The Church and the Sex Question

Whenever I read about the latest public controversy about gays in church, military, or courthouse, I realize that very personal … Continued

Whenever I read about the latest public controversy about gays in church, military, or courthouse, I realize that very personal and painful struggles are going on behind the scenes – not just for gay people, but for those who know and love them. I know, because I’ve been there.

Since I come from an Evangelical background, most of my good friends sincerely and passionately hold the strict conservative view on homosexuality with which we all were raised. They can’t understand why I don’t stand side by side with them on this issue any more. To some, I’ve become a traitor, to others, a casualty in the culture wars, to others, frankly, a problem and an embarrassment. I try to offer a theological explanation for the change in my view under “The Sex Question” in my new book.

But I don’t think my chapter alone will change many if any people’s minds. It may help, but the real game changer, I’ve found, occurs when someone close to them – someone they already know, love, and respect – comes out to them. The issues then goes from being theoretical to personal, and it engages their emotional and social intelligence, which then gives their rational or analytic intelligence additional data to work with.

As a pastor, I walked this path. Through the years, a steady stream of church members, their children, and their guests made appointments with me, each of which began with almost the same words: “I’ve never told anyone this before, but ….” All my life I had been told that homosexuality was simply a sinful choice, a yielding to an especially evil temptation. (Back in the 1980s, this was the standard explanation in my circles.) But not one of the people I met fit that explanation.

As contrary evidence mounted, I began to wonder which was the anomaly and which was the norm – what I had been taught by authority figures I loved and respected, or what I was seeing in people I also loved and respected?

About then, the authority figures in my tradition modified their position: yes, there was a homosexual orientation that was unchosen. Being gay was no longer simply an evil choice. But this defective orientation could and must be overcome, they said, through prayer and reparative therapy. (This became the standard view in the 1990’s and still holds with many today.)

Over the years I did meet a few people who truly experienced some degree of abatement in homosexual attraction through prayer and therapy, and some even married heterosexually and raised good healthy families. If they were the only people I met, I might have been able to hold on to this modified view. But greater numbers of people confided to me that although they had previously been members and even leaders in some of the well-known ex-gay ministries (or more painful still, their spouses had been), prayer and therapy weren’t yielding the promised results: the orientation wasn’t being healed.

With more contrary evidence mounting, I began to be afraid. Maybe I would be forced to choose between the Bible and my integrity. Maybe to be faithful to the Bible that I loved, I would have to push away these gay people who had trusted me with their stories of hope and pain – blaming them for their failure to be “healed.” Or maybe to be faithful to these parishioners whom I loved as any good pastor would, I would have to deny what my faith tradition claimed that our beloved Bible taught. To be torn between deep loves like these is not an easy choice for any Christian to face, and even more so for a pastor, rabbi, or imam who has a congregation to tend – and to keep united in fractious times.

Over time, I came to a resolution (which I explain in the book) through which I felt I could, in good faith, be true to God, the Bible, and to my gay neighbors, friends, relatives, and colleagues. But many of my oldest and dearest friends see all this with sadness, and I understand how they feel since I’ve been where they are. That’s why, behind the clamor of public debates about homosexuality, I always imagine tens of thousands of stories, each overflowing with personal pain, fear, and hope. For starters, there’s the alienation felt by many gay people, but there’s also another very real kind of alienation felt by pastors, rabbis, imams, parents, and friends of gay people who are struggling between two loves: their love for the religious authority structures in their lives, and their love for someone close to them who happens to be gay.

Loud public debates will continue to rage about gays in the military, gays in the church, and gays in the courthouse, and “the issue” will continue to be used to win elections and create voting blocs and headlines. Meanwhile, I will continue to be remember that behind the clamor, private dramas are playing out in agonized prayers and secret tears behind more closed doors than most people imagine. Whatever your position on the issue, I think these personal struggles are worth keeping in mind.

(Read more in my new book, “A New Kind of Christianity”)

Brian D. McLaren
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  • stephenlouis

    Is it too much to ask that blowhards who insist on using their bibles to beat up on whomever they personally don’t like AT LEAST READ THE WHOLE DAMN THING, and not just the parts that support their prejudices? Oh, right, it’s too big; it hurts their heads (maybe from trying to reconcile all the contradictions in Holy Scripture!).”Hypocrites! Remove the planks from your own eyes before you point out the sliver in your neighbor’s eye!” Do you haters recognize that quote? From someone named Jesus, I think!

  • AJBF

    That homosexuality is mainly about whom you love and need to be loved by and not just about sex should obvious to anyone who can put their religious prejudices aside. That homosexuality is not any more of a “choice” than heterosexuality is should be clear to any heterosexual who thinks about when exactly it was that he or she decided to “become” heterosexual. Anyhow, all this “debating” will “rage” on only as long as the aging population who hangs on to such narrow prejudices passes away. Polls show that for the overwhelming majority of young people now in their 20’s this is simply a non-issue. Amen.

  • schaeffz

    Every anti-gay viewpoint comes directly from the interpretation of the various Bible passages. Therefore, supposedly secular anti-gay laws are indeed religeously biased. This is totally un-American! As a Christian, I have found an understanding in the Bible’s self-critique through Jeremiah’s recitation of God’s Words, Jer:31:33 “I will put my law within them, and I will write it upon their hearts.” This passage speaks of a future time when the “written law”, that is the Bible, will be supplanted by a knowledge of the law within ourselves. It is clear to me that the Biblical law has been superceded over the millenia. We no longer avoid touching our wives during their menstral cycle. We no longer consider wives as property. And so on with many of the Biblical laws. How did we come to this lack of strictness to Biblical law? Because, through Jesus Christ, the old law has been superceded as Jeremiah said. We know in our hearts that these old laws no longer apply. So too, I say, for the Biblical view of homosexuality. Why do we accept divorced military members, but not gay members? It makes absolutely no sense, unless you try to maintain the law via a Biblically narrow interpretation. Meanwhile, I believe God has now allowed us to search His law within our hearts. That search leads to acceptance of the gay state of being.

  • pgr88

    Mr. McLaren – What a coincidence! I am starting my own religion too! And I bet I can really conform to the modern-world better than anyone. We all know that conformity to whatever is popular is the best way to please God.Let’s get together and move our new Church to Guyana!

  • eaglepeak

    Well good pastor, if you believe we are all created equal before the eyes of God, then why can’t you just come out and say that it’s wrong to deny basic human rights, (employment, right to rent, right to inheretance, right to visitation of a sick partner etc) that heterosexuals don’t have to contemplate. Then there’s the universal love your neighbor commandment. I guess you’ve made some progress in realizing the Bible’s true values, but there’s no need to be ashamed of it.

  • ThishowIseeit

    Mr. McLaren,

  • asoders22

    Stephenlouis – you posted what I was going to post in reply to RSN9900. Thanks!As for “loving the sinner and hating the sin”, what a happy day for intolerant Christians when they came up with that one and decided to use it against gay people – they could still be hateful AND self-righteous at the same time! I’m sure they’re shedding a tear as well when they’re telling other human beings that a great part of them is worth hating.

