This is the first week in a four-part series called Four Perspectives on Homosexuality. Each week a different person will be highlighted with a different point of view. A new segment called “Rewind” will also accompany these week’s main video. Rewind segments give you a glimpse into the experiences that have shaped the interviewee’s perspectives. For more information about the Four Perspectives on Homosexuality series click here.

Clint says in the video that when someone opposes homosexuality it may feel like a personal attack even if it isn’t. Do you think it’s possible for someone to oppose homosexuality without it feeling like a personal attack?

Clint also says that those who embrace homosexuality (even if you’re heterosexual) are causing harm. Do you agree?

ABOUT THE INTERVIEWEE: Clint Cline is the President and Creative Director of Design4.
OTHER CLIPS BY: CLINT CLINE
OTHER CLIPS ABOUT: Homosexuality
PURCHASE THIS CLIP: RYF Vol. 3 | Help Confused as Hate

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86 Responses to “Help Confused As Hate”

  1. benjamin ady says:

    Wow. I had such an intense reaction to the first video here that I have to refrain from commenting, so as to follow the “dialog, not debate” guideline. =)

  2. benjamin ady says:

    Clint–I love it that you acknowledge that being opposed on the basis of one’s sexuality necessarily feels like a personal attack. Rock on!

    “It really is born out of a genuine desire to see someone embrace who God has intended them to be”

    “I see someone hurting–I know that there’s pain there–I want to help”

    Clint–I’m wondering what you would say to homosexual couples in stable long term relationships who have raised a family, who now have grandchildren, etc. etc.? What would you say to the beautiful older lesbian couple I met at 3rd Place books pub in Seattle, where they had gathered with their 4 grown children and 2 of their children’s spouses to listen to one of their grandchildren play a beautiful hour long set on her harp? “I know that you are in pain with regards being lesbian, and I want to help you change to embrace who God wants you to be”?

    Comes off a little hollow, to me. Doesn’t that sound a little hollow to you?

    Thoughts?

    By the way–Clint–I went to your website http://www.design4.org and I watched many of videos in the broadcast video section. I found most of it highly palatable. You are very much accomplishing your goal of communicating your clients’ message without inciting a hostile reaction. Great work and well done!

    • Joel says:

      Ben,

      About homosexual families. There is the position that homosexual orientation is morally neutral and this present debate should really be about sexual behavior. In the example you cite about the lesbian couple with grown children and grand-children, I wonder that Clint would not be seeking to rip that family apart but would rather call for chastity within that relationship.

      There is a heterosexual parallel in couples who live together before marriage. Especially in the current economic climate it may be near impossible for the two to split, but the church may call them to refrain from sex outside of marriage.

      I think this discussion gets confused when we think of sexual activity as something people are entitled to.

      • benjamin ady says:

        Joel,

        So you mentioned what you thought Clint might think–what about you–do you think a lesbian couple who have been in a committed relationship for decades and who have multiple children and grandchildren should stop having sex with each other? And if so, why?

        What do you mean when you say that the debate gets confused when we think of sexual activity as something people are entitled to?

        • joe says:

          Seems a rather illogical position to me (if Joel accurately represents what Clint thinks).

        • Luke Overbeek says:

          “The debate gets confused when we think about sexual activity as something that a person is entitled to.” The way I understand this goes back to our foundational understanding of God, as not only our Father and our Brother come in the flesh as the man Jesus, but also our Lord. And because God is our Lord, he is sovereign over all of creation. All things belong to Him and so he gets to make the calls about how we use His creation. If I let you borrow my car, I would have the inherent right to set ground rules for your use of my car. Likewise, since God has given us His creation to enjoy and steward (not in our possession, but in our care) He can rightly say how we use it. In terms of sexual activity, a beautiful and complex aspect of His creation, we are not entitled to simply using it any way that we please. Just as chastity between unmarried people is necessitated by scripture, so also is chastity required between homosexual people. Because God has full ownership of sexual activity (as its creator), he has set ground rules to say that it is only to be used within the context of heterosexual marriage. He makes it clear in scripture. So in other words, I don’t think the church (worldwide community of believers) should advocate “the right to do whatever we please.” I think too many Christians are bent on fighting for the rights of homosexuals. Fighting for their rights isn’t going to help them, and I think that it’s a cheap form of love. True love will gently and humbly present the truth of the Gospel and of scripture and will patiently allow homosexual or heterosexuals to draw their own conclusions. But it would be irresponsible to NOT tell the truth. And it would be extremely unloving.

          • Bart says:

            Luke, this is a wolf in sheep’s clothing argument, not dissimilar to Clint’s. If you wish to understand the Bible without any historical context, without context to whom the original writer’s were writing to, you are completely within your rights. But the argument is both cherry-picking and specious. Do you eat shellfish? Wear clothes of blended material? Have you ever cursed your parents? Would you stone your children if they cursed you? These are also God’s laws. Jesus said to give up everything and follow him. Clearly, you haven’t given up your computer. I find anyone who works under this premise to be misguided and lost in the literal and miss the meaning.

            Heterosexual marriage (which by the way, didn’t exist until there were institutions to perform marriages. Do you think Adam and Eve, if you believe in that literally, were married? Even in the days of Jesus, marriages were about the transfer of property (the woman) from a father to another man, often for the reason of creating children to both continue blood lines and to work the fields because it took a family to do it,) is relatively new in the scheme of things. And when the Bible was written the concept of two men or women being married didn’t exist. It’s even newer. So of course the authors of the Bible didn’t write about it. It was no more in their perview than Moses (the suspected author of the first books of the Bible) writing about astrophysics or capping oil wells in the Gulf of Mexico.

            I find it disconcerting that after Christ spent 33 or so years on this earth that anyone follow of his can’t realize that the Bible doesn’t live and breath. Jesus was exactly the thing that showed us that the Bible or Torah at that time wasn’t the end, that God was saying we haven’t evolved…that we had gotten caught misguidedly in the old rules and hadn’t EVOLVED past that. Thus Jesus came to say, wake up, there is a way, and he brought us a new perspective, a new message. But yet, here we are some 2000 years after his death and people are running back to the old rules.

            Luke, with all due respect, you put quotations around “the right to do as we please.” This isn’t about “doing as we please” this is about living life as God created us. Yes, God created Adam and Eve…but he also created Tom, Bill, Mary, Sue, Jane, and Tony. He created us all. And since science (something that God gave us to learn and grow, otherwise, why would we have it, science is created by God, a gift from Him, by your own admission) seems to escape anyone who believes that sexuality is a choice. You seem to believe that all gay people should simply abstain from sex because you believe God told all people they should only have sex once they enter a heterosexual marriage…something that didn’t exist for centuries after man was created (but was created at the time the Old Testament was written down so it was in the understanding of the authors of those books. Gosh, think what would have happened if someone had been able to write down the Genisis stories before the institution of marriage was created…what would we be living now?)

            Again, I have always said, as a Christian and a gay man, I put my stock in Jesus Chirst. His example, his life. I sin but being gay is not one of them. It’s exactly how God created me to be. Maybe, just maybe to educate people like you and Clint, who I believe are well meaning, but seem to miss that the world and people are bigger than the boxes you wish to put them in using the Old Testament as your cardboard. There are many religious people who believe sex should only be for the procreation of children. But they say nothing about heterosexual people in their 60s getting married, each for the fourth time (and don’t get me started on divorce…something the right wing community is afraid to say anything about because, well, most of them are divorced. Even Jesus said something about divorce.) I’ll take Jesus as my example. I’ll use Jesus as my bellweather as how to live my life. That is why he came to earth, isn’t it? And he’s God as man, is he not? I’m not an Old Testimite, I’m not a Leviticite, or a Paulite. I’m a Christian as in a follower of Christ.

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Just because you’re naturally inclined to live a certain way doesn’t mean that God created you that way. All human beings have the propensity to tell lies, but that doesn’t mean that God created human beings as liars. I naturally have an addictive personality. If I try things, I easily get addicted, and I have been addicted to many things such as pornography and tobacco and dope (By his grace, God has given me alot of deliverance from these things). But just because I naturally feel inclined to these things, does that mean that I’m living out the way I was made to be? Certainly not.

            You seem to think that I’m operating out of the Old Testament. Well, while I believe the Old Testament, I’m not a pious Jew and so I rarely quote Leviticus (just so you know) and I don’t use the Old Testament as the cardboard for my box, or however you said it. The bottom line is that homosexuality promotes pride. “I’m proud to be this way, I’m proud of standing up for my rights,” Pride. And Jesus tackles pride as the single most damaging thing that man struggles with. Pride is the very thing that sent lucifer out from the presence of God. Pride is a real sin, self promotion, self-righteousness, self-justification that all human beings have committed. That’s what Jesus was addressing with the religious people.
            The new testament also talks very specifically about homosexuality in the book of Romans, which I believe is the most in-depth explanation of human history that we have. Read Romans 1. There are other instances in the new testament too.

            I’m not coming forth to condemn you, I’m simply being a voice in your life. Maybe there are things that you haven’t quite considered. Maybe not.

            God Bless.

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Bart, you seem to be viewing my position as a personal attack, just as Clint discussed. But while you defend yourself, (you’re exaggerating the defense, in my opinion) you’re also attacking me. Wolf in sheep’s clothing? What does that mean to you? Do you understand what Jesus was saying when he used that phrase, because if you do, then the implications of what you are saying are very deep and cutting.

            “If you wish to understand the Bible without any historical context, without context to whom the original writer’s were writing to, you are completely within your rights.”

            I don’t understand this statement. Please elaborate.

          • John says:

            Luke, I hope you’ll realise that what I am about to say is designed to help you and not be directly offensive or inflammatory. That said, your comments about gay people and pride are incorrect and ignorant to the point where my first reaction upon reading was to laugh out loud. This was followed by the strong sense of pity for anyone who is living out their life with such a blinkered view of reality.

