GaGa For God

Image via Billboard.com

Lady GaGa is quite the performer.  She has a commanding stage presence and demands attention where ever she goes.  I’m not a fan of her music.  Not out of protest, but I don’t listen to much music, and the music I do listen to is of a different genre.  I had recently read a headline reporting that Lady GaGa had denied Weird Al from including a parody of her song “Born This Way” on his newest album.  She has since changed her mind and Weird Al will be releasing his new album complete with the parody in the near future.  Having never heard “Born This Way” I thought I’d give it a listen while reading the lyrics along side the music.  For those of you who are not familiar with the song, it basically recalls the encouragement from a mother to her child–who it is implied is homosexual–that they are born that way, made by God, and are unique and special.

By the way, I should admit I think it’s a very catchy song and it has a good sound.  But naturally, there were a few lyrics which caught my attention.  Musical artists are known for making political and ideological statements through their music, and GaGa is no different.  The idea she presents in this song usually surfaces when the discussion of morality and homosexuality arise.  Unfortunately, when I hear this idea, I think the one offering it has not thought it through completely.

“THERE’S NOTHIN WRONG WITH LOVIN WHO YOU ARE”
SHE SAID, “‘CAUSE HE MADE YOU PERFECT, BABE”

[…]

I’M BEAUTIFUL IN MY WAY
‘CAUSE GOD MAKES NO MISTAKES

I think there is an argument being made here for the moral goodness, or at least the moral benignity of homosexual desires.  The argument would go something like this:

  • God is a perfect being (implied) and does not make mistakes (explicit)
  • Everything God makes is also perfect
  • God made each person, and knew each person’s attributes
  • Therefore each person’s attributes are intentional and acceptable in God’s eyes

The flawed logic is not my concern.  What I want to focus on is the consequence of this line of thinking if we draw it out.  Let’s assume this is sound reasoning; what follows from this idea that everyone’s personal attributes are intentional and acceptable?

The consequence is that we could never tell someone a desire they felt, was morally wrong.  Whether the person offering this reasoning realizes it or not, they are subscribing to a form of moral relativism.  If we can use this to argue that homosexuality is morally good or benign, we have to allow it for every sexual desire. 

If the author of our sexuality is God, then how can we say the person sexually attracted to children, or animals is morally bad?  Sexuality is sexuality, desires are desires.  What would determine only homosexual and heterosexual desires are morally good or benign and not other sexual desires most people would determine immoral without making an appeal to special pleading? Who are we to argue with God?  If God made people with homo and heterosexual desires, then it follows God made people with sexual desires toward animals, children, or other objects.

But on this view, God wouldn’t just be the author of the sexuality chapter which makes us who we are, He would be the author of the whole book of desires.  Those who enjoy violence, prone to alcoholism or drug addiction, and any other psychological disorder are all made that way, perfect, by God.  On the view that God makes each us perfectly, we would be as morally wrong to condemn someone as immoral who enjoys torturing babies for the pleasure it brings them, as we would be to condemn homosexual desires as immoral.  Again, on this view, who are we to say something God made perfect, is immoral?

I don’t see how you can escape the moral relativism in an argument like this.  Of course, one could argue for the moral goodness or benignity of homosexual desires on other grounds.  But to argue its goodness and benignity based on God’s making, would have to necessarily also argue for the goodness and benignity of every human desire.  You can’t defend homosexual desires while condemning other desires and still be consistent.

Comments

  1. Yes, shockingly enough, it was bad theology from Gaga. It would be fun to interview her, STR-style, and ask what she means and how she came to those conclusions. Where did she learn about God’s nature? What is her authoritative source?

    Using her logic, God made gay-bashers that way, so how can you criticize them? How could she have grounding to criticize someone like Democrat Fred Phelps?

  2. rautakyy says:

    Neil, being a homosexual has nothing to do with free will even if homosexuals were not born that way. Attacking homosexuals for what they are is a result of a (more or less) intellectual choise and part of the concept of free will. Alledgedly gods do not distribute our opinions to us, but we actually choose them ourselves. Homosexuality is not a matter of choise.

    John Barron Jr, as you know I do not think any gods made us the way we are. In fact what your article goes to show, is that no particularly benevolent or omnipotent god made any of us. The evidence is obvious, a lot of people have social flaws inherent. A psychopath does not choose to be a psychopath and a sociopath does not even acknowledge he is one. It has absolutely nothing to do with their free will. Has god not made them such? If not, then who is responsible?

    The only relevant moral question about different sexuality is exactly the same as with all morality. What harm do our actions bring to others? Sex with animals and children is obviously wrong, because it goes against their free will. Adults are perfectly capable on deciding on what kind of sexuality they engage in by their own free will, while children are not.

    • John Barron says:

      I think you may be missing the point. Lady GaGa and other who use this argument: My lifestyle/choices are morally good or benign because God made me the way I am, and God does not make mistakes, fail to realize that if they wish to defend their life choices using this argument, then to be consistent they must allow others including child molesters, rapists, and even gay-bashers to use the argument to justify their life choices.

      She and others are in essence saying “you’re behavior of judging/condemning my life choices is wrong because God made me this way” This is a self-refuting argument. She is doing the very thing she is claiming other ought not do, judge on the basis of life choices. If God made her that way, then God made them that way, and she is violating her own admonition.

  3. rautakyy says:

    There is a difference in what we are and in what we choose to be. Lady GaGa is not claiming people were born with their understanding of homosexuality. That is something people have to take responsibility about. What she is claiming is that since a god made people as they are, god also made some people homosexual, that is what they are. Opinions are chosen (by free will) sexual orientation is not.

    Congratulations! You have found a sound argument against the existance of a sane, benevolent or omnipotent nature of a god.

    • John Barron says:

      I think you may be skimming my commentary and comments.

      Lady GaGa is not claiming people were born with their understanding of homosexuality

      This is not what I said at all.

      What she is claiming is that since a god made people as they are, god also made some people homosexual, that is what they are

      This is what I have been saying. And it is this which serves to defeat her argument. If she/they/homosexuals are “made/born that way”, then so is everyone else. And her being upset and admonishing people for judging her is violating her own admonishment! If we shouldn’t judge people for a trait they were born with, then neither should she! If we are all born the way we are by the intention of God, then she is just as wrong for condemning the “homophobes”, gay bashers, pedophiles, rapists, those who torture babies for fun, etc. It doesn’t matter if those other desires hurt people, or are not between conscenting adults, it doesn’t matter, they were born that way made that way intentionally and perfect by God!

      And no, it doesn’t argue against the existenct of a sane benevolent God at all. Her theology, however undeveloped and rudimentary it may be, is poorly thought out.

  4. Here’s the thing. The premise is all wrong to start with. God made only two people – Adam and Eve. Everyone is a result of procreation through a process God designed. So God did not make anyone except the first couple the way they are. Humans were meant to be perfect and immortal, but when sin entered the world through Adam and Eve, the human body slowly acquired defects to the point where today we all have defective bodies as well as defective minds. We make sinful choices and we have corrupted minds. The corruption came because sin entered the world, not because God made anyone the way they are.