  • leilaash

    Prejudice against gays pre-dates religion. Religious dogma only institutionalized that prejudice.

  • iamweaver

    TMSCHLITZER writes:Your logical fallacy is assuming that its “all about me” – when any kind of relationship like this is all about family.And no – I’m not homosexual, so my agenda is one of following Jesus’ teachings accurately, not satisfying personal sexual desires.

  • SimmertimeDC

    The topic is not a religious one. It is all about behavior: abnormal or normal, period. Hetero is normal, Homo is abnormal according to Mother Nature. Society has to decide if enabling abnormal behavior to equate with normal behavior is acceptable. Owning a house, getting a job or haircut, really do not matter. However, raising a child does matter. In whatother abnormal situation would we knowingly place a child?Medical caretaker designations, contract laws, etc. should not be discriminatory. However there should be no special affirmative action laws that grant privilege to homosexuals, blacks or women. College enrollments are 55% female, will there be affirmative action for white males? Of course not. Same goes for homosexuals, nothing is ever rolled back for any reason.

  • lepidopteryx

    Simmer, civil marriage IS a contract, and you’re right, it should not be discriminatory based on who has what dangly bits.

  • Dogtags

    As a Gay USMC Veteran, I’d like to pay attention what Leonard Matlovitch (USAF) has on his tombstone:”When I was in the military, they gave me a medal for killing two men, and a discharge for loving one.”

  • GVJaneRealEstateAz

    Gays so anxious to “be married” (okay if the benefits of spouse is recognized by their employer), may wish they had just “partnered” without the legal piece of paper…it is expensive as hell breaking up…with the “piece of paper”!!!GOOD LUCK! LET’S HOPE YOU DO BETTER THAN HETRO’S…I HAVE GOOD FRIENDS WHO ARE GAY AND HAVE BEEN TOGETHER FOR 30 OR MORE YEARS…AND THE MR. & MR/MS & MS…IS NO BIG DEAL TO THEM, AS THEY KEEP THEIR OWN NAMES ANYWAY…Must be a psychological thing with you who NEED TO MARRY!

  • tird45

    I guess next we will be making room for pedifiles

  • justillthennow

    Hello SimmertimeDC,Well, I disagree with you on several counts, agree on others. Agreement never brings about the level of tension that makes for good drama or storytelling, so on with the disagreement parts.”The topic is not a religious one. It is all about behavior: abnormal or normal, period. Hetero is normal, Homo is abnormal according to Mother It is unfortunate but true that this topic is a religious one. It has all the orthodoxy in the bigger religions a flutter. They cannot keep their hair from fraying on this one. And cannot stay out of the debate, a seemingly more appropriate attitude for religions.As to your take on what Mother Nature’s position is on homosexuality, I fear that you are misled, perhaps self induced. Homosexuality is common throughout all the kingdoms of Mother Natures Divine Sphere. It is found in the plant kingdom, animal kingdom and human kingdom. Even queendoms. Along with heterosexuality, bi-sexuality asexuality and non-sexuality. Homosexuality does not produce offspring by it’s own function, clear, but that does not take away from it’s natural and common inclusion into the sexual manifestations of the species of Mother Nature.Further, there are numerous examples through history of the offspring of a species being taken care of exclusively by one sex of that species or another, not by the combined efforts of the two. Although I am sure you would have little problem with offspring being raised by a female, or female cooperative, you may be surprised how often it is raised by the male side of that society. Abnormal? No. Normal and common. Get over it.

  • andyinbethesda

    Thank you Brian for your compassion. When seeing it side by side with the yahoos who post their vitrol here, it’s not hard to understand who is truly called to Christ and who Christ spoke of in his condemnation, both then and now. They aren’t even worth bothering to respond to.

  • GabrielRockman

    I’ve never understood why those against gay marriage never made an effort to criminalize sex outside of marriage – afterall, doesn’t the Bible call that a sin, too? And doesn’t it say that we are all sinners? So why not throw all of us in jail?Outlawing sin is not the solution. Outlawing sin will not make us perfect and acceptable in God’s eyes; its accepting Jesus’ sacrifice that does that. And there is no sin so great that even Jesus could not redeem you.So, leave the saving to Jesus, and use the government for its proper purposes.

  • Athena4

    Homosexuality is indeed found in nature, as is bisexuality. True, most organisms above the level of an amoeba reproduce along male/female polarity, but as penguins, monkeys, dolphins, and other animals have same gender “partners”. Do they love like Humans do? I dunno. It’s not important. What IS important is that in our democracy, each individual is given the same rights and priviledges of citizenship. This includes the right to marry the person of your choice, regardless of gender. We are at a point where our technology and our society are evolving to re-define the idea of what constitutes a family. We already have single-parent families and combined households. One does not “need” a spouse to become a parent – all they need is a donor or an adoption certificate. You also have hetero couples who are childless, either by choice or by circumstance (I fall into the latter category.) Does the fact that my husband and I can’t reproduce make MY marriage any less valid in the eyes of the law?When you get married, you handle the legal part of it first, by applying for a license. You can then have a religious ceremony, a non-religious ceremony, go to the Justice of the Peace, or get married by an Elvis impersonator – as long as that person is empowered legally to perform marriages. So, nobody is forcing Churches to perform same-sex marriages if they are allowed by the state. The gay couple can go to the J.P. (or Elvis impersonator) just as easily as a straight couple can.

  • brattykathyi1

    I have nothing against gay unions. I am seriously opposed to the state forcing the Church to abandon its beliefs. Marriage is a ritual of the Church. According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination before the Lord. Separation of Church & state prevents the government from forcing their Godless ways on the Church.

  • DwightCollins

    “Dwight, my daughter had a lesbian Sunday School teacher, and I had no qualms about allowing her to go on field trips with this teacher.like I said…

  • jsmith4

    Bratty has it *exactly* backwards.This issue is NOT about the state forcing the church to accept gay marriage.It is about the churches – prominently the Catholic and Mormon – forcing the state to deny equal rights in marriage, a civil institution, to gays.The Mormon Church can still refuse to perform gay marriages in its churches. But it has no right to deny gays the equal right to marriage.And the supreme court has ruled that marriage is a “fundamental right.” Life voting.

  • iamweaver

    brattykathyi1 writes:”I have nothing against gay unions. I am seriously opposed to the state forcing the Church to abandon its beliefs. Marriage is a ritual of the Church. According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination before the Lord. Separation of Church & state prevents the government from forcing their Godless ways on the Church.——————————————–No one’s forcing churches to marry anyone they do not wish to marry – or even to recognize a married couple, somehow. This is a non-issue. But if you mean that our religion is the only one that can define the word “marriage”, there you are wrong – any more than Christianity can legally force our society to agree on the definition of “God”, or “sacraments”, or “salvation”, or any other theologically-imbued term.

