Editor's Note: R. Albert Mohler Jr. is president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, the flagship school of the Southern Baptist Convention and one of the largest seminaries in the world.
By R. Albert Mohler Jr., Special to CNN
(CNN)–Cultural upheavals often occur in the most surprising contexts. Who expected that a clash between sexuality and religious liberty would be focused on a restaurant company mainly known for its chicken sandwiches?
And yet the controversy over Chick-fil-A is a clear sign that religious liberty is at risk and that this nation has reached the brink of tyrannical intolerance from at least some of our elected leaders.
The controversy ignited when Chick-fil-A President Dan Cathy, son of the company’s legendary founder, Truett Cathy, told a Baptist newspaper that he and his company “operate on biblical principles” and “are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.”
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Defining Chick-fil-A as “a family business,” Cathy went on to say that “We intend to stay the course. … We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
Media attention to Cathy’s comments revealed a radio interview he had given a few weeks earlier in which he commented that “I think we are inviting God’s judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at (God) and say, ‘We know better than You what constitutes a marriage.'
“I pray God’s mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think we would have the audacity to redefine what marriage is all about,” he said.
Within days, elected officials in Chicago, Boston and New York were pledging to deny the company access to their cities.
“Because of (Dan Cathy’s) ignorance, I will deny Chick-fil-A a permit to open a restaurant in my ward,” Chicago Alderman Proco Moreno said, in a threat echoed by
Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.”
But the kind of inclusion he had in mind would evidently exclude Chick-fil-A.
New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn, who just recently married her lesbian partner, called upon New York University to kick Chick-fil-A off its campus.
9 religious companies (besides Chick-fil-A)
Echoing the Boston mayor’s lack of irony, she also called for exclusion in the name of inclusion: “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.”
Within days, Moreno, Emanuel and Menino had qualified their statements somewhat, promising to operate within the law and constitutional limits. Those clarifications became necessary when legal authorities quickly recognized threatened violations of First Amendment rights.
To his credit, New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an ardent supporter of same-sex marriage, warned, “You can’t have a test for what the owner’s personal views are before you decide to give a permit to do something in the city.”
Note carefully that Chick-fil-A was not charged with discrimination in hiring or service but simply with the fact that its president and chief operating officer supports traditional marriage.
Note something else: Dan Cathy’s statements were explicitly religious. He made his comments to the religious press, including a Baptist newspaper. His comments were infused with his Christian convictions, the same convictions that have led the company to close for business every Sunday.
The threats made against Chick-fil-A betray the principle of religious liberty that is enshrined within the U.S. Constitution. Civic officials in some of the nation’s largest and most powerful cities have openly threatened to oppose Chick-fil-A for the singular reason that its president openly spoke of his Christian convictions concerning marriage.
When Quinn, one of the most powerful officials in New York, announces, “I do not want establishments in my city that hold such discriminatory views,” is she also threatening the Roman Catholic Church, Orthodox Jewish synagogues and Islamic mosques?
They, along with evangelical Christian denominations, openly oppose the legalization of same-sex marriage. Cathy’s statements are completely consistent with his own denomination’s statement of faith and official declarations. He was speaking as a Christian and as a Southern Baptist, and he was speaking as a man who does his best to live and speak as he believes.
Christian groups allege threats to religious freedom in anti-Chick-fil-A campaigns
When Emanuel and Moreno tell Chick-fil-A to stay out of Chicago, are they audacious enough to deliver that same message to the churches, mosques and synagogues of their city that also oppose same-sex marriage? What do they do with the fact that their own state does not allow same-sex marriages?
This country is deeply divided over the issue of same-sex marriage, and the controversy over Chick-fil-A is an ominous sign that many of the proponents of same-sex marriage are quite willing to violate religious liberty and to use any and all means to silence and punish any individual or organization that holds the contrary view – a view sustained by the voters in 29 states by constitutional amendments.
Addressing the intersection of same-sex marriage and religious liberty, George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley has warned that the government must not be “viewed as unfairly trying to pre-determine the debate or harass one side.”