    And lastly, even if people are born with an orientation towards members of the same sex (there is no evidence of such, but let’s hypothesize), they still have the free-will choice whether to act on an orientation that they know is wrong.

  5. They were not “born that way.” That is anti-science. And if they were and it could be detected in utero, they’d quickly be aborted out of existence. I assure you that all the hetero parents who have been cowed into acceptance mode wouldn’t hesitate to kill their allegedly homosexual kids, considering how they already destroy them for so many other selfish reasons (wrong sex, cleft palate, Down Syndrome, just plain unwanted, etc.).

    And for you to insist that they are born that way is truly homophobic. What do you hate them so much that you’d imply that it wasn’t a completely positive lifestyle for someone to switch to?

  6. rautakyy says:

    I do not think Lady GaGa has any theology, not in her comment you have taken at least. Like most of the people in the world, do not give a second thought to theological problems. What she is stating is more like a philosophical dilemma. I did not claim I think the way you have interpreted Lady GaGa to think. Nor do I agree with her. I do not even claim to know what she thinks, but how I interpreted it, makes certainly more sense, than what you guys pose as opposition to her thought.

    It is absurd to talk about an imaginary charater creating anything, let alone the human race. But it is also funny how serious people get about it. I mean how funny can you get? Here we are debating words of a pop song.

    Let me get this “straight”. A god creates humans, knowing everything there is to know about every human being in the future and how they shall become what they are. The god is displeased how the first humans turned out, alltough they are perfect creations by said god. The alledged god then casts the imperfect humans and their offspring to eternal pain because the first ones used their free will immorally as the said god knew they would, only to save some of the offspring judging by their respective gollability? It really does not make any sense. Does it?

    I did not claim people are born homosexual. I said that is how they are. I do not think people who suffer of vertigo, racistic attitudes, aracnophobia or homophobia were born thus. Those are fears some people learn as they grow up. They are irrational and harmfull states of human psyche, that people should learn to handle and eventually meet their fears rationally and overcome them. Some of these phobias are mostly only harmful to the people themselves like agoraphobia and some are harmful to others like racism or homophobia. Homosexuality is not harmfull in any way, so it requires no cure. There is a big difference between your sexual identity and your opinions, even fears. The greatly differ also how they develope or how interchangeble they are. Is there not?

    Can you not see, that if we the heterosexuals were the minority, that was forced into homosexuality by religious attitudes, it would be violence towards our identity? Would you give up your sexual identity, if the extreme part of our society started to demand that? Would you withold from your kind of sexuality on those grounds?

    The world is imperfect. There are pedophiles in it. We do not have to accept them and they should be treated as humanely as possible to keep them from harming children. Right?

  7. John…

    If the author of our sexuality is God, then how can we say the person sexually attracted to children, or animals is morally bad? Sexuality is sexuality, desires are desires. What would determine only homosexual and heterosexual desires are morally good or benign and not other sexual desires most people would determine immoral without making an appeal to special pleading?

    The difference (one difference) – and it’s a BIG one – is that two adult males falling in love (and love is a good thing), committing to one another (and commitment is a good thing), being faithful to one another (and fidelity is a good thing)… are causing no harm to anyone else.

    They are, in fact, engaging in biblically moral behavior (fidelity, commitment, love, respect, etc)

    On the other hand, anyone who’d have sex with a child or an animal is engaging in manipulative, harmful behavior. Harmful how? Because a child or an animal is not a consenting adult. Thus, the harm.

    So, on the one hand, we have biblically positive behaviors happening between two consenting adults = no harm.
    On the other hand, we have NO adult consent = harm.

    We can have all manner of hunches about what God intended in OT and NT passages, especially the more obscure passages on barely discussed topics. But we can safely assume that God does not intend us to harm one another. “Shed no innocent blood,” the Bible tells us, in many and manifestly clear ways. We will be held accountable to harm done to innocents, the Bible teaches us in many and manifestly clear ways. Beyond that, our own conscience confirms this reality – it is a self-evident truth.

    So, that’s at least one reason why we can make a distinction between what two consenting adults do and what one adult does to an non-consenting/non-adult. Easily.

    John…

    Who are we to argue with God? If God made people with homo and heterosexual desires, then it follows God made people with sexual desires toward animals, children, or other objects.

    On this point, I think (and you probably agree) that the premise is a bad one. God does not make “perfect” people. God makes people with free will and those with free will can freely choose to engage in good or bad, in positive or harmful behavior. So, the mere fact that someone is innately attracted to geese, for instance, or innately likes to beat up people, for instance, does not mean that these are God’s will or that they are moral acts.

    On that point, I think you and I (and everyone else here?) can agree.

    Does this seem a reasonable distinction to you?

    • John Barron says:

      Unfortunately you did not grasp the point of my commentary. This was not an apologetic for the sin of homosexual behavior, it was exposing the flaw of arguing for the moral goodness or benignity of homosexuality anchored in God’s intentionally creating the individual as a homosexual.

      Second, your exegesis of the Bible passages condemning homosexual behavior is terribly deficient and I believe motivated by political correctness. Since this article is not a biblical argument for or against the morality of homosexuality, I won’t address it here. As much as I’d like to expound on your error, I am notorious for keeping the discussion on-topic.

  8. Dan,

    As you do everywhere else, you lie about God and what the Bible says. The Bible is very clear that homosexuality is wrong, immoral and that homosexual behavior is a sin. You want to re-interpret Scripture to meet your belief rather than accept what Scripture says. These are not obscure passages, nor has anyone doubted their meanings until the last few decades of liberals who want to justify homosexual behavior, and suddenly these passages really don’t mean what they seem to mean.

    Homosexual behavior does indeed harm the individuals engaged in homosexual behavior; there are plenty of medical studies proving such. But let’s hypothesize just for you and say that such behavior does no harm; since when does pragmatism determine whether something is right or wrong?

    Two males falling in love – sexual, romantic love – is NOT a good thing because God says it isn’t.

    If you want pragmatics, there are those who claim that there is no harm to a child having sex with an adult as long as a parent doesn’t object, which will then give the child guilt. Also, there are countries who say a child as young as 12 can give consent to sexual relations.

    And just how does a person having sex with an animal harm the animal?

    Using harm as your standard of morality leaves a very subjective standard of what harm is.

  9. Fair enough. On topic, then, we disagree.

    Off topic, I’d be glad to correct your misunderstanding on my position (as I have done over at the blog where I first “met” you) and talk theology at your convenience.

  10. D’oh. I meant to say, “On topic, then, we AGREE,” since I agree that suggesting God made us perfectly is a poor argument, if anyone is making that argument.

    John, out of respect to keeping on topic, I’ll not respond to Glenn’s ad hom attacks and slander.

    However, I’d appreciate it if you limited the OFF topic ad hom attacks (re: Glenn’s “you lie”) from those on your “side” of the discussion. If you’re going to ask that I keep to the topic, I’d hope that you would either allow me to respond to the slander or not post such slander. Since we both know (I’m sure you’re aware) that slander is condemned in the Bible.

