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Ted Haggard | New Life Church
November 2, 2006 3:43 PM   Subscribe

Ted Haggard, one of the most prominent evangelical pastors in the nation, resigned today as president of the National Association of Evangelicals amid allegations that he carried on a three-year sexual relationship with a male prostitute. He also steps down as pastor of of his 14,000-member New Life Church while a church panel investigates, saying he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."
posted by ericb (1829 comments total) 37 users marked this as a favorite

 
Earlier thread which was deleted - here.
posted by ericb at 3:44 PM on November 2, 2006


Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha
posted by interrobang at 3:45 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Well, I think this shows that the prior deletion was misplaced. How about resurrecting that dead thread?
posted by caddis at 3:47 PM on November 2, 2006


I don't see anything wrong with priests having sex with prostitutes. Rather than firing this guy, perhaps they should reconsider their flawed doctrine.

Treat the disease, not the symptoms.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:48 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Christ. What an asshole!
posted by hal9k at 3:48 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Original claim by gay prostitute allegedly backed up by evidence:
"Today, Jones showed the Denver Post an envelope addressed to him from 'Art,' a name Jones says Haggard used - sent from an address in Colorado Springs. Jones said the envelope came to him with two $100 bills inside.

Jones also played a recording of a voicemail left for Jones from 'Art.' Jones refused to reveal what the topic of the voicemail was about because there could be legal problems and he wants to consult with an attorney....Jones said he would take a lie detector test to validate his claims."
posted by ericb at 3:48 PM on November 2, 2006


Obviously, he stepped down so he can spend more time openly pursuing man ass.
posted by MegoSteve at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2006 [7 favorites]


Quick, somebody find a picture of him with Santorum, please.
posted by Ironmouth at 3:50 PM on November 2, 2006


So he is innocent, right?
posted by ernie at 3:52 PM on November 2, 2006


Huh. I was sure this was going to be nothing. First Foley, then this...
posted by smackfu at 3:52 PM on November 2, 2006


So at what point do evangelicals agree that they are more morally corrupt than teh gays and teh vile leftist liebrals.
posted by sourbrew at 3:53 PM on November 2, 2006


Ha ha... hooo. Hoo.

*wipes tear*

This is the weaselly little fuck who George Bush consults. This is the arrogant little asshole with his stadium-seating megachurch in Colorado Springs, the same one who told Richard Dawkins not to be arrogant. Sex with a male prostitute? Stepping down is not an admission of guilt? This is fucking great.

I've been waiting for a PTL-style meltdown for a long time, and now that these fuckers are ensconced in our government, with all the money and power that comes along with being aligned with the Plutocrat Party, some of that power-abuse is coming back to bite them in the ass. It's about time.
posted by interrobang at 3:54 PM on November 2, 2006


Obviously, he stepped down so he can spend more time openly pursuing man ass.

*snort* Good one!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 3:55 PM on November 2, 2006


So.... this one turned out pretty much exactly like the Foley thing. Way to go, MeFi skeptics. You're 0 and 2!
posted by rxrfrx at 3:56 PM on November 2, 2006


Quick, somebody find a picture of him with Santorum, please.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:50 PM GMT on November 2


Spare me the gory details, please!
posted by dash_slot- at 3:56 PM on November 2, 2006


PTL-style meltdown

PTL?
posted by SBMike at 3:57 PM on November 2, 2006


Yup, props to whoever got this into the blue earlier. Shame it got deleted.

Welcome to hell, Ted. This one's real.
posted by imperium at 3:57 PM on November 2, 2006


...Today, Jones showed the Denver Post an envelope addressed to him from "Art," a name Jones says Haggard used - sent from an address in Colorado Springs. Jones said the envelope came to him with two $100 bills inside...

$200 hush money?!? I'm assuming the trick dough was presented in person, but the double-Benjis in question were mailed, implying a bribe, right?

If you are trying to shut someone up, at least make a real effort!
posted by ernie at 3:58 PM on November 2, 2006


P.S. grind grind grind grind grind
posted by rxrfrx at 3:59 PM on November 2, 2006


PTL
posted by mrnutty at 3:59 PM on November 2, 2006


The GOP hates the gays, fears the gays, yet many of these hated and feared gays are the GOP. hee hee. Perhaps it is time for them to find somebody else to hate?
posted by caddis at 3:59 PM on November 2, 2006


PTL. Watch for the nice Jerry Falwell quote in there.
posted by imperium at 4:00 PM on November 2, 2006


"he thinks through a gay newspaper advertisement or an online ad he posted on rentboy.com."

heh. There's something rather amusing about that domain name.
posted by drstein at 4:00 PM on November 2, 2006


pleasepleaseplease be true
posted by Falconetti at 4:01 PM on November 2, 2006


Let's get a pool going; how long before he goes into "rehab"?
posted by you just lost the game at 4:02 PM on November 2, 2006


From the Harper's article in the prev. thread:
According to Ted, it was this army of Christian capitalists that took to the streets. “They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property,” he said. “That's what evangelical stands for.”
Supply side Christ rides again, I guess.
posted by boo_radley at 4:03 PM on November 2, 2006


Let's get a pool going; how long before he goes into "rehab"?

Alcohol is a hell of a drug!
posted by ernie at 4:03 PM on November 2, 2006


If you go to Haggard's site there's a section titled "What He Believes". But there isn't one called "What He Thinks". Wonder why?
posted by you just lost the game at 4:05 PM on November 2, 2006


What the hell does that "grind grind grind grind grind" mean? It's bad enough we have cryptic FPPs, but do we really need cryptic reasons for deletion?

(I realize this should go to MetaTalk, and I would, except that I used up my once-per-four-days)
posted by Kickstart70 at 4:05 PM on November 2, 2006


The timing on this really is excellent. I wonder if that is an accident?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:06 PM on November 2, 2006


WooHoooooooooooooooo!

posted by mr.curmudgeon at 4:07 PM on November 2, 2006


In Ted's defense that rent boy was way hot. Plus he really was quite a deal. Around-the-world PLUS a reach-around for less than $50 bucks! Including breakfast! Who could pass that up?

And Ted's wife? "Gayle" Well, let's just say the former Easter German supposed "all-female" shot-putter team may be short a member.
posted by tkchrist at 4:08 PM on November 2, 2006


he seemed to be grindgrindgrindgrinding a hell of a lot of man ass, that's for sure
posted by matteo at 4:09 PM on November 2, 2006


The more they rant, the more they're hiding.

Ted Haggard to his flock: Don't be Weird (after the Harper's piece, TV crews were coming)
posted by amberglow at 4:09 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


caddis writes: Well, I think this shows that the prior deletion was misplaced. How about resurrecting that dead thread?

Interesting question, which got me to wondering: has any deleted thread ever been resurrected, in the history of MetaFilter? Any tearful apologies and confession of sins from the moderators?
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:13 PM on November 2, 2006


Seems strange he'd choose to be gay like that.
posted by ODiV at 4:13 PM on November 2, 2006 [24 favorites]


And maybe this will help the Air Force thing in Colorado Springs, where that church has made it a hostile place to non-Christians.
posted by amberglow at 4:14 PM on November 2, 2006


As far as I can tell, this guy was about equal to James Dobson in influence, but not in national exposure.

And he likes to have sex with other men.

As a libertarian-leaning Dem, I have no problem with that. Yet, if you make a living advocating that people who have gay sex shouldn't have the same rights as straight people, you deserve the heaping helpings of mockery, scorn, penury, and cries of "hypocrite" that you're going to get. Forever and ever amen.
posted by bardic at 4:16 PM on November 2, 2006


wtf - why would a post on this subject be deleted? this guy spoke with the president "everyday" ? influencing policy decisions. jeezus.
posted by specialk420 at 4:17 PM on November 2, 2006


Nussbaum, paraphrased: The bylaws state that when an allegation of immorality is made, this process is triggered, where he puts himself on leave. The outside board makes the final decision.
A lot of churches actually have bylaws like that -- at least, the ones large enough to merit media attention, etc. So he'd pretty much be required to do this no matter how innocent.

That said, his denials are rather... clintonesque. "I never had a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver?" What is this, a Mensa brain teaser? You just say, "No."
posted by verb at 4:17 PM on November 2, 2006


Anyone else remember this thread Turns out Haggard was the guy who ran the church profiled. Pretty interesting coincidence.

has any deleted thread ever been resurrected, in the history of MetaFilter?

I know of at least one instance, although I don't remember the specifics.
posted by delmoi at 4:18 PM on November 2, 2006


has any deleted thread ever been resurrected, in the history of MetaFilter?

I know of at least one instance, although I don't remember the specifics.


I think it was that thread about Lazarus.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 4:19 PM on November 2, 2006 [6 favorites]


verb writes "'I never had a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver?'"

Hehe... it does sound an awful lot like a technical cop-out. Perhaps they were in a suburb of Denver at the time...
posted by clevershark at 4:20 PM on November 2, 2006


So I've been trying to find a picture of the aforementioned rentboy. Anybody?
posted by Pontius Pilate at 4:22 PM on November 2, 2006




I saw a brief interview with him on the news. Looks pretty rough trade to me, with a definite Gannon vibe.

Seriously.
posted by bardic at 4:24 PM on November 2, 2006


Oh, man. I thought you were talking about Merle Haggard there for a minute.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:24 PM on November 2, 2006


This is alledgedly the home page of said male escort's massage business. The pictures there (95% SFW, no nudity) are a lot more flattering to this Mike Jones guy than the pic in the article tied to the deleted thread.
posted by clevershark at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2006


C'mon folks, give the man some credit. At least he was screwing grown men. Doesn't that count as standing up for family values and moral decency among today's right wing?
posted by rusty at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2006


Sweet. I still want to see the evidence online (jessamyn deleted the last post, btw).
posted by mathowie at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2006


And by Gannon-vibe, I mean that muscular-yet-beefy rather than totally ripped, semi-balding, military thing.

Is there slang for that yet?
posted by bardic at 4:26 PM on November 2, 2006


Oops, forgot the actual link in my last post :-)
posted by clevershark at 4:27 PM on November 2, 2006


If it were the New York Times instead of the Rocky Mountain News, the NYT would have held the story until next Thursday so as not to interfere with the 'sensitive' election situation, the way the Times did with Bush's illegal NSA spying.
posted by jamjam at 4:28 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hillary Clinton drives another poor Christian to homosexuality!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:28 PM on November 2, 2006


Grind, grind, grind, grind, grind, grind
posted by fire&wings at 4:34 PM on November 2, 2006


From his website, "In the news", not completely up to date...
posted by growabrain at 4:34 PM on November 2, 2006


this is a case of the satanic gay agenda in action:

1 - infiltrate key, ahem, positions, in high-level evangelical GOP circles with gay moles pretending to be straight, anti-gay preachers

2 - instruct the moles to let themselves be caught by the press with, ahem, their pants down just a few days before an election, being cheerfully fisted by muscular, clean shaven young men

3 - ???

4 - profit!!!
posted by matteo at 4:36 PM on November 2, 2006


I'll admit that the timing here is awesome IMO. Dem base is fired up enough, and the key now is to hope as many social conservatives and evangelicals as possible are not willing to once again pinch their noses.
posted by bardic at 4:41 PM on November 2, 2006


I just got a Dremel for my birthday. And I found this really cool old pulaski axe in my garage. It's pretty rusty, but there seems to be enough good steel to save it. So you know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow? Literally grinding my axe. True story. I'll think of ya'll.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:43 PM on November 2, 2006


C'mon folks, give the man some credit. At least he was screwing grown men.

I don't get the "at least." What's wrong with what he did?

Or is my irony detector just miscalibrated?
posted by poweredbybeard at 4:44 PM on November 2, 2006


I think the parishioners will blame the guy for tempting him, i bet.
posted by amberglow at 4:45 PM on November 2, 2006


I read it and it still seems hypothetical. One dude claims he had sex with a preacher of a megachurch. There's no tapes, no photos, no proof. It's just hearsay at this point, total gossip with nothing to back it up.

Then why not delete the post?
posted by monju_bosatsu at 11:50 AM PST on November 2

Oh, man. I thought you were talking about Merle Haggard there for a minute.
posted by monju_bosatsu at 4:24 PM PST on November 2

That's quite a bit closer to 274 minutes, monju. And I didn't know Merle had picked up that megachurch gig. Thanks for the information!
posted by jamjam at 4:45 PM on November 2, 2006


Hate on the FPP because it's newsfilter, fine. But it ain't axe-grinding. This guy represents millions of Christian Americans. He had the president's ear. He is taking a spectacular fall.

If Michael Moore got caught being pegged by Ann Coulter, it would be mefi's job, nay, it's duty to comment upon it.
posted by bardic at 4:46 PM on November 2, 2006


> The more they rant, the more they're hiding.

You know, the thing I really can't stand about queers is they're all Evangelicals like this guy or Republicans like Foley or both. As Amberglow will be the first to tell you, the more you deny it, the more that proves it true.
posted by jfuller at 4:48 PM on November 2, 2006


He probably did sleep with Gannon/Guckert too: ... Every Monday he participates in the West Wing conference call with evangelical leaders. The group continues to prod the President to campaign aggressively for a federal marriage amendment. "We wanted him to use the force of his office to actively lobby the Congress and Senate, which he did not adequately do," says Haggard....

and from there: ...He staked out gay bars, inviting men to come to his church; ...

"come to his church" is some sexual invitation, obviously ; >
posted by amberglow at 4:49 PM on November 2, 2006


Well, looks like he couldn't bring himself to sign the Evangelical Climate Initiative, either. Chump.

And by the way, here are some actual paintings displayed in the New Life Church. Really. I'm not kidding.
posted by maryh at 4:54 PM on November 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


You know what I can't wait for? I can't wait for the day Tony Perkins is caught humping a dead, gay possum whilst jerking off a transsexual nun in a rabbit costume. That's going to be some g*d-damned interesting day!
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 4:55 PM on November 2, 2006


XD
posted by keswick at 4:56 PM on November 2, 2006


The group continues to prod the President...

heh heh...heh heh heh... heh heh...
/beavis
posted by maryh at 4:56 PM on November 2, 2006


maryh - that is amazing! My snark muscles are failing me ...
posted by rks404 at 4:59 PM on November 2, 2006


You said "prod," huh huhuhuhuhuh

/butthead
posted by keswick at 5:00 PM on November 2, 2006


"You'll find yourself right on some things and wrong on some other things. But, please, in the process, don't be arrogant."

--Ted Haggard
posted by luckypozzo at 5:01 PM on November 2, 2006


PrurientScandalFilter: Don "Choker" Sherwood paid his mistress half a million dollars to keep her mouth shut.

...just to show that Republican scandals aren't strictly a man-to-man affair. You know, "fair and balanced" and all that.
posted by clevershark at 5:03 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Gee, thanks jessamyn.
But for safety's sake, wear eye protection with that grinder, wouldn't want you blind blind, blind, blind, blind.
I suppose we all have our little axes.
posted by nofundy at 5:03 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


AccuracyFilter: Sorry, make that "more than half of $500,000" to keep quiet.
posted by clevershark at 5:05 PM on November 2, 2006


Christ. What an asshole!

Christ: What an asshole!

posted by Extopalopaketle at 5:06 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I offer a deep tissue and swedish style massage with the pleasure of the man in mind. If you like a strong muscle man to bring pleasure to you then please call me. I am a muscle stud with a friendly personality and a caring heart. When the Broadway shows play in town the cast and crew call upon me for massage.

Rawr. No wonder he couldn't resist. I mean, come on, the cast and crew of Broadway shows call this guy when they're in town! Thanks for the link, clevershark.
posted by jokeefe at 5:07 PM on November 2, 2006


...of course, I refer to my neighbour Wally Christ, who never rakes his leaves nor mows his lawn.
posted by Extopalopaketle at 5:07 PM on November 2, 2006


Hilarious comments.
An even better thread I'd venture.
Thank you ericb.
Can we get that Harper's reference back about the statuary at his "church?"
posted by nofundy at 5:08 PM on November 2, 2006


Gay sex demons. (from May 2005)
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:14 PM on November 2, 2006


I'm not an evangelical; emphatically so. I was raised evangelical, and left because the evangelicals are everything I hate about the modern world: slick, commercial, cool, easy, pop-psychologising, et cetera. They have no concept of their own religion, a religion I tend to have a lot of respect for.

But I have a really hard time feeling good about this. I mean, even if it were good to be happy about the downfall of an asshole (and I don't know that it is) this guy, from everything I know, has never been an asshole. His biggest crime, if you ask me, is being part of a culture of mediocrity. I haven't always agreed with the things he's said, but I've never heard him expressing those views in a violent or crude way like so many nut-job preachers have (say, Jerry Falwell.)

Just think about it for a moment: this guy has a wife, kids, who have to deal with the fact that he's been cheating on them. That's a hell of a burden.

Add to that the fact that schadenfreude is pretty disgusting when it comes down. I remember how bad it was when the Republicans brought Clinton down; how sad and sick it was to see people delighting in the fracturing of a guy's family because it brought them political gain. This isn't really different.

And it'd be nice if this were some sort of victory in the name of egalitarianism, but it's not. Human hypocrisy doesn't prove anything to anybody; this guy's moral weakness doesn't demonstrate that homosexuality is no less immoral than heterosexuality. Unfortunately, it'll probably make it worse.
posted by koeselitz at 5:20 PM on November 2, 2006 [8 favorites]


poweredbybeard: "At least" meaning "at least it wasn't teenage boys." By being an apparently normal homosexual man (albeit of the pay-for-play variety, which is rather distasteful for gays and non alike), Ted Haggard has probably done some good for the right wing image. I would think. In the "Ted Haggard proves evangelical right-wing not all pedophiles" kind of way.
posted by rusty at 5:20 PM on November 2, 2006


I think that's why jess deleted the last thread. I agree with it, if it was.
posted by koeselitz at 5:20 PM on November 2, 2006


This is why I would never become a gay prostitute. I bet half my customers would be evangelicals.
posted by obvious at 5:22 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


the same one who told Richard Dawkins not to be arrogant

Heh. And another of his detractors, notorious creationist Kent Hovind was convicted of tax fraud today. Dawkins is a couple of days from the end of the U.S. portion of his book tour (for The God Delusion), and it does seem that the fates are conspiring to give him an interesting bon voyage.
posted by Creosote at 5:26 PM on November 2, 2006


Just think about it for a moment: this guy has a wife, kids, who have to deal with the fact that he's been cheating on them. That's a hell of a burden.

Too bad that didn't stop him.
posted by ernie at 5:26 PM on November 2, 2006


His biggest crime, if you ask me, is being part of a culture of mediocrity.

I would describe the big Evangelical churches' actions vis a vis cheerleading the Iraq War, getting Republicans elected, rallying against marriage rights, "curing" gays, and so forth as a little more than "a culture of mediocrity." More like a culture of repression, and worse.
posted by rxrfrx at 5:27 PM on November 2, 2006


From his website, Ted Haggard believes:

Hell: After living one life on earth, the unbelievers will be judged by God and sent to hell where they will be eternally tormented with the devil and the fallen angels (see Matt. 25:41; Mark 9:43-48; Heb. 9:27; Rev. 14:9-11; 20:12-15; 21:8).

Or to put it another way, he believes the universe is run by a despot who will send to eternal torment all those who fail to show appropriate fealty to the supreme leader.

I'm pretty happy to see a guy who thinks that way lose the ear of the president, although there are no doubt lots of others waiting to take his place.
posted by bowline at 5:29 PM on November 2, 2006


koeselitz: Clinton wasn't rallying thousands of followers against the Evil Demon of Blowjobs, and trying make sure that no one who engaged in oral sex could marry, or adopt, or in any way be permitted to lead a normal life in america. That's why this is different.

What all of these "moral crusader turns out to be a total hypocrite" stories always demonstrate is that the people who are the most vocally against something are usually drawn to that thing irresistably, and hate themselves for it. How many other ordinary gay men did this guy lure into his church and convince that they should hate themselves too? How much longer do we have to repeat this cycle?

Every one of them that falls is one less blot on humanity, and one more step toward freedom for all of us. Good riddance, and may the rest of them follow.
posted by rusty at 5:30 PM on November 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


rxfrx: "More like a culture of repression, and worse."

I'd wager that you don't know too many evangelicals, and that you only know them from what you see on TV and the Internet. Let me be the first to tell you, you usually have to talk to people before you can understand their culture.
posted by koeselitz at 5:31 PM on November 2, 2006


Koeselitz--that was an interesting and thoughtful post, but I will disagree with one point: ". I remember how bad it was when the Republicans brought Clinton down...This isn't really different."

It is different, and you yourself allude to the way it is: the hypocrisy. Clinton was never looked at as a beacon of virtue--he'd had his "bimbo eruptions" since he was first running for president. Haggard's job is/was to be a beacon of virtue. The schadenfreude you see here in the Blue is delight in the exposure of that hypocrisy.
posted by adamrice at 5:32 PM on November 2, 2006


Haggard preaching against homosexuality from the recent documentary 'Jesus Camp': YouTube video.
posted by ericb at 5:34 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


rusty: "What all of these "moral crusader turns out to be a total hypocrite" stories always demonstrate is that the people who are the most vocally against something are usually drawn to that thing irresistably, and hate themselves for it."

By that logic, every person here, and Richard Dawkins too, is a closet evangelical. Somehow, I doubt it.

What a crappy argument.

Taking joy in the pain of others is always wrong.
posted by koeselitz at 5:35 PM on November 2, 2006


I remember how bad it was when the Republicans brought Clinton down; how sad and sick it was to see people delighting in the fracturing of a guy's family because it brought them political gain. This isn't really different.

I respectfully disagree. First off, Clinton's impeachment arguably helped him out. His polls actually went up, and many Republicans looked really bad and were flailing until 9/11 changed the political landscape for everyone.

I think it's a lot different for another reason. Bill Clinton didn't build his career on moralistic finger-pointing about the evils of sex outside of marriage. (Far, far from it.) Say what you will, but hypocrisy isn't Clinton's fatal flaw. Arrogance, hubris, and a willingness to use people for his own political ends? Take you pick from those three.

Human hypocrisy doesn't prove anything to anybody; this guy's moral weakness doesn't demonstrate that homosexuality is no less immoral than heterosexuality.

Ancient Greek playwrites would disagree with you, among others. Yes, I feel sorry for this guy's family, but let's not get too misty here -- the guy made a nice home for him and his through gay-baiting. When Christian Evangelicals start holding candle-light vigils every time a gay teenager commits suicide because of the hate thrown at them, maybe we can talk parity. Until then, say it loud: People telling you who you should and shouldn't fuck are probably fucking all kinds of people you don't know about. If there is a Christian God, these people (hypocrites and deceivers in general) are going to a far worse place than lil' ol' atheist me.
posted by bardic at 5:36 PM on November 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


Just think about it for a moment: this guy has a wife, kids, who have to deal with the fact that he's been cheating on them. That's a hell of a burden.

Then, let me be the first to welcome him to the g*ddamned real world, where the rest of us try to do better by our fellow citizens without jettisoning our critical thinking and reasoning skills. Where we strive to acknowledge our faults, without the promise of becoming eternal f*cking lotto winners.

Where we accept others, even with their shortcomings, because we can recognize our own. The real world. The one he's been pretending to be above and beyond.

Fuck this guy.
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 5:37 PM on November 2, 2006 [5 favorites]


rusty and adamrice pretty much beat me to my main points.
posted by bardic at 5:38 PM on November 2, 2006


Give me a break.

I met him a decade ago. Along with my husband I talked to him one on one. My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it.

It's right before an election, he is on record as being against same sex marriage along with his church, and he is a target.

Besides, do any of you believe for a minute that if this was true it would take THREE FREAKING YEARS for it to come to light????? As well known as he is????


So until some real proof comes along (and I ain't holding my breath) I'm certainly giving him the benefit of the doubt. As to him stepping down from his positions, I wouldn't expect him to do any less under the circumstances.
posted by konolia at 5:39 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


koeselitz: Those kind, loving evangelicals who stand outside the Common Ground Fair entrance with the giant placards of what I assume they want me to believe are aborted fetuses? Or the ones who consistently deny gay men and women just like the good Rev. Haggard the same basic rights and freedoms straight people have?

I'm sure they're very nice to chat with, as long as you're just like them. Next time you hang out with some evangelicals who don't know you, tell them you're a gay Planned Parenthood employee. See how that goes.
posted by rusty at 5:41 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


koeselitz: The difference is that this is not just a matter of private family anguish, though I imagine it will include that (of course we have no idea if his wife already knew about this or not, assuming it's true-- she may have, we just don't know). He is a hugely prominent figure who has used his moral authority over those entrusted to his spiritual care in the service of punishing his fellow gay citizens by campaigning against the right to marry as well as a laundry list of other offenses. They're already been enumerated here, so I won't repeat them. So I'm not going to celebrate his personal Gethsemane, but I will celebrate the downfall of his public moral authority, which I feel has been used in the service of bigotry and prejudice.
posted by jokeefe at 5:42 PM on November 2, 2006


Taking joy in the pain of others is always wrong.

I tend to agree. But while my giggles are inappropriate, the confirmation of my belief that the biggest moralists are often the biggest hypocrites isn't. And that power corrupts -- during the 80's and 90's, Christians were eager to jump into bed with Republican politicans. (Huh huh /beavis.) Now they're reaping what they've sown.

I hope his wife and kids can manage to live normal lives after this. My hunch is that they'd be best off moving far away from the same hypocrite-ennablers with which they've insulated themselves, and to try and live their own lives in the best way possible, as opposed to screeching at other people about how they should live their lives.
posted by bardic at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2006


My fear is that he didn't practice safe sex with either his wife or his male sex partner.
posted by TorontoSandy at 5:43 PM on November 2, 2006


konolia, I accuse you of consorting with prostitutes. You should quit your job now.

(That would be kind of silly, wouldn't it? You quitting your job because some random person accused you of something criminal and hypocritical? Unless there was, ya know, some merit. The guy obviously did it or he wouldn't have quit.)
posted by bardic at 5:44 PM on November 2, 2006


By that logic, every person here, and Richard Dawkins too, is a closet evangelical. Somehow, I doubt it.

Touche. That's actually a good point. I could argue against it, but I'm not actually fully convinced myself, so I will leave it alone to be thought upon.

Taking joy in the pain of others is always wrong.

I agree with that too. I feel bad about it. And most of my joy is not in Haggard's pain, but in the continued exposure of the hypocrisy and corruption underlying the megachurch evangelical movement and the "family values" right. But some of my joy is in the personal pain of someone I can't find anything but contempt for in my heart. And to that extent, I too am a bad person.
posted by rusty at 5:45 PM on November 2, 2006


bardic: "Ancient Greek playwrites would disagree with you, among others."

I'd like to know which one. Most of the ancient greek playwrights were big fans of rationality. Lots of them thought, as I do, that homosexuality is morally equivalent, and probably superior, to heterosexuality because of its nature, not because some guy cheats on his wife. In fact, saying that homosexuality is morally acceptable because some guy cheats on his wife doesn't even make sense. And the greek playwrights, as far as I know, liked things that make sense.

2sheets: 'I grew up in the south and know them all too well. Evangelicals are pigs. It's good to see one on the spit. Can you smell what's cooking, you hypocritical neo-hillbilly trash?"

Wow. This is going well. What a delightful thing to say.
posted by koeselitz at 5:45 PM on November 2, 2006


"This is the arrogant little asshole with his stadium-seating megachurch in Colorado Springs, the same one who told Richard Dawkins not to be arrogant."

Man, when I saw that show, the first thing I wanted to do was hit this guy as hard as I could. The next thought that crossed my mind was "boy, that guy is probably one creepily twisted hypocritical SOB with some appalling skeletons in his closet." And then I felt a little sorry for him. But I still wanted to hit him.

Thankfully, the real world is doing it for me! :)

This is exactly the kind of religious nutcase that Dawkins is 100% correct about. Nobody should ever allow someone like this to attain a position of power over them, nor look up to them as some kind of idol.

Haven't we, collectively, seen enough of these "false prophet" type assholes to know not to listen to one word they say yet?

I can usually recognize one of them after two or three sentences out of their mouth, how come so many people out there join their "flocks" so credulously??

And when you see your President (or other leader, as applicable) listening to such whack jobs, remove him from office as fast as possible.

Stupid arrogant bastard, Haggard. Enjoy the slide downwards. Try to catch yourself before you hit bottom...

"Taking joy in the pain of others is always wrong."

Well, ya got me there koeselitz. Sigh. I'm only human, and sometimes payback being a bitch induces satisfaction in me.

"Just think about it for a moment: this guy has a wife, kids, who have to deal with the fact that he's been cheating on them. That's a hell of a burden."

That is a tragedy. However, it's sort of an everyday tragedy, which will very unfortunately be amplified by the national news coverage. When I say "everyday," I mean that people cheating on their spouses and getting caught doing bad things happens every day, sort of a run-of-the-mill human behavior problem.

I feel very sorry for his family, as they are victims of his foolishness, but I agree with ernie that it's a shame this didn't stop the guy. Clearly he knows the difference between right and wrong, and that this behavior could destroy the lives of everyone around him?

Contrast that with the tragedies caused by discrimination against GLBTs, and Christian Crusaderism married with corporate greed and the world-domination ambitions of a group of megalomaniacs, in which this guy has been an active and vocal supporter and participant. This guy has been "advising" the President of the United States. Undoubtedly he has provided support for our disastrous foreign policy adventures, eh?

He's a part of a sick, twisted system, and as tragic as it is for him personally and for his loved ones - not to mention the people who've latched onto him as their conduit to God, the poor folks - he's just one of many towering egoes that need to be cut down to size for their blatant and evil hypocrisy.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:47 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


And your "gaydar"? Please konolia, go drink a glass of sanity. Unless you've spent the summer on Fire Island recently, you're probably not an expert on the subject of who is and isn't gay.

He was probably paying the prostitute hush money and decided he could get away with stopping. Bad idea.
posted by bardic at 5:48 PM on November 2, 2006


Besides, do any of you believe for a minute that if this was true it would take THREE FREAKING YEARS for it to come to light????? As well known as he is????

Clinton continued doing what he did for what, 2 years before anyone knew about it? That's how affairs work -- both parties do it *in secret* and it only comes to light down the line when one party is tired of the secret arrangement.

Hopefully these voicemails and letters get online so we can see the evidence, though seeing him step down looks rather guilty. I remember Foley was gone before I ever saw a slutty IM online.
posted by mathowie at 5:49 PM on November 2, 2006


Yeah, chill, 2sheets. That was uncalled for.
posted by jokeefe at 5:50 PM on November 2, 2006


rusty: "I'm sure they're very nice to chat with, as long as you're just like them. Next time you hang out with some evangelicals who don't know you, tell them you're a gay Planned Parenthood employee. See how that goes."

I haven't done that. I have walked up to them and asked them to stop protesting before. And I've told my evangelical parents that I was having sex with my girlfriend, that I was moving in with her, and that I wouldn't be going to church any time soon. So before you talk to me about their hatred, know that I've experienced most of what it has to offer.
posted by koeselitz at 5:50 PM on November 2, 2006


"Ancient Greek playwrites would disagree with you, among others."

I think bardic is referring to the fact that in Greek Tragedy Hubris is often followed by Nemesis.
posted by ericb at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2006


Oh, and by the way:

"...the same one who told Richard Dawkins not to be arrogant."

What an idiot. I'm sure he spent his prayer time telling god to be less all-powerful; I imagine that was about as productive.

posted by koeselitz at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


"This guy, from everything I know, has never been an asshole. His biggest crime, if you ask me, is being part of a culture of mediocrity. I haven't always agreed with the things he's said, but I've never heard him expressing those views in a violent or crude way like so many nut-job preachers have (say, Jerry Falwell.)"

Well, let's see, Koeselitz. He preaches on and on about the evils of homosexuality, declares gays are going to hell, and advocates an anti-gay marriage amendment to his *millions* of followers.

Sounds like an asshole to me!
posted by mijuta at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2006


I was making a long-winded point that fatal flaws, usually in the form of hubris rather than hypocrisy, are the stuff of some great art and tragedy. This situation doesn't exactly qualify, but there's a common theme in demagogues gone off the rails. So yeah, I'm a giggly voyeur to this trash, but again rusty said it better than I did -- it's not delighting in the pain this causes his family as much as delighting in yet another example of IOKIYAChristian, a common variant on IOKIYAR.

More simply, the party of moral values isn't. Hell, the religion of moral values isn't. The more stuff like this comes to light, the more quickly these worthless memes will go away, hopefully.
posted by bardic at 5:53 PM on November 2, 2006


My gaydar works just fine

Does your gaydar flash a little red light, or is it the kind that makes a whoop-whoop sound?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 5:55 PM on November 2, 2006 [4 favorites]


has any deleted thread ever been resurrected, in the history of MetaFilter?

yes, this one was deleted because of subject matter but many protests caused matt to change his mind ...
posted by pyramid termite at 5:56 PM on November 2, 2006


If he was framed, stepping down seems like the wrong move. Its so easy to characterize that as an admission of guilt.

I wouldn't be suprised if he was framed, or if he like to suck a bit of dick now and again.

What a crazy bitch this life is, eh?
posted by dobie at 5:58 PM on November 2, 2006


rxfrx: More like a culture of repression, and worse.

Are you kidding me? Go reread your Foucault - these guys absolutely can't stop talking about sex and the radical sex demons who want to sex them up sexually. It's the furthest thing from repression imaginable!

Just as the Meese Report was its era's filthiest pr0n, the discourse of evangelicals is more jam-packed fulla hot steamy man-on-man action than anything from Colt Studios.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:03 PM on November 2, 2006


Koeslitz, you have your experience with fundamentalists. I'm glad your parents didn't disown you. And "fundamentalists" can cover many degrees, from basically devout to frothing at the mouth. Many of my family fall at different parts of that spectrum. I used to, myself.

But, you know, sometimes comeuppance is deserved. Perhaps this man's falling off his pedestal will lessen the hatred that he has *dedicated his life* to fomenting against gays. To be honest, I don't care enough about him to want him to suffer. I just want him to be unable to keep spouting his hatred of gays (and others) in God's name. Because he's not doing God any favors. And if it takes a public scandal to do it, then so be it.

I'm sorry for his family, but it is him, not us, who is dragging them through the mud. He's the one who cheated on his wife, who made himself a visible symbol of homophobia. Take his family's pain up with him, not with us. Otherwise, people who do wrong would always be able to hide behind their families so no one could call them on it.
posted by emjaybee at 6:03 PM on November 2, 2006


Haggard: homosexuality is a “sin” and “devastating for the children of our nation and for the future of Western civilization.”
posted by ericb at 6:05 PM on November 2, 2006


Why does Matthowie hate black people huge cocks?
posted by bardic at 6:12 PM on November 2, 2006


"I met him a decade ago. Along with my husband I talked to him one on one. My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it."

Konolia, maybe your gaydar is total crap? Because if you watch this video, you'll see what an obvious cock sucker he is.

(I say this as a cock sucker myself. A male cock sucker, that is.)
posted by mijuta at 6:14 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Perhaps this man's falling off his pedestal will lessen the hatred that he has *dedicated his life* to fomenting against gays.

My bet is he will join the Born Again Whatever, claiming it was the devil and abuse of some drug he now doesn't get anymore, but that now he talks with Jesus or something.

A stream of bullshit as usual.
posted by elpapacito at 6:15 PM on November 2, 2006


Never been to Fire Island BUT have had lots of experience being around and talking to gay people. Give me a break, most of you have gaydar too.

As to the stepping down part-a lot of large churches have this sort of procedure should accusations like this come up. Kinda like a cop going on desk duty or unpaid leave if he or she shoots someone in the line of duty. Doesn't mean they did anything wrong, it's simply standard procedure. Besides, I know if I were accused of something like this, my mind certainly would not be on work.

I cannot believe you all believe this without any shred of real evidence. Something like this could happen to anyone. It is frighteningly not uncommon in politics, where false accusations ruin lives and careers simply to protect the power of crooked politicians.
posted by konolia at 6:19 PM on November 2, 2006


I don't try to take joy in someone else's suffering, but there are only a few in this world who probably deserve it more.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:20 PM on November 2, 2006


koselitz, don't be lazy. there's an entire google of information out there if you actually care to learn about the influence of guys like Haggard on the president, and how this mainly worked to effect bigotry, mixing of church and state, and neocon-style fascism. The dude's own personal hypocrisy doesn't even need to enter into this, as much as it should.
posted by rxrfrx at 6:22 PM on November 2, 2006


Well, the evidence so far is that a gay male prostitute claims he had lots of sex with Ted Haggard. Nothing is confirmed yet, but that's evidence.

If that was totally baseless, Haggard should have denied, period, and gone on with his life.

Like I said, if a random stranger accused me of a criminal act, I'd deny it and go to work the next day. Because I haven't committed a criminal act for a while.

But in any event, if this is confirmed, please come back to this thread and remind us that because of his actions, Ted Haggard will burn in hell forever for being gay, a hypocrite, and a deceiver of his fellow Christians. That'd be good fun. Then get back out their with your keen "gaydar" and out some more sinners for us, you loon.
posted by bardic at 6:27 PM on November 2, 2006


My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it.

Really? Mine spiked and shorted out from overload the second I saw him. It may not work, though. After all it goes off everytime I see a Tom Cruise movie.
posted by tkchrist at 6:27 PM on November 2, 2006


This November surprise proves that while God is neither a Democrat or a Republican, He sure doesn't want the GOP getting any traction from the Kerry kerfluffle.

And with Haggard's possible fall will come more allegations. It's 1987 all over again. And from the falls of Swaggart and Bakker and Roberts came the openings that led Robertson and Dobson and Haggard to the top of American Christianity.

The Christian church in America is about to go through another transformative cycle. The question is whether it's going to emerge looking more like Brian McLaren's Emerging Church or Mark Driscoll's neo-Reformed Movement.

For you atheists and non-Christians, this last bit is all irrelevant to you. Just know this: You're about to get a generation in the spotlight. Enjoy it, because soon enough Richard Dawkins is going to be spotted having gay sex with a Jehovah's Witness or saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. And then, some other group replaces you. Probably a politicized Church of SubGenius campaigning for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing right to slack.
posted by dw at 6:28 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


People I feel sorry for, in ascending order, if this turns out to be false:
* Pastor Ted's wife and children
* Pastor Ted
* millions of gay Americans who have to live with the effects of his homophobic bullshit

People I feel sorry for, in ascending order, if this turns out to be true:
* Pastor Ted
* Pastor Ted's wife and children
* millions of gay Americans who have to live with the effects of his homophobic bullshit
posted by Armitage Shanks at 6:28 PM on November 2, 2006


Bardic, I could talk about the sinfulness of assuming the worst about someone just because someone else said so.

That's enough to send someone to hell if they refuse to repent.
posted by konolia at 6:32 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I haven't done that. I have walked up to them and asked them to stop protesting before. And I've told my evangelical parents that I was having sex with my girlfriend, that I was moving in with her, and that I wouldn't be going to church any time soon. So before you talk to me about their hatred, know that I've experienced most of what it has to offer.

Take this in the best way you can: You have no idea what their hatred is, if that's your experience. That's not my opinion for you to disagree with, it's a fact for you to understand and accept.
posted by odinsdream at 6:34 PM on November 2, 2006


koeselitz: I gave it some more thought, and I actually think you're right about the "closet evangelical" thing. I can't speak for anyone else here, but here's what I find when I think about that. My original point essentially was that we have particular hatred and loathing for that which we envy and deny ourselves. Ok? So naturally, gay Rev. Haggard works out his issues by crusading against gays.

But I'm a farily outspoken athiest, and while I'm not out crusading anywhere, I feel a deep personal loathing for all kinds of fundamentalists, and religious ones in particular. So am I a closet evangelical? I find that basically I am. I envy the simple, uncomplicated worldview that fundamentalists can afford. There is Good and there is Evil. We are Good. We fight Evil. That's basically all there is to it. And for Christians, becoming Good is easy as falling off a log. "I accept Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior." Bada-bing! Done!

My own worldview is a lot more complicated than that. It involves thinking about issues in context, considering more than one side of any given issue, trying to determine what I think might be best for people in general and me in particular, trying to take into account the wisdom of a lot of really terrifyingly smart people who have been doing this since forever, and many of whom disagreed radically with each other. I have to worry about questions like "How can people figure out how to get along with each other and make the most of the infinitely short time that we have?" I have to try to understand what really drives people to do terrible things, individually and as whole societies, and how we can prevent these things from happening in the future.

I mean, no one has charged me with figuring it all out or anything, but I feel like it's everyone's responsibility to think about this stuff. And sometimes there are not any obviously good answers. It can make a thinking moral being feel pretty damn helpless sometimes.

So yes, I am in a way a closet evangelical. It would be so easy, so seductively easy to simply assign everything to one of two categories and go to town against the Evil stuff. It would be so much easier if I could get my entire ethos out of one convenient book. Or, even better, one convenient TV show, hosted by a guy who says he's read the one book. Who needs all the effort involved in being a rational moral actor anyway? Screw it. Let's go bash some fags and call it a day, right?

And the fact that I can feel that temptation, and completely understand and sympathize with it, makes me feel such an intense loathing for the hordes of people who have given in to it, or never even realized they had a choice.

So yes, I stand by my original claim, that what we envy and deny ourselves is what we hate the most. Including what that statement says about me.
posted by rusty at 6:34 PM on November 2, 2006 [22 favorites]


Ah, and you miss the point yet again. Men fucking other men isn't a sin. What's sinful is hypocrisy and deceit, on the scale of millions of people, i.e., his followers.

So if this a false accusation, I'm guilty of thinking that Haggard is gay when he isn't. What wouldn't change is that he's dedicated his life to sewing hatred against a minority group, and he's gotten rich doing it.

If he does like to suck cock, well, he's still a hateful bigot. But a hateful bigoted hypocrite as well.
posted by bardic at 6:35 PM on November 2, 2006


Blame it all on the gay agenda!
posted by ericb at 6:35 PM on November 2, 2006


Kinda like a cop going on desk duty or unpaid leave if he or she shoots someone in the line of duty. Doesn't mean they did anything wrong, it's simply standard procedure. Besides, I know if I were accused of something like this, my mind certainly would not be on work.

Only, you know, the difference is between someone being accused of doing something, and a cop actually shooting another human.

One thing actually happened, and the other thing is an accusation.
posted by odinsdream at 6:36 PM on November 2, 2006


konolia writes "Bardic, I could talk about the sinfulness of assuming the worst about someone just because someone else said so."

And yet you seem to be assuming that Jones is lying.
posted by clevershark at 6:36 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I cannot believe you all believe this without any shred of real evidence.

Wow! To hear these words from konolia... My irony detector just blew so hard it knocked out my gaydar.

I just got a Dremel for my birthday. And I found this really cool old pulaski axe in my garage. It's pretty rusty, but there seems to be enough good steel to save it. So you know what I'm going to be doing tomorrow? Literally grinding my axe. True story. I'll think of ya'll.

Dude, that's the fastest way to ruin the heat treat on the steel. A regular mill file works just fine.
posted by c13 at 6:37 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Re: the 'Gaydar' mini-thread - it was obvious, to me at least, while watching the Richard Dawkin's documentary several months ago that Haggard was gay.

And what about that video- fascinating for so many reasons:

An obviously gay man talking about 'processing',

the 'disassociated' character that refers to itself as 'we' rather than I,

the 'John Kerry' thing!,

and the "I've never had sex with a man in Denver" action.

I wonder how much suffering this man has caused to his parishioners by inflicting his message that homosexuality is wrong.
posted by jettloe at 6:39 PM on November 2, 2006


I cannot believe you all believe this without any shred of real evidence.

I was fairly skeptical, until he claimed to have voicemails. If he's lying, that's a pretty bold claim to make. One way or the other, we'll know real soon.

There are various stories in the Old Testament about God letting the Hebrews stray into sin for years and years before finally laying the smackdown on them. I imagine one could write quite a sermon on the parallels to our current situation.
posted by EarBucket at 6:42 PM on November 2, 2006


(That would be kind of silly, wouldn't it? You quitting your job because some random person accused you of something criminal and hypocritical? Unless there was, ya know, some merit. The guy obviously did it or he wouldn't have quit.)
I'll reiterate: I'm no fan of Haggard's, but yes. The 'morality scandal' issue is something that churches and religious institutions tend to either ignore completely and brush under the carpet, or take very seriously. Most large churches have rules about this kind of thing: if you're accused of something that goes against the church's basic beliefs or moral precepts, and you're in a leadership position, you step down temporarily while things get sorted out and the truth of the matter is resolved. It's happened to folks I know, and it's not -- in and of itself -- news.

Mind you, I find his weirdly precise denials a bit odd, and it's the kind of story that I dont' find difficult to believe at all based on my experience in the church. But stepping down for the duration of an investigation into the matter is SOP for megachurches and minichurches and what not.
posted by verb at 6:44 PM on November 2, 2006


emjaybee: Perhaps this man's falling off his pedestal will lessen the hatred that he has *dedicated his life* to fomenting against gays.

Unfortunately, however it affects Haggard, I think his flock will learn to be more homophobic.

This gives them a tremendously negative example of homosexuality, doubtlessly added to an already biased sample set. They'll see a community leader fed to the flames he helped ignite. They'll see homosexuality conflated with the crime of prostitution, the secrecy and shame of adultery. And, possibly, they'll see all of it framed by the destruction of a marriage and a career.

What homophobic people need to see, fear to see, is a successful, adjusted homosexual relationship. A marriage, if you will. This sort of example will only make them worse.
posted by kid ichorous at 6:47 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


konolia: Something like this could happen to anyone. It is frighteningly not uncommon in politics, where false accusations ruin lives and careers simply to protect the power of crooked politicians.

Too true. I was falsely accused of something bad several years ago. It was awful. Even though the person making the accusation had zero credibility, and anyone who cared to look into the matter knew that he was a flake, there still were people who believed the accusations.

If someone who is mentally unstable decides to accuse you of something bad, there's not much you can do about it other than to allow "the process" to exonerate you in the eyes of those who are willing to base their opinions on evidence. That's why I'm going to wait until there's more information before I start drawing any conclusions.

So far as I can tell, Haggard is doing what the procedures of his church say he's supposed to do when such accusations are made. He's the head of an organization that has encouraged churches to develop these processes for handling accusations, and now you all think that if he's really innocent he would refuse to allow "the process" to work, and if he is following the stated process it must be a sign of guilt?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:50 PM on November 2, 2006


I wonder how much suffering this man has caused to his parishioners by inflicting his message that homosexuality is wrong.


Replace "homosexuality" with pedophilia and see how that reads.

I am not disagreeing with the fact that homosexuals go thru pain out of nonacceptance. I submit that pedophiles do as well. That does not mean that either act is acceptable or not sinful. For that matter, adulterers probably don't appreciate being told that that is sin. Murderers? Well, I think most of them have no problem admitting that murder is a sin, interestingly.

If you don't claim God as your authority figure by all means do as you will. You can do nothing else. But Ted has made a profession of following God, therefore he will believe as I do that certain actions are sin against a holy God. If these accusations do turn out to be true I will be truly flabbergasted.

In contrast I had no problem believing Swaggart messed up.
posted by konolia at 6:53 PM on November 2, 2006


I, by the way, have gaynar -- I can detect homosexuals through sound.
posted by TheWash at 6:53 PM on November 2, 2006 [6 favorites]


So this is the guy that wanted to dictate what morality should be for all of us? And he fucks gay hookers and takes meth while we are compelled by the government to do what he says?

Sorry - I'm laughing myself silly over this and I don't even feel vaguely bad about it. He deserves a lot worse for his arrogance and this whole event, weirdly enough, makes me feel like there is a god up there, dishing out some old testament style poetic justice.
posted by rks404 at 6:56 PM on November 2, 2006


konolia writes "Replace 'homosexuality' with pedophilia and see how that reads."

Why is it that the "religious" have so much problem differentiating homosexuality from pedophilia? Why the obsessive need to associate the two?
posted by clevershark at 6:58 PM on November 2, 2006


Replace "homosexuality" with pedophilia and see how that reads.

How dare you equate the two?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:59 PM on November 2, 2006


Oh no, you did NOT just equqte consensual adult sex with child molesters.
posted by ltracey at 7:00 PM on November 2, 2006


"equqte" = "equate" (see Blazecock Pileon above.)
posted by ltracey at 7:01 PM on November 2, 2006


“They're pro-free markets, they're pro-private property, they're pro-felching man ass” he said. “That's what evangelical stands for.”
posted by PeterMcDermott at 7:03 PM on November 2, 2006


What homophobic people need to see, fear to see, is a successful, adjusted homosexual relationship. A marriage, if you will.

As before (in the deleted thread) --

Gay marriage has actually helped strengthen the institution of marriage in Scandanavia.
"Seventeen years after recognizing same-sex relationships in Scandinavia there are higher marriage rates for heterosexuals, lower divorce rates, lower rates for out-of-wedlock births, lower STD rates, more stable and durable gay relationships, more monogamy among gay couples, and so far no slippery slope to polygamy, incestuous marriages, or 'man-on-dog' unions."

[Wall Street Journal | October 27, 2006]
posted by ericb at 7:03 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


konolia: If you don't claim God as your authority figure by all means do as you will. You can do nothing else.

Not true. God has impressed the natural law upon the heart of every person. Even when someone is so depraved as to deny the existence of God, the natural law remains at the core of that person's being, commanding him or her to do what is right. That's why we spend so much time listening to music and watching tv and surfing the net and so on: we are all afraid of silence because if we don't keep up a steady stream of distractions we might hear the still, small voice at the center of our hearts, and be forced to confront the gap between who we are and who we know we should be. Better to whistle past that particular graveyard, thank you very much.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:04 PM on November 2, 2006 [4 favorites]


Replace "homosexuality" with pedophilia and see how that reads.

Replace "Konolia" with "wingnut fruitcake" and see how that reads.

Not that I'm equating the two of course.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 7:06 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


That does not mean that either act is acceptable or not sinful.

And, by all means, don't eat shrimp! God Hates Shrimp.
posted by ericb at 7:07 PM on November 2, 2006


God has impressed the natural law upon the heart of every person. Even when someone is so depraved as to deny the existence of God, the natural law remains at the core of that person's being, commanding him or her to do what is right.

When you're making something up, you can make it up however you want. Fantasizing is cool until you mistake it for reality.
posted by jsonic at 7:09 PM on November 2, 2006


God hates figs.
posted by EarBucket at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Proof that fundamentalists selectively quote the Bible: A lesson about the book of Leviticus.
posted by ericb at 7:10 PM on November 2, 2006




From the comments on the onegoodmove video site: "Why is it when I look at Pastor Ted, I can't help but think: "This guy has had a man's dick in his asshole . . . many, many times . . .""
It'd be fine if it were a woman's dick, though.
posted by fish tick at 7:13 PM on November 2, 2006


Forget the men lying with men shctick ...

Women must not wear gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9).

A woman must not "teach or... have authority over a man" (1 Timothy 2:12).

People must not "not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" (Leviticus 19:19).

Men must not shave (Leviticus 19:27).

People must not eat rabbit (Leviticus 11:6), pork (Leviticus 11:7), or shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12).

It is "disgraceful" for a woman to speak out in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-36) and that if she has any questions, she should wait till she gets home and ask her husband.

The penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death.

The man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and marry her.
posted by ericb at 7:18 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


And what exactly did Jesus and those twelve single young virile men who followed him have to say about homosexuality anyway?
posted by ericb at 7:20 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Konolia, newsflash: not all gays wear horns and forked tails so as to be easily recognizable by good christian woman like yourself. Just a little tidbit of information to help you along your way.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:20 PM on November 2, 2006


"Replace 'homosexuality' with pedophilia and see how that reads. I am not disagreeing with the fact that homosexuals go thru pain out of nonacceptance. I submit that pedophiles do as well. That does not mean that either act is acceptable or not sinful."

Oh, konolia, you just lost any shred of accountability you were striving for. You can go on with the ludicrous and patently false claim that homosexuality is akin to pedophilia (Criminology 101: the overwhelming percentage of pedophiles are heterosexual), but eventually reality is going to catch up to you.

And you were trying to convince people that you had gaydar and that you talk to gay people? Yeah, maybe you work for one of those ex-gay organizations.

I'm not surprised by your self-righteous and judgmental comments. It's typical of evangelicals, who from their holier-than-thou pedestals love to condemn others--and are the quickest to cry foul when someone accuses one of their own of hypocrisy. (See, for example, your defending Haggart. How does it feel to get a taste of your own medicine?)

By the way, you should check out the book WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY. I think you'd be flabbergasted by how deeply you've been brainwashed.
posted by mijuta at 7:24 PM on November 2, 2006


Konolia: Not like you couldn't have figured this out or anything, but what the hell, here goes anyway.

You can determine what in your list is "a sin" (I'll use terms you're comfortable with here) or not without God's Law by examining if someone is harmed by it. So:

* Consenting adult gay couples have sex? No one harmed. Therefore no sin.

* Man has sex with child? Child is hurt. Therefore: Sin.

* Adultery: Usually the faithful spouse is hurt, and family stability in general is a good thing for society, so Sin. Extra bonus sin if you've screwed up a family with kids, who will also be hurt. And if you conduct your adultery as a public figure whose family will be totally dragged through the gutter in extremely public ways, well you've hit the sin jackpot.

* Murder: Person murdered is hurt, and also prevented from doing anything else they might have done in life, and so forth for ramifications that ripple far beyond that specific person. Usually murderer suffers quite a bit as well. So, also, sin.

What you see there above is a rational, internally consistent moral system, which does not depend on some imaginary being to lay down arbitrary rules. And it's probably worth noting that my system and yours agree on all those sins except the one in which no one is harmed. That is, teh gay.

I am fully aware that you can construct a moral system with a diety at the top of it, supposedly telling you what to do. When are you going to conquer your ignorance to the extent of realizing that you can also make one that does not involve a diety? I won't ask you to believe in it, but simply to acknowlege that it can be done.
posted by rusty at 7:25 PM on November 2, 2006


That would be kind of silly, wouldn't it? You quitting your job because some random person accused you of something criminal and hypocritical? Unless there was, ya know, some merit. The guy obviously did it or he wouldn't have quit.

The bylaws [of the National Association of Evangelicals] state that when an allegation of immorality is made, this process is triggered, where he puts himself on leave. The outside board makes the final decision.

now, which part of that do you not understand?
posted by quonsar at 7:25 PM on November 2, 2006


Sin is what God says it is. Period.
posted by konolia at 7:32 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Good thing we sorted that one out.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:35 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Who is this 'God' character of which you speak?
posted by jettloe at 7:35 PM on November 2, 2006


konolia: Awesome. More shrimp for me!
posted by rusty at 7:35 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


You know, that same gaydar that flashes a red light whenever an evangelical tells another man he's "bringing [his] desire to the surface so he can eliminate it," is the same gaydar that pings when I see GWB. Really.
posted by maxwelton at 7:36 PM on November 2, 2006


Let's all be really quiet and see if we can hear what God's telling us!

Oh no - wait, he wrote it all down! Don't question why we think an ancient book of mythology was really actually written by God, though. Just assume it is. It's easier to not question anything.
posted by odinsdream at 7:37 PM on November 2, 2006


The bylaws [of the National Association of Evangelicals] state that when an allegation of immorality is made, this process is triggered, where he puts himself on leave.

Gaping Denial-of-Service Vulnerability. Good thing these people aren't in the software business.
posted by jsonic at 7:37 PM on November 2, 2006 [4 favorites]


But man has always determined what it is that God has "said".
posted by mr.curmudgeon at 7:38 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


And Ted Haggard is incapable of sin simply because he's a preacher? That's odd, because I seem to remember other men of God sinning. That said, skepicism is a good thing. I'm skeptical of this whole thing myself, but not because I think Haggard is incapable of sin.
posted by lekvar at 7:38 PM on November 2, 2006


Sin is what God says it is. Period.

Maybe so, but it probably isn't what you say it is.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:39 PM on November 2, 2006 [3 favorites]


By the way, you should check out the book WHAT THE BIBLE REALLY SAYS ABOUT HOMOSEXUALITY. I think you'd be flabbergasted by how deeply you've been brainwashed.

konolia -- a starting point: The Bible and Homosexuality.
posted by ericb at 7:40 PM on November 2, 2006


The penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death.

Wait wait wait, don't clergymen work on Sunday?
posted by peeedro at 7:40 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


By the way, the last time we talked, God was bemused that we had set up such firm boundaries around these terms "gay" and "straight", so I'm not so sure God's conception of sin is quite what you think it is on that topic. But perhaps your conversations with God aren't are clear and cogent as mine have been. And, I mean, I asked directly. So I feel pretty confident.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:40 PM on November 2, 2006


odinsdream: Let's all be really quiet and see if we can hear what God's telling us!

Good advice!

odinsdream: Oh no - wait, he wrote it all down! Don't question why we think an ancient book of mythology was really actually written by God, though. Just assume it is. It's easier to not question anything.

That's how fundamentalists like konolia think, not how the Christian tradition has ever worked.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:42 PM on November 2, 2006


Konolia, your God says all of the things pasted below (courtesy of Ericb's post just above, which you ignored) are a sin.

Does this mean you are a sinner?

Also, I noticed on your profile that your nickname comes from your grandmother, who divorced twice. Isn't divorce a sin? Hmmm, maybe you'll be seeing your grandma in hell . . .

Women must not wear gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9).

A woman must not "teach or... have authority over a man" (1 Timothy 2:12).

People must not "not wear clothing woven of two kinds of material" (Leviticus 19:19).

Men must not shave (Leviticus 19:27).

People must not eat rabbit (Leviticus 11:6), pork (Leviticus 11:7), or shellfish (Leviticus 11:9-12).

It is "disgraceful" for a woman to speak out in church (1 Corinthians 14:34-36) and that if she has any questions, she should wait till she gets home and ask her husband.

The penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death.

The man who rapes a virgin should buy her from her father (Deuteronomy 22:28-29) and marry her.
posted by mijuta at 7:43 PM on November 2, 2006


taking joy in the pain of others is always wrong.
posted by koeselitz at 8:35 PM EST on November 2


I hear you and agree. However, when someone has been preaching hatred against a group of which he is a member, that tends to get folks riled. It's dishonest and evil. Reverend Al was out on the stump the other day with his speech about how evangelicals spend too much time on the sins of the bedroom while ignoring the sins of neglecting to care for the poor, the sick and the hungry. Jesus didn't make himself a big church to line his pockets, and he cared as much if not more for the least of society as for the winners, judgmental as he might be about morals. These scum who subvert that message for their own personal gain, and do it at the expense of anyone they can train their minions to hate are ripe for payback when their hypocrisy is revealed. Preaching hatred and lining your pockets in the name of the Lord is no path to Heaven. They will face their maker one day, but now, when their true colors are shown, they should not be surprised that people are angry.
posted by caddis at 7:46 PM on November 2, 2006


The penalty for going to work on Sunday (Exodus 35:1-3) is death.

um, sabbath was saturday. and Christ himself violated that law because - well, if you wanted to know you'd read the damn thing yourself. really, your ignorance of the topic is such that you're far better just shutting up.
posted by quonsar at 7:46 PM on November 2, 2006


When Jesus returns as a gay, black, homeless man with AIDS, these fundamentalists will be the first to hammer in those nails.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:49 PM on November 2, 2006 [7 favorites]


Does this mean you are a sinner?

absolutely. let he who is without it cast the first stone. what a bunch of barking monkeys in this thread.
posted by quonsar at 7:50 PM on November 2, 2006


Relinking to incredible video. Do you think when he looks in the camera he's really talking to this escort guy?
posted by MarkO at 7:51 PM on November 2, 2006


I noticed on your profile that your nickname comes from your grandmother, who divorced twice. Isn't divorce a sin?

Is divorce a sin?
"For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife, and they twain shall be one flesh? Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Matthew 19:6).

"What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder." (Mark 10:9).

"Let none be faithless to the wife of his youth. For I hate divorce, says the Lord the God of Israel..." (Malachi 2:15-16).
posted by ericb at 7:52 PM on November 2, 2006


Enjoy it, because soon enough Richard Dawkins is going to be spotted having gay sex with a Jehovah's Witness or saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. And then, some other group replaces you. Probably a politicized Church of SubGenius campaigning for a constitutional amendment guaranteeing right to slack.

As an atheist, Dawkins being taken down a notch I have no problem with. He doesn't exactly represent the most positive view of atheism. And a constitutional right to slack sounds damn good to me.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 7:54 PM on November 2, 2006


ericb: and yet man puts asunder pretty much everything God hath joined. and men are faithless to everything. y'all totally miss the point in your attempts to make yourselves feel clever and superior.
posted by quonsar at 7:56 PM on November 2, 2006


C'mon folks, give the man some credit. At least he was screwing grown men.

I don't get the "at least." What's wrong with what he did?

Or is my irony detector just miscalibrated?
posted by poweredbybeard at 8:44 AM ACST on November 3 [+] [!]


The last I checked prostitution was still a crime and adultery is usually considered rather bad. Now these two are certainly arguable, I know, but when you throw in the years of hypocrisy the trifecta makes for a rather shitty set of values there doncha think?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:57 PM on November 2, 2006


well, if you wanted to know you'd read the damn thing yourself. really, your ignorance of the topic is such that you're far better just shutting up.

Personally, I could care less about what the Bible actually says. I have a problem with people telling me how I should live my life based on their interpretation of passages from what they perceive to be a holy book by which one should adhere to leading their lives. It's the "our way or the highway bullshit" which often comes back to bite them in their hypocritical asses.

BTW -- since the modern Christian sabbath is Sunday, one can indeed reinterpret the original Greek/Hebrew translations to apply to our modern calendar.
posted by ericb at 7:58 PM on November 2, 2006


ericb: and yet man puts asunder pretty much everything God hath joined. and men are faithless to everything. y'all totally miss the point in your attempts to make yourselves feel clever and superior.

I don't feel clever or superior. By all means I bow to those with greater capacity to interpret their holy book for me! Thank you for your holy enlightenment.
posted by ericb at 7:59 PM on November 2, 2006


"Is Divorce A Sin -- In Jesus' name, David J. Stewart"

Argue with Dave, not me!
posted by ericb at 8:00 PM on November 2, 2006


quonstar: I was just riffing on how silly it was. It looks like most of ericb's canned in-your-face-isms are cut n paste from googling.
posted by peeedro at 8:03 PM on November 2, 2006


Does this mean you are a sinner?

to expand on what quonsar said above, Christians believe everyone is a sinner, with one exception (Jesus...'cept he did falter right there at the end, but that was necessary you see...). their faith is in the idea that God will forgive them their sin if they ask Him to do so, predicated on Jesus' descent to hell for 3 days (he did falter after all) being enough for everyone. so dear konolia can eat all the shrimp in the world if only she feels bad about it and believes that asking her ever loving God for forgiveness afterwards will clear her record in St. Peter's book of names.

I can get behind this idea--- it's a good one for coping with the freaky weird shit that life hands you day to day. my problem is with the associated evangelism, the idea that everyone must be in lockstep on it. in other words, I don't like evangelicals for their persistence with others despite the plank in their eye.
posted by carsonb at 8:05 PM on November 2, 2006



Does anyone hear the explicit echo of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" in "I never had sex with a man in Denver"?

That Harper's article was one of the scariest things I've read in ages-- he's literally preaching that people should blame demons for the problems with America and thousands of people are buying it, along with a bizarre call for completely unregulated markets (do you think he really wants no FDA? even ultralibertarian Reason magazine doesn't want no FDA).

He preaches that we need to oppose homosexuality because the Bible opposes it-- but why isn't he out there stumping for the death penalty for not keeping the Sabbath or defying one's parents or adultery? Why isn't he supporting polygamy? The Bible advocates all of those things as well-- and while Jesus said no polygamy, he didn't say no gayness, so why are they "picking and chosing" what to follow from the Old Testament like some wimpy liberals?

