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How evangelicals won a war and lost a generation
Are church teachings on homosexuality driving millennials away from faith?
March 31st, 2014
02:18 PM ET

How evangelicals won a war and lost a generation

Opinion by Rachel Held Evans, special to CNN

(CNN) - On March 24, World Vision announced that the U.S. branch of the popular humanitarian organization would no longer discriminate against employees in same-sex marriages.

It was a decision that surprised many but one that made sense, given the organization’s ecumenical nature.

But on March 26, World Vision President Richard Stearns reversed the decision, stating, “our board acknowledged that the policy change we made was a mistake.”

Supporters helped the aid group “see that with more clarity,” Stearns added, “and we’re asking you to forgive us for that mistake.”

So what happened within those 48 hours to cause such a sudden reversal?

The Evangelical Machine kicked into gear.

Albert Mohler Jr., president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, said the decision pointed to “disaster,” and the Assemblies of God denomination encouraged its members to pull their financial support from the organization.

Evangelicals took to Twitter and Facebook to threaten to stop sending money to their sponsored children unless World Vision reversed course.

Within a day of the initial announcement, more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support. And with more and more individuals, churches and organizations threatening to do the same, the charity stood to lose millions of dollars in aid that would otherwise reach the poor, sick, hungry and displaced people World Vision serves.

So World Vision reversed course.

Stearns told The New York Times that some people, satisfied with the reversal, have called World Vision headquarters to ask, “Can I have my child back?” as though needy children are expendable bargaining chips in the culture war against gay and lesbian people.

Many of us who grew up evangelical watched with horror as these events unfolded.

As a longtime supporter of World Vision, I encouraged readers of my blog to pick up some of the dropped sponsorships after the initial decision. I then felt betrayed when World Vision backtracked, though I urged my readers not to play the same game but to keep supporting their sponsored children, who are of course at no fault in any of this.

But most of all, the situation put into stark, unsettling relief just how misaligned evangelical priorities have become.

When Christians declare that they would rather withhold aid from people who need it than serve alongside gays and lesbians helping to provide that aid, something is wrong.

There is a disproportionate focus on homosexuality that consistently dehumanizes, stigmatizes and marginalizes gay and lesbian people and, at least in this case, prioritizes the culture war against them over and against the important work of caring for the poor.

Evangelicals insist that they are simply fighting to preserve “biblical marriage,” but if this were actually about “biblical marriage,” then we would also be discussing the charity’s policy around divorce.

But we’re not.

Furthermore, Scripture itself teaches that when we clothe and feed those in need, we clothe and feed Christ himself, and when we withhold care from those in need, we withhold it from Christ himself (Matthew 25:31-46).

Why are the few passages about homosexuality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?

As I grieved with my (mostly 20- and 30-something) readers over this ugly and embarrassing situation, I heard a similar refrain over and over again: “I don’t think I’m an evangelical anymore. I want to follow Jesus, but I can’t be a part of this.”

I feel the same way.

Whether it’s over the denial of evolutionary science, continued opposition to gender equality in the church, an unhealthy alliance between religion and politics or the obsession with opposing gay marriage, evangelicalism is losing a generation to the culture wars.

A recent survey from Public Religion Research Institute revealed that nearly one-third of millennials who left their childhood faith did so because of “negative teachings” or “negative treatment” of gay and lesbian people.

Christians can disagree about what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about same-sex marriage. This is not an issue of orthodoxy. But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus.

So my question for those evangelicals is this: Is it worth it?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage really worth leaving thousands of needy children without financial support?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth losing more young people to cynicism regarding the church?

Is a “victory” against gay marriage worth perpetuating the idea that evangelical Christians are at war with LGBT people?

And is a “victory” against gay marriage worth drowning out that quiet but persistent internal voice that asks, "what if we get this wrong?"

I, for one, am tired of arguing. I’m tired of trying to defend evangelicalism when its leaders behave indefensibly.

I’m going AWOL on evangelicalism's culture wars so I can get back to following Jesus among its many refugees: LGBT people, women called to ministry, artists, science-lovers, misfits, sinners, doubters, thinkers and “the least of these.”

I’m ready to stop waging war and start washing feet.

Rachel Held Evans is the author of "Evolving in Monkey Town" and "A Year of Biblical Womanhood." She blogs at rachelheldevans.com. The views expressed in this column belong to Rachel Held Evans.

- CNN Belief Blog

Filed under: Bible • Christianity • Culture wars • Discrimination • Ethics • evangelicals • Gay marriage • Gay rights • Homosexuality • Opinion • Same-sex marriage

soundoff (2,141 Responses)
  1. colin31714

    Here is a quick list of ten principles for rational thought that every child should be taught. Let's see religion survive the idea of teaching children how to think, not what to think.

    1. DO NOT automatically believe something just because a Jewish, Hindu, Christian, Muslim or Buddhist instructor tells you that you must. They can’t all be right.

    2. DO NOT think that claims about magic, miracles and the supernatural are more likely true because they are written in old books. That makes them less likely true.

    3. DO analyze claims about religion with the same critical eye that you would claims about money, political positions or social issues.

    4. DO NOT accept it when religious leaders tell you it is wrong to question, doubt or think for yourself. It never is. Only those selling junk cars want to prohibit you from looking under the hood.

    5. DO decouple morality from a belief in the supernatural, in any of its formulations (Christianity, Judaism, Islam etc.). One can be moral without believing in gods, ghosts and ghouls and believing in any of them does not make one moral.

    6. DO a bit of independent research into whatever book you were brought up to believe in. Who are its authors and why should you believe them in what they say? How many translations has it gone through? Do we have originals, or only edited copies of copies of copies?

    7. DO realize that you are only a Christian (or Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu or Jew) because of where you were born. Were you lucky enough to be born in the one part of the World that “got it right”?

    8. DO NOT be an apologist or accept the explanation “your mind is too small to understand the greatness of God,” “God is outside the Universe” or “God moves in mysterious ways” when you come upon logical inconsistencies in your belief. A retreat to mysticism is the first refuge of the cornered fool.

    9. DO understand where your religion came from and how it's core beliefs morphed and evolved from earlier beliefs to the point you were taught it. Are you lucky enough to be living at that one point in history where we “got it right”?

    10. DO educate yourself on the natural Universe, human history and the history of life on Earth, so as to be able to properly evaluate claims that a benevolent, mind-reading, human-supervising god is behind the whole thing.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
  2. bdoggett

    My question is: at what point would you stop giving money to an organization that does charity work, but which also maintains some policy or supports some activity that you disagree with? There are countless organizations doing good work in the world in ways comparable to World Vision, but the reason people donate through WV is because they consider it to be a Christian Organization that upholds Evangelical Christian values. If WV ceases to be viewed in that light, there may be better ways, more conscientious ways, to give to the least of these. I certainly hope that those who stopped donating to WV chose to give in some other way.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Your question assumes that we're just talking about differences of opinion here, not matters of right and wrong. There's no excuse to stop giving money to an organization for ceasing to discriminate. Anyone who does this is essentially supporting discrimination, which is flat out wrong.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:45 pm |
    • djangoboy

      I contribute to WV because they do good work period. If they happen to be Christian,it is of no matter to me.

      If the Canadian arm, of WV were following the US lead on this issue, I would stop immediately. Fortunately, they have not.

      April 1, 2014 at 3:48 pm |
  3. ddeevviinn

    " Is it worth it" ?

    Yes, it is absolutely worth it. Truth at all cost, no matter what the ramifications ( the fallacy of leaving " thousands of children without financial support aside').

    " I am tired of trying to defend evangelicalism"

    If there is one thing I am certain of Mrs./Ms. Evans, it is that evangelicalism and Jesus have absolutely no need or desire of your " defense" .

    March 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
    • SeaVik

      Wow Devin, you are a terrible person. It's sad that we really have people like you out there. Do us all a favor and stop being so evil.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        I'll try my best.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:04 pm |
      • readerpan

        Dev is another example of why people leave the churches. It's called reverse proselytizing.

        March 31, 2014 at 7:58 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Silly boy/girl.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:28 pm |
    • bostontola

      Stick to your guns Devin, we're counting on it.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        No fears, I will " stick to my guns", but whether or not you "count on it " is irrelevant to me.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:06 pm |
    • Akira

      Please quote exactly what Jesus himself said about gay people.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:33 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        So by that criteria incest, bestiality, pedophilia and computer fraud get the nod from you? You know, in that Jesus never mentioned those things.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:09 pm |
        • Doris

          So by what basis and criteria are you associating gay people with the other things you mention, dev?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:14 pm |
        • Akira

          It's a simple question. Stop pulling a Ben Carson and answer it.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:31 pm |
        • Akira

          And those crimes that you mentioned have victims who have no voice in the matter. Your attempt at conflating them gay people is puerile.

          Not surprised at this tactic, though. It is typical.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:37 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Doris

          Only in that they are all engaged in sin.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:49 pm |
        • Doris

          And so how did you determine being gay was a sin, dev.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:08 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Akira

          I did answer it, you just simply did not understand or accept the answer.

