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There is no need to rehash this Duck Dynasty mess. We have all said our bits and pieces about Phil Robertson's racism and homophobia. And it will continue to reverberate. But a larger picture of the entire controversy needs to be stated.

 Remember last year when a pastor of an NC church got into trouble because he said gays should be put behind an electrified fence. Even with all of the backlash, there was a few who stood behind him because according to them, "the Bible says homosexuality is wrong."

 But the anger was due to the fact that this man said lgbts should be placed behind an electrified fence like they were cattle to be abused and killed off. Still,the pastor had a loyal bunch who continued to justify his words by claiming that he were merely preaching in accordance to his "faith."

 Never mind that his faith encompassed genocide.

 Decades before that in the 1970s was Anita Bryant and her opposition to the pro-gay ordinance in a Florida county. She said as a Christian, she couldn't support such an ordinance. But she wasn't content on leaving her opposition rooted in her faith. She snuck in a little nugget. According to her, since gays can't reproduce, we supposedly recruit children.

 She was able to pull off that lie by reminding folks of her "Christian values."

Years after Bryant came a plethora of anti-gay and supposed morality groups standing against lgbt equality. Using junk science, discredited sources, venomous accusations and name-calling, and out-and-out lies, they claimed to oppose lgbt equality because supposedly because it is a "public health menace."

 These groups, amongst them the Family Research Council, the American Family Association, and the Traditional Values Coalition, still exists today.

 And what would generally happen - and still does happen -  when these groups are called out on their lies, i.e. the complaints of misappropriation of scientific work, the omission of CDC data which easily dispels their idea of homosexuality being a "public health menace," the usage of work from discredited sources?

 Well these groups would cling to their crosses of martyrdom so hard that their fingers would get splinters. They would claim that they were simply standing up for their faith and those who called their "facts" into question were trying to silence them. And thus all of the negative, untrue things they said about gays would be wiped away by the media as simple inconveniences which didn't deserve any attention because apparently "making a stance in accordance to one's religious values" trumps the methods in which the stance is made, even if the methods contradict said religious values.

 There is an ugly collusion between religious belief and bigotry which we don't talk about and it didn't begin with the lgbt community. It wasn't that long ago when religious belief and faith was used to justify slavery, segregation, and Anti-Semitism on a large scale. Sadly, the lgbt community seems to be the last bastion where it is okay to justify demonizing people under the guise of "adhering to one's faith."

  We need to call out the fact that just because your "faith" says that homosexuality is a sin is no justification to tack on lies geared to demonize the lgbt community. It's no justification to perform a humiliating psychological dissection on lgbts by saying things like "I don't hate you as a person, just what you do." It's not about your alleged hate, but your proud display of your ignorance. And it is certainly no justification to judge lgbts based on your view of the Bible and play the victim when you are called out for it.

 Folks who do these things always seem to think that they own the word "Christianity" and everyone else is beholden to their interpretation. They forget that many lgbts are also Christians and bring up good points when they lay out their case in proving that God doesn't condemn them for being who they are.

 But as it is, those who are so damn eager to speak against the so-called sin of homosexuality would be best to remember the sin of lying, speaking ill of one's brother, or bearing false witness.

More often than not, it applies better to their situations.

Related:

How They See Us: Unmasking the Religious Right War on Gay America

Originally posted to LGBT Kos Community on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:12 PM PST.

Also republished by Anglican Kossacks.

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Comment Preferences

  •  There is no where to draw the line. Folks who (11+ / 0-)

    won't stand for religious justification of racist or anti gay bigotry still oppose abortions, or birth control, or whatever. The only proper stance is that religious belief cannot justify anything that diminishes another or their rights in any way.

    That, in its essence, is fascism--ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or by any other controlling private power. -- Franklin D. Roosevelt --

    by enhydra lutris on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:32:13 PM PST

  •  I am gay, and I'm an Anglican Christian, (15+ / 0-)

    and the last thing I would ever do would be to use my Christian faith to hurt another person.

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:34:32 PM PST

    •  Frank Weston Anglican Bishop (0+ / 0-)

      I found an old book at the Salvation Army about a missionary to Zanzibar. He was celibate, had a sense of style, was surprisingly progressive in advocating for his African congregation in WWI. What do you think?

  •  Republished to Anglican Kossacks. n/t (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    The Author, Matt Z

    Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

    by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:39:37 PM PST

  •  The smears perpetrated against the LGBT community (16+ / 0-)

    are the modern-day equivalent of the blood-libel myths perpetrated against the Jewish community in the Middle Ages and the more recent "international Jewish (or Zionist) conspiracy" theories put forth both in Europe and in America from the 19th Century onward.

    On the "blood-libel" front one can see the baseless accusations of supposed sexual practices either involving children or other adults and, to some extent, the idea that we have to "recruit. In place of the "international Zionist conspiracy, see "militant homosexual" or "homosexual agenda."  

    Anita Bryant is almost forgotten (and rightly so) but the ideas she put promoted are not gone at all.

