We’ve been following the career of Joel Osteen — who’s become quite wealthy via his Lakewood Church in Houston — for quite some time, from when he introduced Pastor Jay Bakker to his family to the time Joel’s wife Victoria was sued by a flight attendant. Osteen is part of that new brand of “smiling bigots.” Like NOM’s Brian Brown, he puts on a nice suit, acts all friendly to the queers, and looks to God for the answers. But then he turns around and preaches that your “lifestyle” is one of sin.
For Osteen, here on The View this week, it’s a question about “God’s best.” The Bible, he says, teaches that LGBTs are not God’s best, and while he loves them, he sees their sexuality as a flaw. Which is to say: God made a mistake. But that’s impossible! Except: It’s a conclusion Osteen can’t explain away.
But this is a man who lives life like The Secret, telling people to believe in what they want, and they shall receive. We’re all for optimism, but Osteen is the guy who wrote in his 2004 book that “God wants to give you your own house [even if it feels out of reach], but says those hit by the housing crisis must “keep believing.” Believing themselves into more debt?
Osteen is irresponsible at best, a man preaching hatred at worst.
You really want to mindfuck one of these people? Ask them why God, being perfect and omnipotent, intelligently designed men with the prostate where it is…
I live near his “church” I always want to sneak into the parking garage and put NAMBLA bumper stickers on all the cars. But security is really tight. Plus, I don’t have any NAMBLA bumper stickers.
NAMBLA bumper stickers is the funniest thing I have ever heard!! Can you imagine?!?!? LOL!!
Shiny Pastor Osteen believes homosexuals are defective. Where is our Campaign that suggests money-grabbing evangelicals are “defective?”
We just keep getting defined by the enemy and we do nothing about it. This makes us defective AND submissive.
I’ve always been tempted to sneak into church parking lots and just put HRC stickers on all the cars. However, I’d rather have a clean record. Boo.
LGBT people are not god’s best, huh? Gee, I don’t recall reading that in the new testament, the so called “christian” part of the bible. I wonder where he got that from? I wonder what his god thinks about hetero adulterers, rapists, prostitutes and sex traffickers? Oh…and what about state sanctioned pedophilia/ephebophilia in the form of underage girls marrying older men (14-17 year olds), with full parental consent with the blessing of religious cults? Any man caught having unlawful sex with an underage girl is called a pedophile, plain and simple. How does that grab you, Olsteen?
How can anyone be “god’s best” when there isn’t any god that exists to play favorites in the first place?
james p. p.
Religion is it’s own anti-christ.
We have been defined by our enemies and will always be that to some extent. But we don’t have to believe them or define ourselves from their perceptions. Their perceptions are from a Str8 brain that desires not to be sexually humanly educated, and that’s about it. Stupid is as stupid does. The best we can do is focus on changing the laws and let time heal all wounds.
However, in the meantime, we don’t have to stand idly by and take crap that isn’t true. I wrote a letter to Joel Osteen Ministries yesterday and posted it on The View’s message board as I’m thouroughly annoyed at stupid preachers being so outright cave man bone heads. So don’t sit back an take it, let them know what you think. You’ll feel better. Now I may or may not get a response to this letter, but I said it and felt better for doing so. Here is the letter I wrote to Joel Osteen:
On THE VIEW today you intimated that gay people and their partnered relationships are not “God’s Best.” Love is Love Joel, it is what it is, and so is sexual orientation. You seem to miss that point. Your comment is no different than a KKK based church saying “Black” is not “God’s best.”
I am demanding and pushing in several arenas if need be, for a full public apology from you, for intimating that GLBT people and their sexual loving relationships are not good enough, are less than, and for the discriminatory way you represented yourself and “God” against GLBT today.
Nothing short of a televised media formatted public apology placing all God’s children and their sexual loving relationships in the same and equal category will be accepted. Please let me know how you intend to proceed so as to finalize this issue and put it to rest as soon as possible.
David Michael Wakefield
you just know there is a gay sex and drug scandal in his near future!
Cinci Chris wrote, “I’ve always been tempted to sneak into church parking lots and just put HRC stickers on all the cars. However, I’d rather have a clean record. Boo.”
Sounds like a project for your local high school’s robotics club.
Well, maybe a little beyond that. You have a an arm that can slap a bumper sticker on the car and some feed mechanism for the stickers. The thing runs around on treads or wheels, keeping a low profile, and has a web cam. You control it remotely.
It would make a funny scene in a movie. 🙂
“LGBT people are not god’s best, huh?”
