In part 1 of this post, American Atheists Public Relations Director Dave Muscato defended his position that Christians cannot truly support LGBTQ rights—a perspective that has been debated among a number of atheist activists recently. (For additional context for this post, see part 1.) Now, Dean Roth, a queer Humanist, offers a contrasting perspective.

Part 2: Yes, you can be a Christian and support LGBTQ rights, by Dean Roth

Dean Roth

Image courtesy Dean Roth.

On January 10, American Atheists tweeted a photo of marriage equality supporters filling the Utah State Capital and added the caption “#ReligionIsPoison.” While opponents of marriage equality often cite religious motivations, the photo itself has nothing to do with religion, so the attempted connection immediately struck me as far-fetched, appropriative, and bizarre. Apparently I wasn’t alone in my confusion.

Nontheist activist Walker Bristol was quick to point out on Twitter that “…many LGBT activists are inspired to action by their religious conviction. Your hashtag is generalizing such that their experience is erased.” From there, the conversation turned away from the Utah news towards whether Christians are theologically “allowed” to be LGBTQ allies and/or activists, with the American Atheists Twitter account posting, “If you’re a Christian and an LGBTQ supporter, you’re doing one of them wrong,” as well as “LGBTQ equality isn’t a biblical [value]. It’s anti-biblical…it doesn’t make sense to say that religion inspired them to advocate for LGBTQ equality.”

These statements give the impression that one of American Atheists’s goals is to elevate atheists as the only group able to “honestly” promote human rights. It’s hard to reconcile these tweets with American Atheists’s stated mission to “encourage the development and public acceptance of a humane ethical system stressing the mutual sympathy, understanding, and interdependence of all people and the corresponding responsibility of each individual in relation to society.”

I also find it frustrating that through these tweets American Atheists is speaking for Christians when they argue that it doesn’t make sense for Christians to be inspired by religion to advocate for LGBTQ equality. It’s up to those individuals to find their inspiration, not an atheist organization to dictate it to them.

From a PR standpoint, an organization’s tweets are often read as official statements—regardless of who is actually writing them—that represent the organization and its mission. Someone who had never been exposed to American Atheists might be put off by the insistence that LGBTQ and Christian allies are somehow doing either Christianity, queerness, or solidarity wrong.

Drawing a line between the LGBTQ activism of atheists and the LGBTQ activism of Christians doesn’t help advance LGBTQ rights. To be an ally to the queer community, you need to be an ally to the whole community, including the many LGBTQ and ally Christians who have been invaluable in helping us achieve progress. This has never been a cause supported only by the nonreligious, and to treat it as “ours” does a hurtful disservice to the diverse efforts of previous generations, as well as the many religious lawmakers and activists on our side today. Appropriating queer issues and using our struggle for equality to promote atheist superiority (in a photo unrelated to religion, no less) is disrespectful and offensive to the queer people you claim to be supporting.

Dismissing the existence of LGBTQ and ally Christians is a distraction from the actual issue at hand: that LGBTQ people still do not have basic human rights. Commandeering the conversation about LGBTQ rights to promote a sectarian agenda misses the point entirely, because people fighting for marriage equality is a really great thing no matter who they are. This is about the lives and rights of the queer community, not a battleground to air your grievances against religion.

It makes me nervous that American Atheists’s remarks are so reminiscent of the terrifying messages I have heard from Christian fundamentalists arguing against LGBTQ rights, who also say that you cannot be a Christian who is also supportive of LGBTQ people. American Atheists tweeted “…the bible isn’t exactly ambiguous about it. It commands death for gay people.” By employing that narrative, American Atheists is giving it power, rather than empowering people who are working for LGBTQ rights. Of course, it is worth noting that even Christian theologians do not agree on the Bible’s stance on marriage equality or even homosexuality. Scholars have long disagreed about whether, in its historical context, the Bible says anything—against or in favor of—these things. That American Atheists is only lifting up one interpretation of Christian doctrine strikes me as counterproductive in the fight for human rights.

