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American Pastor David Dykes Wants To Kill Gay Ugandans (UPDATED)

Jim Burroway

December 17th, 2012

American pastor David Dykes has traveled from Tyler Texas, where he pastors Green Acres Baptist Church, to Uganda to offer his apparently unqualified support for the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Here, he appears on NTV, Uganda’s largest independent television station to denounce the State Department’s efforts to avert a human rights catastrophe and says that American churches will come together to fully back Uganda if the U.S. withdraws aid:

Dykes: I’m extremely upset that our state department is putting pressure on Uganda to recognize homosexual behavior. And I’m praying that Uganda will say, “We don’t want your money, America. It is blood money. It is sin money.” I hope that you will continue to stand strong on what the Bible defines as the definition of a real marriage.

…Already in Canada, there’ve been pastors who have been arrested for simply saying from their pulpit that a union between two men or two women is an abomination in the sight of God. A Canadian pastor was arrested for that. … But there’s also maybe a law soon that says we could be arrested if we say anything bad about gay marriage or about homosexual behavior. It would fall under the category in America of “Hate Crimes.”

… In America, Christians are going to put as much pressure as we can on our government not to cut the aid to Uganda over this issue. But if they do decide to do that, we’ll let our displeasure be known, but we’ll try to step in as the Church in America to try to make up sending resources over here, especially to the churches. We hope to stand alongside the believers of Uganda during this time of crisis.

Dykes’s Green Acres Baptist Church (Facebook page here), which is a member of the Southern Baptist conference, is one of the sponsors of Pastoral Care Ministries (Facebook page here). It appears that Dykes was in Uganda as part of a Pastoral Care Ministries effort. The PCM web site describes their work in Uganda (Emphasis in the original):

The work has just begun with Parental Care Ministries USA, yet the Lord has accomplished much in a short time.  The effort in Parental Care School Mbarara Uganda, our first area of focus, has brought many improvements to the quality of life for this group of orphans and their staff of employees.  Our accomplishments in 2008 included a new 16 passenger van for the ministry, dormitories for the orphans, new classrooms for the school, a uniform for every orphan, school desks, and teaching bibles for the teachers and pastors. …

Our other focus arm of the ministry is working with Pastor Emmy’s 50+ rural Ugandan pastors.  We try to gather them from all over Uganda at least twice a year for conferences. We are assisting them with resources to help equip their churches to minister to local people. We have started a program called Cows for the Kingdom where pastors are given a cow to milk to provide for their family and sell the excess milk for a daily profit of a few dollars a day.  Nearly 2/3 of all our pastors have a cow now.  Pastors are also provided a bicycle which they use effectively sharing God’s Word wherever they go.

The other focus of work regarding the pastors is the School of Ezra that Pastor Emmy and Reuben direct.  Here they teach these young pastors many Biblical truths and motivate them to share God’s Word with the reached and unreached in their particular areas.  The school of Ezra currently meets at Mbarara Parental Care School when the children are on holiday.

It is worth remembering exactly what it is that David Dykes is so eager to support. The full text of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill is available online here (PDF: 847KB/16 pages). Our examination of the bill’s nineteen clauses are available below:

Clauses 1 and 2: Anybody Can Be Gay Under the Law. The definition of what constitutes “homosexual act” is so broad that just about anyone can be convicted.
Clause 3: Anyone Can Be “Liable To Suffer Death”. And you don’t even have to be gay to be sent to the gallows. There has been talk of removing the death penalty — which has not happened yet; it’s just talk — and replacing it with a life sentence. But can anyone seriously imaging that spending a lifetime in Uganda’s notorious Luzira prison is any better? Especially once your fellow prisoners learn that you were sent there for “aggravated homosexuality”?
Clause 4: Anyone Can “Attempt to Commit Homosexuality”. All you have to do is “attempt” to “touch” “any part of of the body” “with anything else” “through anything” in an act that does “not necessarily culminate in intercourse.”
Clauses 5, 6, 8, 9, and 10: How To Get Out Of Jail Free. The bill is written to openly encourage — and even pay — one partner to turn state’s evidence against another.
Clauses 7, 11, and 14: Straight People In The Crosshairs. Did you think they only wanted to jail gay people? They’re also targeting family members, doctors, lawyers, and even landlords.
Clause 12: Till Life Imprisonment Do You Part. And if you officiate a same-sex wedding, you’ll be imprisoned for up to three years. So much for religious freedom.
Clause 13: The Silencing of the Lambs. All advocacy — including suggesting that the law might be repealed — will land you in jail. With this clause, there will be no one left to defend anyone.
Clause 14: The Requirement Isn’t To Report Just Gay People To Police. It’s To Report Everyone. Look closely: the requirement is to report anyone who has violated any the bill’s clauses.
Clauses 16 and 17: The Extra-Territorially Long Arm of Ugandan Law. Think you’re safe if you leave the country? Think again.
Clause 18: We Don’t Need No Stinking Treaties. The bill not only violates several international treaties, it also turns the Ugandan constitution on its head.
Clauses 15 and 19: The Establishment Clauses For The Ugandan Inquisition. These clauses empower the Ethics and Integrity Minister to enforce all of the bill’s provisions. He’s already gotten a head start.

UPDATE: Dykes isn’t just some random Southern Baptist preacher. Jeff Sharlet, author of C Street: The Fundamentalist Threat to American Democracy, sends this update:

Oh, Jesus: Pastor David Dykes, full supporter of Uganda #killthegays, opened Congress in prayer in '08. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gV1PZnCLOII … @jfburroway

Following his prayer, Dykes was praised by Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) for his “evident burden to reach out to help others.”

In 2008, the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee presented Dykes with the M.E. Dodd Cooperative Program Award in recognition of his strong support of the denomination’s missionary work around the world. At that time, his church was cited for contributing $18.4 million since 2000 for mission work.

Update: Rep. Gohmert not only attends Dykes’s Green Acres Baptist Church, he is also a former Deacon and teaches Sunday school there.

Comments

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The Rev. Jan Nunley
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

I am an openly lesbian Episcopal priest, married for 23 years to the same woman. Dr. Dykes is the pastor of the church to which both my late parents belonged. The last time I saw Dr. Dykes was in a hospital room in Tyler, where my very proud father introduced me as his daughter. What a terrible shame that Dr. Dykes is now pandering to these monstrous demagogues in Uganda and spreading their poisonous message in East Texas!

tristram
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Jim – just a point of clarification – are there two separate entities – “Pastoral” Care Ministries and “Parental Care Ministries”?

F Young
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

“Already in Canada, there’ve been pastors who have been arrested for simply saying from their pulpit that a union between two men or two women is an abomination in the sight of God. A Canadian pastor was arrested for that…”

Unsurprisingly, this is false.

Dr. Shirley McKellar
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

First, Dr. Dykes uses his pulpit to endorse candidates Romney and Gohmert; which is against the non-profit laws of Texas, USA. And now he is in another country advocating, “killing people for their beliefs.” Whereas, Dr. Dykes, you have a right to your beliefs, but you have no rights to kill or advocate killing anyone. We did not give life and therefore we can not take it away. Our country is in mourning for the lost of our precious children in CT., someone decided to take their lives. And now you talk about killing people that do not share your beliefs. Well I do not share your belief to take someones life. That is why the Bible has a commandment that says.” Thy shall not kill.” So my question is, “Why are you doing this in Uganda?” I never heard you make this statement to kill anyone in America. Take a look in the mirror and then answer that question. As a matter of fact, I would love to get an answer from you in person. Perhaps we can talk when you return back to your country of origin. We have so many problems that need our attention in America. We need to take care of home first and then spread abroad. Take care, travel safely and God bless you. Dr. McKellar!!

Qwerty
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

I’m sure church donations will just pour in, if church members know that their “offerings” are going to support blatant anti-homosexual ideology.

The Christians that I know would never support such a thing. I’m sure there are plenty that would, but I’d rather not know them (nor would I consider them very Christian).

Patricia Brush
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

No pastor in Canada has been arrested in Canada for their preaching on the topic of homosexuality. Canadian law doesn’t work like that. If a pastor has been arrested, it would have been for breaking the law. Preaching is not against the law. Mr. Dykes should review the commandment against lying.

David M. Greer
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

of course gohmert is going to support dykes. gohmert is a MEMBER of green acres baptist church.

Faithful Servant
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

There are laws that limit what can be said from the pulpit. Hence separation of church and state. Which conflicts with freedom of speech and religion. LBJ had something to do with that by the way, to win an election, I believe. And Pastor D never said he wanted to kill gays. He’s preached much against that actually. So careful of the slander. The stance has to do with gay marriage not with homosexuals. Get your facts straight. Defending Christian beliefs should translate as an attack. It’s done in defense of our faith and what the Bible states.