            I’m going to say this not out of pride but for argument’s sake: I am a gay man. I am no more proud to be gay than I am to be a man, blond, English, white, right-handed, have an IQ of 168, or any other innate (you might say “God-given”) aspect of who I am as a human. Just because I do not believe it to be wrong does not mean I am proud. In fact I believe in equal rights for people of all sexualities, so believing that my own sexuality was special in some way would be quite hypocritical. You will probably argue that gay pride parades are an ugly spectacle of hedonism, pride and sin. In that area you will get very little argument from me. This is because, much in the same way that many Christians no doubt disagree that your stance is a healthy and happy one, I also disagree that gay pride marches are productive, and the best thing to do for the furtherance of gay rights and social acceptance. Just as with any group of people, you cannot make such sweeping generalisations about homosexuals. In so doing you seem judgemental and ignorant. Sorry.

          • Bart says:

            Luke, first, I need to apologize if this came off as a personal attack. But you need to understand, this is not the first time I’ve heard or read this stuff. Again, sincerely, no attack but I do believe what I say and I need to make that very clear.

            Secondly, and here is something that makes me completely crazy…my sexuality is part of how God made me. It’s not an inclination. Because if my sexuality is an inclination so is yours. And everyone else’s. Here’s the bottom line that you guys just don’t want to accept, God made some people gay. Period. It’s as much a part of them as their eye color or their height. Because to act like sexuality is fashion, something you can put on and off, is ridiculous. But no one who uses the word “lifestyle,” “choice” or “inclination” wants to believe that because it blows their entire reasoning to smithereens. And if my sexuality is some inclination, so is yours. If my sexuality is a “choice” then so is yours. And a choice would require that it’s picked between or among things. The only choice I have is to live openly and accept how God made me (and believe me that wasn’t easy…) or deny it and live a miserably life as a liar. If I had to chose anything, it’s the first because I know who I am (I can’t expect you to understand, you’re not gay) and I will live fully and in abundance as Jesus requested. But understand something, if my sexuality is something so frivolous as a inclination or a choice, then so is yours. And it would mean that you’re attracted to men also (otherwise there is no choice…) and chose to be with women. Of course, almost every straight man I know would say, “I’m not sexually attracted to men, I don’t want to be with a guy!” Well, I’m not sexually attracted to women but I am to men. Have been since I can remember. And guess what, my brother, he’s straight, so no deep dark hidden secret that “made me gay.” I just am.

            And lastly, Luke, I’m a father, I’ve got bigger things on my plate that just my sexuality. My sexuality is not something I’m “proud” of but that being said, it’s certainly not something I’m going to deny either. I believe God is bigger than you and me and I believe he makes everyone complete. To deny who I am as a human, and like it or not, our sexuality is part of our humanness, is to deny God’s creation and his ability to create perfectly.

            You may never understand who I am. I don’t expect you to. I don’t understand some judgemental homophobe’s (I’m not talking to you, so again, no attack) inability to grasp that not all people are born heterosexual other than to say it is a choice or inclination or a lifestyle to bolster their condemnation.

            I hope this helps. Again, sorry but when you hear or read this stuff over and over it just gets tiresome. Because most of what is written/heard denies who I am and the vastness of God’s creation to make all of us as he intended.

        • Luke Overbeek says:

          I must apologize to both you, John, as well as Bart for the generalizations I made and the stereotypes that are obviously apparent in my thinking. I do admit that I speak out of frustration and other emotions at times, and I overlook the flaws in what I’m saying.

          That said, there are certain things that I will not try to address, because I know that there will be endless disagreement on certain core issues about God’s creation and intentions. I suppose these things will always divide the church, and I wish it didn’t have to be that way, but I know of large groups of Christians who love God, but who are not condoning of homosexuality (neither as a “lifestyle” or as anything else). Being a part of that majority, I know that because they stand on the Word of God in its entirety, they will never change their position. Neither will I. But I will never, ever, ever bring words of condemnation to you or any other person. Love covers a multitude of sins, and whether the Holy Spirit convicts you in the way He’s convicted me, or not, you’re salvation is secure in his Love and Grace.

          See, here’s my story. I had a homosexual experience when I was thirteen, acting on desires that I had felt from a very young age. It was an abusive situation, despite my consent, and the other fella was a bit older than me. From that point on, because of how I had been raised, I felt that I had committed a terrible sin that I could never recover from. When I was thirteen, I hated myself, and by the time I was 16 I was sniffing lines of ecstasy off the back of a toilet. I have scars from my early teens when I cut myself, not for suicidal reasons, but because I felt that I wanted to see my own blood. Because satan had placed a lie in my heart – 1) that my life was virtually worthless, and 2) that I needed to atone for my sins by my own pain. The reasoning wasn’t there, but the lie still was.
          Now, homosexual desires were always there. I can’t say that I never felt sexually attracted to a woman, but I was primarily attracted to men. In my teens, I concealed this fact from everyone I knew. But being called “lucinda” and “faggot” by people I hardly knew was cutting to the heart, because I thought, how do they know? Do these people know me? I was attacked and beaten in a downtown area because one of the local thugs thought I was gay, and that I was saying things about him.
          Soon, when I was fifteen years old, I gave myself away to a girl I barely knew because I wanted to prove to my “friends” that I was attracted to women. I gave myself away to a number of girls, in fact, and still this attraction to men was there. I began to think, maybe God made me this way. Maybe I’m bisexual. If I had felt that was right, and that it was okay, I would have come out right then. But the thoughts made things worse – depression had run deep ever since my childhood, and the lies that caused the self-hatred were still there. It was on a snowy night when I was high on my drugs that God spoke to my heart and said, “you don’t value your life, but I do.” And I broke into tears. I was almost seventeen years old.
          Ever since then, I’ve lived for Him. And the homosexual desires sometimes resurface, and I don’t totally understand them. But I know that God has written in his Word that there is an intention and a cause for humans, both male and female. I want to be the man that He wants me to be, not merely the man that I feel inclined to be. It’s a struggle, but I will never give into those homosexual desires. I surrender them to the Father instead, and I hope, god willing, to one day marry a woman and have children.
          If my ignorance bothers you, realize that I’m nineteen years old. God still has a lot of work to do on me.
          In brotherly, steadfast love,
          Many blessings,
          Luke.

          • Bart says:

            Luke, I want to say you are a very strong young man to have gone through what you’ve gone though and found even some level of sanity and hopefulness. And I will add, that whatever it takes to keep you there, from one person to another, you hold onto your faith, you hold onto your beliefs, and take it day by day. And your journey will be rough (mine was…mine was very different from your, but certainly had it’s difficulties) but you will come out the other end in God’s light, in Jesus’ love and the man you should be.

            God bless! Bart

          • Dee says:

            May the Lord give you the words to speak and the courage to stand at all times with humbleness so He may exalt you in His time and for His glory…

            God Bless you Luke…

            1 Peter 3:13-17 (New International Version)

            13Who is going to harm you if you are eager to do good? 14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. “Do not fear what they fear[a]; do not be frightened.”[b] 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, 16keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander. 17It is better, if it is God’s will, to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.

  3. very nice Ben, i have the same question. i guess it comes down to the arrogancy of “what god intended.” suppossed biblical absolutes are loving for positioning ourselves on the “high ground,” but are they really loving as Christ reflected/showed us. We understand the security of having a structure of spirituality, and it sounds like Clint’s is passionate and has a sincere regard for people, but misses the point – i say this because for so many years i missed the point, making it a matter of truth instead of expansive love. a couple of Jehovah’s Witness’s came to my door yester, and showed me a scrip, about how they felt in going door to door they were fulfilling something about spreading the truth of knowledge.. i simply responded (because after much previous experience they have much like Clint, built themselves a wall that they feel now secure in, called knowledge of the truth, and a peer culture that supports that): “i’m sorry it’s that basis i have difficulty with, because for me it’s about divine relationship, and that’s more messy”

    so as well intentioned as Clint might be, I have to say he may be doing more harm than he thinks .. i respect peeps like Craig Gross, who although also takes a pretty firm stance.. takes a pornographer into his house.. and really tries to understand.. I think it’s because Craig understands it’s not so much about truth, it’s about understanding and compassion.. I do respect Clint’s ardor… but hope, wish, pray that one of the people.. from the other side.. show/reflect Christ that he can see into His eyes and see his explicit expansive hug of humanity (something i think maybe books from them may not get across as well)

    Satnam Yeshua Sebar

  4. Andrew says:

    I too have been struggling to wonder how to respond.

    The point is good – that opposition mustn’t be taken as a personal attack. If we were better at seeing the other person’s perspective, we’d be much better at walking the path of love, it seems to me: that applies in many areas, but this is one in which the discussion all too readily becomes shouted polemic. Seeing the other perspective, and understanding the consequences which flow from it, is not always easy, but is certainly both intellectually more honest – and also more kind.

    Of course, it cuts both ways: those who “oppose homosexuality” must equally well start with the perspective that those who espouse an “embracing” position are not (necessarily) willful, or hedonistic, or morally defective. I can see that that is very difficult to do, for it seems to require double-think of some kind.

    It’s a cliché perhaps, but a virtue of much value is “grace to see ourselves as others see us.” Somehow we even have to go beyond seeing.

  5. Benjamin Ady says:

    A really interesting study was published on Monday in the journal Pediatrics. The authors followed the children of lesbian couples for 25 years and found that they are actually better adjusted and have fewer behavioral problems than their peers. Looks like the opposite of harm/damage/pain/hurting to me.

    If you want full text of the paper and can’t find it, let me know I can probably track it down =)

    Thoughts?

  6. joe says:

    Mmm.. well, two things.

    First, Clint appears to be equating homosexuality with an addiction to pornography. Which is a touch bizarre – and like saying ‘I stopped smoking because it was bad for me so I’m going to encourage people to stop cycling because I think it is bad for them’. So I don’t think that is any kind of argument to be really honest.