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That is exactly what some elected officials have just shown themselves ready to do. It will not stop with Chick-fil-A. Who will be next to be told to get out of town?
I know Dan and Truett Cathy and other members of the Cathy family. Truett has spoken on our campus. I have prayed at the opening of multiple Chick-fil-A locations. I serve on the board of directors of Focus on the Family, which has been supported by Chick-fil-A. My son, Christopher, is a part-time service employee of a local Chick-fil-A restaurant in Louisville. I have not communicated with Chick-fil-A about this column.
The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of R. Albert Mohler Jr.
This is a really interesting debate, except for that last part about it being interesting. Has anyone else noticed that Chick Filet happens to be really delicious? Does anyone know how to make their honey mustard sauce at home?
Are you all kidding.. Stop.. Damning people for being intolerant, is not an attack on religious rights.. It's amazing how Christians have somehow made themselves the victim in all this. Do Christians, or any American for that matter have the right to disagree with gay marriage, and many other things? Yes. Do they have the right to voice those opinions? Yes. Do people who disagree have the right to voice their disagreement, and to boycott if they feel like that makes them feel better. YES! Everyone still has freedom of speech and freedom of religion. Half this argument just wants people to be able to marry who ever they want to if that other person consents. No one is trying to take away the right to be religious or to voice bigoted opinions. How can conservatives not understand this simple point?
It's too good of a talking point for them to give up easily.
Since when did anyone have to tolerate perversion? Qu eers the folks that gave the world AIDS
Still continuing your useless trolling I see.
I don’t condemn you. You condemn yourself. I you make a choice to do good or bad and in the end you will have to deal with your choice. If I love you then I should tell you the truth even if it hurts you and/or me.
If you don’t like the truth in what I am saying does it change the truth just because I don’t say anything! If you can’t handle the truth then you will be disappointed the remainder of your life because life will beat you into a miserable old age and death. I loved my grandmothers because they didn’t hesitate to tell me the truth about life and what they felt I was doing good or bad. My mother attempted to shelter me from life in an attempt to help me. I like the truth because I could see clearly the world.
I'm sure you've heard this part before.
If what you say is truth, then fucking prove it. Just because you say it's true doesn't automatically make it so.
There is no right to perversion.
Alert! Carrie's mum lives and walks among us!
The below average qu eer responds with a below average comment. Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS
of course there is, perv, and you are exercising it.
"Qu eers the folks who gave the world AIDS"
Until recently, the origins of the HIV-2 virus had remained relatively unexplored. HIV-2 is thought to come from the SIV in Sooty Mangabeys rather than chimpanzees, but the crossover to humans is believed to have happened in a similar way (i.e. through the butchering and consumption of monkey meat). It is far rarer, significantly less infectious and progresses more slowly to AIDS than HIV-1. As a result, it infects far fewer people, and is mainly confined to a few countries in West Africa.
In May 2003, a group of Belgian researchers published a report in Proceedings of the National Academy of Science. By analysing samples of the two different subtypes of HIV-2 (A and B) taken from infected individuals and SIV samples taken from sooty mangabeys, Dr Vandamme concluded that subtype A had passed into humans around 1940 and subtype B in 1945 (plus or minus 16 years or so). Her team of researchers also discovered that the virus had originated in Guinea-Bissau and that its spread was most likely precipitated by the independence war that took place in the country between 1963 and 1974 (Guinea-Bissau is a former Portuguese colony). Her theory was backed up by the fact that the first European cases of HIV-2 were discovered among Portuguese veterans of the war, many of whom had received blood transfusions or unsterile injections following injury, or had possibly had relationships with local women.
