Join 3,512 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Family Values in Action
April 13, 2004 7:11 AM   Subscribe

Jamiel Terry, son of Randall Terry, famous anti-gay and anti-abortion spokesmen, comes out and speaks out in OUT Magazine . His father preemptively responds before OUT hits the stands, claiming his son has sold out the family for $5,000.
posted by archimago (114 comments total)

 
From Randall's response: "Probably the most painful part for me as a dad is that my son prostituted my name for $5,000"

I think that sums it all up. This asshole isn't so much concerned about his son, or the fact that Jamiel lived most of his life having to repress his true self. Randall is worried about his reputation.

Then he goes on to try to discredit his son, with the "bad checks" and DWI charges. What a piece of shit this guy is. Fuck him.
posted by jpoulos at 7:56 AM on April 13, 2004


Good for Jamiel! It's just like Chris Rock says, you come out hatin' a group of people and eventually they will become family.
I'm sure $5000 isn't nearly worth the anguish he went through...I'm with jpoulos on this one!
posted by black8 at 8:00 AM on April 13, 2004


At first, I thought Jameil was his biological son, which would have restored my faith in divine justice or at least in God's sense of humor.

When I read that he was a foster son, the first thought that occured to me was: Who the hell had the bright idea that Randall Terry would make a good foster parent?.

Putting aside his beliefs (which after all, he has a right to, no matter how addled they are), his zealot lifestyle puts the kid in harms way a lot. But Terry's the type who would sue everybody on the grounds that he's being persecuted or something.

The article dosen't say whether Jameil's converted to being pro-choice. If he hasn't he could always join this group. I should be surprised that they exist, but somehow I'm not.
posted by jonmc at 8:08 AM on April 13, 2004


I personally got damned to hell by Randall Terry, and one of his cronies called me a "Special Agent for Satan". It was all pretty exciting.

This was when I was working as a clinic escort at a family planning clinic in CT. We weren't there to debate, just walk women into the clinic and give them someone to talk to who wasn't screaming at them for their sins against god. We usually had about a dozen protesters, but one day Terry showed up with a hundred or so. He kept trying to argue with me, depite me saying "I'm not interested in talking to you". It's amazing how furious someone can get when all you say is "You're still talking to me, and I asked you to stop" over and over.

My absolute favorite Operation Rescure move was back in philadelphia, where among some anti-abortion protester was a teenager who appeared to have Down's Syndrome or a related genetic disorder.

The teen was wearing a placard that said "Product of a failed abortion".

Deeply and profoundly sick.
posted by malphigian at 8:12 AM on April 13, 2004


From the looks of it, his son and "OUT" treat Terry with more respect than he deserves, and he responds by defaming and discrediting them. Which is what we've come to expect from the xtian taliban.
Jameil should have taken his story to Larry Flynt.
posted by 2sheets at 8:17 AM on April 13, 2004


Amazing, Randall won't allow his son into his house, 'in case he sells him out again', and yet this man has been selling out his son every day of his life, to his beliefs.

Poor deluded bastard.
posted by Blue Stone at 8:17 AM on April 13, 2004


oh man, malphigian about that anti-abortion teenager... that is really wrong.
posted by dabitch at 8:18 AM on April 13, 2004


I personally got damned to hell by Randall Terry, and one of his cronies called me a "Special Agent for Satan".

Guarding an abortion clinic one day/hangin' in a village gay bar next day/you do the right thing, Skip/by busting Randall Terry 'cross the lip/odds are you'll be laughin' loud tommorrow.../Secret Satan Man....
posted by jonmc at 8:26 AM on April 13, 2004


he's lied to his friends, telling them his "famous dad" was going to send him money to pay for his debts (I get calls or e-mails from college friends looking for money);

Which one of these men is the parent?
posted by Jikido at 8:26 AM on April 13, 2004


The funniest part is how careful Randall Terry is to emphasize that Jamiel is his "adopted son." He wants to make sure that we know that he didn't sire the monster, he just tried to tame it.
posted by Mayor Curley at 8:28 AM on April 13, 2004


MayorCurley wrote: The funniest part is how careful Randall Terry is to emphasize that Jamiel is his "adopted son"...

That's exactly what I thought, though I wouldn't call it funny.
posted by tippiedog at 8:44 AM on April 13, 2004


What's sad is that, if these destructive behaviors are true of Jamiel, his father doesn't see that he is struggling with years and years of institutionalized shame courtesy of Dad. Not that this excuses anyone's poor behavior or irresponsibility, but so much for this Christian being forgiving and charitable.

In the moments that I consider the idea of a higher power, I wonder if people like Jamiel and Mary Cheney are sent to their parents as lessons (which they are miserably failing).
posted by archimago at 8:59 AM on April 13, 2004


banned from his house cause Jamiel is probably going to be taking notes for his next big exposé!

self-important imp.
posted by Tryptophan-5ht at 9:00 AM on April 13, 2004


From the father's response:
The story stated, "My father is still trying to get me to go to a three-month retreat to be 'delivered' from homosexuality." This is also not true. Jamiel has repeatedly asked me to pay for him to go to "Love in Action," which offers sound clinical, in-patient therapy to those who want freedom – and they have a great success rate with homosexuals. Even after the article was done, he asked me to help. I have offered to pay for the in-patient care, and the offer still stands.

This doesn't add up. His son repeatedly asked for "help". Did Randall say OK every time? If so, why did his son have to keep asking? If they both wanted the treatment, why would the offer still be standing? Did he only offer it after the article was written? I think Randall Terry might be getting his lies mixed up.
posted by teg at 9:00 AM on April 13, 2004


Let ye who have raised teenage children cast the first stone. Terry may well be in error by making a public statement about his son, but it's a totally understandable one. This is a very painful family situation, and to have it in the public eye must be excruciating.

One more thing: I notice none of you mention that this antiabortion crusader ADOPTED unwanted children into his home-older children who traditionally have a really hard time being placed.
posted by konolia at 10:42 AM on April 13, 2004


What is it that is painful? A son calling his father witty, intelligent and funny? A son telling people what his father already makes public, that he is anti-gay and anti-abortion?

Or perhaps all of the pain comes from the shame we are all supposed to feel over someone's homosexuality.

One more thing: I notice none of you mention . . .

That's probably because that has nothing to do with the situation.
posted by archimago at 10:53 AM on April 13, 2004


I agree with konolia, if you've never had a gay kid, who knows what you might say. It's totally understandable if you end up calling your son a fraud, and a prostitute in the national media, or pull up embarrassing events from their past in order to legitimize this horrible situation.

Maybe if you don't understand how someone could feel this way, you don't really understand christian love.
posted by rhyax at 11:06 AM on April 13, 2004


antiabortion crusader

konolia, putting aside the whole abortion debate, Randall Terry is a dangerous man:

Here's some choice quotes:

"I want you to just let a wave of intolerance wash over. I want you to let a wave of hatred wash over you. Yes, hate is good...Our goal is a Christian nation. We have a biblical duty, we are called by God to conquer this country. We don't want equal time. We don't want pluralism." (The News Sentinel, Fort Wayne, IN, Aug. 16, 1993)

"When I, or people like me, are running the country, you'd better flee, because we will find you, we will try you, and we will execute you. I mean every word of it. I will make it part of my mission to see to it that they are tried and executed...If we're going to have true reformation in America, it is because men once again, if I may use a worn out expression, have a righteous testosterone flowing through their veins. They are not afraid of contempt for their contemporaries. They are not here to get along. They are here to take over..." (Addressing a banquet sponsored by the US Tax Payes Alliance, Aug. 8, 1995)

sounds like a swell fellow. He's also on record as having prayed for the assassination of abortionists.

Regardless of any differences of opinion on abortion or homosexuality, I don't see how anyone could see this guy as anything other than a dangerous demogogue.
posted by jonmc at 11:08 AM on April 13, 2004


No, fuck it. I can't just let that go with some sarcasm, that is possibly the most offensive thing I have ever seen written on this site, konolia.

