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Tuesday, April 2, 2013

John Corvino: God Said It, I Believe It, That Settles It

Posted by on Tue, Apr 2, 2013 at 10:00 AM

A new video series from John "The Gay Moralist" Corvino. John's new book—What's Wrong With Homosexuality?—was published earlier this month.


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theophrastus 1
Do you really want this guy as your nemesis, Dan? (superheros are judged by their super-villians; and if you choose bad-mayo-man here...)
Posted by theophrastus on April 2, 2013 at 10:07 AM · Report this
This dude just keeps making all of my arguments for me.
Posted by ColdComfort on April 2, 2013 at 10:08 AM · Report this
Mmmmmm.... Shrimp cocktail!
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 2, 2013 at 10:15 AM · Report this
Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn 4
Actually I'm pretty sure the Bible says you can just go right ahead and pick and choose which parts to take literally, which parts to take out of context, and which parts to ignore or reinterpret. Scripture is pretty firm in asserting that we have no need of logic, rational consistency or conformity to observable facts about reality. From calling a whale a fish to assigning a value of 3 to pi, it's all whim and fancy.

More simply, John Corvino says that what bothers him most is the inconsistency, the double standards. Well, if you choose to follow the Bible, even follow it loosely, you have already accepted inconsistency and you have no standards at all.
Posted by Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu R'lyeh wgah'nagl fhtagn on April 2, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
People can believe or not believe the bible as inconsistently as they choose.
This is america.
No one needs Johns or Dannys or anyone elses stamp of approval on how they believe or do not believe the bible.
Posted by John didn't get the memo. "this is America. DumbAss." on April 2, 2013 at 10:44 AM · Report this
Inconsistency bothers John.

How about the inconsistency of someone who lives as a heterosexual for decades, is heteromarried, has kids the old fashioned hetero way; then after 30-40 years declares that they "are" homosexual?

When the rest of us call BullShit does John join the chorus?

Does THAT inconsistency bother him?
Posted by We Hate folks who are Inconsistent about Inconsistency. on April 2, 2013 at 10:49 AM · Report this
Max Solomon 7
futile and pointless. they're not listening. they won't listen. only if you repent and agree with them will they listen.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 2, 2013 at 10:52 AM · Report this
@7 Mostly they don't listen, but sometimes they do. If logic and reason never changed anybody's mind about stuff like this LGBT people would never have become as accepted as they are.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 11:03 AM · Report this
@5, it's true. You can pick and choose whatever parts of the Bible you want.

And if you purposefully decide to pick and choose the really awful, bigoted parts of the Bible, you're going to get called out on it.
Posted by GermanSausage on April 2, 2013 at 11:06 AM · Report this
@6 Ooooh! Some clueless dude was married to a repressed lesbian and never forgave her after she figured herself out!

Dude, first you need to accept that you fucked up her life for 30-40 years, even while she was doing her best to make you happy. Then, forgive both of you, and try to move on.

See? If same sex marriage had been legal all along, and we didn't stigmatize homosexuality, you would have never married the wrong person. She would have figured herself out long before you were dating.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 2, 2013 at 11:07 AM · Report this

Actually we were thinking of Meredith Baxter.
Married three times and has five children.
Baxter said she first realized she was a lesbian when she began her first same-sex relationship in 2002.
can you see our eyes rolling?
Posted by We Never Touched Her! We Swear!! on April 2, 2013 at 11:13 AM · Report this


Now we're really afraid.......
Posted by Zounds! called out by a meat byproduct. on April 2, 2013 at 11:15 AM · Report this
James6 13
Why are we wasting our time trying to base arguments about reality on a book of fiction?

I find him more irritating with every video.
Posted by James6 on April 2, 2013 at 11:25 AM · Report this
@11 Is it possible that homosexuality is a choice for the dykes but not for the fags?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this
@11 Can you not see the pitfalls of forcing children to conform to your dreams instead of learning to love who they are?

Two generations after same-sex marriage is fully accepted, practically no conflicted/repressed gay people will feel forced to marry a person of the opposite sex, messing up both their lives.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 2, 2013 at 11:30 AM · Report this
treefort 16
I don't like to argue from the bible for two reasons. One, christians spend all their time thinking about their interpretation, and they're never going to be swayed by by someone else's view of their "truth." Two, as soon as you quote from the bible, you've accepted the premis that a collection of fables written by iron age nomads is the ultimate authority of everything. That drags us far from the land where truth matters into christian fantasy land. I like to stay out of there.
Posted by treefort on April 2, 2013 at 11:31 AM · Report this
@13 & 16 I think there are probably a fair number of people who enjoy the sense of community they get from church who also don't want to be mean to gays and lesbians. Who know, maybe John Corvino will change a few minds.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 11:47 AM · Report this
nocutename 18
@13, 16, et al: Corvino isn't trying to reach you; his targets are those who are believers in the primacy of the bible. He addresses religious Christian people on their own terms, which is far more likely to be effective than arguments that just nullify their entire belief system. Dan makes the identical points, but in a much more abrasive way, and from the perspective of an obvious non-believer, which makes it easier for religious folks to dismiss him as a godless, foul-mouthed, blasphemous culture warrior for satan.

