Scores are leaving homosexuality

This whole Crystal Dixon item has alot of posts . There is a plethora of websites helping those who want to get out of homosexuality to do so. I simply want to highlight many medical professionals who challenge the dogma that seems to be written in stone that this 'is from birth' .
Dr Nicolosi has many doctors on board with him . He is responding to the scores that want out of the gay lifestyle. See many articles by professionals at www.narth.org.
And exodus international has execellent resources and seminars
http://www.exodus-international.org/

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Exodus International? Too funny…

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Exodus_International

One of its founders quite the organization and left his wife to be with his married gay lover and one of its Board of Directories got caught picking up men in a gay bar.

You want to see some incredibly funny and scary videos, just You Tube “exodus international”. My favorite – Masturbation – Gateway to Sin.

Everyone. The Bible says so - any reasonable person will admit it. To say that because a few of these people behaved in a way that violates the tenets of what they are trying to accomplish makes the whole thing 'too funny'.....Wow.

So everybody who has a moral structure but makes mistakes and engages in conduct that they'd rather they don't means what? That these people you laugh at are HUMAN? Possibly these HUMAN shortcomings and failings are what caused the advent of the birth and the sacrifice of the man who's followers you mock? So that they may be forgiven. You, and only people so bigoted against Christianity, like you, think that being a Christian means you don't have human failings in this life. And that's so funny to the rest of us. Such a closed and intolerant viewpoint.

I think you're a bigot against Christians. Same way that black people used to be marginalized in the south - you folks try to do to Christians.

You can mock God all you want to. That's part of being in a country with free speech. My beliefs tell me that you're going to have to face the same judge I do when you die.

I think that's too funny......

Sorry, I find it humorous. There are millions of Gays in the United States and tens of millions in the World and here is Mailman promoting a group that has “saved” and “fixed” “scores” of gays and two of its most prominent turn out not to be saved at all.

Frankly it’s Christians like yourself who have turned me off religion all together. You feel that your religion gives you the right to discriminate against others and anyone who calls you on your bigotry and small mindedness is labeled a bigot in return.

I’ll happily stand in front any deity of your choosing and put your heart and your deeds against my own.

You are so elite that you know what I think and what I believe? You are so high and mighty that you make sweeping judgments about large segments of the population of this country based upon your own assumptions? Wow. You are a real piece of work.

Since you're so good at this game - would you please tell me any thing any time - any where that I have said anything that gives even the appearance that I believe I had the right to discriminate?

You're bigoted against Christians and got caught out at it so you pull the third grade trick of saying, 'well yes, but you must be a bigger boo boo head than I am, because you're not one of the cool kids'.

For the record, I don't have an opinion on other people's sex lives. Not gay people, not straight people - unlike you, I don't think it's any of my business.

You and your sweeping generalizations and judgments give secular people a very bad name indeed. The definition of bigotry you are. Yes you are. Congratulations. Is that what you set out to be? A bigot?

I really don’t consider myself a bigot against Christians. I am bigoted against bigots however, you’ve got me there. Frankly I could care less what you do in your home or church.

The last two guys I hired both cited “the Bible” when I asked them what the last book they read during their interviews. One guy screwed me over; the other guy has worked out great. I could care less about that they think or whom they pray too. If however they felt it necessary to disparage gays (or any group for that matter) in my present, I’d throw them out on their ears and not hire them. They can claim free speech and religious persecution all they want, they’d still be out.

You’re the equivalent of Al Sharpton, running round claiming persecution, seeing a bigot in every corner.

Frankly declaring Christ as your savior is practically a litmus test for politics in America and certainly to be a Republican politician.

Frankly Al, this topic has tired me. Go and have the last word and good night.

I have to give you that. So you're not a bigot but you made a sweeping generalization about 70 some percent of the American populace because you met two fellow who said they'd read the Bible and then didn't act perfectly.

Yeah - you're reasonable.

Jesus Christ despised the politicians of his time. He converted murderers and tax collectors and it's difficult tell who was considered lower in society at that time.

It's just comical - you being the poster child of bigotry against Christians and your response is to come out and call me the equivalent of Al Sharpton? Does this mean you assume since we don't see eye to eye that I must be black?

Naw...no way - you're not a bigot. I've seen the light. And I apologize to you. Good night.

First of all, G isn't making generalizations about all Christians. I'm stunned you would find any of his (her?) statements bigoted toward Christianity as a whole.

And certainly isn't saying that the opinion is formed by meeting two Christians. To read that into the post is not to read it at all.

Jesus also converted the "religious" - considered many of 'em to be the worst of the worst, those that ran counter to His true teachings.

Oh SensorG, one does not have to consider himself to be an ass for him to appear so to all those around him. You opinion of yourself is not a valid defense for being called a bigot...

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

mailman - wanting to believe a program can make gays go straight, doesn't mean it CAN. Read the following about Exodus - also, the RULES for Exodus.
These rules….were they photocopied from Auschwitz?
************************************************************************
http://www.truthwinsout.org/pressreleases/two-condemns-exodus-spokespers...

“One merely need to lightly read over blogs like the “Ex-GAY WATCH” (yes, they are WATCHING and STALKING ex-gay leaders) and/or Wayne Besen’s blog and you will know we are living in very dark days….A very successful attorney friend of mine recently told me he felt it was like 1933 in Nazi Germany for Christians and Exodus type ministries in the USA. He seriously joked with me and said, ‘Stephen it is like 1933 and your last name isn’t Black, but Bernstein. Your ministries will be on the front-line of the next demonic wave of an anti-Christ movement in history. It is coming.’ WOW! It was a sobering moment.”

Black also claimed that gay activists and the media are, “silencing their great stories about overcoming homosexuality.” He makes the bizarre case that there are so few ex-gay stories from people not on the payroll of right wing organizations because they are, “afraid to come out from fear of persecution.”

“Black must live in a delusional bubble,” said Besen. “The mainstream media has featured Exodus International countless times, even though the group provides no statistics and offers no concrete evidence of change. The reason that we see so few ‘ex-gays’ who are not on the payroll of political organizations is because they don’t exist. To say, without evidence, that it is because of persecution is a copout and a transparent excuse for Exodus’ astronomical failure rate.”
*********************************************************************************************
http://www.truthwinsout.org/blog/zach-stark-speaks-forced-into-ex-gay-bo...

Zach Stark Speaks: Forced into Ex-Gay Boot Camp in 2005
Posted May 6th, 2008 by Michael Airhart
Zach Stark, who endured more than a month of involuntary detention in Exodus International’s costly live-in ex-gayification program Love In Action, appears briefly in the upcoming ex-gay documentary This Is What Love In Action Looks Like, which is planned for release later this year. Zach was 16 years old when he learned that he would be forced to live at Exodus International’s “Love In Action” ex-gay boot camp in 2005. He wrote the following to close friends via MySpace. He was known then only as a semi-anonymous youth named “Zach”:
Somewhat recently, as many of you know, I told my parents I was gay. This didn’t go over very well, and it ended with my dad crying, my mom tearing and me not knowing what I’d done - or what to do.

It kind of … went away for about a week or two I think. … Well today, my mother, father and I had a very long ‘talk’ in my room where they let me know I am to apply for a fundamentalist Christian program for gays. They tell me that there is something psychologically wrong with me, and they ‘raised me wrong.’ I’m a big screw up to them, who isn’t on the path God wants me to be on. So I’m sitting here in tears…”

His parents had bought into the parent-bashing of Exodus, Focus on the Family, NARTH, and thousands of misguided churches that buy into the ex-gay industry without reading the fine print.
**********************************************************************************************
Zach stumbled upon his parents’ copy of the Exodus live-in youth program’s rules. The rules, copied below,misquote Bible verses, strip them of their intended context, and exploit them to fuel youth self-blame, parental blame, shame, isolation, miscommunication, separation from family and friends, denial of access to doctors and qualified mental-health professionals, un-Biblical Freudian pseudo-science, and modification of behaviors and traits that are completely unrelated to sexual orientation:

Refuge Program Rules
Sobriety
One of the core functions of the Refuge is the common pursuit of corporate sobriety from sin. The program strives to perpetuate a safe environment that is ripe for growth and for hearing from God. The sobriety of each individual is a key focus.

1 - No smoking, alcohol, drugs, or inappropriate use of over-the-counter medications. All prescription drugs and over-the-counter medications must be left in the care of a parent or guardian, who will administer them when necessary. Refuge clients may not have prescription or over-the-counter drugs in their possession at any time, exceptions by C.O.C. approval only.
2 - No sexual/emotional misconduct. Any temptations, fantasies, or dreams are to be presented to one’s staff worker only. Sexual misconduct includes viewing pornography, visiting an adult bookstore, emotional dependency, voyeurism, stalking, masturbation, mutual masturbation, or any form of genital or sexual contact with another person. Sexual temptation, as well as the above, is not to be discussed between clients. This includes MI’s (Moral Inventories) written on current sexual struggles or temptations).
3 - No hugging or physical touch between clients. Brief handshakes or a brief affirmative hand on a shoulder is allowed (exception is when observed by therapeutic accountability).
Clients are to remain within the “safe zone” while in the program. This “zone” is illustrated on a map of the Memphis area in the office. An exception is for clients who reside or are staying outside the safe zone, and commuting to the Love in Action campus.
********************
Hygiene
Small unhealthy habits can either reflect or lead to dysfunctional, life-controlling habits. Attention to the details of daily lifestyle is a pivotal aspect of residential recovery.

1 - All clients must maintain appropriate hygiene, including daily showering, use of deodorant, and brushing teeth twice daily.
Men: Men must remove all facial hair seven days weekly, and sideburns must not fall below the top of the ear (the top of the ear is defined as where the ear meets the face below the temple). Clean business-like haircuts must be worn at all times. Hair must be long enough to be pinched between two fingers.Women: Women must shave legs and underarms at least twice weekly.
All: Only natural hair color is allowed. Hair that is colored, highlighted or streaked, mut be dyed back to its original color, or the color must be cut out before entrance into the Refuge program.