To call your son a fraud and act in that manner after you have devoted your life to persecuting homosexuals is entirely unacceptable. It is wrong. It is wrong by the teaching of christianity. It is wrong by any respectable moral system.

Don't throw around biblical language like you are some modern day prophet, if you want to quote the bible by all means do so. Writing your own stupid, trite sayings in language you think simulates the bible is offensive. Some people take the words of Jesus to be meaningful, and having you mimic them to suit your own ends is offensive.

Your attempt to include adoption is offensive. archimago says it has nothing to do with the situation, and I think a normal person would agree. Your inclusion of it however makes me think that, to you, it is important. From this I can only assume you mean we should think more kindly on him because he adopts children. While this is a noble and generous thing to do, having adopted that child one cannot write them off if they do not conform to what you had hoped. In fact, if that is the extent you can love an adopted child you shouldn't start.

Taking that further, your inclusion of the fact that Jamail is adopted is painful because it's almost like you're saying the father shouldn't be as responsible as a birth-parent. Almost like "if you adopt enough kids, sooner or later you'll get a dud" which is horrifying.

I am tired of your hate konolia, and it is hate, as strong as any arab-hater, nazi, or racist. You do well by most members here because you wrap it in your banal, motherly phrasing. Holding your crochet and hot cocoa while advocating that gays are subhuman, and less deserving of the love of their parents, makes it no less offensive than when people like you were sewing swastikas instead.
posted by rhyax at 11:30 AM on April 13, 2004


I notice none of you mention that this antiabortion crusader ADOPTED unwanted children into his home-older children who traditionally have a really hard time being placed.

And promptly makes their origins an issue when controversy arises! What a great dad!

(Parenting is a lot more than just giving someone a warm place to sleep and enough food.)
posted by Mayor Curley at 11:33 AM on April 13, 2004


The guy's scum, the fact that he's got legions of followers just goes to show how deep the hatred and fear runs in this country.

He should be calling for his own execution. Seriously. He is nothing but a big old ball of hate and fear.

To publicly decry his own family is utterly despicable and I feel terrible for Jamiel having had to endure as much of this man's vicious hatred for as long as he did.

The gall of people trying to command what others do to their own bodies sickens me. Your pro-choice? Fine, then don't get an abortion if you're pregnant but keep your effing politics and religious fanatacism away from me and mine.
posted by fenriq at 11:42 AM on April 13, 2004


I am tired of your hate konolia, and it is hate, as strong as any arab-hater, nazi, or racist. You do well by most members here because you wrap it in your banal, motherly phrasing. Holding your crochet and hot cocoa while advocating that gays are subhuman, and less deserving of the love of their parents, makes it no less offensive than when people like you were sewing swastikas instead.

Ryax, I understand and appreciate your frustrations, but talk like that isn't gonna help anything. I loathe what the Randall Terrys of this world stand for as much as you do, OK. But I've encountered konolia here and at other venues enough to know that she's at heart a fundamentally decent person. This is kind of why I find some of her more extreme opinions so baffling. But implying that she's some kind of secret Nazi isn't gonna make her see the light, my freind.
posted by jonmc at 11:43 AM on April 13, 2004


By far the strangest part of this is how reading Jamiel's article gives a much more positive view of Randall as a person than Randall's own article did.

But in the end, the truth always comes out. Bigot = asshole. Gaybasher = asshole.

Choosing which civil rights a person is or isn't entitled to based solely on their genetic makeup? Asshole.

Doesn't get much clearer than that.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 12:05 PM on April 13, 2004


Terry may well be in error by making a public statement about his son, but it's a totally understandable one. This is a very painful family situation, and to have it in the public eye must be excruciating.

Right, because how difficult Jamiel’s public admission of gayness must be for his poor family is exactly what we should be focusing on here. It’s funny how a lot of other fathers with homosexual kids manage to get through life without calling their children prostitutes or trotting out their rap sheets. However do they do it?

From the article: "I was resigned to the fact that in order for me to achieve the goals I had set for myself and to avoid hell, I had to squelch these feelings. I did everything from participating in charismatic deliverance meetings to fasting; many nights I literally cried myself to sleep while begging God to take these feelings from me. I kept all this to myself; no one had any idea that I was going through this struggle."

That pain is a lot more compelling to me than the 'waah, I'm humiliated because my son is gay' variety.

Let’s remember that Randall Terry is supposedly the adult in this situation. I expect a lot more from any father – adoptive or biological, not that it should matter – than to smear his child’s character and ban him from his home for the sake of saving face. I find it far from understandable and contrary to the very nature of a parent-child relationship.

And sorry, konolia, but I just can't seem to muster up any sort of positive feelings about the fact that this lunatic has been allowed to adopt. I hope even you can agree that a man who preaches about how swell it is to be awash in hatred is not Father of the Year material.
posted by purplemonkie at 12:26 PM on April 13, 2004


One more thing: I notice none of you mention that this antiabortion crusader ADOPTED unwanted children into his home-older children who traditionally have a really hard time being placed.

Just out of curiosity, do you think that any of the millions of gay couples out there might possibly make better adoptive parents than Randall Terry?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:46 PM on April 13, 2004


"This is a very painful family situation, and to have it in the public eye must be excruciating."

I can just imagine the pain of having a family member make statements like this:
"My father is probably one of the most engaging men I have ever met. He is witty, intelligent, and funny."

I totally expected an expose on what a monster his father is and what a nightmare it was growing up. But Jamiel is a class act. I should be so lucky to have a child with that kind of character, regardless of the inner demons he may face.
posted by 2sheets at 12:55 PM on April 13, 2004


"And promptly makes their origins an issue when controversy arises! What a great dad!"

No kidding. As a parent, I find it obscene that he would respond to his son's article with a full accounting of his son's birth parents, legal troubles, mistreatment of friends, and the like. How can anyone leap to that tool's defense?
posted by rcade at 3:13 PM on April 13, 2004


I think there was plenty of pain on both the father and the son's part.

Years ago, I was a thirdshift Waffle House waitress. One of my customers was a young gay man. He and I talked...he proceeded to tell me how his atheist parents tossed him out because he was gay. To say I was shocked was an understatement.

None of my children are gay. But they know (because I told them) that no matter WHAT-including THAT-I was still and always would be their mom. Period. But I would still feel very betrayed if they went to a major magazine and aired family business. None of us here knows how they would react in that position.
posted by konolia at 4:10 PM on April 13, 2004


Know in the absolute, Anything Could Happen sense? Fair enough. I don't Know what I would do in that position.

But as far as being reasonably certain about how I feel about things, I can say that I'm pretty goddam sure I wouldn't pull any of this hystrionic pre-emptive strike bullshit on someone I (ostensibly) love because I find them embarassing. It's low. It's loathesome. It's the sort of thing that, despite the unKnowableness of the universe, I for damn sure wouldn't allow myself to do because I'd feel like a bad fucking person afterwards.

R. Terry, however -- and this we Know, since he went out of his way to put it in print -- doesn't have that sort of moral reservation.

That he adopted kids -- one of whom he just publicly decried -- and that you once talked to a gay guy with awful athiest parents doesn't change any of that.
posted by cortex at 4:25 PM on April 13, 2004


Let ye who have raised teenage children cast the first stone...

OK, as my daughter is now 16 and a half, am I qualified?

no matter WHAT-including THAT-I was still and always would be their mom.

Er, yeah. What else would you be? Their milkman? 'Mom' & 'Dad' are not just roles, they are biological rellationships. My mum ain't been around for 27 years: she still gave birth to me, back in the day. The point is, she may still disapprove of that part of me which is gay. I don't know exactly how powerful her condemnation may be to me, she still could do it.

My point is- in a traditionally religious household, that percentage of kids that turn out gay will have clear knowledge of their parents attitudes to minorities. Can you imagine that Konolia? Are all your kids over the age where they may come out? I am surprised at the unqualified 'None of my children are gay' - I wonder how many parents have confidently said that before.

