A&E decided to reinstate Phil Robertson. I get it! We live in a money over morals world and Duck Dynasty brings the network money. I am however grateful to hear A&E is going to work with Phil and the family to educate them on inclusion and the gay community. I pray that Phil continues to spiritually grow and we see a more Christ-like love-motivated Christian and less of a judgmental (comparing gay people to everything horrible in the world) Christian. In the meantime I encourage Phil to be more observant of his literalist interpretation of the Word. He too can be on the other end of biblical cherry-picking, finger-pointing and condemnation; “Doth not even nature itself teach you, that, if a man have long hair, it is a shame unto him.” 1 Corinthians 11:14
Category Archives: Religion
As the marriage debate heats up we have been hearing many use Mathew 19:4 as a talking point to speak on Jesus’ behalf promoting discrimination and lies. This verse is a perfect example of how we neither should cherry pick bible verses nor take them out of context. “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. Mathew 19″
Finally, here is proof, Jesus stating that marriage is to be exclusively between a man and woman right? Not at all. You see to fully understand this verse in context we must read the one before it. “The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? Mathew 19:3.” Jesus was simply responding to a specific question asked by the Pharisees. The Pharisees asked a question that involves a marriage between a man and a woman and Jesus responded to the question at hand.
In no way shape or form was Jesus even remotely asked about His views on same-gender love/marriage (and while we are on the subject there were MANY examples of such couples around in His day and never once did He himself condemn them). This would be like me calling my mother at work and asking if I can make brownies and she replying (and it were recorded) “Have I not told you that no brownies are to be made…..” If this were the case, we would see many today holding signs, “Jesus Against Brownies” and others demanding “Brownie Equality!”
Well, yes and no and not necessarily so….“It is not good that the man should be alone. I will make a suitable partner for him.” Genesis 2:18
Marriage, (the state of being united in a consensual and contractual relationship recognized by law) is just that, a law binding contractual state issued license. I in no way want to minimize marriage (and as a huge believer in God and the Bible I say this with all due respect) but Adam and Eve were not “legally” married. The very first civil marriage license ever granted was in the mid 1800’s http://www.lambdaarchives.us/timelines/marriage/index.htm long after the Garden of Eden was home to Adam and Eve. Of course, they were blessed, meant/created to be together and certainly spiritually united/married. Nevertheless, the state did not grant Adam and Eve a license thus legal civil marriage was not born in the Garden of Eden. Furthermore, the fundamental basis for Adam and Eve’s relationship/marriage was that of companionship. Therefore, (If you want to use God/the Bible in your anti-equality discussion), companionship (Gods original blueprint for nuptials) is the essence of marriage. Adam and Eve enjoyed a spiritual marriage and one based on companionship (Malachi 2:14) – thus throwing away the argument that gays want to “redefine” traditional marriage because just as the very first “marriage”, we want and strive for companionship as well.
Gays cannot procreate and marriage is about procreation!
“And the two will become one flesh” Mathew 10:8 & Genesis 2:24 – Many scholars believe this verse is less about a similar mindset (joining emotionally, spiritually, mentally) and more so about bearing children. There is no osmosis with flesh. It is impossible for two fleshes to “become one” – when a male and female (both fertile) become one flesh the outcome is a new creation – (one child, same flesh). That being said however, we have done that. We went forth and multiplied (and now live in an overpopulated world in excess of seven billion people and growing) consequently resulting in our natural resources terrifyingly overextended. This is not to say that the Word is not applicable anymore – absolutely not – but it does speak on the culture, needs and laws of the time. Besides there are many that cannot/will not procreate, are all of these people out of Gods will? Some examples of such people include infertile heterosexual couples, gay couples, senior citizens, those choosing not to have children etc, are they all out of Gods will and condemned?
In my opinion, if there is any condemnation involved, it should apply to the moral high ground many disturbingly hold. Opponents could care less if two drug dealers, two murderers, two child abusers, two con artists etc get married as long one has a penis and the other a vagina http://youtu.be/OFkeKKszXTw. That is their SOLE criteria for codifying and legally defining a relationship. It is not about morality so much as exclusivity and marginalization of gays and lesbians. Side note; Gay couples can and DO have biological children as well. Being gay does not automatically destroy sperm and eggs. Moreover, studies show that the children of gay parents are healthy in every facet of life…not because the parents are gay, but because their parenthood is (virtually always) deliberate. http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids Lastly, one in every two thousand persons is born intersexed (biologically half male and half female), are all who are married half-condemned? If the “go fourth and multiply/procreate” sword is used against marriage equality, it is not a sensible weapon.