2 - Attire: GeneralModesty is expected. No tight, provocative, or suggestive clothing or spandex may be worn. No provocative or suggestive mannerisms are permitted. Fresh undergarments are to be worn at all times. Boxer shorts of any kind are considered underwear and are not to be worn as outer clothing. All clients must be dressed appropriately in clean, unwrinkled clothes when leaving the house for the day. Men may not wear any jewelry (other than a watch and a wedding band) unless approved through a C.O.C. In addition to a watch and wedding band, women may also wear a pair of simple earrings (one earring per ear.) The clients may not wear Abercrombie and Fitch or Calvin Klein brand clothing, undergarments, or accessories.
Men: Shirts are to be worn at all times, even while sleeping. T-shirts without sleeves are not permitted at any time, whether worn as an outer garment or an undergarment. This includes “muscle shirts” or other tank-tops. Bikini-style underwear is prohibited.
Women: Bras must be worn at all times, except while sleeping. Thong-style underwear is prohibited.

Attire: LIA Campus
In addition to the General Attire above, the following items apply. No torn, ragged, or stained clothing is to be worn at any time while on campus. Monday through Thursday, clients must wear pants, a clean shirt, and shoes or sandals with socks. Jeans and a nice t-shirt are acceptable. On Friday, clients may wear clean, knee-length khaki or denim-style shorts.

No athletic or excessively baggy shorts may be worn on campus at any time. No hats, jackets, or overcoats are to be worn on campus

Women: In addition to these guidelines, women may also wear skirts which fall at or below the knee. Women may wear tank-tops only if they are worn with an over-blouse. Women may wear open-toed shoes or women’s dress sandals without socks. Bras must be worn at all times, except while sleeping. Sports bras may only be worn while working out.

No sleeveless blouses may be worn. All blouses and t-shirts must fit modestly (not extremely tight).

No cologne, perfume, or use of other highly scented hygiene products.
Therapeutic & Staff Issues

A goal of the Source is to be purposeful and strategic in order to help clients pursue growth and transformation. The principles below are common elements of this plan.

HONESTY AT ALL TIMES.
IF IN DOUBT, DON’T. ASK FIRST.
1 - All clients are expected to memorize the Program Expectations as they summarize the spirit and heart of the rules of Love in Action.
2 - All Refuge program members must complete four MI’s (Moral Inventories) per week unless otherwise instructed. Detailed instruction on writing MI’s will be provided within the first few days of beginning the program.
3 - Refuge clients will be prepared to give an Introduction (“Intro”) at every Intro Rap. Detailed instruction on giving an intro will be provided within the first few days of the program.
4 - To make special requests of the staff or inform the staff of something (e.g. asking permission to leave the safe zone for some reason, informing the staff of a breach in program rules, etc.), Refuge clients must communicate appropriately. This means filling out a Chain of Command (C.O.C.) form. All C.O.C.’s must be signed by the Refuge client’s parent or guardian before being submitted to a staff member, or the C.O.C. will be returned with no answer. All C.O.C.’s must be concise and not “story tell” or “whine.” Such will be returned with no reply.
5 - No continuing education while in the program. Home-school Refuge clients may be allowed to continue their studies during the program, pending approval by LIA staff.
6 - Refuge clients and their parents/guardians are required to attend Love in Action’s host church, Germantown Baptist Church, on Sunday mornings. More information about GBC can be found online at www.gbconline.net.
7 - Parents and guardians are expected to attend the Friends and Family support group on Thursday nights from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., held at the Love in Action campus. Refuge clients will be supervised during this time by a Love in Action staff member.

False Image (FI) Concerns
LIA wants to encourage each client, male and female, by affirming his/her gender identity. LIA also wants each client to pursue integrity in all of his/her actions and appearances. Therefore, any belongings, appearances, clothing, actions, or humor that might connect a client to an inappropriate past are excluded from the program. These hindrances are called False Images (FI’s). FI behavior may include hyper-masculinity, seductive clothing, mannish/boyish attire (on women), excessive jewelry (on men), mascoting, and “campy” or gay/lesbian behavior and talk.
As non-residential clients, Refuge participants must submit to an F.I. search every morning. With the exception of the very first program day, when they may arrive no later than 9:00 a.m., Refuge clients will arrive daily at the Love in Action campus no later than 8:50 a.m., waiting in a designated area until a staff member meets them to perform the F.I. search and check them in. Refuge clients may not enter any of the client spaces on campus before submitting to an F.I. search. All belongings brought to campus will be searched, including book bags, notebooks, wallets, handbags, purses, etc. Items that violate the F.I. policy or the dress code will be held for the client, to be returned no later than the client’s last day in program. Clients may request to have their F.I. items returned by filling out a C.O.C.
All photographs will be taken for the purpose of sobering re-evaluation. Clients may request to have pictures returned to them via C.O.C.
Refuge clients will not be allowed to use personally owned computers during the program, whether on campus or at home/in temporary lodging. Computer stations are normally available on campus when clients need to type something.
Clients should report all FI’s (with discretion), whether their own or another’s, to staff.
Campus Rules

Emotional dependency and inappropriate sexual behaviors have their roots in unresolved relationship issues as well as poor personal or relational boundaries. As a key part to his/her recovery, each client’s program will focus significant attention on resolving relationship concerns and cultivating healthy relationships, both within and outside of the program.

No physical violence or physically threatening dialogue. Violation of this rule warrants immediate dismissal from the program.

No breaching another person’s confidentiality to anyone outside the program.

No talking behind another person’s back (TBB).

The 24-hour rule is to be used after challenging another client who is in breach of the program rules. If one notices that another client’s inappropriate behavior continues, the client should be challenged to report to staff. If in 24 hours he/she has not done so, one is required to report the breach to staff via C.O.C. or verbal communication.
Due to the nature of many gender identity struggles, issues of enmeshment and emotional dependency can develop not only with same sex, but sometimes even more easily with the opposite sex. Because healthy and appropriate same and opposite-sex relationships are encouraged, dating and exclusive relationships of any kind are prohibited while in the program.
Clients may have no contact with anyone who has left the program prior to graduating without the blessing of the staff to do so. Clients may address off-limit persons they inadvertently encounter with a polite “hello” only.
While in the program, clients may have no contact with anyone involved in unrepentant emotional dependencies, inappropriate sexual behaviors, or chemical dependencies. This includes any contact with friends struggling with dependency issues or inappropriate sexual behavior that was known about prior to entering the program. If such a person is encountered, the client must make his/her staff worker aware of this.
Refuge clients and their parents/guardians will be participating in off-campus events and meetings where non-program strugglers are in attendance. To encourage the safety of all involved, clients are required to be in phase when communicating with non-program strugglers at these meetings, and will be prohibited from establishing contact with them outside of the these meetings.

Safekeeping Rules
1. All new Refuge clients will be placed into Safekeeping for the initial two to three days of their program. A client on safekeeping may not communicate verbally, or by using hand gestures or eye contact, with any other clients, staff members, or his/her parents or guardians. In case of a practical need, Safekeeping clients may write down their question or request and show it to another client, staff member, or their parent or guardian. Writing may only be used when absolutely necessary. Parents and guardians must enforce their child’s safekeeping status at home or in their temporary lodging.

2. Refuge clients may C.O.C. to be removed from Safekeeping status. Safekeeping clients will be removed from Safekeeping at their staffworker’s discretion.

3. Any client may be placed into Safekeeping at any time, at a staffworker’s discretion.

4. Safekeeping clients are permitted to say “hello” and to communicate enough information to be courteous in public interaction (mostly in the clients’ church setting).

5. Safekeeping clients are required to spend a minimum of two hours (in one sitting) a day alone in their room (note: by “alone” it is understood that parents or guardians can be in the room but are not to interact or disrupt the alone time of the safekeeping client). During the alone time Safekeeping clients may work on their treatment plans, read program materials or the Bible, pray, or work on other assignments from their staffworkers.

6. In the evenings, all Refuge Safekeeping clients must remain at home or at their temporary lodging with their parent or guardian (i.e. no going out to eat, to the store, etc. during Safekeeping.)

7. Non-Safekeeping clients are responsible to protect and uphold the Safekeeping parameters of the Safekeeping clients.

Rules for the Home/Temporary Lodging

Refuge encourages all clients to first focus internally. Why is the client here? What is broken? What is the core motivation of the client’s unhealthy behavior? Staff members will work with clients as they learn what is wrong and as they take the steps to articulate it. Second, staff emphasize the need for each client to seek the truth of God. What does He have to say about each client and his/her pain? The rules that follow are designed to both protect the client and facilitate his/her wrestling with God.

No discussing therapeutic issues at home. Keep conversations positive.

Clients must gain permission through C.O.C. to make or receive phone calls from friends and family members outside the program.

No cell phones, beepers, computers, or e-mail/internet access at. Exceptions by C.O.C. approval only.

No visitors from out of town without permission via C.O.C.

Refuge clients may only read materials approved by staff.

No television viewing, going to movies, or reading/watching/listening to secular media of any kind, anywhere within the client’s and the parent’s/guardian’s control. This includes listening to classical or instrumental music that is not expressly Christian (Beethoven, Bach, etc. are not considered Christian). The only exception to the media policy is the weekly movie.

Refuge clients may watch one video/DVD per week that has been approved by staff via C.O.C. Movies submitted for approval must be rated G or PG. The parents/guardians are responsible for securing the video/DVD.

Weekend curfew (Friday and Saturday) is 10:00pm. Weekday curfew (Sunday through Thursday) is 9:30pm.

Refuge clients must be with at least one parent or guardian at all times when off-campus.

On certain occasions Refuge clients have the opportunity, with the C.O.C. approval and their parent/guardian’s permission, to visit the residential houses of the Source program clients. On these occasions Refuge clients must be in phase at all times, and must abide by all the house rules and follow instructions given by Source program house managers. House rules will be communicated to Refuge clients as the need arises. Refuge clients are encouraged to ask for clarification if they are unsure about a particular house rule.

Refuge clients may not enter any restuarants with bars, even when accompanied by a parent or guardian.

Refuge clients must be accompanied by a parent during any trip to a public restroom.

No access to malls of any kind.

Clients are not allowed to visit any video, music or media stores that are not expressly Christian, even if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Clients may visit LifeWay Christian stores with a parent or guardian.

Refuge clients must report off-casmpus emergencies, illnesses, or injuries to their parents/guardians as soon as possible.

Parents/guardians are required to inform LIA staff members of such situations by phone as soon as possible.

Total silence time at home begins at 9:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. Refuge clients may use this time for resting, but are encouraged to make a habit of using it for a nightly quiet time with God.

Lights-out time will begin each night at 10:00 p.m. Sunday through Thursday.