    •  And they ARE smears. (6+ / 0-)

      Not to mention dirty lies.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:41:10 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Yes (13+ / 0-)

      Young, impressionable people who heard her vile hatred back then are now parents to young men and women, and the backlash hasn't ended.

      My mother had a really hard time with me coming out because of the anti-gay crap she had heard. She stressed that she still loved me and always would, but TO ME if felt like there was a qualifier there, and as a son or daughter there is nothing more painful than that.

      My mom now accepts and loves me 100%, but it took her a long time to get there, and it wouldn't have had it not been for the Anita Bryants of the world telling her young self that there was something inherently evil about homosexuals.

      I cringe to think what other kids went through, because compared to most LGB folks my age, I had it really easy.

      P.S. I am not a crackpot.

      by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:10:36 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Hugs, BB. (5+ / 0-)

        I was lucky that not only my parents, but my grandparents and great grandmother accepted me when I came out.

        The good thing about coming out is that even when people have a hard time with it, they now know someone gay, and it's harder for them to dehumanize us.

        Thank you, thank you, for telling your story. It's what makes us free.

        Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

        by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:15:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  My parents are relatively liberal (7+ / 0-)

        Jews, yet when my sister came out in the mid 80's they had similar angst, but then became supportive. A lot of this was more culturally ingrained in their generation than religious. It was probably easier for them to change their views with a less dogmatic approach to religion.

        Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

        by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:27:18 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  It was an issue for me when I was young (8+ / 0-)

          I turned 18 in 1969, just a few weeks before the Stonewall Riots. I don't think I really realized I was gay back then but the process undoubtedly started right about then.

          As I noted in a response to Ian's diary earlier today, my family was not notably observant when I was a kid and while I was encouraged to be proud of my heritage and never to deny my Jewishness, religious views were not strong in my upbringing. At the same time, and perhaps even because I had little formal religious education, it was tough for me to get past the baggage implicit in certain biblical passages I was familiar with.

          The Reconstructionist movement was the first to embrace LGBT equality and acceptance as a social issue but Reconstructionism was in its infancy when I was in my teens and I doubt I had even heard of it back then. The Reform movement only began to embrace LGBT equality in earnest in the mid-1980s, due in no small part to the efforts of Rabbi Yoel Kahn, who I have known since I joined my shul (mainly LGBT and Reform Judaism affiliated since its founding) in 1991.

          My family was completely unaffiliated; my dad was raised Orthodox while my mother had little Jewish education herself. My faux bar mitzvah took place at a Conservative shul which we were not a member of. My dad had a nominal affiliation with the Orthodox movement (mainly by way of owning a cemetery plot at an Orthodox cemetery on Long Island) but declined to attend services once he became an adult. At the same time, while we did not attend services as a family my folks did not work on the High Holidays, would fast on Yom Kippur and only took up driving on the High Holidays when spending time with my maternal grandmother in the Bronx began to seem more important than obeying precepts that for them had become mere habits. It always struck me that my folks' outlook on things (my dad's in particular) were more on the order of acts of solidarity and cultural identification than they were expression of religious devotion.

          I had little context within which to place myself and despite the fact that I was at that point in my life far more of an ardent atheist than I am today, I felt as though I had little alternative other than to buy into what I conceived of the prevailing views of my own people. Even back in the mid-70's while I was finding my way out of the closet, when an acquaintance invited me to a service at Beth Simchat Torah in Manhattan I rejected his invitation out of hand. I couldn't understand how a safe place within Judaism within which to be a gay man might exist. And I didn't actually come out to my parents until I was in my mid-30s.

    •  I hadn't thought about that before, (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      sfbob, irishwitch, commonmass

      but you're right.

      Gondwana has always been at war with Laurasia.

      by AaronInSanDiego on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:18:47 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I actually began a diary on the topic... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        a number of months ago, related to Russia's recent laws (not to mention Uganda's, though those were merely pending at the time). I don't remember why I abandoned it; I probably couldn't get it to come together in a satisfactory way or something.

        A proper diary would certainly require more context and a bit of historical research.

  •  You could change (7+ / 0-)

    homosexuality to climate change and diary would still be spot on.  The fundies, wingers, etc. base all of their beliefs on either junk science, magical thinking, or both.

    Don't be fooled by appearances. In Hawaii, some of the most powerful people look like bums and stuntmen. --- Matt King

    by hobie1616 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 06:53:41 PM PST

    •  All Based on Magical Thinking. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, Caoimhin Laochdha

      The version of the Bible that comes out of their preachers' mouths and the commercial Christianist news, education and entertainment industries.

      Things they say in order to get their way don't constitute logic or argumentation. Any claim or explanation is based on the magical thinking.

      Remember it's more than thinking, it's magical living. They collaborate with the supernatural on a daily basis.

      We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

      by Gooserock on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 07:10:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Fundamentalist Christians are the only (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caoimhin Laochdha

      ones who practice magical thinking???? It seems to me that liberal Christians do the same thing, don't they?

  •  Let's not forget the link between religious (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, irishwitch, Matt Z

    extremism and racism.

