The Gospel Coalition

Prefatory remarks: What follows is a lengthy discourse about both a particular current event, the larger underlying debate, and the broader ramifications for the Christian church. Readers who only want to get the gist of the matter can skip ahead to the "Why It Matters" section.



The Issue: On August 15, 28-year-old Floyd Lee Corkins II walked into the Family Research Council (FRC) and shot the group's unarmed security guard in a downtown D.C. office. Authorities said in the complaint, citing information from the suspect's parents, that Corkins "has strong opinions with respect to those he believes do not treat homosexuals in a fair manner."

The next day, FRC president Tony Perkins accused the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) of fostering the climate that allowed the crime to occur. Perkins says that while he holds Corkins solely responsible for the shooting, he believes the SPLC must also be held accountable for its "reckless" labeling of the FRC as an anti-gay "hate group" in 2010.

Was the SPLC justified in labeling FRC---and other pro-family organizations---as a hate group? Does the categorization have larger implication for the Christian church?

Position #1: The Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) monitors "hate groups and other extremists" throughout the United States and exposes their activities to law enforcement agencies, the media and the public. SPLC includes in their list of "hate groups" racist and white supremacists organizations (the White Aryan Resistance, the White Patriot Party militia, the Ku Klux Klan, etc.) along with Christian and pro-family organizations (Family Research Council, Concerned Women of America, Coral Ridge Ministries, et al.).  SPLC considers FRC a hate group based primarily on quotes made by employees of the organization.

Position #2: FRC's position has been laid out in a brief paper by Peter Sprigg entitled "Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views." In this article, Sprigg notes that classification by SPLC of pro-family organizations as "anti-hate groups" is based on
. . . a fundamental misunderstanding (if not deliberate misrepresentation) of the beliefs, arguments, and motives of social conservatives. This misunderstanding arises from the existence of two completely different paradigms, or fundamental ways of understanding the nature of homosexuality.

Sprigg claims the gay activist groups as well as a "growing portion of major social institutions such as academia and the news media" have come to adopt a view of homosexuality he identifies as the "gay identity paradigm." This viewpoint includes these five beliefs:
1) Sexual orientation is an innate personal characteristic, like race.
2) People are born gay.
3) Gay people can never become heterosexual.
4) Being gay is essentially no different from being straight, except for the gender to which one is sexually attracted.
5) There is no harm in being gay.

Sprigg adds that based on these beliefs, gay activist groups consider any claims that heterosexuality is preferable to homosexuality are "equivalent to believing that one race is superior to another, and therefore represents a form of bigotry and even 'hate' toward gays and lesbians as individuals." The empirical case for the "gay identity" paradigm is extremely weak, Sprigg says, and certainly subject to legitimate debate. The alternative paradigm, he says, is the "homosexual conduct" paradigm:
Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm---one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the "gay identity" paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as "gay" are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately.

For social conservatives, particularly when it comes to public policy debates related to homosexuality, homosexual conduct is by far the most important of the three elements of sexual orientation. Hence, we might refer to the social conservative approach to the issue of homosexuality as a "homosexual conduct" paradigm, in contrast to the "gay identity" paradigm.

Understanding these two divergent paradigms is crucial to accurately understanding the position of social conservatives on the issue of homosexuality. Social conservatives do not believe or argue that "gay people are inferior," as gay activists charge. What we believe and argue is that homosexual conduct is harmful---first and foremost to the people who engage in it, but also by extension to society at large.

Gay activists, and others who have accepted the "gay identity" paradigm, argue that the public policy debates revolve around whether "gay people are treated equally" to straight people. Social conservatives perceive the issues at stake completely differently. They believe, without question, that gay people, as individuals, should and do enjoy all the same rights under the Constitution and its Bill of Rights as any other American. However, social conservatives perceive the key issue in public policy debates as being whether homosexual conduct and homosexual relationships should be discouraged; treated as entirely private (that is, neither discouraged nor affirmed); or actively protected, affirmed, and celebrated. The latter is what gay activists demand. [emphasis in original]

Sprigg explains in detail how the different paradigms affect the way that language is used in debates about homosexuality. For example,
Since, as already noted, social conservatives consider sexual conduct to be the most significant aspect of debates over homosexuality and sexual orientation, when we use the word "homosexual" as a noun it is usually intended merely to mean "a person who engages in sexual relations with a person of the same sex," and when we refer to "homosexuality," we use the word as a synonym for "sexual relations with a person or persons of the same sex." Whether or not a person self-identifies as "gay" or not is immaterial---it is the behavior which matters most. On the other hand, a person who experiences same-sex attractions but does not act upon them will usually not be labeled a "homosexual" by social conservatives. [emphasis in original]

Sprigg also explains why his organization tends, like other social conservative groups, to refer to "homosexual activists":
I should also note that in the context of the political debates over issues related to homosexuality, social conservatives do not consider "homosexuals" as such (that is, people who engage in private homosexual conduct) to be their adversaries. We recognize that some homosexuals are content to keep their sex lives private, rather than demanding official government affirmation of their sexual relationships.

This is why we will sometimes use the term "homosexual activists" (or "pro-homosexual activists," since not all are "homosexual" themselves) to describe those people whose agenda---the forced public affirmation and celebration of homosexual conduct and relationships---we oppose in the public square.

Assessment: In deciding to classify FRC as a "hate group," the SPLC lists nine quotes from current and former employees made between 1999 and 2011. Since these are the basis of the dispute, it is worth  examining the quotes in detail. For the sake of brevity, we'll only consider the four that have been made by current employees (all of the other quotes are 10 to 15 years old).

