Jesus, I need Your Love, Hawkmoon

Do we recognize how much we need God’s love in our life, or put a different way, how much do we desire that love that only God can fulfill? Our lives are so busy, we tend to just push away this desire or we may not even think about it at all. But even when we do contemplate God’s love, we can only express it in terms that a limited human mind can do (like below), in terms of things that are familiar, but it’s so much more than that.

I came across a familiar poem today that expressed, in worldly terms, how much one can desire the love of another, and it reminded me more of whether we desire God at least like this, or is it only this powerfully expressed for the things of this world? If we can express worldly love “like the hot needs the sun, like honey on her tongue, like oxygen, I need your love”, how much greater is the love God has for us? Without the desire for God’s love, and for His Glory, we are just about in the same shape as my widow pictured above, broken.

I have gone over the words below about twenty times now, it’s pretty powerful (even more when put to music), but how much more should we desire God’s love… probably more than we need to take our next breath.

I Need Your Love

Like a desert needs rain
Like a town needs a name
I need your love
Like a drifter needs a room
Hawkmoon
I need your love

Like a rhythm unbroken
Like drums in the night
Like sweet soul music
Like sunlight
I need your love

Like coming home
And you don’t know where you’ve been
Like black coffee
Like nicotine
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like a Phoenix rising needs a holy tree
Like the sweet revenge of a bitter enemy
I need your love

Like the hot needs the sun
Like honey on her tongue
Like the muzzle of a gun
Like oxygen
I need your love (I need your love)

When the night has no end
And the day yet to begin
As the room spins around
I need your love

Like thunder needs rain
Like a preacher needs pain
Like tongues of flame
Like a sheet stained
I need your love

Like a needle needs a vein
Like someone to blame
Like a thought unchained
Like a runaway train
I need your love

Like faith needs a doubt
Like a freeway out
I need your love

Like powder needs a spark
Like lies need the dark
I need your love

I need all the love in your heart… and I need all the love in your heart…

~ Hawkmoon 269, U2

47 thoughts on “Jesus, I need Your Love, Hawkmoon

  1. EllenBeth Wachs

    No, I don’t need any gods’ love to make me feel satisfied, fulfilled or worthy and find it rather sad that you do. I am not broken like the window you refer to without a desire for some deity’s approval. I find comfort and solace and warmth in the love of humankind.

    Reply
  2. Scott Fillmer

    I can understand your finding comfort in life itself, although flawed as described, I still appreciate and understand it, but eventually this life will come to an end, and you were created by a power higher than yourself.

    As much as we as sinful humans try to control everything, we can’t control life or death and what happens when we die. I hope you find an answer to your insistence that we look within for life and not to our creator, because we will all stand before Him, whether we believe we will or not.

    Reply
  3. EllenBeth Wachs

    That is so utterly sad that you look at all humans as inherently flawed and sinful. I happen to start from a place of goodness with people and then if they prove me wrong, so be it.

    And you have zero proof, not a shred of evidence that you or I or anyone else will stand before “Him” or “Her” or the the Jolly Green Giant after we die.

    I live my life knowing that this is the only life that I will have and live it to the best of my ability. I treat my fellow humans with goodness and compassion NOT because I am afraid of standing in judgment by some bogeyman, but simply because it is the right thing to do.

    My partner knows and takes great happiness and comfort that I do not lie to him or cheat on him because I love him, not out of fear that some invisible supreme judge will bar me from a silly place with entrance fees.

    The flawed outlook is one that can only take moral guidance from fear not from simple humanity.

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  4. Scott Fillmer

    wow, there are so many things you assume in all those statements, amazing… I do see people as inherently “good” but with a sinful nature. We are all born into a sinful nature or propensity to sin. You have to teach a person not to sin not the other way around?

    The teachings of Christ, whether you believe in Christ or not is irrelevant for this point, do not portray life as something where you do the “right” thing out of fear of judgment. You are to have a certain common sense fear about the coming judgment yes, and you are to fear God who will judge all of mankind, but Christ has far more to say about love than he did hell.

    My wife knows I love her and I doubt she has ever thought that I only love her or act lovingly towards her (i.e. in your words don’t lie to her etc) because of the fear of God, that’s just crazy, and I certainly never said that, you did.

    The difference here is that I have a specific moral standard to which I live by, and you don’t, by your own admission. Not even sure where you get your standard for “good” people as you call it, how do you know what is “good”, or is it the standard of the day where it’s all relative to your own experience bunk? On that end, there is a objective truth in the world and in humanity, even if you don’t admit it.

    Because I have a standard, and it’s laid out clearly in scripture, I know exactly where I stand and why. There are more reasons than just this scripture clearly and overwhelmingly states we are indeed broken and flawed individuals, even if we don’t think so and even if we want to be our own god.

    Either way you assume so much it’s amazing, but that is the stereotypical atheist stand. I have run into many atheists who know far more about the Bible and the Christian life than do Christians themselves, but that doesn’t mean they are right, just on the defensive.

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  5. EllenBeth Wachs

    You say,
    “Either way you assume so much it’s amazing, but that is the stereotypical atheist stand. I have run into many atheists who know far more about the Bible and the Christian life than do Christians themselves, but that doesn’t mean they are right, just on the defensive.”

    Stereotypical atheist stand? I have met thousands of atheists and haven’t come across a “stereotypical” stand so for you to state this is simply ludicrous. There are liberal atheists, there are conservative atheists, there are moderate atheists. The point is, we run the gamut of views and opinions but you out yourself as an intolerant bigot who sees all atheists as one person.

    I will state you are correct in that most, not all, atheists certainly know the bible and most religions better than the people than claim to practice and subscribe to the tenets. This is precisely how many came to the atheist worldview. The bible, properly read, is the most potent force for converting one to atheism.

    As for atheists being on the defensive, if we are it is because we have been under attack for centuries just as you have attacked me as being without moral guidance because I don’t use a 2000 year old book written by misogynistic, torturous, abusive white men as my guide in life. Call me silly. I would rather follow my community guidelines and the social parameters of the good of society rather than what man thought was best for man based on a nomadic existence in the desert.

    Christians don’t seem to have a good compass on the moral good for homosexuals do they? Christians don’t have a good moral compass on what is right for any group of humans they see as “others” hmm, such as myself. I shall not subjugate myself to any man. Atheists and humanists, on the other hand, see basic human rights and civil liberties as necessary for ALL. We don’t pick and choose a silly bible verse to justify denying services and rights to gays because some homophobic man wrote “man shall not lie with man”

    You aren’t even aware that the christ character is a fiction made to teach parables and lessons from a compilation of stories and people. How sad for you. Provide me with ONE piece of extra-biblical evidence that this person existed. Just one!

