Archive for the ‘homosexuality’ Category

>Two polls (that don’t have anything to do with politics)

November 2, 2010

>The Election

If you are like many Americans and many in Alabama and even in Bessemer, in spite of all the hype and crazy people running for office you don’t know much about this (here) election they are putting on today.

All you know is what you see on the political ads that run during the news, during the World Series (congrats to San Francisco!!! and (hot) bearded Brian Wilson), and during every television show it seems.

So you may or may not vote. I mean, OFA and other groups are doing all they can to Get Out The Vote. Democrats are trying to remind voters who first voted in 2008 that it is still important to vote. Republicans are screaming, “Fire!,” in an effort to motivate their voters.

Some of you might even respond to this: here is your voter guideor here.

And still, only 55% of voters are expected to turn out in Alabama, according to Beth Chapman, Alabama’s Secretary of State.

Almost half of the people in this state don’t care. So if somebody wins, say, the governorship, with just a little over half the vote, what it really means is that only a quarter of the people (or a little more) in the state want that person to be governor.

One person who doesn’t want Robert Bentley to be governor is Jimmy Blake, who says he will contest the election if Bentley wins the election today, based on Bentley’s reporting of campaign fund raising.

Polls

We’ve seen polls and polls and polls and polls and surveys. We even had a poller call at 7:10 yesterday evening. What good is that going to do?

Poll 1

Here are some of the results of the reader’s survey I posted on Bessemer Opinions a few weeks ago.

23% of the respondents are straight and 19% are LGBT. That means that 52% of you are either unsure of your sexuality or so deep in the closet and so paranoid about being discovered that you were afraid to answer even on an anonymous poll.

61% of you are white, and only 6% are black. That leaves a lot of people of other colors. Or not.

See that’s the problems with surveys where you can choose multiple answers. Some people didn’t know that, so they didn’t answer the race or sexual orientation questions. Or they are paranoid and they probably didn’t complete their census form either.

The highest number of you, 31%, like the mix of subjects and the unexpected that you find on Bessemer Opinions. 16% want more Bessemer news and less gay news, 7% wanted more gay news and less Bessemer. You are still going to get the mix.

What this tells me is that Bessemer Opinions is popular among a wide variety of people with a variety of interests, and that I should keep reporting as I do on a number of subjects.

Poll 2

Yesterday I wrote this column for Daily Kos that compares the two Georgia megachurch pastors and the churches that have been in the news recently regarding gay issues. At the end of that column there was a poll asking “Which church offers the truer message of Christianity regarding gay issues?” The choices are New Birth Missionary Baptist Church led by Pastor Eddie Long or Church in the Now led by Pastor Jim Swilley, or neither.

Of the 42 people who have responded, 78% think Church in the Now, with the pastor who has been inclusive and accepting and recently came out as gay, is offering the truer message, and only 2% believe New Birth led by the pastor who was accused of having sexual relations with some of his male followers while preaching an anti-gay message is offering the truer Christian message. 19% say neither, and I assume those are people without faith, or people who have been driven away from the church.

Swilley and his supporters are hoping they can change the world. I think all, or most, Christian churches believe that, but let’s hope he is right.

The Challenger

Some of you know that there is now a blog that has been created to stand up against my militancy.

From their “Welcome” page:

This blog exists to spend a little time answering the radical homosexual propaganda of Joe Openshaw, a gay organizer in Bessemer, Alabama. It is also a place for conservative Christians to have their say regarding the militant homosexual agenda in Bessemer.

Radical? One of my straight friends responded to that saying she thinks I am pretty moderate.

Militant? Militant? I can’t even respond to that. Militant?

Anyway, for those of you who are keeping score.

1. There was a newspaper editor in town that threatened to file a lawsuit against me to force me to quit revealing the truth. He’s gone. Fired.

2. There was another blogger, the “Bessemer conservative” I called him in a newspaper column. He’s pretty much given up, but was real good at copying and pasting from those anti-Obama emails that used to circulate with so much mis-information.

3. And then there was Snuffy, who in a letter to the newspaper called me a communist and worse, and compared my loving relationship with my partner to screwing a horse. Anyone heard from him lately?

