For Tyler Clementi, ‘hate the sin, love the sinner’ not enough

There is an unspoken narrative surrounding the life and suicide of Tyler Clementi and other similar stories. It must no … Continued

There is an unspoken narrative surrounding the life and suicide of Tyler Clementi and other similar stories. It must no longer be excluded from the national dialogue on these tragic suicides. What role does a child’s religious upbringing play in their decision to kill themselves? It’s a difficult and delicate subject but it can be no more.

AP, family photo

Ravi leaves court, left, and Clementi.

While of course I care about the feelings of well-meaning parents in their time of horrific sorrow, I’ve come to see it more important to care about the feelings of vulnerable teens who fall prey to emotional and spiritual bullying from the pulpit and consequently passed on to them by their parents either intentionally or unintentionally.

I myself once believed those misguided and outdated anti-gay religious teachings. Every day I think about the harm I caused and am motivated to speak out so no further harm is done.

There are many more Tyler Clementi tragedies waiting to unfold if we continue to close our minds to the harm caused by religious teaching’s bias and intimidation toward gay. lesbian bisexual and transgender individuals, especially youth and families.

The story of Tyler Clementi’s death has been one of the most publicized teen suicides in recent memory. Unfortunately, a review of media interviews and print news articles over the last 18 months produces only a few hints to the role religious teaching may have played in Clementi’s emotional and psychological distress.

During the previous four years, Faith in America has been sounding the alarm on the immense harm that is being caused to LGBT youth and their families when church teaching is used to place a religious and moral stamp of disapproval on their very being. We also have observed a reluctance to address the root cause of so much of the hostility, prejudice and discrimination.

While the Clementi case demonstrates how the role of church teaching is so often excluded from these discussions, there are signs that society is finally beginning to understand the weight of this social injustice. Hints of such understanding are coming from some unexpected places.

Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, stated before some 4,000 delegates at last year’s Southern Baptist Convention annual meeting in Phoenix Arizona that “as a reality, we as Christian churches have not done well on this issue” and that “we as evangelicals have a very sad history in dealing with this issue.” Christian denominations can look to other sad histories such as church teaching role in supporting slavery, opposition to equality for women, promoting segregation and bans on interracial marriage. Religion institutions have apologized for those moral failures.

Unfortunately for gay and lesbian youth, Mohler felt compelled to go on and say how he believes homosexuality is one of the worst sins imaginable – and in doing so laid claim to evangelicals continuing the very “sad history” he had just referenced. That’s because the message is one not of unconditional love but a love for gay people that is conditional upon them not being gay.

So many kids fear they will be separated from their parents’ love if they divulge a same-sex sexual orientation because they know what their parents have been taught in church. Worse, consider the emotional and spiritual trauma of being made to feel your sexual orientation also will separate you from God – knowing as a young person what your relationship with God means to your parents. I’ve seen with my on eyes how devastating this can be to a young teen.

Of course the social stigma and hostility that is promoted toward gay and lesbian individuals is not confined to Southern Baptist churches and other evangelical churches. While their numbers are decreasing, there sadly are Methodist, Presbyterian and Lutheran ministers who continue to teach that that homosexuality in and of itself places the gay or lesbian person beyond God’s love.

Grace Church of Ridgewood, New Jersey, is the church that Tyler Clementi attended with his family. It was not an affirming and welcoming place for a young person processing a same-sex sexual orientation, according to some pastors in that community. The church is a member of the Willow Creek Association, a group of churches headed by Bill Hybels, who as recently as last year said that God designed sexual intimacy to be between a man and a woman in marriage and anything outside of that is sexual impurity in God’s eyes. The gay youth hears in those words that they are dirty, unclean and something for which they should be ashamed.

Molly Wei, the co-defendant in the case who has been granted immunity, is described as a “sister in Christ” to Tyler and other Christians by Rev. Clarke Olson-Smith, a pastor at All Saints Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, who previously served as pastor at St. Stephen Lutheran Church in South Plainfield, New Jersey. It is not hard to understand why Molly felt may have felt justified in shaming Tyler by sharing the video with others – particularly if she like many others has been taught that same-sex intimacy is worthy of such shame in the eyes of God.