    Second, it strikes me that producing videos which effectively preach to a wealthy conservative constituency makes good business sense.

    For me the most disturbing idea is that because I think I am acting for pure motives that means that whatever I am doing is acceptable and useful – even when I am the one defining the notion of purity. In a lot of senses it doesn’t actually matter that ‘I’m trying to be nice’ if the people with whom I’m arguing take offence.

    • Dan says:

      Joe,
      On the flipside, as concerning your comment on it doesn’t matter if the other person takes offense, what about when you genuinely care for others and you just want to talk about your point of view. when is it ok for someone on the “conservative” side to say they disagree with homosexuality? I realize that there are people who are blatantly rude and arrogant, but I have heard several people lump all Christians into the category of hateful, narrow-minded, brain-washed radicals? I think that this dialog, concerning homosexuality, flips between offenses on both sides so much that people rarely finish (not agree, just finish) without someone having hurt feelings. In point of fact, your fourth sentence could be taken offensively by Clint.

      • joe says:

        Dan, that is a good point. In a mixed society we should expect to be offended, to the extent that our level of offence is very likely to be equal and opposite to the offence felt by another by our actions. You can’t make good policy based on the offence felt by a vocal minority, and you certainly cannot justify a moral position on that basis.

        On the other hand, we’re not talking about an abstract moral idea here, we’re talking about something which has a very deep impact on other people – which is almost inevitably going to cause offence when someone talks about it and equates it with addiction, paedophilia or worse.

        It is like someone deciding to judge me based on my shoe size and using it as a reason (or if not actually doing so themselves, playing to an audience which does) to prevent me from using public transport.

        It is an honourable position to have a moral position based on your understanding of your religious text, I have no problem with that. It is fair enough to hold that even if others find it offensive – that is almost the nature of a religious belief.

        What is unacceptable is using that belief, suggesting that you occupy a moral high-ground and using it as a battering ram to belittle those who you disagree with. In a rational society, those who irrationally hate others only deserve derision.

        • Dan says:

          I would definitely agree with much of that. I feel like what I believe is to be shared but not used, as you said, as a battering ram. I think that many cultures, religious, social or otherwise, have done just that with their beliefs – rammed them down others’ throats. If I may ask a forward question, do you think that homosexuality is a sin? For that matter, what do you believe concerning God, the bible and heaven? I am hard to offend so I won’t be hurt if you have hard-core values elsewhere or simply don’t care to share. Sincerely.

          • joe says:

            Dan, I believe sin is sin and I refuse to characterise people based on labels. So whilst I find some sexual choices obnoxious and sinful, I am scared to spend too much time telling people my opinions on sexual ethics because I’m afraid they’ll publicly point out some sinful behaviour in my life – which is very likely more dangerous and more damaging to me and to my society.

            On the scale of damage, I refuse to believe that sexually desiring someone of your own gender is as spiritually damaging as wealth, the free market, the poverty cycle or the military. Moreover I can see no biblical evidence that I should be more worried about homosexual activities than my own passivity in the face of these sins. Quite the opposite in fact. I have much I need to repent of in these spheres, never mind those I’ve no wish to discuss publicly.

            I also recognise that the state to function needs to ‘allow’ people to do things I find obnoxious, even sinful. And it strikes me that long term stable relationships are good for society. Therefore it makes logical sense for the state to encourage and promote long term relationships wherever they are found.

            The fact that I’m offended by certain relationships should not matter a jot – any more than I might ‘object’ to the notion of a Hindu marriage or Halal meat regulations. If these things are to be regulated, they should be done so for other reasons than my offence (eg hygiene, women’s rights etc).

        • FULCRUM says:

          Responding to all points in this post — there is less of a point in discussing what we believe than WHY we believe what we believe.

          Do I believe that there are good people who identify as Christian who are earnestly trying to save homosexuals – YES.

          WHY DO I BELIEVE THIS – because I can see that there are people who try to do more good then harm and are genuinely concerned for others (in this matter – LGBT people) and only want those people and there souls to be saved.

          THAT SAID – there are many people who are genuinely concerned for those Christians who are lost to a ideology and story that has been so corrupted and exploited that whatever the remnants of truth that remain of its origins might be long past recovery. Now Christians may find this offensive that someone may compassionately worry for their long term health and happiness and soul because they have followed a story that is not real and a saviour that never was. The question becomes – if there numbers were reversed – should people like me have the right to dictate and affect the way you live your life. Reasonably — the answer is no.

          REASONABLY – religious people would be just as fearful for the souls of those that eat shellfish as those who are gay. But society has relented on the shellfish thing. And yes – at some point in history – this was a very big deal.

          ALL WELL MEANING PEOPLE should be allowed to think what they want – but ALL WELL MEANING PEOPLE should be stopped short of interfering with the lives of adults who are consenting and not hurting any other person, animal or child.

          WHETHER IT COMES FROM HATE OR LOVE — YOUR LIFE IS NOT MINE AND YOUR RELIGIOUS BELIEFS SHOULD NOT AFFECT MY LIFE.

          DON’T HAVE A WEDDING YOU DON’T BELIEVE IN – BUT FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS FREEDOM FROM RELIGION.

  7. This is one of those questions I will indeed have for God—how does the same Holy Spirit speak to opposing sides and both feel they are led by Him?
    I was tripping thru life with the can’t be gay and Christian theology when I think I crashed smack into the God of justice.
    WHen what I see and what God tells me does not line up with my theology, I humbly submit that perhaps my theology is skewed. I have done this “come on church, can’t we look at these verses in ORIGINAL language and context work. I know between 800 to 1000 GLBT Christians. I see fruits of the Spirit and hearts devoted to and following God. I have tremendous experience here. AND, in 2004, I did not think the two words gay and Christian could co exist.
    So what is up Holy Spirit? Some one is listening better than the other because both of these positions cannot be correct.
    Here is what I DO know: everyone EVERYONE is to be treated with love and respect as a valued in God’s eyes. I challenge people—If you and me and Jesus were at Gay Pride in SF or in a GLBT Church, could they tell you apart from Jesus in action? If they can, then the problem is with YOU and not them.
    I am currently writing a book to the church and to the GLBT Christian community. THe stories of pain I know at the hands of the people of God are horrible. The stories I know of the success of finding, refinding, getting wooed back to and somehow snuggling up against the heart of a loving Father are sacred.
    I too KNOW God called me to this and I too gave up a career in technology and success (by the standards of the world to follow Him and stand for justice, equality, mercy, grace and love that hopefully really does look like His at gay Pride and in GLBT churches.
    “Hey, Pop, how’s about a hint??? What did you REALLY mean in those 5 verses, were you talking about idolatry, rape and prostitution or were you talking about same sex loving relationships? Because if it is the latter, why are you letting your Holy Spirit live and reign in these GLBT hearts. They sure do love you and I sure do love them, and You too. So, God, what do we do with these people that you created and want to follow you in authenticity and truth? Can’t wait till You let us know who is really hearing Your heart. Till then, I will stand for justice as I see it.
    Kathy Baldock, Reno, Nevada

  8. oh, to the person looking for the Pediatrics article–I have a report of it on my desk and got it from CNN,com and search this title” Kids of lesbians have fewer behavioral problems, study suggests” Peace out.

  9. benjamin ady says:

    I found the full text of the article I was referring to above. It’s an interesting read. Bottom line it pretty clearly demonstrates that there’s nothing inherently harmful or damaging about being lesbian per se–that is, that lesbians can definitely do human relationships at least as well as heterosexuals can.

  10. Doreen says:

    I don’t like the assumption that some Christians make that all gays and lesbians don’t know God, don’t accept Christ as their Lord & Savior, aren’t already living the way they sincerely believe God wants them to live, are terribly broken & hurting, and need to be fixed. If homosexuality is a sin, then I need to point out there are no “big” sins and “little” sins, but one cannot build ministries from frightening people about all those gluttonous people or all those prideful people, can one? (I totally disagree with Clint’s view that most just want to help the sinner. Most, at least the vocal ones, want to make money. See Focus on the Family, Pat Robertson, etc. Most are certainly not as Mr. Rogers-like as Clint.)

    I’ve also witnessed the hypocricy of this mindset, one that will not allow open gays or lesbians to become church members, but will allow adulterers, liars, divorced & remarried, etc., to become members.

    So I am not personally wounded by those who are opposed to homosexuality (as long as they don’t use the meaningless phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner), I get frustrated by dialogs where these inconsistencies cannot be explained.

    • Joanna Goff says:

      Hi Doreen,

      Hopefully I can successfully expand on the “hate the sin, love the sinner” dialog. I love my two daughters, who are gay, but I hate the pain I’ve seen their lifestyle bring about in their own lives. The oldest was married and had four children; she left her husband, broke up the family, to follow her sexual urges and ended up “marrying” (I’m not sure if it was legal in her state, which is why I used quotation marks) the woman she found and fell in love with. The other has been through a series of relationships in which she has been emotionally abused. I’m not saying this wouldn’t have happened if she’d been in heterosexual relationships. I’m living proof one can suffer just as much in a heterosexual marriage. Also, I know a young man who was apparently straight, but couldn’t commit to a relationship. He began experimenting online with same-sex relationships. I love him without condition. I am, however, concerned that there’s a high degree of possibility that he’ll be subjected to disease, emotional abuse, and possibly physical injury if he acts on his urges. There is just no denying that this specific type of physical activity can cause physical damage. I’ve been there and truly know the physical damage I’ve suffered for decades. (I was raped “gently” by someone I loved and trusted ~ my husband). So, while I love these people and do not judge them (they do love God, and of course, He treasures, adores, loves them), I do not like the pain their experiences *so far* have caused in their lives. On the other hand, I’ve known many, many people who have suffered in heterosexual relationships. I feel the same way about this: God hates the suffering caused by *any* relationship that is not carried out according to His plan. These are my personal views, so I can’t claim to speak for others; however, I do hope the explanation of my own personal view is helpful to you.