Speaking of God’s will, I often cringe when I hear people speak on his behalf regarding matrimony. Let us take, for example, Johann Friedrich Blumenbach’s words used against Richard and Mildred Loving in the case of Loving vs. Virginia, “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 marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix.” Personally, I would not want to speak for Almighty God, especially when it comes to the intricate matter of love. We had better be absolutely sure we know Gods will because we will unquestionably be accountable for speaking on His behalf. Similarly, we are told that marriage equality is not Gods original plan and therefore unnatural and against His design. Well I have already touched on this but since we are still speculating, allow me a few speculations as well. If we are to say that any deviation/variation of Gods original plan is unnatural, here is some food for thought;
– Adam was created from the dust of the earth – Genesis 2:7. I cannot speculate as to what color dust was at the time (dust usually has a grayish tint) however, whatever color it was I imagine was the skin tone of Adam (having been created from it). He also could have been a reddish-brown as “Adam” means “reddish brown.” Are we to assume any variation in people’s skin color today is “not Gods original plan/design” and therefore they are unnatural/ against God?
– Adam and Eve were without a naval (as no umbilical cord was needed). Are we to assume anyone currently having a naval is “not Gods original plan/design” and therefore unnatural/ against God?
– Genesis 7 tells us that animals of the time were lead on the ark to procreate and populate the animal kingdom. Are we to assume any hybrid or variation of animal from the ark is not Gods ultimate plan/design and therefore unnatural/against God?
– God’s original design was foreskin. We now know that (in today’s culture/understanding and some religions) there are certain reasons and benefits to circumcision. Are we to assume all circumcised men are “not Gods original plan/design” and therefore unnatural/ against God?
I will stop here with the hypotheticals, as I am sure you get the point by now. Many things may have been originally created and/or for the purpose/reason/culture of the time. God however, created us (whether Gay, Straight, Black, White, Left or Right Handed, Blonde/Brunette or otherwise – “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you” Jeremiah 1:5), with a mind and intellect to act accordingly and with fairness. Such intellect and fairness is expected especially in regards to progressive institutes such as marriage (“Do unto Others as You Would Have Done unto You” Luke 6:31). In addition, many cultures have blessed same gender unions/marriages throughout history (Fujian’s, Romans, Galicia Spain, and ancient Greece to name a few.)
Lastly, Gods will for love is marriage. Thus, if we want to stay in His will then perhaps banning divorce should be the goal, not discriminating against who wants in. Side note: Massachusetts became the first state to legalize marriage equality and is currently a state with one of the lowest (if not the lowest) divorce rates in the country, an eyebrow raiser with today’s fifty percent (and rising) divorce rate.
Show me a Gay marriage in the Bible
If the logic of some who condemn gay couples is legitimate, (that since God did not mention other marriage models in Genesis, God must be against gay couples/marriages), we can use the same logic to prove any number of things, which are not true. Here is where such illogic takes us.
- The Genesis 2 marriage model says nothing about wedding gifts therefore God must be against wedding gifts.
- The Genesis 2 marriage model says nothing about wedding rings therefore God must be against wedding rings.
- The Genesis 2 marriage model says nothing about getting married in church therefore, God must be against getting married in church.
- The Genesis 2 marriage model says nothing about adopting children; therefore, God must be against adopting children.
- The Genesis 2 marriage model says nothing about gay couples therefore God must be against gay couples.
Such “analysis” does not make sense. It goes against the inborn common sense we have as human beings. Reading into scripture, something scripture does not say and then teaching as doctrine, is false interpretation. It leads to wrong conclusions http://www.gaychristian101.com/adam-and-eve.html If you are thinking the “Bible doesn’t mention Heroin either but we know it’s not good for us” than please feel free to click delete and move on. Because red herrings like such are purely nonsensical distractions, I personally do not feel anyone should waste time trying to make sense out of nonsense and so I will not.
Marriage is a religious issue and this is an infringement.
