they’d rather not worship than worship with gays

"Who Said?" cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

“Who Said?” cartoon by nakedpastor David Hayward

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At first I couldn’t believe it, that a church cancelled its Easter service rather than have gays attend it. The city-wide Easter celebration was for all churches, but they accidentally invited an LGBT-inclusive one to the event.

But then I came to my senses and realized that, yes, this is entirely possible.

It reminded me of this cartoon I did four years ago. It’s not fiction.

SHOP

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40 Responses

  1. Caryn LeMur says:

    Having been on the receiving end of bigotry from “Christians”, I am glad the police department fired the Chaplain. We need police that treat every citizen with equal respect and opportunity.

    And the Organization that cancelled the event is an idiot – – they could have spun the news into a positive that Christ has open arms and welcomes all people.

    Good grief, there are so many denominations that disagree with each other on so many things…. what is one more disagreement among Protestants?

    And this is one reason that Evangelicalism is dying – – they retreat and avoid, rather than communicate that ‘Christ has risen’.

  2. Yes I found out just this morning he was fired. Good!

  3. Adam Julians says:

    Hmmmm so he was fired and the event cancelled rather that LGBT* being invited.

    I find all of this from another planet. In the world I live in I wouldn’t imagine a public event being cancelled for such a thing.

    Does it always have to be an us and them thing between LBGT* and Evangelicals?

    As mentioned, I attended a moving service in an Evangelical church recently. This week I shared a stage with a gay guy performing stand up comedy. One thing I liked that he got into his act was about tolerance. He doesn’t want to be tolerated, he wants to be loved. I find I bond with him jus as I do with one of my old colleagues from college that I met at the funeral.

    Why is it so difficult for one tribe to love the other? Do we have to either be Evangelical or LGBT*?

    It’s disheartening to read of yet more adversity over difference of view on the issue of sexual orientation / preference.

    The Christ I know doesn’t favour men, women, slave, free, Jew or Gentile but considers all one in him.

    I don’t know where you get the idea of evangelicalism retreating Caryn. There seems a prominent presence of it. Disagreement isn’t always bad but never disagreeing is. It seems you comment implies a desire to see it wiped out.

    I don’t think we need a revolution and heads to roll, I think we need transformation, for all of us and society.

    There’s no reason why we can’t thrive together. We do however need the will to do do of course, if it is to be achieved.

  4. Brigitte says:

    The thing with LGBT is precisely, that they ARE loved, as all are loved. That is not the problem.

    The problem is with what we have in yesterday’s cartoon: is homosexuality a sin? Is there such a thing as a Christian sexual morality that needs to be aimed for (seeing that most people struggle and Christ said we sin already in our hearts…). Or do we all do what we please and expect “tolerance” and have people pat us on the back. There are some who promote the opinion that there is no moral code. I don’t think that works, at all. So then: what is the moral code? And if there are some things not acceptable to some, must they really say “Oh, it’s ok with me”, when they don’t think it is ok. This is oppression.

    If the Lesbian minister wants to be involved it is a different matter from a lesbian congregation member wanting to be involved. The minister stands for a teaching/ philosophy/ ideology, maybe even simply activism. Every minister represents the teaching. So an official worship together is a different matter from getting on stage in some sort of community fun event, or even being a simple congregation of flawed, sinful people. These distinctions need to be made.

  5. Adam Julians says:

    Brigitte,

    You make some good points about all being loved, tolerance and moral code. We have had a discussion here before about moral subjectivity. I agree with your thought about there being no moral code not working. I think there is a point where we draw a line and say this is not OK otherwise there is oppression. It obviously requires some moral objectivity to draw such a line.

    You say there is a difference between sharing a stage in a community fun event and an official worship together. What do you mean by that and what would you advocate regarding worship for someone who either is lesbian or a lesbian minister?

  6. Brigitte says:

    I suppose I can’t beat around the bush. In my denomination, women are not ministers, and homosexuals are not ministers. They may be congregation members. They would be expected to grapple with this and avail themselves of pastoral care. It would not necessarily be everybody’s business. We would not expect the whole congregation to say: “Oh, that’s wonderful. Just do whatever you like.” We also would expect the homosexual not to be on a campaign to get the practice viewed as “normal” or normative. We are just not willing to give up on the word of God, and it says some things.

