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.
"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."
A good lawyer could run with this one....These ho.mo-facists certainly are getting brave and mouthy, aren't they? How is it that less than 1% of the population can intimidate the rest of us?
And both Moreno and Emanuel have since softened their opposition, promising to work with CFA within the confines of the law. Don't let facts intrude on a good rant though.
"How is it that less than 1% of the population can intimidate the rest of us?"
It's because the most vehement deniers are struggling to hide their own true natures, and they don't fear the gay's so much as they fear being outed themselves...
"The lady doth protest too much, methinks..."
"These ho.mo-facists certainly are getting brave and mouthy, aren't they? How is it that less than 1% of the population can intimidate the rest of us?"
It's about civil rights. The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.
The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People's board voted at a leadership retreat in Miami on Saturday to back a resolution supporting marriage equality, calling the position consistent with the equal protection provision of the US constitution.
"The mission of the NAACP has always been to ensure political, social and economic equality of all people," board chairwoman Roslyn M Brock said in a statement. "We have and will oppose efforts to codify discrimination into law."
Same-sex marriage is legal in six states and the District of Columbia, but 31 states have passed amendments to ban it.
The NAACP vote came about two weeks after President Barack Obama announced his support for gay marriage, setting off a flurry of political activity in a number of states. Obama's announcement followed vice-president Joe Biden's declaration in a television interview that he was "absolutely comfortable" with gay couples marrying.
"Civil marriage is a civil right and a matter of civil law. The NAACP's support for marriage equality is deeply rooted in the fourteenth amendment of the United States constitution and equal protection of all people" said NAACP president Benjamin Todd Jealous, a strong backer of gay rights.
Gay marriage has divided the black community, with many religious leaders opposing it. In California, exit polls showed about 70% of black people opposed same-sex marriage in 2008. In Maryland, black religious leaders helped derail a gay marriage bill last year. But state lawmakers passed a gay marriage bill this year.
Pew Research Center polls have found that African Americans have become more supportive of same-sex marriage in recent years, but remain less supportive than other groups. A poll conducted in April showed 39% of African-Americans favor gay marriage, compared with 47% of white people. The poll showed 49% of black people and 43% of white people are opposed.
The Human Rights Campaign, a leading gay rights advocacy group, applauded the NAACP's step.
"We could not be more pleased with the NAACP's history-making vote – which is yet another example of the traction marriage equality continues to gain in every community," HRC president Joe Solmonese said in a statement.
Hello folks. Everyone is cordially invited to visit – thestarofkaduri.com
Better watch it Jack, "Truth" Prevails has friends that are in charge of shutting religious sites down. But I'm sure you'll be good if have anything BUT Christianity.
"We in the United States, above all, must remember that lesson, for we were founded as a nation of openness to people of all beliefs. And so we must remain. Our very unity has been strengthened by our pluralism. We establish no religion in this country, we command no worship, we mandate no belief, nor will we ever. Church and state are, and must remain, separate. All are free to believe -or not believe-, all are free to practice a faith or not, and those who believe are free, and should be free, to speak of and act on their belief."
Well said, the right of a citizen to free to practice a faith of their choosing shall not be restricted.
that's why it is perfectly fine to prevent Chick-Fil-A from engaging in commerce when their founder believes that the legal definition of marriage should not be changed to include people of the same se..
you lost me,, what was your logic again?
@Chad the liar
Who has restricted Christ Fil-A from doing business? And no lying, this time.
You should read the article..
“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.
Moby Schtick: You can't honestly expect our resident infant Chad to tell the truth now...he still has not learned the meaning of the word...I think they teach that in 1st grade and since he's failed kindergarten a few times, we'll be waiting awhile...after all fairy tales are about his level of comprehension.
From Chad – "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."
Did you verify it by another source? Calling Cathy's comments "bigoted" and homophobic," Moreno said, "If you are discriminating against a segment of the community, I don't want you in the 1st Ward." Mayor Rahm Emanuel echoed Moreno's comments by adding that, "Chick-fil-A values are not Chicago values."
Moreno, who said Chick-fil-A would "have to work with LGBT groups in terms of hiring, and there would have to be a public apology from (Cathy)" before changing his stance, invoked his aldermanic privilege to deny giving out the permits on the local level.
So if he apologizes and works with the LGBT he could get his permit. My guess is this is all just political posturing, nothing more.
This makes the fourth time I've told you. NOBODY has done ANYTHING illegal. Saying you're going to do something illegal isn't illegal. Is Jesus proud of your lying methods?
