Dear Margo: Bigotry Dolled Up in Biblical Verse

One readers difference in beliefs causes Margo Howard to break one of her own rules

Bigotry Dolled Up in Biblical Verse

Dear Margo: Today was the last day I will ever read your column. I am 37 years old and do not agree with your beliefs. The Bible clearly states in several places that being gay is wrong. There is no way to misunderstand it. I imagine God looks down on us shaking his head with a tear coming down his face. You are telling people it’s OK, and it’s not! God help us all. — Melissa in Ohio

Dear Mel: I have never run a letter like yours before because I have chosen not to get mixed up with responses to particular letters. Yours, however, is such a perfect exemplar of what I think is wrong with the world … in politics and in social life … that I’ve broken my own rule.

For one thing, I find it insular and intolerant to demand that everyone agree with you, about either the meaning or the validity of the Bible, let alone whether or not it’s “OK” to be gay. Your Bible isn’t everyone’s Bible, and your Bible is not my government. You are free, certainly, to follow your beliefs, but why wouldn’t you cede other people the same right?

The fact that you say you will no longer read someone with different views from yours seems narrow-minded. If you read only things that you already believe, how will you ever learn anything or broaden your horizons or, heaven forefend, change your mind? You might ask yourself if perhaps God is not looking down, shaking his head with a tear coming down his face and wondering why some of His children are casting stones at some other of His children. — Margo, charitably

Troubling Situation with a Son

Dear Margo: I have a grown son who lives in another state. When I started visiting him at my oldest daughter’s house (back when he was 18), he always brought a girlfriend. I found it difficult to communicate with him because of a stranger being present, so hardly anything was discussed. He would say he’d see me again in a few days, but then he would never call or visit again. I also tried to communicate and ask questions via MySpace, but got no responses whatsoever. I would send birthday cards and Christmas gifts — and again no reply. Since he lives in a rural area, I sometimes wondered whether he even received them, but then I started using “return receipt requested” and found the things were received.

He is only 26 and is getting married for the second time. I basically know nothing about his life. Our birthdays are the same day, and he never, not once, has wished me a happy birthday, a merry Christmas or a happy Mother’s Day. I am totally lost as to how I can solve this terrible problem. — Really Crushed

Dear Real: It’s always very sad when a parent wants to have a relationship and the grown child does not. Something is causing him to keep you at arm’s length. You may know what this is; you may not. The most constructive thing to be done — and it may not bring you any answers — is to directly ask what has caused his excluding you from his life, explaining that it is a source of pain for you and something you would like to remedy if it is within your power. Worst-case scenario would be no response to this plea, in which case I urge you to understand that some things are not within our control and must be accepted as such. As I have said in other circumstances involving family difficulties, DNA and being related by blood are no guarantee of anything. Whichever way this goes, I hope you can find some measure of peace and acceptance. — Margo, philosophically

* * *

Dear Margo is written by Margo Howard, Ann Landers’ daughter. All letters must be sent via e-mail to dearmargo@creators.com. Due to a high volume of e-mail, not all letters will be answered.

COPYRIGHT 2011 MARGO HOWARD
DISTRIBUTED BY CREATORS.COM

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232 comments so far.

  1. avatar Mary says:

    For many of the reasons already written I do not participate in organized religion.  My beliefs are such that I basically believe in good vs evil and the struggle of overcoming evil.  I don’t believe that any church is a good model of what Christianity realy is or represents . Man is it’s own enemy and interpretation is done by mere mortal men who have taken liberties in making a smorgasboard of what the individual church believes and practices.  There are probably at least a hundred rewrites of the Bible as it pertains to the author, the interpretor and the reader, It’s crazy.  Yet, I am grateful that my parents insisted that I am my siblings attend church because they believed that the experience gave us a basic understanding of being better people.  When we were older we were free to make our own choices regarding beliefs but my Dad wanted us to do that with some amount of research and background.

    Religion provides many with excuses for their personal feelings of hate, vindictiveness, and moral superiority. It feels good for the person to go to a building, give money, listen to a sermon, pray and learn how wonderful the church was in providing for the needs of that churches so called mission.  It is a personal pat on the back for being in the same buidling with others who are there for the same feeling of doing something right this week to right the wrongs they did the second they left the same building the week before.  All in hopes of entering within the golden gate.

    Many I am sure will have a shocking enlightenment when that time comes. 

  2. avatar Belinda Joy says:

    Letter #1 – Although you may not get the chance to read this response, unlike others on this thread of conversation, I agree with you.

    Not your stance that you believe homosexuality is wrong and a sin, for it is not. We do indeed CHOOSE who we have sex with but we do not choose how we are born and who we lust for. That comes hard-wired in our DNA. If a man wants a man, he can CHOOSE to have sex with women, but in his heart and loins, he knows he wants to be with a man.

    But your decision to exclude Margo’s column from one of your sources of online entertainment…..there is absolutely nothing wrong with that.  What to many people forget or choose not to acknowledge is the Bible is unlike any other book ever written. It is a book where 1 million people can line up and each take turns reading the same passage from the Bible, and all 1 million people turn and walk away interpreting the words in it, in a completely different manner and context.

    You choose to read passages as condoning homosexuality while others can point (and then counterpoint) other passages where the Bible speaks lovingly of accepting others regardless of sexual leanings. You are someone that picks and chooses the sections of the Bible you want to focus on and hold up as justification for your beliefs, biases and actions. While others accept that the lessons, stories and instructions of the Bible do not always apply to today’s lifestyles.

    I have news outlets I don’t look at, columnists I don’t follow and actors and actresses I choose not to listen to or watch because I don’t approve or agree with how they think and feel about issues. So I 100% agree that it is perfectly fine to slice and dice people from your life. Especially in this instance where Margo is not going to lose sleep over you dumping her, nor do I doubt others will choose not to read her column because you have decided you don’t want to follow her. It is what it is. God Bless you.

    Letter #2 – As others have indicated, there is clearly something more at play in this letter writer’s relationship (or lack thereof) than she is willing to admit to Margo. And at the risk of sounding as if I am attacking the letter writer (that truly is not my intent regardless of how I sound),  I find it odd that she writes of the superficial aspects of wanting to connect with her son and not a deeper and more profound attempt to connect.

    “He won’t say Happy Birthday to me….He doesn’t send Christmas gifts…..we won’t respond on MySpace….” What?  Your 26 year old son has cut you out of his life and you are writing in to Margo and essentially whinning about him not sending you a card? Maybe this act itself is partly to do with his choice not to communicate with his mom.

    Something is not right with this letter writer and the circumstances. Goodness knows I understand the letters are edited for print, but unless there was a huge paragraph deleted from her letter, something does not sound right.                  

  3. avatar flyonthewall says:

    Margo, I absolutely love your response to L#1, especially your last sentence.  That is exactly how I feel about the matter.  From what I know about God, God is love.  Jesus came to teach that.  I have studied the Bible extensively and Jesus never spoke out against homosexuality.  It is my belief that God would never condone the persecution of any homosexual person.
    As for L#2, only the son can divulge why he chooses to be so distant from his parent.  It has been my experience that some people are just quirky like that and keep to themselves. I like Margo’s suggestion, but be prepared to not really get an answer because the son may not know himself why he is like he is.

  4. avatar Amy says:

    Dear Melissa,

    Thank you for doing so much to educate people regarding God’s Law. I
    have learned a great deal from you, and try to share that
    knowledge with as many people as I can. When someone tries to defend
    the homosexual lifestyle, for example, I simply remind them that
    Leviticus 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate.

    I do need some advice from you, however, regarding some of the other
    specific laws and how to follow them.

    1. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a
    pleasing odor for the Lord – Lev.1:9. The problem is my neighbors.
    They claim the odor is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in
    Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair
    price for her?

    3. I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in
    her period of menstrual cleanliness – Lev.15:19-24. The problem is,
    how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most women take offence.

