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Christian student sues college for trying to make her change anti-gay views

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  1. I’m just amazed she’s at college…. and she wants to be a “counsellor”??? LOL! Yeah, sweetie, you’re off to a rocking start, aren’t you?

  2. How can this scary looking bimbo counsel people , gay or straight ,if she links sexuality is a lifestyle choice. how will she advise people who have complex issues related to sexuality? Will she tell them its down to choice ( in an irritating american voice). and god loves them. I can understand the universities concerns but should have asked her to consider their greater experience on these matters. They have a duty of care to potentially vulnerable students and have to consider their needs above hers.

  3. Silly woman. In the long run, this kind of bigotry going through the courts is generally beneficial to gay rights, once it’s shown to be the idiocy it is.

  4. Does she not realize that there are hate crimes that you can file in big colleges like that ? That is just like spreading your racism in college. It is illegal and you will be punished.

  5. Here we go again, an extremist trying to appropriate the word “Christian”. Back to whether a Jehovas Witness could train as a nurse and refuse to learn to do a blood transfusion etc.

    Surely the whole thing about being a counsellor is learning to stand in someone else’s shoes and leaving all one’s personal beliefs and assumptions outside the door. A fundamentalist would presumably be totally unsuitable.

  6. She really does look ‘posessed’ in that photo.
    Poor dear!

  7. Oh my! Somebody should teach her how to do a make-up that wouldn’t get her looking so pale!!!!!

  8. Oh course she wants to counsellor. That’s what Christians have always done. Pray on the needyto brain wash them into their cult. It’s like having a pedo be a baby sitter

  9. Deeside Will 26 Jul 2010, 6:34pm

    Well, I think that she should trumpet her views as loudly as possible. She should even advertise herself as an “anti-gay counsellor”. That way people will know to avoid her.

  10. The dear thing has a lot of growing up to do

  11. Her lawyer, David French of the ADF, said: “A public university student shouldn’t be threatened with expulsion for being a Christian…

    What an idiot! She isn’t threatened with expulsion for being a Christian- she’s threatened with expulsion for being a HOMOPHOBE! There are plenty of non-homophobic Christians.

    This nasty, odious woman is not fit for the jon she is being trained for and should be expelled asap.

  12. Blonde bimbo. Doesn’t she know that being ashamed of the hair colour God gave her is a sin?

  13. She looks as if she could seduce for Christ. Kissable mouth. Cute nose. r

  14. Why is it that she looks so obviously what she is: a dumb,peroxide blond American!

  15. “homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice”. What a moron, this is why people like her shouldn’t even be allowed to talk lol… How the hell she managed to get as far as collage I’ll never know.

  16. The fact that morons like this silly cow claim they are christians is a load of cobblers. First of all, if she were a “christian”, she wouldn’t be judging others. She’s obviously drawing her bias from that worn out old chestnut in Leviticus, the old jewish testament which isn’t even mentioned in the new (christian) testament. Its amazing that idiots like this deliberately select this and that to suit their agenda, yet totally ignore all of the other absurd references some of which order the killing (stoning) of women for adultery and prostitution, the killing of one’s children for insolence, not eating shellfish, not shaving (men only) and wearing clothes of only three threads, oh and here’s another, abstaining from sex with menstruating wives. Truly amazing in this day and age, that these hypocrites can believe in such nonsense. She has NO business imposing her religious beliefs in a state run college. The problem with these cultists is that they always play the victim when the tables are turned on them.

  17. de Villiers 26 Jul 2010, 8:51pm

    It’s fairly clever – they have chosen an attractive, young woman to litigate this matter – no doubt to try and increase public support.

  18. In what way is “Fundamentalist Christianity” not a life style choice?

  19. FloridaHank 26 Jul 2010, 10:15pm

    Good for Jennifer:
    If a homosexual would go to her for wanting to change his/her
    lifestyle because he/she is unhappy with being homosexual, this
    young woman would have the compassion to understand that one
    doesn’t have to live such an uncommon/unnatural lifestyle and
    it’s possible with proper counseling and much time to give up
    homosexuality and live a hterosexual lifestyle.
    I’m not saying it would be easy or quick, but there are examples
    of people who have done so and are happy being heterosecual.
    Come on now…let’s hear it from your side.

  20. Oh good grief, Hank again. There goes the neighbourhood.

  21. @19 above:
    FloridaHank, I’d like to offer you some counselling for your extremely common but still unnatural homophobia, we might discover some unwanted heterosexual attractions that could be dealt to once and for all and then you can live the happy homosexual life you always wanted to…I mean you are posting here on a gay site aren’t you.

  22. Next she’ll be suing the University for simply trying to educate her out of her ignorance…oh wait a minute she’s already doing that I guess.
    What a simple-minded bimbo, I wonder how long it will be till her nude photos surface on the internet?

  23. @19…

    You can’t change being gay however you should and must get cured of any sick dogma illness that has been forced on you.

  24. Personally, I think this is mad and completely unjust, she has the right to her views, she did not say anything to cause hatred or violence, she merely voiced her beliefs which she wont let it affect her counselling. She, as I see it, has doen nothing wrong so I hope she wins or atleast gets given the ability to her own views anyway.

  25. Ignore “FloridaHank ”

    He is a regular “Ex-Gay Fundamentalist Christian Nutcase”, who pops out of the woodwork whenever there is a whiff of Gay Cure therapies.

  26. Thomas in FloriDuh, USA 27 Jul 2010, 12:15am

    Welcome to America… And more specifically it’s ignorant Southern bible thumping populous who just love Jeebus and their twisted interpretation of his message of “love”

  27. She’s right! I chose to be gay because I love hearing about how immoral I am. Perhaps she should prove her beliefs correct by deciding to be attracted to women. Oh wait, she can’t.

    Looks like she’s found herself in a minority now, maybe she’ll realise it’s not such a nice place to be.

  28. Dr Boycock 27 Jul 2010, 2:07am

    The blonde bimbo is right… Homosexuality CAN be ´cured´ …. Just like I´VE been curing straights for years, turning them from their sinful ways and making them into happy homos! :-)

  29. @Spanner and all those who support this girl’s right to say what she thinks – fair enough, but the college isn’t trying to force her to believe something else. They’re trying to educate her about diversity and to expose her to gay people so that, if she’s even a little bit open-minded, she might see that “we’re just like normal people” and need no curing, nor judging for our “immoral lifestyles”. Nor is the college trying to make her renounce her faith. Certainly, I’d fight for her right to disagree with homosexual relationships in principal, but the fact that she believes it to be a choice is factually wrong and in that area she needs educating. You cannot be a counsellor if you have your facts wrong or refuse to open your mind to the truth. You can certainly still be a Christian and not believe homosexuality to be a choice.

  30. Is that ‘real’ blonde or lifestyle choice? I’ll stick with the homo, thank you!

  31. What’s Skeletor doing wearing a blonde wig?

    Seriously though. Diversity sensitivity courses are par for the course if you’re studying counseling, surely, and I think that it’s acceptable to be asked to attend certain events as a part of that. Were I studying counseling I’d expect to receive training and perhaps have to attend religious events. That said, religion *is* a choice, and as we’re all aware homosexuality *isn’t*. If she is going to counsel students in a school, she is going, at some point, to have to tell someone that it’s natural and acceptable to be gay. It’s not impossible to say something through obligation because your career choice requires it, but if you don’t mean what you’re saying, persuading someone that it’s true is going to be a lot harder without sincerity on your side. I don’t see how someone can offer adequate counseling and be homophobic, especially with the ‘lifestyle choice’ belief. Being asked to change her personal beliefs is an odd claim. I mean, I believe that her beliefs are bigoted and discriminatory, of course, and that they should change, but she can’t really be asked to do that in a religiously tolerant society. If she is being asked what the appropriate way to respond to a person’s sexuality-related issue is in a counseling situation, well that’s entirely appropriate.

    I’m inclined to side with the university not just because I can’t bear bigots who hide behind their stupid religions, but because these courses are surely going to be carefully devised around these issues. I’m sure Skeletorina will be proven in the wrong anyway. The best thing would be if she just failed the course and could never practice.

  32. friday jones 27 Jul 2010, 5:53am

    Some LGBTQ students should sue HER for creating a hostile working environment at a college.

  33. Diversity is very important in our society. You cannot put your belief into another people. You do it in your own place. What is the definition of right or wrong? It is purely subjective…

  34. PumpkinPie 27 Jul 2010, 6:49am

    she told fellow students inside and outside classes that she believes homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice

    Unless she was asked her opinion by someone, the college has every right to kick her out for saying such things (so it’s magnanimous of them not to). Hate speech should never be protected as free speech. If she goes around calling gay people immoral because of the way they were born, that should be treated with exactly the same severity as if she’d gone around spouting racial slurs at people. And I know her precious First Amendment can’t be used as a defense for that sort of behaviour.

  35. PumpkinPie 27 Jul 2010, 6:51am

    ^
    the college has every right to kick her out for saying such things

    Sorry, meant to write “should have every right to kick her out”.

  36. How can she still counsel LGBT patients if she believes it is “immoral” and a “lifestyle choice”?

    I suggest this woman would actually go on to believe she could “cure” LGBT people. In other words course more damage than she is already doing.

    Expell her and have done!

  37. @ Spanner

    Yes indeed she does have a right to her view.

    But what she doesn’t have a right to, like too many religious nuts, is to force that view on others, esp when it is not wanted.

  38. “The woman has every right to say what she thinks. She may well be wrong, but it is her inalienable right to be a complete space cadet.”

    Yes, it is, but you make a stupid case. But what she’s doing is akin to a student in college studying science who “chose” to believe in creationism over evolution. Its college for fcuk sake, not a frickin’ tribal dance to make it rain. If you want to study counselling, but the course content goes against one’s “religious ethos”, then you leave that course, as its not suitable for you. THAT’S her choice, not to whine about “her rights”. Its that simple…. the college does not change its course to suit her backward views, no more than a science degree will remove evolution from the syllabus for some inbred hick’s beliefs.

  39. Dr Robin Guthrie 27 Jul 2010, 9:04am

    What the silly bint seems to be saying is analogous to a medical student saying that their religious belief calls for voodoo in medical therapies, and she wants to be able to practice applying said voodoo.

    Ain’t gonna happen missy….

  40. spammner and squigt are the same people and hank go fcuk yo mamma

  41. Dean, I’m not sure about Squidigy, while I may not agree with him on everything, he is certainly not as messed up as Spanner. Spanner is obviously that ignorant racist cretin Rob N. The man is beyond reproach and salvation, to angry and too trapped in his own ignorance to be able to rise above it.

    Totally right on Hank…. he’s some ex-gay nut (or at least some homophobe with “I like the boys but shouldn’t” nonsense going on) with more then one mental health issue to resolve for himself. Best ignore the old fool…. he’ll be dead soon and replaced with someone who isn’t a such a screaming nut job like he is.

  42. @ dean

    Clearly logic is wasted on you here. Considering Spanner and I disagree on a number of issues including this thread, maybe you’d do better actually read threads before making such judgments.

    Unlike some I have Never changed identity, I tend to make it that people know my views, liked or not. No point in changing identities to suit the arguement.

  43. This woman needs urgent counselling but she has declined the diversity sensitivity courses suggested by her tutors, seems she just doesn’t want to put in the work.

    As she believes homosexuality to be an immoral lifestyle choice then she is in no way fit to counsel lesbian, gay, bisexual & trans patients …as she falsely claims to be.

    The trouble with religious extremnists is they desperately want the scientific and medical professions to back up their dogma and find they hit a brick wall when scientific research and the evidence it throws up does not support their bigoted beliefs.

    With the Anti-gay Alliance Defence Fund bankrolling the litigation, does it in any way suggest she would be a help to any LGBT patients who might become future victims of her counselling?
    I don’t think so.

  44. @ Pavlos

    Totally agree with you.

    It seems the more science advances and proves religious theories to be wrong the more Some religious people want to be in your face to prove science is wrong… based on text not fact.

    Basically doesn’t this in the end tell you alot about such people like Jennifer Keeton who keep on trying to convince that homosexuality is a immoral lifestyle choice whilst deluding themselves reliogion is not?!

  45. Forgot to add for All those religious nuts like Hank..

    May I remind you, you all base your lives on the so called teachings in religious texts. You go through life as per how the Bible, Koran etc tells you. Basically you are taught your views and your lifestyle.

    Homosexuality is how we are born. We do not read teachings about how to become it, we ARE it.

    Difference? You have the right to choose your religion and what guides you. We do not. Instead we have to be told we were born wrong. If all life is so precious, what gives you the right to discriminate based on Your lifestyle choose, something you choose to do After you were born, to those who were born the way We are?!

    Lets not forget that according to each religion if you belong to another that is the devil misguiding you, so you therefore cannot not a true believer. Again chose.

    For humanity to truely progess religion has only one place… in the History books.

  46. As one of the few who seem to be on her side, I thought I would argue against some of the points being made. As for the people who said the college was merely trying to educate her, they threatened her with expulsion if she did not change her views and she was expected to submit papers on how her views had changed, I would be most happy if they tryed to educate her but it sounds more like forcing views to me. Actually I would of been more happy if they set up a healthy discussion on it, if you force views on people without making any points or listening to any other points then you can almost guarentee their views will be the same if not stronger.

    As for the ones saying she would be unfit for the job, possibly but that should be what the college should find out, if she is unable to counsel because of this then she should find out by how ever they test them rather than just being told she can’t because of certain views. If this does mean she can’t do the job then she will fail the course or get fired from her job but it is discrimatory to not give her the chance.

    As for the ones calling what she said hate speech or forcing beliefs, I don’t know, I wasn’t there so I can’t accurately comment without the context of which she said these things. This said, it might not of been hate speech, there is that whole “love the sinner, hate the sin” thing, some Christians do love gay people but want to “save them”, I definitely disagree with the concept there is anything to save us from but I don’t believe all anti-gay views are homophobic or hate filled, I don’t believe they are all to cause us harm, to cause hatred against us. As for the forcing views, I don’t know about forcing views but I don’t think she threatened the gay people with expulsion, by the sounds of it all she did was voice her opinion which I wouldn’t of said is forcing. If this voicing of opinion becomes like an everyday thing, maybe snide remarks or a bother ect towards the gay students then the college should have a word with her, tell her that while she has the right to her views, the other students also have the right to learn without someone constantly trying to change their views, or well something along those lines, either way, to threaten with expulsion and forced to write papers on how she changed her views seems a bit over the top and unjust.

  47. @ Blondie

    To tell someone the way they are born is both immoral and a lifestyle choice is not only wrong but it IS a homophobic statement.

    This coming from people where religion IS a lifestyle choice. You are not born religious, you are taught it. You are NOT taught to be Homosexual, you ARE born it.

  48. Blondie – that “love the sinner” stuff is total BS plus sexuality like bi, gay and lesbian isn’t harmful etc
    she shouldn’t be a counsellor with the crappy beliefs she has

  49. Squdgy is right again

  50. Actually thinking about it, all this being Gay is a lifestyle choice business. Isn’t it really about the fact that they feel they have to say it because being that we Are born Gay, effectively if religious people excepted the facts they would be are saying that they don’t agree with God’s creation.

    How does that sit with you religious nuts? Questioning God’s creation indeed… whatever next?

    PS, thank you Chester :)

  51. Sorry about the misplaced “are”

  52. sorry, you cant do the job. might as well try to be a vegan bacon-taste-tester.

  53. To Squidgy, yes it’s wrong and we should try to inform these people of that but homophobic? it might not be hateful (I don’t know the girl enough to say whether it is or isn’t)so what makes it homophobic? just because what they know don’t match up to what you know? If this truely is homophobic then my hatred of homophobia is now decreased.

    To Chester, is it BS? I have a brother who is homophobic and a dad who once said something along the lines of their are certain places for people when refering to gay people in football, you don’t think I still love them?
    Now I don’t know whether she will be a crappy councellor but she should be able to prove whether she can be a good one or not.

  54. “If there was a God, come judgement day, I’m sure he’s going to be pissed off with an awful lot of them.”

    Never though I’d say this, but this I agree with.

    If these people as so sure they know what god is thinking, to have THAT level of insight to the mind of the creator, then they should have no problem making him appear as a bush on fire or in a court of law as a talking white dove, or whatever fanciful and critic forms gods like to to take…. surely if they know what gad hates, hey can summon his presence to talk to the masses?

    If they can’t, well, then Occam’s Razor dictates its more likely these bigots are just spouting their own version of hate and putting a “god says” label on it to make themselves feel one bit less like the miserable morons they are.

  55. The unversity didn’t threaten to expel her for being a Christian, they threatened to expel her for being homophobic. There’s a different.
    I’m no lover of religion but I do have to say that sometimes people really just need to engage their brain with their mouths.
    Another nutjob!

  56. “What’s Skeletor doing wearing a blonde wig?”

    Spot on! :D Mean of me to laugh, I know, but I was staring at her for ages trying to work out who she reminded me of.

    And, like others above, I do wonder if she was chosen to test the First Amendment in the same way that people like the Christian Institute support ‘christian victims’ in employment cases. The ADF has history:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alliance_Defense_Fund

    and has links with Exodus, the anti-gay group. In my opinion, this is just a set up to ‘prove’ that christians are being discriminated against. That’s the latest strategy from fundies and you can see it here aswell as in the US.

    I see what you’re saying, Blondie, but, although I agree she is entitled to her views, I think that the point here is that the official counselling organisations have a code of ethics which she’s potentially breached. So maybe her ‘education’ wasn’t punishment, just an attempt to help her achieve acceptance by one of the official counselling bodies in the US, and to broaden her mind – or at least get her to develop a professional mind-set in future work with clients (ie putting her views aside when necessary, just as other professionals have to do sometimes).

    In addition, I’m sick of ‘christians’ saying that their anti-gay views are sanctioned by the Bible and Jesus – they’re not. Nowhere does the Bible or Jesus condemn loving adult consensual same sex relationships.

    Some US churches seem to have an obsession with gay people – we’re the current enemy. However, some have used the Bible to defend slavery and racism – so presumably they’ll be trying to use the excuse of Christianity next time someone goes round promoting racist beliefs in public? No, I thought not…

  57. Ok, if there was a code of ethics broken I could understand but this isn’t them telling her to keep her views to herself or anything, they are telling her to change her views and write papers saying how her views have changed, I would of loved her to of been “educated” on this manner, actually it would be good to see alot more education on the LGBT community in schools but this sounds further than educating people this sounds like forcing her to think like us otherwise she’s expelled.

    I’ve heard of the discrimination stories as well but I would rather believe them and try to remove all discrimination then to ignore them believing them as an attempt to remove our rights.

    Though I do have to agree with being sick of “Christians” claiming it’s in the bible, not one quote refers to homosexuality today. Only one quote I can see refers to homosexuality in some way and that only relates to homosexual sex and is in a book of “moral codes” produced at the time and rightly not used today (like the rule of not wearing clothes of mixed fabrics) well except what fits peoples views.

  58. I think she may turn out to be a Carrie Prejean wannabe (she who became the opposite of Miss California). If Ms Keeton ever wins some money from this daft litigation she will likely be headed straight for a breast enhancement operation and then she’ll flashing her new silicon bags for the cameras.
    Meanwhile could it be that abstinence makes the heart grow colder

  59. Squidgy – Is it a lifestyle choice being gay, or are we born gay? No one actually knows yet. I’ve done all the reading there is on this ‘we’re born gay’ idea, and there are no plausible respected theories. So efectively there is no proof scientifically at the moment we are born biologically gay, so to use a biological scientific argument is not good, you will loose the debate beyond anything other than pink news comments. And in my opinion, the search for a gay gene, or being born gay will lead to nothing other than anti gay leaders (like christians or muslims) trying to control being ‘gay’, by curing it biologically or stopping it from being born. So, the ’cause’ of homosexuality is not exactly a great thing to search for – that kind of research is normally left for illness and sickness so they can cure it. And in my eyes homosexuality is not an illness, I don’t need to know why I’m gay, because there’s nothing wrong with it. Is there a scientific study for why people are black, or have blue eyes, or blonde hair? (no there isn’t, but hitler was working on all three) My point is, I don’t need to know I was born gay to make it okay. I don’t care if it’s a lifestyle choice.

    blondie – Christians have had the power to enforce their views of what is immoral on mankind in the west for the last thousand years and have done a lot worse than exclude someone from school for having certain beliefes or ways of being. At least she’s not getting burnt at the stake for having such views (like christians have done to non believers in the past), at least shes not locked up in some prison being tortured for failing to believe what the christians believe (like christians have done to non christians over the years). The history list on how christians (when the majority) have barbarically enforced their belief on others(minorities) is endless, and now it’s the non christians turn (majority) to enforce our views on the christians (minority). Who knows maybe non-christians can start burning christians at the stake, or locking them in prison if they fail to adapt to the new world teachings, instead of just expelling them from school – but then non-christians are much kinder people than christians are, and we wouldn’t do something so hateful. Well, not yet anyway.

    spanner – the first ammendment only works when you are saying something that the american government doesnt mind what you are saying, its a great way to make idiots think they can say what they want to say, find out who all the enemies are – then close them down. for example – if there were a group of, lets say, muslims proclaiming that america is immoral and americans should be stopped from acting how they act, the muslim group would be closed down in no time at all, america may even go to war with another country because of it. another example – if you mentioned the word communism in the usa in the late forties early fities youd have been burnt at the stake by the mccarthy witchhunts.

  60. All of the evidence is for in utero determination of male sexuality. Do your research and stop spreading misinformation.

  61. also, I think she looks like one of the aliens in Tim Burtons Mars Attacks.

  62. I’m sorry if this offends but that comment left me feeling a bit sick, just the idea of someone proposing such things, it’s such an unpleasent thoughts. I personally would rather do what’s right and what’s not hypocritical then to take vengance on someone who has done nothing wrong. Not to mention I would rather not hang myself for the crimes white people caused against black people.

  63. Five – I don’t know wether you are speaking to me? But you’re wrong if you think all the evidence for being gay is in utero determination, unless you know of some research that I don’t. If you could point me to the scientists work which proves your claim, that would be good.

  64. @61
    So where’s the proof that people are born straight, there’s is none as far as I’m aware, therefore heterosexuality is a lifestyle choice by your reasoning.

    This Blonde saphead believes in conversion therapy, she is a plant by that industry to recruit vulnerable college students and get them or their parents to stump up big bucks to undergo this bogus and discredited “therapy” and all because some deranged folk cannot accept human nature.
    Regarding lifestyle choices, exactly how daft or ignorant would a gay person have to be to make a conscious & dangerous decision to choose a straight lifestyle over a gay lifestyle…it’s inappropriate and it’s just bonkers, a bit like Miss Keeton and conversion therapists.

  65. douglas in canada 27 Jul 2010, 2:27pm

    She is not very clever. When choosing a university, she should have done her homework to determine some of the basic philosophical differences between Augusta State University and some of her Christian ones, then gone with the Christian one, knowing in advance that she wouldn’t/couldn’t agree with the ASU’s anti-discriminatory procedures. She is the fool for not doing her homework.

    It sounds like her own Christian schools couldn’t offer something that ASU does, so she made that decision. If she were “briliant” (which she does not appear to be), I suppose she could be a kind of groundbreaker in her field. Unfortunately, she is not. She sounds more like a gold-digger.

    If I were a counselor, I would love the opportunity to tell her that her religion is immoral and a “lifestyle choice” and that that was the cause of all her life’s turmoil.

    “Love the sinner, hate the sin” is a line that has been developed by the church to frighten their followers into recruiting. If they can’t recruit enough people, they threaten their own entry into “heaven” for not doing enough for the cause. It is for selfish reasons that they recruit, not for compassionate ones.

    Telling fellow students inside classes that homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice” declares her unfit to earn the degree, just the same as if I studied medicine and declared that babies are brought by storks, or studied history and declared that the USA was established in 1902, or studied art and declared that red is green and green is yellow. These are simply wrong, and the student deserves to fail.

    Even if she does graduate from ASU, I trust that there are state licensing agencies who would have to issue her a license to practice, and that that her intolerance would prevent her from obtaining such a license.

  66. @ Jay

    Sorry but this is the way I was born. I was born Gay and have always known it. From my earliest memories to the day I Choose to have sex I knew. You can side with all those religious nuts with your ‘no proof’ and ‘theories’ but deep down everyone of us knows it. Quite frankly, I for one don’t need some Christian scientist, or any other, telling me I can’t feel what I know is fact.

  67. @61,
    Excuse me Jay, after rereading your post I see I misunderstood you.

    Re “Mars Attacks”: Jay, do you think she swings her arms from side to side as she glides across the room?

  68. Point 2 Jay

    People don’t question why people are born black, or have blue eyes etc but plain and simple they are. So why is it so difficult to accept we are born Gay too? So people are born black, asian, with blue eyes… but can’t be born Gay? Seriously? How shallow is that?

    Your argument panders to the religious nuts who will do anything but accept creation as natural. The point of making aware we are born it, scientific or not, each person truely knows themselves, is that as long as religion thinks its a ‘lifestyle chose’ they will do everything to prove how wrong it is. Show them it is nature and what happens to religion then? Can they move on knowing that being Gay is part of creation. Will they accept and move on? No I very much doubt it but more and more people will start to discredit them and realise they are what hold humanity back. Unless they go Nothing will change.

    You may think you have a ‘lifestyle choice’ but Many of us know how we were born and none of us need a scientist to tell us differently.

  69. “So effectively there is no proof scientifically at the moment we are born biologically gay, so to use a biological scientific argument is not good”

    Actually, there is. And more importantly, there is ZERO scientific prof that its a learned behaviour. But look at the obvious, if millions of gay people are saying that they are born gay, when a handful of christians are saying the contrary (who are saying they are not gay, but tend to believe in 6,000 years old planet earth), then empirically the facts weight on the side of nature rather then nurture. I know who I tend to believe.

    But lets look at some of the science:

    – Bearman and Bruckner studies concentrated on small select samples which showed very high genetic influences

    – a recent meta-study by Hershberger compares the results of eight different twin studies: among those, all but two showed MZ twins having much higher concordance of sexual orientation which shows a genetic factor.

    – Bailey and Pillard (1991) in a study of gay twins found that 52% of monozygotic brothers and 22% of the dizygotic twins were concordant for homosexuality.

    – Blanchard and Klassen (1997) reported that each older brother increases the odds of a man being gay by 33%.

    – Camperio-Ciani A, Corna F, Capiluppi C (November 2004) “Evidence for maternally inherited factors favouring male homosexuality and promoting female fecundity” suggested that gay and straight men respond differently to two odors that are believed to be involved in sexual arousal. The conclusion is that sexual attraction, whether same-sex or opposite-sex oriented, operates similarly on a biological level

    Also, if it were nurture, then it can be “unlearned”. If this was the case, how did in the span of eighteen years, eight of the Exodus International ministries have dissolved because the director realized they were still gay? If this lot of brainwashed nutters can’t effectively chnage their orientation, then its safe to say most people can’t either!!!

    There is more than this, of course, but show me the science that homosexuality is not biological, and tell me why million of gay men are effective lying about being born that way? Why would they all say the same thing? Logic dictates that its a very elaborate hoax or its true.

    And more importantly, if million and million of gay men are saying they are born this way, why do they need science to validate their existence, especially when the only “evidence” is from a bunch of unscientific and superstitious muppets who think they can hear the will of god?

    Also, just becuase science doesn’t explain someting, does not mean it can’t or won’t be able to in the future. But so far, nearly all the evidence, both scientific and empirical is leaning to the “born gay”.

  70. @70
    Squidgy, I was born black and so were quite a few of my friends but of course we chose the white lifestyle and our skin colour changed accordingly and became white, obviously skin colour is just a lifestyle choice like being gay is.

  71. Funny you should say that Pavlos, I was just thinking that I always considered stupidity in the over-zealous religious type to be a lifestyle choice. I mean, no one wants to be stupid, parading that ignorance in full public view for all to see.

    Its sick.

    My only conclusion is that these people chose to be stupid. Stupidity is against natures laws, after all man is not essentially stupid being, and god is ashamed to see those who dare defy his will with their shameless public stupidity.

    Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against stupid people, I know a few stupid people, and they’re very nice individuals, but I really don’t think they should be given equal rights to intelligent people like me. Stupid people should not be allowed to marry like everyone else, as the welfare of the children is paramount here… stupid people invariable have stupid children, so we must protect the next generation from stupidity. Not to mention the risk that stupid people are promoting stupidity at home and in schools. I mean really, stupid people, if they want to remain stupid and chose this lifestyle, they should keep it indoors, not demanding to be treated equally with intelligence people like me and insisting they have rights.

    After all, is it not said in the bible that those who chose stupidity as a lifestyle choice shame their parents, and so in turn god?

    “A stupid child is ruin to a father, and a wife’s quarreling is a continual dripping of rain.” – Hebrew, Proverbs 19:13

    I think more resources should be put into curing these stupid people, show them how they offend god with their evil anti-bible ways and lifestyle of disgusting stupidity.

  72. vulpus_rex 27 Jul 2010, 3:06pm

    If she is going to resort to the old testament view of homosexuality then she should check out 2 Samuel 1:26 and then tell me that David and Jonathan weren’t doing it.

    Two most famous gaybois in the bible.

  73. Newspaniard 27 Jul 2010, 3:17pm

    Of course she’s entitled to say what she wants, what’s worrying is the queue of lawyers behind this bimbo saying “Sue!Sue!Sue! We’ll make a packet” (out of you or the school or both)” Bugger, Justice.

  74. Erroll Clements 27 Jul 2010, 3:25pm

    Poor bimbo no wonder she’s blonde and ugly on top of it, how can she be a counsellor if she has such bias views, could only be wacko A-Merica again !

  75. Derick Bird 27 Jul 2010, 3:28pm

    The whole point of attending an academic course on counselling is being missed here. Any submission of work, whether an essay or dissertation, with an argument for or against, must be substantiated with references. The work must be balanced. Many students entering a course hold very strong values, views and beliefs – any course will challenge these values, views and beliefs to free of any personal prejudice.

    This woman, bless her cotton socks, says she is not adverse to counselling LGBT clients but her distaste of the subject will be blocked by her body language. She will block any meaningful expression of their distress. She therefore becomes dangerous and should not hold the position of a counsellor and it would be wrong of the university to allow this woman to register.

    A counsellor must create an enabling situation and atmosphere. A counsellor is required to facilitate and be absolutely non-judgemental and impartial in their counselling sessions. Currently it is difficult to understand how this woman will achieve this and in consequence has failed the course.

  76. Too Long Didn’t Read.
    I got down to about half the comments, then went “WHOA”.

    The first amendment does protect “hate speech”. You can say something is a life style choice, that you hate (race/sex/ect.), and it is all perfectly legal. This is because you yourself are allowed to rebut the statement.
    Though inciting violence IS illegal, i.g. you can’t say “kill that gay right next to you”.

    Also, technically she would be “kicked” out of college. She was told that if she doesn’t change her views, she will be expelled out of her courses. If she wants to be a counselor (good lord, I could only hope not), then it will be hard to do without the set of said classes.

    Most of all, she is an idiot. Jeeze. I feel bad for all the intellectual, smart blondes. It is religious idiots like this that are rampant that make them look stupid. On that note, I wish people would stop stereotyping this as normal American behavior- its not. We have states with full marriage equality, pro-lgbt churches and the like. This is more like “usual southern slop of religion” label to us in the states. Ugly haters they are.

  77. blondie – I can’t even be bothering replying to such a manipulitively emotional comment that tries to stop a gay man like me from protesting a homophobe like the one you are defending.

    pavlos – exactly, she’s the one in the white house whilst chewing gum. She looks just like her, she just needs the big wig. And she’s probably got green goo for brains.

    squidgy – im not pandering to the religious nuts, I’m just interested in and read science, and in science something has to be proven for it to be a scientific fact, anything less than that is just irrational, a theory with no proof, like what the religious people believe. I’m just trying to be level headed about what people are saying with this scientific proof idea. If they do find a gay gene, or a hormone that changes things in the womb, or whatever, then good, they have found the ’cause’ of homosexuality. I just know that as soon as certain types of people can control something, they will. And if they have a gay bioloigcal cause, they will control it, for bad and good. I used to want scientific proof of being gay so badly – thats why I read so much. But it was only whilst reading this stuff that I asked why I was bothered and realised it was to explain myself to those who hated me, I was doing it for them – the religious ‘nuts’, not me. I don’t know why you are pulling me up on a point when you ultimately agree with me – that you don’t need science to validate yourself as a gay man.

    will – I am aware of all the evidence, I’ve read it before. But as you prove by your many theories list, their is no definitive proof, and just because I can’t show you the evidence that it is not biological does not make it a scientific fact. I know a lot of gay people want to believe that science has irrevocably proven being gay is biological but they haven’t yet – when they have I will say they have found the biological cause of homosexuality, but it will make no difference to me. As you point out there is a lot of research being done to find the ’cause’ of being gay, a bit like there is research being done to find the ’cause’ of cancer, the ’cause’ of multiple sclerosis, all so they can cure them, ask yourself why they are trying to find the ’cause’ of homosexuality. Again, I don’t know why you are pulling me up about something when you agree with what my point actually is, my point being, I don’t need science to validate my sexuality, I am gay, I like being gay, I don’t know why I am gay, I don’t need to know why I am gay, there is nothing wrong with being gay, and science will not make my sexuality acceptable – being gay is acceptable without science saying it is, I don’t need science to say I am okay. And if science does find the ’cause’ for being gay then so what, it still won’t validate my sexuality, but it will give homophobes the ability to control homosexuality biologically. The only reason why so many homos are desperate for a scientific cause is so they can say to the religious ‘nuts’ that they are born biologically that way, homos desperate for a scientific reason are the ones pandering to the religious ‘nuts’, trying to find a scientific reason for it. I don’t need to say that I am biologically gay to them to justify my sexuality. I just simply say, like the tshirt, I am gay, get over it.

  78. Not stupid but from the limited info I have looked at – wise and brave – that is my take on Jennifer!

    Can I suggest, for the sake of balance, looking at:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW9PW7uyeM4&feature=youtube_gdata
    http://blog.speakupmovement.org/university/uncategorized/jennifer-keeton-in-her-own-words/

  79. “I don’t know why you are pulling me up about something when you agree with what my point actually is”

    That was not my intention, sorry if it sounded like that. I was just proving a point on science, it never proves everything entirely, it just gives conclusions on the evidence. Just as science can’t “prove” we are conscious, non the less, the fact wear asking the question proves we are. So, if there is evidence to the fact that nature over nurture, and noting but biblical nonsense to the contrary, logically, the nature argument has more credence.

    But as a scientist myself, taking I am gay out of the equation, the evidence is very much in the nature camp… even more so if you look at he fledgling research into homosexuality in the animal kingdom – which blows the “sin theory” out of the water given by religious fools.

  80. “Not stupid but from the limited info I have looked at – wise and brave – that is my take on Jennifer!”

    Let me guess, god told you to say that…..

  81. FloridaHank 27 Jul 2010, 4:37pm

    Hey Pavlos, when you say “I mean you are posting here on a gay site aren’t you.”

    Absolutely you jerk…because the topic is about a heterosexual,
    which I totally am…and so why cannot I reply to a situation
    that concerns someone of my own sex…just because this is a
    homosexual site…you’re dealing with a person of my lifestyle…
    so don’t be so paranoid and intolerant that you can’t see that
    heterosexuals will have another view than you. Many of you
    are very paranoid and have been brainwashed into a narrow
    viewpoint and limited expectations.

    Also I’ll have other comments later and we can see what comes
    out of differing viewpoints but now I have more important things
    to do than sit a computer.

  82. @floridahank, are you really such a dumb prick? The question was rhetorical because we all know the answer to be a resounding yes!