One last point: this makes no sense...
"But I would still feel very betrayed if they went to a major magazine and aired family business. [Konolia imagines how she would react in a certain situation]
None of us here knows how they would react in that position.[Konolia tells us of her failure to imagine how she would react in same certain situation]

I know that in past threads that you have ignored my reactions to your comments konolia. I am beginning to wonder if its a policy of yours.

Konolia, One more thing: I notice you did not mention that this antiabortion crusader holds extreme unamerican views ).
You have a perfect opportunity to inform us of your opinion of this fathers extreme views, and how that may conflict with a compassionate and caring christian family life. Let alone how that boy felt growing up with such hate aimed at him. Pain on both sides? I don't see how Dad's feelings about the boy's self-outing comes close to what torture he felt as an adolescent.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2004


Goes around... comes around...

Randall Terry has been wrapping his evil in pages torn from the Judeo-Christian Bible for his entire career - providing a shell of "respectability" that allow people like Konolia to excuse his vicious, subhuman behavior and his Neandarthal ideas. Those people are just misguided (or self-deluded) and probably deserve the benefit of our doubt on their behalf (personally, I don't hate Konolia, even if her words above were, in fact, genuine; I just feel sorry for her and for her children should, heaven forbid, any one of them turn out to be "something less than perfect" in Konolai's obviously pre-determined view - the first thing she'll do when she hears, "Mom, I think I might be gay" is start dialing the media to spread the word it's not her fault...). Terry, on the other hand, is a terrorist of Religious Right, if there were a God whould be as dead as the doctors he previously advocated murdering. That he's suffered some "disappoinment" and/or "embarrassment" at his own perceived failure as a parent to "produce" a straight son is mildly amusing, but certainly far less than the karmic payback he certainly deserves...
posted by JollyWanker at 5:27 PM on April 13, 2004


"But I would still feel very betrayed if they went to a major magazine and aired family business."

Well, assuming that you are a private citizen, No one would care about your family business. However, if you've made it your life's work to spread hatred and disinformation against a particular group of people, the fact that your child belongs to that group is indeed newsworthy, should that child make it so.
Do you understand the difference?
posted by 2sheets at 5:55 PM on April 13, 2004


None of us here knows how they would react in that position.

The fact that you find Randall Terry a sympathetic figure here is pretty astonishing. I know that I wouldn't attempt to publicly humiliate my child for any reason, and I don't think it's much of a stretch to believe that.
posted by rcade at 6:03 PM on April 13, 2004


2sheets' comment kind of puts it in perspective there, eh? I wish I could say I was surprised by Randall Terry's response, but it was actually about what I was ready for when i read the post. Sickening.
posted by untuckedshirts at 7:08 PM on April 13, 2004


My point is- in a traditionally religious household, that percentage of kids that turn out gay will have clear knowledge of their parents attitudes to minorities. Can you imagine that Konolia? Are all your kids over the age where they may come out? I am surprised at the unqualified 'None of my children are gay' - I wonder how many parents have confidently said that before.

One of the pastors at our church has a gay son. He and his wife grieve over it, but they have treated him with nothing but respect. He lives in LA and visits occasionally, and they visit him.

.
posted by konolia at 7:33 PM on April 13, 2004


".....In the moments that I consider the idea of a higher power, I wonder if people like Jamiel and Mary Cheney are sent to their parents as lessons (which they are miserably failing)." - I tend to believe this, but let me make quite clear that I don't do so thinking that these children amount to some sort of curse.

Quite the opposite, in fact. I think they are a blessing and amount to an expression of divine love - which nonetheless may be experienced by these intolerant parents as a type of curse. But that's the parent's problem. The kids themselves are fine.
posted by troutfishing at 7:45 PM on April 13, 2004


He and his wife grieve over it, but they have treated him with nothing but respect.

Bullshit. They grieve over a fundamental part of who he is? That's not respect, konolia. That's contempt, wrapped in layers of smug, self-righteous sanctimony. If that's what respect looks like to you and your religious leaders, then god save us from your disrespect.
posted by scody at 8:48 PM on April 13, 2004


scody, I neglected to mention he'd been molested. Not sure how old he was when it happened.

Not a scientific survey, but after talking to a number of gay men there is one question I have always gotten an affirmative answer to...to a man every one of them told me they had been raped or molested. I remember clearly talking to two young gay men back when I was still at the Waffle House in Florida-I mentioned my findings, whereupon both of them told me they had been as well.

Scody, normally, I ignore words like "smug selfrighteous sanctimony" when they are applied to me. Water, duck's back, and all that. But that particular father does not have a smug bone in his body. You are slandering a man and wife you do not know simply because they cannot agree with you on the point of homosexuality.

So if calling names makes you feel better, make me your target, and leave these sweet people out of it.
posted by konolia at 9:40 PM on April 13, 2004


konolia, I'm a straight man and have no knowledge of the gay experience. Nevertheless, I feel certain that if you asked your question on AskMe, you'd hear from gay men who have not been raped, molested, or had other sexual traumas.

(well, maybe I phrased that incorrectly. Growing up "different" in an arbitrary, intolerant society seems like it'd be traumatic to me, but the gay folks I know seem to have come to terms with it okay.)
posted by Vidiot at 10:01 PM on April 13, 2004


I personally got damned to hell by Randall Terry, --malphigian

Hey! Me too...working as an escort for a clinic in Dallas. Small world when the freaks travel, ain't it? Down here, his trick was to take a fetus doll, put clothes on it, put it in a jar with some murkey liquid, and wave it around in front of the girls/women trying to get into the clinic.

One little girl he attacked on my watch was no older than 12...she'd been brutally raped and beaten by her stepfather, and then on top of it, she had this asshole screaming at her, calling her a slut, telling her she was going to hell, and waving this stupid doll in her face. I never wanted to kill any one so much as I wanted to kill that man, right then. Hardest thing I ever did in my life was to just keep walking. I have seen EVIL...and that man is one of the lead prophets.

And konolia, I've defended you a lot...but not this time. Once you start defending a man who calls for the deaths of doctors and women who have had abortions, and can call a raped child a slut to her face...well, you've lost my support.

We all get that *you think* you're a Christian. We all get that *you think* gay's are evil. Enough. Put it on your user page if it means that much to you, but you have got to stop spewing this hate all over the blue.

It's not more acceptable because you preface it with the name of Jesus. It's not more acceptable because you play the Joan of Arc card. "Well God tells me so" isn't good enough for you to keep calling my friends evil, and wrong, and hell bound and worthy of being "grieved over". I'm sick and tired of it. Enough already. You've become a one trick pony with this "gays are evil" thing. Stop it.
posted by dejah420 at 10:50 PM on April 13, 2004


wow. talk about some selfish, ignorant parenting. the tragic thing to me is that jamiel could have ended up with a better family, one that would have truly loved him, if haters such as randall were not allowed to adopt. and they most certainly shouldn't be allowed to. and of course any probs this kid may have are related to growing up with such hateful, misguided, fearful views. at least as much, if not more than, any disadvantages he may have been born into due to his biological 'rents.

Not a scientific survey, but after talking to a number of gay men...every one of them told me they had been raped or molested.

if we're going by personal survey then i should add mine. the only men i know who were sexually abused when they were children are straight. yet none of my gay friends - and that's a fairly large group of men - were. same goes for my straight and lesbian female friends.

data from outside my circle of friends - i've been volunteering as a care giver for 18 years at an aids hospice and in various hospital aids wings. i've heard more personal and intimate stories than you can possibly imagine, and from that survey the incidence of sexual abuse leading to determination of sexual orientation has been nil.

more non personal data - for 6 years i've been a volunteer research assistant at planned parenthood, studying teen (both male & female) sexuality and all the issues surrounding, such as abuse. again, i have seen no correlation between sexual abuse and determination of sexual orientation.
posted by t r a c y at 10:57 PM on April 13, 2004


jon, I have no hope of having konolia "see the light". My goal was to have people see what she is saying for what it is, which I think gets lost in her presentation.

