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December 19, 2006 7:55 AM   Subscribe

Remember Ted Haggard? In addition to a Denver pastor recently stepping down amid gay sex allegations, now a colleague of Haggard's at New Life Church has been dismissed for "one instance of consensual sexual contact with another unmarried adult several years ago." Whatever that means.
posted by mattbucher (316 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Looks like that first mefi link is borked. Beware, it's the alltime grandaddy firefox-killing thread.
posted by mattbucher at 7:56 AM on December 19, 2006


What does it mean? He led the young adult leadership program. It probably means he hooked up with one of his 'students.' Just regular ol' human attraction.

What creeps me out? This statement:

“To assist in both the process of Rev. Haggard’s restoration and the protection of the Church itself, the Overseers are open to receiving current information relevant to either Rev. Haggard’s recovery process or any concerns about New Life Church staff or its leaders,” reads a statement from the overseers on the church’s Web site (newlifechurch.org). “While they cannot promise confidentiality, the Overseers will handle any such information discretely (sic).”

The Overseers thank you.
posted by NationalKato at 8:01 AM on December 19, 2006


Why say "unmarried adult"? Is that a 22 year old single girl or a 43 year old married man? I guess the difference matters to the church and I'm betting that if it were a woman they would say so.
posted by mattbucher at 8:03 AM on December 19, 2006


I'm betting that if it were a woman they would say so.

I don't think there's any doubt he had sex with a man; my guess is The Overseers are just making sure you understand it wasn't child molestation but a simple case of screwing around with one of the "high school graduates under age 25" he supervised.

Nothing to see here.
posted by mediareport at 8:12 AM on December 19, 2006


Don't those pastors know that soy gives you TEH GAY?
posted by T.D. Strange at 8:15 AM on December 19, 2006


Just like the last Ted Haggard thread and all other religion FPPs, this will end well.
posted by dw at 8:23 AM on December 19, 2006


Gays control the weather, at least according to Pat Robertson and his merry band of tools. They blamed Hurricane Hugo (20 years ago!) on the existence of gays in America.

The Overseers should look out.
posted by watsondog at 8:24 AM on December 19, 2006


watsondog writes "Gays control the weather, at least according to Pat Robertson and his merry band of tools. They blamed Hurricane Hugo (20 years ago!) on the existence of gays in America."

That and 9/11. It's certainly an entertaining world these loonies live in.
posted by clevershark at 8:27 AM on December 19, 2006


watsondog writes "Gays control the weather..."

And never mind what they're doing to our soil.
posted by mr_roboto at 8:45 AM on December 19, 2006


Bye!
posted by kuujjuarapik at 8:46 AM on December 19, 2006


Overseers is how you say the word usually translated 'bishop' if you come from an anti-Catholic branch of Christianity.
posted by straight at 8:55 AM on December 19, 2006


How do we know the Overseers aren't into ass-pounding? Shouldn't someone oversee the Overseers?
posted by disgruntled at 9:03 AM on December 19, 2006


Damn, mr_roboto beat me to the joke. Domo arigato indeed.
posted by the_bone at 9:03 AM on December 19, 2006


Bravo mr_roboto. But where were you and your keen, Dead Milkmen inspired wit when I needed you last week?
posted by felix betachat at 9:05 AM on December 19, 2006


one word: gaydar
posted by matteo at 9:06 AM on December 19, 2006


Well, his last name is Beard
posted by emelenjr at 9:07 AM on December 19, 2006


Thanks straight. I kept misreading it as 'Overlords', with all that that implies (at mefi, anyway.) I'm curious though, how do they get chosen for that position? Is the non-mainline Protestant hierarchy analogous to to Catholic system?
posted by maryh at 9:22 AM on December 19, 2006


mattbucher: Why say "unmarried adult"? Is that a 22 year old single girl or a 43 year old married man?

I'm gonna guess the "unmarried" part of "unmarried adult" precludes a "married man."

But still, you would think it would say "a single woman" if it was a female. And I would think 2 single heterosexuals would be more easily forgiven within this type of church than a homosexual relationship. Just guessing that the former might bring some demotion and "rehabilitation" time to ensure trust, but the latter is way more likely to bring down the "resignation" hammer.
posted by The Deej at 9:30 AM on December 19, 2006


So they are cleaning house. Big deal.

There is a lot of stuff going on in a lot of places that should not be going on. God's cleaning house, and I expect we will be hearing more of these types of stories before long. It's actually a good thing.
posted by konolia at 9:35 AM on December 19, 2006


Konolia, by "God's cleaning house" do you mean He's getting rid of the homosexuals or that He's giving Himself a good colon cleansing?
posted by mijuta at 9:41 AM on December 19, 2006


One article referred to Haggard's "three year tryst." Three years is no tryst, that's an engagement.
posted by davy at 9:43 AM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


If God cleans some hypocrisy out of America's churches, who can say that's a bad thing. Good fruit can't grow from a bad seed.
posted by sonofsamiam at 9:45 AM on December 19, 2006


I have to wonder why God would let his house get so dirty in the first place. Maybe He just rents it out while he goes on vacation.
posted by malocchio at 9:54 AM on December 19, 2006


how do they get chosen for that position? Is the non-mainline Protestant hierarchy analogous to to Catholic system?

Yes it is pretty much the same. I declare myself to better then you , I join a group of others who think the same. We figure out most people believe that if we all agree, than we probably are right, following a thousand years old logical fallacy. From now on you are my bitch. Your aggressive denial of this fundamental truth shows you are a barbarian that seeks violence , while I am increasingly holier then you.

Thanks to the "magic" of groupthink, your disagreeing immediately casts you as alien, different and enemy and most probably a Jew.
posted by elpapacito at 9:54 AM on December 19, 2006


Is the non-mainline Protestant hierarchy analogous to to Catholic system?

It varies, but in most non-mainline churches the "elders" or "overseers" are leaders for an individual church. They are usually nominated by the pastor and/or other elders and then elected by the congregation. I think in most churches where there isn't some kind of internal conflict going on, the election tends to be a rubber stamp by the congregation, usually unopposed and maybe done by aclaimation (all in favor, say 'aye'). And it's probably technically allowed for other people in the congregation to nominate someone, but, again, that mostly only happens when there's some division in the church and there's a faction that doesn't agree with the current leadersip.

Elders/Overseers are not ordained in the Catholic sense, although there may be a ceremony of comissioning or prayer or something. And I think it's typical for them to serve fixed terms.

Non-mainline churches are typically autonomous. For instance, if the Southern Baptist Convention wants to censure a church, about the only thing they can do is refuse to accept that church's donations to support SBC activities (missionaries, seminaries, etc.). Since there's no outside bishop with oversight over the church and its pastor, these churches are often heavily influenced by evangelical "celebrities" like James Dobson or Rick Warren (author of The Purpose Driven Life) who, like other celebrities in America, derive their authority from having a popular radio show or selling a lot of books.
posted by straight at 9:58 AM on December 19, 2006


watsondog, I was in SC for Hugo, and I tell you, it was simply fabulous.

elpapacito: As long as you're snarking, don't forget the "you build yours and attend it, I'll build mine and attend it, and we'll both boycott that son of a bitch on the hill over there" syndrome...
posted by pax digita at 10:00 AM on December 19, 2006


Gays control the weather, at least according to Pat Robertson and his merry band of tools.

If that's so, can one of you do something about New York today. It's a little nippy out.
posted by jonmc at 10:02 AM on December 19, 2006


Jesus, my he-has-relationships-with-single-adults-dar didn't even ping once, and it's never wrong.
posted by maxwelton at 10:16 AM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


I wonder if there is more to this story.
posted by maxwelton at 10:19 AM on December 19, 2006


Thanks again for the clarification, straight.

these churches are often heavily influenced by evangelical "celebrities" like James Dobson or Rick Warren

I'm pretty sure that when the charges were first brought up against Haggard, one of the Overseers judging his case was Dobson. This seems like a haphazard system, fraught with the possiblity of political motivations and corruption. (But I guess that goes without saying.)
posted by maryh at 10:22 AM on December 19, 2006


One question; Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?
posted by winks007 at 10:26 AM on December 19, 2006


supercustodes?
posted by MikeKD at 10:30 AM on December 19, 2006


Seems these guys fall into 2 groups, closet homosexuals or secret womanizers.
Either way they hate females. :-)
What hath thou wrought, oh mothers?
posted by nofundy at 10:33 AM on December 19, 2006


"One question; Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?"

Duh, GOD, of course! Don't you know anything???!?

Of course, how He missed out on gay canoodling by one (well, several) of His chosen (ahem) "mouthpieces" for years is a little confusing...

He must have other things on his mind lately, what with Armageddon just around the bend. So many loose ends to tie up!
posted by zoogleplex at 10:45 AM on December 19, 2006


I'm curious though, how do they get chosen for that position?

As I've understood things at New Life, they have a board that oversees the function and daily operations of the church. In a case of impropriety, there's an external board of pastors/leaders from churches outside of C-Springs that reviews the case. I believe this outside board, which I think was chosen by the main board, that chose the overseers.

I think. Maybe there's a layer too many there.

Is the non-mainline Protestant hierarchy analogous to to Catholic system?

It really depends on the non-denominational church you're looking at. Well-managed ones have open and transparent processes with clear lines of control and separation of powers so that no one person can wield too much authority. Poorly-managed ones have slipshod controls, boards hand-picked by the pastor, and a lot of things happening in the backroom the Trinity Foundation digs up later.

Mainline denominations have long-standing methodologies for disciplining member churches and pastors, ones honed through trial and error. There are some problems with it (e.g. the sheer bureaucracy of them makes problem cases with controversial issues creep through the system as people try to stall them), but on the whole it's been pretty effective at keeping the issues that plagued the Catholic church and non-denoms to a minimum. E.g., while the Vatican buried sex abuse cases and kept shifting problem priests from parish to parish, the Methodists and Presbyterians instituted all sorts of systems in the 1980s to remove pedophiles from their ranks and keep them away from kids.

I'm pretty sure that when the charges were first brought up against Haggard, one of the Overseers judging his case was Dobson.

Dobson dropped out very early, citing time commitments.
posted by dw at 11:07 AM on December 19, 2006


There are more yet to come from Haggard's church--many more.

And the other preacher in the same town--just sad.

Konolia, i hope you mean God's cleaning house because of the lies and hiding -- and not because they're gay.
posted by amberglow at 11:11 AM on December 19, 2006


Daddy D’s right hand man: ‘hundreds of pastors’ in the same boat as Haggard-- ... Rev. H.B. London heads up the pastoral ministry of Colorado Springs-based Focus on the Family. He says his staff gets hundreds of phone calls from pastors struggling with the kind of sins that caused the downfall of Haggard and Barnes. ...
posted by amberglow at 11:16 AM on December 19, 2006


God's cleaning house
The cynicism in this remark is even too much for my sarcasmic powers. Let's be clear: we have certain people using charisma, hypocrisy and hate mongering to generate income in "god's name", a racket oft repeated for thousands of years of swindling the masses by abusing one of our brain's most open and potentially viable vulnerabilities: the search for our place in the cosmos coupled with resolving our own mortality of flesh but immortality of imagination.
The very practice of publicly touting "god's" petty hatreds and wishes to stir support and fill coffers (which Mathew 6:1 quite succinctly decries) must be destroyed. They -the bad AND good god-preachers of the earth- are setting back our evolution, mocking our artistic and scientific endeavors, and befouling the minds of children.
God cleaning house? The house is thoroughly rotten.
posted by sarcasman at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2006 [7 favorites]


If the money train hadn't already stopped coming to New Life, it's gonna stop now. That place never was God's house.
posted by amberglow at 11:19 AM on December 19, 2006


I believe sarcasman has sounded the clarion call. Everyone interested in the Athiest vs Faith debate, stay seated. For the rest, refreshments will be served in the lobby. No elbowing, please.
posted by maryh at 11:34 AM on December 19, 2006


So they are cleaning house. Big deal.

yes, they're throwing out the people who made a mistake several years ago ... just because god forgives the guy is no reason for them to

that's the real hypocrisy involved here ... that they're saying a person who slips once is unworthy for life while they preach a god who forgives all
posted by pyramid termite at 11:36 AM on December 19, 2006


God's cleaning house
posted by konolia at 9:35 AM PST on December 19


God's cleaning house, giving the thumbs up to your Spin classes . . . konalia, are you saying that God is a woman?!?!
posted by Optimus Chyme at 11:38 AM on December 19, 2006


Intresting no one remarked on Konolia's commented until sarcasman responded to it.

People in deep will always be able to justify anything. Like how all the republicans talked about how the democratic wave was "good for conservatism." sure...
posted by delmoi at 11:42 AM on December 19, 2006


I believe sarcasman has sounded the clarion call. Everyone interested in the Athiest vs Faith debate, stay seated. For the rest, refreshments will be served in the lobby. No elbowing, please.

This will end... ooh, chicken satay! Don't mind if I do!
posted by dw at 11:43 AM on December 19, 2006


"While none of the stories explicitly say Beard's of the cock sucking variety, we've no doubt his transgressions involved a bit of boner-related relations. Seriously, look at that picture. Gay.

As for the 'poor judgement', Beard held a mock missionary training program with mock assault weapons. Drivers thought they were real and called the SWAT team. What we don't understand is why Beard wasn't fired right then and there. The church must have been more lenient in those days, but that whole Haggard/Mike Jones scandal opened their eyes.

Associate pastor Rob Brendle says:
'We recognize there will be increased scrutiny of our church in the wake of the scandal. We welcome that process in order to reinforce the high standard of personal integrity and morality that has characterized New Life's employees for 22 years.'
Thus, Brendle and his homies are working to 'excise' morally disordered church-goers.

That's right, just send them out the street. That'll learn em."

[Queerty]
posted by ericb at 11:49 AM on December 19, 2006


God's cleaning house

konalia, are you saying that God is a woman?!?!


Of course not.

She's saying that He's gay.
posted by Grangousier at 11:54 AM on December 19, 2006


Sick of the bar scene?

TOP TEN Reasons to Become An Evangelical:
1. Fantasy sex with teen boys.

2. Loyal female slave who keeps your home clean, does your laundry and prepares your meals.

3. Unlimited access to pretty white boy virgins who are fully loaded and ready for bear.

4. Unlimited travel and entertainment expense account that's never audited.

5. More action than a dozen gay bars.

6. Crystal meth home deliveries.

7. Best pick-up lines: "I had dinner at the White House last night."

8. Tax-exempt six figure salaries and lavish mid to upper six figure private estates.

9. The right to blame all your mistakes, faults and misdeeds on Satan.

10. Eternal life.
posted by ericb at 11:55 AM on December 19, 2006


Ummmmm...

... why do missionaries need to do training missions with mock assault weapons?

Getting ready for a more "aggressive" evangelism??
posted by zoogleplex at 11:57 AM on December 19, 2006


... why do missionaries need to do training missions with mock assault weapons?

Soldiers of Christ and all that hoo-haa, I guess.
posted by ericb at 12:01 PM on December 19, 2006


that's the real hypocrisy involved here ... that they're saying a person who slips once is unworthy for life while they preach a god who forgives all

You know, nobody's being thrown out of the church, afaict, they are being removed from authority positions where they demanded a strict standard of behavior from their followers that they (practically inevitably) cannot themselves handle.

I don't care if you're Osho, Haggard, or L.Ron, the bare minimum for a self-styled spiritual leader is to follow your own teachings. Physician heal thyself.

Their shaky theology is a whole other matter.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:03 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Interesting no one remarked on Konolia's comment until sarcasman responded to it.

Hmmmph. Well, I guess it's back to quiet lurking, then.
posted by malocchio at 12:14 PM on December 19, 2006


truly, any religion that advertises on bus benches is above debate or reproach. I know it's easy to tire of the heretics spewing vitriol at the privileged ranks of modern pharisees, but living in a religious fundamentalist society often squeezes the shrinking free thinker voices to shrill anger.
posted by sarcasman at 12:15 PM on December 19, 2006


Go read the Old Testament. God is pretty patient but eventually He sees to it that "sin in the camp" is dealt with.

I approve of how New Life is handling this. Would that every fornicating/adulterous/childmolesting/embezzling/etcetc "man of the cloth" would be removed from leadership. They do not belong there. They do need to be ministered to and restored but they do NOT need to be leading God's people. If you mess up, 'fess up and deal with your consequences.

I think even a rational atheist could agree on that one.
posted by konolia at 12:19 PM on December 19, 2006


Ummmmm...

... why do missionaries need to do training missions with mock assault weapons?

Getting ready for a more "aggressive" evangelism??


I'm guessing it was sort of a roleplaying exercise--a lot of evangelicals have this idea that they're going to be held at gunpoint and told to renounce Christ or be killed, often by the forces of the Antichrist.
posted by EarBucket at 12:28 PM on December 19, 2006


There is a lot of stuff going on in a lot of places that should not be going on. God's cleaning house, and I expect we will be hearing more of these types of stories before long. It's actually a good thing.

konolia:

I've read hundreds of your responses and never said anything because there are plenty of people here willing to do that.

I understand your positions, but, holy shit - spit out the kool-aid. When the answer to everything is " God is unknowable and unfathomable, but His hands are at the controls", it starts sounding like mental illness. The plain and simple fact is that the majority of people running these commercial megachurches are control freaks intent on lining their own pockets.(NOTE: I am not attacking the poor souls who look to these dregs for salvation.) Making excuses for them and their ilk is inexscusable. I would never claim to speak for God, but my gut tells me He would agree that these guys suck, and they will get what they deserve (as will we all.)

That said, anyone who preaches hatred of any kind is wrong in my book. I don't really care what God has to say about it if He disagrees.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 12:34 PM on December 19, 2006


One big problem often being that neither they who preach nor they who hear seem to distinguish between the idea that something may be a sin and the idea that one should hate people involved in it.
posted by namespan at 12:48 PM on December 19, 2006


God's cleaning house ...

Oh, please — look at those whom He hires as his supers. He's the original slumLord.
posted by rob511 at 12:54 PM on December 19, 2006


I'm guessing it was sort of a roleplaying exercise--a lot of evangelicals have this idea that they're going to be held at gunpoint and told to renounce Christ or be killed, often by the forces of the Antichrist.

I vaguely remember something like this from waayyy back in church camp. I guess it didn't make that big an impression.

Seems to me more likely that a more realistic danger for Americhristian kids is that they end up working for "the" antichrist, invisibly replacing genuine spirituality with a Christian-flavored cult of money and domination.
posted by sonofsamiam at 12:59 PM on December 19, 2006


Church is cancelled.
posted by homunculus at 1:01 PM on December 19, 2006


God really needs a better HR department. You'd think they'd all be using a correctly-tuned gaydar by now.
posted by clevershark at 1:05 PM on December 19, 2006


Hmmmph. Well, I guess it's back to quiet lurking, then.
I saw it--and don't go back to quiet lurking : >
posted by amberglow at 1:10 PM on December 19, 2006


or upgrade their homometers every once in a while.
posted by sarcasman at 1:10 PM on December 19, 2006


(btw malocchio, God vacations on Fire Island & Provincetown & Rehoboth & Russian River & ...) ; >
posted by amberglow at 1:11 PM on December 19, 2006


Thanks amberglow! Lord knows the Guy certainly has the cash to vacation wherever He wants. (My wife and I thought we saw Him in Cambria last spring, but it turned out to be Hugh Laurie.

Way better, really.)

posted by malocchio at 1:35 PM on December 19, 2006


Lord knows the Guy certainly has the cash to vacation wherever He wants.

C'mon, you know the poor ol' sot can't sqeeze a dime out of the spendthrifts at the PTL.
posted by maryh at 1:44 PM on December 19, 2006


Would you say that a company president or board of directors were control freaks if they found cause to fire an employee or whatever?

It is entirely voluntary to be a member of a church. Any organization has to have leaders and at least some semblance of structure in order to run properly. Using inflammatory language to describe things a church does displays a prejudice against believers and churches and nothing more (Not to say there aren't churches and corporations that ARE led by control freaks, but that is a totally separate issue. And again, one is free to find a different church or decide not to attend at all.)
posted by konolia at 1:46 PM on December 19, 2006


And again, one is free to find a different church or decide not to attend at all.