Considering that we have Alexander the Great, Plato, Michelangelo, Lord Byron, Oscar Wilde, T.E. Lawrence, Alan Turing, Cole Porter, Lorraine Hansberry, George Cukor, Vincente Minnelli, Leonard Bernstein, Sir John Gielgud, most of Broadway and half of Hollywood … I could go on for hours … I’d say the exact opposite is true.
i cant see it!awwww
Once again the power of the anti-Gay dollars. So damm many of these rightwing-nutbag zealots have become millionaires off the fear of the Gay agenda. All these lunatics need do is mention the Gay boogey man and these stepford lunatics open their purses and pour the money into their coffers. We as the Gay community should all proclaim for a month that we have seen their ways and are now happy ex-Gays!! Let their donations dry up, force ’em into bankruptcy and then after a month all yell a big ‘ol Gay just fooling!!! 😛
If the religiocrats read their own book, they learn that Eve was an afterthought. God made Adam, apparently thinking he was perfect by himself, and then decided to make a slave (helpmeet) for him… Eve! They also claim that marriage = 1 male + 1 slave, and that is god’s “original” plan… but the book proves that they are liars, because god (according to their book) originally didn’t plan for Eve at all.
And speaking of their book, they have the “father”, the “holy ghost”, and the “son”… I don’t see a woman in any of those “images”. And, to top it off, the “son” was conceived after “god” raped an underage girl… and then he skipped! How’s that for familial organization!
These guys bury themselves in their own stupid mythology.
Just a thought...
I am not religious (in the man-made not following biblical scripture kind of way) but I am a born again Christian. First off, let me state my bias: I do believe homosexuality is a sin. But I also believe greed and gossip are sins too, among other things like lying and stealing. Even though I am a follower of Christ, everyday is a struggle and my life is far from perfect. But I try. I have no hatred for gay people. My stepbrother is gay. My husband’s hair dresser is gay. A good friend from school is gay. I have the right to not approve of a person’s behaviour but that doesn’t mean I would condemn them. Why? Because God sent not his son into the world to condemn the world, but simply that the world through him might be saved. But my believing it is a sin – according to what God says – does not make me a bigot. I have no desire to be hateful, or unkind, or vicious or any other kind of malicious behaviour. God loves people so hopefully I can show that.
This may make people here very angry but that is not my intention. I don’t know much about Joel Osteen so I won’t comment on him. I do know some high profile preachers can seem disingenous and the like. Christians are warned of such things in the bible. Personally, and I’ve got my own demons to wrestle with (child of divorce and all that kind of crap and a myriad of other things) but in my heart I think many gay people are broken. I’m not smart enough to answer all the complicated questions about whether someone is born a particular way or not, but I do think there are alot of broken hearts out there. I’m not saying all this to aggravate or hurt anyone here, I’m just expressing how I feel. But don’t take my word for it. When you are in a quiet moment, ask God if he is who he says he is and if he’s so powerful, to show you truth. Remember when you were little and you just wanted someone to love you or could really trust. God’s actually the one who follows through on that. That’s really all I can offer. Trust me though, he can take the challenge.
Just remember, some people who call themselves Christians may indeed not be or may not act as they should. However, some of us who are indeed Christians may think homosexuality is a sin but still love and care about you. Life is far from perfect but at least when everything is utter crap and feeling desperately lonely, I know somebody loves me. You can consider this or ignore this but I wrote it with kindness.
“I am not religious (in the man-made not following biblical scripture kind of way) but I am a born again Christian.”
Anyways, thanks for coming to, uh, convert us or whatever it is you’re trying to do.
Just a thought...
What I meant by “religion” is that which claims to be of God but falls outside of what the Bible says. I know the “literal” interpretation but I was thinking in terms of organized religious institutions and rules constructed by man not God. Should have been more clear. Sorry.
I didn’t drop by with any “intention”. I simply clicked on an article to read regarding this issue through google, read a couple postings and started to write. No one can whack someone over the head with something their heart doesn’t want to hear which is why I said you could ignore what I wrote. On the other hand if something pricks a heart, so be it. But really, no one can convert anybody if their heart doesn’t want to be, not even yours. That’s really something you’d have to come to your own in your own quiet space. I only dropped by for a few minutes and likely won’t be back. Here’s a poem about a tree…
I think that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.
A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth’s sweet flowing breast;
A tree that looks at God all day
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;
A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;
Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.
Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
~Joyce Kilmer, “Trees,” 1914
Just a thought, where in the new testament, upon which “christianity” was founded does it state that Jesus Christ condemned “homosexuality” or judged us? I can’t find any reference to it, although the jewish part, the old testament in Leviticus makes reference to it,there is no overwhelming proof that an alledged supreme deity actually said it. In fact, this was probably a quote from a jewish cleric and open to interpretation.
Dick, it could also be argued that if according to those who claim they believe in the “scriptures” (all of it) in order to be a christian, that the creationist fairy tale must have condoned incest with the blessing of their so called “god”. Let me explain. Fundamentalist “christians” and to some extent, many in the main stream cults believe in the creationist fable. That said, when they claim that Adam & Eve were the first parents of the human race who “begat” children 6,000 years ago, then how did the earth become populated? There is only one conclusion one can draw…incest. It must have occurred among the siblings and probably including their parents for that to have happened. How else if not incest?
we’re living proof that religion is just superstition
You want to end 99% of the wars, cultural divisions, territiorial disputes, et all that have plauged mankind for centurys??? Ban all organized religion!
