians. The intervening years have witnessed an alarming escalation of religion-based, anti-gay attacks by both political leaders and religious groups.

“Today, on the fifth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, we, as leaders representing organizations that touch the lives of 98 million Americans, are united in our rejection of all forms of fear-based religion, all political manipulation in the name of Jesus, and governmental hostility toward gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender persons, especially that hostility that uses Christianity as an excuse to divide society and demonize minorities.

“Today, as Christian leaders who have gathered in Council in Dallas, Texas, we proclaim that discrimination, rejection, scapegoating, and oppression of gay people and their families are incompatible with the Christian ethic of love – and are not spiritual, democratic, patriotic, or fair.

“Today, we announce that the anti-gay agenda against gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender is effectively over. Thanks to a rapidly growing movement of churches and faith leaders in communities across the United States, thousands of churches now embrace Jesus’ message that “whosoever will may come,” and open their doors in welcome to same-gender-loving people of faith. Gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Christians, along with their families and allies, now have the option of nurturing their spiritual lives in faith communities that celebrate and welcome all of God’s creation.

“Motivated by our Christian faith and to further our nation’s founding goals of justice and equality for all, we call upon all people of goodwill to work actively for an end to discrimination against gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender persons by:

  • “Realizing that the relationships of same-gender loving couples are equal in every way to heterosexual couples and are worthy of both the right to civil marriage and the rites of Christian marriage;
  • “Reaffirming the rights of gays, lesbians, bisexuals, and transgender persons to full equality under the law, including adoption rights, employment and housing protections, and the right to openly serve in the U.S. military;
  • “Refusing to cooperate with or support political or religious leaders who caricature and condemn the lives of gays and lesbians;
  • “Refuting the ex-gay notion that sexual orientation and gender identity can and should be changed.

“As unified followers of Christ, reclaiming our faith, we commit to speak boldly with our own communities and the larger culture from out of our experience as those who have been both oppressed and oppressor. We will communicate God’s incessant call for justice, wholeness and peace and work to equip ourselves and others to take concrete action to achieve God’s loving shalom.

“The Bishops and Elders Council further commits to continued work on behalf of all people oppressed or marginalized by poverty, immigration policies, HIV/AIDS, addictions, classism, sexism, ageism, or violence.”

The conference was co-chaired by the Rev. Dr. Nancy Wilson, Moderator, Metropolitan Community Churches, Bishop Yvette Flunder, The Fellowship, and Rebecca Voelkel, Program Director of the Institute for Welcoming Resources.

Besides Soulforce, the Fellowship, and MCC organizations present included GLBT and allied Christians from DignityUSA (Roman Catholic), More Light Presbyterians, That All May Freely Serve (Presbyterians), United Church of Christ Coalition for LGBT Concerns, Lutherans Concerned, Association of Welcoming and Affirming Baptists, Brethren Mennonite Council for LGBT Interests, National Baptist Conference of Welcoming and Affirming Churches, Reconciling Ministries Network (United Methodist Church), the Evangelical Network, the Intern-Denominational Conference of Liberation Congregations & Ministries, Reformed Catholic Church, Universal Anglican Church, National Black Justice Coalition, Room for All, The Fellowship, and HRC’s new Religion and Faith Program, and the National Religious Leaders Roundtable of the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force."


I am constantly amazed by the inability of most religious people who object to gay marriage to grasp the concept of a word like "marriage" having more than ONE "definition". Have they never looked up a word in the dictionary and found that it could have several different meanings, depending on the intention of the user? My Heritage Dictionary, for example, offers 13 different definitions for the noun "bar".
        As used in America today, is it too much to ask that people understand that the word "marriage" doesn't have to mean "the sacrament of Holy Matrimony performed for a man and a woman who meet the standards of eligibility by a priest who has been ordained by a bishop who can trace his roots to Jesus through one of the original bishops"? (That's what it takes to be truly "married" in the eyes of the Roman Catholic Church. Other churches have their own "definitions" of marriage).
        Ever since the stranglehold of the Church over the State has been broken, however, the "State" has had a different, more liberal "definition" for marriage. As a Liberal Christian clergyman (of French extraction) , I say, "Vive la difference!" Let the churches all have and enforce their own definitions of "marriage" on all of those who willingly embrace their particular faith. But let the churches mind their own business and let the state define the "marriage" that it deals with in its civil laws, as it sees fit, according to its own Constitutions and the laws passed by the representatives of the people, as dictated by science and reason, not by Leviticus, or even Paul of Tarsus.
        As for "Defense Of Marriage" Acts, "DOMA"s, I predict that the effort by Conservative states to define "marriage" as a "union between one man and one woman" will backfire. Probably sooner rather than later, the courts (and/or legislatures) will declare it unfair and unjust for the government to be giving special privileges to some couples, just because one is a male and one a female, and not to other citizens, and the privileges of civil marriage will ALL be removed, (or they will be extended to all citizens who wish to marry, regardless of gender.)
        P.S.:  Gay people aren't asking for any of the privileges afforded by religious marriage, whatever they may be. All they are asking for are the privileges and rights and obligations afforded by the civil government through what that government calls "marriage", like the right to visit one's spouse in the hospital, make decisions for one's spouse when need be, raise children with them if so desired, share pensions rights and health insurance, and finally inherit property that was accumulated together. None of this has anything to do with "the Sacrament of Holy matrimony", and allowing gays to have such rights won't endanger what churches call "marriage" one bit.

