Posted by: the warrioress | April 25, 2016

So Proud of Target!

bathroom

I just wanted to stop and pen a brief posting on how proud I am of Target! I have always shopped at Target, but now I’m inclined to shop there every opportunity I get because it has led the way in standing up to biased, bigoted, uneducated, illiterate mentalities that are attempting to cause trouble and drama, for absolutely no rational reason whatsoever! Right now, there are many who claim religion, who claim Jesus Christ, who thrive on creating chaos and upset, rather than being a light leading to God, our Father in Heaven. 

Trust me, if you open your bible, you’ll quickly see that Jesus Christ would have been the first one to join the transgendered using the restroom of their choosing; I assure you also that He would not have lectured them about their alleged sins in the process either. Don’t believe anyone who tells you differently. They absolutely cannot prove it scripturally.

Turn to the biblical story of the woman who was the adulterous sinner, who was about to be stoned to death. [see bible story  ]

Jesus insisted that those around her cast the first stone if they were without sin. It wasn’t surprising to find no one there to stone the woman as Jesus waited. As for sin or not, Jesus handles sin — we don’t. It’s not our place to hammer the unbelievers about their sin. It’s our place to lead them to know Jesus Christ; they can come to be convicted by their sin after they get saved and began to know Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Stop putting the cart before the horse, religious right, legalistic Christians. You are driving thousands away from Jesus, not to Him. He’s got to be getting sick of it by now!

I have done numerous postings about the transgendered. I have explained that discriminating and trying to punish the transgendered is akin to punishing someone with a disability or a birth defect. I pity those who are harming these innocents; I think Jesus Christ is not at all pleased with your behavior and you are in danger of hellfire if anybody is. You are supposed to know better! Do you not the read the bible you say you adhere to? Evidently not.

We must stand up to the religious bullies of our land, of our world. We must stand up to the uneducated, uninformed, belligerent imbeciles. We cannot sit idly by and allow people to mistreat others rampantly without a word in their defense. If I ever see someone picking on the transgendered in my presence, it would be better for them if that millstone Jesus talked about dragged them under the water entirely. I don’t tolerate abuse of the downtrodden or the underdog!

Now, for those good Christians who think I’m on my way to hell, who are sure I’m backsliding or filled with the devil, or whatever .. I highly suggest you get into that bible of yours and read without the blinders on. You are given explicit instruction not to judge those who are not saved, and for good measure, learn to judge WITH LOVE those who are. Until then, pluck out that gi-normous PLANK within your own eyes, please, and keep quiet! You won’t have time for anything else after you finish that, trust me.

PLANK IN YOUR EYE

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Responses

  1. Hello, my friend! I could not have agreed with you more. keerp up the good work. God bless.

  2. I remember when I was young learning the term “Gay Bashing.” I actually thought it was funny, when I was about 18 or 20. It was not until I learned of the Matthew Shepherd story that I associated the term with real harm. I thought it was a bit of social shunning of a particularly spicy variety until that young man was cruelly beaten and left for dead. The callous way his tormentors thought that they had done society a favor and would not be held to account for it… I was friends with a nurse in those days who was much older than me, and she really opened my eyes to the seriousness of “Gay Bashing” and convicted me in her wise way.

    I became very sensitive about the issue – more so with time and maturity. I recall going home for Christmas as a young man and meeting several friends from high school days for dinner out. The young man who waited our table was familiar to some in my party from glory days gone by (this was almost 30 years ago now) as a gay kid from our past. I had not known him, but some of my friends had. There were some subtle, but ugly comments and gestures made by some of my friends that night, that surely were not missed by this “gay” person.

    I was unprepared for how to act or react. And fortunately, the misbehavior of my party and friends was subtle – though definitely offensive. This is what I had formerly thought was “Gay Bashing” and humorous. By this time, I had become convicted and felt ugly for being part of a group that could be so hurtful. But, we did NOTHING more than be rude. We broke no bones. We did not even openly ridicule the guy. But we showed ourselves mean spirited.
    And I was unprepared to take a stand.

    I soon moved back to my hometown after that. And since it was a small town, I soon encountered that young man again. And this gave me an opportunity to actually befriend the guy. He never seemed to associate me with the event which I knew him from, and we never discussed it. After all, it had been subtle, and possibly only notable to me – or perhaps he did not remember me from it. So I never broached the subject, and neither did he. Also, I never brought up his sexual orientation for discussion. I just befriended him.

    We ran around together for a while. I don’t want to say we became close, but we shared a lot of time and activities for a few months. I got to know his mother and met his brother a couple of times too.