"Within days, Moreno, Emanuel and Menino had qualified their statements somewhat, promising to operate within the law and constltutional limits."
There is nothing illegal about making the statement that you will never allow a straight person to do business in your town, even if you were mayor. It would only become illegal if you attempted to back up your mouth with action and used your position to deny a person or company their right to do business regardless of se.xual orientation.
With that said, there is NO evidence of any reverse discrimination against them and thus NO controversy. There is a public debate about their ideology that they allow to spill over into their business which is their right, and that will lead to far more people voting with their dollars, and the reallity is they will lose far more than they gain.
ah, I guess you missed it, here you go:
Similarly, government officials who engage in state action – such as refusing a permit – based on viewpoint discrimination are subject to strict scrutiny by the Courts for potentially violating the First Amendment.
Looks like that’s what happened in Chicago, where a local alderman threatened to use his “aldermanic privilege” to actually deny Chick-fil-A a building permit. There, Mr. Cathy may have a pretty strong claim under the First Amendment that he is a victim of viewpoint discrimination by a government official.
Okay, the fifth time.
Chad, saying you're going to do something illegal in the future is not an illegal act. Nobody has done anything illegal.
Please stop lying for your faith. It makes baby Jesus cry.
On Friday, Mr. Moreno conceded that free-speech rights trump his authority on the issue, and shifted his focus from Mr. Cathy's remarks to potential discriminatory policies at the fast-food chain. He said he would reopen talks with Chick-fil-A, but pledged to fight the company until it amends or clarifies its anti-discrimination policy.
"alderman threatened to use his “aldermanic privilege” to actually deny Chick-fil-A a building permit."
Notice the key word there is "threatened" and not "actually". If no one "actually" denied the building permit then it is NOT ILLEGAL. Sorry for shouting but it appears your eyes may be hard of hearing Chad.
The reason they backed away from those statements is because they were illegal.
Public officials can't just say whatever they please:
the court has held that public employees' free-speech rights are protected when they speak out as citizens on matters of public concern, but not when they speak out in the course of their official duties.”
Ah yes, when some religious person doesn't get his way, or his way gets questioned, suddenly he cries that's he's being oppressed. I guess when religions do it in the name of God, it's OK. Kind of like conservatives who cry about activist judges - but only when it's not *their* agenda being enacted.
Someone posted: Government officials simply can NOT stop a business for engaging in commerce because that business voiced support for a issue that said govt official disagrees with. That is against the law.
What happened when governments stopped doing business with those companies that did business in South Africa during apartheid? Was that illegal?
There's no irony at all in the statement “We are a city that believes our diversity is our greatest strength, and we will fight anything and anyone that runs counter to that.” Diversity doesn't equate to an inclusion of bigoted opinions and only a community that prohibits discrimination can ever truly celebrate diversity.
Christians make the similar argument that non-Christians need to be tolerant of their right to be intolerant. Just like everything else in Christian dogma, this argument falls apart in the face of logic.
Must be nice to throw logic away when it doesn't fit your beliefs.
ah.. so you get to define what "diversity" is good and which isnt, what viewpoints will be allowed and which wont.
interesting, some would call that fascism..
Thank God we live in the USA and that nonsense gets (for the most part) treated the way it should.
It must have sucked to consummate that marriage.
Another cure for Mohler and Cathy's Three B Syndrome: (written while I was eating at a Chick-fil-A restaurant)
JC's family and friends had it right 2000 years ago ( Mark 3: 21 "And when his friends heard of it, they went out to lay hold on him: for they said, He is beside himself.")
Said passage is one of the few judged to be authentic by most contemporary NT scholars. e.g. See Professor Ludemann's conclusion in his book, Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 24 and p. 694
Actually, Jesus was a bit "touched". After all he thought he spoke to Satan, thought he changed water into wine, thought he raised Lazarus from the dead etc. In today's world, said Jesus would be declared legally insane.
Or did P, M, M, L and J simply make him into a first century magic-man via their epistles and gospels of semi-fiction? Most contemporary NT experts after thorough analyses of all the scriptures go with the latter magic-man conclusion with J's gospel being mostly fiction.
Obviously, today's followers ) of Paul (e.g. Southern Baptists like Mohler et al's "magic-man" are also a bit on the odd side believing in all the Christian mumbo jumbo about bodies resurrecting, and exorcisms, and miracles, and "magic-man atonement, and infallible, old, European/Utah white men, and 24/7 body/blood sacrifices followed by consumption of said sacrifices. Yummy!!!! (but not near as yummy as a Chick-fil-A chicken sandwich with or without all of the extras.)