I hope that is not their intention, but I’m a firm believer that perception overwhelms intention. As a queer Humanist and former evangelical Christian, I felt more isolated and discarded by American Atheists’s statement than I’ve ever been by any Christians. For American Atheists to condemn my Christian family and friends as not only bad Christians but also bad allies—simply for the purpose of suggesting that atheists are the only true supporters of LGBTQ people—reads as both bad PR and a callous attempt at appropriation. Atheists are not, and never have been, alone at the forefront of the LGBTQ rights movement—and it’s inaccurate, hurtful, and unfair to insinuate that they ought to be.

Being a good ally means empowering the community you support, while allowing them the space and power to speak for themselves. You can’t do that by appropriating or redefining their fight to make it about you and your goals. If queer and ally Christians tell you they exist and they’re fighting for a shared cause, believe them. Don’t make them feel like pawns in your game against religion.

Dean Roth is a Brand and Culture Analyst by day and a queer and Humanist activist by night, and co-facilitates a support group for young ex-Christians via Center for Inquiry—NYC. Dean tweets at @deanmroth.

38 Comments

    • Kai Abrahamson

      But not all Christians think homosexuality/ bisexuality/ queerism is a sin. And some times statements like that create a sentiment that some how “there” sin is worse then “my/your” sin which ( as far as I believe) is not apart of any christian doctrine, and because every doctrine states that we all sin, statements like that cause more distance then helping bridge the gap between the person there “sin” and the body of Christ.

      • While its true no ones sin is better than anyone else’s Gods Word is crystal clear that Gods plan for sexuality and marriage is one man and one woman in marriage. Any sexual activity outside of this perfect plan is sinful.

        The only gap that needs to be bridged is forgiveness and repentance and moving into the Will of God.

          • Why should we praise the foul bigotry of your god and your savior? Because condemning the love which two people share is such a wondrous act of forgiveness? I’m sorry, but prejudice is never worthy of praise. Quite the contrary, and the more Christians besmirch their image of divinity with prejudice and hatred, the further you will drive young people from your faith.

            Remi, if you truly believe your notion of divinity is worthy of the name of Love, then cast aside such bigotry and call out the evil of prejudice for what it is. Anything less, and you have cast your lot with the forces of iniquity.

        • You’ve entirely cheery-picked the Bible. As a Christian, I’ve read the Bible. There is no such outlining of God’s purposes. What God does say is that we are to love our neighbors as we love ourselves and that that is fulfilling the whole of the Law and the Prophets.

          Do love unto your homo/hetero/bi/trans-sexual neighbors and you will not sin. And love doesn’t mean treating them like garbage and assuming that they are “sinning” by being in love or being themselves.

          • Jesus loved sinners, but He talked twice as much about Hell, than Heaven. It is not loving, if you see your brother crossing the street on the red light with a truck coming in the other way, not to scream at him to stop!

            It is loving to say to them, that the Word of G-d said that they must repent and believe in the Gospel, and if they do not they will likewise perish.

            If Jesus said so, it was loving to tell people that they will finish in Hell if they will not repent. It is selfish to tell them that it is fine with their soul when it is not.

            It is loving to tell them they need Jesus.

            G-d Bless.

            Remi

  1. Thank you, Dea. I’m a straight, Christian advocate for LGBTQ rights.I belong to a denomination (ELCA) that was offering equal consideration to LGBTQ families and clergy before more than a couple of states, and I feel secure saying we are doing *both* right (or doing our level best; the advancement of rights is a process!). Thank you for your voice?

  2. Everyone rolls their own religion. The bible is infinitely interpretable. In the end one can get all the different branches of Christianity and all the Christian practices that have ever been including burning at the stake, the Jewish holocaust and snake handling even though snake handling was added long after the original bible.

    You want to kill somebody – The bible has verses for you! You want to be charitable – The bible has verses for you! Genocide anyone? Torture – Hey Jesus plans to torture billions for the “Crime” of saying “I don’t think so?”

    Whatever you want baby cakes – it is all there for you!

  3. Muscato provides two possibilities: You believe the Bible as it is written (that sexual relations between men is sin, that imagined sin is as bad as sin acted-upon, and thus a homosexual, active or inactive, is sinning merely by thinking engaging in homosexual acts), and feel morally obligated to keep as many people from sinning as possible… That is, oppose GLBTQ rights as much as possible to discourage such activity.

    OR

    You don’t take the Bible literally, cherry pick the morals that you find heartening and useful (turn the other cheek, forgiveness, that sort of thing), discard the ones you don’t (slavery, dietary restrictions, killing women who remained quiet during rape, y’know… most of the Old Testament), and you continue on as a Christian fully capable of supporting LGBTQ rights.