          Here's the problem: You and I have different sources for determining absolute and moral truth. I make no secret of the fact that mine is derived from the tenets of the Christian faith. I'm guessing yours is derived from your own sense of rationalism and the determining criteria is " does anybody get hurt". I just do not accept your criteria. Let's say I decide I want to have an affair with 3 young, beautiful college girls. Now let's also say my wife is good with this and the 3 college girls are all on board ( this is REALLY hypothetical). So the 3 girls all come over, we have a some physical fun and then everybody goes there way without anyone being hurt ( my wife included). Well, for me it is still morally wrong, not because somewhat got hurt but because I believe it is morally wrong to commit adultery. It is the same with h o mo s exxuality, and as I have stated many times before it is no more or less morally wrong than adultery from my perspective.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:12 pm |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn

          "Here's the problem: You and I have different sources for determining absolute and moral truth. I make no secret of the fact that mine is derived from the tenets of the Christian faith."

          Right. So slavery is okay. Discrimination against women is okay. Discrimination against the handicapped is okay. Beating helpless children with rods for discipline is okay. Beating elderly female slaves can be okay.

          At least your source is CONSISTENT.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:18 pm |
        • Akira

          "I’m guessing yours is derived from your own sense of rationalism and the determining criteria is ” does anybody get hurt”."

          You would guess wrong.

          I reject the notion that is always put forth by ignorant minds that gay=pedophilia=bestiality. If that's one of your Christian tenets, you're damned right I reject that part. Because bestiality/pedophilia is almost ALWAYS commited by heteros.

          Maybe Jesus SHOULD have brought that up? Since he apparently didn't go far enough when addressing heteros behaving badly.

          April 3, 2014 at 10:39 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Wow devin, you keep spewing it and you only help bury your religion. When will you finally realize that no matter how loudly you whine about this your side is on the loosing end? This isn't even a topic that should be needing discussed in the 21st century but it is bigots like you that keep it alive. Thankfully your voices are not being listened to as much and all you're doing in turn is helping to bury the hateful religion you hold so dear.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:38 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        " help bury your religion"

        A tad melodramatic, but funny. You need to grasp, not agree with but grasp, this simple concept: The number of individuals who either accept or reject the tenets of the Christian faith have absolutely no bearing upon its truthfulness. In other words, if many of those claiming to be Christians want to jump ship en masse because of some now en vogue cultural shift towards h om os ex uality, that is their prerogative, but it changes nothing.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:19 pm |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          Equal rights for ALL AMERICANS is not a fad. It's coming. The bigotry of the past is being eradicated by EDUCATION and the future is obvious. Face reality.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:24 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Facing reality has absolutely nothing to do with this. I've stated many times that I realize we live in a pluralistic society and that culture and legislation are moving in the direction of acceptance. I do and will abide by the laws of the land. But cultural norms and truth are sometimes two completely different animals for me.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:53 pm |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          God's "cultural norm" was support for slavery, but fortunately there aren't too many people STUPID enough to support it.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:55 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          observer

          You are right in that it was a "cultural norm" during specific periods of history. You are wrong in stating that it was GOD"S cultural norm, a fundamental error in your thinking that leads you to incessantly bring up this topic of slavery.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:25 pm |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          Your pathetic argument against God's support of slavery was that it was the "cultural norm".

          So continue to tell us that God didn't do what was RIGHT, but went with political correctness and "cultural norms". You keep arguing that God refused to stand up for what should have been MORAL. Keep it up. Well done.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:29 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          Right devin, it doesn't change the fact that your bigoted view of it is wrong. There is nothing wrong with homosexuality, it is as natural as you being hetero. As for truthfulness of your belief system, so many fallacies have been shown and you are to blinded to see them.

          April 1, 2014 at 5:53 am |
    • observer

      ddeevviinn

      "Yes, it is absolutely worth it. Truth at all cost,"

      Yep. Here's some TRUTH. Few, if anyone, support the Bible's warped view of marriage where it can be FORCED onto people who may even HATE each other.

      More TRUTH. There are FAR FAR MORE Christians COMMITTING ADULTERY right now thru divorce and remarriage than there are total number of gays. Where is all the screaming about them?

      It's all PICK AND CHOOSE HYPOCRISY.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:43 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Observer.

        Come on man/woman. Do I need to send you a notarized statement? I've told you on more than one occasion that you and I are on the same page with the Christian/marriage/adultery thing.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • observer

          ddeevviinn,

          Yep. So with so MANY MANY MORE Christian adulterers, there's much less need to pick on gays and a MUCH GREATER need to fix your fellow Christians. So why aren't you doing that now?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:27 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Well, one of my goals in writing is to remain in context. The author of this piece honed in on the ga y issues, not adultery. If an article is posed on Christian remarriage and adultery I will make my perspective known LOUDLY.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • observer

          Yep. HYPOCRITICALLY pick on gays while the MUCH GREATER problem of Christian ADULTERY goes on.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:20 pm |
    • Doris

      "Truth", ddeevv??

      Like the truth of what we know, or more importantly what we DON'T KNOW about the authorship of Peter 2 – you know, the writing where we find Peter's alleged stamp of approval for Paul's writings as the Word of God??

      In case you've forgotten, I'll remind you – most scholars agree that Peter DID NOT AUTHOR PETER 2.

      Just another nail in your pathetic case for your interpretation of scripture from which you derive your disgusting hypocrisy and self-righteousness.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
      • ddeevviinn

        Doris

        While I often find your argumentation on biblical literature to be both trite and superficial, I do commend you for using it in your ar senal. Were I an atheist, this issue of canonicity would be my first line of defense.

        March 31, 2014 at 5:57 pm |
        • ddeevviinn

          Doris

          Forgot the first part of your accusation.

          As in all these issues of inerrancy, infallibility and canonicity, there are numerous scholars of both liberal and conservative persuasion. Obviously, you choose the former an I the latter.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:16 pm |
        • G to the T

          "As in all these issues of inerrancy, infallibility and canonicity, there are numerous scholars of both liberal and conservative persuasion. Obviously, you choose the former an I the latter"

          I would be interested in you citing any "conservative" scholars in this regards.

          Ironically, in my mind, what you consider "liberal" is actually the more conservative in there views than the "conservative" ones that ditch textual criticism where it's inconvenient. That being said, I can only go by what I've read, so if you have some recommendations, I'll take a look.

          April 1, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
    • tracieonthego

      "Truth at all cost, no matter the ramifications..." Wow. You know that's not biblical right? Speak the truth in love is the mandate. I'm not sensing any love whatsoever Devlin.

      April 1, 2014 at 6:35 am |
  4. Doris

    The comments on this page are interesting:

    http://www.abpnews.com/ministry/organizations/item/28514-world-vision-s-policy-reversal-turns-tables-in-same-sex-marriage-debate#.UznLJcdfDnk

    March 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
  5. Marie

    Thanks, Rachel, for your comments. The evangelicals aren't just losing the millennials. I am 66 and they lost me!

    March 31, 2014 at 4:08 pm |
    • bostontola

      Great point Marie, they will lose the set of Christians that highly values "Love thy neighbor".

      March 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • readerpan

        That would be all REAL christians.

        March 31, 2014 at 8:07 pm |
        • velesot365

          You do not decide who is or isn't a true christian. No true Scotsman fallacy much?

          April 1, 2014 at 2:06 pm |
  6. CS

    "...more than 2,000 children sponsored by World Vision lost their financial support..."

    400 of which are gay.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
    • readerpan

      Troll!

      March 31, 2014 at 8:08 pm |
      • CS

        Why did you call me a troll?

        March 31, 2014 at 10:04 pm |
  7. Russ

    @ Rachel Held Evans:
    1) you said World Vision as an organization has an "ec.umenical nature."

    World Vision was founded by an evangelical on evangelical beliefs. why complain that they held to their principles? it was those principles that led the group to seek to help the poor & needy in the first place.

    2) you claimed this was "discriminat[ion] against employees in same-s.ex marriages."

    are private organizations – particularly ones that have explicitly religious convictions – being discriminatory by holding to their convictions? would that same principle extend to all of their other "Christian" values?

    3) your article pits 'supporting children' again 'evangelical values'.

    this is a false dichotomy – evidenced not only by the very founding of the explicitly evangelical organization in question, but also ignores their particular goal in *supporting* children: namely, that thirsty children would not just get a drink of water, but that they would also learn about Living Water. there are plenty of secular groups which exist simply to give H2O. World Vision's own initial vision was so much more than that.

    4) the divorce analogy does not fit. no one is arguing that divorce is not a sin & should be celebrated as equal with traditional marriage.

    5) your interpretation of Matthew 25 is mistaken. the vast majority of biblical commentators point out that the ident.ity of the "least of these" Mt.25 is not anybody who is dest.itute (as you seem to take it), but is – in particular – Christians who are traveling and teaching the faith. certainly there are other passages that lift up loving the poor regardless of their religion, but that is not what Jesus has in view here. he is speaking in particular about his own disciples spreading the faith & the hospitality to be given to them.

    point being, your interpretation & application here is almost directly the opposite. here's an organization taking a biblical stand & you're attempting to use a passage that protects those teaching such convictions against them. ironically, *you* are casting out the "least of these."

    6) you said: "Why are the few passages about ho.mo.s.ex.uality accepted uncritically, without regard to context or culture, but the many about poverty so easily discarded?"
    why are you perpetuating straw men? even al mohler – of whom i'm not the biggest fan – holds a balance here. do a quick check on it... do they have classes on the minor prophets at his seminary? of course they do. and guess what the major themes are throughout them?

    this has become a theme of many of the articles you've written for this blog. as an ex-evangelical, you certainly do a poor job of identifying our beliefs accurately.