    Reply
  6. Scott Fillmer

    Good grief, I would hardly even know where to begin with all that.

    You saying Christ was a fictional character has been vetted throughout history and there are very few scholarly people (that actually do know what they are talking about) that would hold to this view, Christian, Jew, Muslim, whoever, the historical evidence of Christ is only questioned by those like you who have an agenda to prove. Even the Roman guards collaborated many of Jesus’ existence. There are many extra-biblical references I could use, like Josephus and others, but this is an old argument you bring up, and with little validity.

    you said “The bible, properly read, is the most potent force for converting one to atheism.” is about the most absurd statement I have read in recent years. Obviously your “properly” read is different than mine is. I have read, studied, and contemplated over scripture. I have read the entire bible, from Genesis to Revelation many times, and (if you have?) there is the antithesis of atheism proclaimed throughout the bible.

    As to homosexuality, I can’t believe it took you three comments before you brought up that topic (although mentioning your “partner” earlier was the launching platform for your gay rant). You show yourself to be as narrow minded as you claim I am by calling me a bigot. If following the standards of scripture make one a bigot than I guess I am guilty, but check your history books, the Bible wasn’t written by “white people”. For the rest of the homosexual gay discussion I will refer you to my post called “Prop 8 Proves Homosexual Lifestyle Acceptable to God” at http://www.scottfillmer.com/2010/08/15/prop-8-proves-homosexual-lifestyle-acceptable-to-god/ and be sure to read all 50+ comments so you get the point. Say what you want, a homosexual lifestyle is a sin in the eyes of God, it’s as clear in scripture as the sun is bright.

    There is a difference between being a bigot and living by a moral standard is where you are confused. You confuse people who “hate” because of one reason or another with someone who understands that there are some things that are wrong and some that are right. You may live by your “community standards” but where do they get their standards from? Where does society get their standards from that you live by. Almost all the laws in place in this country come from scripture? Like not stealing, murder, etc etc. It’s pretty hilarious actually… your standard of living is actually God’s standard, you just won’t admit to it.

    As you say there are many different mind sets within atheism, there are within Christianity as well, and yes, many times, Christians do not live by the standards they uphold as righteous, but that goes back to my first point, we are all sinners in need of a Savior.

    Reply
  7. EllenBeth Wachs

    I don’t know where to begin with you!! All the laws in this country do NOT come from scripture. A ten year old could do better than the 10 commandments. As a matter of fact, child rape is not even mentioned now is it?

    Just a question regarding Josephus- when was he born? Not a contemporary of the jesus character. I could write about the santa and it doesn’t prove his existence. Sorry! You lose. One piece of evidence! NOT ONE! Josephus is not evidence. Been thoroughly vetted? Hardly. For a character that was supposed to have been a prolific teacher- not one piece of writing has been found, not one piece of archeological evidence to support the existence if this myth. Next you will bring up Eusebius. Check.

    If I am living by god’s standards, which god would that be sir? There are about 30,000 of them? I know, your answer will be the ONE TRUE GOD!!! It is the answer for every different religion. How does that work?

    Homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of god? I have NO problem calling you a bigot. You are an outright homophobic bigot. A bigot towards atheists. A bigot towards non-christians. Whereas I could not give a flying fig that you believe in an invisible alien that monitors your thoughts and influences your actions. I will still treat you equally under the law whereas YOU will deny basic human rights to others. That says it all.

    BIGOT!
    You are surprised it took me 3 posts to get to the homosexual rant? Sounds as if you are quite defensive on the issue as you well should be. YOU have no moral right to be so intolerant. You are despicable. I don’t care if you want to be so reprehensible in your own little narrow mind but you and your christian brethren are attempting to legislate your religious biblical intolerance on society and society will not tolerate your breathtaking hatred that allows teenagers to get bullied into killing themselves, that keeps families apart when loved ones are dying in the hospital; that denies mothers and fathers the right to shared custody of their children.

    And no, I am not a sinner in need of any saviour and do not believe we are inherently sinners. That is your christian concept. You, however, do need a saviour but not of the godlike kind. You need one of the humankind to teach you compassion to others who may be different.

    Reply
  8. EllenBeth Wachs

    Oh, thanks to Monica for these-

    Here are 11 things that are technically banned by the Bible. (All quotes are translations from the New American Standard Bible, but, because I’m actually trying to maintain serious journalistic integrity here, I cross-referenced several other translations to make sure I wasn’t missing the point.)

