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  DOUCHE OF THE WEEK

Anti-Gay Columnist Jonathan Merritt Admits To “Inappropriate” Relationship With Gay Blogger

Jonathan Merritt is a widely published columnist whose work appears in mainstream outlets like USA Today, the Christian Science Monitor and The Atlantic, where he just wrote a piece explaining why we shouldn’t boycott Chick-fil-A.

Merritt is also a deeply conflicted gay man who has aligned himself with the evangelical movement.

Oh, and he just got busted for a dalliance with an ex-evangelical gay blogger.

Joe.My.God’s Joe Jervis just passed along an interview from evangelist Ed Stetzer’s blog, where Merritt came clean:

“In 2009, I was contacted by [blogger Azariah Southworth] in response to an article I wrote about just that—that Christians must love people who experience sexual brokenness. We corresponded several times by email and text for a couple of weeks, some of them inappropriate. When I was traveling through a city near him, we met for dinner because we’d corresponded so recently. As we were saying goodbye, we had physical contact that went beyond the bounds of friendship. I was overcome with guilt, knowing I had put myself in an unwise situation. We never saw each other again and we ceased contact after a period of time.

“When I returned home, I saw a Christian counselor to address the events in my life and sort through my childhood and what I believed God wanted for me. I also began to acknowledge to myself that I have sin in my past, sin for which I accept responsibility. Inappropriate texting, inappropriate actions are inappropriate no matter who the other party is. These were my decisions and no one else’s. It’s from my brokenness, that I feel I can now be transparent, honest, and authentic about these accusations. Those close to me know I have actually been planning to share the story of my brokenness for some time. Because it is part of my spiritual journey. And because it underscores the power of the Gospel to transform lives.”

Is Merritt putting himself on the cross because he and Southworth actually touched bodies when they hugged good-bye? Or did their farewell lead to something a little more carnal. For a professional writer, Merritt is being frustratingly vague.

Lest you think Merritt’s confession came from some need to be honest and Jesus-like, it looks like it was prompted by desperation:  Southworth outed Merritt on his own blog, though he says it gave him no pleasure to drag the right-wing scribe of the closet:

“Exposing this truth of Jonathan’s sexual orientation is not an easy decision for me. I take no pleasure in doing this. As I type this my stomach is turning because I know of the backlash he will receive. I have thought about what all of this will mean for him and for me. I base my reasoning in the importance of living an authentic and honest life.

True change in the ‘culture wars’ may come through genuine fellowship and conversations but if there is not complete honesty and transparency when we come to the table than we are simply building a foundation which will soon deteriorate. We must have radical honesty in the character, intentions and identities of our leaders.”

Admittedly Merritt is more of an ex-gay, or ex-gay-in-training, than a fire-and-brimstone homophobe. In a  Christian Science Monitor column from 2011, he criticized religious leaders who fixated on homosexuality far more than other biblical “sins.” The response from the evangelical community was, shall we say, ungodly, and CSM had to pull down the story.

But don’t cry for him, Argentina. He’s turning his lemons into lemonade with a special “announcement” at his pastor father’s Southern Baptist Church in Georgia.  (Merritt had already been scheduled for four weeks of sermons there.)

For those of you inclined to feel pity for Merritt, who was clearly born into a repressive religious society, remember that he’s not some hillbilly who’s never been outside his one-horse town: He’s an educated and accomplished writer who uses his gift to tell people how to conduct themselves in the so-called “culture wars.”

This is the man who, last summer, told Huffington Post readers than LGBT-rights advocates need to stop hating foes of marriage equality.

This is a man who claims to be “broken” and yet preaches about God’s supposed plan.

This, dear readers, is a douche.

Source: Joe. My. God, Photo: JonathanMerritt.com

 

By:           Dan Avery
On:           Jul 26, 2012
Tagged: , , , , ,

  • 179 Comments
    • IzzyLuna
      IzzyLuna

      I’ll fix him up! Jonathan…just email me. Let’s talk about it. :)

      Jul 26, 2012 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • The Real Mike in Asheville
      The Real Mike in Asheville

      Thomas Harris, in “Red Dragon”, presents a very lucid comment about “[men] who have a fear of being homosexual” (for those who don’t know, Harris is the author/creator of the Hannibal Lector novels).

      And that sounds like so many of these anti-gay crusaders such as Tony Perkins, Brian Brown, Bryan Fischer, Kirk Cameron, and now Jonathan Merritt.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 4:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Mark
      Mark

      He is waiting to figure out a way to profit by coming out b4 he officially does.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 4:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • J Stratford
      J Stratford

      closeted christian gay guys only do it with other closeted christian gay guys becuase htere is a threat of mutual destruction… unfortunately for this guy’s case, the other guy turned agnostic.

      I sincerely believe that the biggest enemy of LGBTs in the US, right now, are notstraight people but closeted LGBTs who can not accept themselves and would rather see everyone else miserable as well – they are the ones who created institutions against us (like Focus on the Family, NOM, etc.)

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ermund
      Ermund

      Is he a bottom or top? The least Queerty could do is interview some people.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • the other Greg
      the other Greg

      He needs more “inappropriate” relationships.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joe dalmas
      Joe dalmas

      So the homophobe is a homosexual himself! What a non-surprise. What a pathetic creep.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Atlas
      Atlas

      I still pity him. Educated is not synonymous with being about to think independently and logically. You don’t have to waste your life to have a relationship with God, you just have to be able to think (and read) for yourself.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ermund
      Ermund

      Actually Queerty when writing about someone the generally accepted practice is to always state the name as say
      Jonathan Merritt, 34,…
      I propose all future stories start (sample);
      Jonathan Merritt, 34, bottom,…
      Just check the people out on Manhunt, Grindr or Adam for your info.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Brandon
      Brandon

      Just another religious nutcase spouting his mumbo jumbo. Next.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bw
      bw

      Dear Queerty:
      Please hire me to proofread your stories for the endless typos you currently allow to slip in. I could do a better job in my sleep.
      B

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • JT
      JT

      @J Stratford: I totally agree. I too was brought up in a very conservative southern church and prayed every day for those feelings to leave. They never did but I was very good at playing straight. I wouldn’t go to gay clubs because I was afraid someone off the street would see me. Instead I went to rest areas and baths to have sex. It was all very weird the way I rationalized stuff. Finally after maybe 5 years I said enough and came out. Best thing I ever did.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Aaron
      Aaron

      Here’s the thing…there are people dying in this country and around the world, every day. Dying from things like preventable diseases, lack of nutrition, etc. If the God you pray to is one that cares about “inappropriate texting,” then maybe instead of wanting to change your sexual orientation, you should think about changing your God. Just sayin’.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 6:22 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • TJ
      TJ

      Sexual “brokenness” just sounds so… ugh. It’s one of those Christian fundamentalist terms that manages to wrap up pity, smug superiority, disgust and hatred all in one package. The only thing “broken” here is this guy’s brain, warped by fundie dogma and self-loathing.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 6:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Cam
      Cam

      So another closet case whose only problem is his own artificial shame.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Alexi3
      Alexi3

      @J Stratford: There is sadly quite a bit of truth in what you say. The first time I walked into Chapel at my new Christian school I felt eyes on me and I knew what those stares meant. Very little time past before supposed study sessions in my dormroom turned into make-out sessions. There was this sort MAD (mutually assured distruction) atmosphere about the whole situation. I can’t tell you the panic that ensued amongst my co-conspirators, including some married faculty, when I came out and transferred to another school only blocks away. Some of these former classmates went on to marry and to condemn homosexuality but a few years later I ran into some of them in the bars, still living their closeted compartmentalized lives.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 6:30 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • David Ehrenstein
      David Ehrenstein

      Oh how I love this story

      SCHDENFREUDE LIKE MOMMA USED TO MAKE!

      http://fablog.ehrensteinland.com/2012/07/26/merritt-badge/

      Jul 26, 2012 at 7:01 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MK Ultra
      MK Ultra

      He should hook up with Josh Weed.
      One of them is pretending to be straight, the other is pretending to be gay!
      What a great couple they’d make!
      Throw in both of their crazy anti gay beliefs and you’ve got the plot for a sitcom.
      Call it “Physical Contact with Unicorns”.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 7:44 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • mrsbuela
      mrsbuela

      oh honey puhleeeeezeeeeee…………………..

      that man is gay honey oh yes he is honey just look at them lips honey he either nursed his mama til he was 23 years old or he could suck off a 747’s jet turbine honey.

      and while ol buela at it, she gots to say she so tired of this special kinda horse manure honey oh yes she is honey all these republinazis and bible thumpers havin big ol hissy fits bout what consentin adults do yet they cant seem to stop themselves from indulgin in what they claim to hate the most honey oh yes buela goin there honey.

      broken honey? really? that what yall call goin down on a man honey? what are you honey? in third grade and cant use the big boy words cuz your mama might slap yer hand honey? give ol buela a break honey. he looks broken alright honey broken in the sense that his ass has probably seen more action than a platoon of hookers dropped off in serial rapists convention honey oh yes honey ol buela went there honey.

      mrs buela know many like this fool honey oh yes honey and she bet this what his schedule look like honey:

      sunday: praise jesus them homosexuals gonna burn in hell.
      monday: broken at the truck stop.
      tuesday: broken at the men’s room at home depot.
      wednesday: praise jesus praise jesus praise jesus and paint some anti gay signs for a marriage is sacred protest.
      thursday: broken in the locker room at the gym. three times.
      friday: go out with girlfriend and if she brings up about wantin to have sex then say savin it for marriage.
      saturday: broken at adult book store.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 7:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      I just feel sad. Thinking about the unnecessary pain this man must experience on a regular basis. I hope he finds peace some day.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      “As we were saying goodbye, we had physical contact that went beyond the bounds of friendship.”

      It’s hard to say what that means. To a really sexually hung up Christian, a kiss is not just a kiss. Even a hug with a little back rubbing might be too much.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 9:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • franxp
      franxp

      If he was so clever, he would know that this subject is political and not spiritual, actually the most of the religions have a prominent political facet, because traditionally the religious organizations support the powerful people, being these organizations a control instruments for subjugate the people, and also their leaders are part of this oppressive elite. Saying the people like they must live is a political subject and not spiritual. They want to exploit people even in the sexual side, but we are persons and citizens and we are not farm animals.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 9:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KW
      KW

      This is EXACTLY the kind of situation where I feel that it is WHOLLY appropriate to out someone. How can Jonathan retain ANY integrity as he preaches on morality, whilst living precisely the life he speaks against? But then, he’s a christian – that’s what they do isn’t it? Think Catholic priest, think child abuser; think christian, think hypocrite.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 9:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hf2hvit
      hf2hvit

      SICK FUCK

      Jul 26, 2012 at 9:52 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • I won't grow up
      I won't grow up

      How long do we all think it will be before this guy is photographed prancing around the parking lot of a truck stop on interstate 95 dressed like CoCo Peru?

      Jul 26, 2012 at 10:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Patsy Stoned
      Patsy Stoned

      Yet another “christian” jerk pointing his finger in judgment with one hand while holding a dick in his other. I’d feel more sorry for him if he was profiting off his hateful church and their anti-gay views. I’m sure he’ll claim to have been “molested” and now “100 percent cured ex-gay” and all that crap to continue riding his holier than thou gravy train. He’s no confused 16 year old kid raised in a hateful church. The damage he and his ilk do to NON-hypocritical gays is immeasurable, so I’ll reserve my sympathy for those who DON’T cheer on their church as they gay-bash away, thanks anyway.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 11:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      There’s been a lot of talk about what they did, but not much speculation on what they said to each other. If you read Azariah Southworth’s story, and read what he said about Merritt in outing him, you’re left with the impression that they spent some time talking about the tortured life of the closet. I’m sure Merritt felt a genuine closeness to Southworth, one he may never have felt before.

      That was why it was so necessary for him to go back and seek counseling so that he could again be convinced that he was broken and ugly and reprobate. I wish instead of dwelling on the physical contact that is driving him with guilt and shame, he’d think about the words they exchanged that gave him the strength to reach out in a way he now believes he must regret.

      Jul 26, 2012 at 11:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • DouggSeven
      DouggSeven

      The bible just makes people go bat-crap crazy.

