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Letters to the Editor

Pitts’ opinion

March 23, 2010

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To the editor:

Leonard Pitts, in his March 17 J-W article, concludes that “Gay is not a choice, gay is not a sin, gay is not a shame. Gay simply is.” These statements are not true. In fact, they are only Leonard’s opinion.

The Apostle Paul says the truth in I Corinthians 6:9-11(ESV): “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God .”

Note the part that says, “And such were some of you.” Past tense. This is what Jesus can do. All of us can fit into one of these sinful situations. All of us have a choice to which path of life we will take. Which one will you take? I urge your readers to trust in the only person who can bring life now and in eternity. Be washed, sanctified and justified. Experience the abundant life Jesus promised (John 10:10).

Comments

mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

I can't believe the LJW printed a sermon in the paper.
It's not Pitt's opinion, but that of millions of people, and I believe it is true. I feel sorry for people who can't accept others for who they are.

Brent Garner 4 years, 10 months ago

Mom of 3: Please produce 1 credible shred of scientific evidence that shows that homosexuality is genetic in the same way that skin color is? It is indeed a choice!

BrianR 4 years, 10 months ago

Carl Burkhead, in his March 23 Letter to the Editor, concludes that “Gay is a choice, gay is a sin, gay is a shame. Gay is a lifestyle.” These statements are not true. In fact, they are only Carl’s opinion.

This is one of the most vile things I've ever seen this paper put in print. Why?

Olympics 4 years, 10 months ago

What a pathetic excuse for an article. Shame on you LJW.

Brent, like providing such data to you would make a difference in your viewpoint.
I seriously doubt you work in a fact based universe.

Oh Sky Cake.

Olympics 4 years, 10 months ago

Reminder to Brent and Carl, you are losing this "debate". Your children and grandchildren don't share your hatred of gay people....equal rights is coming as you folks die off.

Calliope877 4 years, 10 months ago

So does Brent and Carl think that scripture is scientific fact?

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Been awhile since we've seen a Carl Burkhead LTE, it seems. Anyone gonna put odds on whether in the next couple days we'll see Bruce Springsteen counter Burkhead with his common anti-religious screed?

killjoy 4 years, 10 months ago

Ask a gay person. There's your evidence.

Until you have done this, your opinion is without value.

There is nothing further to discuss or debate.

Catbacker 4 years, 10 months ago

"Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God." ...Thank goodness none of the self-righteous, scripture-spewers fall into these categories...pffft.

mom_of_three 4 years, 10 months ago

Slavery used to be justified by Southerners with Bible passages, too... Even told slaves in church that to go to heaven, you had to obey the master.

grammaddy 4 years, 10 months ago

Oh Jeez. Another Bible- thumper trying to do exactly what his "Good Book" says he should not. Quit judging Gay folks, lest ye be judged. Grammaddy 1:1. Guess what, your fantasy book was not written by God. Therefore it is only a fantasy book and all of us are not followers of it. Why not get to know a few Gay folks before passing judgement on them all. And no, it's not a choice. Why would anyone choose to be Gay. For all the public acceptance it brings, right?

lindsaydoyle 4 years, 10 months ago

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imastinker 4 years, 10 months ago

Who cares whether it's a choice or genetic? I actually don't care at all.

I don't want any of you telling me how to live my life, and so we shouldn't tell other people how to live theirs.

Olympics 4 years, 10 months ago

Atlas, put down Ayn Rand long enough and read ANY behavior, evolution, or ecology book. Females have a sexual strategies as well...and it can often be in conflict with male strategies.

I have an urge to hurl poo at you to honor our primate ancestors. This urge "feels" genetic, but maybe I should just control my behavior. Or is this being immoral?

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

wow, carl, you brought scripture into the debate. niiiice. no one ever thought to do that before. there's a little church in topeka that would probably love to have a thinker like you in their flock.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

LOL @ barry.... as usual.... still scratching my head after reading your post.

meggers 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm not all that up on scripture, but from what I understand about Paul, he was a horrible man who betrayed Jesus, then claimed he had a vision and was saved by Jesus, and then he turned into what would be considered a raving lunatic by today's standards. Why would Carl or anyone else trust that he spoke for God?

Sort of brings to mind folks who commit heinous crimes against others, and then once they're caught, all of a sudden they 'find' Jesus. I give Paul just as much credibility. And you, too, Carl. Haters suck.

somedude20 4 years, 10 months ago

The bible is fact? That is so old, the last time I heard that, I laughter so hard that I fell off of my dinosaur.

Hope this dude does not try and pull an "Abraham" by trying to off his son to make his God happy ( cause the bible is a book of truth!)

kansaskate 4 years, 10 months ago

I think I'll be just fine in eternity as long as I don't inherit any of that kingdom Mr. Burkhead thinks he's getting.

JustNoticed 4 years, 10 months ago

Sexual preference is best understood as a continuum. That's right, from Way Gay to Uber Hetero and everything in between. And it's a continuum upon which individuals may move back and forth during a lifetime - or a Summer.

No, I'm not advocating wanton hedonism although there is a time and place for that depending on what life lessons one might need or want at a particular time. If you can be in love and find God in your coupling, good for you. But don't worry about going to Burkhead's Hell if you don't.

I'm just saying that Gay/Not Gay is a false dichotomy. We are sexual beings who can find pleasure and love in many, many ways.

motomom 4 years, 10 months ago

Jesus never mentioned ONCE about homosexuality. not once. BUT-----he did mention many many times to help the needy & downtrodden. why don't we all start doing THIS instead of spending so much time on this whole gay issue? geesh-------

jillh 4 years, 10 months ago

I didn't choose to be straight... I just am. Do you really think a gay person could choose to be straight? I couldn't choose to be gay anymore than I could choose to be brown eyed rather than blue. I would think if it was a choice some gay people would just choose to be straight so they could live with the same civil rights that straight people do and not have to live with the fear of losing family, friends, or even their job over their sexual identity. If the shoe was on the other foot and being straight was a sin causing you to be treated with different rights could you magically turn gay?? I don't think so... it is not a choice!

meggers 4 years, 10 months ago

Oak,

I'm sure the pro-slavery folks shared your sentiments back in the day.

