America’s Condemnation Codified by President Obama

Forty years ago, patrons and supporters of the Stonewall Inn in New York City resisted police harassment that had become all too common for members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community. Out of this resistance, the LGBT rights movement in America was born. During LGBT Pride Month, we commemorate the events of June 1969 and commit to achieving equal justice under law for LGBT Americans.

LGBT Americans have made, and continue to make, great and lasting contributions that continue to strengthen the fabric of American society. There are many well-respected LGBT leaders in all professional fields, including the arts and business communities. LGBT Americans also mobilized the Nation to respond to the domestic HIV/AIDS epidemic and have played a vital role in broadening this country’s response to the HIV pandemic.

Due in no small part to the determination and dedication of the LGBT rights movement, more LGBT Americans are living their lives openly today than ever before. I am proud to be the first President to appoint openly LGBT candidates to Senate-confirmed positions in the first 100 days of an Administration. These individuals embody the best qualities we seek in public servants, and across my Administration — in both the White House and the Federal agencies — openly LGBT employees are doing their jobs with distinction and professionalism.

The LGBT rights movement has achieved great progress, but there is more work to be done. LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.

My Administration has partnered with the LGBT community to advance a wide range of initiatives. At the international level, I have joined efforts at the United Nations to decriminalize homosexuality around the world. Here at home, I continue to support measures to bring the full spectrum of equal rights to LGBT Americans. These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws, supporting civil unions and Federal rights for LGBT couples, outlawing discrimination in the workplace, ensuring adoption rights, and ending the existing “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” policy in a way that strengthens our Armed Forces and our national security. We must also commit ourselves to fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic by both reducing the number of HIV infections and providing care and support services to people living with HIV/AIDS across the United States.

These issues affect not only the LGBT community, but also our entire Nation. As long as the promise of equality for all remains unfulfilled, all Americans are affected. If we can work together to advance the principles upon which our Nation was founded, every American will benefit. During LGBT Pride Month, I call upon the LGBT community, the Congress, and the American people to work together to promote equal rights for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim June 2009 as Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month. I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this first day of June, in the year of our Lord two thousand nine, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-third.


That’s our President for you: seven paragraphs of metaphorically spitting in the face of Jesus Christ only to invoke His Lordship in the eighth.

Moments before reading that press release, I was pre-writing an entry about how Christians are free to not sin and that habitual sin is a mark that a person does not belong to the Lord and that because of those things we who still believe the Scriptures need to stop associating the name of Christ in any way with churches which support abortion, homosexuality, and assorted other abominations. They are anathema, and it is their sins — nay, their pride in their sins — which define them.

America is become Sodom. President Obama’s unswerving support for the ungodly is undeniable evidence of the judgment upon America. We have elected a man who — all the while claiming to be a Christian — has codified America’s damnation via presidential order.

I cannot express how deeply troubled I am by this development, and can only hope that Yahweh would withhold punishment while there are still yet true believers within America’s borders. And while we’re here, we need to continue to faithfully call the peoples of this nation to repentance. Otherwise, we are glibly standing by while the unbelievers dig deeper their holes of condemnation, and we will be held accountable for that neglect. We are the watchmen, the bearers of the message of salvation.

May we continue to proclaim salvation through Jesus Christ, and may we redouble our efforts to faithfully represent the Lord Jesus Christ and our Father despite the efforts of so many — from the smallest liberal churches to the highest office in the United States — to the contrary.

47 thoughts on “America’s Condemnation Codified by President Obama”

  1. Jesus never withheld judgment. Actually, He was very judgmental, calling sinners to repent, telling unbelievers that they are condemned already, and describing the judgment of the heathen at the end of days as them being brought before Him and slain.

    Likewise, the Bible nowhere ever speaks lightly of sin. Repeatedly and without apology sin is described as an abomination to God, as something which is damnable and hated by Him. Actually, repeatedly, the sinners themselves are described as being abhorred or hated by God.

    The Bible never contradicts, on that or any other point. Sin is despicable, damnable, no matter what it is. And Romans 1 describes the inevitable rejection of the ungodly who become so prideful in their own sins that they in effect worship themselves rather than the Creator.

  2. If the Bible is God’s Word and if God cannot lie, then no, there are no contradictions in the Scripture. (That doesn’t stop the skeptics from rehashing lists of hundreds and hundreds of supposed “contradictions” that they repeat without any critical thought whatsoever.)

    “Judge not lest ye be judged” is perhaps one of the top 5 misused passages in Scripture — misused primarily because it is stated as a single phrase rather than as its entire passage. Jesus actually condemns hypocritical judgment — don’t judge someone by a standard you’re not willing to be judged by yourself. Elsewhere, Jesus demands that we judge righteously — adhering to truth requires judging that which is false, after all.

    Besides which, my post above doesn’t really do any independent judging; Jesus stated that those who reject His Word are condemned, and His Word roundly rejects homosexuality as abominable. It is a simple application of biblical teaching that when a nation at its highest level embraces homosexuals as being just fine the way they are — to the point that they should be proud of it — then that nation has rejected God’s Word and evidences itself as being condemned.

  3. Wasn’t withholding judgment on others an important precept of Jesus’s teaching? Since the bible has contradictions, in some places it does and some places it doesn’t.

  4. “Judge not, lest ye be judged.” Isn’t that a precept of Jesus?

    “There but for the grace of God go I.” Isn’t that how we must look on those who committed sins which we abhor. Perhaps there are passages elsewhere that say differently.

    You speak in absolutes – Did Jesus NEVER withhold judgment? Are you positive that not once ever in his life did he withhold judgment. How is that knowable? Is that even consistent with events told in the Bible?

    Is there nowhere and NEVER in the bible where there are contradictions. Not even one – not even a little one. Finding one would dispel NEVER.

    Never seems like such a strong word.

    “We do not know God’s mind” – Romans 11:33-36

    Is there no room for doubt? Are any of these sentiments contradicted elsewhere?

  5. I’m intrigued by your belief, but I don’t understand why it is not possible to believe differently and still apply critical thought? It is impossible to not recognize that learned people have had different interpretations on scripture. It is certainly possible for you to be wrong.

    Jesus said that whoever calls somebody a “fool” shall be in danger of hell fire (Matthew 5:22), yet he called people “fools” himself (Matthew 23:17).

    That seems contradictory to me.

    Translations of the bible vary. Translations have even been debated.

    I merely am suggesting that in the same way you state that “Jesus never withheld judgment” without being able to know that, there are other things for which you may be wrong. Gods word and your word or any church’s word – these are not the same.

    Scholars argue these issues indefinitely. How do you have such strong belief that what you believe is right? Is a contradiction the same as a lie? Aren’t some things less definite than others? Why is it impossible for God to lie?

    “God shall send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie: That they all might be damned.” 2 Thessalonians 2:11-12

    People have argued bible verse forever, doesn’t that suggest no one but God owns the truth, and we are just trying to interpret – and we may be wrong.

    Thank you so much for engaging in this conversation with me. It is fantastic to hear your thinking. I guess I focus more on how I should behave rather than how others should behave. Thoughtful people can disagree.

  6. oh – and sorry about the double negatives above – one should never not avoid using such grammer incorrectly :) . Love your site – Rick

  7. It seems to me we must make some distinctions in the ramifications of Jesus’ words and God’s judgment. Jesus clearly puts the whole world under judgment in John 3:18. Only by coming to faith in Christ does one escape the judgment. So all sinners, all people are under the judgment of sin. Many other passages say the same, Rom. 3:23 etc. So in our preaching the gospel we need to clearly share this truth with all including LGBT.