    1. Round haircuts. See you in Hell, Beatles… and/or kids with bowl cuts, surfer cuts or (my favorite) butt cuts. Leviticus 19:27 reads “You shall not round off the side-growth of your heads nor harm the edges of your beard.”
    2. Football. At least, the pure version of football, where you play with a pigskin. The modern synthetic footballs are ugly and slippery anyways. Leviticus 11:8, which is discussing pigs, reads “You shall not eat of their flesh nor touch their carcasses; they are unclean to you.”
    And you’re doubly breaking that if you wake up, eat some sausage then go throw around the football. Or go to the county fair and enter a greased pig catching contest.
    3. Fortune telling. Before you call a 900 number (do people still call 900 numbers, by the way?), read your horoscope or crack open a fortune cookie, realize you’re in huge trouble if you do.
    Leviticus 19:31 reads “Do not turn to mediums or spiritists; do not seek them out to be defiled by them. I am the Lord your God.” The penalty for that? Check Leviticus 20:6: “As for the person who turns to mediums and to spiritists, to play the harlot after them, I will also set My face against that person and will cut him off from among his people.”
    Seems like a lifetime of exile is a pretty harsh penalty for talking to Zoltar.
    4. Pulling out. The Bible doesn’t get too much into birth control… it’s clearly pro-populating but, back when it was written, no one really anticipated the condom or the sponge, so those don’t get specific bans.
    But… pulling out does. One of the most famous sexual-oriented Bible verses… the one that’s used as anti-masturbation rhetoric… is actually anti-pulling out.
    It’s Genesis 38:9-10: “Onan knew that the offspring would not be his; so when he went in to his brother’s wife, he wasted his seed on the ground in order not to give offspring to his brother. But what he did was displeasing in the sight of the Lord; so He took his life also.”
    Yep — pull out and get smote. That’s harsh.
    5. Tattoos. No tattoos. Leviticus 19:28 reads, “You shall not make any cuts in your body for the dead nor make any tattoo marks on yourselves: I am the Lord.”
    Not even a little butterfly on your ankle. Or Thug Life across your abdomen. Or even, fittingly enough, a cross.
    6. Polyester, or any other fabric blends. The Bible doesn’t want you to wear polyester. Not just because it looks cheap. It’s sinfully unnatural.
    Leviticus 19:19 reads, “You are to keep My statutes. You shall not breed together two kinds of your cattle; you shall not sow your field with two kinds of seed, nor wear a garment upon you of two kinds of material mixed together.”
    Check the tag on your shirt right now. Didn’t realize you were mid-sin at this exact second, did you? (Unless you checked the tag by rolling off your neighbor’s wife while you two were having anal sex in the middle of robbing a blind guy. Then your Lycra-spandex blend is really the least of your problems.)
    7. Divorce. The Bible is very clear on this one: No divorcing. You can’t do it. Because when you marry someone, according to Mark 10:8, you “are no longer two, but one flesh.” And, Mark 10:9 reads, “What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.”
    Mark gets even more hardcore about it a few verses later, in Mark 10:11-12, “And He said to them, ‘Whoever divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her; and if she herself divorces her husband and marries another man, she is committing adultery.’”
    8. Letting people without testicles into church. Whether you’ve been castrated or lost one or two balls to cancer isn’t important. The Bible doesn’t get that specific. It just says you can’t pray.
    Deuteronomy 23:1 reads (this is the God’s Word translation, which spells it out better), “A man whose testicles are crushed or whose penis is cut off may never join the assembly of the Lord.”
    Oh, and the next verse says that if you’re a bastard, the child of a bastard… or even have a great-great-great-great-great-great-great-grandchild of a bastard, you can’t come to church or synagogue either. Deuteronomy 23:2 reads, “No one of illegitimate birth shall enter the assembly of the Lord; none of his descendants, even to the tenth generation, shall enter the assembly of the Lord.”
    9. Wearing gold. 1 Timothy 2:9 doesn’t like your gold necklace at all. Or your pearl necklace. Or any clothes you’re wearing that you didn’t get from Forever 21, Old Navy or H&M.
    “Likewise, I want women to adorn themselves with proper clothing, modestly and discreetly, not with braided hair and gold or pearls or costly garments.”
    10. Shellfish. Leviticus 11:10 reads, “But whatever is in the seas and in the rivers that does not have fins and scales among all the teeming life of the water, and among all the living creatures that are in the water, they are detestable things to you.” And shellfish is right in that wheelhouse.
    Leviticus 11 bans a TON of animals from being eaten (it’s THE basis for Kosher law); beyond shellfish and pig, it also says you can’t eat camel, rock badger, rabbit, eagle, vulture, buzzard, falcon, raven, crow, ostrich, owl, seagull, hawk, pelican, stork, heron, bat, winged insects that walk on four legs unless they have joints to jump with like grasshoppers (?), bear, mole, mouse, lizard, gecko, crocodile, chameleon and snail.
    Sorry if that totally ruins your plans to go to a rock badger eat-off this weekend.
    11. Your wife defending your life in a fight by grabbing your attacker’s genitals. No joke. Deuteronomy actually devotes two verses to this exact scenario: Deuteronomy 25:11-12.
    “If two men, a man and his countryman, are struggling together, and the wife of one comes near to deliver her husband from the hand of the one who is striking him, and puts out her hand and seizes his genitals, then you shall cut off her hand; you shall not show pity.”
    That’s impossible to misinterpret. Ladies, if your husband is getting mugged, make sure to kick the mugger in the pills. Do not do the grip and squeeze (no matter what “Miss Congeniality” might advise). Or your hand needs to be cut off.

    As a final note, I know that nine of these 11 cite the Old Testament, which Christianity doesn’t necessarily adhere to as law.

    To which I say: If you’re going to ignore the section of Leviticus that bans about tattoos, pork, shellfish, round haircuts, polyester and football, how can you possibly turn around and quote Leviticus 18:22 (“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.”) as irrefutable law?

    But that’s me trying to introduce logic to religious fanaticism (or, at least, trying to counter some mix of ignorance, bigotry and narcissism with logic). And I should probably know better.

    Reply
  9. Scott Fillmer

    Your right, I’m sorry, I am so intolerant of views other than my own that I actually keep approving your messages on my own blog because your views are so similar to mine.

    As for your personal attacks on my character, it’s typical… (and you call yourself “tolerant” ha). You are so sure i am such a hateful homophobic bigot, and yet you know nothing about me personally. I don’t know if there is one person who actually knows me who would say that is true, but of course you know the “real me”. Just because I think unrepentant sin, like choosing to live a gay lifestyle, is wrong, doesn’t make me a homophobic any more than saying unrepentant sin, like adultery in marriage, makes me a afraid of adulterers???

    You did get one thing right though, there is but only one single true God, though it is rather comical that you call yourself an atheist and yet say there are 30,000 gods.

    Your assumptions show your true character. You can blame all your atheistic and gay problems on the Christian if you like, but there are far more people in this country who don’t want to see either of those agendas advanced than there are that do, and it has nothing to do with “tolerance” or human rights. There is a total and complete difference between civil rights, which all human beings should have, and “gay rights”. Just because gay rights people have blinded some to think they are “civil” rights similar to those of African Americans doesn’t make it so. There is a huge difference, but that’s a whole different subject.

    Where you have gone way off the deep end is this hatred effect you seem to think all Christians have bread into them. A true follower of Christ will show love to all people and do their very best to become more Christ-like throughout his/her life. Somewhere down the line you think because Christians are opposed to certain things they are opposed to certain people, and this is flat wrong.

    I am not the one spewing hate here, check your previous comments, you are the one with total disgust for a whole segment of the population, which pretty much makes you everything you claimed to dislike in me. I find that sad, but also pretty funny at the same time. You have a double standard but one without a moral base to know the actual truth, and you are blinded to the actual truth. You can thumb your nose at me in disgust but one day, whether you think so now or not, you will have to answer for your non-belief. Maybe before that time your eyes will be opened and you will see your sinful ways and ask for forgiveness, but until then, you might want to look at how contradictory your own statements are. Even within your own comments you betray yourself and your self proclaimed homosexual atheism.

    I will still pray for you regardless.

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  10. Scott Fillmer

    @Oh, thanks to Monica for these

    You must have the atheist playbook that says go to step 1 and say this, go to step 2 and say that… this is so predictable and so ignorant to say the least…

    In reply to that whole post on the OT… you are missing the big giant picture of Christ. Do you understand WHY Christians celebrate worship on Sunday and not the Sabbath (which is actually on Saturday)? Do you know why we eat pork now and they were not supposed to during the OT times? Christ had not come yet (among many other reasons).

    I have no problem with a Christian getting a tattoo any more than I have a problem with my delicious pull pork on Saturday while watching football. You just don’t get it.

    Christ changes that, and hopefully one day you will get it.

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  11. EllenBeth Wachs

    wow, you are really indoctrinated.

