Queerty is better as a member

Log in | Register
GRIEF ENCOUNTER

Guilt And Grief Over Son’s Suicide Led Tyler Clementi’s Parents To Leave Church

Following the suicide of their son Tyler Clementi, his parents — particularly his mother, Jane — have struggled to deal with the inevitable guilt. In an interview with The New York Times, Jane and Joe Clementi share how their son’s death forced them to look at life and themselves differently and spurred Jane’s decision to leave her church.

“People talk about coming out of the closet — it’s parents coming out of the closet, too. I wasn’t really ready for that,” Mrs. Clementi admits. She was surprised at her son’s coming-out — having thought they had a “pretty open relationship” — and proceeded to question Tyler, who was only two days away from leaving for Rutgers.

Tyler later described the revelation to a friend via text, claiming that his mom “basically completely rejected” him.

“It did not change the fact that I loved my son,” Mrs. Clementi told the Times. “I did need to think about how that would fit into my thoughts on homosexuality.” She had no idea that Tyler felt rejected by her, however. Mrs. Clementi had long suspected Tyler’s brother James was gay and had spoken to Tyler about the fact. “Tyler knew we weren’t going to reject him or stop paying for college for him or not let him come home, because James had done all those things and we had a good relationship.”

While Joe Clementi argues that his son was simply engaging in typical teenage hyperbole — “Just to be clear: Tyler had two parents, and I didn’t have any problem with it. He had support.” — the guilt still weighs heavy on his wife’s shoulders. “Obviously he felt that way, he needed to tell his friend that,” she laments.

How does a parent cope with that after not only a child’s suicide, but the resulting media frenzy and trial of the callous roommate who posted a video of the 18-year-old’s intimate encounter with another man online?

For Mrs. Clementi, religion was the answer…in more ways than one. She decided to leave her evangelical church, in which homosexuality was taught as a sin. Though she turned her back on the church, Mrs. Clementi’s faith remained unwavering as she turned to the Bible for answers. “At this point I think Jesus is more about reconciliation and love,” she said. “He spoke more about divorce than homosexuality, but you can be divorced and join a church more than you can be gay and join churches.”

Tyler had told his mother, upon coming out, that he didn’t believe he could be both gay and Christian.

The Clementi family has also dedicated itself to a foundation that promotes acceptance and hopes to prevent gay teen suicides. “I think some people think that sexual orientation can be changed or prayed over,” Mrs. Clementi said. “But I know sexual orientation is not up for negotiation. I don’t think my children need to be changed. I think that what needed changing is attitudes, or myself, or maybe some other people I know.”

Jane Clementi’s dilemma reflects an age-old debate: the role religion has in homosexual persecution. While there are churches that are very LGBT-inclusive, the gay community and the religious community are more often than not pitted against one another, particularly when politics are involved. Conservatives are notorious for using religious rhetoric to bolster anti-gay legislation, but if Tyler Clementi’s sad story — and countless others throughout history — have proven anything, it’s that this vehement vitriol in the name of god, or God, or whomever, hurts more people than it helps.

By:           Les Fabian Brathwaite
On:           Aug 27, 2012
Tagged: , , , ,
  • 50 Comments
    • dvlaries
      dvlaries

      If any organized religion were to suggest that love and acceptance of your own child should be put above its other teachings, it would plant a fatal question inside the proclaimed infallibility of the religion you’re hawking. So they don’t do it, none of them. The Clementi matter represents a more extreme and tragic result, but none of them are painless.
      *
      It seems to me the more skepticism you’re able to foster about the religion you’re raised in, the better your chances of a healthy and well-adjusted adulthood.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 10:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDkk
      MartinDkk

