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Updated: Christian registrar Lillian Ladele loses appeal

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  1. Trust the Christian Institute to be backing religious homophobia over common law! Another example of religion being way out of step with common law! She has failed the remit of the purpose of her job. Throw her out! Bringing this to court is a waste of time and taxpayers money. The law is the law, and must and should always takes presidence over religious scribblings, I am fed up of holy homophobes telling us they know better.

  2. I think it should be easy enough to argue that her christian beliefs do not prevent her from carrying out all of her duties, on the basis that the bible does not condemn homosexuality as a sin. Those christians who keep banging on that it does, are trying to fit a square peg into a round hole.

  3. Too right. She has spent a year appealing an re-appealing and getting her name in the papers about it. It’s time she accepted she was in the wrong.

  4. Jennifer Hynes 15 Dec 2009, 11:34am

    I fail to see how her appeal can succeed. She is working for a public body that has to abide by equality and discrimination laws by definition. She does not participate in church weddings for LGBT people, only civil ceremonies. As far as I can see she is simply wasting time and money, but offering the pernicious Christian Institute more free airtime.

    It is a pointless case and only serves to tarnish the image of Christians, the majority of whom are rather more sensible and compassionate than the CI, in the eyes of the secular majority.

    Ms. Ladele is simply being foolish. At least we can take heart from the probability that all this homophobic rubbish is the dying gasp of fundamentalist prejudice.

  5. “Lillian Ladele argued in 2007 that her Christian beliefs meant she could not officiate the ceremonies and was disciplined.”

    Just imagine that someone used their religious beliefs to argue they couldn’t officiate ceremonies between non-white people, or non-religious people, or muslims. Quite rightly, there would be outrage. But somehow, not officiating ceremonies between same-sex couples is deemed different, by a fair number of people. People need to understand that, just because people choose to engage in homosexual behaviour does not mean people choose to have homosexual feelings. Having these feelings is a deep-rooted phenomenon, far more deep-rooted than having particular religious beliefs (and this is important, considering that Ms Ladelle would never be allowed to refuse to marry people because they are of the wrong religion).
    People might say the case of discrimination against non-white people is disanalogous to that of gay people. Strictly speaking, it may be. But that’s not important. What’s important is whether both forms of discrimination share are morally analogous in some way. I would suggest they are, in the following way. That someone loves people of the same gender is as morally arbitrary as that someone has a certain skin colour. Both are, in Rawl’s phrase, ‘arbitrary from the moral point of view’. So to use a factor such as skin colour or sexuality, in discriminating against someone is to latch, arbitrarily, to that characteristic, and use it as a way to disadvantage them. The same might be said of discriminating against shoe-wearers, or against blond people: such characteristics are not morally relevant.

  6. John (Comment 1), read your comment again and admit that you are a BIGOT! A big one!

  7. Praise be!

  8. Sister Mary Clarence 15 Dec 2009, 12:32pm

    I entirely agree with Luke.

    What would have happened if Lillian had chosen firefighting or healthcare as her profession.

    I take it should would be toasting marshmallows at any housefire involving gay people …. or divorcees …. or people who shave …. or eat shell fish …..

  9. The idea that government officials can be as a bigoted as they want because of their religion is a ridiculous idea.

    How many goods or services should we be denied? A chemist that won’t give us medicine? Doctors who won’t treat us? Police who ignore or abuse us (oh, already have that)

    And where does it end? Will she sotp performing weddings for muslims because she doesn’t agree with their faith? How about no civil weddings at all becuase they’re clearly against her religion? It’s ludicrous

    And we need to stop allowing religion to be an excuse for hatred. She is a bigot and a homophobe – the fact she has a bigoted and homophobic holy book doesn’t change that nor does it excuse her treating us as less than full people

  10. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 1:01pm

    Hookaaaa,

    The comments on Pink News are normally flamboyant displays of bigotry.

    The judge says we live in a “modern liberal democracy,” but hold on – doesn’t this mean that the majority wins out against the minority?

  11. “The judge says we live in a “modern liberal democracy,” but hold on – doesn’t this mean that the majority wins out against the minority?”

    No Stewart, your understanding of a “modern democracy” is as usual quite infantile.

    There are two principles that any definition of democracy includes – equality and freedom – in which provide a state of society characterized by formal equality of rights and privileges. Ms. Ladele chose to oppose the freedoms of gay people and their equality, as defined by the law.

    Like you, Ms. Ladele tries to oppress people, and break the law, based on her unfounded, unsubstantiated and selective belief system. Maybe you should look up the word ‘theocracy’ instead, more your style of governing Stewart, but thankfully, for humanity, not ours.

  12. Ladele is quite clearly being employed (as in being paid to do their bidding) by the Christian Institute. (The CI is neither Christian or an Institute but a far right-wing homophobic lobby group funded by rich individuals and organisations mostly from abroad). They’ve already hired another registrar (Theresa Davies) so that they can continue their pointless campaign against the gay community. Clearly the CI has very deep pockets (American evangelicals – who are probably their paymasters – are so gullible!!!). However the only beneficiaries of their actions have been all those lawyers who are taking them to the cleaners and laughing all the way to the bank!

  13. I am surprised you call ladele’s belief unfounded. Can you please site an objective reference upon which your own beliefs are founded?

    Be not deceived, whatever a man sows, he shall reap.

    You call the views of the Holy bible unfounded and promote your own human delusions and pervasiveness. Mark my words, God cannot be mocked. Many tried it is ages past ans paid dearly for it.

    The earlier you repented the better. And please never try to promote your deluded views above those of others. There is no academic, scientific or circumstantial evidence to support your outrage against a matter of conscience.It’s OK if you don’t agree with her views, but that not make your own anti-God views in anyway intellectually superior to those who choose to believe in GOD.
    I rest my case!

  14. Stewart –

    “Modern liberal democracy” includes the notion that (numerical) minority rights are to be respected and guarded. It is on the basis of that notion that rights of LGBTs, People of Color, and other “minorities” are coming and have come to be upheld in legislatures, law enforcement, and the courts.

    Which is exactly the issue. Everything jennifer (#4) said is correct: Ms Ladele is a small-minded fool who fails to understand Christ’s message. But if her rights are trampled-upon, then the rights of every “minority” are not safe from trampling. This includes any rights of any “minority” group of which you or I might be members.

    As Sister Mary suggested, #8 above, it may not be possible for her to continue in her profession – but accommodation must be looked-for, although it may be that none can be found.

  15. “You call the views of the Holy bible unfounde”

    Yes. Can you prove God said them? No. Therefore: unfounded. Its quite simple. And in typical bigoted style, you ask my beliefs as if that somehow negates the need for proof. Interesting, if not deluded.

    “The earlier you repented the better.”

    Yeah, sure. Thanks for the advice, I usually take this kind of nonsense from uneducated basket cases who shout at traffic on intersections, but hey, here is good too.

  16. Is anyone actually called Sapphire? She/he is a poor unfortunate who seems to have a mental illness in that she /he believes in religious nonsense. This is sometimes defined as religious mania!

  17. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 1:49pm

    Will – without freedom of conscience, there is no freedom, just slavery. Ms. Ladele didn’t try to oppress anyone; you’re completely wrong.

    Mal – I donate to the Christian Institute and I’m not rich (financially-wise!)

    Sapphire – Well said.

    Scott – We have a problem. If “minority rights are to be respected and guarded,” then where were Ms Ladele’s rights to be relieved of this brand new part of the job (it wasn’t part of the job she applied for and successfully operated for donkeys’ years).

    The truth is that there is no equality and once homosexuals find out they have just been used by people in power to attack society’s values, they might be able to see clearer and hopefully repent of their behaviour, bigotry and discrimination.

  18. “Will – without freedom of conscience, there is no freedom, just slavery. Ms. Ladele didn’t try to oppress anyone; you’re completely wrong.”

    Saying I’m wrong doesn’t make it so, and taking into account you’ve been proven to be nothing more then a second rate bigot in here, I hardly find that an accurate assessment of the situation now, do I?

    And Ms. Ladele’s freedom of conscience comes at the price of denying the rights of others, does it? Some conscience. Ironically “slavery” is precisely what Ms. Ladele and people like you try to impose on the rights of others. Rather draconian form of conscience, don’t you think, given all she’s asked to do is her job, not agree with why.

  19. Poor Stewart Cowen also appears to be one of the mentally ill – a believer in religious nonsense. Those who refuse to serve others in a job which forbids discrimination because of their beliefs in religious nonsense should have their employment terminated immediately. This is also what happened to the other Islington registrar who refused to carry out civil partnerships. If this does not happen, we will have others invoking religious nonsense to refuse to deal with gay people – doctors, nurses etc. There is already the case of one Muslim doctor who has been sacked from a primary care practice because of his attitude to gay people. His attitude was, once again, based on religious nonsense; this time Islam! I am quite happy if people want to believe in religious nonsense so long as they do not use such nonsense to discriminate against others. Stewart’s argument about conscience in this connection is absurd. Would he accept it if an atheist doctor refused to treat him because he was opposed to someone who believed in religious nonsense?

  20. “Ms Ladele’s rights to be relieved of this brand new part of the job (it wasn’t part of the job she applied for and successfully operated for donkeys’ years).”

    This is quite frankly a stupid statement.

    Do bin-men have the right to refuse to collect bins if the colour of the bin changes to one that “wasn’t part of the job applied for”?

    Or, should a bar man get to smoke in a bar, simple because it “was part of the job applied for”?

    Or, what about a civil servant refusing to pay a higher rate of social welfare after a budget, becuase its more then to one that was “part of the job applied for”?

    You make stupid case, Steward, to defend a desperate bigot’s position. Go figure….

  21. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 2:02pm

    Will – There were others available to do the work Ms Ladele couldn’t, so your notion that she denied the ‘rights’ of others is a complete falsity.

    She should just obey orders, according to you. Some people prefer to live comfortably with their conscience, though.

    Can you really not understand that one person’s conscience is, to them, more important than sexual activity is to you or someone else?

    Why is your ‘sexuality’ more important than her conscience? Answer: it’s not. It seems that selfishness and lack of empathy are an integral part of giving in to homosexual temptation.

  22. “Would he accept it if an atheist doctor refused to treat him because he was opposed to someone who believed in religious nonsense?”

    Actually, this is an excellent point.

    I suppose Steward, you would not have any issue with an atheist registrar refusing to marry people?

  23. “Can you really not understand that one person’s conscience is, to them, more important than sexual activity is to you or someone else?”

    Don’t demean my love form my partner to a “sexual activity”. In doing so, you demean any possible argument you can make, and put yourself in a position of ignorance.

    Its akin to me wondering why a violent drunk like you should have any rights to free speech given your socially destructive addiction don’t you think?

    Hence you’re point is invalid and mute.

  24. The bigot Ladele can now live comfortably with her conscience because she is no longer required to perform civil partnerships. Oh, by the way, as one of my friends would say, is she not the registrar who had a bastard? So much for her Christian values and her notion of sin.

  25. John(Derbyshire) 15 Dec 2009, 2:10pm

    Surely-since she was registering a CIVIL ceremony and no religion was involved there are no religious grounds on which she could object to conducting these ceremenoies?

  26. “Surely-since she was registering a CIVIL ceremony and no religion was involved there are no religious grounds on which she could object to conducting these ceremenoies?”

    Of course she was John, and she never voiced an issue with divorced people, even though that is an issue for this so called “christian”.

    The woman is just a disgusting bigot masquerading under the auspices of “faith” having a hissy fit becuase she can’t be allowed to legally hate another human. Nothing more.

  27. Lillian Ladele’s case illustrates three fundamental problems ignored by those who think she ought to have a right to refuse to perform Civil Partnerships.
    1 – If you sign a contract of employment, particularly as a public servant funded by taxpayers’ money, you are in duty bound to comply with it. You are not entitled at a later date to decide that you would rather not implement certain parts of it. If you are able to secure the indulgence of your employer in the matter, with the proviso that this does not impede the employer’s fulfilment of his or her statutory obligations, then so be it. If you cannot, tough. You have no basis for legal complaint. If you then feel that carrying out your duties in full does unacceptable violence to your conscience, resign. I knew a Quaker magistrate in the 1980s who felt unable to penalise antiwar protesters who appeared before him. He resigned, as he recognised that he could not uphold the law selectively, privileging one group of convicted offenders against others.
    2 – There is no theoretical limit to conscientious objection on the basis of religious belief, as indicated by posters above. Allowing dispensations under the law on the basis of it would undermine the rule of law completely.
    3 – It is not clear why relgious conscience should be privileged under the law as opposed to other kinds. Right-wing radicals don’t believe in income tax; they have to pay up. Some cultural groups believe in violent revenge against those who injure them; they are prosecuted if they act on these beliefs. Marxists as well as some monotheists do not believe in the lending of money at interest; they would get short shrift from the law if they refused to pay it on a loan.
    Let those who wish to discriminate against others in the course of public duty or commercial service on the basis of ‘conscience’ campaign for laws to enable them to do so (they quite often do). I am glad to say that it is getting harder and harder for them.

  28. This is absolutely right, John. I think some people forget that civil partnerships like civil marriage cannot, must not, have anything to do with religion. Such ceremonies must not contain religious references. The civil contract was introduced to get away from religious nonsense. Therefore, how can the deranged Ladele have any objection to anything which is not manifestly religious. Not enough has been made of this point!

  29. How come she’s not being done for discrimation?
    Is she not discrimationing, when the law states same-sex couples can have a CP. She has neglected her duties as a civil servant to the public.

    50 years ago she would of been the sort to not of married mixed race.

  30. Riondo, great points there.

  31. good. ha.

  32. The Christian Institute of bigotry should look at the legal process as they need grounds to appeal to the Supreme Court and they have been given non in this ruling by the court of appeal.

    Ironically if they had held off taking this to the appeal court until the equality bill had been passed into law they would of probably won the appeal.

  33. Don’t know if someone already mentioned it but civil partnerships aren’t religious. The lack of the word ‘marriage’ means any religious person who calls upon their religious beliefs for this situation are just exposing their bigotry.

  34. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 3:40pm

    A wonderful decision, though of course this case should never have got off the ground in the first place, and the fact it has been allowed to go so far is testament to how much undeserved influence the nauseating forces of religion still have in our society. Working towards the erosion of this influence shall be one of the most important cultural tasks of the coming decades.

    It amuses and sickens me in equal measure how these religious bigots actually feel outraged when they are told they can’t legally discriminate based on their ridiculous asinine nonsense. But looking at it from a distance, it becomes immediately obvious that this garishly faked sense of outrage is nothing more than a simple huckster’s con trick. It’s the sort of thing a street-corner scammer habitually uses to deflect attention away from the fact he can’t substantiate his claims. It plays on our instinctive desire not to cause disharmony or trouble “I’m offended, now short-circuit the rational part of your brains and treat me with the emotional bits instead, because that’s the only place I stand a chance of getting what I want”. It’s pathetic.

    Religious pretensions were debunked so long ago it’s not even funny – there never were any good reasons to believe in the supernatural and superstitious. The very idea of gods and non-material entities is so philosophically incoherent as to render their existence impossible, even without the fact there is not a shred, whit, tittle or iota of evidence for the existence of such creatures. That there are still religious people in this day and age is a testament to the long way we have yet to go with improving the education of the masses, as well as to the dangers posed by giving free reign to the irrational underpinnings of the human psyche.

    Religious beliefs deserve no more respect than any other hobbies. For that is the level they should be treated on – they are personally chosen leisure preferences, nothing more. Nobody would even dream of granting someone exemption for the law of the land based on their deeply held obsession with subbuteo or scrabble, a deeply held obsession with christian myth should be no different.

  35. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 3:47pm

    also, a number of people seem to be suggesting that the word marriage is somehow an intrinsically religious word, or implies some form of religious content. It doesn’t. It is, and always has been, an entirely secular and universal word, used of legal and social partnerships irrespective of the beliefs of the participants. Do not be fooled by the parasitic attempts of religious types to co-opt universal social institutions such as marriage or morality and pretend they have anything to do with creating them, or presume to some special claim on them.

  36. Mr Dingemans told the appeal judges that Ms Ladele believed marriage should be ‘between one man and one woman for life to the exclusion of all others’.

    Oh yes lovely whatever you say, but you still had sex and gave birth whilst unmarried -your are a sinner Ms Ladele.

    In fact you make me vomit making out you are such a good and wonderful person – I have gay friends Im not homophobic.

    You are an employee of the Council who are duty bound to provide services to gay men and women. Im so pleased you loss your case.

    lee

  37. It’s the Biblical cherry-picking that I can’t bear. Oh, and the flagrant hypocrisy. An unmarried mother (sin, allegedly) who officiates over civil ceremonies (sin) between divorcees (sin), couples with kids born ‘out of wedlock’ (sin)… If she seriously is as strenuous about her beliefs as she claims, I’m amazed she ever made it through the day at all.

    Could it be that the religion excuse is nothing more than a smokescreen to continue to enforce discrimination against gay people? Surely not(!).

  38. theotherone 15 Dec 2009, 3:51pm

    Safire:

    it is you who mocks the bible.

    I would point out that in both the Old and New testaments the languages used do not contain terms for Homosexuality therefore they are not talking about #homosexuality as it would have been an idea that would not have existed in their society.

    You, my dear, are the bigot not fvck off and rant to a wall or something.

  39. “Surely-since she was registering a CIVIL ceremony and no religion was involved there are no religious grounds on which she could object to conducting these ceremenoies?”

    Exactly, John. The CI are obsessed with trying to prove that Christians are being victimised because of their beliefs. This is utterly untrue (in the UK at least). What really winds them up is seeing LGBT people getting more rights, when, in the past the poor dear ‘Christians’ could abuse them left, right and centre and no-one blinked an eye. Of course, Christians also used to use the Bible to persecute black people. I presume Ms Ladele would be absolutely fine with that – after all it would be the racists’ belief.

    As Ms Ladele showed no hesitation in marrying people who weren’t Christian/divorced, etc and, more importantly, performing CIVIL marriages that don’t count as religious marriages – ie marriages under God – then quite obviously she would lose this case because she herself demonstrated that her ‘Christian’ beliefs were very selective.

  40. Robert, ex pat Brit 15 Dec 2009, 4:04pm

    Now, lets turn the tables for an instant. What would the “Christian” Legal Centre have done had a gay hotel owner for example services to anyone with strong religious beliefs that offend LGBT people? You can bet they’d be playing the victim card again. That’s the trouble with these religious cultists, they want it both ways. Why should religious beliefs get a free pass anyway? Who do they think they are and why should any of them be above the law? We call this democracy? NOT.

