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10/14/2009

Yes on One (and only one version of Christianity)

by Jeremy Hooper

Yesterday, we showed you how a Catholic group is gunning for a Maine grandmother and the pro-equality campaign that she supports, simply because she professed to have a fondness for both the Vatican and her gay son/son-in-law/grandchild. But now for even more insight into how little the supporters of Maine's "yes on 1" campaign support true religious freedom, check out the following comment. It was just left on Stand For Marriage Maine's Facebook wall:

Screen Shot 2009-10-14 At 8.41.45 Am-1

Now, we don't know anything about the other user in the above exchange. But it doesn't matter. Ms. Murphy is suggesting that one simply cannot be both a Christian and a supporter of the "No on 1" campaign. In fact, she even uses a little "c", quotation marks, and a "so-called" qualifier to refer to anyone who might be both faithful and pro-gay-filled. And she suggests that it's the Christians who wish to protect the state's legislatively-approved equality who are the ones playing games here, not the folks who will tyrannically vote it away because they simply don't like it.

What kind of mutant strain of myopia are they using?!? Why do they feel that they have the right to not only deny LGBT people of whatever right that doesn't fit within their parameters of faith-based acceptability, but also the right to deny the beliefs of any religious person who sees the world differently than they do?! They tell us until they are blue in the face that is is the gay community and its supporters who are destroying faith in America, and that in a gay-accepting world, they will not be free to hold onto their beliefs. But let's ask the alternate question: What would happen to faith in America if these kinds of mindsets were free to set the agenda for the entire nation?

We're getting cross just thinking about it. And we mean that quite literally: In their world, we're sure we'd get a cross OR ELSE!

Stand For Marriage Maine [Facebook]

**UPDATE: The thread has continued:

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Your thoughts

The reason why the fundamentalists think that the LGBT crowd is destroying faith is because in the eyes of the fundamentalists there is only one true faith - theirs. Their faith, their whole faith, and nothing but their faith.

Calling them 'myopic' is accurate, but in some cases it's an understatement. Some fundamentalists have a compulsive need to be right on every single issue, which means that their God oh-so-conveniently agrees with them on every single issue. 'God' provides a basis for every one of their views, for without that basis their position would collapse like a house of cards. This means that they can't afford to admit that they might be wrong about their God, and they even take it a stage further. They say that if you disagree with them, you can't be a 'real' Christian, or Catholic, or whatever.

It's an easy way to distance themselves even more from dissent - not just to say that other Christians are theologically wrong, but to say that the other Christians aren't even Christians. The fundamentalists seal themselves into an isolated bubble, shielding themselves from harsh reality.

This is one reason why fundamentalists are so vitriolic. They may sincerely believe that gay acceptance will harm children, but the unspoken truth is that they can't bear to admit that they might be wrong. It's the most threatening thing that could ever happen to them.

At present, gay rights is one of the most public struggles, so they're all piling in on that. But we shouldn't lose sight of another problem just over the hill; they wouldn't shut up if they won the LGBT fight. They'd start shouting about something else. They want to make the whole of society in their own image; one more reason to oppose them.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia | Oct 14, 2009 9:45:40 AM

"You can safely assume that you've created God in your own image when it turns out that God hates all the same people you do." Anne Lamott.

And, it certainly is not just christians, it's fundamentalists, from all religious persuasions. And, it is exactly why church and state must be separate. Even within each local religious clique, where perhaps the majority of their religious beliefs are similar, you will rarely find any two adherents whose belief system is identical. And, that's usually fine, because (and I have seen it happen hundreds of times), when the disagreements amongst the faithful become so disjunct, they simply separate into smaller cliques.

Of course, it is fine within the context of "religion", because the consequence of disagreement is usually just that they physically dissociate themselves from each other. That is why there is not one (1) Christian church, but literally hundreds of them. But, it becomes a problem when fundamentalists believe that it is their ordained duty, not only to believe themselves, but to force their myopic opinion onto others. When the jihadist believes that god is demanding action, rational reasoning may not be able to persuade the delusional to behave in a manner conducive to social civility.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 14, 2009 11:35:11 AM

FACT: 100 years ago the 'True Christians' would have been calling every single person on that page a fake 'christian' for supporting equality for women and blacks. Religion means whatever the hell people want it to mean.

Posted by: penguinsaur | Oct 14, 2009 11:52:22 AM

I am one who has been called a "pseudo-Christian" because of my beliefs that:

The Bible does not conflict with real, credible science. *cough*Darwinism*cough*

The Bible says nothing about consentual, loving relationships between two people of the same sex.