      Ban it already for god’s sake.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 12:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Danny
      Danny

      There are tons of heterosexuals who beat themselves up for having natural sexual thoughts about other heterosexuals, so not surprising there are some gays who beat themselves up the same way. Religion forced upon people in a damning, hellfire way messes with all kinds of gay and straight people. People, in general, are lucky if their parents raised them in an accepting, loving, sex-positive religious group rather than a money-grabbing, condemning, guilt-rideden evil one.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 12:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      Merritt is a douche:O.K.___Obviously.
      A.Southworth’s position is less clear to me
      [but it's late,& maybe fatigue is making me slow]
      Is he gay,ex-gay,trying to be ex-gay?
      In any case,his comments about being “sexually broken”,
      leaving any odor of judgement aside,ring true.Too many
      of us,myself included,go through/have gone through years of
      needless emotional suffering & negative self-judgment.
      I.E.:A lot of pain inflicted by others and ourselves about
      something which doesn’t really matter,and which we can’t
      control,anyway.
      I say douche[s],or not,both meant deserve compassion.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 12:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • sic!
      sic!

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qK-8CQFwEeU
      I would love him harder than Jesus (that mexican guy from his nearest truck stop). What a cutie pie!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:36 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @bill(Guillermo3): I agree. There is a lot of negative self-judgment.

      My own experiences have compelled me to look deeper into the matter, and for those struggling with these issues, this is what ive found so far reading Carl Jung:

      Concerning Christianity
      Lots of people here say its evil and should be banned, but Christianity served a special need, a purpose when it came about 2000 years ago, only most people have forgotten what that was. The roman world at the time was like Spartacus Blood and Sand. Watching slaves die in the arena, using slaves also sexually, eating senselessly etc. the world was ready for a religion that put a spiritual check on pure instinctuality. I think we are not quite ready to let pure instinctuality loose again…
      Christianity has split so many times over so many issues. It is not a frozen, unchanging thing. Many christians are asking themselves if homosexuality should not be tolerated. In Scandinavia you can now have a full church wedding. Other christians have tolerated it a long time.
      So rather than hating christianity, hate on the hateful christians or the hateful sects. It will give you much fewer enemies in your struggle for acceptance. Remember that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality. That was Paul and the old testament…

      Concerning ex-gay and pray-the-gay-away
      According to Carl Jung the psychological reality of the adult is one of pairs of opposites (the same principle as chinese yin/Yang): male-female, good-evil, light-dark, consciousness-unconsciousness and also instinctuality vs spirituality.
      Some feel those conflicts more. Both instincts and spirituality are inborn with us, they are part of our heritage, but they are in opposition, or nearly so because spirituality incorporates instinct to some degree. If instinct is red then then spirituality is not blue, but purple.
      It is possible to “convert” erotic feeling to spiritual feeling. It happens spontaneously for people who cannot find someone to love. As Jung says, there are many, many opportunities for everyone, it is people who cannot avail themselves of those opportunities because more attractive, inner spiritual images take the place of reality. So it probably is possible to pray the gay away, but the price is losing connection to real life. Many saints and the Buddha also disconnected from the world and instinctuality. It is not for me to judge whether this is desirable, only I would say that it is unreasonable to only ask the specifically gay people to do this, also the urge to embark on a spiritual journey must never be forced on someone.
      Jungs own view was that the opposites must be united, not one side winning total victory.

      If there are people deep in this struggle who read this, i can only recommend seeing a trained Jungian therapist. It is a very positive approach with respect to both your instincts and your spirituality.

      So have a bit of compassion for these ex-gays. They go through hell on earth. The funny thing is that everything they say in columns etc is actually meant for themselves. In this way they constantly exorcise the “evil” within by attacking the evil on the outside. The more vocal the attacks, the more intense is the inner doubts that must be silenced… They do it, not for the benefit of others but for the benefit of themselves.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Codswallop
      Codswallop

      Ugh. That “broken-ness” crap is straight (no pun intended) out of the Ex-gay playbook. So however educated Merritt is, however well he may write, he’s got all that junk bouncing around in his head, probably placed there by his Southern Baptist Minister daddy, and can’t see past it. So I have *some* sympathy for him. Some. But it’s limited by my lack of respect for anyone who can’t step back and think for themselves, who obsess over a book written at the tail-end of the Bronze Age and its sequel that has the omnipotent creator of the Universe deciding to knock up some likely lass because he doesn’t have anything better to do.

      So he’s just another nervous nellie who won’t gut-up and live his life instead of staying bound by the contradictory ramblings of desert nomads who didn’t know better than to get their drinking water from the same place they took a dump. In comparison to that “holy” text the writings of the Brothers Grimm are models of logic and realism! It’s also a massive failing of the type of “Christianity” he clings to that, even if you believe in it, completely disregards the words and teachings of Jesus himself, is most un-Christlike.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 9:47 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @mrsbuela: I love the schedule!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 11:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ron in New York
      Ron in New York

      @Joe dalmas: “The things that irritate us about others is often a reflection of ourselves.” – Carl Jung

      Jul 27, 2012 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Daez
      Daez

      @sic!: Yeah he is cute. No doubt about that. To bad under that hotness is a soul as dark as coal. The amount of evil that this man and those like him do is unforgivable.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jack jett
      jack jett

      Read this story………and recall life in High School.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 11:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • randy
      randy

      @J Stratford: Totally true.

      Additionally, I am so over mentally ill people standing on soap boxes telling the rest of us how we should act or think. Yes, he is mentally ill, as are so many evangelicals and other repressed people. They should get to a therapist (and not a Christian one, as that makes it only worse) and heal themselves before they start spouting on how the rest of us should live.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 12:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Old Cow
      Old Cow

      A closeted conservative Christian – who’d have ever thought such a thing existed?!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 12:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      Gay + Christians = YUCK

      Jul 27, 2012 at 2:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @MartinDK: Thanks,MartinDK,
      It’s nice to read something thoughtful here:A REAL BREAK
      from the prevalent caty-ness and misspelled attempts at
      macho lechery.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Ogre Magi: Oh come on,Ogre Magi
      [Shreck Epiphany?]a puree of gays & Christians,or gay Christians
      might be delicious!! I’m sure there are pervs out there with a
      Christian-gay fetish.If not to your taste,it would probably make
      an excellent compost,especially as mushroom soil.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • IrishED
      IrishED

      Another self-hating closet case-Ff-sake like Auntie Mame said life’s a banquet, so come on to the table.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Crystal
      Crystal

      Don’t forget dears, it’s only gay if the balls touch!!!!!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 3:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      @MartinDK … thanks for taking the time to write that out, beautiful, you should blog it and expand
      @JT thanks for sharing your story… been there, done that
      @mrsbuela…loved your schedule of brokenness…been there, done that too! and it reminds me that a lot of young women get broken by these men too, when the men do not return the appropriate affection and distance themselves with no explanation

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:07 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      @Bill(Guillermo 3) speaking of Christian Gay fetish, I recently watched Margaret Cho “Beautiful” where she recounts growing up as a Sunday School teacher, and her take on Jesus’ message… “don’t be an asshole”… and her horror at watching much-loved conservative Christian movies like The Passion of the Christ… “Ohhh Jesus, say your safe word!” and her final conclusion that Jesus was such a bottom. Beyond the humorous edge her words are actually surprisingly compassionate and yes, Christian.

      All kidding aside, when I read the bible, my gaydar really does go off on Jesus. MartinDK explains this perfectly with his Jungian insights. So I think gays and REAL Christianity actually do have a lot of natural affinity, particularly when you stick to better newer translations and focus on Jesus’ words themselves, not how people later laid their own prejudices over his words.

      For those commenters who hate Christianity, you have simply attended the wrong churches, and listened to those who shout the loudest. There are also some very very good churches and wonderful Christians who just don’t do as much shouting in the national arena.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @nature boy: How very nice,
      nature boy.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      Another victim of the cult of Evangelical Christianity. If he weren’t actively working against us, I’d pity him. Since he is, though, I am simply disgusted. Yes, a douche.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Derek Williams
      Derek Williams

      Yet another to go into the gay homophobe databse.

      Homophobe = self-hating closet queer.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 4:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jerry6
      Jerry6

      This gentleman appears to be a perfect example of what Shakespear (sp?) meant when he used the phrase: “Me thinks thow doest protest too much!”.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @nature boy: =)

      Actually i get sad when I see people denouncing spirituality and religion. The biological function of these things is to “keep us on the right track” sort of like a magnetic field that push us in one direction – the specifically human direction. Consciousness is unique to humans and gives an appearant, relative freedom to choose. We can learn tennis or golf, but if we choose to live at odds with human nature the old subconscious system goes into effect. Symptoms appear like depression and people are prescribed pills, while nothing is done to understand the root cause, or people medicate themselves with alcohol, drugs or consumerism.
      Spirituality is listening. Becoming aware (conscious) of these things. Jesus has said many things worth listening to. Dont let westboro maniacs keep you from this important source of strength which becomes more pressing and relevant after we reach middle of life when the biological aspects like career, reproduction, making money, home building etc have been achieved.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FunMe
      FunMe

      I was going to say “who cares?” but then I realize the type of person he is becoming and the harm he can instill in others. Glad this closeted gay guy is being exposed.

      I wonder why he is so tormented, but then I see his father is BAPTIST … that explains a lot.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @MartinDK: Why would you be upset at people denouncing superstition, dangerous myths responsible for the world’s racism, homophobia, misogyny, and used as a legitimate reason to justify things like genital mutilation, blowing up girls schools, arranged marriages, blowing up abortion clinics flying planes into buildings and all manner of lunacy and destruction for millenia, continuing to this day?

      Seems to me the world would be a much better place without it.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:48 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @MartinDK: BTW, I am a lot more moral and a whole lot less depressed, conflicted, and tormented as an atheist than I ever was a Christian. So what you’re saying there holds no water. Further, there is no reason to believe any of it. Religion is dangerous because it allows people to believe they know things that no one can possibly know. It is the most well sold, well told lie and scam in the history of human kind.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • FunMe
      FunMe

      One more thing … maybe he should start a fraternity of sorts for closet queens who want it. He could have Jason Russell and Kirk Cameron. How about John Paulk? I read he’s close to dumping his beard wife and finally coming out. He’s in the market!

      They can all pretend they’re talking about religion and then just do it. Maybe if they weren’t so sexually frustrated they could be happy themselves!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 5:51 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Shannon1981: Shannon 1981,
      You are,in many ways,obviously right[the list of ways
      you are right could go on forever.My favorite is tribalism],
      but don’t most of us have a n emotional/BIOLOGICAL NEED to
      worship something? I strongly believe,being one off & on,
      myself,that even atheists do.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      @shannon1981 ..

      I agree with you about “religion” but I think what MartinDK is talking about is “spirituality and listening.” I agree with MartinDK wholeheartedly about the mind-boggling over-medicating of the USA with antidepressants, alcohol, consumerism, and other addictions. Spirituality to me is about man and woman’s search for meaning, and you won’t find it in a pill, a bottle, a maxed-out credit card, (or Manhunt, not that that’s relevant to you.) You might find one path to follow at a GOOD church. There are MANY paths to follow. Maybe you have found yours in atheism. That’s OK too.

      Have you ever watched Joseph Campbell’s videos with Bill Moyers about mankind’s search for meaning? They’re very relevant, conversational (and fun) as they show archetypal questions over many genres including different world religions and Star Wars among other things. Campbell also references Jung as MartinDK does above. Well worth watching.

      If, as your tag indicates, you were born in 1981, then I’m not surprised by your comment. I didn’t find value in church (didn’t actually experience a good church) until I was in my 40’s. Then I found a church where I really fell in love with the people. No one claimed to have the answers, just all trying to be better people and live a more fulfilling life, supporting each other. In this case Christianity was their framework.

      Just please keep your ears open, and if you reach a point in life where you are wondering “is that all there is” or experiencing sadness or emptiness that you can’t explain, you are not alone, billions of people before you have felt the same, and joined together to find non-pharmaceutical answers and support systems that you also can learn from, and that will welcome you, when and if you need. You do not have to reinvent the wheel.

      Yes, religion can be bad. But it can also be very very good.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @nature boy: Thank you,nature boy!
      Right/wrong,good/evil: It’s a fact__a need like food,air,or water.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 6:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @bill(Guillermo3): Actually, the reason, beyond god vs gay, of course, is that I was never hard wired to need a personal god. I don’t wonder about hell or damnation or wistfully wish and word toward any blissful afterlife. In fact, by the time I was nine years old, I hated church, it was boring, and really thought the beliefs and teachings silly. Of course, when I got older, post conversion therapy and condemnation at the hands of family, I grew to hate it with a passion, did a bunch of research into it, and come out of it an atheist. I never needed anything like that, no.

      I think we will have to agree to disagree on there being anything good about religion. There is nothing good about the abandonment of reason in favor of superstition, no matter how good the people practicing and believing that superstition.

