Posts tagged Homosexuality

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So What About Gay Marriage?

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Did you know that Chick-Fil-A serves hate-chicken? That’s what some would have you believe since the owner was asked (at the very end of a long interview) about the long-established culture within the company. Here’s what CEO Dan Kathy said:

“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit. We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives…” [online source]

AAAHHHHHHHH! THE HATE! DIE CHRISTIAN SCUM FROM YOUR FATTY HEART-ATTACK INDUCING FAST FOOD!!!!

Seriously though, have we come to a place that an opinion like this is considered hate-speech? Chick-Fil-A serves anyone who comes through the doors, and even hires homosexuals. If they didn’t that would be bigotry.

It’s gotten to the point where cities want to prevent Chick-Fil-A from opening shop in their city. This week New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn sent a letter to New York University president asking the school to immediately end their contract with the fast food restaurant. She said:

“I write as the Speaker of the NYC Council, and on behalf of my family. NYC is a place where we celebrate diversity.”

Unless, you have a Christian world-view I guess. In response, yesterday was an unofficial “Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day.” I talked to someone last night who ate there 3 times that day. It was freakin’ HUGE, which, ironically, has gotten basically no media attention. But if 10 stinky hippies protest in front of Chick-Fil-A it makes the news cycle all week. Craziness.

What is happening to us? Can we all discuss controversial issues, like same-sex marriage, without hanging each other on the gallows?

I want to try to. Don’t you?

This weekend while the kids were watching an episode of Good Luck Charlie I decided to see what people were saying. That’s when I saw one of my friends on Facebook post:

Hey Christians, please remind me why gay marriage is”wrong”? And there’s this little thing called “proof” that I expect for each and every one of your claims. : )

The questions didn’t make me mad. It didn’t even make me squeamish. And it was clearly in response to this Chick-Fil-A issue that’s been building.

>I actually think this is a fair question to pose to Christians.

But I also think we must all agree on the starting point for this discussion.

There were, as usual, dozens of comments posted very quickly. It is a discussion I don’t usually get into, but for some reason I posted a response. Why? Did I want to mix it up? Nope. I just think we all need to be able to talk about things–even heated ones.

>Curiously, I have found any time that someone has been discussing this issue, the premise is never established.

A few times I have tried to establish a premise to build this discussion (and issue) on. The interesting thing is that I have NEVER had a response. Not once.

What do I mean? What’s that premise? Well, let me explain by quoting the comment I posted in my friends thread. I simply said:

I accept the challenge. But first, define the term “marriage”.

Immediately, my Facebook friend ‘liked’ my question. And predictably, it has been a week with over 50 comments and no one has answered my question. And I have to wonder why?

>There’s no question that gay marriage is an issue worth discussing no matter how uncomfortable it makes us feel.

But if I, as a Christian, am going to answer this and get in to this discussion, then we need to establish the starting point. My point is, Christian, you do need to be able to answer this question in a way that is creditable and respectable.

>In fact, no matter what side you are on with regard to this issue, you need to answer it in a way that is creditable and respectful. 

That means for Christians (or any supporters of traditional marriage), we have to say more than, “Well, because the Bible says…”

And if you are a supporter of gay marriage, you’ve have to build on more than an emotional basis.

And it must be said, that just because someone has a different value system than you, doesn’t make them prejudice or a bigot.

>We’ve all got to develop enough strength of character to be able to take challenges to our beliefs and values. Let’s stop being so touchy.

Lastly, I share something that I think you will find very interesting, maybe shocking.

I was in my truck waiting in line to pick up my kids from camp on Monday. I was listening to the radio and decided to see what the dictionary had to say about all this. So I got out my iPhone.

I opened Google Chrome and searched for Dictionary.com.

I clicked on the link and typed in “marriage”.  And here’s what came up first:

Did you see that? The first definition, and don’t ask me why it all came up like this, was the definition for gay marriage. So where is the traditional definition of marriage? You know, the one that most cultures have held to for the past 4,000 years?

The traditional definition of marriage came up 10th. That’s dead last.

Just thought you should know.

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Wanna Get Mad At Some ‘Christians’? Then Watch This…

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You know them well. It’s the group from the church that holds up those terrible signs at soldier funerals and other highly visible events. They are from Westboro Baptist Church. Most people hate them. They even mad it into my book.

