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Being Gay At Falwell’s University

Jim Burroway

April 9th, 2013

Can you imagine what that must have been like? Go ahead… imagine it. Then read Brandon Ambrisono’s account in The Atlantic of his time there, asking, “Why would I, the world’s most hypersexual fag, come to Jerry Falwell’s university?!” It turns out it’s probably a bit different from what you imagined:

Many of us view the world as an ugly place with a few beautiful redeeming characteristics. Unfortunately, that’s also how we view humans. But what I learned at Liberty was that this idea is the exact opposite of reality: The world and the people in it are really wonderful with just a smidge of ugliness about them. I think the really vocal anti-gay Christians display this smidge, but I also think the really vocal anti-Christian gays display it as well. Not tolerating someone for his narrow-mindedness is perhaps the epitome of intolerance. I learned from my time at Liberty that this bigotry happens on both sides: not only were there some Christians who wanted to stone some gays, but there were even some gays who wanted to stone a few Christians.

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jpeckjr
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

To all commenters: Read the entire article at The Atlantic before commenting, please. I found it revealing in any number of ways.

Raybob
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Beautiful article. His experiences reflect mine with my very conservative Baptist friends that I grew up with in Florida.

Still, the separatist judgment that they leave hanging in the air, unspoken looms between us like a huge wall. They’ve gotten the love part right. I just wish they could also get the “judge not, lest you yourself be judged” part.

Gene in L.A.
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

How many gay people would really want to stone Christians if Christians didn’t want to stone gays? I think it’s at least slightly different, wanting to stone Christians for wanting to stone you, from Christians wanting to stone you because you’re you.

And yes, I did read the whole Atlantic article. The one thing I took from it was wondering, if Jerry Falwell was really such a good, loving man, why did he allow himself to say publicly such divisive, hateful, hurtful things? If that’s not throwing stones I don’t know what is.

Lord_Byron
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

” Not tolerating someone for his narrow-mindedness is perhaps the epitome of intolerance.”

I don’t have to tolerant homophobia, sexism, racism or any other type of bigotry. You are creating a false dichotomy.

Priya Lynn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

“Not tolerating someone for his narrow-mindedness is perhaps the epitome of intolerance.”.

The old “If you don’t tolerate my intolerance, you’re the intolerant one, not me.” otherwise known as the false equivalency fallacy.

This line of argumentation assumes all intolerance is morally equivalent – its most certainly not.

It is intolerant and immoral to murder innocent people.
It is intolerant and moral for me to oppose murder.
—————–

It is intolerant and immoral for a big child to bully a weaker child.
It is intolerant and moral for me to oppose that bullying.
———————-

It is intolerant and immoral to oppose gayness.
It is intolerant and moral for me to oppose the oppression of gays.

dn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

I don’t want to harm religious people. I find it much more productive to “I’m rubber you’re glue” them. Any stone perceived to be coming from me is actually one they threw at me to begin with. Also the false eqivalency points are spot on.

gsingjane
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

This was a wonderful article, thank you very much for posting the link because I’m sure I wouldn’t have seen it otherwise.

The article certainly provides more confirmation that people on either “side” should not be stereotyped. It also shows that, away from the distance and impersonality of the internet, people and situations are very complicated and things are rarely as “black and white” as we imagine them to be.

Marcus
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

dn: It can only be a false equivalency if someone tried to equate two things.

dn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Marcus,

Priya already typed out the two things in question. See above.

Hyhybt
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

A good read.

The last part of what’s quoted above, though, certainly doesn’t take going to Liberty University or anywhere else to discover. It’s almost contained here, but a quick look through the comments on pretty much any article touching on religion in any way on, say, Queerty, will show gay people with incredible hatred for anyone even neutral on religion, no matter what.

Priya Lynn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Gay people have “indredible hatred” even for people neutral on religion – learn something new everyday.

Stephen
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Tough read. Dreadful style. He might want to talk to his English teacher. I read as far as I could, till I got to his misrepresentation of the story from John of the woman taken in adultery which he didn’t seem to understand at all. And I stopped. I was already annoyed enough by his ridiculous assertion that we who are vilified and maligned and actively hurt by the likes of Liberty U are somehow intolerant not to find them all to be perfectly lovely people. Bullshit. But this Christian university doesn’t seem to have been able to teach him what one of the fundamental stories of the New Testament actually means.

Plus; a degree from Liberty. What are you gonna do with that?

Kithpine
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

I think the take away message is, even with all these loving and tolerant people the environment was still so toxic he had to abandon the all these wonderful people who loved him all so much, in order to be healthy and happy.

I read this article when it first appeared. I’ve read three articles on religious sites saying “See we aren’t the bad guys it’s you icky icky gays.”

And no one, not even the author pauses to answer the question “If these people where all so loving and wonderful and things were not that bad, why did he have to leave?”

Really it’s not the individuals of the world who are issue. Healthy well adjusted people can brush aside the rantings of a hater, it is the systems they create the social pressure that makes it suffocating and impossible to live, let alone thrive, that is the problem. Liberty U was the problem, this individual’s upbringing that made him feel less then human and drove him out, in-spite of very loving individuals around him who helped him stand under that pressure. Individuals not every gay youth are going to find. Individuals who never stood up and stopped the system, instead we are left with a touching story of how one sat in their driveway, told him how much they loved him and waved as he drove off into the sunset.

When you read this story, it is well worth remembering the adage. “Evil prevails when good people do nothing.”

Priya Lynn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

“Evil prevails when good people do nothing.”

The first time I read that I thought it said “Elvis prevails when good people do nothing.”

Jeff Matchan
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

I read this article on my mobile device and had a minor conniption fit when I read the line about us being the “epitome of intolerance.” When I got back to my desk refute the “false equivalence” arguments, I saw that most of you had already done a beautiful job.