    • John Barron says:

      You should reply, but keep in mind, if you are a professing Christian, the Bible commands Christians to expose and rebuke false teaching. From the way you contort in order to claim homosexual behavior is not a sin, I actually would equate that to lying. It is a very dishonest look at the issue. Pointing out that you believe someone is lying is not an ad hom attack. But by all means, respond to Glenn.

      Having said that…

      Glenn, I can appreciate your passion for this issue. I wanted to respond showing where Dan’s error is, but I didn’t because the morality of homosexual behavior in not the topic. perhaps I shouldn’t be such a stickler for this, but it has always bugged me when comments and discussion threads get so far off topic, the discussion looks nothing like the original post.

  11. John, if you think I should respond, I will. Thank you.

    Glenn said…

    As you do everywhere else, you lie about God and what the Bible says.

    This is an ad hom attack. You are not discussing my point, but attacking me, personally, broadly and without support.

    In fact, I have not lied. Rather, it is your presumption that I am MISTAKEN, and that is always a possibility. But I have not lied. I have not deliberately expressed an untruth. This is a falsehood, a bearing of false witness, which is clearly condemned in the Bible and which is just poor communication style and a logical fallacy.

    When we began discussing this at your blog, you cut off the communication when you no longer wished to address me and before I had completed my case (and what is it with rightwing religious blogs that they so often ban comments? that strikes me as odd).

    Cutting off conversations is your prerogative. But since you haven’t really heard me out, but rather, just listened to a few points I made and then began with ad hom attacks and false witness such as this, you sort of undermine your credibility from a logical or moral point of view, I hope you can see that.

    If you’d like to discuss this sometime in an appropriate venue, I’m always glad to do so. Hopefully with respect and charity.

    John…

    but keep in mind, if you are a professing Christian, the Bible commands Christians to expose and rebuke false teaching.

    I am fine with holding respectful conversations with fellow Christians and discussing positions on which we disagree. I’m fine with saying something is wrong. But I expect Christians conversations – especially public ones – to be models of civility and respect.

    I’ve done a blog entry about what the Bible actually has to say about “False teaching/teachers” and pointed out that, in my opinion, this is too often appropriated to rudely blast those with whom we disagree, as opposed to actual false teachers. There is a difference, I hope you can agree, between false teachers and those who merely hold opinions with which you disagree.

    Biblically, at least, there is.

    You continued…

    From the way you contort in order to claim homosexual behavior is not a sin, I actually would equate that to lying. It is a very dishonest look at the issue.

    “Contort”? Contort implies deliberate twisting. There has been no deliberate twisting on my part. If you merely wish to suggest you suspect I’m mistaken, then by all means, say that. Please don’t imply misdeed, though, where none exists.

    Could I (or you or Glenn) be mistaken on any point? Yes, we all could. But that does not mean that you or I are lying, does it?

    Unless you wish me to continue a defense of my positions, I’ll let it go at that.

  12. Dan, to say you are lying is not an ad hominem attack. Perhaps you need to read up on what that is.

    John, I agree that comments should be on topic, but it was difficult to let Dan’s comment go. Dan posts on as many blogs as possible promoting his idea that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality. I will not comment further on his claims.

  13. First let me say how important a topic this is- we should all endeavor to bicker over the logic of Top 40 music!

    What a perfect opportunity to launch into religiously driven agendas regarding the cause of homosexual behavior. I especially appreciate the insinuation that non-Christians are chomping at the bit to abort homosexual fetuses-how delightfully on topic, Neil! I guess one cannot expect the on-topic rule to apply to everyone! Especially not to Neil.

    John, I appreciate what you are trying to highlight here. But I confess that I think philosophy is not the strong suit of popular music. I understand that you are using a popular reference to highlight what you feel is a common logical inconsistency among many people, but I can’t help but feel uncomfortable either supporting or refuting pop lyrics.
    I will chime in that I believe that any mingling of Christian faith with homosexuality is silly and indefensible.
    I do not consider someone who tries to create a bridge between the two to be a “liar”- more like misinformed or delusional.
    Regardless, homosexuality can only be considered immoral through a Divine Command style religious doctrine. The anti-gay argument fails any test of logic and reason, and stands as one of the few moral postulates that the Bible serves as the sole defense of.

    • John Barron says:

      George, please rest assured I am under no illusion that music performers have sat and contemplated the deep philosophical ideas their lyrics are espousing. I don’t for a second think GaGa sat down and checked her lyrics for logical fallacies or internal contradictions.

      However, I think you know and understand that many people share the sentiment of the words, and would in fact use this line of reasoning to defend their homosexual desires. That is really the focus, GaGa merely provided the motivation and vehicle to bring it up as you pointed out.

      On Neil’s comment, I think you will see he was really making a passing comment to someone else, not a comment from him out of nowhere.

      Before this gets out of hand, off-topic comments are frowned upon here. I don’t rule with an iron fist, you see as well as I do that tangents are made. I don’t really care about that. But some people (like the one and only banned person) come in and start right off the bat and bring the discussion somewhere else. You and all the other regulars have leway, since generally speaking, you are on topic and are not disruptive. Dan and Glenn are relatively new and just to get things off in the right direction, I mentioned it. Calm down.

      Also, when I say someone who makes the argument that the Bible is neutral or affirming of homosexual behavior is lying or dishonest, it is because I believe they started with a proper understanding–then came to dislike the proper understanding–and fished for a way to understand it more to their liking. It is more than mistaken, I consider that dishonest.

  14. Glenn, the definition of “lie,” from MW:

    1: to make an untrue statement with intent to deceive

    I have not done this. You have no evidence that I have done this. You aren’t “god” enough to know what my intents are, but I can assure you, they are nothing but honorable. You can guess and make such gossipy comments in a public forum about your guesses about my intentions, but with no evidence (and you have provided none), it remains gossip and slander.

    To the extent that you offer some evidence that a person is lying, one could accuse a person of lying and not necessarily be an ad hom attack (an attack on the person), although even that is debatable, seems to me.

    You COULD say, “This person said X and X is a false statement,” and absolutely not be an ad hom attack. But by attacking the person rather than the argument, you are, by definition, engaging in an ad hom attack.

    Fair enough?

    But of course, you are now withdrawing once again from the discussion. Popping up to make an unsupported accusation and to gossip, then going away. I’d suggest that if you have a problem with me, you could discuss it in person or, if you’re going to make it public, you could have the decency to support your charges.

    As it is, as already noted, you are merely undermining your own credibility with this style of attack and run argumentation.

  15. George…

    I will chime in that I believe that any mingling of Christian faith with homosexuality is silly and indefensible.
    I do not consider someone who tries to create a bridge between the two to be a “liar”- more like misinformed or delusional.

    This is probably off topic and should be saved for another time, but if you deem it appropriate, John, I’ll respond.

    You are welcome, of course, to believe that “mingling” Christianity and differing positions on homosexuality or other behaviors is silly and indefensible, but others will disagree.

