Conservative Christians “with a heart for the homosexual” still don’t get it

This commentary is the opinion of the author and may not necessarily reflect that of other authors at Box Turtle Bulletin.

Timothy Kincaid

April 2nd, 2010

With the growing openness of gay men and women and as they become more incorporated into the fabric of the culture, conservative Christianity has been challenged to rethink their position.

For years the only visible response was “it’s a vile sin”. As gay people slowly became visible, up sprang vitriolic “family” groups dedicated to fighting for the civil subjugation of gay people and the denial of social equality or even basic civil rights.

Although this approach was often phrased as “love the sinner, hate the sin”, there was little evidence that the “sinner” was much loved at all. Rather, she was reviled as being immoral, militant, radical, anti-family, and a threat to children, the church, and all of Western civilization. Advertising campaigns, legislation, rallies, and political movements were generated to take away his children, deny his employment or housing, ban him from civil service, tax him more heavily, incarcerate him if he dare fight back, and in all ways keep him a second class citizen.

But over time, secular voices were joined by mainline Christians in calling such treatment barbarian and un-Christian. And some of the younger conservative Christians had a hard time aligning the “evil homosexual” image with those gay men and women they know.

So a new face of conservative Christianity is arising calling for more tolerance and seeking to share a loving God with their gay neighbors, to welcome them and love them rather than loudly condemn them.

And almost without exception, they get it entirely, completely, and miserably wrong.

Rather than see gay people as people, we are seen as a mission field, lost and desperate sinners trapped in a sinful and dangerous lifestyle hopelessly searching for acceptance and grace. And they come into the discussion with the assumption that their understanding of Scripture is not only true, but universally accepted.

Too often, conservative Christians start with the premise that gay folk share their beliefs about homosexuality:

  • all humans feel a draw to know God and live according to His commandments; and knowing Him, on any terms, is good
  • all sex other than one man, one woman under the covenant of heterosexual marriage is unquestionably condemned by God
  • homosexuality is acting out on ungodly temptation to sin
  • if gay people only came to feel loved by God then they would give up their sinful lifestyle

But these are not assumptions that our community accepts. And often, these are assumptions have no more practical applications to our lives than than carrying a “God Hates Fags” signs.

These “more tolerant” conservatives generally come bearing a specific message, one that seems to have stepped in to replace “love the sinner, hate the sin”. It goes something like this:

We all are sinners. We gossip and lie and get angry and make mistakes all the time. God forgives us all and sees no sin as greater than any other sin. God loves homosexuals and forgives their sins as quickly as he forgives the sins of anyone else.

And they sit back waiting for the homosexual sinners to come kiss their hands with tears streaming down their faces, oh so thankful for this charity.

But what these Christians fail to see is that we do not see our sexual orientation in terms of behavior. We are not gay because we do gay things. We are gay because we are internally, inherently drawn in matters of romantic, emotional, sexual and spiritual attraction to persons of the same sex.

The sins that this tolerant Christian sees God forgive in his life are based on his own behaviors; his failings are his own actions. But the sins that he sees God forgive in our lives are not behavioral, but inherent; our failings are intrinsic and will be present no matter what we do.

And when gay folk reject this overture, as we do, they indignantly reply, “Well! I called myself a sinner, too! What more to you want?”

Take, as illustration, a Christian bus message campaign in Toronto. Amidst a number of other questions posted on bus benches by Bus Stop Bible Studies, was this one:

The website to which the reader was directed sought to “show love” and sensitivity. First, they explained why gay people are gay (cached):

Reason 1 – The fall of mankind. Death and decay came into the world when Adam sinned.

Reason 2 – Refusing to know God. In Paul’s Letter to the Romans he explains how God will show his displeasure “…as acts of human mistrust and wrongdoing and lying accumulate, as people try to put a shroud over truth.” that is those who have chosen to go against Him.

Well, now, that’s fun. My sexual orientation is either the sad and tragic consequence of sin in the world, much like muscular dystrophy or famine or it is the consequence of rebellious me refusing to know God. Either a generic ill or a punishment.

Gee, that isn’t particularly encouraging. So next we get the love and grace message. Even though we are the consequence of Original Sin or of godless rebellion, there’s Good News!

Does God love homosexuals?

Yes! Without exception.

Are my responsibilities as a homosexual any different from heterosexuals?

We know from passages throughout Scripture that God hates homosexual acts BUT no more than any other sinful act. Some individuals seem to place homosexual acts in a special class – God does not. Sin is sin.

Homosexual activity is no better or worse than heterosexuals engaging in sexual activity outside of marriage.

Woo hoo. A devoted gay relationship is no more offensive to God than cheating on your spouse. Goodie.

And that’s the nice part. They also shared that AIDS is not God’s judgment… but if you engage in “selfish freewill choices” then “As you sow, so shall you reap.” And, even worse, you may hurt an “innocent person” like a hemophiliac child.

I guess they forgot one little part: he can wake up tomorrow and decide to stop being a cheating, lying, womanizing a$$hat, but I’ll still be gay.

And the extra-special plan that God has for gay people? Is it a lifetime of celibacy?

Perhaps it is never, ever, experiencing romance, flirting, a first date, or a kiss on the beach under the moonlight. Maybe a life of devotion to others, knowing that your last breath will not be with a partner. Being a wonderful uncle or sister or neighbor, but knowing this: God’s Plan is for you to never be the most important person in anyone’s life.

And they wonder why we don’t leap at the opportunity.

“But it’s grace”, they say. “God is as quick to forgive you for your life of love, commitment and devotion to your partner as He is to forgive me of my extramarital affairs. He’ll forgive you for building a life together, for caring until death do you part, He’ll pardon you for experiencing same-sex attraction just as quickly as he forgives a murderer.”

Is it any surprise that some gay people conclude that God is a bully? Or that even more have responded to such nonsense by questioning the existence of gods at all and have come to conclude that it’s all just irrational myth and superstitions?

And, indeed, Toronto’s gay community was not amused. (Torontoist)

After receiving a number of complaints about the “Does God care…?” poster, the TTC sent the offending ad to its advertising review committee to evaluate whether the panels should remain posted. But, says TTC Director of Communications Brad Ross, “That point is moot now that Bus Stop Bible Studies has voluntarily decided to remove the ads.”

But they did not do so graciously.

They removed the website’s “sin” discussion and replaced it with a whiny complaint about how they were misunderstood and now they are being picked on.

The content of this page has been removed. It has become apparent that, while one is free to ask the question, “Does God care if I’m gay?” one is not so free to answer the question from a Biblical perspective.

It seems that the whole message of God’s justice and grace was being misinterpreted.

Oh, those poor bus stop preachers. The nasty gays misinterpreted the message about how they were gay because they rejected God and the notion that with AIDS, “you reap what you sow”.

The funny thing is that I believe that the bus stop folks really do believe that they are tolerant. They didn’t come preaching hate (as they see it). They didn’t even say that you had to become straight to know God.

But their ignorance and presumption was only exceeded by their callousness and self-righteousness. They came bearing the same ol’ steaming pile of dogma, wrapped in smugness and arrogance, and were Shocked! that it was rejected as hateful and offensive.

So here is my message to the conservative Christians who “have a heart for the gay community”: think about what you are saying and how crazy offensive it would be if directed towards anyone else.

You claim that you see all sin the same, but you don’t. No one does. Gossip may be annoying, but we don’t light the torches and gather the pitchforks like we do when a murderer is loose. We don’t amend the constitution to protect the family from those who love money. We don’t pass laws banning liars from serving in Congress or keeping those who curse their parents from serving in the military.

We know that you really do think that our “sin” is so much worse than your own and we are not impressed when you lie and say that you don’t.

And, guess what? We are not sitting around waiting for someone, anyone, to tell us that God loves us. There are gay affirming churches, and we know how to get to them.

Yes, we know that you believe these churches to be wrong, but you believe that a whole lot of churches are wrong about a whole slew of doctrinal issues and the only one you seem interested in addressing is gay people.

Think how odd it would sound to “really have a heart for Lutherans” or “feel God is calling me to evangelize to Episcopalians”. How condescending and arrogant. That’s exactly the same way it feels to us when you come sharing the news that God loves us and if we only just really, really knew that then our lives would be changed.

And for as long as you continue to be part of the movement to deny civil equalities, you will never, ever “reach gay people for Christ”. If your Christ compels you to take away my health insurance, then your Christ is my enemy. If His message of love is to take my children away from me, then I’ll do without that kind of love, thanks.

If your position on my personal freedoms is exactly the same as that of the Phelps family, then you really have nothing to share with me or my community. If your voting pattern is identical to Peter LaBarbera, then your gospel is nothing but a sounding brass or tinkling cymbal.

Don’t get me wrong. I do appreciate that you aren’t calling us abominations and perverts. I really do. Setting aside the language of condemnation and revulsion is a step in the right direction.

But it isn’t as big a step as you think it is.

And as long as you come to us with the message that God wants us to live a love-less life of aloneness and think that we are going to see this as good news, don’t be surprised that we are not impressed. If you think that you are doing us a favor by being “compassionate for our struggle”, then don’t expect any more congratulation than what your are already giving yourself. And until you come up with a theology that reveals God as something other than a bigot or a bully, you can be sure that your “mission to the homosexuals” will not be fruitful.