    No, the christ character doesn’t change anything and NO, I will not “get it” one day. I have already gotten it. I am good the way I am. You sir, are the one that needs to “get it”

    The fact that you say “you will pray for me” knowing full well I am an atheist demonstrates your total lack of integrity and shows no respect for any position other than your own arrogant one.

    That you can be so laughably hypocritical, (love the sinner, hate the sin) is specifically why atheists, secularists, humanists and generally just decent people have a problem with the christian hypocrisy. Of course gay people have civil rights just as every one else does. That you state they don’t outs you for the bigot and homophobe you are. Atheists have the same civil rights and we do get to promote our “gay and atheistic agendas” It the 14th amendment to the US Constitution- in basic terms- Equal Protection under the law.

    Yes, I refuse to be “tolerant” of bigots such as yourself that wrap their hatred in religion.

    You are being obtuse and purposefully ignorant and totally misconstruing my words when I refer to the 30,000 gods. If you cannot understand that, you certainly have deeper problems than homophobia. And call it what it is. It is homophobia. You can base it on your bible. You can base it on your pastor. It is HOMOPHOBIA, sir, plain and simple. Don’t like the label? Tough shit. Oh. are you going to complain about my language now because that is certainly within the realm of religious hostility. That which is deemed profane is anything that occurs outside the church. The Moral Majority and Focus on the Family have been the impetus behind the indecency and profanity bans.

    “A true follower of christ” pulease. I will have to answer for my non-belief? Where is your proof of this? None, nada, zip, zilch. And, frankly, if there were a god that allowed the suffering of the little children that goes on in the world, that god should be the one that has to answer to us.
    Oh, and spare me the drivel of original sin.

    Oh and I know why you eat pork and follow football and get tattoos, because you cherry pick the bible and only use what you want when it suits you. I get it just fine. It’s christianity-light. It’s all relative to what you want and need for the times we live in.

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  12. Joel Taylor

    Ellen,

    First of all, let me say how amazed I am at the blind faith you have expressed. You have many opinions, but where are the facts and evidences for your positions?

    May I ask you a question? Would you admit that you have limited knowledge? I assume you have enough integrity to admit that you do. Given that, what if God existed outside your sphere of experience and limited knowledge?

    My point is this: It is philosophically and logically absurd to state your belief that there is no God, and you have said that. The only one who could possibly say there have been no gods in all of time would be God Himself. You would need absolute knowledge, need to be omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent to make such a statement.

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  13. Scott Fillmer

    There is no good response to your comments. There are so many incorrect theological issues they are too numerous to address.

    The view you have of Christians is sad, and wrong. Much of it is the fault of Christians who mean well but your views are still just plain wrong.

    There are Christians who cherry pick scriptures to suit their needs, which is wrong, but it is a lifetime learning process and some are more committed than others.

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  14. Jaime Delgado

    The “true Christian” argument is a logical fallacy.

    Teacher: All Scotsmen enjoy haggis
    Student: My uncle is a Scotsman and he doesn’t enjoy haggis
    Teacher: Well, all true Scotsmen enjoy haggis

    The only thing required to be a Christian is belief that Jesus Christ died on the cross for the sins of the world. Christians come in all sorts of shapes, sizes, cultures, and political parties. There are literally thousands of sects within Christianity; the only thing in common with them all is what I mentioned earlier. You’re setting up a false premise for what it is to be a Christian. This is usually done to filter out people who make the majority look bad. It’s despicable.

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  15. EllenBeth Wachs

    Of course you have no good response to my comments because there is simply no legitimate good response.

    Yes, you do have so many incorrect theological issues. You pick from the old testament to discriminate but ignore it to eat pork just as one good example.

    The view I have of christians is sad but unfortunately, not wrong, as you have just confirmed and cemented it even more deeply as a group of highly rigid, manipulated dogmatic mean-spirited, arrogant self-righteous judgers unable to grant even the most basic civil rights to others they “deem” immoral based upon a book of fiction.

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  16. Rob Curry

    An interesting topic and discussion, thanks.

    People in general recognize the need for love, yet the notion that we need love from a specific source (real or imagined) seems questionable to me.

    Since the topic was raised of how religion affects the way people deal with gays, this reminds me of a really terrible real-life current event. It’s easy for people to read things like this news story and see it as the result of faith in the Bible (or other religious texts) leading to vicious hatred and the implied approval of bullying against people who, like all of us, need love and acceptance:

    http://www.parentdish.com/2010/10/27/arkansas-school-board-member-will-wear-purple-if-gay-people-comm/

    Please understand. I’m not in the business of telling people whether or not they qualify as a “true follower of Christ.” There are so many contradictory opinions on this and other religious beliefs, and I see little value arguing over such abstractions. The reality, sometimes harsh, is that we live in a world where many–not all, but a great many–sincere Christians read their Bibles as a source of morality only to come out of it far less moral than when they started, like this man who made such cruel, mean-spirited remarks aimed at children because he believes that a difference in sexual orientation is a “sin.”

    It may be comforting to think of a book like the Koran or the Bible as a “specific moral standard,” but I see this as terribly limiting. After all, how can you judge whether such books are a good moral standard?

    It seems to me that people who are responsible enough to reason about the consequences of their actions, and who have the empathy to care how these possible outcomes may affect others–they are the ones exercising a profound sense of morality or ethics. Whether or not they value a holy book appears to matter less than whether or not they exhibit this combination of careful reasoning from our shared human experience and the applied capacity for compassion. People have used the Bible, for example, as a standard for “morally” killing women accused of witchcraft, for “morally” discriminating against a small percentage of our population over their minority sexual orientation, and for “morally” doing all sorts of nasty things, like condoning human slavery.

    If there were a god, then maybe what we would really need from it is something a little less prone to react with a holier-than-thou attitude because of this unjustified belief in having a special insight into what is supposed to be divinely ordained.

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  17. EllenBeth Wachs

    And Mr. Taylor, my name is not Ellen. I am not your friend. You may address me as Ms. Wachs. Please re-read my posts.

    Why don’t you point out to me just where it is exactly your proposition for your attack that I stated “my belief that there is no god?”

    The only thing that comes even remotely close is the statement “if there were a god that allowed the suffering of little children…” But that is certainly not a positive assertion of any outright belief or statement that there is no god.

    You come in here and call my position philosophically absurd when you are the one that makes a positive allegation but provides no evidence? In a court of law this is thrown out before it gets to trial on a motion for summary judgment as you simply have NO evidence to present to support the claim.

    You have also reaffirmed and cemented the reason atheists have a problem with believers. Congratulations.

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  18. Scott Fillmer

    @Jamie thanks for pointing that out, yes, there is only one way, and my use of “true Christian”, in context, was just to make a point. A “true Christian” of course is simply one that Believes in Christ as you explained, there are others however who claim to be Christians when they do not hold to this belief, those are who I would be referring to, but perhaps should have worded it differently.