Refuge clients are allowed a one-time 15-minute maximum closed bathroom door time for shower/grooming purposes. The only other closed-door alone time allowed is for using the restroom.

Refuge clients must keep their bedroom doors open at all times, day or night.

Proper bedclothes must be worn during nighttime sleeping hours. Appropriate bedclothes include full pajamas (tops and bottoms) or a pair of non-underwear-type shorts and a T-shirt. Nightgowns are not allowed.

Refuge clients are expected to eat dinner with their parents/guardians/other family members (if any) at least four times per week.

Refuge clients are expected to cook dinner one time per week.

Be honest, authentic, and real.
Active participation is expected. This includes body language and eye contact. No slouching in chairs, sitting back on chairs hind legs, sitting with arms crossed, rolling eyes, or making disgusting faces.
No attacking or demeaning another person’s character.
Raise hand to speak. Speak one at a time as called on by the facilitator.
Maintain strict confidentiality of everything discussed in group. “What is seen here, what is heard here, remains here!”
Clients are to sit in such a way as to not cause another to stumble.
No food or drink during rap. This includes chewing gum and toothpicks.
Appropriate attire is required. No hats, athletic or baggy shorts (for men), or extremely short skirts (for women) are allowed.
Say “I love you _____” after each person is finished relating.
Be on time!
Do not talk at, preach to, or teach one another. Each person should keep the focus on him/herself and how he/she feels.
Do not be defensive. While being spoken to, one may not respond to defend him/herself or return confrontation to the person speaking.
If one needs to leave the group for any reason, he/she must ask permission from the staff in charge of the group session.
Stand when speaking, relating, or being related to. During general raps, one must stand while relating. One must also stand when someone is being given feedback or being related to. Standing is not necessary during teaching raps.
Men/Women Dynamics

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Constructive criticism from the group.
Ten to thirty-page written paper on rule violation.
Program dismissal. This does not need to be addressed with the client (The client may sabotage his/her own program due to purposeful dismissal consequences).
Isolation from the group.
As youth advocates and the news media became aware of Zach’s plight and the costly, unlicensed, unprofessional abuse that takes place at of Love In Action, Zach’s father outed the entire family on CBN’s 700 Club. It was then that Zach’s last name became known.

Same way that black people used to be marginalized in the south - you folks try to do to Christians.

and be expected to be taken seriously or as a person representing all that is good about Christianity or religion in general.

If you really believe this blather, you're not so much Christian but a fanatical extremeist, representative of all the inherent dangers of those whose thought processes occupy space on the outer limits of the lunatic fringe.

McCaskey, this accusation only angers those who recognize its truth and are a part of the problem. If you have proof otherwise (that Christians are not being marginalized the way that some people have historically been for their race or skin color), state it as such. If you're not contributing, then don't pretend to. But all of this "nuh-uh" is getting tiresome.

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

The rather ridiculous comparison was made to present-day Christians being marginalized like 'blacks in the South' used to be.

Let's see...are Christians enslaved? Are Christians sold to the highest bidder at the town-square auction block? Do you have the right to vote? Protest? Freedom of speech? Freedom of travel? Freedom of choices in education, employment, even drink from the same water fountain as those of a different religion? Are you hanged from the nearest tree for looking at a woman of a different faith than yourself?

If you want to believe Crystal Dixon got a raw deal from the University of Toledo, fine, or that homosexuality is a sin, or that homosexuals can be 'taught,' or 'persuaded', or otherwise 'educated' into changing their personal lifestyle, fine. You're entitled to that opinion, wrong as it may be.

But let's not get into foolish, over-the-top comparisons to actual groups of people who suffered through genuine indignity and violation of any and all personal rights for generation after generation.

And, if you genuinely believe your level of 'marginalization' is comparable to 'blacks in the South', you are indeed extreme and indeed dangerous.

Do you really think that because one of us has had the audacity to call bigotry, bigotry that because I am not afraid to say so and I am a Christian that this affects my credibility? If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck and looks like a duck - in your book someone won't be taken seriously if they call it a duck?

Think about it. If some of the things that were being said were being said in regard to one's race, gender or sexual orientation - it wouldn't be acceptable. But since it is Christianity - well it's fair game. ("They're everywhere..." comes to mind. If you said this about a black person - how could this not be a bigoted statement?)

If thinking that's hypocritical and bigoted makes me a fanatic - then that is what I am. I'm also tolerant of other people's right to their religion, lifestyle and ability to think for themselves.

When you'll cross over the line and start shaming people for saying that they and everyone else are entitled to the above - wow. That's just really sad.

I apologise for my last, extremely long post - but I did trim it down quite a bit (it was very, very long, this list of 'rules'), and I did leave out the scriptures that had been quoted by Exodus - mainly because they are boring to read, they take up too much space in a post, and they can be misconstrued - which is what that kid who wrote that article said to begin with, that Exodus had twisted & contorted scriptures to suit it's purpose. But I was stunned at Exodus' "rule book" - wow. And I felt it was worth posting. That said, I find it appalling that any parent, or anybody who claims to be religious, can make a child feel like they are 'damaged' or 'doing evil', to shame them. This mindset is one of the reasons I got turned off of religion years ago - the self righteousness. The Christians that preach hate, and disquise it with scriptures. I never quite understood Christian zealots - who believe that by only putting one's faith behind Christ will lead to one going to heaven. I could lead the greatest, most honorable life I could, but God-forbid if I'm Jewish, Muslim or Buddhist, I'm not going anywhere but hell. And then right next to me, someone could be a child-rapist, but after apologizing to Jesus for his sins, he's got a ticket to heaven already punched. Does this make any sense to anyone? Everytime I hear some smiley-faced back-stabbing God-Nazi say "Love the sinner, Hate the sin", I just want to club them over the head until they quit lying. By the mere act of saying something like this, you are hating. If this were 1963, you'd probably be a segregationist.

It still amazes me that we have to have this discussion! Sexuality, like so many other human traits are still a mystery of genetics, physiology, etc. If homosexuality is changeable, than so is heterosexuality. Do you honestly think gays choose to be part of a community that is still discriminated against in employment, housing, murdered, abused, and treated like 2nd class citizens? Homosexuality, like heterosexuality has been around since the dawn of man. It is just an innate part of the continuum of the human existence. Homosexuality it is indeed partly genetic. Just look up the scientific studies on twins. Identical twins, who have exactly the same genetic make-up, have a better chance of both being homosexual as compared to fraternal twins. That right there is scientific evidence.

People are gay, regardless of social environment, upbringing, etc.. The only difference is the degree to which they'd feel comfortable/safe expressing and experiencing that inclination. A homosexual man just never wanted to have sex with a woman. That doesn't mean he CAN'T. And it doesn't mean he hasn't. It means he doesn't have the desire. A simple analogy would be if he went into an ice cream parlor and he really didn't like vanilla ice cream. This ice cream parlor only serves vanilla ice cream. And he REALLY want ice cream. So, he takes the vanilla and dreams of the day when chocolate is available. Has anyone ever studied whether the tendency to prefer chocolate over strawberry is genetic?

Christian zealots think gays can change, but that'd be like saying that heteros could switch to gay - just a matter of will power? I have never looked at another woman in a sexual way, the idea turns me off - I couldn't do it. But to expect a gay man to just switch in his head what turns him on? Some people get turned on by strange things - who knows why, and who cares? It amazes me that religous fanatics care so much about what other people do in their own bedrooms.

One of my favorite quotes on this subject, a line from John Irving's A Prayer For Owen Meany.
"It's a no win argument - that of what we're born with and what our environment does to us. And it's a boring argument, because it simplifies the mysteries that attend both our birth and our growth."

Starling, as a Christian who thinks that homosexuality is in fact a sin, I do not argue with you that there may be a genetic component to homosexuality. You may in fact be "born gay," (not you personally, but you in general). The kind of relationships you pursue, however, IS a choice. The sin is not being attracted to someone of the same gender, but of having inappropriate relationships with them.

I ask you to consider the genetic component of alcoholism or substance abuse. It is becoming more and more scientifically evident that there are genetic predispositions for addictive behaviors. Since alcoholics are "born that way," should we just let that be too?

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

In an attempt to clarify my position, so as not to look like a flip flopper:

I do not know enough about the science of genetics and the recent research as to what genetics has to do with sexual preference, and I actually think that debate is a separate one, with theological implications either way. I don't, however, think I know enough to determine my position on the genetics part of the issue.

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

but maybe it isn't the same poster using the same account? That this poster would have such hard feelings about being marginalized over a legal activity (smoking) while still saying that she feels like hitting people who are engaged in a legal activity (practicing their religion).

It looks like starling only cares if people's rights get stepped on if it's something starling approves of. (smoking) and if it's something starling HATES (Christians), then go ahead and strip them of their rights. And hit them as starling has said when they speak of love. Of loving a person while sometimes hating their shortcomings and failures. Hit them. Marginalize them. Take away their right to their job.

So long as it's Christians and not smokers.

Popeye, it would appear that you are very passionate about this issue. But perhaps you were missing the humor in Pink Slip's "they're everywhere" comment. Very tongue-in-cheek, and pretty funny.

And there certainly is an ironic humor that an organization, advocating a stance about homosexuality and a treatment that is unproven and unsupported in the medical literature and that runs counter to the practice of EVERY MAJOR MEDICAL MENTAL-HEALTH PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATION, has leaders who engage in the very behavior they try and cure (and, btw, some founders who have come recently to apologize for the damage their organization has done). Tragic, indeed, but I would say irony is wholly present and must be appreciated. Especially for those Christians who do not hold a position of homosexuality as "wrong" or a "sin" ~ it's no big deal that they have homosexual tendencies at all. I don't know why there is such a strong reaction here.

I do think that you feel strongly that Christians are being persecuted, and I am really curious as to why you feel so. I am Christian, have grown up Christian, have a lot of Christian friends, and honestly I don't recall having a serious conversation with any of my Christian pals about feeling persecuted in America for being Christian. I don't recall any of them feeling so. Or anyone at any of the churches I have attended. Not in any serious sense. In America, Christians enjoy a position of prestige and acceptance and power. No, that power is not absolute, and when religion collides with issues of civil rights then something has to give.

And I don't feel that SensorG has made ANY bigoted statements towards all of Christianity. I know I haven't been offended. So when speaking for all of Christianity as you have been doing, please make a footnote to exclude Wombat2 and his friends.

