First Baptist Not Okay With Gay

In the wake of the election, those looking for a little activist action might want to show up at 10 AM this Sunday at First Baptist downtown, where a crowd will be assembled across the street to protest the sign at left. The friend who forwarded this to me says they are asking demonstrators to bring signs and their singing voices, for spirited choruses of “Jesus Loves Me.” Here‘s what the Dallas Voice has posted about the controversy.


  • brett

    Are those stones I see being cast???

  • DKC


  • JNS

    These days, when I hear someone make a racist comment, my first thought is that the person must be uneducated. Not exposed. Not worldly. Sitting in the same little spot on Earth for year and years and never challenging themselves to grow. Because we, as a country, are making efforts to move past that ugly part of History.

    This reminds me of that. My first thought when I read this sign is that this organization is sitting like an ostrich, head stuck in the sand, choosing not to learn and grow. Small minded. Uneducated. If I were Baptist it would embarrass me.

  • brett

    also, how ironic is the Sunday night sermon?!? Are we sure this isn’t photoshopped? That’s fantastic!! Hypocricy(sp) at it’s finest!

  • I don’t understand why people get so upset and angry when someone who has a different world view than them. Why isn’t it okay for someone to think that homosexuality isn’t okay? Is that so terrible of a thing? Aren’t you being just as close-minded to condemn them for their opinions as they are for disagreeing with yours? Maybe I just don’t get it…

  • JohnnyG

    Just another feeble attempt for a once-powerful Dallas church to get some free publicity. Unfortunately, they will fan the flames of hate in doing so.

    I actually used to be a member there. Sad, sad, sad.

  • Drew

    @ DKC

    Exactly. BFD.

    Sad attempt at relevancy and probably an even sadder attempt in trying to stem their dwindling congregation numbers on Sunday, which is really a cheap cover for “the church is low on money, quick do something to get them back”.


  • CJ

    @Josh, you clearly don’t get it. It’s not about disagreement; it’s about discrimination. Nobody’s asking you to like somebody. They just deserve the same treatment under the law.

  • MIssing Dots

    what law? who is being discriminated against? people always rush to defend when there is nothing to defend. I’m sure there are religious leaders in America who denounce our country, yet they are allowed to do so freely. how is this any different?

  • cs

    @ josh

    I think the issue is that the church could’ve handled it with more sensitivity. It’s fine to have a worldview, but i would certainly expect the church to be more thoughtful in it’s handling of the scenario. Shock tactics and insensitive controversy are not going to bring anybody into the Kingdom of God. Do you think any homosexuals are going to attend that? And I’ll do you one better, do you even think the church wants them to? From the way I read it, their heart is totally in the wrong place.

  • @ CJ – In your opinion they do. That’s what I’m saying. This topic is such a hot button that people immediately get all ticked off at the first opportunity. Just because the church does not condone gay marriage or gay rights or the gay lifestyle does not mean they also preach hate or discrimination. Some do, I agree. But many do not.

  • @ cs – point taken, and I agree with you.

  • For the record…

    Good on ya, Dots. The church has the right to preach, the protesters have the right to protest, there has been no discrimination here. Although the church almost certainly discriminates against (at least) out gays, they can’t do so by literally barring the door, rather by social snubbing and some “word with you?” whispers (I suppose). That’s not legally-defined discrimination, to the best of my non-lawyerly knowledge. Of course, on the other hand, those snubbed individuals have the right to choose another church or whatever, which is also proof that there’s no depriving of their right to worship.

    Flame on.

  • Laura

    I am going to go rally because I once once a gay teenager that had to listen to my minister preach against homosexuality. It caused me to hate the fact that I was gay. I am going to the rally to give a voice to those children.

  • Paul

    Think of the gay kids whose parents take them to First Baptist – and there are plenty of them. What must it be like to sit and hear this 19th century view? And there are plenty of closeted moms and dads in the pews, too. Sad.

  • Darren

    Josh, I would suggest you attend that sermon and report back on what you hear. You might be surprised.

  • jason

    like ANY organized group, please do not judge the batch by one example. Being a Christian I must clarify, that the gay lifestyle may not be APPROVED by the Christian religion but the believers ACCEPT gay men/women based on the core belief of Christianity–> LOVE. Its just like people and their views, we may not agree with evreything our friends believe but we still love them.

    Any Christian with a ‘straight’ head knows that Christianity is Faith demonstrated by UNCONDITIONAL love. i think this church failed to distinguish the difference between approve/accept

  • So according to Laura and Paul, the church shouldn’t preach against adultery just in case there might be some adulterers in the pews. That makes perfect sense. Don’t preach about what you believe just in case someone who doesn’t agree with you might feel oppressed or offended. If you disagree with the church’s views, don’t go. But don’t call them ambassadors of hate or prejudice just because you don’t agree with them.

  • Let me be clear, I don’t agree with the sign at all. I think it’s a horrible attempt at shock value while trying to garner some attention/publicity. But, I also don’t agree with bashing their system of beliefs simply because they made a poor decision in putting up their sign for this week.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Is Josh Pearson a member of the D Magazine editorial staff?

  • Nope, just a lowly Web guy…

  • Tom

    As a member of the nearby First United Methodist Church, I invite anyone who disagrees to attend services with us.
    You’ll see from reading the banners outside that our congregation is, among other things, inclusive.
    Not that there’s anything wrong with agreeing with what’s preached a couple of blocks away. Our freedom to worship as we choose continues, no matter who is in the White House.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Then why do you have your name linking to D Magazine?

  • For the record…

    “just a lowly Web guy” with well-reasoned, well-felt comments. Good on ya, Josh P.

  • Laura

    I think Tom is a family friend and the First Methodist church is a wonderful church!!

    To Josh: Adultery is not the same as Homosexuality. Someone CHOOSES to commit adultery, but I did not CHOOSE to be gay.

  • jamesn

    Oh, good hate disguised as religion.

    Unfortunately, for the haters, in this case Matthew doesn’t address “gay” (exclusively homosexual, usually in monogamous relationships); it addresses a range of behaviors in the context of *married men* one of which happens to be homosexual behavior in an adulterous relationship.

    It’s interesting the sermon doesn’t include Matthew 13:9, but then again we wouldn’t want to bring up that whole divorce thing…

  • Josh. I’m curious. What if the sign read

    “Why Black is Not OK”

    Sorry that it doesn’t rhyme.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Below is from the church website. They take the scriptures as “final authority”. So I would suggest that if you attend this church, you hold on to your scrotum
    We believe that all Scripture is divinely inspired and serves as the final authority in all matters of belief and behavior (2 Timothy 3:16-17; 2 Peter 1:20-21). Therefore,we value Bible-centered preaching and teaching as the foundation for all that we do.
    Deuteronomy 23:1 ESV
    No one whose testicles are crushed or whose male organ is cut off shall enter the assembly of the Lord.
    Genesis 38:8-10 NASB
    Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife, and perform your duty as a brother-in-law to her, and raise up offspring for your brother.” Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD; so He took his life also.
    1 Samuel 18:25-27 ESV
    Then Saul said, “Thus shall you say to David, ‘The king desires no bride-price except a hundred foreskins of the Philistines, that he may be avenged of the king’s enemies.’” Now Saul thought to make David fall by the hand of the Philistines. And when his servants told David these words, it pleased David well to be the king’s son-in-law. Before the time had expired, David arose and went, along with his men, and killed two hundred of the Philistines. And David brought their foreskins, which were given in full number to the king, that he might become the king’s son-in-law. And Saul gave him his daughter Michal for a wife.
    Exodus 4:24-25 NASB
    Now it came about at the lodging place on the way that the LORD met him and sought to put him to death. Then Zipporah took a flint and cut off her son’s foreskin and threw it at Moses’ feet, and she said, “You are indeed a bridegroom of blood to me.”
    Deuteronomy 25:11-12 NASB
    If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.

  • I am honestly not taking one side of the argument over the other. What I am saying is that you are being just as hypocritical as the church you are screaming about if you condemn them for their opinions and beliefs.

    @ Laura – again, your opinion. I’m not aware of any scientific data that indicates homosexuality is genetic. But, again, I may be missing something since it is not a topic I have spent hundreds of hours researching.

    @ Rich – that would be a totally different argument and you know it.

  • DJ

    While I agree with quite a bit of what Josh types, I must admit I hate the term “gay lifestyle.” It always seems condescending even when meant in the most innocent way. I’m simply gay. That’s it. I don’t subscribe to any certain “lifestyle” or “agenda.” I just live and love like everyone else. Oh and I’d like to marry my partner someday. But that’s a different argument for a different time.

  • Laura

    Josh- I don’t see any scientific data that indicates God exists or that he does not think Gay is okay.

  • My apologies, DJ. Not intended to come across as condescending…

  • Christa

    @ Josh – actually it’s not a completely different argument. It is very similar. And as for scientific data about gay being because of genetics, I suggest you do some research. Scientific and cultural research, because I do not know of a single person who would CHOOSE to be discriminated against and told that you are going to hell for who you are. You try being a second class citizen and then we can talk. Because right now, gay people are second rate citizens. And I don’t see it changing, but not for lack of trying.

  • Laura – just like you have every right to say homosexuality is genetic and I don’t get upset or angry at you for that, the church has every right to believe (with or without scientific data) that homosexuality is a sin and against their system of beliefs. That’s all that I am saying here.

  • Bmk

    laura – I’m a straight female but based on that last comment I think I love you.

  • Christa

    Oh and are you the Josh Pearson who is a web developer for D Magazine?

  • DM

    at least they didn’t use their origin tagline…

    “God says its a drag if you’re a —“

  • jamesn

    Josh: there’s plenty of evidence if you choose to look for it. For example, a Karolinska Institute study of brain activity where sections of the brain that govern emotion, mood and anxiety (it’s called the amygdala) seem to be biologically different. It seems that gay men have structures that almost exactly match straight women, where as lesbian woman have a structure that’s nearly identical to straight men.

    Here’s a reference for your reading pleasure:

  • Christa – guilty as charged.

  • SB

    Why does it matter where Josh works? You guys planning on pulling some of your typical liberal scare tactics because someone has a different opinion than you? I guess free speech stops at the door of the overly-sensitive, politically correct crowd.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Josh, How many gay people would it take to tell you that being gay is genetic. One thousand. One million. Gay people know they way they are wired.

    A gay person can not be forced to be straight anymore than you can be forced to be gay. Why is that so hard for people to get this through their head?

    Do you think someone would choose to be gay and subject themselves to sh1t like this?

    Years ago, they use to think that left handed people were witches. They would cut off their hand.

    Change is tough, but very necessary.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Oh. So Josh Pearson is a spokesmodel for
    D Magazine.

  • Tom

    @Rich: Sadly, the sign may have read that way about 40 years ago.

  • I can tell you that I was born with an unquenchable desire to drink Mountain Dew, and I can name about a hundred other people off the top of my head who say the same thing. But, that doesn’t mean it’s a genetic trait. Trivializing the argument? Probably. But you get my point.

    I’m not into forcing people to be something they don’t want to be. The core of this argument is that you are just as free to protest the church’s sign as they are to preach about their beliefs to their congregation. The minute you start trying to muzzle their right to free speech is the minute that your argument loses all effectiveness.

  • SB

    No, you a$$ clown. Josh is an individual with his own opinions. Stop trying to get him in trouble because you disagree with him. You can’t win an argument on the merits of what you know, so you have to try and slander someone.

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Scare tatics? Do you mean like people going out and buying machine guns because a black man was elected President? Do you mean like holding up signs that says God Hates Fags?
    Bombing abortion clinics?
    What are liberal scare tatics?

