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Christians Had A Tip for One Kansas Waiter

Jim Burroway

October 25th, 2013

A 20-year-old waiter at a Carrabba’s in Overland Park, Kansas got a lovely note from Christian customers:

Thank you for your service, it was excellent. That being said, we cannot in good conscience tip you, for your homosexual lifestyle is an affront to GOD. Queers do not share in the wealth of GOD, and you will not share in ours. We hope you will see the tip your fag choices made you lose out on, and plan accordingly. It is never too late for GOD’S love, but none shall be spared for fags. May GOD have mercy on you.

I had to search around for an unexpurgated version. The source I originally found here decided to eliminate the words queer and fag from its report lest they offend their viewers delicate hears. But this is the kind of thing that demands offense simply because that offense is story, not the fact that yet another waiter in America was stiffed a tip.

Of course, when it comes to Christians or Christianity, not all of them are like that. But throughout history, these kinds of Christians have had a way of defining Christianity down for everyone else. The community is falling behind this waiter, making special trips to Carrabba’s and asking to be seated in his section so they can personally encourage and tip him. KCTV reports that people on social media are encouraging everyone to go to Carrabba’s today to show their support for the waiter. Wouldn’t it be nice of some of them weren’t just NALT Christians, but also “Like Them” Christians who nevertheless can clearly see the un-Christianness of this behavior.

Comments

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markanthony
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

This sounds like something a Westboro Baptist group would write. I’ve seen very few Christians who use “fag” or “queer” in the same breath as “God”

Norm
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

The KCTV reporter practically refers to gay people as an alien species (i.e. ‘homosexual partner’).

Rick2L
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

This behavior is why I no longer identify myself as Christian.

Lord_Byron
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry, but for me the “not all like them” sounds like a lighter version of the no true Scotsman fallacy. In essence they are saying, and I know many people are doing it, that they just happen to have the correct view of their religion and the others are misinterpreting and bringing their religion down.

Having said that this story pisses me off to no end for two main reasons. The waiter did not tell them he was gay and so they made the assumption and used that as an excuse not to tip. The other reasons that this pisses me off is that they used a system that people rely almost solely on tips for a living and by not tipping the waiter you are basically making them work for you for free.

Rob
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Lord Byron,

I agree with your second reason this bothers you so much, but you do make an assumption on the first one. We do not know if there was any information passed from the waiter to the diners on his orientation. I mention my husband in conversation all the time without pause, he may very well have mentioned some aspect of his life to reveal he was gay. I only mention this as you are stressing how you are bothered by the assumption while making an assumption about facts unknown.

That being said, I posted this earlier on my Facebook page explaining to my religious friends (I have many who are gay accepting without judgement) that this is why they are getting a bad rap and they Ned to step up unless they want this to be the view of what a Christian is.

Lucrece
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

That was some atrocious reporting. “Gay lifestyle” and “homosexual partner”.

From what long-past era did they time warp this reporting through?

TampaZeke
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

No true Scotsman.

Ben In Oakland
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

There’s only one thing worse than a bigot, and that’s a cheap, rude bigot.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

“…they [need] to step up unless they want this to be the view of what a Christian is.”

Rob,

I appreciate what you’re saying, but that is not an entirely fair statement.

First of all, anyone with a basic sense of awareness will know that Christians are not cookie cutter zombies marching in unison; any more than the gay community has a real ‘agenda’.

Secondly, Metropolitan Community Churches have been around since 1968 (45 years!), and numerous open and affirming churches have subsequently made themselves known. What part of ‘stepping up’ have they missed?

Third of all, what good is stepping up going to do when such ‘good news’ is patently rejected; (Lord_Byron’s statement being an apt example) not because they don’t agree with it, but rather assert that such difference of Christian opinion is ‘flawed.’ This infers that we either need to reject Christianity as a whole, or remain antigay in our Christianity. If such a mentality were the mainstream in our past, we would likely still have slaves.

Forth: The leading media outlets will always choose to publish the more sensational story. If this check had said ‘God loves you just the way you are, here is your tip’; I doubt it would have been picked up, and even if it had, it would not have gone as viral as this. At best, it would have given ‘Fundies’ a chance to “Boycott Carrabba’s” and it would be the latter that would create more buzz and more ‘terrible Christians’ talk.

Lastly, if gay affirming Christians are to be held responsible for the perception that all Christians are anti-gay; then should the average ‘family-oriented-picket-fence-owning-gay-couple’ be held responsible for the perception that all gays are flamboyant 2% body fat gym bunnies who wear Speedo’s and angel wings and feed each other bananas in public?