Everyone has motivations and reasons for the things they do. Everyone has worth, that does not mean you cannot hold unhealthy views. Some people isolate those views from the rest of their lives; maybe they hate black people, that does not mean they don't have love for their own children. That love could bring them and their children a lot of joy, there is nothing wrong with it. But they do have a problem, and when they start spreading their unhealthy views about racism it is up to the people that hear it to say no. You may know the person, and even love them, but I don't think we should stand by and let hate go unchecked.

No one is a monster, and I am certainly not saying that about konolia. What I am saying is that these views are unacceptable, and should be no more acceptable to us simply because someone also fits our stereotype of "decency".
posted by rhyax at 11:03 PM on April 13, 2004


But that particular father does not have a smug bone in his body. You are slandering a man and wife you do not know simply because they cannot agree with you on the point of homosexuality.

You trot out your pastor who "grieves" for a living, breathing child because of who that child is and you think I owe them some sort of third-hand touchy-feely niceness because you say so? They're on-limits for you to attempt to gain a couple of points on the Cosmic Tolerace Scale ("see, I'm not a homophobic, my pastor grieves for his gay son instead of hating him!") but off-limits for us to comment about? Forgive me for being reluctant to hand any of you a fucking medal. I had a friend who attempted suicide because she knew her parents would "grieve" her for being a lesbian -- those were her exact goddamn words. So believe me -- I know from smug sanctimonious bullshit. I knew it then and I sure as hell know it right now.
posted by scody at 11:31 PM on April 13, 2004


I do not see how your response connects even to the small excerpt of mine that you quote, konolia.

That's a small improvement - a non-sequitur instead of a total ignoring. We're on the right track.

Yay.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:38 AM on April 14, 2004


konolia, your "all gay men were molested as children" is among the most personally offensive things I've seen on MetaFilter. I'm gay, and I'm a man. I was never, ever molested or interfered with, in any way. Neither was my partner, nor any one of my half dozen closest gay male friends nor any of a couple of dozen men I spent time with in a group therapy situation - where do you come up with this shit? Your uninformed, dismissive "statistic" regarding myself and other gay men appears to be created out of your own prejudice and need to assure yourself that you're not the judgmental, intolerant bitch that, in fact, you are. That you'd defend this hypocritical pastor and his anhorrent wife speaks volumes about what you really think. Then again, I remember you from before the name- and MeFi-character-change, so I suppose I shouldn't have expected anything more civil or even coherent from you.
posted by JollyWanker at 5:26 AM on April 14, 2004


Not a scientific survey, but after talking to a number of gay men there is one question I have always gotten an affirmative answer to...to a man every one of them told me they had been raped or molested.

Konolia, as a gay man, I'm trying not to be offended by the above (although the implication of your posts is that your paster's son ... and perhaps a great number of gay men ... are that way because they were raped or molested.) It's difficult, it's easy for me to feel the way JollyWanker did above.

Gay men, unfortunately, have higher risks of being victims of many kinds of crimes. When people are conflicted about their sexuality (ie, most gay men at some point in their life) they end up making some less than intelligent choices in an effort to "keep their secret." You could make a similar argument that gay men are more likely to victims of hate crime, or even more likely to have been beat up as kids ... but none of those factors made them gay, and those factors are more connected to the hate and intolerance in society than in the instrinsic identity of being gay.

BTW, add me in as a data point of a gay man who has neither been raped nor molested.
posted by bclark at 5:35 AM on April 14, 2004


BTW, add me in as a data point of a gay man who has neither been raped nor molested.
Me too, nor has anyone I know ever been. Konolia, you don't like it when people make blanket statements/stereotypes about Christians, so why do you do it about gay men? What you said is a lie--i'll dig up stats on abuse for you tonight--the incidence is the same as with straight people.

And defending Randall Terry is just sad--he's some shitty role model for parenthood. (and I agree with the people who have said he's trying to protect his reputation--a false rep. btw)
posted by amberglow at 5:54 AM on April 14, 2004


konolia, your "all gay men were molested as children" is among the most personally offensive things I've seen on MetaFilter.

Now now, JW, she merely said that all gay men who discuss their sexuality with their waitress in shitty diners were molested as children. I think I read about that same study in an AMA journal. Hardcore science, that is.

where do you come up with this shit?

It's the standard line within the anti-gay Christian movement. The Protestant Christians, mind you--the Catholics try not to talk about child sexual abuse, for obvious reasons.
posted by jpoulos at 6:54 AM on April 14, 2004


jon, I have no hope of having konolia "see the light". My goal was to have people see what she is saying for what it is, which I think gets lost in her presentation.

Fair enough, and seeing as you're a member of the group on the recieving end of that bigotry, I respect your feelings on this issue.

It's just reminded of the time I had to sort out feelings about my somewhat bigoted grandmother to a black freind. While I didn't like her attitudes, I do love my grandmother very much. But my freind retorted "How can you respect her?" Because she's my grandmother, that's why. And because I know that deep down she's not hateful, she's just missing a few pieces of the puzzle. She would never harm a hair on a persons head and if I brought a black freind over she'd be pinching his cheeks and cooking him pasta the same way she would for one of my white freinds, but she watches the news and complains about "i neri." *

I have a feeling (or maybe it's more like a hope) that konolia's in the same boat. There are people who have reconciled embracing gay people and Christian faith like Bruce Bawer and Mel White. Maybe they'd provide the missing pieces for her.

I believe people are capable of change.

*of course, she also recently told my pregnant sister not to look at an ugly baby or her baby would be born ugly, and not to wear a necklace because the baby would be tangled in the umbilical cord. Add however many grains of salt you wish.
posted by jonmc at 7:01 AM on April 14, 2004


All I said were the ones I talked to told me that. I didn't meet y'all either in art school or the Waffle House.

I don't understand why that fact is offensive. Frankly I was surprised to hear over and over what had happened, but on further thought, perhaps it says more about the pervasiveness of sexual abuse across the board. But I will say that the first gay man who talked to me about this claimed he was straight before the attack he suffered as a young adult. (I wasn't a Christian at the time of the conversation, and neither of us was trying to prove a point to the other. It simply came up in the discussion we were having.)
posted by konolia at 7:22 AM on April 14, 2004


One little girl he attacked on my watch was no older than 12...she'd been brutally raped and beaten by her stepfather, and then on top of it, she had this asshole screaming at her, calling her a slut, telling her she was going to hell, and waving this stupid doll in her face. I never wanted to kill any one so much as I wanted to kill that man, right then. Hardest thing I ever did in my life was to just keep walking. I have seen EVIL...and that man is one of the lead prophets.

Dejah, I have to admit I know next to nothing about the man. If what you say is true (and I have no reason to doubt you) that was pretty obscene on Terry's part. I ain't defending that behavior.
posted by konolia at 7:28 AM on April 14, 2004


jolly wanker, the man I am talking about is one of the kindest, gentlest men you will ever meet. For various reasons which I won't get into here, I have had to work thru a fear of men, and he is one of the few I am totally relaxed around. You are wrong to expect a Christian man who loves the Lord to be happy that his son has chosen a lifestyle that God has said is a rejection of Him. I am sorry that you have experienced smug Christians. I have too. It is annoying in the extreme. But this guy ain't one.
posted by konolia at 7:37 AM on April 14, 2004


jolly wanker, the man I am talking about is one of the kindest, gentlest men you will ever meet.

Not if he "grieves" over who is son is. That's the point. Your actions define who you are. Just like many of us (but not all, apparently) here don't give you, konolia, a free pass just because you express your bigotry calmly and sweetly. God told this pastor to be a bigot, fine. But he's still a bigot, and don't expect us to ignore that.
posted by jpoulos at 7:55 AM on April 14, 2004


I don't think that you can respect someone whose sexual orientation causes you to grieve, Konolia. Your pal the pastor may be a nice person, but I think it's a terrible shame that his religious beliefs prevent him from recognizing that his child's homosexuality is no more unnatural than left-handedness or the color of his eyes. That child has been cheated out of one of the best things in the world: Having parents who love and fully accept you for who you are.

