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1

Shoutouts to the United Methodist churchgoers, who are typically nice, non-crazy, and down with The Gays. Boo to the United Methodist Book of Discipline, which says that "the practice of homosexuality is inconsistent with Christian teaching."

Posted by Greg | December 14, 2007 10:36 AM
2

Why is accepting homosexuality so hard for so many Christians?

Because it's tough to admit that you've been unjustly condemning, ridiculing, and murdering people unjustly. Duh.

Posted by Providence | December 14, 2007 10:38 AM
3

Whoops. I was unjust to the adverb unjustly just now and used it too much. Sorry.

Posted by Providence | December 14, 2007 10:39 AM
4

If we're going to ask where the peaceful muslims are, then maybe we should be asking why sane christians aren't up-in-arms about this garbage. This church activity is nothing but a scam, why are tolerant christians not being vocal. Why do the FCC and IRS condone this by not cracking down on these fraudulent claims on TV and tax exempt 'religious' organizations.

Enough is enough in this country. The US is becoming a pineapple democracy because the extremes have a voice at the expense of the moderates.

Posted by left coast | December 14, 2007 10:50 AM
5

I never thought that in my lifetime the Christianists would take over America. Boy was I wrong.

Posted by arduous | December 14, 2007 10:52 AM
6

I think it was in Romans 26.5.7 that said: "Ye and the ill of mind shall be have their gold taketh away to build thy house of worship."

Posted by boxofbirds | December 14, 2007 10:53 AM
7

I think people need someone to blame for all the terrible things in the world or their life. Depending on where you were born and your upbringing, it could be the gays, the Americans, the blacks, the illegal immigrants, the Jews (resulting in homophobia, extremism, racism, xenophobia, anti-Semitism, etc., etc.). But, there has to be some group of people who is responsible for the world's ills, otherwise, life is just purposelessly cruel.

Posted by Julie | December 14, 2007 10:54 AM
8

"We laid hands on him," he got "filled by the Holy Ghost," and "plugged into the church"? Interesting choice of words.

Posted by California | December 14, 2007 10:55 AM
9

Fundies: About 2 degrees of seperation from the Nazis who shoved Jews into ovens.

Posted by michael strangeways | December 14, 2007 11:05 AM
10

leftcoast: us progressive christians ARE up in arms about the hijacking of our faith. if you haven't noticed this, you're not paying attention.

Posted by Kevin Erickson | December 14, 2007 11:11 AM
11

A gay man with the nickname BJ. That's rich. Also, agreed with #9.

Posted by blowjob | December 14, 2007 11:12 AM
12

I think it's funny that his nickname is B.J. I am not 14, I swear.

Posted by Fracas | December 14, 2007 11:13 AM
13

damn you blowjob.

Posted by Fracas | December 14, 2007 11:13 AM
14

@4- I don't know what a "pineapple democracy" is, but it sounds delicious!

Posted by Acme toy co. | December 14, 2007 11:16 AM
15

I saw this segment on the news a few weeks ago and it is always amazing to me when religious fanatics use segments of the bible and other rewritings for their own gain especially money. All the while ignoring basic teaching which say god loves everyone. But there is not much that can be said here that will change the demented reliance on fantasy they use to get through life.
Some of us are always shocked that religion can have such a hold on people, a hold powerful enough to make them think a certain way and do ridiculous things.
I was thinking as many of us do about this insanity. If there was a god then was he watching as Willy Pickton slaughtered women and dismembered them at a pig farm and just let it happen over and over (possibly 60 times) and then watched the victims families praying to him in a complete emotional breakdown. If there was a god then that does not make any sense because if he was soo all powerful he would not make anything like that happen... ever.
But like I said it is all fantasy, people are gullible and use "god" conveniently. To make money and to let themselves hate, lovingly. You can't have it both ways. You can't hate and love at the same time. Hating means you do not like the person because of something they have done or represent and love means you accept them for who they are. Hating the sin and loving the person is more fantasy is a way to promote a religious agenda. It is conveniently deciding what sin is and who will get to be in the club and each club has their own idea regarding what sin is. This mental illness is wide spread to the point of affecting governments.
Ok I will stop now because this subject is so fucked!

Posted by -B- | December 14, 2007 11:17 AM
16

@10 is probably right, although I haven't really seen it either. I'm just assuming that because the "sane Christians" aren't being led by obnoxious nutjobs like Pat Robertson or James Dobson, they aren't getting as much media coverage. Insanity and fundamentalism sell newspapers. Sanity and moderation do not.