April 2nd, 2010

You have no idea how much I need this today. Thanks, Timothy

Ben in Oakland

April 2nd, 2010

Brilliantly put, Timothy, as always.

As I have often said, the only thing I want from this type of Christian is the same respect and tolerance that they show to all of the other people they believe are going to go to hell, sent there to burn forever by a just a loving god.

Ben in Oakland

April 2nd, 2010

Here is something I may have written a few years ago. I’m not sure, because i saved it with no attribution. If I didn’t write it, it still applies, and my apology to whomever did.

“It should make anyone with a shred of decency vomit every time one of these creeps starts about morality. Over and over you see the rote declaration of faith, followed by lying, the evasions when their own pathetic failures of moral character are pointed out.Why do they single out homosexuals? Because they need someone to point their fingers at, someone to take the spotlight away from failed character, someone to die for their sins. We have to bleed, so they can be righteous. At the heart of the gay rights struggle is not the morality of homosexuality but the morality of those who would keep us second class citizens, outcast and vulnerable. They take what should be one of life’s perfect joys, that of finding that intimate other, falling in love body and soul and making a life together, and they twist a knife in it so that they can feel righteous. There is nothing moral about that. If that’s not sin, then the word has no meaning. I frequently hear is that they do it in good faith. Maybe they don’t have a gay family member, or one that’s out to them. The honest moral person, when confronted by a falsehood, by something patently wrong, accepts that and acts accordingly because you don’t want reality to smack you upside the head. You anti-gay crusaders are not acting in good faith, your crusade is as immoral as they come. Let’s call your self-serving self righteousness what it is. A lie. A cheat. A fraud. You deliberately hurt innocent people in order to polish your own morally stained vanity. It is positively obscene how long decent,good-hearted gay people have been cowed by moral runts who have put a knife into their hearts as a way of buying their own self-respect. We are not the ones who have to be afraid of arguments over the morality of our conduct. You are.
Morality, the difference between right and wrong is a tool that guides us to the good, and away from the bad. It is a tool that our enemies renounced long ago because it does not validate their conceits and their bigotries. And every time they open their mouths with lies about us that they know **** well are lies, they tell us so. At some point in their lives, reality collided with their prejudices and instead of doing the moral thing, they sold out. Larry Craig. Ted Haggard. David Vitter. Paul Barnes. Good ol babtist preacher Lonnie Latham. And all the other right wing moralists. The more they yap, yap, yap about morality, the more you see how far away from it they’re running. We don’t have to run from it. There is nothing wrong with us, and never was, despite your carefully selected quotes from the bible. Jesus said clearly “JUDGE NOT.” Which part of that does not apply to your good Christians. We have been taught for so long to hate ourselves so that a bunch of moral pygmies would have someone else to point their fingers at, someone else to bear the burden of shame that they’ve been evading all their lives. You can’t buy a decent, honest, moral life second hand. Our lives and hearts are not your stepping stones to heaven. Our enemies threw morality away, because they couldn’t get it cheap. For same sex lovers, our moments spent in simple honest human desire and affection, are genuine, real, righteous and beautiful, and that is why you hate us. Every time I take my HUSBAND’S hand and offer him what I am, the best within me, what you homobigots see is everything that refutes your bigoted, religion-as-a-club beliefs. Every time I smile into my husband’s eyes, rather then turn away in shame, I win the moral argument”


April 2nd, 2010

The biggest thing that all these evangelicals are missing is that they are preaching a change that man does.

But the true message is that the spirit of God moves us to change what God sees fit to change… no matter if it is extreme anger, drinking or what not. But the change is up to God!

All that christians are told to do is spread the good news of salvation in the hereafter, not the herenow!


April 2nd, 2010

One of your BEST, most spot on commentaries EVER Timothy.



April 2nd, 2010

Woo hoo. A devoted gay relationship is no more offensive to God than cheating on your spouse. Goodie.

You forgot to mention that we’re also no different from child molesters, alcoholics, rapists, crackheads and murderers. All of which I’ve been compared to in the last month, I’m amazed at how they are able to fling vicious insults like those at people and then pretend they’re being polite.


April 2nd, 2010

I find evangelizing of any sort to be insulting. Someone walks up to strangers telling them that if they do not convert to whatever sect of religion that the evangelizer is pushing will result in eternal damnation. If only these people could live such virtuous lives and by their example draw others to them. Now that would be something I could see as admirable.

Timothy, I think you are spot on with regard to the evangelizing of gays, but evangelizing in general is insulting. The evangelizers come accross as inconsiderate, rude, ignorant people who have little to no respect for the beliefs of the people they are trying to evangelize.


April 2nd, 2010

Thank you. A nice overview and discussion.

I would add–and add emphatically–that the basis for all of this is the belief that homosexuality is a choice.

For these Christians, it HAS to be a choice, because if it is not, it blows a gigantic hole in their theology.

Therefore, and despite all evidence to the contrary, it must remain a choice. And they don’t possess the integrity to consider the alternative.

This smug, brittle, bogus theology, cloaked in vainglorious humility, will never include us, and if we know ourselves, will never fool us.


April 2nd, 2010

My favourite Oscar Wilde quote fits perfectly:

“Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live; it is asking others to live as one wishes to live.”

That is precisely what this particular brand of Christian consistently and unrepentantly does, and they simply don’t get that, until they stop, gays will never have any choice but to view them and their religous beliefs as a threat to our human & civil rights.


April 2nd, 2010

Wow, thanks for putting what so many of us feel to words!

Evan Hurst

April 2nd, 2010

Jesus, Timothy.

Can I get a witness up in here?

Or buy you a Starbucks card or something?


April 2nd, 2010

Ben, I don’t know who originally wrote that commentary but it was AMAZING.

Spot on!

Elizabeth Casswell

April 2nd, 2010

WOW! WOW! You are awesome!

Gary Brewton

April 2nd, 2010

What I know is this: God created me gay. God blesses all Creation and calls all Creation good. God loves me gay, the way God made me.
I am called to love God, and to love other people as I love myself. Jesus says, there is no other commandment greater than this.


April 2nd, 2010

Can I hear you say AMEN?

Emily K

April 2nd, 2010

Well done, Tim. A good response to Alan Chambers (Exodus)’s recent “What’s Your Abomination?” post on their blog.


April 2nd, 2010

This is absolutely terrific! The only thing wrong with it is that you pretty much wrote the post I’ve been planning for Blog Against Theocracy this weekend, but ten times better. (I think they’d appreciate this post, BTW.)

Lately I have been thinking about how a certain strain of conservative Evangelical Christians seems to believe that deep down, we all really think like they do and want what they have. But we’re just slaves to our “sin” or proud or something. And they want people of different sexual orientations, beliefs, whatever to just cut the bull (because it’s really that simple, they think) and start acting more like them, already.

It’s actually kinda cute when they start trying to have a “dialogue” or “conversation.” They’re so surprised that we already know they really want to convert us, to make us more like them so they get points with God and don’t have to be confronted by our difference anymore.

I have used the phrase “reverse chameleons” to describe the people you speak of. They want to turn everything around them their own drab colors and make it blend in with them. I wish that they’d understand we really don’t want to be changed. Really. I sometimes wish a Muslim would evangelize them, just so they knew how it felt to be somebody’s project.

I’ve said this before in many venues, maybe even here, but as a Witch, I feel like the prayers that those people with a “heart for the homosexual” offer are actually curses. If I were to pray that these people uprooted their lives, ditched their beloved spouses, possibly left or left *with* their children, lost friends, suffered spiritual confusion, and struggled to take on a whole new identity, all just because I thought the way they were living their lives was wrong, I’d be considered an evil Witch who cursed them. And they’d be right. I’d never do anything remotely like that. But they can do this all the time, and expect no repercussions, not even a tiny squeak of a response more negative than “Thank you, sir!”

They expect wrong. I wish someone who needed to read your post, would, and would GET IT.


April 2nd, 2010

Timothy, that was wonderful! Great writing! Great message!

The other day I had a well-intentioned Pentecostal woman tell me that she “loves the sinner but hates the sin.” She thought this was a great comliment to me– and it probably was, considering that she restrained herself from telling me I was possessed by demons and on my way to splitting hell wide open. I’m sure she THOUGHT those things, but controlled herself and didn’t say them. In front of me.

After the usual discussion in which I asked if she had EVER studied what the Bible said abut homosexuality for herself, (“no”) I asked her to imagine the following scenario:

Suppose she loved her husbnad dearly, more than her own life, and someone of a different religion approached her and told her that their marital relationship was immoral, unnatural, perverted and evil. In fact, she and her husband didn’t love each other at all. They were only shacked up for sex, no other reason. They should immediately break up, never see each other again, and repent for having loved each other in the first place. The both of them would have to be celibate for the rest of their lives. My authority? A book, and I know the book is true because it says so right there in the book, see? I asked her if someone told her that, WOULD she leave her husband, never touch him again, and repent of the “evil” of loving him? She answered, “of course not.” And I told her that was the same answer she’d get from every gay person too.

She stared at me a minute and told me it was a shame that I had chosen to go to hell.

Lucky for me that I quit paying attention to that tired old crap a long time ago.


April 2nd, 2010

You knocked it out of the park, Tim.