    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

    by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 07:32:38 PM PST

    •  Let us also not forget what liberal Christianity (6+ / 0-)

      did to combat racism. Martin Luther King, Jr, Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton are all ministers. White men and women of faith gave their lives, too: The Blessed Jonathan Myrick Daniels, Episcopal Saint.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:10:52 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Note I said religious extemism. NT (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass, irishwitch, Matt Z

        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

        by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:44:45 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I DID note that, and I wonder: (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          RhodeIslandAspie, irishwitch

          is liberal religion "extreme"?

          Let me tell you a story. The Rt. Rev. Barbara Harris, and African-American, was the first Anglican Bishop who was also, incidentally, a woman. In the entire Anglican Communion (though in the ECUSA). Twenty years later, the Rt. Rev. V. Gene Robinson became Bishop of New Hampshire, and he was a queer as Christmas.

          THAT is religious extremeism, and it's also JUSTICE.

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:53:33 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Fair enough. (4+ / 0-)

            Martin Luther King WAS an extremist not just to the unabashed defenders of segregation, but to defenders of the status quo who thought he was pushing too hard and should be more patient.

            And we could say much the same about the abolitionists. Or the Catholic social justice movement.

            And we could carry things all the way back to William Wilberforce, who was likewise considered extreme by those he thought shouldn't interfere with something as profitable as slavery.

            I probably should have said "let's not forget that the same ilk has in the past used religion to justify racism."

            Thanks for pointing this out. I really should have worded things better.

            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

            by RhodeIslandAspie on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:13:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Don't apologize. (4+ / 0-)

              It's a good conversation. Thanks for engaging.

              Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

              by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:23:32 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

            •  I remember the sorrow among the liberal (3+ / 0-)

              professors when Martin Luther King came out against the Vietnam War. (Contrary to popular belief, the war commanded about 70% support until the Tet Offensive.)
                 Their view was that he had gone too far and would lose the support of well-meaning whites.

              •  I'm young enough to have missed the war, (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass

                but old enough to remember the later years of it well.

                And yet, from where those white liberals stood, it seemed a perfectly reasonable assumption. Yet, history tells us Dr. King was right to do what he did. It was gutsy. And extreme. And it was the right thing to do. Yet, perhaps Dr. King himself agonized over whether to cross this Rubicon.

                Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:34:33 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  The religious people, like MLK, who (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Caoimhin Laochdha

              fought for civil rights, etc. had to think outside of the bible in order to pursue their humanistic instincts. The bible is not a civil rights manual, nor is it anti-slavery, nor is it for all human rights.  It is a specific manual for a specific group of people who are "favored" by a deity, either in the guise of Yahweh, or the god of Jesus, who also excluded those who don't accept the salvation scheme.

              Sure, King was able to cherry pick passages to bolster his arguments (as anti civil rights people were able to do), but if one looks at the overall themes in the bible, the authority for pushing human rights is not there.

              •  You're my favorite troll, Fishtroller. n/t (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Caoimhin Laochdha

                Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:44:56 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  If MLK cherry picked and came up (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Caoimhin Laochdha, commonmass

                with the sermon on the mount, I'd say he picked himself some pretty wonderful cherries.

                Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:05:16 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  I think our resident anti-theologian (0+ / 0-)

                  has forgotten that most of the New Testament was written by Paul, and there are only passing mentions of Jesus.
                  Though I really want to give him some credit here: at least he knows it wasn't written by RAND Paul.

                  Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

                  by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:57:50 AM PST

                  [ Parent ]

                  •  Ummmm.... (0+ / 0-)

                    The New Testament is comprised of the four gospels, the acts of the disciples and the letters of Paul and others. Only passing mentions of Jesus?  Paul wrote "most of the New Testament"?  I think you just flunk confirmation class.

                    However, you might find the The Jesus Puzzle by Earl Doherty enlightening on the topic of Paul.

                •  Oh I can find lots of stuff in that whole (0+ / 0-)

                  "sermon" that I totally disagree with.  Pluck out your own eye??? Plus I seem to remember MLK praying all over the place in public... he must have skipped the part about the lord's prayer.

                  •  Unless one is a strict literalist here, (1+ / 0-)
                    Recommended by:
                    jarbyus

                    the carpenter's kid was talking metaphor, with regard to the eye plucking.

                    I know it will come as a surprise to you FT01, but humanity wasn't forced by space aliens to adopt religion. Religion is a creation by humanity searching for answers. And just like any secular philosophy, it will be imperfect as humanity itself, and also be misused as a tool to manipulate and control the masses.

                    Are we supposed to say that atheism is fundamentally evil, because Stalin and Mao, two of the biggest, if not the two biggest mass murderers in history were avowed atheists? There are religionists and atheists who preach hate and seek to control and exploit others; there are religionists and atheists who search for truth and answers to the great questions of life.

                    Religion is a tool, as I like to say. I have nothing against tools. I have a room full of tools. You can do some great things with tools. You can build and repair things with tools, if you have the right tools and materials, and you know how to use them. And in the hands of a person who doesn't know or care what they are doing, tools can do great damage. And the right tools in the wrong hands can be used for great evil. Tools are not good or evil, it's how you use your tools.