      It is a very very sad story. Sad for the boy and sad for the family. Suicide is always wrong. So this mother was tested by fate, and had her traditional values challenged by the antithesis of those values. But she came round in the end or would have. They could have had a long cry together, and then have found each other again with a strengthened bond. Suicide is always wrong. Death is final, but people make mistakes, they change their minds, times change. She was weak and confused, but then she was human. We all are.
      Another lesson of this is to NOT pit religion against gay issues. Sure some religious extremists persecute gays, but do we let them run away with the whole of humanity’s spiritual heritage? Do we let them monopolize the moral forming function, the part of us that recognizes vice from virtue? Will we let them condemn us as sinners, and what is the effect on real people if we do? This tragedy is a result of not being able to unite what is good and true in religion with what is good and true about being gay. Nothing is wholly bad, not christianity even if a lot of christians were bad people. The artificial conflict between being gay and loving christian virtues such as compassion, meekness, forgiveness and loving your neighbour contributed to this tragedy.
      This mother has drawn the right conclusion. Churches may be terribly wrong but theres strength and saving grace in the message of religion if you look to the message of Christ and not the churchbuilding lecturing and obsession of St Paul. There is a core of symbolical truth which is important. All the ceremonies and silly dogmas etc only serves to prepare the mind to receive that message. Dont throw the baby out with the bath water, please.
      We for our part must stop feeding the conflict and thereby heightening the tension felt by young gays from religious families. We must stop hating on religion and stop pretending you need to swear off your superstition if you want to be gay or part of the gay “community”. Christianity is not the enemy of gay people, bigots are. Some are christian, some are muslim some are fascist and some are socialist. Totalitarian thinking with no respect for individuals is the real enemy…

      Aug 27, 2012 at 10:59 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      It is a very very sad story. Sad for the boy and sad for the family. Suicide is always wrong. So this mother was tested by fate, and had her traditional values challenged by the antithesis of those values. But she came round in the end or would have. They could have had a long cry together, and then have found each other again with a strengthened bond. Suicide is always wrong. Death is final, but people make mistakes, they change their minds, times change. She was weak and confused, but then she was human. We all are.
      Another lesson of this is to NOT pit religion against gay issues. Sure some religious nutters persecute gays, but do we let them run away with the whole of humanity’s spiritual heritage? Do we let them monopolize the moral forming function, the part of us that recognizes vice from virtue? Will we let them condemn us to hell as sinners, and what is the effect on real people if we do? This tragedy is a result of not being able to unite what is good and true in religion with what is good and true about being gay. Nothing is wholly bad, not christianity even if a lot of christians were suckers or worse. The artificial conflict between being gay and loving christian virtues such as compassion, meekness, forgiveness and loving your neighbour contributed to this tragedy.
      This mother has drawn the right conclusion. Churches may be terribly wrong but theres strength and saving grace in the message of religion if you look to the message of Christ and not the churchbuilding lecturing and obsession of St Paul. There is a core of symbolical truth which is important. All the ceremonies and silly dogmas etc only serves to prepare the mind to receive that message. Dont throw the baby out with the bath water, please.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 11:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      We for our part must stop feeding the conflict and thereby heightening the tension felt by young gays from religious families. We must stop hating on religion and stop pretending you need to swear off your superstition if you want to be gay or part of the gay “community”. Christianity is not the enemy of gay people, bigots are. Some are christian, some are muslim some are fascist and some are socialist. Totalitarian thinking with no respect for individuals is the real enemy…

      Aug 27, 2012 at 11:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      We for our part must stop feeding the conflict and thereby heightening the tension felt by young gays from religious families. We must stop hating on religion and stop pretending you need to swear off your superstition if you want to be gay or part of the gay “community”. Christianity is not the enemy of gay people, bigots are. Some are christian, some are musl*m some are fas c*st and some are soc *alist. Totalitarian thinking with no respect for individuals is the real enemy.

      Stupid autoflagging system!!

      Aug 27, 2012 at 11:12 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • brent
      brent

      I understand how diffucult it can be to be gay and believe in god. You have to find another way besides organized religion. The one think i hop is that the clementi’s don’t give up on god and become atheists.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 11:22 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Andrew
      Andrew

      As an out and proud gay Episcopalian, I find it very refreshing to see the Christian-positive posts here. So many times, our community attacks the religion itself and not those in the church who distort its teachings to serve their own agendas. I hope that the Clementis understand that Christ’s message of love trumps all.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 12:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      Good for her! It’s a difficult thing to separate yourself from the community you’ve grown to know and love, even if it’s because you’re standing up for your convictions. Major props to Mrs. Clementi. I hope she finds another church more in line with with her currently evolving spiritual beliefs.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 1:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      The suicide makes a lot more sense now. I don’t mean it was a good idea, only that thinking he’d lost his family and God already, and recently, makes much more sense as putting someone in a position where a comparatively little thing could easily be the last straw.