I’m not saying you’re wrong for believing gay affirming Christians should speak up. I just disagree with the notion that we are responsible for the public perception of all Christians. This is a skewed statement; especially since we ARE speaking, but just not being heard.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Posit:

If the above scenario would have been a gay couple who refused a to tip a waiter wearing a cross necklace and left a message along the lines of “We don’t believe in your spaghetti monster in the sky, and since you followers of this meat-ball eyed spook work against our rights, let this be your tip;” would Jim have written the headline as ‘Gay’s Had A Tip for One Kansas Waiter’

TomTallis
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

It seems to me, speaking as a non-Christian who would never, ever consider becoming a Christian, that the responsibility for cleaning up Christianity’s reputation in the US belongs to Christians, however difficult that task may be, or seem.

Lord_Byron
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Because, Sandhorse, the people are basically arguing that the other people are wrong when it comes to their christian beliefs. They are using the no true Scotsman fallacy to argue this. They also may be playing nice now, but I don’t think some beautiful words make up for almost 2 centuries of persecuting gay people in the name of their god. You are not responsible for the public perception of Christianity, but as prior said a minority saying nice things does not make up the vocal majority that hurts the gay community.

Rob
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse,

I’m aware that sane people don’t blame every part of a group for the actions of some. But have you looked at the population lately? Sane isn’t very visible these days.

But I do believe, and recent polls on public opinion support this, that the falling rate of religious people in the USA are because people associate this behavior with ALL of religion, not just Christianity. So, if there are people that are accepting of us, then they do to step up to dispel this idea, if it isn’t in fact true.

I read the polls, and they show religion on decline because of these exact reasons. Even The Pope has acknowledged that abortion and gay has eclipsed the true message of the church.

Yes, there are indeed gay affirming churches and religious brands that have been around for years, but they don’t get heard or publicized when they speak up, so they need to do ore, or the general impression sticks.

You don’t have to agree with me, but I do know how the general public currently view and identify when it comes to religion, and despite your view, they see it like I stated. They lump EVERYONE together, just like the religious right lump all gay people together and portray us as if we were a living a daily pride festival. They don’t view us as normal humans going about our lives. And the average joe or Jane out there views all Christians with the same eye, even if you wish it were not so.

Rob
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Sorry for the typos. I’m trying to get used to the auto correct on my iPad so sometimes I miss the bad corrects, or a word might be missing.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

I see, Lord Byron, so maybe we can get along in a couple more centuries. If we self-flagellate in public as penance will that shorten the timeframe?

And I don’t believe the ‘no true Scotsman’ accusation can apply in cases of a chosen self identifier.

If someone claims to be a vegetarian and then proceeds to eat a porterhouse steak every Friday; can he or she by definition still call themselves a vegetarian?

Rob
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

And Sandhorse,

We fight against gay stereotypes every single day in our community. We all do, and we seem to find it our collective duty to do so. And stories of gays doing something malicious to a religious person do happen, and they do get the exact same treatment as this story. The difference being, our leading Rights Organizations speak out immediately. They condemn the actions. If they are harmful or present our community as a whole in a bad light. To suggest the treatment is somehow not on the same level is dishonest. Every time someone gay does something heinous like this, our community responds to it. That’s the difference. Where are the press releases from religious organizations when this happens in such a publicized manner? Their condemnation is deafening.

CPT_Doom
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

In regards to the “Christian” couple’s knowing the server was gay – his mother is the hostess at the restaurant and it is entirely possible that the couple were regulars or semi-regulars, or simply people who knew the mother, and could therefore have figured out, or already been told, the server was gay.

I also have a problem with dismissing the response as a “no true Scotsman” issue. It is true that the gay pastor in the TV piece argues that the “Christian” couple did not practice actual Christianity, but that is just one opinion. I would assume most people, regardless of their religious affiliation or intensity of their beliefs, are rallying around the waiter because the couple in question were rude, insensitive, arrogant a-holes.

It is also true that the central teaching of the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth (at least according to my own Catholic upbringing) about how people are supposed to relate to one another was to “treat others as you want to be treated.” Unless this couple wants to be thrown out on their ears the next time they came in the restaurant – and I would hope the management would do exactly that – they are not acting in accordance with that teaching.

Odie
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

It has been my experience that some people are just assholes, and if they can find a justification for it in religion (or anything else) they will do it. There is no excuse for this behavior, and yes, asshole Christians *Are* wrecking Christianity’s reputation here in the USA.

Regardless, it seems to me that they just did not want to tip and were using their religion as both a justification and a way to try to appear to be “holy.”

