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Comment: What shall we say to the homophobic preacher?

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  1. We need to defend ourselves. Why worry about our “religious allies” when they are VASTLY outnumbered and completely unwilling to challenge our religious enemies?

    in fact, an awful lot of our “religious allies” are extremely quick to defend our enemies and make excuses for them

    1. Christians who support same sex marriage are a fast growing minority. In many churches we are a majority. There is dialogue and debate going on. Have you seen the changes starting in the Church of England and the Church of Scotland?

  2. I’ve a feeling that this won’t be popular… but…

    I don’t really see all that much difference between this kind of atheist evangelism and the nice old couple who come and knock on my door every weekend (only to be politely turned away).

    It’s possible to fight religious homophobia without fighting religion, and while I also think religions are laughable nonsense, I also believe people have every right to believe laughable nonsense in peace as long as it doesn’t harm others.

    The victim mentality of many of the religious homophobes is fuelled by this kind of intellectual smugness.

    My answer to Christian homophobes is “by their fruit you will know them”. A bad tree can’t produce good fruit and a good tree can’t produce bad fruit… I can name a ton of ‘bad fruit’ that results from homophobia, and tons of ‘good fruit’ that comes from accepting and loving gay people… I’ve never heard anyone come up with one tangible bad result of accepting homosexuality.

    1. Jock S. Trap 30 Jul 2013, 2:34pm

      “I don’t really see all that much difference between this kind of atheist evangelism and the nice old couple who come and knock on my door every weekend (only to be politely turned away).”

      Er… well for a start no-one is bothering you to read this. It is Your choice. Mr Tippets is not knocking on your door.

      If I don’t want it I don’t read it.

      I certainly don’t appreicate the god-bothers at my door trying to force their religion on me. I don’t need to be prayed for so they should stop preying on us!

    2. I’ve never heard anyone come up with one tangible bad result of accepting homosexuality.
      ———–

      What do you mean by “accepting homosexuality”. Do you mean treating gay people with decency, as full members of society, as they should be – OR – do you mean pretending that homosexuality is the same as heterosexuality?

      The first of these is good, the 2nd bad.

      The 2nd confuses people and denigrates our understanding of our bodies.

      Example – you often hear peopel talk abouit “gay sex”. But, in fact, what gay people do together is NOT sex.

      Sex is when two partners combine their sexual organs. Gay people are unable to do this, because their bodies are not physically compatible, because they are somehow attracted to the “wrong” gender.

      And yet people talk of “gay sex”. Its NOT sex. Just one small example of how unthinking tolerance can lead to ignorance and confusion.

      1. John in Toronto Canada 30 Jul 2013, 4:25pm

        GAT huh? Are you certain “GIT” wouldn’t be more appropriate?

      2. Very narrow definition of sex, I assume you are one of these Christians that take all their definitions in life from the Bible.
        Is heterosexual oral/anal sex, sex? Does sex always involve penetration, ejaculation or even orgasm? Does it always involve procreation? etc.

  3. Liberty Church Blackpool 30 Jul 2013, 2:25pm

    Adrian, Look out for Big Jesus at Liverpool or Manchester Pride, it might be just the answer you’re looking for.
    Photos on website
    Liberty church Blackpool
    @libertychurchbp

    1. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 3:21pm

      Don’t know why anyone marked you down – guess it was that troll GAT.

      I’ve thumbed up for your “inclusive” church. :)

      1. I agree. But my post has attracted the trolls from the Twitter woodwork.
        I hope Liberty Church has a fantastic pride – I can’t be there alas, otherwise I’d have happily popped over. The Big Jesus is impressive – reminds me of the giants processions in Flanders. Happy memories… x

  4. Jock S. Trap 30 Jul 2013, 2:36pm

    “What shall we say to the homophobic preacher?”

    Well, two words usually… the second being off but then I don’t tend to waste my breath on them.

    Oh I think I am polite in letting them chose the first word.

  5. Unfortunately, the Catholic oipinion of homosexuality is 100% accurate, being (as it is) derived from an understanding oh human biology.

    Catholicism has never said that gay people are evil or 2nd class, that would be absurd.

    I can appreciate why gay people might resent the Catholic opinon, but its the inescapable truth, and we ultimately have to accept the truth.

    For one thing, it is difficult to take anyone seriously, who doesnt even have the intellectual crediblity to accept what their body says about their sexuality. Every human body proclaims heterosexuality in its form and functions.