    The real issue here is that Muscato has taken a specific type of Christian (Bible Literalists) and assumed that is the only way to be Christian. The fact of the matter is that being a Christian is mostly personally defined, and the only real thread that seems to connect every Christian together is believing in the divinity of an ancient carpenter.

    So you can be Christian (believe in Christ) and be a GLBTQ ally (or even be GLBTQ themselves).

    What Dean Roth has not, and to my knowledge can not, do (without serious contradictions and levels of word twisting that would put political pundits to shame), is actually address Muscato’s modified (In a way very reminiscent of the No True Scotsman Fallacy… shamefully so, really) argument: That you can not take ALL of the Bible’s cultural teachings to be good and true and still support what is explicitly a sinful act.

    Dean is certainly right that perception is, ultimately, everything. Muscato should have clarified in his tweet, or not tweeted at all. Regardless, Muscato is effectively saying that, if equal protection (specifically at this point in history, marriage equality) is the morally right thing to do, the Bible is wrong. If a Christian is supporting equal protection because it is the morally right choice (rather than an ideological position; as an example, that equal protection for GLBTQ folk is a necessary sacrifice to maintain equal protection for all minorities, including Christianity if/when it ever becomes a minority itself), then that Christian is explicitly denying the claim that the bible is completely true.

    His followup, if asked, would undoubtedly be this: If you already get your morals from somewhere other than the Bible (which, by dint of supporting GLBTQ rights, requires a position that the Bible can present false information), why bother with the Bible as anything but a lasting example of the sort of mythical stories early man used to explain an otherwise inexplicable world around them?

  4. Religion does not exist in a vacuum from cultural shifts in its host culture. That’s why the bible itself is filled with contradictions—it was written by countless subcultures of Judaism over countless generations, each with their own particular variations of religion, ethics, culture, and folklore.

    Why should this process stop with twenty centuries of Christianity? The holy texts of any religion are not stereo manuals with five easy steps to good reception of the holy radio signal. They are always open to interpretation by the host culture and the current beliefs of the era. That’s the way human beings work. That’s one part in the many processes of how cultures shift and grow.

    The bottom line here is pretty simple, though. The American Atheists are an antitheist, atheist supremacist organization. Their goal, as is evidenced by their marketing and the words of their leaders, is the elimination of religion, non-secular spirituality, and belief in the supernatural. This goal supersedes all other considerations. Hence, you get organization leaders who are perfectly willing to shit upon the very real alliances formed between the LGBT+ movement and religions of all kinds.

    The thing is, queer people are a minority, as are non-religious people. It takes an alliance between queer and non-queer people to create the cultural and institutional shifts necessary to foster a more humane treatment of LGBT+ people. similarly, it has has taken the collective efforts of both religious and secular organizations in fostering these shifts.

    If you can’t bring yourself to a place where you recognize that these alliances are indispensable, you are disconnected from reality and you are holding the movement back. You are a hindrance. You are placing your own antitheist agenda before queer people’s lives and the physical, cultural, and institutional violence done to us on a daily basis.

    And you know what? You. Aren’t. Helping. You’re being a terrible ally to the broader cause of LGBT+ rights.

    This is one of many reasons I’ve come to see American Atheists as the PETA of secularism. American Atheist’s rhetoric is frequently as off-track and ridiculous as theirs is. Sadly, like PETA, they have enough supporters that they are unlikely to shut up any time soon. In theory, both organizations could actually work toward positive social change. In reality, they are lead by people who enjoy stirring controversy more than promoting positive social change… which is really great if you are an egotist but pretty awful if you want to move forward.

  5. The thing is, queer people are a minority, as are non-religious people. It takes an alliance between queer and non-queer people to create the cultural and institutional shifts necessary to foster a more humane treatment of LGBT+ people. similarly, it has has taken the collective efforts of both religious and secular organizations in fostering these shifts.

    And what I said in this quote can be applied equally well to atheists as well (and Chris Stedman has said very similar things, I might add). Atheists are a minority. Like LGBT+ people it takes a process of forming alliances with the religious majority to foster positive change for atheists (and agnostics, and religious people of all kinds). If you continually shit upon religious people, you aren’t paying attention to the constraints of very real social forces. You are placing your emotions—an understandably deep anger over the treatment of non-religious people—over choosing a rational path in fostering social change.

