Where in the Bible Does It Say Colorado State Sen. Scott Renfroe Gets to Withold the Civil Rights of Others?

Joining the likes of Utah State Senator Chris Buttars — who called gay men and women America’s greatest threat — is Colorado State Senator Scott Renfroe, who ranks homosexuality up there with other sins you might’ve heard about, like murder. And why would you give gay people rights? That would be like giving murders rights!

Speaking against a bill that would grant health benefits to state employees in same-sex domestic partnerships, Renfroe treated colleagues to a reading of Scripture as proof that passing this act would affirm a “detestable act”: “I’m not saying (homosexuality) is the only sin that is out there. Obviously we have sin — we have murder, we have, we have all sorts of sin, we have adultery, and we don’t make laws making those legal, and we would never think to make murder legal.”

As you might’ve expected, Renfroe appears to be in a pawn in a new game from Focus on the Family, which got on his case to voice opposition to the bill. That right-wing organization agrees with Renfroe, who says we shouldn’t be enacting “laws that go against what Biblically we are supposed to stand for.”

Indeed, the backlash has begun. Make it louder.

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93 Comments

  • Sebbe

    Is he also pushing for adultery to be punishable by death again? That is what the book of fairytales says isn’t it?

  • Jaroslaw

    I’m not entirely sure he is comparing being Gay to murder – he feels it is a sin to murder and a sin to be Gay. It is also a sin to steal, to lie, to gossip etc.

    What I have a much bigger problem with is the idea that he is reading the Bible and pushing his brand of religion to justify how he votes. This is no disrespect to Christianity, but can you imagine the outrage if another representative read the Koran or another holy book?

    Finally and perhaps most importantly, IF one is going to use the Bible to push for or against something, it needs to be pointed out many things are “ABOMINATIONS” such as eating shellfish. And adultery and fornication ARE overlooked in our legal system. Is this representative asking for all unwed mothers to be cut off public assistance? No, it is only when the issue is homosexuality do “morals” and “values” come into play.

  • Jaroslaw

    One more thing – if you don’t get to listen to the whole 6 minute You tube thing, he goes into a long analysis of what society is supposed to be, what the structure of the famiy is for etc.

    So, he is obviously overlooking or ignoring (A) Gay families who do a great job and (B) the (large number of) “traditional” families who are divorced or do a terrible job raising their children.

  • Alan down in Florida

    Interesting how he elevates homosexuality to a much higher level in the biblical hierarchy of sin than the Bible itself does. Amazing how those who seek to use the Bible as cover for their hatred and ignorance know less about what is actually in it than those of us who aren’t especially religious.

  • Sebbe

    @Jaroslaw – Agree

    I do have a question though as I don’t know much about these things. Is “gossip” a sin as well? Catholics!!!!!!!

  • Jaroslaw

    I can’t remember if it is Old Testament or New but supposedly one is accountable for every word they say.

  • Darth Paul

    You know this sh!twad is going to be busted a la Haggard eventually.

  • RDM

    Murderers can get married in Colorado.

  • BootsieGee

    Senator Renfroe should be reminded that he placed his hand on the bible and swore to uphold the consititution. He did not put his hand on the constitution and swear to uphold the bible.

    Not my original thought, I think Rosie O’Donnell said it first but I still think it is one of the more cogent comments made on the subject of equal rights.

  • shivadog

    “we have adultrey, and we don’t make laws making those legal” Um,I didn’t know adultry was illegal.

  • Kid A

    Even murderers have rights.

  • CondeNasty

    @Sebbee

    Yes, the ninth commandment “Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor” covers lying, malicious slander and gossip.

    It is but a token of my Catholic school days/haze.

  • Me

    He doth protest too much. I wonder what bathroom he’s been tapping in? Probably something like J. C. Penney, so he can pick up a 6 pack of plain ol’ briefs while he’s at it. I mean, you need an excuse, right?

  • Stef

    Last I checked, murderers DO still have certain rights (right to a fair trial by jury, just for example, right to counsel, just another example)…so that whole argument is null and void and retarded.

    Next up, I’m pretty sure adultery and fornication is legal. While I don’t condone adultery, especially of the married-person kind, it’s still legal and it happens and hey, there’s even a (mostly if not entirely heterosexual) website in which to have an affair! And allllll those people registering for that site, still have rights. As do divorcees, and 17 year old kids who are banging in the back of their cars.

    The logistics of this man (and anyone for that matter) pushing laws based on “Biblical correctness” is frightening. I wonder what the Christian psychos would do if say, a ridiculously religious Jewish guy became senator and wished to use to Torah to influence laws. Outlawing shellfish (I would seriously move to Canada) on menus, outlawing non-kosher delis, outlawing meat and cheese being mixed, outlawing women from wearing pants. I wonder how incredibly harrassed the Christian citizens (and other non-hard core Jewish citizens) would feel then?

    I haveno problem with religion as a choice. My best friend is Jewish and she never mixes meat and cheese and she doesn’t eat shellfish, but she really doesn’t follow anything else an she only does it as an homage to her grandparents who survived the Holocaust. But when we lived together in college, she NEVER pushed any of it on me and I was more than happy to watch her and support her as she struggled to pull the cheese off a takeout burger when they got the order wrong.

    Christian’s have such an ego about themselves. I don’t care what’s Biblically correct or not because I don’t follow the Bible. Therefore, my laws shouldn’t be based around it. I do not think gay marriage is wrong for multiple reasons, the first being my best friend in the entire world is gay. And so what exactly makes my opinion based on sound proof of how incredibly awesome gay people are any less valid than this dude’s belief based on a book that tells the story of an immaculate conception and or reincarnation and of Noah, who managed to find 2 of every kind of species of animal and fit them on a boat?

    SERIOUSLY.

  • Jaroslaw

    STEF – everything you say is fine, except a lot of people DO follow the Bible and they VOTE. Ever heard of the Christian Coalition? The American Family Association? They have 10’s of thousands of members and they vote, usually the way the respective organization encourages them to.

    Also to Stef & a couple others, Adultery and Fornication are illegal in most states, the laws are simply not enforced. We had a law here in Michigan about not cursing in front of children. The conservation officer wrote the ticket but the judge through it out, I don’t remember the reason. But the law is still on the books. (well, if it was removed, it was done later, but the judge throwing out that particular ticket didn’t invalidate the law).

  • Stacey

    Women were created by God to be helpers… Wtf? I was already offended by his comments regarding gays but clearly his views on women aren’t much better.

    And can anybody please explain to me why these fundamentalist idiots are always spending their time on the Old Testament when as far as know, Jesus marked a new beginning? Granted, I’m an atheist so maybe there’s something I’m missing but I thought the whole point of Jesus was to kind of start fresh with the New Testament and all. Not to mention that God apparently didn’t think homosexuality was important enough to mention in the Ten Commandments and Jesus didn’t think it was important enough to mention at all, unlike judging your neighbor.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Jaroslaw: Actually we are responsible for everything we THINK. That was Jesus talking, from Matthew 5:38.

    And as I mentioned in another thread there is plenty in the bible about respect in relationships, but absolutely nothing defining marriage. There’s not even anything in there saying that marriage must be sanctified by clergy.

    Basically all this bible talk is a poor excuse for a bunch of bigots to justify their prejudices. I’m sure they used the same nonsense to justify slavery in the day; I know they used it to keep women “in their place”.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Stacey: The christian wingnuts cling so desperately to the Old Testament because it better serves their agenda. The New Testament god was (mostly) gentle and benevolent. The Old Testament god was vicious, vindictive, and hateful. You’d almost think they were two different gods.

    Hmmm.

    There’s a reason people refer to “Old Testament” wrath. By my figuring, in the Old Testament god was either directly or indirectly responsible for the deaths of around two million people, and that’s not counting the flood. Just something to consider when you wonder what inspires these humanoids.

  • Aaron

    But, Renfroe, murder is legal. We just call it ‘capital punishment’.

  • Mike

    Actually, some have said that murderers have rights, such as a right to a fair trial, but they also have a right to marry while serving their time, as do nearly all other felons.

    Abomination simply means “what Gentiles do,” making such things like eating fruit from a tree harvested prior to its fifth year an impure ritual. The term has been twisted as a way to invict feelings of hate towards us, making oppression so much more easy to pull off.

    Most offensive to me (not that it is all about me) is this notion that we must toss aside our own belief system and submit to another’s religious tyranny. That is not the stuff that made our pluralistic society such an envy to the rest of the world these past two plus centuries.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt: Exactly, though there is still some fairly oppressive stuff in the NT (try ploughing through Corinthans).

    It’s funny, because the most important thing Jesus seemed to be arguing for is for us to think about what is moral and just – not just slavishly obey the law. Regularly in the gospels religous leaders tried to trip him up on points of God’s law, and he argued to look beyond the letter of the law, even if it meant breaking it (Luke 13:15).