Using the bible to promote discrimination and hatred is no more acceptable than using it to justify murder. Religion can be twisted and interpreted to justify essentially anything. It doesn't matter if the person uses the bible or the tooth fairy to justify intolerance and bigotry- such behavior is still unaccepable.

jillh 4 years, 10 months ago

Oak- Enjoy your freedom to read your bible and live your life according to your God. I can say for myslef I have no problem with how you live your life and what beliefs you choose to live by. That is your wonderful freedom given to you by our great country. The problem is when the bible or someone beliefs directly effect the rights of others. It's called seperation of church and state and there is a very good reason for it!

somedude20 4 years, 10 months ago

barrypenders (anonymous) says… "I wonder what this country would have looked like if Rosie O and her crew had sailed here on the Mayflower"

My god Barry ,not only was what you said understandable but was mildly funny. Thanks! I am guessing that if Rosie had been on the Mayflower, our country would be filled with fatties who were gay (which some might say already has happened) Although if you get too fat it would be hard to find your "waldo"

mickeyrat 4 years, 10 months ago

"Shun" is a better and more rational verb in a statement like "people have every right to shun behavior they find immoral."

No-one is asking the LTE writer to have homosexuals over for tea. Freedom of association seems a natural right. The problem is too many people like Mr. Burkhead would deny those same natural rights to homosexuals, and they justify their prejudice by regurgitating Paul's.

tantrazoid 4 years, 10 months ago

Yet another christian using the bible to rationalize their hate and bigotry - disgusting

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

wouldn't it be hilarious if our precious barry penders were to be a guest on something like "meet the press"? can you imagine his response to all of those hard subjects-- something very abstract and goofy-- and i'm imagining he'd say these things w/ much conviction and a straight face each time. that would be effing hilarious!

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Darn...vertigo, you stole my thunder...I was going to ask at what point in his development did he decide he was hetro? I mean, really, was there some seminal moment where and when he had to conciously choose one ore the other? By his logic, if it IS a choice a person makes in their social development, what exactly prompted his "decision"? Speaking personally, I never had to make such a decision...I always knew I LOVED girls, and I'm a huge fan of the physical "favors" involved in yer hetro relationships...did the letter writer play on both side of that fence to figure out which "way" he was? What a poor, pathetic, arrogant, ignorant person...no, gay is not a choice, gay just "is", as stated above. Like hetros, you either are, or you aren't. Simple as that. Now in the eyes and words of the writers of the Bible, it may (or may not) be what we call a "sin", maybe, maybe not, I dunno cause God has never spoken directly to me on this or any other subject, but in truth, as I see things, what we refer to as "God" really doesn't have the time to really give a hoot one way or the other about an individuals sexual preferences. Only when a persons proclivities involves children, or the intentional harm of others does it get off into what I call a crime against Gods will and ways. To use the Bible to justify OR refute any given theory is fools play, in my opinion, and as we see all the time, like with the phelps tribe of haters, you can bastardize nearly anything by twisting the words in the Bible to suit yer purpose of the moment. We see it every day. Sorta like the primary conflicts between the religious right and the neo-leftists...one side says "it's GODs way", and the other side will not rest until they have refuted the idea that there even IS a higher and greater power than them as individuals. Stupid, both sides, and merit both ways. But what do I know...I'm old.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

atlas, we're almost cousins-- i'm a universalist! i have been to the U.U. meetings here in salina several times. good people. but i lean more toward the universalist aspect in that i am more spiritually based. i noticed alot of unitarians seem to be open minded but more agnostic and sometimes even atheist.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

vert makes good points. he's a sharp one, i tell ya. may not always be the most popular dude in the lineup but he's pretty smart.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

LOL @ tom! exactly the way i had it pictured too! LOL

imastinker 4 years, 10 months ago

What I find ironic here is the very ability that we christians enjoy to be able to practice our faith is on attack by christians who want to control the actions of others.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

"Barry has invented a new eloquent form of internet posting, part poetry, part genius, as beautiful as a haiku."

you forgot part nonsense.

"I call it a Pender"

classic! love it! LOL

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

vert, it was meant as a legitimate compliment. enjoy. :)

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

"What I find ironic here is the very ability that we christians enjoy to be able to practice our faith is on attack by christians who want to control the actions of others. "

makes no sense whatsoever does it? that is one of the reasons why i distanced myself from christianity for so many years. now, i don't consider myself a christian because i embrace aspects of many different belief systems, but i do love many things about the faith and i truly do think that jesus was a really cool dude and made alot of sense.

avoice 4 years, 10 months ago

“Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God .”

These statements are not true. In fact, they are only Paul’s opinion.

K_Verses_The_World 4 years, 10 months ago

Sometimes I feel so low-down and disgusted Can’t help but wonder what’s happenin’ to my companions Are they lost or are they found Have they counted the cost it’ll take to bring down All their earthly principles they’re gonna have to abandon?

Bob Dylan - Slow Train

Richard Heckler 4 years, 10 months ago

Do we know whether or not Jesus was gay or simply happy?

How many times has the bible been revised to reflect others interpretations?

beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Would somebody please prove that being left handed is genetic? Anyone? It is a choice, I tell ya. A choice.

(The above is intended for humorous consideration only. I must point this out because many people choose not to have a sense of humor.)