    Other than putting our money where our mouth is.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Does this mean that Elton John will not be playing Amazing Grace reprising the role of Raul the Piano Man at this year’s First Baptist new-age diversity outreach Christmas Passion Play as has been widely rumored?

    Meanwhile, irony being what it is: Does anyone at First Baptist know that the bulk of the recently deceased (longtime First Baptist Church icon) Reverend W.A. Criswell’s widow’s oil paintings, (sold at auction by Dallas Auction Gallery,) reportedly now hang in some of Dallas’ wealthiest gay male bedrooms? Surely hearing this will cause no few at the sanctuary to seek mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. (Let’s all promise not to ask nor tell.)

  • It’s Okay – I’m just a guy who works here and loves the company – not a spokesmodel by any stretch of the imagination. Although, I am MUCH better looking than Zac or Tim. Eric might have me based on the number of core exercises he does every day in Tim’s office…

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    He speaks on behalf of a magazine that is not really necessary in light of our current economic situation. If the magazine doesn’t support a community, why should we support the magazine?
    The Mountain Dew analogy is about as stupid as calling someone a$$ clown. Being gay is genetic. That is a fact.

  • SB

    @It is okay to go outside now

    I mean by trying to affect a person’s livelihood because he may have an opinion that you don’t agree with. It’s your juvenile, 2nd grade mentality that if I can’t win this argument, then I’ll just do whatever it takes to get Josh in trouble.

  • Sharon

    The church allows sinners, don’t they know gays cheat too??

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    With regards to Criswell’s paintings…nothing has changed.

  • Dunno. Zac is purty hot when his hair is cut…but that might not be OK to SAY cuz it’s GAY.

    Quit deflecting now, Josh. You’re today’s punching bag. W00T!

  • It is okay to go outside now.

    Trust me, it would never get Josh Pearson in trouble at D Magazine. If anything, he will get a raise, a promotion, and a bigger office.

  • SB

    “We’re all offended, all the time, and we don’t have a f*cking right not to be offended.” — Penn Jillette


  • I hope you’re right. I’ve been gunning for the night security position, so hopefully this will push me over the top. And I don’t have an office… yet…

  • RAB

    I happen to think that gay is okay. (I’m not gay, but that’s the same as saying that I’m not Canadian. It’s not a value judgment.) I agree with Christa and Outside that homosexuality is most likely genetic. I also agree with Josh that a church may preach its beliefs without being discriminatory (and don’t think that, in this case, its sign is really all that offensive).

    Let’s lighten up. The church will evolve or die.

  • Christa

    @ Josh – I do not think that you speak on behalf of D Magazine, I was under the impression that the above comments are yours to have as an individual. So, sorry if that has started something. It really doesn’t matter who you work for, this conversation isn’t about that, it’s about differences of opinions.

  • See, this is one of the cool things about working where I do. They encourage thoughtful debate here. One of my first days on the job I had a difference of opinion with a “top” person and thought I had overstepped my bounds a bit. At the end of the meeting, they stated how much they enjoyed the discussion and encouraged me to continue speaking up. D Magazine is a place that encourages intelligent discussion among peers and I certainly appreciate that. No harm done, Christa.

  • Christa

    The thing is RAB, when I go to a parade, a rally, or even on my old college campus there are church people standing on the sidewalk saying that I am going to go to hell because I am gay. And that “god hates fags.” It’s our own right to protest what they put on that sign because I feel it is wrong, just like the people who protest against me feel I am wrong in being gay. It is offensive to me, and that’s all that matters.

  • Drew

    So, exactly which scripture is their “final authority in all matters of belief and behavior”? (their words, not mine)

    Let me guess, it’s the one that is most convenient that doesn’t really include the ripping of foreskin to throw at one’s feet or cutting off a woman’s hand because she touches some other dude’s genitals.

    I TOTALLY get it now.

    Great place, sign me up.

  • S.E.

    What do you guys really expect from a Southern Baptist congregation? I know several people who go to that church, and while they are nice enough, they are some of the most conservative people I know (IOW, they weren’t voting for Obama). It is their choice to attend a church that reflects their beliefs and values, just like it’s the choice of the gays I know to attend a liberal and accepting church. Or, be like me and totally ignore organized religion. 😉

  • A.B.

    I don’t see the genetic basis of homosexuality as having any relation to a church’s position. The church views it as a sexual deviance, akin to pedophilia or beastiality. And I’m sure men that like boys (or dogs) would say that they can’t help it, either (much the same with alcoholics and other addicts, it likely is genetic).

  • B.

    >Josh. I’m curious. What if the sign read
    >“Why Black is Not OK”
    >Sorry that it doesn’t rhyme.

    The sign wouldn’t read that way. The Bible never says it’s not OK to be black. In fact God created black people and many black people are among God’s elect.

    This has nothing to do with deceived people who choose to spit in the face of the living God by committing sodomy and other abominable acts then try to force other people to accept it as if it were normal. God’s anger towards this nation’s wickedness is growing every day (Psalm 7:11, Psalm 9:17). America is far worse than Sodom and Gomorrah not just for committing the sin of Sodomy, but for accepting it and tolerating it. One day He will destroy this world with fire. Unless you’re saved the fire will never cease for you because you’ll lift up your eyes being in the torments of hell (Luke 16:23). You need to get saved. Turn from your wickedness and ask Jesus Christ to be your savior.

  • the cynic

    re: scripture being the final authority…I think Jesus summed it up nicely in Matthew 22:

    34Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. 35One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question:
    36″Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”
    37Jesus replied: ” ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38This is the first and greatest commandment.
    39And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  • Bmk

    @AB – would you be okay with a sign that says “being a retard is not okay” if the church took the position that the mentally challenged are intellectual deviants?

    The LGBT Dallas community is very large and does tremendous things for our city. We should thank them and not tell them why they are bad.

  • RAB


    It’s “bestiality” (and it’s not pronounced with a long “e”).


    There’s a difference between “God hates ****” and “Gay is not O.K.” Look, I’m on your side on this. This battle in particular (versus the larger battle for acceptance and legal rights) is not worth getting all torked up over. In fact, a big reason that Obama won the election was because he did not promote the politics of grievance like Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton.

    Keep being a good person. Keep setting good examples. The world will come around faster on the gay issue than it did on the racial issue.

  • S.E.

    @SB – Thanks for the Penn reference! I was trying to remember where I had heard that.

  • Christa

    Oh great AB, gays love to be compared to pedophilia and bestiality. I was wondering when it was going to get to that. Red hair is a genetic trait too, does that mean they are akin to pedophilia and bestiality. And I would really love to see the research that says those are genetic.

  • Jay

    Oh please oh please oh please let It is okay to go outside now be left handed.

  • A.B.

    Christa: I’m not comparing the groups, in fact I see a huge difference. Homosexuality is between consenting adults, while the other two aren’t. I’m merely comparing the genetic impulses that may be at play.

  • Jay

    oh, and justme has two left hands.

  • Stephanie

    I think it is about time that the church stands up for the scriptures. God judged Sodom and Gamora for the very same thing. I say WAY TO GO FIRST BAPTIST.

  • Bmk

    just me- WTF?? You need help.

  • Kevin

    I can’t believe people are still ranting about this. Everyone knows gay is not ok. Gay is fabulous. (or so I’ve been told – I’m on the other team.)

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Well, well, it’s nice to be reminded where we live. My ‘home’ town Dallas. Talk about killing my post-Obama-win buzz!

    Meanwhile: Why not follow up this combustive thread with another cheery Cherry Bomb like, “Incest on rise via enterprising Dallas area pro-sibling dating services.”

  • Kathi

    I love Gays. I love Mi Cocina! I love Josh! God is Dog spelled backwards!

  • J Paul

    Jeffress obsessed over homosexuals during his time in Wichita Falls as well. Makes you wonder how he REALLY feels about male prostitutes and smoking meth.

  • DM

    My female Jack Russell is a lesbian. So, I’m not sure what church I should go to now.

  • Stephanie

    Most of the people that are getting upset are the ones that think that they are the only ones that have any right to say what they think. News flash the world is not flat.. Get over it if the world doest believe the same way you do. Christians have been silent too long.

  • Jed

    I am so sad right now. Our culture and values are based in how we treat each other, not a doctrine that one believes and others don’t.

    @Justme – Here is the typical broad brush. Are there sick people out there who molest people? Absolutely. Does that make every gay or lesbian that way? No. Is every gun owner like the Columbine murderers or VT? No.

    @Stephanie – As a christian myself, I believe that God judges not FBC Dallas. Thats the problem with SB Convention, they don’t get it. Casting stones from the pulpit is not the role of the church in the world. God did not view the church in that way.

  • Linda

    Christians are not supposed to act “worldly” – sin is sin – we don’t change God’s rules to fit our wants. You’re whining much like a five year old that doesn’t understand why they can’t eat the chocolate candy bar before dinner. Why should Christians change their beliefs to fit what liberals want? I have no problem working along side a gay person but that is their personal life and I don’t feel they should impose upon my personal life and beliefs – I don’t theirs … if you don’t like what the church believes or teaches then GO SOMEPLACE ELSE … get over yourselves.

  • Stephanie

    Jed, if you were Christ Like as christians are to be, you would see that God does judge the wicked in all areas

  • B.

    Well said, Linda, it’s good to see there are still some people not afraid to say the truth in this wicked, sin-polluted world.

    Jed: It’s the role of the Holy Spirit to convict of sin. If your church doesn’t preach what sin is, the Holy Spirit does not work at your church.

  • Stephanie

    The pastors of churches are put in that position to teach us from the bible (you know what GOD said) it is his job to view Gods way not the worlds way

  • WWHD

    justme – you are kidding, right? PLEASE say you are, as the crap you just typed is quite disturbing that one would even consider this as truth.

  • WWHD

    Stephanie, how do you know for sure that it is your god’s “way”? How do you know that it isn’t man’s “way” to be in control of others?

    BTW, Your mother’s name isn’t Jennifer is it? I have a feeling I know you from somewhere.

  • Stephanie

    WWHD , No my mothers name is not Jennifer. and i know its Gods way because i believe in the one and only God. The bible is His word and His word said that homosexuaily is an abonination(sp)

  • Jed

    Thanks for replying to my comments guys. I really appreciate it.

    Why should SBC encourage people to talk to coworkers, neighbors, friends, family or strangers and tell them you are going to hell if you are gay? Or a sinner? Freedoms lie in the fact that YOU exercise your freedom of belief. By imposing your beliefs on others, you violate theirs.

    If a gay or lesbian believe that their lifestyle is a sin, then thats when the Holy Spirit plays a role in that individuals life. Faith is what drives your beliefs of what is acceptable and sin based on God’s teaching.

  • Eva

    @Linda: “Christians are not supposed to act “worldly” – sin is sin – we don’t change God’s rules to fit our wants.”

    Well thats just silly. Worldliness is greatly underestimated. In fact, had I stayed in America all my life as opposed to travelling and opening myself up to wildly differing cultures and ways of life, I’d likely be bitter and so full of my opinions as to denounce everyone who disagrees or fails to fit in with whatever dogma seduced me.
    Instead, I’m full of myself and only denounce ignorant Anericans such as yourself.

    “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts.” -Twain

    “Why should Christians change their beliefs to fit what liberals want? I have no problem working along side a gay person but that is their personal life and I don’t feel they should impose upon my personal life and beliefs – I don’t theirs”

    Good, glad you think that way. Surely, then, you promote gay marriage, are pro-choice, etcetc?

    ” … if you don’t like what the church believes or teaches then GO SOMEPLACE ELSE … get over yourselves.”

    Nothing is preventing the church from spouting bigotry, just as nothing prevents you from sheepishly following.