Yeah, the hypocrisy makes me ill and while taking joy in someone's downfall (the newspapers wouldn't have gone with these accounts if they didn't have or know of serious evidence to support the guy's claims-- they're far too afraid of lawsuits) is indeed wrong, celebrating a return perhaps to reason and to government at least checked by some sane people is perfectly acceptable.
posted by Maias at 8:06 PM on November 2, 2006


Google is your friend. But are not these proscriptions accurate and from the Bible?
"Exodus 35

1 And Moses gathered all the congregation of the children of Israel together, and said unto them, These are the words which the LORD hath commanded, that ye should do them.

2 Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day there shall be to you an holy day, a sabbath of rest to the LORD: whosoever doeth work therein shall be put to death.

3 Ye shall kindle no fire throughout your habitations upon the sabbath day.
Seventh Day -- Saturday or Sunday -- who cares? Oh, enlighten us, oh holy ones!
posted by ericb at 8:07 PM on November 2, 2006


this thread is surprisingly gay.
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 8:07 PM on November 2, 2006


Christians believe everyone is a sinner

Depends on which brand of Chistianity you are buying here doesn't it?

Some believe they are without sin and the non-believers are the sinners. Others are the origional sin types. Some believe that we would be doomed sinners if not for the sacrifice of Jeebus. The list goes on...
posted by Pollomacho at 8:09 PM on November 2, 2006


Just because it looks like this guy was a big hypocrite who failed to follow his own religion as closely as he warned others to do does not mean folks should be in here trashing religion. They hypocrisy is with Haggard and even perhaps with his rigid and market driven interpretation of Christianity. Please show some respect for people and their beliefs. The same way I respect your decision to not believe, please respect mine to believe. I seek not to impose my belief upon you, and please seek not to impose yours upon me. I am up for a polite engagement upon the subject, but please save your histrionics for your interactions with your parents for taking away your tv.
posted by caddis at 8:11 PM on November 2, 2006


heh. waaaay off topic, but I was bugged by my sentence construction there at the end last comment. I wish I'd put it in a way that allowed use of the term 'plankeye', which had some resonance with me. I wondered at that, and it took me a few minutes to bring up the memory of that same-styled Christian rock band.
posted by carsonb at 8:11 PM on November 2, 2006


well, if you wanted to know you'd read the damn thing yourself.

Problem is, when people actually do read the damned thing, as ericb has done, it actually says a lot of awful things that few of its proponents care to acknowledge. It's dishonest, but then when homosexuality gets compared with pedophilia, what can you expect?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:12 PM on November 2, 2006


Does anyone hear the explicit echo of "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" in "I never had sex with a man in Denver"?

Queerty.com headline: "I Did Not Having Sexual Relations With That Hooker"
posted by ericb at 8:12 PM on November 2, 2006


whoa ! slow down people i'm trying to read and eat pie.
posted by nola at 8:13 PM on November 2, 2006


gay shrimp pie.
posted by nola at 8:13 PM on November 2, 2006


"Cut n paste from googling"? Horrors!

Konolia was claiming the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin.

EricB was showing that the Bible states a lot of ridiculous things are sinful.

An easy way to get biblical quotes quickly is to use The Google.
posted by mijuta at 8:14 PM on November 2, 2006


God has impressed the natural law upon the heart of every person.
For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' -- Mark 17:21-23
Emphasis mine
posted by boaz at 8:14 PM on November 2, 2006


For ericb and mijuta, you might note that very observant Jews keep some of those things you list. See numbers 367 and 345, for example. They aren't all necessarily discarded bits of the Bible.

Of course, for Jesus' teachings on the Law of Moses (the source of the Leviticus and Deuteronomy quotes), you might see the ever-excellent Brick Testament.
posted by Upton O'Good at 8:15 PM on November 2, 2006


I wish I'd put it in a way that allowed use of the term 'plankeye', which had some resonance with me. I wondered at that, and it took me a few minutes to bring up the memory of that same-styled Christian rock band.

Heh. I vaguely remember them.
posted by EarBucket at 8:16 PM on November 2, 2006


Heck -- if someone had used Wikipedia^ as a source, someone might have charged that the biblical passages were fake and made-up "in-your-face-isms!"
posted by ericb at 8:17 PM on November 2, 2006


Maias: the newspapers wouldn't have gone with these accounts if they didn't have or know of serious evidence to support the guy's claims-- they're far too afraid of lawsuits

That sounds implausible to me. In the U.S. it seems that all the papers wait until the first one publishes a sleazy story, and then the rest feel free to report it because it is now a news story. The standards for libel in the U.S. are pretty strict, and so long as the papers are not misrepresenting what this accuser is saying, I don't see how they could be risking legal trouble. Does anyone here have any real legal knowledge in this area?

I mentioned earlier that I'd had a false accusation made against me. Local newspapers at the time reported the accusation without any support beyond the fact that someone had made the accusation. Are you saying I could have sued them after it became clear that my accuser was mentally unstable and was lying? That sounds really, really implausible to me.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:17 PM on November 2, 2006


Replace "homosexuality" with pedophilia and see how that reads.

Interesting how you seem to be drawing an equivalence between homosexuality and pedophilia. As though the very notion of consent is meaningless.

And don't try to sweep it under the theological rug by dissembling and hand-waving of the type of "as far as God is concerned all sin is equal."

I'd just like you to come out and say it.

As far as you're concerned, are they, or are they not equivalent?
posted by chimaera at 8:17 PM on November 2, 2006


gay shrimp pie

Mmmm...in addition to shrimp bread at Jazz Fest, me loves shrimp po-boys when in New Orleans.
posted by ericb at 8:20 PM on November 2, 2006


it's a pie made with tastie gay shrimp. i know , i watched the gay shrimp suck each other off , right before i made the pie. so i'm sure it's gay shrimp pie.


want a slice?
posted by nola at 8:21 PM on November 2, 2006


Google is your friend. But are not these proscriptions accurate and from the Bible?

yes, they are from the Bible. presumably, yes, they are accurately quoted (though from which translation? and how accurate can that be after a coupla millenia?). the problem is that quoting the Bible this way leaves out context, which any spin technician can tell you is a great way to get a rise outta people.

if your point is that the Bible is not to be taken literally (commandments and beattitues aside), bravo. otherwise, leave off.
posted by carsonb at 8:21 PM on November 2, 2006


I think the point is that SOME of the bible passages are taken literally by people like konolia and Haggard, etc. The ones that suit their needs. The others are "open to interpretation". Either that or they are not mentioned at all.
posted by c13 at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2006


if your point is that the Bible is not to be taken literally (commandments and beattitues aside), bravo. otherwise, leave off.

It is. And as a gay man, I resent those who seek to relegate me as a second-class citizen with unequal rights in the "land of the free and home of the brave."

If they can live lives of sin and be free, let me do the same. Fuck 'em, if they can't see the hypocrisy of those who lead them -- whether in their church (Haggard, assuming the allegations prove to be true) and our government (Foley et al).
posted by ericb at 8:25 PM on November 2, 2006 [5 favorites]


has any deleted thread ever been resurrected, in the history of MetaFilter?

There is also an occluded thread about the 12th Imam that will, uh, unocclude one day.
posted by Falconetti at 8:26 PM on November 2, 2006


i'll drink to that.
posted by nola at 8:27 PM on November 2, 2006


The guy in that painting from New Life Church looks suspiciously like Scott Bakula...

Hey wait a minute! This is an artist's rendering of chapter 7 from my Quantumn Leap fanfic novel, Al's Well that Ends Well!
posted by nomad at 8:27 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


No surprize. Wealth, power, prestige, corruption and lust are merely different petals on the same turd blossom.
posted by chance at 8:28 PM on November 2, 2006


"Sin is what God says it is. Period."

You talk to him/her/it? You should start a megachurch.
posted by lordrunningclam at 8:30 PM on November 2, 2006


Boaz, we have the natural law imprinted on our hearts, but we also can twist it and distort it and convince ourselves that things are right that are really wrong. As a result, conscience is not always right, even though it is always wrong not to follow your conscience, even when your conscience is wrong. The disagreements between the details of the various ways the Christian tradition has thought about these matters are complicated, and nothing we can settle here, but the struggle between good and evil within the human heart is also complicated, so there's something appropriate about that complexity.

The story fundamentalists tell is far too simple, not to mention too easily twisted in the hands of individual preachers. By the way, the spectacle of theological illiterates googling for proof texts is pathetic. Can people really not be bothered to learn something substantial about views they disagree with?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:33 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


"{My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it."

This thread has brought me tears of laughter. Y'know that just because Nathan Lane's a flamer doesn't mean that there aren't total homos all around you, right? They're the crypto-queers and they drink blood!

"not all gays wear horns and forked tails so as to be easily recognizable by good christian woman like yourself."

The Russian gays have stripes!

"Sin is what God says it is. Period."

Too bad yer playin' some kinda Chinese telephone with 'im.
posted by klangklangston at 8:35 PM on November 2, 2006


Google is your friend.
Gaygle is your special friend.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:36 PM on November 2, 2006


If they can live lives of sin and be free, let me do the same.

amen.
posted by carsonb at 8:37 PM on November 2, 2006


Wikipedia has this up already, but:
Because of recent vandalism or other disruption, editing of this article by unregistered or newly registered users is currently disabled. Such users may discuss changes, request unprotection, or create an account.

posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 8:41 PM on November 2, 2006


From TIME: 25 Most Influential Evangelicals in America (1/30/05):

OPENING UP THE UMBRELLA GROUP: Ted Haggard, president of the National Association of Evangelicals ... Every Monday he is one of just a handful of evangelical leaders patched into a conference call with West Wing staffers to discuss policy concerns. “We wanted him (Bush) to use the force of his office to campaign aggressively for a federal marriage amendment, which he did not do,” says Haggard. He is working to broaden his group’s agenda. “With the growth of evangelicalism worldwide,” says Haggard, “we need to impact the culture worldwide.”
posted by scblackman at 8:41 PM on November 2, 2006


Can people really not be bothered to learn something substantial about views they disagree with?

that would require thinking ... people's heads might get hurt
posted by pyramid termite at 8:43 PM on November 2, 2006



posted by squirrel at 8:51 PM on November 2, 2006


Hm. Funny img worked in preview. Oh well.
posted by squirrel at 8:52 PM on November 2, 2006


"By the way, the spectacle of theological illiterates googling for proof texts is pathetic. Can people really not be bothered to learn something substantial about views they disagree with?"

Well see, Peeping Thomist, the thing is that this is an online discussion in which time is of the essence. So if someone were to go to divinity school and become as enlightened as you, it would be years before they could post comments as brilliant as yours.

In essence, I believe EricB's only goal--as is mine--is to show that the Bible describes some pretty ridiculous stuff as sinful.

I can't speak for EricB's theological knowledge. I myself was raised Catholic, went to Catholic school for the majority of my education, and have read and studied the Bible more than a few times. I'm well aware that the Bible was written by different people at different periods in time, that the issue of translation raises many thorny questions, that there are large sections of biblical writings that aren't in "the Bible," etc.

I'm not trying to prove by posting on this thread that I'm a biblical scholar or that I know more about religion than anyone else. I'm just countering a statement made by an evangelical who claims (among other things) that homosexuality is a sin.
posted by mijuta at 8:55 PM on November 2, 2006


Can people really not be bothered to learn something substantial about views they disagree with?

No! See, we have better things to do. Not because "thinking may hurt our heads" or some such shit, but because I'd say pretty much all of us thought about religion and found it was not for us, for whatever reasons. So learning the religious texts just so we can have conversations with you people is a waste of time for us. We disagree with your views. You disagree with ours. And that's fine. But the thing is, you're bothering us.
We don't dress up in white shirts and black pants, hop on a bike and come knocking on your door to talk about the wonders of atheism or agnosticism. We don't stand on street corners and hand out cheap copies of Origin of Species. Nor do we get on national TV or trash the shortwave spectrum with ravings about how Darwin is "teh kewl". We don't care which hole your stick your dicks in, who you live with and how you designate yourself on tax forms. And we want the same of you. Read your bible, play with snakes, go to church. You thing we'll burn in hell? Fine. More room for you in heaven. Just stay the fuck away from us. That is really all we want. It's too late to have nice polite discussions -- you've annoyed the hell out of us.
posted by c13 at 8:59 PM on November 2, 2006 [12 favorites]


It's a well known fact that the Bible is God's direct word, but once those words have been fetched from Google's cache, something happens to them that makes them lose their spark of divinity.
posted by rks404 at 9:01 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


When I was younger, I decided to read the bible. I admit that I was pretty prejudiced: based on the few stories that I'd heard, and what people said about it, I fully expected it to be filled with deep, moral lessons. I was completely horrified by what I found. By the time I got to the book of Joshua, it was pretty obvious that my expectations were just plain wrong. I never felt any need to memorize sections of the bible (even before I grew disenchanted with it, as I just don't memorize things that I can easily look up). That said, I remember the gist of many parts. When I want to quote accurately (because gods forbid I should misquote) I google-search to get the exact text. Presumably this is what ericb did.

Instead of mocking the use of google, why don't you address his points? You say that they're out of context? Try supplying the context then. I'm familiar with that section of the bible. It's just plain terrible. The quotes were not out of context. I'm aware that there are numerous christian traditions that explain why christians don't follow Leviticus. I'd like an explanation of how you can follow part but not all of it.
posted by Humanzee at 9:04 PM on November 2, 2006


Konolia was claiming the Bible states that homosexuality is a sin.
EricB was showing that the Bible states a lot of ridiculous things are sinful.

mijuta: sounds like a waste of time to me. One side points to the Bible for guidance while the other side pointing to the Bible to show that the Bible isn't the best place to go far advice on how to live your life. How can that ever lead to any discourse, let alone have any hope of broadening a person's perspectives?
posted by peeedro at 9:04 PM on November 2, 2006


Technically if you go by that one passage in Leviticus it is only bisexuality that is a sin -- "lay with a man as with a woman". And to take the argument to the pedantic level, it's really only wrong if you have anal sex with the ladies as well as the gents.
posted by clevershark at 9:04 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


The main reason to believed the accusations is that the Denver Post is reporting them. They investigated for 2 months. There must be another shoe to drop!
posted by LarryC at 9:05 PM on November 2, 2006


I don't know about gaydar, but my "sleazdar" pinged loudly whenever I saw this guy interviewed on TV. Maybe it was just the funny flare in his upper lip, but his untimely shit-eating grin added to the effect (no pun intended, really). My biggest hope is that this blows the doors off the Christian-Right-Republican's "big tent" myth.
posted by Dougoh at 9:05 PM on November 2, 2006


"I never had a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver." ≈ "It depends on what the meaning of the word jizz is."
posted by rob511 at 9:06 PM on November 2, 2006 [2 favorites]


Boaz, we have the natural law imprinted on our hearts, but we also can twist it and distort it and convince ourselves that things are right that are really wrong.

Yes, I've talked to plenty of Christians who like to claim that God is that voice in your heart .... except when it's telling you to fuck gay prostitutes. One's heart, I suppose, is always divided against itself.

Can people really not be bothered to learn something substantial about views they disagree with?

You don't have to know the difference between a tertiary progression and a solar return to know that astrology is bullshit.
posted by boaz at 9:11 PM on November 2, 2006


ericb & co.:

Your examples are from the Old Testament, mostly from Leviticus. Almost all Christians believe that those proscriptions were superseded by the new covenant of the New Testament. Yes, there's stuff about homosexuality in the Old Testament, but that's as irrelevant as the stuff about shellfish, mixing fibers, leprosy, whatever; those rules don't apply anymore. This is a gigantic point, and I can't believe nobody's made it yet here.

Think of it like a contract. God made a contract with the Israelites, and so those were the rules in play for a long time. Then Christ made a new contract with God's people; the old contract has been replaced by the new one. The new one is like an edited version of the old -- it incorporates some of the old version's big elements, definitely, but not every detail was carried over.

There's also some stuff about homosexuality in the New Testament, though -- in Corinthians.* That's what almost all of the modern Christian condemnation of homosexuality is based on. If you want to be all "Durr hurr, you don't follow your own rules," look through Paul's letters and find rules from there that fundamentalists don't seem to be following (you won't have any trouble doing that). Other rules from Leviticus, or the rest of the OT, are irrelevant here.

*There are still plenty of problems with this. First, many Christians don't believe Paul was infallible. And second, whoa boy translation issues.

Please take this opportunity to find out what you're talking about.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:15 PM on November 2, 2006


knoalia: I met him a decade ago. Along with my husband I talked to him one on one. My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it.

Worst... justification... ever.

My gaydar has missed some notable gay men, and triggered on some notable straight men.

Besides, do any of you believe for a minute that if this was true it would take THREE FREAKING YEARS for it to come to light????? As well known as he is????

Given how thick the culture of silence is, yes. Do I think these accusations are true? Don't know. I'm not going to be surprised either way.

dw: Enjoy it, because soon enough Richard Dawkins is going to be spotted having gay sex with a Jehovah's Witness or saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes.

Except that I don't think that there is a taboo among atheists for having gay sex with a Jehovah's Witness (does ex-Pentacostal count?) or saying "God bless you" when someone sneezes. For that matter, I can even say the Lord's Prayer with a reasonable lack of fear that I won't be inflicted with boils or turned into salt.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 9:16 PM on November 2, 2006


The guy in that painting from New Life Church looks suspiciously like Scott Bakula...

What I wanna know is, what's with the mallet he's holding? Did he get killed by Donkey Kong?
posted by you just lost the game at 9:16 PM on November 2, 2006


Wow, jeez, sorry everyone for the callout on ericb for using the google. As mush as I disagree with her, I though that shooting down Konolia through personal attacks against her grandmother and dueling Bible verses with her were in poor form. I guess all bets are off when we have Christians on the loose.
posted by peeedro at 9:18 PM on November 2, 2006


God made a contract with the Israelites, and so those were the rules in play for a long time. Then Christ made a new contract with God's people; the old contract has been replaced by the new one.

Well, the Muslims would argue that THAT "new contract" has itself been superseded by yet another.
posted by clevershark at 9:20 PM on November 2, 2006


Peeedro, you're missing the point entirely. It's really very simple.

Konolia claims homosexuality is a sin.

I claim that's pretty ridiculous. Just look at all these other things the Bible says is a sin. Could it be that you're cherry picking?

The End. See, that's it!

In other words: Konolia wasn't pointing to the Bible for guidance--she was pointing to it to condemn me and other gay people.

And I wasn't claiming the Bible isn't the best place to go for advice on how to live your life. Again, see above.

As for "discourse," I think Konolia pretty much shut down when people started asking her real questions and she claimed sin is what her God says it is.

Again, I'm not anti-Bible or anti-religion. I'm against people equating homosexuality with sinfulness and pedophilia.
posted by mijuta at 9:20 PM on November 2, 2006


Try supplying the context then...I'd like an explanation of how you can follow part but not all of it.

I'm not sure if this is directed at me or someone else, so I'll just say that I'll only go so far playing the apologist for a religion I'm no longer a paying member of. well, that, and what I meant by context is it's important to make the distinction between the Old and New Testaments when discussing Christianity via Bible quotes.
posted by carsonb at 9:21 PM on November 2, 2006


Other rules from Leviticus, or the rest of the OT, are irrelevant here.

Translation: I don't like it when non-Christians pick and choose parts of the Bible to point out hypocrisy, but it's okay for Christians to pick and choose parts of the Bible to be hypocritical about.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:22 PM on November 2, 2006


I met him a decade ago. Along with my husband I talked to him one on one. My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it.

I call bullshit on your gaydar. And your God. I'm very curious about when the last time God talked to you and told you what sin was.

I'm reminded of Terry Pratchett's Monstrous Regiment:

On Commandments
"This is a holy book with an appendix?"
"Exactly, sir."
"In a ring binder?"

-----
On Abominations
Vimes: "The colour blue?"
Chinney: "Correct, sir."
Vimes: "What's abominable about the colour blue? It's just a colour! The sky is blue!"
Chinney: "Yes, sir. Devout Nugganites try not to look at it these days."

------
More On Abominations
"So what we have here is a country that tries to run itself on the commandments of a god who, the people feel, may be wearing his underpants on his head. Has he Abominated underpants?"

"No, sir," Chinny sighed. "But it's probably only a matter of time."
posted by smallerdemon at 9:22 PM on November 2, 2006


Humanzee: Instead of mocking the use of google, why don't you address his points? You say that they're out of context? Try supplying the context then.

The "context" is that these books didn't fall from the sky, and you have to look at how they've been read within the communities that took the trouble to preserve them if you want to figure out what they mean. Your decision when you were younger to "read the Bible," as though "the Bible" were a single work, speaks well of your good intentions, but highlights the abject cultural deprivation that is the only "context" many bright and serious young people today have ever known.

Did you know that until as late as the 12th century, no one ever had a copy of "the Bible" as a single document? There was an agreed-upon list of texts in the canon, and monasteries copied these texts and made sure that each monastery had a complete set of the texts on the list. The idea that "the Bible" is a single work, and that hence the right way to read it is to sit down and start with Genesis and end with Revelations, is one of the many bad fruits of fundamentalism. People like Haggard and konolia are largely to blame for the fact that when you were younger it seemed reasonable to just pick up "the Bible" and start reading. You soon came to see what a misguided decision that was, but I don't think you yet understand why.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:24 PM on November 2, 2006


"I thought that shooting down Konolia through personal attacks against her grandmother and dueling Bible verses with her were in poor form."

Peeedo, maybe you'd feel differently if you were gay. Because when someone equates you with a pedophile--well, it's a pretty brutal insult. And then to also claim that you're going to hell because of who you are? Yeah, that's not very nice either. Frankly, I think Konolia--and her grandmother--got off pretty easy. As for the dueling Bible verses, not sure why you think that's in poor form. I think it's in poor form that Konolia never answered anyone else's posts. But I think evangelicals are used to hiding out when confronted with reality.
posted by mijuta at 9:30 PM on November 2, 2006


I guess all bets are off when we have Christians on the loose.

Bullshit. All bets are off when someone deliberately decides to trot out the old "homosexuality is no different from pedophilia" canard.
posted by clevershark at 9:30 PM on November 2, 2006


Translation: I don't like it when non-Christians pick and choose parts of the Bible to point out hypocrisy, but it's okay for Christians to pick and choose parts of the Bible to be hypocritical about.

right up there with KJV.
posted by carsonb at 9:31 PM on November 2, 2006


Other rules from Leviticus, or the rest of the OT, are irrelevant here.

Right. Except what Jesus said on that subject was:
"Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. I tell you the truth, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Anyone who breaks one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commands will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you that unless your righteousness surpasses that of the Pharisees and the teachers of the law, you will certainly not enter the kingdom of heaven.
That's Matthew 5:17-20 for those interested.
posted by boaz at 9:31 PM on November 2, 2006


Boaz, did you cut and paste those lines from The Google? Because when you do that it makes them "lose their spark of divinity."
posted by mijuta at 9:34 PM on November 2, 2006


If people want to pray and be afraid of god and follow arbitrary rules that don't seem to express the love, forgiveness and downright self-determination that my understanding of the concept of Jesus allows, well then god bless 'em, as long as everybody is a consenting adult, super duper. Just leave me and mine out of it. As several people upthread have said the issue is people imposing their beliefs on others. Fuck that shit.
posted by Divine_Wino at 9:34 PM on November 2, 2006


I think it's in poor form that Konolia never answered anyone else's posts.

Agreed. Accusing people of being pedophiles is not a very Christian thing to do.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:34 PM on November 2, 2006


Enough with the Bible, or I start quoting the Fellowship of the Ring. They are equally accurate.

What this is really about is Evangelical Christianity, because no other mainstream christian faith takes the Bible, and the old testament in particular, literally. Evangelical christianity is predomionately the religion of the weak, the 12-steppers and the insulated kids and adults who do not want to engage the Other, or own up to their own shitty behavior.

Don't believe me? This is what Haggard said:
2. If reporters want to interview you, talk with them, but use words that make sense to them. Speak their language. Don't talk about the devil, demons, voices speaking to you, God giving you supernatural revelations, etc. Instead, tell your personal story in common sense language (I was a drunk but God changed me and now I'm sober, I'm grateful, etc.).

How the hell can he generalize that most people's personal stories will be that they were drunks, unless he knows that most of the people in his church get there by way of some AA type group.

The president, Evangelical poster-child, found Jesus when he was 40 because he couldn't stop drinking. No crisis of faith, no outrage at God for the atrocities of the world, no questioning his place in the world. He just couldn't stop drinking Wild Turkey.

So what does he do? He abandons his entire world-view to conform to the letter to a fringe religion. He basically admits taht he can't think for himself or make decisions about his own life, and decides never to do so again, but rather will let the book do his thinking for him.

I've said this before and I'll say it forever. If you had to accept Christ to stop your drinking, drugging, gambling, wife-beating, whatever, then you will always be morally and spiritually inferior to those of us who managed never to have those problems in the first place, or quit on our on resolve. Being born again doesn't erase your past, and it sure as hell doen't make you holier than me.

It makes you weak, and pathetic.

The ultimate "sin" is wanting to say no to something but doing it anyway. You know you shouldn't take that drink, but you do it anyway. That's the ultimate sin, because it is a perversion of the ultimate expression of our humanity - free will. If you need an imaginary beared white God or the bible study group to stop your drinking, then you're turning your free will over to someone else. That's a sin. It's an admission that you can't handle being human and that you don't want to try.

Two people having sex is not a sin. Please get that through your thick skulls before we have to ram it through with a brick.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:35 PM on November 2, 2006 [17 favorites]


did you cut and paste those lines from The Google?

Don't you think there's a difference between a quotation from the Bible and a copying some else's summary of some verses?
posted by peeedro at 9:36 PM on November 2, 2006


Well, the Muslims would argue that THAT "new contract" has itself been superseded by yet another.

No, they wouldn't. They argue that Jesus was a prophet just like Muhammad, Moses, Adam or John the Baptist. The Christians have just misinterprited and distorted what Jesus taught.

Um, p_T, the Tanakh has been fairly set for the last 2000 years or so, it's this new fangled testement that gives folks trouble.
posted by Pollomacho at 9:39 PM on November 2, 2006


This thread has been so enlightening, informative, and reasoned. People aren't being emotional or irrational. And no insulting intelligence or other users.

It makes we wish we could discuss religion EVERY! SINGLE! DAY! on MetaFilter.
posted by dw at 9:40 PM on November 2, 2006


"Two people having sex is not a sin. Please get that through your thick skulls before we have to ram it through with a brick."

Pastabagel, God bless you.
posted by mijuta at 9:40 PM on November 2, 2006


Thanks for the note, quansar, on the rules of the National Assocation of Evangelicals (NAoE?)- that helps put it into perspective why the guy would randomly resign if he says he didn't do it. Ugh, these situations are always so sad. Someone is straight up lying, and everyone gets hurt in the process- the church, the community, the families. Even if this isn't true, it'll be a cloud over his head for life. I hope the truth, the real truth, whatever that is, comes to the light.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:42 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


Don't you think there's a difference between a quotation from the Bible and a copying some else's summary of some verses?

To be clear, Boaz's quote was of a specific translation of the Bible, not a "summary". If a particular translation of the Bible invalidates boaz's quote, then all other translations invalidate every other interpretation, quotation and rationalization made so far, including those cited by the fundamentalists and apologists here in this thread.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:43 PM on November 2, 2006


Quonsar, you're damn right I feel superior to someone, anyone, who bases their life and income on telling others how to live their lives while simultaneously engaging in what he says other people are going to hell for.

If these allegations are false ones, so be it. The guy is still reprehensible for spewing the very hate that his Jesus tried to quell here on earth.

As for the by-laws of the Evangelicals, please. Here, you sound like you could use a week off -- "I saw quonsar sucking cock." Totally false of course, but it must be investigated to save the children.
posted by bardic at 9:43 PM on November 2, 2006


the Muslims would argue

And the Mormons. And, I'm sure, plenty of groups we've never heard of. But nobody here is talking about them, and that's not what I was trying to explain.

Translation: I don't like it when non-Christians pick and choose parts of the Bible to point out hypocrisy, but it's okay for Christians to pick and choose parts of the Bible to be hypocritical about.

It's not "picking and choosing." The Bible is cut in half. The more recent half is generally held to be more relevant. Is it that surprising? It's not like Christians are saying, "Well, this verse counts, but the one next to it doesn't, but the one after it does" like it's handy to claim. The justification for privileging the new covenant is within the Bible.

Right. Except what Jesus said on that subject was..."I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them."

Fun fact: The word used for "fulfill" can also be translated as "properly explain." Also you get discrepancies like promoting six commandments rather than ten, declaring foods clean that were forbidden in the OT, and so on. A whole lot more, for those interested. The bottom line is that there have been probably billions of words written about this, but my understanding is that it is generally accepted by most modern Christians that the new covenant supersedes the old. (Obviously, I don't know what konolia or Haggard or anyone else in particular believes.)
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:43 PM on November 2, 2006


An interesting "take" on the Haggard situation -- worth the read.
posted by ericb at 9:44 PM on November 2, 2006


What is it with high-level right wingers and gay escorts?
posted by cell divide at 9:48 PM on November 2, 2006


Nitpick: Muslims consider Jesus worthy of reverence as a prophet, but he is not the prophet (Allah's prophet).
posted by bardic at 9:49 PM on November 2, 2006


The more recent half is generally held to be more relevant. Is it that surprising?

I formally invite you to the next gay pride parade here in Philadelphia. We'll walk along the fringes where the wingnuts hold their Leviticus signs high. Or perhaps it will suffice to introduce you to the Constitution Party, which holds numerous Old Testament edicts to heart and promised capital punishment of homosexuals for whomever would have elected them in the 2004 Presidential elections. I won't bother to link to Christian fundamentalist, white supremacist sites. When it comes to rationalizing hatred, any part of the Bible has and will continute to do just fine.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:53 PM on November 2, 2006


Boaz - Matthew 5:17 is quite easy to take out of context, but it is generally understood to refer to the ten commandments, not the entire 5 books of Moses. And it's more about Jesus explaining the law, i.e. the OT prophets got it wrong, and he is setting it right.

booksandlibretti:

And the Mormons. And, I'm sure, plenty of groups we've never heard of. But nobody here is talking about them, and that's not what I was trying to explain.

Amen to that. And what about those who came before, in China and India, for example? What about the Greeks? Western Civilization is based almost entirely on the foundations of greek philosophy, particularly aristole and plato (who btw was bisexual), and they get scarce mention in the OT or the NT.

This literal interpretation of the Bible is not merely a choice of religion - it is a refutation of nearly all of philosophy and psychology. It is basically an admission that no other book or writing can illuminate the human condition, only what is written in the Bible can.

It is anti-intellecualism at its utmost.
posted by Pastabagel at 9:54 PM on November 2, 2006


booksandlibretti, you make a good point (and a simpler one would be to quote the parable of the new wine bursting the old wineskins), but for some further context, consider that many Evangelicals are trying to push through legislation to put the Ten Commandments into schools and courts. They constantly bleat about the need for "old school" moral codes like the one Moses laid out. While I appreciate what you're saying, methinks you're giving them a bit too much credit regarding their imagined desire to have a serious and historically valid discussion about revealed religion. More often, they want to hit people over the head with exactly the sorts of ridiculous OT rules to gain political points, but lo and behold when you point out that anyone who eats a lobster will have to be stoned to death, they tend to get huffy or, like our friend Konolia, disappear. While personal attacks aren't warranted (I do wonder if she thinks a twice-divorced person has any chance to make it out of hell), pointing out her bullshit is entirely appropriate.
posted by bardic at 9:57 PM on November 2, 2006


I won't bother to link to Christian fundamentalist, white supremacist sites.

I will -- but, just to one -- Fred Phelps' and the Westboro Baptist Church's God Hates Fags -- so full of Christian love and tolerance.
posted by ericb at 9:57 PM on November 2, 2006


And has been mentioned, callling a large number of mefites pederasts pales in comparison to any "hurt" she might suffer from literate non-Christians pointing out some glaring flaws in her logic. Actually, it's not logic at all. It's irrational braying.
posted by bardic at 9:58 PM on November 2, 2006


peeping_Thomist: I am well aware of the history of the bible, and how it was pieced together. It seems that you're trying to convince me not to take it literally. Trust me, you don't have to try very hard. My WHOLE POINT (and I strongly suspect, ericb's as well) is that those who want to take it literally (like many do, including most american christian homophobes), should take the whole damned thing literally.

If you want to interpret the bible, go ahead. I won't even argue with you about it (too much), because I personally don't care. On the other hand, if you're interpreting the bible, and preaching hatred of gays, simply producing a quote in the bible that is anti-gay is -by your own methodology- theologically unsound.
posted by Humanzee at 9:59 PM on November 2, 2006


I just realized that I sounded unnecessarily acusatory. I meant "if someone is preaching hatred of gays", not specifically peeping_Thomist.
posted by Humanzee at 10:02 PM on November 2, 2006


Pollomacho: Um, p_T, the Tanakh has been fairly set for the last 2000 years or so, it's this new fangled testement that gives folks trouble.

My point was that no one ever had all the books on either list, either the Hebrew canon or the Christian canon, in a single package before the 12th century, and even after that it was unusual until the Gutenberg revolution. The separate books in the Hebrew Bible and in the New Testament were copied and read separately. To heft "the Bible" and wave it in the air would have been impossible, because it would have been dozens of different scrolls, not a single book, "the Book". Humanzee's decision when he was young to pick up "the Bible" and read "it" was something that just doesn't make any sense unless you've been influenced by fundamentalist nonsense about "the Bible" as something that is to be read apart from Tradition.

When St. Augustine in his famous conversion scene heard the children chanting "tolle, lege!"--"pick up and read!"--what he picked up and read was a copy of the letters of St. Paul. He didn't pick up "the Bible".
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:05 PM on November 2, 2006


Off-topic, but likely of interest, since Foley has been discussed in this thread --

No Foley Ethics Report Before Election Day -- "Lack of report could leave voters wondering."
posted by ericb at 10:07 PM on November 2, 2006


I say, it is great fun to watch the wheels come off the right-wing political religious train. Gosh, it would be nice to see a higher level of sanity in this society.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:07 PM on November 2, 2006


but for some further context, consider that many Evangelicals are trying to push through legislation to put the Ten Commandments into schools and courts.

bardic - I'm with you right up to here. The Evangelical movement has nothing to do with religion. It is about money and power. Don't compare it to the catholic church, cmopare it to walmart.

They want kids dumb because only dumb kids will go to these churches willingly and will grow up and give them money. Think about it: Pat robertson has been on TV for more than a generation - the adults that give him money now were kids that were being bible-programmed to be dumb.

The stuff about moral codes is all about sex. If women are comfortable having sex recreationally and without anxiety, it's game over for these churches, because these women are going to be moms that will raise normal children. These women cannot be controlled by their husbands, because if their husbands are assholes to them, they'll feel justified in cheating. In other words, these women will not be content to stand by their man but will rather continue to look for love if they can't find it at home, because they will think they are entitled to love, and they are, but that doesn't sit well with the marry-and-forget evangelical model.

Every religion in the world has something, some philosophical or spiritual point, to contribute to the world. Except evangelicism. That's religion with the spirituality sucked out and reduced to a set of procedures.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:09 PM on November 2, 2006


My gaydar works just fine and his did not ping it.

How does one learn, I wonder, when one's gaydar, which one thinks is "working fine," is actually allowing gay people to pass unnoticed? How exactly does one learn how accurate one's gaydar is? If you're only getting confirmation from folks you already see as gay, isn't that something of a skewed sample?

Yes, it is. In fact, it is clear that none of us truly knows exactly how well our gaydar is working.

*slams beer down on table*
posted by mediareport at 10:18 PM on November 2, 2006


Humanzee: If you're interpreting the bible, and preaching hatred of gays, simply producing a quote in the bible that is anti-gay is -by your own methodology- theologically unsound.

We agree on that!

I think Scripture and Tradition (not to mention reason itself!) clearly teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong. I also think it's important to formulate this claim in a way that does not single out for special criticism people whose sexual sins tend to involve members of the same sex. In any case, the notion that such matters could be settled via proof texts and google searches is largely due to the harmful influence of fundamentalism on our culture.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:19 PM on November 2, 2006


How exactly does one learn how accurate one's gaydar is?

Take the Gaydar Test!
posted by ericb at 10:21 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think Scripture and Tradition (not to mention reason itself!) clearly teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong.

So Abraham and David were sinners? Ancient Hebrews had multiple wives. God, apparently, didn't have a problem with that (he had lots to say about how you treat them, of course).

Your theology is both obvious and tedious to anyone who's taken an intro philosophy course.
posted by bardic at 10:26 PM on November 2, 2006


I also think it's important to formulate this claim in a way that does not single out for special criticism people whose sexual sins tend to involve members of the same sex.

Too late!

Take the Gaydar Test!

Man, what I always suspected is true. I have absolutely no Gaydar. 50% on the nose.
posted by boaz at 10:27 PM on November 2, 2006


Sorry, that came out far too harsh. But I think you're assuming non-Christians in this thread aren't up on textual and historical controversies regarding scripture, and that would be wildly incorrect.
posted by bardic at 10:29 PM on November 2, 2006


Could you have picked up and read in one tome "Aristotle" before the 12th century? The history of book-binding and the history of the books of the bible are separate issues.

There were those in Jesus's time, according to the accounts in the gospels anyway or if you look at the Talmud, that were nit-picking those scrolls so inferring that literal translation four-square fundamentalists is something new and only extant since the 12th century just doesn't hold water. Sure it has an even more ridiculous air now that they are working off translations of translations of translations of rewritten copies of jotted oral tradition, but they aren't the first to nit-pick nor did it start with book-binding.

Incidentally, if you go up into the Tibetan hills you can still find living monasteries where monks meticulously protect, defend, maintain and copy manuscript scrolls. They too heatedly argue about single lines of translated translations of jotted down translations of jotted down interpritations of legendary stories about a great traveling speaker they call Buddha.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:30 PM on November 2, 2006


Other rules from Leviticus, or the rest of the OT, are irrelevant here.

You mean rules like the 10 commandments?
posted by stirfry at 10:34 PM on November 2, 2006


It is not the place of religion to use the law to render moral judgement. That is God's domain, not mankind's.

It's a distinction one wishes more churches would use as a guiding principal. I do recall a bible passage in which Christ himself tells his crew to keep out of politics, "render unto Cæser" and all that.

It occurs to me that we should be calling the evangels 'Paulinists', not Christians. Eversomany of them are much more about Paul's rantings, and much less about Christ's actions.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:34 PM on November 2, 2006


Even when someone is so depraved as to deny the existence of God [...]

LOL XIANS
posted by oncogenesis at 10:35 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


bardic: God, apparently, didn't have a problem with that

Jesus says God allowed some things that were not part of the original plan for humanity, and that God allowed these things because of the hardness of our hearts. Polygamy strikes me as one of those things that, like slavery or divorce, makes sense at a certain stage of cultural development, but later on comes to be seen, rightly, as inferior to other, better ways of organizing things.

When God allowed polygamy, or slavery, or divorce, it wasn't because he "didn't have a problem with it," but rather because the problem he had with it was the kind of problem that can't be addressed by ramming prohibitions down people's throats.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:38 PM on November 2, 2006


The more recent half is generally held to be more relevant. Is it that surprising? ... [M]y understanding is that it is generally accepted by most modern Christians that the new covenant supersedes the old. -- me

I formally invite you to the next gay pride parade here in Philadelphia. We'll walk along the fringes where the wingnuts hold their Leviticus signs high. -- Blazecock Pileon

You're gonna find some people doing anything; I thought I was pretty careful to hedge. My impression is that a large majority of Christians today are more about the NT than the OT. You are going to get sects like Messianic "Jews" who outright disagree. And you'll also get a few of what I think you've seen -- people who hear "homosexuality is wrong" from their minister (based on Corinthians) and run home and Google for bible gays bad and use whatever they can find without worrying about the context. I guess a third category would be people like Phelps who just try to use whatever they can get their hands on to justify their irrational beliefs without worrying about theology or internal consistency, but their brains operate so differently from mine that I don't think I can understand them. And again, they're a tiny, tiny fringe minority.

you make a good point (and a simpler one would be to quote the parable of the new wine bursting the old wineskins) -- bardic

You're perfectly right, but I have no real desire to get into parables with this crowd if I can avoid it. I did some preliminary Googling to see if I could get a good simple explanation to link, and although I didn't see any right away, I did find this book, which I am sure you can no longer remain without.

many Evangelicals are trying to push through legislation to put the Ten Commandments into schools and courts -- bardic

Of course you're right again. To be honest, I think they want the Ten Commandments because they make a relatively simple, and very definite, statement, and they're willing to sacrifice some theology to get there. If something similar were in the NT, I think they'd go with that . . . but the closest definitive summing-up in the NT is probably "Love your neighbor as yourself," which obviously doesn't express what they want. Also, with the Ten Commandments, they can claim Jewish support as well.

So Abraham and David were sinners?

Bardic, am I missing something in your comment? It's a basic concept that everyone is a sinner ("all have sinned") -- and are redeemed not because of personal worthiness, but through God's grace. You bet Abraham and David were sinners, and so is every other Christian, including ministers and priests and saintly old ladies of all kinds. I feel like I must have missed something you're saying...?


You mean rules like the 10 commandments? -- stirfry

Did you miss the part where I said Jesus "promot[ed] six commandments rather than ten"? Check out Matthew 19:17-19 and Mark 10:17-19.
posted by booksandlibretti at 10:42 PM on November 2, 2006


ericb writes "How exactly does one learn how accurate one's gaydar is?

"Take the Gaydar Test!"
You staggeringly accurate at scored 95%

You personally got 19 of the 20 people correct and were better at recognizing girls than guys. Overall, you guessed better than 99% of all test takers.
(I shrug humbly.)
posted by orthogonality at 10:47 PM on November 2, 2006


Pollomacho: There were those in Jesus's time, according to the accounts in the gospels anyway or if you look at the Talmud, that were nit-picking those scrolls so inferring that literal translation four-square fundamentalists is something new and only extant since the 12th century just doesn't hold water.

Those scribes didn't sit at home and pick up "the Bible" and read it from cover to cover waiting for the Holy Spirit to reveal to them what it meant. They were part of a living community that read those texts, and they were initiated into a complex tradition of arguing about those texts, and lining up various authorities to resolve apparent conflicts between them. Every Christian tradition has always had a crucial place for that kind of "nit-picking", and it is something completely different from what fundamentalists do. They rely on the Holy Spirit to speak to the individual person and reveal the meaning of the text, because each fundamentalist is his own pope. You seem to be confusing the act of taking great care with the literal meaning of texts, which is common to all Christians, with fundamentalist proof-texting, which is not.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:50 PM on November 2, 2006


Even when someone is so depraved as to deny the existence of God, the natural law remains at the core of that person's being, commanding him or her to do what is right.

*sniff sniff* I've never been so proud of my depravity. Woo!
posted by smallerdemon at 10:51 PM on November 2, 2006


later on comes to be seen, rightly, as inferior to other, better ways of organizing things.

Man, you're going to feel dumb when God replaces Christianity with something better. ;)
posted by boaz at 10:51 PM on November 2, 2006


"Take the Gaydar Test!"

60%.. Damn. I suck.





Not in THAT way, obviously....
posted by c13 at 10:52 PM on November 2, 2006


He's admitted it now. Better have that gaydar adjusted.
posted by 2sheets at 10:57 PM on November 2, 2006


I wonder what it would be like to have your husband turn out to be sexually attracted to men. Some women I've talked to about it have said it would be devastating to them. Others thought they would be able to cope with it. Not being a woman, it's hard for me to envision. I wouldn't be that upset if my wife were attracted to women, so long as she also wanted to be with me.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:01 PM on November 2, 2006


God allowed these things because of the hardness of our hearts. Polygamy strikes me as one of those things that, like slavery or divorce, makes sense at a certain stage of cultural development, but later on comes to be seen, rightly, as inferior to other, better ways of organizing things.


Interesting. God is fallible. That's rather un-Thomist of you to admit.
posted by bardic at 11:03 PM on November 2, 2006


My ex-girlfriend's ex-boyfriend dumped her for a guy. She said she was pretty upset for a while, but she was fine at the end.
posted by c13 at 11:05 PM on November 2, 2006


of course he did it--it amazes me that people don't want to believe the truth.

...Pastor Haggard and so many like him just cannot accept their own humanity. I understand the struggle they face and I sympathize...but at the same time I abhor the choices they make because those choices have impact that is often detrimental to those who have found the capacity to embrace their humanity. In fact, people like Haggard often victimize those who share their same identity because they are fighting an internal battle to deny that very identity. Frankly, the last thing they should be doing is leading others or presenting a persona that suggests they have access to more "truth" than those in their midst. They have simply taken their own denial to an extreme that exceeds that of those they have been able to manipulate and they then all join together in fostering their shared denial by vilifying others.

Look, the bottom line is that we all share one thing...our humanity. When any of us seek to deny the humanity of others, we set in motion the destruction of our shared humanity. ...

posted by amberglow at 11:06 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


He's admitted it now.

He's admitted to something now, anyway, but we're not sure what. It's a tough call. If he admits the sex but denies the drugs, the sobbing trip to rehab is right out as a cover. Choices, choices.
posted by mediareport at 11:08 PM on November 2, 2006


Struggling to reconcile two conflicting emotions:

1) If you were gay, that'd be okay

2) That's.... schadenfreude!
posted by greycap at 11:11 PM on November 2, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "I think Scripture and Tradition (not to mention reason itself!) clearly teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong."

Well, you've pretty well argued Scripture into a corner in the course of your comments here. It's hard to buy it as an authority on anything at this point. Tradition is the "traditional" bad reason for doing something. I will mention slavery only obliquely.

Let's hear from reason itself! Careful though: reason can be a little more slippery than you've been led to believe. I'll give you two axioms from which to start; argue against them if you care to: pain is bad, pleasure is good.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:11 PM on November 2, 2006


Gaydar, schmaydar! This guy was like the poster child for obviousness.

Intense interest in the private lives of complete strangers is pretty much always prurient, no matter what your cover story.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:12 PM on November 2, 2006


This struck me: ... "This is really routine when any sort of situation like this arises, so we're prepared," ...

routine? how often does this sort of situation happen?
posted by amberglow at 11:13 PM on November 2, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "When God allowed polygamy, or slavery, or divorce, it wasn't because he 'didn't have a problem with it,' but rather because the problem he had with it was the kind of problem that can't be addressed by ramming prohibitions down people's throats."

This claim seems to deny God's omnipotence. Which is fine, if that's the kind of God you've got.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:14 PM on November 2, 2006


Ooops, no wait, do what I say and not who I do. Um, evil get behind me (and give it to me hard).

Uh, at least Jeff Gannon's back in the news again?
posted by fenriq at 11:14 PM on November 2, 2006


I call bullshit on your gaydar. And your God.

Goddar?
posted by homunculus at 11:14 PM on November 2, 2006


Ok, so after amberglow's link, denying the meth seems to be out. Looks like we've got a "I underestimated the power of Satan's drugs and he led me down a dark path to fornication with men" situation here. Yeah, I think that's the way he'll go.

Sobbing trip to rehab in 3...2...
posted by mediareport at 11:21 PM on November 2, 2006


This is amazing. How much worse can it get for the republicans before next Tuesday, anyway? They're imploding.
posted by mullingitover at 11:25 PM on November 2, 2006


Don't worry, the Dems will find a way to fail to take advantage of this opportunity, too.
posted by mediareport at 11:28 PM on November 2, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder what effect this will have, given that he was such a big political player with the GOP?
Many evangelicals "feel used and taken for granted by the Republican Party,"...
posted by amberglow at 11:29 PM on November 2, 2006


Clips of the voice mails.
posted by bardic at 12:02 AM on November 3, 2006


(FYI, you have to sit through a commercial.)
posted by bardic at 12:02 AM on November 3, 2006


konolia, how's your gaydar vis a vis your husband? Just asking.

(Mine own personal gaydar, scientifically tested via the intertubes just a few moments ago, is at 70%, better at men than women. This is awesome--all those attractive women I think are straight are actually lesbians, which fuels my adolescent fantasies--and if I ever want to become a right-wing law-maker, I'll be able to determine which pages to hire with confidence.)
posted by maxwelton at 12:12 AM on November 3, 2006


Accusing people of being pedophiles is not a very Christian thing to do.

Huh? It is a VERY Christian thing to do. It seems these people are always laying blame or focusing on what other people do. They can't get thier confusing contradictory five thousand year old myths to align with reality... so it's everybody elses fault who doesn't believe?

I have had it with the faithful idiot deists of this world. At worst they are dangerous lunatics bent on world domination. At best they are hypocrites that have no idea, certainly no consensus, of what their sky gods even want. They make shit up as they go along.

"Well, uh, what god or Jesus really MEANT was..."

You have no idea what your God meant. Or what Jesus did, or did not, say. Or if any of them really exist at all.

We might as well speculate on what Gandalf would do if Frodo came out gay.
posted by tkchrist at 12:17 AM on November 3, 2006


"We might as well speculate on what Gandalf would do if Frodo came out gay.

I think he'd be okay with it.
posted by Humanzee at 12:23 AM on November 3, 2006


We might as well speculate on what Gandalf would do if Frodo came out gay.

Dude, did you even see the Lord of the Rings? Gay, dude, totally.
posted by Pollomacho at 12:26 AM on November 3, 2006


I wonder what effect this will have, given that he was such a big political player with the GOP?

Zero. No. Less than zero. Negative eleven.

Christ. If these people are not moved by an unjust war, where it may be that hundreds of thousands of innocents have been murdered by thier downs syndrome president, you think they are going to open their eyes long enough to see one of their beloved Sky God Talkers butt-fucking with a methpipe dangling out of the crack of his ass? Hell no.

They already believe in too many lies at this point. Sky god. WMD. Homoseshuls = Satan.

They. Don't. Care.
posted by tkchrist at 12:29 AM on November 3, 2006


I think, tkchrist, that this is precicely the kind of bullshit "issue" that they do care about.

A few thousand dead "ragheads" who cares. The preacher's a queer, fetch my pitchfork, ma!
posted by Pollomacho at 12:39 AM on November 3, 2006



I think, tkchrist, that this is precicely the kind of bullshit "issue" that they do care about.

Sadly. You may be right. But it won't effect the polls on Tuesday.
posted by tkchrist at 12:52 AM on November 3, 2006


I love pan-fried rabbit with cream gravy.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 1:00 AM on November 3, 2006


peepingThomist: [Fundamentalists] rely on the Holy Spirit to speak to the individual person and reveal the meaning of the text, because each fundamentalist is his own pope.

Quite right too. Where is the Pope in the Gospels? If the Gospels are the word of God made flesh, and He cares for us, then through prayer and thought and reading the teachings of his Son we will be able to make the right moral choices. Otherwise we have to rely on Popes or Kings or posters on websites to tell us what God means when he writes "don't eat shrimp", and these self-appointed prophets are only men and prey to mistake and malice.

Witness the way that the Gospels (the actual teachings and works of Jesus) are corrupted or interpreted by Paul: Paul sought to make the new religon of a monotheistic, poor, anti-establishment cult leader compatible with a Western, civilised, rich Empire. In doing so he claimed the right to pontificate on issues of importance to these decadent Roman lands for his rag-wearing crucified prophet. He did well, brilliantly, but to claim his words are anything other than that of a successful marketing man does not place the Gospels in their correct position of primacy.

But wait, can we go further and say that Paul was not just repackaging but actively subverting the true Christian message? Yes, say many Christians, such as the Free Presbyterian Church, and many followers of Islam. Paul, author of anti-gay passages in Corinthians and elsewhere, is believed by many to be not only misguided but an active agent of the Antichrist.

It is clear that Paul's teachings on homosexuality (the source of most New Testament homophobic references, such as Corinthians) need not be taken as the word of God. We can compare what we have in the real Gospels about homosexuality versus what we have in the real Gospels about poverty. Would Jesus care about the sex of each husband in Elton John's marriage or the contribution of their First-World lifestyle to the environmental destruction of His creation? I know what I think a loving God would say.




I'm an atheist, but I'm a fundamentalist-Protestant atheist. The point is that while discussing religon is fun it won't ever get anywhere - no resolution, no progress. Religon is culturally-determined and there is no external check (c.f. experimentation in science) so we can go on forever arguing Scripture. Only rhetoric in the context of your culture and the exercise of power will change religious thought and teachings. The evangelicals are rich, well-organised, and persuasive: they will determine what the Bible and God says and said in the future.

I'm going to try out my "Catholicism is polytheistic" argument soon, see how that works out. All those saints? Virgin Mary? It's like Hinduism, I tell you! Wheeee!
posted by alasdair at 1:17 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


So in addition to the original 'sins' I guess he has to add yesterday's false denials to the list. This guy would have benefited by watching a few episodes of The Wire. You don't call somebody up and ask for "the stuff." The only better soundbite might have been if he had asked Jones to bring his friend Tina over. My spin prediction echoes mediareport's. As far as we know he wasn't stupid enough to ask for sex over the phone, as those were clearly re-up calls. For the evangelical crowd at large they will attempt to turn this into a 'the evil of meth' story and the truly hardcore there are already well conditioned to accept it as a "Control" plot by the demons in Colorado Springs.

As the original post was deleted, I still curious about Dobson's lightning-fast press release decrying media coverage. Can anybody comment on the true sentiment between Dobson and Haggard? The Harper's piece jabs in a bit about Haggard, not Dobson, being invited to the White House for the bill signing.
posted by well_balanced at 1:29 AM on November 3, 2006


You know, anti-gay Evangelical preachers would be a lot more convincing if they could just stay away from the dick.

As for the comments about how this effects the Republican faithful, I'll throw in my $0.02 USD and go with the "not at all" crowd.

First off, he's not running for office. Just because he chats with the president a lot means nothing.

Secondly, we're talking about people that already ignore reality: they think Iraq is going swimmingly, the economy is just grrr-eat, and that "America über Alles" is a workable foreign policy. I don't think one of those bunker-busting nuclear bombs the DoE is developing could break through the protective shell of delusion "the Party faithful" have wrapped themselves in.

Lastly, there are always the DEMONcrats to blame for this as a last resort. Undoubtedly Pastor Ted was tempted into sin. Satan has that power, you know, and the DEMONcrats are the party of Satan. Or some such bullshit.
posted by moonbiter at 1:55 AM on November 3, 2006


he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations."

Golden calf worshipping heathen!

The cloud over him may be The Man Himself.

After 40 days and 40 nights Haggard may emerge with some new commandments. Ponder on that.
posted by Tarn at 2:22 AM on November 3, 2006


It bears repeating 2sheet link

The guy admitted some escorting alllegations. Yes Brittany, you're a fag.

Nothing wrong with that. Expecially when you consider IT WAS THE DEVIL ! HE DIDN'T SIN it was the goddamn devil ! Yeah he also stole the cookies from the jar !

Born Again Christian in 3..2..1..
posted by elpapacito at 3:33 AM on November 3, 2006


Ops I forgot

http://i82.photobucket.com/albums/j272/carolanderic/tehghey.jpg

NSFW
posted by elpapacito at 3:40 AM on November 3, 2006


Yeah. 2,000 years of Christian theology has been reduced to making Jesus your get-out-of-jail/homesexual liason/tax fraud/hypocrisy card.

Like I said up-thread, you mix your spiritual beliefs into your politics, and you're bound to get burned, eventually.
posted by bardic at 3:41 AM on November 3, 2006


Crap.


Now that I have that out of the way, which is more hateful-telling people that God has no problem with homosexual behavior therefore letting them wind up in hell, or telling them the truth in hope they repent and turn to God, to find eternal life?

Am I an enemy because I tell you the truth?

Oh, and sadly, my grandma might just be in hell-but only the Saviour knows that for sure. Frankly I can only think of one deceased family member who I think made it to heaven. Obviously it hurts my heart a lot (Most of my extended family are not born again.)
posted by konolia at 4:24 AM on November 3, 2006


some of us couldn't be happy knowing that others were in eternal torment

and you're not telling us the truth, konolia, you're telling us the truth as you know and understand it

big difference there ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:34 AM on November 3, 2006


Haggard, 50, initially denied the allegations, telling 9News Wednesday night that "I've never had a gay relationship with anybody, and I'm steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife."

"I'm steady with my wife?" Who the hell talks like that?

In my mind, "steady" conjures up images of a middle school romance: holding hands, smooching chastely, and maybe--maybe--cuddling through several layers of clothing. . .

Oh.
posted by EarBucket at 4:58 AM on November 3, 2006


I just listened the voice mail message linked above. Definitely sounds like him.

I like his pseudonym, too. Art. Am Really Ted.
posted by emelenjr at 5:01 AM on November 3, 2006


I take great pleasure in watching the downfall of another hypocrite fundie bastard. He could have been caught doing anythng at all illegal and/or "immoral" by his church's standards, but he actually appears to have been caught a) breaking the law; b) cheating on his wife; and c) doing the one thing his church declares is the root of all evil.

How can you not laugh at such hubris and hypocrisy? What is the proper reaction? Oh, let's wait for the evidence, because his resigning is just a "process" that got triggered? Bull. Shit. These guys are masters of realpolitik, and absolute political cynics. If there was no fire to go with the smoke, there is NO WAY he would have stepped down both from the NAE and his church position within one day like this, 5 days before a major national election in which this is bound to hurt his friends in the GOP, on hom he relies for succor (ha ha).

So here's a great big hardy hardy har and a round for all my friends. Let's drink to this man's fall from grace he never earned.

F**k you, Haggard. And all your bigoted, close-minded, "Christian" followers who believe your gospel of hate. Hoist, indeed, by your own petard, and you probably get off on it.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:03 AM on November 3, 2006


Hey Konolia, it's not the "truth" unless you can prove it.

So go ahead. Prove your "hell" exists and all the sodomites are going there.

You're a disgrace to metafilter, and a bigot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:08 AM on November 3, 2006


Oh, and we've already reaped the political benefit for the dems: the utter bullshit "Kerry insulted the troops" story is gone, gone, gone. And the GOP loses control of at least two more news cycles with 4 days left. Yeehaw.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:10 AM on November 3, 2006


"Hell" is other people and I guess I'm there already.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:10 AM on November 3, 2006


First Peter 4:17-18

For it is time for judgment to begin with the family of God;and if it begins with us,what will the outcome be for those that do not obey the gospel of God? And if it is hard for the righteous to be saved, what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?
posted by konolia at 5:14 AM on November 3, 2006


Am I an enemy because I tell you the truth?

You have no fucking clue what the truth is. You can't even articulate you idiotic ideas of what it might be and regress to statements like "Sin is what God says it is. Period." in response to even the slightest criticism. You can't put two sentences together without some sort of inconsistency or contradiction. Only lord knows whether you grandma is in hell, but YOU think the other family member made it to heaven!
posted by c13 at 5:22 AM on November 3, 2006


Anyone see this?

Late Thursday, The Associated Press reported that the acting senior pastor at New Life, Ross Parsley, told KKTV-TV of Colorado Springs that Haggard admitted some of the accusations were true, but Parsley didn't elaborate.
Yeah, just a slander. Sure.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:24 AM on November 3, 2006


Apocryphal: I read this in my own notebook.

For judgment is in the eye of the beholder; which of us does not judge? All of us have masked the face of God with our masks, put our stained words in His mouth. The Righteous is he who rejects the falsity of perception; he who walks in Truth is not without but within, not in a book, but dwells in the spring of the heart.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:37 AM on November 3, 2006


Time to whip out my old favourites:

Matthew 7:1-5 --
Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again. And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother's eye.

And, always:

Matthew 5:5 --
Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 5:37 AM on November 3, 2006


^ see? just as valid as any nonsense with a classy title like "Letter to blahdeblah"
posted by exlotuseater at 5:38 AM on November 3, 2006


First Peter

Really?
posted by SteveInMaine at 5:40 AM on November 3, 2006


This preacher is a f*cking scumbag.

Following in the footsteps of MANY other people just like him who can't stand the fact that they were BORN GAY, and take to gay bashing to make themselves feel better.
posted by stevejensen at 5:47 AM on November 3, 2006


But, you know, sometimes comeuppance is deserved.

"Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud."


As for konolia, she knows all too well that it's debatable whether or not a group that eats shellfish and allows women to talk in church can non-hypocritically condemn homosexuality a sin. As for hell, I think that Jesus guy said long ago that the "true believers" are pretty much going to be nastily surprised on Judgement Day:

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, he will sit on his throne in heavenly glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate the people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on his right and the goats on his left. Then the King will say to those on his right, 'Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.' Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.' Then he will say to those on his left, 'Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels. For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not invite me in, I needed clothes and you did not clothe me, I was sick and in prison and you did not look after me.' They also will answer, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or needing clothes or sick or in prison, and did not help you?' He will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.' Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life."

Worshipping Supply Side Jesus has allowed the evangelical right to embrace the worst aspects of capitalism and life in middle-class comfort, but I don't think it'll be Supply Side Jesus sitting in that judgement chair.

To put it another way, I'll happily put up with evangelical anti-gay bigotry as soon as they start taking the majority of the Bible they claim guides thier lives seriously. Feed the poor. Care for the sick. Welcome the immigrant. Judge not lest you be judged. Turn the other cheek, even in international politics. Act like Jesus, maybe even just a little, maybe just 1%, and maybe then what you say about what God does and does approve of will carry some weight with me.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:47 AM on November 3, 2006 [14 favorites]


Ross Parsley Interview.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:54 AM on November 3, 2006


I know I'm arriving late to the party, and I don't have the patience to go through the last thousand comments to see if anyone else has posted this -- but MSNBC has just reported that the good preacher has ADMITTED to certain, ahem, INDISCRETIONS. Now put that in your man-pipe and smoke it.
posted by Toecutter at 5:54 AM on November 3, 2006


Oh God, Supply Side Jesus ! Thanks eustace !
posted by elpapacito at 5:57 AM on November 3, 2006


I don't see it on the site, Toecutter- link to prove it.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 5:58 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Now that I have that out of the way, which is more hateful-telling people that God has no problem with homosexual behavior therefore letting them wind up in hell

Not that one.

or telling them the truth in hope they repent and turn to God, to find eternal life?

That one gets closer, yeah.

Of course, the real problem isn't that evangelicals offer arguments to homosexuals. If it were just a matter of people bothering gays about how they're going to hell, that wouldn't be such a big deal.

The problem is that evangelicals try to use the power of the state to forbid homosexuals from making legal contracts with each other, and to forbid homosexuals from making legally binding medical decisions for their immediate families, and to keep homosexuals in poverty following the death of immediate family members by denying them inheritance rights. The problem is that evangelicals don't just not visit the sick and not feed the hungry in this context, they use the power of the state to forcibly prevent family members from ministering to the sick and feeding the hungry.

Which is more hateful? That's a tough one, cookie.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 6:08 AM on November 3, 2006


Huh. I was sure this was going to be nothing. First Foley, then this...
posted by smackfu at 3:52 PM PST


Keep looking down, eventually there will be flowers thrown at your feet.
posted by rough ashlar at 6:09 AM on November 3, 2006


A fair call out, Pink. No link sorry -- was during a news break on MSNBC's Imus radio show broadcast. But now (and again, no link, but what can I say) MSNBC has broadcast a snippet of the voice mail recording along with a speech analyst's opinion that it belongs to Haggard. This guy is toast.
posted by Toecutter at 6:10 AM on November 3, 2006


Well ... this is a cluster, if I ever saw one.

The schadenfreude in here is pathetic.
posted by Alt F4 at 6:19 AM on November 3, 2006


Now that I have that out of the way, which is more hateful-telling people that God has no problem with homosexual behavior therefore letting them wind up in hell, or telling them the truth in hope they repent and turn to God, to find eternal life?

Konolia, I think the part where you accused a lot of innocent, law-abiding people of being pedophiles was very hateful.

May your God offer mercy on your soul for such libelous, baseless comments.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:25 AM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


Am I an enemy because I tell you the truth?