  41. I liked xians better when they were nailed to bits of wood.

  42. David North 15 Dec 2009, 4:10pm

    Isn’t Stewart Cowan and his ilk a wonder to behold.

    Oh how the bully when cornered love to paint themselves as the victim…..

  43. Har Davids 15 Dec 2009, 4:20pm

    “In a tolerant and civil society, we should be able to accommodate different groups” sounds extremely reasonable, but why won’t they start accomodating others after about 2000 years of bigotry?

  44. As it’s been pointed out, she was very happy to go against her religion marrying all sorts of sinners (non-christians, atheists, divorcees, etc) into a non-religious institution like civil marriage as long as they were people of opposite sexes based on her belief that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

    The funny thing is thanks to the Government’s giving in to the requests of religious lobby groups, she wouldn’t even have had to officiate any same-sex marriages, just register civil partnerships.

    What is her problem? And why is she surprised that she keeps losing?

  45. David North 15 Dec 2009, 5:06pm

    You should get yourselves over to the Archbisip Cramer forum.

    It’s hysterical

    hxxp:..archbishop-cranmer.blogspot.com 2009 12 christian-registrar-loses-appeal-over.html

  46. “In a tolerant and civil society, we should be able to accommodate different groups.
    “There will be serious consequences for religious freedom, conscience, acts and speech if we can’t learn to accommodate different groups.”

    I couldn’t have put it clearer myself – why can’t Christians learn to accommodate different groups?

  47. Wonderful. This is the exact response I expected. I am sure you do not have a else you will not claim it never talked about homosexuality.Please look at Rom 1: 27…..27 And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.
    Romans 1:27 (KJV) tell me what that is talking about.

  48. I wonder how Ms. Ladele would feel if she were to present herself as a bride with a white bridegroom on her arm before some bigoted white registrar who wished to deny her the right to marry based on the registrar’s “deeply held beliefs” that white and black ought never be permitted to marry?

    Such a bigoted racist registrar, discriminating on the grounds of skin colour, would no doubt be scorned, out on his ear, flung out onto the street, and instantly without a job – and the time and expense of trials in court would never be wasted. Such a registrar daring to bring a case as Ms. Ladele has done would be laughed at and sent packing. And he or she would no doubt have a tough time finding similar work anywhere.

    It is extraordinary that a black person is currently going to such lengths to uphold a “right” to discriminate against the civil-rights of someone else. Ms. Ladele looks young: maybe by working in extremely liberal, tolerant, and accepting Islington (barely a Tory in sight in that lovely little borough) she has been exceedingly lucky and has never experienced discrimination herself.

    But maybe if she had worked in the heart of some white Tory county like Dorset, Hampshire, or Norfolk, or just spent a weekend trotting the streets of Canterbury or Bury St. Edmunds, she would never have got so damn cocky!

  49. Sapphire, you should put the Bible down from time to time and pick up an English grammar book. I have no idea what you’re talking about.

  50. Sapphire, no rational non-deluded person today gives a damn what primitive frightened peoples wrote about homosexuality on bits of old parchment two thousand years ago. Those were simple ignorant folk.

    You don’t really believe in the supernatural do you? You don’t REALLY believe that you actually have an invisible friend, do you?

  51. Father Andrew Gentry FCSF 15 Dec 2009, 6:42pm

    Sapphire, your understanding of New Testament Greek is only surpassed by your ignorance of the Bible in general. You give confirmation of the old addage in “To Kill A Mockingbird” “the Bible in the hands of some people is far more dangerous than a loaded shotgun in the hands of a drunk!”

  52. Jean-Paul Bentham 15 Dec 2009, 7:05pm

    This is history in the making, isn’t it.

    Here in Canada, we were haunted by the possibility of a gay couple being refused a CP because of a government employee’s religious conviction.

    Is it a co-incidence that his is making headlines on December 15 – “Bill of Rights Day” in the USA:

    December 15

    This is “BILL OF RIGHTS DAY” signed into law by Franklin Delano Roosevelt to commemorate the 150th anniversary of their ratification…and promptly forgotten because it seems to interfere with too many people’s religiosity. Nevertheless, we’d like to call particular attention to the Ninth Amendment which reads:

    The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

    In other words, there are rights, not enumerated here, that accrue to people whether they are “granted” or not…which would seem to mean that there should be no question about whether or not Gay people could get married. But, like the Bible, people seem to pick and choose what passages they get exercised about and which ones are inconvenient.

    The original Bill of Rights is on display at the National Archives in the Rotunda for The Charters of Freedom in Washington D.C.
    (www.gaywisdom.com)

  53. Also check this out 4 But before they lay down, the men of the city, even the men of Sodom, compassed the house round, both old and young, all the people from every quarter: 5 And they called unto Lot, and said unto him, Where are the men which came in to thee this night? bring them out unto us, that we may know them. 6 And Lot went out at the door unto them, and shut the door after him, 7 And said, I pray you, brethren, do not so wickedly. 8 Behold now, I have two daughters which have not known man; let me, I pray you, bring them out unto you, and do ye to them as is good in your eyes: only unto these men do nothing; for therefore came they under the shadow of my roof. 9 And they said, Stand back. And they said again, This one fellow came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge: now will we deal worse with thee, than with them. And they pressed sore upon the man, even Lot, and came near to break the door. 10 But the men put forth their hand, and pulled Lot into the house to them, and shut to the door. 11 And they smote the men that were at the door of the house with blindness, both small and great: so that they wearied themselves to find the door.
    Gen 19:4-11 (KJV)

    You see, it’s either you do not understand the Bible or you have allowed your deluded heart to lead you astray.

    If you cannot interpret such simple statements and go about claiming the Bible says anything about homosexuality, it shows you have chosen to believe a lie!

    That is however not a surprise either….it was prophesied……And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; 29 Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, 30 Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents, 31 Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:
    Romans 1:28-31 (KJV)

    You do not understand the bible. Talking about judgement….you already have your judgement in your body…..as homos and they will confirm that this is true!

    Only peopple devoid of any intellectual capacity to put forawrd their argument go aggressive at opposing views. you call those with a superior argument mentally ill …… I will not join you in your error because the bible i believe forbids that but please never say again that the Bible did not talk about homosexuality.

    please keep quiet if you lack superior argument.

    I rest my case.

  54. “In a tolerant and civil society, we should be able to accommodate different groups.”

    “There will be serious consequences for religious freedom, conscience, acts and speech if we can’t learn to accommodate different groups.”

    What is the difference between the above quote and paedophiles saying they should be protected because they are sexually attracted to children. Or maybe murderers asking for their right to take peoples life’s to be protected in law.

  55. Father Andrew Gentry FCSF , can you please give an explanation to those passages and the one i posted in the old testament. There is no misunderstanding of Greek here. I challenge you to give the Greek explanation of the passage quoted above. And before you try to deceive innocent people, please be aware that i have geek and Hebrew resources

  56. can Father Andrew Gentry FCSF please respond?

  57. “Romans 1:27 (KJV) tell me what that is talking about”

    Irrelevant.

    “You do not understand the bible”

    Irrelevant.

    “because the bible i believe forbids that”

    Irrelevant.

    “please keep quiet if you lack superior argument.”

    And your version of a “superior argument” is bible quotes? Please. The only thing “superior” here is your arrogance.

    The bible is a collection of contradictory stories, nothing more, and you’re a fool for using it here to back up your offensive bigotry. Its embarrassing.

  58. Exactly Abi1975, that is what i am saying. You bet, one day pedophiles will have enough clout to make that claim unless we speak out now.

    Please look at this site http://www.narth.com/index.html

  59. You have not addressed the issues. Simply tagging something irrelevant does not say anything. There is a lot of scientific evidence against the gay issue. Look at this site if you please.
    http://www.narth.com/index.html

    Address issues please or I repeat…. keep quiet

  60. Sapphire -
    Do you approve of Lot’s handing over his daughters to be raped? This is the implication of your use of Genesis against consensual homosexual relationships – assent to the grotesque sexism of ancient Mediterranean patriarchies. The Genesis story is in any case about abuse of hospitality – a view plainly shared by Jesus according to the Synoptic tradition. It has as much to do with my boyfriend and I getting it on as robbing a bank.
    Your quotations of Paul are entirely predictable. Christianity, especially in its fundamentalist and evangelical forms, is actually Paulianity. His potent menu of sexual repression and deifying hocus-pocus woven around Jesus (who would have been baffled by it and whom Paul plainly knew bugger-all about) has always appealed to the authoritarian mind.
    All of which is a side-line to the point of this story: nobody should be able to use this supernatural rigmarole as a justification for exemption from complying with the law in a secular and pluralist state.
    Now please go away and bother someone else with your superstitious, arbitrary and incoherent beliefs.

  61. My comment was very relevant because the contributor claimed that the bible says nothing about homosexuality. I have simply provided evidence that the bible does say a lot about homosexuality and you call that irrelevant…… please you probably didn’t understand….. it’s not very wise to react to an issue you do not understand

  62. “You bet, one day pedophiles will have enough clout to make that claim unless we speak out now.”

    Ah, the old gay=paedophile. Classic. How pathetic. Also, notice Sapphire, the correct spelling of paedophile. And NARTH’s studies have been proven unscientific. No surprise an idiot like you supports them and cannot see that. Bigotry is blind, as they say.

    You should read this: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/uknews/2111174/Intelligent-people-less-likely-to-believe-in-God.html

    It outlines why religious people are more stupid and atheists. It explains a lot with you, doesn’t it?

  63. Riondo, my beliefs are coherent. Lot giving out his daughters is wrong. The issue in the story is not whether Lot’s giving out his daughter is right r wrong…..very typical, you are looking for excuses. ….. it is a case showing divine judgment against homosexuality. And can you tell me what is wrong with quoting Paul?

    Can you please define superstition honestly? You definition will judge you if you are honest.

    Please face issues or keep silent!

  64. So Sapphire I hope you are not a divorcee as Romans 7:1-3 tells you your bound to your husband until he dies so NO DIVORCE for Christians.

    Also why did Lillian Ladele not follow the instructions of Romans 13: 1-7. Paul instructs you to submit yourselves to governing authorities. So you should be submitting yourself to the laws of the land Sapphire as Paul says in Romans 13:1 “for there is no authority except that which God has establish. The authorities that exist have been established by God.”

    As civil partnerships have been established by those in governing authority over you. You should be complying to Romans 13:1-7 and adhering to the governments decision on homosexuality and civil partnerships.

    Need I go into Paul’s instructions to not marry and stay single in 1 Corinthians 7. Or the instruction on propriety in worship I hope your praying with your head uncovered Sapphire, or the bible will require your hair to be cut off Cor 11:2-16.

  65. Hi

    Will, i thought you were an intellectual. So you do not even understand the difference between UK and US English…..what a pity…. how then can you understand weightier matters….

  66. What amazes me about all of this is that the law, so far, has held up on the principle that equality is exactly that: equality. The points in this forum above have all been said before, and I agree with them all. The main thing I would add is that Ms Ladele cannot believe in a hierarchy of equalities where the oxymoron exists of some people being more equal than others. That would be nonsense.

    The story relayed by Riondo about the Quaker magistrate who resigned because he could not face convicting anti-war protestors struck a chord with me. The man concerned resigned, rather than complain, and that seemed to be a principled course of action to take.

    And at the end of the day, it’s all about principles and integrity, isn’t it? Let’s be absolutely frank here. Here we have a woman, a black woman at that, who had a child out of wedlock, and who then claims to be a Christian. She then decides it’s OK to discriminate on the basis of her so-called beliefs.

    There are certain characteristics that I admire and seek in others: integrity, courage, honesty and fairness. Ms Ladele does not have, in my opinion, any of these characteristics.

  67. Abi1975 , may I tell you that I believe in NO divorce and no remarriage. and do you know Peter asked told the sanherin that He would rather obey men than God. That is what I am saying. you do not understand the bible!

  68. This is the passage ….. in case you do not know where it is Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
    Acts 5:29 (KJV)

  69. That should be head covered not uncovered.

    oh for a preview screen!

  70. Hiursus262,your statement ‘a black woman at that……’ is that not racist? you see you shoot yourself in the leg!

  71. Abi1975 ,now i can see you do not have a bible …. i give the preceding verse together
    28 Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men. 3
    Acts 5:28-30 (KJV)

  72. Abi1975 , can you now see how easy it is to mislead yourself and others. How does that passage relate to covering of the head??

    Please go and buy a Bible

  73. Abi1975, please respond or have you run out of excuses?

  74. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:03pm

    Would you please kindly stop wittering out quotations from a tedious 1700 year old confabulation of inanities and, if you must remain here, start making a case based on actual evidence rather than religious claptrap and the universally discredited pseudoscience of a bunch of American religious wankers?

    Much obliged…

  75. Just to clarify, I mentioned that she was black because there is the issue that she is more than likely to have experienced discrimination herself in an attempt to expose her hypocrisy. It was in that context that I mentioned her skin colour.

  76. who needs the oh for a preview screen now…… repent and be converted. You error in this little obvious things should seriously make you to start reconsidering your views on great matters of life and eternity. If you can call that passage one on being covered, you either made mistake or you are deliberately lying to score a point. Jesus loves you still.

  77. ursus262 , thank you i accept.

  78. Vincent Poffley , if you have evidence present it. When did the age of a book become scientific evidence against its veracity?

  79. Dear Vincent Poffley ,Evidence has been presented time and again that the genetic claim for homosexuality is baseless. Go to http://www.narth.com/index.html to find out more.
    Please, if you try to use verbose, don’t try it on me. I am a scientist with postgraduate qualifications and i have published in many referred journals so i know what evidence is and what it is not. Please face issues and don’t try to hide behind rhetoric…..this has no place in science itself!

  80. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:14pm

    Oh, it’s not BECAUSE it’s old that it’s wrong. Though it is undoubtedly the case that people writing two millennia ago were utterly ignorant of the way the world works in comparison with their modern descendents. Science progresses and our understanding improves cumulatively. The reason the fanciful claims in the christian bible are wrong is because there is not one shred of evidence to back them up. The claim that any sort of god exists is entirely unevidenced and without rational support. The very concept of a god is so philosophically unsound as to be meaningless. Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, and I’m afraid the burden is on you to provide that evidence if you wish to be taken seriously.

  81. So your saying the bible is not the inspired word of God then Sapphire?

    If you believe Romans 1:27 should you not also believe the rest of the book of Romans also.

    Maybe you should be reading Romans 2:1 about passing judgement.

  82. Sorry Vincent Poffley, I have bad news for you…. that same book you refer to as ‘tedious 1700 year old confabulation of inanities’ will judge you on the last day ….except you reply.

  83. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:16pm

    If you truly do possess postgraduate qualifications in scientific subjects then the institutions that conferred them upon you have done a gross disservice to the name of academia. The very fact you accept the claims of a piddling little pseudoscience-factory like NARTH, when it has been universally discredited by all credible scientific bodies concerned with the subject, including the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the American Psychological Association, demonstrates categorically how poor your scientific understanding is.

  84. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:17pm

    A book will judge people? Evidence for this peculiar assertion please?

  85. Exactly, if the age does not nullify it, then why mention it.
    You do not understand law neither do you understand science. How do you provide proof for the past. History is either believed or disbelieved not proven. You are the one who challenged the book so if you at all understand the law, the challenger should provide the burden of proof!

  86. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 8:21pm

    I think the point about Lot offering his daughters is that he would rather the men fornicated with them than that they burned with lust for one another and then burned in Hell for eternity.

    This is how bad homosexual behaviour actually is: so bad, in fact, that a man would offer his daughters in an attempt to wean these men off of behaviour that was leading to their destruction and the demise of that whole society.

    What we all have to do is lose the ‘pride’ because it leads to destruction, as the scripture says.

  87. Typical, anyone who chooses to believe the bible is branded a disgrace to academia….. that is not surprising….can you please tell me where the first scientific evidence that the world is spherical and not flat was found?

  88. Sapphire should you not be following the words of Jesus in Luke 6:37!

    Maybe its time you started looking at the plank in your own eye and not the splinters in our eyes.

  89. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:28pm

    Oh dear oh dear oh dear. The age of a publication may not absolutely discredit it, but it most certainly does change the likelihood that its authors understood anything about scientific matters. The scientific understanding of people in the first centuries CE was pathetic and laughable compared with that of today, and the pronouncements of the uneducated zealots who wrote the works that later became christian scripture display an understanding of reality that was poor even for its time.

    And are you seriously claiming that every work of literature and fiction must be regarded as utterly and literally true by default, unless it is categorically demonstrated not to be? What a facile and ridiculous notion that is! Admittedly, it is very easy indeed to show that the christian scriptures are nothing more than peculiar man-made documents – just read anything in the oevre of Bart Ehrmann. If you want to understand the philosophical paucity of christianity, Anthony Kenney or Daniel C. Dennet will do the job. Or even Bertrand Russell or Spinoza. It’s not like this is a recent discovery after all.

  90. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:32pm

    First scientific evidence that the world is spherical? I do believe that would be Eratosthenes in c. 240BCE, closely followed by Aristarchus of Samos about 50 years later, although it had been speculated at least as far back as the 6th century BC by the presocratics.

  91. Sapphire. Wow. You’re for real. For a while there I simply assumed you were a very successful troll.

    Christianity is about Christ. It is not about Paul, or Genesis.

    In fact, you don’t even need to know one story from the bible, to be a Christian.

    It might be an idea to read Mathew, Mark, Luke and John, to get a good handle on Jesus himself, (though Wikipedia would probably also work as a source to get the bare bones of the man too) which would probably help in deciding to make him your Lord and Saviour. Which is ALL that is required to be a Christian btw.

    You don’t even need a priest.

    As someone who is baptised, I could baptise you (or someone) into Christianity. If we wanted to be literal about it. Yes, really. I was baptised by someone who was baptised and so on. Technically, if it all went well, someone who was Baptised by Jesus or John the Baptist, baptised the person first in line in this lineage, which gives me all the qualifications I need to perform a baptism.

    He had few rules, mainly rules about Love, and that there is no way to heaven except through him. This means, you can’t earn your way into heaven, by doing something, just as you can’t somehow miss the train to heaven by failing to do something.

    If Christ came back tomorrow, followers of his who were of the fundamentalist/fanatic ilk, would crucify him again. No doubt about it.