    Reply
  19. Scott Fillmer

    @Ellen Christians are “a group of highly rigid, manipulated dogmatic mean-spirited, arrogant self-righteous judgers unable to grant even the most basic civil rights” may be how you see Christians but that is far from the truth, whether you see it that way or not.

    For you to classify an enormous group of people in that one way is simplistic, ignorant, and against what you state you believe yourself. You think all people are “good” EXCEPT Christians. That may feed your ego well but it still doesn’t make it true. There are many Christians who are the complete opposite, it’s too bad you have such a narrow view of people that you can’t see that.

    Either way, at this point, I am not sure what your point is. You don’t want a logical conversation you only want to call names like you are on a playground.

    Reply
  20. Scott Fillmer

    @Joel LOL, heaven forbid you address someone as you would deal with someone standing in front of you, on a nice, personal level

    @Ellen thank you for once again proving that you are not interested in any logical and intelligent conversation here, Joel brings up good points but then I wouldn’t expect you to think so… by definition an atheist does not believe in God so I don’t think that was any leap of faith on his part to think you, calling yourself an atheist, doesn’t believe in God?

    Reply
  21. Rob Curry

    @Joel: “what if God existed outside your sphere of experience and limited knowledge?”

    Then I wouldn’t be making any claims about what this speculative god wants, desires, demands, or will be doing–would I?

    Somehow this fact about our limited knowledge does not even slow down, let alone stop theists from making all these claims and more!

    Reply
  22. Scott Fillmer

    @Rob it’s hard to get down in the gutter on internet trash talk and not get dirty :)

    People will aways find a way or an excuse to leave God out of their lives, claiming that they are their own god, no matter how sound (or unsound) the argument is, at least eventually, the Truth will be revealed and every knee will bow and every tongue confess before the one true God and Savior.

    Reply
  23. Rob Curry

    May I mention what look to me like a couple of misunderstandings?

    First, Scott:
    “mentioning your ‘partner’ earlier was the launching platform for your gay rant”

    As you appear sensitive to the importance of avoiding unwarranted generalizations (something which appeals to the mathematician in me), you may wish to consider that plenty of straight couples refer to each other as a “partner” or “life partner.”

    Second, Joel:
    “My point is this: It is philosophically and logically absurd to state your belief that there is no God, and you have said that.”

    Having read everything here so far, I see no one stating a “BELIEF that there is no God” (emphasis added). This is a very common misconception. While some atheists might state something like that, or believe something like that, the bigger picture is that every atheist by definition LACKS a belief in the existence of any of the imagined gods. This is a vital distinction for those who wish to understand clearly what others are really saying, feeling and thinking. This is why I place a high value on the effort of reading and listening carefully.

    To illustrate this distinction outside a religious context, consider the possibility of an odd perfect number (you can find the definition online; it’s easy to understand). No one knows if there is one or not. We know of quite a few EVEN perfect numbers. But odd ones? Now I personally do not have any belief in the existence of an odd perfect number.

    Will you tell me that I stated how I believe that an odd perfect number does NOT exist?

    Because I don’t believe that, either. I have no evidence either way, so the only honest thing for me to do is to suspend judgment. That means I do not believe the assertion that one exists; it does not mean I believe the contrary assertion. Do you see how that works?

    One more thing. If someone told me about a personal belief in an odd perfect number, then I would (with some anticipation) ask for the supporting evidence. If he or she responded to my request by saying in effect that you just have to have faith, then my lack of belief would not be affected. Evidence matters to me. It’s possible that I could end up believing that this person is self-deluded, because when you boil it down to the essentials, faith is just a way of saying “belief without evidence.” And what is self-delusion if not that?

    Reply
  24. EllenBethWachs

    @ MR Fillmer That is not what he said to me. He stated that I made a positive assertion that there is NO god. There is quite a distinction between a lack of belief as in the definition of the word “atheist” and his assertion.

    As for addressing me, if you or he were standing in front of me, I would still insist on you addressing me formally as you are not my friends and I have not invited you to address me by my first name.

    And just for clarification, I help promote gay and lesbian rights but happen to be heterosexual. You made a huge assumption about me simply because I chose to use the term “partner” rather than “manfriend” Who is the one leaping to erroneous conclusions without evidence once again?

    As for my feelings about christians, the fact is, you proclaiming yourself as a “true christian” but being so hateful towards gays while disingenuously proclaiming “but I am not a homophobe” simply reinforces the ridiculousness of your position while cementing mine

    Reply
  25. Rob Curry

    @Scott: “People will [claim] they are their own god,”

    Who does this? I’ve seen that expression before, and in my experience it invariably originates from religious people trying to make sense out of those who do not happen to share their beliefs.

    It seems so misleading! After all, if I don’t believe in leprechauns, does this mean I am claiming that I am my own leprechaun? Really? Please tell me you can see how this is not a sensible conclusion.

    Speaking for myself, I live exactly as if there are no gods outside human imagination. This includes myself. I’m quite human, and well aware of it.

    “eventually, the Truth will be revealed”

    Or it may not be. If you honestly give some thought to the possibility of your eschatology and related religious beliefs being mistaken, then you have to acknowledge that maybe there will be no such revelation.

    As for me, and I think it’s not too big a stretch to say this is true for the overwhelming majority of atheists, I’m more interested in evidence than in “threats of Hell and hopes of Paradise!” (as the poet phrased it)

    Let me ask, what is it that you wish to communicate by repeating the formulaic expression of “every knee will bow” etc.? It can come across like a taunt, which I suspect is not your intent.

    Reply
  26. Scott Fillmer

    @Rob i understand your viewpoint, and no, it was certainly not meant as a taunt, I actually mis-read (i.e. misunderstood) your previous comment. That is the inherent problem with communicating via email or having a discussion over a threaded comment, so much is lost in translation that sometimes what is said is actually not what is meant.

    The phrase “claiming to be their own god” is an expression of one who is reliant or dependent on oneself rather than acknowledging the limits of our own human mind but it comes directly from many places in scripture where, for example, the Israelites trusted in their own understanding instead of God, and hence scripture says they were their own god. That is just one example but there are many throughout scripture (mostly the Old Testament) which uses that expression.

    You asked who does this… we all do this, myself included. Whenever I put my own self ahead of [fill in the blank] i am saying i am more important.

    As for the “partner” remark, that may not have been the most well put thought, but if you are heterosexual, then why refer to a person as your “partner” and not “boyfriend” or “girlfriend”. I understand the semantics here but “partner” more times than not is referring to a homosexual couple. It was an assumption, perhaps a poor one, but it wasn’t that big of a leap to take.