    Finally, at one point, the young man, in a quiet moment between friends broached the subject of his orientation with me. He said, “You know that I am bisexual, don’t you?” I said, “No. I did not know that.” I went on to say that I had wondered, but that since I was not sexually interested in him myself, that I really did not care. But then he said something truly shocking to me. He said, “I just don’t want you to think I am some faggot!”

    Now, I gotta say, that was a distinction that I was not prepared to consider – neither me nor the wider culture around me. But this young man was perfectly happy and willing to have sex with other men and distinguish himself from “faggots” in a derogatory way! And I have to say, even though I remained friends with him for a long time after that (in fact we did not “end” our friendship, but he drifted away from me when he moved to Minnesota or something like that…), but there was a sexual tension between us after that. I never felt a desire, but I think he did – AND he introduced me on a few occasions to some other people who totally turned the tables on me and that experience I had had with him initially in that dinner party where he waited on my table.

    He took me to met his brother who openly belittled women sexually in repulsive ways I will not repeat here. He very much was gay and not bi at all. His own brother, my friend, referred to him as a “faggot” – a term I never applied to either of these people, and which I had stopped using as an epithet after my nurse friend had convicted me of such meanness a year or two before that. But this gay brother seemed rather militant about his sexuality and orientation – and so did a few of his friends.

    I was feeling so AVANT GARDE about have a “gay friend”! That same feeling I had when I had a black friend! I was pushing the boundaries in my own social sphere! I was advancing my sensitivities! And that is a GOOD THING!!!! But it did not feel natural – nor would it be natural to make those kinds of fundamental changes in my own psyche and social sphere. I was breaking taboo! It felt powerful! And it was! But then it turned out to be cliché at the same time! And even a bit bigoted to treat these people as my “gay friends” and “black friends” instead of “just friends” – so I was sorta damned if I do/damned if I don’t. But, kudos to me, I was trying! And I was developing a true sensitivity!

    Over time I have had (and still have) numerous friends of varying sexual orientations and shades of color. And despite the “just friends” ideal is never fully realized; though the label side of it is more and more muted as society seems to “catch up” with these realities. Point being, I was (and am) in process. That said, the new found sensitivity was well established!

    Yet, there were still a number of ironies and paradoxes. As I said, the tables had turned on me. My “bi” friend took me to a party where everyone was men of a same-sex attraction persuasion (whatever variety that may have been). And I was made to feel like the freak there. Ugly things were said about straight people in off-color ways in front of me. Women were belittled sexually (as a topic of jokes etc). I felt VERY uncomfortable. I am so glad I was not straight bashed! But I did endure at least every ounce as much ridicule by these men as my “bi” friend had endured by my friends at that dinner party! I endured it with a stiff upper lip, and maintained my friendship with my bi friend, who later apologized to me for the behavior of his friends.

    But then one night, he took me to a very small gathering of 3 men (when we arrived, it made 5) who were passing a joint around. I smoked the dope with them too. I previously had known two of the other men in other settings, and I had perceived them to be straight. But as we got high, they all began to mutter rather obscene sexual references to “tight virgin assholes”. With the dope clouding my mind, I began to realize they were impinging on me! I was quite certain that if me and my straight friends gathered around a gay kid and did that, it would be viewed as cruel – even if we did not beat him up. I was certain that if a group of boys talked this way with a young lady, she should have cause to worry for her safety!

    I was repulsed! It was repugnant behavior. It was not right when my friends engaged in similar behavior toward that young waiter in that restaurant; it was not right for these boys to treat me this way! The tables had turned. I was not in a position to complain! Turn about was fair play – fair enough. And besides, where would an AVANT GARDE guy like me go to make a complaint like this? To my bigoted friends? That would be giving up hard-fought ground to hate and indifference -NO?

    I had numerous other repugnant experiences with other friends of differing sexual orientations all through my AVANT GARDE life. This “bi” friend of mine, was THE ONLY one to ever apologize to me for the behavior of his friends – and they seemed willing to call others from that “community” by epithets I was learning not to use.

    These are just a few of my credentials in the “SENSITIVITY” department. And I am in favor of sensitivity. I wish to God that I could go back and show Matthew Shepherd the sensitivity he so dearly needed and lacked! I would stand up for him, I would hope. I wish I could go back and stand up to my old high school friends that night in that dinner party – but I have a strong suspicion that their bigotry has not remained some monolithic monstrosity over the past 30 some-odd years. I strongly suspect they too have undergone conviction(s) of their own and found new levels of sensitivity over the decades – to varying degrees to be sure. I have not had the opportunity to compare notes with them, but I feel certain that I would not show up at my high school reunion today and tell a fag joke and expect everyone to laugh at it unchallenged. And for that matter, I wonder if some (if not many) of those old friends might not show up having since come out of the closet themselves!

