Friday, May 1, 2015


Mike Huckabee: "I respect the courts, but the Supreme Court is only that -- the supreme of the courts. It is not the supreme being. It cannot overrule God," he said. "When it comes to prayer, when it comes to life, and when it comes to the sanctity of marriage, the court cannot change what God has created."  [See.]

My assessment is that beyond their hatred of gay people, the fear that SCOTUS may well affirm same-sex marriages is chilling to those pastors and other professing Christians because, although pastors will be free to not marry same-sex couples, their churches may well lose their tax-exempt status if they don't follow the law of the land.  Once same-sex marriage is viewed as constitutional, pastors will be free to discriminate, but at the cost of their churches losing their tax exempt status.  In my opinion, this is the main reason we're seeing such desperate rhetoric while SCOTUS deliberates the constitutionality of same-sex marriage.  In America, the best perspective is to "follow the money!"
Share |

Wednesday, December 10, 2014


Many years ago, after my giving a talk on how the Bible doesn't condemn, but actually affirms, same-sex love, a woman with a gay brother, raised in a Christian family, asked me to write out "talking points" on the subject of the consistency between Christianity and homosexuality, so that she could share that information with her brother. This article is the result of my answering her request. 

Hitler's propaganda minister, Joseph Goebbles, stated what is, unfortunately, a profound truth. He said that no matter how big the lie, if it's repeated often enough, people will come to believe it. Just as that axiom proved true in Nazi Germany, it certainly proves itself to be true regarding the relationship between Christianity and homosexuality. For centuries, we have been repeatedly told from assorted pulpits throughout the world that homosexuality is a "sin," so that so many professing Christians and others come to think that it's a no-brainer, that it is, in fact, a "sin." 

The fact is, as the Reverend Troy Perry has said, "Jesus came to take away our sins, not our sexuality." In addition, as I have said for many decades, "Never let other people define your reality or put you into bondage to their ways of thinking!" 

Simply put, if we remove the patriarchal and legalistic trappings of "Christianity," that presents the false gospel of legalism perfectionism, and exclusion, we see that the only Gospel to be found in Christianity, the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness demands that we embrace all of God's children, we be authentic as God created us to be, and we recognize that we commit a grievous sin when we reject the wonderful gift bestowed upon us by God, the gift of being able to love another person. As Rev. Troy Perry has said, "God didn't create someone whom He could sit around and hate!" 

You also commit a grievous sin if you reject the sexual orientation given you by God! We are to never chafe under the sovereign choices of God, and so many LGBT Christians fail to recognize that they are God's gift to the Church and to society! Always remember, God has gifted you with the capacity to love and that you are God's gift to the Church and to this world! 

As I read a while back, "We are not here to prove ourselves to the world, but to be ourselves in the world!" This is a good point and truth worth meditating on each and every day of our lives. Read Isaiah 2:22 and Galatians 1:10 for further confirmation of this truth! 

I hope these talking points are of help, not merely to address the prejudice of others, prejudice that, unfortunately, rationality and facts are frequently unlikely to penetrate, but that they affirm all of us as God's children, and once and for all erase any possible reason for anyone to have shame or self-loathing because of sexual orientation, or for any other reason. God is not stupid and God doesn't make any mistakes! 

Here are the talking points that I hope you find useful: 

1. All of the Commandments are fulfilled by loving God and loving others. We are never to judge others. (Matthew 7:1; Romans 2:1) Read Romans 1 in detail and then Romans 2:1. 

2. The "clobber passages" in Leviticus and Deuteronomy concern the "Holiness Codes" that have been fulfilled in Jesus. "Toevah" means "abomination" or "detestable" as related to idolatry and cult prostitution that were engaged in by the Canaanites. 

3. The Bible also contains prohibitions against eating shell fish; there are also the cultural practices of stoning to death those who commit adultery, stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath, stoning to death recalcitrant children, women not being allowed to talk in the Church, women not being allowed to teach men, women always keeping their heads covered in church, not wearing mixed fibers in one's clothes, etc. Why not picket Safeway for selling shell fish and picket K Mart for selling shirts made of cotton and polyester? 

4. The "sin of Sodom" (Genesis 19) has nothing to do with homosexuality. It deals with gang rape. Whenever Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in the Bible, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Its sins are primarily inhospitality and not taking care of the poor. 