Quote #1 & #2
"We believe the evidence shows . . . that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men."--- Peter Sprigg, "Debating Homosexuality: Understanding Two Views." 2011.

"While activists like to claim that pedophilia is a completely distinct orientation from homosexuality, evidence shows a disproportionate overlap between the two. . . . It is a homosexual problem."
--- FRC President Tony Perkins, FRC website, 2010

Since both of these quotes are similar, we'll take them together The first quote is taken from the document referenced above. It is worth quoting from this article at length to provide context for the quote:
One specific claim by social conservatives that is sometimes decried as "hateful" is the charge that, in proportion to their numbers, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men. It is important to understand what social conservatives who make this claim are not saying. We are not saying that all homosexuals are child molesters (or even all homosexual men, since child sexual abuse, whether of boys or girls, is committed mostly by males); we are not saying that most homosexual men are child molesters; and we are not saying that most child sexual abuse is committed by homosexuals.

We believe the evidence shows, however, that relative to the size of their population, homosexual men are more likely to engage in child sexual abuse than are heterosexual men. It is neither reasonable nor responsible to simply dismiss this assertion---it is necessary to examine the evidence for and against it.

The first key fact to understand is this---the percentage of all cases of child sexual abuse which involve a male offender and a male victim is far higher than the percentage of adult males who are "homosexual" by any of the three measures of sexual orientation (attractions, behavior, or self-identification). To put it differently, the prevalence of what is, by definition, "homosexual" (that is, same-sex) child sexual abuse is much higher (in percentage terms, not in absolute terms) than the prevalence of adult homosexuality per se. This fact is not in dispute among researchers on either child sexual abuse or homosexuality.

However, homosexual activists, and many researchers in the field, avoid the apparent implications of this by insisting that most men who molest boys are not "homosexual" (or "gay") in terms of their relationship to other adults.

This claim, however, cannot merely be asserted---it must be supported by empirical evidence. The evidence usually cited as disproving the link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse is quite weak, while several lines of evidence tend to support the conclusion that a link exists. For example, a study published in the Archives of Sexual Behavior found that "eighty-six percent of [male] offenders against males described themselves as homosexual or bisexual."

In addition, those who challenge the thesis that there is a link between homosexuality and child sexual abuse often resort to narrow definitions of both concepts. For example, they may refuse to identify a molester as homosexual unless he has always been exclusively homosexual on all three measures of sexual orientation---attractions, behavior, and self-identification.

Some also attempt to replace the broader term "child sexual abuse" with the specific word "pedophilia," and then define "pedophilia" narrowly to include only sexual contact with very young, prepubescent children. This narrowing of categories makes it easier to deny that "homosexuals are more likely to be pedophiles," because there is indeed evidence that men who molest underage males tend to prefer adolescents rather than young, prepubescent children. FRC's view is that any sexual contact between adults and minors is a subject for concern, and any which violates state statutory rape laws should be considered "child sexual abuse."

Summary: The essence of the dispute is whether men who engage in homosexual contact with male children should be classified as "homosexuals." The SPLC is firmly in the camp that they should not.

Quote #3
"[W]elcoming open homosexuality in the military would clearly damage the readiness and effectiveness of the force---in part because it would increase the already serious problem of homosexual assault in the military." --- Peter Sprigg, "Homosexual Assault in the Military," 2010

In the report from which this quote is taken, Sprigg identifies all homosexual assaults as being perpetrated by homosexuals and heterosexual assaults being perpetrated by heterosexuals. As Sprigg notes, the most common type of homosexual assault is one in which the offender fondles or performs oral sex upon a sleeping victim.

Although the most recent Department of Defense's Sexual Assault Prevention and Response report doesn't provide a breakdown of same-gender assaults, 14 percent of the victims were male as were the vast majority of perpetrators (in the report only 10 female-on-male and 20 female-on-female assaults were identified).

According to the Christian Science Monitor, a prior DOD study warned that reports of crimes such as forcible sodomy may increase among males in the coming year with the repeal of the law that barred openly gay troops from serving in the military.

Summary: Whether you agree with Sprigg's quote likely depends on whether you agree that someone who commits a homosexual assault should be identified as being homosexual.

Quote #4
"Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large."
--- Tony Perkins, "Christian compassion requires the truth about the harms of homosexuality," The Washington Post, 10/25/2010

Let's examine each of the five claims made in this quote:

Sexual Promiscuity

According to a survey taken in 1997 and published in the Journal of Sex Research, 21 percent of gay men older than 30 had between 101-500 sexual partners over their lifetime. During the preceding six months, 44.9 percent had between 2-10 partners while 26.6 percent had more than 10. Only 28.5 percent had been with only one partner.

Additionally, "monogamy" is often defined differently in the gay community---a fact that is rarely mentioned, but never disputed. The term monogamy is redefined so that a person can be "faithful" to one partner and, thus, "monogamous," while continuing to have sexual experiences with others. San Francisco State University released a study in 2010 that found that about 50 percent of those surveyed had sex outside their relationships, with the knowledge and approval of their partners.

Sexually Transmitted Diseases

There is no question that homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexually transmitted diseases. As the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases noted last year, "Men who have sex with men (MSM) have increased rates of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) compared with demographically matched controls." Additionally, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention points out that STDs " have been increasing among gay and bisexual men." In 2008, men who have sex with men accounted for 63 percent of primary and secondary syphilis cases in the United States and are 17 times more likely to develop anal cancer than heterosexual men.