So I don’t feel threatened by this newcomer, who so far has chosen not to reveal his whole identity. I know this is just a tease, but I am not going to post a link to his blog, yet, because he has already posted some statements which could be damaging to young gay kids. Here I am trying to prevent kids from killing themselves and this “conservative Christian” is destroying their self esteem and possibly contributing to their harmful actions.

If you want a link to the page, email me.

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>About Jesus

June 15, 2010

>Yesterday Jesus burned.

Lightning struck a 6 story statue of “Touchdown Jesus” and it burst into flame.

Whether this statue was considered a graven image depends on how literal you take the Bible. Rick and Bubba, for instance, might think God smote the image of Jesus cause we just ain’t supposed to do that. This video is loud, but short.

UPDATE: here’s the song that clip comes from:

At any rate, while on the subject of Jesus, my blogger-friend Michael Bayly has brought up that Jesus really was a sissy. So many of us get called sissies, I guess if Jesus was one, it’s OK for us, too.

Michael’s post was actually based on a lecture by Dr. David Rankin from the 1980’s he heard on tape, which he transcribed and took excerpts from. Now I’m doing the same to Michael’s post, but it would be worth your time to read it yourself. Jesus was a sissy.

Jesus was able to feel and express a wide range of tender emotions. He wept
without shame, even raved and screamed and moaned and won no battles. He was an intuitive thinker, often the victim of wild imaginings and flights of fantasy.
He responded to beauty, embracing the birds of the air and the lilies of the
field. He nurtured little children, relating to them in the manner of a mother.
He freely touched other men and kissed them.

Rankin continues,

Does Jesus really fit the American ideal of manhood?” Rankin asks. Can we
imagine Jesus as a United States Marine? As a linebacker for the Detroit Lions?
As the Marlboro Man? “By almost every standard in our culture,” concludes
Rankin, “Jesus was a real live honest-to-goodness sissy.

Michael, and Rankin, point out that Sunday School teachers and some preachers portray Jesus as a warrior. Rankin says they were right in saying we should be more like Jesus, but wrong in their reasoning.

A man who walked around the countryside without position, without
possessions, searching for the meaning of life. A man who lingered lazily in the
fields in order to study the flight of a bird and the petals of a flower. A man
who embraced the lowly and the outcast and the leper and the stranger while
protesting their condition. A man was so physically frail that he could not even
carry a wooden cross to the top of a hill. A man who suffered a humiliating
defeat while blessing the enemies who had arranged his death. A sissy. One of
the greatest models in religious history was an honest-to-God, real live,
long-haired, soft-bodied sissy.

So why am I sharing this?

There is a link between Rankin’s words and today’s society. Michael quotes from Matthew Fox’s book, “The Hidden Spirituality of Men: Ten Metaphors to Awaken the Sacred Masculine.” (Emphasis mine)

Homosexuals offer humanity certain vital gifts that society would be
foolish to refuse. [One of these is] a flexible perspective on gender [which]
provides a kind of bridge between men and women. Heterosexuals in particular can become stuck in their society-created gender roles, and homosexuals remind everyone that sexuality exists in the realm of metaphor and not literalism.

When one’s sexual role is not determined by one’s body parts, life, imagination, and passion come alive. David Deida observes that “the gay and lesbian community is acutely aware that the sexual polarity is independent of gender. But you still need two poles for a passionate play of sexuality to persist in a relationship: masculine and feminine, top and bottom, butch and femme – whatever you want to call these reciprocal poles of sexual play.”

Gays and lesbians have much to teach the straight world about sexuality and about restoring passion to relationships. . . . [Also] there is a long history in many cultures of homosexuals as spiritual leaders. Many years ago, a Native American woman took me aside and said to me that it is well known among Native Americans that gay persons have always been the spiritual directors to their great chiefs.

Homosexuals, it seems, don’t just bridge male and female worlds, but human and
spiritual worlds. A homophobic society deprives itself of a deeper spirituality.
This same woman (who was also a Catholic sister) said: “When I give retreats to
gay people, it is always a deeper experience than just giving a retreat to a
mixed and mostly heterosexual crowd.”

No one knows about the sexual orientation of Jesus. But we do know many of his traits, and many homosexual men share them.

Jesus: God-like. Son of God. Or God. It doesn’t matter. It was his mild, peace-loving, nature-admiring, male-bonding demeanor that made him like God. God is love, after all.