Given the evidence we have already looked at, it seems highly likely that Africa was indeed the continent where the transfer of HIV to humans first occurred (monkeys from Asia and South America have never been found to have SIVs that could cause HIV in humans). In May 2006, the same group of researchers who first identified the Pan troglodytes troglodytes strain of SIVcpz, announced that they had narrowed down the location of this particular strain to wild chimpanzees found in the forests of Southern Cameroon . By analysing 599 samples of chimp droppings (P. T. troglodytes are a highly endangered and thus protected species that cannot be killed or captured for testing), the researchers were able to obtain 34 specimens that reacted to a standard HIV DNA test, 12 of which gave results that were virtually indistinguishable from the reactions created by human HIV. The researchers therefore concluded that the chimpanzees found in this area were highly likely the origin of both the pandemic Group M of HIV-1 and of the far rarer Group N. The exact origins of Group O however remain unknown.
HIV Group N principally affects people living in South-central Cameroon, so it is not difficult to see how this outbreak started. Group M, the group that has caused the worldwide pandemic, was however first identified in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Repub lic of Con go. It is not entirely clear how it transferred from Cameroon to Kinshasa, but the most likely explanation is that an infected individual travelled south down the San gha river that runs through Southern Cam eroon to the River Con go and then on to Kin shasa, where the Group M epidemic probably began.
Just as we do not know exactly who spread the virus from Cam eroon to Kin shasa, how the virus spread from Africa to America is also not entirely clear. However, recent evidence suggests that the virus may have arrived via the Cari bbean island of H aiti.
Prayer changes things
This is my experience... Thank you.
I see Christards everywhere. They don't even know they are tards.
look for kindless it will be one of the ones with the oh sh it look on its face.
Someone should report this guy to the authorities, before he pulls an aurora.
Prayer does not; you are such a LIAR. You have NO proof it changes anything! A great example of prayer proven not to work is the Christians in jail because prayer didn't work and their children died. For example: Susan Grady, who relied on prayer to heal her son. Nine-year-old Aaron Grady died and Susan Grady was arrested.
An article in the Journal of Pediatrics examined the deaths of 172 children from families who relied upon faith healing from 1975 to 1995. They concluded that four out of five ill children, who died under the care of faith healers or being left to prayer only, would most likely have survived if they had received medical care.
The statistical studies from the nineteenth century and the three CCU studies on prayer are quite consistent with the fact that humanity is wasting a huge amount of time on a procedure that simply doesn’t work. Nonetheless, faith in prayer is so pervasive and deeply rooted, you can be sure believers will continue to devise future studies in a desperate effort to confirm their beliefs!-
What everyone has to realize is the idiot liberals and Zionists who scream tolerance are the most intolerant morons on the planet. Tolerance is basically them shouting, "you have to accept us without reservation but we don't have to accept you!" Liberals and Zionists are the most hypocritical, genocidal maniacs in the world.
Wow what a great post after all the garbage and twisted stuff from the gays and atheists. This is really refreshing I so much admire the president of Chick Fil A it is about time that the minority stop trying to run the country for the majority and become tolerant of others right to speak and support who they want. Like all have said
Bob..you must be using a new use of the word tolerant that I was previously unaware of.
Mr. Dan Cathy spoke in support of a belief but Mayors Thomas Menino, Vincent Gray, Rahm Emanuel, Luke Ravenstahl & Antonio Villaraigosa are speaking against a belief. This just proves that the "tolerant" movement has not made much progress. If you can't get your own people to be tolerant you will never get a person of moral conviction to be tolerant. Not that I would ever tolerate things that go against my moral compass.
That's setting a pretty low standard for "proving" something, which in this case is a meaningless generalization about an abstract construct (i.e. the "tolerant" movement, whatever that is). And your stance seems to imply that yours is NOT a tolerant "movement." We already know that, but it's nice to hear it being tacitly acknowledged, thanks!
You are welcome.
Only a fool would be tolerant of everything!
if you don't want to tolerate things that go against your "moral compass", well bully for you.
"Definition of BIGOT
: a person who is obstinately or intolerantly devoted to his or her own opinions and prejudices; especially : one who regards or treats the members of a group (as a racial or ethnic group) with hatred and intolerance" Merriam-Webster.
Sacrelicious: That post wasnt supposed to your comment. It was a glitch in the cnn blog entry system.