I love you people. :)

Marcus
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

@dn: I could have missed something, but I didn’t see him saying anywhere that intolerance should be tolerated.

Marcus
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

To clarify, I didn’t read “tolerating someone” as “tolerating intolerance” itself.

Zeldamina
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Nice is different than good.

If this is what the author thinks show us Christian love, I feel really sad for the impovorished notion of love he has been raised to feel thankful for. Real love is not about being nice to your face. It’s about having the guts to stand up for you when powerful structures stand against you.

Richard Rush
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

No, no, Priya, you have the truncated version. The full quote is,
“Elvis prevails when good people do nothing but the Jailhouse Rock.”

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gj0Rz-uP4Mk

Leo88
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

So there are faculty and students at Liberty U capable of showing civility and even kindness to a student coming to grips with his sexuality. How, what? Special? So nice of them to be nice. I’m glad that Brandon Ambrisono can look back on his time there with obvious fondness.

However perfectly civil people can harbor ugly beliefs and attitudes. People who would never dream of using the “n” word can still be thoroughly racist. Polite condescension, sympathy and pity can all be as toxic as overt hostility. People who smile at you and treat you kindly while still holding tight to the conviction that you’re profoundly damaged aren’t doing you any favors.

LU is an organization that sees its way clear to keep a virulent homophobe like Matt Barber on the payroll. It’s still an organization guided by people that would gladly see this country turned into a theocracy. It’s home to the Liberty Counsel, an organization that’s party to just about every anti-gay legal action that happens in this country. A group that is in all likelihood up to it’s eyeballs in the disappearance of Lisa Miller and the kidnapping of Isabella Jenkins-Miller. But hey they’re some people there at LU who were quite nice to a young man struggling with homosexuality, so it’s not all bad. Good to know.

Priya Lynn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Right Richard, I got that totally wrong. ; )

Soren456
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Kithpine says above: Remember the adage, “evil prevails when good people do nothing.”

Amen.

I greatly dislike a simplistic adage that can accompany Kithpine’s, but even so, I’m going to apply it here: If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem.

So these people love Brandon, but as Leo88 notes just above, they also maintain their allegiance to, and participation in, an organization toxic to Brandon in just about every way — and not just to Brandon, but to all of us who are gay, or non-fundamentalist, or appreciative of American-style democracy.

I don’t know what these people (Brandon included) think “love” is, but I sure don’t see my idea of it anywhere in this article.

Nor for one moment do I believe that Liberty University is misunderstood.

DN
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Marcus,

Why are you even addressing me on this topic? Lord_Byron brought it up first, followed by Priya Lynn. I was agreeing with them and don’t feel like going further into it beyond stating, as I did, that I thought their points were well-made.

Hyhybt
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Pryia Lynn: why did you pull that out to make it sound like a generalization about gay people when it was clearly and obviously the opposite?

My post was simply saying that gay people who hate anyone not sufficiently opposed to all religion exist and are easily found without having to go to a university. Not something that even might possibly almost be interpreted rationally to mean gay people are like that in general, yet you repeated it very clearly with that sense. Why.

Priya Lynn
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

HyHYbt, I wasn’t trying to imply you were saying that about most gay people I was making fun of the idea that there is anything but extremely rare examples of gay people who have “incredible hatred” for the typical religious person, let alone people who are neutral on religion. I just thought it was an absurd exageration on your part.

But, by all means, prove me wrong and post some of those comments showing “incredible hatred no matter what” for people who are neutral on religion.

Richard Rush
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

Whenever I hear the phrase, “Christian love,” I immediately think pretend, faux, phony, or fake. But mostly I think of “Christian love” as a performance calculated to further an agenda. Genuine/authentic love just “is.” It cannot be created by some ideology or belief system.

I’m sure that Matt Barber et al. consider us ungrateful because we haven’t thanked them for loving us enough to persecute us. After all, they have sacrificed more lucrative careers because they care about us so much.

Luis
April 9th, 2013 | LINK

What a great, but incredibly sad story that is.

Sad, because in spite of him actually leaving that toxic atmosphere, he still has to ¨Uncle Tom¨ mentality. Sad, because, unlike him, his boyfriend (Eddie) and for countless others, their true self was destroyed and will probably live a lie all their lives.

PS: I went to a private high school just like LU, and let me tell you, I absolutely abhorre anything related with evangelical Christians… but then again, I never had the Uncle Tom mentality, even is a little kid, I already felt that all those Christians were phony and dangerous people, and even if I couldn’t get away from them, I still wouldn’t let them destroy my true self.

Robert
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

I find this an interesting topic. I am of two minds about this subject. On one hand, I absolutely agree that tolerating bigotry or inequality is NOT being intolerant.

On the other hand, I do agree that there are a number of ndividuals in our community that have not tolerance religous people in any manner what so ever, and some of them are on this site at times.

In my very first response to an article on this site (Timothy Kincaid’s article on how we discuss our opposition and what names we choose to call them, back a few months before the election) one of the semi-regular posters attacked me and my family because I discussed my Aunts support for my marraige despite the fact that she was Catholic.

My Aunt was called a rape enabler and a variety of other heinous names because she is Catholic, she was slandered and belittled by a poster in multiple posts, and NOT ONCE did anyone come to her defense.

My Aunt, who has been supportive of my husband and me, our life together, and a variety of other LGBT issues which I detailed, was slandered. Not one individual came to her defense as a person who supports our community despite her religous affiliation.

Many here would love to act as if there is no animus for even supportive Christians but there is. A Number of the people posting on this topic were on that thread, and as I said, not ONE person stood to defend a person who supports our rights despite her Church’s views.