And it is what connected him to the Father.

Fox says,”Homosexuals, it seems, don’t just bridge male and female worlds, but human and spiritual worlds. A homophobic society deprives itself of a deeper spirituality.”

Native Americans recognized it. Our culture has become so far removed from the nature and teachings of Jesus, that we can’t see that. But we are learning. We are progressing. We will get there.

>Kid stuff

May 30, 2010

>When do people learn to hate gays?

I began to wonder this as I was visiting a household where young grandmother is the caretaker for a 3 year old boy. A 4 -1/2 year old kin was visiting him, and the grandmother described how they greeted each other with baby bear hugs and the older tot told me how he pushed the younger boys hair up and kissed him on the forehead.

I don’t believe any parent, except for the most cynical, would discourage two toddler boys from showing affection. We teach our babies to express love and appreciation, and encourage them to hug and kiss even strangers sometimes.

At some point, such affection becomes “yucky” for some boys. I don’t believe this is a natural change, rather they get signals or direction from their parents or older siblings.

As I watched these two boys play together, I thought about how we hear from right wing Christianists that they don’t want their children exposed to homosexual behavior, or homosexual relationships, or learning about those relationships, in elementary school or elsewhere.

I stood in church during a song on Sunday, and observed an opposite-sex couple in front of me allow their hand to touch, and take hold of each other.

I thought about taking my partner’s hand, and wondered what the reaction of the people behind us would be. There are many children in the church, of all ages, and the youngest had left for the children’s program. Any kid over 8 years of age knows about homosexuals and I doubt they would have been shocked (the church is pretty open in its support of its gay members and visitors), but they may have been surprised.

But not all kids are being raised by supportive parents. And not all school or church environments are tolerant of an adolescent’s growing realization of their sexuality. But most kids at some point deal with gay schoolmates at some point. How they respond depends on many factors. I’m sure books have been written about it.

By the time some kids reach high school, they might react like Finn did when Kurt showed him the room they were going to share when their families blended on the wildly popular Fox show, Glee. This clip (I hope it plays) is an absolutely wonderful portrayal of a situation many of us have lived through.

http://www.hulu.com/embed/etmjcsWe_moIz7ET5moJMg/1518/1745

Of course, not all kids have a father like Kurt’s dad. Some fathers would not make the effort that Kurt’s dad is in trying to accept his kid. In this episode, his defense of Kurt is probably as much a turning point for him as it was an awakening for Finn. And let’s not ignore the effect on Kurt.

Someday, society will be such that I could take my partner’s hand without hesitation, and without having to evaluate the environment we are in to determine if it is proper or not.

The fact is, it is ALWAYS proper to show affection or closeness to someone you love. I’m not talking about PDA, like kissing in public, most people don’t like that from either straight or gay couples. But holding one’s hand or putting one’s arm around their lover should not be a problem.

Should not. But there are, of course, safety issues involved, and that is a subject for another day. But here, I guess I am just wondering aloud and asking myself how a parent can teach a kid that some strangers or even some of their friends are to be hated and thought of as less than themselves. This goes for race and ethnicity, too.

I guess some people just shouldn’t be parents, and it is up to the rest of us to somehow catch the attention of their kids and allow them to learn that we are One Human Family and on that level we are all equal.

Watch the entire episode of Glee here.

>The Bible and Homosexuality: Part 4 Jesus and the Centurion

April 13, 2010

>This is the fourth and final segment in my series on homosexuality and the Bible. The series is in response to questions raised by a letter writer in the Western Tribune.

Read part 1 (Leviticus) here Part 1

Read part 2 (Romans) here Part 2

Read part 3 (Jonathan and David)here. Part 3

This is the fourth in my series on homosexuality and the Bible.

In the New Testament Jesus himself affirms a same-sex relationship in the story of the centurion coming to Jesus and pleading for his servant’s healing, a familiar story.

Jesus offers to come to the centurion’s house but the soldier refuses, saying that all Jesus needed to do was to speak the word and his servant would be healed. The story is told in Matthew 8 and Luke 7.

The Greek word used in this story is pais, which could have three meanings depending on the context in which it was used. It could mean “son” or “boy”, it could mean “servant”, or it could mean a particular type of servant who was his “master’s male lover”. Servants were often purchased to fulfill that role, and the term pais sometimes describes that type of servant.

