The spiritual side of “Coming Out”

By Francis DeBernardo, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Casey Lopata, Nicole Sotelo Today is National Coming Out Day, a day set aside as … Continued

By Francis DeBernardo, Marianne Duddy-Burke, Casey Lopata, Nicole Sotelo

Today is National Coming Out Day, a day set aside as a special time of reflection and celebration by gay/lesbian/bisexual/transgender (GLBT) advocacy groups to highlight the unique perspective of GLBT people in “coming out of the closet” to acknowledge, embrace, and communicate their sexual orientation and gender identity.

Despite the wide diversity of GLBT people in our midst, one common experience is that all have gone through a process of recognizing that their orientation or gender identity differed from what their society was telling them it should be. Engaging in this process of “coming out” has helped many GLBT people to develop personal characteristics such as courage, truth-telling, personal strength, and community-building–all inherently spiritual traits.

Coming out entails an inherently spiritual process that makes National Coming Out Day not only a day for secular GLBT advocates to celebrate, but one for people of faith to honor as well. For many GLBT people, coming out is part of a faith journey. They speak of coming out as enhancing their prayer lives and their relationship with God. Many gain strength from seeing their sexuality and gender not simply as biological factors, but essentially as spiritual ones. In the Catholic community, we have heard many stories from GLBT people who found strength in their coming out processes from stories of the saints who had strong, intimate, and life-sustaining same-sex relationships or whose gender identity transgressed societal norms. (Dressing and acting as a man, St. Joan of Arc served in the French army in the 15th century. Transgender people find strength from her example.)

The spiritual dimension of coming out challenges faith communities to recognize and affirm this experience as an avenue of grace. For the Catholic church, which has such a rich tradition in ceremony and ritual, establishing a “rite of coming out” would be a beautiful way to affirm people who have come to this awareness. Indeed, a number of smaller denominations and religious advocacy groups have already developed such rituals.

As with all good and powerful church rituals, a rite of coming out would focus not only on the individual but on the community as well. On the one hand, coming out is a gift that the individual brings to the community. The courage, wisdom, and dependence on God that a GLBT person experiences can be beneficial to others in the community. On the other hand, coming out is a process that requires the support of the community for the individual.

The story of Lazarus in John 11 resonates with GLBT Christians’ coming out experiences. In this story, Jesus visits the home of his friend Lazarus, who has died and been buried in a tomb. When Jesus arrives on the scene, he calls forth Lazarus from the tomb, with the words, “Come out!” Modern GLBT Christians see in this call of Jesus a call to new life that strongly parallels the call that they have experienced in coming to accept their sexual orientation or gender identity. The closet symbolized a kind of death for them. In coming out of the closet, they are answering a God-given call to live a new life.

After Lazarus has emerged from the tomb, Jesus directs the people assembled to “Unbind him and let him go free.” It is the responsibility of the assembled community to assist a GLBT person in their experience of new life, just as they would help any other member who has had a life-altering situation, particularly one that might have involved some element of struggle.

In celebrating coming out, a community celebrates the journey of overcoming fear and doubt, of telling the truth in the face of strong opposition, of affirming the goodness of an individual’s experience, of learning to rely on the voice of God. Too often religious communities suffer from “groupthink” and a “we’ve always done it this way” mentality. By celebrating the coming out experience, communities are essentially celebrating the gift of prophecy in their midst.

On this particular coming out day, we are happy to come out announcing the formation of Equally Blessed, a new Catholic coalition that will work for justice and equality for GLBT people on a broad range of issues both in society and within our church. Our four groups–Call To Action, DignityUSA, Fortunate Families, New Ways Ministry–have a combined history of working for 112 years on these issues, and we have decided to work together to help unbind people and let them go free. We recognize that many Catholics in the pews–GLBT people and heterosexual allies–are now stepping forth bravely to fight injustice in polling booths and in church organizations. We want to help amplify the voices of those who are speaking for justice, as well as assist those who need a little help to “come out” with a prophetic stance.