  • DwightCollins

    “Bratty has it *exactly* backwards.life is also a fundamental right, yet you dems do a good job killing babies…

  • PaKo7

    I’m puzzled by moral reasoning that somehow finds in animal behavior a rationale for what should be acceptable in human society.

  • Vipda

    The only motive for Gay marriage is to save tax dollars.It is a no brainer that gays do not need a marriage license to satiate cravings of their screwed up brains for unnatural sex, because US constitution provide them the freedom to do their sex whatever way they want it.

  • JenAZ

    What is truly sad and boggles the mind is, that in this most modern day and age, we fight bigotry and hate with intelligence and still fail to educate those that hide behind religious dogma to support their hate based belief systems and biases.No man or woman wishes to struggle with the “otherness” of their own love for another human being quite like gay and lesbian Americans must. It would be an abomination that they could not abide and yet they would insist on that struggle to be placed on others whom they do not know. What does that say about their humanity? I know what is says about their religion and I also know that is why their numbers continue to decline and lose relevancy daily.No one person has the right to rule on the lives of any other American under the guise of righteousness. They are human and as such, they are as frail and prone to human error as even the most godless amongst us. This is something that they can never conceive of admitting to.I will embrace my own views of humanity and side with those that hold the firm belief and understanding that our individual uniqueness is of more importance and beauty than the ugliness of a religion that cannot accept us one and all.

  • iamweaver

    Vipda writes:”The only motive for Gay marriage is to save tax dollars.”———————————————–In the vague possibility that you are serious, I will point out that there are enormous advantages in being married, from insurance to wills to adoption and child-rearing issues, hospital visitation rights, and the myriad legal obligations that come with the status of being married.If you don’t know what those are, you are either unmarried, or a very foolish spouse 🙂

  • jsmith4

    If you want to reduce the incidence of Gay Sex, you should be an enthusiastic supporter of Gay Marriage.Everyone knows that being married drastically reduces the frequency of sexual relations.

  • fzdybel

    I feel really sorry for Evangelicals. Most of the rest of us in this country came to terms with the biological fact of homosexuality forty years ago. Fundamentalist religion is such a burden, don’t you find?

  • wjfreeman1

    To VIPDA: Could you make comments any more hateful and evil? You self-righteous cow – you should be ashamed of yourself.

  • jsmith4

    The Legal and the Moral Argument CoincideDavid Boies and Ted Olson have petitioned the California supreme court to rule in favor of gay marriage, as a constitutional issue, because:Keep your religious beliefs, but as a moral and civil matter (marriage is a civil, legal institution), you MUST endorse gay marriage.

  • jsmith4

    Spider Real Mean sezDelusion delusion delusion.WHO has EVER advocated ONLY gay marriages???What world do you live in? Marvel Comix Land?Unfortunately, there are plenty of heterosexual people whom we can’t prevent from procreating. And spiders.

  • Vipda

    Bow that gay marriage is legal in most of US, Gays and lesbians should use proper mode of introducing themselves such as:Ms Britney, it’s my pleasure and honor to meet you. My name is “Rick” and am a GAY [by genetics, by choice].The above salutation /introduction mechanism helps Ms. Britney overcome her first impulsive chemical response on meeting/bumping into Mr. “Rick”.

  • Vipda

    Now that gay marriage is legal in most of US, Gays and Lesbians should use proper mode of introducing themselves such as:Ms Britney, it’s my pleasure and honor to meet you. My name is “Rick” and am a GAY [by genetics, by choice].The above salutation /introduction mechanism helps Ms. Britney overcome her first impulsive chemical response on meeting/bumping into Mr. “Rick”.

  • barferio

    I don’t think we have to worry about spidermean procreating. I mean really, can you imagine the kind of woman that would let this guy anywhere near her ovaries?

  • 7900rmc

    “I have nothing against gay unions. I am seriously opposed to the state forcing the Church to abandon its beliefs. Marriage is a ritual of the Church. According to the Bible homosexuality is an abomination before the Lord. Separation of Church & state prevents the government from forcing their Godless ways on the Church.And I’m sure it’ll come as a shock to you and those of your ilk, but this nation’s laws don’t exist (or not exist) to convenience or promote Christianity. That’s the difference between a republic and a theocracy — those are big words so you may have to go find a dictionary.

  • wjfreeman1

    There are a hell of a lot of very stupid and bigoted people posting here.

  • barferio

    life is also a fundamental right, yet you dems do a good job killing babies…

    Hey Dimwight, have you seen the statistics on how many abortions your fine christian republican southerners are having?I know most of you consider sodomy to be “birth control”, but sometimes, dang it, a good ol redneck boy just caint help hisself.

  • jsmith4

    Evangelicals have a MUCH higher Abortion Rate,The ignorant approach – advocating NO education – of the Evangelicals has tragic consequences in terms of earlier pregnancies, earlier marriage and hence much higher divorce rates.THIS is MORAL?????

  • spidermean2

    Take pictures of the monuments and prominent locations in DC and its periphery like the White House, the Capitol, the Pentagon, etc coz in time, they may not exist anymore.Do the same for the other 5 states and more that are soon going to legalize this perversion.Gay marriage legalization looks like a signboard from God saying “DO NOT ENTER. THIS CITY WILL SOON CEASE TO EXIST.”Christians, take heed.”Pastors” who advocate gay relationship are far from the messengers of God. They belong to what Jesus called as FA;LSE PROPHETS.Wasn’t it prophecied that false prophets would arise as Doomsday nears. We’ll they’re here already and just what the prophecy foretold, they would be speaking WONDERFUL things like love, etc and the ignorant people will love them.

  • onthejourney

    Gay or straight – let ’em marry – a commitment is a commitment –

  • spidermean2

    jsmith4 wrote “Evangelicals have a MUCH higher Abortion Rate, and STD rate, along with their Abstinence Training, than Europeans who are taught about birth control and about moral responsibility in sexuality and in relationships.”Do you understand the meaning of being born again? You must be crazy to say these things.

  • JenAZ

    VIPDA sputtered this nonsense: “Now that gay marriage is legal in most of US, Gays and Lesbians should use proper mode of introducing themselves such as:If this vapid and pointless post had an intelligent reason to exist, it was to demonstrate just how tiny and small the mind of the author truly is. If VIPDA is at all sentient, which is dubious, perhaps he/she/it would spend some time making a cogent and well thought out comment. This was ludicrous and insane on so many levels I nearly blew my drink all over my monitor.

  • JenAZ

    spidermean… another entry into the Insane Posting Archives of the WaPo. I can only admire your insistence on demonstrating your mental impairment so consistently and floridly each and every time I encounter another of your inane diatribes. Pure entertainment on the imbecilic register can be found nowhere else.

  • jsmith4

    Spider sezWell, since you are probably a literalist,

  • lepidopteryx

    VIP,When I introduce myself and my husband, I say, “Hi, I’m Sue and this is my husband Bob.” No need to add “We’re heterosexual” – anyone with half a brain can figure it out.When my gay/lesbian friends introduce themselves and their spouses, they say, “Hi, I’m John and this is my husband George” or “Hi, I’m Sara and this is my wife Anne.” No need to add “We’re homosexual” – anyone with half a brain can figure it out.