5. In a tribal society, living on the edge, surrounded by enemies, homosexual activity is condemned because in this way people can't "be fruitful and multiply." However, we are no longer a tribal society living on the edge; it's inappropriate to blindly translate the cultural practices of ancient societies to contemporary society as witness as a widow having to marry her husband's brother. If she loved that man, that's wonderful. But if she didn't love that man, she still had to marry him and one can't legitimately argue that God is in favor of serial rape! 

6. If homosexuality was so important, why is it not mentioned in the Ten Commandments; why did the prophets never write about it; why didn't Jesus ever condemn it? If it were that important, don't you think that it would have been mentioned in at least one of these contexts? 

7. Why was the centurion so concerned about this particular slave as recorded in Matthew 8? After all, slaves were a dime a dozen. As it says in Luke, this is a slave who was "dear to him." (Luke 7:2) Why is the Greek word "pais" translated as "servant" in English, when this Greek word is best translated "slave boy?" "Doulos" is the Greek word for slave! A slave boy was frequently one who had a romantic-sexual relationship with an older man; that may well be why the centurion was so concerned about this particular slave boy and asked Jesus to heal him. If such a relationship was a sin or in any way inappropriate, wouldn't Jesus have taken this opportunity to condemn or censure the centurion for having such a relationship? Instead, Jesus merely commended the centurion on his faith and promptly proceeded to heal the man's slave boy. 

8. Same-sex love is certainly affirmed in reading of the relationship between King David (called "a man after God's own heart") and Jonathan. See 1 Samuel 16:12;20:1-23;35-42;20:41;28:32-34;20:12-17;42; 2 Samuel 1:26. If one reads the account of Deborah, a Judge and esteemed warrior in Israel, one comes away with a feeling that she may well have been transgendered, as she certainly didn't live up to the cultural expectations of how a "woman" is to behave. (See Judges 4:1-24) 

9. Particularly in the New Testament, same-sex love is never condemned! What is undoubtedly condemned is male cult prostitution, as seen in the fact that in Corinth, where the Book of Romans was undoubtedly written, there were many religions, one of them being the fertility cult of Aphrodite. Here, sex was frequently a worshipful act in homage to various pagan deities for purposes of fertility, having the crops grow, etc. 

10. The word "homosexual" never appears in any biblical manuscript, as it was a word coined in the late 19th Century and first appeared in an English Bible translation, the Revised Standard Version, in 1946. The Greek word used for "homosexual," arsenokoitai, is an obscure word that doesn't seem to appear in any other ancient writings, and may very well have been only used by the Apostle Paul. Its literal meaning is "male bed." No one knows what Paul was referring to but, if he wanted to denote same-sex love, there were other words available to him that he could have easily used. 

11. The word translated "effeminate" in 1 Corinthians 6:9 is malakoi. It means "soft." It's used elsewhere in Scripture to denote soft clothing. (Matthew 11:8) In this context it probably refers to people of soft morals, or people who lack courage. In any case, to translate it as "effeminate" in a pejorative way would contradict Paul's assertion of the equality of men and women in Christ. (Galatians 3:28) 

12. Regarding the word "para physin" that is usually translated "against nature," this phrase is also used in regard to God's welcoming the gentiles into the fold. (Romans 11:21-24) The phrase is probably best translated, "unexpected," or something not done in the usual way. 

13. Biblical principle must always trump biblical practice! The biblical principle is the Gospel, the Good News, of God's grace (unmerited favor) to us that we appropriate through our faith in Him. (Romans 5:1-2; Ephesians 2:8-9) As Peter J. Gomes writes in his excellent book that I strongly urge you to read, The Good Book: Reading the Bible with Mind and Heart, when we read any passage of the Bible we must try to discern what it says, what it means, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text. Much of the mind-set and many of the words that appear in Scripture don't mean what we think they mean from our perspective. 

14. As Christians we are to show forth the Fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23), and live out the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. We are in no way to align ourselves with wolves in sheep's clothing who stigmatize and oppress gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender people for their own psychological, political, social, and financial gains, particularly when they have absolutely no Scriptural authority to do so. 

There is much more that can be said on this matter! There are many other web sites as well that deal with the integration of Christianity and homosexuality, such as the web site of the Metropolitan Community Churches, and my blog, A Christian Voice For Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, And Transgender Rights, that has many relevant links that you may find of interest and might be of help.
Share |

Monday, December 1, 2014


Some definitions of “queer” are “abnormal” and “deviant,” and when LGBT people apply these names to themselves they are consigning themselves to pariah status in the eyes of potential Straight allies and others.  The whole point of this Civil Rights movement must be to have people see that being LGBT is normal, and a mere variation of statistical norms that exist in each and every society.