    It would be nice if some of these modern hypocrites (as Jesus called them) would follow what is written in their holy book.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Mike: Likewise, the Aramaic word which Jesus used that has been translated as “sin” simply meant to miss the mark. It was an old archery term.
    It did not mean evil or beyond redemption. It simply meant to be less than perfect.

  • Peter

    Good old Renfroe says there are men and women to populate the earth. Has he not noticed that we have already done that and that the earth is OVER-populated already. The Bible also says we need to take care of the earth. To do that we need to stop having so many kids. Also the old testament was to be rules for the Hebrews; so that they stood out from the non-believers. The new testament is for the new believers. Jesus talked about loving everyone as yourself. Renfroe sure missed that one.

  • Stacey

    @vernonvanderbilt: Thank you for your reply. I am aware that the Old Testament better serves their hateful purposes but I thought the whole point of Christianity was Jesus and the New Testament. Silly me.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @strumpetwindsock: Oh, I definitely feel you on the NT. But it’s the lesser of two evils, and thus not evil enough for the religious right. This isn’t the place to get into it, but Jesus wasn’t such a great role model either if you actually pay attention to what he said and did. I can’t shake the horse thievery, myself, though there are other examples to back that up.

    As far as the content of this story, I’m not in the mood to watch the video at this time. But this practice of saying every sin is equal just seems like a convenient way to equate homos with murderers and rapists and the like. It’s typical “us and them” shenanigans. No one should be surprised when they demonize us. Coherent groupthink is facilitated by having an “other” to demonize. We’re one of their main others, just as they are one of ours. Every hero is someone’s villain, after all, and vice versa.

    I think that, instead of getting all worked up and huffy about the stupid things these creatures say (though I admit it is intermittently entertaining), we should be glad that the majority of those who oppose us are very obviously nuttier than squirrel semen. In the long run, they only help us.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Stacey: Silly you indeed! ;) Jesus was a little benevolent for these beasts. The socks-and-sandals crowd wouldn’t know what to do with themselves if they actually tried to sort of pretend they were marginally half-interested in kind of leaning toward following his example.

  • Jackie

    Here we go again another closet gay like Rev. Haggard. With all the headlines of Colorado one would think he would just think first. A young woman cries rape by a basketball paying when she just wanted sex. A beloved Rev. Haggard who preached against gays while having his church supporter pay for his sex activities not once but twice. If Senator Renfroe bothered to read the bible he would fine more sin and corruption then what’s going on now. It’s time people remove the wacko Law Makers who are clearly in the job for the money.

  • nikko

    Great blog, Jocelyn! I appreciate your much needed (funny,articulate, truthful,etc.) approach to christianity. Iwas a born again christian for about 8 years(I think anyway) and I left after coming out…..do I still believe in Jesus? I think I do,but…y’know yada, yada,yada…

  • BootsieGee

    There is a very good documentary called “For The Bible Tells Me So” It is available on Netflix and does a very good job at showing how the bible says very little about homosexuality. Demond Tutu said it best, (I am paraprashing here) “..people need to remember that bible was written through the idiom of the time and should not be taken literally…” Again, I highly recommend it.

    My thinking is; if it was truly as big a sin as the fundies make it out to be why was it not handed down to Moses as one of the 10 commandments? I would think if God could include all the things like murder, coveting thy neighbors wife and ass, worshipping idols, honoring parents etc. God would have made sure to include homosexuality in the top ten.

    These cafeteria chrisitians will all be judged at some time, whether through karmic intervention or in some other way. I pity this misguided man. Renfroe is not a minister nor is he a theologian or in any way qualified to interpret the bible. He should have been silenced on the floor. What I love is that they ignore all the other pieces of scripture, like the planting of seeds, the selling of one’s daughters into slavery etc. sex only to procreate, etc.

    What a sad waste of a human being you are Mr. Refroe. You really should be less concerned about how I am going to get into heaven and more concerned with how you are going to get in. You too will be judged.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt:
    I think the divinity or perfection of Jesus are irrelevant, especially since the gospels were written well after his death, and at least one (Luke) owes more to Greek philosophy than Hebrew. That is going down the same path as the literalists who think the earth was made in six days.

    But I also don’t think it accurate or fair to portray all Christians as homophobic fools.

    As a religious text the Bible is still a very significant document, and you cannot deny it is one of the cornerstones of western society; I think Jocelyn is quite right in using it to show professed Christians how un-christian their behaviour really is.

    Some of the messages in the New and Old Testaments are quite revolutionary. It would be a much better world if people truly learned what it meant to love one’s enemies, and that none of us is perfect enough to cast that first stone.

  • Jaroslaw

    Strumpet – What you just said is the hardest thing to get across to the fundies, especially your last paragraph.

    There is so much harping in the USA about various ills and problems caused by many sources, but how we can have millions of persons without health insurance and all the other things in such a supposedly “Christian” nation is beyond me.

    Thanks for stating it so well.

  • kevin (not that one)

    For most Christians, the whole bible is used as a cornerstone of the faith and it’s not just the New Testament that guides the Christian faith. People often view the Old Testamant God as one of wrath and vengeance and the New Testament God as one of love and forgiveness, but this is wrong. They are one and the same.

    However, as Christians, we are guided by the teachings of Jesus Christ in how we understand the relationship between humankind and God. It’s interesting to note that when a self-described Christian points out the law against male homosexuality in Leviticus, often that person neglects that other laws written in that book that were later deemed irrelevant by Jesus and his followers: such as laws regarding keeping kosher, laws on relationships with “unclean” women and the disabled, laws on observing the Sabbath (which in Jesus’s day was Saturday), and laws regarding circumcision.

    Christians are not Christians because of what is written in Leviticus, but are Christians because they understand their relationship to God through the gospel of Jesus.

    Shouldn’t this be a no-brainer?

  • Jaroslaw

    No. 33 – you’ve written mostly good things on other posts, so I’ll try to be “Christian” to you. I just can’t let your “no brainer” comment pass. Have you ever heard of the Crusades? The Protestant Reformation? The fact that there are hundreds of Protestant denominations?

    People disagree about religion probably more than anything else. NOTHING to do with religion is a “no brainer.”

    So unless I’ve misunderstood what you mean by No-brainer, please explain! :)

  • Mark

    The ability to cite both murder and homosexuality as sins is EXACTLY why it’s a big mistake to look for moral guidance in the bible. A philosophy which can equate these two has no wisdom to offer anyone.

    As long as you look to superstition to provide guidance in your life, you’re going to be stuck wandering in the desert.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @strumpetwindsock: Perhaps I should clarify my position (which I seem to have to do a lot of around here, so perhaps it’s a communication problem on my end). I have no problem with christians who don’t create any problems for me, and that’s a good-sized portion of them. When I’m “badmouthing” christians or christianity, it is generally from a very specific stance, and generally pertains to a very specific sub-group. More often than not, I’m specifically addressing homophobic fundies.

    However, as in my comments above, sometimes I believe there is value in pointing out certain facets of the faith that loyal followers tend to gloss over. It’s easy to spout uplifting aphorism and talk about peace and love; it’s more difficult for a believer to honestly and unflinchingly address the darker aspects of their faith. This isn’t the time or place to go much further into that specific issue, though. If it’s something you’d be interested in talking about, you are welcome to send me a message at [my Queerty name] at [the site that starts with a y and ends in an ahoo] dotcom.

    However, I do have to address the concept of “loving one’s enemy” that so many christians seem to enjoy throwing around. Please indulge me, if you will.

    I’ll be blunt about it: I think “love thy enemy” is about as farcical an idea as any that has ever been put forth as a worthy life philosophy. I get that many people who use it try to cloak it in generalities about loving humanity as a whole, or loving said enemy’s soul, or some other illogical gobbledygook. I simply refuse to concede that it has any value, even as a simple aphorism.

    To love one’s enemy is tantamount to hating oneself. I will explain my reasoning, of course.

    1. Typically, someone who is heinous enough to warrant the title of “enemy” is someone who is actively and enthusiastically interested in and/or engaged in the oppression, suppression, and/or destruction of the group or individual in question.

    2. To “love” is a form of specified admiration. Normal people reserve love for people who enrich their lives in some manner, such as friends, family members, lovers, etc.

    3. People who are not self-hating masochists are not naturally inclined to think kindly of those who would oppress, suppress, or destroy them, much less “love” them.

    Therefore…loving one’s enemy is the same as hating oneself. It’s no different than self-mutilation and suicide, only it’s on a social, emotional, and spiritual level, as opposed to purely physical.