If you need a data point on sexual victimization, ask women how many of them were molested as children. Among the people that I know, a disturbingly high number of them suffered from at least one experience. If childhood abuse made you gay, there'd be a lot more homosexuals than 10 percent.
posted by rcade at 8:01 AM on April 14, 2004


That's the point. Your actions define who you are. Just like many of us (but not all, apparently) here don't give you, konolia, a free pass just because you express your bigotry calmly and sweetly.

I'm not giving anybody a free pass, jpoulos. I've vocally condemned Terry and his behavior. I'm just reaching out to konolia to try to change her mind. People aren't born prejudiced and that means they don't have to stay that way. Piling on someone is only going to drive them deeper into their prejudices.
posted by jonmc at 8:04 AM on April 14, 2004


Jonmc, you are a sweetie, but I'm sticking with God's opinion.

Having said that, there is no excuse for calling gay people names, for beating them up or killing them, or for treating them in any way less than human. We are all sinners. I suspect that some of the vitriol sent my direction has been a reaction to how many people have been treated by Christians. I am not going to sit here and approve of unkindness no matter which direction it comes from.

I don't enjoy being fussed at here, but I am not mad at the fussers. Their views are different from mine. I have to stay consistent with my worldview, and they are simply being consistent with theirs.
posted by konolia at 8:20 AM on April 14, 2004


Jonmc, you are a sweetie, but I'm sticking with God's opinion.

There's a lotta difference of opinion on that, konolia, which is why I reccomend you read the books I linked to, both written by devout gay christians.

As a Christian, I'm sure you've said "hate the sin, love the sinner," I'm merely telling the people her to hate the homophopia, love the homophobe. And while I consider you a nice person, I also consider you a homophobe. Not a hateful one, but a homophobe just the same.
posted by jonmc at 8:24 AM on April 14, 2004


Having said that, there is no excuse for calling gay people names, for beating them up or killing them, or for treating them in any way less than human.

Except when they want to get married, right?
posted by headspace at 10:55 AM on April 14, 2004


I don't understand why that fact is offensive... but I will say that the first gay man who talked to me about this claimed he was straight before the attack he suffered as a young adult.

Yes. Clearly you don't understand why it is offensive, as your newest quote requires even fewer connect-the-dots to the core of what's offensive about it.

The "fact" is offensive because its ancedotal but offered as causative and predictive. It would be like me saying that I have a friend who was abused by a priest and he says that Christians turn a blind eye on the abuse of their own children. I do have such a friend, and he does believe such a thing ... but I recognize that his opinion isn't casaulity or prediction.

Piling on someone is only going to drive them deeper into their prejudices.

May we all develop the patience of Jonmc. I'm less sure of that, though. I think the big breakthru for most people on their own issues of -isms is when the finally realize that "having a black friend" doesn't necessarily mean they haven't been acting like a racist. I don't "hate the homophobes," mind you, but especially when it comes to "logic versus dogma" you've got an unwinnable stalemate for both sides.
posted by bclark at 11:22 AM on April 14, 2004


I think the big breakthru for most people on their own issues of -isms is when the finally realize that "having a black friend" doesn't necessarily mean they haven't been acting like a racist.

But the real debate is how (if possible) we can guide them to that point. Showing them that their racist attitudes directly affect the black person they call "freind," can sometimes do it. Because constant accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia don't seem to be doing the trick.
posted by jonmc at 11:45 AM on April 14, 2004


The "fact" is offensive because its ancedotal but offered as causative and predictive

It was offered as food for thought. Period.
posted by konolia at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2004


This statement seems disingenous if not downright ridiculous when the context of your anecdotes is taken into account. You certainly appeared to be offering evidence (and I use that term loosely) that homosexuality is the result of sexual abuse. Perhaps I'm misinterpreting, in which case you could easily clear up any confusion by giving a honest, straightforward answer to the following simple question: Do you believe that sexual abuse can cause people to 'turn gay?'
posted by purplemonkie at 12:12 PM on April 14, 2004


I think that abuse could be a factor in some cases. Frankly I think there is no one single factor.

Here would be a good place for me to also mention that I don't think all gay people are child molesters.
posted by konolia at 12:59 PM on April 14, 2004


Showing them that their racist attitudes directly affect the black person they call "freind," can sometimes do it.

Bah! Spelling error ... would have been more amusing if I typed "fried".

Because constant accusations of racism, sexism and homophobia don't seem to be doing the trick.

I don't disagree with you, Jonmc. But I think in this case, we're deal with "passive homophobia," the equivalent of chuckling politely with a racist joke told at the dinner table. If only I had the patience you have, Jonmc, that "God's word" can be reasoned against in a gentler fashion.

In the spirit of Jonmc, though, I offer this response for konolia regarding why people might be offended. Many (who might be equally nice as people but equally homophobic) offer up the "damaged" option for why people are gay ... take this example from "truthcomesout", where in answer to the question "Why do I have these feelings?" as advice to young people questioning their sexuality they say that some people think the cause is genetic, chemical, abuse, and/or environment, but closes with:

"Science or psychology has not proven any of these theories completely true or completely false [...] Whatever the reasons that influence the feelings you have, you are so much more than your sexual feelings. These feelings are only a part of your life and you are free to limit them by your beliefs if that is what you choose to do."

If you are so much more than your sexual feelings, then why must there be a "cause" for them, and why must they begin to define how the world labels you?

Once, in high school in the 80s, I witnessed a well-meaning Christian using the lunch hour to evangalize his faith to other people in the cafeteria. I then witnessed him telling a girl confined to a wheelchair that her disability was "a punishment from God on her parents for their sins." I take comfort in the fact that well-meaning student just thought that he knew the "word of God" on the matter and, fortunately, the girl took comfort in me introducing his well-meaning posterior to the ground.

One should be careful about suggesting that someone is "damaged goods" as that can easily be construed as "fighting words", even when delivered with as much casualness as Konolia provides. I'm not sure Konolia means to use them as "fighting words" ... but the people who promote that idea among Christians usually do.
posted by bclark at 1:06 PM on April 14, 2004


I'm so so tired from hearing from some of the most vocal "people of faith" of how they do not hate me, or wish me ill will, or don't think I should be killed or made to live somewhere else or anything like that, because G*d is love, and they love the "sinner" and hate the "sin", and feel that I should be able to exist...BUUUT...they feel perfectly justified by that same G*d that they worship so vociferously and praise at every opportunity to interfere in my right to earn a livelihood (e.g. teach), foster a child, be given the same partnership benefits by my supposedly secular government that the vast majority of my fellow citizens see as a right, not a privilege, and generally move through the world unfettered by their condemnation.

First off -- gee thanks. Thanks for not thinking I should die.

Secondly -- I will no longer apologize for thinking that taking what were generally considered parables and allegories until the recent past as literal G*d given truth, then picking and choosing which parts of Leviticus you're going to say is "right" and which is superceded by Paul et al. isn't contradictory, intellectually lazy and if you truly believe in G*d's laws, sort of "illegal" in a religious sense.

Thirdly -- Until either the Rapture or the civil war which will undoubtedly engulf the US within the next hundred years if the country continues to reverse-centrifuge into a large, "Christian" middle and two coasts of more secular liberalism, you can keep your mitts off of legislating my most fundamental rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, dammit.

I will tell you something: being a big 'mo in NYC (which I was all my life until about a year ago) I had no freaking idea what the rest of the country was like. Now I do. And I am humbled and shamed by the hatred, vitrol and casual racism and homophobia I see enacted EVERY DAY. Man, I am so sorry I ever took things for granted. It's enough to make you a militant -- or move to the Big City.

So konolia, in closing: Please know that the next G*d tells you that everything you believe is right, and that when s/he comes a calling at the Rapture, you'll be on the Glory Train, I have only one suggestion: check your Caller ID.
posted by ltracey at 2:04 PM on April 14, 2004


I think that abuse could be a factor in some cases. Frankly I think there is no one single factor.