National Coming Out Day can be a day when we not only celebrate GLBT people in our midst, but a day when we celebrate the need for all of us as individuals and as religious communities to come out of our closets of fear, secrecy, and shame. It is a time to speak forth boldly what God has taught us from our lives and in our consciences. It is only when we come out of the closet–whatever types of closets that we find ourselves in–that we can live in the light and grow.

Francis DeBernardo is the Executive Director of New Ways Ministry. Marianne Duddy-Burke is the Executive Director of DignityUSA. Casey Lopata is a co-founder of Fortunate Families. Nicole Sotelo is JustChurch coordinator for Call To Action. All are founding members of Equally Blessed, a Catholic coalition for justice and equality for LGBT persons in church and society.

  • catherine3

    Courage and truth-telling are “inherently spiritual”? Does this mean that “spiritual” means anything and everything good? This is actually a sincere question because I don’t really understand what people mean by the word “spiritual” and this piece makes the concept even mushier.

  • jonswitzer

    As a conservative Christian I find there is nothing honorable about this day. It is a celebration of a choice the Bible records as being immoral. Importantly, there is healing and forgiveness for all who repent, regardless of the background or sin. I too require forgiveness for my sins. Nevertheless, call it sin is what the Bible does.

  • gershwin2009

    “It is a celebration of a choice the Bible records as being immoral.”Fortunately the US Constitution overrides the Bible.

  • jaynashvil

    Thanks for this excellent article.

  • vicsoir1

    Prior to Drs. Crick and Watson discovering the double helix of deoxynucleaic acid in 1953 that over the next 40 some years revealed no less than six human sexual orientations by 1991, heterosexuality was treated and considered the only acceptable human sexual feature, science, religions, and medical declarations notwithstanding. Even though great strides in genome discoveries since then, this educational revelation of monumental magnitude has yet to be incorporated in our educational system thanks to unconscionable roadblocks primarily from the thousands of religions and myopic people with political ambitions. Education is the only weapon we have against the tyranny of those who refuse to accept the wisdom and discoveries of science.

  • lovegod

    In the course of my life I have come out twice. First as a young gay adult and then ten years later as someone who has to live for God, who craves God.Now, nearly 20 years later I live with my partner in a spiritual setting where every year we both renew our spiritual vows to live for God. We serve our church regularly and tithe above and beyond the norm. My job is with my church and a significant amount of my free time is dedicated to volunteering in ways that my church cannot afford to pay for. Just like the dedicated straight members.I’ve also been through homophobia in my church, including a refusal to bless my relationship, even as I actively participate in blessing the ceremonies for straight members. But as I told the director during a tense moment: I am not here to create heaven on earth (that is, get everything I want); I am here to give my life to God. Nothing will come between me and my love for God.Over time, formerly closed-minded ministers have come to see that our relationship has been good for both me and my partner. Ministers in my church who formerly told me that the gay lifestyle is not compatible with the spiritual life no longer repeat that unthinking phrase. Gay people are no longer kicked out of this church. All because some of us opened up and let them know who we are. Those who couldn’t see the many invisible gay people around had their eyes opened to our presence and saw that we are just as spiritual as they.I am proud to say that my church is big enough to look at the facts and correct errors in thinking. They sincerely see me as a soul, not as a sinner. And I still crave God. I am thankful that they did not extinguish that, and that I am here to encourage other gay people to keep their love of God alive.This is not an easy path, but it is one that is true to me. There is as much variety among gay people as there is among straight people, and I am among those who love God with all my heart.