    4. Lev. 25:44 states that I may indeed possess slaves, both male and
    female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations. A friend
    of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans, but not Canadians. Can
    you clarify? Why can’t I own Canadians?

    5. I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus
    35:2 clearly states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated
    to kill him myself?

    6. A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an
    abomination – Lev. 11:10, it is a lesser abomination than
    homosexuality. I don.t agree. Can you settle this?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I
    have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading
    glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle room
    here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair
    around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev.
    19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes
    me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two
    different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing
    garments made of two different kinds of thread (cotton/polyester
    blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really
    necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town
    together to stone them? – Lev.24:10-16. Couldn.t we just burn them to
    death at a private family affair like we do with people who sleep with
    their in-laws? (Lev.20:14)

    I know you have studied these things extensively, so I am confident
    you can help. Thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is
    eternal and unchanging.

    • avatar Drew Smith says:

      Amy thanks for the chuckle,

      I think your last comment is the clincher, since history has taught time and again that man’s interpretation of God’s unchanging word, indeed has changed many times, in the many varieties of the Christian faith alone.

      • avatar Amy says:

        Hehe admittedly it’s stolen from a forum post in response to Dr. Laura’s constant anti-homosexual ramblings.  But it just fit so, so well here. I get so saddened by false Christians like LW#1 who opt a dogma of “scriptures a la carte”.

    • avatar amw says:

      Thank you Amy! Fantastic response!

    • avatar barney says:

      Amers, the problem with your borrowed verbiage in an attempt to smack down Christians is that the scripture that you are quoting comes from the OLD TESTAMENT.  If you had a clue, you’d understand that the NEW TESTAMENT is what CHRISTIANS follow (Jewish follow the Old) and is COMPLETELY different from the Old in that Jesus came and died to break the hold of the OLD LAWS.  If it’s too much for you to understand, I’m sorry, don’t know what to tell you.

      Perhaps you should have directed your quotes at a bunch of homophobic Jews.  It would’ve made much more sense. 

      • avatar barney says:

        I, myself, as a Christian, do not sit in judgment of others for their life choices.  If it doesn’t affect me, I DON’T CARE what people do.  I’ve read many of your posts throughout Margo’s many threads, and you, my friend, are a HYPOCRITE.  You love to give people hell for things they’ve done, so your credibility is shot.  Unless…. YOU are the Perfect One?

      • avatar Mandy McNalis says:

        Barney:  Then why, pray tell, is the Old Testament even included in the Christian Bible then?  You seem so full of knowledge and smarts, so school me on why a religion would bother putting a very large chunk of Jewish mythology into their own holy book if they don’t plan on abiding by it?
        What you’re really saying is just what Amers was getting at: Many Christians like to pick and choose what they follow and believe.  Nowhere in the New Testament (save for by Paul who we should all realize by this point in history was using his words to push his own twisted agenda) does Jesus condemn homosexuality.  Only Paul does that and last check, they weren’t called Paulians.

      • avatar barney says:

        Mandy, if you don’t even understand the basics of how the Testaments are intertwined and how important they are to each other, I can’t argue with you.  I can’t argue with someone who doesn’t have the knowledge to know what they’re talking about, or more importantly, what I’M talking about.

      • avatar Drew Smith says:

        “Pray” tell Barney, why do you choose to “argue” in the first place?
        That the scriptures are interpreted differently by different Christian faiths is a reality and the “basics” as you call them are not basic at all if one compares how different parts of the Old Testament are being “used” in a variety of Christian faiths.
        How is it that some are tolerant of Homosexuality and others are not? How is it that one faith “believes” that is stands on more hallowed “ground” than another?
        What is the answer, in one word, it is a matter of “faith.” Hmm, I have yet to hear a plausible explanation of how one religion’s level of “faith” is superior to another. Because when the intellectual veneer is removed, it all comes down to the same thing, which I have heard time and again with one believer after another from religion after religion, “it’s a matter of faith.”

      • avatar Mandy McNalis says:

        I’m still waiting for your response.  If you’re so concerned that I don’t have the knowledge to understand what you’re talking about, educate me.
        I’d guess the reason for your dismissive response is that you have no clear answer and would rather be condescending than actually try to answer because you know you’ll look like a fool when you do.
         
         

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Um, barney? What Christians do you know…besides yourself? Because I grew up surrounded by Christians, and I live surrounded by Christians, and I’ve been to churches of more different denominations than I can even remember, and read and studied the Christians Bibles carefully, and with the exception of Roman Catholicism…all Christian Denominations use the Old Testament…some of them, especially the Baptists, certain Methodists, and most of the evangelical churches, very, very heavily, while only referencing the New Testament occasionally, just to remind themselves about Jesus’ involvement in the general scheme of things.
         
        Just what country do you live in?

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        I get the feeling it’s one where “Christian” is a registered trademark.

  5. avatar Elizabeth L says:

    Margo, as the Mom of lesbian who is I might add a wonderful human being I just wanted to say Thank You for your response to the narrowminded and misinformed Melissa.

  6. avatar Linda Myers says:

    The Antiquities of Josephus sits on the shelves of many who have studied the theology of the Bible, but tells a very different side of that time and the lives of those inlcuded in the Bible. Both books written by man – one from a historical sense and one from the passing down of stories from the past. To stand with a Bible as a shield of bigotry is not doing a service to any path of belief. To stop reading a column because of something that was said rather than being open to what is yet to be said, says it all in living in a closed desire for an open mind.

  7. avatar Mandy McNalis says:

    Margo: I wouldn’t worry about losing Melissa in Ohio as a reader.  I just sent the link to this page out to all of my lovely, tolerant friends.  Looks like you should be getting a fresh influx of open-minded, kind people reading your column.  VAST improvement.
    So thanks, Melissa!  You’ve brought Margo’s column to a whole new slew of people who appreciate tolerance and acceptance of others.  Your bigotry and condemnation have only further spread Margo’s message of love.  Deal with it.

  8. avatar amw says:

    LW1: There’s nothing else to add here. Margo…sensational response! The other commenters have also brought up some valid, excellent points as well.

    It’s a shame that Melissa dislikes to ready any column that disagrees with her beliefs, but that is her perogative. I personally enjoy a healthy debate as it gives you the opportunity to learn new things and perhaps broaden your ideas and views.

  9. avatar Artemesia says:

    Jesus Christ had nothing to say about homosexuality, although he was pretty clear about divorce.  Anything Paul said is pretty suspect since his major efforts seem to have been to turn Christ’s message into Paul’s message complete with his closeted desires, misogyny and authoritarian needs.  Born again Christians are some of the most evil people in America — and Christ is probably looking down with tears streaming down his face at the way they have distorted his message from one of love to one of hate.

    • avatar amw says:

      I completely agree. How sad that they may interpret God’s word to fit into their narrow minded lifestyle while judging us from their ever present superiority complex for interpreting God’s word in a more loving, accepting way. Quite interesting…yet a bit of knowledge that has ended my quest to find a church. Organized religion (in my experience) is such a mockery…full of self-absorbed hypocrites. The division of church and state served a purpose…our founding fathers/mothers must be rolling in their graves.

    • avatar flyonthewall says:

      Couldn’t agree with you more, Artemesia.

    • avatar Lila says:

      Artemesia, yes, yes, yes.  Check out Chapter 5 of Dostoyevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov.  It is called “The Grand Inquisitor,” is fairly short, stands alone, and is easily found on the internet.  That captures it quite well.

  10. avatar Debbie Ciaravino says:

    LW #1, I feel the need to add my 2 cents. Your views are very narrow and small minded. You do not have to agree with homosexuality in order to be an open minded, compassionate person who loves all of God’s creatures equally. Just look at all the scandals regarding Priests and boys, or preachers stealing money in God’s name, etc. You didn’t abandon the church because some preachers turned out to be homosexual or theives did you? It doesn’t change God’s messages of love, no matter whom the deliverer of the message is.