      “Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.” `Voltaire

      That about sums up my feelings on ALL religious belief.

      And yes, I was born in ’81. :)

      Jul 27, 2012 at 6:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • peter
      peter

      has anyone found a grindr profile?

      Jul 27, 2012 at 6:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • James H
      James H

      @TJ: Well said – and very, very true!

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      @shannon1981
      wow sorry to hear you went through all that. thanks for contributing and adding your voice.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      uggh… I finally went and read the whole linked post at edstetzer.com and I am glad Merritt was outed. I hope he will finally come out to himself now.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @nature boy: It’s in the past. I am a much happier person now. I will likely soon be completely estranged from my mother, and likely all family except my grandparents and perhaps sisters. Only way to gain true peace.

      Hey, it’s life. Our experiences make us who we are, right? And I like myself just fine, so..I suppose everything turned out alright.

      Thanks for listening. :)

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      You think the world would be better off without christianity, but you have no idea what it was before. Like I said the world was ruled absolutely by Emperors like Tiberius, Nero and Caligula (Queerty autoflagged my description of their merits… LOL but google it…)
      Much of the rest of society behaved in a similar way.
      It was on this basis that christianity became popular, because it was an answer to the worlds need, and it spread enormously fast.

      I cant summarise all aspects of human psychology here, but the atrocities you mention likely spring from the facts that
      1, archetypes (the origin of religious feeling can only be approximately circumscribed, not exactly described which creates some room for interpretation.
      2, abuse and distortion of content for power or personal gain (very common).
      3, the surprising similarity between opposites like good and evil. And the priciple that everything contains the seed of its negation in itself (enantiodromia). The most wicked consequences often come from the best intentions. Right now Europes social welfare is dragging down Europes economy and creating a generation who never had a foothold in the labour market, the fight against violent crime in california is now filling its prisons to the brim with thousands of men on life sentences with hopeless futures and costing California dearly, the struggle for social justice led to the Gulag camps, Stalins purges and untold suffering and millions of deaths in Russia, China, Cambodia, vaccination in Africa may have helped spread aids etc etc etc
      The examples you list sprang from one-sidedness and totalitarianism. From a lack of respect for life and a belief that humans are what you make them.
      That is not what Jung says, or Jesus or the Buddha, or the Vedas or Tao. Islam, however, is possibly violent in its core.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @MartinDK: Christianity was, perhaps, necessary and served its purpose in its time. That time has passed.

      Also, it is simply untrue. No argument you make for the good of it rules out the fact that you are actively believing and promoting superstitious nonsense that is used to justify all manner of lunacy as truth.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Shannon1981: omg i will not be dragged into a debate with you on this.

      There is a distinction between psychological reality (people believe) and metaphysical reality (does god exist). I dont occupy myself with the metaphysics, but we can take it for granted that all people have a spiritual function and that means its a duty for psychology to examine how it works. Like you cant calculate the square root of -1, but that didnt prevent mathematicians from operating with it.

      If people put themselves in the right frame of mind then God will answer them, because God is inside our heads it is the name we give for the most exalted, the highest abstraction etc psychologically we worship the libido (psychic energy) tied in the archetype.

      Like I said my interest springs from personal experience too. I saw archetypical images from the collective unconscious when my world broke down and i had to leave my perfect life with pregnant wife and my 2 yo son, to be true to my gay (bisexual or whatever) side. I didnt want it, but i was possessed by an archetype who partially controlled me. That is not superstition. It was f******* real and not 4 psychologists or 2 psychiatrists could make that archetype let go.
      I am lucky, my ex-wife is very supportive and I of her and I have a bf and in Jungs books I have a map with which to navigate as i go on this spiritual journey that fate decrees for me as the way to stop the conflict of psychic opposites. It is interesting in its own way. I get to study art, philosophy, religion and psychology. I dont complain and I make sure that my kids have a father and everything they and my ex need.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 8:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • AaronT
      AaronT

      While I agree with much of what MartinDK has said about human need for connection and meaning, I think humanism is a much stronger answer than any “religion” – and Humanism is a much softer touch than atheism, despite having many of the same aspects. If you aren’t familiar with humanism, please Wikipedia it. You may be surprised at how many of its tenets will resonate. Yes, we have a drive for something greater. Because we are social animals, we have a yearning for our lives to better our society and not just our selves.

      Religion teaches us to endure hardship because we will be rewarded later. People should change their lives today, not wait for some kind of prize for suffering the most. People should DEMAND to be treated with respect and CHOOSE to live in harmony with others, not jockey for position with an almighty and unknown entity.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 8:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Shannon1981: and do you think people are not selfish, abusive, exploitive today? We still need to stem pure instinctuality. Not with conservative preachers on tv who preach sulfur and ecstacy.

      You dont realise what the effect of christianity has been, how it enabled man to put the word before the material reality which before had so impressed him that all critical evaluation became impossible. The critical examination of the world became possible only after the sensual perception of reality had been rejected.
      Before that everything was filled with spirits and gods.

      We owe science to christianity for it shaped our thinking and brought it to a point where it was free from ties to reality as experienced. And yes the church wasnt promoting science but that is another story.

      Your “atheism” is possible only because of this progress

      Jul 27, 2012 at 8:42 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @MartinDK: No, my atheism is possible because I do not believe that for which there is no evidence.

      I owe Christianity nothing but my second class citizenship and the most horrific experiences of my life.

      Speak for yourself, not for me.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 8:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @AaronT: I agree that people should live and change in this life, rather than waiting for a prize.

      I still think Christianity and all other belief in god(s) untrue, delusional, and dangerous.

      @MartinDK: I realize, the effect, alright. Racism, homophobia, misogyny…meh, I’ve listed them before.

      There is no god. Religion is man made. Nothing but the grown up version of santa claus.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 9:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      This guy is a self-delusional nutcase wrapped up in his own sanctimony. Let’s face it: he doesn’t have the imagination to part with the family business of selling a nonexistent God to the truly gullible.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 9:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: Was, therefore, Martin Luther a Christian while the Catholic Church he opposed was some kind of heathen? Was Galileo the Christian and Pope Urban VIII the infidel?

      At every point where the free thinking you praise came in contest with the conventional wisdom of the time, it was the “Christians” who were the inquisitors and the deniers and the infidels the outsiders.

      Trying to claim post hoc that this is a great example of Christianity bringing about intellectual freedom to challenge old beliefs overlooks a lot of excommunication and torture.

      Since soon after its initial popularity, Christianity has always taken the position that it knows better than anybody else, and was willing to prove it at the point of a sword.

      The only reason most infidels called themselves Christians is that until the last 300 years or so, saying anything else in places dominated by Christianity would get you killed. Christianity has a really lousy history of bringing about unfettered debate about the nature of things and deserves no praise for fostering it.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 9:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KW
      KW

      @PBCliberal: Beautifully put! The desire of christians to rewrite history in a way that paints their delusional beliefs as beneficial to the planet, is as schizophrenic as believing that a “god of love” would have no problem condemning billions of good people to eternal torment simply for not believing, whilst accepting the most vile humans into heaven for a deathbed apology.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @nature boy: Well,nature boy,
      [your tag certainly creates some lusty exotic images in my head],
      You’ve had several great things to say on this story,but about
      the Stetzer post referral,I have to say “thanks”[as in for nothing]
      sarcastically_What a sanctimonious bore!!__And,Thanks,sincerely!
      As you must know,the blog post on Merrill had a Q&A with him,
      followed by comments.I was able to comment myself & to verbally
      connect with a couple of the other commenters.One turns out to
      have been brought up in the same fundamentalist church that I
      was.
      He,somewhat exasperatedly,but compassionately,gave Merrill the
      advice that it took me TOO MANY years to follow:Accept yourself.
      Love yourself.

      Jul 27, 2012 at 11:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • HenryCameron
      HenryCameron

      @Joe dalmas: Watch some videos of him stating his positions before you brand him a homophobic hypocrite. He stated that homophobia is un-Christian and that ministers who called for imprisonment of gays or harming gay children were un-Christian. He often appears to have been more of an undercover operative in the church gaining wide media exposure as the face of the young Christian evangelical with more modern attitudes. Merritt was also correct in his Huffington post column and other similar statements. Flying into a blind rage of hatred, bitterness and condemnation and simply trying to silence anyone who disagrees with you is never an effective way to promote a position, change an attitude, or win an argument. Merritt knows that he is gay. Now he’s probably saying what he has to say to try to rebuild cred within the Church. Outing him has only forced him into the closet and destroyed his ability to combat homophobia and promote new attitudes from within the church.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 12:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Shannon1981: Well,Shannon 1981,
      Your response[?] addressed to me is certainly confusing:
      1st: I don’t know as I ever asked about,or remarked on,your
      having been born in 1981.(Ridiculous assertion,anyway,as
      obviously NO ONE was born after 1960.)
      2nd: I didn’t mention a “personal god”,or the need for one.
      Ditto: Nothing on an afterlife,reward,or punishment.
      Rather,what I intended,and which both nature boy and Martin DK
      said better,more clearly,and at much greater length,was to infer
      the human need for spirituality:worship of humanity,nature,
      beauty[or that matter ugliness too_the whole panoply of
      experience].
      Much as I hate to agree with you,church WAS boring,completely
      unaesthetic,and certainly lacking spirituality.
      Shannon 1981,as you quote Voltaire,how about another of his?
      [not that I necessarily agree with him]“If God did not exist,
      it would have been necessary to invent Him.”
      Finally,to continue the pretentious string of quotes
      [& a statement with which I agree completely]Wm.Blake,a poet,
      painter,and visionary}also an atheist,who called God “Old
      Noboddaddy”& who adored Jesus:”Auguries of Innocence”_
      “To see a World in a Grain of Sand
      And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
      Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
      And Eternity in an hour.”

      Jul 28, 2012 at 12:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Shannon1981: You didnt invent anything. You took some ideas (atheism) to replace those you discarded. I pointed out that these ideas have a history . You are in effect standing on the top of a mountain and insisting you float in the air, because you deny, or are ignorant of the lower part of the mountain (history of philosophy and knowledge), and then you even call others superstitious…

      @PBCliberal:Im talking about the legacy of christian philosophy, the effect of the ideas of St. Augustine and St Thomas Aquinas and many others on our view of the world.
      Who split the atom? Where did the scientific and technological revolution take place? In the lands of christianity! The early scientists of the renaissance had a very different weltanshauung from any person of antiquity.
      I am not an orthodox christian, and american conservative christians are no fans of Carl Jung; i am, like him, interested in the psychology of sexuality and spirituality. I want to understand. The conservative christian wants shut out what is not in the bible. Understanding mean engaging the material. Did you do that? Did you read prechristian literature and philosophy? Did you study the history of ideas?
      You are mixing up christian philosophy with a pope and the church (any church) You are talking about the actions of christian people (crusades etc), which is a different story.

      The world has an inside as well as an outside. Live in ignorance of it, and praise the emptiness and meaninglessness of existence if you like. Even that is “religion” for you cannot know either. Your creed goes “i Believe in no god, for there is nothing, i believe in the atom for that alone exists, etc”.
      Unfortunately too many people in denial of the inside fill out the hole with alcohol, drugs, consumerism or antidepressants. Gay culture is even more obsessed with youth and beauty than the straight world. What is left then at middle life? The slow rot? Facelifts and the pathetic hedonism of cruises, where we try to distract ourselves from the reality we say is all there is?