You don't need that perspective, but John Corvino isn't trying to preach to the choir, even if they might be the only ones listening. He would have even more credibility with the people he's trying to reach if he were straight, and more still if he were a minister, but he's doing what he can.
Posted by nocutename on April 2, 2013 at 11:51 AM · Report this
James6 19
Really, #18? What good did he do by working with hateful mega-bigots like Maggie Gallagher, aside from to her bottom line?
Posted by James6 on April 2, 2013 at 11:58 AM · Report this

We all must to some extent harness our impulses if we are to function in society.

And conform, to some extent, to acceptable societal standards.

We probably all, for example, would agree that someone who desires sexual contact with children must control and not act on those impulses.

Enlightened societies recognize that there are innate differences between males and females and provide appropriate gender role models. We might quibble about exactly where to draw the lines but the broad outlines of acceptable and desirable gender behavior used to be widely accepted.

Children "Learning who they are"; in the absence of appropriate societal standards and guidance, results in a sexual anarchy and confusion, instability and deep dissatisfaction.
We see this in the Looney Tunes letters Danny features daily.

And, actually the opposite of what you project is true; in the societal subsets that embrace Danny's philosophy the only constant is the ever present "messing up of...lives".
The flavors and varieties of deviancy and selfishness and irresponsibility bewilder but all lead top the same destructive end.

In summary: Enlightened societies provide adult supervision and guidance to children.
In Gommorah, by contrast, everything goes; and everything goes to hell eventually.

Posted by Don't Fear The Rules. They Are Your Friends..... on April 2, 2013 at 12:27 PM · Report this
When I have bible quotes thrown at me I fire back with quotes from Horton Hears A Who and The Cat In The Hat and Green Eggs And Ham. At some point they get my meaning and they shut up.
Posted by kwodell on April 2, 2013 at 12:29 PM · Report this
@19 Is it possible that by working w/ Maggie Gallagher he was able to convince a few people on the other side to listen to what he had to say?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 12:30 PM · Report this
Max Solomon 23
@8: i think we're down to the people who will never listen. as in, anyone who takes leviticus literally.

i think we're at the point where they are irrelevant, too.
Posted by Max Solomon on April 2, 2013 at 12:37 PM · Report this
@20 Research shows that rape is far less common in America than it once was. One study found that between 1979 and 2009 the rate at which women were sexually assaulted fell by 85%. During that time we saw the rise of internet porn, Savage Love, and Girls Gone Wild. If a loosening of the rules and mores regarding sexuality inevitably leads to people doing whatever they want w/o regard for the consequences to themselves or anyone else shouldn't the number of rapes have gone up instead of down?
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
James6 25
#22: doubt it. I've seen videos of his debates with them, and frankly he's just not that great at it. Plus, co-authoring a book with that bitch only lends credence to her ridiculous brand of nonsense and hate.
Posted by James6 on April 2, 2013 at 12:46 PM · Report this
@20 There is a major fault in your reasoning which completely sabotages your conclusion. Matters of the heart, and one's sense of affiliation are not "impulses." They are essential parts of being. If you do not understand that point, then you are obviously at war with your own.

As for children, those are the people who grow up to be adults. Usually. An upbringing that browbeats and denies the essence of their capacity for love is going to result in a confused and unhappy adult. Possibly two, or even more, depending who else's life they affect.

Are you happy? Your bitter and contentious messages seem to imply you aren't.
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on April 2, 2013 at 12:51 PM · Report this

Not likely.

People on the other side think she is a porcine cunt.

Her only purpose in life is to give Danny a hardon.
Posted by not even her momma likes her. on April 2, 2013 at 12:52 PM · Report this

Ken, don't pull your cute shit on us. We aren't amused.

Out of wedlock birth and child abuse and child neglect are the fruits of "a loosening of the rules and mores regarding sexuality ". And ever less competent generations following.

Danny's "Every Child Deserves a Married Mother and Father" points that up repeatedly.
Posted by don't bother The Troll when he's working on April 2, 2013 at 12:57 PM · Report this
@28 Yep, far more children are being raised by single mothers than in the past, and far fewer women are trapped in relationships w/ abusive partners, and it's a lot harder for pervert priests to molest boys and get away with it. There are disadvantages to the looser and more honest set of sexual mores we've adopted in the 21st century, but there are a lot more advantages.
Posted by Ken Mehlman on April 2, 2013 at 1:15 PM · Report this

Raising their children without the bothersome presence of those children's fathers truly is a huge boon to today's woman.
Posted by Thank You, Ma'am.... on April 2, 2013 at 1:24 PM · Report this
@18, nocutename: you say, "godless, foul-mouthed, blasphemous culture warrior for satan" like it's a bad thing!