  • Patriot_Son

    Christians speak Gods Love, not judgement. That is reserved for those who are, in fact, already judged. Christians lead by example; it is a mandate not an governmental entitlement. Faith in God draws people to excel in their lives regardless of their place in society; regardless of their color, religion, their hopes, dreams, aspirations. Faith in the living God demands honesty, integrity, extreme faithfulness in the face of persecution, and belief in an undying Hope for tomorrow through Christ! It is God who orders mens steps and guides the affairs of nations. It is God who weighs the thoughts and intents of mens hearts and judges them accordingly. So then, having chosen a path in life all humanity must pursue it to the end, whether it is good and righteous and noble or the opposite of that. Christians already know the end of their path.

  • greenmansf

    Here we have jonswitzer, a self proclaimed conservative Christian pushing his chosen lifestyle on the rest of society. People choose to be conservative Christians, that is indeed a lifestyle you make a choice to live. Sexuality is not a lifestyle or a choice. Why do conservative Christians insist that their lifestyle choice should have any sway in other people’s lives? Stop pushing your conservative Christian agenda on people who don’t agree with your lifestyle choice jonswitzer. You are free to live your chosen lifestyle, nobody is demanding that you be made a second class citizen who only enjoys SOME of the rights and privileges in this free society. Your hypocrisy is sad, deluded, and in point of fact against what Christ is believed to have said and believed. Read your own religious book, the Bible, Christ was not conservative, he would be a progressive liberal hippie by today’s standards, who preached a way of life that is more in line with socialism or communism, not some totalitarian religious sect controlling the people of the world. And Christ never once spoke of homosexuality, yet he lived under the Roman empire, and as so many conservative Christians like to point out, there was indeed homosexuality in that society, so your Christ knew of it, yet never once chose to address it as an issue. Why do you conservative Christians insist on pushing this anti-homosexual bias of yours in his name when he never saw fit to address homosexuality? Pride and arrogance would be my guess, and isn’t that one of the seven deadly sins? Yes, in point of fact it is. Work you forgiveness of your own sins, which you state to be in evidence to you, before working on anyone elses. Your Christ was very clear on this point, which he repeated often in his teachings yet so many of you conservative Christians ignore this and instead focus on homosexuality.

  • Patriot_Son

    Christians speak Gods Love, not judgement. That is reserved for those who are, in fact, already judged. Christians lead by example; it is a mandate not an governmental entitlement. Faith in God draws people to excel in their lives regardless of their place in society; regardless of their color, religion, their hopes, dreams, aspirations. Faith in the living God demands honesty, integrity, extreme faithfulness in the face of persecution, and belief in an undying Hope for tomorrow through Christ! It is God who orders mens steps and guides the affairs of nations. It is God who weighs the thoughts and intents of mens hearts and judges them accordingly. So then, having chosen a path in life all humanity must pursue it to the end, whether it is good and righteous and noble or the opposite of that. Christians already know the end of their path.

  • chatard

    The Catholic Church shouldsay that “coming out” is a path to ‘grace’?? We suppose the Islamic Church should do the same, huh?

  • forgetthis

    Who are these people who wrote this? Why do they think that if they repeat it over and over, people will begin to believe that homosexuality is affirmed by the Scriptures and reconcilable with Christianity? I’m not against homosexual people, I’m just stating the obvious that the Judeo-Christian faith rejects it.

  • lufrank1

    Posted by: forgetthis

  • ggraczyk15

    I am over 60, gay and an active Catholic. Despite some of the problems at the top, there are several gay parishioners, all active, who agree with me that on a day to day basis, in the pews, there is genuine acceptance. I was 15 and went to a Franscican (1964) and told him that I was gay. He told me to repeat after him, “God loves me as much as anyone.” I couldn’t do it out of panic and shame. He told me again and again that that was true. finally, he said something I will never forget: There isn’t so much love in the world that we can afford to throw it away when we find it.” I have stayed in the Church because of him. I entered a cloistered order and told them I was gay. Their response? “My child, it isn’t what is on the menu that counts it is whether or not you order.” I love my church and will not leave. I will stay and give the best example I can of love and fidelity.