Mental illness

Numerous studies (see, for example, here, here, and here) have found that homosexuals have a higher incidence of mental illness than the general population. Even the SPLC doesn't deny this point, though they claim that the reason is because of the "stress of being a member of a minority group in an often-hostile society." However, studies have also shown that the same level of mental health problems occurs in areas that are accepting of homosexuality, such as San Francisco, Denmark, and the Netherlands.

Substance Abuse

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), studies have shown that, when compared with the general population, gay and bisexual men, lesbian, and transgender individuals are more likely to use alcohol and drugs, abuse substances, and continue heavy drinking into later life. They are less likely to abstain from alcohol and drug use.

Domestic Violence

A survey by the Department of Justice found that same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants. Among women, 39.2 percent of the same-sex cohabitants and 21.7 percent of the opposite-sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabiting partner at some time in their lifetime. The survey also found that 15.4 percent of same-sex cohabiting men reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a male partner.

Additionally, 82 percent of the victims of domestic violence reported to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs identified themselves as gay.

Summary: Every claim in Perkins's quote is supported by social science research.

Scoring the Debate: Explaining why they include FRC and 17 other "anti-gay" groups as "hate groups" the SPLC says,
SPLC's listings of these groups is based on their propagation of known falsehoods---claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities---and repeated, groundless name-calling. Viewing homosexuality as unbiblical does not qualify organizations for listing as hate groups.

None of these claims holds up to scrutiny. SPLC cannot win the debate on its merits. (Unfortunately, the media often repeats the spurious claims about the evidence being "thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities" without actually examining the social science research.) Like other homosexual activist groups, the SPLC advances their cause by either claiming that those who engage in certain same-sex behaviors are not really "homosexual" or by distorting the findings of empirical studies that show the harms of homosexual behaviors.

Why It Matters: The debate between FRC and SPLC foreshadows the larger problem between secular culture and orthodox Christians. Why doesn't the SPLC include all groups that consider homosexuality as unbiblical? Certainly it is safer to use FRC and other groups as proxies to marginalize the biblical understanding of homosexual conduct and vilify those who embrace Christian sexual ethics.

For decades, social science research has documented that men who have sex with men and women who have sex with women have a propensity to be more promiscuous, have a higher incidence of sexually transmitted diseases, suffer from high rates of substance abuse, have more mental health problems than heterosexuals, have higher incidents of domestic abuse, and have less stable relationship that are infrequently monogamous. Despite the dishonest claims to the contrary, these facts have been well-established---and were, in former eras, more openly recognized.

During the 1990s, though, it became unacceptable to acknowledge such truths about the harms of homosexual conduct. The result is an entire generation of young people who have grown up thinking that the only reason that anyone could oppose homosexuality is because of irrational---and religiously influenced---bigotry. Young people today---including many, if not most, Christian youth---are almost completely ignorant about the harmful affects of what used to be referred to as "the homosexual lifestyle."

Homosexual activist groups like the SPLC recognize they can win the public relations war by labeling certain organizations as "hate groups." Because many Christians are often afraid of being out of step with their non-believing peers, they'll go along with such claims, believing that it will cost them nothing. But once they've accepted the premise that FRC and others are hateful bigots, they have to accept the logical conclusions that all Christians who hold the biblical view about homosexual conduct are also bigots. Only those Christian groups that endorse homosexual conduct will be deemed acceptable. If current trends are any indication, many young Christians will abandon orthodox Christian churches that teach the "bigoted" view of sexual ethics presented in the Bible. This is why the "homosexual issue" is ultimately an issue of both religious liberty and scriptural fidelity.

Faux civility, embarrassment, prudishness, and a fear of expressing an unpopular opinion has caused many Christians to refrain from explaining how homosexual conduct destroys lives. Speaking out against "homosexuality" when the secular culture defines the terms is insufficient. We have to explain not only that such behavior is sinful, but destructive. We have to make it clear that the most "hateful" action we could take against our neighbors who have same-sex attraction is to accept the normalization of homosexual conduct.

Full Disclosure: I worked with both Tony Perkins and Peter Sprigg at FRC from 2006 to 2008.


Comments:

[...] For further reading on the SPLC and the FRC, I recommend Joe Carter’s post on the question, “Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?” “It’s important to note the caveat that the SPLC explicitly provides: “Viewing [...]

[...] Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?” He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that [...]

[...] Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?” He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that [...]

[...] Carter, editor for The Gospel Coalition, an online evangelical magazine, wrote a blog post entitled “Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’?" He warned that young people will abandon “orthodox” Christian churches that teach that [...]

[…] Is the Christian Church a 'Hate Group'? […]

EricP

August 30, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Joe Carter, are you still reading these comments?

Also, I just read the GBC Vision. I thought it was fantastic, but I question whether this article conflicts with parts of that vision. Also, I question which comments (including mine) align with your vision.

Specifically:
I.4.1.We adopt a “chastened” correspondence–theory of truth that is less triumphalistic than that of some in the older evangelicalism
III.2 Rather, we expect to meet our neighbors as we work for their peace, security, and well–being, loving them in word and deed. If we do this we will be “salt” and “light” in the world.
III.3.2 If a church seeks to be a counter–culture for people’s temporal and eternal good, it will guard itself against both the legalism that can accompany undue cultural withdrawal and the compromise that comes with over–adaptation.
IV. But the gospel of grace, centered on a man dying for us while we were his enemies, removes self–righteousness and selfishness and turns its members to serve others both for the temporal flourishing of all people, especially the poor, and for their salvation
V.3. The church should surround all persons suffering from the fallenness of our human sexuality with a compassionate community and family

Phil

August 29, 2012 at 07:57 AM

John,

I have not lied. Please stop saying that I am lying, as it is not true. I never stated that Joe Carter did not accurately quote the report. Indeed, the quote is from the report, verbatim.