Genesis might be correct, though. At the very least, it would explain the overabundance of mental deficiency in the world. Hell, the bigots have plenty on their own. They must still be following that incest tradition.
There is no God! Christianity is a ploy to collect taxes as History buffs know!!!
…and therein lies the problem with folks like Justathought. They “talk” three times as much as they listen. There is no desire to truly get to know someone who is gay–after all, there is the friend from high school who is gay (just imagine how close they must be); her husband’s hairdresser is gay; even a “stepbrother”–thus, she has a full grasp of what it is to be gay in America. Like so many other Christians, she drops by to share her judgment, based upon her rich relationships with the three aforementioned individuals, that gays are “broken,” and proceeds to feel free to offer the gospel of condemnation, likely not even familiar enough with scripture (history, context and translation) to support her point of view. She drops by to drop her own blanket of shame on those who would read her post, and says that she likely won’t return. There are no questions, “I’ve often felt that gay people are broken, you all all are gay, do you feel broken and why?” There is no seeking of a greater understanding or insight. Just come in, drop off your shame, and check out–with one’s limited understanding and world view safely intact and unchallenged.
Robert, NYC, true.. so true. And, if the lying liars actually believe their drivel, then they can only come away knowing the truth that evolution absolutely had to occur for such a vast diversity of humans to exist today. If Adam and Eve begat all of humanity, then where did the red-heads, or the blue eyed, or the seven foot tall basketball players come from. If we started from 4 chromosomes, then why are there hundreds of millions of them today … the only possible explanation for that outcome is evolution.
Was channel surfing one time and saw this guy preaching in that airplane hangar of a church of his. Scary eyes ! I seriously think he’s borderline psychotic.
Just a thought...
I did not come here to create anger, debate you, or to be unkind. I am sincere about that. I’m not smart enough to take that on. As I wrote I can’t change your mind about anything vice versa which is why I said you could ignore what I wrote. Plus, I’m going through a really tough medical situation among other things, one of which makes the head really weary so typing can really be an effort. That’s why I said I’d likely not return. As well, the responses aren’t overly warm and I don’t want to “invade” your space here. Plus, I’m in mourning for a death so I’m living moment to moment. It’s not because someone “like me” doesn’t care. I only mentioned my “gay” relationships to demonstrate that I am a Christian but I also love and care about people who happen to be gay, three of whom I know and care about. Sadly, you respond sarcastically and assume that one of my “friends” is from highschool and question the relationship.
I do not know what it is like to be gay. How could I? I did not say that I do know. I would never presume to know. However, I “am” a very compassionate person. You seem to mock my use of the “broken” word, but you failed to recognize that I also cast myself as “broken”. Text doesn’t always come across very clear. I have shed many tears in my life simple because I too am broken. Most people are broken. So let me assure you, I am no better than you, not by a long shot. And I did not drop by to deliver a blanket of shame. If you would reread my post I wrote specifically that it was not my place to “condemn”. Anything regarding condemnation is something God deals with, not me.
“All” people are free to challenge God. I don’t always know why things happen to me but I know in my heart God loves me. Maybe that sounds simplistic but it’s what I grasp at when things get pretty dismal. You’d have to discover that for yourself. Once again, I was simply trying to convey that I am Christian with a biblically-based belief system, but would “always” be kind to gay people, or any other person. So, you won’t find me holding up a sign screaming “God hates…” Sure I can offer you some scripture but wouldn’t you respond with anger? You could start with the Book of John yourself. And yes I could have asked if you, or others here, feel broken about your life and why, but that would have been rude on my part, especially to ask such information from a stranger. I hope and pray nothing but the best for all of you on this specific page.
This is the exact flaw that these God hustlers have. You can not say you love everyone when the bible clearly does not. You either believe in your source material or just cut and paste like everyone does.
And I believe that ol new face pastor here is just another cut and paste God hustler who knows how to capitalize on blind faith. I can’t hate on him. He’s got to get his bills paid somehow. Peter popoff is driving a new Lexus now. Maybe I should start reading this bible and selling holy water!
Firstly, I am sure that I am not alone when I say that I’m sorry for the number of challenges that you are currently wrestling with. I also commend you for returning, reading the comments here, and reaching out. While, you are dealing with a lot, you did come here and post your opinion, and I am going to address those in an honest and authentic way. And I’m exhausted….so I’m going to ramble too.