    That’s an interesting observation because I hear so many atheists promoting the importance of treating all social matters with rational thought… and yet, when it comes to fostering positive social change for their own lot, so many choose anger and hurt over rational action.

    I understand the anger and the hurt. I’ve been hurt by Christianity in many, many ways. I have a problem with the privilege and power which religion has accorded itself for so long. And yet, at some point, people need to move past the anger, resentment, hatred, and all of those other understandable emotional reactions and engage in rational action.

    So far, the secular movement is still mired in anger and hurt. When is it time to move forward?

    If I and other LGBT+ people had gone with the path of anger and spent the last five decades dismissing straight, cis people as a bunch of conformist breeders who stink up the planet with over population, conformist gender roles, sexual repression, and poor fashion taste, do you think we’d have same sex marriage spreading across the globe? Do you think straight, cis people would want to even be in the same room with us? Would they want to work with us, live with us, be our friends, or have us in their families?

    Sure, the anger and hurt is well deserved but if anger and hurt is all you can embrace, you’ll burn more bridges than you build. Humanity is a collective endeavor. It takes a collective strategy to live in this world… unless living in isolation is your ultimate goal.

  6. Oops. The phrase “(and agnostics, and religious people of all kinds)” should have read “(and agnostics, and non-religious people of all kinds)”.

    Also, the first paragraph is an excerpt from my first post but for some reason, the blockquote didn’t work.

  7. I don’t think one can subscribe to the beliefs of most fundamentalist Christians and support gay marriage, but many of us Christians who do support gay marriage do not think those Christians are actually Christians. The Bible is a work of man and is not to be worshipped. It has errors and has had additions added to original writings based on politics at the time. One cannot also be Christian and believe the teachings of Christ and then also try to follow some of the people who took it upon themselves to try to change what Christ was talking about, at least using modern misappropriations of those followers’ words. Take Paul, for example. He was a human, not a god, and evangelicals seem to worship him more than they follow Jesus’ teachings. They should really change their religion to “Paulism” instead of Christianity.

    • Roger
      There are millions of Americans who think as you do, but they do not get much media exposure, and end up being relatively invisible compared to the religion that is presented on Fox news.

    • Hi Roger, are you sure you are a Christian, my Bible says it is the Word of G-d. If it has errors, then you can cherry-pick what you want from it, but if it is the Word of G-d, then it is The Truth, and it explain the Way to salvation, Jesus.

      All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 2 Timothy 3:16

      For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the Law until everything is accomplished. Matt 5:18

      For prophecy never had its origin in the human will, but prophets, though human, spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. 2 Peter 1:21

      Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89

      let God be true, but every man a liar Romans 3:4

      G-d Bless

        • My sense of fear and dislike centered mostly upon Christianity, which has served as a source of oppression for religious minorities, women, and queer people in the US.

          Dear Timberwraith, I understand your frustration against “christians”, but let me first clarify. A real Christian is someone that believe the bible. The Bible says:

          Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

          The second is equally important: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

          Therefore, whatever you want men to do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.

          If you understand what the Bible says, we are all Sinners. We were all in the dominion of Satan before we (Real Christians) repented. We are not good, there is none good, but G-d. Oppression is wrong, and has always been. Whoever oppressed in the name of Christ is not a Christian and does not know Jesus, according to 1 John 4:8.

          It is true that we condemn sin and sin should not be encourage, but just as Jesus did not force Himself on anybody, we do not force the Truth on anybody.

          How do we show that the Bible is the truth, by loving other.

          By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35.

          Religion is wrong, and Catholics are not true christians, G-d wants a relationship whit us and He paid the price for our sins.

          We have to love others to show the love of G-d, even if we do not agree whit the way they are living, Jesus paid for their (your) sins. You can accept His free gift if you believe in Him.

          Shalom

          G-d Bless

          • “If you understand what the Bible says…”

            You can stop right there. I don’t care what the bible says. I’m not a Christian. I am not guided by your religion or the beliefs contained therein.