My point, as I've said all along, is that the quote does not mean what you think it means. I provided lots of other quotes to demonstrate that.

I believe I am talking to a wall, and this is a waste of my time.

I've got nothing more to say--other than, if anyone other than the 2 of us cares about this--PLEASE READ THE REPORT. You will see that I am right, and that it is dishonest to use this report to prove that homosexuals engage in more domestic violence than heterosexuals.

telson7

August 29, 2012 at 01:56 PM

The article about pedophilia including problematic material and information on the things that had not been always openly told, because the people who have told problems of pedophilia have feared accusations that they are intolerant persons.


Contents of the article:

Religiousness and sensuality
Pedophilia in the Roman Catholic Church
Religious communities and pedophilia
The real faith don't practice pedophilia
Pedophile manipulates and controls a child
Wrong guilt of a pedophile's victims
Pedophilia is a very wide-range problem
Majority of pedophiles are men
Homosexuality and pedophilia
Islam and pedophilia
Aspiration expansion of pedophilia
Healing of the victim

The whole article is here; http://koti.phnet.fi/petripaavola/pedophilia.html

Pam

August 29, 2012 at 01:22 AM

John, seeing as you have no grace in any of your responses and clearly no concern for anyone who dares to think differently to you, this is where we stop talking. You can spew bile and think me an evil heathen if you like, that doesn't affect me. I know where I stand with God, and your bullying words will never change that. I just hope your bullying words don't drive away someone struggling with SSA or anything else you feel the need to be so vicious about. Sadly, I've known people who have been driven away from church by pharisaical attitudes like yours. I sincerely pray you don't inadvertently do that.

Pam

August 29, 2012 at 01:15 AM

Actually, as I stated, we see homosexuality in well over 1000 species. So it is in nature.

Pam

August 29, 2012 at 01:13 AM

John, don't tell me what I'm doing, you don't know my mind.

Pam

August 28, 2012 at 12:56 AM

You basically want to twist the entire world, all psychology, all sociology, all gender identity, all sexuality, all biology, to fit your assumptions of the world.
Unfortunately, that doesn't change the fact that most paedophiles - Jerry Sandusky included - identify as heterosexual.

Pam

August 28, 2012 at 12:54 AM

The testimony of nature actually has over 1000 species that regularly engage in homosexuality. Some, like black swans, have a very high incidence (approximately 25% of black swan pairings are males).

Pam

August 28, 2012 at 12:45 AM

Eric did so above in pointing out the data FRC uses is generated only by themselves and not independently verified.

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 12:44 PM

Please do not slander your sister in Christ. From my perspective, she is trying to protect God's children and help lead them to Christ. That would be the opposite of hate.

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Can you humor me and just go through the list and state which ones no longer apply?

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 12:31 PM

Melody,

What if I concede it destroys their lives? What would you suggest the church do? Based on research and conversation, I believe sexual orientation to be fixed or nearly fixed. I also believe that people with SSA can also have OSA. And many do. It's the proportion of the two that is important. If a person is 5% SSA, they may never have a problem with homosexuality. If they are 95% SSA and want to not engage in homosexuality, it will be a struggle for them and their wives to be sexually attracted. The wife will have to deal with the fact that her husband who mostly likes men also likes her. It will deeply impact her sense of femininity ("If I was a 'real' woman, my husband wouldn't like me").

I'm just trying to provide some information I have learned recently. If you want to minister to the LBGT community, I have some contacts and will help you out. It's not easy because you get hated both by the church and by the LBGT that you are trying to love. But no where else in America is there such a ripe crop ready for God's love.

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 12:23 PM

I disagree with your interpretation of the kingdom of heaven.
See 1 Cor 3:14-15.

Here's a commentary that sheds light on kingdom of heaven and agrees with you on homosexuality.
http://kurtbennettbooks.com/tag/or-do-you-not-know-that-wrongdoers-will-not-inherit-the-kingdom-of-god/

Another list of disqualification Gal 5:19-21:The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; 20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions 21 and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.

An interesting commentary: http://books.google.com/books?id=6vZwY6oRgLwC&pg=PA69&lpg=PA69&dq=wrongdoers+will+not+inherit+the+kingdom+of+God+commentary&source=bl&ots=l3a9Nysrzh&sig=Umd6D_8X385em_I50Hzrw2pFSRY&hl=en#v=onepage&q=wrongdoers%20will%20not%20inherit%20the%20kingdom%20of%20God%20commentary&f=false

I need to read that one more because it appears to back your position. But I struggle with then who is qualified for the kingdom of heaven?

Eph 5:3-5
But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God’s holy people. 4 Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving. 5 For of this you can be sure: No immoral, impure or greedy person—such a person is an idolater —has any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.

I hope you don't swear (even in your head). I know I do, and I'm fully aware that saying crap when I mean s##t doesn't fool God.

Rev 21:8 But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars —they will be consigned to the fiery lake of burning sulfur

Rev 21:27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life.

Another list of sins: http://www.iamthird.ca/?p=132

A catholic perspective: http://www.catholicdoors.com/faq/qu06.htm

Lawsuits between Christians are disqualifying: http://www.whatchristianswanttoknow.com/is-it-biblical-to-sue-someone/ Should Christians become lawyers? Should they reject Christian clients?