  • bmk

    To all those that say the Church can teach whatever they want, to a point, I agree with you. But I also think that there is an aspect of social responsibility to it. The fact of the matter is there ARE gay children and teens at FBC and these children are being told by the leaders of the church that they are terrible people.

    Teenagers who are in the closet can suffer from great depression, which can lead to suicide. Why does FBC want to help this terrible situation? By putting a sign up for all the world to see (not just their congregation), they are only helping to drive those that are in the closet into further despair.

    While I don’t agree with the principal, I understand that there are some who believe homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God. But, why can’t a church like FBC try to approach the situation with the compassion and love of Jesus, instead of fire, brimstone, and hate?

    I have a few wonderful gay friends who grew up in the Southern Baptist Church (and who left the church after coming out). It makes me so sad to think that while they were young (and realizing they were gay), they had to sit there and listen to people say how terrible and wrong it is to be gay. These are wonderful, giving, beautiful people — why would we treat them in this way.

  • Laura

    Oh my word! This all started with my friend, Sam, seeing that sign and taking a picture of it. Then, he showed it to me and I decided that I had had enough.

    BMK- love you too!

    Just Me- Homos can breed. My partner and I are in the process of breeding and that is exactly why I want to take a stand. I do not want my child to think that their mothers are going to hell because of people like you.

    Linda- I do not plan on “sitting at the back of the bus” my whole life.

    Stephanie- you think Christians have been silent too long? I don’t even know a silent Christian.

    Jesus loves me this I know for the Bible tells me so……

  • Laura

    Josh- I don’t think it is okay for you to be making comments on D’s blog. I spoke with S. Yervasi (my close friend) and she said she makes it a policy not to read or comment on the blogs. Now, people on the Voice blog think D is homophobic. I tried to explain D is not, but look:

    Jett Says:
    November 7th, 2008 at 3:51 pm

    If you want a good read on the homophobia that exist in our city, take a gander at the
    D Magazine Blog. Do you notice that not one D employee stands up for the gay community in such an obvious case of bias. D Magazine employees will stand up for the right for people to purchase machine guns because Obama was elected President, but keep don’t want to ruffle any straight feathers when it comes to gay issues.

    Remember this, the next time you are standing in line at a grocery store and see a D Magazine staring back. Save your money.

  • Wow. I take an afternoon off to play a round of golf, and all hell breaks loose.

    @ Laura: you must have misunderstood Stacey. D Mag editors do occasionally leave comments to blog post (as evidenced by this here comment).

    We do not edit comments. We DO delete offending, libelous, and inappropriate comments in an effort to keep the proceedings civil. If something offensive remained too long in the comments section yesterday, or if it seemed we were disengaged from the discussion, it’s not because we lean one way or the other editorially. It was because much of the office was out on a field trip to the DMA. And others of us were on the golf course.

    The last thing I’d like to clear up is the following: Josh Pearson is NOT better-looking than I am. For the record.

  • JRS

    “The fact of the matter is there ARE gay children and teens at FBC and these children are being told by the leaders of the church that they are terrible people.”

    I knew a wonderful young man who was in that oppressive FBC/First Baptist “Academy” situation who decided death was preferable. He killed himself.

  • ET Phone Home

    Oh for crying out loud, it’s a CHURCH marquee, not Jack in the Box. They must put the name of each Sunday’s sermon on there each week. If gays are allowed to have their own parade where they cavort in their leather and lace (does anyone picket that?)then why on earth can’t the opposing view put up a sign as tame as this? It’s not like it says, “Queers are going to HELL!” THAT would be innapropriate.

  • ET Phone Home

    LAURA, Jesus does love you…enough to give his life up, painfully, for you. Now, do you love Him enough to read His word and try to follow it the BEST you can? All of it, not just the parts you find acceptable?

  • J Paul

    Yes, the parades are picketed and “Christians” are more than willing to tell gays they’re going to hell…seems a little judgemental which I thought was a no-no. Oh well, I’m confident Hell will be well populated with “Christians” IF the Bible is the truth.

    Now I’ve got to get out of this cesspool called comments. It’s amazing the hatred that religion causes in this world. Absolutely mind-boggling.

  • JS

    I’d go to the sermon tomorrow, but instead I’m going to take the kids to watch a building get blown up. That’s much better than any sermon.

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    it’s not because we lean one way or the other editorially. It was because much of the office was out on a field trip …….


    It is interesting that someone would say that the editorial staff does not chime in on leaning one way or another. These comments were made yesterday by D staff members.

    When you are reading the editors of this board use the word gay….replace it with Jewish/Black/Hispanic and see if you find it offensive. Show me examples where D Magazine has ever, ever, supported the Dallas gay community.

    – Tim Rogers @ November 7th, 2008 at 9:33 am
    @ Trey: I’d be curious to hear why you think someone should be allowed to own a 50-cal rifle. Please also include in your response whether you think someone should be allowed to own, say, an RPG-7.
    – Trey Garrison @ November 7th, 2008 at 9:38 am
    Why shouldn’t they?
    List the number of crimes committed with a 50-cal rifle over the past two decades.
    As to the second request, how do you conflate rifles with grenade launchers?
    – Tim Rogers @ November 7th, 2008 at 10:03 am
    @ Trey: I can’t find a single crime committed with an M1 tank, either. Yet I still feel that citizens should not be allowed to own them. Why? Because some guy in his M1 is going to be target shooting with his 105-mm cannon one day, and he’ll accidentally hit some woman cooking breakfast 10 miles away.
    At some point, a gun is too big to be owned by the general public. Same reason there are limits on the size of engines in cars. I argue that 50-cal is too big.
    – brett @ November 7th, 2008 at 10:05 am
    all this talk of guns and gunnery makes me hungry for some Call of Duty 4. Who wants some?
    – Trey Garrison @ November 7th, 2008 at 10:05 am
    I actually have no problem with it, Daniel, so long as they have a secure place to practice with them commensurate with the potential destruction and noise.
    The Second Amendment was written at a time when a good portion of the Continental Army’s cannon and mortar came from privately held stock, and if the militia clause provides that one of the reasons for civilian ownership is militia service – as the Supreme Court’s Miller decision held in the late 1930s – all the better. So this is hardly unprecedented or outside Original Intent. There are collectors out there today with fully functioning older armor and tanks.
    Sure, you may want to make that Class III license required – the same license required to own a full-auto rifle or sub – but otherwise, I’m down with it.

  • brian nesbitt

    @et phone home:

    yes, gay parades are protested. oak lawn also has it’s fair share of people that come down and try to convert the sinful gays (i seem to remember a story in the last year right here on frontburner about it and how manipulative the “church” involved was with the poor gay young man).

    that kind of behavior is acceptable but gays peacefully protesting what they view as discriminatory hate speech somehow upsets your sensibilities?

  • @ Give Me a Freaking Break: Sorry. I wasn’t clear. Our lack of participation in this thread yesterday should not have been interpreted as an editorial stance; the editors were simply away from the blog Friday afternoon (though our web designer Josh was certainly present and ready to mix it up). That’s all I meant to say. We DO take editorial stands on issues — as a magazine and as individuals.

    I, for instance, don’t think citizens need to own 50-cal guns (though I myself own two rifles and a shotgun). And I strongly believe that God loves gays and straights equally.

    Long as I’m at it: global warming is caused by human activity. Peak oil is upon us. No-smoking ordinances are abhorrent. Vodka martinis are tasty — as are gin martinis. And Obama was the right choice.

    As for “supporting the gay community,” I’m unsure what evidence would satisfy you. Our coverage in the November issue of the Black Tie Dinner? Our editor in chief and president, Wick Allison, sponsoring an openly gay man who converted to Catholicism? The feature-length treatment we gave the Episcopal schism over gay bishops?

    You’re barking up the wrong tree.

  • Eva

    Picketing the church isn’t an effective means-to-an-end. The church has a right to dislike/hate/advocate any position it wants.
    Addressing the churches keeps them in the “gay marriage/civil rights” argument, and their involvement(spun so craftily by the christian right)actually hinders progress.

    Avoid the churches, leave them be, for crying out loud.

    Also, on November 5th, an SF attorney declared he will fight Prop 8,; other cities may follow suit(haha).

    Patience, grasshoppers. The matter will likely go to SCOTUS in the next five-ten years, and the matter will be settled on your side. Until then, disregard the religulous-engaging them hurts more than it helps.

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    Why should Christians change their beliefs to fit what liberals want? I have no problem working along side a gay person but that is their personal life and I don’t feel they should impose upon my personal life and beliefs – I don’t theirs”

    That is the biggest line of BS and you know it. You are trying to impose your life beliefs on others.

    Secondly, we are hardly going to take marching orders from someone who is one step away from Fred Phelps.

    We will fight fire with fire. Mud with mud.

    Venom with Venom. We will be as loud and annoying as Karl Rove, Michael Savage, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly.

    So don’t tell us how to fight our battles Mrs. Leiberman

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    Yes you are right, anyone has the rights to discriminate, hate, and advocate anything they want. They just cant do it with a tax exempt status.

    BTW, I don’t know what your religion is, but if you are anything other than this man’s religion, you too are bound for hell, according to him. That includes, Jews, Catholics,Muslims, Hindus etc.

    You see, bigotry can grow up to be a big ugly monster.

  • Eva

    @Gimme A Break: the line you quoted mine was quoted by me from Linda’s post. She said it, I responded. Sorry you misunderstood, but please direct your statements to the orginal author of the quoted text.

    Re: hate with tax exemption, actually yes they can although if any church is caught discussing politics I’d enjoy seeing them taken to court. Go sit in FBC and tape record the sermon. If they discuss politics or gay marriage, sue ’em. Much more effective than protesting.

  • yikesdallas

    It’s perfectly fine for the church to preach whatever they want to. If you don’t like it, then go to another church.

    The problem is that the churches are leading the fight to take that message and enforce it through the laws of our country. To me, THAT is a problem. If you want to not let any gays get married in your church, that’s cool. But why do you also have go to the church next door, the hotel ballroom down the street, or the county clerk’s office and try to make sure no gays get married there?

    I have yet to find a straight married person explain to me how some guy getting “married” to another guy affects – or destroys – their own marriage. Is your marriage so weak and fragile that the marriage of two guys or girls down the street is going to make it completely fall apart?

  • bmk

    @yikesdallas: I think that in the eyes of some (not myself, btw), it’s not so much that a same sex marriage would destroy a traditional marriage, rather, this challenges the whole validity of the notion of a traditional marriage. I believe there are some who feel that marrying a partner of the opposite sex and having a family is the definition of marriage. They don’t mean to be discriminatory, that’s just the way it’s always been.

    My approach in such situations has been to explain the legal and red-tape issues that same sex couples have to face and to appeal to their sense of human decency. Most (unfortunately, not all) people don’t want to see others suffering or being treated badly.

    However, I do think that there are some who will always balk at the idea of same sex marriages, but hopefully not that many who would not support a civil union arrangement with full legal protection.

  • Laura

    @ET phone home: Nope, I don’t.

  • Laura

    because if I did believe the same as you then I might have to spend eternity with people like you and frankly that sounds more like hell.

  • Gina G

    Don’t shoot the messenger. The sign only says what GOD says clearly in His Word. If you don’t understand it, then try sitting in on the sermon. Maybe you will be enlightened. GOD’s word is very clear. It’s not condeming anyone, it’s just saying that homosexuality is not His design, it is a result of a fallen world. Try reading about Sodom and Gomorah and see what God had to say about it way back then. His Word is true for yesterday, today and tomorrow! Christians don’t hate or judge homosexuals, we just want to share with you what God has to say about it…they are not our words, they are that of God! Don’t agree with the sign…take it up with the Lord!

