Shuck and Jive

Opinions expressed here are my own and do not represent the views of the congregation I joyfully serve. But my congregation loves me!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

I'm a Minister: I Can and Need to Say This

Saw this one over at Fred's Place.




And to top off your day, here is one from Dr. Monkerstein. Bashing gays because of the Bible, insulting our reason by trotting out mythologies as if they were facts, hassling our presidential candidates with Christian litmus tests, and constantly badgering people with religion really, really, really ticks people off. Fellow church people, do you care? Think there might be another way to co-exist?


34 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. What I meant to say is, thanks for the shout-out, John. And did the good bishop actually accuse the interviewer of having bad breath?!?! I also liked Monkerstein's video of Pat Condell. I found myself agreeing with much of what he says.

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  3. It was a little rough to take when he said, "religious professionals are the scum of the earth" but I understand his passion. To a great extent we have earned that harsh criticism.

    And did the good bishop actually accuse the interviewer of having bad breath?!?!

    Was that what is was? I couldn't make out what the bishop was saying. He just wanted to "Run away! Run Away!"

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  4. I liked the videos. Like the man in the second video, I don't want anyone evangelizing to me. But you must say that there are a lot of needy and despaired people who really cherish the ministries done by many Christians in poor, third-world countries. Jesus Christ really brings hope to them I'm sure.

    I also agree with the first video. Those journalists did a good job pointing out the contradicitions about the whole gay argument.

    I'll be glad to see all this pass in the next 50 years or so. Once we make a better presence in the Middle East, those countries will lighten up on their death penalty laws for openly GLBT's. I almost want to justify going to war with Iran just because of this one issue.

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  5. I can certainly agree that it's wrong to harass, and beat folks over the head with the Bible. Only God can bring people to faith. We should always be respectful.

    But, John, I think with people like this man in the video, there is a hate there inside of them. In many ways they can be like the flip side of the coin of the people they disdain the most.

    Probably in the past they've been hurt by Christians, and wounded by the church. It clouds their ability to even be truly open, and objective, I think.

    As far as I can see, the best thing Christians can do is just listen, give them the space they need, and try to show the love of Christ in a more incarnational way. And, of course hold all of us in prayer.

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  6. That first one was hilarious! What a charming obfuscator that Bishop Jensen is!

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  7. Snad,

    I wasn't impressed either by the interviewer or Bishop Jenson. The truth is that people who struggle with things like gay marriage, or same sex blessing in the church base their concern on a whole lot more than some obscure proof texts in Lev.

    They are concerned for the witness of Jesus, fidelity to the church's sacrament of marriage, and how an opening up of the definition of marriage, and the family might negatively impact the whole culture.

    If we are ever going to reach these folks, it's not going to happen through mockery, passive-aggressiveness, or trashing their concerns.

    I also was disappointed in Bishop Jenson. What was that comment about relating to "bad breath?"

    IMO, he should have honestly, and respectfully, confronted the interviewer's passive-aggressiveness from the beginnning, rather than putting on a mask of fake nicety, and then responding in kind.

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  8. Grace -

    Humor is always at the expense of someone or something. I don't feel the reporter was passive agressive. He was trying to use humor to focus on the absurdity of Bishop Jensen's statement. If we would stop nailing Jesus to the cross for a while, we would find the he had a sense of humor, too.

    As for Christians being concerned that..."an opening up of the definition of marriage, and the family might negatively impact the whole culture", they are wrong. It doesn't matter what they feel in their hearts about being witnesses to Jesus, they are still wrong. When we have so much love for one another that we don't know what to do with it all, when we have empty orphanages world-wide and would-be foster parents begging for someone to take in, maybe then we can talk about regularing what defines a marriage or a family without irony.

    Let me know when you think we're getting close, Grace!

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  9. Well, Snad, I certainly personally agree with your opinion relating to gay marriage, and the need for more foster, and adoptive parents, a concern that goes straight to my heart.