    And with these credentials, I think I have firmly established that A) have am sensitive, B) in process, and C) that at the very least this stuff is quite complex! If you are really a genuinely thoughtful and considerate person and want to talk about this stuff, then the conversation is full of landmines! If, on the other hand, you want to lob bombs, then go to your proverbial trenches and pump out your social mustard gas and start harming everyone for all your worth!

    Let me come out of my closet now and say that I do not believe that sex between men or sex between women honors God. That is not the way he created the world he is Lord of. We live in a (what we commonly call) “Fallen” world. Something is wrong with it. It is still a good creation, but evil is broke out like weeds and tares in the wheat. Evil runs through each of us straight and gay alike. This is what I believe and hold dear!

    That does not mean I think God hates fags! That is not a message I believe or promote. If Jesus can love whores caught in the act, he can love them of any gender or orientation! He does not let me (nor does he want me to) throw stones at her/him. And in fact, he will take what ever punishment sinful humanity will throw at such a one on their behalf!

    So… on the contrary, I believe GOD LOVES FAGS!!! He loves sinners of all kinds!

    And that is quite a complex thing.

    Just because I am a straight man does not in any way mean that my sexual history or desires are good, right, or honor God. I am just as much that whore caught in the act as any.

    No. I have not had sex with children or animals. No. I did not have an affair behind my wife’s back. And… No. I did not have sex with other men. But I have feasted at the table of porn. I have bedded numerous women. I am guilty of group sex! I trashed the plan God had for my sexuality – a thing he designed to bear his very holy image (Gen. 1:26-27). And my misbehavior(s) have deeply damaged even my concept of holiness!

    I am in no position to throw stones.

    But I have questions….

    Question (s) :

    Is it not fair to see a difference between the degree of pain caused by my dinner party and what was done to Matthew Shepherd? And while I am asking that, let me hasten to say, I am NOT trying to pardon or assuage my own guilt. But I could apologize to my bi friend (though I never did), just as he could apologize to me for his friends misbehaviors toward me (which he actually did) after the fact. But there is no apologizing to Matthew Shepherd. He is now gone. It’s past that in his case.

    And if there is a worthwhile distinction there, then surely there is a distinction (complex to be sure) between someone wanting to preserve a traditional bathroom culture in public spaces and someone promoting “biased, bigoted, uneducated, illiterate mentalities that are attempting to cause trouble and drama, for absolutely no rational reason whatsoever!”

    Is there not space there for difference of opinion that is actually educated, literate, and sensitive? Is there not a difference between supporting the traditional bathroom arrangement and gay bashing?

    Also, I wonder…. if a gay man, a gay community, or any non-straight variation is ever guilty of turning the tables (at a lesser degree to be sure, because I know of NO cases of gay men beating a straight man and leaving him for dead in a “straight bashing” as it were) in a social situation, are they not returning evil for evil?

    What are the limits on sexuality? If we read our Bibles and find God’s word addressing it very positively as regards straight sex in marriage (that is how I read it (critically, I might add)) and very negatively as regards nearly all forms outside of that perview (as I read it (critically I might add)), then isn’t it natural for me to want to preserve cultural norms that lend themselves to that worldview? How is that getting the cart before the horse and/or being legalist? And how can it be both legalist and illiterate?

    I have demonstrated that I am sensitive and still in process as I search for answers in this issue, but I do not hold the same conclusions as those who appear to me to be having the upper hand in the culture in this day and age. Is there no space for respect of my opinion(s)? Am I supposed to get shut up in the closet?

    Please, please, please! Do not confuse me with Pastor Phelps and his Westboro following! Surely have demonstrated that I don’t stand with them holding rocks! But I do stand with that last command Jesus gives to that whore: Does no one condemn you? Neither do I! GO AND SIN NO MORE.

    Am I a bigot for reading it thusly?

  3. I am a Bible-believing, Jesus-loving Christian. I believe just as you do with every word you posted. But the problem as all in my circle of contacts are discussing is NOT against any person based on their sexual or transgender choices – but on the fact that there are many sexual predators in this world – why no one is bringing out those statistics I cannot understand. Opening the door for these predators to go into any restroom they choose, and anyone with a clear mind will have to agree these type of predators would use this law for this purpose, is absolutely a monstrosity. The argument is this and this only. It is heartbreaking to know that I will no longer be able to allow my granddaughter to go to the restroom alone for fear she’ll be backed into a stall and molested by a pervert wearing a dress with absolutely no other reason for being there than that……Please, please tell me why no one cares about protecting our children from these predators….all the Christians I know are teaching their children to love ALL people – under an xray we’re all the same.