            Also, nearly all corners of Christendom play the game of “you aren’t a real Christian.” OK, so you don’t think the Christian down the street is a real Christian because their interpretation of the bible is at odd with yours? Well, they probably think the same thing about you. That’s why Christianity has so many denominations. You folks have never been able to agree on what a real Christian is in the first place.

            Your anti-Catholic bias was a nice addition, by the way. I don’t know what country you hail from, but there’s a long, violent tradition of anti-Catholic prejudice among US Protestants. That really doesn’t put your sentiments in a positive light, let me tell you.

            Moving on, what I do care about is forming alliances with religious people who do not use their religion and their spirituality as a weapon in dismissing LGBT+ people’s lives as broken, sinful, and inferior to straight, cis people.

            It would seem that you are not one of those people. Therefore, I do not care about your professed feelings of love. I have seen the actions of “bible believing Christians” in national politics and in my family for long enough to know that your love is merely a word and nothing more. It is nothing more than hollow emotional manipulation designed to silence complaints about the oppression derived from conservative Christian beliefs. It is a tool used to deny the very bigotry expressed by the hetero-supremacy and cis-supremacy of conservative Christianity.

            And you know what? It doesn’t work. Your love is a lie. To yourself. And to others. You render love into a shallow, abusive mockery of itself.

            But here’s a request for you: tell me that you do not consider my way of life to be a sin and then we can have a conversation. Until then, you’ve nothing to say that I’ve not heard and read a thousand times.

          • Hi Timberwraith, I am not there to judge your way of life, I do not have any authority, the Word of G-d says so. Just as my fornication and the pornography that I watch before was a sin, just as lie and murder and your sins are sins.

            For catholic, and so many protestant that persecuted one another and killed for the name of G-d, the Word of G-d said they were not Christians, “By this they will know that you are my disciple, if you love one another” and for a religion that tries to says that we are all one, that is the “One world religion”, the same old, the same as Babel and Babylon the Great. Jesus said “I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life”, because there is one Savior and no one is Righteous.

          • ” I am not there to judge your way of life, I do not have any authority, the Word of G-d says so. Just as my fornication and the pornography that I watch before was a sin, just as lie and murder and your sins are sins.”

            You just put who I fall in love with and my gender identity in the same category as fornication, pornography, lies, and murder. In other words, who I love and who I am are seen by you as destructive flaws. Don’t try to hide behind “God says it’s true. I’m not the one passing judgement.” That’s a load of bullshite. These are your religious beliefs. These are your words. These are your judgements.

            The least you can do is take responsibility for your own prejudices. Thanks for the usual moral cowardice I’ve come to expect of so many religious conservatives.

          • I am not saying I am better or judging. I was myself in the fornicator, murderer and liar position. Now the Bible, which I believe is the Word of G-d, say that those are sins. Now, I believed what G-d said and I believed in His atonement for my sins.

            Now that does not put me in any way better than you, because I was just as bad, or if not, worst than you. I am not judging, I myself did sinned and deserved G-d’s wrath.

            If you would only remove the “homosexuality” out of it, you still have lied and covet, got angry and did things that you would not dare putting in this website, isn’t it? I did too, things that I would never mention her. Now, if I compare my sins with yours, they are not better, we are ALL under the judgement of G-d. All have sinned, gay, straight, Gandhi and Hitler. Now there is good and moral homosexual, and Gandhi was definitely more moral than Hitler. People do good and there is upright people, but our good deeds don’t erase the bad things we do.

            Just like my lust and lies I had in the past were wrong. And I am not saying I never lie or lust again, but the word of G-d said we have to repent. Which means, we have to realize that the things we do is in the sight of G-d, wrong and turn from those things, then we have to believe that “G-d so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” If I lie again, I repent and turn my self again toward G-d, but when I believed the first time, all my sins, past, present and future have been forgiven by His mercy.

            Now you have to decide yourself, is the Bible the word of G-d? If so, where will I go when I die? Those two questions are extremely important for your own sake. You do not know what will happen tomorrow. So, as a friend I am asking you to take in consideration what I am telling you. I am not there to judge, I see the consequences of you not believing in Jesus and as the Bible describe it, they are disastrous. This is the SIN, that they did not believe

            You must try to answer those two questions. Have you ever check the claims that Jesus Made and decide for yourself? There is only three possibilities, or He was a liar, a lunatic of G-d in the flesh.