                    Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                    by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:13:59 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Why would you think that I wouldn't (0+ / 0-)

                      understand where religion comes from?  Kind of judgemental of you, don't you think?

                      Also, don't you think if this Jesus person was truly a "divine" entity and not fully human, he would abide by his own sermons?  For example, he says that when someone insults you or attacks you, you should turn the other cheek.  So what did he do when faced with towns and villages that rejected his preaching (and his disciples'attempts to visit and preach)?  He cursed them to the fate of Sodom and Gemorrah and threatened them with everlasting punishments too.  Doesn't exactly look like pacifistic turning of the other cheek to me. Plus, one man's metaphor is another man's directive. And that's the basic problem.

                      By talking about the bible as a tool that can be used well or abused, you miss the whole point of my comments. This book is revered as being the end all of moral teachings and representing a loving god (and his kind ecumenical compassionate son).  None of that is true.... well, let's say it's true in some passages and not in others.  The book and the characters and the stories contradict each other constantly.  But we still call it a holy book.  Mankind is capable of good and bad acts whether religious or not, but the danger is when the bad acts are bolstered by pointing to a "sacred" text as justification.  Eliminate the texts, and the bad actors have to face the laws of humanity.  A major example of this is the whole history of the catholic church.... such evil and suffering in their hands, and yet not a single pope down thru the ages and up to today has ever faced a court of laws.

                      I won't even touch the old chestnut about Mao and Stalin....

                      It's time for humanity to move beyond these texts and the ideas they represent. Many of today's atheists applaud the ideas in books by Sam Harris, Robert Ingersoll, and a host of freethinkers current and past, but no one calls them divine or uses them to swear upon in court or other ceremonies.  It is religion that elevates texts to an improper level and hence has been the root of more evil than good in mankind's history.

                      •  Who says I'm telling people to go get saved? (0+ / 0-)

                        I'm an agnostic.

                        But using a sacred text and the words of prophets as the one and only reason to do a certain course of action is exactly the misuse I am talking about.

                        If you take a look at modern mainline Protestantism, and even current day Catholicism, and how they view the Bible, it's a bit different than you paint it. The writers of the books of the Bible are seen as divinely inspired people, who nonetheless, were affected by the prejudices of their times. Even the accounts of the life of the carpenter's kid in the Gospels are viewed in the same way. When I was a freshman in a Catholic high school in 1972-73, a priest, who was quite conservative in his world view called St Paul quite narrow minded in many of his views.

                        As I said, I am an agnostic. I don't know. But I'm open. But for me to demand believers stop believing is like a believer demanding that I start believing.  As I've said earlier, there are monsters in the worlds of belief and non-belief, and there are truly great people in both worlds also.

                        Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                        by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 08:46:33 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I don't see where I accused you (0+ / 0-)

                          of telling people to get saved or even mentioned that topic. Maybe you misunderstood me?

                          I don't "demand" that believers stop believing. Since I moved from belief to non-belief, I know that it is a path that individuals have to figure out for themselves. But I don't hesitate to confront the ideas of religions (all of them) and challenge them when presented in a public forum. I consider religious claims and ideas as just the same as political ones.... if they make no sense or have no facts to back them up or are simply obvious magical thinking, I comment.  There is a constant drumbeat about pope Francis that I find appalling, so I comment. There are claims made everyday on Daily Kos about the "true" nature of the character called Jesus that consistently ignore what I call the "dark side" (any character that endorses hell to me has a morality issue). So when I see that going on, I challenge it. It's up to the claim makers to take that into account or not.  There are unfortunately many on here who do not think I have the right to do that.

                          And if religious institutions or their representatives say things or take actions that affect my life or fly in the face of a Constitutional democracy, I get pretty grumpy about that also.

                          Of course there are good and bad people in both camps of belief or non-belief. I don't go after the characters of the people who believe, but I do challenge their ideas when expressed.  Some people can't separate the two, so they really get insulted and feel personally attacked, when that is not what is happening.  Others simply think religious ideas live on an untouchable level, which I totally disagree with.  

                          •  We can deconstruct Christ all we want, (0+ / 0-)

                            but there will still be Christians. I prefer Christians who want to follow the Jesus of the Beatitudes than Christians who want to Jesus who came to plant a sword.

                            I find hell to be a rather bizarre concept myself. Why would a just god torture anyone for eternity. But then, many Christians have a totally different concept of hell than the traditional view flames and anguish - it's more like being in the low rent district forever.

                            Francis represents a drastic change of tone if not doctrine. He is actually willing to have dialogue with those who disagree with him instead of consigning them to hell. I welcome that change.  He looks like he's giving the anti-abortion agenda much lower priority, and getting away from the homophobia of the church. He also seems to be bringing back the Catholic concern for those on the bottom of the heap, something that became big in the twentieth century, at least in the American CC, but disappeared as JPII and Benedict stacked the deck with right wing bishops. I welcome the change in tone, I stand by to see if there will be some real changes in the CC or if this is just a rearranging of the furniture.