      • Bart says:

        Joanna, you seem so lovely and the love for your family is so apparent in your writing. But there are a few things I noted in your writing that made me wonder…you mentioned your daughters’ sexuality as a “lifestyle.” Do you believe that their sexuality is that frivolous as to be called a lifestyle. I don’t think that’s what you meant, I believe you meant that the relationships they are in with whomever they are in it with has caused them pain. I can tell you as a gay man, now married to my partner for six years, raising two children…gay is not a lifestyle. Gay is my sexuality. My lifestyle is school, summer camp, t-ball practices, swimming, church, playing games with my kids, etc. I shut down when anyone discusses the “gay lifestyle” because being gay and having many gay friends, each one of our lifestyles are different. And mine, with my partner, is blessed and remarkable. And as far as you worrying about your gay friend who is chatting on-line or whatever (and yes, he’s gay. straight men do not do that. gay men, gay men in the closet, bisexual men do that…) I wouldn’t worry too much about he “pain” he might endure. Not all gay relationships are filled with pain, either physically or emotionally. They just aren’t. No matter what you’ve been told or think or have seen. They aren’t.

        And you yourself admitted to a painful heterosexual relationship in your past. So I’m curious as to why you differentiate painful relationships into gay or straight at all. A painful or abusive relationship is simply that, whether your a same-sex couple or an opposite-sex couple. Maybe the relationships your daughters are having are not good but neither was yours with your husband by your own admission. And I think if you looked at statistics, there are more cases of spousal abuse in the heterosexual community than in the gay community, and that would hold up statistically as well.

        Bottom line: there is no “homosexual lifestyle” anymore than there is the myth, the “homosexual agenda.” You are confusing lifestyle with relationships.

        • Joanna Goff says:

          Bart, you’re right again in that I referred to my daughters’ homosexuality as a “lifestyle”. I didn’t mean it to come off as it did. I honestly didn’t know the difference, and I do now.
          As for comparing gay/straight relationships, I was not trying to highlight the differences, but the similarities. My oldest daughter is in a committed relationship. It was hurtful that she and her husband split up ~ hurtful to the kids, I mean, hurtful to him, but as I begin to understand more, I realize she was being hurt by staying in a relationship that wasn’t natural for her. As for the younger, she has been in many relationships over a short period of time, which of course concerns me. I want her to be happy and feel loved, and when she’s broken up with another girlfriend, it hurts her.
          Enlightenment again: my friend is bisexual. I don’t know whether he’s openly gotten into a relationship with a man yet or not, but he’s clearly still flirting with the ladies. Thank you for trying to put my mind at ease concerning the possible risks of his orientation. He’s just so young, sweet, naive, and vulnerable and I don’t want him getting hurt in any way, either by a man or a woman. Homosexuality, for the most part, has been a non-issue with me so I’m finding I’m very ignorant of terminology. What I mean by “non-issue” is that, before my male friend became curious (is that OK?), and before my daughters went through so much pain, I have had friends who are gay and that fact didn’t make me go “Ew!” or recoil. They were just who they were, wonderful people I’ve had great friendships with. I adopted my second-oldest daughter just within the past 3 years. It wasn’t until this past year that my oldest (also adopted) daughter “came out” to me and got me caught up on her family.
          Thank you for your patience with me. I truly don’t want to offend anyone.

  11. Tim says:

    Homosexuality receives about 12 verses total in the bible talking ill of it–though some would argue those are misinterpreted. Greed on the other hand has over 500 (some say in the 1000s). So my question is why do we pick on this sin? Why don’t we spend thousands of dollars advertising against greed? Greed destroys families equally if not more so than homosexuality.

    If we step back for a second and realize that coming to faith in Jesus is more than just a “Sin Eradication Program” but is about coming to new life, then I think we might approach our relationships with any other human being, despite their societal tags, with love, respect and really, really good news.

    • Joanna Goff says:

      Tim, what a wonderful reply! Indeed, why is homosexuality the “pet” issue? Could it be because some homosexuals, as a group, are insisting on “equal rights” and bringing the “issue” to the forefront of the public’s awareness? Whereas, the majority of greedy people (those who take advantage of others) are secretive, deceptive, and hurt not just individuals but society in general.

  12. Ron says:

    Why don’t we have this conversation about drug addicts? I mean scripture does not address this at all, but who in this conversation would not consider it a sin? Who in this conversation was not a sinner when they were saved? Why does scripture say we are “a new creation”? Why is sin the focus here? “While we were still sinners, Christ died for us”. God doesn’t see homosexuals, liars, drug addicts, gluttons, drunkards, murderers, greedy people, prideful people, hateful people, or any other type of people other than people who need Him. Why do we think we (as Christians) have the options of loving people any different than God? Why do we feel the need to justify any sin? Does it change what it is? It is never about the sin, it is about the individual person. Paul was a murderer of Christians, should he have been excluded from the Christian faith? When we see people as God’s creation to love and be loved, we will have taken a step in the right direction.

    • benjamin ady says:

      Hey Ron,

      To answer your question, I do not consider drug addiction a sin. I think thinking of it as “sin” is an unhelpful paradigm.

      I generally like what you are saying =). You list many names by which people judge other people. Do you have particular difficulty letting go of any particular judgments, and just treating people as people, in whom we can delight? The one I’ve had difficulty with is judgment toward conservative, judgmental Christians. I have some of these in my extended family, and my tendency has been to be somewhat defensive, judging toward, and frightened of them. I’ve made some progress in the direction of choosing to be positive and gracious toward and delighted in them, and I would like to make even more progress.

      So again–are there any group of people toward whom you have this sort of reaction? Tell us a story =)

      • Ron says:

        There are some people that I have trouble immediately loving. I will agree with you on the first one, except I will leave out the conservative part. Judgmental Christians turn my stomach. Being conservative or liberal is just a logical conclusion they have come to from their life experiences, but the judgmental part is where they think they have risen above others. I think this stems from the deeper issue of where the religious Christian leaders have taken us. They have taken the freedom to follow Christ back down to a set of rules and standards to live by instead of following Christ. This turns Christianity into the same type of religion that was set up by the religious leaders in the days of Jesus Christ.
        The other type of people that I can’t bear are bullies. This goes back to the days when I was in high school. The only time I ever got into a fight at school was when a kid was bullying my friend. The guy was much bigger than me, but I could not allow it. It still happens today. Give some people a little power and they abuse it. People should use whatever position they have been given for the protection and care of those who have been placed under them.
        So there you go, I am definitely not without flaw. But I am learning to trust God, instead of myself, to change these people. My opposition to them will not change them, so I am learning to love them. I know that these people could never convince me of anything, so why would I think that I could change their mind? I have to try to love them with God’s love, because I realize that I do not have any love for them. Maybe they will see something in me that is of value and they will seek the same love that changed me.

        • benjamin ady says:

          Ron,

          wow–I’m so with you on the bullies thing. That’s wild–the only fight I ever got into at school was with a bully who was picking on someone smaller and younger as well.

          I love this that you said: “My opposition will not change them”. I believe that too. That’s a really powerful belief, in my opinion.

          One thing that has changed for me with regards to bullies/judgers is that I’ve allowed myself to be okay with myself choosing not to be around certain people. I used to not realize that I had legitimate freedom to make such a choice.

    • Luke Overbeek says:

      Paul was a murderer and persecutor of Christians, but he surely didn’t join the Christians without repenting. He wasn’t excluded, and the reason why is because he was visibly changed. Christians saw this change and weren’t afraid of him anymore. God had radically transformed his desires. He repented of his wrong and spent the rest of his life working to rectify it!

      Don’t think that I’m comparing homosexuality to murder, I’m just talking about the idea of sin in general. The only difference between a sinner and a disciple is REPENTANCE.

      • Ron says:

        I thought the difference was Christ in them. And Paul was very clear that there was nothing he did to justify himself.

        • Luke Overbeek says:

          The difference – Christ in us – creates a burning necessity for repentance. When someone experiences the gift of conversion, they also experience the gift of repentance. You can’t have repentance without Christ’s indwelling power … it simply doesn’t work. You may say, “I’m sorry, that was wrong,” but you will not see the full extent of your personal brokenness until you realize the holiness of God.

          In this logic, of course Paul did nothing to justify himself. We have about as much control over our spiritual re-birth as we do over our natural birth. God revives the spiritually dead and brings them into glorious light.

          It’s quite generous to say that any good thing we do is the result of our own goodness. Arrogant, in fact.

          • benjamin ady says:

            Luke,

            with apologies in advance, I simply cannot resist. Every good thing I do is a result of my own awesomeness!

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Awesomeness… you mean the kind that doesn’t pale to God’s holiness? God will be thrilled that he finally found someone who is good enough without him.
            Thrilled I say, that he finally found his equal. :)
            I scoff. Sorry in advance, couldn’t resist.

          • benjamin ady says:

            Hey Luke,

            I don’t understand what “the kind that doesn’t pale to God’s holiness” means. Can you explain a bit please?

            The word “scoff” seems to be associated with contempt? Are you feeling contempt towards me?

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Benjamin, when you said that every good thing you do is the result of your own awesomeness, what standard are you measuring by? Because even the most “awesome” mortal individual is still implicated by the sinful nature of Adam, and so his awesomeness crumbles when compared to a holy God.
            This is what I mean when I “scoff.” I don’t mean contempt, and I apologize that it came across that way. But I don’t think your comment about your awesomeness really had anything to contribute to the thread, and really… isn’t that just pride? Boasting? I scoff at prideful boasting because God scoffs at it. God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.
            Have a nice day.