Wombat, I know that this post was intended for Popeye, but I am left with a couple of questions (genuine, not facecious in any way) for you.

1. Are you really meaning to say that you have never felt persecuted for your faith? At all, in any circumstance, you've never felt left out or in the minority?

2. Do you not count the free practice of religion as a civil right in itself? I understand that my rights only extend to me so far as they are not infringing upon the rights of others or harming someone else (I don't have the right to kill someone because it's in my pursuit of happiness because that infringes upon a greater right just to simply be alive), but I hold being able to freely practice my religion (including saying that I believe that homosexuality is a sin) to be a pretty important civil right. I think I may simply have misunderstood you on this point.

Again, there is no hostility here, I am just trying to understand your points... honest!

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

Thanks for pausing to ask clarifying questions like that - I appreciate it!

1) Sure, I've felt left out or in the minority, but not because I'm Christian. Even when I've gone to the Mosque, or gone to Temple with some Jewish friends, I've always felt welcomed pretty warmly, even when in disagreement about certain issues. Sure, there are people who are not religious, but rarely do I find them to be anti-religious. And there really is such a small amount of the population that seems to be actively antagonistic toward any religion, much less Christianity. They may be vocal, and get a lot of media attention at times (as media supports any major conflict...or death...or sex....) Most of the debate seems centered not on Christians being right/wrong, but about beliefs around the appropriateness/inappropriateness of religious practice in contexts like government, school, scientific policy, etc. About elements of faith that some would like to see implemented in the larger whole, or integrated more tightly into certain places, and others who rail against that. And I hold the word persecution in rarified air - it is not a word to be bandied about without great cause and provocation. Early Christians faced persecution for their beliefs - at most, current Christians in America face annoyances, conflict, and many intra-Christian ideological battles. Most of our citizenry is Christian. Most of our leaders are Christian. Christian holidays are federal holidays. Christian imagery, although hotly contested in some places, is found everywhere, in buildings, our money, and in the public ceremonies that happen pretty much everywhere. If people think Christians are persecuted against in America, go spend time Jews, Muslims, or other religious minorities in America and see the country through their experiences. I never saw crosses thrown on the football field in high school, but I sure as heck saw bagels tossed on the field when playing Southview more than once.

2) I do count the free practice of religion as a civil right. There are limits, as when that practice actively infringes on the rights of others. But I would say that you (generic), as an individual, have a right to hold and state pretty much any belief you have, and that should be jealously protected. Thus KKK should be able to rally, and the hatred set forth by many ultra-religious preachers such as Brother Jed is also protected.

You can't, however, just say whatever you want, whenever you want, and not expect there to be consequences or fallout. Religion should not be used as a shield to protect against how your actions impact others.

If I run a telemarketing business, for example, and I overhear my Christian (or Muslim, or Jewish, etc.) employee telling a client that he or she is going to hell for not believing in Christ, then they absolutely deserve to be fired. That is unacceptable behavior in the context of that job. If my guidance counselor staff member actively tries to propagate his/her religious belief that black people or Hispanics are inferior, or that women don't belong in the workplace, or that kids should actively engage in sex often with numerous partners, then I would posit that their bringing these beliefs into the workplace creates an atmosphere contrary to a core value of my institution and we would need to part ways. It doesn't matter that this belief comes from a religious place - it is something that sets a hostile environment, one that runs contrary and damaging to the very place of work that I am trying to create, and is cause for dismissal.

Anyway, those are my sleep-addled thoughts.

"If people think Christians are persecuted against in America, go spend time Jews, Muslims,"

Many of us have and do. And that is why we hold so fiercely to our rights to our religion, our rights to smoke cigarettes, our right to free speech, our right to bear arms in this country. Because the war has been lost in so many places. And what sad stories those are. For another day though.

"If I run a telemarketing business, for example, and I overhear my Christian (or Muslim, or Jewish, etc.) employee telling a client that he or she is going to hell for not believing in Christ, then they absolutely deserve to be fired."
______________________________________

Christians do not speak this way. They never have. Overly 'religious' and self righteous folks do and they are the same type of people who killed Christ.

Before going onto your next comment which paints a picture that Christians are racists, sexists and pedophiles - why would you do that?

You actually called yourself a Christian for what purpose?

Do you, and have you ever read the words of Christ - think that we are racist, sexist pedophiles? What is your deal?

My sleep addled mind wants to know how in the world you consider yourself to be a follower?!

When he was asked, he said that we would know each other by our love. So what can possibly explain Y.O.U.?

....That you respond to? And I mean actively read for understanding, and not just for indignation and reaction. From my teacher friends, I recommend the idea of wait time.

1) I am talking about actual bias against other non-christian religions here IN AMERICA, not somewhere overseas.
2) Um, if you read crusader's questions to me and how I phrased my response, it was hypothetical. And about my feelings about the juncture of religion and civil rights, of how religion and everyday life intersect around the workplace. And how prejudicial statements by someone, even in the name of religion, whatever that religion may be, can be cause for dismissal in the workplace. It's not about the nature of Christians, or Muslims, or Jews, or what they believe, or what is proper belief or behavior in the context of their own religion. YOU read that into it. And the guidance counselor hypothetical did not even identify a religion, just that he/she brought in certain religious views- you are the one that assumed I was referring to a Christian, much less all Christians, even though I am one myself. That just doesn't make any sense. Similar to Luke's trial in the tree on Dagobah (I need my daily Yoda reference), you brought your own bias and baggage into that statement. Are you so ready to pick a fight, to show your devotion and piety, to define what is and isn't Christian, that you are prepared to twist and distort what other are saying to make a point? You certainly have a track record of that in these past two threads you have been posting to.
3) You pose, What could explain me. Nice. I got that one in fourth grade. And seventh. And when I sported my Bon Jovi attire. Living on a Prayer and all that. Ironically, I am still looking for that answer after years of searching. Despite your spiteful intent, it really is a deep question. Hmmmm, I will mull that over tonight....

For the first time, SB has made me have a truly philosophical thought! I'm going to rethink my use of the word "persecution," and come up with something else to describe the current situation in the meantime, but it sound all of a sudden like I'm comparing being ridiculed and threatened with lawsuits based on our faith with the plights of our brothers and sisters in the first century who were risking their lives... Interesting. I'll mull over that some more.

That's where I think my disconnect with what you were saying is: that Christians are not persecuted today. But given your different use of the word, I see what you mean. I do however feel that Christians are in a weird and difficult place. There is a ton of tolerance for Islam, for instance: In the public High School I attended (for a short period of time), during the day, Muslim students were permitted to leave class or whatever activity to pray towards Mecca. The administration said they had to allow them to practice their religion, and to require them to stay in class would infringe upon their rights. My friends and I, however, were reprimanded for praying aloud before lunchtime. We were asked not to bring out Bibles to school for after school Bible study, because it "offended people." Do you see the double standard?

That is one example, and in a High School. But there are more that I have personally experienced - in college classrooms and beyond. That is what I have meant by persecution.

I would also contend that Christians who are on the phone at their job telling clients that they are going to hell have a completely different agenda than Christians like-minded to me and my friends. My goal is not to convert by scaring the hell out of people (literally or otherwise). I love God because He first loved me, and I seek to share that love with every single person I ever come into contact; be it by loving them or by witnessing to them. I realize that I am human and I err (I get angry or cranky or mean and don't love people all the time). But that doesn't mean that I can't hold a conversation without asking "do you know what happens to you when you die?"

*edit: I type my stuff into Word first so spell-check makes me sound better :) I accidentally copied something else from another thread with this post... so I took it out to post it appropriately*

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

And I appreciate you taking time to explain more clearly your position, and allow me to do the same. I have really had to do some internal reflection and make clear my own thoughts, and it's nice to have the opportunity to enter into discussion that requires it.

I do agree that there are definitely times and places where people who want to practice Christianity openly are caught in an awkward bind, and that schools and other institutions handle issues of religious diversity poorly. For want of not wanting to offend anybody, they crack down on everything, as opposed to advocating true cultural exchange and capitalizing on these opportunities to promote understanding between people.

sorry,posted twice....deleted to save space....

If you are in a place where you are surrounded by people who think like you and believe like you - I am sure you and your friends are very comfortable.

I am in the trenches. I find many who do believe when they are told the truth. That's very gritty and dirty work - to try to untell the lies that the world tells about Jesus of Nazareth and what he stands for. It's hard to compete with bigots and the major new media.

But the truth is getting out there. And we're working every day. That no potential believer would be left behind.

Again - these folks paint me as a fanatic. I'm in very good company - Jesus was painted as a fanatic and a zealot. I'm in good company.

I don't know where I stated that I am surrounded by people who think like me and believe like me? In fact, due to the nature of my work in education I'm around people of many different denominations, faiths, backgrounds, and unfaiths (is that a word?). Perhaps I am just not understanding your usage of the word persecution. I don't consider people who disagree with me, have different ideas and faiths, or engage in hearty debate with me to be persecuting me. Are there groups that are trying to inflict harm on you or make you suffer because of your religion? Not allow you to practice your religion? I'd be curious who and in what way.

But you can rest assured that you and those who think like you will never be counted with me.

And on that note, I can sleep very easily and I am off to bed. Good night and may God's truth and grace find a way to reach you.

It's nice when everybody identifies themselves and who they are working for.

Nite now.

... we live in a nation where nobody has to check with the likes of popeye for permission to conduct their sexual lifestyle. Equally so, popeye doesn't have to seek the permission of anyone else to be the type of religious person that he is. "Live and let live" is the order of our society.

Luckily we live in a nation where nobody has to check with the likes of popeye for permission to conduct their sexual lifestyle.

Amen to that!

Pink Slip

Live and Let Live?

There is no question that in general "live and let live" is in some particular areas of behavior, the 'order or our society', but the question is: should the "live and let live" philosophy ought to be applied universally to all situations and all behaviors?

Where is the "live and let live" philosophy when it comes to bans on smoking in bars and restaurants?

Where is the "live and let live" when it comes to what the causes of global warming are?

The live and let live philosophy is sometimes useful , but other times it breeds apathy. I think sometimes it's the lazy way out, people just don't want to be bothered and opt for political correctness.

A 98 year old Polish woman died yesterday who rescued 2,500 Jews from the Nazi death camps. What if her philosophy was "live and let live"?

What if Rosa Parks decided to live and let live rather than sitting at the front of the bus?

Are you comparing the pseudo-therapy of "fixing" homosexual behavior with a Polish woman rescuing Jews from Nazi death camps?