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

^^^^ many times. scripture has been twisted to support everything from racism to classism to murder... this is nothing new (as you already know).

one of the problems w/ the bible, or any other ancient text, is that it has had to be interpreted into so many different languages thru the ages and has lost some of its original intent and integrity along the way.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

"I have a great deal of respect for Saint Paul and read 2nd Timothy when I am feeling down"

nothing wrong w/ that. and i think that 1 corinthians 13 is truly a beautiful and complete definition of love.

paul is and always will be a controversial figure. outside of christianity and even inside. w/ him, i chew the meat and spit out the bone. in some areas he was eloquent and meaningful and in others preposterous. he was human-- that's what we need to keep in mind here-- some of what i write is worth a dime and some of it ain't crap. not all of us can be barry. ;)

7texdude 4 years, 10 months ago

I wish this argument could be more civilized on both sides. Your point of view comes from your faith and your beliefs. There is no need to get nasty. When you play with fire, expect your fireballs to be thrown back at you. The attacks from both sides disgust me.

"Judge not, lest you be judged yourself."

It goes both way people, Christian, Spiritual and Atheist alike. We can and do disagree, but we have forgotten to respect the other person's beliefs.

MyName 4 years, 10 months ago

Ugh, this LTE is so myopic. Quoting the Bible as a source of Scientific truth will not gain you any credibility.

And to those who are asking for proof: WTF? So you have to wait until someone spends the years if not decades uncovering the set of "Gay genes" before you will start treating other people like actual human beings?

Jesus hung out with drunkards, prostitutes and tax collectors, none of whom even had a genetic excuse for their behavior, and he treated them with compassion. Is it your mission in life to change people, or to make your lives, and their lives, better by treating others as Christ taught: being in the world, but not of the world. And to be honest, I think that was even Paul's point in the quote that the LTE ran: "you are all being too much of the world, stop it."

And that's even giving too much credence to the LTE writer's ideas of morality. Can anyone here explain how a behavior that harms no one (assuming it is mutual consensual, like most other adult behavior), and exists in both lower primates and other mammals be considered either immoral, or even a genetic disease? As Pitt's said, it's simply something that some people do because their brain is wired that way.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

^^^ oak, dude, i think you're posing deep philosophical questions to the wrong group of people. LOL seriously tho... this ain't the forum. if anything, you'll get ripped just for asking.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Oak, it is not behaviors that send you to hell. It is a choice. If you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior then you are going to heaven. If you don't, you are not going to heaven.

The Bible does not say that someone who wants to have sex with another person of the same sex is a sinner. It does say that only a man and woman can marry, and if you have sex with anyone outside that marriage, you are sinning. That includes everything from one-night stands to homosexual sex.

You can choose whether or not to have sex and you can choose who you have sex with.

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

...AND heavily edited, thank-you-SO-very-much, ancient, now-deceased Popes...

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

oops, got in a hurry...my last was addressing the following... one of the problems w/ the bible, or any other ancient text, is that it has had to be interpreted into so many different languages thru the ages and has lost some of its original intent and integrity along the way.

feeble 4 years, 10 months ago

Anyone else find it terribly ironic that a poster taking their username from Ayn Rand, a self-confessed atheist and sharp critic of Christianity, is arguing for a biblical interpretation of nature?

To quote Rand:

"Faith is the worst curse of mankind, as the exact antithesis and enemy of thought."

i'm not endorsing Rand's comments re: faith here, but the irony is over 10,000 in this thread.

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

@ feeble: yes, I found that somewhat ironic myself...LOL!

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

"I call it a pender."

On threads concerning sexual orientation, though, wouldn't it be a "pender bender"?

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Oak, not my call. Jesus said it. "I am the Way the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father but by Me."

Note one of the common mistakes people make is to assume that because the Bible is old it has been heavily edited. Actually, that is not true. We have many copies of the early writings. There are no significant differences in them.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

yes, larry, there is.

do you speak ancient hebrew or aramic? no? then how are you going to be able to tell what was in those early copies... oh, what is that you say? you rely on the INTERPRETER to translate? there ya go then and my point has been proven.

next??......

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

"Man with all his faults made the bible and religions we have today. "

that, larry, says it all. whether you want to believe this or that-- you cannot deny that fact. moses was a man... all of the prophets were men... matthew, mark, luke and john were men... and, paul was a man. whether god spoke thru these men is subjective, interpretive and debatable. but it is NOT debatable that they were human-- of flesh of bone, cartilage and corpuscle just like you and i. that is why there are so many translations, so many versions, so many languages... and that is why we cannot rely on these ancient text to back up something as gray-area as sexual orientation, abortion, divorce, etc etc.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild - in this case it was Greek and even you can check it if you want to. The original text is online and so are Greek dictionaries. I don' rely on the interpreter for important issues.

AtlasShrugging: Jesus said He was God. No vote needed. The Nicene vote was to eliminate heresy and accept what was already common belief.

If you think man could write a book spanning over 1500 years that predicted accurately events over 1000 years in the future you are not very well informed about the reliability of man.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

do you think the bible is the ONLY ancient text that has survived over thousands of years? do you truly think that?

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild - don't depend on the translations - go read the original.

youarewhatyoueat 4 years, 10 months ago

Swindlers are going to hell? Doesn't that mean much of 700 Club will be roasting with the gays? The only times I've ever seen that station it seems they're always begging for money and "miracles will happen!" Is that not swindling?

jimmyjms 4 years, 10 months ago

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Jock Navels 4 years, 10 months ago

a perfect example of a right wing fundamentalist crazy ignoring fact in a discussion by labelling it opinion....then, of all things, putting myth forward as fact...give it a rest...whining about other people....don't you ever get tired of whining, compaining about others...look to yourself. FREEDOM DOESN'T MEAN FREE TO BE THE WAY YOU WANT ME TO BE; IT MEANS FREE TO BE THE WAY I WANT TO BE.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

was the original written by human beings or did god use his laser pointer and sear the words into stone?