I’ve said this before in many venues, maybe even here, but as a Witch, I feel like the prayers that those people with a “heart for the homosexual” offer are actually curses. If I were to pray that these people uprooted their lives, ditched their beloved spouses, possibly left or left *with* their children, lost friends, suffered spiritual confusion, and struggled to take on a whole new identity, all just because I thought the way they were living their lives was wrong, I’d be considered an evil Witch who cursed them. And they’d be right. I’d never do anything remotely like that. But they can do this all the time, and expect no repercussions, not even a tiny squeak of a response more negative than “Thank you, sir!”

This is also a fantastic summary of and insight into what evangelizers try to inflict on us, GreenEyedLilo. That’s how I’ve felt about it for quite some time.

Priya Lynn

April 2nd, 2010

Its one of my pet peeves when Christians say “gayness isn’t a worse sin than any other” and think they’re being gracious. They’re being profoundly insulting and they act like they expect you to be grateful for the insult. It amazes me how anyone can be so out of touch with reality.


April 2nd, 2010

Thank you, Timothy, for writing this piece. It felt like the equivalent of getting a big (non-creepy) hug.


April 2nd, 2010

Kincaid, if this post proves anything it’s that you are not, and never will be satisfied with “tolerance”. “Tolerance” is a misleading word bandied about for the purpose of confusing the issue. No, what you want is affirmation, even celebration. Any religion that won’t give that to you is your enemy and will be treated as such. Thankfully, not all homosexuals are as unbending and unreasonable as you are.

Every world religion that I know of rejects your behavior as unnatrual. It’s their right to do so. Sure, some branches have rationalized some semblance of compatibility with their religion. It usually goes a little something like this–“Sure, our scared text states repeatedly and unequivicoally that this behavior is wrong, but none of us really follows every word of the book. So if we’re going to ignore one part, let’s just ignore more parts! Let’s start with the parts that inconvenience our lives or make us unwelcome at cocktail parties.” And voila!–you have to Epsicopalians.

As GLSN once wrote: ““The pursuit of safety and affirmation are one and the same goal.”

You’re a reptilian bigot.


April 2nd, 2010

Why are homosexual websites always de facto Christian bashing websites?


April 2nd, 2010


It has already been said, but you have knocked it out of the park. I am absolutely saving this one and will read this over and over when I need a spiritual boost. Thank you very much for your eloquence.

Lynn David

April 2nd, 2010


Many a conservative Christian stance on homosexuality is nothing but sublimated homophobia. The religious stance allows the relief of their fears and hatred by the Biblical references against homosexual conduct; and then they can claim that Christian love based in scripture. Trouble is, it’s still disgust, still hate, still a sickness.


April 3rd, 2010

remarkable piece — firm (but not irate), clear (but not academic or clinical), and uncompromising with respect to self-respect. hell, i’m going to link this on my facebook page ;)


April 3rd, 2010

Phenomenal piece. You really are one of my favorite blog writers on the ‘net. You captured so eloquently what I’ve expressed, less so, on so many occasions.

Let me quote one line: “If your Christ compels you to take away my health insurance, then your Christ is my enemy.”

On the Facebook page for Michael Brown’s offensive against Gay Pride in Charlotte last year, I asked him point blank if taking away health insurance from same-sex partners demonstrates the love of Jesus.

I had to ask him more than once, because he kept avoiding an answer to, in essence, a very simple question. When he finally did respond, he gave some long, theological mumbo-jumbo that talked around the answer, but basically answered the question, “Yes.”

At that point, I was done with him.

I’m glad you raised the point again.

Lynn David

April 3rd, 2010

I happened to stumble upon the Max Lucado community of Christians today. I remembered him from some old Larry King Lives. Seems he had a few posts dealing with homosexuality. But one simply titled homosexuality went on for 7 pages of comments. Straights just cannot seem to stay away from the subject. It was at:

BTW… it just cracks me up when people capitalize homosexual, gay and lesbian. Like we’re gods or something.


April 3rd, 2010

Timothy, thank you for that incisive summing up of the “conservative Christian” position. You have demonstrated how a mistaken religious ideology can cause those who are not at heart very bad people to adopt very bad attitudes and to make cruel and inhumane demands on others.

Mike Camardelle

April 3rd, 2010

“I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.” Ghandi

I think it’s important to note that you’re zeroing in on ‘conservative Christians’ which is no different than zeroing in on ‘conservative Americans’ or any other ‘conservative’ for that matter.

A church or religion does not have to be liberal or conservative. There are many who are simply churches, where they worship God, and thankful for His grace and love, and do not practice exclusion on any level … and never use the word ‘but’.

Some of these divisions are within the same religion, such as the Episcopal Church’s upheaval on the election of two gay bishops, others are like the Catholic Church, where it’s okay to be gay as long as you’re celibate, and still others are like Southern Baptists, where gays are going to hell no matter what.

Neither any church, nor any of us, should use one passage of the Bible as a basis for all of our faith or belief. The Bible is a book of books, each book with chapters, paragraphs, and sentences, all of which are to be taken in total context. I get bothered when a columnist or a church or anyone for that matter deviates from the intent and history of the Bible’s translation and publication.

I am a Christian, who is gay, and my mission is to spread the good news to people of Christianity, whether they are gay or not.

Jeff S.

April 3rd, 2010

I hope that Tim and everyone who commented here will take time to read a great blogpost about these bus ads by Wendy Gritter of New Direction Ministries, which is a Toronto area ministry focused on “bridging the gap” between the evangelical and LGBT communities:

Some conservative Christians do “get it”. Hopefully their numbers will grow through the influence of people like Wendy.


April 3rd, 2010

As we used to say: “Right on!”


April 3rd, 2010

This is a great piece, Timothy – planning to refer to it often in the future.

Bill S

April 3rd, 2010

Well put, Timothy.

Ben in Oakland

April 3rd, 2010

Thanks, Zeke. I’m pretty sure I wrote it, but not 100%.

Timothy wass more eloquent on it. I was just more pissed off.


April 3rd, 2010

I’ve been following this story since it hit the news waves on March 31st. I like what Mike Camardelle wrote, quoting Ghandi… “I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. They are so unlike your Christ.”

It’s true that so-called “Christians” give a bad name to Christ. I believe there are a variety of issues that Christians have “sinned” against humanity with the so-called message of love. That is why I do not associate myself with the word ‘Christian’. Too many people who have no clue what living a Christ-like life is like have used that label and have tarnished it. I am merely a sinner saved by grace. God revealed himself to me and I was willing for him to come in and change me. I have a relationship with him.

This is what I don’t understand… if you say that God allowed you to be born gay, does that mean you have a ‘disability’? I was born with Muscular Dystrophy (interesting that Timothy mentioned that) and I believe God allowed me to have that condition for his “glory to be revealed” (as it states in John 9 in the story of the blind man). Because I have a disability and am in a wheelchair, people expect me to be without strength, but I believe that God works through me to testify of the change that happened within me… that my heart has been transformed. So if being gay is a “disability” and God wants his “glory to be revealed” through us… if a gay man or woman turns to God, can God not change them over time… if he chooses and the person is willing? Obviously if you’re okay with being gay, and claiming to be a follower of Christ, could God not use that to show the power of his transforming grace?

I have been disturbed by a lot of the feedback left regarding these ads on the buses, especially with claims that this is a “hate group” (which it is not) but I want to learn from this… to try to better understand why a gay person would feel attacked even with a question. Thank you for helping me to understand with your comments.

Gene Touchet

April 3rd, 2010

For a theological discussion, send them to Kosnik, “Human Sexuality” St Martin’s Press 1977.
Catholic theologians say OT is pretty much mis-interpreted.


April 3rd, 2010

Darin wrote “This is what I don’t understand… if you say that God allowed you to be born gay, does that mean you have a ‘disability’?”

No, Darin, it does not. No more than being born with white or black or brown skin, or blue or green or brown eyes and so on. My sexuality is part of what I am. Period. I did not choose to be gay. Just as my parents did not decide to be heterosexual–and I know, because I asked them.

“if a gay man or woman turns to God, can God not change them over time…”

Why would I want to change? I am what I am, and your premise is insulting because you imply that I should really kinda want to change. I don’t. I also don’t believe that being homosexual is a sin, regardless of what certain cherry-picked passages from a many thousand year old book may say.

Excellent post, Timothy! Spot on!


April 3rd, 2010

@ Darin: I can’t answer for anyone else, but I don’t regard my ability to love without regard to gender (I’m bisexual and married to another woman) as a disability or something that needs to be fixed. I have told monosexual (mostly straight) people that I love being bisexual. They look so shocked, but it’s true. I don’t want to be anything different!

My problems come from other peoples’ attitudes, people who treat my ability to love as something that must be “helped” or “done something about” or “confronted in our culture” or whatever. The only thing I don’t love about being bisexual is other peoples’ responses to it. I guess a threat to civilization may not know it’s being a threat, but I really don’t see how a full-time secretary/part-time interior decorator who just wants to live and love and have some fun presents such a huge problem. That’s what most of us are, Darin. Ordinary people who want to enjoy our lives with people we love, nothing more or less. As my wife once shouted to an anti-gay preacher, “Go help the homeless! Go help the drug addicts! We don’t need or want what you call help! You can help us by leaving us alone!”