      So much difference timing could have made… had he had the conversation with his parents sooner rather than right before leaving, there’d have been time for them to get used to the idea and for him to see they weren’t rejecting him. Had the video incident happened, say, the following May, he’d have had time to settle his religious views a bit, whether by finding a gay-friendly church or other Christian organization, or by settling comfortably into atheism, or by finding some other path.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 1:56 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      It may seem daunting, or even overwhelming, but we must acknowledge reality. Christians are the enemy of gay people, and no amount of wishful thinking is going to change that. They’ve persecuted, ostracized, demonized, and murdered gay people for the last two thousand years, and to any efforts to “reform” Christianity are an exercise in futility.

      And even if we could, why would we? Christianity is a moral disaster. Leaving aside their treatment of gay people, the religion explicitly condones slavery and genocide. And then there’s Mr. MartinDk defending Christian morality. Has he not been paying attention? If our society’s morality is based on Christianity, no wonder we’re so screwed up.

      Christianity is the cause of death and misery in this family, and millions of other families. It’s time to acknowledge that fact. Our only path to freedom is the peaceful destruction of Christianity.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Merv: Thank for the acknowledgement of my effort even if it wasnt kindly meant.

      Do you think i do it because im too daunted or overwhelmed?? Ill tell you what is daunting, defending the faith of people like this family from the likes of you who would sooner see them break to the point of committing suicide, than see their love of symbolic truth and goodness in Christ’s message of love combined with a gay life.

      The problem in your argument is that you have no idea what the world would look like without christianity. If you want an idea then remember that it grew extremely popular despite threat of torture and death in the first and second century AD. The Roman world was ruled by Tiberius who 60 years old was s*cked off by babies and threw his boy lovers from a cliff, Nero who had a brothel with aristocratic women in the infamous palace Domus Aurea, and Caligula who married his horse and tortured and murdered as it pleased him. Slavery and gladiatorial combat to the death was everywhere.
      In this atmosphere Christianity and Mithraism grew popular because it was the answer to the people’s need.
      Abolitionists were inspired by christianity in the ancient world and in Europe and America. Martin Luther King was christian.

      The world has forgotten this now. And see if these old things are not brought alive again on TV in Spartacus etc. There is a truth and a vital moral grace in these things. Christianity is failing and its message losing grasp of people. The result is much of that moral decline you mention.
      Christianity does need to be saved from the conservative christians, however, who are very unlike Christ himself, and will fight in court for poor people to be without medicare, but christianity has split over and over again on so many issues. It will split again on the gay issue. So be it.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 4:14 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Niall
      Niall

      @GreatGatsby2011: There was really only one post though written by the same person four times

      Aug 27, 2012 at 4:38 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      MartinDK, what Christianity really needs is to disappear. Over the last 2000 years it’s persecuted gay people, yes, but you know who else has been persecuted? EVERYONE WHO WASN’T A CHRISTIAN. Jews? Mutilated, slandered, finally cooked by the millions in death camp ovens. Black people? The Bible was (and is continued to be, by more groups than just the KKK) turned against them, and used as an excuse to ignore their suffering beneath slave masters’ whips. Muslims, women, and children? TAKE A LOOK AT OUR COUNTRY TODAY AND WHO IS HURTING THESE GROUPS. Truth and vital moral grace? Only if you think “moral grace” is spitting on everyone who’s not like you oh, and by the way, shooting up their holy temples, actively calling them terrorists and unamerican, just because they’re not Christian. The Tea Party is one of the most Christian organizations in this country and they’ve announced they’ll declare civil war if Obama wins the election. They also want the right to carry guns to church (WHY??). Gee, that doesn’t sound very Christlike, does it? Then again, neither do the Crusades, the Catholic-Protestant wars of Ireland, the Christian Roman Empire . . . hm . . . you guys have an awful track record for actually following the teachings of your leader.