    We'll have to agree to disagree about the humor in the video, though.

    I also wanted to remark about a comment you shared over at Dr. Monkeys. (Can't comment there, or I would be nixed (deleted) in short order.)

    Most ministers, and priests I've known, conservative or progressive, are wonderful people. They deal with so much crap to serve God, and to give of themselves to people in the church, and our communities.

    Sure there are some insincere, bad apples to be sure, but not the vast majority. For this person, to refer to them all as the "scum of the earth," blows me away.

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  10. If Christians sincerely want to preserve the sacredness or fidelity of the family, I don't think that they should be attacking the GBLT community. They need to be attacking the entertainment industry, especially Disney Entertainment, the mainstream media news, the shopping and advertisement industry, cable and public education, etc. In my opinon, these industries are the most diabolical and destructive sphere of influence in the world. These industries "manipulate us by appealing to instincts related to sex, safety, sustenance, and status".

    How is it that christians easily allow and accept Disney to promote sex and nonfamily values by having shows like Hannah Montana, High School Musical, Britney Spheres, etc?

    Why is cable TV allowed to have shows on Cinnamax where college kids have orgies on a daily basis?

    Why do christians stand by and let advertising manipulate humans in to thinking that they need to buy toys and things to be happy?

    Why are christians taking all their hate out on nice, innocent people who were probably born and mostly environmentally engineered to be gay? Why not attack the source of the problem rather than the symptom? If so-called christians think that attacking the GBLT community is going to solve the problem of the dissoution of the family, they have another thing coming.

    Also if there are any GBLT people who don't see a problem with the industries I spoke about above please let your voice be heard? I would like to know why you don't think that these are problems facing our world? Another question is that if you support gay marriages, will you also go along with polygamy and multiple men getting married to multiple women? Where does the definition of marriage end? I would suppose at the total de-construction of the word marriage.

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  11. Rachel wrote, "Another question is that if you support gay marriages, will you also go along with polygamy and multiple men getting married to multiple women? Where does the definition of marriage end? I would suppose at the total de-construction of the word marriage."

    No, and no. This particular "argument" is a logical fallacy known as a "slippery slope" argument.

    Please demonstrate the causal relationship between homosexuality and polygamy. I'll wait....

    Oh, you can't? You mean, Rachel, that the vast, vast, vast majority of polygamists (including all of those patriarchs in the Bible) are heterosexual? Gee, what a surprise!

    So then, clearly we should outlaw heterosexual marriage because it "causes" polygamy.

    It really is surprising that, in this day and age people are still resorting to such lame attempts at argumentation.

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  12. Hey, Rachel,

    You certainly have an inquiring, creative kind of mind. BTW, my husband is a libertarian. I'm inclined in that direction myself, but not completely.

    I think there are many Christians who do share your concerns, but not all. There's really this huge diversity of thinking in the church.

    If you have time, you might pop over there to "Father T Listens to the World." Father Terry is directer of outreach for the Episcopal church.

    He's trying to understand where folks who aren't Christians are at in their thinking, and is busy opening up questions, and wanting to dialogue.

    I think you would be such a help, and asset to the whole conversation. You can even say that Grace suggested you take a peek.

    I have to run now. A flock of guests, and family are about to descend on the house. We're having this huge, fun party to welcome the birth of my new granddaughter. Yeah!!

    Proud Grandma,
    Becky.

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  13. Alan, my point was, who are you or who is the government to tell me that I can't have multiple husbands or multiple wives. What makes you so sure that people who practice these kind of sexual relations won't one day fight for their rights to be legally married? And why can't they fight for it? For your information, I am anti-state involvement in marriage and I believe that marriage should only be between God and the individuals involved. Do you think gays would be given so much publicity now if they were already treated fairly by the law? I have a problem with the whole gay issue and coming out not because I judge GLBT's, but because I think the publicity is sending the wrong message to kids.