Pink Slip

No I am not comparing the 'pseudo-therapy of "fixing" homosexual behavior with a Polish woman rescuing Jews from the Nazi death camps.' I didn't even mention homosexuality.

I was only trying to point out that the phiosophy of "live and let live" as the "order of society' doesn't always work in all areas, it's not universal, it doesn't always apply and is not always right.

I was only trying to show that people should choose their battles based on their own values and principles in the free marketplace of ideas .

That of course raises the question: what are the tests for determing the truth or falsity of these ideas that are out there? Is it feeling? Reason? Experience?

Jayott, I think you raise an interesting point because I think it also begs the question: If some ideas are deemed truer than others, do those faithful to the false-er point of view deserve any less freedom to practice those ideas (providing, obviously, that the practice of the false idea isn't actually harmful to other people's rights)?

I also have to stand behind your statement that "live and let live" isn't (and shouldn't) be the attitude of American society because that simply doesn't work. If I just "live and let live" and someone shoots someone I love, I don't want the government to just "live and let live." In fact we want the government to do the exact opposite, don't we? And this is true in a lot of cases...

Perhaps someone used "live and let live" in a broad, sweeping generalization. And those are never accurate...

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

The sexual acts of others are none of the public's concern. Sexuality is personal thing and when performed is done so by consenting adults. Other sexual acts that don't fit that are called "rape", and as such, are legally actionable for obvious reasons.

Within the context of this discussion, "live and let live" firmly applies. Where people stick their penises, fingers and tongues are none of the public's business. There is no rational public policy against those acts. And if the sight of people kissing in public bothers you, then just look away.

So, yes: Live and let live! Americans are such stupid prudes.

For the record - I don't care about homosexuality. Or heterosexuality. I don't think what anybody does in their bedroom is any of my business. Or that I even have the right to HAVE an opinion on it. We're all accountable for our own lives and what we choose to believe in.

It is the bigotry against people who try to live out and discuss what they believe in that bothers me. The shaming and name calling. The attempt to marginalize as though we don't matter because we are Christians.

The column that this lady wrote was in part Biblically correct but I don't agree with the spirit of the conclusions.

I might not agree with her conclusions but I sure do think she has a right to voice her own opinion on her own time. And I don't think she ought to be fired for it. And it bothers me that many folks who would be upset if she was fired for speaking out as a black woman, or a lesbian are ok with her being fired for being a Christian. When is bigotry ok?

The one thing that she left out is that we are supposed to understand that there is no sin greater than another and that God loves each of us. Be it the Pope, the guy who reads the meter, the prisoner and even the wealthy - if they are good stewards of that wealth and help the less privileged.

But to say that God doesn't love people of all lifestyles is I think not true. That's my opinion only.

"The attempt to marginalize as though we don't matter because we are Christians."

No, you don't matter when you attempt to bring religious policy into the secular realm. That is the sum and substance of most of the complaints I've ever seen about bigotry against Christians in the US.

For the record, since Dixon did not identify herself as a UT official, she was obviously speaking as a private citizen, and we should all respect those expressions no matter (in fact, DUE TO) how morally offensive they are. The speech that needs the most protection is the speech that people are disinclined to protect.

Jacobs did the morally wrong thing by firing or disciplining her. We are NOT the slaves of our employers. We are NOT subject to extraordinary disciplines when on the properties of others.

GZ, we agree for similar reasons on the fact that "Jacobs did the morally wrong thing by firing or disciplining her."

But for you to come right out and say that "No, you odn't matter when you attempt to bring religious policy into the secular realm," is to justify every single complaint about intolerance for Christianity (and religion in general) in this country. It's people like you who scream "be tolerant," and then "shut the Christians/Jews, etc. up!!!" And that is the "persecution" I refer to, so thanks for being my case in point.

And I liked your unfair generalization elsewhere where you decided that Americans are stupid prudes.... nice and classy. Doesn't hurt your credibility at all to say things like that...

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

When I said "you don't matter when you attempt to bring religious policy into the secular realm", there is no persecution. NO RELIGION is allowed to use their religious mores to direct government policy in the USA.

If some Muslims in Toledo banded together and insisted that some parts of Sharia (religious) law were made city ordinance (like the wearing of the veil), you'd be upset. But the same thing applies to any religion, including yours.

This is not a "Christian nation" in any sense other than population. There is no such statement, since in the USA, there is "separation of church and state" (as I said earlier and you ignored). Stopping Christians from placing religious laws on the secular books is not persecution. It's just sensible public policy.

As for Americans being stupid prudes, it has nothing to do with my so-called credibility. Sane societies DON'T CARE where consenting adults put their penises, fingers or tongues. Americans do care and largely for religious reasons, and use the law and media to enforce these invasive and anti-liberty sentiments, and that's just stupid.

Please continue to expose your agenda (i.e. DON'T shut up, as you falsely claimed I told you). The fact is, Christians are a populous majority in the USA and experience no persecution worth mentioning. They experience a large degree of freedom in both senses (absolute and relative), and considering the lack of other religious signs on government grounds, those freedoms EXCEED those experienced by other religions on US soil (albeit on a technicality). So what's really to complain about? That some people talk smack on Christians? Have you ever heard of the First Amendment?

In fact, to say that Christians experience persecution in the USA is completely laughable. I'm surrounded by Judeo-Christian churches. Religious symbology is rife. Notices of religious meetings and such are also rife. People wear the Cross and the Star of David freely. We have OFFICIAL holidays based upon Judeo-Christian religious holidays. Courts commonly keep a Bible on hand for swearing people in. Etc.! Endlessly so!

So where's all this persecution? Yes, the "persecution" is in fact the stopping of Judeo-Christians (as well as any religions) from making more religious changes to our secular law. Well, color me unimpressed. This "persecution" is just US political culture acting to keep ALL RELIGIONS out of public policy.

As for what happens in China with Christians ... obviously I am not a Chinese citizen, and this is not China. China's problems are for the Chinese people to solve.

P.S. Speaking of churches, how many more tax breaks do religious organizations need before you stop lying about "persecution"?

since Dixon did not identify herself as a UT official

Dixon did identify herself as a UT official. She listed her title at UT in her op-ed piece, which was the basis of my argument that her termination for that reason was legitimate. Now, if Dixon had not given any reference to her position at UT, things would be a little different.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Check http://www.toledofreepress.com/?id=7609

Was her IDing as a UT official in the paper copy? The online copy doesn't.

I stand corrected. Crystal Dixon did not provide her title or position with TU in her OpEd piece. Here's where I read it:

http://www.toledofreepress.com/?id=7734

On April 6, I received a response, “Gay rights and wrongs: another perspective,” by Maumee resident Crystal Dixon, who identified herself by e-mail as “Associate Vice President for Human Resources, University of Toledo and Elder/Minister, End Time Christian Fellowship, Toledo.”

It was Miller who provided the details. Well, then, that changes my opinion 180 degrees. I don't see where TU has a leg to stand on.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

Guestzero - I don't stop being a Christian anywhere I go. My personal belief is that people make their own decisions about their sexuality.

So you say that I don't matter; "No, you don't matter when you attempt to bring religious policy into the secular realm. "

First and foremost there IS NO religious policy. There was a man who taught through stories (parables), show me where he used the words must, have to or rule. He didn't. That's a lie. The only 'rule' he mentioned that could possibly be constituted as a policy was the Golden Rule.

You provided perfect proof of the bias that exists towards Christians with that single line you proved the bias exists and made the entire case in point . You made an assumption about a very large populace based on the ignorance and misrepresentations of a very few bad people who call themselves Christians and information from people who are blatantly and completely ignorant of the topic itself.

There's no point ind debating further because you have a bias against Christianity. I can't overcome that and as you say, I don't matter.

Pops, a bias exists against ANY religion that brings their mores into the realm of public, official or government policy. That Christians are caught up in this is a matter of being one of the fish in the net, not that you're a cod.

I support this bias. I don't want religions dictating public policy in the USA, regardless of which religion it is. The US Constitution says we can't have it anyway.

Don't bring religious policies into the secular realm and we'll be just fine. (Note well that the secular realm is properly a lot smaller than what the Liberals around here are promoting. A smaller and focused government is true government for promoting liberty.)

P.S. If women in Toledo were required by religiously-modeled law to wear veils, you'd be upset, right?

If women in Toledo were required by religiously-modeled law to wear veils, you'd be upset, right?

Wait a minute, GZ. Who would have to wear the veil? Exactly who are we talking about here?

You know, I remember a case in Florida about thong bikinis, which were being worn by hot dog stand vendors (vendoresses? red hot women selling hot dogs?), which hot dog stands were located conveniently along the highway. A group of people got together and had a hissy fit over the bare buns, and a law got passed. One thing about the complainers is that most of them emitted a beeping noise whenever they backed up. Others had their own zip code. Still others had to get a special heavy equipment license and pay attention to bridge load limits. Anyway, you get the point.

Somehow, I don't think Florida should have passed that law, and it isn't just about the bare buns. It has to do with freedom.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

-- again, Dr. Nicolosi started his outreach to homosexual men because they were coming to him to see if they could get out . I like to follow the culture events, and began to read about him years ago. Some Psychologists and Psychiatrists are finding that many, but not all , of those who do want out can do so over time.
It bugs me when folk say 'can't' or don't even talk about it.
Read the story of Michael Glatze on the www.narth.com home page. There is a big sense in the gay community that you don't even quesion same sex desires. That is tragic. Critical thinking should be encouraged .
Ok, it 's the part of me that says I am my brother's keeper. Folks watch out for me , and me for them . It is part of caring for one another. So I do care what people in my circles think about themselves. I think much of this modern over sexualized stuff is a big deception, Dr. N. and his collegues verify that, in my opinion , when it comes to the gay world view.

again, Dr. Nicolosi started his outreach to homosexual men because they were coming to him to see if they could get out

Could it be that the only reason "scores" of people are coming to see him, is because a few bad eggs keep preaching about what a "sin" their lifestyle is? What's next, an organization to help people from eating shellfish?

Pink Slip

I already know how you're going to feel about this, Pink Slip, but someone needs to point out your riduclousness somewhere.

You are upset because we Christians are allegedly intolerant of homosexuals. But your attitude towards those who desire to not be in a homosexual lifestyle any longer is intolerant. So you're tolerant of those who agree with you, but not of those who don't? (That's rhetorical, since your answers stand alone as proof that the answer is yes).