    In addition scripture says that all people are made in the image of God and are all loved by God to the extent that He sent Jesus to die and rise again for their salvation. In this regard then all people are deserving of being treated with dignity and respect, including LGBT. By implication then, LGBT deserve every right and privilege of citizenship, deserve every respect and dignity as human beings and should not be discriminated against on the basis of sexual orientation or belief. However, that does not mean we must as a culture accept the gay agenda of promoting homosexuality in movies, music, literature and schools. We do not have to agree that homosexuality is somehow normal, indeed it is not! Rom. 1;26,27. We do not have to celebrate gay pride, or gay perversion either! The challenge is that to discuss homosexuality in clear, biblical terms is to invite the wrath of the PC crowd. In Canada it is illegal to preach that homosexuality is wrong! We must be diligent in speaking out and in such a way that we remember that the gospel is to call sinners to repentance not to leave them under condemnation.

    Obama as a politician is a master of saying one thing and doing another. His agenda is not a Christian agenda in any way. We can and must use the political process to fight for what is best for our country and our culture. They are doing that with great effect! How effective are we???

    As for God’s judgment, I believe that mercy triumphs over judgment. Homosexuality is not the greatest evil in this country. I believe the slothfulness of the church, the failure of the church to deeply penetrate today’s culture is more egregious to God than the sins of the sinners.

  8. torrent – I really like your response. I think the only point I am making is in terms of the absolutism of people’s language.

    You say, “His agenda is not a Christian agenda in any way.” Do you mean that? Is there not one single way in which he supports a Christian agenda. I think people’s good points are missed when they overstate their other points. Personally, I don’t believe the government’s role is to enforce religious doctrine, that is the role of the church and the worshipful. I want my government to keep the playing field level. In exchange for being able to hold what I believe to be true, I feel I have to let others do the same. No matter how wrong, I think they may be.

    You say “Jesus clearly puts the whole world under judgment . . . “. If this were true that it was “clear”. Everyone or almost everyone would agree. There are many people that don’t. So that means that people either know what you say to be true and ignore it or do not see it as clearly as you or a host of other things (misinterpretation, mistranslation, inauthentic, and others). What is certainly true is that it is clear to you that this is the case or true to you and those that agree with you. That does not make it generally “clear”.

    Even when we believe the scriptures are without error, it’s a mistake to think our understanding is without error.

    By the way, I absolutely agree that there is no need for any one group to endorse the behaviors of others. It is rare when discrimination is a good policy though. That said, this is at odds with many passages in the bible.

    God gave me a mind, and I believe I am supposed to use it.

  9. Neal,
    Thanks for your reply. My comment that Obama’s agenda is not a Christian agenda in any way is meant to disabuse the naive from the supposition that because he professes to be a Christian he will have Christian policies. A naive assumption many had regarding Carter and Bush. Obama’s pro- abortion agenda, pro- gay agenda, and big government agenda mitigate against Christian freedoms. It will become more apparent in time. I agree that it is not the governments job to enforce religious doctrine. Neither is it the governments job to suppress religious freedom. The government should maximize freedoms for all citizens religious and non-religious alike.

    In reading your comments on this page, it appears you may be a little too concerned with the absolutist appearance of statements made. It becomes extremely cumbersome to write with a long list of caveats and possible exceptions to every statement one makes. All statements are personal opinion, how can they be otherwise? Therefore, of course others may disagree. I am not writing to the “others”. I am writing first to the author of this blog and secondly to his readers and commenters. If you as a reader disagree then comment and post your disagreement. It is unnecessary to tell me that “others” may disagree or that my opinion may not be universally held or that what is “clear” to me may not be “clear” to others. Of course! That is the human condition! I think we all understand that and can agree on that point. If you wish to discuss the nature of language and the issue of language as symbol, the relationship of symbol to its referent and the nature of reality – real vs. perceived – then that is a philosophical discussion quite separate from the subject of this post and my comment.

    So in my view, if you have an differing opinion on something then explain and defend your position. Then others can respond accordingly. All this talk of uncertainty does not help in understanding the issue at hand, nor does it help me understand your position.

    My purpose in my comment was to respond to Rick’s concerns about Obama’s support for the LGBT agenda, which I also am concerned about. I see their agenda as negative for our culture as I mentioned. Also, Rick was concerned about God’s judgment so I offered my perspective on that for further consideration.

    Neal, do you have an opinion on those two items? What do you think of the LGBT agenda? What do you think God may do regarding judgment of America in regard to Obama and the LGBT?

  10. Neal,
    One more thing. Lest you think my comments harsh. Let me say that I offer my comments on your concerns in order to help you focus on the issue at hand. In my opinion that will make your comments more germane and on point.

    I hope you do not take offense as none is intended.

  11. Lengthier replies from me will come in time — busy busy busy — but just wanted to note that

    1) I do believe that the government has a God-given responsibility to punish the wicked and to reward the good; actually, that is the only responsibility a government has, from a biblical perspective. Prison is not a biblical punishment — requiring retribution and corporal or capital punishments are the godly ways of punishing evil. So yes, a government which follows through with that responsibility will be seen as forcing “religious values” on people. Provided these values/morals are rooted in biblical truth, then the governments are performing their biblical duties.

    2) It isn’t a leap of faith to find that the Bible is to be taken literally; it’s a logical conclusion — primarily because once anything in the Bible is made to be figurative, then it is logically meaningless (or rather can mean anything). Once you allow “2” to be taken figuratively, all of mathematics falls apart from an absolute standpoint and can then mean anything to anyone, depending on mood or anything else. The same is true for the Scriptures; either God meant what He said as He said it, or we ultimately have no idea what He meant. God did give us a brain and intends for us to think, but at the same time His Word is quite accessible to believers. One would have to have a very compelling, very sound, very rational argument to interpret the Scriptures in a way which runs contrary to nearly 2,000 years of Christian orthodoxy, one of the primary tenets of which has always been the verbally plenary inspired, infallible, perfect Word of God.

    And at the end of the day, I would rather err on the side of trusting God’s Word too much rather than erring on the side of trusting my attempt at spiritualizing or metaphor-izing the Scriptures.

    3) If it’s a forum you’re after, I have a proper one at which is in desperate need of some attention and activity. :D

  12. torrant,

    No offense taken at all. I find your comments very well thought out.

    You asked me what I think of the LGBT agenda. Firstly, I can’t say that I know exactly every aspect of that communities agenda – like all large groups it probably varies from person to person. My thoughts are: I am not gay. Other people’s personal sexual proclivities do not interest me. I believe that most people are entitled to the rights to decide what is right for them. I also believe that to the extent possible Government should not be an advocate or hinderance to peoples’ religious pursuits. I do not feel a large need to control most of other people’s actions. I don’t want abortion forced on my daughters. I don’t want my daughters to be denied the right to make their own moral judgement based on their beliefs.

    My personal belief is that God gave people free choice. I have trouble imagining that the purpose of life is to navigate through tempatation for salvation or eternal punishment. That idea just doesn’t resonate with me.

    I am interested in better understanding how the agendas of Obama mitigate Christian freedoms. I understand how they run contrary to some Christian’s beliefs. I guess I would see a mitigation of Christian freedom being forced to have an abortion or not being allowed to voice objection to alternate views. So I guess I view the Obama as one of tolerance – which is something I value. It does run contrary to what some people believe is the purpose of Christianity.

    I see what is happening now as less a mitigation of Christian freedom and more a reprieve from having other people’s religious beliefs forced upon others.

    I have always had discomfort at the idea of forcing my religious beliefs on others or trying (in any way other than conversation) to convert others to my opinions. This is obviously a complex issue. Many of societies laws find their basis in religious values. How can an individual desire anything less than having society reflect their deepest religious beliefs. I guess I personally answer that I see so much bloodshed caused by people who spoke from a perspective of religion and did things that I believe violate even their own espoused religious beliefs. As I cannot know that I am right, I want to provide others the greatest ability possible to decide for themselves.