In his book, Outsiders, the late Howard S. Becker said that there is nothing intrinsic in the quality of an act that makes it deviant.  An act or, in this case, a person, is only considered “deviant” when the label of “deviance” is successfully applied to that act or person.

Hence, in this context, when LGBT people define themselves as “queer,” they are applying the label of “deviance” to themselves, and giving tacit permission to others to view them in that light.  Therefore, they are enabling people to give themselves permission to see them as “the deviant,” “the other,” “the outsider,” and even “the pariah” in society.

Here, the people who define themselves in this way seem to be comfortable, if not to revel, in their status of being an outsider, and not being seen as fully equal to heterosexuals.  Witting or unwitting self-loathing might well be the basis of tenaciously hanging on to that word as a self-identifier.  One of the reasons that same-sex marriage is so important is that beyond cementing the sanctity of the marriage of two gay people it is showing all who have eyes to see that save for affectional/sexual orientation there is no difference between LGBT people and heterosexuals.

Many years ago, I wrote about this thesis on someone else’s blog and was shocked by the level of hostility I received from those who were wedded to seeing themselves as “queer.”  I was accused of being ignorant, of not knowing what I was talking about, of having hostility to LGBT people, etc.  I’m not easily shocked, but I was shocked by the level of hatred directed toward me when I said that LGBT people are normal, and must not be seen as abnormal in any way.

These people reveled in seeing themselves as being deviant or outsiders, and wanted others to see them as being deviant or outsiders as well.  To say that they were shooting themselves in the foot is a gross understatement.

I’m happily surprised at the rate that same-sex marriage has increased in the U.S.  However, I’m afraid that there will be a backlash, given the reactionary political sensibilities of much of the electorate as seen in the recent midterm elections. 

It is vital that there is a human face placed upon LGBT people to which others can relate as being of like kind and deserving of full and complete equality in every facet of life.  By referring to oneself as “queer,” permission is given for others to view LGBT people as “the other, “ “the stranger,” and even worthy of discrimination. 

We have a reactionary United States Supreme Court, and one of our allies, the elderly Ruth Bader Ginsberg, just underwent a procedure to remove a blockage from her heart.  We can’t be sanguine about future rulings from that court affirming same-sex marriage as a Constitutional right.

And referring to LGBT people as “the other,” and “the deviant,” which are synonyms for “queer,” can do nothing but help assure further discrimination by people, including the judiciary, in retarding, if not revoking, many of the gains made in the fight for full LGBT equality in all dimensions of life.

Share |

Thursday, October 30, 2014


This is an article that I posted many years ago, delivered as a sermon, and appeared in "Whosoever," a blog that caters to LGBT people and their allies:

"…O my people, they which lead thee cause thee to err, and destroy the way of thy paths." (Isaiah 3:12)

"…he looked for judgment, but behold oppression; for righteousness, but behold a cry." (Isaiah 5:7)