Haggard and Barnes didn't do that tho--they created their own churches instead. Complete control freaks, and egomaniacs as well.
posted by amberglow at 1:49 PM on December 19, 2006


"Would that every fornicating/adulterous/childmolesting/embezzling/etcetc "man of the cloth" would be removed from leadership. They do not belong there."

I definitely agree, konolia. However, do you understand that being put into such positions of authority over others without a transparent leadership structure that's open to anyone's view can and usually does have corrupting influence over even the most upright people? It is, unfortunately, human nature.

The pool of incorruptible human beings is vanishingly small. Probably nonexistent. Anyone who accepts such positions of leadership is generall not to be trusted.

"Would you say that a company president or board of directors were control freaks if they found cause to fire an employee or whatever?"

Such corporate employees are subject to exponentially more external scrutiny than any church leadership - though of course they also aren't immune to corruption.

"I'm guessing it was sort of a roleplaying exercise--a lot of evangelicals have this idea that they're going to be held at gunpoint and told to renounce Christ or be killed, often by the forces of the Antichrist."

HAHAHAHAHAHA.... O_o Boy, that sure shows some paranoid delusions of grandeur!

Nobody's ever going to do that. The rest of the world could care less what born-again Christians (or any other type of zealot for that matter) do as long as they get out of everyone's face and let people live in peace.

Besides, if they're being held at gunpoint to renounce Christ, they should refuse without fear, because getting killed for that would be a FastPass to Heaven, I'd think. What are they afraid of? I thought they were already Saved™?

"When the answer to everything is " God is unknowable and unfathomable, but His hands are at the controls", it starts sounding like mental illness."


Yes. Replace "God" with just about anything else, and it becomes obvious.
posted by zoogleplex at 1:50 PM on December 19, 2006


Quis custodiet custodes ipsos?

Me.
posted by liquorice at 1:53 PM on December 19, 2006


I'm glad that's settled, we've been wondering about the custodiet thing for a while. Good luck with the custodiatum.

I don't suppose you happen to know how many roads a man has to walk down before you can call him a man?
posted by Grangousier at 2:04 PM on December 19, 2006


Uh... 42?
posted by zoogleplex at 2:08 PM on December 19, 2006


Seventeen to go, then.
posted by Grangousier at 2:10 PM on December 19, 2006


Wow, I'm only on #14. Good job!
posted by zoogleplex at 2:12 PM on December 19, 2006


I'm very old.

Actually, I'm 42, come to think of it...

You know all of this is about power. Very little of it is about God or Jesus at all. It seems a bit unfair to drag them into what is essentially petty tyranny.

What would Jesus do? Convince his friends to give up well-paid jobs in order to join a band of political activists and hang out with prostitutes. Just like he did last time.
posted by Grangousier at 2:17 PM on December 19, 2006


It is useless to argue with Konolia and her ilk, and she thrives, like any troll, when others make the effort to do so. She's clearly established that she thinks gay people are sinners, and her "cleaning house" comment means, indeed, "Gawd's gittin rid o'the homos." Don't know who her friends are, but I've noticed my gay friends keep cleaner houses than most of my straight friends.

Anyway, it's faux-Jesus-freaks like konolia who make the house of (their) "God" so filthy to begin with. It's been that way since about 33 CE, if it wasn't that way between 0 and 32.

Bunch of phony-assed hypocritical con artists pretending they're closer to "God" than anyone else and acting like they own this country . . . yuck. I'm sick of 'em.
posted by spitbull at 2:25 PM on December 19, 2006


I'm trying to parse this quote:
New Life member Andrew Schmidt, a 1999-2001 twentyfourseven intern, says Beard may have been caught up in the hypervigilance surrounding New Life after Haggard’s fall.

“I just know that Christopher has always been a good friend to me,” Schmidt said. “It’s unfortunate that things have happened this way.”
Is Schmidt trying to say that "hypervigilance" caused Beard to falsely confess or is he saying that Beard should have never confessed to the previous incident? Maybe when people are good friends there should be a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in place. People who are not good friends deserve to be outed and fired.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 2:27 PM on December 19, 2006


Paging the armchair psychologist:

I agree with those who think this is only the beginning--more to come (so to speak). It seems to me that (for instance) Ted Haggard's drive to build his mega-church was about something other than a quest for power. After all, there are already many established ways to power, without the difficulty of building your own institution.

No, I think that Haggard and his ilk (closeted, gay-hating fundamentalist ministers) are most likely projecting. They loathe who they are (gay men in these cases), can't accept it, and are working out their denial in big, public ways that involve lots of people. They hate teh gays because they can't handle their own homosexuality. They build giant mega-churches because they're attempting to control that which they cannot. All of the holiness and "great" work for the glory of God will not change who they are, but they can't accept that.

After all, wherever you go, there you are. I'm really tired of these assholes working out their own issues on the rest of us. I can only hope that, as the investigations continue and more pastors are outed as gay, criminal, or whatever they preach against, these self-righteous assholes will be consumed in a vortex of their own hypocrisy, and will thus have to quit telling the rest of us how we're supposed to be living our lives (and trying to pass laws to force us to).
posted by LooseFilter at 3:01 PM on December 19, 2006


"It is useless to argue with Konolia and her ilk, and she thrives, like any troll, when others make the effort to do so. She's clearly established that she thinks gay people are sinners, and her "cleaning house" comment means, indeed, "Gawd's gittin rid o'the homos."

Spitbull, are you willfully ignorant or are you being sarcastic? Perhaps konolia and her "ilk" (whoever the fuck that is) are referring to a general displacement of hypocrites in churches. Roman Catholic churches, health and wealth churches, Evangelical churches, etc.

FWIW, I sent Haggard a letter inviting him to join the UCC. We'd accept him as he is, put him to work, and I don't even think people would really mind the drug stuff that much. Of course, he'd have to tolerate attending church with people who don't hate other people for being the way God made them.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:06 PM on December 19, 2006


way to take the high ground spitbull.

did i just type that?
did you?
no.
ok then stop it.
no.
why not?
cause.
thats no answer! damn it man stop talking to yourself, it's like you just found jesus in your lint filled pockets, the neighbors are all starting to stare.

. . .no their not.

*sigh*
posted by nola at 3:14 PM on December 19, 2006


She's clearly established that she thinks gay people are sinners

Without knowing the specifics of konolia's particular beliefs, I feel safe in betting that she'd agree that all people are sinners.

One big problem often being that neither they who preach nor they who hear seem to distinguish between the idea that something may be a sin and the idea that one should hate people involved in it.

A good position for non-Christians to take might be to reciprocally distinguish between a possibly* incorrect idea that someone holds (e.g. homosinuality) and the person holding it, don't you think, spitbull?

*only dealing with the logic here, ok?
posted by sonofsamiam at 3:16 PM on December 19, 2006


Using inflammatory language to describe things a church does displays a prejudice against believers and churches and nothing more...

The evangelical movement has been using inflammatory language to describe the activities of gays, lesbians and anyone that practices a different religion for years. A lot of good, honest and loving people are tired of being slandered and condemned by hypocrites who are more intent on building their little worldly empires than preaching a message of universal love.
posted by malocchio at 3:37 PM on December 19, 2006


Hey people, pipe down. I'm trying to watch the watchmen...
posted by liquorice at 3:46 PM on December 19, 2006


"The evangelical movement has been using inflammatory language to describe the activities of gays, lesbians and anyone that practices a different religion for years."

Oh. That makes it ok.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:47 PM on December 19, 2006


Of course it doesn't make it ok, but you're dealing with self-righteous bigots with (unnecessary) persecution complexes on one side and annoyed-bordering-on-angry people who are sick of their demeaning crap on the other side. Although you might not see it here in the blue, it seems more likely that the annoyed people can calm down and welcome a dialogue than self-righteous bigots can back off their schtick.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:54 PM on December 19, 2006


I don't care if you're Osho, Haggard, or L.Ron, the bare minimum for a self-styled spiritual leader is to follow your own teachings.

you're missing my point - just how far back in the past does a person have to be perfect in order for it to be disregarded? ... if he'd done it last week, or last month, or last year, i wouldn't say anything about them having a problem

but years ago? ... was he even in a position of authority when it happened?

again, how can they speak of a forgiving god when they're not willing to forgive their own?
posted by pyramid termite at 4:02 PM on December 19, 2006


It is useless to argue with Konolia and her ilk, and she thrives, like any troll

not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll ... grow up
posted by pyramid termite at 4:05 PM on December 19, 2006


It is useless to argue with Konolia and her ilk, and she thrives, like any troll, when others make the effort to do so. She's clearly established that she thinks gay people are sinners, and her "cleaning house" comment means, indeed, "Gawd's gittin rid o'the homos."

Ya know, I'm originally from part of the country where many people hold konolia's beliefs. I think that you are putting words in her mouth here, and that's unfair. I am a lesbian and konolia has expressed her feelings about homosexuality here, but I think she is one of those Christians who leaves God to judge. Just because her opinion is different from the majority opinion here in Mefi does not qualify her as a troll. She is expressing her opinion freely, just as everyone else here does.

In fact, I think she might be the first person here to admit to being a sinner herself (my assumption. Back me up, konolia?). Your argument is misdirected IMHO.
posted by kamikazegopher at 5:01 PM on December 19, 2006


konolia writes "So they are cleaning house. Big deal.

"There is a lot of stuff going on in a lot of places that should not be going on. God's cleaning house, and I expect we will be hearing more of these types of stories before long. It's actually a good thing."


Of course it is. Gays shouldn't be allowed near anyone!

ericb writes "Seriously, look at that picture. Gay"

And cute.

konolia writes "Using inflammatory language to describe things a church does displays a prejudice against believers and churches and nothing more"

Using inflammatory language to decry prejudice is prejudicial?

Jesus fucking Christ on a pogo stick, what mental contortions do you go through on a daily basis to maintain your narrowminded and bigoted little worldview?

Baby_Balrog writes "Spitbull, are you willfully ignorant or are you being sarcastic? Perhaps konolia and her 'ilk' (whoever the fuck that is)"

That would be rightwing, bigoted, homophobic hypocrites. Do try and keep up, won't you?

sonofsamiam writes "A good position for non-Christians to take might be to reciprocally distinguish between a possibly* incorrect idea that someone holds (e.g. homosinuality) and the person holding it, don't you think, spitbull? "

As someone else said... it's really a bit much to suggest that the person being lynched try to understand where the torches-and-pitchforks mob are coming from. It's just not on.

These people are a vile cancer on the world. There is no justification for them, there is no room at the table for them, there is no way whatsoever that we should ever allow these people to spew their filth. They dedicate significant portions of their lives and their finances to ensuring that me and mine cannot live and love as they do. They need to be eradicated, and their children need to be rescued from the vile, disgusting, bigoted brainwashing that they are subjected to. I'd say the best way to do this would be to charge every fundamentalist parent with child abuse, and bring the kids up in a real household--one where love and acceptance is the rule, not the lip-service.

zoogleplex writes "Although you might not see it here in the blue, it seems more likely that the annoyed people can calm down and welcome a dialogue than self-righteous bigots can back off their schtick."

Why should we welcome a dialogue with these people? There is only one thing they know how to say, and only one thing they know how to hear. And while we would grant them the freedom to be as they are as long as they keep their goddamn laws and politics off our bodies, they will never grant us the same. There is a dangerous trend that has been intensifying for many years that all attitudes and beliefs must be given equal weight and equal airtime. And that is wrong. When those attitudes and beliefs advocate repression and abuse, they must be stopped.

pyramid termite writes "It is useless to argue with Konolia and her ilk, and she thrives, like any troll

"not everyone who disagrees with you is a troll ... grow up"


No, but konolia is.

kamikazegopher writes "but I think she is one of those Christians who leaves God to judge."

She's sucked you in too, has she? Put a nice enough face on the hatred and it becomes ok?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:05 PM on December 19, 2006


I can only hope that, as the investigations continue and more pastors are outed as gay, criminal, or whatever they preach against, these self-righteous assholes will be consumed in a vortex of their own hypocrisy, and will thus have to quit telling the rest of us how we're supposed to be living our lives (and trying to pass laws to force us to).
Nope--they end up like Ralph Reed and William Bennett, both with cushy and permanent "analyst" jobs on TV as talking heads, and big book deals, and their own lobbying firms, and seats on the board and stipends and consultancies from wingnut welfare non-profits and "Institute"s and "Foundation"s, usually with "America" or "Traditional" in the title, etc.
posted by amberglow at 5:21 PM on December 19, 2006


thank god you don't bother with putting a nice face on your hatred.

i would hate to feel the need to speak up for you, as a fellow human , as someone who has , or at least should have the same rights as everyone else.

many people here don't agree at all with konolia, but have enough sense to understand her. why do they care to understand her? because there is a relationship here, not one of straight , or christain, white, or any other heading. but a relationship , built on fairness.

buit on an attempt at being fair, of hearing, listening.

thats why it's hard to hear you out , or take these recent outburst seriously. because in all of your recent interactions , you're just not being fair to people. really, you're just hurting yourself with all this anger. and i'm sorry if people have been kicking sand in you face, i really am.

but when you have a community of people that want to hear you out, you shouldn't abuse them. we're on your side dude, even konolia. my mom doesn't like most of the stuff i do, but i know she doesn't hate me.

there is a difference between hated and being misunderstood. one is not always the other.
posted by nola at 5:25 PM on December 19, 2006


nola writes "we're on your side dude, even konolia"


NO. No she is not. She is a bigot and a homophobe. Are you blind?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:30 PM on December 19, 2006


nola writes "many people here don't agree at all with konolia, but have enough sense to understand her. why do they care to understand her?"

What is there to understand? She is a parrot repeating words that she doesn't comprehend, hypocritically picking and choosing which parts of the book she will follow. She is a bigot and a homophobe and should not be welcome in civilized society until she realizes the filth and venom she is spewing has very fucking severe real-world consequences.

nola writes "buit on an attempt at being fair, of hearing, listening. "

And again... why be fair? Why listen? Why give any semblance of reasonability or legitimacy to hatred and oppression?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:34 PM on December 19, 2006


she really isn't on our side at all. After all, we're damned, and we don't even believe her about it or Jesus. She's just trying to save us you know--it's not really bigotry. Funny tho, how she doesn't chime in threads on other groups--it's really just us fags that get this treatment. (we're special snowflakes, you know)

Related, but about Brownback and his proposed Constitution Restoration Act--... These people go by many names (Taliban, Hasidim, Shia, evangelical Christians, Fundamentalists, Pentecostals, Christian Reconstructionists, etc.) but they all have one thing in common: they would, if they could, institute laws--and, better, punishments--based on their deeply personal faith, and in defiance of and in rebuke of your deeply personal faith. ...
posted by amberglow at 5:36 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


NationalKato writes "What does it mean? He led the young adult leadership program. It probably means he hooked up with one of his 'students.' Just regular ol' human attraction."

Why is that always the assumption? Why doesn't anyone ever assume that straight people in the same position are banging their 'students'?

Fucking hell. See what I mean about homophobic comments getting a pass on MeFi? Fuck.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:39 PM on December 19, 2006


one more thing from there: You have to hand it to these loathsome, insufferable people: they never stop. You say to them, "No, see, you think you're acting out of love for mankind, but what you're actually doing is campaigning for political tyranny and spiritual corruption. The problem is your world-view.
posted by amberglow at 5:39 PM on December 19, 2006


konolia writes "Using inflammatory language to describe things a church does displays a prejudice against believers and churches and nothing more"

It's really fucking rich to hear you wag your finger at us for "using inflammatory language" and "displaying prejudice", k.

Please teach us how to be more accepting of others! Perhaps you can help cure the homosexuals (or is it pedophiles, you seemed to say that the two were pretty much the same not too long ago) among our group and teach those of us who sympathize with those sinners the error of our ways!
posted by clevershark at 5:57 PM on December 19, 2006


Bunch of phony-assed hypocritical con artists pretending they're closer to "God" than anyone else and acting like they own this country...

Ah, yes ... and they "believe" that their work on behalf of the Baby JesusTM justifies their six/seven figure salaries, bottomless expense accounts, luxury automobiles and multiple lavish homes. Heck -- some even seek donations from their flock to acquire a second private jet. Benny Hinn offers you his prayers in exchange for a mere $1,000 donation so that he can pay-off the purchase of a new Gulfstream G4SP jet (aka 'Dove One'):
"Donors of $1,000 or more get a scale model of Dove One and their names inscribed inside the plane, Hinn said."
Quite the deal!
posted by ericb at 6:04 PM on December 19, 2006


Today's Evangelical so-called Christians would be the first to go into the flames of hell if Jesus ever returned.

And I'd love to watch it happen.
posted by bardic at 6:06 PM on December 19, 2006


Baby_Balrog, I don't think that really makes it okay. But perhaps it makes it understandable, human nature being what it is.

Look, usually I avoid these things. As an occasional practitioner of ritual magic, I don't even know how to adequately label myself, and I rarely have the time or inclination to try. Christian mystic, atheist, Buddhist, Wiccan, Pagan, Thelemite, believer, skeptic - at any given moment I am any of these or none. But the moment the wrong person sees a grimoire or a tarot deck in my bookcase, the labels come more readily - baby killer, lunatic, or credulous fool. (In practice, this rarely happens, because I take great pains not to let it.)

I have nothing to apologize for, yet I'm constantly on the defensive. I have nothing to hide, yet I'm ever vigilant to conceal my religious leanings. And why? Because of the intolerance fostered by the evangelical movement. I shouldn't think it necessary to explain here that I'm a good guy, I've been faithful throughout my 18-year relationship with my wife, I love our cats, loved our kids until I sacrificed them to Sa....no! no! kidding! just kidding! I give to charity (yes! even some Christian charities!), and I'm pretty much a gentle, helpful person that enjoys nothing more than making people laugh. But still, I find myself described as the enemy in a "culture war" that I find pointless and stupid. So the occult books are hidden away upstairs, the pentagram is put away when the neighbors come over, and I'm reluctant to post about my religious beliefs (more like hypotheses, really) even under this pseudonym. There are plenty of us hiding in our closets for fear of being ridiculed, losing our jobs, or worse. And I lay the blame for most of this on the heads of Dobson, Haggard, Robertson, Falwell et al. They are in a position of leadership, yet instead of fostering an atmosphere of brotherhood and true Christian love, they ostracize any that don't hold share their particular beliefs, and want to see us excluded from society until we conform.

Well, I'm tired of it all. The ideals I stand for are Life, Light, Liberty and Love. I didn't fire the first shot in this culture war of theirs, and I'm still reluctant to join the fray. I have no animosity to those who will leave me in peace, and I really believe that there is more common ground between myself and most Christians than they would suspect. But I have little sympathy for those that are reaping the animosity they have sown, and I'll lay down my arms the day they stop with the hateful, bigoted rhetoric.
posted by malocchio at 6:06 PM on December 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


*claps*
posted by zoogleplex at 6:10 PM on December 19, 2006


The New Look church and others of their ilk are among the biggest dangers to the USA today. Their intent is to use the US Administrative, Judicial, and Military departments to force the morals of their religion upon all.

They've no interest whether an act is consentual and adult: they've no interest in freedoms and rights. Their goal is religious rule of the nation.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:12 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Maybe when people are good friends there should be a "don't ask, don't tell" policy in place

Off-topic, but kinda' related:

Zogby Poll: "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" Not Working:
"Nearly one in four U.S. troops (23%) say they know for sure that someone in their unit is gay or lesbian, and of those 59% said they learned about the person's sexual orientation directly from the individual, a Zogby International poll of troops who served in Iraq and Afghanistan shows.

More than half (55%) of the troops who know a gay peer said the presence of gays or lesbians in their unit is well known by others. According to the 'don't ask, don't tell' policy, service members are not allowed to say that they are gay.

...According [to] Congressman Marty Meehan (D-MA), 'These new data prove that thousands of gay and lesbian service members are already deployed overseas and are integrated, important members of their units. It is long past time to strike down "Don't Ask, Don't Tell'" and create a new policy that allows gays and lesbians to serve openly.'