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  14. Oh, Geez, Grace, lighten up! I was just giving a prop to John. I don't want him to go back to radio (not that he doesn't do a fine job at that, too, but we like him here)!

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  15. I know, Snad. My concern was directed more to the content of the video. Probably the wording of my post wasn't clear enough.

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  16. Pat Condell is a riot! His last line, "If Jesus were to appear tomorrow I think he'd agree with me...let's hope he does" is spot on.

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  17. Sorry to use your comments section to say something to another commenter John but I must, I hope you understand.

    Grace-The reason I delete your comments most of the time on my blog is because you do not respect my wishes to not be evangelized to. You tossed your sanctimonius brand of christianity at me every chance you got and I got sick of it.

    And your arguement that our ability to think clearly, and what you really mean is our ability to agree 100 percent with you, is clouded by our hatred of the church is nonsense. I don't hate the church, I simply don't need it because I don't believe in it. What I hate are hypocrites like Falwell, Robertson, Dobson, Benny Hinn, the Farting Preacher, and that old fraud Billy Graham and his slimy son, all of whom, for better or worse are the poster boys for your faith. They spew hate and derision towards anyone who does not agree with them and they clearly hate people and things they can see while they profess to love something that they can't see.

    I don't hate your stone age faith, I have no need of it. And just because I have no need of your stone age faith that does not mean I am a bad person or that I don't behave in a moral fashion. Just like you I am imperfect and I try to do better, unlike you I don't cloak my self in the mantle of a stone age faith.

    Now having said all that, there are many people in the christain faith who I admire and Rev. John is one of them. He's one of the exceptions to the scum of the earth rule. And since he actually works for peace and justice, unlike most of his contemporaries such as Dobson and Pat Robertson, I'd include in that circle of religious folks that I admire just about anyone who is like Rev. John. I grew up admiring men like the Berrigan brothers and Martin Luther King, not the Pope or that fraud Billy Graham.

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  18. Oh, don't forget Jimmy Swaggert, Monkey! There is a clip of him in "For the Bible Tells Me So", where he says "If one of those guys [a gay man] ever hit on me I'd kill him and tell the Lord he died", to thundering applause from his audience of thousands.
    That they didn't rise up and pelt him with human excrement or at the very least exit en masse makes me ill. Of course, I can't tell if it is the idea that a "preacher" is willing to lie to God to justify his hate or the idea of anyone actually hitting on him that makes me sick!

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  19. Rachel, perhaps you simply didn't see my question. Please provide evidence that gay marriage has anything whatsoever to do with your questions about polygamy.

    "Alan, my point was, who are you or who is the government to tell me that I can't have multiple husbands or multiple wives."

    I'm a voting citizen of this country. Therefore I have the right to vote any way I want, within the boundaries of our laws and Constitution.

    "What makes you so sure that people who practice these kind of sexual relations won't one day fight for their rights to be legally married?"

    I don't. Who said I did? I simply stated that whether they do, or do not, has nothing whatsoever to do with gay marriage.

    "And why can't they fight for it?"

    They're welcome to do so. But again, it has nothing to do with gay marriage. Nothing, as I have already clearly shown and as you have apparently been unable to refute. It is a common red-herring. But just as they're free to advocate for their position, I'm free to advocate for mine. To paraphrase your question to me, who are you to tell me otherwise?

    "Do you think gays would be given so much publicity now if they were already treated fairly by the law? I have a problem with the whole gay issue and coming out not because I judge GLBT's, but because I think the publicity is sending the wrong message to kids."

    Well, you've got me there, I can't even imagine to respond to that. But I'm glad my brothers don't feel that way when it comes to my relationship with their kids. I'll shut up now and go sit in the closet so as not to draw unwanted "publicity" and send the message to children that they should be free to be whomever they were created to be. You're probably right, it's best to have them fit in, not make waves, and live lives of quiet desperation.

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  20. Alan, again I will say, my only point was that why should you be allowed to judge polygamists when you yourself do not like to be judged? I don't think anybody should have to advocate for any rights, they should already have them. I say do away with state- marriage, it's out-dated.

    Alan, you have me totally wrong. I don't judge homosexuals. But, I do have a problem with magazines such as People magazine, for example, flaunting gay couples getting married, and heterosexuals for that matter! Everything is so sex-driven today. Fine, Ellen DeGeneres got married, but why did she have to sell out and have it thrown in the face of every shopping center in the US. Yeah, she looked modest, but her newly wed looked totally revealing and all that you could think about is that they were together for the sex. I will admit that it aroused feelings of lust in me!

    My question for you is, is it moral for people to have pre-marital sex and to be in relationships just for the sex?

    It goes against my religion because I believe that overindulgence of anything is bad for the "soul". But, who cares what I think. I'm having fun sitting back and watching the human race kill itself, both morally and physically.

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  21. Dr. Monkey, well, at least I understand your thinking, and why you always delete my comments.

    It was certainly not my intention to be unkind or disrespectful at all. From my perspective, I was trying to honestly share my perception, and comment on the posting at hand. I'm sorry for your hurt.

    I could be wrong about this Pat Condell, Dr. Monkey. But, he truly does not come across like a very open, and caring person to me at all. He's not kind. I've never met a single person in my life who I thought was just the "scum of the earth," and I've worked in the prison system.

    I could go on and elaborate, but that would be preachin at ya, so I'll stop now.

    Sincerely,
    Grace.

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  22. Rachel -

    I'm gonna jump in a little about your questions to Alan. I apologize if I misunderstood your questions.
    1st, as John stated once on another post, gays should not have to wait until some other nebulous group has rights to marry before insisting they have the right to marry. You might as well say "Why should a man be allowed to marry another man when he isn't allowed to marry a goat?"
    2nd, ss far as all the "publicity sending the wrong message" to kids, the worst message to send to kids is that someone else is less a person simply because they are different. If you're concerned about sending messages to your kids about sexuality, I'd worry about what they see in commercials, movies, TV, music, etc. I'm much more concerned about the message my nephews get from Britney Spears than from when they see their cousin Rachel kissing her partner. If you're worried about them "becoming gay", don't. They'll sort it all out, regardless of the publicity - and will probably do so more healthily in an environment that doesn't shoosh "different" under the rug - or into the closet.

    Kids get a whole lot of bad messages. IF children are given the tools to think and question, they will have a much better time of it when it comes to recognising and dismissing the crap.

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  23. Snad,

    It is sickening!! But, I can share something pretty scary. Right now I can't find the article, but there's recent research out there done by a gay biologist, that asserts heterosexual men maybe genetically wired toward homophobia.

    The researcher was studying this across culture. There often tends to be this revulsion, sometimes violent, in straight men toward any kind of homosexual sexual advance. He found this to be true even where there is not a strong religious influence of any kind.

    But, I think heterosexual Christian men need to be different, and show the love of Jesus, genetic factors, or not.

    We need to all find our identity in Christ, and not just simply be ruled by biology, or every cultural influence out there, for that matter.

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  24. Snad, I'm just arguing for a free society, but I guess that is too hard for some people to imagine since we have all been raised in a society where we have to get our rights from the Government. Government should not have to give us rights they should only be there to protect our rights. I just figured that if we lived in a free society, we wouldn't even have the gay debate and there would not be so much hate.

    "I'd worry about what they see in commercials, movies, TV, music, etc. I'm much more concerned about the message my nephews get from Britney Spears than from when they see their cousin Rachel kissing her partner. "

    That was my point exactly!

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  25. Grace -
    I saw that article. One could go in many directions with it. Some could argue it is a way for the species to ensure reproduction - and thus survival. But, I imagine human (or hominid) males used to do all sorts of things they don't need to do any more - like marking their territory, killing the weakest of their offspring, eating raw meat (and incidentally, some research points to morning sickness as a biological instinct to protect the fetus from the rotten raw meat the mother might have eaten), and on and on.