You suggest that you are not intellectually capable of carrying on a debate, and I just don’t buy that. I believe that such a revelation is less an admission and more a way to skirt around a conversation in which you say something that you know will provoke, but not have to deal with a confrontation that may ensue. I could let you off the hook, and I could just decide that by your own account you’re not bright enough to think through the impressions you address, or I can engage you and hope that one of the two of us learns something through the dialogue. I’m doing the latter, because the former is just a dead-end to ignorance–why avoid the potential for growth?
You are correct, you have no idea what it is like to be a gay person in this country. My reply to you was not sarcastic, it was truthful. You mention three people whom you know, who happen to be gay, and my response to this is that you likely do not know them well. When one of the gay people you profess to know is your husband’s hairdresser, it is not a huge leap to understand that you and your husband’s hairdresser are not spending long evenings chatting with one another about your deepest thoughts, disclosing the pain of one anothers childhood, and the in and out challenges that you encounter day after day.
White people often think that they are so intuitive that they know well what it must be like for a black person living their life as it unfolds, but the truth is that they simply cannot know what it is like. The same can be said for a straight person who imagines that they know what it is like to be gay. You just cannot know. An example of this can be found in your discussion of God and of being Christian, which you do in a way that suggest that none of us have ever been confronted before about God, about falling short of his or some religion’s expectation, or that some of us (perhaps many of us) may not actually have a relationship with God. It is terribly presumptuous, and because it happens with such steady and heavy handed frequency in our lives, no matter where we are in terms of our individual belief systems, it is rather wearing.
Even the least religious among us has heard the term “broken” used against them (and I know you don’t believe that you are using it against us, but if you spent a day in our shoes, you would likely have another perspective). Many of us know our scripture forward and backward (I do), and we are just shocked that the very people who approach us to preach against us, to fight against our civil rights, and do so through the Bible, do not know their scripture. It is just so offensive and maddening. Is it too much to ask that if one is to oppress a group of people through some (any) doctrine, that they would actually know that doctrine through and through? I don’t think so.
You say that you are not a bigot or a homophobe, simply because you believe that homosexuality is a sin and fight for the observance of a model of marriage that observes the relationships of some and not the relationship of others. Fine, I’ll buy that–you may not be a bigot or homophobe, but I will bet the house that you are woefully misinformed, hypocritical through and through, and I will add (and I know that this sounds harsh, so forgive me) that you are just a terrible American, one who hates the tenants of liberty, justice and free association–all cornerstones of our nation’s foundation.
You feel that the relationship with your husband is special and unique, in that you can have children, raise them and make a family. This argument is based upon the idea that you and your husband, when intimate, can procreate. But, let me ask you, how many times do you have sex with your husband that you do so with the intention to procreate? Do you use birth control, even something natural like the rhythm approach? Let’s say for a moment that you never use birth control and that every sexual encounter is celebrated with the notion that you will conceive–like the Duggars. However, how hard at work are you, your friends and your church, at making illegal birth control? Honestly, if procreation is the function of all sexuality, then why would birth control be legal at all—for anyone?
Why is marriage available to people who have no intention of having children, who are barren, who are too old to conceive, who have had surgeries that prevent the conception of a child? How hard are you working to eliminate those marriages?
Jesus never spoke a word about homosexuality–not one, which is really very interesting (though there is an incident in the Bible that some scholars suggest that Jesus is signaling approval of a gay relationship, Matthew 8:5-13 & Luke 7:1-10). In fact, the Roman Church allowed same sex marriages through about 370 AD; it was at that time that the eunuchs in the palace began to grow in political power, and the church took steps to weaken their influence (a process that took 150 years, so for 500 years after Jesus’ death, the Roman church provided for marriage between a man and a “natural eunuch.” Back to Jesus, who never spoke of homosexuality, but who did condemn adultery, who spoke against divorce, and who said clearly that second marriages were nothing less than adultery.
So, why are you not on another board condemning divorcees who have gone on to marry another person? Why are you not helping to gather signatures to either restrict divorce or make second marriages impossible for people to obtain? If the Bible is clear about this issue, and far clearer about that than it is about homosexuality, if Jesus spoke against divorce and condemned second marriages, why are you not online at another board, starting a movement to eliminate the right of others to marry for a second time?
I’ll tell you why? Because it is far easier by virtue of numbers to go after the little guy, the meekest of minorities in terms of sheer numbers, the gay community.
Back to Jesus, and back to the Bible, its historical context, its original translations, I personal reject the notion that the Bible suggest that I am broken by virtue of my orientation. There are all sorts of Americans, gay and straight, that reject your religion. We live in a pluralistic society, and we are supposed to be free of religious oppression–and yet, the vote in California, the vote in Maine, the votes throughout the 31 states where marriage equality has been voted against is Religious Oppression!!!!! You’re a Christian first, so you must embrace your beliefs, but you are an American, and it is your solemn duty to see to it that your fellow countrymen are free to embrace or not embrace their own religious ideals. To cast your vote to take away the rights of another….to pour money into a political cause to prevent equality and do that a the expense of the needy….you ARE condemning us. You just can’t bring yourself to look with that much honesty and integrity. To choose to support a movement that doesn’t feed a hungry child, but takes away the rights of another must come from a powerful place inside that condemns–what else would motivate such a decision.