In an October 2010 article posted on a church blog at St. Stephen Church, Olson-Smith wrote “In the congregation Tyler grew up in and his parents still belong to, there was no question. To be gay was to be cut off from God.”

The mission of Faith in America is to educate people about the harm caused to gay and lesbian individuals, especially youth and families – like Tyler and his family – when we allow certain religious teaching to close our minds to the possibility that church teaching is being misused to promote and justify causing innocent people harm.

In Christian circles around the country, a “hate the sin, love the sinner” perspective is often promulgated as a ‘Christian’ approach to homosexuality.

After five years of speaking with LGBT youth and their parents across this country, I believe that it was this perspective that likely caused Tyler’s mother to react in a way that her son perceived to be “totally rejecting” him – as he penned in a text message – when he came out to her before going off to college. There can be no doubt that Mrs. Clementi loved her son unconditionally. But Tyler didn’t hear the unconditional part and I suspect that is because he knew what his mother had been taught by the church.

A jury Friday decided that whether there was evidence to say without doubt that Ravi Dhuran’s actions were based bias and intimidation toward gay people.

The evidence against religious teaching’s bias and intimidation toward gay people and the role such religion-based bias and intimidation plays in the bullying, the stigma, the prejudice and the discrimination is overwhelming and conclusive.

Immunity can no longer be given to misguided church teaching’s bias and intimidation toward gay and lesbian youth and families. If we do, there will be more stories about a precious life being senselessly ended and more devastation brought upon their parents and families.

Faith in America is a N.C.-based nonprofit which works nationally to educate the public about the harm to gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender individuals, especially LGBT youth and their families, when a religious and moral stamp of disapproval is placed on their sexual orientation. Brent Childers, who himself once used religious teaching to justify bigotry toward the LGBT community, serves as executive director.

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  • lamere1

    Another thing I thought of – I live near Anoka, MN, a “Bible Belt”, where we have the schools, churches, and parents promulgating hatred and rejection and bullying toward our gay youth. [off the point but so you get the atmosphere, anti-abortion billboards and car stickers,too].

    And get this: despite the several suicides, there is no self-reflection nor shame, rather the opposite: A sense of smug gloating.

  • douglasseattle

    I tried to write about my story about my struggle with homosexuality here, but even at the age of 55, it is still too painful. I feel for Tyler and his family.

    I hope more churches will be affirming to gay people as I think it is the loving thing to do.

  • DerekWilliams

    Well argued.

    The time for allowing this religious dogma to kill LGBT youth is over. While it might have been understandable in the absence of research now available, it was never excusable.

    Hillary Clinton’s recent LGBT Rights address to the United Nations has helped place religion-based anti-gay abuse in the international spotlight. However Islamic nations walked out of subsequent panels. The resolution is also not supported by Russia for example, where it has become illegal to be openly gay as a result of a new St Petersbug law. The law is unconstitutional, even by Russian standards but it passed 29/5 because LGBT remain the most intensely disliked minority ahead even of Jews.

    While Christianity and Orthodox Judaism are hugely problematic for us, at least they have their paternalistic mantra to ‘love the sinner’. There are also quite a few Christianities that ordain openly lesbian/gay clergy and welcome LGHT parishioners with open arms, open hearts and open minds, some even to the extent of performing same-sex marriage.

    Not so in Islam. There it is ‘kill the sinner’, comparable with the death penalty mandated in the Jewis Torah and the Christian Old Testament. In Iran for example, two 16 year old youths were executed for a same sex experience.

    North Africa, all Arabic nations and most of Asia remain the scourge of homosexuals.

  • Equality4Allpeople

    How very “christian” of them. Unfortunately, it isn’t surprising.

  • Kabnis

    I do not believe this case had anything to do with the religious views of Ravi, rather most of the attitudes around this case are strictly based on the general secular disgust of homosexual acts (read: “Ew gross”). The motive was not to intimidate as decided by the jury; but Ravi was guilty because Tyler could have been intimidated due to his orientation. That is the crux of the issue. I think if we want to explore the problem even more let’s look at how his family’s catholic strict upbringing forced his mom “to basically reject him.” Instead we were treated to somewhat of a circus of a trial. Ten years of potential sexual abuse in prison is not an appropriate punishment for Ravi.