So why do we really care what a first century CE, illiterate, long-dead, preacher/magic man would do or say? Ditto for the likes of Mohler.
There was no god, there is no god and there never will be a god. All this morality is made-up in the weak-minded, non-thinking, irrational, incredibly intolerant believers. Their righteous little lives bear rotten fruit and they make sure their seed is shoved down the throats of their own children so they can carry on the "traditional" family. They are puritanical, outdated and out-clas*sed by science.
Ah, but you hear about his bride, and a bride is not male, so please shut up.
You ok usam?
I don't think highly of "Chicago values". That is almost funny. Rahm Israel Emanuel welcomes Louis Farrakhan and his
army of Islam into Chicago. Does the idiot even know how Islam treats gays. They behead them! All the President of Chick fil A was express his own religious beliefs. Liberals seem to believe that freedom of speach is ok as long as you are saying what they want to hear. Freedom of religionis ok as long as you believe what they do. The Nazi mentality is sick!
If you don't think I am correct, just go on the View with an opinion they don't like and they will rip you to shred like a pack of mad dogs. I will eat at Chick fil a every day from now on.
Yeah every day. Please eat lots of fried chicken and fries.
I do agree that The View is possibly the most sickening television show ever created.
Biblical principles my a**....Leviticus 25:44 says I can possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighboring nations.....so....why doesn't the Chick Fil-A CEO reduce his long term personnel related expeditures (salary, health care premiums etc) and invest in some slaves – I would go for the Mexicans.... Canadians don't work nearly as hard....
Hey don't talk about Canadians like that.
Well, they wouldn't get praise from the community for hiring slaves like they do when they close on sundays. Of course, they still have their employees work on sundays when they need it, they just don't do business on sundays so that they can pretend that they're better than the business who do.
I think god is gay. That's why we never hear about his girlfriend. Next we are going to hear she lives in Canada.
It blows my mind that people actually put stock in the bible at all, when...
“The Bible was written, and then rewritten, and then edited, and then re-edited, and then translated from dead languages, then re-re-translated, then re-edited, then re-re-re-edited, and then re-translated, then given to kings for them to take their favorite parts out, then re-edited, then re-translated, and then re-edited, then given to the pope for him to approve, then re-re-translated, then then re-re-written, then re-written, re-edited, re-translated, re-edited again, all based on stories that were told orally thirty to ninety years after they happened to people who didn’t know how to write. So I guess what I’m saying is the bible is literally the world’s oldest game of telephone.” – David Cross
So it was originally Adam and Steve. Someone left out the St somewhere.
Actually, you're wrong. So wrong I don't even know where to start. If the Bible was a 'game of telephone', then why do we continue to find manuscripts today that are are exactly what can be found in Bibles today?
Because you just made that up, DW257. "We" are finding nothing of the sort.
The Chick Filet guy has a right to his absurd beliefs. I have a right to not give him money. End of story.
It hardly matters if there were no mistakes made in the copying and editing of the bible's words. It's stupid as fvck, and contradicts itself on every page, and anyone who believes its sh!t is far too gullible.
DW257, you're hilarious!
@ Cheryl. So uninformed.
No doubt you can boycott, just make sure they are treated as fairly as every other business when it comes to government.
Actually the bible wasn't "written". It was "assembled", and then multiple times re-assembled. The texts at Qumran do show some changes, and from the time the assembling started in around 575 BCE to, say 100 BCE, isn't all that long. The changing and re-assembling process was complex, as any scholar knows. The interesting question is what the sources were. Scholars know what the sources were, and where they got them, and when and how the assembling and re-assembling was done.
The bible was originally written in English. Its a fact.
It has not been given a stamp of authenticity yet. You're jumping the gun on that one.
Hey DW257 you want to buy a holy grail. Its the real thing. Some round table knight guy gave it to me.
Ill give you a special deal.
DW257, it's a stretch to say they keep finding "manuscripts today that are are exactly what can be found in Bibles today." when in reality what they found is a fragment. The evidence is weak anyways, they won't even name the "world renowned paleographer" who supposedly dated the fragment so specifically that it caused other scientists to question it?? I find it ironic that Christians are so quick to dismiss scientific evidence for the Theory of Evolution, or The Big Bang Theory, and at the same time cling to it when it might point to "proof" of something that supports their beliefs.