    It is clear that I do not read scripture from a literal perspective. I see it as a means to get to the important concepts. I have frequently wanted to talk to people who took a literal view as I could never understand that “leap of faith” that must be made to start down the chain of conclusions that are drawn.

    As I want to have the ability to practice what I believe, I guess that requires me to give others that same chance. This is the reason I reacted to the absolutism. What I really wanted to ask is how one becomes so sure in their own interpretations of what God “wants” and seek a literal interpretation of scriptures — scriptures that seem from my perspective to have extensive human influence upon them, that were translated from languages where single words could have wide ranging and contradictory meanings, and where the narrative evolves in a way where it is so open to interpretation. In the end, perhaps it is impossible – faith, belief, and conviction are too important at the beginning of all analysis.

    Anyway, I feel I have had WAY more than my say. I like the thoughtfulness of this website, and I thought I would give my questions a go.

    I too hope that nothing I said is offensive.

    Rick, thanks for providing this forum.

  13. Hey, Chris… I can get ya to my site but not to Cville for lunch? :P

    You may be right about Sodom; I’ve heard that interpretation before, but have not had the chance to critically examine it.

    And you’re right about those in the homosexual community hurting, but is it because of those who maintain that homosexuality is a sin or because of the fact that homosexuality is a sin? What sin doesn’t cause despair, destruction, and so on? Should we coddle adulterers who choose to stay with “the other person” rather than their wife but who are otherwise emotionally shaken up at the situation they are in? Should we tell them everything will be okay all the while dancing around the issue that they have caused their own situation and should repent?

    President Obama didn’t call this “be kind to a gay person month”; this is “LGBT Pride” month. Pride in one’s unnatural sexuality is unequivocally condemned in Romans 1, and pride itself is said to be something that God hates in the Proverbs.

  14. Hey… I didn’t get a chance to read everything on this blog subject but I just want to say that issues of sexual orientation are incredibly complicated. There are a population of people that are truly hurting because of the rejection of many in society. I know many gay and lesbian people, some of which are christians. All of them have talked about the struggles they’ve had as they try to come to grips with their feelings of same sex attraction. We as Christians are to be known for our love, not for our protests or judgement. The reality is, whether we agree with this lifestyle or not, many LGBT young people are dying. Many are dying emotionally as they seek love and acceptance only to find rejection. Many are dying literally as they give up hope and kill themselves because of the hatred and bigotry they have to cope with. Others are killed by misguided people who are motivated by hatred and fear. So many young LBGT people are coming to adolesance only to feel same sex attraction and not understand why. They feel as though God made a mistake.

    I take the bible very seriously. I have given my life to it’s study and interpretation. But this issue is not black and white. Just as biblical interpretation has been used to subjugate women and support slavery, segregation we must be careful when we begin to use scripture to pass judgement on an entire population of people. One thing that may be helpful is to come to know some LBGT people and their stories.

  15. also… sorry. To appeal to the story of Sodom to condemn homosexuality may be unfounded.

    First, the issue within the story of Sodom is that of a population of people who wanted to RAPE and humiliate the guests in the home of Lot. Their sin wasn’t homosexuality, but the desire to humiliate these “foreign” strangers. It was a common practice of this time for foreign armies to rape their enemies as an attempt to dehumanize and humiliate them. It is the same mentality that we find in modern prisons in which men will rape others not for sexual pleasure but as a tool of humiliation. Would it have been less sinful if the men of Sodom were attempting to rape female strangers? Is that a lesser evil? No, the sin of Sodom was not their sexual orientation, but their desire to rape and inflict violence on the heavenly strangers. Scripture testifies to the fact that the sins of sodom are that of violating Israel’s code of hospitality which was incredibly important.

    Luke 10:10-13… Jesus compares the inhospitable city to Sodom… not because they were homosexual but because they refused to show hospitality.

    Isaiah 1 speaks of Sodom but lists its sins as greed, rebellion against God, failure to plead the cause of the orphan and widow, failure to pursue justice, and failure to stand with the oppressed.

    There are other scriptures that allude to Sodom, but the overwhelming witness is that Sodom was guilty of inhospitable actions and the rejection of the poor. We must be careful that we don’t find ourselves participating in the sins of Sodom as we show inhospitality to the stranger and forget the poor among us.

  16. On second thought, I forgot all about what Jude wrote concerning Sodom and Gomorrah in Jude 5–7.

    When the angels went after unnatural flesh in Genesis 6, the result was that God wiped out most life in a flood.

    When the citizens of Sodom, Gomorrah, and the surrounding cities likewise went after strange flesh (men with men rather than women), the result was that God wiped them out in fire to serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

    The Jude passage is significant because the reason is explicitly given: Why are the citizens of Sodom being punished in eternal hellfire? Because of sexual immorality and pursuing unnatural desires. No mention of hospitality is given in that context. No doubt they had hospitality issues, but here their homosexuality is directly tied to their eternal punishment.

  17. Torrant and Rick:

    Where in Canada, exactly, is it illegal to preach that homosexuality is wrong? I go to a number of different churches in different denominations, depending upon how fancy strikes me any given Sunday. The last three were all preaching that homosexuality is wrong. My uncle goes to Queensway Cathedral (a big one in Toronto), where they openly state in their evangelical sort of way that homosexuality is wrong. Canada has “Straight Camps” for gay people to learn to be straight. Canada has no law like you describe (that I know of). What Canadian law prohibits is different treatment of people due to their sexual orientation, same as the US.

    The rest is intended for Rick.

    Firstly, where exactly does Obama mention any god? He states “in the year of our Lord”, which is an anachronistic colloquialism carried down to the US from British legal customs. He wasn’t stating anything about any deity.

    Okay, since you don’t like individual verses quoted, I give you a passage:

    John 8:1-11

    In the passage, the woman in question is an adulterer. Under the old Jewish law (which is the same culture’s law that also condemns male homosexuality–not necessarily lesbianism–but not necessarily condemning a condition of being trans-gendered, either) the woman is to be stoned. The pharisees bring her to Jesus and ask what they should do (obviously a clever ploy, placed in the plot to arrest him for heresy). He tells them that the one without sin may cast the first stone. This passage may be interpreted with a “live and let live” atmosphere and moral.

    Are you without sin, Rick?

  18. I won’t jump in on the previous discussion about absolutes and such, as it is a long tangent, but I wanted to say that I agree that “gay pride” is an issue. The bible does condemn homosexuality as a sin and so pride in it is taking pride in sin, which is warned against in many contexts in the New Testament.

    What I cannot argue with in Obama’s declaration is “These measures include enhancing hate crimes laws… [and] outlawing discrimination in the workplace”
    There should not be hate crimes and workplace discrimination!
    I don’t really care who it is… These things should not happen and that is where our responsibility to share God’s love (that compelled him to sacrifice his son) comes in. We do not have to agree that homosexuality is normal or something to be proud of, but we should be fighting for people’s rights. I think there is no doubt that “LGBT youth should feel safe to learn without the fear of harassment, and LGBT families and seniors should be allowed to live their lives with dignity and respect.”

    This sort of thing should never have been wrong in the first place, just as in the times of women’s liberation: the bible does not suppress women’s rights — that is a fundamental misunderstanding — and women should never have been excluded from voting or working or anything like that.