    Sexuality cannot be changed. There is no evidence to support your ridiculous claim. Yes, some people have pretended to be straight due to social abuse or violence, but never gone from gay to straight, ever. Next you will be telling us that there is an old bloke with a beard living in the sky! Silly boy!

    The woman is a homophobe who has preached her archaic diatribe around the college campus. She has simply been told to shut up and respect her gay peers. Her views as expressed in her church, her business, wrong, but her business. Her offensive hateful views expressed on the college campus, her colleges business, and it is right for the college to take action. The college is an adult place of learning. Does she think that could freely express her hateful views in a place of work. No! Same rules apply to the college campus.

    Sounds like she needs some counselling.

  83. “because the topic is about a heterosexual,
    which I totally am…”

    LOL! Yeah, perfectibility “natural” for a 78 year old religious nutter with mental health issue, who believed in global conspiracies (schizophrenia, anyone?) to be on a gay site….. how embarrassing!

    Protest. Too. Much.

  84. I apologise for the emotion and I apologise if it seem manipulative, usually I try to keep emotion out of my discussions/arguments, it tends to cloud logic and reasoning, what you said was unpleasent to read but I should of kept it to myself. It was also not my intention to be manipulative or sound manipulative, if I need manipulation to make a point then I don’t want to make that point.

    This said, I feel my point still stands, what you said seemed really hypocritical. Your logic seemed to be that because “Christians” have removed gay peoples rights all these years you deserve to be able to take “Christians” rights away, don’t you see that’s just as bad, your using the point of events she wasnt part of but what a few people in the group she belongs to was to say that she shouldn’t have equal rights, it sounds very similar to the “Christians” mentioning the gay pedos to try to keep us with unequal rights. It’s also the equilevent of a black person stopping me entering certain restruants because of what white people did.

    She is a homophobe? now I don’t know her well enough (or at all) to say she isn’t, homophobia as I see it is a hatred of homosexuals, I don’t think you can say whether she does have hatred just because she thinks homosexuality is a sin, to bring back to my point earlier, I have a problem with homophobia but I still love my brother. Obviously there’s the problem in the point that sexuality is part of who you are but by the sounds of it she disagrees, that makes her a bit judgemental in a subject she is ignorant in rather than homophobic.

    Do I want to stop you protesting against a homophobe? no, do I want you protesting against her? no, if I met her I would make a protest, well I would try to be mature and respectful and try to listen to her views if that’s still a protest but the college told her she had to change her views, I think you have the right to protest but I equally believe she has the right to her views, we should be able to say and discuss our views but not be forced to change our views.

  85. “…you’re dealing with a person of my lifestyle…”

    You thinks being straight is a lifestyle? What a novel idea. Choose that lifestyle, did you Hank? When exactly?

  86. @floridahank, your reply to Pavlos is a little disrespectful.

    I assume the reason that you could not sit at your computer all day is because you had to run off and oppress someone.

  87. “well I would try to be mature and respectful and try to listen to her views if that’s still a protest but the college told her she had to change her views”

    I’m sorry, but this is a really silly statement to make.

    In order to accept an award form a college, you must meet their requirements for that course. She can keep her views, but she cannot reflect them in her college work and expect an award for it that is supposed to accredit her to a certain standard.

    The argument that a person who believes that the sun goes around the earth, or the earth is flat, or that the earth is 6,000 years old, or that evolution is a “lie” in lieu of a talking snake and a naked chick in a garden has every right to those views, AND a right to get their degree in science, is complete and utter nonsense. Stupidity and ignorance must be addressed. This moron is entitled to her views, but that right does not cover the right NOT to be challenged, or called a fool for them. And a college is a place of intellectual excellent, and a ignorant person like her has no place trying to seek a qualification from them if she has an inability to see past this superstitious nonsense. Tell her to go to church if she doesn’t like it.

  88. Although I totally disagree her beliefs, I don’t think it will do anyone any good if we start trying to stop people from having their own beliefs, however abhorrent we find them.

    I come from a super-religious family and their refusal to accept me and my partner is heartbreaking, but I would rather live in a world where people continue to have the right to believe and say whatever they want – regardless of how hurtful or wrong it may be.

    Chrisitans seem to be taking at the moment is pleading persecution – a sure fire way to gain public sympathy, we should fight religious (and every other kind of) homophobia and oppression (particularly of woman) with liberalism, tolerance and fairness – the exact values that we would all like society to be based on.

    Although it may seem like we’re on opposite sides to some Christians, essentially the choice between stopping people from having thoughts and beliefs (regardless of what they are) and allowing everyone to think and say whatever they like* (however much you personally disagree)is a crucial choice about the society that we want to live in. Do you want to live in a society where you can think and say what you believe or where no one is offended. We must choose between liberty and security. Security means safety, but at the cost of individual freedom. I choose liberty.

    *when I say think and say, I do not mean inciting hatred or discriminating – that is nothing to do with liberty.

  89. Blondie, to view homosexuality as a sin is indeed homophobia and is offensive and hateful. Religion has been used an excuse to oppress, control and manipulate people for thousands of years. It has been used to justify slavery, wars, genocide, apartheid, child abuse, oppression, murder…the list can go on, but we are not seeing much godly acceptance, tolerance and love there are we…we, the civilised, tolerant, decent, progressives are tired of hearing the feeble excuses and diatribe expressed by religious practitioners. Slowly, very slowly, your cloak of religion is being picked apart revealing many for the hateful spiteful individuals they are. Religion is choice, sexuality, gender and race are not. Choosing a religion that oppresses any minority says more about you than it does the minority you have chosen to oppress.

  90. The college powers that be are giving their view and Jennifer is giving hers. I find it pretty scary that someone can be chucked out of college merely for expressing a view that is out of line with those of the establishment and where there appears no evidence that hatred is a motive and every evidence the lady was trying to stand for right and truth even if some would regard her right as wrong and her truth as error.

    While I think Floridahank might have expressed his views in a more winsome way he is right that some people who post on this site do tend to overreact just as the college authorities are now doing. Why can’t debate be done respectfully? As someone once said: “what is truth” and following on who gets to arbitrate and why can’t we agree to disagree and learn to get on and tackle issues we do agree on?

  91. Yes, exactly she must meet the requirements, let her try to meet the requirements, don’t immediately tell her she can’t because of her views, if she can’t reach them then she will fail. I believe in a God and by the sounds of some people here that makes me an idiot, I’m still on a Medical Sciences course and will try my best to pass, if I don’t then I don’t but I would like to be given the opptunity rather than passed aside because of what I believe.

  92. Again, it seems the religious evangelist stance is that they wish to continue having the right to hate and oppress. At least the Anglican church and the Quakers have already realised that they must modernise.

  93. Blondie, the issue and anger is not so much her views, it is the fact that she preached these views on the college campus. If a racist student projected their racist hateful views around campus they would surely be kicked out of college and quite rightly too! This is the same thing, but about sexuality.

  94. “I believe in a God and by the sounds of some people here that makes me an idiot, I’m still on a Medical Sciences course and will try my best to pass”

    Yes, but if you chose not to treat someone because of your religious beliefs then (1) you should not be a doctor, and (2), you can’t expect to become doctor either.

    The same applies to our enlightened student here. If her belief that homosexuality is a “sin”, the counselling is the wrong profession for her, and to expect the college to accredit her is bordering on the insane.

  95. Will is quite right Blondie. No one is arguing she has no right to her beliefs, she is of course entitled to them, no matter how misguided or offensive, but the fact he wants to college to pass her course for them is beyond the pale. No one has a right to be awarded a college qualification for discrimination and prejudice, not in a civilised and enlightened society. The whole point of college in the first place is to open your mind and be educated – education is after all the essence of changing ones point of view based on reason.

    Perhaps pastoral carer might be a better choice for her.

  96. Blondie #59: “Ok, if there was a code of ethics broken I could understand but this isn’t them telling her to keep her views to herself or anything, they are telling her to change her views and write papers saying how her views have changed”

    Blondie, that bit about her being forced to write papers, etc etc is from a press release by the ADF. It’s presented as the University attempting to change her christian beliefs – that is not allow her to be a christian. But it’d be nice to have both sides of the story. All I could find is this quote from the Washington Times:

    “ASU said Miss Keeton’s conduct violates the code of ethics to which counselors and counselors in training are required to adhere, including those of the American Counseling Association and the American School Counselor Association”

    That suggests that her behaviour not her Christianity was the problem. As a comparison, as a teacher I’m not allowed to promote my political views and have to (quite rightly) remain neutral. This doesn’t mean I’m not allowed to have political views, but if I were to go round mouthing them off left, right and centre at school, then I’d be ‘re-educated’ too. It’d then be rather disingenuous of me to say that the school was picking on me because I was a Tory/Labour/Lib Dem/Green etc. The simple point would be that I’d broken the rules.

    Will #71 – thank you for that list.

  97. To FloridaHank, I didn’t reply to your first comment because I thought you would get plenty of replies anyway but since you think alot of us are narrow minded I thought I would give my opinion for I try to be as open minded as possible.

    First off, I am curious as to your definition of homosexual, when I discuss homosexual topics with people it tends to be slowed down by missunderstandings in meanings, do you mean the attraction? someone who engages in same sex, relationships, celibate or not? or just same sex, sex. To clear up any missunderstandings when I say homosexuals I mean people with attraction to their own sex.

    If a homosexual goes to her, struggerling with thier own feelings, these pure natural things created by chemical inbalances and not by a logical thought process that contradict with what they was brought to believe, to know, to feel like you are as bad as murderer just for a thing that comes over you like a tear comes to you at the end of Titanic or laughter just blurting out at a good joke. I don’t believe it will be compassion to tell that person they can live a heterosexual life, they are there depressed, having trouble with this great conflict in them and she tells them that they can live with that conflict for the rest of their life. It’s through acceptance of who we are, ending of this internal conflict that we find peace.

  98. Blondie, not sure you can correctly call homosexual the result of “chemical inbalances”

  99. To Traust, I don’t think it is, think of some vegatirians, they see eating meat as wrong but they are not trying to spread hatred by saying it’s wrong, they are just expressing their views.

    To Will, of course I have to treat people equally just like this girl will have to, if she incapable of this then she should get fired, just like I would if I got an anti-gay Christian come in and I refused to treat them, whether we can put our beliefs aside to do our job fairly shouldn’t be told by someone else but shown by us.

    To Tom, If she can’t pass then she can’t but she should have the ability to stay in the college to be able to pass or fail, whichever she does.

    To Iris, my opinion of it will be different if there are difference circumstances to take into account but my opinion based on what is said in the article is as I said it. In essence none of us should really be able to comment for I doubt anyone here would know her or the full story but as I say my opinion is based on what the article said.

  100. FloridaWank @ 83:

    You mean there are no straight sites reporting or discussing this so you need to come here? or do you just enjoy this site?

    I really don’t think the world nor opinions divide between gays and straights at all,so I disagree with you there but not because you are a heterosexual but because you are apparently a heterosupremecist.

    As a bisexual man presently in a gay relationship I have never suffered from limited expectations in my rather eventful life, I have always in the past and continue to explore lifes many options.

    It’s difficult to defend the views of someone who so cannot deal with LGBT people (phobic) that she would try to modify them to become straight instead of modifying her own idiotic beliefs and attitudes.

    Flatly refusing to see if there is any truth behind her learned by rote beliefs by refusing to attend diversity training sessions or attending public gay events as an observer at the suggestion of her tutors is just an insult to them.

    It’s always easier to modify your own behaviour than it is to try to modify everyone else’s just to make yourself feel comfortable, and it must be hell being a jittery homophobe, full of fear and confusion about life and about human nature and wanting to stay inside a cosy self-contained world of ignorance where everyone is or must strive to be straight and say their prayers before they turn the lights out for another abstinent night in bed with hands above the covers.

  101. To Will, I did not mean to refer to homosexuality when talking about chemical inbalances, I was talking about the feeling one gets towards ones own sex or even different sex, that attraction that if strong enough goes by love. Ok, I don’t actually know whether love is controlled by chemical inbalances, it was just one of those “facts” you pick up but don’t remember where it’s come from so maybe it’s not true, anyone know how love is created?

  102. There have been some helpful comments later in this thread imo – thanks for making these respectfully, although I have a different take on some of the points.

    Whether a Christian who believes as Jennifer does should counsel should be dependant on his/her qualities as a counselor not on his/her beliefs. I have not doubt that there are excellent counsellors who represent the whole range of belief systems. I also have found in my own area there are a disproportionate number of counsellors who are Christian and suspect that there is a link between Christian belief and the desire to help hurting people.

    As for keeping personal beliefs to yourself in the counselling situation, I respect that ethical practice requires this. There is a time and place to share what we believe.

    But we should always be free to believe what believe and at the right time and in the right place say so in a respectful way. I don’t think Jennifer stepped outside those boundaries.

    Finally, I am pretty sure the issue of the notion of whether or not homosexual practice is sinful has been discussed at length in these forums and from what I have seen in these forums most who suggest it is are pretty well castigated (understandably maybe given the sexuality of most who visit the forums). If I am asked that question, I don’t answer by quoting the “abomination” texts in Leviticus or the degeneration of society argument in Romans 1 but rather state my honest belief that when God created us and he said: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2v21-25) then that is universally applicable.

  103. “I don’t think Jennifer stepped outside those boundaries”

    It’s being reported that she violated the code of ethics to which counsellors in training are required to adhere. We don’t know what she said (or did) so we can’t judge whether she breached this code, but note that the university didn’t just chuck her out, they tried to help her.

    I imagine there are plenty of Christians who are counsellors – or rather, people who believe in a god – so I’m left wondering what this woman did/said that was so bad. Until the law suit we won’t find out, but I can’t help being cynical about this case because of all the other similar ones where christians claim to have been victimised but have just been asked to follow the rules like anyone else.

  104. “If I am asked that question, I don’t answer by quoting the “abomination” texts in Leviticus or the degeneration of society argument in Romans 1 but rather state my honest belief that when God created us and he said: “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2v21-25) then that is universally applicable.”

    How “noble” of you John…. you’re still a frickin’ idiot if you believe an archaic book that tells of a talking snake as the origins of man as anything literal.

    Grow up.

  105. To john, thanks for saying what I seemed to of struggled to say.

    In responce to the bible quote, it’s universally applicable? I thought the main points of the quote is when someone leaves the people that brought them up to live with the person they love, they will/should complete each so much so that they are one. But to take it word for word restricts a few people, people with one parent, no parents, raised by someone who isn’t their parent but is still as good as. It’s also completely impossible for a homosexual to follow that exactly, if a homosexual was to find someone that they love so much so that they become one it wouldnt be a women (assuming we are talking about a man).

  106. Dr Robin Guthrie 27 Jul 2010, 8:37pm

    Blondie, and you other “so-called” god Christians

    I assume you are as usual cherry picking the hoary old Leviticus misinterpretation.

    Well let me ask you a question.

    Were Sodom and Gomorrah really torched for Homosexuality?

    No.

    For a more detailed answer, I’ll begin with an overview of the fable:

    Two messengers, or angels (Hebrew ma ‘alak, Greek angelos), arrive at the gates of Sodom.

    There, Lot, Abraham’s nephew, greets them and invites them to his home for the night, where a meal has been prepared.

    Soon, a mob gathers outside Lot’s door and demands that he serve up his guests for a gang rape, which appears to be something of a local tradition.

    Lot, a relative newcomer to Sodom, goes out and asks that they leave his guests alone, and offers his two virgin daughters in their place.

    But the mob, incensed by the new guy’s uppity attitude, decides it’ll just start with him.

    As the crowd surges forward, the messengers open the door, grab Lot, and pull him in.

    Outside, an intense light leaves the crowd temporarily blind.

    Inside, the messengers tell Lot to gather up his family and get out of town immediately because they plan to destroy it. Sure enough, just after dawn, the whole valley explodes.

    Back to motive. “Those were vile people in both those cities, as is well known,” says Kurt Vonnegut’s Billy Pilgrim.

    “The world was better off without them.” No argument there.

    But, exactly what about them was vile? Was it that they were homosexuals?

    The text itself makes no such claim. In fact, James Kugel, Starr Professor Emeritus of Classical and Modern Hebrew Literature at Harvard, and currently chair of the Institute for the History of the Jewish Bible at Bar Ilan University, Tel Aviv, writes that the early interpreters were “perplexed about the city of Sodom.

    God destroyed it because of the terrible things that were being done there — but what exactly were those things?

    Strangely, the Genesis narrative does not say.

    In other words, what homosexuality?

    Richard Elliot Friedman, professor of Hebrew and Comparative
    Literature at the University of California, San Diego, tells us that there is “no basis for this whatever.”

    The text says that two people come to Sodom, and that all of the people of Sodom come and say, ‘Let’s know them.’

    The homosexuality interpretation apparently comes from misunderstanding the Hebrew word ‘anasim to mean ‘men,’ instead of people.”

    This is an ancient story, created for an audience in a time when few could read and write,when a people’s knowledge and culture were passed between generations through the medium of
    storytelling.

    The author(s) of this story assumed an audience versed in the nuances of the language and culture of their time and place, not ours.

    What if the author(s) of this fable intended the mob’s behavior to point beyond itself, to be understood as symptomatic of something far more ominous — that is, a breach in the social contract that, if allowed to stand, could threaten the fabric of desert culture?

    Kugel points to a tradition claiming that the flaw in Sodom’s character was its failure of hospitality.

    While life in the Jordan valley was easier than that of the desert, its culture was nevertheless shaped by the experience of the desert, one of the harshest and deadliest climates on earth.

    The tradition of hospitality — the obligation to welcome both friend and stranger with an offering of food, water, shelter, and protection — was among the highest of virtues, without which life would have become untenable.

    So rooted was this obligation that one theory explains Lot’s
    bizarre offering of his daughters as the demands of hospitality trumping the host family’s well-being.

    About the origin of the story, Kugel writes that it “looks like an etiological narrative, that is, the recounting of some incident from the distant past that serves to explain the way things are ‘now,’ at the time of the story’s composition, when Sodom was a ghost town.”

    Because ancient cities were located where water was sufficient and the land fertile, a new settlement would often be built atop the ruins of previous civilizations.

    People in the Jordan Valley of biblical times would have seen in the ruins of ancient cities the scars of some unexplained, fiery catastrophe that seemed to have engulfed a huge area.

    Being story tellers, they’d have created stories about these mysterious, long dead places, about how and why they were destroyed, and why new cities were never built atop their ruins.

    As for what may have been the actual cause of the catastrophe, Gerhard von Rad, writing some 40 years before Kugel, speculated that “Perhaps a tectonic earthquake released gases
    (hydrogen sulfide),” which, ignited, would have made it seem that the air itself was ablaze.

    This story, then, may have been born in the wake of some bizarre geological event.

    Survivors and witnesses, like all ancient people, would have assumed the causal force to be the same divine energies behind all the mysteries pervading their world, and that the divine motive would have been punishment for something done or not done.

    As the memory of the event was passed on to new generations, the story as it appears in Genesis may have evolved.

    William Sloane Coffin once wrote that “in reality, there are no biblical literalists, only selective literalists.”

    The truth of that is found in simple observation.

    Its denial begs the asking:

    What of those who labor on the Sabbath (Numbers 32-36)?
    And the idolaters (Deuteronomy 13:7-11, 17:1-6)?
    Or the defiant sons (Deuteronomy 21:18-21)?
    The adulterers (Deuteronomy 22:22, Leviticus 20:10)?
    The young women found not to be virgins when married (Deuteronomy 20:21)?

    Unlike the effort required in attempting to make a case for Sodom’s fate, each of these violations is quite specifically written into the biblical text.

    As is the mandatory punishment of death by stoning — that is, execution by members of the community who, having surrounded the condemned, hurl rocks until the man, woman, or child is dead.

    For anyone to claim Sodom’s fate as evidence of divine punishment for homosexuality while remaining silent on these and other matters in the Bible assumes a position wholly without integrity — and a rather convenient one, given the bloodbath that
    would be required.

    Yes, required.

    None of the biblical texts referenced above allow for promises not to do it again, only for the execution of the guilty, and by the method specified.

    Try wiggling out of any part of that and the whole structure of your literalism evaporates.

    Moreover, if the fate of Sodom is to be the expected fate of all human settlements in which wicked things occur — these being violations of divine commands either implied (supposedly) or written into the biblical text — and if Hurricane Katrina
    was God’s judgment on New Orleans for its sins of corruption, drugs, and general immorality, then what city, town, or village on the planet would not long since have been reduced to cinders, or laid waste by natural disaster?

    I await your get out clause with interest.

  107. This atricle is poorly titled. Since I went through a program like hers, I can tell you that she has demonstrated an insensivity and an unethical bias with a population with whom she will need to work with, and so her need to do the assigned remedial homework is totally justified.

  108. Blondie, thank you for your reply. I hope we find out more about the circumstances of this case, and I’ll admit my mistake if I’m wrong, but I still feel this is a put up job like so many others we’ve read about recently – or, to be more precise, people being encouraged or used by fundamentalist ‘christians’.

  109. Blondie: you are right that not everyone enters into a lifelong exclusive relationship with a member of the opposite sex, which is what I understand was referred to in the passage, and many have lived rich, fulfilled lives who have not, but that was I believe God’s ideal. Part of the reason is the “Fall” and as Will might have reminded us, that is where the snake came in! I’m happy to be called an idiot for believing this because I don’t find any satisfactory answer elsewhere – but I digress of course.

    Robin: Your explanation is interesting – thanks! Forgive me for butting in (although I wonder if I come under “so called god christian” whatever that is) and without wanting to steal Blondie’s thunder, I would like to make two observations:
    Firstly: When God told Abraham he was going to destroy Sodom (and Gomorah) because “their sin is very grevious” (Genesis 18v20), he doesn’t elaborate on the nature of the sin, although the incident you describe is no doubt part of it.
    Secondly: We do get an inkling of what Sodom’s sin was in Ezekiel 16v49: “Behold, this was the iniquity of thy sister Sodom, pride, fulness of bread, and abundance of idleness was in her and in her daughters, neither did she strengthen the hand of the poor and needy.”

    Iris: with respect, I don’t feel there is evidence to say there has been a put up job. No doubt other’s would have encouraged her to take out this law suit but I feel as I society we should respect indvidual beliefs and the right to act in accordance with them providing it does not harm others and no-one should impose unacceptable beliefs on anyone else. None of us have all the facts of course but I don’t see any evidence that Jennifer has done anything wrong or of any conspiracy by Christian fundamentalists.

  110. “that is where the snake came in! I’m happy to be called an idiot for believing this because I don’t find any satisfactory answer elsewhere – but I digress of course.”

    Anyone else here think listening to this fool who believes a talking snake and a tree of “bad apples” as the source of creation of the earth is bordering on lunacy?

    For give me John if I take this as proof that you are someone with diminished intelligence and not one to be taken seriously. I have little time for fools that peddle this fictional nonsense as some kind of reality. A failingly on my part, I’m sure.

    Might I suggest, John, you actually read a real book sometime, maybe they you wouldn’t be at a loss for an alternative to such puerile beliefs.

    How, in this day and age of access to knowledge and all our advances in science, can some people actually believe in that nonsense… a behaviourally challenged 4 year old knows this is a story and a badly written one at that. It really is staggering.

  111. @ Will “But what she’s doing is akin to a student in college studying science who “chose” to believe in creationism over evolution. Its college for fcuk sake, not a frickin’ tribal dance to make it rain.”

    I hate to break it to you but some American colleges teach creationism as part of the ‘science’ courses. I know of an athiest bio sciences major who was forced to sit through that sort of crap to pass her course.

  112. To the Doc, you tell me you await my get out of clause, assuming by “Blondie, and you other “so-called” god Christians” you mean me and actually, the argumentaive and childish side of me wants to point out you never actually disproved the Levicitus quote or the other “quotes on homosexuality”. But please don’t prejudge or label people, I am not a Christian and I am not straight and I most certainly don’t see love as wrong but thanks for the explanation, it’s good to know things like that especially when discussing with “Christians”. But I have to say that is one hell of a get out clause.

    To John, I never said that though I would agree with it, not everyone enters into a lifelong exclusive relationship with a member of the opposite sex but why don’t homosexuals aim for the closest they can to “God’s plan” and enter into a lifelong exclusive relationship with a member of the same sex, it would certainly be more natural then entering into a relationship with someone you don’t love and hating your own feelings.

  113. FloridaHank 27 Jul 2010, 11:14pm

    Yo…Pavlos
    You asked….”You mean there are no straight sites reporting or discussing this so you need to come here? or do you just enjoy this site?”

    MY COMMENT: No there is no heterosexual site that gives the comments, opinions, thoughts that are on this site. If I want to get the perspective, viewpoints on homosexuality….where to you suggest I go….to a heterosexual site? If so, please explain your logic for that.

    YOUR COMMENT: It’s difficult to defend the views of someone who so cannot deal with LGBT people (phobic) that she would try to modify them to become straight instead of modifying her own idiotic beliefs and attitudes.

    MY COMMENT: If a homosexual who is totally unhappy with his/her homosexuality and truly wants to change, I envision all brainwashed psychiatrists, counselors, saying,,,”Sorry you can’t change…you’ll have to accept your homosexuality for life…there’s no possibility that you can change into a heterosexual life.”

    Or are you saying that homosexuality (however it was determined or created at birth) is a life process that in itself is 100% satisfactory….that the 3%-4% -5% of humanity has reached/found the grounds for telling all other forms of humanity, animal, nature, etc. that all homosexuals have reached a level where they should not question, try to rise to a level of the majority of all other forms (95%)…because homosexuality has been created to be totally fulfilled in its minority status?

    I ask you as I’ve asked many times but never gotten a civil answer: What do you tell a homosexual who is truly unhappy with his/her homosexuality…and wants to change – not because of what religion, society, law, etc. says, but because deep inside, that person does not like being a homosexual…and wants what the majority of people around him/her want, believe, and do.?

    Do you believe that every homosexual is truly happy and accepting of their lifestyle and that there’s no possibility that homosexuality leaves something unmet in a person and they would be totally happy if we simply accepted you and didn’t cause any problems for you?

  114. I have come to the opinion that, for a lot of people, religion has almost nothing to do with the rightness and wrongness of principles or what scripture they come from. It has more to do with enforcing cultural tradition and refusing to let it be questioned. This is how even many faiths are shared by multiple locations but with drastically different approaches to morality. Take, for example, Swedish Lutherans where gay people can marry, and Latvian Lutherans where gay-friendly straight people can be excommunicated.

    If you hate gay people, it’s not because all theological foundations will collapse if you don’t, especially with all the selective belief (glossing over wearing mixed fibers, not killing disobedient children, etc.). If you hate gay people, it’s because you hate gay people. While impressionable children can be bent by the bigotry of their parents and families, a fully-grown reasoning adult has no one to blame but themselves if they continue to embrace hate.

  115. Dr Robin Guthrie 28 Jul 2010, 1:31am

    “you never actually disproved the Levicitus quote or the other “quotes on homosexuality”.” -Blondie.

    I ain’t disproving anything.

    Merely reporting on what a few very learned theologians have said.

  116. To FloridaHank, that wasn’t aimed at me but it sort of disagrees with what I said to you so I thought I would speak about it. If it’s not because of religion, society or law I would ask why he/she wishes to change, homosexuality is just like heterosexuality, it’s that lovely feeling you get when someone makes your head turn or greater feeling when you meet someone and then even greater feeling on top when you find true love. It may have some down sides like getting your heart broken or STDs but it’s just generally a good feeling and you do hear about people who have their heart broken, swear off relationships but still end up in a relationship eventually. But my puzzelment if someone came to me for councelloring, other than the fact I’m not a concellor is that they want help, that it’s that difficult that they have turned to a councellor. I cannot comment on all people, some might not have as strong emotions of love or attraction but if they turned to a consellor to try to get rid of their homosexual feelings then these are clearly strong and so must have something quite strong and serious reason for wanting to get rid of these feelings.

    And so back to my question, why do they wish to change, they must have some serious reasons as my last point says but what turns them to wanting to change this, I just struggle to think of what people could say other than religon, society and law. You say they want what the “majority of people” want, but love, a good job, children (to go for the cliche), is that not what the “majority” want? homosexuals can only get love by being homosexual by definition and they can get jobs like anyone else. Ok there’s a problem with children but this can be somewhat dealth with by be friending a same sex couple of the opposite sex or adoption or possibly other options though I am not very knowledgable. Any other wants are avaliable, well except for marriage though that relates to laws and is also something I hope changes.

  117. Beware! Blondes always cause a lot of trouble! lol

  118. H. (Bart) Vincelette 28 Jul 2010, 5:14am

    I’m a Canadian who lived in the US (San Diego) for a number of years. Georgia is one of those states that is largely fundamentalist & thinks science is the work of satan himself! A few years ago, a Baptist cemetery just outside Atlanta wanted the body of a black child exhumed & moved because the cemetery was reserved for white Christians.This student did more than make bigoted statements based on her beliefs; she made a scientific assessment when stating that sexual orientation is a lifestyle choice rather than a state of being that’s innate.That she’s a ‘graduate’ student speaks volumes about education south of Manhattan.

  119. apanner your mum. and the rest if you closeted loons just go and get that big fat c@ck you crave and leave us alone. we’ve seen the evidence the most rabid homophobes have an internal struggle. thou doth protest too much.

  120. “you never actually disproved the Levicitus quote or the other “quotes on homosexuality”

    Why would anyone want to do that? Who cares. The same bible encourages incest, murder or one family, slavery and marks black people as damned, all under a petty, mean, and spiteful god with similar traits to a behavioural dysfunctional 5 year old child. To worry abut one quote is baffling when looking at the whole book literally is quite simply a travesty against humanity.

    The onus is on christians is to prove the nonsense they spew forth constantly, not on us to disprove “theories” John’s erudite idea that a pair of hippy’s in a garden got conned by a talking snake who owns an apple tree brought humanity into existence…. is suffering form a neurosis and a flimsy grasp on reality.

    Why is it Christians tend to ask US to disprove their garbage? John is a simpleton who has thinks we came into being because of a talking snake 6,000 yeas ago – but don’t give him fossil, whatever you do! – Hank here is some “reformed homo” who believes in a global conspiracy (he calls it a New World Order – go figure) that’s out to get him and in his infinite wisdom thinks “evolution” is a “belief systems” so has opted for the 6,000 year old earth too, and Blondie thinks we need to discredit a book with the same basis in reality as a Harry Potter novel to defend our existence?

    I’m sorry to lower myself to this, but fcukoff and get a life.

  121. “What do you tell a homosexual who is truly unhappy with his/her homosexuality”

    Why, what did that person tell you when you told them you were an ‘unhappy homosexual’, Hank?

  122. Mihangel apYrs 28 Jul 2010, 7:27am

    merciful mother, the religionists are back!!

    This isn’t about religion, or god(s), it’s about the inability of a person to separate their personal from their professional views.

    She can say what she likes and offend as many people as she likes (within the rules of her college). What she is being told to do is to sensitise herself to LGBT(xyz) people so she can deal with them in a non-scriptural way.

    Please don’t feed the religious trolls: you can never change their minds, they will keep coming back, an will eventually whine about persecution

  123. I, too, knew I was different. I didn’t have a name for it til I was older, but I knew deep inside. So did my mother, even if she didn’t say much until a couple of years before she died. Then she told me she knew I was a lesbian from about the age of seven on.

    The differences are there from a very young age…and some know very very young, so I do suspect strong evidence for in utero development.

    This woman appears to absolutely NO empathy, a bad trait in a counselor. And the school does have the right to expel her from the program when she tells the professor that he is wrong and she is right and that she will persue reparative therapy even though the evidence seems to be that it is ineffective at best and harmful at worst.

  124. Har Davids 28 Jul 2010, 7:42am

    Isn’t it too late to expect Jennifer Keeton to be able to change her opinions? It’s been her lifestyle choice for years to be a bigot, thanks to her upbringing, after all. Would a black perons like to be counseled by a member of the KKK, would said counselor claim to be able to switch of his opinions on blacks during work-time?

  125. I’m not a counsellor but if a person came to me and sad “I am unhappy with myself & my life” I would try to work with that person to help them identify the real cause of their unhappiness and then attempt to help them find a way to deal and cope better with whatever it really is that is making them unhappy.
    I certainly wouldn’t start with the biased assumption that every homosexual who says they are unhappy being gay or having problems needs referral to a dangerous & discredited conversion “therapist” who will only compound and increase the persons problems while relieving them of a hefty chunk of their money.

    It has never been successfully demonstrated that it is possible for a person to change their sexual orientation, this is why the Royal College of Psychiatry in UK and the APA in US both reject Conversion Therapy as unproven and potentially dangerous & damaging, they advise against discredited conversion therapy for homosexuals but suggest helping a gay person toward self-acceptance.

    Let’s face it, even if in your dreams conversion therapy worked – which it doesn’t – being straight is no guarantee of happiness as the millions of heterosexuals on antidepressant medications illustrates.

    Beyond all that there have always been gay people who through necessity due to circumstances of time and place have had to hide their sexual orientation to survive and they have acted straight and played the role of a heterosexcual, it’s called living in the closet and that is all that conversion therapy can teach anyone to do.

    Conversion Therapy = teaching a gay person how to live in the closet and telling them that’s what they should do.

  126. Lets put this in prostective. The only reason people question themselves and who they are it’s because of centuries of oppression From just about All religions. If it wasn’t for the likes of the ‘religious nut’, society would I suspect be much more open and free to be whoever they are, without question. You can try and take religion out of the reasoning all you want but at the end of the day it is deep seated hatred over the centuries that give us the Very people like ‘Hank’ and indeed ‘Jennifer’ who you can be reassured, will make it as difficult as possible for all those of us that just wish to get on with our life Without discrimination.

    What makes me laugh is how the Christian/Catholic church scream presecution because the LGBT voice is being heard and more people show they disagree with them. They forget so easily, not only who they presecuted over the centuries but how. In most cases in grotesque murders in public to show and warn others.

    Those in religion using the word presecution:- it is an insult to all those through the centuries the church themselves presecuted.

    As for the poor little church and its people being ‘picked on’ as the saying goes, “if you can’t take it, don’t dish it!”

    Things change get used to it!!

  127. Well Squidgy, when you look at what they actually trying to convince others is “real”, it questions their grasp on reality:

    So, there’s Jesus:- rose form the deal (i.e. became a zombie), who was also his own father AND a flying god-pigeon, who can make you live forever if you symbolically devour his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a woman who was made out of a rib, was conned by a talking snake to eat a bad apple from a magical tree…

    Am I’m the one who is not seeing the “truth”????

  128. will don’t waste your time squidgy in a sadistic cnut too you can’t reason with it’s multiple personas

  129. Got a message for Jennifer:

    Religion is a lifestyle choice, being born LGBT is not.

  130. Am I’m the one who is not seeing the “truth”????

    fraid so Will – have a nice day :-)

  131. “This isn’t about religion, or god(s), it’s about the inability of a person to separate their personal from their professional views.”

    Precisely! She breached the rules. End of.

    Hank (where’ve you been? :D ), as I’ve said before, if some people in society make others feel bad because of their sexuality, then that is the fault of those people NOT the person who feels bad. The US is a gob-smackingly religious in some areas, and, yes, if you’re gay and you buy into those beliefs, then you might hate yourself or feel guilty, afraid and miserable. But a) that’s a mis-reading of the Bible and b) it’s not because your gay that you feel bad, it’s because of the hatred/pressure/whatever around you.

    This lady is allowed to hold her Christians beliefs (even if they’re inaccurate) but her chosen training and profession dictates that she follow a code of ethics. If she can’t do that, then she should be treated as anyone else would be if they breached that code. That’s NON-discrimination.

  132. FloridaHank 28 Jul 2010, 12:50pm

    Hi to Blondie, Pavlos and Iris….I certainly appreciate your
    well-thought-out comments and want to get back to you soon.
    Today is Wednesday morning and I’ve got some things I have to
    do and will have time later to day to reply to each one
    So please don’t think I’m ignoring you, but morning duties call.