      I left the church when I was 18 and became a pagan when I was 22 and every day I thank the Mother Goddess that I saw the church for what it really is and has always been: a hateful, spiritless money-machine in which people are duped into thinking they “hear the Spirit” when, in fact, what they hear are the echoes of their own bigoted voices, raised in self-praise, where the questions and challenges of the Mother Goddess and Father God are ignored in favour of fluffing themselves up with vanity, precisely what their holy book tells them their leader HATED, and patting themselves on the back over how “good” they are when really all they are is hateful and blind.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 5:08 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • nature boy
      nature boy

      Hurray for Mrs Clementi for her honesty and evolution in attitudes, so sorry for the awful cost.

      I hope this shows parents how an older child coming out affects the younger ones. This was my situation… my older brother came out at age 18, and while my parents were accepting and polite in his presence, and did not withdraw support or reject him to his face….. as a younger child still living at home, I saw “behind the scenes” all the anguish and upset that they were careful to hide from him. It apparently never ocurred to them that I was gay also, and therefore I became “the straight son.” This caused me years of pain until I finally came out at 22.

      @martinDK, Andrew, and Greatgatsby2011, thanks for your posts. Agree completely.

      @technicolornina … religion and Christianity are just too complicated to make it all black and white, 100% good or 100% evil, as you are trying to do. I’m sorry you experienced such lousy churches. There are also wonderful Christian churches that have made the world a better place, fight for our rights today, and provide a haven of great comfort and support to the LGBT community today.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      @Niall: I don’t understand your response to my comment. I made no mention of this “post” of which you speak. Perhaps you were responding to someone else and accidentally linked my comment?

      Aug 27, 2012 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @nature boy: My church told me I should commit suicide because I was better off dead than gay.

      Please spew your bullshit to someone else.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 5:34 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: And how, exactly, does that negate the fact that other churches aren’t at all like yours was?

      @nature boy: The desire for grandchildren can be a powerful motivator. Whether backed by that or not, some parents are fine with a gay child as long as they know, or think they know, they have another who is straight. But that other one can be a harder adjustment for them, even though they’ll come around in time, and even if they come across, as apparently in this case, as harsher initially than they intend to.

      As for the same tired old argument over religion itself that a few commenters here like to force on everyone every chance they get… think for a moment. Preferably longer. If you could do one or the other, but not both, would you rather help young gay people get through the stage of coming to terms with themselves with relatively little mental trauma OR would you rather make them redraw their entire worldview at once, with the heightened risk that they either flat out couldn’t take it or else would wind up bitter and miserable?

      For that matter, can you get more good done in the world by making as many enemies as possible, or by opposing those who are actually against you rather than everyone whose beliefs you can cram under the same label regardless of relevance?

      Aug 27, 2012 at 5:58 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • jmmartin
      jmmartin

      Am I missing something? You say Ms. Clementi left her church. You do not mention which church. My guess, in that Clementi is an Italian name, and a lot of Italians are Catholics, is that she was RCC. It so happens that this is the most homophobic of all churches, unless it is some evangelical churches. The ultimate irony, of course, is that most of the pedophile priests molest BOYS, not girls, which makes them homosexual by definition. (Not trying to imply the stereotypical belief that most if not all child molesters are gay. Hardly. In fact, most child molesters are statistically straight. If your object of lust is your own sex, of whatever age, willing or unwilling, of whatever age, you are gay.) One of the problems with gay activists is that they erroneously claim that pedophile priests cannot be gay. You are gay if you are attracted to partners and/or have sexual congress with those of your own sex. So I am left to wonder, exactly WHY did Ms. Clementi leave her church? Did she come to her senses and realize that all religion is bunk, or simply that the religion she followed was too homophobic to deserve her membership? Inquiring minds want to know.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 6:15 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      It’s irrelevant that there are a few tiny and mostly shrinking denominations that aren’t anti-gay. The two largest by far, the Roman Catholics and the Southern Baptists, are rabidly anti-gay. It’s as ridiculous as of modern-day Christians trying to associate themselves with the few 19th century Christian abolitionists, like they’re Quakers themselves. The mainstream of Christianity in the 19th century was the Southern Baptists, who were founded on the principle of slavery, and had clear support in the Old and New Testaments for their position.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 6:40 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • GreatGatsby2011
      GreatGatsby2011

      @jmmartin: 7th paragrah. You need no longer wonder.