Many years ago, I was asked by the then-pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Chico, Lynn Bolich, to speak to the congregation and community members who would attend as to why gay people should not be ordained to the ministry. Conventionally reading the Bible, I saw such words as “abomination” and “against nature” ostensibly associated with homosexuality, and I thought it was a no-brainer. To my current embarrassment, I gave that speech.
Subsequent to giving that speech, I started to think more deeply about the issue and asked myself the question, “Why would someone voluntarily choose to become part of a despised minority group?” I started searching the Scriptures, looking up the original languages to see what they meant and, more importantly, what they didn’t mean. I also read extra-biblical sources on the subject and finally decided that the Bible not only did not condemn same-sex loving relationships but, in fact, tacitly affirmed them.
I examined the relationship between David and Jonathan and saw that even a cursory reading of the biblical account of their relationship showed King David, called a man after God’s own heart (1Samuel 13:14), to have been at the very least a bisexual. (1Sam. 20:30-31; 41-42; 2Sam. 1:26; 9:1) Moreover, in Matthew 8, a centurion beseeches Jesus to heal his servant. The typical Greek word that is translated “servant,” although a more accurate translation is “slave,” is doulos. However, in Matthew 8, the Greek word that is translated in the King James Version of the Bible as “servant” is pais and, given this account as recorded in Luke 7 that says that this slave (doulos) was “dear unto him” (Luke 7:2), it may very well be translated “slave boy.”
The term “slave boy” was a term that was commonly used to describe one who was in a homosexual relationship in those times. That may well be why the centurion was so concerned about this particular slave. This being a reasonable and probable translation in Matthew 8 given the context (Such as seen in Charles B. Williams, The New Testament: A Translation in the Language of the People.), it is interesting that Jesus never condemned the centurion’s relationship with his slave boy, and He had the perfect opportunity to do so if He felt that their relationship was in any way sinful or inappropriate. Jesus merely commended the centurion on his faith and promptly proceeded to heal the man’s slave boy.
The legalists and the self-righteous, smug fundamentalist professing Christians, who seem to monopolize the media, don’t speak for Christianity—at least not the Christianity that I know. These purveyors of a false Gospel impose their prejudices on the Bible, selectively picking certain verses that they feel affirm those prejudices, and preach a message of legalism and perfectionism that is diametrically opposed to the Gospel of grace, faith, love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness.
The Apostle Paul, who adamantly fought legalism (Acts 15; Ephesians 2:8-9), saved his harshest words for those who preach a false Gospel. He said in Galatians 1:8 concerning those who preach a false Gospel, “…let him be accursed.” He felt so strongly about those who preach legalism rather than the Gospel of grace that he repeated himself in the very next verse.
To be “accursed” is to be damned by God! In other words, he wrote, “God damn them.” (Galatians 1:8-9) Once can’t use any stronger language than that!
These preachers of a false Gospel have wittingly or unwittingly attempted to hijack the true Gospel and redefine Christianity in their own twisted image of God, the Bible, the world, and of themselves. They make Christians look like a pack of hate-mongering, harsh, judgmental freaks and I terribly resent it!
Every single church and denomination is obligated to embrace and welcome into its fellowship everyone who worships Christ as his or her savior, and afford each such person full rights of inclusion, including the partaking of every sacrament of the Church, as befit members of the Body of Christ! Yet, many denominations are struggling with issues surrounding the full inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (hereafter to be called GLBT) people. The struggle is said to largely center on biblical interpretation regarding gay people and their relationships, as well as Christian tradition, despite the fact that Jesus says we make void the Word of God by our traditions. (Matthew 15:3)
Many people who seek to deny GLBT people rights of ordination, marriage, and other rights and privileges that accrue to others, may be well-intentioned, but they are misinformed. The root of this misinformation is largely the religious leadership that seeks to impose their world-views that bespeak ignorance and insensitivity upon not only other people, but upon the Bible and upon God Himself.
Just as Peter’s experience of Cornelius in Acts 10 showed him that even Gentiles were receiving God’s Spirit, we must realize that GLBT Christians can receive, and many have received, God’s Spirit as well, as the reception of God’s Spirit has absolutely nothing to do with one’s sexual orientation. Many people in the Church still think of GLBT people as Peter and Paul once thought of Gentiles. Yet God told them, and us, “…What God hath cleansed, that call not thou common.” (Acts 10:15)
Peter and Paul called the Jewish Christian church in their day to not merely tolerate Gentile Christians, but welcome their full inclusion. Similarly, in our day we are being called by God to not merely tolerate GLBT Christians, but welcome their full inclusion in every aspect of the Church and society.
Had it not been for adherence to God’s revelation concerning inclusiveness, Paul would not have had a ministry to the Gentiles (Acts 13:47), and had it not been for Paul and his ministry, Christianity would likely be but a mere sect of Judaism, rather than its fulfillment! We must obey God; not man-made dogmas, rules, regulations, and traditions!
On June 17, 2004, Reuters reported, “The Roman Catholic Church in Massachusetts is considering firing gay employees who marry their same-sex partners in the only American state where such unions are legal, a church official said on Thursday.” Hence, even though the law in Massachusetts permits same-sex marriage, the Roman Catholic Church, viewing gay relationships as “intrinsically disordered,” may seek to discriminate against those who take advantage of that law.
Given the extensive sex abuse scandals that have rocked that denomination, it would seem prudent for it to take the beam out of its own eye before tackling what isn’t even a speck in another’s eye. Yet, sexuality and sexual orientation are such highly charged topics for them, and most others, that they may feel free to disregard the law and discriminate against people who seek to make a lifetime commitment to each other before God and the community through the sacrament of marriage.