Don't flatter yourself. The only reason you're an "enemy" is because you want me to live as a second-class citizen in the country of my birth, and are working to make that happen. I don't give a fuck what you believe, konolia, even if I think the brand of Christianity you've chosen for yourself demonstrates a startlingly pinched and dessicated heart. But when you use your beliefs to deny me the basic civil rights you enjoy, then you're a fucking jerk who deserves no respect whatsoever.

Find another issue to tell the truth about, dear. You're done on this one, gaydar and all.
posted by mediareport at 6:26 AM on November 3, 2006 [5 favorites]


Oh yeah, this was on Focus on the Family Radio last night. They kinda implied it wasn't true.
posted by thirteenkiller at 6:26 AM on November 3, 2006


The schadenfreude in here is pathetic.

Oh, please. The children's table is in the kitchen, if you can't handle a group of adults talking cynically about sex, religion, lying and hypocrisy in U.S. politics.
posted by mediareport at 6:27 AM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


Email sent to the New Life Church mailing list by the new pastor, Ross Parsley: here. Contains a press release and this line:
"Since that time, the board of overseers has met with Pastor Ted. It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true. He has willingly and humbly submitted to the authority of the board of overseers, and will remain on administrative leave during the course of the investigation.

I'm betting he'll admit to the drug use, but not the adult penis funtime.
posted by PantsOfSCIENCE at 6:30 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


konolia writes "Am I an enemy because I tell you the truth?"

We take offense to your words because they are hateful. And the creepiest thing is that I am willing to accept that you are reproducing them here without malice, and even thinking that you're doing us good.

Even the Inquisitor back in the old days could feel good about torturing a man to death if the man confessed before dying. You see, if he truly confessed, his soul would go to heaven when he passed on (generally minutes after the confession). The Inquisitor never needed to reflect on the horrible, horrible tortures he was submitting his victim to, because it was all for the greater good, for the greater glory of God.

And so it is with you. You are so used to the hate that you do not see it as hate. You even see it as a good thing -- spreading the hate will lead to more souls being saved. I think you might want to have a look at Matthew 7:3 and ponder its meaning. And think of how your hateful attitude towards gays reflects on your understanding of John 15:12.
posted by clevershark at 6:33 AM on November 3, 2006 [4 favorites]


The schadenfreude in here is pathetic.

People like you started this Culture War. So don't whine when we bayonette the battlefield wounded.
posted by Toecutter at 6:33 AM on November 3, 2006 [4 favorites]


I think you might want to have a look at Matthew 7:3 and ponder its meaning.

*cough cough*
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 6:42 AM on November 3, 2006


So don't whine when we bayonette the battlefield wounded

Who's bayonetting? We're simply watching with satisfaction when yet another anti-gay crusader gets revealed as a closet case who projects his own lack of courage and spirit onto every other gay person. Most of us know by now that's how many of the worst anti-gay crusaders get created, but it's still useful for the few who don't when that truth is revealed yet again.

We're not bayonetting, we're using the stupidity of one culture warrior to help others out of the war.
posted by mediareport at 6:49 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Konolia: I'll bet you're not at all a bad person, and you probably do mean well. But as usual here on the blue, you come across as a bigot, a simpleton, and a coward. You make astoundingly ignorant proclamations (e.g. gay = pedophile) and then you disappear... Or else you call up your facile, deux ex machina ("Because God says so") to bail you out and sum it all up for us sinners (--a wide lot, including even your grandma); a move that makes it embarrassingly clear how in over your head you are.
posted by applemeat at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2006


bardic: If Michael Moore got caught being pegged by Ann Coulter, it would be mefi's job, nay, it's duty to comment upon it.

Thanks, bardic!!! That one made my day. Ya know, I am not sure who should be more shamed in that arrangement. Or more proud. Dang man, what is it with Coulter? She has that really really evil bad girl appeal somehow. It ain't right. It bothers me.
posted by Bovine Love at 7:05 AM on November 3, 2006


Bovine Love writes "Dang man, what is it with Coulter? She has that really really evil bad girl appeal somehow. It ain't right. It bothers me."

She makes voter fraud seem like teh sexay!
posted by clevershark at 7:11 AM on November 3, 2006


"If you had to accept Christ to stop your drinking, drugging, gambling, wife-beating, whatever, then you will always be morally and spiritually inferior to those of us who managed never to have those problems in the first place, or quit on our on resolve. Being born again doesn't erase your past, and it sure as hell doen't make you holier than me.

It makes you weak, and pathetic."


That's a really, really snotty-sounding comment pastabagel.

Reminds me of the pose/prose of the appalling James "Million Little Pieces" Frey.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:13 AM on November 3, 2006


What mediareport said - "yet another anti-gay cursader".

Think about this for a second - the problem here is not that these guys are being gay and hypocritical (okay, that is a problem, but not the BIG problem), the problem is that they are in the public eye, they know people are watching and they do it anyway.

How colossally arrogant is it to think that you can be a congressman and hit on underage pages and not think you are going to get busted? How arrogant is it to be the head of the organization that has made ant-gay preaching a foundational principle and then go hire a male prostitute on a monthly basiss and not expect to get caught?

It's addict mentality. They know they shouldn't do it, but they can't stop themselves, like the drunk who can't say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations - soft, comfy, middle-class weakness. Unable to sacrifice, unable to deny themselves even when it's in their best interest, unable to resist their appetites.

That's why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you're too weak willed to do it youselves. But don't project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc.

We can control our tempers and our feelings, and we don't need fairy stories of gods and demons and prophets and wizards and unicorns and whatever the hell else is in the Bible or Book of Mormon or the Urantia book or Battlefield Earth. We don't need magic when we have self control and compassion.

That where American chruches went wrong - you took love thy neighbor to mean that you should keep blacks and gays and jews and catholics out of your neighborhoods. Love thy neighbor is the only part of the Bible that any christian should take to heart, because that is the point that jesus hammered home time after time.

Love everyone, your enemy, the weak, the diseased, the whores, everybody. Love them because you are no better. That's the NT for you. Not rules about who can touch a penis or under what conditions women are allow3ed to have sex. If you think the Bible is a guide to daily living, I'm sorry, you are in all scientific sense of the word, a moron. Your IQ is low. You missed the point.

The point of the Iliad is the danger of hubris, it's pride goeth before the fall. It's not about sneaky greeks or cool battles between gods and mortals. Frankenstein is not about a mad scientists, it's about how man can be a monster when faced with fear. Learn how to read, and then read between the lines. Even when the Bible mentions sex literally it's not really about sex.

The new testament is in absolutely no way about sex. Not straight sex, not gay sex, not any kind of sex. If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don't need a priest, you need a therapist. You need a university faculty analyzing you around the clock.

In summary, new testament not about sex.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:16 AM on November 3, 2006 [53 favorites]


Pastabagel for mayor.
posted by glenwood at 7:19 AM on November 3, 2006


If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don't need a priest, you need a therapist.

BRAVO.
posted by applemeat at 7:19 AM on November 3, 2006


you will always be morally and spiritually inferior to those of us who managed never to have those problems in the first place, or quit on our on resolve

Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)
posted by pyramid termite at 7:25 AM on November 3, 2006


Most of us here believe that when a politician or preacher, with moral and political power respectively (although the line between the two has become dangerously blurred recently), and then gets caught having man-fun in between trying to make it illegal/immoral to have man-fun, they get what they deserve when they are caught in flagrante delictico with another same-sex human.

If Ted were my plumber or my professor or my doctor I wouldn't give a shit.

If I voted for a congressperson because she was against abortion and than she had an abortion, would I feel the same way? Probably.

And sorry for feeling schadenfreude. I'm only human, and I'm not trying to get elected on an anti-schadefreude platform.
posted by kozad at 7:27 AM on November 3, 2006


so who whacked the first thread - and did they apologize to the whackee? that was f'd. as is the whole evangelical movement. sick shit - ministers riding high in their tax free SUVs. this couldn't have happened to a nicer bunch. think haggered is out purchasing some bubble wrap?
posted by specialk420 at 7:28 AM on November 3, 2006


To put it another way, I'll happily put up with evangelical anti-gay bigotry as soon as they start taking the majority of the Bible they claim guides thier lives seriously. Feed the poor. Care for the sick. Welcome the immigrant. Judge not lest you be judged. Turn the other cheek, even in international politics. Act like Jesus, maybe even just a little, maybe just 1%, and maybe then what you say about what God does and does approve of will carry some weight with me.

As a Christian, so would I.

And, you know? There's a shift coming, something I was trying to say waaaaaaaay up the thread. The current Father, Son, and Grand Old Party flavor of Christianity is starting to collapse. Those in the church who have tied their fortunes to the Republican bandwagon are trying desperately to cut the rope before the party goes off the cliff.

New flavors of Christianity are coming out, with new leaders and new emphases.

The mainline church is shrinking, thanks to a graying membership and a mealymouthed evangelism that's failed to attract new blood (save some pockets within the Presbyterian and Lutheran churches).

Non-denominational "megachurches" are proving themselves to be unsustainable, because too often they form around one person, like a Ted Haggard, and turn into personality cults. Then, when something happens to the personality -- death, heresy, teh gay sex while high on meth -- members abandon the expensive buildings and trappings in droves, leaving unpaid bills and unused shopping mall type churches.

There's a change coming, though. And like I said up thread, two strains are coming into focus -- the emerging church and the neo-reformed movement. Both have greater focus on the poor and less emphasis on politics to fix perceived problems. Both are evangelical. Both are composed of Gen X pastors and Gen Y members. And both are about to start pushing the Dobsons and Falwells and Spongs into the background.

And I've seen it. I've seen these changes in a number of places. And it's not going to be what eustacescrubb wants exactly, but it's a start. At least it relies on Biblical living. At least it returns one of the central concerns of the Bible -- the poor -- to being a concern instead of being illegal immigrant welfare mothers.

And it won't be the castrated faith that so many on this thread want.

But things are changing. Everyone just doesn't know it yet. And in 5, 10, 15 years, people will be complaining about different parts of Christianity. And Fred Phelps, that guy who is as Christian as Richard Dawkins. Because evil shitheads like him never die.

Aside to koinolia: Yeah, you might want to rethink your strategy. Remember in Acts where Paul gets stoned by the angry mob? That's MetaFilter every thread, every day, regardless of topic. Unless you want a few hundred welts on that pretty little head of yours, I'd be backing away about 5 hours ago.
posted by dw at 7:30 AM on November 3, 2006


"Jesus didn’t speak at all about homosexuality. There are about 12 verses in the Bible that touch on that question. Most of them are very contextual. There are thousands of verses on poverty. I don’t hear a lot of that conversation."

-- Jim Wallis, (liberal Evangelical preacher)

It's a bit disingenuous to tar an entire movement with the same brush--evangelical Christianity has more than one view in it.

(And you know? You can be Christian and homosexual. It's not either/or.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 7:32 AM on November 3, 2006


Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)
posted by pyramid termite at 10:25 AM EST on November 3


Exactly. People who think that just because they quit their addiction they now have Christ in their heart and are holier than thou, and aren't inheriting anything in whatever afterlife there is.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:34 AM on November 3, 2006


I am shocked, alarmed, dismayed and outraged (in add'n to being severely late to this thread)! How dare a pastor -- a man of God, a spirtual leader to thousands -- be so human as to have sexual needs and respond to those needs? Would prefer to see him in a healthy, stable homo relnship to reading that he's paying for sex, though -- the needed intimacy's probably just not there.

Yeah, I've wondered about threads getting whacked. How dare the Powers that Be at MeFi be so human? Hmmm....
posted by pax digita at 7:35 AM on November 3, 2006


"That's why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you're too weak willed to do it youselves. But don't project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc. We can control our tempers and our feelings, and we don't need fairy stories of gods and demons and prophets and wizards and unicorns and whatever the hell else is in the Bible or Book of Mormon or the Urantia book or Battlefield Earth. We don't need magic when we have self control and compassion...."

Pastabagel:

You sound as though you're about to implode with righteous fury lecturing about self-control and compassion!

Jeepers, listen to some nice Yo Yo Ma or something!
posted by Jody Tresidder at 7:38 AM on November 3, 2006


People like you started this Culture War.

Wha? What are "people like me"? I don't know Ted Haggard. I've never been to his church. I'm not Republican. My sister's a lesbian. My personal position is that the state should recognize same-sex unions. So it's pretty presumptuous to just lash out at me with a "people like you."

But here's the irony, and here's what I'm trying to say: This thread is full of people crying out that this guy shouldn't judge people for their actions (that is, his anti-homosexual position), while they judge him for his actions (that is, his homosexual position {as it were}). "No, no," you say. "We're judging him for his hypocrisy." Sure. Yeah. You are. I know that. But the point is that you're taking gleeful pleasure in this guy's downfall, while you condemn him for his own lack of grace (in the Christian, "forgiven" sense of the word) towards homosexuals.

It's remarkably hypocritical to be un-grace-ful while condemning someone else for his un-grace-ful-ness. That's all I'm saying.

On preview: That where American chruches went wrong - you took love thy neighbor to mean that you should keep blacks and gays and jews and catholics out of your neighborhoods. Love thy neighbor is the only part of the Bible that any christian should take to heart, because that is the point that jesus hammered home time after time.
That's spot-on.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:43 AM on November 3, 2006


someone sent me his confession.
posted by mathowie at 7:46 AM on November 3, 2006


But things are changing. Everyone just doesn't know it yet. And in 5, 10, 15 years, people will be complaining about different parts of Christianity. And Fred Phelps, that guy who is as Christian as Richard Dawkins. Because evil shitheads like him never die.

posted by dw at 10:30 AM EST on November 3


I'm sure you're right in characterizing the trend, but I don't see the new crop getting the same political clout as the old one, because preaching on poverty and sacrifice is not something the soft middle class wants to hear. They want to hear that they are good and someone else is bad without having to work to achieve that goodness. That's why the gay thing resonates so much.

"Hey, I'm straight, I'm already better than all these gay people and I didn't have to do anything. I guess I really am blessed!"

The evangelical movement spread so successfully because it was a very nice way to replace some very ugly undercurrents in american society - all the anti-catholic bigotry, the humiliation of the south and a crushed white pride, the humiliation of vietnam and the counterculture movement, the rapid economic success of immigrants, the the shifting of mainstream media to a more confrontational, pluralistic art form from a conformist, corporate echo chamber (though it is swinging back that way), all these things made middle class whites feel disenfranchised. Add to that all the drinking, etc.

The evangelical movement stepped in to the void and lifted their spirits. It had nothing to do with helping the poor, because by and large the membership doesn't care about the poor.

To them the poor are the welfare queens and the lazy looking for handouts, and the rich are the artsy educated elites that they don't understand and can't engage intellectually. Evangelicism is "what about me?" religion.

So it's great that some people want to take their religion back. Good for them, but if they expect to have congregations even a tenth as large as this guy's, they are in for a rude awakening.
posted by Pastabagel at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


But the point is that you're taking gleeful pleasure in this guy's downfall, while you condemn him for his own lack of grace (in the Christian, "forgiven" sense of the word) towards homosexuals.

Come on, Alt F4, this isn't that hard.

This is a guy who is guilty not merely of the sin of lack of grace, but of USING HIS LEADERSHIP OF A 30-MILLION MEMBER ORGANIZATION TO STIGMATIZE GAY PEOPLE AND TO ENSHRINE THAT PREJUDICE INTO LAW.

Also, he talked to the president or his advisers every week.

If this were some guy in the next cubicle, then any schadenfreude would be bizarre. But it's not.
posted by ibmcginty at 7:47 AM on November 3, 2006


Now that I have that out of the way, which is more hateful-telling people that God has no problem with homosexual behavior therefore letting them wind up in hell, or telling them the truth in hope they repent and turn to God, to find eternal life?

This of course presupposes the existence of God. But even if you take that as given--what if he's cooler than you think, konolia? What if this actually isn't a mandate from heaven, but something Christians have picked up because it was a convenient "sin" to cluck their tongues over?

What you ask is nothing less than for gay people to sacrifice any chance at happiness in their natural lives on the off chance that their afterlife depends on it. Given that such a sacrifice is naturally unnecessary for you, yes, that's hateful.

Oh, and sadly, my grandma might just be in hell-but only the Saviour knows that for sure. Frankly I can only think of one deceased family member who I think made it to heaven. Obviously it hurts my heart a lot (Most of my extended family are not born again.)

That's the eeriest thing about fundamentalists. Why do you want to spend eternity without your family? (I mean, it might sound tempting around Thanksgiving, but it would probably get old fast.) Eternal separation from your loved ones is eternal punishment. "It hurts" is a bit of an understatement, don't you think?
posted by Epenthesis at 7:49 AM on November 3, 2006


Also, it's worth watching the interview with Haggard's temporary replacement. Set gaydars on "suspension of disbelief."
posted by ibmcginty at 7:51 AM on November 3, 2006


I strongly disagree with you there, Alt F4. People here seem to me to be judging Haggard on his hypocrisy. When has a metafilter thread about another run-of-the-mill, Republican homophobe had this many posts?

Uh..Congratulations on the lesbian sister. (Does that innoculate you from homophobia?.. I'm not sure.)
posted by applemeat at 7:52 AM on November 3, 2006


Hey Konolia, it's not the "truth" unless you can prove it.
So go ahead. Prove your "hell" exists and all the sodomites are going there.
You're a disgrace to metafilter, and a bigot.
posted by fourcheesemac


A disgrace to metafilter??? Because she believes differently than the majority of us?

I believe that konolia is a kind, well-meaning member of metafilter. She is not a troll. She is not a hypocrite. She is, of course, IMHO wrong on this subject but that does not make her the enemy. Save your self-righteous indignation for those who deserve it.

Let he who is not in denial about something cast the first stone.
posted by leftcoastbob at 7:53 AM on November 3, 2006


That's a really, really snotty-sounding comment pastabagel.

You sound as though you're about to implode with righteous fury lecturing about self-control and compassion!

How about reading his posts instead of reading into them?
posted by MegoSteve at 7:53 AM on November 3, 2006


Sin is what God says it is. Period.

Konolia, I love ya, but sometimes you trouble me. The Bible is an often wise and beautiful book that says a lot of things. I'm not her to disrespect your faith, but as your friend I urge you to read this book.

There are people who are simply homophobes, but who use religion as pseudo-justification. Then there are generally decent people who tolerate homophobia because some interpretations of their faith tell them to. I'd wager you're in the latter camp. And the book I linked shows that there's other ways of interpreting a lot of things.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 AM on November 3, 2006


ibmcginty - that's fair.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:57 AM on November 3, 2006


I also think it's very sad that some people here choose to take out their legitamite gripes with other Christians on konolia. Dirty pool and scapegoating. I disagree with her on a lot and I'm sure she disapproves of many things I do, but she's never been anything other than a lady about it.
posted by jonmc at 7:57 AM on November 3, 2006


and FWIW, konolia, I have to agree that the equation of homosexuality and pedophilia is offensive and you probably knew it would hurt and anger many of us, so I think an apology is owed for that.
posted by jonmc at 7:59 AM on November 3, 2006


me: "We're judging him for his hypocrisy." ... I know that.

applemeat: I strongly disagree with you there, Alt F4. People here seem to me to be judging Haggard on his hypocrisy.

Got it.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:02 AM on November 3, 2006


ibmcginty, thanks for the link to the interview with the acting senior pastor.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:03 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


It's remarkably hypocritical to be un-grace-ful while condemning someone else for his un-grace-ful-ness.

What are you talking about? We're condemning him for specific anti-gay remarks he made while manwhoring with a rentboy over the past three years. It has nothing to do with "his un-grace-ful-ness," whatever the fuck that is, despite your apparent need to equate us with him.
posted by mediareport at 8:04 AM on November 3, 2006


Look Alt F4 -- I'm glad you're not a dick. But you are the one throwing out words like "pathetic," "presumptuous," and "hypocritical," which, were I to apply the same exquisitely calibrated civility meter you have used on us, would certainly qualify as ungraceful.

This isn't difficult. Someone who has contributed to the growing darkness in this country has been exposed as a fraud. And some of us are happy about it.
posted by Toecutter at 8:07 AM on November 3, 2006


this guy, from everything I know, has never been an asshole.
posted by koeselitz at 5:20 PM PST on November 2


Crusading to ensure that homosexuals do not have the same rights as heterosexuals is an asshole move. Doing that while simultaneously paying for homosexual sex makes you a mega-asshole.

I'd wager that you don't know too many evangelicals, and that you only know them from what you see on TV and the Internet. Let me be the first to tell you, you usually have to talk to people before you can understand their culture.
posted by koeselitz at 5:31 PM PST on November 2


I used to work with a progressive evangelical Christian. He was nice and kind and a serious leftist. Then he ripped me off and may have committed fraud in his departure.

Now I work with a hard-right evangelical Christian. He is brusque and rude, and gets mad at people for daring to speak Spanish. He will probably rip me off, judging by what I've seen so far.

Down the street from me is an evangelical megachurch. They wouldn't hire me, but they asked for my help for their Fall Festival, and wanted my support so they could get a height exemption on their new building.

Pray tell: at what point do I stop turning the other cheek and rightfully conclude that the vast majority of evangelicals are dishonest and self-serving?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:09 AM on November 3, 2006


Jonmc, Konolia may indeed be a lady, and yes, she's much more gentle than Fred Phelps and his ilk, but why coddle anyone just because they could be worse? Why should decent manners insulate anyone from being called out on their stark ignorance?
posted by applemeat at 8:09 AM on November 3, 2006


Thanks, Alt F4, and thanks for being open to being persuaded rather than put off by my tone.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:10 AM on November 3, 2006


As in the Foley case (et al), I wonder if others will start coming forward who will claim assignations involving sexual and/or drug use with "Art" (BTW -- Arthur is Haggard's middle name).
posted by ericb at 8:13 AM on November 3, 2006


An apology from Konolia would be appropriate, jonmc. But I really don't expect one. It makes it so much easier to hate homosexuals when you can illogically connect them to vile behaviors like child molestation.

Every physical manifestation of love between same sex individuals is also manifested between opposite sex individuals. So it's kind of hard to focus on things like oral sex or anal sex. But pedophilia? Now there's something they can latch onto!
posted by NationalKato at 8:13 AM on November 3, 2006


Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3)
posted by pyramid termite at 10:25 AM EST on November 3


Also, I wasn't suggeting that people who are addicted are weak. The issue is how you get through it. Addiciton is a test. I hope that was clear. People who are addicted deserve compassion and help - they shouldn't have to deal with people trying to convert them to a religion just to get that help.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:15 AM on November 3, 2006


Why should decent manners insulate anyone from being called out on their stark ignorance?

It dosen't and if you read my comments, I do explicitly condemn what she said. But I also, from previous interactions, believe she's a decent, well-meaning person who just might listen to some of what we have to say if it's said the right way, so I try. (and sometimes, watching a good person believe bad things can be very ...disheartening and frustrating). And to give her her due, she's explicitly said that people who harass and discriminate against homosexuals are being wrong and sinful as well, so I think it's unfair to equate her with Phelps.

Plus, one thing I really dislike about the right is the gleeful way in which the pounce on their 'enemies' like a pack of jackals. I'd rather we weren't like them.
posted by jonmc at 8:16 AM on November 3, 2006


It makes it so much easier to hate homosexuals

she dosen't hate queerfolk, she's believes a lot of untrue things about them, and there is a difference. You could say the same about most of us with some group of people or another. So as that book says, let he who is without sin cast the first stone, judge not lest ye be judged, etc.

When confronted with something we disagree strongly with, we can do one of two things, get all witchburny and lynchmobby (and I'll cop to having done that a time or two myself) oir we can try to engage. konolia keeps coming back to a place where she knows she's outnumbered and that many are explicitly hostiulr to her, so that tells me that maybe she wants to be engaged.
posted by jonmc at 8:20 AM on November 3, 2006


Ted Haggard is a hatemonger, and he deserves every tiny bit of scorn we can muster and more.

I love it when a children's sunday school lesson plays itself out on the national stage.

Pray tell: at what point do I stop turning the other cheek and rightfully conclude that the vast majority of evangelicals are dishonest and self-serving?
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:09 AM CST on November 3


Today.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:21 AM on November 3, 2006


As an aside - check out this sign for the 'Yes on 43' anti-gay marriage amendment that Haggard supports.

Fox News link, click on the lower-right photo


Notice the bizarre 'subliminal' use of the word 'period' - in RED;as is the FEMALE figure.
posted by jettloe at 8:23 AM on November 3, 2006


I have to agree that the equation of homosexuality and pedophilia is offensive and you probably knew it would hurt and anger many of us, so I think an apology is owed for that.

It totally is. That's why people got angry here--don't insult us while trying to defend someone's trangressions--it makes you (and your faith) look really really bad.
posted by amberglow at 8:24 AM on November 3, 2006




jonmc: I grok what you're saying, but damn man, she's been around a while. At what point do you stop responding to her "queers are going to hell! HELL! HEEEELLLLLLLLLLLLLL!" with "oh, that's just konolia, being her little conservative self".

At some point, you have to hold someone responsible for the views they hold.

I too think she's basically a good person trapped in a hateful religion. But she's also a grown adult, well past the age of responsibility, and it is her own responsibility to look past the fairy tales and realize what her religion is wanting to impose upon the real world.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:28 AM on November 3, 2006


she dosen't hate queerfolk, she's believes a lot of untrue things about them

...and votes to keep them second-class citizens in a democracy. But it's not "hate," nosiree; it's "decent" and "well-meaning" to equate gay and lesbian citizens with pedophiles Give me a fucking break, jonmc. I've met plenty of superficially genteel fundamentalists but when push comes to shove, the mean-spiritedness underlying their professed beliefs comes shining through, and we've definitely seen that from konolia here, however much she likes to paint herself in showers of sunshine and rainbows.
posted by mediareport at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


have to agree that the equation of homosexuality and pedophilia is offensive and you probably knew it would hurt and anger many of us, so I think an apology is owed for that.


I disagree. I don't think she honestly thought people here might be gay, and she's probably heard pedophilia and homosexuality compared by some person or another, and is repeating it. Frankly, in a lot of same sex pedophile stories, the distinction is not really made clear that the crime is the sex with a minor, not homosexuality.

In the Catholic Church pedophile scandals, and in evangelical criticism of the Church, the sin they had to atone for was being gay, not being pedophiles.

So I'm willing to cut some slack.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2006


Ynoxas, I'm merely saying we can hold her responsible without being jerks about it is all.
posted by jonmc at 8:30 AM on November 3, 2006


I don't think she honestly thought people here might be gay,

pastabagel, I know konolia from here and several other web forums, where she's heard me and others describe all kinds of stuff she probably disapproves of, including homosexuality. I think it's safe to say that she's aware that there's a substantial population of queerfolk around.
posted by jonmc at 8:32 AM on November 3, 2006


What, Pastabagel? konolia's been around a long time. She knows that plenty of mefites are gay, and she knows who many of them are, as well.
posted by gaspode at 8:32 AM on November 3, 2006


Pastabagel: as soon as the Mormons re-institute polygamy and remove the "special underwear" requirement, I'm right there. Because if I have 6 wives, I don't need nothing gettin' in my way, if you know what I'm sayin'.

"And then Jesus presented himself to the Costa Ricans, and then he was tired from revealing himself all over the world, so he took a little vacation in Jamaica, where he gave a half-assed story of his coming to the Rastafarians". Oh, those Mormons.

jonmc: understood.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:33 AM on November 3, 2006


At some point, you have to hold someone responsible for the views they hold.

I too think she's basically a good person trapped in a hateful religion. But she's also a grown adult, well past the age of responsibility, and it is her own responsibility to look past the fairy tales and realize what her religion is wanting to impose upon the real world.
posted by Ynoxas at 11:28 AM EST on November 3


That gets to the narcissism of it. I really don't think she realizes that gay issues actually affect real life human beings who have their own lives and feelings. She (not to single her out, the whole religion does) does not see everyone as separate individuals, she sees everything as an extension of her self and only as a projection on her beliefs and life.

That's the attack. Ask her to imagine that she or a loved one is gay, and then imagine that person's life. But saying that she insulted you is meaningless. She doesn't see you as a seperate individual that has feelings that can be insulted.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:35 AM on November 3, 2006


"And then Jesus presented himself to the Costa Ricans, and then he was tired from revealing himself all over the world, so he took a little vacation in Jamaica, where he gave a half-assed story of his coming to the Rastafarians".

Religions of the world
posted by jonmc at 8:35 AM on November 3, 2006


pastabagel, I get what you're trying to say but you are making an awful lot of assumptions about konolia that I can tell you are untrue, which undermines your legitamite point.
posted by jonmc at 8:36 AM on November 3, 2006


I think it's safe to say that she's aware that there's a substantial population of queerfolk around.
posted by jonmc at 11:32 AM EST on November 3


Ok, I stand corrected.
posted by Pastabagel at 8:37 AM on November 3, 2006


konolia knows full well that we're gay -- but in previous discussions she hasn't compared us to criminals -- and if she did do that, we gave it to her then too. We don't hide, like Haggard or the many GOP closetcases--we speak and we respond and we have personal integrity.
posted by amberglow at 8:39 AM on November 3, 2006


I'm sure you're right in characterizing the trend, but I don't see the new crop getting the same political clout as the old one, because preaching on poverty and sacrifice is not something the soft middle class wants to hear. They want to hear that they are good and someone else is bad without having to work to achieve that goodness. That's why the gay thing resonates so much.

The problem is that it's not Biblical. Everyone is bad. Everyone sins. And faith in Christ doesn't make you better, only forgiven. (Yes, I know I'm ripping off a crap-ass bumper sticker, but hear me out.) And grace is a different animal from judgmentalness and schaudenfreude. It's actually really dangerous, because it says that crap like this is going to happen.

And I think, as the Dawkins-style "fundamentalist" atheism comes to the fore, you'll see the "soft middle class" abandon Christianity, just as they did in Germany and the UK during the 20th century. And that is actually a good thing, honestly. It means that the people who treat church as a Sunday morning Kiwanis Club meeting or a well-dressed version of a White Citizens Council will go find something else to dick around with.

The church as a political animal is an old phoenix. It's about to burn itself up, only to re-emerge in another generation again, only different. It happened before. Post-Scopes the evangelicals were silent until Billy Graham, the fundamentalists until the late 1960s.

The evangelical movement spread so successfully because it was a very nice way to replace some very ugly undercurrents in american society - all the anti-catholic bigotry, the humiliation of the south and a crushed white pride, the humiliation of vietnam and the counterculture movement, the rapid economic success of immigrants, the the shifting of mainstream media to a more confrontational, pluralistic art form from a conformist, corporate echo chamber (though it is swinging back that way), all these things made middle class whites feel disenfranchised.

You're conflating Republicans and Christians, especially when you start talking about Vietnam and the civil rights movement. The George Wallace "Segregation Forever" types started abandoning the Democratic party in the 1960s, and they eventually became the leadership of the Republican party. The evangelical movement really didn't start inserting themselves into politics until after Roe, and even then it took until the late 1970s before you actually started seeing the movement have influence.

And remember that the 1970s were the "Me Generation." Prop 13 came out of that era -- and all the tax crusading Reaganomics in its wake. Yes, the Christian Coalition joined in, but that wasn't really until the late 1980s.

And, honestly, would you consider Billy Graham to be on the same level as Falwell or Robertson? Graham is a classical Evangelical. Falwell is a neo-Fundamentalist. And I think you're conflating those two terms as well. They're not the same. Fundamentalists believe in Biblical inerrancy. Some Evangelicals believe in inerrancy, but most believe the Bible was "inspired" by God, that there are mistakes because humans wrote it, but as a whole it's a holy set of books. And there are other differences.

But the key thing to understand is that Fundamentalists start with the Five Fundamentals. Evangelicals as a whole don't ascribe to these because they don't reject higher biblical criticism.

For that matter, big-F Fundamentalism is a subset of Evangelical Christianity. It's a dominant strain right now, but it's not, in itself, Evangelical Christianity. (Little-f fundamentalism can be found in any belief system, of course.)

Evangelicism is "what about me?" religion.

No, American Christianity -- and American religion is. Look across at all the other religious movements that emerged post-1960s. It's all about self. It's all about what makes me look good, or better than someone else. The return of Gnosticism is less about "look how the church screwed up" and more about "look at the True Knowledge given me!" Ditto Celestine Prophecy. Or Da Vinci Code. And you see that in the New Age movement, or the Kabaalah. In fact, you even see it in this new Dawkinsite strain of atheism. We are perfect. It's everyone else who is delusional.

Americans are greedy and short-sighted, and despite being the most financially rich people in the history of humanity, they still want more. They still want what's coming to THEM.

But that's not what the Bible says. Any good evangelical or fundamentalist can tell you that. This American church, though, is soaking in the sins of avarice and greed and xenophobia. It has a hard time seeing and repenting this because it's so deeply enmeshed in this culture. And when it tries to force the culture into its mores, it usually discovers that its their sins that are preventing that from happening. So they force harder. Or get co-opted by politics. Or just be ham-handed about it. I mean, after all, they may be Christians, but they're Americans, too.

Did you know that the Rapture is a basically American theological concept? Think about it. In the rest of the world, Christians tend to be posttribulation or atribulation.

So it's great that some people want to take their religion back. Good for them, but if they expect to have congregations even a tenth as large as this guy's, they are in for a rude awakening.

You act like we don't know that. We do. Trust us, we do. Dobson and Falwell don't know it, but God will be calling them home soon enough. As for Haggard, well, there is sin, and there is forgiveness in God. Forgiveness from people, well, I'm sure he can hire the people who are trying to rehabilitate Tom Cruise's Q-score. He's probably got some money squirreled away somewhere.
posted by dw at 8:44 AM on November 3, 2006 [5 favorites]


Konolia keeps coming back to a place where she knows she's outnumbered and that many are explicitly hostiulr to her, so that tells me that maybe she wants to be engaged.

What part of "Sin is what God says it is. Period." suggests a willingness to be engaged, as opposed to a desire to proselytize?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 8:44 AM on November 3, 2006


armitage: that's one statement, taken out of context. Like I said, I've known her in the online sense, for roughly 5 years and she's never tried to save my soul.(or anyone else's in the various communities either, to my knowledge) and the Evangelicals are big on that, like the Catholics and Bingo. The very fact that she keeps showing tells me that on some level she wants to learn more. I sincerely hope she reads that book I linked.

Look, you've got beefs with the Christian Right. So do I. But I don't like making one user the scapegoat for all that. It seems mean, and too much like what the Fundies themselves do.
posted by jonmc at 8:50 AM on November 3, 2006


It seems mean, and too much like what the Fundies themselves do.

Calling homosexuality sinful, telling them that they'll burn in hell for it, decrying one sin (homosexuality) while engaging in another (gluttony), working to ensure homosexuals remain second-class citizens = totally super cool.

Saying that maybe all of the above maybe isn't totally super cool = mean.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:54 AM on November 3, 2006


Okay everyone, group hug. Come on. All the gays over here for a snuggle, I promise not to grope anyone. *snuggles all*
posted by Hildegarde at 8:58 AM on November 3, 2006


Calling homosexuality sinful, telling them that they'll burn in hell for it, decrying one sin (homosexuality) while engaging in another (gluttony), working to ensure homosexuals remain second-class citizens = totally super cool.

have fun playing with your strawman, optimus.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 AM on November 3, 2006


"Frankly I can only think of one deceased family member who I think made it to heaven."
Yeah, and I'm the one that's over the line? I'll say it again - evangelicals are bigoted pigs and they are beneath contempt.
They are a cancer on a decent, democratic society, and should be treated as such.
posted by 2sheets at 9:07 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


konolia knows full well that we're gay -- but in previous discussions she hasn't compared us to criminals -- and if she did do that, we gave it to her then too. We don't hide, like Haggard or the many GOP closetcases--we speak and we respond and we have personal integrity.

People like that Haggard et al are closeted because they consider themselves superior, more intelligent than their audience, while they are only a lot better at deceptions.

In their view, being homosexual or heterosexual is completely irrelevant, all they need is a target, somebody that may seem curious, alien and therefore may be described as vicious, immoral, cause of all sin, people that can be blamed ; and when they are not blamed, they are seen as inferior, so that in comparison the ones who agree they are inferior feel superior.

What they offer is a feeling of superiority, plus a feeling of being "part of a good group" , plus a feeling of not being alone. On top of this, he says this is the will of a perfect, all seing, all knowing god.

The fact that you and other gay people here speak up and don't shut up isn't seen as a problem, on the contrary it is an opportunity to find fault and point finger at your errors, so that in the eyes of the "believer" the sinner proves by his own behavior he is wicked. Believers, by virtue of having blind faith, only look at evidence that confirm their ideas and vehemently deny any other evidence.

The problem itself can't be found only in Haggard, as another important part of the problem is WHY do people believe the insanity he routinely speaks ; what imho must be challenged is NOT exclusively (or primarily) Haggard the human being, with his faults, shortcomings, hypocrisy and double talking ;rather one should challenge the moral grandstander figure, the persona they act in religios or political or everyday stances.

Haggard in this scheme isn't the target , he is just a covenient poster boy ; one shouldn't confine the criticism ONLY to the person, as he would become an easy scapegoat, a poor miserable human like millions others.

What is viral is the message and the methods, the person "just gets infected" by virtue of his/her own implicit weakness. He will probably get away with "devil made me do, now I am born again ! Rejoice, sing, do anything but remove the memory of what I did ! It was the devil ! "
posted by elpapacito at 9:18 AM on November 3, 2006


have fun playing with your strawman, optimus.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 AM PST on November 3


It's only a strawman if it's not true. All evidence seems to indicate that everything I wrote was a fair assessment.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:18 AM on November 3, 2006


...evangelicals are bigoted pigs and they are beneath contempt.
They are a cancer on a decent, democratic society, and should be treated as such.
posted by 2sheets


"A bigot is a prejudiced person who is intolerant of any opinions differing from their own."

Let's not start on "I know you are, but what am I" schoolyard name-calling, okay?
posted by leftcoastbob at 9:20 AM on November 3, 2006


They are a cancer on a decent, democratic society, and should be treated as such.

Clearly the Best Of The Web, if the web were run by same people that brought you the Rwandan genocide.
posted by dw at 9:21 AM on November 3, 2006


428 (29) posts.

Wow, just wait till you guys find out what Rumsfeld has been up to.
posted by ciderwoman at 9:22 AM on November 3, 2006


As to the note on how Konolia's proslytizing is uncalled for, or how she won't be with family in heaven—
Fundamentalist theology strikes me as a magical version of Hobbes' social covenant. Hobbes' argument about the need for a sovereign to usurp the natural rights of man is only compelling if you view violent death in the state of nature the worst thing possible. If that's your assumption, then it follows that anything done to prevent that is a worthwhile trade.
If you take the assumption that going to Hell is the worst thing possible, and by its definition is the worst thing possible, and a strong sovereign can give you laws to prevent it, then any sacrifice of rights made is acceptable.
So Konolia's acceptance that she probably won't go to heaven with her pets and family is understandable and rational if you believe in heaven and hell, and her desire to save as many people from the worst thing possible is understandable.
However, as one of them depraved nonbelievers, I find that it strains credulity to imagine that the fundamental assumption— the existence of heaven and hell— is true.
I don't mind gullability and superstition, broadly. I wore my Tigers cap all day every day of their playoffs after the loss to the Yankees, and was quite happy in telling myself that I was contributing to their success. But as a pure tactical matter, should Konolia still be reading, you have to understand that trotting out threats on the basis of a magic book is going to alienate a lot of people. If you really want to bring people to Christ, you live your life as compassionately and kindly as possible and let people come to Him through you. This "tough love" stuff is bullshit and counterproductive.
posted by klangklangston at 9:24 AM on November 3, 2006


All evidence seems to indicate that everything I wrote was a fair assessment.

yes, indeed, optimus, I think homophobia is swell. in my spare time, I host Fred Phelps Hoedowns and Pig Roasts. You don't like me, that's your prerogative, but don't go making shit up out of whole cloth just to perpetuate grudges.
posted by jonmc at 9:26 AM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist: God allowed these things because of the hardness of our hearts. Polygamy strikes me as one of those things that, like slavery or divorce, makes sense at a certain stage of cultural development, but later on comes to be seen, rightly, as inferior to other, better ways of organizing things.

bardic: Interesting. God is fallible. That's rather un-Thomist of you to admit.

Huh? From the fact that cultures go through stages of development, and that what is permitted at one point comes later to be seen as inferior and prohibited, how does it follow that God is fallible?

mr_roboto: Well, you've pretty well argued Scripture into a corner in the course of your comments here. It's hard to buy it as an authority on anything at this point.

Because Scripture is not to be read the way fundamentalists read it (and the way everyone on mefi seems to think it is to be read), it therefore can't function as an authority on anything? How does that follow? Apparently you think that unless the (screwy) fundamentalist conception of the authority of Scripture is correct, Scripture has no authority?

mr_roboto: reason can be a little more slippery than you've been led to believe. I'll give you two axioms from which to start; argue against them if you care to: pain is bad, pleasure is good.

These "axioms" are formulated in such a clumsy way as to lack sufficient cognitive content to be worth arguing either for or against. Bad in what respect? Good in what way? Do reasonable people really stand around like cavemen and grunt "bad" and "good" at each other? Next I suppose you'll be telling me that pleasure is double-plus good while pain is double-plus ungood, and expecting me to take a stand either for or against these subtle "axioms".

mr_roboto: peeping_Thomist writes "When God allowed polygamy, or slavery, or divorce, it wasn't because he 'didn't have a problem with it,' but rather because the problem he had with it was the kind of problem that can't be addressed by ramming prohibitions down people's throats." This claim seems to deny God's omnipotence. Which is fine, if that's the kind of God you've got.

Sounds like you would agree with the people who claim that God not being powerful enough to square the circle denies God's omnipotence. That strikes me as a bizarre claim.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:29 AM on November 3, 2006


Pastabagel for mayor.

Pastabagel has definitely been touched by His Noodly Appendage.

He has my vote.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:29 AM on November 3, 2006




Curiouser and curiouser:

Haggard's accuser fails lie detector

Now, lie detector tests are notoriously unreliable (not that much better than gaydar, honestly) and as the article says, the guy's under a lot of stress. Also, I think Haggard's apparent confession has to carry more weight. Still odd.
posted by EarBucket at 9:41 AM on November 3, 2006


"The test administrator, John Kresnik, said Jones' score indicated "deceptions" in his answers. However, Kresnik said he doubted the accuracy of the test he administered because of the recent stress on Jones and his inability to eat or sleep, according to KHOW producer Greg Hollenback.

Kresnik suggested that Jones be re-tested early next week after he was rested."
posted by ericb at 9:43 AM on November 3, 2006


Asst. Pastor of his church: It is important for you to know that he confessed to the overseers that some of the accusations against him are true.

tons and tons of other stuff on him at that link too, including this: ...And that is why he believes spiritual war requires a virile, worldly counterpart. "I teach a strong ideology of the use of power," he says, "of military might, as a public service." He is for preemptive war, because he believes the Bible's exhortations against sin set for us a preemptive paradigm, and he is for ferocious war, because "the Bible's bloody. There's a lot about blood." ...

He's not seriously seen as a Bible scholar, is he?
posted by amberglow at 9:43 AM on November 3, 2006


428 (29) posts.

Wow, just wait till you guys find out what Rumsfeld has been up to.
posted by ciderwoman at 12:22 PM EST on November 3


You have the mother of all MeFi religion threads. A big steaming pile into which to dump all your hatred for religion, whether germane to the topic or not, and on top of that dear sweet Konolia said homosexuality is wrong. Someone even tried to bring SUVs into it but that went nowhere. Maybe Jess was right all along.
posted by caddis at 9:43 AM on November 3, 2006


Nonetheless, the jury is still out on what are the facts regarding Harggard and the current allegations.
posted by ericb at 9:44 AM on November 3, 2006


Curiouser and curiouser:

If nothing else, it finally gave the Drudge Report a story to run.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:45 AM on November 3, 2006


It's addict mentality... Weak, pathetic losers...

your addiction to hubris and arrogance is simply stunning.
posted by quonsar at 9:46 AM on November 3, 2006


yes, indeed, optimus, I think homophobia is swell. in my spare time, I host Fred Phelps Hoedowns and Pig Roasts. You don't like me, that's your prerogative, but don't go making shit up out of whole cloth just to perpetuate grudges.
posted by jonmc at 9:26 AM PST on November 3


I wasn't talking about you, Mr. Senstive.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 9:47 AM on November 3, 2006


*group begins splitting hairs with a bevy of finely honed axes.
posted by caddis at 9:50 AM on November 3, 2006




you were quoting my comment, Captain Obvious.
posted by jonmc at 9:53 AM on November 3, 2006


Well, hold on. If God changed his mind about polygamy, because polygamy was the way of an older society and it was just too complicated to make a fuss about it at the time, maybe the same is true for homophobia.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:02 AM on November 3, 2006


...Haggard's temporary replacement. Set gaydars on "suspension of disbelief."

I think my gaydar is broken. It went from flashing red to solid pink. How do I reset it? There was no manual in the box.
posted by well_balanced at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2006


Jeff Sharlet was the author of the Harper's article about Haggard and has reported on him often.

"In Sharlet's current post, he appears to find Jones (the escort) credible and thinks his only axe to grind is anger at Haggard's duplicity.
'I just talked to Jones on the phone. He's not vindictive, nor particularly political; he's voted for Republicans and Democrats. He struggled with his decision, out of compassion for a man in the closet. He was motivated, he said, simply by being a gay man who's been around long enough to know how Ted's politics play out in the ordinary lives of people Jones cares about. That's about as good a motive for outing someone as I've ever heard. This afternoon, Ted announced that he was temporarily stepping down from his positions of authority. A press conference of national evangelical figures that planned to express support for Ted has been called off. Jones has made available recordings he says are of Ted asking him to procure meth, and an envelope in which he says Ted mailed him money.

Jones' story is not yet confirmed, but there seems to be enough for even conservative media outlets let the Colorado Springs Gazette to run with it. It's been big news at the state's major paper, The Denver Post, as well. That's because the story is bigger than Ted; statewide, he's one of the key forces behind two new anti-gay amendements. Nationwide, as president of the National Association of Evangelicals, he sets the political tone for the Christian conservative movement at an administrative level broader than the influence of better-known figures such as Jerry Falwell.'
If the story is true, the audacity of Haggard is breathtaking. When you consider the amount of pain he has inflicted on the lives of gay people and how he has twisted his faith to vent anger at gays, it is startling (although, not surprising) that he was seeing a male escort and possibly doing drugs the entire time.


As for political impact, it's unclear how this will effect the Colorado anti-gay marriage amendment. There is a separate civil union/domestic partnership bill that was opposed by Haggard--much to the chargine of the Colorado Springs gang--and the Catholic bishops."

[source]
posted by ericb at 10:08 AM on November 3, 2006




dw-

Fair point on the distinction between fundamentalits and evangelicals, but to be fair, these people themselves aren't really making the distinction.

And no, I wouldn't put Graham in with Falwell or Haggard or Robertson, but on the other hand, he's one and they are three, and their clout and cultural influence is rising and his is falling.

I appreciate that there are evangelicals who are hoest and good people, but they aren't the people being discussed here. What wea re talking about are the people who signed on during it's rise to predominance and will bail on the way down for something else. I am talking about the people who co-opted evangelicism to such a degree that outsiders assume they are representative.

But I have a bigger complaint here, with the magical thinking and the appeal to authority. Graham is still the authority to some on the matters of religion. You can call him a teacher, shepherd, whatever, but you have to acknowledge that people will do as he says simply because he said it.

Secondly, none of these leaders are forcing people to really look deep inside and find the ugliness there, own it, take responsibility for it, and deal with it head on. So what we get are people who quit drinking but watch tv 30 hrs a week, or become technofetishists, or monomaniacal in some other way. Or they find people like them to idolize. Not people they want to be, but people who seem to be as they already are.
posted by Pastabagel at 10:13 AM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist: It's nonsense to compare outlawing slavery to squaring the circle. Humans successfully fought and overthrew the institution of slavery (in many separate instances). It can be defeated with power that is decidedly non-omnipotent. Furthermore, defeating something isn't necessary to claim some sort of morality: the Abrahamic god outlawed murder, which still exists. By contrast, squaring the circle is a logical impossibility. If God is going to lay down laws for me to live by, the absolute least I expect of Him is to live up to my own (presumably flawed) moral standards. If your god can't say: regardless of what you do or think, slavery is always wrong, racism is always wrong, genocide is always wrong .... then frankly I'm just not going to listen to anything he says. I think that the only moral "out" is to claim that God is against those things, but somehow lacked the power to fight them. That's probably what mr_roboto assumed you meant.
posted by Humanzee at 10:18 AM on November 3, 2006


Off-topic, but part of the prurient swirl of hypocrisy --

ABC News: RNC Accepts Money From Army Porn Movie Distributor.
posted by ericb at 10:20 AM on November 3, 2006


If God changed his mind about polygamy, [snip] maybe the same is true for homophobia.

God seems to change his mind about a great number of things. Including if he actually has changed his mind.

The problem is no Deist knows, or can agree with another Deist, in what 80% of what god says, wants, does, or doesn't do. They make it up.

Engaging in this discussion of how we should interpret scripture about homosexuals is useless. It's ALL rationalization for whatever the individual believer wants. The scripture is contradictory gibberish.

They believe any horrible violent act or crime is all part of god's plan. And what they ALL want out of God's Plan is the big happy pay day of eternal life. And the worst want to see non believers waterboarded for eternity. This is not a healthy philosophy.
posted by tkchrist at 10:21 AM on November 3, 2006


One thing this thread has failed to do is show some evidence (quotes) where Haggard is a hate-filled homophobe. If anyone could present some of those, I might be a touch less inclined to find this thread so hate-filled itself.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:21 AM on November 3, 2006




BrodieShadeTree writes "One thing this thread has failed to do is show some evidence (quotes) where Haggard is a hate-filled homophobe."

I'm sorry, but which part of "leading the cause of making gay people second-class citizens" sounds "not hateful" to you? You might as well argue that "back of the bus" laws in the 1950s never inconvenienced anyone because they didn't prevent black people from taking the bus -- just that they couldn't sit up front.
posted by clevershark at 10:30 AM on November 3, 2006


ericb writes "ABC News: RNC Accepts Money From Army Porn Movie Distributor."

Now that is just too funny.
posted by clevershark at 10:33 AM on November 3, 2006


clevershark: is that a quote from him, because what I would like to see are quotes in context. Say, from a sermon or a newsletter. He is being painted in a very bad light by many who I think, like me, have never heard/read him before. Just asking for context or proof of his hate, not a personal brow beating.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:38 AM on November 3, 2006


He is being painted in a very bad light by many who I think, like me, have never heard/read him before. Just asking for context or proof of his hate, not a personal brow beating.

Do you know how to google? Just type this: "ted haggard sermon" into the search bar.
posted by c13 at 10:42 AM on November 3, 2006


Maybe I am being dense. This thread is nearing 500 comments and what I am saying is it needs some of his words here as evidence etc....you know, for posterity and to inform the tone of this thread.
posted by BrodieShadeTree at 10:44 AM on November 3, 2006


Well, your info does not say where you're from so forgive me if I'm wrong, but Haggard is a pretty well known guy here in America. Unfortunately. So for us to put links to his assholishness here is like providing the evidence that GWB invaded Iraq on false pretenses.
posted by c13 at 10:51 AM on November 3, 2006


Nobody else here is outraged by the fact that Haggard could only afford a 49 year old prostitute? The sacrifices our men in cloth make, having to pass over the more expensive and more delectable younger prostitutes. Haggard should be considered a model of virtue by helping save the job of a middle-aged American worker when so many others are going to the Dominican Republic for sweat shop labor.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 10:55 AM on November 3, 2006


Brodie, you're just being lazy. Do a search on The Google and you can read countless articles about him and his bigoted beliefs. Scroll through comments and look at the link to the video (from the documentary) of Haggard preaching about the evils of homosexuality. Click on the Harper's link and read the article about his mega-church. Use the force.
posted by mijuta at 11:00 AM on November 3, 2006


dances_with_sneetches writes "Nobody else here is outraged by the fact that Haggard could only afford a 49 year old prostitute?"

It must be hard to find an 18-year-old self-described "muscle stud" in Denver...
posted by clevershark at 11:03 AM on November 3, 2006


You're a disgrace to metafilter, and a bigot.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:08 AM EST on November 3


I'm late but have to stand up for Konolia. She really believes this stuff and as such, she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them. She sincerely believes gays are as sinful as pedophiles - because God says so. You are accusing her of lobbing insults when she never set out to insult anyone. Also, it's not like she only pops into religious threads to proselytize.

I for one am grateful to periodically hear her views, as they usually don't come larded with the kind of knee jerk vitriol you display.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:09 AM on November 3, 2006


He just came out and gave an interview saying he met the gay hooker at a motel for a massage, and he bought crystal meth but he threw it away.
BWAHA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!

Keep defending him and making excuses. This is awesome.
posted by 2sheets at 11:09 AM on November 3, 2006


"She really believes this stuff"
That is the worst excuse for anything. I don't think I need to go Godwin here to make my point.
posted by 2sheets at 11:11 AM on November 3, 2006


Keep defending him and making excuses. This is awesome.
posted by 2sheets at 2:09 PM EST on November 3

Um, who is defending him?
posted by Pastabagel at 11:16 AM on November 3, 2006


He just came out and gave an interview

2sheets, link?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:19 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


She sincerely believes gays are as sinful as pedophiles - because God says so.

God also says you go to hell for lying.

Even a teeny white lie.

I feel that is now my duty to inform all of you that you're hell bound sinners in teh hands of an angry God!

And I tell you not to condemn you but because I care. Damn filthy second class trash!
posted by nofundy at 11:23 AM on November 3, 2006


The local affiliate has it now.
They're airing the interview on MSNBC. It's really pathetic. He thinks he can get away with just admitting what can be proven by his accuser.
posted by 2sheets at 11:24 AM on November 3, 2006


CunningLinguist writes "She really believes this stuff and as such, she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them. She sincerely believes gays are as sinful as pedophiles - because God says so."

Ahem.
posted by clevershark at 11:25 AM on November 3, 2006


She really believes this stuff and as such, she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them.

If that were all she did, that would be fine with me. But she and the rest of her ilk are perfectly ok with having the state enforce her beliefs on me, and that is not fine with me.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:27 AM on November 3, 2006


Humanzee: If your god can't say: regardless of what you do or think, slavery is always wrong, racism is always wrong, genocide is always wrong .... then frankly I'm just not going to listen to anything he says.

My God invites you to live in a way that will allow you to see for yourself what things are right and wrong, and furthermore he offers to give you every resource you require in order to become the person you already know you should be but are not. Why should the fact that he refuses to flatter you like a politician issuing position papers designed to fit the opinions of the electorate keep you from listening to what he has to say?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:31 AM on November 3, 2006


Pastabagel,

Hold the feeble revisionism, will you?

First you sneer: "It's addict mentality. They know they shouldn't do it, but they can't stop themselves, like the drunk who can't say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations... I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc. "T

Then you say smoothly: "Also, I wasn't suggeting that people who are addicted are weak. The issue is how you get through it. Addiciton is a test. I hope that was clear."

Then a third bite at the subject, and we're back to the superior vibe of the first statement, with "So what we get are people who quit drinking but watch tv 30 hrs a week, or become technofetishists, or monomaniacal in some other way...."

If I hadn't been called out on calling you out - I'd shut up.

But as a cradle atheist (big deal) who is fascinated by this story, I think you're starting to exemplify why some damaged people are driven to a mega-churches and its seductive brand of garbage.

Why is the "issue" "HOW you get through" addiction?

As I said before, your sentiments sound like James Frey-style BS.
posted by Jody Tresidder at 11:31 AM on November 3, 2006


"She really believes this stuff"
That is the worst excuse for anything.


It's an excuse against the accusation that she is actively trying to insult and hurt people.
posted by CunningLinguist at 11:33 AM on November 3, 2006


Evangelist Admits Meth, Massage, No Sex

Evangelist Ted Haggard admitted Friday that he bought methamphetamine and received a massage from a gay prostitute who claims he was paid for drug-fueled trysts by the outspoken gay marriage opponent.
posted by wfrgms at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2006


Here is a screen grab of this escort's perfectly innocent looking page advertising massage services.
posted by 2sheets at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2006


Thanks for the link, 2sheets.... that is quite an interview.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:36 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ahem.
posted by clevershark at 11:25 AM PST on November 3


Yes?
posted by dw at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2006


So did anyone catch Kuo on CNN just now, desperately trying to change the subject?

"History will not remember what happens on Tuesday, but history will remember Jesus Christ."

"It's not about Ted, it's about Jesus!"

Sad. So very sad.
posted by darukaru at 11:39 AM on November 3, 2006


My God invites you to live in a way that will allow you to see for yourself what things are right and wrong

Okeydokey.

I think Scripture and Tradition (not to mention reason itself!) clearly teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong.

So how exactly have your God, Scripture, Tradition and reason clearly taught you to see for yourself that sexual activity between two men in a committed lifelong relationship is wrong? I'm particularly curious what process of reason leads to this conclusion.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:43 AM on November 3, 2006


Uh, that's like Clinton saying he didn't inhale...yeah right, and Haggard didn't come, suuure.

History will not remember what happens on Tuesday, but history will remember Jesus Christ.

Ah the Jesus Card ! It is used to derail the believer into thinking it is an attack on Jesus or something.
posted by elpapacito at 11:45 AM on November 3, 2006


CunningLinguist writes "I'm late but have to stand up for Konolia. She really believes this stuff and as such, she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them."

I really believe that Jews have horns and ritually drink the blood of Christian babies. I really believe it. I'm trying to do good by warning Jews that if they don't accept Jesus as their personal savior they'll go to Hell and be eternally tormented. I really believe this.

I'm trying to do good by warning non-Jews that The Protocols of the Elders of Zion is the Jews' true plan for world domination. I really believe this. I'm trying to warn good upright Aryan women that the Eternal Jew will try to rape them to impregnate them with his evil seed. I really believe this.

I hope you'll stand up for me too. At least, you'll oppose hanging me for my views, ja?

Yours Sincerely,
Julius Streicher
posted by orthogonality at 11:48 AM on November 3, 2006


Ok, how's this?: CunningLinguist, you are an idiot. .. But see, I'm not trying to insult you--understand? I actually believe it.
posted by applemeat at 11:48 AM on November 3, 2006


I really believe that Jews have horns and ritually drink the blood of Christian babies. I really believe it.

I for one am grateful to periodically hear your views.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 11:55 AM on November 3, 2006


I'm late but have to stand up for Konolia. She really believes this stuff and as such, she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them.

Her behavior is inconsistent with that theory, as is the behavior of right-ish evangelical fundamentalists generally.

If she were acting out of some driven desire to stop people sinning, she would be in all of the fat threads railing against gluttony and in all of the should-I-leave-my-spouse askmes railing against divorce and railing against hard-heartedness and uncharitability and a host of other things that are at least as sinful as gay sex, and chiming in on a lot of other askmes urging people towards forgiveness even at their own expense.

But she only seems to actually chime in when it's about the gay sex.

Her behavior is consistent with someone who just doesn't like gays very much, or thinks gay sex is icky. Her behavior is not consistent with someone motivated by trying to keep people out of Hell by getting them to stop sinning.

Beyond which, even if her behavior were somehow consistent with a generalized concern of keeping people out of Hell, her actions and words are inconsistent with Christian belief. Trying to get people out of Hell by telling them to stop sinning is a fool's game, and guaranteed to fail if you buy into the Bible story. The whole fucking point of that little incident with God being killed on the cross was that no matter how much you tell people to stop sinning, they won't. If she were really concerned about getting people out of Hell, she would be behaving in a way that was actually successful in getting people to come to Christ. Her blustering is anything but.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 12:01 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


So did anyone catch Kuo on CNN just now, desperately trying to change the subject?

"History will not remember what happens on Tuesday, but history will remember Jesus Christ."

"It's not about Ted, it's about Jesus!"

Sad. So very sad.


I think it's tough for Kuo -- thrown to the side by Dobson and Haggard, then forgotten when teh gay sex becomes more salacious than his book.

I haven't read it, but I've heard it's a very interesting read if you're an evangelical.
posted by dw at 12:03 PM on November 3, 2006


My God invites you to live in a way that will allow you to see for yourself what things are right and wrong, and furthermore he offers to give you every resource you require in order to become the person you already know you should be but are not.

Do you believe that atheists can live a moral life? How about people who are never informed that God exists?

Why should the fact that he refuses to flatter you like a politician issuing position papers designed to fit the opinions of the electorate keep you from listening to what he has to say?

You skirted the question - why does He change his mind? Why were polygamy and slavery ok a few thousand years ago, but not now? You stated that there might be "better ways," but I submit to you that slavery is always evil, and was always evil, and always will be evil. Your God sounds like quite the moral relativist to me.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:10 PM on November 3, 2006


This has been a thoroughly depressing and disheartening read. Thanks a lot.

*heads to liquor cabinet*
posted by jonmc at 12:11 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh come on Ortho and applemeat, you seems to be missing cunnilinguist point entirely

she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them

Now if cunni is correct, she (or anybody else, she being konolia is relevant only here) is just after offering and proposing salvation from hell a.k.a. from a live of pain and suffering.

Is she delusional ? Possibly ! Still I differentiate between trying to do something with "good" means (proposing, proselitizing, discussing) and trying to do the same thing with "bad" means ( imposing, legislating, bashing, ostracizing and the all fucking set) or doing both ways at the same time, an indication of more problems.

The problem , at least with me, starts when somebody plays The God Card, saying that what they say is endorsed by an all seeing, all knowing, omnipotent being and that they are only bringing His message. What the hell ? An omnipotent being ? Uh uh yeah sure. Exposing kids to that is awful.

Yet some say that while _really believing_ there could be a God, possibily they are delusional and may only need some help, many of them don't mean to harm, even if their way of helping doesn't really help either ; I think they are used as hostages or exploited by these who _don't believe_ there is a God, proclaim they believe, hook these people and abuse them.

To keep a long tought short, Konolia et al may actually _believe_ they are doing "good" and may merit some attention, maybe even an attempt to offer them a more reasoned viewpoint from which they could use their "will to do good" ; others are just playing bashing politics, hiding behind sanctity and playing head games, and they deserve, imho, no compassion.
posted by elpapacito at 12:19 PM on November 3, 2006


*heads to liquor cabinet*

Can I offer you a massage and a hit of meth?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 12:22 PM on November 3, 2006


elpapacito, in honor of that last paragraph, here's a a virtual beer: (_)>
posted by jonmc at 12:23 PM on November 3, 2006


"*heads to liquor cabinet*"

Prov. 31

6 Give strong drink unto him that is ready to perish, and wine unto those that be of heavy hearts.

7 Let him drink, and forget his poverty, and remember his misery no more.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 12:26 PM on November 3, 2006


Haggard told reporters that he bought the methamphetamine for himself. He says, "I was tempted, but I never used it." Haggard told reporters he bought the meth because he was curious -- but that he then threw it away.

He also says he never had sex with Jones. He says he received a massage from him after being referred to him by a Denver hotel.

posted by EarBucket at 12:28 PM on November 3, 2006


Argh. Missed wfrgms's link above, sorry.
posted by EarBucket at 12:29 PM on November 3, 2006


I could care less whether Konolia is "trying to do good" or not. The fact is that her "trying to do good" = equating homosexuals with pedophiles and claiming homosexuals are going to hell. Therefore her "trying to do good" is really friggin' offensive and self-righteous. She deserves to be called out on it. And anyone who tries to defend her by effectively stating "But this is her religious belief! Respect what she believes, it comes from a place of kindness!" deserves to be called out for their lame, jack-ass reasoning.
posted by mijuta at 12:30 PM on November 3, 2006


Can I offer you a massage and a hit of meth?