I’ll tell you another reason why you are misguided. You, by supporting this movement, are supporting the funneling of greatly needed money to be channeled into a political movement that Jesus would have rejected. Throughout the Bible, Jesus’ foes were political figures, he despised politics, and was concerned with one thing–feeding the hungry, tending to the poor, providing shelter to the homeless, healing the sick, and reaching out to those on the margins. What the movement you support does is ignore the hungry, the sick, the homeless, and oppress those on the margins of society. Do you believe that Jesus would condone spending so much as two nickles from the hundreds of millions of dollars that have been spent in rejecting marriage equality for a politically oppressive movement rather than for milk for a starving child? For medicine for a sick senior? For a blanket to keep a homeless person warm?
In Maine alone, the money used to eliminate marriage equality could have provided 11,000 nights of lodging for the homeless (at $50 a night) at a hotel/motel. It would have purchased 5,550 parkas for people who are on the street (LL Beane, $99 a jacket). Lord knows how many people would have been fed.
And then, you visit a website geared to gay people to proclaim that it is unfair…unjust to call you a bigot or homophobe because you believe we are sinners. Day in and day out we are called diviants, sinners, broken, perverts, faggots, pedophiles, and that we are worse for America than terrorists, and you feel it is unjust that people call you a bigot
Well, perhaps you are not a bigot, but I hope now you might take some time to think about some hypocrisy that exists in your life, that instead of posting on sites to tell people in pain that so many of them are broken, and if they could just be silent and listen to God, that maybe you should sit silently and listen to what God is telling you. A Christian who throws themselves into this battle, when so many people need help, when there is so much need, and when there are so many sins to battle (your own, for instance)….well, it just isn’t very Christ like.
The plank in your own eye, is the one you should focus on.
That was absolutely a slow-clap post. Great response.
Thanks, Vernon–what are they thinking, honestly?!
If we could figure that out, we’d have the key we need to overcome their bullshit. As it is, we’re just stuck waiting for the geezer bigots to die off instead. Thank goodness we’re heading into a boom where that’s concerned.
@ MackMichael: BRAVO !
Just a thought...
I really don’t feel like getting into a combative text debate with you. No one is trying to skirt around an issue. When I said I’m really not that smart I was referencing the handful of comments thrown out here about creationism, population through incest, etc. By all means throw in dinosaurs if you like. I am not a biblical scholar with the expertise off the top of my head to debate such issues.
You make many assumptions about myself, many of which are incorrect. But we don’t know each other personally so that can happen. Frankly, to focus on just one, it doesn’t matter what , gender, or orientation a person is. It’s really more basic than that. Each person can never know what another person lives. Furthermore, I’m not really interested in becoming a political activist or skulking around bulletin boards where I’m not welcome. I simply, in a fit of pain-activated insomnia was reading articles that took me here and I spoke from my heart spontaneously. But I was very clear that anybody reading it could simply ignore it.
Maybe it’s not your intention, but you seem to want to bait me (I could be very wrong) but sorry I’m just not that person. You want me to deliver you evidence of scriptures. Sure I could do that but considering you speak about Jesus may or may have not said, and an aspect of judgement incorrectly, if I did I might be tossing pearls for no purpose but to have them twisted or taken out of context. Goodness, even Christians can take scripture out of context sometimes. You may not find red letter verbatim from Jesus on homosexuality, but the Bible is very clear on that particular issue among other things. If the Bible is indeed God’s word and that word was made flesh (meaning Jesus Christ) and one believes the Bible is truth then indeed God does speak to such things. But that’s just what I believe. No one can force anyone to believe what their heart is closed to. If you’re so inclined though, you could check out the Book of Romans. Read from God himself. Don’t take my word for it. I sometimes go there to remind myself of all the things I need to not be sinful about.
A log in one’s eye whether the size of a speck or larger, is definitely something I don’t take lightly. God help me in my struggle. But in this instance I can truthfully say I don’t have one with respect to this issue. I’d certainly be a hypocrite if I was secretly gay and stated my belief that it was a sin. So you’re wrong on that. As for any other issues I may have to focus on, your bang on with respect to that. But, I also think I was pretty clear in my previous postings that I DO HAVE my own misgivings. But since you have focused on that I will state it here clearly. Although I am a Christian and saved by God’s grace, I am still a sinner. I do try, but I am as depraved as the next person. And in many instances undoubtedly much worse. Everyday is a struggle because I am human. So if you think you can nail me as claiming to be the poster child for the self-righteous or smug Christian. Sorry, you’ve got the wrong person. It was interesting talking with you. Just remember that Christians – even if the disagree with you – should always be kind and loving to you. You’ve closed you door to me so that’s fine – but – I wish you nothing but the best.