The question isn’t the problem. The question is the tip of a huge, huge iceberg. This iceberg has claimed LGBT lives through suicide and violence against us. It is the general assumption that queerness is inferior, wrong, and must be eradicated, whether by eradicating queer people ourselves or “changing our hearts through Jesus.”

Please, please read our comments, and re-read Timothy’s post. It can’t be clearer.


April 3rd, 2010

Thanks to ZRAinSWVA & GreenEyedLilo… you’re helping me to understand and I am starting to see both of your points and that of the author of this post. Just as I cannot change that I have Muscular Dystrophy you cannot change that you are gay, so you’re just going with it… living your life like everyone else. If people daily reminded me that I have MD I would get a little peeved off as well. So what, I use a wheelchair to get around… I am still a human being. (I hope I am capturing what you’re saying)

Ben in Oakland

April 3rd, 2010

Darin wrote: “This is what I don’t understand… if you say that God allowed you to be born gay, does that mean you have a ‘disability’? “.

This is one of the great problems I have with many religionists, especially those who know better than I do about my life, and who have been privy to confidences from G himself about what’s wrong with my life. You are always looking for meaning and purpose and explanations that justify your beliefs. Or as Mark Twain so eloquently put it: “Nothing needs minding so much as other people’s business.”

Darin, lest you continue in this fog caused by way too much bible reading, and way not enough understanding, Jesus had not one word to say on this subject that seems to obsess so many Christians. Not one word. Not one. He did say very clearly, on at least four occasions, mind your own goddam and goddamming business. In a book loaded with unclarity, this is one of the few things that is clear.

No, darin, if I were to say that G allowed me to be born gay, it doesn’t mean I have a disability. It just means that I was born gay. Nothing more and nothing less.

You wrote: “I was born with Muscular Dystrophy (interesting that Timothy mentioned that) and I believe God allowed me to have that condition for his “glory to be revealed” ”

It might be that, or it might be that that you lost the latest round of genetic roulette.

And it might be that G “allowed” us to be gay in order that particularly dense, moralizing, ill-informed, judgmental, and frequently hypocritical religionists, especially those of a Christian bent, could see the great damage that results when you think you understand something that is not at all clear, based upon your interpretation of a translation of an interpolation of a forgery of a book that was written 2000-3000 years ago by people who lived in and understood (maybe) a vastly differnet world in a vastly different time from within a vastly different culture and mindset.

Ben in Oakland

April 3rd, 2010

BTW, I get that you are seeking to understand. I am not yelling at you, just at the moralizing busybody on the croner over there.

Regan DuCasse

April 3rd, 2010

Timothy, for that, dinner is ON ME the restaurant of your choice.

It’s been a drylongso since I had the pleasure of enjoying your handsome face across from me at the dinner table.

Us straight allies, we’re not immune. I think several of you can remember how DL Foster reacted to me.
Even worse was a libelous campaign by Stephen Anderson over at TownHall, and essentially a mob cyber attack.
And this was from the online cowards. In public…well, let me just say that the cowardice is even more acute.
All I have to say is “I’m here now, so tell it to my FACE!” Gets them running every time, to deal the dirty online once again through hyperbole and mischaracterization of what really happened. Then the play is recast with THEM as the victim, simply because I SHOWED UP.

Most of the time I try to focus on the legacy of equality and justice and the damage done by bigotry and systemic discrimination in every forum I can get to.
And even if I bring up the second commandment of Christ himself to relate to the avowed Christians…there is a definite retreat into that condescending denial that it’s THEIR actions that actually do the damage.

I’m with John, that prosthyletizing and using force of government to enforce a single religious belief…is on it’s face insulting.

Keeping a smile on their face while at the same time telling who they’re talking to that a gay person’s own existence, self respect and humanity has no value.

With addressing gays and lesbians, the insult runs deeper. Because when it’s all said and done, in all human history and existence, homosexuality and gender variance is THE constant.
Nothing has changed so profoundly about gay people or the transgendered, nor has the percentage of how many exist at any one time. So it’s puzzling that this segment of human life is argued in such an insulting and consistently irrational manner. And gay people being the least anyone wants to hear from.

Religions have come and gone, evolved, have centered around a narrow ideal of men and women and their origins and context to all Creation.
And yet, women are treated as inferior beings, and the extension of that is treating natural characteristics that predictably can’t and never did conform to artificial gender restrictions as punishable.

We’re STILL living this down in the 21st century of all time lines and places in a world with less and less that’s exotic or unknown to anyone.
This constant of sexual orientation and gender variance, regardless of cultural differences, remains.

I look around on these Spring days and marvel at all the varieties of trees, flowers…bugs, everything there is that is alive. Or isn’t. Rocks come is some sensational varieties too for that matter.
That anyone would insist there is only ONE normal sexual orientation doesn’t make much rational sense given the reality of a world exploding with variety.

The way I see gay men and women talked to and ABOUT, is as if straight folks think they are talking to children. And the expectation is that gay adults be no more challenging to the status quo, nor complain or express emotion, is to be like that of children.

We’ve already seen how our righteous indignation and anger at mistreatment and so on is interpreted and described as tantrums, and childish and selfish. As if it was toddlers who had trivial toys taken away, rather than civil rights, careers, property, children…lives. Which are after all, of extreme importance to ANYONE.

Women, blacks…in particular have been infantilized too.
And sexual desires each group respectively, ALSO enforced through repression and stigma.
Children, after all, are not supposed to have sex, be romantically involved, self reliant, independent and professionally and educationally competitive.
So when adults treat other adults LIKE children, to restrict otherwise self reliance and full potential and create separate terms to reflect that treatment, it’s NEVER going to be right.

And when it comes to ChristiaNIST conservatism, the nanny state is exceptionally forced on women (reproductive freedom) and gay adults that directly affect ADULT freedoms and access and on the rest of the flock (no critical thinking or rejection of unfair and unequal standards), THAT is always going to be wrong also.

I’m extremely tired of the redefinition of truth, by the Christianists. The redefinition of what actual injustice and victimization is, as opposed to the perception and conjecture of it for themselves.
And most damaging of all, the loss of the definition of the Constitution itself in it’s intents and purpose for protections.

Personally, if evangelicals haven’t read the Constitution, nor the impetus behind the expansion of it’s amendments and their protections (and can’t appreciate them for ALL of us), then it’s time we tell them they don’t want to LIVE HERE.

But in a place where they might better appreciate not only THESE freedoms, but what NOT having them really means. And what happens when you demand that only certain kinds of people should have them or you’re willing to take them away.
Somewhere like China…or Afghanistan.
Two places respectively, of extreme NON RELIGION….and an excess of enforcement of ONE RELIGION.

Mores the point: they take it for granted (and report inaccurately) that gay people DON’T appreciate gender, God, love, family and freedom, when the opposite is true.

Simply because it’s the gay populations most at risk or who have already suffered… of never having ANY of those things.

J. E. Klopfer

April 3rd, 2010

Wow! This is a very powerful article. It carefully and clearly responds to the social behavior of the hate~christians. Thank you Mr. Kincaid!!!!!


April 3rd, 2010

Ben in Oakland wrote: “Jesus had not one word to say on this subject that seems to obsess so many Christians. Not one word. Not one. He did say very clearly, on at least four occasions, mind your own goddam and goddamming business.”

Not sure what references you are referring to, but I know in the Gospel of John, Chapter 12, Jesus says.. “He who believes in Me, believes not in Me but in Him who sent Me. And he who sees Me sees Him who sent Me. I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.

Jesus declared he didn’t come to judge the world, and nowhere (to my knowledge) in the Bible would it indicate that “Christians” are to judge. That’s God’s business. If you don’t believe there is a God, then you don’t have anything to worry about. If you do believe in God, then you’d take his Word to heart.

I hate the “us” versus “them” mentality that many so-called Christians have adopted. I feel they have taken the crusade of “saving the world” into their hands and have made a real mess of it, offending countless people along the way. Jesus’ teachings were radical and I think that’s what made them attractive (in my opinion).

I apologize if my “premise is insulting” (as ZRAinSWVA has indicated) but yes, I seek to understand. Thanks to those willing to discuss.

Ben in Oakland

April 3rd, 2010

Darin; thanks for understanding.Here are the relevant passages.

Judge not lest ye be judged.

Look not for speck in your brother’s eye lest you miss the beam in your own.

Let he among you who is without sin cast the first stone.

Love thy neighbor as thyself.

Do as YOU would be done by.

Not even the slightest bit of homo-obsession among them.


April 3rd, 2010

Amazing post Timothy.

@ Candace – the really ironic thing about your example to the Pentacostal woman is that Catholic priests have – for years – been preaching almost exactly what you said, but with regards to her religious choice, not her marriage. I somehow doubt, however, that if a Catholic priest told her she was going to hell for being Pentacostal, and had to change her religion to properly worship God, she would think he was being loving; I would bet money she would think he was beyond rude.


April 3rd, 2010

This is exactly the kind of analysis we need.

The person who suggested we look at Wendy Gritter’s post clearly doesn’t get it. Don’t waste your time!! Wendy Gritter, and Andrew Marin, and the various people who are advocating a kinder, gentler brand of Christian Supremacy (look at some of the names of the people wo are either on the Board or on Staff at NDM – there is at least one person affiliated with NARTH, another two people who spoke at a national Exodus conference in the last two years, etc.), are exactly the kind of people this article should speak to.