Only if you grow some boobs and put on a Wonder Woman costume.
posted by jonmc at 12:30 PM on November 3, 2006


I have to weigh in one more time because this is just so rich. So we're supposed to believe that Haggard bought methamphetamine from a muscle bound "masseuse" AND got a "massage" from said masseuse and the two of them did NOT have crank-fueled gay whore monkey sex?
posted by Toecutter at 12:30 PM on November 3, 2006


mijuta: use your head. do you honestly think that's what we're doing?
posted by jonmc at 12:36 PM on November 3, 2006


she is perfectly consistent and in fact, as she says, actually trying to do good by warning homosexuals of the fate she believes is in store for them


um...road to hell...good intentions...something like that
posted by SBMike at 12:36 PM on November 3, 2006


This guy totally set off my methdar.
posted by Nahum Tate at 12:44 PM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


No wonder he admits the meth part. He's caught on voice mails trying to buy drugs, not sex.
posted by CunningLinguist at 12:44 PM on November 3, 2006


Why yes, of course, Toecutter.

He is, after all, one of God's chosen men and would never do sinful things.

On a more serious note, we've now gotten a confession that he did know his employee and did meet with him in a hotel.

Let's see what the hotel management has to say about the "I met him through the hotel's recommendation [cough] of where to find a good meth connection that provides gay sex" angle.

If the hotel concurs with that off-the-cuff story then we know where Rush Limbaugh with his kiddie porn and Viagra are going next vacation!
posted by nofundy at 12:46 PM on November 3, 2006


Armitage_Shanks: So how exactly have your God, Scripture, Tradition and reason clearly taught you to see for yourself that sexual activity between two men in a committed lifelong relationship is wrong? I'm particularly curious what process of reason leads to this conclusion.

There's not time or space to say much in depth here, but I can at least try to clear up some confusions.

Many people are disgusted at the thought of same-sex sexual activity, and derive their negative views about such activity from this disgust. That doesn't seem to me a reliable way of reasoning about moral questions, and in any case I don't share the disgust, so it's not relevant to me.

I'm amazed by the reality of embodiment. I am troubled when I hear people talking as though we are disembodied rational wills who "own" our bodies and can use our bodies to achieve whatever ends we happen to have (so long as we respect the rights of other disembodied rational wills to use their bodies to pursue whatever ends they happen to have). This way of thinking about embodiment denies important truths that we know about ourselves from experience. I'm not sure how to articulate all those truths, but I can gesture toward them by saying that I think the body is something to be looked up to, something that has an integrity or wholeness that needs to be treated with respect.

I think adequately respecting our embodiment requires taking seriously the link between sex and babies. That link is not something arbitrary or accidental. Human persons unite sexually, and this union tends to generate new human persons. There is something sacred about sex, since there is something sacred about the human persons who are generated through sex.

These kinds of reflections lead me to reject contraception (which seek to deliver sex without babies) as well as many of the new reproductive technologies (which seek to deliver babies without sex). They also lead me to reject sexual activity by those who have not appropriately prepared themselves to receive the gift of new human life.

Furthermore, in my experience arguments in favor of severing the link between sex and babies invariably assume a dualistic anthropology and a consequentialist moral methodology. I think there are rationally compelling reasons to reject both assumptions.

So, because I think traditional sexual morality is reasonable in its own right, and because the arguments of those who reject traditional sexual morality rely on assumptions that are unreasonable, I think there's good reason to continue to affirm traditional sexual morality.

This is all too compressed, of course, but there's a freaking huge literature on this stuff if you're interested in it. You might want to look at Karol Wojtyla's _Theology of the Body_, or at a popularized summary of Wojtyla's thought.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:47 PM on November 3, 2006


I am troubled when I hear people talking as though we are disembodied rational wills who "own" our bodies and can use our bodies to achieve whatever ends we happen to have (so long as we respect the rights of other disembodied rational wills to use their bodies to pursue whatever ends they happen to have). This way of thinking about embodiment denies important truths that we know about ourselves from experience.

Why does this trouble you? What truths from experience lead you to believe that the body should not be subject to the will? Surely the examples of the martyred saints, many of whom died for their beliefs, is a counterexample - I'm sure their bodies were telling them to live, to do anything to stay alive, whatever the cost. Isn't the body the source of sin - our irrational desires that incline us to do what we think is wrong?

I think adequately respecting our embodiment requires taking seriously the link between sex and babies. That link is not something arbitrary or accidental. Human persons unite sexually, and this union tends to generate new human persons. There is something sacred about sex, since there is something sacred about the human persons who are generated through sex.

Surely, you can't mean that any sexual act must result in procreation? What if you're barren or impotent? Is the rhythm method immoral? If not, why aren't other methods of contraception moral as well? Doesn't sex, as an expression of love within a relationship, have a positive value regardless of whether it results in a new human life?

They also lead me to reject sexual activity by those who have not appropriately prepared themselves to receive the gift of new human life.

If the gift of new human life cannot result from a specific instance of sexual congress, why should that activity be rejected on its face?
posted by me & my monkey at 1:00 PM on November 3, 2006


so, he got massages once a month for years, or meth once a month for years? or what?

peeping, there's something sacred about all sex between 2 consenting adults--not just procreative sex.
Your Darwinism shows when you restrict it to that, you know. ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:00 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh, I guess all the martyred saints died for their beliefs, as opposed to many of them. Sorry.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:01 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist:

That's an impressive post, even though it appears you've got the naturalistic fallacy lying in ambush there. Since you're apparently a big fan of both Humanae Vitae and Aquinas, I'm guessing you're a Catholic. So I'm (really truly honestly) curious as to why you don't refer to Karol Wojtyla as Pope John Paul II.
posted by Nahum Tate at 1:03 PM on November 3, 2006


I think adequately respecting our embodiment requires taking seriously the link between sex and babies. That link is not something arbitrary or accidental. Human persons unite sexually, and this union tends to generate new human persons. There is something sacred about sex, since there is something sacred about the human persons who are generated through sex.

These kinds of reflections lead me to reject contraception (which seek to deliver sex without babies) as well as many of the new reproductive technologies (which seek to deliver babies without sex). They also lead me to reject sexual activity by those who have not appropriately prepared themselves to receive the gift of new human life.


What's the problem with sex without babies? I know that in the Jewish tradition at least, this idea does not exist. Sex is for making babies as well as for pleasure. In fact, even if a man's wife is barren or too old to conceive, he still has an obligation to pleasure his wife. A sexless relationship is grounds for a divorce for either partner. It's also interesting to note that many rabbis oppose condoms but not the birth control pill. The reasoning is not that it creates an incentive to have sex without conceiving, but that it takes away from the pleasure of sex.

This idea is just borne of an anti-pleasure attitude that has little to do with morality (IMO). Convincing people that pleasure is bad lets you keep them conflicted, desperate, and confused, and makes them ripe to believe lots of other things. And because people tend to like pleasure, this line of thought neatly separates people into righteous self-deniers who can pat themselves on the back for constantly resisting temptation (even if they do so for no good reason), and heathen self-indulgers.

You're anti-contraception attitude is really just an anti-fun attitude.
posted by SBMike at 1:04 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


I have to weigh in one more time because this is just so rich. So we're supposed to believe that Haggard bought methamphetamine from a muscle bound "masseuse" AND got a "massage" from said masseuse and the two of them did NOT have crank-fueled gay whore monkey sex?

Meth use and massage are incompatible activities. Meth and sex, however, go together like happy (though eventually through regular use psychotic) bunnies and sunshine. I fail to see how anyone on crank would lie still for a nice relaxing massage; it doesn't compute.
posted by jokeefe at 1:05 PM on November 3, 2006


Meth use and massage are incompatible activities. Meth and sex, however, go together like happy (though eventually through regular use psychotic) bunnies and sunshine. I fail to see how anyone on crank would lie still for a nice relaxing massage; it doesn't compute.


Bunnies!! Sunshine!!! yaay

Dude claims he threw the meth away before using it though.
posted by giantfist at 1:08 PM on November 3, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: Do you believe that atheists can live a moral life? How about people who are never informed that God exists?

Everyone knows in some way that God exists, even those who say that God does not exist. This implanted knowledge, however, can be very confused and mixed with errors, such as happens when people say that their leaders are gods, or say that human actions can be fully accounted for by referring to our physical constitution.

me_&_my_monkey: why does He change his mind? Why were polygamy and slavery ok a few thousand years ago, but not now?

They weren't "OK". Given the primitive state of cultural development at the time, they were the best that people could be brought to do.

me_&_my_monkey: Your God sounds like quite the moral relativist to me.

And anyone who isn't something of a moral relativist isn't paying attention.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:08 PM on November 3, 2006


I fail to see how anyone on crank would lie still for a nice relaxing massage; it doesn't compute.

It's not just a regular massage, it's a prostate massage, if you know what I mean.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:10 PM on November 3, 2006


Peeping has stated before that he uses the rhythm method, so he's not as strict an adherent to his beliefs as he'd have you believe.
posted by maxwelton at 1:11 PM on November 3, 2006


Dude claims he threw the meth away before using it though.

Is there anyone here who actually takes this man's word at face value any longer? I mean, sheesh. (Btw, anyone who believes this statement, I have some swampland in Florida an awesome holiday timeshare that I can sell you, cheap. Email's in profile.
posted by jokeefe at 1:12 PM on November 3, 2006


Nahum_Tate: you've got the naturalistic fallacy lying in ambush there

I am underwhelmed by the naturalistic fallacy. Or, to put it another way, I reflecting on the supposed naturalistic fallacy reveals that the phrase "morally ought," as used by modern moralists, has no cognitive content. For the classic statement of this claim, which I accept, see Anscombe's "Modern Moral Philosophy".
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:16 PM on November 3, 2006


what SBMike said about pleasure and us Jews : >
(but many rabbis are sexist too, so it's about the man's pleasure more than anything else)


Dude claims he threw the meth away before using it though.
He's lying---his own words prove it.
"Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more."
posted by amberglow at 1:21 PM on November 3, 2006


and meanwhile, in FL: ...Questions about the sexual orientation of Republican gubernatorial candidate Charlie Crist sparked a rare show of temper by Gov. Jeb Bush today, who called a television reporter a "horse's ass" for cutting off a query from another journalist.
Rumors about Crist being gay have swirled around the campaign for months, but he has constantly denied them.
Outside the Mi Viejo San Juan restaurant, a mob of TV reporters cornered Bush and Crist, peppering them with questions about a gay rights group's call earlier in the day for Crist to come out of the closet. ...

posted by amberglow at 1:25 PM on November 3, 2006


I have never ever EVER heard of someone who doesn't use drugs buying them and then throwing them away. And a grown man? More then once? Ugh. Can we get the real truth, Ted? Please?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 1:26 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


and FWIW, konolia, I have to agree that the equation of homosexuality and pedophilia is offensive and you probably knew it would hurt and anger many of us, so I think an apology is owed for that.

Well, I certainly wasn't saying that homosexuals were pedophiles. But both types of sexual behavior, along with adultery and fornication and rape are condemned by God. Sex is not just sex, and not just procreation, and not just fun on a nice Sunday afternoon. Marriage between a man and a woman is a picture of the relationship between Christ and His Church. Even the Bible admits that the comparison is a mystery but nevertheless God is pretty serious about the seriousness of sexual sin.

If I were to hate people because they were sinners I would have to hate just about everyone. We are all helpless, all unable to be holy in ourselves, all in need of a Saviour to justify us before a heavenly court (the doctrine of justification is a judicial doctrine and justification is a legal term.) When we are born again, legally our sins are forgiven and we are restored to fellowship with God. Sanctification is the step by step process whereby we grow in Christ, acting more and more like Him and less and less like sinners. That part is definitely a process.

I DO NOT WANT ANYONE READING THIS THREAD TO GO TO HELL. If that gets brickbats thrown my way, well, I'll simply have to duck or say ouch or both.
posted by konolia at 1:28 PM on November 3, 2006


They weren't "OK". Given the primitive state of cultural development at the time, they were the best that people could be brought to do.

I'm sorry, but that's a load of horseshit. How primitive was the state of cultural development one hundred and fifty years ago? Your God was content to allow slavery to exist for thousands of years, because it was "the best that people could be brought to do." Anything can be excused this way, I guess.

And anyone who isn't something of a moral relativist isn't paying attention.

That's a glib response, but not very helpful. If God can't even provide moral guidance to His believers, what good is He? God, as you describe Him, sounds ... evil.
posted by me & my monkey at 1:32 PM on November 3, 2006


You are a class act konolia.
posted by caddis at 1:36 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist: Boaz, we have the natural law imprinted on our hearts

Oh really, you who would demand that we non-religious types must learn more about religious bunk before we call it the bunk we know it is . . . .

So, maybe you could be bothered to learn more about anatomy and physiology, and then you can show us where "natural law" is "imprinted" on the heart muscle of your average hominid. Funny, I've seen a few hearts in my time, and they had no writing on them at all.

Atheists owe nothing to believers. Believers owe the rest of us a simple demonstration of the proof of the existence of their "God." hey need to explain how followers of "natural law" are better people, or homing in on a truth the rest of us have missed. They need to explain how "natural law" (read: evolution) commands us not to do the few specific things they (or their particular cult or sect) thinks are "unnatural." They need to explain why literally dozens of animal species seem to survive and thrive despite a proclivity for the occasional same-sex coupling. For that matter, what kind of natural law explains the proclivity of many species to kill other members of their species, not only without consequence, but with positive benefit for reproductive fitness?

There is nothing "natural" about "law" as you use the term. "Law" is, in the sense you mean, a human cultural abstraction. Laws made by men can be changed by men (and women), and routinely are. A hundred years ago it was against "natural law" in the US for a white person to have sex with a black person (apparently -- call me, Harold -- this is still true in God's own country, Tennessee). A few thousand years ago, it was against "natural law" to eat shellfish in one peculiar and rather dry part of the world. Very, very few "laws" of man have any demonstrable "natural" force - that is, they would have to be true everywhere and at all times for all members of the species, regardless of what humans might think or say. The best generalization from cross-cultural evidence is that all human societies have some proscriptions against incest (and there may well be a natural basis in reproductive fitness for this) and against "murder" (but not against killing as such, viz. the daily headlines from Iraq, where we have killed tens of thousands for reasons we justify as "natural" and righteous). Right wing nonsense to the contrary, "marriage between a man and a woman" is by no means the universal basis of human society, any more than believing in a bearded white savior who hung on a cross and rose from the dead. Procreative sex between men and women, which does not rule out non-procreative sex between men and women or men and men or women and women or men and dogs -- now that's a universal basis for human society, until women can reproduce without male assistance. Everything else is just an option package.

The laws of nature are real "laws" in a totally different sense than you mean by "natural law" -- in the sense that they are incontrovertible and always true and in the sense that while they are certainly the subject of human abstraction (as in this post), are true anyway and at all times, whether abstracted and made conscious subjects of reflexive apprehension or not. Those laws, according to the best science, boil down to these: eat (and, usually, kill) to survive, to reproduce, feed your babies and keep them alive until they can reproduce, and then you die. How we get there, within any particular species or biological epoch, is a matter of some quite impressive variation, even within the historical and ethnographic record of human societies. Sometimes we kill to fulfill our "natural" legal obligations, even though man-made laws often proscribe killing. Even when they do, we justify killing on "natural" grounds - the appeal to sentiments of hate and revenge and justice that undergirds war and the death penalty, for example.

So maybe you could be bothered, Thomist (how fitting an archaism), to learn something about nature before you spout off about "natural" this and "natural" that and accuse others of being insufficiently acquainted with an ancient work of fiction from another society entirely and its relevance to a few milion idiots who fail to participate fully in our modern, science-based society, and think "God said" being gay, or anything else, for that matter, was "unnatural" or "against the law."

Atheism is the only reasonable "religion" for a modern person, given how much we now know about both religion and nature. We just do not yet live in a reasonable age . .. yet. Fine, decry and deny reason in defense of your beliefs. But then don't claim rational bases for those beliefs. There are none that apply universally, despite the rhetoric from the Christian right. None. You may get laid, eat better, and reproduce more efficiently because you joined up with the church that is such a powerful social institution in our current piddling little moment of evolutionary history. Heck, Pastor Art Ted sure did fine for himself -- money, a wife, five kids . . . the very emblem of reproductive fitness. And yet he still had to get his slice of man meat on the side. It didn't seem to affect his reproductive fitness one whit. Were it not for the views of his followers, it would be no big deal. He could go on providing for his children until they are old enough to reproduce, and die having fulfilled his (natural) "legal" obligations as a human being.

If even good Christian (gays and bisexuals, which apparently includes most Republicans) can't resist the occasional gay tryst, how unnatural is it, really? So, one more time for the woolgatherers, it's the hypocrisy, stupid. That's why this is delightful news, as it is every single time a Christian (or any other moral fundamentalist) is revealed to be a lying scumbag using "religion" to build political power and wealth. Hypocrites exposed are always entertaining, and enlightening. This isn't schadenfreude; it's justice. It's only "natural," after all, to take pleasure in seeing justice administered to a bastard. God would, if you believe his characterization in the old testament and the Koran, perhaps even approve of the public shaming Haggard will now endure. Not so long ago, his Christian followers might even have stoned him to death, but of course that wouldn't be murder. It woud be "God's justice," pursuant to "natural law."

If you really want to go all biblical, let's get into the story of the Publican and the Pharisee. The moral of that parable, as I recall, is that he who prays the loudest prays with the least sincerity and should be shunned in favor of showing grace to those who admit to being imperfect and don't parade their own moral righteousness in the public square. Ted "Art" Haggard is a classic example of the type Christ explicitly condemned -- a wealthy, righteous hypocrite meddling in politics in the name of religion and proclaiming his own virtue -- as are many of his followers. And to compound it, he denies being a sinner and accuses (or lets his followers accuse) others of immorality for daring to call him out as a hypocrite. The cock (hardeeharhar) hasn't even crowed three times and already it's "who me, a sinner?"

That's why you know anyone who rails loudly against "teh gayz" is gay, or at least confused and ashamed about his/her own sexuality, whether or not s/he acts on it or gets caught doing so. Moralism is not morality. Morality, even if you do buy that shit, has no basis in nature, only in social convention. Nature doesn't care what you do as long as you send your genes hurtling into the next generation.

When the religious nuts learn some basic science, which deals in proven and observable facts and provable or at least likely to be provable assertions (we call them hypotheses or arguments or -- gasp -- "theories") based on those facts, then I'll take it seriously when you tell me to learn more about your religion and its silly books, which refer to few if any provable or observable facts and build entire theories on the basis of disprovable assumptions disguised as assertions, like the assertion that there is a "natural law" "inscribed" on the human heart. You state that as a premise, as if it were obviously true, when it is nothing but a tired anatomical metaphor. After all, if the law is written on our hearts, what need do we have for books at all, including the bible? How do I read this "inscription" on my heart?

As for the righteous Christians, the idea that a bunch of fat, rich, SUV-driving, suburban holy rollers whose greatest moral mission is to kill teh gayz and who preach the gospel of "prosperity" are the Chosen Ones and the rest of us are damned to hell is funny as shit, on its face. I'd love to drop the lot of them into the middle of Darfur for a week and then ask them where God is this week.

[end rant/]
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:36 PM on November 3, 2006 [19 favorites]


Calling other people sinners for not following the rules of her religion is bigotry. Bigotry, not faith, is the reason I called Konolia a "disgrace."
posted by fourcheesemac at 1:37 PM on November 3, 2006


i was raised in a baptist church. people like konolia showed me what a complete and utter bunch of bullshit it all was, so thanks for that i guess.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 1:43 PM on November 3, 2006


I certainly wasn't saying that homosexuals were pedophiles. But both types of sexual behavior, along with adultery and fornication and rape are condemned by God.

OK, I'll grant that you believe this. But do you see that there is a substantive difference between homosexual behavior of consenting adults, and other sexual "sins" like adultery, pederasty and rape? That the latter can be identified as bad behavior because of the obvious harm they cause to their victims? Can you see why people might take offense to your comparison?

Do you feel that gay people should be treated as second-class citizens because they don't believe what you do? Do you think that your beliefs should have the weight of law behind them? Don't people need to be able to choose between right and wrong?
posted by me & my monkey at 1:44 PM on November 3, 2006


Konolia: "Well, I certainly wasn't saying that homosexuals were pedophiles. But both types of sexual behavior, along with adultery and fornication and rape are condemned by God."

Oh, please. You equated homosexuality with pedophilia. Fundies always pair the two, as if they had anything to do with each other. It's a cliched ploy fundies have been trotting out for years. You can try to act like an innocent little child of Christ, and others can pat you on the back and say you're a class act because of it, but every time you demean homosexuals by equating them with child molesters, expect to get called out on it by people who are sick and tired of your twisted belief system that seeks to restrict the basic civil rights of other law-abiding citizens.
posted by mijuta at 1:47 PM on November 3, 2006


We are all helpless, all unable to be holy in ourselves, all in need of a Saviour to justify us before a heavenly court...

But aren't all sins equally bad in the eyes of God? If everyone's a sinner, and this sanctification process can only start after a sinner has been born again, does it make any sense to try to reform the sinner before they've accepted Jesus? Why harp on the homosexuality thing, or any other particular sin? Focus on winning people over to this kind, loving Savior of yours -- if there's anything to this Christianity stuff, the rest will follow.
posted by gigawhat? at 1:48 PM on November 3, 2006


Peeping, are you seriously suggesting that a woman who has had uterine cancer should never have sex again? Or, that women who for other physical reasons are unable to concieve should never have sex ever? Do you really believe this?
posted by Hildegarde at 1:50 PM on November 3, 2006


severing the link between sex and babies invariably assume a dualistic anthropology and a consequentialist moral methodology.


Conseque... wha?

That seals the deal for me.

Anybody still disputing the movement to take us back to the 15th century and eradicate birth control (and non-reproductive sex for pleasure)... there is your proof.

And they use biiiig words.
posted by tkchrist at 1:54 PM on November 3, 2006


Of course, none of this changes the fact that "Ted Haggard" would be an awesome fuckin' name for a punk rock band.
posted by gigawhat? at 2:06 PM on November 3, 2006


If anyone's still reading this and wants some really sweet-ass schadenfreude, watch him "debate" Richard Dawkins on youtube.
posted by condour75 at 2:11 PM on November 3, 2006


Just once, just once, I'd like to see a discussion about Christianity that doesn't end up with people tossing Biblical quotes around.

Appealing to authority really isn't persuasive, no matter who you think that authority is or what they're saying.
posted by aramaic at 2:15 PM on November 3, 2006


As for the righteous Christians, the idea that a bunch of fat, rich, SUV-driving, suburban holy rollers whose greatest moral mission is to kill teh gayz

fourcheesemac, do you have to condemn all Christians as gay-hating? Many of the more liberal churches couldn't care less what your sexual orientation is, and as I mentioned above, the Episcopalians even have an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

(I like your choice of parable, though. Very fitting.)
posted by Upton O'Good at 2:16 PM on November 3, 2006


... Wait, our President holds a weekly call with a married man who allegedly uses amphetamines and has sex with a gay male hooker?
That made me think -- how would Matt Drudge be handling this situation if it were two Democrats involved?



Every time i see Haggard's face on TV i think of that parody of the Hardy Boys on South Park the other week in the 9/11 conspiracy ep. ("I'm getting a HUUUUUuge clue. Me too--I'm getting an even HUUUUUUger clue." )
posted by amberglow at 2:18 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia writes: When we are born again, legally our sins are forgiven

So this is why you need the Jews for Jesus?

Note to self: There's one user who can smear a large number of mefites as being pedophiles and who won't get a tempo-ban. Interesting.

From this day forward, I want to make it clear that I am sincere in my secular and libertarian beliefs. If I ever offend you, that's because you just don't realize how sincere I am. It's your fault, douche-nozzle, for being so "insensitive" to my beliefs. According to caddis, this makes me the epitome of "classiness."

And I've never done meth, so someone explains something to me. I've heard it makes you feel very sexy and horny and like an unstoppable sex machine. I've also heard, in this thread, that it makes your pecker shrivel up to the size of a walnut. So what gives?
posted by bardic at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2006


Well, I certainly wasn't saying that homosexuals were pedophiles. But both types of sexual behavior, along with adultery and fornication and rape are condemned by God.

Konolia.

Dear.

As a brother in Christ:

PLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEZE STOP MAKING AN ASS OF YOURSELF.

OK, see, in saying what you're saying, you are implying that homosexual == pedophile. And that's not so.

Yes, they are both sins. But all sins are equal in the eyes of God. And as Paul says, "all sin and fall short of the glory of God."

But you know what else is a sin? Being priggish, combative, and creating discord and strife. And, you know, that currently has you rooming with Dan Savage, Hitler, and Ann Coulter in a two bedroom Malebolge apartment. Overlooking the beautiful flaming tar pits. For all eternity.

In the name of Jesus, repent. Apologize for making the implication that those who like teh gay sex like to have it with teh young boys. Because, honestly, you're pissing me off and making people like PastaBagel think me == Fred Phelps. Or Dobson. Or something.

You might want to turn to John 17 and give that a refresher read, too. Because, you know, it's a lot easier to share the love of Jesus when you're actually loving people and your foot isn't firmly wedged in your gullet.

Please. Stop running your mouth and start loving people.
posted by dw at 2:22 PM on November 3, 2006 [4 favorites]


the Episcopalians even have an openly gay bishop in New Hampshire.

That get's death threats nearly every day from these supposed Christians.
posted by tkchrist at 2:24 PM on November 3, 2006


You know (she says, doging the erudite arguments about religion and morality going on) the meth thing makes that YouTube clip linked earlier, and the way Haggard seems a raving nutter, totally make sense. I thought he looked wired...
posted by jokeefe at 2:26 PM on November 3, 2006


Sounds like we need a CHRISTAIN CAGE MATCH!
posted by tkchrist at 2:26 PM on November 3, 2006


Just once, just once, I'd like to see a discussion about Christianity that doesn't end up with people tossing Biblical quotes around.

I'd like to see a discussion of genetics that doesn't end up with people talking about anything Mendel researched.

Or a discussion of Newtonian physics that doesn't end up mention Principa.

Sorry, but if you want a discussion of Christianity, you have to deal with the Bible.

This thread is going to keep marching towards 600, isn't it?
posted by dw at 2:30 PM on November 3, 2006


"Sounds like we need a CHRISTAIN CAGE MATCH!"

Two men enter, one man leaves, one man raptured.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 2:31 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


dw: OK, see, in saying what you're saying, you are implying that homosexual == pedophile.

Bullshit. She implied nothing of the sort.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:33 PM on November 3, 2006


Yea, sorry dw; you're making that jump all on your own.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:35 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Pastabagel: It's addict mentality. They know they shouldn't do it, but they can't stop themselves, like the drunk who can't say no to the next drink. Weak, pathetic losers, just like their congregations - soft, comfy, middle-class weakness. Unable to sacrifice, unable to deny themselves even when it's in their best interest, unable to resist their appetites.

That's why you evangelicals need such a literal rules-based religion, because you're too weak willed to do it youselves. But don't project that onto the rest of the country. I can control my appetites, most people can. We can control our drinking, our eating, etc.

...We don't need magic when we have self control and compassion.

That where American chruches went wrong - you took love thy neighbor to mean that you should keep blacks and gays and jews and catholics out of your neighborhoods. Love thy neighbor is the only part of the Bible that any christian should take to heart, because that is the point that jesus hammered home time after time.

Love everyone, your enemy, the weak, the diseased, the whores, everybody. Love them because you are no better. That's the NT for you. Not rules about who can touch a penis or under what conditions women are allow3ed to have sex. If you think the Bible is a guide to daily living, I'm sorry, you are in all scientific sense of the word, a moron. Your IQ is low. You missed the point.


I'm sorry I pasted almost this entire rant, but I'm just so dumbfounded by it that I don't want to edit out any good parts.

I just have never heard "compassion" and "love" preached with such utter contempt and self-righteousness before, except by those you claim to be "morons."

It astounds me that someone's views, which on the surface appear to match my own, can be so repugnant to me in the essentials.

Love everyone, your enemy, the weak, the diseased, the whores, everybody. Love them because you are no better.

Except for the born-again fundamentalists, because

If you had to accept Christ to stop your drinking, drugging, gambling, wife-beating, whatever, then you will always be morally and spiritually inferior to those of us who managed never to have those problems in the first place, or quit on our on resolve.

...because...

Addiction is a test.

Oh please. OH PLEASE. OH PLEASE. This is as much an unsubstantiated load of crap as "Sin is whatever God says it is." Apparently, addiction is whatever Pastabagel says it is. I say this respectfully, but your statements, despite being well-intentioned and purporting to promote compassion, are among the most uncompassionate and insulting I have ever read.

Footnote: I am agnostic, I've been passionately pro-gay rights ever since I saw Pedro Zamora marry his partner on the Real World: San Francisco when I was nine, and I feel a guilty mix of pity and schadenfreude for our friend Pastor Haggard.
posted by granted at 2:37 PM on November 3, 2006


And I've never done meth, so someone explains something to me. I've heard it makes you feel very sexy and horny and like an unstoppable sex machine. I've also heard, in this thread, that it makes your pecker shrivel up to the size of a walnut. So what gives?

It makes you feel sexy and horny and like an unstoppable sex machine, and also allows you to have erections that last for hours without, in the end, impairing your ability to orgasm.

...so I've heard.
posted by jokeefe at 2:38 PM on November 3, 2006


fourcheesemac: your last comment is a perfect crystallization of why I find most evolved modern leftist secular humanist or whatever the fuck you want to call yourself as tiresome and scary as most fundies. Congratulations and welcome to my pay-no-mind list.
posted by jonmc at 2:39 PM on November 3, 2006


Same back atcha, jon. Kiss my ass. I'm proud to be ignored by people who say things like "secular humanist." Yecch.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:43 PM on November 3, 2006


Bullshit. She implied nothing of the sort.

How about this?

Replace "homosexuality" with pedophilia and see how that reads.

You don't put those two words together in this way on here, because it's going to get a visceral explosion on MeFi.

You'd be better off putting a gas can next to bonfire and not expecting anything to happen. Or thinking that a dinner party featuring Ann Coulter and Michael Moore is going to be a quiet, polite affair.
posted by dw at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2006


fourcheesemac: your last comment is a perfect crystallization of why I find most evolved modern leftist secular humanist or whatever the fuck you want to call yourself as tiresome and scary as most fundies. Congratulations and welcome to my pay-no-mind list.

Just what did he say that's so scary? Tiresome maybe, but only because the continual persistence of religious folks decrying reason makes us secular humanists repeat the same truths ad nauseum.
posted by SBMike at 2:45 PM on November 3, 2006


Appealing to authority really isn't persuasive, no matter who you think that authority is or what they're saying.

While this is the heart of atheistic belief, you'll have a hard time getting theists to agree.
posted by Llama-Lime at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2006


Because I am not a "secular humanist." I'm a scientific atheist.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:47 PM on November 3, 2006


Which Circle of Hell is this?
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:51 PM on November 3, 2006


I DO NOT WANT ANYONE READING THIS THREAD TO GO TO HELL.

I suppose if one is in the "once born again, forever born again" camp, well ... I'm perfectly fine! Nice! (Not to trivialise at all, konolia; I can appreciate and empathise with your concern. However, I don't think you're going to get anywhere with your message here.)

Now, enough with the konolia bashing. No one's going to change anyone else's opinions on the matter. Yes, I find some of her statements offensive. But it's detracting away from the Ted Haggard bashing.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2006


Welcome to my list, fourcheesemac.

MY GROCERY LIST!
posted by gigawhat? at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


Which Circle of Hell is this?

It's the circle of hell where theological arguments are going on instead of evil gloating over the arrival of justice at the doorstep of a hatemonger. Call me shallow, but I'm here for the latter. At least today. Tomorrow I'll think about all this original sin and fall of man stuff.
posted by jokeefe at 2:53 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Hildegaard: Peeping, are you seriously suggesting that a woman who has had uterine cancer should never have sex again? Or, that women who for other physical reasons are unable to concieve should never have sex ever? Do you really believe this?

Of course I don't believe any of those things.

People often do not conceive when they perform a procreative kind of act, either because some physical defect prevents conception, or because it isn't the fertile time of the cycle, or because the woman has gone through menopause, or whatever. Such actions do not break the link between sex and babies. This is different from not conceiving where what you are doing is not a procreative kind of act, as happens when you are with a member of the same sex, or by yourself, and so on.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:54 PM on November 3, 2006


I'm proud to be ignored by people who say things like "secular humanist."

How old are you, 12? I'm sure in your mind I'm some holy roller abortion clinic bomber, even though I haven't been to church in roughly 20 years, am pro-choice, pro-gay rights etc. and loathe most fundy doctrine worse than you do.

This sentence is what I found offensive and scary:

Atheism is the only reasonable "religion" for a modern person,

who died and left you boss?

As for the righteous Christians, the idea that a bunch of fat, rich, SUV-driving, suburban holy rollers


my experiences with self-proclaimed born-agains has been exactly the opposite. most of the ones I've known have been people who were in desperate straits due to addiction, abuse or other crises, and while we've gotten into it pretty heavily over various issues most of them have been nothing but kind to me, so I'm disinclined to dismiss such a huge swath of people so blithely. Your professed view is no less simplistic than theirs.
posted by jonmc at 2:56 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


"Secular humanists" (so 1958) can be annoying, no doubt. But they aren't trying to push an agenda that will literally make it illegal for a minority population of the US to marry, to teach in schools, to make sure their spouse is taken care of if they die in an accident, that a generation of gay teens isn't terrorized, etc.

As others have mentioned, when a majority of Evangelicals actually spend as much time worried about the poor as they do about cock-sucking (Jesus, not surprisingly, had a lot to say about the former, no so much about the latter), I'll take them seriously. Until then, they are a cult trying to empower themselves through trampling on the rights of others.

But anyways, after 500 comments, this thread has yet to be Godwined. Let me remedy that--

Ya know, Nazi's have opinions. Jews have opinons. But the Jews are so darn whiny and shrill when we march them to the showers. No class at all.
posted by bardic at 2:58 PM on November 3, 2006


and I might add, no matter how drastically my lifestyle and beliefs have differed from hers, she's never told me 'kiss her ass.' that's why I will always defend her, at least somewhat.
posted by jonmc at 2:59 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh god, not the peeping_thomist sex and contraception thread all over again. No god, no.
posted by agregoli at 3:00 PM on November 3, 2006


"Secular humanists" (so 1958) can be annoying, no doubt. But they aren't trying to push an agenda that will literally make it illegal for a minority population of the US to marry, to teach in schools, to make sure their spouse is taken care of if they die in an accident, that a generation of gay teens isn't terrorized, etc.

bardic, I know. I was just looking for a quick catch-all to describe my frustration, which is why I added the 'whatever the fuck you call' at the end.
posted by jonmc at 3:01 PM on November 3, 2006


This is different from not conceiving where what you are doing is not a procreative kind of act

So you consider all sexual acts other than those that end with a husband ejaculating into a wife's vagina to be immoral, is that correct?
posted by Armitage Shanks at 3:02 PM on November 3, 2006


fourcheesemac: So, maybe you could be bothered to learn more about anatomy and physiology, and then you can show us where "natural law" is "imprinted" on the heart muscle of your average hominid. Funny, I've seen a few hearts in my time, and they had no writing on them at all.

Since this is addressed to me I suppose I should have a response. Here goes: I hope writing that was cathartic for you, because I can't imagine what other goals you might have had in mind in writing it.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2006


bardic writes "But anyways, after 500 comments, this thread has yet to be Godwined. "

Well, I did implicitly compare defending Konolia to defending Julius Streicher.
posted by orthogonality at 3:10 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist is also known as tedious_Catholic.
posted by bardic at 3:11 PM on November 3, 2006


also, if you're an athiest, what do you care if somebody says you're going to hell? you don't believe in it anyway.

Look, konolia has read me describing my own drug use, drunkeness, fornication, bisexuality and a host of other things that probably have me booked on the express train to hell, but she's still never been anything but friendly to me. y'know why? because I've been decent to her.

I was just describing this thread to my wife (an avowed athiest) and she described what I'm trying to do as a kind of cognitive therapy for konolia, and attacking somebody (and believe me, I understand where the urge to rip into her comes from and I've taken other righty MeFites to task for it in emails before) but I don't think it does her or us any good.
posted by jonmc at 3:12 PM on November 3, 2006


Just as in life, I come in second yet again.

/weeps just like baby Jesus
posted by bardic at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2006


FUNDAMENTALIST ATHEISM
posted by quonsar at 3:14 PM on November 3, 2006




your link is broken, maryh
posted by SBMike at 3:18 PM on November 3, 2006


People often do not conceive when they perform a procreative kind of act, either because some physical defect prevents conception, or because it isn't the fertile time of the cycle, or because the woman has gone through menopause, or whatever. Such actions do not break the link between sex and babies.

If you specifically choose to have sex when it isn't the fertile time of the cycle, because you don't want babies, haven't you intentionally broken the link between sex and babies? How about if you pull out before ejaculation?

It seems to me that you're putting more weight on this link between sex and babies than it can safely handle. If God didn't want us to enjoy sex, why didn't He simply make it so that we don't, or that we only have sex during estrus like the vast majority of the animal kingdom? A reasonable person who believed in God might well assume that God made sex pleasurable not just to encourage procreation, but to strengthen the bond between two people. This reasonable person might also assume that, if gay people are attracted to members of the same sex, God made them that way. What kind of cruel fiend would do that to someone, but prohibit him from acting upon it when it harms no one? That kind of God would make me welcome the abyss.

This is different from not conceiving where what you are doing is not a procreative kind of act, as happens when you are with a member of the same sex, or by yourself, and so on.

Do you actually believe that masturbation is a sin? If so, is it a serious enough sin that we should worry about it? Most of the people I know do much worse things. If it's not important, why is gay sex so important? What makes that so much more serious?
posted by me & my monkey at 3:20 PM on November 3, 2006


Armitage, I think Peeping_Thom's views on "sacred sex" are best illustrated via The Wicker Man or something.

As best as I can make out, his theory goes like this:

cock + vagina = sacred
cock + cock = unsacred
vagina + vagina = unsacred
cock + own hand = unsacred
vagina + own hand/dolphin vibrator = unsacred
posted by mijuta at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2006


agregoli, it's not my fault that people ask me questions that require talking about contraception!

Armitage_Shanks: So you consider all sexual acts other than those that end with a husband ejaculating into a wife's vagina to be immoral, is that correct?

Almost. In ethics a lot depends on what people are trying to do, in addition to what they actually do. If a husband and wife start having sex (which can include pretty much anything two people might ever want to do--there's nothing to be ashamed of between a husband and wife) and the husband comes before they get around to penetration, or while they are doing something other than penetration, or whatever, they haven't necessarily done anything wrong. But if they deliberately avoid completing the act in the normal way, yeah, that's wrong.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:21 PM on November 3, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: Do you actually believe that masturbation is a sin? If so, is it a serious enough sin that we should worry about it? Most of the people I know do much worse things. If it's not important, why is gay sex so important? What makes that so much more serious?

Yes.

Yes.

Gay sex isn't so important.

It's not more serious.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:23 PM on November 3, 2006


why didn't He simply make it so that we don't...

No shit. What if we were like cats?

"The male cat's penis has spines which point backwards. Upon withdrawal of the penis, the spines rake the walls of the female's vagina. The female needs this stimulation for ovulation to begin."

So, it's not like there's not a natural system in place for making sex hurt like a motherfucker.

Oh, but I'm sure it has something to do with free will, resisting temptation, or some other bullshit about we hoo-mons are better than the animals... the tasty, tasty animals.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:27 PM on November 3, 2006


I care for two reasons. On a political level, these people want to enact legislation that tells me how and with whom I can live my life. On a visceral level, it's fucking rude. When a 5 year-old runs around peeing on people, it's funny because he doesn't know better. When an adult does it by screaming about damnation of all who don't believe in their skygod of choice, it's pathetic and annoying. If I happen to tell that person that they're a butt-head, I somehow become the "shrill, militant atheist" or whatever, but the babbling theist is held up for being so preciously "authentic" and "sincere" for holding up such strong, misguided beliefs.

Add to this the obvious hypocrisy of so many Christians. And throw in a pinch of ignorance -- I've read the Bible, and I'm prepared to discuss it on a rational basis. Many Christians I've met, and especially the shrieking-harpy ones, don't actually know much about their principle texts. That's just stupid.

I guess that's four reasons. Oh well.
posted by bardic at 3:28 PM on November 3, 2006


Masturbation is a sin. Perfect indictment of the whole lot of you Jesus freaks. Show me one human who has never committed this "sin." Show me one mammal, in fact. What was that about "natural law?" Who's really "unnatural" here?
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:29 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh, now I get it! Peeping_Thom is married to Kornholia!
posted by mijuta at 3:31 PM on November 3, 2006


*whines* Look, I came here for scandal, dammit. So gimme.

I was just describing this thread to my wife

Aw, I just got a warm glow reading that, Jon. (Did it take a while to get used to saying "my wife"?)
posted by jokeefe at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh, nice bigots are always the best ones.
posted by fourcheesemac at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2006


But if they deliberately avoid completing the act in the normal way, yeah, that's wrong.

Oh. My.

Completing the "act?" "Normal" way? Wrong?

You're starting sound more and more like Norman Bates with every post. Stop posting now. Go get therapy.

Seriously.
posted by tkchrist at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2006


^^^

And don't tell me that this is Argument, and Scandal is down the hall and to the left, or something.
posted by jokeefe at 3:33 PM on November 3, 2006


But if they deliberately avoid completing the act in the normal way, yeah, that's wrong.

Wow, you know, I would have thought god would have better things to think about. I mean, shit, you know, the god damned UNIVERSE and all. Nope, seems he's concerned with something probably sub-microscropic in size by comparsion to him and how they poke their appendages into each other. What a thoughtful god. Good thing our planet has so few problems that the lord can get down to these brass tacks!
posted by smallerdemon at 3:34 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


But if they deliberately avoid completing the act in the normal way, yeah, that's wrong.

So, again - rhythm method, right or wrong?

And how does masturbation rate against, say, cutting someone off in traffic? Or putting the milk jug back in the fridge even though it's practically empty? Or judging others?

Since masturbation is not criminalized, should homosexual behavior be decriminalized? If it should be decriminalized, why shouldn't the state recognize homosexual unions?

If a husband and wife start having sex (which can include pretty much anything two people might ever want to do--there's nothing to be ashamed of between a husband and wife) and the husband comes before they get around to penetration, or while they are doing something other than penetration, or whatever, they haven't necessarily done anything wrong. But if they deliberately avoid completing the act in the normal way, yeah, that's wrong.

Yikes, that's complicated. Having to think that through would probably make me lose my erection. Apparently, God wants us all to be lawyers. Good thing I'm a gay heathen.

So, let's say I'm being fellated by my wife, and it feels so good that I let myself come. I've deliberately avoided intercourse, although I originally planned for some missionary action. Right or wrong?
posted by me & my monkey at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2006


I can't give my nice Christian wife a facial?

DAMN YOU THEOLOGY, DAMN YOU!
posted by bardic at 3:35 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Sorry, but if you want a discussion of Christianity, you have to deal with the Bible.

Why does Christianity rear its ugly head whenever there is a discussion of justice and what is right and what is wrong?
posted by stirfry at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2006


(Because my sperms are totally Christian. They told me so.)
posted by bardic at 3:36 PM on November 3, 2006


can't give my nice Christian wife a facial?

Sure you can. How flexible is she?
posted by tkchrist at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2006


On a political level, these people want to enact legislation that tells me how and with whom I can live my life. On a visceral level, it's fucking rude.

Understood. But when confronted with konolia, I can do one of two things: treat as a representation of an amorphous group or I can treat as the individual she is, and use the fact that we generally like eachother as a wedge to maybe get her to think a bit. Futile, maybe, but I'd rather do that than give up.

Masturbation is a sin. Perfect indictment of the whole lot of you Jesus freaks. Show me one human who has never committed this "sin."

show any human being anywhere who hasn't done something that by any moral standard, secular or religious, that wouldn't be considered wrong or sinful or evil or whatever word you want to use. I'm not religious, but I definitely understand what drives people to be 'born again.'
posted by jonmc at 3:37 PM on November 3, 2006


bardic writes "I can't give my nice Christian wife a facial?"

Emphatially No.

ericb writes "Women must not wear gold or pearls (1 Timothy 2:9)."
posted by orthogonality at 3:38 PM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


Show me one human who has never committed this "sin." Show me one mammal, in fact.

dolphins? ... porcupines? ... giraffes? ... cattle? ... horses?

there are certain mechanics involved that aren't exactly convenient for all mammals here ...
posted by pyramid termite at 3:39 PM on November 3, 2006


Since masturbation is not criminalized...

Oh... don't be so sure of that.
posted by smallerdemon at 3:40 PM on November 3, 2006


Fixed link. (Iknow, disappointing lack of Borat connection.)
posted by maryh at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2006


I'm not religious, but I definitely understand what drives people to be 'born again.'

Yep. Fear, stupidity, shame, guilt, and greed.

You know. The "higher" emotions.
posted by tkchrist at 3:41 PM on November 3, 2006


I DO NOT WANT ANYONE READING THIS THREAD TO GO TO HELL.

Thanks anyway, but if it's good enough for Gandhi, it's good enough for me.
posted by homunculus at 3:42 PM on November 3, 2006


Let's make 666 comments for this thread. Then go spill some seed.
posted by SBMike at 3:42 PM on November 3, 2006




Oh, but I'm sure it has something to do with free will, resisting temptation, or some other bullshit about we hoo-mons are better than the animals...

I would be ok with that, actually. But the thing is, people like konolia are trying to prevent me from exercising my free will, through the enforcement power of the state. She has never answered that, although I've asked it repeatedly, here and in other threads. But she seems perfectly ok conflating God's law with man's law.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:43 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh ... well ... you beat me to it. Good work!
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 3:43 PM on November 3, 2006


dolphins?

Masturbation, maybe not (I don't hang with dolphins, so I'm not), but you did see that Ricky Gervais video, right?

"He [points with pointer] is fucking him [points with pointer] in the head."
posted by smallerdemon at 3:44 PM on November 3, 2006


I recommended that konolia read Stealing Jesus. I recommend that everyone else read Donna Minkowitz's Ferocious Romance, her treatise on her undercover adventures in the religious right. She quotes Al Capp aproppiately, "We has met the enemy, and they is us!"

(if it makes you all feel any better, as I type this I'm guzzling BUd and listenming to Jethro Tull's "Teacher")
posted by jonmc at 3:45 PM on November 3, 2006


Yep. Fear, stupidity, shame, guilt, and greed.

Is guilt always such a bad thing, tkchrist? sometimes guilt is deserved.
posted by jonmc at 3:46 PM on November 3, 2006


dolphins? ... porcupines?

Where there's a will, there's a way.

I stopped Googling after porcupine, for reasons I won't bother going into. Consider yourself warned.
posted by me & my monkey at 3:50 PM on November 3, 2006


"Emphatially No."

lol

Can I give her a phatial, then?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 3:57 PM on November 3, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: So, again - rhythm method, right or wrong?

Fine in itself, though in the particular case it depends on whether you have legitimate reasons for avoiding pregnancy.

me_&_my_monkey: And how does masturbation rate against, say, cutting someone off in traffic?

More serious, though cutting someone off in traffic is more serious than most people probably think. (It's dangerous, for one thing.)

Or putting the milk jug back in the fridge even though it's practically empty?

More serious.

Or judging others?

Depends on how serious the judging is, but they're both serious.

me_&_my_monkey: Since masturbation is not criminalized, should homosexual behavior be decriminalized?

Modern nation-states aren't in a position to offer their citizens moral education, so I'd go for decriminalization.

If it should be decriminalized, why shouldn't the state recognize homosexual unions?

The state is interested in marriage because of children. I can't get over the sex/children link.

me_&_my_monkey: Yikes, that's complicated.

No it's not. Maybe it sounds complicated, but it's not.

me_&_my_monkey: So, let's say I'm being fellated by my wife, and it feels so good that I let myself come. I've deliberately avoided intercourse, although I originally planned for some missionary action. Right or wrong?

Wrong if it was deliberate, but was it? When two young people are first married, I could see this sort of thing happening by accident a few times before the couple figures out how their bodies work together, and it wouldn't be deliberate, or not very deliberate. But if you're talking about a mature married couple who know exactly what they're doing, it would be more deliberate and would be more wrong. A lot depends on what they were trying to do.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:58 PM on November 3, 2006


people like konolia are trying to prevent me from exercising my free will, through the enforcement power of the state

POOR BABY! IS WIDDLE POOKIE MOO-MOO FEELING OPPRESSED? PEOPLE HAVE TO APPROVE WHAT YOU DO OR THEY ARE OPPRESSING WIDDLE OLD YOU? AAAAWWWWWW! CAN'T ACHEIVE A BAC OF 4.0 AND OPERATE A ROAD GRADER ON THE FREEWAY? THE STATE IS OPPRESSING YOU! CAN'T DOUBLE PARK IN THE HOSPITAL ZONE? MEDICAL FASCISTS ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE! ARE PEOPLE TSK-TSKING YOUR AVID WEENIE-GOBBLING? HOW DARE THEY?!?!?!?!
posted by quonsar at 4:04 PM on November 3, 2006



me_&_my_monkey: So, again - rhythm method, right or wrong?

Fine in itself, though in the particular case it depends on whether you have legitimate reasons for avoiding pregnancy.


Please, list some of these legitimate reasons for avoiding pregnancy that are consistent with your version of morality. What are they?
posted by SBMike at 4:05 PM on November 3, 2006


I think Thomist's opinion can be summed up in song...

Every sperm is sacred.
Every sperm is great.
If a sperm is wasted,
God gets quite irate.


(Look, a Monty Python quote HAD to happen here, I'm just the first to admit it. And to do it. And I'm proud of it. AND I'D DO IT AGAIN! MUAHA! HAHAHAHA!)
posted by smallerdemon at 4:06 PM on November 3, 2006


"I can't get over the sex/children link."

Yeah, Foley either.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:07 PM on November 3, 2006


Metafilter: Tsk-tsking your avid weenie-gobbling since sometime in 1999.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 4:08 PM on November 3, 2006


Because marriage improves peoples' sex lives.

Now I'm thinking you must be a priest peeping_Thomist, because you've obviously never been married.
posted by bardic at 4:09 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "These kinds of reflections lead me to reject contraception (which seek to deliver sex without babies) as well as many of the new reproductive technologies (which seek to deliver babies without sex). They also lead me to reject sexual activity by those who have not appropriately prepared themselves to receive the gift of new human life."

Do you think that people who know they are sterile should refrain from having sex?
posted by clevershark at 4:11 PM on November 3, 2006


SBMike, there's no way to talk about it in the abstract; reasons are always in particular contexts. The basic idea is that you don't use natural family planning to avoid pregnancy for trivial reasons, but figuring out what reasons are trivial and which ones aren't can only be done by looking at all the relevant circumstances. What would be a trivial reason for one couple in one situation could be a legitimate reason for another couple in another situation.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:12 PM on November 3, 2006


Remember when quonsar used to be funny?
posted by bardic at 4:12 PM on November 3, 2006 [5 favorites]


peeping_thomist, it would appear that you hold the actual physical destination and properties of the sperm to a higher level of respect than the interaction of husband and wife in the context of marriage

isn't this a form of idolatry? ... what is the difference between your insistence that all sperm must somehow have a vagina as destination (fertile or not) and a 9th century bc'ians conviction that the fields must be quickened by having people fuck in the fields on may day? ... aren't you in fact putting the function and the purpose of male genitalia and what they produce above what either of the two people want or have?

last of all, what's your biblical justification for this?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:13 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


bardic, I've been married longer than most people posting to mefi have been alive.

clevershark, no, I don't think that. Even if the sterility was the result of deliberate mutilation, as with a vasectomy, there need not be anything wrong with married people having sex even though they are sterile.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:16 PM on November 3, 2006


What the fuck is wrong with quonsar? Or is he always like that?
posted by c13 at 4:18 PM on November 3, 2006


Is guilt always such a bad thing, tkchrist? sometimes guilt is deserved.

Bad? Good? Irrelevant. We ALL feel guilt and shame and fear. They simply ARE.

That most people are driven through those emotions to conclude an invisible sky god will bless them with his magic sprinkles and make all that pain go away is what is absurd.

For it is in the failing to meet the invisible gods imposible contradictory metrics (as relayed by his other followers) that entrenches these feelings. Thus cerrating the environment that rendered the believer emotionally crippled in the first place. Round and round we go.

Then you add stupid to the mix. And you get... this thread.
posted by tkchrist at 4:19 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


pyramid_termite, it only seems that way because I haven't had the chance to launch into a paean to married love.

aren't you in fact putting the function and the purpose of male genitalia and what they produce above what either of the two people want or have?

No. I'm simply saying that there are contraints on how we can legitimately use our sexual powers, not that people don't matter as much as their genitals.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:20 PM on November 3, 2006


Fine in itself, though in the particular case it depends on whether you have legitimate reasons for avoiding pregnancy.

What would be a legitimate reason, that could possibly conform to what you stated earlier?

More serious, though cutting someone off in traffic is more serious than most people probably think. (It's dangerous, for one thing.)

Let me get this straight. An act that, at worst, harms no one but the actor, and doesn't even appear to do that, is more serious than another act that could cause the death of an innocent person. I can't even begin to imagine what kind of moral calculus you're following, there, and I don't want to.

The state is interested in marriage because of children. I can't get over the sex/children link.

I submit to you that this is a problem that exists in your head, rather than in the world outside your head. Obviously, we allow barren and impotent people to get married. We allow people to remain married after menopause. It seems to me that there are other reasons for the state and society to encourage marriage beyond procreation.

Wrong if it was deliberate, but was it?

In the hypothetical, I clearly stated that I originally intended to have intercourse, but changed course, so to speak. Presumably, then, that's wrong, wrong, wrong. So let me pose a simpler hypothetical. If I have sex with my wife, whether I have intercourse or not, but I have no desire to procreate as a result of that specific sex act, is that right or wrong?

It seems to me that for many Christians, sex is all about fertility, and nothing about love. What a bleak, ugly, animalistic way to go through life. I would appreciate not having that inflicted on the rest of us, thank you very much.
posted by me & my monkey at 4:21 PM on November 3, 2006


good post on this on yglesias' blog.
posted by delmoi at 4:21 PM on November 3, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: I have no desire to procreate as a result of that specific sex act, is that right or wrong?

WTF? I see my wife's shapely ass and want to fuck her and _do_ fuck her, to our mutual satisfaction, without a thought to whether or not it will result in pregnancy. Hooray for us! I'm not saying people need to be constantly thinking about or hoping for babies!
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:25 PM on November 3, 2006


I'm simply saying that there are contraints

but many of the constraints you seem to support aren't universally recognized among christians, are they?

again, what is your biblical justification for your view that married sex has to involve "normal" intercourse?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:26 PM on November 3, 2006


Thomist, quick, man going down on his wife? OK or no?

No babies, but no sperm wasted.
posted by SBMike at 4:26 PM on November 3, 2006


"On a political level, these people want to enact legislation that tells me how and with whom I can live my life."

And that is all I really give a shit about. You can crawl on your knees and handle snakes in your little church 7 days a week for all I care, just allow those of us who have evolved into rational beings enjoy living in the 21st century.
Seriously, that's all it takes to make us grumpy atheistic naysayers go away and leave you alone, because we really don't care what you do, who you marry, or what you do with your genitals.
And by the way, pastor Ted could totally win me over by stepping up and being a man and admitting who he is, and showing his flock that that doesn't make him evil, or of the devil. Just a man. That I can respect. But look at that ridiculous smile on his face in that clip where he digs himself in deeper over the meth use. I see no contrition, no accountability.
posted by 2sheets at 4:36 PM on November 3, 2006


I'm not saying people need to be constantly thinking about or hoping for babies!

Oh. Well that's a relief! Whew.

"Norman! Norman, come up here and luffa my stretch marks! Your not down there thinking about wringing your weasile are you? Whipping your winkle! Are you? NORMAN! Answer your mother"

"(SIGH) No mother... golly, somebody has to run the motel, Mother."
posted by tkchrist at 4:38 PM on November 3, 2006


I feel sad for all these people that have such huge issues with sex that they feel the need to repress it, both in themselves and in others.

So much nonsense about masturbation, and sex outside of marriage, and gay sex, and blah-de-blah-de-blah.

So misguided. I think that it is likely that they are all going to end up in Hell. I certainly hope that they do not, but unless they get right with their own lives, and stop addressing the motes in others' eyes while tripping over their planks, I imagine they're going to be punished.

The Sacred and the Profane are relative, and in some of our cases, indistinguishable. I'm as holy as you please. I'm also a sinner, whatever that means. YMMV.

She really believes this stuff and as such...

You know who else really believed stuff?




oh, you know what's coming.










Hitler. yes, Hitler.
posted by exlotuseater at 5:02 PM on November 3, 2006


knettergek, allemaal.


(is this comment 666 already ?)
posted by Substrata at 5:05 PM on November 3, 2006


jonmc: "She quotes Al Capp aproppiately, "We has met the enemy, and they is us!""

Actually, that's not appropriate at all. Because that quote is from Pogo.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 5:09 PM on November 3, 2006


me_and_my_monkey: people like konolia are trying to prevent me from exercising my free will, through the enforcement power of the state

Quonsar: POOR BABY! IS WIDDLE POOKIE MOO-MOO FEELING OPPRESSED? PEOPLE HAVE TO APPROVE WHAT YOU DO OR THEY ARE OPPRESSING WIDDLE OLD YOU? AAAAWWWWWW! CAN'T ACHEIVE A BAC OF 4.0 AND OPERATE A ROAD GRADER ON THE FREEWAY? THE STATE IS OPPRESSING YOU! CAN'T DOUBLE PARK IN THE HOSPITAL ZONE? MEDICAL FASCISTS ARE RUINING YOUR LIFE! ARE PEOPLE TSK-TSKING YOUR AVID WEENIE-GOBBLING? HOW DARE THEY?!?!?!?!

Wow Quonsar, nice try at trying to turn someone's legitimate complaining about lack of basic civil rights into trivial bullshit.

Maybe you take a lot of your basic rights for granted, but open your fucking eyes and get a bit of perspective on the reality of the situation. As a queer person in this country, you can:

* be fired for your sexual identity
* be evicted for your sexual identity
* be prosecuted for engaging in same-sex activity
* be denied the right to marry your partner
* be denied the right to adopt
* be denied medical visitation rights if your partner is in the hospital
* be denied the right to your partner's inheritance if your partner passes away
* be denied the right to attend your partner's own funeral

It's a bit different than whining about not being able to double-park, asshole.
posted by mijuta at 5:16 PM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


I was raised by Seventh-Day Adventists (who have some interesting ideas about Catholics), and I learned a great deal about the Bible before rejecting it as completely absurd. We're animals, it's as plain as the nose on your face. We've got fantastic brains, but those brains are, much like computers, prone to infection by infectious though patterns. The major religions are like organisms, they have one goal: to survive, to spread, and to eliminate competing organisms. Humans are just cells in these organisms. Some of the cells are dumb erythrocytes, some are crucial neurons, but all are mere cogs in the machine.

The idea that the most average people have such a huge capacity for original thought and yet end up wasting so much on absurd religious practices really makes me want to weep.
posted by mullingitover at 5:20 PM on November 3, 2006


pyramid_termite: many of the constraints you seem to support aren't universally recognized among christians, are they?

True. That's because many Christians have broken away from the Church Christ founded, and have been playing at setting up their own churches, like Pastor Ted did.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:26 PM on November 3, 2006


WTF? I see my wife's shapely ass and want to fuck her and _do_ fuck her, to our mutual satisfaction, without a thought to whether or not it will result in pregnancy.

And you know, peeping_Thomist--deep down in your innermost, private, secret thoughts--that's exactly what a monkey would say.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:31 PM on November 3, 2006


weapons-grade-pandemonium, you seem to have me confused with someone who doesn't acknowledge that he is an animal. We're rational animals, but we're animals.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2006


If anyone's still reading this and wants some really sweet-ass schadenfreude, watch him "debate" Richard Dawkins on youtube.

Dawkins was at the University of Virginia today at the tail end of his North American book tour. In the course of answering a question about empirical evidence for the benefit of religion he said something like, "I don't think it's helpful to proceed by totting up the good religious people, like Jesus and Gandhi and Martin Luther King, against the bad ones, like [pause] the Crusaders or[longer pause] pastor Ted Haggard...". Which of course brought the house down.
posted by Creosote at 5:39 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "True. That's because many Christians have broken away from the Church Christ founded, and have been playing at setting up their own churches, like Pastor Ted did."

Ah yes, the secret pitfall of not worshipping correctly. Strangely, the founders of these breakaway churches will undoubtedly claim they did so under the direct orders of God. Jesus is such a prankster.

This reminds me of a This American Life show about some Mormon fundies who started their own sect. God told them all that having multiple wives was OK, but gave conflicting messages about having sex with multiple wives simultaneously. Their group eventually collapsed over this issue.
posted by mullingitover at 5:42 PM on November 3, 2006


That's because many Christians have broken away from the Church Christ founded

and why have they done so? ... well, one reason is that when one asks that church or its defenders what their biblical justification is for a certain doctrine, one gets sheer evasion and/or no answer at all

once again, what is your biblical justification for your view that married sex has to involve "normal" intercourse?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:46 PM on November 3, 2006


What church, pray tell, did Jesus found? Certainly not Christianity -- that was Paul's doing.

I'm a big fan of the historical Jesus. I just don't happen to see any connection between him and any church that call itself a Christian one today.
posted by bardic at 5:49 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


*church that calls
posted by bardic at 5:52 PM on November 3, 2006


pyramid_termite, I'm pretty sure you and I don't agree about what sort of thing a "biblical justification" is.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:55 PM on November 3, 2006


If anyone hasn't read the Harpers article about the New Life church, y'all really should.
New Lifers, Pastor Ted writes with evident pride, “like the benefits, risks, and maybe above all, the excitement of a free-market society.” They like the stimulation of a new brand. “Have you ever switched your toothpaste brand, just for the fun of it?” Pastor Ted asks. Admit it, he insists. All the way home, you felt a “secret little thrill,” as excited questions ran through your mind: “Will it make my teeth whiter? My breath fresher?” This is the sensation Ted wants pastors to bring to the Christian experience. He believes it is time “to harness the forces of free-market capitalism in our ministry.”
Seems like Pastor Ted's a fan of secret little rebellions.

There's also this quote:
The life of the gay man, in the evangelical imagination, seems to be an endless succession of orgasms, interrupted only by jocular episodes of male bonhomie. The gay man promises Christian men a guilt-free existence, the garden before Eve. As such, he is not just tempting but temptation embodied; “the Enemy,” to whom [an evangelical interviewee] often refers.
The New Life members also believe that if you go to cities, the demons that possess the queer, the left, the atheist, might jump on them and take them over, too, which is why they have retreated into their protected suburbia in Colorado Springs, avoiding even the downtown there. It's jawdropping.
posted by jokeefe at 5:59 PM on November 3, 2006


Those demons are the best ones.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:07 PM on November 3, 2006


The life of the gay man, in the evangelical imagination, seems to be an endless succession of orgasms, interrupted only by jocular episodes of male bonhomie.

Well, truthfully. that's my life in a nutshell.

OK, gotta run, the next succession is calling.
posted by BoringPostcards at 6:07 PM on November 3, 2006


An endless succession of oragami? Think about the trees, man! Why do the gays hate Mother Earth?!
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 6:15 PM on November 3, 2006


The formatting of Harper's website is crap!
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:19 PM on November 3, 2006


The New Life members also believe that if you go to cities, the demons that possess the queer, the left, the atheist, might jump on them and take them over, too, which is why they have retreated into their protected suburbia in Colorado Springs, avoiding even the downtown there. It's jawdropping.