    The very things that Jesus warned about, happen constantly today. Judging, hatred, bigotry, intolerance, cherry picking the bible, misusing his word, fanaticism. (ad nauseam)

    The sheer amount of killing, that has been done in the name of Jesus Christ is horrific. Never mind using him to justify untold wrongs done to minorities, women, children, even animals.

    The only people Jesus really had issues with were the money changers in the temple and rightly so as anyone who serves God for money, will serve the Devil for better wages. Everyone else except for these money changers, he was just fine with. He was a real hippy that way. I would have enjoyed hanging out with such a fine fellow.

    He had a posse of varied people he hung out with and did a lot of outreach to the poor and loved everyone. He hung out with women of ill repute, and offered the good thief a place at his side in heaven, whereas so called Christians, used to send men to die in Australia for stealing a loaf of bread to feed their families.

    I imagine hot places in hell are reserved for hypocrites… It truly is a terribly undesirable characteristic.

    Oh and, picking on someone for confusing American and British English?

    I do recall a story in the bible about not pointing out the slivers in your brother’s eye, before you have removed the log from your own. Just saying. Truly that was a petty thing to do.

  92. Sapphire wrote
    ” I challenge you to give the Greek explanation of the passage quoted above. And before you try to deceive innocent people, please be aware that i have geek and Hebrew resources”

    . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Sapphire your Freudian slip reveals your state of mind (i have geek and Hebrew resources) . . . “Geeks” are generally thought to be rather odd people who are obsessed with one thing or another.

    * Sapphire it is odd that you base your Christianity on an obsessive hatred of homosexuals, despite Jesus instance on love, tolerance and compassion.

    * Sapphire I challenge you to repent of your homophobia and seek help for your obsession with homosexuals.

    * Sapphire the only person being deceived around here is you. Your lack of education evident in your simplest view of the bible is very telling. Innocence is not a virtual, since there is no excuse for ignorance.

  93. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 8:39pm

    @Vincent Poffley,

    You’ve brought out the old myth that the people who wrote scripture were “uneducated”. Do you really believe that? It’s clearly nonsense. You just have to read some to see. Just because it sounds old doesn’t mean it can be disregarded. People were wiser in the past than they are now, I bet. Only a fool would deny the existence of his own soul, or give no care for it, like they do today.

  94. @Stewart Cowen . . .

    Stewart . . . When are you going to stop indulging your obsessive mental masturbation in your endless bible quotations?

    Stewart . . . When are you going to repent of your homophobia?

    Stewart . . . When are you going to follow the teachings of Christ rather than you own hate which try to justify through your literal, grass and grossly ignorant view of the bible.

  95. Lets hope you have never worked or shopped on the sabbath Sapphire as described in Hebrews 4 or you will never enter heaven.

  96. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 8:45pm

    I have read quite a bit of christian scripture actually, and funnily enough none of it holds a small, sputtering candle to contemporary or even previous Greek and Latin scholarship in terms of intellectual capacity. Some of it is good poetry I will admit, but in terms of an educated understanding of the world, it falls down badly. This is why christianity had to appropriate the scholarship of secular philosophy, such as Aurelius Augustinus of Thagaste’s neoplatonism, or scholastic Aristotelianism, in order to come up with an even semi-coherent intellectual edifice. Compare the works of Aristotle, Plato, Tacitus, Livy, Vergil, Cicero or any other major classical author to the dross of scripture, and you will find that scriptural writings simply cannot compete.

    As for the existence of a “soul”, some kind of non-material essence responsible for abstract cognition or informing a physical body, that is simply a discarded antique hypothesis of no further value to modern psychology and neuroscience.

  97. Why is it that sites such as this are haunted by those who are seriously mentally ill, that is by people who believe in the most appalling rubbish, in wholesale religious nonsense? These are clearly people who are suffering from religious mania and who should be incarcerated in lunatic asylums. Posters here should ignore them, for it is impossible to argue with those who are totally irrational.

  98. Dear JohnK ,This endless ranting, please give the explanation of the Greek.If you don’t have a superior then please don’t claim that the bible does not condemn homosexuality.If you do not believe the Bible, that is another kettle of fish, but please do not misrepresent it.by the way that was meant to read Greek resources and not Geek. my mistake.
    Period.

  99. Poor Sapphire, I see you have managed to escape from your strait-jacket again!

  100. Dear Vincent Poffley , like your honesty that you have ‘read quite a bit of christian scripture’ that is the reason you do not understand the Book.
    The philosophers you quoted made a lot of contributions which i greatly respect. However, they also made a lot of blunders. Did you know that Galileo thought there just a few thousand stars?

    The invention of the telescope proved him wrong. But do you that if he had read his his bible and believed it, he wouldn’t have made that blunder? Please look at Therefore sprang there even of one, and him as good as dead, so many as the stars of the sky in multitude, and as the sand which is by the sea shore innumerable.
    Heb 11:12 (KJV)

  101. Vincent Poffley -
    Beautifully stated, thank you. Belief in a transcendent spiritual reality is one thing. Claiming copyrighted objectively true knowledge of it on the basis of arbitrarily exalted texts which is then used to condemn and devalue the lives and experiences of others is quite another.

  102. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 9:01pm

    Rain, we must warn of the consequences of sin. In Sodom and Gomorrah, hardly anyone survived the evil of sin, but warn we must, so that those that want to be freed from their sins can have the chance.

  103. Stewart Cowan 15 Dec 2009, 9:01pm

    Neville #97 – and you think yours is a rational post, do you?!

  104. Sapphire . . . It is interesting that you base your Christianity on the hatred of homosexuality . . . rather than the life and ministry of Jesus Christ who preached Love Tolerance and Compassion.

    Sapphire . . . I will not be drawing into your endless mental masturbation with the Bible.

    Sapphire . . . I put it to you, why do you think you will get into heaven when your heart is so clearly full of hate for homosexuals which is contrary to the teachings of Jesus.

  105. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 9:07pm

    “Stars in the sky in multitude” eh? which clearly means more than a couple of thousand, obviously it does! If I am not entirely mistaken the koine Greek would have been Myrioi, which just means “thousands”. But that is entirely immaterial. For a start, Gallileo simply believed what everyone else believed at the beginning of his life – mankind could only see a couple of thousand stars, so that was all the stars there was reasonable evidence for. Of course, there had been plenty of speculation about how many stars there actually are all the way back to the astronomers of Egypt and Sumer – the idea that there were innumerable stars had been mooted hundreds of times before even the first christian scriptures were penned. Then Gaillileo invented a telescope, and realised that this was not so. It is a prime example of how the scientific method works – with hypotheses modified, discarded or supported according to where the evidence takes us! And modern telescopes have discovered more and more stars as they have become more powerful. In fact, we now know that there are almost certainly more stars in the universe than there could possibly ever be grains of sand on the planet earth. Which, incidentally, are no more innumerable than any other very large but still measurable number.

    The point is that simply trusting to ancient books is no way to determine the nature of reality. Science is the only way we can do that. Whether the blind guesses of archaic peoples are consonant with modern science is neither here nor there.

  106. sorry you failed the test about the first mention of the shape of the earth.
    contrary to your assertion, it was not Eratosthenes in c. 240BCEor Aristarchus of Samos that first mentioned or speculated about the shape of the earth.

    A prophet in the bible called Isaiah first wrote it by inspiration. He had a long ministry from 740 to 680 BC centuries before the 240BCE you mentioned.
    need evidence, please read it below…
    It is he that sitteth upon the circle of the earth, and the inhabitants thereof are as grasshoppers; that stretcheth out the heavens as a curtain, and spreadeth them out as a tent to dwell in:
    Isaiah 40:22 (KJV)

    Please I will advise you get a bible and read it then you will understand these issues better

    Comment by Vincent Poffley

  107. Exactly my dear friend. I do not trust ancient books. What I am saying is what you just attested to. Scientific methods keep changing. That’s exactly why we cannot base our entire future or the future of our soul on it.

  108. Mihangel apYrs 15 Dec 2009, 9:12pm

    Well the thread has been well and truly derailed by the Xianists!

    And I’ve been moderated off – probably for using the f-word (asterisked) to refer to the authors of the bible (bronaze age goat “molesters”)

    The gist of my screed was – believe what you want, but don’t bring it into your job and demand to be paid full rate but only do part of it: as a public servant you serve ALL your employees, ie the public, with equal respect and professionalism

  109. JohnK. i do not hate homosexuals. I do hate homosexuality because God hates. I hope you understand the difference

  110. Hi Sapphire, it looks like you know your staff, explain then, why Jesus never mentioned homosexuality if it is such a sin (he managed to mention all other wrongs and rights), and what about ‘an eye for an eye… etc’ should we still practice it? Thats just for starters.

  111. JohnK. i do not hate homosexuals. I do hate homosexuality because God hates IT. I hope you understand the difference

  112. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 9:15pm

    Vague references to circles (note, circles, not necessarily spheres), curtains and tents are hardly scientific evidence of anything. They are not observations, experimental results, or indeed facts. They are merely blind speculations. Similar vague speculations can be found in even older literature. Egyptian astronomical papyri talk in similar terms, about the curving body of the sky goddess Nut circling round to meet her consort Geb, the earth.

    But the earth is not a circle. In fact it isn’t even a sphere, it’s ellipsoid, and the sky most certainly looks nothing like a curtain or a tent.

  113. theotherone 15 Dec 2009, 9:16pm

    saphire: it would have been impossible for any New Testament text to talk about men lieng with men as there are where no Genderd nouns ie. no way to say ‘man’ or ‘woman.’

    The distinct and rather worrying severing of the sexes dates from the 17th century not the 1st.

  114. 21stCenturySpirituality 15 Dec 2009, 9:17pm

    To Sapphire and Stewart Cowan I have much to say in response to what you have posted here, but first I would just like to say that I do not disrespect either of you as human beings. I too, am a person of faith and a man of God. Obviously I have come to somewhat different understandings to you about God and Life in my own spiritual walk so I would like to open dialogue with you in the interests of stimulating you to think about what you believe and whether those beliefs are an accurate or complete picture of actual truth or ultimate reality. I am not trying to undermine or dismiss what you believe but rather to assist you to expand and enlarge your understanding. May the love of Jesus transform you. Amen.

    Rather than swamp you I am going to give you material in managable chunks, so to start with please digest and consider the following:

    http://www.soulforce.org/article/homosexuality-bible-gay-christian

    http://www.religioustolerance.org/homosexu.htm

  115. Stewart . . . The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is “Inhospitality”

    Stewart . . . When people invite you to a party you do not rape your quests. . . as in the case of Sodom and Gomorrah.

    Stewart . . . You are guilty of the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah. Stewart, you have been invited onto this site by virtue of its open access policy. Stewart, you are guilty of mental violation, your ranting and obsessive need to flood this thread with your warped ideas is implicit with incitement to homophobic hate by proxy. . .

    WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO REPENT OF YOUR HOMOPHOBIA

  116. Stewart Cowan – Incorrect. The reason that the Christian RELIGION was born of the Christian FAITH, is that people feel the need for rules. They have an innate need to be told what to do, how to do it, and what can or can I not to in order to get my way into heaven.

    Jesus did not condemn non Christians to hell. He simply stated that the only way to heaven was through him. Some native of the Amazon jungle, who has lived in harmony with the land and who is void of malice, and hypocrisy and wickedness, will be joining Christ in heaven just as surely as a devout Nun who has given her life to God, or some Hindu holy man, or some 10 dollar crack whore, who on her death bed realised that she was saved if only she wanted to be.

    It’s not some exclusive club or something that you have to fill out forms, or pay a fee, or do an obstacle course to get into.

    But, people cannot bend their brains around this, so religion was invented. Religion is business. Pure and simple, and extra hot places in hell are undoubtedly reserved for people who misguide their flocks and profit from the good faith of good people.

  117. High andy,you seem to have a sincere question.Christianity is based on the entirety of the revelation of scripture(the bible) and not just on the words or direct sayings of Christ alone.
    Do you remember that Jesus directly appeared to Paul and that Paul wrote by the spirit of Christ Jesus. The scripture is united.

    Again, please look at this saying of Jesus.
    Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come.

    Jesus clearly teaches that we are no longer to practice tooth for tooth anymore.

    Thank you.
    John 16:13 (KJV)

  118. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 9:21pm

    You don’t trust ancient books? Then why the hell are you so fond of quoting them and why on earth do you base your life around what they say, rather than using reliable, evidence-based methods to do so?

    And as to the pathetic canard that scientific conclusions keep changing (you said methods, but I will assume that you meant conclusions, since the method itself doesn’t change) – that’s the beauty and the importance of science. We are always learning more about the world, always refining, improving and adapting our models of reality to better fit with the evidence. That’s how come we have managed to make such marvellous advances and improvements, including the medicine that allows you to still be alive rather than dead of bubonic plague, and the very computer you sit there typing your ill-informed religious screeds upon. Yes, it is wrong to claim that the earth is flat. It is also wrong to claim that the earth is perfectly spherical. But if you can’t tell just how much more wrong the former claim is than the latter then I hold out no hope for you at all. Even less so given that you claim some competence in scientific matters.

  119. Sapphire – God does not HATE. Geez… Or do you mean the Jewish God? (not that there is anything wrong with him either or Jews or Muslims or Atheists for that matter)

    You realise, that Jesus is God, and Jesus IS LOVE, right? RIGHT?

  120. Sapphire . . . there is nothing sincere about you

    Sapphire . . . why do you ignore the life and mission of Jesus Christ: Love Tolerence Compassion and inclusivity

    Sapphire . . . when are you going to repent of your homophobia

  121. Vincent Poffley ,I can see that you are impervious to evidence ypou dismiss every thread of evidence that does not agree with your pre-conceived ideas.
    But the simple point i ma making is that it was first mentioned in the Bible….. it is surprising how you try to dodge issues.

    Simple, it was FIRST MENTIONED IN THE BIBLE. that is the fact. admit it and stop endless ranting!

  122. Rain , that typo was corrected in the immediate post after it. god hates IT. IT referring to homosexuality. Please get back to real issues.

  123. Sapphire . . . why do you pretend the Bible does not have a context?

  124. Adrian Tippetts 15 Dec 2009, 9:31pm

    Here, on PinkNews, we have someone who not only knows how the Cosmos was created and who was responsible for it (this cannot be known). We have someone, who also knows the mind of the great creator of the Universe. And intimate enough to know what God thinks of your sleeping arrangements. Sapphire, how do you know this unknowable information?

    It is amazing, that Christians say how humble they are, yet make the most arrogant claims. It’s too ridiculous for words. Until, Sapphire, you can prove you know a god exists and how you know ‘God’s mind’, then you have no place in any rational discussion.

    PS NARTH is not a scientific organisation. This article on their website, promoting ‘intelligent design’ creationism as a serious explanation for the origins of life (in any case, all creationists are by definition idiots), shows their contempt for science and evidence: http://www.narth.com/docs/reflection.html

  125. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 9:34pm

    But I am telling you that it was NOT first mentioned in the bible! The oldest evidence we have of vague pronouncements about roundness to the earth and skies comes from EGYPTIAN ASTRONOMICAL PAPYRI from the 2nd and 3rd Millennia BC. Which, in all honesty, is probably where the semitic peoples of the middle east a millennium later GOT those ideas from.

    And even if we DID NOT have all the papyri and carvings we have that let us understand ancient astronomy, all that would indicate is that certain old testament texts are the earliest SURVIVING citation of these vague ideas. Were this the case (and it is not) then we would still be speculating about where these texts got it from.

    And I find it highly amusing that YOU, who have explicitly abandoned the evidence-based disciplines of science for the pathetic superstitions of religious making-it-up-as-you-go-along, dare to suggest that I am unwilling to look at the evidence! Do you not even realise the irony there?

  126. Sapphire – forgive my lack of interest but every time a Christian comes on here spouting the Bible, people patiently address the pints they make, and they are utterly ignored.

    So – briefly. As said above the sin of Sodom was inhospitality. The writings in Paul do NOT represent the opinions of God. The writings about same sex relationships in the Bible largely refer to temple cults which were a threat to Christianity. They also refer to same sex relationships by HETEROsexual people – that’s what ‘going against Nature’ means in this context.

    But – why not tell us all about the Curse of Ham; the ‘fact’ that the Sun orbits the Earth; why women should marry their rapists; why non-virgin brides should be stoned to death on their fathers’ doorsteps, etc etc ad nauseam…

  127. @Sapphire and Stewart

    God gave you a mind !!!
    Why do you refuse to use it !!!
    Why do you refuse to develop it !!!

  128. Sapphire, the real issue is your hypocrisy. And you are btw, an excellent troll. Someone should do a count of how many bites and words you have gotten. I am sure the number will be quite epic.

  129. Adrian Tippetts 15 Dec 2009, 9:39pm

    Sapphire – what is your method for working out whether the contents of the bible are true or not?

    If you are a Christian, I presume you don’t believe Mohammed saw any visions from Archangel Gabriel or went to heaven on a white horse over Jerusalem. I presume you don’t believe, as most Utahns do, that Joseph Smith received any revelations from the Angel Moroni. If you are protestant, I presume you don’t accept that mary ascended bodily to Heaven and never died. Why do you accept your cherished set of miracles, for which there is no more or less evidence, than all the other aforementioned ones?

  130. 21stCenturySpirituality 15 Dec 2009, 9:41pm

    Dear Sapphire and Stewart Cowan, following on from the beginning of the material I began posting at 114, here is some more material for you to digest and consider.

  131. Sapphire u said ,Christianity is based on the entirety of the revelation of scripture(the bible) and not just on the words or direct sayings of Christ alone’

    What is Christianity? New Testament primarly, whole book is based around of words of Jesus and letters of apostoles, not all letters were accepted though and it was very selective process, we like this one but we dont like that one etc, so it is possible it was flawed by default, so what u r left with that u can trust beyond doubt is word of Christ, and he hasn’t mentioned homosexuality once

  132. Sapphire . . . as St Paul warns us we only see partially as if viewing through a muddy glass

    Sapphire . . .
    *You are blinded by your hate
    *You are blinded by your hypocrisy
    *You are blinded by your inhospitality

  133. Vincent Poffley Exactly, I see the irony. can you site or quote the ancient Egyptian source you are referring to as i have clearly quoted the Bible?
    what surprises me is that you have the guts to condemn a book you just commendably commented that you’ve just read a bit of. Is that science? You are saying all these because you believe the writings of a few atheists. How can you talk about evidence when you are commenting about a book
    you have not fully read? Sincerely, is that science????