        Shortly after the terrible hurricane killed thousands of poor people in New Orleans, Louisiana, a Christian Conservative web site (repentamerica.com/pr_hurricanekatrina.html) posted an article proclaiming that

Hurricane Katrina destroys New Orleans days before "Southern Decadence" 

"Just days before 'Southern Decadence' (8/31/05) , an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarters section of New Orleans, Hurricane Katrina destroys the city.
        'Southern Decadence' has a history of filling the French Quarters section of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in the public streets and bars. . ."

        Such deplorable "theology" reminds me about the joke of the golfing clergyman.  If you want to use this joke, you may want to embellish it some, but it boils down to this: A clergyman is golfing with some members of his congregation and when he misses strokes at the 6th, then the 14th, he lets loose with some profanity, apologizing each time. When he falls from grace once again on the last hole, a bolt of lighting comes out of the blue and strikes the laymen dead. At which, a distressed voice from the heavens complains "Damn it, missed again!"
        What a dud God is, if he intended to punish degenerate gays, and scheduled Hurricane Katrina the week before the sinners were in town !

Though not as abrasive as Rev. Phelps, a number of other "Conservative" Christian leaders in America have been getting more and more intolerant of gays in recent years, not just in their own churches, but in the public square as well.  They have been vociferous in their objections to gays being allowed to serve openly in the military, against gays being protected from discrimination in housing and employment, against gays being allowed to parent children in need of adoption, against gays being allowed to marry those with whom they plan to spend the rest of their lives, against gays being given any measure of legal protection through civil rights legislation, as well as being against gays having leadership roles in the church or in other organizations in which they serve.  Lurking behind much of this "frenzy" is the idea that homosexuality and the Bible are incompatible.
        "We reject [homosexuals], treat them as pariahs, and push them outside our church communities, and thereby we negate the consequences of their baptism and ours.  We make them doubt that they are the children of God, and this must be nearly the ultimate blasphemy.  We blame them for something that is becoming increasingly clear they can do little about. "
        In a Massachusetts survey of high school homosexuals recently, 40% reported they had attempted suicide.  Now this percentage obviously doesn't include those who succeeded.  And if the figure is this high in one of the country's most progressive states, just imagine what it is like in the much more regressive states.
        One need not be homosexual, however to wonder why so-called "Christians" are concentrating so much of their energy condemning this one sin (if indeed it is a sin).  If Christian Conservatives paid more attention to the Christ they claim to believe in, then they would be concerned about many other things.  Most notably, Jesus objected to a heterosexual sin called "divorce" far more strenuously than he objected to homosexuality (which he never even mentioned).  So why aren't so-called Christian Conservatives hunting down and rounding up all of the perpetrators of divorce in America these days?  Why, indeed, are they going out of their way to endorse the candidacy of as many divorced Republicans as they can find?  Divorce practically seems to be a requirement these days for a leadership position in the Republican Party.  According to Christ's teaching, Senator Strom Thurmond and Congressman Bob Barr, are now living in their third full-time adulterous relationship, since divorcing their first and only true wives years ago.  Rush Limbaugh and Representatives Guy Millner and Newt Gingrich are living full-time in their second publicly known adulterous relationships.  How and why were "Christian Conservatives" able to reject the most pious Christian President America ever had, Jimmy Carter, in order to embrace a known adulterer and divorced Hollywood actor, Ronald Reagan, who hardly ever bothered to go to a church, unless it was a political event?  Isn't it amazing how "liberal" Christian Conservatives can be when it comes to Republican Senators and Presidential Candidates like Bob Dole, Liddy Dole and John McCain, who have abandoned their true wives and children and, according to the teaching of Jesus, have made them adulteresses.