    There is simply no rational reason to believe that loving one’s enemies is a healthy stance to pretend to take. Me? I’ll continue hating them, wishing untold ills upon them and cursing their names from the depths of my soul, and I will revel in their every misfortune with a spring in my step and a song in my crusty, little heart.

    If it works for you, great. I can’t say I buy it, personally, but whatever turns you on is fine by me.

    @kevin (not that one): I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt that they are one and the same, at least as far as the intent of the creators of christianity extends. However, even the most blinded follower must admit that the OT and NT versions of “god” come across as quite different characters. Let’s not forget, also, that in Genesis 1:26, the OT god character refers to itself in the plural. Could this at all mean that there is more than one entity in the god equation? I think it’s worth considering in light of the larger picture.

    Your paragraph on Leviticus is spot-on, though, and something I’ve been pointing out for years. I have yet to get a reasonable explanation for the cherry-picking from any believer, fundie or sane. The majority of the reactions I’ve received to the question have simply avoided answering it at all, instead opting to attack and spew mindless dogma.

    As far as the Jesus/no-brainer thing…obviously it’s not, otherwise people wouldn’t question it. Perhaps if more christians actually followed Jesus’ example (at least the more wholesome parts of it) rather than tossing out whatever random verse seems to validate their position at the time, non-christians would be more inclined to give them the benefit of the doubt.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Mark: Polite applause for you, sir.

  • Jaroslaw

    VernonVanderbilt – I wont’ address your entire post, because I don’t need to. It is very good. “Love your enemies” was posited to counter the Middle East philosophy of “I hate you because your great great great grandfather hated my great great great grandfather.” And if you read ALL Jesus’ philosphy, it aligns with “turn the other cheek.” War will never end if both sides are forever trying to get even.

    Pretty revolutionary stuff even now, to quote Strumpetwindsock….

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt: Thanks for the clarification. I do agree with you that there is a lot of unreligious behaviour among those who profess belief.

    Regarding “love your enemies” though, I don’t think it is as simple as hating yourself, and I don’t think it means not defending yourself or opposing hatred.

    I think we could contemplate it for a lifetime and not fully understand the concept, but I think it has to do with understanding where your enemies are coming from, not forgetting they are human beings, and most importantly refusing to get caught up in the cycle of hatred, which helps no one.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @strumpetwindsock: Well, I simplified my point a lot more than I normally would, because I already suspected I was getting into a long post, and while I love being able to inform people and inspire thought, I have an almost morbid fear of boring them. I was simply aiming for some brevity.

    I understand your reasoning regarding the “love your enemies” issue, and to an extent I would agree with it. My main issue comes with calling it love when “understanding” would be a more appropriate word. For me, love is a very specific sentiment, and it’s not one that I would ever give to my own enemies, under any circumstances.

    When I encourage people to “hate their enemies” I am not advocating going out and killing them or going out of our way to disrupt their existence. It is simply a call to never forget why these people are your enemies. To turn the other cheek is to invite one’s own destruction, and believe it is a dangerously shortsighted practice. You don’t stop a bully by volunteering to be bullied even more. You sock ’em a nice one right in the kisser. People who don’t fight back are asking for whatever they get. Personally, I have no interest in being anyone’s doormat or punching bag.

  • kevin (not that one)

    @Jaroslaw: I appreciate your willingness to suffer fools! :P

    Seriously though, although it *should* be a no-brainer – doesn’t quite mean that it is. It should be to people who’ve read the bible with a critical mind and a willingness to step outside of their immediate comfort zone in order to entertain thoughts that challenge their preconcieved notions about what is true; notions such as Jesus being born in Bethelehem (he was likely born in Nazareth…and in the springtime).

    As far as what Christians have done in the past, take into consideration that the Crusades occured before the invention of printing press, when the bible could only be read and interpreted by the elite and powerful and our social order was structured very differently. I think we must be careful when judging the actions of 16th century humanity through 21st century eyes.

    The printing press was revolutionary to the Christian tradition. But as much as it liberated the bible from the hands of the few, it created an environment where interpretation of the meaning of Scripture (not the actual text) was open to anyone and everyone. So, we have people today who read a passage in Mark, which was inserted long after the original was written, and take it to mean that they should drink poison and handle vipers to prove that they are true in faith. That’s the downside of making these sacred texts open and available to just anyone…and that’s why we must rely on scholars and biblical criticism when we are trying to understand what’s being said in the text, why it was said, and by whom.

    @vernonvanderbilt:

    Where you see “love your enemies” as a form of masochism, I see it as a form of generocity. When Jesus is quoted as saying “but I say to you love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you”, he continues to say “SO THAT you may be sons of your father in heaven”. In otherwords, so that you may be one with God – not an exception to God. He continues to say “for God causes the sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous”.

    We love our enemies, because when all is said and done, they are part of the big human family to which we all belong. This is also the meaning behind the parable of the Good Samaritan. We can’t always assume that our friends will be there when we need them, just as we can’t assume that our “enemies” are beyond acting in a humane way towards us. When I think of loving my enemies, I don’t always think of individuals but groups of people, like the fundamentalists. It is easier for me personally to live in a world knowing that as long as I can keep my heart open, that possibly someone that I believed to be my enemy could maybe be my friend.

  • Jeff

    I have got to say I just stumbled across this site, and the comments on this page are quite interesting and have given me food for thought(not to mention a counter argument or two)! Thanks for the in depth, and civil discussion :)

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Arguing about Jesus, God and religion using the Bible as a point reference, is as about as senseless as wresting an octopus at 20 thousand leagues beneath the sea.

    No matter how strong your argument, sooner or later, you’re gonna run out of oxygen…and the octopus wins.

    And that, my friends, is a real no-brainer!

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @kevin (not that one): But who is to say that such “generosity” is a good thing? If I were being held up at gunpoint and offered the thug an extra bullet in case he missed with his first shot, that would certainly be generous of me, wouldn’t it? It would also be incredibly stupid of me.

    What if I was getting bashed by a homophobe, and offered him a free punch? What if I gave anyone who was so inclined the opportunity to give me one swift kick in the balls with no threat of repercussions?

    What if I gave myself to a serial killer, inviting him to do whatever he wants to me?

    Generosity can kill. These people are my enemies, and when I am generous toward them, I am repaid with pain and/or death. I know they’re extreme examples, but do you see the correlation here? When we invite these people to use us for target practice…well, surprise surprise…we’re gonna get shot. I don’t know about you, but I think I’m more valuable alive than dead.

    But they’re our fellow humans, you say. They’re family. Well, if that’s how you choose to look at them, go right ahead. Just don’t expect anyone to care when you find yourself wearing victim’s shoes.

    As far as seeing people as groups rather than individuals, I think that’s one of the most dangerous mindsets a human being could ever adopt. Godwin be damned, but how do you think the Nazis looked at the Jews? How do you think the radical Muslims view Westerners? How do you think the religious right views us? It’s easy because it permits you to excuse the actions of individuals, Kevin, at the expense of justice. It’s the sort of attitude that allows people to get away with whatever heinous words or deeds they choose, because it says “Well, he’s not an individual, he’s just part of this particular group.” Do you see how that tosses personal responsibility right out the window?

    Our enemies are our enemies for a reason: they don’t deserve our love.

    They say that the more love you give, the more you receive. It’s a pleasant sentiment, ripe for the Hallmark treatment, but it is a fallacy. Love is by far the most valuable gift we can give, but it means nothing if it is not returned in kind. If you honestly believe these subhumans are capable of such a love, then go on loving them. But I would encourage you to consider the very real possibility, yea, the likelihood, that they are not.

    A love reserved for those who are deserving is never wasted; a love given indiscriminately is never worth giving. That’s a Vernon original for you to think about.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller:
    That Charles, is your opinion (which I have said elsewhere I respect).

    My part in this discussion was about the bigots not having a scriptural leg to stand on. Frankly I think some of us have made a decent case. And even though it won’t win over anyone who is completely closed-minded, I don’t think it’s pointless at all.

    If you don’t care to engage them on their own turf, that is your choice.

    Further, I think anyone who ignores the importance of the Bible (even an atheist) is making a grave error. Like classical mythology, and any other sacred text, it is part of the fabric of civilization. Even if you think it is a fairytale (and it may well be) it is also a work of philosophy, ethics, and law, and it has had a greater influence on you and on our culture than you can imagine.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @strumpetwindsock: I think what Charles was getting at, in his own unique manner, is that it is impossible to have an impartial and purely rational discussion on christianity if one uses the bible itself as their only reference on the issue. I would add, myself, that the same is true if one neglects to incorporate it into their knowledge base. It’s a very emotional issue for a lot of people on both sides of the fence, and frankly, while I feel it is an interesting subject, it’s not one that can be successfully examined the majority of the time.