    7) you said: "Christians can disagree about what the Bible says (or doesn’t say) about same-s.ex marriage. This is not an issue of orthodoxy."

    again, why state as a given things that are currently under debate? if you are really so aware of evangelicals' beliefs, you know that the concern is hermeneutics (method of interpreting Scripture) more than it is ho.mo.se.xuality. this hot topic merely readily EXPOSES one's way of reading Scripture.

    from an evangelical perspective, you are not reading the Bible with a faithful hermeneutic. that's the reason you are taking this stand. why not charitably admit THAT is the point of differentiation for those of us who sincerely disagree, and not merely perpetuate the straw men stereotypes?

    8) you said: "But when we begin using child sponsorships as bargaining tools in our debates, we’ve lost the way of Jesus."
    this certainly was sad to see. withdrawing sponsorships was a failure of the evangelical community. but consider two things:

    a) not everyone withdrew. some were going to follow through with their commitment DESPITE the difficult position World Vision put them in

    b) let's be clear: *children* were not the bargaining chips here. financially supporting an organization that CHANGED its policy was the issue. these people CHOSE to support children in the first place – and World Vision (despite being large) is not the ONLY way to do that (especially if a new policy ultimate signifies that the organization is now FAILING to love children well).

    9) you said you want to get back to "following Jesus among [the culture war's] many refugees."
    you talk repeatedly about "victory" in the culture war – but your proposed solution is basically that evangelicals would compromise their beliefs. how can you follow Jesus (among refugees or not) by compromising what His Word teaches?

    SUM: It would be radically more impressive if – despite your obvious distaste for your own evangelical roots – you represented us in a way we'd find recognizable before moving to criticize us. that's why – rather ironically – this article is largely nothing but a perpetuation of the straw man stereotypes that PERPETUATE the culture war rather than advance civil dialogue.

    March 31, 2014 at 4:00 pm |
    • Akira

      Does World Vision help those who are not Christian?

      March 31, 2014 at 4:03 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Akira:
        Yes.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • Akira

          Then why the stance on who domes out the help when those who receive it are considered sinners?

          March 31, 2014 at 4:28 pm |
        • Akira

          *doles out the help

          March 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: the objection is not regarding the recipients, but those who would give *in the name of Christ.*

          World Vision is explicitly Christian. While we are not called to judge the world, we are called to judge the Church (1 Cor.5:12) – especially as we are ambassadors to the world in His name. we are ALL sinners – saved by grace – but at no point does that grace mean celebrating what God has definitively called sin (Rom.6:1f).

          March 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
        • Akira

          Uh huh.
          This sounds like a hypocritical two step to me.
          And very unChrist-like.
          You'll forgive me if I think Jesus would be appalled with this line of reasoning in His name.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:47 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          "we are ALL sinners – saved by grace – but at no point does that grace mean celebrating what God has definitively called sin"

          What was the celebration? Try truth next time.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:22 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: How is it hypocritical that Jesus held his followers accountable?
          is it loving to let an addict continue in his/her addiction?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: am i mistaken in assuming from what you've said here (& many times previous) that you would prefer that the world "celebrate" ho.mo.se.xuality as a good thing?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:39 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          I don't think I have EVER used the word "celebrate".

          March 31, 2014 at 5:40 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: is your objection to the meaning or the semantics?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • Akira

          Russ,

          Would a good Christian withold food to make a point?

          Obviously, yes. And I hope like hell they are held accountable.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: that's a false dichotomy.

          1) as i said to RHE above, there are OTHER ministries that support children.
          it's not taking food away from kids, but choosing a different CONDUIT to get food to the children.

          2) World Vision grew among evangelicals because it gave a) an incredibly high percentage of the funds directly to those in needs & b) it was explicitly Christian.
          it shouldn't be surprising that when one of those things changes, so does the support base.

          3) as i also said to RHE above, it is tragic that people didn't keep their commitment in the short run DESPITE the change in policy. the children suffered because of someone else's decision.

          however, imagine the reciprocal scenario for yourself. if a charitable organization for kids you supported suddenly started enacting policies you deemed destructive (especially for children), would you continue supporting that organization long term or seek alternate ways to support the kids?

          4) ultimately, i believe it's unloving to give starving people a bread for a day & not tell them about Living Bread. while you may disagree, i hope you can follow the logic. an organization previously shared my values. then they explicitly shifted theirs. why is it surprising that THEIR policy change (and underlying shift in values) will alienate many who used to be their partners?

          we continue in our values – the very values that led us to support needy children in the first place.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm |
    • colin31714

      And for all that, you have still managed to alienate 33% of the next generation, who has deserted you and your antiquated ways. Enjoy shouting your silly beliefs into the dusting pews of your empty churches.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Colin: check the stats, Colin. the mainline churches who have made Rachel Held Evans' proposed compromises are the shrinking ones. the evangelical ones are growing – even WHILE our convictions may not go along with pop culture.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          There's nothing quite like the smug sense of self-satisfaction that comes with knowing that your religion is the right one, eh?
          Plus, it gives those who have exclusive understanding of "The Truth" license to condemn this and that from their fiery pulpits under the guise of "saving the sinners".
          Nor can one underestimate the appeal of schadenfreude when contemplating the fiery, eternal agony that awaits all those who disagree with "The Truth".

          March 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doc: I can understand how you would think that regarding the teaching of most ethical systems (where one's own goodness gets them in/favored/etc.). however, Christianity is claiming something entirely opposite (namely: i'm not good).

          the cross makes two things clear:
          1) i am worse off than i want to admit (he had to die)
          2) i am more loved than i ever dared hope (he was willing to die for me)

          in light of that, i am no better than anyone else. i deserve H.ell as much as anyone else. but his grace is that great – and how arrogant would i have to be to press *my* opinions as better than His?

          March 31, 2014 at 4:39 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          "and how arrogant would i have to be to press *my* opinions as better than His?"

          Of course you do. You do it every time you talk about gays with negative verses rather that the MORE IMPORTANT Golden Rule that Jesus supported.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          as i said to you below on this very point: the Golden Rule INCLUDES loving my neighbor enough to object to his/her self-destructive actions.

          again, your objection here is not to the logic of love applied, but the content of love.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • G to the T

          "object to his/her self-destructive actions."

          Do you have anything that would indicate that being gay, in and of itself, is a self-destructive behavior?

          (Bare in mind I don't believe "behavior" plays into it as this implies a choice, as in your drug-addict comparison, beacuse orientation is not a choice)

          April 1, 2014 at 1:23 pm |
        • Russ

          @ G to the T:
          being born with a genetic predisposition to alcoholism is not a choice either, but i've yet to hear someone argue that such a genetic inclination makes alcoholism therefore acceptable and/or self-fulfilling.

          April 1, 2014 at 2:30 pm |
        • G to the T

          I understand where you are coming from, but I don't think you actually answered my original question:

          Do you have anything that would indicate that being gay, in and of itself, is a self-destructive behavior?

          April 2, 2014 at 12:34 pm |
        • Russ

          @ G to the T:
          doesn't that beg the overall question?

          you might as well be asking "who has the authority to decide what should be labeled as self-destructive (good/evil/etc.)?" it's the underlying question of this blog.

          obviously, as a Christian, I have a rather definitive answer there – but I also know you don't share that basis. so let's see if we can find a bridge here at least to clarify the point of divide: on what basis do you define "destructive" behavior? (please recognize, i am asking you your metaphysical / philosophical commitments in this question)

          April 2, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
        • G to the T

          "on what basis do you define "destructive" behavior?"

          I'd say behavior that's harmful to oneself or others could be considered destructive. From your alcoholism example there are physical/psychological ramifications not to mention the physical/phychological harm it can cause others that know/care about the alcholic. I see no parellel's to one's orientation.

          April 3, 2014 at 11:08 am |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Actually Russ, after the mega-church boom, they're not. Evangelical Protestantism is shrinking, just like mainstream Protestantism.

        …………………......……………Pew-07 ... Pew-12 ... PRRI-12
        Evangelical Protestant ………. 26.3% ... 19% …..... 19.9%
        Mainline Protestant ………...… 18.1% ... 15% ......... 14.9%

        Catholicism is staying constant, but only because of an increasing number of Hispanic adherents. The nones are increasing, and this is mostly prevalent with Millenials.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:24 pm |
        • colin31714

          The core problem any Christian denomination faces is that the core theology just doesn't make sense. An immortal universe-creating God impregnating a Greco-Roman Jewish virgin with the end game of sacrificing him to himself to forgive the Original Sin of a couple we now all know never existed.

          I am sorry, but it is so obvious that the whole Jesus saga was written to justify the execution of the early Christians leader.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:35 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Colin: it is rather ethnocentric to believe that the very culture that invented cynicism would be any less skeptical about those beliefs than you are... and yet Christianity overtook the Roman Empire within 3 centuries – without military might or political power. even you have to admit those seemingly preposterous ideas must have struck a nerve. why?

          March 31, 2014 at 4:42 pm |
        • colin31714

          Russ, I slam, Buddhism and Hinduism all spread with impressive speed, displacing local beliefs. Do not confuse popular beliefs with truth. For virtually the entire length of our species time on Earth, virtually 100% of the world's population thought the Earth was flat. That did not make it so.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:48 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "those seemingly preposterous ideas must have struck a nerve. why?