The smallerdemon lives in San Francisco. ;) I WILL JUMP UPON THEE AND POSSESS THEE AND TAKE THEE OVER! PLEASE COME VISIT OUR CITY!

(Aw... I'm not even queer! I'm totally a one woman man for the last 14 1/2 years. I will say that our sexual practices, however, do not, uh, have anything to do with this wacky shit that Thomist seems to be going on about.)
posted by smallerdemon at 6:21 PM on November 3, 2006


pyramid_termite, I'm pretty sure you and I don't agree about what sort of thing a "biblical justification" is.

i'm very sure that if st peter only got 3 chances to tell the truth that it would be rather foolish of me to give you more

if you're not willing to give your reasoning, you may as well be trolling for all the effect you're having ... and considering that the subject of this thread is not birth control or what is sexually moral within a marriage, but a certain preacher's downfall by involvement with some rather sleazy things, i strongly suspect you are trolling
posted by pyramid termite at 6:25 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia writes "Replace 'homosexuality' with pedophilia and see how that reads. "

You are a fucking moron.

konolia writes "If you don't claim God as your authority figure by all means do as you will. You can do nothing else. But Ted has made a profession of following God, therefore he will believe as I do that certain actions are sin against a holy God. If these accusations do turn out to be true I will be truly flabbergasted."

You are a deliberately obtuse fucking moron. Do you honestly think that because someone professes a belief, then therefore every single fucking action of their lives is in accordance with that belief?

Give me a fucking break, and take your fucking bigotry elsewhere, you fucking moron.

konolia writes "Sin is what God says it is. Period."

You're a fucking retarded moron. I'd like to remind you of something I wrote, Konolia: God is Love.

I just got home from work, and boy has this thread blown up.

I will respond properly later, but for now I have one, just one, question:

Why is it that me fucking my boyfriend in the ass is more important to you people (by which I mean fundamentalists) than the rapes that happen every day, the people who are starving all over the world, war, murder, or even just the lonely person living on your street who never seems to have any friends come over to say hi?

Why is it that my love life is so important to you? Moreover, why is a physical act such a major issue for you?

God is love. When you love someone, whether that person is your mother, father, sister, brother, niece, nephew, boyfriend, girlfriend, or seventh cousin twice removed on your father's side,-- that is God.

When you look up at the sky and realize you are both a unique and singular being, and a tiny mote in an unimaginable cosmos, and you really think about all that-- that is God.

When you hold someone in your arms, and you cradle them, and you say "I love you," God doesn't care if you're a boy or a girl, and God doesn't care if the person you're holding is a boy or a girl. Love is what matters. Caring. Treating your fellow human beings with an ounce of decency-- that's God.

God is not some heavenly referee who has memorised all the rules, and is jotting down in His scorebook whether you obeyed them or not. God is love. God wants you to look at your fellow human beings and think "Hey, you're a person too. You're just like me. You live, you love, you laugh, you cry. We're the same. Let's get through this together."

It was explained to me some years ago that for Jews, heaven and hell are the same thing: you gaze upon the face of God for eternity. For some, this is a glorious thing; you get to bask in the divine radiance for eternity. For the 'sinners,' though, this is painful, because they are forced to realize how good good can be, and how far they fell short.

My boyfriend and I were discussing this tonight, and I suggested to him my idea of hell: a place where everyone who has done wrong to another person has to truly learn and understand how their actions harmed another. With that in mind, konolia (and your ilk), I sincerely hope that you go to hell. I hope that when you die, you are forced to understand the pain and misery and heartache that your cruelty has inflicted on the world.

God is love. There simply is no way that God could frown on love, on caring, on putting someone else's needs before one's own. Gender is irrelevant, love is all.

Sister Sledge got it right, kids: we are family. Every human being is inextricably linked to every other human being. Let's start acting like it.

God is love.


peeping_Thomist writes "I think Scripture and Tradition (not to mention reason itself!) clearly teach that sexual activity outside the context of marriage between a man and a woman is wrong."

Beg pardon? Can you actually show that, without ever resorting to any Biblical references whatsoever?

Didn't think so.

Another fucking moron.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:30 PM on November 3, 2006 [7 favorites]


re: konolia "I too think she's basically a good person trapped in a hateful religion. But she's also a grown adult, well past the age of responsibility, and it is her own responsibility to look past the fairy tales and realize what her religion is wanting to impose upon the real world."

I agree. I used to be willing to give her the benefit of the doubt. She seemed like a nice person caught up in an unfortunate belief system.

But this homosexual=pedophile spew? Fuck it. Konolia, you're on my shitlist.

I hope you're wise enough to realize the collective intelligence and wisdom to be found in MeFi, and take to heart this advice: You are limited by your blind faith. You need to smarten up, girl, and start using your own brain for a change. I know you're smart enough to realize that you fucked the pooch with your idiot comment about pedophilia and I hope you're smart enough to realize that it's your blind faith that caused you to humiliate yourself so badly.

I'm certain you consider it blasphemy for me to say this, but you are better than your church. Do yourself the self-honour of holding yourself to a better religious standard.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on November 3, 2006


Ok, back to the gloating.

Ted Haggard. Ha! I bet he looks Haggard after all the meth and rough stud-sex! HA HA! HA. Ha. haha. ha. heh.

Ahem. Right then, carry on with your regularly-scheduled thread.
posted by exlotuseater at 6:40 PM on November 3, 2006


Can you actually show that, without ever resorting to any Biblical references whatsoever?


he can't even do it WITH biblical references ... i asked him 3 times
posted by pyramid termite at 6:43 PM on November 3, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: You are a fucking moron.[...] You are a deliberately obtuse fucking moron. [...] take your fucking bigotry elsewhere, you fucking moron. [...] You're a fucking retarded moron. [...] Love is what matters. Caring. Treating your fellow human beings with an ounce of decency [...] I sincerely hope that you go to hell. [...] Another fucking moron.

If you believe love is what matters, why do you talk to people this way?

dirtynumbangelboy: Why is it that me fucking my boyfriend in the ass is more important to you people (by which I mean fundamentalists) than the rapes that happen every day, the people who are starving all over the world, war, murder, or even just the lonely person living on your street who never seems to have any friends come over to say hi?

What makes you think it is more important, or even very important to us? As I said earlier, gay sex strikes me as on par with masturbation and other sexual sins. It's bad, yes, but there are many, many worse things. Where did you get the idea that those of us who accept traditional sexual morality think that what you do with your boyfriend is more important or worse than the other things you mention?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:44 PM on November 3, 2006


If anyone hasn't read the Harpers article about the New Life church, y'all really should.

Jeff Sharlet (the author) reposted it to his blog today, with some additional thoughts:
I'm re-posting my original Harper's piece below not because I think I got the story right -- if Jones' story is true, I missed it by a mile -- but because I hope it'll help the journalists now on the job get the story right by not making the mistake I did. The downfall of Ted Haggard is not just another tale of hypocrisy, it's a parable of the paradoxes at the heart of American fundamentalism. I wrote about the role of sex in Ted's theology, but removed it from the final edit of the story.... I made the mistake of viewing Ted's sex and his religion of free market economics as separate spheres. The truth, I suspect, is that they're intimately bound in a worldview of "order," one to which it turns out even Ted cannot conform.
Yep.
posted by dw at 6:59 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping, because that's all we hear and see--we don't see anyone putting their energy into feeding the poor or housing the homeless or anything--this crowd's time and energy is spent hating us. In those weekly meetings with Bush, did Haggard speak of expanding social programs? Of helping those whose lives were ruined in Katrina or Iraq? No. He's on record as being a free-market whatever, and a warmonger. Does Dobson or Robertson or Haggard or Falwell make Bush raise taxes to feed people? No. They make sure Plan B doesn't get released for years, and make sure all our overseas aid has abstinence rules attached. They make sure there's funding for their churches and orgs, not all orgs that help people. They push Bush and Congress to propose a Federal Amendment to make me and mine second-class citizens--they do the same on the state level.

This guy had the ear of the WH and spent his time talking about us instead of on Jesus things. This same guy is a closetcase and meth freak. We judge them on their actions. They do harm to us daily, and i can't wait for the day that people can live without these "leaders".
posted by amberglow at 6:59 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


He also had the ear of the entire media and did not ever use it to spread Jesus' teachings or words---he used it to make himself an even bigger player in politics. Render unto Caesar.
posted by amberglow at 7:00 PM on November 3, 2006


I can't get over the sex/children link.

Well, that explains a lot about the Catholic church.

Oh come on, someone had to say it.

And thumbs up, dirtynumbangelboy. It's ironic that the life of Jesus is all about bonding with the groups of people society was uncomfortable with, the ones society shunned, about breaking the rules in favour of loving others and not standing in judgement of them, and this rigid, judgmental, pleasure-hating faith is what the "christian" church has become. Some quality time thinking about what Jesus really did and said, rather than what Paul did and said (or what later monks opted to put into Paul's mouth centuries later), makes it fairly clear that he wouldn't be too pleased with the fundies. I mean, what did Jesus get really, really angry about? People charging interest. The captialists. I don't really get how these so-called devout Christians with their fingers in every financial pie fail to hear that message.

But then, their own scripture predicts that the self-appointed righteous will be false in the end, doesn't it.

There is definitely a weird arrogance in the devout to tell us what is (what is sin, what is truth, what is hell) rather than hedging it all by saying "this is what we believe". I suspect this is privilege speaking.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:21 PM on November 3, 2006


dw writes "The return of Gnosticism is less about 'look how the church screwed up' and more about 'look at the True Knowledge given me!' Ditto Celestine Prophecy. Or Da Vinci Code. And you see that in the New Age movement, or the Kabaalah. In fact, you even see it in this new Dawkinsite strain of atheism. We are perfect. It's everyone else who is delusional."

Hmm, we must be moving in some different circles. The Gnostics & Kabbalists that I know don't have much to say about 'me', and a whole lot to ask about 'me', and 'why', and so forth.

peeping_Thomist writes "This is all too compressed, of course, but there's a freaking huge literature on this stuff if you're interested in it. You might want to look at Karol Wojtyla's _Theology of the Body_, or at a popularized summary of Wojtyla's thought."

...sorry? You make an appeal to 'reason alone', and then expect us to believe that Karol Wojtyla--known, prior to his death, as Pope John Paul II, good try at leaving that bit out--used pure reason? That he wasn't writing books promulgating his theological views? If anyone here believes that, I have a bridge for sale..

fourcheesemac writes "Believers owe the rest of us a simple demonstration of the proof of the existence of their 'God.'"

No, actually, we don't owe you that. What we do owe you--and just as importantly, what you owe us--is not forcing our beliefs upon you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:21 PM on November 3, 2006


It is only appropriate that there are now 666 messages in this thread.
posted by litlnemo at 7:26 PM on November 3, 2006


Am I 666? It would only be appropriate, seeing as how I am teh gay and all.
posted by mijuta at 7:27 PM on November 3, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "Where did you get the idea that those of us who accept traditional sexual morality think that what you do with your boyfriend is more important or worse than the other things you mention?"

You made a mistake!

Where did you get the idea that those of us who accept traditional fundamentalist Judeo-Christian sexual morality think that what you do with your boyfriend is more important or worse than the other things you mention?"

Much better.

And where did I get the idea? Every fucking time some fucking Christian fundamentalist wackjob witters on endlessly about the demons of gay perversion, and doesn't say a fucking thing about the tens-if not hundreds-of thousands of Iraqis who have died since Bush lied to the world. When they neither say nor do anything about poverty. Or rape. Or violence. Or homelessness.

Newsflash: JESUS DIDN'T GIVE A FLYING FUCK WHO FUCKED WHOM, FLYING OR NOT. And seeing as you can't actually show any sort of Biblical justification for your bigotry, you're just as bad as Haggard, Konolia, and the rest of the fucking crew: a bigot using mistranslated and multiple-politically-edited texts to support your own small-mindedness.

As for calling someone a moron? I have never claimed to be perfect. But nor do I try and make sure that you do not have the same rights as I do.

Take your fucking bigotry elsewhere.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:28 PM on November 3, 2006


amberglow: peeping, because that's all we hear and see--we don't see anyone putting their energy into feeding the poor or housing the homeless or anything--this crowd's time and energy is spent hating us. [...] He also had the ear of the entire media and did not ever use it to spread Jesus' teachings or words

There is real homophobia, and at least some of what you pick up on is that. But the media focuses on controversy, and homosexuality is always controversial. So much of what you hear and see is the result of the intense media focus on controversy. I know plenty of people who accept the traditional teaching on homosexuality who devote their energies to helping the poor, immigrants, etc... Get them in a conversation on mefi, and suddenly they're being accused of thinking gay sex is the most important thing! What really bothers some people, it seems to me, isn't that those of us who accept traditional sexual morality overemphasize the importance of the issue of homosexuality (typically I think we do not), but rather that we won't say that wrong is right, that we won't agree that bodies are mere material to be used however one wants in order to get whatever one happens to want (so long as we grant that freedom to others). To hear some people talk, so long as there is consent, nothing two (or however many) people do to each other can possibly be wicked or depraved. That strikes me as obviously false.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:29 PM on November 3, 2006


"Am I 666? It would only be appropriate, seeing as how I am teh gay and all."

Sorry mijuta, I should have let you have the honor. (Mine was the lucky number #666. I was going to actually comment on something in the Harper's article, but then realized that it had already been said above -- the bit about the gay bar recruiting -- which, incidentally, made me laugh and laugh when I read it. "OH no! Don't make me go to those awful heathen Satanic gay bars! ... well, if I have to, I will, for the LORD!"
posted by litlnemo at 7:32 PM on November 3, 2006


Quit misrepresenting Jesus. He most certainly did(and does) care about holiness, and sexual morality is part of that.

But the points made in this thread about ministering to the poor, etc. are spot on. I suspect God is wanting to get the attention of His Church on such topics. Altho Christians as good citizens should get involved in politics just like everyone else, the church at large has crawled in bed with the political parties and prostituted itself.

Jesus Himself said His kingdom was not of this world. Many evangelicals do forget that.
posted by konolia at 7:32 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia and I agree!
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:34 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia writes "Quit misrepresenting Jesus. He most certainly did(and does) care about holiness, and sexual morality is part of that."

Prove it, you fucking bigot. Show me ONE FUCING TIME when the 'Pricne of Peace' said "GAY IS BAD". ONE. I fucking challenge you to fucking prove what you fucking say. Can you fucking face it, you mealymouthed little turnip? CAN YOU?

Or would it force you to realize that you're choking on a fucking lie, and clinging to a fucking retarded interpretation of a text in order to shelter yourself from anything resembling independent thought, you fat fucking bigoted small-minded homophobic bitch?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:38 PM on November 3, 2006


Did anyone notice that konolia's profile shows her located in or near Tibet? Latitude/Longitude: 35.05425, 79.011328.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:44 PM on November 3, 2006


According to Him even looking at a WOMAN with lustful intent was committing adultery, which He condemned. He lumped all sexual immorality together when He spoke of it, and His contemporaries understood quite clearly that homosexuality was not acceptable. If God had felt that a man could marry a man or a woman a woman, there would have been an example of that in His word. But instead, over and over and over again, God spoke of His wrath against His people's rebellion against him, with sexual sin being a definite part of that rebellion. Read parts of Exekiel, they get quite explicit.
posted by konolia at 7:45 PM on November 3, 2006


Oh, and dirtynumbangelboy, I can give you chapter and verse where Jesus said if a man called another a fool he was in danger of hellfire.

;-)
posted by konolia at 7:48 PM on November 3, 2006


Peeping_Thom: "What really bothers some people, it seems to me, isn't that those of us who accept traditional sexual morality overemphasize the importance of the issue of homosexuality (typically I think we do not), but rather that we won't say that wrong is right, that we won't agree that bodies are mere material to be used however one wants in order to get whatever one happens to want (so long as we grant that freedom to others)."

No, what really bothers some people is that you think of yourself as morally superior, because you believe your version of religion is the right one, not to mention because of your biologically determined sexual identity. Congratulations, you can fuck your wife's pussy and your wife can have babies. That doesn't make you God's sacred disciple.

You write "but rather that we won't say that wrong is right." The problem is that your interpretation of homosexuality as "wrong" is off-base to begin with.
posted by mijuta at 7:51 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia writes: Quit misrepresenting Jesus.

Lol. You spew hatred by arguing indirectly that gays are pedophiles. And you expect us, who've read the Bible with open hearts and minds, to take your word for what Jesus thought?

You're a joke. And while I have some sympathy for those that argue that you're a good person trapped within a sick, twisted ideology of hate, I don't know -- you strike me as someone who's got the exact people surrounding you that you deserve. Hateful, short-sighted, unable to see past their own self-rightesouness -- exactly the people Jesus had a problem with.

Christian, heal thyself.
posted by bardic at 7:52 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


konolia writes: If God had felt that a man could marry a man or a woman a woman, there would have been an example of that in His word.

Huh? Who did God marry?

You, my dear nut-ball, are the gift that keeps on giving.
posted by bardic at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2006


konolia writes "His contemporaries understood quite clearly that homosexuality was not acceptable."

Did they clearly understand that? Quote me the fucking chapter and verse where Jesus said it, you obtuse little turd.

Not Paul. Not any of the bullshit he wrote. Jesus.

But then again... you never fucking bother responding to any point that could, if you responded to it directly and honestly shake your little worldview.

You really don't think I'm an actual human being, do you?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:54 PM on November 3, 2006


I was raised a Christian. By some incredibly wonderful, caring, sympathetic, kind-hearted people who are still around and still Christian.

Southern Baptist, even. Helping the poor and downtrodden was what they pursued. My grandfather in his 80s was still down at work sites building community centers, going to nursing homes to visit. He's 92 now, so not so much on the work sites or visit, but still a spry old guy that likes to argue (and still a bit more racist than I'm comfortable with, but hey, he's 92 and was raised in Alabama). My grandmother always loved and still loves helping people.

You know what never came up when I was being brought up as a Christian? This shit. Any of this shit. Any of this utter and complete piles of crap that everyone is now seems to have brainwashed themselves about. That God somehow cared about any of this. He doesn't. The Bible is just some old dusty collected documents, lots of which have been left out for our versions that we English speakers seem to like so much, yet you guys put stock in it like it's fucking reality.

You don't care about God. Or Jesus. Or even the Bible. You're just addicted to your own hateful bullshit of wanting to control people. The mere thought of not believing your own bullshit terrifies you. Oh, you can say it doesn't, but that's the issue. Reconsidering all this self-induced brainwashing, well, it's like looking back on your life and starting to realize "Wow, I've wasted my life." No one wants to do that. No one wants to think they've wasted their lives. Well, you know, there have been billions of people in the long history of humanity, most of them wasted their lives. It's just the nature of living things. We survive. We're not all important. But the idea that we're not, that's really where the idea of God comes from. Just think, if you're important to the guy who created the universe, well, hell, it doesn't matter whatever else you do in life, or how you treat people, etc. Hey, you're in with God, you're important.

You know what, no, you're not important to God. Because there is no God.

Stop believing all this lunatic ranting bullshit and go out there and try to make the world a better place. I mean really a better place, not some second-coming-in-waiting-for-the-antichrist bus stop.

And if you ever, once, at any point in your life thought to yourself "Well, they'll find out when they die." then you don't care about anything or people. You're anxious to see people hurt and punished for not thinking like you. You're not concerned about "salvation" or "god" you're just justifying your own very narrow little view.

Stop insisting that I respect your hatefulness. I don't. I don't care. I won't respect it. Ever. I don't expect you to respect mine either, but that's mostly because I choose not to have any.
posted by smallerdemon at 7:56 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


konolia, how many wives does your husband have? I'd hate to think he's involved in a social practice like monogamy, which Jesus' contemporaries also looked down upon.
posted by bardic at 7:57 PM on November 3, 2006


Konolia: "According to Him even looking at a WOMAN with lustful intent was committing adultery, which He condemned. He lumped all sexual immorality together when He spoke of it, and His contemporaries understood quite clearly that homosexuality was not acceptable. If God had felt that a man could marry a man or a woman a woman, there would have been an example of that in His word. But instead, over and over and over again, God spoke of His wrath against His people's rebellion against him, with sexual sin being a definite part of that rebellion. Read parts of Exekiel, they get quite explicit."

Oh Konolia, you really do need to brush up on your biblical studies. I don't mean Bible study, I mean the history of the Bible. Your ignorance of the Bible's historical context speaks volumes.

Also, you've dodged several (at least a dozen, I'd say) very smart and legitimate questions posed to you in this thread. That speaks volumes as well. Either keep your head in the sand or have some real discourse without resorting to blanket statements like "Sin is what God says it is. Period." :)
posted by mijuta at 8:00 PM on November 3, 2006


jonmc: How old are you, 12? I'm sure in your mind I'm some holy roller abortion clinic bomber, . . ..

Put words in my mouth, why don't you, Mr. Polite Debate. Ironically, we were pals in my last MeFi incarnation (long dead, but like Jesus I have risen). I get it, you think it's nice to be nice to folks like the very nice bigot Kornolia. I have two words in response: Matthew Shepherd. Kornolia, "nice" or not, belongs to the active group of Americans whose legitimation of anti-gay hatred based on "natural laws" they find in their own peculiar books led to his murder, and so many others. And, no, I'm not 12. I'm in my 40s and quite well educated, thank you very much.

jonmc: This sentence is what I found offensive and scary:
"Atheism is the only reasonable "religion" for a modern person" . . .
who died and left you boss?


Oh, gosh. I'm so sorry my statement of opinion, phrased in a perfectly reasonable form of assertion and subsequently (and previously) justified with arguments from fact, offended and "scared" you. Yet Kornolia and Thomist spill dozens of similarly bossy assertions about their beliefs being the only right and "natural" and "moral" way to think, and they represent millions of wacked-out Christian hatemongers who believe (and often shout) that AIDS is "God's punishment for fags" and all the rest (and to base the argument on epidemiology, apparently God also hates poor, non-white, straight people too), and they are just "nice" folks we shouldn't find offensive or scary? Color me shocked.

"Who died and left you boss?" What are you, 12? Because, jon, that's playground argument, not reasoned debate. I expressed my (strong) opinions. It was a polemic, no more or less polemical than half the posts in this thread or what you'll hear in any church on Sunday. Do you ask that same question of Kornolia for equating homosexuality with pedophilia, or Thomist for calling all non-procreative sex a "sin?" No, you don't. I think you suffer from a little confusion, and perhaps some feelings of inferiority. You make nice with stupid people because people who can actually make a rational argument "scare you." As SBMike already asked, what did I say that was "scary?" Did I suggest that Christians are an unnatural abomination, or that their lives are less valuable than non-Christians' lives? Did I make fun of the diseases that afflict overweight (and mostly Christian) Americans as "Nature's revenge on believers?" Did I suggest jailing Christians who counsel against abortion? Do explain what was "scary" about anything I said, compared to the terrorism practiced by a great number of Christians in the name of their "god." Atheists don't terrorize others in the name of non-belief. We're funny that way. We just try to win the argument with facts, though a few insults for color might find their way into the mix because we educated folks do find ignorance annoying -- because it's easily cured.

fcm: "As for the righteous Christians, the idea that a bunch of fat, rich, SUV-driving, suburban holy rollers . . . "
jonmc: "my experiences with self-proclaimed born-agains has been exactly the opposite. most of the ones I've known have been people who were in desperate straits due to addiction abuse or other crises . . ."


Well, bully for you. I suggest you visit the Rev. Ted's McChurch and show me how many "desperate" types you find leaving their SUVs in the parking lot. Or how many black faces you see. Or how much the very wealthy New Life Church has given to help the truly poor. I have *plenty* of first hand experience with plenty of different kinds of fundies, and the ones who worry me are the fat middle-class ones who worship the Golden Calf of conservative politics, currently personified by the deified figure of George W. Bush. On balance, most fundies I know don't give much of a shit about people who are truly in "desperate straits" unless they are Christian, or potential converts to Christianity, or the Megachurches would be at the front lines of the anti-war movement. Which, by the way, they are not. They actively *support* wars (certainly the current war in Iraq, in droves), most of the time. They use martial metaphors to describe their political activities, support the death penalty, and excuse egregious violence done in the name of their "god." They want to deny birth control to women, and force even rape victims to carry their pregnancies to term. Must I go on?

As for addiction, they have perfectly good secular treatments for that, and they work quite well. Jesus not required. I'd love to see the epidemiological proof that being Christian makes you healthier. Not in my experience. What it does do, in places like Colorado Springs, is make you richer, and perhaps a gay meth addict.

jonmc: "and while we've gotten into it pretty heavily over various issues most of them have been nothing but kind to me, so I'm disinclined to dismiss such a huge swath of people so blithely. Your professed view is no less simplistic than theirs."

Of course they're "kind" to you. You extend tolerance to their bigotry. And the "kindness" is the schtick you see in Ted Haggard's megawatt dentist-perfected smile. It's crap. It masks hatred.

And funny, I didn't mention you at all in my original post. So I wasn't mean to you or nice to you. I guess I was a little mean to the nice Christian bigot lady, true, and she's so nice that she has to turn the other cheek and can't defend herself, poor thing. So for that, you go into white knight mode and get your dander all up and defend the bigot because she is "nice."

As many others have pointed out in this thread, her beliefs represent one of the least "nice" strands in the American social fabric, and one of the most oppressive and scary. Ted Bundy was "nice" to people too -- famously so -- until he had them alone and his hands around their necks. So I'm not so "nice." Sue me. Or answer my points rather than attacking my character on no evidence. Because I may not be nice, but on the subject of whether "laws" like "homosexuality is a sin" are "natural" or not, I'm right, and you can't debate the point. They are not "natural laws;" they are human bigotry dressed up "nicely" in legalistic language. There is no basis in "nature" for the anti-gay bigotry of people like Kornolia. She's nice; but she hates (or what part of "gays are the same as pedophiles" don't you understand, jon?), and she justifies that hatred in others based on a book of fairy tales.

My view is not at all "simplistic" except in the best Occam's Razor sense that I prefer the simple explanation for observable facts to ones that rely on mystical assertions of magical forces beyond proof. My view is "simply" based on observable facts and probable arguments, some of which are somewhat complex (yet I don't, a la Msgr. Thomist, insist that you can't debate them unless you read the science behind them as I have -- or would you like to debate the genetic basis for altruism sometime?). Science isn't so simple. It's a lot more "simplistic"(in fact) to argue that all we see around us was created by a supernatural being who oddly resembles us, minor and late branch of the great evolutionary tree that we are, on this one little planet in this one little galaxy in a corner of a vast universe about which we know very little (but more than thousands of years of religion ever figured out, in just a couple hundred years during which science has been free of its oppressive yoke). "God" is a trick of consciousness, and consciousness should be able to get past the first, simplistic explanation for "nature" to occur to primitive human beings after a few thousand years. We don't live in caves or die at 30 any longer. We should be able to update our view of the universe a bit.

My views are strongly held and absolute, which is not the same as "simplistic," and very different from forms of absoluteness (to say nothing of absolution) that depend upon an appeal to faith rather than observable facts and reason. I think it's the force of my argument that "scares" you more than its content.

And indeed, my views are not so absolute as all that. As I said in my post that "scared" you, I'm willing to change my tune entirely if someone, anyone, can show me proof that "God" exists, and that there are "natural laws" that forbid particular sexual behaviors "inscribed" on the human "heart." I will eat my laptop if you can do that, jon, or kornolia, or thomist. I can show you hard (boy, a pun a minute around here) evidence that same-sex coupling occurs in many species of mammals. So how difficult is it to show me that this is an abomination of God's "natural laws?" Not up to the challenge, are you, Kornolia or Thomist? So who's being simplistic here?

The idea that we have to be "nice" and respect all opinions as equal in the name of open debate is fine, if we're comparing equally valid opinions. Assertions based on faith and proffered as rules for living for those of us who don't believe are not "opinions" that need to be respected. They are attempts to control the behavior of others and claim moral (and political) authority on no objective basis. Such attempts do not deserve the respect we reserve for genuine personal opinions, or competing factual arguments. I offer an objective basis for atheism, but despite my view that it is the only rational belief system for a modern person, I would not ever force others to hold it. All I would force upon people is leaving your religion out of politics, because atheists are citizens too, and because the founders of this country (US) wanted it that way. And it works. Imposing your religion on people who don't believe in it betrays the founding principles of a modern, secular democacy. I've had enough of it.

I'm sorry I told you to kiss my ass, JonMC. I realize that is asking you to perform an abomination before G_d. So how about you just grow a pair yourself. If you're really as pro-choice, gay tolerant, and secular as you assert, then don't defend people who would actually like to see you converted or dead. Because make no mistake, that's how the Ted Haggards of this world think, and perhaps the Kornolias as well. Stand up for liberty and reason. It's fine to be nice, but not at the expense of the truth.

In response to a few others:

UptonO'Good, I do not condemn all Christians as gay hating. I condemn gay hating Christians. And hate-mongering Christians in general. I think they deserve some hate thrown right back at them. Now, that's a whole lot of Christians, but not all, I admit. The rest are just delusional cultists, but not so dangerous.

Peeping_Thomist, yes it damn well was "cathartic" to write my long post (and this one), and I'm not surprised you can't discern my point. You're so busy telling us we need to read the bible as much as you claim to have done before we debate religion. So my point in writing that was to suggest that maybe you need to learn something about "nature" before you go spouting off about "natural law" and things "inscribed on the heart." Good for the goose, good for the gander.

When it comes down to it, though, your feigned disinterest means you're afraid to debate on my turf, which is the turf of science and common sense. Disguise it as above-the-fray ennui, but you're chicken, because you'll lose the argument without appealing to invisible magic forces for which you have no proof. This ain't your church.

The last dead king and the last dead priest, indeed.

And I haven't even raised the argument from theodicy for the non-existence of god, or at least His impotence or even cruelty. Thomist will know about that, seeing as he was (apparently) raised on Jesuit casuistry. Yeah, that's right. If you want to debate on theological turf, I'm game. Explain to me why the Christian "god of love" allows millions to die in famines and epidemics and genocidal wars, including innocent children and unborn babies untainted even by original sin and supposedly as fully human as those of us who made it past the stage when our lives depended on our mothers' lives. "Pro-life," my ass. Oh I know all the arguments. I've read plenty of theology. And they are all special pleading, amounting to "God works in mysterious ways." How about we skip the whole thing and explain things based on the evidence instead?

OK, I'm done. I apologize for using all this real estate to make such obvious arguments. Or at least they seem obvious to me and others of a scientific cast of mind. I'm sure Kornolia is a very nice Christian lady. So is my mom. They are both wrong, and to the extent that they would impose their hateful and frankly dangerous (because they incite and justify hate) views on non-believers in our secular society (at least on paper we are), they are bigots. (My mom, however, would not impose those views, and in fact I was raised to dislike bigots, by a good Christian mom who dislikes the evangelical fundies and considers them the worst kind of false Christians).

The fact is, we have in Ted Haggard yet another in the endless line of "men of God" who turn out to be flaming hypocrites preaching one thing for the rest of us (under penalty of hellfire, or being tied to a fence in Wyoming and beaten to a pulp) and enjoying another thing for themselves. Droit de seigneur and all that. That he spoke weekly to the WHITE HOUSE has barely been mentioned in this thread. We're in a state of emergency in this country (apologies to non USians) when the religious zealots hold the keys to the secular state. No, I won't shut up about it (even if I get banned from MeFi for it). That is some "scary" shit.

We'll destroy ourselves believing some "God" is going to save us at the last minute, or that we are killing in "God's" name. It makes me sick for the all who are now children that they will still have to contend with ideological deistic claptrap that should have been demolished and relegated to the ash heap of human intellectual and cutlrual history a few hundred years ago. We don't have time for this. The earth is dying, millions are starving, and bombs are falling. Wake up. If "God" is love, then show some, believers. Many of you act like "God" is hate. No wonder some of us on the other side are pissed off and have decided to toss the hate right back in your smug Christian faces.

I'm done. Have at me.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:01 PM on November 3, 2006 [14 favorites]


What a train wreck of a thread. For the record, I think anyone can think anything is a sin...and they should not do that thing, be it homosexuality or buttering the Great Cosmic Muffin.

But what is a sin to you, is not necessarily a sin to me...or for me. Me, I don't see how anyone could worship a god that would forbid love. A commodity so rare, so valuable, so necessary for the spiritual evolution of man and mankind...to forbid it just because two people happen to have the same plumbing seems to me to be the epitome of real obscenity.
posted by dejah420 at 8:01 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Konolia, you accused a lot of innocent, law-abiding people of being pedophiles in this thread.

Accusing the innocent of perpetrating heinous acts they did not commit is not something Jesus would do.

The Ninth Commandment dictates to you that You Must Not Lie, or else you will suffer fiery consequences.

Repent your sins and beg for forgiveness for dishonestly and falsely accusing homosexuals of pederasty, lest you wish that Jesus condemn you to suffer eternal hellfire and damnation, as Scripture and the Word of God Himself demands.

Further, your attempts to proselytize will not buy you brownie points with God Almighty, so the Voice of God commands you to Knock It Off, forthwith.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:05 PM on November 3, 2006


Atheists don't terrorize others in the name of non-belief.

To clarify, I mean in the United States and Europe in the present. A case could be made for Soviet and Chinese and other formally atheist regimes, perhaps, as persecutors of believers as such.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:08 PM on November 3, 2006


metafilter: buttering the Great Cosmic Muffin so you don't have to
posted by quonsar at 8:13 PM on November 3, 2006


Atheists don't terrorize others in the name of non-belief.

no?
posted by quonsar at 8:15 PM on November 3, 2006


quonsar: see my immediate correction above.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:18 PM on November 3, 2006


fourcheesemac: see this thread.
posted by quonsar at 8:21 PM on November 3, 2006


quonsar: see your head up your ass.
posted by mijuta at 8:24 PM on November 3, 2006


Because make no mistake, that's how the Ted Haggards of this world think, and perhaps the Kornolias as well.

Ted Haggard, sure. konolia, I'm not so sure, and yeah that's due to some insider knowledge, but s long as there's hope, I keep trying. You do your thing, I'll do mine.

(or what part of "gays are the same as pedophiles" don't you understand, jon?)....Ted Bundy was "nice" to people too

irony. good for the blood. you condmen her (correctly) for making an unfair comparison and then you do the same. You strike me as smart enough to know that 'Christian' covers a pretty broad swath of people, from Martin Luter King to Fred Phelps.

Ironically, we were pals in my last MeFi incarnation

well, whoever you are, I'm still gonna say what's on my mind. I'm sorry AI don't find things as simple as you seem to and I'm sorry if that bothers you.
posted by jonmc at 8:26 PM on November 3, 2006


If you believe love is what matters, why do you talk to people this way?

Maybe you shouldn't tell him that his love for his partner is worth less than your love for yours. What kind of response would you expect? With your weaseling about how your wanting to fuck your wife's ass is sacred, because you might just have a baby, while his is profane because he won't. If you said that to someone's face, would you be surprised if you got punched? Why then are you surprised by angry words?

True. That's because many Christians have broken away from the Church Christ founded, and have been playing at setting up their own churches, like Pastor Ted did.

And which one is that, exactly?

Prior to Paul, the Greek-speaking Christians or the Aramaic-speaking Christians?

In Paul's time, those Christians who required circumcision, or those who believed it unnecessary? Until the fall of Jerusalem to Rome around 70AD, many Christians considered themselves members of the true path of Judaism, rather than a separate religion.

The Ignatians? The Docetists? The Marcianites? The Ebionites? (Christian sects in the first century or so after Christ)

The Pure of Novatian? The Arians? The Cappadocians? I've just reached the council of Nicea, you know. I could go on and on. It seems to me that Pastor Ted is in good company. Even if there were originally a God, and if Jesus was His son, the history of Christianity is like a giant game of telephone, with every generation of preachers reinterpreting their "received truth." If you think that's the will of God, well, I just don't know what to say.

Get them in a conversation on mefi, and suddenly they're being accused of thinking gay sex is the most important thing!

They seem to expend a lot of effort telling us all why gay sex is bad, going through a lot of wacky contortions to do so. That's a lot of effort for something relatively unimportant. The pro-gay contingent thinks it's important for obvious reasons - they don't want a bunch of nutters telling them how to live their lives.

But instead, over and over and over again, God spoke of His wrath against His people's rebellion against him, with sexual sin being a definite part of that rebellion.

Does God speak about passing laws against these rebels, or that they should be persecuted by true believers? Or does he tell you to live your own life righteously, and leave justice to him? Because, honestly, I don't care what you believe, I just want you and yours to keep out of my life.
posted by me & my monkey at 8:27 PM on November 3, 2006 [9 favorites]


Well, first I'm "scary" and now quonsar implies I "terrorize" people with my words. I think this is the republican strategy of keeping everybody in fear all the time at work. The only thing you have to fear is fear itself.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:32 PM on November 3, 2006


me & my monkey: damn!
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:35 PM on November 3, 2006


Ted Haggard, sure. konolia, I'm not so sure, and yeah that's due to some insider knowledge, but s long as there's hope, I keep trying.

Look, you like konolia. We get it. And that's fine. But WE do not have that special insider knowledge. And without is, she sounds just like any other fundy bigot -- foolish, uninformed, inconsistent. Maybe if she engaged people in actual conversation, she'd appear different. But she comes here once in a while, spouts off some inanity, ignores every half-intellegent question posed to her and leaves. What do you expect?
posted by c13 at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2006


Ted Bundy was "nice" to people too

i think someone needs to put fourcheesemac back in the oven ... because that's half-baked
posted by pyramid termite at 8:37 PM on November 3, 2006


jonmc: smart enough to know that 'Christian' covers a pretty broad swath of people

Indeed I do, including my mom and many other people I care for a great deal. I'm not talking about them all when I condemn the involvement of evangelicals in poiticizing morality. I'm talking about the mainstream evangelical denominations, and the independent non-denominational megachurches, which are effectively a power base for the radical right now in power. Very specifically. I extend my remarks in some cases to a broader "Christian culture" that I have seen in nearly every state in the US (and I've been in all but Hawai'i) that tolerates certain forms of bigotry as compatible with a Christian identity.

My defense of/argument for atheism is addressed to all believers and defenders of faith in god, of all religions. Not Christians as such. Christians merely exemplify, of late, some of the worst effects of religion on human society, but they don't have any monopoly on this.

No further argument, just clarifying my points.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:40 PM on November 3, 2006


But she comes here once in a while, spouts off some inanity, ignores every half-intellegent question posed to her and leaves.

well, you're right ... she did spout off some inanities and ignore some half-intelligent questions

seems to me we could have used less inanities and more intelligent questions ... and a lot less snarking about shrimp and all that tired crap ... arguing that "god hates shrimp" is just a confession of one's utter ignorance of doctrine

i've heard high school students debate things more intelligently than this
posted by pyramid termite at 8:45 PM on November 3, 2006


OK, everybody . . . . the Bundy remark was a Modest Proposal hyperbole. I apologize. I am not equating Kornolia (am I the only one who laughs every time they read that name in this context?) with a serial killer. Really.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:47 PM on November 3, 2006


arguing that "god hates shrimp" is just a confession of one's utter ignorance of doctrine

You know, shrimp being unclean and forbidden to eat is part of current Jewish doctrine. So, if you're going to whine on about religious tolerance, you probably shouldn't refer to a doctrine of currently-practiced Jewish Law as ignorant. Our local reform rabbi is an old family friend, and he a) has a picture of his son's boyfriend on his fridge and b) will not eat shrimp.
posted by boaz at 8:53 PM on November 3, 2006


Konolia, you accused a lot of innocent, law-abiding people of being pedophiles in this thread.

She didn't accuse anyone of being a pedophile. Go look it up. It's somewhere back in the 100s. Or 200s. I've lost track.

OK, everybody . . . . the Bundy remark was a Modest Proposal hyperbole. I apologize. I am not equating Kornolia (am I the only one who laughs every time they read that name in this context?) with a serial killer. Really.

When we've reached this point in the thread, when people are countering a stupid statement linking gays and pedophiles with GOP-style comparisons of posters to serial killers, then it's clear that the comments should have been closed a long time ago.

A long, long, long time ago.

Someone just shoot this damn thing and put it out of its misery. Train wreck is an understatement.
posted by dw at 9:02 PM on November 3, 2006


Look, you like konolia. We get it. And that's fine. But WE do not have that special insider knowledge.

As I said before, in public forums, she's heard me graphically describe my own drug-taking, fornication, bisexual liasons and other things that she probably disapproves of, and yet she still trades jokes with me, congratulated me on my marraige, sent well wishes when I had surgery. So, I keep plugging away. Maybe she'll read Stealing Jesus a book by a gay minister about reconciling faith and tolerance. I am of the opinion that if Jesus shoed up on a flaming pie and told konolia "gay people are A-OK!" she'd probably breathe a sigh of relief. So I keep trying to get her to see that maybe it's already happened. Call me a cockeyed absurdist.
posted by jonmc at 9:04 PM on November 3, 2006


shrimp being unclean and forbidden to eat is part of current Jewish doctrine.

were we debating jewish doctrine in this thread? ... it was quite clear what it was i was referring to, if you had paid any attention to the context ... which had to do with christian doctrine

i should have been more specific, seeing as you aren't able to pay closer attention ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:05 PM on November 3, 2006


arguing that "god hates shrimp" is just a confession of one's utter ignorance of doctrine

It is tiresome hearing the same lazy canard when scripture is repeated back verbatim at fundamentalists:

"Oh, you're not citing the right passage!" Or, "You're taking scripture out of context!"

It's dishonest — worse, it is willfully dishonest.

Either let us quote the same damn thing you're quoting, consequences be damned, or shut up.

If you're going to live by the Holy Book as the Word of God, you'll have to live with people pointing out the passages you don't like, even if your scripture makes you look an idiot.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:12 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


which had to do with christian doctrine

Ah yes, I'm familiar with that one. That would be the Christian doctrine of ignoring the parts of the bible where you'd actually have to do something different, and keeping the parts where you only have to hate something different.
posted by boaz at 9:21 PM on November 3, 2006 [3 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero: I have never ever EVER heard of someone who doesn't use drugs buying them and then throwing them away.

I could see myself doing that, if I were tempted to use drugs. It'll be interesting to see if Pastor Ted is lying now, or if this really is a case of a guy who flirted at great length with various temptations (getting massages so that he could come right up to the line of doing something sinful but still be able to deny that's what he was doing, buying drugs but then throwing them away), or a guy who sometimes did the things he was tempted to do.

I've downloaded pornography and then deleted it without looking at it, but then I've also sometimes downloaded pornography and looked at it. I hope Pastor Ted won't make the mistake of lying about this stuff to the people he's accountable to.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:22 PM on November 3, 2006


arguing that "god hates shrimp" is just a confession of one's utter ignorance of doctrine

I almost agree with this statement. But here's the thing: some people are ignorant of doctrine. And they want to stay that way. It would seem weird for someone to spend a lot of time and effort to study something they don't believe in. I speak only for myself when I say that the Bible ranks somewhere close to The Lord of the Rings for me. Or The Matrix. I've seen forums dedicated to in-depth discussion of all three. But I just don't have time or inclination to learn this stuff so I can come up with uber cool arguments. I'm not alone in this, I think. I haven't meet many Christians that know much about science, or care to learn. Yet that does not stop them from talking about the "natural law", whatever this is supposed to mean. Furthermore, ignorance of which doctrine do you have in mind? Where I live, it seems like every little pidly church has its own doctrine. The guy I work with (a Catholic) had a girlfriend that belonged to the church made of 20 or so people who think that Southern Baptists are a bunch of liberal, loose-living sinners. Shell fish is bad? She wouldn't drink any coke, tea or coffee because caffeine is the devil. Apparently it's also in the Bible somewhere.
Quite frankly, I don't think a rational debate is possible to begin with. How does one talk to a person who claims that he's in possesses the book that is THE word of GOD? Given that the only evidence he has for that assertion comes from that very same book? I don't really care to argue, or change minds. I just want to be left alone. And the only reason that I post in these kinds of threads is because I'm annoyed that my wish is not respected.

Jonmc, this may be a little off-topic (well, not like there is one anymore), but maybe you can explain this to me: why is there a need to reconcile faith and tolerance to begin with? I mean fine, I'm a sinner. I'm unsaved, I'm going to hell. Whatever. Why do evangelicals worry so much about what I do? I don't by this whole "love" argument because of the simple fact that the wast, wast majority of them don't even know I exist. Why punish gays? If there's a final judgement and god hates fags, won't he punish them himself?
More to the point, what is it that these people have to tolerate? Are they constantly attacked by teh gays or prostitutes, or secular humanists?

On preview: I hope Pastor Ted won't make the mistake of lying about this stuff to the people he's accountable to.

Dude, seriously, WTF? He's been lying to everybody for at least 3 years, and nonstop since yesterday. First it was that he was completely innocent, then it was that well, maybe there was some meth and a massage. You're saying you seriously think that he bought meth MULTIPLE times and just threw it away. Every single time?
posted by c13 at 9:28 PM on November 3, 2006


It is tiresome hearing the same lazy canard when scripture is repeated back verbatim at fundamentalists:

"Oh, you're not citing the right passage!" Or, "You're taking scripture out of context!"


it must be even more tiresome for fundamentalists to say this to willfully ignorant people who want to argue about the bible without reading it or understanding how it is interpreted by them

here is why the "god hates shrimp" argument is lame ... the dietary rules in the old testament were superseded by the scripture of the new testament, which says, among other things, gentiles and what they eat are to no longer be considered unclean ... in fact, one has to read the old testament through the lens of the new testament in order to appropriately interpret it

by taking statements like "don't eat shrimp" at random, you're showing ignorance of this ... not to mention that it's a ridiculous hypocrisy to debate quotes from a book that you don't believe in ...

but your real argument is with someone else ... i'm far too radical to be called a fundamentalist ...

and boaz ... quit trolling
posted by pyramid termite at 9:30 PM on November 3, 2006


Are we just going to cycle back to the same thing every couple hundred comments?
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:35 PM on November 3, 2006


"Atheism is the only reasonable "religion" for a modern person"

Well, this is objectively true in a way - reason vs. faith, and all that. I'm not aware of any other religions that are reasonable, or rational, for that matter.

And god doesn't hate shrimp. He hates amputees.
posted by bashos_frog at 9:39 PM on November 3, 2006


and boaz ... quit trolling

From you, I'll take that as a compliment.

not to mention that it's a ridiculous hypocrisy to debate quotes from a book that you don't believe in ...

Heck, I've debated The Old Man and The Sea and Gravity's Rainbow without believing they actually happened. It's funny how Christians, who you'd assume would be genuinely interested in what the bible actually says, instead pretend there's a 'You must believe at least X pieces of bullshit to discuss this book' sign around it. Who's the real hypocrite here?
posted by boaz at 9:40 PM on November 3, 2006


Yeah. I understand that according to Christians the new law supercedes the old one, but these are the same folks who want to put the 10 Commandments up in schools and courts. "God hates shrimp" is kind of silly, but that's the point -- especially when some of the politicians who want to put the 10 Commandments up everywhere don't know them all.
posted by bardic at 9:53 PM on November 3, 2006


not to mention that it's a ridiculous hypocrisy to debate quotes from a book that you don't believe in

Wow, just when a religious thread couldn't get any worse, this nugget of stupidity shows up again.

No one needs or cares to debate the minutiae of your ridiculous book to point out the glaring rational inconsistencies in citing one ridiculous part of scripture, but not another ridiculous passage, simply to justify your blind, irrational hatred of one or another group of people.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:57 PM on November 3, 2006


fourcheesemac: ...Kornolia (am I the only one who laughs every time they read that name in this context?)...

ummm...probably? Because her name is konolia. Ko no li a. No "r".
posted by brain cloud at 10:03 PM on November 3, 2006


look at all these comments!

i'm horrified by the evangelical movement. horrified. they're like babbling babies, or wholesome teens from 1950's flicks. and they're driven by fear and by faith and lord knows that's a bad combo.
posted by punkbitch at 10:08 PM on November 3, 2006


...and sterile doctrine.
posted by exlotuseater at 10:13 PM on November 3, 2006


No one needs or cares to debate the minutiae of your ridiculous book

i'd say the evidence upthread is that many people do ...

to point out the glaring rational inconsistencies in citing one ridiculous part of scripture, but not another ridiculous passage,

again, it depends on whether the passages work the same way in scripture as a whole ... dietary strictures were superceded

simply to justify your blind, irrational hatred of one or another group of people.

well, that's not me you're talking to there, i don't have a problem with the idea of gay people getting married ... and if you're going to debate a certain topic in the bible, such as homosexuality, you should be aware that there are people ... gay people ... gay ministers ... who have done it a lot more intelligently and thoroughly than you could dream about ...

the shrimp thing is amateur hour ... forget it

Are we just going to cycle back to the same thing every couple hundred comments?

i guess that depends on how rational and quick to learn people are, doesn't it?

sometimes i wonder if half the people on this site were locked in closets by abusive ministers or something, because there's a lot of traumatic drama acted out in these threads ... i can't even explain something elementary and reasonable without getting jumped on

but i keep forgetting that i'm the irrational moron and that the rest of you are levelheaded paragons of calm debate ...

bye bye
posted by pyramid termite at 10:16 PM on November 3, 2006


win
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 10:24 PM on November 3, 2006


again, it depends on whether the passages work the same way in scripture as a whole ... dietary strictures were superceded

You don't get to babble It's-The-Word-of-God-Period and then pick and choose favorable scripture. That's just not how it works.

If this book is the Word of God, and its proponents cite their favorite lines and verses, I'm afraid the entirety is fair game, even despite cultural changes vis à vis slavery, diet, women etc. — changes which further underscore the arbitrariness of the Bible's moral content.

But you were willfully missing the point anyway. Bye bye.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:36 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


It'll be interesting to see if Pastor Ted is lying now, or if this really is a case of a guy who flirted at great length with various temptations (getting massages so that he could come right up to the line of doing something sinful but still be able to deny that's what he was doing, buying drugs but then throwing them away), or a guy who sometimes did the things he was tempted to do.

Are you fucking kidding me?
posted by papakwanz at 11:13 PM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]


Goddammit, you fucking people have ruined what should be a beautiful thread.

We should be standing together here in the blue, hand-in-hand, the white, the black, the Jewish, the gay and straight Mefites, standing together and pointing our fingers and laughing beautiful peals of silver laughter at Ted Haggard. Who, it turns out, is a huge meth-snortin' homo.

TED HAGGARD IS DRUG USING, GAY-SEX BUYING, MOTEL-CREEPING, GAY-BASHING HYPOCRITE AND HE JUST GOT BUSTED.

That is the proper topic of this thread, my friends. Now let us gloat together.
posted by LarryC at 11:13 PM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]


*High fives LarryC*
posted by 2sheets at 11:17 PM on November 3, 2006


Over 700 posts, and yet no one has addressed the central point, viz.:

WHO is Mike Jones? WHO IS MIKE JONES?
posted by Nahum Tate at 11:21 PM on November 3, 2006


One the one hand, I'm delighted by this story. It does my heart good to see hypocrisy punished, especially the hypocrisy of someone who has spouted hate and helped influence my country's government to act unjustly towards its own citizens and other people around the world. Haggard deserves, on the one hand, scorn, ridicule, and probably a jail sentence. He has directly or indirectly caused a lot of people to suffer through his politics and bigotry, and he is getting that back, plain and simple.

But there's a tragic side to this whole affair that brings me down, and I will admit to feeling a certain amount of guilt over enjoying another human being's suffering, even if that human being is a lowlife liar like Haggard. In a better world, Haggard wouldn't have had to hide his sexual desires for his entire life. In a better world, he could have pursued an open relationship with another man, and he could have believed in whatever God he wanted at the same time, with no contradiciton. He could have truly followed the tenets of compassion, mercy, generosity, forgiveness, brotherhood... all those things that Christianity, as a practiced religion, should be. His family and friends would have never been betrayed and lied to, nor would they have been part of his double life of illicit desire and evangelical bigotry. In a better world, he wouldn't have to seek out meth in order to lose himself in a drug-induced high; he would have been happy to be who he is, happy to be gay, Christian, whatever, without having to hide from his self-loathing in chemicals. In a better world, Jones would not have had to prostitute himself in order to survive. He wouldn't have had to sell drugs. He would have had to cater to the secret lusts of closeted, suffering liars like Haggard. And at the very least, in a better world, events like this might be the catalyst for some real change. At best, this hurts the Republicans and costs them some evangelical votes (and believe me, I'm hoping that it will). At worst, many people are confirmed or even strengthened in their belief that another person's sexuality is any of their business or defines their morality.
posted by papakwanz at 11:42 PM on November 3, 2006


Knife fight, anyone?
posted by Joeforking at 12:42 AM on November 4, 2006


you fat fucking bigoted small-minded homophobic bitch

dirtynumbangelboy, I respect your anger, but this tirade is a bit much. Also, I read konolia's comments, and it didn't strike me that she was drawing an exact match between ordinary gayness and pedophila. Her logic might be broken, but I didn't see that equation in her post.

LarryC: I also tried to get this thread on track earlier on. Can we get back to the fizzy drinks with umbrellas in them and the gloating?
posted by jokeefe at 12:57 AM on November 4, 2006


papa, he wouldn't have had the power he used to wield--even in a better world. Religious-political leaders on that level (30 million members of that Evangelical Assoc?) would still have to be straight, especially if Christian.

What's tragic is not that he's a hypocritical druggie closetcase (that's par for the course nowadays)--but that he caused so much harm and spread so much hate in this world. Now at least that will stop and his bully pulpit (in all senses of the words) is gone.
posted by amberglow at 1:02 AM on November 4, 2006




In a better world USA, he could have pursued an open relationship with another man, and he could have believed in whatever God he wanted at the same time, with no contradiciton.

There, fixed that for you.
posted by zarah at 2:18 AM on November 4, 2006


Look, I don't have time to read this whole thread. Is there somebody I can just insult here? Um, fuck you, left-handed gay Irish janitors.
posted by Dunwitty at 2:36 AM on November 4, 2006


HEY!
posted by StrasbourgSecaucus at 3:23 AM on November 4, 2006


I love you all, unconditionally.
posted by Meatbomb at 3:24 AM on November 4, 2006


I know I'm a day late (and really drunk) but this:

We are all helpless, all unable to be holy in ourselves

from konalia is a really sad conclusion to draw from the Bible. Shit, I'm not even religious and I don't get such a depressing message from that book.
posted by bunglin jones at 4:14 AM on November 4, 2006


Sorry, random comments:

According to Him even looking at a WOMAN with lustful intent was committing adultery, which He condemned.

It's nice that Jesus understood how annoying and degrading it is to be openly oggled by strange men. Nice that he condemned that. It's very rude.

Now, also: you can't claim that we're all just ignorant of scripture because we quote parts of the bible that you consider superceded when even in this very thread konolia make a hand-waving gesture toward Ezekiel and told us to go read it. The challenge was to get the goods directly from Jesus. Jesus never said ignore the shrimp passage, but not the gay-hating ones. Jesus broke some rules (not the clean/unclean food ones, you'll note) and then said, look, charity and kindness to others, particularly to those scorned by society and your peers, trumps the rigid rules. Reading the rules too literally rather than understanding the intent of them is a problem. So, you can opt to eat shrimp, and/or you can opt to stop hating gays. Which do you think God cares about more?
posted by Hildegarde at 5:06 AM on November 4, 2006


LA Times on Haggard.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 5:18 AM on November 4, 2006


jokeefe writes "dirtynumbangelboy, I respect your anger, but this tirade is a bit much. Also, I read konolia's comments, and it didn't strike me that she was drawing an exact match between ordinary gayness and pedophila. Her logic might be broken, but I didn't see that equation in her post."

I don't think it's a bit much at all. Quite frankly, it doesn't even come close to being enough. Konolia and her ilk are responsible for death every day. They are responsible for children being beaten up, and being thrown out of their homes. They are responsible for one of my friends being in a coma for three days. They are responsible for denying marriage benefits--and yet allowing Britney fucking Spears to get married for 40 minutes, because that doesn't devalue the institution.

They are responsible for pain and suffering and brainwashing and there are no words in the English language that adequately express the depth of contempt and rage I feel for these fucking hypocrites.

Or to put it another way: Konolia is a fat, gluttonous hypocritical waste of flesh.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:24 AM on November 4, 2006


Sorry Jon, I still am vaguely in yr corner, but Kornholia lost me on this day, after years of being able to lurkishly tolerate her.
posted by Joseph Gurl at 5:25 AM on November 4, 2006


Just to make this thread complete: there's nothing wrong with being fat.
posted by Hildegarde at 5:26 AM on November 4, 2006


Hildegarde: there is when gluttony is a sin and you spew endless filth about homosexuality being a sin.

Mote in your brother's eye, etc. Let [s]he who is without sin, etc.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:43 AM on November 4, 2006


Dude, I was kidding. Beacuse you know, threads about fat people always end well at metafilter.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:01 AM on November 4, 2006


Oh.

Still, my point stands. But just in case anyone wants to quote out of context:

Nothing wrong with being fat. Everything wrong with it when gluttony is a sin and you carp endlessly about everyone else's sins.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:07 AM on November 4, 2006


Jonmc, this may be a little off-topic (well, not like there is one anymore), but maybe you can explain this to me: why is there a need to reconcile faith and tolerance to begin with?

Well, if a person gets something positive out of their faith, I'd be the last person to want to take that from them. But I'd like to see them reconcile that with ridding themselves of some of the churches more archaic doctrine. But, truth be told I'm just more saddened than anything else.
posted by jonmc at 7:52 AM on November 4, 2006


How great thou aren't, Art.
posted by jaronson at 8:14 AM on November 4, 2006


zarah: There, fixed that for you.

I understand your point, zarah, but there are places in the US where one can lead an openly gay lifestyle, and there are plenty of people who do so. And there are many places in the world where it is much worse to be gay than it is in the US. World =! metropolitan Western Europe.
posted by papakwanz at 8:25 AM on November 4, 2006


amberglow:
I think you didn't quite get what I was saying. I probably should have added, "In a better world, a religious leader like him would be more concerned with setting an example of charity and kindness to his fellow human than manipulating politics for his own selfish ends."
posted by papakwanz at 8:32 AM on November 4, 2006




If you are so obssesed with sex that you turn a great work of moral philosophy into fuck manual, then you don't need a priest, you need a therapist.

heh.

By the way, in case this Jesus/God deal is for real, if anyone is on good speaking terms with Him or Them and can put in requests that are actually granted, I'd like to ask a favor.

Ask the Big Wheels to send a lightning bolt down and scorch my deranged step-brother's knackers off. He pissed on my front door in the middle of the night two days ago. I think the powers that be will see the rightness of my request.

If this can be done I can get you anything you would like: hookers, booze, deep tissue masseuse, meth ... you name it.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 8:36 AM on November 4, 2006


So if I fashion this dogpig-glazed shrimp cocktail into the icon/image of a man and his ass, lust after it, and then fuck the everloving shit out of it and spill my seed all over it like some kind of salty, creamy garnish on Hell's own Bundt cake and then eat that cocksucker I'm pretty much doomed to the fundamentalist Christian hell, right? Or do I actually have to kill someone?

Whatever. I don't care. I'll even stab puppies and kittens. I just don't want to end up in "heaven" with ANY of the evangelicals. Wherever they're going, I don't want to be there.

If I'm doomed to some kind of fucked up eternal afterlife I'd really like to be free of this kind of happy horseshit even if it means a tormented eternity in an inky black void of absolute nothingness. Hell, I might even catch up on my rigorous and audacious schedule of advanced napping.

Wait, what? Most of the evangelicals and fundies are going to hell? That... that means I'll have to be ...good? OH FUCK I'M SO DOOMED PLEASE KILL ME NOW.
posted by loquacious at 8:52 AM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Rail at me all you like but the issue is deeper than what is or is not sin. The real issue is that we sin because we are sinners, because we are broken, and we can do nothing in our own strength to change it. Jesus came to rescue us from that.

Stacking up sins according to which are more or less socially acceptable is a meaningless exercise, as it is all abhorrent to almighty God.

By the way, Jesus actually DID declare all foods clean. Eat all the shrimp you like. And you can skip circumcision while you are at it. Really.
posted by konolia at 8:55 AM on November 4, 2006


The video linked in this comment is one of the strangest responses to an accusation I have ever seen. (And I say this as someone who actually spent over 2 years at PTL.) It's like he is talking about someone else. "We have to look into the allegations..." Just.... weird!
posted by The Deej at 8:58 AM on November 4, 2006


So, now that it is likely that we will see the members of the New Life Church and the National Association of Evangelicals forgive Haggard for his sins and demonstrate grace unto him, will they do so for all others whom they deem to be sinners? In particular will grace lead them to accept gays and lesbians, allowing us to lead their own lives -- ones replete with the same rights, duties and responsibilities as Americans -- with a recognition that the state should not be commanded by any given religion?
posted by ericb at 9:02 AM on November 4, 2006


*lead our own lives*
posted by ericb at 9:03 AM on November 4, 2006


ericb: Survey Says!......

No.
posted by papakwanz at 9:15 AM on November 4, 2006


rage and contempt have undermined everyone's 'moral high road' stance. the thing is, human beings always have, and always will, make themselves out to be superior, steal, lie, have sex with whatever will stand still long enough, including kids and livestock and each other, kill, manipulate and practice virulent hypocrisy. it's what we do. it's the natural state. if you say "not me" then you're either deluded or naive. people will always be deluded and naive and craven and other people will gleefully point that out as if they are immune. the same people will also be wonderful, generous, loving, humble and merciful, sometimes in the name of deception, manipulation, and self-interest.

so, ted haggard holds himself out as a godly man, and he openly denounces gay marriage while he himself, a married father of five, cavorts with male prostitutes in meth-fueled orgies of mansex. and then, he lies about it. and then he lies some more. backed into a corner, his very self-image crumbling in front of the entire world, his previous lies exposed, he lies even more. in summary, he says one thing, does another, proclaims that others should do what he says and not what he does, in fact works avidly to make what he says (not what he does) the legal status quo, and then lies his ass off when busted. and then lies some more. in the end, confronted with his own total corruption, he likely throws himself on the mercy of his deity loudly proclaiming repentance and promising better behavior in the future.

and then, he probably does it again.

this pretty much makes him an ordinary man.

this is pretty much exactly the story told over and over in scripture.
posted by quonsar at 9:21 AM on November 4, 2006


konolia writes "Rail at me all you like but the issue is deeper than what is or is not sin. The real issue is that we sin because we are sinners, because we are broken, and we can do nothing in our own strength to change it. Jesus came to rescue us from that. "

Hey, dumbass.

You still haven't answered the fucking question.

Where did Jesus say that gay == bad?

Where?

Have the courage of your convictions or for fuck's sake, go fucking shoot yourself and save us all.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:22 AM on November 4, 2006


quonsar writes "rage and contempt have undermined everyone's 'moral high road' stance."

Hasn't undermined mine. I have zero fucking tolerance for fucking bigots. They simply do not deserve it.

Andf oh sure, you cans ay I'm just saying the same as they are, but I'm not, and any mildly retarded 10 year old would understand that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:26 AM on November 4, 2006


Rail at me all you like

Considering I didn't call you out (or anyone in particular outside of an ideological demographic), should I consider this an example of a persecution complex?


Hey, konolia? Other fundies? Even mildly religious semi-Christians? I have a question for you.

Have you ever stopped and really pondered upon the implications that early Judaism/Christianity (and in particular, the source of inspiration of their scriptures) may actually have their origins in psychedelic mushroom cults that were scattered widely over the Middle East right around the time Judaism took root? That the whole "sacrament" thing may actually have it's roots in mushroom bread and tea, and that they literally thought that they were partaking in the flesh of the gods? Not at all unlike the numerous South American mushroom cults, who also called it Teo-nanacatl or Flesh of the Gods?

Granted, mushrooms may also be the evolutionary missing link between spoken language and symbolic, written language - but then the whole "I just ate mushrooms and I talked to God" thing has a cross-cultural pan-historical and incidental precedent going back well before the dawn of civilization.