I will keep repeating the alcoholism question until someone gives me an answer: if alcoholism is genetic, should we just not try to cure it?

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

'if alcoholism is genetic, should we just not try to cure it?'

Your viewpoint is that homosexuality is a disease, or illness like alcoholism?

Oh, how cute. He can't answer the question so he evades it... awww...

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

the only valid reason for comparing alcoholism with homosexuality is if you believe homosexuality is an 'illness' that can be 'treated.' You didn't answer, but I think I already know.

I believe your original question on this was posed to Starling. She can answer for herself. I hope she gives you one of her 10,000-word essays, complete with multi-links. But honestly, you're not worthy of the time or effort, LOL.

To be sentenced to one of dear Clarice's 10,000 word

essays, complete w/ multi-links, makes my eyes cross

just thinking of it.

In case you care to stop back (again) I'd really like to hear your answer to this:

Do you believe homosexuality is an 'illness' or 'disease' than can be 'cured', like alcoholism?

This really goes to the basis of whether your brand of Christianity is in fact what most Christians consider themselves to be or not. I don't believe it is. I believe your viewpoints on this represent the extreme fringe.

Your conclusions, along with those of Popeye, are that people on SB and elsewhere are discriminating against and marginalizing CHRISTIANS or CHRISTIANITY. Thus, you will make ridiculous references and comparisons to Christians and 'blacks in the South' in an attempt to underscore your position.

What some people on here have problems with is YOUR INTREPRETATION of Christianity or what it should be or represents.

So, back to the question about homosexuality and alcoholism......

McCaskey,

This Christian is finished with you and this board. It has turned to bashing beliefs rather than discussing honest opinions, news and politics. I am under no obligation, morally or otherwise, to respond to you.

If you were literate or attentive enough to read what I have already wrote, at length, on this thread, you would find the answer to your question.

So I'm out too, I think KateB has it right. The Gospel HAS been preached, my ideas have been defined, and all I've received for it has been, yep, I'll say it: PERSECUTION.

May God be with each and every one of you until the day that you face judgement for what you've done, just like the rest of us.

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

speaks for itself and your entire thought-process on this has now reached martyrdom-like proportions.

Fringe=Extreme=Dangerous.

Is this now the third time you said you were 'finished' with this board?

Maybe we could start making homosexuals post different colored license plates on their cars. Maybe hot pink, eh crusader?

Pink Slip

I will keep repeating the alcoholism question until someone gives me an answer: if alcoholism is genetic, should we just not try to cure it?

Yeah, why choose alcoholism? Why not something like having blue eyes? If blue eyes are genetic, should we try to "cure" people with blue eyes? Having blue eyes isn't a "sin", you say? So which genetic differences should we try to "fix"? Just the ones that disagree with your worldview, crusader?

Pink Slip

You are upset because we Christians are allegedly intolerant of homosexuals

Try again, chief. Why do you make such broad sweeping generalizations about Christians? That's like saying that because you disagree with me, you're attacking white males everywhere. My disagreement is with YOU, not "we Christians". The Christians I know don't believe they're holy enough to determine who is a sinner and who isn't.

Pink Slip

I needed a grin. So Crusader and I have both tried to discuss, in response to many, MANY comments here how Christians are intolerant to homosexuality. And by responding to bigoted statements you try to paint Crusader as the bigot.

That's not even good enough to be called a cheap trick.

Swwwwwwwing and a miss. Tis you folks who are convinced that we all think alike because like all bigots you paint us with the same brush. Just like nobody should be allowed to smoke in public places because a FEW smokers were inconsiderate. Bigots work the same way on any topic.

I'm sure you aren't intolerant of other people's religions though. After all you have 'friends' who are Christians :-)

It's nice that someone here is rational and literate enough to understand what's happening in this conversation.

To be honest, I like debate and conversation, but I don't answer to any of these people, for any reason. I only answer to God and I act accordingly. So while you people disagree and think I'm a horrible person, no one I know does. And I have done or said nothing that rests on my conscience.

Popeye, I think we've expended enough energy to see that they aren't going to have conversation with us (I have posed a question several times, and no one seems to want to talk about why something being genetic doesn't make it right...) or anyone who won't just pat them on the back, give them what they want to hear.

I'm going to talk about something else now.

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

Bob, weave and evade. And he already knows what everybody thinks - about everything. I'm thinking this is a loss. Most people don't want to inspect their own bias' and he is no different. It takes strong character for introspection.

Those that we're meeting here don't appear to have it. He apparently is only capable of the typical shaming and juvenile ridiculing. And we're away from testimony or being an apologetic. Let him who has ear listen. Not our responsibility and we aren't obligated to talk to those who only wish to diminish us for our beliefs.

popeye said - "It looks like starling only cares if people's rights get stepped on if it's something starling approves of. (smoking) and if it's something starling HATES (Christians), then go ahead and strip them of their rights. And hit them as starling has said when they speak of love. Of loving a person while sometimes hating their shortcomings and failures. Hit them. Marginalize them. Take away their right to their job.

So long as it's Christians and not smokers."

That is NOT what I said. What I SAID, was " Everytime I hear some smiley-faced back-stabbing God-Nazi say "Love the sinner, Hate the sin", I just want to club them over the head until they quit lying. By the mere act of saying something like this, you are hating. If this were 1963, you'd probably be a segregationist."

What I MEANT was - Sorry if I wasn't clear - BUT I never implied Christians should be stripped of their rights. Nobody's stripping religous rights from Christians. Where did THAT come from? It is the Christians who want to strip gay people's rights when they suggest their sexual inclinations are sinful & wrong, so therefore, they must conform to the christian notion of what is 'right', even when it conflicts with what their body & brain are telling them. Expecting a gay man to "will" himself to be attracted to women enough to want to have sex, is absurd. Just for kicks - could a straight man "will" himself to be attracted to another man? People's sexuality is complicted - different things arouse differnent people. Some people are only attracted to fat women with big asses, some to blonds, some to feet, etc. I don't think it's something you can "will" to be different - it is what it is. The 'blue eye' concept makes sense - genetic, impossible to change. Go back & READ some of the rules in the Exodus rule book - like Hitler all over again. And THAT is stripping rights of people, and forcing YOUR beliefs on others. And when it goes so far as to make a young kid feel so 'wrong' that he kills himself because his parents can't accept his homosexuality, I say that those parents should be doomed to hell, because they inspired him to believe he wasn't good 'enough', enough to die rather than face their disapproval. Any parent who uses that crap lie line of "I love you, but hate the sin", is a corrupt parent - a parent loves their child, unconditionally. There's a difference between a child breaking a law or rule, and having inborn, genetic pre-dispositions of sexual attraction. IF that parent wishes their gay child to iive a lie, and fake a heterosexual lifestyle to please their parents (or god) - it doesn't work. They will eventually succumb to their real sexual identity - there's a lot of gay men who got married, built families, for SHOW. Does not mean they enjoy sex with their wives. Does not mean they aren't getting gay sex on the side (they DO). Living their lives in a lie, is living an unhappy life. Any parent who'd wish their child live a LIE about their identity, should hang their head in shame. THAT is stripping their child of their rights.

I think when religious people say "Love the sinner, Hate the sin", to explain that while they think homosexuality is a sin, it is their gayness they hate, not the person - they are simply dressing their hate in scripture, in their religon, because the Bible says to "NOT hate". What I MEANT, about wanting to club them over the head (ok, it was an exageration, I am non-violent) - was that I think it is a lie when they say that. The same kind of lie that SOME fanatical white Christians in the south would say about blacks . They know it's socially unacceptable to say "I hate black people", so they disquise their hate, hide it - and tell their co-workers & church friends that "I like black people", when in reality, they don't have a single black friend & would move to the back of the bus rather then to sit next to a black person on the bus. My grandmother was one of those (and no, I wouldn't have clubbed her over the head, especially since she's been deceased for years - I understood that she was raised in an environment that made her racist & fearful of ANY body that wasn't causcasion. ) But she'd never have admitted her racism in a milion years, not out LOUD. No, she'd dress it up, and make excuses for black people (or ANY ethnic group). But if she was on a bench in the mall, & somebody not white sat down next to her, she'd get up & move away. She was the same about gay people - she never said it out loud, but she was disqusted & afraid of them.

I do not hate Christians, and I respect anybody's religious beliefs - my closest friends are deeply religous (they tolerate me I guess). However, I draw the line when a person attempts to shove their religous beliefs down other people's throats - when they believe that if a person's sexual inclination is not the same as theirs, it is a sin, and therefore, they are sinning, and when christians say "we love you anyway, but hate the sin', it is insulting & self righteous & arrogant. It is also a LIE, and it is the LIE that I want to club them over the head about (not literally). At least be honest & admit you hate their gayness, or at minimum, disqusts you.

I MEANT., that a person's sexual identity is part of who they ARE I disagree that homosexuality is a disease, like alchoholism. Enough gays have told me that they've known they were gay since they were little kids - just WERE.
I remember reading a study years ago, where they studied small children playing - little boys & girls. The little boys tended to most often, gravitate to 'boy toys' (cars, trucks, toy guns) while the little girls would gravitate to the 'girl toys' (dolls, jewelry). A boy who is born homosexual, will gravitate to girl toys, more than the boy toys, & vice versa (this has been proven - and can be proven if you take the time to sit down with little kids long enough. Or, ask the parents of gay teens, what type toys did their kids gravitate to in a toy store when they were little? IF you took the time I mean........ I've talked to enough gays that have told me that they always 'knew', and gay boys always had a preference for pretty things, and gay girls were often labeled tomboys, and shunned dresses or any girly type clothes. I think the very fact that the religions that believe gay people have to change, or be damned to hell is insulting & arrogant. Aren't Christians the same ones who say God doesnt make mistakes? And yet, God made all people (christians say), so therefore, God made some people gay. So are you saying God screwed up?

I find it interesting, that Christians believe their's is the only 'right' religon that will go to heaven, when in fact, Judaism existed long before Christianity did. Only about 30 percent of the world's population is Christian - the rest are a combination of other religons that don't subscribe to Christian beliefs. I find it very arrogant for this 30 percent to presume everybody else is wrong. The same can be said about all the other religons - they all think their's is the only true religon & YOU'LL be going to hell. Ask any extremist Muslim. But this thread is not about religons.