            Now you decide for yourself which one is true.

            Shalom

            G-d Bless.

            Remi

            For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.

            “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil.

          • Now that does not put me in any way better than you, because I was just as bad, or if not, worst than you. I am not judging, I myself did sinned and deserved G-d’s wrath.

            Actually, you are positioning your sexual orientation as better than mine. That is, you are defining heterosexuality as good and homosexuality (or in my case, bisexuality) as sinful. That is a form of bigotry. It is called heterosupremacy. Just as racist white people feel that their race is superior to other races, you position your sexual orientation as superior to other sexual orientations. That same comparison can be made between heterosupremacy and male supremacy, nationalistic prejudice, classism, religious prejudice and a whole assortment of other forms of supremacist thinking.

            The main difference is that you don’t even have the guts to take responsibility for your own prejudices. Instead, you blame your religious texts and your deity. In this sense, I actually feel a greater degree of respect for an out and out misogynist or homophobe than I do for you. You are a moral coward who hides behind ancient mythology.

          • Now you have to decide yourself, is the Bible the word of G-d? If so, where will I go when I die? Those two questions are extremely important for your own sake. You do not know what will happen tomorrow. So, as a friend I am asking you to take in consideration what I am telling you. I am not there to judge, I see the consequences of you not believing in Jesus and as the Bible describe it, they are disastrous. This is the SIN, that they did not believe

            There are over 40 religions in the world. Christianity alone has thousands of denominations, each with their own particular variations on theology and morality. What if you are taking part in the wrong denomination and/or embrace the wrong Christian theology? Taking this even further, what if you are worshiping the wrong deity? Have you considered that you might wind up the victim of another god’s wrath because you chose the wrong religion and paid your respects to a false variant of divinity?

            The bottom line is that you are a mere mortal and as such, your convictions are forged via the same limited perceptions and intellectual processes as the rest of us. Your spiritual beliefs, as solid and unwavering though they may be, could very well be as misguided as any other living being’s. You could wind up tortured in some malevolent deity’s afterlife in spite of having placed your eternal soul’s future in the hands the false god and false savior you so love and worship.

            You must try to answer those two questions. Have you ever check the claims that Jesus Made and decide for yourself?

            I grew up as a Christian and I have studied the bible as an adult. I am familiar with Christian theology. I find your religion’s claims to be entirely unpersuasive.

            There is only three possibilities, or He was a liar, a lunatic of G-d in the flesh.

            As far as I can tell, Jesus was a religious leader who believed very fervently in his faith (Judaism), challenged the religious and colonial authorities far too much, and then was executed because of his social, religious, and political radicalism. He was not alone, for there were other religious leaders of the time who were executed for similar reasons. The Romans were a nasty sort and it would seem that the religious authorities of the time were awful, too.

            People then saw fit to deify their deceased religious leader and that sparked a new religion. The religion grew over time and ironically, was adopted by the Roman Empire. Thus started the spread of Christianity via the fist of Roman imperialism. Ever since, the religion has not only spread via missionary zeal, but also by sword tip and musket fire during wave upon wave of European imperialism.

            Given Christianity’s bloody history, I am not all surprised by its adherent’s threats of eternal torture by a malevolent variant of divinity. The violence of your god fits the violence of your religion’s history. Personally, I find that such violence renders your religion utterly unpalatable.

            Nevertheless, I hope with all my heart that the more progressive and peaceable members of your faith come to hold greater sway as the decades pass. If that’s not possible, however, I would just as soon see your faith vanish from the face of planet, forgotten and replaced with a spiritual tradition that is far less violent, prejudiced, and fear-driven.

            Having said that, please feel free to worry yourself over the well being of my bisexual, transgender soul. Knock yourself out. Say a little prayer if you want.

            That won’t change the fact that I find a fair portion of your faith to be loathsome and terrible because I see the more twisted variants of your religion generating bigots such as yourself by the boatload. Just as Christianity was used to justify slavery, violence against native peoples across the globe, and bloody warfare against unfaithful nations, the religion’s history of oppression is now perpetrated upon LGBT+ people by fervent believers such as yourself, Remi.