The majority of my friends are pretty religous, and most of them support LGBT Equality across the board. THose who do have ssue with us are generally older and are trying to come to terms with their changing world, and are trying to figure out the line between civil and religous freedoms.

But animus towards the religious, even our supporters, is very very common, despite protestations to the contrary.

Priya Lynn
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “I discussed my Aunts support for my marraige despite the fact that she was Catholic.

My Aunt was called a rape enabler and a variety of other heinous names because she is Catholic, she was slandered and belittled by a poster in multiple posts,”.

That rings a bell. Maybe the criticism is sometimes harsher than I think and I just don’t notice it.

Amana
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Apart from the description of the roommate’s perfectly muscled ass, bathed in the glow of the light from the fridge, this article didn’t move me much.

JohnAGJ
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Interesting article that reminded me of the book “The Unlikely Disciple”. I may not agree with the author completely, but I do appreciate his perspective. It’s far too easy to fall into the trap of “dehumanizing” political foes or others we believe are opposing us so this article was good IMO as a reminder. However, while Falwell may have had some good qualities, which I’m always glad to hear about anyone, it doesn’t change my opinion of the man or the movement he helped spawn.

ZRAinSWVA
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, you’re right that it’s wrong to label all religious people in the same manner. There are wide variations. In my hometown, for example, a Methodist church began promoting a simple bumper sticker:

Love.

Pretty nifty, and our community really appreciated their support–especially given the loud voices of the Pentecostal Holiness churches and similar denominations…you know, the ones that make LGBT folks feel unwelcome or dirty or…

Lord_Byron
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

JohnAGJ,
it reminded me of that book as well. I much preferred reading “The Unlikely Disciple” compared to this piece

“Many here would love to act as if there is no animus for even supportive Christians but there is.”

I have no animus towards supportive Christians, but as an atheist I do have animus towards religious views being made into law and the centuries of human rights crimes because of religion. Having said that I was not on that thread when your aunt was attacked, and I do mean this respectfully, but why is your aunt still catholic if she disagrees with the church on marriage equality? A majority of american catholics are ok with divorce, abortion, contraception, and marriage equality and most are not sure of papal infallibility. Why do they remain catholic when they disagree so much with what is going on?

Recently a couple bishops said those that are in favor of marriage equality shouldn’t take communion.

gsingjane
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Here is one thought I had about this.

It seems to me that an awful lot of opinions are formed about Christianity based on what folks are reading or hearing. When I hear someone say, “all I ever hear about the Christian church is them doing these awful things,” the first thing I wonder is, where are you hearing it from?

Many, probably most, liberal news aggregators and GLBT sites run the same article over and over, entitled “crazy right-wing Christian person says crazy anti-gay thing.” Very seldom do you read an article entitled “moderate Christian church calls for tolerance,” or “interfaith communication a plus.”

I understand this. Sensationalism sells. We’d like to think we’re different from Fox News, but, frankly, what’s happening is the news is being filtered in a different way … it isn’t unfiltered, not at all.

There are wonderful, affirming, and excellent pro-GLBT things happening in many churches today. And, no, you won’t hear about these from sites whose agenda is to post the most sensational clips possible, especially sites where a secondary agenda is to eliminate religion altogether (and don’t think that isn’t a filter being applied in many GLBT sites). “It matters where you get your news” … it really does, on both sides.

Just as folks on the right wing side are only hearing the bad and the negative about the GLBT community, and forming their opinions accordingly, it increasingly strikes me that the GLBT “side” is doing the same about Christians. It’s such a shame.

Finally… Robert, I am truly sorry about the mean things that were said about your aunt, and that nobody did spring to the defense. They should have! It’s a pity it’s so easy to be cruel on the internet.

Lord_Byron
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

gsing you rarely hear about moderate christians calling for tolerance or interfaith communication because that rarely happens. When was the last time that moderate christians called out the nutjobs that were preaching intolerance or any other crazy ideas?

I read multiple news sources and you rarely have christians calling out the crazy. Yes they exist, but they are never as vocal about their beliefs.

Just look at newtown where they had an interfaith service and then the lutheran pastor apologized because some people thought that by him standing their he was giving legitimacy to the other faiths’ beliefs. That is insane.

Robert
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

LB-

My Aunt stays in the Church because she believes in most of the stuff that it teaches. She simply loves her family and wants us to all be happy, and she has seen first hand what a wondeerful influence and support my husband has been over the last 15 years. She believes in social equality under civil law and recognizes that the only people Church Law is for is for the Church people. She recognizes the difference between civil and religious law. She lives HER life as she thinks God wants her to, and thinks that is what God wants for all of us, to live our individual lives as we are guided by God. She is a pretty wonderful lady and has been one of my inspirations. She doesn’t like the AFA or NOM or any of those people and she says she doesn’t think they speak for God, but for themselves.
Most people who believe in ANY religion think that there are some areas that apply to them and not to others, and vice versa. She always tells me (when I ask about her views) that she isn’t God and it isn’t her place to make judgements about what is right for another person.

Lord Byron, I also don’t think there is a person alive who gas a religious belief that thinks everything is for everyone. When I grew up in my Baptist Church I had a great Youth Leader who said (in regards to tobacco use) that using it might be a sin for one person but not a sin for another, and that sin was specific to the individual, not one size fits all. He said that it becomes a sin if it comes between you and God, or comes between another individual and God. Some people can’t tolerate alcohol consumption, and some can. It might be a sin for someone to continue to use it if it affects them negatively (I’m not discussing alcoholism, that’s different) and not a sin for those who do handle it well. I guess to some that might be moral relativism, but I think that any relationship with God is an individual one and He meets you where you are, not where others think you should be.