                            We'll see what transpires there.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 09:43:12 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  I just saw someone on another thread in the (0+ / 0-)

                            last couple of days post a very recent quote from Francis that again condemned homosexual marriages just as he did in Argentina that puts the issue on the front burner again.

                            I don't trust him and I don't trust all these declarations he is making.  Plus the RCC has never really been on the side of the poor. They use them just like Mother Teresa did. Lots of good PR for the church and no actual care for the poor.  How can you be "concerned" for the poor when you won't let women control their fertility?  That is one of the biggest causes of poverty.  In the US, Catholic charities get 60% of their funds from us taxpayers.  It's easy to be concerned for the poor when you can get a government to allow you to slap your brand on their charity dollars, isn't it? Condemning capitalism is really rather cynical when your institution is steeped in capitalistic investing and money laundering for the mafia. The RCC's real estate holdings are mind blowing.  When the pope lectures people on materialism, it make me nauseous, and yet the world applauds it.  I don't get the gullibility and it worries me greatly.  It means that much of the media and general population have not learned one single lesson when it comes to the RCC.

                            There have been no changes made or even suggested by this pope in the religious and ethical directives that prohibit abortion or even best medical practices for reproductive issues for women in US catholic hospitals, so saying he's putting the abortion issue on the back burner is meaningless.

                            The only way people in my view are even able to trust what Francis is saying and doing is if they are totally oblivious to the history of (and current status of) this incredibly corrupt institution.   My mistrust for Francis and the RCC is backed up solidly by evidence and I'm standing with it.

                          •  Who "trusts" him? (0+ / 0-)

                            Many of us are happy with the change of tone. You think I trust the CC with  the abuse I experienced in a Catholic grammar school? The high school was actually decent, but those first eight years gave me a permanent distrust of the institution.

                            Religion isn't going away anytime soon. It serves a want that many people have. People gravitate towards the religion they want. They cannot just turn off their sense of belief anymore than I can turn off my sense of non-belief.

                            Is it surprising that there would be a lot of barbaric stuff in scriptures that are thousands of years old with the oldest stuff dating to the bronze age? But on the other hand, there are sincere people of faith who try to be true to their faith, but make it work in a modern world. It may take a bit of cognitive dissonance to say on one hand, slavery is an affront to God, but it was OK thousands of years ago. But I'd rather see them doing that than saying that slavery is OK today, or for that matter, that it was OK in 1860.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 10:44:10 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  In my view, Pope Francis is changing (0+ / 0-)

                            the "tone" of the RCC in the same manner the GOP is changing its "tone" when it comes to matters of race, gays and women.... in other words, its a ruse.

                            Who "trusts" the new pope?   The media. And that's put him way ahead of the new game he is playing. Actually it's not a new game... PT Barnum named it a long time ago.

                            I had a sense of belief. I turned it off by educating myself. It can be done.

                            Have a great New Year!

                          •  Neither one of is a practicing Catholic. (0+ / 0-)

                            I left them a long time ago. I don't get obsessed about the CC until it starts sticking it's nose in government. You seem to be obsessed.

                            I like the change in tone, but I don't expect any big change, just maybe a little more tolerance. But either way it is what is.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Tue Dec 31, 2013 at 02:42:47 PM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  Do you call people who (0+ / 0-)

                            are passionate about environmental issues "obsessed"? What about democrats who write and comment constantly about the right wingers... are they obsessed?

                            In my area of the country, the catholic church has taken over major hospital systems, including a university teaching hospital.  We are seeing a huge curtailing of reproductive services to women and "little" details like not giving condoms to men who come into the emergency room with STD's or HIV.   If you are not "obsessed" with the hold that this institution has on at least our medical systems, then you are not paying attention.  Look up Merger Watch.

                            As for me, I will continue to post information that is being ignored by both the media and people who are adding to the creation of a Francis fan club by ignoring what is really going on.

                          •  And FT01, we are on the same page on this. (0+ / 0-)

                            If the CC wants to join a league, you've got to play by the rules of the league.

                            But I think it's over the top to be obsessed with every word of some ancient scripture and cherry pick to ridicule people of faith. Like I said before, it's what they do with the tools that count. I don't care what ancient scriptures state about Jesus, Paul, Mohammad, or Isiah saying or doing. I care what current day people of faith do in the name of their religion. If they want to pull society backward, I will oppose them. If they want to advance society, I will stand with them.

                            Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                            by RhodeIslandAspie on Wed Jan 01, 2014 at 09:05:13 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

              •  Perhaps (0+ / 0-)

                You should read it again; you've missed stuff...quite a bit, actually...

                Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

                by awesumtenor on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:22:04 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

            •  They never stopped n/t (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              RhodeIslandAspie
              "let's not forget that the same ilk has in the past used religion to justify racism."

              Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

              by awesumtenor on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 09:19:09 AM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Agreed. (1+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass

                It's just not their top priority these days. The Scary Gay Agenda scares them much more than Scary Dark Skinned people do. If they can bully the gay people back into the closet, they'll probably get back to their roots and get back full time into working to turn back the clock on civil rights.