      Jul 28, 2012 at 2:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      and before you conjecture me to be 90, i am in fact 34… =)

      Jul 28, 2012 at 3:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      @MartinDK – if you are going to bring Carl Jung to the discussion- then you need to bring in his 12 steps of Spirituality, along with Scott Peck and Scott Pecks’ digested Jungs 12 steps down to four steps of Spirituality (see “Further Along the Roadless traveled”). What Scott Peck would say about these ‘Christians’ is they are stuck in their second step of Spirituality or Black and White thinking. They have a need to see the world as black and white (just like 2 year olds need black and white rules- thou shall not put your hand on the stove or play with knives)- and that’s what their second stage faith gives them. Only when they step out on the gray limb of life and see there are many shades of gray, and get tired of black and white thinking will they change. But that takes a life changing nuclear bomb to get them to question their black and white thinking/rules (think what normal teenager’s do- question everything, something B/W thinking will not let you do- Peck’s third stage –it’s ok to touch a knife or stove). That also requires them to feel safe in Maxwell hierarchy of needs (esteem). But this is a gay blog and we cant have too much thinking going on in either the gay world or the fundamentalist world. I just wish there was a way for real people could have this conversation.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 3:02 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      @MartinDK – if you are going to bring Carl Jung to the discussion- then you need to bring in his 12 steps of Spirituality, along with Scott Peck and Scott Pecks’ digested Jungs 12 steps down to four steps of Spirituality (see “Further Along the Roadless traveled”). What Scott Peck would say about these ‘Christians’ is they are stuck in their second step of Spirituality or Black and White thinking. They have a need to see the world as black and white (just like 2 year olds need black and white rules- thou shall not put your hand on the stove or play with knives)- and that’s what their second stage faith gives them. Only when they step out on the gray limb of life and see there are many shades of gray, and get tired of black and white thinking will they change. But that takes a life changing nuclear bomb to get them to question their black and white thinking/rules (think what normal teenager’s do- question everything, something B/W thinking will not let you do- Peck’s third stage –it’s ok to touch a knife or stove). That also requires them to feel safe in Maxwell hierarchy of needs (esteem). But this is a gay blog and we cant have too much thinking going on in either the gay world or the fundamentalist world. I just wish there was a way for real people to have this conversation.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      Sorry about the double post…
      For those who don’t know about Jung 12 stages of Spirituality- he came to that idea from looking at every religion including atheism and buddhism.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 3:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @D9W: I agree with absolutely. The discussion is worthwhile but not easy to have here. The big advantage, however, is that it might reach some who can use it. Gay people have significantly higher rates of depression and suicide. Also they often face stronger checks on the expression of their sexuality because of internalised or external homophobia. Consequently a turboboost is given to the conflict of psychic opposites. A slutty phase often follows coming out and bdsm can also be seen as expression of this hightened conflict. For some it is fun in the bed, for others it is self-destructive or replacement for adequate self-control and sexual expression (eros).

      Jul 28, 2012 at 6:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @bill(Guillermo3): The 1981 comment was directed at someone else who mentioned my tagged birth year. Apologies, the @ reply tag didn’t work.

      And atheism is, by definition, a lack of belief. It isn’t an idea. It’s an idea or belief like not collecting stamps is a hobby.

      I don’t know what Carl Jung has to do with anything, except you obviously live by what he taught. Again, I don’t.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ogre Magi
      Ogre Magi

      @bill(Guillermo3): Good Point! MMMMMM mushrooms!

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:57 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Shannon1981: Well if you “dont know” then please dont fill up the comments section with your non-reflection. Your 1800 comments should be enough… Basically you have nothing to contribute except saying no… and no one cares what you do with your life. It is your choice

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:11 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Shannon1981
      Shannon1981

      @MartinDK: I have as much right to post here as anyone else. You’re one of those “don’t agree with my religion? Shut the hell up!” types, aren’t you?

      You brought in Carl Jung and spirituality. I simply pointed out that your beliefs are superstitious and Christianity is poison to society. I have listed the reasons above.

      You can’t shut the reasonable up, no matter how much you might want to.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:14 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      Funny thing MartinDK it was the US army, in a Military Academy, that introduced me to Maxwell hierarchy of needs- the FM-100. And at the same time I got hooked on Scott Peck and his “people of the lie” book. My family is very religious, and I ended up passing that book around. Trust me, feather flew. But somehow I got a hold of Peck’s “Further Along the Roadless traveled”, and my ears perked up when Peck said he didn’t have a problem with gay people. It was in College that I tied Jung/Peck’s stages of Spirituality with Maxwell hierarchy of needs and it really opened my eyes up. I find most people of faith get stuck in Peck’s second stage, they never get jumped started into third stage where you throw out the rules (like what a teenager does with their parents), and start the walk to owning what you believe (no more parroting mommy and daddy thinking).
      Peck’s fourth stage people are the really cool people you walk into. They are the type of white hair professors you meet in college that all the kids like to hang out with. They’re the ones that can give you a ‘trip’ (without the drugs) and help open your mind to the possibilities of existence. They are the Liberal Baptist Preacher who was good friends with Martian Luther King Jr, who blows you away with what Grace and Freedom really means (Not this hell fire brimstone enslavement stuff you hear out of the southern Baptist Pavlov’s dog thinkers). They are the ones who help Feed those who are hungry (mind, body or soul), Cloth those who are ‘nakid’, and Visit those who are in prison –where ever prison people find themselves in. They are the Socrates that piss off the black and white thinking establishment, and don’t give a crap about the exteriors (dressings or lack) of human kind great or small, but are more worried about the interiors of the soul and exercising minds. What most people forget is JC was one of these people. And Boy did he piss off the establishment. What we also forget is he would piss off the establishment still today.
      What’s sad is this kid thinks he’s got everything wrapped up because he thinks he’s got fire insurance. The problem is he will lose his soul over his militant ignorance and self hatred. And then there is the issue of casting pearls before swine… Why do it? For the good books said: they will only turn on you, for they have no use for wisdom. As it has been said: The Kingdom is bigger than just fire insurance. And real Grace is mind blowing, not this stuff they try to sell you on TV on Sunday or 700 club.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:15 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jon
      Jon

      This guy is just another in a LONG list of hypocrits that tap the floor under bathroom stall walls or visit Glory Holes sitting in darkened neighborhoods! This need to be Gay but support the GOP like Jessie Ferguson or to support the evangelical movement like this clown or even support Rush Limbaugh and George Bush like extreme hypocrit Elton John defies logic. Stop giving these idiots a forum to spread their stupidity including the likes of Kirk Cameron who is a NOTHING but now has been thrust into the media limelight because he hates GAYS!

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @D9W: im actually considering nature boys suggestion that i make a blog but its a lot of work. I really do think it ought to be done by gay people about this exact issue, because others can learn from our experiences and be inspired by this. Tell me if you want to contribute

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:25 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Shannon1981: No, you are just babbling. You have no reference, no knowledge you just have uninformed opinion, which is not interesting.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      MartinDK – I think it’s really funny you bringing up St. Augustine.
      A lot of Christians like to pull: Love the sinner but hate the sin.
      I give you three guesses who came up with that one.
      I really love those fundies who try to say that’s in the Bible. Sorry Charley- it’s not in the Bible but came from Augustine. I really love those Protestants that try to cling to that this is in the bible in one breath, than condemn Catholics in the other. Then again when I point out that Protestant owe their believe system to Martin Luther, will have a coronary attack saying that he had nothing to do with their believe system. I can give you 95 reasons for their believe system. Don’t get me going on religious ignorance’s.
      I would like to also gently point out that the argument about is there or isn’t there is a ‘GOD’ is a 101 philosophy class argument. Both sides are equally burden with their own set of proofs. No one side will ever win. As it was said in War Games: “The only winning move is not to play. How about a nice game of chess?”

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      When I said “Both sides are equally burden with their own set of proofs.” If you really understand what I said then you have the ability to also understand there is freedom in that knowledge. You can choose not to get worked up over the issue because you understand the other side’s argument has to produce the same amount of proof too that you do… unless you’re out to have fun or you really want to explore what the color ‘red’ looks like to a blind person. (Yeah- WTF- but I think you get the point.)

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Perry Brass
      Perry Brass

      Jonathan Merritt has been brainwashed by his Christian fundamentalist family, society, and background. I agree a hundred percent that these fundamentalist closet cases, of all stripes, are extremely dangerous; they made up a lot of the hierarchy of the Third Reich—and of course murdered Ernst Rohm, the leader of the S.A., when he no longer served their purposes. Another example was J. Edgar Hoover—brainwashed by his own version of right-wing fundamentalism. So history has given us many lessons here.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:21 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      MartinDK – I Don’t mind helping out. I am not sure how things work here. I really don’t want to make my email addy public, but if you give me direction I will follow. My road has been a rocky one, not unlike this kid who can’t understand there is no ‘up’ on a ball of faith (focus on the idea of ‘ball’). We all have fought our battles with hypocrisy and our own Jesus camp. Some of have less patients then others, But as the saying goes: “by the grace of … there I go…” Just be warned I speak backwards, and sometimes type that way too.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:26 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      Hoover- was doing it so no would figgure out that he was gay.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: I am not a religious person in the normal sense and I haven’t studied the work of Carl Jung. Nonetheless, I would agree with MartinDK. If religion is of benefit to society, it is the code of ethics, or how we treat others, that most religions incorporate. I should like to add that much of religion’s appeal is based in fear–fear of God’s judgment, fear of death. For those who cling to religion, religion offers some hope of salvation. Many Christians are told that their reward for right living will come in an afterlife. It is simply the case that some of us are more fear-based than others. Recent scientific findings in neuroscience reveal that fear-based people have larger fear centers of the brain than those who think more rationally. That may be a difference that only evolution will cure.

      Those who rationalize their actions by using the convenient cop out of “love the sinner, hate the sin” are self-delusional in my view as are those who use the euphemism of “sexual brokeness.”

      Jul 28, 2012 at 10:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @J Stratford: 100% correct.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Paul
      Paul

      @Danny: That would make them closeted bisexual or homosexual. Not heterosexual.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Zwirad
      Zwirad

      People who capitalize on their HATE must be Outed. Period. They make gain on instilling the hate and gain financial and “professionally from it. Not on my watch. Religion has been the most destructive force in civilization. Think: WHO else waged 700 years of war over a story book (on BOTH sides)? WHO else launched an organization that (A) Created devices to torture and maim and kill millions; (B) Created a rulebook in order to use those devices and ; (C) Created a BOARD and tribunal to JUDGE others on when and how to use said devices on MILLIONS? WHO set themselves upon EVERY culture of the world, literally destroyed them and enslaved their members while PILLAGING their treasures AND destroying most every sign of those cultures? WHO programmed cultures with their own brands of HATE and self destructive traits as well as the dmoninionistic destruction of our environment? WHO still instill hate for women, GLBT and other cultures not following their narrow minded edicts? It certainly isn’t ATHEISTS.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dannyboi2 (@DanyQT)
      Dannyboi2 (@DanyQT)

      @Aaron: perfect…Right On… keep walking…

      Jul 28, 2012 at 1:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Dannyboi2 (@DanyQT)
      Dannyboi2 (@DanyQT)

      I found this on Tumblr that kinda gives these Bible thumpers something to think about. It’s short and sweet, check it out. http://dannyboi2.tumblr.com/post/28143350098/right-on#notes

      Jul 28, 2012 at 2:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: Yes, absolutely. I am fascinated with the history of ideas, and that is why I was so quick to challenge your rose-tinted worldview and gushing description of all the great things Christianity has brought us.

      First, you don’t get to decide who is a Christian and who is not, at least as long as the argument is framed as a discussion of the benefits of the religion. The Assemblies of God are stuck with MCC, the Catholics are stuck with the Lutherans, and the Baptists are stuck with the Mormons right down to their underwear.

      What makes them all Christians is their professed belief in what we’ve come to call the Bible and their further belief that Jesus is the path to salvation. You can’t just exclude everybody you don’t like. Nor can you only take the writings you like from Thomas Aquinas. His view on heretics was to kill them, so you owe your life to the advancements in society that allow us to tell these guys to go piss up a rope.

      And that, sir, is why the “Christian” countries split the atom, because they’re not nearly so “Christian” as they are disapproving of the church running the government. Who split the atom? Depends on how you ask the question. Theoretically? Three folks at Oxford, in a country where the state took over religion from the Catholic Church and then slowly diminished its role.

      Who split the atom in real life? The Americans, who came here because the church in England had too much power and we could bifurcate church and state even more than they did.

      Joseph Campbell has been mentioned on this thread by nature boy as a method to agree with you. Campbell, in developing comparative religion, believes myth and symbol are important for humans. So when your post turns rant and starts deciding for me what my “creed” is, it’s the old false equivalence game. The choices aren’t Christianity and a bogeyman of your creation.

      Of the vast number of belief systems and worldviews, Christianity is uninspired, derivative, and unnecessarily opaque. The most insidious element is how it brazenly stole from other belief systems and then viciously attacked the believers in those systems. This continues to this day. The one religion you especially don’t like is Islam, which as an Abrahamic religion is with Judaism the closest thing we have to today’s Old Testament.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Kris
      Kris

      I can’t mentally separate that photo of him on this article and Joel McHale. Seriously, what are they, separated at birth?

      Jul 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: Being fascinated and knowledgeable seem to be two different things with you, just as reading and understanding…

      My points are

      1, That christianity made a world view possible in which a critical examination of the world was possible, because it rejected world perception based on the senses and strengthened the word in relation to sensation. From this position man could construct models of the world which went counter to immediate sensory experience. The antique mind worked differently and explained the world in terms of myth. It projected its psyche into the world and sought to shape it esthetically to suit the myth. Antique man’s project was not technology or experimental physics.
      It was not the goal of christianity either, but christianity delivered the stepping stone needed to progress to the next stage which was enlightenment from which sprang science as we know it.
      This is fact, and muddling the conversation by bringing in the crimes of 2000 years of history makes it look like you do not have a very stable ability to focus. This is not about any churches or their crimes.