          • benjamin ady says:

            Hey Luke,

            thanks for responding!

            thanks for asking so many questions. =). It seems to me that we are perhaps coming from very different places, and thus I have a hard time wrapping my head around your questions, but I’ll give it a shot. I don’t really think of measuring my own awesomeness by a standard. I’m thinking about different things and people that I think of as awesome, and they are all awesome in their own unique beautiful way. For instance, my wife is awesome in beauty, and in kindness, and in graciousness, and in listening. and my older child is awesome in her thoughtfulness, and in her beautiful singing voice, and my younger child is awesome in her fearlessness and in her cheerfulness, and the chocolate gelato at Fritz Gelato on Fitzroy Street is awesome in its sweetness and smoothness and coldness. I’m not measuring any of these things by a standards–I’m just expressing my delight in them. So when I speak of my own awesomeness, I’m expressing my delight in myself =).

            You have used the words “arrogant”, “pride”, and “boasting”, all of which I sense you are using with negative judgment. Am I getting that right? If so, I prefer my delight to your negative judgment, however, if you prefer the negative judgment, I celebrate that preference for you. I used to generally prefer that too. Again, if I’m understanding you correctly, I’d like to ask why you prefer the negative judgment.

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Thank you Benjamin
            I don’t think it logical to say that I prefer negative judgement over positive delight. Do you delight in everything? Of course not. So you cannot say that you are more positive than me, simply based on these few comments. I delight just as much as you do… the difference is what we primarily delight in. For me, it’s God’s gift of eternal life. This is my ultimate point of reference, to which I can say that no other thing is even worthy to be compared.

            I delight in other things too, very much so, but those things are nothing compared to the hope of glory. Back to the origin of this conversation, we were talking about how Paul did nothing to contribute to his justification – he understood it as a gift, freely given by God, including the gift of calling, leading to repentance, leading to justification, leading to salvation. He wrote in Romans, “In me, no good thing dwells.” The idea is that even the best of men who served God as prophets could do nothing but fall on their faces in humility before God, saying with deep conviction that they were unworthy of what they behold. Isaiah, for example. “At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
            “Woe to me!” I cried. “I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the LORD Almighty.””(Isaiah 6:4,5).
            This type of conviction only occurs when we experience the holiness and power of God. Again, Isaiah was a good man, but when he beheld God, he declared himself unclean. Prior to that God-encounter, he probably felt that he was adequately righteous and holy.
            John Calvin wrote in his Institutes that, “since we are all naturally prone to hypocrisy, any empty semblance of righteousness is quite enough to satisfy us instead of righteousness itself… so long as we do not look beyond the earth, we are quite pleased with our own.”

            The misunderstanding between us has to do with the concept of total depravity (The idea that man is utterly hopeless and meaningless without the grace and intervention of God). But if you have no experience or knowledge of reformed theology, I wouldn’t expect you to understand.
            Again, thank you for the dialog. It’s interesting.

          • benjamin ady says:

            Hey Luke,

            I’m also enjoying the dialogue! =)

            Of course you are right–I do not delight in everything! =). Thanks for catching me out on that. One of my goals, however–that is, a direction in which I’m moving–is to drop more and more negative judgments and delight in more and more things.

            The God-encounters you describe where people are more or less terrified seem very very different from the Jesus encounters we read about in the Gospels. Don’t you think so?

            It seems to me that this way of seeing things is not super compatible with post-modernism. Even within modernism, C.S. Lewis pointed out that in the 20th century, it was God in the dock, no longer people.

            I’m familiar with the doctrine of total depravity. I just don’t see anything attractive in it. It seems to require unhappiness as a path to happiness. I prefer to think of happiness as a place that can be reached via happiness, with ease.

            Thoughts?

          • Luke Overbeek says:

            Well, the God-encounters of the Old Testament are not totally unlike the Christ encounters in the New Testament. You know how many times “fear not” is quoted by Jesus? Why? Because people were deathly afraid of the power and authority that he held! – It’s the same fear that the “unclean” woman in Luke experienced when she reached out and touched the hem of his garment. The account says she was trembling. Why? Because she knew that he was Holy, and that she wasn’t. But just as in the old testament account of Isaiah, where God symbolically touches the prophet’s lips with the cinder (symbolizing cleansing and purity), the unclean woman in the New Testament is referred to by Jesus as “daughter” and is told that her faith has made her whole, or clean.
            I think the terrifying encounters with God are necessary because they cause us to understand the gravity of his mercy. Unless we understand that contrast of holy and unholy, we don’t realize how AMAZING and AWESOME it is that he has cleansed us.
            I think postmodernism has little to do with – not all ideas have to be compatible with postmodernism to be deemed valid. I’m just trying my best to understand the scriptures in their entirety in order to get a bigger glimpse of what God is like.

            Also, you pointed out that total depravity requires unhappiness as a path to happiness. I agree, but doesn’t anything good, anything worth pursuing, require some degree of suffering and unhappiness? And your perspective on total happiness doesn’t seem compatible with Jesus’ teaching on inevitable and necessary suffering. He told the disciples that ALL will suffer loss for the sake of the gospel. Peter was crucified upside down, many other disciples were also crucified after being brutally tortured in a manner similar to what Christ suffered. The only disciple of the twelve that died naturally rather than by execution was John, and don’t forget, he was flogged with rods and boiled alive (he survived the boiling, but was crippled for the rest of his life) before he wrote the Revelation on the Isle of Patmos. John certainly wasn’t happy, but he counted it all worthwhile for the sake of Glory.

            Although, I’m getting off topic sort of… I guess it comes back to the anguish of being without God. Jesus said, “no one comes to the Father but by me.” So really, he’s telling us that we need him. That we’re not strong enough to make it through life without him. And that’s the core of the message I’m trying to bring here – call it total depravity, or whatever you want to call it… Mankind is hopeless without Christ.

            To provoke more thinking… How does one achieve happiness through happiness?

  13. Heather says:

    Clint, your comparison between pornography and homosexuality just seems completely out of left-field to me. How can you compare the objectification and abuse of women (and sometimes men) with a loving same sex relationship? Pornography (mainstream, anyway) is about the degradation of women by men. It teaches men who watch it to view women as object for their own sexual gratification. Frequently, mainstream porn also “eroticizes” (if you can call it that) violence against women. It is frequently sado-masochistic, and vested in asserting a male-supremacist sexuality. I can understand how you view it as unhealthy, (a sin, if you want to call it that – I wont, but I do believe its wrong.) But to parallel porn and homosexuality does not make sense to me.
    Homosexuality is an orientation of being attracted to a person of the same gender, rather than the opposite. It is steeped in misunderstanding, taboo, and oppression.
    When you describe gay people as ‘hurting’ people, it seems to me that this is because of the misunderstandings of homosexuality that are continually propagated by people who claim to be agents of ‘love’. Like Doreen said, this idea GLBTI people all needing ‘fixing’, even via being ‘lovingly showed the error of their ways’ is a myth propagated by a heterosexist society in order to keep GLBTI people marginalized. It’s the same as the Sexologist’s who made homosexuality into a ‘mental illness’. All these notions underlying ideology is that homosexuality is abberant, deviant, perverted.
    I truly believe that those who, even when trying to do good, attempt to ‘fix’ homosexuals, have not fully examined the ideology on which they base this beliefs on.
    I think if people truly analysed the presumptions they come to this issue with, we would have far less people thinking like Clint, and far more like Kathy.
    Who decides “how God made us to be?” Did he make blind people to be blind? Did he make autistic people to be autistic?
    Anyway, all arguments aside, it’s really disappointing for me to even have seen those two things (porn and homosexuality) even put in the same basket.

  14. Khaeira says:

    I’ve found this an interesting and revealing video. My best friend is gay, and I’ve always support him in everything he do. Just a few weeks ago I decided to make something different, and then I told him everything I think: that I respectfully disagree his “condition”, that I think his destiny is to be happy and that he wouldn’t find happiness in gay life. I also told him that I love him, that I didn’t wanna “fix” him or change him, but just to express my point of view, and that if he someday somehow thinks he’s wrong, remember that conversation… and that there’s a solution and exit to everything he’s living.
    I’m now wondering… was that enough? I’ve always trying not to “embrace” his lifestyle but to share with him everything, as a best friend has to do. I just wanna do the best for him. What do you think?

    • TampaZeke says:

      Khaeira, the best, most loving, thing you could do for your “best friend” would be to tell him to run away from you as fast as he can so that he can find a real friend who is knowledgeable about issues of sexuality.

      You are not a real friend to him and your genuine but terribly misinformed and misguided beliefs about him are dangerous for him and poison to your friendship.

      • Khaeira says:

        I’m sorry, but I’m kind of confused now. You’re criticizing me, telling me that I’m a bad friend and that he would do it a lot better without me… but you aren’t still telling me why.

        • EK says:

          Because, Khaeira, there are plenty of people who will not consider your friend’s life a “condition” and because he would do well to find people who accept him for who he is. You may consider him your “best friend” but your incredibly shallow view of sexuality suggests that he shouldn’t return the favor.
          Your friend is gay. This isn’t something that has an exit. And it’s not something that needs an exit. He’ll find lovers and friends in his life who embrace him. Just as you cannot willfully become gay, he cannot just flip a switch and go be a straight dude. And he shouldn’t have to apologize or defend himself to you.
          You say that you don’t want to fix him, but you think he’ll never find happiness? You’re confused, Khaeira. And not a good friend.

          • Khaeira says:

            I’m sorry, but I THINK you’re totally wrong in every single word you said (:
            I’ve always consider a friend a person who tells you what he or she thinks, and specially what he or she thinks is the BEST for you. If I’m wrong, what is very possible, he’ll find out with the time. If I’m not, he’ll find out too. What is important here, is that I’m not telling him I have the absolute true of life, but it’s my OPINION. If it was on the other side, I would really like him to do that for me.
            Thank’s anyway, but I think I’m doing the best thing for him, I’m sure I’m a great friend and I love him with all my heart.
            Blessings!