    I believe with you that if we put the bible in context, treating it as no different than any other holy book or mythological tale, then perhaps reasonable discussion can be had. But how many believers do you know who are actually willing to examine their faith and its texts from such an objective point of view? It always comes back to emotion, and you can’t argue feelings.

    Interesting thought, though: If a particular source is merely a conglomeration of pre-existing sources, rewritten so as to pass for a single source, and then goes on to become highly influential, who deserves the credit? The originals, or the aggregate?

  • vernonvanderbilt

    Scratch the “with you” in the second paragraph above. That was meant to be edited out.

  • getreal

    These people are full of sh*t. The bible has 6 admonishments for homosexual conduct and 32 for heterosexual conduct look it up! This is whole using the bible to excuse bigotry is wrong on every level. And I’m sick of people in the gay community just believing this BS. The bible does not belong to these people and it does not say what they say it does. As a christian I respect people of every faith but these people aren’t real christians.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @strumpetwindsock:

    “Even if you think it is a fairytale (and it may well be) it is also a work of philosophy, ethics, and law, and it has had a greater influence on you and on our culture than you can imagine.”

    You give the Bible far more credit than it deserves. That is precisely the reason why I object so strenuously to it. Further, I think anyone who gives the Bible such importance (even an atheist) is making a grave error.

    I object to the continuous use of if as a bettering ram with which to offend my sensibilities and the modus operandi by which to strip me not only of my civil-rights, but my right to exist on this planet in a state of happiness, harmony and contentment. Why that should offend the Bible-thumpers so much, escapes my logic and ability to rationalize that out with my god-given brain.

    A work of philosophy? Hardly. I would refer you to Dictionary.com.

    phi·los·o·phy (f?-l?s’?-f?) Pronunciation Key
    n. pl. phi·los·o·phies

    1. Love and pursuit of wisdom by intellectual means and moral self-discipline.
    2. Investigation of the nature, causes, or principles of reality, knowledge, or values, based on logical reasoning rather than empirical methods.
    3. A system of thought based on or involving such inquiry: the philosophy of Hume.
    4. The critical analysis of fundamental assumptions or beliefs.
    5. The disciplines presented in university curriculums of science and the liberal arts, except medicine, law, and theology.
    6. The discipline comprising logic, ethics, aesthetics, metaphysics, and epistemology.
    7. A set of ideas or beliefs relating to a particular field or activity; an underlying theory: an original philosophy of advertising.
    8. A system of values by which one lives: has an unusual philosophy of life.

    Rigid rules, iron-clad rhetoric, threat of hellfire and brimstone if you do not believe what is written in it, hate speech, bigotry, discrimination, slavery and the advocating of murder, all of which can be found in the Bible, comes up so short of the classic meaning of the word, as to not even be in the ball park. Hell, it’s not even in the same zip-code.

    Ethical? Now that takes some real imagination. Some synonyms from Dictionary.com

    Synonyms:
    2. moral, upright, honest, righteous, virtuous, honorable.

    The Bible fails on all counts. There is nothing “moral” about killing. There is nothing “upright” about maligning people. There is nothing “honest” about misrepresenting the truth. There is nothing “righteous” about advocating hurting people. There is nothing “virtuous” about stoning people and there is nothing “honorable” about selling your daughter into slavery.

    There is nothing “ethical” about a book, that in the estimation of a great many, is one of the greatest pieces of hate literature ever written. A Google search will quickly shoot down that theory this this book is a contributor to ethics.

    And lastly, it does not take any stretch of the imagination to realize the negative influence the bible has had on my personal life. On the contrary, it is maddeningly obvious and in my face. I have had to live with that influence all of my life and continue to live with it daily even now, as my human rights are being stripped away from me as a result of people who believe the Bible to be the word of God instead of the ravings of a bunch of mad-men, living in an unenlightened time and a demon-haunted world.

    As Pat Condell would say to the followers of the Bible “”I don’t respect your beliefs and I don’t care if you’re offended. Cheers”

  • kevin (not that one)

    @vernonvanderbilt: Vern…

    I think you are alluding to the passage in Matthew which goes “you have heard that it was said, ‘An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth.’ But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also. And if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as well. If someone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles. Give to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow from you.”

    Try not to take this saying too literally. The crux of the message is overwhelming generosity, not self-inflicted harm. This is not Jesus saying you should lie down and let someone kill you. Jesus often spoke in metaphors and this is a typical metaphorical saying of his, not literal instructions.

    There’s nowhere in Jesus’s sayings, this one included, which excuses evil committed against the innocent. But is an evil for an evil a way of achieving peace and breaking the cycle? We see it’s not. Certainly is not in Israel/Palestine.

    This isn’t even an original idea of Jesus’s. The same thing he talks about comes from Proverbs 15:1 “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.” Again, this is a metaphor. But notice the similarity between this “Old Testament” saying and Jesus’s “Turn the other cheek”?

    I find it hard to believe that someone of your intelligence truly believes that love is only worthwhile if we are able to receive it in kind. I love many things that cannot love me back, and yet I am fulfilled by my love of it.

    I find it interesting that the Apostle Paul, the man who is suppose to have said horrible things about women and gays in his Letters to the Corinthians, says this about love in the same book:

    “Love is patient; love is kind; love is not envious or boastful or arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice in wrongdoing, but rejoices in the truth. It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.”

    The Apostle Paul never met the historical Jesus, and yet he “gets” Jesus. The generosity I’ve mentioned in “loving your enemy” comes from this type of love. It is a selfless generosity matched only by a selfless love. If we have “enemies”, then I have to ask if it is something we did or is this love Paul describes missing from their hearts? When I think of the intimacy of our persecution, often at the hands of family members, I truly believe that it is lack of love that causes the most pain for us as lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @kevin (not that one):

    “This isn’t even an original idea of Jesus’s.”

    I’ll go you one further. There is abolutely no empirical evidence that the man ever existed, let alone the existence his imaginary sky-daddy.

    http://godisimaginary.com/i11.htm

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt: I wouldn’t say it’s impossible at all, especially since there are many christians who don’t hold such hateful views.

    I do understand (and agree with, to a point) what both you and Charles said about the difficulty in basing one’s argument on the Bible, but the case is there, and it is ironic how hypocrisy today parallels that in the time of the gospels.

    And isn’t it just a little bit easier to challenge them knowing there are no laws in the Bible at all about how one should get married?

    @getreal: Yes, I agree. They don’t own it at all. It is frustrating that some people see only the oppression of beliefs like Catholicism, Puritanism and Born again Fundamentalism, yet ignore Catharism, Quakers, Mennonites, and other sects which do not have a history of oppression.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller:
    God, Charles, there’s a bit more in there than your “greatest hits” selection.

    I’m not a christian; I’m an agnostic, yet I stand by my original statement. You can certainly find lies, oppression, outdated laws, and a very bloody history recorded in the Bible. But it is a big collection of books, and there are many parts of it which contain important moral truths, life lessons, and beauty.

    If you can’t see them then that is your way, and I appreciate that you have suffered because of the church. But that does not mean the truth and beauty is not there.

    Also, I’m not using my battering bible in your direction, so with all respect I think you protest too much. I’m not clear on why it’s against the rules to point out to someone how their own holy book says they are in error.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @strumpetwindsock:

    “yet ignore Catharism, Quakers, Mennonites, and other sects which do not have a history of oppression.”

    Can we stay on topic, please? You’re dragging a strawman into the discussion.

    I do not recall either Vernon or I ever making any reference to the above named sects. My argument, and I think I can safely speak for Vernon as well, is not with those sects, but with Catholicism, Puritanism and Born again Fundamentalism (and don’t forget the Mormons) who have been making all the trouble.

    If I am mistaken, please direct me to where we did make mention of the the sects that do not have a history of oppression?

  • vernonvanderbilt

    Lots of action in the last couple of hours, so I’ll jump right in here.

    @getreal: Actually, I believe the number of admonitions for heteros is closer to 200, if you count all the various by-laws, variants, repetitions, etc. Not to mention that something like half of the homo admonitions deal specifically with temple prostitution. There is nothing said in the entire bible about lesbians, for good or bad, so they’re probably on the surest footing.

    Stoke that fire, though. If you truly believe that christianity is as good as you say it is, then you should be angry at those who would pervert it.

    @kevin (not that one): Regarding the first half of your post…

    I could get into an argument of semantics and debate the nature of evil with you, but that would be counterproductive, so instead I will tell you my own definition of evil so that you are able to see where my reasoning lies.

    In my belief system, evil is an abstract force of sorts which acts in specific ways. Its distinguishing feature is that it is destructive, either physically, socially, mentally, emotionally, or spiritually. However, its root purpose is even simpler than that: Evil is that which upsets balance within the Universe.

    Now that that’s out of the way, I’ll continue.