  4. Hi Tammi, thanks for reading and commenting here! I understand the concerns about your daughter; I too have a daughter. I suggest not allowing your daughter to go into any public restroom by herself these days. I don’t say that because of these transgender laws. I think these days it’s simply a good idea to be extra vigilant. The times are different and we are a much more violent country than we used to be. It’s unpredictable who will be in the bathroom, whether gay, straight, white, black, brown, yellow, transgender, hetero, bi, or whatever. There have always been predators and the threat of predators; it’s why we have the laws we already have. We don’t need to single out people who are already dealing with enough discrimination and abuse, as it is. I think anyone can be a predator and normally these are the most innocent, normal looking of people who turn out to be one.

  5. Agent X asks:

    And if there is a worthwhile distinction there, then surely there is a distinction (complex to be sure) between someone wanting to preserve a traditional bathroom culture in public spaces and someone promoting “biased, bigoted, uneducated, illiterate mentalities that are attempting to cause trouble and drama, for absolutely no rational reason whatsoever!”

    Is there not space there for difference of opinion that is actually educated, literate, and sensitive? Is there not a difference between supporting the traditional bathroom arrangement and gay bashing?

    Agent X, there most certainly is. I think there is a big difference. I think I’m speaking to the rude, the uninformed, the bombastic, the belligerent, the “patriots” and the rednecks. These are people who simply cannot grasp the written or the spoken word. They cannot grasp the point, nor can they see from anyone’s perspective but their own. They are racist, bigoted, and slightly unhinged, frankly.

    As I stated to Tammi, we need to be cautious always, at all times these days. One is never safe, imo, anymore. The days of safety are over. Molesters, pedophiles, and those who practice the perverse are lurking right underneath our noses half the time. They appear to blend right in, I’m afraid. So there is no need to pick out this group of already discriminated against, picked upon people, and attempt to make their plight even worse. We must take precautions always. It is never safe in any public bathroom.

    Also, I wonder…. if a gay man, a gay community, or any non-straight variation is ever guilty of turning the tables (at a lesser degree to be sure, because I know of NO cases of gay men beating a straight man and leaving him for dead in a “straight bashing” as it were) in a social situation, are they not returning evil for evil?

    No argument from me. They sure are.

    What are the limits on sexuality? If we read our Bibles and find God’s word addressing it very positively as regards straight sex in marriage (that is how I read it (critically, I might add)) and very negatively as regards nearly all forms outside of that perview (as I read it (critically I might add)), then isn’t it natural for me to want to preserve cultural norms that lend themselves to that worldview? How is that getting the cart before the horse and/or being legalist? And how can it be both legalist and illiterate?

    Opinions are fantastic, EVEN WHEN THEY DISAGREE WITH SOMEONE ELSE. I think the problem comes about when we began to judge, assume, criticize, and then outright accuse and stereotype to the point that we assume we are God, and that we speak for God. We assume we are the final interpretation of the word of God. We are not, no matter how sure we think we are about it. We have our relationship with God, with Jesus Christ; I rely upon that and the Holy Spirit within me to understand the Holy Bible and the intent of God within the words I read. There are theologians whom I believe are more correct than others. I rely upon their interpretations of His word when I am puzzled or concerned about an issue, including sexuality.

    I consider one to be legalistic when they strain at a gnat yet swallow a camel. In other words, they shut the doors of the Kingdom of God upon others, keeping them out, and they don’t go in themselves. They are so caught up in what sin is and who is sinning and are they sinning, that they’ve missed the entire point of salvation and the teachings of Jesus Christ within the Bible. They nit pick, obsess, and think they know it all. They are anything but humble. If it’s not loving and basically classy and graceful, it’s probably not Jesus, in my opinion. He taught with dignity and grace and we are expected to behave likewise, with compassion and patience.

    I have demonstrated that I am sensitive and still in process as I search for answers in this issue, but I do not hold the same conclusions as those who appear to me to be having the upper hand in the culture in this day and age. Is there no space for respect of my opinion(s)? Am I supposed to get shut up in the closet?

    Am I a bigot for reading it thusly?

    While Jesus said, “go and sin no more,” he didn’t nag, berate, lecture, or condemn. He interacted with the woman directly and he did not judge. He was loving, kind, accepting, understanding, patient, and most of all not condemning. He had the right to say “sin no more.” I don’t see that we have that right to instruct the non Christian not to sin anymore. IF it is a member of our congregation, perhaps we have more leeway, but not amongst the non body of Christ, of strangers who need to use the bathroom.