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

...ohmy...this has "devolved", hasn't it?

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

when was it looking as if it were evolving, tmkatt? the whole reason for this thread sucks.

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

so true, Mel. So very true...why do we play with the mentally-underfunded? I wonder, sometimes...the points both side attempt to make are seemingly carved in stone and totally intractable...personally, I tend to state MY position or thought, and then let the ranters run any kind of amok they so desire...no WAY is anything we say going to change ANYones' point of view, and the very premise taken by the LTE writer is really just nothing more than provocation for provocations' sake...

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

jimmyjms - the "differences" in the Gospels go away if you really study them. I'd be glad to help but we should take that off line.

A search merely shows a lot of opinion and very little fact.

What is called the New Testament was all written by 100 years after Jesus' death and resurrection There are a number of later writings written 200 - 300 years later that are not authentic. The "Gospel of Judas" is an example.

By the way, the scientific method is based on the JudeoChristian viewpoint of the physical universe.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

and alot of the bible is based in astrology too... not something alot of christians want to admit or even know in the first place (and then when you bring that up to them, they say you don't know what you're talking about. lol). so whatever... shrugs i'm w/ tmkatt on this one.... pointless arguing really.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

one more thing: i love gay people! they're great! some of the nicest people i have ever met are gay. so i don't give a flying fugg WHY they are like that-- more times than not they are awesome, hella cool people. and that, my friends, is all that matters to me.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

vert, if someone called me gay i wouldn't bat an eyelash. i have been called much, much worse. ;)

headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

The hypocrisy runs pretty thick with Christians in a variety of areas. The manipulation of the Bible has gone on at least since the first gathering of the Council of Nicaea in 325 A.D. if not before. The Council also attempted to manipulate dates and the Cannon Law. We have no guarantee that what is available today is total truth even with what is available in the Dead Sea Scrolls. I know that customs and laws differed then from now such as how woman were treated then. I find it very hard to take Christians very serious when they are drawing information from texts that tell them that incest, rape, slavery, murder and affairs were acceptable. Especially when those stories play very heavy to the whole picture. Examples are, Abraham and sister/wife Sarah, Lot and his daughters, King David and his escapades that involved making sure that Uriah was killed so he could have access to his wife, etc. I also refuse to accept that the dividing point between then and now is the New Testament/New Covenant.

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

@ headdoctor: Well-stated. Thank you. However, we both know the fanatics on either side of this issue refuse to let actual facts get between them and their beliefs. Minds are made UP!!!

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

tmkatt, let's go have a drink and let the children in this forum throw their toys at eachother. :)

mr_right_wing 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm a 'fundy' and I don't hate one single 'gay' person. (Or even any 'group' of them.) Love the sinner, hate the sin. (Very wise words.)

Just because you have an 'urge' doesn't mean you need to act upon it. If someone just completely outrages me (like Fred Phelps can) I don't go murder the pathetic man. I may be flat broke; I don't go rob a bank. Some attractive woman is wearing next to nothing, I don't rape her......

The Bible is pretty clear, we (deffinately me) are all sinners --- but what do you do with that sin?

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

...way ahead of ya, Mel...started withoutcha. Some threads cause a serious need for intoxicants.

denak 4 years, 10 months ago

Well, at the risk of getting skewered by both sides, here is my take on things.

With all due respect to Carl, homosexuality is not a choice. However, even more importantly, the Bible does not address consentual homosexul relationships as we know them today any more than it addresses the modern concept of marriage. It is important to remember that the Bible has several layers in that it can be read as a theological text, a historical text, a social-political text, a legal text and a blue print for nation-building. The few references to 'homosexuality" in the Bible were written as a way for the ancient Isrealites to distance themself from the practices of other cultures in that area. Much like the Gospels are written to address certain groups of people and to promote Christianity and just as importantly, to seperate Christians from the dominant practices of the Romans, one practice being the fondness the Roman elite had for sexual excess and exploitation of men, women and children regardless of "orientation" which wasn't even a concept back then.

With that said, not all Christians think alike. I know it is fashionable ....but oh so predictable..for some of you to immediately jump on anything that originates from the Bible and Christianity in general, but it would behoove some of you to actually learn something about what you are talking about before you try to discredit it. There are numerous secular books out there that explore the history of the Bible and show contrary to what some of you obviously ..but erroneously belive.. the Bible is indeed a historical text. Many of you pull up a passage off google and post it, trying to use that passage to discredit the Bible, and yet, you post something that has little to nothing to do with the subject at hand because you don't know the context in which it is written because you would rather spew your vile than actually take the time to learn about the subject you are villifying.

In other words, you are just as guilty as Carl is in taking one or two comments, taking them out of context, and then trying to make an argument against something. Before you sneer at Carl for his beliefs, look at your beliefs and if your behavior is any better than what you are condeming.

Dena

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

For whatever it may be worth, spot-ON, dena. The trick to understanding is education. I had a falling-out with a particular brand of religiosity way back in the ;60s because I was informed, multiple times, that I was going to burn in hell for all eternity. My specific sin? Asking questions, and attempting to learn more. That I failed to accept, at flat-out face value, what I was being told made me out to be something of a heretic, in that brand of religious observance. I later underwent several personal experiences that quite succinctly answered my questions, and now consider myself deeply spiritual, but not particularly "religious" in the common vernacular. I ascribe to no particular brand X, Y OR Z brand-name of religions, but rather embrace the very central common theme of ALL organized religions...namely, there really IS "something" far greater than us puny humans. How much of a true role in day-to-day life said entity may or may not play in our lives is truly open for debate, but it, whatever "it" is, really does exist. We mere mortals have to figure that out for ourselves. And another thing...I have learned that is really okay to be upset with said entity...in other words, since we tend to give thanks to God FOR our blessing, inversely, we have the right to be angry at said God for the upheavals we encounter...sort of a mutated version of quid pro quo, if you will...