  • Counterww

    There may be some gloating but I believe many of those people are quietly upset with the loss of people due to suicide. I don’t condone hateful speech but it is possible to be against homosexuality and love the gay person .

  • lamere1

    “Quietly upset” ? Isn’t that like Germans or French who were ‘quietly upset’ but did not speak up or act in defense, rather allowed/ permitted by their silence a tacit sense of approval ?

    As the Bible says, let a man search his [her] OWN heart.

  • Catken1

    “I don’t condone hateful speech but it is possible to be against homosexuality and love the gay person .”

    It is possible to be against left-handedness and love the left-handed person.
    It is possible to be against blondeness and love the blonde person.
    It is possible to be against cruelty to children and love the person arguing that it is their religious duty to be cruel to a child.

    But it is not reasonable or logical.

  • lamere1

    CarrotCakeMan,
    appears that we have similar line of thought! Have you read Paine’s Age of Reason lately?

    PS I also have adorable kitties, one of whom is snuggled under my arm as I write

  • ColleenHarper

    We so often hear the phrase “hate the sin but love the sinner.” The trouble is, “hate” is heard loud and clear. “Love” is such a quiet afterward that it can’t compete against the part of the message that is quite clear.

  • Catken1

    And it is hard to love a person completely and unconditionally, as every child ought to be loved, while hating a vital, integral part of who they are.

  • ColleenHarper

    On the other hand, was the sexual abuse of Tyler warranted? What SHOULD be the punishment for this nasty invasion of his privacy?

  • ColleenHarper

    While these denominations in general are opening up to LGBT inclusion, there are still member churches where this inclusion is still rejected.

    While there is progress being made, it is still incomplete.

  • Flutemaker

    Religion is whatever one small minded group decides for itself. Gays do not decide to be gay, they just are. And there is nothing wrong with gays just like there is nothing wrong with pork or seafood. The problem is the so called perfect bible of which ever version you happen to claim. Version means just that it changed to fit some dudes plan.
    Look around and you will find that the animal kingdom is full of gay creatures. That is just fact.
    Maybe we should look closer into this heterosexual group and find out how godly they are?

  • nicolinesmits1

    All religions are equally guilty, and they all teach their followers to follow dogma instead of thinking for themselves and forming their own judgments.

  • lwmabmy

    It’s not actually possible to be against homosexuality and love the gay person. You can try, but speaking as a lesbian with family members who have tried it — your hatred of homosexuality will always be louder. That’s what we’ll hear.

    The hope is that is this new age, instead of turning that hatred on ourselves and destroying our lives we’ll leave those people who claim to love us while hating part of us. Our happy ending will be finding a new and better family filled with people brave enough to really love us for who we are. I know that’s what I got.

  • LoyalReader

    It’s not clear what is meant by the sentence “Immunity can no longer be given to misguided church teaching’s bias and intimidation toward gay and lesbian youth and families.”

    It appears that the article suggests that churches that hold the belief that sex outside of marriage between two individuals of the opposite sex is morally wrong are (pretty much) directly responsible for violence and bullying against the gay and lesbian community. This is a claim made with increasing frequency by gay and lesbian advocates.

    But, what does the phrase “Immunity can no longer be given” mean? The concept of immunity is usually given expression in the legal system. Certain individuals and organizations are immune from prosecution by law. Is the author suggesting that religions be prosecuted criminally or civilly? A number of year ago a white supremacist was successfully prosecuted for a crime he didn’t actually commit because he advocated for racism that supported the commission of the crime.

    If Christians who believe this way are really part of a “mass cult” (homoafricanus) and are “mental deficients” (areyousaying) and follow “erroneous religious teachings” (manhattaner1) and “hateful cultural beliefs” (lamere1) perhaps prosecution is a reasonable goal.

    After all if religion is simply “…whatever one small minded group decides for itself” (Flutemaker) then why is it deserving of protection from prosecution if one is convinced that those religious beliefs are directly responsible for the death of others.