    We are all entitled to our own points of view on cultural standards and how things should be in the future. Politics and whom we put into office helps us to make ourselves heard. Individually, we speak out, but we have to remember that speaking out in hatred, disgust, self righteous piety, and a snooty looking down the nose at others is not Christ like. So it all depends on how one handles it, imo, Agent X. You seem to be doing just fine….

  6. Warrioress,

    Thanx for the thoughtful, engaging response.

  7. I would like to make three important points here:

    1) A male person does not have to dress up in female clothing to rape a female person in the women’s restroom. The notion that men need a “Special Female Uniform” to rape someone in a women’s restroom simply does not flush (no pun intended) with history. However, there is a long history of men wearing normal male street clothing lying in wait for women in the women’s restroom and raping them. No uniform was necessary or required. One of my best friends was raped on the floor of the women’s restroom in her own office building when she came into work a little earlier than usual one morning. He was an African-American man in an office with almost zero African-American employees, and he was wearing male clothing when the rape occurred in the women’s restroom. No one noticed a stranger in their midst—if there was even anyone else there to notice.

    2) In foreign countries where unisex restrooms and transgender restroom sharing is common, there is virtually no history at all of men dressing up as women to rape women in the women’s restroom. To the best of my knowledge, only one such case has been recorded, and that was in Canada—and it was considered to be an unusual aberration.

    3) Rape is not a sex crime. Rape is a crime of violence where the rapist gets sexually excited by the infliction of violence. If a person is going to rape someone, a women’s restroom is a really stupid place to try it because a third party could come in at anytime—and probably will in most places—party over.

    So Tammi, Adrienne, other folks. These bathroom bills are targeted at problems that do not exist and are not going to exist. The sole purpose of the transgender restroom laws in assorted states, including my home state of Tennessee, is to persecute LGBTQ people. Many Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals are angry at the U.S. Supreme Court for approving gay marriage last summer. Unable to inflict any revenge on the high court, these restroom bills were designed to take out revenge on the LGBTQ community instead—a proxy crucifixion if you will. The people sponsoring these bills want Christians all across the United States to jump on their revenge bandwagon and enjoy a bunch of good, old-fashioned, 1930s, Jim Crow-style lynchings with LGBTQ people as the victims—and the restroom laws are just the first round of persecution in a long line of planned persecutions of LGBTQ people. It is not our job as Christians to take out revenge on people. If there is any repaying to be done, that will be God’s job in some hereafter circumstance—not yours as a Christian in the here and now. Remember what the Apostle Paul said, “Vengeance is mine says the Lord…” But even then, we have a God who is more likely to show mercy and forgiveness rather than vengeance—and Jesus asked us to emulate the latter—mercy and forgiveness.

  8. I sense that the dover comment demonizes me unfairly.

    I think I made a very rational, reasonable case for wanting to be biblical and how that might be reflected in my influence on the culture. I did not say it is unarguable; I said reasonable.

    So, if I have adequately demonstrated such, then I do not support such legislation for “the sole purpose… to persecute LGBTQ people” – in fact I have NO desire to persecute them at all.

    And while I am disagreeing anyway, I would also point out that rape is a sex crime. Sex is deeply and intimately involved. In fact power and sex have a lot to do with the politics of the larger discussion. But I only say this to point out that I disagree on several fronts here. I have no desire to chase every bunny. I just don’t want to be demonized. I hold an unpopular view. I sense rather strongly that a pro LGBTQ agenda and sympathy is actually very popular and not in the minority at all. So, I don’t see why my view (or those that hold similar points of contact) should be painted into such a corner as “sole purpose to persecute”.

    X

  9. Sorry Agent X. I did not intend to hurt your feelings. None of my comments were about you or your post. I was simply offering my own separate perspective on the bathroom bills—based on some things I know and have experienced with friends in my own life. In addition, I was trying to calm some of Tammi’s anxiety about theses bills. Have a good day Agent X.

  10. Dover 1952,

    Thank you for the response. I appreciate it.

    Actually, my feelings are not hurt. I am thicker skinned than that (not to say they can’t be hurt, but you did not).

    I just sensed my position caught up in your remarks unfairly. I have sympathy with those who don’t like the changes our culture is making. And I have no doubt some feel scorned and some perhaps even do want to persecute LGBT. Insofar as that goes, I do not join them, but I happen to share some of their thinking and ideals. I fear all statements are dangerous, blanket statements will always cover someone unfairly. Just to engage in conversation on this topic is to venture into high risk of offending someone.