    So, if that is the case, which instinct should we try to overcome? I am sure many would argue that it would be better for society as a whole if homosexuals would simply overcome their natural instincts, but I would argue otherwise. Don't ask me on what grounds at the moment, but suffice it to say that overcoming our urges towards violence are preferred.

    Thanks, Grace.

    And Rachel - I figured you were playing devil's advocate. And I agree with you about the governemt's role as protecting, not proscribing our rights. But I still don't want anyone being able to marry a goat ;-)

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  26. Snad, I don't want anyone to marry a goat either, and I believe in animal rights. Since a goat cannot consent to getting married, I would hope that the law would stand on the goat's side.

    As for polygamy, I don't see a problem, as long as all the adults are consenting.

    And I'm going to do my best to be honest here. I believe that for the majority of the population it is a sin to be homosexual. For example, if I were to go have sex with a woman tonight, it would be a sin. But, as of now I believe God made some people gay, and there is just no way for them to be straight. So, I guess the majority of you would say that they are not sinning, and I would agree. Is this the proper way to look at the gay issue in relation to morality?

    Or, would any of you throw out morality all together?

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  27. Rachel - The majority of the population probably thinks it's a sin to be homosexual because they've been told it's a sin to be homosexual.

    Frankly, I'm just terribly bored with the whole "is it or is it not a sin" discussion. If you think something is a sin, don't do it. Robert Heinlein, writing for the character Lazarus Long (from Stranger in a Strange Land) had this to say about sin:

    "Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful--just stupid.)"

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  28. SOrry - Lazarus Long is from "Time Enough For Love". It's been a long time...

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  29. Snad, I agree. I was just sharing with you guys what I feel is a sin for me personally. I am a sinful person now. I do some things now that I believe are a sin, because they make me feel like I'm not living up to my full potential. Sorry, if I offended anyone for sharing things that I feel are a sin to me personally.

    I agree let's do away with pointing the finger and the namecalling and LEGALIZE FREEDOM! That means, let me smoke my pot and have as many husbands and (or wives) as I want. Not that I personally would have more than one husband; but, if my husband could handle it, I wouldn't mind having another woman around to help out. I mean my man does want it alot more than I do.

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  30. "Sin lies only in hurting other people unnecessarily. All other sins are invented nonsense. (Hurting yourself is not sinful--just stupid.)"

    Now that is a keeper.

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  31. I wouldn't mind having another woman around to help out. I mean my man does want it a lot more than I do.

    Yet another keeper. I am going to write a book from Shuck and Jive blog comments.

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  32. "Alan, again I will say, my only point was that why should you be allowed to judge polygamists when you yourself do not like to be judged?"

    Who said I had any problem with people judging me?

    "Yeah, she looked modest, but her newly wed looked totally revealing and all that you could think about is that they were together for the sex. I will admit that it aroused feelings of lust in me!"

    Well, that sounds like your problem, not theirs. I've been to about a zillion weddings in my life and I can't remember a single one in which my first thoughts were about the happy couple having sex. Nor was that my second, tenth, or hundredth thought. A wedding is a celebration, and I don't see any reason why someone shouldn't be allowed to celebrate it.

    "My question for you is, is it moral for people to have pre-marital sex and to be in relationships just for the sex?"

    Huh? I have no idea what this has to do with anything else we're discussing. Very odd...

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  33. Hey Alan,

    I was just trying to learn about your morals. But it doesn't matter. Didn't you see the resolution Snad and I came to below? We should all be free to live how we want as long as it doesn't harm anyone else. As for magazines, etc preying on our sex drives, I will have to learn to live with it, but I don't have to accept it, or teach my kids that it is okay.

    Peace.

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  34. Not that I personally would have more than one husband; but, if my husband could handle it, I wouldn't mind having another woman around to help out. I mean my man does want it alot more than I do.

    Okay, who exactly is "throwing sex in everyone's face" now?

    :-P

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