  • lastofall

    Although true Christianity does in no wise have any thing to do with violence, yet it also has nothing to do with nice sounding phrases invented for appeal sake, such as “hate the sin, love the sinner”. This invented phrase has nothing to do with the truth according to God, but is strictly a secular minded saying invented by ambitious overseers looking for numbers with one foot in the world. As for the actual truth according to God, we as actual Christians are to not only deny our own will, but the will of other´s, which is to say, someone who is deliberately continuing in sin, we are to not only hate the sin, but the state of mind that person is in in their defiance of repenting of their deliberate intent to continue i living in sin. As for our enemies, which are any who live in unrighteousness, loving our enemies means, if they hunger, we will give them food; if the thirst, we will give them drink: For love is to care for another´s welfare, but nothing more. Another words, it has nothing to do with acceptance of deliberate sin, but with being merciful, and wish with God that the person would not perish, but that the person would rather come to repentance. God is not a respecter of person´s, therefore the title of any particular sin is irrelevant with God, not matter how much of an affection a person has for any particular sin, it is still sin, and shall remain sin till the end.

  • JosephD1000

    lastofall I refute your assertion that there is any requirement in Jesus’ teaching to hate, anything,, sin or sinner or anything else. Wrapping your error in lots of holier-than-thou hokum does not make you wise or loving or christian. Your sin and relationship with your spiritual exercise is yours and yours alone, as is true for everyone else. I’ll give you a secular saying that is appropriate: ‘ Mind your own business.’ And a couple from your own alleged religious teaching: ‘Judge not lest ye be judged.’ and, ‘ He is who is without sin…. ” I hope I don’t have to finish that one.
    I also would like to know what Jesus said about homosexuality , if he even mentioned it. Just curious, because if it comes from Leviticus or some other OT source, and you use it to supercede Jesus’ message then you’re really a kind of Orthodox Judaic splinter group who doesn’t really put Jesus at the heart of your worship at all, and will need to re-name your organization accordingly. Cheers, keep well.

  • globalone

    Joseph,
    (1) You’re “mind your own business” comment got me thinking that I’ve always wondered why non-Christians are so offended when someone tells them they’re going to Hell. If you don’t believe in Hell, why would you care if I said you were going there? In a non-believer’s world, I might as well have said you’re going to the purple planet with roller coasters.

    (2) Your use of the scripture, “Judge not, Lest…” is incorrect. The translation using the English word “judge” is not consistent with the word’s Hebrew origins. A better translation in today’s world would be “Accountable”.

    (3) You need to look no further than Genesis to understand God’s views on homosexuality. Woman was created using a “side” of Adam (not Adam’s “rib” as mistakenly translated). God created woman to be a perfect compliment to Adam (“and the two will become one flesh”). Clearly, God understood that there were mutually exclusive (and non-mutually exclusive) traits/characteristics that Adam and Eve would possess individually.

  • JosephD1000

    globalone Genesis will do nicely. I did not say I was not a christian, I said if you use the OT to supercede Jesus’ pronouncement, in no uncertain terms, to love all others as yourself, then you cannot accurately refer to yourself as a christian, you are superceding Jesus with an inerrant OT scripture which contradicts Jesus, which makes you a member of an Orthodox Judaic splinter group which is in need of a new name. I re-state my simple question: What did Jesus ever say about homosexuality? Also, when did Jesus ever mandate a person’s private sexual matters to be an issue for anyone else? Just wondering, because all i see is people trying to run other people’s lives in the here and now, and i think I recall Jesus saying something about how his kingdom is not of this world, and render unto caesar and so on, clearly indicating that he was talking about an individual’s private spiritual connection to god, not mandating bigotry and busy-bodies.

  • Catken1

    “If you don’t believe in Hell, why would you care if I said you were going there?”

    Because you’re saying, “You deserve to be tortured in agony forever and ever, just for what you believe, and I’m going to continue to fawn on, flatter, and kiss the rear of your torturer because I think it’s good and just that you burn.”

    It doesn’t matter if it’s really true – it’s a profoundly offensive belief that shows that you are completely unconcerned with the welfare and well-being of those of your siblings who do not believe as you do and cannot be persuaded to believe as you do.