The God I worship would not reject someone outright for being who they were born to be.

The two most important things Jesus said we should do are 1) love God 2) love each other.

Oh, wait. They probably would not argue about that last one. They would say they do that. Um, yeah.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | Oct 14, 2009 1:12:22 PM

Bonnie--how I can relate to what you're saying! Most of my extended family would identify with the religious right. Quite frankly, I don't understand how someone who is truly a Christian could support most of the right's agenda, but I certainly don't question the sincerity of those right-wingers who say they're Christians.

What I find really interesting about the above posting is that Sylvia doesn't even respond to her "friend's" points about loving your neighbor or keeping government out of your business. And she says that he's the one who didn't get it.

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Oct 14, 2009 4:17:52 PM

The reason why Sylvia makes a stand that it is inconsistent to vote no on 1 and consider yourself a Christian is because homosexuality is condoned by Christ and the Bible. To call yourself a Christian, you are saying that you align yourself with Christ and follow Him. However when you take a stance in direct opposition to Him, then how can you be a Christian? Sylvia made the point by quoting the Word of God, but it was not received hence her frustration. How can someone say that they stand for something, then act in direct rebellion to it?

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 1:47:44 PM

Josh, voting no on 1 does not mean that you personally affirm homosexuality or homosexual unions, no more than cherishing the first amendment means you personally affirm non-christian faiths.

Posted by: zortnac | Oct 15, 2009 2:27:52 PM

Hey Josh,

Thank you for your support! Wouldn't have expected you to say that, "homosexuality is condoned by Christ and the Bible," but I'm glad to see that Jesus condones being gay!

As for the riddle of someone saying they stand for something, then rebel against it - I'm afraid you'll have to answer that one for us, as you seem to contradict yourself in your post.

Posted by: DN | Oct 15, 2009 2:37:33 PM

Josh -

are you certain that

a) your interpretation of the Bible is correct in every regard, and

b) you yourself do not take any contrary stances to it?

Please justify your responses, and why we shouldn't listen to gay-friendly theologians. Furthermore -

c) are you certain that what's written in the Bible holds forever? Bear in mind that if you answer 'yes' to this question, you are saying that the penalty of blasphemy is death (Leviticus 24). Leviticus 20:10 also states that adulterers should be killed as well.

But that's a bit besides the point. Is homosexuality so important to your beliefs, so absolutely fundamental, that gay rights supporters are automatically written off as Christians? Really? I would have thought a God that created the universe, every lifeform currently living, the laws of physics, etc, etc, would have a bit more to worry about than what gender sleeps in what bed.

Posted by: Baron Scarpia | Oct 15, 2009 2:56:52 PM

Josh, I presume that you meant to say that "homosexuality is CONDEMNED by christ and that bible", rather than CONDONED. Otherwise you might be "in direct opposition" to your misguided opinion as well. The fact of the matter is that reasonable (read: intelligent/thinking) people can read the lunacy of the bible, and arrive at completely different opinions as to what the farce means.

And, that the religious are excessively intolerant of their own members who "go rogue" is just endemic of the broader pathology; that the fundamentalist religious are simply intolerant of everyone who doesn't tow their myopic line. And, that is exactly why the church and state should absolutely be separate. Because your fundamentalist Catholic myopia is not in the majority .. and should you succeed in theocracizing the US, you might find yourselves looking down the sharp end of that intolerant religious stick.

Posted by: Dick Mills | Oct 15, 2009 3:10:59 PM

Um Josh? You can take a break from moderating the M4MM Facebook page and come over here to comment, but I think you made a telling mistake!

"The reason why Sylvia makes a stand that it is inconsistent to vote no on 1 and consider yourself a Christian is because homosexuality is condoned by Christ and the Bible."

I think you mean to say that homosexuality is "condemned" by Christ and the Bible... And yes, that's one hell of a Freudian slip!

Posted by: Matt | Oct 15, 2009 3:19:31 PM

yes, my apologies for typing the wrong word, i did intend condemn and not condone.

Some responses:

"a) your interpretation of the Bible is correct in every regard, and"

The bible is clear on homosexuality, there is no grey area on this issue.

"b) you yourself do not take any contrary stances to it?"

not knowingly or intentionally. I'm not perfect and I am a sinner and I am trying everyday to be more like Christ. The Bible is the ultimate authority in my life.

"c) are you certain that what's written in the Bible holds forever?"