    So, in the spirit of being a Christian, I would like to say that Margo and the others on this message board would be willing to turn the other cheek. We would welcome you back in the hopes that you might learn a little something about yourself and how to treat others. If you chose not to, then I will put you in my prayers that God opens your eyes, heart and mind to what he is really trying to teach you and that he has mercy on your soul if you chose not to listen.

    • avatar Drew Smith says:

      What makes you think that any of us don’t already have our eyes, hearts and minds open to what God has to teach us?
       
      Who is this “we” you speak of? Your family, congregation, religion? Why would we, have a need for acceptance by all of “you.” We have our own family, congregation, religion and I preach not only tolerance but celebrate diversity.
       
      When all of “you” can say the same, then you and I have common ground.

      • avatar Drew Smith says:

        Debbie, apologies, I misread your post, so I guess you can take my response as ironic if you wish.
        I picked up on the tone which I have heard so many times from a more “exclusive” brand of Christianity, where what you say is based on “buying-in” on the tenets of a specific church with the requisite our way or the highway…, to Hell.

  11. avatar BeanCounter says:

    Thank you Margo.   Thursday and Friday mornings are my favorite and I love coming into work to read your column first thing with my coffee.  :)

  12. avatar Margo Howard says:

    Dear Bean Counter: Thanks so much. That’s nice to hear.

  13. avatar Jay Gentile says:

    Why don’t any of the 10 Commandments mention gay sex? There’s one about adultery but nothing about sodomy. One can assume it’s acceptable as long as sodomy occurs outside of marriage? The krist kult cracks me up!

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Curiously, Jay, the confusion over Paul’s words in Romans. 1 Corinthians, and 1 Timothy, refers to just that…whether he was referring to homosexuality, homosexual prostitution, those who were heterosexual but turned to homosexuality for pleasure…or, specifically, anal sex (be mighty careful when using the word “sodomy” as the actual laws of various states interpret the word differently…some actually define it as referring to “any ‘unnatural’ sexual act”). This is because the original Greek contains a number of words that cannot be translated because they had several dialectical meanings at the time…and because different translations of Paul give them different meanings over the centuries.
       
      There is direct reference to Paul to “unclean” sexual acts in conjunction with the alleged probation of homosexuality. This is referred to roughly as “sex as it is between men”. Since there was no hygiene to speak of in those somewhat dark and disease ridden days…such sex would have been deemed…unclean. It still is today by many. Curiously, if you bother with history through the ages…even from that time period and moving forward…you will discover that humans knew perfectly well just what activity caused babies to be conceived, and willingly took part in sodomy (named after Sodom…) to prevent pregnancy. Hence, perhaps, the proscription against this form of birth control.
       
      Of course it wasn’t put in the Ten Commandments. Eleven wasn’t an even number and would have been awkward…and it might have given the ignorant masses ideas.

  14. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    Charitably is right Margo.  My first instinct with that person was to lash her with a wet noodle (or, you know, a bullwhip).  Thanks for reminding me that a clear, polite response is always the correct way.  As my dear Mere used to say:  ”I have taken the high road and I have taken the low road.  I have never regretted taking the high road.  I have frequently regretted taking the low one.”.  Smart cookie, the Count’s Mere was.

  15. avatar MKE says:

    GIANT *sigh*………..

    LW1: it is people like you that give christians a bad name. not all of us are like that you know, and I hope those of you that know “crazy, bible thumping, maniacal, and FALSE” christians realize that there are normal, healthy, accepting, great people out there that are christian, and actually do practice what they preach. My father, for example, is a good, honest, calm, accepting, giving, loving, amazing man who is my hero and the reason I continue to be a christian today. He is a good father, volunteers his time for the homeless, works hard everyday of his life for his family, is curteous to absolutely everyone, finds value when others don’t bother to look, and has always been my rock. Its because of the example of men like him that I can continue to believe in the merrit of religion and a moral foundation. This lunatic (LW1), however, doesn’t speak for all of us.
    and P.S. the world is full of such sh*t that I think if God is looking down crying at anything, its probably not Margo and her column…. I’d assume he has more important things to worry about, like child molesters, or terrorist, or Justin Beiber :(

    LW2:My guess is that there must have been some sort of rift….but if you really can’t understand or think of anything that would cause him to act this way…sometimes, regardless of how great your childhood was or how awesome your parents were, people just dont see the importance in family. Maybe he just wants to branch out, which I hear is normal for mid 20-somethings. Or maybe he is just a flighty person…after all, second marriage before hes 26? quite a feat.

    • avatar Lila says:

      MKE, hmm, you just reminded me of someone… think she was about 26 or 27 at the time and getting married for the 5th time!  She used to tell anyone who would listen about the sexual abuse she endured as a child.  Seemed like her many marriages and even more boyfriends were some kind of repeated, failed attempt to have a connection with someone.  She certainly was not interested in any connection with her family.
       
      Not saying that LW2′s son was sexually abused, but maybe for whatever reason his childhood home life was unsupportive or somehow unloving or neglectful, and the Mom doesn’t see it.  Yeah, second marriage by age 26 combined with a lack of interest in any relationship with his mother – makes me wonder…

      • avatar MKE says:

        also true. and sad, your story I mean. sometimes the parents just can’t SEE what they did “wrong” (whether its abuse, etc.) and therefore can’t understand why the child they spent so many years “loving” (smothering, abusing, whatever) doesnt want contact anymore….
        I wonder as well.

  16. avatar David Bolton says:

    And you know bitch went out right after writing her letter to Salon Daniel to get her roots done. She always insists on Daniel himself because he knows his color better than anybody. And it looks so natural!

  17. avatar barney says:

    Re LW1:  I am a Christian, and while I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle, I do believe in the addage “live and let live”.   I have good friends who are homosexual and I wouldn’t give their friendship up for anything, or pass judgment on their lifestyle.  Their life, their eternity, etc., is not my responsibility.  I care about them the same as I do anyone else in my life and wish only the best for them.  Are they hurting me?  No.  Are they hurting others?  No.  Their personal decisions are one of my business then.
    Re LW2:  Buddy, you need to drop it.  You’ve done your best, shown your son that you care and that you want a relationship, you can’t force it.  Just hope that someday (sooner rather than later) he’ll have a change of heart and pursue a relationship with you.  I would get on with my life and stop agonizing over something I can’t change.  Focus on people in your life that DO care about having a relationship with you and not on those that don’t.  No matter who they are.

    • avatar chuck alien says:

      you’re the fun kind of christian who thinks they really aren’t that bad toward gay people… you’re a good person, right?  as you say, “live and let live.” 

      but… your words betray you.  you throw in a “I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle” and a “their eternity is not my responsibility.”

      you judge and condemn gays at the same time you claim “friendship” with them.

      you have an opinion on their lifestyle?  why? 
      you actually, literally decided at some point “i do not agree with their lives”?
      you have, in your mind, condemned them to hell and washed your hands of it?

      can you not see how judgmental and self-serving this is?  really?

      ask yourself why you have an opinion on their “lifestyle” at all.

       

      • avatar barney says:

        you’re the fun kind of christian who thinks they really aren’t that bad toward gay people… you’re a good person, right?  as you say, “live and let live.” 
        — Don’t create an issue where there isn’t one.  ”not that bad toward gay people”…  what do you have before you to say that I am “bad against gay people”?  You’re making crap up based on your fantasy view of a Christian.
        but… your words betray you.  you throw in a “I don’t agree with the homosexual lifestyle” and a “their eternity is not my responsibility.”

        –  Yeah, I don’t agree with it.  I don’t understand it.  Do I care if they do it?  NO.  It’s none of my business.   I’m not judging.  I don’t care what your definition of judging is, I’m not accepting your definition of it.   If you don’t agree that I should wear a certain shirt with a certain pair of shoes, are you being an intolerant jerk?  No, we have a difference of OPINION.
        you judge and condemn gays at the same time you claim “friendship” with them.