In any event, here is a heartbreaking news segment from a young lady who they banished. It’s terrible. Most importantly, these people are awful representations of Jesus and I have nothing in common with them. Watch it:

VIDEO: Interview With The Son Of The ‘God Hates Fags’ Guy, Fred Phelps

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You know those people who picket funerals with signs that say “God Hates Fags”? I reference them in my own ABC interview. Here is the son of the founder Fred Phelps. His name is Nate Phelps and he is an atheist. It’s no wonder, right? Here is an interview he did that I find extremely sad and interesting. As a Christian, it’s should be mandatory. It’s heavy, but worth watching.

Jesus Can’t Get A Job

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Remember the movie The Passion of the Christ? It was one of the highest grossing movies of all time and has been voted the most controversial movie of all time.

Well, the actor, Jim Caviezel, who played Jesus can’t get any acting jobs anymore. According to this article:

The actor recalled Gibson’s offering him the role of Jesus in the film, then calling him back to beg him not to take it:

“He said, ‘You’ll never work in this town again.’ I told him, ‘We all have to embrace our crosses.’ ”

But the actor noted that Gibson wasn’t far off the mark when he spoke of the damage playing Jesus could do to his career.

“Jesus is as controversial now as he has ever been,” Caviezel said. “Not much has changed in 2,000 years.”

Caviezel said he doesn’t worry about the career price he paid with that film — a global box-office smash that led to fewer, not more, film offers for him. “The awards, the hall of fame” that actors get into here on Earth, he said, don’t matter to him. His reward, he said, will come in heaven.

“We have to give up our names, our reputations, our lives to speak the truth,” Caviezel said.

Pretty interesting, huh? Actually, pretty sad. If he played a gay cowboy screwing another ‘dude’ in the mountains and cheating on his wife, he’d be all set! Or if he acted more like the nut-job Charlie Sheen womanizing, cheating, prostitute-loving, drug-snorting he’d be loved by everyone and working all the time!

How dare him play Jesus…the HORROR!

He’s a great actor. What a shame. You can read the rest here. It’s a good article.

>>>

It Gets Better Project: Christian & Gay?

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So there is a new movement. It’s called “It Gets Better”. It is in response to the many suicides of teens who struggle with their sexual identity. Truly a horrible situation.

It’s no secret that this is an issue that is difficult for Christians to navigate, especially the church. I have stumbled upon a video of professing Christians who are openly and practicing gays and lesbians. It is linked below.

I’m not really going to comment on it. I just wanted to bring this trend to your attention. There is, however, one line in it that I STRONGLY disagree with. It is this:

“You were made whole and perfect the moment you were born.”

That is wrong. In fact, no matter who you are or how you were created, that is very dangerous thinking. As Christians, we must understand that we were born broken people into a broken world. This is why Jesus came and died–to redeem us of our broken state and put us on a course toward being whole. In theological terms, this is known as the process of sanctification.

Please feel to post respectful comments.

So Have You Heard About Anne Rice Quitting Christianity?

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The last couple of weeks the Christian community has been buzzing about legendary vampire author (remember Interview With The Vampire ?) Anne Rice ‘quitting’ Christianity. If you didn’t know, she became a convert about 10 years ago. More specifically, she released some statements on her Facebook fan page. They were things like:

“For those who care, and I understand if you don’t: Today I quit being a Christian … It’s simply impossible for me to ‘belong’ to this quarrelsome, hostile, disputatious, and deservedly infamous group. For ten years, I’ve tried. I’ve failed. I’m an outsider. My conscience will allow nothing else.”

-and-

“My faith in Christ is central to my life. My conversion from a pessimistic atheist lost in a world I didn’t understand, to an optimistic believer in a universe created and sustained by a loving God is crucial to me…But following Christ does not mean following His followers. Christ is infinitely more important than Christianity and always will be, no matter what Christianity is, has been or might become.”

She also said that she refuses to be “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” She said that she is leaving ‘organized’ religion’ but is still a follower of Jesus Christ.

So what can I say to Ms. Rice? What needs to be said?

Ah yes, trying to balance being a follower of Jesus, current events, and your worldview. I know it well. I do it every week here on my blog.