And it sure makes a hell of a lot more sense than the convoluted, interpretive-dance routine telephone game of modern Christianity.


On that note, if all foods are declared clean by Jesus that means I can keep eating mushrooms, right? 'Cause actually talking to God is pretty cool.

In fact, He gave me a message last night but didn't tell me who it was for. He just said I would Know when it was Time. Hey, he's been right every other time so I didn't argue.

The message? Oh, right. He said:
"Quit it with that hateful shit already. The only Law and Message of the Cosmos is Love. That's it.

"All of you sucka MCs who keep trying to make it more complicated then that are really starting to piss me off. Love. Love. Are you in Love?

"Wait, what? WHAT DO YOU MEAN YOU FORGOT? *sigh* Ok, look. Whatever you do, whenever you're doing it, do you feel stressed out, angry, or hurtful while you're doing it? YOU'RE NOT IN LOVE, THEN. Do you feel all warm and fuzzy and happy inside? GOOD. PROCEED WITH ABANDON.

"Still don't get it? That's because you're not eating the mushrooms. Look, I put them there for a reason, dumbass.

THAT. IS. ALL. Don't make me come down there and kick your asses, I don't have time for this shit."
posted by loquacious at 9:31 AM on November 4, 2006 [3 favorites]


check out this you tube video of the guy.
posted by delmoi at 9:34 AM on November 4, 2006


Matthew 19:4-6

"Haven't you read," he replied,"that at the beginning the Creator 'made them male and female', and said, 'For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh'? So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together , let man not separate."

No mention here of a one-flesh relationship that is same-sex.

And here, we address the shrimp question along with our main point: Matthew 15:16-20-"Are you still so dull?" Jesus asked them. "Don't you see that whatever enters the mouth goes into the stomach and then out of the body? But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man 'unclean.' For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean."

Yes, homosexuality goes under sexual immorality here. Just as he did not mention every kind of evil thought, he did not mention every kind of sexual immorality. If you claim otherwise you could say that He didn't condemn pedophilia or sex with animals either, and I think we all know better than that. (and no, I am not saying that gays do either. )
posted by konolia at 9:36 AM on November 4, 2006


konolia writes "No mention here of a one-flesh relationship that is same-sex."

Holy shit. You really are that stupid. He was talking about divorce. Not sex.

You fail. I think now I can only have pity for you, because I cannot imagine how awful it must be to live with such stupidity.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:43 AM on November 4, 2006


Sorry Jon, I still am vaguely in yr corner, but Kornholia lost me on this day, after years of being able to lurkishly tolerate her.

Wow, classy.
posted by delmoi at 9:45 AM on November 4, 2006


konolia writes "Yes, homosexuality goes under sexual immorality here."

Did he say that?

Why no, no he did not.

FAIL.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:45 AM on November 4, 2006


Party on.
posted by fixedgear at 9:51 AM on November 4, 2006


delmoi. thanks for the video link. Funny and creepy.

We've decided that the Bible is the word of God. We don't have to have a general assembly about what we believe. It's written in the Bible. Alright? So we don't have to debate about what we should think about homosexual activity. It's written in the Bible.

Looks directly into the camera and points with a smile.

I think I know what you did last night. If you send me a thousand dollars I won't tell your wife.

To the camera operator.

If you use any of this I'll sue you.

My God. So to speak.
posted by TrolleyOffTheTracks at 10:00 AM on November 4, 2006


I have zero fucking tolerance for fucking bigots... ...you can say I'm just saying the same as they are, but I'm not, and any mildly retarded 10 year old would understand that.

priceless!
posted by quonsar at 10:08 AM on November 4, 2006


Y'know, when I see Ted Haggard, James Dobson, and the rest of their ilk, I don't see them as exemplifications of modern fundamentalist Christianity. I sincerely doubt they believe most of what they preach. These people are just opportunists cashing in on the faith industry. Hence, I'm never really surprised when they're called out on anything like this.

To these people, it's not about faith or the Bible or Jesus or holiness. It's about power, political influence, and money. I have my issues with fundamentalist Christianity, but these guys aren't Christians. They're actors. At best, they might be Grand Inquisitors (a la The Brothers Karamazov). At worst, they might simply be fame, fortune, and power seekers.

Followers of Christ they are not and should not be placed in that catagory, methinks. I'm sure there are plenty of people genuinely trying to follow Christ's teachings who have been caught up in their cults of personality. I don't deny that these followers hold some responsibility in the rise to power of such characters, but it is with the false prophets that most of the blame lies. People in general are easily led. If they were led by true believers in Christ's words, "homosexual agendas" and the evils of liberalism and the like would quickly be dropped for important issues, like peace, forgiveness, and a real dedication to "loving thy neighbor as thyself".

That's a lot of stating the obvious.
I'm going to eat some oatmeal, now.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:13 AM on November 4, 2006


These are what make a man 'unclean'; but eating with unwashed hands does not make him 'unclean."

Oh, to return to those good old holy days, before antiseptics (thassa’ librul, jew atheist plot for sure) and before wicked, wicked science! But you know what was really perfect? Civil war battleground surgeries: Ah, the sound of distant cannonfire punctuating the agonized wails of your dying platoon. And eventually just you, a rusty pliers, and what's left of that femoral artery. Good times!
posted by applemeat at 10:16 AM on November 4, 2006


it's not about faith or the Bible or Jesus or holiness. It's about power, political influence, and money

i feel exactly the same way about W.
posted by quonsar at 10:19 AM on November 4, 2006


Thomist : I could see myself doing that, if I were tempted to use drugs. It'll be interesting to see if Pastor Ted is lying now, or if this really is a case of a guy who flirted at great length with various temptations (getting massages so that he could come right up to the line of doing something sinful but still be able to deny that's what he was doing, buying drugs but then throwing them away), or a guy who sometimes did the things he was tempted to do.

I'm all for the benefit of the doubt but I hope you're aware of how meth + man-fun are connected. Common sense tells me that if Art was just tempted to get a little high he probably wouldn't choose meth over the myriad of other easily obtainable drug choices.
posted by General Zubon at 10:26 AM on November 4, 2006


Dirtynumbangelboy: "You fail. I think now I can only have pity for you, because I cannot imagine how awful it must be to live with such stupidity."

I second that. Konolia, your lack of basic knowledge about biblical history is just overwhelmingly obvious.

I commented on this above, but it bears repeating. You can put homosexuality and pedophilia/bestiality side by side and then claim OH, BUT I'M NOT SAYING THAT HOMOSEXUALITY = PEDOPHILIA/BESTIALITY! I'M JUST PUTTING THEM IN THE SAME CATEGORY OF SEXUAL IMMORALITY. SEE THE DIFFERENCE? Why is it that you fundies always pair the two, as if they had anything to do with each other? It's a cliched ploy fundies have been trotting out for years.

So go ahead and act all high and mighty and innocent, but no one's buying your brand of bullshit, Konolia. It is not for YOU to judge and condemn others. What part of "Judge not lest ye be judged" do you fundies not understand? As much as you may want to play the role of who decides who does and doesn't go to Hell, IT IS NOT YOUR ROLE TO PLAY. Wake the fuck up, already.
posted by mijuta at 10:26 AM on November 4, 2006


quonsar, I was saving that one for another discussion:

it's not about freedom or the United States or justice or protection. It's about power, political influence, and money
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:27 AM on November 4, 2006


It's this talking points template I've got. Multipurpose! You can use it on the job, at home, in your car. Wherever you see power, political influence, and money. Fits snugly in most overhead compartments.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:31 AM on November 4, 2006


Obviously none of us knows what's up with Pastor Ted, but the following scenario seems to me plausible.

Ted has in the past had furtive, anonymous gay sex. Perhaps that's why in his denials he says he hasn't ever had a gay "relationship". Anonymous bathhouse sex is not a "relationship".

Several times when he is in Denver writing, he toys around with the temptation to have gay sex. He hires a gay massage guy, and gets a massage, all the while feeling awful that he's coming so close to doing something wrong, but still able to plausibly deny, to himself and others, that he has actually done anything wrong yet.

He has heard about meth, and is tempted to take it and masturbate to fantasies of his gay massage guy.

He buys some meth from Jones. When Jones leaves, Ted is overcome with guilt and throws away the drugs. In his mind, he still hasn't actually done anything wrong yet, since he didn't have sex with Jones, didn't take the meth, and didn't masturbate, but he has come perilously close. Ted is grateful to God that he has dodged a bullet. (In Catholic terms, Ted has already voluntarily and without any good reason put himself into the proximate occasion of sin, and hence he has already seriously sinned, but Ted lacks the analytical resources of Catholic moral theology, so he probably thinks he hasn't yet sinned.)

Later on, Ted calls Jones to ask for more meth. After he gets it, however, he again throws it away. He still hasn't ever had sex with Jones.

Jones finds out who Ted is, is pissed, and decides to expose him. He's got the meth phone message and the meth/massage money envelope, and he knows he can have an influence on the gay rights amendment if he times the exposure right. Jones lies, but thinks that what he is saying about Ted is still true, because Jones is certain that Ted has had gay sex, and is pretty sure Ted has used meth.

The media cooperates.

Ted denies having a "relationship" with Jones.

Ted admits to his board of elders that he bought the meth, but says he didn't take it. He says he got massages from Jones, but denies that he had gay sex with Jones. Ted hasn't lied to his board.

Jones fails the polygraph test about having had gay sex with Ted.

Ted isn't exactly lying about anything. He hasn't denied that he struggles with the temptation to seek anonymous gay sex, but he also hasn't admitted it, either.

Jones is lying only about things he feels sure are true anyway, and he thinks it is important to expose to ridicule Ted because of the good effects that can result from the exposure.

Anyway, it'll be interesting to see what happens.

On preview, General Zubon, I don't actually know anything about the link between meth and man-fun. How do you think that connection casts light on this situation?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:42 AM on November 4, 2006


It's this talking points template I've got. Multipurpose! You can use it on the job, at home, in your car.

it's not about bigotry or the Lord or civil rights or freedom. It's about cocks, hairy assholes, and yummy santorum.

hey! i think you've got something there, tgbm!
posted by quonsar at 10:47 AM on November 4, 2006


For Thomist: Crystal methamphetamine and sex
posted by General Zubon at 10:48 AM on November 4, 2006


Oh come on, guys. Konolia is just trying to score some extra credit Jesus points. Can't take care of your own sin -- gotta do *something* to get into the kingdom..
posted by c13 at 10:51 AM on November 4, 2006


http://gaymeth.org
posted by quonsar at 10:52 AM on November 4, 2006


I don't see how the role of meth in the gay subculture shows that Ted is lying about anything (other than the fact that he isn't publicly acknowledging he struggles with the temptation to seek gay sex). Those of you who are so sure he's lying, please explain.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:55 AM on November 4, 2006


hey! i think you've got something there, tgbm!

Yeah, but not much on that list, excepting one cock. I had the Lord, but he skipped out in the middle of the night without saying, "Goodbye."
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:58 AM on November 4, 2006


Obviously none of us knows what's up with Pastor Ted, but the following scenario seems to me plausible.

Dude, that's because you pulled it out of your own ass. You wanted a plausible scenario, so you got one. Judging by the mental contortions you went through in your previous posts, there are many more that you can come up with. What's your point?
posted by c13 at 10:59 AM on November 4, 2006


I guess it just makes me believe he has more than a passing interest in gay sex, which in my mind makes him extremely hypocritical. That's the crux of my interest in the story.
posted by General Zubon at 11:00 AM on November 4, 2006


c13, my point is that many people here are insistent that Ted has lied. I'm wondering how they are so sure.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2006


General Zubon, he clearly has more than a passing interest in gay sex. But so far as I can tell, he's never denied that.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2006


Those of you who are so sure he's lying, please explain.

HE KEEPS CHANGING HIS STORY every time he's presented with new evidence!
posted by c13 at 11:01 AM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Ted lacks the analytical resources of Catholic moral theology.

Ah-ha! Well, there ya go.

btw, peeping_Thomast, you seem awfully interested in sex.
posted by applemeat at 11:02 AM on November 4, 2006


It's funny how Haggart went from "I've never seen this guy before in my life" to "oh yeah, I had a massage from him and bought meth but didn't take it or have sex with him", literally in the span of hours.

It seems to me that giving Pastor Ted the benefit of the doubt, given that he's already publicly lied about this until evidence surfaced, is to exhibit a great deal of Christian charity and very little skepticism.
posted by clevershark at 11:02 AM on November 4, 2006


Thomist: General Zubon, he clearly has more than a passing interest in gay sex. But so far as I can tell, he's never denied that.

So much for trying to contribute an opinion to this thread in a constructive manner. I'll see you guys later.
posted by General Zubon at 11:04 AM on November 4, 2006


Obviously none of us knows what's up with Pastor Ted, but the following scenario seems to me plausible.

You have an astonishingly broad definition of plausibility. Compared to your scenario, the existence of Santa Claus seems perfectly reasonable.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:05 AM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Compared to your scenario, the existence of Santa Claus seems perfectly reasonable.

Oh please, let's just not open that door. Pretty please?
posted by c13 at 11:09 AM on November 4, 2006


Those of you who are so sure he's lying, please explain.

Well, I'm sure he's lying because it is the simplest explanation for this situation. You theory, while possible, is not as plausible as him simply being a liar. How often do people buy drugs and just dispose of them out of guilt rather than use them? How often do people with a penchant for gay flings end up in full body massages with handsome male escorts without it leading to sex? They were obviously familiar enough with each other that Ted was comfortable enough to ask him if he knew where to get some meth. On multiple occasions.

Occam's Razor, I'd have to say.

Though, I suppose we'll see what happens.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:18 AM on November 4, 2006


"Where did Jesus say that gay == bad?"
C'mon, it's obvious - the hillbillies of Jesus' era beat up fags all the time, but do you hear jesus telling them not to beat up fags? No.

"but the following scenario seems to me plausible."
Wow, and here I was thinking you were someone who may be rigid in his beliefs, but was still capable of processing the information at hand and maintaining some level of rational thought.
But you really are a dumbass.
posted by 2sheets at 11:31 AM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Even putting aside Haggart's previous lying and the subsequent meth admission, what actively anti-gay, right-wing Christian--one who has built an empire around touting his hetero-family-man virtues, who decides to get a bona fide, non-sexual massage is going to select a hunky, homo bodybuilder to administer it? (At $100+/hour.) Even if Haggart really never did "have gay sex", (and ok, that’s at least a slight possibility) what Haggart has already admitted to; knowing Jones, getting a “nonsexual” massage from Jones, leaving voicemails with a known gay prostitute; equates a man of Haggarty’s ..uh.. credentials to be gayer than a cantaloupe brunch. And thus, a deceitful hypocrite.
posted by applemeat at 11:38 AM on November 4, 2006


sorry.. Haggard
posted by applemeat at 11:38 AM on November 4, 2006


Look, just because Haggard might have put his tongue up Mike Jones's butthole while getting a massage, he probably held back from cumming and asked Jesus to forgive him, so it doesn't mean he's participated in gay sex, OK?!
posted by mijuta at 11:42 AM on November 4, 2006


Those of you who are so sure he's lying, please explain.

OK. Here's a man with obvious weaknesses, which govern him to the point of hiring a "massage therapist" who is obviously a prostitute and buying drugs repeatedly. And, at the point where is is most likely to give in to his weakness, he shows a degree of willpower that he didn't have just a few minutes before. And not just once, but repeatedly - he's not going to leave voicemails, etc, the first time. So, yes, your scenario stretches plausibility to the breaking point.

Ted lacks the analytical resources of Catholic moral theology

If your previous posts were an example of this analysis at work, bully for him. Are these the same analytical resources that came up with indulgences?
posted by me & my monkey at 11:49 AM on November 4, 2006


Everyone knows in some way that God exists, even those who say that God does not exist.

Oh, fuck, not this shit again.
posted by solid-one-love at 11:58 AM on November 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


Look, just because Haggard might have put his tongue up Mike Jones's butthole while getting a massage, he probably held back from cumming and asked Jesus to forgive him, so it doesn't mean he's participated in gay sex, OK?!

Well, yes, I've been wondering about Haggard's choice of words, according to which he didn't have "homosexual sex with a man". Er, what other sort of sex could he have with a man? Could it be that by "homosexual sex" he only understands taking it up the brownhole, and he's trying a "Clinton" on us?
posted by Skeptic at 12:00 PM on November 4, 2006


clevershark: It's funny how Haggart went from "I've never seen this guy before in my life" to "oh yeah, I had a massage from him and bought meth but didn't take it or have sex with him", literally in the span of hours.

I missed that. Could you point me to where he said he didn't know Jones?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:10 PM on November 4, 2006


He did say at first he never met the man making the accusation (NYTimes link).
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 12:24 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


I can't believe this post has 800 comments.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 12:26 PM on November 4, 2006


In the interest of responding to peeping_Thomist's plausible scenario, here's a scenario that *I* find entirely plausible:

Haggard wants some man-beef. He hires a male masseuse that he finds listed in the back of Denver's local independent weekly.

Jones arrives at Haggard's hotel room, or wherever. Haggard likes what he sees. Asks Jones if he has anything to make the massage experience a little more "exciting." Jones sells him some meth, and the two smoke it and get high as a fucking kite.

Haggard then offers Jones some money for a "happy ending" and the two proceed to suck and fuck each other 6 ways from Sunday.

Rinse and repeat for the next three years.
posted by papakwanz at 12:28 PM on November 4, 2006


By the way... what the FUCK was up with that video that delmoi posted? That was some weird shit.
posted by papakwanz at 12:29 PM on November 4, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: Here's a man with obvious weaknesses, which govern him to the point of hiring a "massage therapist" who is obviously a prostitute and buying drugs repeatedly. And, at the point where is is most likely to give in to his weakness, he shows a degree of willpower that he didn't have just a few minutes before. And not just once, but repeatedly - he's not going to leave voicemails, etc, the first time.

Perhaps you don't have much familiarity with how some Christians experience temptation and sin. I've had this kind of experience with pornography in the past. When I go into "dialoguing with temptation" mode, I'll do things like download pornography and then feel guilty and delete it without looking at it, or look at it furtively but not long enough to really see anything and then feel guilty and delete it. It seems completely plausible to me that Ted would be tempted to have gay sex, and would repeatedly go right up to the line of doing it but then not actually do it--and that he might return to that point again and again.

What I am saying here isn't that he shows willpower at one point that he lacked earlier. Instead, as he's moving toward crossing the line, he keeps telling himself that he's not really going to do anything bad, that he really just needs a massage, and that the massage guy just happens to be a flaming homosexual, and so on. But actually having mansex with the guy would require that he admit to himself what he's actually been doing all along, and he can't bring himself to do that.

I'm ready to believe Ted lied if there's good evidence that he lied, but so far his story seems plausible to me. It's not pretty, and it certainly involves him having done things that are serious sins. (Deliberately putting yourself in a situation where you are playing around with the temptation to serious sin is itself a serious sin.) But other than the fact that you all hate the guy, I don't see why everyone is so eager to say he has lied. Jones is the one who didn't pass a polygraph.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:38 PM on November 4, 2006


Thanks, ThePinkSuperhero, for the link. It's frustrating, because the article only says "He also had said he had never met the man making the accusation." Why didn't they include a quote for that? What did he actually say? If he really lied at first, and has now said something that contradicted what he said earlier, why hasn't he already apologized for having lied earlier? (I would have thought that would be the first thing he'd have apologized for.)

Can anyone provide a link that gives a quote in which Haggard denied having met the man making the accusation?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:44 PM on November 4, 2006


He has lied about every single thing, from knowing the guy, to meeting with him repeatedly and why, to buying meth (which he also did repeatedly), to not using the meth, ...

He lied, then it came out that it was a lie, then he changes his story and lies again, then it came out that that was a lie, then he admits to his Church board that some is true, but it's not made public...
posted by amberglow at 12:54 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "I'm ready to believe Ted lied if there's good evidence that he lied,"

Dude. There is video evidence of him lying. Every time some new evidence comes to light, he changes his story. What part of that do you not understand?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:55 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping Thomist: I also remember Haggard saying initially that he had never met Jones. Also, the general feeling is that Jones failed the polygraph because he was stressed, not because he was making the whole thing up. The person who administered the polygraph (which are hardly infallible) wanted to try again next week, once Jones was rested.

Also, flirting with temptation by downloading porn is a private, individual act; actual hands on paid contact with another human being is quite different.
posted by jokeefe at 12:59 PM on November 4, 2006


I've had this kind of experience with pornography in the past. When I go into "dialoguing with temptation" mode, I'll do things like download pornography and then feel guilty and delete it without looking at it, or look at it furtively but not long enough to really see anything and then feel guilty and delete it.

See, this is one of the saddest and, frankly, most pathological things I have ever read.

With all the horror, sorrow and suffering there is in this world, you have nothing better to do than play little approach-and-avoid mindgames with yourself? Simply to demonstrate your ability to avoid temptation?

What an unbearably tragic waste of human possibility.
posted by adamgreenfield at 1:00 PM on November 4, 2006


adamgreenfield: With all the horror, sorrow and suffering there is in this world, you have nothing better to do than play little approach-and-avoid mindgames with yourself? Simply to demonstrate your ability to avoid temptation?

Huh? I wasn't bragging that I was avoiding temptation. Those were examples of me giving in to temptation while deluding myself that I wasn't doing anything wrong. Yes, it is sad. Sin is sad.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:04 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm ready to believe Ted lied if there's good evidence that he lied, but so far his story seems plausible to me.

What in the hell kind of proof do you need? Oral sex from the guy? Or would you be able to rationalize and deny that as well?
posted by loquacious at 1:06 PM on November 4, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: There is video evidence of him lying. Every time some new evidence comes to light, he changes his story.

Could you give me a clear example of that? So far all I've seen is a description in the NY TImes that said earlier he had denied knowing the guy, but I haven't been able to find an actual quote to that effect. I have seen an early interview in which Haggard denied having a gay relationship with Jones or with anyone, but I haven't seen a quote in which he says he didn't know Jones. And I haven't heard anyone suggest any other contradictions. Please just give me some quotes where he said one thing and then later contradicted it. I'm ready to believe it, I just haven't seen it yet.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:08 PM on November 4, 2006


jokeefe: I also remember Haggard saying initially that he had never met Jones.

So maybe you could find me a quote where he said that?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:10 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm ready to believe Ted lied if there's good evidence that he lied, but so far his story seems plausible to me.

You believe that he bought meth but didn't use it? That's a little absurd. As for the gay stuff, who knows? maybe the guy did just get a massage, but it seems pretty unlikely to me.

I don't see why everyone is so eager to say he has lied. Jones is the one who didn't pass a polygraph.

Polygraphs = garbage.
posted by delmoi at 1:10 PM on November 4, 2006


loquacious: What in the hell kind of proof do you need?

One of the following would do nicely:

(1) quotes in which he contradicts earlier quotes.

(2) evidence that Jones is telling the truth about having had sex with Haggard, such as a passed polygraph

(3) quotes in which Haggard says something demonstrably false
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:13 PM on November 4, 2006


delmoi: You believe that he bought meth but didn't use it? That's a little absurd.

How so? I can easily see myself doing that if I became tempted to use meth, and allowed myself to flirt with that temptation to the point of taking steps like buying it.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:16 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping: ...The admissions -- after Haggard's earlier denials that he even knew Jones -- resonated among America's evangelicals and Christian leaders. ...

and on that page on the left, a video link to: Pastor changes story in scandal (3:35)
posted by amberglow at 1:16 PM on November 4, 2006


"or look at it furtively but not long enough to really see anything and then feel guilty and delete it."

Oh my. This just keeps getting better.
posted by 2sheets at 1:18 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping, you have 1, and 3...and you'll have testimony in court from Jones very soon, since (From the top of that very page)
• NEW: Denver police will look into "crimes that may have been committed"

posted by amberglow at 1:19 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm suddenly reminded of THIS. (youtube)

Most applicable starting at the 2:52 mark.
posted by General Zubon at 1:19 PM on November 4, 2006


fucking cnn doesn't support linux.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:23 PM on November 4, 2006


also, and very important--Mike Jones will definitely be in jail if he's lying because Haggard already said he bought meth from him (which Jones also says is not true--he hooked Haggard up with someone else). And Jones really gains nothing by telling the truth either.
posted by amberglow at 1:25 PM on November 4, 2006


amberglow: after Haggard's earlier denials that he even knew Jones

well, I can't see the video, but does he actually say he does not know Jones? The story only says that he said it, but doesn't give a quote.

And what do you think Haggard said that is demonstrably false?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:26 PM on November 4, 2006


We know that either Haggard is lying about having bought meth from Jones, or Jones is lying about not having sold it to Haggard.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:28 PM on November 4, 2006


search youtube or Crooks and liars--there's video of him giving an interview on Wednesday saying he's never met the guy.
posted by amberglow at 1:28 PM on November 4, 2006




Could it be that by "homosexual sex" he only understands taking it up the brownhole, and he's trying a "Clinton" on us?

A lot of "straight" guys figure they're not gay because they don't get fucked by other guys, no matter how many other guys they fuck up the ass.

Perhaps you don't have much familiarity with how some Christians experience temptation and sin.

Perhaps not. And, frankly, I don't want to. Don't take this personally, I guess, but you sound like you have some serious problems. Look at the porn, don't look at the porn, whatever - agonizing over the porn is worse than either. For the sake of the general psychological health of the world, I can only hope that you are not representative of most Christians, with your absurd legalistic views of right and wrong and sin.

The gay hooker he hired said this was going on for three years. If he was going to lie, why come up with some outrageous length of time? All he'd have to do is say he'd been with Ted once or twice. And if Ted did hire him repeatedly over three years, it stretches credulity beyond its limit to expect that not once did they actually have some sort of sexual contact or that Ted didn't use the meth he bought.

I think you're wasting your time trying to come up with some contorted explanation of how he hired a hooker and bought meth, but didn't have sex or use drugs.

fucking cnn doesn't support linux.

[insert Christian self-flagellation joke here]
posted by me & my monkey at 1:31 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist:

Here is a page with the breaking allegations; watch the Nov. 1 interview under "Additional Resources". He says "I do not know Mike Jones" around 1:15 in.
posted by Upton O'Good at 1:38 PM on November 4, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: The gay hooker he hired said this was going on for three years. If he was going to lie, why come up with some outrageous length of time? All he'd have to do is say he'd been with Ted once or twice. And if Ted did hire him repeatedly over three years, it stretches credulity beyond its limit to expect that not once did they actually have some sort of sexual contact or that Ted didn't use the meth he bought.

That's a pretty good argument, and I agree that if we're talking about a period of years, that story I told isn't plausible. It'll be interesting to see if that part of Jones's story holds up.

Here's one reason to come up with an outrageous lie: the story only has to hold until Tuesday.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:39 PM on November 4, 2006


OMFG: his wife and kids were in the car when Haggard gave the more recent tv interview --...The interview Haggard gave yesterday, the one with his poor wife watching where he talking about buying crystal meth and only getting a massage from the gay hooker, his poor kids were sitting in the back seat the entire time. And before anyone criticizes the reporter, the journalist asked Haggard if he wanted to step out of the car for a second to do the interview and he said no. He chose to do it in front of his kids.
posted by amberglow at 1:39 PM on November 4, 2006


Here's one reason to come up with an outrageous lie: the story only has to hold until Tuesday.

At the risk of possibly heavy jailtime? Get real.
posted by amberglow at 1:46 PM on November 4, 2006


Amberglow, even I am shocked at that.

His poor wife and kids. They don't deserve this.
posted by konolia at 1:49 PM on November 4, 2006


Upton O'Good, I can't get that file to play, but I'll believe you if you say that he says the words "I do not know Mike Jones". Assuming that's what he said, he's in very deep shit, because he's shown that he's willing to lie, and you can't trust what he says. I have to say it surprises me that he would lie; I'd have expected him to say things that are true but misleading. But if he actually lied, as you say, he's going to have a serious credibility problem with his supporters.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:02 PM on November 4, 2006


his church just threw him the hell out--so much for that forgiveness thing, huh?
posted by amberglow at 2:08 PM on November 4, 2006


The comment rate here seems to be dropping a little, you comtemptible slackers.

Prepare the drums..

.....RAMMING SPEED!!
posted by econous at 2:12 PM on November 4, 2006


When I go into "dialoguing with temptation" mode

Bloody hell - 800-odd posts, but it was it worth it for this. I now have a new favourite euphemism for the timeless act of self-pleasure.

"What took you so long in there?"

"Oh, I was just, you know, 'dialoguing with temptation.'"

Or like this:

"Man, I can't believe I wasted half the afternoon on that long-ass MeFi thread. It was nothin' but dialoguing with temptation from the first post."
posted by gompa at 2:13 PM on November 4, 2006


gompa, sorry to disappoint you, but I haven't masturbated in about 20 years. I wasn't using "dialoguing with temptation" as a euphemism for masturbation.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:18 PM on November 4, 2006


his church just threw him the hell out

Is that a new development? Or just a comment on the situation as a whole, amberglow?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:20 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


The Jesus supported Slavery.

Just say'n.
posted by tkchrist at 2:23 PM on November 4, 2006


CNN on tv as Breaking News just now
posted by amberglow at 2:29 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "he's in very deep shit, because he's shown that he's willing to lie, and you can't trust what he says"

This is news? People have been telling you this since yesterday.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:31 PM on November 4, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, I hadn't realized that he said he did not know Jones. I still haven't seen the quote, but I trust that it's in the interview Upton O'Good linked to, and enough articles have referred to it. I'm surprised I haven't seen the quote in print in any article.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:35 PM on November 4, 2006


Arguing scripture and why people believe as they do is folly-- no-one's mind is going to be changed. Well, it could happen, but I doubt it. Blind faith is a pretty strong coping mechanism.

I do understand trying to make others understand that when their faith bleeds out into the political world, it's potentially hurting people-- if you think group X is bad or sinful, and it looks like they might enjoy the rights you do, you've GOT to put a stop to it, for otherwise it legitimizes their sinful lifestyle and therein lies the collapse of Western Civilization, etc. This directly affects those that are just trying to live the same comfortable and happy life that you are, your belief in their Hell-destination notwithstanding. Get your own affairs in order, and stay out of everyone else's.

Let's understand though, that the beliefs themselves aren't worth arguing. Some people are going to hate openly, others are going to couch their hate in butterflies and rainbows. Some people don't hate at all, and are simply misguided or ignorant, they pick and choose texts to justify what they think they are supposed to believe; but it is my experience that you can show them other texts that refute what they say, and it doesn't matter a lick-- they're going to believe what's comfortable. Doctrine is comfortable. Consistency is comfortable. Ostracizing the Other is comfortable.

Listen, this conversation would be going in a totally different direction if konolia or peeping_Thomist had been brought up in, say, India. The argument would be all about quoting the Laws of Manu and praying to Ganesh, or admonitions to chant the Vedas and feed the ritual fire with ghee. As it is, they are products of their belief systems, and there's no changing that; it's in many ways epidemiological.

side note to peeping_Thomist: I do admire your giving Haggard the benefit of the doubt-- I'm much more cynical by orders of magnitude.
posted by exlotuseater at 2:38 PM on November 4, 2006


Wow, I see it on CNN.com right now, as a news alert:
The Rev. Ted Haggard has been forced out as pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church, whose board cited his "sexually immoral conduct."

posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:40 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Here's one reason to come up with an outrageous lie: the story only has to hold until Tuesday.

The White House is already distancing themselves from him: see about half way down the page here (CNN link).
posted by jokeefe at 2:40 PM on November 4, 2006


jonmc: "my experiences with self-proclaimed born-agains has been exactly the opposite. most of the ones I've known have been people who were in desperate straits due to addiction abuse or other crises . . ."

Hear the New Life Church Band sing "Desperation,"(mp3), apparently a cornerstone concept of Pastor Ted's theology. Then have a look at the New Life Church website and tell me how "desperate" they all seem.

Lame at web design, yes. "Desperate," hardly.
posted by fourcheesemac at 2:42 PM on November 4, 2006


I wonder if what is happening to Haggard is Enantiodromia, which is when the unconscious mind acts out against the conscious minds wishes...kinda like restoring equilibrium to an unbalanced existence. Maybe this is a synchronistic event to our current political landscape?
A jungian approach...
posted by alteredcarbon at 2:45 PM on November 4, 2006


They actually said "sexually immoral?" Then he's either admitted it, or someone else has come forward.

I'm sure Jesus will forgive my unreasonable pleaure in all this.
posted by jokeefe at 2:46 PM on November 4, 2006


And now it's on the AP: Evangelical Leader Resigning From Church. Sexually immoral conduct? Does that mean he DID have sexual relations with Jones, or are they counting the "massage" as sexually immoral?
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 2:46 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Peeping_Thom, what is painfully obvious is that you haven't read any of the news links or looked at any of the videos that people have been posting in this thread since it started. All the evidence you've asked for has already been given, but then you play that lazy and mainpulative game of "Well, show me the exact quotes where this Jesus-fearing man has technically lied" and you go through all of these contortive processes to give him the benefit of the doubt, despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
posted by mijuta at 2:47 PM on November 4, 2006


I think it means he definitely had sex with that guy, TPS--massage is not sexually immoral in itself. At least he didn't lie to his church--that's something.
posted by amberglow at 2:53 PM on November 4, 2006


"The White House is already distancing themselves from him: see about half way down the page here (CNN link)."

Via Americablog:
In spite of the White House's odd denials yesterday that they had any real contacts with evangelical leader Ted Haggard, the guy who bought crystal meth and repeated massages from a gay hooker, the Rocky Mountain News details just how extensive Haggard's contacts really were with the Bush White House.

Then again, the Bush White House also told us they never had many contacts with Jack Abramoff - and then we found out there were hundreds.
posted by mijuta at 2:54 PM on November 4, 2006


jokeefe: They actually said "sexually immoral?" Then he's either admitted it, or someone else has come forward.

Even on the "plausible story" I gave earlier, what he did was a case of serious sexual immorality (as has also been true those times when I have downloaded pornography but then deleted it without watching it). Christians try to take seriously Christ's words about "lust in the heart". Committing adultery is wrong, and so is flirting at length with the temptation to commit adultery.

From the press release: A letter of explanation and apology by Pastor Haggard as well as a word of encouragement from Gayle Haggard will be read in the 9:00 and 11:00 service of New Life Church.

I'll bet he comes clean in this letter. He'll have to address the issue of his lying, and make clear exactly what was true and what was not in what he said earlier.

All I know about meth is the photos of ravaged faces and bodies you see in newspapers. Can a person be addicted to meth and still function at a high level like he has been? (I associate meth with trailer parks, not high-powered movers and shakers.) Wonder if he's going to say the drugs were a big part of it.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:54 PM on November 4, 2006




mijuta, I can't play the video in which apparently he says he did not know Jones, and so far as I've noticed, none of the articles printed those words. What's wrong with giving people the benefit of the doubt? It's not like I am a supporter of this guy...I think his brand of Christianity is a disaster.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 2:58 PM on November 4, 2006


"Hey--that's the guy from...from my penis!"
Jimmy Kimmel's summary of the events.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:00 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist opines "I missed that. Could you point me to where he said he didn't know Jones?"

There you are. CNN clip, the denial comes at about 1:15. You're welcome.
posted by clevershark at 3:11 PM on November 4, 2006


I was just thinking about how sad it is that Haggard and his family have to through such a public "fall from grace." Don't get me wrong, I'm all for fundie hyopcrisy being smacked down at any turn--especially when it comes to their painfully distorted obsession with homosexuality. But still, this will be very painful for them.

And I am equally saddened that Haggard is a closeted gay man whose shame and self-hatred went to such great lengths that he disguised himself as a fundie preacher, trying to stave off the fundie-created demons by becoming a fundie himself.

The really sad thing about all of this is that the fundies will demonize homosexuality even further, instead of realizing that THEY are the ones who have created this problem.

This commentary from Digby nails it on the head--the last three paragraphs in particular are brilliant:

A Message From On High

by tristero

I came across this interesting editorial in The Christian Post on what the National Associations of Evangelicals (NAE) should do now that their president, Ted Haggard, has been exposed as a hypocrite.

First of all, what is the NAE?

The National Association of Evangelicals is a group that is 30-million strong with over 50 years of history. However, in the last few years, its headquarters has moved to an office within Haggard’s New Life Community Church with its staffers fully employed by the church.

Oops.

Most of the editorial consists of practical advice for what the NAE should do now, like move out of Haggard's megachurch, and elect a temporary president, which assumes they can find a leading christianist who isn't involved in a sex scandal or batshit crazy like Pat Robertson. Or, like Tim LaHaye, too rich to bother. But I digress.

Sprinkled throughout the editorial, you get lines like these:

...the situation in its entirety is a stark reminder of man’s sinfulness and a dark exposure of how deeply the sin of homosexuality has taken root in the American society. ...now would be the time for the Evangelical community look within its own walls and battle against the culture of sin that looms before the Church of Christ...

...fighting more adamantly against the culture of sin...
Get it? It's the "culture of sin" - that's liberals to you - that done did in poor Ted Haggard and kicked the 30-million strong NAE in the teabags. (And right around now, if you haven't been following the American theocracy movement closely, you should be saying to yourself: "A 30 million strong evangelical group! Holy fucking shit!!")

And then the editorial closes with a common invocation of Jesus, who rules over us sinners. Admittedly, we're not really supposed to read the words so much as feel the goodness and strength that comes whenever Jesus is mentioned with love. But let's read it anyway:

After all, no matter how sensationalized the reports and how deep the sin, it is Christ – not Ted Haggard – who is the head of this Church.

If that is so, that "Christ is the head of this Church," then Christ has just sent his Church - through the travails of Ted Haggard - an unequivocal message to stop bashing and obsessing over gays. And stop forcing them to hide in closets.

Since Haggard before his fall was consumed with making marriage for certain Americans constitutionally illegal, Christ now is telling evangelicals to behave with mercy and grace towards gays, to stop obsessing over the gender of two people who love each other, but to accept them, to love them.

And if I were a member of "this Church," I'd very much attend to this message Christ has sent our way.

posted by mijuta at 3:16 PM on November 4, 2006


thanks, clevershark. Yep, he's in serious trouble with his supporters. Of course that would be true even if the plausible story I gave earlier is true, but the lying makes it much more difficult to heal the trust wound he has created.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:17 PM on November 4, 2006


mijuta: Christ has just sent his Church - through the travails of Ted Haggard - an unequivocal message to stop bashing and obsessing over gays. And stop forcing them to hide in closets.

My dictionary says "unequivocal" means "admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion." The idea that the "message" of these events is unequivocal is unequivocally wrong.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:26 PM on November 4, 2006


Yea, this isn't God sending anyone a message; this is just one human being messing up, same as the rest of us do every single day. We certainly can learn lessons from it, though.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:32 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Can a person be addicted to meth and still function at a high level like he has been?
Yes. Trust me, I know that it can be done.
posted by bunglin jones at 3:34 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "heal the trust wound he has created."

Heal the trust wound?

What about his preaching against gays? What about the 'demons of gay perversion'? What about the countless numbers of people who, because of Haggert & konolia and their ilk, feel ashamed and guilty?

What about the people who are forced to hide because of this shit?

What about the fact that gay and lesbian teenagers are several orders of magnitude more likely to commit suicide than their heterosexual counterparts?

And you're worried about the trust he has lost from his followers?

Have you ever actually read what Christ preached? Things like love. Feeding and clothing the poor. he never said anything about homosexuality, evidenced by the fact that konolia cannot come up with one single thing that the man himself said.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:48 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


All I know about meth is the photos of ravaged faces and bodies you see in newspapers. Can a person be addicted to meth and still function at a high level like he has been? (I associate meth with trailer parks, not high-powered movers and shakers.) Wonder if he's going to say the drugs were a big part of it.

He doesn't strike me as an "addict" in the sense that you're describing--someone who's using on a frequent, habitual basis. From the voicemail:

"Hi Mike, this is Art. Hey, I was just calling to see if we could get any more. Either $100 or $200 supply. And I could pick it up really anytime I could get it tomorrow or we could wait till next week sometime and so I also wanted to get your address. I could send you some money for inventory but that's probably not working, so if you have it then go ahead and get what you can and I may buzz up there later today, but I doubt your schedule would allow that unless you have some in the house. Okay, I'll check in with you later. Thanks a lot, bye."

That sounds to me like someone who's used before, likes it, has fun doing it, but doesn't need it. He's not going crazy because he hasn't gotten his "stuff." He's probably perfectly functional, if you ignore all the pathological self-loathing closeted gay stuff.
posted by EarBucket at 3:49 PM on November 4, 2006


Well, my son just called. He and a friend of his will be going to New Life tomorrow to see for themselves what happens.
posted by konolia at 3:50 PM on November 4, 2006


James Alison is one of best Christian writers out there and just happens to also be gay. Konolia you really need to check him out for a much different and very Christian perspective on things.

One of the very few chapters/verses that some Christians use to scapegoat gay people is Romans 1. In this article Mr. Alison quite clearly shows that Romans 1 says absolutely nothing about homosexuality and in fact Paul speaking about something much more important.

Other articles include:
Is it ethical to be Catholic? – Queer perspectives

Following the still small voice: Experience, truth and argument as lived by Catholics around the gay issue

Collapsing the closet in the house of God: Opening the door on gay/straight issues

Worship in a violent world

Some thoughts on the Atonement

posted by Buck Eschaton at 3:51 PM on November 4, 2006


Interesting; do report back, konolia. I'd be interested if there will be more or less people then usual (which your son wouldn't know, but maybe they'll be so many people they'll have to turn folks away), and if any security methods will be in place.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Peeping_Thom: "My dictionary says "unequivocal" means "admitting of no doubt or misunderstanding; having only one meaning or interpretation and leading to only one conclusion." The idea that the "message" of these events is unequivocal is unequivocally wrong."

Yeah, I knew you'd be able to find a way to avoid the obvious message of this by focusing on the technicality of something minor.
posted by mijuta at 3:52 PM on November 4, 2006


Dear quonsar, konolia, and other extreme theists:

I am not broken. I've made some mistakes and paid the consequences. I have friends who've made mistakes and paid the consquences. However, I've not made millions of dollars preaching at people as to how they should live their lives, and then done exactly what I was telling them not to do. I have never been arrested. I have never fucked or tried to fuck a kid.

Sorry you and so many people in your lives have done despicable things, but just because you've had the sorry luck to fuck up your own lives or have close relations who've fucked up their's, please don't assume that all humans are bad and need big-skygod-daddie-pop to come down and make up for it.

Seriously. I'm an adult capable of having free will and facing up to the consequences of bad decisions I might make. I'm also capable of joy, love, and excitement when things go well, whether it's because I made it happen, or through simple random chance.

Please stop basing your moral outlook on your own inadequcies, delusions, and shortcomings. Live your lives the way you choose to, but realize that most of the world struggles just as mightily with life, but we don't throw up our arms at the first sign of trouble and wait for big-skygod-daddie-pop to help us. Nor do we actively foment discord through hypocrisy, hatefulness, bigotry, or the direct attempt to cause pain to others who are different than us.

Do us a favor and read your New Testament again.
posted by bardic at 3:56 PM on November 4, 2006


pinksuperhero writes: Yea, this isn't God sending anyone a message; this is just one human being messing up, same as the rest of us do every single day. We certainly can learn lessons from it, though.

No. Wrong. Idiotic. This is a man who made a life and living off of his moralizing. Qualitative difference between him and the rest of the world.
posted by bardic at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2006


That Kimmel clip was funny, but it makes me feel worse for the guy. He's in over his head now, why would he keep giving interviews? Poor guy and poor his family.

Of course, I feel worse that he's made a career of demonizing and trying to deny rights to millions of gay Americans, but still, I can't help but feel bad for the guy.
posted by ibmcginty at 3:59 PM on November 4, 2006


"Therefore you have no excuse, O man, whoever you are, when you judge another; for in passing judgment upon him you condemn yourself, because you, the judge, are doing the very same things."

Have you got that yet, konolia?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:00 PM on November 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


ThePinkSuperhero, he's visited there before so he may very well have some idea-my guess is the place will be packed (they do have multiple services-five I think-so I imagine everyone who really wants to be there will manage it.)

One bit of trivia-the fellow who is interim pastor-his wife just had a baby this past Thursday.
posted by konolia at 4:02 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm beginning to think that all republicans are gay.
posted by stavrogin at 4:13 PM on November 4, 2006


How's your vaunted gaydar on the new one Konolia? Because if it didn't go off, we can safely assume to likes to slobber on cock.
posted by bardic at 4:15 PM on November 4, 2006


Bardic, he spoke at my graduation this past June. He's metro-but according to my son so is most of Colorado Springs. As noted upthread his wife just had a baby fwiw.
posted by konolia at 4:26 PM on November 4, 2006


The comment rate here seems to be dropping a little, you comtemptible slackers.

Prepare the drums..

.....RAMMING SPEED!!


I'm saving my 10,000th comment for tuesday.
posted by delmoi at 4:32 PM on November 4, 2006


Ted has five kids. And we know for a fact that he likes to get massages and buy drugs from gay prostitutes. It's more than likely he likes to fuck them or get fucked by them.
posted by bardic at 4:32 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic: I am not broken.

I used to think that about myself, when I was an atheist. Eventually it became clear to me that I was in fact broken. I remember thinking when I was young that religion is a crutch for weak people. Eventually I came to see I was one of them.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:33 PM on November 4, 2006


stavrogin: I'm beginning to think that all republicans are gay.

Me too! Today I got a political ad in the mail encouraging me to vote for "firm, fair republican judges".
posted by peeping_Thomist at 4:35 PM on November 4, 2006


Bully for you. Please stop inflicting your neuroses on the rest of us. Go fuck your wife's ass or something since you enjoy it so much, apparently.
posted by bardic at 4:37 PM on November 4, 2006


What bardic said. All sin is local.
posted by adamgreenfield at 4:42 PM on November 4, 2006


"I have to say it surprises me that he would lie; I'd have expected him to say things that are true but misleading."

Man, this thread just keeps on giving.

"I haven't masturbated in about 20 years"

Ok, stop it now, you're killing me.

"As noted upthread his wife just had a baby fwiw."

THE STUPID - IT BUUUUURNS
posted by 2sheets at 4:44 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


thanks for those, Buck--in many ways i think Catholics have it easier than Fundamentalists and Evangelicals and those people--there's a long and strong history of Catholics not following all the laws to the letter, especially when it comes to sex and associated issues.
posted by amberglow at 4:46 PM on November 4, 2006


q, when did Jesus crawl up your ass and start to fester? what's up?
posted by amberglow at 4:47 PM on November 4, 2006


Oh, Haggard's apology/statement will not clear anything up, i bet--there'll be tons of families there and if he doesn't care about talking in front of his kids, other people do.
posted by amberglow at 4:54 PM on November 4, 2006


Awwww, poor Jesus. Let him out!
posted by Hildegarde at 5:05 PM on November 4, 2006



Ok, a 900-post thread. Took me a while to work my way here to the end. There have been plenty of occasions where I wanted to jump in. Haven’t much seen the need, until I got to Peeping Thomist’s dazzling remark that I have to say it surprises me that he would lie

Dude! Haggard makes a good living by telling the credulous that he has An Invisible Friend up in the Sky who very much wants you to hate gays. Oh, my invisible friend would like it if you voted to end taxes on rich people.

Haggard’s ENTIRE EXISTENCE has been devoted to nothing BUT propagating untruths.

And you have a hard time believing that Haggard would LIE?

Man, how naive ARE you?
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 5:07 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


What Thomist and konolia and their like remind me of, more than anything else, are those pathetic CP members who kept trying to justify and recuperate Soviet behavior, even after '56, after Prague, after Solzhenitsyn. The layers and layers of armoring and the underlying desperation to make the facts fit the narrative are one and the same.

Bluntly: is there any malfeasance from your icons that you wouldn't be willing to rationalize, attempt to justify, or excuse away? At what point do you simply admit that you have been wrong to trust them, and that they've taken you for a ride?
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:08 PM on November 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


Oh, also: I haven't masturbated in about 20 years:

That explains everything. I'm not all that fond of Wilhelm Reich, but you can't deny he had an insight or two somewhere along the way.
posted by adamgreenfield at 5:14 PM on November 4, 2006


This just in:

God couldn't care less what you do.
We're all alone, so best we just try to love each other.
posted by Meatbomb at 5:20 PM on November 4, 2006 [3 favorites]


amberglow: there'll be tons of families there

mega-churches typically put the kids in ultra-organized sunday school classes. The pews are usually full of adults. Not like us Catholics, who fill the pews with our embarrassing kids.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:27 PM on November 4, 2006


Amen.
posted by bardic at 5:28 PM on November 4, 2006


There's a very interesting bit at 8:15 on this video when Dawkins is about to leave Haggard's church. Haggard drives up to Dawkins and the film crew and says, (Dawkins paraphrasing):

"Get off my land immediately. I'll have you thrown in jail. I'll..seize your film."

Dawkins: "And he then said a very curious thing. He said, 'You called my children animals'..."

It's not clear whether Dawkins had been talking about evolution to some of the children present, or whether he was talking to adults and Haggard is referring to his congregation as children, but it is, as Dawkins says, curious.

Yet earlier in that video Haggard says he follows the "scientific method", and he condemns Dawkins for being "arrogant".
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:28 PM on November 4, 2006


(to Meatbomb)
posted by bardic at 5:29 PM on November 4, 2006




Eventually it became clear to me that I was in fact broken. I remember thinking when I was young that religion is a crutch for weak people. Eventually I came to see I was one of them.


AWESOME. You admit it. Weak and broke. We all agree on something.

And through the example in this thread we can STILL see how religion is a crutch for weak, broken, people.

Problem is... it's a broken crutch.
posted by tkchrist at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2006


Oh, and peeping_Thomist, Adobe makes a Flash plug-in for Linux. What you'll want to do is install the Flash 7 player, then grab the Flash 9 beta and replace the libflashplayer.so file in your firefox/plugins folder -- Flash 9 solves the audio synchronization issue.
posted by clevershark at 5:39 PM on November 4, 2006


AsYouKnow_Bob: Haggard’s ENTIRE EXISTENCE has been devoted to nothing BUT propagating untruths. And you have a hard time believing that Haggard would LIE?

Yeah. I expect that he's torn up about it right now, and that having lied is one of the things he's going to talk about in his letter. Jesus said "let your yes be yes and your no be no," and Ted hasn't been doing that in the past few days. (Yes, I know he's been lying in a fashion the past however-long-he's-been-cruising, but that's different from explicit lying where someone asks you a direct question and you lie in response.) Again, speaking as someone who knows what it feels like to struggle as a Christian with sexual sin, I can tell you that when there's a disconnect between what you are saying and doing as a Christian, you hope that no one asks you a direct question, because you don't want to lie. You want to pretend that things in your life are the way they appear on the surface. I've never directly lied in response to a question about my own sins, but I have been evasive at times, and I know how uncomfortable that is. I imagine I'd feel worse about lying to my wife about sexual sin than I would about the offense itself. Outright lying is something really hard to square with one's Christian faith, and I assume (don't yet have any reason to doubt) that Ted's faith is sincere. We'll see what his apology looks like. If he doesn't forthrightly confront the issue about lying, that will be a very bad sign.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:41 PM on November 4, 2006


Unsolicited (and probably obvious) advice to dirtynumbangelboy, bardic, mijuta, et al.:

Your eloquent disgust, impassioned vilification, your devastating bunker-busting logic bombs, and all your scathing arpeggiated screeds are but sweet smoking fuel to theists. You're familiar with hot air balloons? The more pure, the more heated your outrage, the higher they will rise, up up to the blessed empyrean of thinner and thinner rationales and (most important) absolutely no responsibility.

Beneath the fustian, their theology has always and only, fundamentally, been argumentum ad verecundiam — at least since the Milvian Bridge fireworks show — and you can't argue that, God knows.

Lash on, but don't be surprised if they simply quiver, whimper, and eagerly proffer their flayed flesh for further exculpating excoriation.

I loves me some alliteration, O yes.
posted by Haruspex at 5:43 PM on November 4, 2006


clevershark, I've had the Flash 9 beta since it came out. CNN requires the no-way-in-hell-I'll-ever-use-it-even-if-it-becomes-available-on-Linux windows media player. Thanks, though.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:43 PM on November 4, 2006


What he should do is go to jail. Buying drugs and consorting with prostitutes ain't just immoral, they're illegal.

But Ted's special Jesus-shield might protect him from the consequences that the rest of us would face (and the fact that he's got tons of money from his "free market" preaching).

Honestly peeping_Thomist, you make it sound like he jay-walked or something. He lied, he's a hypocrite, and he broke the freakin' law. How many benefits of the doubt are you going to give this adulterous scumbag?
posted by bardic at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2006


Haruspex writes "Unsolicited (and probably obvious) advice to dirtynumbangelboy, bardic, mijuta, et al.:"

That's nice and all, but why do you assume that I'm an atheist?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:49 PM on November 4, 2006


reading the CNN link Joey Michaels just posted, it's at once surprising and totally expected that the only person quoted in the article to mention hypocrisy is Jones.

Rev. Ross Parsley says the church isn't a man or building or anything else...

the White House says he's only been there one or two times, and only occasionally sang on the horn---thus is not important at all.

James Dobson says Haggard is still a friend, and that he'll suffer harsh consequences (presumably in hell).

nowhere have I seen a call to renewed effort towards honest living, only harsh attempts to distance and strand Haggard. the exception to this is Haggard's masseuse, Mike Jones, who says

"You can't put yourself in the position he was in and want respect and people to follow your words when you're actually doing the opposite behind their backs,"
posted by carsonb at 5:52 PM on November 4, 2006


I can tell you that when there's a disconnect between what you are saying and doing as a Christian, you hope that no one asks you a direct question, because you don't want to lie...

You wouldn't be presumptuous enough to imply that Christians have a monopoly on this feeling, would you, peeping_Thomist? It kinda sounds like a backhanded holier than thou.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 5:53 PM on November 4, 2006


Haruspex, you get points for citing Milvian Bridge. And your point is well-taken on this end.
posted by bardic at 5:53 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic: What he should do is go to jail. Buying drugs and consorting with prostitutes ain't just immoral, they're illegal.

People who buy small quantities of drugs don't typically go to jail. People who "consort with prostitutes" typically don't have much happen to them other than sometimes getting their photos in the newspaper when there's a crackdown. I guess the police will look into this, and who knows what'll come of it, but I have to say, you don't strike me as a strong "war on drugs and vice" kind of guy. Or are you making a joke along the lines that I, given what you think I should think about such things, should want him to go to jail? I think our drug laws are crazy, and even St. Augustine argued that there are times when a people are so depraved that it is better not to outlaw prostitution. Surely we live in such times.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 5:57 PM on November 4, 2006


Barry McGuire (singer of Eve of Destruction, among others), on his his pre-conversion to Christianity:

"Jesus was groovy! I wanted to be like him! I just didn't wanna be like all those christians!
posted by The Deej at 5:58 PM on November 4, 2006


...assume that I'm an atheist?

dnab, I don't assume anything of the sort. But your (form of) Divinity is probably not State-sanctioned (unlike Ted's, and thus my Constantine reference), and until that happens, you'll be endlessly beleaguered by those who claim that earthly rule reflects a heavenly mandate.
posted by Haruspex at 5:58 PM on November 4, 2006


weapons-grade_pandemonium, no, that wasn't what I had in mind. I was just trying to relate it specifically to Haggard being a Christian, and my own experience as a Christian who sins. I honestly don't know how everyone else thinks about truth-telling. I've talked to lots of people who (apparently sincerely) think nothing about lying right in people's faces. I don't mean this as a criticism, that's just what they say: "When you can only get what you want by lying, you lie." I've certainly known many non-religious people who care a great deal about truth-telling. My point wasn't about Christians caring more about telling the truth than other people, only that Christians do care a lot about truth-telling. Sorry if it sounded presumptuous.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:03 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes: People who buy small quantities of drugs don't typically go to jail. People who "consort with prostitutes" typically don't have much happen to them other than sometimes getting their photos in the newspaper when there's a crackdown.

I'm gonna take a wild guess and say that you're white and middle-class or above in terms of income.
posted by bardic at 6:04 PM on November 4, 2006


Not like us Catholics, who fill the pews with our embarrassing kids.

Yikes, peeping! After you’re provided us all a treatise today about your pathetic porn avoidance/addiction; about your wife’s shapely ass; about your idiosyncratic decrees on which hole you believe the husband should ejaculate into after a steamy session of “anything-goes” marital lovemaking; and after, of course, dissecting for us the supposed doctrinal foundation behind your significant personal and sexual obsessions and dysfunctions, I can scarcely imagine what you might possibly find embarrassing.
posted by applemeat at 6:05 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


bardic, I'm white and middle-class or above in terms of education but not income (in part because of lifestyle choices like having several kids and only having one spouse working).
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:07 PM on November 4, 2006


Wow, judgemental much? I think our drug laws are stupid too, precisely because white people tend to have them enforced much less harshly than, say, a black person would.

My larger point is that you've bent over backwards in this thread to defend an adultrous, hypocritical, deceitful, drug-buying (probably using), demagogue. I think you should pick your fights a little better -- the guy's a scumbag, and you've tried to derail this thread multiple times through tedious forays into simplistic theology and fairly creepy digressions into your own sex life.
posted by bardic at 6:09 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic: you've bent over backwards in this thread to defend an adultrous, hypocritical, deceitful, drug-buying (probably using), demagogue.

Defend? Hardly. Even on the most charitable interpretation (which I've been trying to give), he's been doing things that are seriously wrong.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:16 PM on November 4, 2006


applemeat: idiosyncratic decrees on which hole you believe the husband should ejaculate into

Oh give me a fucking break. Like I came up with the idea that sex is non-arbitrarily linked to babies. You guys crack me up. Feel free to disagree, but to pretend that what I'm saying is "idiosyncratic" (as opposed to what nearly everyone everywhere believed until very recently and nearly everyone most places still believes) is silly.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:20 PM on November 4, 2006


"doing things that are seriously wrong"?

I love it when Christians manage to mince words regarding morality. Kind of a recurring theme these days.
posted by bardic at 6:20 PM on November 4, 2006


My goodness, the things we're learning about peeping_Thomist in this thread!

(in part because of lifestyle choices like having several kids and only having one spouse working).

How many spouses have you got?

And, let me say, if you can afford the luxury of several kids on a single income, I think we can safely say, yes, middle class in all ways.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:22 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic, how is "doing things that are seriously wrong" mincing words?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:25 PM on November 4, 2006


to pretend that what I'm saying is "idiosyncratic" (as opposed to what nearly everyone everywhere believed until very recently and nearly everyone most places still believes) is silly.

It's sort of interesting to watch someone who thinks they're in the majority slowly and painfully realize that they're actually not.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:25 PM on November 4, 2006


Rail at me all you like but the issue is deeper than what is or is not sin. The real issue is that we sin because we are sinners, because we are broken, and we can do nothing in our own strength to change it. Jesus came to rescue us from that.

It breaks my heart that people believe this. All the more so when they choose to believe this and choose an evangel/fundie/Pauline church as their "cure."
posted by five fresh fish at 6:25 PM on November 4, 2006


People who buy small quantities of drugs don't typically go to jail

Get out much? That's exactly who usually goes to jail, and with respect to meth, that includes plenty of (mostly poor) white folks.

I haven't masturbated in about 20 years.
Liar.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:33 PM on November 4, 2006


One reason Jesus had so much of a problem with the Pharisees is that they would never admit they were just as broken, just as sinful, as the rest of humanity. Their sins were more respectable, is all.
posted by konolia at 6:33 PM on November 4, 2006


Ted Haggard is a lying, adultrous, hypocrite. You've parsed this so many ways to soften the blow -- he got caught up in a bad situation, he got in over his head, he's having a crisis of conscience.

Why can't a Christian just come out and say that he's evil?
posted by bardic at 6:35 PM on November 4, 2006


Hildegarde, are you assuming that I thought there were lots of people who read mefi who would agree with me? I know what the state of play is among the audience here, and if you look at my posting history you'll see that I've known for a long time.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:37 PM on November 4, 2006




konolia, please read the Bible before you cite it. Jesus' problem with the Pharisees was that they represented an over-reliance upon received law and tradition, as opposed to a living, active faith that loved all people regardless of their gender, their income, or their station in life.
posted by bardic at 6:39 PM on November 4, 2006


fourcheesemac: Liar.

No.

bardic: Why can't a Christian just come out and say that he's evil?

The idea, I guess, would be that he's not like us, who are not evil?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:41 PM on November 4, 2006


Armitage Shanks, that's un-fucking believable.

I know for a fact that Jesus didn't hate on fatties. He did, however, hate those who would use his name and twist his words to his own ends, e.g., much of the leadership of the Evangelical movement in America. Their's will be the hottest place in hell.
posted by bardic at 6:43 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic and others, can we have a moratorium on telling Christians to "read the Bible"? Just assume that we read the Bible, and make whatever point you have to make.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:44 PM on November 4, 2006


O_O

Thanks for the quote and the linkage, Armitage. That reminds me that the best reaction to the nutty christians is just to back away slowly. Please, Liberal Americans, go back to destroying this holy concept of sexual slavery/marriage. It really needs destroying.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:45 PM on November 4, 2006


People who buy small quantities of drugs don't typically go to jail

Actually, Haggard's voicemail says he's looking to buy either $100 or $200 worth of meth. Two hundred dollars would put him at about an ounce, which is a felony in Colorado.
posted by EarBucket at 6:47 PM on November 4, 2006


I'll make that assumption when I have the evidence that it's a valid one. Not just on mefi but IRL I meet far too many Christians who don't know anything about their own history and theology. It's amusing to me, but deadly serious given the fact that they want to base laws on a book they don't understand.

Call me crazy.
posted by bardic at 6:49 PM on November 4, 2006


As noted upthread his wife just had a baby fwiw.
posted by konolia


It's worth a lot, as dear old (family man and well known bender) Oscar would tell ya.

Hell, I'm a screamer and the father of a wonderful adult girl. I'm as proud of her as I am of anything, konolia. But it doesn't seem to matter how many times it's pointed out to you: families are made in myriad ways, straight, gay, and otherwise.
posted by dash_slot- at 6:55 PM on November 4, 2006


EarBucket: Two hundred dollars would put him at about an ounce, which is a felony in Colorado.

Yeah, but prosecutors and judges have a lot of discretion with this kind of thing. If someone has been squeaky clean, and they commit a non-violent small-time offense like buying meth, they're not typically going to get a jail sentence. I don't personally think the way the system works is just, because I think prosecuters in the U.S. have too much discretion, but that's how things work here.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:55 PM on November 4, 2006


Oh, and our system is unjust not because the prosecutors have too much discretion, but because many of the penalties are over-the-top crazy.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:57 PM on November 4, 2006


Um, not only because the prosecutors have too much discretion. Shit. Sorry.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 6:58 PM on November 4, 2006


fourcheesemac: Liar.
peeping_thomist: No.


Liar, liar.
posted by fourcheesemac at 7:01 PM on November 4, 2006


Because at its heart, this is about Colorado's drug laws, not one of the most influential Christians in America being a deceitful dirtbag.

What's your horse in this race peeping_Thomist?
posted by bardic at 7:01 PM on November 4, 2006


Pastor Ted could have saved himself a lot of embarassment if he'd hired a staunch conservative gay prostitute like Jeff Gannon.
posted by clevershark at 7:04 PM on November 4, 2006


that's perfect, clever! ...Karl Rove is no doubt kicking himself for not turning on Pastor Ted to the stud services of Jeff Gannon for his secret gay trysts. Gannon's right-wing ideological purity is unquestioned, and he is the Republicans' first choice for a good male escort "top" to satiate their healthy appetites for rough, sweaty man-on-man sex. Gannon, who was welcomed at the White House throughout Bush's first term and even posed as a journalist in the press corps, would never "out" one of his fellow Republicans less than a week before a pivotal midterm election....
posted by amberglow at 7:15 PM on November 4, 2006


Yeah, but prosecutors and judges have a lot of discretion with this kind of thing. If someone has been squeaky clean, and they commit a non-violent small-time offense like buying meth, they're not typically going to get a jail sentence.