Tell me about it... I figured out what the problem was with my replies; the word "home-oh-sect-chew-al" won't post if spelled properly because apparently it's a bad, bad word. That is utterly pathetic on CNN's part.
Figures THAT comment would post, lol. OK, one more try with the reply...
Eric: I could re-phrase it with shorter words if you like.
Ava: You do know that I was commenting on the blog post about "religious liberty under threat," right? And no, I don't think the gov't should tell businesses where to locate or how to operate based on religious beliefs, and I mean that the gov't should STOP doing it as they've been doing it for a long time; Sunday "Blue Laws," no alcohol sold within a certain distance of a church, a Federal holiday (Merry Christmas!), abortion laws, criminalization of bein' gay, Florida and Texas' laws against ritual animal sacrifice (some believe in such things, but fortunately they can't legally practice their beliefs), etc. etc.
If there is a God, He would certainly need no middle-men shoe-horning their way in between the individual and their conception of God or Spirit so as to tell everyone else what He "really" meant... What ticks me off is that what a lot of people are following might not be Jesus and they really want me to follow what isn't Jesus, too...
Mr. Mohler kind of looks like a Rasta after Communion. Praise Jah!
This comment system is FUBARed. WordPress sucks. If this posts it's the only thing that did besides my original comment (replies won't post nor will new comments but ironically I bet this one will...) and nothing in it violated any terms of "service." Maybe they don't like people who use Firefox because we don't have to see the ads?
You know, I stand by Chick Fil A, and no not based only religion, cause trust me you don't want to go there with me. I support them cause this is not a Gay or God issue, this is a free speech issue. That man owns his business, runs his business and has the right to think what the hell he wants. How dare you get mad at him for having an opinion. You don't like what he thinks then don't eat there. I'm a black man, if there is a club, a store a town that doesn't like black people, I don't want to be there. I can't change how they think. Has any Gay person been slandered when buying a sandwich? I doubt it, cause this world revolves around money. He'll take yours. But, if you don't like it cause he doesn't care for you being Gay then stop giving him your money.
"That man owns his business, runs his business and has the right to think what the hell he wants. How dare you get mad at him for having an opinion."
He is also a very large contributor to anti-gay organizations so it's more than just an opinion for this guy.
But Robert, the fact is attacking his business isn't gonna change his mind. How did all this surfuce? From an interview with a Christian paper/website. So, it got out. Now that you know, do you think he's gonna have a change of heart? Doubtfull. The only thiing to do is don't give him your business, hopes he dies and they replace him with someone younger and more progressive thinking. We can't control what others think or do or even do with their money. All we can do is control how we spend ours.
The anti-gay groups that he helps fund DO slander gay people. That's why Southern Poverty Law Center has labeled them a hate group. That has nothing to do with religion.
"But Robert, the fact is attacking his business isn't gonna change his mind. How did all this surfuce? From an interview with a Christian paper/website. So, it got out. Now that you know, do you think he's gonna have a change of heart? Doubtfull."
People had to change their minds when it came to African Americans, to women rights, to interracial marriage, it can happen when people actually understand the REAL truth about a subject. Marriage was defined by the US Supreme Court as a civil right. Recognized federal civil rights law in the United States is grounded in the U.S. Constitution as interpreted by the Supreme Court. By this standard, marriage has long been established as a civil right.
The operative constitutional text is section 1 of the Fourteenth Amendment, which was ratified in 1868. The relevant passages read as follows:
No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws
Yes let him say what he want's (within reason) but at the same time – he is openly condeming a group – but still taking money from them while smiling in their face. AND using this same $$ to fund his agenda against that group.
Sorry but that's not a person I want my $$$ to help make richer. The thing is, be cautious by what you say – especially when the people you are openly against >> help and continue to help you – live to the lifestyle you so very much enjoy.
People still have a right to think that slavery is a good thing... but is that really a view you should be proud of?
Boston Mayor Thomas Menino was just as blunt: “Chick-fil-A doesn’t belong in Boston,” he said. “We’re an open city. We’re a city at the forefront of inclusion.”