Civil marriage is not a religious institution but a legal one. Religions are free to teach and do what they choose. For example, a Jewish couple cannot stride into a church and expect to get married, but they can obtain a state issued marriage license. Divorced Catholics, although ineligible to be married again in the church, can still get a civil marriage license (fifty times over if they choose). The government does not issue bat mitzvah licenses, nor does it issue communion licenses. Those are matters of individual religious beliefs/choice. The state however, does issue civil marriage licenses. Civil marriage has always been a legal or “law of the land” matter, since we let the non-religious marry, and always have.
I do however believe in religious exemptions. I fully support the right of non-government funded religious leaders refusing to marry anyone he or she chooses for any reason. Lastly, we must also consider the many faiths that read the Word and hear the voice of a more inclusive God and joyfully perform same-gender marriages. Are we not infringing on their religious freedoms by denying them the right to marry loving and committed gay and lesbian couples?
In conclusion, once again, I must stress that I am first and foremost a born-again Christian (radical Jesus loving follower) and firm believer in the Word. I live, eat and breathe biblical principles and try my best to follow its teachings and examples. Having said that, at the end of the day, we do not place our hand on the constitution to defend the Bible, we place our hand on the Bible to defend our constitution. This is basis of our marriage fight; equal rights and protections as declared in the 14th amendment.
If I have not made my point ever so clear – one last time – there is a world of difference between a religious ceremony and a state-granted civil marriage license. It is a matter of separation of church and state. One is a legal document issued by the government, the other a personal choice of one’s belief(s). Although politically I support separation of church and state, personally I pray fervently that all have a close relationship with their creator. As for me, when I got married, a church service was essential. Both my spouse and I are Christians brought up in the church. After receiving our legal marriage license from the court house, our pastor was just as thrilled marrying my spouse and I (of ten wonderful years), in a beautiful church (including an incredible religious service and ceremony), as he was the heterosexual couples before and after us http://www.mywedding.com/ericjason/
The Human Rights Campaign (the largest civil rights organization fighting for equal treatment of gays and lesbians) was searching for an adoption story to be featured on their site. On a whim I decided to quickly jot down our story and submit it. http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/the-love-laughter-and-joy-of-adoption?utm_source=social-media&utm_media=facebook Low and behold, and to my utter surprise, a few weeks later there we were, HRC’s adoption feature story (Click this or above link for our feature ) http://www.hrc.org/blog/entry/the-love-laughter-and-joy-of-adoption
As an unapologetic Gay Christian (niche within a niche), I have grown very sensitive, over the years, to those on both sides. Justin Lee on Gay Christianity When speaking to (non religious) gay persons I am often asked, “how can you be a part of an organization, or God, who for centuries has tortured, tormented, mocked, ridiculed, slandered, and murdered our community and throughout the years have thrown us out of churches, synagogues and mass?” In addition, when speaking to non-gay (usually fundamental conservative) Christians, I am often asked, “how can you possibly call yourself a Christian if you are a “practicing” homosexual?” Side note – I put practicing in quotes because I find that term hilarious. After forty years, I think I have perfected my homosexuality, no need to practice anymore lol.
Alright so basically I respond to these often inquisitive people in the following way; keep in mind this is just my personal opinion as I am no Bible scholar, biblical historian or theologian. I will however provide some excellent resources below (I will insert this free book here however http://www.cebiaz.com/book.pdf as it is quite insightful and informative). How can I be a Christian, simple? When one asks God to come into their life, they are ultimately/basically asking Gods spirit (The Holy Spirit) to dwell within their heart, soul, spirit. Since spirits are neither male, female, black, white, gay, straight, republican, democrat, right or left-handed, it simply dwells (takes up residency). From there, the Holy Spirit helps to guide the life of its host and whether the host is in poverty, heterosexuality, homosexuality, lead to Africa to mission or otherwise, is between the host (you, the person) and the Holy Spirit. Everyone will have an opinion (often times people have the most and passionate opinions when it comes to politics and religion) however, you and only you will stand before your creator and have to answer for your heart, your decisions, your life!
