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Gender & Sexuality

I'm Through Debating Gays In the Church

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  • I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.”
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  • The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.
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  • Do something about the Church's distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs
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John Shelby Spong, Unity Magazine/Brad Garbus' Blog

I have made a decision. I will no longer debate the issue of homosexuality in the church with anyone. I will no longer engage the biblical ignorance that emanates from so many right-wing Christians about how the Bible condemns homosexuality, as if that point of view still has any credibility. I will no longer discuss with them or listen to them tell me how homosexuality is “an abomination to God,” about how homosexuality is a “chosen lifestyle,” or about how through prayer and “spiritual counseling” homosexual persons can be “cured.” Those arguments are no longer worthy of my time or energy.

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I will no longer dignify by listening to the thoughts of those who advocate “reparative therapy,” as if homosexual persons are somehow broken and need to be repaired. I will no longer talk to those who believe that the unity of the church can or should be achieved by rejecting the presence of, or at least at the expense of, gay and lesbian people. I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.” I will no longer listen to that pious sentimentality that certain Christian leaders continue to employ, which suggests some version of that strange and overtly dishonest phrase that “we love the sinner but hate the sin.” That statement is, I have concluded, nothing more than a self-serving lie designed to cover the fact that these people hate homosexual persons and fear homosexuality itself, but somehow know that hatred is incompatible with the Christ they claim to profess, so they adopt this face-saving and absolutely false statement.

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I will no longer temper my understanding of truth in order to pretend that I have even a tiny smidgen of respect for the appalling negativity that continues to emanate from religious circles where the church has for centuries conveniently perfumed its ongoing prejudices against blacks, Jews, women and homosexual persons with what it assumes is “high-sounding, pious rhetoric.”

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The day for that mentality has quite simply come to an end for me. I will personally neither tolerate it nor listen to it any longer.

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The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance. They no longer talk to anyone but themselves. I will no longer seek to slow down the witness to inclusiveness by pretending that there is some middle ground between prejudice and oppression. There isn’t. Justice postponed is justice denied. That can be a resting place no longer for anyone. An old civil rights song proclaimed that the only choice awaiting those who cannot adjust to a new understanding was to “Roll on over or we’ll roll on over you!” Time waits for no one.

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[...] I make these statements because it is time to move on. The battle is over. The victory has been won. There is no reasonable doubt as to what the final outcome of this struggle will be. Homosexual people will be accepted as equal, full human beings, who have a legitimate claim on every right that both church and society have to offer any of us. Homosexual marriages will become legal, recognized by the state and pronounced holy by the church. “Don’t ask, don’t tell” will be dismantled as the policy of our armed forces. We will and we must learn that equality of citizenship is not something that should ever be submitted to a referendum.

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Equality under and before the law is a solemn promise conveyed to all our citizens in the Constitution itself. Can any of us imagine having a public referendum on whether slavery should continue, whether segregation should be dismantled, whether voting privileges should be offered to women? The time has come for politicians to stop hiding behind unjust laws that they themselves helped to enact, and to abandon that convenient shield of demanding a vote on the rights of full citizenship because they do not understand the difference between a constitutional democracy, which this nation has, and a “mobocracy,” which this nation rejected when it adopted its constitution. We do not put the civil rights of a minority to the vote of a plebiscite.

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I will also no longer act as if I need a majority vote of some ecclesiastical body in order to bless, ordain, recognize and celebrate the lives and gifts of gay and lesbian people in the life of the church. No one should ever again be forced to submit the privilege of citizenship in this nation or membership in the Christian Church to the will of a majority vote.

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Do something about the Church's distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs, Bob and Lori Radecki, ReturntheDVD.org
If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, it is dead.  --James 2:15-17

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Do something about the Church's distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs

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  • If a brother or sister has nothing to wear and has no food for the day, and one of you says to them, "Go in peace, keep warm, and eat well," but you do not give them the necessities of the body, what good is it?  So also faith of itself, if it does not have works, it is dead.  --James 2:15-17
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  • I'm Through Debating Gays In the Church
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Bob and Lori Radecki, ReturntheDVD.org

Steve Sack

Friends:

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Many Catholics are disappointed with the St. Paul/Minneapolis Archdiocese decision to distribute hundreds of thousands of DVDs on same-sex marriage just prior to the elections.  We have talked to countless friends who feel that the church is spending too much time and energy on this one issue, and ignoring more important problems such as the plight of the poor in our area.  As homelessness and poverty are increasing in our own community we find it difficult to understand why anyone, especially the church, would spend over one million dollars on an effort like this.