    Likewise, people should not be persecuted for their homosexuality. Yes, it is a sin. Yes, we should say so, just as we should make people aware of God’s standards for everyone that they might know they fall short and need redemption through Christ. I am sinful too, but I’m not afraid of persecution because I am ungodly in impatience, or use foul and tempered language or whatever else I do wrong. I hope that people will pray for me (as I’ll pray for myself) and that they’ll rebuke me with God’s word and with gentleness, which I think is what we should be doing with others.

  19. Thanks, Kris, that was very well said, and I agree with all of it… Unless in my sleep deprived state I overlooked a whole section or two. But I doubt it.

    I should clarify that on a personal level I agree with you. I have no right to discriminate against anyone. Indeed, even my enemies I am to feed if they are hungry or give them water if they are thirsty. I am to overcome whatever evil they do to me with good, allowing vengeance to remain only the Lord’s (Ro. 12:17–21). If that’s how I am to treat my enemies, then what excuse would I have to mistreat a homosexual or any other sinner who has done me no personal harm?

    What I’m not so sure of, though, is the government’s part in all of this. Just a few verses after Paul instructs us to — insofar as it is possible — live peaceably with all men, he begins talking politics. (I have always thought it was interesting how easily Scripture mixes politics and religion when so many today try their best to separate them.)

    And Paul says this:

    For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, 4for he is God’s servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God’s wrath on the wrongdoer. 5Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God’s wrath but also for the sake of conscience. Paul’s Epistle to the Romans 13:3–5

    I can come up with three possibilities for what these verses are talking about, and I’m unsure which is the best:

    • The passage is a direct continuation of the thoughts of the previous chapter; the “wrongdoing” mentioned is personal wrongs wrought against others. Personal vengeance is forbidden and so wrongdoings must be turned over to the civil authorities.

    • Paul is here speaking of an ideal situation where the government actually rules according to God’s precepts; the government punishes “wrongdoers” in the sense that sinners were punished under God’s Law in times past.

    • Paul is speaking only about civil law, meaning that nation to nation, God’s agents of wrath have a myriad of standards by which they operate.

    I wrote those in order of what I consider to be most likely to least likely. Still, I’m sure I’m not seeing something which would make the passage even clearer.

    The issues are further compounded in a democracy; suddenly the personal and the governmental are intermixed. Do Christians have a biblical right (or even duty) to vote for those who promise to fight against sin of any kind? Is it wrong to want God’s agent of wrath to actually execute said wrath? And does a democracy effectively make voters part of that agency on some level?

  20. Are you without sin, Rick? —Dave

    No, but then I’m not casting any stones either. Only God (and perhaps governments; see my previous comment) have that authority. The Pharisees did not have the authority to stone the woman. But notice that Jesus did not leave her in her sin. “Go, and sin no more,” is often left out of retellings of Jesus’ dealings with sinners, especially if the idea is to soften Jesus’ view of sinners. He demanded perfection from whoever He dealt with, whether His disciples, the Pharisees, the woman at the well, or you and me. None of us live up to it, but at the same time none of us are exempt from teaching others righteousness.

    As for the comment about “in the year of our Lord,” that is a reference (albeit indirect) to Jesus Christ. Those who wish to avoid that little reference have even come up with new terminology: “Common Era.”

  21. I didn’t mention Vermont or Maine. ;)

    To answer your question, though, my standing with God is unaffected. However, my attitude is certainly affected. Was it wrong for Jeremiah to lament over the Jews for their sin? After all, their sins didn’t affect Jeremiah’s relationship to God, now did it? Was it wrong for Paul to root out sin in churches all across the Middle East, Asia, and even Europe?

    Sin is sin, and the righteous-through-Christ of a nation have a responsibility to warn of it. Setting idly by while sinners glibly defy God, hurtling themselves deeper and deeper into condemnation is not only hateful toward the sinners but it also implicates the righteous’ in the condemnation of the ungodly.

    The whole “live and let live” is rather foreign to the Scriptures; “go, and sin no more … teaching all nations.”

  22. Rick

    What does the state of Vermont or Maine’s take on gays have to do with your relationship with God? Isn’t that more between you and God?

    Mark Settle

  23. Rick, you’re right – you didn’t mention Maine or Vermont, I was just trying to illustrate my take on the matter.

    But as I see it, one’s relationship with God is just that, nothing more, nothing less. I frankly can imagine nothing that I’d like to see less than a government that charges itself with “punish(ing) the wicked and…reward(ing) the good.” And I doubt it’s something you’d like to see, either.

    What if Obama decided to start doing just that, but you disagreed with him on the relative morality of various acts? What if he ran around the Middle East smiting fig trees? What if he put a child to death for cursing his parents (Exodus 21:17)? Or stoned a woman because she committed adultery (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)? Or condemned a man for being in the company of a menstruating woman (Ezekiel 18:5-6)?

    These are ridiculous questions, I know, and I’m kind of embarrassed to have even asked them. But here’s the thing: the moment you start advocating that government adopt such a role, you have to accept the inevitability of gross human error. No man is God, and no man ought claim to be. I’m sure you agree with that much, right?

  24. I’m confused by what you are implying… Is the Law of God not perfect? Are we better than the Jews?

    I agree that God’s Law is strict, but it worked at least better than our current civil laws do. We prescribe *maybe* the death penalty for murderers in our nation, and we still have all sorts of murders. The Law of God prescribed the death penalty for rebellious sons and daughters, and not once in the Scriptures do we read of someone committing that act and meeting that fate.

    And technically, the government already does reward and punish based on morality, it’s just that the morality is defined by social mores, congressional laws, and so on. It is our abject rejection of the Law of God (which is perfect, converting the soul) is the reason why we have been judged with a President who cuddles up to those who would teach people to sin or reject God entirely, leaders who advocate for Islam, abortion, and homosexuality.

    It is the reason why America is judged with a popular “Christian” leadership that teaches prosperity, acceptance of sin, and immodesty regarding sexuality.

    The thought of a government punishing wicked and rewarding good (according to Scriptural morality, that is) is a foreign concept in much of the nation, even much of the church. We’ve been convinced that separation of church and state is a good idea, all the while forgetting that some of the most prominent, most God-blessed men of the Scriptures are those who were involved in the government and ruled according to God’s Law, personal failures (which we all have) aside. Men like Josiah, the 8-year-old king of Israel who would go on to cast out all idols from the nation and restore the nation to a biblical basis upon finding and reading a copy of the Law. Men like David, who loved God’s Law so much he wrote Psalm after Psalm exalting it. Men like Daniel, who even while in the service of a wicked king remained faithful to God no matter the cost.

    Nowadays, it is advocated that the government should not meddle in the personal affairs of men, yet all this results in is those who have the power to restrict peoples’ sins are standing idly by while the nation in their power increases in ungodliness.

    I’m not at all convinced that that is a good idea.

  25. If the Bible is God’s Word and if God cannot lie, then no, there are no contradictions in the Scripture. (That doesn’t stop the skeptics from rehashing lists of hundreds and hundreds of supposed “contradictions” that they repeat without any critical thought whatsoever.)

    Gotta love circular logic. So riddle me this, if God created the universe, and everything in it and in time, including pain, agony, AND SIN, then how can he not be an evil, sadistic bastard? He knows the beginning from the end, and he created me, knowing that I would burn forever. If I use your same logic, he is one evil SOB.

    Seriously, you need some Hank Hanegraaff stat: At least come a little more prepared. Christ thought homosexuality was a sin? Really now? Christ didn’t mention it once. And transgenderism, I think you need to crack open a Bible to Isaiah 56:4. It is really shameful that a non-believer needs to school you on such things. You really do embarrass yourself.

    Lastly, before I kick the dust from my sandals, I ask you one last question. When was the last time you ate with anyone GLBT?

  26. Gotta love circular logic.

    Actually, it’s not really circular. The continuity and consistency of the Scripture is examinable and defensible.