      “For Mrs. Clementi, religion was the answer…in more ways than one. She decided to leave her evangelical church, in which homosexuality was taught as a sin. Though she turned her back on the church, Mrs. Clementi’s faith remained unwavering as she turned to the Bible for answers. ‘At this point I think Jesus is more about reconciliation and love,’ she said. ‘He spoke more about divorce than homosexuality, but you can be divorced and join a church more than you can be gay and join churches.'”

      Aug 27, 2012 at 6:45 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Merv: So answer my question then.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 6:55 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • LadyL
      LadyL

      “Conservatives are notorious for using religious rhetoric to bolster anti-gay legislation.”
      *
      Yes, and too often so do parents, pastors, relatives, neighbors, friends, coworkers, teachers and peers belittle and abuse gays in the name of god, whoever they conceive God to be. That’s what most LGBT people who come out to their families and within their communities have encountered–intolerance and ignorance wrapped in smug moral righteousness. If Christians seriously want LGBT people to stop “hating” on Christianity, or religion generally, they can bloody well start by looking, as this mother finally has, in the mirror. And maybe counseling their true-believing brethren to do the same.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 7:25 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Ruhlmann
      Ruhlmann

      “Freedom will exist when the last king has been strangled with the entrails of the last priest” Denis Diderot

      Seems pretty simple to me.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 10:37 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @hyhybt: I reject your premise that’s it’s less traumatic to half-reject your religion than it is to fully reject it. First of all, it’s good to reject Christianity, because it’s factually wrong: The Earth is not 6000 years old. There was never a global flood that covered the entire surface of the Earth. Unicorns are fictional. Languages did not originate during building of a tower. Slavery and genocide are not moral.

      There are other reasons: One of the most damaging aspects of Christianity for gay people is the self-hatred it induces. The mental contortions required to turn a clearly anti-gay religion into a gay-affirmative religion are never going to be entirely convincing, causing more internal discord and distress.

      I also reject that I am advocating making enemies of Christians. I only advocate that we acknowledge they they have made enemies of us, and mean to do us harm, and since they haven’t changed in 2000 years, are unlikely to change now. The vanishingly small number of pro-gay so-called Christians are actually harmful to gay people, because they obscure the danger and distract and discourage gay people from taking the steps necessary to defend ourselves against our enemy.

      Aug 27, 2012 at 10:57 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Merv: The items you list after “because it’s factually wrong” are things that SOME CHRISTIANS BELIEVE. They are NOT core parts of Christianity, and it is dishonest to portray them as such.

      Likewise, the self-hatred induction is not a core aspect, but something tacked on. It doesn’t belong, no matter how long it’s been there and regardless of what percentage of Christians, living or dead, approve of it.

      You are declaring ALL Christians as enemies (whether you believe us to have declared you an enemy first being immaterial), and that is simply false, and too obviously so not to recognize that.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 12:04 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @hyhybt: Your rose-colored glasses are showing again. I wish it weren’t true, but my list of “facts” are not what SOME Christians believe, they’re what MOST Christians believe. You’re in denial if you think Biblical literalism is not a core part of American Christianity. Here are some poll numbers that bear me out:

      Gallup poll May 3-6 2012. Of weekly church attendees, 67% believe God created humans in their present form within the last 10000 years. Of almost weekly/monthly church attendees, 55% believe this.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 12:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @Merv: Why do you insist on conflating majority belief with core belief? Despite what you’re pushing, they’re not the same thing. And what about the other 33%, or 45%, or whatever?