This is the whole gay agenda We are an OPEN city as long as you believe what the Mayor does!! Hilarious...
Gays, Illegals, and other parties have a right to free speech and you should never question them in whatever they do!!
This is a wake up call America, don't believe what you see on TV, this is not a DEEPLY DIVIDED ISSUE!! It is media propaganda because the majority of Americans when questioned in private say "No" to gay marriage but are afraid of media and attacks like the one perpetrated by the Gays against Chick Fil A!!
You have it all wrong. No one wants to take anything away from anyone. This is the same rhetoric as always from the conservative base. They profess to be the defenders of liberty as long as you meet their model of what is acceptable. If you don't then they want to legislate your behavior and make it illegal. In no way do I want christians to change who they are or what they believe. I just want them to let me have the same rights.
"because the majority of Americans when questioned in private say "No" to gay marriage "
53% of Americans believe gays should have the right to marry so your majority comment is not true.
So what does CFA have to do with your gay rights. CFA isn't denying service, etc to gays and lesbians. They are just telling you what their beliefs are. The principles they built their business on.
Chick-Fil-A has donated, as a company not through the owners personal expenses, to organizations that are vehemently anti-gay and promote intolerance. One of these organizations even supports a bill in Uganda that calls for gay people to be put to death. This is not a new issue for gay rights activists by any means, it was only made national news because of the recent statement from the owner.
And Bible prophecy keeps marching on as true as ever. As those who are ignorant of God keep playing their role of ever increasing Godlessness just at predicted. 100 percent of Bible prophecy is coming true, how are so many so blind? Have they not heard one ward of Bible prophecy? How do people really think the world is evolving to become a better place? There are wars, and rumors of wars, we are on the brink of the greatest meltdown of society in the history of the world, how is this "making the world a better place"?
How do so many people bury their head in the sand and turn a blind eye to the facts that are happening right before them. Weather you like it or not, weather you agree with it or not, weather you believe it or not, the Bible is real and true and the end is coming, it is your choice to choose which side you will be on.
Christians, it is time to pray more earnestly than we ever have!
You had better, because when you support Chick-Fil-A, you also support lobbyists for legislation which mandates mass murder of gays in Africa. Atoning for that's going to take a lot of time on your knees.
"100 percent of Bible prophecy is coming true, how are so many so blind? Have they not heard one ward of Bible prophecy?" OK, I am assuming you meant "word". In any event hate to break the news to you, but those of us who don't subscribe to the bible are not the blind ones. It's just that more and more people are realizing that it is not the word of any god, it is simply a poor collection of often contradictory fallacies written by men. Prophecy is something for the weak mind.
"There are wars, and rumors of wars, we are on the brink..." Yes, primarily because of religious fanatics not thinking with a clear mind and using common sense, but with craziness from their primitive beliefs.
"Weather you like it or not, weather you agree with it or not, weather you believe it or not, the Bible is real and true and the end is coming..." Look the weather has nothing to do with it. It might make the cloud disappear for a while and all the apple forums get busy, but other than that I wouldn't worry about it. lol.
" it is time to pray more earnestly than we ever " No! Be careful! If you pray too long, you might miss the bus.
And you can't live your life in fear of what may or may not happen. This is really a WWJD – because I'm fairly sure he would not want anyone to stand up oh a high plain and continually point "your going to hell, your going to hell, your on your way there but might be able to detour"... instead, he would be kind, gentle and do his best to be loving to all of his children – not a select few.... not the ones so smug and righteous that feel they can stand in judgment of others and dictate what is right and just to them...
What bothers me the most about all of this.. is the fact he openly takes the money, but then uses it to his own advantage – even setting about on his own agendas regarding this lifestyle and he speaks out in the press. So the money these people work hard for – is good enough for him and his bank account – but – the people that work hard to earn it - are not .. good enough for heaven? or.. what was his point again? I find it's lost because I'm a bit too far from his mansion to be able to clearly hear him shouting... a mansion – and riches – which were directly from the finger tips of those he condemns.... interesting huh...