    The very thought of showing any “generosity” toward one’s enemies serves only to further feed the imbalance they have created. This is why anger and hatred, when directed appropriately, are the only reasonable reactions to our foes. Punishing those who foster imbalance (as in inequality, for the GLBT rights question) is not returning evil with evil. It is an attempt to reset the balance for the greater good. Squabbles amongst followers of the big three religions do not qualify as just, following these criteria, because they have nothing to do with balance and everything to do with oppression, on all sides. “Believe as I do or perish.” The Israel situation is a big, bloody circle jerk, and little more. “My god is bigger than your god.”

    As for not taking everything the bible says literally, it’s nothing I haven’t heard before. It’s interesting, though, how people only use that argument in order to defend the more unnatural and illogical commands issued within its pages. Loving one’s enemies falls under both of those categories, no matter how vagued up or generalized one’s interpretation. If the bible was truly divinely inspired, it would have been written better, in a manner that would avoid confusion entirely. As it stands, it is generally an incoherent mess peppered with the occasional useful proverb.

    Regarding the second half of your post, where you discuss love…

    I would dispute your statement that “things” do not love you back, but it’s pretty much an inarguable point as we are coming from different perspectives. I’m a pantheist, so my idea of the higher power is likely quite different from yours.

    And yes, as intelligent as I am, I believe love can be wasted as easily as it can be put to good use. Speaking of romantic love, what good does it do anyone to needlessly nurture an unreciprocated love? That only causes pain. Speaking of love of friends and/or family, what is the use of loving someone who has no regard for you at all? Again, it only creates pain. We can even go bigger, looking at abstract love, as in charitable acts and the like. What benefit would I get from giving money to the Salvation Army, for example, knowing that they have no problem discriminating against my people?

    Let’s even get a little personal here, from my perspective, at least. Why should I love my fellow GLBT humans, when nearly all I have interacted with have only ended up rejecting me, often immediately, for reasons as varied as my appearance, my intellect, my spirituality, or my taste in music?

    This isn’t a pity party. I’m simply attempting to illustrate my point, and illuminate where I’m coming from, as people tend to misunderstand me a lot of the time, by my own fault or theirs.

    Love, while incredibly valuable and potentially rewarding when directed properly, is more apt to cause pain for the lover. Doesn’t it make sense, then, to be more discriminating about who you choose to give it to? Love is a creative force; it creates by using the lover as its raw materials. Love must destroy in order to create.

    So why destroy a part of yourself in order to give love to someone who does not deserve it, has not earned it, and will not replenish you by returning it in kind? There was a time when I truly did love everyone and everything…and it very nearly killed me. If I hadn’t learned about the virtue of selective love, I would have been killed or killed myself ages ago.

    As you can see, the question of love and hate is a very personal one for me. I absolutely refuse to give anything but venom and vitriol to those who would diminish me. Let’s be frank…the world would be a better place if these people weren’t in it. Since I am not a murderer, the best I can do is to speak out, passionately, angrily, against the injustices they perpetrate by simply existing.

    You’re right when you say the lack of love is the problem. I simply fail to see how feeding that vacuum has any constructive purpose for us.

    @strumpetwindsock: I don’t believe the argument is impossible because of hatred. I believe it is impossible because you cannot argue faith, and that’s something the most bigoted fundie has in common with the most progressive apologetic. And considering that the only validity the bible has is that it claims to be true, it’s hardly a meaningful basis for any position one would take on any issue. It’s the equivalent of saying “I believe this because I was told to.”

    @Charles J. Mueller: You are correct. I do not take issue with any christian sects that do not actively seek my diminshment and destruction. If they keep to themselves, great. That means they’re not screwing with my life.

  • getreal

    I’m in awe of all the varied intelligent points of view on display.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @getreal: It is rather nice, isn’t it? Queerty is turning out to be one of my primary intellectual outlets these days. We seem to have a solid, respectable crowd here composed of people whom I find it genuinely pleasant to converse with. This place is a life-giving oasis in the wasteland of the internet.

    Yeah, I have a flair for the melodramatic. Sue me. :P

  • HYHYBT

    Three totally separate replies to a long thread:

    to #54: Nor did you give any indication by words or tone that you *weren’t* including everyone who believes the Bible is other than total nonsense or deliberate evil. I remember your saying so another time in a different thread, but surely it’s understandable if someone else either didn’t see it, or didn’t remember, or didn’t make the connection, especially since so many people *don’t* make the distinction or even acknowledge that there is one.
    ————————-
    On loving your enemies… “love” means different things in different contexts. (I’ve seen this explained beautifully, but can’t find it now so I’ll probably make a mess of it, but here goes…) Loving your enemies doesn’t mean you have to feel affection towards them, or want them to succeed in whatever they do; it means wanting good for them in the long run. So for example say James Dobson is an enemy. Easy enough! You’re supposed to want him to see the error of his ways and become a supporter of gay rights rather than wishing, say, that he’d have fiery car accident leaving him paralyzed and burnt.

    I do not claim to be good at this, but at least it’s easier than trying to like him.

    “Love the sinner, hate the sin” works pretty much the same way, though naturally I don’t agree that the most common “sin” it’s mentioned for is actually sinful.
    ————————–
    Thirdly, from somewhere way up the page, “While I don’t condone adultery, especially of the married-person kind”

    There’s another kind of adultery?

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller:
    I’m doing no such thing Charles. You argue that the bible is completely radioactive – so radioactive that it will poison me even if I use it to correct christian bigots.
    I am simply pointing out that there are faiths that have done very well by the bible. It is a perfectly valid point.
    As well, though I have no problem with you commenting on my posts, I was speaking to getreal. She commented about fundamentalist christians who think their version of christianity is the only one. I was supporting that equally valid point.

    @vernonvanderbilt: Accepting what you believe to be true is something you have to do for yourself anyway, because that truth is different for each of us.
    There is no absolute proof that the bible or any other holy book was written by god. Do a bit of deconstruction and you will see that there are very few if any absolute perfect truths. Even in science you run up against the uncertainty principle, and most good research produces more questions than answers.
    If I read something in the bible that has the ring of truth for me I don’t need any other authority to tell me it is true. Same thing if I find a passage in the Gita or the I Ching that helps me in my life. Really, where it comes from is not as important to me as how it can help us be better people.
    Again, trying to find its pedigree papers is going down the same hole as the bile literalists.

    If any of you are interested, I would recommend the Shocken Bible – the Fox translation of the first five books of Moses (obviously any of you who read the Torah don’t need to, because you have the original to work from). It is quite illuminating how different it is from King James. One point – the original god in that book was neither male nor female, according to the translator.

  • strumpetwindsock

    good freudian finger slip in that second-last paragraph.
    It should have been “bible” literalists.

  • Jaroslaw

    #55 Vernon – Strumpet already said this, but I have to restate- turn the other cheek does not mean you have to stand there and get murdered. If someone slaps you in the face, it may be insulting, but it is not life threatening.

    So even while I understand your feelings about returning evil for evil, (to enemies) if no one ever forgives, if everyone holds a grudge for eternity, how do we stop the cycle of violence?

    I know you understand I’m not advocating blanket forgiveness without any contriteness on the other party’s side.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller: Charles, I just re-read everything and I see how you might think my comment on non-oppressive Christians might be interpreted as a swipe at you.
    It wasn’t, I assure you.

    There are several people in here who hold the very strong opinion that all spiritual belief is mental delusion and a plague on the earth. It is that sentiment I was commenting on.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @Jaroslaw: “…how do we stop the cycle of violence?”

    Easy. Turn it on the people who started it. Give them a taste of their own medicine and hope they choke on it.

    We incarcerate criminals in this country, don’t we? Hell, we even execute the worst ones. Where’s the fault in bashing a basher? Or even simply mouthing off to the bigots? They pick on us because they think we’re easy targets who don’t ever fight back. Well, that should tell you that passive resignation is not the path to take with these troglodytes, much less genial smiles and polite conversation.

    Also, a point I neglected to make during my “love” statement, as I let myself get sidetracked a bit…

    Another reason to withhold love from these subhumans is because to give it to them would devalue it. How can I tell someone I love them and expect it to mean anything when I also say I love people who hate me? If everyone had diamonds, they wouldn’t cost so much, would they? Hatred is what gives love its value. When we hate our enemies, then our love for our friends is that much more precious.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt:
    “Another reason to withhold love from these subhumans is because to give it to them would devalue it.”

    Actually Vernon, the opposite is true.
    If you treat anyone as less than human you dehumanize yourself, and you open us all up to the same treatment.
    Hate your enemy and you will have more in common with those bigots and you will work against those who are trying to undo the cycle of hatred, fear and misunderstanding.
    I know there are times when we must resist opposition, sometimes even violently.