Why would we think that pais has this meaning in this passage? Look at the passage in Luke. In Luke the one who was sick is described as an entimos duolos.

Duolos is a generic term for a slave, and was never used to describe a son or a boy, so we can rule that out.

Entimos means “honored,” so this was no ordinary slave, so we can rule that out.

That leaves only the “male lover” interpretation for the word pais used in Matthew.

Further, in Matthew, when speaking of his ordinary slaves, the centurion uses the word duolos, but when speaking of the sick person he uses pais, again leaving the only definition that fits, that is, the “master’s male lover”.

Jesus did not use the example of the centurion and his sick lover as an example of God’s judgment on their relationship, rather he healed the man’s lover and then held the centurion up as an example of a man of great faith, the type of faith we should all aspire to.

In writing this series, I realized that there would be some who would argue that I am merely misinterpreting the passages to fit my agenda and I admit that it is impossible for me or anyone else to know precisely the intent of each word in a 2000 year old manuscript that has gone through multiple translations. But as I combine biblical interpretation with history and science I see no other way to interpret it.

>The Bible and Homsexuality, Part Three

April 1, 2010

>

This is part three of my series, which would have appeared in the Western Tribune, but…

You can read part two (Romans) here and part one (Leviticus) here.

Most of this information, in a little greater detail comes from my previous post, which includes an explanation of the phrase “until David exceeded.” It doesn’t hurt for people to read it again.

*****

This is part three in my series on homosexuality and the Bible. I was also asked to show where homosexual relationships are mentioned in an affirming way.

In both the Old Testament and the New Testament there are passages where same sex relationships are affirmed. In the Old Testament, the story of Jonathan and David is such an example.

“When David had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was bound to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul… Then Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt.” 1Samuel 18:1-4.

This was pretty much love at first sight. Brotherly love does not lead a man to get naked and offer his most personal possessions, the symbols of his manhood, to another man, but that is what Jonathan did here.

Jonathan’s father, King Saul, was not happy about the relationship. In 1Samuel 20:30 we read that Saul was furious that his son had chosen David as his lover. Saul told Jonathan that he could not produce an heir to the throne and could not claim the kingship.

“…they kissed each other and wept with one another; until David exceeded. Then Jonathan said to David, ‘Go in peace, since both of us have sworn in the name of the Lord, saying “The Lord shall be between me and you, and my descendants and your descendants, forever.”‘ He got up and left; and Jonathan went into the city.” 1 Samuel 20: 41-42.

Again, clearly the association between Jonathan and David goes beyond what is expected from heterosexual males. They knew they would not see one another again, and this is the parting of doomed lovers, so to speak. Yet they made a bond that would last through all generations.

After Jonathan’s death, David wrote a song while mourning, in which he says:

“I am distressed for you my brother Jonathan;Greatly beloved were you to me;your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women.” 2 Samuel: 1: 26

I have not known a heterosexual man to proclaim that his love for another man was greater than his love for a woman.

This is an example, in the Bible, of two men in a loving, sexual relationship, and the Bible celebrates that love in David’s song.

Next: Jesus and the centurion

>Letters to the Western Tribune

March 25, 2010

>A firestorm was started when The Western Tribune printed a letter from Snuffy Garrett equating loving relationships between members of the same sex to having sex with a horse. The Western Tribune received at least 24 letters in opposition and printed two.

The Western Tribune has now ceased to operate, and I know that some who wrote or commented will have no problem with this, since the paper did not change its ways and continued to print the letters from Snuffy, including at least one again using the sodomy and animal comparison, and which was directed at me, by name.

Of the 24 letters letters submitted, in addition to the ones printed, I have access to 11 more. the rest of the letters, according to the former editor, were destroyed because they contained profanity.

I believe these letters better illustrate the objections to Snuffy’s comparison than the ones chosen for print. With the demise of the Western Tribune, this will serve as a “last word” on the issue (unless Snuffy gains access to our other local paper, the Western Star).

I am printing these letters as they were submitted to the paper for publication.