It should not have to be spelled out to people “Thou Shalt Tip Thy Waiter, whether he be Gay or Straight, for he maketh a low wage.” Sad to say, it just about does have to be said in biblical terms like that because it has become “cool” to be a rude idiot in America.

Christians are no different, in fact they are usually worse. lots of people use a “Literal” interpretation of the Bible as a way to avoid doing things they are supposed to do while trying to look like they have morals.

Shit like this is why I’m not a Christian anymore. This is not how I was taught.

Kathy
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

I emailed the reporter about her language. She admitted she was wrong to use “homosexual partner”. She said her editor didn’t catch it in the proofreading either. She spoke to her editors so hopefully it won’t happen again. She says she used “lifestyle” as a quote from the note but realizes she didn’t make that clear. her reply was polite and professional and she promised not to make those mistakes in the future. Now that she knows, she can do better. I also referred her to the GLAAD media guide.

Timothy Kincaid
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

I fall into the camp that believes that the responsibility for cleaning the image of Christianity falls on Christians, not their critics.

There was a time when “a good Christian woman” had a meaning; that she was kind, generous to those in need, helpful when something needs to be done, and careful of the way she spoke about others. Now it means pretty much the opposite.

That isn’t the fault of non-Christians.

When crazy, arrogant, intolerant, and oppressive people began to speak for “Christianity”, that was the time when churches needed to step forward and rebuke the heretics who perverted the message of rabbi Jesus.

They didn’t.

Instead they accepted the lure of political power and spreading their doctrine through force. Now they are beginning to recognize that the mess of pottage they purchased wasn’t worth their birthright.

You do now see Christians beginning to stand up and speak out against what they’ve become. Christians of all stripes (but mostly liberal Christians) are reclaiming their gospel from the money grubbers, power brokers, and hate mongers.

But they have a LONG LONG way to go to reclaim their reputation.

It isn’t enough that the local United Methodist church was one of the major caregivers during the AIDS crisis, that they send teams to areas hit by disaster to rebuild, that they feed and clothe the homeless, or that they proactively campaign for freedom and equality.

They are guilty of assuming that the world would see their behavior and think think that this is what “Christian” means. They didn’t actively and aggressively combat those who argued on national television that “Christian” means forcing sinners to submit to your will and imposing the minutia of your doctrine on those who do not wish to live by it.

They allowed their desire to get along with their fellow Christians and not bring anyone of faith down to get in the way of their call to holiness. They allowed others to redefine holiness.

And now they will have to work twice as hard to reclaim their calling.

I think that they, and the millions of other Christians of godly intent, will eventually do so. But it ain’t going to be easy.

And it’s no one’s job but their own.

Ben In Oakland
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Bang on, timothy.

If you want your religion and religious beliefs to be respected, maybe you should start by having a respectable religion and respectable religious beliefs.

And byron, it’s not 2 centuries– it’s nearly 20 centuries, give or take a few decades.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

Typos aside, I understand what you wrote.

However, we were not discussing Christianities rise or fall in public perception. And though you’ve just brought it up now, I would not deny that Christianities image is severely marred at best. I’m familiar with the response in a recent poll asking respondents the first word that came to mind when they hear the term Christian; that answer being ‘Antigay”. Christ spoke very few ‘harsh’ words, but where he did it was almost always exclusively toward hypocrites. Those who claimed to follow him but only glorified themselves; but I digress.

So as far as me ‘agreeing with you or not’, surprise! I agree with you!

But again, the ‘what’ is not what we were talking about, but the ‘why’. Is it because affirming Christians haven’t stepped up?

The fact is, we have stepped up, and are stepping. Our voices are being heard (by those willing to listen) and our message is getting louder (whether one listens or not). Is this going to change overnight? Did the gay right movement change overnight?

I think the more provocative question is whether the general gay community will welcome their gay and straight allied Christians in this message or will they be rejected for believing in a spaghetti monster and told their theological stance on homosexuality is a logical fallacy?

The reason I posed the hypothetical about Jim’s headline was to demonstrate the ingrained perception (and thus the inadvertent propagation of that perception) that ALL Christians would leave such a message to a gay waiter. This came from a man who claims to believe that we are ‘not all like that.’ For the record, I’m not accusing Jim of lying nor and I saying he intentionally intended to lump all Christians into one basket in his headline. But intentionally or not, the outcome was the same.

And TomTallis is correct that it is Christians that will have to right Christianity, this is a course of action that has had to happen numerous times throughout history. But if those we are reaching out to reject that message and continue to acknowledge only the negative contributors, the process will only take longer.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

“They are guilty of assuming that the world would see their behavior and think think that this is what “Christian” means.