I do it in my book 10 Things I Hate About Christianity: Working Through the Frustrations of Faith. In fact, your (Ms. Rice) “not calling yourself a Christian” is a challenge I make in my own book. I get it.

It’s my own Interview With The Savior. HA!

Following Jesus, Ms. Rice, isn’t easy. In fact, being Jesus wasn’t easy. That’s what I discuss in my post on why Jesus Was So Darn Offensive.

Remember how they killed Jesus because he was so divisive? That’s just one idea to keep in mind.

I understand. I also don’t want to be perceived as “anti-gay,” “anti-feminist,” “anti-science” and “anti-Democrat.” And I’m not any of those things.

But sometimes, just sometimes, words of Jesus call us to value certain things, regardless of our own popularity, that are unpopular with some people. And since my faith informs, guides, and corrects my worldview, there often ripples that go in all directions and splash people inadvertently.

That is why I, as a ‘Christian’ (and I admit, I reluctantly use that term at times), am also things like anti-lying, anti-stealing, anti-divorce, anti-adultery, anti-substance abuse, anti-crime, anti-relativism, anti-pluralism, and, well, you get the idea. Sometimes people like to flirt with edge of those things. I don’t. And when I don’t, if I happen to have a relationship with someone who does, it makes them uncomfortable. Sometime it even makes them mad.

It’s not that I do anything to make them mad. I just won’t do what they do. They think I am ‘judging’ them. I’m not. I just refuse to compromise one certain things. Some positions I hold are essential, if you will, and some are nonessential. It’s the essential ones that make people mad. But that’s how I try to honor Jesus, or follow him, as you say.

Sadly, this had ended many relationships over the 22 years that I have been a Christian. Not by choice, just by default.

The truth is, it’s not that I am anti anything. It’s that I am pro stuff: pro-family, pro-fidelity, pro-justice, pro-life (yes, I am pro-life), pro-moms, pro-dads, pro-reconciliation, pro-forgiveness, and so on… And I don’t compromise my principles (the essential ones) based on comfort level, environment, or company.

It’s not easy. I understand.

I wish someone would have told that sooner, Ms. Rice. It sounds like you have never had a spiritual mentor. I haven’t either. In fact, I’ve never had a mentor in any area of life.

I’ve had to just stumble around and clumsily learn things the hard way. Would you have listened if you had a mentor, I wonder?

Well, perhaps you will listen to the words of Jesus himself:

“Do you think I came to bring peace on earth? No, I tell you, but division. From now on there will be five in one family divided against each other, three against two and two against three. They will be divided, father against son and son against father, motheragainst daughter and daughter against mother, mother-in-law against daughter-in-law and daughter-in-law against mother-in-law.”–Luke 12:51-53

Just something to keep in mind, when people don’t like your positions. It’s doesn’t mean to go out of your way to divide. But sometimes, by default, your values will. We all fall in love with the popular warm and fuzzy Jesus. His words fill Holiday cards, because he is so very marketable.

But let’s not forget the less popular Jesus. The one they killed because of his values and positions–which is what his words above are alluding to.

Know why Jesus said this? Know what he meant?

Sometime, just sometimes, following Jesus (or God) isn’t about your reputation, image, popularity, feelings, or convenience. If it is, it leads to moral relativism and philosophical pluralism every time. Even if you, Ms. Rice, try to leave ‘organized’ religion or stop calling yourself a Christian (which I support, rhetorically speaking)…it will suck–that is, if you base your ‘following’ on the words, life, and teachings of Jesus.

I hope this was helpful, because it was meant to be.

I wish you all the best, Ms. Rice!

Will Homosexuality Keep You Out of Heaven?

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http://www.gettysburgflag.com/images/OrigRainbow.jpg

So I was doing a radio interview recently. Again, due to the title of my book, it was not a Christian show, station, or host (that I know of). The station branded itself as featuring liberal (aka progressive) talk radio. I get the opportunity to do this a lot, which is awesome (and sometimes nerve-racking).

Whenever doing interviews like this there are always some common themes that I get challenged to discuss (like Hell which I mentioned here). This day was not different. So the host blasts me (he was respectful, though) with this question:

I’m a homosexual male…will that keep me out of Heaven?

Ouch! That was awkward. I stumbled for a split second. This is when I said, “Um..” to gather my thoughts for a moment. Now, you’re not supposed to say um because it doesn’t make for a good public speaking. But it was short and quick and I immediately asked him to clarify his question.