  • mradams

    It may come as a surprise to some folks, but the vast majority of gay people are very happy with who we are, since we are born this way, and it is quite natural to us. What is unnatural to us is the way we are treated by some people. Hating people is the sin, not livng joyfully how you were born. God is my creator, and love is my birthgiven right. Any shame is on people who hate other people for the way they were designed and born. There is enough water in the fountain of life for all of us.

  • jsmith4

    thank you, Mr Adams, for stating what should be obvious, thatand that they have the same emotions of love, joy, sadness, compassion, and striving as people of all other sexual orientations generally do.

  • Grandblvd03

    The debates will only be raging until those of us with gray or white hair finally die, because mostly anyone under the age of 40 doesn’t give a hoot about it.

  • oldiesfan1

    Yes, Mr McLaren, dealing with people who have made sinful choices is indeed hard. But, coming to know them personally, and finding out that they are “really nice people” should not change your view of their sin. The sin is engaging in homosexual activity, not having homosexual attractions.We are all attracted to sin due to the Fall. We all need redemption. The world is not as God intended it – He gave us free will, and our exercise of it damaged us for all time.To deny that there is sin in the world due to this, as evidenced in homosexual attraction and a wide variety of things against the natural law, is to deny our need for Christ’s redemption.That’s palagianism, a heresy that’s been refuted a logg time ago.

  • asoders22

    See, this is why I don’t like religion. It’s heartbreaking that religion can numb people’s emotional intelligence to a point where it takes for them to love someone gay to even start to understand the most basic facts about homosexuality. If the article-writer hadn’t been a Christian, he wouldn’t have had to fight this battle. He could have been a “mensch” from start.

  • djmcfly

    MORE HOMOSEXUAL PROPAGANDA From Some Queer Half-Wit.

  • asoders22

    Oldiesfan 1:No, not everyone is attracted by his/her own sex. If you are, you are probably homosexual. I am not, so I am heterosexual. You are born with one or the other, or a combination, and it has nothing to do with sin or “choices” at all. I am not “choosing” the opposite sex, that’s simply the way I’m wired. I doesn’t cost me anything to avoid it. So therefore I am less sinful? What heartless nonsense.Religion is limiting people.

  • US-conscience

    Another sad commentary. Once again, a low view of God and His holiness plus a high view of man plus a low view of sin equals a man not staying true to God, the Bible, or his friends. Unfortunately this is a very common and sad situation. I believe this blindness IS the judgment of God on this nation.

  • asoders22

    I hope one day someone will be able to explain to me how you can love or obey the Bible in the first place, since it’s a collection of books, written and edited at different points in time, and very, very often contradicting itself. But nobody can, so they are forced to resort to “faith”, which means closing down your brain and often your heart as well.

  • sux123

    Well said. We are all human beings and, lets face it, someone elses sexual orientation does not harm anyone and is nobody elses business. As long as there is love between two consenting adults that is their business. The only sin here is the sin of intolerance and persecution by religous zealots who cannot mind there own business and go looking for examples of “sin”. Look in the mirror instead and into your own heart if you have the courage. If your views are correct then homosexuals will have to answer to God, right? Who are YOU to play God??

  • sux123

    hope one day someone will be able to explain to me how you can love or obey the Bible in the first place, since it’s a collection of books, written and edited at different points in time, and very, very often contradicting itself.

  • imterpsfan2

    The real issue here is not what man thinks but it’s what God says. God declared vehemently that homosexuality is “an abomination.” This is quoted from the Bible.If you view this as bigotry, then you’re calling the author of the universe a bigot. You should probably take this issue up with God. I didn’t create the rules – God did.Homosexuality is a personal choice. And perhaps people are happy with their choice, and that’s fine. No evidence exists, however, that demonstrates that someone was ever born gay.I also understand my view is now the minority. The culture war has been lost. The media’s love affair with same-sex marriage will probably result in modification of marriage laws throughout the 50 states.

  • DwightCollins

    lesbians and gays are different…

  • spidermean2

    The nukes are coming. It won’t be long when this subject of gay marriage will be over. The best thing a Christian can do is to leave the cities which legalize this practice.When the fruit is ripe for the picking, the harvester will come. It’s not ripe yet but as more states will legalize it, then expect the prophecy to be fulfilled.

  • lepidopteryx

    Dwight, my daughter had a lesbian Sunday School teacher, and I had no qualms about allowing her to go on field trips with this teacher.

  • jsmith4

    imterpsfan2 quotes what HIS “God” says.US law does not depend on which of the 4 million conceptions of gods you or I accept.It depends on equal rights under the constitution.

  • ricklinguist

    My partner and I were married. By a rabbi. In a very mainstream Jewish temple. In the South. Before our friends, family and before God. We have our ketubah (religious marriage contract) framed and hanging on a wall in our bedroom. We are married religiously. We have been in a committed, monogamous relationship for many years.Now we seek to have the same rights and responsibilities under civil law as any married couple does. Our lives are intrinsically intertwined. We share a home, a mortgage, car payments, bills, medical and financial and legal decisions. It is nonsensical for the state to treat us as legal strangers when everything about our lives speaks to our committed relationship. Our relationship isn’t just similar to that of heterosexual couples–it is identical. I grew up assuming I would be heterosexual (everyone did back then) and would marry someone of the opposite sex (everyone did back then). As I grew and began to realize I was “different”, it became increasingly clear to me that society had no template for people like me other than shunning. Times have changed. While the concept of “Equal Protection” under the law has pretty much been with us from the beginning of this great country, the concept of who fell under its protection has changed dramatically. So has our understanding of biology, psychology, and such basic notions of how a fair and just society includes those who are different in its institutions, including marriage.I am no radical. My relationship is noteworthy not for the gender of the two of us but rather for its stability and commitment and for its….normalcy.And it is simply time that the law catch up both with our religious institution and the reality of our lives.Peace,

  • jmr862003

    This is a tricky issue, the Bible does say that homosexuality is a sin. However the Bible was written by men so there could be some areas that are vague or can certainly be interpreted in a number of ways. People need to be open-minded when interpreting the Bible. Hatred I am certain is against the will of God. Folks need to worry more about their own redemption and lives than those of others. Defaming the names of homosexuals or attacking them physically is certainly against Jesus’ teachings. “Judge not lest you be judged.”

  • bruce18

    Love the sinner, hate the sin. Both are possible. In fact, appropriately loving the sinner requires hating the sin.

  • sux123

    The nukes are coming. Welcome back Spidermean, if you weren’t real we would have to invent you. You’re so funny. I am starting to wodner if you just read The Book of Revelations or actually wrote it.