    So riddle me this, if God created the universe, and everything in it and in time, including pain, agony, AND SIN, then how can he not be an evil, sadistic bastard? He knows the beginning from the end, and he created me, knowing that I would burn forever. If I use your same logic, he is one evil SOB.

    You shared a link with me, so allow me to share one with you: Did God Create Sin?

    Christ thought homosexuality was a sin? Really now? Christ didn’t mention it once.

    The Bible is a whole and was wholly inspired by God. Therefore, its words our Christ’s Words. The Old Testament, which contains the account of God wiping out entire cities and reserving the citizens thereof to eternal hellfire due to their homosexuality, was uplifted and praised by Christ. He declared that all of the Old Testament testified of Him.

    Now, either Christ didn’t know the Old Testament (which is patently absurd), or He fully endorsed the acts of God (read: His actions) that took place in the past.

    And transgenderism, I think you need to crack open a Bible to Isaiah 56:4.

    A eunuch was someone who abstained from sexuality in order to more fully embrace the kingdom of God without distraction. That’s hardly descriptive of anything coming out of the LGBT movement. If it was, they could rename it the “Eunuch movement,” and they would rightly condemn homosexuality and bisexuality as do the Scriptures.

    It is really shameful that a non-believer needs to school you on such things. You really do embarrass yourself.

    You have demonstrated quite a bit of misunderstanding regarding the Scriptures and what they teach; I can only encourage you to believe in Jesus Christ so that your eyes would be opened and your spirit quickened so that you may more fully understand spiritual things.

  27. Rick,

    Far from simply being celibate, a eunuch is one who is genitally mutilated to the point of no longer having genitals. This is specifically applicable to men who have been castrated and work for ancient rulers. The Castrati (singular “castrato”) were pre-pubescent males who were castrated in order to keep their high-pitch singing voices. This was particularly popular in the Catholic church. To learn more about the idea of castration and learn a bit more of the church’s participation in the mutilation of young boys, check out Wikipedia.

    I really don’t see Obama’s decision to have this LGBT Pride Month as anything more than an “awareness” month. It’s akin to Black History Month in that respect. It’s not saying, “Go forth and fornicate in the streets,” or, “tell us of this L/G/B/T stuff so that we may do it also.” It is simply recognition of a group of people who have been isolated, bigoted, hated, condemned, segregated, castrated, killed, maimed, and generally shunned by society for hundreds (or thousands) of years. These people exist. We may not accept what they do, but we shouldn’t treat them any less human. They have a right to work, eat, and live. They have a right to clothing, shelter, love, compassion, and government representation. The US government is a government for the people and by the people. It is there to recognize the interests of all the people, not just the majority. The US constitution protects all people equally. You are legally allowed to have your opinion, but you are not legally allowed to harm someone else with your opinion. You can stand here and say it is sinful until you can no longer talk. You can type about it until your hands fall off. Please do. It is your right. But, it is also their right to walk down the street without fear of prejudice and hatred. You probably went to school, came out as a Christian, and had no problems. A few people may have considered you odd for it (though probably not, looking at recent demographic statistics) but nobody would have taken you out back and beat you to a bloody pulp for it. If they did, it is wrong. An L/G/B/T person going to school (transgendered people probably wouldn’t be transgendered in High School, though some are due to life-saving operations) would have to remain hidden. I remember the beatings I got when people just thought I was gay (this was in High School). They were wrong. What would have happened if they were right? I would have been beaten more. There are cases of L/G/B/T people being killed in horrible ways. This is discrimination like (I hope) neither of us can imagine.

    The reason for this is not so people can shove their sexuality in your face. It is so that you can realize that there are people out there in your community with different sexualities and you are to treat them just like anybody else.

  28. David, I completely agree those terrible things should never happen. However, don’t you think by having a “pride” month it (if it is merely awareness or recognition, why is it not called something that relates that idea more?) it is setting the group apart as separate? It may be intended to have the opposite effect: raising them up instead of beating them down, but by setting a month apart I think a message is conveyed that they are different and separate. It seems strange to me that sexual orientation should define a persons entire being, which is the message this whole movement send to me. Whereas I don’t think “Black History Month” portrays the same kind of message; that does sound more like a recognition of things past (or that should be past).

  29. kristarella,

    “by setting a month apart I think a message is conveyed that they are different and separate.”

    I would suspect that it is the straight community that already has established the LGBT community as different and separate.

    “It seems strange to me that sexual orientation should define a persons entire being, which is the message this whole movement send to me.”

    Again, for an openly gay person, it is probably a daily event that some react to him or her in a way that is based solely on sexual orientation. There is more to a person, but the bigot’s reaction sends the message that sexual orientation is all that matters.

    It may be “Black History Month”, but there was (is?) a strong Black Pride movement. This seems a natural consequence of having whites interact negatively with blacks based solely on a characteristic that is not subject to change. At some point, one just says “Yes, I am that way and I am proud of it.”

    Finally, if a gay person does not share the religious belief that a gay lifestyle is sinful, why shouldn’t he or she be proud of their identity?

  30. Finally, if a gay person does not share the religious belief that a gay lifestyle is sinful, why shouldn’t he or she be proud of their identity?

    If they are really really sure that there is no creator God who made rules and will bring every individual to account, then there is no specific reason one shouldn’t be proud, unless it causes them to think so highly of themselves that they treat others poorly because of it. There is certainly no reason to be ashamed of your identity if you don’t share those beliefs anyway.

    On the other hand, why should one be proud? To me, pride is something that comes out of achieving something. I don’t take pride in my heterosexuality. Perhaps if my husband and I had a child and they did cool stuff (were kind and generous to others, went to uni, found something they loved and were good at and pursued it) I might be proud of them and had I not been heterosexual I wouldn’t have gotten married and had that child… But even then I would probably just be more proud of my child that they managed to grow up and make good choices, rather than myself for raising them.
    Similarly, if you had a partner that achieved something you might be proud of them and had you not been homosexual you wouldn’t have known them, or known them as well as you do, but being proud of sexual orientation itself?

    Sure, I guess being proud of your identity and being content in your life is good, but a whole month celebrating pride in one aspect of your identity? It seems excessive to me. I suppose it is an attempt to rectify the wrongs done, which have been excessive and so the response is too.

  31. “I’d like to expand a bit on what s/he said.”


    That’s a “he”. I’m Rick Beckman’s father. Elsewhere on the web I post using my name, Rich Beckman. But here I post as Senior to avoid confusion (I know if I was reading the discussion and there were posts by Rick Beckman and Rich Beckman, I would fail to see the distinction and instead think that that Beckman character sure is inconsistent).

  32. I’d like to point out that I am both “Dave” and “David” throughout the posts this far. Somehow my name got changed from “David” to “Dave” and I’ve been posting randomly under both.


    I agree with what Senior said. I’d like to expand a bit on what s/he said.

    People have a tendency to join communities based upon common interests. They also join communities based upon common circumstances. As an example, the deaf community’s commonality is that the members are deaf (or somehow connected to the deaf, as is the case for children of deaf adults). The black community’s commonality is that the members are black. The LGBT community’s commonality is that the members all hold a different sexuality from the majority of society.

    The three groups cited are all minority groups. They’ve all been discriminated against in the past. They have all been killed, sterilized, surgically mutilated, and socially ostracized. This formed a pride amongst their groups. It also forced the condition to become part of their identity.

    The Jewish people is another cultural case study of adversity bringing people together. After a long history of adversity, we now find our countries (Canada and USA) setting up anti-anti-semitism laws. It is now a hate crime to discriminate against the Jewish people. In fact, it has been taken to the point where David Icke almost didn’t get to exercise his free speech because his ideas are largely considered anti-semitism (although it is largely controversial, as he never states he is talking about Jews…just lizard-people from the 5th dimension).