If their goal for helping AIDS sufferers was a stab at PR, then their guilt runs much deeper.

Rob
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse,

Umm, that was exactly what we were talking about. That was what I was talking about in the comment I made, and I simply expounded on what I said to my friends when I posted this.

And it was hat you replied to in your first post to me, that their were already pro gay Christian groups, etc. etc. etc.

It was exactly the point, I just explained my thinking on why I believe the point I made.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Alright, perhaps I misread your first reply, I apologize.

Let me just reiterate then, that if the Christians who have stepped up keep getting lumped in with the likes of the antigay-christians, we’ll never get anywhere. I’m not saying you said that, only that headlines like the one above do.

Lord_Byron
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

@Ben In Oakland

That’s bad on my part. I was thinking 2 millenniums, but accidentally typed centuries. Didn’t even realize it til now.

Jim Burroway
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

I created the headline based on the identity that the restaurant customer adopted (albiet not specifically. He/she didn’t say “I’m a Christian…” so I made what I believe to be a very high-probability guess based on the note’s contents). If the note was made on the basis of the letter-writer’s beliefs based on being a Democrat, a Boy Scout, an atheist or a Spaghetti-monster adherant, then that would have been the headline. And if I thought it were credible that a gay person did the same to a Christian, that, too, would have been the headline, much in the way I’ve called out my own fellow Democrats (for example) for their atrocious behavior.

Because I do believe that Christians do have an obligation to clean up after fellow Christians, Boy Scouts for fellow Boy Scouts, Democrats, atheists, spaghetti monsters worshipers, etc. But I also beleive that Christians bear a special responsibility that exceeds that of Democrats, atheist, spaghetti monster worshipers because Christianity has a very particular history with regard to anti-gay animus and persecution.

Priya Lynn
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse said “And I don’t believe the ‘no true Scotsman’ accusation can apply in cases of a chosen self identifier.

If someone claims to be a vegetarian and then proceeds to eat a porterhouse steak every Friday; can he or she by definition still call themselves a vegetarian?”.

False analogy. The definition of a vegetarian is black and white and a meat eater does not qualify. There is a great deal of variability in the definition of a Christian and it is eqally valid for an anti-gay believer in Jesus to call themselves a christian as it is for a gay supportive believer in Jesus to call themselves a christian.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Jim,

I guess we will just have to disagree on ‘artistic’ differences…

I tend to think that the the headline could have steered clear of making any conclusions and just let the reader decide.

If all it takes to earn the label of Christian is the mention of God and an antigay statement, then we really are working with a loose definition. Now any Joe Shmoe can use that tactic to make Christians look bad. You’ll have us mopping up for years.

But I do agree with you on one thing. Christians do bear a special responsibility to reaching out to the gay community, just not for the reasons you state.

Sandhorse
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

Priya,

Thanks for confirming my stance.

From the outside looking in, Christianity can seem nuanced with plenty of grey areas. In a number of ways, it is. Even the notion that homosexuality is a sin is debatable with good cases for either side.

But what is not debatable is how Christ called us to treat others. And that is with respect and love “Love your neighbor as you love yourself”, even in the face of adversity. “Love your enemies and prey for those who persecute you.” And not our self serving version of love, but in the very same love He showed us. That is, a love he shows us even as we reject Him. The ‘christians’ who stiffed this waiter were not loving there neighbor, and such people would sooner sue you than prey for you, if you persecuted them. If those who proclaim to follow him (i.e. CHRISTians) can’t even follow his most basic teaching, can they say they are following him?

Sir Andrew
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

The good news here is that there have been a good many customers showing up to support the waiter and overtip him. There are a great many truly good people in the world, even among Christians, though this couple is not among them.

Ben In Oakland
October 25th, 2013 | LINK

“But I also believe that Christians bear a special responsibility that exceeds that of Democrats, atheist, spaghetti monster worshipers because Christianity has a very particular history with regard to anti-gay animus and persecution.”

Jim, I’d rephrase that. They bear a special responsibility because Christianity has a very peculiar history with regard to claiming to be:

the voice of god, even when the voice of god disagrees with itself;

the voice of the fount of morality, when the immorality of what has been done to gay people for 2000 years rarely merits an acknowledgement, let alone an apology, let alone restitution;

the followers of a certain jesus, who preached love and forgiveness, as well as an abhorrence of the very hypocrisy that a certain class of so called Christian has been peddling for 2000 years around gay people; and

the followers of a certain Paul, who listed the reviling that a certain class of professional Christian seems to revel in as a way to avoid going to heaven, in the very same passage that said Paul allegedly condemned gay people;

So it seems to me, but then I’m not a Christian.