Just a Thought,
Where did I suggest that I closed the door on you? In my long, rambling diatribe, I just can’t find the evidence of that. I am also not trying to bait you. Why oh why is it that you can be completely raw and honest with strangers on a posting board, yet strangers are not allowed to be honest in their reply to you? Here is the thing about being completely free to speak and state an opinion: you are very likely to get one back. Is that baiting?
You say that I don’t know you, and that my impressions are uncalled for, unjustified, and inaccurate. Well, pot..meet kettle. You swept in and you share with us that you know three gay people, and that from that you have determined that other gay people are broken. You say this without knowing a single reader here, not one poster do you know personally, yet you feel free to offer generalizations.
You are free to read the Bible in any way you wish. You pick up whatever edition you choose, and you take away what you wish. I think there are a few things offensive about hearing “The Bible is fairly clear about _____.” First of all, the Bible is not terribly clear about quite a bit. Most of all, the translations of the original language that was used differ from edition to edition, and are manipulated. There are some editions that actually use the word “homosexuality,” which is a term not coined until the late 1800’s. Other editions use the term “Sodomite,” but as far as the Bible is concerned, a “Sodomite” is simply a person from “Sodom,” and nothing else, yet it has been imbued with a meaning entirely different.
The problem for most people who read the Bible is that they have never learned how to read it. They will say, “it is the living word of God–period…end of story.” Really? Which edition? Which translation? Also, they don’t know the history of the world at the time it was initially written, they don’t understand the culture, they don’t know the warring factions, the tribes that existed at the time, and the number of ancient Greek terms that were part of the language at the time it was scribed. Thus, they read the Bible as if it was written today.
Let me provide an example. The Bible says clearly that the sun and all the planets revolved around the earth, which is also considered flat. If this is the infallible word of God, and we now know that this isn’t true, then how do you explain that the Bible is entirely unerring–it is the living flesh of God? By the way, Christians tortured and imprisoned anyone who put forth a contention that the earth was not flat, and that the earth revolved around the sun, including Galileo. Both Galileo and Copernicus were labeled heretics by the Church, and Galileo was imprisoned for his entire life to advancing Copernicus’ heliocentric theory. So, do Christians do bad things to innocent people due to a bad reading of the word of God?
Let us take slavery. The Christian church’s main justification of the concept of slavery is based on Genesis 9:25-27. According to the Bible, the worldwide flood had concluded and there were only 8 humans alive on earth: Noah, his wife, their six sons and daughters in law. Noah’s son Ham had seen “the nakedness of his father.” So, Noah laid a curse — not on Ham, who was guilty of some type of indiscretion. The sin was transferred to Noah’s grandson Canaan. Such transference of sin from a guilty to an innocent person or persons is unusual in the world’s religious and secular moral codes. It is normally considered highly unethical. However, it appears in many biblical passages.
So, Noah’s curse on Canaan was then passed along to his people. Christians traditionally believed that Canaan had settled in Africa. The dark skin of Africans became associated with this “curse of Ham.” Thus slavery of Africans became religiously justifiable. Cursing a whole race into slavery was considered acceptable because it was in the Bible. The American slave owner felt that he was carrying out God’s plan by buying and using slaves.
Slavery was sanctioned and carefully regulated by many passages in the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament) largely in its first 5 books. Although slavery was widespread in Palestine during Jesus’ ministry, he is not recorded as having expressed any opinion on it. Slavery was casually mentioned without criticism in the various books of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament). The authors appeared to accept slavery as a natural condition — as a universal institution that was not particularly immoral.
I doubt that Jesus would have endorsed slavery, but then again, the Bible was written in a different day and time. Today, slavery is consider terribly immoral, yet it was endorsed through the Bible–the living word of God. So, is slavery something that we need to understand within the Biblical context against the backdrop of history at the time it was written? Or, is slavery something you and all other Christians should fight to bring back and legislate, because it is endorsed in the Bible.
You say that the Bible is clear about homosexuality. 5 (five) There are 5 texts from the Old and New Testaments to which people refer in seeking the Bible’s teaching on homosexuality. Genesis 1-2 is the first of these, and it actually says nothing at all about the Bible, but because it isn’t mentioned, its absence is often used against homosexuals. The creation story is about the establishment of human society, but it is not about all human diversity–it does not mention celebacy (is that a sin?), monastic community life (is that a sin?), virginity after marriage (is that a sin?). The creation story is the basis, but not the end of human diversity.