Religion is a plague. It must be destroyed, before it destroys us all.
I'm long winded so I journalled and saved it to facebook. Here's my two cents worth if anyone cares. http://www.facebook.com/notes/jay-sunn/dan-cathy-and-chick-fil-a-and-an-objective-view-about-what-all-this-fuzz-about-c/3968372461635
Jesus would agree with you. Religion is disgusting.
Uh.. Mohler, take a chill pill. Your article, as biased and lacking as it was, explains that no freedoms were taken away from anyone and that business owners and politicians alike are allowed to vocalize their opinions. What's all the hubbub?
One day religion will be outlawed completely. I hope I am alive for that.
We don't need to outlaw religion. We just have to wait for people to come to stop daydreaming.
At what point exactly did it become legal to discriminate against a company because they voiced their support for keeping the definition of marriage as between man and women.
1. Chick-Fil-A is not discriminating in it's employment practices, they arent for example refusing to hire a person that has been married to a person of the same sex in one of the states where that practice is sanctioned.
2. THERE IS NO LAW prohibiting voicing support for the traditional definition of marriage as being between a man and a woman, upon what official justification are these govt representatives basing their ban?
It is discrimination to prevent Chick-Fill-A from doing business, plain and simple. Unbelievable. They should be prosecuted.
Please direct us to the news story where they have been denied a business license.
Who's discriminating? Or are you suggesting that elected officials do not have the freedom under the first amendment to voice their opinions?
"At what point exactly did it become legal to discriminate against a company because they voiced their support for keeping the definition of marriage as between man and women."
Change "man and women" to "only white people" and then ask that question again
It seems to me that the mayors, et al., were speaking as officials and representatives of the government, not as private citizens, and therefore are not protected by the First Amendment. I would liken it to teachers preaching to students in public schools, as representative of the state they cannot encourage one religion, or lack thereof, over another. IMO
Submission of chosen targets (American Indians, Muslims, blacks, gays, females of every race, Mexicans, etc.) are gradual as they adopt the T.almudic concepts as being Christian, thus producing a J.ewish society. It is what Rabbi Martin Siegel call, "the J.udaization of Christianity.").
Silly once again. Freedom means having a right to accept the consequences of your speech.
No one is obligated to engage in commerce with anyone.
We don't need to buy cookies from the girl scouts, or hoods from the Klan, or fast food from Christians.
Some believe any press is good press, only time will tell, but any community can reject the values of buisness at whim.
If you object, eat more chicken. Preferably with extra mayo and salt.
This is where the Venn diagram overlaps and I agree with you to a certain extent. For instance, I agree that a CEO saying his opinions on certain issues does not mean a government, or city official can bar them from doing business.
However, it is also completely legal for them to make their own opinions clear, including when they say they don't want Chick-fil-A in their towns and urging citizens to boycott the restaurant if they so choose.
@ME II, agreed and would point to the threats that business permits would be denied.
@rAmen "At what point exactly did it become legal to discriminate against a company because they voiced their support for keeping the definition of marriage as between man and women." Change "man and women" to "only white people" and then ask that question again
@Chad "Loving vs Virginia, ruled unconst itutional to ban interracial marriage (marriage defined as man and woman).
Who did something illegal, Chad?
Cathy? Nope. Stated his opinion and reaps the consequences (increase or decrease in profits) for sharing it
Menino? Nope. Stated his opinion and the consequences (election perhaps?) for sharing it.
The guv'mint? Nope. Stated nothing and made no laws or amendments to any laws.
You christians have as much evidence when you scream "foul play" as you do when you scream "god exists."
@William Demuth "Freedom means having a right to accept the consequences of your speech."
@Chad "individual people can exercise their God given right to boycott and protest, but of course that's not what my original post objected to.
Government officials simply can NOT stop a business for engaging in commerce because that business voiced support for a issue that said govt official disagrees with. That is against the law.
@William Demuth "any community can reject the values of buisness at whim."
@Chad "not the communities govt, they sure cant.. That is the definition of discrimination. It's illegal.
It's amazing that some of the most vocal protesters against the "tyranny of the majority" people are the FIRST ones to blatantly come out and say "It's absolutely fine to engage in illegal practices as long as the receiver holds a viewpoint that we disagree with".
Do you realize how transparent your strawmen are? If you were alleging the facts instead of your made up bullsh!t, it wouldn't be quite so "amazing" to you that nobody had done anything illegal. I believe that the Mayor's words were ethically wrong and in very poor taste, but nobody had done anything illegal. But the truth of the situation doesn't provide you a very good mounting position to get on your high horse, I guess.