    But to fool yourself into thinking that your opponent is any less human than you are is just a devil’s bargain.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @Jaroslaw:

    “If someone slaps you in the face, it may be insulting, but it is not life threatening.”

    Ah. I see the subtle distinction now. That makes it totally acceptable.

    Here. My cheeks is turned. Give it our best shot.

    I will, of course be insulted, but I will make every effort to be understanding, respectful and supportive of your right to smack me in the kisser…wherever and whenever you feel like it.

    Oh..and I will also remember to forgive you for it, since you know not what you do.

    Is this a great country, or what?

  • getreal

    @strumpetwindsock: Wow I absolutely agree. I will always love my enemy even as I work to defeat him. Hating or changing my conduct to emulate him is not going to happen.I would never give a bigot that much power in my life.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @vernonvanderbilt:

    Vernon, at risk of sounding like a servile sycophant or ass-kisser, I am going to repeat, yet once again, how wonderful it is to have you back on these threads with your intelligent and insightful commentaries.

    It is obvious that we are both pragmatists who fully understand and accept the fact that we are living in a real universe, governed by the laws of physics and not some magical, pixie-laden, fairy-dust and glitter scattered, sky-daddy governed kingdom in the middle of somewhere that cannot be located on any map of the universe but which can be “proven” to exist by the application of what the believers call “faith” which as we all know is belief that is not based on proof.

    In fact, the word faith sounds like the equally dubious claim of our government that the Social Security Trust Fund is a solemn obligation backed by the full faith and credit of the United States since there is no longer any gold or silver to back up that claim since we went off the gold standard.

    The only thing we can have faith in, is the ability to run the presses that print the money…and even then, when the ink and paper runs out, what then?

    I of course, refer to the kingdoms of heaven and hell, each diametrically opposed by two omnipotent rulers, one of which (Lucifer) was created by God himself, but over whom he seem no longer to have any power over. Will y’all excuse me for one moment, while I transform this bandanna into bunny rabbit?

    I’m with you, Vernon. Why should we empower our enemies by giving them even more power by our refusing to resist? Godwin’s law be damned yet again. Six million Jews and tens of thousands of homosexuals were marched off the the gas chambers. They didn’t resist either and turned the other cheek.

    Did it save them? Did it make them “better” people for having done so? Were these people any more human by their willingness to just lay down and die because Hitler decreed it so? Is the God of the Christians giving these Jews a seat at his side for having been so “humanitarian”? But more importantly, are they any less dead because of their willingness to turn the other cheek instead of resisting?

    I know that I will catch flack for saying this, but are these people not, in some small measure, as responsible for their deaths as we gays might be if we do not stand up to protect ourselves and fight back? Could we not become the 21st Century Jews or blacks? Must we all perish, simply to prove that turning the other cheek is the “right” thing to do regardless of what the enemy is choosing to do to us? Must we always be required to play the role of pacifist because of the antiquated rantings of humans in another time and place that bears absolutely no resemblance to the present?

    There is a good possibility that Tthose of us who do the Christian thing of turning the other cheek will all be dead, while the enemy celebrates by dancing (and pissing) on our graves.

    And if you cannot wrap your heads around that statement, then I suggest that you buy yourselves a plane ticket to Russia, Poland, Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Nigeria, Mauritania and any of a host of places on the planet where the life of a queer has about as much value as cigarette butt to be snuffed out under the sole or heel of someone’s boot, shoe or sandal.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    A little something for the “Turn the other cheek” crowd.

    http://www.queerty.com/in-iraq-a-21st-century-underground-railroad-for-gays-20090226/

    Observation:

    It’s a little hard to turn the other cheek, when you are lying dead in a pool of your own blood!

    For these poor souls, the slap in the face was not just insulting and life-threatening…It killed them! Dead.

    Any more pearls of wisdom? Perhaps you would like to preach to them (the dead), just what it was that they did “wrong” or failed to do as “good Muslims”?

    I’m sure that it would give them great comfort…in the beyond, of couse. No vestil virgins for them, however Uh uh.

    Just the yawning fires of hell.

    Why do the murderers, with God’s blessing of course, get to have all the fun (and the rewards) while victims get to do all the suffering, not just while here on earth, but in the hereafter as well?

    God must be very pleased. And obviously, he is not going to life a finger to stop the carnage, because s/he is ok with seeing his children, the ones that s/he created, being murdered with impunity by fucking lunatics.

    If I had a father like that, I would murder him, before he had a chance to murder me. At least in America, I could use the panic defense or the right to protect myself.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller:

    …or must we always resort to soaring hyperbolae rather than recognize that things are not completely black and white in this world?

    Charles, neither Jaroslaw nor anyone else here said anything about never standing up against those who hate us. He made reference to differing degrees of attack, but that is not the same thing.

    Likewise you ridicule faith to dispell any hope that we can use cooperation and education to improve our world. If I understand you right I would ask you to reconsider, because you are only helping out the bigots.

    You are a pragmatist who lives in the real world?

    In what real world do you imagine we will ever outnumber and defeat those who oppose us? Do you have any historical models for your world revolution? Do you foresee a gay Israel, won with “eye for an eye” justice? Biblical irony, that.

    In what real world do you imagine you will ever do away with religious belief?
    You assume that your logic is the solution to the problem. In the first place your logic IS a dogma, no different any other religion. You don’t seem to think there is any chance it is not flawless, and you scorn many who don’t agree.
    More importantly, humans as a species have never been governed solely by logic, so even if you’re completely right, you are also in error. You need to find a way to deal with the problem that actually works.

    Charles, I agree with you on many points – a major one being that organized religion is the cause of most of the misery in the world. But people are not going to stop believing in God or mistrusting one another anytime soon. And Joe Stalin can tell you you don’t need God to slaughter people.
    The only times we have ever truly grown as a civilization is when we have learned or been forced to stop fighting and help one another.

  • strumpetwindsock

    Speaking of hyperbolae… does a Stalin reference count as a Godwinism? I’m not sure.

  • getreal

    @Charles J. Mueller: We are not talking about the Holocaust and I find the comparison ill-advised and disrespectful which I’m sure you don’t mean. Turning the other cheek does not mean rolling over and doing nothing, it does not mean feeling no anger.

    We were all raised differently but like you I have also traveled all over the world and believe that not all but most people are flawed but not evil. I choose to live my life as a loving person that doesn’t mean I’m a robot who doesn’t get angry. I personally don’t feel that hating people who hate me is productive. When you look at the great civil rights movements of the past The abolitionist movement, Ghandi’s movement in India, the black civil rights movement people were angry but they were dignified. It made their opposition look more and more corrupt and evil as time went on. Eventually in all these movements the intrinsic injustice of these situations shifted people’s minds and history.

    What do I gain if a bigot’s hateful views turn me into a hateful person I would never give him or people like him that kind of power. I think I have a responsibility to a higher code of conduct period I don’t think that makes me weak I think that makes me stronger it is easy to hate those who hate me but it makes their job easier I’m not going to do that. I have respect for others views on faith mine compels me to at least try try be better than the bigots of the world in my conduct.

    If you choose to sink to their level that is your prerogative but please don’t tell me I have to conduct myself with hate and anger. In my opinion it is not productive and not a way I would want to live.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    Lots of action here since I was last on. Instead of trying to respond to everyone separately, I’ll attempt to conglomerate my response for the sake of consistency.

    These people should be treated less than human because they are less than human. Either that or they’re an obsolete version of humanity. Either way, they are not the same species as the more enlightened among us. They are like cockroaches, useless, diseased creatures who should be eliminated, but will likely outlive us all. I guarantee that if civilization were to end in a nuclear holocaust, there’d be a rabid fundie there cheering it on.

    Hyperbole aside (because I was actually about 75% joking up there) when you consider that most of the GLBT community is completely, hopelessly apathetic, and then consider that those that aren’t overwhelmingly tend to follow more “peaceful” (read: assimilationist) ideals, I hardly think that the militant minority has any influence on the way the community gets treated as a whole. Us militants (I really don’t like that word, but I have yet to come up with a better one) are pretty much considered ridiculous by mainstreamers like the majority of Queerty’s readers. The ‘phobes find us even more laughable than you folks do. We are not considered a threat to the status quo.

    Likewise, I don’t believe for one nanosecond that the more forcefully-minded among us work against the movement at all, and if I were more high-strung I would probably take offense at such a suggestion. Every equality movement has multiple wings. Take the civil rights movement, for instance. The peaceniks had Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. I respect the man, obviously, but he didn’t solve the problem single-handedly. He’s just the safest one to mythologize. He’s non-threatening.

    But what about people like Malcolm X? Bobby Seale? They didn’t contribute anything to that struggle? You know the truth there.