    The LGBT community is still being discriminated against, openly and commonly, in the community at large. Hence, the term “pride” has also been adopted as part of the LGBT community’s identity. This is a term they use on flags, bumper stickers, websites, parades, TV shows, universities (advertisements and awareness posters), and many other locations. One lesbian woman I know will (once a year) state that she is “going to pride”, wherein “pride” refers to the actual parade. It is no surprise that their awareness month would also use that term. It is part of a social identity. It means they’re not ashamed of their condition. And, we have evidence that this is all the month is supposed to be. Barack Obama’s statement says, “I call upon the people of the United States to turn back discrimination and prejudice everywhere it exists.”

    It is conceivable that one day we may have an “LGBT History Month”.

  33. Amen, brother!

    The exaltation and glorifying of sin throughout most of the world, would cause those (like the founding fathers) of generations ago to roll over in their graves. They persist as though Christ were in a grave, rather than presently to judge the world in sin for their unbelief.

  34. Thanks for the comment, torrant, and honestly, I always hope for *more* discussion than I usually get. I’m glad for the discussion that sprang up here! (I can only hope for more people who take the time to come back and continue the discussion. Drive-by commenting makes replies pretty much pointless, I think.)

  35. Rick,
    Did you expect so much reaction to your simple post? Any discussion about homosexuality is bound to stir up passionate feelings and many opinions.

    Many good comments have been made. I will add to my previous comments briefly.

    The Biblical teachings are clear, yes Neal, they are clear to me and many, many others as well. Homosexuality is sinful, unnatural and condemned by God. Use an online Bible to look up the term and you will see it clearly.

    Every culture has the right to determine for themselves what values and morals they wish to follow. Some are codified into laws, others are assumed by the majority culture. Christians in this country have every right to advocate for cultural values that hold that homosexuality is unnatural and sinful and should not be encouraged or given privileged status. LGBT have the same right to advocate for a pro- homosexual culture. The struggle between the two groups is why is it called a “culture war”. May the right side win ;).

    In this advocacy Christians should be careful to continue to embrace the fullness of the gospel message of mercy and forgiveness to sinners so that their positions are not distorted as hate, discrimination etc.

    There are already laws against assault, battery, school bullying etc that we don’t need to privilege homosexuals by making laws that single them out. Is it any less wrong to assault a straight, white male. Of course not, assault is wrong no matter who the victim! The proper role of government is to protect all citizens equally and not to privilege a few. The vision of Martin Luther King, Jr was that all people would be treated equally and not based on skin color, or any other distinguishing characteristics. That is the wonderful message also of scripture. All people are equal before God and He is an impartial judge. That is really good news.

    Every subgroup has the right to celebrate those things that set them apart. I would prefer the government limit its role to approving permits and safety rather than endorsements. We have gotten into the bad habit of having the government make things official, national, awareness, having months, days etc. This is all part of the government’s efforts at promoting multiculturalism, diversity etc. I say let the groups promote themselves if they wish, just don’t ask the government to do it. When the government does make special days, months, etc they tacitly privilege a few. They cannot help discriminating in this effort so to be completely impartial they should allow group self promotion, but not have it be government sponsored. This is the logic of the separation of church and state. Let the government allow religious belief and practice, but not endorse or establish any religion over another. If the culture would return to values from the scriptures we would see more tolerance, acceptance, and appreciation of others. But here is where the codification of values becomes an issue. Should it be illegal to be or practice homosexuality? No, in my opinion. This where the freedoms and rights of all should be carefully considered in the law. Should gay marriage be legal? No, because to do so would be to change the very definition of marriage. We can however, allow certain partner’s rights and legal privileges. Should homosexuality be taught in schools as normal. No, because it is not a normal relationship. So says God and I agree with Him!!! Does that result in hate or discrimination? No, it shouldn’t and doesn’t have too.

    As the homosexual agenda gains more traction in our culture will God judge us as a nation? He will judge each person according to his works and he will judge the nations also, according to Matthew 24.

    If you want to read a good book on that subject try God’s Judgment by Steven Keillor.

    Does Canada suppress free speech? Yes, read this article.

    There are many examples of this. Look up the case of youth pastor Stephen Boissoin as a good place to start. I have already gone too long.

    In conclusion let me just say to my Christian brethren. We bear the burden of demonstrating Christ’s love to all including the LGBT community. In doing so we must not abandon our values or the scriptures. If we present the gospel in the Spirit of Christ we will see better results and some will be saved. In fighting the culture war, yes we must do that also, we need to exercise great care and wisdom so as not to misrepresent the gospel which is the only good news ever! The gospel will generate hateful responses by some. Here we must exercise wisdom in our responses. Paul said our message is life to some and death to others.

    2 Corinthians 2:14-17.
    14But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. 15For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. 16To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? 17Unlike so many, we do not peddle the word of God for profit. On the contrary, in Christ we speak before God with sincerity, like men sent from God.

    Thanks Rick for spreading the fragrance of Christ through your blog.

  36. Torrant,

    You are wrong about Canada banning religious speech against homosexuality. If you read the criminal code that is mentioned in your link, instead of just going blindly by what your link says, you would get to section 319. Section 319 is a section of exceptions to the rule prohibiting hate speech, inciting death to visible minority groups. One of those exceptions is religious-based speech. Another one is for public discourse and for the public benefit. Number 1 states that it is not illegal if it is demonstrable as correct. So, assuming that you’re keeping it to a religious context, you can tell any group, no matter how large, in private or public, that you think homosexuals should be put to death (Leviticus 20:13), even in Canada.

    This law prohibits people from gathering together, creating a mob, and lynching others. If you take particular note, the law also prohibits people from doing the same according to religion. The amendment simply brings protection to one more group. Personally, I’d like to see this law apply to all people. I realize it is already illegal here to actually kill people, but it would be nice for it to be illegal to publicly plot murders and mob-based lynchings.

    Also, I thought that LGBT people were trying to get equal rights, not special rights. They’re not advocating a pro-homosexual culture. They’re advocating a pro-equality culture. If they were advocating a pro-homosexual culture, I’d be against them, just like I’d be against a pro-black, pro-white, pro-woman, pro-man, pro-animal, pro-tall, pro-short, pro-etc. culture. The only way anyone will benefit is if we’re all equal and all given equal rights and benefits. That’s what they’re trying to get. That’s the point of this awareness month.

  37. Dave,
    I will leave the debating of the law to the lawyers. However, the article I mentioned above, the case of youth pastor Stephen Boissoin and Dr. Chris Kempling Psy.D., R.C.C. would seem to indicate that the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal may read the law differently. Also, the law seems to have some very onerous provisions:

    Section 319(1): Public Incitement of Hatred

    The crime of “publicly inciting hatred” has four main elements. To contravene the Code, a person must:

    * communicate statements,
    * in a public place,
    * incite hatred against an identifiable group,
    * in such a way that there will likely be a breach of the peace.

    Under section 319, “communicating” includes communicating by telephone, broadcasting or other audible or visible means; a “public place” is one to which the public has access by right or invitation, express or implied; and “statements” means words (spoken, written or recorded), gestures, and signs or other visible representations.

    Also, to place the burden of defense on the speaker is de facto suppression of free speech. If anyone can sue someone for hate speech then the threat of lawsuit will keep most people from speaking freely. That is contrary to the essence of free speech.

    You can all read it for yourselves. Find a summary of the law here.