Marriage is a matter of love, but also a matter of legal and property rights! Just ask anyone who has gone through a divorce! As citizens, GLBT people have every right to partake of the same rights and privileges, as well as the responsibilities, as other citizens.
Why would we allow a bunch of celibate men, men who seemingly choose to deny a core part of the self, a deep primal urge and vehicle for the _expression of deepest intimacy between two people, be allowed to define romantic and sexual reality for us? In this vein, we must ask, “Why are so many ‘religious’ people, clergy and non-clergy alike, so obsessed with others’ love and sexual lives that they read into Scripture, taking a few passages out of context and without regard to the original languages, justification for discriminating, stigmatizing, demonizing, and oppressing GLBT people, which judgment and discrimination is clearly un-Scriptural?” Their prejudices have clearly blinded them to the biblical mandate to love others and not judge or oppress them!
The Gospel of love trumps any particular verse or verses of Scripture, particularly those taken out of context and interpreted without regard to the original languages. In Leviticus, the men who sought to gang rape the two angels weren't gay, as Lot wouldn't have offered his virgin daughters to them. If they were gay, young women certainly would have been no inducement to them. The issue was gang rape, abusing others, not sexual orientation or gay relationships.
Indeed, whenever Sodom and Gomorrah are mentioned in Scripture, homosexuality is never mentioned as its sin. Rather, the sins that are dealt with are inhospitality and not taking care of the poor. Moreover, if the two angels who visited Lot’s house had been women, it is unlikely that those professing Christians who discriminate against GLBT people would be condemning heterosexuality!
The word translated "homosexual" in some translations (Such as the New English Bible: New Testament.) is arsenekoitai, an obscure Greek word, which actually means "male bed." It probably refers to male cult prostitution (See the New Revised Standard Version of the Bible.) that was not uncommon in much of the ancient world, where sex was sometimes a worshipful act to various pagan deities and to have the crops grow. Paul was most likely talking about the use of sex for these purposes. In this connection, it is important to note that the word “homosexual” does not appear in any of the biblical manuscripts, as the term was coined in the late 19th century, and first appeared in an English Bible translation in the 1946 edition of the Revised Standard Version.
Moreover, prohibitions against homosexual activity in ancient Israel was done in the context of a tribal society living on the edge, surrounded by enemies, that had to "be fruitful and multiply" in order for it to survive. Therefore, all types of sexual activity had to be geared to procreation. The sin of Onan, coitus interruptus, was to do otherwise. (Genesis 38:9-10)
Romans 1:21-32 that is erroneously used to condemn gay people talks about those who turned their backs on God. Even though many professing Christians and clergy have turned GLBT people away from the church, many of these people still worship God. Many of them have long, fulfilling relationships. For example, one gay couple who attend our church has been together for 40 years.
In any case, what those who quote from the first chapter of Romans to erroneously condemn gay people apparently don't read is the very next verse: "Therefore Thou art inexcusable, O man, whosoever thou art that judgest: for wherein thou judgest another, thou condemnest thyself; for thou that judgest doest the same things." (Romans 2:1)
The word "abomination" frequently refers to anything the Gentiles did. For example, eating fish without scales was an abomination. Also, the Greek words that are translated "against nature," para physin, are also used in reference to God when He brought the Gentiles into the covenant relationship with Him. (Romans 11:24) Hence, the term “against nature” is not necessarily meant to be pejorative; may well refer in Romans 1:26-27 to heterosexuals who engage in homosexual acts as seen in cult prostitution.
In 1Corinthians 6:9 the word "effeminate" is used. The Greek word is malakoi, and it means "soft." It's used elsewhere in Scripture to denote soft clothing. In this connection, it probably means people of soft morals or people who lack courage.
It is important to realize that homosexuality is never mentioned in the Ten Commandments, never written about by the prophets, and never discussed by Jesus. If it were that important, it would have likely been dealt with in at least one of these contexts!
Yet these facts, and many others that have been put forth, are not likely to change the minds and hearts of those who actively discriminate against GLBT people. Those who spend a great deal of their time condemning other people “in the name of God,” by picking and choosing selected verses of Scripture without seeming regard to context and original languages, may well be materially and psychologically gaining a great deal from these endeavors, all the while claiming that they are being faithful to the Bible.
Just one example as to how these people don't seem to be as ‘Bible believing’ as they would have us believe: Jesus specifically condemned divorce and remarriage, saying that those who did so, absent fornication, were themselves committing adultery. (Matthew 19:9) I don't hear many homophobic clergy condemning these people and telling them that they should leave their current spouse and either reunite with their previous spouse or remain single. Nor should they! My point is that many of their constituents are made up of these people who give them tithes, offerings, and contributions and they don't want to bite the hands that feed them. They have, however, helped drive many GLBT people away from the church, so these people become viewed as “safe” targets to persecute.
The Gospel of love negates any attempt to misrepresent, stigmatize, demonize, or oppress other people. Those who seek to exclude GLBT people from partaking fully in the life of the Church and society have missed the message of the Gospel!
In any case, it's inappropriate to blindly apply the cultural practices of ancient societies to contemporary society, as it does not do justice to the Bible; the Bible makes no such claims for itself; to do so cheapens the Bible. As Peter J. Gomes wrote in his superb book, The Good Book: Reading The Bible With Mind And Heart, when we read the Bible we must take account of what it says, what it means, the text, the subtext, the context, what we bring to the text, and what we take out of the text. Without such examination, we have the egregious example of many Black churches, ministers and lay people, aligning themselves with the KKK to fight against same-sex marriage.