But it won’t. They’ll keep trying to be more subtle.

Unfortunately, this kinder, ever more subtle, seemingly gentler brand of supremacy is indeed appealing to so many people. I think it is MORE dangerous than the overt condemnation of Fred Phelps in some ways because people actually get sucked in by this stuff.


April 3rd, 2010

Well, In this case, I don’t think we should overpersonalize this. Most conservative Christians view EVERYBODY outside their churches as a mission field!
People are a “crop” to be brought in at harvest. That’s the actual image in the Bible.

Ben in Oakland

April 3rd, 2010

I thought we were sheep. I coulda sworn it said that.

So now we’re sheep FODDER?

Henry Juhala

April 3rd, 2010

Timothy — well said … I mean really WELL SAID. I have been trying to formulate a similar statement. Now I hope you don’t mind that I will be referring people to yours instead. Kudos for writing this and sharing it with us. Kudos to all who added your thoughts as well.

I am amazed at the clarity which the GLBT Christian community has come to over the past several decades. I think finally we are on the right track to speak truth to our oppressors without need to apologize either for our faith or for whom it is that our creator designed us to love.

I know so many people in the church who genuinely love in Christ. As indicated in the title, their hearts are in the right place as far as wanting to genuinely love their gay heighbors both in and outside the church. Unfortunately too many have also been acculturated by their religious and political circles (through centuries of false witness born against us) regarding what the Bible does and doesn’t say about loving same-gender relationships. Like the Pharisees, they have learned the false witness about what sin is and isn’t and what is or isn’t required to get into heaven. They have learned the false witness about what medicine and science have to say about homosexuality. They have learned the false witness about what basic rights are for ALL citizens under the Constitutions of the U.S, Canada and elsewhere.

We need to get beyond the barriers caused by false witness and become speakers of truth in order to help bridge the gap between straights and gays in the church. We need to speak our own truth and challenge our friends when they speak falsely to what they believe is their truth. What you have written and what others have commented takes us a long way to building those bridges. Thanks one and all.


April 3rd, 2010

Thanks you for the article Timothy, and than you everyone else who has commented, for citing “conservative Christians” and “so called Christians”, instead of thinking we are all the same.

I don’t know if God made me indifferent to the fact that my husband is a man, but I know it is not because I don’t believe God loves me. I believe God loves us all.

Green Eyed Lilo, I have had trouble with monosexual people being stunned that I’m happy to be me too.

Emily K

April 3rd, 2010

Henry Juhala, please refrain from using Pharisee in the pejorative sense, as I and everyone else who is Jewish is a Pharisee.


April 3rd, 2010

Came across this. Lovely and loving. Right on!


April 3rd, 2010

as a christian, i say: bravo, sir!


April 3rd, 2010

I read the endless posts on this topic and grow weary when I realize:

1. All religions are man made. There is no one perfect or “chosen” religion. I really don’t understand why a Christian is any more a worthy person than a Muslim or Buddhist or whatever. As such, I could care less about a Christian’s viewpoint about my sexuality.

2. Of all the billions of people on the planet, why do some humans consider themselves more adept at discerning who God is, what God said, and what God is thinking? This to me is one of life’s mysteries—i.e. not only if there is a God but that in this vast universe a lowly human could have the audacity to think that they understand God so much better than some other poor humanoid slob. As far as I’m concerned, we’re all on the same rock circling the sun.

It would seem that the best approach is to admit that none of us fully understands the complicated biology of sexual orientation let alone what some superior being has in store for us. Believe in whatever religion you want. If it makes you feel good then more power to you. But resist the urge to think that your religous beliefs somehow trumps mine or that of anyone else. If we could just take that approach we wouldn’t be having these endless discussions.


April 3rd, 2010

I am really, sincerely (I hope) trying to understand. Is there any position but complete affirmation and endorsement that will satisfy? If not, what it the acceptable range of diversity of opinions that would not be considered hateful?

If this range of opinions is not a large range, are most Americans evil in the same way that they consider gays to be wrong? So one group is wrong/evil/misguided, and the other is right/good? If neither is wrong, why do they seem to have mutually exclusive positions?

Is this article trading one absolute truth for another? Can either side debate the other (implicitly trying to “convert” each other) politely, passionately and even out loud, believing what each believes while loving those who don’t agree?

Or is the choice between posting how much we agree with the author or to be hateful and unredeemable?


April 3rd, 2010

@ Rusty:

Don’t want to misunderstand your intentions, but I do want to make a couple of affirmations:

1) There is a “right” and a “wrong” in this issue. Rather than seeking a pleasant lukewarm tolerance of religious bigotry and social obliteration, we must condemn as false, pernicious, and destructive the animus that is levied against homosexuals. It ceases to be about opinions and “bipartisanship” when one group of people is being systematically crushed under the weight of a unjust social arrangement. When 30% of teen suicides are undertaken by LGBT youth, we should not defend the legitimacy of social beliefs which cause such pain and rejection.

2) Gay people do not seek the affirmation of religious folk. This was part of Tim’s point, if I’m not mistaken. All gay people seek is equal protection under the law, and the rights to pursue happiness in the same ways that straight folks have. That’s all. If you want to call me a sinner, that’s your prerogative. We should not make it illegal for religious people to believe and act as their consciences dictate (to the extend that their actions do not eviscerate the rights of others – as they now do).

3) This article clearly and rightly posits an absolute truth over another. And gay people have the right to do so to the same degree as the religious right posits their own. the difference between the two “truths” is that the pro-gay side makes claims which can be verified or falsified based on the logical tools available to us as human beings.

4) Finally, less a response to Rusty’s comments as a personal addendum: the newspeak of the religious right on moral issues, while often well-intended, has consequences. It rarely every achieves its stated purposes, and is simply galling to hear. The lack of imagination and empathy that is evidenced by our opponents in this matter is galling. The gay people on this website that are tipping their hats to Tim are doing so because what he has said here resonates deeply with our beliefs and experiences. And in this, I join them.


April 3rd, 2010

Is there any position but complete affirmation and endorsement that will satisfy?

So if someone refuses to ‘affirm and endorse’ interracial relationships should we not call them racists?


April 3rd, 2010

Steve:”If we could just take that approach we wouldn’t be having these endless discussions.”

You are right, but is there a reason why we need to stop having “these endless discussions”? It is just that some of us enjoy them, and I don’t see how we are hurting anyone.


April 4th, 2010

“So if someone refuses to ‘affirm and endorse’ interracial relationships should we not call them racists?”

Well, we could coddle their illusion of what constitutes right thinking; tell ourselves they don’t really mean it and by doing so set ourselves up for years on end of listening to them damn to hell everyone who doesn’t fit neatly into their racial purity cocoon. Or we could subject their judgement to the level of respect it merits and save ourselves years of boredom. The older I get, the harder it is to be “tolerant” to people who are like that mafia character, Frank Costello, Jack Nicolson played in The Departed who said something like, “I make the world conform to ME.”

Maybe a mafia thug can swing it with me (like I’m going to offer a critique to someone who kills people for a living) but why reward a racial purist for their nonsense. I have two relatives married to black women, my own step father is a Choctaw indian who is darker than a lot of black people, a Jewish grandmother who caught hell for the “purists” and an Iranian brother-in-law. They’re all better people than the loosely hinged who aren’t able to deal with the diversity that nature put on this earth.


April 4th, 2010

“It would seem that the best approach is to admit that none of us fully understands the complicated biology of sexual orientation let alone what some superior being has in store for us.”

I understand my sexual orientation perfectly. I’m gay. Every Single Day, All-Day-Long. I don’t even have to think about it. It’s always THERE just like my left-handedness is there. When I’m thinking about mowing the lawn I’m STILL gay even when I’m not acting on it. I NEVER have to wake up and decide what my sexual orientation is going to be for the day. I don’t have to use ANY deliberate effort to bring it out.

In short, my brain works on my sexual orientation EXACTLY like a straight person’s works on theirs – with Zero effort required. That’s one of Tim’s points. We can get condemned for the “sin” but we’re STILL gay even if we *NEVER* acted on it for the rest of our lives. Sexual orientation is the alleged “sin” that can’t be renounced whether you’re straight or gay except straight orientation is condemned in the bible. What’s so hard to understand about that? That’s exactly how heterosexual orientation works, TOO. We’re all experts on how our minds naturally and effortlessly guide our lives.

Paul in Canada

April 4th, 2010

Well done and well written. I’d encourage you to post this as an ‘article’ in PDF so we can send it out electronically.

I especially loved the tone. All too often our (justified) anger and frustration come through our posts, but this hit a really beautiful balance.

I hope other websites pick this up. I want to send this to every church in North America!

Thanks for a little affirmation and inspiriation! We all need more of that, these days.

Jason D

April 4th, 2010

“I am really, sincerely (I hope) trying to understand. Is there any position but complete affirmation and endorsement that will satisfy? If not, what it the acceptable range of diversity of opinions that would not be considered hateful?”

Rusty, how about just leaving us alone? Why is that never an option?

Why is it when we reject being evangelized to, we’re suddenly demanding acceptance?

No, I’d rather just be left alone, thanks.