@Moby Schtick "Who did something illegal, Chad?"
@Chad "by declaring that
“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.
They indicated that they were would engage in discriminatory practices. By doing so they also may have materially harmed Chick-Fil-A.
It's always been legal for me to choose to not buy things from a company that is owned by a man who espouses belief that his bronze age imaginary sky friend says some people can't marry who they choose.
Chad, you stupid moron. Saying you will do something illegal in future is not illegal.
So who did something illegal, again?
the one and only time you'll ever see me quoting anything from ACLUs website..
Again Chad, saying that you're going to do something illegal isn't illegal. Stop dancing around the issue and come out and admit that you don't have a case for your argument as nobody had done anything illegal.
And bullsh!t on you only quoting once from the ACLU; you'll quote whoever does you the most perceived good whenever it does you the most perceived good.
"@Chad "Loving vs Virginia, ruled unconst itutional to ban interracial marriage (marriage defined as man and woman)."
It defined marriage as a civil right. The NAACP has passed a resolution endorsing same-sex marriage as a civil right, putting it stamp on an issue that has divided the black community.
Loving vs Virginia, ruled it unconst itutional to ban interracial marriage (marriage defined as man and woman).
NAACP is free to do anything they want, but they aren't the government, and they don't get to lawfully define and enforce civil rights.
Marriage is defined as a man and a woman. Loving vs Virginia declared that an interracial marriage between a man and a woman is a civil right. It did not redefine what marriage is.
LIKE YOU, I TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY! Many good people build their case against homosexuality almost entirely on the Bible. These folks value Scripture, and are serious about seeking its guidance in their lives. Unfortunately, many of them have never really studied what the Bible does and doesn’t say about homosexuality.
We gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Christians take the Bible seriously, too. Personally, I’ve spent more than 50 years reading, studying, memorizing, preaching, and teaching from the sacred texts. I earned my master’s and doctoral degrees at a conservative biblical seminary to better equip myself to “rightly divide the word of truth.” I learned Hebrew and Greek to gain a better understanding of the original words of the biblical texts. I studied the lives and times of the biblical authors to help me know what they were saying in their day so I could better apply it to my own.
We must be open to new truth from Scripture.
Even heroes of the Christian faith have changed their minds about the meaning of various biblical texts.
It took a blinding light and a voice from heaven to help the apostle Paul change his mind about certain Hebrew texts. A sheet lowered from the sky filled with all kinds of animals helped the apostle Peter gain new insights into Jewish law.
Jerry Falwell believed the Bible supported segregation in the church until a black shoeshine man asked him, “When will someone like me be allowed to become a member of your congregation?” Through those simple words, the Holy Spirit spoke new truth about the ancient biblical texts to the Rev. Falwell, and in obedience he ended segregation at Thomas Road Baptist Church.
Even when we believe the Scriptures are “infallible” or “without error,” it’s terribly dangerous to think that our understanding of every biblical text is also without error. We are human. We are fallible. And we can misunderstand and misinterpret these ancient words — with tragic results.
What if someone asked you, “Is there a chance you could be wrong about the way you’ve interpreted the biblical texts sometimes used to condemn homosexual orientation?” How would you respond? What does it say about you if you answer, “No, I could NOT be wrong”? I am asking you to re-examine these texts — carefully and prayerfully. Lives hang in the balance.
If heroes of the Christian faith could change their minds about the meaning of certain biblical texts, shouldn’t we be prepared to reconsider our own interpretations of these ancient words when the Holy Spirit opens our minds and hearts to new truth? That’s why we study the Bible prayerfully, seeking the Spirit of Truth, God’s loving Spirit, to help us understand and apply these words to our lives.
On the night he was betrayed, Jesus told his disciples he was going away from them for a while, but that the Father would send them a “Comforter,” an “Advocate,” the “Holy Spirit” who would “teach them all things.”
I believe with all my heart that the Holy Spirit is still teaching us. When we reconsider the texts that are used by some people to condemn God’s gay children, we must fervently seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance, or we risk being misled by our own prejudices.
The Bible is a book about God – not a book about human sexuality.
The Bible is the story of God’s love for the world and the people of the world. It tells the history of God’s love at work rescuing, renewing, and empowering humankind. It was never intended to be a book about human sexuality. Certainly, you will agree.