Are you out of your mind? No amount of meth is ever a "Small" crime. And having an ounce of it? that is in no way a minor crime. It's possible that he might have stayed out of jail, but prosecutors and especially judges do not have that much discretion at all ever heard of "mandatory minimum sentences"?

An average person, with an ounce of meth, is going to go to jail in most states.

And given the demonization meth gets in the media its not like prosecutors or judges would even want to use discretion. Maybe if they were caught with weed or something, but meth?

Come on.
posted by delmoi at 7:16 PM on November 4, 2006


fourcheesemac, let me get this right. You think I must be lying when I say I haven't masturbated in nearly 20 years because.... Because why? Because you can't imagine going that long without masturbating?

delmoi, you're right about judges having less discretion than they used to have. But prosecutors still have lots of discretion. It's one of the corrupting aspects of our system.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:27 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, an AJAX-y "auto re-load with the latest comments" would be nice right now.
posted by Alt F4 at 7:32 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist sharing his manly capacity for avoiding self-abuse is the new "taking one for the team."
posted by bardic at 7:36 PM on November 4, 2006


When it comes to tolerance I think you guys need to listen a little more closely to jonmc. Tolerance is not just tolerance of the sacred few, it is tolerance acceptance of all points of everyone. jonmc just does this from his gut. He can teach you a few things. On this issue, he's consistently the most intelligent and enlightening. Listen and learn.

By the way, he's right about konolia. Fine, you may disagree with her, but she is a good person, with a huge heart, and even if she disagrees with, or even disapproves of, you she loves you. The same goes for PeepingThomist, but he's kicking your intellectual butts so who cares.

This thread has really devolved into an "I hate Christians" cesspool. How sad.
posted by caddis at 7:37 PM on November 4, 2006


caddis writes The same goes for PeepingThomist, but he's kicking your intellectual butts so who cares.

Lol. Peeping_Thomist has told us 1) his wife has a "shapely ass," 2) he likes to fuck it, 3) he hasn't masturbated for 20 years. I guess we can agree to disagree on who's kicking who in the "intellectual butt."

As for konolia, I don't know her IRL, obviously. I guess you do. She doesn't love me -- in her own words, I am a sinner who is going to hell. How's that love? "Dearest, I love you so much because you are a dirty, dirty sinner and you're damned and you need to do exactly what I say." That, caddis, is emotional extortion. It's what passes for a theology for far too many, certainly not all, Christians these days.

This thread has been pretty awesome IMO. Different view-points and all that. Sorry plurality bothers you.
posted by bardic at 7:45 PM on November 4, 2006


She loves your despite yours sins. So do I. (although her definition of sin if far, far, far stricter than mine.)
posted by caddis at 7:49 PM on November 4, 2006


By the way, Jesus too, loves you despite your sins.
posted by caddis at 7:50 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "bardic and others, can we have a moratorium on telling Christians to 'read the Bible'? Just assume that we read the Bible, and make whatever point you have to make"

The problem with assuming that is that most Christians don't read the Bible. Or if they have/do, their grasp of it is horrifyingly shaky. See konolia for an apposite example.

caddis writes "but she is a good person, with a huge heart, and even if she disagrees with, or even disapproves of, you she loves you."

No she is not. She is a bigoted, ignorant, hypocritical homophobe. That is not the definition of 'nice' that I am familiar with.

It's disgusting that she has suckered you people into thinking she is a decent human being, when what she stands for is nothing less than ensuring that a significant percentage of the population will forever be relegated to second-class status.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:59 PM on November 4, 2006


Gee caddis, you're not being creepy or anything.
posted by bardic at 7:59 PM on November 4, 2006


I count 75 posts by peeping_thomist in this thread.

I guess maybe he is telling the truth about not masturbating. Where would he find the time?

Enough.
posted by Ynoxas at 8:02 PM on November 4, 2006


caddis, tolerance of intolerance is not good, not happy, not spiritual, and not loving. It's stupid.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:04 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


You are just so filled with hate towards someone you disagree with that you can not see the person for the comment. Konolia is not the caricature of the evangelical hate filled person. She really does love you, even if she disagrees with you. She probably prays for you as well. Whatever. You guys really do not seem to understand where she is comeing from. Go read jonmc's comments. He has the handle on this stuff like no one else.
posted by caddis at 8:08 PM on November 4, 2006


For you bora, tolerance just means agreeing with you. That sounds kind of like how GW sees the world.
posted by caddis at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2006


Meth. Massage. No Sex.
posted by homunculus at 8:11 PM on November 4, 2006


caddis, seriously.

She is a bigot. Period. What more do you need?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:16 PM on November 4, 2006


oh please, dmb, your view of the world is so childish
posted by caddis at 8:19 PM on November 4, 2006


Caddis, I am not filled with hate. You, however, just called me a sinner, and you don't even know me. You know nothing about me. You've never worn my moccasins. What did that Jesus guy say about judging others? Oh yeah -- don't fucking do it, you nitwit.

Konolia has claimed that everyone in this thread is going to hell, probably (at least she included herself. Hurray!). And we're supposed to parse that as "love"? I don't. I think it's lunacy and a serious sense of inadequacy masquerading as a religious impulse.

Bravo for jonmc's tolerance. He's undoubtedly a mensch, despite some flare-ups we've had. But if you read his comments, you'll see that even he pities Konolia and her delusions. He wishes she would change. Even he, arguably the most tolerant of mefites, has kind of had it with her. At least for now. Go figure.
posted by bardic at 8:22 PM on November 4, 2006


By the way, Jesus too, loves you despite your sins.

Well, dig him up then. If we're gonna be sinners, might as well try gay necrophilia.

That sounds kind of like how GW sees the world.

Bush loves you, caddis. Despite your sins, ... and probable Democratic voting record. Why can't you see that?
posted by boaz at 8:24 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic, as I explained to you before (and as you failed to respond to before), in the Christian view, we are all sinners -- including you, me, pastors, priests, and sweet little old ladies of all kinds. I know konolia may see you as a sinner, but I guarantee if she's a Christian, she realizes she is also a sinner.

(Within Protestantism, I am about as far opposite konolia as you can get, and I don't support what she says, I'm just explaining she's not singling out bardic as a sinner.)
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:27 PM on November 4, 2006


Meth. Massage. No Sex.

Well, I can't blame him for that one. Ya know how much a "Happy Ending" costs these days?
posted by bardic at 8:27 PM on November 4, 2006


fourcheesemac, let me get this right. You think I must be lying when I say I haven't masturbated in nearly 20 years because.... Because why? Because you can't imagine going that long without masturbating?

I cannot imagine a male primate -- of any species -- going that long, no. Especially one who admits to downloading porn he, um, also happens not to look at, ever. So let me get this right: you download porn that you don't look at so you don't have to masturbate . . . .

Your wife must have one hell of an ass, is all I can say. Or you must have one mighty repressed relationship to your own body.
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:28 PM on November 4, 2006


Let me clarify: a male primate with normal sexual function. Perhaps you have been castrated?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:29 PM on November 4, 2006


Or does it depend on what the meaning of the word "masturbate" is?
posted by fourcheesemac at 8:30 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping, konolia, even caddis, I'd like you to step away from the keyboard for a moment and consider something - I mean really consider something, as you would prayer or your faith. It's a simple question that any decent scientist, engineer or indeed anyone outside your worldview asks themselves all the time, but the faithful seldom do. Here's the question:

"What if I'm wrong?"

I don't even mean wrong in the big what-if-God-is-a-fairytale kind of way. I mean wrong as in "what if what I believe what God thinks about sex is wrong?" What are the ramifications of that?

Let's say you went to bed and died in your sleep tonight. When you met the Heavenly Father, what do you think He'd regard as more important? That you led and kind and loving life? Or that you lectured people on their sexuality?

Really: we're talking the Creator of the Universe here. Six billion people on the planet. A million billion stars. And you think He cares about what you do with your dick?

So. If you're wrong about that. If God doesn't care about it. How do you think you're going to justify the last 24 hours?

If God doesn't care about consensual adult sexuality, you've just spent the last day lecturing people about how to live their lives. If you've voted on an anti-gay marriage amendment, you've contributed to making people's lives miserable. To making them feel ashamed. To stop them from marrying the person they love. And in some cases - knowing that the suicide rate is far higher in the GBLT community than straight - indirectly contributing to their deaths.

When you're before that Heavenly Throne, how would you justify that? "I did what I was told" ? "I did what I thought you wanted" ?

Of course you want to save people. As has been pointed out, by far better contributors than I, it's what makes your testifying so damned compelling. If you are truly saving the fallen from an eternity of torment, it justifies any action, any speech, any cruelty on this earth.

But if you're wrong, you're simply tormenting them. With no cause. What do you think God would think of that?
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:33 PM on November 4, 2006 [2 favorites]


Point taken booksandlibretti. I'd go a step further and say Paul really jumped Xtianity over the shark-tank when he tried to censor James' letter telling people that works were just as important, if not moreso, than grace. And as someone mentioned, Nietzsche had a point when he called it a "slave" religion. Spending your life beholden to some invisible entity who, at the last second, might pull the rug out from under you and drop you into hell, even if you did lead a righteous life? No thank you. Epicurus' critique of theism ftw.

Funny thing is, and this thread has put a finer point on it for me, as an atheist, I seem to have a clearer moral compass than most Christians. I believe in right and wrong. I believe in good and bad. I believe that if you fuck people over like Haggard did, there should be serious consequences (legal and otherwise).

(I try to avoid using the word "evil," however, because like Konlia's version of "love," it's a powerful word which has been watered down through over-use and abuse.)
posted by bardic at 8:35 PM on November 4, 2006


Bora, you don't seem to understand my point of view very well. I will tell you that it is far away from peepingthomist and konolia's, very, very, far away.
posted by caddis at 8:39 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic: ...as an atheist, I seem to have a clearer moral compass than most Christians.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! ::dies laughing::

it's a good thing that we have so many atheists here, because otherwise we'd always be listening to people preach ...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:40 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Here's one reason to come up with an outrageous lie: the story only has to hold until Tuesday.

Oh -- many think that this "story" (since refuted as being true) reverberates beyond Tuesday's election:

Haggard Saga Will Reshape Evangelical Community.
posted by ericb at 8:43 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm glad I amuse you TPS. Some of us don't need an invisible skygod to take our moral cues from. Shocking, I realize, but adults do exist. Maybe you'll be one some day.
posted by bardic at 8:45 PM on November 4, 2006


But -- back to Tuesday's election --

TIME Magazine: Why the Haggard Scandal Could Hurt Evangelical Turnout..."David Kuo says the Ted Haggard scandal and its fallout shows why, as he makes clear in his bestselling book, it is so dangerous to mix faith and politics."
posted by ericb at 8:45 PM on November 4, 2006


In other news: Bad vibes in Glastonbury after Catholics against pagans
posted by homunculus at 8:46 PM on November 4, 2006


Bora, you don't seem to understand my point of view very well. I will tell you that it is far away from peepingthomist and konolia's, very, very, far away.

Really, caddis? So why are you so eager to defend their intolerance? I'll re-phrase the question, if you like: in front of that Heavenly Throne, do you think you'd recieve bonus points for defending those who implied that homosexuals were equivalent to pedophiles? Or who said that there was only one, correct way to ejaculate?

You may well be right: you're not a Pharisee. You're a centurion, trying to impose public order during a tumultous Passover season.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 8:48 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm glad I amuse you TPS. Some of us don't need an invisible skygod to take our moral cues from. Shocking, I realize, but adults do exist. Maybe you'll be one some day.

If being an adult means sounding like you, I sure hope not! ::continues to die laughing::
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:49 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


From the first comment in ericb's link: BTW, i think this will have ZERO negative impact on Evangelical voting. If anything the timing of this and the MSM excitement putting it on front-pages everywhere should piss of the Evangelicals and make them even more likely to vote.

I think this guy has a point. Dems have been memed into the anti-Christ's buddies, literally, for decades. It'll be decades before that type of hype can be overcome.

But as long as hypocrites, drugs, and prostitutes exist, stuff like this will occur, and people will realize that they need to be careful as to whose snake-oil they partake in.
posted by bardic at 8:50 PM on November 4, 2006


This is too funny: ... "Standing before thousands of followers, the Rev. Ted Haggard prayed from the pulpit last Sunday for lies and deceptions to be exposed."

Who says God doesn’t hear our prayers. And was the man begging God to out him or what?

posted by amberglow at 8:51 PM on November 4, 2006


wtf caddis?

It is childish to call a spade a spade? What is she, if not a bigot? or do her religious views give her a free pass to promulgate intolerance and hatred?

Fuck the hell off.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:52 PM on November 4, 2006


I haven't masturbated in about 20 years. Liar.
posted by fourcheesemac


Hate to inform you of this, buddy, but when one has a healthy sexual relationship with one's partner, it can easily be years without masturbating. p_t has previously made claims as to having a robust sex life. I can easily imagine he's in no need whatsoever for masturbating.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:52 PM on November 4, 2006


Caddis: "You are just so filled with hate towards someone you disagree with that you can not see the person for the comment. Konolia is not the caricature of the evangelical hate filled person. She really does love you, even if she disagrees with you. She probably prays for you as well. Whatever. You guys really do not seem to understand where she is comeing from. Go read jonmc's comments. He has the handle on this stuff like no one else."

Caddis, let me take a wild guess and assume that you're straight. As a gay man, I am sick and tired of fundies telling me that because of my very essence I am immoral and going to hell. They have every right to their beliefs. But when they work to help stir up more anti-gay bigotry by misappropriating scripture, when they cheer on and actively work to enforce legislation that strips me of my basic rights as an equal, tax-paying citizen, then you can bet I'm going to be extremely pissed off at them, and their actions deserve every ounce of my anger.

When their beliefs stop intruding on my life, I will stop calling them out on their bigoted bullshit. If you see that as actively hating them as people, that's your problem. And if you see their morally superior, judgmental comments as proof of their loving attitudes, you are sorely deluded.
posted by mijuta at 8:53 PM on November 4, 2006


Like, ohmygod TPS you totally burned me!
posted by bardic at 8:53 PM on November 4, 2006


Like, ohmygaaaawd, let's go to the mall or something.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 8:55 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Really, caddis? So why are you so eager to defend their intolerance?

he's defending their humanity, not their definition according to some standard of political correctness ... it doesn't harm people to consider those with ideas they think are wrong as human, you know ...

You may well be right: you're not a Pharisee. You're a centurion, trying to impose public order during a tumultous Passover season.

do you want me to give you some nails so i can put you up for the night?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:58 PM on November 4, 2006


I believe that if you fuck people over like Haggard did, there should be serious consequences (legal and otherwise).

Yeah, I like the idea of justice in the abstract, and sure, even justice for other people sounds good in cases like this -- but I'd sure hate to get exactly what I deserve,* which is why I can't really plump for justice, theologically speaking.

In the real world, legal justice is often the best we can do (e.g., we can't be sure if an apologizing drunk driver has genuinely changed his ways, so for our own safety he has to be taken off the streets). But (Christian POV) God is merciful, and because He knows what's in our hearts, He's able to forgive the drunk driver if he's truly sorry. Not "Dear parole board, I am really, really sorry, I am so sorry, now please let me out" -- but sincerely sorry.

*I haven't done or bought meth, or hired prostitutes, or -- I hope -- been quite as hypocritical as Haggard. Anyone wishing further particulars can e-mail me, but I can answer the obvious FAQ #1 right now: masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible, and I don't consider it a sin.
posted by booksandlibretti at 8:59 PM on November 4, 2006


Can't. Got an Atheist Club meeting to go to. We're trying to figure out how many dead Christian babies we can fit into the trunks of our hybrid cars.
posted by bardic at 8:59 PM on November 4, 2006


By the way, Jesus too, loves you despite your sins.
posted by caddis at 10:50 PM EST on November 4

I bet he would have loved me if I lived around the year ~26 CE, but I didn't, and now he's dead. But I appreciate the sentiment.
posted by exlotuseater at 9:01 PM on November 4, 2006


but I can answer the obvious FAQ #1 right now: masturbation is not mentioned in the Bible,

ezekiel 16:17 - "Thou hast also taken thy fair jewels of my gold and of my silver, which I had given thee, and madest to thyself images of men, and didst commit whoredom with them,"

not only masturbation, but masurbation with dildos

not that there's really a point there, but i just thought i'd keep the record straight ...
posted by pyramid termite at 9:07 PM on November 4, 2006


There's an awfully good post on this whole subject right now over at Slacktivist.
posted by EarBucket at 9:14 PM on November 4, 2006


That is an interesting post, EarBucket; thanks for sharing.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 9:22 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


As to konolia, she seems to live a charitable material life: she gives a lot to her communities. By her terms, she also lives a charitable non-material life: her sincere concern for a deep relationship with the spiritual experience she calls "Christianity" is intended with kindness and compassion.

I am beginning to think, though, that she deliberately trolled y'all. I'm not sure she thought it was trolling ('cause she truly does believe the horrendous things she believes, like the equality of sin), but she certainly knew there would be an uproar.

BTW, Konolia: Christ did not wish the law of the state be used to force moral behaviour. Christ wanted willing faith, not enforced faith.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 PM on November 4, 2006


fourcheesemac: Especially one who admits to downloading porn he, um, also happens not to look at, ever. So let me get this right: you download porn that you don't look at so you don't have to masturbate . . . .

Up til about 19 years ago, I would sometimes look at porn and masturbate. Then I stopped doing both. I went several years without looking at porn. Then about 8 or 9 years ago I started struggling again with looking at porn (which was now readily available in a way it had never been before). I've described how sometimes I would download porn but not look at it, or only glance at it, but there've also been times when I've looked at it quite intently. It's not something I struggle with all the time, but seems to be a problem when I don't get enough sleep, or am stressed out with work or family stuff.

fourcheesemac: Your wife must have one hell of an ass, is all I can say.

Indeed!

fourcheesemac: Or you must have one mighty repressed relationship to your own body.

I don't think so, but I can see why you might think so. I definitely think my relationship with my body (and with my wife's body) is much better now than it was 20 or 25 years ago. bardic made a snide comment about the idea that sex improves over time. That's certainly been the case in my marriage, and I've read articles (can't remember where right now) that say this isn't uncommon. When you really love your spouse, and you grow closer together, and you learn what the other person likes, sex gets better over time. At least in my experience.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 9:38 PM on November 4, 2006


I'm a little trouble by the idea that any statement should be excused on the grounds that the commenter genuinely believes it on religious grounds.

What if someone who goes to the World Wide Church of the Creator came here and started spreading racist and anti-semitic messages on the basis that he/she really believed it, and that it's the way things are explained in his/her church? Somehow I doubt that the explanation would have much traction here, even if the person genuinely believed the racist/anti-semitic explanations.

Why not? Well, there is more than one reason for that. For one thing the WWCC is not a widely accepted ministry. Also, racism and anti-semitism are a line that most people do not accept other people crossing.

Unfortunately this also means two things -- that people do judge "mainstream religions" differently from fringe religions or cults, and by this I mean that they give mainstream religions a lot more ideological slack on the basis that they are embraced by many people, and potentially people they know. Also it means that there are certain forms of discrimination which they see as acceptable (if not outright valid or desirable) -- these do not "cross the line" that separates the acceptable from the unacceptable.

I think that's worth reflecting on.
posted by clevershark at 9:38 PM on November 4, 2006




peeping_Thomist writes: Up til about 19 years ago, I would sometimes look at porn and masturbate.

We. Don't. Fucking. Care.
posted by bardic at 9:41 PM on November 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Konolia is not the caricature of the evangelical hate filled person. She really does love you, even if she disagrees with you. She probably prays for you as well. Whatever.

That pretty much nails it.

The problem is, though, that konolia and others of her religious ilk have brought this world to the edge of world war, have stripped us of innumerable personal freedoms, have used the law to enforce their religion.

They need to be called on it. Our sweet little konolia is going to be roundly abused for her foolish, harmful words. She knows the social fabric here. She knows when she is proselytizing her religious laws instead of keeping her faith a private and personal thing.

People who bring the world to the edge of destruction are not people we should necessarily be polite toward.

also, p_t is right about the sex getting better, at least for some couples. my wife and i are heading into yr 20 and it is simply unbelievable how we continue to get better at pleasing one another. there's no substitute for experience.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:43 PM on November 4, 2006


You know, the guy who calls himself "peeping_Thomist", he ironically turns out to be a bit of an exhibitionist...
posted by clevershark at 9:44 PM on November 4, 2006


Almost 1000 comments!
posted by interrobang at 9:49 PM on November 4, 2006


Almost there!
posted by interrobang at 9:50 PM on November 4, 2006


five fresh fish: videos?
posted by papakwanz at 9:50 PM on November 4, 2006


C'mon, guys, we can do it!
posted by interrobang at 9:50 PM on November 4, 2006


.
posted by interrobang at 9:51 PM on November 4, 2006


↑1000th comment</small
posted by interrobang at 9:52 PM on November 4, 2006


Oops
posted by interrobang at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2006


Give me a break, pyramid termite. Look at that passage in context. Don't you think it's actually about, y'know, taking God's gifts and melting them down, making idols out of them, and then engaging in pagan sex rituals? Because I can promise I haven't done that.
posted by booksandlibretti at 9:53 PM on November 4, 2006


29 more and we'll break into the top 5!
posted by clevershark at 9:55 PM on November 4, 2006


I think we should shoot for 2,000. Here, I'll begin --

Do Evangelicals have hawter gay sex than your average homosexual? Cuz it's all forbidden and all, but like, double-secret forbidden?
posted by bardic at 9:56 PM on November 4, 2006


We. Don't. Fucking. Care.

I dunno ... the folks who keep bringing up his sex life seem to.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:02 PM on November 4, 2006


He's been bringing it up (ahem) all throughout this thread as an attempt to derail or something. I mean, don't get me wrong -- it's funny and kind of sad, but enough plz tia.
posted by bardic at 10:05 PM on November 4, 2006


So, since we've made it past 1k, can we talk about something else, now?
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:05 PM on November 4, 2006


ericb, Goldstein makes fun of Haggard saying "How can we proclaim that we are new creations in Christ if we continually return to lap up the vomit of our old way of life?" Blyech!, says Goldstein. I'm not into that kinky stuff!

The only problem is that Haggard in saying that is directly alluding to a passage from 2 Peter that quotes a saying from Proverbs 26. Making fun of a Christian for talking about returning to his own vomit just shows one knows fuck all about Christianity.

Laughing at things one is ignorant about is not the mark of a competent humorist. It's like laughing at immigrants because their names are funny--it says more about you than about them, and what it says ain't good.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:06 PM on November 4, 2006




People who bring the world to the edge of destruction are not people we should necessarily be polite toward.

of course, if they decide to quit listening to you, then just where does that leave things? ... how then are you going to persuade them to not bring the world to destruction, as i can assure you that not too many people are willing to talk to those who are consistently impolite to them?

truth is, i'm beginning to feel that the real problem here is that people heard other people say things they didn't like and believe that they have some kind of right not to have to hear such things ... and if that "right" is violated, then the best response is to be as rude and obnoxious as possible ...

guess what? ... evangelicals have every right to tell you in a public space that you are sinners and are going to hell, whether you agree with them or not ... just like two guys or two girls have every right to kiss in public, no matter how it freaks out some people ... and stomping one's feet and having a fit about it is simply going to make people seem ridiculous ...

honest, it's getting to the point where a lot of people would just as soon see both sides shut the hell up ... and with our government going broke, our healthcare system a mess, our climate a mess, our economy tipping precariously and our government becoming vapid, irrelevant and corrupt, don't be surprised in a few years if people are busy solving the major problems of our times and have no time to listen to round 1622 of the culture wars ...

Don't you think it's actually about, y'know, taking God's gifts and melting them down, making idols out of them, and then engaging in pagan sex rituals?

look, it's a clear reference to masturbation, although symbolically, i think it's about israel's spiritual infidelity ... and, well, it certainly is a bizarre and perverse way of describing it, isn't it? ... you can almost feel the fascination the writer has with the subject matter, which just goes to show you that the psychology that drives the haggards of the world is a rather old one ...
posted by pyramid termite at 10:12 PM on November 4, 2006


bardic: He's been bringing it up (ahem) all throughout this thread as an attempt to derail or something.

I brought it the example about pornographby in an attempt to illustrate the kind of mental gymnastics a person committing sin can go through that might result in, say, buying drugs and then throwing them away without using them, or getting a massage from a gay prostitute but not going through with having sex. That was in response to people saying that it was "absurd" to think he could have bought that meth or had those massages without using the drugs or having sex. It's not absurd (though if we really are talking about years instead of just a few times, it's much harder--almost impossible--to believe). I don't see how you can call that a case of me trying to derail anything.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:12 PM on November 4, 2006


EarBucket, thanks for the post. That was a good read.
posted by mijuta at 10:13 PM on November 4, 2006


Is there meth in Ted Haggard's heaven?
posted by ericb at 10:24 PM on November 4, 2006


five fresh fish: videos?

Not into them, neither watching nor creating. I'll bet you can find buyers or actors on eBay, though.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:32 PM on November 4, 2006


What I don't understand is why Haggard would be doing meth in the first place. Unless I'm completely out to lunch, isn't meth about as sane as huffing gasoline, ie. so fundamentally self-destructive that you have to be beyond hope to even think about trying it?

I mean there are so many other good drugs out there he could use. Pot, coke, even heroin. Why on earth meth?
posted by five fresh fish at 10:35 PM on November 4, 2006


I mean there are so many other good drugs out there he could use. Pot, coke, even heroin. Why on earth meth?

It's very easy to make, so out in the middle of nowhere like CO it might be the only choice after weed.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:39 PM on November 4, 2006


If FedEx or UPS delivers there, there are drugs there.
posted by bardic at 10:42 PM on November 4, 2006


Unless I'm completely out to lunch, isn't meth about as sane as huffing gasoline, ie. so fundamentally self-destructive that you have to be beyond hope to even think about trying it?

You're competely out to lunch.
posted by spaltavian at 11:02 PM on November 4, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "I'm ready to believe Ted lied if there's good evidence that he lied, but so far his story seems plausible to me."

Completely plausible. See, it turns out that the homo masseur (lie all homos pederasts -- all homos are pederasts) hates America, and is in league with Saddam, who's in league with Osama bin Laden.

Pastor Haggard was serving is country, looking for WMDs up the prostitute's butt.

With his WMD-detecting tongue.

See? Plausible!
posted by orthogonality at 11:24 PM on November 4, 2006


me & my monkey writes "A lot of 'straight' guys figure they're not gay because they don't get fucked by other guys, no matter how many other guys they fuck up the ass."


Yep. Let's remember that Republican paragon, Roy Cohn, who maintained to his death (of "liver cancer", i.e., AIDS) that he wasn't a fag because, he'd never sucked cock. Despite the legion of men he'd had suck his cock.

It's men like Roy Cohn who make me wish the Christians are right, because then somewhere in Hell's lower levels, Ethel Rosenberg would be waterboarding Roy. For eternity.
posted by orthogonality at 11:30 PM on November 4, 2006


Anyone got a link to a cool Flash game?
posted by Cyrano at 11:35 PM on November 4, 2006




...a member of the four-member oversight board said in an interview Saturday night that Haggard admitted Thursday to sexual misconduct.

The board member, the Rev. Michael Ware of Victory Church in Westminster, said the board first met with Haggard and his wife Thursday and Haggard immediately confessed to sexually immoral conduct. ...

posted by amberglow at 12:01 AM on November 5, 2006


I wonder if the brainwashed will ever realize that "none doth protest as loudly" rings ever more true about the people who get into power for the purpose of saving others from themselves.

Extremists are never healthy people. Religion should not be a fetish.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic: ...as an atheist, I seem to have a clearer moral compass than most Christians.

LOLOLOLOLOLOLOL! ::dies laughing::

it's a good thing that we have so many atheists here, because otherwise we'd always be listening to people preach ...
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 11:40 PM EST on November 4


Ouch! Stick a fork in him, he's superhero toast.
posted by caddis at 2:02 AM on November 5, 2006


That's the best you've got caddis?
posted by bardic at 2:11 AM on November 5, 2006


p_tom

That was in response to people saying that it was "absurd" to think he could have bought that meth or had those massages without using the drugs or having sex. It's not absurd (though if we really are talking about years instead of just a few times, it's much harder--almost impossible--to believe)

As I understand a lie to be a misrepresentation of reality, I wonder how could he still feel "christian" when he lied to himself about doing something while predicating the exact opposite. Even ONE time , he should have asked himself what was "wrong" with him, possibily without giving the fault to "temptation" (another name for devil).

Possibly he or others may say they were "economical with the truth" , that is "not telling the whole story" so that they look as saints or misguide, like a certain political party.

I guess he went into denial because he, much like many other "christians", don't want to understand the nature of their urges and deal with them individually, so when an urge come they just go in repeating "God said it's bad" which is the quasi-adult equivalent of "mom said it is bad" and JUST repress their urges, without even pondering , of course, the notion that God was probably wrong.

Also it is certainly A LOT more convenient to just go to a priest, have a confession, be pardoned and then go rinse and repeat the sin , blaming he is just human and fell into temptation, place there by either Devil or by God to test him..which clearly leads to the question, why the f**k does God mess with me ?

Which, I guess, is what will happen. He will be the evangelical equivalent of a Born Again Christian, redempted, found the light and try to bring others into his new business.
posted by elpapacito at 2:52 AM on November 5, 2006


So I went to see the movie Jesus Camp tonight. And lo and behold, it featured Pastor Ted in a nice cameo appearance. He brought the house down when he pointed right at the camera and said, teasingly, "I know what you did last night!" At least one audience member shouted back "We know what you did too!" There were a couple other nicely ironic moments as well.
posted by litlnemo at 3:23 AM on November 5, 2006


And here's the obligatory YouTube clip.
posted by litlnemo at 5:17 AM on November 5, 2006


pyramid termite writes "guess what? ... evangelicals have every right to tell you in a public space that you are sinners and are going to hell,"

Yes they do. The problem that those of us who are actually directly affected by these assholes have is they are trying to legislate their morality.

five fresh fish writes "I mean there are so many other good drugs out there he could use. Pot, coke, even heroin. Why on earth meth?"

Meth is astonishingly easy to get. Much easier, in many places, than pot--weed needs to be shipped or grown. Meth needs a kitchen. Think of it as moonshine for the 21st century.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:16 AM on November 5, 2006


It's the most perverse sort of abuse of language to refer to konolia's ignorant, hateful, profoundly damaging spew as "love." Her brand of "love" has blood on its hands, and not a little either.

I can't see that someone "loves" me who also wants to undo everything I am, everything I do, and everything I believe in, now and for all time. This is quite literally what she's asking for in her prayers, and I think it's natural that I might not appreciate that.

It's an obscenity inconsistent not merely with a profession of love but with the most basic respect, caddis, and I cannot for the life of me understand why you would accept such naked hypocrisy.
posted by adamgreenfield at 6:32 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


The problem that those of us who are actually directly affected by these assholes have is they are trying to legislate their morality.

actually, their morality has been legislated for thousands of years and you are the ones who are trying to change that ... you are, in fact, demanding that society change the rules for you

that's fine and justifiable ... but you should also understand the dynamics involved and the irrational fear some have when you try to change something, ANYTHING, about the society we live in

you should also remember that not everyone who holds the opinions konolia has is politically active or sees political activity as the proper way to advocate their morality ... i think that it's likely that the fallout from this controversy will see evangelicals less eager to get involved in politics ... there was a time when they considered that to be too "worldly" and not worthy of a christian's time and they may go back to that belief, which even today, is more common than many are aware of
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on November 5, 2006


pyramid termite writes "actually, their morality has been legislated for thousands of years and you are the ones who are trying to change that ... you are, in fact, demanding that society change the rules for you"

Society agrees. It's the wingnut fundamentalists who don't. Let's not cloud the issue, shall we? Nor mince words: they are a dangerous cancer and should be removed.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:51 AM on November 5, 2006


It's a bit of near-universal Christian dogma, left and right, that once you attach God to an idea, it's not rude or hateful to say it any more. In that respect, dnab should probably change his tactics a bit. For example:

"You're a fat, fucking moron." -- Hate
"Your obesity and idiocy is sinful before God. I'll pray for you to lose weight and gain intelligence." -- Love

Throw in a few vaguely-related bible quotes, like, oh, Proverbs 23:1-4:
When you sit to dine with a ruler, note well what is before you,
and put a knife to your throat if you are given to gluttony.
Do not crave his delicacies, for that food is deceptive.
Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdom to show restraint.
And voila, you're BIG-HEARTED and FULL OF LOVE now, see?
posted by boaz at 6:56 AM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: Society agrees.

That's why all those state constitutional amendments about marriage have been such smashing successes for the gay rights people.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:02 AM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist opines "That's why all those state constitutional amendments about marriage have been such smashing successes for the gay rights people."

You know, it seems in bad form to tell someone "look over there, there's a rabid mob with pitchforks and torches here to lynch you, why don't you stop and consider their point of view."
posted by clevershark at 7:08 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Yeah, they have. In some states, gays can marry now. That wasn't the case 10 years ago.

Countries, too.
posted by bardic at 7:09 AM on November 5, 2006


elpapacito: I wonder how could he still feel "christian" when he lied to himself about doing something while predicating the exact opposite. Even ONE time , he should have asked himself what was "wrong" with him, possibily without giving the fault to "temptation" (another name for devil).

I expect he felt quite bad about it. I'm sure he over the years has spent a lot of time asking what was wrong with himself. The real problem is that he didn't really deal with it, cut off the deceptive behavior, and come clean with his wife and whoever it is that gives him spiritual guidance. This is a big problem for evangelical pastors, since each one is set up as his own pope, without the institutional supports that a pope has to prevent him from spiraling down into duplicitous behavior--yes, I know all about the bad popes, but the point is about how evangelical pastors don't have adequate support for their spiritual lives, not about how various popes have failed to make use of the institutional support they have for theirs. The Driscoll article linked to above has some decent advice for how pastors can deal with this, but it's an institutional problem for them.

elpapacito: I guess he went into denial because he, much like many other "christians", don't want to understand the nature of their urges and deal with them individually

What arrogant, ignorant bullshit. Who the fuck are you to judge other people like that?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:15 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic, that doesn't show that "society agrees". This is not a topic about which "society agrees", and it's a lie to say that it is.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:16 AM on November 5, 2006


Who the fuck are you to judge other people like that?

You've been doing it this whole thread peeping_Thomist, what with your proclamations of what "natural" female orifice semen is appropriate for, how you've bravely not masturbated for two decades, etc.
posted by bardic at 7:23 AM on November 5, 2006


Peeping_Thom: "That's why all those state constitutional amendments about marriage have been such smashing successes for the gay rights people."

Are you aware of how close a lot of those votes have been? Are you aware of the overwhelming extent to which fundies in tandem with Bush have stirred up gay marriage as an evil that has to be quashed? Are you aware that on average less than 50% of our citizens even bother to vote? And are you aware that despite that, there has been extensive reporting of election tampering, oddly enough always in favor of the GOP?

The fundies have continually stirred up the demonization of gay people, preaching to their flock of millions that gay marriage must be defeated because it is God's law.

Why have they chosen to obsess on this issue rather than, say, the unncessary deaths of thousands of people in the Iraq War?
posted by mijuta at 7:30 AM on November 5, 2006


clevershark writes "You know, it seems in bad form to tell someone 'look over there, there's a rabid mob with pitchforks and torches here to lynch you, why don't you stop and consider their point of view.'"

Which is precisely what I have been trying to explain. But those who are not actually affected by this issue personally, as opposed to being affected by proxy ("I have gay friends"), will never, ever understand that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:32 AM on November 5, 2006


Peeping_Thom: "What arrogant, ignorant bullshit. Who the fuck are you to judge other people like that?"

LOL. Oh, is it now hitting a little close to home for you, Peeping? Because you've been posting arrogant, ignorant bullshit in many comments in this thread.

Just to cite on of your many bullshit examples: sex between heteros is sacred, sex between gays is not.

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU TO JUDGE PEOPLE LIKE THAT?
posted by mijuta at 7:33 AM on November 5, 2006


mijuta: Are you aware of how close a lot of those votes have been?

Of course I am. And the fact that they are close proves that it is a lie to say that "society agrees". These are not topics on which "society agrees". It is a lie to say otherwise.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:34 AM on November 5, 2006


Society doesn't "agree" about anything. Civilized societies start from the proposition that since consensus is generally impossible to achieve, we'll strive for a workable ad-hoc towards an infrastructure that caters to the demands of the majority, but allows for various minorities to still take part, and over time have the ability to change things in their direction.

You don't speak for "society." Neither do I. But over time (speaking as an American), people are starting to realize that discrimination based of sexual identity is both unfair and stupid. Because honestly, who the fuck cares what you do in the privacy of your home with another consenting adult? Honestly, we know more about your sex life now than anyone, other than you and yours, really wants to. Awesome. Go bang that "shapely ass" all you want. But please don't extrapolate your private desires into normative strictures.

So I'm gonna get all 9th grade civics on you now -- American society didn't "agree" that women should vote in the early 20th century. Those uppity, uppity women with their hysterical uteruses and periods and all. But enough pressure was put on the government, through activism, and through, *gasp*, some uncivil, shrill public protests, that things changed (and it still took far too long). Good for them, and good for us. Human beings living in civil society deserve equal rights to life, liberty, the protection of property, and the pursuit of happiness. Gays ca. 2006 are going to get these things, eventually, and people like you will be remembered as the George Wallace's of their time.
posted by bardic at 7:35 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


Here he is with the prez. (Sorry if someone else has already linked to this, but I just don't have the time to go through 1000 plus comments to check on it...)
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:39 AM on November 5, 2006


their morality has been legislated for thousands of years and you are the ones who are trying to change that ... you are, in fact, demanding that society change the rules for you

Not at all. Our country and our society is based on law and our Constitution, which bestows rights on us ALL. Our entire history is about bestowing the rights people always should have had, but didn't, on them, whether it's non-land-owning white men, women, minorities, or us--we're just another part of a long, proud history of making the words we utter more true. Either you foks are American too, like all the rest of us, or you're not--decide.

and what bardic said.
posted by amberglow at 7:45 AM on November 5, 2006


mijuta, there's a traditional distinction drawn between judging behaviors and judging people. A kind of act might be wrong, but a person who does that kind of act might be innocent because they are invincibly ignorant about it being wrong, for example if they live in a culture that tells them that wrong is right and have in good faith internalized those lies trusting that they are true. I don't have any interest in making judgments about what motivates you to engage in disordered sexual activity, or to make judgments about whether your disordered behavior is subjectively innocent or not. I strive to be charitable in interpreting others' behavior, and usually that means assuming that people who are acting badly are acting in ignorance for which they are not responsible, while suspending judgment about what is actually the case as far as guilt goes. elpapacito, and you, and several others, have gone far beyond that to making judgments about the internal motivations of people with whom you disagree. Where do you get off doing that?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:45 AM on November 5, 2006


Pyramid termite: "actually, their morality has been legislated for thousands of years and you are the ones who are trying to change that ... you are, in fact, demanding that society change the rules for you."

Yes, their morality has been legislated for years. So we should just sit by and deal with it? Remember that time in history when there was thing called slavery, and the Bible was used to justify it? Or how about that thing called segregation, also justified by the Bible? Civil rights, anyone?

No one here is "demanding that society change the rules for" us. We are calling out unfair bigotry that affects us as equal, tax-paying citizens. We are advocating for change.

"that's fine and justifiable ... but you should also understand the dynamics involved and the irrational fear some have when you try to change something, ANYTHING, about the society we live in."

What makes you assume we don't know this??? So Konolia and Peeping and I'm sure millions of others have extreme theist views and irrational fear. Understood. I'm still going to call out for my equal rights and defend myself and others from being designated as second-class citizens.
posted by mijuta at 7:46 AM on November 5, 2006


That should be "folks" but at this point, "f*cks" is just as applicable.

You guys need to go off and start your own Jesusland or something, because this ain't it, and as long as we have breath, it won't be. In America, rights and priviledges don't only go to those you approve of--they go to all.
posted by amberglow at 7:47 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic: Civilized societies start from the proposition that since consensus is generally impossible to achieve, we'll strive for a workable ad-hoc towards an infrastructure that caters to the demands of the majority, but allows for various minorities to still take part, and over time have the ability to change things in their direction.

What utter bullshit. There are civilized societies that do this, but there are also civilized societies that do not. You are setting up a standard for having a "civilized society" that excludes nearly all civilized societies from qualifying. That by itself should be proof that what you are saying is wrong.

Maybe what you meant is that civilized societies that you would want to live in do this. Fine. But don't give us this bullshit that liberalism is the defining feature of civilized societies.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:49 AM on November 5, 2006


You've been doing it this whole thread peeping_Thomist,

You have to understand, bardic, that for people who believe in God, it's God doing the judging and they're just reporting it. When Godless people do it, of course, it's the person himself being judgmental. It's what psychologists call dissociation, where you take a part of yourself and believe it is actually something separate. Sad really. I'm praying for peeping_thomist.
posted by boaz at 7:50 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


peeping_Thomist opines "I don't have any interest in making judgments about what motivates you to engage in disordered sexual activity, or to make judgments about whether your disordered behavior is subjectively innocent or not."

Yes, we can clearly see that you scrupulously avoid judging others.
posted by clevershark at 7:51 AM on November 5, 2006


Our country and our society is based on law and our Constitution, which bestows rights on us ALL.

our *government* is based on law and our constitution ... our society is not ... perhaps one of these days we'll have a culture and society that is more surely based on the idea that people should live and let live and myob, but that's not the one we live in now

and if the 60s had ANY lesson for people, it's that legislating such changes is very hard to do effectively and it takes a long damn time

Either you foks are American too, like all the rest of us, or you're not--decide.

because you're going to excommunicate those who aren't, according to your standards ... good luck with that

dirtynumbangelboy: Society agrees.

could have fooled me ... it was my impression that society is quite divided over it
posted by pyramid termite at 7:54 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


clevershark, I deliberate included the word "disordered," twice, in order to highlight the distinction I was drawing. I guess you still missed it.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:54 AM on November 5, 2006


Peeping_Thom, you can draw the distinction between judging behaviors and judging people all you want. The fact is, being gay is not a behavior. It is not about sex. It is about identity.

You and Konolia have consistently judged us, and then to add insult to injury have claimed you are not judging us as people and are coming from a place of love.

Where do you get off doing that?

And don't proselytize about "disordered sexual activity" to me. According to your view, a hetero one-night stand is more scared than the sexual love expressed between two men or two women who have been together for decades.

posted by mijuta at 7:55 AM on November 5, 2006


Pyramid Termite: "and if the 60s had ANY lesson for people, it's that legislating such changes is very hard to do effectively and it takes a long damn time."

And . . . ? What is your point? No one here is claiming it's going to happen overnight. No one is claiming it's easy. Still, we're going to speak out about it.
posted by mijuta at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2006


mijuta: According to your view, a hetero one-night stand is more sacred than the sexual love expressed between two men or two women who have been together for decades.

That's absolutely not true. Both of them are disordered, of course, but the one-night stand seems to me to reflect the relationship between Christ and His Church much less perfectly than does the sex between two men or two women who have been together for decades. It makes me sad that you would assume I'd think otherwise; obviously I'm not doing a good job of putting across what I think about this stuff.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 7:59 AM on November 5, 2006


mijuta: The fact is, being gay is not a behavior. It is not about sex. It is about identity.

I agree. Being gay (having a homosexual orientation) is no sin.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:03 AM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist opines "clevershark, I deliberate included the word 'disordered,' twice, in order to highlight the distinction I was drawing. I guess you still missed it."

I put it in bold in the hope that you wouldn't miss my point. Evidently that was in vain.
posted by clevershark at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2006


Was Christ having one-night stands? good for him--i always knew there was something going on with that Magdalene woman. How does two drunk straight people (going at it in a car or in an alley behind a bar or at his or her place or a hotel, etc) reflect the relationship between Christ and his Church?
posted by amberglow at 8:04 AM on November 5, 2006


amberglow: How does two drunk straight people (going at it in a car or in an alley behind a bar or at his or her place or a hotel, etc) reflect the relationship between Christ and his Church?

Very, very badly. Worse than two gay people who have loved each other for years having sex.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:07 AM on November 5, 2006


clevershark: I put it in bold in the hope that you wouldn't miss my point. Evidently that was in vain.

Maybe you could make the point again, so I'll get it this time. I was drawing a distinction between judging behaviors and judging persons. My use of the word "disordered" to describe behaviors shows that I actually am judging persons how?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:09 AM on November 5, 2006


I guess Ted's apology letter will be out soon. Here's my prediction: if he comes clean on all the lying, and connects his lying this past week to the duplicity of his secret life over the past however-long-it-was, he'll end up OK. He'll go into exile for awhile, but he'll end up with another mega-church eventually. But if he in any way seems to be holding back something, he's in serious trouble with his people.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 8:18 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic: Civilized societies start from the proposition that since consensus is generally impossible to achieve, we'll strive for a workable ad-hoc towards an infrastructure that caters to the demands of the majority, but allows for various minorities to still take part, and over time have the ability to change things in their direction.

peeping_Thomist: What utter bullshit. There are civilized societies that do this, but there are also civilized societies that do not. You are setting up a standard for having a "civilized society" that excludes nearly all civilized societies from qualifying. That by itself should be proof that what you are saying is wrong. Maybe what you meant is that civilized societies that you would want to live in do this. Fine. But don't give us this bullshit that liberalism is the defining feature of civilized societies.

You, sir, are becoming like gasoline to crazy, and I fully approve.

Here we have this forum. Here we lay our cards on the table. Right now, I've got Big Slick, and Thomas Jefferson, John Stuart Mill, and Mary Wollstonecraft giving me some advice. You've got, like, I dunno, Jack-7, longshot straight draw, and nothing but your own inner monologue about how right you must be. I've got roughly 300 years of human history and progress, and yes, that dirty word "liberalism" that grants me the rights to do, within limits, what I want, and grants you the right to bang that "shapely ass" and not masturbate. Awesome. As for the society I "want to live in," I happen to have it, warts and all, in America and in America as a piece of growing liberal, tolerant, educated global culture. And people like me, dirty librul atheists like me, who happen to have very firm moral attitudes regarding what's right and what's wrong, what's good and what's evil, what's tolerance and what's bigotry, we're going to do our best to make sure that people like you aren't silenced (that would, obviously, be wrong), but rather, held up to the light and shown to be the worthless, hypocritical, desperate failures that they are.

So me and Thom and John and Mary, we're just laughing at you right now, because the flop came up with K-A-A, and you've lost your chance at the straight. But you keep babbling about how you speak for all people in any society, and we're laughing even harder because you went all-in with your theological dissonace and now I've got all your money. And I'm laughing, very hard, at you.

Figureatively speaking, of course.
posted by bardic at 8:22 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Texas Hold-em references are so 2005.
posted by smackfu at 8:31 AM on November 5, 2006


If there were a metafilter forty years ago we would be having the same debates here; About the horrors of inter-racial marriage, which, it should be noted, was still illegal in some U.S. states heading into the 1970’s. And you can bet there’d be plenty of good, god-fearing folks here holding forth with dire predictions about the lord’s intentions that the races be separate,* (excuses that, let’s face it, were much less about simultaneous integrity than about keeping blacks away from whites) and how the fabric of moral life as we knew it would be ruptured by such abominable and unnatural ideas.

*Almighty God created the races white, black, yellow, malay and red, and he placed them on separate continents. And but for the interference with his arrangement there would be no cause for such marriages. The fact that he separated the races shows that he did not intend for the races to mix

Sounds pretty ridiculous now, right? And so will this debate about denying civil rights to gays when people in 2030 look back on it.
posted by applemeat at 8:34 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


peeping_Thomist: My use of the word "disordered" to describe behaviors shows that I actually am judging persons how?

This is a ploy, commonly used by Christians, to allow them to judge others, yet still convince themselves that they are not.

Gay people knowingly do that which you consider to be 'disordered'. They don't do it by mistake, nor do they do it because they have fallen prey to temptation. They do it because it is part of who they are and part of the loving relationships that they have.

Your claim that you are judging the behavior, and not the person, is a transparent lie that you tell yourself in order to avoid the consequences of holding a bigoted opinion.
posted by jsonic at 8:37 AM on November 5, 2006


pyramid termite: that's fine and justifiable ... but you should also understand the dynamics involved and the irrational fear some have when you try to change something, ANYTHING, about the society we live in


Yeah, see everyone? You big nasty gays are scary!!! You must pity those poor, meek, timid little turbo-Christians that have giant mega-churches and millions of dollars and television shows and followers and conference calls with the president and....

Well you get the point. You can see why they'd be scared of a couple of dudes in leather, right? It's TERRIFYING! Don't be so damn scary, homos!
posted by papakwanz at 8:38 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


peeping_Thomist writes: But don't give us this bullshit that liberalism is the defining feature of civilized societies.

Aright, there were just too many nuggets in your previous blather to fully take on, but this one, this one deserves pause.

You're obviously working PR at the Saudi Arabian embassy now, or you're drunk on "shapely ass," but please parse this for the rest of us. Civilized societies haven't been around that long, unfortunately. One of their hallmarks is, indeed, liberalism -- not libertarianism, although I'd argue that goes hand-in-hand -- but liberalism, an openess to new ideas, thoughts, and experiences and a tendency, although not a neurotic impulse, to throw out old thinking when it no longer serves the greater good of helping people, all people, to live their lives in the best, most fair manner possible.

I've made a case for the messed up, problematic, assinine society within which I exist. We start with the proposition that since we can't make things perfect, we'll make things as fair as possible within reason. As imperfect as we as humans are, and as we as societies are, we'll stive towards implementing various processes that allow us to right our collective wrongs -- slavery is totally fucked up, but over time and the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments and all that really awful Reconstruction stuff, blacks will have the right to vote and not be lynched. Women too. Etc.

Not sure why that bothers you so much. Fairness and equality and common fucking decency to your fellow human beings. It's sad that that type of thinking scares you so.

(PS, I've got more friends I'd love for you to meet peeping_Thomist. They include Soren Kierkegaard, Richard Rorty, John Rawls, David Hume, Walter Benjamin, and this funny liberal-hippie dude named Jesus. The same Jesus who said that to live your life beholden to received prejudice is to miss the whole fricking point of life. And he hung out with poor people, women, and prostitutes! I know that might blow your mind, so take a few breaths first. Whew! What a maroon that guy was!
posted by bardic at 8:47 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


smackfu writes: Texas Hold-em references are so 2005.

Yeah. Should have done a Wow/Horde Paladins ZOMG! thing.
posted by bardic at 8:49 AM on November 5, 2006



I guess he went into denial because he, much like many other "christians", don't want to understand the nature of their urges and deal with them individuallyI guess he went into denial because he, much like many other "christians", don't want to understand the nature of their urges and deal with them individually

peep_t said What arrogant, ignorant bullshit. Who the fuck are you to judge other people like that?

I express opinions, I don't judge , the difference being that somebody may care to listen to my opinion, but if you don't obey to a judge
opinion+sentence there will be consequences. Unlike many other pious people, I don't demand other to conform to my ideas (if incompatible) neither work behind the scenes to "save them from themselves" because, as I learned in my life, nobody else but you can "help" (rather then catastrofic save) yourself.

Another thing I learned about is DENIAL, that is, denying to self a fact because it makes us feel uncomfortable. There could be valid reasons for feeling like that and reasons that may demand help from others, which is fine. BUT absolutely nobody can make help you change, or understand, if you don't want to change or understand.

Problem is sometimes the pain is so strong, so stratified, that any tought may trigger a knee-jerk reaction like yours, but don't worry I am not offended, I couldn't care less, and please don't take it personally.

This is a big problem for evangelical pastors, since each one is set up as his own pope, without the institutional supports that a pope has to prevent him from spiraling down into duplicitous behavior

What causes the spiral to begin with ? Some would say temptation, others would say devil, others God, others would say "freudian id". I personally think he had a fantasy about getting pleasure from gay sex (maybe he felt bored by usual sex OR no longer felt attracted by women) and of course as anybody else he tried to make the fantasy become real.

Did his head explode ? Nah. Did God descend from heaven and destroyed him ? Not really. Will he perish in hell ? We will never know, nobody comes back from death. BUT what we know is that he talked about things he doesn't understand to being with FOR YEARS, misguiding people into consider "homosexual sex" as something bad, evil, despicable.

The entire "defence method" from a "problem" that doesn't exist to being with is...resisting temptation ! BUULLSHIT, BULLSHIT. This is called _repression_ and doesn't terminate sexual urges at all, because they are natural, they are not "supernatural devil" invented. One way to understand OWN sexual urges is understanding the way human beings _desire_

BUT the precondition is not being afraid of what one could discover, being open, thinking that "others" are not here because of some idiotic original sin concept, thinking that "unusual behavior" is not necessarily "bad to me" or "wicked"
posted by elpapacito at 9:14 AM on November 5, 2006


...but liberalism, an openness to new ideas, thoughts, and experiences and a tendency, although not a neurotic impulse, to throw out old thinking when it no longer serves the greater good of helping people, all people, to live their lives in the best, most fair manner possible.

Simply, brilliantly put.

I'd also like to predict something plausible myself: that ex-Pastor Ted Haggard abjectly apologizes for his lying and the harm he's caused others, enters into a "dark night of the soul" and emerges with the profoundly simple understanding that right thinking = right praxis is an impoverished and demeaning response to the phenomenal gift of being a responsive and responsible human being; that he then embraces an identity so brutally repressed in himself for so long by moving to some Colorado Springs of gay identity (Haight, East Village, etc.) and there utilizes his obvious gifts of consensus building and fund-raising and gaining access to power by opening centers of education, research and healing for the problems of drug addiction and STDs, while promulgating a message of hope and conviction that nothing done in love or even simple harmless ephemeral joy is somehow 'disordered,' 'simply wrong' or (God help us) a sin.

No, really, I'm lying. I predict no such thing.
posted by Haruspex at 9:19 AM on November 5, 2006


Why are you people even responding to p_t? It seems like a waste of time. Not just because he's not going to change his mind, but also because he obviously has is own view of the interplay sex and morality. Arguing with him and trying to understand his view won't help you understand anyone else's.

That's one of the big difficulties debating Christians, especially in a multi-agent setting like metafilter. They all have their own personal philosophical view of things and can't understand that you're arguing against some one else.

Here's an example:
Person A: I believe the bible is literally true.
Person B: How can you believe the bible is literally true when it contradicts itself?
Person C: B you asshole, I never said the bible was literally true!
So again, who cares what peeping_Thomast thinks? I don't think many other people share his views on sex, because frankly they sound pretty weird to me.

God I'm glad I don't have any views on sex and morality, removing the guilt from sex makes it a lot more enjoyable, I'm sure. The last thing I want to do is have a three-way with Jesus like some of these Christians seem to think they're doing.
posted by Paris Hilton at 9:20 AM on November 5, 2006


Peeping_Thom, you can draw the distinction between judging behaviors and judging people all you want. The fact is, being gay is not a behavior. It is not about sex. It is about identity.
Indeed. I have a couple self-identified celibate gay Christian acquaintances ready to blow Peeping_Thom's mind. Just his mind, though. Celibate and all, y'know.
posted by verb at 9:22 AM on November 5, 2006


Holy Momma, are you guys still here?

peeping_Thomist writes: But don't give us this bullshit that liberalism is the defining feature of civilized societies.

bardic nails it: You're obviously working PR at the Saudi Arabian embassy now, or you're drunk on "shapely ass," but please parse this for the rest of us. Civilized societies haven't been around that long, unfortunately. One of their hallmarks is, indeed, liberalism

Yes, but don't try explaining that to people from the Old Times. Liberal democracy is the pinnacle of human civilisation, one of the few things the West can truly be proud of.

Interesting that, where you poor bastards come from, "liberal" is a naughty word.

That says a lot about your country, USians. Sucks to be you, sorry especially to the repressed homosexuals in the house. Come to Canada, or the Netherlands, there are less wrong-thinkers over here.
posted by Meatbomb at 9:23 AM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


peeping_Thomist opines "Maybe you could make the point again, so I'll get it this time. I was drawing a distinction between judging behaviors and judging persons. My use of the word 'disordered' to describe behaviors shows that I actually am judging persons how?"

But you do judge them. You judge them to be "confused", which, frankly, is a cop-out, as it is then a pretext to claim that you make no moral judgement. Obviously people who engaged in "disordered behavior" are merely like the blind walking along an unfamiliar road; if they could see, of course they wouldn't cross streets everywhere and expose themselves to traffic! Therefore if you commit a disordered act you must be confused. There is no other explanation.

This is a rather interesting approach, mind you. Under that approach there is no such thing as a moral judgement because anyone who is fit to make a moral judgement MUST ABSOLUTELY make the right one -- fitness to make judgement is intrinsically linked to "knowledge" -- by which one means "doctrine". You cannot really have free will until you lose the will to do everything that is "disordered". I've heard that argument many a time. St. Augustine's City of God inevitably figures prominently in it, either directly or by allusion.

That sort of "magical thinking" is even more hermeneutical and epiphany-dependent (so I repeat myself!) than the view by some Protestants that every word in the Bible is absolutely fact and cannot be questioned.
posted by clevershark at 9:25 AM on November 5, 2006


five_fresh_fish: Hate to inform you of this, buddy, but when one has a healthy sexual relationship with one's partner, it can easily be years without masturbating. p_t has previously made claims as to having a robust sex life. I can easily imagine he's in no need whatsoever for masturbating.

Nonsense. In 20 years? Never a few days alone? Every sexual feeling immediately centered on one person who is always available? Or the will power of G.W.B. to "stay the course" and avoid all temptation to mortify the flesh? It might be possible under some sort of extreme regimen of mental discipline, though even then I'll bet Buddhist monks and cloistered nuns in their sexual primes can't abstain. But a guy tempted enough by impure thoughts of -- pay attention -- women (presumably) other than his wife, she of the lovely ass?

Humans are primates. Primates masturbate just like they shit and piss and sleep. Consciousness is powerful, but not so much that it can override basic natural drives entirely, and the more so if the primary drive (actual reproductive sex) is enjoined for "moral" reasons. The null hypothesis here is that everybody does it, and it would take a lot of evidence to convince anyone who knows the first thing about primate behavior that a particular normally functioning male human being could go 20 years, or 20 weeks, without "abusing" himself.

My larger point stands: let's say P_T has gone two decades denying his basic primate behavioral drives (including his drive, as a male, to at least imagine sex with other women). Who the f*ck is violating "natural law" here? The one P_T tells us is "inscribed on our hearts" . . . .
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:28 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Why are you people even responding to p_t? It seems like a waste of time.

It SEEMS so, yeah.

Arguing with him and trying to understand his view won't help you understand anyone else's.

Not really, I disagree. P_t is just an human as much like any other human if one shuts a door in his face, he will resent that and close himself even more, which is what throws a lot of people like p_t in the hands of the Haggard-likes around the world.

Now he may reconsider, or not reconsider, or think, but so as long as he question himself and his wisdom there is a chance for a change and I am not going to shut that door in his face, as long as I can.
posted by elpapacito at 9:29 AM on November 5, 2006


. . . But a guy tempted enough by impure thoughts of -- pay attention -- women (presumably) other than his wife . . . .

I forgot a clause: ". . . tempted enough to (admittedly) download pornography featuring women other than his wife . . ."

Like John Kerry, I lose a word here and there in my punchlines.

But the point is, again, that P_T sounds like Haggard: I bought it but I didn't smoke it; I lay with it but I didn't fuck it. I downloaded it, but didn't look. I have sexual urges that I just ignore.

Get real. When you hear hoofbeats, it's probably horses.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:32 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Paris Hilton: asks: Why are you people even responding to p_t?

You really weren't messing around with that user name....
posted by econous at 9:35 AM on November 5, 2006


I think there ought to be some sort of a moratorium on discussing other Mefites' masturbation habits. It's not a tenet or anything, but it seems like a rather silly tangent.
posted by clevershark at 9:37 AM on November 5, 2006


fourcheesemac annouces from his shapely ass: Consciousness is powerful, but not so much that it can override basic natural drives entirely, . Sounds like poo to mate. Do self immolation or hunger strikes count?
posted by econous at 9:44 AM on November 5, 2006


I think there ought to be some sort of a moratorium on discussing other Mefites' masturbation habits. It's not a tenet or anything, but it seems like a rather silly tangent.
Either flag it and move on, or take the damn thing to meta if you have to. I'm sick of all the derails in this thread. Hirsute fucking Jesus.
posted by econous at 9:48 AM on November 5, 2006


I'm sick of all the derails in this thread.

Well since the 'rail' is to point accusingly at the Gay Druggie Fundie, I'll take derails for $2000, Alex.
posted by boaz at 9:57 AM on November 5, 2006


Spit 'n' Thunder. I do wish p_T would hurry up in the bog, I said I'd cover for him for awhile, but now I need to go. I'm about to 'evolve' a little brown fish from my fissure.
posted by econous at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2006


I think there ought to be some sort of a moratorium on discussing other Mefites' masturbation habits. It's not a tenet or anything, but it seems like a rather silly tangent.

I belive we have an active moratorium on moratoria.
posted by Paris Hilton at 10:16 AM on November 5, 2006


I would just like to take this time to point out that possibly Ted Haggard was just taking the model of "God and His Church" seriously. I mean, if God and His Church (led by either a) Saint Peter and his replacements, or b) all those male megachurch leaders is meant to be the model for sexual relationships, I think that's even clearer than Ekekiel or Romans, yo. God = male (by most Chistian accounts) and Church = male, (in most Christian accounts). Make with the man love, all. It's man love or nothing. No no, it's not a mystery. It's a SIGN.
posted by Hildegarde at 10:19 AM on November 5, 2006


Haruspex: ...embraces an identity so brutally repressed in himself for so long by moving to some Colorado Springs of gay identity...

Stranger things have happened. He could become another Mel White. He could start another Cathedral of Hope.

I'm not holding my breath.
posted by Robert Angelo at 10:22 AM on November 5, 2006


verb: I have a couple self-identified celibate gay Christian acquaintances ready to blow Peeping_Thom's mind.

I know a few people like that, and one is a very close friend. As I said above, being gay is not a sin. And this isn't must my private opinion. The Catholic Church does not teach that being gay is a sin. I guess it's easier to call names and argue against straw men than it is to respond to what people you disagree with actually believe.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:43 AM on November 5, 2006


It's simple.

You believe that a loving relationship between two men, which has a sexual component, is a sin.

You're wrong. God doesn't give a fuck, Jesus didn't give a fuck, the only person who did was Paul. And he was just some guy--even your church agrees with that.

You are another homophobic bigot using what should be a message of peace and love to justify hatred. As such, you are completely irrelevant to the real world.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:46 AM on November 5, 2006


bardic: Civilized societies haven't been around that long, unfortunately. One of their hallmarks is, indeed, liberalism

That's just bullshit. There is a difference between barbaric societies and civilized societies. Most civilized societies have not been influenced by liberalism. Your use of the word "civilized" to mean "liberal" is very offensive.

If you want to argue that liberalism is the best basis for a civilized society, we can talk. (It may surprise you how close I can come to agreeing with you.) But if you want to claim that liberalism is the sine qua non for having a civilized society, then you are full of shit, and a benighted chauvinist to boot.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:50 AM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: You believe that a loving relationship between two men, which has a sexual component, is a sin.