Put about as much effort in “helping” Gay folks as you put into “helping” Buddhists, Native Americans, Jews, Mormons or anyone else you think is going to hell (to paraphrase Ben in Oakland)

Catherine Belles

April 4th, 2010

Recent reading has given me a slightly different perspective on why orthodox Christians persist in this line of condemning the sin and loving the sinner -tho it never comes across like that. they believe the Bible to be the inerrant truth of God, “God said it, I believe it”
To admit any difference from heterosexuality as part of the biodiversity of God’s creation, clearly violates this inerrant reading of Scripture. There are the usual verses/stories quoted for this. The second point is more subtle. Some Orthodox religious people, of any religion, believe there are people who are “in” and who are “out”. Those in the faith are right and they are the only ones in the whole world who are right and they have an exclusive claim on the truth of God. Everyone else, is “out” and they will miss out on the benefits of being “in.” Homosexuality is especially difficult for these folks because of the mystique they have built around it. I see a similarity to the response against women in the feminist 70’s, civil rights for African Americans in the 60’s, and so forth. I don’t know why they have built up this “agenda” myth and who gained from it – tho you can be certain someone did. For the most part these are folks unwilling to see any variation on scripture – you will note that they still believe in women being second to men, they treat racially different people as second class also – tho they frequently display perfect manners in doing it. As in “No Sir, you cannot be employed here, except as our janitor.” I feel sorry for them but not sorry enough to allow anyone to dictate the civil rights we possess. Secular must be kept separate from religious for just this reason – the Orthodox should be allowed to keep their religious beliefs intact but they should not be allowed to impede the civil rights of others based on their religious beliefs.


April 4th, 2010

Darian, seeking to understand is wonderful, and I am very glad that you are making the effort. If only more would do so! Stick with this website: the diversity of opinion and perspectives are a powerful tool for learning.

Regan DuCasse

April 4th, 2010

Years ago, my husband and I watched a series on the History Channel on Nazi propaganda films.
They were well produced, beautifully shot black and white films that were very much in the vein of educational films.

In fact, many of the actors were portrayed as students attending a class or seminar and being instructed.

Here’s the chilling part. The first THREE films were on the merits of euthanizing the sick and handicapped. They featured some startling examples such as nurses holding patients with hydroencephalitis (grossly enlarged heads), the retarded or people who suffered from muscular dystrophy and MS.

The voice of the narrator was soothing, and kind and said that such euthanasia would benefit this sickly population who would never contribute to society, would be completely dependent, and were usually in pain and required expensive time and resources that the young people WATCHING, should understand, would be better used on THEM, because they were the healthy, intelligent examples that the state preferred to enable.

Another two films moved on towards gays and lesbians in a similar vein. That homosexuals were useless to the progression of the human race, were mentally depraved and REQUIRED institutionalization and expensive therapy (most of which was corrective rape, electro shock and chemicals) that the state had no time or money for.
Eventually, the regime ‘experimented’ on the handicapped and homosexuals and so on. Introducing unbelievably cruel and barbaric methods in the guise of research and compassion.

There is an article in the LATimes today, about a law still on the books that the state was REQUIRED to cure homosexuals.
This was prompted by the rape and murder of a young girl victimized by a playmate’s grandfather.

The point is, Christianists keep fostering the gay is sick/requires treatment through Jesus/is undesirable/threat/useless, renders gays incapable of what’s important to family, marriage and children.

The anti gay propaganda is as powerful today as Nazi tracts against it were before.
The methods have been toned down, but the aim is the same: no homosexuality, no homosexuals. And all of it on condition of complete Christian control, through the government, to deny even basics like protection from job and career discrimination, to denial of marriage and Constitutional protection.

NONE of this is hyperbolic, my friends. This is how segregationists and Nazis held their power for so long, and were able to damage so many lives.

Christianists are STILL AT IT, but with as kindly an approach as those films will tell.
And perhaps, if enough people could see these films, commercials, tracts and articles side by side for comparison, decent people EVERYWHERE would and SHOULD reject what the likes of NARTH and EXODUS and so on keep advertising.

Perhaps NARTH and so on should be made aware too, for the most part that they should stop altogether because of how WRONG they are. Not just how they go about it.

The Nazis didn’t incite fear in who they were addressing, but were delivering their message to people by saying that what they were doing was good for all.

The Museum of Tolerance at one time featured these same films as part of a temporary exhibit, and it had the same effect on me then as now…
Made me cry, then made me searingly angry.
The arrogance of our dissenters, is exceeding only by their unforgivable ignorance at what their activity MOST resembles.


April 4th, 2010

Rusty said, “Is there any position but complete affirmation and endorsement that will satisfy?”

No one wants affirmation or endorsement. That’s not what anything in the gay rights movement is about. That question was cooked up and focused grouped to death by groups like Focus on the Family in order to make it seem like gay people are imposing (in some vaguely defined way) upon the poor “victimized” Christians. That gay people are asking for an emotion. When really gay people are merely asking to be allowed to make their own choices about their own lives. The REAL question is “why do Christians believe they have the right to coerce others by force into a life not of their choosing?”

“If not, what it the acceptable range of diversity of opinions that would not be considered hateful?”

The exact same range that Racists and Anti-Semites have.

“If this range of opinions is not a large range, are most Americans evil in the same way that they consider gays to be wrong?”

It is entirely irrelevant what most Americans consider. What is relevant is the fact that Americans crucified the entire concept of freedom on the cross of religion. And that my friend, that is evil. In fact, that is a crime against humanity.

“So one group is wrong/evil/misguided, and the other is right/good?”

Yes, as is often the case.

“If neither is wrong, why do they seem to have mutually exclusive positions?”

Because one group appeals to authoritarianism. One group is about control. Control, control, control, control of everyone around them.

The other group is about freedom.

“Is this article trading one absolute truth for another?”

There can only be one absolute truth. That’s how the truth works.

“Can either side debate the other (implicitly trying to “convert” each other)”

And once more we are back to the same flawed premise. Gay people do not care what the other side thinks. Gay people are the friends of freedom. Those “Christians” are free to believe whatever they wish. If they want to believe in the inherently impossible young-earth creationism, they can go right ahead. The only thing gay people want is to have the freedom to live lives of their choosing.

“politely, passionately and even out loud, believing what each believes while loving those who don’t agree?”

That’s impossible. You can not, you absolutely can not love someone and then strip them of their basic freedoms. You can not love someone and then be opposed to job protections for them, you can not love someone and be opposed to laws designed to help them when they are victims of crime, you can not love someone while being opposed to allowing them the freedom to marry the person of their choice. That, my friend, is hatred. Pure, unadulterated hatred.

“Or is the choice between posting how much we agree with the author or to be hateful and unredeemable?”

The choice is between freedom and authoritarianism. The choice is between love and hate. The choice is between right and wrong. The choice is between whether you believe you have the right to dictate what your neighbor does, or if you actually respect your neighbor as a person.

Ben in Oakland

April 4th, 2010

Well said, jason, and thanks.

Rusty: Another way to look at this. I think ALL religion is nonsense. Subtract a true believer from an atheist, and you are left with a difference of 1– on religion. If they are wrong about the nature of G and his relationship to the world– something each religion insists it is the sole possession of– then they are probably wrong about everything else.

We have piles and piles of evidence as to how wrong each religion is, starting with the “evidence” of every other religion, continuing on with wars, pogroms, torture, witch burning, and suicide obmbings, and on and on, and through the host of moral issues like divorce, homosexuality, racism, interracial marriage, and birth control, among many others.

With all that, I don’t call my self an atheist, nor would I ever consider as right laws which demand that people give up all religion (though I think it would be a good idea), or even conform to one religion (which I think would be a bad one).

I am perfectly content ot let people lead their lives as they see fit, as long as they are not harming others. I would hope that they would add to the general good, but even that is not a requirement.

All I request is that they allow me to do the same, and stop placing legal barriers against my full participation in society based upon something they believe to be true, but isn’t.

Ben in Oakland

April 4th, 2010

Tommy– also well said.

Jason D

April 4th, 2010

Tommy, Ben,
Good posts.

I’d like to point out another tired Meme…the one where “homosexuals are trying to force their lifestyle on you/society!”

This would make sense if:

-We were presenting a “gay camp” or “conversion therapy” to make everyone gay.
-We were trying to get rid of straight marriage and replace it with gay marriage(thus keeping marriage all to ourselves)

-We were trying to switch the focus of DADT so that straights are the ones being kicked out.

-If our ENDA added homosexuality to the list of protected classes and REMOVED EVERYONE ELSE.

But we’re not doing these things are we? No, our focus is on adding ourselves to already existing systems, not excluding others from these areas or these rights.

If anyone is trying to force their views on society, force their “lifestyle” on the country, it’s certain neo-con christians who want only certain couples to get married, only certain people to be in the miltary, hold certain jobs, live in certain areas, etc, etc. And their answer again and again when we come to them is “hey, just become straight and you can join the club” Talk about forcing your lifestyle on people.

Ben in Oakland

April 4th, 2010

ditto, jason.


April 4th, 2010

Excellent article. We can’t frame this as two different moral views any more. There’s a true view that rights matter, and a bigoted view corrupted by the outdated lies of religion. It’s not worth it to argue with trash. You’re just going to get dirty.