                Just another underemployed IT professional computer geek.

                by RhodeIslandAspie on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:17:47 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

      •  I don't think of Christianity as a Mass religion (3+ / 0-)

        I see it more as an amalgamation of small congregations, that are quite provincial and local.  Those are the groups that this psychology plays itself out within.

        It's group psychology writ small.  People go along to get along, at the risk of being cast out and shunned, disapproved of, or banned.

        Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

        by Keith930 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:59:43 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Not just liberal Christianity. Billy Graham caused (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        commonmass

        something of a stir when he refused to have segregated seating at his crusades. And Southern Baptist Sunday schoolers sang "Jesus loves the little children, all the children of the world - Red and yellow, black and white, they are precious in his sight - Jesus loves the little children of the world." All this in the 1950s.

        The attack on Robertson was completely wrong headed. He was depicted as a horrible bigot because he was elaborating on passages from the Bible. Like it or not, both the Old and New Testament condemn homosexuality as, at least, sinful. But it is one of a number of sins.
          To Christians, everyone is a sinner and the message of the church is redemption and forgiveness. Both Paul, who wrote the passages, and Robertson emphasized that.
          The attack on Robertson was interpreted as a frontal attack on Christianity itself. That and the blatantly dishonest misrepresentations of what he said led to a backlash by Christians and viewers of his show.
          The LGBT community would do better with Christians by emphasizing the Biblical virtues of being non-judgmental and welcoming.
           Trying to convince people that the Bible is wrong isn;t ging to work.  

        •  I carry no water for Robertson. I think (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          librarisingnsf

          he perverts the Gospel. That is my opinion on that and I'm sticking with it.

          However, you are very correct when you say that Christianity is about redemption.

          You know, I'm gay, I'm a lay associate of an Anglican order, and go to Mass every week. Lots of my Anglican compatriots are LGBT. We welcome everyone. I have given thirty years in the service of the Church as a sacred musician.

          I have never been a Baptist, or any other kind of nonconformist. But I do have a special love for Our Lady, who said:

          Statue of the Visitation at the Ein Karem Church of the Visitation

              My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour.
              For he hath regarded : the lowliness of his handmaiden.
              For behold, from henceforth : all generations shall call me blessed.
              For he that is mighty hath magnified me : and holy is his Name.
              And his mercy is on them that fear him : throughout all generations.
              He hath shewed strength with his arm : he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts.
              He hath put down the mighty from their seat : and hath exalted the humble and meek.
              He hath filled the hungry with good things : and the rich he hath sent empty away.
              He remembering his mercy hath holpen his servant Israel : as he promised to our forefathers, Abraham and his seed for ever.

          (optional ending commonly used in Anglican service:

              Glory Be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
              As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.)

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 08:59:18 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  There is nothing... (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          jarbyus

          ...either restorative or redemptive in admonishing those who are at variance with Christians (due to the thinking, words and actions directed towards them by professed Christians) to emphasize "Biblical virtues" that many professed Christians would not recognize if they tripped over them...

          The problem does not lie with the LGBT community; it lies with Christians who, knowing they have been weighed in the balance of those very "Biblical virtues" and were found wanting, have chosen to ask the same question as that certain lawyer who, after Jesus told him the second greatest commandment was to love one's neighbor as oneself, asked of Jesus "who is my neighbor"...because once we decide who is our neighbor, we also decide who is not...

          Jesus, of course responds to that question with the parable of the Good Samaritan and follows it with a question of His own... Of the 3, which acted as a neighbors her to the man waylaid by thieves? The lawyer answered "the one who showed him compassion"... And Jesus told him "Go and do likewise".  Making it incumbent upon the LGBT community to conform to an arbitrary standard that only serves to allow the professed Christians demanding it to remain in their comfort zone of compassionless cluelessness is being like the priest and the levite in the parable and passing by on the other side... The biblical virtue that needs to be adopted is that of seeing how the LGBT community has been beaten and bruised and excoriated and excluded by Christians...and seeing that their anger, their mistrust, their pain is real..and it is justified...and those of us who see their plight cannot turn a blind eye and cannot be silent. like that Samaritan we have to stand in the gap even at risk to ourselves and even if they are never inclined to embrace or even tolerate  Christianity not because there is anything in it for us but simply because I am my brother's keeper and simply because it is right.

          Fear doesn't just breed incomprehension. It also breeds a spiteful, resentful hate of anyone and everyone who is in any way different from you.

          by awesumtenor on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 10:00:04 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

        •  Nope! (0+ / 0-)

          The Bible does NOT condemn homosexuality in the OT or the NT. You and others who interpret these clobber passages in such a way are simply wrong.  

  •  There is freedom of religion, and there is freedom (11+ / 0-)

    of speech. But neither of those freedoms grant the right to be right.

    When someone uses their speech or religion to belittle or degrade someone, yes, they are constitutionally protected to do so.

    But that does not bestow upon them a right to not be questioned.