    As for your comments about faith and proof, for the most part I agree… and one of my favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1

    “Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see.”

    Unlike math, it’s not an exact science, was never meant to be, Christ meant faith to be something that came from the heart, which I why I love the ambiguity (some would say) of Heb 11:1 :)

    Reply
  27. Joel taylor

    Ms. Wachs,

    First, my apologies for referring to you by the name you signed and claimed to be.

    Secondly, I sincerely thank you today. You have strengthened my faith in Jesus Christ and the Bible in ways you cannot imagine.

    You have proved the Bible to me.

    You have made it very clear that you believe Christianity is foolishness, and have proved 1 Corinthians 1:18 which says that the Gospel is foolishness to those who are lost and perishing.

    Do you not fear God Ms. Wachs? Of course not, you dare not say otherwise for that would be admitting that you are not an atheist which you do and have claimed to be. Either way, you have proven Romans 3:18, which predicted you would not fear God.

    You have proven the Bible to be true.

    Every word you speak and everything you do confirms the Bible. Do you believe in the Ten Commandments? I know that you don’t. Then the Bible predicts you will probably engage in immorality. You’re immorality proves the Bible.

    One of the reasons I believe the Bible to be true is that everything in life that I experience conforms exactly with what it says I will see and experience.

    Thank you “Ms. Wachs” for making me a stronger believer every time you have opened your mouth. You have made me a stronger believer, and I thank you for proving the Bible to me.

    Reply
  28. EllenBethWachs

    You are being quite defensive about being wrong about my heterosexuality. John is my partner in life. It was a term chosen deliberately and quite well-thought out. He is not a “boy” therefore not my “boyfriend” and to use that term is both patronizing and limiting. It is your narrow worldview and limiting ideals that made you jump to the conclusion that I was a lesbian simply because I use partner to describe him rather than the normative religious terms.

    Can you possibly answer a question in your own words without resorting to scripture? Is that within the realm of possibility?

    Reply
  29. Rob Curry

    I don’t use “partner” myself for intimate personal relationships, tending to reserve it for more businesslike partnerships. It doesn’t sound odd to me, however, living in an urban environment where one is likely to encounter more instances of variation in language when other people choose that term. Likewise, an Alabama accent doesn’t sound odd to me, either, given eight years in which to become accustomed to its nuances and variations. Anyway, I see Ms. Wachs was rather more succinct on the matter.

    So what do you think when you see other Christians saying terrible things about how gay teens brought their suicide onto themselves by sinning, because they deserve to be called demeaning names if they dare to vocalize their own feelings, even wishing that they would all get AIDS and die? And not just any Christian, but one elected to serve as a member of the school board!

    Does this affect your view at all about the value of trumpeting belief in the Bible as a moral guide?

    Reply
  30. Scott Fillmer

    @Rob the acts you describe are despicable to say the least… I would no sooner wish someone get a horrible disease because of a sin (or for whatever reason). Punishment or judgment (which I am not saying it is) is clearly something better left to God to decide… if I can use a biblical story, the story of Jesus and the prostitute (which was most likely a setup) came down to Jesus saying, let him who has no sin throw the first stone.

    Ellen in her previous comments assumes sooooo much, to much to really address. It’s not like we down here in podunk Alabama live in some kind of a vacuum and are never exposed to a different way of life. We have homosexual couples that go to our church, i have filled a passport traveling to countries all over the world, experiencing different cultures and customs, we don’t just live in a box (though i was not insinuating that you said we do). Though we do call people by their first name, even if we have never met before, but usually it is Ms Ellen or Mr Scott or Mr Rob, which would be the nuance in language we have. :)

    Other Christians that say things like that are indeed showing their immaturity as a Christian perhaps, but like someone else said, don’t just assume all Christians speak for each other, there are as many different viewpoints as there are Christians. That type of hateful language has no place in our church whatsoever, and I know it doesn’t in countless others as well.

    Reply
  31. Scott Fillmer

    @Ellen once again, you just don’t get it. I don’t care whether you are a homosexual, living with a “life partner”, married to a person of the opposite sex, or want to marry an ape… none of this was ever directed at you personally, but that is what you see, yourself, everything is about you.

    Cultures are different even within the U.S. obviously… you say “partner” when referring to a relationship in this part of the country it only means one single thing, nothing else. I didn’t say I don’t acknowledge it CAN mean something else, I am just saying if I took 500 people off the street and asked them what it meant I bet 499 would say it meant their gay partner.

    Reply
  32. EllenBethWachs

    Mr. Taylor, your points are not even worth addressing except to say that if it took me to make you a stronger “believer” than perhaps you need to re-think your faith.

    Any believer can juxtapose their beliefs on a proposition and say,”see I told you it would be so”

    Simply look to Nostradamus.

    If I have made you feel better, so glad to hear it. But, I didn’t prove the bible to be true. You simply apply whatever you hear and make it that way. If that is what you need to do to get along in life, that is a rather tenuous position.

    Someone could say that all the statements make the Lord of the Rings true. Does that make Frodo real? Perhaps to some. Myself, I prefer real tangible evidence.

    Yes, I signed in with my full name. That didn’t give you the right to use my first name without invitation. I guess your parents didn’t teach you common courtesy along with your scripture.

    Reply
  33. EllenBethWachs

    And again, my name is NOT Ellen. If you are going to be so presumptuous as to address me by my first name, at least get it right.

    Yes, of course, everything is about me. That is why I so vigorously defend the rights of others- gays.

    You accuse me of being narrow-minded when saying partner can ONLY mean one thing when you saw right here today it was used by a heterosexual? Do you think I came up with this on the spot? Thanks for the credit.

    Reply
  34. Rob Curry

    I’m not concerned so much about those showing their immaturity as a Christian in a more tolerant denomination or community; it’s the Christian groups that explicitly expect this attitude, or that implicitly encourage it, who worry me. Perhaps they should worry you even more. I’ve often thought that if Christianity were to disappear from the face of the Earth in modern times (a most unlikely scenario), then the faith would probably be remembered largely for its virulent homophobia.

    More likely, I think, is the continued evolution of this and other religions around the world, adjusting themselves to our sometimes gradual improvements in moral precepts and understanding. The Ten Commandments are often touted as a great moral law, yet who does so while fully aware that human slavery is accepted by them? You should not covet your neighbor’s male or female slaves. That’s the best that people think a superhuman divine intelligence could come up with? Wow.

    People are capable of so much more, of being better than the holy books most of us around the world today place our trust in!