    Verbum domini manet in eternum. And it is not just that, there are other good reasons, for people to think it through carefully.

    If that makes me the most unloving, the most “institutional”, the dumbest, the rudest, I really have no option. I am constrained by the word. I am also constrained by what is a beautiful arrangement of God’s creation, seeing how man and woman have been made to fit together and to cooperate.

  7. Brigitte says:

    I should say “practicing” because in our hearts we are all sorts of things…

  8. Brigitte: And those who see otherwise are not constrained by the word?

  9. Brigitte says:

    NP, I am not sure what you believe. Do you think Jesus Christ lived, or did the church invent him. Is anything to be taken literal or is it mostly metaphorical. Is Easter about the resurrection of an actual physical body or is it just a symbol of rebirth? etc. I think you have said before that you need not pin yourself down and that you need not be consistent. So some have said, that there is not sense even in carrying on conversation with such. In any case, I would like to know what you think of Easter, and what you think of scripture, and so on. Maybe you have said something clear and I have missed it. I don’t know. If there is no Easter, then logically it also does not matter if someone feels excluded from it. If there is no judgement then it should not matter what someone says about it, etc. If the bible is not true, then it should not hurt anyone that it says that homosexual conduct is not what we are looking for.

  10. Caryn LeMur says:

    Yes, Adam, I do hope American Evangelicalism, is dying. It is a damaging philosophy.

    Here in the States, it stands for the Moral Majority, Anti-gay marriage, and Republican Party. It also mentions Jesus on occasion. It stands for an us-versus-them world view and a Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) approach to the gospel.

    It focuses on the offense and not on the opportunity. It is highly a Levitical-orientation of the Bible, and therefore focuses on changing the States to a Protestant Levitical Nation focused on outward ‘righteousness’ and external behaviors.

    It even redefines the word “love” to allow them to walk on the other side of the wounded.

    It is a highly negative view of life and people, that happens to couch that view in a few selected scriptures.

    So, indeed, I hope that evil movement dies.

    I hope that philosophy is replaced by community – being vulnerable among each other and accepting each other. I hope it is replaced by a God-centric political viewpoint – loving the world, sharing with the poor, and helping the neighbor that lives 50 feet away from your front door no matter his/her belief system.

    I hope it recognizes that the Nation should honor gay marriages so that the Nation remains godly (they cannot see the neutrality in the verse, “For God so loved the world that he gave…”), but their church can do otherwise and be as Levitical as they wish.

    Evangelicalism has evolved into an evil beast in the States.

    I hope the UK version of Evangelicalism is much more like Jesus.

  11. Caryn LeMur says:

    Brigitte: I think you are dodging the question from NP.

    Let me help you with a question, “Who was the hero of the Parable of the Good Samaritan?”

    You see, in the mind of Jesus, gay or not gay did not even make second place in his priorities. Priestly pedigree or Levitical doctrine did not matter.

    What matters is to be moved with compassion, to pour in your oil and wine, to use your own transportation for the wounded… to invest in skilled others that can nurse the wounded back to life.

    We are indeed constrained by the Word.

    I would rather be with a married gay couple that walks with Jesus, sharing food among the homeless; than be with a married straight church member that understands all the mysteries of heaven – but has no love that moves him to gently sit and listen among the poor.

    Because the latter is just a sounding gong.

    Indeed, we are constrained by the Word.

    I would bless and praise anyone that shares the good news that Jesus died for the world, and any that call upon him can have eternal life – I would not want to say, “Master, we forbid him, for he did not walk with us.”

    I would rather, like Paul, say “I will rejoice that Christ is preached.”

    The Word does indeed constrain us.

    I would gladly sit among those that reduced the 613 Levitical Laws to just 4 rules of thumb … so that the Gentiles could continue to hear the about the Jewish Messiah. We must reduce the Laws so that the Good News continues as it did in Acts 15.

    The Word does indeed guide us.

    In summary, the Gospel Narrative is primarily a discussion of priorities… not primarily a discussion of right vs. wrong.

    I offer that the Word should constrain our priorities.

  12. Whether one believes in a physical bodily resurrection of a historical man named Jesus as described by inspiration in the bible or not, I think one can still value the truth of Easter. And whether or not one is an originalist when it comes to the bible or whether or not one believes the bible’s intention would manifest itself in different policy today, I think one can still value the import of what it attempts to direct our attention to.