          I expect that the idea of a loving, forgiving God appealed more than the capricious, vindictive Gods of the Roman pantheon.

          Of course the Protestant God is just as capricious and vindictive as any Roman God. (See Noah.) And yes, Protestants, despite claiming to be "Christians", are obsessed with Yahweh which is something I find ironic.

          What did Jesus say about the gays again? What did he say about adultery?

          March 31, 2014 at 4:50 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Colin: i am not pressing the fallacy of the majority. numbers do not equal validation of the truth – but they do raise the question.

          considering the unique way Christianity came to power, it raises the historical question – as expressed here by Yale scholar Kenneth Scott Latourette:

          "Why, among all the cults and philosophies competing in the Greco-Roman world, did Christianity succeed and outstrip all others? Why did it succeed despite getting more severe opposition than any other? Why did it succeed though it had no influential backers in high places, but consisted mainly of the poor and slaves? How did it succeed so completely that it forced the most powerful state in history to come to terms with it, and then outlive the very empire that sought to uproot it? It is clear that at the very beginning of Christianity there must have occurred a vast release of energy perhaps unequaled in our history. Without it, the future course of the Christian religion is inexplicable."

          March 31, 2014 at 5:28 pm |
        • Russ

          @ GOP:
          1) so you don't think the intellectual elites (for whom the pantheon was atheism anyway) who adhered to Platonic ideals and/or Diogenes would have had the same objections you do? some did. some expressed it. but some of those also became Christians.

          See Rodney Stark's "The Rise of Christianity: How the Obscure, Marginal Jesus Movement Became the Dominant Religious Force in the Western World in a Few Centuries"

          It's the WAY this happened that is unique.

          2) we are still obsessed with YHWH. Jesus claimed to BE YHWH.
          the same judgment evidenced in the OT is what falls on the cross.
          the same mercy to which the sacrificial systems hinted is also displayed there.

          3) Jesus never explicitly spoke on pedophilia either. do you think his silence was a tacit approval?
          moreover, he did speak on marriage repeatedly. he was very troubled by anything that undermined it – including adultery. and he also said that he did not come to overthrow the OT but to fulfill it – affirming every word.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:35 pm |
        • midwest rail

          "...affirming every word."
          So gay people SHOULD be stoned to death ?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Russ

          @ midwest rail:
          as should i for my sins. that's what the cross is all about.
          he took what i deserved.

          am i calling for others to be stoned?
          a) how could i want others to be punished when i myself needed grace?
          b) how horrible would i have to be NOT to tell others about such grace and/or "celebrate" things that bring judgment?

          Christ was stoned so i wouldn't be. my hand is raised only to point the finger at his grace – not to throw stones.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm |
        • midwest rail

          You avoid the question. The scripture clearly calls for gay people to be stoned to death. If every word has been affirmed, do you support said punishment or not ?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:54 pm |
        • Russ

          @ midwest: on the contrary, i rather directly answered it.

          let's try this again:
          1) Jesus was stoned because I DESERVE TO BE.
          2) if someone who deserves death like me can be given grace, who would i be to call for others to die when such grace is available?

          SUM: the calling of the Great Commission is not "go forth & kill everyone who doesn't believe" but rather "making disciples... teaching them EVERYTHING i've said." Jesus said we "stand condemned already" (Jn.3:18). God will bring judgment at some point – but my calling is not to bring judgment but grace. but *understanding* grace requires *understanding* what's wrong with us.

          no, i'm not going to stone anyone. i want them to know about the One who was killed in my place.
          if there's hope for me, there's hope for ANYONE.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:00 pm |
    • bostontola

      Russ,
      Evangelicals get 10 points for sticking with their principles. Unfortunately, they get docked 1000 points for having those principles in the 21st century.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:05 pm |
      • Doris

        Bingo

        March 31, 2014 at 4:23 pm |
        • Russ

          @ bostontola: thanks for acknowledging that we ARE actually intending to be faithful.

          @ bostontola & doris: Romans said the same thing in the 1st century.
          if we do what we do for the sake of popularity, we have already missed the point of our faith.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:29 pm |
        • bostontola

          Russ,
          There are a lot of extinct religions and sects.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:34 pm |
    • Bob

      Nice rant, there, Russ. Actually, it was quite pathetic. Look, the case remains the same re differing interpretations of your nutty mythbook AKA the bible: there's no good reason for anyone to believe in the crazy folklore of the bible, let alone use it as any basis for morals. Why we should have to rely on very stale, thousands-of-years-old, multi-versioned old text, that is only reasonably subject to debates over its meaning. Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. After thousands of years of radio silence, reasonable doubt in the existence of your sky creature is easily justified, to say the least. Your absurd "god" is also apparently less capable at communication than any modern 10 year old.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The zeitgeist is shifting, my fundie friend.
      The next generation will view the prevailing evangelical condemnation of gay marriage with the same sense of shame and disgust that the memory of anti-miscegenation laws elicits today.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:09 pm |
      • Doc Vestibule

        In 1958, upon sentencing an inter-racial couple, a Judge in Virginia declared:
        "Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And, but for the interference with his arrangement, there would be no cause for such marriage. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix."

        Although in 1967, the SCOTUS ruled:
        "..the "freedom to marry" belongs to all Americans; marriage is one of our "vital personal rights" and the right to marry is "essential to the orderly pursuit of happiness by a free people." it took 33 years for Alabama to finally remove the laws against inter-racial marriage from their books – and even then, in the year 2000 – some 40% of voters wanted to keep it illegal.

        The Bible Belt can spout scripture to try and keep society stagnant – but eventually they'll be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:19 pm |
        • bostontola

          Doc,
          Great juxtaposition of morality systems.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Do you blame a gun for killing someone? No, the fault is with the gun's user. Like a gun, the Bible has power, but it is not the fault of the Bible if someone weilds it unwisely.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:22 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          @Theo
          The best part about citing God as an authority is that He's never around to set the record straight.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
      • Russ

        @ Doc:
        it's not about zeitgeist. it's the difference between MLK & unitarian universalists...

        MLK (like Wilberforce) changed the racist South's culture by pointing out how they were being unfaithful to what they claimed to believe. he did that from WITHIN their pre-existing view of the Bible. the g.ay lobby cannot do that.

        unitarian universalists made the same sort of claims (that conservative Christians would be all but non-existent within a few decades) in the late 1800s. so they jettisoned central Christian teachings in favor a culturally relevant view. but that culture changed on them, too. and how relevant are they now?

        March 31, 2014 at 4:25 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          Funny how the values of Unitarian Universalism are essentially those of our secular society today. Whether or not it exists as a mainstream religion their values are (largely) those of the greater society.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:31 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Here in Canada, Unitarian and Anglican churches not only perform gay marriage ceremonies, they have a lot of gay clergy too.
          Of course you'll label them false or apostate churches, but their views of scripture are obviously very different than yours when it comes to ho/mo/se/xuality.
          But my work day is over and I haven't the time nor the inclination to go through how the passage in Romans was more about apostacy than gayness (would God have been OK if the self-professed Christians participated in a straight or/gy?), or how the original greek terms used in Corinthians have been mistranslated over and over again (11 bible translations use 11 different definitions of "malakoi" and "ar/senkotai").... but rest assured that knowledgable Christian theologians have pondered these things and come to very different conclusions that you and your kin.

          You are not being rational – you are rationalizing.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ GOP:
          glad that you recognize that point. i guess the question is: do you think they *determined* the culture or simply are along for the ride? and if it's the latter, why "create" a religion that is simply a cultural feedback loop?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:01 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Doc:
          1) yes, Christians certainly regard unitarians as apostate – but not because of their views on g.ays.
          they are unitarian. we are trinitarian. i'd think that'd be a given.

          the underlying issue here is:
          those in support of the g.ay lobby tend to the think the main issue is gender equality/se.xual identi.ty/etc.
          evangelicals who stand for traditional marriage think the main issue is *God's Word.*
          while there are other tangential concerns & minority exceptions, it's disingenuous to deny that – and it prevents REAL dialogue.

          and that's the driving issue: hermeneutics.
          MLK could appeal to Southerners from WITHIN their preexisting hermeneutic. the g.ay lobby cannot.
          that's why this is perceived as an attack on their faith.

          2) your claims are mistaken. here's Robert Gagnon (to whom MANY g.ay Christians appeal) on those passages & why your position is untenable:
          http://www.robgagnon.net/RespHarwoodPorter.htm [interpretation of ar.senoko.itai]
          http://www.robgagnon.net/responsetorogers2.htm [against the temple prosti.tution argument]

          i'm not just guessing here. i have a postgraduate degree in this field. i have seen this debated many times, and – between knowledgeable scholars – it normally ends with the g.ay lobby concession: "yes, that's what the bible says, i just disagree." and THAT (Scripture as God's Word) is the driving force behind why this issue is a big deal among evangelicals – not bi.gotry.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:25 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Jesus had MUCH to say about the s3xual practices of heteros and much of it was bad.

          Now tell us EVERYTHING Jesus had to say about the s3xual practices of gays.

          Why do you REJECT the priorities of Jesus? Any answer other than HYPOCRISY?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:30 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          as i just said above to GOP...