And, call me crazy, but I have always thought that homosexuality was both a sin and not a sin. It is right for those of us made that way to be that way, it would not be right for those who are not made that way, but indulge in it for some reason or other. I was taught that the original meaning in leviticus and the Sodom and Gomorah tale, before it was translated and translated and translated, was un-natural to the self, not un-natural over all. If it isn’t your natural sexual orientation, then it would be of a sinful nature, if it is of your natural orientation, then it’s not.

Priya Lynn
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “And, call me crazy, but I have always thought that homosexuality was both a sin and not a sin. It is right for those of us made that way to be that way, it would not be right for those who are not made that way, but indulge in it for some reason or other.”.

I find it upsetting that you think like that. The only thing that makes something a wrongdoing is harm. Even if gayness isn’t natural for a person it doesn’t harm anyone for them to engage in it so its not a wrongdoing (assuming you equate sin with wrongdoing and if you don’t I have no idea what you’re talking about).

gsingjane
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

“You rarely hear about moderate Christians calling for tolerance because that rarely happens”?

Really?

If you actually thought about this, or even did the tiniest amount of research, you’d see that it’s just entirely incorrect as a factual matter.

And, as to the view that the existence of right-wing Christians means there should be no Christians at all – I find that profoundly unfair and illogical. And, in point of fact, liberal Christians do differentiate and distinguish themselves from their more fundamentalist brethren, all the time. The fact that you’re not hearing about it doesn’t mean it’s not happening, as I tried to point out above.

“I know everything I need to know about [fill in the blank] … ”

“I am entirely objective in my views about [fill in the blank] and there is no information that could make me believe otherwise or change my opinion in the slightest.”

“The [fill in the blank] hate the [fill in the blank] uniformly and without exception and it is their sole reason for being.”

“The [fill in the blank] won’t be happy until the [fill in the blank] are wiped off the face of the earth.”

“The [fill in the blank] all think exactly the same way about the world and there is no room for variation, nuance, caring or change.”

“The [fill in the blank] get what they deserve.”

“Any horrible thing I say about the [fill in the blank] is more than justified because of the other horrible things they’ve done or are doing.”

Honestly. I think we can do better, I really do.

Jerry Sloan
April 10th, 2013 | LINK

I find Brandon’s writing somewhat niave and also a lot of denial about Liberty and Jerry Falwell.

In the mid-50s I attended Babtist Bible College with Jerry. I followed his career from then until his death a few years ago and he was a FIRST CLASS HOMOPHOBE.

He was indeed charming. He was a prankster. Wearing a blue wig is something he would do.

Brandon should talk to Marc Adams of http://www.Heartstrong.org who was kicked out of Liberty and outed by them to his parents who in turn kicked him out of their home.

I proved in 2 California courts before four judges he was a LIAR and a person who would not honor his word — google Sloan vs Falwell.

Liberty may have loosened up a little since his death but it is still a homophobic institution will always be such.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

You find, often, most of what I say upsetting, so I am not too suprised. Yes, I have religious beliefs, and so some things are, to me and others, of a sinful nature. I make no judgements on anyone doing as they please and I hold only myself to the standards I have. I think that were I to have heterosexual relations with a woman that it would be a sin for me, as it is not my natural orientation and goes against how I was made. But that’s the limits I place upon myself, I don’t attempt to make anyone believe the way I do, their life, their rules.

This is one of the problems with having religious beliefs, others always think that you should never feel that anything is “wrong” and place everything from their viewpoint.

I have absolutely no problem with some people thinking something is a sin. As long as they hold themselves to their own standards and don’t try to hoist it on someone else, then what does that matter to you?

My fight for equality has been one that stresses the right to have my own view and not have anothers forced on me. It has been to make the laws see no difference between people based on extraneous traits, like skin color, gender, orientation or gender identity, or nationality or religion. I want the laws to treat us all the same.

My battle for equality is NOT to erase what other people “think” or believe. That is their right, as long as they don’t try to inflict it on anyone other than those who the align with in their views.

Too often, it seems, peole seem to equate equality with changing everyones mind about how they view us. They are humans, they get to have their own views and hld them if they wish. My goal isn’t to make peole like me, my goal is to be free under the law to have the same rights as others. I don’t want to force people to give up their religous beliefs, because if I were to advocate that, I would be advocating to allow others to remove my beliefs from me.

Steve
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

@Priya Lynn
Exactly. The whole concept of “sin” is complete bullshit and nonsense. Sin is solely based on so-called “holy writ” without any analysis about harm to individuals or society. It thus can’t be a basis for morality or ethics.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “You find, often, most of what I say upsetting.”.

Not true. This is the only comment you’ve made that’s made me upset in this way and that’s because it says to me that at some level you still believe its wrong to be gay and you are not truly at ease with yourself.

Robert said “This is one of the problems with having religious beliefs, others always think that you should never feel that anything is “wrong” and place everything from their viewpoint.”.

You know, that’s a common statement for a religious person but I don’t know any non-religious person who thinks you should never feel that anything is “wrong”. Please stop lying about us.

Robert said “My battle for equality is NOT to erase what other people “think” or believe. That is their right, as long as they don’t try to inflict it on anyone other than those who the align with in their views. I have absolutely no problem with some people thinking something is a sin. As long as they hold themselves to their own standards and don’t try to hoist it on someone else, then what does that matter to you?”.

If all it was about is holding oneself to one’s own standards that would be less of a problem but you chose to communicate and thus promote your standard. If you had just kept your destructive belief to yourself rather than possibly infecting others with it I’d be less concerned about it, but I’d still be concerned, concerned for YOU, concerned that you’re carrying undeserved guilt and shame I’d like to see YOU be free of.

Robert said “I don’t want to force people to give up their religous beliefs, because if I were to advocate that, I would be advocating to allow others to remove my beliefs from me.”.

See, once again you’re pushing on me beliefs I don’t hold. I don’t want to force religious people to give up their destructive beliefs either. I want to convince them through logic and reason that the best thing for them and all of us is that they give up some of their religious beliefs willingly.

Robert said “I think that were I to have heterosexual relations with a woman that it would be a sin for me, as it is not my natural orientation and goes against how I was made.”.

The corollary of that is that you think it would be a wrondoing for a heterosexual to have same sex sex because it is not their natural orientation and goes against how they were made. That says to me that deep down inside you feel gayness is wrong to a degree, not just for heterosexuals, but for you as well but you’re willing to make an exception for you because you “can’t help how you were made”.

You’ve probably gotten in a plane at one time and flew through the sky. That is not your natural orientation and is against how you were made yet you don’t consider that immoral. Why would you consider it a wrondoing for a heterosexual person to have gay sex? Just because something is unnatural doesn’t make it wrong, don’t you agree?

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya,

I was asked about religion by another poster, and sharing my views is hardly “promoting it”.

You actually prove the point of the origina article in regards to the treatment of anyone with religous views.

What you seem to confuse is that sharing one’s view is not a “promotion” of it but a statemnt of belief. I do not hold others to my views, I hold myself to them.

As for my having some hidden shame about being gay? Sorry, you are out of your mind to even suggest it.

I DO believe that some things are right for some people and not right for others. That doesn’t mean I have an issue with my own gayness. I like being gay and I ahve liked being gay since I figured out I was gay. Did I have struggles to reconcile my religous beliefs to my orientation, yes, thirty five or so years ago when I was a child.

You can believe what you want “deep down”, but once again, as you did in a previous thread, you decide to tell me what I think and feel or what I actually said.

It is painfully obvious that you have issues with people that have religous views, you pretend you don’t but then you “want to convince them through logic and reason that the best thing for them and all of us is that they give up some of their religious beliefs willingly.”

YOU have no tolerance for people of religous beliefs and YOU are the only one here trying to make someone change their minds on what they believe.

My expression of my beliefs are just that, my expressions of MY beliefs, not a demand that you feel the same way or an attempt at trying to “convert” you.

But YOU see someone express their view and YOU try to convert them to your way of thinking and pretend it’s ME that trying to force a viewpoint on others.

You lack integrity in your argument, and find the actions you deplore in others to be perfectly fine for you. I have my views, I share my views, and I do not tell anyone else that they have to live by my standards, but YOU, Priya Lynn try to convince people to give up their religious views. You are the finest type of hypocrite.

You proved the point of this articel, that some supporters of Gay Rights cannot treat supportive Christains without contempt or to try to belittle their views.

Fine work Priya Lynn, fine work.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

I’m hoping that most posters and readers of this site realize that there is a difference between expressing your own personal religous views and the expectation that others will have to live by your rules. It seems that some believe that just the utterance of how you believe is a promotion of that belief, and that is a stretch at the most. A promotion of a belief requires that one promote that others must or should believe the way the promoter does.

If you don’t believe that, then you must surely agree with the far right that ANY staemtnet of equality is a promotion of or a “recruitment” tool for being gay, rather than a simple statement of support.

I always find it disconcerting when our supporters use the arguments fomented by our adversaries to further their own arguments.

I have NEVER insisted to anyone that they need to believe the way I do, or hold themselves to the standards that I hold myself to. My life, my standards. Your life, your standards. I think I made that perfectly clear in earlier statments.

And yes, as a person who has a religious faith I do believe some things are sinful and some things are not, but I never asked insinuated or inferred that YOU must believe the way I do.

It seems some people can not ever just respect that one has different beliefs.
You don’t have to believe in sin, you don’t have to believe how I believe, but it is unfair and WRONG to try to infer that a statemnt of belief is equivilant to proslytizing. If you think they are the same thing, you don’t understand proslytizing.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn said:

“If you had just kept your destructive belief to yourself rather than possibly infecting others with it I’d be less concerned about it…”

In short Robert, it appears the likes of Priya Lynn and Steve are free to call doctrine ‘bullshit and nonsense’, but if you share your faith openly, you run the risk of ‘infecting’ others so ‘STFU’.

Thus speak the Christaphobic, equally as heinous as the homophobic.

***

Robert, I don’t know if you intended it or not, but your concept of sin is very scripturally sound. Paul said it best in the entire 14th Chapter of Romans.

Regarding the rational you mentioned that same sex intercourse for a heterosexual would be sin; the expression of which Priya found ‘disturbing’. This is wholly accurate and I can even mention a true example.

There is a very heterosexually inclined young man who works in the same office as me. He also states he would have no compunctions in being intimate with another guy as long as he was the dominant partner. Such an interaction would not be based in love or even mutual respect, since his primary motivation in such a situation would be for purely selfish purposes. (dominance, physical gratification)

What may not be so apparent is that even heterosexual intercourse (in his case) would be a sin if the primary motivations were the same.

IOW, it’s not necessarily the action that makes it wrong, it’s the motivation, or the heart, that makes it a sin.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “I was asked about religion by another poster, and sharing my views is hardly “promoting it”.”.

No one asked you whether or not you thought gayness was a sin, you brought up your beliefs unprompted. You said to me “I have absolutely no problem with some people thinking something is a sin. As long as they hold themselves to their own standards and don’t try to hoist it on someone else, then what does that matter to you?”.

And I told you why it mattered to me: You bringing that up unprompted does promote the idea, it encourages people who don’t hold the viewpoint that gayness is in some way a wrongdoing to consider that idea and it reinforces the idea that gayness is a wrongdoing in someway for people that do hold that viewpoint. Don’t pretend it shouldn’t matter to me that you hold a belief if you don’t keep that belief to yourself.

Robert said “It is painfully obvious that you have issues with people that have religous views, you pretend you don’t but then you “want to convince them through logic and reason that the best thing for them and all of us is that they give up some of their religious beliefs willingly.”.

There’s nothing wrong with trying to convince someone there’s a better way, but to accuse me of having issues with people with religious views after you said “This is one of the problems with having religious beliefs, others always think that you should never feel that anything is “wrong”…” is the height of hypocrisy. There’s more issues in that statment of yours than I can swing a stick at.

You accuse all non-religious people of being amoral, of thinking one should never feel anything is wrong and you try to claim I’m the one who’s being insulting?! That is a lie – you’re the one with issues involving non-religious people. You owe me and all non-religious people an apology but I expect you’re not moral or big enough to admit you did something wrong and provide it.

Robert said “there is a difference between expressing your own personal religous views and the expectation that others will have to live by your rules. It seems that some believe that just the utterance of how you believe is a promotion of that belief, and that is a stretch at the most. A promotion of a belief requires that one promote that others must or should believe the way the promoter does.”.

When you state a belief you are asserting there is validity to it and that to a degree encourages others to consider and possibly accept the belief or reinforces it if they already have it. Once again, if you were sincere that your belief should be of no concern to me you’d keep it to yourself.

Robert said “If you don’t believe that, then you must surely agree with the far right that ANY staemtnet of equality is a promotion of or a “recruitment” tool for being gay, rather than a simple statement of support.”.

A statement that people who are not gay should be gay would be a promotion of or a “recruitment” tool for being gay. A statement of equality does express or encourage a belief that people should be gay if they are not but most certainly is “a promotion of, or a “recruitment” tool” to change a belief or reinforce a belief that there is nothing immoral about being gay and gays deserve equal rights. It would be just as absurd for me to say a statement of equality shouldn’t concern anti-gay, anti-equality right wingers as it is absurd for you to say it shouldn’t concern me if you state that gayness is immoral in some circumstances.

Robert said “I have NEVER insisted to anyone that they need to believe the way I do, or hold themselves to the standards that I hold myself to.”.
I NEVER said you did, WHAT I SAID was that by making the statement that gayness is immoral in some circumstances you reinforce that belief in those who already have it and encourage people who don’t hold that belief to consider adopting it.
Robert said “As for my having some hidden shame about being gay? Sorry, you are out of your mind to even suggest it.”.
Really? Then when you brought up the idea that gayness is immoral in some situations then why did you characterize the belief as “crazy”? Does some part of you deep down inside think you are wrong to say such a thing?
Robert said “YOU have no tolerance for people of religous beliefs and YOU are the only one here trying to make someone change their minds on what they believe. But YOU see someone express their view and YOU try to convert them to your way of thinking and pretend it’s ME that trying to force a viewpoint on others.”

Once again, I NEVER claimed you were trying to FORCE your viewpoint on others.You’re confusing discouragement of destructive religious beliefs with an intolerance for you, they’re not the same thing. You falsely accuse me of trying to make or force you to change your mind – that’s absurd, I can’t make or force you to think anything you don’t want to. I can provide you with arguments and its entirely YOUR choice as to whether or not you believe them. It is simply a lie to claim I am trying to make you or force you to change your mind. You think you should have a right to express your beliefs but I should not have a right to question them – that’s religious privilege rearing its ugly head, you do not have a moral right to express your beliefs without them being challenged.

Robert said “My expression of my beliefs are just that, my expressions of MY beliefs, not a demand that you feel the same way or an attempt at trying to “convert” you.”.

I never said you were demanding I feel the same way, and its a lie for you to claim I did. I’m just saying that expressing such beliefs tends to encourage them regardless of whether you intend that or not.

Robert said “It seems some people can not ever just respect that one has different beliefs.”.

Beliefs do not automatically deserve respect just because they’re religious. You are expecting undeserved religious privilege, you do not have a moral right to express your beliefs without them being challenged.

Robert said it is unfair and WRONG to try to infer that a statemnt of belief is equivilant to proslytizing. If you think they are the same thing, you don’t understand proslytizing.”.

Please think a little more carefully. Proselytizing implies an intent to change someone’s belief. I never accused you of attempting to change anyone’s belief, I just said that the result of your statement that gayness is immoral under some circumstances is to reinforce the belief that gayness is immoral in those who already have it and to encourage those who don’t have that belief to accept it – WHETHER THAT IS WHAT YOU INTENDED OR NOT. I did not say and do not believe you were TRYING to proselytize.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Now you’ve avoided the most important question at the heart of this exchange we’ve been having. There is nothing wrong, or harmful, or immoral, or disrespectful about asking you to explain your beliefs. I cannot make or force you to believe anything you don’t want to. You’ve written a lot, now please at least respond to the one issue at the heart of our discussion before you give another lengthy reply to everything but this question:

You’ve probably gotten in a plane at one time and flew through the sky. That is not your natural orientation and is against how you were made yet you don’t consider that immoral. Why would you consider it a wrondoing for a heterosexual person to have gay sex? Just because something is unnatural doesn’t make it wrong, don’t you agree?

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Here’s a thought Priya,

Why would a heterosexual person even have gay sex?

Answering THAT question may answer your own.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

“You’ve probably gotten in a plane at one time and flew through the sky. That is not your natural orientation and is against how you were made yet you don’t consider that immoral.”

Simple answer: Because taking a flight doesn’t harm anyone.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Eating is not immoral and in fact perfectly natural. Eating in excess on the other hand, is.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse said “In short Robert, it appears the likes of Priya Lynn and Steve are free to call doctrine ‘bullshit and nonsense’, but if you share your faith openly, you run the risk of ‘infecting’ others so ‘STFU’”.

Not quite Sandhorse. Robert stated that I should be unconcerned with him making the statement that gayness is immoral in some circumstances. What I’m saying is that if he truly wants me to be unconcerned about such a statement he shouldn’t make it in the first place. I have NO problem at all with him making such a statement IF he is willing to let me challenge it, but he asked me NOT to challenge it and if he’s going to demand I not do that then in fairness and reciprocity he shouldn’t be making such a statement at all. My problem is NOT with him making a statement that gayness is immoral in some circumstances, my problem is with him claiming I shouldn’t let him making such a statement bother me.

Sandhorse said “Regarding the rational you mentioned that same sex intercourse for a heterosexual would be sin; the expression of which Priya found ‘disturbing’. This is wholly accurate and I can even mention a true example. There is a very heterosexually inclined young man who works in the same office as me. He also states he would have no compunctions in being intimate with another guy as long as he was the dominant partner. Such an interaction would not be based in love or even mutual respect, since his primary motivation in such a situation would be for purely selfish purposes. (dominance, physical gratification) What may not be so apparent is that even heterosexual intercourse (in his case) would be a sin if the primary motivations were the same IOW, it’s not necessarily the action that makes it wrong, it’s the motivation, or the heart, that makes it a sin.”.

You just refuted Robert’s claim that gayness is immoral if its against your nature. The wrongdoing you outlined was having sex that was not based in love or respect, the wrongdoing was selfishness in the sex act. The wrondoing was NOT that the same sex sex act was against the nature of the (allegedly) heterosexual man.

Just like Robert, you grotesquely mischaracterized what I was saying.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

I said ““You’ve probably gotten in a plane at one time and flew through the sky. That is not your natural orientation and is against how you were made yet you don’t consider that immoral.”

Sandhorse said “Simple answer: Because taking a flight doesn’t harm anyone.”.

Exactly. And neither does having sex that is against your orientation or the “way you were made”.

Sandhorse said “Eating is not immoral and in fact perfectly natural. Eating in excess on the other hand, is.”.

Robert’s argument was that it was wrong to have same sex sex if you are heterosexual because its against your nature – that’s the exact opposite.

We can both agree that whether or not something is natural or unnatural has no bearing on whether or not it is immoral.

Eating to excess might be immoral because you deprive someone else of food who needs it, or because you cause health problems for yourself that burden others, but if a heterosexual person has consensual, respectful sex with a same sex partner he is not hurting anyone and therefore it is not immoral.

There is no basis for Robert’s claim that it would be immoral for a person to act against their heterosexual nature and have gay sex.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya said:

“You just refuted Robert’s claim that gayness is immoral if its against your nature. The wrongdoing you outlined was having sex that was not based in love or respect, the wrongdoing was selfishness in the sex act. The wrondoing was NOT that the same sex sex act was against the nature of the (allegedly) heterosexual man.”

Priya, I know you not this thick.

How could a genuinely heterosexual guy (for example) EVER have an sexually intimate relationship with another man that wasn’t based on some level of usury?

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn-

I don’t answer your question because quite frankly it’s stupid.

There is nothing unnatural about availing yourslef of technology that man has discovered. Being religous doesn’t mean you throw out scientific reality. But you think because one has religous beliefs surrounding “natural” vs “ubnatural” that somehow they have some issue with science.

Your question is idiotic and only posed to foment arguments and try to present yet another straw man as you frequently do. I see this is going to be another of your diatribes like last time you posted to me.

Just ignore me if you can’t be civil. If you want to fgiht, as it appears again, then go somewhere else.

I was indeed asked about my aunts religous philosphy and why she didn’t leave the curch, yes, I expounded on my beliefs as well, as the mirror my aunts.

You really are obtuse if you can’t see how you prove the point of this exact thread. Yikes, you really are blinded by your anger.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

And Priya Lynn-

You ignore the most basic part of all I have said. Yes, I believe there is a sinful nature to doing things that are against your own nature. That is how I, ROBERT, see the world. I also said in that same statement that I feel sin is unique to individuals, and what is a sin for one might not be a sin for another, but you completely ignore that. For ME, ROBERT, those things are true, for YOU they may not be. But you dismissed that part of my statements becuase you thought you had a bone and you were not going to let go of it, facts be damned.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya said:

“I have NO problem at all with him making such a statement IF he is willing to let me challenge it, but he asked me NOT to challenge it and if he’s going to demand I not do that then in fairness and reciprocity he shouldn’t be making such a statement at all.”

That’s a highly disingenuous remark; and not at all an answer to my statement.

You found Roberts expression ‘upsetting’ before any exception or refusal of a ‘challenge’.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse-

It isn’t worth continuing, lately it seems Priya simply has issues with trying to say I mean something other than what I wrote, If she were honest she would have taken all the statements in that post and tied them together. I have a set of beliefs I hold myself to. I do not hold others to it, and even stated that it might not be the same for other people. It seems she believes she has some right to tell me that the beliefs I hold only myself to are somehow wrong. Well, she proves the point of intollerance on religous ideas that do not affect her or may not even apply to her.

She insists that my standards for my own life and only my own life are somehow affecting her and others and it’s bad for me to have the standards I hold only myself to. Yes, her tolerance is so overwhelming.

Priya Lynn has a habit of twisting her logic to make what you say seem as if you’ve said something else. She ignores all the facts to go on her tirades at least when it comes to me.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse said “How could a genuinely heterosexual guy (for example) EVER have an sexually intimate relationship with another man that wasn’t based on some level of usury?”.

Sex for mutual pleasure is not harmful to either participant whether you want to call it usury or not and therefore it is not immoral – case closed.

I said “I have NO problem at all with him making such a statement IF he is willing to let me challenge it, but he asked me NOT to challenge it and if he’s going to demand I not do that then in fairness and reciprocity he shouldn’t be making such a statement at all.”

“That’s a highly disingenuous remark; and not at all an answer to my statement. You found Roberts expression ‘upsetting’ before any exception or refusal of a ‘challenge’.”.

Yes, you are correct, that was an unintentionally misleading statement on my part. I found his first statement that gay sex was immoral in some circumstances upsetting because it said to me he lives with an internal belief that gayness is wrong at some level and he is ashamed of it. What I was trying to say was that I was not saying I oppose him stating such a belief because I found it upsetting, but that the only way he could assert truthfully that such a belief of his shouldn’t matter to me is if he hadn’t made it at all.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

So now Priya Lynn is the arbiter of what one and one can’t say without an attack. I’m really really glad I don’t live in her world and that I live in the real one.

My beliefs are beliefs that govern my life. I have no problem being a gay man, I am very out, very married, and very vocal about equality. I have NO belief that homosexuality is wrong, but what Priya neglects is that I stated these are the beliefs I hold myself to, not her, not anyone else. She ignores that statement, and still argues a false premise.

Priya, suprise suprise, religous people have views of morality that might not be as loose as yours. The ones who don’t try to impose their views on you, should be left alone. You seem to want to attack people who believe you have the right to live your life freely while they choose to live theirs by their standards.

You don’t really seem to be in favor of equality by the way you talk. YOU have your set of morals and I don’t challenge them because they are your set of morals, suited to you and YOUR life, but you seem very willing to tell others that their standards don’t work. We have a word for that in America, it’s HYPOCRITE.

Sandhorse
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya said,

“Sex for mutual pleasure is not harmful to either participant whether you want to call it usury or not and therefore it is not immoral – case closed.”

Well what a relief it is to have a professional opinion. It’s so good to have a person of unimpeachable moral fortitude and clarity to bestow their wisdom upon us.

I shall pattern my life after the random loopings of your gray matter.

Or better yet, I’ll take Roberts advice on this one and leave you in your blindness. But before doing so I will just piggyback on his latest statement, and admire how you can’t see the possibility of two people using each other and how that can be self destructive.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “I don’t answer your question because quite frankly it’s stupid. There is nothing unnatural about availing yourslef of technology that man has discovered. Being religous doesn’t mean you throw out scientific reality. But you think because one has religous beliefs surrounding “natural” vs “ubnatural” that somehow they have some issue with science.”.

Technology is not natural, I never claimed you had an issue with science, the point I was making was that whether or not something is natural has no bearing whatsoever on whether or not it is moral. You made an offensive and false statement, there is nothing “stupid” about me asking you on what basis you consider it immoral for a heterosexual person to have gay sex. What’s stupid is for you to make such a statement and then pretend its somehow an afront to you, an insult, or unreasonable to ask you to explain yourself. Your childish assertion that the question is stupid is just a dodge because you know your idea that gayness is immoral for those who are not gay is totally baseless and you can’t defend it. Its the naturalistic fallacy and any rational honest person knows whether or not something is natural has no bearing on whether or not it is moral. You just made one stupid, stupid, stupid statement and then absurdly accused me of your stupidity.

Robert said “Just ignore me if you can’t be civil….You really are obtuse if you can’t see how you prove the point of this exact thread.

Wow!, Just Wow! It was YOU who made a sweeping insult about me and all non-religious people in general: “This is one of the problems with having religious beliefs, others always think that you should never feel that anything is “wrong” and place everything from their viewpoint.”. You assert all non-religious people are IMMORAL and then have the nerve to say I’m uncivil, intolerant, and insulting with “issues” towards religious people?! Your hypocrisy is extreme. I took issue with one offensive thing you said, not you or religion in general. You really are projecting, you are guilty in the extreme of the things you falsely accuse me of. You owe all non-religous people an apology but you’re not moral and big enough to do so.
.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

“Sex for mutual pleasure is not harmful to either participant whether you want to call it usury or not and therefore it is not immoral – case closed.”

So say you by YOUR standards of morality. Funny thing is that there is more than one morality, it is NOT one size fits all. Each individual has their own moral code, and as such, what is moral for one, may NOT be moral for another. For you to impose YOUR standard of morals on everyone (my moral code is set for me and me alone, leaving others to decide for themselves) and then call someone out as bad because they expressed their code, is the height of hypocricy.

Whom, in this discussion is imposssing their moral view on whom? It seems the only person that declared a moral certainty, for ALL individuals, wasn’t me. Now, who was it?

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert said “So now Priya Lynn is the arbiter of what one and one can’t say without an attack..

Only in your twisted mind is it an attack for someone to ask you on what basis you claim its immoral for a heterosexual to have gay sex. Whether or not something is natural or unnatural has no basis on whether or not it is moral.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Robert, the only standard for determining what is moral is harm. I’m sorry that you feel insulted by me making a true statement. You don’t have a right to make statements of religious beliefs without challenge and there is nothing immoral about me challenging a destructive belief.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

“Each individual has their own moral code, and as such, what is moral for one, may NOT be moral for another.”.

Now there’s a recipe for a world full of anarchy and evil.

Priya Lynn
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Continue with your absurd blathering Sandhorse and Robert, I’m outta here.

Robert
April 11th, 2013 | LINK

Priya Lynn, I own NO man woman or child an apolgy for having my moral code that I apply to only MYSELF. You are the one trying to impose YOUR moral code on all of civilization. I don’t do anything to harm others. I believe anyone should have the right to do as they please. I also reserve the right to have my own moral code and judgements, just as you do. But the difference is that I didn’t try to impose mine on you. You are blinded by your dislike for me, and now another thread goes on with you crying the victim, just like you did in the last one you asserted beliefs to me that I did not express or state. YOU read far too much into what people write, and are dishonest in your arguments. YOU started this argument, now leave me alone.

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