(Starling quote - said this two times) That is NOT what I said. What I SAID, was " Everytime I hear some smiley-faced back-stabbing God-Nazi say "Love the sinner, Hate the sin", I just want to club them over the head until they quit lying.
___________________________________________________
Wanting to club someone over the head is not a tolerant position regardless of what you say. Desiring to harm another for their beliefs IS NOT TOLERANCE.

Calling people back stabbing God-Nazi's is NOT TOLERANCE.

You are quoting what Christians quote. They're quoting Christ. They're not lying - they're stating a belief. Something that they strive to live up to. And often fail.

But the fact that you know so little about the religion you are condemning - how is it you want to club me again? Hating sin and loving people is a cornerstone of the lessons of Christ.

I am aware of the duration of the Jews - Christ was a Jew. I think you have very bad feelings about Christians and I think there has been enough dialogue that if you were going to try to talk to one of them/us/me without all of the above - it would have happened by now. I believe what I believe in. I always will and I think that I'm better for it than I would be without it. Christ is my savior. I believe he is the son of God. I believe that he came to earth to pay for our salvation. I believe he was and still is mocked and ridiculed. I believe he was tortured and murdered. I believe he fulfilled the prophesies of old and I believe he rose from the dead. He said he was misrepresented and he still is today. Jesus is about wanting us to love each other - as much as he loves us. That's what he asked me to do and I'm going to retreat because dialogue on this level makes me so frustrated. I never said anything other than Jesus loves all of us and that I am frustrated by the level of comfort that people have in persecuting Christians for their faith. We aren't all cut out of some Christian dough with the same cookie cutter.

If anybody cares to reread the above - it's a primer in how we are treated. Very badly. I would never go back through history and try to find secular people who did terrible things with their lives to try to make any of you ashamed. I would never go back through time to try to find atheists or antagonists of churches over time and try to make it look like you did those things. But quite a few of you are really enjoying surfing the net to find examples of what some Christian or another did wrong and then ascribe those motives and beliefs to me and the dialogue here. And that's what makes it a bias.

Christians make up 76.5% according to most recent ARIS study (2001) http://146.96.128.102/faculty/research_briefs/aris/key_findings.htm

Starling's post was specifically about the percentage of Christians worldwide, not in America.

popeye - chill out & get over your persecution complex. I said repeatedly, that my comment about 'clubbing' was not meant to be taken literally - it was a figure of speech - I am non violent.

Let me disect this line "smiley-faced back-stabbing God-Nazi" & explain what I meant by it. I do not hate christians or any other religion - I respect people's beliefs, always have. It is when they throw out fake propaganda (like dinosaurs existing in the Bible as bishop said), or that the earth is 6,000 years old, when it's been proven the earth is about 65 billion years old (and Sue the T-Rex dinosaur can prove the earth is well over 6,000 years old - that is when I have a problem. When religous people make things up so they fit better with what they think or want to be true, and ignore scientific evidence that proves otherwise.

That said, what I meant by "smiley-faced back-stabbing God-Nazi" - are the religous people who will smile & say they love the man, but hate the sin - when in fact they are disqusted & repulsed by the 'sin' - that they believe that gays choose to be gay & are repulsed by that 'choise' (and it is not a choise) - and rather than just being honest & upfront with their bias, they paste a smile on their face in their Sunday School Best, and fake that they care about that gay person (although, Christians use the word 'love' - which is a stretch to me - I don't think anybody loves everybody, regardless of what the Bible says they should do. Love is a mighty strong emotion, and to declare you love all people, even gays when their very gayness is a sin in your eyes, is a bit of a stretch. Compassion, empathy, caring - yes. But I think most people reserve 'love' for those closest to them. When a religious person believes being gay is a choise & a sin against God, but can sit next to him in church & pretend they love that gay person as a human being, but deep inside, if you are honest, you think they are committing a disqusting thing - and you trust them just a little bit less with your kids because they are gay (gays do not prey on kids anymore than hetersexuals - in fact, the reverse is true). Would you trust a gay man to babysit your 8 year old son? He is less likely to molest your son, than a heterosexual man would. Gays are not child molesters as a rule, and they tend to be less violent by nature. But I bet you wouldn't trust him with your son. THAT's what I meant about 'smiliey-face".

The back stabber part, is when a religious person proclaims they love a person, or their child, but then find ways to get them to 'change' because they are 'wrong'. The parent who claims they love their child, but upon finding out that child is gay, they are disqusted & make that child feel 'less', and send them off to places like Exodus - that to me, is back-stabbing. That parent has wrapped his disqust in religon, and smiles to their child & says "I love you, BUT....you have to change, and if you do not, you are going to hell". They don't even have to say words as harsh as that - but when they make their child feel unaccepted, or like they are doing something immoral - when their sexual identity is locked into their brains & body - not something they just woke up one day & said "I'm going to turn gay to piss off my parents' - believe me, that child senses, he knows how his parents really feel. And when those parents make it clear to their child, that they can be redeemed in their eyes, only IF they change, IF they deny who they are, IF they force themselves to live a lie (even if it means a lifetime of unhappiness) - then I think that's kind of like back -stabbing. That child was made to feel loved, until his gayness was made known, and then it was pulled back with conditions placed upon it. I realize you will say that those parents still love their child - but as a mother, a parent - I can't even fathom being able to make my child feel so horrible about who they are. It goes against every mother bone in my body.
But perhaps 'back-stabbing" & "clubbing" were very bad choises of words - a bit strong, I admit. I "over-spoke" & exagerated, I admit, in my choise of words.

The "God-Nazi" was meant only towards the parents who send their children to places like Exodus in the name of their religion - I did not mean to color all Christians with that tag. If you take the time to actually READ the rules for Exodus - you will see what I meant by the Nazi tag. Very similar. But the Christians I know - deeply religious people, my closest friends & many family members - do not believe that gayness is a choise, and they would NOT send their children to places like Exodus, they would NOT shun their children because of their sexual identity. They simply love their children - for better or worse, unconditionally.

I do NOT hate Christians. I dislike the fanatics & zealots - and if you feel you are being persecuted because you are a Christian, you're probably a zealot, because I have never heard of a Christian (or any religion other than Muslims) claim they were being persecuted. At least not in this day & age.

Starling, you are going to have a problem with defending yourself against the accusation of being biased against Christians. You seem to think you understand the innermost workings of the mind, soul, and intentions of anyone who thinks homosexuality is a sin, or that you should love men and hate sin... Your insight seems to know no bounds at this point. I am sorry to burst your bubble, but my beliefs would place me in your "God-Nazi" category (interesting choice of words, I agree that you definitely used hyperbole here), but my personality would not. I haven't a hateful bone in my body. I love people. I do hate sin, including my own. I resemble a Nazi only so far as the fair skin... and one counter example is all one needs to prove a theory wrong...

You are also quickly becoming an expert at a whole lot of things: geology, archeology, genetics, the Bible, other people's motives. The definition of intolerance (just to end all of this "you're intolerant," "nuh-uh," "yeah huh," business) is "sympathy or indulgence for beliefs or practices differing from or conflicting with one's own."

At best, Starling, you are selectively tolerant (which seems to be a possibility considering the definition). I would have to admit that I, too, am only selectively tolerant, though I don't have a huge tendency to attack those who don't share my beliefs. I prefer, instead, to engage in honest debate to test my own ideas.

Furthermore, I still believe that the logic "it's okay because it's in my genes," is flawed. Just because you are born with an attraction to the same gender (or the opposite gender, for that matter) doesn't mean I have to engage in relationships of sexual/romantic nature with them. That, my friend, IS a choice! And telling someone they're wrong doesn't mean that you don't love them unconditionally... and to propose such a thing is just ridiculous. I think this conversation has gotten to such a level that we're resorting to hyperbole and ridiculousness to make points, and that's just a waste of time...

Good night!

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

Why should your definition of a sin define what someone else does or does not do?

I'm confused by your thinking, you say on one hand that you can belive that someone is born one way, born with an biological attraction to the same sex but you think that they should ignore it and then, I guess, live life without any romantic or sexual contact because you think that they were born wrong some how?

I'm not sure what is confusing about my logic to you OhioKat. And it is not my definition of sin I am concerned about, it is not my place to judge people for their sin: that is God's deal. All I know is what the Bible tells me, and it says that having a sexual relationship with someone of the same gender as oneself is a sin. So I don't care who is attracted to whom for what reason... that's not the problem. And quite frankly, I don't go around asking people about their sexual preferences; all I know is the Truth.

Here's how it breaks down in my mind: Who one sleeps with is a choice, even if who one is attracted to isn't. That's my point... does that help clarify?

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

Furthermore (and finally, I hope), while persecution is maybe a harsh word since it carries the things of Christians being hurt or killed, Christians face discrimination today. I have experienced it, my parents have, my friends have, pretty much anyone I know who is willing to live a life full of God's love for people has met resistence and some (and many) level(s). I am also familiar with some Jewish friends of my family who meet discrimination in some form on a pretty regular basis. And Muslims certainly are meeting intolerance in this day and age. Religion has always been a divisive factor among people, since the beginning of recorded history.

As far as fanatics and zealots, well, I think for someone with no faith you're not in a position to mock others for being devout. And it seems that your definition of a zealot is relatively loose, so it's proabably not a fair or accurate assessment anyway.

Good night (again :) ).

There is a tide in the affairs of men...

From Starling: because I have never heard of a Christian (or any religion other than Muslims) claim they were being persecuted. At least not in this day & age.

Then you haven't heard much. You may begin by examining counties outside the US borders. China is a good example. Anywhere in the Middle East provides a few - and I'm being bitterly sarcastic here - a very few examples of Christians who have been arrested by the Muslim Mohammad police and taken away for political re-education.

Tell you what, Starling. You don't have to believe me, because I may be lying to you. Go and see for yourself. Go to the Middle East and start teaching Christianity, then see how long you last. China is good as well.

Mad Jack
Mad Jack's Shack

I have really enjoyed talking to some of you on here. But now it's just become a forum to ridicule people for their beliefs.

I don't really care to spend time where I am going to be bashed for my beliefs. And seeing the above dialogue is just distressing.

You all enjoy the site - and I feel that testimony has been appropriately offered (and refused) so there isn't any evangelical work to be done here. I can leave this site and put it out of my mind without any guilt.

To those of you who believe - may God be with you and may you have the peace that passes understanding.