YES

"Bear in mind that if you answer 'yes' to this question, you are saying that the penalty of blasphemy is death (Leviticus 24). Leviticus 20:10 also states that adulterers should be killed as well."

Take this in the light of John 8 and understand likewise that the sin of homosexuality is forgivable, but Christ clearly states to acknowledge it as sin then do it no more.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 3:24:17 PM

I would like to encourage every Christian who is passionate about this topic to read this article.
http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

When interpreting the Bible, one cannot read the texts assuming he or she already knows what it means. That's a hermeneutical fallacy. Reading the Bible and assuming that it condemns homosexuality without doing extensive research on it yourself shows that you really don't hold the Bible in very high esteem, or else you'd seek to find what it really says and not just believe what you've heard from others your whole life.

Consider the viewpoint in the link, consider your current viewpoint, then study the texts extensively for yourself. If you haven't done that, then I don't believe you can really make a valid, intelligent decision.

And like others have said, I'm also glad Jesus condones homosexuality! He sure has given me a wonderful partner, and I am very thankful to Him for that.

Posted by: Katie | Oct 15, 2009 3:27:04 PM

Josh: What role do you play in the "yes on 1" campaign? And do you see any disconnect between your wholly faith-based stances and your attempts to roll back CIVIL equality?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 3:35:15 PM

For anyone who claims to be a Christian and supports homosexual marriage can you please reconcile your stance with Romans 1:21-32, Genesis 2:21-25?

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 3:36:29 PM

G-A-Y,

I am a volunteer, a Christian who believes that marriage is defined by God as being between one man and one woman. I am not employed by anyone in the campaign, and I had no involvement in anything to do with them before marriage was redefined in the state of Maine in direct opposition of multiple votes by the people to keep it as being between one man and one woman.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 3:40:04 PM

G-A-Y

in response to the second half of your question, Homosexuality is not a physical attribute, it is a behavior, a chosen behavior. You can choose to be involved in it or not. Chosen lifestyles are not a basis for civil rights. Whether or not you are born with an inclination towards a lifestyle does not make it right, all people are born with inclinations towards all types of sin, but everyone must choose whether or not to follow and pursue that sin, or deny it.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 3:44:34 PM

But Josh, they've put you in charged of moderating the Facebook page, yes? I don't care if you are paid or not: You are working for the campaign. The majority of campaign workers are unpaid.

So my question remains: How do you justify using your PERSONAL faith to deny others' CIVIL liberties? At my legal wedding (in CT) there were orthodox Jews, a nun in full habit, several methodists, and various other people of faith. They all came to support my CIVIL marriage (which has elements of spirituality, but no religion).

Do you not see that America is a very diverse place? Do you not see that CIVIL marriage is the only form for which organized gay activists are fighting? Do you not see that it is your side who is denying TRUE religious freedom by saying that no other version of faith is correct except your own? Or do you just not care?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 3:45:54 PM

Oh, and Josh: The certainty with which you say the things you say is simply stunning. Do you not care that medical science does not see it the same way?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 3:47:18 PM

G-A-Y

I am certain, beyond any doubt the the Bible is true and wholly inspired by God, without error or contradiction. I know and recognize that I am not, as clearly shown by my post earlier. The only place in life where I stand with such confidence is with the Word of God. You can pursue me and you will have no problems finding error in my life and finding contradictions and hypocrisy, after all I am human. But I recognize truth and seek to be conformed and changed by it daily to be like the God that created me, and you. What you or I believe is irrelevant, truth remains independent of belief, it is not relative. I suppose that you will see this stance and confidence as narrow minded and bigoted, as I have been called by many as I stand for Marriage, and I guess I am OK with that since that persecution is for my confidence in Christ.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 3:59:15 PM

Josh: Yes, this is what YOU believe. That's not what I'm asking. That's not what any of us on the pro-equality side are asking. We are asking where you get off saying that your personal religious beliefs can infringe on others' civil rights?! And why do you draw the line with LGBT people? Clearly you also stand against people of other forms of faith. What next -- will you who hold the concrete, infallible truth go after non-Jesus-based faiths?

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 4:02:57 PM

Oh, and Josh: I hope this exchange, if nothing else, will show you how to conduct an open forum. Here at G-A-Y, comments are moderated for one reason and one reason only: So I can fore myself to read (or at least skim) every single one. The only time anyone has ever been denied a comment is if they break a few, very limited rules (some of which are demanded of us by our service provider).

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 4:04:14 PM

Josh:

"Chosen lifestyles are not a basis for civil rights."

That seems to be a stance very detrimental to the religious liberties you enjoy every day.