    It’s sad to see people tell themselves that if it weren’t for the Bible, they would not have any way to figure out right from wrong. Like someone taught to use a crutch being afraid to set it aside when it’s no longer needed (if it ever was), they limit themselves by sticking to old habits out of fear. It may be fear of hell, fear of backsliding, fear of losing one’s bearings, fear of having to pretend you are your own god, fear of social penalties, or any other number of concerns–some reasonable, some completely irrational or based on negative propaganda about the “out” group of unbelievers.

    Sorry about the length, but I do not have time to shorten it. I really just wanted to say a few words about the following:

    “The phrase ‘claiming to be their own god’ is an expression of one who is reliant or dependent on oneself rather than acknowledging the limits of our own human mind”

    Let’s think about this.

    To an extent we are all reliant on ourselves, and to an extent we all rely on others. These are not mutually exclusive. We may even rely on abstractions and beliefs. I find it troubling to see any false dichotomy promulgated in the name of truth, as it obscures the truth instead of clarifying it.

    It sounds to me like this expression is interpreting a typically complex approach (one that is neither 100% self-reliant nor 100% dependent on others) as an either-or proposition: Either you rely on “God” or else you are relying on yourself alone. But that’s fundamentally inaccurate. It mistakenly paints everyone who does not share a particular worldview with the same broad brush. I’m sure you find it less than helpful when someone assumes negative things about you based on a stereotype. This is quite similar. Too many assumptions, and not enough listening.

    Result: Dogma.

    What makes it worse is when the assumptions are quoted from a holy book granted a specially presumed authority, as if there is no room for error. Then even people who are otherwise very reasonable and compassionate will slip into the trap of accepting their own assumptions without realizing that this is what they are. Because if “God” said it, or inspired it, or otherwise makes some happy guarantee of authenticity–well, who is going to question that if they truly believe it?

    On the other hand, seeing religion as one product on our human search for meaning and understanding helps to ameliorate that kind of erroneously absolutist thinking. So many people feel safe repeating what they imagine to be divinely revealed that they forget to ask the questions they would naturally ask when they are making an effort to think for themselves, to acknowledge the potential for error, to allow for all the complexities of real life which a Koran, Bible, or other scriptural shortcut often does not even touch on in a clear, meaningful way.

    Well, that’s enough for one day. Maybe for a whole week!

    Reply
  35. EllenBethWachs

    “Other Christians that say things like that are indeed showing their immaturity as a Christian perhaps, but like someone else said, don’t just assume all Christians speak for each other, there are as many different viewpoints as there are Christians. That type of hateful language has no place in our church whatsoever, and I know it doesn’t in countless others as well.”

    This goes back to the “true scottsman argument”

    The language you spew against them, SCOTT, is no different, sorry to burst your bubble. You simply couch it in more flowery terms but it is hate speech nonetheless. You do think these gay couples that go to your church are going to hell, do you not? Are they aware of your beliefs? Are they aware of what you say about them? You call them sinners and immoral.

    Reply
  36. Scott Fillmer

    @EllenBethWachs good night, you are basically saying if you disagree with something today it should be called hate speech, sorry, wrong, there is a right and wrong, if someone is speaking the a truth i find it hard to call it hate speech, i call it the truth, but no one wants to hear the truth anymore.

    Whether someone is going to hell or not has nothing at all to do with whether they are gay or straight, this shows your outright misunderstanding of what the gospel says.

    I personally don’t know if a person is going to hell or not, I can only be sure of my own salvation, only God can truly read what’s in a person’s heart. The gay couples in our church are very aware of our biblical beliefs and where we stand as a church. They are limited in some aspects of what they can do or participate in, just in the exact same way an openly adulterous couple would be, but those specifics are very limited anyway. Some have chosen to stay, some have not. They are welcome regardless.

    The problem here is you don’t see all sin as being equal. There are people in our church who lie, who commit adultery, and who are homosexual, etc. You said I call them sinners, no joke, I also called myself that, along with the human race. The difference in lying and homosexuality or adultery (which by the way are very similar) is that the last two are unrepentant continual lifestyles of sin. That doesn’t mean i don’t like them as people or that they are not welcome in our church, and it doesn’t necessarily mean they are or aren’t going to hell or heaven.

    Reply
  37. Jaime Delgado

    @Scott:

    Do you believe it is right to send homosexuals to hell for just being homosexuals? Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?

    Reply
  38. Scott Fillmer

    @Jaime

    Q. Do you believe it is right to send homosexuals to hell for just being homosexuals?
    A. it’s not up to me to determine who does and who doesn’t go to hell, the question itself is flawed because salvation is not determined according to a specific sin

    Q. Do you believe homosexuality is a choice?
    A. there is no scientific evidence at all (other than the same evidence scientists use to prove global warming exists) that say it is anything other than a choice, but besides that argument, yes, obviously i would believe sin is a choice, all sin is a choice, yet we all sin, and we can all repent of our sin as well.

    Reply
  39. Jaime Delgado

    @Scott:

    1) No, there’s nothing flawed about it. I didn’t ask you if it was up to you to determine, only if you believed homosexuality was suitable grounds for eternal torture. I gotta say, I’m not impressed by your mental gymnastics to avoid answering questions. It’s quite dishonest and prevents any purposeful progress in any dialog.

    2) Sexual orientation is biological in nature, determined by a complex interplay of genetic factors and the early uterine environment. How can homosexuals be held responsible for being such since it is their biology which made them that way and not their minds?

    Reply
  40. Scott Fillmer

    @Jaime I thought I was pretty direct but why should i answer your questions when i know what your response is going to be, it’s fruitless and i really shouldn’t have answered either of those questions anyway, knowing they were basically a trap into your next step.

    I could have written your “biological in nature” answer myself, i knew that was on it’s way, but regardless, there is zero substantial proof that it is biological in nature, that’s just an excuse. Our culture is so scientifically advanced now that we can find a “biological” nature for anything. Your scientific “proof” is about as good as Darwin’s is to evolution and Al Gore’s “award winning” planet earth video is to global warming.

    Sorry, you can say that, but it doesn’t make it correct, and very few objective minds hold the “biological” nature of homosexuality to be true, other than homosexuals of course.

    Reply
  41. Jaime Delgado

    “why should i answer your questions when i know what your response is going to be”

    I don’t know what your response is going to be. For all I know you’re just ignorant. All you’ve done is provide me evidence to support that claim.

    “there is zero substantial proof that it is biological in nature, that’s just an excuse.”

    I’m afraid your excuse is the excuse. There has been loads of research into this providing evidence to the conclusion that sexual orientation is what I described it as up above. There have been studies on twins attempting to isolate biological factors in sexual orientation. Chromosome linkage studies of sexual orientation have indicated the presence of multiple contributing factors throughout the genome. American geneticist Dean Hamer found that homosexual men had had more homosexual uncles and cousins on the maternal side of the family than on the paternal.