    As I said before: If I had left work on the 24th and said "Have fun celebrating a myth and pretending something magical happened 2000 years ago, you idiots," I would have been within my rights.

    But that would not have made it right. It doesn't matter how firmly I believe that Christianity is a myth, I don't get to say ridiculous things like that then reply, when people are offended, "sorry, facts are facts, deal with them" without being labeled a really shitty person.

    Religious bigots are free to be bigots. But they're not immune from criticism just because they claim their bigotry is a religious belief.

    P.S. I am not a crackpot.

    by BoiseBlue on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:16:21 PM PST

    •  I totally agree with this: (7+ / 0-)
      Religious bigots are free to be bigots. But they're not immune from criticism just because they claim their bigotry is a religious belief.

      Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

      by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:20:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Freedom of speech (5+ / 0-)

        is not freedom from consequence.

        And that's the really pernicious part of all this. People shriek freedom of speech to silence those who are speaking back.

        "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

        by raptavio on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:38:00 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  I agree, raptavio, free speech (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio, irishwitch

          has consequences, as protected as it is. People have died from those consequences, in the service of freedom.

          Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

          by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:40:17 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Well (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            commonmass, irishwitch

            let's be clear -- none of the speech in question is worthy of consequences on that level.

            But getting their hateful bullshit called on and denounced for the filth that it is? Suffering damage to reputation? Go for it.

            "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

            by raptavio on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:45:18 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  Look. The Duck Dudes, and any number of (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              raptavio, irishwitch

              Congresscritters are proof that Reconstruction was an abject failure.

              Pope Francis: the Thumb of Christ in the eyes of the Pharisees.

              by commonmass on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:47:43 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

              •  Hrm. (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass, irishwitch

                I'm not quite so pessimistic -- after all, my girlfriend is from the rural South and she turned out okay -- but there are certainly very large enclaves throughout the South that have clung to their racism and defied any efforts to convince them to let it go.

                But then, the South isn't alone in that regard.

                "Much of movement conservatism is a con and the base is the marks." -- Chris Hayes

                by raptavio on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:56:01 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

              •  More true is that Reconstruction (2+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                commonmass, Caoimhin Laochdha

                was ended too early.  Surprise surprise: Northern political and economic interests were more sympathetic to white racists than to the newly freed African Americans.

                Dogs from the street can have all the desirable qualities that one could want from pet dogs. Most adopted stray dogs are usually humble and exceptionally faithful to their owners as if they are grateful for this kindness. -- H.M. Bhumibol Adulyadej

                by corvo on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 07:24:24 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

        •  Alas, I can only tip this once. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio
        •  "Freedom of speech not freedom of consequence" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          raptavio

          Exactly.

          And bigotry, reality denial and hatred - (hatred in particular) - need to be ridiculed for being just that.  Yes, "ridiculed."

          One can have an adult conversation about many things upon which which might reasonably disagree as, for instance, Non-theists/Believers in God(s), or liberals/conservatives, or Dems/GOP etc. This is the foundation of our First Amendment protections from any type of governmental retribution.

          However, hiding one's bigotry behind a cloak of religiosity or any other ideological fig leave of cowardice, deserves to be marginalized in the most extreme and aggressive manner possible. There is a time for polite or respectful conversation, and there are some things that are so toxic that they warrant extreme marginalization.

          The right wing has moved the Overton window of bigotry so far, that it gives cover for Fox Infotainment, right-wing organizations, GOP Congresspersons etc. to spread hate or speak lies with virtual impunity.

          The shift in political and cultural discourse has swung too far for too long.  Sadly, this is partly the result of a reality-based community that has generously afforded polite respect to the media and politicians who are pulling the U.S. into their swamp. The results of non-aggressive rebuke and/or mere dismissal of the right-wing, and its media life support system, is much too inadequate and it must stop. Divisive bigotry and hatred has taken root too deeply within our "legitimate" institutions.

          A first step is to aggressively marginalize the poisoning and force commercially-fed media and politicians who desire the spotlight to either distance or embrace bigotry.

          sláinte,
          cl
          -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

          by Caoimhin Laochdha on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:37:27 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Depends on what was said to you (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jarbyus

      before you said "Have fun celebrating..."

      Do you think religious ideas or claims, aside from the bigotry part, should not be challenged?

  •  religious association is much like group (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass, irishwitch, jarbyus

    association.  Choose your group.  The group expects acceptance, and the members seek acceptance.  Deviate too far from the orthodoxy of the group, and you risk being expelled, and losing the acceptance that is part of what you are seeking.  This plays out in many, many groups.  Even secular, reality based ones.

    Through early morning fog I see visions of the things to be the pains that are withheld for me I realize and I can see...

    by Keith930 on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 08:55:26 PM PST

  •  I'm a Christian, and I think you (5+ / 0-)

    expressed it very well.  Thanks for not lumping all of us with the haters, who are masters at gaining media attention for themselves.  The pretend to be the majority, but they are not.