    I appreciate your response. It mitigates that.

    Thanx

    X

  11. Deuteronomy 22:5 A woman must not wear men’s clothing, nor a man wear women’s clothing, for the Lord your God detests anyone who does this.
    Mostly Jesus quoted Deuteronomy.

  12. Thanks Ernie. However, that is part of an old covenant exclusively between God and the Jewish people ONLY. As a gentile, I was never a party to that covenant and its laws, which has passed away for all formerly Jewish Christians under the new covenant of love and grace.

    As a famous Christian writer once said, “There is just something about the flesh that craves a law.” It is true. The flesh is simple minded: “Me Tarzan. Me want premarital sex with Jane.” Laws are for simple-minded people: “Love and grace? What does that even mean!!!???? Philosophers have been trying to figure that out for centuries, and they still ain’t come up with no good answers. Give me a good, old-fashioned Thou shalt not. My simple brain understands that. You know. Just don’t do it.”

    But you see Ernie. The flesh is not just short on brains. It craves a law because the flesh is full of pride. It sees a law as a yardstick to measure itself with—an opportunity: “See me GOD. I just measured myself with Leviticus Law Yardstick No. 3 today. I measured up all the way today Lord. See me Lord!!! Ain’t I a glory to behold. You damned right I am, and you better take notice of it too!!!”

    Yes, I know about that famous short verse in Timothy. However, I do not believe Tim was saying: “Get your butt saved and then go become a slave to the Old Testament law again.” The Apostle Paul worked really hard in the Book of Galatians to shoot down that notion. I call Galatians the one book in the Bible most Christian fundamentalists and conservative evangelicals would vote to have removed from the Bible—if they could find a way.

    So, no Ernie. That will not fly with me.

  13. Ok. I’ll bite.

    Duet 22:5.

    That is the word of God.

    The fact that Jesus quotes from Deuteronomy frequently is a discernable statement.

    The fact that it is lifted out of context and set in the middle of this conversation suggests somethings that may or maynot be arguable – mostly arguable, I think. Some of which I will flesh out one way and someone else another. We might even pick up a bit of Galatians along the way, but I will not be so cavalier to dismiss the word of God. Even with no context, I has weight.

    Somehow, it is incumbent on me to wrestle with that passage in a reasonable manner. And I think there are other reasonable manners for that than appealing to a “famous [yet nameless] Christian writer”, stating that “there is just something about the flesh…”, and then quoting Tarzan. Rhetorically, that seems to suggest that Ernie is “simple minded”. And that in turn suggests Gnosticism is the ideal.

    It suggests such in my view, at least.

    I have no idea if I agree with Ernie or not. His post suggests that partly I do, but then that partly I don’t. It’s hard to say with out more context and offering. But he definitely quoted the word of God, which I respect and honor. His comment was true enough, though brief and did not catch any meaningful gears as per bathrooms at Target that I see. But the quote from God, does seem to catch that gear.

    Out of respect for that, I say, “Thank you Ernie. I will seek to fly with that.” God’s word is more weighty than “some Christian writer” or “Tarzan” and whatever reasonableness I find must seek to harmonize with Him (God).

    ….

    Now… If Ernie thinks he can dig out persecution of LBGT from that verse, or from Jesus who quotes Deut a lot, then he has his work cut out for him. He is a long way from achieving that.

    Just saying…

  14. Fair enough Agent X. However, I would hasten to say that I do not believe every word printed in the Bible is a direct word straight out of the mouth of God and into the writing hand of an ancient person. I believe it is a mixture of purely human words and a mixture of direct God words—and it is our job to carefully discern which words are from men and which words are from God.

    I was not raised in a fundie church that believed the terms “God breathed” and “inspired” meant that an ancient writer was put into a hypnotic state by God, then God grabbed his writing hand, and God used it to directly write each word on the page. When I talk to fundies and read what they think about the Bible, it always seems pretty clear to me that they think God wrote the scriptures himself through a process of automatic writing by a human. Automatic writing exists almost entirely within the sphere of the occult. The terms God-breathed” and “inspired” are so general and vague that they could mean just about anything people want to attach to them.

  15. Two things I really appreciate about this blog:

    1) It is bold in opinion and not bashful. And subsequent to that, I sense it is intellectually honest in allowing these cross examinations.

    2) It makes me think (and others too, I believe)

    I value both of these things. Thank you.

    Dover’s offerings keep challenging me. I read those comments and find myself trying to sort out thoughts and feelings. I sense myself caught up in some of the remarks in ways I do not think characterize me, but still catch me up in them unfairly. I react to them attempting to make distinctions. But we are now far afield from the original topic – though it is all related.