...The data also indicate that military attitudes about homosexuality have shifted. In the early 1990's, many senior officers argued that U.S. troops could not form bonds of trust with gays and lesbians, according to Dr. Aaron Belkin, Director of the Palm Center, who has written widely on the subject. According to the new Zogby data, however, nearly three in four troops (73%) say they are personally comfortable in the presence of gays and lesbians."
posted by ericb at 6:15 PM on December 19, 2006


see, if our friend konolia had mentioned how God is "cleaning house" by removing the Negroes from His Church, I'm sure the reaction of our small but eerily vocal "we're all in this together" contingent would have been a bit, um, forceful. I hope, at least.

but then she only said that God is flushing out the fags, so I guess it's not that big a deal, really. it's not like they're human or stuff like that.
posted by matteo at 6:16 PM on December 19, 2006


Also we have horns.


Don't use the word 'friend' to describe her, not even in jest. She needs to be smacked in the face with the reality of what she and her ilk cause in the real world.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:18 PM on December 19, 2006


MetaFilter: Got Ilk?

( "ilk" has sure been used a lot in this thread. By me, even.)
posted by Benny Andajetz at 6:28 PM on December 19, 2006


Gays and their ilk!

Lesbian Connection:
"The L-Word creator and executive producer Ilene Chaiken has announced plans to launch OurChart, a website aimed at bringing lesbians of all ilk together."
posted by ericb at 6:33 PM on December 19, 2006


hehe I didn't know xians were so fun-lovin
posted by Joseph Gurl at 7:10 PM on December 19, 2006


I used to quite like Konolia. She seemed like a sweet kid who genuinely cared about people.

These days, I don't like Konolia. She is part and parcel of a religious movement that will destroy mankind.

The wingnut Christianists are set on bringing about the eschaton, the end of the world, the apocalypse, the return of Christ and the destruction of physical form.

Fuck. Them.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM on December 19, 2006


Wow...just wow.

I simply make the comment that Christian leaders should be expected to live the Christian values they espouse, and now I am an evil troll complete with an ilk.

A lot of you are very angry with God, and boy does it show.

Don't talk to me about brotherhood and peace. It's a false brotherhood and a fake peace you refer to. It doesn't matter how "good" someone is to the neighbor, or whether they donate to the animal shelter or are "nice to everyone."

What matters is, where do you stand with God? A real God who is a Real Person, and who cannot be fooled with exterior actions. A God who looks upon the heart. A God that so many of you are determined to rebel against, even though you really should know better. His is the only opinion about anything that matters. Your problem is not with me, it's with Him. What are you going to do about it?

If I never posted another word on metafilter, if in fact I never existed, it would not change God's opinion on what sin is. You can agree with Him or not, your decision, but I think it is highly illogical (and a bit amusing)for you to demand that a church not try to uphold its OWN standards.
posted by konolia at 7:54 PM on December 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


If I never posted another word on metafilter, if in fact I never existed, it would not change God's opinion on what sin is.

Does God not realize that we mortals are all sinners -- and that (H)e forgives all of us for our sins?

I'd say that (H)is forgiveness is the "free pass" that Haggard and his "ilk" use to justify their trangressions -- after their hypocrisy has been exposed. "The Devil made me do it."

Whether it be God, Jesus or the Flying Spaghetti Monster you worship, they're likely to be inclusive of all and not exclusive of any in the human race.
posted by ericb at 8:16 PM on December 19, 2006


These days, I don't like Konolia. She is part and parcel of a religious movement that will destroy mankind.
posted by five fresh fish at 7:16 PM PST on December 19


added to konolia.txt
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:17 PM on December 19, 2006


you did not say that and you know it--stop it. You spoke of "God's cleaning house" in a thread about pastors being outed and fired.

Most of us are not angry with God, because it's not God who denigrates us or tries to change our laws and Constitution--it's people who use their religion to justify hatred and bigotry. It doesn't matter if you think it's sin or not--it matters that you insult us over and over in these threads on the topic. It's not God who fired Haggard and the others--it's people. People like you.

Your bigotry is actually worse (and for those of us who feel this is a community, much more harmful to that) than that of people who are openly hateful--you feel the need to cloak it as God's actions. It's not God but people who do damage to others. It's not God, but people in our country (and your faith) who made these pathetic souls feel they had to hide who they are and how they love. If this is your God in action then you're the one who should be angry with him. My God gave us hearts and minds to think with, not just to judge, condemn, and banish with. He also told us not to lie. God's not cleaning house--People are witchhunting in these churches.
posted by amberglow at 8:22 PM on December 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


Don't talk to me about brotherhood and peace.

You're right, it's obviously pearls before swine. I'm just glad you aren't my neighbor...what you wrote sounds borderline sociopathic to me.

Good luck with all that, and have fun rebuilding your church. Maybe you'll find something amidst all the rubble that is actually worth saving.

What matters is, where do you stand with God?

When I die, I fully expect to stand before Osiris and have my heart placed on a scale and weighed against the feather of Ma'at. I hope and strive that my heart may be clear of conscience in that my good deeds in life have counted for more than the bad. I imagine by now I've atoned for my youthly transgressions, though it won't hurt to keep trying. But thanks for asking!
posted by malocchio at 8:30 PM on December 19, 2006


Amberglow, it is sin that does damage. I know from personal experience of my own. Should we leave sexual predators in positions of authority in what should be a very safe place-church? I am not saying that every person who "falls" is a predator but there are enough of them out there.

Do I think that a fallen leader can be recovered? Yes. I personally knew one that truly did. And yes, one of the battles he fought was against homosexuality. (His widow is writing a book now, and when it is published I'll let everyone know.) But his recovery had to start with stepping down from leadership for a time.

And I stand by my assertion that God is cleaning house. He has very high standards for those that minister in His name.
posted by konolia at 8:31 PM on December 19, 2006


(i was just reminded of all the South Parks set in Hell, where it turns out that everyone was the wrong religion except for the Mormons, and all they do in Heaven is stupid daycamp-type crafts and sing asinine songs about being nice)
posted by amberglow at 8:33 PM on December 19, 2006


If God had high standards for those who preached in his name, you'd have a vast shortage of preachers. Does it even occur to you that (if i followed your reasoning that it was God), God might actually have wanted this to come out as a learning and loving experience for all of you, and a journey into openness and healing that you all could take together, and also as an object lesson that denying and lying about love is always wrong? And that God made this happen not because of high standards or sin or anything like that, but because we learn thru experience and sharing both the good and bad with each other, and supposedly Christ was all about that? And that if a congregation is a family, you don't shun and kick out another member, but hug them and be there for them?
posted by amberglow at 8:37 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Do I think that a fallen leader can be recovered? Yes. I personally knew one that truly did. And yes, one of the battles he fought was against homosexuality.

Yeah you guys have a really good track record with that.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Also, that him being gay does not in the least adversely affect his preaching and that it in fact now will be strengthened since he no longer has to hide things all the time and keep part of himself hidden away from all of you?
posted by amberglow at 8:39 PM on December 19, 2006


And that he hadn't been truly open to God or God's words or teachings because of that, but now he is? That his eyes have been fully opened, and thru him, all of yours have now been too?

(ok, that's it, i think.)
posted by amberglow at 8:40 PM on December 19, 2006


i was just reminded of all the South Parks set in Hell, where it turns out that everyone was the wrong religion except for the Mormons

"Who gets into heaven? I'm afraid it was the Mormons. Yes the Mormons was the correct answer." [YouTube video]
posted by ericb at 8:44 PM on December 19, 2006


Nope--i'm not done. While you see this as God sweeping out someone who doesn't meet his high standards, and you think that's fine (along with the explicit judgement that carries with it), God might actually have been helping these folks along the path to attaining those high standards, which couldn't have been met until and unless they came clean? And that contrary to what you think, they actually hadn't ever been meeting those standards precisely because of this secret and the shame they carried? That it was like a tumor in their souls and bodies--a tumor they had to cast off to be fullly able to minister to others and to truly see and understand God and stuff?
posted by amberglow at 8:48 PM on December 19, 2006


Someone should do a study of the psychological strategies used by these megachurches to recruit members. I live around a lot of fundamentalists, and it is fascinating to get a glimpse into their sad little minds. What these churches do is unquestionably a form of brainwashing, and I think that churches like those run by Haggard tend to prey on alienated suburbanites whose lives are tedious but who have trouble understanding what they are missing.

What these churches do is inject some excitement, a sense of possibility, some brief sense of jubilation amidst community, in otherwise plodding, routine, unexciting existences. The people who fall prey to this crap are people who are not thinkers. They lack other outlets for the stimulation they crave. They are not readers --- at most, they will read books by the likes of Steven Covey, John Grisham, or the Chicken Soup for the Soul series --- so they don't have access to intellectual or artistic excitement. They don't go to art galleries; they don't understand abstract art. As them to name a film director who excites them, and the most cerebral name you will hear is Steven Spielberg. If they went to college, they majored in business or accounting or physical therapy, they didn't enjoy their philosophy and literature classes, and they didn't learn to think for themselves. They are unimaginative, empty people who know something is missing from their lives, and the megachurches supply it in the form of vapid, ersatz spirituality that is heavily larded with the language of self-help and success literature. The leaders of these churches have to be charismatic performers --- if they are not deeply charismatic, they will lack authority to the church members and will be rejected, since the members can't see beyond appearances. You wonder why, when Christian faith teaches forgiveness, it's necessary to rid a church of leaders who have a sexual lapse --- I think it has to do with the fact that these churches are built not on Christian doctrine, but on cults of personality and a weird admixture of self-help and success literature, that they cannot tolerate these kind of personal failings in their leaders. A leader who has failed or fallen loses his authority, since these churches teach a philosophy of success (the term, I think, is "prosperity gospel"). When the leader has failed, he loses authority for the church members. The exact opposite tendency is at work in the Catholic church, which is built entirely on doctrine and the personality of priests has very little importance, there is no emphasis on prosperity, and thus personal failings are perhaps too tolerated --- consider the sexual molestation scandals.

That's why glib, power-intoxicated performers like Haggard are so successful in these megachurches; their job is entirely performance and religious demagoguery. But to allow someone like that to continue to preside after a moral failing, would be kind of like expecting people to still flock to Tony Robbins seminars if he had declared bankruptcy and lived in a cheap apartment.
posted by jayder at 8:56 PM on December 19, 2006 [4 favorites]


If God had high standards for those who preached in his name, you'd have a vast shortage of preachers. Does it even occur to you that (if i followed your reasoning that it was God), God might actually have wanted this to come out as a learning and loving experience for all of you, and a journey into openness and healing that you all could take together, and also as an object lesson that denying and lying about love is always wrong? And that God made this happen not because of high standards or sin or anything like that, but because we learn thru experience and sharing both the good and bad with each other, and supposedly Christ was all about that? And that if a congregation is a family, you don't shun and kick out another member, but hug them and be there for them?

I can actually agree with part of what you are saying. If you look at the Biblical account of King David after his adultery with Bathsheba, you can see God's mercy to him-BUT only because (finally) David confessed he had sinned against God by his actions. Of course we are to love and restore people. But sin is to be repented of, not glossed over.

One of the reasons my friend's widow is writing the book is that the Church is at present a pretty dysfunctional place for being able to share one's struggles particularly if they are in the area of sexuality. If we were doing our job in the Church those who struggled with sexual temptations could confess freely and be helped. Some struggles are more major than others. Meanwhile the Church gets the vapors if someone is struggling with homosexual feelings-but the answer is not to say that homosexual acts are holy because they are not. But all of us struggle with sexual sin. The type may vary depending on the individual. It is no sin to be tempted.
I wish the church would remember THAT.
posted by konolia at 9:00 PM on December 19, 2006


Very well said jaydar! I think you've hit the mark!

Particularly -- I think it has to do with the fact that these churches are built not on Christian doctrine, but on cults of personality and a weird admixture of self-help and success literature.
posted by ericb at 9:01 PM on December 19, 2006


*jayder*
posted by ericb at 9:03 PM on December 19, 2006


Their sin is not their sexual orientation. Their sin is lying and adultery (and hatred and bigotry and the not rendering unto Caesar stuff).

You are not a sinner simply because you're heterosexual, and gay people are not sinners because they're homosexual. Having a sexual orientation is not a sin--it's how God made us (or alternatively: we were born this way, just as you were).
posted by amberglow at 9:07 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


because we're homosexual : >
posted by amberglow at 9:08 PM on December 19, 2006


A lot of you are very angry with God, and boy does it show.

No. A lot of us are very angry with the religious right and their determination to make their religion our religion.

Give your head a shake.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:12 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Amberglow, again I think I agree with you to a point. I don't think that just because someone has a same-sex attraction that they are sinning-I would call that temptation. If they acted on it-or deliberately fantasized about it-that is where the sin factor enters. (I'd say the same for someone heterosexual.) I know for a fact that Jesus has compassion for folks struggling with these thoughts and feelings.

I have said to people before that I do believe some people are born gay-but only to the extent every one of us is born with a sin nature. Everyone has what I would term is a "besetting" sin-one that is a bigger struggle for them . There is a reason that the Bible teaches that Christians are called to be "overcomers" -we all have something to overcome!
posted by konolia at 9:13 PM on December 19, 2006


Without knowing the specifics of konolia's particular beliefs, I feel safe in betting that she'd agree that all people are sinners.

That's a pretty dumb attempt at papering over what konolia believes about gay folks. It's the very nature of their personhood - their gayness - that makes them sinners in her eyes. Whether she believes other people are sinners for other reasons is irrelevant to the point: If konolia said that all black people are sinners and going to hell *because they're black* she'd get banned from the site as a racist in a heartbeat. But because she's attacking gay folks and couching her attacks in religious piety, she gets a pass.

There's nothing about the way this site is run that I'd call disgusting, except for that.
posted by mediareport at 9:14 PM on December 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


On posting, there it is: Who we are as gay folks is "something to overcome." Fuck that bigoted crap. It's astonishing Matt tolerates it.
posted by mediareport at 9:15 PM on December 19, 2006


Optimus Chyme: is the extreme evangel/fundie movement attempting to create a geopolitical disaster that will destroy mankind, so as to "force" God into showing his hand?

I think that some of them are. I believe that if Pat Robertson figured he could push a button that made God perform Revelations, he'd do it in a blink.

Konolia is caught up with a like-minded group: gonna Christianize the world so God will come back.

Screw them all.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:16 PM on December 19, 2006


mediareport, who I was as a sinner (and no I am not spilling my guts here on the World Wide Web) was something to overcome. Gay people do NOT have the marked cornered on sin, oh no.
posted by konolia at 9:16 PM on December 19, 2006


These pile-ups are never pretty, but always informative.

But honest question Konolia -- would there be a tipping point for you involving your church? What I mean is, how many cocks sucked, how many shots of meth injected/snorted, how many children abused, etc., before you'd stop to think that what you see as "isolated incidents" are in fact part and parcel of Evenagelical Christianity, that in general the louder a person screams about the "sexual sins" of others the more likely they are to have a skeleton or two in their closet?

It's really not as hypothetical a question as you might think these days.
posted by bardic at 9:17 PM on December 19, 2006


*market cornered *
DAng, typing while sleepy.
posted by konolia at 9:17 PM on December 19, 2006


yup--mediareport has it exactly--it's in everything she says, and she doesn't describe herself (or sin in general) the same way at all. If my orientation and who i love and what we do is a sin (or a temptation that only leads to sin and not anything good), then it's a sin for straight people too--even married ones who only do it missionary-style.
posted by amberglow at 9:18 PM on December 19, 2006


Gay people do NOT have the marked cornered on sin, oh no.

But our gayness itself is a sin. Fuck you, bigot.
posted by mediareport at 9:18 PM on December 19, 2006


*Evangelical, even
posted by bardic at 9:19 PM on December 19, 2006


With all this hubbub over whether or not konolia should be spoken with respectfully or not, I thought I'd read some of her past comments with an eye toward gaining a sense of whether or not she's as hateful as some in this thread are making her out to be. I didn't need to get any further than this gem:

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.

Hm. Equivocation of the horrific abuse of a helpless child, and a consensual act between two adults...the mind reels. I bet you're a big fan of Leviticus--I hope you don't have kids, because you'll need to cut out their tongues when they talk back to you! And then I come back to this thread and read this:

Don't talk to me about brotherhood and peace. It's a false brotherhood and a fake peace you refer to. It doesn't matter how "good" someone is to the neighbor, or whether they donate to the animal shelter or are "nice to everyone."

Have you ever actually read the New Testament? Jesus was pretty clear that, in fact, our actions toward others matter a great deal. If you can't get that from your Bible, you simply don't know how to comprehend what you're reading.

konolia, you are full of hate and judgment, and I am thankful that there won't actually be a Judgment Day, because if there were, you would be going straight to Hell to suffer eternal torment. And I wouldn't wish eternal torment on anyone, not even someone as full of hate for her fellow human beings as you are.
posted by LooseFilter at 9:20 PM on December 19, 2006


Bardic, my best friend was molested by a pastor when she was young. I had a preacher/evangelist try to make a pass at me when I was a young Christian. I KNOW and have known for years that there are a lot of wolves in sheeps' clothing out there. OTOH I have known tons of pastors who have lived what they preached, loved their wives and children, and been a true example to the rest of us.

But your comment brings us back to the original point of this thread, which is that Christian leaders should be held to a high standard or else should not be in leadership.
posted by konolia at 9:21 PM on December 19, 2006


konolia, take a week off, and please don't spout your homophobic rants again on mefi.
posted by mathowie at 9:30 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


There are basically two kinds of people here: those who have argued with konolia (and her ilk, yes ilk) already, as in the previous Haggard thread, and those who haven't.

And Baby_Ballrag, I don't like you in any thread. Kiss my ass. I am being neither "willfully ignorant" nor "sarcastic" and the "ilk" I mean (as in "whoever the fuck that is") is a well known American type recently prominent in the national debate. Konolia thinks gays are worse sinners than your ordinary run-of-the-mill type; she thinks they are doomed to damnation. She's. A. Bigot. She's proved it before. She glories in the chance to keep spouting bigoted tripe.

And Nola, why should an atheist, constitutionalist, rationalist American (with whatever is left of freedom of speech) "take the high ground" when confronted by low-road-loving scumsuckers who drape themselves in vestments of righteousness and proclaim their closeness to a "divine" whatever . . .Prove it, or stop acting better than other people just because you love your own fantasy life so much.

I've had it with fundie Christian bigots. They deserve nothing resembling a "take the high ground" approach. They don't, I notice, do much cheek-turning themselves.

Sonofsamian, I can distinguish between an ugly idea and the ugly person who holds it dear. See the first Haggard thread (in which I believe you were a participant) for a refresher on why no such distinction is necessary here.
posted by spitbull at 9:30 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Oh, and I'm not "angry with god," konolia. I don't believe in god. Any god. I can't be angry at something that doesn't exist. That's your problem.
posted by spitbull at 9:31 PM on December 19, 2006


please don't spout your homophobic rants again on mefi.

Thank you. About fucking time. What she's been posting is as bad as racism, pious veneer or not. End of story.
posted by mediareport at 9:34 PM on December 19, 2006


Agreed, mediareport. If konolia routinely said the kinds of things she says casually about gay people about an ethnic group or a nationality or another religion, she'd have been driven away. Even MeFi, apparently, can tolerate a little gay-bashing if it's done by a nice church lady. Disappointing, to say the least, that comments like "God's cleaning house" aren't met with near-unanimous opprobrium here.
posted by spitbull at 9:38 PM on December 19, 2006


But enncouraging -- on re-read -- that Our Leader has slapped her wrists and given her some corner time.
posted by spitbull at 9:39 PM on December 19, 2006


Looks like God's cleaning house on MeFi too, Timothy 2:11-12 style.
posted by boaz at 9:52 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Just another way too long MeFi religion filled with bile, hate, and venom from both sides. And nothing comes of it. No one changes their mind. Everyone hurls insults and calls the other side sinners or wishes them dead, and then it's off to another completely pointless argument on another FPP.

It's Lincoln-Douglas debate crossed with trench warfare and served with a choice of bile or spleen.

Totally pointless.
posted by dw at 10:11 PM on December 19, 2006


Mathowie, thank you. Mediareport said it best.
posted by mijuta at 10:12 PM on December 19, 2006


I was just going to ask what Konolia was wearing. (I was kinda hoping a wimple and hip waders and nothing else, but now I'll never know.)

Religion should be a quiet, introspective activity. Perhaps something to be discussed respectfully among a few others to help you on your way to enlightenment. The idea that you need jets, giant amphitheaters, big-haired charismatics, fancy cars, mandatory tithes, and all the other trappings (choir boys, gambling dens, mindless drones in the seats) is alien to your quest to understand your place in the universe.