    “A recent study suggests linkage between a mother’s genetic make-up and homosexuality of her sons. Women have two X chromosomes, one of which is “switched off”. The inactivation of the X chromosome occurs randomly throughout the embryo, resulting in cells that are mosaic with respect to which chromosome is active. In some cases though, it appears that this switching off can occur in a non-random fashion. Bocklandt et al(2006) reported that, in mothers of homosexual men, the number of women with extreme skewing of X chromosome inactivation is significantly higher than in mothers without gay sons. Thirteen percent of mothers with one gay son, and 23% of mothers with two gay sons showed extreme skewing, compared to 4% percent of mothers without gay sons.” (copy/pasted from wiki)

    There’s much more I could go in to but it has become apparent you would rather cover your ears, not listen, and spout anti-scientific vitriol as scientific. You start with a conclusion and twist evidence to find it while discarding evidence that doesn’t fit in with your preconceived suppositions. If it weren’t so pathetic it would almost be laughable the misunderstanding of science you have.

    Reply
  42. EllenBethWachs

    Scott, I think you doth protest TOO much. I now see at least 3 blogs wherein you hate on gays. The Prop 8, the Elane photography and this one. You know what they say about people who are virulently homophobic and speak out against gays? You have latent homosexuality tendencies. It’s okay, really. You have stated that your church will still accept you. You just won’t be able to do certain things. Let me do just explain one thing about the Elane photography case- there are laws in this country and all states that do make it illegal to discriminate based upon sex, religion, sexual orientation etc. NO, you don’t get to turn away business just because you are a small business owner if it is based upon a protected class of people. We have decided as a society that certain classes of people need special protection and yes, sexual orientation is one of those protected classes. It will be helpful to you when you come out of the closet.

    Reply
  43. Rob Curry

    Faith is not the evidence of things not seen. It’s far too arbitrary for that! Instead, faith is the arrogance of beliefs not criticized.

    I don’t know enough about biology to call myself an expert, or even particularly knowledgeable in the field. However, I always wonder what people are thinking when they say things like this about sexual orientation:

    “there is zero substantial proof that it is biological in nature, that’s just an excuse.”

    An “excuse?” The very terminology used here exposes how deeply this prejudice is entrenched in your assumptions, Scott. Sexual orientation doesn’t need an excuse any more than handedness needs an excuse. It simply is, like eye color, height, and millions of other variations.

    Besides, what other option do you suggest? Do we all just “choose” who we find ourselves drawn to? I don’t recall making any such choice. Do you?

    Not only have I never heard any gay person say he or she decided to “choose to be gay;” I have never heard any straight person say he or she decided to “choose to be straight.” I don’t mean an activity; I mean the orientation itself. If one asserts sexual orientation is not biological, then this must apply to us all alike–right?

    I have friends, colleagues and family members who are gay (as do you), and I find the expression of extreme religious hostility against their equal rights and equal dignity to be quite frankly obscene. The hostility is not always so in-your-face as that school board member’s disgusting outburst; it can be a quiet enabling of otherwise good people who are regrettably trained to repeat the foundational beliefs that feed, encourage and promote that kind of ignorance and, inevitably, faith-based hatred.

    The only people I can fathom facing a “decision” about gay or straight feelings would be those who are bisexual, and then it would only be that they experience feelings of attraction to both sexes. I see no logical basis whatsoever for pretending that this is a choice.

    Dogmatism is a poor basis for morality, and homophobia is deeply immoral.

    As Benjamin Franklin wrote, the way to see by faith is to shut the eye of reason. The consequences of doing so can be disastrous and destructive to congenial social relations. We need to re-discover the real basis for ethical living: not in an old book of bronze age doctrines, fables, embellished provincial history and other assorted themes–but in our capacity to learn and in our sense of compassion. There are no more rational grounds today for willful ignorance about gays than there was once upon a time for willful ignorance about race. And yes, people of faith were all over the map on that one, too, with six national Christian denominations splitting down the middle on the issue of slavery in the early 19th Century. What good is a supposedly inerrant book that is too vague on matters of basic human rights to be clearly understood?

    If we are sincerely interested in the truth, and I think most people are, then we must confront squarely that much of who we are is based in the nature of our condition as human beings–as biological organisms. To embrace a ill-conceived radical skepticism founded on an alliance between faith and ignorance is just as wrongheaded as rejecting the facts altogether. Either way is to abdicate the responsibility to be fully honest with ourselves.

    So these are my questions:

    What good is performed by making faith an excuse to foster ignorance and promote ugly stereotypes? What kind of morality implicitly supports the more overt bigotry of those who wave signs that say “God Hates Fags” and other Bible-based gems of pseudo-morality?

    Reply
  44. Scott Fillmer

    I would really like to apologize.  Looking back over these posts, I realize that I was arguing for argument sake.  That’s not who I am and not what I believe.  I hope you will forgive me.  You might not agree with what I believe, but the truth is, I do believe in a God who created the universe.  I do believe that God said man is good but we have a sinful nature and only through Jesus can we find redemption. 

    Whether you believe that or not should not impact how I live my life or share my beliefs, but my desire to win an argument overtook my desire to live as I believe Christ has taught me.  I am encouraged to be light in dark places.  I am instructed to love my neighbors; I don’t have to agree with them, but I do have to love them.  This is a picture of redemption, the same redemption that I believe is only brought through Jesus, his death on the cross for the sins of mankind and then his resurrection, conquering death so we can be redeemed and live with God forever.   My desire to be right actually caused me to overlook my desire to bring about Christ’s love and redemption. 

    Many comments posted here are clearly in disagreement with my beliefs and lifestyle, but I think we can all agree that we have the right to believe what we believe, even if we don’t share the same beliefs.  I don’t think this argument has been valuable because neither of us are going to change our position based on this one internet argument.  I hope my behavior, which is by no means perfect, does not negatively impact how you see Christians who have differing views or Christ’s Church.  It does bring me back to the original idea in this post and the poem I first quoted above back in August.

    Thanks Bryan for putting my head back on straight and for the above advise.

    Reply
  45. Jon webstar

    So you believe that 2000 years ago god saw fit to impregnate a human female engaged to a human man for the sheer purpose of having that child horribly and brutally tortured and killed thirty three years later so that we 2000 years later could be spared eternal torment in the afterlife by believing this arguably outrageous story happened and by inviting the spirit of this man to infiltrate our consciousnesses so that we could make better moral decisions and we could go to an eternal paradise created by this god who had this horrible thing done to his son. This sounds to me like a bit of a stretch.

    Reply
  46. Pingback: A Milestone in Blogging with My 1000th Blog Post :: Poll « ScottFillmer.com

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