Hunter
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

Wow — lots of good comments here. A couple of observations:

It’s a given that you can find something in the doctrine/sacred texts/traditions of just about any religion you want to name to justify doing what you wanted to do anyway. It’s from the tenets that you choose to follow that the rest of us know what kind of person you are.

As for the public perception of Christianity, it’s not the fault of the “good” Christians — Sandhorse touched on the role of the media, which I think is a major part of the story: they will go for the sensational story, and the anti-gay “Christians” know that and have used it over the course of a few decades to get themselves, their organizations — and their fundraising — in front of the public. Thus, we have a context in which someone like Tony Perkins, who is one of the most shameless liars in the public sphere, appears on TV and is seldom if ever challenged on his lies. I do think the more moderate voices deserve to be heard, but we can’t lay the blame for their being silenced at their feet.

As regarding Christians (or any group) as monolithic, that’s a habit of people’s thinking as much as anything else — we talk in generalities because we almost have to, and most of us realize that there are always exceptions. I ran across a note that there are somewhere in the neighborhood of 3,000 sects of Christianity world-wide. So much for monoliths. (There’s a Lutheran church around the corner that has a sign in front, quite prominent, that says “We are committed to winning the freedom to marry.” Sort of underscores the point.)

These non-tippers are just small-minded, mean-spirited people who, like too many others, are using their religion as a cloak for their basic nastiness. One can only hope that they are refused service, not only at this restaurant, but at any others in town.

Rob
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse- I’d also point out that not only do I think,it the responsibility of Christians to judge Christians (and only judge Christians) is that the Bible tells us so. Read 1 Corinthians 5. Also, there are numerous verses and books in the Bible that instruct Christians to hold Other Christians accountable to the word. Your insistence to the contrary is contrary to the Bible.

James 5:16 and 19-20
Colossians 3:16
Hebrew 3:12-13

Just to list a few. There are multiple exhortations in the Bible to Christians to “police” other Christians, in fact it’s your obligation.

How do you square the direct instruction of the Bible with your instance that it isn’t your responsibility? In fact, most Christians get it wrong in that they make judgements against Non Christians while they are instructed to judge and hold only each other accountable and are to leave the judgement of non Christians to God himself.

PS. I ALSO PICKE 1 Corinthians 5 because it deals with exactly the issue we have in this story, a “Christian” passing judgement on a non-Christian, contrary to the instructions given via the Bible.

Argue against the Word if you take issue with being assigned responsibility for tasking your fellow believer. It’s Gods instructions not mine. Even ask your Pastor, I bet that you get the same instruction, that yes, it’s all Christians responsibility to take to task their brothers and sisters in God…and Gods responsibility to take to task those who do not believe, and ONLY Gods.

Priya Lynn
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse said “Thanks for confirming my stance….But what is not debatable is how Christ called us to treat others. And that is with respect and love…If those who proclaim to follow him (i.e. CHRISTians) can’t even follow his most basic teaching, can they say they are following him?”.

Of course I didn’t confirm your stance, I refuted it but you’re too childish to admit the obvious. The bible clearly opposes gayness in both the old and new testaments so in no way can one honestly claim an anti-gay christian isn’t a christian.

Jesus said to love your neighbour but he also said to hate people:

Luke 14:26
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple.

Mathew 5:17 Jesus strongly approves of the law and the prophets. He hasn’t the slightest objection to the cruelties of the Old Testament.

Matthew 10:33-35
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword.

Mathew 10:21
Families will be torn apart because of Jesus (this is one of the few “prophecies” in the Bible that has actually come true). “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.”

Mathew 24:37 Jesus had no problem with the idea of drowning everyone on earth in the flood. It’ll be just like that when he returns.

Mark 4:11-12 Jesus explains why he speaks in parables: to confuse people so they will go to hell.

Mark 7:9-10 Jesus criticizes the Jews for not killing their disobedient children as required by Old Testament law. (See Ex.21:15, Lev.20:9, Dt.21:18-21)

Luke 19:22-27 In the parable of the talents, Jesus says that God takes what is not rightly his, and reaps what he didn’t sow. The parable ends with the words: “bring them [those who preferred not to be ruled by him] hither, and slay them before me.”

I could go on, but the point is that while Jesus said to love your neighbour he frequently contradicted that statment and said pretty much the opposite. So, yes without a doubt according to the bible itself those who oppose gays and don’t want to leave them tips are just as Christian as you are.