Bah, beat me to the reply, Konolia. I can accept that. Do you have thoughts on what causes heterosexuality? I don't mean that as snide ... sometimes it's an interesting way to approach that question and look at the underlying assumptions.
posted by bclark at 2:07 PM on April 14, 2004


if the country continues to reverse-centrifuge into a large, "Christian" middle and two coasts of more secular liberalism,

we may be reverse centrifuging but you've oversimplified; we're not just polarizing, we're balkanizing.
posted by jonmc at 3:43 PM on April 14, 2004


THE POWER OF CHRIST COMPELLS YOU to have sex with someone of the opposite sex after you're married for procreative purposes and probably not on Sunday
posted by cortex at 4:08 PM on April 14, 2004


Konolia:
I think that abuse could be a factor in some cases. Frankly I think there is no one single factor.

Including, if one is to believe the evidence of science, natural diversity. Birds, mammals, dolphins, fish... all parent, all vary, some gay.

None judge.
posted by dash_slot- at 4:19 PM on April 14, 2004


2nd/3rd thoughts...

I don't know why I bother, cos natural or not, konolia [for example] would rather a world without gays. A world without Michaelangelo, Oscar, Noel, Elton, Martina, Turing, Alexander, Matthew and me...

Ideology is a mighty strong wall, though they occasionallly come tumbling down, eh?
posted by dash_slot- at 5:06 PM on April 14, 2004


who would do her hair? ; >

seriously--what dash said. konolia, you have to learn that God made us too, and made us gay.
posted by amberglow at 5:11 PM on April 14, 2004


[peter & gordon]

I don't care what they say I won't stay in a world with out gays....

[p&g]

that's the second time this month I've referenced peter & gordon. I am a cultural island.
posted by jonmc at 6:21 PM on April 14, 2004


It's funny you mention Alan Turing: my father met him briefly while in London during WWII (my dad worked at ASA which became the NSA) and when I came out to him at the tender age of 14, the tragedy of Alan Turing's life made him realize how important it was to recognize what was important about people, and what, in the grand scheme of things, was of as much interest as what kind of pants you prefer.

Amen to that.
posted by ltracey at 7:09 PM on April 14, 2004


Dash-slot, you mention Elton. THAT particular coming-out broke my heart in 1977 as I had a pretty major crush on him. Rats!
posted by konolia at 7:46 PM on April 14, 2004


Konolia, I have a lot of respect for you, but your "my God tells me so" statement of faith comes from the assumption that your vision of God is the only correct one. There are many people of faith who believe in a God who loves all, a God for whom sin is a harmful, malicious act against oneself and others - not two people loving each other. There are many Christians who look to the living spirit of Jesus' acts as written in the bible rather than clinging to carefully selected passages of scripture as some sort of checklist. As you know, many of the scriptures cited as prohibiting homosexuality are surrounded by passages describing the correct way of going about such things as sexual slavery, the execution of rape victims, and so on. Do you accept those passages as God's blueprint for correct moral living? Or, like most sane people, do you regard those passages as the artifacts of a far more brutal and morally backward time?
posted by echolalia67 at 8:12 PM on April 14, 2004


Do you have thoughts on what causes heterosexuality?

bclark, this is a great question and one which far too few people think to ask. The Heterosexual Questionnaire is an interesting thought exercise along those lines.

And just for kicks, some different perspectives on gayness and scripture:
The Six Bible Passages Used to Condemn Homosexuals
What About... The Bible and Homosexuality (Geocities)
Is Homosexuality a Sin?
posted by purplemonkie at 9:03 PM on April 14, 2004


echolalia67, I go to the first chapter of Romans.
posted by konolia at 3:59 AM on April 15, 2004


Dash-slot, you mention Elton. THAT particular coming-out broke my heart in 1977 as I had a pretty major crush on him. Rats!
posted by konolia at 7:46 PM PST on April 14


My heart bleeds for you.

echolalia67, I go to the first chapter of Romans.

How many of Jesus's words are there, and how many of Paul's? Why would a letter written by a charismatic evangelist 2000 years ago command my obedience more than a Charter of rights written today?

etc etc etc ad infinitum with the rationalism
posted by dash_slot- at 4:17 AM on April 15, 2004


THAT particular coming-out broke my heart in 1977

OT: Elton John didn't come out as gay in 1977. He came out as bi-sexual. (He was, after all, married at the time.) That was pretty much just to soften the blow to his fans--to my knowledge, he was never seen with a woman again. So why was your heart broken? If it wasn't broken when he was married, and this "coming out" didn't preclude involvement with women, was it just because you knew you could never be with a man who'd been with another man? (I'm not trying to pile on, I'm just thinking out loud...so to speak.)
posted by jpoulos at 6:23 AM on April 15, 2004


echolalia67, I go to the first chapter of Romans.

konolia, this link directly addresses the interpretation of the first chapter of Romans. If you get a chance to check it out, I'd be interested to hear what you think about it. I find it pretty compelling, but I'm admittedly not much of a bible scholar.
posted by purplemonkie at 7:51 AM on April 15, 2004


Uh... I suppose it might have been helpful if I had included the link.
posted by purplemonkie at 8:54 AM on April 15, 2004


jpoulos, are you sure he was married then? I was a pretty rabid fan, read everything I could get my hands on and never saw that. I do know he did have a brief marriage at one point, a German lady if I recall correctly. (Maybe I meant 1976: I do remember it was my senior year and I graduated in the spring of 77.)
posted by konolia at 11:07 AM on April 15, 2004


purplemonkie, I believe that the entire Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Let me now refer you to the last chapter of Revelation. Chapter 22, verses 10 through 16. Then let me add verses 18 and 19. Here's a link that will allow you to read that in whatever version you choose.
posted by konolia at 11:14 AM on April 15, 2004


My bad. He told Rolling Stone he was bisexual in 1976. He didn't get married until 1984.

Doesn't really matter, though. Like I said, I was just thinking aloud.
posted by jpoulos at 11:24 AM on April 15, 2004


Konolia: Do you know the history of the Bible? do you know that there are other scriptures written at the same time which the church decided, for whatever reasons--sometimes purely political reasons--not to include (the gnostic gospels, etc.)? Were those scriptures inspired by the Holy Spirit too?

It's all well and good to say things like "I believe the entire Bible was" etc etc, but when you look at the actual facts, the details of the situation, it's much more complex.
posted by jpoulos at 11:28 AM on April 15, 2004


purple, I doubt that anything can convince fundementalists (eg, konolia and others) to re-examine mistranslations, use of words unknown to the 1st century world (like homosexual) and plain ole cultural ignorance.

The word of God may have been written down correctly in pre-Christian holy lands, but konolia, tell me this: how could the word homosexual* ( first recorded in 1912) be a correct translation?

BTW, what jpoulos says is true, so clearly there are some holy scriptures knocking around without due reverence. I wonder which instructions from the lord we are ignorant of? Could we be inadvertently transgressing?


*homosexual (adj.) - 1892, in C.G. Chaddock's translation of Krafft-Ebing's "Psychopathia Sexualis," from homo-, comb. form of Gk. homos "same" + Latin-based sexual (see sex)."'Homosexual' is a barbarously hybrid word, and I claim no responsibility for it." [H. Havelock Ellis, "Studies in Psychology," 1897]

The noun is first recorded 1912 in Eng., 1907 in French. In technical use, either male or female; but in non-technical use almost always male. Slang shortened form homo first attested 1929. The alternative homophile (1960) was coined in ref. to the homosexual regarded as a person of a particular social group, rather than a sexual abnormality. Homo-erotic first recorded 1916; homophobia is from 1969.

posted by dash_slot- at 11:46 AM on April 15, 2004


I believe that the entire Bible was written under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

That may be, but do you believe that the entire Bible was translated under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit? There is a difference. From the reading I've done (and from conversations with people who know the Bible) it seems clear that there are passages whose meaning was likely changed in the process of translation. Even if the Bible as originally written accurately characterized God's will, it was translated many times over many years by ordinary men who were capable of making mistakes and used their own judgment when they encountered words with multiple meanings and connotations.