Faithful Servant
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Should NOT translate as an attack- correction

Faithful Servant
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

http://www.ketknbc.com/news/pastors-using-the-pulpit-to-preach-politics

Qwerty
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Perhaps he should consider sending some really useful resources to Uganda – like rope for hangings, bricks and bars to build more prison cells, you know, useful things that they will need. More useful than minivans or cows.

Oh, and Mr/Ms Faithful Servant, please enlighten us, and the rest of the world, as to how your particular interpretation of what the “Bible states,” is the only correct one. People who make this kind of claim are about as arrogant as humans can get. Isn’t arrogance considered a bad thing in your religion?

Priya Lynn
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

The faithful servant of immorality said “Get your facts straight. Defending Christian beliefs should translate as an attack. It’s done in defense of our faith and what the Bible states.”.

Your dishonesty is shameful. You’re not defending your religion, no one is attacking it. If you want to refrain from gay sex no one is going to force it on you. It is people like you and David Dykes who are trying to force people not to have gay sex and promoting murder to enforce that. Your “defense of christian beliefs” is an attack, an attack on innocent people. You have blood on your hands.

indorri
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Faithless wretch, he spun this story so that it would be bout “gay marriage”. It isn’t gay marriage is already illegal in Uganda. In fact, showing any sort of gay affection is illegal in Uganda. If it’s known you are living with another man as a partner, you are arrested and beaten.

This law which Dykes :: spit :: has been going on about is a law to extend the penalties to life in prison and death.

So don’t even dare say this is about freedom of religion. This is about enabling murder, and your dear pastor has his hands blood red.

Jamie Foster
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

I live in Canada and know that this Pastor is LYING when he says “In Canada Pastors are being arrested for opposing gay marriage.” Completely made up nonsense…

sonja scarborough
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Christians, like myself, believe what The Bible & God teach us! Homosexuality is a sin…it is an abomination to God! That does not mean that God or Christians do not or should not love homosexuals! What is means is that the practice of homosexuality is a sin! God hates sin of all kinds, but He loves the sinner! EVERYONE has urges that we MAKE A CONSCIOUS CHOICE TO ACT UPON OR NOT TO ACT UPON! That is where the difference comes into play…we r all sinners & YES Jesus died for ALL OUR SINS! But a true Christian believer KNOWS what sin is and actively does their best NOT TO DO IT! Just because we know that God will forgive us our sins does not give us free rein to go out and sin whenever we feel like it! A true Christian homosexual person that is trying to live their life like God wants them to live, WILL NOT LIVE AN OPENLY GAY LIFESTYLE!…’MARRIED’ OR NOT! Marriage is supposed to between a man & a woman…PERIOD!…Yes God will forgive anyone who asks Him, but b careful NOT TO TAKE HIS FORGIVENESS LIGHTLY!
Also i as a Christian, wonder how someone can b an openly gay person living a gay lifestyle & b a minister too…??? R u just(like many heterosexual people do also) just picking and choosing certain parts of the Bible to believe n and other parts to ignore?…im not condemning anyone, im just stating a question i have had for quite some time…

TKnTexas
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Unfortunately Dr Dykes is more representative of Tyler and East Texas in general. I left at 20 returning only for short visits. When growing up there, the County Sheriff then said gay-bashing (beating up gay men) was not a crime and he would not arrest anyone. In the days before I came out, my brother confessed to me that he and a friend supplement their income by “rolling the queers” in other words taking the money of gays they bash. As he phrased it, no gay man will report the crime.

That was in the mid-70s, and the attitudes are no different now. My big questions is why the US State Dept has not gotten involved with this. There must be laws that are being violated by his actions and speech in Uganda.

Pacal
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Sonja do you realize when you say:

“Also i as a Christian, wonder how someone can b an openly gay person living a gay lifestyle & b a minister too…??? R u just(like many heterosexual people do also) just picking and choosing certain parts of the Bible to believe n and other parts to ignore?…im not condemning anyone, im just stating a question i have had for quite some time…”

you make all sorts of people smile. Why because every Christian does exactly that. Every Fundamentalist Christian I’ve known ignores the provisions regarding not eating pork or blood, and how about the one about mixing fabrics. Do you believe adulterers should be put to death? Yep everyone is a biblical hypocrite it seems.

The rationalization I’ve heard to get around that is that because of Jesus’ sacrifice we don’t have to do all that Mosaic Law stuff, involving ritual purity. Of course this begs the question of why the ritual prohibition against Homosexual acts, (No I won’t go into the utter nightmare of figuring out what it actually means – just to say it is not as clear cut has some might wish it to be.), arn’t included in the ritual prohibitions now superseded. Thus yup Christians even Fundamentalist Christians pick and choose also. I note that the Old Testament contains not a whisper of condemnation of Lesbianism.

I note also that Pastor Dykes has a most ironically amusing last name

Richard Rush
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Oh, Sonja, it’s been an amazing afternoon! I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to share the truth of God’s Word about homosexuality. I had never been aware of that information, and it really opened my eyes. My response was astounding – I immediately fell to my knees right in front of my computer, and cried out to God for forgiveness and deliverance from homosexual temptations. I feel certain that I was suddenly Saved. Thank you!!!

Some people will attack you by pointing out that, throughout history, other despised groups of people, such as Jews and racial/ethnic groups, were persecuted with the help and backing of dishonest writings and Biblical references. But homosexuality truly is different. You need to maintain your resolve to keep standing up for the truth. You will be labeled a bigot, but always remember, you have principles on your side.

When I told my partner of thirty-one years, he was devastated. But I told him how much God loved him and then I shared with him the Good News of Jesus Christ. I pointed out how God loves us so much that He wants us to be lonely and miserable for the rest of our lives – for His glory (and to be spared from His eternal punishment).

Then I prayed and asked God if He would change us to heterosexuals, He said: “No, I haven’t learned how to do that yet, and until I do, you will just have to be celibate or, if you are a skilled liar, pretend to be heterosexual. (and don’t worry about lying – I’ve redefined it as Absolute Truth) Many thousands of men have faked it by deceiving women into marrying them, and you can too. In my kingdom the proper role of women is to serve men, so by deceiving them into marriage, you are gifting them a special opportunity to serve your need to stay away from homosexuality. Remember, It’s all for my glory (and to be spared from my Eternal Punishment Program).”

God is so good, and so faithful! Praise Him!

Sam Davis
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

I would have to believe that his actions, advocating death and imprisonment of innocent people, would be construed as a crime against humanity. I hope he and Gohmert face swift and sure punishment for their actions.

DiscipleOfChrist
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

There are a few Christians who have been arrested for speaking out about homosexuality.

http://www.christianpost.com/news/pastor-acquitted-of-hate-crime-charge-in-canada-42190/

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/religion/7668448/Christian-preacher-arrested-for-saying-homosexuality-is-a-sin.html

I’m not familiar with what the US is asking Uganda. Is it to abolish all laws against homosexuality, take out the death penalty stuff, or what?

DiscipleOfChrist
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

I read the bill linked from this site and the only thing I read about “killing gays” was those who committed an aggravated homosexual offense.

I would be interested to hear what penalty you would suggest for a 40 year old man (HIV+) that kidnapped and raped a 10 year old boy?

If America wants homosexuality to be legal, then we can fight that battle here, but why do we need to threaten to withdraw aid from a country that does not want to accept homosexuality?

Rich
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

@DiscipleOfChrist religious beliefs of any sort are protected in Canada but that doesn’t give anyone the right to break the law and promoting hatred and violence against any group is called hate speech which is illegal in Canada. There is huge difference between a pastor preaching that same-sex sex is a sin and preacher writing letters accusing gay and lesbian people of “attacking” children or even seeking to corrupt children. One is statement of belief, the other is a thinly veiled incitement to commit violence based on a provable lie that gay and lesbian people seek to convert children to being gay or lesbian, something that is completely impossible anyways. This sort of speach in this case may not have risen to the level if criminal hate speech, but it went well beyond preaching Christian beliefs about homosexuality especially since it was outside the context of a religious service.

There was a case of Canadian civil servant who refused to perform civil marriages for same-sex couples which is legal in Canada and which is his job. He claimed it was his religious right not to perform same-sex civil marriages however he was still fired since he wasn’t hired to perform religious marriages where whatever religion can refuse to marry whomever they wish for any reason. It was his job to perform legal civil marriages, if he felt he couldn’t do his job because of his religious beliefs he could have always opted to perform religious marriages where he would be permitted to refuse to marry same-sex couples. No one’s religious beliefs give them the right to deny civil services of any sort to anyone at all. At the same time no church is forced to do anything with regards to marriage or any other matter. Religious rights in religious contexts are protected in Canada but not in the civil sphere.