In fact, the Bible accepts sexual practices that we condemn and condemns sexual practices that we accept. Lots of them! Here are a few examples.
If it is discovered that a bride is not a virgin, the Bible demands that she be executed by stoning immediately.
If a married person has sex with someone else’s husband or wife, the Bible commands that both adulterers be stoned to death.
Divorce is strictly forbidden in both Testaments, as is remarriage of anyone who has been divorced.
The Bible forbids a married couple from having sexual intercourse during a woman’s period. If they disobey, both shall be executed.
If a man dies childless, his widow is ordered by biblical law to have intercourse with each of his brothers in turn until she bears her deceased husband a male heir.
If a man gets into a fight with another man and his wife seeks to rescue her husband by grabbing the enemy’s genitals, her hand shall be cut off and no pity shall be shown her.
I’m certain you don’t agree with these teachings from the Bible about sex. And you shouldn’t. The list goes on: The Bible says clearly that sex with a prostitute is acceptable for the husband but not for the wife. Polygamy (more than one wife) is acceptable, as is a king’s having many concubines. (Solomon, the wisest king of all, had 1,000 concubines.) Slavery and sex with slaves, marriage of girls aged 11-13, and treatment of women as property are all accepted practices in the Scriptures. On the other hand, there are strict prohibitions against interracial marriage, birth control, discussing or even naming a sexual organ, and seeing one’s parents nude.
Over the centuries the Holy Spirit has taught us that certain Bible verses should not be understood as God’s law for all time periods. Some verses are specific to the culture and time they were written, and are no longer viewed as appropriate, wise, or just.
Often, the Holy Spirit uses science to teach us why those ancient words no longer apply to our modern times. During the last three decades, for example, organizations representing 1.5 million U.S. health professionals (doctors, psychiatrists, psychologists, counselors, and educators) have stated definitively that homosexual orientation is as natural as heterosexual orientation, that sexual orientation is determined by a combination of yet unknown pre- and post-natal influences, and that it is dangerous and inappropriate to tell a homosexual that he or she could or should attempt to change his or her sexual orientation.
While there are some people now living in heterosexual marriages who once perceived themselves to be gay, there are millions of gay and lesbian persons who have accepted their sexual orientation as a gift from God and live productive and deeply spiritual lives. The evidence from science and from the personal experience of gay and lesbian Christians demands that we at least consider whether the passages cited to condemn homosexual behavior should be reconsidered, just as other Bible verses that speak of certain sexual practices are no longer understood as God’s law for us in this day.
Christards have no authority over anybody's s-e-x-u-a-l behavior and that is why they are ticked off.
UNLIKE YOU, I DON'T TAKE THE BIBLE SERIOUSLY. ITS A JOKE, FULL OF FAIRY TALES, LIES, AND CONTRADICTIONS.
Cindi, Read I Corinthians 5-6 I am concerned that you think you can do what you want, but do not be decieved!!
You quote the bible and say how much you value it. Now, prove it. Prove to us your bible is true. Otherwise you just sound crazy.
Is homosexuality a sin?
Self-indulgence is a sin. But the relationship of two people of the same sex may or may not be self-indulgent.
Abusing the neighbor is a sin. But the exploration of relationships among homosexuals as they search for partners, evaluate their existing formative relationships, and relate to each other may or may not be abusive.
Disobeying what God commands in the Bible is a sin. But, we have biblically-derived criteria for assessing and applying specific commands by reading them against larger themes.
Turning your back on God is a sin. Homosexuals are often among those who have turned their back on the church, and may be sinning because they also rejected the God they found in church. The church needs to be in mission to homosexuals with the message of Jesus and who God really is.
Yielding to your passions, even celebrating them is a sin. Homosexuals do include those who have done this. But it is not an inherent aspect of being gay.
Since we see people who have dedicated themselves to God, and for whom their gay sexual life is integrated into that decision and we see that their sexuality does not draw them away from church we must conclude that being and living gay is not a behavior in and of itself that produces pain to the neighbor and leads one away from God.
By the criteria the scripture sets for us for what is godly life, and by the reasoning scripture asks us to employ, homosexuality cannot be described as against God’s law.
If this seems like a rather quiet sort of justification for homosexuality, then perhaps it is because the grand clichés of this debate have been shouted at us for too long. But look at the Bible: it's demands and vision cut across all categories, not staying on the surface but penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart, rejecting all forms of self-justification, all forms of attack on the "other" and all forms of escape from God's assessment of our behavior. How on earth could we have ever thought that a series of flat rules was all God wanted to tell us on morality?