  13. Brigitte says:

    I won’t have time to respond until tomorrow afternoon. But thanks for engaging.

  14. Brigitte says:

    Just can you tell me in the meantime: What is the truth of Easter? Thanks.

  15. Adam Julians says:

    Caryn,

    I have little / no experience of American Evangelicalism. I appreciate your sharing. Perhaps there are some cultural differences between the States and the UK. I saw for example a few men talking about feeling ashamed of past involvement with Evangelicalism here with the number of “likes” showing approval / empathy. So it’s good to be aware of there possibly being some cultural differences that you comment affords.

    It’s not something I personally can relate to and in some ways I am grateful from the experiences I have had in evangelical circles that have influenced how I am today. However I do seem to have an inclination more towards the liberal / progressive perhaps due to the environment I was raised in and being creative find that it’s morle likely where I can thrive. I respect that the more left brained orientated folks might be inclined perceive environments where I thrive to be chaotic, confused even.

    I’m OK with that and just see that as a matter of diversity and reflective of us all being different with different inclinations. As for “movement” well, I take the position that no human movement can ever offer real security. And it being like David said when he was a pastor of the Vineyard church that no church is perfect.

    How would we like to be treated and how would we like any movement we ascribe ourselves to to be treated?

    On the issue of SSM I tend to stay away from expressing an opinion publicly as I wish to respect the sincerity of people on both sides of the argument. It seems to me it helps little to argue who is right and who is wrong, and with it being such emotive issue is akin to walking through a minefield. I think it important how we manage the differences. Where we disagree, we can still conduct ourselves with dignity and grace to “the other”. I don’t think dehumanising or demonising does anyone any good, least of all the person doing the dehumanising/demonising.

    Brigitte, I hear that in your denomination that women and LGBT* are not ministers. I understand this is your denomination’s interpretation of the “word of God” for it to be so. It was like that in one church that I have been in the past with sincere leaders all intentional on doing what is in keeping with the word. Yes it does constrain, freedom to do anything is no freedom at all. The word shows us what are healthy boundaries so that we may enjoy life in its fullest.

    We have a problem though with biblical interpretation as humans. I say this as someone with an honours in theology and masters in biblical interpretation. It would be great if we could all sit down and agree on what the word clearly says. The issue is with that that humans have disagreed for centuries on this. Sadly there have been tragic consequences at times. The word does have something to say about not getting involved in arguments that only end up in quarrels. While at the same time it says that we demolish arguments and pretences that set themselves up against the knowledge of God.

    So what is “the word”. Well, in the beginning the word was God and was with God. So, ultimately we know it is about a person not words written in a book by human hands. Jesus didn’t have anything to say about homosexuality. For me that’s not a bad place to start from. It seems there are things on his agenda that are of a higher priority.

    Perhaps it’s worth considering the extent of how much is invested in arguments over homosexuality and how such arguments are conducted.

  16. Adam Julians says:

    Caryn,

    As someone married and transgender making the statement “the Nation should honor gay marriages so that the Nation remains godly”, what would be your suggested response to those that sincerely hold to any homosexual practice is ungodly which therefore makes the same true for SSM in their view of the truth?

  17. Kristin says:

    “Jesus didn’t have anything to say about homosexuality. For me that’s not a bad place to start from. It seems there are things on his agenda that are of a higher priority.” Julian I’d go further and suggest that Jesus silence says it was NOT a priority, possibly not an issue.

    Here are a couple of poems I’ve written on this issue of judgement and exclusion which I’d like to share:

    Gifts

    Are we:
    black or white
    male or female
    left or right
    straight or gay
    up or down
    broken or whole
    slave or free
    human or alien
    theophile or atheist
    agnostic, Christian,
    Jew, Muslim, Hindu,
    etcetera to eternity?

    Or are these
    Merely labels –
    Boxes we strive to inhabit
    At our own, or others’,
    Volition
    Whilst we foster
    The courage
    To open-heartedly
    Become
    Ourselves?