      2, That spiritual function is inborn with us. It is a psychological fact that people believe. I dont care what you believe in, but even people who say they dont believe in god, behave psychologically as if they do, when they care about (worship) whatever ism that motivates them, even atheism where “reason” is worshipped and peer-reviewed scientific publications take the place of the bible, where the only “truth” is found.

      3, That conservative american TV christianity is unfair to homosexuality, but that there are important elements in christianity that gay people can benefit from (to forgive, to love and respect your neighbor etc), and that christianity when it was introduced answered a need to stem exploitation and senseless instinctuality, which i mention because many people do not know why it came, and understandably in your circumstances, identify it as evil, because you have influential christians who are unkind.
      That gay people too sometimes can be victims of senseless instinctuality (like fucking in public on a cruise ship in port) and that aspects of christianity still has a capacity to moderate these things. Some christian communities like Church of Denmark and Church of Sweden marry gay people with legal everything right in the church. So some communities welcome gays. Freedom of religion for everyone, please!

      4, That all religious feeling comes from archetypes in the unconscious which shape dreams, art, myths and are a source of religion and ethics/morals which are quite parallel in most religions, and that listening to these things gives strength and peace of mind, especially in old age when the body is decaying.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 6:54 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Kris: AND FYI i am not an orthodox christian. I listen to spiritual things and study their psychology. Im not white-washing or pink-washing christianity or anything else. Im summarising Jung’s views on an issue which is very relevant to gay people today – the relationship between instinct/sexuality and spirituality/religion. This conflict is what lies under the struggle for equality, the trouble with christian “douchebags”, self-hatred, homophobia etc

      So chill out

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Kris: Sorry kris, that was for PBCliberal…

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 25 · I won’t grow up quipped, “How long do we all think it will be before this guy is photographed prancing around the parking lot of a truck stop on interstate 95 dressed like CoCo Peru?”

      That will never happen. He’d more likely prance around like Audrey Hepburn in “Funny Face”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r3oxqmKGM5g (but with much less skill).

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: It is very difficult to discern the difference between someone fascinated and someone knowledgeable or to tell reading from understanding if you don’t have a global grasp of the subject at hand. Frankly, from what you’ve said on this thread, I don’t think you are in a position to judge.

      You would have us believe that the Christians had some ability to construct models of the world that were beyond anything seen before. How haughty and superior and dismissive of Egyptian civilization, of the library at Constantinople, of the cosmology of the Mayans and of the wisdom of the East.

      You seem to be very anxious to view the Roman Empire as if it is fleshploitation series on Starz, and to conveniently forget that Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura was the model we used to calculate the position of the planets for Christianity’s first 1200 years, and that Muslim astronomers were the best at doing so.

      So please get down off that high horse of yours and stop claiming you’re not whitewashing Christianity. Your desire to exalt it seems driven by a Victorian view of sex that causes you to interject fucking in public on a cruise ship in port while accusing me of “muddling the conversation by bringing in the crimes of 2000 years of history.”

      Jul 28, 2012 at 7:59 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: You are ignorant of christian philosophy. You have read nothing. Christianity forsakes the world, to focus on the spirit and the word of God. That created a new position, it broke the magical, mythical ties to world, it broke mans projections into the world.
      You have no idea of the classical or antique world view. You are ignorant of the contents of the library you name. What classical literature did you read? Also nothing?
      Your praise of roman modesty and high culture pales at the mention of the deeds and lives of the emperors that followed the birth of Jesus: Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius and Nero. By this time people were screaming for morality and decency. These Emperors ruled absolutely. The people couldnt just vote for the opposition you know… Look them up. See their sexual exploits on Capri, in the Domus Aurea etc and learn about roman slavery and society and gladiatorial amusements and exploitative conquests. Fleshploitation is actually a very fitting word.

      The Egyptian civilization had many valuable spiritual insights, but was not the cradle of experimental physics. I can promise you, because i am well read in that subject. The same goes for the Vedas of India and Tao of China of which i suspect that i have read a lot more than you have. They are spiritual works not rational or “scientific” as the “atheist” understands it. Common to vedas and Egyptian writings is the projection of psychic contents into objects and the world and the creation of myth. It is precisely therein their value lie. I have even mentioned them on the thread, but your reading is weak i know…

      You clearly brandish nice words and concepts you simply do not comprehend or are even familiar with…

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: We in Denmark have a relaxed attitude to sex that you can hardly imagine. We have lots nudity on tv in prime time, registered partnerships came in 1987 here, pornography, legalised 1963 etc etc and I am like my countrymen in this respect

      Jul 28, 2012 at 8:53 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: I note that you conveniently overlook the Islamic world’s contribution to mathematics and astronomy. Their contributions were based on observation and not on the projection of “psychic content.”

      The question still remains: is religion, as it is practiced today, a force for good or a force for evil in the world. I submit that any worldview based in ignorance and magical thinking is a force for evil. So much of religious practice is exclusionary–us versus them, the source of great conflict among humans and the cause of much human suffering.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:12 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: If you’d like to have a discussion, then make some points. Simply finding novel ways to call me ignorant paragraph after paragraph is not advancing your case. But perhaps that’s the only tool you have in your shed.

      The library I name, The Imperial Library of Constantinople, was burned in 1204. It had been burned once previously, but much of the knowledge in it was saved that time. We don’t know the extent of the holdings. So your claim that I am ignorant of the contents of that library is, shall we say, awkward?

      Christianity forsakes the world to focus on the spirit? Perhaps that is how it should be practiced, but that’s not what it has done for 2,000 years. So again, if you’re going to praise Christianity’s effect on the world, it has to be the Christianity that actually happened, not the alternate reality one you wish. If you’re looking for a belief system that does that, try Buddhism. But you know that of course, since you’re ready and willing to tell me you’ve read a lot more about it than I have.

      Fact is, you know nothing about me and what I’ve studied. Given your performance on Constantinople (by the way, it’s Istanbul now, but that’s nobody’s business but the Turks), I suspect a discussion of the Gilgamesh epic in Mesopotamia from which the Biblical flood story was stolen, would result in you putting the other foot in your mouth.

      If you had a third foot, we could discuss the Dead Sea Scrolls and how they expose even more skulduggery at the Council of Nicea.

      But I suspect that while you have sufficient room in your mouth, you’ll run out of feet far sooner that I’ll run out of examples.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 9:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 110 · MartinDK · wrote, “Christianity forsakes the world, to focus on the spirit and the word of God. That created a new position, it broke the magical, mythical ties to world, it broke mans projections into the world.”

      Actually, Christianity replaced one set of “magical, mythical ties” with another. It grew out of Judaism. If you look at the Bible from the “10,000 foot level,” you had a series of squabbles/wars between Israeli tribes and neighboring tribes, with the “top dog” changing at random. Then you had a bunch of “prophets” who would attribute the successes to “God” and the failures to “sinful ways.” When the Israelis finally won again, the prophets would attribute the win to turning back to God. The average amount of devoutness it took to get back into God’s favor was basically the mean time between wins.

      Eventually, the Romans took over. With the proverbial 800 lb gorilla in the room that wasn’t going to budge, the old model no longer worked – no matter how devoutly they appealed to their deity, the Romans were still going to be there running things. So, to resolve this conflict with reality, they moved their religion to a “spiritual plane” in which “God” stayed in “heaven” listening to his celestial iPad and not bothering any more with human affairs here on earth, but offering eternal bliss in an unseen heaven if you believed. It appealed to an oppressed people who were desperate, and since there were a huge number of people being oppressed by the Romans, Christianity spread throughout the Roman empire and eventually took over.

      BTW, if you want to claim that Christianity is so pure, aside from the inquisition, you might want to read up on the Borgias family, several of whom became popes but otherwise noted for their corruption and (on the positive side) support for the arts.

      Jul 28, 2012 at 10:10 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: Your ignorance on the matter is clearly appearent from the way you try move the focus around in the “discussion”. You evade on the crucial point that you must read the literature itself to know the minds of these people, otherwise its just your biased, uninformed denial.
      You have a wikipedia understanding of these things. You type a word into google and get a headline which you then present to look intellectual. I call your bluff, and you move the focus and try a bluff again…
      The Great Library of Constantinople was indeed partially destroyed but we can assume it contained a large portion of the known classical literature.. Which parts did you read? You didnt read anything, and have therefore no understanding of the world view before and after christianity, which is what you have diverted the original topic of this thread to talk about.

      Im not going to discuss your pet high school project about the Gilgamesh thing, because its not what this thread is about, but it demonstrates again that you cant keep a focus for very long, as I said above. Nor am i going to be diverted into talking about the well-known crimes of the last 2000 years, which is what you mean by christianity that happened. Those crimes did happen, not all of them motivated by pure christianity, but christian ideas still changed the world view of antiquity and acted as a stepping stone to enlightenment.
      But you just cant admit it because of either blind hatred of christianity, or you are afraid to look stupid. If its the last thats bothering you, then worry no more about it…

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Joel J: i do not conveniently overlook islamic contribution. Muhammad had his first revelations about the year 610 AD, and came on the scene about 500 years too late to claim the “credit” for being a “stepping stone” to the enlightenment, which incidentally happened in christian lands, even if this was not the work of any church.
      There are many fine muslim learned people in history, but the enlightenment would have gone off even without them…
      In fact islam is much more repressive of challenges to its dogma than christianity, which I would have thought was appearent in the news every week.
      Nor do i see a source of strength for gay people in embracing islam, which is what the thread used to be about: The value of spiritual feeling for gay people.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @B: I dont claim that christianity is pure. I stated that time and again if you read the posts. I stated that there is good values in also, and that it serves a function, control of the instincts, which was a very real need in the Roman world 50-120AD and might still be today if christianity hadnt existed. But attempting to guess what the world would look like without 2000 years of christianity is so speculative that its a waste of time.
      So there is a value to be had from christianity thats all im saying.
      Blaming christianity and christians for this and that crime is about as serious as blaming all caucasian Americans for the murder of Martin Luther King (who was a christian). so please leave it there…

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Shannon1981: You write a lot,
      Shannon1981,but what you say[or fail to say clearly] in your
      responses to me,especially my remarks directly replying to yours,
      continue to confuse me:”Jung”,for example,whom I’ve never
      mentioned,though others have.I’m also surprised that
      while I replied to your reply to me [mentioning "personal god",
      "afterlife",etc.,etc.]at length(and beautifully,of course),that
      you said NOTHING about what I DID discuss,i.e.:spirituality}
      worship,love,or reverence of NOT GODS.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:55 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: I’ve already referred to Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. How about Ptolemy’s The Almagest? You keep asking about “classic literature.” There’s a whole lot of that, and you’re notoriously unspecific about either bringing up something specific, or jumping on the works I’ve already referred to. I read both of the above in translation.

      If you’re talking the Roman classics, I’ve read the Iliad and the Odyssey and several Ovid poems in their original Latin in college (though I couldn’t do that today.)

      But really none of this is central to the original question, which is whether religion and specifically Christianity has had a net good effect or bad one, and your repeated unsubstantiated allegations that Christianity is somehow responsible for higher thought. You just want to change the subject and get the focus off of you.

      Dead Sea Scrolls? Nah, you won’t take the bait. Joseph Campbell? Don’t even know if you have a clue who that is. Hero with A Thousand Faces? Power of Myth? Both are great jumping off points for comparative religion. Mesopotamian mythology? You seem to think that was my high school project. Do I hear crickets coming from your end?

      I’m not trying to move the focus around. I’m talking about the people and the church of Christianity: those things that manifest the Christianity that you claim was so good for mankind. But to you the church and the people aren’t a valid source of discussion, they’re just examples of stuff you don’t want to talk about.

      Other people on this thread are trying to do that too. But you’ll have none of talking about what really happened, because you’d have to admit that the “well known crimes of the last 2000 years” is pretty much the sum total of the accomplishments of Christianity.

      Accurately portraying something doesn’t mean you hate it. And BTW, Islam didn’t begin with Mohammad, though that is often considered the start of the religion because it is the first time it clearly departed from the other Abrahamic belief systems.