Besides which where exactly in the bible does it say one must not perform services for people considered sinners? I’ve studied the bible and read every bit of it and I never came across any religious prohibition against providing services for sinners so when some Christians claim because of their religious beliefs they cannot sell to, rent to, or perform any sort of service for LGBT people they are full of it. There are religious beliefs that some things are sins but there is commandment of any sort against providing services for people who’ve sinned. After all is it not a Christian belief that all people are sinners? Yes there is, but then why aren’t Christians denying services to everyone since all are sinners? Why single out one sin to refuse services for those who’ve committed it? How is doing so not hiding bigotry behind the cloak of religion?

Rich
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Should read “there is no commandment of any sort…”

Nakiwala
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

DiscipleOfChrist,

Uganda already has laws on the books criminalizing what it calls “defilement,” or child sex abuse. (To date, however, they have done a rather poor job of protecting underage girl children from sexual abuse at the hands of older men. Yet you don’t hear them proposing the death penalty for these crimes.)

The Anti-Homosexuality Bill is different. It seeks to penalize *consensual* adult relationships. Again, let me emphasize *consent* and *adult* here.

No one is defending the sexual abuse of children. No one is condoning rape. Non-consensual sex is always wrong. LGBT activists and human rights defenders in Uganda have roundly and unequivocally and loudly condemned any cases of rape or child sex abuse, whether the perpetrator and victim are of the same sex or opposite sex.

Sam Tyler
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

David Dykes is in-bred and brain dead, and makes me ashamed to be from Texas.

DiscipleOfChrist
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

@Nakiwala

The bill states that it intends to fill in the gaps of the existing law because there is currently no comprehensive policy.

Every pro-gay article I read about Uganda headlines with “???? wants to KILL THE GAYS”! Their intent is to mislead people into thinking that the bill supports killing anyone who is gay, thinks about being gay, or support homosexuality. That is not true – the bill prescribes the death penalty for “aggravated” cases involving HIV+ offenders, serial offenders, attacking disabled people, children, and family members.

Consenting adults can do a lot of things together – snort cocaine, drive without their seat belts, etc. and still be breaking the law. I can’t go 3 weeks without mowing my lawn without getting a fine from my HOA. We all live under the law in our respective societies.

Jim Burroway
December 17th, 2012 | LINK

Disciple of Christ,

You need to read the proposed law a lot more carefully. The bill makes no mention of consent. If I travel to Uganda with my partner, he will be hanged because he’s HIV+, I won’t because I’m HIV-. He didn’t attack me, and the bill makes no distinction.

No, for me, all I’ll get is a lifetime in Luzira prison. And how long do you think I will last there when everyone knows the charge under which I was convicted.

And besides, if I have sex with my partner twice, I’m a serial offender. According to the wording of the proposed law. So maybe I’ll be hanged anyway.

The bill most certainly is a “kill the gays” bill. It is also an “imprison anyone who knows gay people” bill as well.

But I guess you and your pastor are fine with that.

Maybe we should have a “kill-the-seatbeltless” or “kill-the-overgrown-lawn-owner” bill? You seem to be awful flippant about putting people into prison or killing them outright. No wonder Christianity has gotten such a bad name.

DiscipleOfChrist
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Jim

I didn’t mean to come across as flippant in my response. I was just attempting to respond to the argument that the adults were consenting.

There is nothing in that law that says when you and your partner get off the plane, you will be arrested and thrown in jail. I didn’t read anything that said it was against the law to be HIV+.

Christianity will never have a good name because it holds up a godly standard that turns many away. Yes, many Christians misrepresent true Biblical Christianity because of their immaturity in Christ. Christians are still people “infected with a sin nature.” That nature fights against the voice of God in their life. Here’s the difference – true Christians are seeking God by living a life of obedience to His commands. They don’t continue to live a purposeful life of sin. Do they make mistakes – YES! Do they quit the battle and live a life indulging their cravings – NO!

Caitlin
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

I really don’t get why a lot of Christians and even non-Christians have such a massive hatred of the LGBT community – it’s not like they’re forcing everyone to become gay or transgender; although some Christians seem to think it’s fine to try and force their religious beliefs onto others.
The LGBT community provide amazing support and love to everyone in that community and even to those who are not.
Without them I would never have been able to come out as a lesbian to my family (who support me 100%) and one of my best friends wouldn’t be engaged to his wonderful partner!

I cannot comprehend why some people wish to take away someone’s happiness and try to force them to become something they’re not – they don’t know me, so why should they try to dictate how I should live and act?
Call me naive, but why can’t everyone just try to be respectful of other people’s lifestyles? I just want to be able to live my life in peace without somebody degrading me just because I happen to like women.

Sorry for the little rant, but I just needed to get it off my chest :)

Jim Burroway
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

There is nothing in that law that says when you and your partner get off the plane, you will be arrested and thrown in jail. I didn’t read anything that said it was against the law to be HIV+.

Then you didn’t read the law, did you. Read it again.

If you need help deciphering Clause 3, read here:

http://www.boxturtlebulletin.com/2012/11/16/51026

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

For the first time in a while, I attended his church on Sunday at which he spoke on this issue. Pastor David said at one point, a random reporter placed a mic in his face. He thought the reporter was asking about the Pastors Conference he was attending in which he sought to build and strengthen Pastors in the Uganda area. Instead the reporter asked about homosexuality. His response was what he believes the Bible teaches on homosexuality and he in no way backed the killing or beating of homosexuals. Instead of talking about it on a blog, we could easily email him and ask him if we wanted to get the truth…. just saying.

My question is this though. How do we get to a point of respectfully disagreeing over an issue without flinging hate towards each other?

Sincerely,

A Curious Christ Follower

Qwerty
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Dear “Disciple in Christ,”

I am not a believer, not in any sense of the word. I don’t believe in your sky deity. However, if I am wrong and end up in front of some throne of judgment, I’ll be sure to pass on your name (and countless others) as the main reason why I have turned away from your precious “get out of hell free” club. Then you can explain it to “your man.”

You say, “Christianity will never have a good name because it holds up a godly standard that turns many away….” You’re a little off here. Christianity will never have a good name because you have substituted YOUR standard for that of your deity. On behalf of actual, real, christians out there who follow teaching of their on-the-ground-2000-years-ago deity, you need to stop destroying christianity.

daniel rotter
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

“…he in no way backed the killing or beating of homosexuals.”

Yes, but he backed, or at least seemed to bac, the jailing of them (what else could he have meant by the “recognize homosexual behavior” part of his comments). What a relief!

JCF
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks to all those who provided the correction to Pastor Dykes’ lies re Canada (I assumed it was a lie, but am glad to have that confirmed!)

jeremy
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

nazis are alive and well. they push their agendas in christian churches and taliban groups, ugandan politics etc. eradicate all that is different! destroy the human psyche in the process, and then all that will be left will be less then human roaming the earth until they wipe themselves out in the end.

Feral78
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

I LOVE dykes. No, not you David you homophobic scum. : )

Désirée
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

why can I still not share BTB posts on Facebook? oh, I can, but they all come up as the Kirk Murphy investigation. as important as that was, sometimes, I want to share other posts too.

dn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac,

My suggestion for us all getting along is for Christians in general to understand that non Christians are not subject to your rules. We all love under the same civil law, but not the same religious law. Any religious person (of any faith btw, lest you think I’m picking on Christians) who demands that I subject myself to his religious rules can, frankly, take a flying effing leap.

indorri
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

I love the deceitful SOBs coming in here and telling us “oh, it’s only in cases of rape!”

When they target out homosexuals especially for the death penalty.

And when it’s pointed out to them it also covers consensual relationships, they go and compare it to drug use! They reveal their true character once we put the truth to their lies.

Murder enablers, the lot of you! If this was a law against Christianity, you wouldn’t be so keen on just letting it off with a “respective laws of society”. But no, it’s those damned gays that are getting killed instead!

If I could spit on you, I would. Damned murder enablers, the blood of innocents is on your hands.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@daniel rotter
“Yes, but he backed, or at least seemed to bac, the jailing of them (what else could he have meant by the “recognize homosexual behavior” part of his comments).”
When he says “I don’t recognize homosexual behavior” he does not mean to throw them in jail, but rather he does not believe that this is what Biblically constitutes a marriage. I know it might be confusing to watch this youtube clip, but you might be able to watch a clip from his message from this past Sunday to help clarify things. If that doesn’t work, maybe email him?

@dn
Thanks for your response. So my question is what type of “morality” are we to live under? Where should our morals come from?