*****

Last account I looked we were all created by GOD and my GOD is a very loving being. How your personal views are concerning who I wish to love and wake up next to in the morning is my business. But on that note I think HOMOSEXUALS deserve the same right to be as miserable as HETEROSEXUALS. So he who is without sin may cast the first stone. Sincerely yours loved by GOD, JEFF DABBS

*****

How dare you print such garbage for people to read! I am a gay woman and also own a horse farm and that statement pisses me off. I bet old Snuffy teaches that masturbation is wrong in the eyes of God, but I can only wonder how many “loving relations” he has had with his own damn mule!! Shame on all of you who pass judgement on others! Love Has No Gender! God made us and God Loves Us. Lori

*****

The Western Tribune should print an apology for printing hateful speak, and should refrain from publishing any letters or columns that degrade any segment of our society. On Feb. 24, 2010 you allowed a letter to be written into your paper that compared loving same-sex relationships to sex with a horse. That is a complete hateful and wrongful letter. The bible also condemns sex before marriage, working on the sabbath, eating shell fish and a whole list of other things.

Do you plan to run a letter in your paper that says ” All women who have had sex before marriage should be stoned to death?” or ” All people who work on the sabbath or visit a place that makes employees work on the sabbath should be put to death for breaking a 10 commandment? I doubt you would.

Yet you allow a letter to be published that puts down every gay relationship based on the ideas of some misguided bigot. Shame on your paper.

That letter was a defamation of my character, and I am more than a sex act in a bedroom behind closed doors. Plus there are thousands upon thousands straight couples who practice sodomy as well, so to single out gays was a complete and utter disrespect.

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender are productive, tax-paying, caring members of society and should never be defamed in the media. America was founded on the idea of freedom and equal rights for all citizens. True inclusive community will treat all its diverse members with respect.

No longer a reader of your biased uninformed hateful paper.

anonymous

*****
A recent letter to your publication was offensive to a minority group. In this letter, the uninformed writer equated marriage equality to “marriage with a horse.”

I have been legally married to my spouse for 7 years after a trip to a state which lives up to the standards of freedom upon which our nation was founded. Our marriage is similar to those of our brothers and sisters whom God created differently.

In our marriage, I often cook while my spouse mows the lawn. I wash clothes while my spouse checks the oil on our vehicles. I drive her mother to the airport; she calls my mother on her birthday. The audacity of printing a letter reducing this God-given love to some perverted extent indicates a lack of sensitivity and intelligence not only on the part of the letter writer, but on the part of the editorial staff who chose to print it. Just as discrimination against racial minorities should not be allowed, neither should discrimination against sexual minorities. In the words of MLK- “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
Elisa Macon

*****

I was shocked to have read an insert from the letter that Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s wrote on February 24th and that it was printed in the Western Tribune. Yes people have the right of freedom of speech, however when it comes at the cost of spreading hate, I feel that it is uncalled for. I think that those of us in the public eye, including businesses, and media sources have a responsibility to do everything in our power not to encourage anything that has to do with hate or mistreatment of others. I would hope that in the future you would be careful of the things you print, because once in print they can not be undone.

As a Minister I can think of many different scriptures that can go along with this letter; however there is one that really comes to mind.

John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not parish but, have eternal life. (NIV)

Whoever to me does not say “only heterosexuals”, but also includes Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender people. We are all children of God and at some point must learn to start treating each other as brothers and sisters. I hope and pray in the future the Western Tribune would try and do the same.

Blessings in Christ
Minister Tony E. Haynes

*****
I am writing in strong disappointment regarding the letter published in your paper (Feb. 24th, 2010) relating same-sex relationships to having sex with horses.

This is very concerning as same-sex couples are very similar to any other committed and loving relationship.

The letter published, not only embarrasses your paper but is also noted as slang and a form of discrimination.

Same-Sex couples are just as human as you, and if anything the most significant difference between you and I is the discrimination I face daily.

Attached you may find some Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender statistics that possible you could write a positive and educating story on.

Warmest Regards,

Caleb Laieski

Caleb Laieski Director of Legislative Affairs

*****
Please print a retraction on Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett’s inflammatory letter. As a Gay man, I take offense his illogical, ignorant and divisive letter. It is obvious this person is very ignorant of The Bible. HE is nothing more than a clanging symbol and is putting words into “God’s” mouth, thinking he knows what God wants and thinks. We, the LGBT community expect a formal apology.

Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett said that God condemns homosexuals and sodomy. Nowhere in the Bible does God condemn “sodomy.” The word “Sodomy” does not exist in the Bible. People, erroneously attribute the act of anal sex to Sodomy because of a misinterpretation of the Story of Sodom and Gomorrah in the 18th Chapter of Genesis in the Old Testament of The Bible. Only modern translations suggest that the city was full of homosexuals, which is erroneous.

I will not belabor this point, but God had decided to destroy the twin cities prior to the incidents outside of Lot’s house. Ezekiel 16: 49-50 states why God destroyed the cities, and “homosexual behavior” was not listed. If anything, America is in danger, because we are guilty of the very things that caused God to destroy those cities!

Also, the use of the word “Abomination,” in Ezekiel 16:49-50 does not mean anything but “a classification of sin.” It does not infer “homosexuality (or any sex sin, as most Evangelical would assume).” Since Sodom and Gomorrah were matriarchal societies–worshipping female deities, the abomination was idolatry. The term Sodomy really means “being from Sodom,” and is as ridiculous as saying someone committed “Bessemery,” to mean robbery or a mugging or tax evasion. See how ridiculous?

On to Leviticus. The scriptures that Mr. Garrett probably inferred are probably Leviticus 18:22 & 20: 13-14, which are laws for procreation, not against homosexuality. This law was written For the Levite Tribe. God does condemn sex between two men, but not between two women. This was to enforce the law to procreate so that the people would have enough babies to carry on their legacy. They had to separate, subdue and survive in the wilderness. They also had to maintain their armies. This took babies and lots of them.

As for laws, there were 613 of them. God also condemned eating shellfish, touching a woman while she was on her period, touching swine, eating pork, eating undercooked meat, wearing clothing of mixed materials (microfiber, wool blends, rayon, polyester), planting different crops in the same fields, touching the dead, having sex without the explicit intention of having children, working on the Sabbath (Saturday).

Now, how many of these sins does Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett” commit daily?

There are 613 laws that he must live by, if he is to condemn loving gay relationships as condemned by God. God also had 612 other laws…but applicable only to the Jews. The book of James, says “if you live by the law and break one of the laws, you are guilty of breaking all of the laws.” James 2:10. Uh oh. Mr. Garrett, is guilty of homosexuality…it is in the Bible! If you break one of the (613) laws, you are guilty of breaking them all!

I am sure that Mr. Garrett is a Christian and not a Jew. Therefore he subscribes to Christ’s Sacrifice for Righteousness, and the Old Testament Law (even the 10 Commandments) wasn’t written to make you righteous. In fact, The Ten Commandments are obsolete now, according to Matthew 22:36-40. Jesus broke the law-every time as a way to prove the law was obsolete, and He was putting the law in its place. People like Mr. Garrett keep trying to use the law as a way to grace. Jesus came as a new priest and this absolved the Old Laws – all 613 of them! Jesus is the new priest and brought a new law! Hebrews 7:11-19 and 4:14. Jesus, the new High Priest said nothing about homosexuality; if it was so offense to God, why didn’t Jesus say something about it? If Jesus was quiet on this subject, why is Mr. Garrett so strung out?

Nick Jones

*****
I wanted to write a quick response to a recent article that compared someone being in a loving relationship with the same sex the same as loving a horse.

I am sure that you truly do not believe what you wrote, because if that was true then I am sure that you agree that eating shellfish is a sin too, just as the Bible states in Leviticus.

I ask you to step back and think to yourself, is God asking me to hate people. I am then sure that you will find that God has never asked us to hate anyone, just to love one another.

I pray for the best for you!
Michael J Smith

*****
Aubrey “Snuffy” Garrett needs to learn that humans who love each other may be of the same gender, and that these loving relationships may include sex. Snuffy also needs to seek some kind of therapy because he is overly concerned about what other people may be doing in their sex lives. Further, he equates sex with a horse with sex between two loving people.

Now what normal person ever has sex with a horse cross his mind? Or obsesses about other people’s sex lives? I’ve met people of all orientations, and none of them thought about the horse option. Just Snuffy.

So apparently, Snuffy has some sort of sexual problem, which is allowed for some reason to be expressed publicly through his hate talk. Doesn’t this paper have any discretion? The Western Tribune should apologize.