      (Anyway, your second sentence is false because “some” is a subset of “most.” If it is true that most believe, then it logically must be true that some believe, and therefore my statement was correct.)

      Now: answer the question I originally asked, which being stated as a *hypothetical* either-or in the first place does not depend on whether you agree with the division or not.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 2:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @Andrew: Re 7 “As an out and proud…

      Very well said.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:03 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @Merv: I just feel the need to point out that if you read the Bible IN ITS ORIGINAL LANGUAGE (please read as much neon-flashing-sign HTML into those caps as is comfortable for you), every single one of the “anti-gay” statements actually ISN’T. The Bible in its original language condemns gay prostitutes (but also straight ones), promiscuity (gay and straight) . . . and in the original language, suggests that one of the greatest kings it contained was, at the very least, bisexual and more probably gay (gaychristian101 has some great essays about this, as does wouldjesusdiscriminate.org). Not saying I agree with the church or am trying to condone what the modern “Christianity” does or says, just saying that, just as they’ve done as is convenient all throughout history, a few verses have been painfully twisted to mean what they want them to mean.

      As for you, hyhybt, go hate yourself and us somewhere else. At the point where you have to make arguments like “some is a subset of most,” you’ve already lost. And yeah–those things are “core beliefs.” The only (Christian) denomination in which evolution is accepted as fact and part of church doctrine is Christian Scientist.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @hyhybt: I disagree that it’s not a core belief. If it’s not core, why do Christians spend so much effort fighting Darwinism. It’s clearly very important to them. As far as I can tell as an outsider, the three most important core beliefs of Christianity are opposition to abortion, opposition to homosexuality, and opposition to Darwinism. I say that only semi-facetiously. Clearly there are other, less public beliefs that I don’t hear much about, but if you pay attention to what Christians talk about most and spend most of their energy on, these three would clearly be near the top of the list.

      Now I’ll answer your questions. Yes, even if it were more traumatic in some cases, I would still favor being truthful to young people about the fatal flaws of their religion. But as you said, it’s just a hypothetical. In reality, people don’t lose their faith that quickly. It’s usually an extended process.

      As for “cramming” everyone into the same Christian category, I’m trying to make the point that Christianity is an extremist religion. Slavery, genocide, stonings, etc. Those are all very extreme. If you are not an extremist, then maybe you’ve picked the wrong religion.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:17 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @Merv: You missed one, Merv. How about opposition to any view that isn’t their own, period? Take the recent shooting at that Sikh temple, for example, or the way that the Texas BoE wanted to remove what they claimed were “pro-Islamic extremist” textbooks (you know what was so pro-Islam and so extremist about the textbooks? That they stated, correctly, that the words “alchemy” and “chemistry” are of Arabic origin, and that the modern-day Islamic world continued to produce scientific work during the European Dark Ages) from the classroom.

      And I’d like to point out that this is very much an “American Christian” thing, too–there’s a picture out there from the Egyptian uprising that shows a group of local Christians standing arm in arm in a circle, forming a human chain. They’re protecting a group of peacefully praying Muslims from riot police.

      Try to imagine that happening in the US. Yeah. Didn’t think so.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: I have no idea where you got the idea that I hate you or anybody else, but it’s not true, and I have given no sane grounds for you to believe otherwise.

      @Merv: You don’t seem to have any grasp on what “core belief” even means if you think the items you list are even close.

      But mostly: why do you and yours like to stir up this sort of thing EVERY SINGLE TIME there’s an article on Queerty that in any way touches on religion?

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:28 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @hyhybt: Oh, I dunno, maybe the fact that you completely dismissed that not just my church, but other churches as well, advise gay kids TO KILL THEMSELVES. That’s not hateful or anything.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:34 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: That’s not true. All I dismissed was the untrue, unfair, and unreasonable pretense that your church was representative of all of Christianity. I never came anywhere close even to implying that there weren’t way too many that agree with it, which you could plainly see before making false claims about what I’ve said.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:39 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @hyhybt: All or most, it’s far too many, so just dismissing the fact that there are people (myself included) who attempt, or succeed at, suicide because of this hate machine is, in fact, hateful. Religion of love, my ass.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:41 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: I don’t get it. We agree that there are far too many churches (and individual Christians) like that. AGAIN, I’ve never even so much as hinted otherwise, so why do you pretend that I have, much less insist that the hatred of some (however many that may be…. and even taking the numbers provided earlier as reliable and meaningful, that leaves quite a lot who believe otherwise) and applying it even to those of us who explicitly denounce it?