    The massive HIV proliferation amongst gay men is a direct result of the disordered nature of homosexual acts.

    This is a serious issue and hysterically denying biological science is making the task of addressing it so much harder

    1. Science Rules 30 Jul 2013, 2:50pm

      I love it when people try to be credible and fail miserably. Please prove to me that nature abhors homosexuality. I can prove the exact opposite by telling you to go look at the sexual behaviour Japanese Macaques.

      1. Hi there

        I made no claim that nature abhors homsoexuality, so have no particular inclination to support or defend that view.

        Rather, I said that biological science – how our bodies work – clearly demonstrates why homosexuality is disordered.

        This is the truth. You can prefer lies, if you want – but you have no right to use the title “science rules” when you lack the integrity to accept even high-school level biology.

        It really is much better to become comfortable with yourself and the world and stop fighting reality.

        1. Go get your self an education from someplace other than the Roman catholic catacism, then you might be able to do something other than spout nonsense!
          Bye now.

        2. “It really is much better to become comfortable with yourself and the world and stop fighting reality.”

          Take your own advice, mate.

          The hypocracy and irony that pours out of these religious nutters never fails to amaze me.

        3. There is no point in trying to have a reasonable logical discussion with this troll as he has already declared the “truth”. If you begin with such premise, all you are trying to do is to impose your narrow view of reality.
          He needs to go back to high-school, if not to primary school, to learn basic science.

    2. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 2:55pm

      The first of the religious liars and haters has arrived.

      There is no point in engaging with fundamentalists and haters.

      I will just point out that 28 million people in sub-Saharan Africa are HIV positive, and the vast majority of them are heterosexual. Most of them could have been saved if the last few Popes hadn’t spoken against condoms, and for those that die their deaths are upon the Catholic church.

      1. Your reply saddens me Guilliver.

        Like others, you attempt to fight reality because you are not big enough to accept the reality of your sexuality.

        How can anyone defend a practice which has put us on the road to the majority of men who indulge in it having incurable disease and requiring daily medication just to stay alive?

        Anyone who is familiar with Africa knows that Catholics are only 15% of the African population and the people with HIV are overwhelmingly non-Catholic.

        Moreover, expert public health opinion agrees with the Catholic Church that responsible sexual behaviour, not condoms, are the answer to stop HIV spreading.

        Gay men in western cities now have WORSE HIV rates than the worst hit parts of Africa. Is that the Catholic Churchs fault too?

        And western gay men have easy access to condoms – even for free – so why are they not working Gulliver?

        Your reply is pure escapism, it is sad to see someone resort to such nonsense because they cant face reality.

        1. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 3:32pm

          Just ignore this tit, thumb them down, and move on. Nothing to see here.

    3. The commentator shows an appalling ignorance of the breadth of opinions that exist in the world of religion on a number of issues, including sexuality and gender identity. It is obvious from his suggested book list where he has incubated such adolescent notions on religion.

      Yes, of course, there are outrageous, extremist and violent viewpoints chez certain religious zealots. Get over it. You will find the same in most other areas of thought, including your most beloved anti-religion ideologues.

      You will also find among many religious people a full-bodied commitment and genuine hospitality to all people, regardless of their differences to the ‘norm.’ In fact, you will find them in great numbers, if you would care to look.

    4. For one thing, it is difficult to take anyone seriously, who doesn’t even have the intellectual crediblity to accept what their body says about their sexuality.

      You mean like a man getting an erection at the sight of another man? Yes, it’s hard to understand what intellectual “credibility” anyone who denies that would have.

    5. Homosexuality cannot be defined by sex acts, insofar as:
      a) the vast majority of people engaging in anal sex are straight
      b) between a quarter and a third of gay men don’t have or desire anal sex

      Yes, of course anal sex is a risky practice, that’s medically established it’s daft to claim otherwise. Yes, HIV statistics among gay men in big Western cities are shocking and concerning. And yes, that’s because of the numbers of gay men in these cities engaging in unsafe sex and in particular the minority who are hyper-promiscuous. (This again comes down evolutionary biology – whereas women are “programmed” to be highly selective in terms of mates, men are “programmed” to “spread the seed” as much as possible to increase the chance of successfully passing on their genetic legacy.)

      (cont.)

    6. “I can appreciate why gay people might resent the Catholic opinon, but its the inescapable truth, and we ultimately have to accept the truth.”