Priya Lynn
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

I have nothing but contempt for christians who lie by ommission and try to pretend Jesus was all about love when that was far from the case according to your very own bible.

Priya Lynn
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse said “And not our self serving version of love, but in the very same love He showed us. That is, a love he shows us even as we reject Him.”.

Oh sure, sending you to eternal torture when you reject him, that’s love alright… for someone with an incredibly twisted and depraved mind. Just look at the insane hoops you have to jump through to justify your religion.

Regan DuCasse
October 26th, 2013 | LINK

Hi everybody!!!
If I may.
We have all been witness to the use of the definition of ‘religious freedom’ within the wording of legislation to get around non discrimination law to refuse service to gay patrons.
Not just when it comes to service for wedding related services. But custom for hotels, for restaurants.

Anti gay factions want it written into law that they can be protected for refusing service at any time, for religious reasons but this is directed ONLY at GAY customers and certainly this isn’t advertised as openly to the entire public.
It seems to be something that ONLY Christians are doing.
It’s exceptionally confusing however, and inconsistent.
Such as in the case of Mennonites in Ohio who had converted a church into a bistro/gallery/party event venue.
They were open to conducting receptions for weddings, but refused to do so for a ss couple citing religious reasons.
But they served alcohol, which is forbidden by their religion too.
And there are no other wedding, marital or social arrangements they refuse to acknowledge, even if the Bible or their religion does.

However, gay people who provide wedding services or own businesses aren’t refusing to do the converse for Christians or heterosexuals.
As in the case of this young waiter, who committed to serving this couple, but they, after the fact, refused to do the right thing as patrons.

So, let’s just call it what it is:
Some Christians just can’t play well with others. And want to do so legally and without consequence or accountability.

And whine or claim it’s discrimination when you call them out on it.
But let’s force them to be honest about exactly what it is, shall we?

Hue-Man
October 27th, 2013 | LINK

TK, You said, “I fall into the camp that believes that the responsibility for cleaning the image of Christianity falls on Christians, not their critics.”

The Anglicans are an example of how power trumps teaching. The split congregations and multiple lawsuits resulting from “progressive” views of gays – gay priests/bishops and celebrating gay marriages – were a skirmish compared to tackling the “Kill the Gays” proponents in the African churches. As far as I can tell, the internal bickering continues with no one happy with the status quo.

Do you believe there are leaders within the multiple American protestant churches who would risk their leadership positions – and the unlimited expense accounts, private jets, and luxury residences – by preaching gay acceptance? Are catholic leaders going to threaten to excommunicate the gay-hating mouthpieces who claim to understand church teachings better than the Vatican? No, me neither.

TomTallis
October 27th, 2013 | LINK

Those cheapskates who couldn’t leave a tip because they though the waiter was gay, could have been from the Phelps kkklan.

Overland Park is a suburb of Kansas City, and Topeka is only about an hour’s drive from there.

Hue-Man
October 28th, 2013 | LINK

Follow-up to church leadership. Today’s news – there’s no Anglican schism (well, hardly any)!

“An Anglican bishop in Nigeria has launched a furious attack at Justin Welby for being “sympathetic to homosexuals” and says the Archbishop of Canterbury’s position on gay rights is “pathetic”.” http://www.pinknews.co.uk/2013/10/28/bishop-blasts-archbishop-of-canterbury-for-being-sympathetic-to-homosexuals/

Negotiations should be easy. Here’s the money quote from the good bishop: ““We secede. We are ready to secede because if you look at Ephesians chapter 5, verse 7, it says that you should not have anything to do with those people [homosexuals] who are becoming disobedient. So, why should we yoke with unbelievers. So, if they do not repent, we are ready to say, go away, we go our way. We love them but we hate their sins.””

Timothy Kincaid
October 28th, 2013 | LINK

Hue-Man,

Only in wild imagination do leaders in most American protestant churches have “unlimited expense accounts, private jets, and luxury residences.” There are a tiny number of televangelists with those lifestyles but for the overwhelming vast majority, ministry is a life of sacrifice.

And as for whether any would risk their positions, right now there is a battle raging in the United Methodist Church wherein American Methodists are being outvoted by Methodists from Africa and Asia. US pastors are in open revolt and deliberately putting their pastoral ordination on the line to defy the denomination on marriage.

A teeny tiny bit of googling will give you a wealth of information.

Rob
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Yes, Timothy, Google is very helpful. Especially when you google average pay for a minister in America.

Almost 60 k on average, and that’s before bonuses etc. which brings the average American Pastor to a salary of just shy of 130k per annum.

