An Open Letter to Rick Warren

How Can You Be Against Gay Marriage and a Friend to Gay People?

Pastor Rick,

How are things going for you since being selected by Obama to be his hotline to God at the inauguration? We couldn’t help but notice that yesterday The Daily Beast blasted your HIV/AIDS efforts in Africa, asking “How does burning condoms in the name of Jesus save lives?” Tough stuff, there. Well, I have a question for you, too.

In your message to parishioners over the holiday, you said that you were commanded to love everybody “no matter what choice they make,” adding, “It’s all about love.” You know what, Pastor Rick? I agree. I’m a Christian, too, and I understand that, despite all attempts by church leaders to revise, amend or put asterisks on it, the shining commandment to “love your neighbor as yourself” is both irreducible and clear. It’s such a radical notion that 2,000 years after it was first uttered, we still don’t grasp the totality of its meaning.

You don’t grasp the totality of its meaning.

I am your neighbor, Pastor Rick. Not just because I live in the same state or because we both have similar beliefs or because we have the same skin color or propensity for long-winded folksy moralization; I am your neighbor because we are the same. Both science and religion say we are made in the same image.

And so I struggle to love you, Pastor Rick. You say you love me, too, but last November you took from me my rights. You argue that “gays should use another term,” that this gay marriage argument is about semantics and the right of your church to define marriage whatever way you choose and that your decision to work to deny me civil rights is, what—an act of love?

I struggle to love you, Pastor Rick, because I know you are not a stupid man. You know full well that people like me – gays and lesbians – have no interest in telling your church how to define marriage. In fact, the Saddleback Church says it won’t allow gays and lesbians to even be members of their church. And while as a Christian I wonder how you can say you’re a follower of a man who would take anyone – prostitutes, lepers, the poor, diseased, cast-offs – into his fold, as an American I will defend your right to define marriage as whatever you want it to be and to decide who can join your church or not.

Love your neighbor. It really is a big thing to ask of us, isn’t it?

In my church, gays and lesbians can get married. Now, I know you think that your church is the correct one, but it broke off from another church just as mine broke off from another. Religion is not a static thing. If it were, we’d all still be Catholics or Jews or whatever nameless sun deity our ancestors looked to in the sky for answers. Those of us who believe that there is more to life than what lies directly before our eyes are constantly redefining the nature of our Eternal Truth. This doesn’t mean that the Eternal Truth has changed, it means our understanding of it has.

Love itself has been redefined over the millennium. One of these days, I want to sit down and write a history of love. It would have a chapter on how marriage was once used primarily as a property transaction and how that concept was itself based on using intermarriage between tribes as a way of sealing a truce. There would be a chapter on the birth of the notion of romantic love, fueled by the sudden increase in spare time brought on by the Industrial Revolution, which gave people time to do things like go on dates.

And there would be a chapter about us, you and I, Pastor Warren. I could say to you, “Hey, let’s tear the word ‘marriage’ from the law books. Let’s make marriage solely a religious thing. Straight, gay, black or white, we all go to City Hall to get a civil union and then leave it to the churches to decide who gets married and under what rules.”

But that’s not what this is about, is it? This is about changing the definition of love. If gays and lesbians are allowed to marry, as they were in California until you stripped that right away, then that means their love is legitimate. Why is that so scary to you?

And what does it mean that you say through words and actions that the way I love – that radical thing that God commands us to do – is wrong? How can you claim to love me and say that my love, the thing that makes me human, is somehow malfunctioning? You can’t.

Love your neighbor as you love yourself. In loving me, you must. If you truly believe all that stuff in the Bible, you must believe that my love is as legitimate as yours, because it is.

This is the chapter of the history of love being written today. Despite all the failures of humanity – its wars, its cruelty and injustice – we can look back on the last 2,000 years and say, we’ve become slightly better at loving our neighbor as ourselves, at least I believe we have. Our capacity to love, our understanding of it, our application of it not just to those closest to us, but strangers half a globe away in need, is a testament to the grace of our species.

Pastor Rick, you’ve missed the point, entirely. I have no interest in redefining your definition of marriage. What I want is for you to stop redefining mine. I know my capacity for love is the genuine authentic article, and because you are my neighbor, because I am commanded to love you as I love myself, I don’t sit up at night questioning your own capacity to love. The idea that I would ever raise a finger to keep you from sharing your love with another person is revolting. It actually physically disgusts me. It’s a repugnant slap in the face to that radical and essential notion that we, despite our prejudices, fears and petty dislikes, must love our neighbors as ourselves. And it’s what you’ve done to me and to thousand upon thousands of your neighbors.

And so, I struggle to love you, Pastor Rick. You say you want to build a bridge and that you love everybody? Then please, sit down with me and let’s try to understand each other better. I’ve made multiple requests to speak with you through your church – and I know I’m on ‘the list’ – but I’d like to make the offer to you directly. I believe you want to do good in the world. I think you are genuine in your desire to reach out to others. So let’s talk. Let’s see if we can disagree without being disagreeable.

Let’s be neighbors.

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  • jbw

    Just like “parental notification” is just a proxy for the argumentation of abortion, “gay marriage” is actually not at all about some concern about the redefinition marriage, it is a proxy for the Christian opposition to homosexuality.

    Think of it as Fox News — just because you call yourself “Fair and Balanced” doesn’t make it so.

    Even in his interview with Ann Curry last month, Rick immediately used his religious opposition to homosexuality as his rationale for supporting Prop 8.

    So don’t believe the hype — take it from me, a gay guy who grew up in the church, a preacher’s kid, who spent 20 years “struggling,” that people like Rick Warren will never get it.

    But here’s the good news: They don’t have to get it.

    I salute your efforts in trying to open a dialog with Pastor Rick. You might call it cynicism — I call it experience — that causes me to be less than optimistic about its prospects.

  • Darth Paul

    Trying to teach a pig to sing wastes your time and annoys the pig. Time to move on.

  • rayrayj

    Nice photo. Only, the water’s not deep enough.

  • boarderthom

    Hey Pastor Rick,
    Compare and contrast: Gay rights and slave rights; the contrasts are easy, the comparisons are profound. Slaves could not get married either. Slaves could not make contracts and what is a civil marriage but mostly a hugh contract. You can not deny the fact that gay people are denied the right to the contracts in marriage law.
    You are a religious bigot. I say, ‘love the religious bigot, hate the religious bigotry.’



  • Jaroslaw

    Who wrote the letter?

  • Jaroslaw

    Ignore my last post! For whatever reason the “posted by” is very pale and I missed it sorry.

  • Jaroslaw

    This guy must have a split personality. On one hand he compares Gay to bestiality, incest, and pedophilia and on the other says all loving relationships should be treated equally under the law.

    This is indeed nonsensical. Someone should ask him exactly what he means. If it is simply the word “marriage” that bothers him, in allowing legal SS relationships, it clarifies it somewhat, but not really in light of the previous paragragh.

  • Joe Lagana

    This is a beautifully written letter, and is the most ‘christian’ thing i’ve read or seen in a very long time.

  • Konrad

    Obviously we are for gay marriage and disagree with those with the contrary opinion. However, I’m beginning to bore of the claim that one can’t even believe anyone worthy of inclusion in civil society would not be with us. Heck, if you define the gay movement as starting with Stonewall (1968, for at least the first half of the history of our movement, we did not advocate for gay marriage and often denied that was a goal of our movement. OK, Warren is 20 years behind the times. But the hysterics are really too much.

  • Jaroslaw

    Konrad – what “claim” exactly are you talking about? Your sentence has so many negatives and convolutions I’m not certain what you mean! And what “hysterics” are you referring to, exactly also? !

    As to “our movement” denying marriage was a goal – it is unreasonable and unfair to apply the standards of today on something that happened almost half a century ago.

    1. At the time, homosexuality was illegal and a mental illness. One by definition would almost have to deny that marriage was a goal. And indeed it is not dishonest to say that – Gay people were losing their jobs, getting physically harmed, -marriage was probably not a goal for the “leaders” at that time.

    2. Leaders? Who are they? The people who have a newsletter, get written about in the paper or on TV? The Gay movement is too diverse to give any one or few persons credit for speaking for all of it. I’m sure many other Gays in 1968 felt marriage was on the burner, but baby steps first.

  • Tim in SF

    @Konrad: Hey Konrad, have you seen a calendar lately? It’s not 1968.

  • Margery thompson

    why all the fuss when the Word of God stands on it’s own. We need to go out in the hedges and byways and present the Gospel as it is. There is no excuse for sin and no justification for a man to want to be a woman and a woman a man. God did not make a mistake when he made man. He made man with everything in him that he would need in the earth to do what God made him for

  • seitan-on-a-stick

    Rick Warren wants to live next to Gays so he can score Crystal-Meth for his religious delusions and scoring fat chicks!

  • Margery thompson

    Sorry, I thought a fire alarm went off.
    God created man and communed with him before he presented him with a woman that he made from his rib. He took the female nature of man out of him and there remains only the male nature.
    Why do men act like animals that they were to name. Have you ever seen a male dog look for another male dog for his pleasure? Or any other animal for that matter. Why is humans so messed up? Why don’t they know who they are and what they were created for?
    Ignorance is not bliss.

  • Alan down in Florida

    @ Margery

    We are all the children of God (whichever one you believe in). He makes no mistakes, as you say, so those of us born gay or transgendered are this way because of His love. And it is His love and intervention that has allowed science to develop the methods of allowing all of His children to live their lives to the fullest and fulfill the destiny He has put into us prior to birth.

    The Lord works in mysterious ways and it is blasphemy for you to assume anything you personally don’t approve of is not God’s plan.

  • Margery thompson

    @seitan-on-a-stick: that is so horrible for you to say. Serving God keeps you on a high you can never fanthom anything in this world can give. you are sick and be careful what you say about the Word operating in a person’s life

  • jbw

    Margery — What the hell? Get off this blog. We are not in any way interested in your interpretations here.

  • Margery thompson

    @Alan down in Florida: If God is so approving of your belief why did he destroy sodom and gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality? You do not realize who you are are what you are when you submit to anything other than what the Word of God says, not what I say, think, feel, see, or hear. We do not serve God by how we feel. You say you love God, but how can you love God when you do not love yourself. God made man in his own image. He made him to reproduce what he was in the earth. A spirit man. Please do not be deceived about what you are. Male or Female and nothing in between.

  • RichardR

    @Margery thompson: So Margery, dear, if “God did not make a mistake when he made man” was it just a thoughtless slip when he made some of us gay?

    Oh, no, right, that’s a sin and we are choosing to be sinners. So since God made “everything” he must have made sin, too, right? But then, since “there is no excuse for sin,” God made a mistake there?

    But “the Word of God stands on it’s [sic] own.” Yes, it does, never mind which word and which God. And it’s mostly utter nonsense, a string of myths encountered in varying forms in civilizations throughout recorded history.

    And that’s okay, I guess, if it has meaning for you. But it has no meaning, no relevance, to the question of civil rights for gay people and our place in society.

    Your points, and Warren’s (the focus of Japhy’s excellent post) are irrelevant and really, pretty silly.

    Have fun in the “hedges and byways”! We certainly do.

  • Margery thompson

    @jbw: Whether you are interested or not, it is the truth. whether you accept it as true will not change the truth. Live with it

  • Eminent Victorian

    It’s a well done letter.

    Margery, you do well to represent an alarming number of Americans who really seem to believe, maybe even in earnest, that everyone should believe what you do, that every one of us should believe in God. As it happens, this country was not created solely for those who believe in God but for those fleeing persecution because of their beliefs. You do know that, right? Our government expects tax monies from its citizens, many of whom do not believe in God nor do they have to do so, and in return we all should be able to enjoy the freedoms and protections that you appear to take for granted. Shame on you.