    It is clear to me that Dover approaches Scripture differently than I do, and probably different that Ernie. Ernie’s simple quote and slight comment lend his comment to a kind of rhetoric that suggests a lot of stuff which actually is not hammered out at all. And if the issue is really about persecuting LBGT persons, then count me against that. But since I don’t see the bathroom issue in that light (necessarily), I want to distinguish that I have certain sympathies that cut against the one grain and not the other. I see them as separate issues, related though they may be.

    This has led to a comment on inspiration of Scripture and fundamentalism. I would have thought, based on the rhetoric of the earlier comment, which invoked Galatians, that our view of inspiration was far closer than the later comment reveals.

    Let me say that I hold a view of inspiration that puts me close too that of the fundamentalists in function but not in form. I do not believe we have an ideal Scripture that is free of all error in some monolithic form. I studied textual criticism in college and see waaaaaaaay to many issues to hold such a simplistic view. For instance, we do not possess any autographs – original documents – only copies of copies of copies of copies. A few are quite old, but none go back to the original writer. And we see a lot of variances in those copies! In fact a lot of them have notes from one copyist to another interwoven right into the sacred text! However, BY FAR the puzzling variances are MOSTLY quite minor. It is remarkable how well preserved the Scripture is even in this most precarious process.

    Then there are matters of canonization. Some real scoundrels actually made it into the councils and committees way back in ancient times that decided what counted as Scripture and what did not! I cannot defend that process and say it is devoid of all error! But I can marvel at just how coherent the canon is despite these challenges. That too is rather amazing – almost miraculous.

    No. I do not believe the Holy Spirit activated a writer like a robot to write down the texts which we consider God’s Word. Some fundamentalists do hold views about that staunch, but I too find that almost ridiculous. I would almost make fun of them, but that is disrespectful of someone else’s respect for God, and that doesn’t seem right. So, I tread carefully there.

    On the other hand, I believe in God and his Sovereign Authority. I believe he lives in me, and I am flawed. I believe he speaks through me, and I am flawed. I trust the canonized Scripture over my own presentation! But I still think he expresses himself through me frequently, and as a prophet, I certainly hope it is him and not another!!!

    But you know what? Somehow, in all the mystery of God and the gods, there is a rhyme and reason to the story of Oedipus Rex and other ancient mythologies that is inescapable. You just can’t trick the gods. No matter how hard you try to not kill your dad and sleep with your mom, if the gods have ordained it, you are doomed to do it. And if that goes for lesser gods of mythology, how much more true is it of the Sovereign Creator?

    What then of the Scriptures and their inspiration?

    I cannot hammer out all mystery until there is none. I can only say that I find it reasonable to TRUST in the Scriptures – pretty much AS WE HAVE THEM. We can check the variances when spitting a few hairs, we might even use I Maccabees to explain a passage in Mark 3 with new clarity, but I will trust that God’s word is his word and more weighty than anyone else’s.

    You wont find too many fundamentalists taking this route to getting to just about that place with the Bible – AND NO it is not EXACTLY the same place. But it is rather close to it.

    But you know what? I sense that Dover rightly does not want to see LBGT persons persecuted – especially by someone holding a Bible! And I gotta say, if I am getting that right, then I totally am on that page too!

    I remember when I was a young man that a pedophile was uncovered in our small, conservative, Protestant, white, middle-class church after years of abusing children. This man had been sodomizing young boys for generations! And we heard tales that he had done it frequently at summer camp, while tying a young boy to a bunk, reading some Scripture to the boy and then raping him. It could not be more twisted and disgusting! Take a boy in his formative years and warp his sense of sexuality, his sense of Scripture and of God and summer camp…. Wow! The Catholics had nothing on us!!!

    And our conservative leadership succumbed to the ugly temptation of trying to minimize the whole thing, deny it as far as possible, normalize it wherever it could.

    And the pedophile? Well, I think it is reasonable to presume that such had been done to him when he was young. His sexual desires and sense of God became deeply warped. I think he was in the wrong on both counts. I have great sympathy to that extent, but in no way support either of them! And insofar as the children were concerned, I think the man needed to be STOPPED! Not tolerated… not accepted… not normalized… and definitely not promoted. No. Just plain STOPPED! Period.

    But I also think the man was stuck with a problem down in the core of his being… down in the core of his identity. Even if he denied himself his own sexual desires, he would wrestle with this part of himself and the burning powerful urges he experienced. I would sympathize with that. I would not want to persecute a man wrestling with that kind of stuff in his bones. His plate is full of pain already.