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:46 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @hyhybt: Because you’re relying on a false number there. As Merv and others pointed out, the MAJORITY believe this, and you are defending them, not denouncing them. I did the latter. It was called not being a Christian anymore.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:49 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @technicolornina: @Merv: What you dont understand is that people are evil. Man contains both good and evil. Christ sougjt to address some of the evils, hence christianity is good in its core. As with all things, it is possible to pervert the message, or make it absurd if no common sense is applied.
      Animals are morally superior to man because they do not lie. They kill to live, not to enrich themselves or be great. It was with consciousness the path to evil opened. We can lie, even to ourselves, and this causes griefand depression.
      You mistake an imperfect means to better ourselves (religion) with the root cause of evil which is consciousness

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:06 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: You lie. I hate to put it so bluntly, but there’s just no way around it at this point. I am defending the Christians who are NOT like that, and there’s simply no way this far into the conversation you could possibly have an honest misunderstanding or disagreement on that point.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      @dvlaries: Re 1 “If any organized religion…

      Interesting comment, especially the last sentence.

      And I would add that “gung ho attitudes” about anything or everything about a religion’s traditions or holy texts represents a serious problem.

      I believe it is very necessary to be “enthusiastic” about the good, meaningful and common sensible things that are revealed.

      This is the great challenge for us.

      We moderns are not blind children and the “Spirit of God” can talk to us today in a “better way” than it did when the religions of the world were formed.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @MartinDK: Which doesn’t change the fact that Christianity as the burgeoning monster it is today is not godly or spiritual, and in fact seems to be all about hate. The core has dissolved from the evil around it.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:09 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @hyhybt: How Christian of you to keep dismissing my point and refusing to stack up any hard evidence of your own, just choosing to call me a liar instead. That’s not an ironic statement and it’s not a compliment, either.

      Your Christian Morals Hard At Work, y’all.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:16 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: I have *disagreed* with points you have made. That is not the same thing as dismissing them.

      This is not a matter of evidence, though if you wish to make it one, the proper thing to do would be to provide some for your claims first, which you have not done. First up: proving that all Christians can fairly be represented by those you say said you ought to kill yourself. You consistently treat that as if it were what Christianity is about, yet it’s far from the core (which is all that stuff about Jesus being the son of God), and isn’t a view held by a majority even of those who believe homosexuality is sinful, much less a majority of all Christians, much less again a fair characterization of the rest of us. If you want to treat it as such, and go so far as to demand that I prove otherwise, prove your own side first!

      Claiming I have done something which it is very plain from simply reading this thread that I have not done, continuing even after I’ve specifically explained that it’s not true, *is* lying. How is it, then, immoral (whether by Christian standards or not) to say so?

      Aug 28, 2012 at 4:43 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • MartinDK
      MartinDK

      @Ruhlmann: Denis Diderot died 5 years before this came true during the french revolution. “Free” from religion and authority the people’s revolution in no time degenerated into The reign of Terror. The chaos, executions and turmoil was stopped a man who knew how to organised masses for WAR. Napoleon stepped unto the stage and threw Europe into continent wide war of hitherto unsern brutality with more than one million dead. He was no christian either.

      This is a brilliant example of what happens when the saving grace of religion is taken away. We just cant cope without. Naz*sm and bolshevik communism are other examples. Man is brutal. We contain good and bad. Life is a long struggle to be good as christianity teaches us.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 5:54 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @MartinDK: You paint a rather unflattering portrait of Christians. As an atheist, I have no desire to go out to rape and pillage, but apparently the only thing holding back Christians is threat of eternal punishment (even though they can avoid it and still commit the most heinous crime just by saying they believe in Jesus).