  • Margery thompson

    @RichardR: Keep on enjoying the way of the sinner and I will have joy and peace in this world while I live for God. Why don’t you have peace if you are so happy being gay. Why are you so judgmental of other people if God loves what you are doing. God did not make you Gay, you choose to be Gay. Whatever he made you, your parents named you accordingly at birth what you were. You were not born to be gay. you were born to be a boy or girl but not both. Hate me if you with but I choose to tell you the truth, the truth that God loves. He love his created being, not your choice to live otherwise than what he made you to do. Stop lying to yourself, he is not pleased with that mess and you either. If you were you would have peace and cared less about what anyone thought. and you would not have to hide it. it is not a natural thing to do no matter what you say.

  • jbw

    And yet you remain.

  • Margery thompson

    @Eminent Victorian: Life is not about what you believe it to be, but it is about what you believe God’s Word says. Christian, Saint, Atheist, or whatever; one thing you do know is you do not know when you were started or when you will end. Rights in America was set by people that strictly believed in a God that brought them out. They knew that they were Men and Women. And as I said before, many have an identity crisis and is looking for a place in a world that they will never find because it was not ordained from the beginning of man’s life on Earth. Frankly I have friends that are gay and yes God love them and I do too, but they also know that their life style is unacceptable although I do not condemn them but show then the love of God because yes God loves the man just hate the choice they make to say he did not know what he was doing when he made them a son or daughter.

  • jbw


    “Love the sinner, Hate the sin…”

    What about this — you hate your sin,
    I’ll hate mine, and let’s love each other.

    Ah, too Christlike for you, I suppose.

  • Margery thompson

    @jbw: yes, just to set you and the rest of the world straight before you die and go to a burning Hell. Hell was made for all those that choose to sin rather than submit. Am I perfect, no. But I do not practice any sin and I am single. And I have been for three years. It is no excuse for sexual or any other kind of sin. I am not just talking about homesexuality and lesbanism. forgive me if I misled you, fornication and adultery, blasphemy, covetousness, and lying

  • Margery thompson

    @jbw: yes I do hate the sin that have occurred in my life, that is exactly why I tell you what I do. I to had to repent and still keep a repentant heart whereas God is concerned. I had to even forgive my daughter in law for murdering my son and encourage her to find peace with God while she sits in a jail cell the rest of her natural life. I am not judgmental, I just care for the soul of man. Man is mind, body, soul, and spirit. and all must come in accordance with God. We are not our own, but we are his

  • jbw

    2 things —

    “I am not judgmental.”
    Again, like Fox News, just because you say “Fair and Balanced” doesn’t make it so.

    My friends, I am not interested in pursuing whatever divisive thread Margery seeks here, much to her own discontentment.

    I just want to remind everyone:
    “Nothing in the world is more dangerous
    that sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”
    –Martin Luther King, Jr.–

  • Tim in SF

    @Margery thompson: Hey, Margery, we’re not interested in you nutty mythology.

    Go sell crazy somewhere else. We are plenty stocked up around here.

  • Margery thompson

    @boarderthom: Marriage ia a contract in the sight of God as a man and a woman. Who ever else wants something else does not know their identity or who they are. If they are looking for a place or identity they need to look within themselves, that is where the problem lie.

  • Larry

    How can Rick Warren be against gay marriage and a friend to gay people? The answer is simple: He can’t.

    For all the good intentions of this letter, let’s not fool ourselves. Rick Warren does not “love” gay people any more than this Margery Thompson woman does. They sincerely THINK they do, but their feelings and attitudes toward gay people don’t fit any definition of love. Rather, it would be better described as disdain mixed with an arrogant presumption that they know more about gay people and more about being gay than gay people themselves do that they mistake for love.

    The usual canard, that they love everyone because their religion commands them to, is just a backstage pass for hypocrisy. It lets them do and say the most hateful and venomous things, all the while getting away with it because it’s all in the name of “love.”

    Remember that Anita Bryant also said she “loved” gay people.

  • Margery thompson

    @Tim in SF: call it what you may, find your identity within yourself and see if you are really happy with who you are. That’s your problem. You can never be anything else other than what you are. when you look down what do you see. Look a little farther and you will see where you will spend eternity. Locked up in more of Hell’s destruction. You make the choices of life and you better choose God and be what you are, a man or woman.

  • Margery thompson

    @Larry: I even love you and don’t know who you are. Why would I hate you, your opinion is your own. You must learn to respect people where they are. Call it what you may, find your identity within yourself and see if you are really happy with who you are. That’s your problem. You can never be anything else other than what you are. when you look down what do you see. Look a little farther and you will see where you will spend eternity. Locked up in more of Hell’s destruction. You make the choices of life and you better choose God and be what you are, a man or woman. I am happy being who I am. A Woman, A Wife, A Mother. No matter what happens in my life, I am still happy because I know who I am.

  • Tim in SF

    @Margery thompson: I’m definitely happy with who I am. I’d ask you, as someone who is butting her nose into our nice little gay discussion group, uninvited and unwelcome, and slinging insults all around, what makes you so unhappy that compels you to spread your unhappiness on to us.

    We’re not going onto your Christian websites and leaving comments, so show us the same courtesy. WE DO NOT WISH TO CONVERSE WITH YOU. GO AWAY.

    “Look a little farther and you will see where you will spend eternity”

    Again, NOT INTERESTED IN YOUR MYTHOLOGY. NOT INTERESTED. Go sell it somewhere else.


    Go feed your cats. Go outside and pester your neighbors, instead of us. Leave us alone. GO. LEAVE.

  • Margery thompson

    @jbw: I am the happiest I have ever been in my life. I do not depend on a man or woman for my own happiness. I make myself happy because my peace lie in the fact that I know who I am, what I am, and whose I am. God is the best thing that ever happen to me in my life. Besides I have suffered many things in life but never have I thought to be gay.
    Even in marriage, separation, divorce and remarriage and widowhood, I still know that I am a woman and have desires for a man even though they have not always been to me what I wanted them to be. I love me.

  • Margery thompson

    @Darth Paul: Is that how you feel like you are a pig? Probally so if your life is not lined up with what the Word of God says.

  • Margery thompson

    @Tim in SF: real nice. Your people invited me to your website, I never would have intentionslly went here. But I am glad I did. Maybe it was God sending you a last warning before destruction. As you know a warning goes before destruction. Like me or not, I don’t care. What I care about is your soul. Don’t you care about where you will spend eternity. You cannot tell me that you can enjoy a man more than a woman that can take you to glory. That is sick as sick can be. God did not even make a hole big enough for you to go into in a man. that is why aids is so rampant. it’s people like you that started the curse of diseases in the body.

  • Larry

    @Margery thompson: You’re correct, Ms. Thompson: You don’t know me, yet you presume to know that I’m somehow unhappy inside and that I “thought to be gay.” That’s what I meant by the “arrogant presumption” that you so easily mistake for “love.”

    Now, I’m going to echo Tim in SF: Leave us alone. Go troll someone else’s Web site.

  • Larry

    @Margery thompson: It’s nice that you love yourself. Why don’t you sit your lonely ass in front of a TV and love yourself? If you put on “The Exorcist,” you’ll find that Linda Blair found a great way for you to do that.

  • Margery thompson

    @Konrad: Why if you are happy being who you are do you want so badly to be accepted by the world? I am happy and could care less if anyone likes me or not.
    Gays will never be accepted in this world as normal because they are not normal. It goes against what their creator, Father God made them to be. Why do you want to be something that you are not. You are a created human, not a thing, so why do you want to be treated like it. You were created to rule in the earth, why act like an animal? Even animals love the opposite sex of their own. You will never see a pig go into a dog, or vice versa. Go to the zoo and see how the animals are mate together. They won’t even interact with something that is not of them. Maybe you all can learn something about being real and not a fake.

  • Margery thompson

    @Larry: it is not a presumption, you said it, not me. I am not lonely either, I am very fulfilled in my relationship with my father God. I take pleasure in letting you know that. I will never leave you at a peace in your mess. You must make a choice, choose today God and live.

  • Larry

    @Margery thompson: Seriously, Margery, go and take pleasure with your relationship with God in the way that Linda Blair did with a crucifix in “The Exorcist.”

    And you’re a widow who apparently has lots of time to troll gay Web sites, so you don’t exactly seem like someone who’s very fulfilled in life.

    And yes, telling someone you don’t know that he is unhappy is presumptuous and arrogant.

    As for your argument about animals, homosexuality has been documented in countless animal species, both in the wild and in captivity, including among those that are our closest genetic relatives. It’s also been documented in virtually every human culture throughout history.

    Now, go get yourself a crucifix and love yourself.

  • Japhy Grant

    @Margery thompson: Hi Margery! Thanks for visiting our site and sharing your opinion! I’m not sure what you mean by us ‘inviting you’, but everyone is welcome here.

    Since you’re so keen on coming onto this site and sharing your opinion, we want to return the favor and allow our readers to visit and share with you their feelings on your website as well–

    Which happens to be the website of the State Government of Louisiana.

    If you want to email Margery Thompson your thoughts directly, her email address is:

    [email protected]

    If you have questions about this Margery, please refer to our comment policy, which you agree to abide by when posting here:

    Thanks, everybody.

  • Tim in SF

    @Larry: Seriously, Larry. I second that.

    Margery, you need to read this. It’s you all over:

    And if you are really interested in the truth, which I doubt, you need to read this book:

    But, as I said, you will not read that book. You’ve already read the one and only book you will probably ever read, which you appear to think answers all of your questions.



  • Larry

    @Japhy Grant: She’s actually posting using her work address? That’s pretty unprofessional.

  • Marty

    For some time now, I have been trying to figure out what it could be within straight people that makes them so prone to prejudice against us. Not just regarding marriage, though that is the noisy issue of late, but in general. It just seems like being heterosexual disallows any comprehension of what it is like to be homosexual, as if it provides a blind spot which allows them to honestly believe that somehow we exist differently, that somehow we truly are not equivalent to them on a human level, that somehow we are so different that we deserve scorn. They can couch it in religious ideology all they want to, but I am really coming to believe there is something inherent in being a heterosexual that makes them arrogant enough about us as to believe that we actually only merit *tolerance* and their pity, that somehow the “sins” we commit are so inherently different than theirs that their God is going to separate us out when judgment comes as somehow more “sinful” than so much of what they themselves get up to. I just really wish I understood the complexities of why hating homosexuals is so inherent to heterosexuality, I really believe any religious factors to be secondary despite my mixing them into my query.

  • Kid A

    @Japhy Grant: Pwned.

    @Margery thompson: I’ll never see animals interact with anything but their own? Notwithstanding my work at a zoo, even the average dog owner can disagree with you. Surely you must know of the horny-dog-that-humps-visitors’-legs motif in our comedy. Also, my pet rabbit tries to arouse my roommate’s cat. They are both female. The interesting thing is that you try to compare homosexuality to mating between two different species. I think that says more about you (and your education) than it does about LGBT people.

  • Tim in SF

    @Japhy Grant: “… everyone is welcome here.”

    I stand corrected.

    And yet, it says right in the comments policy: Queerty is not the place for you to spread anti-gay propaganda. So maybe she should go preach her anti-gay crap somewhere else.

  • Kid A

    @Marty: I am by no means any sort of evolutionary biologist, but this is my take. I think much of it has to do with the perceived upending (no pun intended) of gender roles. These “roles” could have an evolutionary basis, because the stronger man gets more food, and the more caring mother keeps more children alive. The “gender role” theory explains why a person may have one opinion about homosexuality, but is more tolerant of a straight-actor than a total queen. For lesbians, it has to do with denial of the need for a man. Lesbians tend to piss off the really misogynistic manly-men, whereas a more secure homophobe will merely treat lesbianism as sexual fodder for his arousal.