    Surely this
    Is the gift
    We have to offer
    To ourselves
    Others
    The world
    God?
    (However we name,
    decry, or deny)

    Kristin Gillespie© June 2013

    All God’s Children

    All people are God’s
    Beloved children
    If they are gay
    They may not to be straightened
    Any more than my straight-ness
    Can by choice be “bent”
    What gives me the right
    To treat another’s sexuality
    As if it is contagious?
    Yet on this whole issue
    Many Christians are judgementally…
    Not silent

    If I decide the sexuality
    Of another is sinful
    Am I usurping God’s role?
    For judgement is His
    Jesus brought much good news
    On love, sin, and grace
    Yet on sexuality
    The gospels are strangely…
    Silent

    Some churches proclaim
    The sexuality of others
    As sinful
    Yet Jesus instructs us
    To love one another,
    And cherish children –
    As they are closest to God’s kingdom
    Yet on child abuse
    Many churches are strangely…
    Silent

    Kristin Gillespie© June 2013

    Kind regards, Kristin

  18. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: There is quite a difference between a New Testament God-centric nation and a Levitical-centric (or Pauline) nation.

    If governance is to be done in a Godly fashion, then I offer we would look at the description given in the New Testament by Jesus concerning God the Father.

    Tolerance: “For God so loved the world”
    Giving: “that He gave his only begotten Son”
    Open to all: “that whoever believed in Him would have eternal life.”
    Non-condemning of other beliefs or lifestyles: “For God did not send his Son to condemn the world”
    Laws that give life, preserve freedom of religious choice: “But that the world, through the Son, should be saved.”

    The condemnation of same sex marriage (SSM) is based on Levitical or Pauline statements.

    I am not in favor of a Levitical or Pauline government for the US.

    The political Evangelicals want people to believe that God condemns, and that God sent Jesus to condemn the world… oh, not the world… just the world they do not like.

    Thus, they incorrectly use the term “Godly Government”. Their view is Levitical or Pauline.

  19. Jordan says:

    Caryn, i’d like to correct your statement – Pauline theology, if anything, is anti-Leviticus with the intent of evangelizing to gentiles. However, in bitter irony, the very same institutions that attack the LGBT community also attack the Jewish community for their having an Oral tradition (Rabbinic) as well as a Written tradition (based on scripture) – primarily because the Church has outright rejected the Oral tradition, both due to its being incompatible with any attempt to evangelize to gentiles as opposed to Jews and due to its no longer having access to said Oral tradition.
    If anything, Fundamentalist Evangelism has a history of exclusion and violent opposition to anyone who isn’t them, as well as a desire to continue this opposition. For Adam and Brigitte, it is /very/ much an us vs them mentality in Evangelical Christianity.
    So – Caryn, if anything, the people seeking to make secular law solely based on Christian traditions and beliefs are acting on the very law they REJECT.

  20. Adam Julians says:

    Kristin,

    Thanks for sharing your poem. I like the point you make at the end of some churches proclaiming the sexuality of someone sinful yet many churches staying silent on child abuse. We have experienced at Nakedpastor that the latter doesn’t apply to conversations here.

    You are suggesting that Jesus’ silence about homosexuality that for him it was not a priority and possibly not an issue.it was not an issue, I was being polite in the way I put it with things for him being a higher priority.

    Caryn,

    What I am hearing is that those that understand the “word of God” to describe homosexual practice as sinful as taking a Levitical or Pauline approach which you are not in favour of. So how do we engage with those that interpret the scriptures differently an hold to toletance, giving, being open to all non-condemning or beliefs and lifesyles and preserving freedom of religious choice. So, for example in the church that Kristin attends, the “religious choice” of the denomination is to not have women and/or LGBT* in leadership positions. Do we judge that decision as ungodly or do we say that we interpret the scriptures differently and respect their freedom to act in accordance with what their understanding is?

    Jordon – can was say the Chruch as rejected oral tradition? Are you familiar with the idea of document Q? Wow that’s quite a judgement that you are making that I and Brigitte have an us vs them mentality. A claim that you make by putting both of us into the implied classification of being fundamental Evangelicals i.e. “them”. This in a conversation where I have shared that I have a leaning more towards liberal/progressive.

    Interesting.

  21. Adam: Where have I ever said child abuse doesn’t apply to the conversations here?

  22. Caryn LeMur says:

    Adam: we show mutual respect. We dialog.

    That is the simple answer.

    Earlier, we all read how Brigitte thought we might respond, and refer to her as ‘ the most unloving, the most “institutional”, the dumbest, the rudest…’.

    That may be the case on the normal Internet blogs, and at times, here on NP. After all, NP is a fairly open blog.