      Just as the sun orbiting around the earth was once inescapable truth, and for centuries. There are many other similar absurdities of belief.

    7. (continued)

      By and large, out gay men who are secure in themselves, confident in their identity and comfortable with their sexuality aren’t the ones engaging in promiscuous unsafe sex or spreading STDs. A lot of the AIDS problem is down to MSM – closeted, often self-hating “men who have sex with men” but who don’t identify as gay. Their disregard for their own health and that of others, and their repression of and refusal to acknowledge their sexuality (and thus refusal to take precautions, act responsibly or address any health issues resulting from gay acts) are a result of internalised homophobia brought on by society’s stigmatisation of homosexuality.

    8. “HIV proliferation amongst gay men is a direct result of the disordered nature of homosexual acts.”???? Are HIV infections in the hetero population also a direct result of the disordered nature of their acts?

      “Every human body proclaims heterosexuality in its form and functions.” ???
      Some might think that the human body is also for fun and sharing of intimacy. Or do you consider fun and intimacy to be disorders? No need to answer, your answer is obvious because of your negative and fear-ridden persona.

    9. Your priests F**K kids and you support the organisation that defended them……jog on NONCE

    10. GAT, and herein lies the true evil of your faith; not only must the rest of us be forced to believe it, but also be subjugated by it.

      The true evil of your faith is the harm you would willing do to us in order to “save us.” You would have us live miserable lonely lives without the chance of love from another. Or worse still you would have us lie and enter relationships with members of the opposite sex that would be unhappy and unfruitful – all to appease your faith.

      Not your God, but your faith – not your God, but your Church (which makes all these outlandish statements and decisions). It is to God you should look, not the Catholic Church and it’s doctrines. It is not for Man to know the mind of God, and how strange that those high up in that church feel that they do.

      The metaphorical house that is your church is built upon sand GAT and la

  6. Frank Boulton 30 Jul 2013, 2:50pm

    I thoroughly agree that we should not counter offensiveness with offensiveness of our own. Let the whole world see that we know how to behave with decorum in front of them and their children.

    You certainly can’t convince a fundamentalist but the debate is still worth having for the sake of listeners, who are ready to break away from superstition and embrace rationalism.

    1. This article is about one fundamentalist, the Atheist author, castigating other religious fundamentalists and wrongly believing that his statements also apply to all relgions.

      1. I agree, atheism is the belief that there is no God. It is illogical to claim that you can prove the non existence of a non existent thing. It’s far better to engage with those who condemn us on their terms. The Bible does not condemn loving same sex relationships. By showing them, from Scripture, why they are wrong would be more effective than trying to argue an unprovable philosophical viewpoint.

        1. No, atheism does not state ‘there is no god’. The atheist proposition – which you would have understood if you had read properly – is that there is no REASON TO BELIEVE THERE is a god. I don’t think it is better for society to say that it’s OK to make extraordinary claims based on no evidence. Otherwise, it’s your word versus the fanatic’s. When you can coherently explain why we should revere the Sermon on the Mount more than the book of Leviticus, from a biblical perspective, then we can talk.

  7. The author says

    “They desperately need a link between dysfunction and same-sex parenting to be true, so that the immorality of homosexuality can be true.”

    The immorality of homosexuality is clearly shown via its effects on those who practice it and their societies.

    Recently the US Govt Centre for Disease Control stated that, if current trends continue, over 50% of young gay men (20s) in the USA will have HIV by the tiume they are 50. (This is already the case in San Francisco).

    So we can see that homosexual acts:

    – massively increase the chance of someone catching an incurable, life-threatening disease, as a result of people misusing their bodies. (anal “sex” is more likely to cause STD transmission than is actual sex).

    – harm individuals and society

    Harm resulting from actions which are not necessary, represent a misuse of the body and which have no actual purpose (other than to satisfy the lust of individuals) is clearly immoral.

    1. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 2:56pm

      I think we should just thumbs down and leave it at that.

      1. Quite – I think he’s adequately displayed his “intellectual credibility”, don’t you?

    2. Oh just f\/ck off asshat.

      1. Oh be kind – the poor creature is probably feeling a little bitter since he can only use his mouth for eating (and, no doubt, spitting) and consequently has never even been kissed.