1 Cor 3:3-4: You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere men? 4For when one says, “I follow Paul,” and another, “I follow Apollos,” are you not mere men?

So does belonging to a denomination disqualify you from the kingdom of God. It would appear to be a form of idolatry.

Sorry for the data dump. But you raised some thought provoking points. I enjoyed doing the research and thought I would share it with you. Please note that when I ask a question, I am asking a question. I'm not being snarky or arrogant. It's a point that I find curious or inconsistent or troubling.

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 11:45 AM

John,

I'm trying to make sure we agree on terms.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Postmodernism

"In essence, postmodernism is based on the position that reality is not mirrored in human understanding of it, but is rather constructed as the mind tries to understand its own personal reality. "

That's not at all what I believe. I believe there is one universal truth. But like Paul, we see darkly. We should not go beyond what is written. We should abide in God's word and focus on what God focuses on.

If I may ask a favor of you, please read John, Acts, Romans, and 1 Cor, preferably in 1 sitting. Then list out the main themes of what you read. Where does homosexuality fall in that list? Where does homosexuality fall in your list of priorities?

Spend time in prayer over that answer. I have done so, and I was strongly convicted. -- I wasn't emphasizing what God was emphasizing, and I am deeply, permanently, immutably, loved by God. That love was not earned. That love was not conditional. While I was still a sinner, He died to save me. If that verse does not make you weep with joy, why not? Have you lost thejoy of your salvation? Nothing can separate us form the love of Christ. That love can not be contained and God will save whom He will save.

I expect to see you in heaven. If my theology is wrong, I will learn it then (if not earlier). Until then, I plan to become all things to all men, that I may win some.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 10:34 AM

Your ideology is to ignore nature (male & female complementarity). That causes you to ignore the plentiful data cited above and to live about it.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 10:32 AM

Eric,

You've totally missed the fundamental point of the article. That is, the rejection of the "gay identity paradigm." Instead, we have the "homosexual conduct paradigm". If child molesters are molesting children of their same sex, then they are homosexual.

from the article:
"Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm---one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the "gay identity" paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as "gay" are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately."

Apparently you think that just by ignoring that you can make it go away. So your accusation of a false statement is itself false and you need to repent of it.

Phil

August 28, 2012 at 10:11 AM

Well, I admire that you are upfront about it:

Ideology trumps all else.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 08:01 AM

Pam,

You've not shown any lies but you have, yourself, lied demonstrably about what is in the article. You said that the data is generated by the FRC itself and that's clearly wrong. You also lied about Sandusky not being homosexual when it is obvious that he molested people of the same sex (the definition of homosexuality). But you are so bought into the "gay identity paradigm" that you keep repeating the lies it forces you to say.

As for the quote, there is NAMBLA, which is a homosexual organization that is committed to just that.

So, you are a liar responding in exactly the same way as the terrorist who stormed the FRC offices. That's why people like you are dangerous.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:56 AM

Now you're just lying. He showed no such thing as he couldn't show that as the data come from other sources.

Why are you so hateful to the truth?

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:54 AM

You're a scoffer at the truth of God. (I could try to engage in a conversation about the difference in the ceremonial laws of cleanliness, etc., but that would be a waste of time as long as you keep treating the Word of God with scoffing condescension.) Read Psalm 1 about the fate of the scoffer. I don't believe a true Christian could have the smart-alecky, arrogant, dismissive attitude toward the Word of God that you do.

"But this is the one to whom I will look:
he who is humble and contrite in spirit
and trembles at my word." (Isaiah 66:2b)

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:52 AM

You've probably been taught that the entire world of scholarship is in favor of legitimizing homosexuality and so when confronted with the mountain of empirical data above, rather than taking it seriously, you ignore it.

First, anatomically male and females are for each other. That's biology. The other social sciences demonstrate the dysfunctionality of homosexuality.

Sandusky molested boys. Boys are male. Sandusky is male. His acts were therefore homosexual. Please re-read the article with an open mind, especially the portion about the difference between the "gay identity paradigm" (which you've uncritically accepted) and the "homosexual conduct paradigm".

from the article:
"Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm---one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the "gay identity" paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as "gay" are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately."

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:47 AM

Let me bottom-line it for you: You're trying to defend a sexual perversion so I believe you are lying.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:46 AM

I'll respond here to your absurd comments below about "nature". The testimony of nature is that sex is intended to be between male & female. It's ridiculous that we have to be this specific but apparently we do: the genitalia fit and there is a possible biological purpose (reproduction). What animals do is irrelevant. Animals also routinely commit what in the human world would be considered murder and cannibalism. We don't take our moral leadership from animals.

Nature shows us that the human body was designed for only heterosexual acts.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 07:41 AM

The solution is to win them to Christ. Once won to Christ they would abandon the sin of homosexuality. If they do not, then they will not "inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9) and so were never really saved in the first place. According to scripture, one cannot be a practicing homosexual and be a Christian.

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 06:43 PM

John,
I think we'll have to agree to disagree. You define a pedophile organization as a homosexual organization. You define pedophiles sexual orientation based on their victims' gender.

I define pedophiles as pedophiles. I define sexual orientation based on adult sexual relationship.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:24 PM

Romans 1:26 clearly refers to homosexuality by both men and women, calling lesbianism "unnatural."