My wife's father is a good man and a decent Christian. He doesn't go to church, but lives an exemplary life, accepts that his god may have spoken to others in different ways (even via different faiths), respects those around him, and lives the way he believes his god would want him to. If every Christian (heck, every adherent to any religion) was like that, the world would be a beautiful place.

My own father is an atheist who lived through WW2 in Europe and lost his faith when he saw what the Germans had wrought--how his Jewish friends and neighbors had died horrible deaths. He could not accept that his god--any god--could allow such base crimes to happen and still be worthy of his respect. But my father has lived a similar life to my father-in-law, in that they're both decent, honest men who treat others as they expect to be treated themselves.

How could any thinking, enlightened diety cast one of them to hell and award the other eternal bliss? That's like someone calling the celebrity female du jour "fat" because you can't count her ribs while deciding whether they might as well eat ALL the donuts.
posted by maxwelton at 10:28 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


That's what I'll never grok about a lot of Christians -- they'd rather be led by and associate with child rapists who repent or hypocrites who, after making a few mil, claim they've been "saved," than with decent non-Christians who don't do those sorts of things in the first place. Sorry, but that's sick and twisted.
posted by bardic at 10:39 PM on December 19, 2006


Totally pointless.

If only there were some sort of omnipotent being that could put a stop to this sort of thing ...
posted by boaz at 10:45 PM on December 19, 2006


dw writes No one changes their mind.

Speak for yourself. I learned a lot from the Haggard thread, although there was often as much heat as light. As for this one, well, you probably won't want to hear this, but if someone as articulate and in many ways agreeable IRL as konolia is representative of "loving" Christianity, I'm more convinced than ever that some aspects of modern American Christianity are not to be tolerated but actively opposed through discussion and debate. These people have gotten a pass on saying bigoted, ridiculous things for far too long. Like overt racism in the 1950's and 1960's, they should be shunned and held accountable for their bigotry, not given a pass because sky-daddy told them so. And hopefully, one day, they'll be relegated to little backwater enclaves while the rest of the secular world goes on with the business of human and humane progress.
posted by bardic at 10:45 PM on December 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


(I don't know konolia IRL, but plenty of people have vouched for her basic decency as such. And yet, the cognitive dissonance just wins out in the end, every time, and there's not much you can do even if you consider her to be your friend.)
posted by bardic at 10:48 PM on December 19, 2006


Just another way too long MeFi religion filled with bile, hate, and venom from both sides. And nothing comes of it. No one changes their mind. Everyone hurls insults and calls the other side sinners or wishes them dead, and then it's off to another completely pointless argument on another FPP.

It's Lincoln-Douglas debate crossed with trench warfare and served with a choice of bile or spleen.

Totally pointless.
posted by dw at 10:11 PM PST on December 19


I come to MeFi for awesome links, stuff I've never seen before, and earth-saltin' flame wars. I wouldn't have it any other way.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 10:48 PM on December 19, 2006 [2 favorites]


If konolia routinely said the kinds of things she says casually about gay people about an ethnic group or a nationality or another religion, she'd have been driven away.

but if she had said them about christianity she'd have been generally applauded

she's not the only bigot in this thread, just the only one who got suspended

(insert outraged denials and justifications of said bigotry here)
posted by pyramid termite at 4:53 AM on December 20, 2006


MetaFilter: It's Lincoln-Douglas debate crossed with trench warfare and served with a choice of bile or spleen.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:08 AM on December 20, 2006


And besides,, it's more like Bryan-Darrow debate.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:10 AM on December 20, 2006


After reading this thread, I'd like to point all of you to The Tone Scale. Since so many of the responses I see here register between 1.1 and 2.0, with several plummeting as far as -1.5, I believe that we should audit our responses as a group and consider the words of the master:
"There are only two answers for the handling of people from 2.0 down on the tone scale, neither of which has anything to do with reasoning with them or listening to their justification of their acts. The first is to raise them on the Tone Scale by unenturbulating some of their theta by any one of the three valid processes. The other is to dispose of them quietly and without sorrow." This, of course, goes triply for the homosexuals, since they're obviously the biggest thetan-hoarders around. Thank you.







Okay, I'm being a snarking ass. But my point is, if someone were to show up regularly in these types of threads with this sort of argument, an argument that's out of this community's mainstream and is based on a premise most members here find without merit, at the very least they's be flagged into oblivion if not banned outright. In konolia's case, her arguments are just as insupportable, her comments in these threads unfailingly provoke the same types of responses, and she's, well, a bigot. I keep reading how she's a nice bigot IRL, but still. Of course other commenters are going to start making jibes at Christianity when she does this; she presents her views as The Word of the Christian God. Remember that "many of you are angry at God" comment upstream? If she were presenting herself as anything but Christian, how would those comments not be a provocation?

And then that's impacted by the fact that she belongs to a group that currently has a profoundly felt political impact on the lives of many Americans.

She got her suspension and she deserved it.
posted by maryh at 6:14 AM on December 20, 2006


sorry, pyramid termite, but it absolutely is justifiable to hate people who are bent on forcing their version of morality down my throat, limiting my rights. The day they stop doing that is the day I stop hating them.

For the record, I have zero issue with Christianity as a concept. The issue I have is with fundamentalism and bigotry, and their vile little desire to remake the world in their ignorant image.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:21 AM on December 20, 2006


These people are a vile cancer on the world. There is no justification for them, there is no room at the table for them, there is no way whatsoever that we should ever allow these people to spew their filth.

Who are we talking about now? Homos?

If konolia routinely said the kinds of things she says casually about gay people about an ethnic group or a nationality or another religion, she'd have been driven away.

but if she had said them about christianity she'd have been generally applauded


Yes. Homophobia is due to a) closet-casing and/or b) ignorance, like racism, and, like racism, the solution is not reactionary vitriol, but real human contact. It is very hard to remain homophobic when you actually really get to know a homosexual or two, in my experience.
posted by sonofsamiam at 6:50 AM on December 20, 2006


Who are we talking about now? Homos?

Ha. Ha. Ha. You are so very funny.

Yes. Homophobia is due to a) closet-casing and/or b) ignorance, like racism, and, like racism, the solution is not reactionary vitriol, but real human contact. It is very hard to remain homophobic when you actually really get to know a homosexual or two, in my experience.

For a very, very small subset of these bigots that may be the case. It is my experience that the vast majority of them are simply incapable of understanding that they might be wrong. There is just no place in their worldview to accept even the remote possibility that anything they believe could be mistaken in any way, shape, or form. And for those few who do question, the subcultural/social pressures to conform ensure that they never speak those questions out loud.

These people need to be marginalized to the fringes of society and allowed to die out. Period. There is no place in the world for the repression and abuse that they stand for.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:00 AM on December 20, 2006


Ha. Ha. Ha. You are so very funny.

I know, could I possibly have gotten any more heavy-handed there?

It is my experience that the vast majority of them are simply incapable of understanding that they might be wrong.

My experience differs greatly. It takes a little effort.

And for those few who do question, the subcultural/social pressures to conform ensure that they never speak those questions out loud.

That is a big problem. One on one, though, people act and think much differently, and that is where change happens.

There is no place in the world for the repression and abuse that they stand for.

I agree 100%. Not at all the same thing as "These people are a vile cancer on the world," is it?
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:09 AM on December 20, 2006


Actually, it is exactly the same thing.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:16 AM on December 20, 2006


pyramid_termite: without a doubt, the occasional broad-brush snark is addressed to "Christians" (and sometimes "Christianity") around here. But I don't see anyone acting systematically bigoted to Christians here without being provoked into responding to examples of "Christian" bigotry like konolia's posts. It's quite different with konolia (and the few of her "ilk" around here). They show up whenever homosexuality is discussed to remind us that they think, de facto, all gays are going to hell.

I was raised Christian. My mother is a Christian. I have Christian friends. I was even a freaking altar boy for a while there in my youth (and somehow managed not to get raped by a priest). There are many good Christians out there who keep their (albeit irrational) faith to themselves as a private matter, which religion should be in a secular, democratic society like the US (apologies to non USian MeFites who live in theocracies, and USians who think this is a theocracy already).

Radical, fundamentalist Christianity -- like its Islamic and Hindu counterparts -- is a fountain of bigotry and hatred in the modern world. It is necessary to say so when that fountain gets turned on around decent people. It is not bigoted to single out a Christian who is arguing, hypocritically, the positions of her faith as a justification for the oppression of an entire class of people who are -- by nature, if the best science is correct -- doing no one any harm and living their lives without forcing anyone else to adopt their customs.

Not all Christians are assholes. But being "Christian" is an awfully good cover for being an asshole, and at large in the US it is a darn easy way to get away with being an asshole and a hater, because you get to cry "see, anti-Chritian bigotry" when you are called out on your own bigotry. There is a big difference between konolia and her detractors. None of us are trying to force her to be gay, or even to associate with gays. But she (and her "ilk") would happily force the rest of us to live by her strange, irrational, and constricting "moral" code, when most of us already have and live by a secular moral code (the constitution and the law, if you're American; substitute your secular state-founding document of choice if you're not).

I reject, therefore, your charge of anti-Christian bigotry. If some Christians would stop trying to force their beliefs -- which are explicitly intolerant -- down the throats of a society that was founded on tolerance as a first principle -- the "Christian bashing" would stop here, or decline significantly.

Or can you show me a post where a gay-identified (or not) MeFite has tried to argue that all straight people are going to hell and should be expunged from their jobs because "god" (whatever the f**k that is) is "cleaning house?"

You cast the first stone of hatred and bigotry, you're going to get a few thrown back at you in a rational, free-thinking community such as this. It's odd how Christians expect *others* to "turn the other cheek," but don't practice it much themselves.

It is also, by the way, not bigoted to laugh at irrational and fantasy-driven "belief." Belief is a matter of conscious, rational choice, unlike one's sexuality or race or gender. To mock stupidity is not bigoted. It's necessary.
posted by spitbull at 7:24 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


If konolia routinely said the kinds of things she says casually about gay people about an ethnic group or a nationality or another religion, she'd have been driven away.

pyramid termite: but if she had said them about christianity she'd have been generally applauded

she's not the only bigot in this thread, just the only one who got suspended

(insert outraged denials and justifications of said bigotry here)


oh please. this is wrong in so many ways it's laughable.

1) not everyone calling out konolia for her typical homophobic B.S. is an atheist. i'm sure i'm not the only christian who appluads matthowie's suspension of her.

2) mefi posters have not rebutted konolia because of her christianity, but because of her fundamentalist christian beliefs. note that there's a huge difference between christianity and fundamentalism.

3) you can start whining about fundamentalist christians being "persecuted" when people start legislating against their basic rights as equal tax-paying citizens and using the bible to condemn them to eternal damnation.
posted by mijuta at 7:27 AM on December 20, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy: Did you grow up a fundie? It is not any fun. It feels like living among robots, every question gets a pre-programmed answer. Barring some external circumstances which remove one from that environment, it is incredibly difficult to change one's own worldview. It is not a childhood that anyone would wish for. It is very very lonely.

The programming is the problem. The programmed people are just like you and me, they are real people, and I guarantee you that they are not anywhere near as confident in their beliefs as they seem. It is the shakiest beliefs that necessitate the most vigrous defense, and fundies know it in their hearts.

Can you not distinguish between erroneous beliefs (which are deeply ingrained) and the person who has been taught to hold them?
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:30 AM on December 20, 2006


I was even a freaking altar boy for a while there in my youth (and somehow managed not to get raped by a priest).

High five!
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:31 AM on December 20, 2006


like racism, the solution is not reactionary vitriol, but real human contact.

So that's why there's no more racism in the United States! I'm sorry, but that's a facile point of view. The idealist in me constantly tries to argue the same line you are above, but the realist can't deny what I see and hear on a regular basis.

I think reactionary, direct language is absolutely what is needed. It might just stave off a much worse future, one with physical violence instead of merely verbal--and if calling hate "hate" is considered vitriolic, how can one use language meaningfully? Truly believing that someone will be cast into eternal torment for any reason is hateful, as is denying anyone the right to a happy, healthy, loving life.

Also, on preview: Can you not distinguish between erroneous beliefs (which are deeply ingrained) and the person who has been taught to hold them?

Absolutely! And I think that strong, direct language is necessary to disenthrall that sort of person.
posted by LooseFilter at 7:40 AM on December 20, 2006


Indeed. You want bigory? What if I said people born Christians should not be allowed to marry, visit their closest fellow Christians in the hospital, hold many kinds of jobs, or associate with non-Christian children in any capacity. What if I (as dictator) enshrined in law the ability of publicly-funded organizations to deny Christians the right to participate? What if, on occasion, Christians were found tied to fences and beaten to death? What if there was a whole slew of insulting and derogatory names for Christians used routinely as putdowns in every schoolyard ("You're queeeeer!" "So what, you're a JESUS FREAK! Eeeeew . . . "). I could go on. But I don't have to, right?
posted by spitbull at 7:50 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


And to add, it is probably chafing konolia's hide something awful that she can't chime in here with more of her bigotry. Peeping-Thomist, your turn to take up the cudgel.
posted by spitbull at 7:52 AM on December 20, 2006


I can't resist.. but honestly these anti-christian tirade threads give me such a warm feeling of what may be described as christian brotherhood. Because it's not hate (usually) steaming up against these hoofed feces-eaters, it's resistance, the same that fueled the age of reason, the renaissances of arts, the civil rights movement and other notable endeavors of humanity to free itself from the mealy fangs of dogma.
posted by sarcasman at 7:52 AM on December 20, 2006


Damn right it's resistance--we have to, and we continue to. And when they're done with us, it'll be another group targeted who's not them, and another, and another...
posted by amberglow at 8:32 AM on December 20, 2006


MeFi is a community of freethinkers. That's what makes it special. And freethinkers have always despised priests and their meddling churches.
posted by spitbull at 9:34 AM on December 20, 2006


As for this one, well, you probably won't want to hear this, but if someone as articulate and in many ways agreeable IRL as konolia is representative of "loving" Christianity, I'm more convinced than ever that some aspects of modern American Christianity are not to be tolerated but actively opposed through discussion and debate.

Well, dulce et deorum est pro fidem mori to you. But answering intolerance with greater intolerance is only going to harden positions and get a lot of people killed.

Honestly, a lot of this is bullshit those in power serve up to sell books and keep the masses locked into pointless debates over lesser things. Konolia isn't the problem. Going after her in the name of "combatting bigotry" is like Jewish groups trying to ban Wagner. It looks good, it feels good, but in the end she's just one shrill voice that symbolizes a undiscussed greater battle loaded with equal parts evil and moral ambiguity.

I can't you believe that so many people on the left have bought into the whole anti-gay thing. Anyone with half a sense of things knows that the endgame has been here for a while now. Follow the money. Follow the power. Find the puppetmasters.

And that's why this is pointless. While the Ypres-of-the-week is being fought here, nothing is changing. It's just emotional masturbation.
posted by dw at 9:52 AM on December 20, 2006


Witch hunt at New Life Church: Have You Fucked These Men?
posted by ericb at 9:57 AM on December 20, 2006


While the Ypres-of-the-week is being fought here, nothing is changing.
I wouldnt be so pessimistic. Enough voice has already brought about substantial change. Fredrick Douglas advised a simple dictum to thwart oppression: agitate. If someone reads a sentiment here stated eloquently or even brashly which inspires a sense of solidarity, that amurika and the world isn't overloaded solely with peon minded fanatics who think teh gay kills dolphins, that might be just enough to keep them going, to resist and not cease resisting. After a son of a mississippi preacher told my sister he had to rethink his pro-bush voting spree because of her incessant questioning, I felt that surge of blood devotees describe in their hearts.. that it's working.. reason and patience are working.

posted by sarcasman at 10:02 AM on December 20, 2006


And freethinkers have always despised priests and their meddling churches.

I don't despise priests. I know quite a lot of priests, rabbis, etc who are lovely, humane, progressive people.

I despise those who would deny me the rights that they enjoy.

I despise those who would define me as a second-class citizen.

I despise those who deny education.

I despise those who make joy into sin.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:14 AM on December 20, 2006


You know what, dnab, I used to really appreciate your contributions here and I was always happy to see you participating in threads. But I don't know what the hell happened to you in the past couple weeks to turn you into such a hateful person.

"I despise, I despise, I despise, etc." Doesn't it hurt you to walk around with all that rage inside of you? I hope you find something to feel good about soon.

And spitbull, you can take a flying fuck. Your hilarious rendering of my handle reveals you to be the frustrated 17 year-old you probably are. Grow up.

I'm a Christian. I believe Jesus Christ died on the cross in atonement for the sins of the whole world, and because of this everyone is saved and that he resurrected himself and healed lepers and did great stuff.

You know how I know this stuff? I saw it. God came to me in a vision and revealed herself and told me what I should do. And now I'm at seminary and I work at a church and I've sold all of my possessions and I'm trying to follow the gospel path of Christ.

And I was raised by a homosexual and my best friend is gay and has suffered for this ever since I can remember and the one time I sat in a jail cell for something I actually regret it was for hitting another man in the face with a pool-cue for gay bashing in my favorite bar.

Gays aren't sinful, homosexuality isn't a sin, no one is going to hell and frankly your hangup on this single issue reveals how little you actually know about mainstream Christianity. While 25% of the U.S. Christians might be Evangelical - the majority of whom denounce homosexual sex - that leaves the vast majority outside of that sect. And you're lumping us all in together and it's infuriating.

And if you're really interested in turning moderate Christians and progressive Christians away from the gay-rights movement, just keep calling us bigots and nazis and assholes.

Same goes for you, dnab. I've done my best to be a reasonable person about this but I can't sit by and watch a few hot heads bash all of Christianity because of a couple of wackjobs with microphones.

Shut the Christians out of the gay-rights movement. At least you'll be left with spitbull and other 'free-thinkers.' All 5% of the U.S. population they constitute.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 10:43 AM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


Sadly my sister-in-law is the perfect example of a fundie who has been exposed to "homos as real people" and it hasn't changed her beliefs one whit. Her best friend at work (they are both nurses) is gay and she claims to love him-- he really makes her life at work better. But her pastor has her convinced that homosexuality is a sin against God according to his Holy Word and so she prays for him and would vote in a heartbeat for any anti-gay legislation.

Konolia, dear neighbor, I know you are probably reading this and I was all set to defend your intentions until I came to this:
If I never posted another word on metafilter, if in fact I never existed, it would not change God's opinion on what sin is.
(my embolding)
posted by konolia at 10:54 PM EST on December 19

It is the idea that you are so sure what God's opinion is that is troubling to the rest of us.

To say that you, Konolia, know what God thinks, what opinion He holds about other people is frightening to me. Please, I urge you to stop focusing on what God thinks about other people and instead focus on your personal relationship with God.
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 10:46 AM on December 20, 2006


dw: answering intolerance with greater intolerance is only going to harden positions and get a lot of people killed.

i couldn't disagree more. especially with your view that people calling out konolia's B.S. = "greater intolerance." please. (there's been one person posting some angry rants directed at konolia--please don't group us all together. that being said, i completely understand where his anger is coming from.) it's been spelled out numerous times in this thread and the other threads where konolia pops up to lovingly let the homosexuals know they're going to hell--there's a whole evangelical movement behind fundamentalism's damning of homosexuals. the fundies continually use teh gays as their evil bogeyman, and have been in bed with the political administration and rallying to ensure that our rights as equal tax-paying citizens are continually legislated away. again, as pointed out numerous times already, this isn't about just the right to marry--it's about the right to adopt, the right to visit your partner in the hospital, the right to be granted your partner's inheritance, the right to not be evicted, and the right to not be fired, to name just the major ones.

now please show me how any mefi's posts rebutting konolia's religious beliefs = an intolerance that is greater than that.

And that's why this is pointless. While the Ypres-of-the-week is being fought here, nothing is changing. It's just emotional masturbation.

again, i disagree. and if you really feel this way, what purpose does your post serve? more emotional masturbation?
posted by mijuta at 10:54 AM on December 20, 2006


You know how I know this stuff? I saw it. God came to me in a vision and revealed herself and told me what I should do.