  134. JohnK . I have deliberately ignored you because you have nothing to say. it irks me however that you quoting the same Paul you just discredited minutes ago.

    You need repentance.

  135. Now andy , since you insist, please read this thread.
    When the Pharisees questioned Him about divorce, notice what Matthew 19:4-6 says, “4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5 And said, For this cause (that they are male and female) shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together (a man and a wife), let not man put asunder.”

  136. Ah well, I shall leave you lot to it. However, there no point in arguing with a fool, or a fanatic. From a distance no one can tell the difference, and in the end one achieves nothing.

    Better save your breath for someone you can actually reason with.

  137. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 9:51pm

    A translation of many relevant papyrus and epigraphical texts is available in Neugebauer, Otto and Parker, Richard A., “Egyptian Astronomical Texts Volume 1 : The early decans”, Brown University Press, Providence, Rhode Island, 1960. Apart from the circular zodiacs, look carefully at what is said about the circular arching of Geb and Nut.

    Also, one does not need to read a whole book in order to know that it is nonsense. In fact, one does not necessarily need to read a book at all if there are sufficiently good accounts of what it claims – and I am more than intimately familiar with medieval christian theology. Have you read the Koran from cover to cover? What about the Bhagavad Gita? What about the Sikh Granth? What about the Gospel of the Flying Spaghetti Monster. If not, then how can you dismiss these religions so readily.

    Tell me why you dismiss the claims of all other gods, and you will know why I dismiss the claims of yours.

  138. Sapphire still nothing on homosexuality and Christ, try hader

  139. Sapphire . . . I understand that you are going to ignore me because in your world view

    1. you have to swallow whole everything a person says
    2. you are unable to think beyond a narrow framework
    3. you are unable come to your own conclusions

    I do not see developing my capacity to reason and evaluate as a cause for repentance

    I do however see implict incitement homophobic hatred by proxy in your rhetroical rants as cause for repentance.

    Sapphire . . . when are you going to repent of you heart of homophobic hatred ?

  140. How come the judge expressed sympathy for her?
    Is a judge there to express sympathy, Or simply to rule on
    matters of law?

    Of course, the Daily Wail has picked up on that one:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1236042/Christian-registrar-loses-sacking-fight-refusal-marry-gay-couples.html

    Yes, it is a “modern, liberal democracy”, that’s something judges ought to be standing up for, not half-apologising for when they correctly and legally rule against bigots like this woman.

  141. As Rain says there is not point in arguing with the religious insane. Do, Vincent, leave the deranged Sapphire to her own religious madness, there’s a good chap.

  142. 21stCenturySpirituality 15 Dec 2009, 10:03pm

    Dear Sapphire and Stewart Cowan, get ready for a bit of a bumpy ride because you may find this material quite challenging from your perspective. Im including it not too offend you, but because it reflects in a nutshell some ideas that have been discussed in relation to biblical scholarship and criticism in recent decades and I consider it to be relevant to this discussion. So here it is:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TjGkRFFBd0A

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A_E0vfP79yE

  143. Jane . . . excellent point, I was not aware of that – thanks

  144. Vincent Poffley 15 Dec 2009, 10:06pm

    Awww, but I was having so much fun. There is something morbidly compelling about religious nutcases. Like a car crash that, despite all better judgement, you just have to stare at…

  145. This “Sapphire” is either a troll just playing a game and enjoying winding us up as if he/she were Lillian Ladele herself,

    OR

    This “Sapphire” is one of those gospel-spouting automatons that have been brainwashed from birth with gobbledegook and cannot therefore think for themselves – in which case the most effective way of helping him/her would be enforced incarceration in a mental home devoid of all inane/religious materials so that he/she might “dry out” and gradually drain the brain of the religious crap.

    There is most probably no god. It is foolish to be sure that there is.

    Ignore the stupid troll/automaton. It ain’t worth our time.

  146. Funny how the fundies quoting stuff from a book of bronze age goat shagging sacrificers (the smell of burnt flesh is pleasing to the Lord) come out and post on gay sites when they lose a legal case.

    This was a clear case of religious bigotry based on the CI stated mission of persecution of gay people.

    I for one am glad to see this evil bigoted unconvincing nasty piece of do as I say not as I do getting her come-uppance.

    Sapphire…the bible is meaningless and a pathetic excuse for hatred and your spouting of it isn’t going to convince anyone here otherwise…now go off back under your rock and play with your semi naked man on his roman execution device…

  147. Adrian Tippetts 15 Dec 2009, 10:14pm

    Well done Vincent. Taking on religious fanatics is good fun and always sharpens the mind.

  148. I understand the Christian Institute Lawyers will now take the case to the Supreme Court – when it again fails. . . Perhaps, they will then take it to their Supreme leader and invoke the warth of God on Homosexuals?

  149. Christian Fundamenalist Crackpots always sharpen the mind

    Praise the Lord

    Lets all speak in tongues (njfihoerw cuigd n8nyvdfby kfj)

  150. What a shame we couldn’t celebrate the good sense of the court of appeal without an invasion of trolls.

  151. Rose . . . yets do it!!!

  152. Have the “Christians” posting on here made any converts today? I suspect not. They bring their own religion into disrepute, a quite astonishing hijacking of the word “Christian” over the past 30 years to mean, in its first association, “hateful bigot”. If there is such a thing as blasphemy, they are the blasphemers.

  153. Stewart, post 102. Read Genesis 19:4 but read it properly and it is clear as daylight that this was intended as a humiliation by “ALL the men from every part of the city of Sodom” of the visitors, who you would refer to as “angels”. This was something very common in that society and at that time. It is NOT a question of homosexuality, it’s a matter of ritual humiliation of one’s enemies. Look at Judges 19:22, you will find exactly the same scenario, “Bring out the man who came to your house so we can have sex with him”, showing that it’s ritual humiliation that is involved, NOT homosexuality.

    As with so many self-proclaimed “Christians”, your actual knowledge of the Bible is rudimentary, at best and you allow yourself to swallow verbatim chunks of bile supposedly based on your holy texts.

    Why not study and understand those texts properly before you simply make a fool of yourself through your ignorance?

  154. Vincent Poffley .
    I can see you are historian but not a scientist.You definitely do not need to read a whole book before you choose to discredit it. In that instance however, is your decision based on science or religion. Contrary to what your deluded mind might want to believe, you are not a scientist.
    I choose to disbelieve the other gods because i do so….. that is religion not science. In the same vein if you are choose to disbelieve the bible when you have not read it and obviously refused to exercise to exercise your rich intellectual capacity that you have gleefully displayed to understand it; then that is religion and not science.
    told you I am scientist. I have carefully observed your rantings and concluded by observation that you are not a scientist but a historian. No wonder you go on the tangent of rhetoric rather than presenting solid evidence. while that might work in law and history, it definitely does not work in science which you claim to stand for. Science is not calling your opponent names because he dares to differ from popular opinion, it is the conclusion reached through observation and careful experimentation.

    You cannot subject the bible to observation or to experimentation because it predates your existence.
    You either believe it or you disbelieve it. That is entirely your choice.However, branding those who do believe as living in the past shows a lack of the intellectual capacity to counter superior argument.

    I do not hate homosexuals. I love them and christ loves them. It is because of that love that I write here to say they need to repent or they will be shocked in eternity!

    Please, give me science and not endless ranting of a historian!

  155. Stop the Aid 15 Dec 2009, 10:51pm

    Anyone remember the Oracle from Up Pompeii?

    Actually I’m convinced Sapphire is Eric Idle.

  156. Sapphire

    If you do not hate homosexuals why are you asking them to repent?

  157. Based on Prov 14:7, i will refrain as much as I can from responding to you.
    You can choose to believe what you believe but you are responsible for whatever you choose to believe.
    …….. but I have prayed for you that God will will open your eyes.

    Good night and if i have spoken by the Lord, He will confirm His words by revealing Himself to you.

    again, I do not hate homosexuals, but you are on the path to destruction!

  158. Stop the Aid 15 Dec 2009, 11:07pm

    Didn’t Elijah specifically state the sin of Sodom was inhospitality, and doesn’t the gospel of John specifically state Jesus was in love with one of his disciples, who was resting on his breast at the last supper? And he asked Mary to treat him as her son too (from the cross).

    Homosexuality doesn’t feature in the 10 commandments, clearly not important enough, and is not mentioned anywhere in the gospels. Paul was apparently talking about temple prostitution.

    Go ask the Archbishop of Canerbury, he knows a thing or two.

  159. Sapphire, if God exists he must be an arsehole to have produced such a mad woman as you obviously are. Go away and fornicate with the other religious crackpots on this site.

  160. What is good to know is that this decision of the Appeal Court, which will never reach the Supreme Court for there are no grounds to allow this, means that more and more will the religious be defeated in their attempts to foist their evil beliefs on a secular society.

  161. Sapphire

    *You are not God
    *You are not a Judge in the name of God
    *You do not have access to the mind of God (assuming that God exists)

    What this reveals about you is your obsession with homosexuals and homosexuality, and not the heart of Christianity which is love in all its forms: compassion, tolerance, inclusivity . . .

    You do not seem to be able to comprehend this word love, and this is why. When you say “I do not hate homosexuals, but you are on the path to destruction!” . . . you reveal what is in your heart

    Your fantasy that God will destroy homosexuals does not speak of a God of compassion, tolerance or inclusivity . . . it does however speak of the hate, anger and violence in your heart.

  162. I agree, JohnK, but really there is no point in trying to get through to a deranged woman. You cannot argue with the mad!

  163. Dear Neville,

    I know exactly where you are going. You want to provoke me to come down to your level as the spirit of god is convicting you of your evil and wicked wayu.

    You say I am mad and you call god an arsehole.

    Now listen to the mind of the Lord.
    Not many days from now, you will cry to that arsehole for mercy when your sin will catch up with you as it has caught up with many homosexuals…… the only way is repentance.

    Your calling me mad is not surprising….. look at this passage…
    And many of them said, He hath a devil, and is mad; why hear ye him?
    John 10:20 (KJV)

  164. * God and not god before some time water picks on that!

  165. Neville, exactly . . . but I do think it is important to expose this. As you say – these are the words of some one who is deranged and mad – but lets make this explcit for all to see.

    I think you would probably agree with me that this is now crystal clear so to speak

  166. Sapphire, based on Prov. 14:7, I accept you are ignorant and will therefore refrain from responding to you.

    There’s a Jewish saying which puts it rather better:

    “If you’re arguing with an idiot and a stranger comes along, the stranger won’t be able to make out which of you is the greater idiot”.

    Enjoy your ignorance.

  167. However lets not forget that this is a day of victory

    Truth
    Liberty and
    Justice

    Has prevailed in the courts and civil soceity today

    Lets Praise the Lord

  168. . . . I meant

    Praise the Law

    (lol)

  169. Peter G. Brown 15 Dec 2009, 11:46pm

    The bible can be read in many ways. It also says that it is a sin (aldultery) if I get divorced and remarry – so suppose I really believe this and refuse to deal with people who are divorced and remarry? Or perhaps, as one Sydney diocese cleric did years ago, believe that verses from the Old Testament teach that blacks are inferior to whites and so blacks should not have authority over whites, then I might refuse on religious grounds to work under a black person. In both cases there would, quite rightly, be outrage and howls of bigotry. Why then does this woman (and other so-called Christians) claim that her personal interpretation of certain obscure verses in the bible give her the right to introduce her bigotry into the work place? I am very pleased with the result.

  170. We do not need to condemn these superstitious relics. They have condemned themselves according to the book of fairytales :D

    Romans 13:1-13 (New International Version)

    Submission to the Authorities

    (1)Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. (2)Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves. (3)For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you. (4)For he is God’s servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God’s servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer. (5)Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience. (6)This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, who give their full time to governing. (7)Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honour, then honour.

    As the bible is commanding Christians to obey the decisions of those in authority over them. Should they not honour and respect the laws on homosexuality and civil partnerships as decided by the government. Lillian Ladele and the christian institute have gone against the governing authorities the bible says is established by their own God. So they are going against their God also as described in Romans 13:2.

    So following the letter of scripture they have brought their Gods judgement on themselves for their actions.

  171. Dont often make posts but couldnt resist. I agree, no one can away anything to enlighten poor old Saphire and Stewart, i doubt even God him/herself with his big white fluffy beard would get good odds on that one, but ill try anyway and to prove that I am god here goes with a few mystical predictions.
    get the easy one out of the way first.
    1.you are both so deeply buried in the closet, you can feel it like a shadow under the tip of your tounge, never to be spoken, NEVER to be thought, it lies hidden from our heart but you feel it pulsing relentlessly so much so that you feel compelled to seek out whatever connection to the gay community you can just to quench it’s undying thirst with a drop of the blissful experience all other out and proud gays on here swim.
    2-you either have a job as a preacher or claim to be a charity worker yet you fail to see that helping someone in return for them converting to your faith is not charity but an exchange in goods and there is nothing selfless in your deeds. (ps being god n all I would advise you to get a real job and stop leeching on people, i do not look favourably on it.)
    3.the last words you speech will not be ‘thank you it was so beautiful’ but while lying in the cold and all alone you will whisper in last gasp ‘I wasted my life.’.

    Hit the nail on the head huh? See I told you I was god. Now just to clear a couple of things up for you, what you call Christianity, the word we use for it up here in the clouds is ‘back wash’ it always grinds our gears up here in the big fivestar hotel in the sky when you guys get the name wrong.

  172. Abi1975 , so you have started quoting the bible again. why did you run away from the obvious ignorance about the passage quoted in Acts 5:29 earlier. Now you are back quoting another passage you do not understand.

    You see you just refuse to be wise. Look at the verse again and be wise this time.

  173. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 12:28am

    Dear Sapphire & Stewart Cowan, in the ongoing selection of material I am posting for you to consider I would like to add the following book extract to the material I posted at 114, 130, and 142. It is taken from Against All Gods – Six Polemics On Religion And An Essay On Kindness by A C Grayling:

    Are Religions Respectable?

    It is time to reverse the prevailing notion that religious commitment is intrinsically deserving of respect, and that it should be handled with kid gloves and protected by custom and in some cases law against criticism and ridicule.
    It is time to refuse to tiptoe around people who claim respect, consideration, special treatment, or and other kind of immunity, on the grounds that they have a religious faith, as if having faith were a priviledge-endowing virtue, as if it were noble to believe in unsupported claims and ancient superstitions. It is neither. Faith is a commitment to belief contrary to evidence and reason, as between them Kierkegaard and the tale of Doubting Thomas are at pains to show; their example should lay to rest the endeavours of some ( from the Pope to the Southern Baptists) who try to argue that faith is other than at least non-rational, given that for Kierkegaard its virtue precisely lies in its irrationality.

    On the contrary: to believe something in the face of evidence and against reason – to believe something by faith – is ignoble, irresponsible and ignorant, and merits the opposite of respect.
    It is time to demand of believers that they take their personal choices and preferences in these non-rational and too often dangerous matters into the private sphere, like their sexual proclivities. Everyone is free to believe what they want, providing they do not bother (or coerce, or kill) others; but no one is entitled to claim privileges merely on the grounds that they are votaries of one or another of the world’s many religions.

    And as this last point implies, it is time to demand and apply a right for the rest of us to non-interference by religious persons and organisations – a right to be free of proselytisation and the efforts of self selected minority groups to impose their own choice of morality and practice on those who do not share their outlook.

    Doubtless the votaries of religion will claim that they have the moral (the immoral) choices of the general population thrust upon them in the form of suggestive advertising, bad language and explicit sex on television, and the like; they need to be reminded that their television sets have an off button. There are numbers of religious TV channels available, one more emetic than the next, which I do not object to on the grounds of their existence; I just dont watch them.

    These remarks will of course inflame people of religious faith, who take themselves to have an unquestionable right to respect for the faith they adhere to, and a right to advance, if not indeed impose (because they claim they know the truth, remember) their views on others. In the light of history and the present, matters should perhaps be to the contrary; but stating that religious commitment is not by itself a reason for respect is not to claim that it is a reason for disrespect either. Rather, as it is somewhere written, ‘by their fruits ye shall know them’; it is this that far too often provides grounds for disrespect of religion and its votaries.

    The point to make in opposition to the predictable response of religious believers is that human individuals merit respect first and foremost as human individuals. Shared humanity is the ultimate basis of all person-to-person and group-to-group relationships, and views which premise differences between human beings as the basis of moral consideration, most especially those that involve claims to possession by one group of greater truth, holiness, or the like, start in absolutely the wrong place.

    We might enhance the respect others accord us if we are kind, considerate, peace-loving, courageous, truthful, loyal to friends, affectionate to our families, aspirants to knowledge, lovers of art and nature, seekers after the good of humankind, and the like; or we might forfeit that respect by being unkind, ungenerous, greedy, selfish, wilfully stupid or ignorant, small-minded, narrowly moralistic, superstitious, violent, and the like. Neither set of characteristics has any essential connection with the presence or abscence of specific beleif systems, given that there are nice and nasty Christians, nice and nasty Muslims, nice and nasty atheists.

    That is why the respect one should have for one’s fellow humans has to be founded on their humanity, irrespective of the things they have no choice over – ethnicity, age, sexuality, natural gifts, presence or abscence of disability – and conditionally (i.e. not for intrinsic reasons) upon the things they choose – political affiliation, belief system, lifestyle – according to the case that can be made for the choice and the defence that can be offered of the actions that follow from it.

    It is because age, ethnicity, and disability are not matters of choice that people should be protected from discrimination premised upon them. By contrast, nothing that people choose in the way of politics, lifestyle or religion should be immune from criticism and (when, as so often it does, it merits it) ridicule.

    Those who claim to be ‘hurt’ or ‘offended’ by the criticisms or ridicule of people who do not share their views, yet who seek to silence others by law or by threats of violence, are trebly in the wrong: they undermine the central and fundamental value of free speech, without which no other civil liberties are possible; they claim, on no justifiable ground, a right to special status and special treatment on the sole ground that they have chosen to believe a set of propositions; and they demand that people who do not accept their beliefs and practices should treat these latter in ways that implicitly accept their holder’s evaluation of them.

    A special case of the respect agenda run by religious believers concerns the public advertisement of their faith membership. When people enter the public domain wearing or sporting immediately obvious visual statements of their religious affiliation, one at least of thier reasons for doing so is to be accorded the overriding identity of a votary of that religion, with the associated implied demand that they are therefore to be given some form of special treatment including respect.