You're attempt to change the subject, divert the meaning of the passage, or otherwise twist that scripture is likely rooted in the same irreverence and disdain for the Word of God you've demonstrated below.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:21 PM

Here's what the report actually says:

ne survey found that same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants. Among women, 39.2% of the same-sex cohabitants and 21.7 of the opposite- sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabiting partner at some time in their lifetime.
Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at 30 (2000), available at http://www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:18 PM

That you actually believe there can be such a thing as a "same sex marriage" proves that you've rejected the Word of God. The Lord Jesus defined marriage for us (Matthew 19:1ff). One man and one woman, that way from creation; people do not have the right to alter it.

But you're basic problem isn't your liberalism but your arrogant, unbelieving attitude toward the Word of God. You have essentially called God a "liar". You need to deal with that.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:12 PM

I've now provided the entire contents of the American Bar Association's report on domestic violence in same sex relationships and it proves that Mr. Carter was quoting it accurately.

We see once again that the attempt to legitimize homosexuality is rooted in a compulsion to "suppress the truth."

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:09 PM

I looked up the actual link provided by Mr. Carter. It is to the American Bar Association. I will copy it in full below. I was not surprised that is shows that "Phil" lied about it's contents, that Mr. Carter cited it accurately. He is especially guilty of lying in that he didn't just uncritically pass on the misinformation of pro-homosexuality but claim to have examined the source and claim to have proven with it that Mr. Carter misconstrued it.

http://www.americanbar.org/groups/domestic_violence/resources/statistics.html#same-sex

Same-Sex Violence Domestic violence occurs within same-sex relationships as it does in heterosexual relationships. The acronym LGBT is often used and stands for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender.

11% of lesbians reported violence by their female partner and 15% of gay men who had lived with a male partner reported being victimized by a male partner.
Patricia Tjaden, Symposium on Integrating Responses to Domestic Violence: Extent and Nature of Intimate Partner Violence as measured by the National Violence Against Women Survey, 47 Loy. L. Rev. 41, 54 (2003).
Of the LGBT victims who sought services from the New York City Gay and Lesbian Anti-Violence Project, 36% of clients in 2003 and 38% of clients in 2004 filed police reports regarding intimate partner violence.
Diane Dolan-Soto & Sara Kaplan, New York Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Domestic Violence Report, at 6 (2005), available at http://www.avp.org/publications/reports/2005nycdvrpt.pdf .
Eighty-eight percent of victims in 2003 and 91 percent of victims in 2004 reported experiencing prior incidents of abuse, with the majority (45 percent and 47 percent, respectively) reporting having experienced more than 10 prior incidents.
Diane Dolan-Soto & Sara Kaplan, New York Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Bisexual Domestic Violence Report, at 5 (2005), available at http://www.avp.org/publications/reports/2005nycdvrpt.pdf .
One survey found that same-sex cohabitants reported significantly more intimate partner violence than did opposite-sex cohabitants. Among women, 39.2% of the same-sex cohabitants and 21.7 of the opposite- sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabiting partner at some time in their lifetime.
Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at 30 (2000), available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm
15.4% of same-sex cohabiting men reported being raped, physically assaulted and/or stalked by a male partner, but 10.8% reported such violence by a female partner.
Patricia Tjaden & Nancy Thoennes, U.S. Dep't of Just., NCJ 181867, Extent, Nature, and Consequences of Intimate Partner Violence: Findings from the National Violence Against Women Survey, at 30 (2000), available at www.ojp.usdoj.gov/nij/pubs-sum/181867.htm

According to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs:

6,523 incidence of lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender violence were recorded in eleven distinct cities and regions across the USA and Toronto, Ontario. 44% of the victims were men and 36% were women. This represented a 13% increase over the 5718 cases reported in 2002 by the same agencies and includes six reported deaths in the context of actual or suspected LGBT violence. Arizona reported one death and New York City reported five deaths.
4,964 or about 79% of the new incidents were reported in Los Angeles. The number of LGBT incidents in other cities and states include Boston (290), New York City (501), San Francisco (388), Colorado (139) , Chicago (65), Columbus, Ohio (46) , Pennsylvania (19) , Burlington, Vermont (21), Tuscon (64).
5,374 (82%) of the victims of domestic violence reported to the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs identified themselves as gay; 575 (9%) were cases in which the victim declined to specify a sexual orientation or it was not recorded; 263 (4%) identified as bisexual; and 44 (0.6 %) were not sure or questioned their sexual orientation.
Of the 42% incidence of domestic violence where race was recorded, 1,211 or 44% were white, 684 or 25% were Latino, 413 or 15% were of African descent, 153 or 5% were Asian/Pacific Islander, 125 or 4% were multicultural; just under 36 or 0.01% were indigenous/first people and about 0.01 were Arab/Middle Easterners, Jewish and others.
Nat'l Advoc. for Local Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Communities, Nat'l Coal. of Anti-Violence Programs, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Domestic Violence: 2003 Supplement - An Update from the National Coalition of Anti-Violence Programs (2004), at 3-8, 10, available at http://www.avp.org/publications/reports/reports.htm

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:05 PM

She's not doing that at all. She's spreading lies to try to legitimize perversion because she doesn't believe what the Word of God (or the testimony of nature) says about that sin. And you curiously show no interest in protecting Joe Carter and other true believers from her slander.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 03:01 PM

No. Your attitude toward the Word of God is so disrespectful and irreverent, I do not see how you can claim to have a real love for God or for the Word of God made flesh (the Lord Jesus). You're scoffing, arrogant rejection of the Word of God enscripturate mirrors your attitude toward the Word incarnate. You have a right to hold such unbelieving ideas. What is especially repugnant is that you hold them and yet deceitfully call yourself a devout believer. Get real.