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

The Bible commends asking questions and checking out what you are told. God expects you to use your brain.

Job said "The Lord gives and the Lord takes away. Blessed be the Name of the Lord."

Tom Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

...you actually made me chuckle. Yes, better late than never, as they say...my spirituality got a good start in 1972, and has been rollin' along rather steady since. A work in progress. One I never expect to complete.

Kirk Larson 4 years, 10 months ago

Mr Fright Thing That "hate the sin, love the sinner" stuff does not fly; it's just another way of saying hate the sinner. Your sexual orientation is not something you do, it is something you are. I presume that you have some person of the opposite sex with whom you "knock boots" on occasion. If you get a little older and lose interest and don't "do" that any more are you still heterosexual? Of course you are because it is something that defines your being, not something that manifests itself only when you are having sex. So your hate of the sinner is just your fear of difference if not your fear of your own sexual ambiguity (which we all have to deal with, some better than others). Grow up.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Cappy: Actually, one of the ways you can tell where a person stands is if they say God hates a person or a group of people they are lying and not Christians. God hates sin, but He sent His Son so we don't have to suffer the consequences. He loves us, even though we do sinful things.

If you have children or even a close friend you have experienced this

mr_right_wing 4 years, 10 months ago

One problem with "living your own way..." "There is a way that seemeth right onto a man but the end thereof are the ways of death."

...and... if you believe "there are many roads to heaven" (which is not Biblical) check out Matthew 7:13-14 from the "Sermon on the Mount"

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"I feel sorry for people who can't accept others for who they are. "

Wow, it must feel wonderful, being able to look down and pity the poor ignorant fools that don't think like you. I mean, how dare someone quote from a book he believes in?

Here's a better idea, save your pity for the constitution and its freedom of religion, expression and association. Or just keep ignoring them. I don't care either way.

Disclosure: I passed thru atheism on the way to nihilism 30 years ago. The bible is fiction, but I hold that against no man that draws his philosophy from it's pages and has the audacity to argue his beliefs. Franky, I find the average christian to be a better man than me and a better man than any atheist I've ever known.

beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

The Bible was written by people who believed the earth was flat.

Homophobia is gay.

Irenaku 4 years, 10 months ago

"Any movement built on the fear and loathing of anyone is a failed movement" - Cherrie Moraga

As a faithful believer in Jesus and as a human being, I just want to add that the individual who wrote this letter and those like him/her do not represent those of us who truly adhere to the most important principles of being a Christ follower: loving God and loving others. I believe in my heart that God is love, above all things, a great mystery who loves us in a way we cannot fully begin to understand or comprehend...which is where faith comes in. I do not believe that God hates anyone, I do not believe that sexual orientation has anything to do with one's relationship with God, and God loves all His creation. It breaks my heart that people like the author of this letter misrepresent God and His Son, potentially turning people away from Christ... and all I can think to do is try to counteract this kind of bigotry and fear with the truth: His Love. If you read His Word thoughtfully, considering the cultural context of the time in which it was written, as well as the flawed nature of those who wrote it, and how human understanding has changed over time, you come to see God fully, and His love. Please do not mistake people like this as representing the true nature of God OR His Word.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"The Bible was written by people who believed the earth was flat. "

I'm not quite sure that is true. The circumference of the earth was guessed at 3 centuries before part of the bible was written. Since a lot of the bible was written by the greeks, I just can't buy into your theory because they were pretty smart.

Pretty cool jab though. Flatearthers are funny.

"It breaks my heart that people like the author of this letter misrepresent God and His Son, potentially turning people away from Christ"

Its always important to represent god with a long list of premises. Kudos to you. I'd be willing to bet that David Koresh had a nice set of preconditions for reading into the bible too.

Also, I'm always suspicious of people that want to counteract "bigotry". I get images of pots and kettles in my head when I come across that. It doesn't break my heart though. It makes me smile.

beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

L275, while the ancient Greeks were indeed intelligent people, many of them believed in Zeus and the rest of that wacky mythological bunch, so they weren't all that smart, now were they.

The Bible discusses traveling to the four corners of the earth -- how does a round object have corners? Just askin'.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Actually, the Bible says the earth is round - in both the Old Testament and the New Testament. http://www.roundearth.net/sphere.htm

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"L275, while the ancient Greeks were indeed intelligent people, many of them believed in Zeus and the rest of that wacky mythological bunch, so they weren't all that smart, now were they."

A careful reading of the extant dramas from the Classical Greek period exposes a shift in mindset from a people that literally believed in gods to one that believed gods were little more than idealized humans with human frailties and desires. They became their own gods.

Besides, believing in gods doesn't make you dumb, it just makes you wrong about gods.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"how does a round object have corners? Just askin'. "

It's a metaphor we still use today. It was probably a metaphor in 300 BC. If you want to use the flat earth to illustrate the utter illiteracy of a collapsed European civilization, you have a point.

beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Believing in gods doesn't make you intelligent, either. And were the Greeks really that much more intelligent than others, or did they just figure a few things out about community building that lead to early wealthy just a little earlier than others?

Yes, the four corners probably was a metaphor. Probably, and that indicates it was written by men. Why would god, in dishing his word, start telling metaphors? He is god -- give it to us straight, not through metaphors and parables.