    But why should they be given automatic respect for that reason? That asserting a religious identity as one’s primary front to the world is divisive at least and provocative at worst is fast becoming the view of many, although eccentricities of dress and belief were once of little account in our society, when personal religious commitment was more reserved to the private sphere – where it properly belongs – than its politicisation of late has made it. From this thought large morals can be drawn from our present discontents.

    But one part of a solution to those discontents must surely be to tell those who clamour for a greater slice of public indulgence, public money and public respect, that their personal religious beliefs and practices matter little to the rest of us, though sometimes they are a cause of disdain or amusement; and that the rest of us are as entitled not to be annoyed by them as their holders are entitled to hold them. But no organised religion, as an institution, has a greater claim to the attention of others in society than does a trade union, political party, voluntary organisation, or any other special interest group – for ‘special interest groups’ are exactly what Churches and organised religious bodies are.

    No one could dream of demanding that political parties be respected merely because they are political parties, or of protecting them from the pens of cartoonists; nor that their members should be. On the contrary. And so it should be for all interest groups and their members, without exception.

  174. Saying, Did not we straitly command you that ye should not teach in this name? and, behold, ye have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this man’s blood upon us. 29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men
    Acts 5:28-29 (KJV)

  175. Peter and the other apostles answered and said, WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.
    …..WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.

    ……WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.

    …….WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN.

    did you notice that …..pasted thrice for your attention!

  176. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 12:37am

    Sapphire and Stewart Cowan, also in relation to the material in post 173 consider what is being said in the following talk:

  177. 21stCenturySpirituality , finally you reveal your personality.It is revealed in the title of your post’ Against All Gods’. I bet you don’t understand that post yourself.
    You action is provoked because you are Against All Gods as the title of the post reveals.

    But let it be known to you that God is not mocked. Post as many links as you like…. that will not change the existence or the person of God.

    If he does not exist, then we are wrong. But if He does, you are wrong. Leave it at that and please keep your materials to yourself.
    Thank you.

  178. There is no God, get over it!

  179. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 12:51am

    Sapphire read the post properly, thats the title of the book, not a reflection of my spiritual and religious beleifs.

  180. Sapphire – alias Rahman, alias Monekychops

    When are you going to get help for you multiple personality disorder?

  181. How any intelligent person can believe in the fairy tale that calls itself religion is beyond me. They must be either really stupid or have some sort of mental disorder. They’ll be telling us that Santa Claus is real next.

  182. God (The real deal) 16 Dec 2009, 12:55am

    Hi!

    I guess this might seem a little strange, since I am following a few people already claiming to be me…..but however it seems to you it’s ok by me. I just want to set a few records straight (so to speak) – see, I have a sense of humour……oh dear.

    1. It’s nice to see you all passionately putting yourselves ‘out there’; you are using the energy I gave you. But just because I gave you it – i didn’t mean for you to feel any sense of obligation…..I want you to love for the sake of loving, not out of fear, threat or duty.

    2. When i talked about throwing stones (well – i say, talked – I did it my way – by the way, Frank’s fine – music up here is amazing since his passing) i meant….(and still mean)…spend your lives looking at your selves folks – there’s enough to keep you occupied there! Let others be.

    3. I have a hard time getting my head around why some of you seem to not like homosexuals and alcohol. I can’t imagine heaven without either! (And, trust me, you’re all welcome!)

    4. Just wanted to remind you that everything I do, I do out of love. I wish some of you could understand and believe that!

    5. Sapphire and Stewart – I don’t want henchmen (pardon the gender thing – that’s immaterial to me) – I want free spirits to share good times with, to enjoy the company of, and did I mention? To LOVE.

    6. On this post, the law…..erm, so what have I got to say about this story on clarifying the law?….that’s for you to work out…..

    Just Love!

    Godxx

  183. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 1:01am

    And I didnt write it, A. C. Grayling did. I’m quoting it here becuase I feel it makes some very relevant points in relation to this discussion.

  184. I believe the bible has a phrase for you Sapphire, your ever knowing and never understanding.

    Acts 5:28-29 only relates to the disciples it has no wider interpretations or instruction to the church. It only related to how the Jews treated the disciples.

    “WE OUGHT TO OBEY GOD RATHER THAN MEN” only relates to Peters and the disciples response to the pharisees on why they continued to preach in the name of jesus when told not to preach in that name.

    If I played your game Sapphire and just picked a random verses taken out of context I could say anything via your bible.

    I am not a Christian yet I understand your book better than you that must be really humiliating Sapphire.

  185. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 1:12am

    And dont dictate to me what I can and cant post here, Sapphire. Your not on the Christian Institute Facebook page now sugarlips. This is our patch. You wanna play with the fairies, you’ll play on our terms, not yours.

  186. This unmarried mother of a bastard child is a hypocritical bigot. Pity she doesn’t read what the bible says about adultery. I also wonder if she refuses to marry deivorced heterosexuals because of her “religious convictions”, or is this just another face of her hypocrisy?

  187. Imagine. Just imagine. The power of electricity stopping now. Tomorrow no one will give you any favours. No. You have to fend for yourself. No dependance on anyone. Want some food? Are you going to kill, beg, or scavenge? Aww the horrors of the man animal inside yourself. Tic Tac. The clock counts, second after second. Open your eyes. You’re a gay animal. Shock Horror. That’s why you’re here. Now remember gay=haaaappy. … and smile :)

  188. Paul (not the one above) 16 Dec 2009, 5:02am

    BITCH stopping wasting public money and your crazy mumbo jumbo.

  189. Sister Mary Clarence 16 Dec 2009, 5:51am

    Sapphire in response to @47

    Paul is writing this letter to Rome after his missionary tour of the Mediterranean. On his journey Paul had seen great temples built to honour Aphrodite, Diana, and other fertility gods and goddesses of sex and passion instead of the one true God the apostle honours. Apparently, these priests and priestesses engaged in some odd sexual behaviours – including castrating themselves, carrying on drunken sex orgies, and having sex with young temple prostitutes (male and female) – all to honour the gods of sex and pleasure. (all nice work if you can get it as they say)

    The Bible is clear that sexuality is a gift from God. Our ‘creator’ celebrates our passion. But the Bible is also clear that when passion gets control of our lives, we’re in deep trouble.

    When we live for pleasure, when we forget that we are God’s children and that God has great dreams for our lives, we may end up serving the false gods of sex and passion, just as they did in Paul’s time. In our obsession with pleasure, we may even walk away from the God who created us – and in the process we may cause God to abandon all the great dreams God has for our lives.

    Did these priests and priestesses get into these behaviours because they were lesbian or gay?

    No

    Did God abandon them because they were practicing homosexuals?

    No

    The people Paul had in mind refused to acknowledge and worship God, and for this reason were abandoned by God. And being abandoned by God, they sank into all sorts sexual depravity, as much of which was heterosexual as homosexual

    As you are no doubt aware, Roman 2 is very clear about passing judgement on others, “Therefore, you have no excuse, whoever you are, when you judge others; for in passing judgment on another you condemn yourself…”

    Even after he describes the disturbing practices he has seen, Paul warns us that judging others is God’s business, not ours.

    The messages in the Bible are often complicated and language has been eroded and changed over time. Therefore why do God bothers always seem to eager to grab at anything that appears at first reading to be a dig a gay people. You believe it because you want to belive it Sapphire

  190. Either do your work or get another job! Should be sacked if unwilling to perform her work duties.

  191. “But let it be known to you that God is not mocked”

    Sigh, we’re dealing with another idiot with delusions of totalitarianism…. why does this site attract so many of these fruitcakes? This Sapphire muppet loves the grandiose language but has feck all substance behind that other than few bible quotes, and insinuations about our intelligence…. might be projecting there darling, you don’t seem to have much in the smarts department.

    Still, refreshing to see they need to come here, and spout this nonsense…. only shows their immense frustration at the rights the law is affording us, and what little respect such lunatic bigots get these days.

  192. Jean-Paul Bentham 16 Dec 2009, 8:27am

    Confusing American and British English?

    I once heard a die-hard Texan christian shout from the rooftops: If American English was good enough for Je-e-e-s-u-s-s-s, it’s good enough for me!!

    Speaking of rooftops:

    Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal Lilian Ladele loses appeal ….

    Time for my green tea. TTFN. Don’t run away, Sapfire.

  193. In the modern world, the more the Christian bigots ‘talk’, the better it is! What they dont get is that people are living their lives openly IN society and all their ‘hell’ talk is just laughed at by the populace. We have the even funnier event of almost having a new ‘Saint’ in Australia, for all the women who prostate themselves before the ‘Ill’ Papa and committ themselves as traitors to their gender and basically are breeding sows for heterosexulity!

  194. “Confusing American and British English?”

    Yeah, JP, I’ll take grammar lessons form Sapphire when it learns to spell the word ‘paedophile’ properly. Hypocrisy runs deep in this religious types!

  195. To all you religious people:- The fact you only seem to see gay people for ‘what they do in bed’ basically says it all about you and how your mind works. Sure you have the right to believe in religion but it doesn’t give you the right to be shallow and narrow-minded. You seem to want to do this ‘hard done by’ act with this them and us ploy which in itself is something from centuries ago. You may feel you have the right to celebrate your religion and i agree with that but it doesn’t give you the right to be shallow and narrow-minded and in some case just plain hatred. Times change you should get with the program.

  196. I’ve never seen such a vast amount of circular reasoning in one thread as Sapphire’s been posting.
    -You should worship god and renounce your depraved homosexuality or face god’s wrath on the day of judgement. Fact.
    -How do we know god is even a real authority figure and not just some fictional big brother character created in a book written by ancient peasants with no more authority than the guys who claimed that Thor, Osiris, Zeus or the Flying spaghetti monster were real?
    -It says so in the bible
    -how do we know the bible is true?
    -because god says so
    I’m still missing the evidence part here.
    Maybe you should have a look at this instead and widen your range of reading material…
    http://friendlyatheist.com/2009/04/22/ten-tips-for-christian-evangelists-courtesy-of-atheists/

  197. You’re spot oin flapjack (as usual!).

    This is called a bare assertion fallacy in reasoning, the premise in an argument is assumed to be true purely because it says that it is true, and is usually the primary failure of the religious argument. Of course, they usually make other reasoning fallacies, such as the naturalistic fallacy (a fallacy that claims that if something is natural, then it is good or right) and the argumentum ad baculum, by using the bible as a means of absolute truth. Quite ridiculous, of course, it allows them to avoid explaining themselves or their bigotry.

    And lets face it, bigotry is the recourse of the fearful and weak minded.

    I think Sister Mary summed it up beautifully in “You believe it because you want to believe it Sapphire”

  198. 21stCenturySpirituality 16 Dec 2009, 10:22am

    oh and by the way Sapphire, I’m not the one making a mockery of God. You are.

  199. “This “Sapphire” is either a troll just playing a game and enjoying winding us up”

    Yep, ‘Sapphire’ has been here before. Sadly, what he/she fails to realise is that all the non-posting readers of Pink News will have been even more put off religion by his/her ravings. No LGBT people need to ‘attack Christianity’ – ‘Christians’ are doing all they can to alienate people all by themselves.

    ‘Sapphire’, as a Christian, could have explained why she/he thought the judgement was wrong; she/he could have given their opinion about why Ms Ladele thinks it’s acceptable to perform SECULAR marriages at all; he/she could have attempted to defend Ms Ladele marrying divorcees – which is against her beliefs. But, no. ‘Sapphire’ has been alerted to the presence of this thread and case by a lovely email from their chosen fellow bigots, so has come here not to argue on behalf of Ms Ladele, but to spew forth some hate.

    Hate is an all too human emotion that men and women have sought to justify by using the Bible. Slavery? Yes, God says it’s good, and we can prove it by quoting chunks of the Bible. Interrracial marriage? We don’t like it and, hey look – here’s a bit of the Bible that proves God doesn’t like it either. As discrimination has been reduced or eradicated throught the years, these poor bigots have been compelled to seek new victims, new ‘sinners’ to pick on. The current one: LGBT people.

    People who hate are projecting their own self-hate onto others to make themselves feel better. The kindest thing to do for ‘Sapphire’ (and don’t think we haven’t realised who you are…) is to ignore him/her because it’s wrong to pick on someone who is in such obvious mental distress.

    The judgement on Lilian Ladele is a victory for common sense. The appeals will go on because that contributes to the ‘victimhood’ of the CI and their ilk. And… bigots will get more and more vicious as their last victims are taken away and they have to face up to the real problem, the one that lies inside themselves.

  200. Here’s another morsel from New Scientist for anyone who still thinks god is the trump card in every argument…
    http://www.newscientist.com/article/dn18216-dear-god-please-confirm-what-i-already-believe.html

  201. Excellent NS reference flapjack. There needs to be more research into how superstitious brains are susceptible to nonsense.

    I think Dan Dennett’s book ‘breaking the spell’ with his analogy of the infected ant that climbs the blade of grass to get eaten, so the worm that burrowed inside its head can lay eggs in a sheeps intestine, is a great analogy incidentally.

  202. Regulars here know I’m a church going Catholic. But I have just one thing to say about the ‘Christian’ bile here.

    Romans I is a gay basher’s charter. If Paul sent that letter today he’d be prosecuted under Italy’s hate crime laws. The Bible is out of touch with modern life. There is no use in running to it every five minutes for reasons to preach to decent people whose lives differ from yours.

    Actually, two things. Gays do not need to repent any honest life choices. They have nothing to repent. Homosexuals are part of God’s wonderfully diverse Creation called the Human Race. And he loves all of us unconditionally.

    ———————-

    And I thank a loving, understanding Lord for giving us a magistrate with sense who put a stop to one of these so-called Christians and set a precedent which should stop all the other stupid games like Christian hotels refusing gay civil partnership receptiions or muslim checkout girls refusing to sell pork sausages and other nonsense. You cannot use religion to negate duty.

  203. Maybe saphire has a point..
    Perhaps we should obey the bible verbatim..? This would mean:
    ‘Abominations’ & mortal sins include:
    1.Eating prawns (or any shelfish really)
    2.Wearing clothing woven out of more than 1 type of fabric (Poly-cotton blends are a major no-no!)
    3.Masturbation (don’t be ‘spilling your seed’ now boys!!! One way ticket to eternal damnation)
    4.Having sex whilst menstrating (ladies!!)
    5.Cutting your hair (gents I think)
    6.Eating ‘flesh of the pig’ (Porkchops = damnation)
    7.Divorce (better stick with the bastard, least you wanna burn!!)

    Now as far as things that are allowed..lets see..

    1. Slavery is perfectly fine (as long as you are enslaving someone from another ‘tribe’ -not your own ok!!)
    2. Killing (by stoning) children who disrespect their parents
    3. Killing (yes, again) anyone suspected of adultery..

    … & this list could go on for days. Please feel free to add guys!

    Saphire Dear, if you truly do follow the preachings in that freaky book of yours, you must be one dangerous individual!!

    I look forward to your response :)

  204. Rose Comment 204: Thank you for reminding us what Christianity is about, and showing that it’s only a small, sad number of people who believe such rubbush as posted here in God’s name. It must be as offensive to a Christian as it is to me – maybe even more so, as the fundies seem to shout loudest and give a bad impression of religion.

  205. Well said Ray…. and I too have queries regarding the literal word of god. Maybe Sapphire can answer them?

    1. Leviticus 25:44 states that I may possess slaves, both male and female, provided they are purchased from neighbouring nations. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Scots, but not to the French, as I am Irish. Can you clarify? Why can’t I own French people?

    2. I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as sanctioned in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what do you think would be a fair price for her?

    4. When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odour for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbours. They claim the odour is not pleasing to them. Should I smite them?

    5. I have a neighbour who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 clearly states that he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself, or should I ask the police to do it?

    6. A friend of mine feels that, even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don’t agree. Can you settle this? Are there “degrees” of abomination?

    7. Lev. 21:20 states that I may not approach the altar of God if I have a defect in my sight. I have to admit that I wear reading glasses. Does my vision have to be 20/20, or is there some wiggle-room here?

    8. Most of my male friends get their hair trimmed, including the hair around their temples, even though this is expressly forbidden by Lev. 19:27. How should they die?

    9. I know from Lev. 11:6-8 that touching the skin of a dead pig makes me unclean, but may I still play football if I wear gloves?

    10. My uncle has a farm. He violates Lev. 19:19 by planting two different crops in the same field, as does his wife by wearing garments made of two different kinds of thread (a classy cotton/polyester blend). He also tends to curse and blaspheme a lot. Is it really necessary that we go to all the trouble of getting the whole town together to stone them (Lev.24:10-16)? Couldn’t we just burn them to death at a private family affair, like we do with people who sleep with their in-laws (Lev. 20:14)?

    I know, Sapphire, you have studied these things extensively and thus enjoy considerable expertise in such matters, so I am confident you can address these. Oh, and thank you again for reminding us that God’s word is eternal and unchanging.

  206. flapjack – thank you for the NS link. Reminds me of the famous Susan B Anthony quote:

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do, because I notice it always coincides with their own desires”…

  207. Will – brilliant! :D

  208. Wow, thanks for that Will!
    I can’t seem to get past my morning bacon and egg sandwich without damning myself to hell!
    Do you know where I can find some useful links re these issues?
    It just blows my mind that Christians can have the nerve to simply pick and choose excerpts from their bibles to preach to us, whilst conveniently leaving out bits that are inconvenient to their lifestyles!!

  209. Rose, Just think…. for 200,000 years of humankind’s existence, how terrible it must have been: our species nearly went extincy twice because of ice ages; life must have been extremely dangerous and harsh: life expectancy 25 years, dying of disease; fighting for shelter, warmth, food, women; fearful of predators, terrified of earthquakes, floods, volcanoes… and all this time, say 197,000 years, Heaven watches without interest. And then, 3,000 years ago, decides to intervene, and send messengers, not to the Greeks or Chinese or the Indus valley, where people can do philosophy, and science; but to some peasants in Palestine – the onlt place in the middle east without oil – from where the good news would take so long to spread, even now, two thirds of the planet has yet to receive it! :-)

  210. Adrian, I believe in Evolution. My understanding, from discussions with my priest, is that Genesis is allegorical. Ask Sapphire about this one. I’m sure her answers will be enlightening. (not)

  211. Rose – if all Christians were more like you I wouldn’t have any beef with religion.
    I’m all for live and let live, and love thy neighbour. It’s just a huge shame some Christians use their personal belief system as a rod for everyone else’s back.