    To someone else who commented that yesterday I was “off to oppress
    others…etc.” rather than post another comment.
    Well, yesterday it was 90+ degrees, sunny and I went fishing
    and swimming in the ocean — that’s better than sitting at a
    computer, you must admit.

  133. Okay, whilst I disagree with her views, as a student at university myself, I know exactly how I would react too if my university told me to change my views or be expelled (I’d take them to court obviously).
    Provided she can hold a neutral view whilst working (doubtfully but she deserves a chance I guess) then I don’t see a massive problem with this.

    Oh, and what really annoys me is how a lot of people are making assumptions about her intelligence based on her appearance. I know several peroxide bombshells who are well on their way to getting 1st class degrees in their various subject, and people accuse HER of being judgemental! There is nothing more shallow than assuming she’s dumb because she is blonde and American with bigoted views. Unfortunately, bigots can sometimes be intelligent, just like the rest of us.

  134. “fraid so Will – have a nice day”

    Oh, no! You’re not serious, are you? I’m actually not seeing the truth of the talking snake and the magical apple tree of doom??? Oh, dear.

    Bugger, I better throw my fossils out, so, becuase they’re obviously the work of satan.

    LOL! Get a life John. If that’s your best response, you reaffirm what I already know:- Grown men who believe in fairy stories should be treated like ignorant children in need of an education…. and not taken seriously, naturally.

  135. “Unfortunately, bigots can sometimes be intelligent, just like the rest of us.”

    Possible, but statistically unlikely. Bigots are usually (not always, but usually) extremely religious, and its been shown that they are less intelligent then those who aren’t. And I question the intelligence of ANYONE who believes as fact in a talking snake being responsible for a 6,000 year old earth.

    Point in case: Atheists scored 1.95 IQ points higher than Agnostics, 3.82 points higher than Liberal persuasions, and 5.89 IQ points higher than Dogmatic persuasions [Nyborg, Helmuth (2008-03). “The intelligence–religiosity nexus: A representative study of white adolescent Americans”.]

  136. A point well made Will. There have been a number of studies in this field and each of them has arrived at the same conclusion due to similar results.

    The last one I read was published towards the end of last year. The study was lead by a Muslim chap attempting to disprove the conclusions of other studies. Unfortunately his results only succeeded in legitimising the results of the previous studies. The average IQ of an atheist is proven to be significantly higher than the average religious persons IQ.

  137. “John is a simpleton who has thinks we came into being because of a talking snake 6,000 yeas ago”

    Will I have been called many things but sticks and stones and all that aside it would be nice if people get there facts right before pontificating in areas they don’t understand. I don’t know anyone including the most ardent literalist who thinks we came into being because of a talking snake. Go back to the very first verse of the Bible and you will see who brought us into being. As for trees and snakes, I personally doubt it is anything we would associate with such, that the earth could be considerably older than 6000 years (yes you can believe Genesis and good science is compatible), and the two trees represent two conflicting tendencies in humankind: to go God’s way that leads to life or man’s way that leads to death. The anticipation of further scoffing and the temptation of guessing aside, the evangelist in me is tempted to ask which one will you choose Will?

  138. To Will, you said “fcukoff” so here I am. I am apparently a Christian according to some people so my childish and argumentative side wanted to say the “Christian” come back just for arguments sake. Now he is the one who brought up that story when no one before him mentioned it and there was no mention of it in the article so it seems only right if his argument against “Christian” beliefs is to disprove a quote said to be on homosexuality, to disprove all the other quotes that are supposed to be about it.

    Why does everyone think they know me or what I think? No, I don’t think we need to disprove a book to defend our existance, I don’t believe I need to defend my existance but if I do (assuming by existance, you are talking sexuality wise which implies the whole not a choice thing) then I defend with what psycologists say or make a little speech describing sexuality. But if there are “Christians” willing to listen then I like to have a mature and open discussion with them, if there’s a chance that that person re-thinks their views or I could understand their views a bit better than I would say it’s worth it.

    And in responce to you saying it is statistically unlikely she is unintelligent, I am statistically suppose to be promiscous and a drug user, using drugs I would say has a better chance of me being kicked out of uni.

    To Hank, thanks for informing us, I look forward to your reply and hope you enjoyed the weather yesterday.

  139. douglas in canada 28 Jul 2010, 3:15pm

    I’ve wondered why the christians are so anti-gay, and why they haven’t gone after people who have divorced, or had sex before marriage. Here’s my suspicion:

    People who have gotten divorced or had sex before marriage, simply ignored the church and it’s idiotic people. But gays have actually taken the church to task, to disprove its absurd belief system, to trash the bible because it really is just that – trash. Gays and lesbians are holding the mirror up to the church so they can see themselves for what they are, non-thinking, followers of illogical fairy tales, and the christians are so embarrassed by the truth, that instead of accepting it and moving on, they have decided to dig in their heels and prove that their point is true, no matter how false it really is.

    It’s “The Emperor’s New Clothes” all over again, and the LGBT community is the child, pointing out the silliness of established religion, which unfortunately has decided, not to run and clothe itself, but to stick by its guns, and continue to strut its nakedness through the streets, as if no one else will see.

  140. douglas in canada 28 Jul 2010, 3:37pm

    In my reading about the old testament passages on homosexuality continually point to it being non-consensual. They also point out that “to lie with a man as with a woman” implies that one partner takes on the role of the woman. The problem with that is that women were considered LESS than men, so to take on that role meant to give up your status as a man. It would be the same as behaving like an animal. Women were not people, they were property.

    In the new testament, consensual sex is again NOT the topic of the day. It is older married men having sex with their young students, OR it is connected with male and female prostitution in temples.

    If there were consensual same-sex relationships, they were not discussed.

  141. de Villiers 28 Jul 2010, 4:19pm

    I’m not sure of the relevance of stating that one is born homosexual or heterosexual. Regardless of whether it is with birth or from societal shaping, most homosexual men would say that it is unchosen behaviour. Even if a person is bisexual, one would expect that the homosexual attraction that they feel is, itself, unchosen desire in that it manifests itself without volition.

    If something is unchosen or exists independently of any will – such that attraction is the involuntary production of chemicals by the body in reaction to a state of involuntary excitement, then it is difficult to see how such a thing can attract moral value. If something is unchosen or beyond one’s control, there is no moral choice to be made. The issue of choosing to have homosexual sex being immoral degrades if the homosexual attraction and excitement is itself unchosen and, therefore, amoral.

    I am also unpersuaded as to the relevance of comparing being gay to being black. Being black is a physical, constant state. It implies no action other than the physical pigmentation of the skin. There may be black culture but that does not follow necessarily and automatically from black skin. Being gay, however, is a behaviour. The only relevant constant variable between being black and being gay would appear to be that both are unchosen.

    But even something being unchosen does not mean that something does not carry negative value – merely that it should not have negative moral value. A person may be born with a debilitating disease such as MS or some mental illness that restricts their level of adult understanding. This may be natural for them insofar as it may be genetic or naturally developed. It is normal for them. It is unlikely (hopefully) to be normal for us.

    We could say that such a condition attracts negative value in comparison to a life without it. We would be pushed to say that such a person was immoral for having that condition – or that a person with mental illness would be acting immorally for killing someone where this was beyond the state of their understanding.

    The difficulty with a counsellor who considers that being gay is immoral is evident. If being gay is inherently immoral and inherently against one’s nature then it will always follow that when such a person has difficulties or troubles with life, that such issues flow from them acting against their inherent nature. The gay person, according to them, has made the wrong choices and should reorient them so as to behave naturally as a heterosexual.

    For a person who is gay without choice, such advice would force them to act against their nature and cause them even greater hardship, confusion and genuine self-hate.

  142. de Villiers 28 Jul 2010, 4:22pm

    > We would be pushed to say that such a person was immoral for having that condition –

    I mean we would be hard pushed to say that – in other words that we could not say that.

  143. any old excuse floridahank – how are you the same sex when you claim to be male?

  144. O dear . . . more “ExGay Fundamentalist Christians” and “Fundamentalist Christians” . . . trying to appear rational, logical and reasoned.

    . . . we appear to be over run again with oxymorons and sky pixies

    Any atheists in the house to burst this rather vacuous over inflated bubble, before we float off into nether nether land.

  145. “And in responce to you saying it is statistically unlikely she is unintelligent, I am statistically suppose to be promiscous and a drug user, using drugs I would say has a better chance of me being kicked out of uni.”

    Comparing two sets of unrelated statistics is a logical fallacy (one of the correlative based fallacies to be precise), and had no bearing on the original study. The study stands alone, and you offsetting it with your “statistical experiences” proves nothing other than you don’t have a counter argument. And common sense dictates it is correct. If a person believes in a 6,000 earth, ergo, that person is a fool, and proven to be of diminished intellect for their lack of ability and willingness to understand facts. If a person uses the bible literally, but chooses to “ignore” the contradiction, then ergo that person is also of diminished intellectual capabilities. Intellect is based on reason, and in such cases reason is severely lacking. Simple explanations for simple people.

    “yes you can believe Genesis and good science is compatible”

    Ah, we’re back to “good” science again. We’ve heard this term before in this site, as usual by someone less then capable in telling us the difference between “good” science and “bad” science – apparently bad science was anything that couldn’t understand or went against a fairy story belief system. So do enlighten me, John, I’m fascinated to hear your definition of “good science”

  146. now that’s what I call ascreen dump. boom boom

  147. Polo extermínio da merda religiosa 28 Jul 2010, 7:19pm

    Religion is a dangerous mental illness. Religious people must be jailed until they heal, for their own good. Religious lifestyle is unnatural and inmoral.
    This is my point of view. Religious people must respect me; free speech and blablabla…

  148. “”to lie with a man as with a woman” implies that one partner takes on the role of the woman. The problem with that is that women were considered LESS than men, so to take on that role meant to give up your status as a man. It would be the same as behaving like an animal. Women were not people, they were property”

    Exactly right, douglas in canada, and other sections in the Bible go on with that idea, in the NT aswell as the OT. There is NO verse in the Bible that condemns consensual, loving adult same sex relationships.

    I said above that people are entitled to incorrect beliefs and I do believe that, but sometimes I get p*ssed off at the silliness of it and the utter waste of time. Not belief in a god, but an obsession with incorrect meanings of incomplete religious texts.

  149. ***Iris spot on . . .

    “Not belief in a god, but an obsession with incorrect meanings of incomplete religious texts.”

    In other words Mr and Mrs Eutics who lost their son Herman whilst overdosing on the old LJC (Lord Jesus Christ, which affected not only their ability to understand context; but the content of the Bible as well.

  150. To Will, I compared them just like gay people compare their fight for equal rights to black people’s, there are differences but why can’t the same logic apply, to compare stuff is a very good way to get a grasp of a situation from anotehr angle. If you judged me on statistics of the majority of a group, you can call me a whole of stuff that would just be rubbish, even look in here where people are telling me I’m a Christian and trys to contradict my “Christian” beliefs I apparently have against my own sexuality that I have never had a problem with and never found morally wrong.

    So your “logic” means that, all Christians are stupid just because they believe in the bible and some quotes in the bible contradict a few things in science? it sounds like “reason is severely lacking”, I wouldn’t suggest going to a college you might get kicked out. Now first of, do Christians have to believe the quotes exactly? it can be seen as a story just to explain the creation of Earth or to not be exactly the same story, maybe God created these things but over millions of years, God is a very powerful being, who knows what a day is to God or whether a day was merely supposed to represent an amount of time or “a hard day’s work” for God. Or even faulty reasoning? if these people are not aware of the science used to prove the world is alot older than 6000 years old because they just wasn’t told about the particular science, the only thing I know is about carbon dating and I only know how that works because of my A level in physics, how many people have an A level in physics? from my experience, 2 out of a sixth form full and even then, I struggle to explain how we know the world is alot older. Now of course some of these people are told but it seems when they are told they are told with disrespect and contempt like they are complete and utter idiots for not knowing any better and the person telling them can speak with such arrogance with no question of any other idea or concept that some wouldn’t listen on the basis that no explanation is given and it just sounds like the person saying these things was brainwashed into thinking it, just follow what everyone else says without any “reasoning” or thought, actually I would be very shocked if someone gave up their beliefs that they know for what someone else is claiming without any explanation. Now even if these Christians are shown the science and are explained the science (do all the population that are called intelligent have a good grasp of science and physics?) they still might not agree but is that a lack of intelligence, imagine if you dedicated your life to what you believe is right, done or these things and then you are told they was unnessecary, you’ve just wasted all this time or that these morals that you have been brought up on, told from a little kid are just all wrong, I bet alot would struggle with this, it takes a very big man (or women) to say that you are wrong and even to say something like this, you was wrong all these years would take a whole lot and then you don’t think people would fear the “truth”, hate the “truth”, nothing to do with intelligence or reasoning just a dislike and denial. How’s that for “don’t have a counter argument”.

  151. “So do enlighten me, John, I’m fascinated to hear your definition of good science”

    Will, I didn’t want to duck your question but I feel to give a worthy answer I need to spend more time than I have spare and while my first degree and early career was in science I don’t feel best qualified to answer. I tried to find something suitable on the Internet that I agree with that answers your question well but having drawn a blank I will give my brief initial response …

    I would say though that many would take exception at your ignorant and insulting behaviour and would refuse to pander to your mischief making and would find it rather rich that someone so arrogant should be so sanctimonious.

    … firstly, in hindsight, I needn’t have used the word “good” – simply put I don’t believe there needs to be a conflict between a belief in God and the Bible and any science which follows the scientific method (which I broadly take to be a body of techniques for investigating phenomena, acquiring new knowledge, or correcting and integrating previous knowledge), as both ought to be about seeking out truth (and truth is never divided).

    What is often overlooked is that science tries to answer questions like how and why things are as they are. Religion can only provide at best broad brush answers to such matters. Religion does however try to establish meaning and purpose behind human existence. Science attempts to unravel the laws that govern the universe but religion looks at questions such as what is the meaning of life and how we should live our lives and why.

    I don’t see science answering those questions satisfactorally and claims that it does or somehow because of science we can discard, ignore or somehow compartmentalise God are in my view bad science.

    “The works of the Lord are great, sought out of all them that have pleasure therein” Psalms 111v2 (inscribed over the entrance of the old and new Cavendish laboratories, Cambridge University)- now those Cavendish guys were good scientists!

  152. John wrote
    “Science attempts to unravel the laws that govern the universe but religion looks at questions such as what is the meaning of life and how we should live our lives and why.”

    Philosophy also looks at “the meaning of life and how we should live our lives and why.”

    John . . . I am more inclined to just Philosophers than theologians, since philosophy does not claim to be science; but does claim to address the big issues in the spirit of logical and reasoned enquiry.

    In my view, some religions appear only concerned with self-referential pursuits, rather than engaging in the true spirit of knowledge; which I believe can only be developed through logical, reasoned and critical enquiry.

    Fundamentalist Religions cannot meet this criteria, and so should be rejected for their lack of rigour.

  153. douglas in canada 28 Jul 2010, 9:29pm

    The bible was never intended to be a science text. For certain people to use it that way is just plain stupid. I wish the christians would drop that issue altogether. Whatever it is meant to teach, it doesn’t offer scientific knowledge.

    When I see fearful [yes, they are afraid] christians flapping their little bibles in the air, saying “It must be so, because I read it in here,” I see one of two things:
    1) people who have left their ability to reason in the parking lot;
    2) people who know there are contradictions and loopholes in the text, but are so afraid to admit that what they were taught is [possibly] wrong.
    Their pride is doing them in.

    Just like the catholic church and the ordination of women. That church will NEVER ordain women, because the protestants are already doing it. If the catholics DID decide to ordain women, it would be blatantly admitting that the protestants had the truth first, which would make the pope’s cheeks blush as red as his cute little shoes.

    This isn’t about religion or spirituality or science anymore. It’s all political, and wrapped up in self-conceit, disguised as religious sincerity. And unfortunately, I always see the thinking part of the popluation having to suck up to the dumb part of the population.

  154. Well John, your acerbic comments aside, you were doing quote well there until you start quoting the bible by way of an answer to the question of science. How disappointing.

    I see you reference to “good” scientists are from 1874. Why is this, I wonder? Older being better than “bad” scientists of the modern age? Maybe you should throw that computer out then, satan’s tool that it is.

    As for “Religion does however try to establish meaning and purpose behind human existence”, I’d believe you if you weren’t spouting ‘man and woman are natural’, and all else isn’t biblical quote nonsense in your previous comments. Typical of the religious, don’t you think John, hypocrites to the last who never quite know what they’re actually saying.

    So, why are you here after all, this is a GAY site?

    And Blondie, I am not insinuating you as an individual are anything in relation to the study, I merely stated facts about the study.

  155. Will, your jumping on John’s use of the word ‘good’ when he talks about ‘good science’ strikes me as unnecessarily pedantic, and let’s face it, your language against religious people is nearly as judgemental as theirs against us. So you think religion is wrong. Methinks the man doth protest too much. Calm down.

    As for judging this girl because of her looks – I’ve been at a private school requiring entrance exams for the past few years and many of my classmates were as dyed and made-up as she. Her expression in the photo does make her look fairly vacuous, but that could have just caught her at a bad time or something.

    For the record, I do think that if she goes around spreading her views on how homosexuality is immoral, etc, action should be taken against her, and I see little point in the university keeping her on if she keeps her closed-minded views concerning homosexuality as she would probably not qualify as a counsellor if she is going to tell homosexual patients that their lifestyle choices are immoral.

  156. “you were doing quote well …”

    coming from you Will, I take it as a compliment. I suspect there is a lot more depth needed in the discussion though and JohnK’s philosophy comment needs answering too.

    Forgive the bible quote at the end – I couldn’t resist – but you can’t argue with 29 Nobel prize winners that came from an institution where there were key figures who saw there was order in the universe as a result of a God who created that order and were thus inspired to discover the laws governing the universe.

    You are right – there are great modern scientists and in fact great scientists throughout all recorded history and some, maybe many or most, without deep religious convictions.

    I have come to see that there are many like you who are deeply affronted when people use the Bible to challenge their sexual choices. I can’t apologise for holding a certain set of beliefs but I do regret the abysmal way some people of faith have treated people whose sexual orientation is not heterosexual.

    As for why I as a non gay person am here on a non gay website, I’m not sure I have the whole answer. Firstly I didn’t think being gay is a pre-requisite for being on this website (correct me if I’m wrong). Secondly, I don’t like people I care about being maligned e.g. Jennifer and thirdly as one that works with all sections of the community in my professional life, including the gay community, I feel it can be profitable for all to respectfully engage with those who think differently, including your good self!

  157. Oscar, not at all. When someone uses the term “good science” an “good scientists, its shows a remarkable lack of understanding in the area, and the fact you seem to think that its just semantics lends me to believe you may have less. If you understand what science is, there is no “good” or “bad” science, other than one placing ones moral beliefs were none should exist or is required.

    As for my judgement on religion, please, I don’t need to do that. The appalling track record for religions around the world speak for themselves. And tackling idiocy is not judgemental, its pointing out a fact. People who quote the bible like John does by way of some end of conversation truth, especially on the nonsense of what is “natural”, is ridiculous, hardly “protesting too much”, and if you can find a fallacy in anything I have said, by all means enlighten me, but I suggest you find something better to offer than a hollow and puerile statement like “calm down”.

  158. “but you can’t argue with 29 Nobel prize winners that came from an institution where there were key figures who saw there was order in the universe as a result of a God who created that order and were thus inspired to discover the laws governing the universe.”

    Science is not fallible, but people who study it, and use its principles, are. Besides, You assume I have an issue with a belief in a god, I do not. I have an issue with dogmatic beliefs that border on the ridiculous and blind faith that leads to the persecution of others and the suppression of knowledge. In fact, as a scientist myself, I an trained to discount no possibility, and acknowledge no impossibility. But I also do not accept in blind faith without evidence. God I see is an irrelevant entity. Believing in him or not believing in him does not change the fact that he does or does not exist. As no one can prove the existence of one either way, I chose to ignore the possibility as trivial, there are other more pressing pursuits in science. There is is more to being a better person in this world, and striving to better ones self, than simply reading an archaic and cryptic book whilst seeking the approval of a vengeful and spiteful god that has all the traits of a dysfunctional 5 year old child. That’s just a personal belief, one that I do not impose on anyone else. As I expect others not to insist on the same.

    “I have come to see that there are many like you who are deeply affronted when people use the Bible to challenge their sexual choices.”

    There is no choice. I am always curious as to why do so called Christians keep using that term, where it is not warranted. They’ve been told its not. The evidence says its not. Yet they keep going back to that word. Why is that?

    And to clarify, I do however, have an issue with people who mindlessly quote passages of a book as a “proof” of anything. I believe selective interpretation is the key here. People like Hank who pick and choose the quotes to suit their own bigotry and fuel the belief in their own moral self importance, ignoring the blatant contradiction and the obvious fairy tales stories. If one wants to quote the bible literally, then one also by definition must support slavery, racism, incest, and the validity of vengeful murder, and a host of other less than savoury or civilised traits.

    In short hypocrisy.

  159. Moronic homophobe.

  160. douglas in canada 29 Jul 2010, 2:37am

    “Natural”. There is a line in the bible about men giving up their ‘natural’ desires and sleeping with each other…

    Well, for ME [a male], my NATURAL desires ARE to sleep with other men.

    For ME, to sleep with a woman would be unnatural; it would be going against my nature.

    Unforunately, the people who wrote that line assumed that everyone else in the world was just like them. Wrong.

  161. Just another aggressive attack on ethics and professionalism by hate mongers. Why else would this very unwell-looking young woman have enrolled in a course obviously incompatible with her beliefs? I just fear that she is very much a victim of people manipulating her too.

  162. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 4:03am

    Hey Blondie and Iris.

    I’ll post more later, but this comment will suffice for this time.

    My first question is concerned with the following:

    The American Psychiatric Association (APA) is the main professional organization of psychiatrists and trainee psychiatrists in the United States, Its some 38,000 members are mainly American but some are international. The association publishes the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM. The DSM codifies psychiatric conditions and is used worldwide as a key guide to diagnosing disorders.
    In the early 1970s, LGBT activists campaigned against the DSM classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, protesting at APA offices and at annual meetings from 1970 to 1973.

    In 1973, the the Board of Trustees of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) voted to remove homosexuality as a mental disorder from the APA’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-II).

    Ballots to the members were mailed out during April, 1974. Of those responding,a decision was ratified by a majority (58%) of the general APA membership the following year with 37% opposed to the removable of homosexuality from being a mental disorder.

    MY COMMENT:
    My question is how many ballots were mailed out….and how many were received? The above information that I could find doesn’t tell us the whole story and leaves a significant question.

    What about the 37% of the membership? Don’t they have relevancy in treating homosexuality? Or are they all “out of touch with psychiatry?” and actually shouldn’t be treating patients?

    Also, are all psychiatrists qualified to deal with every type of a patient’s problem? Did the psychiatrists contacted who voted have specialties ?. Could they make a judgement and treat every type of problem? How do you estimate how many of those 58% are indeed qualified to deal with homosexuality? Or were they urged to vote with the majority?

    Below is a shortened group of psychiatric disorders in the DSM-II How do you evaluate the psychiatrist as to how qualified he/she is to deal with the homosexual issue? Should all of the psychiatrists who voted been counted even if they never tried to work with homosexual patients?

    Shouldn’t only those who actually know about the dynamics of homosexuality be able to make such a huge decision? It seems to me there are some serious questions about this entire issue that haven’t been resolved.

    I hate to list such a long list, but it gives you an idea of how involved psychiatric problems are and who can honestly deal with them…or just each one.

    Code Disorder Category
    308.3 Acute Stress Disorder Anxiety Disorders

    309.24 Adjustment Disorder with Anxiety Adjustment Disorders
    309.0 Adjustment Disorder with Depressed Mood Adjustment Disorders

    309.28 Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Anxiety and Depressed Mood Adjustment Disorders
    309.4 Adjustment Disorder with Mixed Disturbance of Emotions and Conduct Adjustment Disorders
    300.22 Agoraphobia without History of Panic Disorder Anxiety Disorders
    307.1 Anorexia Nervosa Eating Disorders
    301.7 Antisocial Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    293.89 Anxiety Disorder Due to Medical Condition Anxiety Disorders

    301.82 Avoidant Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    296.8 Bipolar Disorder NOS Mood Disorders
    296.56 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, In Full Remission Mood Disorders

    296.54 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Depressed, Severe With Psychotic Features Mood Disorders

    296.43 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Severe Without Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.40 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Manic, Unspecified Mood Disorders

    296.63 Bipolar I Disorder, Most Recent Episode Mixed, Severe Without Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.04 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe With Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.03 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Severe Without Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.00 Bipolar I Disorder, Single Manic Episode, Unspecified Mood Disorders
    296.89 Bipolar II Disorder Mood Disorders
    300.7 Body Dysmorphic Disorder Somatoform Disorders
    301.83 Borderline Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    780.59 Breathing-Related Sleep Disorder Sleep Disorders, Dyssomnias
    298.8 Brief Psychotic Disorder Psychotic Disorders
    307.51 Bulimia Nervosa Eating Disorders
    307.45 Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorder Sleep Disorders, Dyssomnias
    300.11 Conversion Disorder Somatoform Disorders
    301.13 Cyclothymic Disorder Mood Disorders
    297.1 Delusional Disorder Psychotic Disorders
    301.6 Dependent Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    300.6 Depersonalization Disorder Dissociative Disorders
    311 Depressive Disorder NOS Mood Disorders

    300.13 Dissociative Fugue Dissociative Disorders
    300.14 Dissociative Identity Disorder Dissociative Disorders
    302.76 Dyspareunia Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions

    300.04 Dysthymic Disorder Mood Disorders
    307.5 Eating Disorder NOS Eating Disorders
    302.4 Exhibitionism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias

    302.73 Female Orgasmic Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.72 Female Sexual Arousal Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.81 Fetishism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    302.89 Frotteurism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    302.85 Gender Identity Disorder in Adolescents or Adults Sexual Disorders, Gender Identity Disorder
    302.6 Gender Identity Disorder in Children Sexual Disorders, Gender Identity Disorder
    302.6 Gender Identity Disorder NOS Sexual Disorders, Gender Identity Disorder
    300.02 Generalized Anxiety Disorder Anxiety Disorders
    301.50 Histrionic Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    302.71 Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    300.7 Hypochondriasis Somatoform Disorders
    312.3 Impulse -Control Disorder NOS Impulse-Control Disorders
    307.42 Insomnia Related to (Another Disorder) Sleep Disorders
    312.34 Intermittent Explosive Disorder Impulse-Control Disorders
    312.32 Kleptomania Impulse-Control Disorders
    296.36 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, In Full Remission Mood Disorders

    296.31 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Mild Mood Disorders
    296.32 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Moderate Mood Disorders
    296.34 Major Depressive Disorder, Recurrent, Severe With Psychotic Features Mood Disorders

    296.24 Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Severe With Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.23 Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Severe Without Psychotic Features Mood Disorders
    296.20 Major Depressive Disorder, Single Episode, Unspecified Mood Disorders
    608.89 Male Dyspareunia Due to Medical Condition Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.72 Male Erectile Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    607.84 Male Erectile Disorder Due to Medical Condition Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    608.89 Male Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder Due to Medical Condition Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.74 Male Orgasmic Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    293.83 Mood Disorder Due to Medical Condition Mood Disorders
    301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    347 Narcolepsy Sleep Disorders, Dyssomnias
    307.47 Nightmare Disorder Sleep Disorders, Parasomnias
    300.3 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anxiety Disorders
    301.4 Obsessive-Compulsive Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    625.8 Other Female Sexual Dysfunction Due to Medical Condition Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions

    307.89 Pain Disorder Associated with both Psychological Factors and Medical Conditions Somatoform Disorders

    300.21 Panic Disorder with Agoraphobia Anxiety Disorders
    300.01 Panic Disorder without Agoraphobia Anxiety Disorders
    301.0 Paranoid Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    302.9 Paraphilia, NOS Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    307.47 Parasomnia NOS Sleep Disorders, Parasomnias
    312.31 Pathological Gambling Impulse-Control Disorders
    302.2 Pedophilia Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    301.9 Personality Disorder NOS Personality Disorders
    309.81 Posttraumatic Stress Disorder Anxiety Disorders
    302.75 Premature Ejaculation Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions

    307.42 Primary Insomnia Sleep Disorders, Dyssomnias
    293.81 Psychotic Disorder Due to Medical Condition, with Delusions Psychotic Disorders
    293.82 Psychotic Disorder Due to Medical Condition, with Hallucinations Psychotic Disorders
    298.9 Psychotic Disorder, NOS Psychotic Disorders
    312.33 Pyromania Impulse-Control Disorders
    295.70 Schizoaffective Disorder Psychotic Disorders
    301.20 Schizoid Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    295.20 Schizophrenia, Catatonic Type Psychotic Disorders
    295.10 Schizophrenia, Disorganized Type Psychotic Disorders

    295.40 Schizophreniform Disorder Psychotic Disorders
    301.22 Schizotypal Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    302.79 Sexual Aversion Disorder Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.9 Sexual Disorder NOS Sexual Disorders
    302.7 Sexual Dysfunction NOS Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.83 Sexual Masochism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    302.84 Sexual Sadism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    297.3 Shared Psychotic Disorder Psychotic Disorders

    780.59 Sleep Disorder Due to A Medical Condition, Mixed Type Sleep Disorders

    307.46 Sleepwalking Disorder Sleep Disorders, Parasomnias
    300.23 Social Phobia Anxiety Disorders
    300.81 Somatization Disorder Somatoform Disorders

    300.29 Specific Phobia Anxiety Disorders
    302.3 Transvestic Fetishism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias

    306.51 Vaginismus Sexual Disorders, Sexual Dysfunctions
    302.82 Voyeurism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias

    How much knowledge can any one psychiatrist know about these
    disorders…or about homosexuality also.

  163. 21stCenturySpirituality 29 Jul 2010, 6:10am

    @Polo extermínio da merda religiosa. So your going to jail several billion people for freedom of thought, conscience, and belief? How humane of you. Religion is a mental illness? Since when has it been classed as insanity to believe that there is a spiritual dimension to the human experience?

  164. 21stCenturySpirituality 29 Jul 2010, 6:28am

    @douglas in canada. I understand where your coming from in comment 140 but I wouldnt neccessarily go along with the line that the Bible is trash its just that most people dont make the effort to understand it properly, who wrote it and why, its origins, evolution and context, and alot of those people who dont make the effort to understand it properly call themselves Christians.

  165. David in Indy 29 Jul 2010, 6:46am

    Since she’s so religious, I’m certain she brought her bible to the interview. And based on the look on her face in that picture, I’m guessing she sat on it, top side up.

    WOOO!!!!!

    I don’t know why this country is so religious. And so full of religious extremists. But girl friend needs to get a life. And a reality check. Ugh.

  166. What a wonderfully long list Hank has been able to cut and paste for us – of course, it has zero relevance to anything or anyone here. He just like to demonstrate his rigth click mouse skills. Brava, Hank.

    You’d think he’d go seek help for himself, as I’m sure he’d able to tick a lot of the disorders on that the list as relating to his own lunacy – not least schizophrenia.

  167. Will, I guess we have strayed some way from the original topic thanks to the forbearance of those who moderate this website. I suspect this thread will soon stop being added to do but no doubt there will more Jennifers and more people to debate including a few interlopers like me.

    Before I bow out, I just wanted to comment on three things you said. Firstly: the God you don’t believe in has been well described elsewhere, typically in Dawkins books. I must say that God sounds pretty awful to me and I don’t believe in it/him either. Honestly Will, my God while being awesome, holy etc. is also loving and good.

    Secondly: we all make sexual choices and these are according to our own personal preferences. While I may be sexually attracted to someone, I don’t have to act on that attraction – for one thing I am married and fidelity was one of my marriage vows. I appreciate this is slightly ducking your point but I would respectfully submit that while we may be attracted to someone of the same sex or someone who is not our wife we can and ought to choose to not act on that attraction based on what God’s has commanded.

    Thirdly, regretably people do cherry pick from the Bible and use texts to support their own bigotry. The Bible should be taken as a whole and in context but nevertheless it should guide our thoughts and actions. You may be aware, for example, that the Bible says far more about helping the poor than it does about sexual ethics. One of my motivations for working with those who think differently to me and putting aside differences is that I want to do what matters – but always I am beholden to the truth!

    Best wishes

  168. @163
    FloridaWank, cutting and pasting long lists here and asking posters on a public comments board for the APA’s past voting data is unproductive.

    The cut and pasted lists and the half-baked theories you throw up expose you as a CONSPIRACY THEORIST and as such not to be taken seriously.

    You make a biased attempt to arrange information to fit a particular result you want rather than taking the unbiased scientific approach of gathering & studying facts and evidence to assess what they reveal.

  169. Also FloridaWank, after you have discovered how and why homosexuality became declassified as a mental illness you might go on a fact finding mission to discover exactly why homosexuality was classified as a mental illness in the first place.

  170. “I would respectfully submit that while we may be attracted to someone of the same sex or someone who is not our wife we can and ought to choose to not act on that attraction based on what God’s has commanded.”

    And, John, I would respectively submit that its none of anyone business.

    Unless you can produce you god in a court of law to validate what you say, I’m not really interested in one’s interpretation of the bible. I chose to act on my nature, and I would no more suppress that then I would try to suppress my intelligence or my sense of humour, no matter what some daft book says. Religion should never be the reason to suppress the rights of another.

    I might also add, religion is a choice. Your choice. And most people make poor ones it seem in this department. Your choice to pick a oppressive, and totalitarian, religion is of no concern to me, but when you try to interfere in my rights, I have great issue with it.

    I suggest its you who suppress your poor choice. Better yet, learn, grow, and expand you mind, and perhaps you might have the wisdom to over come that poor choice to make a better one.

    “The cut and pasted lists and the half-baked theories you throw up expose you as a CONSPIRACY THEORIST and as such not to be taken seriously.”

    Oh, Pavlos, you don’t know how right you are, but you haven’t heard the best of it yet!!!! Ask Hank about the “New World Order”, the “Barbarian Conspiracy” against him and his kind, and the “global conspiracy of the gay’s” to over throw christianity (I wish!)…. its a real laugh, I promise!!!! You will hear lunacy and paranoia that makes ‘Silence of The Lamb’s look like a lesson in mild behavioural issues!

    Go on Hank, tell Pavlos.

  171. The first attempts to classify homosexuality as a disease were in the late 19th century.In 1886 sexologist Richard von Krafft-Ebing listed homosexuality along with 200 other case studies of deviant sexual practices in his Psychopathia Sexualis.
    So it was relatively recent and not even a hundred years before homosexuality was declassified in 1974.

    “The American Psychological Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the National Association of Social Workers state:

    “ In 1952, when the American Psychiatric Association published its first Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, homosexuality was included as a disorder.
    Almost immediately, however, that classification began to be subjected to critical scrutiny in research funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.
    That study and subsequent research consistently failed to produce any empirical or scientific basis for regarding homosexuality as a disorder or abnormality, rather than a normal and healthy sexual orientation.
    As results from such research accumulated, professionals in medicine, mental health, and the behavioral and social sciences reached the conclusion that it was inaccurate to classify homosexuality as a mental disorder and that the DSM classification reflected untested assumptions based on once-prevalent social norms and clinical impressions from unrepresentative samples comprising patients seeking therapy and individuals whose conduct brought them into the criminal justice system.

    In recognition of the scientific evidence,[54] the American Psychiatric Association removed homosexuality from the DSM in 1973, stating that
    “homosexuality per se implies no impairment in judgment, stability, reliability, or general social or vocational capabilities.”
    After thoroughly reviewing the scientific data, the American Psychological Association adopted the same position in 1975, and urged all mental health professionals “to take the lead in removing the stigma of mental illness that has long been associated with homosexual orientations.” The National Association of Social Workers has adopted a similar policy.