    As to “misinformed or delusional,” all I can say is that I have been a Christian for 38 years now, was opposed to the notion of gay marriage for the first half of that time and, through prayer and Bible study, came to a differing opinion the second half of that time. I’m quite well informed about what the Bible has to say about the topic (which is very little, in fact). I don’t think I’m especially delusional, although Dr Nussbaum might hold a differing notion.

    I’m at least fairly informed as to what others in the Christian tradition have had to say about homosexuality over the years. In fact, on this and many topics, Christians have had disagreements throughout the ages. It happens and generally speaking, not just because one or the other side is misinformed or delusional.

    On some topics (like this one where there is very little in the Bible to support conclusions), we have to figure out the best we can what the most “right” answer is. The Bible never speaks of gay marriage in a modern world, it never speaks of nuclear weapons or mass transit or the personal auto or genetically modified organisms. Sometimes, we have to figure these things out and, while traditionally, the majority may have felt one way within Christianity, the majority doesn’t get to decide what is right and wrong. The majority went along with slavery and treating women as second class citizens for years, but that did not make it right.

    In fact, the Bible teaches us the truth that “wide is the road that leads to destruction, but narrow is the path that leads to truth,” so the popularity of a belief is hardly a valid measure for its righteousness.

    Fair enough?

  16. John…

    when I say someone who makes the argument that the Bible is neutral or affirming of homosexual behavior is lying or dishonest, it is because I believe they started with a proper understanding–then came to dislike the proper understanding–and fished for a way to understand it more to their liking. It is more than mistaken, I consider that dishonest.

    But the thing is, you don’t even know me. If you are guessing in ignorance (ie, not insulting you, just saying you are ignorant of me and my past) that I have fished for a way to understand it that is more to my liking, then you are just plain mistaken.

    I addressed this over at the Right Libertarian’s page where you suggested that, but perhaps you missed my clarification on that point. So, I’ll state it here clearly:

    1. I was raised traditional conservative S Baptist. QUITE well educated on the Bible (for which I thank the S Baptists).
    2. I changed my position NOT because I wanted to or to find something that I liked better – I was perfectly fine with being opposed to gay marriage and the (what I considered) normalization of homosexuality.
    3. It was through prayerful, careful Bible study that I changed my opinion. NOT because I’m gay, or because I had gay friends, or because I was reading gay literature or liberal Christians, but SIMPLY BECAUSE that is what I believe the Bible has to teach us on this point.

    So, it would be an outright falsehood and dishonest, at least in my case, to say that I changed my position due to a desire to “be nice” or because I didn’t like the traditional teaching. That is simply not the case, in my personal experience (and the experience of many folk at my current church, for what it’s worth).

    I’m quite sure that there are those out there who adapt their position in an effort to “be nice,” but that is simply not true in my case.

    Fair enough?

  17. I know that I am spending my on-topic capital here, but your defense of Neil is hardly honest. The only commenter who might have advocated that people are “born that way” (which predicates Neils trivial and borderline insane tirade) is rautakyy , who clearly says in the preceding post that his argument is based on an “even if” acceptance of genetic predisposition to homosexuality. I will stand firm with my assertion that you have three sets of rules; for those who agree with you, those who do not, and Neil. (Maybe for me as well?)
    Perhaps I am projecting more nobility upon you then is warranted, but I really expect more.

    Back to (sort of?) the topic.
    Dan, you argue from both sides of your mouth. You cannot argue that homosexuality is in the league of modern issues unmentioned in the bible, therefore we must form a biblically implicit opinion when there are clearly passages that explicitly condemn the behavior. Also,appeals to popular approval are irrelevant in a religion that purports to have a God-inspired foundational text.
    I’m all for gay rights, I just think that we have no right to put words in God’s mouth. You can take the tack that Christians ought not to enforce their more unreasonable doctrines on a pluralistic society, or that human rights stand independent of religious dogma. You cannot say that the bible is wishy-washy on homosexuality. You cannot claim that the bible supports gay lifestyles.
    It is disingenuous. Those who disagree are picking and choosing scripture to suit their own feelings. If you want to debate where this conversation is on-topic, here’s a post I wrote on the subject.

    • John Barron says:

      Ok George, I don’t see it, its not obvious to me. I’ll take your word for it, I take you to be a straight shooter (no pun intended) and I’ll try to step back a little and be a bit more equitable.

  18. rautakyy says:

    Now, that I have had time to think about it. John Barron Jr is on to something interresting here with his article. Lady GaGa in her lyrics is propably more representative of the general knowledge and thinking about the bible and christianity than any theologians. If even theologians can not agree what is in the bible and what is the will of the god of christians, how could the general christian population, let alone us who are not christians be expected to?

    If a god expects humans to make critical decisions on their lives based on some old religious tome (and not on pop lyrics), it is an exercice bound to fail. Most people do not read it from cover to cover. Most who do, do not get it. Most people in the world are in no position to do so because of illiteracy or simply because they have hardly even heard about the book. So many people believe they have the truth about the tome, but constantly contradict each other. If you think you have gotten the will of the god right, how can you be sure? What if your church or temple or whatever teaches it all wrong? How responsible are you for believing wrong? There are so many different religions and sects, that most people in the world who have faith, have faith in utter nonsense. One might just as well have faith in pop lyrics, if they make any sense at all.

    Yet, the god of the christians is “all knowing” and knew this was going to happen allready before creating humans. Is that god a moral being at all, or simply tied to an irreverseble “faith” of failures?

    • John Barron says:

      Just because a writ is difficult to understand, does not mean it cannot be understood. In fact I think your liberla use of the word “most” is unwarranted. The majority of people who read the Bible can understand it. People may disagree on a minute portion, but as an overall work, it is not that difficult.

      Again, just because people disagree, does not mean no one has got it right. Some have it right, some have it mostly right, some have it wrong. I suppose it’s possible no one has it right, but that is a pretty big leap.

  19. Re. the complexity of the Bible: Consider the criminal on the cross (Luke 23), the woman at the well (John 4) or the Philippian jailer (Acts 16 — “What must I do to be saved?”) as just a few examples. They were saved with the most basic knowledge and approach: Trusting in Jesus. I doubt would have won any Bible trivia contests.

    The key themes of the Bible are plain, but as you might expect with the most serious and important topic in the universe, there are complex matters as well.

    For example, there are over 100 direct and indirect claims that Jesus is the only way to salvation. Are verses like this not clear to you? 1 John 5:12-13 He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life. 1 Timothy 2:5 For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus. 1 John 2:23 No one who denies the Son has the Father; whoever acknowledges the Son has the Father also. John 14:6 Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

  20. rautakyy says:

    But which Jesus are we talking about? The one of the Roman Catholics, the one of the Orthodoxes or later Jesuses? Could it be the Jesus of the Anglicans, Lutherans, or Hussites? Maybe the Jesus of the Cathars was actually the sole true saviour Jesus. You must know, for centuries the word has had it, only one of those is the real Jesus. Or maybe it is one of the more recent Jesuses, who is the sole saviour…

    If we were to assume most people who read the bible can understand it, it still leaves most of the people in the world out of understanding it, by illiteracy and living in a culture, where bible is not seen as very important book to be read or not having even ever heard of it. Fact of the matter is however, that it is not a minute portion of the bible to disagree wether it is to be taken literally or not and which parts are to be taken literally. That however is, what most (yes most) christians are not able to agree on. Do you think the bible says the world is 6000 years old? Do you think it was in 7(!) days your god created the world in? Should women be priests? Should all the homosexuals be stoned to death? Are these examples minute parts?

