In the cultural conflict over the gay issue, the alarming claim that “people are dying” seems to have become more prevalent in recent years. This refrain is used as a weapon by activists who point to high suicide rates amongst GLBT people and claim that the cause of these rates is people who discriminate against GLBT people. The activists imply that anyone who says anything negative about homosexuality, is contributing to people’s deaths.
Ive written elsewhere about how claims of discrimination being a cause of suicide, are overblown.
But now a new study by one Seth Stephens-Davidowitz reveals information that suggests that gay men in the US show almost no inclination to take what could be a key step in avoiding the problem that the activists complain of. That key step being to move interstate to somewhere with less of the discrimination that the activists complain of. It’s common knowledge that some states allow gay ‘marriage’ and some dont, and that certain areas like San Francisco and New York are gay meccas, right? And do GLBT people congregate in such locations? Yes. But this new study “suggests that there are just about as many gay men in less tolerant states as there are anywhere else.”
So if that’s the case, and if discrimination is so detrimental, why dont they move to a state that they like? Or maybe the suicide rate is not as connected with discrimination as the activists claim.
A few months after the first Reformation Project training course, Charisma News published a critical analysis of the heretical organisation. And on cue, several members of the Reformation Project responded in the comments section below the article. Their feedback was interesting, largely for the wrong reasons.
Kelly for example, responded;
“I am one of the 50 reformers. … in the months leading up to the conference we read over a thousand pages of scholarly theological articles written by both affirming and non affirming people. We also read 2 books…..one written by an affirming theologian and the other written by a celibate gay Christian. Instead of trying to manipulate uniformed people, we are educating them with truth.”
Yes, supposedly ‘educated’ people from the Reformation Project are coming to rescue conservative Christians from our ignorance. Phew! So what wisdom does Kelly have to share with us? She continues;
“One has only to do the work and learn for themselves to understand cultural context and original language to see the Bible was never speaking about loving, monogamous Christ honoring same sex relationships.”
Right. So when Leviticus says that a man should not lay with a man, and does so in the context of a whole list of unsuitable sexual partners, from siblings to animals, we can conclude that it was never referring to loving monogamous homosexuality. Surely the text of Leviticus would indicate that then? If Kelly is right, shouldnt the Leviticus 18:22 prohibition of a man sleeping with a man, finish with an exception clause, like “unless it’s a loving monogamous relationship”? And can Kelly’s interpretation be likewise applied to the surrounding verses? EG verse 7; “Do not have sexual relations with your mother, … unless it’s a loving monogamous relationship“? And when it comes to the New Testament where Jesus portrays Christian romantic pairings as inherently heterosexual (Matthew 19) and where all references to homosexual sex are again repeatedly portrayed as negative, according to Kelly it was supposedly apparent to the reader of that era that those homosexual references do not refer to loving monogamous relationships? I dont think so Kelly. Somehow I think that when the Bible teaches that Christian relationships are inherently heterosexual and it repeatedly says that homosexual sex is sinful, it means homosexual sex is inherently sinful.
Kelly continues though;
“There are so many other verses in the Bible that Christians do not follow by reason of saying it is not culturally relevant to today’s world…. like woman remaining silent in church or stoning children to death for disobeying or making a women who is menstruating leave the home or letting the men of a town rape your wife or not eating shellfish….”
Well hang on, Kelly. Firstly you said that the Bible does not express opposition to loving monogamous homosexual relationships. But now you are kinda implying that it does, but that we should ignore those bits on the grounds that we supposedly ignore other bits. Right. So does the Bible express opposition to loving monogamous homosexual relationships, or not? Because you sound a little undecided. It sounds like you just want to support loving monogamous homosexual relationships, irrespective of what the Bible says, and that you are just looking for excuses to support your goal.
And what are you referring to as “letting the men of a town rape your wife”? I dont recall anything in the Bible about that? Sounds like a reference to Genesis 19 though, where it’s actually talking about daughters, not wives, Kelly. And you say we dont stone children, and that this is because it’s not culturally relevant? It wouldnt have anything to do with Jesus’ aversion to stoning (John 8:7) would it Kelly? Maybe Christians are just following Jesus on that one? And you say we have abandoned the rule about eating shellfish on the grounds that it’s not culturally relevant, Kelly? It wouldnt be because Jesus said there is no longer such a thing as a sinful type of food (Mark 7:15), would it Kelly? Maybe Christians are simply following Jesus on that one too, Kelly? Im not so confident that you are “educating [people] with truth” Kelly.