    Thus, mental health professionals and researchers have long recognized that being homosexual poses no inherent obstacle to leading a happy, healthy, and productive life, and that the vast majority of gay and lesbian people function well in the full array of social institutions and interpersonal relationships.”

  172. So FloridaWank, to simplify:
    For a mere 22 years from 1952 to 1974 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had officially classified homosexuality as an illness.
    It has now been 46 years since the APA declassified homosexuality as an illness in 1974.

  173. Oops!… excuse typo above, that should have read 36 years since APA declassified homosexuality (blush)

  174. “For a mere 22 years from 1952 to 1974 the American Psychiatric Association (APA) had officially classified homosexuality as an illness.”

    And Hank, you should also consider that for most of the last 2000 years, schizophrenia was considered to be a possession by the devil. Maybe you still believe that is the case, but the rest of us have moved on, and see your illness as treatable and nothing to be ashamed of.

  175. “Your choice to pick a oppressive, and totalitarian, religion is of no concern to me, but when you try to interfere in my rights, I have great issue with it.”

    Will, I think I can just about figure out where you come from :-)

    Obviously we will have to agree to disagree about our choices – good or bad? But I would not want to interfere with your rights or impose my beliefs although I am realistic to realise there may be conflicts. In short, I would want to treat you in the way summed up in the OT law – “love your neighbour as yourself”.

    I’m shortly off with my family on holiday where there is no Internet – so until next time – take care!

  176. and yet you still try to push your beliefs on others john! it’s people like you that is why religion can be so hated and shouldn’t be able to influence society

  177. “Will, I think I can just about figure out where you come from”

    Ireland. Not anywhere exotic.

    “Obviously we will have to agree to disagree about our choices – good or bad?”

    Being gay isn’t a choice. And I am more then happy being gay, its who I am, and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Choosing to be enlightened, open minded, and rational free from the constraints of dogma, is a choice. But as you said, we can differ on opinion on that.

    “But I would not want to interfere with your rights or impose my beliefs although I am realistic to realise there may be conflicts”

    Sadly, not all people of your religion think like that, and hence the problems with religion. It why people were burned as witches, branded as inferior because of their creed or skin colour, had their work and lives destroyed becuase it went against current dogma, or condemned to live a life of fear and shame for who they are. And while that is a tragedy in itself, the real tragedy, John, is some people continue to think and act in similar ways in the name of “their” religion.

    And the natural conclusion of this way of thinking ultimately manifests itself in aeroplanes full of innocent people being ploughed into buildings by a pack of demented freaks who think they’ll get their leg over a virgin in heaven for murder.

  178. “What about the 37% of the membership? Don’t they have relevancy in treating homosexuality?”

    Hank, that was in *1974*! I’ve no doubt that the percentage would be much smaller now. You might aswell use that kind of thing as an argument for denying women the vote (“Look! All these people disagreed with it in the 1900s!”)

    You might also like to look up ‘hysteria':

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Female_hysteria

    Not nice reading, is it? But I’m sure some men would still hold derogatory views about women today. However, they are in the minority and their views wouldn’t be acceptable.

    Why would you want to hark back to an age when women/gay people/non-white people/the disabled were held to be inferior? So what if people USED to think that? They realised they were wrong and amended their view.

  179. John Wrote
    “Secondly: we all make sexual choices and these are according to our own personal preferences.”

    JohnK’s response
    So John . . . why can you not tolerate sexual differences and diversity ?

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

    John Wrote
    “While I may be sexually attracted to someone, I don’t have to act on that attraction – for one thing I am married and fidelity was one of my marriage vows.

    JohnK’s response
    John when you insert this into your argument, you reveal that your heterosexuality is what really motivates your thinking – not God.

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

    John Wrote
    I appreciate this is slightly ducking your point but I would respectfully submit that while we may be attracted to someone of the same sex or someone who is not our wife we can and ought to choose to not act on that attraction based on what God’s has commanded.”

    JohnK’s response
    John . . . this is not only “Ducking your point” as you so put it, it also reveals your Heterosexism in its full glory. John we understand that your “Sky Pixies” only want a world full of heterosexuals.

    John . . . you also reveal your state of mind. A world, in which only heterosexuality exists, is a narcissistic world.

    John . . . you make a God of your “Heterosexuality” or your God is a homophobic Heterosexist Narcissist . . . you choose which one it is.

  180. Can we Please get this crazy talk right.

    God, repeat God did Not write anything. Over-inflated-ego’d men did. It’s the egos that made them feel they could oppress anything, anybody they like. Let’s not forget that these ‘texts’ can be trotted out for any excuse from discrimination to cold-blooded murder. These Ego’s did not take dictation. They made the ‘rules’, the ‘texts’ that religious people Choose to follow. Lets not forget that one religion tells all the others they are the work of the devil so how can anybody taken them seriously? Can religious people not see the irony?

  181. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 1:19pm

    Yo Pavlos….you stated “Also FloridaWank, after you have discovered how and why homosexuality became declassified as a mental illness you might go on a fact finding mission to discover exactly why homosexuality was classified as a mental illness in the first place.”

    Don’t ask me….ask the psychiatrists who compiled the DSM–II

    Why do they still consider the following as mental disorders?

    301.7 Antisocial Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    307.51 Bulimia Nervosa Eating Disorders
    302.81 Fetishism Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias
    301.81 Narcissistic Personality Disorder Personality Disorders
    300.3 Obsessive Compulsive Disorder Anxiety Disorders
    302.2 Pedophilia Sexual Disorders, Paraphilias

    My guess is that most psychiatrists don’t know a mental disorder from quirky behavior. It probably is connected with the Semmelweis Effect that first showed up in the 1800’s

  182. To Hank, first off that list seemed really unnecessary, your point, I assume, was that there are alot of mental conditions, you could very much easily of gave a number or simply said it’s in the 100s/1000s/10000s which ever it is, even 100s would make it seem like more than your list.

    I think Pavlos’ quote elegantly sums up how the people who did actually know about homosexuality and did research on homosexuality, thought. By the sounds of it your trying to say that if these 37% people disagree then either they are right or they are bad shrinks but there are also 58% who agree that homosexuality is not a mental illness and it can’t be both a mental illness and not at the same time. But let’s assume all 100% of them are good doctors, other factors must come into play, now the 70s, 30 years back, obviously not very tolerant to homosexuals which implies alot more for saying it’s a mental illness with these prejudice views. You also point out that not all have had homosexual patients so have not experienced how normal most are and so as I say, prejudice views come about again. It was probably also not easy for alot of doctors to suddenly admit they were wrong and had wrongly treated some patients, treated being possibly in both senses of the word.

    I’m sorry but your argument seems to hang on the basis that homosexuality as a mental illness, it isn’t, to be a homosexual man is to have a similar mind to a heterosexual women and vice versa. By definition it’s not, it does not affect health, ok religion and society can cause hatred against one’s self causing mental health problems but homosexuality when accepted by the person does not cause illness and it does better good then trying to remove or ignore it.

    And I go back to my question, what thing that is so strong in someone’s mind that it makes them want to remove their own sexuality which isn’t to do with religion, society or law? what could possibly be that serious while not being the three of them? It would be most appreciated if you can give a straight forward answer to my question.

  183. “My guess is that most psychiatrists don’t know a mental disorder from quirky behavior. It probably is connected with the Semmelweis Effect that first showed up in the 1800′s”

    LOL! Now we’re referencing the 1800’s!!!! Soon we’ll be going back to a earth centric theory of the universe and witches as a cause for the common cold!

    Ironically (very ironically), the Semmelweis Effect (or Semmelweis reflex) describes a rejection of new knowledge because it contradicts entrenched norms, beliefs or paradigms – remind you of anyone Hank, with your 1974 “investigations”? I can see the irony is probably lost on you. LOL! What an idiot!

    Sigh! I miss the days when the religious lunatics put up a semblance of intelligence…..

  184. FloridaHank wrote

    “My guess is that most psychiatrists don’t know a mental disorder from quirky behavior. It probably is connected with the Semmelweis Effect that first showed up in the 1800′s”

    Hank . . . What qualifies you to critique the psychiatric profession. . . are you a psychologist / medical doctor / psychiatric social worker ?

  185. @182, FloridaWhank wrote:
    “Don’t ask me….ask the psychiatrists who compiled the DSM–II”

    I wasn’t asking you FloridaWhank, I was providing you with the relevant background about how that wrong classification of homosexuality as a mental illness came about and why homoseuxlity was subsequently declassified in my post @172.

    Your question about the list of other classified illnesses you posted isn’t pertinent to this particular discussion.

  186. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 5:20pm

    Hey Blondie. (Having difficulty getting this accepted)

    The reason I made such a lengthy list was that there are some very stupid people on this site and I wanted to impress them that the mental disorder list is extremely long, and that I questioned that how many psychiatrists know much/anything about most of the topics so that they’re able to help treat their patients. In other words, how many psychiatrists are experienced, qualified, knowledgeable about homosexuality. The answer to that will make their “vote” worthy of consideration or worthless regarding the status of homosexuality and mental disorder.

    Like all other professions, psychiatrists have their limitations and when they go beyond them, I don’t give any credence to how they vote on important issues.

    Blondie …you ask …”what thing that is so strong in someone’s mind that it makes them want to remove their own sexuality which isn’t to do with religion, society or law? what could possibly be that serious while not being the three of them? It would be most appreciated if you can give a straight forward answer to my question.”
    This is a more complex question and deserves much more thought than briefly commenting with my answer – you deserve a fully thought-out answer and I’ll give you one shortly. I’m not evading or ignoring your great question, but it does require much more thinking if I want to sound logical and rational.

  187. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 5:55pm

    Hey Will…regarding my referenced to the Semmelweiss Reflex/Effect can be interpreted differently dependent on one’s point of view.

    My view is in regards to the APA 58% -37% voting

    I see the Semmelweis concept as a theory or position being held within the scientific community that is frequently accompanied by the suppression of the contrary opinion/views by many various methods and ways.

    While I haven’t had a chance to read “Betrayers of Truth: Fraud and Deceit in the Halls of Science” by Broad and Wade, I’ve seen this type of behavior in recent “academic/scientific”
    studies/research/reports, etc. that there is widespread scientific cheating and data falsification in today’s workings.

    Also, the majority of possessors of power in science have succeeded in getting “the religious foot out of the door” in any scientific endeavor. Why not cheat and lie and abuse others if it advances one’s own agenda.

    As evidence,I offer the case of Dr. Ignaz Semmelweiss who was “appalled at the health conditions” of Vienna General Hospital’s death rate from childbed fever – over 10%. One by one, he eliminated possible causes and reduced the death rate greatly to 1%.

    His efforts produced intense anger, and ultimately fierce persecution from the medical and scientific fraternities of Europe (for many idiotic reasons).

    You may say that all this happened 150 years ago and today it’s different.

    But how about that just 3 weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference meeting on Dec. 7, 2009….”Climategate” broke into the news. Leaked documents expose some of the biggest scientific names in the global warming debate to serious charges of fraud, unethical attacks on colleagues, censorship of opposing viewpoints and possible criminal destruction and withholding of evidence.

    I can go on showing that the scientific community (even when it’s the majority) cannot be trusted – so my judgement of removing homosexuality from the DSM list has much more to
    be examined and discussed.

  188. “…so my judgement of removing homosexuality from the DSM list has much more to be examined and discussed.”

    Hank, are you implying that you believe homosexuality should NOT have been removed from the DSM list? That’s the feeling I’ve got reading your various comments. If I’m correct in that, please can you explain exactly why you believe that and on what evidence you base your belief. (Oh, and does that mean that homosexuality isn’t a sin then? ;))

    Thanks!

  189. ForidaWank, regarding your last paragraph above, I don’t think so. Science and the scientific method of peer reviewed research is the best method we have of understanding the world we live in, otherwise we are left to grapple in the dark amongst the confused and imaginary ravings of religious extremists, superstitious nutcases and conspiracy theorists of every type

  190. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 8:41pm

    Hey Iris….I read “Female hysteria was a once-common medical diagnosis, made exclusively in women, which is today no longer recognized by modern medical authorities as a medical disorder. Its diagnosis and treatment were routine for many hundreds of years in Western Europe. Hysteria was widely discussed in the medical literature of the Victorian era. Women considered to be suffering from it exhibited a wide array of symptoms including faintness, nervousness, insomnia, fluid retention, heaviness in abdomen, muscle spasm, shortness of breath, irritability, loss of appetite for food or sex, and “a tendency to cause trouble”

    Yes…that was terribly brutal and wrong, but nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ and His followers does it even come close to implying such a hostile 1 attitude, feelings and treatment of women?

    I’m not talking about religious beliefs professed by men…as religion can be destructive to mankind and it’s shown itself to be.

    I’m talking about the relationship with Jesus Christ….not with any religious organization. Jesus always held women in the highest regard and in fact, the Scripture reports that 3 women – Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome were the very first humans to approach the tomb where the body of Jesus was placed and were the first acknowledged discoverers of Jesus’ empty tomb. To me, that shows that women were granted the privilege of having an intimate understanding of who Jesus was and what He said about His resurrection that was to come.

    The role of wife was “treasured” in biblical times. A woman was considered a wife even before the wedding ceremony, at the time of betrothal..

    Though polygamy was allowed, monogamy was the usual practice in Israel. The author of the book of Ecclesiastes believed that having many concubines was vanity, but that having a wife was a sane and rewarding approach to a happy life (Eccl 2:*)

    The book of Proverbs presents a portrait of the ideal Israelite wife, who is “far more precious than jewels.” (Pro 31:10)

    Wise, kind, and hard-working, she manages the household and provides for her family’s welfare.

    Also…Iris…I’ll get the other part(s) of your comment/questions
    shortly…busy day…where does time go so fast?

  191. Hank . . . you have a lot to say – but say very little.

    Hank . . . issues of mental health, morality etc etc etc. . .
    should not be decided on by some Crackpot Fundamentalist Christian state.

    Hank . . . your tacit obession wiith discrediting all scientific or reasoned argument, is one reason why people should reject fundamentlaist christianity; and the totalitarian Christian state which your prefer would replace 21st logic and reason.

  192. Hank: “Yes…that was terribly brutal and wrong, but nowhere in the teachings of Jesus Christ and His followers does it even come close to implying such a hostile 1 attitude, feelings and treatment of women?”

    Hmm, not Jesus maybe, but Paul said some nasty things about women and the OT has some quite unpleasant insinuations about women too. BUT don’t worry about that and no need to respond – the reason I referred you to that hysteria article was with reference to ideas in psychiatry (nothing to do with religion at all). To show that many ‘conditions’ that were accepted as psychiatric illnesses in the past aren’t now (and rightly so).

    I look forward to your replies, particularly to my #189 but also to the points other people have made.

  193. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 11:18pm

    John….you said

    “Hank . . . your tacit obession wiith discrediting all scientific or reasoned argument, is one reason why people should reject fundamentlaist christianity; and the totalitarian Christian state which your prefer would replace 21st logic and reason.

    I do not have an obsession with discrediting ALL SCIENTIFIC WORK,
    but I am suspicious of those that leave unanswered questions…
    whatever the subject/topic.

    How do you respond/feel about this type of article?

    Journals ‘regularly publish fraudulent research’
    on May 5, 2006 3:51 PM | Permalink
    By David Batty
    Guardian Unlimited
    Wednesday May 3, 2006

    Fraudulent research regularly appears in the 30,000 scientific journals published worldwide, a former editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said today.

    Even when journals discover that published research is fabricated or falsified they rarely retract the findings, according to Richard Smith, who was also chief executive of the BMJ publishing group.

    When journals decide not to publish studies because they suspect misconduct, they often fail to alert the researchers’ employers or medical authorities, such as the Department of Health and the General Medical Council, he added.

    Writing in the latest edition of the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, Dr Smith called on editors to blow the whistle on bad research and to use their clout to pressure universities into taking action against dodgy researchers.

    “In many ways editors are privileged ‘whistleblowers’ with the power to publish and expose institutions who fail to investigate alleged research misconduct,” he said.

    But the former BMJ editor said it was likely that research fraud was “equally common” in the 30,000 plus scientific journals across the globe but was “invariably covered up”.

    His call for action comes in the wake of several high profile cases of fraudulent research, including the Korean scientist Hwang Woo-suk who fabricated stem cell research that it was claimed would open up new ways to treat diseases like Parkinson’s.

    Dr Smith criticised the failure of scientific institutions, including universities, to discipline dodgy researchers even when alerted to problems by journals.

    “Few countries have measures in place to ensure research is carried out ethically,” he said.

    “Most cases are not publicised. They are simply not recognised, covered up altogether or the guilty researcher is urged to retrain, move to another institution or retire from research.”
    Dr Smith called for the UK Research Integrity Office, launched last month to develop a code of practice for researchers, to be given stronger powers to investigate allegation of fraudulent or unethical work.

    The Committee on Publication Ethics, which advises scientific journals, estimates that there are about 50 cases of seriously fraudulent research in major institutions in Britain a year.

    Having an open mind and not being afraid to ask questions is a
    sign of intelligence — don’t accept everything at face value
    regardless of who says it.

  194. FloridaHank 29 Jul 2010, 11:46pm

    Hi Iris….always good to hear from you — your questions/comments
    are insightful and thought-provoking and I enjoy the challenge
    of answering– but they do require much deep information gathering
    and formulating my answers….but I’ll get back to you.

    I had to write to JohnK’s statement because it was a totally
    false impression of my intent and statement.

  195. Hank wrote
    “I do not have an obsession with discrediting ALL SCIENTIFIC WORK”

    Hank . . . the “Cameron Group” is not a reputable or peer- led Journal . . . it is curious how your so called critical faculties suddenly be suspended with regards this publications output.

    Pull the other one , as we say in the UK – it has bells on it . . . in your case “Big Ben”

  196. IMPORTANT NOTE

    The Cameron Group Journal . . . is a univerally discredited and ignored so called scientific journal – the sort of people publishing in are largely “Fundamentlaist Christian Crack pots”

    . . . If you can call paying the journal to have you article published . . . an academic Journal

  197. Hank wrote

    “I had to write to JohnK’s statement because it was a totally
    false impression of my intent and statement.”

    Hank . . . You are an Ex-Gay Fundamentalist Christian Crackpot . . . every one can see your warped intent.

  198. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 1:30am

    Hi Iris….when you asked…”Hank, are you implying that you believe homosexuality should NOT have been removed from the DSM list? That’s the feeling I’ve got reading your various comments. If I’m correct in that, please can you explain exactly why you believe that and on what evidence you base your belief.”

    IRIS…I’m not advocating removal or inclusion in the DSM list — my concern is that if there is more updated, reliable, verified, etc. studies dealing with the foundation and understanding of homosexuality – both pro and con — of its dynamics — it should be getting more exposure to
    the psychiatric and counseling community because of how much the issue of homosexuality has permeated through our society, population, religion, politics, etc.

    I realize that the APA voting/change is a 50 year old event and historically speaking, most of those psychiatrists had limited training in dealing with the changes that have taken place relating to examining one’s developmental processes — which is certainly shaped by a complex interplay of genetics and experience. And for that reason I question how qualified they were in making a judgement on redefining homosexuality.

    It’s time for us to see what are today’s research/studies, projects, etc. showing us. I’m certain there are newer psychological tests, neuroimaging or neurophysiological techniques that have or are being developed …and I now ask “What can they now tell us about understanding homosexuality that might or might not be different than 50 years ago.”

    Also, when dealing with a homosexual person who desires to change his/her sexual outlook, feelings, lifestyle, etc. I ask “are there any new advances to help that person make that change?”

    I DO NOT and NEVER BELIEVED that those “ex-gay” organizations who promoted their system to help make any changes knew what they were doing – but that doesn’t suggest that I don’t believe that one’s sexual “beingness” or “ self-feeling” is immutable.

    I believe the human psyche possesses some sort of dynamic process that can change certain things about itself in monumental ways. (While I can’t give you more of how/why this process is possible, I do believe it – even with all its ramifications – both positive and negative. ) This will take much more research and deep thinking about it all and while I’ll continue working on it, I’m not sure when or even if I’ll come to conclusion that I’ll be able to put into words to explain (to my and your satisfaction).

    I see this topic going into some complex philosophical areas that might deal with the concepts of: free will, God, knowledge, reality, experiences, etc.

    But I see some exciting work and breakthroughs coming soon to shed greater clarification on mental illness/mental health, etc.

    I end with this quote which is encouraging to me:

    “Philip Campbell, the Editor of the journal Nature, has dubbed the 10-year period of 2010-2019 to be the “decade for psychiatric disorders, referring to the point that research on mental illness has, at long last, reached an inflection point at which insights gained from genetics and neuroscience would transform the understanding of psychiatric illnesses. The esteemed Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) has also devoted its May 19, 2010 issue to the theme of mental health, testifying to the central importance of mental disorders and mental health in medical practice.”

  199. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 2:29am

    John…you’re a retard…you don’t read/understand any intelligent comments. You’re paranoid and have a closed mind
    to new mental challenges.

    YOUR FIRST STUPID COMMENT:
    Hank wrote
    “I do not have an obsession with discrediting ALL SCIENTIFIC WORK”

    Hank . . . the “Cameron Group” is not a reputable or peer- led Journal . . . it is curious how your so called critical faculties suddenly be suspended with regards this publications output.

    Pull the other one , as we say in the UK – it has bells on it . . . in your case “Big Ben”

    YOUR SECOND STUPID COMMENT:

    IMPORTANT NOTE

    The Cameron Group Journal . . . is a univerally discredited and ignored so called scientific journal – the sort of people publishing in are largely “Fundamentlaist Christian Crack pots”

    . . . If you can call paying the journal to have you article published . . . an academic Journal

    WAKE UP IDIOT!!1

    JOHN…..”WHAT DOES THE CAMERON GROUP JOURNAL HAVE TO DO WITH THE GUARDIAN UNLIMITED?”

    Let me enlighten you with the facts…if you can handle the facts.
    Guardian Unlimited is one of the world’s leading online newspapers — you should read it sometime and learn something worthwhile…you idiot!

    I quoted the article by David Batty from The Guardian Unlimited…which is a publication in your country….do you ever read it…or can’t you read?

    FACT: guardian.co.uk, formerly known as Guardian Unlimited, is a British website owned by the Guardian Media Group. Janine Gibson is the editor. It contains nearly all of the content of the newspapers The Guardian and The Observer, as well as a substantial body of web-only work produced by its own staff, including a rolling news service.

    It is one of the world’s leading online newspapers, becoming the first UK newspaper to attract more than 25 million unique users in a month (October 2008). On 7 July 2005, following the London bombings, 1.3 million unique users visited the site and a total of 7.8 million pages were viewed, a record for guardian.co.uk.

    It is the most popular UK newspaper website, as of January 2010, getting almost 37 million unique users monthly, and 12.6 million unique British users monthly.

    The site is made up of a core news site, plus a network of niche websites covering subjects including media, environment and technology, sport, education and the public sector. guardian.co.uk is notable for its engagement with readers, including long-running talkboards and, more recently, a network of weblogs. Its seven blogs were joined on March 14, 2006 by a new comment site, Comment is free (see below), named after the famous quote by The Guardian editor, C. P. Scott. Both the talkboards and blogs accept comments without pre-moderation, although all now require registration for comments.

    Most of the site can be viewed for free and without registration, though some services such as leaving comments on articles require users to register

    JOHN: reread the article I quoted and you’ll see that scientists
    can be dishonest, corrupt, liars and even evil with their
    “research findings.” Use your mind…don’t believe everything
    you read…don’t be afraid to try to understand oppossiing views.

  200. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 2:42am

    Blondie …you ask …”what thing that is so strong in someone’s mind that it makes them want to remove their own sexuality which isn’t to do with religion, society or law? what could possibly be that serious while not being the three of them? It would be most appreciated if you can give a straight forward answer to my question.”

    Please have patience….I’ve not ignored or forgotten your
    meaningful question…it just seems like comments by John are
    so stupid that I had to take him on first.
    Believe me, I’m working/thinking on my answer to you.
    Sometimes time passes too quickly and the day is done.

    Sleep well,
    Hank

  201. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 3:14am

    Blondie….I’m having trouble sending this…don’t know if it’s
    going to sent twice.

    Blondie …you ask …”what thing that is so strong in someone’s mind that it makes them want to remove their own sexuality which isn’t to do with religion, society or law? what could possibly be that serious while not being the three of them? It would be most appreciated if you can give a straight forward answer to my question.”

    Please have patience….I’ve not ignored or forgotten your
    meaningful question…it just seems like comments by John are
    so stupid that I had to take him on first.
    Believe me, I’m working/thinking on my answer to you.
    Sleep well,
    Hank

  202. To Hank, in responce to your uncertainty of whether homosexuality should be included as a mental illness, alot of homosexuals are ordinary, normal, boring and sane, well not me but others are, you can tell by meeting a good number of them and so obviously homosexuality in itself is not a mental illness following similar logic as Koch’s Postulates. But there are alot more mental issues in homosexuals which possibly should be catogrised and looked at, I don’t know myself, I’m not that knowledgable in mental illnesses but homosexuality as a stand alone label should not be catogorised as a mental illness, it disagrees with logic and according to Pavlos it disagrees with research. Actually, I would like to look at it from a different angle, imagine a particular food you like, particular music, particular anything really, just something you like, maybe it’s something that you like and everyone hates, would that make you mentally ill? sexuality is just the liking of a particular group of people which while it’s affects are significant like the incredible power of love, what it is in principle is very similar to any other liking. Though this discussion also brings up another thought of whether there should be a catogory for the affects of surpressing ones own sexuality, there seem to be common problems with people who follow the whole “ex-gay” thing.

    I also want to discuss you saying the human psyche is dynamic, I probably shouldn’t for it’s not part of our discussion but it did seem like an interesting discussion in itself. I agree the human psyche is dynamic, people can and do change over time, even sexuality has been shown in some people not to be a constant, I have experienced it myself but this dynamic is almost always (if not always, always) a subconscious change, one that is not a logic descision or choice but something just out of human hands and this is shown if you try to rationalise your sexuality, my mind works extremely logically and so I have confused myself number of times just trying to work out my sexuality let alone rationalising why it’s there. Actually, growing up, I almost always trying to rationalise my liking of things, gave some sort of logical thought as to why I like something but that in the end always hid what I liked, it’s only been in recent years that I realised I can’t logically chose what I like, I just have to like what I like.

    Please take all the time you need and I look forward to an answer.

  203. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 7:13am

    THAT INSANE CRANK FLORIDAHANK HAS DIPPED HIS QUILL PEN IN VENOM AND EXPOUNDING HIS EPISTLES OF HATE AGAIN I SEE….THE POOR OLD FART…FEELS HE’S NOT DEAD YET!!

  204. “Also, the majority of possessors of power in science have succeeded in getting “the religious foot out of the door” in any scientific endeavor”

    Conspiracies again? LOL! Cookoo! Cookoo!

    John puts it best: “Hank . . . you have a lot to say – but say very little.”

    “I do not have an obsession with discrediting ALL SCIENTIFIC WORK”

    How can Hank discredit scientific work, when he understands so little? Are Nobel Peace Prizes given for cut and pasting conspiracy sites? Hardly the methodology of science. A small old man trying desperately to grasp the basic principles…..

    Folks, Hank is either mad, or at the very least suffering from a debilitating illness like schizophrenia.

    Why?

    His statements hold no personal logic, just cut and pastes, and his lunatic ideas that a “new world order” is a conspiracy against him, in which he is a pivotal role in “protecting” his way of life strongly suggests the latter.

    Hank is 78, and cannot change his view. He’s intransigent because he is fearful, old and uneducated… and obviously suffering form mental health issues.

    His anger is driven by the fact he can not affect or slow the changes that are happening in the world around him, so he conjures up these elaborate and fantastical theories to give him a valid (in his head anyway) reason as to why he cannot stop these changes and the rights gay people are getting all over the world. Look at his posts:- he paints himself as the opposite to the reality of himself – an intellectual and a lone crusader against this “new world order”.

    Notice how he never brings up the “new order” conspiracy stuff as much. Iris is aware of this, both of us witnessed a tirade on this one form Hank before. The reason he doesn’t bring it up any more is that he knows it will cause ridicule and expose his imbalanced state of mind. Ask him about the gay conspiracy that’s mounting across the world against him. It’s as fascinating as it it is scary.

    Tragic, but it happens to be true.

    This is not supposition, its based on any observation of Hank’s statements and ideas. Its not rocket science to see what’s wrong with him.

    We waste our time in debate with him, he understand so little and tries to think for himself even less. He’ll be gone soon, as replaced with someone less emotionally imbalanced. The best you can hope with Hank is a cheap giggle, or give him your pity. Reason with Hank is not an option, as he is incapable of it.

  205. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 7:24am

    Hear, Hear WILL!

  206. you never answered about your sex hank or whatever the female of that is – you claim to be male yet of the same sex as the homophobe in the story! you come out with religious based homophobia and then appear to support homophobia of the past and then you whine you are hetero and you obviously have no interest in understanding gays, lesbians or bisexuals

  207. “you never answered about your sex hank or whatever the female of that is”

    He’s a nut, that’s why Chester. No rationale at all. Any question you ask that challenges his world view is ignored.

  208. Hank: “I’m not advocating removal or inclusion in the DSM list — my concern is that if there is more updated, reliable, verified, etc. studies dealing with the foundation and understanding of homosexuality – both pro and con — of its dynamics — it should be getting more exposure to
    the psychiatric and counseling community because of how much the issue of homosexuality has permeated through our society, population, religion, politics, etc.”

    Hank, this thread is very long but I’m pretty sure someone (Will? John?) posted more up-to-date research above. You also talk of scientific knowledge giving us the opportunity to explore sexuality further. You’re quite right – it has. Science has allowed us to monitor sexual arousal both in the body and in the brain. This has shown that people do not CHOOSE their sexuality, but that their arousal is clear and beyond their conscious control. I’m not sure if experiments included women – the only one I read about involved gay men – but this clearly showed that they weren’t ‘imagining’ sexual attraction to men, it was scientifically verifiable – ie NOT a choice, a natural response.

    You see, what it comes down to, is what I perceive as the hugely disturbing desire of some religious groups to cure something which is NOT a disease. That link I gave you to Female Hysteria showed how women were pathologised – that is, their very natural and normal female attributes were said to be an illness which needed curing. That was highly offensive, and trying to ‘cure’ LGBT people is offensive too.

    Now, I know you’re going to respond with cases of people who you’ll say WANT to be ‘cured’ of gayness. But, as I’ve said above, this isn’t possible nor is it necessary as the problem isn’t them. To me that would be equivalent to helping black people to bleach themselves lighter as a cure for racism because they’re miserable at being abused or being told they’re somehow inferior. Quite obviously, the problem is the racist attitudes not the person with non-white skin…

    Once I asked you why you and other people of certain faiths were so obsessed with gay people, and you said that you were concerned about our part in the NWO. Surely now you’ve ‘spoken’ with LGBT people and realised we’re just normal people and no more likely to be ‘bad’ than a straight person, you don’t still believe that, do you?

  209. that’s what I suspected Will
    there’s too many homophobes who come on this site to mess with people

  210. Hank . . .

    I mentioned the “Paul Cameron lead – Psychological Reports Journal”, becasue you have quoted articles from this in the past; citing them as evidence to why homosexuality should be seen as a mental illness.

    Once again I need to reiterate . . . this journal is univerally discredited and ignored in the academic community . . .

    http://www.pinknews.co.uk/news/articles/2005-4076.html/

  211. Really Hank . . . calling me names . . .

    “What a tantrum”

    How old are you?

  212. Hanks mission . . .

    1. Establish a Fundamentalist Christian world State
    2. Convert gays to heterosexuls
    3. Put God in charge of the world, which basically means let the world be run by Paranoid Christian Fundamentalists

    Yawn Yawn Yawn
    Yeah Yeah Yeah
    Dream on

  213. Chester . . . exactly my persepctive too

    “there’s too many homophobes who come on this site to mess with people”

  214. @210. EXACTLY!!!

    Wow, 210 comments. Havent we got anything better to do than debate OUR sexuality with these bible-bashing fundi nutters?

    Getting back to the story that this comments section (was) actually about… This blonde-bimbo has NO experience of life or other people… (other than what she has read in the ´good book´) which, as we all know, is a greater work of fiction than anything Jeffrey Archer could have come up with!

    More amazing to me though is that people could read the rubbish in this book and actually seek to live their lives according to it… and worse, seek to impose this rubbish on everyone else!

    As for all of the intellectualizing and ´debate´ as to whether homosexuality is (or should be) classified as a mental illness, GO GET A LIFE!!!

    Been there, covered that already. It is NOT!

    The only ´illness´ is church-based nutter-groups trying to brainwash people and making them suffer guilt and mental anguish about their sexuality. Helping to make gay teenagers feel like second-class citizens and telling them they are unworthy ´sinners´, often making them feel suicidal.

    Hey, let´s classify religion as a mental illness! How about that one? I mean, surely there has GOT to be something wrong in the heads of people who believe in some mythical sky-pilot? Then, people who feel the need to go out ´spreading the word´ instead of keeping their delusions to themselves could be committed to a psycho ward for their own safety.

    Expect these nutters to become even more vocal in the future as they see that times are a changin´, more and more people are waking up to the truth, seeing churches for the social control systems they really are, and REJECTING them in droves… Religions are being challenged and their ´truths´ just do not hold up. THEY are now becoming an out of date MINORITY and they do not like it. They scream that their ´faith´ is under attack. That they are being persecuted for their way of life..

    Well, join the club baby! Now perhaps you know how it feels!

    Enjoy being consigned to the history books where you belong!

  215. A man told his grandson: “A terrible fight is going on inside me — a fight between two wolves. One is evil, and represents hate, anger, arrogance, intolerance, and superiority . The other is good, and represents joy, peace, love, tolerance, understanding, humility, kindness, empathy, generosity, and compassion. This same fight is going on inside you, inside every other person too.”

    The grandson then asked: “Which wolf will win?” The old man replied simply: “The one you feed.” Anon.

  216. “How old are you?”

    John this Hank creature is 78!!!! How embarrassing at his age to be on a gay site spouting lies and rubbish. Iris is right of course, he tries the SAME tactic on every thread:- a load of cut’n’pasted “scientific” nonsense followed by the “cured” gay conversation. Like he has something to prove. And when addressed with it, he responds, every time, with the same predictable over compensation of being a “happy heterosexual”.

    Please. He’s as transparent and predicable as they get…. Hank is as straight as I am. The only difference, I’m not a sad 78 year old fool trying to convince other gay people I don’t know on a site that I’m straight!

  217. “Hey, let´s classify religion as a mental illness! How about that one?”

    Well, lets look at that:-

    Christians believe in a zombie god risen from the dead, who was also his own father AND a flying god-pigeon, who can make you live forever if you symbolically devour his flesh and telepathically tell him you accept him as your master, so he can remove an evil force from your soul that is present in humanity because a woman who was made out of a rib, was conned by a talking snake to eat a bad apple from a magical tree…

    Hmmmm. If it sounds insane, then it probably is.

  218. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 12:20pm

    I THINK FLORIDAHANK IS A COMPLETE INSANE SUB-AMERICAN AND SHOULD BE IGNORED RATHER THAN YOU LOT FEEDING THE NUTTER’S FANTASIES.

  219. Well, Jess, I find “debating” with Hank tiresome and rather mundane.

    The man is an old fool with nothing of any worth to offer humanity other then ignorance and prejudices, and god knows we’ve seen enough of that from his religion. I prefer to let him at it, he’s a powerless individual and he knows it…. dare say an invitation to my Civil partnership next year might put the old git into an early grave? And hopefully he will do more for this world as fertiliser than he ever could do as the impotent fool he like to demonstrate himself as regularly in here! Time’s on our side, not his.