    What kind of a word of a god is it, if one is not to take it absolutely literally? Maybe you should not take the part about Jesus saving souls as literally. It may very well be, he meant saving souls as a metaphora for the reward of doing the right thing in itself, that the dicipless (being the religious fanatics that they were) misunderstood completely.

    Faith is much like pop music. It sells stuff and gives people the feelings of happines and fullfilment. Some people are more fanatical about faith and about pop music, but to most folks it is just backround noise. Some people like us, are more prone to have conversations about pop music or about faith, but ultimetily these lead to nowhere, because we are not the artists. Our customer decisions however, decide which songs fill the top ten charts and which gods are worshipped. The public decides what is on the radio and which gods will fall into oblivion. The time span is a bit different, but it works much the same.

  21. Having differences of opinion on non-essential issues about Jesus and Christianity is not a big deal. In fact, God knew it would happen and gave guidance on how to deal with it (see Romans 14, for example).

    “What kind of a word of a god is it, if one is not to take it absolutely literally?”

    People should read the Bible the way they read other literature: Based on the type of writing. You don’t read history the same way you do poetry or parables.

  22. rautakyy says:

    I totally agree with you Neil, about how the bible should be read. This is exactly the method, I have used when I read it. The parts that seem like historical accounts are easy to read just as that. Especially if they concour with other historical sources. The poetic parts I have read as works of art (though translations are often feeble in comparrison to original text in poetry). The fancifull parts, like the miracles and other supernatural events, I have read as fascinating fairytales.

    Many people claim to have found some deaper meaning from the fantasy parts of the Bible. The fairytales are interresting journeys to the human psyche. I constantly find deaper meaning from fictional literature, but I do not think the Iliad or the Kalevala for example to be absolutely true, any more than the Bible. However, there have been generations of people reading these stories before me who have had no apparent reason not to believe in cyclops, or in Scylla and Kharybdis. Just as there have been generations who have had no particular reason not to believe in the story about Jonah being swallowed alive by a whale. But to take those stories today as true, would be quite ignorant.

    One can actually find deaper meaning from pop lyrics. Many of the artists are talented people who have some meaningfull or humane message. It is much about the perception you have on a certain moment in your life, how a pop song or a chant in a church move you. I think music has moved greater masses of people more deeply than all religious texts together.

    Christians have had quite a lot of serious differences of opinion about Jesus between themselves. Some sects have been literally exterminated and executed man, woman and child as a result of their version of faith. The Cathars and the Hussites for example. I bet they thought it was a big deal, when they had to face the armies of other christians. I bet it was a big deal to the crusaders who killed them all also.

  23. The miracle portions of the Bible are not written like myths.

    You shouldn’t judge ideologies by those that violate their tenets. If I do the opposite of what you tell me, people shouldn’t blame you. Same thing with Jesus.

  24. rautakyy says:

    Neil, your wrote: “The miracle portions of the Bible are not written like myths.” How do you mean? All myths were written or told as truths. That does not make any of them true. Not Kalevala, nor the Bible. Both of them tell how the world was created, they contradict each other totally and neither is true on any level of modern natural history.

    So, we are not to judge ideologies by the actions of their supporters? Then if you are not going to stone homosexuals, or people who work on sundays to death, even though the Bible commands you to do so, you are not following your own ideology, and christianity should not be judged by your actions? That christianity should be judged only according to what is in the Bible? Is that what you are saying?

    Do you judge communism according to the actions of Stalin, or by what Karl Marx wrote?

  25. If you understand styles of literature you’ll know the distinction.

    “Then if you are not going to stone homosexuals, or people who work on sundays to death, even though the Bible commands you to do so, you are not following your own ideology, and christianity should not be judged by your actions?”

    If you think that Christians are to do those things then you are demonstrating your ignorance about the Bible. I don’t say that in a mean way, just a completely factual one. Really, get a good study Bible and read the whole thing. Then you’ll be less likely to repeat fallacious sound bites.

    I judge ideologies by what they really say. You should be better informed on that which you are criticizing. If you don’t want to educate yourself thoroughly, that is your call. I just ignore people like that.

  26. rautakyy says:

    Neil, there is no distinction between the Bible and other mythical literature. Have you ever read any other mythical literature?

    What is a “study Bible”? Are there different kinds of Bibles? I thought it was the one book that actually says in it, that nothing should be taken from nor included to this book. The Bible I read through had nothing in it about which parts are to be taken seriously and which are not that important. (Though there are, of course, those Bibles with the apochyphical texts and those without.)

    The tribal laws of the jews, like those banning worship of cows, eating pork and homosexuality, were obviously set up to protect the identity of the small goatherding tribal culture in the pressure of the major civilizations of the area they roamed in. So, philosophically they would be less important than what Jesus said, but if you think the Bible is an absolute infallible word of a god, then they are all quite relevant, right? Even the parts about stoning homosexuals to death?

    So, do you think what Stalin did is not relevant in judging communism? As in what the crusaders did is not relevant in judging christianity?

  27. I know you aren’t being serious, but for the benefit of others who may be reading I’ll note the following.

    “Neil, there is no distinction between the Bible and other mythical literature. Have you ever read any other mythical literature?”

    Yes, I’ve read other mythical literature. And I trust that anyone who is an authentic seeker of truth will be able to actually read the Bible and compare it to mythical literature and see the difference.

    “What is a “study Bible”?”

    Study Bibles have footnotes giving background on the passages, suggestions on how to apply it to your life, mentions of archeological support, maps, overviews of the books, historical and cultural background, and more.

    For example, when the Galatians got Paul’s letter to the Galatians, they didn’t need a study Bible. They were the Galatians. But 2,000 years later it can be handy to understand the context of what issues they had, why Paul was writing them, etc. If someone is new to the Bible that is very helpful. It is a big book, and can be challenging to jump in the middle of it without background.

    Only an extreme literalist would consider that adding to or taking away from the text. In my experience, when it suits them, skeptics like to take the Bible so literally that it would make a fundie extremist blush.

    “The tribal laws of the jews, like those banning worship of cows, eating pork and homosexuality, were obviously set up to protect the identity of the small goatherding tribal culture in the pressure of the major civilizations of the area they roamed in. So, philosophically they would be less important than what Jesus said, but if you think the Bible is an absolute infallible word of a god, then they are all quite relevant, right? Even the parts about stoning homosexuals to death?”

    Other than a partially accurate assessment of the Israelite theocracy, I don’t get your point. You seem to concede that the laws were specifically for them. That was my point. It would not be justification to stone homosexuals now, but it is clear evidence that homosexual behavior is a serious offense against God.