Eric... the bible like Nostradamus does noting but generalize and only after an event can you try make it fit. I can say with certainly that you will disagree with me... the bible says the same thing.. there will be those that disagree and will be enemies of the words...it is not evidence of any divine being.
Eric: Did Jesus get stuck in traffic?
Note the fundies don't point out what organizations Mr. Cathy Funded, nor their activities.
Awww, cry me a river about the poor, oppressed Xtians. It seems the self-righteous are finally getting a taste of what it's been like to be a non-Xtian in the U.S. for the past 236 years. It'll be ok, you'll adapt and learn to keep your views to yourselves just like most non-Xtians have to do to get along in many social contexts without getting preached at or discriminated against. Discrimination kind of sucks, doesn't it? Enjoy... LOL
Mr. Moller doesn't seem to have dealt with the fact that Chick-Fil-A helps bankroll lobbyists for the upcoming Ugandan kill-the-Gays bill at all. He seems to have wasted his time comparing businesses to churches as a standby.
Perhaps he would comment on Chick-Fil-A and the FRC's support of the kill-the-Gays legislation honestly in terms of Christian tolerance.
You do know that he was asked the question in an interview, not spouting his opinion on his own, right? The man just answered a question he was asked and wasn't going to water down his beliefs just to appeal to the masses. The question is, do you think the government should start weighing in on where a businesss can do business just because of their beliefs? Do you really want a country that does this? I'm all for protesting, but I'm NOT for government control in this manner. And I'm sorry you feel that way. You're obviously very ticked off at Christians. I happen to know a lot of great Christians who's primary objective in life is to love others, period. Sorry you haven't had the same experience.
I've never bought anything from Chick-fil-A. And your statement makes absolutely no sense.
I've never bought anything from Chick-fil-A. And your statement makes absolutely no sense. They certainly are getting one heck of a free advertisement campaign though.
"Awww, cry me a river about the poor, oppressed Xtians. It seems the self-righteous are finally getting a taste of what it's been like to be a non-Xtian in the U.S. for the past 236 years. It'll be ok, you'll adapt and learn to keep your views to yourselves just like most non-Xtians have to do to get along in many social contexts without getting preached at or discriminated against. Discrimination kind of sucks, doesn't it? Enjoy... LOL"
Wow, that was hateful, Why would you tell anyone to enjoy discrimination? That is not anyone's message, gays or Christians. I certainly beleive that Mr. Truit has the right to express his beliefs and that dreadedsin504 has a valid point about where to spend you money. I think rejoicing over Christians being discriminated against is equally as evil as rejoicing over gays being discriminated against. ALL DISCRIMATION is wrong. All people are worthy of love no matter christian, jew, muslim, gay, athiest ect... I think we should all not choose any side that preaches hate but choose to love all people.
Ava – Please... don't put the fault on the side of the press because they asked him the question. He could of selected many ways to answer or simply steered the question another way, by volunteering another question and response in it's place.
Ignorance of how an interview works is no excuse because it's not exactly rocket science. And if he cannot control an interview, maybe he should rethink his job choice.
The state of affairs is just what Jesus said it would be: "I will turn son against father; daughter agaisnt mother, and brother will betray brother...to death." Or something not unlike that. He came to drive a sword between those who would accept him and those who would not. And that's just what we have. Personally, I favor conventional marriage because for 5000 years, it has been that way, and has been understood to be the norm. Did we recently "wake up?" How could we have been so blind? Or, are we going blind? You decide.
I dont always agree with people way of life and faith, but I do respect people who are willing to shair their belief with others. The only thing I dont ask if for them to shove it down our throat about it. This controversy is no controversy. It about a man belief, how he perceieve life to be. It not declaration on how everyone should lives. I recently change my stance on gay marriage a couple of years ago. I am willing to tollerate differnce in our upbringing and life out look. But when they are preachining it in school and to the children, they have cross the line. These groups dont want equality, they want to be the group in charge of their agenda. I still belong to the political part that support these group, but I can no longer stand silent about their real agenda. The way I see it it not equality they want, they need to be empowered.