I agree that Corvino is more likely to establish a mental toehold with the target audience. But his bigger influence may be if people like us adopt some of his non-abrasive style and thoughtful arguments in discussions with bigoted co-workers and troglodyte neighbors. I know I have fun playing "Gotcha! with Mormon and Witness proselytizers on my doorstep, but really, a softer approach would be a more effective, more insidious way to plant seeds of doubt into their worldview.
Posted by DAVIDinKENAI on April 2, 2013 at 1:31 PM · Report this

"Matters of the Heart" *sigh!*

You are so precious.

flitting flighty lurches from one orientation(s) and/or sexual partner(s) to another to another?

When your "heart" gets bored move on? Right?

Matters of the heart bear the most productive fruit when their energy is harnessed by enlightened codes of conduct.


We are very happy.

It saddens us to see so many buy into a destructive lifestyle; saddened especially for the children who are the innocent victims of those shortsighted selfish lifestyle choices made by the "adults" in their lives.

Some small consolation comes from the fact that those destructive lifestyles are self-limiting eventually; like a virulent quick acting viruses they kill their host in fairly short order.

Happy indeed.

We never realized until we read Slog how high atop the gene pool we sit...

And we never imagined something as delightful as sex could be rendered so toxic and frustrating as Gommorians make it.

Posted by Butterflies on April 2, 2013 at 1:55 PM · Report this

what seeds are those, you clever devil?
Posted by this should be good..... on April 2, 2013 at 1:57 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 34
The idea we have a "softer" approach rankles me. If you look at history, nobody ever won their deserved rights by being nice. Hell, if that were true, the civil war would have been unnecessary. Some people put you on a leash. You can gently tug, but you're still leashed. No, you need to bite through the leash and free yourself.
Posted by Pope Peabrain on April 2, 2013 at 2:07 PM · Report this
nocutename 35
@31: David, some of my best friends are godless, foul-mouthed, blasphemous culture warriors for satan. Good point that some of us could take a leaf from his book of considered civility and sober tone. It's not as much fun as ranting and frothing, but it often is far more effective.

I stopped playing Gotcha! a long time ago, and agree that a thoughtful, considered, and respectful tone is the best way to engage in discourse. I like Dan's turn of phrase (except when he says "fuck the shit out of," which he says frequently. I don't want the words "fuck" and "shit" to be that syntactically close to each other--it has a gross-out effect on me. I would much prefer the construction "fuck his/her brains out." But I digress . . .) as a general thing: it's irreverent and funny. But I suspect that it comes off as strident and offensive and too profanity-laced to be listened to by many of the very people he needs to reach.

Posted by nocutename on April 2, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
nocutename 36
@35: It's only the medium that's "softer." There's not a point that Corvino makes in this that Dan hasn't made also. It's simply that he doesn't do it by calling the bible "bullshit." Which means that some religious people might actually listen to him as he makes those exact same points.

You can call this "soft," or you can call it pragmatic.
Posted by nocutename on April 2, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
Rob in Baltimore 37
Just like present day Christians ignore Biblical rules about women remaining silent in church, rules forbidding hair braiding, or wearing gold, or that women must never hold authority over men, Christians are more and more putting behind them the silly passages about homosexuality.
Posted by Rob in Baltimore on April 2, 2013 at 2:53 PM · Report this
Oh, so THAT'S what shrimping is...
Posted by Drew2u on April 2, 2013 at 5:12 PM · Report this
lolorhone 39
Modern-day Christians have done an obviously piss-poor job of steering the faithful away from intolerant extremism. The NALT set is who I believe Corvino is addressing here. Despite the forward progression of the nation, religion is not going to die. So Corvino is offering a way to have faith- even explicitly Bible-based Christian faith- without succumbing to the biblical literalism that gives rise to so much hatred and exclusion. I think it's thankless but important work- and I don't have a religious bone in my body.
Posted by lolorhone on April 3, 2013 at 1:20 AM · Report this
Alanmt 40
@31 I bring my young daughter to the door and gently explain to her that these are bad people who are trying to hurt her family. It tends to shake them up a bit.
Posted by Alanmt on April 3, 2013 at 5:31 AM · Report this
Now this is actually something I can watch with my mother that she has a chance of getting and not being able to counter, though there will be some sputtering "but-but-but!" Still, I can see a crack opening in her understanding here.
Most arguments from non-Christians about the Bible don't really get how Christians see and read the Bible. (And why should they, but it won't do any convincing.)
Posted by CLDG on April 3, 2013 at 10:41 AM · Report this
That is to say: evangelical Christians
Posted by CLDG on April 3, 2013 at 10:42 AM · Report this
@10, I'm not sure that falling in love with/marrying a closeted person makes you evil, nor does it mean that you should accept that you "fucked up her life for 30-40 years". Being gay isn't a bad thing, but neither is being straight.
Posted by doodle4395 on April 4, 2013 at 1:30 PM · Report this

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