        — Just like you are judging and condemning me, right?  Mr…. TOLERANT.  You have NO idea who I am or what my relationships are like.  My gay friends know EXACTLY what my beliefs are, we accept each other all the same, enjoy close relationships and that is good enough for me.  Not YOUR lame attempt to shame me out of my Christian beliefs.  
        you have an opinion on their lifestyle?  why? 
        –You clearly have an opinion of MY beliefs… WHY?
        you have, in your mind, condemned them to hell and washed your hands of it?
        –Um… I’m not God.  Thanks for giving me the power to actually condemn people, but I don’t have the power, the will, the motive, the desire, the ANYTHING to condemn ANYONE.  I’m glad that I don’t have that responsibility, I am responsible for MYSELF and I don’t allow people’s eternities to pile onto me as if it’s my responsibility.  I am a CHRISTIAN, I believe in the Bible as God’s word.  Clearly, you don’t.  Why can’t you just accept the fact that we disagree?  Why are YOU sitting in judgment of ME for MY beliefs, when I’m the one who has no tolerance for any of this bullcrap?!  Unlike you.  Your beliefs are your beliefs, I accept that, but you refuse to accept the fact that I’m entitled to mine.

        can you not see how judgmental and self-serving this is?  really?
        –No.  YOU are making an awful lot of judgments and accusations about ME without knowing a bloody thing about me.  Typical of you self-proclaimed “tolerant” types. 

        ask yourself why you have an opinion on their “lifestyle” at all.
        —You are absolutely ridiculous.  Hypocrite.

      • avatar barney says:

        BTW, I’ll have you know that as a Libertarian, I believe that people should live as they choose – however that is, as long as it does not infringe upon my rights.  Can you say the same?  And MEAN it, even about Christians?

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        you are, in fact, judging something if you don’t “agree” with it.

        you’ve taken the steps to form an opinion about it… you’ve literally “judged” it by having an opinion.

        i don’t claim to be your friend.  i didn’t say “he’s my buddy, i just completely disagree with the very core of his nature, judging him “wrong” on his very essence… but don’t worry, he knows i think less of him, and he’s still my friend for some reason.”

        i just pointed out the hypocrisy in your words. i wasn’t really trying to be tolerant of you. 

        (and you realize what “self-proclaimed” means, right?  like, i would have had to proclaim that myself, of myself.  see… “self” and “proclaimed.”   it’s easy.  someone not saying something therefore… wouldn’t be self-proclaimed.  or proclaimed at all.)

        all my judgements of you are based exactly on what you’ve said.  i’ve made no assumptions. you clearly stated some things, and i called you on them.  no hypocrisy on my side, man.

        and of course you realize…  saying i’m ridiculous and misusing the word “hypocrite” doesn’t answer the question:  WHY do you have an opinion of their lifestyle?

        i mean… i think through all my friendships… and there isn’t ONE that i would characterize as living a lifestyle i “disagree” with.  they live.  i live.  their lives aren’t mine, so having an opinion on them seems… ridiculous.  and strangely judgey.

        doesn’t it? 

      • avatar barney says:

        Chuck, I REALLY don’t care what you think.  Why I spent my time arguing with you at all annoys me.  

      • avatar barney says:

        Chuck, BOTTOM LINE is that I do not define my relationships with ANYONE based on their sexuality, or anything else for that matter.  Unless I’m married to them, I… DON’T… CARE….!!!!!

        You read waaaaayy too much into things and make things much too difficult.  Your life must be very complicated.  I choose to spend my time ENJOYING my life, my friends, my family, no matter WHO they are, what choices they’ve made, their sexual orientation, skin color, blah blah…  If they’re a part of my life, they know they can count on me for anything, whenever, wherever.  CASE FRIGGIN’ CLOSED!!!!!  Gawd. 

      • avatar Mimsy says:

        Then why are you bothering to reply?  Go away and spare us your odious presence.  Problem solved.

      • avatar MKE says:

        and how about you ask yourself why you have an opinion on this woman’s life at all, or how she thinks. big brother is bad, and there is no such thing as thinking, beliefs, or opinions being a crime.

        geez, do you agree with everything there is in the world? I’m going to take a wild shot in the dark and say no. there will be people who do agree with those things. then what. Would you like to be talked to the way some people are talking to christians on here?

        try to be like Jesus, love the sinner, hate the sin. the end. super simple. 

      • avatar barney says:

        Yep yep.  :-)  Spot on, Mike.

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        spot on?  really?

        because the jump from “judging people for being gay is bad” to “there is no such thing as thinking, beliefs, or opinions” is such a logical, well thought-out one?

        all i said was saying “oh, we’re such friends” on one hand while saying “i disagree with the core of your being” on the other isn’t “not judging.”  

        it is, in fact, judging. a lot. 

        i can understand “disagreeing” with someone going around killing people.

        i can’t understand “disagreeing” with someone quietly living their life with no impact on your own.

        what is there to disagree with? 

      • avatar MKE says:

        if being gay is the “core of your being”, then you have a very shallow being.   theres way more to people than who they sleep with. 

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        i figured the “more to people than their sexuality” would get dragged out… you’ve hit all the other nonsense non-arguments today.

        yes… your sexuality is a major, major component of your being.

        if it’s not… why do you have an opinion about other people’s?

        no, it’s not everything. duh.  people are a magical, myriad rainbow of complexity.  not the argument.

        “i understand, john, that there is more to you than your skin color. but… i hope you understand how much i disagree with you being black.  every moment, some part of me wishes you weren’t black, because i think it’s wrong.  but i manage to love the other, non-black parts of you. you’re welcome.” 

      • avatar MKE says:

        the bible doesn’t say being black is wrong, it says being gay is wrong. and christians are taught to love every bit of everyone, and allow God to be the judge. but when asked, a practicing christian can’t lie, they know that everyone sins. yet, somehow they accept and love them anyway. how about you try that with all these people you are trying to hate on.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        The fantasy…
         
        “the bible doesn’t say being black is wrong, it says being gay is wrong. and christians are taught to love every bit of everyone, and allow God to be the judge. but when asked, a practicing christian can’t lie, they know that everyone sins. yet, somehow they accept and love them anyway. how about you try that with all these people you are trying to hate on.”
         
        the reality…
         
        “the bible doesn’t say being black is wrong (but you’d think it did seeing how men have—especially in the South, for hundreds of years, justified blacks as being inferior because of that little bit with Noah’s son. In fact, this was actually taught at the Church of Christ school I attended in Nashville.) it says being gay is wrong (well, I think you mean to say that someone in the Bible—a man—said that being gay was wrong. Just like men also said that women are inferior beings, plus a fair number of other rules virtually no one follows today. And yet amazingly—Jesus Himself spent a whopping 33 years here, came specifically to rescue man from his sins, and somehow forgot to mention the gay one in any shape, form or fashion. Odd.) and christians are taught to love every bit of everyone, and allow God to be the judge. (cough) but when asked, a practicing christian can’t lie, (well, except for Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggart, Ted Haggard and several others…) they know that everyone sins. yet, somehow they accept and love them anyway (because this is so much more fulfilling than worrying solving our own problems—in fact, it happens so often there’s a psychological term for it). how about you try that with all these people you are trying to hate on. (I know, right? The nerve of some people.)

      • avatar Deborah Key says:

        Hi David

        When  did you go to Lipscomb?

      • avatar Drew Smith says:

        Yet there have been times when some Christ based religions said that being black was a mark from God and they were not accepted as equals in their church (I intentionally am choosing not to single out a faith and thus not naming the church).
         
        Yet another example of intolerance masquerading as faith.

      • avatar barney says:

        Mike, you are EXACTLY RIGHT.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Hey Deborah—actually it was Ezell, but I WAS thrown off the DL campus for wearing shorts while trying to use their library. Love the sinner, hate the shorts. 