In 2013, Russia suddenly emerged as one of the most homophobic countries in the world. Fundamentalist Catholic and Protestant missionaries from the U.S.A. who were fighting a losing battle back home contributed to that hysteria. But a much more important contributor was Russia's own home church, Russian Orthodoxy. It would surprise most Americans to know how "Christian" Russia has became since the fall of the Soviet Union. Google "Putin Orthodox” and select “images” and you will find many pictures like these :

Putin Pious Orthodox

While he was partnering with Syria's brutal dictator Assad, and preventing the world from intervening in the slaughter of hundreds of thousands of helples Syrians, Putin took time off to preach to the U.S.A. and its Eurpeam allies, on the grounds that their advocacy on behalf of gay justice and equality :

Russian President Vladimir Putin condemned the West, including the United States,
for eschewing Christian values and opting instead for a “path to degradation.”

In his State of the Nation speech last month, Putin asserted that, “Many Euro-Atlantic countries have moved away from their roots, including Christian values… Policies are being pursued that place on the same level a multi-child family and a same-sex partnership, a faith in God and a belief in Satan.” Russia has adopted new laws that ban homosexual propaganda and criminalizes the insulting of religious sensibilities.” [ from a conservative web site I would rather not drive any traffic ]

Divorce rates among various religious groups :

The Christian Evangelical "Barna Group" which does polling and research on issues of interest to the religious community found in 2004 that, "Among married born again Christians, 35% have experienced a divorce.  That figure is identical to the outcome among married adults who are not born again: 35%. "And those divorces generally did not occur before they became born-again Christians, but after."
        Barna research carried out in 1999, 2001, and 2004 found the divorce rates among the various groups to be :

Pentecostals: 44%
Jews: 30%
Baptists: 29%
Presbyterians: 28%
Episcopalians: 28%
Methodists: 26%
Catholics: 25%
Mormons: 24%
Lutherans: 21%
Atheists : 21%
Agnostics : 21%

The media (which Conservatives laughingly call "liberal") and the Republican Party have conspired to paint the Democratic party as the less moral of the two major parties.  But the fact is that only a third as many scandals are known about Democrats in high office as there are about Republicans.  See http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/about/blindleaders.html about hypocritical Conservative religious leaders
, and http://LiberalsLikeChrist.Org/about/gopcorruption.html about hypocritical Republican politicians.

        Now, divorce was far from Jesus' greatest concern.  But, isn't it hypocritical for Conservatives to attack homosexuality in Jesus' name, while ignoring divorce.  Jesus never said a bad word about homosexuality, but he did condemn divorce
        Several denominations in America today are questioning whether homosexuals can be authentic preachers of the Gospel.  But what concerned Jesus most, what he spoke and preached about most, was the need to divorce oneself from selfishness and to love and to share one's good fortune with those less fortunate than oneself.  Is there any denomination questioning whether materialists can be authentic preachers of the Gospel?  How many clergy would there be to head the Christian congregations in America, if denominations removed those who do not believe and preach what Jesus preached about the necessity to give one's excess wealth (not just one's second shirt) to the poor?   Why shouldn't that be the question denominations ask, instead of whether clergypersons are gay themselves, or would perform gay marriage ceremonies for those who are?  Click here to review  

what Christ considered his most important teaching.
or click here to find out
why Conservative Christians prefer
Paul of Tarsus   to   Jesus of Nazareth !

If you are a Christian homosexual who expects the way homosexuals are being treated by most denominations today to change, then I urge you to join in promoting the essence of the Gospels: Christ's demands that we love and help those less fortunate than ourselves.  "Christians" will only treat you fairly, when they treat everyone, the poor, the needy, the imprisoned, the immigrant, and all needy people with the justice and compassion that the bible demands !  And now, if you haven't already done so, be sure to check out the accompanying web page:

a challenge Gays need to address to Christian harassers,

Here are additional resources:


Fred Phelps isn't the only "Christian" preacher who is promoting the idea that "God hates fags". The Rev. Donnie Davies is another. http://www.eveningservice.com/Video features him singing his "God hates fags". song.
        Here's an interesting graph that shows the role that religion usually plays in promoting homophobia:

How Do You Know That You Are "Normal"?

Were you born "normal", as either a boy or a girl with all the right sex organs in the right place and with the "normal" sex drives?  Are you sure?  Many people who think so are wrong, and may never know it.  Most of us assume that every baby born is either a boy or a girl; but that is simply not the case.