I've had thousands of visions. One had the devil asking if I wanted the world.. one involved Jesus and I felt all the power and glory, then he said, my flock has betrayed me.. heed not unto them. I've seen creation, had spiritual guides, travelled through time, died and was resurrected. These add to my life, and carry absolutely no implication as to what others should do. Sobriety and clear thinking are a form of worship. So is rebellion.

true believers worship in their life, not by fleeing from it, as these pastors certainly have. Any who have read the gospels (even translated though the classicist in me finds that utter blasphemy), and still think a state funded religion dictating ad plebem what people are to believe are -to my mind- committing a most egregious foul and anti-jesus hypocrisy. Capital punishment killed jesus. But christianity is killing his message.
posted by sarcasman at 11:16 AM on December 20, 2006 [1 favorite]


I think reactionary, direct language is absolutely what is needed. It might just stave off a much worse future, one with physical violence instead of merely verbal--and if calling hate "hate" is considered vitriolic, how can one use language meaningfully? Truly believing that someone will be cast into eternal torment for any reason is hateful, as is denying anyone the right to a happy, healthy, loving life.

I don't really disagree. People need to face the consequences of the lines they regurgitate, instead of ignoring them, and it will be all the harder for them to do so without contact as direct as what they get from the pulpit.

That said, what we really don't want is a "culture war," which is sort of the vibe I am getting from a few of these comments. That narrative benefits nobody but the fundie authorities, who made it up in the first place.

Have you ever known someone who went fundie only after adulthood? In every case I know of, they had a personal crisis that required resolution and this is when they were susceptible to strong personalities reshaping their worldview.

People don't want to be fundies but they have been taught to believe it is necessary.
posted by sonofsamiam at 11:32 AM on December 20, 2006



Shut the Christians out of the gay-rights movement. At least you'll be left with spitbull and other 'free-thinkers.' All 5% of the U.S. population they constitute.

No, that's not the point and you know it. Stop playing victim when you're not the victims in this situation.

Clean your damn house, and don't tell me that it's not your house. It is. If you don't like it that all Christians are tarred with this hateful brush, do something about it. Don't go after us--we're not the problem--we're the ones affected by your co-religionists, and our laws and society are being greatly harmed by it. Poor baby--you feel shut out of the gay-rights movement--try joining it first before you insult others.
posted by amberglow at 11:41 AM on December 20, 2006


Great harm is being done to us, and to this country--in your religion's name--they don't make distinctions--they say they speak for all Christians. You have a moral and ethical responsibility to fight them if you dare call yourself any kind of Christian. WWJD?
posted by amberglow at 11:47 AM on December 20, 2006


Amberglow - fyi we host our local pflag chapter at our church and are the title sponsors at a pride event. all in a city that is known for its staggering conservative bias. this is all a lot of hypotheticals, anyway - I'm not leaving the gay-rights movement anytime soon - I wouldn't let a few shrill anti-religionists keep me out of something I feel so strongly about.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:02 PM on December 20, 2006


And as for your second comment - the radical Muslims claim they speak for all Muslims, and you claim to speak for all gays, and if I came on here lashing out at all homosexuals because of something you said, or branding all Muslims a certain way because of what Ahmadinijad said - you'd have my head on a stick.

I speak for myself, and if it's too hard for you to distinguish between psychotic, nutjob fundies and good, hardworking, progressive individuals then you should avoid the debate.

It's not too hard for me to tell the difference between Atheists who are open to discussion, and those who claim any image of a higher power than man is silly fairytales. It's not too hard for me to distinguish between Muslims who I hang out with at school, and those who have me arrested for having long hair.

Why is it that I'm responsible for what a bunch of Christianists do in the name of my spiritual leader?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:06 PM on December 20, 2006 [2 favorites]


When it comes to protecting and working for our rights, i do speak for all gays and lesbians alive today and tomorrow in this country. When your co-religionists speak of denying us those rights, they say speak for all Christians and are acting out of love and God's will. Guess who's wrong?

You're responsible because:
--we're all responsible for how we treat each other here, as Americans.
--they act in your religion's name.
--they use your religion and the many millions of moderate and liberal Christians as a cover for hateful, unChristian acts and deeds and words.
--they know you won't call them on it, and that makes it seem like they really do speak for all of you, especially to those of us of other faiths, or no faith. The vast majority of Americans says they're Christian yet doesn't say a word about these people who are everywhere--from government thru all media to schools--acting in your names.
--they're piggybacking on your numbers to do their evil.

Even having to explain this to someone who calls themself a Christian and who is active in the movement is weird and stupid and insane--you should know all this already. Because you do good works locally, that does not excuse their evil in all your names, nor does it stop it. Because you help locals does not stop them from fighting to insert their religion into all of our schools, public places, laws, and Constitution. Clean your house, and stop insulting those of us who don't want to be forced to be permanently second-class and who want to live and love in freedom. Every single person who is not the same kind of Christian as them is on their target list along with us Jews, us gays, Muslims, Hindus, the sexually-active, single women, etc.
posted by amberglow at 12:42 PM on December 20, 2006


I speak for myself, and if it's too hard for you to distinguish between psychotic, nutjob fundies and good, hardworking, progressive individuals then you should avoid the debate.
Keep on being a Good GermanChristian--it makes their work all the easier. You're not supposed to speak only for yourself, especially when it comes to justice and rights and good and evil. It's certainly a tenet of my religion--you fight injustice.

'They came for the Jews. I was not a Jew. So I was unconcerned. Then they came for the Catholics. I was not a Catholic. So I was unconcerned. Then for the trade unionists and industrialists. I was neither. So I was unconcerned. Then they came for me - and there was no-one left to be concerned.'
posted by amberglow at 12:45 PM on December 20, 2006


Christianity is behemoth. There's no possible way one person can speak for all Christians.

I'm sorry you've been personally hurt by people claiming to be Christians. I would only add that were this a predominantly Muslim country, a predominantly Hindi country or a predominantly anything country, gays would have it tough.

I think the problem lies within religion itself, and must be excised at as broad a level as possible.

Are you familiar with Mary Douglass' 1966 work, "Purity and Danger"? It has a chapter on Xity that I think pertains to this discussion. Here's an online summary of the work.

I like you, amberglow, I don't want to fight with you. I will beef up my activism against the more right-wing elements within my church, my community and my country.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:50 PM on December 20, 2006


They came for the baby eating psycho-parasitic lizard aliens. I was not a baby-eating psycho-parasitic lizard alien. So...

B_B, your tone reflects what bothers us non-believers. If you speak for yourself, stop calling yourself christian. Pride is not a christian tenant, but that seems to be the crux of your emotional investment to that term. If you really believe in what you claim, you would realize the best thing for "the word of god" would be for the entire religion to be dismantled, surviving only on the action-examples of decent, calm, rational adherents. Surely it is time to upturn the tables of that ungodly temple too. Or is the form more important than the function?
posted by sarcasman at 1:02 PM on December 20, 2006


Wow. That one spun my head right round.
posted by The Deej at 1:05 PM on December 20, 2006


Spin Me Round
posted by homunculus at 1:33 PM on December 20, 2006


Huge Southern Baptist Church rocked by sexual abuse charges.
posted by ericb at 1:56 PM on December 20, 2006


We need more theists and fewer cultists. Evangel Christianity is a cult.

WWJD? He'd do exactly the same as he did at the Temple of the money-changers: kick ass all around the block.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:10 PM on December 20, 2006


Baby_Balrog writes "And if you're really interested in turning moderate Christians and progressive Christians away from the gay-rights movement, just keep calling us bigots and nazis and assholes.

"Same goes for you, dnab. I've done my best to be a reasonable person about this but I can't sit by and watch a few hot heads bash all of Christianity because of a couple of wackjobs with microphones."


It would behoove you, B_B, to actually pay attention to what I have written. As I said above, I have zero problem with Christianity as a concept. I was raised Anglican, in an extremely hippy church (Holy Trinity, behind the Eaton Centre, for those of you who know Toronto), and thus have no concern with the majority of Christians worldwide.

I have a very specific problem with fundamentalists and the upper echelons of the Catholic church. (I know that not all Catholic priests are dinosaurs; my mother--who converted--had a lovely priest who was very much involved in liberation theology, is extremely progressive about all sorts of very good things, and generally is completely at odds with mainline Catholic dogma on some importantr issues: abortion, gay marriage and gay priesthood, celibacy, education.)

Again, as I have already said: I am not painting Christianity with a broad brush. I am pointing out the brush that fundamentalist Christians (and, to be perfectly honest, they're all about as much Christian as I am Shinto) have painted themselves with. Put down the persecution complex, and pay attention to what I am actually saying.

Baby_Balrog writes "I wouldn't let a few shrill anti-religionists keep me out of something I feel so strongly about."

Also, I'd like to point out, again, that I am not anti-religion. I am, in fact, quite theist. Again, put down the persecution complex, and start paying attention.

Baby_Balrog writes "I think the problem lies within religion itself, and must be excised at as broad a level as possible."

And yet if one of us said that, you'd be off (again) on your ridiculous and baseless tirade about how "shrill anti-religionists" are attacking you.

And you'd still be wrong.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:00 PM on December 20, 2006


Ok, sarcasman. And I'll tell my parishioners to do the same, from the pulpit. What a wonderful Christmas Eve sermon that will make.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:01 PM on December 20, 2006


this thread is shit
posted by Snyder at 3:21 PM on December 20, 2006


B_B, you have completely missed sarcasman's point.

When people are doing things in your name, and when you put a lot of stock in that name, it is incumbent upon you to do something about it. You don't need to preach. Quite the opposite, in fact. Do as Yeheshuah did, and lead by example. Feed the hungry, clothe and shelter the poor. In another paradigm, you'd chop wood and carry water. Do good deeds. (And, most importantly, do them without bringing any religion into it.) Refrain from politics. Show the people you worship with how to live lives as upstanding and humane people, don't tell them.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:24 PM on December 20, 2006


Snyder writes "this thread is shit"

No, you want this thread.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:27 PM on December 20, 2006


Baby, it's just infuriating that over and over we hear that stuff-- it doesn't matter that they're a different creed or division or kind of Christian than you.
It's about what they are doing to us and the country in your name. They don't make the distinctions liberal or moderate Christian find it necessary to make (to disassociate themselves from them). They use you and your numbers to make it seem like they have more support than they actually do, and your silence enables and supports them in that.

And i have faith too--i'm a nice Jewish boy. We have openly gay rabbis and smack down our own insane. Try it. : >
posted by amberglow at 4:07 PM on December 20, 2006


B_B: While 25% of the U.S. Christians might be Evangelical - the majority of whom denounce homosexual sex - that leaves the vast majority outside of that sect.

Perhaps the wiki isn't the best source, but it certainly confirms my experience: "A 1992 survey (Green) showed that in the United States evangelicals make up both the largest and the most active group of Christians (surpassing both Catholics and Mainline or non-Evangelical Protestant groups)." Yeah, the survey is a little old, but I haven't seen the liberal Christian groups make much progress, even with all the scandals that have plagued the more conservative groups over the past 20 years. If anything, groups like the Unitarians seem to be more on the fringe than ever.

I'm perfectly happy to leave the fundamentalist "Christians" to their bigotry and hypocrisy as long as they keep it to themselves. But in the US at least, the evangelicals crossed the line of decency, and are intent on marginalizing gays and lesbians to a second-class citizen status. It's sickening that so many are just standing by, or even worse, going along with it because they are told it's the "right" thing to do.
posted by malocchio at 4:09 PM on December 20, 2006


Can't we all just...live? I find apathy works the best for that.
posted by liquorice at 4:16 PM on December 20, 2006


It's about what they are doing to us and the country in your name.

in other words, you're going to lump him together with the rest no matter how much he protests he's not with them ... and furthermore, they're not responsible for what they say, but he is

the hypocrisy and bigotry is obvious ...
posted by pyramid termite at 4:27 PM on December 20, 2006


of course they're responsible, but they don't listen to those of us they're busy demonizing and relegating to lesser status.

Other Christians speaking loudly and strongly against them, and speaking and showing what Christianity really is (i.e., not changing laws to enforce your own creed, loving others, sharing, caring, etc, blablabla) is what's needed here. I don't live in their house, but they do (even if it's in separate wings)--and they're being used. If they don't care, and Christianity is really about selfishness and only what you personally can do or get out of it, then all hope is lost.

Their silence is hurting us, just as the silence of others enabled great harm to be done.

This interesting exchange lays it out, in terms of war and poverty, i think.
posted by amberglow at 4:44 PM on December 20, 2006


and i'm not the one lumping him in with all the rest or with the haters--it's the haters who are doing that daily and loudly, in all media and in our government.
posted by amberglow at 4:48 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "in other words, you're going to lump him together with the rest no matter how much he protests he's not with them ... and furthermore, they're not responsible for what they say, but he is"

wtf? When, exactly, did I say that they weren't responsible? Stop putting words in my mouth.

I am going to lump him together with the rest, in a limited sense, as I already said. Just as it is important for intelligent white people to smack down the ignorant white people who espouse racism, it is important for intelligent Christians to smack down the ignorant Christians who espouse bigotry and hatred.

And just as it is important for intelligent Muslims to smack down those who are committing murder and atrocities in the name of Islam.

There is no difference. From the macro (humans smacking down other humans for committing horrors) to the relatively micro (whites, Christians, Muslims, Jews, whatever), smacking down those within our groups who are perpetrating hatred is a responsibility we all share.

Further, it would actually be in their own best interests for intelligent Christians to loudly and frequently speak out against the injustices perpetrated by those who claim to be their brethren. Want to complain about being painted with a broad brush? Look at the fundamentalists. They're the ones handing out brushes left and right. They're the ones providing the ammunition for everyone who says "I hate Christianity." They're the ones who are fouling the nest, not the peaceful and progressive quiet Christians who welcome queers with open arms.

Or do you not agree that Muslims shouldn't be pointing out that the people using Islam as a justification for murder are nutbars, and should not be confused with the vast and overwhelming majority of those who espouse peace? If you do think they should, I would absolutely love to hear how it's different for Christians. And if you don't think they should, I am afraid that there seems to be no way to get you to grasp the idea of group responsibility.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:38 PM on December 20, 2006


Interesting and related to the whole topic: More than nine out of 10 Americans, men and women alike, have had premarital sex, according to a new study. The high rates extend even to women born in the 1940s, challenging perceptions that people were more chaste in the past.

“This is reality-check research,” said the study’s author, Lawrence Finer. “Premarital sex is normal behavior for the vast majority of Americans, and has been for decades.”

Finer is a research director at the Guttmacher Institute, a private New York-based think tank that studies sexual and reproductive issues and which disagrees with government-funded programs that rely primarily on abstinence-only teachings. The study, released Tuesday, appears in the new issue of Public Health Reports.

posted by amberglow at 5:39 PM on December 20, 2006


and this, on Barnes, Haggard, Baptists, Evangelicals, and the Episcopalians and more:
The Sins of Exclusion and Hypocrisy

posted by amberglow at 5:49 PM on December 20, 2006


I don't live in their house, but they do

no, they really don't ... and behind all of this is the assumption that a lot of the voices you hear in public aren't those of religious people

perhaps liberal and moderate christians prefer arguing things on their merits rather than insisting that "god said so" ...

if we argue from religious reasons, we're accused of imposing our religion on people ... if we argue from secular reasoning, we're accused of "silence" because we're not criticizing the other religious views on religious grounds ... it's a classic no win situation

this isn't a situation where people have been silent, but where some religious adherents have refrained from imposing their beliefs on the public debate and gotten accused of "silence", even though they have not been ...

quite frankly, no one's ever going to be as good an advocate for what you and dnab and the others profess as you all are ... it's not fair to expect us to be as good ... or not to recognize that people with different beliefs have different priorities, reasons, and methods of debate than the ones you feel we should follow

And just as it is important for intelligent Muslims to smack down those who are committing murder and atrocities in the name of Islam.


no, i utterly disagree with that ... what you're really saying is that we should be able to dictate to muslims what they should say and comment upon when discussing their religion ... why should every muslim have to denounce terrorists before they can speak publically? ... why should every christian have to denounce pat robertson before being accepted as not one of the "bad" ones?

I am afraid that there seems to be no way to get you to grasp the idea of group responsibility.

seeing as i'm not a marxist or a bigot, you're probably right about that

i'm an individual and demand to be treated as one ... just as any black person, or any gay person, or any (insert religion here) person does

if you want that for yourself, you have to give it to others
posted by pyramid termite at 5:51 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "no, i utterly disagree with that ... what you're really saying is that we should be able to dictate to muslims what they should say and comment upon when discussing their religion ... why should every muslim have to denounce terrorists before they can speak publically? ... why should every christian have to denounce pat robertson before being accepted as not one of the 'bad' ones?"

When did I say they had to denounce them before doing anything else? When will you stop putting words in my mouth?

When you stop doing that, I will happily respond to what you just said. I doubt you're capable of it, though. Persecuted Christian complex again; you'll manufacture victimization--and you have, right here in this thread, so don't even bother denying it--when there is none to be had. I never--despite you dishonestly claiming that I had--said that I hated all Christians, nor did I paint all Christians with a broad brush. In fact, I made it clear exactly where my concerns lie. They're not with you. But just as it is the duty of all Americans to speak out against the bullshit the government is perpetrating in the name of the American people, it is your duty as a Christian to speak out and say "This is not what Jesus taught. What these people are advocating is morally wrong. God is love." Not in politics. But in the arena of public opinion it must be shown that the most public and vocal face of Christianity is not what Jesus was about. Otherwise you are just as much a party to their bullshit as they are.

Part of the solution or part of the problem? Which are you?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:18 PM on December 20, 2006


exactly. And beyond that--your silence--and your wiping your hands of them--empowers them. They're relying on your silence and you're providing it in spades. They say they speak for all Christians--if you guys don't speak up nor think you have any kind of responsibility to do so, they really are. They win both ways.
posted by amberglow at 6:27 PM on December 20, 2006


When will you stop putting words in my mouth?

excuse me? ... YOU'RE the one complaining about silence ... YOU'RE the one who's insisting that i have an obligation to argue against certain other people ... YOU'RE the one who's insisting that i have a "duty" to say certain things that you want me to say

and yet, I'M putting words in YOUR mouth? ... you ask me "When did I say they had to denounce them before doing anything else? and then turn around and lecture me on what i have a duty to say? ... (and why do you assume that i HAVEN'T said such things?)

When you stop doing that, I will happily respond to what you just said.

except a) you're the one who's trying to do it to me; b) i'm fucked if i'm going to take some kind of loyalty oath and repeat the things that i have a "duty" to say, just so i can have the dubious privilege of having you respond to what i say ...

Part of the solution or part of the problem?

people who go around insisting if you're not part of the solution you're part of the problem ARE the problem

They're relying on your silence and you're providing it in spades.

what silence is that? ... mainstream christians write books, preach sermons, discuss things, vote, run for office and type things online ... how is that silent?

They say they speak for all Christians

they say that gays are going to hell - you don't believe them

they say that being gay is a choice - you don't believe them

but suddenly, when they claim to speak for all christians, you'll believe that? ... why? ... is this a case of your believing what you want to believe or do you have an actual rational reason why they should be believed in this, but not the other things? ... and do you have a rational reason why you should hit your political allies over the head with what they believe, but not your enemies?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:10 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "excuse me? ... YOU'RE the one complaining about silence ... YOU'RE the one who's insisting that i have an obligation to argue against certain other people ... YOU'RE the one who's insisting that i have a 'duty' to say certain things that you want me to say"

I am insisting on those things, yes. But please note that at no point have I attributed to you things that you have not said. I would appreciate it if you would extend me the same courtesy.

pyramid termite writes "and yet, I'M putting words in YOUR mouth? ... you ask me 'When did I say they had to denounce them before doing anything else? and then turn around and lecture me on what i have a duty to say? ... (and why do you assume that i HAVEN'T said such things?)"

Yes, I am telling you what I think you have a duty to say. If you don't want to be painted with a broad brush--your words!--then point out that the brush only applies to them, not you, and they do not speak for you.

But, again, at no point have I attributed to you things that you have not said. You have done that to me, however.

pyramid termite writes "except a) you're the one who's trying to do it to me; b) i'm fucked if i'm going to take some kind of loyalty oath and repeat the things that i have a 'duty' to say, just so i can have the dubious privilege of having you respond to what i say ..."