            I’d suggest that you hang your head in shame for the violence you are taking part in, but I realize this is most likely in vain. It would appear that you have sunk deep beneath the waves of fear and emotional abuse that so much of your religion excels at. Abuse so often leads its victims into promulgating the same abuse upon others. Interrupting this process can be difficult.

            Regardless, I hope that someday you will find a path out of this violence and abuse.

          • Hi Timberwraith, what if I would be in the wrong denomination. You say there is more than 400 religions. I tell you there is only two. One is a work based salvation, which include, Catholicism, Muslims, Buddhism, and a lot of Christians denominations. The other as you know, if you read the bible, is Christianity. The only religion that offers a Saviour. As I am not good enough to with my own merits, I need a Saviour and can discard all the other religions.

            Now, again if you read the Bible, it said that the people will the that we (Christians) are His disciple, if we have love for one another. Also it says to love your enemies and to bless those who curse you.

            Now I can tell a lot about the Crusades, the Inquisitions and other atrocities made by the Catholic Church and other so Called Christians. But I can tell you they are not Christians, because the do not follow Jesus, we have to love others. The Bible nowhere said to hate sinners.

            My Master was Good, so I am not sharing the blood of anybody that used His name for Their agenda.

            http://illbehonest.com/jesus-christ-saved-me-from-27-years-of-homosexuality-david-upton

            Like anybody, you have a choice….

          • I said that there are currently over 40 religions in the world. Christianity alone has thousands of denominations. The remaining religions also have many, many subgroups as well. Go here if you have an interest in exploring the diversity of religious beliefs that permeate the world.

            OK, so your religion proclaims that it has the one true path and that humans are inferior and lost without it. There are many, many other belief systems on the planet which also claim to have the one true path. You’ll have to stand in line and wait your turn. You have a lot of competition.

            Once you combine the human tendency toward tribalism with a human tendency to embrace spirituality, you will inevitably develop religions which claim that all others are false, inferior, and ruinous. That’s basic sociology. It’s called in-group/out-group behavior. The characteristics of the members of one’s own group are seen as being better than the characteristics of outsiders. Your religious beliefs are best. All others are false. Your notion of divinity is true and good. All others are false, evil, and/or inaccurate.

            However, once one peers into the inner workings of the associated social forces, none the exclusive claims that you or anyone else might make about your respective religions are all that mysterious or convincing.

            Alternatively, if you allow yourself to remain caught up in the threats of eternal ruin asserted by your religion, you’ll tend to be too fearful to question the social reality that underlies the ways in which religion manipulates and controls people. You are stuck in a self-perpetuating loop which both binds you and blinds you to this manipulation.

            Fear combined with years of socialization serve to form powerful forms of motivation which maintain religious belief. Add the effects of group conformity with the social support provided by religious communities, and a nearly impervious barrier of emotional and ideological armor plating is formed. I have no doubt that you sincerely believe everything you’ve said to me but because I understand and accept the underlying social forces at play, your words and your beliefs are not persuasive.

            And I must remind you that regardless of your sincerity and steadfastness, you are promulgating prejudice and abuse. You are part of a larger social process that is hurting people. You are a part of a process that has been hurting people for centuries.

            There are other ways to explore spirituality. You don’t have to resort to embracing hurtful, emotionally abusive religions to feel a connection with divinity. You don’t have to be a part of a religion that spreads mistrust, hatred, and fear against gender and sexual minorities.

            Let go of the fear, seek healing, and find a more loving, humane path toward spiritual connection.

          • You say there is more than 400 religions. I tell you there is only two. One is a work based salvation, which include, Catholicism, Muslims, Buddhism, and a lot of Christians denominations. The other as you know, if you read the bible, is Christianity.

            By the way, this is a near perfect illustration of in-group/out-group behavior. You’ve positioned your particular variant of religion as the only true belief system while you’ve combined all other religious belief systems into a monolithic body which you then categorize as a false religion. In other words, you’ve said that there’s your group which is good and proper and then there is everybody else.

            Sports teams do this. Political parties do this. High schools, branches of the armed services, competing businesses, ethnic groups, countries, consumers of particular brand names… all of these groupings form the boundaries of various in-group out-group phenomena.

            Our group is the best. Others are not.

            Religion does this too.

            Because religions are composed of human beings.

