Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Homosexuality OK, Says Bible

...at least according to the Jesus Metropolitan Community Church, which has been erecting billboards around Indianapolis construing various biblical passages as being in support of, for example, gay marriage. The passage referred to in the above billboard goes as follows:
When he entered Capernaum, a centurion came forward to him, appealing to him, 6"Lord, my servant is lying paralyzed at home, suffering terribly." 7And he said to him, "I will come and heal him." 8But the centurion replied, "Lord, I am not worthy to have you come under my roof, but only say the word, and my servant will be healed. 9For I too am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. And I say to one, 'Go,' and he goes, and to another, 'Come,' and he comes, and to my servant,[a] 'Do this,' and he does it." 10When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, "Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel[b] have I found such faith. 11I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven, 12while the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 13And to the centurion Jesus said, "Go; let it be done for you as you have believed." And the servant was healed at that very moment.
Reaction from Indianapolis city-folk has been mixed, with some lamenting the fact that a few of the billboards have been defaced, and others calling the various messages propounded by them"lies".
Reaction from my corner has been alot of giggling, cackling, and smirking all at the same time. In fact I think I might have sprained my upper lip. Since you couldn't get me to read the bible at gun-point I can't tell you if JMCC's reading here is accurate. In fact, I rather doubt it is, as it turns on the interpretation of a single term-- "servant" ("pais"). But what the hell? I just like anything that keeps Christians on their toes.
But, wow!, I thought I was cruel and malicious. These gay warriors down in Indiana really, really know how to rub it in, to stick it to the mainstream etc. etc., "to fight the war, and fuck the norm!", to poke that dog right in the ass, and all that good stuff. I'd almost say they were being insensitive, unnecessarily provocative, but somebody would probably remind me that in our heteronomic hegemony only straights are capable of that.


Anonymous said...

Which other religions are you prejudiced against?

bigcitylib said...

All of them but for the Rastas (great hair and music), and Irish Catholics, because the Irish always know how to make the best of a bad situation.

Paul said...

Dude the Bible's always good for a laugh-I read it more now as an atheist than I ever did as a Christian. And any religion that's as blatantly retarded as Christianity deserves to be mocked repeatedly.

Scott Tribe said...

No religion should be mocked. We as so-called "progressives" should know better.

Jay said...

I disagree with that assertion Scott. Religion should be mocked because as progressives we should call a spade a spade. Religion is a regressive backwards belief system that has created more grief than it has solved.

As progressives we should not support anything that has been used to justify genocides, wars, class systems, discrimination and removal of human rights.

People may have a right to religion but that right does not involve the right to tell everyone they are evil, living wrongly, and to promote hate speech. Religious rights always infringe on every other right. This is fairly obvious from how the right has and continues to campaigned against homosexuals, women's rights, stem cell research, fertility research, etc.

Its dangerous and has no place in a modern society and should be kept to themselves.

If anyone came up to you on the street and said they've seen god and were getting ready for the rapture, you would dismiss them as a schizophrenic. Just because they've organized in groups shouldn't add legitimacy.

Neurotheology tells us that religious revelation is caused by a temporal lobe seizure.

Anonymous said...

The level of ignorance and hypocracy here is quite stunning......

To those who feel it is acceptable to bash religions....I'm assuming you are willing to do the same to cultures / nations as well? Many progressives pride themselves on tolerance and cultural relativism. If you aren't willing to bash other people's cultures as "retarted" don't mock their religions.

The argument that Christian / Religious political thought has created "more grief" has probably more to do with human nature then with religions themselves. Modern political thought has caused enough pain as well. Communism / Socialism / Nazism are great examples modern philosophies that purposely shunned religions and ended up killing milions....

A more offensive point is the lumping of "religious people." In terms of Christians, you can't slide them on part of the political spectrum. Want to compare Martin Luther King or Tommy Douglas with George W.? There are plentiful atheists who are against "women's rights, stem cell research, fertility research, etc." Again if you were to apply that type of stereotyping to nations or ethnic groups, I think you would engender much controversy....