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Regarding the nature of “the core of your being,” by your own logic a black person is merely a white person with darker skin. Since I’m not black myself, I’ll invite Belinda Joy and any others to chime in and see if this is how they view themselves.

      • avatar MKE says:

        hahahahahaha, that is utterly ridiculous. being black is nothing like being gay, I don’t know why you think thats my logic, I’ve never said a word about race.

        how do you know I’m not black anyway? or chinese? or pakistani?  why does everyone make the argument that “well if you don’t think homosexuality is right, you must think being a different race is also wrong.” where do people get this logic? Its moronic and like comparing apples to oranges. 

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        ok then… how is race NOT like being gay?
         
        born that way?
        unable to change it?
        a superficial classification on which to judge people?
        subject to a culture but not necessarily enslaved to it?
         
        so, in all seriousness…. in what way is being gay NOT like being a race?
         
        it is, in fact, not moronic at all.  if you judge ONE group of people for something they were born as that has no effect on you whatsoever…. then why wouldn’t you judge OTHER groups of people with those exact same attributes?
         
         
         
         
         

      • avatar MKE says:

        thats only if you think people are born gay. I don’t. that is your opinion….so yes, i stick with my earlier post.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Your statement: “if being gay is the “core of your being”, then you have a very shallow being.   theres way more to people than who they sleep with.”
         
        Again, you show exactly how ignorant and intolerant you really are. By the first statement you infer that I’m gay simply because I have sex with men (and that it’s shallow at that). No, I’m gay because that’s who and what I AM, not what I DO. What’s ironic is that you make one statement that completely negates the next—by relegating “being gay” as merely an activity rather than a state of being, and then stating how important it is to look beyond appearances. Are you a Christian because you go through the motions of reading the Bible and doing things that Christians are supposed to do—or does it go deeper than that? (Actually, why I’m asking YOU about Christianity is absurd, but I’ll go with it for the moment).
         
        And really, what’s moronic is when people try to claim understanding and trivialize what it must be to be gay, or black, a nationality or something different than what THEY are. Why, it must be exactly like ME—only with different parts, skin color, different choices, etc. If anyone is trying to compare apples and oranges, and force everything into a “one-size fits all” mold, it’s YOU.

      • avatar Rita@ Goldivas says:

        Excellent reply, Chuck.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        @ MKE and barney: Here is a simple, hopefully clear explanation for you. A given human being’s sexual orientation (sexuality) is as integral to his being (no gender discrimination meant, I will not use the PC “his/her”…as I am not a PC mammal) as his race, ethnicity, color of his eyes, and genetics. It is not a choice, a lifestyle, or something that can be changed or cured. It is not a sickness or a sin.
         
        The fact of a given individual’s being gay affects no one anymore than that person’s race, ethnicity, gender or genetics do. His existence in the world as who and how he was born do not impact a single person…except himself. It is how other’s choose to perceive the empirical facts of this person’s existence that cause so much disturbance and pain.
         
        Now, barney, you spoke of disliking a “lifestyle”. Can you clarify? I do know, that at one time, many gay men and lesbian women felt heavy societal pressure to fit into certain cultural molds…the Screaming Mary, the Bull Dyke, the Drag Queen…it was expected…and it was done because freaks, being freaks, are given a pass, and allowed to live. No one ever considered giving freaks a pass into normal, polite society. But things changed, barney…because most gay men and lesbian women want lives, not fringe existences. They love, and laugh, and hold down normal jobs, have children, wanted their right to be actual citizens of this country…not garish amusements for the monkeys at the zoo.
         
        Almost every one of the gay men and lesbian women that I know, and have known, could not be identified as such by the stereotypical profiling that so many engage in…and certainly not by lifestyle. They are just people…who happen to hold a same-sex partner’s hand while out shopping. Whose right is it to condemn, or dislike them for whom they love? That isn’t a lifestyle, barney, that’s life, and living. And when you say you don’t approve of a “lifestyle”…which may be very close to what you consider ideal…house, family, job, love, affection, quiet evenings at home, children, security, comfort and love…what you’re really saying is, “I don’t approve of you, I don’t approve of what you are, what you were born with and as, and what you always will be”.
         
        And MKE, you are actually not precisely correct when you speak of there being no condemnation of the dark skinned races in the Bible. Many versions of the Old Testament refer to the Children of Eve as being the Dark Skinned people who were exiled to the Land of Nod…the product of the unnatural acts between herself and Adam (incest is implied, as Eve was created from Adam’s rib). Early condemnation of African Black people actually was based on Biblical texts…they were considered inhuman, unnatural, and “Black Devils”. These beliefs extended well into the 18th, and even 19th centuries, and early 20th century Jim Crow law was based on the supposition that Black people were a lesser species.
         
        In any case. there is absolutely no difference between condemning a person for being black, and condemning a person for being gay. One is born that way, one cannot be cured of it, and there is nothing sinful, unnatural, unfortunate, loathsome or involving choice about either. Also, it would not be so necessary to define one’s existence by either one’s sexual orientation or race/ethnicity of those who were filled with irrational hatred (always based in fear) did not make it such a crucial part of everyday life. It doesn’t matter if one condemns because of ludicrous proscriptions in a 6000 year old religious text created soley be controlling, dominating, ignorant men…or because one is a willfully ignorant racist who is terrified and threatened on some base level of anachronistic mentality that “they” are somehow better, stronger, “bigger” and more sexually competent than he is. 
         
        It’s all ignorant, willful prejudice. I can go along with acceptance…but what barney is talking about is not really acceptance…it is tolerance. When one accepts, one doesn’t qualify with statements such as “I don’t approve of the lifestyle”. Such comments are indicative of tolerance, as in, “I like your company, and that’s why I tolerate your unacceptable lifestyle”.
         
        You both might want to think a bit about what Jesus really said…

      • avatar MKE says:

        I do think about what Jesus really said. Which is why homosexuality is a sin. It’s really simple. I don’t know why people complicate things.

        Do I go around telling gays/lesbians they are wrong and sinners? No. Do I not hang out with/ befriend people because of sexual orientation? No. Do I join those stupid and ignorant rallies against homosexuals? No. Do I preach to people against them? No. Do I hate homosexuals? No. Do I think they are bad? No. Do I tell gay jokes or say derogatory things about them? No. I don’t see how believing homosexuality is a sin, yet still treating everyone the same, makes me a biggot or predjudice. Predjudice and biggotry implies that there is some sort of hostile feeling towards a subject that I just don’t have.

        The only thing I have ever said is the truth and my opinion. I have never personally attacked homosexuals, quite the opposite. If I am to be a christian, to try and live the life and do the best I can, I cannot condone sin (and yes, I am a sinner too. everyone is). That goes for gamblers, theives, adulterers, whatever. thats just the way it is. I just want to be treated the same way I treat homosexuals. Mutual respect and understanding. And yes, I do have understanding, but I also have a moral compass and a personal belief system that will not change, even if popular opinion opposes it. The path to heaven is narrow and difficult. I’m trying to get there the best way I know how.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        I do think about what Jesus really said. Which is why homosexuality is a sin. It’s really simple. I don’t know why people complicate things. (Please show me in Scripture where it says that Jesus condemns homosexuality. Jesus said nothing of the sort—and you know for a fact that Jesus said nothing of the sort. Why you would even presume to put words in the mouth of the being you know as God for the sake of self-righteousness pushes the limits of arrogance.)
        Do I go around telling gays/lesbians they are wrong and sinners? No. (Wrong: you’ve repeatedly posted on this board of your belief that being gay is a sin.)
         
        Do I not hang out with/ befriend people because of sexual orientation? No. Do I join those stupid and ignorant rallies against homosexuals? No. (No, you just help perpetuate a bias towards people and give fuel to the fire.)
         
        Do I preach to people against them? No. (Wrong: again, you have stated repeatedly, “being gay is a sin.”)
         