  • Larry

    @Marty: You make an interesting point. It’s the same way that to a great extent, being white precludes really knowing the experiences of a person of color in this country. Actually, there was a really good episode of “South Park” that explored this, the one where Stan’s dad says the n-word on “Wheel of Fortune” (a reference to the Mike Richards incident), and Stan spends the whole episode wondering why Token, the black kid, is so upset, only to realize at the end that he doesn’t really “get it.”

    It’s important to note that the gay identity arose as a result of homosexuality being stigmatized in Western cultures (for most of history, a lot of cultures didn’t even have a specific word for it because they didn’t really see it as something wrong). The fact that it’s straight people who do the stigmatizing is a big reason why the overwhelming majority of them don’t really understand the lives of gay people or see anti-gay prejudice as easily as we do.

  • Nick

    @Darth Paul:

    Move on? To what? It seems to many of us that this is a seminal point in our history, if you don’t find it interesting then don’t read about it. Otherwise, “darth” maybe you should go back to watching your adolescent sci-fi movies on tv and leave the adults alone, because if fighting for our human rights isn’t important then what exactly is?

  • Nick

    @Margery thompson:

    Lady you’re a fucking idiot. That is a parable written a long time ago that has no bearing on reality. Wake the fuck up and crawl back into your cave.

  • stefan

    Are we living in a theocracy or a democracy? I think the founding fathers/people (dare I include the mothers) of the USA would be horrified of what the USA has turned into. The once forward thinking vision of a new way of governance and equality of citizens has turned back to the dark ages religious control and mob mentality. If the USA is to survive as a world beacon of light it must move forward with it’s historical role of progressive thinking and resist the backwards thinking of these stagnate religious ideals. Otherwise we are no better then a theocracy like that of Iran.

    Progressive spiritual ideals, as in the ones attributed to Jesus and others, help us to continue to grow and better ourselves as individuals. In turn this will help us love all people of the world. Isn’t that was “God” wants?

  • Japhy Grant

    @Tim in SF: Everyone is welcome here, so long as they maintain a level of decorum. I have a pretty long fuse as such things go, but after it became clear Margery was just directing her misplaced anger at all of you again and again without saying anything substantive, I felt the least I could do was let you go knock on her door as well. Communication is a two-way street, which is why I decided to give you the opportunity to communicate with her directly.

    We handle these things on a case by case basis, you know– and try to find the appropriate remedy. Margery may still be banned– or she can find a way to make her point without, you know calling all of us animals and sinners.

  • Alexa

    Great letter, Japhy, I hope it gets seen beyond Queerty, there are a lot of people who need to read it.

  • Merlin

    When faith is what we don’t know about god and yet are willing to believe….
    Why all the death threats from religionists in the name of faith?
    Why all the killings between religionists to answer questions of faith?
    Why all the unhappiness in the name of religion used to scare people into religion.

    Name one person that any of us have met that god told them personally to worship god?

  • Marty

    — Name one person that any of us have met that god told them personally to worship god? —

    I have met several, but they are all under psychiatric care!

  • Darrien

    @Margery thompson:
    You claim to know the mind of God. But in the purest distillation of God’s word in the Old Testament, the Ten Commandments, not a word is said about gays or lesbians. In the New Testament, in all the recorded words of Jesus, the Son of God, not one word of condemnation is said about gays or lesbians or the transgendered. When a crowd gathered to do violence to an adulteress, Jesus’s word was ‘Let him without sin cast the first stone’. You tell us that you’re a sinner, but you’re so eager to pick up a stone. And yet you know the mind of God? All your posts have been filled with contradictions and no questioning of yourself before you judge others. Your arguments don’t make sense as a Christian, but they also don’t make sense logically, either. You claim to know the mind of God, but you don’t seem to know your own mind. Perhaps the volume of the inconsistencies in your posts reflects an inherent inner confusion you’re experiencing. Either way, I hope posting here has helped you in some way.

  • Peter

    As a favor to me, would you read up on the history of Christianity?
    Sodom and Gamorrah were NOT the result of homosexuality. It was the result of the townspeople who refused to let weary travelers entry into the city for safe overnight lodging. The local townspeople would rape these unprotected travelers. RAPE and HOMOSEXUALITY are two completely different things.
    Also, in early Christian Church, two men were married for love, by a ceremony in the Church. A man and a women’ marriage was only conducted to record the property given to the man by the woman’s family.
    The Sacrament of Marriage not was even thought of until 1215 AD.
    That is less than one half of its history.
    What are you going to do when Islam becomes the majority religion of this country?
    There is a reason why we have the separation of state and religion; that’s it. Religion is NEVER to be up to a vote…… .

  • john

    You religious people are all nuts. There are no invisible people with superpowers. There are no angels, demons, gods, prophets, etc… If it weren’t for religion there wouldn’t be a gay marriage problem. Why do people want to live by a bronze-aged myth? Just grow up/man up and realize we control out own destiny.

  • Jaroslaw

    John – there are lots of Gay people who are religious – so you’re calling them nuts too.

    But even if God doesn’t exist (and I think He does) people would find another way to enforce rules, handle prejudices etc. It is hardwired into our nature to look beyond the external.

    If there were no religion, then people of a certain hair or eye color would be favored or found to be the cause of a plague or famine….

    so nice try, but no good.

  • One Lesbian voice

    Agree with Jaroslaw
    Prejudice is just a way of life for some people
    At the end of the day it really is not about being lesbian or gay or straight
    it’s just about daring to be different

  • Bruno

    @Margery thompson:

    “Sorry, I thought a fire alarm went off.”

    Oh, don’t worry, that’s just the fires of hell creeping up on you. Nothing to bother your brainwashed little head over.

  • tallskin


    Religion is the root of anti gay attitudes. In the West persecution of homosexuals starts back when the emperor contantine decided to make the christian sky pixie religion the state religion of Rome.

    And, of course, it is not just christianity that is anti-gay , but islam, sikhism, judaism and zoroastrianism. Even buddhism is homophobic.

    All religious paths lead to the city of homophobia.

    I am intensely anti religious. Passionately so.

    Now, understand I am not just anti-religion because of the gay issue. I would feel the same if I were straight. I am anti-religion because the religious are fuck-wits, gay or straight. Religion fucks the mind. Perhaps it doesn’t mean to, but it does. And this is, I think, because religion bears little or no relation to the spiritual craving that it was set up to satisfy, and is obsessed with nothing but dogma, rather than with spirituality.

    The religious attempt to force their morality, ethics & beliefs on everyone else in society. They cannot keep quiet. They force their absurd creationist beliefs into schools. They want to forbid abortion, stop stem cell research. And they refuse to accept science and scientific conclusions, except on their terms, cherry picking the parts they like. And on what basis? Simply because the shamans who interpret the dogma of their sky pixie beliefs tell their flocks that is true and insist that this is morality.

    And if anymore reasons were needed to hate the religious then add this. The religious act like they are superior, so that they are sanctimonius, supercilious pricks. Exactly like Margery, in fact.

    The list of reasons to be contemptuous of the religious, gay or straight, goes on and on.

    Now, to deal with your comments.

    ///////But even if God doesn’t exist (and I think She does) people would find another way to enforce rules, handle prejudices etc. It is hardwired into our nature to look beyond the external.

    ***A fatuous and silly remark. Of course every society has rules. That is what makes society, a society. And it has nothing to do with religion and it is most certainly not a reason to keep religion. Chicken coops have rules, hence the term “pecking order”, wolf packs have rules, bonobo monkeys and gorillas have rules. And what on earth does “Look beyond the external” mean for god’s sake?? If you mean we look for meaning in life, then yes of course we do. That is why people become astronomers, biologists, physicists. But that doesn’t mean any “meaning” to life actually exists, except in so far as we evolved over millions of years to find patterns, to find models in nature.

    And because of our hardwiring, often we are desperate to see patterns where no patterns actually exist.

    ////If there were no religion, then people of a certain hair or eye color would be favored or found to be the cause of a plague or famine….

    ****Excuse me? This totally ignores the fact that fucking religion has been the CAUSE of the persecution of people with the wrong eye-colour, or certain hair, like gays, witches, or people of the wrong religion. For god’s sake, slavery was justified for a millenia because it says blacks are inferior in the evil bible. And many muslim still think slavery is ok because the wretched koran justifies it.

    As richard dawkins says: religion is like a virus infecting the mind of mankind. And we have to ensure it dies or at the very least is strictly controlled, & defanged by having a secular society. Because unless we do, then gays will continue to remain 2nd class citizens, because we are condemned by every single religion.

  • yrfavoritekt

    @tallskin: Actually that’s not true… I have met quite a few avid atheists who are vulgarly homophobic. Unfortunately much like anyone anywhere could be gay, anyone anywhere can be a bigot… it does not reserve itself to one genre of people. Religious types tend to be very vocal about their beliefs and I would venture to say that this is why this is why they are commonly to blame for much of this type of discrimination. Also, there are plenty of people out there who use scripture (however misinterpreted it may be) as a way to justify their unspeakable actions. Imho it is tragic that there are people that will take something that is supposed to be good and turn it into something awful… but it seems to be the way of the world.
    Now let’s stop for a minute, look at what you just wrote, it is just as angry and passionate as what MT posts had been, and your goal appears to also be to urge others to think like you albeit with the exact opposite message.
    I guess what I am trying to say, and why I liked this post so much, is that we (as a society) go bad when we assume that just because another person has a different point of view than us they are wrong. We need to learn how to coexist while respectfully disagreeing… Don’t you think?

  • shivadog

    @yrfavoritekt: I think the problem with religious people is that you can’t “coexist while respectfully disagreeing”. You can’t respectfully disagree with god. And to the religious, that is who you are arguing with. Gay people are not trying to ban straight marriage, are not driving around with baseball bats trying to find straights to bash, are not trying to deny straight people thier civil rights, ect. If we have proper seperation of church and state we might be able to coexist. But it’s hard to be respectful of people who think you are an abomination and should be killed.

  • robotaholic

    Religion is the problem – drop the religion then you just got rid of 90 percent of the in group/out group bull crap.

    If I wrote a letter to Rick Warren it would be to tell him that he’s a retard for believing in a book that tells you what to do which was written before the germ theory of disease!

    Everything we know- we know because of SCIENCE. There is no other “way of knowing” – Give me evidence that’s reproducible and repeatable and then I’ll believe it.

    Regarding your letter to Rick Warren with all this nice LOVE message: You shouldn’t love someone who doesn’t deserve it. In fact if you love your enemies you have just watered down the meaning or value of your love. If you save your love for someone who is deserving it can mean a lot. That doesn’t mean you should be rude or hateful to everybody else. I believe the golden rule existed thousands of years before Jesus (assuming he ever lived) supposedly coined it.

    Why any homosexual would be religious is beyond me. Why they would be christian is completely insane. Maybe it’s due to The Stockholm Syndrome…

  • Nikki

    Wonderful letter, Japhy. With permission, I’d like to post it (partial text with link to Queerty) on my blogsite. And thanks so much for *dealing* with Margery. She seems to have grown suddenly quiet…

  • boarderthom

    @Margery thompson: Like I said, “You are a religious bigot, Love the religious bigot, hate the religious bigotry.

  • Flex

    I’ll start feeling lovey dovey when the California Supreme Court destroys prop 8. From that moment on, I’ll tolerate religion because we’ll be under the lawful blanket of equality. Until then, Rick Warren, and his pious followers will remain the disgusting diarrhea that I view him to be.

  • chuck

    Japhy, your letter was magnificent. I am not ashamed to admit that I was in a complete state of tears after reading it. Your words are so eloquent, so sincere and so heartfelt. it is impossible to read your open letter to Pastor Warren and not be moved by it.

    I tend to side with several of the other commentators on this thread that you can’t get a Zebra to change his strips. But if, indeed, he does read you letter, it may well cause him to do some soul-searching. And that would be a good thing.

    I too would like to thank you for interceding with Margery on our behalf. She really was overstepping her bounds and was a bit over the top. Nice to have peace and quiet on the thread once again. ;-)

  • tallskin


    I am sorry that you seem to have completely missed the point I was trying to make

    I don’t deny that anti-gay attitudes exist outside of the religiously afflicted communities in the West.