If you're here to tell me it's my fault - you're right. I meant to do it. It was alot of fun. That's why I have this happy smile on my face.

but I haven't noticed any posts by you on this thread, KateB. How would anyone know what your beliefs are for people to 'bash' you about?

I'm with Kate, i am officially off this site. there is WAY TOO MUCH INTOLERANCE. if you put any RACE in the place of Christianity in this, and many other posts that Christianity have been mentioned on this site, people would call you a RACIST. somehow it's ok because it's Christianity. that is sad. i can tolerate people criticizing my odd stories, and pictures of my beautiful children, but i will not tolerate people criticizing my beliefs as a Christian. i thought we could act like adults on this site, and respect each other for their differences. we could LEARN a thing or two from our differences, but there are too many people on here not willing to do that.

Mailman chuck, i'm so sorry i ever told you about joining this site. i know how much you have been bothered by some people on here bashing you for your faith. you are a great man, and i am happy you are my friend.

If you really do leave Kate, I'll be sad to see you go. You're posts/thoughts always added to the discussions.

That being said, I thought this forum was here for discussing issues. I had no idea that it was set up to be used for evangelical work.

I never have and I never will understand the obsession some people seem to have with what other people are doing or not doing in their bedrooms.

If you (you being anyone of any religon) feel that being gay is a sin. Good for you. Don't be gay. Don't hang out with gay people or visit gay bars. No skin off my nose.
But please don't try to force your ideas down my throat.

I don't have a problem with men loving men or women loving women. I don't have a problem with blacks loving whites or asians loving hispanics or any other combo you want to toss out there involving consenting adults.
It doesn't mean I would make those same choices for myself or want them for my children but I certainly am not going to tell you that you can't.

Always love

Pink Slip

But please don't try to force your ideas down my throat.

Strictly from a logical standpoint, homosexuality, religion, morals, politics, ethics, and everything else aside:

1. Your statement is an idea. In fact, your entire post is filled with your ideas that include the imperative, "Don't". . . .

2. You tell them not to force their ideas down your throat,

3. Therefore, you are forcing your ideas down people's throat.

That is inconsistent reasoning and self-refuting. It's like saying, "I can't utter a word in English." Or, "everything I say is a lie."

madjack - of course you are right about persectution in other countries. I meant that comment to be about persecution in America (I was not clear, I apologise).. And I realize that there are some (polygamists for example) who feel they are persecuted in America - I guess I didn't think it through enough, before I spoke. But what I meant, was that the people of the basic Christian faith in this country (not the more extreme sects, like polygamists or extreme Baptists who insist on snake handling to prove their faith, etc.) are not persecuted.

Let me be clear - I have never said that Christians are the only faith, people - that think homosexuality is wrong, or are disqusted by it. There are plenty of non-religious people who feel that way as well. It is NOT your religious faith I question. And I realize that some Christians (not all) do believe that homosexuality is a sin. Those Christians (or any religion) are free to believe what they choose. So every Christian who feels they are being persecuted by my comments, can take the nails out of their hands right now. My comments were directed to anybody, religous or not - who feels that gay people need to change, can change, or will be damned to hell, and unaccepted by society. Yes, my comments got tangled up with Christianity in general - because, in general, it has been the Christians on this board (and in general, in this country), who used their religion as a shield against homosexuality, who have used the Bible & it's scriptures to enforce what they believe is wrong & immoral & sinful, to enforce their belief that their Christian beliefs are the only true beliefs, so therefore, the rest of humanity is wrong, if it does not conform to that Christian ideal. I know many devout Christians (read the Bible daily, go to church, would rather die than deny their religion) who do NOT believe that homosexuality is a choise, who are NOT repulsed by gays, who do NOT think gays need to "turn off" the impulses & attractions they were born to have in order to get to Heaven. Believe it or not, not all Christians believe as some do on this board. And there are a lot of anti religous people who believe as some of the Christians do here, that homosexuality is a choise, not genetic. So nobody is persecuting you for your religion. The persecution comes from when some people force their beliefs onto others, as the only true beliefs, the only right way to live. If as a Christian, you believe that homosexuality is a sin - then so be it, it is what you believe. But don't push that mindset off to other people to the extent that you proclaim homosexuals are wrong in the eyes of God.

For the record - there are many gay couples who have lived together in love for decades. Their partnerships often make many heterosexual marriages look like garbage, in that they are loyal, loving, kind, committed to the end. There are plenty of heterosexual (Christians or any religion) marriages that are shams - cheating, abuse, neglect, indifference, etc. Are you aware that the average "customer" at strip clubs are middle-aged, heterosexual married men with kids? I'm not sure what the statistics are for what group of men is most likely to seek out prostitutes - but my guess is that heterosexual, married men are right there at the top - ofen Christian men. My point is, that I am not talking down your religious faith - I am talking down the hypocracy, the hate, the bigotry against people who do not fit your blueprint of what people should be. My point, is that when The Boyscouts Of America refuses to let homosexual boys join the damned Boy Scouts, I think it reeks of hate & bigotry, and goes against everything that is supposed to be good for children. My point, is when parents disown their own children because they are gay, or make them feel like trash, enough to where they force their children into programs like Exodus, or to the point those children slice their wrists or hang themselves in the garage - because their parents made them feel so bad about themselves - then I don't care what the motivates your anti homosexual mindset - you have forced your ideals onto innocents, and it is wrong. A child should know their parents love them, unconditionally - to do otherwise, to lay out conditions for that parents love, is wrong - no matter what your faith tells you. (and there are plenty of NOT religous people who do the same thing, so get yourself unnailed from the cross.).
At best, Starling, you are selectively tolerant (which seems to be a possibility considering the definition). I would have to admit that I, too, am only selectively tolerant, though I don't have a huge tendency to attack those who don't share my beliefs. I prefer, instead, to engage in honest debate to test my own ideas.

crusader said (I think it was him) "Furthermore, I still believe that the logic "it's okay because it's in my genes," is flawed. Just because you are born with an attraction to the same gender (or the opposite gender, for that matter) doesn't mean I have to engage in relationships of sexual/romantic nature with them. That, my friend, IS a choice! And telling someone they're wrong doesn't mean that you don't love them unconditionally... and to propose such a thing is just ridiculous. I think this conversation has gotten to such a level that we're resorting to hyperbole and ridiculousness to make points, and that's just a waste of time..."

Oh, really? Kind of like the priests who take vows of celebacy & can't manage to maintain those vows? A person has no control over what attracts them sexually. Can YOU? I guarantee you this - if a gay man 'chooses' to not act on what he is really attracted to, if he 'silents' his urges to live a heterosexual life, complete with wife & kids, there will be the day he will be having sex with men, outside his marriage, in secret. You are saying that homosexuals should silence the part of them that tells them what attracts them sexually & to live a life that is a lie. What I am saying, is that by expecting people to live a lie - is wrong. Your religous faith or beliefs have nothing \to do with it.

Last question, repeated (no answer yet) - would those of you who think homosexuality is a sin, that it is simply a choise, trust a homosexual person to watch your children? The answer you give will be the compass that tells what you really think about gays. (heterosexuals are more likely to molest children - gays are not child molesters).

End post & then I am done with this topic.
I honestly don't know how this thread turned into a fight - where some users are thinking that those of us who believe people are born homosexual, are therefore, bashing & persecuting Christians. Last time - It is not your Christianity I have issues with. I don't have 'issues' with any religion, as long as it isn't being shoved down other people's throats. Many non-religious people also think homosexuality is wrong - it's NOT about religion to me at all. I understand that some Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin, that should be "corrected" or "denied". They have the right to believe as they do, no argument from me at all. I am not offended by your religion - I am offended that so many gay people are made to feel like they are trash, not 'good enough' in God's eyes. And when those gay people are young adults or even children, more so. There have been too many gays that have committed suicide because their families, friends & the church has shunned them. That doesn't sound like 'love' to me at all. A person's sexual identity isn't like a light switch - where they can simply flip the switch & force themselves to be attracted to the exact opposite of what their bodies & brains are telling them to be attracted to.

If I had to wager a guess about the validity of the gays that 'turned themselves around" - I'd bet that they either were sexually confused to begin with (doubtful), or they'd been subjected to so much disqust & shame, they'd go to any lengths to please those people who made them feel that way. But the track record for those programs is very poor, that can be proven. And if it's poor, it's because people can pretend & fake their way for a while - but long term? Difficult, because it's denying who they are. It's living a lie. Do some research on marriages where the man was gay - ask their wives how well that worked out. Don't take my word for it - take the time & research it yourself - but do some research that extends beyond Exodus, and sites that simply confirm YOUR thought processes - research the other side for a while.

I'm sorry if I led anybody to think I looked down on them for their religions - not my intent at all. I believe in tolerance for our fellow man - regardless of how different they are, regardless of whether they 'fit' into what I think is right or not. Our country is very prudish & in the dark ages a bit about sexuality - as compared to many other countries. Yes, there are countries worse than ours that way - but as far as industrialized countries, we are. There have been homosexuals since time began - the ancient Greeks & Romans for example. Michaelangelo was gay. It is not religion I have problems with - it is when people presume to judge other people with their religion I take issue with. It is when those people presume they are the only 'right' religions & every other religion is 'wrong' I take issue with. It is when those people shame innocent children & teens - to the extent of sending them off against their will to camps that use brainwashing & extremist techniques I take issue with; and when those kids commit suicide, I have to question those religious beliefs.

mailmanchuck opened this thread with an article & comment about how this Exodus group has helped thousands of gays go straight. THAT is what I took issue with - because it's not true, and anybody who researches Exodus & others like it will realize how horrible the success rate IS. My comments were not aimed at your religion, or your religious beliefs even. They were aimed at the idea that people can judge & shame people who don't fit into what they think is the only true way of being. There's plenty of people who think homosexuality is wrong & evil - religous or not. Perhaps mailmanchucks article wouldn't have been so loaded & brought down so much anger if he'd simply posted the article & left his religion out of it to begin with, rather than use the Christian banner to speak his piece. I know enough very religious Christian people who do believe homosexuals are born that way, and plenty of non religious people who are disqusted by gays - so I'm not sure how this turned into religion bashing. I do think it's sad that people are still fighting about religion - more people have died in the name of religion in this world than of all wars combined. And I wonder if maybe people would bicker less about religion, if they'd keep their religious beliefs to themselves. Whether a person is born gay or not could easily have been discussed with no mention of religon at all.

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