Sodom and Gomorrah is the next text often referred to, and that has nothing at all to do with homosexuality. To begin with, the threat of rape of the angels was not in the very first translation. It was included far later in the Bible’s history, and was first translated as the town’s people threatened to “rape” the angels, and later still, to politically weaken those who were homosexual, it was again translated to say the towns men wanted to rape the angels. I might add here that rape in and of its self is a sin, and it matters not that it would be homosexual or heterosexual–the story is not about consensual homosexual behavior or committed homosexual relationships. Actually, Jesus referred to Sodom several times throughout the Bible, but he never speaks of homosexuality when referring to it; rather, he describes in the sermon on the Mount the sin that felled Sodom as the sin of in hospitality–then defined by not taking care of the weak, the poor, the sickly, the homeless, etc.
Leviticus: we all know Levitical law. It was designed to set different standards for the Jews than those that governed life for the Canaanites. There are lots of laws there…not wearing clothes of two different materials, not sewing a field with more than one seed, stoning to death children who curse their parents, stoning to death adulterers, eating fruit that was harvested from a tree before its 5th year…oh, and “a man shall not lay with a man as he lays with a woman.” Interesting sentence structure–why not just “a man shall not lie with a man?” “As he lays with a woman…” is the Bible condemning adultry, a man who is married to a woman and then lays with a man? Could it be that Leviticus is referring to the ritual sex, the prostitution and pederasty that was commonplace for the Canaanites? Does it matter, since Christ died for all the pioneer laws laid down in Leviticus? Do we pursue these other laws like we do the “man shall not lay with a man as he lays with a woman” law? Do we make eating shellfish illegal? How about making illegal wearing clothes of two different materials? Death sentences for kids who curse their parents?
Outside of these you would be referring to Pauline lists of vices and St. Paul’s views, which are views pertaining to willful, lustful, exploitive, avaricious, self-deceiving, self absorbed, and thus idolatrous–and he begins this lecture speaking of heterosexual immorality. It is, again, important to understand the the language and historical context of the time. For instance, Paul refers to what is “natural,” but a) the definition of the word was different then; and b) scientifically, just as the world was not yet known to be round or that it orbited the sun, there was no concept of the natural world–none whatsoever. The word “natural” at the time meant “customary.” The concept of sexuality hadn’t in the least bit been studied, let alone scientifically studied. Today, the APA, based upon all data, states that sexual orientation is an immutable characteristic; while in nature we see over 450 different species wherein homosexual behavior is more commonplace than previously thought. The bonobo ape, for instance, is almost entirely bi-sexual. These are not discoveries made at the time that the Bible was written, like the earth’s shape or its place in the solar system, or universes beyond our own.
Now, you can say that this is not the way that you read the Bible, but let me remind you that within the Christian religion as a whole, there are hundreds of variations on the way that the Bible is read and regarded, and over its history, thousands. To make a generalization, “The Bible is clear…” is dangerous absolutism. What would you do, if the day arrived, that the majority of the people read the Bible very differently than you did, and began to legislate against your own sense of morality?
You see, that is what has happened to me, personally. I am a Christian. My reading, my interpretation, of the Bible is not the same as yours. Still, I believe God wants me to be married and committed in my relationship. Yet that has been made illegal for me! ON TOP OF THAT, within the context of a non-religious, totally secular, separation of church and state, government only situation, I still can’t get married, because someone else’s religious absolutism has determined for us all that I can’t. Worse yet, they only go after homosexuals.
So, should only your interpretation of the Bible…only your religion–whatever branch of Christianity, be used as the definitive template for all our laws? And do all the laws of the Bible go into affect, of just those chosen by someone in your particular Church? Do we dismiss freedom of religion entirely, because we all should be forced to live according to the rules of your particular belief system?
Or is this just about wishing to read an article attached to a link that you stumbled upon, and you felt it important to add yet another voice among the vast chorus of voices that tell us that we are sinners–but it’s kinda o’kay, because everyone is a sinner…it is just that we are the only sinners that must legally pay for our sins, because Joel Olstean thinks that Homosexuality is not God’s Best (which, by the way, means what? That God, this infallible God, makes mistakes?) If this is the case, that you just wished to add your voice to the vast chorus, great…next time you wish to offer something though, try to come up with something that each of us haven’t heard several million times by the time was reach 21.
You did not address why the Christian community does not put as much energy, money and force into eliminating 2nd marriages, when Jesus was entirely specific about those relationships being adultery. You also did not address the fact that Jesus died on the cross, refusing to enter into politics, devoted his entire life to teaching that the poor, the disenfranchised, the hungry, the sick, the homeless must be addressed by society, and that he himself clearly would not endorse a political movement in which millions of dollars were spent to oppress, rather than being directed to tend to the poor–yet the Christian community is behaving in an entirely antithetical way than Christ would.
Truthfully, you do not know what it is like to be gay. Violent crimes are up over 26% against us, much of that due to the horrendous things that religions say about homosexuals–this week, for instance, I read one Christian Political Representative quote that said that “homosexuals are a greater threat to Americans than terrorists.” Likely, in her heart, she does not believe that she hates us–but if you lived a day in our lives, you’d feel the hatred of her words, and the hatred inspired by them.
Are some gays broken? Hell, yes they are, as are some heterosexuals, but here is the difference. The gay people I have known and know (and there are a vast number) have put up with more prejudice, more hatred, less compassion than any single group of people I can imagine. You know, when you are black, you don’t have to explain to your parents that you are black, nor do you have to fear that your family–your very own parents–will discard you for being black. You don’t go to churches and hear how sinful it is to be black, and no one, NO ONE tries to take your religion, your faith, away from you because you are black. That goes for being Latino, Asian, Middle Eastern, and by the way…being someone with a large nose, big floppy ears or overweight. No, the only minority I know of that risks losing their family, their church, their faith are homosexuals. Yet no matter how hard Society tries to break us, we get up, we contribute and we do it with a sense of humor–with the ability to laugh at ourselves. There have been some great homosexuals (Michelangelo, Tchaikovsky, Walt Whitman, Albert Albee, and a slew of others whose orientation has been erased from the history books, among them, reportedly Abe Lincoln). Any day now, Iran will execute three teenagers who have been convicted of having homosexual relations–our government will likely say nothing, no one will condemn executing three teenagers for homosexuality…but if it was some other “crime,” the world would be screaming. And yet, living in a world like that, my people, our people, offer so much to this world, and we do it with grace, and we ask so little. We ask for equality in the United States of America, and you would think we were asking to burn the country down. Shame….shame on those who vilify us.
Lastly, the heartfelt truth here is that I feel that the love, respect, compassion, sensitivity and honor that my partner-husband-better half show to one another is a great blessing, and because we have it in our daily lives and work hard on remaining so with one another each day, it spreads into our interactions with others. We show it to our co-workers, we show it to the supermarket check-out clerk, and we show it to strangers. It would never occur to either one of us to go to a Christian website and tell someone that their faith is a sin to us–that they are sinners, that they are less than us, that they through their belief system and behavior (which is a choice) repulses us. It would cause readers of those websites pain. Largely, the gay community doesn’t go out and attack folks unprovoked, probably because we have been attacked in just that way all our lives. Yet, folks do it to us all the time. When someone comes into our home, we certainly feel free to speak our own truth, and you came into our home, and you shared an opinion that added to our pain.
That is a sin we would not have committed against you, and from our perspective it is a greater sin than any you can imagine we commit in our personal lives.
One more thing, Just a Thought….I really want you to commit to something new. Every homosexual here and in this country already knows that you and folks like you believe that they are in sin, and we are such a small population. I mean, really, how many of us can you save?
I want to challenge you to do something even greater. Since Jesus spoke against divorce and called 2nd marriage adultery, I want to ask you to consider the fact that you can save so many more sinners by spreading that gospel. Think of how many heterosexuals there are compared to homosexuals. Think of how many divorces there are. Think of how many folks have been married more than once!!!
So many Americans either dismiss this part of the Bible–a lot of Christians too–or they know longer even know it is in the Bible, let alone realize that Jesus condemns them for their sin. To stay in a 2nd marriage is to CHOOSE each and every day to live in sin…and not some little diddly sin that didn’t even make it into the 10 commandments or that Jesus failed to remark upon, but a big BIG sin–one that is a commandment, one that Jesus did speak of.
I implore to do the work, spread the gospel, and maximize the number of souls you can save by telling those in 2nd marriages or those on the brink of divorce that they are in sin. Do your best to repeal the right to marry a second time if you can, and make certain that you visit a website…a support website for divorcees and folks who are entering into a second marriage, and tell them that, in your opinion, they are broken and sinful…and that as long as they continue on in their second marriages, they choose to remain broken and sinful.
That message really needs to get out there…after all, there is so much talk about protecting marriage.
MackMichael, very well said, I commend you. “Sodomite” as you are well aware can apply to straight or gay people. These religious fundamentalists reject the hetero application though. Sodomy is very common among heterosexuals, including the married ones of course, another thing the fundamentlists dismiss or ignore, conveniently so, but then it is rather obvious why they do.
I don’t understand, if you belive in Jesus you belive He is God, of the old testament and of the new testament. God is the alpha and omega, He is only One. so how does this change in the new testament?
Some argue that the law of God does condemn homosexuality; they teach that God’s law is just a human record of ancient Jewish custom and prejudice. These people deny the Mosaic authorship of the law and are ethical relativists. Their argument must be rejected because Christ and the apostles accepted the divine authorship, infallibility and absolute authority of the Old Testament (Mt. 22:39-40; Jn. 10:35; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). If you reject God’s law by saying it is only the purely human ideas of ancient Jewry, then you cannot claim Christ as your Savior. You must believe either that Jesus was mistaken in His view of God’s law or that He was a liar. Be forewarned: Jesus Christ is God (Jn. 1:1, 8:58-59); He cannot be mistaken or lie (Num. 23:19).
I guess no ones heard of Dennis Jernigan?
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