Kelly continues further;
“…..and yet we are using these few passages that we think we know the meaning of to keep millions of people from being embraced into God’s family the way they were created.”
Well yes there are many Christians who dont entirely grasp homosexuality and/or their own religion, and some are overly rejecting of homosexuals. But I think you overstate your case, Kelly. There are also many Christians who welcome same-sex attracted individuals “the way they were created”, so long as those individuals do not engage in the sin of gay sex.
Kelly finishes her post by writing;
“I’m always up for respectful dialogue if you are. Find my email on the TRP website.”
And it’s kind of her to offer. But if Biblically illiterate people email her directly, who is going to point out the flaws in what she writes?
Another member of the Reformation Project also commented on the article. Her name is Betsy. But she didnt identify herself as a member. Instead she was ‘outed’. Her initial post included comments such as;
She portrayed herself as in touch and informed about the Reformation Project, yet objective. But she isnt objective. She’s listed on the Reformation Project website as one of the participants. When challenged about her misleading portrayal of herself, she admitted it, replying publically;
“I wasn’t trying to be dishonest. I just knew that my comments would be immediately dismissed if I identified as part of TRP. …”
Betsy also wrote;
“If the activity of The Reformation Project is of human origin, IT WILL FAIL. …”
Survey suggests that nearly half of churches in the US now have policies that all for homosexual sin amongst their members.
“VERDICT: Methodist Pastor Has 30 Days To Renounce His Gay Children Or Be Defrocked“
This was the headline on a popular “progressive” blog site in November, introducing an article that detailed the disciplining of a renegade UMC pastor who was conducting “gay marriage ceremonies”.
The key problem is though, that the article provided scant basis for the claim that he was asked to “Renounce His Gay Children”. Articles elsewhere likewise illustrated practically no basis for the claim, and in fact some more responsible publications pointed out that the denomination takes a historically Christian approach of accepting gay and lesbian members (but considers homosexual relations to be sinful).
The article is just another example of “progressive” publications that mislead.
Some people will tell you that churches which become accepting of homosexual sin, are all about loving everyone and everyone being happy.
What they omit to tell you is that when attempts are made at this, often the church is split in two, people leave, and there is great disharmony. One of the more recent instances of this, was Rev. Frank Schaefer, who became known for the censure he received in 2013 from the Methodist church, for performing a gay wedding, against church rules. According to this article, because of the controversy, half his church abandoned their membership.
Disclaimer: The following video was produced by a gay organisation. However, I trust that the contents is accurate, because it corresponds with what I have observed anecdotally.
It’s mainly the second half that I think is important, but the first half is important too. The key point raised, is the question of how the Christian and homosexual communities can communicate, when they use words that mean different things to different people.
Second disclaimer: There is a book promoted at the end of the video. This book probably contains a lot of good stuff, but there are claims that at least one element is inaccurate.
Media reporting on the Pope reached another low in October, as reporters/blog writers, misrepresented more of what the Pope has recently preached. This follows an apparent increase in biased misreporting about the Pope, in the preceding months.
In the new case, the Pope talked of how Christians need to be a praying people of faith who interact with their God, rather than being followers of mere unspiritual “ideology”.
The Pope did not seem to provide in-depth illustrations of Christians following rigid ideologies. But many people can likely easily recall churches like this which de-prioritise Scripture and Jesus, be they conservatives groups who largely just preach conservative morality reflective of the Tea Party, or liberals who largely just preach leftist values that are often reflective of the secular values seen on Hollywood’s silver screen.
The left-leaning news media has jumped on the new comments, seeking to exploit their political capital. Like others, the website Addicting Info took the Pope’s words, and used them to focus on dissing the right wing of Christendom. They captioned a photo of the Pope, using the words -
Clearly, Pope Francis isn’t fond of the extreme ideals of the Christian Right. Now, he’s calling right-wing, fundamentalist Christianity an “illness.”
A review of his actual words though, show no clear condemnation of the Christian Right. While Addicting Info used highly biased subtitles such as -
Pope Francis called right-wing Christian fundamentalism a sickness.
the text of the article was more accuratedly worded, IE -
During a daily Mass last week, Pope Francis called ideological Christianity “an illness” that doesn’t serve Jesus Christ.
and even -
While Pope Francis did not specifically mention Christian right-wing ideology during the Mass, his past remarks suggest he was talking about that ideology most of all.
Ironically, while the Pope seems to have called for a Christianity that is not driven by alignment with political movements, sections of the media seem intent on depicting him as a left winger who condemns the right wing. Further evidence that the Pope was not simply pushing a leftist preference, emerged in this article in November.