        Do I hate homosexuals? No. (No, you just state again and again your hatred of the fact that they ARE gay, e.g. “love the sinner, HATE the sin.”)
         
        Do I think they are bad? No. (Wrong: you’ve repeatedly posted how being gay is the equivalent of sinning. By your own argument, being gay is bad. Do you not understand your own argument?)
         
        Do I tell gay jokes or say derogatory things about them? No. (Wrong: again, how many times have you posted that being gay is a sin?)
         
        I don’t see how believing homosexuality is a sin, yet still treating everyone the same, makes me a biggot or predjudice. Predjudice and biggotry implies that there is some sort of hostile feeling towards a subject that I just don’t have. (Try that with a black person: “You know, I like YOU, but I sure do wish you were white so you could join me in the Kingdom of Heaven.”)

        The only thing I have ever said is the truth and my opinion. I have never personally attacked homosexuals, quite the opposite. (Riiiiight.)

  18. avatar LCMom says:

    LW1 – remember, Jesus was with Mary… the… PROSTITUTE! Heaven, what have we gotten ourselves into with the self-proclaimed ‘son of God’ hanging out with prostitutes! It said that particular profession was a sin too… But it also says that “let he who is without sin cast the first stone”. I guess you take that literally and just throw the million and tenth stone? I feel so sorry for you and everyone else who “buys” into a book as if it is the word of god… who is that anyway?!?!?  Signed, Recovering Christian turned Atheist and happier for it.

    LW2 – Have the conversation with your son in person. And don’t be afraid to ask the deep questions that will hopefully give you answers.

    • avatar barney says:

      LCMom, you had me agreeing with you right up until your crappy proclamation of feeling sorry for Christians.  You’re a hypocrite.  You condescendingly feel sorry for me, someone who has personally chosen to take the path of Christianity, yet just before that, you blasted people who sit in judgement of others.  What do you think your statement was?!  You’ve just contradicted yourself.  MY freedom of choosing my own beliefs is nothing to do with you, doesn’t affect you, or anyone else.  Don’t you DARE feel sorry for me.

      • avatar Jay Gentile says:

        You are certainly free to choose your own cult. You chose the cult of the water walker, so good for you. That doesn’t give christians the right to formulate secular social policy based on a book of allegorical fairy tales, nor does it give them the right to villify anyone who doesn’t follow the purported words of your invisible sky friend. Personally, I think people who believe in phantom spirits have a mental disorder, but I pity them because they know not what they do.

      • avatar barney says:

        LMAO at Jay…  Erm… come back when you actually READ my post.  Or, actually comprehend what I was trying to say, IF possible, my narrow-minded friend.  Good grief.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        “Personally, I think people who believe in phantom spirits have a mental disorder, but I pity them because they know not what they do.”
         
        Oh, I think he comprehended it all right, Barney. This is nothing more than a rewording of “love the sinner, hate the sin.” Only the “sin” in this case is spending (or as Jay suggests, wasting) time with religion. I’m not exactly sure why this merits the label of “narrow-minded.” And as far as MKE’s rant—er, post—below, I have yet to have any atheist friends belittle me for any spiritual beliefs I have, or try to ram theirs down my throat. In fact, it would be more accurate to say that they don’t give a sh*t. And I think it’s rather ironic that in one breath MKE complains about those nasty liberals, and in the next espouses the most liberal of beliefs: believe what you want to believe, since this is America.

      • avatar MKE says:

        first, I’m glad you’ve never had any atheist friends belittle you for your beliefs, because I have. They give a shit, they try to convince me I’m the one with the problem for believing in a God. And I was aiming for irony David. Because I find them ironic. Thats the whole point.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Glad we cleared that up.
         
        One other thing: is this an example of “the people who go around flinging their derogatory nonsense that I don’t have patience for?”
         
        ““look at me! I’m progressive! I’m a mother f*cking atheist! I’m scientific and hip and edgy and angry all the time for no reason!”
         
        Or is this a better example?
         
        “the people who are most offensive, most judgmental, most arrogant, most self-serving, most stubborn, and least giving or warm, are those people who claim to be “open-minded” liberal, progressive, yadah yadah yadah. I’m sooooo sick of your whinning and your putting people down, and your sh*tty attitudes.”
         
        They both seem like good examples to me, but I just can’t choose.
         
         

      • avatar MKE says:

        what part of irony didn’t you understand? I’ll be happy to explain it to you.

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        My God—you’re an idiot.
         
        Done.

      • avatar Mimsy says:

        For someone who claims to be libertarian, you’re certainly tossing judgements left right and center.  Please remove the log from your eye (or….elsewhere, as the case may be) before you point out the splinters in others.

      • avatar MKE says:

        oh please. “look at me! I’m progressive! I’m a mother f*cking atheist! I’m scientific and hip and edgy and angry all the time for no reason! One whiff of something I deem moronic, like those idiodic christians, and I’m going to mount you like the stubborn donkey that I am and ram you until you stop believing in fairytales and agree with me!”

        based on personal experience alone, the people who are most offensive, most judgmental, most arrogant, most self-serving, most stubborn, and least giving or warm, are those people who claim to be “open-minded” liberal, progressive, yadah yadah yadah. I’m sooooo sick of your whinning and your putting people down, and your sh*tty attitudes.

        people get to believe what they want to. Welcome to America. enjoy dying alone and the nothingness that you believe comes after.

        However, rational people, atheist, muslim, christian, morman, hindu, whatever, are more than welcome to have their say. And I will listen respectfully and possibly learn something. Its the people who go around flinging their derogatory nonsense that I don’t have patience for.

        sincerely,
        a water-walking bush burner with an invisible sky friend. I call him Steve.

         

      • avatar barney says:

        *THUNDEROUS ROUND OF APPLAUSE!*

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        Mmm…MKE…I was with you until this post. My husband is one of those “m****rf****ing atheists”. I am an agnostic. His best friend is also an atheist. My best friends are both Christian. Our very compassionate, gentle, loyal and brilliant son went to an excellent Christian pre-school, and all of his friends are Christian. He is an atheist, and has had hate letters left on his locker by quite a few Christian students at his very nice, exemplary middle school, and been hit, kicked and verbally abused for his his particular set of beliefs. He has been taught that you take an individual at face value…not because of religion, race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. These things don’t matter. It seems that an awful lot of Christian parents don’t teach their children these same principles.
         
        We are much more liberal in our social views than many people, and we are, and always have been, followers of science. He is actually the more optimistic and gentler of the two of us. I am the iron-clad, cynical iconoclast. As a student of history, anthropology, archeology, sociology…and theology…in other words, all of humanity, which I love, and am never shocked and surprised by, I despise the institutions of organized religion.
         
        That does not mean that I would deny individuals their faith. Or tell them that they are wrong to believe what they believe. I will strongly enforce my right as a citizen of this country not to be governed in any way by religious dogma of any kind, nor to have the dogmatic beliefs of one group forced upon me. This does not mean that I hate all Christian individuals, or am intolerant of their beliefs…or all Muslim persons…or all Wiccans…I think you must see my point.
         
        But to me, religion, which I define as a set of rules (dogma) that determines what deity(ies) a given set of people will believe in, how, when and where they will worship. governs how said rules will effect their daily lives, what they will eat, wear, learn and think, whom they will associate with according to race, ethnicity, religion and even sexual orientation…and then condemns all others, determines that one set of worshipers is infinitely inferior to the other…because of gender, no, less…and keeps them bound as chattel, slaves, breeding machines, and even determines that they have no souls (and Christianity was just as guilty of this as Islam for centuries)…that is one of humanity’s cruelest, most devious, divisive, hate and ignorance mongering, murderous inventions of all time.
         