  • Annie

    Stephanie: Have you read the entire Sodom & Gomorrah story?

    Before God destroyed Sodom, Lot the “one righteous man” offered up his two virgin daughters to the mob of men outside in order to “protect” two visiting angels, so I guess God could not protect his own angels, and well, there was no love there for either Sodom or the two virgins.

    After he destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah, he turned Lot’s wife into a pillar of salt merely for looking back at the burning city. Seems all out of proportion to me, but hey, I’m not “loving” or “perfect” like God is.

    Oh, and let’s not forget the part where the two daughters then got Lot drunk and slept with him, but you know, Lot was the “one righteous man” left in Sodom – it’s not his fault those two hussies forced the liquor down his throat and got him so drunk he didn’t even know he was having sex with his own daughters. Lastly, the offspring of these couplings were born as giants – freaks of nature, which, gosh, seems like kind of a harsh punishment on God’s part, being as they are probably the only innocents in the entire story.

    BTW, many years ago when I was Southern Baptist, I challenged a friend to read the Bible and she came to me with that passage. It was the catalyst that led to my disbelief in God as well. I’m more loving than the God portrayed in that passage. Why should I worship someone as petty, hateful, and cruel as that?

    Anyone with an open mind, I urge you to peruse The Skeptics Bible and see what the Bible really has to say, and what kind of person its God really is:

    And here is a thoughtful article on evolving beyond the need for the myth of religion:

  • Annie

    Oops, I guess I should have included Gina in that salutation as well. Here’s a bit more:

    David, a “man after God’s own heart” had a man murdered so he could sleep with his wife. If that’s a man after God’s heart, I really don’t want to know whom God considered to be evil.

    Noah, the one “righteous” man left on earth before the flood, got drunk and fell asleep naked, and then cursed his sons for looking upon his nakedness when they went in to cover him. And gee, God sure does keep running out of righteous men, what with both Lot and Noah falling off the wagon. Once again, I just seem to have a different interpretation of “righteous.”

    So, let’s see, God, who is “perfect” created man, who immediately turned on him in the Garden of Eden. Then he destroyed narly the entire world by flood because he was so disgusted with his own creation, but the main man he saved, Noah, sure seems like a nasty old geezer unable to take responsiblity for his own actions. Then God destroys Sodom and Gomorrah but saves that great man, Lot, who then got drunk and slept with his daughters. Seems to me like God isn’t so perfect, being as his creation turned out so imperfect.

    Oh, and God is so “forgiving” and “loving” of his own creation, that the only way he will look upon us is to kill his own son? I guess, what I don’t understand, is why God can’t just forgive and love without the need for human sacrifice, being as he’s so all-perfect and all-loving.

    Once again, I’m way more loving than this God portrayed in the Bible. I’ve forgiven my pets plenty of times for peeing on the rug, without sacrificing one of them in the fireplace first.

  • ET Phone Home

    LAURA, funny thing, I’ll bet you already know me (or someone like me) and like me as a person, in spite of my perceived distorted view of the truth just as I know and like you (or someone like you) in spite of your perceived distorted view of the truth. You see, at the crux of this is not how I feel about you, but rather your lifestyle. You and I may not see eye to eye about personal choices (my favorite color is pink…and yours?) but we were both created and are loved deeply by the same God. I’ll let you live your life and have whatever opinion of my life choice as a Christian you’d like…but allow me the same. Why, I’ll even stand by and let you speak my Father’s name in vain (which I consider hate speech) because I know that you have that choice and the freedom to do so. In return, I ask that you let me and my church speak what we beleive is the truth because we also share the same freedoms. It’s SO close-minded of non-Christians to think that all Christians hate gays just as it would be close-minded of me to think that all gays are going to hell. Again, the sign says, “Why Gay is Not OK” not “Why Gays are Going to Hell.”

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    Don’t forget the part about the dude that lives in the belly of a whale for several days, get out, finds a boat, gets to shore and builds the worlds first Long John Silvers.

    Wasn’t Mary a whore at one time? Loads of funky shit in that Bible. Almost as if the people that contributed to it where high on some sort of XTC BC.

  • Annie

    So, if I understand it, we should not protest because your church has the “same freedoms” as us? And yet, isn’t that part of the issue here: we don’t have the “same freedoms,” ie, the freedom to marry whom we love, because of the people in churches like that.

    Personally, I don’t believe being Christian is okay. I believe it’s about the same as believing in Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny. But I do not post a sign outside my house stating that, because it would be hateful and rude. That sign in front of the church is hateful and rude.

    And I guess I don’t get the point of the sermon. Whom are they preaching to? The poor gay kid who will be terrified and confused for much of his teen and early adult years because all he’s heard is he’s going to hell? The one closeted gay person in the back pew?

    It sounds to me like, from the sermon outline posted at the church’s website, that the sole purpose of that sermon is so those church members can then go out in public and tell the entire world how “horrible” gay people are. Or so they can try to “witness” to gay people, because you know, we’re just dying to have one more Christian tell us we’re going to hell for loving another person.

    I’m not seeing any loving or constructive purpose in that outline other than to further the hate and get that congregation to bother people about something that is none of their business.

    The sign alone might as well read “No Gays Wanted Here.” It would sure be more honest and then maybe the pastor could focus on preaching something more relevant to the lives his church members and perceived “sins” they might actually be committing. Unless he really is going through this exercise for two solid weeks for the benefit of that one closeted gay person on the back row. After all, his work won’t be done until he’s driven that last one away.

    Or hey, here’s a thought. Preach about something positive and uplifting so maybe people will start their week feeling good before they look for a job after being laid off or try to figure out how they’re going to retire now that their IRA has been depleted by Wall Street.

    You know what’s sad? If gay marriage were secretly legalized tomorrow, most people would not even know about it because overall, NOTHING would change. Except that some gay people would go get married and begin to enjoy the same legal rights as other married people.

    Marriage is sacred? BS. You can drive to Vegas, get drunk, and be married to stranger tomorrow, as long as it’s a stranger of the opposite sex. Nothing is sacred except love, and straight people don’t have a monopoly on that.

    Christians have learned to get along with all kinds or people who don’t believe the same way they do. I don’t see you going out and protesting Buddhist marriage or Atheist marriage. It’s time you learned to get along with the gay people as well.

    And please don’t tell me it’s because their marriage is between a man and a woman, so it’s okay. I’ve read the Bible. I know about Solomon’s 100 wives. I know about Abraham sleeping with two wives and two concubines, and then turning one concubine and his own son out into the desert at the request of one of the wives. I know all about the “sanctity” of Biblical marriage.

    This is not about the sacredness of your marrriages. This is about you wanting an excuse for your own prejudice.

  • Annie

    Give Me a Freaking Break: It is eye-opening, once you really read it instead of just sitting back and listening to what the church cherry-picks as important. I’m just sorry I lost about 25 years of my life to it. Well, not entirely sorry, because I do know the Bible and it makes it a lot easier when people try to “witness” to me. But honestly, one of the most liberating days of my life was the day I simply walked away from religion. All that guilt just vanished.

  • Dave Abe

    I can’t believe I have just read all these posts. What a joke.

    I see it very simply – this country was founded on the basis of seperation of church and state. If the church wants to preach hate (ohhh sorry – their opinion) then it’s their constitutional right to do so, just like the rest of us, BUT PAY freakin taxes like the rest of us have to!!

    The excuse that it’s the church’s right to Free Speech – is as stupid as Sarah Palin saying “The 1st amendment allows me say what I am saying about Senator Obama as free speech and protects me from the Media and the Public”. WRONG!! The first amendment protects the media and the public’s free speech from the government (which includes Sarah Palin). Just like Sarah Palin – the church twists biblical passages and their flock don’t even question it.

    Let me see: Repukelicans (ohh sorry religious fanatics) LIE (all of them), STEAL (senator Stevens in Alaska, commit ADULTERY (lots of them), shall I go on? These are SINS listed in the 10 commandments. Remember when you point that finger at a gay person, 3 fingers point back at you!!

    However, I don’t recall homosexuality as being one of those 10 commandments – do you?

  • I pray for the day we will be judged not by our skin color, gender, what gender we choose to make love to, or how we praise God, but by our integrity and contribution to our fellow man.

    If people would pay more attention to how they are contributing to the world instead of on how to criticize each other’s most personal actions, (such as the gender we make love to in the privacy of our own homes), the world we be a better place. think about it, regardless of what side of the argument you’re on when it comes to gay-rights. We can agree that gay people are homo sapien sapiens. Those of us who believe in God can agree they are created by God as much as the next person. Science or religion, theory or theology…they are human beings and therefore deserve human rights. To limit the human rights of any one demographic is to open the door on a very dangerous path. If we seek out and set a select people aside to deny human rights to, promote hatred towards, or promote ignorance about, then we are no better than any other people who have committed the same actions against any other group of people in history.

    I am a woman, and therefore I can vote- not just because of the women who have stood up an sacrificed for my human rights, but because of the men who stood beside the women and recognized my gender as an intelligent part of the species with insight and a unique perspective on the world. I am genetically hispanic and therefore I can walk down the street holding my white husband’s hand not just because of all the hispanic people who fought for racial equality, but because of my own white grandparents who fought the Ku Klux Klan for desegregation. Every time that human rights have been protected for any group of people throughout history has happened in part because others have stood up for them. And on the other side of it, every time human rights have been denied to any one demographic it has opened the door towards empowering those who would promote hatred. Hitler put away the gays before he even put away the Jews. He put away the Jews before he put away the Trade Unionists. He put away the Trade Unionists before he put away the Catholics…open the door on hatred to one group and you open it on us all.

  • Laura

    sorry I was busy passing out flyers for the protest and doing interviews…

    I guess some of us to agree to disagree.

    It’s the ministers right to preach about anything he/she wants, and it’s my right to gather people across the street for a peaceful protest. I have been to many pride parades and seen people protesting across the street. This time I will be across the street.

  • Eva

    “…and no philosophy, sadly, has all the answers. No matter how assured we may be about certain aspects of our belief, there are always painful inconsistencies, exceptions, and contradictions. This is true in religion as it is in politics, and is self-evident to all except fanatics and the naive. As for the fanatics, whose number is legion in our own time, we might be advised to leave them to heaven. They will not, unfortunately, do us the same courtesy. They attack us and each other, and whatever their protestations to peaceful intent, the bloody
    record of history makes clear that they are easily disposed to resort to the sword. My own belief in God, then, is just that — a matter of belief, not knowledge. My respect for Jesus Christ arises from the fact that He seems to have been the most virtuous inhabitant of Planet Earth. But even well-educated Christians are frustrated in their thirst for certainty about the beloved figure of Jesus because of the undeniable
    ambiguity of the scriptural record. Such ambiguity is not apparent to children or fanatics, but every recognized Bible scholar is perfectly aware of it. Some Christians, alas, resort to formal lying to obscure
    such reality.” – Steve Allen

  • Eva

    @Laura: quit engaging the churches. Its not worth it. There is a saying: “Don’t argue with idiots, lest spectators lose sight of who the idiot is”. In the south, its often stated as “Don’t wrestle with a pig, you’ll get dirty”.

    I understand the annoyance of being discriminated against, but engaging the discriminators will only help their cause, not yours…

  • Eva

    Thats fudged out, but damn and other things aren’t?

  • Sam

    Being discriminated against is more than just an “annoyance”. Besides apathy is not really the best tool to bring about change. Sometimes it’s necessary to get dirty to right a wrong. If even just one person’s mind is changed tomorrow it’s worth it.