          Jesus never explicitly spoke on pedophilia either. do you think his silence was a tacit approval?
          moreover, he did speak on marriage repeatedly. he was very troubled by anything that undermined it – including adultery. and he also said that he did not come to overthrow the OT but to fulfill it – affirming every word.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:36 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Which did Jesus say was more important: negative verses about gays or the Golden Rule.

          Cut out all the HYPOCRISY.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:38 pm |
        • Akira

          Why why WHY do the "devout" keep conflating pedophilia, which is a crime against nonconsenting children, with someone being gay?

          All this shows is that they do not have the level of education they think they have when they bring up this ignorant argument.

          If one is going to use Jesus to justify ideas about sin, they need to focus on what He DID say, rather than what was unspoken.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:45 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          "love your neighbor as yourself."
          what part of love is it that would mean ignoring my neighbor when he is hurting himself?

          you may find it incredibly offensive that the Bible labels it a sin, but recognize that objection is with the Bible – not me.
          if i want to LOVE you in light of what the Bible says, how can i have integrity and affirm something the Bible labels as self-destructive (as it does all sin)? i certainly wouldn't want you to "love" me by ignoring me in that way. and IF i'm hearing you correctly, that's part of what is motivating you to object to my views here... right? your understanding of 'love'?

          pick anything we both would *agree* is self-destructive behavior. would you want me to ignore that & let it persist? see, the objection here is not to the *logic* of love (which you share), but the *content.* in sum, your problem is with the Bible, not me.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:48 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Akira: i did not conflate the two. i purposefully chose a topic we would BOTH agree is destructive. and clearly you do.

          the point was that an argument from silence is a bad argument.
          a) it assumes more than it can prove
          b) it ignores what we already know (he spoke to the larger topic)

          of course Jesus would have objected to pedophilia. that's not to equate it w/ ho.mo.se.xuality. it's to make the point that he NEVER spoke about it directly – and yet what scholar would argue he held the opposite position? only one looking to justify his/her own position.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Now you are passing judgment on them. They BELIEVE they are not hurting themselves. Just YOUR judgment.

          What ever happened to "treat others as you want them to treat you". Are you listed as an EXCEPTION to that rule in the Bible?

          March 31, 2014 at 5:52 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          i AM treating them like i'd want to be treated.

          again, you don't have to agree with me to follow the logic. choose something we BOTH agree is a problem.

          if i was addicted to heroin, would it be more LOVING to let me be or to intervene? is that judgmentalism (Mt.7:3-4) or judgment that loves (Mt.7:5)? by your read, we would NEVER actually help our friends remove the speck from their eye. everyone would be blind.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:56 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Nope. Try again. You have made your own JUDGMENTAL DECISION. Gays are not hurting you at all. It's NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS what these consenting adults do in the privacy of their bedrooms.

          Try following Jesus FOR A CHANGE.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:01 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: you have contradicted yourself now.

          you have repeatedly point out Jesus' objection to adultery... which happens between consenting adults... in the privacy of their own bedrooms.

          March 31, 2014 at 6:21 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Speaking of Jesus, he was asked what the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT was. He mentioned several.

          Which one of these did Jesus NOT CONSIDER to be in the running as the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT?

          (1) The Golden Rule
          (2) Prohibition against s3xual practices of heteros (adultery)
          (3) Prohibition against s3xual practices of gays?

          March 31, 2014 at 6:26 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          1) the greatest commandment is not the golden rule, but to love God with all your heart, soul, mind & strength. the Golden Rule (which is SECOND to it) taken outside that context is a failure to actually understand what i seeing claimed.

          2) Jesus said these two greatest commandments SUM UP the law.
          that means it INCLUDES the whole of the OT.
          you are making a false dichotomy.

          again, to love someone includes telling them when they are doing something self-destructive.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:24 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Try again or else tell us EVERYTHING Jesus said about gays.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:27 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          "that means it INCLUDES the whole of the OT"

          So does that mean the Jesus supported slavery, discriminations and that people should have been KILLED for the long list of reasons in the O.T.?

          March 31, 2014 at 9:32 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: why repeat the conversation we had just a few posts before in this same thread?

          1) an argument from silence is a logical fallacy.

          2) Jesus spoke very clearly about love – and in particular about marriage.
          again, he did not speak on many other particular topics about which we can rather definitively say he had an opinion (pedophilia, child sacrifice, etc.).

          3) your summation of the OT fails to understand what Jesus said about himself – namely, that he was the fulfillment of the OT (Lk.24:27,44; Jn.5:39-40; etc.).

          [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LkNa6tLWrqk&w=640&h=390]

          March 31, 2014 at 9:34 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Try again. The silence EXCUSE doesn't cut it.

          Jesus was asked what the MOST IMPORTANT COMMANDMENT was. He mentioned several. He NEVER MENTIONED gays then. They were NOT at the top of his list. That is the point that is so FAR over your head.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:39 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          1) an argument from silence (no matter the topic) is a logically fallacy – not an excuse.

          2) i never said a negative commandment about g.ays was the focus.
          but THE two greatest commandments ARE about love & relationships: first with God, then each other.
          and Jesus said they SUMMED up the entire OT – not replaced or debunked.

          it's the clear statement of the text. you want to hijack the meaning to say something it does not say, but two things are clearly shown here:
          a) God ultimately defines love, not us.
          b) Love is a *command* – meaning it's not 'up to us' whether and/or how we do it.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:47 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Pitiful argument from you.

          Jesus NAMED the MOST IMPORTANT COMMAND candidates. Your wish was not there.

          Try again.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:54 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          "God ultimately defines love, not us."

          Apparently so since he didn't seem to give a rip whether people getting married LOVED each other or not. Same for s3x partners.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:57 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          candidates? there's nothing about candidates. they are the two greatest commands. and they do sum up the Law.

          and again, they make it clear:
          a) God ultimately defines love, not us.
          b) Love is a *command* – meaning it's not 'up to us' whether and/or how we do it.

          March 31, 2014 at 9:58 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          you said: "Apparently so since he didn't seem to give a rip whether people getting married LOVED each other or not."

          so why does he so repeatedly – throughout Scripture – talk about a husband's love for his wife? Ephesians 5:23-32 especially comes to mind...

          March 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • observer

          Russ

          "candidates? there's nothing about candidates. they are the two greatest commands. and they do sum up the Law."

          So Jesus ONLY mentioned TWO, right?

          March 31, 2014 at 10:00 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer:
          you said: "So Jesus ONLY mentioned TWO, right?"
          i think you keep missing the key word: SUM.

          March 31, 2014 at 10:01 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          Read the REST of the Bible where God FORCES marriage on people who may HATE each other and lets women be PRIZES of war. So much for "love", but that's God's non-human definition.

          March 31, 2014 at 10:02 pm |
        • Russ

          @ Observer: i'm willing to have this conversation, but i want to mark what just happened:
          you moved from arguing the Bible is open to ho.mo.se.xuality to being upset with how the Bible defines love. do you agree?

          March 31, 2014 at 10:06 pm |
        • observer

          Russ,

          "that means it INCLUDES the whole of the OT"

          So does that mean the Jesus supported slavery, discriminations and that people should have been KILLED for the long list of reasons in the O.T.?

          Stumped?

          March 31, 2014 at 10:07 pm |
        • observer

          Russ

          "you moved from arguing the Bible is open to ho.mo.se.xuality to being upset with how the Bible defines love. do you agree?"

          Never said that. The Bible says that being gay is an "abomination" (you know, like eating lobster and Alaskan king crab) as opposed to full-fledged Ten Commandment SIN of hetero ADULTERY.

          I'm saying that OBVIOUSLY Jesus considered hetero s3x sins to be MORE IMPORTANT.

          March 31, 2014 at 10:11 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: no, i'm not stumped here.
          here's a few helpful resources:

          on genocide:
          http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/02/13/how-could-god-command-genocide-in-the-old-testament-2/

          on slavery:
          http://thegospelcoalition.org/blogs/justintaylor/2013/12/09/did-god-sanction-slavery-in-the-old-testament/

          and if you'd watched the video I posted above, you'd realize WE ALL deserve death. ALL of us. Christ died for sinners such as us. that's the good news.

          March 31, 2014 at 10:16 pm |
        • Russ

          @ observer: & regarding the so-called "shellfish argument" & the charge of inconsistency...
          http://www.redeemer.com/news_and_events/newsletter/?aid=363

          March 31, 2014 at 10:18 pm |
        • elka78

          I must say that this debate was painful to read.

          Observer, I believe that you are misguided in what loving someone looks like. Rick Warren sums up it better than I can:

          “Our culture has accepted two huge lies. The first is that if you disagree with someone’s lifestyle, you must fear or hate them. The second is that to love someone means you agree with everything they believe or do. Both are nonsense. You don’t have to compromise convictions to be compassionate.”

          April 1, 2014 at 8:58 am |
  8. CS

    Preachers preach for a paycheck
    You know you do it, nothin’ to it

    People want you to lie so you try
    Make them feel good inside and help the blue hairs get by

    She can’t get her pants on herself cause of the palsy
    It’s balsy to lie and tell her to pray that away

    Acting on Sunday and counting on Monday
    The mob might just rip you up one day

    The good Lord above makes you smile
    But you’re a pile and vile

    Never take the blame
    Gods are all the same

    March 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
  9. His Panic

    Culture war!! What culture war, what is this lady talking about??