Ryan
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

It’s frustrating to me that so many are quibbling over the death penalty part. It’s almost as if the implication is the law would be okay if not for that aspect. I mean, you have scumbags like “disciple of christ” blithely lying about what’s in the bill and comparing the death penalty to seatbelt laws, so I understand the impulse to fight against that, but life in prison–or any prison term—is nearly equally abhorent. There will always be evil men in the world, like David Dykes, and “disciple of christ”. Engaging the debate on their level seems to be counter-productive, to say the least.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Sonja said “Christians, like myself, believe what The Bible & God teach us! Homosexuality is a sin…it is an abomination to God! That does not mean that God or Christians do not or should not love homosexuals!”.

Sonja, you can call gayness a sin if you want, but it doesn’t mean anything. All that matters are wrongdoings and as gayness harms no one it is not a wrongdoing. If your god hates gayness it is your god that is in the wrong, not gays.

When you hate something that is a core aspect of who a person is, you hate that person period. There is no such thing as hating the sin and loving the sinner.

Discipleofchrist said “There are a few Christians who have been arrested for speaking out about homosexuality.”

And yet you list only one. See how dishonesty creeps into the claims of anti-gay bigots such as yourself? You only know of one arrest but you can’t resist falsely claiming there have been three or so. You are not a moral person, oppressing gays is more important to you than doing what is right.

Disipleofchrist said “I read the bill linked from this site and the only thing I read about “killing gays” was those who committed an aggravated homosexual offense.”.

You only saw what you wanted to see. An aggravated homosexual offense is also being a “repeat offender” which means if a person has consensual gay sex with an adult more than once they are to be executed.

Discipleofchrist said “I would be interested to hear what penalty you would suggest for a 40 year old man (HIV+) that kidnapped and raped a 10 year old boy?”.

10-25 years depending on whether the child was infected or not. Once again, dishonesty creeps into your claims with you implying that because we oppose this evil law we aren’t in favour of punishing pedophiles – you are here to demonize gays and justify anti-gay laws, not to protect children from pedophiles.

Discipleofchrist said “If America wants homosexuality to be legal, then we can fight that battle here, but why do we need to threaten to withdraw aid from a country that does not want to accept homosexuality?”.

Because its the right thing to do. Imprisoning and executing innocent people is a gross miscarriage of justice and good people must do what they can to stop such evil.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Disipleofchrist said “There is nothing in that law that says when you and your partner get off the plane, you will be arrested and thrown in jail. I didn’t read anything that said it was against the law to be HIV+.”.

There is nothing in the law that says jim and his partner won’t be arrested and thrown in jail when they get off their plane. The doesn’t say its illegal to be HIV+ but it does say an HIV+ person is liable to be executed if he has gay sex whether consensual or not. Not surprisingly, there is no law that an HIV+ person is to be executed if he has heterosexual sex. The law calls for the execution of repeat offenders so having had gay sex more than once Jim could be arrested and executed immediately after his plane lands in Uganda.

Discipleofchrist said “Christianity will never have a good name because it holds up a godly standard that turns many away.”.

And that’s the way it should be because your godly standard is grotesquely immoral. Any god that would eternally torture people for having gay sex or simply not believing correctly is the worst monster imaginable.

Zac said “Pastor David said at one point, a random reporter placed a mic in his face. He thought the reporter was asking about the Pastors Conference he was attending in which he sought to build and strengthen Pastors in the Uganda area. Instead the reporter asked about homosexuality. His response was what he believes the Bible teaches on homosexuality and he in no way backed the killing or beating of homosexuals.”.

The bible adocates killing gays in both the new and old testaments. When Dykes says he believes what the bible teaches about gayness he is accepting that gays should be put to death.

Zac said “@dn
Thanks for your response. So my question is what type of “morality” are we to live under? Where should our morals come from?”.

Why is this so hard for you christians? It should be painfully obvious, the morality we should live under is the one based on avoidance of harm – Do whatever you want, but harm no one.

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

I’m sure you are all very intelligent people. And are very passionate about your beliefs and what rights you have, want, and feel entitled to. I do not believe in killing ANYONE out of control or hate. I believe in forgiveness. I do not believe it was or IS Pastor Dykes intention to support killing either. And if all the facts were presented here instead of a random interview question or snippet, I honestly believe that is what would come to light. I think his opinion on the issue, encourages those that disagree with his opinion to look for the opportunity to accuse and discredit him. I’ve known the man for some time. I’ve heard him preach AGAINST the killing of others. I’ve heard him preach on the acceptance of all people. To see them as God sees them. And to pray for them. But acceptance doesn’t always mean agree. Especially when it is against what the Bible clearly states. He’s also preached to forgive every fellow sinner, whether they be a non-believer or believer. I am as guilty as anyone about letting my own selfish wants get in the way of what is right. I pray that I and everyone can see past ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for our mis-steps. I pray that more and more people will recognize the Bible as truth and not just take certain pieces of the Bible or mis-interpret or use pieces of it without truly searching for the author’s intention and not trying to make it what we WANT it to mean. And please don’t quote from the Old Testament without reading the New Testament. That’s the worst way to take things out of context. It’s like reading the first half of a book and stopping and thinking that that is how the book ends. I apologize if you take offense to my opinion of the article being nonsense. However that is not all your fault. Some of present some facts but not ALL the facts. And without all the facts then there is not complete truth, but only partial truth, which ultimately is not truth at all. truth is only truth when it is whole and nothing but. We tend to only want to believe the parts of the Bible that work for us and try and discredit or dismiss the parts that would mean that we have to change parts of ourselves or admit fault in ourselves. We are all sinners. We are all hypocrites at some point. We’re all hard-headed and selfish about our own wants. But we all need to change. Let me make a candid comparison. Forgive me as no offense is intended. All sin is still sin. We as humans have decided what sins are more punishable than others and/or more acceptable than others based on popular opinion and what we trust our elected officials to put into law. Sometimes this is not always what is right because there is fault in every being. Gluttony and lust are becoming more and more acceptable by societies standards and even encouraged for profits sake. That doesn’t mean it is right to accept these sins as acceptable no matter how good they feel to us. The difference between right and wrong in a moral sense does not change over time just because we want it to. Laws may change, but moral right and wrong does not. What was wrong 2000 years ago is still wrong today. And laws back then against eating certain foods was not a moral issue, it was health concern so keep in mind we are still talking about moral issues. It’s true that some laws touch on both moral issues AND health concerns, like drugs. And if you notice, most acceptance of immoral views eventually leads to health concerns. Some might argue that there are just as many health concerns with oppoosite sexual acts as their is with homosexual acts and they would be right. But same sex spreading of disease started with immorality as well. Pre-marital sex, same sex sodomy, bestiality etc. So SOME of these have been outlawed but not others which is hypocritical. Is it possible for our governments to outlaw all sin? Of course not. Most sin happens in the heart and will be known only to God. But the sin that is acted out and affects others are the ones that we must make laws against that protect the people. I admit it, I have engaged in immoral acts and I should not have. I have broken the law in the past when it best fits my wants as petty as they were they were still WRONG. I must try to repent and refrain. As we all should, no matter how much we don’t want to. There are times that I get so mad that I want to hurt someone, but I don’t because that would be wrong. There are times that I just want to drink all my troubles away but I stopped doing that because it does harm to my body. There are times that I lust and must control my urges because they would be morally wrong to act on and possibly hurts others. I’m sure that some one out there will read this and reply with some immature comments out of spite attempting to read into these comments picking them apart to discredit them so they don’t have to hold themselves accountable. But we all know that those will be rooted in guilt and shame to try and make themselves feel better. Our wants don’t make things right. Instead, what is right is what we should want for ourselves and others, whether we like it or not. A part of me wishes that these things that are in fact morally wrong indeed were not so that we all could live in peace about it and there wouldn’t be an issue to argue or fight over. That way we could ban together on other issues and overcome those that we DO agree on. But I realize that this is the devils plan is to divide us so that we will be fall. I pray that others of you can see that as well. Please understand that I am not saying the love of one person to the next is wrong. The love that one person feels for another is genuine and passionate. When that love turns to lust and immoral acts, then it should be addressed by that person to not put those feelings and acts ahead of what God’s want for you. This is no way an attack on homosexuality. It is an attack on sin in general that affects us all. And don’t reply to this if all you have to say is that I’m a hypocrite or try and re-interpret what I wrote, or that I support things that I do not, put words in my mouth. If there is hate in your heart, I pray for you. I have no right to judge any of you, only to state what I believe is right or wrong. Am I saying that if you act immorally then you’re a bad person and should be killed? Absolutely not.

Jim Burroway
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac

I’ve been following the situation in Uganda now for almost four years, three of them since the Anti-Homosexuality Bill was first introduced into Parliament (Our coverage of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill begins here.) In order to follow events there, I have automated Google alerts set up which sends me virtually every news story there is about Uganda and Homosexuality. I can assure you that for news items originating both outside and inside of Uganda, there is virtually never a mention of homosexuality without also a description — or domestically, a mention because everyone knows what the bill describes — of the Anti-Homosexuality Bill. Inside of Uganda, it has become impossible to talk about homosexuality without reference to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill (as this NTV news report at the top of the post attests).

This is important, and I can’t emphasise it enough: Every statement, every discussion, every op-ed and news item about homosexuailty in Uganda is written with the Anti-Homosexulality Bill both as a point of reference and as a backdrop to whatever else may be happening with regard to homosexuality.

It was against that backdrop — that Uganda is considering legislation which would wipe out all civil liberties, not only for gay people, but for anyone who even knows them — that the U.S. State Department has been working to try to avert the bill from becoming law. It is against that backdrop that the U.S. announced that it would “leverage” its foreign aid to try to prevent Uganda from rounding up its LGBT citizens and throwing them into jail for the rest of their lives (at best) or hanging them. It is against that backdrop that Germany has already announced that it was cutting aid to Uganda.

And it is against that backdrop that Dykes said that the possibility that U.S. aid may be impacted if the legislation becomes law, in an action that is intended to head off that possibility — that is what Dykes calls “blood money” and “sin money,” and encourages Uganda to go its own path and deal with gay people in whatever manner they want and potentially forfeit US aid.

Now you can try to explain that this isn’t what Dykes really meant. I find that impossible to believe. To believe that, I would have to believe one of the following:

1) That Dykes is deaf, dumb, and blind, and is completely unaware of the debate that has been engulfing Uganda for the past three years, and the concern that debate has had internationally, or

2) That Dykes is incompetent as a missionary and knows nothing about what is going on in the country, or

3) That Dykes is a very stupid man and will say anything as long as there is a microphone in front of him.

I happen not to believe any of those three things about Dykes. He’s not just some aw-shucks backwoods preacher. He is recognized as a leading force behind the Southern Baptist Convention’s mssionary work. He is a well connected man with powerful connections. And you should give him the credit of believing that he knows exactly what he’s doing.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Good job, Priya.

I don’t really have time to write today, but i’ll take a little time.

Zac said, “So my question is what type of “morality” are we to live under? Where should our morals come from?”

This so-called question is as dishonest as anything else you have said. It’s slipping your religious agenda in under the guise of a concern about morality.

What you are really asking is this: “I have a particular set of religious beliefs about what constitutes sin, what constitutes morality. Why aren’t my religious beliefs about certain kinds of sins considered the only valid ones?” Answer: because it IS a very selective choice of sins, the one that gets your holy knickers in a twist, the one that supports an unfounded bigotry against a class of humans. And most importantly, the one you think you can get away with, because all of the rest of them simply won’t fly.

And that’s why it isn’t the proper question to ask.

Here’s a simple example. According to your religion, not believing in Jesus is a sin, and perhaps, the very worst kind of sin, a belief that inspired the 2000 years of antiSemtism, courtesy of the church, that led to the holocaust and the murder of 6 million Jews, with 250,000 homosexuals for dessert. For most religionists, being an atheist by definition makes someone immoral.

But antiSemitism is no longer considered doable in polite society. Nor will our secular government, or any freedom loving country, allow you to do it to atheists. But gay people are, at least in your mind, still fair and easy targets.

The proper question is: “what kind of laws shall we live under?” And as we have progressed as a country, we have determined that your religious beliefs about sin and morality are not going to be enforced upon people that don’t share them. Homosexuality, prohibition, birth control, abortion, divorce,school prayer, atheism, blue laws– you’ve lost on every single one of them, because the government is not and should not be in the business of enforcing your beliefs upon other people.

Ironically– but to me, happily and joyously–You yourself have caused that rejection simply by insisting that it’s all about your so-called “sincere religious beliefs.”

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

http://www.12newsnow.com/story/20368373/east-texas-pastor-involved-in-africa-homosexuality-debate

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

The link above clears up alot of some of your misunderstandings

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

At faithful servant:

“Laws may change, but moral right and wrong does not. What was wrong 2000 years ago is still wrong today.”

Obviously, you have never read a history book.

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

I have. Like I said laws may change but what was morally wrong 2000 years ago is still morally wrong today. History books states facts and dates. But if want to bring history into then do your homework. Every Nation that has fallen away morally and Biblically has fallen.

Steve
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Green Acres Baptist Church
1607 Troup Hwy.
Tyler, Texas 75701
Phone (903) 525-1100
Email facebook@mail.gabc.org
Website http://www.gabc.org
https://www.facebook.com/GreenAcresTyler

[Note: This comment was edited to remove personal contact information and names of Rev. Dykes's family members -- Jim Burroway]

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

We love you Ben in Oakland. We’ll pray for you. No hate.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Priya Lynn

“The bible adocates killing gays in both the new and old testaments. When Dykes says he believes what the bible teaches about gayness he is accepting that gays should be put to death.”

Thanks for your well thought out response. But could you please direct me to where in the New Testament it says we should put homosexuals to death?

@Ben In Oakland
“This so-called question is as dishonest as anything else you have said. It’s slipping your religious agenda in under the guise of a concern about morality.”
So I receive judgment for asking a simple question? I am just trying to enter into honest dialogue. I seek my morality from Biblical text and I am trying to understand where everyone else finds theirs. Do you feel threatened by me asking questions? Do you feel as though by me asking you questions it jeopardizes your belief system?

@Jim Burroway
Thanks for your response. This is something that until recently was new to me. Maybe David Dykes is a gay-hater and we can easily assume that everyone else who attends his church is the same. However, I don’t really believe this to be the case. This is not consistent with 21 years of his preaching at Green Acres….

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Faithful servant of immorality said “Laws may change, but moral right and wrong does not. What was wrong 2000 years ago is still wrong today.”.

I couldn’t agree more. 2000 years ago the essence of morality was “Do whatever you want, but harm no one.” and that is the essence of morality today. 2000 years ago it was immoral to punish innocent gays and today it is immoral to punish innocent gays.

Faithful servant of immorality said “I pray that I and everyone can see past ourselves and hold ourselves accountable for our mis-steps.”.

Gayness which harms no one is not a mis-step. Your support of immoral laws that punish the innocent is a mis-step – its time you held yourself accountable for your attacks on innocent gays.

Faithful servant of immorality said “And please don’t quote from the Old Testament without reading the New Testament. That’s the worst way to take things out of context.”.

The old testament says gays must be put to death, the new testament says gays are worthy of death. Trying to say there is a difference between the two is splitting hairs, both advocate evil.

Faithful servant of immorality said “We are all sinners. We are all hypocrites at some point. We’re all hard-headed and selfish about our own wants. But we all need to change.”.

You falsely and offensively equate your wrongdoings with gays innocent actions, you’re the hypocrite, not gays and gays have no moral need to change.

Faithful servant of immorality said “Some might argue that there are just as many health concerns with oppoosite sexual acts as their is with homosexual acts and they would be right. But same sex spreading of disease started with immorality as well.”.

Monogamous gay reliationships do not spread disease and are not immoral. Like most bigots you try to falsely equate gayness with promiscuousness – you’re a liar. Gayness is no more immoral than heterosexuality.

Faithful servant of immorality said “There are times that I lust and must control my urges because they would be morally wrong to act on and possibly hurts others.”.

See, even you can’t help yourself, when push comes to shove you let it slip that morality is not based on the subjectiveness of a god, but rather is based on what harms others. Deep in your heart you know right from wrong but you try to hide that from yourself and pretend you’re being just by following the bigotry of pimitive bronze age peoples pretending to speak for a god.

Faithful servant of immorality said “I’m sure that some one out there will read this and reply with some immature comments out of spite attempting to read into these comments picking them apart to discredit them so they don’t have to hold themselves accountable.”.

I hold myself accountable for harm I cause to others, you do not – I am moral and you are not.

Faithful servant of immorality said “Our wants don’t make things right.”.

Things aren’t wrong because we want them either. Right and wrong are determined based on harm, not on wants.

Faithful servant of immorality said “Instead, what is right is what we should want for ourselves and others, whether we like it or not.”.

That’s an incredibly immoral statement. You have no right to control any life other than your own. You have no right to decide for anyone other than yourself what they should want. As long as a person is harming no one they have the moral right to do anything they damn well please.

Faithful servant of immorality said “The love that one person feels for another is genuine and passionate. When that love turns to lust and immoral acts, then it should be addressed by that person to not put those feelings and acts ahead of what God’s want for you.”.

Lust is not necessarily a wrongdoing. As long as no one is harmed lust is 100% moral. Everyone most certainly should put their harmless desires and feelings ahead of what your evil god wants.

Faithful servant of immorality said “This is no way an attack on homosexuality.”.

You are calling innocent acts a wrondoing and defending laws to punish innocent people – that is an attack on gayness and extremely immoral, you should hang your head in shame and repent.

Faithful servant of immorality said “Am I saying that if you act immorally then you’re a bad person and should be killed? Absolutely not.

You defend a law that says gays are bad people and should be killed. Your later denial of what you said doesn’t change your prior affirmation of evil.

Faithful servant of immorality said “The link above clears up alot of some of your misunderstandings.”.

There is no misunderstanding on our part, the paradoxical beliefs belong entirely to you and Dykes. On one hand you say this law shouldn’t be opposed or efforts made to stop it and on the other you contradict yourselves and say you don’t support it You can’t have it both ways. If you oppose efforts to stop this law then you are supporting it and no amount of claiming black is white will change that.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Obviously, as i said, you have never read a history book, or understood it if you did.

Every nation that has not fallen away biblically and morally has also fallen. it’s what nations do. It’s called history. Rome was officially Christian when for 150 years when it fell to the barbarians. and of course, New rome existed for another 900 years, because Constantine, that most holy defender, thought it bets to leave the carcass of old rome to its new christian overlords.

As for praying for me, please, please don’t. As a sinner, You have neither the moral nor spiritual cachet to presume to do so, nor do you have the time when your own soul is in peril.And it is highly, highly hypocritical in the way htat only moralizing busybodies can manage. It’s just a way you can assure yourself of your wholly imaginary superiority as a human being, as a Christian, and as a so-called moral person.

I would much prefer your hate. At least there, you’re being honest with me and yourself.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “Thanks for your well thought out response. But could you please direct me to where in the New Testament it says we should put homosexuals to death?”.

Romans 1:26-32

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”.

Now don’t try to insult my intelligence with the pathetic spin saying “worthy of death” is not calling for gays to be put to death, that’s splitting hairs at best. Saying gays are worthy of death is an invitation to kill them and suggests an obligation to do so.

Shannon Spencer Fox
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

http://www.12newsnow.com/story/20368373/east-texas-pastor-involved-in-africa-homosexuality-debate

The link above clears up alot of some [sic] of your misunderstandings

Considering that the article itself references the very erroneous claim that the ‘death-penalty’ has been removed from the Anti-Homosexual Bill (and I’ll save Jim the time by saying no, no it has not), I think it’s actually the article that’s ‘misunderstood’.

But, still, I’m curious myself: barring all this talk about love and forgiveness and all that, what exactly do you think the United States should do in regards to what’s going on in Uganda? I presume you agree with Mr. Dykes about the concept of it being wrong to withhold financial aid to the country; what exactly should we, then, do in a situation like this?

Also, if your answer is ‘nothing’, then I’m curious: do you believe the Anti-Homosexuality Bill that is pending before the Ugandan government is proper and just?

Zac
December 18th, 2012
So I receive judgment for asking a simple question? I am just trying to enter into honest dialogue. I seek my morality from Biblical text and I am trying to understand where everyone else finds theirs. Do you feel threatened by me asking questions? Do you feel as though by me asking you questions it jeopardizes your belief system?

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Priya Lynn

Thanks for posting, that helps me to understand where you are coming from. When I see this passage I see that ALL are worthy of the death spoken of in verse 32. Everyone who is “filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers, backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents…” This is what makes the crucifixion so central–Christ died in the place of “all of the above”–He did this so that justice might be served and grace may be poured out.

You may not believe this which is fine, I’m not going to hold it against you. But thank you for helping me understand where you are coming from.

Shannon Spencer Fox
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

(Ugh, this is what I get for hitting Post instead of Preview… sorry about that.)

Zac
December 18th, 2012
So I receive judgment for asking a simple question? I am just trying to enter into honest dialogue. I seek my morality from Biblical text and I am trying to understand where everyone else finds theirs. Do you feel threatened by me asking questions? Do you feel as though by me asking you questions it jeopardizes your belief system?

I’ll see if I can field this one, actually.

To be honest, the answer to ‘where everyone gets their concept of morality’ is probably going to be ‘how someone was raised’, for the most part. For a lot of people, that’s usually some kind of religious upbringing, but I’d say that, in the end, it boils down to ‘Treat others like you’d like to be treated’… AKA the ‘Golden Rule’. Personally, I prefer the Wiccan rede of ‘An’ it harm no one, do what ye will’, but that’s just me… and, really, it’s almost the same as the Golden Rule, really.

That said, though, the problem is when one’s sense of morality comes up against the beliefs of another person, and how it rules their lives. If you start passing laws that basically state that people have to follow the rules of a given religion, then that’s when things become a theocracy, which is ostensibly against the very first Amendment of our country’s founding document.

That’s also why, likely, Ben had the reaction he did; that argument’s been used to pass all sorts of very restrictive laws against a group of people, even though it should be, theoretically, unconstitutional.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac– since we were having a talk about laws and morals, and using the laws to punitively enforce those morals on people who don’t believe it is a question of morals– or whose morals should hold iominon–I obviously assumed we were STILL talking about it.

my bad.

so, here’s your answer. I get my morals from this:

Love one another.

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

And most important of all: do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

I don’t claim to be perfect. But i live my life by those principles. none of them require me to quote the bible to other people about their alleged sins when they aren’t harming anyone. None of it required me to mind other people’s business for them under the guise of righteousness. None of them require the use of the law, enforced by the coercive power of the state, to decide just who and who is not worthy of full participation in society, whose lives and families should be protected and whose should not, nor whose religious beliefs should have dominion over the lives of others.

does that answer your question?

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks, shannon. I didn’t see your post when I was writing mine. We’re saying the smae thing.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Shannon Spencer Fox

Yes thank you for clarifying. I understand that it can be a loaded question and can have apologetic connotations to it, but that was not my intent. My question though is how do we pass laws without them being “intrinsically religious.” I think we would all agree, for example, that taking another person’s life is wrong, we don’t need to look at the 6th Commandment for that. We also know that stealing is wrong, we don’t need to look at the 8th Commandment for that. But since these are tied to a “religious law” I feel like they are often just thrown out the window. Do non-Christians and non-Jews have a problem with the Ten Commandments or just the tie to a religious law? Does that make sense? Let me know if I should clarify. Thanks.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “My question though is how do we pass laws without them being “intrinsically religious.”.”.

I already answered that for you. We base them on preventing harm – you’re willfully blind to the simple nature of morality.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Ben In Oakland

Thanks for your follow up, I appreciate it. I’ll be honest, I have been burned by “religious” people in the past, particularly in high school. It is the self-righteousness that particularly pisses me off. When we look to Christ who did he butt heads with the most when He was on earth? The Pharisees, the Sadducees and the Scribes–those who were so good at being self righteous that they missed the mark, they missed the whole point of why they followed the God of the OT.

So answer me this. How do I, or we, as followers of Christ hold our beliefs without having hate flung our way? How can we enter into healthy dialogue? Some times I feel like people just want to be heard and understood so that’s what I’m trying to do here on both sides. I’m trying to understand y’all, and I’m hoping to clarify what I believe without degradation occurring either way. Thanks.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Priya Lynn
Well then why do so many people have a hard time with the Ten Commandments? That seems to satisfy Islam, Judaism, Christianity and non-religious belief because as you say these laws are based “on preventing harm.” But since they are tied to a religious system we throw them out the window.

I am not “willfully blind” so you can continue with the harm and name calling if you desire, or you can help others to understand where we are all coming from. Your choice.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “So answer me this. How do I, or we, as followers of Christ hold our beliefs without having hate flung our way?”.

There’s really no way you can hold and promote immoral christian beliefs about gays without having people reject you for it. You need to change.

Zac said “How can we enter into healthy dialogue?”.

Judge what is moral based on harm.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “@Priya Lynn
Well then why do so many people have a hard time with the Ten Commandments? That seems to satisfy Islam, Judaism, Christianity and non-religious belief because as you say these laws are based “on preventing harm.” But since they are tied to a religious system we throw them out the window.”.

You know, I shouldn’t be surprised but it really amazes me that you would suggest the ten commandments satisfy no-religious believe when the first four specifically call for the enforcement of religious belief. Are you joking with me, or are you really that blind to reality? Are you really so brainwashed with christianity you can honestly claim the ten commandments should be acceptable to non-religious people?

If the ten commandments all were about minimizing harm they’d be fine, but they are not all about harm – how can you not see that?

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Priya Lynn

“There’s really no way you can hold and promote immoral christian beliefs about gays without having people reject you for it. You need to change.”

So let me make sure I’m clear. Religion believes that homosexuality is immoral. Non-religious people say “that belief is immoral.” If this is the case then on and on we go. Perhaps we won’t find a resolution through a social media bog since these are places for good arguments but not places for reconciliation.