  • Donna

    Jesus said it best…..
    3Some Pharisees came to him to test him. They asked, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any and every reason?”

    4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator made them male and female,”

    5and said, “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh

    6So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together,let man not separate.”

    Matt 19:3-6

  • Donna

    Luke 16:15
    He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of men, but God knows your hearts. What is highly valued among men is detestable in God’s sight.

  • Jimmy Fort Worth

    This line from “straight talk” sums it all up:

  • Annie

    Eva: So we should just sit back and do nothing, while this pastor “arms” his church to go out into the community and spread lies and hatred? Because that is the purpose of the sermon, according to the church’s website. I consider this an attack on the gay community in Dallas. They are fighting with words. So are we.

    Honestly, I don’t expect many people inside that church to change their minds. But now that this has the attention of NBC (lead story in the news already), perhaps it will bring to the attention of people outside that church, just how hateful its pastor is. Dallas, overall is a fairly tolerant city where most people have learned to live and let live. It’s a shame First Baptist Church wants its members to go out and stir up hatred where there is none. If that sign said “Why Mormon is Wrong,” or “Why Jewish is Wrong” or “Why Islam is Wrong” or “Why Catholic is Wrong,” there would be an uproar, yet I know Baptists believe all those people are going to Hell, too (many years ago Billy Graham said the Catholics are going to Hell).

    They have singled out a group that has done nothing to them, for the sole purpose of teaching their members to harrass and demean. Since they can’t choose one of the other groups they hate, they choose the gay community, because in our society, it is still acceptable enough to discriminate against gays, that many people will look the other way.

    Donna: If God “knows” hearts, I would think he would find hate-mongering and bullying much more detestable than two consenting adults loving each other. If not, he’s not worth the vast amount of time people spend worshipping him. If you believe we are going to Hell, fine. Let us go there. Judging us is not your job. Worry about your own soul and I’ll worry about mine. I believe the only ones that find us detestable are “God’s” people.

    As for that Bible passage, it is about DIVORCE – the pastor is lifting it completely out of context, in effect, he is lying about its intention. During various times in the Bible, polygamy was acceptable, sleeping with a concubine was acceptable, and stoning a woman if she was raped was acceptable. So, did God change his mind? The fact is, people progress, social customs evolve. If you read the ENTIRE Bible, God has no concise answer on what defines marriage.

    I find it ironic how many Christians recite that passage in the Book of Ruth at their weddings – the one that is actually a woman speaking of her love for another woman.

    Why do Christians care so blasted much about this particular “sin?” A “sin” that harms no one. There are so many more worse problems and bigger issues you could be spending your time and money on. According to your rules, most of the world is going to Hell. Get over it and move on to something worthwhile.

    I feel sorry for Christians – they aren’t happy unless they’re trying to make someone else miserable.

  • Donna, come on over to Unfair Park

    We’re doing Bible class. Let’s have some fun.

  • Annie, if you think you’ve got it tough, consider our situation. We’ve got a gay son in this wonderful world of today.

    I like, make that, love to point out that is was about fifty years ago when things started to change for parents of mentally retarded children. You see back then the righteous knew mental retardation was all about Devil possession. That’s why back then the mentally retarded were either paraded from church to church looking for that man of God who could cast out the demons. Or they were put figuratively, sometimes literally, in the closet so the family wouldn’t be judged.

    What changed that wasn’t the mentally retarded going out and wrestling with righteous. It was the parents, friends, and family of the mentally retarded that stood up and demanded a better explanation.

    They had a pretty rough row to hoe. But it got done.

    People of color faced the same ignorant bigotry from the righteous. It was less than thirty years ago that the Baptists and the Mormons backed off their theology that dark skin was the mark of Cain, aka, God’s a bigot.

    Now if you grab Jeffress by whatever you grab Jeffress by he will now tell the Baptists were wrong to teach mental retardation was Devil possession and dark skin was evidence of God being a bigot.

    There’s hope. Even for Baptists it seems. Someday when enough parents, friends, and family of gays and lesbians stand up and demand it we’ll have not only acceptance for our kids, there will be appreciation.

  • Donna

    God’s Wrath Against Mankind

    Romans 1

    18The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities–his eternal power and divine nature–have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
    21For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened. 22Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools 23and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like mortal man and birds and animals and reptiles.

    24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator–who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

    28Furthermore, since they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, he gave them over to a depraved mind, to do what ought not to be done. 29They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, 30slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; 31they are senseless, faithless, heartless, ruthless. 32Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

  • Donna

    its funny to watch ya all.. I have not said any thing of my own view , just the word of God, from the bible.. and ya hate me for that alone. (Or I should say you hate the bible because of what it says alone)

    Yet, ya all claim Im the one who hates..HUMM

    I guess its ok to hate those who read the bible and actually believe it to be the word of God almighty.

    I watched the sermon the pastor from first baptist had this morning on the internet.

    As he got done with it he told his people in the church to show the protestors love as they walked around the buildings.

    If you had viewed it, you would of known that what the sermon was actually about was that God invented Sex, It was his Idea from the beginning. He made it for married couples (one man, one woman) to enjoy each other. Any SEX.. adultry, lust, premarrital sex and he listed a few other kinds that I had never heard of before, were all out side the intendended use of it.

    As far as I know he never once said that homosexurals are going to hell. He said they can ask for forgiveness just like the rest of us sinners.

    It seems to me that those who bash christians and the bibles are the ones who
    need to learn something about Love and forgiveness.

    I love you all.. and I pray for you guys as well. Jesus is available for everyone, all you have to do is ask him to forgive you.

    Its that simple.

  • Donna, have you ever noticed that we always embrace the God that fits us?

    Seriously, mean spirited people always have a mean spirited God. Open and generous people always seem to find their God open and generous.

    The scriptures you presented, interesting choice, don’t you think?

  • Donna, what do you think about my little dissertation over on Unfair Park about Hitler going to Heaven?

    I mean isn’t that ultimate statement about God’s love for us? He could forgive a heathern like Adolph Hitler if he asked for forgiveness and declared Jesus the Son of God.

    Of course if you buy into that then you have to buy into all those Jews Hitler has slaughtered screaming in Hell right now because after all, Jews don’t believe Jesus is the Messiah, Son of God who died for their sins.

    Poor Jews. Persecuted by the Nazis, doggoned to Hell by the Christians.

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    Hey Donna

    Guess what? Mary had a little lamb whose fleece was white as snow and everywhere that Mary went, the lamb was sure to go.

    Arc? Flood? Part the red sea? Life in a whale belly? Santa Claus? Cockroaches?
    Peter Rabbit? Tree apple?

  • Give Me A Freaking Break


    ask who to forgive who?

    your god got something on my god?

  • Annie

    I don’t need forgiveness. I’m not doing anything wrong. I choose not to live in fear of God I don’t believe in.

    It’s that simple.

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    The world is in a mess and this is the best the GOP can come up with….

    The Republican brand is still alive and well, Rep. Mike Pence said on Fox News Sunday.

    When asked by Chris Wallace what “conservative solutions” the GOP would bring to their current minority-party status, Pence said social issues like “the sanctity of marriage” will remain the backbone of the Republican platform.


    Yes, that is it. Continue to base the part on exclusion, bigotry, and hate because gay people getting married is what has brought this country to the sad state it is in now.

    Oh wait…that was President Hetero Bush wasn’t it?

  • Eva

    Sam: Per friends in California, who are dealing with discrimination, immediately, on a far more egregious level: “Gawd, its, like, so annoying”. Where did I advocate apathy? By telling you to take it to the courts?

    Annie, they won’t be spreading “hate and lies” to anyone but those already susceptible and likely already bigotted. The chance that they will change the perception of anyone reasonably(remotely) intelligent is slim-to-none. As long as you keep them engaged, you give them the power to involve themselves. Take a cue from California, and address the issue in the courts, not the discriminatory churches.

    Actually, sex worker advocates are a good example in this regard: they’ve more or less left the churches alone, addressing only media distortions and law, and are making fairly swift strides towards decriminalization of prostitution. If they had involved themselves with trying to change the religulous, they’d have a significantly more uphill battle.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Rawlins’ post-pubescent ‘amen-a pause-all’ postscript:

    Rather than roll in a mud pit of pious pit bulls pitting their bull against mine, I’d like to take the ‘hi’ road and vouch that ‘D’ Magazine may be a lot of things, but anti-gay? Not likely in the ‘D’NA of power players therein.

    That said, were that not the case, kids, ‘D’ players would hardly advertise same because there is no small political and economic power in Dallas in Gay political ranks. So please…back off any anti-‘D’ verbiage. I’ve spent a lifetime appraising homophobia meters and this one’s not even the meter made.

    As my very heterosexual mother explained to me early in my era of (pre-teen, sue me)sexual awakening: “Pick your battles” and “know your enemy well while recognizing the difference between ignorance and arrogance”. To that I would add; recognize your big ‘D’ friends; who and what they are at heart.

    Meanwhile: You’re darn right that sign is within the rights of the First Baptist Church to have posted. And I am right to resent its ‘message’, read by those who might be harmed (particularly the very young) who see publicly sanctioned (and I might add tax free) ‘Biblical’ denigration of their genetic lot in life.

  • Give Me A Freaking Break

    Show me Rawlins. Where is this support you speak of? Where is their support on this issue? I don’t see anyone chiming in to support the GLBTQ cause on this, like they have on every other issue. Show a recent pro gay article. Show me where they used the word gay, that if substituted with black/jewish/hispanic would be cool. Buying a table at the Black Tie dinner, does not equate to support. I assume that you are gay thus is the reason you have spent a lifetime appraising homophobia. I am not picking any battles, I am just asking to see the beef. I am looking above my friend and I don’t recognize any of my big “D” friends and this heart you are speaking of.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    GMAFB: Any thinking human…and certainly any thinking Texas male…. has ‘spent a lifetime appraising homophobia’. A good rule of thumb; Assume nothing sexually unless you are asking me out.

    PS: I was also raised by a hyper-liberal feminist mother and a color-blind jazz msuician Dad….to have a very good sense of racism, chauvinism and anti-semitism although I have never been a black Jewish woman. Although I almost married one of each. Go figure.
    Meanwhile rather than reprise my last post, I will simply stand by it. I mean, why point fingers at the bleachers when there are guns pointed in your face? What’s the point?

    Meanwhile, per your question regarding big ‘D’ hearts re: For mega starters, wanta see a pro-gay Rotweiller? Senior editor Nancy Nichols is exhibit A.

    I seem to be spending a lot of time this week explaining and defending others. As they might say in ‘Reggae Heaven’: I’ve learned when to be a mongoose and when to goose the mon.

  • Annie

    Eva: I was there today. I saw thoughtful dialogue go on between church and gay people. It was very peaceful. We didn’t yell obscenities. They brought us doughnuts. A few of us shook hands with church members. Several church members honked and waved at us in support as they left their parking garage.

    Maybe nothing happened to change anything. Maybe it did. The news so far has treated the story with respect. I’m glad I was there.

  • GMAFB, some of us see this quite a bit different from you. That’s because it isn’t about us, it’s about our kids.

    One of the reasons I jump on this topic like a hen on a June bug in January is we have a son that’s gay. I would hate like heck to find out a grandson or granddaughter is also gay and they have to fight the same battles our son has.

    Folks like me fight the fight day in and day out if given the opportunity. I live in small town Texas. Some of them are so small the town square only has one side. Someone at a restaurant where the know it alls sit uses the Q or F word and we’ve got a discussion going.

    The first thing I do is reframe the conversation from being about them gays to being about our son. That pulls the legs off of most decent folks at heart’s chair. If it doesn’t then I bring up being proud of good son who happens to be gay being preferable to having a worthless baby making sorry son of a bad dog one that’s straight.