  • solid3

    Commenting upon interpretation of homosexuality in the scriptures is foolish.The NEED for coming out is clear, as long as defamation, marginalization and stigma continue, these are human-nature reactions. It is to say i am here, equal, to be accepted, with self-love and respect. I’m a herosexual person whom understands “coming out.” Gays who advertised their sexual identity was once questioned, believing it to be kept personal. At the same time, overt, obtrusive public overtures are frowned upon, but occur infrequently. My views, furthermore, have been shaped through my own experience with stigma. The purpose of “coming out:” Heightened awareness shatters ignorence and dispells myth.

  • solid3

    My meaning: interpretation of homosexuality in the scriptures is foolish

  • DLBUSTO

    In answer to Catherine#’s question about what it means to be ‘Spiritual.’ The word “spiritual” is thrown around by people like the word “gay”. It can basically mean however a person wants to use it they describe a “feeling” they have. But it can also mean for Christians a deep and active relationship with Jesus Christ, who has left them a “friend” which is called The Holy Spirit to indwell their hearts to help them live a life patterned by Him. That does not mean they are Holy and they are not without sin. It means they do their best, though the powers of the Holy Spirit (which is one of the Trinity of God), who will speak correction and blessings in helping to them to show the Love of Christ to all each day. The Holy Spirit holds open the door to Christ who is always available and waiting for each Believer to enter in Prayer and talk with Him and become friends, just like we do with friends on earth. A close friend is someone you can share everything with here on earth. That is what Jesus wants with people; He will remind them their sinful ways have already been redeemed by his death on The Cross, they just needed to admit them.

  • bigisle

    Oil and water; they don’t mix.

  • dozas

    One day soon, LBGT folks won’t need this “Coming Out Day” artifice, as they will just be accepted in society for who they just are; no big deal. We just need the Courts to finalize the marriage and DADT issues and we should be “there.” Shouldn’t be any need “to come out,” for you are who you are. Period.

  • emm126

    For those who claim homosexuality is a sin:Can you tell us why it was never included in the original translation of the Bible? Can you tell us why the word didn’t even appear in the Bible until 1946? If you are so schooled in Biblical verses, I would think you would know that.Can you tell us why you will shun your gay children but not shun your straight children who have had premarital sex (98% of the married population has done it)? Can you tell us why you think gays should not be allowed to get married, yet if you attend a straight wedding where they serve shrimp (Leviticus), you still support the couple, despite the fact that they are committing a grave sin by eating shellfish.Can you give us one logical reason why me dating a woman instead of a man is inherently harmful to society? You keep saying it is a sin but you never say WHY. I think stealing is a sin and I can give you several reasons to back up why I think it is harmful to society.Can you tell me why, if you follow the Bible so strictly, you haven’t killed all of your children? After all, it’s in the Bible, if they disobey you, they should be put to death (Deuteronomy) and I don’t know one child who hasn’t disobeyed his/her parent at least once.Can you tell us why you aren’t calling for a ban on marriage for those straights who have participated in anal sex (40% of straight women, see slate.com for details)? Gays comprise less than 10% of the population, so if 40% of straight women are having anal, that’s a lot more than the number of gay men doing it. Can you tell us why if someone nowadays says that God spoke to him, he is a nutjob, but if someone spoke to God 2,000 years ago, we’re supposed to take his word for it and never waver from that belief, even if our children are killing themselves over the anguish of being gay.

  • illogicbuster

    “The spiritual side of “Coming Out”What does carnal appetite have to do with the spirit? What a totally bizarre headline.

  • Meridian1

    All of you are free to indulge in whatever beliefs you think your imaginary friend requires of you, just please leave the rest of us to live our lives as we see fit, subject only to the laws of the land rather than the precepts of various books you absurdly claim to be magically authored.For those of who who find the coming out experience made easier, or enhanced, by your religious beliefs, that’s great. For the rest of you, who use your religion as a cudgel to beat the rest of us (or to beat yourself up), please stop. It’s utter nonsense, imagination, magic, and hocus pocus, and deserves neither deference nor respect.