        "About one in 45,000 children are born without a clearly identifiable gender. (Someone emailed me to argue with some authority that it was closer to 2,000)   Doctors, patients and parents are faced with huge dilemmas when they have to make the choice – boy or girl.  Rae Fry asks at what stage in the child's life should the choice be made?  And does the choice have to be made at all?. . .
        Sex differences occur on a number of independent dimensions.  Genetic sex, or the organization of the "sex chromosomes," is often thought to indicate the true sex, with males having one X and one Y, while females have two Xs.  However, about one in 400 people are neither XX nor XY, but have less common combinations, such as XO (a single X), XXY, or even different combinations in different cells within the same individual, for instance some cells XX and some cells XY.  During gestation (pregnancy), the sex chromosomes determine the differentiation of the gonads, usually into ovaries or testes, but sometimes into ovo-testes (combining ovarian and testicular cells), and occasionally the gonads are absent.  For the first six weeks, all fetuses have essentially female genitals.  Testosterone produced by fetal testes causes the clitoris to grow to form a penis, the inner labia to wrap around the penis to create the penile urethra, and the outer labia to fuse to create a scrotal sac.  The process may not complete, resulting in genitals which may look nearly female, but with a large clitoris; nearly male, with a small penis and perhaps with the urethral meatus (urinary aperture) along the bottom rather than at the tip of the penis; or they may be truly "right in the middle" ambiguous genitals, with a structure that might be considered either a large clitoris or a small penis, surrounded with what might be a split, empty scrotum, or outer labia, and with a small vaginal pouch that opens into the urethra rather than into the perineum.  Because different hormonal systems control the differentiation of the genitals and of the internal reproductive organs, some individuals are born with nearly male genitals outside, and a uterus, tubes, and ovaries inside.  Some are born with female genitals outside and undescended testes inside. . .
        At the core of the debate is surgery on babies and very young children.  For decades, this has been conventional medical practice for children born with sexual organs that are in between male and female.  It sounds barbaric, and patient groups and some surgeons are calling for the practice to be stopped.  They say surgery should be delayed until the child is old enough to consent.  But surgery or no surgery is not the only issue.  Intersex conditions include a wide variety of internal and external, genetic and hormonal characteristics.  Many aren't visible at birth.  And every individual affected is unique.

http://www.kindredspiritlakeside.homestead.com/Intersexuality.html

        How many people would continue to deny that people are born homosexual if they had any idea how ambiguous the whole issue of sexuality really is and how tenuous their own sexuality is?  We would call in the white coats to cart off anybody who claimed that people choose to be hermaphodites.  Yet we take people seriously when they claim that people choose to be homosexual !

2006 survey of Conservative Orthodox Jews finds that
Large majority favors gay and lesbian rabbis and cantors:

  • Rabbis are largely in favor (65% in favor to 28% opposed, with others unsure), as are the cantors by a similar margin (67% to 27%), while lay leaders split 68% to 22%.
  • JTS students also favor admitting gay and lesbian rabbinical students: (58% to 32% for the rabbinical students; 58% to 21% for the cantorial students, and 70% to 21% for all other JTS students.
  • Among Conservative educators, executive directors, and other professionals are in favor (76% to 16%), while lay leaders split 68% to 22%, and students, USY and others (largely public access respondents) divide 70% to 20%. Substantial variation by country, gender, age, and observance. Support for gay ordination is:
  • Higher in the United States than Canada, Israel, or elsewhere in the world.
  • Higher among women than among men.
  • Higher among younger people than among older people (among those twenty-five and over).
  • Higher among the less observant than among the more observant. Gender Gap:
  • Men divide on the issue of gay rabbis and cantors 60% in favor to 33% opposed.
  • Women are more heavily pro-acceptance, by a margin of 86% to 10%.        * survey "conducted by Professor Steven M. Cohen, commissioned by The Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) in cooperation with the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism (USCJ) and the Rabbinical Assembly (RA) to understand the thinking of key constituents in the Conservative Movement on the issue of gay and lesbian ordination."
    JTS survey report.

        The obsession that Conservatives have over homosexuality is hilarious. The following is from http://www.conservapedia.com (/Special:Statistics) as of 11 / 22 / 07 :
     User statistics :
    There are 15,527 registered users, of which 27 
    (or 0.17%) are Administrators.
    Most viewed pages
       1. Main Page? [1,927,497]
       2. Homosexuality? [1,622,127]
       3. Homosexuality and Hepatitis? [517,905]
       4. Homosexuality and Promiscuity? [421,912]
       5. Homosexuality and Parasites? [414,580]
       6. Gay Bowel Syndrome? [399,761]
       7. Homosexual Couples and Domestic Violence? [373,787]
       8. Homosexuality and Gonorrhea? [332,018]
       9. Homosexuality and Anal Cancer? [294,148]
      10. Homosexuality and Mental Health? [293,324]
    

    Another site to check out :

    god-does-not-hate-fags

Contact  
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Ray@LiberalsLikeChrist.Org
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