    Well, I’m off on holidays, see you later folks! Ta Ta!

  220. douglas in canada 30 Jul 2010, 2:59pm

    I agree with the comments about the Jennifer-Keeton-kind-of-christian, who really have little or no experience of the real world. I grew up in a conservative religious environment. For us, being christian was not good enough; you had to belong to our particular branch of christianity.

    And we didn’t even know much about the other branches of christianity [our church leaders either didn’t know anything about other forms of christianity, or they were afraid that with a bit of knowledge, we might convert], let alone know anything about non-christian religions or even non-religious people.

    If anyone from our church were to become a counsellor of any kind, they would have had such a narrow upbringing as to be completely unable to relate to anything that anyone might be dealing with. I’m not saying that we were without our own mental troubles, but we were way too singular in our approach, and we had no understanding of the real complexities of mental problems.

    We were, sadly, simpletons who, even more sadly, thought that we knew it all. I have a strange feeling that Ms Keeton might be from a similar background.

    It could even be that this doesn’t come down to an issue of religion, but more an issue of someone who has never left their doorstep, telling me how to walk around the block, or even worse, telling me how to see the world – a case of the blind trying to lead the sighted.

  221. An interesting perspective, douglas. That does seem very plausible. It does scare me that that was in Canada though! :D The US and it’s religiousness I know about, but Canada seems so much more enlightened.

    Will – have a great time! :x

  222. Er, that smile looks like a bad-tempered grump! It was supposed to be a kiss! :D

  223. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 3:58pm

    douglass in canada….
    And you made good your escape from the tyranny you so expertly describe. The aim of life is self-devolopement. To realize your own nature perfectly – that is what each of us is here for. People are afraid of themselves nowadays. They have forgotten the highest of all duties, the duty you owe to yourself.

  224. Will . . . thanks for this information about “Hanks Age”

    I agree . . . at 78 his behaviour is embarrassing if not profoundly sad, especially since he has committed the ultimate act of self murder in his so called “ExGayness” – a contradiction in terms. . .

    It is not suprising that Hank has tried to highjack these threads, curiously his views I think probably eloquently reflect the disgrunted Counsellor in question. . . so when Hank provides us with a rich insight into his rather distrubed and warped mindset, we have a climpse of what is probbably going on in the counsellors head. . . Frightening stuff!!!

  225. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 4:06pm

    Hear, Hear John!

  226. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 4:36pm

    John….I missed your reply to my article/comment:
    Journals ‘regularly publish fraudulent research’
    on May 5, 2006 3:51 PM | Permalink
    By David Batty
    Guardian Unlimited
    Wednesday May 3, 2006
    Fraudulent research regularly appears in the 30,000 scientific journals published worldwide, a former editor of the British Medical Journal (BMJ) said today

    Also John…at what point on the present site did I mention the Cameron Group? Why bring it up at all….did you consciously try to divert your reply to the Guardian Unlimited article? Evading the question are you?

    TO WILL:
    Your comment, “How can Hank discredit scientific work, when he understands so little? Are Nobel Peace Prizes given for cut and pasting conspiracy sites? Hardly the methodology of science. A small old man trying desperately to grasp the basic principles…..”

    MY COMMENT: Do you accept 100% all scientific writings, publications, findings, etc. without understanding that the Guardian Limited article shows there’s much that is not honest and scientifically valid? How about the accusations in Climategate….the various scientific arguments against global warming….etc. There are enough cases made public that there’s
    much corruption in the scientific community that it’s hard to know
    fact from fiction. You must be vigilant at all times Will!!!!!

    If you accept all scientific findings without deeper examination…you are a FOOL with a closed mind and you’re not letting your mind grow and become more intelligent. You’re too paranoid and are afraid to read anything that does not fit into your limited worldview.

    Yes I’m 78 and expect to live another 20 years.– as both my parents lived to be 96 years and died without any long term illness – they died of “old age”. – without any suffering.

    I fully believe most of you on this site will die much earlier – many of you live an unhealthy and stupid lifestyle and I’m certain AIDS, or some other STD will shorten your life. If half of you were as healthy as I am, you’d give blessings every morning (if not to God…than to your evolution dictator…or whatever governs your existence.)

    TO CHESTER:
    I don’t know what the big deal is about your concentrating on my sex….I simply didn’t proof read my comment well and miswrote female instead of male (or whatever I wrote) — WOW – if that’s your biggest complaint about me, you obviously don’t have any intelligent input to further any of the issues I bring up with my comments.

    And PLEASE….come up with some more non-laughable, rational arguments, statements, accusations, etc. that I’m ex-gay… a “closet homosexual”…schizophrenic, etc. – they are so trite and show your banality when you try to denigrate me Outside of Iris and Blondie…I believe most of you need more intellectual reading so we can have more meaningful discussions.

    Until later everyone sleep well,

    Your “hetero” friend, Hank

  227. Will is very intelligent and so are others who you ignore and now you are foaming over your keyboard with the comment “many of you live an unhealthy and stupid lifestyle and I’m certain AIDS, or some other STD will shorten your life. If half of you were as healthy as I am, you’d give blessings every morning (if not to God…than to your evolution dictator…or whatever governs your existence.)” – sexuality isn’t lifestyle plus many people don’t do drugs or unsafe sex, lifestyles can vary from person to person by job, hobbies etc! people who accept evolution as real don’t have a dictator within that knowledge either, a typo like female doesn’t help y our case and I get bored reading through waffle like yours anyway

  228. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 8:28pm

    Hi Blondie. I enjoyed reading your last comment #203 –it’s loaded with much that we can discuss meaningfully. I hope we
    stay on this site even if it doesn’t relate to the original
    article. I think most of the pertinent discussion about Jennifer
    is over anyway. But some issues/questions you raise are worth
    dealing with — so let’s stay with it, OK?

    Also to Iris…I feel much the same way towards you and your
    comments/questions — I’ll get back with you also — so let’s
    keep it going — you both are interesting young ladies.

    But remember some of these issues are a bit on the complex/involved side for getting a full answer/reply, and I
    do like to get outside in sunny Florida — hate being inside on
    our “Paradise-like weather” — I enjoy biking and fishing so
    I can procrastinate without much effort.

    Thanks again for you both, Blondie and Iris — you’re my favorites for asking provacative questions

  229. FloridaHank 30 Jul 2010, 8:58pm

    Hey Chester, when you say,

    “Will is very intelligent and so are others who you ignore”

    Will might be intelligent, but he can give too much credence to
    anything “scientific” — regardless of whether it’s valid or false
    as was pointed out by David Batty’s article on science and fraud…so we must not be too accepting of whatever scientists
    tell us.

    You also say…”others who you ignore”
    Please show me who I’ve ignored and how?. When I’ve posted some
    statements/questions, I’ve seen where “those others” have declined
    to respond, so in reality, my questions have been ignored.

    But enough with “those others” — I expect to get some meaningful
    discussions with Blondie and Iris — they’re not defensive and
    obstinate regarding important issues/questions.

  230. Jess Conrad 30 Jul 2010, 10:13pm

    HA HA HA HAAAAAAAAARR!! HANKPANKY CALLING HIMSELF YOUR “HETRO FRIEND”!!!!! HANK THE BITCH IS AN OLD BITTER QUEEN…IT’S OBVIOUS TO MOST OF US THAT BITCHY QUEEN FLORIDAHANK SHOULD TAKE A LONG WALK OFF A SHORT PEIR.

  231. “But remember some of these issues are a bit on the complex/involved side for getting a full answer/reply, and I
    do like to get outside in sunny Florida”

    No problem, Hank. I know the time difference makes it difficult too because you have to catch up on things we’ve posted earlier.And now the weekend approaches too! Busy!

    Reply when you have time, and I’ll do the same :)

  232. douglas in canada 30 Jul 2010, 11:01pm

    During my time on this earth, I have learned to respect those people with knowledge that is different from mine, because I stand a chance to learn something new.

    I have also learned that those people who don’t understand the word “brief” lose my respect. I assume that they are either still trying to convince themselves, or that they are more interested in hearing themselves blather on, rather than actually dispelling knowledge, or honestly hearing a different point of view.

  233. Hank talks a lot about death . . .
    1. Either we are going to die young, or
    2. Hank is going to live into his 90s

    Either way, Hank reveals his fear of death . . . reality appears to be creeping into his mind.

    I wonder why . . . perhaps no Sky Pixies after all . . . O Dear poor Hank might be mortal like the rest of us.

  234. FloridaHank 31 Jul 2010, 1:43am

    John when you say, “Either way, Hank reveals his fear of death . . . reality appears to be creeping into his mind>’

    You really show your ignorance of what a Christian thinks about
    death and his own demise. Because you don’t a thing about
    the Heaven and Hell that Jesus Christ talked about….you don’t
    understand that I have no fear of dying….because I will be in
    a perfect eternity thereafter.
    I know you’ll laugh and ridicule what I just said….but after
    you die John, you won’t be laughing anymore.
    Your worldview of life, death, soul, eternity is so miniscule
    that using your thinking, I view you no different than an ant….
    no significant meaning to your life….it’s as if you never
    existed….you poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste. You’ll
    never know what/how much you could have done with your life if
    you hadn’t acted like the fool, that God calls you.

  235. douglas in canada 31 Jul 2010, 4:08am

    blather blather blather

  236. @235
    I tell thee churlish hate speaker,
    Ministering angels shall my brothers be
    When thou liest howling.

  237. I don’t think you can “demand” she change her views, besides she could just lie about it and claim her views are changed. While I abhor her message I don’t see how you can FORCE her to change her views anymore than you could force me to change mind.

    That being said I think her views are in direct conflict with her career choice and unless she can put those aside she should just choose another profession.

    The first line in the Code of Ethics for Child and Youth Care Workers

    1. We will treat client/family with dignity and will respect their unique differences in culture, religion, race, and sexual orientation.

    It would stand to reason counselors would be expected to adhere to these same or similar Code of Ethics?

  238. @235

    So, my dear ´sweet old man´ (because that is how you have tried to portray yourself), OUT COMES THE TRUTH.

    The TRUE hatred, the TRUE HOMOPHOBE!

    “but after
    you die John, you won’t be laughing anymore.
    Your worldview of life, death, soul, eternity is so miniscule
    that using your thinking, I view you no different than an ant….”

    Thanks ´FloridaHank´, truly thanks for revealing the TRUTH about you god-botherers… That is EXACTLY the problem with you people.. You view those who do not believe in your crazy views, in your crazy book of pure fiction, as being “no different than an ant”. What a lovely view of other human beings.

    Words like ´compassion, empathy, understanding, respect´ have absolutely no place in your warped view of others does it? If they do not believe in your way of things, they are merely a lesser form of life. It is precisely THAT view that allows and even nurtures homophobia and persecution. It is SO easy to disrespect, persecute, torture and even KILL people who are “no different than an ant…”

    Contempt and loathing drip from your every word….

    “no significant meaning to your life….it’s as if you never
    existed….you poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste.”

    ´No significant meaning´ according to YOU? Well dear, he´s probably accomplished more in his life than you have in yours.. A life spent worshiping a fictional character and consumed with hating those who don´t.

    This brings us nicely full-circle to the original point of this comment thread doesnt it? How can this nutter of a girl, believing in the SAME things as you, POSSIBLY be ´counselling´ other students? Vulnerable people who need counselling do NOT need to be confronted by someone who views them as ´no different than an ant….´… someone who views them as a ´poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste.´

    You speak of being ´in
    a perfect eternity thereafter.´
    , well there is only ONE perfect place for both you and this girl… A LOONY-BIN!

    FloridaHank, FU-K OFF!

  239. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

    Hank wrote
    “You really show your ignorance of what a Christian thinks about death and his own demise.”

    JohnK’s Response
    Hank . . . No . . . Christianity is well understood – it is hardly an obscure religion of Sky Pixies.

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

    Hank wrote
    “Because you don’t a thing about the Heaven and Hell that Jesus Christ talked about….you don’t understand that I have no fear of dying….because I will be in a perfect eternity thereafter.”

    JohnK’s Response
    Hank . . . If there is a heaven or hell as you put it, you should therefore have a fear of dying. The only thing that speaks of eternity is your arrogance, your arrogance that you will get to heaven and reside forever with the Sky Pixies. . .

    Hank . . . One does not need to be a Christian to understand the debate that has not been resolved in Christianity between “Good works” Vs “Personal belief in Christ” . . . when you use this site to try and lead vulnerable people into an Ex-Gay misery you are clearly not fulfilling the latter.

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

    Hank wrote
    “I know you’ll laugh and ridicule what I just said….but after you die John, you won’t be laughing anymore. Your worldview of life, death, soul, eternity is so miniscule that using your thinking, I view you no different than an ant…. no significant meaning to your life….it’s as if you never existed….you poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste.”

    JohnK’s Response
    Hank. . . when you are dead you will not be laughing any more either – that’s because you will be dead. Which bit of reality do you not understand.

    Hank. . . when you resort to start calling me names such as, “You poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste” . . . You really reveal how nasty and vicious your homophobia is . . . and also that you have not only lost the plot and the argument; but also your own personal dignity.

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

    Hank wrote
    “You’ll never know what/how much you could have done with your life if you hadn’t acted like the fool, that God calls you.”

    JohnK’s Response
    Hank . . . Do you mean excepting Jesus as my personal saviour, and becoming an ExGay by having my homosexuality cured? . . . Or rather, mutilated under the supreme orders of the rather narcissistic and sadistic Sky Pixies.

    Hank . . . I will not be submitting to your Violent, Homophobic, Narcissistic and Sadistic Sky Pixies.

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

  240. Hank, you talk of ‘no meaning’ in JohnK’s life, but surely in his life, as in everyone’s, the point is to live life to the full every day? I don’t mean that in a hedonistic, selfish way – I mean making the most of the life you have (wherever it came from). That includes the way one treats others, in my opinion.

    Nobody can KNOW what happens after death, so isn’t it sensible to allow the possibility that this life might be all we have and make the most of it? Yep, a ‘perfect eternity’ sounds lovely – but isn’t that just the point? MAN created religion to explain the natural world (to the best of his/her ability at that time) but also as a comfort, a protection against the unknown – ie death.

    Religion takes many forms and has many differing beliefs. No-one can KNOW which, if any, is correct. And even if there were a god, I wouldn’t trust fallible human beings to accurately transmit his/her words and his/her desires.

    The Bible is so much of its time, and positively drips with the idea that men are best and women are inferior. That probably accurately reflects the view all those years ago – which, to me, demonstrates that it’s not the word of some omniscient god, just the likes and dislikes and interests of men of that time.

    You know I’m an agnostic – does that make me an ant too? Is that what you’re saying – that the only people worth anything are people who believe in the Christian god? Do you get why that’s scary? It just reminds me of other religions where non-believers are deemed worthless and deserving of death. People’s personal beliefs are just that – personal. When you start talking of others being of less worth because their beliefs don’t coincide with yours, then where does that end?

  241. douglas in canada 31 Jul 2010, 1:17pm

    Many religions teach some version of “Love your neighbor.”
    Many religions teach some version of “Do unto others the things that you would like them to do unto you.”

    These are NOT unique to christianity.

    What IS unique? The decision to choose Jesus as your role model/mentor/guide, and the belief that when you die (if you did the right things while you were alive) you will go to the heaven that you believe in.

    Christianity does NOT make you a better person. That is an untruth that many preach and boast about. As long as they are alive, christians are humans, capable of doing things they should and things they shouldn’t. For them to believe otherwise is pure ARROGANCE. [Not all christians are this way, but too many do fall into that trap.]

  242. douglas in canada 31 Jul 2010, 2:04pm

    It’s time for us to get back to the article, folks.

    There is still information missing or unclear. The very fact that PinkNews refers to the University as a “College” is already questionable. Here’s an article from an American Gay News site, 365gay.com, that adds some helpful details:

    ** ** * ** **
    Keeton is a student at the counseling program that is accredited by the Council for Accreditation of Counseling and Related Education Programs. The program follows American School Counselor Association’s ethical guidelines that specify that a counselor “Respects the student’s values and beliefs and does not impose the counselor’s personal values.”

    The guidelines also requires that a counselor “Expands and develops awareness of his/her own attitudes and beliefs affecting cultural values and biases and strives to attain cultural competence,” and “Acquires educational, consultation and training experiences to improve awareness, knowledge, skills and effectiveness in working with diverse populations: ethnic/racial status, age, economic status, special needs, ESL or ELL, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity/expression, family type, religious/spiritual identity and appearance.”

    When Keeton talked in and outside of the classroom of her opposition to homosexuality, she said the school forced her to change her beliefs. She said she was made to attend diversity and sensitivity trainings, attend a Pride parade and submit monthly papers to her supervisors to track how her beliefs have changed.

    Keeton said that her views on homosexuality would not affect her ability to counsel gay or lesbian clients. She also denied allegations that she advocated for “conversion therapy” to change clients’ sexual orientation, which she calls a “lifestyle choice.”

    Because her views on homosexuality are linked to her Christianity, Keeton has said she is facing religious discrimination.
    ** ** * ** **

  243. douglas in canada 31 Jul 2010, 2:10pm

    Sorry, I missed opening and closing paragraphs:
    ** ** * ** **
    Jennifer Keeton, a 24-year-old graduate student at Augusta State University, is suing the school on first amendment grounds saying that ASU is forcing her to change her Christian beliefs that homosexuality is immoral and wrong.

    While the school has not yet been served the papers, Keeton will be represented by the socially conservative Alliance Defense Fund.
    ** ** * ** **
    ** ** * ** **
    As the school has not been served the legal papers, ASU officials have not yet commented on the suit.
    ** ** * ** **

  244. FloridaHank 31 Jul 2010, 3:39pm

    Iris….I apologize for the crude/cruel response to John’s message. I acted strictly on emotion and didn’t really think
    out what I said and what it could have meant.

    Please remove any of your hurt feelings/thoughts about what I
    said….I should never have said it and I regretted it the moment
    I said it. John deserves a more intelligent answer/response, and
    I certainly didn’t act in a Christian way — my stupidty took over
    and I lost my rationality in my thinking and response.

    I’m really sorry, and hope you will forgive and forget it and I’ll get back to rational thinking.
    Sorry, Hank

  245. Dr Boycock 31 Jul 2010, 5:20pm

    @245. Interesting… You are apologizing to IRIS? but NOT to John? The very same John who you referred to as “no different than an ant”? or the even more memorable… “poor pathetic, hopeless piece of waste.”?

    You are saying sorry to IRIS because SHE called you to task for your language and behaviour? Yet NOTHING to others who have done the same? What´s this? A cosy little ´chat´?

    This is the comments thread of a particular news article on PinkNews, not a forum. It has always been considered bad ´netequette´ to take a thread off-topic or to try and hijack it. (on ALL comment threads and forums). This is supposed to be a medium for exchanging views and opinions about THIS STORY, not a two-way conversation… (That´s called EMAIL).

  246. FloridaHank 31 Jul 2010, 7:13pm

    OK Dr Boycock….in my haste to Iris’ “taking me to task” for my
    insensitive remark(s)….and while I didn’t specifically direct my
    apology to John….it was a mistake and an unforgiveable
    oversight….

    John….I’m deeply sorry for my crass remarks to
    you…perhaps you’ll forgive me…and if not, I’ll understand.

    Like everyone else, I’m a sinner of one kind of another and have
    never thought of myself as any better than any other sinful human.
    I’ve done nothing to deserve the grace and love of God….but I’m
    forever grateful that He has accepted me into His family. It’s
    a wonderful feeling of peace and joy — far beyond what this life
    can give.

    Once I was like you on this site — an unbeliever in God for over 50 years, but thankfully, I was given a new life in Jesus
    Christ and I’m not like I once was — nowhere near perfect, but
    always seeing how I can become more like Jesus Christ before I die.

    Thank God there’s always time to find His Truth and live a new
    life. You can’t understand it until you live it.

    While my comments to Blondie and Iris are not pertinent to the
    original subject — this is a better/quicker/easier way for the
    3 of us to communicate/read/reply to each of our comments without
    using individual emails. While it might be a bit annoying to some, they can simply ignore and not read our comments…but at the same time it’s interesting to get outside comments from
    others on this site. So unless the 3 of us are totally disrupting
    this board, it seems like a slight problem that shouldn’t cause
    andy big deal to the others.
    But I’m open to whatever Blondie and Iris have to say about this.

  247. I appreciate you being man enough to apologise, Hank. And I’m glad that you acknowledge you spoke in haste.

    Personally, I don’t have a problem with some off-topic posts on this thread as, apart from a few of us, it’s now pretty quiet, and the initial reactions to this news have been made eloquently in the earlier part of the thread.

    And I suppose the discussion is, in a way, connected to religion because Ms Keeton was, in my opinion, asking for special treatment as a Christian. I think that idea brings up further questions, as does her feeling that she was being persecuted (which I don’t think she was).

  248. douglas in canada 1 Aug 2010, 2:20am

    Whether he intended it or not, this has turned into a “look at me” by Hank.

    He suggests that it might be a bit annoying to some; it is VERY annoying, because instead of discussing the article, it has become a tit-for-tat ‘insult/apologize’ fest.

    It has gotten quiet, because people are getting tired of reading the HUGE postings that Hank has put up. They have been counter-productive. If there is SOME information, people will read it. If there is TOO MUCH, like here, people ignore it and get sick of it.

    You say that it is interesting to get outside comments from others. But when others comment, they are shot down, to the point that you feel you need to apologize, which is really just a ploy to chatter on and on about how wonderful you are, now that you are a christian. But that has nothing to do with Ms Keeton or the University which she is attending, or the problems they are having.

    The sad thing is, I can already see another long-winded apology or explanation, which will probably mean that the real point of this article-discussion has been hijacked by the “christians”.

  249. Dr Boycock 1 Aug 2010, 3:38am

    @249. I agree with you Douglas. Whether Hanks considers it to be just “a slight problem that shouldn’t cause
    any big deal to the others.” or not, this is NOT a forum. Its a comment section on a particular news story (as they all are on this website) Your long and off-topic posts cause people who are here for its proper purpose to move on.. There are appropriate places and forums for such discussions, this isn´t it.

  250. Goodness – I am so glad to have missed this inane discussion with Hank, who last year was made a fool of because he

    a. trolled the Internet to find any statistic he could that showed gays to be diseased or perverts. AS a result he cut and pasted rubbish from extremist right-wing and white supremacist pamphlets to prove his point and was exposed for this.
    b. constantly maintained that the book of Genesis, written by palestinian peasants, is a scientific explanation for the origin of the universe and of life. He believes that the world was created as it is, now, in 6 literal days about 6,000 years ago and that Evolution is a myth.

    Too stupid for words.

  251. Sorry it’s took me a while to reply, I was around my brother and my dad which they don’t know about me and as you can probably imagine I did not wish to go on this site around them.

    To Hank, In response to you saying that you “fully believe” that most of us will die young, I have seen the statistics that say STDs are more likely to be within the homosexual community but how many people do actually get STDs and how many are that lethal. Also, the people that come on here do so because they care about homosexual news and are fairly intelligent, alot seem like the type to be intelligent enough to wear protection and care more about relationships but I could be wrong, I try not to judge people but I was just making the point it’s rarely that simple to judge people. Though admittedly I do live an unhealthy lifestyle, not sexual wise, sexual wise I am better than most straight people but I do eat rubbish, don’t exercise and sometimes drink a bit too much, I do wish I was as active as you appear and I am working on it but if I do accomplish it, I wont give blessings for it will be my accomplishment.

    Thank you for the nice comments about me, there isn’t alot else I can comment on so I will wait patiently for any answers to my current questions which I will warmly welcome. By the way I am technically not a lady, I am male, it’s a understandable mistake with the name I chosen, it is a very feminine name but I thought I would tell you to prevent anything becoming confusing in the future.

    I think the people moaning about us going off topic are being a bit silly. Our discussion appeared off topic because we was discussing it so much in depth, which seems alot better than people repeatedly commenting on her hair and bad mouthing her (her hair I personally would think would be off topic) but the people commenting on how it’s off topic went alot more off topic than we did. This said, the insulting I find a bit pointless, it just seems when it comes down to insulting, the people involved don’t seem open to the others views and it’s all a waste of time but I do think there is reason with our open discussions.

  252. FloridaHank 2 Aug 2010, 10:12pm

    Hello Adrian…glad to hear from you.
    world was created as it is, now, in 6 “literal days” about 6,000
    years ago and that Evolution is a myth.

    Hey Adrian….please show me in the Bible where it says that
    the earth was created about 6,000 years ago…and where does it
    actually say it was 6 literal days.”

    Are you commenting on human interpretation of the the creation
    and age of the earth — where are you getting your “facts?”

  253. FloridaHank 2 Aug 2010, 10:43pm

    Hey Blondie…so gald to hear from you and your intelligent
    comments — a real joy to talk with someone who is not defensive
    and paranoid and can handle topics that don’t fit into one’s
    “worldview” and living style.

    Surprised to hear that you’re “technically not a lady, I am male”
    but that doesn’t make any difference — I appreciate a person
    for their mind and intelligence before any other qualities.
    Sorry about your situation with your brother and father — I
    know a few open homosexuals and I have no problem when we discuss
    subjects.

    I’ve not forgotten about your earlier comments, and those of Iris,
    but the weeken was so pleasant 90+ degrees, sunny and I’m near
    the ocean and I was outside more than inside, so I’m been very
    lax in doing anything intellectually constructive.

    But I’m glad you made a positive comment about our use of this
    site for exhanging ideas, comments, opposing views, etc. To
    me this is one the more interesting sites….if anybody has
    access to other sites that discuss opposing viewpoints, please
    let me know — I like to hear about differing views.

    If we met in person, I’d be very interested in knowing you
    personally — I like the way you express your feelings.

    Just to possibly add something more to our coming discussions, I just picked up a book “The Haraway Reader” by Donna Haraway …”whose works has transformed the fields of cyberculture, feminist studies and her subjects range from animal dioramas in the American Mus. of Nat. History…to research in transgenic mice, from gender in the laboratory to the nature of the cyborg ….”

    Don’t know what I’m in for once I start reading it…and not that I’ll understand all she’s writing, but it sounds like it something
    totally differenct that anything I studied in any college course.

    Blondie…I’ll get back to you soon(eventually?)…. I’m also studying Spanish and that’s time consuming, but something I really enjoy.

  254. FloridaHank 3 Aug 2010, 12:06am

    Hi Iris….sorry for the delay….24 hour days are too short to let a person do everything they want to do…and that’s one thing I’m going to discuss with God, along with many other more “heavy” questions.

    But after doing much reading, researching, etc. I do agree that the DSM should not include homosexuality itself as a mental disorder/illness….while homosexuals can have other problems that hetero’s have….in an by itself, I don’t believe homosexuality is a mental problem.

    But going further into the subject, I feel that the entire field of psychiatry has many other problems that they’ve labeled “mental illness/disorder” that is erroneous– starting with Freud’s treating patients for 5-6-7+ years in psychoanalysis, etc.

    Also, not that everything about today’s psychiatry is questionable, I’m giving this quote to make a point that we need to look at perhaps an overall approach to helping patients with any problems.“July 13, 2010
    Two years ago, psychiatrist Daniel Carlat wrote a piece in the New York Times Magazine called Dr. Drug Rep, in which he told his story of being paid to push the anti-depressant Effexor to his colleagues.
    Carlat believes in prescribing medication, but he says too many psychiatrists have all but abandoned talk therapy — leaving in-depth interaction with patients to others — while they pursue medical fixes for mood problems and mental disorders.
    “Based on a survey of psychiatrists throughout the United States [conducted by Columbia University], it turns out only 11 percent of all psychiatrists now offer therapy to all of their patients,” he explains. “So essentially, 1 out of 10 psychiatrists are really doing psychotherapy on a regular basis.”
    He says time and billing constraints have also made it difficult for psychiatrists to integrate in-depth sessions back into their practices.
    “I have hundreds of patients. And if I start to do one-hour therapy sessions with most of my patients, I am going to have to kick patients out of my practice because I won’t have time to see them,” he says. “So it’s been difficult and I’ve had to do creative things where I don’t do one-hour therapy sessions, I might do 45-minute therapy sessions or half-hour therapy sessions so I can still fit a fair number of people into my practice while performing what I would consider a better quality of psychiatry.”
    Daniel Carlat was trained at Harvard and is on the faculty of the Tufts Medical School. He edits a monthly newsletter called the Carlat Psychiatry Report.

    ALSO….Iris… you asked you why you and other people of certain faiths were so obsessed with gay people, and you said that you were concerned about our part in the NWO. Surely now you’ve ‘spoken’ with LGBT people and realised we’re just normal people and no more likely to be ‘bad’ than a straight person, you don’t still believe that, do you?

    Of course I don’t believe “normal” LGBT is a problem – but I have problems with the extreme behavior of those who use severe actions/statements — whether homosexual, religious, political, social, or medical where their acts create more problems than offer solutions.

    Regrading NWO….that’s very diverse and complex and I’ll give you some of the strongest “evidence” that there is a NWO movement — not only focused on homosexuality, but on a variety of areas, showing that certain segments of each category can be included in the overall NWO. The total “picture” is very involved, interesting, growing, and controversial – everything that can be seen including loss of privacy, freedom, restricted choice, and many other categories that many people don’t connect it all together – much of the NWO information being given to the public is hard to verify, but that doesn’t mean it’s not valid.
    There have been too many corrupt discoveries, revelations, etc. that never get national coverage, and can only be seen on small, less known outlets, so I believe the NWO is a reality, and people need to look deeper into these types of problems, and not just reject them because the major outlets never discuss the subject.

    Hope all has gone well with you Iris….it’s been a fast weekend.
    Hank

  255. douglas in canada 3 Aug 2010, 3:57am

    Please note, according to the PinkNews article, she was not challenged on her christianity, but on her belief that homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice”. There IS a difference, because many non-christians could also believe as she does, and they would hopefully be treated the same as her. Although her ‘flavor’ of christianity might support this view of homosexuality, it is not her religion that is on trial here.

    @Hank – “Of course I don’t believe “normal” LGBT is a problem – but I have problems with the extreme behavior of those who use severe actions/statements — whether homosexual, religious, political, social, or medical where their acts create more problems than offer solutions. ”

    I think that her statements indicate that if her religion or social environment is the root of her problem, it is precisely for the reasons you give here: “extreme behavior of those who use severe actions/statements — whether homosexual, religious, political, social, or medical where their acts create more problems than offer solutions.”

    Such religious and social groups have problems with sexuality in general, but seem to like to take it out on gay people, for some reason. Maybe because they are the targets easiest to identify, or because they feel that homosexuality is far enough from their own reality that they are ‘safe’ from its effects. Oddly, these same people do NOT target divorced people, or unmarried heterosexual couples living together, even though their ‘norms’ would suggest them to be just as ‘evil’.

    This suggests that these people are two-faced, another objectionable trait.

  256. Hank wrote
    “Of course I don’t believe “normal” LGBT is a problem – but I have problems with the extreme behavior of those who use severe actions/statements — whether homosexual, religious, political, social, or medical where their acts create more problems than offer solutions.”

    1. What is normal LGBT ? (as you put it)

    2. If homosexuality is normal, why do you go onto refer to it as an “Act” ?

    3. Why do you continue with off topic threads?

  257. Thank you, one of the things I aim for in life is freedom and a close mind in my opinion isn’t free. I don’t usually like to make assumptions but you say that you’re surprised which implies more than just because of my name, I was just really curious as to how I sound female, I clearly don’t have a problem with sounding female due to the name I chose, it’s just curiosity.

    Thank you, I would also like to meet you, you seem like someone who has done a great deal and lives life to the full.

    In responce to you earlier comment on the bible describing the world as 6000 years old, the bible describes the ages of the people born within genesis from Adam onwards so it does seem possible to create a timeline though I don’t have a bible at hand so I don’t know whether there might be some gaps or anything that makes it difficult to tell the length of time.

    In responce to you saying that you have a problem with severe actions/statements. What kind of gay actions/statements are we talking about, I am not disagreeing there is or isn’t for I haven’t heard every statement by a gay person before but it’s good to know the degree of severe we are talking about.

  258. douglas in canada 3 Aug 2010, 4:37pm

    There are biblical literalists, who treat the bible as a science or history text, rather than a collection of STORIES meant to teach people morals and values. [Personally, I think that Aesop’s fables do a better job.]

    Such biblical literalists have studied the bible to death [as if it weren’t already dead] and determined the age of the earth, based on the ages of its various characters, including their age when the next generation was born. They HAVE come up with some number between 4,000 and 6,000 years. I’m not sure, it may vary from literalist to literalist, which in itself is odd, if they are all working from the same text.

    I have many questions about all that, but none are life-threatening. And I worry that I’m going off-topic like our dear Hank, but if god is god, why did he need to rest after 6 days of work? And… has he gotten back to work since then? And… if he’s resting on day 7, when all those christians are in their churches praying, how can he hear them? Does he tape all their requests, then deal with them on Monday? Maybe god was the first to use the line, “the cheque is in the mail.” lol.

    Maybe I should ask Ms Keeton. She could probably counsel me out of my uninformed state.

  259. FloridaHank 3 Aug 2010, 9:50pm

    Hey Douglas in Canada, when you said,”… have problems with sexuality in general, but seem to like to take it out on gay people, for some reason. Maybe because they are the targets easiest to identify, or because they feel that homosexuality is far enough from their own reality that they are ‘safe’ from its effects. Oddly, these same people do NOT target divorced people, or unmarried heterosexual couples living together, even though their ‘norms’ would suggest them to be just as ‘evil’.

    This suggests that these people are two-faced, another objectionable trait. ”

    You make a great statment that I agree with much of it but — it would require a detailed reply from me, which I would like to soon offe as time offers and permits me to do.

    There’s much hypocracy in religion and even in “Christianity.” Since I started reading/studying what “true” Christianity is… in my opinion, I see much false teaching, preaching, etc. which is
    a shame and sinful.

    But the satisfaction I get out it all is that my eyes are opened to a different level of Truth that becomes more clear the more I seriously study the Holy Scriptures and works of Bible experts who have studied it for 50+ years, can read and understand 3, 4 and more ancient languages and continue to give clarification to what they “discover” from their studying — and it’s a real treat for me to listen/read what they offer.

    And not surprisingly, most of which fits into what the Biblical writings have offered for 4,000+ years. Biblical archeology keeps finding artifacts that fit into making valid the Bible’s historical facts.

  260. FloridaHank 3 Aug 2010, 11:32pm

    Hey JohnK….(I’ll take them one at a time for brevity’s sake) you asked….
    “What is normal LGBT ? (as you put it)”

    Actually, my use of “normal” was intended to be viewed as generic usage. I see both heterosexuals and homosexuals as “normal” as they measure up to accepted standards of today’s psychological/psychiatric findings/evaluations – behavior that doesn’t “tear up the fabric” of who we are, so to speak, otherwise your behavior is dysfunctional and you’re “abnormal.”

    Ask 10 psychologists and you’ll get 10 different answers about “what’s normal,” so John there’s no way I can give you a definite answer to what’s “normal.

    Even if I tried to use the statistical response where the average and the common are normal those are unsatisfactory and very incomplete.

    Then, maybe I’ll ask you (or anybody)….are you functioning and “happy?” If you say, “yes,” then I guess you’d have to think that I believe you’re normal. But then, how about some truly mentally ill people who seem happy and are reasonably functional? So where do we start to “draw the line” between normal and abnormal? Very complex question.

    So John, I would have to say… if you don’t go around murdering, robbing banks, don’t abuse your mate, have a job, pay your bills, have a variety of friends, enjoy doing new and different things….(you know what I’m getting at.)…then a homosexual or heterosexual is probably normal.