        • anthony says:

          Reach out to your friend but don’t be surprised if he’s the one to lift you up.

          • when you reject someone’s sexual orientation, you reject them. Is that enough information? Like it or not, this is the truth.

          • Joanna Goff says:

            Oh Kathy, I’m going to have to respectfully disagree with your statement “when you reject someone’s sexual orientation, you reject them”. When I meet new people, and they don’t know my sexual orientation, I can be identified, known, as an individual with many facets to my personality, my character, who I am. My sexual orientation doesn’t come up. (I’ve been widowed and still single for decades). I think we can agree, because of your knowledge of scripture, that sex is supposed to be personal, not something to be shared with anyone other than your partner. True, we are sexual beings, and yes, we were created that way. But wasn’t it God who said “Let the marriage bed be undefiled”? The essence of this, and so many other scriptures, is that sexuality is not to be flaunted, but to be kept holy and sanctified (set apart).

          • Bart says:

            Joanna, your response to Kathy started off talking about sexual orientation but the body of your text was about sex. They are very different and while I agree what I do sexually is no one’s business, you as a straight woman couldn’t possibly understand the response you get when someone finds out your sexual orientation and rejects you. You can say there are many facets to a person and that shouldn’t come up, but in polite conversation the question, “Are you married or in a relationship?” Or a question about a wife often comes up to me. Are you suggesting I don’t answer or lie? I’m married to a man. You have to go through that to understand, sexual orientation (or simply, a person’s sexuality) always comes up inadvertently. It does. If someone asks you if you are married, you don’t respond, “That’s none of your business, there’s more to me than my relatiosnhips.” So Kathy is correct. When you reject a person because of their sexual orientation, you reject them. And no mea culpa of, “Well, I love you but I hate your sin,” whitewashes that. I don’t live in sin. I live as God made me. I live in abundance as Jesus requested. And knowing the Bible and having studied it not only in its original text but also historically, knowing who wich books were written for and at what time in history so that statements make sense in that culture, I can say as a man who follows Christ, that is the example and word I will live by. His. Not some bad interpretation of Leviticus, not Paul. But Jesus.

          • Joanna Goff says:

            Dear Bart,

            You’re right. There is so much I haven’t considered! Thank you for your correction. It’s absolutely true, I’ve never been in your shoes. I do *sort of* know what it’s like when people ask if I’m married…they recoil in horror that I’m *still* single.

            Please, don’t think I would accuse you of being rude or lying when someone asks you that question. I wouldn’t make that assumption about you from what I’ve read; your posts have all been polite and upright. Please accept my apology?

  15. matt says:

    Porno is not that bad people.

    • Joanna Goff says:

      Matt,

      Bad for who? Are you speaking as someone who uses porn, or as someone who has studied the effects of porn on those who use it? Have you studied the underlying themes? So many of the people I know who use it try to hide it, lie about it, deny it. That’s more of the rule rather than the exception, even in today’s permissive society. Why is that?

  16. AxelDC says:

    When you try to impose your beliefs on someone else through the government, you are attacking them. If you can’t get someone into your church, you try to control them through theocracy.

    If someone tried to pass a law to ban your marriage, you would take it as a personal attack as well.

    This attempt to equate your beliefs with someone else’s right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is imbalanced. Your opinions don’t trump someone else’s life.

  17. Tim says:

    how troubling is it that people who are not gay can make an opinion based on the writings of nomadic sheepherders and feel justified in trying to right a biological issue with philosophical teachings. no amount of desire or prayer will make me attracted to females, no amount of desire or biblical readings will still my biological desires to find love with a man rather than a woman. trying to impose a framework that works for you who do not have these issues is the height of hypocrisy.
    tell me what other biblical writings you feel so fiercely about pacifism, socialism, religious rules on food or clothing? Do you feel angry when women disagree with men or choose their own husbands? Are you angry when their spouses die that they do not marry their brother in law? Do you get angry when women walk around with their head uncovered or when men have long hair? Religion is a social construct that societies use to impose order on their world and culture, show me your perfect theocracy and i will show you a bloodbath of heresy waiting to be poured out.
    My parents think that all gays are evil, angry twisted people in need of a cure. This despite the fact that i am the most successful of their children and often am asked to help my siblings out financially. How galling is it to be asked for aid while being preached to about my “condition” a state that I have never felt guilt or shame over merely fear that those I love will abandon me if I speak truth.
    I reject all religion because it preys on the human fear of death while doing little more than lining the pockets of those who preach it. If there is a god why would they seek to impose their will on lessors? Do you preach to ants and stomp them if they do not answer? Do you tell your children that you will kill them if they disappoint? How rationale is it to impose morality based on translations of ancient texts. Texts that never saved those that followed them or made them particularly successful? No I’m a humanists, I believe in helping the species in any way that i can both in my neighborhood and in my world. I realize that I may not reproduce but that doesn’t stop me from trying to help those around me learn to base morality on sound thinking not ancient texts.

    • Joel Wheeler says:

      Thunderous Applause!

    • Joanna Goff says:

      Tim, it’s obvious you’ve been torn to shreds by selfish, hypocritical people, your family no less. How horrible! From what you’ve written, I’d have to conclude that you have risen above the oppression you’ve suffered, as you have the heart to keep helping others.

      In defense of the Bible, when you take the time to study the original languages (and, for that matter, things like the sciences), you’d find the Bible to be a multi-dimensional book, unlike any other ever written. It was written throughout an archaeologically proven time period of over 4,000 years. Just the prophecies alone were very specific in aspects of time and detail, and all were fulfilled. One of the authors was one of the best historians to ever have lived. I could write pages and pages, as I’ve studied (with a skeptic’s eye) for 30 years.

      I understand that you most likely wouldn’t care to put much time into researching something you already don’t believe. What a sad commentary on the way you were treated by those claiming to be representatives of Christ (who has also been proven to have existed and being who he claimed to be).

      It’s ironic that there are so many false “Christian” religions in this world still, if Christ never existed. If he wasn’t a real person, nor who he claimed to be (God in the flesh), why would there still be so many counterfeits? Why not counterfeits of Buddhism or Taoism or Islam or (pick a non-Christian religion)?

      The one and only reason I responded to your comment is that I’ve experienced a loving, patient God who knows every intimate detail of my life and loves me. He knows my every need, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, and he meets those needs. He appreciates who I am as an individual. In my opinion, it seems you could use more appreciation and love in your life. I think that could be fairly said of anyone alive.

  18. Raza P. says:

    Clint had some very well-put points, and, gratefully, he acknowledged that opposing homosexuality, especially as it relates to an individual, does feel like a personal attack.
    Um, that’s because IT IS!!!!!
    Anyways, as long as religious groups keep to trying to change people’s minds and desires via their own propaganda, and not through the legislative or legal systems, I’m ok with that. When you state that your intent is to re-criminalize an entire group of innocent citizens, such as the Texan G.O.P. party has done, that is an entirely different ball game altogether.
    Call gays and lesbians “abominations,” “freaks,” “worthless,” “disgusting,” damned,” and whatever else, disagree with them vocally and vociferously, but do not, DO NOT move to criminaliaze any private, innocent gay individual and say it was done out of your own religious right to do so, and a concern for their life.
    You would think that all the millions, no, billions, the global Church (in the ecumenical sense) has spent on outlawing, fighting against, and harrassing gay people generally would be better spent on addressing the real problems of our world, and simply spreading the “Good Word.”

  19. anthony says:

    Why must we waste so much time money and resources on this subject? This issue has pushed so many people away from God on both sides. Those who believe homosexuality is a sin are filled with hubris and pride instead of looking at the bible in context they propagate a message that gives them this vague sense of superiority. “I’m doing Gods will, I’m a heterosexual” If homosexuality were a sin we certainly have given it a lot more significance than the bible does and what has been the result? You say help is confused as hate but this “help” has been time after time shown as hate I don’t have to document cases of those killed and beaten for you to know that thousands have been physically, mentally and emotionally tormented by this “help”.

    Clint I sympathize with you. You had an addiction that God helped you overcome and now you want to help others. My question is why don’t you spend your time helping those confront what you know about, pornography? I admit at times homosexuality can take on similar characteristics as a pornography addiction. Many homosexuals have been pushed away from their churches. Many have been told that their relationships are not valid and that they are worthless. Sometimes this encourages a quick fix sometimes these ostracized individuals give in to the lust of the body they believe that they are unloved and they disvalue love. I’m not saying that it’s true of all homosexuals but there are some who treat sex just as you did pornography but not because they are homosexuals but because people like yourself encourage them. Tell a child enough times that he’s a failure he just may become one. Tell someone they are a sinner, they’re going to hell, they’re disgusting, that homosexuality is nothing more than filthy sex, they just might believe you consciously or sub-consciously.

    i wish more time and energy were focused on what is clear to be God’s will… taking care of the planet and each other. Forming loving families and communities and spreading Gods love. Eradicating greed and hatred and spreading tolerance and understanding.

  20. TomWood says:

    I wish that what Clint was saying was true. He must belong to an amazing community of evangelicals. My experience after years in the evangelical church is anything but positive. I also find it difficult not to see the constant lobbying by pro-”family” groups as a personal attack. I live an ordinary life with my partner. Neither of us have an ‘agenda’, we don’t lead a decadent lifestyle and I would be willing to bet that our lives are just as ordinary as any other heterosexual couple. So why can’t we just be left in peace? Why can’t we marry if we choose to? Clint, I’m afraid that the messages that your groups send out are hurtful. If you are trying to help, please explain precisely how it is that you are helping.

  21. Johan says:

    I have a hard time believing Clint.

    When I came out to my evangelical, very conservative family, the first thing they did was kick me out. The next thing they did was go to their pastor, a man who had known me for over a decade. I was 18 at the time I came out to my folks. This pastor and my parents both had known me to be a good student and generally decent kid.

