Al Mohler Outclasses Peter Lumpkins: Homosexuality and the SBC

We all want progress, but if you're on the wrong road, progress means doing an about-turn and walking back to the right road; in that case, the man who turns back soonest is the most progressive. C. S. Lewis 




Having returned from a brief sojourn, feeling a bit feisty, and acting against my better judgement, I have decided to wade into the controversial issue of homosexuality and the church. I fear I will get everybody on all sides of this mad at me. But who needs friends…. I plan to explore a broad range of questions and share a personal encounter at Wheaton College with Soulforce, an activist group, whose stated purpose is to be "committed to freedom for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people from religious and political oppression through relentless nonviolent resistance."


During these posts, I hope that we never forget that we are discussing an issue that deeply affects the lives of individuals who struggle in this area. These are not homosexuals. These are people who struggle with homosexuality and we must always see their faces in front of us as we discuss deeply divisive theology.


I anticipate that there will be detractors who will try to twist our words and make them say something we do not intend. So, let me state this up front. As much as I wish that the book of Romans said something different, I believe that the Scripture has been most clear that the homosexual act is a sin. Romans 1:24-26. LINK


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

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

We also believe that  persons who identify themselves as homosexual must attempt to lead a celibate lifestyle in order to be communing members of an evangelical church.  Nuff said.


We also do not intend to make this a discussion on the secular government's role in defining certain laws and statutes. This is a Christian, in-house discussion.


Finally, we believe that the Christian church in America has made homosexuality  "Public Sin Number 1" while glossing over or hiding rampant sins within the church.  And we should be ashamed. We have pastors and churches who have covered up for child abuse, pedophilia, and domestic violence. I believe that the divorce rate in the church is more threatening to the health of our families than the homosexual couple who lives down the street. 


Today, we begin with a most interesting encounter that took place at the SBC 2011 meeting in Phoenix. Wade Burleson wrote an excellent piece entitled " Al Mohler Verbally and Publicly Spanks Peter Lumpkins at the SBC 2011 Phoenix, Arizona." LINK    Here is an excerpt from his fine analysis.


"Peter Lumpkins attempted to humiliate Jonathan Merritt and Al Mohler on this very issue (being soft on homosexuality) at the 2011 Southern Baptist Convention in Phoenix, Arizona. Merritt, son of former SBC President James Merritt, has written that Southern Baptists could do more to minister to homosexuals rather than simply condemning them. Peter Lumpkins has taken exception to Merritt's statements. What has particular drawn Lumpkins' ire is an article that Jonathan Merritt wrote where he interviewed Southern Seminary President Al Mohler.

In that interview Jonathan Merritt quoted Al Mohler as saying to him, "We've (Southern Baptists) lied about the nature of homosexuality and have practiced what can only be described as homophobia… We've used the choice language when it is clear that sexual orientation is a deep inner struggle and not merely a matter of choice." 

TWW applauds Al Mohler for his response in this matter. Peter Lumpkins, in his usual "take no prisoners"  demeanor (we at TWW have been on the receiving end of his attentions) confronted Mohler in front of the convention. Al Mohler responded with grace and dignity when I would have been tempted to "pop Lumpkins one." We will post more on this matter on Wednesday. (A special note to Peter: We are working on a new nursery rhyme).


This is a short, 6-minute exchange and I believe that it kicks off the discussion we plan to have in the coming posts.




Lydia's Corner: 1 Samuel 22:1-23:29 John 10:1-21 Psalm 115:1-18 Proverbs 15:18-19


Al Mohler Outclasses Peter Lumpkins: Homosexuality and the SBC — 111 Comments

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    I’m not sure why you think Mohler would have been tempted to pop Lumpkins?

    Yea, it was a wordy question. But it was a fair question and a timely one. I don’t sense that Mohler was offended. In fact, I think he wanted the question. His reply clearly indicates that he wants this conversation.

    Mohler is a public theologian with experience doing radio. He seems to really enjoy these type of exchanges. I think perhaps that Lumpkins question made some uncomfortable. However, I don’t think Mohler was uncomfortable.

    I know that many in the blogosphere have a strong opinion of Peter. He’s either loved or hated. I disagree with Peter on oh so many issues. Our views re: homosexuality are polar opposites pretty much. But I admire the way he teases out nuance and draws distinctions when dealing with complex subjects. I suspect the reason that I can get along with someone like Peter is because I’m not invested in the future of the SBC nor in the future of conservative evangelicalism.

    Anyways, I look forward to this discussion. I hope to find time to participate. We moderate and progressive Baptists will be meeting later this week in Tampa for the annual gathering of the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship.

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    Al Mohler responded well in his words at the convention, although his initial wording to Lumpkins is unfortunate as it implies that Baptists have intentionally lied about this topic due to their supposed homophobia. It’s important to realize that the term homophobia originates from the militant homosexual movement whose goals are described in David Kupelian’s outstanding book The Marketing of Evil. A major goal is to develop hate crime legislation which ultimately will be used against pastors.

    The scriptures are clear that homosexuality is a sin just as they are clear that adultery is sin. What Al Mohler addressed is whether we Christians can see the human face behind the sin and reach out to the human being with the Gospel message – while still maintaining the truth of the scriptures on homosexuality.

    Right now churches are falling into one of two ditches: They either say homosexuality is not a sin and ignore the fact that most homosexuals have significantly shortened lifespans due to diseases contracted as a result of their lifestyle. Or they simply declare it as sin and make no effort to reach out to homosexuals at all. In both types of churches sinners are being left to die.

    It is from the Christian community that ministries like Exodus International have arisen, so many Christians are addressing this issue with sensitivity. The scriptures do speak of homosexuality as being “that unspeakable sin” and due to the nature of the sin it stands to reason that most people will struggle with how to approach a person involved in it. I mean let’s get real – people struggle with talking with their kids about the birds and the bees, let alone this. As a result, Christian parents are leaving their job to the public schools which btw are busy teaching Christian kids that homosexuality is wonderful.

    Since the topic of churches ignoring pedophilia is so often discussed here, it should be noted that Dr. Gene Abel, medical director of the Behavioral Medicine Institute of Atlanta, compared groups of self-confessed homosexual and heterosexual molesters. A sampling of molestation rates indicated that the homosexuals averaged molesting 150 children each, while the heterosexuals molested 19.8 victims each.

    It is also important to realize that the militant homosexual movement has an agenda. The challenge for Christians is to not be snookered into compromising on the scriptural text, while still loving the sinner.

  3. Pingback: “A Christian, in-house discussion” about homosexuality | Civil Commotion

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    Funny how this issue is falling out. I have a totally different take. I think that Mohler did not really answer the question of how the SBC has “lied” and what they have done to be homophobic. Those are serious sin charges and deserve specific examples so we can rebuke and turn away from such sin.

    I say this as one who does not think Peter is credible and question his intent. But the rules say that even those we do not like can ask questions from the floor of the convention. I fear that expecting a “spanking” from the rulers will keep more sincere questions from being asked.

    However, I can only judge the facts of what took place and I think Mohler very cleverly answered the question he wanted to answer. It was a political move. Adn the opportunity to give a brilliant and biblical position on homosexualty. i think he knew it was coming.

    And Mohler is one of the best politicians in the SBC. I would still like to know how the SBC “lied” and were homophobic with real examples.

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    Lydia, I find it curious that someone like Al Mohler would use the same battle terminology that the militant homosexual movement incorporates to reach their goals. Surely, he understands jamming and is informed of their tactics. ??

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    I did plan to talk about my disagreement with some of what Mohler said. However, I think he said a few things with which I agreed and, as you know, I have much I disagree with him. Lumpkins, on his blog, said was going to ask Mohler this question and did so, in his usual fashion. He deserved his slap down. Good to hear from you!

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    I have some disagreement with Mohler. Neither homosexuality (the attraction to those of the same gender) nor heterosexuality (the attraction to those of the other gender) is inherently sinful by traditional understandings of sin. Rather, the sin is acting on that attraction to consummation or the willful plotting and focus on the attraction, when that occurs outside of marriage. And yes, I apply the same standard to heterosexuals as to homosexuals.

    But I agree with Mohler, that, in general and with RARE exception, homosexuality is not a choice, just as heterosexuality is not a choice. But the choice is the acting upon the impulse, which makes such action sin. BTW, there are more heterosexual sinners than homosexual sinners, including players, fornicators, adulterers, etc., and the latter appear to be welcome in most evangelical churches, without preaching against their sin to them. They are put into places of leadership, including the pulpit in many churches. One church that I have belonged to had a known serial adulterer in a position of leadership for years. When I learned of this, I questioned that choice — he was a major donor to the church was the explanation I was given. Both the person who made that choice and the adulterer are no longer in that church.

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    I agree with you and shall talk more about that on Wednesday. There are some churches that seem more welcoming to pedophiles than to homosexuals.

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    Quote: “There are some churches that seem more welcoming to pedophiles than to homosexuals.”

    The definition of a true pedophile involves the molestation of children thirteen years or younger by an adult. In the Catholic church the vast majority of young men molested by priests were over the age of fourteen which indicates that these priests were technically homosexuals.

    Researchers comparing both homosexual and heterosexual child molestation rates have found that pedophilia is more than three times more common among homosexuals. Two gay researchers noted extraordinarily high rates in their own studies as well.

    English professor Karla Jay, Ph.D., and well-educated journalist Allen Young, both homosexual activists, conducted the first major survey on homosexuality in America in 1979. Their work is still cited in academic studies and involved over 5,000 homosexuals from all walks of life. Titled “The Gay Report,” the study published data on underage sex, disease, gross promiscuity, suicidal tendencies and more.

    Their study documented that “23 percent of respondents admitted to having had sex with youths aged 13-15, while 19 percent felt positive about sexual activity within this age group.” Tragically, 50 percent of the males in their survey experienced their first sexual encounter at age 15 or less.

    In spite of the fact that two gay researchers produced “The Gay Report,” radical homosexual activists dismiss it as outdated. This is ironic considering they so often cite the much older 1948 “10 percent of society is gay” statistic from the oft-disputed Alfred Kinsey study.

    Interestingly, there other esteemed elites drawing the same conclusions. Contrary to the homosexual assertion that heterosexual molestations outnumber those committed by homosexuals, Yale and Harvard-connected psychiatrist Jeffrey Satinover states that “careful studies show that pedophilia is far more common among homosexuals than heterosexuals.” Satinover adds, “The greater absolute number of heterosexual cases reflects the fact that heterosexual males outnumber homosexual males by approximately 36 to 1. Heterosexual child molestation cases outnumber homosexual cases by only 11 to 1, implying that pedophilia is more than three times more common among homosexuals.”

    These facts are important because if we’re going to discuss pedophilia in the church, then the role homosexuals play cannot be dismissed or ignored either.

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    If we would just embrace scripture on the act of sodomy, we would not have to waste so much time on what “he said, she said, I think, he thinks.” If God tells us in Romans, He has given these people up, I would say He has the final vote. This blatant lifestyle has so infiltrated the church, that it has affected Christianity in a way it was never meant to be. We need to get out of the novelty shops and back to the Antique store.

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    Thank you for all of the stats. They are illuminating to say the least! In fact, I would like to do more reading on the subject. I am no respecter of sacred cows but want to see any and all evidence.

    My comment on pedophilia was meant more to point out that many churches have allowed pedophiles to remain in positions of trust. We, along with many others, have documented this. Some of those pastor/pedophiles were not homosexual in orientation.

    I know of one of those churches was quite vocal about the sin of homosexuality in the community. It was quite obvious by their emphasis, that they would rather have a pedophiles pastor than a homosexual in the pew.

    This series is meant to confront our attitudes, both good and bad, as we approach the church’s diverse responses to these folks who are beloved by their Father.

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    Do you know which of the people that God has given up? Are you so sure that verse means all of them? I believe that our job is to love the sinner and let God judge in eternity. Do you?

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    I would like to add to your last post that when anyone chooses to engage in sexual lust in their heart towards another person, they have sinned. A man who lusts towards another male, be he a real or an imagined man, is participating in homosexual sin, whether or not he engages in physical sexual activity.

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    You are right. But one who engages in heterosexual lust and fornication or adultery is still welcome in the church and can even be a leader, but one who engages in homosexual lust or activity is not.


    There is a flaw in the study. The reported number of those reporting having sex with a 13-15 year old, includes those who were 13-15 years old at the time of that experience (experimentation?). Most males in the 13-15 age range have at least some adult sexual characteristics and adult sexual capabilities. That is why the usual definition of pedophilia does not include them. Many homosexual males report their first sexual experience was with an age peer when they were reaching puberty or shortly thereafter.

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    I’m looking forward to seeing what you have to say on the topic of homosexuality. This issue touches me personally because I have a brother who has chosen to live a homosexual lifestyle. It forced me to study and wrestle with God on what it means to love the sinner but hate the sin. It’s not easy and often is grey especially since I have two sons who adore their uncle. I have the privilege of working with a Biblical Counselor with a local ministry that is affiliated with Exodus International. I am learing alot about my own lack of love and how the church can be more effective in ministering to folks dealing with all sexual brokeness. Thanks for beining willing to tackle this issue.

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    So, do you throw a man out of the church who lusts after a woman in his heart, real or imagined, since it is sin? I think you might lose most of the male population.

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    It seems odd to me that we would love a relative who is divorced and remarried without any signs of being sorry about the divorce but somehow we are supposed to avoid the person who happens to be homosexual. Christians have good sins and bad sins. It is a good sin to destroy our bodies by overeating but it is a bad sin to struggle with homosexuality. How many families have experienced the early demise of a loved one due to overeating? There is much work to be done in the church’s response in this area.

    I am glad your sons adore their uncle. Such love is unforced and pure.Jesus loves their uncle in the same way. I hope I do this subject justice.

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    Arse, I took my facts from the National Association for Research & Therapy of Homosexuality (NARTH), a professional, scientific organization that offers hope to those who struggle with unwanted homosexuality. As an organization, they disseminate educational information, conduct and collect scientific research, promote effective therapeutic treatment, and provide referrals to those who seek their assistance.

    Here is NARTH’s report on The Gay Report:

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    Regarding why many people struggle seeing the sin of homosexual behavior as being equally sinful alongside the sexual sins committed by heterosexuals, I suspect it has much to do with the ick factor – meaning it is so unnatural that most people feel repulsed by it. Sadly, this sensitivity of conscience is eroding due to exposure to pro-homosexual lifestyle media images and the homosexual agenda pushing sexual experimentation amongst kids in public schools.

    Romans 1:26-27 – “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In 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.”

    In spite of the ick factor of the perversion, it is clear that God views all sins the same as indicated here:
    1 Corinthians 6:9-10 – “Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God.”

    Those verses are immediately followed with words showing that all such sins can be forgiven upon repentance:
    1 Corinthians 6:11 – “And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.”

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    The original study, which had more data, was from surveys during the height of the bathhouse culture among gays. That was a very promiscuous culture. A study conducted more recently would show a much lower rate of promiscuity, and there are such studies in the literature. If you were to have done a similar study in the same time frame among heterosexuals, you would have found an astoundingly large number of “one-night stands”, transient relationships, and the like. The bathhouse culture was a major contributing factor to the rapid spread of HIV in the homosexual population.

    My point is that the survey did not ask homosexual men what their age was when they had sex with a 13-15 y/o. Many would have said that that occurred when they were age peers with their partner.

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    Arce, just as some church leaders do damage control when bad news is reported on their abuses, the radical homosexual movement has put out material designed to do damage control on professional reports describing their lifestyles. Unfortunately for them, facts supporting the validity of their lifestyle are hard to come by.

    Personally, I find it ludicrous to assume that two homosexual researchers would conduct research on 13-15 year olds only to report that they were having sex with other 13-15 year olds. And given many other studies on the subject by well credentialed researchers like Dr. Jeffrey Satinover, the facts appear to be clear.

    With all due respect for your opinions on this, you may find the wealth of research at NARTH’s website to be helpful. For me these facts are important in helping me understand the need to reach out to those who are homosexual. Not only do homosexuals have shortened lifespans due to their lifestyle, but they suffer substantially higher rates of suicide, depression, bulimia, antisocial personality disorder, and substance abuse than do heterosexuals. If I care about these people, then speaking the truth in love is imperative.

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    I was not speaking of doing research on 13-15 y/os. I was speaking of the results of surveys, including the one that is the basis of the NARTH report (btw, it is a biased organization and selectively picked results out of the longer report), that surveyed homosexuals regarding their first experience and their age and the age of the other person involved.

    One of the reasons for the high rate of depression, suicide, etc., among the homosexual population is the way society and especially Christians act toward them.

    The passage in the Bible that uses the word homosexual is a translation and not a very good one. The word was not used in English until the 20th century.

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    I don’t know what causes you to say “Ick” but I find it repulsive and icky when pastors molest teenage girls and men participate in one night stands with drugged out prostitutes just as much as I say “Ick” to other perversions. Have you ever visited a flop house where drug addicts gather? I did as a public health nurse and I can assure the “Ick” factor is high.

    All of it should grieve us and the fact that one seems ickier than the other is human sinful nature making accommodations that fit our own perspective of what constitutes more “acceptable” sinful behavior. And this is the attitude which has been modeled by some in the Christian community to the gay community. And that has caused irreparable harm to our witness to the truth. God is disgusted by abortion, greed,and hate just as much as “icky” sexual behavior.

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    Alison, thanks for the cite to the research material. Very interesting.

    I am not sure of the material, because I haven’t read it.

    But I am not comfortable with either quickly trying to qualify or twist the research (for example, “if they had done the study today” or “if they would have asked this or that”) and eventually declaring it “biased”, is really fair either. Those efforts strike me as advocacy at some level.

    But your warning about being aware of the tactics of advocates and being careful with words that we use is a good one.

    We should also remember that not all homosexuals think this or that about their lives.

    I heard Gore Vidal before he died talk about his homosexuality. He thought the fairly recent quest (historically) by homosexuals to claim they were oriented that way from birth and to claim to seek life-long marital relationships to be silly and demeaning.

    Vidal thought that the human act of decision generally, and the decision to engage in sex with someone of the same sex – in particular, was an important aspect of human determinism, and that to deny it, claiming it was all biologically predetermined, was demeaning to someone who had chosen it.

    I do believe that sexuality and sexual expression are part physical, part mental, and greatly influenced by environment.

    The Gay agenda today seems to be reaching for an explanation that says homosexual activity is completely biologically determined, and that human will or self actualization plays no role whatsoever. That is a curious argument to make, especially in light of the other areas of human endeavor, primarily education, where biological science is completely ignored, and all stock is put in environment. Hence, look at the outrage over the book, “The Bell Curve” a few years ago.

    I don’t think that we will unlock the door to most of this anytime soon, if ever.

    Christians would do best to stick with what has been revealed to them by God in the Bible, but not guess one bit beyond that. Christians, also, should not avoid people who self identify as homosexuals but be their friends, as we would anyone else.

    Oh, on Lumpkins and Mohler – Lumpkins asked a good, fair question. Mohler gave a great response. I have not heard one person, whatever his/her stripe, take issue with Mohler’s theological summary. That is quite an accomplishment for a seminary President in the U.S. in 2011. I can think of a lot of guys who would simply fumble that question -either, by not being faithful to Jesus, or by being bombastic.

    Others have rightfully criticized Mohler’s use of “lie” and “homophobia”. Very poor choice of words in my book. They were apparently used in the article that Lumpkins cited, so I suppose Mohler was stuck with them, and tried to qualify them in his answer at the Convention. Still, he would have been better served to back off them directly.

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    What I have a hard time figuring out is why homosexuality is such a focal point for conservative evangelicals. It is explicitly mentioned in the Bible a total of what? 5, 6 times versus the hundreds of injunctions on how we are to treat each other and the poor and the needy?

    Why the big emphasis? Anybody else see the disconnect?

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    Yup! Christians make the mistake of responding to societal pressures to define the “bad” sins. So, homosexual rights have become a topic of great interest in the past couple of decades. Instead of responding in a God ordained manner, many Christians latch onto the “Sin of the Year” syndrome. There is a much, much bigger picture that many Christians, and I include myself until a few years ago, overlook. That is a God perspective on the problem of sin and the magnificence of grace. In case anyone is thinking I have gone “liberal” read the first few paragraphs of this post.

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    BTW, I thought of you with a smile when my daughter received her nursing pin. I imagined you playing the piano in her honor and told her about it. She thought it was “cool.” Thanks.

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    I have been thinking about your thoughts on this issue. I find it hard to believe that the question coming from Lumpkins was purely honest.At the minimum, his motives were mixed. Well, then again, so are mine many times.

    I do not find him to be one who teases out nuances. In fact, he seems ready to beat anyone over the head who disagrees in the slightest fashion from his line in the sand. I tried approximately a year ago to approach his stand on the Ergun Caner issue. I used humor in the form of a nursery rhyme.

    Well, it sure got things going to the point he was hammering us on even the most minor of points. It got so absurd that Arce told him to go and get right with God.

    I read Peter’s blog on this issue. He threatened to do exactly what he did. I believe Lumpkins knows what Mohler believes. He just wanted to make a bit of a splash.But, you may be right,

    How does the CBF view the pedophile database issue?

    With that, I am

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    Anonymous, thanks for sharing your appreciation for the citations. I share many of your concerns too.

    Arce, I guess this is just one of those times where two people on a board respectfully disagree. NARTH happens to be an organization comprised of professionals spanning a wide spectrum of medical fields. It is not affiliated with any particular religious organization. Any position NARTH takes is determined by the research uncovered. Anyone here can visit the site and see for themselves.

    If you have a link to The Gay Report, I’d appreciate your sharing it here.

    Dr. Whitehead addresses whether higher rates of suicide are caused by societal pressures or not. The section is under “The Effect of Social Stigma.” The practice of homosexuality is highly tolerated in the Netherlands, for example, yet the rate of mental illness in the homosexual population is very high there. This is also true is New Zealand. More detail is in the article for anyone interested.

    Dee, when I mentioned the ick factor I was not giving my mere opinion, but referencing Romans 1:26-27 describing homosexual behavior as being “unnatural.” In that passage heterosexual sex is not mentioned as being “unnatural.” Behaviors that are unnatural generally repulse most people. To me anal sex is repulsive and it probably is to most people. Picking one’s nose generally turns people off. I was referring to the “act” of homosexuality, not the person.

    I’m glad you brought this up however because there is an assumption that if a person takes issue with someone’s “action”, then they automatically despise the person. There are people I dearly love who sometimes take “actions” I find objectionable, but my disapproval does not in any way mean I do not love them.

    I highly recommend two books:

    The Marketing of Evil by David Kupelian

    The New Tolerance by Josh McDowell

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    So you are saying that injecting drugs in a flophouse is more natural? Having serial one night stands with prostitutes is more natural? A man having sex with a 6 year old female child is more natural? How about a female teacher having sex with a 13 year old male and conceiving a child? How about a Congressman sending explicit pictures of himself to an adult female? How about Pastor Mark Driscoll who encourages married couples to have anal sex?

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    Muff Potter:


    Isn’t it obvious why evangelicals talk about this issue?

    They are responding to efforts to change the moral outlook and beliefs of the broader society in the U.S..

    Activists in the homosexual community and their heterosexual supporters (who are often more activist) are trying to change society and the basic moral code of the country and have been doing so for 20 years or more.

    These changes are not just “grass roots” developments that pop out of nowhere.

    From the Stonewall riots to the present, the people who want change in this society have been pushing for it on several fronts.

    And it’s not just neutral things that would affect only homosexuals.

    Take education, for example.

    It doesn’t take much looking around on the internet to find some of the projects for advancing the idea that homosexual activity is not immoral and is “normal.”

    As it relates to education, the most famous example is the famous “Heather Has 2 Mommies” which the NYC School Board (or some board there) adopted. Efforts by the gay community relating to public schools continues. There have been efforts in our town to introduce curriculum that would address homosexuality in the first grade. Can you have imagined such an effort 50 years ago?

    What should Christians do about this? Nothing?

    Don’t Christians have the obligation and opportunity to speak to policy issues? Don’t they have a right to protect not only their own children, but the children of non-evangelicals who might want to send their kids to public schools?

    I don’t understand your reference to “5 or 6 verses.” Sounds a lot like people who don’t believe in the Virgin Birth because there are only a few verses about it.

    But assuming you think that homosexual activity is not normal and is immoral, I would think that you would applaud evangelicals for addressing it.

    If “anit-poor and needy” groups existed and were promoting an agenda to heard the poor and needy into camps or let them starve, or whatever, I would think that Christians groups would speak out, too.

    But there are no such groups, and there are no such agendas because people in this country agree on the morality of such issues – that it would be wrong to do such a thing. If the moral consensus breaks down on this issue, I would expect Christians to speak out.

    That’s the way homosexual activity was viewed 50 or so years ago, so evangelicals weren’t talking about it so much back then.

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    You might want to rethink your questions to Allison.

    Unless you want to look like Peter Lumpkins.

    Most of those “comparisons” are not equivalent.

    Can’t believe you would serve up such easy lobs.

    You gotta stop reading that NIV!!!

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    I do not believe that Dee was not saying the homosexuality is OK, just that it is preached on a lot more than other sins, like adultery and greed, that the Bible spends a lot of space on. To me, a preacher with a $250,000 salary and housing allowance who preaches about homosexuality is the pot calling the kettle a cooking utensil. Of course, the pastor who preaches against adultery and greed, foolish personal spending and other bad habits is likely to find himself with either a much smaller congregation or no congregation at all. Preaching against homosexuality likely gets him “amens” or applause. Jesus said to deal with our own big sins before we go after someone else’s sin.

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    Anonymous, your longer post addressing how these issues affect Christians and their children in the public schools and in society at large is much appreciated. You hit the nail on the head and it is rare that I hear anyone address this side of the issue.

    If we’re going to fault pastors for allowing sin to fester in the church without accountability, then let’s also hold pastors accountable who are stone silent regarding the sexual immersion of Christian children through the homosexual agenda in public schools. The SBC has been approached four times asking that a resolution be passed simply encouraging pastors to ask their parishioners to check into their child’s public school to see what is being taught. All four times the resolution was turned down. Disgusting and inexcusable.

    You said, “There have been efforts in our town to introduce curriculum that would address homosexuality in the first grade.”

    Is the town you refer to here in North Carolina? If so, would you please give the name of the city?

    You might appreciate the facts included here:

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    [not intending to start a flame war here…]

    With respect… I do not believe that NARTH is an accurate, reliable – or unbiased – source for much of anything.

    Perhaps reading some of Warren Throckmorton’s work (including his blog) would be helpful. I also highly recommend the Ex-Gay Watch blog, and the Beyond Ex-Gay site.

    fwiw, I used to be a supporter of ex-gay ministries, because I believed in the “change is possible” mantra. Many years later, I see that a lot of people were deeply hurt by these “ministries.” And I find myself in the camp I never believed I would join – the one that views committed relationships between same-sex partners as OK; the one that believes in marriage equality.

    I know some deeply devout, committed Christians from evangelical backgrounds who have been horribly abused – and shunned – by so-called “pastors” and congregants – for being honest about their sexual orientations. And yet… they have taken a stance of forgiveness.

    Perhaps we can all learn something from folks who have been through that and have come out on the other side?

    I will be honest – I have. (And I was in a situation where I was shunned, though it had nothing to do with my sexual orientation… please believe me when I say that I find a lot of common ground with folks who are on the non-celibate but committed side of the coin, though I do respect the views of those who choose to be celibate.)

    I could say much more, but think this is plenty for now. 🙂

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    Let me explain the reasons for my questions to Alison. She raised the issue of natural versus unnatural via the Romans passage. There are many things that are unnatural and to point at only one issue via a “clobber” verse is simplistic. The Bible talks about all sorts of things that are painful, unnatural and outside of God’s design for man.

    Let’s approach it from a different perspective. Abortion is not spoken of in any clear fashion in the New Testament. Yet we as evangelicals oppose abortion. It is clear from the overall witness of Scripture that this is heinous act. A woman killing her own baby is not a “natural” act yet it is down by members of the church regularly. However, it is hidden from view and we can all pretend that it doesn’t happen.

    She also added the “ick” factor and brought out that people find anal sex “repulsive” because it is not natural. Firstly, there are Reformed preachers, such as Mark Driscoll, who advocate that such acts are normal within the bounds of marriage. We even wrote an article on this and discussed, in rather explicit detail, the medical issues of such acts. So we are hardly promoting Driscoll’s point of view. However, he is a nationally known preacher and he does not find such acts either “icky” or unnatural.”

    Finally, as a former public health nurse, I have seen enough “icky” to last a lifetime. As a church member I have seen how rampant divorce causes pain and suffering in the lives of children. Frankly, such things strike me as outside the natural order and icky and painful.

    Because of my broad exposure to the seamier side of life, I have a perspective on “icky” that few people understand. I have seen obese church goers become ill due to a lifetime of overeating, need amputations due to Type 2 Diabetes and then develop bed sores that one could put their fist into. But gross obesity is smiled about because it is a good sin and Sister Martha sure can bring good treats to the church business meeting.
    And such a problem affects the person’s family, may drain their resources, need I go on?

    Do I really need to go into the list of all the “nice” sins the church tolerates? If one truly looked at the long term affects of those sins, one would see “icky” all over the place.

    The point I am driving home in a rather pedantic fashion is I am weary of people pointing to one or two sins as the cause of pain and suffering in this world. We all have a whole lot of “ick” factor in our lives that should give us pause when we point out how awful others are. I am stuck on the Cross and the need for massive forgiveness in my own life. It makes me a bit cautious.

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    Do not worry about starting a flame war. We need to look at the issues before us, including the reliability of NARTH and also gay friendly research. Years ago, when I was young naive, I needed to take a nursing research course. Most of the time was spent looking at studies in medical journals and critiquing the methods and conclusions. What startled me was the number of flaws present in any research.

    Today I am going to link to an excellent article by Wade Burleson and his encounter with SoulForce. Interestingly, I had planned to write about my own encounter with this group before I read his. You will find his approach loving and thoughtful and I was most impressed. In the article, he talks of a man in a committed relationship and how he understood where the man was coming from even if he disagreed with his solution.

    The major problem with this whole debate is the unwillingness of some folks to approach this topic with love and understanding. As you know, I take a conservative stance on this issue. But, like Burleson, I seek to find ways to bring understanding and love to a difficult issue.

    Please feel free to share you thoughts. I understand your heart even if we might have a difference of opinion on the resolution of the matter. You do a good job in bringing out the underlying pain and we need to understand that.

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    I believe that the Christian church is losing the culture war. One only needs to look at the overall view of society, not just one issue, to see how far down the road we have come. I decided to send my kids to Christian schools because i had a child with a brain tumor and became tired of fighting every last battle that came my way: christmas wars, flag wars, etc. The school gave me some semblance of normalcy within the faith even if I disagreed with a few things from a theological perspective.

    However, I look back to the infant church in early Rome. Sin was rampant: alternate lifestyles abounded, slaves, pain and suffering, children starving on the streets. In the midst of this, the church flourishes and not by strategies to overcome the government and install good Christians. Instead, through their own suffering in the arenas, through their burial societies (Christians ministered to families who lost loved ones by tenderly caring for the bodies and burying them when they would have been tossed into the garbage dumps), and acts kindness ad grace. Their solid witness and devotion to the faith led to Christianity emerging from a tiny group of Apostles into a major religion within 300 years.

    Let me give you a personal example. I had an unsaved neighbor come to ask me why Christians are opposed to abortion. I told her it would be very difficult for me to convince her because she did not understand that our devotion to life comes from the Lifegiver Himself. A week later she came by and asked me to explain my faith. I did. She became a believer. Another week went by, she called and asked me to explain why I was prolife from a Biblical perspective. I did. She understood. Today she works in a pregnancy support center.This even caused me to become far more interested in sharing the Gospel instead of trying to convince a bunch of people who do not understand the faith.

    In case you think I am burying my head in the sand, I have been involved with politics off and on for many years and have turned down a couple of political appointments.

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    “I believe that the Christian church is losing the culture war.”

    The biggest issue that many do not understand is that this war was lost at the moment it was declared. Attacking the other side doesn’t usually win them over to your side. It puts them in the mind set of “I have to win or I’m going to be defeated.”

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    I agree with you.There is a difference between a “war” and persuasion by example. I am not so sure that Christians have been the shining lights were meant to be.

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    The major problem with this whole debate is the unwillingness of some folks to approach this topic with love and understanding.

    And thanks muchly re. your comments above, Dee. They’re appreciated!

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    One other comment (re. some of the things Warren Throckmorton advocates): I do NOT think it’s wise for anyone to be in a “mixed-orientation” marriage, contrary to his position on that.

    However, I also believe it is up to the couples themselves to make that decision.

    But… the “get married because you are ‘healed'” message that so many ex-gay groups have pushed is truly destructive for all parties. (But I have a special feeling for the straight spouses – the most common scenario is straight women married to gay men, and boy… it’s just a bad, bad thing.) Some of the stories on the Beyond Ex-Gay site are from people who were married to gay spouses. (And in one case, there’s a personal narrative by both a woman and her now-ex-husband…)

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    one more thought: my previous comment re. “it’s a bad, bad thing” is *not* about the character or morals of the gay men married to straight women. I have known some “mixed orientation” couples and the whole setup = heartbreak for both partners.

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    Thanks for being so forthright in your post and your position on homosexual practice.

    We don’t agree, but that’s o.k.

    I just find it refreshing that people will say what they think.

    In the religious world we have too many people arguing for “dialogue”, and pointing out the problems with tactics people have used and other arguments that are often stand ins for what they really want to say – that they don’t think same-sex relationships are wrong.

    I appreciate your honesty. That is the beginning of true dialogue.

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    I also wanted to ask since you said above (I think) that you do not agree with those ministries or efforts that try and help self identified homosexuals live in a way that is different from the homosexual desires that they have.

    Do you think that the people who lead these ministries and claim to no longer engage in homosexual sex are being untruthful or what?

    I have read some material from a man named Tim Wilkins in North Carolina. He leads Cross Minstry which I think is in North Carolina.

    Do you know him or have an opinion of him or his ministry? I would encourage you to check it out online –

    Also, the New Testament contains references to people who had been engaging in homosexual relationships before they came to Christ, but after they came to Christ, they ceased.

    What do you think about those references?

    I would be interested in hearing your thoughts.

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    I don’t know about you guys, but I have never been in a “culture war.”

    I would be interested in the origin of that term and who first used it, and how it has become used so pervasively.

    While I am not interested in a so-called “Culture War”, I do feel that my faith impacts how I view issues in the public that are outside the doors of my home or my church.

    We live in culture where we have free speech, and we have economic freedom so we can use our money to support our speech. We can buy ads, organize together, hand out flyers – do whatever, to stress a particular point of view that we think is important.

    We also have the right to vote. So we find out where people stand on various issues and that may inform how we vote.

    I don’t see either of these activities as being “war” or anything close to war. I would like for my views to prevail, but if they don’t, that’s not the main point.

    The culture around us is often going to move in directions that we do not agree with. What do we do when that happens?

    The main issue for Christians is to be faithful to the teachings of Christ and His apostles. Applying that to a culture obvously takes wisdom. There are many factors to be considered.

    But I never perceived that one of the valid options is to say or do nothing outside our own homes or churches.

    And I don’t decide what I am going to do or not do based on whether more people are going to like me or my church more. I believe the main issue is to be faithful. Everything else flows from that commitment.

    There are lots of issues that Christians and the church can and should talk about in the broader public. I find generally that Christians agree with that. But I find there is often disagreement about which issues to address and how to address them most effectively.

    But being silent seems like a bad option in our society. If all options were foreclosed to us, I could understand that. But they are not. So I think that speaking the truth to society is a good thing, even if the broader society doesn’t want to hear. Isn’t that what Gospel evangelism is in many cases?

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    I can only say that many folks who have been (and likely more who still are) “leaders” in ex-gay groups have “fallen,” and I’ve heard some pretty bad things from gay Christians about how some of these “leaders” have used their positions as a way to hit on/hook up with people for sex.

    (I mean small group leaders, too – not necessarily big names,although there are those who have had scandals and/or who have left because they couldn’t live the “ex-gay lifestyle” any longer.)

    I think there are rampant misconceptions about sexual orientation, about gay people and how they live (i.e., assumptions that all gay men are involved in promiscuous sex and/or that all gay men engage in anal sex, etc. etc.)

    Also, just to put some cultural perspective on “straight” sex: anal sex is still very common in places where poor people don’t have access to birth control (and for other reasons, too). This covers a great deal of the non-Western world…

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    Quick add:

    I don’t think sexual orientation can be “changed.”

    I *do* think that many people who claim to have experienced “orientation change” are either

    1. suppressing their feelings and inclinations


    2. they were/are bisexual to begin with and are now involved in “straight” relationships. (Just using “straight” as an abbreviation; it takes too long to type out some of the phrases that might work better, overall.)

    I have heard/read/seen accounts from “ex-gay” folks in other countries where there is NO push for “orientation change” – which is a lot more honest than what is advocated by “reparative therapy” people and by many US-based ex-gay groups.

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    Silence has never been one of my virtues. I have spoken out on a number of issues. My co-blogger and I served on the community panel for our city newspaper and we were so outspoken that they wrote an editorial about us. And someday I will share the story when I exposed a commentator of said paper for using people. It was a most awkward moment at the paper.

    However, I do not believe that fighting for various issues will routinely yield a more just society.The only way that it occurs is by leading people to Jesus. There is a middle ground between going to war and being silent.

    This is a pluralistic society. Take the issue of prayer in the schools. What prayer? Are Christians prepared to let Wiccans lead prayer as well as Muslims and other religious groups?

    Finally, Christians have differing perspectives on what constitutes a just society. Some may support a bigger welfare state and others will not. Evangelicals are not monolithic when it comes to political ideals. Evangelicals cannot even agree on abortion.For example, some support exemptions for rape and incest. Others feel that is an abomination. Some believe in blocking entrances to abortion mills, others believe that that is a violation of admonitions to be law abiding.

    Finally, evangelizing for the Gospel is one thing. Some believe in “evangelizing” for prayer in schools. For myself, I first want to make sure that people understand Truth (emphasis on capital T). if i can persuade someone to follow Jesus, I now have the Holy Spirit inside that person convicting her of right and wrong. That makes the job of transformation easier by a long shot.

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    I would also like to recommend this site:

    Their header describes the site as

    A cyberspace initiative providing models and resources for building respectful relationships among those who disagree about moral issues surrounding homosexuality, bisexuality and gender variance.

    Although I have no involvement with this site (or any of the others that I’ve mentioned in previous comments), it is my hope that we will be able to speak with others with a clear understanding that we are all created by the same God and loved by him. I certainly do fail at times re. loving others as Jesus calls us to, but that’s likely true for everyone, no? 😉

    So… let’s listen to each other, and have a real conversation, not arguments (which never seem to help much, imo).

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    Moi? Failing in the love department???? Yep. Thanks for the resource.

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    RE: Anonymous says @ Tue, Jun 21 2011 at 08:29 pm:

    Which Anonymous are you? You might want to put an integer, any integer, after your screen nic in order to distinguish yourself from the other “Anonymous”. Common courtesy, yes?

    Let me begin by saying that I am not “gay”. I have been married to the same wonderful woman for 31 yrs. now and I cannot imagine life without her. We have no agenda one way or the other on the so-called “gay question”. What we do have however is tolerance for others whose sexual orientation conflicts with what is “normal” for us.

    All societies can agree upon and do indeed put laws into place that forbid say murder and theft under various penalties for transgression of the same. But laws that attempt to put sexual behavior between consenting adults on the same footing as the universals of murder and theft, fail in two ways:

    1) Murder and theft directly and with violence, deprives others of their lives, liberties, and various pursuits of happiness, in general (not the same thing as a specific & contradictory instance), gay sex does not.

    2) Other than a revulsion factor of varying degree amongst straight people, anti-gay fervor is not universal in all cultures, it is primarily a religious proscription. It is on this basis that Texas sodomy laws & California’s “definition of marriage” amendment were struck down as unconstitutional.

    I’m confident that Jefferson would echo the sentiment: — Whether Heather has two mommies or not does me no injury, nor does it rob my purse —

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    I went back to that comment at 8:29 Tuesday and I have a question. If Christians are so bent on mores that are unBiblical and being forced on the populace, then where are the activist Christian groups rising up and protesting law that allow unmarried couples to cohabitate? Where are the groups protesting divorce laws? Are these battles that have been lost and are not worth fighting? Or are they more acceptable sins? I know teachers who cohabitate and are quite comfortable about their situation and this is reflected in what they teach the kids. Where are such groups if this is a Christian value that should be applied to a diverse society.

    Muff, I think your statement that gay couples do not cause harm to society is interesting. I think it is very difficult to measure such things. I am of the opinion that we live in a pluralistic society and that Christians might not be able to win on a purely Christian agenda. One of the reasons the prolife lobby has been successful is that they have effectively crossed over into secular society, arguing for the rights of the unborn which is a value that is shared by groups other than Christians.

    There is no such crossover on the gay issue and that is why the Christian groups arguing against extension of rights into this subset are failing miserably, even amongst Christian young people. Some stats seem to indicate that Christian youth have no problem with civil unions etc.

    This does not mean that we shouldn’t express our beliefs in our society. I just wonder if such activism on the part of some is actually having an effect.

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    Dee, chill out and relax. Life’s too short for board wars. I hope that everyone’s goal here is to educate people attending errant “churches” so they will think twice, but if this type of thread discourse is the norm – this place won’t go far sad to say. It’s helpful to discern when misunderstandings occur and give others the benefit of the doubt.

    Per your intelligently written post regarding being involved in “culture wars”, we’re on the same page. I think Dr. Stephen Davey says it well in Colonial’s church magazine and I’m paraphrasing: The church was never called to change the culture, but to change hearts one at a time through the Gospel – which over time can change the culture. The post Anonymous wrote on June 22 at 2:03 pm is spot on – excellent, excellent reading. Man, you’re good. 😉

    I will add that just because a person makes effort to educate another person on a given issue, does not in any way automatically mean that such education is an “attack”.

    This is why I recommend Josh McDowell’s book “The New Tolerance”. He lays bare how politically correct thinking is making true thinking difficult for many.

    Anonymous, you asked Numo a great question when you said, “Do you think that the people who lead these ministries and claim to no longer engage in homosexual sex are being untruthful or what?”

    If people are not careful, they can find themselves shooting at shadows in the dark when they have few facts, if any, about a particular ministry. In my mind any man who has the guts to come out of the homosexual lifestyle and reach out to others is worthy of my respect.

    That said, part of the radical homosexual agenda is for homosexuals to infiltrate Christian based organizations to orchestrate discord. Catholic seminaries have been a prime target for decades. So when we find that some churches have pedophiles or homosexuals in leadership, it should be no surprise. Much of it is by design for a larger purpose.

    Dee, you are right that we live in a pluralistic society and my opinion is that it is to our detriment. Can any of us deny that America was in better condition when Christianity was acknowledged as the predominant faith? Other nations have predominant faiths which helps unite them as one people. If I move to Israel, I’m sure not going to expect or insist that Jewish institutions “include” my Christian prayers when it has been their custom to recite Jewish writings. If I move to India, I’m sure not going to expect Hindus to allow me to pray my Christian prayers in their Hindu gatherings. That would be preposterous. Pluralism has come to America due to political correctness and it is killing our culture and diluting our Christian witness. We pride ourselves on being so open minded and fair when in reality we are being stupid. No other country acts as stupidly as ours in this regard. Many Christians just want to be liked. Christianity no longer exerts any seriously measurable influence on our institutions because too many of us have been silent in sharing the Gospel and in having godly influence. Those who hate Christianity know that the best way to silence them is to ridicule them. It is vitally important to care more about what God thinks than about what other people think.

    Dee, you said that evangelicals cannot even agree on abortion. There can be only one reason for this: As Barna’s research has demonstrated, most “Christians” today do not regard the Bible as having final authority. Many Christians value their own opinions over the scripture. This is sad since opinions are like arses…..everyone has one.

    Numo, regarding the site you recommended which provides “models and resources for building respectful relationships among those who disagree about moral issues surrounding homosexuality, bisexuality and gender variance”: I’m glad you brought this up. Has anyone here heard of the Hegelian Dialectic before? Here’s something good to chew on:

    What matters is what God says about these issues, not our mere opinions in a Mister Rogers pow-wow. We express love to the sinner, while hating the sin itself – but pow-wowing (particularly in groups or on boards) to discuss the virtues or lack thereof of any particular sin is falling into the hands of the Hegelian. The Hegelian Dialectic utilizes these tactics for purposes of developing a “third way” of thinking – which always compromises God’s Word on the matter. (Read the link for further clarity.)

    We have to ask ourselves: Does God’s Word really matter? Is it the final authority on these issues? Or is this a lovefest for the Mister McFeelys so we can all stroke each other’s egos?

    America is in dire straights right now in large part due to political correctness which was basically started by German intellectuals who came to America in the 1930s to establish the Frankfurt School. They trained “intellectuals” to infiltrate elite universities and it went on from there. For anyone interested in this, check out:

    Dee said, “One of the reasons the prolife lobby has been successful is that they have effectively crossed over into secular society, arguing for the rights of the unborn which is a value that is shared by groups other than Christians.”

    I was just talking with a pro-life secularist from Chapel Hill the other day, and she said she doesn’t know a single other secularist who shares her views. If secularists are coming out of the woodwork to support the unborn, I’m sure not finding them volunteering in caring pregnancy centers and the like. Where are these droves of prolife secular people whom you speak of? This is just my opinion, but I rather think the advent of ultrasound enabling mothers to see their unborn child in the womb has made a significant difference, along with the fact that science has now proven the unborn child is a human being and not mere tissue.

    For what it’s worth.

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    Alison… where does your evidence come from regarding a supposed “radical gay agenda” where the infiltration of churches and other social institutions is planned?

    I truly think that sounds like a conspiracy theory with no basis.

    And i think you will find that “the gay agenda” is joked about quite a lot – for gay people that I know, it’s basically a “6:30- alarm goes off; 6:45 – quite hitting the snooze alarm and get up; 7:00 – make breakfast and get dressed for work [etc.]” kind of thing.


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    There is no such crossover on the gay issue and that is why the Christian groups arguing against extension of rights into this subset are failing miserably, even amongst Christian young people. Some stats seem to indicate that Christian youth have no problem with civil unions etc.

    I think it’s a red herring in some respects – and something that will be embarrassing to many evangelicals not too far down the line.

    Also, I know that “Christians” in your statement = evangelicals (more or less). Obviously, not all Christians are in lock-step on this or on other issues that seem paramount to large segments of the evangelical world. (Just sayin’ – someday I should post the lyrics to Garrison Keillor’s song “A Lutheran ’till I Die” here – they’re pretty funny. :))

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    Sorry about that. I meant conservative, politically right Christians. You are correct, not all Christians are lockstep on all issues. This blog being one proof of that. 🙂

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    this blog: heehee – and yes! 😀

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    Chill out regarding what? What is a board war? This place won’t go far? Who is trying to go far? This blog is the thoughts of two simple middle aged women who wanted to express their faith and thoughts without any agenda. Especially not to “go far.” Don’t really care about such things. Certainly didn’t think so many would be reading so this has exceeded any slight expectations.We write and let happen what happens, so don’t be too sad for us. We are rather happy and content.

    You said “Can any of us deny that America was in better condition when Christianity was acknowledged as the predominant faith? ” To which era were you referring? The Puritans who killed 19 people in Salem for being witches and threw Roger Williams out of the community? The Christians who supported the slave economy and kept slaves, treating them as less than men? The Christians who wrote treaties with the Native Americans and broke almost all of them, showing great disdain for the admonition to “let your yes be yes and your no be no” and then led them on the Trail of Tears? The Christian men who did not believe women should vote and threw them in prison for standing up for that right?

    As for Christians who express their own opinions, how do we all agree on the secondary issues? Could it be that the Bible is not absolutely clear on a few issues such as the age of the earth or eschatology? There are committed theologians all over the place when it comes to Calvinism versus Arminianism. We all may have arses but they all don’t look alike. And, to be sure, I do regard the Bible as the final authority.

    I think the problem started long before the 1930s. The statue of the David during the Renaissance raised man to the center of the universe which found its expression a few centuries later in the French Revolution which elevated humanist philosophy over the Absolute Truth of God. I don’t think of it as a specific conspiracy but the eternal battle of good and evil.

    Please tell your prolife Chapel Hill secularist to google Nat Hentoff of the Village Voice.

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    I am not “pro-life” because of two things, first, two experiences as a man with abortion. Second, the radical anti-woman stance of some pro-lifers. Before Roe v. Wade, a friend asked me to take her to an appointment and come back and pick her up sometime later that day. I did. I dropped her off at a door on a side street in a not-so-nice part of town. A couple of other college-age women were there when I dropped her off. Four hours later, I got a call and went back and picked her up. Later that day, she went to the emergency room, bleeding and cramping from an incomplete abortion she had had that morning. She effectively lost the ability to bear children, having gotten pregnant from her first sexual experience. Roe v. Wade effectively ended almost all of that sort of thing.

    The second involved my first wife, who got pregnant having an affair while I was moving us to a new house in a new city. She told me later that she was pregnant, that it wasn’t mine (I already know that part), that she was not going to stay in the marriage, and would I take the baby and raise it. By the way, the baby would be multi-racial. I told her I needed to think about that commitment, and could I have until the next Sunday. I was young, working in a very conservative institution in a very conservative small town, career not stable, there were a lot of reasons to say no, but I care very much about children and had always looked forward to being a father, so I had a lot to weigh and to determine if I could arrange resources to help with being the sole parent of an infant. She did not wait until Sunday, but called me on Saturday to pick her up at the clinic. She later blamed me for not jumping at the opportunity to raise another man’s child as a solo parent.

    I have had a friend who almost lost her life because the baby had died and her family and friends told her it was a sin to abort the baby, even if it was already dead!

    The pro-life movement is attempting to make life defined as occurring at the fertilization of the egg, meaning that ectopic pregnancies, which put the woman’s life in peril, would be considered the killing of a baby that would otherwise die, along with the mother, were it not surgically removed.

    Then there are all the false statements from the pro-life movement about the termination of pregnancy and its impacts on the woman’s health and well-being, including the charge of abortion causing breast cancer.

    So I am not pro-life, except when it comes to sentencing people for capital crimes. I am not pro-choice either. I oppose abortion except under limited circumstances such as the physical health or life of the mother, as is the case with pre-teens, ectopic pregnancies, etc. I also have some special sympathy for victims of rape, incest (which is usually statutory rape), and those who are carrying a baby known to have no chance of surviving but a few hours postpartum.

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    You said “Can any of us deny that America was in better condition when Christianity was acknowledged as the predominant faith? ” To which era were you referring? The Puritans who killed 19 people in Salem for being witches and threw Roger Williams out of the community? The Christians who supported the slave economy and kept slaves, treating them as less than men? The Christians who wrote treaties with the Native Americans and broke almost all of them, showing great disdain for the admonition to “let your yes be yes and your no be no” and then led them on the Trail of Tears? The Christian men who did not believe women should vote and threw them in prison for standing up for that right?

    Amen and amen, Dee! (Though I have to disagree on the Renaissance, etc. – it’s not as if religion or religious art disappeared from Western culture due to people starting to read the Greeks and Romans again…)

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    As for religious liberty in the colonies, how about this?

    There were Jewish soldiers in the Continental army during the American Revolution, and Jewish clerics who supported independence from England.

    Note that Touro Synagogue is in Rhode Island – not Massachusetts. (The Mass. Bay Colony was pretty intolerant of anything other than their own brand of Calvinism, I’m afraid…)

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    Your response to my comments about the so-called “Culture War” proves one of the points I was trying to make – that how Christians address issues in the public square requires wisdom. All issues are not the same. Success is not achievable on all issues. We are not called to argue or pursue causes that are completely ineffective.

    I believe that Mother Theresa was a great example in this area. She was ALWAYS forthright and strong with regard to her pro-life convictions, but did it in such a way that she rose above politics.

    That’s what I am hoping for.

    Some issues should be pursued. Others should not. Take civil rights. Churches were heavily involved in that. They were right to be. That’s cultural engagement.

    Retreating and saying nothing is not wise, nor is it good stewardship.

    We are closer on this issue than you may think, I believe.

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    As always, you give nuanced answers that cause me to think. Babies that have died in utero do not have any brain waves which is a determination in ending life support in adults. Therefore, I do not have trouble with removing the dead baby which is technically an abortion although abortion is usually used in culture to mean the killing of a live infant. However, I learned, at a CMDA conference, that there are a few doctors groups in the country which provide a hospice like service to help mothers who do not feel they can end the pregnancy. They help the mother to carry the baby to term and support them in the delivery.

    I also believe that abortion is justified when the life of the mother is at risk. However, there are some mothers who do carry the baby to viability due to the commitment in this area. Tom Landry’s daughter was diagnosed with liver cancer early in her pregnancy. She decided to eschew treatment and carried the baby until viability.She survived for a couple of years, long enough to see her daughter as a little girl. But, she had tremendous support.

    What your former wife did was horrendous. She put the baby’s life in your hands and pulled the plug when you balked. She could have given the baby up for adoption to a wonderful family. My guess is that she intended to do this all along and wanted to suck you into her sin which is despicable. I am so sorry and I, too, would have hesitated in that situation.

    The one that I need to think about is the first example. There was show a few years back that I liked called Joan of Arcadia. In it, this young woman’s former high school football start brother was confined to a wheelchair due to a car accident involving a friend who was driving recklessly-there may have been alcohol involved. His life was supposedly “ruined” by this disability. But the program showed him growing mature and thoughtful, through the years, as he comes to accept and then overcome the obstacles which came upon him due to one bad choice as a teen.In some respects, he became a better man,

    All this to say that I am not so sure that the woman, in your first example, could not have had the baby, given the child to a wonderful family and gone on, far more wise and mature.

    I also believe that the states should throw the book at these abortion mills that function outside of standard of care. I watched an interesting segment on O’Reilly about such a clinic . The pictures of the inside were gruesome and as a nurse I was appalled. As the state (I forget) which one decided to enforce standards and prosecute the clinic for substandard care, Planned Parenthood came to the defense of this clinic.

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    I am so glad that you mentioned Mother Theresa. There was a book called Blinded by Might written a couple of decades ago. In the book, the author said that Christians have done far more for culture in their service and compassion than in their political rhetoric. He used Mother Theresa as an example.

    I will never forget when Mother Theresa addressed Congress and pled for laws to protect the unborn. The Congress rose to their feet, forcing then President Clinton and his wife to follow suite. Her life of service gave her street cred and leant power to her words.

    Far too many Christians, however, march around in their fancy suits, pointing fingers at the culture and do nothing but talk and throw a few dollars at some missions. No street cred.

    I remember a very involved Christian woman in Texas who wanted to start a service organization for young teens. When I suggested that the teens consider volunteering at a Pregnancy Support center, she turned up her nose and said “Why would you want them to work there?” She wanted the teens to work in “nice” endeavors in “nice” neighborhoods.

    I, on the other hand, prefer to work around the down and out. Recently, one young woman from a really tough part of town, graduated from college and is going on for her Masters. I still remember the day, many years ago, when she came to me, tears in her eyes, with a low report card and asked me to help her “get to college.” It took work, rattling cages to get her scholarships, encouraging her to stay away from the boys and not get pregnant (she did it!) and spending time in her neck of the woods. But today she is on her way.

    Arce, who comments on this blog, lives a life of service. He lives in a low income area and devotes his life to serving the down and out. When he speaks, I listen. His life is his cred. I feel the same way about David Platt who sold his house in a nice section of Birmingham and moved to a small house in a low income area. He has, and is, in the process of adopting children from around the world. When he speaks, I listen.

    I think there is way too much pontificating and way too few Christian who read their Bibles and serve in the way that the early Christians did. And those Christians were truly persecuted, serving as torches for Nero’s garden parties.

    Note that I did not say not to speak. But i think we need to speak like Mother Theresa , Arce and David Platt.

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    I was aware to the Jewish people in Rhode Island. Williams, who founded the Baptist church in America, was tolerant of others and their faith. Could it be that his appalling treatment at the hands of the supposedly godly and oh so currently popular Puritans caused him to face such injustice? I think I read somewhere that he also had a good relationship with the Native Americans.

    Also, don’t take me wrong about my comments on the Renaissance and the David. The Reformation and the Renaissance took place pretty much in tandem. In fact, it was the Reformation which focused on the “little guy” and emphasized that the common man served God in his day to day pursuits. Until then, it was only the clergy who were seen to serve God. That is why the Bible got translated into the modern vernacular because the Reformers (such as Luther) recognized that the common man should be able to read the Scriptures and glean important truths through the ministry of the Spirit. That is why public schools got started (Jan Comenius) so the little guy could learn to read and read the Bible. Until that time, only the clergy could read and interpret the Scripture.

    The Renaissance reflected this understanding in its art. Until that time, only important people and religious men were painted. Now, the baker was considered worthy of being painted and glorious pictures of the day to day life of the little man were produced.

    However, there were subtle influences of the centrality of man that were beginning to creep its way into the culture. The point I was trying to make to Alison is that there have always been men who detract from the centrality of the Gospel and who also try to win culture to their point of view. The Scripture is clear that every age has the spirit of the AntiChrist. I find most conspiracy theories to be a bit boring. Of course there are folks who want to undermine Truth. However, I also believe in the power of the Holy Spirit to continue to preserve the church and the truth.

    I also disagree that we have had true “Christian” eras. We have had eras that were “christian (little c) in name only. I look at the Vatican and see the pain of the people because it was built on the backs of the poor with promises that the Pope would spring the souls of their dead relatives from purgatory. Constantine forced conversions with the threat of death as did many kings and rulers. There was the Inquisition which was a travesty.True Christians were rarely powerful in a political sense. Look at poor Wilberforce.He battled slavery to his deathbed and finally the slave trade was abolished. The supposedly “christian” Parliament fought him tooth and nail.

    So, I am not convinced that their have been regular truly “Christian” eras with Christians in charge and running things from a Godly perspective.

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    “Can any of us deny that America was in better condition when Christianity was acknowledged as the predominant faith? ”

    Grooved chest high, 80 mph, on the outside edge of the plate.

    Which America was that?

    The one with the KKK and lynchings?

    The one where RCC’s or Jews don’t bother to apply because we don’t hire your kind.

    The CT of the 1700s and 1800s where being a Baptist or other worse choices can get you tarred and feathered and run out of town?

    The one with the Salem witch trials?

    The one where Andrew Carnegie treated the steel workers as cattle. As one example of many.

    The one where most of the founding fathers practiced a Christianity that would not let them become members of an SBC or many other evangelical churches today.

    The one where our “leaders” ran around with mistresses and gambled and such while singing in the choir on Sunday and serving as deacons and elders.

    The one where many in the pews on Sunday were quiet not to be reverent but due to their hang overs. (Baptists were big on this one.)

    The one where the Chinese were induced to come over and work on the rail roads then basically banned from most of the west.

    The one where the Spanish descendants out west had their property taken away and it was legal because they were not “white”.

    The one where men could sleep around but women had to be chaste?

    The one where my SBC church had a business meeting about 1968 or 69 where the discussion topic was “what do we do if they show up?’ In the end there was no vote taken but there was a lot of ugly things said by some of the “fine, upstanding” members of the congregation. And our pastor of 10 years or so left soon after as his views were more inclusive than many of the congregation were willing to deal with. Which was sad as this man and his family were personal friends of my family. But as my dad said he finally got 51% of the congregation mad at him.

    I could go on for pages but exactly which America are you wishing we had back. For most I suspect it’s the one where white middle class families had enough money to ignore the goings on around them in society.

    As to what changed things. We had the 60s. And I personally feel the 60s went too far but it was the end result of the fake society that was much of America up till then. My personal theory is that TV is what did it. Too may things got on TV for people (especially print reports) to keep pretending they were not happening.

    I’ll end my rant now.

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    Well said!

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    You left out the one where to speak against a war would get you arrested and charged under the Espionage Act for aiding and abetting the enemy. That was during WWI and shortly after. It led to the formation of the American Civil Liberties Union, who fought those cases on the basis of the first amendment to the Constitution. And which, btw, has represented extreme conservatives when their right to speak has been denied by public officials and religious people when the same has happened to them.

    Most people do not understand that the ACLU is really an association of state and/or local chapters who decide which cases to take and the strategy to use in each, rather than the national office deciding. On significant issues or cases, the national organization may help recruit attorneys and may raise funds for the local or state affiliate.

    BTW, that is also the way Planned Parenthood is organized. There are state or local organizations (corporations) which provide the services. The national organization is an association of these state and local organizations. BTW, 97 percent of PP services do NOT involve abortion and include cancer screening, birth control, reproductive health, etc. In some areas, there are two corporations, one that does the general services and a separate entity that provides the abortion services, so that the finances and administration are totally separate. In almost every geographic area, the non-abortion services are in a separate location from the abortion services. I am always surprised that these facts seem unknown to many pro-lifers.

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    Numo, you ask a great question regarding where I get my information on the radical gay agenda infiltrating churches. A good place to start is David Kupelian’s book The Marketing of Evil. Another superb book on the subject is titled Goodbye, Good Men: How Liberals Brought Corruption into the Catholic Church by Michael S. Rose which incidentally was almost prophetic as it was written shortly before the scandals broke in the Catholic church.

    Dee, yes Nat Hentoff, a columnist at – very familiar with him. Another is Rabbi Daniel Lapin. My pro-life secular friend in Chapel Hill simply said she does not know other secularists in Chapel Hill who share her views. I’m sure a few exist, but they are not numerous and since you gave secularists credit for significant strides made in furthering the pro-life movement, I respectfully countered by saying that the progress made is more likely due to increased use of ultrasound and scientific discoveries validating the life of the unborn. This is widely understood by many.

    Arce, your post contains many misconceptions regarding abortion, childbirth, and the pro-life movement. For others reading it who may have similar misconceptions, Randy Alcorn’s book Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Arguments responds to every question imaginable. Also, this website is excellent:

    Yes Dee, America was a much better place in her earlier years than she is now. America, as all nations, has her faults – but I’m referring to the current state of our economy, culture, religious environment, etc. This is a no-brainer and not even worthy of debate. Well documented. I would ask you to consider that many public school and university classrooms push the “America is bad” mantra as part of indoctrinating students toward a more socialist society. This is also well documented – you can read more, if interested, in the book Brave New Schools by Berit Kjos or any number of volumes by John Taylor Gatto.

    Dee, your response to Arce when you said the following is beautiful: “All this to say that I am not so sure that the woman, in your first example, could not have had the baby, given the child to a wonderful family and gone on, far more wise and mature.”

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    Nat Hentoff first advocated for his position years ago while writing for the Village Voice.

    You said, “This is a no-brainer and not even worthy of debate. Well documented.” On this blog, just about everything is “worthy” for debate. In fact, I rather like those who you would say fit the “no brainers”. I am one. Perhaps you would find yourself more content amongst those who think “intelligently” as you do as opposed to making innuendos about the relative intelligence of many who would disagree with you.

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    They are not misconceptions. You believe that only because you have digested so much of the biased and misrepresentative literature put out by one side of the issue. There are many falsehoods and outright lies put forth by the pro-life movement, aided and abetted in many cases by state legislators. And the source you referenced is among them.

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    Dee, I have been gracious in complimenting you numerous times on this site. Why so nasty?

    I will not be baited into argument over issues which are well documented in books on a given topic, many of which I’ve shared. If this website is truly dedicated to educating people involved in errant churches, then it’s important to adopt a more professional posture with those who may differ with your opinions. I say this with all due respect. I’m sorry to say this, but at present if I were a pastor of one of the churches you take issue with, I’d be smiling at some of the dialog occurring here. I’m just being honest with you in the hope that you will pray about this and think it through. I have no hard feelings towards you, so if you’re interpreting any disagreements personally, you may feel better if you try to read my postings with more objectivity.

    Let’s respectfully debate points or if we do not time for debate, let’s share resources like books together.

    [mod:edit to clean up italics]

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    “you may feel better if you try to read my postings with more objectivity”
    “Why so nasty”
    ” When it’s important to adopt a more professional posture with those who may differ with your opinions”
    “If I were a pastor of one of the churches you take issue with, I’d be smiling at some of the dialog occurring here”

    “Let’s respectfully debate points ”

    Nuff said.

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    Thanks Dee, I do respect what you’re doing here. It’s important.

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    Alison said:
    “Yes Dee, America was a much better place in her earlier years than she is now. ”

    Again I ask. For who?

    And I’m not saying things are perfect or anywhere near it now but I do feel in the past the people in charge tended to glorify their situation while ignoring the “others”.

    A great statement I heard from a historian once. History is written by the upper classes and the winners. So make sure when you study it you look for clues to how everyone else lived.

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    Dee, Lynn, Arce – great posts!

    (why is everything being italicized?)

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    For a reason I don’t know at this time you can’t end a formatting tag with
    open brace tag slash close brace

    it must be
    open brace slash tag close brace

    Without spaces. Everyone wanting to bold, italic, etc… please try and make the tags work.


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    They are not misconceptions. You believe that only because you have digested so much of the biased and misre-presentative literature put out by one side of the issue. There are many falsehoods and outright lies put forth by the pro-life movement, aided and abetted in many cases by state legislators. And the source you referenced is among them.

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    Oops a glitch double posted my last post.

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    Lynn and Arce, I’m in the middle of a big project right now and really cannot take time to debate you on this. Since these topics have been so well documented already, I’m referring you to books and resources to help you see a different perspective. It’s up to you whether or not you choose to check them out. I’m sorry I can’t take time now to answer you great questions.

    For Arce:
    Pro-Life Answers to Pro-Choice Questions by Randy Alcorn

    For Lynn:
    The book titled Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies that Have Obscured our Nation’s Greatness by Daniel J. Flynn

    Flynn goes into the roots of anti-Americanism and it’s an important read for every open minded person. He has been booted out of campus lecture halls for his beliefs and his past writings have been subjected to public book burnings. He is executive director of Accuracy in Academia, his articles have appeared in several mainstream news outlets and he has been featured on Fox News, C-SPAN, and other television and radio programs nationwide.

    To the admin: Let me see if this works…..


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    Yep, that’s what I expected. I think in my earlier post I just forgot to close the end out. Thanks.

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    @ Dee re. Truro Synagogue: I was posting about that for Alison.

    But hey, my state was founded by a Dissenting pacifist (William Penn), so maybe my views have been “skewed” by his religious “liberalism”? (Read: acceptance of people who were not part of the established church and/or were not welcomed in many of the other colonies due to their religious beliefs.)

    Mennonites and Amish and Moravians and all sorts of “unacceptable” (to most) Christians were welcome here, as were people who were deists and atheists and Jewish and all manner of other beliefs/no-belief.

    Even Methodists! 😉

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    A lot of the different issues we’re concerned about have a common origin. See trailer:

    The full documentary is excellent.

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    You keep referring us to articles, books, videos etc., that come from biased sources, and in one case you refer to an item allegedly by homosexual writers that has been challenged as a scam, as having been written to “set up” a basis for anti-gay people to use as a basis to attack homosexuals. Please be aware that many of us have explored the literature on BOTH sides of these issues, considering anything less, by a commenter on them, to be less than intellectually honest. I have a Ph.D. in psychology and a broad background in policy, and have been a Christian for 55 years, most of that time an active Baptist in SBC or formerly SBC churches, Deacon, lay pastor, Sunday School teacher, personnel committee chair, budget committee vice chair, etc. I also have a law degree and have 12 yrs experience as a practicing attorney. I have been a mediator for over 40 years, and have served as a arbitrator.

    I am not pro-gay. I am pro-people of all kinds who are not busy bashing others. I work to be forgiving of bashers.

    I consider it incumbent on me as a citizen of this country to educate myself on all of the issues that are in the current political and religious spheres, especially prior to commenting on them. I tend to go to original sources, and to read reviews with a skeptical eye. I investigate the authorship of studies and consider the possible logical fallacies and methodological and statistical errors in them (I have taught research methods, research design, and statistics at the graduate level). I am skeptical regarding what anyone affiliated with a “side” in an issue has to say about the other side. I look for solutions to problems that are win-win or at least non-loss–non-loss. I am a civil libertarian — I value our constitution and bill of rights, even the fourth amendment, which the courts have turned into swiss cheese, with very little cheese left. I am not terribly tolerant of historical revisionists, people who rewrite history to fit their goals.

    So when you disagree with what I write, understand that I have a basis for what I say, often in personal experience and otherwise from in-depth study of both sides, with particular reference to the science data. BTW, I have a broad and in-depth background in sciences, including chemistry, pharmacology, genetics, and human biology generally and read regularly in scientific journals.

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    “For Lynn: The book titled Why the Left Hates America: Exposing the Lies that Have Obscured our Nation’s Greatness by Daniel J. Flynn”

    You’re not answering my questions. I don’t disagree that there’s a left leaning part of society who wants to say everything was evil and only a liberal society is any good. But what I’m asking is who was this America of the past so good for except the white middle class so some degree.

    Was it better for those who had to fear being lynched for some minor misstep?

    For the blacks who were given a pitiful education such that when my schools desegregated they were all placed in the “special” classes due to their abysmal abilities due to a lack of any kind of real education? And yes the school board was all white Christian (mostly SBC) in my county.

    Was it better for the fake Christians who showed up on Sundays but that was about all they did.

    Was it better for the girls who were told they had to wear a dress to school when it was 4 below. (Actually that ended the girls must wear a dress requirement.)

    Again just who was it better for? Simple question. No long research essays required.

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    My name is Alison. I am going to flood this comment board with tons of biased statistics about how the homosexual community caused 9/11, rising gas prices, why I couldn’t find a parking space at the mall, etc. Oh, don’t try to disagree with me because I am working on a BIG project, and can’t be bothered.

    I will leave you with my favorite Shakespearean quote:

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks”

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    although I don’t have Arce’s credentials, I am probably as skeptical as he is and try to read as much from all sides of an issue as possible.

    Being trained in historical research, I must admit that I am adamantly opposed to the kinds of historical revisionism being pushed by some folks today.

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    When all is said and done and the Millers are popped open at day’s end, it’s all about spin. The documentary you’ve linked to is no exception. Both the far right and the far left see things in stark black & white, and want you (us) to see things that way too.

    What both camps don’t count on is folks who may be a little of both and who refuse to fall into lock-step with everything they say.

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    Pluralism has come to America due to political correctness and it is killing our culture and diluting our Christian witness.

    Alison I think you are kidding yourself. Lets take a simple example of our politics. Politicians are constantly being asked what they “believe” about various issues. Not what policies they intend to implement but what they “believe”. The idea that beliefs are vitally important, and the real core issues comes directly from Protestantism. An American politician isn’t allowed to answer when asked about an issue, “I don’t have a strong opinion so I’ll just follow leadership” or “I don’t have a strong opinion, this is one of those issues I’m going to be flexible and follow the donor community” or “I don’t have a strong opinion. I’m just going to follow the platform”. Instead they are required to have “beliefs” on just about everything, which of course they like most people don’t really have. You don’t see that in other countries.

    What happened with Anthony Weiner is a good example of Christian influence. Who cares who politicians are having sex with? Why would we expect a group of sales people whose job it is to help the public consolidate opinion and then verify those opinions are being acted on by the government bureaucracy to meet something like the Christian standards of leadership? Why would we expect them to be moral in a sex outside of Christian ideals about leaders being upright in their family life?

    A third area is prostitution laws. Right now we have US troops, in muslim countries buying local women which is virtually guaranteed to harm the war effort. In the 19th century armies used to travel with prostitutes for these sorts of engagements to avoid inflaming locals against the army buy buying their women (sorry for the sexist language). We don’t do that today, primarily because in the change in attitudes towards the army and government morals brought about by Finney revivals.

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    As an aside, “pluralism” has been part of the Americas since long before any Europeans came here. (Y’know, all the Native Americans and native Hawaiians and…)

    Even a cursory look at the history of the original 13 colonies will show quite a diversity of belief – Protestants of many stripes, Roman Catholics, some Jewish communities, deists, atheists, agnostics and goodness knows who/what all else.

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    [add to my most recent comment..}

    Dee has noted some of the more egregious wrongs that white people committed against Native peoples here in the US.

    I grew up about 90 miles from the 1st “Indian school,” where children who had been taken from Western reservations (sometimes by force) were made to give up their languages, religious beliefs, clothing and cultures, in order to make them into “model citizens.” The legacy of that schools is NOT a good one.

    A few nights ago, I was reading some text in an online exhibit posted by the Museum of the American Indian, and they noted that Indians on Western reservations (in northern Plains states and in Oklahoma) used patriotic holidays – like the Fourth of July – to celebrate their own religious and cultural ceremonies under the guise of typical 4th picnic activities. (Native religions were banned for many decades – the repeal of those laws is actually quite recent – and so is US citizenship for American Indians. I know that last might sound crazy, but it”s true.)

    So… a really nifty irony on the Indians’ part. What better way to gather *and* get to do what they’d done prior to being forced onto reservations than by choosing the single most patriotic American holiday?

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    It did not do them any good to have converted to Christianity! There two tribes in Ohio that very early had converted when missionaries visited them. They were slaughtered by whites in 1782 who mistook them for other natives that had kidnapped and killed whites in Pennsylvania. Look up Gnadenhutten.

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    Before we wax maudlin & tearful over the plight of the Indian (oops! er, Native Americans I mean) and how they lived a peaceful idyll that got ruined when the whites came, let’s let facts intrude for a moment.

    There was never any such thing. The natives were going to war with each other over resources (fishing grounds, prime corn, bean, and squash growing bottom lands) with the same gusto that folks did in the Old World long before they set foot in the new. They were also inflicting as horrific and ghastly forms of torture and execution on each other as Torquemada did to his victims in Spain.

    I come from a Native American heritage myself (Menominee tribe, northern Wisconsin), but I am not above recognizing and pointing out one-sided vilification of one culture, and embarassing truths from my own.

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    RE: CD-Host @ Thu, Jun 23 2011 at 03:53 pm

    You might enjoy Frank Schaeffer’s new book:

    ~Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible’s Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics–and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway~

    And numo, I just about split a gut every time Keillor talks about Lutherans (NPR radio) in the North Central U.S. Absolutely hillarious!!!

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    Thanks for the thoughts on the Native Americans. Did you know that I worked as a nurse for the Navajo Tribe for 2 years?

    I do not think the Indians were any more peaceful that their conquerors. What I meant was that the English did a poor job of maintaining their contracts (treaties) with the tribes. They were shabbily treated, especially in the forced relocation called the Trail of Tears.

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    Fake Alison

    You have a future in blog analysis! Thanks for the chuckle.

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    Thank you for the laugh with your prophecy that this blog might outlast the SBC. Meant to respond a couple of days ago.

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    I thought you might enjoy a little levity in all that’s been on here recently. And, who knows, the SBC was created in a division over slavery, the most extreme form of discrimination. Perhaps the issue of women, or gays, or partisan politics, or some other issue will fracture what remains of the SBC, and we will end up with two (or more) differently named regional or issue oriented “baptist” entities. After it has been 166 years in the making to this point, and there are many who do not like being in the same group as some of the others. I think they all hold on because they don’t want to give up the property — the seminaries, the publishing operation, and the rights to “Lottie Moon” and “Annie Armstrong” (the names, not the heritage!!!). If the less radically fundamentalist churches pulled their money out, the entire structure would collapse — the high salaried easy to be the boss jobs would disappear in a heartbeat and then what would be left to fight over. Even the seminaries would collapse without the giving from the non-fundies in the SBC.

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    I wasn’t meaning to give the impression that Native Americans were any less contentious than those who conquered them (us), only that the colonists – and the US government – have done all sorts of terrible things to the native peoples here in the US. (Like overthrowing a sovereign nation with a parliament and holding its reigning monarch captive in a small bedroom – that happened in Hawaii, when the grandchildren of the original missionaries decided that they wanted more land for their sugar cane and pineapple plantations… and even though a delegation of Hawaiians kept asking that sovereignty be restored, it’s never happened.)

    My comment about the way people snuck their religions and cultures right under the noses of the army and Bureau of Indian Affairs was meant as a shout-out to all who found ways ro preserve what was good, even when it was illegal. And hey – those Indian boarding schools were awful. Check the history of the Carlisle Indian School (the one I alluded to above). I can’t blame people for feeling bitter and angry today… there are no registered tribes or reservations in my state, because the people were both driven out and exterminated. And yet, the valley where I live was quite well-populated back in the late 1600s-early 1700s. One of the local Lenape chiefs, Logan – who advocated for peace – well, he and his people got shafted. (And had to keep moving further and further west, until they were no longer in the state of PA, and then…)

    It *is* sad, no question, although I don’t want to put it in “Lo, the poor Indian” terms… Last year, I met a bunch of Lenape who had driven pretty long distances to come and dance at a local university-sponsored powwow.

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    My mistake: Logan was a Mingo, though what that means, I am not sure.

    There were a lot of Lenape in PA< though.

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    @ Fake Allison: LOLZ!

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    Been out for awhile and am just getting caught up on all these comments. I just wanted to toss a couple things out there.

    The first is that it seems like it has been underestimated how much, and the Bible communicates about the evil of homosexuality. Off the top of my head (and checking to make sure I am right 🙂 here are some Scriptures:

    Jude 7 (which references Sodom)
    Gen 19 (the whole story)
    Deuteronomy 23:17
    Leviticus 20:13 (and elsewhere in Lev I am sure)
    1 Tim 1:10
    1 Cor 6:9-10
    Romans 1
    Lev 18:22 (I knew it was in there again)

    Even if these chapters and verses are the only places in Scripture where this issue is addressed (I think I hit all the main ones) it is very clear what Scripture teaches. I don’t think there is any reason to shy away from this.

    Someone asked why Christians are making a big deal about this sin as opposed to others (or something to that effect). I think it mostly has to do with the fact that it is in front of us constantly in pop culture, and presented as though it were not a sin. So teachers, knowing that folks are being constantly fed the idea that it is a good thing, naturally are going to need to present the biblical view, which is in opposition to that.

    However, I do think that the attitude, and method with which this issue has been addressed is not always loving, understanding, or in many cases particularly intelligent. Often the issue of homosexuality is too prominent of an issue because it is an easy target. I love this quote from Mohler:

    “The challenge represented by the possibility (or probability) of legalized same-sex marriage demands our attention and involvement, as well.

    But divorce harms many more lives than will be touched by homosexual marriage. Children are left without fathers, wives without husbands, and homes are forever broken. Fathers are separated from their children, and marriage is irreparably undermined as divorce becomes routine and accepted. Divorce is not the unpardonable sin, but it is sin, and it is a sin that is condemned in no uncertain terms.

    Evangelical Christians are gravely concerned about the family, and this is good and necessary. But our credibility on the issue of marriage is significantly discounted by our acceptance of divorce. To our shame, the culture war is not the only place that an honest confrontation with the divorce culture is missing.

    Divorce is now the scandal of the evangelical conscience.”

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    Divorce is as high with professing evangelicals. It could very well be that many are taught patriarchy in marriage and we know that is a big problem. They should be teaching the NT truth of mutual submission but guys like Mohler, do not.

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    Once again, thanks for your tolerance and irenic outlook on dissenters. In another venue, I would have been booed from the lectern (for the Native American comments), shunned by colleagues, and had the villagers brandishing pitchforks and torches howling for my ouster.

    I am well aware of the horror and human suffering on The Trail of Tears. Even Jefferson deemed Jackson “unfit” for the office of the presidency.

    Jackson’s cruelty knew no bounds. Historian Bobby L. Lovett recounts that Jackson once offered a reward to anyone who administered 300 lashes to one of his escaped slaves.

    It doesn’t take a medical degree to quickly figure out that it amounted to a grisly death sentence for the hapless victim. If shock and blood loss didn’t claim the poor devil during the flogging, gangrene surely would in the aftermath.

    I once proposed that Jackson’s likeness on our twenty dollar note currency be removed and replaced with Martin Luther King’s likeness. One zealous and patriotic soul told me that it is because of America-hating-leftist-scum like me that the Lord’s hand of judgment will surely fall on a nation who has rejected her Christian roots.

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    Any soul who calls you scum is neither a patriot or a gentleman! And I agree with you on the matter of Jackson! So, I am fellow scum!

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    There is a substantial scholarly dispute with a significant sized group that says that the passage about Lot and Sodom had nothing to do with homosexual sex, but has been mistranslated and misunderstood.

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    @ Muff and Dee: totally agree on Jackson.

    @ Arce: yes indeed re. those passages on Lot, the angels and the men in Sodom.

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    How would that significantly sized group deal with the fact that Scripture itself (Jude 1:7) clearly indicates that the Sodom passage is about homosexuality, at least in part? (Aside from the fact that it is obvious from a plain reading of the text that would had to have been completely mangled by translators?)

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    It dates to the Septuagint, which was likely the version in use when Jude was written.