  • edbyronadams

    Ignoring the strong homosexual cultural tendency toward men and boys, at least as old as the Spartan tradition, is a case of willful blindness.That said, looking at sexual orientation as a sin or abomination is a case of creating the “other” so that complete condemnation as a condition that will never affect us is foolish and evil. It is obvious that some most homosexuals are so oriented by innate factors and compassion should lead us to inflict pain. They could easily be your children or the children of friends and extended family.How far we must modify the institutions of society to accommodate them to avoid pain is a political matter, not an absolute matter since society as a whole would be changed by openly serving gays and Lesbians will full rights of marriage and service in the military.

  • Drudge1

    This is going to be really great for divorce lawyers. Gays love to cheat. Oh, you cheated on me, time for a divorce and 50% of assets please!

  • RSN9900

    Mr. McLaren, It is obvious that you love other people, regardless of their background, just as the Bible shows us we should. We know that God loves everyone, gay or not, because the Bible says exactly that. Jesus was the perfect example of this and you know it better than most.The Bible is clear what sin is and we all are guilty of various sins, gay or not. No one is asking you to stop loving these people in your congregation that confide in you that they are gay, or judge them as unworthy. But to disregard what the Bible says because you love them or you hurt for them is wrong and you know it. What part of the Bible will you disregard next? We all hurt for others and have to continue to love and support them. Christians who spit out hate language are wrong I agree. Jesus taught us to love others as we love ourselves, but he never threw out his Father’s word. Why do you? He spoke the truth and continued to love others no matter what. His harshest words were for the religous leaders of the day, not those hurting with issues like you suggest. Please reconsider your point here.

  • Alex511

    fr iamterpsfan:>…Homosexuality is a personal choice. And perhaps people are happy with their choice, and that’s fine. No evidence exists, however, that demonstrates that someone was ever born gay….Your statement is completely incorrect. You are either BORN gay or straight. Nobody “chooses” to be gay or straight.

  • sux123

    This is going to be really great for divorce lawyers. Gays love to cheat. Oh, you cheated on me, time for a divorce and 50% of assets please!———-And with all the heterosexual celebs and politicians in the news cheating on their wives – think Tiger- I think the lawyers are quite busy already.

  • qqbDEyZW

    Thank you for your insight. As a child and all my life I’ve learned from the bible and the real teaching of God and Jesus. Love, respect and doing unto others is what I believe. I can’t judge man because I will be judged by God. Man is born of sin big and small. Jesus forgive a murder who am I to condem anyone. As an American who happens to be of color I have felt the hate/racism/evil of humans. I learned at a young age after being treated like dirt, I know how others feel and I wont ever do that to someone else. I saw a man hanging from a tree with people enjoying a lunch and watching the man die. I have seen how evil man can be and I pray for those with hate in their hearts.

  • iamweaver

    I really don’t see any issue, theologically.Paul, for example, rails against both homosexual acts and fornication. Actually, that was redundant – as homosexual acts are fornication. The obvious solution – offer marriage to homosexuals.Problem solved.

  • schmitt_fam

    To RSN9900, very well stated and reasoned. Per the Bible sin is sin. I can still love the person while considering their actions as sin. Thank you for your comments.

  • stephenlouis

    “What part of the Bible will you disregard next?”, asks RSN9900 in the first comment.Geez, are you blind or just willfully ignorant? Let’s see now, there’s the prohibition on shellfish (say goodbye to Red Lobster night!), the prohibition against eating or even touching swine (which makes football players guilty of abomination for throwing a pigskin), the prohibition against sitting in a chair in which a menstruating women has sat, the prohibition on mixing fabrics of different origin, the command that rebellious children be STONED TO DEATH, the command to keep the Sabbath (that’s Saturday according to the Jews, not Sunday, which is the Lord’s Day of the Christians)… the list goes on and on and on.But you self-righteous hypocrites pick out one lousy verse from Leviticus and use it to justify your hate and intolerance. And why? Because big, macho straight men are terrified by the thought of their butts being penetrated; I think it’s just that simple. Grow up, you pathetic weenies, and stay the hell out of my life.And by the way, I’m a gay Christian, baptised Methodist, raised Evangelical (before the Repugnicans and their crazies poisoned that brand), now Episcopalian (but, of course, you REAL christians think we’re atheists or something). If you don’t want to be thought an idiot, don’t say and believe idiotic things!

  • fishcrow

    That’s like saying married people should have sex with multiple partners because Tiger Woods has a certain inclination.I hope none of your followers comes to you with that one – you’d have to give them the green light.

  • Rich393

    Stevenlewis, I couldn’t have said it better. KUDOS!

  • GDWymer

    Herein we see with the likes of the Spiderman and the Oldiesfan characters the intellectual level of the American mind as well as the intellectual level of religionists, the ever confused and confusing people of “faith.” I generalize and rightly so because only in the U.S. is this kind of nonsensical discussion taking place and receiving so much attention from our barren “fourth estate.” One must go to darkest Africa, to Uganda perhaps, to find such rabid ignorance; there another place where the Christian missions have so well exploited the indigineous nativism and animism, making it even worse by co-opting these “lost souls” and cultures with philosophical convolutions (i.e. theology) worthy of an Aquinas. In the days of that great theologian, pretenders to reason had to swallow a lot of swill to believe that Aquinas Christianized Greek thought to the advantage of humanity and not merely to advance the cause of the Catholic powerhouse. Throughout the ages, and especially in the United States where mere ingenuity is idolized, the religious leaders and “thinkers” have had to bend the confusingly and politically contrived canon to cover more and more people, more and more “sins.” The beauty of this continual reformation, of higher criticism or a ” post-modern” and “emerging” process of theological inclusion, this great ecumenium is that owing to this evangelical zealousness to save us all from ourselves, precious Christianity in all its avatars of sect and schism is becoming evermore relative, comparatively contradictory, congregationally divisive, and certainly without any intellectual or spiritual integrity, and eventually will lose its authority. Most amusing, the significance of this millenially drawn out and exhausting process is lost entirely on the so-called faithful. But then I am asuming an intelligent human species will prevail in evolution of biology as wel as spirit and mind. As is so obvious from reading the majority of posts here, religion is for the weakminded and for those who most fear for their faith, threatened by their own humanity. How deliciously ironic.Good luck with your “emerging church” idea, Mr McLaren. Just one more to add to the historical heap of perpetual idiocy. Yes, I know you’re all about love. But you know what? Billions of people around the world are also emerging, and with ideas about love that have nothing to do with Jesus, Allah and Abraham. Someday we will allow ourselves to be humans and to be a part of this poor and tired planet with no spiritual need of the various religion myths for any reasons beyond the literary and aesthetic, things we all can, or at least should, believe in.