Finally, I'm sure Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa and the Dali Lama (among so many others) would be so glad to bask in your superior intellectual insights and be blessed to be guided out of there "backward" beliefs.


Jay said...


I do not know where you can state that people like myself are against ethnic minority's, nations, etc. because of my stance on religion. Quite the opposite actually. Religion has sought to destroy many of these groups you mention. Aboriginals no longer have their traditional beliefs due to religious indoctrination. Africans are being fed bibles before food by NGO's. Religion is a threat to the groups you speak of. Religion forced Europe to change its original beliefs in the last few millenia.

As for your insistence on nazi's ( a right wing dictatorship) purposely shunning religion. Hitler was a devout catholic. As for socialism, I do believe that most if not all socialist countries in existence have not banned religion. Even Cuba has allowed religion, along with China. Extreme left wing communist are as bad as right wing nazi's when it comes to all rights.

If you don't like to be lumped into the group of religious crack pots then do something about it. Its your god after all. I shouldn't be subjected to a runaway human catastrophe because you like some aspects of it.

If religious folk would accept the right afforded to them by the charter and stop trying to make it an all encompassing right to say what they wish about everyone else enjoying the other rights afforded by the charter then we would have no problems at all. The problem is religious freedoms infringe every other charter right.

Maybe Its time to give freedom of religion its last rites.

Zac said...

I'm going to have to agree with Scott on this one - I don't think religions should be mocked in any way, but that does not mean we cannot criticize those who manipulate their teachings to suit their own bigotry, ie. the "God Hates Fags" campaign.

bigcitylib said...

Well, I like to mock things.

Although in this particular case I don't think the JMCC (which has mostly gay and trasngendered members)did themselves much good by running these billboards, esp. since the textual evidence they are citing tends to be rather thin. In the interests of living peacefully with their straight neighbors, I think they should have probably not pushed so hard.

So, for me, the origonal post was relatively tolerant.

Jay said...

I used to think the same as you on this until I, because of what I am, became the favourite target of religious ideologues many of which make decisions about what their congregations are to believe based on interpretations of a piece of fiction. I think Scientology's existence shows what a farce peoples personal beliefs and interpretations can be.

All religions are equal, so when you hear about tea pot worship in Asia, Waco Texas, Jonestown, Cargo Cults in Papua new Guinea, etc you can't help but think these people need help. Seriously. All of these beliefs and none of them grounded in reality. And we are supposed to shake our heads and say thats ok and let these people inject their beliefs into our political system and our laws?

Personally, I don't think so.

bigcitylib said...

...of straight christians, that is.

Ti-Guy said...

Anyone who can't handle the mocking is insecure. And mocking isn't the same thing as persecution.

I tend to draw the line at mocking individual believers, because really, a lot of them hold their beliefs in good faith (of course, if they're hypocrites, scolds or self-righteous about it, all bets are off). But religious organisations aren't "faiths" per say, and powerful religious figures should be able to handle mocking.

If you can't handle it, don't read it.

And trolling is a sin, by the way.

canuckistanian said...

jay, easy on the cargo cults of new guinea...they're so darned cute.

i agree with scott that we shouldn't mock religion per se, because we shouldn't mock crazy people...it isn't classy. however, we can openly mock the beliefs of schizo-crazy's, like: "the jews are trying to brainwash everyone through fluoridization of the water supply in their plot to take over the world". so, while we wouldn't make fun of the nutbar stating such patently insane things, we can mock the insane things he says. just like religion saying: "god created the earth 6000 yrs ago" or "immaculate conception" (i heard it wasn't immaculate...it was dirty ;-).

the fact is, people who cling to a belief system unsupported by fact, even in the face of fact, are delusional. thus, we shouldn't mock them...just their beliefs and their leaders and their organizations. to do otherwise is to create a society where fantasy is given equal footing with fact, where lies are given equal standing with the truth, and where delusional people are given equal standing with sane people. that is a disservice to us all. while religion servd a purpose when we were uncivilized beasts, it has no justification for its continued existence in a modern and civilized society.

btw, the bible is great for a laugh. my game is to open it randomly and see just how wierd, crazy, strange and sadistic the passage is. the fact is, the lord in the bible is perhaps the most evil being imaginable. google what mark twain had to say about him.

Jay said...


Agreed. When you actually look at peoples individual beliefs it often is quite distorted from what they are told to believe.

Like Christians believing in reincarnation to the extent that hindus do. My mother is catholic and she believes in evolution and diregards the bible as no more than a story book with everything being metaphorical.

Then you have the pope starting to tout creationism.

The individual is less of a problem than the organization itself.

Has no one else ever heard of neurotheology aka biotheology? They can now induce a religious experience with a modified motorcycle helmet channeling electromagnetic waves.

Personal religious revelation may be caused by sleeping too close to your clock radio. Also during atmospheric electromagnetic events more people claim to see god, and demigods such as jesus, mary and the saints.

Scott Tribe said...

I will openly state I am a devout Christian attending the United Church, and thus I am coming at it from that angle.

Too often, Christianity gets painted with the same brush as the "fundamentalists" in the US. That is a misguided assumption. It is no better then the right-wingers saying "Islam is evil" because of what happened on 9/11.

I find it extremely hypocritical that we preach for tolerance and openness to political ideas as progressives, but then some of us go out of our way to bash Christianity (or whatever sect of Christianity one dislikes) or Islam, or religion in general.

There are a lot of good Christians out there who are "progressive" in political thought, and I would counsel it is not wise to be bashing what many of us believe in.

If you don't believe in it, that's your right, but don't stoop to bashing it. It makes one no better then the fundamentalists who believe everyone is going to Hell if they don't believe in their version of Christianity and/or try to impose their views on the society as a whole.

Jay said...

Where are the Christians you speak about? Seems to me they are quite content to remain silent while the fundamentalists attack others.

Being complacent and not piping up is no different than what the pope did in WWII.

What I see are people who are not fundamentalist remaining quiet because they are able to live under fundamentalist religious beliefs. The only difference between fundamentalist and so called moderates to me i just an issue of "strictness". Many moderates will swing over to fundamentalism during certain times. I have friends whose families have embraced a more fundamental view of religion because of current affairs.

Seems to me that there are no checks or balances leaving everyone with no religious views or extremely lax ones feeling the brunt of fundamentalist views.

I hear no outrage coming from the "religious left".

Gayle said...

I was going to write what Scott said, but then I read what Scott said.

Not all Christians use their belief in God to justify hatred. To judge all Christians on the basis of some is what I call bigotry.

And no, believing in God is not rational - it is a leap of faith, and faith is what religion is all about.

Gayle said...

jay - they are there. I am one; Scott is another. Neither of us has remained silent.

Ti-Guy said...

Jay: The problem is that religious progressives quite often interact personally with religious fundamentalists, and it's difficult to go as "full frontal" on them as you would like (as even I would like); some of them are sincerely nice people. It's hard to be mean enough to satisfy everybody.

What I do sincerely believe is that strongly religious people should abandon using politics and the democratic process to force through social changes, the morality of which very many of us dispute; it's astonishing how ignorant or indifferent these types are to the pain they're causing.

More inter-faith dialogue is what's needed.

Jay said...


The concept of leap of faith is a very dangerous one as it allows any and everyone the ability to strongly believe in something without proof.

This can be applied to any concept known to man and is a copout card for further debate on important issues. How would you feel if there was such a thing for science where you can have a leap of science and state that something is a cure when it is not.

Dangerous and ridiculous.

I am glad you and Scott have not remained silent. Two of you vs Real Women, DORA, court challenges cuts, stacking of stem cell research committees, etc. Don't necessarily feel I am in good hands. I see no organization to counter the fundamentalists? Just two bloggers so far.

How do you feel about people like myself who believe in nothing? How do you reconcile that? Am I a heathen? A godless liberal? Deluded? Unaccepting of gods grace? If I believe such do you think anything I say has having any validity at all or just not on the topic of religion?

Gayle said...

jay - there you go again, judging me on the basis of extremist right-wing Christians. I do not care what you believe in. I only care if you choose to act on beliefs that hurt others.