  • mars11

    You speak on contradictory terms. If you truly wish for those to let others live as they feel fit, start by setting the example. Noticed you used the words “imaginary” friend befitting for the hallow atheist. I can respect that, but way too many, and i might add, angry atheist decide it a right and mission to attak others’ spiritual beliefs. WE want you to allow us, the majority to live are lives minus the hostility. Respect is mutual or not at all. By the way, the spiritual reference may be somewhat relevant since the topic is Faith. Did you notice?

  • justme121

    To EMM126:What is sinful to the Lord is the ACTIVITIES that homosexuals do. Lying is a sin, murder is a sin, and slander is a sin. You will not inherit the kingdom of God unless you REPENT of ALL sin. It is the repentance that He wants–the turning away from sin and walking in obedience to the Lord.Believe. Repent. Obey.

  • detroitblkmale30

    wow i am amazed at how those who live liefstyles outside of scriptures continue to use it to justfiy their lifestyles. Just be proud of who you are in your own secular way. stop trying to manipulate God’s word to fit your belief. The DOES NOT fit. Comparing Lazarus to “coming out” is absoultely riduculous and offensive. Stand on your own two feet LGBT community, stop trying to hijack God’s word

  • detroitblkmale30

    emm126 really? the trinity is not in the bible either, neither is the internet,men laying with men and women with women is clearly referred to many times in the Bible as a sin.Perhaps you should read it more clearly. SO whats your point? Most conservatives shun premariatal sex as well BOTH are sinful. It is a sin because God said it is a sin. I dont need an explanation from him to know he is against it. The same way a parent doesnt owe a child an explanation when they tell them not to do something. It would only stand to reason, its against his natural order of things. Yes stealing is a sin, God however doesnt give an explanation for why we shouldnt do that either. As someone who is devout, it is not our place to question God in the face of moral relativism or post modern “enlightenment” We are NOT wiser than the creator of the universe.If it is the in the Bible the word of God yes we take that as God’s word. Today God still speaks to people, which is why we have the church and pastors, fallible though some may be. Stop trying to put God’s word to blame for gay youth killing themselves. Just another way to further your agenda. There are plenty of churches that do not speak hatefully toward LBGT’s. Saying that God says its a sin, is not the samething as saying your life is of no value. The church speaks out loudly against suicide of ANY kind too.taking away God’s most precious gift of life,even your own, is sinful in itself.We dont waver from God’s word for a reason, its not relativist.Its eternal, HE said so, he also said the days would come when people would do whatever seemed “just in their own eyes” There are ways to discuss these issues even with our youth without being hateful or encouraging harm to LGBT community, but also without eradicating, watering down or simply changing God’s word whenever we think we should to fit “the times”

  • Alex511

    fr jonswitzer:>It is a celebration of a choice the Bible records as being immoral. Importantly, there is healing and forgiveness for all who repent, regardless of the background or sin. …Then I would suggest that you start off by reading “Judge not, lest ye be judged” and “Love thy neighbor as thyself”.

  • wdjohns1

    As well as we can tell from the Bible, my impression is that Jesus Himself was gay. The Bible says that there was one special loved one in the life of Jesus and that person was a MAN. The gospel of John is the testimony of that man. Jesus and this man shared physical affection in the presence of the other disciples. When Jesus was dying on the cross, He asked His mother and this man to treat each other as mother and son, and they did.You cannot be anti-gay and Christian at the same time.

  • abcd14

    Thank you for the beautiful and inspiring article. Coming out has been a deeply spiritual process: perhaps not coincidentally, I found myself returning to the Church at the same time. And as you say, “coming out is a gift that the individual brings to the community.” Many LGBT people have to think deeply and continually about our continued participation in the Church, and as such we do bring special insight which is of benefit to the entire community, particularly those who take their membership in the Catholic Church as a given and have never really questioned it.