        As Christians say so often about so many different issues: “Hate the sin, not the sinner”. For me, it’s loathe and detest the institution…not the institutionalized. Though is the United States, at this time, far too many Christians (I find it intensely amusing that Christians are always saying that other Christians aren’t True Christians if there is some disagreement on actions, interpretation, behavior, or there is a question of, mmm, ethics and intent. You do realize that those supposedly Not-True-Christians would actually say that you aren’t a True Christian too…) have organized themselves into a vast machine of dogmatic fury aimed at impressing their Biblical Will upon…well…everyone. Millions. Concerned Women for America is the single largest woman’s social concern organization in the nation…and it is an ultra-conservative, Christian group bent on bringing an end to reproductive rights to women, ans reinstating chattel law. You swear at atheists…and talk about loneliness, illogic, and nothingness…but what will happen to those like Sandy Rios, Pope Benedict with his condemnation of condoms in HIV epidemic sub-Saharan Africa and protection on Holocaust denying and pedophile priests, Glen Beck who sees Nazis everywhere, and is a blatant racist, Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachman and their ties to Christian Dominionism, and Mrs. Bachman’s husband, who runs a clinic at which he claims to “cure homosexuality through the love of Jesus”? 
         
        I understand the psychology of religion very well…and I don’t think it’s moronic…I think it’s terrifying. I could never have blind faith in a 6000 years’ anachronistic book, or the teachings of a society dead for millenia. I could never despise people because a charismatic leader tells me to, because I think for myself (that goes for politics as well). I don’t know if I am progressive…you said that with such venom…are you against progress, and if so, what kind…and I don’t believe as I do, or live as I do to fit some society pigeonhole of hipness, liberal cool, or enlightenment. I’ve been the way I am for decades.
         
        Also…I thought that god decided where people go according to Christians. So, given that, how do you know that atheists will A) die alone (we have two sons, and family, and friends), and B) go to…nothingness? Aren’t you making god’s decisions for him?
         
        Watch out for lightning bolts…

      • avatar Lila says:

        Briana, it never fails to amaze me that God needs Man to make his decisions, enforce his will, and appoint his saints.

      • avatar MKE says:

        haha, again, that post was made in jest. you spent quite a lot of time and effort saying many things that I agree with, and tearing down many things that were a joke to make myself laugh.

        as I said to david, I was responding to the lunatic calling God my invisible sky friend. and nobody talks about steve like that!

        ;)

      • avatar LCMom says:

        Jay, that’s exactly it! No judgment (BARNEY), just pity for you and all the rest of ‘em.
        And Jay, I love the “sky friend” – I’m still laughing from that. <3

      • avatar LCMom says:

        Jay, that’s exactly it! No judgment (BARNEY), just pity for you and all the rest of ‘em.
        And Jay, I love the “sky friend” – I’m still laughing from that. <3

        David Bolton, love your comments as well. Snappy!

        Barney, what exactly are you getting your panties in a wad for? Nevermind, I really don’t care, just like I don’t care what you believe in. To each their own, just stop pushing it onto others who want no part.

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      “I guess you take that literally and just throw the million and tenth stone?”
       
      I rather like that argument.

      • avatar LCMom says:

        Thanks, David. I’m happy to have thought of it. (I rarely am able to say something perfectly suited when I need to, so this was a happy change for me.)

  19. avatar jbm44116 says:

    God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts.
    *
    Religion is doing what you are told, regardless of what is right.
    Morality is doing what is right, regardless of what you’re told.

    • avatar barney says:

      jbm44116 – nicely put.  :-)

      • avatar chuck alien says:

        ah, now we just have to all agree on what “right” means.

      • avatar LCMom says:

        To each is own is what I say. Everyone has their own set of morals (or those handed to them on in a book written by men, who made very bold claims about it being more godly than that) – the Bible is is hearsay; it is not evidence.

      • avatar LCMom says:

        To each is own is what I say. Everyone has their own set of morals which they choose for themselve, or for some, they’re handed to them on in a book written by men. The Bible is is hearsay; it is not evidence of anything.

  20. avatar Paul Smith says:

    Why must you hold this woman up to ridicule? She is Christian and, when last I checked, it still does not endorse homosexuality.  The cowards who regularly attack Christians and their beliefs become mute before the Muslims whose atrocities against women and gays alike gets a pass.  

    • avatar David Bolton says:

      I love blanket generalizations.

    • avatar Drew Smith says:

      As to whether Christianity ACCEPTS homosexuality, it depends on which church you ask, which is the point of this tolerance and acceptance conversation, that one faith “believes” it has the corner on morality to the exclusion of all others is not rational, it is based on an insular faith.

    • avatar Briana Baran says:

      Hmmmm…Paul, do you know any Muslim people at all? Do you realize that the violence of sharia law is not much different than the chattel law that the followers of the increasingly powerful fundamentalist Christian movement advocate? Have you ever heard of the IRA (becoming active once again), the Serbians and their abominable acts of rape until death, cutting the throats of little boys before their families, and defiling little girls then dragging them away to become whores until they bled to death…all perpetrated against Muslims, the Red Army? Timothy McVeigh? The Branch Davidians?
       
      I am very familiar with the Muslim community in Houston (it is sizable), and there is no support for sharia law visible…because most Muslims are moderates who are against such things as honor killings and infibulation. That’s why they live here, not there. I know of a number of mixed religious marriages between Muslims and Christians, Buddhists…and even one Islamic man and a Jewish woman.
       
      I’m no coward. I stand by my convictions. Try reading some of the posts, Paul. I don’t see cowards…I see critically thinking, educated, intellectual people who are actually very concise, coherent, and consistent when making their arguments.
       
      If anyone is a coward, it might be those hiding behind misdirection, diversion tactics, and sweeping generalizations. Ya think?

  21. avatar blubrojake says:

    Some of the best conversations I have had are with people who do not share my opinion on things.  While my opinion is not always changed, I respect where the other person is at and often find their prespective interesting.  We all come from different backgrounds and would be a much better world if everyone would accept that.

    • avatar barney says:

      THANK YOU.  That is so true and exactly my feeling.  I’m always glad to have a friendly, civil, MUTUALLY RESPECTFUL debate or discussion and finish it with a handshake.  However, I have no patience for people who won’t reciprocate the consideration of allowing me (and/or others) to have my/our beliefs without name calling and demeaning comments.  There’s too much disrespect and judgment… ironically from those who complain and accuse others of it the most.  I’m noticing a LOT of that coming from regular posters here.  

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        If there’s one thing I’m absolutely sick of in this country—it’s the rampant faux-pression that so many followers of Christianity seem to have adopted as their latest sis-boom-bah. Get real. You’re not oppressed—if anything you have your fingers in more pies than ever before.

      • avatar barney says:

        Really???  How so?

      • avatar David Bolton says:

        Seriously Barney, if I have to actually explain to you that there is no such thing as separation of church and state in this country—then I can state with all honesty that you’re an absolute moron. Between you and MKE—who took about three posts to turn from sensitive caring Christian into a raging bitch—your passive-aggressive manner of patting yourself on the back with “I’m a Christian” makes me absolutely sick. You and your ilk are exactly what’s wrong with Christianity these days—you want to talk the talk of “loving thy neighbor,” yet you reveal your true nature of bigotry through “it’s not US that’s the problem, it’s the sinful gay lifestyle (and while we’re at it, let’s take a potshot at the homophobic Jews and Muslims) statements that point blame in any direction except at yourself. You can try to dodge the bullet any way you like, but when you come out with a religion-based justification to disagree with a gay person’s “lifestyle” as you call it—what you’re really doing is calling that person’s very existence a sin. There are plenty of people who are gay who do not go to bars, do not have relationships and who do not have gay sex. They are still gay. Does that mean you still disagree with their lifestyle? Should they just disappear? Would that make you happy?

      • avatar MKE says:

        reduced to name calling? really David? Do I go around attacking you personally? no. I may not like everything you had to say, but atleast I had some kind of respect for you. And PLEASE stop putting words in my mouth. I never said gay people were a problem. BUT if I am going to call myself a christian I CANT PICK AND CHOOSE WHAT TO FOLLOW AND OBEY. I don’t half-ass things. This is what I’ve chosen to believe in, so how about you respect that as much as you aparently respect everyone else but.