      2. Lol! :D

    3. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jul 2013, 3:11pm

      So by your not so brilliant deduction, the majority of HIV cases reported to the WHO on the African continent are overwhelmingly heterosexual in their transmission. How do you account for that and for which parts of their bodies they misused? Loon!

    4. “So we can see that homosexual acts… massively increase the chance of someone catching an incurable, life-threatening disease”

      Don’t let facts get in your way, GAT. Lesbians are the group least at risk of contracting HIV.

      “Homosexual acts” don’t make you get STDs – unsafe sex does. I do feel sorry for you in your black and white world, where sex is something to fear and anything pleasurable is bad by default. Why not educate yourself – if only about sex!! Your knowledge is shamefully poor.

  8. Robert in S. Kensington 30 Jul 2013, 3:07pm

    There is a very simple way to counter the homophobic street preachers by using the very same book they use in quote taken from Matthew 6:5:

    “And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full.”

  9. Julian Morrison 30 Jul 2013, 3:10pm

    I actually don’t think those arguments are strong. I’d say “your ideas are wildly implausible and you don’t have a shred of evidence for them” is from a Bayes/Occam perspective, utterly damning and quite sufficient.

    1. Tom (Winnipeg) 30 Jul 2013, 5:43pm

      I learned long ago that you cannot argue or reason with religious fundamentalists or other superstitious believers in the book of myths (a.k.a. the bible). So, I don’t bother. Adding more sciences to the school curriculum, as well as comparative religion, mythology, etc. would probably work in the long run. In the short term, I guess creativity with words is the only way. My words can be quite biting and effective.

    2. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Aug 2013, 5:13am

      Too literate for these people.

  10. I would actually count myself as religious, as I believe there (probably) is some form of God, but I agree with 99% of this article, perhaps because my own theological viewpoints are heavily influenced by Deism. A Deist believes that even if (or in fact, especially if) you do believe in God, any text that claims to be the “Word of God” or any event described as a “miracle” should be subject to extraordinarily intense levels of scrutiny so as to avoid falsely attributing such texts to God. One of the most central parts of my faith would be that it is highly arrogant to claim to know the mind of God, to know what God wants, or to claim to know how reality (the universe, the omniverse) actually works, without concrete evidence and without admitting that your (human, fallible) beliefs could be at all mistaken – I fully admit that even my belief in a God could be incorrect, and I would never try to push my beliefs on anyone else… (continued below)

    1. (continued from above)
      I’m equally annoyed whether an over the top religious person or an over the top atheist tries to force their viewpoint on me, or belittle and demean me for not sharing it. I don’t think religious allies will necessarily be offended by such viewpoints, unless they’re the sort of person that absolutely cannot stand that someone has a different opinion to them… but it should be remembered that such arrogance and inability to accept that someone has a different opinion has nothing to do with religion itself, I’ve had just as many atheists try to convert or condemn me as fundies, even if no part of my religious beliefs even come close to “I believe God will condemn you to eternal torture for disagreeing with me”.

      1. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 3:44pm

        60% of Catholics in the US support equal marriage (June 2013), so we’re not talking about them. They don’t try to impose their will on everybody else, otherwise they would have forced equal marriage on to society. We’re talking about homophobic bigots who use religion as a weapon to try to beat other up, make their lives unhappy and take away their freedom and rights. Often that includes the leaders of many denominations, the Catholics, Anglicans, some Muslim groups, some Sikh groups, etc. They want to impose, by using the law, their religious beliefs on everybody else.

        If every group other than the Catholics was pro-choice, and the Catholics tried to impose an abortion ban across the world, against the wishes of every other faith, and everybody who doesn’t believe, would that be fair? That’s what some religious groups do with gay rights, they try to impose their religious beliefs by using secular law. And frankly, most of our equal rights legislation is protecting us from….

      2. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 3:48pm

        …homophobic religious bigots. All the cases where we get refused goods and services are religious bigots. Employment is different, because employers would use any excuse to get rid of someone, so the protection applies more broadly there.

        When it came to equal marriage the only people who opposed it were religious bigots, trying to impose their view, their version, their interpretation of marriage on the whole country, as many of them have consistently done with divorce, etc.

        When it comes to anti-bullying programmes in schools, who opposes it … religious bigots. When it comes to adoption, who opposes it, …religious bigots. When it came to an equal age of consent, who opposes it ….. you guess it, religious bigots, nobody else.