    But in TLS, we require that we show mutual respect. We have pagan, Christian, agnostic, and atheist chatting away on TLS …. about life, religion, parents, and kids.

    We recognize that a denomination may use a homongenized approach to the bible, a cherry-pick approach, a ‘higher path’ approach, a ‘high view’ approach, a historical literature approach, or a ‘contractual approach’…. and on and on.

    The reason courses are taught in Biblical Interpretation is that there are many valid views of the Bible. I recall that was your degree specialty, (is that right?… my memories dim over time…. lol).

    And, if we show respect to those that hold far different views, we can have good dialog…. about everything… not just religion.

  23. Kristin says:

    Thanks Adam, I’m glad you liked the poems.

    I think you may have confused me with Brigitte when you refer to the church I attend. I don’t get to church very often – the one I feel comfortable going to is nearly 2 hours drive away (and an evening service incompatible with my 7yo’s usual bed time), but they have a female pastor and welcome openly LGBT people – including my 14yo FtM trans son. If they didn’t I wouldn’t got here (even before my 14yo came out).

    David, I think Adam was saying that on NP silence about child abuse does not apply.

    Kind regards, Kristin

  24. Adam Julians says:

    David, I wrote that staying silent on issues of child abuse doesn’t apply here, so in answer to your question, you haven’t said that issues of child abuse don’t apply to conversations here – at least to my recollection.

    Caryn, agreed with showing mutual respect for in all things. I would allude to article 1 of the UDHR in principle.

    This surely is imperative if scenarios such as that depicted in the cartoon are to be avoided and mutual thriving, love, compassion etc. experienced instead.

    Of course there is always the option of hate, dehumanisation marginalisation etc. for “the other” with groupspeak and groupthink too.

  25. Adam Julians says:

    Oh yeah so I did get you mixed up with Brigitte. Apologies Kristin. Yes you were right about my intention re child abuse.

  26. Adam Julians says:

    Oh hold on a minute. Kristin I may have been a little quick to admit a mix up an apologise. Can you explain why you think I have got you mixed up with Brigitte and what you would identify as me having talked about a church you attend?

  27. Brigitte says:

    Alright. A few things have accumulated. Let me try and be efficient.

    1. Caryn began by helping me out with the parable of the Good Samaritan. I would have to say that it is beside the point, here, to try and get into a contest (I was going to say pissing match), about who has more good deeds. Wonderful humanitarian ideas and sayings can be attributed to founders of about everything. Muslims have soup kitchens and so do the Sikhs downtown the local big city. I was once in Chinatown there and ran into a Sikh in a noodle shop (my sister married a Japanese and she takes me to places like that), who went on and on about their good works downtown. He was very enthusiatic and could hardly stop himself. In any case, the Lutherans feed very many people downtown in a program called The Rock. And so on…

    The parable of the Good Samaritan even points out that it is a “foreigner” who does the good deed. There is an interesting parallel to the multicultural situation. Natural law dictates to everyone that the poor be helped. We might disagree on what is the best way.

    2. Jordan, whom I have not encountered before, made a very mixed up comment about a bunch of things thrown into one pot. I could hardly make sense of it. Adam has dealt with some of it. But, just this, I am not “evangelical” in the American sense. I am “evangelical”, in that I believe in the evangel (gospel), that is that my sins are forgiven for Jesus sake, and that daily, as we continually sin much. I am Lutheran in the traditional sense. What Adam confesses, I don’t know and I don’t know him. He seems to be from Scotland, where I have never been, and he meditates, and while he sometimes talks out of both corners of his mouth, he seems to be overall an intelligent and reasonable fellow.

    Homosexuality is mentioned both in the old and new testament and if Jesus did not go into talking about it, as it is because it was unfathomable in his society. The Romans, of course, engaged in whatever sexual practice imaginable with great abandonment and not much inhibition, in contrast; early Christians were coming out of this sort of wild behavior; as Paul says: “many of you formerly were these.” It was time to stop it. Of course, Augustine himself, confesses to the his promiscuous behavior and deals with the problems in the home where he was raised and the kinds of things he was formerly involved with. And so on. Christians were to put this sort of thing aside, even though it could be a great struggle, as it was for Augustine.