I do not understand why you find it so necessary to condemn my leap of faith. Why is it dangerous and a cop out - because you do not share that faith?

As for this:

"Two of you vs Real Women, DORA, court challenges cuts, stacking of stem cell research committees, etc...."

Did Scott and I suddenly become the flag bearers for everyone who opposes such people? Do I not support a political party that opposes these people? What is it that Scott and I must do that goes above and beyond what everyone else must do to oppose them?

I get it - you are angry because you have been mistreated by some members of the religious right. I am angry for you. I am also angry at certain so-called Christians who dare to hijack my God and my faith and twist it to justify their own hatred. Just because I believe in God does not mean I share their hatred.

I think God gave us this life and this world, good and bad, and left it to us to make the right choices. We have the capability to do stem-celled research. We also have the capability to destroy the planet. One of these skills can be used to better mankind; the other cannot.

I will always strive to make the choice that is best for mankind.

Ti-Guy said...

How do you feel about people like myself who believe in nothing? How do you reconcile that? Am I a heathen? A godless liberal? Deluded? Unaccepting of gods grace? If I believe such do you think anything I say has having any validity at all or just not on the topic of religion?

I don't mean to answer for Gayle, but who do I think you are? I think you're Jay, and you were brought into existence for a reason.

Jay said...

Sorry for any offense. My language tends to be very blunt.

I didn't mean to insinuate it is just you two against the world.
What I am trying to get at is that right wing religious fundamentalist are well organized and very forceful. What I am trying to figure out is why there seems to be no similar moderate/left christian push back. It always seems to be one person or just a few who voice any concern. It feels like they are complacent.

I have to admit that I have huge issues with the concept of "leap of faith". It can be a catch all for anything you cannot prove to be true, hence it can be viewed as a "back door". And as evident from your comeback it seems something you cannot query or question as it seems to have taken on a sacredness of its own.

Why is it that one persons leap of faith arrives them at another religion with another god(s)? How can everyones religious beliefs be correct? This planet was only created one way and all the people evolved from the same species.

Gayle said...

jay - no offence taken.

I think most of those moderate Christians of which you speak do exactly what Scott and I do - we act through our political support. There is no "moderate Christian" movement because we do not need one. The "right" organized because they felt their values were not reflected in modern society, and by our political representatives. That is not the same for the moderates.

Gayle said...

Oh - as for your last question, I personally believe there is only one God, but that God means different things to different people. I am a Christian because that is how I was raised. I could just as easily be a Muslim.

The thing that most faiths have in common is the belief there is a Creator, who is our moral compass. Many faiths have twisted that belief, but at the core they are the same.

Jay said...

Thanks Gayle.

paul said...

Wow, you can always count on the religious posts to get people talking and after 8 hours of work here we are!

I saw a couple of points pop up that I thought we great, and I really believe that Christians who 'get it' are the ones that keep to themselves. Unfortunately for them (and the rest of us), the fire-and-brimstone/dinosaurs-and-humans-living-together Stockwell Days of the world get the most air time.

I will also say that when Christians put themselves out in front and are total jackasses, that makes them fair game. Piece by piece the Bible is an insult to human intelligence and to stand up quoting the Bible literally as a reason to deny rights/start war/hate on people is unacceptable. The Bible and Christianity in general is pure hypocrisy from start to finish and if I were more familiar with Islam or Hinduism or whatever I'd probably say the same things about it.

Having said all that, if you want to believe in god go for it but please, enjoy it as much as you can on your own time.

Anonymous said...

"the fact is, people who cling to a belief system unsupported by fact, even in the face of fact, are delusional.

You must be talking about global warming caused by human believers. The new religion of the 21th century.


Anonymous said...

Well, no, it is not a good thing and time will show that in a pretty nasty way. IN the Scandanavian countries where the people of this persuasion have been been able to claim a marriage state for many years, their life expectancy is about 51 where that of normal people is nearing 80. Do you think that is "gay"? Rather it sounds like a population that is self destructive and has no genetic biologic future at all.