That's idiotic. I believe nothing of the sort. There are plenty of perfectly admirable relationships between two men that have had a sexual component. Just because same-sex sexual activity is a sin, it doesn't follow that every relationship which includes same-sex sexual activity is a sin. That's assuming I can make sense of the idea of a relationship being a sin--a relationship isn't an action, and only actions are sins.

The most you can attribute to me is the view that a relationship between two men which has a sexual component is a relationship that includes sinful actions. That doesn't make it different from any other kind of relationship.

Please don't try to tell me what I believe. Or that "society agrees" with you.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 10:55 AM on November 5, 2006


And we haaaavve confession:
"The fact is I am guilty of sexual immorality. And I take responsibility for the entire problem. I am a deceiver and a liar. There's a part of my life that is so repulsive and dark that I have been warring against it for all of my adult life"
posted by dgaicun at 11:03 AM on November 5, 2006


His whole life is repulsive and dark--if he was honest with and about himself this wouldn't have happened.

And from the looks of them, there are tons more with "repulsive and dark" lives working at his church--did he recruit them all?
posted by amberglow at 11:09 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


This new religion (American evangelical) really has people spinning around, crazy. I love how the head the church is outed as druggie who uses male prostitutes, and people are still trying to defend the dude.

IN a lot of ways it's at the heart of what's wrong with American evangelicalism-- their supposed morals are completely fungible with immorality, as long as the sinner is "one of us". It's selfish tribalism, which I guess goes back to the heart of most religions but had been refreshingly absent in religioius leaders in America for much of its history.

Give me the religion of the founders any day.
posted by cell divide at 11:11 AM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "Just because same-sex sexual activity is a sin, it doesn't follow that every relationship which includes same-sex sexual activity is a sin"

I could use your brain as a corkscrew, I think. You are that twisted.

I've already said it: you're a bigot hiding behind Scripture to justify your bigotry. I am done with you. When you actually start living as Christ preached, I might listen to you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:19 AM on November 5, 2006


Hate to interrupt the flamewar, but Haggard admits to sexual immorality
posted by The Deej at 11:26 AM on November 5, 2006


You're 23 minutes late, The Deej.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:29 AM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, what is twisted about distinguishing between a loving relationship between two people and the sexual activity that may or may not be part of that relationship?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:30 AM on November 5, 2006


As a Christian I can say with 100% certainty that being gay is not a sin. I almost feel embarrassed saying something so obvious. The highest value in Christianity is Love. Jesus said that the passions involved in sex are very strong and can get us into a lot of trouble (check the domestic homocide statistics). How can Christians do anything but bless two adults who decide to love each other without any obvious violent dysfunction. Jesus said essentially it is better to be married to someone you love and that loves you than to burn with lust, self-hatred and destroy yourself and others. There is a lack of love in the Fundies, which is obvious, they only love you and allow you to love others if you conform to their predilections and prejudices.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 11:31 AM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Because sex is part of just about any intimate relationship.

Now fuck off, you fucking homophobic bigoted asshole, and go back to living in the 1500's.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:32 AM on November 5, 2006


Well, crash, I waited a long while to post it, thinking someone surely would. Didn't re-read enough of the comments to see the other link. But, hey, it gives others twice as much of a chance to see the update.
posted by The Deej at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2006


The ONLY sin is lack of love.
posted by exlotuseater at 11:34 AM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: sex is part of just about any intimate relationship

Yes, and we distinguish between parts and wholes, right? What is twisted about saying that a relationship between two people can be quite a good, admirable thing, even though some part of that relationship, even an important part, is not? This is true for many kinds of relationship, right?
posted by peeping_Thomist at 11:40 AM on November 5, 2006


p_T, apparently you don't understand. I gave you a message about sex and travel. Please heed it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:42 AM on November 5, 2006


The essence of Christianity is that it doesn't want people murder and harm each other. It doesn't care what kind of sexual relationships people have, the only measure is whether those individual relationships between those people are loving and healthy and will not lead to violence, hatred, murder, to the people involved and others. Christianity teaches more about how to love each other and end destruction than about any arbitrary sexual practices.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 11:43 AM on November 5, 2006


A kind of act might be wrong, but a person who does that kind of act might be innocent because they are invincibly ignorant about it being wrong, for example if they live in a culture that tells them that wrong is right and have in good faith internalized those lies trusting that they are true.

You do realize this could just as easily be used to describe you as anyone else, right? You're making an argument from authority about Christianity; I can easily respond by saying that you've simply internalized its lies. And a rational outside observer would almost certainly agree with my assessment, since your beliefs depend entirely on your faith, which cannot be justified by rationality.

I don't have any interest in making judgments about what motivates you to engage in disordered sexual activity, or to make judgments about whether your disordered behavior is subjectively innocent or not.

Outside of your religious belief, there is no rational justification for thinking that homosexuality or homosexual behavior is disordered. You believe that the only appropriate kind of sexual contact is that which concludes with vaginal intercourse, because of the "link between sex and children," while at the same time you think that vaginal intercourse that cannot possibly result in children is OK. I believe any thought process that comes up with that conclusion is disordered.

Or that "society agrees" with you.

Agree or disagree with its rightness, society is certainly moving in that direction. I'm an out gay man who works as a business consultant. Would that have been possible twenty years ago? I joined my partner of nineteen years in a civil union, recognized by the state government. (Not MY state government, unfortunately ...) Would that have been possible ten years ago?

Nonsense. In 20 years? Never a few days alone?

I can believe that, actually. I'm not saying I haven't, but it's very rare nowadays, and if I believed it was morally wrong I could give it up if I had to. It would be nice to tone down the level of nastiness in people's responses to p_T, who has been pretty civil.
posted by me & my monkey at 11:54 AM on November 5, 2006


BEEEPBEEEPBEEPBEEEEEPBEEEP!!!!

someon'es gaydar needs a tune-up!
posted by matteo at 12:00 PM on November 5, 2006


You know, this is starting to make me sad. Not Thomist's torturous evasions - that's gone on so long, with such an openly masturbatory quality ("This is how I do my wife! You should do it that way too!") it's become a spectacle worthy of its own thread I'm talking about Haggard.

If the man had just an ounce more courage, a fraction more self-respect, he could have done some real good. He's obviously tried to dance a line in the past - despite all the demon-talk, his history indicates he's one of the lesser evangelicals when it comes to the "gay sex == hellfire" line.

I imagine him growing up in the church, or becoming born again. The dark, sweaty nights of alternate fantasy and prayer. And that moment, or series of moments, when he saw that following the evangelical church line against homosexuality was the fastest way to promotion and power in the organisation. And decided to hide, and lie.

He's obvious charismatic. A charming preacher. If he'd had the strength to drop the charade, to come out and be both born-again and gay, he could have made a real difference. Would he have had the same power, the same audience? Highly unlikely. And the path would have been considerably harder. But one so much truer to himself, and to many others.

As it is, he's gone back. That letter to his church prompted a standing ovation, apparently. I guess he'd far rather have the approval of 10,000 bigots than the support of a million gay men.
posted by Bora Horza Gobuchul at 12:07 PM on November 5, 2006


p_T, who has been pretty civil.

By no means. Simply because he tries to avoid direct personal attacks doesn't make him civil (and "you are full of shit" is certainly uncivil).

He misstates, lies, shows bigotry, prejudice, hypocrisy and 'hatred of the other'. He is blinded by dogma and does not contribute in any way to any discussion.

He deserves nothing but contempt. It would be nice to ramp up the level of nastiness in peoples' responses to him.
posted by solid-one-love at 12:12 PM on November 5, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: You do realize this could just as easily be used to describe you as anyone else, right?

Certainly. In fact I seem to be one of the few people in this discussion who takes seriously the possibility that I might be wrong. Consider bardic and others who insist that the only societies that are civilized are liberal ones, and that God must agree with them about a laundry list of political matters before they will listen to him.

I thought it was amazing when Bora Horza Gobuchul went on preaching about "what if you are wrong" without seeming to notice that the obvious next question is "what if I am wrong".

me_&_my_monkey: Outside of your religious belief, there is no rational justification for thinking that homosexuality or homosexual behavior is disordered.

That is demonstrably false. Allow me now to demonstrate that it is false.

me_&_my_monkey: You believe that the only appropriate kind of sexual contact is that which concludes with vaginal intercourse, because of the "link between sex and children," while at the same time you think that vaginal intercourse that cannot possibly result in children is OK. I believe any thought process that comes up with that conclusion is disordered.

That's because you haven't thought enough about what the phrase "kind of action" means, and about how act-descriptions work. These are long-standing questions in the philosophy of action. We don't need to settle them (and can't settle them) here for me to make the point that the philosophy of action is something different from religious belief. Hence your claim that "outside of your religious belief there is no rational justification for thinking that homosexual behavior is disordered" is false.

Still, let me put it as simply as possible: a man and woman who perform the marital act (even if the woman is in the infertile time of her cycle or has passed through menopause) are doing a different kind of action from two men, or two women, or a man and a woman who are engaged in other forms of sexual activity.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:13 PM on November 5, 2006


He's obviously tried to dance a line in the past - despite all the demon-talk, his history indicates he's one of the lesser evangelicals when it comes to the "gay sex == hellfire" line.

Yeah, he appears to have been almost moderate:
"Rob Brendle, an associate New Life pastor, said Haggard fought to make Amendment 43 only define marriage, breaking with other evangelical leaders who favored a broader measure barring domestic partnerships. Haggard has said marriage deserves special status, while civil protections should be a separate issue."
I guess he'd far rather have the approval of 10,000 bigots than the support of a million gay men.

In his defense, he probably actually believes that homosexuality is wrong.
posted by me & my monkey at 12:16 PM on November 5, 2006


And from the looks of them, there are tons more with "repulsive and dark" lives working at his church--did he recruit them all? WTF have their looks got to do with it. How typical.
posted by econous at 12:21 PM on November 5, 2006


I've already said it: you're a bigot hiding behind Scripture to justify your bigotry. I am done with you. When you actually start living as Christ preached, I might listen to you.

He seems to be doing a rather good job of that. You could learn something, once you get over the histrionics.
posted by econous at 12:25 PM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "Still, let me put it as simply as possible: a man and woman who perform the marital act (even if the woman is in the infertile time of her cycle or has passed through menopause) are doing a different kind of action from two men, or two women, or a man and a woman who are engaged in other forms of sexual activity."

Oh my God I cannot resist this gem.

IF EITHER OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS HYPOTHETICAL HETEROSEXUAL COUPLE ARE INFERTILE, THEY ARE NOT PERFORMING DIFFERENT ACTS FROM A HOMOSEXUAL COUPLE. THEY ARE PERFORMING A PHYSICAL ACT OF PLEASURE THAT MAY OR MAY NOT ALSO HAVE LOVE AS A COMPONENT.

YOU ARE SO FUCKING STUPID AND FUCKED UP ABOUT SEX THAT IT HURTS TO READ YOUR FILTH.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:26 PM on November 5, 2006


Does anyone have a link to Ted's letter? The news stories just give excerpts, but I can't get a feel for it without seeing the whole thing. It sounds like he's still saying Jones is lying, but not saying what Jones is lying about. That is bad, I think. He should either say Jones is telling the truth, or say exactly what Jones is saying that is not true.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:28 PM on November 5, 2006


econous writes "He seems to be doing a rather good job of that. You could learn something, once you get over the histrionics."

No, he isn't doing a good job of that at all. Christ preached love. Feed and clothe the poor. Get the moneylenders out of the Temple. He never said word one about faggots and dykes. He explicitly told people not to judge.

I don't know where you came from, you little troll, but why don't you go back there until you can actually contribute something other than popping up to split semantic hairs and/or troll my statements?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:29 PM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, you seem to be forgetting that sex is non-arbitrarily linked to babies.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:29 PM on November 5, 2006


Nonsense. In 20 years? Never a few days alone? Every sexual feeling immediately centered on one person who is always available?

4cm, you are an utter twit. Just because you apparently can't keep your hands off your junk does not mean p_t and others fail to do so.

I completely fail to understand why you can not accept that some people are capable of sexual behaviours that you can not maintain.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:31 PM on November 5, 2006


Still, let me put it as simply as possible: a man and woman who perform the marital act (even if the woman is in the infertile time of her cycle or has passed through menopause) are doing a different kind of action from two men, or two women, or a man and a woman who are engaged in other forms of sexual activity.

No, they're all trying to get off. They may or may not love each other. Only if a heterosexual couple is actively trying to conceive is their act any different, and then only marginally so.

Please leave, p_t. You should have cut your losses 800 comments ago.
posted by SBMike at 12:39 PM on November 5, 2006


me_&_my_monkey: In his defense, he probably actually believes that homosexuality is wrong.

Here's my take on it: evangelicals are theological illiterates, and don't take nature seriously enough. They can't make sense of the fact that some people are homosexually oriented. So Ted doesn't have the option, as a Catholic would, of acknowledging that he is a homosexual. Hence he has to do a lot of tap-dancing. It's very sad.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:42 PM on November 5, 2006


That letter to his church prompted a standing ovation, apparently.

Actually --

"While the letter was read, more than 7,000 people in attendance sat in silence, some of them weeping. The letter was read by Larry Stockstill, who leads a church outside Baton Rouge, La., that is considered the 'mother church of New Life.'

After the letter was read, there was brief applause with a smattering of people standing."

[Denver Post]
posted by ericb at 12:42 PM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist writes "dirtynumbangelboy, you seem to be forgetting that sex is non-arbitrarily linked to babies."

Sexual pleasure is not, you wilfully obtuse little shit. Fuck off.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 12:43 PM on November 5, 2006


SBMike: Only if a heterosexual couple is actively trying to conceive is their act any different, and then only marginally so.

You are equating actions with intentions. They aren't the same thing. Two people can perform the same kind of action with different intentions.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:46 PM on November 5, 2006


The letter
posted by The Deej at 12:49 PM on November 5, 2006


Peeping, I think the thing you're forgetting about here is how much damage these views have caused to gay people world wide. In fact, the entire discussion by you and konolia in particular has sidestepped that damage (and the damage done by Ted Haggard and his megachurch), and your conversation with angelboy (who is understandably hurt and angry but religious people who seek to force him to repent and feel guilty and dirty and unworthy) only highlights that. You can privilege your nonsensical sexual beliefs all you like, but please realize that setting them out to us as "truth" and suggesting that they're based on rational fact rather than Christian faith is exactly the kind of thing those of us who are not heterosexuals face as weapons pointed at us every single day. If you care about tending to the wounded and providing comfort to the outcast, perhaps you would spend more time helping gay people to heal from these outrageous wounds doled out by people proclaiming your faith, rather than rubbing salt in them here at metafilter.
posted by Hildegarde at 12:50 PM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


You are equating sophmoric, hair-splitting, inconsistent nonsense with the logical discourse that is supposed to happen on this site. They aren't the same thing.
posted by SBMike at 12:53 PM on November 5, 2006


I've read his letter of apology and a letter from his wife. I'm dismayed that he describes his comments from earlier in the week as "inconsistent" rather than as "lies". He also accused Jones of lying (by saying that the accusations are not all true), without saying about what. This is not good, in my opinion.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 12:54 PM on November 5, 2006



Peeping, I think the thing you're forgetting about here is how much damage these views have caused to gay people world wide.


Exactly. But it's not past tense, and it's been growing with the mainstreaming of people like Haggard and the politicians who use them.
posted by amberglow at 12:55 PM on November 5, 2006


I've read his letter of apology and a letter from his wife. I'm dismayed that he describes his comments from earlier in the week as "inconsistent" rather than as "lies".

What are you talking about? he says: "I am a deceiver and a liar."
posted by delmoi at 1:02 PM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy pretty much everyone here agrees with you I don't see why you need to be so nasty to the guy. I understand his views are pretty spaced out, and that you find them personally offensive. But they are based on made up crap, not reality. I'm kinda pleased that you think I can split semantic hairs though.
posted by econous at 1:03 PM on November 5, 2006


Meh. It seems to me that Haggard is still desperately clinging to the "more religion will cure me of teh ghey" mantra which has so far abjectly failed him. Is opposition to homosexuality such an essential tenet of American protestantism that it cannot endure being revisited with a critical eye? One with eyes can choose not to see, with ears can choose not to hear, I suppose.
posted by clevershark at 1:05 PM on November 5, 2006


Hildegarde: I think the thing you're forgetting about here is how much damage these views have caused to gay people world wide

I can see why you might think I am forgetting about that, since all you see of me is what I post to mefi. In fact, however, it is very difficult for me to ever forget the point you are making. A close family member of mine was murdered nearly 30 years ago just for being gay (killing a homosexual was a form of gang initiation at the time), and I take very seriously how evil homophobia is. If I believed that my trying to speak the truth as I understand it in this discussion would increase homophobia, I would immediately stop. I do not believe it is having that effect.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:07 PM on November 5, 2006


delmoi, he doesn't call his earlier statements lies.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 1:09 PM on November 5, 2006


Point taken, amberglow. Very much taken. Let me rephrase that to how much damage these views have caused and continue to cause to gay people world wide.

and econous: you said "I don't see why you need to be so nasty to the guy": again, angelboy's anger is entirely justified, given the damage that's been (and continues to be) caused. The pretense that this is all just a little conversation with no real life implications is unfair. Some people gain privilege from these beliefs, and some suffer. Anger is the least damaging result.
posted by Hildegarde at 1:10 PM on November 5, 2006


But they are based on made up crap, not reality.

Exactly. Believing that one person is divine and following his teachings is kinda nuts, but believing a whole papal succession has a line to the divine is a whole other level. Suddenly your sexual theology doesn't just have to square with Jesus' words, but also Pius I's pronouncement on scrotums in 784AD. Fortunately, most Catholics solve this problem by ignoring it, which, now that we've seen the alternative, seems infinitely pragmatic.
posted by boaz at 1:15 PM on November 5, 2006


And from the looks of them, there are tons more with "repulsive and dark" lives working at his church--did he recruit them all? WTF have their looks got to do with it. How typical.
posted by econous at 2:21 PM CST on November 5


It's teh gaydar, of course!
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2006


So Haggard confessed.

Looks like you were full of shit again, konolia. I'm sure you'll be back soon to admit it. I look forward to your agonizing justification.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 1:26 PM on November 5, 2006


Wait a minute, he's going to be recieving counseling from James Dobson? A man famous for going mano a mano with a weiner dog named Sigmund Frued? This entire wing of the evangelical movement is just perverse.
posted by maryh at 1:28 PM on November 5, 2006


That letter in itself, and the language that he uses, is such a very sad, but perfectly appropriate, exhibit of the damage done by and the tragedy of the closet-- how it warps and twists what should have been one of the best parts of his life. I pity the man.

And then I think of the damage he has done to so many, and to the fabric of his society and country during his personal battle with his nature, and I don't.
posted by jokeefe at 1:34 PM on November 5, 2006


Optimus Chyme writes "So Haggard confessed.

"Looks like you were full of shit again, konolia. I'm sure you'll be back soon to admit it. I look forward to your agonizing justification."


HAHAHAHAAHAAAAHAAHAHAHAHAHHA

You're joking, right? That would presuppose that she would actually respond to a direct point or question. She's neither intelligent nor courageous enough to do that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:35 PM on November 5, 2006


...you wilfully obtuse little shit. Fuck off.

Can somebody please collect the screaming little child over here? He needs to sit down for a bit in the time-out chair.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 1:36 PM on November 5, 2006


Is opposition to homosexuality such an essential tenet of American protestantism that it cannot endure being revisited with a critical eye?

No.
posted by booksandlibretti at 1:40 PM on November 5, 2006


Mrs. Betty Bowers' Words of Christian Concern for Ted Haggard's Delicious Disgrace--... It is quite clear that Ted Haggard is a man with admirable devotion to the Christian/GOP cause. After all, it must take enormous willpower for a meth-crazed sodomite to remove a penis from his mouth long enough to denounce homosexuality. ...
posted by amberglow at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


Wow, 1145-some posts! Is this the longest thread ever?
posted by c13 at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2006


Hildegarde, thank you for your post, which was beautifully written and sums up what I'm feeling.

Peeping-Thom: "If I believed that my trying to speak the truth as I understand it in this discussion would increase homophobia, I would immediately stop. I do not believe it is having that effect."

She did not say she thought your comments were increasing homophobia. She said they were like rubbing salt in open wounds. She is right.

On another note, I am very sorry to hear about the close family memeber of yours who was murdered. A gay friend of a friend of mine in college was also murdered in a gay-bashing incident, and even though I had met him only once it shook me up. I can only imagine what that must have been like for you.

Given that news, and your assertion that you don't think gay people are sinful or condemned to hell, and that your views are different from the fundies--I am genuinely puzzled as to why you would keep repeating your views on sacred vs. unsacred sex. It may seem like an innocent thing to you, but it's really quite degrading and judgmental--even if this is your religious belief.
posted by mijuta at 1:46 PM on November 5, 2006


me & my monkey: In his defense, he probably actually believes that homosexuality is wrong. black people aren't humans.

I know you weren't trying to excuse the guy, m&mm, but just because someone "actually" believes something abhorrent, that doesn't make it ok.

And by the way... peeping_Thomist = troll. A Christian troll, maybe, but a troll nonetheless.
posted by papakwanz at 1:49 PM on November 5, 2006


LOL, Amberglow! Thanks!
posted by Robert Angelo at 1:52 PM on November 5, 2006


Having just read Haggard's letter, I say: damn, that's a good letter. No mealymouthed excuse-making: he owns his actions and is accepting the consequences without whining. Whatever his other qualities, it seems Ted Haggard is a lot more man than most of the fallen evangels.

This bit weirds me, though: "On the day he accepted this new role, he and his wife, Aimee, had a new baby boy. A new life in the midst of this circumstance - I consider the confluence of events to be prophetic."

Prophetic? That seems like a very strange thought.

Anyone with skill in NLP or evangel coding able to read between the lines? As a literal read, his letter is very good. With insider knowledge, though, perhaps it says something very different.
posted by five fresh fish at 1:53 PM on November 5, 2006


Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese writes "Can somebody please collect the screaming little child over here? He needs to sit down for a bit in the time-out chair."

And you need to STFU. Sorry, what was your point again?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 1:57 PM on November 5, 2006


p_t, you seem like a reasonable fellow, considering that I disagree to an astonishing degree with just about everything you have said, so I'm going to try to post some of my thoughts in response to yours in a reasonable manner.

1) Part of the problem here is your implicit (or stated, I'm not sure which) belief that homosexual intercourse is a sin. "Sin", as a concept and a word, is likely to do nothing but anger those on the other side of the argument from you without communicating any information, for the following reason -

To the nonchristian ear, "sin" means "somethat that is wrong simply because it has been said to be wrong, requiring no more justification that that it has been said to be wrong." It DOES NOT MATTER if that is not what you meant, because that is what people hear, and if you use that word it is what people will believe you mean unless you very carefully explain otherwise. By then it may already be too late, because many will have stopped listening.

The reason for that is that the implication is infuriating to people who engage in the "sinful" practice, because they see you as basically saying "what you do it wrong and evil, for no particular reason and I have no need to explain myself."

2) In the latter parts of this dialogue, you have, to do you credit, attempted to explain (for those who were still paying any attention to you at that point) WHY you believed homosexuality to be a moral evil. The problem here is that your arguments simply make no sense to anyone who is not already Christian, and therefore have no chance whatsoever of reaching your intended argument. For example, one of your arguments seems to be:

"Heterosexual relationship that take place within the bounds of marriage are the highest ideal for relationships because they mimic that of Christ with the Church."

I hope it will be obvious why this argument is simply irrelevant to anyone who does not already believe what you believe. It is equivalent, to them, of your saying, "because they mimic the relationship between U2 and The Edge." You may firmly believe that what you say is true, but it simply holds no meaning to anyone not of your religion.

The next argument you make is somewhat subtler in why it does not communicate:

"Heterosexual intercourse is morally superior because it either is or closely mimics the kind of intercourse used for human reproduction."

This, while it seems to be divorced eligious principles at first, makes no sense without certain assumptions which are entirely based in the axioms of your religions, among them:

A) The purpose of intercourse is to reproduce
B) Something which mimics an ideal action closely is closer to the idea than something which does not

To many nonchristians, reproduction is merely one of many possible results of intercourse (the two are, as you point out, nonarbitrarily connected, but as many have replied, they are not identical, nor does one always follow from the other), and attributing a "purpose" to a biological action is entirely arbitrary. This is not to say that actions do not have purposes; it reflects the belief that actions can have many purposes, and there is no acknowledgement of an "ideal purpose" because there is no acknowledgement of an authority imposing such a thing.

The second point is irrelevant to the discussion without belief in the first, but even it seems to be much more of a quirk of theology rather than a principle with a basis in anything else. I suppose hairs could be split about this, but it seems pretty pointless, considering.

3) Because of these, and similar issues, your arguments MAKE NO SENSE to anyone who does not ALREADY BELIEVE WHAT YOU BELIEVE. If you wish to get across to them, which you may not want to bother to do, you will need to either convert them or make arguments which make sense within their frame of reference, such as by demonstrating that performing a homosexual act causes inarguable harm to another person, which many nonchristians believe is a standard by which to judge moral wrong. I wish you much luck in either, as I believe both to be impossible.

4) I realize that these comments could as easily apply to those trying to argue with you; I single you rather than them out because I agree with them. But, yes, I think their arguments are likely to be impossible to reach you because you are probably outside their frame of reference; you do not believe that moral wrong derives from substantive harm, but from the word of god.

5) Therefore, I think the arguments on both sides are not really attempts to convince each other, but to convert each other, to literally change their entire frame of reference so that the arguments being made make sense. I do not think this is likely to happen within the course of a metafilter discussion.

6) That being said ... one of the reasons I think people are continuing to try to argue with you is that you have shown some belief that substantive harm = moral wrong (e.g., by stating that you think your beliefs do not lead to dangerous homophobia, and that you would be horrified if they were.) Possibly you believe that substantive harm is connected implicitly with the commandments of your god, but in either case, you do seem to think it's a factor. Therefore, even though it may be pointless, I am still going to attempt to putin an argument for my point of view, in the hopes that it will get through.

I think your beliefs DO contribute to homophobia. While I am sure that you would never kill a gay man for being gay, and I am horrified by what happened to your relative, I genuinely think that your attitude, and the attitude of those like you, forms the basis of the homophobia that expresses itself as violence.

You may point out that believing something is a sin does not necessarily lead to this - after all, no one kills adulterers. But they used to. They used to stone them to death. The fact is, most people really don't consider adultery much of a sin anymore, which is why that stopped.

So believe homosexual acts are sins or don't, but please don't try to divorce your believe from the violence being enacted against homosexuals worldwide. The two are intimately connected. And that is the main reason so many react to what you say with rage.
posted by kyrademon at 1:59 PM on November 5, 2006 [13 favorites]


Well said, kyrademon. And mijuta: I've got your back, man. Aww, come on everyone, another group hug. *squeezes*
posted by Hildegarde at 2:09 PM on November 5, 2006


The letter has your typical Evangelical understanding of the basis of truth and authority. Evangelicals, for all their talk about the Bible, understand authority and truth to be based in the crowd. Haggard has spent his career providing scapegoats to the crowd, now he has to provide himself as a scapegoat to the crowd. Haggard has to sacrifice himself so that his Church and the Evangelical movement in general can still believe they are righteous. Reference his focus on himself and absolving the crowd of responsibility for their endless pursuit of scapegoats. Haggard focused so much on the Scapegoat that he became one himself.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 2:11 PM on November 5, 2006


kyrademon-- that is an excellent, excellent post. The only thing I'd add to it is that, as booksandlibretti (and others, but I'll focus on one person's comments) has pointed out, repeatedly, on this thread, it is far from a truth universally acknowledged that homosexuality is intrinsically evil even if you accept the Christian framework.

fff, I agree that it's a terrifically written letter. That his wife wrote a letter is... well, it's touching, and I hope that there's plenty of love and happiness in this world for her. It's beyond sad, though, and all too predictable, that they are refraining from using their God-given reason to reassess their notions about homosexuality. Of course, if you view it as part and parcel of life with prostitutes and meth, I guess it's not a huge leap to feel ashamed.

That's why, when my girlfriend shrugged off Neil Patrick Harris's coming out, I said it was at least one more person who's been in most people's homes on TV hopefully helping people see that homosexuality is no more a sinful affliction than Jewishness or skin pigmentation. We've come a long way on those others in the past 40 years; we've come a long way on how gays are viewed of late, too.
posted by ibmcginty at 2:18 PM on November 5, 2006


Sorry, what was your point again?

Did you really miss the point? My point is, your comments sound like those of a snotty little kid throwing a tantrum when somebody says something he doesn't like:

"you wilfully obtuse little shit. Fuck off."

"YOU ARE SO FUCKING STUPID AND FUCKED UP ABOUT SEX THAT IT HURTS TO READ YOUR FILTH."

"Now fuck off, you fucking homophobic bigoted asshole"

"Fuck the hell off."

This seems to be an issue you feel strongly about, but calling people trolls and telling them to "STFU" and "fuck off", is a childish way to debate it.

And this: p_T, apparently you don't understand. I gave you a message about sex and travel. Please heed it.

Who are you to order a member to stop commenting?
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 2:20 PM on November 5, 2006


I'm ordering all of you to go read my Betty Bower link, ok? chill.

Now who thinks this will lead to that church (and others) doing witchhunts?
posted by amberglow at 2:31 PM on November 5, 2006


amberglow writes "Now who thinks this will lead to that church (and others) doing witchhunts?"

Well if Haggard himself doesn't get the message, what hope is there for people who are merely bystanders in that particular drama?
posted by clevershark at 2:38 PM on November 5, 2006


Pastor Ted's Wheel of Excuses.
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2006


Haggard hasn't grown as a man or a Christian at all. His whole career has been one of providing Scapegoats for the Evangelicals. The only thing that's changed is that now he has to provide himself as a scapegoat. No questioning of the Evangelical thirst for scapegoats and sacrifices, no call for the end of scapegoating. He's like one the victims in the Soviet show trials, he must be convinced of his own guilt. Ted Haggard has become a scapegoat. The real evil is in his congregation. They are the ones who demand scapegoats, Ted Haggard only became what they wanted him to become. They're God is not the Christian god, their god is their Scapegoat. The scapegoat is the one who they circle around.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 2:46 PM on November 5, 2006


Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese writes "Did you really miss the point? My point is, your comments sound like those of a snotty little kid throwing a tantrum when somebody says something he doesn't like:"

And as you ahve clearly missed, I am enraged by this bullshit, and even more so by the people who are apologists for it. Don't like it? Don't read it.

Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese writes "Who are you to order a member to stop commenting?"

To stop talking directly to me, actually.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 2:49 PM on November 5, 2006


"Now who thinks this will lead to that church (and others) doing witchhunts?"

It's just my wishful thinking, but I'm imagining those twinkie church assistant pastors teaching the Air Force Academy cadets to "make love, not war."

Nah...
posted by Robert Angelo at 2:53 PM on November 5, 2006


Jesus said essentially it is better to be married to someone you love and that loves you than to burn with lust, self-hatred and destroy yourself and others.

erm, that would have been paul, not jesus.
posted by quonsar at 2:58 PM on November 5, 2006


FFF, as to the baby being born being "prophetic," he (and actually I) see it as a symbol of a new beginning for the church and the congregation. We believe that occasionally God has things happen that way. At least that is the best way I know to explain it. But yes, it is a typical thing for one of our type of church to say.

Well, my son was at one of the services there today and heard the letters being read. He and his buddy had to stand at the back of the church as (obviously) it was packed out.

Meanwhile I will confess to my failed gaydar (in my defense that was a long time ago and it has been back to the factory to be recalibrated since.) But seriously, you have to understand that this is not the sort of thing i could have expected from this particular man-even tho this is not the first time I have been around men of the cloth who were, shall we say, not what they claimed to be.

I never want to believe the worst of anyone. If someone accused Mathowie or jonmc or one of the rest of you of some astounding crime my first thought would not be that that sob must be guilty as heck, throw away the key...part of the extreme hurt of the Haggard situation is this very thing of -"of all people why HIM???"

Meanwhile I still have to say that God indeed cares very much what we do with our sexual parts, and love as compassion and caring and love as eros are two different things. The Bible teaches over and over that sex belongs to the marriage relationship, which is between a man and a woman. You will NOT FIND ONE PLACE IN SCRIPTURE where a homosexual or lesbian act is described as good. NOT ONE.

I understand that the longing and urges for gay people are true longings and true urges. I am not in any way minimizing that. But the whole problem of mankind period is that we want our own way and not God's. We rebel against Him because we want to do what we want to do whether it is sleep with a succession of people or with a person of the same sex, or cheat on a spouse, or eat too much, or drink ourselves to death, and so on.

Sex is fun but it is also holy. God has promised in His word to judge the sexually immoral. I do not believe that is just after death. He judges us here which is why we are exhorted to run to Him to find mercy and grace and deliverance from our sinful natures. We cannot and will not get rid of them on our own, as Haggard so sadly proves. For him, his urges were an addiction, a craving greater than his love for his Saviour. May he find some peace-he's in quite a bit of hell right here and right now.

I don't ever condone being mean to gay people. I believe they need to have jobs and places to live just like anyone else. I draw the line at gay marriage because I believe by definition there cannot be such a thing-and because I believe God will judge a society that would allow such a thing-a judgement that would fall on all of us, gay or straight. I am sorry that some folks find that hateful. But one thing I do hate and that is sin. I need to hate it more than I do-and no one hates it more than the Lord God Almighty. I need to hate it in myself most of all-but I cannot and I will not call evil good just so dirtynumbangelboy will feel better. That would be a lie and would do neither him nor me any favors. I would rather you all hear this stuff from me than on judgement day when it is too late. On that day you would be cursing me way more vehemenently than you are now if I had refrained from speaking to you.

I refuse to have your blood on my hands. If I kept silent, that is exactly what would happen.
posted by konolia at 3:01 PM on November 5, 2006


firestorm in 3,2,1...
posted by quonsar at 3:04 PM on November 5, 2006


Haggard and the White House: Both Living in Denial
"Let's face it: the Bush administration is sick. The fall of Ted Haggard is just the latest manifestation of the central disease of President Bush and his cohorts: the pathological refusal to accept reality, and the delusion that reality can be changed by rhetoric.

As Andrew Sullivan said last week on CNN, 'this is not an election anymore, it's an intervention.'

But while it's the administration that's sick, it's the whole country that's suffering.

How many more examples of this disease do we need? The insurgency is in its 'last throes,' we've 'turned the corner' in Iraq, gutting Social Security would 'save' it, global warming doesn't exist, evolution is just 'a theory,' Rumsfeld and Cheney are 'doing a fantastic job,' etc., etc., etc.

Mark Foley and Ted Haggard are textbook examples of how the relentless denial of reality perverts judgment and rots the soul. Same with the Bushies.

...The refusal by the Bush administration, its supporters in Congress and its 'spiritual advisors' to acknowledge reality is sick -- and potentially lethal to the well-being of our country. But it's clear they're not going to get better, because to do so would require they acknowledge reality enough to know they're sick in the first place. And they're not going to do that. They actually believe there's an alternative to the 'reality-based world,' and that they live in it."
posted by ericb at 3:05 PM on November 5, 2006


Thanks for your concern for our souls, Konolia.
posted by Kraftmatic Adjustable Cheese at 3:05 PM on November 5, 2006


I draw the line at gay marriage

Thank God, I live in Massachusetts!
posted by ericb at 3:08 PM on November 5, 2006


"You will NOT FIND ONE PLACE IN SCRIPTURE where a homosexual or lesbian act is described as good. NOT ONE."

As with so much else, that really depends on your interpretation.

"And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his ... girdle."

"And it came to pass ... that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul."

"Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul."

And so on. Inarguable? Of course not. But neither is a phrase from Leviticus that literally translates to "You should not have sex with a man in a woman's bed; it is ritually unclean", although it is often rendered "lie with a man as with a woman".

Not that I really care, because, well, it's not my religion and the book has no meaning to me other than historical, but frankly it's an iffy point even if you think it *is* literally true; meanings and interpretations change, as do translations and emphases.

But anyway, Konolia, I am sure you think you mean only the best for me. But I do not believe as you believe, and I think that you and those like you are causing me and those like me demonstrable harm. Therefore, by my standards, it is you, not me, who is morally in the wrong. I doubt we will ever find a meeting ground on this point.
posted by kyrademon at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


I draw the line at gay marriage because I believe by definition there cannot be such a thing-and because I believe God will judge a society that would allow such a thing-a judgement that would fall on all of us, gay or straight.

So, what's your position on those Christians who regard(ed) interracial marriage to be a sin and a detriment to society?

What are your thoughts about the Biblical Argument for American slavery ?
posted by ericb at 3:17 PM on November 5, 2006


Kyrademon, that may be the best message I have ever had the pleasure of reading on MeFi. You are a superlative writer. Thank you.

Konolia, I think we can all have a better understanding of you if you will answer one simple question:
Do you support laws that prevent gay couples from joining in civil union?
You need to answer this because it's where the rubber meets the road: do you or do you not impose your religion on others?
posted by five fresh fish at 3:20 PM on November 5, 2006


Don't bother, ericb. She's too dishonest to actually respond to questions that could shake her little worldview.

konolia writes "You will NOT FIND ONE PLACE IN SCRIPTURE where a homosexual or lesbian act is described as good. NOT ONE."

You still, you dishonest little turnip, haven't shown me where Jesus condemns gay relationships. When you can do that, perhaps, maybe, we will listen.

Actually, we won't--you're just promoting hate.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:24 PM on November 5, 2006


Wow, we are now fast closing on 1200 comments, many of them made in anger, and this thing is still not in MetaTalk. That has to be a MetaRecord.
posted by caddis at 3:26 PM on November 5, 2006


Thanks, fff. :) I was worried it was going to be too long and boring ...

Incidentally, for those of you who are curious about the literal translation of the Leviticus passage:

"V’et zachar lo tishkav mishk’vey eeshah toeyvah hee."

means

"And with a male you shall not lay [in the] lyings of a woman; it is ritually unclean."

In order to be interpreted as being against homosexuality, it was instead parsed as

"And with a male you shall not lay [as the] lyings of a woman; it is ritually unclean."

(In the modern era, it is now most frequently rendered as "You shall not lie with a man as with a woman; it is an abomination", or similar.)

The second one ("lay [as the] lyings of a woman") has always seemed like a rather tortuous translation compared to ("lay [in the] lyings of a woman"), which, to me, at least, seems to make a good deal more sense.

It'd be an interesting minor quibble over a point of translation if it hadn't led to so much death and horror, really. :P
posted by kyrademon at 3:30 PM on November 5, 2006 [4 favorites]


this thing is still not in MetaTalk

There is a MetaTalk thread.

And this tidbit was just added there by Konolia:
"Late back to this thread...perhaps some of you might feel it is mildly ironic that my son-in-law is African American and my upcoming grandbaby will be biracial.

I have been active in racial reconciliation movements here locally and I resent the comparison to gay rights.

That is all."
So, it seems she is quite selective in interpreting biblical directives.
posted by ericb at 3:31 PM on November 5, 2006


We cannot and will not get rid of them on our own, as Haggard so sadly proves

No, what Haggard proves is God won't get rid of them either. No matter how hard anyone wants him to.

On preview:Wow, we are now fast closing on 1200 comments, many of them made in anger, and this thing is still not in MetaTalk.

What do you mean? It's been Meta'd twice already.
posted by boaz at 3:32 PM on November 5, 2006


So, what's your position on those Christians who regard(ed) interracial marriage to be a sin and a detriment to society?

Well, my son-in-law is black and my upcoming grandbaby will be biracial. Does that answer your question?

FFF, I assume you mean civil union instead of marriage. In one sense I really would not care but in the broader sense I think that a society that winks at immorality of any sort is a society in big trouble. Of course, our society IS in big trouble, gay marriage or no gay marriage.

I am old enough to remember when heterosexual couples who were not married would have to dodge hotel detectives and/or sign a false "Mr and Mrs" when signing in to the hotel in the first place. Society as a whole frowned on immorality (while admittedly many participated in it secretly) but the consensus was at that time that certain things were wrong and not to be encouraged.

I will say that altho I would personally not agree with civil unions in that sense, if I had to choose between that and gay marriage, I would find the former to be more intellectualy honest. There are certain civil rights that I would have no problem extending to gay couples but I wish that could be done without trying to present it as a true equivalent to marriage.

If it matters I don't believe in theocracy in a civil sense, either. I think it would be a disaster and I wish the church would get out of bed with the politicians. Jesus said His kingdom was not of this world. I am not saying a christian should never be politically active but some stuff I see with the religious right makes me puke and is no credit to Christianity.
posted by konolia at 3:32 PM on November 5, 2006


caddis, this thread has made it to Metatalk.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 3:32 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


You still, you dishonest little turnip, haven't shown me where Jesus condemns gay relationships. When you can do that, perhaps, maybe, we will listen.

Not I. As I wrote above, there are very specific circumstances under which I will listen to konlia's bigotry. There is no reason to trust the reading comprehension and interpreting powers of a representative of a group that believes the Biblical priority is on homosexuality over caring for the poor. New Life Church was really expensive to build and even expensive to staff and maintain and run; meanwhile the congregation that commutes there could be spending time in their own nieghboorhoods and towns and giving their money to honest-to-god ministries that feed the poor. The original Christians, like the ones described in the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts, lived in voluntary poverty and spent their money and time working for the poor and oppressed. When the evangelicals do that, I'll give a shit about how they read the Bible. As it is, they prove that they can't comprehend or follow the basic instructions of Christ, so why should they be trusted interpreting the Bible?
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:34 PM on November 5, 2006


You still, you dishonest little turnip, haven't shown me where Jesus condemns gay relationships. When you can do that, perhaps, maybe, we will listen.

Not I. As I wrote above, there are very specific circumstances under which I will listen to konlia's bigotry. There is no reason to trust the reading comprehension and interpreting powers of a representative of a group that believes the Biblical priority is on homosexuality over caring for the poor. New Life Church was really expensive to build and even expensive to staff and maintain and run; meanwhile the congregation that commutes there could be spending time in their own nieghboorhoods and towns and giving their money to honest-to-god ministries that feed the poor. The original Christians, like the ones described in the 2nd chapter of the book of Acts, lived in voluntary poverty and spent their money and time working for the poor and oppressed. When the evangelicals do that, I'll give a shit about how they read the Bible. As it is, they prove that they can't comprehend or follow the basic instructions of Christ, so why should they be trusted interpreting the Bible?
posted by eustacescrubb at 3:34 PM on November 5, 2006


kyrademon, thanks for the thoughtful comments. I have to be away from the computer for the next day, but I'll post a reply soon. I hope I will be able to clear up some (understandable) confusions in your remarks.
posted by peeping_Thomist at 3:36 PM on November 5, 2006


I'll be happy to read it whenever you get it posted. I'm going to march in the Day of the Dead procession here now, so I'll be off for a while, too.
posted by kyrademon at 3:43 PM on November 5, 2006


Well, my son-in-law is black and my upcoming grandbaby will be biracial. Does that answer your question?

That doesn't answer the question. Let's try this -- how do you feel about those Christians who condemn interracial marriage and would consider your biracial grandson to be an abomination in the eyes of their Lord? And what happens if your grandson turns out to be "gay?" What then?
posted by ericb at 3:45 PM on November 5, 2006


BTW -- konolia -- some of my best friends are black! ;)
posted by ericb at 3:49 PM on November 5, 2006


There's a delicious ironic symmetry between Haggard's refusal/inability to see the real root of his current troubles and konolia's refusal/inability to see parallels between respect for non-traditional couples from both the racial and gender perspective -- her "resentment" even that her "pure" struggle should be tainted with "teh ghey". Not that she hasn't already pissed off enough people who can now be counted on to do whatever she avers to resenting, I'm sure.
posted by clevershark at 3:57 PM on November 5, 2006


Konolia where does the Bible condemn homosexuality. I'll preemptively offer this essay by James Alison that Romans 1 has nothing to do with homosexuality.

“But the Bible says...”? A Catholic reading of Romans 1

The Bible does not condemn homosexuality, it discourages evil desires that lead to violence.
posted by Buck Eschaton at 3:57 PM on November 5, 2006 [2 favorites]


The only thing that's changed is that now he has to provide himself as a scapegoat.
Throwing fresh Christians to the Lions? Fresh Lions to the Christians? It really is a circus.

konolia, if your gaydar is fixed, take a look at the other staffers at his church and tell us what you think.

I keep hearing that it really was HIS church, and not just a church that he led....his pic was supposedly everywhere, and he founded it, and apparently he had his hand(?) in everything that went on there.
posted by amberglow at 4:02 PM on November 5, 2006


When it comes down to it who is the god of the Evangelicals? When they close their eyes do they see Jesus or the "Gay Man"? Did Haggard's church grow as result of Jesus or as a result of the "Gay Man" that he thought was inside of him?
posted by Buck Eschaton at 4:08 PM on November 5, 2006


if your gaydar is fixed, take a look at the other staffers at his church and tell us what you think.

I'm going to guess Lance Coles at least. According to a quick survey I conducted, 1/2 of all people named Lance are gay. My sample was Lance Bass and Lance Armstrong.
posted by boaz at 4:14 PM on November 5, 2006


I get the distinct impression that only leather guys wearing assless chaps trip konolia's "gaydar" and that she'd be mortified to find out that so-called "normal-looking" people she knows are gay. It's a bit like pot smokers -- perception points to penniless hippies living in an old VW van, but reality is that the vast majority of regular pot smokers are "normal-looking" people who wear buttoned-up shirts and suits and go to work in offices every day.

But then to recognize that you have to be willing to concede that your preconceptions could be wrong.
posted by clevershark at 4:18 PM on November 5, 2006


peeping_Thomist, I mentioned Jefferson, Mill, and Rawls in my assertion that liberalism goes hand-in-hand with modern society. Your defense? SHUT UP SHUT UP SHUT UP! You didn't name any thinkers, you didn't name any civilized countries where liberalism hasn't played an important role, you just retreated into your hallowed little Catholic cloister-of-one, replete with incense and your wife's "shapely ass."

If you're going to try and dominate a thread, please be an adult about it. Pleage engage. Please don't talk so much about your penis and your wife's orifices and your porn collection. AND THEN LECTURE US ABOUT SEXUAL MORALITY!

As for society agreeing with me? Yeah, they do. If you can't realize that you hold minority views regarding same-sex marriage, and that your minority is growing, then there's no amount of discourse that can do the simplest thing -- make you take a step outside and realize that the 1950's are over. And it ain't just America -- it's Western Europe and parts of South America, for now. Asia will be next, but it will take a while I admit.

So I was somewhat serious when I suggested you get a job working for Saudi Arabia -- they have many of the trappings and conveniences of modern life (if you have a lot of money), but none of the nasty civil rights or women's rights that typically go along with societal advancement. You might like it there.
posted by bardic at 4:19 PM on November 5, 2006


As befits the "Evangelical Vatican," there is an MCC (LGBT church) in Colorado Springs, too. Their statement about Pastor Ted says, in part:

This is a time for us to be people of grace and compassion. It is not a time for accusation, speculation, or celebration.

Wicked ol' lapsed former Catholic and former Dignitarian me, I'm picturing lots of interfaith dialogue....
posted by Robert Angelo at 4:23 PM on November 5, 2006


amberglow konolia, if your gaydar is fixed, take a look at the other staffers at his church and tell us what you think.

Sorry.. On a second look I have to agree a tiny bit, they do look a little funky, perhaps even a hint of terrifying..
posted by econous at 4:34 PM on November 5, 2006


And this tidbit was just added there by Konolia:

"Late back to this thread...perhaps some of you might feel it is mildly ironic that my son-in-law is African American and my upcoming grandbaby will be biracial.

I have been active in racial reconciliation movements here locally and I resent the comparison to gay rights.

That is all."

So, it seems she is quite selective in interpreting biblical directives.


what biblical directives are you talking about, ericb?

"Don't lie to one another, seeing that you have put off the old man with his doings, and have put on the new man, that is being renewed in knowledge after the image of his Creator, where there can't be Greek and Jew, circumcision and uncircumcision, barbarian, Scythian, bondservant, freeman; but Christ is all, and in all." (Colossians 3:9-11 WEB).

certainly not that one ... the so called "justifications" for racism that people "found" in the bible were made by really stretching things ... such as the belief that the "mark of cain" was black skin or other such willful misinterpretations ...

so your comment about biblical directives are off-base ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:37 PM on November 5, 2006


Konolia, I think we can all have a better understanding of you if you will answer one simple question:
Do you support laws that prevent gay couples from joining in civil union?
Please provide a simple yes or no. Don't waffle like you did in your previous response.
posted by five fresh fish at 4:42 PM on November 5, 2006


konolia writes: You will NOT FIND ONE PLACE IN SCRIPTURE where a homosexual or lesbian act is described as good. NOT ONE.

Out of a 3,000 page book, you won't find much discussion of homosexuality, period (Moses' sons looking at his naked body -- I'll admit, that's a weird moment). And for every time there is one, there's at least three occasions where heterosexuality is presented as sinful and/or immoral.

Game, set, match.

As for your grandchild, congratulations. But ya know, instead of thinking of him as your "bi-racial" relative, why not just a new opportunity for love, joy, and excitement? To divide people up the way you do is incredibly un-Christ like. I wish you had some capacity for self-knowledge. And I hope your grandson doesn't suffer the bigotry, hate, and short-sightedness of an Evnagelical community that's too busy judging others to realize they need to start with themselves.
posted by bardic at 4:43 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


I mentioned Jefferson, Mill, and Rawls in my assertion that liberalism goes hand-in-hand with modern society.

I thought it was civilized societies rather than modern society? I'm guessing it's always the other guy that's the barbarian, the other cultrual practice that's barbaric. Obv really I guess.
posted by econous at 4:46 PM on November 5, 2006


bardic, I think you mean Noah's sons, not Moses's.
posted by eustacescrubb at 5:01 PM on November 5, 2006


pyramid termite writes "certainly not that one ... the so called 'justifications' for racism that people 'found' in the bible were made by really stretching things ... such as the belief that the 'mark of cain' was black skin or other such willful misinterpretations ..."

Yes, and the so-called 'justifications' for homophobia that people have 'found' in the Bible...
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:06 PM on November 5, 2006


My God, I was right. I said "1200 by the end of the weekend," and here we are.

This is the thread that never ends!
It goes on and on my friends!


And I'd only like to say that Mark Driscoll's statement about pastors' wives above are so ridiculous that they pretty much ruin any good that can come out of what he wrote otherwise. And there's some good stuff in there. But no, someone thinks he's sitting at the bar with a bunch of likeminded guys instead of running his trap in front of six billion people.

Mark Driscoll is more than just a fool for Christ -- he's a damned fool. Pity him.
posted by dw at 5:27 PM on November 5, 2006


caddis, the MeTa is closing in on 400 comments.
posted by cgc373 at 5:55 PM on November 5, 2006


Pyramid Termite: "certainly not that one ... the so called "justifications" for racism that people "found" in the bible were made by really stretching things ... such as the belief that the "mark of cain" was black skin or other such willful misinterpretations ...

so your comment about biblical directives are off-base ..."

The point that several people are making, Pyramid, is that the same willful misinterpretations of scripture are being made when it comes to homosexuality.

Read Kyrademon's excellent post (about 20 posts up; sorry, I can't remember coding and computer is acting very slow) for one example.
posted by mijuta at 5:56 PM on November 5, 2006


Sounds like poo to mate. Do self immolation or hunger strikes count?

Totally different things, "mate," but interesting cases. First, very few people (often, in fact monks, or others who have worked hard to master and discipline their natural drives) ever pull those acts off (to make a little pun, since most everyone pulls off the other one). Very few hunger strikers actually starve themselves to death; and I'll bet dollars to a million donuts that the moment after the match is irreversibly struck the self-immolator regrets his/her decision profoundly. Since it can't be changed once taken, it is quite a different thing from hunger striking or refraining from self-gratification.

I don't say it can't be done. I say it is rarely ever done, and that the odds of someone managing it for 20 are slim to none.
posted by fourcheesemac at 5:59 PM on November 5, 2006


how did i miss that metatalk thread, i guess i have been busy this weekend
posted by caddis at 6:01 PM on November 5, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, mijuta ... yes, people willfully misinterpret the bible when it comes to homosexuality, also ... one of the limitations of the bible is that there are certain subjects that simply aren't considered much, because the societies in which they were written had no reason to consider them much ... i think one has to consider the spirit with which much of the new testament was written, which would be charity, love, compassion, forgiveness and self-questioning before judgment of others, to really determine what the bible "says" about things like gay marriage

unfortunately, many people believe in a god of anger instead of a god of love ... and some, like haggard, who see themselves as "sinners in the hands of an angry god", end up doing all they can do to act out that drama and ensure that the world condemns them along with the condemnation they feel in themselves ... while pointing the finger at those who are "doing wrong", even if the justification for that is hazy
posted by pyramid termite at 6:10 PM on November 5, 2006


Apropos of nothing, here's a bbc documentary about how the Roman Catholic church deliberately covered-up sex crimes within the church.

The current Pope was largely responsible. Such a moral man!
posted by five fresh fish at 6:24 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


pyramid termite writes "i think one has to consider the spirit with which much of the new testament was written, which would be charity, love, compassion, forgiveness and self-questioning before judgment of others, to really determine what the bible 'says' about things like gay marriage"

Which is the entire point we're trying to make to bigots like konolia and peeping_Thomist. (His name isn't quite correct... it seems to be more like hoping_for_a_peeping_Thomist)
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:25 PM on November 5, 2006


konolia: He judges us me here which is why we are I am exhorted to run to Him to find mercy and grace and deliverance from our my sinful natures. We I cannot and will not get rid of them on our my own...

Speak for yourself. Thanks.

The ONLY sin is lack of love. [for me, at least]
posted by exlotuseater at 6:48 PM on November 5, 2006


Well, fff, you know, the bible says pedophilia is a-okay! So what's the problem?
posted by Hildegarde at 6:50 PM on November 5, 2006


AT THIS POINT, This thread, at roughly 114,839 words, when formatted to fit on 8.5" x 11" paper (12 pt. Times New Roman) is ~344 pages.

Anyone got a good publisher? I feel the magic. It's got great tension and depth, drama, a wide cast of characters...

It's like 12 120 Angry Men. [how many users have participated in this particular thread anyway?]

I admit the arc needs some work though.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:01 PM on November 5, 2006


amberglow writes "konolia, if your gaydar is fixed, take a look at the other staffers at his church and tell us what you think."

Holy fuck. They all look like they're about to start singing show tunes.
posted by orthogonality at 7:09 PM on November 5, 2006


120 Angry Men.

And a few women. On both sides of the argument, no less!
posted by Hildegarde at 7:13 PM on November 5, 2006


"Ye can not serve God and mammon" (Matt. vi. 24) These are not men of God. They use religion to make themselves wealthy. The Christian values I was taught were love and charity, these guys preach hate and selfishness. Ughhh. That is why the world hates them and laughs at their adherents. Real Christians worry more about helping others than judging others. These turkeys are not really Christian, they are just the Devil's spawn.
posted by caddis at 7:25 PM on November 5, 2006


fourcheesemac so it is possible that he aint wanked for 20 years, but more probable that he is simply telling lies, because of course everyone does it. And suicide doesn't count as being an override of basic natural drives as they probably change their minds when it's a bit too late. Well, I reckon it's entirely possible he has not wanked for 20 years. Of course not wanking for 20 years is a bit mad. And the mad can do amazing things. Q.E.D! Thanks for your help guv.
posted by econous at 7:39 PM on November 5, 2006


Hildegarde, it certainly was not my intention to be sexist/ gender biased-- it was the first reference that came to mind. No offense meant.
posted by exlotuseater at 7:47 PM on November 5, 2006


What did Ted Haggard say when he was getting a massage from Mike Jones?

Christ, what an asshole!

(Sorry, couldn't resist.)
posted by mijuta at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2006


I don’t wish to derail this thread any more than it already has been, but I wanted to address a point that has been made both here and in the metatalk thread: that no one is being converted in these discussions; that they are essentially futile—seed-spilling, if you will.

When I first came to Metafilter I was a strict Catholic, who had been raised by fanatically strict Catholic parents. Some of my earliest memories are of being taken by my mother to anti-abortion rallies, visiting my father in jail after he had been arrested for protesting, not being allowed to buy gum from gumball machines sponsored by Planned Parenthood, and having discussions with my father about the various gay men he had counseled and how weighed on they were with guilt and shame. I believed then, as I do now, that the Catholic Church was a structure of unparallelled linguistic and semantic beauty—a philosophical wank of unequalled length and dexterity; a sharp-spired, sun-reaching hot-air castle. I was then, as I am not now, happy to live within its walls. I followed Church law to its letter, understood Church law to its letter, and believed Church law to its letter.

Places like Metafilter changed my mind. Metafilter changed my mind. We didn’t watch the news in my house, we watched Fox News. We didn’t listen to the radio, we listened to Rush Limbaugh. I had been entirely insulated from any type of rational discussion about the assumptions that lie at the foundation of such breathtaking semantic structures as the Catholic Church. Perhaps never before in history have people in my position had such wide and deep access to conversations good enough to change their minds. Thank you for that. And for that reason, I’ll be glad to see this conversation, or any others like it, go on as long as it has legs.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 7:53 PM on November 5, 2006 [25 favorites]


Hildegarde, this is about a brazilian posts late, but a hug back to you! Librarians are the best kind of people to hug.
posted by mijuta at 7:56 PM on November 5, 2006


Bravo for jonmc's tolerance. He's undoubtedly a mensch, despite some flare-ups we've had.

thank you for that, bardic. if you're ever in New York, you're more than welcome to join me, divine wino (who stood up for you to me back when you and i were brawling), and joe famous and the rest for a few beers.

I understand that the longing and urges for gay people are true longings and true urges....

I don't ever condone being mean to gay people. I believe they need to have jobs and places to live just like anyone else.

I'll take you at your word on this. But, you've got to see that supporting people like Haggard is causing gay people misery or at the very least enabling others to do so.

I draw the line at gay marriage because I believe by definition there cannot be such a thing

Well, nobody's asking fundy churches to do that. As an absolutist on freedom of religion, I'd fight it it they were forced to, perversely enough.

konolia, as a friendly favor to me, I urge you again, to read this book. I think you'd find it enlightening and quite frankly, if you came around, you'd be a good person to have on our side.
posted by jonmc at 7:59 PM on November 5, 2006


Wow, we are now fast closing on 1200 comments, many of them made in anger, and this thing is still not in MetaTalk. That has to be a MetaRecord.
posted by caddis at 6:26 PM EST on November 5


caddis, it's been meta'd TWICE.
posted by quonsar at 8:05 PM on November 5, 2006


PRB, thank you for your awesome post. I was thinking everything was pretty futile, too, but to be honest, this thread has really made me think a lot about faith, and specifically about how I can be a better person. If you read my comments back to back, it probably seems like all I have thought about is how Konolia, Peeping_Thom, etc. help perpetuate the condemnation of gays. But I've read every single comment in this thread, and so many people's views on faith--whether they are coming from a place of religion or from an atheistic viewpoint--have really made me think beyond my own vantage point. (Others' viewpoints, mainly Konolia's and PT's, have made me realize I've come very, very far from my largely rigid, anti-gay, fear-of-Hell Catholic upbringing.) This will likely sound very simplistic, but I can't think of any other way to state it: the people who posted that God/Jesus is love had the biggest effect on me. It served as a much-needed reminder.

/sappy post
posted by mijuta at 8:11 PM on November 5, 2006 [1 favorite]


Powerful Religious Baby: a beautiful comment, thank you for taking the time to make it.
posted by econous at 8:13 PM on November 5, 2006


People use the "if one soul is saved, then it would all be worth it" rhetorical device a lot, but I think your comment has made this thread worth it, Powerful Religious Baby.
posted by chimaera at 8:28 PM on November 5, 2006


And the mad can do amazing things.

Indeed. And suicide is, in Thomist's world, a sin. It is against "natural law." So the entire anaology is flawed. By comparison, it should be a sin not to do what comes (another pun!) naturally.
posted by fourcheesemac at 9:10 PM on November 5, 2006


I have masturbated 4 times since this thread started.
posted by 2sheets at 9:11 PM on November 5, 2006


I have masturbated 4 times since this thread started.

And called for the death of evangelicals once.
posted by dw at 9:18 PM on November 5, 2006


I'm masturbating right now.
posted by bardic at 9:39 PM on November 5, 2006


Do you Christians have any evidence the bible is even finished yet? Maybe in a hundred years another chapter will be added. Maybe somewhere in the NEXT chapter will be clarification for the rest of the conflicting drivel you people seem to get all worked up over.

The entire thing seems to be very much a work in progress. Not quite a first draft effort. Certainly not the work of a Perfect Being. Ok, possibly an outline by a Perfect Being. But dictated to imbiciles, then ghosted by an illiterate and edited by idiots. I would have waited a while before basing a religion on the thing. But that's just me.
posted by tkchrist at 9:41 PM on November 5, 2006


Do you Christians have any evidence the bible is even finished yet?

Ask a Mormon.
posted by bardic at 9:55 PM on November 5, 2006


I was thinking everything was pretty futile, too, but to be honest, this thread has really made me think a lot about faith, and specifically about how I can be a better person.

Agreed, mijuta. econous and chimaera--thank you.
posted by Powerful Religious Baby at 10:54 PM on November 5, 2006


Powerful Religous Baby, your comment is the Comment of the Year in my book. Seriously.

One of the big reasons I love this place is that I have seen several times (a score? a couple score?) that people, within the span of a thread, change their minds (or "come to a new understanding" perhaps) and admit they were wrong.

Another big reason is that I learn so much from the brilliant, eloquent people here. Dammit, people, how am I ever going to finish reading all my browser tabs when threads like this give me several dozen more I have to read?

So many gems in this thread. Glad I took the time to read everything.
posted by beth at 3:44 AM on November 6, 2006


I note with awe and admiration that secularists, atheists and pantheists always write the best Jeremiads.
posted by Haruspex at 4:36 AM on November 6, 2006 [1 favorite]


You know, it just occurred to me . . . I've been steadily comparing human behavior to the behavior of other primate species in this thread as if that mattered. Since the Xtians don't believe, they say, that we're all just another branch on the primate tree, it means nothing to them, I suppose, to point out the laws of nature from a scientific perspective. Talk about a total denial of "natural law." It's basically, indeed, a denial of the reality of nature as such.
posted by fourcheesemac at 6:55 AM on November 6, 2006


God wanted Ted Haggard evangelical sex/drugs scandal revealed right before the election:
"Other speakers urged the congregation not to look for political conspiracies. If the timing of the disclosures affects the nation, or the election on Tuesday, then that is God’s will, the speakers said. Mr. Haggard was a prominent supporter of conservative causes, including a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

'God does things when he thinks they’re appropriate,' said Larry Stockstill, the pastor of the Bethany World Prayer Center in Louisiana, from which the New Life Church began in 1985 as an outreach mission.

'What’s going to happen in the nation?' Mr. Stockstill said. 'You know what — I don’t think that’s your concern or mine. He chose this incredibly important time for this sin to be revealed and I actually think it’s a good thing — I believe America needs a shaking, spiritually.'
posted by ericb at 7:06 AM on November 6, 2006


Powerful Religious Baby --excellent post--you should chime in more often. I think most of us have had our worlds expanded simply by participating here, even if it's not directly evident all the time.
posted by amberglow at 7:43 AM on November 6, 2006


cf. Paul Cain, a prominent "prophet" who once met with Saddam Hussein was exposed a couple of years ago for being an alcoholic and homosexual.
posted by mattbucher at 11:34 AM on November 6, 2006


If the timing of the disclosures affects the nation, or the election on Tuesday, then that is God’s will, the speakers said. Mr. Haggard was a prominent supporter of conservative causes, including a proposed amendment to the Colorado Constitution defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

Thank you, Jesus!
posted by leftcoastbob at 11:55 AM on November 6, 2006


I really liked eustacescrubb's comments in this thread.

Honestl