Posted by Hernandez | December 14, 2007 11:17 AM
17

Not to sound like the fundies I have wanted to strangle me whole life, but I kinda get how it can be a challenge to get less literal in your take on "the word".

I'm a gay lady, who was raised catholic, not really sure about god really existing... None-the-less, I see the challenge for christians in being selective about how they interpret the bible. Maybe it's laziness, but it's a more complicated process to tease out what the really meaning is from imperfect recording of what they beleive is a perfect message. It's a tough quandry that should be answered by individuals, I think.

Whats left for us as a country to do - defending civil rights (the secular right of me and a girl to get hitched and have the rights of any other hetero couple) and seperation of church and state (keep your ten commandments out of my court houses.)

Posted by Erin | December 14, 2007 11:21 AM
18

So, I'm sorry Dan, is James Stabile a competent adult or isn't he? Because to read this Slog post, you'd think he was an exploited child rather than a lying drama queen who happens to be bipolar.

Being bipolar doesn't mean he's walking around in a haze of suggestibility, just waiting for some psychic opportunist to put the whammy on him.

The guy's not a victim, he's a dick. Every community has them.

Posted by Judah | December 14, 2007 11:30 AM
19

I just moved my boyfriend from Iowa into my house in MN. We drove up I35. Perhaps that had deeper meaning than I thought.

Posted by MGD | December 14, 2007 11:34 AM
20

@ Acme toy co., a pineapple democracy is like a banana republic, only more Dole.

@ MGD, it would have had even more meaning if it were I69.

Posted by Dilf | December 14, 2007 11:44 AM
21

So besides rebelling by not taking his drugs, he rebels by changing religions?

Posted by JenK | December 14, 2007 11:51 AM
22

The fundamentalists are hardly a majority in the Christian faith. But they are an extremely vocal and increasingly media-savvy minority... and from a journalist's perspective, it's a better story to talk about the crazies who organize their lives along lines of bigotry in the name of God. I mean, that's a GREAT story. It's boring to talk about the Christians who are, for better or worse, as liberal and progressively-minded as the journalists themselves.

The other thing is that it's not only Christians who are unaccepting of The Gays -- all kinds of straight folks object to the "unnatural" and unfamiliar homosexual world. Yes, you'll probably find a concentrated group of homo-haters in churches, but you'd probably find an equally concentrated group at the local bars of most small American towns.

Posted by Katelyn | December 14, 2007 11:51 AM
23

Ex-gay harm. Finally this part of the story begins to be told. Too long the public discussion has been over the inane question, "Can gays go straight?" Finally the focus shifts to "What are the costs associated with de-homosexualization?" And with that question others about the people who fall prey to the ex-gay therapies/ministries.

You can read more stories about ex-gay harm at www.beyondexgay.com

Posted by peterson toscano | December 14, 2007 12:01 PM
24

This is great theater.

Posted by Sargon Bighorn | December 14, 2007 12:32 PM
25

Yeah, the moderate christians are boring. They like to not focus on devicive issues and for less than obvious reasons (they aren't taking tithes?) aren't the financial backers of the GOP!

And which is why GOP nomination has turned into a born again pissing match!

Posted by OR Matt | December 14, 2007 12:42 PM
26

"James, or B.J. as his parents affectionately refer to him"

hee

Posted by matt | December 14, 2007 12:51 PM
27

#10 is right. Moderate to progressive Christians are ticked off about the way the fundamentalists/evangelicals have commandeered the term "Christian" and perverted the connotation. The problem is that they only get attention when they oppose a more extreme element in the church, and they (the progressives) just aren't loud enough.

My own denomination has been arguing for years about whether to allow partnered, gay clergy (FWIW, the current guidance is "it's not OK, but we encourage the bishops not to punish anyone who falls into that category until we fight about it again next year). The last time it was on the national conference agenda, the groups who opposed allowing gay clergy to be partnered got the vast majority of the press, despite the fact they were pretty much outnumbered. As a result, the decision was made at that conference not to make a decision. I honestly believe it might have gone the other way if the opposition weren't so loud and...militant.