  • Catken1

    “But, what does the phrase “Immunity can no longer be given” mean?”

    It means that those of us who have the human decency to cherish love in all its forms, and not to abuse children and teenagers and adults for having the gall to love the “wrong” person, will no longer let religions that preach hate and cruelty to gay people go uncriticized and unchallenged on the grounds that “oh, it’s just their religious belief.”

    Smacking the label “religious” on one’s beliefs does not make them, and should not make them, immune from criticism and challenge.

    And if you hound your child to suicide, throw them out of the house when too young to care for themselves, or otherwise abuse them for being gay, your religious beliefs should not be a defense against charges of child abuse. It is not legitimate for a parent to deny a child food, shelter or medical treatment because of their religious beliefs, and it should not be acceptable to abuse a child because they are gay, left-handed, red-haired, or otherwise born with a trait of which your religion disapproves.

  • Secular1

    GlobalOne & Joseph come on guys both those books OT & NT were written by 2000 to 3000 years ago by a bunch ignorant, bigoted ancients. Coming to the mythical JC, like mythical Moses, mouthed some harmless inanities and some very stupid, ignorant vile stuff. One of which is he is not here to change any law that was already given, some horse manure like that. Sooner we forget these silly vile filthy books the better off we will be.

  • Catken1

    Not all. Unitarian Universalists have never taught dogma over rational thought and continual examination of one’s moral code. And we support full equality, including marriage, for LGBT people.

  • Catken1

    Progress is always incomplete, as long as humans are imperfect. We keep moving forward.

  • lutelyabso10

    I’ll never understand why Rethuglican, conservative, right-wing, religious fanatics think they can force other normal people to accept their deviant views and lifestyle. They love to tell other people how to live their lives, while their own lives are in shambles. The Christian (esp. Catholic, Mormon, Evangelical, and Southern Baptist) Taliban in this country are going to face a violent wake up call soon if they keep trying to spread their hatred, intolerant views, and intolerant actions on normal Americans.

  • starjack

    lastofall: so those who you disagree with about such matters are your enemies and unrighteous? Hmmm…. what about all that “judge not lest ye be judged” that Jesus talked about?

  • starjack

    And by the way… that “love the sinner, hate the sin” was a line that Anita Bryant was pushing back in the late 70’s. Not exactly “secular minded” though granted, I doubt she was the one who came up with it.

  • starjack

    Not sure what the writer was referring to specifically, but one example would be in the recent debates in some state legislatures over anti-bullying legislation there were some who claimed that restricting homophobic bullying would impinge on the religious rights of students whose religion didn’t approve of homosexuality. Does that mean they approve of and even mandate violence, name calling, and intimidation? Some religious “leaders” are certainly claiming that their religion offers them immunity to anti-bullying laws as they have recently been claiming a religious exemption to civil rights laws. What your church believes and what rites it performs for whom is entirely that church’s business, but in hiring and services among the general public the same law applies to everyone. And claiming a Christian right to beat up on other kids because they don’t “fit in” rather begs a search through theGospels to see where Jesus said that was OK.

  • ChristofferBaker

    I’m confused. In what way were you uplifted? This article makes it clear that the LDS church is a proponent of “Love the Sinner, Hate the Sin”. Precisely what the Faith In America piece pointed out as the problem. Which parts did you find uplifting and do you think they’d be uplifting to a LGBT Mormon youth?

  • Ymnos

    This article should be required reading for everyone, young and old. Let’s leave all judging to our Lord , as he tells us “judge not lest ye be judged.” Many, many straight people, I know, couldn’t hold a candle to the many gay people I’ve met.

  • ThomasBaum

    As I have said many times: The True, Living, Triune, Triumphant God is a searcher of hearts and minds, not of religious affiliations or lack thereof and It is important what one does and why one does it and what one knows.

    In other words, God looks at the complete person and God became One of us and lived and died for ALL of us.

  • Catken1

    Yes, indeed, people are often intolerant of others trying to tell them how they must run their lives, and using government force to require them to adhere to someone else’s religious laws. Especially when those others often feel free to disregard their own beliefs themselves.

    Imagine that.