People used to equate sex and marriage between blacks and whites the same way, complete with Biblical references. But today we recognize that as hate talk. Because the injustice and inhumanity of that hate talk became so obvious to America, we as a nation decided it must end. We took steps as a nation that believes fundamentally in equality to bring the same full equality to blacks, including being able to love and marry the person they choose. If a newspaper published a letter like this one from sick Snuffy, with blacks substituted instead, it would be obvious hate speech.

So why did Snuffy’s letter get published?

Stephen Brittle

*****
As a legally married same sex couple in and from Alabama (we went to MA in 2008 to be legally married) I think I can speak for many of us in AL. Religion has no place in this debate, since I have the same God in my religion as does your writer, but apparently mine is one of love and theirs is one of hate.

If the writer would like for religion to be involved in the government of the country, I suggest they move to a country where Theocracy is working so well, such as Iran.

If churches insist on getting involved politically in the processes of this country, then it is time to rethink the tax codes. Churches who get involved in political campaigns (i.e. LDS in California’s Prop 8 ballot) should have their tax exemption revoked. I think we could solve our budget crisis if we start taxing churches with political agendas.

The pulpit is for lifting up the congregation through inspiration, not creating a mob mentality through fear and hate.

I am appalled that such words were used to describe a loving relationship that can happen between two people of the same sex.

I know that in my lifetime the state of AL will be forced to recognize our marriage as a legal union.

Love is Love,

Jonathan F Cooper

*****
Your paper is promoting hatred that has not been seen in this area since the water hoses of Bull Conner. My loving relationship with the person God chose for me should not be compared to f***ing a horse. How dare you?

We worship a God who loves diversity (one need only see nature in all its Glory to know this is fact) and Jesus preached liberal tolerance, but the hate-mongers who use the Bible as defense for their hatred have found a voice in your paper. Homosexuality occurs in every species our loving Father created, including his precious human children.

For the sake of love, for the sake of what is right, and for the sake of loving our God who created us, stop this hate

unsigned

>The Bible and Homosexuality, Part 2

March 25, 2010

>Part 2 of this series would have been a column in the Western Tribune had it not folded. The series is four parts long.

Here is Part 1 (Leviticus) in case you missed it. After all of the parts are published here, I will edit them into a single article with a link under “Popular Posts.”

The Letters of St. Paul (Romans)

Part 2, The Bible and Homosexuality : Romans

This is my second in the series on homosexuality and the Bible.

Another group of verses often used against homosexuals, these from the New Testament, are found in the first chapter of Romans.

“Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.” Rom 1:26-27

When these words were written, it was not understood that homosexuality was the natural orientation of some members of the human species as well as almost every other animal species known. Science has shown us that homosexuality occurs in most mammals, and some birds and fish as well. It occurs in nature, naturally.

So it could be said that the men referred to in this verse were heterosexual men, who were having sex with other men, unnaturally. It says nothing about “naturally” homosexual men. The same can be said for the women; some are naturally heterosexual and some are naturally homosexual. The natural sexual activity for a homosexual man would be with another homosexual man, and for a homosexual woman, with another homosexual woman.

But why would a naturally heterosexual man be having sex with another man?


The Apostle Paul by Rublev

Paul is attempting to show the Gentiles how they have turned from God to idols. Later he shows how Jews have turned to self-righteousness and hypocrisy and harsh judgments on others. What he is trying to show is that all of us have sinned and fall short of the glory of God rather than trying to set apart a particular category of people as the worst possible type of sinners.

During the time of Paul homosexual activity was usually associated with adultery when a married man might have a young male lover on the side. Male prostitution was common. An adult male could choose a legitimate sex partner of either sex. The sexual activity between them accentuated their differences in social class and certainly could be viewed as a misuse of sex and power.

This is quite different than the love between two men or two women of equal social status, and this is not addressed in Paul’s letter to the Romans.

Next: The love between Jonathan and David

>The Bible and Homosexuality, Part 1

March 17, 2010

>This Western Tribune column (March 17, 2010) is the first of a four part series on the Bible and homosexuality. One way to look at this, the Washington Post featured a five part series on homosexuality in 1965 (from which I got the idea for my book,which should be available in April) and the Western Tribune is featuring a four part series in 2010. Sure to raise some eyebrows, but you know what happens when eyebrows are raised? Eyes open!