Posted by Shewho | December 14, 2007 1:19 PM
28

Those guys sound like they're part of some sort of religious cult. When I read the article, I saw all the red flags of a cult. They'll offer you something you want, such as a chance to make a difference in the world, or to have a sense of belonging. In this case, they offered a gay kid who believes in God a chance to be "normal" so that he wouldn't go to hell.
Once the person's hooked, they'll use brainwashig techniques to get a person to believe anything the cult tells them. This usually involves sleep deprivation, but in this case they just took away B.J.'s meds, which were what allowed him to think rationally.
Then they'll isolate the person from their friends and family so that they'll totally rely on the cult for support. Finally, the extreme and over-the-top views of the cult (such as having to wear clothes from the neck down, and always hearing that you're going to hell) become clear, but the person is so brainwashed that they don't see anything strange about it.

Posted by Anna | December 14, 2007 1:25 PM
29

Why is accepting homosexuality so hard for so many other Christians?

Because it interrupts the fairy tale?

Posted by Bauhaus | December 14, 2007 1:27 PM
30

Haha "fairy" tale

Posted by Katelyn | December 14, 2007 1:39 PM
31

Here are a couple of progressive religious organization:

http://www.spiritualprogressives.org/

equalpartnersinfaith.net

Posted by Cathainus | December 14, 2007 1:49 PM
32

I know it's not as bad as it seems on TV, but I'm not hearing Christians preaching understanding anywhere. If there is someone with a sign that says "God hates fags", then some Christian needs to be standing there with one that says "No he doesn't".

I'm starting to wonder whether Islam is really a religion of peace when I see what's going on in its name. But that has to apply equally here. It's time that some reasonable Christians get out there and starting preaching love and understanding.

And do something about it. For all it pious indignation, this country is a very cruel place to live for millions of people.

Posted by left coast | December 14, 2007 1:49 PM
33

Thank God his parents got him out of there. With that kind of background, he would become a prime candidate to run for office as a Republican.

Posted by Gitai | December 14, 2007 2:31 PM
34

There are many progressive Christians who are active and vocal. To echo an earlier point, we usually don't grab press (though we try) because we won't sell, or because the press outlets available in many of our regions don't want the blowback from the militant conservative Christians whose message we're working to counteract. (Yes, I speak from years of personal experience as an queer community leader at a queer friendly progressive church in the midwest.)


Progressive Christians do exist. We do take reasoned action at meetings of religious leaders and in local congregations all the damn time. Progressive Christians may well be all around you, actually. Here is a short list of reasons you may not know that (and I agree with you - none of this makes it okay - I'm just explaining from my experience):


1) As some have already pointed out, militant conservative Christians dominate the public Christian sphere to the point that often when one thinks "Christian", they think of one of those folks. Since hatred (masked as weird "love") and attempts at conversion so often accompany those folks, too many progressive Christians are kind of afriad to speak up about being Christians. Why? Because if you don't already know us really gosh darn well, you will think we are "one of them". As mainstream denomiations, we are aware that this is a huge problem, and that we are doing a sh*tty job of doing anything effective about it. If you have a great idea *AND* billions of dollars from old people frightened with lies who can help us fix it, give me a call. (See, here's another thing about progressive Christians: we spend our money on aid to the poor and such, not fancy fundraising based on lies about minorities, so our budgets work a little differently too.)


2) Here's one no one likes to admit: Progressive Christians are sometimes just not able to articulate their beliefs all that well. At least it seems that way when we are compared to militant conservative Christians who see the world in black and white and can do virtually nothing but recite dogma. This makes them look sure and strong, and in an uncertain world where people are getting f*cked on many fronts and want structure, that sh*t sells on more levels than one.


I could go on and on, but I already have.

Posted by greendyke | December 14, 2007 2:42 PM
35

One more thing: Progressive Christians also protest (see for example www.soulforce.org). I agree that it would be great if there were at least counterprotester at all hate actions just to remind folks that not all Christians are hateful. I love doing that kind of thing. You should try it. It's amazing the love you get from people. Plus there's the fact that you're right! Y'all should try it sometime. Just make a sign. You need no one's permission, you know...

Posted by greendyke | December 14, 2007 2:46 PM
36

@32 what you're missing is that there ARE people counterprotesting the Fred Phelps crew at nearly every place they show up. it's not our fault if it doesn't get media coverage.

Also though, moderate/liberal christians seriously get burnt out on constantly expending all our energy responding to those who abuse the name of Jesus for hateful/selfish ends.