        We are so sick of religion. If it left us alone and didn’t interfere in our lives we wouldn’t give a toss what other people believe, but they don’t, we’re under 24×7 attack — even on flipping Christmas Day the bigots are trying to bullying us.

      3. Thanks Marianne.

        May I add, I make no claim to know how the cosmos started – or rather I claim not to know – nor to know for sure if a deity exists. I doubt the existence of a divine entity. I doubt the claim of the theists that they know which god is responsible. I suspect the claim of the theocrat that they know god’s plan for me. I dispute that to doubt, suspect, or hold people accountable is arrogance. I’d say it’s reasonable! x

  11. “What shall we say to the homophobic preacher?”

    Say, this is civil law, it isn’t their problem as no one religious or not is required to participate against their wishes. If participation is part of their work i.e. registrars they will have to decide whether they want to continue as registrars or not.

  12. Tippets is using homophobia to attack all religion. This, of course, is a logical error. But wait, are not Atheists supposed to be logical above all? This guy should take an undergraduate course or two in logic so that he learns how to actually think instead of merely parroting the misinformed opinions of other Atheists.

    And just to comment on his list of worthies: Sagan was a drug addict. Russel’s work was immature and lazy. The four horsemen and all the others mentioned all rely on the same basic mistakes, namely
    (1) there are no other ways of acquiring knowledge besides the mathematical/logical models; (
    2) sense impressions are subjective not objective so Atheist views are mistaken from the beginning;
    (3) the linear nature of language precludes adequate descriptions of reality (that is why scriptures are written in metaphor, parable, etc.
    (4) their unwillingness to be curious and step outside their comfort zone.

    1. All religion deserves to be attacked. How can you look at the history of humanity and the damage religion has caused at every possible level, and tell people to respect religion? What is there to respect about religion exactly? All I see is catastrophic damage wherever it goes. Look what Islam has done to the middle-east and elsewhere, look what Christianity has done to the sexual and mental health of the west.

      There’s nothing to be respected about Reliigon, and anybody who chooses to join that cult should be shamed. I don’t care if you practice it in your own home by yourself, being nice and praying for an end the poverty. If you join a hateful cult without trying to change their hateful ways you’re even worse than they are; you’re a bystander. It doesn’t matter how nice you are, if you choose to join one of those evil cults I have zero respect for you. You’re just perpetuating the worst thing that ever happened to the world, because you’re scared of death or want to control people.

      1. You are making an elementary mistake of logic to confuse those who misuse religion for their own purposes with religion itself.

        And speaking of a “hateful cult”, there is no cult more negative and hateful than the cult of Atheism.

        1. There is a big difference between believing a higher power created the universe, and organized religion.

          “No cult is more negative than the cult of Atheism” that gave me a good laugh! Atheism isn’t a “cult”, it’s merely refusing to believe in a 2000 year old fairy tale, whatever brand of fairy tale. Atheism doesn’t cause hate or ignorance in itself; it’s the hatred of people who join evil cults like Islam or Christianity that turns people negative and hateful.

          Maybe atheists would be less hateful and negative if you nutters stopped being so hateful and negative, ever thought of that?

          God is dead, let it go.

          Mr. Pink

    2. OK, the monotheist logic course on a nutshell:

      – We don’t know what caused the Big Bang, therefore Jesus is Lord and Saviour.
      – There is doubt about how the Cambrian Explosion happened, therefore God did it!

      To demand good reasons for beliefs, base opinions on evidence is a sign of not thinking properly?! Come now.

      You are right about sense impressions being subjective. What could be more natural than assuming an earthquake is the sign of an angry god, or that the sun revolved around us? I was making that very point, and it is thanks to science that we have come to our sense about this. We have better knowledge than Bronze Age goat herders, I hope you would agree. To say that people who admit they do not have all the answers – as opposed to people who claim to know how the cosmos started, who started it, and what plans the creator has in mind for everyone!!!!- are unwilling to be curious is rather silly, to be polite.

      1. Your misrepresentation of religion is logical error.

        Your adoration of science with its inherent limitations and rejection of all other forms of acquiring wisdom is another logical error.

        1. And your misrepresentation of science and contempt for evidence is a sign of sheer ignorance.

    3. Both Atheists who replied to my post declined to attempt to refute the points raised about the limits and mistakes of Atheism. Instead, they each committed the elementary logical error known as red herring.

      1. Any man who would dismiss Bertrand Russell, and thereby his work, as immature and lazy, or Sagan as a drug addict, is hardly qualified to talk about logic or reason. Ad hominem arguments Peter? Didn’t your oh so impressive logic course cover those?

        Face it mate, religion requires blind faith in place of reasoned deduction in order to exist. It thrives on illogical assumptions, and atheism simply says “that makes no sense so there’s no reason to believe it”. It’s a perfectly logical argument to say that conclusions drawn by inherently illogical means are not reliable, and thus the beliefs of a religion that relies on faith and not logic are not reliable and need be given no weight or authority.

  13. I just laugh in their faces like everyone else does when I see them

    It’s pretty mean, they’re only trying to save our souls from eternal damnation, but they /do/ say some pretty hilarious crap

    Mr. Pink

  14. John in Toronto Canada 30 Jul 2013, 4:31pm

    2nd request: marry me Adrian?

    1. My goodness John, you are persuasive. Is it my blue eyes or something I said? ;-)

      1. I have a feeling it’s that nice photo they use as well as your wise words :)

  15. RJ Abada OFM 30 Jul 2013, 4:39pm

    skepticism is ONE way to respond to a homophobic preacher but it is NOT the ONLY way. there are so many faith-based responses to homophobia such as ‘Love is sacred’ and ‘Love is from God’

  16. A sound, well reasoned article without expressing any of the hate that is levelled at us and I can’t see why a couple of posts on here see fit to suggest that Adrian is just another fundamentalist.

    I do however see why John is Toronto wants to ask Adrian to marry him!

    1. The article is filed with hateful speech and is riddled with logical errors. Of course, if that is how you operate you will view it positively.

  17. Janet Lameck 30 Jul 2013, 6:13pm

    They depend on people stopping to listen to them and any of us that debate with them. TOTALLY IGNORE them and take that away from them.

  18. GulliverUK 30 Jul 2013, 8:45pm

    Janet’s remark about “ignoring” them got me thinking.

    The sort of fundamentalists, the extremist type, you can’t change their mind so it’s a waste of time trying.

    If I met a street-preacher I’d really be trying to prove his religion false, conflicted, not credible, … to any others present. I wouldn’t be trying to get the preacher to change their mind because I know that would be impossible, but trying to sway the opinions of other onlookers, those in the crowd (if there was one).

    If he / she was there by themselves, there would be no point, no crowd = no opportunity to ridicule their outrageous beliefs.

    My advice to preachers is … stay in your churches, don’t go out on the streets, keep away from the public square, don’t proselytise to people because most find it instructive and offensive. And don’t ever use a megaphone only to complain when you find a complaint has been made to the police. Keep religion private.

  19. Adrian,
    In this piece you had the opportunity to gently belittle those whose arguments amount to little more than fear of Other; in your first slew of sentences you use their language, slipping into mudslinging gutterspeak with, among others: “Proselytising lunatic”, “Deluded people”, “Nonsense” and “Cranks”. Your procession to “if you keep your cool, you will at least show your listeners who is on the lunatic fringe” seemed to me to lose things a little further. Then “Telling a preacher to “F. Off” is rude, but philosophically justifiable”, without saying why, and topping it with “avoid vulgarity because there are more interesting points to be made” is again, a contradictory viewpoint on your own viewpoint.
    “Can the preacher prove there is more evidence for his god than for Poseidon?” Probably not, but why should he?

    “Personal revelations with neither witnesses nor credible video footage are mere hearsay” , I can’t choose which of the many available from which to demolish this,

    1. I am not in the business of being gentle, and I dispute your claims that fear alone is the motivating factor. If you are stupid enough to believe that the earth is six thousand years old, that a zygote should have equal rights to a grown adult, and that you get personal revelations from the creator of the universe then, yes, you are deluded.

      I make it perfectly clear that, claims based on no evidence can be likewise dismissed, and advise against telling people to F Off. Nothing contradictory whatsoever.

  20. I always try to emphasise that their worldview causes me and my community harm. I tell them their views distresse me. Any decent human, religious or not, does not like upsetting others so i always hope that this will somehow make them aware on the direct impact of their words and actions to other people.

  21. Well done Adrian, another great article . . . keep up the good work.

    I agree that sceptical thinking is one way of protecting against theocracy, but with secularism in the ascendancy, I do no think we need to worry too much about religious fundamentalism in the UK.

    Non-religious fundamentalism however is another matter, although sceptical discourse I am sure will rise to the challenge, and will no doubt be a useful tool in helping us question the unquestionable, what ever form these delusions take.

    1. Thanks ver much John but I think we have a way to go before secularism can be in the ascendancy. Look at the attention given to religious beliefs in the government and media. Ugh! If only!

    2. It was a poor article in that it did exhibit any of the author’s ability to think. He merely repeated the opinions of others. Scepticism requires rigorous thought, something that the author has yet to demonstrate. It also requires an ability to change, something also lacking in the author.

    3. By the way, a thought for Peter in this thread – science really is a better way of finding out about the truth. Science is not about certainty. It is a process of deduction, observation, experimentation, from which we draw conclusions. We leave room for better explanations if there is enough evidence. It is open to being proved wrong. I am willing to change my mind, e.g. about evolution if you find rabbit fossils in preCambrian rock strata in Canada. Science can be proved wrong, religion claims unquestionable, untestable truths about the universe and only prospers when we don’t or (as in Saudi etc) can’t ask questions. The heavens get emptier with every scientific discovery. My mind is open but not so open my brains drop out, which it seems Peter is asking for! x

  22. Excuse me, but this article is about as patronising as the Westboro Parish News.

    It assumes that all gay people are mindless disciples of the Church of PinkNews.co.uk who must unquestionable follower their published fatwahs.

    Only then, sisters and brothers, will the true Gays be free.

    (Do I hear an “Amen”?)

  23. Reading this was particularly unpleasant. I’m astonished that the author works in PR, yet doesn’t seem to have considered the effect of this article.

    With his petty, offensive and often hypocritical approach, this article will only serve to alienate those from religions who might be rethinking their stance on homosexuality. It creates an us and them mentality that only fosters further distrust, entrenchment, persecution and discrimination.

    We should NOT support this viewpoint. It does us and our opponents a disservice. The argument should not be homosexuals versus religion, but everyone challenging homophobic views, wherever they come from.

    A nasty article.

    1. I would argue that the author’s questions are not petty. Who designed the designer? How do you know there is a god, which god and what that god thinks? Why are there as many variations of god as there are believers? Why are there hurricanes and earthquakes, and why do they kill good people? What are you going to do about the biblical verses recommending or mandating slavery, genocide, infanticide, etc? And so on, and so on. These questions remain, whether you find them offensive or not. Youmcannot ‘unthink’ them. You say these views should not be supported – I merely fire a series of questions and doubts, and make no claims about who created the cosmos – in fact it is the religious view that not only should not be supported, but cannot support itself. If anyone finds it distressing that reasons should be demanded for religious beliefs, then by default, they have no faith.

      1. I do not find the questions personally offensive. I am an atheist. I find the tone of the article and name calling petty and counter productive.

        The author states that it is bad manners and potentially unspeakably wicked to take the proposed line of argument with those who aren’t trying to impose their view on others, but by starting the article by asserting that those who follow the official church teaching are ‘deluded’ ‘lunatics’, this is precisely what he does.

        1. So what? If you eg. pretend evolution didn’t happen, seek to impose the Old Testament laws, declare a zygote to have the same worth as an adult, then you are deluded, and you most certainly need to be told. If you ignore overwhelming evidence, youmare welcome to your vies but you have no place in adult discourse.

          I find it offensive that people respect the most stupid of beliefs just because they are religious. People like that are useful idiots who help stultify discourse and enable extremists to amplify their voice and influence in society.

    2. I agree the argument shouldn’t be “homosexuals versus religion” it should be “everyone versus religion”

      I’m tired of being asked to respect something that hasn’t done anything worthy of respect in the 2000 years it has been poisioning the minds of the people. The only thing respectable about religion is how many people it’s managed to brainwash with its propaganda, even the Nazi’s couldn’t quite match their brainwashing skills.

      Mr. Pink

      1. I’m not suggesting that people should respect religions. I certainly don’t. I’m suggesting that people should respect the individuals who happen to have faith in a religion, unless they personally do something to warrant otherwise.

        Faith is not a choice, in the same way that sexuality isn’t. If you don’t believe me, go on and try to believe in something that you don’t currently believe in. Or try not to believe in something that you currently believe is true. It’s impossible.

        If we demand to be treated with respect because sexuality isn’t a choice, we should extend the same courtesy to religious individuals.