    If Stalin did what Communism teaches, then that is a legitimate thing to critique. If the crusaders did what Jesus commanded, the same applies.

  28. rautakyy says:

    Neil, thanks for the insight on “study Bible”. I have never come across such a thing, if you do not count the cathechismus by Martin Luther. It has been so many years since I read that.

    On the other hand, having read archeology in the university, I do think I have quite a good insight on the backround knowledge of the culture which produced the Bible. Far better than most people who call themselves christian and less biased than a christian theologist making footnotes to the Bible. I have come to know so many ideas of gods that none of them seem very special in comparrison. They are all almost equally non-plausible, though the one from judeo-christian tradition has accumulated such an obvious historical evolution, that it is one of the least believable ones. For example the Koran is far more boring to read than the Bible, but it is also more coherent as to being the word of a god.

    What you say about the speciality of the Bible in comparisson to other mythical literature is a very subjective view. There are others who find the truth in some other mythical epic the most compelling one. So, as an outsider, your conviction does not seem any more false nor believable than any others to me. Not even the one Lady GaGa is presenting in her lyrics.

    If homosexuality is only a crime against a god and not against man, it should be left to condemn by the said god and not by men. And certainly not by the society. Maybe Lady GaGa is right and your god will forgive even this biblical “crime against god”, if she believes that is the extend of her gods mercy?

    Tlaws of the Od Testament also are a clear evidence that owning slaves is not an actual crime against a god. But today we think it is a crime against humanity. Thus, even if it was not criminal by the standards a god set for the israelites, it is still immoral. Even within those limits given in the Bible.

    I know this is a bit of topic, but Stalin did not do much things according to communist philosophy. In fact many of the first people he sent to Siberia, were the outspoken communists. But you know most crusaders honestly thought they were doing what christianity teaches. Most of them being totally illiterate had no way of knowing otherwise, since they trusted the christian priests who interpreted the bible and gods will. And you know what, most of those priests also thought they were doing gods bidding. That is what they found in the Bible even though they were true believers. The Bible is so unbiquous, that christians have interpreted it in so many ways during the centuries through the understanding of morals of their own time and culture. If there exists a god of the christians, how can this alledged god be removed from responsibilty for the souls of the poor crusaders who only thought they were fighting for a god, or did they recieve mercy even though they did those horrid deeds in the name of Jesus? Is it right that an average American homosexual is bound to hell, but the crusader who killed children after the storming of Jerusalem has absolution and goes to Heaven? That the average Chinese or Indian family has to suffer an eternity in Hell while the average American murderer, who becomes a born again christian in prison will be absolved? Is that right?

    Could your god not be bothered to give a holy book that also meant sense to people of all times to you, me and Lady GaGa and all the Chinese and Indian people as well, not just to the people of those days when every individual part of the bible was written. I hear this god of yours is allmighty so that should not have been an impossible feat. I bet Jesus did not have a “study bible” nor did the apostoles, though they lived in a completely different age from Moses or even David. Most christians through the centuries have not had an access to a “study bible”, not to speak about all the other people sent to Hell, even though they might have been saved from eternal pains by such a simple object. Is your god not responsible for that?

    Absolute power = Absolute responsibility.

  29. Your judgment of God would be amusing if the topic weren’t so serious. I suppose it never occurs to you that if your worldview is true that you have no grounding to make any such claims. Darwinian evolution, if true, wouldn’t select for truth but for survivability, and it can’t ground morality no matter hard hard you try. And of course, it would be 100% responsible for my conversion from atheism to trusting in the evidence for the life, death and resurrection of Jesus.

    Really, study the Bible carefully. Start with Romans. God makes no apologies for whom He saves and who He doesn’t. It is all by his grace. A just judge is under no obligation to let completely guilty criminals go free. The Bible addresses your tough questions and more.

    You can use worldly wisdom to pose supposed dilemmas for the Christian worldview, but they just demonstrate your lack of understanding. The default destination for all sinners is Hell. Those victims you cite weren’t innocent of sins against God, they just had a different list. It is only by his grace and mercy that anyone is saved.

    You are welcome to the last word. But I encourage you to read more carefully that which you are criticizing. Eternity is a mighty long time, and your pride will vanish in an instant when you face judgment.

  30. “though the one from judeo-christian tradition has accumulated such an obvious historical evolution”

    Sorry, one last comment for you to think about. I am inferring here, but I assume you are referring to the Zeitgeist-style arguments that Christianity borrowed from mystery religions. That was thoroughly debunked in the last century but those fallacious claims have made a comeback in the Internet age. If you hold those views, do yourself a favor and do some research on the facts. Pleaseconvinceme.com has some good resources on that.

  31. Neil, add KingDavid8.com next time you link for the subject of Jesus=copycat mythology.

  32. Thanks, that is a very thorough page! I added it to my Copycats post — http://wp.me/s1wGU-copycats (Warning: Shameless plug!)

  33. rautakyy says:

    Well, thank you Neil, I suppose, it was meant to be funny. What would the point be about talking something we are unable to comprehend, other than to have fun on the subject. After all we are still discussing the relevance of the lyrics of a pop song?

    A just judge is under moral obligation to judge people by the same measure. If the criminals start worshipping the judge, that is not a moral justification to let those criminals to recieve mercy.

    The evolution theory is a valid base for the development of morality. It is really not that complicated even. Morals means the code of manners we as species and as a society accept. It is not just about the survival of the fittest individual, but also the survival of the fittest society, community, spieces, and fitting in to the right niche of nature. The last one is the most important to our ability to survive.

    You Neil, repeatedly tell me to study more of the Bible before critizising christian faith. Well, I have read it. Should the word of your god not be obvious to me as a result? Is the Bible somehow badly written, that the word of god has not revealed itself to me through the book? Maybe Lady GaGa has read the book and found inspiration to her lyrics from it. What if her interpretation of the book is more accurate than yours? I have no way of telling, other than what I see is moral and what is not.

    I would recommend you to study more about other myths, religions and the cultural history of morals and the evolution theory, before critizising it. Most christians in the world, by the way, have no problem accepting the evolution theory and Darwin was a christian.

    What I mean whith the evolution of the judeo-christian god, is allmost all in the Bible. Much of the evolution has happened since during the assimilation of christianity by the Roman empire, but most of it is in the Bible. How the storyline grows, from a god of the smalltime tribal god in exile to a god of a nation of mighty kings and when that kingdom is lost the god grows to be some sort of sole god of all the nations in the world. It is an immaterial god, because it is the god of the goatherders who can not carry heavy images of gods whith them. Much like the god of a nother tribal people the mongols. It was not borrowed form mongols, but it is similar for the similar reasons. When jews became urban their god starts to live in a temple and not in a tent. It is very similar temple as to those of the Egyptians and the nations of Levant, that it has the most holy part secret to the masses. When the Roman empire embraces christianity the christian god starts to live in basilicas similar to the former “pagan” gods. The Roman christians start to make images of their god and so forth… As he changes accommodation and form of culture this god evolves from a god of certain tribe to a god that is mightier than other gods and later into a sole existing god.