Now as far as responding to “how can I attend church/be a Christian” etc when the church, over the centuries, demeaned, belittled, disparaged and degraded our community? Simple, your spiritual journey is a relationship and one only between you and God. You will come across many misinformed churches, preachers and people (many throwing some pretty mean terms your way), you (really should not) discard the steak because of a bone. God loves ALL of His children and knows some of them are gay (Jeremiah 1:5) it is up to us to seek Him out and grow with Him. If a church, synagogue, person etc. wants to spew out (from lack of understanding/revelation), twist, (or isolate) Bible verses (keep in mind Jesus Himself NEVER said a word about being gay), you must protect yourself and love them from a distance. On many an occasion I have disagreed with men and woman of God – Not just on gay issues/rights – but a myriad topics. All are growing in God just as I and are fallible. Eat the steak, disregard the bone. I am disturbed and saddened when I see and hear members of the gay community say, “it is people like so and so that keep me out of church and away from God.” Let me be ever so clear, nothing, no one, no church, parent, friend, family or foe, in any way should you keep or stay away from the loving arms of our Father. If you do, it is simply YOUR choice! There are tons of welcoming and affirming churches, find one that suits you. I would caution however, welcoming churches. I have found that some “welcoming” churches welcome your money, but do not celebrate who you are!
Okay, as promised here are some resources. I will just post a few but there are SO many great and educational resources out there. I hope the few personal favorites help you find some answers.
First, I would like to supply a link for welcoming/affirming churches. This list is growing daily as men and woman are opening their ears to Gods voice of inclusion http://www.gaychurch.org/Find_a_Church/united_states/united_states.htm it is my personal belief that the gay community would benefit greatly from seeking spirituality – again, just my opinion.
1) GCN (Gay Christian Network) http://www.youtube.com/user/GayChristianNetwork#p/c/0/AUmxDbSXvPU my friend Justin gives great insight and understanding on all aspects of being gay and Christian. He answers viewers questions in a poignant, patient and Christian manner.
2) ***FREE Book*** – “Homosexuality and Christianity Reconciled” http://www.cebiaz.com/book.pdf this book is written by Dr. Pearson. We have been to a few of his seminars and really enjoyed what we heard/learned. His book goes into detail and clarifies many of the Bible’s hard to understand history.
3) “Is It A Choice” Book http://www.ericmarcus.com/content/bookdetail.php?recordID=1 I have to say, I am a little embarrassed to post this book. I am embarrassed because we are now moving into 2012 and to think that being gay is a choice is just as crazy as saying color is (albeit Sammy Sosa and Michael Jackson may disagree). I will say however, this book answers a TON of questions for those new to the gay community/culture.
4) “Hearts & Minds” Book http://www.amazon.com/Hearts-Minds-Christians-Homosexuality-ebook/dp/B001IBJGPU Sadly I must confess I am not a “reader.” Sure I know how and sure I do but I cannot say that I enjoy it. However, once in a great while a book comes around that I cannot put down and will reread, this is one of them. I have even corresponded with the author who is an amazingly nice guy. This book talks about being gay and spiritual, and included Bible verse break-downs. I highly recommend this book
5) “For The Bible Tells Me So” – Film http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HpJAucyX7RE&feature=youtu.be This documentary investigates and breaks down multiple Biblical perspectives, and provides points of view from historians, theologians etc.
6) “Fish Out Of Water” – Film http://www.fishoutofwaterfilm.com/trailer.html this documentary breaks down the seven clobber verses and discusses various translations of them. This film is a great resource for schools, libraries, homes etc.
7) “Prayers For Bobby” – Movie http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eYhwzyKVtzY this movie is based on the true story of Bobby Griffith and his coming out in a very conservative Christian home. The movie is stirring, compelling and life-changing.
8) “That’s A Family” – Documentary http://groundspark.org/our-films-and-campaigns/thatfamily As a former teacher, I presented this wonderful documentary as part of an anti-bullying theme our school implemented. I was amazed at reduction of name-calling and experienced an increase in my student’s respect regarding one another. This documentary is an all inclusive informative film that simply includes, all families.
9) There is absolutely nothing like some good spiritual food that comes in the form of song. I once heard that people do not want to hear others sing, more so they want to hear God through the performer. If music touches your soul and you are looking for some amazing and uplifting spiritual praise, I strongly recommend Jason & deMarco http://www.jasonanddemarco.com/ This couple has a very encouraging ministry, family and their music performs spiritual surgery with every note.