  212. If she had won the case, given that her beliefs do not recognise divorce, would she not then be able to refuse Ms. Ladele’s counsel made it clear that her religious views are also opposed to divorce. If she had won the case she would be able to refuse to marry divorced couples. It would make a nonsense of the fact that these are civil ceremonies. As she hadn’t previously refused to marry divorcees, it suggests to me that this was more a case of personal prejudice than of religious conviction.

  213. Flapjack, thanks for that.

    Arthur, exactly what we’ve all been thinking ever since this sorry tale began.

  214. I fail to understand how sensible people can argue with religious individuals. Argument is based on logic, on reason, and the premise in any argument must be rational, but a belief in God is irrational, in that it is lacking in any provable or factual element. Therefore, the premise in any religious element cannot be subject to reason, and to base an argument on an unreasonable premise is unreasonable. In other words, folks, you are wasting your time!

  215. Sorry Rose… I was just being cheeky. :-)

  216. This was a good day for gay rights, human rights and a good day for EQUALITY. More importantly so because it clarifies the law and sets a binding precedent – that religious people cannot pick and choose who they provide services for. The bigotted christian institute and it’s cronies are stuffed as the Court of Appeal refused them leave to appeal to the supreme court. So they are now stuck with this wonderfull judgement and also thave a rather nice large legal bill to pay. Equality…don’t you just love it :)))

  217. Adrian, cheeky is allowed. I like cheeky. Religious bigots I can’t stand.

  218. Neville . . . come and experience how sensible, intelligent and articulate people are finding a way to debate with the religous extremists who support the work of the Christian Institute.

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/the-christian-institute/court-rejects-appeal-in-christian-registrar-case/201311497513

  219. douglas in canada 16 Dec 2009, 6:20pm

    “The Christian Legal Centre (CLC) said that Ladele’s beliefs should have been tolerated.” “There will be serious consequences for religious freedom, conscience, acts and speech if we can’t learn to accommodate different groups.” These people are always asking that THEIR beliefs be tolerated, yet they won’t budge when it comes to tolerating other people’s beliefs.

    RE: biblical thought – men giving themselves over to unnatural relations with men? Well, Dears, I’m a gay guy and for me “natural” means with another guy. For me, if I had sex with a woman, THAT would be unnatural. Get over it.

    Re: the bible. Funny thing. First you get the ten commandments, including “You will not kill”. Then read what follows. Even a quick read of the book of Joshua has these people slaughtering whole races of people!! WTF!! Even god gets into by killing people with hailstones! Killing is not good, but genocide is ok?

    I find it odd that people who call themselves christian are not really followers of christ. His teachings can be found in the 4 new testament book of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. But these so-called christians spend more time in the old testament [in which case, I suppose they might be jewish] or in the letters of paul [in which case they should call themselves 'paulists'] Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality, not ever even using one of those words that gets mis-translated as ‘homosexual.’

    If you want to follow old testament law, be like a previous poster has indicated, and follow it properly and wholeheartedly. Own slaves, stone people, don’t wear poly-cotton, be happy.

    And if you want to follow new testament, non-Jesus talk, just remember that even then, they don’t ever refer to two same-sex adults in a loving, consensual relationship. Any references to same-sex activities are either old [married!] men with young boys, or temple prostitution.

    The best thing that any christian could do with their bibles would be to read the 4 gospels and burn all the rest.

  220. Just read that article, JohnK – thank you. It was very interesting to read the comments too. I don’t know if the poster was correct, but he/she said that Ladele had refused a compromise that was accepted by tow Muslims who had similar objections to hers. Does anyone know if this is true?

    I’m starting to believe that the CI knew and indeed are happy that she didn’t win. It’s just more ‘proof’ of their victimisation.

  221. ‘Jesus said NOTHING about homosexuality, not ever even using one of those words that gets mis-translated as ‘homosexual.’

    …Douglas i already mentioned that in posting #110, in her response sapphire came up with some unrelated gibrish, christians got real problem here with justifing homophobia, they r obliged to belive in Jesus in order to recive salvation (as he will decide who gets in and who’s not) and that means they r obliged to follow his teachings. and since Jesus couldnt be bothered to comment on gay issue that is where christians r stuck with homosexuality.

  222. Jean-Paul Bentham 16 Dec 2009, 10:13pm

    Sapphire and Stewart have left the building.

    Come back anytime; nothing gives us more pleasure (well, almost)than to be educated as to the finer points of religious homophobia, and in print too!

  223. Sapphire and Stewart

    Come back any time

    We would love learn more about your religous homophobia and heterosexism.

    We look forward to another lesson, lecture and good laugh

  224. douglas in canada 16 Dec 2009, 10:41pm

    thanks andy [#224]. We need to remind christians, then, that neither homosexuals nor homosexuality are mentioned by jesus. If they skip that fact and start pushing “love the sinner, hate the sin”, we just repeat, that “NEITHER HOMOSEXUALS NOR HOMOSEXUALITY ARE MENTIONED BY JESUS.”

    I think the truth is that they are frightened of sexuality in general. That, and they are realizing they don’t control the world anymore. Here in Canada, with information from national censuses in 1991 and 2001, the percentage of people professing to be either catholic or protestant dropped from 83% to 72%. Between 1986 and 2001, weekly attendance at religious services dropped from 28% to 20%. In 1986, only 26% of adults reported that they had not attended a religious service in the previous 12 months. In 2001, this number increased to 43%.

    Those who report themselves as Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, secularist, or simply “no religion ” represent the second largest religious group in the country. These people are now the second largest religious grouping in Canada, being exceeded in numbers only by Roman Catholicism. They amounted to fewer than 1% of the Canadian population prior to 1971. They increased in numbers to 16.2% over the decade 1991 to 2001.

    By professed percentage, Canada is not just a christian country, it is still a catholic country. The potential loss of privilege is probably one of the greatest motivators for maintaining the status quo, although recent scandals involving catholic priests and the population’s general loss of interest in and respect for organized religion will play out quite interestingly in the next few years.

    In comparison, Wiccans and other Neopagans showed the greatest percentage growth of any religion – an increase of 281% between 1991 and 2001. Native Spirituality showed a 175% growth. The number of Muslims grew by 129%.

  225. Unfortunately, it appears from these threads that mindless automatons like Sapphire and stewart are simply not interested in what Jesus did or did not have to say about sexuality.

  226. Oh thank you Rose – I definitely deserve to be spanked for my cheekiness…. on both cheeks :-)

  227. I M Laughlin 17 Dec 2009, 1:15am

    Cowan the self-important non-bloggeur and the individual variously calling themselves Sapphire / Rahman etc seem to have gone quiet on this thread. I normally advocate ignoring trolls until they go away, (they always do – and in the real world, they’ve lost the arguments already) but in this instance the Pink News readership has presented clear evidence backed up by excellent reasoning. Game, set and match guys and girls.

  228. Jean-Paul Bentham 17 Dec 2009, 2:39am

    I M Laughlin:

    It didn’t happen overnight, believe me. PinkNews has proven to be an educational gay space on many, many occasions, and the cream has risen to the top. These gals and guys know who they are, and I just love ‘em!

  229. Adrian, I am known by many names, but Miss Wiplash isn’t one of them. I’m afraid you’ll have to get somebody else to spank you. Maybe Sapphire would like to oblige. Fundies always have secret fetishes! Of course, you probably wouldn’t want her to do it! You have more taste!

  230. Douglas, Thomas Jefferson more or less did that, also taking out the stuff that was contradictory and stuff added later to suggest Jesus was divine. What’s left is the wisdom of the sayings attributed to Jesus. It’s called the Jefferson Bible and is available free online from the Guttenberg Project. It’s quite short, unsurprisingly.

  231. Father Andrew Gentry FCSF 17 Dec 2009, 6:27pm

    Saph old girl I do not have any “geek” sources as you call them evidenced in your response but the greek words you and your bunch of nutters love to quote refers to child prostitution not homosexuality. Remember to Kill A Mockingbird!

  232. Arthur, thanks for that info re. The Jefferson Bible! Fascinating. Not surprised it’s short! Jefferson was an extraordinary thinker.

    He said:

    “There is not one redeeming feature in our superstition of Christianity. It has made one half the world fools, and the other half hypocrites.”

    And Thomas Jefferson, also said:

    “Christianity is the most perverted system that ever shone on man.”

    I look forward to glancing through his slimmed-down version of The Holy Book, i.e., the only decent bits that are in the “original”!

  233. Well, Arthur, I have now read Chapter One of The Jefferson Bible and cannot bear to read any more. Jefferson has removed all the nonsense and reduced the account of Christ’s life to its events, without gloss. But simply re-reading and recalling those events has given me the shivers! It has brought back memories of listening endlessly to the original drivel in school, home, and church!

    To shove Xianity down children’s throats is abuse.

  234. Alex, Brisbane, Australia 18 Dec 2009, 11:45am

    People, this has been the best hour – Rose, Iris, JohnK, 21stCentury, Will, Simon M, where are you?), thankyou thankyou. Sapphire, you lost it around post 200 – why? you made this hilarious reading! May your god be with you, as she is with us.

  235. Alex . . . thanks for the praise, we are glad your appreciate our work; even when it wanders in to the realm of comedy rather than debate.

  236. Join a group of us who are debating, challanging and making our opinion known to the Christian Institute who funded Ms Ladele’s case

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=pp#/pages/The-Christian-Institute/78436661801?ref=nf

  237. If job did indeed offer his daughters to the men was he then guilty of
    “grooming” and also a peadophile?

  238. Mihangel apYrs 20 Dec 2009, 10:43am

    Penfold it was “Lot” not “Job”, but the rest is true. Once he and the daughters had left the city (and his wife was turned to salt!) the daughters got him drunk and got pregnant off him. These are biblical family values

  239. Penfold and Mihangel apYrs . . . come and tell the Christian Institute about the Sin of Soddom and Gomorah with a group of us debating with the CI on face book.

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?filter=pp#/pages/The-Christian-Institute/78436661801?ref=nf

  240. Jean-Paul Bentham 22 Dec 2009, 10:46pm

    @241:

    Job? Isn’t that the story where Evil was actually in the presence of … Gasp….GOD?

    But RCC theology says that’s impossible…that Evil can never, never, never be in the presence of …gasp…GOD.

    Job…Lot…Let’s call it an honest mistake.

    xx

  241. Please look at this post.

    Jesus Christ condemns the sin of sodomy and calls all homosexuals to repentance

    If you’re new here, you may want to subscribe to my RSS feed. Thanks for visiting!

    Last year I received a letter from a homosexual who wrote:

    Jesus Christ didn’t say any word regarding sexual orienation! Only Saul from Tars and abearation from Leveticus and Deuteronomy are cited (aberations that can not be applied nowadays without being sent to prison, because now we cannot murder someone so easy, as it was in that time)

    This statement is spread among immoral people that practice homosexuality and they call “aberation” every part of the Scripture that condemns their sin and they don’t admit that it was inspired by God as a part of the Holy Scriptures. If thieves, drunkers, etc. do the same, it is interesting what remains from the Holy Book. God doesn’t allow anyone to act in this way regarding His Truth let on the pages of the Holy Scriptures, and everyone who neglects the Bible will answer for this before God Himself. So, according to the opinion and the statement of the author of the letter and of all members of the homosexual and lesbians community, the Lord Jesus “didn’t say any word concerning the sexual orientation”.

    I want to make an analysis of the texts from the Gospels, where the Lord Jesus talks concerning the sin of sodomy, named so, because of the city of Sodom, that is mentioned in the Bible and that was destroyed by God with fire and brimstone from heaven, because of their many sins. The one that crowns them all is the sin of homosexuality. I advise you to read the biblical passage found in the first book of the Bible, Genesis, chapter 19 to find out more about that event. But, in this article I want to refer to the New Testament only and especially to Gospels, that relate the life and the activity of the Lord Jesus Christ.

    The Lord Jesus mentioned the people who lived in the city of Sodom for three times, especially those who were destroyed as punishment for their homosexuality. The Gospel of Matthew has one of this references and the other two are found in the Gospel of Luke. Let us make a short analysis of each of these passages.

    Homosexuals from Sodom could have repented if they had heard the Gospel

    When Jesus rebuked people from the localities where He had performed His greatest marvels, because they didn’t repent, He said:

    And you, Capernaum, will not be exalted to heaven, will you? You will descend to Hades; for if the miracles had occurred in Sodom which occurred in you, it would have remained to this day. Nevertheless I say to you that it will be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment, than for you. (The Gospel of Matthew 11:23–24)(NASB)

    Men from Sodom were extremely violent homosexuals. The book of Genesis relates us that when Lot invited into his house those three men who came into the city, not knowing they were angels, “before they lay down, the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, both young and old, all the people from every quarter; and they called to Lot and said to him, “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us that we may have relations with them.” When Lot tried to confront them, peacefully and tactfullly, he said: “Please, my brothers, do not act wickedly.” They acted according to their wickedness and violence settled in the perversion of their heart, they shouted at Lot: “Stand aside!”, furthermore, they said, “This one came in as an alien, and already he is acting like a judge; now we will treat you worse than them.” Angels struck the men who were at the doorway of the house with blindness, both small and great, so that they wearied themselves trying to find the doorway to take those men and abuse them sexually. This is the reality about homosexuals that are extremely violent.

    A 1998 study revealed that of the homosexuals surveyed, 62% had been threatened with a weapon and 85% had experienced significant property or financial loss from an angry partner. In addition, 39% had been forced to have sex against their will by a homosexual partner. You can find more dates concerning this on Internet, for example here is a source. If homosexuals are so violent with their partners, then the society should realize how dangerous it is to tolerate this kind of sexual conduct, shouldn’t it? Most of them became homosexuals because they had been sexually abused by other homosexuals. But, let us look go back at the words of the Lord Jesus said in the the Gospel of Matthew. The Savior said that if homosexuals from Sodom had seen the miracles performed by Jesus Christ in Capernaum, they would have repented and their city would have existed until nowadays. If our Lord said that violent homosexuals would have repented, much more important it is to share the Gospel with homosexuals whom we know, so that they and the countries that are affected by their bad actions might live. The actions of homosexuals affect the society badly and this is an evil that spreads very quickly when it is tolerated by the society. All men from Sodom became homosexuals and so, they, their families and their city were destroyed. All paid the price of the sin: homosexuals for immorality and the whole society for indifference and tolerance of the evil that destroyed them.

    Homosexuals and all sinners will be judged because they do not accept Jesus Christ

    The first time Jesus metioned Sodom in the Gospel of Luke was when He “appointed seventy others, and sent them in pairs ahead of Him to every city and place where He Himself was going to come.” (The Gospel of Luke 1:1–16)(NASB). After He gave them instructions how to act with those who rejected them and the message of the Gospel, the Savior said:

    “I say to you, it will be more tolerable in that day for (inhabitants of) Sodom than for (inhabitants of) that city.”

    The conclusion is that if the disciples of Jesus, or Christians came and said to the inhabitants of that city about the salvation and forgiveness they could have in the Lord Jesus then violent homsexuals from Sodom would have repented. Why then homosexuals from nowadays are so bad that they do not want to accept Christians who come to bring them the message of the Gospel and forgiveness of their sin and the knowledge about the day of judgement, that Jesus Christ refers to? In the end of this message addressed to the disciples, the Savior said: “The one who listens to you (disciples) listens to Me, and the one who rejects you rejects Me; and he who rejects Me rejects the One who sent Me.”

    An unexpected destruction came upon the indifferent homosexuals

    The second passage from the Gospel of Luke, when Jesus Christ mentioned the homosexuals from Sodom for the second time is in chapter 17, where it is related about the day when the Son of Man is revealed. Here is the description of this day:

    It was the same as happened in the days of Lot: they were eating, they were drinking, they were buying, they were selling, they were planting, they were building; but on the day that Lot went out from Sodom it rained fire and brimstone from heaven and destroyed them all. It will be just the same on the day that the Son of Man is revealed. (The Gospel of Luke 17:38–30)(NASB)

    People from Sodom were very concerned with their business, with their financial position and they didn’t care about the immorality that was spreading and growing. They were not aware about the consequences that were to follow. Today is the same situation. Here is what the author of the message cited in the beginning of this article wrote to me:

    “The rest of us (homosexuals) have to pray that Basarabia may enter the European Union, as others have done, so that civilization may penetrate there too. It is the last hope for homosexuals from Moldova: to impose social tolerance from this place forgotten by God! Maybe this is a cause why Moldova is the poorest “country” from Europe, because the mentality you have is so beackward… and inversely?”

    According to this statement, immoral poeple’s opinion is that civilization means financial position and toleration of immorality. If they don’t have these things, then the country is “forgotten by God”. But the Word of God proves the contrary. Immorality destroyed the country and the inhabitants of Sodom. The fire that came from heaven burnt their properties, and no one escaped of this great disaster they had brought upon themselves with their own way of immoral living.

    All these three passages, where the Lord Jesus mentioned the homosexuals from Sodom confirm exactly the things written in the Old Testament concerning the sin of sodomy and its consequences. The Lord Jesus didn’t deny anything that God had spoken in the Old Testament. How can immoral people say the Word of God is an “aberation” and to say that “Jesus Christ didn’t say any word concerning sexual orientation”?

    If you are homosexual or you practice any other kind of immorality, stop. Don’t disregard the Word of God and don’t believe those who tell you it is an “aberation”. Stop to perform those immoral things people from Sodom performed and do what the Lord Jesus said people from Sodom would have done if the Savior or His disciples had come to them. Repent! You have already heard the Gospel when you read this article. Repent from all you sins and stop to have dealings with people that practice these immoral things. Look for a church where people live in fear for God, and look for people who study and live according to the Word of God and make them your friends. In this way you will escape from the judgement that will come for all immorals and sinners. Reconcile with God.

    If you are a believer, do what Jesus would have done to homosexuals if Sodom hadn’t been destroyed by the time He was on this earth. Do what the Lord Jesus said to His disciples to do when He sent then from city to city. Tell people about the salvation offered by Jesus Christ. Go to immoral people and tell them the message of salvation. Even if it seems to you their state is too low, and they do not have any chance to turn back to God. Don’t be so sure. The Lord Jesus has hope and he waits for homosexuals and immoral people to repent. Be a true disciple of God and a witness of the Gospel.

  242. What was the sin of Sodom??

    Please look at this thread–

    The Sin of Sodom
    Serious Questions and Bible Answers about the Homosexual Movement

    What is a Sodomite?