    The simple fact of the matter is that the GLBT equality movement is lacking those loud, angry voices that previous movements have had. The “love and peace” crowd may be the chassis, shiny and pretty and oh so photogenic, but it’s the angry folks who are the engine of the car. It amazes me that there are still people who think we harm the movement, when we’re actually the trend setters, the ones who are perpetually ahead of their time and whose fundamental ideas always come to pass eventually.

    Why are we ahead of our times? Because we insist on now, not “whenever you get around to it, heteros.” The firebrands don’t live in the present. We live in the future, which is why we are so incredibly angry at the state of equality in America after fifty years of fighting.

    If everyone chose the passive approach, Stonewall would never have happened, and we’d probably still be getting arrested for holding hands in public.

    I’m not saying that anyone has to pick up the sword. If I had any sense I’d sit down and shut up. But I wasn’t born with sense…I was born with passion, a passion for freedom and a passion for fairness. And yes, I hate anyone who comes between me and liberation. Without that hate, I’d have no reason to fight.

    I’m not going to love my oppressors. As far as I’m concerned, they can go to whatever particular hell they choose to believe in, and hopefully find the eternity of torture that they wish upon us every single day. My only regret about that is that they’re not going there fast enough for my liking.

    But you know what? I may not love my enemies, but there are some things about them that I love. I love that the very fact of my existence makes their lives less enjoyable. I love that they live in fear of the day when their illusions come crashing down in front of them. I love that I can rest easy knowing that they are as wrong as anyone can be about an issue.

    And I love that someday they are going to fail, and fall. I only hope that I’m still alive to see it. I almost think I will be.

    I am not, by nature, a violent person, nor am I a hateful person. I believe there is more to love in this world than there is to hate. I love music, and chihuahuas, and Sour Patch Kids, and thick forests, and so much more. I love my friends, most of my family, and the spirit of America, no matter how dirty she’s gotten. Hell, I even love my GLBT brothers and sisters, even the ones who don’t necessarily warrant it (except for my exes…they can kiss my ass :P). It is my love of these things that requires me to hate those who would take them away from me, and to wish, and hope, and dream of the day of their annihilation.

    I love living. I hate those who would prefer that I stop doing it, no matter what flag they choose to march under.

    Your way is absolutely right. So is mine. We are complementary warriors, two halves that are more than a whole. Our enemies are one-dimensional. This is why they will lose in the end.

    I implore you to remember that there is always more than one way to be right, and that we are all working for the same thing. There is no harm in flanking the enemy to take them out quicker. Do whatever it takes for you to feel morally superior to the degenerates. I already do.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @vernonvanderbilt:
    Well said. I appreciate you reaching out like that.

    And FYI some of us do our fair share of fighting too. And we also get frustrated with the layabouts, so I am with you there 100 percent.

  • Jaroslaw

    Strump – thanks for post 69 up there. That is exactly what I was trying for.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @strumpetwindsock:

    “And Joe Stalin can tell you you don’t need God to slaughter people.”

    Not Godwinian at all. Communism was simply the replacement of one religion (dogma) with another. It was no better or worse than the Catholicism it replaced.

    http://www.questia.com/PM.qst?a=o&d=77024096

    And from statistical point of view, atheists are no better or worse than their religious counterparts, so that pretty much disproves the need for religion as a moral guide. Crime is about equal on both sides of the fence.

    That said, if religion were to one day vanish from the world, there is nothing to prove that the atheists would become more criminalistic than they already are, so, theoretically at least, that would result in a 50% reduction of injustice and suffering right there.

    But, we’ve never had a chance to test out that theory, have we? And, sad to say, it does not look like will have that chance to test it out in the near future either, given the explosive growth of fundamentalist religion right here in American. :-(

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @getreal:

    “If you choose to sink to their level that is your prerogative but please don’t tell me I have to conduct myself with hate and anger.”

    Sweetheart, I am not trying to tell you to do anything. In fact, just in case you haven’t noticed it, I have been trying very hard to stay out of your way and resist the urge to reply to each and every post you see fit to direct toward me.

    I am as entitled to my opinion as you and I am saying how I feel, not telling you what you should be doing. If I choose not to be religious, that is my prerogative, just as it is your prerogative to be religious. Separation of Church and State. Are we clear about that?

    I haven’t told you to stop worshipping. I haven’t told you to not talk about God. I haven’t told you that you cannot express what you feel. I haven’t told you to stop going to church and I haven’t told you what you should think or how you should act in this life…or the hereafter if you choose to believe in one.

    So, why do you, like the Jehovah’s Witnesses, who feel that they have the God-given right to bang on my door every Sunday morning and awaken me from my sleep, feel that you have to bang on my head each and every time I reply to to a posting that was not directed at you?

    “We are not talking about the Holocaust and I find the comparison ill-advised and disrespectful.”

    Fine. That’s your opinion. You’re entitled to it. But I am not going to retract what I said, just to please you. No one is attacking you personally, although you choose to take every anti-religious comment, as well as comments that have absolutely nothing to do with religion, as you’ve just done, on these threads as a personal attack.

    “Ill-advised”? According to whom? Are you the moderator of this room? Did Queerty hire you to censor those of us who opinions differ from yours? How dare you get so uppity with me.

    “Disrespectful”? In what way? Now you’re coming off sounding just like the bigots who just voted our civil-rights away in California. When we protest we get told that we are being disrespectful. When, pray tell, did the Mormons and Catholics ever give a rat’s ass about being respectful toward LGBT people? Spare me the moral judgement, please.

    And who gave you the right to preach at me, incessantly, and to the point that I cannot make a simple statement, to anyone, without you climbing on my back about it? You are not my mother. You are not my preacher. And you are not a staunch minion of the law. So please, stop acting like you are.

    To paraphrase Pat Condell, yet once again, “I don’t respect your beliefs and I don’t care if you are offended. Cheers”.

    I’ll say it a bit more politely. You go to your church and I’ll go to mine.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller: Actually Russia is Eastern Orthodox, not Catholic (though the RCs have always had a strong foothold in Poland).
    It’s funny really, how of all the the original Orthodox Churches only one – the Church of Rome – morphed into a “Catholic” fascist superpower.
    The Reformation was a reaction to Rome’s excesses. There was no such backlash to the Byzantine or other eastern churches, from Ethiopia to Moscow.

    And although atheists may someday rule the world, in the past anyone who has torn down religion has always seen fit to replace it with the same stuff (Joe Stalin, Hitler, Robespierre’s “Supreme Being”).

    …not trying to nitpick or cut you down here BTW. These are just honest comments (and one correction) on your post.

    And excuse me if I interfere, but I think you were a bit harsh with getreal. I actually expected a stronger response from you to my last post (not that I am trolling for one – I am not). Perhaps I missed something, but I don’t think her last post quite warranted that reaction. Just my opinion.

    This is an important issue, and I appreciate that we all put so much of ourselves into this discussion, especially since we come from a variety of perspectives.

    Busting ideas is far better than busting heads, IMHO.

  • getreal

    @Charles J. Mueller: I misunderstood Charles I always enjoyed reading your posts because you have a very different point of view that you always extrapolate on I did not realize you did not want to have a dialogue. When you address me I answer. I assumed when you addressed me you wanted a response. I didn’t realize we were supposed to read your posts like you are our college professor and not have an opinion. It is comical that you of all people on the site to talk about preaching when you are always bossing people around as if you are the arbiter of correct conduct. A few days ago I posted that bigots make my blood boil but I won’t sink to their level you posted to me listen to your blood! be angry! You preach at everyone incessantly. I have a right to my opinion and I always try to address others respectful which is more than I can say for you. Most of your posts are attacking someone or the other because their views differ from yours. I get it my arguments calm kindly trump yours so you don’t want to play anymore. Fine with me but If you address a comment to you I have a right to answer and even if you don’t I am here to share my opinion and learn from other people’s opinions. I don’t think most people on these threads would characterize my posts as attacks. I try to maintain a positive respectful tone. I think this exchange shows the fundamental differences in our philosophies yours based on anger and retribution (immature unproductive) and mine based on dignity, respect, forgiveness building not burning bridges(adult productive). If I see someone trashing christians I want to give a more positive perspective and there is nothing wrong with that. The difference between us is that I enjoy an intelligent exchange of ideas with someone especially if there opinion is different from mine. I usually learn something.

  • getreal

    @Charles J. Mueller: Uppity.. was that a racial remark?

    Anyway if you don’t want to talk to Jehova’s Witnesses do what every other person does say no thank you or don’t open your door!

  • strumpetwindsock

    Actually for anyone who wants some insight into Christian fundamentalists and hasn’t done so, I recommend studying Puritan history, and not just the Massachusetts colony, but from Elizabethan times through the English Civil War and Cromwell’s dictatorship.