If you believe, like we do, that Jesus would be much more focused on helping those in need than engaging in political debate about same-sex marriage, we would like to ask you to help send a powerful message to our church leadership. 

The message is very simple – Christ asks us to make the needs of the poor, and love of neighbor, our highest priority. Our church leadership should do the same.

Help create something positive out of a bad situation (or let’s make lemonade out of lemons!)

A group of concerned Catholics are collecting copies of the DVD to return to the Archdiocese and will make a financial donation to an organization that works to serve the poor in our area for every DVD collected.  We are also asking other caring Catholics to consider making a donation of their own to help the poor in the Archdiocese of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Go to ReturnTheDVD.org to find more information on where to send your DVD, and how to make donations yourself to organizations doing the real work of Christ.

Please take a moment to consider joining our response to the Archdiocese of St. Paul and Minneapolis' distribution of hundreds of thousands of DVDs on same-sex marriage.  This is a great opportunity to send a message to the church and help the poor at the same time.  Please forward this message to everyone you know.

Peace

Your friends at ReturnTheDVD.org

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Related:

I'm Through Debating Gays In the Church, John Shelby Spong, Unity Magazine/Brad Garbus' Blog

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  • I will no longer take the time to refute the unlearned and undocumentable claims of certain world religious leaders who call homosexuality “deviant.”
  • \r\n

  • The world has moved on, leaving these elements of the Christian Church that cannot adjust to new knowledge or a new consciousness lost in a sea of their own irrelevance.
  • \r\n

  • Do something about the Church's distribution of same-sex marriage DVDs
  • \r\n

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Five Extremist GOP Candidates Oppose Abortion Even in Cases of Incest and Rape

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  • When you’re pro-bestiality and anti-masturbation, when you’re pro-rape child and anti-desegregated lunch counters…you’ve left the universe of the sane.
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  • We need to defeat all five of these Senate candidates.
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booman, Booman Tribune

Here’s something I didn’t realize until I watched the Rachel Maddow Show (recently). There are five Republicans running for U.S. Senate who do not believe in any rape or incest exemption from their proposed ban on abortions. Maddow was able to document through video and surveys that Rand Paul of Kentucky, Ken Buck of Colorado, Joe Miller of Alaska, Sharron Angle of Nevada, and Christine O’Donnell of Delaware all hold this extreme view on reproductive rights.

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I’m pretty sure that none of the 100 senators currently serving have publicly embraced this absolutist position. I would hope that holding such a position is sufficiently repulsive to make you unelectable to statewide office in this country. But Miller and Paul are ahead in the polls and Angle is within the margin of error.

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Not too many people are focusing on social issues in this election, but we shouldn’t fail to take notice of this disturbing trend. Anyone who wants to tell you that there is no difference between the parties is full of shit. The Republican Party was bad enough when Ronald Reagan was running the show. They were catastrophically bad under the latter Bush. But they are now worse than they’ve ever been. When you’re pro-bestiality and anti-masturbation, when you’re pro-rape child and anti-desegregated lunch counters…you’ve left the universe of the sane.

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LGBT Students Harassed At Colleges Nationwide, New Report Says

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  • Unequivocally, the 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People demonstrates that LGBTQ students, faculty and staff experience a 'chilly' campus climate of harassment and far less than welcoming campus communities.
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  • Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides
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Huffington Post

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A recent report from advocacy group Campus Pride found that many lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender individuals feel uncomfortable on campus.

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Approximately 25 percent of lesbian, gay and bisexual students and university employees have been harassed due to their sexual orientation, as well as a third of those who identify as transgender, according to the study and reported by the Chronicle of Higher Education. The study asked 5,150 people at about 100 colleges about their experiences last year.

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The report, titled "The 2010 State of Higher Education for LGBT People," was conducted by Campus Pride's Q Research Institution of Higher Education. Although previous studies have shown that LGBT students are consistently discriminated against throughout elementary and high school, this report (available for purchase through Campus Pride) is the first to document incidences of harassment at the collegiate level.

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Anti-gay group organizes in Anoka-Hennepin (MN) schools as community deals with gay suicides, Andy Birkey, Minnesota Independent
“Well, news flash: There are homosexual people all over the world. Having your kid meet a homosexual in school and possibly even having a nice conversation with one isn’t going to turn your kid into one.” --Tammy Aaberg

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