Um, no. Sorry, please show me exactly where I attributed things to you that you have not said? I can wait, because it'll probably take you a very long time.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:53 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "but suddenly, when they claim to speak for all christians, you'll believe that? ... why?"

We don't We know better, and (*sigh*) have pointed that out on several different occasions in this thread alone. Seriously, pleas try and actually pay attention to what is being said.

Many people do not, however, comprehend the difference--which results in you being painted with that broad brush that you so rightly dislike.

pyramid termite writes "and do you have a rational reason why you should hit your political allies over the head with what they believe, but not your enemies?"

We are not hitting you over the head with what you believe! Persecuted Christian complex, again. We do hit them over the head. What we are trying to say is that you, that is all Christians who actually truly believe in things like love and equality, need to take away from these nutjobs their assertion that they speak for you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:02 PM on December 20, 2006


Yes, I am telling you what I think you have a duty to say.

then you're an arrogant fool

If you don't want to be painted with a broad brush--your words!

????? where did i say that? ??????

spitbull used that phrase ... YOU used that phrase ... i've yet to use it

go ahead - search for broad and brush in this page ... they're not "my words", they're YOURS!

But, again, at no point have I attributed to you things that you have not said.

you just DID

dude, at this point, you haven't demonstrated that you know which one of us is saying what

Sorry, please show me exactly where I attributed things to you that you have not said

mission accomplished

I can wait, because it'll probably take you a very long time.

it only seems like a long time because the drugs are still working

and then there's the issue of your attempting to dictate to people what they should say ... when you can't even keep what YOU say straight

sheesh ...

i'm not even going to respond to the rest of your incoherencies ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:08 PM on December 20, 2006



but suddenly, when they claim to speak for all christians, you'll believe that? ... why? ... is this a case of your believing what you want to believe or do you have an actual rational reason why they should be believed in this, but not the other things? ... and do you have a rational reason why you should hit your political allies over the head with what they believe, but not your enemies?

Why yes--i do. When they go to their weekly meetings in the White House, and lobby Congress, and go on TV and radio and newspapers, and get their faith-based funding for useless abstinence-only programs and prison ministries, etc, multiple times a day they tell me and the rest of America that it is so. When they film videos inside the Pentagon and deny promotions to those who don't pray with them or believe what they do; when they make life hell for air force academy students; when they call this a Christian nation, when they call Iraq a "crusade", and lastly even tho i left out tons of things, when Christians themselves ask, on CNN: What the hell happened to Christianity? --...What the hell happened? Where did we go wrong? How was Christianity co-opted by a political party? Why are Christians supporting laws that force others to live by their standards? The answers to these questions are integral to the survival of Christianity. ... He gets it, but you guys refuse to. He doesn't feel some need to distance himself from the "other Christians" as you do. He knows that they define Christianity in America today. It's way way too late for you guys to be surprised at that or try to deny it--or to be upset when we call you all on it.
posted by amberglow at 8:14 PM on December 20, 2006


Incidentally or not, he's the son of the previous generation's scandal-ridden preachers, Jim and Tammy Faye.
posted by amberglow at 8:17 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "If you don't want to be painted with a broad brush--your words!

"????? where did i say that? ??????

"spitbull used that phrase ... YOU used that phrase ... i've yet to use it"


My mistake. I had thought you had said that. I was incorrect. I apologize.

So, stop putting words in my mouth. I didn't mean to put them in yours--I conflated two statements and I'm sorry for it.

pyramid termite writes "'i'm not even going to respond to the rest of your incoherencies"

Which is the usual response from someone who doesn't have a leg to stand on.

For someone who is studying to be a priest/vicar/minister/pastor/whichever-term-you-prefer, you really do love ducking responsibility. I feel sorry for your future parishioners, unless you grow out of it.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:20 PM on December 20, 2006


He knows that they define Christianity in America today.

i don't know any such thing ... but, of course, i don't allow what i know to be defined by pundits on cnn

It's way way too late for you guys to be surprised at that or try to deny it--or to be upset when we call you all on it.

or to pretend that this is something new? ... or that, in fact, it wasn't much worse 30 years ago?

there's a reason why this is much more controversial and the fundies are much more shrill these days ... it's because it's no longer as accepted as it used to be

but lacking any perspective, you probably don't believe that
posted by pyramid termite at 8:24 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "'i'm not even going to respond to the rest of your incoherencies"

Which is the usual response from someone who doesn't have a leg to stand on.


For someone who is studying to be a priest/vicar/minister/pastor/whichever-term-you-prefer, you really do love ducking responsibility. I feel sorry for your future parishioners, unless you grow out of it.

????????

i'm a 49 year old factory rat and i'm not studying to be anything

you are clearly not in your right mind tonight ... apology accepted ... step away from the keyboard, please, before you embarrass yourself further ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:30 PM on December 20, 2006


Right, thanks. We lack perspective. You don't, clearly.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:32 PM on December 20, 2006


Oh fuck. That was B_B.

Alright, take that statement out.

Everything else I have to say still stands, you're still putting words in my mouth--and not by mistake--and you're still, frankly, being a dick.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:33 PM on December 20, 2006


i can remember from post to post who i'm talking to ... don't you wish you could?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:34 PM on December 20, 2006


Everything else I have to say still stands, you're still putting words in my mouth

how could you possibly be able to tell?
posted by pyramid termite at 8:35 PM on December 20, 2006


there's a reason why this is much more controversial and the fundies are much more shrill these days ... it's because it's no longer as accepted as it used to be

but lacking any perspective, you probably don't believe that


I cannot believe you seriously believe that. Were you sleeping thru the past few years? Did you miss the Office of Faith-Based Funding? Of Congress attempting to change the Constitution? There are thousands of recent examples of the integration of these people and their agendas into our schools, politics, and policies--not to mention the media.
posted by amberglow at 8:37 PM on December 20, 2006


I cannot believe you seriously believe that.

you have no idea what this country was really like in the 60s, especially in the small towns and cities of the midwest

There are thousands of recent examples of the integration of these people and their agendas into our schools, politics, and policies

there was a time when not only had their agendas been integrated into all of that, but it wasn't even questioned ... there was a time when top 40 stations would do little public service blurbs reminding us to "go to the church of our choice" ... there was a time when "campus life" could actually have a christian rock band perform at a public high school during school hours and not have anything happen ...

don't you get it? ... the reason for their anger and their militancy isn't that they're trying to take control of our country and our culture ... but because they HAD control of our country and culture and they're realizing that they're losing it for good
posted by pyramid termite at 8:48 PM on December 20, 2006


pyramid termite writes "Everything else I have to say still stands, you're still putting words in my mouth

"how could you possibly be able to tell?"



Ahh, how cute. You don't have a leg to stand on, so you'll insult me instead for making an honest mistake. What a charming paragon of love-thy-neighbour Christianity you are! You really have shown me that not all Christians are ignorant bigots, you really have!
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 8:49 PM on December 20, 2006


The truth is this: it is down to a battle. Either we have a society in which there are limits to the control over our lives we grant our government, or there are no limits.

There is no middle ground: we have limitless proof from our past two hundred-odd years of modern political history that there is literally no limit to the horrible things one set of people will do to another.

The fundamentalist/evangelist movement has been describing a "war on values" for decades. Most of us have scoffed at them, seeing our increases in personal freedoms as a good thing.

We have been wrong: there is a war on values, and it is a war of rabid moralizing well-organized religionists against the liberty-valuing rest of society.

If we don't start acknowledging this conflict and actively working to protect ourselves from the religious right, we are going to be well and truly fucked.

We need freedom from religion just as much as freedom of religion.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:00 PM on December 20, 2006


five fresh fish writes "We need freedom from religion just as much as freedom of religion."

Hear, hear. And I say that as a theist.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 9:12 PM on December 20, 2006


Baby_Ballrag: And spitbull, you can take a flying fuck. Your hilarious rendering of my handle reveals you to be the frustrated 17 year-old you probably are. Grow up.

Might Christian language there, Ballrag. Way to turn theother cheek, and you a pastor in the UCC no less.

May I point out that I am not the one using the F-word on a regular basis here? But I think it's time: f**k you.

Your sniveling, casuistic style of argument is like nails on a blackboard of non-reason. Few other posters here annoy me the way you do. You're never wrong, and always have some reason why everyone else is really wrong.

As for your "five percent" crap, news flash: functional (as opposed to declared) atheists and secularists (who may not know the word but live the concept) amount to a good deal more than five percent of the US population, or our culture wouldn't be so "godless"(as your ilk likes to characterize it). And to judge by young people, it's getting more godless all the time -- thank God whatever.

But even if we're ONE percent of the population, the US has a constitution that says our society is organized formally on the principle of a separation of church and state, and 250 years of jurisprudence clarifying that. I despise political Christianity because if challenges the basis (as I understand it) of my freedom, and my childrens' freedom

So, Ballrag, we're enemies. And I'm not 17. I'm in my 40s, and let's just say I make my living with my mind, after about 20 years of education, so you ought not underestimate your opponents.

And you're still a Ballrag to me.
posted by spitbull at 4:39 AM on December 21, 2006


Oh, and I am an insurgent in the war on christmas Xmas. Like all atheists, I want to do harm to the youth.
posted by spitbull at 4:45 AM on December 21, 2006


You don't have a leg to stand on, so you'll insult me instead for making an honest mistake. What a charming paragon of love-thy-neighbour Christianity you are!

after a night's consideration, my only reply to this is that the insult you've suffered was self-inflicted and your anger and sarcasm are misplaced
posted by pyramid termite at 6:19 AM on December 21, 2006


Um, no. I made a mistake, and you insulted me for it. That's not self-inflicted.

Deflect, deflect! is the cry, when a lucid argument passes you by.

Seriously. You have no leg to stand on, and you have spent this entire discussion putting words in my mouth. Not by mistake. Quite on purpose. An apology would be nice, but that would require you to realize that your strawmen wouldn't stand up in a light breeze, and I seriously doubt you're capable of that.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:15 AM on December 21, 2006


lol @ spitbull

i have a nemesis.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 7:43 AM on December 21, 2006


quit blaming other people for your mistakes, quit lying and quit whining

but as far as your "mistake", it's understandable - we all sound alike to you, don't we? ...

i did NOT put words in your mouth ... your words had obvious implications that i brought out, which you then reaffirmed by insisting that christians have a "duty" to say certain things ... just as it's obvious that you feel that muslims have a "duty" to say certain things, although you don't have the guts or the intellectual honesty to come right out and SAY it, but whine like a sniveling, two-faced, wretched coward that i'm building straw men and putting words in your mouth when i confront you with the obvious meaning of your words - that you're going to assume that a muslim approves of fanaticism until he says he doesn't ... just as you're going to assume that a christian believes gays are going to hell until he says that he doesn't believe that ... those WERE the implications of your words, and if that meaning was NOT your intent, then you need to say so without accusing others of misrepresenting you

to give you the benefit of the doubt, they may have not been your intent ... in fact, i wonder aside from the badly needed theraputic value of venting your spleen against your real and imagined enemies, your words have any conscious intent at all, as you have trouble keeping straight who said what, waste the site's time whining about petty and imagined insults, and in general, seem more determined to make an ass out of yourself than anything else ... you're just sputtering around, trying to troll me into an endless discussion over what you did or did not say, mean or did not mean, when it's more than likely that you don't even clearly remember what you meant or what you were trying to say yourself

i'm not getting paid 100 bucks an hour to sort you out ... i suggest you find somebody who is

ps - NOW you've been insulted ... now go find someone else to whine about stuff to, m'kay?

i have a nemesis.

no fair, bb, MY nemesis is broken!!
posted by pyramid termite at 7:54 AM on December 21, 2006


I plugged my mando into a nemesis once. It was not good.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:00 AM on December 21, 2006


The extreme religionists are determined to exert their rule over the rest of us.

Those religionists who do not speak out against their extremist cousins – be they Taliban muslims, New Life fundies, or Saffron Tigers – are as guilty as (yes, I'm going to go there) those quiet Germans who stood silent as their extremist neighbours supported the tagging of Gypsies, Jews, queers, and other "undesirables" in pre-Nazi Germany.

Let there be no mistake: the extreme religionists are at war against the rest of us.

They have made their intentions clear. They do not try to deceive us. They tell us what they want: religious rule in our courts and government.

If you do not speak up against their madness, you are contributing to their success.

And that is why you religionists need to speak up against them, loudly condemn them as false prophets, and demand that church and state be separated and remain separate.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:35 AM on December 21, 2006


as guilty as (yes, I'm going to go there) those quiet Germans

OH NO YOU DIH-INT!
posted by sonofsamiam at 8:46 AM on December 21, 2006


pyramid, it may have been like that in small towns, but not everywhere--and certainly not in our cities on the coasts--and our federal government was involved--and not funding faith-based (in reality, 98+% Christian) orgs with our tax money, nor tying foreign aid to Christian demands for abstinence and no distribution of condoms in the midst of a worldwide AIDS pandemic.

Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon---none of those people did what Bush has done. ... Since 2001 dozens of far-right Christian fundamentalists have been quietly installed in key positions within the Department of Health and Human Services, the Federal Drug Administration and on commissions and advisory committees where they have made serious progress. Three years later this administration has established one of the most rigid sexual health agendas in the Western world. ... There is significant evidence that the scope and scale of the manipulation, suppression and misrepresentation of science by the Bush administration is unprecedented... There is a well-established pattern of suppression and distortion of scientific findings by high-ranking Bush administration political appointees across numerous federal agencies. These actions have consequences for human health, public safety, and community well-being." (Union of Concerned Scientists, report, Scientific Integrity in Policymaking. 2004.) ...
posted by amberglow at 9:03 AM on December 21, 2006


that should be--"our federal government was not involved"
posted by amberglow at 9:03 AM on December 21, 2006


The extreme religionists are determined to exert their rule over the rest of us.

their chances of actually doing so are pretty small ...

If you do not speak up against their madness, you are contributing to their success.

except that if and when the success of a demogogue or a fascist-type party happens in this country, it won't be done under the banner of religion ... that's not enough to hold the people's loyalty, as gwb found out ... (and any religious government would soon fall to squabbling between catholics/various protestants ... the history of europe is proof of that)

no, you need either an appeal to security ... (omg! the terrorists! the immigrants!) ... or economics ... the republicans haven't gotten far enough with the appeal to security ... it remains to be seen if someone could get far enough with the appeal to economics ... (i think both will have to be used)

in short, i think popular fascism is most likely to come from the center or the center/left ... that is, when things change for the worse ... those leading it may give lip service to the religious right, just as hitler occasionally did, but they'll show them as much deference as hitler did, once they're in power - as little as possible

(i needn't say where corporate fascism would come from ... and that may be the most likely scenario of all)

basically, keep an eye on the preachers, but remember there are bigger enemies lurking around ...

pyramid, it may have been like that in small towns, but not everywhere

i'm sure you're right about that, but remember that the roots of the evangelicals are small-town america ... their increased involvement in national politics is from their losing ground in society ... it's an age-old thing - groups that find themselves being marginalized attempting to compensate by getting into politics ... i see them as trading political power for what they had in cultural power ... and if they haven't figured it out already, they're going to find out that political power isn't all that useful for what they want to accomplish

btw, much of the scientific suppression you cite has nothing to do with religious interests and everything to do with corporate ones ... which is another political fact the fundies are becoming acquainted with
posted by pyramid termite at 9:14 AM on December 21, 2006


athiest dumbass league assemble!

by furiously masturbating on metafilter, i strike a blow for the reistance hurf durf enlightenment

oh and ur nazis
posted by Snyder at 9:15 AM on December 21, 2006


snyder, can i interest you in a slightly used nemesis?
posted by pyramid termite at 9:30 AM on December 21, 2006


pyramid, all the instances and people cited have been specifically placed in positions over which they influence approval of drugs and information that involve issues they care about. The morning-after thing was not a corporate fight. The removal of sexual info from govt. websites was not a corp fight. You need to read about this stuff--none of it was corporate. Corporations want to make money by distributing condoms all over the world on the fed's dime--now they can't.

more on Haggard and pals--they still refuse to admit that God made them gay, and that their lifelong "struggles" are from a conflict between who they were, and what they were taught.
posted by amberglow at 9:55 AM on December 21, 2006


snyder, can i interest you in a slightly used nemesis?

depends, what did you use him for?
posted by Snyder at 11:44 AM on December 21, 2006


depends
posted by pyramid termite at 12:05 PM on December 21, 2006


so you're saying he's full of crap...yeah, i could do something with that
posted by Snyder at 12:07 PM on December 21, 2006


athiest dumbass league assemble!

From now on, I will reference this comment as A.D.L.A.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 12:27 PM on December 21, 2006


I see (again) the words, the rituals, the clothing, the preaching are more vital to "believers" than the message. As much as that would sadden the part of me (atheist or no) that is moved by the character of Jesus, I can only conclude that the religion and its church and flocks need not retooling, but eradication. Won't happen? Let me know when Diana's cults, Ea's followers, Gilgamesh's circles, and Huitzilopochtli 's priests are gathering. You see, you don't care about the message.. you care about the outward forms.. and so that is all christianity amounts to anymore. You'll at least have your terms to take with you into obscurity.
2000 years is nothing.
posted by sarcasman at 12:45 PM on December 21, 2006


I think a pertinent question to ask is, why do so many people so desperately need a Lord or King to tell them how to live their lives? Practically no American would consciously surrender him or herself to the pronouncements of some non-religious leader; why then do so many do so for "God," as represented by some charismatic preacher type?

Why are we so caught up in Jesus being our Lord and Saviour, that we forget he's also our brother and our friend?
posted by zoogleplex at 1:08 PM on December 21, 2006


for pyramid, and just one of what we see every single day: GOP Rep: "Stability In Iraq Ultimately Depends On Spreading The Message Of Jesus Christ"...
Robin Hayes has the solution to the Iraq war: have our soldiers convert all Muslims to Christianity. ...
(there's no distinction made (it never is) between any different flavors of Christianity or his own particular flavor)
posted by amberglow at 2:11 PM on December 21, 2006


zoogleplex, i don't think it's true that no American would surrender themselves--people really don't want to have to deal with tons of stuff, and feel that that's why we elect people to serve--let them be "the decider".
posted by amberglow at 2:12 PM on December 21, 2006


Well, at least in theory our electoral process allows a great deal of review of the "decider's" performance. It's one thing to delegate important societal and political functions to people who we think (or hope) can do a decent job at, subject to dismissal if they do poorly; quite another to completely subjugate one's will to some authority.

Not saying people haven't fallen into a trap, forgetting that our elected officials work for us as opposed to ruling us, but it ain't the same thing.
posted by zoogleplex at 2:21 PM on December 21, 2006


Evangelist's gay escort signs for explicit tell-all.
posted by ericb at 2:36 PM on December 21, 2006


(there's no distinction made (it never is) between any different flavors of Christianity or his own particular flavor)

well, none that was made by the writers of either blog entry ...

but you seem shocked by the idea that our country might be run, in part, by those who belong to the local rotarian club or that they have certain religious views

it's been that way for decades

oh and sarcasman - I see (again) the words, the rituals, the clothing, the preaching are more vital to "believers" than the message.

one could say the same about the rationalists who post irrational screeds, the free thinkers who call thoughts they don't agree with stupid, or the pro-diversity people who pile onto those who express what are minority viewpoints here
posted by pyramid termite at 3:29 PM on December 21, 2006



but you seem shocked by the idea that our country might be run, in part, by those who belong to the local rotarian club or that they have certain religious views


Nope--it's when they want the government and military to enforce and impose those certain religious views.
posted by amberglow at 3:34 PM on December 21, 2006


pyramid termite writes "quit blaming other people for your mistakes, quit lying and quit whining"

Umm... I didn't blame anyone for my mistake, I'd love it if you showed me where I have lied, and I'm not whining.

pyramid termite writes "but as far as your 'mistake', it's understandable - we all sound alike to you, don't we? ... "

I'm not sure what you're implying here. I can think of a few ugly possibilities, but in the interest of giving you the benefit of the doubt, I'll discount them. So, explain what you mean, please.

pyramid termite writes "i did NOT put words in your mouth"

Um, actually, yes you have. You did it here, and here.

pyramid termite writes "your words had obvious implications that i brought out"

No they didn't, and no you didn't. Instead, you very selectively read what I wrote, and responded accordingly.

pyramid termite writes "just as it's obvious that you feel that muslims have a 'duty' to say certain things, although you don't have the guts or the intellectual honesty to come right out and SAY it, but whine like a sniveling, two-faced, wretched coward that i'm building straw men and putting words in your mouth when i confront you with the obvious meaning of your words - that you're going to assume that a muslim approves of fanaticism until he says he doesn't"

Sorry, but no. I'm well aware that mainstream Islam is as horrified by the people acting in their name as I am. When I meet a Muslim, the only assumptions I make are that they probably pray 5 times a day whilst facing east, and avoid pork and alcohol. I'd also make the assumption that s/he is almost certainly not a fanatic and/or terrorist, as they are by far in the minority.