    3. Easter. Nobody said what the truth of Easter might be, if the Bible is not to be taken literally about Christ’s death and resurrection. This is where the rubber hits the road now. Everything else we have talked about previously pales in comparison here. As Paul says, if Christ did not die and rise, Christians, of all people, are to be pitied. And indeed, the apostles ran around the world with this crazy message of resurrection and had their blood spilled for it, and the church has believed it ever since, not matter how contrary to all reason, it has always been (you don’t have to be a modern to have problems with resurrection). So what is it now that people want to celebrate together, as the “truth of Easter”? I would really like to know. Anyone, someone, here with a response?

    4. Same Sex Marriage. We have had it in Canada for a long time, and I have yet to meet a married gay couple. Well, maybe I did. An elderly friend invited us to his wee-little place for Christmas dinner and his daughter with her partner were cooking the dinner in the tightest of spaces. I made a comment about the “housewives” and had my head chopped off for saying “housewives”. Other than that it was a pleasant dinner. Whatever their legal status, they were not “housewives.” (You can call me a housewife, if you want. I did get insulted once: the neighborhood boy came selling cookies, and I appeared in my apron and he said “hey Suzy Homemaker”. Now, that I thought was rude, but he was just teasing…

    5. Morality and boundaries. I was trying to think of analogies to the Lesbian minister insisting on celebrating Easter with those who think ministers should not be homosexuals. There are several problems, we have unearthed already, the biggest one in my mind being the lack of agreement on what Easter is or celebrates. And also, of course, the fact, that many believe, as has been believed by many for a very long time, that homosexuality is not biblically sanctioned. Nevertheless, those who possibly believe neither in Easter nor in marriage in the customary sense, would still want to be among those who celebrate the Christian festival of Easter. I mean, really, you have to come to some sort of agreement.

    The first image that came to my mind was that of monogamy. If someone does not believe in monogamy, do they expect the share the bed of a couple who believes in monogamy? Do the poly-amorous go up to the monogamous and say: hey, you are excluding us. But this example, could be a bit offensive.

    What else might work? The seal of the confessional. If someone goes and confesses to a priest or a friend confidentially, do you indulge those who want to overhear or get involved in the situation? Is the door of the confessional a wall the keeps people out? Of course, not. An outsider can get himself involved in what pertains to him; he does not have to be in on everything.

    In any case, we see, that there are situations where walls are appropriate, and boundaries are the right thing.

    6. Last thing. The man who lost his job, the master chaplain of the police–we saw here some gloating about this. This is not an isolated situation. There are people all over the United States who are loosing jobs over situations like that. This seems to most people to be an injustice. This sort of persecution, in the long run, I think, will not help any gay people. And as LGBT people who claim some sort of affiliation with Jesus or the bible, whoever loosely, it would behoove them somewhat to take Christ’s hard teaching to heart: love your enemies; do good to those who would do you evil. Bless them. It’s one thing to pick up a hurt man by the side of the road as the Samaritan did, it is an additional thing to do it for someone whom you dislike or who dislikes you. In the end, the meek inherits the earth, because the justice of his cause speaks for itself.

    Anyways, I feel sorry for the people who are put into a position to have to choose between their conscience and their jobs/businesses/reputation. You cannot just go and change your believes.

    OK. I’m done.

  28. Brigitte says:

    Beliefs.

  29. Adam Julians says:

    Brigitte, to affirm what you say, yes I am from Scotland, I do meditate, appreciate what you say about me being intelligent and reasonable.

    I’m not familiar with the term “talking out of both corners of his mouth”. What does that mean?

  30. Brigitte says:

    Adam, maybe I don’t know what it means precisely either. It just seems sometimes that you take both sides of an issue. I know some dialectics-trained people think this is the Socratic approach.

  31. Adam Julians says:

    If by that you mean I see both sides of an argument, then you discern accurately. I always endeavour to see the person and the idea and past the stereotype and the prejudice whether there is stereotyping and prejudice being shown to the person or shown by the person in how they act.

    We all have prejudices and stereotype whether we show that or not. Accepting that and ensuring that doesn’t cross the line into discrimination is important I think if we are to dialogue with respect.

    The cartoon shows a positive bias to LGBT* and a negative bias to “the other”. Another cartoon elsewhere could show people that associate with the evangel behind the pearly gates and someone in a rainbow jumper with an angry face, a pointing finger and Peter saying what makes you sure you are going there.