  • Catken1

    “When I tell you you are on your way to hell, it is showing you more love than the guy telling you that dress doesn’t make your butt look fat.”

    Someone who really loved his brothers and sisters might question the love or wisdom of a deity who burned them alive in agony forever and ever – a worse punishment than we give genocides – for believing the wrong thing.

    “Is it love to let a person burn in his house because you don’t want to upset his sleep? ”

    Is it love to worship the arsonist and tell him how great he is while he sets fire to your neighbors’ house?

  • Catken1

    Your god dug the chasm, burned down the bridge, and set the car moving towards it. Your god set that fire in your neighbor’s house. Your god set up gay people, and those raised in non-Christian families, and any number of others, for ultimate doom and destruction. Your god defined sin, made it impossible for us to avoid it, set a horrific punishment for being sinful (as we cannot help but be) and agreed to spare only a few, who both believed the right thing and flattered him sufficiently.

    And yet you continue to blame the victim, assuming of course that your horrific vision of deity is true.

  • JustAthoughtt

    Outside of God there is no such thing as morality.

    You say something is wrong and I say its right… who then is right? Everyone and no one…

    However, there is such a thing as right and wrong, and it comes from God, and came be found in his word, the Bible.

    How else can we come to universal and ultimate truth in terms of morality?

  • JustAthoughtt

    It is easy to push the blame to others… However, it was not our God who did these things… it was us!

    We are the ones who CHOSE to lie, rape, kill, fight, etc etc etc…
    We need to turn from our sins and turn to God!

  • LoyalReader

    In reply to Catken1:

    I’m not sure that merely criticizing religions is what the author meant by the phrase “Immunity can no longer be given”. People have been criticizing religions and their beliefs for centuries.

    Were you restating what I had referred to when you wrote “…no longer let religions that preach hate and cruelty to gay people…”. That is, are you equating the preaching of sex outside marriage as morally wrong with preaching hate and cruelty to gay people?

  • ranaghan

    That’s why Christianity is not for wimps and hypocrites. Perhaps the term should be “reject the sin, love the sinner”. that’s what Jesus did.

  • SODDI

    Gay people will get no help from Christians, Moslems and Jews. The Abrahamic faiths HATE gays; they NEED to control others’ sexuality.

  • SODDI

    Just another one of the Mormon amen corner spamming Mormon dogma as the Ultimate Solution To Life’s Problems.

    Them and the Scientologists….

  • SODDI

    There is no God; there never were any gods.

  • Sadetec

    The problem with Biblical morality is (a) there are lots of actions now considered immoral (slavery, child sex, rape,…) for which the Bible is either silent, tolerant, or supportive; and (b) it makes God a hypocrite, as pretty much every commandment be gives in one part of the BIble, he himself breaks (or condones) in another part.

    Morality is a combination of behaviors baked into us by millions of years of evolution as a social animal. Morality is open to some parametrisation (explaining variations between societies and across time); indeed experimental psychologist have been able to break down into components the basic underpinning functions of justice, social exchange, group identity, etc. And modern brain scanning equipment can even image ‘morality’ in action, as it happens in the brain. As such, it is not true to say without gods human morality would be merely opinion (subjective), in the same way it isn’t true to say without gods the number of legs humans have would be merely opinion (if there is no god, I’d be free to choose six legs today!)

    Now obviously no self respecting religion is going to let you accept that morality is just a human trait; they need to (literally) put the fear of god into you, as one barrier to you thinking critically about their message. And so we get the convenient myth — swallowed wholesale by many — that we can’t question religion’s interpretation of moral origins (no matter how much it deviates from evidence) because we’ll automatically become axe wielding maniacs.

    As with many things, the truth is actually far far more interesting than the myth, but religion has a vested interest in ensuring you believe the myth, so…

  • Sadetec

    @ScottinVA: I thought it was the Jews who killed messengers? (Joke!)

    If “[…] all laws are based in morality; and all morality is based in the Bible”, please remind me, what does the Bible say about rape, sex with twelve year old girls, and slavery?