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 02:58 PM

see below: this is misinformation

John Carpenter

August 28, 2012 at 02:53 PM

You're in denial. You're "post-modern" because you arbitrarily assert that people are "arrogant" for believing in real truth, objective truth. I don't believe that you believe in that. You scoff at the truth.

In Romans 1:18 Paul begins an elaborate exposition of the gospel (that takes him through to chapter 11). He cites two main sins that demonstrate human depravity, their suppression of the truth and hatred of God: idolatry and homosexuality.

In 1 Corinthians 6, the Apostle Paul says that homosexuality (for which he uses two different terms), disqualifies one for the Kingdom of God.

Because you've rejected the Word of God, you should examine yourself to see whether you are in the faith (2 Cor. 13:5).

Pam

August 28, 2012 at 01:31 AM

Eric, it really can be hard to adjust your beliefs, I commend you for doing so. I was never anywhere near the level the FRC are, but as a young Christian I did hear all the stuff about how bad all the gays were, going from bed to bed and getting all diseased. I didn't have any reason not to believe that until, like you, I started to know LGBT people. I can especially remember trying to evangelise someone at uni who told me they used to go to church until their friend came out (but wasn't sexually active) at which point he was promptly kicked out. I didn't know what to say in response, but I knew that was not the right way for the church to act, and that they'd lost at least two people because of that incident. I then had a gay boss who was not a bar-hopper like the stereotype, but in a stable relationship (still is, I think they've been together a decade or more now). And all the LGBT people I've known have been thoroughly normal. I think attitudes will change as Christians get to know LGBT people as just being people, rather than only seeing the sex issue. At least I hope it will.

Pam

August 28, 2012 at 01:20 AM

Wow. So you think it's fine and dandy for the FRC to publish demonstrable lies (I note you didn't respond to the quote I put in there), but if I disagree with them I'm a terrorist. Yet I get accused of being hateful. I get called a propagandist because I'm horrified at a supposedly Christian organisation and a Christian website promoting things that are so awful and so false.
If you're really interested in knowing facts (my guess is you aren't), read anything written by Gregory Herek. Actually, read almost any study on sexuality that isn't published by a lobby group.
One link to get you started: no difference in outcomes for kids raised by same sex parents http://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20051012/study-same-sex-parents-raise-well-adjusted-kids

EricP

August 28, 2012 at 01:00 PM

"Social conservatives approach the topic of homosexuality using a completely different paradigm---one that is more sophisticated, and more consistent with the research on human sexuality and sexual orientation, than the "gay identity" paradigm. This paradigm is based on the reality that same-sex attractions, homosexual conduct, and self-identification as "gay" are three separate (although related) matters which must be addressed separately.

John -- just wanted to point out that I absolutely agree with this statement. Homosexuals can identify either as gay or as a person with SSA. A person with SSA can act on it or not. I find nothing wrong with this analysisa. I do find it a bit grating when an author proclaims that they are sophisticated than others.

WHen I look at the 5 parts of the evil, simplistic, postmodern scientists:
1) Sexual orientation is an innate personal characteristic, like race.
2) People are born gay.
3) Gay people can never become heterosexual.
4) Being gay is essentially no different from being straight, except for the gender to which one is sexually attracted.
5) There is no harm in being gay.

I agree with 1-3. As I've stated elsewhere, it's probably more useful to consider people bisexual and look at what percentage is SSA and what percentage is OSA. Some like you John, I assume is 100% OSA, so it's obvious to have heterosexual relationships. Even someone who was as little as 0.1% OSA, I think it would be best to pursue a heterosexual relationship. Not only do you avoid hate, you also gain the benefit of procreation. If you are 100% SSA (or can find no OS partner) and you burn with lust, I would suggest a SS marriage would be the best route. It avoids the promiscuity and STI concerns raised by the article. Plus the emotional pain that goes with promiscuity. But that's my suggestion and my reading of the Bible. I know many disagree with me on that point, even those ministering to the LBGT community. I'm not contentious on that point and am very open to being convinced otherwise. But the counterargument needs to take into account the real world and the fact that we are asking a group of people to involuntarily accept a lifetime of chastity.

I've heard people advanced 4. I'm not sure if anyone advances 5. Being gay is a tough life and the comorbidity of mental illness is high.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 12:59 AM

All your comments are excellent, but I think this is the best and most important. Sadly it seems that this one - which directly shows the falsity of the FRC claims - is the one most people want to ignore.
It makes me really ashamed of other Christians that so many of us believe vicious lies about those different to us. I am glad to see you standing up and speaking out here, EricP.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 12:52 AM

Excellent comment, James. Nice to see there are a few people seeing through this garbage.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 12:50 AM

Analysis? It's biased garbage from a personal friend and former colleague. That doesn't meet even the most basic standards for it to be proper analysis.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 12:49 PM

Thank you for the correction. and let me clarify.
1. Their position that their where will be more homosexual assualt if more homosexuals are allowed in the military is axiomatically true. I don't disagree with that point, but you could make the same comment about any group. You allow more white christians in the military and there will be more assualts by white christians. Not because white christians are bad, but because some percentage are.
2. Higher STI rates -- Again duh. The problem is promiscuity. In addition, anal sex is much more likely to spread disease than vaginal sex.
3. Definition of monogamy -- I've heard this before. I wouldn't be surprised especially in gay males. Lesbians I find this very unlikely.