    The concept of “normalcy” is too complex for me to try to “put it into a box “ so everybody can be defined by it. In fact, sometimes studying some obvious disorders themselves can give us a definition of who seems “mentally healthy”

    2. If homosexuality is normal, why do you go onto refer to it as an “Act” ? (I’ll respond later)

    3. Why do you continue with off topic threads?
    (Because it seems to attract new comments that seem more inteesting than that of Jennifer’s situation.)

  261. My initial Question

    “If homosexuality is normal, why do you go onto refer to it as an “Act” ?

    Hanks wrote
    “(I’ll respond later)”

    JohnK’s Response
    “Why are you unable to respond right now?”

  262. FloridaHank 4 Aug 2010, 12:34am

    Blondie, you said… “but you say that you’re surprised which implies more than just because of my name, I was just really curious as to how I sound female, I clearly don’t have a problem with sounding female due to the name I chose, it’s just curiosity.

    My answer: It just seemed your manner of writing or thinking about what we’ve seen as interesting topics….had more sensitivity or understanding to it. Somebody who isn’t threatened by talking about more complex, meaningful matters – some things that we might think about but never get around to discussing at an intellectual level – ideas rather than emotions.

    You commented “In response to you earlier comment on the bible describing the world as 6000 years old, the bible describes the ages of the people born within genesis from Adam onwards so it does seem possible to create a timeline though I don’t have a bible at hand so I don’t know whether there might be some gaps or anything that makes it difficult to tell the length of time.”

    My comment: Neither the facts and the evidence is sufficiently well established to give us reliable testimony. I’m interested in this matter and I’m doing some reading and I hope to find some worthwhile material to give you a more detailed answer – right now I just don’t know enough

  263. douglas in canada 4 Aug 2010, 3:12am

    To target the issue more specifically, please, the questions are whether or not homosexuality is immoral and a “lifestyle choice”, and whether or not the University can limit or control an individual student’s expression.

    Hank commented… “3. Why do you continue with off topic threads?
    (Because it seems to attract new comments that seem more inteesting than that of Jennifer’s situation.) ” That is not the purpose of this site. The comments need to relate to the article, or you are in the wrong place. If there is nothing more to be say about the article, then WE LET IT DIE. To continue to go off topic is to dilute the relevant comments with unrelated material, which can thus be treated as trash. And anyone who continues to dish out more garbage is doing us all a great disservice.

    And for the record, I’m sure there are just as many scholars proving that the events and people of the bible never existed, or that their existence is questionable at best. Take a course in comparative religions, if your church will let you, and see how many other religions have a savior born of a virgin, who worked miracles, who died and came back to life 3 days later. Jesus is not as unique as the christians would have us believe. He is a construct of the early church to compete with all the other gods of neighboring peoples. He had to do all that they did, plus a little bit more. And the myth grew more each time the people found it necessary to ‘up the ante’.

    Ms Keeton is unfortunately a product of this narrow approach to what they call scholarship. She seems to lack breadth of experience, and has the nerve to assume that because the beliefs are HERS, the University has to listen to HER. So, she combines both ignorance and arrogance, something that is too common among evangelical christians. I grew up in that setting, but fortunately, I’m in the process of leaving it behind.

  264. Hi Hank – I’m glad you don’t see being gay as a mental problem. Although there may be extreme LGBT people, I’d hazard a guess that there are more extreme religious people…

    Of course, it depends on what you mean by ‘extreme’. I think I’d class it as combative. I don’t mean that in a literal sense necessarily. As an example, I feel quite threatened by the constant aggression of some christians towards LGBT people. To me it seems like very targeted bullying. After all, there are plenty of people that christians could go after, but some christians seem to be taunting, poking, verbally attacking gay people on a daily basis – aswell as spreading absolute lies. Some people who repeat these lies may just be ignorant, but the instigators of them, the professional promoters of these lies can’t be. They are knowingly attempting to stir up hatred and to suggest to the gullible that there’s some war between christians and LGBT people. That’s untrue.

    Because of this non-existent war, people like Ms Keeton start to think that they’re being victimised every time they’re asked to obey the law or specific rules. Having beliefs doesn’t give you carte blanche to disregard the law.

  265. Oh, and I meant to add that if you believe that homosexuality isn’t a mental disorder, then why do you believe that people should receive counselling for it? After all, if it’s normal then there’s no more need to receive counselling for it than there is for being straight.

  266. FloridaHank 4 Aug 2010, 10:31pm

    Douglas, you said: “To continue to go off topic is to dilute the relevant comments with unrelated material, which can thus be treated as trash. And anyone who continues to dish out more garbage is doing us all a great disservice”

    I don’t go along with your usage of “trash or garbage.” From what I’ve been reading on this site on Jennifer’s situation, it reads/sounds like “the meat on this subject has been eaten to the bone, and there’s nothing left.”

    With Blondie, Iris and even John, it seems like there’s more interesting subjects to discuss…even if it’s not 100%
    pertinent to the original topic.

    If readers don’t like the comments by some people, how much effort does it take to go beyond the comment and go the next one? Seems like you’re hypersensitive to letting your mind entertain new topics. I happen to think Iris and Blondie are very bright and interesting people and I welcome their questions, comments, etc.

    Don’t you think discussing comparative religions would be more interesting than talking about Jennifer’s situation “showing her ignorance and arrogance”?

    We live in a litigious society so anyone and anything can have its “day in court.” That will only get worse, but I still like intelligent “arguments” that don’t include lawyers – seems more rational and efficacious in the long run with intelligent people.

    If you have another site or forum we can use for interchanging comments and ideas, please let me know and we’ll go to it because right now I don’t know of any option – sending emails is too slow and doesn’t let us have simple interchange of comments instantaneously.

    So Douglas, I’d welcome your showing us any other site we can use.

  267. Sorry about not posting earlier today, my work over the summer has been very disappointing and I have been trying to remain off this site and others’ during the day to save me wasting the whole day constantly checking it (as I have done a few times).

    It does please me what you said, I am not fond of the male stereotype and while I will always be technically male, I do prefer to appear female.

    With this new discussion on the definition of the word “normal”, I personally prefer to think of it statistically, it seems to fit better my understanding of the word and it seems compelte enough for me but I don’t think of “abnormaility” as the same as society seems to, I tend to see abnormaility as a good quality. This said, my definition of the word would be really unsuited for the way you used the word.

    To douglas, trash? I personally feel the constant people putting down her hair and looks was trash, we are discussing the topic very in detail which seem less like trash then 50 or so people repeating the same low opinion of a women they haven’t met (I think one person making that comment was enough). But “great disservice”? this has become old news, it’s rarely going to be red and the odd person who may stumble across this page will most likely only read the first few comments if any and so our comments wont make a difference to them, hardly what I would call a great disservice, actually, it looks like no one will be bothered and we are able to discuss this in great detail, properally in a more intelligent and open way, I think this discussion creates alot more good than bad.

  268. FloridaHank 5 Aug 2010, 1:41am

    Hi Iris….your comment had excellent and truthful points and there’s not much I can argue with and I especially don’t like it when religious groups make extreme remarks/actions against homosexuality overall.

    I believe there are much more important topics for Christians to be concerned with than with homosexuality.

    But there are some issues dealing with the act of marriage and how it’s handled by civil authorities and how it affects the belief system of people who accept the Bible’s views ( a complex conundrum as you well know).

    Iris…you also said…”Oh, and I meant to add that if you believe that homosexuality isn’t a mental disorder, then why do you believe that people should receive counselling for it? After all, if it’s normal then there’s no more need to receive counselling for it than there is for being straight”.

    Before I answer that question I have to comment on mental disorders as viewed by the psychiatric/psychological/mental health organizations, etc.

    First, I question the overall value of the DSM. Starting with all the corruption in medicine in many of its categories and responsibilities – its ties with drug companies and their pushing pills that have numerous serious side effects…the dishonesty by agencies that oversee it (or supposed to do so)…to financial fraud in dealing with Medicare coverage/payments, etc….and that would/should include psychiatry.

    Below is a brief article that’s in line with my thinking.

    “It’s not too late to save ‘normal': Psychiatry’s latest DSM goes too far in creating new mental disorders.
    (Published: Mar 02, 2010 12:55 PM)

    The American Psychiatric Association is trying to update their “label bible” known as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual. But in this guest column op ed in the LA Times, the head of their fourth edition, psychiatrist Allen Frances, is basting the process leading to the fifth edition.

    He says, “This wholesale medical imperialization of normality could potentially create tens of millions of innocent bystanders who would be mislabeled as having a mental disorder. The pharmaceutical industry would have a field day — despite the lack of solid evidence of any effective treatments for these newly proposed diagnoses.” MindFreedom is calling for a halt on the flawed DSM process, and open mediated dialogue between the APA and those harmed by psychiatric labeling.”

    Iris….without overloading you with cases, when you have time check out: mindfreedom.org

    Now…regarding….. “ that if you believe that homosexuality isn’t a mental disorder, then why do you believe that people should receive counselling for it? After all, if it’s normal then there’s no more need to receive counselling for it than there is for being straight.”

    My Thinking: Trying to be objective though I’m heterosexual from birth, it’s impossible for me to look at a nice looking guy and get any sexual feelings about him, while at the same time I can look at an attractive woman and have a degree of romantic/loving/sexual feelings towards her even if it never gets beyond only looking.

    I try to imagine/understand what in the human psyche permits/makes this same-sex attraction to happen. I ask myself, “what is about the sex of that person that gives out the message/connection that makes this person want to desire the same sex person.

    Here’s a weird question, but one I’ve often thought about and never seen any sort of legitimate answer.

    I’ll use you as an example (strictly clinical not personal, you understand).

    If you see a “woman” and you make eye contact, what is going through your mind? How are you sizing “her” up? Also, what if this woman is a “man” who has dressed up as a woman, but isn’t bisexual or transvestite, etc. but is conducting a “test” to see if you could be mistaken and have “misread”something because in actuality this “woman” is not a woman.

    I realize that the same kind of mistake can happen to heterosexuals, but somehow it seems to me that it might be “less of a problem of our sexuality” because we’re surrounded by a majority of our own sexually-oriented individuals – but with you Iris….you’re in a tiny minority and does that cause you any discomfort. ( I’m not sure I expressed this very well, and I’m not really comfortable putting in those terms, because I don’t want to sound offensive, but it’s difficult to understand the dynamics of homosexuality for a variety of reasons, as you well know.

    Iris….I’m not finished and I’ve got more on this topic and specifically with counselling , but will close here for brevity’s sake.

  269. FloridaHank 5 Aug 2010, 2:11am

    Hi Blondie….back in your post 203, you said “I also want to discuss you saying the human psyche is dynamic….”…plus much more that you said. Well I’ll next send you something that
    can get us started on the human psyche issue. I’m sure it’ll
    bring out some interesting things, and I’m much like you in
    that I don’t want to put too much time on answering everyone’s comments, but with you and Iris…it’s not a problem.

    Hope things are working out OK…or at least better.
    I’m enjoying the best years of my life — I truly have peace
    and contentment, and I’m so priviledged to have time to make
    progress with the rest of my life.

  270. FloridaHank 5 Aug 2010, 2:46am

    Hey John…didn’t mean to take this long to your initial Question

    “If homosexuality is normal, why do you go onto refer to it as an “Act” ?

    I’m not sure what your question is asking. I used “act” in its
    normal usage “doing something…performing…behaving.”

    Whether it’s heterosexual sex or homosecual sex, it’s an act that
    we do when we’re having intercourse.

    Whether hetero or homo…whether we’re normal or abnormal…we “act” in any number of ways — good or bad, self-destructive or self-constructive…positive or negative — that’s all that I meant. Beyond that John, I don’t know what else
    you expected from me. If you’ve read any of my other comments,
    you should get a better understanding of my views on human nature.

  271. Hank – thank you for your response . . .

    * Hetersoexuality is never reffered to as “An Act” . . .

    * I you are juxtaposing the word “Act” inconjunction with homosexuality, the function of the word then becomes as a suffix to imply something staged or pretended.

    * Homosexual relationships are neither acts, or pretended relationships.

  272. Hank: “But there are some issues dealing with the act of marriage and how it’s handled by civil authorities and how it affects the belief system of people who accept the Bible’s views ( a complex conundrum as you well know).”

    Yes, and I believe that religions should have the right to choose who they marry in their own churches, etc. But I also believe religious beliefs about marriage are irrelevant in civil matters. That means that divorcees, who a church might refuse to marry, can marry quite easily in a civil marriage. So I believe that the same option should be available to same sex couples even if some religions disprove of them, as they do divorcees.

    Ah now, Hank! :D The state of the US (and other countries’) health services is something far too long to get into here. I agree there is corruption – health seems to be a money-making thing in the US, and I do feel that people are encouraged to seek treatment or take medication unnecessarily sometimes. But, as we’ve agreed, I hope, that homosexuality isn’t a mental problem, let’s leave that for now. But I will look at mindfreedom later. I’ve bookmarked it because there’s a lot to read through.

    Hank: “it’s impossible for me to look at a nice looking guy and get any sexual feelings about him, while at the same time I can look at an attractive woman and have a degree of romantic/loving/sexual feelings towards her…”

    Yes, because you’re straight – no problem. I wouldn’t expect a straight man to be attracted to other men, and I understand that you just can’t imagine it. But our feelings – attraction to the same sex – are just as genuine as yours. We’re just different. You mention an “attractive woman” but even that would be a matter of dispute amongst people, wouldn’t it? I’m sure you’ve looked at women before who others have praised and swooned over and thought to yourself that you can’t see the attraction. However, that doesn’t mean that those who really like that woman are wrong – nor that you, who don’t find her attractive, are wrong either. Again, just different.

  273. Hank: “I try to imagine/understand what in the human psyche permits/makes this same-sex attraction to happen. I ask myself, “what is about the sex of that person that gives out the message/connection that makes this person want to desire the same sex person”

    Again, I sympathise with you finding it difficult to understand something different to yourself. I mean that with all respect. I’ll try to explain a little. I don’t choose to find women attractive – the reaction is subconscious. Presumably this is just like your reaction to what you personally perceive to be an attractive women – it just pops into your mind (“that woman’s beautiful”/”what a gorgeous smile” etc. It’s the same for me – unchosen and natural.

    I think your further questions are still related to your difficulty in seeing how a woman could be attracted to another woman, but I’ll try to answer. What attracts me (and obviously other people might have different likes) is a slim, feminine figure, a nice smile, gracefulness, and an animated, happy character. I think you’re asking why I don’t see those attractive features in men? Well, I suppose for the same reason that you don’t! :D Even a feminine man wouldn’t be attractive to me because I’d pick up on his manliness. That would ‘ring alarm bells’, so to speak, and my subconscious wouldn’t register him as sexually attractive.

    If it was a trick – a man dressed up as a woman to test me – well, I still think I’d notice that he wasn’t a woman! I might not be quite sure what I was seeing (eg is this person a transexual?), but the recognition of something different would register in my head, and I’d be watching to pick up further clues to what was going on. In fact, I think that women would be more attuned to this than a straight man, as we use social cues more in general.

    Hank: “you’re in a tiny minority and does that cause you any discomfort”

    Yes, it makes things more difficult when I see a woman that I think is attractive because it’s always in my head that they’re probably straight. However, even if they were a lesbian, they might not find me attractive, so I guess I run the same risk as anybody else – being rejected :D Finding the right person isn’t easy – although I have a lovely girlfriend now :) And, yes, it’s probably harder if you’re gay (but I’m just basing that on my own experience – I’ve lived in some quite remote areas).

    But do you know the hardest thing? Coping with other people’s nastiness – direct or indirect. Direct = I can be walking down the road holding my girlfriend’s hand and chatting happily and minding my own business – and suddenly a group of total strangers will walk by and shout foul abuse at us for no reason whatsoever or even physically attack us. Indirect = the constant, subtle implication by many people in society that I’m not good enough, not worth as much as them.

  274. FloridaHank 5 Aug 2010, 3:53pm

    Hey Iris….just a very quick comment because I’m going fishing
    shortly.

    I get great satisfaction from you personally — your
    views are clear and have much feeling behind them and you’re
    giving me some new insight about understanding homosexuality —
    I appreciate that and it’s made me a more accepting person, and
    I realize that there’s much more to be deeply and seriously examined about how diverse human nature is and how we must be more open to understanding all of mankind. I really believe we could be friends should we ever meet.
    Thanks for your comments, and I’ll write again about some things
    you mentioned.

  275. Thank you for that, Hank. I appreciate your efforts to understand and that’s why I’m happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability.

    Enjoy the sunshine, and I look forward to your reply when you have time.

  276. I look forward to you comment on the human psyche. I would make a comment on what you said to Iris but her answer was so filled and detailed that if I add any more, alot would be pointless repitition. This said, I will discuss about being tricked with the wrong gender for since my taste in guys can be sometimes over to the feminine side, I believe there is a chance I could be tricked by a masculine looking women. Now if I did meet a women that was able to make me think she was male, assuming she appeared like a male I would be attracted to then yes I think I could be attracted to her but the moment she tells me her true gender it would fill me with confusion, I will be trying to work it all out, for what was once pure and natural and very much simple has now become overly complex, not to mention my mind would keep think about what is under the clothes but maybe I would be get over how weird it would be and still have that attraction but I doubt it would be as strong because for I now would be disappointed for I couldn’t have a relationship or other thoughts, if I was in a relationship with her I couldn’t hug her without noticing she hasn’t got a male torso, I couldn’t hold hands with her without noticing, I possibly couldn’t even kiss her without noticing, couldn’t lie with her, hold her, and of course less innocent stuff wouldn’t be possible. When you see someone you attracted to, don’t you wish to do things, even if it’s more innocent stuff like kissing or holding them, would it not ruin that feeling you had realising you are unable to enjoy these. I hope that helped but I’m not sure it will, I re-wrote it a few times because it was difficult to describe properally without causing more confusion or moving away from the purpose of your question.

  277. FloridaHank 5 Aug 2010, 9:49pm

    Hey Blondie….your comment was just great…I got the sincere
    message you were sending. Yes, Iris conveyed much that’s worthwhile.

    Boy, human feelings, relationships,commitments, giving love, getting love….makes your mind get all screwed up sometimes.

    Humans (and every part of us) is very complex but it seems to get a little more understandable with age.

    I know that my views on many important things have changed, especially in the past 4-5 years, when I’ve had time to focus my reading, thinking, soul-searching, plus much more — life is still compex and confusing, but I’ve gotten some intellectual contentment from what I’ve grasped from all my efforts.

    Went fishing today — water temp was 80+ — almost too warm to get and relief from today’s 95 degrees — but I still love it in South Florida — wish everybody could feel the enjoyment I feel.

    But more to the point of your comment — I do feel something of
    what you’ve expressed and would like to explore/expand on some of those things and others. Will contact you tomorrow Blondie.

  278. Blondie, your reply was very well expressed. I completely understood where you were coming from. It’s difficult to explain something that’s part of you and I’ve been thinking a lot more about it without really being able to explain it any better than you did. I found what you wrote quite moving.

    Hank – using you as an example of a straight man, if I may, you might be attracted to what you perceived to be a fine, elegant, beautiful ‘woman’, but the minute you discovered she wasn’t a woman you’d metaphorically leap back. It wouldn’t matter when this discovery took place – early on or quite a way along the path – the end result would still be the same for you ie non-attraction. Once you’d discovered this person was a man you wouldn’t be attracted simply because you’re not attracted to people of the same sex as you. It’s exactly the same for me, but I’m not attracted to people of the OPPOSITE sex. That’s the only difference.

    I can admire the opposite sex aesthetically, which I was reminded of reading Blondie’s comment above. I prefer men to look feminine and would rate them more highly in the ‘handsome stakes’, but, in my case, ONLY aesthetically. No matter how pretty, how handsome, they were, I would never find them PHYSICALLY or SEXUALLY attractive. It would be an impossibility. I just don’t work that way. That’s not an ‘agenda’ or a dogma – it’s just my natural response.

    I think that the situation is unlikely to arise.I know you were only trying to suggest it hypothetically, Hank, to try to better understand where gay people are coming from. I’ll be interested to read your response to Blondie, and I like the fact that you’re trying to understand. It IS hard to imagine something that you don’t feel yourself, but I think it’s a matter of accepting rather than trying to feel the same, because you won’t, just as I won’t ever feel the same attractions my straight female friends do. But I accept them :) People are just different and that’s interesting :)

  279. I really have to agree about every part of a human is complex, as a student of medical sciences, I think I could give a reasonable statement about how complicated and so very carefully ordered and finelly tuned every structure in the human body is and then the human brain and feelings are just even more complex and mysterious and then you could possibly include the idea of spirits and all that which makes it even more complex though thats another topic all together. On that note I do appreciate you trying to understand, it can’t be and don’t sound easy.

    I’ve begun thinking more about this and I realised I do sometimes notice qualities I look for in guys, in girls, if we are talking purely on looks, one of my favourite things to see on a guy is long hair, which it being more common on girls causes me to notice girls’ hair every so often but I don’t notice anything else, all girl’s faces seem to look the same to me, when I notice a good looking guy, there’s just something really special about him and it just makes me feel happy, I just can’t get that with girls.

    Still on the topic of noticing qualities in girls, I’ve had 2, possibly 3 “straight” crushes but now looking back, neither had anything to do with looks, they just all had lovelly personalities, personalities I would love to see in a guy and that give me that same nice feeling I get when I notice a guy but I couldn’t start a relationship with them for the reasons I said in my last comment, I would love to be able to look at them like I look at guys, especially the one, maybe it was because she was my first crush but there was just something really special about her.

    I don’t know whether this is helping you but it’s actually helping me, looking back and trying to think of how my feelings work is giving me a better understanding of them and who I am. Sorry it took me a few days to send this, I had a problem but it was too complex for me to tell you without wasting a whole lot of time describing it, so I leave it as just a problem.

  280. FloridaHank 10 Aug 2010, 12:18am

    Hi Blondie and Iris.
    I apologize for this delay but I’ve had a very busy/active
    weekend.

    And before I get into anything I can add to the comments/thoughts
    of both of you I need some time to organize my thoughts so they
    are worthwhile.

    I’m getting some insight into the thinking of both of you and
    feel that it’s adding to me as an individual — a more thinking
    indivdual I must add.

    Blondie — I’ve done much reading/researching to the topic of
    human psyche and it’s anything but a simple topic, but I see
    some great things coming out of it.

    I don’t want to get into any very complex comments by some of
    the early “thinkers” psychologists, philosophers, etc. who’ve dealt with this topic as I think it’s not the way we want to
    go, but I’ve gotten some nugets from them to add to something
    we can begin with — and I promise I’ll start it off on Tuesday
    and we can see where it leads us.

  281. FloridaHank 11 Aug 2010, 5:23am

    Hi Blondie and Iris:

    Trying to put a specific definition on the “human psyche” that most everyone can/will accept doesn’t seem possible from all the articles I’ve read – too many experts and their individual theories.

    It seems that most writers accept that the body, the mind and the “spirit” work together in various degrees to create our “psyche.” – which I believe develops as we mature from a child to adolescence to adulthood and into old age. Through these different stages of time we begin to become more conscious of who we are and how we ‘got here” so to speak.

    There are numerous “Stage Theories,” and it appears that you can categorize them into two general “stages” – one as (a) a relatively continuous process, without any major changes, or contrastingly, (b)where the development is highlighted by major and significant changes in a person’s personality and behavior. (Personally, mine was (a)).

    Whichever stage theory we accept, it’s difficult to know what (percentage) of our psyche is “concrete” and which is “fluid” as we’re growing up.

    Because of the experiences/problems, etc. we continually encounter, we start seeing ourselves as “individuals”–being somewhat similar and somewhat different than everyone else. This can create a major crisis for some people and influence their psyche (perhaps forever). Would be great if we had a mentor, or somebody who could give us healthy guidance at this time.

    In my research I came across an interesting article about a book, “Mentalization” that seems to offer “new” information with its approach, and I briefly quote from it:

    “Mentalization is the capacity to perceive and interpret behavior in terms of intentional mental states, to imagine what others are thinking and feeling, and is a concept that has taken the psychological and psychoanalytic worlds by storm. This collection of papers, carefully edited by Fredric Busch, clarifies its import as an essential perspective for understanding the human psyche and interpersonal relationships.”

    This …. “book focuses on a core aspect human mental capacity, how we perceive and understand ourselves and others,.” (I’ll see if my library has a copy – sounds like it would be helpful)

    Blondie and Iris …I’m not sure if any of this will be helpful to get your responses because it seemed that the exchange between the two of you was more meaningful/insightful than anything I contribute. But regardless, I’d still like to keep it all going if there’s anything to be gained for trying to get a better understanding of ourselves.

  282. Nice to hear from you, Hank. Thank you for taking the time to do that research and reply.

    I agree that there’s lots that’s unknown or uncategorisable about the human psyche :D It reminds me of that saying – ‘if the human brain was simple enough for us to comprehend, we’d be too simple to understand it!’

    I had a look at that book “Mentalization” on Amazon, and I believe that it’s referring to something similar to what I know from my work as Theory of Mind (ToM). Basic info here if you’re interested:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theory_of_mind

    I suppose a simple, although maybe not wholly accurate, term would be ‘empathy’. Certainly being able to put yourself in someone else’s place, to imagine what they might feel or why they’re acting as they are, is a valuable human attribute, and if we can’t do that then we dehumanise those around us.

    I’d be interested to hear more from you about your feelings about the relevance of this in everyday life, Hank, and whether you think it has any bearing on, for example, sexuality or homophobia or other related topics – indeed, even religion, if you wish :)

  283. Just returned to this thread after visiting the Lake District with my family – great place to be – I only wish I could climb those high peaks with the same “gay” abandon as in my youth! My last post was 176 and there were three (at least) replies, which if I may I would like to respond to.

    I was surprised to discover this thread is still being added to although dominated by a deep but (happily) respectful conversation between Hank, Blondie and Iris and I don’t want to detract from this and at the same time be interested in any agreed conclusions. I wonder though how this relates to the subject of the thread which was (as I see it) to do with this girl being kicked out of university because of her religious beliefs!?

    Chester said (177) “yet you still try to push your beliefs on others john”. I feel I am no more pushing my beliefs on others than anyone else in these forums and like most here I care about the community I relate to and what appears to me an injustice just as others care about other injustices and I also want to understand better what these are. I care because of what I believe! I am sorry if that rankles with some who somehow feel threatened but am not sorry about my beliefs or expressing them.

    Will said (178) “”Will, I think I can just about figure out where you come from” – Ireland. Not anywhere exotic.” I realize we will differ (sometimes radically) on certain points but I do regret it when people suffer unnecessarily because of their sexuality and sexual choices. I try to judge all people on the content of their character rather than their sexuality (slightly misquoting Martin Luther King) while being true to what I believe. One day I would like to buy you a guinness Will and have a nice chat!

    JohnK (180) It is the first time I have been accused of being a heterosexualist. Let it be! If I am it is because I believe that was how God intended his creation to be. I don’t accept narcissist though as looking back over my life my problems have often stemmed from a lack of self love and to be honest that is irrelevant to this discussion. As for attraction – I quite accept some will be attracted to members of their own sex. My point was that when it comes to attraction (whether hetero or homosexual) we all have a choice whether or not to act on that attraction.

  284. Hi John :)Welcome back.

    You said: “As for attraction – I quite accept some will be attracted to members of their own sex. My point was that when it comes to attraction (whether hetero or homosexual) we all have a choice whether or not to act on that attraction.”

    That would be a pretty miserable life for gay people, would it not? :( To love someone but never to be able to make love? Is that what you’re saying?

    I think (and forgive me if I’ve got this wrong) that you’re assuming that being attracted to the same sex is wrong full stop. But on what do you base that assumption? If it’s the Bible, then I’d respectfully ask that you think again. Quote for me the section in the Bible that says love between two gay consenting adults is wrong. You won’t be able to – because there isn’t one.

    That’s what gets to me most of all, I think. I believe that people are entitled to their opinions and that people should be treated with respect, but it really gets to me when people use as ‘evidence’ for their belief something that is incorrect. And that’s ignoring all the questions about the divinity of the bible, etc etc etc :D Big topic that!

    If I’ve misrepresented your belief or made any mistakes or wrong assumptions above, I apologise. This is a long thread and I hope I haven’t missed anything important you mentioned before.

  285. FloridaHank 12 Aug 2010, 3:33pm

    Hi Iris…always nice to get your comments/questions and I’ll get
    to answer it, esp. about everyday life, plue religion. Have a ton of things to do today but will respond ASAP

    And welcome to John – he also has some insightful comments and
    it seems like we could all get something helpful/enlightening
    from us all — even if this thread is not about the original
    acticle.

    To me, the main thing about any of our responses is the chance to learn something helpful and my feeling is that Jennifer’s situation seems to have been covered and this new thread isn’t that much out of line — we’re just using it to exchange ideas/comments/responses to something that might be a bit more interesting.

  286. (Apologies if this is duplicate – my earlier submission appeared not to make it!)

    Iris: thank you for your comments and questions. I appreciated the winsome way in which these have been made and respect your robust and direct approach.

    “That would be a pretty miserable life for gay people, would it not? To love someone but never to be able to make love? Is that what you’re saying?”

    When I made my point about acting upon our attractions, I was thinking that in my case at least that during my life I have been attracted to many (usually women) but have not taken this to a physical level because that person is in a relationship or did not reciprocate that attraction and in any case I have been brought up to believe that sex should take place only within marriage. I am grateful now that I have a great wife. However, this does beg the question regarding same sex attraction …

    Before I try to answer further, let me say this only the third thread in these forums where I have made any substantial contribution and if you look though my posts you will get a pretty good idea of what are my views. What I have been made aware of while making the, is the need to respect people’s sensibilities. Given the nature of this forum and the sexual orientation of most who visit it, I am mindful that people can get pretty wound up by any remark that seems to criticise peoples sexual preferences and I have at times been subject to some angry responses even though it has not been my intention to judge – rather to contribute to debates on subjects I care about. For example, much of the early discussion in this thread condemns what I see as a brave young lady who has been treated unjustly and I felt it right to make my points.

    I suppose the issue that matters above all is truth and doing the right thing. While I am happy to admit that while I have a lot of time for scientific enquiry the answers to the deep issues of life are often only to be found in the Bible (imho), which also tells me the right way to live. I realise people do use the Bible to say/do all sorts of wrong things and I have been mindful looking at past discussions in this forum that many of the so called anti-gay texts may have been wrongly applied e.g. those who cite Leviticus to condemn homosexuality as abominable need also to account for other things also declared to be abominations. Regarding the Bible, I feel we are on the slippery slope if we neglect parts that are inconvenient or in this instant counter-cultural.

    My reading of the Bible is that the general thrust is toward heterosexual relationships and nowhere is homosexual relationships commended (and if anything these are condemned). When God created man and woman he said “therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.” (Genesis 2v24). I suppose, for me, it is not the Bible saying what is wrong but rather it saying what is right. I realise of course that many in these forums don’t attach the same divine authority as I do and here I would refer to the Catholic teaching of natural law. I am not a Catholic and have not looked into this in depth because I am happy with the divine law argument but you might like to look at a fairly readable (although some would say rabid) discussion of both divine and natural law arguments in the Catholic website: http://www.catholic.com/library/Homosexuality.asp.

    Sorry this has been a bit long and I feel I still may not have given a good enough answer, but I hope it helps you to understand what it is I believe and why I am so supportive of Jennifer. I also sense your pain when the implications is that indeed you can love someone but never to be able to make love and I regret that too often the church has added to that pain by an unloving attitude which is contrary to the nature of loving, albeit holy, God.

    PS. Hank thanks for your generous remark. I must confess, I haven’t taken in many of your points, but I admire your tenacity in making them despite a lot of flak.

  287. Thank you for replying, John. I’ve lost long posts here before, which is SO annoying, so what I do now is highlight and copy my post before I press the ‘Say It’ button. If I forget to do that, then right-clicking in the comment window and choosing ‘back’ usually returns you to what you typed, allowing you to copy it then. But you may be doing that already anyway.

    Your post raised so many interesting points that I may have to reply over two posts. But, before I forget – when I re-read your post again before typing this, I noticed that you’d said “(usually women)” that you’ve been attracted to. That might be too personal a thing for you to want to expand on, but reading that now made me wonder whether you’ve ever been attracted to someone of the same sex? (no problem if you don’t want to answer as I know it’s a personal question)

    I appreciate your sensitivity to others with regard to sexuality, and your thoughtful and respectful tone is what encourages me to ‘speak’ to you. Hank too. Regarding Jennifer Keeton, I understand, I hope, why you consider her brave, but I just pity her. I mean that genuinely and not in any sneering or patronising way. My girlfriend grew up in an extreme religious area of the US and even now I’m still stunned by some of the things she tells me. So I don’t blame Ms Keeton or think she’s being malicious, I think she’s been misled by others and hasn’t been allowed to see the full picture – both as regards LGBT people, and as regards Christians being discriminated against (I think she’s swallowed that propaganda when she’s only being asked to follow the same rules as everyone else).

    However, back to your points :D I too like the idea of marriage. I think it provides stability and comfort. But then is it right that that option is denied to gay people in the UK? I’m talking about Civil Marriage.

    I really admire you for recognising that many anti-gay parts of the Bible have been misapplied. Althoug I’m not now a Christian, I HAVE read, and even translated, the Bible, and it pains me to see it being wrongly used or interpreted. You go on to say:

    “Regarding the Bible, I feel we are on the slippery slope if we neglect parts that are inconvenient or in this instant counter-cultural.”

    But we DO ignore things in the Bible. No-one suggests that we should stone adulterers to death, for example. No-one bans disabled people from churches just because the bible says their presence in a place of worship pollutes it. No-one insists that women should marry men who rape them. So the Bible isn’t absolute – ie an absolute authority that must be followed at all times.

    But even if it was, then being gay wouldn’t be wrong because the bible doesn’t say it is. As one example (so as not to bore you senseless :D), I noticed that the Catholic page you linked me to quotes the line “Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God”. ‘Homosexual offenders is a broad translation of a Greek term for which we have no English equivalent, but the Greek word refers to the trade of male slaves for (gay) sexual purposes – that is, what is being drawn attention to is something that doesn’t really exist now but was a problem at that time. It does NOT mean ALL gay men – in fact, it’s a moot point whether many of the men involved in this were gay at all – it refers to a small group of people, just as any reference to ‘heterosexual adulterers’ would be condemning the adultery not the heterosexuality, if that makes sense?

    Of course, most people are straight, therefore that label ‘heterosexual’ isn’t used because it’s taken for granted that they’re talking about straight people. We can see that in the media today too. Even though I’m a lesbian, I often assume someone’s talking about straight people unless they qualify their statement. That’s not because being straight is ‘best’ or ‘right’, it’s just the most common.

    You said: “My reading of the Bible is that the general thrust is toward heterosexual relationships and nowhere is homosexual relationships commended”.

    Well, I agree with the first part of that. Yes, the bible (and life in general) does tend towards heterosexuality because most people are straight.

    This post is becoming lengthy, so I’ll return to the second part of your sentence above, and the Catholic link you sent me about Natural Law in another post (hopefully today).

  288. To Hank, I waited a few days to reply for I wanted to have a good think but I can’t think of much to add but if I think of anything, I will mention it.

    To John, I am curious as to what you find morally wrong about homosexuals/homosexuals actions, by the sounds of your comments, you accept people have attractions with their own sex which makes it seem like you don’t find that morally wrong which I am pleased at but it brings up the question what bit do you find morally wrong?

    The sound of your comments seems to be that homosexuals should not act on their feelings but do you mean they should live life without ever having any sort of romantic relationship with another human being? Of which that human can only be of the same sex when it’s a homosexual person. One thing that can get me down some times is the fact I don’t have a boyfriend but as my friend always says, I will eventually meet someone but if I actually thought that me starting a relationship was morally wrong and decide not to have one just so I would not upset God, then I would end up very much depressed. If I get saddened over feeling lonely at the moment while knowing that I will eventually meet someone, it only makes sense that I would become depressed if I felt I couldn’t meet someone and then become even more depressed as time goes on.