      There’s all kinds of stuff for you to get your teeth into.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 2:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EC
      EC

      @MartinDK and @D9W, I’d like to thank you for what you’ve added to this comments section. If you do, indeed, start a blog; I hope to find it so I can read it regularly. The information you’ve presented; about the teachings of Carl Jung, in particular, has really been something I’ve been hungry for.
      Great stuff that I needed to hear.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 2:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @PBCliberal: PBCliberal
      (fascinating id:glad it’s not PCliberal,but am left wondering..
      P[olite]B[ritish]C[olumbian]?_p[olish]B[roadcasting]C[ompany?)
      The focus on belief/unbelief/relgion[pro,con,and don't know]is
      rather amazing.(Sadly,amazing also is the inability to spell,
      or to write coherently of so many commentators)
      Without arguing pro,or con with your listing of the faults of
      Christian civilization(waste of time,in any case),I have to ask
      about your example of the great library of Constantinople,as an
      example of non-Christian achievement.Simply,are you aware that
      from it’s founding[renaming of the Hellenistic city Byzantium,
      actually,as Capital of the Eastern Roman Empire,that
      Constantinople was a Christian city?It was named in honor of
      Constantine,the first openly Christian Roman emperor,who made
      Christianity the empires established religion.
      A bit of trivia:Istanbul is simply the Ottoman Turkish mangling
      of Constantinople,similar to calling an inhabitant of the
      2nd Rome Rumi,or their pronouncing Smyrna as Ismir.
      Rumi coverting
      Constantine,

      Jul 29, 2012 at 2:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Ogre Magi: Yeah,Ogre Magi,they
      would surely be at least as god a mushroom soil as cow shit.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 2:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: Your response is intellectually dishonest. I did not make an argument for Islam or claim that Muhammed should be given credit as a stepping stone to the Enlightenment. I simply observed that, even within the Islamic culture, there were men with the intellectual curiosity to investigate the nature of reality distinct from mythic interpretations. I have been following your debate with PCLiberal and others and find that, despite your extensive knowledge, you are an arrogant, pedantic fool. Like the pope, you appear to make a claim for infallibility on matters of religion and psychology.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 3:29 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @PBCliberal: @PBCliberal:,
      @PVCrepublican:,@Martin DK:,@Manny,Moe,& Jack:,@Everyone:
      Well,honestly,mostly to the first 3,specifically to PBC:
      LORD!!!!! For an LGBT post,this one has certainly gotten
      fixated on religion,belief,non-belief,anti-belief.
      Personally,I wish it hadn’t degenerated into name-calling
      and ad hominem attack,or into no-win[pointless?] argument:
      Nasty Stuff_I guess that’s why one is never supposed to mention
      politics or religion.
      Anyway,PBC,[and whomever]: 1]The Iliad an Odyssey are Greek,
      not Latin classics.2]2000 years of Christianity have ONLY
      contributed repression and destruction?! Not Chartres,Lincoln,
      Sienna,Westminster,ETC.,ETC.,ETC. Cathedrals?
      3]I’m curious about your statement that Mohammed was the
      originator of Islam:Would you please elaborate on that,
      preferably with references?I do know that there were numerous
      religions,religion-ettes,and cults which were variants on
      Abrahamism.
      Please:Play nice,everyone.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 3:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @bill(Guillermo3): @bill(Guillermo3): @ Everyone reading this crap:
      Sorry,Everyone for my typos,errors,whatever,a couple of posts up.
      The last lines,”Rumi coverting(I meant to write}converting)
      Constantine,” should not be there.Although the idea of Rumi
      converting Constantine is an interesting,if chronologically
      impossible,one.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 3:50 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @EC: @EC: You beat me to the punch,
      EC !I was going to write something similar last night[and would
      add nature boy,even the too-often nasty PBCliberal, and others].
      Thanks you guys!!You should be getting paid for the things you
      bring in.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 3:58 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: ROFL The Iliad and Odyssey are Latin classics??? They are Greek an were not originally written in latin but sung until written down in classical era. You didnt read Lucretius’ De Rerum Natura. You are as shallow as I suspected on this subject and that sadly means that the reliability and relevance of your comments are voided.
      You just voice your opinion. Well thank you… LOL

      Jul 29, 2012 at 4:51 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: You’re right. I should have said Greco-Roman classics. I do not read Greek, and read Iliad and Odyssey in Latin, which is pretty common in college classics study. One of my studies in college was the history of astronomy, which pretty much translates into the history of thought.

      Are you going to address anything else? Or is the entirety of your intellectual discourse limited to my failing to include Greece in describing the classics and your belief that I wouldn’t have read De Rerum Natura when assigned to do so in a college class?

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:33 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Joel J: Thank you for that observation, but will you then perhaps explain to me just how it was “convenient” that I “overlooked” an islamic “contribution”, that by your own admission was not relevant to the point we”discussed”, that is christianity’s contribution to enlightenment? Or is that intellectually dishonest too to ask? It seems PCBLiberal is not the only one with a focus problem.
      Without focus, no clarity. Without clarity, no understanding. To be technical, Jung called this focussing of the mind, this stepping stone to enlightenment provided by christianity, “directed thinking”. Im beginning to understand why some people deny its existence…
      I expect people to think before they speak on matters of fact, and not just let their mouths run like fools. If that is pedantic to you then you are indeed a fool yourself.

      If I have been less than kind, then it is because the noise of these digressions from the subject prevents any progress in understanding, which is sad because this issue is at the core of many of the difficulties faced by gay persons.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @bill(Guillermo3): Palm Beach County.

      The Istanbul/Constantinople was a cheeky aside referencing the song (nobody’s business but the Turks).

      Constantine converted to Christianity, and he pretty much rewrote the bible by story selection for public relations reasons. The reference to the library there was to counter this idea that learned thought somehow began with the Christians. That library, we believe, was full of knowledge that predated Christianity.

      There are lots of wonderful things that have come out of the church. The music, the buildings, people like Milton inspired by religion. But that’s not something intrinsic to Christianity. The eastern temples are equally beautiful, and Mosques and Egyptian temples feature architecture that is equally impressive.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:44 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: Im sorry, I actually have compassion you know, but stop insisting on being knowledgeable on matters where you are not. Keep an open mind instead, when you hear something new. Do not close your mind that is never a good thing.
      On substance we are not that far from each other. I recognize the harm to instinct done by some christian practices, but it seems we both esteem spirituality, and not all of christianity is evil and wrong. It has done us great services in a very cruel world where human nature is far from perfect. We contain both Heaven and Hell inside. Christianity is an imperfect, collectively applied method of managing the “hell” part, as are most religions, fascism being a notable exception…

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:45 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: It isn’t as significant that you’ve been less than kind as it is that you’ve done everything you can to avoid the issue here, which is what Christianity actually did over the course of its history.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:48 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: Then address some of the issues instead of resorting to namecalling and trying to change the subject.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @PBCliberal: My God give me Strength LOL. Listen! It is Man that is not perfect. Crimes are committed by Men not by Ideas. The crimes we dont talk about were committed by men who self-identified as christians. It was not the christian ideas that made them kill and be corrupt. It is Human Nature.
      Are Germans more evil than the Cech? Are Americans more evil than Mexicans? Both Germans and Americans have killed more people than the Cech and the Mexicans. They are all “christian”. The truth is we all have a capacity for cruelty and violence and exploitation, what Nitzsche, praised and referred to as Master morality, and identified as the original “natural” morality, as opposed to (christian) slave morality, which hinders the powerful from realizing their übermensch potential. Nature is in itself cruel, the most horrible animal parasites exist, and fill me with disgust.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 6:18 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @MartinDK: While animals may be revolting to look at, they are never the less morally superior to Man, because they are true to their nature. A wolf is a wolf and kills a chicken. Man is deceitful, however. This is caused by consciousness which let us choose where the wolf has no choice. Consciousness is a new thing. In Space Odyssey 2001 the stone pillar represents the advent of first human consciousness in the ape scene, then computer consciousness when the pillar is found again on the moon millenia later.
      Before consciousness Man was like Wolf guided by unconsciousness in the form of images (not words), that old system still exists and makes its influence felt as both tendency to benevolence and cooperation (required in the herd) and the killer instinct, egoism and will to exploitation (required in the jungle so to speak), as well as numerous other tendencies to reproduction, care for the young etc etc.
      The advent of consciousness was so momentous in human experience that its ekko is heard in the Bible where everything begins when God says “let there be Light” (light symbolises consciousness). That moment has been remembered for so long, for it opened a completely new world to Man including the option for deceit (the snake in paradise).

      As interesting as this is, it as MAJOR digression from the issue, but it seems these things will not be explained away otherwise, my authority alone does not suffice…

      Jul 29, 2012 at 6:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @MartinDK: You are blaming the impulses from the unconscious (archetypes) that create benevolence and cooperation, for the deceitful crimes of humanity that has been made possible by consciousness.
      I am salvaging the benevolent, archetypical content originating in the unconscious from the entangled mess of experiences and occurences which you and others simply label Christianity, and want to throw on the dung-heap. Nothing better will come from that, believe me.
      The result may well look like Rome under Caligula or Nero

      Jul 29, 2012 at 7:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      I will just add that the bible and all other spiritual texts, can be read, or are in fact psychological allegories where occurrences take form of objects or myths in symbolical form. A symbol is different from a semiotic sign in that meaning in semiotic signs are definite, symbols express that which we do not understand, so we can operate with them anyway. the provide “handles” on the incomprehensible so we can “handle” it. Some things like libido (psychic energy) have a wealth of symbols representing it so, all its aspects can be made operative when human beings pass on experience through the times. Analytical (Jungian) psychology examines these things to further our understanding of ourselves.

      Do not laugh at the bible. As Jung says, we may “have advanced much in knowledge, but little in wisdom”.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 7:30 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: Ditto my previous comment.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 9:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: Humility is evidently no longer a Christian virtue.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 10:31 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jeffrey Fichtelberg
      Jeffrey Fichtelberg

      I expect the best way to meet other gay men would be to convert to Christianity. These boys get an early start with the priest. I being Jewish. started late 13. No preists and a church to have sex in and confess my sins between moans of sexual gratification.

      I expect the Pope is called his holyness as a result of his start.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 12:41 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @PBCliberal: @PBCliberal:.@MartinDK
      :Can’t believe that the start of my day is taken up with the
      bitch_slapping cat fight of you two.Senile delinquency,or the a
      school yard pissing contest between pubescent 13 year olds?
      Or both.Why don’t the 2 of you get a mutual hate facebook page?
      I don’t need to have my e-mail inbox flooded with your shit.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 12:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @bill(Guillermo3): Well, I ran out of patience, and Im not really proud of it, to be honest :( On the other hand there is not a big chance of convincing really stubborn people, until they are forced to acknowledge the inadequacy of their arguments…
      It is not the first philosophical debate that ended in a brawl, however.
      I do apologize for my part to all…

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:23 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @MartinDK: Thanks for your
      response,MartinDK.
      This kind of bitchy silliness,including the backbiting,the
      personal insults,misinformation,on the part of SOME posters,
      and the straying off-topic (not,unfortunately,off-color,nor,
      for the most part,informative or even interesting)is leading me
      to regret my wasting time on-line,and to a suspicion,fear
      [even paranoia]about the ‘net generally.The false/fraudulent
      entry of a comment under my name,recently[which has been an
      ongoing plague on other sites],was the beginning of the end
      for me.O brave new world.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 1:47 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: In the final analysis, I should sincerely like to know, MartinDK, what you consider to be an appropriate cosmology, or worldview, for 21st century man. The Christian worldview places God, the Creator, at the center of our universe and represents Jesus the Christ as His incarnation for the time he strode upon the earth. As astrophysicists delve ever more deeply into our ever-expanding universe and discover new facts about the nature of creation and as psychoneurobiologists delve ever more deeply into the human brain and make discoveries on how that works, do you feel the Christian cosmology adequate to our understanding of the universe in which we dwell?

      Jul 29, 2012 at 3:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @bill(Guillermo3): When a debater takes the “You’re not smart enough to argue with me” tack, which is what @MartinDK has done with everyone who has asked him to defend his original position of Christian supremacy, there aren’t a lot of ways it is going to end.

      When I answered his reading/comprehension insult by responding in kind that he likely couldn’t discern the difference, this was a mudfight, and I’m sorry if that offended you or others, but you not only stayed but joined in. Now you seem to be upset that you got some mud on you.

      But between all the insults, something amazing has happened. Suddenly @MartinDK is talking like Joseph Campbell, and since Campbell was a devoted Jungian (and spent several years as the official editor of his papers after his death), it gives him a consistent and quite reasonable worldview and one that is distinct from the way he started out.