  • mbleeg

    Jesus Christ preached and lived the Golden Rule – Love God and Love one another as I have loved you. Jesus loved all people fully, even when he wasn’t sure, e.g. non-Jewish woman who asked for help. He treated everyone equally AND he asks us to do the same.

  • mmsomerville

    Christians who base their anti-homosexual sentiment on abominations cited in the Old Testament need to know that the sin wearing wool with linen were similarly frowned upon, seen as abominations. The same book suggests that pimping one’s virgin daughters can be a noble alternative to sodomy. Catholic Christians do not believe the Bible to be a book dictated to an ancient stenographer by God. We take it as the created word and know it is our work to find the truth of it with holp from our teachers and the Holy Spirit who leads us in discernment. In the RC Church the bigotry toward gay people originates with the hierarchy– the priests in charge, It is no secret that many RC priest are gay. Jesus never said a word to suggest that there was anything wrong with being gay. Gay marriage is not threat to marriage between men and women. Some of the most devout and in many ways traditionally Catholic people I know are gay people in long, stable, loving unions. Many are parents seeking to raise children in the church. Thanks for this wonderful editorial! Michele Somerville ps.It seems to me one can define “spirituality” is the seeking of and awareness of the divine in oneself and others.

  • detroitblkmale30

    lepidopteryx : so everytime you ask your child to do something you explain why? That must be very time consuming, Sure there are times when providing an explanation is helpful but you dont OWE them an explanation BEFORE they obey you. Thats the point. They must obey because you are the parent, the grown-up and they are the child. I have faith and obedience in God id like an explanation, but God doesn’t OWE me one in order for me to have faith in him and follow his statutes

  • detroitblkmale30

    wdjohns1: thanks for YOUR interpretation, but that has no bearing on MY belief, of course you can be Christian and anti-gay because both in the new and old testament God’s word says its a sin, NOWHERE in the Bible does it say Jesus was gay, He shared AGAPEm not EROS love and affection with all of his disciples including Mary Magdalene, didnt make him married either stop trying to justify a lifestyle based off of conjecture.

  • LaurieG

    As a Catholic bisexual, I found this piece extremely inspiring. I’ve only considered the possibility of being able to worship while being honest and open about my sexuality. It never even occurred to me to think about the possibility of having my sexuality celebrated and supported by my parish. Reading about that concept has helped me realize that the possibilities are endless…and that if our churches supported LGBT Catholics in ways like those you mentioned, we’d be able to share the blessings of the Holy Spirit with each other in ways that we’d never done before. I totally agree that the coming out process brings one closer to God and, also, requires one to rely heavily on God and His grace and mercy. Coming out was, for me, a time when I fully understood the saying, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.” Realizing that God can love you as you are and that, in fact, He made you as you are, is revelatory. As long as anyone believes that their sin is too great for God to love, want, or care for them, that sin is a wall between them and God that cannot be overcome. It takes the destruction of that belief for one to regain a full relationship with God. As long as LGBT Catholics believe that who they are is sinful, they cannot draw close to the One who loves them. Coming out helps right so much of that disorder and brings one again into relationship with our Heavenly Father. It’s a true blessing.

  • spidermean2

    Homosexuality is a disease just like pedophilia is. Why would anybody want to legalize it? The U.S. military is already weak but some liberal folks want to introduce more disease in the ranks.Does it mean gays can now OPENLY court young men in the military? Can SEXUAL HARRASSMENT be filed on them if the courting becomes very aggressive even in the shower rooms?

  • spidermean2

    Catholicsim is NOT Christianity. They’ve banned the Bible for centuries and has been a major player during Europe’s Dark Age.I’m not surprised at all why these 3 writers want to propagate a disease called homosexuality using their religion. If the mood about pedophilia is relaxed, there’s no doubt they will try to promote it too.They can easily twist the Bible if they don’t like what it says.