@Shannon Spencer Fox and @ Ben in Oakland thanks for helping me to understand your point a little bit better.

Jaime
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@zac for your review

http://m.youtube.com/#/watch?v=p-RGN21TSGk&desktop_uri=%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dp-RGN21TSGk

Enjoy!

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “I am not “willfully blind” so you can continue with the harm and name calling if you desire…”.

How have I harmed you? Are your feelings hurt and you blame that on me? Don’t you think you hurt the feelings of gays when you say their harmless actions are immoral and an offense to the alleged creator of all? Has it occurred to you that your feelings about gays are immoral and your feelings are justifiably being hurt while your hurting of the feelings of gays is not justifiable?

As you passive-aggressively said to Ben: “Do you feel threatened by me asking questions? Do you feel as though by me asking you questions it jeopardizes your belief system?”

Zac said “So let me make sure I’m clear. Religion believes that homosexuality is immoral. Non-religious people say “that belief is immoral.” If this is the case then on and on we go. Perhaps we won’t find a resolution through a social media bog since these are places for good arguments but not places for reconciliation.”.

There is no need of going on and on, we simply have to ask “Which belief is harmful and is that harm in anyway justified?” and its obvious: The belief that gayness is immoral is harmful and unjustified. The belief “anti-gayness is immoral” is not harmful and is justified. The resolution and reconciliation is obvious, but you aren’t open to the truth about morality.

Timothy (TRiG)
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Religion believes that homosexuality is immoral.

Well, that’s not universally the case. Some religions are perfectly accepting of gay people. And even the ones that aren’t exist on a broad spectrum.

Non-religious people say “that belief is immoral.” If this is the case then on and on we go.

I’m a little wary of calling beliefs in and of themselves “immoral”, but yes, this one probably qualifies. The proposed Ugandan law is certainly immoral.

It’s not necessarily the case, though, that “on and on we go”. It is perfectly possibly to agree to disagree, to live and let live. But not while one side is trying to kill the other.

TRiG.

emcee_cubed
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

“Religion believes that homosexuality is immoral. ”

This is untrue. SOME religious people (including, apparently, you) believe that homosexuality is immoral. I know plenty of religious people who do not believe that. Most of them are Christians. Some are Jewish. Some are Unitarians (I separate them from Christians because a belief in Christ is not central to their faith, though it is allowed). Some are Pagan. Stop using “religion” as a term that you define as consisting of only what you believe. If you mean “my religion”, then say that. But top say that “religion believes X”, when many religions do not believe X, is disingenuous.

Zac
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

@Jaime

Great, that’s hilarious! Thanks for sending it.

@Priya Lynn

Well I don’t intend to hurt the feelings of anyone who is homosexual. I have worked with homosexuals and I don’t have a problem with them. If they aren’t a Christian then I’m not going to coerce them to live under a Christian teaching. I am not sure how my comments or questions were construed as insulting of anyone, that’s not my intent. If they were then my bad. I feel as though there are years of hurt within you and everyone else here. I cannot undo that, I simply want to understand how and why so that history may not be repeated. Thanks for responding.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac, you’re welcome. i don’t have much time now, maybe later.

“How do I, or we, as followers of Christ hold our beliefs without having hate flung our way? How can we enter into healthy dialogue?”

First and foremost, its usually not hate. It’s anger, bigtime. For 2000 years, we gay people have been attacked, murdered, imprisoned, villified, condemned, and blamed for every single possible social ill, almost always those committed by heteroseuxals. One need only read Faithful Servant’s comments about the fall of empires, followed up by how much he loves us, to see that.

and why? Because we’re different than the majority. And why is that bad? Because of some badly trasnlated, very vague passages about something that might possibly be about homosexuality– at least as it might have been understood by people a universe away from us in culture, language, understanding and thought– but completely ripped from their historical, cultural, linguistic, and relgious contexts.

Or, like the sodom story, completely ripped from reality.

The answer to your question is very simple. Believe whatever you like, follow whatever principles you like, but don’t insist that your beliefs about sin should be enforced upon people who don’t share them. don’t insist that your beliefs about some people’s “sins” translate into some sort of divine mandate that allows your religion dominion over the lives of other people, to tell lies about their lives (back to Unfaithul Servant), and then use those lies to harm those people and limit their participation in society.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac said “I feel as though there are years of hurt within you and everyone else here. I cannot undo that.”.

You can’t undo all of it, but you can stop adding to it and by promoting a true morality you can undo some of it. Please try.

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Ben in Oakland.
You prefer hate? Sorry, brother. The only thing I hate is the divide. Not you. Never personal. No attack. No hate. You may wish that I was that way so that your hate would be justified towards me, but it’s not.

Priya Lynn,
You’ve succeeded in doing exactly what I mentioned to not do at the end of my post. “And don’t reply to this if all you have to say is that I’m a hypocrite or try and re-interpret what I wrote, or that I support things that I do not, put words in my mouth. If there is hate in your heart, I pray for you. I have no right to judge any of you, only to state what I believe is right or wrong.”

I don’t support any harm or persecution to gays. I support the Bible. And the Bible as a whole. Period. Not just snippets.
Most of the your responses about what you THINK I meant never came out of my mouth. Again, you may wish that I thought that to justify your anger, but it’s simply not true. Nothing I can do to make you believe one way or another. Merry Christmas to all of you and many Blessings.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Faithful servant of immorality you are a hypocrite so I’m under no obligation to give in to your demand that I not call you one. I didn’t re-interpret what you said, I took your plainly stated meanings and told you the truth about morality. You on the other hand have a great deal of cognitive dissonnance which you attempt to deal with by compartmentalizing your contradictory thoughts, for example, by claiming you support the bible (which calls for gays to be executed) and want gays to refrain from having a sex life but then asking me to believe the absurd proposition that you don’t support any harm or persecution of gays.

Of course you can’t make me believe your contradictory claims – I value logic and the truth.

Faithful Servant
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Priya,
You did misinterpret much of what I said to fuel your own fire. The Bible does not call for gays to be executed. Again you refer to Old Testament and not the New. Jesus would not condone the killing of sinners. He came to save them. I pray that He does. The only Real truth you will ever find is in Jesus Christ. Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas, Merry Christmas. Much love and blessings.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Faithful servant of immorality, obviously you didn’t read all the comments.

NEW TESTAMENT

Romans 1:26-32

“For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature:

And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet.

And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient;

Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,

Backbiters, haters of God, despiteful, proud, boasters, inventors of evil things, disobedient to parents,

Without understanding, covenantbreakers, without natural affection, implacable, unmerciful:

Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not only do the same, but have pleasure in them that do them.”.

You’re either ignorant of the bible you profess to support or a liar. I repeat:
Now don’t try to insult my intelligence with the pathetic spin saying “worthy of death” is not calling for gays to be put to death, that’s splitting hairs at best. Saying gays are worthy of death is an invitation to kill them and suggests an obligation to do so.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Faithful servant of immorality said “Jesus would not condone the killing of sinners.”.

Jesus condoned the eternal torture of people for finite and trivial “crimes”, its not believable that he would find the killing of sinners a bridge too far.

David
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

He is an advocate of Shari’a law – or, at least, the Christian version of Shari’a law.

It amazes me how American pastors such as this total moron can wax eloquent about the dangers of Islamism, without even realizing that they are advocating the very same thing: A society ruled according to religious texts rather than common secular values. Of course, it’s HIS religious texts that he wants to use, just like it’s the Ayatollahs’ religious texts that the Islamists want to use.

Given a chance, this unamerican sack of monkey dung would happily put his fellow Americans in prison for nothing more than having different religious beliefs than he has. In other words, he is the fundamental equivilent of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, or Mullah Omar, or any one of the other Shari’a law advocates.

Perhaps a few years in Gitmo would teach this retarded jackass Dykes the meaning of American religious liberty. Then again, perhaps not.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Matthew 10:18-21

“And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles.

But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak.

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death.”

I could go on…

Neil
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

David Dykes says, “I am upset that the United States is trying to put pressure on Uganda to recognise homosexual behaviour, and I’m praying Uganda will say we don’t want your money, America.”

Attempting to prevent harm to lesbians, bisexuals and gay men by opposing draconian new laws (up to and including a death penalty) is “recognising homosexual behaviour”.

Apparently no abuse, no matter how heinous, deserves reproach if the victim is guilty of revealing their non-heterosexuality.

This is the problem with an Abrahamic standard of morality. It’s wildly relativistic and allows all manner of negotiation around commandments and rules like “Thou Shalt not murder” and “Love thy neighbour.” You can say you’re against murder and profess the love of all humanity whilst opposing on the basis of morality objections to murder and hate.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Great comment Neil – that was really insightful.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

FS- no, I don’t hate you. I hate your sins.