If the possibility of mistranslation exists -- and I believe it does, because humans are not infallible -- why choose to cling to the translations which condemn as many people to hell as possible? Why not be open to the fact that the original meanings of some passages could have shifted during translation, either by accident or to reflect the beliefs and prejudices of the translator? That's what I don't understand, and what I was getting at when I asked your opinion of the link.

I read the verses you mentioned, but I'm not sure what you wanted me to glean from them.

In preview... yeah, you're right, dash_slot, there's no way I'm going to convince konolia of anything and I fully expect to get another one-line response that doesn't really answer anything. But I just can't seem to help myself.
posted by purplemonkie at 12:00 PM on April 15, 2004


... I fully expect to get another one-line response that doesn't really answer anything.

Don't hold yer breath. Typically, fundies (eg, konolia) go vewwy vewwy quiet when they are faced with their own infantalisms.
posted by dash_slot- at 1:32 PM on April 15, 2004


use of words unknown to the 1st century world (like homosexual)

Men were having sex with men way back then.( Our modern word for that is homosexuality.) There were male prostitutes, who were called "dogs" in the terminology of the times. etcetera and so forth.

Frankly, I don't understand why people who don't believe the Bible in the first place want to try to find a way to make it say what they want it to say. Reminds me of the hours I spent in college trying to find a Biblical out for premarital sex. (No, I wasn't a Christian at the time. What I was was confused.)

And purplemonkie, we have a lot of Hebrew and Greek reference books here to look words up. It's always fun to see how much deeper a meaning a word can have in the original Greek.
posted by konolia at 3:59 PM on April 15, 2004


Incidentally, count me in as a straight white male Christian who believes that gay people are people too and are deserving of all civil rights, not to mention religious sacraments.

The Christian message is one of love and inclusiveness. In my book (or should that be "in my Book"?), that trumps any attempts to divide the body of Christ.

Frankly, I'm getting tired of the assumption that one particular flavor of Xianity (as practiced -- vocally -- by konolia) is necessarily representative of the religion as a whole.
posted by Vidiot at 8:11 PM on April 15, 2004


And purplemonkie, we have a lot of Hebrew and Greek reference books here to look words up. It's always fun to see how much deeper a meaning a word can have in the original Greek.

Since when was the original in Greek? or Hebrew? wasn't it Aramaic originally?
posted by amberglow at 8:13 PM on April 15, 2004


I don't understand why people who don't believe the Bible in the first place want to try to find a way to make it say what they want it to say

Well, it's not just people who don't believe who do this (see Vidiot's post), but it's also about your insistence that your interpretation is the only right one, and the inherent hypocrisy in following some aspects of Paul's teachings to the letter (i.e. the ones which support your prejudices), but not others (like owning slaves).
posted by biscotti at 8:35 PM on April 15, 2004


konolia: echolalia67, I go to the first chapter of Romans

When I want to read the words of Jesus, I read one of the four Gospels, not St. Paul. As raised in previous discussions, there are a lot of people who feel that Christianity as presented by St. Paul is a perversion of Jesus' simple to understand but very difficult to live philosophy of radical compassion.

As for the bible and premarital sex, I never went looking for a passage condoning it, but I did stumble on the Song of Solomon. Possibly one of the most beautiful erotic poems ever written.
posted by echolalia67 at 8:43 PM on April 15, 2004


I'll also mention that I don't really care about people's religions (aside from the intellectual exercise of pointing out logical inconsistencies), except when they use them as a basis for legislating their prejudices.
posted by biscotti at 11:36 PM on April 15, 2004


Clearly, you didn't read purplemonkie's link, konolia.

I Corinthians 6:9:
"The unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God. So do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, shall inherit the realm of God."
Author's Note: The Greek words translated "effeminate" and "homosexual" do not mean effeminate or homosexual!

I Timothy 1:9-10:
"Law is not made for a righteous person but for those who are lawless and rebellious, for the ungodly and sinners, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers and fornicators and homosexuals and kidnappers and liars and perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to sound (healthy) teaching."
Author's Note: The Greek word translated "homosexual" does not mean homosexual!

Please let us know your responses to that.
posted by dash_slot- at 12:37 AM on April 16, 2004


jonmc, thanks for sharing your point of view, it is refreshing. the discussion you mention about how you can help someone to that place is one that I think might be useful. I think it does help a lot if you have someone in your life that you can relate these things to. if you don't know anyone gay it's hard to connect this abstraction with reality. that's hard to fix though, but hopefully people will be more open about sexuality, and other differences and more people will realize the people they see everyday are different in ways they never even imagined.
posted by rhyax at 1:00 AM on April 16, 2004


I got out my King James and looked up First Timothy 1:10. In that passage it is rendered "those that defile themselves with mankind." Since this translation dates from 1610 we aren't dealing with the word homosexual, but with the activity. The previous word is whoremongers. Interestingly, when I looked up whoremongers in my Strongs Concordance, the Greek word was pornos-a MALE prosituteand according to Strongs this word was also used for a debauchee or fornicator. The word for female prostitute is porne, which is NOT the word used in the passage . Therefore "those that defile themselves with mankind" are referring, indeed, to homosexuality. If they were talking about women here they would have used whore or harlot.

Purplemonkie, I don't have time to dig further at the moment, but so far, I'd be angry at the author of that page if I were you. He did NOT list what translation he was using, he did NOT quote the exact greek words...

One other thought came to mind while I was typing this. In the entire Bible you will not see ONE example of a loving gay couple, period. NOT ONE. For that matter, any kind of gay couple. And it isn't like there weren't homosexual couples back then-we are talking about the time of ancient Greece and Rome as well as Israel. If gayness was really okay with God you would have seen at least ONE.

(Oh, and I agree with the comment on Song of Solomon. That was married love, by the way-it was a wedding poem.)
posted by konolia at 4:29 AM on April 16, 2004


One other thought came to mind while I was typing this. In the entire Bible you will not see ONE example of a loving gay couple, period. NOT ONE. For that matter, any kind of gay couple.
That's meaningless--there are lots of things in the world that aren't in the Bible. You see adultery in the Bible--does that mean it's ok?
posted by amberglow at 5:02 AM on April 16, 2004


y'know, konolia, you're selectively responding to your critics here, just as (some would argue) you're selectively using portions of the Bible to back up your argument.

I don't mean for this to turn into a "get konolia" thread, but I think that biscotti, echolalia67, and I raise some salient points. I'd love to see your response.
posted by Vidiot at 6:39 AM on April 16, 2004


Men were having sex with men way back then.( Our modern word for that is homosexuality.)

That's simply incorrect. Our modern word for men who have sex with men is "men who have sex with men." Homosexual means someone who romantically loves someone of the same sex, --not-- just someone who has sex with someone of the same sex. The number of men who have sex with men is far larger than the number of homosexuals, and includes those men who are deprived of the company of women (ie, many prisoners and some sailors), people who are simply curious, and people who have grown jaded with more standard sexual activity. Of all of these, it's only the latter that I see clearly condemned in the New Testament.

It's awfully hard to apply words like "homosexual" back 2000 years when attitudes about emotional attachments and sex were very different. By one level, almost all men would have been semi-homosexual, because at least in what I've read of Roman culture, a man's primary emotional attachments, his primary love, would have been directed at other men, and relationships with women would often be fairly businesslike affairs of household management, sex, and children.

So I dunno. I'm Christian, and I look at the relevant passage in Romans and I don't see a condemnation of homosexuals, of men who love other men. Look at the bleedin' text -- it says right there that they weren't gay, they were men who gave up the "use" of women because they burned with lust, not men who fell in love with other men and never "used" women in the first place. That's a clear description of orgiastic behavior, and of having sex with other men not because you find yourself in love with them but merely because you've grown jaded with straight sex.