    Or do you mean that homosexuals can have relationships but it is morally wrong for them to have sex? This, I believe is a difficult thing to expect of people, if they are in a long commited relationship, they will spend alot of time around each other, alot of time really close to each other, they will probably sleep in the same bed, see each other as they come out of the shower or when they get changed, it would be similar to a recovering alcoholic living and working in a pub. I don’t know, maybe it might be easier for some though I would still say it would be difficult but it seems like an unfair thing for you to ask more of gay people than straight, to expect gay couples to never have sex while it’s not a problem with straight couples.

  289. Thank you for this thoughtful and thorough response Iris. Coupled with the fact you have taken me out of my comfort zone, yet in a courteous manner, I am pleased to respond further …

    Ahh computers, the bane of my life for more years than I care to remember. My love hate relationship has led me to adopt the principle of always saving my work unless I forget of course. I find highlighting what I wrote and “cut” the text only to “paste” if needed works well. For this reply though (cos it is long) I wrote first in a document that I then saved. My biggest gripe for this forum though is once committing the text I can’t change it!

    About my past attractions, these have been mainly to the opposite sex although some for the same sex. That has not been a problem for me personally as my inclinations are predominantly straight, I haven’t struggled in this area as some have and because of what I believe. I suppose, if anything, I should have been bolder in the past (after all enjoying friendship is one of the greatest of life’s joys) but now that I am married, I take seriously the vow of fidelity, so taking my being attracted to someone onto a physical level is a definite no no.

    Your comment on the verse cited in the Catholic website (1Corinthians 6v9) is interesting and, strangely enough, I had similar qualms when I came across it. I won’t argue with your interpretation and see you could be at least partly right. That is a good reason why we should be careful when quoting texts, possibly out of context, to support our case. I seem to recall seeing a similar objection based on this verse in another thread in this forum.

    Re. ignoring things in the Bible, I still maintain that the Bible stands or falls on whether it can be taken as a reliable and authoritive text. I don’t have a problem with passages to do with stoning adulterers, not accepting disabled people in some instances e.g. the priesthood (not sure where women have to marry their rapist comes in though) and many more – because these need to be understood in the cultural context where these actions took place and don’t apply now. While I don’t understand everything, I see no inconsistency. My biggest concern is that many, including the devout, don’t take the Bible seriously enough e.g. loving God with all of our being and our neighbours as ourselves. For me, how we deal with issues around social injustice and poverty (clearly spoken about in the Bible) is as, if not more, important as those around sexuality.

    Am I imagining it but it seems a number who frequent these forums, like you, do know their bibles well? I wondered if some are casualties of church (which if so is also sad)? Btw, I was interested when you said you have translated parts of the Bible and were once a Christian. Would it be too personal to ask why you are no longer a Christian?

    Because of my religious beliefs, I suppose my views on marriage incorporate those who voted for the controversial and maybe soon to be overturned Proposition 8 “only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” I believe this because marriage thus defined and the family this normally gives rise to to be the bedrock for a healthy society. Not that I would want to marginalise same sex couples though – their rights and expectations also need to be respected even if we disagree. I may be getting out of my depth here but, as I understand it before civil partnerships were enacted, should something have happened to one of a same sex couple, the other member would have had few rights under law. That was a travesty and in this and no doubt other instances the surviving partner should have the same rights as a widow / widower of a marriage. I am sure there are other implications and I’m sure that this debate will continue.

    I have tended to post in these forums on those issues that affect religious freedom, because I see these being gradually eroded and too few speaking out. I note there are a couple of threads about gay marriage but I have kept out of these, not because I don’t have a view, but because it is wise to concentrate well on a few areas than poorly on many more. As for Jennifer, I admire her stand because in other circumstances I could have been in her position. Too few, even among Christians, have the courage to do what she has done. To shut her up because her views don’t coincide with that of the relevant authorities seem to outrageous. I don’t know the laws governing counselling in the US, but I took time last week to speak to a counsellor friend of mine to find out more about issues such as the counselling “code of practice”. As I understand it, here in the UK, if a counsellor feels unable to counsel because there is a conflict in views, that counsellor can pass on the case to someone else, which seems eminently sensible. I realise the tide is still toward gay equality and no doubt there will be changes as a result (e.g. in the area of who can marry who and the recent case of a Relate counsellor failing in his appeal for unfair dismissal because he asked not to counsel a gay couple on how to improve their sex life). For me, above anything else, I have to be true to my conscience and as a result accept the consequences – it has ever been thus.

    I had better stop here. I look forward to hearing your thoughts on “natural law”. While my own religious tradition does not pay the same attention to this as Catholics, it does, for example, follow the carefully argued case in Paul’s letter to the Romans, that whether we (as Jews) fail to obey God’s law as revealed in the old testament, or (as Gentiles) God’s law as written upon our hearts and conscience, we (every single one of us) are sinners who need to be saved by the grace of God.

    *****************************
    Blondie: just as I was going to submit this post I saw your own and with it some questions for me. I don’t want to treat lightly what you say or use the excuse that I am bit exhausted having replied at length to Iris, but to some extent I have responded in part within my recent postings. My view is that a physical relationship should only take place within marriage, which in my understanding should be between one man and one woman and permanent. We are by nature complex beings and there are some (many) who are, because of their makeup, attracted to members of their own sex. That is not the same as acting sexually upon that attraction and it doesn’t exclude close friendship, sharing a house or doing things together, although one would be wise to try to avoid temptation. I don’t want to add to any anxiety or depression and of course you are free to disagree with me, but I am confident that God will help. The chastity point btw is applicable to heterosexuals as much as homosexuals and there will be many among heterosexuals who are unable for one reason or another to marry who will suffer similar pain. I realise this answer may not satisfy entirely and may even make you angry but I hope it helps a little and is offered with the best of intentions.

  290. Thank you for answering what was a personal question so frankly, John. I’m loathe to say more about that because it IS so personal, but I completely understand that those attractions, indeed any attractions, are irrelevant for you now as you’re married. There are many people who feel the same about marriage, and not all of them religious. For me, it’s more a matter of mutual respect and not wanting to hurt other people.

    You asked; “Would it be too personal to ask why you are no longer a Christian?”

    No, not at all. Let me try to answer as best I can. There was no ‘big thing’, no upset, that turned me against Christianity – indeed, I wouldn’t even say I was against it (although I do hate the current attitudes of some Christians towards gay people). I grew up accepting Christianity as fact, I didn’t think that deeply about it, although as a child I thought a lot about God (he was very present in my mind). But I didn’t really examine the tenets of Christianity or read the Bible with a critical eye. It just was as it was, and I accepted it.

    Then one day a few years ago, I had a revelation.I’m not using that word to taunt or be disrespectful because of its religious connotations – that was how it was. I simply realised in a single moment that the Bible wasn’t the word of God, but only the imperfect, biased words of men. It really made me catch my breath to realise that. So I’m no longer a Christian because Christianity is based on a text which I don’t believe is as special as most Christians believe it to be. As an example (and apologies to any Mormon’s reading this), I consider it as ‘not true’ as the Book of Mormon.

    I apologise if I described that in a way that upset you or was disrespectful. I was trying to use honest language. I’m now an agnostic – maybe there’s a god, I don’t know, but I don’t believe that he’s adequately represented by the bible. As regards Jesus, I much prefer him to the god described in the OT. If he really existed and was as described, I think he was a modern-thinking, kind man. I find it hard to believe he was the son of god though.

    I hope that helps you understand. I think that’s my longest attempt to describe my feelings :D I’ve only ever referred briefly to them before. You made me think – in a good way.

    _______________

    Now – the Catholic link. It reminded me so much of so many ‘proofs’ that are quoted about how homosexuality is bad/evil/sinful. They always start off with the presumption that being gay is immoral, quote a bit of the bible that says immorality is bad – and then go on to say that therefore homosexuality is bad. But that’s not proof, it’s a pointless argument because it starts off with an unproven assumption then proves it in a circular argument.

    The section on Natural Law I actually found offensive. It basically implies that homosexuality is like bestiality which is outrageous. Then, without any proof, it goes on to say that the ‘natural’ partner for a man is a woman. Firstly, homosexuality is NOT ‘unnatural’ – it’s less common, for sure, but NOT against nature.

    I see that you consider procreation to be important, and that that gives weight to your belief that marriage should only be between a man and a woman. But I personally don’t think the Bible sets that much store on procreation. Yes, there’s the ‘go forth and multiply’ bit (which I may have mis-quoted :D) but that was understandable at that time because there wasn’t really anyone populating the Earth! It’s not important now because the human race has populated it with plenty in reserve. Yes, the procreation is necessary for the continuation of our race, but it doesn’t follow that it’s a duty for everyone to procreate (indeed, there are some people who just aren’t cut out to be parents). As long as the birth-rate is enough OVERALL, then that’s sufficient. I don’t think God wants us to procreate continuously.

    Also, that brings us onto the infertile – should they be allowed to get married if they can’t procreate? The elderly – ditto. And to sex for non-reproductive purposes. Anyone who has sex without really trying to conceive a child, just doing it for pleasure or to show love – are they bad?

    I personally like children very much, but I don’t think they’re the ONLY purpose of marriage. I think companionship is a big part of it. To me, marriage is a promise of love, of fidelity to that one person, a promise to care for that person. I know it has a deeper, religious meaning for because you enter into it ‘under god’, if that’s the correct phrase, but the human aspects of it are most important to me.

    Better stop there! :D John, you write clearly and intelligently. I might disagree with some things you write, but I enjoy reading your comments. I like polite, thoughtful discussion, and I find it very interesting to read what others think. I think it helps one get one’s own thought ordered too.

  291. Blondie – it made me sad to read what you wrote about feeling lonely :( I identify with that. I grew up in a very rural area and didn’t really meet any people like me or know much about what I was feeling. It took me ages to meet the right person, and my route there, especially in my late teens and early twenties, was often pretty miserable. I had very low self-esteem and felt things were my fault somehow. You WILL meet someone. You’re so obviously a sensitive, kind person from what you write. Just be true to yourself and value yourself for what you are. Your missing half is out there somewhere :)

  292. Iris: Thank you once again for your comments, which in a strange yet positive way were uplifting.

    I didn’t think you were disrespectful regarding religion – you were answering my question honestly although the evangelist in me would wish that you believe as I do.

    Thank you for your thoughts on Catholism and natural law.

    About marriage I like the Book of Common Prayer marriage service:
    “First, It was ordained for the procreation of children, to be brought up in the fear and nurture of the Lord, and to the praise of his holy Name. Secondly, It was ordained for a remedy against sin, and to avoid fornication; that such persons as have not the gift of continency might marry, and keep themselves undefiled members of Christ’s body. Thirdly, It was ordained for the mutual society, help, and comfort, that the one ought to have of the other, both in prosperity and adversity.”

    Finally, let me say I appreciate your sensitivity and words to Blondie, which I would like to endorse.

  293. Thank you for your reply and the respect you put in them.

    “although one would be wise to try to avoid temptation” This idea brings up a complication of how they can balance having a normal relationship with avoiding temptations. It makes sense something like avoid not being around when the other leaves the shower but what about sharing the same bed, would this not cause upset about not having a proper normal relationship about having to remain distant and not having the ability to fall asleep into the others’ arms or being able to wake up early to watch the other sleep. Also you could extend the avoiding of temptations to too much contact or even being around them too much, it might not create as strong temptations but it would still be temptations. Maybe some could do it and maybe for some it wont be very difficult but I believe that alot would find it a huge struggle that would exist throughout the rest of their life, it can cause distance between them either by the fact they can’t get close to avoid temptations or that the struggle would give one or both of them resentment of the other or of their own feelings and relationship, it all just seems like needless suffering that I personally feel it would be best avoided, especially when it can be so easily avoided.

    Your views seem to be that sex can only be within marriage and marriage should be between a man and a women, which looking through your comments, your view is because the family of a straight marriage is the “bedrock for a healthy society” but it brings up the question of why can’t the family of a homosexual couple also be a bedrock for a healthy society? The only difference I see between straight and gay couples is procreation but in this day and age, we don’t need more people and actually less people would be more of a benefit and then there’s the benefit of gay couples giving a loving home to unwanted kids.

    In response to your earlier comment to Iris, you seem to find homosexuals acts wrong because the bible mostly mentions heterosexuality and any mention of homosexuality is done in a bad light but I quote you saying “because these need to be understood in the cultural context where these actions took place and don’t apply now”. Homosexuality as the whole concept of two adults of the same sex living as equals in a committed relationship is only more of a recent concept and so I believe any idea of this sort of relationship would be just unknown to the people at the time and the only types of homosexuality they would know of would be more of the less morally correct types.

    In response to the natural law argument and putting aside the poor choice of comparing homosexuality with bestiality, it’s argument seems to be that homosexuality is not natural but if we were to list the things unnatural today, we would be at it for a very long time because most stuff today can be put down as unnatural, clothes, house, cars, computers, all seem unnatural but we don’t once consider the morality in using these things. And then when we look at homosexuality, love and feelings which personally I feel are the most natural things we have today but if we are talking about it as homosexual sex, it is different but it is natural desires. Also another point about homosexuality being natural, hasn’t homosexuality been shown to occur naturally within the animal kingdom, I believe I remember reading on Pink News about a few stories though I am not certain what they were.

    Thank you Iris (and also John for agreeing), I may live in a big city but I too have a low self esteem because of being different (though irony would have it, me being different wasn’t to do with my sexuality).

  294. Blondie: thanks for your comments and putting them in such a good way.

    I won’t answer at length as I think some of these matters have already been pretty well dissected and there comes a point we may have to agree to disagree, but let me make a couple of observations.

    While I firmly believe that the nuclear family (mother, father and children) is the key to a healthy society, I recognise that this must not exclude other forms. For example, there are many who are single and their role needs affirming … and what about those who cannot have children? And while I may have some difficulty accomodating gay couples in my “ideal” world, I have no doubt that some/many make great contributions to our society, including with the welfare of children.

    Ahh temptation .. something none of us can avoid but all of us can resist. I always remember Martin Luther’s observation along the lines: you can’t stop a bird from flying over (or landing on) your head, but you can stop it from building a nest in your hair – wise words!

    Finally, may I add to Iris’s encouragement – you seem to me to be a nice person with a lot going for you so why not cast aside those demons of self doubt (different can be good despite what our culture might say) and live life to the full.

  295. Blondie: apologies for coming back but looking again at your post there was an important point about temptation that I think it may be worth addressing. The monks of old tried to avoid temptation by taking to the extreme their vows of “chastity, poverty and obedience” and sometimes cutting themselves off from the world altogether. I don’t think most of us are called to such a life and as with most things in life common sense and balance is the key. For example (and I hope this is helpful): I like to be around beautiful, intelligent, compassionate women but if I do I try to make it a point not to be alone in the same room. Another example: in my work with alcoholics I often encourage wise measures such as being accountable and avoiding alcohol altogether (not needed for most). Hope this helps.

  296. John – just a quick response this morning. I have no problem with the quote about marriage from the Book of Common Prayer. I respect individual churches’ rights to choose who to marry according to the particular view of marriage they have. They already do this anyway as many churches won’t marry a divorcee. I would NEVER force an unwilling church to marry a same sex couple. However, I expect those churches to give me the same respect and keep out of CIVIL marriage.

    I was thinking more about what you’d said last night and I remembered that you’d been gracious enough to allow the possibility that the bible didn’t condemn homosexuality, but you suggested that the bible didn’t list what was wrong, but concentrated on what was right – ie HETEROsexuality. So the bible told stories about normal, right things. But last night I thought about passages in the bible that condone rape. There are several, but here’s one – Numbers 31, a section of which I’ve quoted below (it concerns Moses and the Midianites):

    “And Moses said unto them, Have ye saved all the women alive?
    Behold, these caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to commit trespass against the LORD in the matter of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the LORD.
    Now therefore kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman that hath known man by lying with him.
    But all the women children, that have not known a man by lying with him, keep alive for yourselves.”

    Moses is angry because they didn’t slaughter the women and tells them to do so but to keep the virgins for their own use – ie rape. Surely not behaviour to be condoned?

    Blondie – I think you’re a Christian? I’m not, but even when I was and I realised I was gay, I truly didn’t believe that the bible or god condemned me for that. To me, a loving relationship with another consenting adult which hurts no-one is not ‘temptation’ or sin, it is something beautiful – love. I knew my girlfriend for months before our relationship got to the next level, so to speak. Sex for me is not just a physical act, it is a meeting of minds, of souls, an incredible EMOTIONAL thing.

    Some attractions are maybe to be avoided eg to someone who was married (not because the bible says so but because it would hurt that other person), but attractions to the same sex are not of themselves wrong.

    If you feel a conflict with your beliefs that’s something for you alone to sort out in your head so what I say is only my honest opinion. Faith in oneself is also a good thing to have.

    And as for being being different, that’s what makes life so amazing – the diversity. It’d be very boring if we were all the same. :)

  297. Iris – thanks for raising these points – as always challenging. The reason why I quoted from the Book of Common Prayer is that it brings together three important elements in marriage (touched on in our discussions): procreation, where sex should take place and companionship, albeit with a religious twist. The BCP also brings out another profound point and that is to do with the parallels between Christ relationship with the Church (also God’s relationship with Israel and God’s relationship with us as individuals should we choose it). I agree it is helpful not to confuse this Christian view of marriage with civil marriage, which seems to me more about a contractual agreement joining two consenting adults.

    I agree that the Bible text you quote is a difficult one to explain when trying to portray God as loving, good, just etc., although it is important to realise God is also holy, righteous, awesome etc. There are lots more difficult Bible texts of course, something Professor Dawkins is quick to point out in his “God Delusion”. Often aspects can be explained but often not – although part of my faith is one day all these things will be made clear. I checked out what one respected Bible commentator, Matthew Henry (1662-1714), said and share them here as he partly answers your points, although I suspect this will also raise new questions.

    “The sword of war should spare women and children; but the sword of justice should know no distinction, but that of guilty or not guilty. This war was the execution of a righteous sentence upon a guilty nation, in which the women were the worst criminals. The female children were spared, who, being brought up among the Israelites, would not tempt them to idolatry. The whole history shows the hatefulness of sin, and the guilt of tempting others; it teaches us to avoid all occasions of evil, and to give no quarter to inward lusts. The women and children were not kept for sinful purposes, but for slaves, a custom every where practised in former times, as to captives. In the course of providence, when famine and plagues visit a nation for sin, children suffer in the common calamity. In this case parents are punished in their children; and for children dying before actual sin, full provision is made as to their eternal happiness, by the mercy of God in Christ.”

    Blondie – I had a further thought following my comments on the nuclear family. I had a girlfriend once, a strong Christian, who used to get upset when she listened to preachers going on about the importance of the traditional nuclear family, because she felt excluded. Having observed many nuclear families, I have come to a view that those that work best are those who open up their hearts and homes to others, especially those who don’t have their own nuclear family. This is something me and wife try to practise.

  298. Thank you for taking into account homosexual couples’ part in this world but I am still confused over why you don’t see them playing the same part as a straight couple, two men raise a kid just as well as a man and a women and it has been shown that two women do an even better job so as I say I am confused on how they are different, if this was covered earlier in early comments, I would most appreciate the number of the comment(s).

    As for the temptation discussion, I don’t see finding the right balance to be that helpful, either way there’s going to be fair a amount of temptation and painful distance, if you reduce one you will increase the other, there will always be that fair amount of pain. And also, as I am reminded by Iris’s comment, it’s so much more than the phsyical, it’s a hugely emotional thing that really brings the two people closer and a key part to a normal close commited relationship, to expect people to permently refrain from having sex, it again adds to the pain. All this pain, I feel it would be best avoided.

    I would appreciate saying which comments these topics were discussed for I do not understand the other point of view. Homosexuality is famous to of been culturally not accepted, especially homosexuality as we know it today so it seems to me that the right answer is if we don’t pay attention to quotes in the bible because of the culture of the time, that we don’t pay attention to the lack of description of homosexuality within the bible.

    Thanks, I try my best to live my life and to combat my fears and I have came to consider my originality as a positive quality but I, having lived most of my life feeling alone and secluded, struggle sometimes to get out of old habbits.

    To Iris, I am actually not a Christian and don’t see any part of homosexuality as wrong, when I am discussing with someone who does think homosexuality is wrong I often start with points that relate not to their beliefs but the affect of their beliefs.

  299. Ah, OK, Blondie – huge apologies for my misunderstanding. Completely my fault *embarrassed* I swear my memory gets worse by the day!

    John, thank you for the detailed response. It’s late now so I’ll reply tomorrow or possibly Monday.

  300. Blondie – I don’t want to be dismissive or disrespectful concerning same sex couples and indeed recognise that often these relationships appear to work well and provide a positive setting for the bringing up children. I just happen to believe God’s intention for his creation places the nuclear family at its very heart, and this is based on marriage between a man and a woman. Something not discussed so far, but is a factor, is that men and women are different and complementary and ought to provide the ideal setting for bringing up children (although I admit there are some great single and same sex couple parents), yet sadly too often we see those relationships breaking up.

    My Christian beliefs are important to me because without them life would be pointless and to pick and choose according to convenience or because I fear upsetting people would be inconsistent and create an avoidable dilemma and I would fail to be true to myself. Obeying God rather than man is important as if loving my neighbour.

    About templation and balance, as I get older I find trying to achieve the right balance in many things in life to be increasingly important. If we placed so many restrictions on ourselves in order to avoid temptation, life would not be much fun. On the other hand, if we placed no restrictions, we would fall into temptation and we then reap the consequences.

    I feel pain in this life is nigh unavoidable especially if we try to live life to the full and make a difference (my mantra for living). The important thing is do what is right, take each day as it comes and face the challenges as best with can with a positive attitude.

    About “having lived most of my life feeling alone and secluded, struggle sometimes to get out of old habbits”, this is something I have struggled with too but I am an glad you “try my best to live my life and to combat my fears and I have came to consider my originality as a positive quality” and wish you well and hope you come to realise that despite any shortcoming you may or think you have that you are a wonderful person!

    Bondie and Iris – have a good day!

  301. Ignore my previous post – this is the corrected version.

    Blondie – I don’t want to be dismissive or disrespectful concerning same sex couples and indeed recognise that often these relationships appear to work well and provide a positive setting for the bringing up children. I just happen to believe that God’s intention for his creation has always been to place the nuclear family (based on marriage between a man and a woman) at its very heart. Something not discussed so far, but is a factor, is that men and women are different and ought to complement each other and this should provide the ideal setting for the bringing up children (although I admit there are some great single and same sex couple parents out there), yet too often we see the disintegration of the family, which is a tragedy.

    My Christian beliefs are important to me because without them life would be pointless and to pick and choose according to convenience and based on no solid foundation or because I fear upsetting people or being ridiculed would be inconsistent and create an avoidable dilemma and I would fail to be true to myself. Obeying God rather than man is important as is loving my neighbour.

    About templation and balance, as I get older, I find trying to achieve the right balance in many things in life to be increasingly important. If we placed so many restrictions on ourselves in order to avoid temptation, life would be dull and not much fun. On the other hand, if we placed no restrictions, we would fall into temptation and we then have to suffer the consequences.

    I feel pain in this life is nigh unavoidable especially if we try to live life to the full and make a difference (my own mantra for living). I find the important thing is to do what is seems best and right, take each day as it comes and face life’s challenges as best I can with a positive attitude.

    About “having lived most of my life feeling alone and secluded, struggle sometimes to get out of old habbits”, this is something I can identify with, but I am an glad you “try my best to live my life and to combat my fears and I have came to consider my originality as a positive quality” and wish you well and hope you come to realise that despite any shortcoming you may or think you may have that you are still a wonderful person!

    Bondie and Iris – have a good day! (Iris: about lapses in memory – that is something I find increasingly that I have to come to terms with too – can be frustrating though – lol!)

  302. You are an enlightened man, John. I don’t know how much you’ve read Pink News, but there have been some absolutely horrible people on here claiming to be religious and posting the most upsetting comments about LGBT people as parents which they’ve gleaned from sites which I can only describe as hate sites. Your comment that gay people can be good parents is so refreshing and uplifting to read.

    I think that the bottom line for you is that your belief that God prefers heterosexual, married parents is paramount, even though you acknowledge gay people may be good parents. For me that raises two issues – your faith and the correctness of your deduction that god prefers straight married parents.

    I respect your right to be a Christian – even though I debate things about Christianity with you and Hank, it’s not to goad or annoy, and I’m more than happy for us both to just accept our differences on the belief front. You’re a Christian, I’m an agnostic – both fine :)

    So I’m only really concerned with the assumption that God has somehow communicated that marriage can only be between a man and a woman, and that that form of marriage is the best situation to raise children. There’s so much to say, I’m not sure where to start! :D I think that perhaps it’s best to ask YOU what evidence leads you to believe that that’s the case as you’ve formed your opinion based on things you’ve read or believe – I don’t know precisely what – so I’d be very interested if you were able to list exactly what led you to that belief. I know you’re probably rolling your eyes and thinking that you’ve said this before :D but I find it hard to understand (your belief in God, I find much easier).

    Let me start with the Book Of Common Prayer. It mentions marriage between a man and a women simply because that’s how it was at that point in time in the UK. It could just have easily have mentioned marriage between a white man and a white woman – again because that was an accurate description of those getting married in the C of E. The omission of other potential couples I don’t see as a banning of marriage involving them. I hope I’ve explained properly.

    Let me try an analogy!I might invite a guest to ‘take their shoes off’ before entering my house (yep, I’m fussy) but my phrasing there would not be a proscription against people with only one leg and shoe entering, nor people wearing boots. I used my chosen words because that’s the most common situation (wearing two shoes and having two legs), but if someone were to deduce from that that I didn’t welcome non two-shoed people then they’d be incorrect, and I’d be upset.

    Now I predict (correctly I hope :D) that you’ll go on to say that the BCP was based on the Bible. I think I’ve already mentioned Adam and Eve, but if we allow a God, then he created them because he needed a male and a female to start off the human race. If he’d chosen to start the human race by creating a hundred people of both sexes and puuting them on the Earth, then I’m sure a number of those would have been gay. They could have chosen to come to some arrangement to reproduce or to not reproduce and help with the next generation as aunts and uncles and friends. A supporting society around children is important and beneficial to society as a whole. Indeed, that’s one explanation for the existence of gay people and gay animals – a support non-tied by their own offspring (all parents would favour their own offspring, non-reproductive people could be more altruistic).

    You said: “Something not discussed so far, but is a factor, is that men and women are different and ought to complement each other and this should provide the ideal setting for the bringing up children”

    Yes, this, in general, is correct. I too agree that children need to grow up learning about both their own sex and the other sex. However, if a gay couple understood that and made sure that that happened, why shouldn’t they too have children? Gay families could meet and allow children to spend time with ‘the other sex'; gay families contain the other sex among their relatives – eg an uncle, a grandfather, a godfather, etc for the children of lesbians, and the opposite for the children of gay men.

    There are many factors necessary for happy, well-adjusted children and that’s just one. When I’m teaching I see what we might call damaged or disadvantaged children. But never have I seen the cause of that being the child having two parents of the same sex. It’s usually things like poverty, struggling parents (eg no job/money/linited education and childcare skills/unplanned and too many children etc etc)that hurt children. Surely our aim must be GOOD parents, not necessarily straight parents?

    And God? I honestly don’t believe that he’d think any different from my last sentence in the paragraph above. I believe that if god made me, he made me right and for a purpose – and gay. He would intend me to live life to the full (but sensibly and responsibly) and to help other people who might need help. My gayness is just a part of me like my green eyes, and it’s no more threatening or bad than brown eyes and being straight. It’s different, but it’s not wrong.

    Again, none of that is meant as an aggressive statement or to attack your beliefs, John – just to discuss them. So my persistence isn’t aggression, just a desire to understand percisely what you think and to question anything that I personally believe isn’t correct or isn’t a logical deduction.

  303. I am still trying to post as my earlier submissions have not to made it (if you are reading this then I managed to get through at last) – I have, though, had a chance to add further content!

    Iris – I don’t think you are being aggressive at all and like your motivation. Indeed, I respect you for raising these points and doing so sincerely. If that were not so, I would not spend time trying answer your points. Having said that, I am conscious that by taking on this challenge I could turn out to be like one of those smooth politicians that answer only the easy bits and never get to address their questioner’s main concerns or worse still leave them with a wrong impression or alienate. After all, you raise many points and it is a challenge to answer. If I don’t respond satisfactory then please bear with me and prompt me again – I want to try to answer as best I can.

    Regarding the BCP, I doubt too that mixed or other race unions were much on the radar of the writers although there is no evidence they were racist (sadly that cannot always be said when looking at the history of the church). The thought though of same sex marriages would likely have never crossed their minds and if it had it would have been with abhorrence. One reason for this is that they clearly saw marriage as signifying the union of Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride) and of course that could only never apply in a mixed sex setting.

    Regarding the bringing up of children, you make good points and I think on balance I agree with you. My views on how this should be done have changed significantly over the years, including recently being challenged by you and those who think similarly as to why gay parents can’t bring up children especially when it is shown they do a good job. It wasn’t long ago I would have sided with the Catholic adoption agencies who only place the children with heterosexual parents. I am less sure these days. My main argument, I suppose, is that if gay relationships are wrong we shouldn’t expose children to that wrong. Perhaps outweighing this is the notion of who are the good parents because it is these we should be encouraging when it comes to adopting children and using as examples and role models for parents who struggle. What I do know is that I have come a long way when I used to mark my friends down for their parenting skills. Now having children, I realise what a challenging task it is and one that requires dedication and a lot else.

    You ask about my involvement with Pink News and commented on the odd religious type that sometimes frequents these forums. Four months ago, I didn’t know anything about Pink News and I only got involved when a politician who tried to answer a question, I raised in a hustings I was helping to organise, had his opinions reported and was pretty well castigated in the ensuing forum discussion: http://www.pinknews.co.uk/?comments_popup=17088 I decided to enter the frame to help redress the balance and make points of my own (my posts are 38, 43, 51, 61, 65, 73, 79, 81, 83, 92, 96, 100, 104). It did feel a bit like entering the lions den at times and I did receive a certain amount of flak despite trying to adopt a conciliatory tone. I suppose, for some, feeling their sexuality is being challenged (which after all takes place on a website aimed mainly at the gay community and those who are sympathetic), is unpalatable and they react (sometimes quite viscously – which initially rather surprised me). I suppose I got off pretty lightly compared with some of the Christian contributors, although sometimes their approach was not wise.

    Interestingly, the editor of a local political website (herself a lesbian and also partly responsible for passing on the story to Pink News) kindly allowed me to give my opinion on her website: http://www.councilbust.com/2010/05/04/southend-electioncomment-the-equality-question/
    The community work I am involved with, referred to in the preamble, is partly detailed in:
    http://www.southend-community-in-harmony.org.uk/

    (to be continued)

  304. (continuation – ahh it may have been the size)

    My own position as you may have worked out is conservative, traditional, orthodox Christian (although I am not keen on labels). Besides being a minister and preacher, I also work in the community, especially among vulnerable adults and in the area of social justice (I also have an education background and have written books). My work in the equality and diversity field is relevant as is working among disparate groups in a sympathetic way, which is what I am able to do naturally. The gay question used not to be one that especially interested me (although it may seem like that – although nowadays it seems difficult to avoid) but breaking down barriers, getting people to work together for the common good, educational excellence, understanding and defending truth, getting churches involved in their community and my wanting to serve the poor, as well as proclaiming the Christian gospel in a winsome yet forthright manner is.

    If I am to be pressed, I take the view that physical relationships between same sex couples is wrong, based on my biblical understanding and that of natural law, although I recognise that if this is something society accepts I must accommodate “gay rights” in my thinking, and in any case I am beholden to treat gay persons with the same love and care as anyone else. I would add that I think sex between any couple not married to each other, ignoring the plight of the poor and (pertinent to me) my shortcomings as a husband and father is wrong too. We are all sinners and fall short of God’s standards (sin); we need to turn away from our sin (repent), seek forgiveness and find salvation (which comes as a consequence of Christ’s death and resurrection).

    I am reluctant to write a Christian apologetic on the “gay issue” as it would be a lengthy process and needs to be of a very high standard, although some day I may get round to it. I did a little searching on the Internet to find something that might answer some of your points in a respectful way but I have to confess that found it difficult. For one thing many raise some of the “old chestnuts” that gays and lesbians find offensive and, besides which, some of what is written is not always entirely accurate or balanced. I will, however, give you two links to websites whose content I mostly agree with and whose owners I have dealt with positively in the past and whose position on gay and other issues I mainly agree with, even though these do come with a “health warning” and there may be some content you will find unacceptable:
    http://www.pureintimacy.org/homosexuality/
    http://www.truefreedomtrust.co.uk/

    I suppose my views on sexuality and relationships have not changed radically over the years but they have changed. If they are to change further (I hope) it will be because of my seeing truth I hadn’t previously realised. I suppose the biggest challenge for Christians is how to live out their beliefs in a post-Christian world. This is one reason why I relish discussions like this. Earlier today I bumped into a Christian brother who remonstrated with me for organising events that involve “muslims and sodomites” and told me I needed to repent. While I knew where he was coming from, I politely disagreed and gave reasons. I mention this not because I want sympathy but rather to illustrate the tightrope I feel I am having to walk (on many matters). All I want is to do the right thing. Having my beliefs questioned as you have done I see as a positive thing.

    I fear that despite this being a rather long post I still may not have answered all your points entirely to your satisfaction, so if having read this and followed the above links you wish to raise new points or press me on points already made that I have not answered to your satisfaction then feel do free to do so. I must say Iris, I like your style (intelligent, compassionate, sensitive, funny, curious etc.). I generally find in my dealings with people (and my work brings me into contact with a great number and variety) that issues around sexuality are hardly ever raised and rightly so. What tends to impress me most in a person is content of character and, in that regard, you score highly!

  305. John – thank you so much for that detailed reply. I just wanted to let you know that I’ve read your comments and that I’m just waiting to find the time to reply with the thoroughness your two comments deserve. I’m working extra this week (I do work with adults with challenging needs) in order to earn some extra holiday time :D)

    All the best – and I’ll reply properly as soon as I can .

  306. Thanks Iris. I appreciate you wanting to be thorough in your response and also having to work. It’s slightly easier for me – this being the school summer holidays where I have deliberately decided to cut down my own work and have a break, and since part of my responsibility is to look after children and my mother, and my being self-employed allows me to juggle my schedule.

    I did wonder after posting whether I had been insensitive in any way. While I should say what I think (I believe you can take it) saying it in an appropriate way is also important and so is avoiding alienating unduly and at the same time giving the right impression. I really do want to understand and respect your position and views and write as I do because I think you can would rather I said what I think and give good reasons, which of course you can challenge.

    I did have a further thought on why my beliefs are relevant to this discussion and your Adam and Eve and “if he’d chosen to start the human race by creating a hundred people of both sexes and puuting them on the Earth, then I’m sure a number of those would have been gay” points. As with any hypothetical scenario, we may never know but it did occur to me that a factor that is important in trying to understand the Christian position (although bear in mind there is wide divergence of opinion in the Christian community, as you know) is the doctrine of “the Fall”. When God created Adam and Eve (and no, I don’t necessary think the Bible creation account says exactly how it was, although I do believe they existed and their position was as stated but I also believe in intelligent design, that can accomodate millions of years and evolution ideas, rather than creationism), everything was perfect and reflected how heaven is / will be. All that changed when they ate of the forbidden fruit. That is when Christians believe sin entered into the world. The consequence was far reaching: evil and chaos in the world; earthquakes, famine and disasters; death, disease and decay and the human tendency to do wrong (original sin). We can do a tiny bit to change creation for the better, but the full effect will only be seen when Christ returns to the earth and as my rather rabid preacher friend would urge me, I also have a duty to point people to the right way.