We've got a lot of work to do--ending poverty, stopping global warming, etc. and it's hard to do if we keep getting sidetracked with having to respond everytime some fundie does or says something foolish. Our calling is not to be PR for Jesus. Trying to fight the root causes of religious fundamentalism seems like a better use of time.

Posted by Kevin | December 14, 2007 2:47 PM
37

@36, have to agree with you. The acts are definitley more important than the words. The media in this country is an utter disgrace and completing failing in its role as the fourth branch. Americans can dismiss it, but from outside the U.S. it appears that this country is ruled by religious fanatics.

Funny side note, the CEO of Blackwater is one of those fanatics and has built a shadow US army that the Republicans are planning to use against their own citzens.

You can all say that you're speaking out and doing enough, but look at the disaster the country is becoming. I don't imagine he level of outrage and dissent is much higher than in Germany in the 30s (and people were literally starving under the sanctions in Germany at that time).

Posted by left coast | December 14, 2007 4:04 PM
38

"Why is accepting homosexuality so hard for so many other Christians?"

Dunno. Why is accepting Christianity so hard for some homosexuals?

(I know an awful lot of Christians who have no issue whatsoever with homosexuality. Some are, in fact, homosexual. And married. In the church. I know, I know...I'm talking crazy talk.)

Posted by Lee Gibson | December 14, 2007 5:23 PM
39

@38 ... The other part of it is this ...

This might sound totally nihilistic and I can understand how a homosexual can come to this conclussion because it's the same one I've come to.

It's easier to believe god doesn't exist so you don't have to hate him ...

Posted by OR Matt | December 14, 2007 5:25 PM
40

@38- I'm frankly unsure what to do with that. other than to wish you peace and joy in your life.

Seriously. That might sound trite, but it's sincere.

Posted by Lee Gibson | December 14, 2007 6:12 PM
41

Sure is a lot of judgment here. I'm a progressive Methodist at a church w/crosses & flags covering the front lawn for all the killed soldiers - not just to honor them, but to protest the war. Church members also get together to canvas for progressive candidates, among other activities in the community.

Maybe people who are so quick to judge progressive Christians should get to know one first. This story disgusts me just as much as everyone else. It's just that there are idiots everywhere - some are Christians, some aren't.

Posted by Megan | December 14, 2007 7:32 PM
42

Megan there is sure one thing that we can ALL be certain on. YOU personally did not start it, but THEY started it. The Billy Grahms, the Ted Haggards of the world who totally passed judgement and tried to make us guilty for being human fucking beings.

The sexuality thing is the icing on the cake, but where religion totally fails for me is this.

Growing up in a family, in the community, being loved and accepted and worshiping wasn't so bad. It was nice and stable. Being a parent in a loving relationship ... with the church ... was a great way to have a community etc. etc.

Where religion TOTALLY fails today day and why it has to evolve for heteros as well. Is that there is this space between childhood and becoming an adult that is becoming longer and longer and more distant from spirituality and your reality. Our 20's are the worst place to start families as we are struggling to establish ourselves, find our identities in an ever complicated world. As far as the real world goes, getting married because you are horny is WORST thing you can do anymore. Personally I'm 27 years old and I don't have the slightest clue what side of the country I'm going to be on ... and the whole Christian structure of totally fails for me ... for many reasons.

Posted by OR Matt | December 14, 2007 8:14 PM
43

Well said, Green Dyke @34 and 35. Progressive Christians do exist and we are perhaps more horrified than anyone else at what this country is becoming as the evangelicals are becoming more powerful. Capitol Hill, by the way, has numerous gay friendly progressive churches of a variety of denominations that help people in need without preaching at them--I am a proud member of one.

Google Jim Wallis and Sojourners for another sane, progressive Christian voice.

Posted by RainMan | December 14, 2007 9:04 PM
44

judging form this thread, it seems that dan and others could do this poor polarized world a good turn and start reporting on the sane and moderate among the religions. i always misheard the seal song as "we're never gonna survive /unless we get a lid on crazy" and i still prefer that version.

Posted by ellarosa | December 14, 2007 9:39 PM
45

He looks like a Christian Adam Sandler.

A brainwashed Christian Adam Sandler.

Posted by NapoleonXIV | December 14, 2007 11:22 PM
46

You know what ... in the land of polarized media, hype and sensationalism. I say the "moderate" christians should play the pity us card, they should get on their soap boxes and scream just as harshly as the jerry farwalls .....

Only then do you get recognized in the world

Posted by OR Matt | December 15, 2007 4:00 PM

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