You might actually want to do a better google search when chastising people, especially since it’s so easy.

http://swz.salary.com/salarywizard/Pastor-Salary-Details.aspx?hdcbxbonuse=off&isshowpiechart=true&isshowjobchart=false&isshowsalarydetailcharts=false&isshownextsteps=false&isshowcompanyfct=false&isshowaboutyou=false

Rob
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Because living on 130,000 dollars as a minister is surely a life of sacrifice.

Steve
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Timothy’s shilling is beyond pathetic.

Sandhorse
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Wow, I haven’t check in for a few days. It would be interesting if someone could actually point out where I said Christians bear no responsibility to police their own. I wouldn’t have said it because I don’t believe it. Having reread my posts and the intervening comments since my last post, I get the impression that Hunter is the ONLY one who read and understood what I said/was saying.

Rob,

I could address your last comment to me at length but it would be a waste of both our time. Mainly because I agree with your post; but secondly, and more importantly, I NEVER said Christians shouldn’t speak up. So throwing scripture verses at me was not necessary; though it is comforting to see you have a far better grasp of scripture than others.

On the other hand, Priya’s bible quote laden comment serves as the perfect visual aid to the dangers of reading scripture divorced from context and basic spiritual discernment. Heck, even some rudimentary reading comprehension would have done some good in this case; how hyperbole can be used to make a point being just one example. The quotes could be addressed in detail, but that would severally take this off topic from the original post.

However, even a broken clock is right twice a day and Priya’s point that Jesus was not ‘[just] all about love’ is absolutely correct. Unfortunately, I never said he was either. So she can be as contemptuous of me as she pleases; it would still be misplaced. Let’s just say that obviously it isn’t just Christians or ‘Christians’ that can use the bible as a weapon.

Once again, I think TomTallis makes an excellent point. The likelihood that these anti-gay patrons were members of WBC (or perhaps sympathizers) is quite high. However, whether they were members or just likeminded individuals is beside the point. Such ‘Phelpsien’ rhetoric has been denounced in the past, even by anti-gay Christians, as unchristian behavior. But once again, if all it takes to be granted the mantel of ‘Christian’ is the mention of God and an antigay statement; then no amount of public speeches from gay-affirming Christians will ever counteract the interlopers. If that is going to be the case, then ‘restoring our image’ will be an exercise in futility and a colossal waste of time.

Let me just end by saying that Harvey Milk believed ‘coming out’ was the best way to change hearts and minds, and the best coming out was to friends and family. Believe it or not, that is how Christianity has righted itself in the past and it will do the same for this generation of Christians as well. Contrary to all the televangelist efforts, the early Christians employed the best method of changing lives; word of mouth. So, just because you may not always hear and see ‘Tammy Faye Baker-esque’ speeches in the airwaves, does not mean we are not moving on the ground. That was my point from the beginning.

Priya Lynn
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Sandhorse, you need to educate yourself and look up the “No true Scotsman” fallacy.

And you did indeed try to portray Jesus as being solely about “love your neighbour” by claiming if a christian didn’t love gays he wasn’t following Jesus’s most basic teaching when the reality is obvious that a christian who hates gays is also following Jesus’s most basic teachings as I showed you.

Like most of the bible, Jesus’s teachings were loaded with contradictions and it is impossible for any person to follow all his paradoxical teachings. If not loving gays means a person is not a christian then it necessarily follows that you are not a real christian because you don’t follow his most basic teachings to hate your neighbour and to bring a sword, not peace.

But of course the truth is there is no purity checklist to determine what is and what isn’t a christian so both you and such anti-gay christians have an equally valid claim to the title of christian.

Timothy Kincaid
October 29th, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

Salary.com is the average pay for pastors that go through the formal job market hiring process. In other words, larger cities, stronger deacon boards, formal hiring practices, etc.

Nevertheless, if $130K buys you “unlimited expense accounts, private jets, and luxury residences” then I want to live where you do.

Rob
October 30th, 2013 | LINK

Nice way to try to change your statement Timothy. Your exact words were “but for the overwhelming vast majority, ministry is a life of sacrifice.”

Now I know you were rebutting an argument presented by Hue-Man, but you made a very specific claim of your own.

I find it hilarious that you will rarely, if eve, admit your errors. You belittle and chastise a reader to utilize google for the “wealth of information” just a teeny tiny bit will provide, and then you dispute the average salary as presented by a website that provides that information. You’ll go on about how a respected site really isn’t providing accurate information because you don’t want to admit you were wrong. And then you ascribe Hue-Mans arguments to me. You are such a hypocrite. You tell someone to google the information as if you are some,how superior to them, and then dispute the exact information that google result provides.