Ti-Guy said...

You must be talking about global warming caused by human believers. The new religion of the 21th century.

Go back to one of your beloved "Charter Schools."


Mike said...

I think the real point of tolerance is this:

Believe what you wish, so liong as your beliefs and actions do not harm others or their property. Religion is personal, not public and no one should be allowed to coerce others into obeying their particular religious edicts.

Live and let live.

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

So if believing in Jesus, Allah or the Great Flying Spaghetti Monster makes you feel better, floats your boat and allows you to behave well, then go for it. But as soon as you decide that I must also follow your beliefs either "for my own good" or because not doing so will "violate the will of God", then you are wrong and I will be entitled to defend myself any way I see fit.

So you are perfectly entitled to your beliefs and to ?personally follow whatever edicts and rules those beleifs entail, but you are not entitled not to have your feelings hurt or not to be made fun of because of them. So long as I do no harm to you, I can mock yuou and your religion and beleifs all I want.

I am quite a fan of I'm sure Mohandas Ghandi, Martin Luther King, Tommy Douglas, Pierre Trudeau, Jimmy Carter, Mother Teresa and the Dali Lama mostly because they did not try to force their beleifs on others and respected other beliefs and plain facts (BTW, the Dalia Lama is an atheist - Buddhism and Taoism are atheistic religions, so he is really the odd man out here). They also led by example in helping people (though Mother Teresa was not always such a help - apparently forcing suffering rather than alleviating it), rather than using coersion to force their strict doctrines on others. If more religious people were like these peopel, we would not be having this conversation.

Sadly, there are more like Rev. Fred Phelps in all religions than those folks care to admit.

And for what it is worth, to beleive in something as factual, despite the lack of evidence or in the face of contradictory evidence is the definition of delusional, not of faith.

Gayle said...

mike - first of all I agree that one person's religious beliefs should not be forced upon another, and if you think you are lecturing me in your post then I suggest you are a bigot for assuming I would do that just because I am a Christian.

Second, your comment that faith is delusion is another, much more obvious example of your bigotry.

I do not come here and say non-believers are going to burn in hell for their non-beliefs. I simply ask for the same respect that you suggest religious people owe you.

Live and let live and all that stuff you were quoting.

Now, do try to not be a hypocrite.

By the way, I believe in science, and that the world was formed by the collision of molecules - the difference is that I do not think that collision was random. The "Big Bang" came from somewhere.

Ti-Guy said...

- Buddhism and Taoism are atheistic religions

Actually, Buddhism is agnostic about theism; Buddhists tend to think that if God or Gods exist, they'll be subject to the same problems the rest of us are.

My faith in God rests on the belief that God is completely unknowable. Christianity has downplayed that basic understanding, unlike Judaism and Islam.

canuckistanian said...

i agree mike and ti-guy...and respect what you have to say scott and gayle. my uncle is a united church minister as was my grandfather...and my aunt is studying to be one. the united church has morphed into a theology of "god is love" which cannot be discounted, and which i agree. the problem is a literal interpretation of the bible as word of god. the god in the testament is as evil as satan, the most vile and wicked being imaginable. that anyone would want that wicked freak as their lord is a very scary thought. for these christies, "fear of god" is THE most important aspect of faith...creepy.

god is unknowable, as ti-guy said, and trying to say that she is knowable and then telling people who disagree that they are morons who are going to hell is pretty weird.

personnally, i find the idea of monotheism to be patently absurd. i find animistic belief systems and bhuddism to be far more realistic, concrete and relevant to a spiritually guided praxis in this world.

at the end of the day, my concerns with religion are based on the in group/out group moniker that has led to so much violence and hatred on earth as well as the total rejection of rationalism and factual knowledge. if religion is able to allow for the acceptance of science and rational thought as well as a moral and ethical stance of cosmopolitan humanism, including heretical secularists, where all human life is equally worthy...then great. if not, they are merely a regressive force on earth, as they seek to divide people against each other through intolerance and violence and control minds through absurd dogma and a rejection of factual knowledge.