    A sodomite is a person who practices sodomy–a homosexual. God’s word doesn’t use such terms as “homosexual,” “gay,” and “lesbian.” Some might argue that a sodomite is nothing more than an inhabitant of Sodom, but God uses the word “sodomite” in reference to homosexuals long after the ancient city of Sodom is destroyed (1 Kings 14:24; 15:12; 22:46; 2 Kings 23:7).

    Isn’t it more proper to refer to sodomites as “homosexuals” and “gays?”

    No, because God refers to them as “sodomites.” “Homosexual” is a neutral technical term, while “gay” is a nice term that the sodomites have invented for themselves. Due to the constant brainwashing tactics of Hollywood and the Media, “gay” has been adapted by most everyone as the proper title for these people. To be “gay” is to be “merry” and “joyful.” To be a “sodomite” is to be wicked and sinful (Gen. 13:13). So “gay” is certainly NOT the proper title. We are warned in Isaiah 5:20 that God is very displeased with people who apply good words to evil things: “Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Drunkards are not “chronic alcoholics,” fornication is not “pre-marital sex,” and sodomites are not “gay.”

    How do we know for certain that sodomy is a sin?

    Because God’s word declares it to be a sin, over and over again. The very first time “Sodom” occurs in the Bible God sends us a sound warning: “But the men of Sodom were wicked and sinners before the LORD exceedingly.” (Gen. 13:13) In Genesis 18:20, we are told that the sin of Sodom is “very grievous.” Then in Genesis 19:4-7 we read of a case where the Sodomites seek sexual relations with a total stranger! Shortly after this incident, God destroys their entire city because He couldn’t find even ten righteous people dwelling there.

    Later, in the book of Leviticus, some very sharp warnings are given about sodomy. Leviticus 18:22 says, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Then Leviticus 20:13 says, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Webster defines an “abomination” as “extreme hatred” and “detestation.” That’s how God feels about sodomites.

    Hundreds of years later we read that sodomites are in the land and they are committing “abominations” (1 Kings 14:24). King Asa, a good king over Judah, did “that which was right in the eyes of the Lord” when he “took away the sodomites out of the land” (1 Kings 15:11-12). Several years later there were still some sodomites left in the land, so King Jehoshaphat, the son of King Asa, also did that which was RIGHT in the eyes of the Lord by taking the sodomites OUT of the land (1 Kings 22:43-46). We also read that King Josiah did the “right” thing when he “brake down the houses of the sodomites” (2 Kings 22:2; 23:7).

    In Isaiah 3:9, God makes reference to the boldness of the people who commit this grievous sin: “The show of their countenance doth witness against them; and they declare their sin as Sodom, they hide it not. Woe unto their soul! for they have rewarded evil unto themselves.” Is this not a perfect description of the modern day sodomites who parade up and down the streets demanding their rights? Ezekiel 16:49 says that PRIDE is a chief sin of the sodomites. Perhaps this is why we read about “Gay Pride” parades. Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.”

    Some say only the Old Testament speaks against sodomy but that the New Testament is silent about it. This is not true. The New Testament clearly condemns this sin. Romans 1:21-27 speaks about the sodomites. Paul says they are vain in their imaginations, they steal God’s glory, they are foolish, unclean, vile, and against nature. In II Peter 2:6, the word “ungodly” is used in connection with sodomy. Paul said in I Corinthians 6:9 that these people would not inherit the kingdom of God.

    Friend, sodomy is wicked in the eyes of God!

    Don’t most professionals agree that a person’s sexual orientation is of biological or genetic origin?

    Yes, but they’re dead wrong. The majority of professional people once believed the earth to be flat. Were they right? The majority of astronomers once believed the stars could be numbered. Were they right? The majority of scientists today believe that men have evolved from monkeys. Are they right? In Genesis, the majority of the world thought Noah was crazy. Were they right? The majority thought Jesus Christ should be crucified. Were they right? Listen friend, if you’re running with “the majority,” then you are on a collision coarse with the Devil! IGNORE THE MAJORITY! Just trust God’s word. God says that sodomy is WRONG, so it’s wrong. Period.

    Besides, there are many professional people in the medical field who believe that sodomy is an acquired behavior. The book, Shadow In The Land, by Congressman William Dannemeyer, cites several authors who disagree with the biological and genetic theories. The following are among them:

    “Homosexuality, the choice of a partner of the same sex for orgastic satisfaction, is not innate. There is no connection between sexual instinct and choice of sexual object. Such an object choice is acquired behavior; there is no inevitable genetically inborn propensity toward the choice of a partner of either the same or opposite sex.” (Charles Socarides, Homosexuality: Basic Concepts and Psychodynamics, International Journal of Psychiatry 10, 1972: 118-25)

    “Whatever may be the possible unlearned assistance from constitutional sources, the child’s psychosexual identity is not written, unlearned, in the genetic code, the hormonal system or the nervous system at birth.” (John Monday, Sexual Dimorphism and Homosexual Gender Identity, Perspectives in Human Sexuality, 1974, p. 67)

    Doesn’t the American Psychiatric Association consider sodomy to be normal?

    Yes. In 1974, the APA removed homosexuality from their list of mental disorders. Naturally, the sodomites make a regular habit of informing us of this, but they fail to inform us of HOW the APA came to this decision. Beginning in 1970, the sodomites started invading the annual APA convention. Although not invited, they made it a regular habit to burst into the annual meetings like uncivilized barbarians. Once in the panel rooms they would resort to shouting and name calling, in hopes of intimidating as many people as possible. They also found it effective to appeal for pity by whining about their sad plight, which they compared to racial discrimination against blacks. By much sympathy pleading and very little factual evidence, the sodomites won the hearts of a few psychiatrists and also a panel of their own in 1973. Then after a very effective letter campaign, the sodomites had applied enough pressure to seal their victory. Finally, in a 58 to 40 vote, the APA decided to remove homosexuality from their list of mental disorders in 1974.

    Why not just leave the sodomites alone and let them live their own lives?

    Because God hates this sin and He doesn’t want it “left alone.” Sin is like a cancer: when ignored it spreads. As we’ve already seen from God’s word, God commends those who oppose sodomy, so we too need to speak out against this abominable sin before it overwhelms us and destroys our nation like it destroyed Sodom. No, we should not HATE the sodomites, but we should firmly oppose their sin as the word of God commands us.

    Can a sodomite be cured?

    Man says, “No, because it isn’t a disease,” but God tells us there IS a cure, because there is a cure for ALL SIN. God is willing to cleanse any person of this sin and forget it forever! Some people have the strange idea that God cannot forgive certain sins, but the Bible says otherwise!

    1 John 1:7 says, “But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”

    Revelation 1:5 says, “And from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, and the first begotten of the dead, and the prince of the kings of the earth. Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood.”

    Friend, Jesus Christ has the cure. You can ignore what the medical profession says about there being no cure for homosexuality. There IS a cure, and YOU can have it TODAY – if you’ll confess to God that you’re a sinner, repent of your sins (Luke 13:3), and receive His Son as your one and only Saviour. Sin is sin, whether it be sodomy, murder, stealing, lying, adultery, fornication, pride, rebellion, or anything else. All have sinned and come short of God’s glory (Rom. 3:23) because all have been born with a sin nature (Rom. 5:12; Psa. 51:5). Jesus Christ shed His sinless blood and died to pay for your sins and He rose again the third day for your justification. The Bible says He’ll save you if you’ll RECEIVE Him as your Savior:

    “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name:” (John 1:12)

    “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Rom. 10:9-10)

    “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.” (Rom. 10:13)

    Friend, the decision is all your’s. You can believe man and pretend that God made you to be a sodomite, or you can believe God and ask Him to save your soul from Hell through the precious blood of Jesus Christ.

    What’s your decision?

    For more information about salvation, please send for your free copy of Understanding God’s Salvation Plan.

    Copyright © 1996 James L. Melton

  243. Ezekeiel 16:49-50:”Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.”

    ……..and did detestable things before me..does it not strike anyone that the detestable things included their homosexuality????

  244. 7In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire

    Jude verse 7

  245. I love comment #245, it is right on target – couldn’t be any clearer! Getting back to the word of God, the Bible is where the answers are found –GO GOD My Sovereign Savior

  246. 21stCenturySpirituality 9 Jan 2010, 3:07am

    Sapphire, you imply that the same gender attraction of gay men is caused by them being sexually abused by other gay men and that is simply and patently false. I have never been sexually abused either as a child or an adult and I was aware of a sexual attraction to other men from a very early age.

    You also imply that all gay relationships are abusive and violent and that is simply not true. Yes there is domestic violence and dysfunction in many relationships, both in same and opposite sex relationships. But to say that that is a characteristic of all same gender unions is an outright lie. I have been in a loving, supportive relationship with my partner for 13 years and there has never been ANY occurance of what you say characterises same sex relationships.

    You dont seem to say much about lesbian relationships sapphire, Why is that? I already know the answer but do you?

    I think we need to clearly clarify the meaning of the word ‘sodomy’ and the word ‘homosexual’ and discuss and analyse the implications of these terms. Consider the following material:

    http://www.class.uidaho.edu/ngier/sodom.htm

    The word sodomy is primarily used to describe the act of anal intercourse which is the insertion of the penis into the anus. It implys a physical sexual act which does not necessarily bear any relation to a persons sexual orientation which is defined by such terms as heterosexual, homosexual, bisexual.

    The word homosexual is derived from greek and can be split into two parts to explain its meaning. The first part ‘homo’ can be transliterated as ‘same’ and the second part ‘sexual’ refers to gender (male/female). So the term homosexual simply implies a ‘same gender’ attraction or orientation and does not relate or refer to the physical act of anal sex – sodomy.

    You’ve cited a number of the so called ‘clobber texts’ and in the interests of balance I’d like to present material, compiled from literature produced by the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement & The Metropolitan Community which analyses and critiques them. Consider the following:

    Deuteronomy 23:17-18 ( Related – Kings 14:23 – 24, 15: 22, 22:46; II Kings 23:7)

    These verses have been applied to homosexuality because of a mistranslation of two Hebrew words. The Authorised (King James) Version translates them ‘whore’ and ‘sodomite’. They are actually the masculine and feminine forms of the same noun. The word is literally translated ‘male (or female) holy one’ and is understood as ‘temple (or cult) prostitute. This person was a kind of priestess in fertility cult worship. In these cults, sexual activity was believed to lead the deity to bestow fertility. The verse have nothing to do with homosexuality as we understand it today.

    Genesis 19: 3-11 (Related – Judges 19:22)

    Ezekiel 16: 49-50 states clearly that Sodom was destroyed for a general, deep sinfulness. Neither homosexuality nor any specific sin is cited. Even if the men of the city meant to rape God’s messengars, which is in dispute, the issue is not that such an assault would have been homosexual, but that it would have been an abuse of guests, a profound crime in the ancient world. This account is only one example of the ungodly behaviour toward others toward others which actually brought Sodom’s condemnation.

    Genesis 19: 1-25

    What was the sin of Sodom? Some ‘televangelists’ carelessly proclaim that the God destroyed the ancient cities of Sodom & Gomorrah because of ‘homosexuality’. Although some theologians have equated the sin of Sodom with homosexuality, a careful look at Scripture corrects such ignorance.

    Announcing judgement on these cities in Genesis 18, God sends two angels to Sodom, where Abrahams nephew, Lot, persuades them to stay in his home. Genesis 19 records that ‘all people from every quarter’ surround Lots house demanding the release of his visitors that ‘we might know them’. The Hebrew word for ‘know’ in this case, ‘yadha’, usually means ‘have thorough knowledge of’. It could also express intent to examine the visitors credentials, or on rare occasions the term implies sexual intercourse. If the latter were the authors intending meaning, it would have been a clear case of attempted gang rape. Horrified at this gross violation of ancient hospitality rules, Lot attempts to protect the visitors by offering his two daughters to the angry crowd, a morally outrageous act by today’s standards. The people of Sodom refuse, so the angels render them blind. Lot and his family are then rescued by the angels as the cities are destroyed.

    Several observations are important. First, the judgement on these cities for their wickedness had been announced prior to the alleged homosexual incident. Second, all of Sodoms people participated in the assault on Lots house; in no culture has more than a small minority of the population been homosexual. Third, Lots offer to release his daughters suggests he knew his neighbours to have heterosexual interests. Fourth, if the issue was sexual, why did God spare Lot, who immediately commits incest with his daughters? Most importantly, why do all the other passages of Scripture referring to this account fail to raise the issue of homosexuality?

    What was the sin of Sodom?

    Ezekiel 16:48-50 states it clearly: people of Sodom, like many people today, had abundance of material goods but failed to meet the needs of the poor, and they worshipped idols.
    The sind of idolatry plague every generation. We stand under the same judgement if we create false gods or treat others with injustice.

    Leviticus 18:22; 20:13-14

    These verses are found in the section of Leviticus known as the ‘Holiness Code’ of law. Observance of these laws reminded the Hebrew people that they were set apart to God. (Remember that the New Testament teaches that we are no longer subject to this former law). The verses involve the belief that anal intercourse (the only practice mentioned here) was humiliating and subjugating. It was used for that purpose by some cultures against conquered enemies. In such cases the view that captive men were being ‘used’ like women, who were chattel property in those societies. The Hebrew people believed that to do this to a male was to violate the dignity of the male sex. Their sexist culture held that each male was the image of God. To ‘lie with a man as with a woman’ was, in their eyes, to violate his dignity. This was considered ‘abomination’, the translation of a Hebrew word which meant a practice was idolatrous. The universal issue here is not homosexuality but the use of other beings as objects, thus violating their humanness and the image of God in which they are created.

    Christians today do not follow the rules and regulations described in Leviticus. But some ignore its definitions of their own ‘uncleanness’ while quoting Leviticus to condemn ‘homosexuals’. Such abuse of Scripture distorts the Old Testament meaning and denies a New Testament Message.
    ‘You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a woman; it is an abomination’. These words are found solely in the Holiness Code of Leviticus, a ritual manual for Israel’s priests. Their meaning can only be fully appreciated in the context of the Hebrew people. Israel, in a unique place as the chosen people of one God, was to avoid the practices of other peoples and gods.

    Hebrew religion, characterised by the revelation of one God, stood in continuous tension with the religion of the surrounding Canaanites who worshipped the multiple gods of fertility cults. Canaanite idol worship, which featured male and female cult prostitution as noted in Deuteronomy 23:17, repeatedly compromised Israel’s loyalty to God. The Hebrew word for a male cult prostitute, ‘quadesh’, is mistranslated ‘sodomite’ in some versions of the Bible.

    What is an Abomination?

    An abomination is that which God found detestable because it was unclean, disloyal, or unjust. Several Hebrew words were so translated, and the one found in Leviticus, ‘toevah’, is usually associated with idolatry, as in Ezekiel, where it occurs numerous times. Given the strong association of ‘toevah’ with idolatry and the Canaanite religious practice of cult prostitution, the use of ‘toevah’ regarding male same-sex act in Leviticus calls into question any conclusion that such condemnation also applies to loving, responsible homosexual relationships.

    I Corinthians 6: 9; I Timothy 1:10

    At issue here are two Greek words: ‘malakee’ (some scholars have transliterated this word ‘malakoi’), which occurs in the list in I Corinthians, and ‘arsenokeeteh’ (some scholars have transliterated the word ‘arsenokoitai), which occurs in both lists. The meaning of the words have been assumed traditionally to refer to homosexual people. Their exact translations, like those of some surrounding words, are not known precisely. Recent scholarship has shed some light on them and they certainly do not refer to homosexual people or homosexuality in general, though there were greek words for particular homosexual behaviours.

    Scolarship indicates that the words may refer to participants of pederasty which was widely condemned for its manipulative and abusive character. Another theory is that they refer to particular participants in fertility cult worship, and are about temple or cult prostitutes similar to those being condemned in Deutoronomy 23. While these words may perhaps refer to specific homosexual activities, they certainly cannot be constructed as references to homosexal orientation or homosexual people in general.

    Romans 1:24-27

    This is the only passage in Scripture which, apparently, refers to homosexual behaviour among women, as well as among men. The unjustified, traditional interpretation that this passage condemns homosexuality in general arises in part from failure to relate the passage to the whole chapter. Paul is writing about idolatrous people who put things or concerns ahead of their devotion to God. As an example here, he cites a specific group of people, probably in a Roman fertility cult, who are engaging in homosexual activity. These particular people are so consumed with a self centred, destructive craving for sex that they ignore God and the image of God in the other person. Paul writes that God, having given them free will, allows them to plunge to self destruction. He warns of the danger of behaviour and attitudes which turn from caring for God and for others. This certainly is a dangerous path for both lesbian/gay and non gay people. Traditionalists infer that Paul means that homosexual behaviour can never be loving. In reality, the Christian lesbian or gay man is freed by and subject to the same law of love which Christ commanded for all of us. Behaving lovingly toward one another and acknowledging God’s image in others is basic to all of Christian life, including sexuality, whether the Christian is lesbian, gay or non gay.

    What is ‘Natural’?

    Significant to Paul’s discussion is the fact that these ‘unclean’ Gentiles exchange that which was ‘natural’ for them ‘physin’, in the Greek text, for something ‘unnatural’, ‘para-physin’. In Romans 11:24, God acts in an ‘unnatural’ way, ‘para-physin’, to accept the Gentiles. ‘Unnatural’ in these passages does not refer to violation of so called laws of nature, but rather implies action contradicting one’s own nature. In view of this, we should observe that it is ‘unnatural’, ‘para-physin’, for a person today with a lesbian or gay sexual orientation to attempt living a heterosexual lifestyle.

    ‘Against Nature’ (Contra Natural)

    Traditional theology has argued that God created male and female genders, as recorded in Genesis, only as a means of procreation. Homosexuality is condemned on the basis that it is not procreative. The argument is that, since a gender difference exists, heterosexuality in the only way in which God meant sexuality to be expressed. In the Genesis accounts, however, procreation was only one of God’s purposes. The other, equally important, was human companionship – relationship. God did not wish us to be alone.

    It is also dangerous to argue merely from biology when discussing God’s intents and ourselves in the ‘image of God’. Jesus told us that ‘God is Spirit’. We are created in this image of God as spiritual beings. Human beings are distinguished from other animals by that spiritual nature which is the context of human sexuality. Our ‘natural’ capacity for sexual expression, heterosexual or homosexual, is given its deepest meaning by our capacity for loving relationship.

    About the Bible.