You thought you had a snappy answer but you were wrong on your information. The average American Pastor does not live the life of “sacrifice” that you suggest comes from meager wages.

Don’t be a douche, own up to your mistakes, just like you were trying to make others do when you posted false information as if it resulted from a google search.

Priya Lynn
October 30th, 2013 | LINK

“Especially when you google average pay for a minister in America.

Almost 60 k on average, and that’s before bonuses etc. which brings the average American Pastor to a salary of just shy of 130k per annum.”.

I hear God calling me to become a pastor.

Timothy Kincaid
October 30th, 2013 | LINK

From Christian Post

A recent study conducted by The National Association of Church Business Administration points out that the average American pastor with a congregation of 300 people earns a salary of less than $28,000 and that one out of five pastors has to moonlight for supplemental income. The study also indicated that only 5 percent of American pastors earn more than $50,000 a year, and 14 percent earn less than $25,000.

See also this, and this.

Southern Baptists do a bit better, but the average salary in California is $57K, not much considering the education requirements and the time commitment (unlike most professionals, small church pastors get calls at 3 am, drop-ins on Christmas Day, and usually no days really “off” other than a vacation – even days when not in the office, most are reachable 24/7 and parishioners do take advantage of that). And, by the way, unless you think of your total compensation package – including employer’s social security and healthcare – as your “salary”, it’s dishonest to define a pastor’s salary in such terms.

And while many many churches (especially the half dozen or so store-front churches within walking distance of where I live) do not have a structured employment package, for those that do, here’s a helpful pamphlet to understanding the structure.

You see, the fun thing about Google is that while it can be a useful tool if one is going for gotcha points in an effort to just be an ahole, in the hands of someone who actually knows a bit about the subject (I know many many pastors including my father and both brothers), it can also be a source for information.

Timothy Kincaid
October 30th, 2013 | LINK

PL,

Actually I think you would be an interesting person to pursue a theology direction. You needn’t believe in deities to be able to discuss the belief of others. Perhaps as a (not sure the term here, maybe “moderator”) of a Freethinkers group you might find a good deal of satisfaction.

Of course it would be a very large commitment to education. Pastors at the better paying churches often have a doctorate – and that’s just in their own religion. As an atheist you’d have even more ground to cover, not just Christianity but Judaism, Islam, Taoism, Buddhism, Hinduism, and a good many more.

But I think you’d enjoy that direction.

Rob
October 31st, 2013 | LINK

Yes, Timothy, your one blog citation that references a study that provides no link to that study to verify that study even took place is very convincing.

And then the average in California is exactly what I stated the average was, right around 60 k and I can guarantee that doesn’t include the benefits package, which I had included in the 130 k total. But now all of a sudden, you think the education costs need to be included, because yeah, somehow that’s a reflection on the salary? Every job that requires an education has that same cost attached to it. For it to matter now, is just you flailing about to justify your lack of factual information and anecdotal links.

The Chronically link includes all,pastoral staff in the salary revue it posted, that includes averaging in the church secretaries salaries, so your not even comparing apples to apples but apples to a fruit cup.

The Ranier article does nothing to change my points, except it does note that he, and I’m betting you as well, only consider the salary as a pastors pay. He doesn’t think one should include the extras, like free rent, 401 k donations, paid vacation time, and all the benefits as part of the compensation package. Sure, if you leave out all the side benefits, then of course a pastor makes less, but when your figuring out an individuals compensation, or annual salary, ALL the extras need to be included. One sure can live well on 25,000 a year when one doesn’t pay the rent bill, or the electric, or the car note, and gets an average of 4 weeks paid vacation.

And most people consider ALL that an employee gets to be part of their salary, and I DID NOTE IN MY FIRST POST THAT I WAS USING THOSE BENEFITS AS A PART OF THE SALARY. Because to not count everything would be a big fat lie, especially since they supposedly live such a life of sacrifice. You may somehow believe that those perks don’t count, but when those perks come out of parishioners pockets, they certainly do count.

And regarding the Southern baptists! the average for a part time pastor is 14 k to 18 k for small churches, still pretty good for a part time job. I know people who work full time and get less, far less. Go cry somewhere else about low pastor salary. Your promoting a dishonest point, and now we know that your continual defense of Religious leaders comes from a familial connection. We knew you were a shill, but now we know why.

Timothy Kincaid
October 31st, 2013 | LINK

Rob,

Go look at your source again. It wasn’t 60K, it was 87K – which we now have proven is not reflective of reality.

As for the rest, you can have the last word.

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