    No doubt about it, she is having another anxiety attack which can lead to Hysteria and eventually Panic. However those who Really Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son WILL NOT Panic All others WILL Panic

    March 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
    • Doris

      It's pretty obvious who is in a state of PANIC herel. Suddenly withholding aid from needy children – my goodness...

      March 31, 2014 at 3:47 pm |
      • His Panic

        Yes is pretty obvious you are indeed in a State of Total Panic! That's because you don't believe neither Trust in God and in Jesus Christ God's Only Son.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:57 pm |
        • Bob

          Panic, regarding your one-son sky fairy story, it is a steaming pile of nonsense. It is incredible that you fall for it. Look, how is it again that your omnipotent being couldn't do his saving bit without the whole silly Jesus hoopla? And how was Jesus' death a "sacrifice", when an omnipotent being could just pop up several more replacement sons any time with less than a snap of his fingers? Pretty pathetic "god" that you've made for yourself there. The foundation of your religion is utter nonsense.

          Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
          Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
          http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

          March 31, 2014 at 4:10 pm |
      • bostontola

        I agree, the evangelicals and other fundamentalists will be panicking as their numbers dwindle and their influence wanes.

        What the heck is His panic anyway, that connotes that He is panicking.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:59 pm |
      • Akira

        Oh, Doris. Contain yourself. Eyeroll.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:06 pm |
  10. libertyadamson

    People have to understand that Christianity Incorporated is likely not the voice of true Biblical Christianity. It's ok to be angry with the Christian Machine that has to rise up in righteous indignation in order to continue to make money to support their lucrative non-profit cash cow congregatios that makes them all wealthy at taxpayer expense. But the Incorporated version of Christianity is a mere shadow of the real thing.

    March 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
  11. Doris

    Traveling to Africa to incite violence and the killing of gays there and now this. The Extremist evangelicals in the U.S. are just plain nuts. I wonder where else this is covered outside of the BB.

    March 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • Doris

      extremist

      March 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
  12. myword92163

    I continue to celebrate people like Fred Phelps and his hateful methods...and those in the organized religions that would try to disguise their identical judgement with smiles and coffee cake.

    I appreciate them for shining the light on how their spiritual disconnect continues to damage some of society's most misunderstood members. I appreciate how they alone have accelerated the causes of equality and justice. Thank you.

    Their lack of historical context (not stupidity) and misinterpretations have helped to galvanize and mobilize the LGBT community....as well as the legions of reasonable and compassionate people who, prior to this, had been dismissive of the havoc wreaked on an entire segment of society. We are all damaged when we do not support and accept (not "tolerate") each other in the very ways that were taught in even the most strident interpretations of our holy literature. Thank you.

    In case the point is lost on you....you didn't "win" this battle. You have created your own inevitable demise. I have no doubt that you will take your beliefs to your graves, and for that I pity you... and the people who poisoned your spirits in your childhood. Your voice has lost its power, and your influence has become irrelevant.

    Thank you.

    March 31, 2014 at 3:23 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Well said.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:29 pm |
    • bostontola

      I agree. While Catholics are trying to retard the demise of Christianity (lovable Pope), Evangelicals seem bent on hastening the demise.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
      • Doris

        It certainly does seem so.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:37 pm |
    • Akira

      Very well put.

      March 31, 2014 at 5:12 pm |
    • ausphor

      Classy. I am afraid I have been too damaged by the Christian belief system not to lash out against it and its adherents. Your voice of reason is appreciated but will fall on deaf ears.

      March 31, 2014 at 5:51 pm |
  13. bostontola

    Why is one type of sin singled out for special attention?

    I may not understand Christianity very well, but I thought all people are sinners. Everyone in that organization is a sinner in Christianity's eyes. Why aren't they all barred?

    I don't often agree with Ms. Evans, but making charity contingent on exclusionary hiring practices? That is immoral.

    March 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
    • Akira

      This is completely sick. They are anything but Christ-like. I have a feeling He would be appalled.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:45 pm |
      • bostontola

        I think that future historians will consider the 20th-21st century Abrahamic primitive and barbaric morality one of the great mysteries of all time. When man had already developed far superior moral systems, so many people adhered to a clearly simplistic and inferior set of morals.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • Akira

          I cannot term many of the things people do in the name of religion "moral." A prime example are good "Christians" who thought it was perfectly moral to use starving children as a bargaining chip.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:20 pm |
  14. Rynomite

    So boys and girls, what have we learned from this article? Christian = Judgmental Hypocrite.

    And they obviously only give to charities for the tax write off.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
  15. I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

    Kudos to Ms. Held-Evans, I applaud this article. It is excellent.

    She has articulated the hypocrisy of an influential religious minority focused not on belief but overt religiosity as a political agenda.

    While gay marriage is the focus of this article it is not the only issue in the culture wars that is alienating people (particularly millenials) from politicised evangelical protestantism.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:50 pm |
  16. Doc Vestibule

    World Vision serves all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender.
    But not orientation. Sorry gays. You can starve and die like the abominations you are.

    I'd much sooner support the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation or Doctor's Without Borders than any kind of religiously motivated charity.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:43 pm |
    • hotairace

      I give via richarddawkins.net.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
    • midwest rail

      Nail on the head.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
    • Bob

      Great post, Doc. As usual.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:53 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Absolutely.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:10 pm |
    • Akira

      I agree.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
    • CS

      I had a garage sale.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
  17. ausphor

    Well this is the major problem with all/most Christian charities, you must accept the biblical pitch along with the aid. Catholic charities are notorious for asking for land grants for the aid they provide in the third world countries. Mama Teresa is a fine example of building an empire rather than helping the sick. Evangelicals demanding that others toe the line on their dogma is no surprise.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:37 pm |
  18. Theo Phileo

    And none of this would have been an issue in the first place if organizations claiming to be Christian would consistantly use the Bible as their measuring rod, and call sin what it is, SIN, and STOP catering to the ever changing whims of societal norms. The Bible is the "norm of norms without any norm," therefore it alone is the standard for morality. Demand that Christian organizations stand behind that, and issues like this can be averted.

    I don't agree that people should have stopped supporting children over this though as the child is an innocent victim here. There are other ways to bring one to repentance that do not cause collateral damage.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:35 pm |
    • hotairace

      100% bullsh!t. There is no actual evidence to indicate that The Babble is anything other than a book of fiction, with a few facts in to create a fall sense of authenticity, no better than other so-called holy books or astrology. Please stop pretending to know things you do not.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:41 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        Bitter are we?

        March 31, 2014 at 2:45 pm |
        • hotairace

          Not at all. Why do you read bitterness into factual statements?

          March 31, 2014 at 2:46 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Not at all. Why do you read bitterness into factual statements?"
          ----------
          Well, first off, you began with foul language. That start alone would have gotten you kicked out of any of my classes in college. Next, you went on to make a blanket statement about the lack of evidence to support the claims of the Bible (although you used another derrogatory and inflamatory term that would have gotten you an "F" in my class for a lack of respect for your opponent of a debate). You blanket statement is further complicated by your choice of words – you said a lack of "evidence," not a lack of proof. Any apologist or theologian can speak to you until he is blue in the face about the miriad of examples of EVIDENCE. As I have said before though, evidence must be filtered through your currently held beliefs which are in accordance with the paradigm that you hold about the origins of the universe, so two people may look at the same "evidence" and say it is "proof" of two contrary ideas. The truth can only be determined by observation and reason, but when both cannot be employed, only faith remains.

          Having said that, your tone and intention in using derrogatory and inflamatory language can only be interpreted as an attack, and not a sincere inquiry into truth, ergo, you are a troll. And trolls are bitter, hence, their "trolliness."

          March 31, 2014 at 2:54 pm |
        • hotairace

          Use as many words as you like, you are still wrong. No bitterness, just facts. How about you trot out some evidence to counter my claim there is none.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:01 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You are the troll. Bullsh!t is a fact of life for the bull. You could not of possibly been a teacher in any thing other than some school for indoctrinating the delusional. My goodness spreading your disease and being proud about it, you are a scary jesus freak.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:02 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          HOTAIR,
          “Ex nihilo, nihil fit” (out of nothing, nothing comes). This axiom means that if at any time absolutely NOTHING existed, then absolutely nothing would ever exist. If we can see that something exists however, then an eternal something must necessarily exist. Something does exist, and since something does exist, then we know that there could never have been a time when there was absolutely nothing. Since something does exist, then something has always existed – something uncreated that has the power of being within itself, and is eternal.

          Everything we observe in the physical universe is mutable, and changing. But an eternal something is changeless since it is never losing any of the power of its being, nor is it gaining anything in the scope of its being. It is what it is, eternally.

          Ergo, the physical universe and everything that makes it up is mutable, and not eternal.

          Something self-existent, eternal, and outside the physical universe (meaning transcendant of the physical universe) is its creator.

          Philosopher J. S. Mill (not a Christian) summed up where we have now come to: “It is self-evident that only Mind can create mind.” The only rational and reasonable conclusion is that an eternal Creator is the one who is responsible for reality as we know it. Or to put it in a logical set of statements:

          • Something exists.
          • You do not get something from nothing.
          • Therefore a necessary and eternal “something” exists.
          • The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator.
          • Science and philosophy have disproven the concept of an eternal universe.
          • Therefore, an eternal Creator exists.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:06 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          "“It is self-evident that only Mind can create mind.”