    I grew up with his sons. I sang in the church choir with his wife. I took three years of Catechism classes from him. I was confirmed by him and given my first communion from him at the end of my eighth grade year.

    His advice to my parents—without having spoken to me once regarding the matter—was to change the locks and disown me. His reaction didn’t seem to me to be help confused as hate, instead it seemed to come from fear and a lack of understanding.

    I discovered this lack of understanding to be sadly common among many evangelical Christians, my parents included. Thankfully, they didn’t go so far as to disown me. My mother and father did share with me some of their fears and beliefs about homosexuality. My mom was convinced she would outlive me because her understanding was that gay men died young from AIDS or other STDs. My father seemed to think that my sexuality came from someone else and demanded to know who had abused me as a child. They both feared that I would embarrass them with public displays of debauchery and that I would descend into drug abuse.

    All this, you see, was put into their heads by resources made available by none other than James Dobson, who is featured in one of Mr. Cline’s broadcast ads for the Federal Marriage Amendment. Another of Mr. Cline’s ads claims that thousands of studies prove that kids do better with a mother and a father. Better? Better than what? He neglects to inform the viewer that those studies compared kids of straight parents to kids of single parents. Not a single one touches on the topic of gay or lesbian couples parenting children.

    Another campaign of his targets Cincinnati’s ordinance that would make it illegal to fire a person on the basis of sexual orientation. His firm’s messaging equates protection from anti-gay bias in housing and employment as “special rights” for gays and lesbians. Nevermind that the ordinance would protect straight people from orientation-bias as well. Nevermind the fact that current law already protects everyone from anti-religious biases. Why does one law comprise “special rights” when the other already affords the same thing to a different classification?

    No. I find it very difficult to accept that Mr. Cline is entirely motivated by a desire to help. I think that both fear and desire for money may also play a role. Why else would an otherwise good man be so willing to distort the truth?

  22. Bart says:

    As a Christian gay man (they aren’t antithetical)who is partnered and raising two amazing, wonderful children that we both adopted together, I feel compelled to respond to a few things that Clint spoke of…and how he spoke. First, the medium…the soft lighting, the craftsman style of the beautiful home he was situated in. The soft voice, never raising in fire and brimstone, never in fervor, never in passion. I may be wrong, but I believe that this man believes what he is saying. He wants to “help”. His entire demeanor and the ambiance set up to shoot this video all lends itself to that effect. I thought it was both an effective set-up but for me it felt directed and staged to lull someone in to believe something. That’s what good movies door. They set you up.

    Clint, respectfully, your help isn’t. You really lost me at the word “condition” for someone’s sexuality. Have you done absolutely no study on human sexuality? No one’s sexuality is a “condition.” Sorry, to display that kind of ignorance of human sexuality when you’re softly condeming someone’s human sexuality makes you look foolish, no matter how kindly you do it.

    Second, comparing someone’s human sexuality to an addiction to porn makes no logical, scientific, or even moral sense. By your logic, you could compare heterosexuality to what? Gay porn? It’s a “did you bring your lunch or take the bus?” kind of moment. They aren’t the same thing. What you obviously believe is that homosexuality is sin, that I don’t think you would argue, and you’re equating it (again, it’s that “see, I understand you, I have sin too!” that some how makes us what? Friends? Understanding enemies? Not sure…) with your “sin” of pornography. But sir, you had an addiction, a predilection for porn. No one’s sexuality is a predilection or an addition. You can have an addition to a certain kind of sex, but not to sexuality. They are not the same thing and you need to really do some research, to do some study before you casually and sweetly compare the two. They cannot be compared.

    And all the “help” in the world from good Christians (who seem to know what is told them about the Bible rather than have studied it in it’s original language — But I’ll leave that point to Kathy Baldock, she’s far more studied and literate on it than I am, and I have studied it but she’s a pro) really boils down to one thing for anyone who is gay: stop being gay. Deny who you are. Don’t be attracted to whom you are attracted to. Don’t fall in love with a person whom you are physically and sexually attracted to. Do not touch them. That is really what this all comes down to.

    Yes, God made Adam and Eve. But he also made Tom and Bill and Jane, and Ann and everyone else. To believe that we are all supposed to be the same is to deny the glory and magnificence of God. I could get into all the right-wing Christian rhetoric about family and children, etc, but I’ll just pose one question…the first family, Adam and Eve, clearly heterosexual if you believe the Old Testament literally. They had two sons…Cain and Abel. How they’re parenting skills work out for Abel?

    We should never forget that the word homosexual NEVER appeared in the Bible until the late 1940s. Never. And so much reinterpretation has been done on these texts that even if God’s word was once pure and not filtered through someone human hands and spirit, they certainly have been since. Books have been added to the Bible and taken out over time. A group of religious leaders finally closed the book (so to speak) and said nothing more could be added. So the writings of men at a time when people believed the sun went around the earth, and the earth was flat, has dictated our lives since. As a Christian, I follow the life and words of Jesus Christ very closely. Afterall, Jesus Christ is sort of why there are Christians. But Jesus Christ himself never said a word about homosexuality. None. Amazing how Jesus — the man the religion is based on says nothing — yet his followers today 2000 years later have made vilifying it the number one priority in their faith. Wow. Quite a leap in 2000 years. A sad one, but a vast, powerful one.

    I’ll put my life and my faith in Jesus. Not Leviticus, not Exodus stories, not even Paul. But Jesus. And I’ll put my family up against any “straight” family as far as raising our sons to be good, wonderful men, teaching them to give back to the world and be kind to other and generous of soul. Shouldn’t that be the priority of Christian Churches? Not stopping love but trying to raise good men and women in the image that Jesus Christ left us as his legacy. Would Jesus really be all that excited and supportive of what is done in his name today?

    • Joel Wheeler says:

      Standing O.

    • Joanna Goff says:

      Bart,

      I’m replying to this only to bless you, as you already believe in and follow Jesus, and doing a wonderful job at that! You are so precious to God!

      “So the writings of men at a time when people believed the sun went around the earth, and the earth was flat, has dictated our lives since.”

      Just a couple of small corrections :)

      “Fifteen or more facts of science are suggested in Job that scientists did not discover until recent centuries.” ~ The Remarkable Record of Job by Dr. Henry Morris

      “Job suggests not only that the earth was suspended in space but also that it rotates about its north-projecting axis. ‘Hast thou commanded the morning since thy days; and caused the dayspring to know his place; That it might take hold of the ends of the earth; that the wicked might be shaken out of it? It is turned as clay to the seal; and they stand as a garment’ (Job 38:12-14) Though figurative language, this reflects a true physical process. God is pictured as taking hold of the two ends of the earth’s axis and turning it as if it were a clay cylinder receiving an impression from a seal. The seal toward which the earth is turned, however, is not a metallic pattern. Rather, it is the ‘dayspring,’ evidently the sun fixed in its place. The welcome light of the morning dispels the formlessness of the earth’s surface when shrouded in darkness and unveils the beauties of the earth’s structure and verdure.” (From the reference cited above).

      Here’s another goodie for you:

      “A fascinating and quite modern use of energy is suggested in the divine question: ‘Canst thou send lightnings, that they may go, and say unto thee, Here we are?’ (Job 38:35). One of the most important technological achievements of modern science is the development of principles and devices that can transform electrical energy into sound energy and light energy, transmitting messages and even pictures over vast distances by lightning-fast electronic communications.”

      These may sound vague to you, possibly, but they are only two examples of the thousands like them I’ve studied over the past 30 years. I hope they bless you. If this interests you, I’d suggest “The Biblical Basis For Modern Science”, also by Dr. Henry Morris.

      • Bart says:

        Jonna, thank you for sharing that. Very cool. And I love to read this stuff and gain a bit of knowledge. God bless you!

  23. Ed says:

    Clint, you claim in your video that when someone opposes homosexuality it may feel like a personal attack even if in your view it isn’t. That’s because it is! It is utterly impossible for someone to oppose homosexuality without us feeling like we are being personally attacked. Why? Because unlike your former addiction to pornography, homosexuality is NOT a condition to recover from! Au contraire, the very core of homosexuality, the ability to be attracted romantically, physically and sexually to someone of the same sex, is an essential part of our innermost being.
    And all attempts to get us to “overcome” our homosexuality is getting us to do exactly what Bart says they are: “stop being gay. Deny who you are. Don’t be attracted to whom you are attracted to. Don’t fall in love with a person whom you are physically and sexually attracted to. Do not touch them.” And more: become heterosexual. Marry someone of the opposite sex. Consummate the marriage. Don’t worry if it doesn’t come naturally to you, that will come about over due time. Except it doesn’t.
    Those of us LGBTIQ people who choose to ‘become’ heterosexual end up living a lie, with the potential of great harm being done to ourselves and those around us. And we end up being rejected by the people around us anyway. The idea that one must be heterosexual in order to please one’s god is nothing short of foolishness, of retardedness, of delusion: willfully so, when confronted with scientific facts and LGBTIQ people’s lives that upend the traditional interpretation of Mosaic-Pauline doctrines on homosexuality.
    Even more so, it is rightfully regarded as a form of hatred when opponents try to write these doctrines into civil law because of the message broadcast that we are less than equal to the rest of the citizenry and the immense psychological and, to a lesser extent, physical harm done to us as a result. Is it any wonder that there is a beginning of a groundswell of people like Richard Dawkins and this one who have concluded that Christianity is a delusion, a psychosis, or a form of schizophrenia?
    In closing, Clint, consider it possible that (at least the traditional interpration of) the Bible is wrong on the subject of homosexuality, just as it was on slavery and the subjugation of women.