"Cindi, Read I Corinthians 5-6 I am concerned that you think you can do what you want, but do not be decieved!!"
You might want to look at the real truth about the gay community instead of juging it with a prejudice heart. Duh! Heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay, and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. The American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Counseling Association, the American Psychiatric Association, the American Psychological Association, the American School Counselor Association, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the National Association of SocialWorkers, together representing more than 480,000 mental health professionals, have all taken the position that homosexuality is not a mental disorder and thus is not something that needs to or can be “cured."
Isn't your citation taken out of context? The preceding verses were taking about a case of incest, "A man is sleeping with his father’s wife," (1 Cor 5:1) not ho.mose.xuality.
"taking about" should be "talking about"
As a Orthodox Jew, I won't comment on your interpretation of what Christianity says about the Bible. I will point out the following:
– You fail to mention Leviticus 19:22. I would be interested in your interpretation of this verse.
– (Mark 10:1-12) Judaism does allow for divorce, since Mosaic times.
– (Leviticus 18:19) Orthodox Jews still maintain the laws of family purity.
– (Mark 12:18-27) While Jews no longer practice Levirate marriage, Orthodox Judaism still would require the anullment of the obligation through a procedure know halitsa.
My main point being, that, at least for Orthodox Jews, while approach to Mosaic law (i.e. the Five Books of Moses) has evolved over time, those laws still remain valid for us,
"- You fail to mention Leviticus 19:22. I would be interested in your interpretation of this verse."
LMAO Christians don't follow Leviticus anymore, it's part of the Holiness Code, a ritual manual for Israel's priests..
Here's my spin on the whole matter.
Just remember Cindy. Your fellow Christians think your going to burn for eternity.
Unlike you, I think the bible is about an authoritative as the works of Hans Christian Anderson.
People who say that God's word is untrue I believe haven't spent much time reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation. But they love to quote verses (especially from the old testament) out of context. Take the time to carefully and prayerfully read and understand the bible, the LORD will change you...
Always begs to be asked.. which one?
The 'your taking it out of context' argument is almost never followed by citing how it should be taken into context with evidence backing said argument up.
It's an intellectually lazy argument that's akin to 'you don't think the way I do, so you're wrong'
Maybe you should just stop cherry-picking your bible.
"the LORD will change you..."
The LORD won't change a gay person because being gay is not a choice. Science in fact, is actually not in dispute on this matter.
All major medical professional organizations concur that sexual orientation is not a choice and cannot be changed, from gay to straight or otherwise. The American, Canadian, Australian, New Zealand, and European Psychological, Psychiatric, and Medical Associations all agree with this, as does the World Health Organization and the medical organizations of Japan, China, and most recently, Thailand. Furthermore, attempts to change one's sexual orientation can be psychologically damaging, and cause great inner turmoil and depression, especially for Christian gays and lesbians.
Reparative therapy, also called conversion therapy or reorientation therapy, "counsels" LGBT persons to pray fervently and study Bible verses, often utilizing 12-step techniques that are used to treat sexual addictions or trauma. Such Christian councilors are pathologizing homosexuality, which is not a pathology but is a sexual orientation. Psychologically, that's very dangerous territory to tread on. All of the above-mentioned medical professional organizations, in addition to the American and European Counseling Associations, stand strongly opposed to any form of reparative therapy.
In my home country, Norway, reparative therapy is officially considered to be ethical malpractice. But there are many countries that do not regulate the practice, and many others that remain largely silent and even passively supportive of it (such as the Philippines). Groups that operate such "therapy" in the Philippines are the Evangelical Bagong Pag-asa, and the Catholic Courage Philippines.
The scientific evidence of the innateness of homosexuality, bisexuality, and transgenderism is overwhelming, and more peer-reviewed studies which bolster this fact are being added all the time. Science has long regarded sexual orientation – and that's all sexual orientations, including heterosexuality – as a phenotype. Simply put, a phenotype is an observable set of properties that varies among individuals and is deeply rooted in biology. For the scientific community, the role of genetics in sexuality is about as "disputable" as the role of evolution in biology.
On the second point, that there is no conclusion that there is a "gay gene," they are right. No so-called gay gene has been found, and it's highly unlikely that one ever will. This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"
Take this interesting paragraph I found on an Evangelical website: "The attempt to prove that homosexuality is determined biologically has been dealt a knockout punch. An American Psychological Association publication includes an admission that there's no homosexual "gene" – meaning it's not likely that homosexuals are 'born that way.'"