      And now we have @Joel J going where I wanted to go 20 posts back, in the direction of quantum mysticism and psycho-neurobiology. I believe we are at a real breakthrough, where scientific inquiry can find new worlds and religion can view them as the places they were referring to allegorically all along.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 4:11 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: No, I’m comparing the religions and the results of them, which is the proof for your original postulate that Christianity was a preferential belief system that gave us all kinds of real-life benefits that the other religions weren’t capable of supporting.

      Compare Buddhism and Christianity in practice, and you’ll see a lot fewer wars and a lot less corruption. But of course, you’ll also see a whole lot less organized charity.

      Thank you for addressing the question.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Joel J: Let me start by apologizing to you too. I was tired, out of patience, and made unfair comments to you

      My own interest in Jung started from personal experience. I saw images at a time of personal crisis and only Jungian psychology has explained my experiences. Not approximately, but spot-on exactly (which is another reason I am sensitive to criticism of these things).
      This forced me to change my world view, from being a rational atheist, I now had to accept irrational phenomena also. I lean heavily on Jung for my world view:

      All we can perceive is in the final analysis psychic, because all sensory information go to the brain, and consequently the psyche. Additionally, all natural science construct models of the world, and however well they represent it, they are still models. These models are psychic products too. All technology is designed and the design is psychic. There is no getting around the psyche.
      Does the psyche exist autonomously, free of the cells and synapses in the brain, then? Leibniz concluded it must have an independent existence:
      http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/leibniz-mind/
      I conclude that Jung is right. The world MUST have an inside as well as an outside. No advances in neurophysiology will solve Leibniz problem. This poses no problems for the material world (the outside). My outside looks like yours, only my world has the inside too. All the natural laws still function, only we must remember that all we perceive is the psychic image of the world, thus the outside world is contained in the inner world, from the psychic point of view.
      The inside is roughly divided in consciousness and unconsciousness. The unconscious contain the archetypes that are like psychic organs, entities that organise content in images in ways that are common to all Men. The Anima (Animus for women) is the Soul. It is feminine for men, and the soul is as a bridge between the personal unconscious and the collective unconscious. It is the through the soul that we communicate with the collective unconscious, this is done by intuition (one of the four psychological functions: Thinking, feeling, sensation and intuition). When we die our soul acts as a vessel that joins the sum of our experiences in life to the collective unconscious, which is the sum total of all human experiences since the beginning of time. This is also only a MODEL. it explains phenomena. it DOES NOT CLAIM TO BE METAPHYSICAL REALITY. We cannot know how the things really “look” no more than we can the atom.
      The function of the soul as a bridge to the collective unconscious is the only way to explain how experiences that pertain to old age can be in the collective unconscious. If it was mediated by DNA no experiences occuring after reproduction could be collective, and that is indeed the case. In this sense there is actually a life after death, but what it looks like is unknown. Aristotle agrees with precisely this view
      http://www.rep.routledge.com/article/A133SECT3
      With respect to the actual examples of collective products of the unconscious i must refer you to Jung (Jung C. G. Archetypes and the Collective Unconscious).

      But my own experiences was that I perceived an image of a shadowy wraith-like humanoid figure that had been in prison for so long, but had suddenly realised its own strength and that it could break its prison. The shadowy figure did not seem evil, more like sad and misunderstood and it walked my inner world free. Other visions at the same time was a pastoral landscape ripped to pieces by a whirlwind (like The Never-ending Story)
      These images came while i was forced to accept my gay feelings despite being married with child. I had a very experimenting sex life with guys doing things like prostitution and porn which was incompatible with my bourgeois life.
      I saw psychiatrists and psychologists to no avail, only when fate or providence or whatever tempted me to buy the book mentioned above in a bookstore i visited at random, did I understand that I was possessed by an archetype, my own Shadow which is the sum of instincts and baser thoughts and selfishness etc
      I had NO knowledge of this prior to the occurrence, but the archetype used material known to me from fantasy role-playing to manifest itself, to clothe itself.
      Can you understand why I take these irrational things deathly serious? I have remembered other visons I have had, of fire, for instance, around the time of my sexual debut, which I found is symbolic for psychic energy (libido). I assure you these things exist, even if i cannot explain their relation to matter or physical energy…
      I really do not know why everyone assumes im a christian. Christianity has many spiritual symbols and contents which are valuable that is all I have said.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:17 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @PBCliberal: I believe we have a classic case of unconsious projection here. Everyone projects their idea of me being a christian into what I write, and I project my image of materialistic americans with no soul into what you write…
      Sorry…!!

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:24 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @MartinDK: And finesse on my part instead of bombast would have probably brought us to this point much earlier.

      We are kindred spirits in a very big way: I am an adherent of Campbell as much or even more than you’re an adherent of Jung. And I totally understand your projection of Americans. We have so many of the kind you describe that one of them is even running for president and might actually win.

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @PBCliberal: Alls well that ends well…
      I am so happy it ended like this for I was not proud of myself. Anyone who follows 150 posts of spiritual thread must be a friend in a way =)

      Jul 29, 2012 at 5:43 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @PBCliberal: Sorry,PBCliberal
      (Thanks for the clarification,BTW.Palm Beach explains,if not
      excuses a lot.On the bright side,at least you don’t appear
      to be a south Florida asshole Republican),but too little,
      too late.Irritation and anger in an argument are typical
      reactions for most people,but even good-natured ball-busting,
      or a “hard ass” stance have their limits.Your unrestrained use
      of invective is not only off-putting,but serves to undermine
      your arguments.
      In closing,since you’ve mentioned & lauded Joseph Campbell
      several times,I want to comment that,in my opinion,much of his
      work isn’t all that original,and that while it has sizable
      merits,I feel both Campbell and his writings have become
      over-popularized.Nothing to do with his insights,BTW,but he
      was a hideous anti-Semite .

      Jul 29, 2012 at 6:31 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: I have no basic argument with what you have said here, except that I am not sure that the soul joins the collective unconscious after death. In science we can test such postulates. I don’t know how one can test for the existence of the soul and the collective unconscious. The models we humans construct allow us to explain natural phenomena to ourselves and to others, they are testable through experiments (yes, other models) and they have reaped huge rewards in technological advancement in the 20th century. The interesting thing about science is that sometimes the existing models have to be discarded or updated as new discoveries are made. We are at a point now in physics where the new postulates cannot be visualized by the human mind. How do we wrap our mind around multidimensional space? And speaking of psychic phenomena, what if all that we call reality is nothing more than a holographic projection of what is, as some physicists have suggested as they try to look into the dark holes in space. (The surface of the dark holes appear to be a holographic image of what is contained inside.)

      I have had experiences with images similar to your own. It was during a period of transition in my life. When I closed my eyes, I would see fleeting images of very old faces. The facial features were well defined and they did not relate to anyone I had ever seen before. No one ever gave me an explanation of what I was experiencing. When I told my doctor about them (he had asked me if I heard voices), he sent me off to see a psychiatrist who reported back the I was one of the most balanced people she had ever interviewed. After some time the images stopped and to this day I have not discussed them or had them explained to me. I guess I will just call them Jungian archetypes. At the time they seemed like visitations from those “on the other side” and I thought, have they come to welcome me to their world?

      To sum up here, I wonder if Jung had lived to witness the advancements in human knowledge of the 20th century whether he would have to revise his theories on man’s relation to the natural world. All cosmologies are just models we construct.

      As a final note, I consider myself to be an atheist and I do not worship the scientific method or consider peer-reviewed publications to be my Bible. Scientific method just happens to be the best means available for the advancement of human knowledge of the material world. It is a rigorous discipline far removed from instinctual actions (except when people cheat by fudging the data to prove their desired result.)

      Jul 29, 2012 at 8:02 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      You know MartinDK this discussion sounds a lot of what went on between Jung and Freud: Jung coming from the spiritual side, and Freud coming from the concrete. Just like what is going on here, they also had their issues about the subject.
      I also want to point out that Scott Peck was a Buddhist, who in making sure his quotes were correct about Christ in his first book “The Road Less Traveled” end up making a ‘firm Christian commitment’ (see [6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Scott_Peck).

      I became intrigued with his idea from “People of the lie” : that people who are evil attack others rather than face their own failures. (see [6] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Scott_Peck ) …. Peck argues that by trying to avoid legitimate suffering, people actually ultimately end up suffering more. He references Carl Jung ‘Neurosis is always a substitute for legitimate suffering’[9]. Peck says that our aim must be to eliminate neurotic suffering and to work through our legitimate suffering in order to achieve our individual goals.[6] This is where I see Christianity and other religion helpful. I also liked his idea about evil: As a malignant type of self-righteousness in which there is an active rather than passive refusal to tolerate imperfection (sin) and its consequent guilt.[6][7] This syndrome results in a projection of evil onto selected specific innocent victims (often children), which is the paradoxical mechanism by which the People of the Lie commit their evil.[7] You can pick up his books and find what he thinks if you want. I just find what he has to say interesting.

      Oh before I go on here… someone was bringing up Muslim faith. I want to point out that the Muslim Faith came 500 years after Christ, and some 1000 years plus after the Jewish faith. I have issues about how much the Muslim faith has brought positive effect on the world. One of my problems is how they reacted to the Christian crusades, instead of accepting some of their defeats and learning from what they did wrong, they blamed the Christians for wrongs that happened to them. I see this as the begging of them running around in circles. Yes they started out with a lot of good things to offer the world, but they got side tracked. But this info really does not bring anything to the table here, just some side thoughts.

      But back to Peck and Jung- if you check out the http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M._Scott_Peck and look up The Four Stages of Spiritual Development you can see what I was talking about earlier.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 7:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Debbie Dominy
      Debbie Dominy

      I have read the information posted by blogger Azariah Southworth. Please Jonathan, as a person whose intent is to affect other people’s lives with your blog, articles, etc., please be an open book, completely honest. If the true you disappoints your family, or causes you to have to step down from the prominent positions you hold or have held, so be it. Isn’t it more important to live a true life, a true and honest life before God?

      Jul 30, 2012 at 1:29 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Debbie Dominy: Hello,Debbie Dominy,
      This seems to be one of those undying “zombie”posts,considering
      the length it’s gone on and the range of topics,thoughts,opinions,
      information,virulent arguments,truces,etc.,etc.,etc.that have
      occurred here.
      I’m unclear about your meaning:Is the “Johnathan” you’re
      addressing Johnathan Merritt?
      Debbie,would you please elaborate on what you got from
      Southworth’s blog?I ask,because the link to it was published here
      by another reader.It’s been several days since I read that blog post,
      but what I remember was having a mixed reaction to it:Found the tone
      sanctimoniously oily,but several of the comments by other readers
      by turns,familiar,compassionate,and bewildering.
      Thanks.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 2:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @Joel J: Thx for sharing your experience. You do seem to be a very balanced person with an open mind too. That’s what’s important and curiosity… =)

      Jul 30, 2012 at 4:19 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK [Different person #1 using similar name]

      @D9W: I checked your links and it looks very interesting. Ill want to read more definitely. Thanks

      Jul 30, 2012 at 4:21 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @MartinDK: Well, thanks. Despite the roller coaster ride, this debate has been an educational experience and has led me to reexamine some of my longheld beliefs.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 5:26 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • PBCliberal
      PBCliberal

      @D9W: Several of us brought up the Muslim faith, much of it in the context of “who first described what and when did they first describe it.”

      I understand wanting to date Islam to the teachings of Mohammad, but that raises the problem of what to call the tribes and their beliefs pre-Mohammad. Not much exists of their beliefs that isn’t hotly disputed. Most competing religions that want to dis them, simply call them Pagans.

      But from what we can tell they did have a pretty extensive multi-theistic belief system whose boss god was Allah. This was a period of increasing mathematic and astronomical discovery by these folks, including some remarkable accurate calculations of astronomical distances.

      In this period, there were thousands of competing belief systems, that don’t lend themselves to easy categorization in 21st century terms. That’s why I kept bringing up the Dead Sea Scrolls. These and other documents like the Damascus Document (which technically was found not in the caves of Qumran but in a geniza in Cairo) show the panoply of competing belief systems available at the time. Most all of these have been suppressed by competing religions (Christianity, Islam and the Romans being the worst).

      If you don’t want to call the pre-Mohammad tribes Muslims or their religion Islam, then there’s the difficulty of what you do call them for the purpose of discussing the history of thought. I think calling them Islamic is the most logical thing to do, but that obviously carries a whole lot of baggage.