Specifically, he wanted to know if the alleged ‘sin’ of homosexuality would keep someone out of Heaven.

I explained that as I understand the Bible and teachings of Jesus, no particular ‘sin’ will keep a person from eternity with God. In fact, I explained that I am quite a sinner myself.

As I understand it, no particular action or set of actions (rituals/legalism) can earn you your way into heaven. And no set of actions will necessarily keep you out of Heaven. The message of Jesus is about believing in him and faith, not rituals and repetition–something that religious people of the day lost sight of. First and foremost, it is about faith and belief.

I referenced my favorite phrase of Jesus at this point. I told the host that Jesus said, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6)

I explained that, from my perspective, what you believe about Jesus said here is what determines you eternity with God, not your actions specifically.

I also explained that I am very thankful about this because i would never be able to ‘earn’ my way into Heaven, since I am quite imperfect.

But this does not mean we are totally off the hook.

I did also mention that Jesus challenges us all on how we live. If we believe in him, we do have to answer for our actions and may even have to change them. In fact, as imperfect as I am, I have had to change many things in my life in order to try to be more like Jesus. Ultimately, we are all responsible for ourselves, our actions, and what we believe.

But Heaven itself is about what we believe about Jesus.That’s what I told the host.

At the end, the host actually thanked me for my answer. WOW!

They don’t all go well, but that one did.

Funeral, Family, & Frustration

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On March 3, 2006, Marine Lance Cpl. Matthew A. Snyder died in a non-combat related vehicle accident in Al Anbar province in Iraq. His body was sent home to the family to bring closure to their grief as they buried him.

But the funeral was disrupted.

As over 1,500 people walked outside in the procession, they were distracted by a group of ‘Christians’ from Westboro Baptist Church (where Fred Phelps is pastor) waving signs. These signs had phrases inferring that fallen soldiers like Snyder were suffering the wrath of God due to America’s acceptance of alternative lifestyles. I’m sure you’ve seen them in the news–signs like God hates fags.

What’s different about this situation is that Snyder’s father filed a lawsuit against the group. A jury awarded him nearly $11 million dollars for invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. But the U.S.Court of Appeals overturned the verdict on the grounds that the church’s First Amendment right to free expression must be protected.

To make matters worse, the court ordered Snyder’s father to pay the legal costs for the Phelps clan totaling $16,000.

As hard it is to say, this is the correct court ruling. It pains me to admit that, but the law is the law. Fortunately, a citizen came to the rescue and paid the legal costs.

God doesn’t hate ‘fags’. If you ask me, he hates people like those from Wesboro Baptist Church who would do these things to these poor families just trying to bury their dead. As I read the Gospels, I just don’t picture Jesus doing something like this. And neither should his alleged followers.

Yes, I believe God hates people who claim to follow him but misrepresent him. Remember the legend of the Pharisees and Sadducees? God came to love people, especially those hurting and in pain.

*UPDATE: Here is great video of what someone did in response to WBC. Thanks Thomas!

Was Jesus Gay?

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According to Elton John, Jesus was a gay lord. That’s what the acclaimed musician and songwriter said a few weeks ago in an upcoming US interview (sourced here).

He said to Parade magazine:

“I think Jesus was a compassionate, super-intelligent gay man who understood human problems.”

Hmmm…. There are so many questions I have. No, they aren’t things like Does Jesus like show-tunes or drive a Subaru?

I’m not the kind of guy who gets enraged at statements like this. I wonder where Elton gets this. I’m sure it’s not based on his extensive seminary research or studies in church history.

There is often a temptation to personify and contextualize Jesus based on ourselves. It’s why so many American churches have portraits of Jesus as white, blond, and blue-eyed. Each ethnic group does the same thing–everyone tends to do it.

And that’s what Elton has done.

The more important question for me (as a follower of Jesus) is:

Am I like Jesus? Do I personify him?

Sure, it’s easy to throw the guy who sang the Circle of Life into the ring of fire. Or we can use the tension in our lives for something positive.

And so I wonder what Jesus would say in an interview with Parade magazine (theoretically speaking, of course), were he to describe me:

“I think Jason is a…”

What would he say about you?

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