I wonder, if you think recognizing someone's right to a civil marriage means you affirm homosexuality, do you think recognizing someone's right to follow the Wiccan faith means you affirm paganism?

Posted by: Christopher Eberz | Oct 15, 2009 4:07:30 PM

G-A-Y,

you are free to moderate your site, as is SFMM. I would not be here if your blog did not bring up the SFMM site specifically. I also will not continue to participate on this blog and would have no issue with your not allowing my participation. I have said all that I have to say.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 4:20:28 PM

Josh, I would love an opportunity to talk Biblical misuse with you. Unfortunately, you stifled that exact discussion over at facebook not two days ago. I'm not about to abuse Jeremy's blog (or mine, for that matter) for that purpose so that you can continue to censor dissenting views on your political campaign site.

I also won't do that because--and this is important--WHAT YOU AND I THINK THE BIBLE SAYS IS IRRELEVANT TO THE SUBJECT OF CIVIL MARRIAGE.

Posted by: Matt Algren | Oct 15, 2009 4:44:00 PM

Josh: Please, I implore you to stop missing the point.

The point is that we *don't* moderate comments, while you have banned every pro-equality voice from SFMM's page. The point is that our side welcomes discussion, while urs tends to shut it out. Of course we all CAN deny comments, if we so choose. But the point is that your side does and our side doesn't. And the point is that your side's choice to do so (which extends far beyond SFMM) is detrimental to democracy.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 4:44:38 PM

And no, Matt, I have no clue who Marie Labot is. Kind of bizarre that she'd claim to know me.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 4:46:36 PM

G-A-Y,

I will respond one last time only to say that I spent weeks on the SFMM site up daily until 1-2am debating, being civil and going point by point. I was met with hate and slander over and over. It perpetuated to the point that many supporters of Marriage abandoned the page because of constant attack from no on 1 supporters. There are FB pages and blogs that exist for the sole purpose of seeing SFMM and NOM pages crippled if not eradicated because they disagree with their stand on marriage. Just as I am not in this debate on the offensive, but rather defensive to protect marriage, the moderation of SFMM is defensive against all those who attack it continually.

Posted by: Josh | Oct 15, 2009 4:57:30 PM

No, Josh, you aren't getting around Leviticus like that, for a very good reason.

If God in Leviticus condemned adulterers to death, and Jesus does not, then God CHANGED HIS MIND. After all, Jesus is God, yes? Or are you claiming that the Jews in Leviticus were sinless?

This means that the Bible cannot be inerrant. God changes the rules. The Bible says 'p' in one place and 'not-p' in another.

Taking the Bible as an ultimate authority in every matter is to ignore the thousands of interpretations available of it. It is to ignore the context in which it was written. And, if you take the Bible literally, it is to ignore the huge, overwhelming scientific and historical evidence that contradicts it.

I could continue, but one thing I've learnt from arguing with people like yourself is not to give them a choice of targets. So I'm going to end by repeating Jeremy's question -

'How do you justify using your PERSONAL faith to deny others' CIVIL liberties?... Do you not see that CIVIL marriage is the only form for which organized gay activists are fighting? Do you not see that it is your side who is denying TRUE religious freedom by saying that no other version of faith is correct except your own? Or do you just not care?'

Posted by: Baron Scarpia | Oct 15, 2009 5:02:59 PM

That is simply not true Josh! I too have monitored the SFMM Facebook page, and the VAST majority of comments have been respectful. I have screencap after screencap of the sort of comments that you have deleted:

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/09/sfmm-well-you-see-we-delete-because-sticking-our-fingers-in-our-ears-is-just-easier.html

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/10/delete-delete-delete-stand-for-marriage-maines-continued-war-on-dissension.html

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/07/they-only-want-to-take-our-rights-away----why-should-they-listen-to-us.html

http://www.goodasyou.org/good_as_you/2009/10/disrupting-the-echo-chamber-another-look-at-the-yes-on-1-campaigns-censorship.html

I refuse to even debate this point. I have tangible evidence. And you are bearing false witness in suggesting that you are simply deleting the "haters."

Your side ALWAYS claims that you are being harassed, attacked, etc, when the reality is that we are simply asking to justify your views. After all, you *are* choosing to strip us of a hard-fought right that we have earned. We are holding your side accountable -- unapologetically and unabashedly. But we are doing so fairly, in large part.

And not to mention: Some of your supporters have been unbelievably hostile! From now on, Ill start screen capping those as well

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 15, 2009 5:05:09 PM

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