        1. I respect them too much as individuals to respect their Barry beliefs.

          It’s patently not true that faith is a choice. Many people indoctrinated as children with beliefs of their parents and teachers – tormented by the threat of hell fire, which must seem real when you are too young to understand metaphor or reason for yourself – find it hard to shake off in later life. But people can and do. look at all the people who have de-radicalised, like Ed Hussain, author of ‘The Islamist’, or former evangelicals at have left their faith, eg., Dan Barker, head of Freedom From Religion Foundation and former preacher.

          Governments, scientific bodies, society etc do change their minds frequently, from voting intentions to economic policy to attitudes towards ethnic and sexual minorities. People change their minds when they see e evidence, when they observe.

          Ask yourself: do I have a reason to believe this, or is it just something I was brought up to believe?

          1. I don’t think you read my reply properly. I stated that faith is NOT a choice.

            I also don’t think you really understand what faith means. Faith, by definition, can’t be argued away by reason.

        2. Again, there is a BIG DIFFERENCE between having “faith” and believing a higher power created the universe and indoctrinating yourself into an organized cult that’s based on lies, fear and oppression. it IS possible to believe in “god” and not perpetuate an ideological poision by buying into one of the several “brands” of religion, believe it or not.

          Mr. Pink

  24. My preferred answer to the title question is simply… nothing. I’m quite convinced that being completely ignored – no trap questions, no mockery, not even any eye contact while walking past – all day long, would get to a street preacher more than anything else. It isn’t being rude, it isn’t ‘fighting fire with fire’, it is an utterly effortless way of turning a self-important sermon into talking to oneself, and words designed to provoke into nothing but background static.

  25. Scott Rose 6 Aug 2013, 1:12am

    It is incorrect to refer to the Regnerus study as “flawed.” The study, rather, is invalid. We know through documentation that it was deliberately booby-trapped to give the outcome that the anti-gay-rights funders desired, and also we know that it was only published due to a corruption of the ethics of peer review. These matters are so well documented that the President of the American Sociological Association signed a letter to editor James Wright asking him to retract the Regnerus paper: http://tinyurl.com/mw8v6hk

  26. Christopher Hobe Morrison 10 Aug 2013, 5:09am

    Where will you spend eternity?
    Hopefully far from m— f— like you seems to be a good enough answer to this question to me.

  27. Nick Billingham 10 Aug 2013, 2:27pm

    I find its best to reply to street preachers in kind. Once when asked “Have you met Jesus?” I fixed the questioner with an even more demented smile and said “I am Jesus Christ”. He turned and fled

  28. E. Carpenter 3 Sep 2013, 8:52pm

    An excellent piece, thanks!

    From the comments, it appears to have hit home for some readers – you can tell which comments are by overly religious people, they don’t answer any of the questions Adrian brings up, or explain any of the contradictions he points out – they just attack him as a human being. It’s very sad, but that’s all they’ve got – religious people who are moved to defend their “faith” resort to verbal or physical violence very quickly, since reason and actual facts do not support them.

  29. The article is fair comment, but the reading list includes Dawkins, Hitchens and their ilk..who are biased towards the extremist end of Athiest Evangelicalism.. They lump anyone with spirituality together..I’m a Pagan, we do not believe what Christians and other ‘major’ on many things, including sexuality..To us, consenting sex between two adults is love. I love the idea that my LGBT friends can express love and be happy..One of the things that really bothered me about the debates about marriage equality is that the Christian church seems to think it owns marriage..The UK has been mainly Christian for less than 2,000 years, people were getting together as couples long before that. So why does the church think it can judge on who pairs with who?

  30. Kelvin Beer-Jones 14 Sep 2013, 10:29am

    As a gay Christian I have an uphill job in reforming the Churches so that they become more “Christian” and i am afraid that articles like this make my job harder, not easier. The answer to football violence was not denigrating football.

    1. It’s too bad. The questions won’t go away, Kevin, especially now, in the 21st century. The inconsistencies are your problem. If you find that hard to deal with – be it the question, when in our evolutionary history, was a ‘soul’ injected into the genome? which out of all the superstitions is the right one? – then your beliefs are by definition not ‘faith’. Reason, arguing down bad ideas with better ideas, and exposing bad / bigoted ideas to ridicule leads to progess.

      Football violence was not inspired by the rules of the game. One could argue that the reverse is true in the case of religious bigotry.

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