I know, I'm arguing this with someone who doesn't believe it either. Personally, I'm more agnostic than athiest. There may be something else beyond our mortal selves, but I don't think any of us have a clue and I am quite convinced it has nothing to do with burning bushes, crosses, sabfaths, or whether or not you eat shellfish, cover your head, or are gay. I also feel that if god did create the world in six days, he didn't just rest on the seventh, he retired.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

witchfindergeneral: Actually when you are talking about humans you should probably not say "never."

I'm also pretty sure that Mr. Burkhead and Mr. Phelps are very far apart on this issue.

You should note that being a homosexual, according to the Bible, is not a sin. Engaging in sex outside of Biblical marriage is a sin. The sex of the partner is irrelevant.

Maxwell Butterfield 4 years, 10 months ago

This whole thing is just so sad... Letters and comments like this make me worry for the future of this world.

Brent Garner 4 years, 10 months ago

I note that no one has provided any scientific evidence that being homosexual is not a choice. No one has referenced a genome study or any other study to support the position that being homosexual is not a choice. Several have suggested that all one needs do is ask a homosexual and that such is sufficient. If that were the case, then the world would still be flat as many years ago that was the almost universal belief and opinion of everyone on planet earth. In fact, Galileo was prosecuted for advocating the opposite. His position did eventually win out as further evidence was found supporting it but in his day the general belief was that the earth was flat, the earth did not move, and that the sun and stars moved through the heavens not the earth. Therefore, resorting to opinion to determine fact is not scientific, now is it.

Mel Briscoe 4 years, 10 months ago

dena, i loved your post. i believe that there is alot of truth and wisdom in the bible. i have read it (that was years ago-- i should do that again just to refresh myself) and i still rely on some passages as a source of strength.

one of the downsides to christianity is the belief that if you question the origin, the authenticity or the true intent of any part of the bible you are at at the least a naysayer and at worst a heretic. so it gives folks strong guilt/shame pangs in the old gut just to THINK "wow, i wonder if paul had his head screwed on tight". blasphemy i tell ya! maybe you're a witch-- lets see if you float or not!

for the most part i a feel like i am a child of the world and of the universe. everyone is, per se, but not everyone feels as if they have something to learn from a large variety of people, cultures, religions and belief systems. i do.

headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild (Mel Briscoe) says… dena, i loved your post. i believe that there is alot of truth and wisdom in the bible. i have read it (that was years ago-- i should do that again just to refresh myself) and i still rely on some passages as a source of strength. one of the downsides to christianity is the belief that if you question the origin, the authenticity or the true intent of any part of the bible you are at at the least a naysayer and at worst a heretic. so it gives folks strong guilt/shame pangs in the old gut just to THINK "wow, i wonder if paul had his head screwed on tight". blasphemy i tell ya! maybe you're a witch-- lets see if you float or not! for the most part i a feel like i am a child of the world and of the universe. everyone is, per se, but not everyone feels as if they have something to learn from a large variety of people, cultures, religions and belief systems. i do.


The problem with Christianity can be boiled down to just three primary issues. At least two of them can be found in a variety of other religious movements. One is the authoritarian aspect, "My way or the highway", attitude and another is the heavy influence on the religion of man made doctrine that converts religion to nothing more than religious practices. Christians have done more on their own to destroy the one thing they desire the most. Modern day Christians are no better than the Pharisees and Sadducees of old. The other issue is the Bible may be the inspired word of God but not the word of God. It also contains some historical information and is part of the history of man but not a record of history itself. Anyone who thinks that the Bible must be taken on face value, considering all of the various translations including the additions and subtractions, is a fool. If you doubt that. Then I suggest you try to find affordable copies of other light reading of things like the "The Septuagint with Apocrypha" or the Greek Apocrypha. If that is out of the question you may be able to find scholarly copies of individual books. If nothing else, when looking at a modern copy of the Bible and it contains foot notes that this passage is not found in the oldest texts, one has to question not only how did it get there and why was it added.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

honeychild: "if you question the origin, the authenticity or the true intent of any part of the bible you are at at the least a naysayer and at worst a heretic. " This is not part of Christianity - it is a human condition. The Bible says you are to check what you are told.

One of the problems with checking is that it is not a 15 minute process. If you are really curious about that kind of thing, you have to learn a great deal about how to evaluate old documents. And there are techniques that are taught that are designed to give you false results! So you have to really want to know.

Seth Peterson 4 years, 10 months ago

Brent, please provide us with the time in your life when you attracted to both other little boys and other little girls and made the choice to love women?

No one is required to do your research for you or explain the implications of society, genetics, free will, determinism and other influences (all of which have an effect on your question) on human behavior. Scratching the surface of your question includes years of study and education.

The fact you look for a thirty-second, commercial based answer and are not satisfied until receiving one is telling.

Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

Wow. Surprised I missed this letter until just now.

I guess you can believe what's right before your own eyes or you can believe some text written by some dude who never even met Jesus (who incidentally never uttered a word against gays) writing in an ancient language and mental world view foreign to any modern mind as translated by a religion obsessed with sexuality in general and with an agenda to push.

Hmmmm....doesn't seem like a difficult choice for a rational person. Gay is as God created. Who but those claiming to worship God would curse God's own creation?

jimmyjms 4 years, 10 months ago

"The Bible is pretty clear, we (deffinately me) are all sinner"

The Bible is also pretty clear in its support for slavery and murder.

headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

75x55 (anonymous) says… Unfortunately, far too many folks that claim to study a wide variety of 'faiths' and take from here or there what seems right to them are usually nothing much more than confused cafeteria spiritualists that have not critically analyzed their own thinking processes, much less the nature of the 'faiths' they claim to have studied.