    The myth is that the Puritans fled religious persecution in England. In reality they were so pigheaded about their views that they brought it on themselves. Anyone who worshipped differently was a heretic, and even the Anglican religion was too similar to Catholicism.

    In my opinion the Puritans are the direct ancestors of your U.S. fundamentalists. It is surprising how much influence they have on your country. Political leaders up here in Canada don’t generally talk about their beliefs. It would be the kiss of death.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @getreal:
    …or answer the door naked. That’s what a friend of mine does.

    *snicker*

  • vernonvanderbilt

    I think something is getting lost in the mix here. The discussion is de-evolving into an entirely different beast than it used to be.

    I would encourage everyone, on all sides of the issue, to always try to remember that we all want the same thing, we simply disagree on how to get there. We’re not one another’s enemies, and I would hate to see this turn into a discussion where we cannot share ideas freely, knowing they will be inspected and critiqued, not out of malice, but in an attempt to understand, share, and find common ground.

    Charles, I like and respect you, but sometimes you edge into attack-mode when it’s not entirely called for. Likewise, getreal, whom I also like and respect, you occasionally come across as a bit too defensive. I can’t speak for intent or motivation as far as either of you are concerned, but just bear in mind that the written word is an imperfect form of communication. Much is lost when we are writing instead of speaking face-to-face, including inflection, body language, vocal tone, etc. If we put more thought into how we word the things we say, and read others’ words with a grain of salt, then I see no reason we couldn’t avoid unintentional offense, given or received.

    I enjoy discussions on topics like the ones we cover, but beyond that I also believe they are important discussions to have. Every one of us feels very strongly about our positions, and we all seem willing to defend them vigorously. This is not a bad thing. We all get carried away sometimes; I know I do. The nature of the topics we discuss lends itself very easily to “I’m right, you’re wrong” proselytizing. I just want to encourage everyone who chimes in to make a conscious effort to avoid seeing the issues in black and white terms. No matter how it looks to you, there is still more grey than anything.

    I’m a pantheist, as I’ve stated before. I spend a lot of time in the grey. That’s the nature of my particular belief system. There are valid arguments on both sides of the religion fence, just as there are unreasonable ones. Certainty is loneliness. Skepticism builds bridges.

    And I don’t mean skepticism in the sense of doubting everything. I mean true skepticism, the ability and willingness to question everything, and to accept that you may not have all the answers. Facts are facts, and we base our opinions off of them a lot of the time, but they’re still opinions. I know I speak as if my stance is the definitive take on whatever the issue at hand happens to be, but I do that because it’s easier for people to question me. It’s as much for me to learn about others as it is for them to learn about me.

    Don’t fear questions. Don’t see them as attacks by default. Be honest with each other, be respectful to one another, and it will only serve to strengthen us. That is how we achieve victory.

    Thanks for listening. If I’ve offended anyone, at any point in this conversation, this post or earlier, I apologize. I did not intend to.

  • getreal

    @vernonvanderbilt: Thank you. I certainly don’t want to come across as defensive or disrespectful to other posters. I sometimes feel so passionate about certain issues that I type first think later. I appreciate your points it is important to not cross the line from debate to argument or from constructive criticism to personal attack. Well put well said (written) points taken and very much appreciated.

  • vernonvanderbilt

    @getreal: Believe me, I understand where you’re coming from. We’re all guilty of letting our emotions get the better of us from time to time. Thank you for taking my words as they were intended.

  • Charles J. Mueller

    @getreal:

    Oh, lovely! When all else fails, play the race card.

    From the Oxford American Dictionary:

    uppity |??p?t?|
    adjective informal
    self-important; arrogant : an uppity sister-in-law.
    ORIGIN late 19th cent.: a fanciful formation from up .

    Thesaurus
    uppity
    adjective
    getting that modeling job has made Quinn too uppity to bear arrogant, snobbish, hoity-toity, snooty, pretentious, bumptious, full of oneself, puffed up, conceited, pompous, self-assertive, overbearing, cocky, cocksure, impertinent, haughty, self-important, superior, presumptuous, overweening, uppish, high and mighty; too big for one’s britches/boots.
    @getreal:

    Exactly where in the definition of the word uppity, do do you see a reference to racism or anyone’s skin color?

    You are the one bringing up race, not I.

    Physician, heal thyself.

  • strumpetwindsock

    @Charles J. Mueller:
    Charles, do you think perhaps you could have handled that a bit better?

    I’m not from the states and even I know what “uppity” means.

    “Excuse me if you’re offended. That wasn’t what I meant.”
    might have been be a nice way to respond without actually being forced to apologize, since you meant no offense.

    You have taken offense at my comments before and I have clarified them without going code red.

    I usually enjoy our discussions, and I don’t think you need to react so defensively. Now we’ve had a few requests to chill out. Perhaps we should do that.

  • getreal

    You turn on everyone on this site. I tried to treat you with respect and kindness which you are incapable of understanding.I get it you are an angry person glad it is working out so well for you. Good luck.

  • getreal

    I was once again told because I was a christian I was evil and didn’t deserve to be on this site. Here is the response he had such a problem with.
    ‘m working on the repeal Prop 8 campaign. What have YOU done to help people in california I wonder. Tomorrow I’m going to be at the Lamda Legal fundraiser in West hollywood helping it get overturned. See I actually DO things I don’t just insult and discriminate. So while I and the other christians and non christians and jews and blacks and whites and atheists and whomever else is there are aiding Lamda Legal overturn this hateful proposition you can enjoy yourself discussing why we are sub-human for believing in God (how dare we feel differently than you, the nerve!) People are turning away from your posts because the rhetoric is hateful and the average person does not want to be on the side of people who attack minorities. Fundamentalists target LGBT people partly because they are a minority they feel justified because they outnumber them. On this site you target christians because we are a minority and no amount of respectful language or tolerance of your views stops the onslaught of your hate. Anything christians do is evil even when we choose to turn the other cheek it is still evil. Seems like the only thing a christian could do to please you is roll over and die or decide to think exactly the way you do. Neither of those is option for me. Feel free to attack me based on my background because my views are different than yours you feel i deserve it whatever I don’t. And you can’t hate every gay and gay positive christian out there you are only helping the homophobe fundamentalists because any christians who want to aide in this fight (like they did in abolition and the civil rights movement) will probably see your attacks and run for the hills not me though. I’m not going to sit in the back of the bus I’m as much a human as you I deserve to be here as much as you. No matter how many christians you attack on this site you haven’t hurt one homophobe not one you actually help make their case for them. I have no doubt some of these idiots have used comments of yours to reenforce the idea that gay people hate christians. Good show. Why don’t you go out and talk to homophobes? I’m done this is silly I would never try to waste my time convincing a Klansman not to target me I won’t waste my time trying to reason with you. It gets old watching someone get picked on for who they are. There are a lot of people here who were bullied and insulted for being gay and some of them don’t appreciate reading your bullying posts. I’m done characterize me any way you want based on my background. I hope that attacking me in some way helps expiate the abuse that you clearly have suffered. I will continue to try to be a good person and yes pray to God to help everyone (you, the klan, homophobes) be relieved of hatred and malice and be gifted with the ability to do constructive not destructive things to improve this country and ourselves. I understand you are absolutely incapable of thinking that I could be sincere because to you I am not a human I’m a sub-human who has no humanity but is just a pile of agendas. I’m very sincere I’m not going to become a hateful person because weak people want to discriminate against me I will just pity them. Hating anyone is a waste of energy and life.
    If you are in west hollywood tomorrow and want to help California overturn this unjust law there are still tickets available. This event will be history in the making and give you a great opportunity to help California and our country correct this injustice! If you can’t go give the fundamentalist hate-mongers are VERY well funded. God Bless!
    http://ga4.org/lambdalegal/eve…..etails.tcl

  • Charles J. Mueller

    Little Jacklyn Horner sat in the corner, eating a CHRISTMAS PIE
    She stuck in her thumb, and pulled out a plumb, and he said “what a good girl am I!”

  • getreal

    I just saw this because they spotlighted this comedian on the site a funny sweet reminder that everyone can change if they have a good heart. Watch this guy imitate his mothers reaction to finding out he is gay. Watch it to the end and try your hardest not to be at least a little tickled.We are all allies here whatever our differences and a little bit of tolerance and patience will create more allies. Anyway that’s what I got from this 1 minute video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeahDax24Dg

  • getreal

    I just saw this because they spotlighted this comedian on the site a funny sweet reminder that everyone can change if they have a good heart. Watch this guy imitate his mothers reaction to finding out he is gay. Watch it to the end and try your hardest not to be at least a little tickled and touched.We are all allies here whatever our differences and a little bit of tolerance and patience will create more allies. Anyway that’s what I got from this 1 minute video.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DeahDax24Dg

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