    If they bring up the Bible they’ve picked my weapon of choice. I can slice and dice that book with the best of the slicers and dicers.

    I’ve never left one of these events without walking tall and packing in the last word. I might not have righteousness on my side, but I’ve got the wild card that whups righteousness’ butt, I’m right.

    Invariably though there’s one argument they bring to the table that causes me heartache. Think of it as the Jesse Jackson card. That’s the image of the in your face homosexual that’s demanding equality now without any consideration of compromise.

    Grab a mirror and check out what I’m talking about.

    Here’s the thing. The homophobes aren’t homophobes because they’re bad. They’re only wrong. Wrong is like stupid. We’re all stupid about something.

    When we attack them like they’re bad they’re not thinking about being wrong. They’re only thinking about defending themselves from being bad.

    That’s why I always attempt to reframe the conversation to being about a child, if you can call forty years old a child, I can. But when I do that I open the door to them being wrong and wrong, again, like stupid, can be fixed.

    I understand where you’re coming from. Some people can walk into a room and no one will notice. I’m not one of those people. And if for one instant I think you think I’m a jerk I can guarantee you’re going to find out what a jerk can be. I know this because my wife told me so. And she loves me.

    If I was gay I would be a straight nightmare. But for me the important stuff is too important for it to be about me. It’s about the coming generations not having to fight the wrong that men like my son have had to fight.

    I like to point out those who are wrong about homosexuality fifty years ago were wrong about mental retardation. They taught that mental retardation was Devil possession.

    It wasn’t the mentally retarded who forced them to recognise they were wrong. It was those who loved the mentally retarded and believed there had to be more to it than superstitions.

  • Annie, that’s great. I’m also glad you were there.

    One of the things that gives me hope is invariably when the topic of gays and lesbians come up everyone knows one from work or school or family. And they always point out how nice they are and how terrible it is the way they are treated.

    Public opinion is coming our way. And public opinion is a powerful force. We haven’t had it but now it’s coming over to our side.

  • Annie

    I can’t speak for others, but my personal experience has been that Dallas, overall, is a fairly tolerant city. Sure, there are a handful of protesters at the pride parade each year, but I know at least a couple of times they weren’t even from Dallas. One year there were about 3 people protesting outside the gates of Six Flags on gay day. They were completely ignored.

    I think that is what angered me most about the sign outside First Baptist Church. In some ways Dallas has evolved – we may not all agree, but most of the time we manage to get along. It seemed like an attempt to drive a wedge in where progress has already been made.

    I got the impression that more than one member of that church is sick of the divisiveness. I know several more moderate Christians who feel as if Christianity has been hijacked by nut-jobs and they are very tired of having to defend themselves and explain that they are tolerant people.

    Small steps, but progress, I think.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Annie, et al: The points made by Mary Ann Thompson-Frenk who posted above, discussing these very issues resonate regarding those seeking parity, enlightenment, civil rights, and acceptance. One need only see Obama’s victory; whatever your political slant…how not that long ago, such was impossible to imagine. In the wake how barriers were broken and how the tides turn…my lifetime. I who recall ‘whites only’ fountains. Hell when I lived mid 70s in San Francisco, Harvey Milk was the local camera shop guy who developed my film on my ‘new’ disposable camera. I lived in Alabama on a poetry residency only 7 years after Martin Luther King had preached at his church in Montgomery. I used to dance at night with Puerto Rican acid heads at the Stonewall in NYC at night, only two weeks before the riots. There is no shortage of irony and progress afoot if you live long enough and pay attention. But California’s #8 and other incidents show how far any struggle for equality lies.

    Meanwhile, read Mary Ann’s historically accurate point in her last paragraph. Beginning with “I am a woman, and therefore I can vote- not just because of the women who have stood up an sacrificed for my human rights, but because of the men who stood beside the women and recognized my gender as an intelligent part of the species with insight and a unique perspective on the world.”……..Read the rest. It’s a good read.

  • tinkerbell

    148 comments later, and thank God for Harvey Lacey! Your posts have been rational, heart-felt, compassionate and passionate. So many of these posts have been hateful ON BOTH SIDES!!! It is depressing to know so many mean, nasty people are around. We are all God’s children, we all deserve love, respect and equality. Thank you, Harvey, for framing this subject beautifully.

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Tinkerbell……Harvey Lacey’s heart is the size of Alberta, Canada. (Or at least Grand Saline, Tx.) To your point, it is sad to see both sides so combative, when after all, everything sooner or later is simply about learning to love.

    Any way you slice and dice it, why would we ever want to wish anyone to live and die on this earth without a chance to love themself, to find love and learn to love others better? It’s a mystery to me.

  • When people ask about why it matters to parents like us when someone preaches that homosexuals are an abomination I always go back to one place in time.

    It was when our son came out. It wasn’t a surprise so much as it was a shock. In fact we weren’t surprised really. It’s something that you know but don’t want to admit. Having to face it, now that’s the shock to the system.

    He was helping me out on a job a couple of days after coming out to us. He’s very talented with his hands and making things. The conversation turned to homosexuality. I explained to him that we didn’t have a problem with his homosexuality, well, except for the no grandkids on that limb of the family tree. Our concern was about how others would treat him. We were worried about his safety and happiness.

    I then suggested that he could probably find a woman that would do what he needed done and there wouldn’t be any problem with the rest of the world and how they looked at him.

    He gave me the look. If a picture says a thousand words, his look was a book.

    I got it. I understood it right then. I knew that it would be as uncomfortable for him to embrace a woman that way as it would be for me to embrace a man that way.

    It’s not about sex. It’s about the that. The that makes us want to love that person forever. The that I have for refering to his mother as the best thing about me. The that I have when I feel bad about myself and look across the room and there’s someone who knows me better than I know myself. And she loves me.

    Understanding that was great for me. One down and three to four hundred million to go.

    That’s because as long as we shove our homosexual children into societal ghettos so we don’t have to deal with them. They’re going to be susceptible to being targets of gay and straight predators.

    That’s more than wrong, that’s bad.

  • john S. Shore

    Dear Harvey,

    I will sleep well tonight knowing that there IS hope and parents love and care for their gay child. Thank you for reminding us all of what is important in life.

  • I think it’s interesting to compare Jeffress’ sermon with Dr. Fiedler’s over at the First United Methodist Church.

    Sunday, Fiedler talked about respecting each other, and how Jesus’ mandate to love each other was also a mandate to be respectful of each other.

    He then talked about how the First Baptist Church does many things well, and he is appreciative of that.

    However, the crowd outside the church, protesting, was to many people an “ugly scene.” But that, he said, “was indicative of an ugly sentiment inside.”

    Regardless of how you feel about gay people, putting that on a marquee was not a sign of respect, ergo – it flew in the face of the basis of Jesus’ teachings.

  • Silent No More

    History repeats itself… this pastor did the same thing in Wichita Falls, came to Dallas, was silent two years then decided to shake things up only for his personal benefit. What better way to get the justly people who sit in judgement to give more to their mission / church? Times are tough for churches so he decides to dust off the old sermons and beat his homo hate drum. Let the one without sin cast the first stone… they have plenty at this church. If they are Christians then they should know that we are all sinners and the closet doors have been opened. How many people remember, ” Hate is not a Family Value?”

  • Daniel

    Dear Exalted Preacher Man (not a buck-toothed sissy, like the Methodist fellow!),

    What does God say about three-ways? MFF, of course. I need to know, like, ASAP.

    Yours in Christ,

  • Exalted Preacher Man

    Dear Daniel:

    What are you, some kind of Mormon? If so, that’s a cult. You’ll go to hell. Straight there.

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have something large in my eye.


    Exalted Preacher Man

  • KWJ

    I haven’t had the time to read every single post on here, but let me encourage each of you to listen to his sermon from yesterday morning so you can hear where he and our church stands on this issue. As far as the title to his sermon, “Gay Is Not O.K.,” most, if not all, members of FBC know that he usually comes up with some sort of eye-catching title for his sermons. So the title of yesterdays sermon really did not surprise me at all. You can look at the bulletin each week and see that he will have a “shock value” title for the sermon. In any case, I think our church is welcoming of gay people and we do love them. While we do not agree with their choice of lifestyle, we do want them to experience the saving grace of Jesus Christ and the eternal life that God has give us through His Son. In the same way, we welcome and unconditionally love alcoholics, drug users, adulterers, etc., but we disagree with their choice of lifestyle as well. As I was leaving church yesterday morning, there were 3-4 men at our church who were bringing out hot coffee to the protesters in an effort to show, as best we could, how we do love them. If we hated gays, we would have started a yelling match or verbally attacked the crowd. Being gay could be because there is some sort of chemical imbalance, but just like depressed people have chemical imbalances, they have to make a choice to overcome that. I truly believe that God didn’t create men and women to have a relationship with someone of the same sex, because He designed and created marriage, sex, etc. to be between one man and one woman because He knew that was the best way for a relationship/marriage to operate. It has worked for thousands of years, so I don’t see any need for there to be a change. Now as far as the church picking and choosing different things to follow in the Bible, that is simply not true. While there are many things written in the Old Testament that Christians do not adhere to (such as things mentioned in Leviticus), that is because the Old Testament law does not apply anymore. Christians are under the new law of grace that came through Jesus Christ. Jesus mentioned all but one of the 10 Commandments during His life, so those things are to be followed specifically because He preached about those matters. Some say that Jesus never specifically condemned homosexuality, but in fact because the Bible is inspired by God and Jesus and the Holy Spirit are equal to God, Christians believe that the passage in Romans 1:26-27, for example, is just the same as Jesus saying it Himself. The bottom line is that Christians are to “hate the sin and love the sinner,” and that should be true for every sin (cussing, lusting, coveting, etc.). I do believe Christians can sometimes place more of an emphasis on preaching against the gay lifestyle, when we should be just as focused on preaching against sex before marriage, adultery, etc. That gets back to Christians holding each other accountable and calling each other our when another brother or sister in Christ is habitually sinning and disobeying God’s Word. Sin is sin in God’s eyes, but thankfully, He has provided a way for us to have forgiveness if we place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ and believe that His death and resurrection paid the price for my sin. He absorbed all of God’s wrath so that I can have eternal life. It’s easy to become accepting and tolerant of people, because that is what our culture says to do. But Jesus said that the way to eternal life is narrow, few will enter His Kingdom (Matthew 7:13-14), and that He is “the Way, Truth, and Life and that no one comes to the Father except through Him” (John 14:6-7). Just because culture changes doesn’t mean that the Jesus and what the Bible teaches are going to change. For anyone who doubts where our church stands on this issue, I challenge you to come the next couple of weeks and really listen to Dr. Jeffress’ sermon and then make your judgment. As a Christian, I do my best, through the power of the Holy Spirit, to love everyone that I’m around, including gay people, but I do stand by the Word of God and His Word is true and has stood the test of time.

  • Eye-catching title? Again, I point to Jesus’ mandate – the one he says is most important – that says we must love each other. It is the greatest command, he says.

    He used people’s fear to stir up attention for the church by putting that title on the sign. Regardless of what the sermon said, the title does not jibe with Jesus’ command to love – or respect – each other.

  • Bethany, where is that no-paragraph swatter?

    We need it now!!!!

  • Peaches and Cream

    It has been my life experience to note that no few persons (and no few preachers) who condemn homosexuality the loudest and strongest ultimately are revealed to have had something to hide. Like Ted Haggard?

  • Annie

    Harvey – LOL!