You really do not have to study different faiths. You can find the same of those that pick and choose what is comfortable for them right from the Bible. That is after all the primary principle behind the splintering of the church into a variety of denominations.

headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

It would be interesting to find out just how many people really understand the term sin. It seems that sinner has a different meaning depending on the situation in the Bible. It seems that you can create sin just by thinking a given thing is sin. If that is the case then many things that are considered sin may not be unless the one committing the act thinks it is so. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 75x55 (anonymous) says… I'd ask for evidence of that 'support', jimmy, but it would be asking too much of you, considering the ignorance of your statement.


I know you were addressing jimmyjms (anonymous), but if you think his statement was ignorant, what about this below from my earlier post. Perhaps Jimmyjims statement isn't so ignorant after all. The Bible may not be outright saying this is acceptable but it is showing it in what is contained in the scriptures. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ headdoctor (anonymous) says… I know that customs and laws differed then from now such as how woman were treated then. I find it very hard to take Christians very serious when they are drawing information from texts that tell them that incest, rape, slavery, murder and affairs were acceptable. Especially when those stories play very heavy to the whole picture. Examples are, Abraham and sister/wife Sarah, Lot and his daughters, King David and his escapades that involved making sure that Uriah was killed so he could have access to his wife, etc. I also refuse to accept that the dividing point between then and now is the New Testament/New Covenant.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimo: "Jesus (who incidentally never uttered a word against gays)" Jesus did make it very clear that sex outside of Biblical marriage was a sin.

Clearly the assumption in this thread is that a person who is a homosexual will not be able to choose to not have sex. I don't believe that is true.

jbiegs 4 years, 10 months ago

The comments about this article are GAY!!!! lol I say let em be, as long as they don't mess with me.

headdoctor 4 years, 10 months ago

75x55 (anonymous) says… The accounts of the characters' actions in the Bible are not synonymous with them being acceptable. Indeed, it is most times quite the opposite, showing the detrimental result of these acts.


Of course there are cases where a deed was not acceptable and the punishment was severe. The examples that I used were cases in which there wasn't much punishment at all and one could easily think it wasn't that big of deal. Abraham was punished but not for the incest that was occurring with his sister, He went on to be the father of many nations. There isn't a lot of information on Lot's daughters but their offspring from their acts of incest was part of the puzzle in the lineage of Jesus. The various punishments issued to King David for the most part as Kings go was a slap on the hand. The worst was the loss of his child with Bathsheba but their second one matured into King Solomon. Even though Bathsheba had no control over what happened, accordingly her punishment was far greater than what happened to King David for his actions. She was only doing what the King had ordered.

One can banter about this and other circumstances in the Bible but it is very easy to see why people reading it become very confused about it if they even understand it at all.

beatrice 4 years, 10 months ago

Larry: "Clearly the assumption in this thread is that a person who is a homosexual will not be able to choose to not have sex. I don't believe that is true."

It is not true. We are sexual creatures, and abstinence is not natural. Possible, but not natural. Look at what happens when we teach children abstinence only sex education -- they have sex, then get pregnant. Just ask the Palin family.

Yes, some people can choose not to have sex, but when you bottle it all up and try to stop your natural urges, it bubbles up in weird ways. Look at priests, and the problems that range from pedophilia to pregnant nuns to priests with HIV, all because they try to surpress their natural urges. The question isn't can people abstain from sex, the question is why should they? To somehow make an imaginary god happy because some people don't care for what parts people rub together with others' parts? That is just dumb.

Again, fewer people are left handed. That makes them abnormal and not like the rest of us normal people. Why did they "choose" to be left handed? How is this possibly different from one's sexuality?

Brent Garner 4 years, 10 months ago

Ludus: The premise being put forward by those opposed to this LTE seems to consistently boil down to opinion is fact. Such a position is absurd on its face regardless of how strongly that opinion is held. I have, for years, watched for any scientific evidence to be brought forth by anyone proving that being homosexual is genetic--which is what it has to be in order for the "its not a choice" position to be correct--and have not seen any such information posted anywhere. Granted, I do not read all of the scientific journals in the world. However, if such a discovery were made it would be front page news, so to speak, so it should not be difficult to miss. I repeat. To date I have not seen a single scientific study show that homosexuality is genetic. Yes, the APA has changed its position on the subject, but that was only after a political decision, not a scientific discovery. What the APA did was take a vote! Even you should realize that a vote does not make something a fact! We could all vote that the moon is made of green cheese and it would not change the fact that it is not made of green cheese. We could all vote that the law of gravity is repealed and yet, a dropped object would still fall to the ground. Opinion does not make fact! Let those advocating that their "it is not a choice" position is fact produce the evidence, for upon them lies the burden of proof!

Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

"Jesus did make it very clear that sex outside of Biblical marriage was a sin. Clearly the assumption in this thread is that a person who is a homosexual will not be able to choose to not have sex. I don't believe that is true."

A. Then isn't it your sin to stand in the way of marriage rights for same-sex couples? B. Jesus also made it clear his disapproval of divorce (or at least remarriage thereafter) - so you plan to initiate a combined effort of lobbying and civil disobedience until Kansas complies? C. Your plan to "punish the gays" who have sex outside of marriage will also be equally and vigorously applied to heterosexuals as well? (I can give you a long list of holier-than-thou Republicans to start with.)

ROFL.
Of course you don't.
That's because you're the worst sort of hypocrite - one who selectively quotes and applies principles from your own error-free religious text while ignoring anything inconvenient to YOU.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

beatrice: so you are saying we are not in control of ourselves? Murder is natural - happens all the time - but I'm not going to say it's OK. And I do expect that people control that urge.