Jessica Sideways

April 4th, 2010

These lying sanctimonious pricks just don’t get it. I’m a bisexual transsexual woman and if I marry a man, they’ll call it a gay relationship. If I marry another woman, they’ll call it a lesbian relationship. I’m honestly tired of this bullshit.


bill d

April 4th, 2010

This excellent piece really crystalizes for me all the phoniness of those so-called christians who claim to love us, while despising who we are at our very core.


April 4th, 2010

Problem is, God IS a bully.

In this Passover season, let’s recall what He actually did to free the Israelites. Rather than softening Pharaoh’s heart or teleporting the Jews to Tel Aviv, Yaweh actually hardened Pharoah’s heart, sent down a whole bunch of plagues on Egyptians regardless of their political views or actions, then murdered presumably innocent boys in an attempt to effect a political goal – precisely what we’d call “terrorism.” Though I’d kinda like to for sentimental reasons, I’m not going to a Seder anytime soon, no matter how much liberal Jews try to ignore the ugly parts of this “story of liberation.” (Or, for that matter, that the Jews freed from bondage were themselves allowed to keep slaves.)

Likewise, his vengeance on Sodom burned a lot of newborn babies (and even those fetuses the Catholics love so much) to a crisp, hallelujah! Listen, God probably DOES hate f*gs; it’s entirely in line with his ugly, dysfunctional personality. And that’s another reason I couldn’t be less inclined to adoreHim.


April 4th, 2010

thank you soooo very much for this…this really resonated with what my Mother believed until she died..


April 4th, 2010

Oh my goodness, I love this more than anything. This is EXCELLENT!!! Thank you for writing this!

Dove-Paige Anthony

April 4th, 2010

I have no interest in being “tolerated”, tolerance connotes that they would rather not deal with us but are being forced to, I am only interested in being “accepted” as for the “love the sinner hate the sin” my life is not a sin…period! I am so tired of this crap, I grew up in a christian right family and now identify as a Buddhist. I cannot pray to a god of hate, I cannot pray to a god that allows hate in its name to be the order of the day. I live a life, not a lifestyle. And after many years of being told that as a trans woman I am a part of the “homosexual agenda” I finally discovered what that agenda actually entails! the homosexual agenda= leave us alone, stay out of our private lives and let us live a happy life where we dont have to try to measure up to some hetro-normative standard! thank you that is all

Ben in Oakland

April 4th, 2010

Mishi– when i was a kid going to my temple’s Hebrew School, I read the story of the ten plages and had exactly the same reaction. Why is God hardening pharaoh’s heart? It sounded neither fair nor virtuous.

It was one of the very first things that started turning me away from the faith of my fathers,

Eric in Oakland

April 4th, 2010

As so many others have already said, this really resonated with me. Thank you, Timothy, for writing an excellent article!

I am glad that people like Darin and Rusty are willing to engage in dialog, and are asking questions of us rather than assuming they already have all the answers. However, it saddens and baffles me that anyone is capable of reading something as clear and powerful as this and STILL not understand.

Emily K

April 4th, 2010

mishi, an interesting thing happens over the course of the 5 books and the progression of the Talmud – When the Israelite slaves are freed, they are permitted to have slaves themselves. BUT – Lev. 25:43 establishes laws forcing the Israelites to give their slaves humanity and dignity. They are not permitted to deal with slaves as they would animals, nor are they permitted to treat them harshly and overwork them as they were overworked when they were slaves in Egypt. Exodus 21:27 says that an Israelite who knocks out their slave’s tooth must set them free. Richard Elliott Friedman says that the Torah did not abolish slavery outright but rather set in motion dictates of slaves’ rights that led to human realization of the horrors of slavery and ultimately, the rejection of it in most of the world.


April 5th, 2010

Thank you, Timothy, from the bottom of my heart. You’ve explained my frustration with this kind of “compassionate Christian” response to the fact that I exist in a way that many who aren’t gay might actually understand. Bravo!


April 5th, 2010

Emily – yes, I realize that the Torah establishes rules for humanitarian bondage, and that rabbinical discourse certainly took things much farther in the direction of liberation for all.

I also understand that the Jewish tradition is one of continuing discourse and revelation. Problem is that so much of the OT law seems to most of us to be disproportionately cruel (e.g., death for working on the Sabbath) or outright horrid (e.g., the “no mercy for conquered lands” sections of Deuteronomy) that we’re left with the usual cherry-picking conundrum. Either it’s all true, down to the “death to fortunetellers” command (e.g., God is God and not to be questioned, so STFU), or it’s only partly Eternal Truth, in which case we’re to use our human judgment to discern what still applies. But if only certain stuff in the Bible is currently applicable, either 1) God gave us the wisdom – even the duty – to decide what’s past its sell-by date while remaining faithful to Him, or 2) it might just be more morally and intellectually consistent, if you’re inclined to cherish a sense of wonder at creation and a thirst for justice, to become a Unitarian or a Buddhist or a secular humanist and thereby bypass making excuses for one’s deity acting like an utterly hateful bully.

(BTW, this is not a matter of internalized Antisemitism…don’t even get me started on Islam. And since Jesus stated that he and is father were one, that means that JC has to own all the OT nastiness, too. It’s perhaps germane to note the Gnostic heresy that the bad-Dad OT and loving-Father NT gods could not, in fact, have been one and the same deity, though that was in the days before treatment for bipolar disorder.)

Kel Munger

April 5th, 2010

Excellent essay, Timothy. I’ll be linking to/quoting it on my blog today.


Kel Munger


April 6th, 2010

Thanks for this article. Hope some of the Christian freaks read it.


April 6th, 2010

There is a lot in this blog post that I can certainly agree with and understand. There are many comments posted on this blog post that I can also understand.

I think it is insulting to be friends with somebody only to evangelize that person. I think it’s only respect to see the person without any tainted lenses through whatever core values and beliefs that you may have to see the whole person standing in front of you which also includes letting go of any perceptions that we might have towards the other.

There are so many barriers that are up and will remain unless people start dialoguing about this.

And well … personally thinking that if somebody starts talking about this issue regardless of whether or not it is in harmony with what you believe there should at least be this great sigh of relief that people and folks in the church aren’t just digging their head in the sand hoping that gay people will just go away. But in fact people with amazing courage are stepping forward to reach out and start talking and who want to with respect.

Unfortunately there are folks who don’t have in mind to respect you and well … they don’t speak for the whole church … they are but a few in the minority.

However, one will never know if the Christian standing in front of us are there with motives or no motives.

The problem in our church’s today isn’t so much that there are people who want to engage in relationship with loved ones who are gay but rather that regardless if the person being evangelized is gay, Roman Catholic, Atheist, etc etc … there will always be a group who thinks their purpose is to evangelize those people. I personally don’t like building up relationships with the sole purpose to evangelize.

I have a friend, she’s a lesbian. I am a Christian with a Post Gay Biblical World view perspective and am quite happy living a celibate life right now and if a heterosexual marriage for me ever becomes possible then so be it but right now the focus of my faith isn’t to change my sexual orientation but rather simply to focus on my relationship with Jesus Christ. If people want to know more about my faith then in relationship conversation might lean towards that. My friend who’s a lesbian will every once in a while come to church with me but she does so knowing that our friendship is not centered upon the church but rather a mutual respect towards each other and a friendship that words to build upon what common ground that the both of us have.

So … this blog post was a great read and I learned from it. Thanks !!


April 7th, 2010

WOW – this was an incredibly written essay/commentary. I appreciate it.

Live and Let Live

April 8th, 2010

if someone is not hurting you or any child or animal, chill out- shake off the hate, leave them alone, and focus on being a good person yourself.. according to your beliefs, this god person you speak of made these gay people too ya know… does your god make mistakes?? jesus-freaks, get a life! :)

What God?

April 8th, 2010

Don’t beat yourselves up over these radical christian types, they are hypocrites, spouting hatred and anger, such a sad joke.
I wish everyone would wake up as many of us had that there is no spiritual floaty thing in the sky.. there is nothing that has the ability to ‘save you’ or ‘punish you’, look at babies who starve until they die in poor countries, look at sickos who rape, kill and eat other people.. if there was an almighty something up there, they would have to be a very sick puppy to allow stuff like that to happen, but it isn’t so, we live, we die, we rot, we turn into dirt like everything else….so just let it go, relax, forget about religion and enjoy your time here on the planet…
gay, black, women, etc all different but we are all sharing the earth, just do your own thing, lead a good life and enjoy it because its short no matter how long you live, its over before you know it and was all the grief worth it along the way.


April 16th, 2010

“Live and let live” is moral relativism, founded on the denial of objective moral truth. If truth is completely relative, then moral relativism itself collapses under its own intellectual weight. If what is true is only true because I think it is, then truth itself has no definition.

The truth is the heaven is not a democracy, and you won’t get a chance to vote for morality homosexuality in heaven. God himself is objective truth, and discerning truth of morality can only make sense through a rational discernment of God.

Homosexuals need special care to recover from the fleshly addiction.

Please pray for them.


April 16th, 2010

Give me a break. If anything is morally relative, it’s the argument that something is wrong “because my god says so.” Well other people have other gods and other beliefs that say different things. There is nothing objective at all about it.

The only objective conclusion one can make about homosexuality is that it’s morally neutral in and of itself.