    KWJ –

    I am not an alcoholic, a drug- user, an adulterer, nor do I have a chemical imbalance. In fact, the most miserable I was in my life was when I kept trying to deny who I really am. Prayer did not work, nor did dating men, nor did therapy. What finally made me happy was when I quit beating myself up and accepted who I am.

    I am GAY. Gay, Gay Gay. And not going away. And have no desire to visit a church with a huge “no gays welcome” sign out front.

    Have you read the rest of that passage in Romans?:

    28And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

    29being filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice; they are gossips,

    30slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents,

    31without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful;

    32and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death,

    Why is it that Christians keep singling out only the gay part of this passage? Why are you not also going after the people who habitually practice greed, envy, gossip, deceit, slander, boatfulness, disobey their parents. After all, God, according to the Bible, says those people are “worthy of death.”

    Guess your church would be pretty empty if you went after everyone mentioned in that passage with as much zeal as you go after the gay people. Instead of pointing a finger at the gay people, why don’t all you people read the rest of that passage and point a few fingers at yourselves?

    “hate the sin and love the sinner,” – BARF!!! Big clue, the minute I hear this come out of a Christian’s mouth, I know I’m not going to be feeling the love.

    “His Word is true and has stood the test of time.” – But not the Old Testament, the part you say you’ve “picked and choosed” to ignore. And not that one commandment (which one is that anyway?) that Jesus didn’t mention. And I guess not the rest of Romans 1, since the only people that ever get vilified from it are the gay people. Oh, and I didn’t see a single woman going into that church with her head covered, as Paul instructed. And I imagine women talk and teach classes in there, even though Paul said they aren’t supposed to. And gosh, I didn’t see anyone bringing their slaves into the sanctuary. Everytime a Christian says they don’t pick and choose from the Bible, they are lying, which according to you is a sin equal to homosexuality. Or is lying the one commandment Jesus didn’t mention?

    “It has worked for thousands of years, so I don’t see any need for there to be a change. ” – Hmmm – are you willing to give up your car, computer, electricity, and much of life as you know it? After all, the world worked for thousands of years without them. Go find some WD40 – I have a feeling you squeak when you walk.

    I’d like to see a big sign out front next week: “Why Jeffres is a Big Ol’ Hypocrite and Why it Isn’t Okay.”

  • Rawlins Gilliland

    Dave Abe: Congrats. The last time I saw anything that long, it was that wall in China! Dude you single-handedly turned this thread into a serape. Or as the coy cow might say to the dairy farmer, “Talk about (Harvey) Milk-ing it!”

    On a more sober note, it’s a little hard for me to fathom how, in 2008,… after countless centuries…, people still argue about and feel threatened by…homosexuality.

    Silly me; by now, I thought being gay would be about as controversial as a bottle of Prell shampoo. Or if so inclined, beef jerky. (Okay, Nancy Nichols: Sue Pree nail polish remover and Prosciutto.) As Oprah was heard saying to her trainer when pointing to her hips: “Can we lighten up here?”

  • At least he used paragraph breaks.

  • Daniel

    Prell shampoo is condemned by G-D. Even saying those words gets G-D hopping mad — especially if he hasn’t had his breakfast yet, he’ll fly into a full-bore red-faced harrangue, sweeping the contents of the nearest table to the floor for emphasis. G-D is a very irascible man!

  • KWJ

    Dave Abe…We are under grace and not the law anymore. Romans 6:14 says, “For sin shall not be your master, because you are not under law, but under grace.” The law in the Old Testament was instituted by God for the Jews to follow. I’m stating what Paul wrote in Romans and I’m not trying to pick and choose what favors me at the moment. I’m not perfect and I fail at many of the things the Bible commands Christians to do, but there is grace and forgiveness and through the process of sanctification, I become more like Christ and my desires become His desires and with time He gives me the ability to be more obedient to His commands and my will comes into alignment with His will. I don’t completely disregard all of God’s laws as you state I do, but again, Christians are under the New Covenant (grace and salvation through Christ) and not the Old Covenant (the law, animal sacrifices to God, etc.).

    Jesus, God, and the Holy Spirit are three in one, i.e.- the Trinity. My point there was that although Jesus never specifically taught against homosexuality, He did divinely inspire the words that Paul wrote in Romans 1:26-27. I do realize that following those verses are many other sins that each Christian is guilty of at some point (maybe not all but some), but if the person repents of those sins, turns to Christ in faith, and submits to His Lordship, then there is salvation and eternal life. But the big issue is that if anyone, myself included, continues to commit/live in that sin and approves of others who continually live a life of sin, then it will lead to eternal death.

    Do you really believe that God didn’t create marriage? Please explain Genesis 2:18-24 which states,

    “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.” Now the LORD God had formed out of the ground all the beasts of the field and all the birds of the air. He brought them to the man to see what he would name them; and whatever the man called each living creature, that was its name. So the man gave names to all the livestock, the birds of the air and all the beasts of the field. But for Adam no suitable helper was found. So the LORD God caused the man to fall into a deep sleep; and while he was sleeping, he took one of the man’s ribs and closed up the place with flesh. Then the LORD God made a woman from the rib he had taken out of the man, and he brought her to the man. The man said,

    “This is now bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
    she shall be called ‘woman,’
    for she was taken out of man.”

    For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

    I think that spells it out pretty clearly. Sure it’s not exactly like the weddings we have today but I think most would agree that God designed and created marriage and the “union” you refer to is the same as a marriage. A husband and wife help each other and when someone gets married, they leave their parents and become one with their spouse. This ties into the gay issue because God would have created men to be with men and women to be with women if that was the best plan, but he didn’t and it just doesn’t work. Two men or two women cannot “be fruitful and multiply.”

    Let me close by saying that I’ve learned to be sensitive and loving toward gay people (primarily because of a homosexual that I work with), just like I am to other people who struggle with other sins. Christ commanded us to love Him and love others, but sometimes loving someone means that you have to do the hard thing and lovingly confront them about their sin and disobedience. If I’m not walking with Christ, then I want a Christian brother/sister to confront me about it, even if it’s really not what I want to hear. You don’t love someone by tolerating sin.

  • Harvey,

    Your words reveal that you are a wonderful father. Thank you for that. My own father had to go through a lot of hell when he adopted me. The first time my parents held a luncheon to “present” me to their friends, they said half the people got up and left to protest my parents’ choice of adopting a genetically Hispanic child into a white family. But my parents never told me this story until long after I was an adult and living on my own. I think about all the times dad pushed my baby carriage around Turtle Creek and how many times he took me to play tennis with him at the Brookhollow Country Club. Sure, I received a lot of flack about my race when I was little, but then by the time I was a teenager and Hispanics yelled at me for dating white guys (in the middle of North Park Mall!), my skin was pretty tough. But every time I needed that kind of strength, I would think about my parents and their choices and their love. There used to be a time when the fundamentalists used to use the bible to condemn interracial marriage. Today my husband and I can walk hand in hand because people learned to open their heart’s capacity to respect love between two people. It’s as simple as that. And there will come a day when the general public grows weary of hearing the fundamentalists used to use the bible to condemn relationships between two adults regardless of race, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, culture.

    We, the younger generation already regard that kind of hatred as archaic. We also find a person’s sexual orientation to be one part of who he/she is, not the whole definition of the person. (Think of “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner” where Sidney Poitier’s character tells his father: You think of yourself as a black man. I think of myself as a man”. That’s how most 30 somethings and younger think of gay people too, as men and women. Their sexual orientiation is what they do in THEIR private time with those they love, gay or straight or bi. The end.) So tell your son to be patient, we as a people continually outgrow bigotry’s use of the bible as its talking point. They used it to defend slavery. They used it to deny women the right to vote. They used it to deny interracial marriage. And yes, now they are using it to argue that complete strangers should have a say on what occurs between to consenting adults in love with each other.

    At the end of the day, it will be the Christians who exert more energy promoting peace, understanding, feeding the hungry, standing up for the downtrodden, etc…those who follow Christ’s teaching of the Good Samaritan and Widow’s Mite, who will emulate his way much more than those who waste their time espousing hatred who will be the ones who have the greatest positive impact on the human family we are all responsible for. It’s simply up to us as individuals to decide what kind of impact we want to be responsible for causing in the world around us: hatred or understanding. Since many of you in this discussion are christian, I’ll end with the following:

    Lord, make me an instrument of Thy peace;
    where there is hatred, let me sow love;
    where there is injury, pardon;
    where there is doubt, faith;
    where there is despair, hope;
    where there is darkness, light;
    and where there is sadness, joy.
    O Divine Master,
    grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console;
    to be understood, as to understand;
    to be loved, as to love;
    for it is in giving that we receive,
    it is in pardoning that we are pardoned,
    and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life.

    We need only to ask ourselves what we can do to be understanding and to promote peace, etc. I don’t think that would include ostricizsing and attacking our gay brothers and sisters.

  • KWJ

    I think this video is pretty amazing and shows that being gay is something that God can change and that it is a sin that someone can be delivered from just like any other sin of adultery, idolatry, pride, greed, etc. I truly believe God loves gay people and He desires for them to turn to Him in repentance just like He would any other sinner. Take the time to watch this:

  • Annie

    Wow, I’m happy the way I am. I’m sure glad I don’t believe the Bible.

  • Annie
  • KWJ – Why is their such an obsession with wanting to make gay people change and be different than they are based on your (and other Christians’) personal religious beliefs? I know so many incredible gay people who are living examples of what it means to be of service to others, loving of their friends and family, who dedicate their lives towards making our world a better place in which to live. I think it is a bit arrogant for any of us as a complete stranger to tell another complete stranger that they should repent and change when we hardly even know them.

    Why is there such a drive from the Christina community to make their demographic repent? You don’t see the same drive towards demanding repentance from Ku Klux Klan members, murderers, or even the Enron execs who destroyed people’s means of living. And then here you have so many caring, respectful, intelligent, creative people who just want to be left alone to live their lives in the law abiding way they as adults see fit. I just don’t get it. Why spend so much energy towards trying to get someone to handle their own sexuality differently? What could possibly be more private and personal than that? And why should whole congregations of strangers who adhere to a religion have their say about it?

    You don’t see Jews demanding that you get circumcised. You don’t see Hindu’s demanding that you not eat meat. You don’t see Buddhists raising a ruckus every time you swat a mosquito. They have their beliefs and they leave you alone to live your life with yours without any arrogant say about it. Have you even stopped to think that some of these gay people might be Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, Hindu, Zoroastrian, Sikh, Wiccan, or even follow a Gnostic type of Christianity, etc? I’ve met gay people of all those traditions. So why assume your religion should demand they repent based on your interpretation of something they might not even believe in? And if they are Christian, then whose to say they interpret the bible, (even if it is the same one you read — it could be Baptist, Catholic, Episcopalian, Russian orthodox, Greek Orthodox, etc.), the way you do?

    I have nothing but the highest respect for Christians and their beliefs, but why, when this country was founded on religious freedom as one of its major tenets, should we ever push any one of our religions’ beliefs in the face of another peaceful person? I just don’t get it.

  • East Dallas Eccentric

    KWJ – what is your church’s position on women wearing gold jewelry?

  • KWJ

    Mary Ann…I agree that there can be an overemphasis on Christians condemning gays, when in fact Christians should be holding people accountable who commit adultery, murder, and any other sin mentioned in the Bible. If I’m habitually committing a sin, then I want a fellow believer to call me out on it so I can repent of that sin and have a restored relationship with Christ. Just like a person who has an on-going adulterous relationship is disobeying God’s command in the Bible, a gay person who continues to live that kind of lifestyle is living in disobedience to God. I think born-again, regenerate Christians are more outspoken about our beliefs because we know that our faith and belief in Jesus Christ is the only way to gain eternal life. That may sound arrogant, but it is true and I’m saying this out of love and a desire for everyone to have a personal relationship with Christ and know beyond a shadow of a doubt that they can have true eternal life. John 14:6 says, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” The way to eternal life is narrow, not broad and Christians want everyone to know that. Sure there are gay people who are loving, servants, and make the world a better place, but is that what Christ calls us to do? There are plenty of nice, loving people who make a great impact on the world, but do they know Christ and does Christ know them? That is life’s most important question.