    You and I have been on the receiving end of groupspeak with talk of us being about us or them with no justification or reason. Also being made out to be “them” I.e. Fundamental Evangelicals as in the States therefore explicitly or implicitly made out either to be evil or participating in and affirming evil.

    I too wonder why I am here and if it is a symptom of an addiction or these conversations are worthwhile. Perhaps there is just an impenetrable wall that goes up with groupthink to ideas outside of the box so to speak, just as can happen in Evangelical circles as caricatured by the angry character in the cartoon.

  32. Adam Julians says:

    Oh Kristin, by the way I see what you say, yes sorry about the mix up. I am dyslexic, can we put it down to that. Sometimes it’s difficult for me to read over things and take in all the information and there has been a lot in Rye discussion here.

    Thank you for being patient with me.

  33. Brigitte says:

    American style evangelicalism and its “evils”. Let’s see. Many would tell me I am a fundamentalist, because I don’t see the Bible as simply another book of myths, myth with truth, nevertheless, but only in a metaphorical sense. The metaphorical sense is acceptable, the other sense is not. And being fundamentalist is about the same as being a suicide bomber.

    How are you with that sort of thing, as contemplative?

  34. Adam Julians says:

    Brigitte,

    How am I with this sort of thing as contemplative?

    What you are talking about with the “many” and “suicide bomber” with what people would tell you is exactly what I am talking about with groupspeak and talk with no justification or reason. It’s irritating and time consuming when people either don’t listen or they demonise for no other reason than reading something they don’t like and in doing so fail to treat others with the respect that they expect to be treated with.

    Therefore it being about the ego – we all are attached to desire and pleasure and adverse to suffering and pain with our ego. This is normal and natural. However we cause ourselves and others unnecessary suffering when we allow our ego to determine what thoughts and feelings we allow ourselves to be distracted by and let determine out conduct.

    For example in the instance you talk of with the “many” in your experience. The groupthink and groupspeak afford a sense of belonging of bonding within a group. We all like to belong and be approved of – to expereince the power and security that being part of a group affords. However at such times you have experienced, the group is hostile to anyone outside of the group. Relief is found within the group from uncomfortable feelings associated with thoughts of oppression with hatred to the other. It further stenghtens the bond within the group and controls any dissenters within or those perceived as potential threats such as free thinkers, or the spiritual independent. People who, if listened to could actually influence the group to healthily and interdependently address the real sources of oppression cultivating love, compassion dignity etc (even toward enemies) and thriving. Rather than experiencing codependency with fear and retribution and no real connection within the group for where there is fear there is suspicion and separation from others, even one’s peers.

  35. Brigitte says:

    Hm. Well put, Adam. But I was just really asking you, personally, if at Easter, when you celebrate, do you celebrate the resurrection of the dead, of Jesus Christ, who lived and died and rose and ascended.

  36. Brigitte says:

    Adam, in terms of continuing or not continuing a discussion, I have two things in my head: 1. “continue without hope or despair”; it’s like saying: leave the results to God. He knows what he is doing. and 2. this video: http://www.memri.org/clip/en/0/0/0/0/0/0/5356.htm

    In it Dr.Hamed Abdel-Samad, Egyptian/German, tries to explain to Muslims that there is something fundamentally wrong with Islam and its founder. It makes some very important analogies. As we know, he has a fatwa on his head and has gone into hiding. But he says this: “I continue explaining in a very naive way. I expect that the people are reasonable.”

  37. Brigitte says:

    Trying to get myself out the door for church. It’s snowing slush and it’s going to be a colder week than last week.

  38. Adam Julians says:

    Brigitte, your question didn’t include easter in it. In that case I would refer to your earlier point that if the resurrection did not happen then anyone aligning themselves with Christ is to be pitied.

    M boss in my last job tried that one with asking why follow Jesus, look what happened to him (meaning the crucifixion). I said yes but it won’t be like that next time when he comes back. The office erupted into laughter at the boss’s expense and this instance was one of the reasons why my career didn’t progress with the company.

    Thanks for what you say about continuing without hope or despair and leaving results to God. What you wrote was inspiring of hope 🙂

  39. Luke says:

    This is why I fought for same sex marriage and perform them. This is why I hoped and prayed and lead my church to become ONA and put their talk to their walk.

    This cannot stand. The real sin of Sodom is inhospitality. To anyone, anywhere.

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