  • tmschlitzer

    …but don’t be conformed to this world, but transform yourself by the renewing of your mind…So much for that! Since the Bible was just written by men (so long II Timothy 3:16), we can conform to this world with a clear conscience! After all, it’s much easier to go along with whatever the crowd thinks is true today than to stand firm.That “everybody else is doing argument” didn’t work with my Mom when I tried to drink beer as a youngster. She told me that wasn’t going to happen because it was WRONG, other people notwithstanding.We have lost all sense of rules, boundaries, and right and wrong – not just in sexual issues, but across the board on the right and the left. It’s all about “what’s right for me” and that has to lead to the common bottom denominator very quickly. If there is no standard, then everything is acceptable. I think the big word for it is licentiousness.I’d love to say that what is happening in the world is surprising, but it’s not. This is exactly how the world is supposed to act. Why are Christians surprised?How long do you think it will take for gay marriage to be pushed aside for the “next big sexual minority right” of the day? Does anybody anywhere really think that this clamoring for legal (and therefore the claim of moral) legitimacy is going to stop with gay marriage?I give it three years tops before some other “sexual minority” group is using the gay example to gain its “rights”. I don’t think that is fear mongering; it’s just logic. Why should gays get rights but not the “sexual minority” du jour?

  • hakafos44

    With the world and this nation is the perilous state they are, this is the least of what we need to be worrying about. Unity is called for at this time, not divisiveness.

  • Skowronek

    I am not Christian, and the god of Abraham has nothing to do with my marriage, even though we have the traditioanl ratio of dangly to non-dangly bits.Posted by: lepidopteryx I can hope that you are one of my neighbours! Otherwise, may I invite you to a BIG slice of homemade lemon poppy seed cake tonight?Skowronek

  • lepidopteryx

    Skowronek,Sounds great! Shall I bring some of my world-famous brownies? It’s my grandmother’s recipe – made with a touch of cinnamon.

  • Nymous

    This debate comes from people who can not seem to mind their own business, or stay out of other people’s pants. They won’t leave other people alone, and are similar to the Taliban in their desire to control the lives of others. Only, they want to act like a pile of perverted weirdos over the behavior of other people, and this ends up being the thing I find the most disgusting.Most of these fools need to pay a lot more attention to their dead Jesus and a lot less to what is happening in the bedrooms & lives of other people.They desperately need to learn to mind their own business, and need to be shunned by the rest of us if they do not.

  • joe100821

    The human race would not exist were it not for the unique and wonderful differences between men and women. Although relationships have existed over time outside the bounds of traditional marriage they, homosexuals, in themselves have never contributed to the continuation of the species. They are the sad exceptions to the laws of nature and God. There is no future for them other than in the cases of the specific relationships between the specific individuals involved which leave no ancestral lineage. They will not be a contributing part of society as such and simply because they do not contribute to its ongoing creation. Do they dare admit to this fact, no, because it is the truth of their situation.

  • StewartIII

    NewsBusters: WaPo’s ‘On Faith’ Column Pushes Liberal Agenda on Homosexuality

  • Calabrese99

    What anyone wishes to do in the privacy of their own home and relationships is their business unless it involves minors, crimes which disproportionately includes gays.Privacy is one one thing but when their conduct brings on a world wide AIDS pandemic threatening many innocents, it becomes a public issue. Gays should be prosecuted for their irresponsible conduct just as heterosexuals with AIDS are being prosecuted for having sex with unsuspecting partners. A huge double standard.Love is one thing but when the consequences threaten public safety, it becomes an entirely different matter.

  • EdgewoodVA

    “Although relationships have existed over time outside the bounds of traditional marriage they, homosexuals, in themselves have never contributed to the continuation of the species. They are the sad exceptions to the laws of nature and God. There is no future for them other than in the cases of the specific relationships between the specific individuals involved which leave no ancestral lineage. They will not be a contributing part of society as such and simply because they do not contribute to its ongoing creation.”–Joe100821Do you REALLY think that you can only contribute to society (in a positive way) by procreating?People without children, whether by choice or by biological circumstances, contribute greatly to our world every single day. One simple example: I have no children, but I’m a teacher. I’ve had an impact on scores of young children and their families. I’m well aware that my contribution to our society is an important one, and that it will very likely carry on after I’m gone.Plenty of gay/lesbian parents do as good a job as any others at raising children, some of whom are indeed biologically related. Gay couples who adopt become parents by choice, and therefore do not enter into such an enormous responsibility as lightly as so many who believe the most important thing for them to do is crank out babies like Pez dispensers popping out candy.The human species is FAR from extinct. In fact, overpopulation is an obvious factor in many of the global community’s overwhelming problems today. While I treasure each and every life on this planet and the right to decide the size of your own family, I think it’s a great disservice to many people, their children, and their societies to perpetuate the idea that more children is always better.I shudder to think what “contributions” you pride yourself on having made to our society.

  • alivo

    This is a compassionate, thoughtful article. Thank you for writing it. Life is complicated. In the words of a song I used to love, “Life’s a long and twisted road, many curves and unseen bends. So I’m lookin’ for some longtime friends.” I hope folks can back off from the judgments of others that we humans are prone to make, and accept that life is complicated and people are who they are. Some people are gay, other people are bisexual, and other people are heterosexual. Some people are transgender. We are all members of the human family and God’s family of living beings on earth. We should take the time to care for one another and not judge each other over our differences.

  • judyterry

    No one will ever convince me that man having sex with another man is normal,i may be different than some but i regard it as extreamly unhealthy, before you critisize me think about it, think about what comes out before you try to put something in, then you may realise you are playing with the bodies sewerage system,if this is what washington d.c. people want thats up to them, but they cant deny that one in twenty people in central D.C. have aids.Its a poor indictment of a civilised city.

  • lepidopteryx

    Judy, if you’re going to use the sewer analogy, remember that liquid bodily waste and babies emerge from the female body via the same aperture.

  • tjhall1

    Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

  • tjhall1

    Homosexuality is a filthy, disease-ridden practice explicitly condemned by God.

  • pjs1965

    I’ve come to believe that the problem is with marriage itself, not sexual orientation. I can think of no other institution that has causes so much personal misery than marriage. So when I see gays clamoring for the right to marry, I can’t help but to think “Be careful what you ask for — you might get it!”Marriage: Those who are out want to get in; those who are in want to get out.

  • nanneyboat

    If this is going to be a religious-Christian issue then you surely must include what the Bible says. Who the heck is Brian McClaren to decide what God means or says??? And just because it is now personal he feels differently? Is he the same with his adulterous friends? His obese friends? His alcoholic friends? Or any other of his friends that chose to please themselves rather than to glorify God regardless of the thorn in their flesh??? Is it any wonder at all that the “church” is in a mess…and that “christians” like Brian McClaren are the reason? IT IS ABOUT WHAT GOD SAYS…..NOT MAN!!! Please Mr. McClaren, do not call yourself anything that has anything to do with Christianity when you are making of it what YOU want it to be…not what it is. God’s Word means what it means whether we like it or not. It wasn’t written to please us, nor was it written for us to decide how to interpret it. It means what it means….like it or not!!

  • cuteasashark

    Joe: I am an infertile heterosexual. Am I also a useless burden on society?

  • Hillman1

    “if this is what washington d.c. people want thats up to them, but they cant deny that one in twenty people in central D.C. have aids.”If you are truly concerned about HIV infection rates then you should be in favor of gay marriage.Marriage is a huge factor in cutting down on promiscuity.