    • Heather says:

      Hey Ed,
      I just want to say that I totally agree and thought your post was really well put.
      If you don’t mind, I am going to use your argument about ‘trying to become straight’ when the opportunity comes up!
      I also think it’s super interesting that the word homosexual is not found in any Bible’s published before the 1940′s. Translation and reinterpretation are fallible.
      I recently spoke to a really heterosexist pastor at a Church who claimed that all homosexuals are unhappy in their lifestyles, because they ‘know’ it’s not how God made things to be, and the fact that only 3-5% of Americans (I’m from Australia, but I’ll use his stats) are in GLBTIQ relationships proves it. It’s unbelievable the way our unhappiness has been grafted onto ‘us’ from the people who are the cause of our oppression and, as a result, unhappiness.
      Anyway, thanks for your comment. Heather.

      • Ed says:

        Thanks! You’re welcome to use my argument (Bart’s also), any time! It’s what we put it up there for, so other people can adopt it and run with it.

  24. Bart says:

    Heather, I want to add two things to tell/ask your heterosexist pastor: first I would ask him if he means that 3 to 5% of Americans are gay. If so, does that includes all the closeted, married to the opposite sex, sadly in denial, men and women who are suffering in lonely silence because they fear they cannot come out because they will shunned by church and so-called friends, or if it’s just those who are out and living life “in abundance” as Jesus suggested?

    Or did he really mean that 3 to 5% of the American population is in a “gay relationship.” Which I would imagine would be a high percentage. Think, 5% of Americans aren’t just gay but in gay RELATIONSHIPS. Wow. That would be many millions. (By the way, if he means 3 to 5% of the American population is gay, his stats are religiously skewed and off by about half. Most credible percentages are around 8 to 10% of the population is actually gay. And if he really did say that 3 to 5% of Americans are in gay relationships, I would imagine it’s really high, but that would be nice to believe because it offers even more credibility to our argument.)

    And then ask him with a big smile that if gays are so unhappy, why are their parades and festivals so damn colorful and fun? Why is it that gay clubs are filled with people having good times? Why is it that men and women in gay relationship are so romantic and fun? Why are gay people predominately good at the arts and entertainment…because they are so sad? And finally, remind him that a recent study stated that children of lesbians are far better adjusted that those of straight couples. Could that be possible if their parents are so unhappy?

    The gay men and women I know are predominately much happier, more productive, and socially aware than many straight people I know. Tell your pastor to attend Sydney’s Mardo Gras next year…and see how many people are moping around. But he won’t because then he’d have to face reality. And religous people often don’t want to do that, it wrecks their myopic, bigotted view of the world which they’ve strangely cloaked in Jesus…a man who loved being around his friends, loved parties and events, and enjoyed the outcasts. Talk about how off-course Christian religion has gotten in 2000 years.

    • Heather says:

      Hi Bart,
      Yep, I totally agree with you. Wish I had used those points at the time. One of those “kick yourself later” things.
      He said 3-5% in the US are in the GLBTI “lifestyle”. Of course he referred to it as a “lifestyle”, because for people like him it doesn’t legitimately deserve to be called what it is, a sexual orientation, at the very least.
      Unfortunately he has flown back to Los Angeles (well, fortunately for me, I guess)… to go around propagating more misunderstanding about gays in your country!
      I am in agreement with you on the Jesus thing. I am starting to think about being a ‘Jesus follower’, but in doing so intentionally eschewing the rest of conservative, judgmental Christian politics. Where I will find people doing the same I’m not sure…

      • Johan says:

        Hi Heather! There are churches out there that follow Jesus still. You might have to do a bit of looking, but look for ones that are accepting of gay congregants (sometimes referred to as Open and Affirming Churches or Reconciling Churches) and then check out their weekly schedule of events. If it reads something like “Mon – Distribute bag lunches to local homeless, Tues – Help out at Habitat for Humanity, Thurs – Make lunch for local AIDS clinic patients, Fri – Planning meeting for trip to rebuild Haiti/Gulf Coast/Banda Aceh/etc” then you might have found a good one.

        The church I grew up in seemed to equate choir practice and VBS with serving the community, and didn’t really choose to understand that Jesus meant it when he said to feed, heal, clothe, and house those that need it. It was, most weeks, little more than a Jesus fan club or a Bible-readers get together. Now there’s nothing wrong with loving Jesus or reading your Bible, but that makes for a fairly sickly tree, with shallow roots and little to no bearing fruits of faith.

        The world will know us not by what we say, but by what we do.

  25. Zack says:

    Sex is a fleshly desire..and God so clearly states in the Bible that we are to abstain from it until marriage. Over and over again the bible talks about how lust and other sins can just break us apart and how important it is to stay away from these sins and run! not everything that we want to do (feelings and sexuality included) are things that we should embrace but trials that God is putting in front of us to test our faith in him!!! Do NOT underestimate the power of Satan to tempt. God does not want us to do what WE want but to put all our trust and faith in HIM that we can be drawn ever so closely to Him. I truely believe with all my heart that if we all sought after God with all our heart, mind, and soul (as he exclaimed us to do) that we would not have to debate all of this ourselves but to learn to seek His will. He will show all those who seek Him the same answer for this issue if you are truely seeking Him like you should be.

    Romans 1:26-27 states…”For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.”

    instead of trying to justify yourself in your desires, dont you think you should seek God first?

    -God will answer us if we seek Him! (it may not be in OUR “time frame”
    but He IS faithful to those who are faithful to Him and WILL deliver them

    • Johan says:

      The topic of this series is not sex outside of marriage. Keeping your comments relevant to the topic of discussion is both more productive and more informative.

      As to Romans 1:26-27, you’re citing a passage out of context. Verses 18-32 are speaking very broadly about the sinfulness of mankind–not simply the people the church likes most to speak of. It might be wise to also share verses 21-23 specifically, as they shed light on the “cause” referenced in v. 26.

      Romans 1: 21-23 — “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.”

      This passage is speaking about humanity’s tendency to make idols of things. Idols that resemble men and animals, specifically, but the passage probably has a deeper message than that. On the surface, Paul is speaking of many of the cultures that surround his audience: Rome, Egypt, and Greece, to name a few. All of them had idols that resembled men and animals.

      It’s also quite possible Paul (a Jew himself) is hinting at parallels to the ancient Israelites who, time and again, abandoned the ways of God and adopted the idolatrous and licentious practices of their neighbors.

      Regardless, it is well known that Greek and Roman cults (as well as those of ancient Canaan) often partook in ritual sex and temple prostitution as part of their beliefs. It’s far from surprising that Paul would view as unnatural the selling of one’s body or the ritual or orgiastic use of sex that was so common in his day.

      It would serve you well to better understand the use of the word “natural.” It means “of or occurring in nature” or, “in accordance with nature; relating to or concerning it.” Homosexuality, and the urges and desires of gay and lesbian people are natural. They are ingrained in us and not something that can be turned on or off, or ignored like a midnight craving for ice cream or an impulse to steal a pen. They are also natural in the sense that they are replicated in the natural world. Biologists have long studied the prevalence of same-sex behaviors in the natural world. While the reasons for it are not always clear, and vary from species to species, one thing is clear: it is far from unheard of, and not at all “unnatural.”

  26. John says:

    What this video completely ignores is the fact that the vast majority of gay people are fully aware of the word of God, the Bible, etc.

    I have Christian parents and went to a Christian school in a Christian neighbourhood. At some point, though, I became an adult and formed my own opinions on religion. I’m aware of all the viewpoints and made my decision accordingly. (To clarify my use of the word “decision”, the decision not to live a life of celibacy just because I’m attracted to the same sex – I have always been homosexual and this was not a choice).

    We live in a free country and I have the right to live any (legal) lifestyle I choose. It’s my choice. Just as I’m aware that I’m probably not welcome to tell strangers what to do with their life, I get annoyed when others tell me to change my life to conform to their ideals. Especially when it gets to the extent where laws are being passed that take away my previously equal rights. That’s not loving, caring or helping. That’s downright malicious and discriminatory, not to mention “personal”.

    I’m not denying that the Bible says it’s a sin. I’m just asserting my right to say “I don’t care – I made my decision – Let me live my life in peace”.

  27. Mary says:

    If homosexuality is a choice, why don’t you try being homosexual for 30 seconds? Did it work? My best friend who was and is a good Christian in heaven right now committed suicide because of the disgusting religious pressures organizations like this put on him to change his DNA. He lived a HAPPY, NORMAL, and SPIRITUAL life until people like you told him what God wants (in your opinions).

  28. AC says:

    No you are not born Gay, just like you are not born saved!

    Amen to the video!Thank you for speaking the truth !

  29. Bart says:

    Some people are born ignorant and stay that way. That’s really what’s against God’s wishes, people who don’t grow, don’t care to learn, never understand.

  30. benjamin ady says:

    @AC

    When you say you are not born gay, what exactly do you mean? I’m trying to imagine what that means. Newborns are not sexually attracted to same nor opposite gender others, as far as I know. So it’s equally true that one is not born heterosexual. What do you mean?

  31. Claire says:

    Clint, I appreciate this post. I am a celibate lesbian Christian who has been involved with an Exodus International small group for a few years. I am personally not a fan of the ex-gay movement as a whole, but I do like this small group; I feel accepted and supported. I see that the group’s leaders really DO desire to help me, and that this desire is borne out of compassion, just like you said. However, I think a lot of the debate centers around the definition of “help.” I have multiple LGBTQ friends who fall on all positions of the homosexuality debate. In my opinion, they ALL (including me, because I am one of them) need help, because we are ALL hurting. But what does help entail? Does it entail helping us live out God’s intention for our sexuality? Or does it entail helping us connect with Christ, and then allowing Christ to lead us wherever He wills? Because in my opinion, the greatest hurt that we LGBTQ folk experience is some sort of feeling of alienation from Christ, even if we are already Christian (because of stigma and shame). This is the whole “you catch ‘em, God will clean ‘em” idea. Just something to think about.

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