    Religion is the bedrock of homophobia and it provides a constant re-inforcement for homophobia – listen to the poop recently.

    It is also very powerful even here in mainly secular england.

    think of its vile effects as being like a flood of foul smelling water into you home, staining all the carpets and sofas. Even when the water has receded the carpets still sink and the sofa still has nasty stains.

    so, even when religion has died it vicious effects on the human psyche will remain for a few generations.

  • konrad

    @Tim in SF:

    Yes, it is not. Nor is it 1988 when few if any voices in the gay movement called for marriage. Warren is a good 20 years behind the times. He is wrong on an important issue. That doesn’t mean he needs to be driven out of polite society.

  • Tim in SF

    @konrad: Yes, it is not. Nor is it 1988 when few if any voices in the gay movement called for marriage.

    You have a gift for stating the obvious.

    Warren is a good 20 years behind the times. He is wrong on an important issue. That doesn’t mean he needs to be driven out of polite society.


    No one is making the argument that he should be driven out of polite society. We are pissed about his participation in the Inaugural. And you know it.

    Your specious, bullshit arguments may work on your idiot friends but around here.

    Try again.

  • Nikki

    Interesting footnote to Japhy’s letter to Warren:

    Max Blumenthal’s investigation into Warren’s AIDS work in Africa has uncovered the dark, ugly truth about Warren:

    But since the Warren inauguration controversy erupted, the nature of work against AIDS in Africa has gone unexamined. Warren has not been particularly forthcoming to those who have attempted to look into it. His website contains scant information about the results of his program. However, an investigation into Warren’s involvement in Africa reveals a web of alliances with right-wing clergymen who have sidelined science-based approaches to combating AIDS in favor of abstinence-only education. More disturbingly, Warren’s allies have rolled back key elements of one of the continent’s most successful initiative, the so-called ABC program in Uganda. Stephen Lewis, the United Nations’ special envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, told the New York Times their activism is “resulting in great damage and undoubtedly will cause significant numbers of infections which should never have occurred.”

    Warren’s man in Uganda is a charismatic pastor named Martin Ssempa. The head of the Makerere Community Church, a rapidly growing congregation, Ssempe enjoys close ties to his country’s First Lady, Janet Museveni, and is a favorite of the Bush White House. In the capitol of Kampala, Ssempa is known for his boisterous crusading. Ssempa’s stunts have included burning condoms in the name of Jesus and arranging the publication of names of homosexuals in cooperative local newspapers while lobbying for criminal penalties to imprison them.

    Much, much more at the link:

  • chuck


    I echo your sentiments exactly. I too am intensely anti- religious. Passionately so.

    Everything you say about it would be hard to dispute, if not downright impossible to do so. Conversely, there are very few convincing arguments to justify the existence of an organization that is so hell bent on ruining the lives of every person it comes into contact with.

    My own mother and father suffered a divorce because of the Catholic Church. My father was a German Immigrant, a Protestant who had to convert to Catholicism in order to marry my mother. My mother was a religious fanatic. There is no other way to state it.

    Not content to turn my father’s life into a living hell with her religious bullshit and incessant preaching, she also made mine a living hell too. My father fled home when I was only 5 years old and I fled home when I was only 14, proving that families that pray together, don’t neccesarily stay together.

    And now, once again, religion is poking it’s ugly head into my private affairs. Not content with ruining my childhood family life, it now is screwing with the family I have created for myself. For six years now, I have been forced to live in part-time exile in the Philippines in order to be with my partner. Some 32,000 other multinational couples also suffer the same pain of separation from their loved one because of the homophobia and hatred for gays expressed by religion.

    We may pay lip service to separation of church and state, but out here in the real world, where the rubber meets the road, nothing could be further from the truth. And how, exactly, was that allowed to happen?

    And the Pope and goof ole boy Rick is telling us, that he is merely trying to preserve the institution of marriage and protect families.

    What a farce!

  • kevin57

    I loved the letter. I wish it could be published in some major newspaper(s) with lots of signatories behind it.

    I understand the anger of many gays toward any and all religion, but just from a strategic point of view, anti-religiosity and atheistic vitriol are counterproductive.

    Here are my working assumptions:

    1. People like Margaret–and they admittedly are legion–will not be swayed. They are crazy and/or hateful. Forget them.

    2. LOTS of religious people, the majority I would say, are open to persuasion of gay rights and causes. In fact, it is happening, albeit slowly. We must discourse with them. Demeaning their deepest held beliefs drives a wedge between us, retards the progress of our cause(s), and ultimately diminishes us as individuals.

    The more we are seen to be dialoguing with religious folk and the nuttier their responses, the more the 50%+ of ‘religious’ folk will be open to us.

  • mark

    There goes the G*D DAMN neighborhood.

  • greybat

    @Margery thompson: Actually, that’s not right. My neighbor has a cat and a small dog who have sex together all the time. The odd thing is, they’re both neutered. The even odder thing is, they’re both male.

  • deliriousdharma

    I’m Christian, and it is true that the Bible says that it does not condone homosexuality. However, I myself love the gays as great friends and I think that many of them have better characters than straights. The straights only ‘use’ the Biblical context, I believe, because they’re afraid. God told us to love our neighbour as ourselves, meaning that we treat everyone with the same respect that we would like to receive. Pastor Warren, and Margery Thompson, are certainly not giving you guys the respect. Just ignore them really. They’re taking everything out of context. There are many straights who are Christian like myself and sincerely never had a single problem with any gays. Whether you are sinning or not, is not for us to judge, rather for God. We all sin.

  • Yaakov Sullivan

    Religion is the problem – drop the religion then you just got rid of 90 percent of the in group/out group bull crap.

    If I wrote a letter to Rick Warren it would be to tell him that he’s a retard for believing in a book that tells you what to do which was written before the germ theory of disease!

    rABOTAHOLIC I disagree. You see I am a wife of a Mosl;em man and I a feomer Irish Catholic turned to be a devout Moslem.
    Prior to my conversion to Islam I was beaten often by my husband but since my conversion there is no violence in our family.

    I started to cook for my husband and my 2 boys and there is a harmony in our family. I even thinking of going to Saudi for haj.
    Just to show you that religion is beautiful and Islam makes you very happy. You should try to pray sometimes. It helps.

  • greybat

    @deliriousdharma: Well, that’s a very kind and thoughtful reply! Thank you, DeliriousDharma.
    Our Christian Trolls always seen to storm in guns a-blazing, and a writ of Judgment clenched in hand.
    They don’t get to the Love part until usually the fourth posting, and by then they’ve made adversaries of everyone in the room!

  • robotaholic

    @ Yaakov Sullivan –

    So you dress like a bee-keeper. That’s nice.


    @robotaholic: You cannot change human nature. If people can’t divide and hate over religion, or use it as an excuse, they’ll find something else.

    “Why any homosexual would be religious is beyond me. Why they would be christian is completely insane.”

    Ignoring your argument against religion in general since you haven’t actually made one…

    Two approximate definitions:
    Homosexual: a person who is attracted to others of their own sex.
    Christian: one who believes Jesus is the son of God.

    Now, just to be clear, I’m not *asking* for an argument against religion in general. Just a simple question: how does either “God does not exist” or “Jesus was not his son” follow logically from “I am attracted to men?” Because unless it does, there’s *logically* no more reason for gays to disbelieve than for anyone else, though I’m sure because of emotions many do convince themselves to be atheist simply because of how they’ve been treated.

    I for one have been a Christian longer than I’ve even known there was such a thing as homosexuality, certainly longer than I’ve known myself to be gay. They just don’t cancel out in the least; personally, I’ve had much more trouble with creation/evolution. The really annoying thing is that it seems like both most gays *and* most Christians believe you cannot be both. I cannot stop being either, yet being stuck in the middle and called insane and worse by both sides is wearing thin.


    Oh, and at Margery #42: aside from “same sex” not at all meaning the same thing as “different species”, where do you suppose mules come from?

  • Jaroslaw

    Tallskin (and others) – I read Byrne Fone’s book “Homophobia”. It is 700 pages or so. I have also read a 7 or 8 hundred page book by a professor (Greenburg I think was his name) from a NY University the title escapes me now. As well as many other books, articles, blogs etc.

    It seems to me that Christianity in particular has been very good at ENFORCING homophobia but each book could only go back so far and then they couldn’t trace WHY homosexuality was considered so evil, why homosexuality became the “punching bag” or what specifically precipitated the Church’s change in attitude from acceptance to persecutor. (In Europe there were nuns and priests writing love letters to each other just prior to the middle ages and it was sanctioned by the Church! Same with Sts. Sergio & Bacchus – it was well known at the time they were lovers and yet they were beatified.)

    In other words, religion is not the source.

    This only shows human society has always shunned the “other”, the “different”, the unusual. One tends to forget on this blog that Christianity, apparently, is more sex obsessed than most religions, and that goes for straight sex too obviously. For centuries, the Church taught sex was SOLELY for procreation and a small but not insignificant number of people still believe that.

    I’m not wording this well, but I hope you get the general idea.

  • Jaroslaw

    The book is The Construction of Homosexuality by David Greenberg

  • Mark

    It is time for you to shed religion and become human beings being human beings, rather than worms trying to attain an imaginary heaven, looking for redemption from a Sky God who made a horrible mistake.

    Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours.

    Get over it. Warren is a charlatan. You don’t have to learn to love this man. He needs to get off the stage and you need to become much larger than a religious belief can make you.

  • yrfavoritekt

    @tallskin: You’re right, I did miss that part, thanks for reiterating.
    I still disagree with you though. Maybe I’m just overly idealistic… but I don’t blame religion for the idiots we have to deal with on a daily basis… I blame the idiots who use religion as an explanation for their stupidity. Make sense? The way I see it, religion is supposed to be a beautiful thing, it’s supposed to be an all inclusive moral compass of sorts, it’s not supposed to be a weapon to use against people who differ from you, as is often done.

  • yrfavoritekt

    @shivadog: Yeah…Arguing with God is kind of hard to do…
    But that’s the thing… so many of the scripts people rely on have been interpreted, and reinterpreted and then translated and re-translated… who knows what was actually intended to be conveyed when they were written? And it would be nice if people (not you… but the people you are talking about) remembered that occasionally.
    How is it possible to justify violence against group A. just because they are not group B? It’s not. It’s just not logical, you can quote me scripture until you are blue in the face, but if that is what you take from the Bible (sorry not to be all inclusive-it’s what I have read), then I think you missed the bigger picture. But it’s been done in the past and it’s something we have to fight through now. I don’t understand how it is possible to deny basic human rights to someone based solely on a difference of sex, race, creed, etc… But again, it’s been done… clearly it wasn’t right then… and it’s definitely not right now. Which is why it’s so wonderful to have a division of Church and State the way that we do as you pointed out. And once lawyers start playing that card and it is actually enforced this is something that we will never have to debate again!
    Last thing you mentioned I want to address, I don’t consider myself an abomination to God, although others may not agree, but really that’s not their business now is it?

  • robotaholic

    @HYHYBT: I guess obviously you think that Christianity is completely compatible with homosexuality. I don’t think most sects are -I don’t think Christianity is compatible with HEALTH. It’s a death cult. You deserve to die unless you’re ‘saved’ by someone’s sacrifice. See…that’s just wrong to me. I deserve to live because I’m the end product of a long line of evolutionary lineage. Almost all religions are anti-homosexual. The fact that you can find one sect of Christianity that tolerates your homosexuality is interesting, but you must be a contortionist.

    It’s not that I don’t think one can interpret the bible to allow wiggle room for the gay person, but the fact is that MOST Christian sects DON’T. (not to even mention gay marriage) But if you want to listen to the pointy hatted, wand waving, robe wearing, smoke dispersing sexually repressed priest’s views on sex, have at it…I’d rather embrace science.