What is interesting in this context is that the KKK has demonstrated against same-sex marriage. So, the Vatican, the Southern Baptist Convention, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints (that, even with its checkered sexual history, talks of traditional family values) and others who oppose equal rights for gay people are aligning themselves with the KKK that opposes equality for all citizens. And these professing Christians have the temerity to do so "in the name of God."
For far too long we have listened to people who just uncritically assume that what they heard from the pulpit or Sunday school, as ignorant and hateful as it may be, regarding GLBT people is true. Being gay is not a lifestyle! It's a life! It's not a choice, any more than being straight is a choice!
Moreover, although each minority group has its own particular history, each has suffered from misinformation, discrimination, stigma, and oppression. Unfortunately, the Church has been the last institution in society to accept the disenfranchised and "least among us." As has been noted for many years, the Church has been, and continues to be, the most racially segregated institution that exists on Sunday mornings in our society. In addition, the major justification for oppressing minority groups has been appeal to the Bible. Witness the subjugation of women, slavery, and segregation.
Even the most "Bible believing" Christian would not condone such biblical practices as stoning to death adulterers, stoning to death those who work on the Sabbath, requiring all women to wear long hair, women not talking in church, women not teaching men, not wearing mixed fibers in our clothes, etc. Yet these are all taught in the Bible!
The Bible is part of God's revelation to us. It gives us a glimpse into a small part of God's heart and a few of His many dimensions. God didn't stop talking to His children 2,000 years ago! He still speaks to us regarding His will for our lives, and to proclaim in each generation, in and for His name, the cause of justice, and to manifest Jesus’ love toward others.
God bless the work of Soulforce that seeks justice for GLBT people, the United Federation of the Metropolitan Community Churches that largely minister to GLBT Christians, the Online magazine, "Whosoever," for which I have written a great deal, that is primarily geared to GLBT Christians, and to the work of Rembert Truluck who points out the destructive aspects of Bible abuse and how misuse of the Bible has caused the untold suffering of GLBT people. They have excellent web sites! It is these, and other such ministries, that have undoubtedly saved, and immeasurably enriched, the lives of countless GLBT people, Christian and non-Christian alike, who were previously wracked by feelings of guilt, shame, self-loathing, and condemnation, hitherto believing the lies and ignorant pronouncements emanating from much of the Church.
The seemingly oracular pronouncements regarding GLBT people and their relationships by those who parade their ignorance as “Godliness” have helped lead to the suicides, bashings, and murders of countless GLBT people. Indeed, in this connection, it is estimated that gay youth have at least three times the suicide rate of non-gay youth.
Make no mistake, every drop of blood shed by GLBT people either through suicide, bashing, or murder, are on the hands of all those religious leaders, their followers, and their allies who spew forth their ignorance, prejudice, and hate against GLBT people and their relationships! These wolves in sheep’s clothing take the Bible, God’s love letter to His children, and selectively and perversely use it as a club to condemn others, and deny GLBT people full inclusion in the Church and in society.
The tradition-bound parts of the Church have so indoctrinated people, many of whom have never even set foot in a house of worship, that many people even disown their own children when they “come out” and divulge their sexual orientation to those whom they thought unconditionally loved and cherished them. There are many children living on the streets because their own parents trusted ignorant clergy and their followers over their God-given duty and privilege to nurture and embrace their own children!
The Church should concentrate on the real sins that deserve our attention and that cry out to God for redress, such as invading another country on false pretenses; the working poor who can't afford medical insurance; the Supreme Court ruling that people can't sue their insurance company in state court for denying needed medical services; many elderly people having to decide whether to buy food or medicine; the gigantic rip off perpetrated by drug companies, hospitals, and the medical establishment on sick and vulnerable people. Why not focus on and address issues such as these, instead of obsessing on who loves who and who sleeps with whom? Such obsession tells us much more about the pathetic and moribund state of much of the Church than it does about the reality of the lives of GLBT people.
Indeed, those who seek to exclude others from full fellowship in church, and in secular society, commit the greatest sin of all: the sin of pride. Jesus “…spake this parable unto certain which trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: Two men went up into the temple to pray; the one a Pharisee, and the other a publican. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, God, I thank thee, that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican. I fast twice in the week. I give tithes of all that I possess. And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner. I tell you, this man went down to his house justified rather than the other: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abased; and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted.” (Luke 18:9-14)
Through out our lives, we have been bombarded with ignorant, homophobic messages from much of the Church world that don’t resonate with, and do contradict, the revelation of God in the Person and words of Jesus! Let’s not let the ignorant, the haters and hate-mongers, many of whom gain psychological, social, and financial advantages by their condemnation and exclusion of GLBT people, define Christianity for us.
We must rise above their ignorant and hateful pronouncements, cynically made "in the name of God," "tradition," "church law," and "family values," and finally practice Christianity. Hear Jesus' call for inclusion of all of His people, and let's fulfill His mandate for us to love our neighbor by embracing in every facet of our lives His GLBT children, whom He gave as a gift to the church and society to be cherished every bit as much as He cherishes us.
Copyright © by the author All Rights Reserved