Your own description of 1 Timothy supports this interpretation - it's not men who love other men romantically, it's men who are bored with gettin' it on with their wives and so go a-whoring, and then get bored with whoring and start hiring men for variety's sake.

Maybe the relevant passages are condemning orgies, maybe they're condemning male prostitutes. But it would be hard for them to be condeming something that might well not have existed as we understand it now.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:42 AM on April 16, 2004


He did NOT list what translation he was using, he did NOT quote the exact greek words..

And of course, if I found a source that did, you'd take it seriously, right? I'm not that naive, and I'm not going to waste any more of my time. I realize now that trying to have a logical discussion with you about this is completely pointless, and I'll remember that in the future.

I am not religious, but I am grateful for the Christians in my life because they remind me that not all of Jesus's followers believe as you do.
posted by purplemonkie at 6:53 AM on April 16, 2004


Interestingly, when I looked up whoremongers in my Strongs Concordance, the Greek word was pornos-a MALE prosituteand according to Strongs this word was also used for a debauchee or fornicator.

God spoke in greek? Were Abraham, Moses, Solomon et al bilingual? Was Jesus?

If they were not, then it behoves us to return to the original hebrew, aramaic, or whatever. Does your concordance contain those languages, or is there the possibility that a translator not present at the time may have 'interpreted' the word of god?

btw, why didnt the omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent god give us the same message, at the same time, in our own language, instead of favouring one tribe over all others in his beloved human race? That would have easily overcome this problem, and would hardly have stretched him, even on a busy day in heaven.
posted by dash_slot- at 9:02 AM on April 16, 2004


Concordance has Greek, Hebrew, and Aramaic where it was used. What a concordance is is a book that takes every single word in the English translation (Mine's a Strongs, and it is based on King James) and lists every single verse that word is in. Since sometimes different Hebrew or Greek or Aramaic words were used in these verses, each particular one is assigned a number. Look up that number in the back of the book and you see what that word's meaning is in the original language, whether it was in the masculine or feminine form, and so forth.

Greek was and is a very useful language that is very precise in meaning. That is why God ordained the New Testament to be written in it, as it was the most precise for the purpose. Love is only one word in English, for example, while Greek has at least three-eros, sexual love, phileo, brotherly love, and agape, God's type of unconditional love.

Hebrew, on the other hand, is a very pictorial language. Which makes it good for the Old Testament.

And as to why God did it that way? Because He's God, and that's how He wanted it done.

You want to not believe in God, up to you. But if you truly believe in God and believe He is in charge of where you spend eternity, I suggest you ask Him yourself to show you how He feels about homosexuality. Or male on male sex or whatever terminology you want to use for it. Quit relying on someone else-me too, for that matter-and parse it out for yourself-but only do this if you are willing to hear the truth and not what you want the truth to be.

On the other hand, if you care more about your will than God's will, carry on. Because in the end that really is the only question that there is. Who's boss of you? You get to pick.

Choose wisely.
posted by konolia at 11:48 AM on April 16, 2004


You want to not believe in God, up to you. But if you truly believe in God and believe He is in charge of where you spend eternity, I suggest you ask Him yourself to show you how He feels about homosexuality. Or male on male sex or whatever terminology you want to use for it. Quit relying on someone else-me too, for that matter-and parse it out for yourself-but only do this if you are willing to hear the truth and not what you want the truth to be.

Dead end: he told you and Vidiot and several other christians different things. He waited until the late 70's to tell the Mormon elders that blacks could be clergy. I know many people who sincerely have opened their hearts to God who have utterly, incompatibly different beliefs.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 12:12 PM on April 16, 2004


konolia, once again you are assuming that your brand of Christianity is representative of Christian thought as a whole. I wouldn't presume to think that my beliefs reflect those of every Christian, everywhere...why do you?

As I said above, I wouldn't mind hearing your thoughts on the points raised by biscotti, echolalia67, and me...all regarding just this issue. I honestly don't understand it.

But if you truly believe in God and believe He is in charge of where you spend eternity, I suggest you ask Him yourself to show you how He feels about homosexuality. . .Quit relying on someone else-me too, for that matter-and parse it out for yourself-but only do this if you are willing to hear the truth and not what you want the truth to be.

I did. And I looked at the words and the actions of Jesus. (Incidentally, even if you're not religious, Jesus would have to be one of the most towering moral philosophers in history.) And what they told me is that we are all sinners who have been forgiven by the grace of God. And that Jesus said nothing about homosexuality, but lived a profoundly humble, welcoming, loving, and compassionate life that embraced all.

Now since I apparently have come up with a different answer than you -- does that mean that you can chalk it up to "caring more about my will than God's"? Perhaps. But what gives you the right to judge that? Or are you accusing me of not truly believing in God?

Do you really want to go there?
posted by Vidiot at 12:24 PM on April 16, 2004


konolia: again, what about slavery and women speaking in church and not cutting their hair and stoning people and all the other Paulist teachings which you seem to disregard? This has nothing to do with "what god feels about homosexuality" or "truth" and everything to do with the convenience of cherry-picking the teachings you like and feel you can defend and discarding the ones you don't like, or cannot possibly defend. I don't expect an answer of course, since you haven't answered my other comments either, but please respect the fact that you do not speak for all Christians and that your inconsistent, narrow and selective interpretation of this part of the Bible is exactly that, and is at odds with the beliefs of other, equally devout, Christians.
posted by biscotti at 12:51 PM on April 16, 2004


Greek was and is a very useful language that is very precise in meaning. That is why God ordained the New Testament to be written in it, as it was the most precise for the purpose.

Thank you - god ordained that the NT be written in a language different to the language spoken by the actors in it.

So there was, what most of us would call, translation...but it was (no doubt) supervised, as well as ordained, by god.

Have I got that right?
posted by dash_slot- at 1:38 PM on April 16, 2004


Konolia: Oh, and I agree with the comment on Song of Solomon. That was married love, by the way-it was a wedding poem.

From what I've read, another interpretation is that it represents God's ardent desire for connection with each and every one of us. Which, if you think about it, is pretty cool conceptualization of the nature of the Divine and our relationship to it.

Which brings me to my point: interpretation. Some Christians interpret it as literal, others as an blend of historical record, people's interpretation of natural events with limited knowlege about the natural sciences, and stories that represent deeper truths. Who's right? Only God knows for sure.

And on a tangent, I have a hard time understanding why some Christians have a hard time reconcilling faith with science. If anything, it should fill them with even more awe.

A God who, hocus pocus, make a world appear? Whattaya think I am, 5 years old? But the concept of a God who creates this world and the known universe with all of it's complexities, paradoxes, and infinite mysteries, to shift, grow and change over millions of eons, all of which can be observed and predicted as we gain an ever increasing understanding of the processes (such as evolution) and rules ( such as physics) that guide it's path? Mindblowing.
posted by echolalia67 at 7:30 PM on April 16, 2004


From what I've read, another interpretation is that it represents God's ardent desire for connection with each and every one of us. Which, if you think about it, is pretty cool conceptualization of the nature of the Divine and our relationship to it.

I believe that too. Kinda a both/and.

The whole Bible is a love story. Unfortunately for God a lot of times His love is unrequited.
posted by konolia at 8:39 PM on April 16, 2004


Hmph. Didn't think you'd respond.
posted by Vidiot at 11:40 AM on April 18, 2004


The lack of response thing is getting quite comical. An error in Elton John's marriage/divorce chronology, of course, warrants immediate correction. But this or this or this? Silence! It's a real knee-slapper.
posted by purplemonkie at 8:56 AM on April 19, 2004


yeah, talk about "unrequited."
posted by Vidiot at 10:58 PM on April 19, 2004


There is a longish piece today in the Washington Post about this as well.
posted by john m at 4:29 AM on April 22, 2004


Thanks, john m, that was interesting reading. Plus, I learned that Randall Terry is from my hometown. Woohoo!
posted by purplemonkie at 6:07 AM on April 22, 2004


« Older Low-Income Children At Risk...  |  Palin's Travels.... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments