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Beanieboy
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Remember Sweet Cakes by Melissa? The Kleins ran to the media to tell their story of how they were being fined $135,000 for denying to make a lesbian couple a wedding cake. The truth is, the lesbian couple filed a complaint with the Bureau of Labor and Industries. The Kleins received the complaint and had broken Oregon Law, but posted the name, address and phone number of the couple, which led to harassment and death threats, and the possibility of losing their foster daughters due to the death threats. 

This one example of Christians lying. They omit the court ruling and their own guilt, and instead blame the couple, and play the victim of violation of their religious rights. 

During the gay marriage debate, a commercial called "Gathering Storm Clouds" used fear and misleading statements to imply including gay people in the right to marry, it would somehow harm everyone else and take away their rights. 

"My freedom will be taken away." You will be forced to marry someone of the same sex? No. They explain. 

"I am a CA doctor who must choose between my career and my religion." It refers to the unmarried lesbian a doctor refused to inseminate based on her religious beliefs, and the court ruled in favor of the lesbian for discrimination. 

A member of a New Jersey church group which is punished by the state for opposing same-sex marriage;

This refers to a church that allowed the public to rent their pavilion, but refused a gay couple who wanted to use it for their wedding. Because it was open to the public, they were in violation of discrimination. 

I hear repeatedly "the bible is very clear on homosexuality." Either they have never studied it, because theologians are split, or refuse to look at it in depth. 

"Being gay is a choice!" When I bring up studies and their findings that don't support it, it is ignored. When someone quotes Paul Cameron's studies on gays, like the average life span is 42 years, I explain how his studies have been discredited. The way that 42 years was found was by looking in a gay newspaper, writing down the ages of the men who had died, many from HIV and Aids, and getting an average number. It doesn't take into account the ages of gay men who were alive, only those who had died during the rise of HIV. So, one can say the average age for gay men dying if HIV during that week was 42, but not gay men in general. Despite pointing out the false claim, I will watch the person claim it as fact week later. 

I don't understand this. It makes many people see Christians as liars, as deceptive, even pushing people away. The lies are often used to promote the right to discriminate, as Anita Bryant was infamous for, but calling the campaign Save the Children. 

I have seen videos of a supposed exlesbian who talked about leaving the homosexual lifestyle she had chosen for 40 some years. I have yet to meet one gay person that refers to themself as leading a gay lifestyle, so it is already in question. 

I have yet to meet any GL!TQ person who doesn't see Pride as a celebration for achieving quality, but say they are "celebrating their sin." No one. 

Why is this so prevalent, and why are people not called out for it? 

 

 

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Complex question ... people lie, people of all shapes and sizes.

Take Trump's recent removal from Twitter. There are a whole range of arguments, for and against.  My take is, it is up to the owners to decide how and if people's tweets will be disseminated. This assumes that no laws are being broken by either party. I will defend Trump's right to to display his stupidity; but hell, I will not force someone to rent out their soap box to him. 

Regarding a bakery ... I have some sympathy for their stupidity. For whatever reason they have come, to what I see as their stupid position, I would not force them to bake cakes for gay people. Similarly if the bakers were racists and would not bake a cake for a black couple. Having said that, would I want such bakers with such antipathy for me baking my cake? And any reasonable negative feedback the bakers get, I will support.

Churches are a little different. The moment they start to discriminate in anyway, they should lose their tax free status. 

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1 hour ago, romansh said:

Complex question ... people lie, people of all shapes and sizes.

Take Trump's recent removal from Twitter. There are a whole range of arguments, for and against.  My take is, it is up to the owners to decide how and if people's tweets will be disseminated. This assumes that no laws are being broken by either party. I will defend Trump's right to to display his stupidity; but hell, I will not force someone to rent out their soap box to him. 

Regarding a bakery ... I have some sympathy for their stupidity. For whatever reason they have come, to what I see as their stupid position, I would not force them to bake cakes for gay people. Similarly if the bakers were racists and would not bake a cake for a black couple. Having said that, would I want such bakers with such antipathy for me baking my cake? And any reasonable negative feedback the bakers get, I will support.

Churches are a little different. The moment they start to discriminate in anyway, they should lose their tax free status. 

I don't know about the laws where you live, but where I live it's illegal for a business to discriminate against their clients, and I take huge issue with a business refusing to service a black person because the owners are racist. That violates our human rights laws. 

Then again, I live in a country that has hate speech laws, so the business owner isn't even legally allowed to express overtly hateful racist thoughts, much less put them into practice in a public facing business. 

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46 minutes ago, romansh said:

If our objective is to eliminate racism what is the best way to eliminate it?  

I think addressing racism involves many layers. Here's my really quick answer off the top of my head:

First, recognize that racism (or any other form of bigotry) is ultimately an expression of fear. The answer to a fear-based problem is not more fear, which will cause them to become defensive, close down more, and dig in. That means while addressing the problem, it's important to avoid triggering fear in the audience you seek to open up. 

Second, rather than responding aggressively through force, find positive ways to affirm diversity that is attractive rather than repulsive. 

Third, rework cultural narratives. Narratives are the structure of the meaning-making process. Leverage the narratives that exist in a society and use them to gently affirm and encourage an ever-opening mindset. 

Fourth, accept you are playing a long game, not a short game. Bringing about cultural change doesn't happen quickly. And if it looks like it's happening quickly, that means the likelihood there is opposition that has been marginalized and lost its voice, which is boiling under the surface ignored. Make sure the problem is being addressed openly and honestly in a way that facilitates healing as you go rather than cutting off "the problem" from the conversation. 

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1 minute ago, irreverance said:

I think addressing racism involves many layers. Here's my really quick answer off the top of my head:

First, recognize that racism (or any other form of bigotry) is ultimately an expression of fear. The answer to a fear-based problem is not more fear, which will cause them to become defensive, close down more, and dig in. That means while addressing the problem, it's important to avoid triggering fear in the audience you seek to open up. 

Second, rather than responding aggressively through force, find positive ways to affirm diversity that is attractive rather than repulsive. 

Third, rework cultural narratives. Narratives are the structure of the meaning-making process. Leverage the narratives that exist in a society and use them to gently affirm and encourage an ever-opening mindset. 

Fourth, accept you are playing a long game, not a short game. Bringing about cultural change doesn't happen quickly. And if it looks like it's happening quickly, that means the likelihood there is opposition that has been marginalized and lost its voice, which is boiling under the surface ignored. Make sure the problem is being addressed openly and honestly in a way that facilitates healing as you go rather than cutting off "the problem" from the conversation. 

It's a good an answer as any I have heard ...  but the devil is in the details. ;) 

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10 hours ago, romansh said:

Let's take Trump as another example. He speaks to the religious right, claims to be Christian, and that the Bible is his favorite book. When asked what hos favorite verse is, he couldn't name one. When asked if he was more OT or NT, he said about equal. When asked about asking God for forgiveness, he said he doesn't bc he hasn't done anything wring. 

Were this a job interview, I would say, "You've never read the Bible, have you?" I would also want to know if he was pandering for voted., But no one calls him out

 

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Re: issues of discrimination, I think it is sad that a society needs to "force" public businesses to serve all people, but Freedom of Religion Act should be called The right to discriminate. That is what it is. But the Kleins blamed the gay couple, and said the fine was for her religious beliefs. It wasn't, so why lie? 

There is some hardware store that has a "No F*gs Allowed" policy, and claims religious freedom. 

The Pizza Place claimed catering 70 pizzas for a gay wedding was against their religious views. All the couple wanted was for the restaurant to drop the pizzas off, not give their blessing or stay for cake. 

But if we allow that, just clearly state that in your store and be honest about it. 

That is my point. If you have a strong case against glbtq being able to marry, why need to distort the claims? Why lie? The Kleins could have explained that they were at fault publishing the names, address and phone number of the lesbian couple, a very vengeful move at worst, and big oops at best. Instead, they claim they were fined for their religious beliefs, and derided the lesbian couple and the gay community for an attack on Christianity. None of that is true. The couple wanted wedding cake. When they were refused, they also quoted Leviticus, implying the couple were an abomnation. The couple, bc of their foster daughters, chose to file a complaint, and thought that was the end of it. The Kleins ran to the news, talk shows, to get as much air time as possible to win favor with the public by omitting some major details, or in other words, lie to persuade. 

I watched a Youtube video of a Christian answering for being told Christians are hypocrits. Her statement: Everyone is a little hypocrical, so why single out Christians? 

I don't want to imply that I demand Christians to be perfect. There would be no need for Christ then. But, if you are going to be the light of the world, aren't we called to set ourselves apart? And especially troubling is that such people know lying is wrong. The Klein's lie made many people think the fine was excessive, that all the fears of your freedom being taken away were coming true, made the gay couple fear for their lives, and the lives of their girls, but potentially have the daughters removed from their home because the death threats put them in danger. 

She knows there is some truth in their story, but because of the omission of some major facts because it would make the Kleins look bad, it's not true anymore. 

And because they are Christian, I assume the know that lying is one of the 10 Commandments. Satan is called The Father of Lies. Even atheists oppose lying, because it breaks trust. It is the one thing I won't tolerate in friendship or relationship, and once you start, you get good at it from practice, until you don't even know when you are lying, justify it easily, until you lie to yourself. 

So, I have no problem calling out Melissa Klein for intentionally lying, and causing extreme emotional distress as a retaliation for reporting them for breaking the law and discriminating. When I see  the video of her talking about how her body and soul into the cake for someone's special day, then gets all choked up, I wonder if she rehearsed those tears. Generally speaking, I have a belief, whether accurate or not, that conservative Christians. and conservatives, are dishonest, but justify it as the means to an end. 

 

 

 

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Let me give one more example. There is a Youtube Channel where a conservative Christian wanted to ask nonChristians how they are perceived, and chooses to go to Berkeley. You hear chuckle and oooo in the audience, who must confuse it with Vegas or believe it's still 1970. 

People said the usual - hypocrits, fearful, judgenental...

He recalls a 70 yr old gay man, who shouts out: The Enemy! 

The pastor didn't hear "enemy" as one constantly trying to actively fight against equality for glbtq. If the man said enemy, he must be on the side of the Devil. 

And what Christ said to his disciples is that all men will know you are his disciples by the love you share with one another. No one thinks that. I don't think that. Once you mention you are Christian, my self defense position goes up, because I'm prepping myself for an attack. So, what is a Christian to do? Ahhh. You blame everyone else, rather than pray and ask God. See, they are being loving, it's just tough love, discipline like you do for your kids. So, basically, Christian will be know for their.  love but people won't recognize it as live. That doesn't even make sense.,Jesus called people vipers, and swine, and dogs, so we call gay people the F word because we love them, and are trying to discourage them from homosexuality. 

No one believes that's love, nor done i love, because regardless of your religion, everyone has some understanding of love. 

This is tough love - returning curse with blessing, and praying for enemies rather than retaliate; turn the other cheek. Forgiveness is tough love, because you have to extend it in mercy, as the person doesn't deserve it. Asking forgiveness is tough love, because you have to humble yourself, admit you were wrong, you harmed the other, and can  only request it granted in mercy. And despite loving your neighbor being the most important law to follow, that we cannot love God if we hate out brother, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 

Instead, some make the focus obedience. so they can use the bible to condemn another for, say Leviticus, a book they don't follow and have probably never it. They lie to thrmselves, but now, don't even know when they do, or say nonchalantly, "I'm not perfect, just forgiven."

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8 hours ago, Beanieboy said:

Let me give one more example. There is a Youtube Channel where a conservative Christian wanted to ask nonChristians how they are perceived, and chooses to go to Berkeley. You hear chuckle and oooo in the audience, who must confuse it with Vegas or believe it's still 1970. 

People said the usual - hypocrits, fearful, judgenental...

He recalls a 70 yr old gay man, who shouts out: The Enemy! 

The pastor didn't hear "enemy" as one constantly trying to actively fight against equality for glbtq. If the man said enemy, he must be on the side of the Devil. 

And what Christ said to his disciples is that all men will know you are his disciples by the love you share with one another. No one thinks that. I don't think that. Once you mention you are Christian, my self defense position goes up, because I'm prepping myself for an attack. So, what is a Christian to do? Ahhh. You blame everyone else, rather than pray and ask God. See, they are being loving, it's just tough love, discipline like you do for your kids. So, basically, Christian will be know for their.  love but people won't recognize it as live. That doesn't even make sense.,Jesus called people vipers, and swine, and dogs, so we call gay people the F word because we love them, and are trying to discourage them from homosexuality. 

No one believes that's love, nor done i love, because regardless of your religion, everyone has some understanding of love. 

This is tough love - returning curse with blessing, and praying for enemies rather than retaliate; turn the other cheek. Forgiveness is tough love, because you have to extend it in mercy, as the person doesn't deserve it. Asking forgiveness is tough love, because you have to humble yourself, admit you were wrong, you harmed the other, and can  only request it granted in mercy. And despite loving your neighbor being the most important law to follow, that we cannot love God if we hate out brother, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 

Instead, some make the focus obedience. so they can use the bible to condemn another for, say Leviticus, a book they don't follow and have probably never it. They lie to thrmselves, but now, don't even know when they do, or say nonchalantly, "I'm not perfect, just forgiven."

To me, the question that always needs to be looked at is whether this is cultural homophobia hiding behind Christianity. 

Where I live is quite LGBTQ open, and there are tons of LGBTQ friendly Christian churches. So progressives can choose one of these churches, and homophobes can find themselves a homophobic church, because as open as we are, it still very much exists here. 

So from my perspective, I don't really see homophobia as a Christian thing, I see it as a cultural thing that wraps itself in what they think is the protective coating of bible verses. 

This particular example also doesn't strike me as a Christian lying and being horrible to people. It sounds like the baker is a hateful, petty, lying person who is trying to justify her behaviour as religious instead of just being an awful person. 

What I wonder is if religion was magically removed from these communities, would they suddenly become less homophobic?

I mean, the Bible teaches a ton of crap that they don't adhere to, and they don't seem to get overly butt hurt about it. So it seems to me far more of a social construct than a religious one. 

Like, how does this baker feel about making cakes for second marriages??? Or for non Christian weddings???

It always kind of fascinates me when homophobic people cherry pick their religious "rules" to be strict about, and how conveniently they fit with cultural xenophobia. 

Convenient, no?

Besides, a boat load of these same "good Christian" folk, are just as bigoted against dark skinned people, even if they are also Christian. 

I guess I just see awful bigoted people, and see their religion as a secondary thing that they use as a justification for their fear-based hatred when it's convenient, but not at all a necessary prerequisite for their hatred, since they don't even have biblical justification for a lot of it. 

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Agree with all this....what I find concerning is that in recent years this kind of homophobia and racism seems to have become more acceptable, in the USA at least - I think (perhaps overly-optimistically) that it's still largely declining in the UK and much of Western (not so much Eastern) Europe.

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I was thinking about how Sweet Cakes would respond to someone celebrating Eid. Doesn't making a cake that says, Happy Eid, imply that she believes that Islam is an alternate and valid religion, rather then believing that Jesus is the only way to the Father? That a bar mitzvah cake means she denies Christ is the Savior? 

Personally, watching her have a melt down over the cake, I thought, "Karen - the wedding isn't about you. No straight couple walks in to your bakery,  hoping for you to approve of their wedding and get their blessing. The just want a cake. 

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There's a lot of terrible stuff out there, bigotry and so on...I've come across it.

I think you have to see it, sigh, move on. Do what you can to reduce the amount of bigotry in the world, personally. But it doesn't help to focus on each individual example of it - there's too much, you go nuts..... 

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16 hours ago, Beanieboy said:

Let's take Trump as another example. He speaks to the religious right, claims to be Christian, and that the Bible is his favorite book. When asked what hos favorite verse is, he couldn't name one. When asked if he was more OT or NT, he said about equal. When asked about asking God for forgiveness, he said he doesn't bc he hasn't done anything wring. 

Were this a job interview, I would say, "You've never read the Bible, have you?" I would also want to know if he was pandering for voted., But no one calls him out

I am not a Christian ..progressive or otherwise.

So I am not overly hung up about about whether they follow a particular interpretation of some dogma or another. I would have greater concerns regarding Pence and his reading of the Bible where it could be regarded it was far less hypocritical. He might actually believe in Armageddon. Though so far he has proved me, by and large, wrong. He seems like a decent if not very misguided human being.

The Bible is an archaic set of documents open to a whole bunch of interpretations. It is not a living document; what is "living" is the new interpretations we might bring. These interpretations are brought to us by an unfolding universe, which we might describe as science, cross fertilization with other cultures, our experiences, etc. 

For those of us who agree upon a particular societal objective, it would be beneficial to agree on a strategy to reach that endpoint.

Short of a lobotomy, I don't think we can force people not to discriminate. Perhaps we can educate people to discriminate wisely.

 

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  • 2 months later...

I think we can all agree that conservative religion in general and Christianity in particular has been on the wrong side of history at virtually every crossroads. Whether it has been women, racial, sexual identity or semitism the conservative church has always chosen oppression over love.

So why is the church still around? I like to think it is because more moderate church sees it and pushes for social change and support for the less advantaged and eventually win out. I am old enough to remember segregation and remember our church sending marchers to Selma. I am old enough to have spoke to my grandmother who with her church fought for the vote.

Romansh  is correct in saying you can not force people to not discriminate but you can force the underpinnings to change with the expectation that as time and generations pass  the world be be a better more fair place. 

 

steve

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  • 3 weeks later...
  • 2 weeks later...
On 2/11/2021 at 10:27 AM, Kellerman said:

I don't know about the laws where you live, but where I live it's illegal for a business to discriminate against their clients, and I take huge issue with a business refusing to service a black person because the owners are racist. That violates our human rights laws. 

Then again, I live in a country that has hate speech laws, so the business owner isn't even legally allowed to express overtly hateful racist thoughts, much less put them into practice in a public facing business. 

Where are you?

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It must be nice living in an enlightened country!  We in the US are going through a serious crisis.  There is a tremendous break down in Christian values, even by some claiming to be Christians.

Loving your neighbor has morphed into "who is my neighbor", in other words, serious, hateful discrimination because of the inability to love our neighbors as ourselves.

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22 hours ago, JimmyB said:

It must be nice living in an enlightened country!  We in the US are going through a serious crisis.  There is a tremendous break down in Christian values, even by some claiming to be Christians.

Loving your neighbor has morphed into "who is my neighbor", in other words, serious, hateful discrimination because of the inability to love our neighbors as ourselves.

We have plenty of hate and racism here, we just have a different culture. We don't have the free speech absolutism that the US does and we don't have strong evangelical Christian presence, especially not in politics. 

So Christianity occupies a very different role in our culture. 

 

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16 hours ago, Kellerman said:

We have plenty of hate and racism here, we just have a different culture. We don't have the free speech absolutism that the US does and we don't have strong evangelical Christian presence, especially not in politics. 

So Christianity occupies a very different role in our culture. 

 

I think over here in Australia, we'd be pretty much the same.  Maybe it's a Commonwealth thing! :)

We actually have an Assemblies of God Pentecostal as our current Prime Minister, which you pretty much wouldn't know as I'd have to say it is hardly ever mentioned or used by him.  But similarly, there isn't a strong evangelical presence in our democracy either.

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4 hours ago, PaulS said:

I think over here in Australia, we'd be pretty much the same.  Maybe it's a Commonwealth thing! :)

We actually have an Assemblies of God Pentecostal as our current Prime Minister, which you pretty much wouldn't know as I'd have to say it is hardly ever mentioned or used by him.  But similarly, there isn't a strong evangelical presence in our democracy either.

Yeah, our Prime Minister was raised Catholic and his father, a previous Prime Minister was known as a "Catholic Intellectual", yet his father is famous for saying that the government should stay out of the bedrooms of the people, and his son just very publicly blasted the Catholic Church and the Pope in particular. 

We have a significant historical Christian divide between French and English Canada with French Catholicism prevailing in one group and Anglican/United/etc sects prevailing in the other, so any politician promoting their particular religious affiliation would have been politically alienating to one side or the other. I suspect that's why religion has been so downplayed historically in Canadian politics. 

As such, we don't really have a big religious lobby in politics, and the churches generally just don't have a lot of power here. Which makes faith a really personal matter for people here, not so much a sociopolitical identity, and definitely not nearly as much of a loaded topic. 

I think that's quite common in developed countries though, to me the manifestation of Christianity in the US seems kind of unique and strange and more similar to the religious regimes in the middle East. 

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  • 2 weeks later...

I come from a tradition that acknowledges that hate and racism are endemic in the entire human race, regardless of what philosophical system or spiritual disciplines you embrace in an admittedly commendable effort to combat it in yourself or in you community.  I had to be brought to a point where I acknowledged that all such efforts by myself or others were hopeless.  Neighbors, we cannot pull ourselves up by our own bootstraps.  The nature of Christ's ministry was to do more than model a good life for us, it was to earn a perfect merit that he could impute to us after enduring the penalty we deserved at the cross.  This is the ancient tenet of the faith that must always be accepted as an antecedent to trying to adopt any code of conduct you perceive in the word.  Even a regenerate Christian is incapable of leading a perfectly Christ like life in this world, but because he rose, we will also rise at the end of time and enter into a truly perfect society, where love and mutual respect will be integral to all our characters.

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