Become a Rainbow Fish

Join Whosoever's regional groups and meet GLBT Christians in your area.

Get Whosoever News in Your Email!


Subscribe to Whosoever's Podcasts
Whosoever Podcast link

Support Whosoever

Make a tax-deductible donation to support our work.
Donate to Whosoever

Got a Suggestion?

If you have complaint, a compliment, a story idea or just need to vent, use our suggestion box.
Share |

Tuesday, April 1, 2014


There are to be no second-class citizens in the United States!  We established a long time ago that “separate is not equal,” and all American citizens are entitled to enjoy equality under the law.  Any society that presumes to refer to itself as “decent” and “civilized” must not in any way discriminate against any group of people through its laws or their enforcement.

We should have learned this painful lesson during the struggle for African American civil rights, and we must now apply that lesson in this struggle for full and equal civil rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (hitherto referred to as LGBT) people. LGBT people are entitled to the same rights and privileges that accrue to all other citizens of the United States

Gay people are certainly entitled to full and equal civil rights, including the right to marry!  The lies and other nonsense purveyed by many self-proclaimed arbiters of “morality,” often cloaked in the guise of religion, that same-sex marriage destroys “the sanctity of marriage” is ludicrous on its face! 

I have been married to my wife for fifty two years, and I can’t see how same-sex marriage will in any way negatively impact my marriage or in any way destroy the sanctity of my marriage!  No rational person can believe that same-sex marriage in any way compromises the institution of marriage, an institution that has taken many forms in our history.

As a Christian, I am profoundly embarrassed and outraged by those professing Christians who are in the vanguard of discrimination against LGBT people; who spew hateful rhetoric, borne out of their ignorance and/or their hatred and/or their avariciousness, that is diametrically opposed to anything Jesus said, lived, or taught to all who would claim to be His disciples!   Indeed, Jesus saved His harshest words for those who claimed to be “godly” and yet sought to put yokes of bondage onto others!

Christians love other people, and the only Gospel to be found in Christianity is comprised of: grace (God’s unmerited favor to us), faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances), love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness.  There is no other Gospel! 

Jesus makes it abundantly clear that we are to love and not judge or condemn others!  Any professing Christian who thinks that he/she is representing Jesus by doing the very opposite of what Jesus told us to do is not only seriously misled, but is woefully misleading the public, many of whom are gullible enough to take the purveyors of the false gospel of legalism and perfectionism seriously.

Moreover, we are under the Constitution of the United States and we are not a Theocracy!  Since when are we to take a group of people’s understanding of the Bible, an “understanding” far more informed by their preconceived prejudices than it is by anything else, and enshrine those prejudices into our laws of the land; impose those prejudices onto a minority group that all too many professing Christians and others view as being relatively “safe” to persecute?

The discrimination against LGBT people in the names of “Christianity,” “morality,” “tradition,” “the well being of our children,” and any other specious reasons given for this oppression has many of us saying: “Enough is enough!”  We’re not going to take it anymore!

For those of us who are Christians, we are sick and tired of having those who would hate and/or discriminate against others presume to speak for us!  For those of us who are heterosexual, we are sick and tired of watching our LGBT sisters and brothers be oppressed!  For those of us who are LGBT, we are sick and tired of being viewed and treated as second-class citizens, denied marital and other rights and benefits that heterosexual tax paying citizens are given and take for granted.

In sum, LGBT rights activists demand full and equal civil rights that every other citizen of the United States possesses, and we won’t rest or stop until that goal is achieved!

Share |

Thursday, March 27, 2014


I'm a disciple of Christ first and foremost!  Actually, I'm very theologically conservative in that I believe in the Resurrection and ascension of Jesus into heaven, the virgin birth, that Jesus is God incarnate, that the Bible is the inspired Word of God (if seen contextually and accurately translated), and in virtually all theological and Christological contentions that conservative theologians support.

Of course, I vehemently disagree with homophobic clergy, be they evangelical or mere haters who seek to frame their hate in the name of "Christianity."  And, it must be acknowledged, that there are many self-defined and self-deluded evangelical Christians who speak from the hateful preconceived prejudices that exist in their hearts!

However, secondarily, I also agree with Marx’ analysis of capitalism, save for his dismissal of God.  As much of organized religion does serve as "the opiate of the masses," and that many people create God in their own image, Marx was unfortunately correct.  He was dead wrong, however, when he proffered that there is no God and that God is a mere fiction created by the gullible.

However, I don't want to deal with this particular issue here, but I do want to deal with the role of Capitalism that Marx correctly said "contains the seeds of its own destruction."  Some of those seeds in the U.S. can be seen by the fact that capitalism requires many workers to live lives of exploitation, and that exploitation has as one of its results the need for affirmation that often comes by creating one or more out-groups, constructed enemies, so that one can feel better about him/herself and feel morally superior, as well as cement in-group solidarity that shared hate can bring to those who are exploited.

Wealthy people can, of course, be homophobic, but that homophobia may in great part be used to influence the exploited workers to cast as the enemy groups other than those who are, in fact, exploiting them.  Workers are needed in order for capitalists to be successful, so they must be lulled into believing that they have a stake in capital property, as well as a stake in the values of the capitalists, the power elite; what better way of deflecting workers' animus against capitalists who are exploiting them than to monopolize the media, manipulate the media, to get many Straight people to think that Gay people are somehow a threat to the well-being of children, families, "our American way of life," and religion?

The capitalists, the owners of the means of production and the media, have a vested interest in having workers fighting against each other rather than direct their resentment where it should belong.  Outsourcing, diminishing of workers' salaries in proportion to the economic gains of the corporate elite must be subordinated in workers' psyches by encouraging a war of all against all, be it against Gay people, Jews, African Americans, immigrants, women, etc.

This is not to say that homophobia doesn't occur in the absence of capitalism, for I am a firm believer in Original Sin!  It is to say that in developed countries such as in the U.S., where survival of the fittest, the hallmark of Social Darwinism without which it is impossible to understand much of the values and fabric of the U.S., and in the ideology of many workers who have no vested interest in believing this sociopathic axiom, an axiom that can be heard on a daily basis on most of talk radio, leads to the seeking out of scapegoats against whom to vent their frustrations and resentments borne of their own economic oppression and exploitation.
Marx called this phenomenon, "false consciousness," where people act against their own best interests because they are misdirected by the media and other institutions ruled by the capitalists.  Homophobia is one such manifestation of false consciousness!

Let's face it, why would anyone care if two adult people of the same sex love each other?  Why would there be people making a veritable career out of condemning Gay people unless there was money to be made by doing so, and/or unless they were fearful of being Gay themselves?  Why would most churches have such animus against Gay people unless they were acting as agents of the power elite and/or were comprised of clergy many of whom are self-loathing Gay people?

When there is relative scarcity of goods and services that capitalism demands for the owners of the means of production to maximize their profits, workers become frustrated and angry, and they seek out all sorts of constructed "enemies" against which to direct their anger, so that they can remain safer than they would if they directed their frustration, anger, and aggression against those creating their exploitation; direct that very frustration, anger, and aggression against groups that they feel are safe to persecute, and seek to justify their persecution of that constructed enemy by lying about them, often doing so in the name of God.

Now, the major scapegoats that serve to assuage the frustrations and consequent aggression of the exploited are Gay people!

Carl Jung once said that only the tortured are torturers!  And one doesn't have to be a Marxist to understand this truth!

Share |