          • Hi TimberWraith, I think we both won’t change our mind. There is only one Truth. If you are right, then, there is no god, we are animal and when we die, that’s it. There is no such a thing as sin, or moral absolute. We decide ourselves what is right or wrong. But, that is not what I believe.

            I found that article today http://www.breitbart.com/Big-Government/2014/02/05/Federal-Appeals-Court-Rules-Against-Religious-Liberty-on-Same-Sex-Attraction

            I am not saying you agree with it, but by pushing the homosexual agenda, don’t you think you trample the First Amendment, and in doing so, aren’t you doing exactly what you don’t want religious people do to you, Discriminate?

            I thought that hate crimes law were right, until I read this article. http://elliotlakenews.wordpress.com/2007/01/24/hate-crime-laws/

            I obviously think homosexuality is a sin, but I won’t force my belief on you or anybody. Now, according to Hate Crime Laws, if I preach that homosexuality is a sin, I could be prosecuted. Now there is law against assault, and personal attack, and anything done against somebody else is wrong, regardless of their sexual orientation, sex or race. For an example, just because I love Israel, I cannot force the majority to be Pro-Israel.

            Just my though

            G-d Bless.

            Remi

          • The law, adopted last year, was the first of its kind and an unusual effort to regulate a form of talk therapy. It bars licensed therapists from trying to change the sexual orientation of people under the age of 18.

            I have absolutely no problem with a state establishing laws that establish minimum expectations for competent treatment practiced by licensed therapists. Research shows that reparative therapy does not work. Furthermore, forcing a minor to try to change the sexual orientation that comes naturally to them is nothing short of child abuse. Therapists who engage in this activity should loose their licenses and, as far as I’m concerned, be convicted in a court for malpractice.

            And, not that it will really matter in this discussion, but I’m not an atheist. I’m an agnostic. I don’t take feel that it’s possible to determine whether or not god-like phenomena actually exists.

            What does matter, is that I grew up in a homophobic, transphobic community with a very, very homophobic/transphobic father. I would not subject any child to the kind of psychological abuse that I went through. What you are advocating is nothing short of the emotional abuse of a minor and as such, I sure as hell hope you don’t have any children.

            I’ll take it a step further. If it weren’t for the fact that the adoption system in this country is so monumentally screwed up, I’d also advocate for family services stepping in and removing LGBT children from the homes of parents who subject their children to the kind of homophobic/transphobic abuse you advocate.

            The right to practice your religion ends at the point where it starts to harm others. If you were of a faith which believed it was immoral to give a child a blood transfusion and that child were lying in a pool of blood in an emergency room from a car accident, the state has every right to step in and save that child’s life from the potentially lethal consequences of a system of religious belief that literally destroys lives.

            Your religious beliefs are no different. LGBT youth take their own lives everyday because of the psychological abuse perpetrated by people like you and the hateful, soul-crushing emotional violence which bigoted elders perpetrate upon the young. The blood of so many dead LGBT youths is upon your hands and the religious communities of those who think as you do.

            Unfortunately, you have made it clear that your ignorance and the abusive religious beliefs which you embrace, make it impossible for you to understand or accept the harm you bring into this world.

          • The second link, by the way, is a complete mischaracterization of hate crimes laws. Those laws deal with the intent behind violence perpetrated upon members of minority groups. You have to commit an act of violence before the laws take effect.

            When one kills another human being—any human being, for that matter—one’s intent is also taken into consideration during sentencing. I suppose you could try to say that’s a thought crime, too.

            Look, it’s obvious what you’re trying to do via the line of reasoning you are presenting. Rather than take responsibility for your prejudices, you blame them upon a supernatural force. If those prejudices serve as the motivation which brings you to abuse another human being, you refuse to accept personal responsibility and attempt to blame the abuse on supernatural forces as well. You behave as though your belief in the supernatural gives you carte blanche in harming others. It gives you, for instance, the right to emotionally abuse your child. Apparently, you are absolved of any responsibility surrounding the harm you bring into others’ lives as long as you can find a passage in the bible to excuse your horrific behavior.

            And now, you are also searching for ways to twist the situation so that you appear to be the victim rather than the people you abuse, manipulate, and discriminate against. In this way, you need not bear any guilt for the destruction you bring into others’ lives.

            I’m sorry, but your version of religion is truly wretched and your lack of personal responsibility is appalling.

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