        And to pretty much anyone:
        The old testiment is called the old testiment for a reason. A new one was written. a “revision” if you will. The old testiment isn’t negated in it, but we are given a “newer” set of rules in it. When I speak about what the Bible teaches, I am speaking of the NEW testiment. Yes, there are a lot of things in the old that are not a part of the new, and rightfully so.

      • avatar Briana Baran says:

        barney, please, accept the actuality of Christianity in the United States, Christianity, its institutions, and its followers, are far from oppressed.The Bible in full textual form, Old and New Testaments, is in every courthouse in the Nation, and everyone is made to swear on it…a fine irony if it has no meaning for a given individual, even finer when the so-called Christian then perjures himself. Our money is emblazoned with “In God We Trust”, and we are forced to declare, “…under god…” in our Pledge of Allegiance. These last are both developments of the last 150 years…and our Founding Fathers would be cringing. 
         
        Christians are trying to force the issue of teaching Old Testament dogmatic belief based soley on Christian faith…and completely contradicted by empirical scientific evidence…such as New Earth Theory, “Scientific” Creationism, and Intelligent Design in secular public schools…and to prevent the teaching of geological history, archeology, evolution and genetics. They are responsible for allowing pharmacists and doctors to refuse women birth control, amniocentesis testing, emergency pregnancy termination when the mother’s life is critically endangered, or the fetus is completely unable to survive outside the uterus and sterilization procedures. They are responsible for the replacement of actual history in public school textbooks with revisionist history.
         
        It is largely Christian dogma, drawn selectively from a few short phrases in Leviticus, that prevents same sex marriages and equality in civil rights matters from becoming legal for gay/lesbian people in this country. In fact, Christian dogma is the root source of some of the most censorious, repressive and intrusive laws regarding what goes on between consenting adults in the privacy of their own homes in modern culture. It is pervasive, suffocating…and the very thing that the Founding Fathers strove so mightily to escape, and prevent from taking over this brand new nation of theirs. And speaking of those Founding Fathers, it is Christians who would eradicate Thomas Jefferson from our history for referring to the institution of organized religion as oppressive, destructive and essentially worthless…along with many of his peers…many of whom were Deists (equivalent to agnostics), not Christians…as all of the fundamentalist Christians of this century would have one believe.
         
        Sickeningly, their everywhere…in the Tea Party, political candidates, the media talking head demagogues of the Righteous Far Right…and though they claim to be oppressed…it is they who are twisting the very Constitution, and the warp and weave of what the Founders of the United States desired for this country…and trying to turn it into a theocratical malign dictatorship based on absolute oppression, chattel law, martial law, ignorance, intolerance and hatred.
         
        That is how so.

  22. avatar teo82 says:

    Thank you, Margo for the comment that “your Bible is not my government”. Here in Murfreesboro, TN, people are up in arms about the building of a Muslim mosque. Apparently, people believe that all Muslims want to impose Sharia law. Thank you for the response that we don’t want a holy book law/government of any kind in the country.

  23. avatar Ar Mo Chroí says:

    My $.02 regarding LW1′s letter:  I attended a variety of churches growing up & was always disturbed on some level about the churches’ hypocrisy.  Because of this & other reasons, I choose not to label myself as a Christian but merely as Spiritual, because that is what I am–spiritual.  (Particularly so since most of what I believe in flies directly in the face of what the Church has taught since its inception.  I have no doubt that if this were the Dark Ages, I’d be declared a heretic.)
     
    Two things that have bothered me since I was old enough to understand the church’s teachings:  If God IS love, then why does He/She/It feel the need to send our souls to hell if we’re “bad” enough for all eternity (according to the Bible)?  After all, the churches I’ve gone to say God IS love, right?  So there’d be no room for anything other than love & all the good, warm & fuzzy feelings that go along with it.  Following that kind of logic, that punishment would be unbearably cruel & so unlike the God that the churches portray Him to be, correct?
     
    Going along with that last point:  Since there’s no room for any negative emotions that we humans tend to apply to our Higher Beings in (generally) each religion out there, why would people assign them to God, if God IS love?
     
    The God I know is love.  Pure, unadulterated love such as I’ve never felt here on this Earth.  That kind of love has absolutely nothing negative about it.  No feeling that I’ll be “punished” or criticized, because there’s no room for that kind of thing in the eyes of God.  In fact, Christ himself taught tolerance, acceptance, & LOVING each other for who we are: flawed beings.
     
    The God I know has no problems with me worshipping as I choose.  As many others have said, going to church (&/or reading the Bible) is not a necessity.  God is everywhere, within & without.  He is in each molecule of everything we lay our eyes on.
     
    Since many people believe that God created EVERYONE & EVERYTHING, who are WE–who are but little splinters of God–to take it upon ourselves to criticize HIS creation?  To decide for others that the religion/belief system they follow is completely wrong & we must convert them to our (“right”) faith lest they be sent to the awful place that is “hell” in the afterlife for all eternity? We’re quite arrogant beings, aren’t we?
     
    There’s more that I want to say, but what I’ve written so far is the gist.
     
    Finally, I wish each of you peace & happiness in your life’s path. :)

  24. avatar Count Snarkula says:

    Ok, The Count has had just about enough of all this fal-de-ral.  The Count was BORN homosexual.  At some point in time, he chose to accept and embrace that fact, and now identifies himself as a gay man.  Or gay Count.  Or whatever.  Point is:  Born this way.  Chose to live the life the Divine One gave me.  God does not make mistakes.  I am not a mistake.  God gets upset when you choose not to live your true life.  When that happens, you get busted tapping in airport restrooms, tell-alls from Meth bearing gay hookers, and unhappy Israeli closet cases.  I have a lifestyle.  It is a good one.  It has nothing to do with my sexuality.  My lifestyle is my choice.  My sexuality is not.  So to those who wish to think that they befriend me (you know who I am looking at in this thread) yet disapprove of my “lifestyle”, well go to hell.  I do not befriend you despite the FACT that you were born heterosexual.  I do not, not approve of your “lifestyle”, and overlook what you were born as in order to call you my “friend”.  And to prove to all the other straight people, that I am not “heterophobic”.  With friends like you, who needs enemas?
    Oh.  Sorry.  I went there.  Sometimes, even when the Count is in the midst of a compelling, and rational argument…I still end up committing Burly-Q.
    But what I said I stand by.
    So everyone just shut the hell up about this.  Be kind to each other.  Have love in your heart.  Treat as you would be treated.  And judge each and every person on themselves and themselves alone.  Sorry, judge is not the word I was looking for…KNOW each person as themselves.  Not as a stereotype.
    Let us be kind to each other.  After all, in the last analysis, we are all each other has.

    • avatar Baby Snooks says:

      My grandmother, of good stock as they say, once commented about homosexuality by commenting that you don’t choose who you love but you do choose how you live your life. The latter of course applies to heterosexuals as well as homosexuals and so there is often great hypocrisy in the fingerpointing. Hedonism “goes both ways” so to speak.

      One of the things I didn’t like about Ann Richards was her signing the sodomy law which made sodomy legal between heterosexuals but kept it illegal for homosexuals.  Quite honestly she should have called several of the legislators who voted for the bill and told them “If it’s legal for me to do it it should be legal for you to do it” and then written VETO on the damn thing.  To paraphrase a popular real estate phrase, we have some great closets in Texas!

      My great-uncle who was sort of my surrogate grandfather used to always say if you want a peaceful dinner table you never invite a preacher or a politician to dinner.  I am reminded of that from time to time when I read the comments on wowOwow…

  25. avatar Jon T says:

    Is it possible to read Margo’s column more because of a response she gave?  Because right now I want to see more of her work appear on this site.  Thanks for breaking your rule for the sake of giving a lesson in compassion. :-)