But that's not at all what it means, and it seems Evangelicals are plucking out stand-alone phrases from scientific reports and removing them from their context. This is known in academia as the fallacy of suppressed evidence. Interestingly, this is also what they have a habit of doing with verses from the Bible.
This idea of sexuality being a choice is such a bizarre notion to me as a man of science. Many of these reparative "therapists" are basing this concept on a random Bible verse or two. When you hold those up against the mountain of scientific research that has been conducted, peer-reviewed, and then peer-reviewed again, it absolutely holds no water. A person's sexuality – whether heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual – is a very deep biological piece of who that person is as an individual.
The fact that a so-called "gay gene" has not been discovered does not mean that homosexuality is not genetic in its causation. This is understandably something that can seem a bit strange to those who have not been educated in fields of science and advanced biology, and it is also why people who are not scientists ought not try to explain the processes in simple black-and-white terms. There is no gay gene, but there is also no "height gene" or "skin tone gene" or "left-handed gene." These, like sexuality, have a heritable aspect, but no one dominant gene is responsible for them.
Many genes, working in sync, contribute to the phenotype and therefore do have a role in sexual orientation. In many animal model systems, for example, the precise genes involved in sexual partner selection have been identified, and their neuro-biochemical pathways have been worked out in great detail. A great number of these mechanisms have been preserved evolutionarily in humans, just as they are for every other behavioral trait we know (including heterosexuality).
Furthermore, there are many biologic traits which are not specifically genetic but are biologic nonetheless. These traits are rooted in hormonal influences, contributed especially during the early stages of fetal development. This too is indisputable and based on extensive peer-reviewed research the world over. Such prenatal hormonal influences are not genetic per se, but are inborn, natural, and biologic nevertheless.
Having said that, in the realm of legal rights, partnership rights, and anti-discrimination protections, the gay gene vs. choice debate is actually quite irrelevant. Whether or not something is a choice is not a suitable criterion for whether someone should have equal rights and protections. Religion is indisputably a choice, but that fact is a not a valid argument for discriminating against a particular religion.
People who say that God's word is untrue I believe haven't spent much time reading the bible from Genesis to Revelation.
Why bother , the core of it is borrowed from the Sumerians?????????
Prayer changes things... if you do it long enough, you'll miss the bus!
I have read that book front to back. I rarely quote it because there is little worth in it for me to quote it. Many of the concepts are actually contradictory to one another which is interesting. I find Jesus' words sometimes helpful. It's too bad though, that they were later corrupted and skewed by the politician Paul (which has led to much of the Chistardian extremism we see today).
Thank you CNN mods for not allowing a simple post to go through.
Anyway, You seriously need to read the article you posted. It seems as though the 'proof' you claim to have found in it is not what you thought it was. It also doesn't offer any genetic proof of your claim at all.
Also, your paragraph about kinsey and a spectrum of s.e.xu.ality doesn't give you any genetic proof of h.om.o.se.xuality either!!! Do you really think that was a logical rebuttal??? A spectrum of se.x.uality even weakens your point, because it suggests that people can move from one end to the other as well as float somewhere in the middle and "enjoy both sides." Come on, you gotta want to be better than that...
From Erik' s post above..
"This is where conservative Christians and Muslims quickly say "See, I told you so! There's no gay gene, so being gay is a choice!"
-Sounds familiar? Yes – your crap doesn't float in any emotional grovelling or pleading; nor shall we as a human society have your religious say that h-o-m-o-s-e-x-u-a-l-i-t-y is a deviant act.
I always love the drivel and rehashed drivel coming from the religious when it comes to this topic because they can never make people hate enough for their liking to agree with them. We don't agree with you religious p-r-i-c-k-s ever.
"Come on, you gotta want to be better than that."
One should want the truth. One should not want to attempt to conform realtiy to their own preconceived notions of what reality ought to be. Science doesn't work that way. Sorry if you failed your 5th grade science class.
Submission of chosen targets (American Indians, Muslims, blacks, gays, females of every race, Mexicans, etc.) are gradual as they adopt the T.almudic concepts as being Christian, thus producing a J.ewish society. It is what Rabbi Martin Siegel call, "the J.udaization of Christianity.")
I wouldn't trust this Romans idiots to know truth when these own words of his are here to follow him..
"Thirdly, it has nothing to do with hate, but rather truth."
That's only because I'm a j.ew atheist.
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