    Whether being gay is a result of nature, nurture or any other factor I cannot say for sure, but my belief is that it was God’s intention at the outset (and still is) that men should marry woman (although not all marry – Jesus didn’t!) and they should have children, although as you rightly intimate the latter is less of an issue in an overpopulated world.

  307. FloridaHank 20 Aug 2010, 2:32am

    Hey Gang….sorry to have been away — had some imprtant
    issues that took all my time, and since starting to read
    some sincere and very meaningful posts by John, Iris and
    Blondie — will take much time to “digest” it all and
    make some worthwhile comments.

    But from some of what I’ve already, this site has turned out to be more helpful to me than I can believe — I’ve never been on
    any other site that was so honest and revealing about
    people who’ve never met but have formed an honest
    relationship and are trying understand one another.

    I wish you all the best and will comment soon.

    Hank

  308. I won’t pretend this is a complete response, John – I’m sure to have missed out something :D But it’s a start, at least. In Comment 304 you say that at the time of the BCP people would have abhorred the idea of same sex unions if it had occurred to them because “….they clearly saw marriage as signifying the union of Christ (the bridegroom) and the Church (the bride) and of course that could only never apply in a mixed sex setting.” I don’t want to contradict your knowledge of the BCP and religious thought at that time because you undoubtedly know better than me. But would there not also be societal reasons which exerted a heavy pressure? Just as people might have been astounded at women holding certain jobs at that time, whereas today we see it as perfectly reasonable, and, indeed, desirable to treat women as equal. Likewise, hanging and other executions were considered fine then, but not now. I don’t want to get into a discussion about cultural norms, but what I’m saying is, I suppose, that we’ve made some progress since the time of the BCP, so it would be appropriate to consider whether all the thoughts of that time still hold true. That isn’t an insult to the people of that age but maybe they were just doing the best they could at that time and making interpretations as best they could in the atmosphere of that time? Not that I’m saying one couldn’t believe marriage to be signifying a deeper symbolic thing – different people enter into marriage with different beliefs and mark some things as significant that others wouldn’t. That’s their right. But – and this is purely due to my ignorance so excuse me if I ask this question in a clumsy way – when and why was it seen as ‘necessary’ or correct that Jesus and the Church were in a ‘union’? I can’t think of the section in the Bible that says that.

    I have no problem with your attaching special significance and symbolism to your marriage, or indeed, ALL marriages in the Christian Church (although I suspect many people choosing a church wedding have less religious reasons – pretty setting, family tradition, etc). However, I think the most important point is that that is talking about RELIGIOUS marriage (and only ONE religion at that). For people who don’t wish to have a religious marriage and choose a CIVIL marriage, there is none of that religious significance nor is there intended to be. So, allowing that you may ‘object’ to all non-religious marriages as not being ‘marriage under God’, why do religious beliefs matter in a civil marriage? I’m asking that in all genuineness because I’m interested to hear your answer. I’m not demeaning religious beliefs.

    Thank you explaining your view about marriage. I honestly feel I understand where you’re coming from much better now, and the explanation you gave makes more sense to me than the random ‘gay clobber’ quotes from the Bible that are mis-interpretations. I respect your views because they show that you’ve thought properly about the matter and come to your own personal opinion. I admire that even though I have a different belief.

    Regarding gay adoption, you said: “My main argument, I suppose, is that if gay relationships are wrong we shouldn’t expose children to that wrong.” Please believe me when I say that my tone in what follows is polite and non-aggressive. I’m being frank and direct, but I’m not having a go at you. I don’t and CAN’T see gay relationships as wrong in themselves. It doesn’t make sense to me (and it still wouldn’t if I was straight). People used to think (quite genuinely) that interracial relationships were wrong and would lead to all kinds of trouble. That was incorrect. Two loving parents of the same sex are not any more wrong than two opposite sex parents. Moreover, no harm is caused to the children of gay relationships. In fact, it’s more than possible that good may come out of it. Children adopted by gay parents could grow up more tolerant and more accepting of differences. They wouldn’t be adversely affected in any way. They can’t be ‘made gay’, and they’re not deprived of heterosexual relationships because they’re all around them in abundance. I’m very pleased that your views have changed somewhat over the years. To me that’s the mark of an intelligent person – being able to amend or at least re-examine one’s views when evidence suggests that that might be appropriate. Some fundamentalists stick their heads in the sand and ignore evidence. As a teacher, that drives me mad! :D

    Thank you for the link to your other comments. I can see you did get some flak. I’m sure I’ve snapped at some Christian posters here after assuming they have malicious intent or are about to launch into a tirade of abuse. Someone can make a cautious Christian post and people see offence where none was intended because of the actions of some previous Christian commenters, and the fact that they often have numerous names under which they post. You’re clearly a very different kind of Christian to those people, and I do wish all people with religious beliefs were like you. I think that if that was the case, we’d all get along much better while agreeing to disagree. It’s only recently that I’ve felt threatened by Christians (and those of other religions). I see an aggressive approach from some, a desire to cause dissent and start a fight, to artificially put people on different sides in some vague ‘battle’ – but one of their OWN creation, not any god’s. I don’t see sowing dissent as very Christian and it disturbs me. In my ideal world, people would be tolerant and respect others’ differences and beliefs, getting along in a peaceful, respectful fashion. We’re all in this together as HUMAN BEINGS.

  309. Continuing, with your comment 305. I understand what you’re saying – that homosexual relationships are only one of many sins, according to your belief. But – and we may have to agree to disagree on this too :D – I see no definitive evidence for this view in the Bible. You could say that you believe it’s IMPLIED, but that’s not proof and other people’s view that it’s NOT implied is equally valid, especially as other sins are EXPLICITLY mentioned eg murder. I don’t now believe in sin at all. That doesn’t, however, mean that I feel I’ve got a free rein to do exactly as I want because ‘there’s no god to punish me’. It’s not the concept of Hell that stops me doing wrong, it’s my own sense of personal worth ( I feel bad and feel I could have done better) and the belief that we should treat others as we’d want them to treat us. I think the latter is a human instinct not a divinely inspired one, because only by co-operating and having a sense of empathy could early societies get along and work together for the mutual good.

    Thank you for the links ( http://www.pureintimacy.org/homosexuality/ and http://www.pureintimacy.org/homosexuality/ ) I’d like to return to those in a later post because I want to read through them again and then comment on things that those sites say. I hope that’s not confusing. I thought it would be easier to address those sites in a separate post, although I appreciate you share some of their views.

    You said: “I suppose my views on sexuality and relationships have not changed radically over the years but they have changed. If they are to change further (I hope) it will be because of my seeing truth I hadn’t previously realised”

    Oh, that made me happy! Not because I’m hoping you’ll come round to my view, but simply because you’re prepared to assess new evidence and amend your views if you feel it appropriate. I can’t express how pleased that makes me. (Think punching the air :D ) It’s a rigid adherence to dogma that disturbs me about many religious people, a discarding of anything that doesn’t fit their view even if that thing has worth and relevance. I think that that often arises out of fear of difference. If only people were to engage with others then they’d realise that they’re not the threat they initially assumed. Intelligent discussion leads to understanding, and your enlightened words here are a breath of fresh air.

    Thank you for the information about the work you do – that’s impressive. I wonder, do you think that your attitude is due in part to involving yourself with different people? Or do you think it was your enlightened attitude that led you to seek out such involvement? Or maybe it’s simply experience? For myself, I think I’ve become more patient as I’ve got older (although my girlfriend might disagree! :D) At least, I’ve become more understanding. You don’t need to worry that anything you’ve written is “insensitive”. You’ve written with great courtesy and I appreciate that. I’ve never been upset by anything you’ve said – just glad that you’ve explained your view clearly, and stimulated to respond to what you’ve said.

    I don’t want to get out of my depth in theological discussion, but, regarding the Fall, there are a number of things I want to say. Firstly, I can’t accept the idea that pretty much the same minute God put Adam and Eve on the Earth in a ‘perfect world’, he allowed it to fall apart and be destroyed. What was the point? Why create people that are ‘imperfect’ – ie liable to sin. What was the purpose of that? Could he not have created the human race in some perfect Eden where they lived happily ever after, so to speak. Now I know you’ll say that it was EVE who introduced all the horror in the world by biting the apple, but I don’t believe that either. Why? Because it smacks of the views of a male-orientated society in a time when men generally had all the power and women were considered inferior. How convenient then that it should be a WOMAN who messes things up! And it’s not even true to life. As a teacher, in general, the child who disobeys me and touches something that the class have been told not to touch is a BOY. I don’t mean to say that all boys and men are bad – of course not. But i do think men and women are different, and, if we’re talking about misbehaviour, then it’s more likely that the ‘sinner’ will be MALE. So, for me, the story of Eve is just an enforcement of misogynistic views – a ‘reason’ to treat women less well than men. I don’t blame the writers of the Bible. They were of their time and their views was reflected in many other societies. Women are badly represented in many religions – weak, inferior etc – and that was part of the reason why I personally realised that the Bible was not the word of any god, just an expression of the views of MEN. I’m no feminist and I disagree with some things feminists say, particularly the agressive ones, and I feel that they sometimes try to ape men rather than emphasise that we’re different but equal, but I do think it’s fair comment to say that men have held the cards throughout much of history, and the Bible is just one of many examples of this. None of that is meant to be disrespectful to your belief in the Bible.

    I’d also add that the whole Fall and Second Coming issue confuses me because it doesn’t seem logical. If god foretold the final fall of the human race leading to the return of Jesus (as in Revelation), then he pretty much set us up to fail, didn’t he? At some point in the future we’re all going to ‘go bad’. If the Bible’s literally true, there’s nothing we can do to avoid that. I suppose you’ll say that we PERSONALLY can because we can ensure we’re one of the chosen ones, but then, if we ALL became ‘perfect’ none of the end of the world stuff in Revelation would happen, would it? I hope those comments made sense. I know what I want to say, I just found my ideas hard to put into words. Time for lunch! :D

  310. Hank – thank you for your kind post. I look forward to your further comments.

    Iris – thank you for these further comments. Where to start?

    About the BCP, I have no doubt that the writers were affected by societal norms as are we all. Personally, I love the service, which we had at our wedding! Comparing the marriage union with that between Christ and the Church is perfectly sound e.g. husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, etc. (Ephesians 5) or the picture of the marriage supper of the lamb when Christ returns in Revelation 19. The OT equivalent was Yahweh and Israel, e.g. we see the prophet Hosea chasing after his adulterous wife just as God did with his people. My favourite though is the Song of Solomon, which is a beautiful love story between a man and a woman, which many see as symbolic of Christ and the Church.

    I’m glad you brought up the subject of marriage and children again. I wanted to say first that I agree with your previous point about what makes for happy, well adjusted children. I think the breakdown of the family, with so many marriages ending in divorce etc. is a big contributor. I would define marriage as the union of a man and a woman (usually one of each and as a life-time commitment). Up to recently, this is the definition that has been accepted in most societies, and for over 4000 years, including by many non-Christians, and that strong marriage (so defined) generally contribute to strong societies and is the best setting for bringing up children. Sadly, we are reaping the effect of marriage breakdown. At least that is what I have been led to believe.

    So where do gay couples come into this? My view is that if we are going to have gay marriage then it can’t be according to the above definition and I would find difficulty in seeing it as being equal either because of my previously stated views. But I do believe there is a strong case for recognising gay unions. The safeguarding of legal rights (mentioned in an earlier post) is one reason (and, incidentally, also might apply to two people living together but not sexually e.g. siblings and friends). There may be other reasons which I believe you would want to champion e.g. a means for two people, albeit of the same sex, of showing their love and commitment to each other. I’m sure that will be an ongoing issue that none of us can avoid. As for the bringing up of children, I do see a case for gay adoption but the argument must centre round what is best for the children rather than the rights of the prospective adoptive parents. Having argued this, and putting to one side for the time being my own qualms, in principle these should be allowed to adopt. I base that view on evidence that gay couples can make great parents and in your case Iris, while we have not discussed this, and from what I can make out, you would make a great mum.

    Two examples of why this matter is likely not to go away include the recent Californian Proposition 8 ruling and the recent Charity Commission decision that concerns a Leeds based Catholic Adoption agency. Two links, which also reflect my views on these subjects, are:
    http://www.torenewamerica.com/jim-garlow-on-the-prop-8-ruling
    http://www.ccfon.org/view.php?id=1158

    Back to the subject of the Fall, while it was true the woman that disobeyed first (and interestingly St. Paul later develops that point), I don’t see the Bible teaching male supremacy. I love the comment by Matthew Henry (quoted in an earlier post): “Eve was not taken out of Adam’s head to top him, neither out of his feet to be trampled on by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected by him, and near his heart to be loved by him.” I would argue Christians down the century have done more than many to empower woman, although it doesn’t always seem that way. By the way, and you may not like me for saying this, but in principle I believe the priesthood or equivalent should be for men, and I would argue on biblical grounds.

    As for my community involvement, it began 10 years ago, while having my own IT business. I had then (and still) lots of concerns about helping people with mental health issues and helped found a charity. One of the key factors was partnership working and the rest is history. I have learnt so much and am still learning. When I organise diversity events I take a twisted delight in putting the LBGT and Muslim stalls next to each other and can do so because both are my friends. While my fundamental beliefs e.g. the nature of God, the Gospel etc. have not changed radically and are based on the ancient creeds, the application of those beliefs has, because I have had to step outside of my comfort zone. It seems ironic than a fundamentalist Christian (me) should be organising diversity events and be a member of our local partnership equalities board!

    Re. understanding God and his ways, I gave up long ago and accept God knows best. One day I will understand but in the meantime I have faith and follow as an “unprofitable servant”. That’s it for now. Thanks again Iris for being a delightful correspondent. Until next time – best wishes :-)

  311. *Warning, John. I’ve re-read these posts and my hurt might come across as complaining at you – I am NOT. I genuinely mean what I’ve said about you being intelligent and open-minded, and below some of what I write is venting my anger at particular organisations NOT, NOT at you as a person or at Christianity itself. I’ve just inserted this extra bit at the beginning of my first post because I want you to know that I’m not attacking you.

    OK, John…. Please take this in the spirit it’s written. Any anger you might see is NOT directed at you, only some of the ‘experts’ whose view have enraged me. I left it a while to calm down, and I always try to write politely but I anticipate some of my anger coming through here. Please don’t take that as an attack on you – it’s most definitely NOT.

    The site Pure Intimacy contains information from the notorious Jeffrey Satinover (oh, how I wish Will or someone was here to succinctly show how wrong that man is!). What he is saying is totally without foundation. I know Hank has mentioned similar ideas to those on that site regarding the ‘development’ of homosexuality (there’s no such thing)and I think that Satinover’s views are widely read and quoted by certain groups of Christians, not out of malice but because they’re trusting and have been misled. There is NO,let me repeat that – NO – evidence that the lack of a good relationship with one’s father causes homosexuality. That was shown to be rubbish years ago. It’s the kind of thing I might read in old novels when people didn’t know any better, but now we do. Gay men have no worse a relationship with their fathers than straight men. Fact. It is a pathetic attempt to find a reason to portray homosexuality as a disorder, and it’s demonstrably WRONG.

    I despise Focus on the Family, which I understand has connections with Pure Intimacy because I consider them to be very close to a hate group. I care about children and families too. I spend my life working with children and families in my teaching work and in the work I do with adults with severe needs. Focus on the Family, in my opinion, don’t care as much as decent people about famioies as they do about furthering their own agenda, which is, in my opinion, a very WARPED kind of Christianity. People like these (and no, I DON’T mean members of Focus on the Family necessarily – people LIKE them) are the same ‘christians’ who visited Uganda to encourage people there to bring in that disgusting Bill regarding gay people – executing them, locking up people who didn’t report them etc etc. An absolutely EVIL Bill.

    On to other less contentious matters on that site eg that marriage needs two sexes because it needs two DIFFERENT people else what’s the point. One’s gender is only ONE part of a human being. Just because someone’s the same sex doesn’t mean that they aren’t very different people. Same sex couples can complement each other in EXACTLY the same way as an opposite sex couple.

  312. Part 2:
    Regarding True Freedom Trust – I’d never heard of that site before so wanted to read through it. My first thought is that it’s all so UNNECESSARY. If you love someone of the same sex you must force yourself to resist them, never touch them, never love them? Blondie expressed the feelings that that engenders very well above. I’m very, very loathe to introduce any personal level here, John, but forgive me because I feel I need to a little to try to demonstrate how that makes me feel. No offence, no intrusion into your relationship is meant. Imagine how you’d feel if a someone labelled your love for your wife as wrong? I’m trying to think of a ‘neutral’ reason to write here – wrong because she has blonde hair, say. This person tells you men should only love women with brunette hair and thus your love is wrong. You are upset and taken aback because you know your love is beautiful, life-enhancing, wonderful, so you query this person who judges it wrong, but they defend their view by saying that they could never love a blonde woman, and, more than that, they’d spoken to a number of friends who agreed that they too could never love a blonde. Therefore, they say, you must have something wrong with you – you must because all these other people don’t see the attraction of the blonde, so you are in a minority ie not normal. They say you must give up on your wife. It’s a bad path and you mustn’t go down it. But I love her, you say, and you try to explain. They say that your explanation is proof that you’ve been tempted by evil blonde love, and you must repent because your love – the love that you KNOW is precious and wonderful – is not as good as everyone else’s love. It’s not real, it’s bad, it’s not normal. Can you see how upsetting it must be for LGBT people in a normal, loving relationship to get that thrown at them? Really think about it. Your normal, lovely relationship is portrayed as wrong. I can’t describe to you how sickened it makes me feel to read such comments about gay relationships. It is absolutely hateful.

    TFT seems less rabid than Pure Intimacy from what I’ve seen, but it still contains incorrect statements eg

    “The causes of homosexuality in women are similar to the causes for men, although some women struggle more with emotional dependency than erotic desires.”

    Er, no! :D How very presumptious and very male. Of course, women don’t have erotic desires, do they? They must just lie back and think of England. Rubbish. I very much have ‘erotic desires’ to use their phrase. I love my girlfriend and I’d say that we have an emotional link (quite obviously it’s not just a physical attraction) but I’m not emotionally dependent on her nor her on me. That’s just wrong, and hints at that ‘must have had some problems with their relationships with people of their own gender’ rubbish. People are gay because they’re born gay, just like people are born straight. I wasn’t aware of anything sexual at all until after puberty but looking back now I can see for sure that my attraction to other girls was there all along. People shouldn’t pathologise something that’s a normal variation. If a person’s attracted to someone of the same sex then they’re gay or bisexual. That’s fine. There’s nothing to resist. LGBT people don’t do special ‘bad’ things in the privacy of their bedrooms, they do a selection of the same things straight people do.

    I honestly don’t get this absolute obsession with gay sex that some Christians have. I don’t spend my life pondering what straight people do or don’t do in bed, so why the obsession with gay people? That’s what I don’t get. If you’re a gay Christian and you choose not to sleep with someone of the same sex that’s fine, but stop transferring your desire into a homophobic obsession with other people’s sex lives. That comment is NOT aimed at you, John. I mean look at this:

    “Are Civil Partnerships ok if the couple does not have genital contact?”

    What?! Come on! Apart from the fact that the mind boggles about what might constitute genital contact, it’s just so..unnecessary. Does the Church poke its nose into straight people’s sex lives? Are there rules about ‘correct’ sexual contact??

    But what I object to on that page most is the interference. The term ‘Civil Partnership’ was chosen PURPOSELY so as to not offend Christians. In my opinion that was utterly wrong because CIVIL marriage is none of their business. We don’t have a separate term for the union of a divorcee simply because Christians see their remarriage as adultery. Yet that sop didn’t even work, I’ll own up, John. I get emails from a wide variety of fundie ‘christian’ organisations (so I can keep up to date on what they’re claiming) and all I see is them ranting on about “gay ‘marriage’ ” or not being able to perform “gay ‘marriage’ ” (and, yes, they always write it in that patronising way) so the sop or the respect, if you will, that was given to the Church by avoiding the name ‘marriage’ for gay unions was an utter waste of time. Some churches will complain and fuss even so.

    Sorry, John! That was a rant and a half! But all the frustration just spilled out of me. I find it SO depressing to see that kind of thing. I can see why you feel that those sites represent your view because you believe that the Bible implies marriage can only be between a man and a woman, but, please don’t let yourself be dragged into the American-style right wing fundamentalist ‘christianity’ which is a long way from many people’s idea of Christianity. HANK – that is NOT a slight on you as an American. We’ve discussed this before and I know you have your own views and I’m not lumping you in with those people as I think you think for yourself.

  313. John, thank you for Comment 311. I again sincerely hope you’re not offended with the content of my last two posts. I’m going to have a wind-down now :D I do get quite emotional at the thought that my love isn’t right, isn’t good enough. But I would do the same if I felt another group of which I wasn’t a part was being unfairly treated. I have a very strong sense of justice, of fairness and equality. My work as a teacher pays far better than my work with the challenging adults (minimum wage job, that is) but I do it because I dislike the way some people treat the disabled as ‘less than human’ (a fact that I think is reflected in the poor pay – it’s not an easy job). I feel very strongly about equality in so many areas, and, yes, sometimes I get so involved I get a bit emotional, so do forgive me.

    Now for a quite sit-down and a cup of tea :D Enjoy your weekend if I don’t get to post until Monday. You make me think and I enjoy our ‘chats’ :)

  314. Thanks Iris. Feel free to rant (and again no offence taken) – if it helps you feel better girl then I am glad to be of service :-) I will look at your comments over the weekend and revisit those two websites. If (as I hope) I can say something helpful after that I will (but not just for the sake of it).

    One thing I have discovered since visiting this forum is that when someone suggests that one’s love for one’s partner is in any way wrong then they will often take offence and react. Naturally, I feel bad if that’s how what I say is taken, even though I know I can’t hide what I believe to be true, especially when there is real love there such as I sense you have for your girl friend.

    Seriously, I feel it is a privilege that you can share with me in the way you do. While I can see fundamental areas of difference there clearly is also a lot we agree with too. I admire your work with the disabled. A significant number of the people I work with are at the bottom of society’s heap and many have a disability e.g. mental ill-health.

    Despite the impression some Christians might give, reaching out with compassion to vulnerable people is what our priority ought to be because first and foremost it was Jesus’ priority. Hope you enjoyed your cup of tea (we did) – enjoy your weekend too :-)

  315. Iris – this post will focus on the two websites your earlier post discussed. My biggest worry when pointing you to these was that the approach adopted did seem a little condescending and patronising and would ignore some of the relevant points raised by you and others in these forums and as a result could inflame rather than enlighten. I did not see either as being hate motivated or homophobic, which I understand is all to do with antipathy, contempt, prejudice, aversion, dislike, fear toward homosexuals. One day, informed partly by our discussions, I might produce something that tries to address and inform and would sympathetically address the concerns of Christians and of the “gay community” – perhaps an impossible undertaking.

    I came across Focus on the Family some years ago and in the main admire their attempts to support an institution that is increasingly coming under attack and being undermined. I honestly don’t see hatred there. I believe they were among the earliest of the fundamentalist wing of US Christians to see the need for protecting the legal rights of gay persons and they have also been instrumental in lobbying some of the African states NOT to pass their draconian laws affecting gay persons. It would be wrong to paint fundamentalist Christians with the same brush. If you define a fundamentalist as one who strictly interprets his/her religion text, then you will have to include me. I still listen to FOF broadcasts and usually find these to be helpful. I am particularly interested in listening to those that pertain to the “culture wars” although my family might suggest those to with becoming a better dad, husband etc. might be more appropriate. I do feel the abortion issue is particularly pertinent. FOF has done more than most to support the cause of the unborn child – something I feel passionate about. Discovering the Pure Intimacy website later followed but this was more as a resource for supporting those with a pornography addiction, which in my view is just as rife and devastating as that to do with drugs, alcohol and gambling. I generally find FOF produce resources with a degree of integrity and fairness. I was disturbed therefore to note that their arguments as to why some people are gay might include those that are now refuted (please point me to any resource that could help) and I am inclined to take this up. I do happen to believe they are sincere in wanting to support the family and many have testified (including me) to this happening. Of course they have an agenda (don’t we all?) but part of this is to counter some of the harmful effects of the culture they (and I) see as an attack on the family.

    As for True Freedom Trust, I came across them a few years back. I was keen to identify resources that might help gay persons or those struggling with their sexuality, particularly if there were also mental health issues. Of course there are a variety of helps out there, including counselling and my own project, which was based around therapeutic gardening. But when it came to addressing “gay issues” the only resources people knew about where those run by gay persons e.g. our local LBGT switchboard. Given my own views, which at the time were more extreme than they are now, I wanted to identify alternatives and TFT was one such. Not only are they orthodox Christians but a number had been practising homosexuals and could be expected to be more empathetic. I am not a counsellor but I do try to give impartial advice – sign-posting when the need arises. Not that the matter arises often but when confronted with gay persons needing help, I try to help if I can and as appropriate refer on to others better equipped than me. I note your comments about them being less rabid than others but also some of the points they have made that you felt were not quite right. Clearly, I need to do more reading in order to come to a view!

    Iris, I am sure there is a lot more that can be said, but having a spare half hour (actually that isn’t quite true – I have a tedious paper I should be preparing, but I am enjoying our discourse), I decided to write. I look forward to reading your next post before responding further :-)

  316. (PART 1) Iris – I hope this doesn’t appear as I am bombarding you but I wanted to pick up on some comments you made in 313 e.g. “If you love someone of the same sex you must force yourself to resist them, never touch them, never love them” and “Can you see how upsetting it must be for LGBT people in a normal, loving relationship to get that thrown at them?” I felt I may not have dealt with these to your satisfaction although, given my beliefs, I realise it may not be possible. While I can’t say I know how you feel, but I know I would be most hurt if people cast doubt or dispersions on the legitimacy of my love for and relationship with my wife.

    Without wanting particularly to go over old ground, let me recap first what I believe to be the position that many (but not all) Christians hold: “our understanding of marriage, derived from divine and natural law, is it is or should be the lifelong, exclusive, physical, emotional and social union between two persons of the opposite sex, and it is the only union of its ilk that has been ordained by God, and therefore to be accepted and encouraged, which he did for the good of humankind and their offspring.” These are my admitedly my attempt at finding suitable words and, in coming up with these, I realise how difficult it is to articulate something that covers all the main points.

    I realise that many gay persons would find such a proposition unacceptable, including for reasons you have given. I also realise we live these days in a paradigm that is anything but Christian and, as much as one might want to do so, Christian values cannot be imposed on the wider society. Also, some (maybe many) Christians, in their dealings with gay persons, have been unfair, unkind, unwise, untrue and un(in)sensitive. Yet, knowing many Christians as I do, the thing that matters most to them is being true to their conscience, which not only causes them to champion the cause of the poor but also to express opinions that challenge those of the prevailing culture, even should they suffer as a result. The content of this particular thread, and there have been several others, illustrates my point.

    I feel sure that most Christians will realise that very close relationships (although not actively sexual) between members of the same sex is consistent with the above proposition. An example of this is the Bible story of David and Jonathan. Soon after they first met, we read: “And it came to pass, when he (David) had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul” (1Samuel 18v1). When David learnt that his friend had been killed in battle he said: “I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan: very pleasant hast thou been unto me: thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (2Samuel 1v26). These are perhaps two of the most beautiful verses in the Bible. Some commentators believe their relationship was a homosexual one. I don’t accept such an interpretation but, even so, believe it was of the most pure, intimate and tender examples of love between members of the same sex that we have.

  317. (PART 2) I do feel that Christians often do have difficulty coming to terms and dealing with gay couples in a compassionate and understanding way, which bothers me. It is btw one reason I have been so grateful that you have laid bare your heart and, hopefully, it will reap dividends in the future.

    I have just stumbled across a video of how a devout Mormon couple dealt with the fact that some of their children were gay, and I have found this helpful in that regard:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PyRAueeJNIY&feature=related
    I found the presentation to be very touching and inspirational. (I was wondering how you might react – it is certainly a lot more sympathetic than a lot of the “Christian stuff” you have seen?) This is in fact part of a series. Other videos in that series are also most helpful. While I don’t regard Mormons as orthodox Christian, I would imagine that most Mormon’s would subscribe to the above proposition (they were after all one of the key activists behind “Proposition 8″).

    Finally, and I hope it won’t appear to be boasting here, I would like to point you to a short slideshow of the last big diversity event that I organised:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AGJDtKeaGWE&feature=fvsr
    Getting members of the disparate groups that make up our diverse community to understand and accept each other and work together for the common good, remains one of main objectives.

  318. John, firstly many apologies for not getting back to you quicker. Illness at work meant I had to cover two nights aswell as my own shifts. Feeling very frazzled now as I’m off on holiday soon and have got to sort all that out and pack – I HATE packing!

    So, excuse the rushedness of this and the note-like incomplete sentences. I’m not being rude or terse, just rushing! :D

    Let me deal with the earlier points first:

    Let me reassure you that as much as I disliked those two sites, what YOU say doesn’t offend me :) I may disagree but I’m not offended because you express yourself courteously and with thought.

    1) Focus on the Family is a far right group. No time to post more info here for you now, but my girlfriend is a US citizen and is familar with their fake polite nastiness. The word ‘family’ in the US has a completely different meaning than here. I didn’t get it at first and my girlfriend had to explain why she disliked it so much because I was bemused. It’s frequently a cover for homophobia.

    2) I’m happy that your own wedding brought you so much pleasure and that you could have it just as you chose. What would you think if someone like atheists or a different religion tried to interfere and stop you having your wedding as you chose?

    3) Do you agree that other people’s non-religious weddings do you no harm? If LGBT people were allowed to marry in a CIVIL wedding, you would still be entitled to your beliefs (that their marriage was wrong) so what would be the problem? (I mean that in a polite way)

    4) I wasn’t a fan of religin even when I was a Christian so the idea of religious marriage being like the union of Jesus and the Church, seems merely that relgion’s interpretation and not a ‘Jesus’ thing, if you get what I mean. They can SAY that, but it doesn’t make it true. I could equally say that the union of Jesus and Church showed a good example for GAY weddings because I see the Church as male – male in the way it holds authority, male in most of its members.

    5) I personally believe that the cult of Jesus (I don’t mean that in a derogatory way) has been taken over by the Church who’ve added to and altered things according to their wishes not His. As you know, other Christian sects have different rules eg bad to play music unless glorifying God, and each one makes up it’s own additions to suit itself.

    6) Thank you for that Mormon video. I’ve bookmarked it to watch when I’m able as it’s long.

    7) Ah, David and Jonathan :D I DO think they could have been gay. Weirdly, I thought that when I didn’t even know the word ‘gay’ when I read their story in my Children’s Bible. I accepted that they loved each other and it didn’t seem any different to me than the love between other couples in the Bible. Yes, I initially thought it was strange they were both men and I remember re-reading it tow or three times to make sure I hadn’t misunderstood. I HONESTLY believe that Jesus had no problem with same sex relationships. No time to expand here, but I will do later, if you like.

    8) Hey, it’s not boasting :D I enjoyed watching the video about your work and I think that tolerance and co-operation between people from different groups is definitely a good thing. It creates understand and people see that even though we’re different, we have many things in common too.

    You said: “Christian values cannot be imposed on the wider society. Also, some (maybe many) Christians, in their dealings with gay persons, have been unfair, unkind, unwise, untrue and un(in)sensitive. Yet, knowing many Christians as I do, the thing that matters most to them is being true to their conscience,”

    A very nice and frank thing to say, John. You might have traditional beliefs but you’re very different from many ‘christians’ who’ve posted on Pink News. You’re gracious and have a more open mind. Let me reassure you that I certainly don’t wish to attack Christian beliefs or stop you being true to yourself. Bear in mind that when gay marriage happens, you will still be entitled to disapprove, you won’t have to change your beliefs – they will be safe. You, I presume, disapprove of divorce? But divorce is still allowed and that hasn’t affected your beliefs – gay marriage (CIVIL marriage) would be the same. :)

    Once again – excuse the haste. I probably won’t be able to access the internet for a couple of weeks (maybe to read, but not to write) but I’ll certainly check back here as soon as I can and reply to anything you post.

  319. Iris – thank you for this response, which once again I have found refreshing. I have noted your points here (along with those in your earlier posts) and these have certainly made a positive impact on and informed my thinking. I didn’t expect when we begun this exchange that it would go on for as long as it did.

    I might be wrong but I think this thread may have about reached it’s natural end, although please do feel to come back to me on anything. I hope our paths will cross again, even if only in cyberspace (I can also be contacted via the CinH website).

    Given the relevance of and my interest in some of the topics raised, I will follow developments with interest, although I may have to think twice, given the strength of feeling and fragility of some of the visitors, before posting on this website.

    It seems amazing to think that in my lifetime we have come from a position when openly gay people could be imprisoned and their mistreatment was far from being exceptional to where we seem now to be heading – full equality in all aspects.

    We both have strong views of course and haven’t been shy in expressing them. Sometimes these differ significantly but at least we have been open and honest, as well as respectful, for which I have been very grateful.

    What has become obvious is that these issues won’t go away and my own natural constituency cannot be like ostriches who bury their heads in the sand and they need to think deeply and do some serious heart searching as to how these are to be best addressed.

    I hope you have a happy and productive life and, more immediately, notwithstanding the challenge of packing, a great holiday!

  320. “although I may have to think twice, given the strength of feeling and fragility of some of the visitors, before posting on this website.”

    I’d love for you to continue to post, John. Do understand that some people are naturally suspicious because of unpleasant posters and are anticipating an ‘attack’ from you. Your courtesy and willingness to listen will show through, I hope.

    Packing’s finished. All ready now (I hope!) Best wishes to you too, John, and good luck with your diversity work. I’ve genuinely enjoyed chatting to you :) Thank you.

  321. You said:”..although I may have to think twice, given the strength of feeling and fragility of some of the visitors, before posting on this website.”

    I’d love for you to continue to post, John. Do understand that some people are naturally suspicious because of unpleasant posters and are anticipating an ‘attack’ from you. Your courtesy and willingness to listen will show through, I hope.

    Packing’s finished. All ready now (I hope!) Best wishes to you too, John, and good luck with your diversity work. I’ve genuinely enjoyed chatting to you :) Thank you.

  322. Peter Glasby 28 Aug 2010, 12:10am

    the girl has every right to express her views and beliefs. i am a christian and i strongly believe that homosexuality is wrong, and an abomination to God’s plan, just like lying, killing, and every other sin. why do i believe this?…because God says so in the bible. it doesnt mean that i would dislike someone for being gay. i just believe that it is wrong to carry out homosexual acts. you wont get expelled if you say you think it’s wrong to be a terrorist…thats a lifestyle choice. so why should she not be allowed to believe what her faith teaches. also just want to make it clear that the bible teaches that the ‘act’ of homosexuality is a sin, that covers anything sexual and kissing etc. if you think you are attracted to a man, you’re not doing anything wrong. just dont dwell on the thought and let it lead you astray.

  323. Peter Glasby 28 Aug 2010, 12:39am

    heres something to think about; is homosexuality natural? or is it a way of seeking attention or trying to be different? if it’s ok to be gay, then that means everyone in the world can be gay if they want, and if they were then how would we reproduce? how would we have children? think about it.

  324. @Peter Glasby . . . Really !!!

  325. I doubt this will be seen considering how late this reply is but I feel I should still say. I apologise for not replying since then, that last week of August I had some very important uni exams and this conversation, because of how interesting it was, was more than enough to distract me. My intentions was to continue after that week but with my life being hectic (I was moving back into uni and into a new flat) and with the great deal I had missed, I felt a bit over-whelmed.

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