    This god still today retains many of the typical attributes of the tribal god. 1. Even if he is supposedly the sole god of monotheism, there exists these other supernatural and super powerfull enteties like Satan, demons and angels. 2. To most christians a form of ancestorworship and communication to god through saints continues from the Roman pagan culture. 3. Patronym, which is rather primitive for an universal creator god.

    The doomsday cult of the early church is still a part of the religion, even though the world has not ended in over 2000 years since they started claiming it is going to happen soon. There are still many sects that believe the doomsday might come any day now… Most christians have embraced a form of ecclecsial, bureucratic and formal christianity, that is not so much the doomsday cult anymore. They have also embraced conservative values, that do not emphazise the “give away everything you own” vision of the early church.

    Maybe Lady GaGa represents the next step of the evolution of judeo-christian god. An asexual supreme creator god, who really is forgiving and tolerant to the people it supposedly created.

  34. This is a good and consistent response. Religious relativism arises when people determine that god or scripture decides what is right and wrong. Then they get to rewrite morality depending on how they interpret their god. You identify some important fallacies, like bestiality and pederasty are ok if god made you want to do it.

    The fact is that pederasty and bestiality are immoral because they take advantage of an animal or child who can not responsibly participate in a sex act with a human adult. The abuse of power and resulting mental distress and disorder that can arise from such an act are what make the act immoral. We can appreciate the mental distress of someone with those desires who can NEVER act on them, but that makes those acts no less immoral for the reasons I state and regardless what any scripture says.

    For the same reasons, homosexual acts are not immoral. Two consenting adults choose to seek sexual gratification in a manner consistent with their desires and there’s nothing wrong with that. Any boundaries or downsides (physical injury, excessive sex, STDs, etc) are properly applied to sex regardless whether it is homosexual, heterosexual, or some poly combination. Again, so long as all participants are consenting adults.

    I point out that all this sex talk is almost entirely unrelated to feelings of deep love and commitment two people may feel toward one another, regardless of gender relationship.

    • “The fact is that pederasty and bestiality are immoral because they take advantage of an animal or child who can not responsibly participate in a sex act with a human adult.”

      On what basis can you make the claim that a child can not responsibly participate? Kinsey, Pomeroy, Calderone all would disagree with you. Andy I don’t see anyone asking an animal if they can eat it, so why would an animal have to want to have sex? Many countries allow a child as young as 12 to give consent to sex. Many “sexologists” advocate adult-child sex as beneficial to the child. By what standard can you say they are wrong?

      Homosexual acts are immoral because they violate the design of the human body; they cause medical and emotional damage to the participants. By your standard of “deep love” you cannot logically deny a father and adult daughter a sexual relationship, or a mother and her adult son, or a brother and sister. You have made your own moral standards.

      • Answering your questions in order:
        – Children do not have developed brains or life experiences to be able to engage in sexual activity or binding contracts. That’s why we have laws explicitly stating such.
        – I’m vegan, so I totally agree that we shouldn’t breed animals for torture and killing just because they taste good.
        – Many countries have religiously-inspired and morally-bankrupt laws. A few years after puberty allows a child to at least have a developed brain, less hormone confusion, and a few years in their new brain and with others of similar maturity to handle the implications of sex. Pedophilia refers most often to pre-pubescent children, so that is the clear differentiation in that case.
        – Almost no “sexologists” advocate adult-child sex. Almost no people do, and those who do are wrong, objectively, due to the mental development, emotions, experiences, and power dynamic that conflict and cause mental distress in those situations.

        Homosexual acts don’t violate the design of the body any more than heterosexual acts, or do you advocate social derision and nullification of marriage for any male-female partner that engages in anal or oral sex?

        Homosexual acts do not cause medical or emotional damage. You don’t see kind old gay couples or individuals wandering around with diapers on. The anus is a muscle and can handle the penetration just fine, done properly. Lube is sometimes warranted, but it’s no different than a vagina. And there’s also oral sex for gay men and women that do nothing, and again, there’s nothing stopping heterosexual couples from the same types of activities.

        I can question incest from two angles. It is medically inadvisable because of the birth disorders that are statistically more likely to arise from similar genetic lines. Possible birth defects are a good reason to denounce parent-child coupling as well as other genetic implications for unrelated couples. The more important issue is the confusion of familial and romantic relationships. I don’t have the same relationship with my girlfriend as I do with my mother or that I would with my child. That relationship dynamic is fundamentally different in a way that makes it essentially impossible to have a fully consensual romantic relationship within a family. There is more likely a negative power dynamic than a truly romantic relationship for a familial relationship like that. This applies equally to adoptive parent-child or brother-sister relationships. They wouldn’t necessarily have the genetic danger of birth defects, but they would have a familial relationship that should preclude any romantic relationship.

        • Jason,

          It is your belief that children’s brains aren’t developed enough to engage in sex. Obviously SEICUS disagrees with you, since their whole aim is to provide information to all elementary school children on how to have sex, and all the different types of sex. As previously noted, there have been many big names who have said that children can enjoy sex. So it seems you have an opinion and they have an opinion. That’s the problem with individual moral standards – everyone has different opinions.

          Okay, so you don’t want to kill animals – do you like pets? If so, what gives you the right to imprison an animal without its consent?

          I noticed how you said “almost no ‘sexologists’ advocate adult-child sex.” That’s the problem – there are many who do. Again, it becomes opinion as to what is moral or immoral because without God you can have no objective standard.

          You claim there is not medical or emotional damage from homosexual behavior, yet that flies in the face of all the testimony from medical professionals. I guess you must know more than they.

          You question incest first because of possible birth defects. Okay, so what if they never have children? Then you question about the relationships. Just because you don’t have a romantic relationship with family members, that is no justification to deny others their romantic feelings. You claim it is impossible to have a fully consensual relationship among family members; if they are all adults, how can you tell them they aren’t fully able to consent.

          All you have are your feelings and opinions. You have no objective moral basis to deny any sexual relationship if you sanction homosexual behavior.

  35. Glenn (reply to Sep 2, 1109AM, not sure if this will post in the right spot)
    I wasn’t familiar with SEICUS, but their site says “US believes that all people have the right to education about sexuality, sexual health care, and sexual expression appropriate to their age and stage of life. ” Age-appropriate education about sex precludes teaching elementary school children how to have sex. You’re just lying to try to prove your point. You’re going to have to provide some expert citations to prove some of these wild claims you’re making about pro-child-sex people, and don’t bother printing fringe felony writings from NAMBLA. You’ll need those same citations for “all the testimony from medical professionals”. I posted APA testimony and official positions. No major medical (mental or physical) establishment treats homosexuality as a disorder – only religious people.

    I have a pet, rescued from the pound. Pets should have parents, not owners. City officials have a right to imprison animals to avoid harm to animals or humans, spreading of disease, and damage to property. People have a responsibility to treat the animals with as much comfort and care as possible, especially since people are responsible for the domestication of animals. People have been irresponsible in that duty.