    I'm a Christian, therefore I'm a liberal.

    by VirginiaJeff on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:14:54 PM PST

  •  I know I ran across a couple of studies (6+ / 0-)

    that indicated people choose a church that reflects their political beleifs and  prejudices, rather than choosing their politics because of their religious stance.  Phil seems to personify that theory.

    The last time we mixed religion and politics people got burned at the stake.

    by irishwitch on Sun Dec 29, 2013 at 09:44:43 PM PST

    •  In fact, most research shows that the majority (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Caoimhin Laochdha

      of people choose both their political and religious alignments based on social/interpersonal considerations rather than analytical/ideological ones. Most people who support a particular political party do so not because they've studied its ideology and find it intellectually agreeable to them, they support it because their family and friends support it. They join a particular church not because of anything about its doctrines, but because it feels like a community to them.

      Most people simply aren't as concerned about ideology as we are. That's extremely painful for a political junkie to admit, but until we admit and realize it, all we're going to be able to do is revel in marginalization, pretending we're still the high-school outcasts who would never listen to a band that's popular.

      Unfortunately when smart and educated people get crazy ideas they can come up with plausibly truthy arguments. -- Andrew F Cockburn

      by ebohlman on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 01:17:27 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Expecting people who have little or no (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Caoimhin Laochdha, jarbyus

        self-knowledge to describe their motivation with any kind of accuracy is useless. That's why most social and economic "research" has no predictive value.

        Yes, humans are basically social creatures, not designed for an independent existence, like the frogs and toads, who only come together to lay and fertilize eggs. How their socialization is expressed is varied and variable. Being ordered around in a group is acceptable, as long as the results are positive. Unfortunately, humans tend not to learn from the bad experiences of others. Sometimes it seems they emulate success and failure with equal enthusiasm. Perhaps that's because the emulators are backwards looking and do not have the capacity to anticipate the future and/or avoid negative results.

        Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

        by hannah on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 03:11:20 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  It goes further -- (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      irishwitch, jarbyus
      people choose a church that reflects their political beliefs and  prejudices, rather than choosing their politics because of their religious stance.
      -- than this.

      In our own image, we create our Gods, we create our religions, and we create the beliefs and teachings that our religions espouse.  

      The Gods did not create us, we created them. We decide what our Gods say, and then our Gods tell us what we want to hear.

      Religions are created in our image and to further our beliefs no differently than any other political, cultural or social institution.

      sláinte,
      cl
      -- Religion is like sodomy: both can be harmless when practiced between consenting adults but neither should be imposed upon children.

      by Caoimhin Laochdha on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 11:52:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  don't fall for the jeffersonian separation (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    commonmass

    anxiety. The Bostonians who abolished slavery got their politics in church, going back to 1630. Without the great awakenings throughout the North, no progressive politics. The burnt over district of WNY gave us abolition, underground railroad, equal rights, womens rights and sufffrage, middle class values, etc. The success of the mainstream and liberal churches in ending Jim Crow and the Vietnam War caused a reactionary response which has been largely successful, except now for the breakthough in LGBT rights. Perhaps the Quakers, Unitarians, Catholics and others will lead on issues like war and economic inequaity again.

  •  There is a basic difference between one's faith (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caoimhin Laochdha, jarbyus

    and imposing that faith on someone else, just as there is between being obedient to the dictates of conscience and imposing obedience on someone else. Whe virtues are employed to coerce, they turn into vices.
    So, the culture of obedience is vicious, a perversion of both good counsel and the impulse to obey.
    Keep in mind that obedience is almost a prerequisite for human survival. Individuals that aren't obedient to the wisdom of elders are not likely to survive long enough to reproduce. So, there's a natural impulse to follow instruction and for it to be perverted means that the instruction has to be false. That is, the culture of obedience in which compliance is coerced relies on false advice. The instruction is not to do good, but to do wrong. Which suggests that waterboarding is the example par excellence of the culture of obedience -- not because of what happens to the victims, but because of what it does to to psyche of those who perpetrate it.

    How does one turn virtue into vice? By applying force.

    Obamacare at your fingertips: 1-800-318-2596; TTY: 1-855-889-4325

    by hannah on Mon Dec 30, 2013 at 02:59:58 AM PST

  •  I haven't read the comments, where you may already (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Fishtroller01

    have answered this question:

    Are you the same "the author" author of the Jesus and Mo commics?

  •  I am wondering when the world will (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Caoimhin Laochdha, jarbyus

    recognize the fact that the biblical texts and their off shoots are the culprit in a good portion of bigotry in the world.  Just read it cover to cover. The Old Testament is full of hatred for the non-hebrews, and much of the action against the pagan tribes by the hebrews was directed by Yahweh. Then we have Jesus, who was not above fast and furious declarations of eternal punishment for whole towns of people just because they didn't take to his preaching or the preachings of his disciples. And then you have Paul, of course, who really slammed jews and women.

    Until people walk away from these texts and put them on the shelf in the fictional mythologies books section, you will have people who can easily justify their bigotry and coat it with the patina of the divine.

    A good read on this is Elaine Pagels' The Origin of Satan.

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