    The Bible is a collection of writings which span more than a thousand years recounting the history of God’s relationship with the Hebrew and Christian people. It was written in several languages, embraces many literary forms, and reflects cultures very different from our own. These are important considerations for properly understanding the Bible in its context.

    There are vast differences in doctrines between various Christian denominations, all of which use the same Bible. Such differences have led Christians to claim that other Christians are not really Christians at all! Biblical interpretation and theology differ from church to church.

    Biblical interpretation and theology also change from time to time. Approximately 150 years ago in the United States, some Christian teaching held that there was a two fold moral order: Black and White. Whites were thought to be superior to blacks, therefore blacks were to be subservient and slavery was an institution ordained by God. Clergy who supported such an abhorrent idea claimed the authority of the Bible. The conflict over slavery led to divisions which gave birth to some major Christian denominations. These same denominations, of course, do not support slavery today. Did the Bible change? No, their interpretation of the Bible did.

  247. 21stCenturySpirituality 9 Jan 2010, 3:20am

    Metropolitan Community should of course be Metropolitan Community Church

  248. 21stCenturySpirituality 9 Jan 2010, 3:32pm

    also jan & sapphire, getting back to the word of God, some years ago to reconcile the debate in my own mind I took it upon myself to read the book of Leviticus from beginning to end and I have some questions for you both.

    Why is the killing of an animal and the scattering of its blood around the alter not a common part of your average church service today?

    Why do we food with fat or blood in it?

    Why isnt the killing of a ram as a sacrifice to God for forgiveness issued as a penalty for theft?

    Why are vets not condemned for touching sick (unclean) animals?

    Why do we eat lamb, oxtail soup, goats milk & cheese, pork and shellfish?

    Why do we drink wine?

    Why do we allow people to keep dogs, cats, mice, ferrets & tortoises as pets?

    Why are women not seperated from the rest of the population for seven days during their menstrual cycle?

    Why are women who have had children not made to bring a lamb, a young pigeon or a turtle dove to a church to be burned as a sacrificial sin offering?

    Why dont we use the blood of sacrificed animals to cure leprosy?

    Why do we allow the crossbreeding of cattle?

    Why is it not illegal for a person to have a tattoo?

    Why dont we kill children who swear at their parents?

    Why dont we kill Iris Robinson for adultery?

    Why dont we stone people to death who are clairvoyants, mediums, fortune tellers, psychics and spiritualists?

    Why arent body piercing and skinhead haircuts illegal?

    Why do we allow people who are registered blind or have other visual impairments to come into a church?

    Why dont we have a national holiday for seven days starting on the 15th of July?

  249. 21stCenturySpirituality 9 Jan 2010, 4:04pm

    sapphire & jan, James L Melton comes across on his website as a zenophobic, racist, sexist, ignorant, intolerant, arrogant, psychotic cult leader, and that is whose literature you have used above to make your case. A man who fosters and promotes intolerance, hatred and prejudice towards others for their religion, their race, their gender. A man who says we can ignore the medical profession. IGNORE THE MEDICAL PROFESSION! So where are you going to take a child who has suspected Meningitus, sapphire & jan? To a hospital, or a church? If your answer is the latter I would be the first one in the Q on the phone to social services. You people really are out to lunch arent you!!!?? The lift doesnt go all the way to the top does it dears? The wheels still spinning but the hamsters dead!

  250. 21stCenturySpirituality 9 Jan 2010, 4:15pm

    and here is an up to date article on scientific research on sexual orientation published on December 1st 2009.

    What causes homosexuality? Can sexual orientation be changed? And are the brains of gay people different from those of straight people? Adrian Tippetts meets Dr Qazi Rahman, an assistant professor in Cognitive Biology from Queen Mary University London, to find out more.

    While almost all scientists accept homosexuality has purely natural causes, the debate has been mired in confusion. There have been conflicting reports about the existence of ‘gay’ genes and their significance. Religious propagandists have tried to promote the myths that sexuality is changeable. And the mainstream media, more interested in causing controversy than holding rational debate, has done little to raise public understanding about the issue. For Dr Rahman, who heads QMUL’s Biological and Experimental Psychology Group, it is quite clear: you’re born gay, and that’s that.

    I begin by asking him what aspects of biology are responsible for sexual orientation.

    “The whole nature-nurture debate is entirely pointless,” he says. “Sexual orientation is not a choice because humans come in two types: one with a vagina, the other with a penis, so sexual orientation is entirely biological.

    “We all end up at the same point: heterosexuality or homosexuality. There is little variation in between but this is not to exclude bisexual behaviour. People do not end up sexually attracted to bananas or animals for example. This is not a flippant comment. What I am saying is that we see the same characteristic traits and behaviours, resulting from a relatively small number of factors.

    “We think the causes for different sexual orientations cluster around two areas. We know that just under half the variation in sexual orientation is down to genes. Then the rest of the variation is down to ‘non-shared’ factors, and those, like hormones, are primarily biological.”

    At this point a little background is needed.

    Dr Rahman explained that the gene story originated in 1993, when geneticist Dean Hamer published a study that claimed homosexuality was genetically influenced, and pinpointed the stretch of the X chromosome (inherited from the mother). He studied 76 pairs of gay brothers and found they shared a stretch of DNA. However, since then no research has been able to repeat the test.

    Despite the shortcomings of Hamer’s research, scientists agree the environmental factors do not cause homosexuality. It is increasingly clear that no single gene is responsible for sexual orientation. Furthermore, William Reiner at the University of Oklahoma surveyed the sexuality of a group who had been surgically reassigned from boys to girls at birth, due to genital deformities. Though they were brought up as women, and knew nothing about their surgery, they were all attracted to women later in life.

    Michael Bailey of Northwestern University found that an identical twin of a gay man had a 50 per cent chance of also being gay. Among fraternal, yet non-identical twins, that probability was reduced to 20 per cent. This latter statistic does not in fact downplay the role of genetics, because not all the genes we inherit are active. We receive two alternative genes of every gene – one from each parent. Our bodies, therefore, contain two sets of building plans. A process called methylation turns off certain genes, and determines whether the gene we inherit from the mother or the father gets turned on. Although this process is inherited, it has none of DNA’s proof-reading mechanisms, and thus varies greatly from one generation to the next. The causes and effects of methylation are under investigation by Sven Bocklandt at UCLA.

    But if homosexuality were inherited, wouldn’t the genes for it disappear because of natural selection?

    Dr Rahman said: “That is a common misunderstanding, and that is said by people with no understanding of evolutionary biology. Sexuality is a complex human trait, just like IQ or personality. It is determined not by a single gene, but how several genes work together. A whole range of features with reproductive disadvantages can be maintained in the gene pool down the generations, if only a portion of the genes responsible are advantageous to heterosexual carriers.”

    He continued: “One of the ideas is that heterosexual men that may carry some ‘gay’ alleles that result in more empathic and nurturing traits, which are thus more attractive to females, who might mate with them and then carry those genes on further. So long as passing on some versions of those genes is reproductively advantageous, the fact that at some point down the generations you end up with a completely homosexual male – with all gay genes activated – is inconsequential. Evolution will happily tolerate that as long as the general reproductive advantage for individuals is maintained.

    “However,” he added, “there is much work to do. We don’t yet know how this works. A couple of papers published last year suggested females, rather than males, benefited. Genes responsible for homosexuality have to do something, but they do not literally write the word ‘gay’ in the brain.

    “Maybe they are involved in producing certain types of proteins or hormones which confer attraction to males, useful for women, but maybe having some of these alleles make them more attractive to men, or maybe these genes make them look more beautiful, effeminising them in some way.

    “Either way, these help females find a mate more easily and give them more offspring, while almost sterilising the male line. A male who is gay won’t compete with your own reproductive outcomes. At the genomic level, females should be more interested in producing ‘like’ i.e., more females.”

    The second influence on sexuality is hormones.

    Dr Rahman continued: “The level of exposure to sex hormones, such as testosterone, during life in the womb, seems to influence the direction of sexual preference. Everyone would be born female if it were not for testosterone. At stages during pregnancy, the hormone is introduced into the womb. The level of testosterone to which the foetus is exposed determines the level of masculinity. Some bodily markers provide an insight into exposure. One example is the relative length of index finger to ring finger.

    “There are a whole range of measures like startle responses, a particular sound emission that comes from the inner ear and cognitive profiles, which show how people perform on different problem solving tasks.”

    So, gay brains are wired differently?

    “In males the big brother effect is also important. Gay men tend to be born younger in relation to their brothers. The maternal immune system recognises successive male foetuses and may form an immune response to particular types of protein that form on the surface of the brain in the developing foetus. This might affect sexual differentiation or it might produce some hormonal mechanism that produces that variation, too. The big brother effect only appears to be important when gay men are right handed. Left handed gay men owe their sexual orientation to other causes we are unaware of.

    “Relatively recently, there has been lots of research into neurobiology – what goes on in the brain. Our lab has been working a lot on mental problem solving skills like spatial ability, finding your way around, finding important objects in a spatial environment, emotional skills and verbal recognition.

    “And we know these are different between the sexes, but we find gay men tend to have a female type of spatial ability. Spatial ability is controlled partly by two regions of the brain. So if we know that gay men perform differently in these kinds of tests, that suggests that part of the brain either is structurally different or functions in a different way. That gives us an insight into brain development.

    “Thanks to MRI scans, we also have the technology to look at the brain directly rather than just carry out problem solving tests on people. The studies in the last two years strongly suggest that in the adult gay brain, and lesbian brain, it is wired very differently to the straight brain.

    “In 2008, Swedish scientists at the Karolinska Institute compared the brain hemispheres of healthy gays and lesbians with heterosexual male and female adults.

    “The results showed that heterosexual men and lesbians show a rightward asymmetry in their brain – it appears to be larger in volume than the left. However, the brain hemispheres of gay men and heterosexual women were more symmetrical.

    “It might explain why heterosexual men tend to be better at spatial skills; there is some evidence that lesbians are better at some visual motor skills as well. Tests show gay men and hetero women tend to be better at language, verbal fluency, skills and emotion processing.

    “The Swedish group also found differences in the amygdala, the part of the brain responsible for orientating the rest of the brain in response to an emotional stimulus, such as a startle (fight or flight) response, or the presence of a potential mate.

    “Heterosexual men and gay women have more nerve connections in the right side of the amygdala, while gay men and heterosexual women have more on the left.

    “So, the brain network which determines what sexual orientation actually ‘orients’ towards is similar between gay men and straight women, and between gay women and straight men.”

    Now some may ask ‘but how can you be sure that having gay sexual experiences or straight sexual experiences is not responsible for these differences and surely experience can change brain structure?’

    Dr Rahman says this is a good question: “We don’t know the answer but studies with animals suggest these differences appear before any sexual experiences calibrate the biology. But only work in humans can truly answer this, and this remains to be done.”

    So does the data justify stereotypes? Does it suggest footballers and athletes are less likely to be gay? And could research uncover why some people are homophobic?

    In part one, published yesterday, Dr Qazi Rahman of Queen Mary University London discussed the impact of genes and hormones on homosexuality. Here, he addresses the isse of gay stereotypes and refutes psychoanalytic theories of why some people are gay. He also suggests that research into gay brains may help combat homophobia. Adrian Tippetts reports.

    On the subject of gay stereotypes, Dr Rahman said: “[These] might originate from the observation that as children, gay men tend to be gender non-conforming; they are more feminine on average, and that is seen across cultures. These preferences may have their basis in neurobiology during early development (gender roles are partly organised by prenatal sex hormones and develop even before children can label the sexes and ascribe gender roles to them).”

    He added: “But don’t get too carried away with unrealistic stereotypes, as there is a great deal of variation within that range of gay men. Plenty of gay men are interested in competitive sport and other spheres traditionally thought of as ‘male’ domains. And scientists need to explain that variation too. This is an area where we need more research.”

    How does this explain bisexuality, and reports of people changing sexuality?

    “We know very little about bisexuality but early work suggests that while bisexual behaviour exists, a bisexual orientation (sexual responsivity to both sexes) is rare in males. In females, there appears to be clearer evidence of bisexual responsivity. This suggests that researchers need to measure sexuality differently in women than in men.”

    So, your studies can be useful beyond saying how someone turns out gay?

    “We know there are big sex differences in certain mental health problems. Women have three times higher anxiety rates than men, while males suffer more from autism, reading problems, an earlier onset of schizophrenia. Early evidence suggests gay men show similar levels of anxiety and eating disorders as women do, incidences of drug addiction and personality problems in lesbians are similar to those reported in men.

    “If there is any truth in these brain differences, we can attempt to understand why certain conditions arise, and then offer tailored, instead of generic treatment. This would be major progress in mental health, because people respond very differently according to their biological make-up. This does not exclude the important role of social factors (like stigma) in the development of mental health problems in sexual minorities (just like it impacts other minorities).

    “Also, if we learn how people detect sexual orientation in others, we can explore whether someone detects it from a person’s speech or movement. We know from previous experiments, that people can detect sexual orientation within a couple of seconds. We can investigate whether homophobic people have a heightened sensitivity to others on the basis of their sexuality. If we know that we can go someway to develop psychosocial interventions to deal with sexuality-related prejudice.”

    He added: “We welcome input from the gay and lesbian community, to find out what the important priorities are. ”

    Some say that such research could lead to attempts to remove homosexuals from the gene pool. Isn’t there a danger of this?

    Dr Rahman said: “Gays and lesbians can find this fascinating or scary and some can be downright against it. But humans have a fascination about their underlying human natures. Sexuality is a core part of who we are as human beings, and for this reason it should be cherished.

    “This research has many benefits. It may provide us with clues about tackling homophobia effectively. It may help us understand mental illness better, or teach us more about the biological and psychological development of older gay and lesbian adults. On this latter topic, we currently know very little.

    “In the UK, mine is the only group doing research in this area, but in the states, they have healthier funding, there are more groups. They have more money, but even in the USA there have been problems getting funds.”

    There is a fringe group of psychoanalysts, such as NARTH, who claim that homosexuality is caused by dominant mothers. Dr Raham emphasises that there is no evidence for these claims.

    He said: “Homosexuality is not due an overbearing mother and a distant father as some psychoanalytic nonsense has suggested. The crux of the theory predicts that gay men should come from homes where the father is absent – no demographic evidence supports this claim. Secondly, the notion that homosexuality is due to unresolved Oedipal complex (a core tenet of psychoanalytic theory) makes the prediction in the wrong way – it should explain heterosexuality and not homosexuality. If gay men are so fixated on their mothers as the theory claims then why do they end up fancying men? Psychoanalytic theory is best left in the land of warlock magic and elfin trickery. ”

    Can exposure to information about homosexuality (for example through sex education classes) or childhood sexual experimentation make people more likely to turn out gay?

    “All the biological and developmental evidence shows that homosexuality cannot be learned so teaching about same-sex relationships in schools cannot result in increases in homosexuality. You cannot learn homosexuality like you can learn maths! A certain amount of same-sex horseplay is common in adolescence but there is no evidence that is disproportionately results in adult homosexuality.”

    Although there are frequent reports of kids who are abused, growing up to become gay, Dr Rahman dismisses this as anecdotal.

    I ask about the religious right, who seem to be very good at their PR, with reparative therapists getting major news coverage when they visit the UK. Does the media seem to give their crackpot ideas far more attention than they deserve?

    Dr Rahman replied: “Yes, and the media are to blame, for creating controversies where none exist. It’s vital to have heavyweights armed with the facts to demolish arguments of people who can claim, for example, to ‘cure’ homosexuals. But having the experts on doesn’t make ‘sexy’ enough TV for the media. Instead, they think, ‘let’s get a gay clergy member’ , which may be controversial but it doesn’t do justice to truth, or deal with the arguments sufficiently.”

    He also commented on media representations of homosexual activity in the natural world: “There is a strong absence of any evidence of animals having homosexual behaviour in their programmes in the natural history documentaries. I don’t believe for an instant that they don’t see the behaviour. It seems just fine to put heterosexual activity in our faces left right and centre, but when it comes to homosexuality, it seems it’s a subject they are just not happy to touch. That is ironic because Britain is leaps and bounds ahead of most countries in terms of representation of gays and lesbians in the media now, before the watershed, but animal sexuality is somewhat inhibited. Maybe it is too animalistic I don’t know.”

    As Dr Rahman shows, there remains much to learn about how sexual orientation is determined. But after nearly two decades of research, the evidence that nature has determined our sexuality is growing ever stronger.

    To some, it may sound like we gays and lesbians are a genetic ‘mistake’. Not at all. Human civilisation owes its greatness to the ability to pass on ideas and override the genes. We should be thankful we have broken the savage rules of natural selection. Take inspiration from Richard Dawkins, who reminds us of our astronomically good fortune to be here at all, in ‘Unweaving the Rainbow’:

    “We are going to die, and that makes us the lucky ones. Most people are never going to die because they are never going to be born. The potential people who could have been here in my place but who will in fact never see the light of day outnumber the sand grains of Sahara. Certainly those unborn ghosts include greater poets than Keats, scientists greater than Newton. We know this because the set of possible people allowed by our DNA so massively outnumbers the set of actual people. In the teeth of these stupefying odds it is you and I, in our ordinariness, that are here.”

    And if that doesn’t send a shiver down your spine, nothing will.

    Further reading

    Evolution explains how we got here, and tells a lot about why we are who we are. To learn more about the topic, try some of these:

    Mark Pallen ‘Rough Guide to Evolution’

    Jerry Coyne ‘Why Evolution is True’

    Richard Dawkins ‘The Greatest Show on Earth’; ‘The Selfish Gene’.

    Steve Jones ‘Darwin’s Island’

    Matt Ridley ‘the Red Queen’ and ‘Origins of Virtue’

    Dr Raham has also co-authored a book. ‘Born Gay: The Psychobiology of Sex Orientation’, by Glenn Wilson and Qazi Rahman (published by Peter Owen)

  251. 21stCenturySpirituality 12 Jan 2010, 12:01am

    Oh and Sapphire & Jan, here are a few other shots across your bow…

    You believe the moral fabric of society is decaying, as if we were better off burning witches, enslaving blacks and keeping women subservient.

    You cry “out of context” whenever someone mentions atrocities in the Bible, yet you are completely oblivious when taking quotes from scientists and historians out of context.

    You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of yours.

    You think recognising Jesus is the Messiah is far more important than actually listening to anything he said.

    You rely on vague “prophecies” as proof of the Bible’s validity, while disregarding the failed prophecies within and the fact that other religions have fulfilled prophecies as well.

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