  • Hillman1

    “Gays should be prosecuted for their irresponsible conduct just as heterosexuals with AIDS are being prosecuted for having sex with unsuspecting partners. A huge double standard.”Where exactly are straight people being prosecuted for knowingly spreading HIV while gays are not?Please, be specific.If you can’t come up with some specifics then I’ll have to call shenanigans on this fairly ludicrous claim.

  • jamshark70

    Oh boy, it’s been so much fun reading WaPo comments since DC started issuing marriage licenses to gay and lesbian couples. Watching fundamentalists’ heads start exploding is the best entertainment money can’t buy!To the “but the Bible says ‘no!'” folks – how did that last plate of shrimp scampi sit in your belly, huh?

  • Hillman1

    “There is no future for them other than in the cases of the specific relationships between the specific individuals involved which leave no ancestral lineage. They will not be a contributing part of society as such and simply because they do not contribute to its ongoing creation. “So you have to procreate to contribute to society?Care to explain that to the countless straight people that have never had children but have in some way made the world a better place?Or does that idiotic statement apply only to gay people.As for procreation….. we are in no danger of species extinction from lack of procreation. If anything, we are now in danger of overpopulating the earth.

  • churchlionjudah

    McLaren is no one special, just another man deceived by Satan that God is incorrect. McLaren needs a King James Bible, 1611 Authorized Version. In that he will find answers to all his questions and he will learn where he went wool-gathering in trying to find a back door to heaven: there ain’t any! I could write a book muself on the lies and twisted logic in his letter above, but why bother. He doesn’t accept even basic Bible teachings. There is but one God, Almighty God Jehovah, the Father of Jesus Christ, and the Creator of all that is. He has Pastors and Rabbis, but no imams or others who follow any philosophy besides Judaism and Christianity. And McLaren has apparently never heard of the Scripture that reads “I can do all things through Christ Who strengthenths me” If he had, he wouldn’t have the mess in his mind that he has -by his own admission!

  • penance091

    “The real issue here is not what man thinks but it’s what God says. God declared vehemently that homosexuality is “an abomination.” This is quoted from the Bible.Homosexuality is a personal choice? By that logic, one can infer that heterosexuality is also a personal choice. To that end, when, exactly, did you choose to be straight? How ever did you decide? Did you sleep with a man and a woman to see which felt more normal? Were there pie charts? Get over your myopic, narrow-minded self.

  • nakiberu

    Brian D. McLarenMcLaren is no soldier of Christ, but a solidier of his opposite, Lucifer the Prince of Darkness, “Pastor” Brian D. McLarenMcLaren carries the mark of the beast which is 666. Infact alot of this “On Faith” postings carry the mark of the beast 666, including the people who write and publish them.

  • nakiberu

    The debates will only be raging until those of us with gray or white hair finally die, because mostly anyone under the age of 40 doesn’t give a hoot about it.By the way, I must remind gays and their advocates, that there are always two sides to every coin as gays and their advocates only believe in a 2 dimensional cartoon world, and not a 3 dimensional real world. There are those under the age of 40 who are very aware of the destructive power of the mark of the beast 666, and will resist it till the very end.

  • KBlit

    Interesting that the gays seem to think that by getting married this some how makes what they do right. It does not. It seems that the gay issue seems to center on being allowed to follow their lifestyle and be left along. In that I have no problem the problem is why do they need to destroy the very institutions like marriage in order to justify this? Meanwhile they openly gay members of the DC Council pushed legislation that was clearly self serving and went against the wishes of the majority of District voters.

  • buckminsterj

    NAKIBERU, allow me to introduce SPIDERMEAN2. you two would make a wonderful couple – perhaps a first date in is in order? in a nice cave somewhere? with lots of rocks to bang together?

  • buckminsterj

    KBLIT isn’t invited, though. At least, not until he/she explicitly mentions the coming apocolypse.

  • nakiberu

    NAKIBERU, allow me to introduce SPIDERMEAN2. you two would make a wonderful couple – perhaps a first date in is in order? in a nice cave somewhere? with lots of rocks to bang together?

  • buckminsterj

    NAKIBERU,but what if i accept jesus as my personal lord and savior? wouldn’t that remove the mark of the beast? not that i’m planning to – an eterniy in “heaven” with a gaggle of shrill, subliterate believers isn’t much of an incentive . . .

  • spidermean2

    This is worth repeating. It need to be reposted.What Biology say :1. Man = xx chromosomeWhat Nature say :1. Man and Woman = child or childrenWhat God say :1. Let nobody separate a married couple (Man and Woman)What Science say :1. There is an abnormal high proportion of gays with AIDS compared to straight guys.What my experience say :1. This may not be scientific but based on personal observation and readings gays were abused at a young age and that is where they developed the perversion. Others lack the proper care of parents.CONCLUSION: It’s a behavior that needs to be CURED quite similar to pedophilia or drug addiction. Imagine legalizing AIDS. A sickness cannot be legalize.

  • Sitka1

    Mr. McLaren, well said. I don’t have anything to add, except that reading some of these comments made me think that we need a game. Fill glass with your beverage of choice and take:One drink for every mention of the Mark of the Beast, the number 666, or Satan.Two drinks for every mention of gay chaperones having sex with students, with no mention of any other type of molestation. Apparently it’s okay if a chaperone molests a student if they’re heterosexual when they do it.One drink for ‘the nukes are coming, the nukes are coming!’One drink for every comment bashing religion as senseless. Two drinks for every comment that features “The only way you can possibly ever contribute to society is by having children.”Three drinks for whenever you read “Apocalypse.” Let’s face it, these comments need more mentions of apocalypse.Down the glass for the first mention of the Four Horsemen. Can’t have a party without those fellows!

  • james44

    Bruce18 wrote:”Love the sinner, hate the sin. Both are possible. In fact, appropriately loving the sinner requires hating the sin.”You see, Bruce, this is why I have such a problem with anti-gay Christians. You obviously harbor an animus against gay people, but you try to explain it away by compartmentalizing it, as if we can magically separate our sexuality from ourselves. The fact that you think we can and that you most likely think that we can simply be celibate or pursue people from the opposite sex shows that you know nothing about gay people, our lives or our experiences.And what you call “love” is nothing of the sort, but mere presumption that you know more about us than we do. You call that “love,” but most people would call it “arrogance.”

  • stanassc

    What of the two widows who were each others bridesmaids and need each others companionship, support in time of medical crisis, sharing of expenses, etc?What of the two divorced young battered women with toddlers needing a sharing of child care, housing, companionship, expenses, etc?One of the most talented women engineers I ever hired was a conflicted Catholic lesbian. Terribly lonely. I wish in those days (1096s) she could have come out.Or my aunt who gave me my only insight in the life I eventually lived as a professional. (Married 50 years w/ grandchildren)So who is harmed?