Richard Rush

April 16th, 2010


Your comment shows symptoms that you have been over-indoctrinated, and under-educated.

If you could muster the courage to escape from your walled-off incestuous little world you would learn about another world brimming with fascinating information, discoveries, enlightenment, science, and new ideas. You could feel and participate in the excitement of lots of remaining unresolved mysteries to explore. You would also learn how education has allowed increasing numbers of people to make significant progress in abandoning their fears and prejudices involving people who may be different than themselves.

People whose lives are formed primarily from indoctrination are navigating through life by looking backwards thousands of years to find their way forward. Educated people look backwards too, but they analyze what they see, discard what proves false, and use it all as a springboard for making new discoveries about our world and the entire universe. Doesn’t that sound much more exciting than being indoctrinated to believe that all the answers we need are contained in a holy book written thousands of years ago?


April 26th, 2011

Hmm I could spend lots of time replying to you but the thing I will say is that my brother is gay, has been in a great relationship for years and has a kid. I love my brother…. I recently started going back to church. Christian church, I am Mormon… Oh now I got ya all crazy again, but try to keep listening through all the anger in your head. I asked God, in prayer, about homosexuality. God’s only answer to me was that he made all of us in every shade of the rainbow, each with our own strengths and weaknesses. So, as I had to lay aside my love affair for pornography, which was all consuming for 24 years, and FORSAKE it because I love god more than you must do the same. In the next life you will be given blessings unlimited! As I will for forsaking porn. No one is perfect. I understand that it seems unfair and even ridiculous to you but you will know the truth if you pray for it. I also had homosexual encounters when I was younger, it was not for me. The point being I experimented with it. My brother carried on a hetero lifestyle till he was about 30 it can be done. It was his CHOIcE to continue in that lifestyle.

Timothy Kincaid

April 26th, 2011


I don’t care one whit for what you think God told you to do. Give up pornography, give up cantaloupe, give up anything you think that makes your god happy with you. But if you want a real relationship with your brother, you’ll spend less time “replying” and more time listening.

Clearly if you think that your brother “carried on a hetero lifestyle”, then your relationship with him lacks honesty. And if you think “it was his CHOIcE to continue in that lifestyle” then it’s pretty clear that not only do you have no relationship, but you know it’s your fault. You chose to put your own personal religious affiliations above loving and supporting your brother, and you are making up excuses to make you feel better about your really screwed-up values.

(And for those wondering, if your church teaches you to reject someone (especially your very own brother) and not support him because of some “sin” that has no victim (not just being gay, but any of them), then your church is wrong, verging on downright evil. That’s the test. That’s how you know.)

And as for “I must do the same”, go soak your head. Unless, of course, you are willing to submit to the “must do the sames” that my church has for you. For example, my church would have you “do the same” by giving up the Book of Mormon. You willing to “do the same”, Mike?

Ya see, Mike, I think that your rules for you are hunky-dory. So if living according to a sex-code and narrowing your word to those just like you and being exclusionary and biased and rigid is your CHOIcE for your life, then you are free to CHOOsE it if you like. But only for you. Not for me, not for your brother, just you.

And if you have any interest whatsoever in knowing (instead of justifying) why you have destroyed a relationship with a person with whom you should have honesty and openness and, well, a relationship like a brother, then you need to put down your excuses, let go of your self-righteousness, and try to hear what I’m telling you. It’s your CHOIcE.


May 4th, 2011

Ahh you see Tim. You have no idea what I think, believe “preach” or don’t talk about. Bottom line here is I don’t know you and you don’t know me. So here it is straight. My father abused my brother. He tried to carry on a hetero lifestyle. I know some of his old girlfriends. He has NO IDEA how I feel I give him loving support. It is his decision, whatever he choses is fine with me. Really. He has changed greatly from the loving brother he once was into a very cynical person. I only hope that someday all my caring for him, as someone I love greatly pays off, and I don’t mean he goes, “straight” I could not care any less for how any of you live your lives. I am here however to say that many of you live in anger, as evidenced by your bigoted reply to my post. It’s fine when gays and lesbians throw around the bigot/hate word, but really it only goes one way. I have numerous friends that have gay or lesbian family members and friends. We love you all. It’s sad that there are many people who still have small minds and stereotype, the way you seem to. Some hetero people have small minds too, but, I think you believe that you are this huge misunderstood group, by everyone who doesn’t “accept” or any other word you throw in there about your choices. Truth most of us really don’t care. So get over yourself. I think if we met in 5 mins you would be apologizing to me for you rhetoric. Yes that is what you spew. Just like the “conservative Christian” counterparts you hate Soo much. Once again you don’t know me, and if I were you I would get some anger management. (snaps fingers 3 times in “z” fashion with hand on hips). Sorry man I couldn’t resist….;)

Timothy Kincaid

May 4th, 2011


You came here with a message: that gay people should “do the same” as you and lay aside and forsake things based on what your religion says.

I addressed that assertion. And I pointed out some things that really hit home, didn’t I?

In response, well, let’s just say than “angry incoherent rant” best describes your response. In order not to read what I told you, you have had to tell yourself that it’s all anger and name-calling.

That’s your decision. You can go on down that road.

But if you have any interest whatsoever in knowing your brother – instead of being totally fake and leaving him with “NO IDEA how you feel” (but believe me, he knows) – then you need to put down your excuses, let go of your self-righteousness, and try to hear what I’m telling you.

Otherwise you are going to continue to find yourself drawn to situations where you can try to pick fights with gay people to make some sense of your own inner conflict. You didn’t come here by accident or post your comment out of disinterest.


May 5th, 2011

Here is the litmus test Tim. My address is ********. Come on over and talk with me learn about me, before you judge me. I was making a point about what is right, by the bible, and what is wrong. I am no perfect person by a long shot, but I do my best. Nothing you said “hit home”. I am 46 years old and have gone over most of the decisions I have ever made the mistakes the and the lessons I have learned. I know myself, how I treat my brother and show him respect and love, nothing more. He didn’t even want me to meet my nephew for fear that I would contaminate him with my Italian coodies. My mother told me that herself. My father abused my brother, he was Italian and he never got over it. We both look like my father, and we could at a glance pass as different sized twins. He will never see that because it would mean he would have to accept some painful things. He chose am egg doner who was Nordic to be as sure as he could that his kid wouldn’t look Italian. It failed. That all aside. I have nothing but love for him. He suffered alot. I call him wish him happy whatever and wait on him. You my friend are an angry bigoted person for foisterimg your stereotype on me. Once again Tim you have my address, I am hoping you live in NY and can make it over sometime. Peace.

Timothy Kincaid

May 5th, 2011


I’ve deleted your address from your comment (it’s not wise to post your address on the internet). And while I thank you for the invitation, I live in Los Angeles and will not be taking you up on your offer.

I wish you peace.


May 5th, 2011

Thanks Tim, while I was thinking it over later, I was like, hmm, well, I didn’t it already and I would really like to meet this person. Sorry you live in LA, my brother lives in San Fran. Maybe you will run into him someday. Thanks for the wish of peace! If I ever get out that way maybe I can look YOU up..:)


May 5th, 2011

Wow typo, i meant did it already.


May 16th, 2011

I don’t know. Even if you don’t agree with everything the website had to say, I mean, let’s face it, if you end up contracting HIV, it’s probably because you made a bad choice and didn’t use protection. Outside of a bad blood transfusion or a cheating spouse, yeah, you reap what you sow.

Timothy Kincaid

May 17th, 2011


That’s an interesting assertion. I assume the “reap” part is HIV, but what is the “sow”?

You seem to suggest that “sowing” unprotected sex has consequences. But that is not what this site means by “sowing”.

When they say “reap what you sow” they include all homosexuality, to any extent that it is sexual, with or without protection, between committed partners or promiscuously.

This is a false equation.


May 17th, 2011

I mean, let’s face it, if you end up contracting HIV, it’s probably because you made a bad choice and didn’t use protection.

Or you used protection and it failed for some reason.

Chris McCoy

May 17th, 2011

Anthony wrote:

I mean, let’s face it, if you end up contracting HIV, it’s probably because you made a bad choice and didn’t use protection.

Or you were the victim of rape and didn’t have a choice.

But I understand your line of reasoning – because everyone who has ever gotten sick deserved it, right?

So why bother wasting valuable tax dollars researching cures for any disease, because, after all, everyone that got sick made a bad choice, and they just got what they deserve, right?

By your reasoning, everyone who has ever gotten cancer made a bad choice and “reaped” what they “sowed”, right?

Imagine the money we could save if we stopped wasting it looking for cures for breast cancer, or prostate cancer, or leukemia.

Or does your logic only extend to HIV – because only gay people get AIDS, right?

All those women in Africa who contract HIV by rape, they’re just making it up. Or did they just made a bad choice?

Ben In Oakland

March 18th, 2014


Timothy Kincaid

March 18th, 2014

Ben, I deleted the rambling crazy person post.

Ben in Oakland

March 18th, 2014

I see. Lord knows what all of that was about!

Priya Lynn

March 18th, 2014

Ahh. I like reading rambling posts by crazy people.


March 20th, 2014

new rambling crazy posts or not, it was really good to read this entry again, this article is but one of MANY examples why this is my GO-TO for LGBT news and commentary ;)

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