          Which is precisely how humans invent the concept of God, and then have the audacity to add that it has a human form.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • Vic

          Let's be objective here.

          Anyone has the right to agree or disagree but the pinpointed inappropriate language and method of discourse, , especially in excess of it, can only earn one a dismissal from any legitimate class.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:09 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You are wrong. You make assumptions and state them as some sort of truth, they are not, the bull is craping again.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • hotairace

          That is a cute philosophical argument, not evidence of anything other than how words can be twisted. In any event, scientists have offered scientific explanations for how the universe came to be, no gods required. I'll take those explanations and "we don't know" before any "some alleged but unproven god did it." Again, what actual (physical, factual, verifiable, objective, independent) evidence do you have for any of your claims?

          March 31, 2014 at 3:12 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Anyone has the right to agree or disagree but the pinpointed inappropriate language and method of discourse, , especially in excess of it, can only earn one a dismissal from any legitimate class."
          ------------
          Precisely!

          March 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
        • hotairace

          This is not a class. It is an example of how believers can ignore facts and focus on the form of a communication because they cannot deal with the content, the substance, the fact that there is no actual evidence to support any god based claim. None, zero, zip, nada, nothing!

          March 31, 2014 at 3:16 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Again, what actual (physical, factual, verifiable, objective, independent) evidence do you have for any of your claims?"
          --------------–
          My pen exists. Therefore God exists.
          No, God didn't directly make my pen, but only intelligence, order, and design can create order and design. In this case, an intelligent human being designed the pen, and created order out of plastic, ink, steel, and so on... If ever there was never any order, intelligence, or design, then none would ever exist. You would never be persuaded if I told you that the dictionary was created by an explosion in a printing press, but to say that order came from disorder is to say exactly that.

          Need further proof? What caused the Big Bang? If things at rest tend to stay at rest unless acted on by an outside force, what was that outside force?

          March 31, 2014 at 3:19 pm |
        • igaftr

          " only intelligence, order, and design can create order and design."

          False. There are many other possibilities.

          You god would need a designer if your assumption is correct, which of course, it is not.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:22 pm |
        • hotairace

          We don't know. But there is no actual evidence for any alleged but never proven supernatural being. As Neil dGT says, you (believers in general, not you personally) are at the limit of your knowledge so have thrown up your hands and concluded some god did it. Eventually, slowly but surely, science is pushing back current limits, and so far has never had to resort to "by god, some god did do it!"

          March 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo TJ got it right.
          Ridicule is the only weapon that can be used against unintelligible propositions. Ideas must be distinct before reason can act upon them; and no man ever had a distinct idea of the trinity. It is the mere Abracadabra of the mountebanks calling themselves the priests of Jesus.
          Jefferson knew a scam when he saw one. Ridiculing you is just kind of un because you are so full of sh!t and pious indignation.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:26 pm |
        • ausphor

          kind of fun

          March 31, 2014 at 3:27 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          igaftr,
          But if that were the case, then we enter into infinitude of cause and effect. But infinite causality only happens in math problems, not in reality, for, if one has an infinite series of cause and effect, it could not explain how the line of cause and effect came to be in the first place.

          In one of my earlier posts, I showed that since the physical universe is mutable through change, death, etc., that demands a creator who is not mutable – who carries the power of being within itself, and is eternal.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:28 pm |
        • hotairace

          Theo, you believe you proved something but unless you can show us a scholarly article published in a reputable peer reviewed scientific journal that successfully concludes with "some god did it" you are just making yet another unfounded claim. I sincerely look forward to reading your article that successfully rebuts Hawking, Krauss, Neil dGT, etc.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:35 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You are very much like the bull, it has to crap several times every day. You come on here and spout your philosophical pseudo scientific BS all day long, repit!tion will no make it any more believable. Ridicule is what you deserve.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:39 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Theo, you believe you proved something but unless you can show us a scholarly article published in a reputable peer reviewed scientific journal that successfully concludes with "some god did it" you are just making yet another unfounded claim. I sincerely look forward to reading your article that successfully rebuts Hawking, Krauss, Neil dGT, etc.
          --------------–
          You make the mistake of thinking that only empiricism can examine and explain truth, but this is proved false in that even empiricism must be filtered through reason.

          That truth which is determined either mainly, or solely through subjective processes is still truth.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:41 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          hotair,
          Krauss has to redefine what the word "nothing" means in order for his theories to make sense. Is that like Einstein's famous "fudge factor" by dividing by zero, or Bill Clinting asking to define what the word "is" is?

          March 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • joey3467

          You could have saved everyone some time if you just said you had no actual evidence.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:43 pm |
        • ausphor

          Theo
          You claim to be an educator, I am interested in who would possibly hire you as a teacher? I would also like to know what your peers would have thought about you? I can't grasp the fact that they could respect you after even a short conversation of what you believe. You are absurd.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:46 pm |
        • igaftr

          "that demands a creator who is not mutable"
          It most certainly does not. Enough of your causal chain argument. It is full of holes, the main one being the presumption that you have an idea of what was before the big bang. You don't. No one knows.
          That pretty much throws the whole causal argument out the window, because you have no idea what was before the Bang

          March 31, 2014 at 3:50 pm |
        • hotairace

          Krauss explained that what others referred to as nothing really wasn't nothing. As scientists usually do when expanding knowledge, he took the science to another level of detail and understanding. Where did Einstein fudge anything by dividing by zero? I can't explain Bill Clinton – he's one of your delusional believers that you haven't got around to stoning yet.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          You claim to be an educator, I am interested in who would possibly hire you as a teacher?
          --------------
          OK, I see where you may have thought that. I didn't say, nor did I intend to say that I was a professor. Yes, I have taught on occasion, but not as a college professor. My statement was a reflection of my college classes, yes, but not those I taught. When I took the courses I did, we were respectful of any idea that was presented, no matter how calloused it seemed.

          I would also like to know what your peers would have thought about you? I can't grasp the fact that they could respect you after even a short conversation of what you believe. You are absurd.
          --------------–
          Actually, my peers share the same views as I do. Some are street preachers, others pastor churches, others are laymen.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:51 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "That pretty much throws the whole causal argument out the window, because you have no idea what was before the Bang"
          ------------–
          So, does that mean that you believe that infinite causal chains can exist? Or just that you think that the supernatural something (that is, transcendant of the physical universe) that caused our physical universe was something other than God?

          March 31, 2014 at 3:54 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Where did Einstein fudge anything by dividing by zero?"
          -------–
          Cosmological Constant...

          March 31, 2014 at 3:56 pm |
        • igaftr

          "that the supernatural something (that is, transcendant of the physical universe) that caused our physical universe was something other than God?

          You claim supernatural something...if it exists, it exists naturally. There is no supernatural.

          You claim transendant of the natural universe...there is no reason or evidence to presume that anything can be that.

          And yes, most likely something other than "god"

          There is not now nor at any time actual evidence of any "gods".

          Your causla chain BS is based on too many presuppositions and baseless assumptions. Interesting from a mental workout standpoint, but truly a baseless argument, when you try to apply it what was before the Big Bang.
          No amount of causal chain argument will point to any "creator" anyway, since that presumes a sentience that you also cannot show.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:30 pm |
        • sam stone

          "My pen exists. Therefore God exists"

          "I like to spout nonsequitors, therefore I am wearing a blue shirt"

          Notice the similarity, corn pone?

          March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm |
        • hotairace

          If you think Einstein's cosmological constant involves a divide by zero your knowledge of math is as fucked up as your alleged but never proven god.

          March 31, 2014 at 8:45 pm |
    • ausphor

      Theo
      How noble of you to not agree with blackmail. But isn't that what your Jesus states, the catch 22, believe in me or else you are sh!t out of luck? My interpretation of John 3:16 and other such nonsense.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • igaftr

      Your bible, and the belief in it are good examples of bad morality, so in that way, it is a good measuring stick.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:48 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      What World Vision has basically said is that certain kinds of sinners shouldn't be allowed to help others.
      That charity is somehow reserved only for those who pass an ethical litmus test designed by Christian evangelicals.
      Should divorced people (IE: Adulterers) be booted from the organization as well?

      It is as ridiculous as when the starving and dying Kurdish people refused clothing donated by the Levi Strauss company because Levi is a Jewish sounding name.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:51 pm |
      • Rynomite

        Don't forget about those sinful shellfish eaters! Or women during the time they are "unclean"! Hopefully World Vision makes sure they aren't able to help as well!

        March 31, 2014 at 2:57 pm |
      • hotairace

        What about volunteers that have had an abortion or advised someone to have one – should they be tossed out too?

        March 31, 2014 at 3:04 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        The idea is that they are not letting practicing, unrepentant sinners work for the organization.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          So then... yes.
          Only those who pass an ethical litmus test designed by Christian evangelicals should be allowed to help others....

          March 31, 2014 at 3:17 pm |
        • hotairace

          No, they are discriminating against one group while ignoring the so-called sins of other cult members.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:20 pm |
        • TruthPrevails1

          So gays/lesbians don't deserve the same rights to work in a free society due to who they love?

          March 31, 2014 at 3:21 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "So gays/lesbians don't deserve the same rights to work in a free society due to who they love?"
          -----------
          Would you think it permissable for an atheist to pastor a Baptist church? If you're talking about a secular workplace, then no, it's not right to discriminate about anything. But if we are talking about a Christian organization, then those employees fall under the scrutiny of the Bible and it's standards – not secular societie's standards.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:33 pm |
        • sam stone

          if it is not right to discriminate in a secular workplace, how it is right to discriminate in marriage rights in a secular society?