  • gershwin2009

    “What Nature say : …”There is no “Nature” and, if there was, it’d be an “Spinoza Nature” in that it would NOT care at all what we humans do. It doesn’t care because “Nature” DOES NOT EXIST.Please stop using “Nature” to make a point.

  • spidermean2

    Nature has laws — natural laws or natural science. What is against nature does not survive. Science is actually the study of nature or the laws of nature.Gay relationship is deemed to fail. One can’t legalize a sickness.

  • spidermean2

    When buildings or devices are designed to be against nature, they collapse or malfunction.

  • Catken1

    “What is against nature does not survive. “Gay people, and homosexuality in general, does survive and has survived just fine. Therefore, it must be natural.Now, believing in an imaginary “kind, loving” father in the sky who burns most of his “tenderly-loved” children forever and ever in unimaginable torture for no better reason that, when presented with hundreds of religious beliefs with exactly equal evidence for their claims (i.e. none), they chose the “wrong” one – that’s unnatural, evil even. Never mind that many people are raised in other beliefs than yours, and taught by every authority figure they love and trust that those beliefs are true – the fact that they don’t nonetheless convert to YOUR faith means they deserve eternal, incomprehensibly awful punishment, infinitely worse than anything we mere sinful humans mete out to serial killers or genocides. When do I get to bar your marriage, so I can keep you from passing your sick, perverted lifestyle on to children?

  • Catken1

    “To deny that there is sin in the world due to this, as evidenced in homosexual attraction and a wide variety of things against the natural law, is to deny our need for Christ’s redemption.”In other words, it doesn’t matter if people are naturally gay, it doesn’t matter if gay relationships enrich the lives of the participants and don’t hurt anyone else, it doesn’t matter if treating homosexuality as a sin rather than a natural human variation damages other people and leaves them permanently emotionally mutilated. If you deny that it is Sin to love someone else with the wrong dangly bits would mean your religion was wrong about something, and you don’t DARE acknowledge that. When faced with the choice of a) hurting other people, leaving them and their families permanently damaged, when they have not harmed you in the slightest, or b) giving up your view that people are so awful (just for being born human, and imperfect) that God cannot forgive us unless he has a brutal human sacrifice made on our behalf, you choose A. That tells me an awful lot about your morality, or lack thereof.Simply put, your dogma is more important to you than your neighbor. Is that really what Christ taught, or what his life was intended to mean?

  • Catken1

    “That’s palagianism, a heresy that’s been refuted a logg time ago.”You mean pelagianism. And it hasn’t actually been “refuted” – killing people for believing something, which is what happened to Pelagians, does not refute that belief, it just murders the believers.

  • Catken1

    “In that I have no problem the problem is why do they need to destroy the very institutions like marriage in order to justify this?”So you believe that heterosexual marriage is so weak and worthless that it will be destroyed by the mere legal existence of an alternative that does not, by definition, even APPEAL to heterosexuals? You believe that my love for my husband is so fragile that it will be destroyed because a gay couple down the street can marry, too? You believe that the worth and value of marriage lies in the genitals of the participants rather than their hearts, minds and souls? You believe that, while plenty of gay couples can manage to live together in faithful, committed, lifelong love through decades of second-class treatment, even persecution, hetero couples can’t even survive the loss of their exclusive privileged status as the Only Government-Approved Brand of Marriage? You think that my marriage’s real value can be increased or decreased by government fiat?How little you value marriage, and how poor your opinion of heterosexual married folks!

  • Catken1

    “What Biology say :1. Man = xx chromosomeGay folks aren’t a third gender. Men, gay, bi, or straight, have XY chromosomes (not XX), and women, gay, straight or bi, have XX (not XY).”What Nature say :1. Man and Woman = child or childrenNo one’s civil rights are based on their ability to breed. Plus, plenty of gay people do have and are raising kids. Do you think that kids who are being raised by parents who are not both their biological parents deserve less stability, less legal protection, and less security for their families? Do they need families less? Are they second-class kids?”What God say :1. Let nobody separate a married couple (Man and Woman)Your God is also the God who burns decent people alive forever and ever because they were raised in the wrong faith, and never converted. Your God is a sadistic bastard, and I have the perfect right in this country not to follow your religious teachings. What Science say :1. There is an abnormal high proportion of gays with AIDS compared to straight guys.”There are also far fewer lesbians with AIDS than straight women. It’s not being gay that makes you more prone to getting AIDS – it’s sleeping with men. Maybe we ought to bar all types of marriages that include men. Assuming, of course, that one’s morality is correlated to one’s vulnerability to AIDS.

  • lepidopteryx

    Spidey: One can’t legalize a sickness.Even if homosexuality were a disease, which it is not, it has never been illegal to have a disease.

  • jaynashvil

    Mr. McLaren, it’s a shame more people with strong religious beliefs haven’t done what you’ve done: opened their eyes and ears and looked at reality. People can claim forever that someone can “pray themselves straight”, so to speak, but gay people will tell you that, in real life, things just don’t work that way. You’ve actually heard what gay folks have told you instead of just nodding and planning your snappy comeback. Thanks for writing this column!

  • douglaslbarber

    Is this an advertisement for a book?What are the possible motives for advocating for same-sex marriage? I can think of these: love, desire to share in legal and financial protections enjoyed by hetero couples, and desire for respect.Of those three, cynic that I am, I’d guess that “love” is the least common motive among those who are honest with themselves.You don’t have to read too many stories about lifelong same sex partners who are denied visiting rights in hospital emergency rooms to feel strongly that same sex partners deserve some rights that US institutions routinely currently deny them.And you don’t need to know too many gay men of an older generation too well in order to know the horrendous burden of guilt which deformed their adolescence, from which they are emancipating themselves, in order to understand that they have come to desire the measure of respect that they believe would accompany marriage.The case for gay rights is a much easier case to make than the case for legal abortion, and I’m happy to make it.

  • spidermean2

    What Biology say :1. Man = xx chromosomeWhat Nature say :1. Man and Woman = child or childrenWhat God say :1. Let nobody separate a married couple (Man and Woman)What Science say :1. There is an abnormal high proportion of gays with AIDS compared to straight guys.What my experience say :1. This may not be scientific but based on personal experience and readings gays were abused at a young age and that is where they developed the perversion. Others lack the proper care of parents.CONCLUSION: It’s a behavior that needs to be CURED quite similar to pedophilia or drug addiction. Imagine legalizing AIDS. A sickness cannot be legalize.

  • lepidopteryx

    KBLIT,

  • spidermean2

    It’s very clear in the Bible that God hates gay relationship. Preachers like McLaren should make his own religion because one can’t serve Christ and teach another thing. This is supposed to be common sense. It’s a shame that Christianity is being abused by idiots. Jesus called Them FALSE PROPHETS. Only an idiot would love a doctor who advices his patient that AIDS is good.

  • jsmith4

    there is NO evidence that gay marriage harms any other marriage.in Massachusetts, we have had gay marriage for years. NO evidence of harm to others.and again, if your goal is to stop gay people from having sex, you should *encourage* them to get married. Works for straight people.