Tolerance is only for those who oppose you. I commend them for speaking honest. Few have courage to stand against the crowd as it were.
"There is a God and aren't you going to be surprised that gay marriage goes against his will."
Some argue that since homosexual behavior is "unnatural" it is contrary to the order of creation. Behind this pronouncement are stereotypical definitions of masculinity and femininity that reflect rigid gender categories of patriarchal society. There is nothing unnatural about any shared love, even between two of the same gender, if that experience calls both partners to a fuller state of being. Contemporary research is uncovering new facts that are producing a rising conviction that homosexuality, far from being a sickness, sin, perversion or unnatural act, is a healthy, natural and affirming form of human sexuality for some people. Findings indicate that homosexuality is a given fact in the nature of a significant portion of people, and that it is unchangeable.
Our prejudice rejects people or things outside our understanding. But the God of creation speaks and declares, "I have looked out on everything I have made and `behold it (is) very good'." . The word (Genesis 1:31) of God in Christ says that we are loved, valued, redeemed, and counted as precious no matter how we might be valued by a prejudiced world.
There are few biblical references to homosexuality. The first, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah, is often quoted to prove that the Bible condemns homosexuality. But the real sin of Sodom was the unwillingness of the city's men to observe the laws of hospitality. The intention was to insult the stranger by forcing him to take the female role in the sex act. The biblical narrative approves Lot's offer of his virgin daughters to satisfy the sexual demands of the mob. How many would say, "This is the word of the Lord"? When the Bible is quoted literally, it might be well for the one quoting to read the text in its entirety.
Leviticus, in the Hebrew Scriptures, condemns homosexual behaviour, at least for males. Yet, "abomination", the word Leviticus uses to describe homosexuality, is the same word used to describe a menstruating woman. Paul is the most quoted source in the battle to condemn homosexuality ( 1 Corinthians 6: 9-11 and Romans 1: 26-27). But homosexual activity was regarded by Paul as a punishment visited upon idolaters by God because of their unfaithfulness. Homosexuality was not the sin but the punishment.
1 Corinthians 6:9-11, Paul gave a list of those who would not inherit the Kingdom of God. That list included the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers. Sexual perverts is a translation of two words; it is possible that the juxtaposition of malakos, the soft, effeminate word, with arsenokoitus, or male prostitute, was meant to refer to the passive and active males in a homosexual liaison.
Thus, it appears that Paul would not approve of homosexual behavior. But was Paul's opinion about homosexuality accurate, or was it limited by the lack of scientific knowledge in his day and infected by prejudice born of ignorance? An examination of some of Paul's other assumptions and conclusions will help answer this question. Who today would share Paul's anti-Semitic attitude, his belief that the authority of the state was not to be challenged, or that all women ought to be veiled? In these attitudes Paul's thinking has been challenged and transcended even by the church! Is Paul's commentary on homosexuality more absolute than some of his other antiquated, culturally conditioned ideas?
Three other references in the New Testament (in Timothy, Jude and 2 Peter) appear to be limited to condemnation of male sex slaves in the first instance, and to showing examples (Sodom and Gomorrah) of God's destruction of unbelievers and heretics (in Jude and 2 Peter respectively).
That is all that Scripture has to say about homosexuality. Even if one is a biblical literalist, these references do not build an ironclad case for condemnation. If one is not a biblical literalist there is no case at all, nothing but prejudice born of ignorance, that attacks people whose only crime is to be born with an unchangeable sexual predisposition toward those of their own sex.
Well written, bravo!
John.. you see the problem the bible is an ambiguous mess..very few of its adherents see the same way and use it to justify their personal likes and dislikes. In the mean time humans are being persecuted with justification from `* God* . You understand it one way but i bet that many disagree and can show you why, using different scriptures.
Clearly you do not understand what you have read. Stop spreading trash please.
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