    America was founded on Christian principles, by Christian men. Virtually all of the signers of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were Christians. That fact cannot be argued. Religious freedom and separation of church and state were meant to protect people of different denominations within the Christian faith…It wasn’t meant to allow Buddhism, Hinduism, Islam, etc.

    East Dallas Eccentric…Paul and Peter were inferring that women in the church shouldn’t dress in a way or wear things that would draw unnecessary attention to themselves. Paul was telling Timothy that the women needed to dress in a modest way. It wasn’t about not wearing this or wearing that. He was using the example of gold to get his point across that women shouldn’t be focused on drawing attention to themselves or trying to dress better than the other women while they were worshiping in church.

  • KWJ
  • KWJ – Wow. You and I are just going to have to agree to disagree. (Rawlins, if you thought that last e-mail was long, I’m gonna warn you that you’re about to read “War & Peace” here! Ha! Ha!)

    The way I see it according to (Article 6, section 3) of the Constitution it clearly says,”No religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.”

    So while, our founders created a vision of the United States based on slavery and we have evolved past that too.(Actually our founders were Freemasons which would preclude them from being Christian if you really want to get specific about it…). But I absolutely believe that Religious freedom is intended to be extended to all and that limiting any one’s right to practice the religion of their choice starts society on a very slippery path towards limiting the rights of us all. Thomas Jefferson said as much when he wrote,” A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine.” That’s what happened in Nazi Germany. You want to see a government that used the bible to limit the rights of everyday citizens who happened to be gay? That’s what you’ll see if you click here:

    Just ask Pastor Martin Niemoeller who wrote the following:

    First they came for the Jews
    And I did not speak out, for I was not a Jew.
    When they came for the gypsies,
    I did not speak out, for I am not a gypsy.
    When they came for the gays,
    I did not speak out, for I am not gay.
    When they came for the Catholics,
    I did not speak out, for I am not a Catholic.
    Then they came for the Communists
    and I did not speak out
    because I was not a Communist.
    Then they came for the trade unionists
    and I did not speak out, because I was not a trade unionist.
    And now they are coming up the stairs for me,
    and there is no one left to speak out for me.”

    Pastor Niemoeller’s poem is a poignant illustration of how dangerous it is to believe that the infringement of another’s human rights has little or no impact on our own, when in truth our rights are defined by how we define the rights of our fellow man. The Holocaust killed 6.5 million Jews, 250,000 gypsies, 63,000 homosexuals, 3 million Catholics, and 100,000 communists, and large numbers of trade unionists. How is it that everyday people like you and me allowed such a tiny group to grow to cause such mass slaughtering? The answer is that the Nazi’s were clever in clothing what would have normally been an obvious human rights violation by preying upon the latent prejudices of their nation. One of the earliest statements about the homosexual demographic was that “their existence is an attack on the moral fiber of our country.” This kind of rhetoric was highly strategic because it at once set their political party up as an authority defining what the country’s “moral fiber” was and because the first demographic they targeted was already one which the larger German citizenry already did not embrace, the warning that might have sounded off in the minds of Germany’s citizens was muffled by their own shared disdain for the Nazi’s first victims. This also allowed the Nazi Party to make themselves appear as the defender of the ever shrinking definition of “the true” German people.

    And then there is always the arrogance of our claiming that our country’s founders came up with Democracy all on their own when in fact George Washington himself gave credit to the Iroquois Confederacy as one of their inspirations, (even though he sought to kill them later). That’s not a great part of our country’s history, but it is one we need to be aware of.

    But back to your belief that our founders were all Christian who intended for religious freedom to be given only to different types of Christianity…please allow our visionary founders to speak for themselves as follows:

    “Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined, imprisoned; yet we have not advanced an inch towards uniformity. What has been the effect of coercion? To make one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites. To support roguery and error all over the earth.” – Thomas Jefferson

    “As I understand the Christian religion, it was, and is, a revelation. But how has it happened that millions of fables, tales, legends, have been blended with both Jewish and Christian revelation that have made them the most bloody religion that ever existed?” -John Adams (letter to F.A. Van der Kamp, Dec. 27, 1816)

    “Some books against Deism fell into my hands. . . It happened that they wrought an effect on my quite contrary to what was intended by them; for the arguments of the Deists, which were quoted to be refuted, appeared to me much stronger than the refutations; in short, I soon became a thorough Deist.” – Benjamin Franklin

    “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish Church, by the Roman Church, by the Greek Church, by the Turkish Church, by the Protestant Church, nor by any Church that I know of. My own mind is my own Church. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all.” – Thomas Paine

    “What influence, in fact, have ecclesiastical establishments had on society? In some instances they have been seen to erect a spiritual tyranny on the ruins of the civil authority; on many instances they have been seen upholding the thrones of political tyranny; in no instance have they been the guardians of the liberties of the people. Rulers who wish to subvert the public liberty may have found an established clergy convenient auxiliaries. A just government, instituted to secure and perpetuate it, needs them not.” – James Madison (“A Memorial and Remonstrance”, 1785)

    “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause. Of all the animosities which have existed among mankind, those which are caused by the difference of sentiments in religion appear to be the most inveterate and distressing, and ought most to be depreciated. I was in hopes that the enlightened and liberal policy, which has marked the present age, would at least have reconciled Christians of every denomination so far that we should never again see the religious disputes carried to such a pitch as to endanger the peace of society.” – George Washington (letter to Edward Newenham, 1792)

    Even Abraham Lincoln replied to those who cited the Bible in defense of slavery, “The Bible is not my book, nor Christianity my profession.” and was later quoted by Joseph Lewis

    So while Christianity is a beautiful religion that offers great wisdom and truth when spoken from the heart, let us not put words into the mouths of our nation’s founders. Instead, let us listen to their wisdom and remember that when we stand for the basic human rights of any individual within our society we are in fact standing for the rights of us all.

  • KWJ

    Mary Ann…I think we are going to have to “agree to disagree.” First of all, I would disagree with the fact that just because our founding fathers were Freemasons doesn’t mean they were not devout Christians. There have been numerous Freemasons who were Christians through the years, including my great-grandfather. Though Freemasons are not limited to one religion, I don’t think you can say that just because the founding fathers were Freemasons means that they were not Christians.

    I think it’s a far stretch to say that America could evolve into Nazi Germany by limiting the rights of gays in America. I am not even condoning the slaughter of all gays. That’s the last thing I would want. I want them, like I once did, to realize how they need Jesus Christ in their life, because He alone can bring them ultimate peace and life. They are sinners in need of grace just like I am. To be perfectly honest, I think many of them say that they are happy and free in how they live, but I think if you sat down and talked to them privately, they would tell you that they are miserable on the inside. That’s been my experience with people who look like they are happy on the outside, but really something is eating away at them in their heart, and it is due to a lack of Jesus Christ being their Lord and Savior.

    Let me give you some quotes from the founders of this nation (and if you want the sources to these quotes I can post them if you want me to):

    -Thomas Jefferson

    “The doctrines of Jesus are simple, and tend all to the happiness of man.”

    “The practice of morality being necessary for the well being of society, He [God] has taken care to impress its precepts so indelibly on our hearts that they shall not be effaced by the subtleties of our brain. We all agree in the obligation of the moral principles of Jesus and nowhere will they be found delivered in greater purity than in His discourses.”

    “I am a Christian in the only sense in which He wished anyone to be: sincerely attached to His doctrines in preference to all others.”

    “I am a real Christian — that is to say, a disciple of the doctrines of Jesus Christ.”

    -John Adams

    “The general principles on which the fathers achieved independence were the general principles of Christianity. I will avow that I then believed, and now believe, that those general principles of Christianity are as eternal and immutable as the existence and attributes of God.”

    “The Holy Ghost carries on the whole Christian system in this earth. Not a baptism, not a marriage, not a sacrament can be administered but by the Holy Ghost. . . . There is no authority, civil or religious — there can be no legitimate government but what is administered by this Holy Ghost. There can be no salvation without it. All without it is rebellion and perdition, or in more orthodox words damnation.”

    “The Christian religion is, above all the religions that ever prevailed or existed in ancient or modern times, the religion of wisdom, virtue, equity and humanity.”

    “I have examined all religions, and the result is that the Bible is the best book in the world.”

    -Benjamin Franklin

    “As to Jesus of Nazareth, my opinion of whom you particularly desire, I think the system of morals and His religion as He left them to us, the best the world ever saw or is likely to see.”

    “The body of Benjamin Franklin, printer, like the cover of an old book, its contents torn out and stripped of its lettering and guilding, lies here, food for worms. Yet the work itself shall not be lost; for it will, as he believed, appear once more in a new and more beatiful edition, corrected and amended by the Author.” (This is the eulogy he wrote for himself)

    -James Madison

    “I have sometimes thought there could not be a stronger testimony in favor of religion or against temporal enjoyments, even the most rational and manly, than for men who occupy the most honorable and gainful departments and [who] are rising in reputation and wealth, publicly to declare their unsatisfactoriness by becoming fervent advocates in the cause of Christ; and I wish you may give in your evidence in this way.”

    -George Washington

    “You do well to wish to learn our arts and ways of life, and above all, the religion of Jesus Christ. These will make you a greater and happier people than you are.”

    “I now make it my earnest prayer that God would… most graciously be pleased to dispose us all to do justice, to love mercy, and to demean ourselves with that charity, humility, and pacific temper of the mind which were the characteristics of the Divine Author of our blessed religion.”

    -Samuel Adams

    “I conceive we cannot better express ourselves than by humbly supplicating the Supreme Ruler of the world . . . that the confusions that are and have been among the nations may be overruled by the promoting and speedily bringing in the holy and happy period when the kingdoms of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ may be everywhere established, and the people willingly bow to the scepter of Him who is the Prince of Peace.”

    Here’s the real kicker from the U.S. House Judiciary Committee in 1854:

    “Had the people, during the Revolution, had a suspicion of any attempt to war against Christianity, that Revolution would have been strangled in its cradle… In this age, there can be no substitute for Christianity… That was the religion of the founders of the republic and they expected it to remain the religion of their descendants.”

    I could go on and on with various evidence supporting that Christianity was and still is a key ingredient to the United States of America. If you want to read further what other men said, check out this website:

    This is my last point and I’ll close with a quote from a letter between Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Rush, also a signer of the Dec. of Ind., concerning the 1st Amendment:

    “The clause of the Constitution which, while it secured the freedom of the press, covered also the freedom of religion, had given to the clergy a very favorite hope of obtaining an establishment of a particular form of Christianity through the United States; and as every sect believes its own form the true one, every one perhaps hoped for his own, but especially the Episcopalians and Congregationalists. The returning good sense of our country threatens abortion to their hopes and they believe that any portion of power confided to me will be exerted in opposition to their schemes. And they believe rightly.”

    You see it talks of the establishment of a particular form of Christianity, not of just any religion in the world like Islam, Hinduism, etc. which are not rooted in Christianity. The people wanted to establish different denominations within Christianity. It wasn’t intended to open up America to all forms of religion. I believe the men who wrote all of these documents would know what their intentions were in writing these amendments, and by looking at this quote, it appears that it was limited to different forms of Christianity, i.e.- Baptist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, etc.