  • swalke01

    Wasn’t there a time when left handed people experienced ridicule? Women also have been marginalized in society. How about people of colour? Why would somebody choose to be gay? Think of a child at elementary school or a young teenager walking the halls at high school. They are targeted and bullied and scorned. They are the outcasts scorned by society and then they seek the comfort and love in church. They cry for acceptance. But they leave angry and bitter and empty. They are misunderstood, rejected. Some are beaten, tortured and some are killed violently. But the icing on the cake is the self loathing from within the gay person telling them that they are beyond the grace and love of Christ. The message is that they cannot be accepted for their difference for what makes them unique . I am very glad that the church is moving towards acceptance of the diversity that seems to be built into human sexuality. The healing that could result from this acceptance by the church could result in a deeper and richer experience of righteousness.

  • spidermean2

    Pedophilia is a disease. One should try to suppress it he/she has that disease. Homosexuality is also a disease. Why would people want to promote it?If you are gay, fine. But don’t promote your disease and legalize it everywhere.You can join the military but don’t openly flaunt it. Thay can say they are gay but they should not try to court young soldiers and have relationship with them.Know your boundaries.Cure the disease just like how we cure other diseases.

  • crhoadstwo

    i am not surprised by all the perverted views on GODS word to fit the sinful choices. now we have gays claiming to be followers of Christ. fact is, very few really are although they claim to be. many that sit in church every week and stand behind pulpits that believe they are saved are headed to hell. so many that can not discern the scriptures. the laws old and new testament were not done away with but the punishment for breaking the law(s) was satisfied in Christ Jesus. we are in the age of mercy and grace but the time is coming when that will end and GODS wrath will be poured out. the hour is very late! the spiritual thing is just what i believe is another way of saying self righteous.

  • lepidopteryx

    Detroit,

  • detroitblkmale30

    lepidopteryx : unquestioned obedience is your right as the parent who brought her into the world, and pays for her every need with her being the child. its nice that you took the time to always explain why. That is not always feasible in every instance.while there certainly are specific times where it is important to explain why there may be prohibitions on drug use, sex, hanging with wrong people, minor thigns like roll the car window up, go to bed now, take out the trash, need no explanation, just compliance.

  • detroitblkmale30

    swalke01: There is no comparison between lefthanded people women or people of color who cannot choose whether or not they want to be those things or be those things openly or not. Blacks cant choose whether they want to engage in “black” behavior if there were such a thing. They overwhelmingly cannot hide their skin color. For purposes of comparison white men gay or straight have had the same access to opportunities.Black people, latinos, women have not, no matter how they conducted themselves at the time. Lets not even get started on slavery, 3/5ths of a human being and lynchings, so no, not the same thing at all.

  • Iamfree1

    They were filled with every kind of wickness, evil greed and depravity. Full envy, strife, on and on and on. Read to the end of the chapter.

  • Iamfree1

    I don’t know what happened to my comment, so all I am going to do is to put the scriptures about homosexuality and what God when men and women did not want to follow them. Romans 1:21-32. I think that you will be surprised and turn your life over to Jesus. It will be the best choice you will ever make. “IT IS NEVER TOO LATE.

  • lepidopteryx

    Detroit, perhaps “because I provided half your DNA and all your groceries” is reason enough in your household, but I have never thought that anyone had the right to demand unquestioning obedience from another human being, no matter the relationship.

  • lepidopteryx

    SpitterMean, in case you weren’t aware of it, it’s a breach of military discipline to seek a sexual relationship with ANY member of your unit, superior or subordinate, regardless of the gender or genders involved.

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The resurrection of Jesus is not a matter of private faith — it’s a proclamation for the whole world.

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The Three Most Surprising Things Jesus Said

Think you know Jesus? Some of his sayings may surprise you.

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Jesus, Bunnies, and Colored Eggs: An Explanation of Holy Week and Easter

So, Easter is a one-day celebration of Jesus rising from the dead and turning into a bunny, right? Not exactly.