Nowhere, ever, did I say that the assumption was that Person X of Group Y approves of what subgroup Z is doing. But you keep--deliberately?--missing the point, which is this:

When people are doing abominable things in your name, you have a duty to speak out against it, and say that those people do not speak or act for you or with your approval.

However, you're unlikely to actually get that, as you're far, far too busy spewing out insults over imagined slights.

pyramid termite writes "just as you're going to assume that a christian believes gays are going to hell until he says that he doesn't believe that ... those WERE the implications of your words, and if that meaning was NOT your intent, then you need to say so without accusing others of misrepresenting you"

Given that I have said repeatedly that I know that most Christians don't hate the gay, I was rather under the impression that there was no further need to allay fears of that sort of incorrect implication. But, again, you have been very selectively reading what I have been writing, and thus completely disregarded everything that I have said that could shake whatever little view you have decided to project on me.

Here's an exercise: try actually reading everything I have written in this thread, and stack it up against the straw men and false attributions you have built up.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 3:43 PM on December 21, 2006


When people are doing abominable things in your name, you have a duty to speak out against it, and say that those people do not speak or act for you or with your approval.


translation - "when people are doing abominable things in the name of an ideology that's related to yours, i'm going to lump you in with them unless you say that those people do not speak or act for you or with your approval"

that is EXACTLY what you mean and no, you are NOT getting away with it

the whole phrase "in your name" gives it away ... you believe in collective responsibility ... you believe in collective guilt

i don't ... and it's THAT simple

i am NOT backing down from this ... period ... no matter how many times you spin this, it still comes off as bigoted to me and it always will

so give it up ... you're just going to have to live with the idea that someone thinks you're a bigot
posted by pyramid termite at 3:56 PM on December 21, 2006


one more thing - other people do not exist as a vehicle for you to force your views through by browbeating them and telling them that they have a "duty" to say what YOU want them to say

if there's something you want said, it's YOUR responsibility to say it, not someone else's

i utterly loathe the intellectual laziness and sense of entitlement that you've been expressing here ... people on the right do this crap all the time to their opponents ... "why don't you say this?" ... "why don't you say that?" ...

don't try to make people into your sock puppets
posted by pyramid termite at 4:06 PM on December 21, 2006


We're stunned and amazed that you let these haters speak for you and of your God over and over daily in all media and in all ways. We're flabbergasted that you don't see it as any kind of responsibility nor as any kind of obligation--many of us are forced to conclude that you do agree with them since you're always silent. Many of us are forced to conclude that if you don't agree, you don't care enough to do anything about it. Again--stunned and amazed, especially considering Jesus' life and example--the founder of your religion--and theirs.
posted by amberglow at 4:10 PM on December 21, 2006


pyramid termite writes "translation - 'when people are doing abominable things in the name of an ideology that's related to yours, i'm going to lump you in with them unless you say that those people do not speak or act for you or with your approval'

that is EXACTLY what you mean and no, you are NOT getting away with it
"


*sigh*

No. That is not what I'm saying, and it is not what I mean. You can project as much as you like, but that doesn't make it true.

Please note--although you haven't the last few times I've said this--that I know that most Christians do not hate the gay.

However, they are tarnishing you by claiming to act in your name. They claim they are acting for Christians. You are a Christian. They are claiming to be acting for you.

It's all well and good for you to say that you don't believe in collective guilt, fine. You could have said so without the incoherence, putting words in my mouth, and ignoring practically everything I was saying.

pyramid termite writes "so give it up ... you're just going to have to live with the idea that someone thinks you're a bigot"

Yes, you think that. You're also completely wrong, since I have pointed out TIME AND FUCKING TIME AGAIN that I do not think that all Christians are the same as the minority subset that is fundamentalist Christianity. But, as I said above, that runs counter to what you have chosen to believe, and you will therefore not listen.

I am not trying to force you to do anything. Again, you're projecting. But fi you're happy with the idea of people doing horrific things while claiming they are the same as you, without refuting it, then by all means go ahead. I don't need to draw the obvious parallels, as they have already been drawn. Silence is complicity--it is not approval, and I have never said that it is. But to remain silent in the face of such things is to be complicit in them.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 4:14 PM on December 21, 2006


You guys don't even fiddle while Rome burns, you pull your blinds down and turn up the radio. Also, while you guys turn away, we get hurt, the country gets hurt, and your whole religion suffers. (I won't even mention the same people funding many of these haters are fomenting dissent in mainline churches--the Episcopalian thing is entirely funded by Scaife and his ilk--don't even dream your own flavor is safe.)
posted by amberglow at 4:15 PM on December 21, 2006


More from the NYT on Presbyterians, Methodists, Episcopalians and these people: ... In each denomination, the flashpoint is homosexuality, but there is another common denominator as well. In each case, the Institute on Religion and Democracy, a small organization based in Washington, has helped incubate traditionalist insurrections against the liberal politics of the denomination's leaders.
With financing from a handful of conservative donors, including the Scaife family foundations, the Bradley and Olin Foundations and Howard and Roberta Ahmanson's Fieldstead & Company, the 23-year-old institute is now playing a pivotal role in the biggest battle over the future of American Protestantism since churches split over slavery at the time of the Civil War. ...
posted by amberglow at 4:19 PM on December 21, 2006


Well, now there's something that non-fundie Christians should be concerned about. These people are trying to infiltrate and take over all the other Protestant churches from the inside out. If for some reason you don't care enough about the human rights abuse problem, that's fine, but you really should be concerned about them fomenting revolution in your own ranks.

They're trying to turn your church into their church, you see? Their church doesn't believe in the same things yours does. Are you going to let them do that?

Where do you stand on that, pyramid? I don't remember your particular denomination, I apologize for that. I guess I'm asking, what would they have to do for you to consider what they're doing a threat to your own church and beliefs?
posted by zoogleplex at 4:35 PM on December 21, 2006


I am not trying to force you to do anything. Again, you're projecting.

you're bullying people ... which often happens in these threads ... and i'm no longer interested in being subjected to it

Silence is complicity

note the arrogant assumption that i have been silent ... i have spoken out about it here and other places many times

i doubt i'll continue to do so here, as it obviously counts for nothing ...

You guys don't even fiddle while Rome burns, you pull your blinds down and turn up the radio. Also, while you guys turn away, we get hurt, the country gets hurt, and your whole religion suffers.

i AM going to turn away from it on metafilter ... no common ground is possible with many of the hotheads who post here ... the well's been poisoned and there's no point in my subjecting myself to this every time i participate in these discussions

the brutal truth of the matter is that my (and others') rather moderate viewpoints on this subject aren't welcome here ... less and less of us choose to participate

on preview, zoogleplex, i consider some of what i read here to be as much of a threat to my beliefs and my freedom as what the fundies profess

i have no interest whatsoever in discussing my rather unconventional beliefs in this forum, due to the hostile environment
posted by pyramid termite at 4:52 PM on December 21, 2006


Fair enough.
posted by zoogleplex at 4:55 PM on December 21, 2006


How am I threatening your beliefs and your freedom? Seriously, how? The only thing I ask--have ever asked--is for fundies (and, frankly, others who are socially retrograde) to keep their fucking laws and their piss-poor excuse for 'morality' out of my life.

So unless you agree with them, I don't really have any beef with your religious beliefs.

Also, you can claim that I'm bullying. Which is rich, coming from someone who is selectively (mis)reading what I'm writing, putting words into my mouth, ascribing motivations to me that I have categorically and repeatedly shown to be false... shall I go on?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:01 PM on December 21, 2006


How am I threatening your beliefs and your freedom?

by attempting to dictate what i have a "duty" to say

how long is it going to take until you realize that i am grossly offended by this as a writer, as a poet, as a musician, as a human being?

no matter how right or proper the "something" be, the idea that i have a "duty" to say something is utterly repugnant to me ... i reject it, i refuse it, i would rather be silent for the rest of my life than to submit to someone else's conception of what i have a "duty" to say

you want something said? ... SAY IT YOURSELF!
posted by pyramid termite at 5:34 PM on December 21, 2006


Ah, you'd rather be silent than do the right thing?

Well done. Now I understand what you are: selfish.

Bye.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:06 PM on December 21, 2006


Ah, you'd rather be silent than do the right thing?

there's no possibility of nuance in your worldview, is there? ... (by the way, you've just put words in my mouth ... i guess it's alright when YOU do it)

Well done. Now I understand what you are: selfish.

he says, as he loudly demands HIS rights and tolerance of HIM while refusing to recognize my rights or tolerate me

good luck with that ... good luck with your sense of entitlement, your shrill and strident rhetoric and your refusal to see that other people's rights and priorities are just as important as yours ... good luck with bullying and guilttripping people into being mouthpieces for your point of view ... and good luck with calling people who stand up to it and refuse it selfish

who knows? ... someday, you may even grow up enough to realize that selfish isn't always a bad thing, nor is it always an insult

the truth is when you demand that i say certain things you are seeing and attempting to use me as a tool to your own ends, and not as a human being in my own right

i refuse to allow that
posted by pyramid termite at 6:29 PM on December 21, 2006 [1 favorite]


Dear AskMetafilter:
Has anyone ever had their mind changed or their opinion altered as a result of these threads? Kthanks!
posted by The Deej at 7:46 PM on December 21, 2006


pyramid termite writes "no matter how right or proper the 'something' be, the idea that i have a 'duty' to say something is utterly repugnant to me ... i reject it, i refuse it, i would rather be silent"

Uh, no, I didn't put any words in your mouth. I said "You'd rather be silent than do the right thing". That is precisely what you said. Knowing the right thing and refusing to do it merely because someone states their opinion is that you have a duty to do that thing is the pinnacle of selfish, stubborn behaviour.

pyramid termite writes "he says, as he loudly demands HIS rights and tolerance of HIM while refusing to recognize my rights or tolerate me"

Um, where did I say I do not recognize your rights? Oh...right... I didn't. Where did I say that I will not tolerate you? Oh...right...I didn't.

pyramid termite writes "who knows? ... someday, you may even grow up enough to realize that selfish isn't always a bad thing, nor is it always an insult"

Hah! Was it Churchill who said "Anyone who is a conservative at 30 has no heart, and anyone who is a liberal at 40 has no brain"? (Apologies if misquoted). I see a clear parallel... selfishness increases with age, and, naturally, those hwo become more selfish therefore see selfishness as a good thing. Pathetic.

Either way, I'm done with you. I was having fun for a while, but you have simply become tiresome. Rather than actually engage me on what I said, you would prefer to engage me on your projections and deliberate misunderstandings--despite repeated explanations--of what I have said. That makes you pathetic.

At no point have I said you are not entitled to your opinion. I am, however, allowed--by your own standards--to be of the opinion that your position is stupid, and that you are not behaving in the way that I think we should all behave. Or am I not allowed to have my own views? Your position, or lack thereof, is clearly indicated by your behaviour: repeatedly putting words in my mouth, repeatedly refusing to actually pay any attention to what I have written, preferring instead to project your strawmen, and repeatedly insulting me--moreover, insulting me for a mistake which I had made and subsequently issued an unconditional mea culpa for.

And I'm the childish one. Of course. Physician, heal thyself. Or something.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:18 PM on December 21, 2006


Oh, also?

Show me where I demanded that you say anything.

Right... didn't.

I stated, repeatedly and with supporting argument, that I feel you have a duty to discredit those who would perpetrate atrocity in your name. There is a big difference, and if you were less intellectually dishonest you would see that difference.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:20 PM on December 21, 2006


Show me where I demanded that you say anything.

"duty" ... not to mention that you've spent two days nagging me over this issue ... whether you actually use the word demand, the tone of your words and your perpetual supply of them, are in fact demanding

i think i've discovered the problem here ... it is your sloppy and slovenly use of the english language ... you use words as cant without any consideration of what their meanings and implications are ... duty has a meaning of obligation and compulsion ... something someone MUST do ... and you throw it around casually as something i "should" do or something that it would be "unselfish" for me to do

I said "You'd rather be silent than do the right thing". That is precisely what you said.

it is not ... again, you are misusing another english word - "precisely"

Um, where did I say I do not recognize your rights?

your stubborn refusal to see that i have legitimate objections to your attitude speaks for itself

Where did I say that I will not tolerate you?

your stubborn refusal to see that i have legitimate objections to your attitude speaks for itself

Hah! Was it Churchill who said

appeal to authority ...

Either way, I'm done with you.

like you were last time?

Rather than actually engage me on what I said

i have engaged you on what you said ... you haven't cared for it

Your position, or lack thereof, is clearly indicated by your behaviour:

at which point, you proceed to project your own rhetorical tactics on to me

I stated, repeatedly and with supporting argument, that I feel you have a duty to discredit those who would perpetrate atrocity in your name.

the claim that people are doing things "in my name" is a low and dirty carnard, a cheap rhetorical trick, and a way to get me to embark on a fruitless crusade against people who will not be persuaded of anything, for the most part

in fact, the real problem here is that you think that my saying something is actually doing something ... you believe that them saying something was done in my name is actually doing something

(in fact, let's look at that little piece of rhetoric closely ... "in my name" ... are they actually using my real name? ... no ... my screen name? ... no ... are they using any phrase to claim they are representing a group of people that a thinking person wouldn't recognize as cheap and sloppy rhetoric? ... no ... in fact, what do they say these days? ... they are "protecting marriage" ... they are "standing up for what god wants" ... neither phrase involves MY name at all, does it?)

but somehow spewing forth all this crap is "doing" something ... in my name ... and then, of course, you believe that pointing they are doing something by "speaking in my name" is actually "doing" something ... and you insist that i must "do" something by objecting to this

in short, you think rhetoric and online rantings actually accomplish something ... (and if not, why have you been arguing about it so insistently?)

but i see where i've made my worst mistake ... in that i've allowed you and the others to get away with the BIG LIE

show me where ANYONE has used MY NAME to justify anything ... (and no, MY NAME is NOT christianity or christian or anything of the sort) ... of course, you'll have to figure out what MY NAME actually IS, but a rude, overreaching and presumptious person like you shouldn't find that too difficult ...

and then you can explain why them SAYING things is actually DOING things ...

and, at last, if you can't find an actual example of someone committing an atrocity while mentioning me, BY NAME, you can simply admit that you've overindulged in rhetorical dramatics and that it's all hypothetical wankery on your part and means absolutely nothing in the real world
posted by pyramid termite at 5:32 AM on December 22, 2006


They're publicly and continually defining you and all your co-religionists and acting terribly in your name and using your numbers as their own--and not in a good way--and whether you think they're speaking for you or not, they are. in reality doing so all the time.

Your reaction here shows that it bothers you to be defined by them.

You guys are actually easier for them to win against, unlike us, and they're already winning with many denominations. They'll schism you all into even more fragmentation and silence, and your personal silences will continue, and their non-Christian attacks on the rest of us will continue and intensify. So be it. Being Christian really does mean, i guess, that how they define and use it and act using it as a shield and sword is the way it is.

We know what we're up against--one day you'll learn--hopefully not too late.
posted by amberglow at 6:46 AM on December 22, 2006


i have no interest whatsoever in discussing my rather unconventional beliefs in this forum, due to the hostile environment

I've pretty much given up discussing religion anywhere online that is not specificially devoted to the topic.
posted by sonofsamiam at 7:11 AM on December 22, 2006


I did not use the phrase "broad brush" in this thread. However,I am pleased to be Baby Ballrag's nemesis. May the battle commence in ernest.

That would be the Ballrag who uses "fuck" liberally when arguing with his opponents, and a self-proclaimed pastor in the UCC.
posted by spitbull at 7:22 AM on December 22, 2006


Er, "earnest." Ernest is a country singer.
posted by spitbull at 7:23 AM on December 22, 2006


By the way, a "ballrag" is a fishing lure. Here is a ballrag. Just in case I was being misunderstood as implying B_B was a cloth used to wipe the sweat off of one's testicles . . . I would never say something so crude!
posted by spitbull at 7:26 AM on December 22, 2006


They're publicly and continually defining you and all your co-religionists

including 79 million self-professed catholics in the us? ... i was raised catholic although i've fallen away ... but trust me when i say that no protestant is ever going to be seen by believing catholics as speaking for them or in their name

and as a person of irish descent, you can believe me when i say that no believing irish catholic is EVER going to tolerate life under a protestant dictatorship

that's the forgotten reason for the freedom of religion cause ... it's not just that the founding fathers wanted to guard people's freedoms ... they wanted to avoid the long bloody and senseless wars that had convulsed europe

and acting terribly in your name and using your numbers as their own

see above

but only a few people actually take this bullshit seriously ... mostly those who actually feel they have something at stake in the culture wars

most people in this country are getting sick of the squabbling

Your reaction here shows that it bothers you to be defined by them.

it bothers me to be screamed at by hotheads on both sides of the issues ... as it bothers millions of other people

it also bothers me that people forget there are 79 million christians who do not identify with any of the churches that come up in these controversies

the most likely reaction is going to be "a pox on both of your houses" as soon as times change ... we may be headed towards economic, social, military and/or environmental crisis ... and i guarantee you that this argument won't seem any more important than it would have in 1933 or 1942

when people are mostly worried about keeping food on their table and whether the next world war is going to start (or if it will be won), they're not going to care about this ... and yes, this is where we are going

Being Christian really does mean, i guess, that how they define and use it and act using it as a shield and sword is the way it is.

the church has already tried that method and found it wanting

We know what we're up against--one day you'll learn--hopefully not too late.

no, actually you don't know what we're up against ... in fact, only a few of us even seem to have a clue

but we will all find out soon enough ... and it won't be anything as easy to defeat as fundie preachers

you seem to think that they will start a fascist movement ... but they have a long way to go ... and they need a bigger, broader issue than two guys wanting to get married ... and by the time that bigger broader issue slaps us ALL in the face, their concerns will seem quite minor

the shit's going to hit the fan before they can even get a decent head of steam ... if we're going to have fascism, i think it's most likely to be corporate fascism

next would be populist fascism that may co-opt some religious adherents

close after that would be nationalist fascism, which again could co-opt the religious

in a distant 4th comes the religious fanatics ... who, if they did find themselves in power would have the immediate problem of keeping 79 million catholics from getting pissed off at them ... or listening to some person in vatican city proclaim that their government was illegitimate and unchristian

that's all it would take
posted by pyramid termite at 7:30 AM on December 22, 2006


By the way, a "ballrag" is a fishing lure.

best used when trolling?
posted by pyramid termite at 7:31 AM on December 22, 2006


amberglow, your hypocrisy is showing. oh yeah, there are no homophobic jews or rabbis, not at all! it's great! you smack them down. whatever

also, i asked you tihs before when you got all self-righteous, but you didnt answer, but ill take you seriously when you comdemn yourself for being american with the same words you reserve for christians.

pyramid termite, is that offer for a nemesis still open...he seems fun

fuck me, i have no idea why i'm even bothering to give a shit abpout this thread, its garbage

bored at work i guess
posted by Snyder at 8:37 AM on December 22, 2006


ill take you seriously when you comdemn yourself for being american with the same words you reserve for christians.

touche

pyramid termite, is that offer for a nemesis still open...he seems fun

well, i was talking about dnab ... i don't believe amberglow's been taken ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:54 AM on December 22, 2006


All it takes for evil to win is for good people to stand silent.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:00 AM on December 22, 2006



amberglow, your hypocrisy is showing. oh yeah, there are no homophobic jews or rabbis, not at all! it's great! you smack them down. whatever

Not whatever, idiot--point me to the ones on tv and in all media every single day defining Judaism and denying others the rights they deserve in America the way your insane people are defining Christianity. Point me to the rabbis and prominent Jews fighting to deny rights who aren't marginalized and who are given airtime whenever they want. I'll wait. I'll be waiting forever. You let a minority of Christians do evil in your name. We don't let a minority of Jews deny any American rights. Every single organization and many millions of us speak up and out every single time any Jews says something insane publicly--see the Prager/Muslim thing, for instance--we make it clear they don't speak for us, we get our organizations working against them, and we get them marginalized--why don't you try it sometime? And since you guys don't even consider that you have responsibility towards your haters, why bring this up?