    @Mark: Except for “Argue for your limitations, and sure enough they’re yours,” you have everything backwards. Well, OK, I don’t know whether Warren is a charlatan or not. But the atheistic view is far more limiting and degrading, and God doesn’t *make* mistakes.

  • robotaholic

    @Mark: I agree totally with you. Shed religion – it’s the only real obstacle to same sex marriage in this country obviously-

  • robotaholic

    @HYHYBT: How do you *know* if “god makes mistakes” – you don’t know if there IS a god, you definitely can’t prove it. -Religious people always claim to KNOW more than they possibly CAN. You don’t know what happens after we die, you don’t know if there are invisible magic people or not. Oh but you have a personal relationship with an invisible all powerful magic sky person. He “talks” to you…give me a break- you’re just as clueless as anyone else on so many things.


    “The fact that you can find one sect of Christianity that tolerates your homosexuality is interesting”

    Around here, there aren’t any that I’ve found. Doesn’t mean I can’t be both; I don’t have to agree with everything. I just don’t *go* to church often for now.

    I’ve never seen a priest/pastor/whatever wave a wand, and the smoke and sexual repression is mostly for Catholics. Otherwise, why does it matter how they dress?

    Robotoholic: I never claimed to be able to *prove* anything. If you think proofs are so important you’re welcome to provide some yourself.


    Sorry to do a PS twice in the same thread, but I really ought to specify: evidence for evolution or the big bang or whatever is *not* evidence against the existence of God, only against the literal truth of the book of Genesis. But again, I’m not particularly interested in proofs except in that people who insist I should have them consistently don’t have any themselves.

  • Samuel

    @Margery thompson:

    Ummm, please find me ONE thing in the Bible that equates lesbianism with sin. I have found none. And, Margery, do you commit other ‘sins’, like wearing cloth made of two different types of twine? There are multitudes of sins in the bible. I doubt anyone on this planet lives without committing some of them.

    But the larger point is this: I don’t BELIEVE in your BOOK or your GOD. What right have you to control my behavior in this world? Who appointed you God? You have your faith, and I have mine, and inmy faith, it’s people like you, who seek to dominate, judge and control others, that would go to everlasting hell – except that any God I would follow would find the concept of everlasting punishment as repulsive and barbaric as I do.

    I do not seek to control you. You have no right to seek to control me.

    P.S. I happen to be straight, but I am a bit of a fornicator on occasion…

  • Peter

    @Margery thompson: So Marge, are you telling me that your invisible friend can beat up my invisible friend? Your truth is based on ignorance and a flawed understanding of the world around you and your place in it. Your attitude is something you are using to make yourself feel superior. I’m sure that there are a number of gays here who would tell you that this is NOT a choice. After a lifetime of dealing with pinheads and religious zealots, why would you choose to be vilified by the ignorant and the bigoted? Tell me, Marge, did you choose to be a heterosexual? How do you know that you’re straight? Try that on for size and perhaps you’ll get off your sanctimonious horse.

    Having been bashed myself, it’s people who spout the christianist drivel that makes people think that it’s okay to kill us. The Romans disapproved of the christians originally because they felt they were anti-social. Their preoccupation with death and the life afterward made them unique in their time. And, frankly, I think they had the right idea.

  • willow ross

    Margery Thompson—–you offend me! I am a heterosexual white woman of 85 years and if I have learned nothing else, it is too know that people who proselytize their way, as the only way-are hurtful, deceitful and need to look unto themselves
    as to what gives them the right to preach and judge and condemn.

    This is not the Creators way—you have a right to your opinion, but it is your opinion
    and shoud be preached in your place of worship, if it is your need to take the pulpit.

    Please do not speak in the name of G-D.–it is not your right, it was never given to you,
    What you are expressing is your opinion, from wherever you learned such unchristian like teachings….be still woman, pray as you wish, to whomever you wish but do it in the privacy of your own home or church.

    Live and let live, that is the way of the Lord!


    @Margery thompson: You know, I’m heterosexual and certainly not an atheist. Margery, I believe you are sick and should get some help.

  • faith

    Dear Marjery Thompson,
    I am not gay. I have been married for 43 years. I have been a Christian all of my life. I am not afraid of gay marriage. It does not threaten my marriage at all. I think that gay people wanting to get married is a credit to them. After all, straight married people are not exactly setting a good example of marriage, judging by the divorce rate.

    But the reason I am writing is to say I am sorry for you. You are a sad person. To think that you have obviously read the Bible
    yet do not understand the basic meaning of God’s love. Especialy,the New Testament that Jesus time and again implores us to love one another. He does give a warning to the realigous
    leaders of his time when he told them that the prostitute whould see heaven before them because of thier prejudice. Look to your ownself, Marjery before casting stones. Rick Warren had better keep that in mind,too,

  • sofa-ist

    Well, shucks! Ever since Japhy went and posted Margery’s return address, she’s up and vanished. I surely can’t imagine why!

    But it’s just too damn bad that she’s gone. After all, she was serving us so well, and I’ll miss her. Don’t follow me? See it this way: Margery is a lot like Fred Phelps: she, and Fred and Rick Warren – and the other “piousizers” of that ilk – they all do us Gay Folks an unimaginably great service.

    Since they started going around spouting off, and publicly broadcasting their idiocies, it’s become really hard for even the straightest, most christianist folks to ignore the lunacy of homophobia. More and more, regular folks hear these fools, and just can’t help but be embarrassed by their ravings.

    And at the same time they help to bring us gay people together politically, in opposition to them.

    So, thanks Margery, you did us a service, and I’ll miss you. Mind you, it’s not like I’d want to spend eternity in some heaven, with you floating around on a cloud beside me. Nope. I’m not as nice as Japhy, and I wouldn’t care to have you as my neighbor. Truth is, Margery, I don’t give a two-penny damn about your heaven, or your hell. In fact, if your god exists, and if he did make such a place as hell, then I would rather spend eternity there, instead of in his presence, or with you.

    Ya’ll have a good day now, hear?


  • Jan

    @Margery thompson:
    There are many animals that use other animals of the same sex for their own pleasure.
    I can think of two right now, penguins, and bonabo chimps.

  • A seminarian speaks up


    Thank you for an honest and well-presented view. I’ve skimmed through the comments but didn’t read all. However, two things stand out for me: Warren’s use of the word “choice” and Marjery’s definition of a holy, sanctified relationship as one between a man and a woman.

    I have had the blessed opportunity to stand with my gay brothers and sisters in Christ as they applied for marriage licenses, as we celebrated outside of City Hall (no religion allowed inside!), as we stood and witnessed the institution of holy matrimony in the sanctuary. It was incredibly joyful and life-affirming.

    I want to let you know that our church will continue to do commitment ceremonies and will fight to overturn the Prop 8 decision as best we can. I’ve had my moments of standing in public and offering the view expressed by some here, that Jesus welcomed “the least of these” with open arms. Who am I to tell someone who they can and cannot marry? That is their business and I’m happy to help out in the church area. But the legislating of discrimination is revolting, unholy and a huge step backwards.

    When I stand and offer my view in public, I’ve watched people’s jaws drop. They don’t understand that there is a progressive Christianity, one that seeks to move from the rigidity of the past. It’s a hard process. In numbers we’re small and don’t have the resources of the religious right. But we’re all working the best we can to preach the message that Jesus taught us, the love for all, inclusivity of all, and the honoring of one of the great commands, love your neighbor as yourself.

    I couldn’t pastor any other way. Wish me luck — I hope one of those people in the public square doesn’t pop me one some day! I just wanted people to know that not all pastors are the same.

    PS — Biblical literalists, do your homework and go read Genesis 19. Nobody ever talks about Lot offering up his daughters to be gang-raped in lieu of the angels, or the incest between his daughters and Lot after the fall of Sodom and Gomorrah. Therein lies the danger of cherry-picking your hot-button issues without understanding the cultural, gender, historical and related issues and context of an ancient text.

  • Gary

    @Margery thompson:
    This is the nonsesne that drives me insane. The Bible is one of man’s first attempt to explain the world around you. Just like we know the Earth is round and revolves around the Sun which is a out on one of the spirals of the milky way galaxy and its closest neighbor is the Andromeda Galaxy…

    We LEARN NEW INFORMATION and we replace the old stuff with the new stuff.

  • Tiger

    Rick Warren looks like a fag to me…

  • mark


    How many Bibles do you wear out each month thumping them like ya do?

  • klbrz

    I enjoyed reading this article – linked from HuffPo – and the comments. Japhy, you and some of the commentators here, touch on an issue I can’t seem to understand and that is why is this not pursued as a church/state problem?

    Like everyone else, my husband and I had to get a marriage *license* (I understand this to mean permission) from our local governing authority. Therefore, all the *rights, privileges, etc* that a married couple might have are granted by the Government, not the Church. I would think if a church wants to ban gay marriage within its own walls, that’s one thing, but how can it be allowed to insert itself in what seems to be an entirely civil matter? I know the religious types say that’s not the case, but marriage in this country is not their domain, it is the Government’s, at least with regard to these *rights*.

    And a comment – since most of the discussion centers around what Christianity does or does not say – I thought Christians followed Jesus & I thought Jesus essentially came along and said *forget what you’ve been told before and listen to me* and in listening to him we hear not one word about homosexuality.

    I wonder if much of this debate has been caused by a kind of mass cognitive dissonance: Folks are fearful and threatened by others who seem *different* (though not obviously harmful or dangerous). Here they have a choice – they can either figure out how not to be afraid of these *different* folks or they can justify their fears by introducing a new thought that makes sense of the previously senseless fear. That way they don’t have to change themselves.

  • Elizabeth

    I made a commitment a long time ago to follow Christ. Over the years my relationship with him has grown and mature. This journey has taught me to respect all; ultimately, I must make the conscious decision daily on what I am going to believe or not believe. Can I support gay marriage? The answer is no. I don’t think I am a bigot, but I have to answer to God for my action and decision. It is my belief that I must answer to God one day, and I cannot stand before him and say I had to follow the mass. You see, we, like the angels have free will. We are each responsible for our own soul.

  • chuck


    Elizabeth, dear, we do not give a hoop about your commitment to and your relationship to Christ. That is entirely your choice and your business as well.

    We also don’t give a hoop whether you can support Proposition 8. It’s a moot point because what you people did was unconstitutional and the California Supreme Court is taking a good hard look at that. So don’t be surprised if that $70 million dollars you folks threw at this sham get overturned, yet again. I cannot help but wonder, when you stand before your God, whether he will ask you why you did not spend that $70 million dollars to feed some starving children that died of hunger because of your misdirected concern about preserving marriage?

    In any event, when the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, given the downturn in the economy, y’all may find it a little harder to raise that kind of hate money, yet once, again to launch another attack at the civil-rights of taxpaying Americans.

    So, having had you little say, I would suggest that you pick up your bible and go join Margery Thompson at [email protected] who will be only to happy to share your “viewpoints” and support each others homophobia.

    Oh, I guess you don’t consider yourself to be a homophobe either, just as you dont’ consider yourself a bigot even though you support No on Proposition 8.

    You sound very much to me like someone who is in serious denial.
    A little counseling might help you to get a better grip on reality, I’m sure.

  • Eddy

    This letter is full of crap. Jesus was a friend to sinners…and he loved them(He still do);but he hated(still hates)what they do.

  • Allan

    My favorite part about Margery? Her daughter in law murdered her son.

    Now THAT’s an advertisement for the sanctity of heterosexual marriage if ever I heard one!

  • Allan

    Hey Eddy, I love believers; I just hate their belief.

  • Nicholas B.

    I agree that gay marriage should be legal, but this post wasn’t particularly insightful or well written. A bit of a waste of time really.

  • nightslider

    @Kid A:

    ummmmm I think that this heterosexual male has to disagree with your analysis, I own and ride Harley’s, and have most of my life.
    I have owned several restaurants and have managed kitchens in several major hotels as a Souse Chef and as a Master.
    Worked on the Alaskan Pipeline Project in its hayday,
    Mens biggest fear towards homosexuals is that they’ll succumb to the so called inducements that are often the brunt of crude and offensive jokes.
    Men are more afraid of their own sexuality than they’ll admit to and go to great lengths to hide that weakness, God may have ripped out a rib to create eve but I think he left to many female chromosomes in all the wrong places, men just can’t seem to accept the effeminate part of themselves, they thusly think those that do are sissified and or what ever.
    It cracks me up listening to People like Rick Warren,”Total Hypocrite” and reading Marge’s social dichotomy on religion and gods plans for man?
    Look if there was a god why in his name would he inflict us with the likes of Hitler,Stalin,Lenin, Both Bush’s,Reagun, Mussolini,Pol Pot etc, god is some one’s concoction in a wet dream and or a creation to make and or enslave the soul of man.

  • nightslider

    In any event, when the Supreme Court overturns Proposition 8, given the downturn in the economy, y’all may find it a little harder to raise that kind of hate money, yet once, again to launch another attack at the civil-rights of taxpaying Americans.

    Boy if they the California Supreme Court overturns prop 8 the Mormons will surely be blowing a whole different tune on those pipes in Utah, might just have an owver wrought screech quality to the tune, like where did the money go??

  • Ellen

    This is so well thought out and written, that I cannot add much more than how difficult is it to comprehend the concept of “live and let live”
    Just because a word was crafted in a male dominated society and carried through the ages it is not owned by a particular group to wield power over the semantics of life.
    The dismissal of others by those who call themselves Christians such as this and other proponents of 8 indicates to anyone who can breathe, for it’s not rocket science, caused me to leave the Catholic Church at the age of 8.
    Acceptance and love are not lived by them, they are only words to them.

  • grada3784

    @Margery thompson:

    Verses in both Ezekiel 16 and Isaiah 1 describe the sin of Sodom – no sex mentioned in either. In fact Ezekiel 16 sounds uncomfortably like America, especially but not exclusively under Reagan and the 2 Bushes. The, of course, there’s the remake of the Sodom story in Judges, where God seems rather bored with the whole deal.

    The whole sexual deal hinges on the interpretation of 1 word. Whether religious based or security based, in light of Sodom fighting and losing a war some years earlier, it was still rape. Sort of like me comparing you to Aileen Wuornos because you’re a straight woman, especially since Christians are supposedly mandated to follow the the Golden Rule.

  • newposv

    In the divine,

    lesbians, gays, and straights

    love forever.

    Please, dear ones, I knowest!

    I was gay, now I am full bi.

    No false choices,

    Not ever!


    Loving those of you with courage

    to find your own ay into daylight.

    Your time too will come.

    As has my bride!




  • grada3784

    @Margery thompson:
    Then the Bible is lying when St. Paul wrote that all have sinned and fallen short of the glory of God? I guess Paul wasn’t counting on you showing up.

  • newposv

    I was glorified.

    Isaiah 55:5, Isaiah 55:4.

    I am yet to be glorified again.

    Rev, 22:17

  • newposv

    I say unto you

    love follows and blossoms from truth.

    She has, for me.

    Proverbs 8, last part.

    Look for and VALUE the black in the white you read in the bible!

    In deceit you find all truth.

    This game turns out to be most loving…

    Genesis 3:5

  • tallskin


    If I interpret what you’re saying correctly, then I agree. We are all bi-sexual, but some are totally gay and totally straight, with the majority sitting inbetween. But a homophobic society brings us up, trying to hammer us all into sexual behaviour endorsed by religion.

    there is a hell of a lot homosexual desire out there amongst “straight men”, but this is repressed because its not safe to do otherwise. And this repression gets transferred into hate for gays.

    women are not innocent victims of this patriachy either – they positively POLICE young male behaviour to stamp out campness or any expression of homosexual desire, either as mothers, sex partners, wives, sisters etc etc.

  • new point of view

    I was gay.

    I am about to be fullest bi.

    4 love experiences await me.

    At the end my bride awaits.

    I have learned…

    all orientations are OK.

    Stand down,

    any fight in futile

    in the light of the divine.

    We, the god your imagination,

    are the greatest secret

    on this planet.

    We are the ELECT

    that Paul wrote about.

    Hope for us,

    wait for us,

    We shall come for you.

  • Will Leone

    @Margery thompson: You seem to be confusing gender and orientation. >.> In any case, it’s been shown that orientation is determined partly by inherent biological factors and partly by the the first few years of a child’s life. The child does not chose to be gay, it is simply a function of certain biological & environmental factors. Why would God have allowed for this when he created us in his image if being gay was sinful?

    I should also not that there is very distinct difference between “being a guy or girl” (i.e., following one of the rigid gender roles created by society) and being gay or straight (i.e., orientation.) It seems that many religious opponents to gays is based on ignorance, just as racism was (and still is) based on ignorance. For example, why is it always assumed that being gay, by definition, involves one guy fucking another? No one pays any attention to the loving & caring monogamous relationships enjoyed by gay coules, both male and female.

  • Will Leone

    And to you religious bigots- stop twisting the bible to justify your internal fear and outward hatred towards gays. The Bible does not, at any point, explicitly condone homosexuality, but some people insist on making it sound like certain parts of the Bible enforce this notion. The Bible does, however, command you to love everyone as you love yourself, and to treat everyone equally.

    And also, I should add that in general, your religious beliefs do no give you the right to oppress others.

  • yaab

    Both the author and his target obscure the real point. From its inception, religion has been little more than a way of conflating one’s own thoughts and preferences with those of a supposed diety, in order to secure power and influence. Warren has done it brilliantly, and the religious left plays the same game.

  • Tracey

    Hi everyone,

    I’ve greatly enjoyed reading the intelligent (excluding one or two!) and thoughtful comments here. This topic is one that is usually has me and my family screaming at the TV and disgustedly changing channels.

    In this fight, there really isn’t any need to bring religion into it at all. My husband and I were married by a judge, in a civil marriage. That should be the right for ALL adults. And bonus for purposes of this argument: it’s purely governmental and secular. No religious questions.

    Would emphasizing CIVIL marriage clarify and defuse the situation?

    Best to all,

  • Soulmentor

    To all who try to argue with the Margery Thompsons in our society, save your effort. A couple of axioms are appropriate in her case, among them is “Choose your battles” (ones you can win) and “There are none so blind as those who WILL NOT see”. It’s a safe bet that Margery is as closed minded about many other aspects of human life. In the matter of homosexuality she insists (among other nonsense)that animals do not engage in homosexual activity when anyone with opportunities to observe them, especially farmers and others who work directly with animals, can see very readily that they do. (My own mother, who feared I was going to hell said the same to me and she raised me on a farm, where I grew up with visions of animal homosexuality among the cows, pigs and chickens!!! Go figure). I could direct Margery to the book “Biological Exuberance” by Bruce Bagemihl that illustrates in great detail the homosexual activities of countless animals the world over. But it would be wasted effort. Margery would simply decide it was all a lie, even the photographs assuming she would even read it, which is unlikely. The Margerys will permit themselves to see and read only that which reinforces their preconceived “truths”. We cannot win over the Margerys. They should be easily ignored because they are becoming increasingly irrelevant anyway, as Failin Palin so stunningly illustrated. Our arguments must be aimed at the far greater numbers of people who are still open to truth and critical thought. Let the Margerys live peacefully in their little closed world of fear and ignorance. My mother died 7 years ago still thinking, no doubt, that I was going to hell. She knows better now.

  • david g

    @Margery thompson:

    you do know what the bible says about divorce, don’t you? and by remarrying, you became an adulterer.

    i don’t hate, or even judge, you for having divorced but using your strict/literal interpretation of the bible you’ll be quite disappointed when you find yourself in the same place as all us “sinful” homo’s in YOUR version of the afterlife.

    see how uncomfortable it can be when someone knows the bible as well as you do?

  • Timithius

    @Margery thompson:

    I always find it bizarre when women fight so hard to defend Christianity. In the Christian myth, God creates Adam, and only as an afterthough does he create woman. Oh, poor Adam, he must be lonely, let me make him a partner. Woman; an afterthought. But then the poor woman, in search of a new experience, damns the entire world, for time immemorial. So not only were you an afterthought; something to amuse Adam. You ruined the World for the rest of humanity! Nice mythology! So Christianity hates women. And gays. And who else? Hate thy neighbor. Poke his eye out. Smite him. Praise God!

  • debra

    I hate to break it to Margery, but not every person born is male or female……….occasionally a child is born that is a hemaphrodite–no defined sexual status. How does Margery explain this biological occurrence in relation to homosexuality? Intentional by God, or accidental? Which is it Margery?

  • MontanaSouth

    @Marty: Marty, I can’t answer why some heterosexuals have such animosity toward gay/lesbian individuals. But I can tell you that many heterosexuals, myself included, do not dislike, disapprove or fear your sexual orientation. The common thread I have seen in people who actively oppose homosexuality is insecurity and ignorance. I do think that these people use religion to justify anger toward something they don’t understand. In some cases, I think the more vocal anti-gay individuals are those most afraid of their own sexuality. Please don’t lump all of us heterosexuals in one group. All my friends, both gay and straight, give my life meaning and joy.

    As a scientist (and veterinarian), I can confirm that homosexuality is definately a part of nature not a choice or learned attribute. And God, who or whatevery one believes he or she is, made us all. I think that there will likely always be people like Margery and her jugdemental and pious attitude will be difficult to change. So my response is to ignore her. Don’t respond to her and she will go away.

  • Kev

    RE: Why do men act like animals that they were to name. Have you ever seen a male dog look for another male dog for his pleasure? Or any other animal for that matter.


    I’ve seen male whales having sex with other male whales and, actually bring themselves to ejaculation together. I’ve also seen male monkeys together. Haven’t you watched youtube? LOL! Looks pretty natural to me!

  • isa kocher

    @Margery thompson: What word of what god stands on its own BTW? How many people actually have native fluency in First Millennium BCE Hebrew AND Aramaic And Koine Greek? Or perhaps First Millennium Sanskrit? Which god? As for male and female, like someone XXy, or Xyy chromosomes? Or someone born XX with a penis. Or someone born Xy with no penis? Where in which scripture do they discuss genetics of sexual identity, gender, orientation, because if it is so clear, we’ll translate it an get the Nobel prize in biology.

  • isa kocher

    @Elizabeth: NO ONE asked you to SUPPORT gay marriage. Just get out of the way. I don’t ask what you do to express your love for others. I just want my family to have the same rights everyone else does

  • AgathaX

    Dear Letter Writer,

    You don’t know much about being a Southern Baptist. Having grown up as one, I think I know a little bit about it–and how it has changed over the years. To be a Southern Baptist, a successful one, is to be folksy moralizing demagogue with zero tolerance for anyone who doesn’t believe exactly like you do. (Or a well meaning congregant who has taken all the folksy moralizing at face value.) I assure you that gays are not the only ones that “Pastor Rick” loves, but not quite well enough to let into his church. You have a lot of company. Try other Southern Baptists who don’t believe in the inerrancy of scripture–or what they call inerrancy. Now I’m not saying that someone shouldn’t reach out to these people and help them come around. God is always reaching out. However, do not underestimate what it took for Rick Warren to become Rick Warren. Rick Warren is a lot like Dick Cheney. When you have right and truth on your side, the ends justify the means. He did not get where he is by accident. The country is littered with those that would not fall in lock step with Mr. Warren and his ilk. Check out the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, the Alliance of Baptists and their affiliated seminaries–most are newly founded to create homes for all those effectively excommunicated by the seminaries of the Southern Baptist Convention.

    That said, I’m not much concerned about Mr. Warren’s upcoming praying engagement. I have an extraordinary amount of faith in Mr. Obama not to let the pet causes of fundamentalism taint his administration, for he has proclaimed loudly and clearly that science is once again welcome in the White House. And, as you know, being gay is all about science. If Mr. Warren wants to pray over that, let him.

  • propitiousmoment

    Personally, I think it’s better to just leave the “love” stuff out of it. People who are ignorant and insecure in their own sexuality, as one previous comment put it, are not going to respond to that kind of discussion. Let’s just work on separation of church and state, and let the religious paranoids go ahead and stew in their own increasingly smaller byways. Take away the power of the clergy to perform civil marriages, leave “marriage” in the church, and make everyone go to a civil authority to get the civil benefits of the civil contract.

    As a fundamentalist christian for nearly 30 years, I had everyone else’s definition of love crammed down my throat to the point that it actually ruined my life in ways that I will never share in so public a forum. Everyone needs to learn to think these things through for themselves. People who are still dependent on someone else telling them what to think or believe are never going to voluntarily accept a reaching out from someone they are trained to believe is a sinner, on their way to hell. If they’re so afraid of damnation that they let someone else control their reason, they cannot be reached.

    As I type this, it occurs to me that we do need to get the message out there to be available as individuals begin to open their minds, but do not expect to get any results from organized religion by doing so. They are completely invested in trying to prevent change in the structure of the world as they understand it, and many will go their graves never having gotten the message.

    I have heard preachers express their belief that they will go to jail for opposing gay marriage and prohibiting gay membership in their churches, and their willingness to do so. Someone so deluded is not going to get it. We have to take the decision out of their hands, as I described above – leave marriage in the churches, take the civil contract out of the churches. Those who want both, who meet the civil requirements and can find a preacher willing, can have both. The rest of us will do just fine with the civil benefits, thank you very much.

    By the way, I am a straight woman but since I left the church and in fact since I started reading and commenting on blogs and news articles I have had the opportunity to think these things through for myself, and I have come to an unequivocal support for gay rights, including marriage. These fora provide an excellent way to exercise one’s intellect and emotional being in some very productive discussions – it’s like being back in college. Cheers….

  • propitiousmoment

    @AgathaX: Very well stated, thank you.

  • isa kocher

    @Margery thompson: boy dogs do it to boy dogs all the time Margery: you just aren’t looking. And girl dogs to girl dogs. For pleasure. Boy horses on boy horses. boy cows on boy cows. Cotton tale boy deer on cotton tale boy deer. Anyone who ever spent a couple of days on a farm sees it all the time. In fact, the more scientist look, the more they see same sex fun all over the mammalian and all over the avian species. For fun.

    THe fact of gay animals and birds is now a matter established science. Wherever anyone looks, there it is. The way the biology of animals and birds works. It’s fun. That’s why creatures do it. That is the way god made us.

    As for Adam and Eve, unless one actually is fluent in first millenium Hebrew, it’s not even hearsay. Genesis gives at least two completely contradictory descriptions of creation. To declare one creation fact makes the other creation metaphor. LITERALLY Genesis itself makes it clear that it is a story. Literally Genesis in Hebrew makes its intentions a-historical, not a record of “fact” but a call to contemplation and thought and tolerance. They were not writing a geology textbook. And they made that clear.

  • capt

    Great letter – well written and clear.

    Nobody is better or worse than anybody else. No “Christian” is better than any other Christian.

    Warren and his followers are just pathetic and to have the hate preached in the guise of love is pure evil.

  • KM

    As a straight, white, 30… ish woman I would like to let you know that we are not all bigots. I believe that we are all created equal and I personally don’t care if anybody’s sexuality is something they’re born with or something they choose. Regardless of your sexual preference I believe that as long as it’s between consenting adults who respect each other is all that should matter. I’m appalled at people who claim that it’s somehow not God’s will or plan or design or whatever you want to call it.

    For those of you so arrogant to assume that you can truly speak for Him … “You can tell you have created God in your own image when it turns out that he or she hates all the same people you do.” – Anne Lamott


  • popartusa

    i almost gave up because that password thing was really stupid…..and i don’t kbnow why i do this… carlin has said just about everything id ever say about religion and said it to hundreds of thousands of people who even paid to hear it….while even my wife dosen’t listen to me.

    sorry folks….i loved “The Angry Inch” but hated “Short Bus”….
    I love gay and lesbian folks but the sex stuff i find pretty hard to take. Even heterosexual sex is not all that great except of course when you are doing it.

    anyway god is a myth….love is real….loving is good…man woman…man man….woman woman…..the best i think is still a boy and his dog….but that is just me. i love my wife but….

    we are lucky indeed if in this life we can love and be loved in return…nothing else is as important as that. NOTHING IS AS IMPORTANT AS THAT!!

  • inshock

    DEAR MARGERY: Die, and go to a burning hell. Please, die and go to a burning hell. Thanks so much.

  • bellepepper02

    @Margery thompson: Male or female and nothing in between? You do know, don’t you, that God has created people who are born with the organs of both sexes? You know, hermaphrodites? Or are you writing out of ignorance and plain wilfulness?

  • sarahsmom

    The pastor have his belief and that needs to be respected. I don’t believe anyone is born gay, and yet I respect the gay community. I don’t believe in showing hate or anger toward the gay community. But what is so wrong with someone standing up for what they believe? Isn’t that what the gay community is doing? Standing up for what they believe? well, the church should be able to do the same. In this country majority rules, and prop 8 was turned down because more people believe that marriage is between a man and woman. God loves all men, even the murdered, adulterer, homosexuals, etc.,but He still hates sin. I love a cousin of mine very much, but he is in jail for illegal activities. Do I love him? Yes, Do I hate the choices he made for his life? Yes. I am able to do both. Leave the Pastor alone, the gay community wants to vent because of the decision that was made on November 4th by the majority in California. He didn’t cast all of those votes, get off of him.

  • rwilliams1961

    I read Margaret’s posts and recognized the perspective. I began attending a conservative church when I was 16 – led there by the 700 Club broadcast. I was pretty active in it into my early twenties and my perspectives were as conservative as Margaret’s. I can tell you that most of the people in those churches mean well. They fully believe that homosexuality is sin, that you can be rescued from it, that you will perish if you aren’t rescued and happier if you are. Some of them are arrogant bastards. Others are more like children who merely mimic their leaders. Most are actually sincere, intelligent people who hold tightly to a conviction, people not unlike the rest of us who hold firmly to our own convictions. The difference, of course, is that their perspectives are based in something which surpasses in importance life and death: eternity.

    The Margarets of the world won’t ever be silenced. Let them rant. At best, calmly correct them not for their sakes, but for the sake of those seeking to understand who might be watching the conversation. You will not change Margaret’s mind. All you can do it bring others to your side so as to win within the market of ideas.

    Martin Luther King’s success (to be witnesses on January 20th) didn’t occur because he crucified those who had closed minds. Instead, he persuaded with passionate reason those who were ambivalent. He showed that black men and women were just like whites and not to be feared. That argument eventually won the day. Your day is coming, too. It may take ten years or twenty, but one day those college-aged kids who voted in this election for reason will be adults teaching their own kids that homosexuality is perfectly normal.

    Meanwhile, there are Christians who support you, old school denominations who have matured with society in their understanding of humanity. Don’t let the Margarets of the world freak you out or scare you away. Christ has a lot to offer. He cared enough to come down and spend a lifetime learning what it was like for his children. He lived in modest means and taught something very simple: generosity, in its fullest meaning. Don’t blame God for those of us who are more ignorant than we have excuse to be. He did his part. We’re still feebly learning ours. For those I read here who think it’s all a myth, in all honestly it might be. We won’t know for certain till we’ve moved on from here. But it’s a timeless story that for some of us resonates so strongly that we have no choice but to gladly embrace it. (And as religions go, I dare say it brings the most good of any to the table.)


  • propitiousmoment

    Thanks for your compassionate portrayal of the fundamentalist mindset. You have captured something very true, and I agree completely that the best way to respond to them is to speak reasonably for the sake of others who may be listening (or in this case, reading).

  • jbergson

    margery, would like to point out that god did not destroy sodom and gomorrah because of gay people but because not a single honest person could be found in either city. homosexuality was never the reason.

  • The Realist

    @Margery thompson:

    You would not know “The Word of God” if it bit you on the ass.

    Read “the Word of God” with an open heart and an open mind, or better yet, just read it instead of watching the powerpoint presentation the Mega-church provides.

    Specifically, if you read the story Of Sodom and Gomarrah,( The whole story,not just the salacious parts) you will find that it was not homosexuality that was the problem. It was the unwillingness of the people of those cities to trust and accept people they did not know and the overall adulterous nature, whether hetero or homo, of the people of those cities.

    If you think it was because everyone was homo, then what the hell was Lott and his family doing there in the first place.

  • Flowers

    @Margery thompson: Seem to me you practice the sin of Pride.

  • capt

    IMO too much on the Margery stuff.

    A troll just wants attention – why else would one spend so much time here?

    Feeding trolls has predictable results and seems like nothing will change the minds of the haters from their petty concerns under the guise of religion, GAWD or whatever.

    No different from the arguments of racists back in 1966 fighting against mixed race marriage. They claimed they weren’t racists, just protecting the children, the institution of marriage, the Kkkristian belief system and the fact they thought mixing the races was just icky. (UGH!)

    “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.” ~ Andre Gide (1869 – 1951)

  • Matthew Greenbaum

    As a straight, married Jewish male, I’d like to suggest what is most disturbing to the Religious Right about gay marriage: their concept of marriage is based on the possession of the wife by the husband. This is an essentially unequal relationship.

    Gay marriage is 1. equal by definition and 2. not based on property rights

    ergo – the idea of marriage equality destroys theboth basis of their conception of marriage and a fundamental property relationship.

  • Matthew Greenbaum

    [proofread] As a straight, married Jewish male, I’d like to suggest that what is most disturbing to the Religious Right about gay marriage is that their concept of marriage is based on the possession of the wife by the husband. This is an essentially unequal relationship.

    Gay marriage is 1. equal by definition and 2. not based on property rights.
    The idea of marriage equality destroys the basis of marriage as a fundamental property relationship.

  • Ed


    Obama is the same because he opposes gay marriage but just appointed a gay man to lead the import/export bank, a federal position with national power and prestige. A gay man has a voice at the table. It just so happens that his voice isn’t primarily or even secondarily about his orientation. Thus Obama is against gay marriage but promotes a gay man. Is he too exactly as Warren stated, against gay marriage but not against gay individuals? They are mutually exclusive.

  • propitiousmoment

    @Matthew Greenbaum:
    I agree that the tradition of marriage arose out of a desire to control property rights and the behavior of women. I would disagree with your assertion that gay marriage is not about property rights. At least under American law, there are about 1100 rights associated with marriage, many of which have to do with property, such as being able to collect social security benefits based on your deceased spouse’s income if it will increase your social security payments. I think the confusion is that we combine the civil and religious aspects of marriage in this country, where in some countries they are kept separate – if you want the civil benefits of the special kind of contract that a marriage is, you go to a civil authority; if you want the spiritual blessings of a minister’s approval, you go to a church. If we took the civil authority away from the clergy, everyone would have to go to a civil authority to get the civil benefits of marriage, and the state could define civil marriage to include everyone, and the religious people could continue to do whatever they want within their religious beliefs. Seems increasingly to me to be the answer to this whole mess.

  • sofa-ist


    Thanks. I had despaired of ever hearing an intelligent voice from the camp of the christ believers. And yours surely was intelligent, and “generous”, too – according to the definition you use. I expect that you are one of what I consider a rare breed – the genuine “christian” – meaning one who is like unto christ.

    Those of the more mundane sort, I refer to as “christianists”. They are truly sheep. And they rarely know anything more of the bible than what they’ve been taught by other sheep. They bleat loudly, but it is meaningless gibberish.

    My best to you,


  • Vartan Hagopian

    Burton acknowledged homosexual experiences as a young actor on the London stage in the 1950s[citation needed]. He also suggested that perhaps all actors were latent homosexuals, and “we cover it up with drink”. In 2000, a biography of Elizabeth Taylor suggested that Burton may have had an affair with Laurence Olivier. Burton was also notorious for his unrestrained pursuit of women while filming. Joan Collins wrote that when she rejected his on-set advances, he embarked on a series of liaisons with other women including an elderly black maid who, according to Collins, was “almost toothless”. Collins playfully told Burton that she believed he would sleep with a snake if he had the chance, to which Burton is alleged to have replied “only if it was wearing a skirt, darling”.

  • nightslider


    Tallskin: You said
    women are not innocent victims of this patriarchy either – they positively POLICE young male behavior to stamp out campness or any expression of homosexual desire, either as mothers, sex partners, wives, sisters etc etc.

    They are the subliminal driving force behind the whole thing, if the natural inclination is to propagate with those of your gender does it not endanger their status as pleasure givers?
    In most of the ancient writings there are mentions of male concubines held for the royalty and their entourage. In the middle east, this was particularity true in Grecian society’s.

    Women were mere chattel,Look at some of the earliest paintings and tell me how many of the nobility are wearing earrings wigs,Flowing capes,necklaces,They may have been manly in their actions”subjective” but their appearances said something altogether different.

    The French,English,Dutch,all showed these traits and yet when history is actually exmined women weren’t allowed to wear the teappings of wealth until well into the 17th century. excepting nobility, even then the wealth belonged to whomever owned them, be the state and or the male.

    At any rate this old bachelor may hold women in high esteem, but they surely can be the most ignorant cow on the block and to make a pun here, make udder nonsense out of nothing.

    Lets put it another way, just how many deck hands were assigned to pleasure the Captain on all those long sea voyages, that lasted years, bet they got tired of masturbating.
    Yeah there’s an effeminate side of man it’s a shame its cultured out of him.

    I pamper myslef with my bubble baths, pare my nails,and toe nalls, and really enjoy quality colognes.

    My partner in business is a full blown lesbian and has a hard time dealing with my bluntness,
    She just about faints when I tell a customer to take their bigoted asses and homophobic shit elsewhere, don’t have the time to spend working my ass off on something that belongs to a hypocrite and trust me my game is the only one in town that knows what the hell he’s doing, otherwise the Gates, Locks, Owens,Adams, and etc wouldn’t be bringing me their business.

    Good call on my earler post, though your one of the few that caught it.

    You pull the flesh off of any human being, you couldn’t tell what he or she was let alone their sexual orientation.,

    And for all you reading this I’am a happily married man to an out standing woman, who also rides Harleys, and is tuned to her fellow sisters and brothers et all.

    Neither of us is particularly religious but we do say our prayer’s for all of gods creations.

  • tallskin


    There is a rather tongue in cheek view that sees the major religions of the world as feminist conspiracies to control male sexual behaviour. – otherwise men would only want to fuck each other and not bother with women.

  • Matthew Greenbaum


    I see that my comment wasn’t clear even after revision – sorry.

    Of course marriage is about property. The problem lies in the historical fact that one partner has been the property of another. Apparently, a church like the Latter Day Saints still holds to this view.

    My suggestion is that what may be fundamentally threatening about gay marriage is its challenge to marriage inequality. Marriage equality might spread, and then the womenfolk will get all riled up ….

  • greybat

    @Matthew Greenbaum: Well, let’s rile them by all means! It’s the submissive ones that helped pass the prop to begin with!
    If they have something more interesting to do, maybe they’ll leave us alone!

  • Murray Weinstien

    What is Islam’s view of homosexuality?

    There is no doubt that in Islam homosexuality is considered ‘sinful’. Homosexuality as far as Islam is concerned is a profound mistake ( as are all sins if they are not intending to do wrong). Humans are not homosexuals by nature. People become homosexuals because of their environments. Particularly critical is the environment during puberty. Suggestions, ideas & strange dreams are symptoms of confused attempts to understand new and blunt sexual desires and are rashly interpreted as defining someone as being one sexuality or another. If these conclusions are accompanied by actual homosexual acts they are even more strongly reinforced.

    Human instincts can be subjected to acts of will. Sexuality is a choice of identity which follows choices of action which follow from choices of what to have sexual fantasies about. Human beings are especially able to control their thoughts, entertaining some and dismissing others.

    However, if this free will is not recognised it is easy to get into a cycle of thinking which starts from accepting a hypothesis about yourself as true rather than as a possible choice (even if the options are sometimes difficult).For example: “I am lazy ” could be supposed true by someone. When the person who thinks this lies around in bed in the morning he observes this inaction as evidence of the statement “I am lazy.” As he repeatedly chooses to do so the evidence mounts and the idea becomes fixed in his identity. It may even have physical manifestations and change his physiology and psychology. This process can easily occur for any idea good or bad about the self which is based largely on evidence resulting from ones own action. The idea may be “I am ‘gay'” or “I am content” or “I love eating lots of food”. The truth is – you are what you choose to be ; you do what you choose to do ; you think what you choose to think. There may be long time delays between the causing choices and the effects but anyone can change themselves. There are reformed ex-drug addicts, reformed ex-compulsive gamblers and ex-homosexuals. In all these sins prevention is 1000 times better than cure and much easier.

    It has been suggested that homosexuality is genetically inherited and that those who have this ‘predisposition’ are victims of it not sinners of any sort. However, there are other things which are probably genetically influenced to give predispositions to for example gambling or alcoholism .It could also be argued (and has been) that it is programmed into men’s genetics for them to be unfaithful to their partner. All these things don’t make it the right thing to do, nor does it prevent these things from being regarded as sinful. Drinking alcohol will still be regarded as sinful in Islam even if you have a predisposition to be an alcoholic. The trick as every post alcoholic will tell you is never touch another drop after you quit – it is a long slippery slope – your life is better without it. Once a certain desire is connected to your identity strongly and you get in some way hooked on it, it will always be easy to return to it – you are unable to forget the satisfaction. The difficult task is remembering the bad side of the desire, such as hangovers, lost money, self loathing or a simply sense of loss because of what you missed out on. But if you are to change for the better, you must remember this and the past desires you bound up with your identity can become disconnected from what you choose to become.

  • nightslider


    No. 164 · tallskin


    Touche, think of the Pope and his entourage, them Bishops have got to have toe tapping down to a science,
    They are definitely good at grooming their victims, they’ve had how many centuries to perfect their lies and abilities to coerce their victims.
    As I said earlier I’m not particularly religious,but to listen to someone that speaks to god all the time is a load of fecal matter waiting to be deposited in your life, particularly the ones that says god has spoken to them.
    Thanks but no thanks I’ll stick to my private conversations with my maker,that way a loose nut cant screw up an otherwise ordered life.
    Which wasn’t always ordered, lllllllooong story here,
    I’m no neophyte that’s for sure.

    The Dodsons
    and such have one thing in common, their fidelity to their religion and its the only one as the Spanish Inquisition will attest to,
    Hell our present day politics is good reminder that my god is better than your god, all of it Classic Bullshit of course. but they have no business in my life and any other for that matter let alone telling me what I can do or can’t do.
    That don’t work for me and god has never helped resolve my personal issues at any time, it was always my hard work and desire to correct problems that were correctable, and that does not include genetics, don’t even go there because I bring a whole different outlook to the problem.
    Gays and Lesbians have the right to exist, marry, work, raise and adopt children, pay taxes, employ people, fight for their country,etc they are citizens of this great country and deserve equal protection and the pursuing of a quality life as Guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

  • nightslider

    Posted: Jan 12, 2009 at 1:32 pm · @Reply · [Flag?]
    No. 167 · Murray Weinstien

    the strawman in this analysis needs some kind of stiffener.

    let me suggest reality as an antidote,your supposition could and should be used as suppository for the religious right who might accept your trip down fantasy lane.

  • trishj

    Even as many writers here are contemplating a Rick Warren change of heart IMHO that’s not going to happen and that is not the intention. Rick Warren and his mentor, Barak Obama, (let’s not forget about him) are going to gain a lot of support from the right wing and evangelicals by making gays a target again while pretending to befriend them.

    Warren is unrepentant. He’s trying to join forces with the dissonant anti-gay Anglicans in Africa, which will give him an even bigger forum.

    Obama is just using us to gain the 2012 election.

  • trishj

    rwilliams #150.
    Posh. Stop using this miserable bigot situation to bring gays to the church-any church. We live in a secular society. There should be separation of church and state and then we wouldn’t get into these stupid conversations about which dumb interpretation of a made up story is the correct one.

    And stop arguing for passivity and fortitude and patience in the struggle. No civil rights were won with passivity, they were won with persistence and courage and the willingness to look injustice in the face.

    Maybe you want to wait a generation to convince people you are human being-but I don’t.

  • klbrz

    @Murray Weinstien:
    WHAT in the world are you talking about? Are you saying that people “choose” to be gay like they “choose” to be alcoholic? For one thing – who in the world would decide that “choosing” to live his/her life in absolute opposition to what their friends and families think is right must be a good idea? RISK losing forever the love and companionship of everyone they know? WHO does this sort of thing out of pure orneriness? “Actually, I really prefer the opposite sex, but I like being lonely and outcast from my family so I “choose” to live out my many, very long days with a person of my own gender who will never be accepted as part of the family. What a kick.”

    We are social beings. From our beginnings we are raised to belong to the group, to try to get along with, and think like, be like the others. If someone is living in so radical a way from the rest of the group, maybe that’s because that’s who they TRULY are.

  • Alfredo Munoz

    Murray do you have any reply to the statement by KLBRZ? I think this individual just handed you something back on a platter.

  • One-Time Commenter

    I am a straight, white, Catholic, moderate (leaning slightly to the right) female, and I am about as pro-gay rights as anyone can be. Please don’t believe that everyone who is religious is anti-gay. Religious people who are bigoted make me sick and angry, in part because I don’t want to be lumped with them.

    I apologize for not responding to the last few comments made; I read all of the comments until about the halfway mark and then started skimming.

    Jaroslaw–you are one of my favorite posters on here.

    Japhy–your letter was beautiful, although I found one or two of your arguments a bit vague.

    Hyhybt–you had me until you started ragging on the Catholics. I’m not sexually repressed by any means. Please don’t make statements about an entire population based on the actions of some; not all of us take our religion at literal-translation, word-for-word, law-for-law face value. I for one remain Catholic, although I disagree with much of what the Pope says (including his recent comments comparing homosexuality as a problem as worrying as the depletion of the rainforests–please, Pope. You’re an idiot), because I don’t believe there is any one religion that believes every single litte thing that I do. Why not stick with Catholicism, which I know and love? It’s probably not going to differ with my views any more than any other given religion, and it’s easier to find a church to attend.

    Sorry for my ramblings. Just wanted to contribute to the discussion.


    I don’t recall “ragging on the Catholics”… (after digging through humongous thread) Oh, that. I was responding specifically about *priests*, and I think you’d agree that Catholic priests are indeed not supposed to express sexuality.

  • konrad

    Warren’s critics were right. What a hate-filled, anti-gay tirade that prayer yesterday was. Who could defend a word of it?

  • Jaroslaw

    Thanks one-time commenter!

  • Chuck


  • Stefan

    What did Jesus Christ say about Homosexuality? Nothing,not a word.

    If I am a Christian then I am a disciple of Jesus Christ. So I should follow HIS example.

    He did however say a lot about love and treatment of our neighbors.

    Levitican Law had its time and place for the protection of God’s children, and was wise for that time.

    That time has come and gone.

    I wonder if Mr. Warren is going to start a fight against eating shellfish.

    For those of you who are unfamiliar with the correlation please read Leviticus

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