      How did Hitler rise to power in a country at the time so overwhelmingly Christian? Apparently, Christianity doesn’t innoculate as well as you imply. But then again, the Dark Ages and Inquisition should have taught you that.

      If Christianity is so good, why does it condone slavery and genocide? Or at least, it used to condone slavery and genocide as religious values until it was forced by secular forces to reject them. The Southern Baptists didn’t admit they were wrong about slavery until 1995.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 10:56 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Merv
      Merv

      @technicolornina: I’m aware of the arguments that the anti-gay passages are mistranslations, some refering to temple prostitutes. They may even be true, but at some point Christianity has to be acknowledged for what it is, not the ideal some people wish it were. From your other comments, I suspect you would agree. It is the same with the whole sodomy thing. The Bible says explicitly that the sin of Sodom is inhospitality. Yet you can argue with a Christian until you are blue in the face, even pointing out specific passages in the Bible. They will not accept it. Sodom was destroyed because of homosexuality, and that’s it.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 3:16 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @hyhybt: As I pointed out, other members here have quoted stats at you that you’re choosing to reject out of hand. You ALSO just implied that I’m lying about my experiences in the church, so you know what, go away. This conversation is OVER, you hateful creature.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • technicolornina
      technicolornina

      @MartinDK: Uhh, let’s see . . .

      *Crusades
      *Catholic-Protestant War of Ireland
      *Invasions of North and South America, in which millions were slaughtered or enslaved if they refused to accept the religion being foisted on them by Columbus and Cortez
      *Two thousand years of anti-Semitism ending (mostly) only with the Holocaust
      *The mass killings of women across Europe during the Dark Ages in the “witch craze”
      *Roman invasions after the conversion of Constantine, during which thousands were killed

      . . . hm. Gee. You seem to have racked up quite a few bodies there. Wanna explain those, especially since a huge chunk of those were done IN THE NAME OF YOUR GOD?

      Aug 28, 2012 at 5:32 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • hyhybt
      hyhybt

      @technicolornina: “other members here have quoted stats at you that you’re choosing to reject out of hand.”—FALSE. I accepted them conditionally, and pointed out that they do not support the claim they were brought in to prove.

      “You ALSO just implied that I’m lying about my experiences in the church…”—not only FALSE as well, but a blatant lie. If you’re going to argue (and I don’t mind either way) have the decency to be truthful.

      Aug 28, 2012 at 8:13 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Billysees
      Billysees

      I think a big problem in the world today is the cold-hearted or mean spirited attitudes that so easily and often exist in the religious fundamentalist world.

      It comes from all religions too.

      They apparently are derived from their holy texts and/or traditions.

      Here’s an article to illustrate this. Written first hand by a victim of a fundamentalist family upbringing. Read the whole article but especially this man’s personal testimony about his family that starts with the words — I’d also like to address my family…

      It’s a sorrowful story of a man raised in the confines of “rigid religiosity”.

      If only his childhood had more real love and warmth and happiness, he would have had better childhood memories that he could be grateful for and appreciative of.

      They could have enabled him to overcome the abuse he suffered.

      http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/07/bill-zeller-dead-princeto_n_805689.html

      ———————————————————

      A wiser approach is to question these texts and supplant them with newer and better attitudes. They also can be found in the holy texts but they need to be made “front and center”.

      Christianity has its “Holy Spirit” or “Spirit of God”. I’m most familiar with this.

      And I see better attitudes coming from this same “Spirit” as it moves to and fro in the world today.

      We can never forget, because of the tremendous hope that it gives us, the following thought given to us by Jesus, a most, if not the most, futuristic minded person.

      He said, “The Holy Spirit will guide us and lead us into the future and into the things we should do in word and deed. (my own paraphrase)

      Aug 30, 2012 at 4:23 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

    Add your Comment

    Please log in to add your comment

    Need an account? Register It's free and easy.



  • QUEERTY DAILY

     


    POPULAR ON QUEERTY


    FROM AROUND THE WEB

    Copyright 2014 Queerty, Inc.
    Follow Queerty at Queerty.com, twitter.com/queerty and facebook.com/queerty.