          March 31, 2014 at 6:10 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        "The idea is that they are not letting practicing, unrepentant sinners work for the organization."

        Surely such judgment is God's responsibility? In the meantime (as Ms Held Evans articulates) the organized Evangelical Protestant machine uses charity for the helpless as a bargaining chip in its political crusade.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:14 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          "Surely such judgment is God's responsibility?"
          --------------
          We are called to judge everything according to the scriptures. Being Judgmental is NOT a bad thing – it is simply looking at the evidences, and making a determination between right and wrong based on the Word of God. We are CALLED to do that. In fact, it is impossible to live a godly life unless we are judgmental of everything.

          1 Corinthians 5:3 – Paul judges an immoral man in the church
          1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 – “But examine everything carefully; hold fast to that which is good; abstain from every form of evil.”
          1 Corinthians 5:12 – For what have I to do with judging outsiders? Do you not judge those who are within the church? But those who are outside, God judges. REMOVE THE WICKED MAN FROM AMONG YOURSELVES. (Deuteronomy 13:5, 17:7, 12, 21:21, 22:21, 1 Corinthians 5:2)

          March 31, 2014 at 3:38 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I thought you'd want to go more by Jesus than Paul of Tarsus:

          “Do not judge, or you too will be judged. For in the same way you judge others, you will be judged, and with the measure you use, it will be measured to you."

          March 31, 2014 at 4:01 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          Twist not scripture lest you be like Satan.

          Keep reading your text. It isn't an admonition against ALL judging, for to teach that, it would be antihesis to the rest of scripture, but instead He says: "Do not give your pearls to swine." So, how can you do that if you're not judging WHO the swine are? No, He's talking about hypocrisy. Don't judge someone for the same thing that you, yourself are doing.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:04 pm |
        • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

          I'm not twisting anything. The meaning is clear. The next three verses are about hypocrisy. A follower of Jesus cannot set him/herself up to be a judge of others when all have failings. It is santimonious and wrong. John 8:7 says essentially the same thing.

          Matthew 7,
          "3 Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?
          4 How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?
          5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

          Jesus was no fan of hypocrites. Organized Evangelical Protestants are hypocrites of the worst order and Ms Held Evans has called them on it in her article.

          March 31, 2014 at 4:14 pm |
        • Theo Phileo

          The next three verses are about hypocrisy.
          --------–
          It's the same sermon... The "judge not" verse is tied to the "first remove the plank from your own eye," so that what He says is that we are to first remove sin "a" from our own lives before we judge others of sin "a."

          March 31, 2014 at 4:26 pm |
        • Akira

          Ah, it's all in the interpretation, isn't it now?
          One can twist any verse to fit their own biases. Even those that explicitly state not to judge.

          Love it.
          I interpret it to mean that the only one qualified to judge is those without sin. Since this is impossible, according to the Bible, shut your judgemental mouths. If we're all sinners, not one of us is qualified to judge, so....shut up.

          March 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm |
    • Bob

      Theo, it is sad that you and others of your backward cult continue to present your horrid Christian book of nasty AKA the bible as any form of "moral standard", when it contains instructions such as the following ones purportedly from your murderous and vengeful jerk of a sky fairy, your "god". From both foul testaments of your racist, sexist doctrine, and just to cite a few examples of many:

      Numbers 31:17-18
      17 Now kiII all the boys. And kiII every woman who has slept with a man,
      18 but save for yourselves every girl who has never slept with a man.

      Deuteronomy 13:6 – “If your brother, your mother’s son or your son or daughter, or the wife you cherish, or your friend who is as your own soul entice you secretly, saying, let us go and serve other gods … you shall surely kill him; your hand shall be first against him to put him to death”

      Revelation 2:23 And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.

      Leviticus 25
      44 “‘Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves.
      45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property.
      46 You can bequeath them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

      Note that the bible is also very clear that you should sacrifice and burn an animal today because the smell makes sicko Christian sky fairy happy. No, you don't get to use the parts for food. You burn them, a complete waste of the poor animal.

      Yes, the bible really says that, everyone. Yes, it's in Leviticus, look it up. Yes, Jesus purportedly said that the OT commands still apply. No exceptions. But even if you think the OT was god's mistaken first go around, you have to ask why a perfect, loving enti-ty would ever put such horrid instructions in there. If you think rationally at all, that is.

      And then, if you disagree with my interpretation, ask yourself how it is that your "god" couldn't come up with a better way to communicate than a book that is so readily subject to so many interpretations and to being taken "out of context", and has so many mistakes in it. Pretty pathetic god that you've made for yourself.

      Furthermore, ask yourself why we should have to rely on very stale, thousands-of-years-old, multi-versioned old text, that is only reasonably subject to debates over its meaning. Why is it that your pathetic sky fairy can't even get with the past decade and create his own web presence (no, religious shill sites don't count), or push some tweets out? Even the pope, that creepy hider of criminal priests, could do that much, as can most children. After thousands of years of radio silence, reasonable doubt in the existence of your sky creature is easily justified, to say the least. Your absurd "god" is also apparently less capable at communication than any modern 10 year old.

      Ask the questions. Break the chains. Join the movement.
      Be free of Christianity and other superstitions.
      http://whywontgodhealamputees.com/

      March 31, 2014 at 2:52 pm |
      • Theo Phileo

        May God bless the reading of His word.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:11 pm |
        • Doc Vestibule

          Especially the bits about stoning people to death or rejoicing when smashing infant's heads open.

          March 31, 2014 at 3:24 pm |
    • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

      "...the ever changing whims of societal norms. The Bible is the "norm of norms without any norm," therefore it alone is the standard for morality."

      I take it that you believe slavery should be legal.

      March 31, 2014 at 2:58 pm |
      • Akira

        Well, God and Jesus never condemned slavery, so it can be interpreted as being moral.

        And for those Christians who hang their every action on Jesus , Jedis never said a word about gay people one way or another.
        Not. One. Word.

        March 31, 2014 at 3:42 pm |
      • I'm not a GOPer, nor do I play one on TV

        Hmmm. An inclusive thing the force is yes.

        For my ally is the Force, and a powerful ally it is. Life creates it, makes it grow. Its energy surrounds us and binds us. Luminous beings are we, not this crude matter. You must feel the Force around you; here, between you, me, the tree, the rock, everywhere, yes.

        March 31, 2014 at 4:07 pm |
    • colin31714

      Theo Phileo – You represent everything that is abhorrent about religion. Not only do you accept the most ridiculous supernatural claims as factually true without any evidence, you then use your supernatural beliefs to perpetuate and foster social injustices. The only good you do in the World is unintended. It is people like you who are doing more to turn young people away from Christianity than anything we atheists could ever do.

      You are like the virulent diseases that rotted the enemy soldiers' feet during WW I. A stinking, but useful parasite.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm |
    • Doc Vestibule

      The ways in which the Bible are interpreted change with "ever changing whims of societal norms."
      Slavery, women's rights, inter-racial marriage, helocentrism, divorce, capital punishment, etc. ad nauseum.
      Pick any contentious issue throughout history and you'll find Christians on either side of the debate using scripture to bolster their views.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:15 pm |
    • TruthPrevails1

      Do you fail to understand that this is not a battle christians will win? How hard is it to see that at a rapid pace more and more countries are allowing for gay gender relationships to be seen as equal? This should make the average person stop and think about the issue and whether or not your initial views match the updated information but for you and many others like you there seem to be blinders on. Eventually your whining and bigotry will not be taken seriously, then what will you find to beat on? Step by step, your belief system makes itself look worse and step by step people walk away.

      March 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
      • TruthPrevails1

        should have said same gender not gay gender

        March 31, 2014 at 3:34 pm |
    • LinCA

      @Theo Phileo

      You said, "And none of this would have been an issue in the first place if organizations claiming to be Christian would consistantly use the Bible as their measuring rod, and call sin what it is, SIN, and STOP catering to the ever changing whims of societal norms."
      I agree, but only because had they consistently done that, society wouldn't be burdened by them anymore. They would have withered away long ago.

      You said, "The Bible is the "norm of norms without any norm," therefore it alone is the standard for morality."
      Bullshit. Your precious book of fairy tales and myths is nothing more that the ramblings of ignorant peasants. Its morals are reprehensible.

      You said, "Demand that Christian organizations stand behind that, and issues like this can be averted."
      I agree with Napoleon when he said "Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake", but I can't in good conscience aid the enemy when he is in the process of making that mistake.

      March 31, 2014 at 4:36 pm |
  19. midwest rail

    Ms. Evans' column illustrates clearly the three primary characteristics of contemporary evangelical Christians – arrogance, condescension, and hatred.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:34 pm |
  20. Vic

    "Nature vs. Nurture" is a major underlying reality, force, driving the majority of people, IMHO.

    March 31, 2014 at 2:27 pm |
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The CNN Belief Blog covers the faith angles of the day's biggest stories, from breaking news to politics to entertainment, fostering a global conversation about the role of religion and belief in readers' lives. It's edited by CNN's Daniel Burke with contributions from Eric Marrapodi and CNN's worldwide news gathering team.