    My comments are all in favor of equal rights for everyone. However if you look at the gay agenda it is much more. It is the promotion of homosexuality as normal, even attractive. LGBT have all the same rights as any other citizen. What they want are special changes to laws regarding marriage, inclusion as a protected minority and the approval of homosexuality by the culture. For this last point read Kevin McCullough’s article on Kevin Jennings.

    By teaching that homosexuality is normal they go beyond rights to a value change in the culture.

    Maybe during the gay pride month of June Christians should make an effort to teach about sexuality, morality, the image of God, sin and redemption.

  38. “LGBT have all the same rights as any other citizen”

    Even if this were true, it would only be due to the LGBT rights movement over the past forty years.

    “What they want are special changes to laws regarding marriage, inclusion as a protected minority and the approval of homosexuality by the culture…By teaching that homosexuality is normal they go beyond rights to a value change in the culture.”

    Exactly right. In other words, what the rest of us have (except the protected minority part. But I wouldn’t trade my white skin for status as a protected minority.)

    All men are created equal. Some day we might even live up to that.

  39. Torrant,

    I’m afraid your example of Stephen Boissoin simply will not cut it. That letter was written without a single sentence referencing how any god is on his side. It merely states that “God is one of his weapons” (as I paraphrase). This means nothing. If he said, “As charged in Leviticus 20:13,” he would be fine. It is completely and utterly devoid of all religious verses. Hence, the provision to allow hate-speech backed by religion does not apply.

    Now, we have to find out whether or not any of his claims were true. Unfortunately, not a single point he made can be demonstrated as true. He may have a whole lot of points that you would agree with. I’m sure he does. But, that doesn’t make them true. A majority vote doesn’t make something true or false.

    The final point on which he may be given sanction and privilege to incite others to commit crimes, as he did in his letter, is whether or not it is for the public benefit and is intended to remove hatred. Let’s take an exerpt, shall we?

    “Homosexual rights activists and those that defend them, are just as immoral as the pedophiles, drug dealers and pimps that plague our communities.”

    There are other phrases that make statements such as “you will be defeated” and “I am waging war”. This is not an epistle of peace. This is a letter of hate.

    So, he failed all four accounts of how to get past this law. (Two of the provisions require evidence that the statement is true. Simply saying, “Open your eyes. Can’t you see it?” will not cut it. I’ve heard the same thing from a woman with schizoaffective disorder who believes the voices in her head give her psychic abilities.) But, many free-speech lovers do dislike this law. I’ll be the first person to stick up for free speech. On the other hand, if the tables were turned and I was being targeted with hate crimes, I wouldn’t want people sending letters, shouting in the streets, or putting up posters saying that I should be killed.

    How would you like it, Torrant, if all of a sudden there were hundreds of people standing in the park holding flags, posters, banners, etc., saying that Christianity is evil and its practitioners need to be silenced by any means necessary? How would you like it if the visible majority suddenly got ahold of a book that said you need to be killed because what you do is an abomonation? How would you like it if they started attacking you for something that you feel you can’t change?

  40. Dave,
    I guess I just hold to a much higher value on free speech than you do. You seem to think it is fine for the government to regulate speech. They can determine what is hateful and what is not. I would rather run the risk of radicals overstating their opinions rather than being denied the right to say it in the first place.

    Boissoin could have stated his opinions in different language, but to suggest that he needs to say what is “true” in order to be free to say it denies him the right to express opinion. Are you really comfortable with that? Do you want all your opinions and conclusions to be subject to judicial review? Most of what people say can be challenged in the “truth” category. Take the issues of whether or not homosexuality degrades the morality of a culture. It may be a rational conclusion drawn from extensive research, but it cannot be proven without challenge to be “true”. Even if bolstered by extensive social science it can be challenged. So the cover of “truth” statements is not cover at all.

    Secondly, are you happy to only allow assertions of what the Bible may say and not be free to draw conclusions, implications or advocate actions based on a verse because you are now expressing opinion? Are Canadians so dense as to not understand the metaphorical nature of statements like ““you will be defeated” and “I am waging war””. Do the readers of the letter honestly think this youth pastor is going to start killing LGBT in the streets? Have you lost the ability to read and understand the English language?

    This is why these laws are onerous and oppressive. Should a novel, or a movie that depicts violence against a protected group be sued for hate speech? Where does it ever end? The real truth is that it doesn’t. Once the government can restrict free speech, it will never stop and only become more restrictive. Once again anyone can sue. You must defend yourself against the charges of hate speech even if most ordinary readers would not consider it to be so. The threat of lawsuits is even more onerous than the court results.

    Let the mobs come and rail against Christians. They have done it in the past. Atheist writers like Sam Harris and Dawkins, Hitchens and others actually teach that religious believers are the major cause of violence in society today. Some even say that the world will be better when religious believers are all gone. That sounds like hate speech to me. It is certainly not a truth statement. But I would rather they have the freedom to say it than not. Then I can be free to refute them.

    In my opinion your have a naive trust in the rightness of government bureaucrats, in the innocence of governmental control. What is better is to trust in the goodness of the common man and the ability of good reasoning to overcome disputes. Of course, there are radicals and crazy people. But then they aren’t going to care about hate speech laws anyway.

    In my opinion denying people the right to free expression can lead some to more radical and violent expressions in order to be heard. I pray America never follows the Canadian lead in this hate speech legislation. My fear is that we are moving in that direction. By the way the case of Mark Steyn is another example of the oppressive nature of this law.

    If you want to read the Canadian Human Rights Commission report on how they want to keep their power to censure speech read this.

  41. Senior,
    I am not sure if I have understood your drift.
    I said LGBT have the same rights as any other citizen.

    They you said, “Even if this were true, it would only be due to the LGBT rights movement over the past forty years.”

    Are you saying that somehow LGBT only have the right to vote, the right to free speech, the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness, the right to property, and all the provisions of the Bill of Rights only because of the advocacy of the LGBT rights movement over the past forty years? If that is your meaning, how can that be? When have they ever been denied any of these constitutional rights?

    I think it is important to understand the difference between our Constitutional rights vs. problems we may encounter due to our own actions. If anyone by his actions, speech, clothing etc, brings on himself derision, scorn, rejection, violence etc. then he is somewhat culpable for obtaining that treatment. I state emphatically – he should NOT be treated that way. But that is different than him being denied constitutional rights. In fact his constitution right is to press charges and use the full extent of the law against those who mistreat him. Just as you or I would under the same circumstances.

    Gay marriage is not a constitutional right. If we as a society decide to change some laws about property, benefits, visitation etc. we can do so without changing marriage.

    Let me be clear. I abhor violence against LGBT as much as anyone else. It is wrong, it is not Christian, and it denies the heart of the gospel. Let me also be clear. They were not born that way. The only time we know an LGBT person is because they tell us they are one ( with some exceptions). Behavioral choice is not and should not determine a protected class. A person cannot change their skin color or ethnic background, but LGBT do not have to behave by or declare their sexual preferences. When they do, why is that somehow protected over and above all kinds of other behavioral choices people make? The logic of gay rights is absurd. That is why I say what they really want is privilege. I don’t think they should be privileged. IMHO.

  42. Oh, sure. As long as a gay or lesbian stayed in the closet he or she could vote. But free speech? How does one have free speech in the closet? Pursuit of happiness? In the closet?

    “If anyone by his actions, speech, clothing etc, brings on himself derision, scorn, rejection, violence etc. then he is somewhat culpable for obtaining that treatment.”

    OK. So if a woman who wears a particularly sexy outfit gets raped it is somewhat the woman’s fault? If Mary, wearing a sexy outfit, is raped by John; and Judy, wearing a frumpy outfit is raped by Joe, then Joe should be punished more? After all, Mary is partially at fault, so John can’t be held as responsible as Joe.

    Not born that way? Sorry. The science does not support that. But even if it is a choice….