The Torah inside the former Glockengasse synagogue in Cologne.

How the Bible looks at homosexuality

I have been asked to show the verses in the Bible that mention same sex activity that are not critical of homosexuality. This column is the first of four that will address this issue.

The trouble with taking the words of the Bible without careful study of the language and customs of the time is that often this leads to the wrong conclusion. We only have to look at how the Bible was used in the past against blacks or against women to realize this. Currently, the same approach to biblical interpretation is used to point judgmental fingers at the gay community.

If we incorporate science and history into biblical interpretation we don’t find such condemnation.

Verses in Leviticus that are part of Israel’s Holiness Code include certain specific instructions on sexual matters, but also contain instruction not to eat shellfish, not to wear blended fabrics, not to plant fields with two kinds of seeds and more.

Along with certain male homosexual acts, adultery and sexual intercourse with a woman during her menstrual period are forbidden.

These proscriptions were given for several reasons: to separate Israel from other nations and their practices; to avoid idolatry and the practices associated with it; and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness.

Ritual purity was one of the ways the people of Israel set themselves apart from others for God. The avoidance of things unclean was part of the purification process.

Semen was looked on as critical to the ongoing of human life and thus was an important part of ceremonial law. The emission of semen during intercourse with a menstruating woman or even during an involuntary nocturnal emission was forbidden.

There were pagan rituals in which semen was offered up to the gods, so in order to set Israel apart a code was developed for this people at this time in their history and any use of semen that violated this code was forbidden. If this code is to be enforced against the homosexual community today, should we not also be enforcing the code against eating shellfish, wearing wool blends or having intercourse during a woman’s menstrual period?

These verses do not speak out against loving and committed relationships between modern gay or lesbian persons. They are about violations of a code that was set for a particular group of people and that, by the way, was replaced by the life and teachings of Jesus.

Next: Romans

>Ridiculous notions of homosexuality

November 2, 2009

>This video was made by one of the most confused, in denial, bisexual or gay human beings I have ever seen. via joemygod.

First she has a distorted view of where homosexuality comes from.

“The Lord spoke to me and he said that the enemy has released a giant spirit of homosexuality throughout the world.”

As if that isn’t enough, she encountered a lesbian and became homosexual for 45 minutes because it rubbed off on her!!! Seriously. but once she gets to her truck, she is able to cast the spirit off.

She says the feelings of homosexuality felt “natural”…because they are natural.

Read more about the upcoming protest here.

It was reported in the Birmingham News as well.

>Amazing Race

March 24, 2009

>I have never watched reality shows. Well, I take that back. Sometimes I get hooked on The
Real World, mainly to see how the cast responds to the gay (and now transgender…Katelynn Cusanelli in the current season) members, beginning with AIDS activist Pedro Zamora back in 1994, the third season.

Pedro, a film about his life, is being screened in various locations…not here…yet.

(Can you believe there have been 22 seasons of The Real World? It’s the longest running series on MTV.)

Anyway, the promotions for The Amazing Race episode Sunday sucked me in. That plus we wanted to watch Cold Case, which due to the basketball games, which delayed Sixty Minutes and everything thereafter, would not start until 8:48. If we watched anything other than The Amazing Race our timing would be off, and we would either miss the end of a show or the beginning of Cold Case. And its not as if we could do something other than watch TV, like read, during that hour. No.

But The Amazing Race had its contestants in India, and so they drew on the interest generated by Slumdog Millionaire (again, if you haven’t seen the movie, you should). I recalled that a few weeks ago I had learned that Mel White and his son would be on the show, and sure enough, they are still competing. Mel is the 68 year old gay rights activist/clergyman/author and his son Mike is a writer/actor.

Mel also wrote What the Bible Says – and doesn’t Say – About Homosexuality . You can read it for free at that link. There are several readers of this blog who could learn from it. Then they could comment on a post that actually is about homosexuality rather than promoting their uneducated and ill-informed comments on posts that don’t even concern sexuality (that refers to comments on the recent post about Arlington School and my family). I will ask, but don’t expect compliance, for them to read the link before they post.

Anyway, Mel and Mike came in second on Sunday’s show. Now I’m hooked, I will have to keep up, either by watching or checking online.