"children abstinence only sex education" - most of what I have seen has been terrible education. I would expect it to fail. In addition, parents need to reinforce the concept. And it would help if people were not telling 6 year old children that sex is OK.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimo: A. Biblical marriage means a man and a women. Therefore it is required that I oppose other combinations! B. I do oppose the current divorce laws. C. Hmmm - I'm not "punishing the gays" I'm saying that God says sex outside marriage is a sin and yes, it applies to heterosexuals as well.

oh, "ignoring anything inconvenient" - if you find me doing that and can actually show an example, please let me know. I do not want to do that. Be sure to consider context.

bruno2 4 years, 10 months ago

If the Bible is the word of God, and is absolutely, literally, 100% accurate, rather than a work of man, explain how Judas died from a) hanging himself (Matthew 27:1-10) or b) falling in a field and having his body burst open (Luke, Acts 1:18-19). I guess he died twice? Did he get resurrected too so he could pull this off? There are many, many more examples of such bibilical contradictions. The Bible is a book written by men and edited repeatedly for centuries, this is clear in historical records, such as the fact the Catholic Church burned many books of the original Gospel because they did not support their tidy little power grab and patriarchical mores. Take the true message of the Bible and love your neighbor; stop spewing hate and intolerance and perhaps, if there is a reward in the afterlife, you'll have a shot at it. "Too many people have died in the name of Christ for anyone to heed the call. Too many people have lied in the name of Christ that I can't believe at all..." Graham Nash

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

I'm sorry you have been reading all sorts of stuff from web sites and not actually bothered to study how we got the Bible. The texts we have were not edited for centuries. This is one of these lies told by those who want the Bible to not be relevant to them.

"fact the Catholic Church burned many books of the original Gospel " you might want to go take a look at what really happened.

by the way, what people did is not relevant. It is what Christ did that is relevant.

Mike Willoughby 4 years, 10 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Jimo 4 years, 10 months ago

A. Biblical marriage means a man and a women. Therefore it is required that I oppose other combinations! B. I do oppose the current divorce laws. C. Hmmm - I'm not "punishing the gays" I'm saying that God says sex outside marriage is a sin and yes, it applies to heterosexuals as well.

A. The Bible doesn't NOT "require" you to oppose same-sex marriage merely because the ancient society reflected therein gives no example of an opposite-sex marriage (although plenty of examples of opposite-sex "friendships"). That's like saying since the Bible presents uncritically multiple examples of polygamy, slavery, genocide, etc. that your are "required" to support these. What sort of cafeteria-Christian are you?

B. Sure you do, like I oppose Fruit-loops and brussel sprouts. Are you doing anything about it - no! What contempt for peoples' intelligence must you have to make such a patently false assertion.

C. Your just "saying." Why would you be just "saying." Hmmmm....of all the topics under the sun, what could be inspiring you to comment on this of all topics??? Could it be Satan??? We've all seen plenty of evidence of your just "saying" theme and it always ends up the same - with violence and death.

Dude, bigotry is so unappealing. It's about as attractive as cancer. Read your Bible, pray to God, and then give up your arrogant refusal to listen to Jesus' voice. If you can't find it in Christ's own words and deeds, then it ain't Christ-ianity.

Liberty275 4 years, 10 months ago

"And were the Greeks really that much more intelligent than others"

No, the Clsassic Greeks were as intelligent as anyone else. In fact they were as intelligent as we are. They were better educated than their peers, which is what you wanted to ask about, but obviously not as technically advanced as we are today.

"There may be something else beyond our mortal selves,"

When you realize that is wrong, expect life to be a little shaky for a while. A pointless existence is pretty hard to live.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

Jimo: I'm not convinced you are actually reading what I say. You are certainly not reading what the Bible says. Your response to A shows no direct knowledge of the Bible. B. You have no idea what I'm doing. C. makes no sense.

I suspect you have "itching ears" syndrome.

what people do or think is not relevant. It is what Christ did that is relevant.

Mike Willoughby 4 years, 10 months ago

Here's a fact for you; Mr. Burkhead has been spouting this kind of anti-gay, narrow, "my bible tells me so," crap for years. The fact that the LJWorld gives this jerk a voice at all is crazy to me. Free speech is great, let him hold a sign with the Phelps clan if he wants to. Who is he that the LJW lets him spout the same crap over and over again.

Here is a quote from an ad for his campaign for city commission in 1995 when he ran on an anti-gay platform:

"I am against passing a gay rights ordinance that will promote a behavior which has resulted in hundreds of deaths in Kansas…. 76 percent of the exposures are from men having sex with men." --Carl E. Burkhead

Mr. Burkhead it is people like you, with ideas like yours, and agendas such as you have against gay people in the name of your "loving" deity, that CREATES the kind of hurtful pressure for someone to hide their sexuality from their friends and families. That hiding forces them into self-destructive actions that can increase the chances that they may be exposed to HIV or even drive them to commit suicide at higher rates than their straight peers.

Mr. Burkhead, I am gay. Your God made me that way. I have a straight brother who grew up in the same house. We went to church. My parents were loving, caring, attentive and are still together. I agonized and prayed to not be gay and nearly killed myself over it. I would never have chosen to be gay. You confuse the "acceptance" and "comfort" with themselves that you see of someone who is gay as evidence of their "choice." But I am here to tell you that that comfort comes only after years of strife for many of us. If you had actually seen my struggle, or that of any number of my friends who tell the same kinds of coming-to-terms stories, you would never, ever think that we chose to be gay at the time.

I love my life. I love my partner of eleven years. But I didn't choose it. It just happened. Carl, please stop speaking like you know what you're talking about. The bible can't tell you everything. The bible can't give you common sense. Apparently.

Larry Miller 4 years, 10 months ago

sense_of_the_common: I' m going to tell you a secret! You may already know that God loves you, Jesus loves you and wants to have a relationship with you. The secret? You don't have to change to have that relationship!

jonas_opines 4 years, 10 months ago

Sorry, that relationship is too much like having conversations with myself.

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