      Jul 30, 2012 at 5:33 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Justin
      Justin

      just found this interview of Azariah Southworth talking about why he outted jonathan. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8f_EyjNcrRs

      Jul 30, 2012 at 11:27 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Justin: Thanks,Justin….I
      just watched the interview & forwarded it to 2 people who
      have been following this story/these posts.
      My own reaction: Confused_I think they’re both pathetic
      sleazes, both make me angry,but both need some compassion.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 2:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • B
      B

      No. 117 · MartinDK ·wrote, “@B: I dont claim that christianity is pure. I stated that time and again if you read the posts.”

      But of course I did read the posts and you naever stated that, at least not before # 117. What you said was, “Christianity forsakes the world, to focus on the spirit and the word of God. That created a new position, it broke the magical, mythical ties to world, it broke mans projections into the world.” You also babbled a lot, and if anything blamed any bad behavior of Christians on human nature with their beliefs somehow above the fray. At best you had negative statements about “American TV christians,” a code phrase for hucksters who some would like to disown as they are not “real Christians (TM)”.

      Jul 31, 2012 at 2:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @B: There was a time in the United States when most devout fundamentalists did not involve themselves in the political process or vote in order to focus on the spirit and the word of God. Ever since the rise to TV evangelism, the Moral Majority and Christian Coalition these fundamentalists have become the most politically active bloc within the Republican Party. Many of these TV evangelists preach a gospel of material prosperity. What could be more in the world than that? And, I would note, they often identify themselves as “real Christians” as distinct from others in the Catholic and mainline denominations. Today we have a group called Dominionists who consider it their God-given duty to take control of government at all levels–local, state and federal. Governor Rick Perry of Texas is one of their ilk. Somehow they manage to support tax cuts for the rich as biblical. They have turned Christianity on its head. And, of course, their biggest fundraising issue is their total opposition to a “gay agenda.” Is it any wonder so many in the gay community are opposed to “real Christianity?”

      Jul 31, 2012 at 4:35 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • EvonCook
      EvonCook

      Well, someone should just bit this guys’ effing balls OFF. That would give him a quieter life and maybe make him less sick against people who enjoy their sexuality. These are the deepest, most dangerous kind of traitors and fear mongers and really need to be dealt with harshly.
      Secondly, no monotheistic religion, especially the three monster ones are anything but secular power systems built on hocus pocus, self-righteous brain washing. They have the absolute seeds of hate and war as a basic part of their very construction and exclusivity. By denying basic humanism, they betray themselves and believers totally.
      All the more reason we need more people with the wisdom, sense and ability of Gore Vidal!

      Aug 4, 2012 at 10:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @EvonCook: Let’s not forget Christopher Hitchens. His passing was a great loss for American intellectual thought. He was an atheist, of course.

      Aug 4, 2012 at 11:07 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • KARUADAM
      KARUADAM

      Jonathan Merritt, you are another fucking bloody Christian that will be exterminated in concentration camps like all Christian will.

      Aug 5, 2012 at 7:00 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @PBCliberal: PBCliberal,Regarding
      your
      final paragraph about the positive contributions of
      Christian culture NOT being due to the intrinsic nature of that
      belief
      system,and of the Eastern Mosques,Egyptian temples being equally
      impressive/beautiful:1]Why not?,2]So what? They are,that’s
      obvious. 3]Why is the impressiveness[majesty] and beauty of these not intrinsically connected with the beliefs that produced them?

      Aug 5, 2012 at 7:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @KARUADAM: Karadum:Temper,Temper,Wog.

      Aug 5, 2012 at 7:39 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @<a href="#comment-#166:Karuadam: Sorry for the misspelling
      of your name,Karuadam.
      BTW:Will we be given serial numbers in your camp?

      Aug 5, 2012 at 7:46 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Jean-Pierre
      Jean-Pierre

      Jonathan I love you just the way you are. God will also always love you.

      People are complex and loyalty to a religious faith can sometimes be extremely difficult.

      For people that believe the Bible says that homosexual sex is a sin and they are attracted to the same sex the options are all difficult.

      If you are brought up in a religious tradition you usually think it is true and right.

      But even if the Bible is to be understood that way, most fundamentalists would not condemn homosexual orientation per-se.

      All mental health groups and almost all Christian mental health therapists agree that orientation is not something you can change if you want to. Behaviors can be changed.

      Many people have evolved on their view of gays, not just Obama. Exodus International has repented from their anti-gay political agenda and has promised to try to protect gay people
      from violence. (While Cathy is donating $1000 to those who advocate the death penalty).

      Your church, the Baptist Church, has been the leading obstacle to human rights for gays.

      This includes not only the issue of marriage protections for gays and their families, but

      job discrimination, hate crimes legislation, anti-bullying for gay children or those that are perceived to be gay.

      You have been a voice for moderation in your church and I hope some day your church will recognize that gays need protection from all the hate this church has fomented.

      I appreciate people like you that are advocating for a small change.
      They are not advocating for gay marriage but they are understanding that since their orientation is not changing they have a connection to gay people.

      For the overwhelming majority of gay people,however, celibacy is not an option that they would consider. Those that are religious tend to believe that God gave them the gift of sexuality and that denying it is like waving a fist at God and saying I know better.

      Aug 6, 2012 at 11:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Jean-Pierre: Jean-Pierre,
      Your sentiments are very nice,and very sweetly expressed.
      However,I have one major agreement with you,and one major
      disagreement:You you say that most mental health experts say
      that sexual orientation can’t be changed.DISAGREEMENT:Some,
      Christian,or not, believe that orientation can[with difficulty]
      be changed.They may be well-meaning,but they are WRONG,and can
      do great harm[unintentionally] pushing that belief.
      AGREEMENT[with you and with others who think the same]:
      Sexual orientation CANNOT be changed.Please take that from one
      who wasted years trying.The results of trying can be be
      devastating:Time lost/emotions distorted/alcoholism.

      Aug 7, 2012 at 12:01 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      Hold on here Jean-Pierre- NOT all Baptist are Anti-Gay! You need to look at http://www.awab.org/ before you clump us all into the Southern Baptist think tank.
      I know of a number of ministers from that org that support gay people. One of them even opened their doors, of their church, to the gay community in Seattle to grieve Matthew Sheppard death. One of them also had marched with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.. I know of one Open and Welcoming Baptist Church where there are for GLBTQ ministers. Yes, I will admit that’s not the norm. But if you understand the history of the Baptist Church here in America, then you will realize that the Southern Baptist left the American Baptist during the civil war over the issue of could a missionary own a black person.
      The American Baptist (Northern Baptist) said no- referring to discussion that went on in the early church (after Christ Death- this was way before any denomination) if a person could own their brother, to which they decided you couldn’t own your brother, and there are historical records of the Roman period when a house hold became Christian they gave up all their slaves.

      On the other hand the Southern Baptist not wanting to give up their free labor of using black people to work their fields used the Bible justification, which did not include the discussion of slave owner ship of the early church, but used ST Paul’s excuse to own slaves.

      Also remember St Paul also is famous for telling the Heterosexuals they should only marry if they just could not keep from having sex- because Jesus was coming back in the next few days, along with that, women should not Speak in Church, and a bunch of other fun things that no way in Hell the Church buys into any more.

      Though I do agree with him on his stance that the church alter is not a good place to have sex, sense I believe your own personal bed is a more comfortable place to have such activity- I realize that this though and the reason behind it just went over 99.999% fundies heads- I am talking about ST Paul’s anti-Temple prostitution view point which was what a lot of the pagan religion did/partake in at the height of their religious experience at the time of ST Paul. Though personally I really don’t believe sex and worship should be practices at the same time- though like a lot of people I might have call on ‘God’ name in the throes of sex- but only by accident. This though has been used to say that ST Paul is anti-gay. Truth was ST Paul was just plain against sex which the 99.999% fundies will not tell you (the same group that believe that you should not have fun while having sex- Sex is only for pumping out kids not bring you and your partner closer together in your relationship with anything physical).

      Sorry for the rabbit chasing there. But back to the southern Baptist… Why is this all BS important? Senses you may or may not give a Crap about what the Southern believe… Well it has to do with their outlook on life and why they feel that they need to monitor what you do in your bed room. Yes, they feel they have a personal obligation to make sure you put your tab ‘A’ in the appropriate slot ‘B’ while in the correct body position according to their believe system- so God help you! Because we all know that is the only way it could be done (no doggie or side positions and definitely no 69!) and only their religious view point is the correct one- according to them.

      When I am saying this remember that they came out just a few years ago and said the only appropriate place for a women is at home, bare foot, and being a puppy mill, AND… she should refer her thoughts to her husband because she could in no way have a thought of her own. Yeah, right.

      Also unlike most modern denominations, the S.B. has not thrown out their KKK members. Yes, they apologies for their view point about blacks in the last 10 years, but they still have not kick out the KKK out of their ranks. Oh and just last week one of their ministers just said no to marring black people, now he’s apologized for that but he still will not marry gay people.

      Just remember these people, along with bob jones University, are not the most up to date in their religious text (they’re still stuck with the big 10 Commandments)- especially when it comes to Christ’s own two simple commandments: Christians are to Love the Big Guy (‘God’) above everything else (first commandment). We cant have that because the S.B. love money and power above the Big Dude. And as to Christ’s second short sighted Commandment to love their neighbor as Christ has loved them- we cant have that because we all know they cant let gay people or mix race to marry each other. If they allowed that- what’s next? Feed the poor, cloth the ‘nakid’ and visit those who are in prison? Because we all know Christ was full of crap about grace and his ‘Who so ever believe him get’s to party in the afterlife’ will just let about anyone into the afterlife party/kingdom- because only the correct people (who) get save are those who earned it and are of the correct melanin and the correct sexual orientation… As my roommate used to say back in college… Right, Wrong, BullSh!t. (don’t get me going on Mit’s belief system.) And NO I am not opinionated. Yeah… And I never say anything in tongue and cheek either… Good luck.

      Aug 7, 2012 at 11:38 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @Shannon1981: Oh,Shannon1981!
      I believe that I’ve replied to your reply before,but re-reading
      through all this crap again[on my way to respond to someone else],
      ,I can’t restrain myself from commenting again:A]Aside from yourself,
      who the F mentioned a personal God? B]For all the frequency/length of
      your statements,you certainly are inarticulate,aren’t you?

      Aug 7, 2012 at 10:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • bill(Guillermo3)
      bill(Guillermo3)

      @D9W: D9W[similar to 10W40?]:
      “Dude”,you certainly go on[and on,and on] about nothing,
      don’t you?

      Aug 7, 2012 at 10:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • ccm800
      ccm800

      “not some hillbilly” is at least as fucking stupid as calling us “just some faggot” You folks REALLY make some irresponsible commentary. Grow up

      Aug 15, 2012 at 2:09 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      My God bill(Guillermo3)! Just because you were never educated in the subject of American Religion and how we got here, does not make the subject go away. Besides as I said before this is philosophy 101- “how do you know?” I understand a lot of America are ‘Blissfully Militantly Ignorant.’ That’s a choice. One that let’s people like Turd blossom and friends highjack something that was meant for good, and turn it into something that will self destruct. Problem comes when you get caught up with Turd blossom’s group think and you’re the focus of their hyper delusions. The only thing that will stop this is if someone will speak up with facts. Facts require education, not monkeys flying out Turd Blossom’s but.

      Or do you like have someone throwing in your face “God hates the sin, but love the sinner”, when you darn well know the person who’s saying that hates the very person who said it in the first place? The quickest way of getting a Southern Baptist preacher off your porch is confront him that John the Baptist was not the founder of his so call Church but the guy who founded Rhode Island founded his church. Or when a Mormon Missionary tells you his info come from a living prophet, and you ask him if his prophet is Warren Jeffs, because after all Warren Jeffs is head of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Most of them are ill equip to deal with that. Like most fundamentalist, religious extremist cant handle someone pointing their world view might not reflect the world around them. And I am not a fundamentalist so I can have fun on both sides of the fence. I know two wrongs don’t make a right, but I am not going to set back and be bullied by someone sitting on their religous “Blissfully Militantly Ignorant” ass.

      Dec 26, 2012 at 4:50 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Joel J
      Joel J

      @D9W: Well bless your heart!

      Dec 26, 2012 at 7:36 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      Oh Joel, that was spoken like a true southern bell. LOL.
      Is that with Lube and a Condom?
      Mrs. Sugar Baker would be proud of you.
      Let’s face it a Yankee could only learn of those things in a Southern Military Academy…

      Dec 27, 2012 at 10:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • D9W
      D9W

      If you get a chance you might want to look at this >> http://thedailylove.com/why-all-are-equal-in-front-of-the-law-an-apology-from-one-christian/

      Mar 28, 2013 at 5:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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