    “When they do, why is that somehow protected over and above all kinds of other behavioral choices people make?”

    What is they want “over and above”?

  43. Torrant,

    I agree that we do have different ideas about free speech. You think everyone should be allowed to say whatever they want, wherever they want. I think there are certain situations where free speech is a bad idea. I propose a challenge to you and all who think like you. Please go into your local airport and start telling the airport staff that you really hope someone detonates a bomb mid-flight to get rid of those “infidels”. If you think that free speech should be unbound, you should have no problem with this and no problem defending this in court.

    Next, I’d like to point out that 40 years ago, if anybody found out you were gay, you would be taken to jail, be lynched, be forced out of your job, or be somehow publicly discriminated against. This was allowable by the state (not limited to the US–England was also very stupid about this). It is only through 40 (or more) years of activism that they have the somewhat tolerable circumstances they have now. Some still can’t walk down the road without obnoxious people telling them they’re sinful and deserve to burn in Hell, while others still can’t walk down the road without things being thrown at them.

    I would like to correct the phrasing of Senior’s (Rich Beckman) question. What do they want that is “over and above”?

    (Thank you, Rich, for the wonderful analogy of rape. It’s weird to see that word. In Canada, we call it sexual assault and have varying degrees of sentences depending upon varying degrees of circumstances. For example: a 17-year-old girl is dating a 17-year-old boy. The boy turns 18. He has not committed statutory rape because he is a few months older than his girlfriend. In the US, this law varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction.)

    For reference, here is the US legal definition of marriage:

    “In determining the meaning of any Act of Congress, or of any ruling, regulation, or interpretation of the various administrative bureaus and agencies of the United States, the word ‘marriage’ means only a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife, and the word ‘spouse’ refers only to a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife.”

    I ask the question, “Can the law be changed?” If you say that the law shouldn’t be changed for changing circumstances, then I would like to point out that the very foundation of your laws has changed for changing circumstances. These are called amendments. Therefore, I would suggest that if the definition of “marriage” cannot be changed to promote equality amongst all people, then the amendments to the constitution should also not be changed, “under God” should be taken out of the pledge of allegiance (added in 1954), and “In God We Trust” (added in 1957) should be taken off the money. After all, the first amendment to the US constitution says that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”. I would like to point out that “under God” and “In God We Trust” favor religion. So, why is an affirmation of any god of any kind on the money and in the pledge of allegiance?

    What I’m trying to show is that times change, people change, and laws change. If you are willing to accept changes that favor you then you should also be willing to accept changes that do not favor you (particularly when they do not harm you).

  44. Rich the senior, maybe we live in two different countries, or maybe you see things no one else sees, but I have never seen a question on the voter registration card that asks about sexual preference or lifestyle choices. I have never seen anyone at the polling place asking about sexual preference or lifestyle choices. If you can produce one case of a gay person being denied the right to vote because they came out of the closet I think the world would be interested in knowing that.

    I don’t want to devolve the conversation into a clash of anecdotes, but I do know out of the closet gay people and not one of them has expressed any difficulty in voting, freedom of speech, buying property or any of the other rights that I mentioned as constitutionally guaranteed. And yes, they are actively involved in the pursuit of happiness. Is everything perfect for them? No! Neither is it for me! Welcome to the human condition.

    I am very disappointed in your choosing to distort my comments in your example about rape. As we all know rape is not about the victim it is about the perpetrator. Nowhere in my comments did I even hint that perpetrators should be treated differently because of the actions of the victim. Let me clarify what I meant. I was thinking about the kind of situation where someone does something that given the crowd they are in at the time, is more likely than not to provoke a negative reaction.

    When I wrote that statement about someone being somewhat culpable for the response they get based on their behavior, I was thinking about cases I witnessed in high school, where a generally obnoxious person was being bullied. This person did not deserve the bullying but their actions and their speech seemed at the time to provoke it and draw out bullying behavior from people who generally would not do that. In this case, the victim could have acted differently and saved themselves some grief. Also, the people who chose to respond with bullying and taunting and tormenting behavior were wrong to do so. But in witnessing this situation, it just seemed there was something in the dynamic between the two parties that the more the victim acted in his peculiar way, the more he provoked that negative response. Now, to be clear, in mentioning this I want to reiterate that I do not in any way condone mistreatment toward LGBT persons. I hope that when you read this you will be charitable enough to please grant me the sincerity of my statement. My concern is that no matter what I say you’ll read into it things I do not mean. That makes it hard to have a dialogue.

    Rich, have you ever seen a gay pride parade? Have you seen video of the parades in San Francisco? Are you unaware of the gay activists who desecrated the Roman Catholic Church services in San Francisco? These are provocative behaviors. This is more than coming out of the closet. When LGBT persons flaunt their differences in lewd and provocative ways, don’t they expect a negative reaction from most people? What would you think Rich, if your local Muslim community decided to parade down the street with their faces covered quoting verses from the Koran about death to the infidels, proclaiming the glory of jihad, declaring their desire for martyrdom, promoting the universal conquest by Islam? Would you see that in the least bit provocative? Would you somehow think that their intention was not for the peace and continued stability of American society and culture? So for those of us who value morality, who value the sanctity of marriage, who happen to think that the Judeo Christian values system is the best for any given culture, the gay pride demonstrations are offensive. This seems to be the thrust of your son’s original posting. My purpose in joining comments to his post was simply to add some additional thoughts and perspective.

    I have made the points I wanted to make. I have added the thoughts I want to add. So, unless there is something extremely enlightening added in response to my comments I will be done with the subject of the LGBT concerns.

    I have some brief response to Dave which will be forthcoming when I have more time.

  45. “This person did not deserve the bullying but their actions and their speech seemed at the time to provoke it and draw out bullying behavior from people who generally would not do that.”

    How dare that kid behave like him/herself. If he or she just behaved like someone else, the bully wouldn’t bother him or her.

    You’re still blaming the victim.

  46. Dave, Senior, Rick, et al,
    I hope this is my last post on this thread since the topic is wearing thin and the back and forth has degenerated.
    I don’t support the mistreatment of LGBT.
    I don’t discount the wonderful progress of the civil rights movement.
    I celebrate the achievements of the civil rights movement in lessening prejudice and bigotry in this country. I don’t think it is eliminated.
    I am not blaming the victim.
    I do believe a originalist reading of the constitution is the best approach. The living document approach is too subjective. Do your own research on the topic to see the differences.
    Marriage predates Western culture and legal definitions. I think the biblical definition from Genesis is enduring and should endure and is almost universally accepted around the globe throughout history. Homosexual relationships have never been understood to be marriage historically. We don’t need to change that now, just to make certain civil benefits possible.
    The best approach to the LGBT community is exemplified by this pastor in Toronto. Read about what he does at this link.
    Freedom of speech is being restricted in Canada. Ezra Levant has documented this extensively on his blog and in his book “Shakedown”.
    Also Mark Steyn has written about this.,com_frontpage/Itemid,33/
    The web is full of information on this topic. No need to repeat it all here.
    If anyone really wants to dig in to the subject of tolerance, laws, morality and Christianity, I can recommend some books.
    The Long Truce by A. J. Conyer
    What We Can’t Not Know by J. Budziszewski
    True Tolerance: Liberalism and the Necessity of Judgment by Budziszewski

    God bless and take care.

  47. “Homosexual relationships have never been understood to be marriage historically. We don’t need to change that now, just to make certain civil benefits possible.”

    Easy for you to say. You are not the one deprived of equality.

    “I am not blaming the victim.”

    I understand you do not believe you are blaming the victim. But in what I quoted from you in my last comment, you are blaming the victim. There’s just no getting around that.

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