    This reminds me of a man I befriended in prison. He too was a pedophile. I did not know this about him at first. As chaplain there, I did not make it my practice to ask inmates what they had done to get imprisoned. I did not look up their files either. I preferred to take them at face value and treat them accordingly. But in doing so, they would frequently confess their crimes and sins to me in quiet moments of counsel. Not always, but frequently.

    And this one young man was such a sweet guy. I really had a hard time imagining what he had done. I kinda hoped it was something like drinking too much one night and driving home having harmed someone… You know, one of those lapses of judgment type things that can be sooooooo costly sometimes.

    But no.

    This guy was a child molester. And when he began confessing, I began cringing. This guy really felt terrible about it all too. He told me he was sooooooo ashamed and sorry. But he also said the drive in him was unstoppable. He said he could not control his sexual desire for children. It was something too deep to fix, he thought. And, that is the common sense of it too.

    In my evaluation of him, I was glad he was locked up. I hated that it had to be in prison. Prison is such a mean place. But this guy needed to NOT be loose in the community! And that leaves little or no options. He was flourishing as a man of God within the confines of the prison, despite the pain his environment caused him, but he was apt to hurt children if he were set free, and that risk was practically beyond risk itself. It was all but certain.

    Now… I have said a lot about child abuse here. I fear it sounds as though I am equating it with homosexuality. I am not. There is a world of difference between consenting adults and adults with children. But there isn’t much different beyond that. Sex drives, identities, orientations etc… to speak of these things is to speak down at the core of ourselves. And these things are powerful. Very powerful. And if we do not channel them appropriately, we unleash chaos!

    The questions are not where there is an appropriateness, but rather what constitutes appropriate and who says?

    What are the rules and who is in charge?

    These are the things that in our culture today are up for grabs. Suppressing sexual desires, drives, identities, and orientations etc is nothing new. Neither is deviating from those suppressions. But as a culture, it is all up for grabs now. The rules are changing; the rules have changed. Some people believe the Constitution of the United States is the Authority in charge, others believe God is. Others believe neither of these options while still other believe God is in charge, but just not yours or my interpretation(s) and so forth.

    In this fray, all I can say is that I hold views that make me care very deeply for LBGT persons – even love and accept them. But I also find it reasonable as a man of God seeking to live under his word and authority to not endorse all things LBGT.

    I happen to be straight. But even within that rather vanilla, almost bland, sexual orientation, I have a storm of desires for got blondes, but spicy red heads really knock me out too! I am not kidding. I am easily lured to the smorgasbord of options even within this “natural” limitation. And yet, I must employ other limits on my sex drive and orientation if I want to remain anything near happily married to my wife – to honor her and my kids and the home we have built. And I think it is reasonable for the culture to honor me for doing it – to even impose sanctions that lend themselves to more of this.

    AT THE SAME TIME, and this might seem ironic to some, I find it absolutely despicable to torment or persecute others who do not live up to my ideals. I struggle to live up to the ideals I hold. I have not done so flawlessly. I am susceptible to failure in my own standards EVERY DAY! To be honest, then, I would NEVER kick a fellow when he is down struggling with issues that come from the same stream noless! Even more than that, I actually love my brothers and sisters on wholly other grounds anyway, and I fully recognize that some of them face personal struggles I never will! I will stand against beating them up with my standards too.

    AND YET, I will challenge them to rise to those standards all the same.

    There.

    With that, I am done… I think.

    But you do make me think… And that is a good thing.

    X

  16. Off subject here, I know, but I have no other communication(s) with you. So…

    Check out these links. I think they resonate with both of us (together) in powerful ways.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-t-hughes/a-riddle-of-life-and-deat_b_487476.html

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/richard-t-hughes/why-conservative-christia_b_500004.html

    Richard Hughes is a friend of my dad’s. So, just to be transparent, yes, I have a biased opinion of him. I have read a few of his books. Myths America Lives By is one of my favorites. And the school where Hughes is working now days (in Tennessee) hosts (or at least used to) Lee Camp who wrote a handy book called Mere Discipleship. Both of these guys promote peace and care for the poor in powerful books, lectures, instructions. They are notable. And you are one of the people I should share them with, I think.

    Blessings….

  17. I am seeking a discussion on my blog that I invite you and any of your readers to consider and join. All insights are welcome. Especially those that seek biblical bases.

    Join me here: https://fatbeggars.wordpress.com/2016/06/04/what-is-home/

    Thanx

    Agent X
    Fat Beggars School of Prophets
    Lubbock, Texas (USA)


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