    Good point about testing for adult incestuous relationships. It’s like a suspicion of abuse. If the new couple down the street moves in and you hear yelling or maybe see a bruise, you might suspect abuse, and, if evidence mounts, you might confront the family or call the police or social services. But if two people are related, the danger is birth defects and a dysfunctional familial/romantic relationship. Incestuous adults are still consenting adults. It’s not something I’d ever condone as a general rule, so we’re in agreement on that. Lot and his daughters (Gen 19:35) is only one example of Biblical incest, so it’s not like you’ve got the moral high ground.

    It’s just mean-spirited to associate homosexuality with bestiality or pedophilia or incest. The slippery slope response is irrelevant, and I’ve shown very clearly the differences.

    I’m sorry you hate homosexuals so much, but you are doing so in protest of many happy and stable homosexuals and the consensus opinion of the mental health community. You should at least recognize that every relevant professional community affirms homosexuality as perfectly acceptable and functional. Any disparagement of homosexuality comes from scripture, not from the medical or clinical experience. And you don’t have to draw anti-gay messages from scripture, if you choose not to. I’m think a minority of Christians opt for that interpretation, but I hope you and others find a way to do so.

    American Psychological Association – http://www.apa.org/helpcenter/sexual-orientation.aspx
    American Counseling Association – http://www.counseling.org/pressroom/newsreleases.aspx?AGuid=b68aba97-2f08-40c2-a400-0630765f72f4
    American Medical Association (H-160.991) – http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/about-ama/our-people/member-groups-sections/glbt-advisory-committee/ama-policy-regarding-sexual-orientation.page
    Even Christians sometimes find it in their heart to affirm LGBT rights – http://www.hrc.org/issues/religion/4955.htm?gclid=CNqzhbj0_qoCFeZ05Qod6VLm3g

    • Jason, why don’t the medical associations declare same sex attraction a mental disorder? Careful study? Or was it political protest that forced capitulation?

      Unfortunately, it was the result of political protest. And now the APA is occupied wholly by liberal politics. Any studies which don’t conform to the: born that way, immutability, mentally healthy mantra are disallowed for consideration. That’s not how facts are determined, that is how politics influence mental health medicine.

      • I’m glad you recognize that every relevant professional organization has taken an official position to affirm homosexuality as natural and acceptable. It is unfortunate that your reaction to that discovery is to concoct a vast conspiracy theory. If homosexuality were a choice or disorder that created mental anguish, I’d be more than happy to support reparative therapy. You don’t see any medical professionals on some major campaign to justify pedophilia or incest or bestiality or schizophrenia or depression or any actual disorders. It seems you are the one rejecting any evidence that disagrees with your conclusion.
        If you reject the unanimous support of expert professional organizations, I highly recommend you visit a local PFLAG meeting and you’ll meet straight family who have had to overcome religious beliefs or prejudices to understand and accept their homosexual family members.

  36. Right. The ‘why’ has nothing to do with politics or religion. The ‘why’ is that studies show damage comes from societal pressure and religious ostracism, and that, all other things being equal, people are happy and healthy regardless of sexual orientation. Measurable damage to homosexuals arises from discrimination in the community and attempts to ‘cure’ something that isn’t wrong. The only agenda is a religious agenda by some Christians to demonize homosexuals. Don’t get me wrong though. You have a strong argument that the Bible prohibits homosexual conduct. That might provide a basis for your opposition to homosexuality. That’s a debate to have in the Christian community. You have no basis to claim science is on your side.

    • It seems as though you have a difficult time differentiating between a person and a persons actions. You don’t seem to be able to see that believing an action or behavior is morally wrong is not the same as hating someone.

      This seems to be the only issue this mind-set is not ridiculed. Just because I think actions and behaviors are wrong doesn’t mean I hate you.

  37. First… I’m not trying to degenerate into name-calling. I wrote the note below to make a distinction between ‘feeling hate’ and doing things that qualify as hateful. But I want to point out that I have only used the word hate once in the last three posts, so I’m really not sure where your comment came from.

    I’ve commented on this before, and I think it’s an important point. “Hate” is a verb generally associated with an emotion or a feeling. From this standpoint, I am ready to accept that you have no negative feelings toward gay people. I’ll take your word for that.

    I also see “hate” in another sense as in causing mental distress to a person and taking their freedoms away. That is ‘actions speak louder than words’. Let’s take an extreme case: I am ready to accept that actual counselors at gay conversion centers actually feel love toward their patients. However, their actions are nonetheless hateful. All the smiles and encouragement in the world does not change the damage done at those centers. If “Hate the sin not the sinner” manifests in such a way that gay couples can’t openly live together with the legal, financial, and cultural benefits of marriage, then that is worse than hate. Better to feel hatred and scream curses at gay people than to make them hate themselves and prevent them from living together in loving relationships.

    I’m not saying ‘hate’ to make you feel bad. It is important to recognize the damage done to people. That damage is what I call hate.

    • Id say that’s a horrible definition, and an even worse way at arriving at a definition, especially in this context. Its that kind of rhetoric and–what I would even call propaganda–that is used only to silence opponents.

      You cannot rightly call my actions or speech hateful just because you’re offended. By your definition I can classify all your disagreement with me as hate. After all just having someone disagree with me causes me an incredible amount of distress. You are saying I am wrong, and by extension stupid. Therefore I would urge you to stop being hateful on my blog, and start agreeing with me. Unless you’re ok hating me.

    • And I would go further to say the only reason someone would adopt a definition like that is to malign the character of those with whom they disagree. You never clarified your definition when slinging the slanderous accusation until I called you on it, which leads me to believe you intended the traditional understanding of hate to be absorbed by the readers; and are now backpedaling to avoid an accusation of slander.

      I find this kind of discourse rather ugly.

  38. I can handle it if you say I hate people. I wouldn’t even feel obligated to respond to such an accusation all by itself.

    I may in fact be causing you distress. I’m not doing it to solely to make you feel bad, although I’m not surprised if it does. That’s called ‘psychological reactance’ which is a state when ones actions conflict with ones beliefs. As you accept evidence, expert opinion, and personal stories that homosexual and heterosexual relationships operate on the same type of love, you may feel distress relative to what you interpret from scripture.

    If you feel distress purely because I disagree with you, then I can’t really help with that. Whatever I say on the blog won’t make a difference. If you feel distress purely because I said you hate someone, then you shouldn’t feel any distress if you consider the statement untrue.

    I won’t use the ‘hate’ term if it bothers you so much. I don’t want to waste time arguing about namecalling. The focus here is proper understanding and rights of homosexuals. I’m concerned that you are denying them rights for no good reason. And there are lots of good reasons to affirm their sexual orientation and to provide them rights equal to heterosexual couples.

    • There are no good reasons to affirm sexual perversion. And those who participate in homosexual behavior already have rights equal to those who do not. What they want are special rights based on their behavior. One’s behavior does not justify special rights.

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  1. […] Bible is that it is complex and many haven’t read it all, so how can it be true?  A commenter at another blog wrote: If even theologians can not agree what is in the bible and what is the will of the god of […]

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