I hate your overweening belief in your moral superiority,your desire to harm gay people by “protecting” us from our so-called sins, your willingness to slander us for this fall of civilizations crap, your willingness to pray for (or prey on) us instead of things that actually matter– war, famine, disease, financial malfeasance, bigotry, expecially bigotry disguised as love or ‘sincere religious belief…

and on and on and on. you know, things that actually matter.

Like a law intended to criminalize gay people in a country far away, becuase you have lost the cultural sway to accomplish it our country– indeed, on our continent.

You may believe there is no hate. In fact I believe you. There is no hate. But what you offer instead is really no better, not to anyone on the receiving end of it.

Désirée
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

God’s morality appearently does change.
In the Old Testament, slavery was not only condoned, by God had specific rules for how it was to be practiced.
Now, we recognize slavery as gravely immoral.
So, did God change his mind or is slavery still moral and it’s us humans who have it wrong?

The slavery issue alone invalidates any and all “moral teachings” of the Bible as unreliable and subjective based on the whims of the current culture that is interpreting them.

Ben In Oakland
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

“I support the Bible. And the Bible as a whole. Period.”

So, no bacon. no shrimp. no gonig to walmart on sunday. and killing the unbelievers in your midst.

Yes or no.

DN
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Zac,

Regarding your question to me as to where we will get our morals from if not from religion…

First, let me be clear – I said “laws,” not “morals.” The laws that everyone subjects themselves to are those of the jurisdiction they live in. People who then choose to live under a second set of religious laws are free to do so.

As for morality, I have a suspicion you might be going to the argument that morals only come from religion. I have a much more nuanced anthropological / evolutionary view of how morals evolved, but for the sake of keeping it short, I will say this – I believe that secular morality is just as good as religious morality (I would argue it’s better, in fact).

cowboy
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

When someone in a debate says: “I pray for you.” it’s usually a self-righteous, sanctimonious retort when they are stumped by logic and reason.

That prayer goes no further than the roof.

That irks me just as much as a bigot who says: “I have gay friends.”

Those statements are so hollow.

Priya Lynn
December 18th, 2012 | LINK

Right Cowboy, when someone says “I’ll pray for you.” its a passive aggressive insult, its saying “I’m going to pretend I’m being nice to you when in fact I’m saying you’re evil or there is something wrong with you.”

DN
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

I *love* when someone tells me they’ll pray for me! It opens the door to such an awesome retort:

“I’ll pray for you.”

“Then I’ll think for you.”

Richard Rush
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

RE: About the New Testament superseding the Old Testament . . .

I thought one of the leading hallmarks of God is that He is perfect. But if He had to change his mind on certain issues, then He is far from perfect. I really would expect better from someone with the intelligence, power, and skills to create the entire universe and its contents.

——————

“I’ll pray for you” is Christianese for FU.

Ben in Oakland
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Have our two moralizers disappeared?

One because he realized there were no souls forthe devil to harvest here?

And the other because–why? I can only engage in uncharitable speculations about respectful dialog, so I won’t. I do hope we hear from him, though.

Donny D.
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Yes, cowboy and Priya Lynn. And when someone says, “I’ll pray for you” in a situation like this, it’s also an act of condescension, a gesture of magnanimous pity, and an implicit assertion of moral superiority. And as I think you have already said, it is an act of phony niceness, covering for an act of aggression.

Telling someone that you will pray for them when they have stated that they do not want you to pray for them OR when you have good reason to believe they would not want you to pray for them is an act of verbal aggression.

Faithful Servant, this post is also for you.

Donny D.
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Addendum to my previous post:

Some believers consider praying for someone when that person doesn’t want you to to be SPIRITUAL aggression.

This includes private prayer, where the object of prayer isn’t informed.

Faithful Servant, take note.

Ben In Oakland
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Donny, as i always like to say, it’s spiritual arrogance of the worst sort.

And they still haven’t returned.

cowboy
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

As for hollow or disingenuous statements:

When I wish someone: “Merry Christmas” I mean it from the core beliefs and culture I was raised in. I don’t mean to offend but I wish the best and the most positive feelings associated with this holiday season.

I wish Priya or Ben could have taught civic classes when I was in school. Oh hell, anyone from BTB would do a good job.

Ben In Oakland
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Thanks cowboy.

Priya Lynn
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

My thanks as well Cowboy.

And you’re right, Faithful Servant’s “merry christmas’s” were meant as a bludgeon, not a well wishing.

Ben In Oakland
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

I don’t know how I missed this:

“Christianity will never have a good name because it holds up a godly standard that turns many away.”

What a load of horseshit. As Faithful Servant so clearly demonstrated here, as the Pastor Dykes demonstrated, as every so-called Christian associated with yet even more persecution of this extra-special icky sin has demonstrated,
as the Pope with his threat to peace and justice garbage has demonstrated, as Dobson with his similar comment has demonstrated…

…and in all cases,emphasis on DEMON…

Christianity is getting a bad name it should have had at least since the Crusades, certainly since the slaughter of the cathars.

Not because it holds up a godly standard, but because it has often held up a standard that is all too human, which it tries to lay at the feet of god.

Or in other words, it has used the word of god to justify its many excesses, excesses which cannot be justified by any other means, and ironically, including the word of god.

As i wrote to Zac– who still isn’t here– it’s not hate you’re hearing. it’s ANGER at a depth of fury that you cannot even begin to understand.

Priya Lynn
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

Right on Ben.

Ben In Oakland
December 19th, 2012 | LINK

:)

Ben in Oakland
December 20th, 2012 | LINK

Well, it’s been two hole days. So much for all of that crap about learning to have a respectful dialog.

cowboy
December 20th, 2012 | LINK

It’s because they’re asswholes.

(Sorry, I couldn’t resist.)

Ben In Oakland
December 20th, 2012 | LINK

making fun of my dyslexia.

sniff.

cowboy
December 20th, 2012 | LINK

Don’t blame a simple typo on dsylexia.

hug hug

Ben In Oakland
December 20th, 2012 | LINK

I make typos all of the time. Unless I realy concentrate, i literally can’t see them.

RED in DC
December 30th, 2012 | LINK

Pastor David Dykes and his cohorts merely are out to intimidate and demonize the LGBT community in the name of religion. They have been poisoned by “holier-than-thou” mentality, no different than Pharisees and Sadducees rolled into one. In Pastor Dykes’ evil and unchristian and unChrist-like advocacy, he drove many people away from church through intimidation with a genuine feeling of being rejected and lost. Do not judge or you shall be judged.

Sami
December 30th, 2012 | LINK

Wow, this comment thread went places.

Anyone else find it odd how the slightest negative comment by a nonbeliever directed towards Christianity will get a certain contributor to immediately show up demanding you apologize for your awful remarks, but a thread going on for half a month where multiple Christians showed up to argue that gay people are evil sinners and defended the anti-gay bill in Uganda with lies that have been debunked a 100 times about it *for example the one Christian claiming it was to stop a 40 year old man from raping a 10 year old boy* completely escapes his notice. Not a single comment from him against his fellow believers.

I wish I were surprised.

Robert
December 30th, 2012 | LINK

Why is it that these people claiming to be Christian always seem to forget that God gave everyone FREE WILL, yet these people spend their entire life trying to take that FREE WILL away? Not very Christian.

Ev umar Ssembatya
February 24th, 2013 | LINK

i would like to connect with you if its ok with u

John Lutz
April 19th, 2013 | LINK

Sounds good to me.

Pass it already.

Steve
May 26th, 2013 | LINK

“I read the bill linked from this site and the only thing I read about “killing gays” was those who committed an aggravated homosexual offense.”

Yes, for everyone else it’s just life in jail. I fail to see how that’s much different, honestly. Some consider life in jail to be a worse punishment that the death penalty.

“I would be interested to hear what penalty you would suggest for a 40 year old man (HIV+) that kidnapped and raped a 10 year old boy?”

I’d be interested what penalty you would suggest for two 30 year old men (both HIV+) being intimate in their own home should be. Your suggestion is horrible crime regardless of the genders involved. Mine’s not. Yet both cases are considered “aggravated homosexuality” under this law. See the difference?

“If America wants homosexuality to be legal, then we can fight that battle here, but why do we need to threaten to withdraw aid from a country that does not want to accept homosexuality?”

Not accepting it would look like not allowing gay marriages or banning forms of entertainment that (positively) involve homosexuality. Or even possibly allowing for an eviction from housing or a refusal of service to someone deemed to be homosexual by the owner of the establishment. Mandatory death sentences (literal or effective) are a whole different thing entirely.

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