I'm not the hypocrite at all--i act consistently towards those who would deny any American rights--no matter what their religion. I also take responsibility for the actions of any group i belong to--whether a government or religion.

I condemn this stuff, and i've said before we are all responsible for what our govt does in our name--i say it all the time--all.of. the.time. You guys don't. I know that we have collective responsibility in many many ways--you guys don't.

And don't dare call it squabbling--they're fighting and winning in denying us rights, while you sit on the sidelines.
posted by amberglow at 9:06 AM on December 22, 2006


one more thing--turning this around to attack us does not absolve you of your responsibility at all in any way. Nice try though.
posted by amberglow at 9:09 AM on December 22, 2006


The only thing a Christian is obligated to do is behave like a Christian a follow the example of Christ.

I have 24 hours in my day, 7 of which I spend sleeping. If I followed your logic, dnab, I would be obligated to spend my day following the Xian right around, smacking down every little piece of ridiculous drivel that comes out of their mouth. I choose, rather, to live by example.

As for the IRD - they have had some success, in some cities, at turning traditionalists against one another. Yes, they do represent an immediate danger to the church, but this is something John Thomas, president of the UCC has addressed in depth and pastors are regularly briefed on how to deal with this issue. My church is growing, we are bringing in new funding for our work (which includes, as mentioned above, a not-insignificant amount of funding for gay rights activities) and, working locally - we are making a positive difference.

"The Christian Right supports the war! or The Christian Right opposes global warming policy! or The Christian Right supports the death penalty! or The Christian Right sends missionaries to other countries and strips them of their native culture! or The Christian Right wants to ban abortion! or The Christian Right wants to teach my kids that the stars in the sky are the spangles on the virgin mary's sweater! or whatever the issue" -

I do NOT have a DUTY to track down every pet issue that's attacked by the Christian Right and devote my waking life to defeating them. I'm sorry. That's just not my job.
My job is to try to follow the edicts of Christ as directed in Matt 25 and the Beatitudes and elsewhere.

If you have a valid opposition to a policy of the Christian Right that is reasonable then YOU have the responsibility to speak up and YOU need to make your voice heard.

My blinders aren't up but frankly of all the issues where I'VE been attacked for being a Christian, gay rights is the only one where I feel like there's this gestapo-like attitude toward all Xians - even though most of them support the cause.

And, spitbull - There is no prohibition against using explicit language in the scriptures. Jesus curses all the damn time. I'd go into greater detail on this but I'm sure you're familiar with the first four books of the NT and are already aware of this.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:23 AM on December 22, 2006


I condemn this stuff, and i've said before we are all responsible for what our govt does in our name--i say it all the time--all.of. the.time. You guys don't.

Amberglow, this is simply not true and you know it. Do you honestly believe, honestly, that the gay rights movement is predominantly populated by non-Christians?
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:24 AM on December 22, 2006


I'm not asleep on the job. I'm honestly trying as hard as I can. And the vast majority of Christians I associate with, at school and at work, are just as concerned.
For you, this is a fight over the future of your rights as citizens.
For us, this is a fight over the future existence of our very belief system, and the continued existence of the Church.

I take these issues very, very seriously.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 9:29 AM on December 22, 2006


All it takes for evil to win is for good people to stand silent.

which is why some of us are objecting to the evil gospel of collective responsibility that some here are trying to shove down our throats

this gospel of collective responsibility is the cause of religious persecution, racism and ethnic strife ... and it has killed millions of people in the last century alone

i believe it should not be practiced against gay people ... but it's obvious to me that some gay people aren't willing to reciprocate that
posted by pyramid termite at 11:04 AM on December 22, 2006


this gospel of collective responsibility is the cause of religious persecution, racism and ethnic strife ... and it has killed millions of people in the last century alone

I'm sorry you only see it in negative terms, and not in the power for good that collective responsibility contains. Have you not heard of checks and balances? Or movements in general? If it were not for people caring about those other than their own families and kind, progress would never happen, and we'd still be serfs or slaves. There's collective blame, collective responsibility, and collective duties--some of which we have because of being human, some thru religion, some thru government, and some thru the very witnessing of injustice done towards us or others.
posted by amberglow at 11:16 AM on December 22, 2006


that Jesus guy spoke of it a lot, apparently. My own religion as well.
posted by amberglow at 11:18 AM on December 22, 2006


welp, im not a christian, but good job showing off your prejudices (no one can possibly disagree with me unless their christian HURR)

answer: william kristol, http://jonahweb.org/ , rabbi reuven bulka, http://drdawgsblawg.blogspot.com/2006/06/honours-for-homophobe-confirmed.html

for a few.

and no, i didnt see the popular jewish repudation of pragers remarks. of course, i dont therefore assume all jews are anti-muslim bigots, either, and not because jews are all sweetness and light and shit candy-floss. i don't, being a (non-observant) jew and all (so FUCK YOU for assuming)
posted by Snyder at 11:27 AM on December 22, 2006


related: Nativity of the Jews (Newsweek) ... more complex, more demanding, broader. It is about all of us, and the work we must take on, rather than the story of the birth of a Messiah who would take the sins of the world on himself. From our birth in Exodus, we learn that God did not simply call us into being, but continually has expectations of us. We were brought into being as a people with a collective conscience. ...
From the story of the nativity of the Jews, we learn that life is inherently arduous but also sacred; our task is to repair and perfect God's creation. What challenges do Christians undertake from the Gospels' Nativity stories? Perhaps Christian faith in Jesus will be understood as the faith of Jesus, so the Jewish values of education and social responsibility that his parents inculcated in him will be renewed for Christians in their celebration of his birth.

posted by amberglow at 11:37 AM on December 22, 2006


and no, i didnt see the popular jewish repudation of pragers remarks.

Did you look?
posted by SBMike at 11:51 AM on December 22, 2006


The Deej writes "Has anyone ever had their mind changed or their opinion altered as a result of these threads? Kthanks!"

I'm sure that I'm not the only one whose opinion of a few people has been altered by these kinds of threads...
posted by concrete at 12:24 PM on December 22, 2006


I'm sorry you only see it in negative terms, and not in the power for good that collective responsibility contains.

that's disingenuous, amberglow ... you weren't talking about the collective responsibility of society as a whole, but of "you guys" having responsibility towards "your haters"

you can't argue that we're all responsible and then try to have it mean that only SOME of us are responsible

(also, i might point out that if everyone is responsible, ultimately NO one is responsible ... the tragedy of the commons comes to mind ...)
posted by pyramid termite at 1:20 PM on December 22, 2006


you can't argue that we're all responsible and then try to have it mean that only SOME of us are responsible
we are ALL responsible for each other and SOME of us have distinct responsibilities as well--for instance, when one of our own is insane and hurting others. The ADL doesn't just fight and smack down insane Jews and insane Anti-Semites--it smacks down those who attack Muslims as well, and those who would make this a theocracy. (There's a reason Goode would never dare say about Jews in public what he feels perfectly free to say about Muslims in this day and age.)

There are all sorts of levels of responsibility, but cleaning your own house and not letting others speak for you when they're hateful and insane and hurting us and this whole country is certainly up there in the hierarchy.

also, i might point out that if everyone is responsible, ultimately NO one is responsible
Nope. It does not follow.
posted by amberglow at 1:43 PM on December 22, 2006


SOME of us have distinct responsibilities as well--for instance, when one of our own

stop right there ... which part of THEY'RE NOT MINE don't you understand?

you don't like it when konolia implies that gay people are responsible for pedophiles but you're more than willing to make me responsible for every fanatic waving a bible around

you can't have it both ways ... if konolia's not justified than neither are you ... and if you ARE justified than she is ... as are the pragers of the world and the arabs who blame all jews for the actions of israel

your logic is the same as theirs

if you're not willing to fight this kind of thinking in ALL forms, even when it benefits you to think that way, then you aren't really fighting it at all, you're perpetuating it

you're becoming the monster you war against

also, i might point out that if everyone is responsible, ultimately NO one is responsible
Nope. It does not follow.

then your understanding of human nature is limited
posted by pyramid termite at 2:02 PM on December 22, 2006


you don't like it when konolia implies that gay people are responsible for pedophiles but you're more than willing to make me responsible for every fanatic waving a bible around

Pedophiles are not gay. Pedophiles are sick and criminals, who are treated as such. Pedophiles do not hide behind a larger Gay community, nor do they pretend to speak or act for all Gay people ever. Pedophiles are not trying to deny others rights.

Note the differences. It's not hard.

Our society deals with pedophiles. They have nothing to do with gay people nor do they say they do. Nor do they use the gay and lesbian population to have laws and things enacted or to have their own specific beliefs made all of our laws.
posted by amberglow at 2:30 PM on December 22, 2006


Pedophiles are not gay.

you know as well as i do that some people make that argument, even though it's wrong

baptists or pentecostals or whatever are not catholics

they do not hide behind a larger christian community because many of them do not consider catholics or mainstream denominations to be christians ... when they say christian, they are not including many others who call themselves christians

before they were trying to reestablish laws against homosexuals and preaching against them they were calling catholics "statue worshippers" and the pope "the anti-christ" ... (and to be perfectly fair, we were calling them "snake-handlers" and accusing them of heresy)

they have moderated somewhat but not all of them ... and for you to stand on the outside and claim that we are all part of a monolithic religion shows a gross ignorance of the social and historical facts

what you do not understand is that for a catholic or a lutheran or a methodist to tell a southern baptist or a pentecostal that his church is preaching hate against homosexuals will get the response that our church is preaching false doctrine and/or we aren't following our own church's doctrine properly ... it's clear to me that you've talked little with people like this ... the best you'll get is konolia's old standby about how we're all sinners who need the grace of god, no matter what the sin is

the worst will be that you're going to hell because you're going to a church that preaches cotton candy religion instead of the true word of god ... you have utterly no idea how stubborn, self-marginalized, and fraticidal some of these people are ... to claim they are "ours" not only ignores the social realities, but it does a pretty damn good job of ignoring the last 500 years of western history ... much of which was spent by catholics and protestants killing each other

all you can ask us to do is vote for the people and the bills that support you, which i do ... we cannot control, persuade or deal with these people ... they aren't "ours", they never were "ours" and they disowned us a long time ago

continuing to lump us in all together is simply an admission of ignorance ... and now that i've suggested that you look into the historical background on this, it's going to be willful ignorance on your part if you continue to do this

by the way ... you didn't say a word about the other examples of bigotry i cited
posted by pyramid termite at 3:46 PM on December 22, 2006


The Deej writes "Has anyone ever had their mind changed or their opinion altered as a result of these threads? Kthanks!"

I'm sure that I'm not the only one whose opinion of a few people has been altered by these kinds of threads...


Well, I'd have to agree with you there, concrete. But when it comes to the bigger questions, I have my doubts.
posted by The Deej at 4:51 PM on December 22, 2006


Baby_Balrog writes "My blinders aren't up but frankly of all the issues where I'VE been attacked for being a Christian, gay rights is the only one where I feel like there's this gestapo-like attitude toward all Xians - even though most of them support the cause."

Feel like that as much as you want. As long as you recognize that attitude is NOT coming from me.

Baby_Balrog writes "For you, this is a fight over the future of your rights as citizens.
"For us, this is a fight over the future existence of our
very belief system, and the continued existence of the Church."

Oh... and your belief system is more important? That's the implication; please correct me if I'm wrong.

pyramid termite writes "this gospel of collective responsibility is the cause of religious persecution, racism and ethnic strife ... and it has killed millions of people in the last century alone

"i believe it should not be practiced against gay people ... but it's obvious to me that some gay people aren't willing to reciprocate that"


*sigh*

You're conflating 'collective responsibility' (what else is a nation? a society? a neighbourhood?) with 'denial of individual responsibility'.

'I am responsible, collectively, with my neighbours to keep the neighbourhood clean' does not mean the same thing as 'I have no personal responsibility to keep my yard tidy'. This is not a zero-sum game; the two can quite happily coexist.

amberglow writes "Pedophiles are not gay. Pedophiles are sick and criminals, who are treated as such."

Well... I'd say that some pedophiles are gay, as in, attracted to the same gender as themselves. The overwhelming majority, however, are heterosexually inclined.

pyramid termite writes "all you can ask us to do is vote for the people and the bills that support you, which i do ... we cannot control, persuade or deal with these people ... they aren't 'ours', they never were 'ours' and they disowned us a long time ago

"continuing to lump us in all together is simply an admission of ignorance ... and now that i've suggested that you look into the historical background on this, it's going to be willful ignorance on your part if you continue to do this"


Okay. I am going to try one more time, and perhaps--I can only pray--this time you will listen.

They claim to be speaking for you, and acting in your name. (I am going to ignore your ridiculous little diatribe about them not mentioning you specifically by name. 'Christian' is a name that you wear, and that is the name they are claiming they are acting for, just as Bush claims to be acting in your name when he says 'The American People'. Got it? Good.)

We know that the majority of Christians are not homophobic, bigoted, fundamentalist nutjobs. We are not lumping you in with them. They are lumping you in with them, every time they claim to be acting for Christians and from a Christian basis.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:45 PM on December 22, 2006


They claim to be speaking for you, and acting in your name.

no ... that's YOUR misrepresentation of their position

I am going to ignore your ridiculous little diatribe about them not mentioning you specifically by name.

because it rips your ridiculous rhetoric to shreds ... and by the way, you haven't ignored it, have you?

(what happened to atrocities? ... you said there were atrocities!)

'Christian' is a name that you wear

looks at driver's license ... nope

(what's that you say? ... i shouldn't be taking you literally ... but see, if i don't take you literally, then you don't actually have any real content there to respond to, do you? ... just rhetoric ... and if you learn nothing else from this conversation, learn that rhetoric is not argument)

and that is the name they are claiming they are acting for

but what they mean by it and what you understand it to be are two different things ... and it's YOUR responsibility to understand them, seeing as they aren't too good at explaining it to you

just as Bush claims to be acting in your name when he says 'The American People'

him and every other american politician ... you don't understand this country a bit if you think many of us take that sort of rhetoric any more seriously than a socialist crank ranting on a street corner about what "the peeple" want

We know that the majority of Christians are not homophobic, bigoted, fundamentalist nutjobs.

but you'll indulge in rhetoric that makes us sound like it anyway

We are not lumping you in with them.

yes, you are ... repeatedly

They are lumping you in with them, every time they claim to be acting for Christians and from a Christian basis.

except that they do not consider many of us christians ... many of them think that catholics and other mainstream protestants are going to hell because they're not really "saved" ... not even their own followers believe they are speaking for us because we're a bunch of false christians to them

don't you GET that?

there's another thing you don't get ... many of us in the mainstream or the fringes utterly ignore these people except to vote down their stupid candidates and their stupid issues ... in many parts of the country, including mine, it works just fine ... most of us think they're crazy ... if it wasn't for them sucking up to the cuttax crowd and the pro-war crowd they would have even less influence than they do ... their own party ignores them half of the time

and there's another thing -

i have better things to do with my time than repeatedly try to cure you of ignorance that you do not wish to be cured of ... or to continue a conversation with someone who seems to have spent a good part of this week picking fights with quite a few people here, not just me ... you are rude and obnoxious to a lot of people and you need to cool your jets

do you get THAT?
posted by pyramid termite at 6:22 PM on December 22, 2006


pyramid termite writes "'Christian' is a name that you wear

"looks at driver's license ... nope"


You have identified yourself as Christian. Therefore, 'Christian' is a name that you wear. Stop piddling about with such bullshit semantics. Just as 'gay', 'neo-pagan', 'professional', 'Trekkie' are all names that I wear and yet appear nowhere on my drivers' licence.

pyramid termite writes "him and every other american politician ... you don't understand this country a bit if you think many of us take that sort of rhetoric any more seriously than a socialist crank ranting on a street corner about what 'the peeple' want"

Oh for fuck's sake. I am fully aware that many Americans hear statements like that from Shrubco and think "Oh no you do not." And many of them follow that to its logical conclusion, which is to say so.

pyramid termite writes "We know that the majority of Christians are not homophobic, bigoted, fundamentalist nutjobs.

"but you'll indulge in rhetoric that makes us sound like it anyway"


Show me where? Or are you choosing to ignore the many times I have said exactly what I said right there?

pyramid termite writes "We are not lumping you in with them.

"yes, you are ... repeatedly"


Again... show me where? Or are you ignoring the many times that I have said that they are lumping you in with them?

pyramid termite writes "i have better things to do with my time than repeatedly try to cure you of ignorance that you do not wish to be cured of ... or to continue a conversation with someone who seems to have spent a good part of this week picking fights with quite a few people here, not just me ... you are rude and obnoxious to a lot of people and you need to cool your jets

"do you get THAT?"


But you're not rude, are you? You are clearly the soul of politeness, yes? "Let he who is without sin..."

And, yet again... you are accusing me of ignorance, when the only 'ignorance' you have shown me to demonstrate is based on your misreadings and assumptions, and not what I have actually said.

I implore you, again. Try reading what I have actually written, and note how many times I have not said the things you keep accusing me of saying. It should be enlightening for you.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:54 PM on December 22, 2006


meh
posted by pyramid termite at 7:14 PM on December 22, 2006


How rich. I believe I've won this round.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:23 PM on December 22, 2006


how considerate of you to keep score ...
posted by pyramid termite at 7:36 PM on December 22, 2006


Well hey, I agreed with you about politics being kept out of the judiciary.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:40 PM on December 22, 2006


pyramid termite never identified himself as a Christian.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 4:53 PM on December 23, 2006


I'd go into greater detail on this but I'm sure you're familiar with the first four books of the NT and are already aware of this.

Irrelevant. We do not live in 22 CE. And many of your bretheren in Christ disagree with you. We don't know the sociolinguistic context of "cursing" in the time of Christ, in any case.

My point is that you mock me for immaturity, and then spout off a series of "fucks" to prove your rhetorical and intellectual superiority. It's funny. That's all. I curse as much as anyone. I have nothing against it. We all resort to less than highfalutin' language sometimes. It doesn't prove a thing about our respective intellects or levels of maturity.

And yes, fishing lure as in troll. Now you've got it.
posted by spitbull at 6:35 PM on December 23, 2006


Hence "ballrag" -- a kind of fishing lure -- for those not following. I certainly implied the double entendre, of course, but now assert plausible deniability of immature motives.
posted by spitbull at 6:36 PM on December 23, 2006


If my language offends you, spitbull, maybe you should spend your time on more 'age-appropriate' sites.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 8:14 AM on December 24, 2006


Hate. Hmmm. Yes, hate:

These people are a vile cancer on the world. There is no justification for them, there is no room at the table for them, there is no way whatsoever that we should ever allow these people to spew their filth... They need to be eradicated, and their children need to be rescued from the vile, disgusting, bigoted brainwashing that they are subjected to. I'd say the best way to do this would be to charge every fundamentalist parent with child abuse...
posted by namespan at 10:00 PM on December 24, 2006


Didn't say it offended me, Baby. I said it doesn't sound like you'd pass muster as a proper "Christian" -- certainly a pastor -- with the mofos I am condemning as theocratic radicals and bigots. Hence, your argument that Christianity is less monolithic and scary than I think it is amuses me, because I don't think your evangelical friends on the right would claim you or the UCC as fellow travelers, when the political rubber hits the road.

I'm pointing out that people like you -- progressive, liberal Christians, though no Daniel Berrigan, perhaps -- are also targets of the oppression these people would mete out on gays, atheists, and so forth. I have this argument with Christians (including my mom) all the time: why do you play for a team that hates you, or defend a cause that requires your circumspection about your own feelings and identity?

I sometimes chalk it up to a grand version of the Stockholm Syndrome, like gay republicans. But if I were Christian, I'd be ashamed of a lot of shit done in my name, big time, right now.
posted by spitbull at 2:00 PM on December 26, 2006


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