  • bubba1900

    The writer of this article makes 2 assumptions that I think are mistaken. First, he is informing the reader via implications what Tyler Clementi was thinking. Unfortunately these are imaginative suggestions rather than fact. This same fatal flaw is making the current trial of Ravi a farce. A justice system, which accepts as legal, arguments built on what someone is thinking without any supportive evidence is a system which is dysfunctional. Second, the author is implying he knows better regarding how the Bible should be interpreted in the 21st century by rejecting the clear statements regarding homosexuality in the Bible. By doing so he has given preeminence to his own version of morality. A diligent reader of the Bible will understand there is a clear distinction between the sin and the sinner and one can really hate the sin but love the sinner. But if one is to take the opinion of the writer as authoritative (which no one should do without thinking through the implications) then one must love both the sinner and his sins in order to be accepting of him. A sure fire way to bring our society to ruin.

  • SODDI

    Christian bigots like you will just hiss hate at them and pretend it’s truth.

  • Catken1

    “All laws are based in morality; and all morality is based in the Bible.”

    No one is moral but MY sect. We have all goodness, all truth, all light, and we’re the only people who deserve to be rewarded after death. All the billions and billions of people who have lived and died and run reasonably functional societies and loved each other and tried to live well by their own beliefs – they’re completely immoral, because they’re not Just Like Me.

    Ah, Christian humility.

  • Catken1

    “That is, are you equating the preaching of sex outside marriage as morally wrong with preaching hate and cruelty to gay people?”

    Teaching gay kids that they can’t get married, that marriage to the person they love is Wrong and Sinful, even if the person is a consenting adult, is hateful and cruel.

    What do you think of people who condemn sex outside of marriage, don’t believe interracial marriages are valid, and then tell interracial couples they deserve to burn in hell because they had sex outside of a marriage YOU deem valid?

    Teaching gay kids that they, who they are, is intrinsically flawed is no more justified by religion than teaching left-handed kids the same thing. What do you think of parents who tell their left-handed child that they are cursed, children of the Devil, and deserve to burn in hell unless they change? That is what I think of religions that condemn gay children, and parents who tell their gay children they deserve to burn forever and ever.

    Any parent who believes that God will torture their child forever and ever unless they deny an important part of who they are, and chooses the torturer God above their supposedly-beloved child, is not a loving parent. Period.

  • JosephD1000

    ScottinVA the bible is a perfect unity? free of contradiction???? I can see you’ve never read it.

  • JustAthoughtt

    They don’t “NEED” to control others sexuality, but they also don’t “NEED” to pretend to like it.

    As a Christian, we get our truth from the word of God (the Bible) and if it says that homosexuality is a sin, then it is.

    If it says that looking at a woman (other than your wife) with lust is adultery, then it is. Yet I was born that way… but that just shows how I am sinful and in need of a savior.

    The Bible clearly states that we were all born sinners, but that does not justify our sinning…

    God’s word will stand the test of time, we need to turn from our evil ways and turn to God!

  • SODDI

    But there is no God, there never were any gods.

    It’s just stuff that people made up to control other people. Your Bible means nothing.

  • ThomasBaum

    JustAthoughtt

    You wrote, “As a Christian, we get our truth from the word of God (the Bible)”.

    Doesn’t it clearly state in the bible that the “Word became Flesh”.

    I’ve never heard of the bible becoming flesh, have you?

    God-Incarnate’s invitation was to “Come follow Me”, not to follow the bible, not to follow a follower of Jesus, not to follow Jesus’s Church but to follow Jesus.

    Being a Christian is not about someone picking up their “get out of hell” card.

    Seeing as Jesus died for “sinners” and in the process of dying, cried out, “Father forgive them they know not what they do” and before this gave a command, “Love one another as I have loved you”, could give one something to think about, shouldn’t it?

    Jesus forced Himself on no one, do you think that we should?

    Jesus said that we should PROCLAIM THE GOOD NEWS, not the good enough news which is horrific news but sadly many believe in it and many also seem to prefer it.

  • ThomasBaum

    JustAthoughtt

    You wrote, “However, there is such a thing as right and wrong, and it comes from God, and came be found in his word, the Bible.

    How else can we come to universal and ultimate truth in terms of morality?”

    Didn’t God say something about “I will write it on their hearts”?