My solution to all 3 would be to win them over to Christ and have them focus on the sins of assault, promiscuity, and non-monogamy monogamy. By keeping them out of the church, we lose the ability to help them grow in Christ.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 12:45 AM

What utter crap. And putting that 'disclosure' right at the end? Please. This is completely biased and the author clearly had no intention of listening to any critiques of the FRC (who are very accurately called a hate group). The paedophilia claim is just so incredibly evil to make and completely unsubstantiated. FRC has a well-known history of spreading bile and lies about the LGBT community.
I note also the author didn't assess this little tidbit of viciousness: “one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order." (from a 1999 publication by the FRC, Homosexual Activists Work to Normalize Sex With Boys).
Anybody defending those malicious statements is at best ignorant, at worst filled with hate. It is sad that TGC has allowed this to be published.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 12:35 PM

But you agree that lesbianism is not covered. http://othersheep.org/JMiller_Raw_Material_2010_Chapter_18.pdf
Romans 1:26 talks about non procreative sex. That's how they turned from natural to unnatural. That would mean that birth control and all heterosexual sex except between husband and wife during the 12-14th day of ovulation is an equivalent sin to homosexuality.

Lesbianism is not covered because there is no penetration involved.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 12:21 PM

Do the following activities separate you from God:
1. Sex w/ women during their menses.
2. Not greeting Christians w/ a holy kiss
3. Women who don't wear hats at church
4. Women short hair cut (if so, what length gets you in heaven)
5. Men long hair cut (again, what hair length keeps you from heaven)
6. Premarital sex. More than 1 sexual partner.
7. Eating non kosher meat
8. Using birth control
9. Tithing less than 10%.
10. Pornography
11. Activity on the sabbath
12. Not having a meal during communion.
13. Farmers who do not provide food to the poor
14. Liars
15. Criminals (including traffic violations)
16. Mortgage holders, Checking/Saving account holders, Credit card users.
Or is homosexual behavior the only super de duper really bad sin?

Phil

August 27, 2012 at 11:48 AM

John,

Mr. Carter didn't perform any analysis. He just quoted a sentence from the study, without any context as to what it means. (Indeed, I wonder where he got it from.)

I explained why Mr. Carter's quote does not mean what the casual reader thinks it means. Indeed, I provided lots of (other) quotes from the study that prove exactly that--i.e. Mr. Carter's quote does not mean what the casual reader thinks it means.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:45 AM

Prove that the empirical studies and the logical conclusions from them above are "garbage". Or do you just reflexively put that label on whatever is contrary to your cause? Maybe you should change your cause.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:29 AM

First, the analogy has to do with use of correlation and causation, not whether something is a sin. The analogy is apt. Normally, if a certain behavior had such serious problematic effects, scientists could hypothesize that the behavior they have in common is likely the cause.

Second, one could make a good argument that smoking, since it is so harmful, is sinful.

Third, with the case of homosexuality we not only have the testimony of nature (that it is a perversion) but also the Word of God Himself who calls it "unnatural", "shameless", and "error" that deserves a penalty (Rom. 1:27f), and a sin that disqualifies one for the Kingdom of God (1 Cor. 6:9).

Fourth, thanks for affirming that there is a causation between a common homosexual practice and diseases.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:22 AM

Phil,

You didn't show the statements in the article were wrong. Mr. Carter writes, "Among women, 39.2 percent of the same-sex cohabitants and 21.7 percent of the opposite-sex cohabitants reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a marital/cohabiting partner at some time in their lifetime."

You want us to simply trust you that your analysis is better than his. Since you're here to defend a sexual perversion, excuse me if I don't take your word for it.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:17 AM

Since the Apostle Paul, who was selected by the Lord Jesus to speak for Him and inspired by the Holy Spirit to write scripture, told us that homosexuality is "contrary to nature", "shameless", an "error" for which people receive a "due penalty" (apparently the much higher likeliness of STDs homosexuals have) (Rom. 1:26f) and that those who live in that sin will not "inherit the Kingdom of God" (1 Cor. 6:9) -- and therefore will go to hell -- one cannot "overemphasize the sinfulness" of such a thing.

I believe your real "position" is that you are a worldly compromiser who twists scripture to justify sin because you don't really believe what the Lord says that sin will do to those people.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:11 AM

You've totally missed what the article says and show that you've assumed the "gay identity paradigm."
Since Sandusky was abusing children of his same sex, he was therefore committing homosexual acts. If he calls himself a "heterosexual" then that simply demonstrates another common characteristic of sexual perverts: they often lie.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 11:09 AM

John,

My position is that we overemphasize the sinfulness of homosexuality compared to other sins. The church does not see the LBGT as fellow Christians or sinners needing to be saved but as "icky" and to be avoided.

I feel like our position has been too legalistic and unloving. Jesus visited prostitutes, but we issue position papers noting the higher STI rates of sex workers.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:07 AM

Prove that it is "false information". Otherwise, you're just lying.

You're comments show you haven't even understood the first part of the article and have simply accepted the "gay identity paradigm." If someone has sex with someone of the same sex, they are committed homosexual acts and those acts are unnatural. Further, pedophiles, like Sandusky, often commit their acts with children of the same sex, thus making them homosexual acts.

I think you have no facts and that you hate the truth. Just like that terrorist who stormed the FRC offices, thinking he was attacking "hate", when in reality he was propelled by hate. It is true hate that is moving you to spew your lies here.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:04 AM

Hi Pam,

If you can prove any of the actual empirical data incorrect, please go ahead and show us. Otherwise, you're simply demonstrating that you're a close-minded propagandist. You've also shown yourself to be exactly like that terrorist that went into the FRC offices: a self-serving proponent of "tolerance", decrying people you don't agree with as "haters." It's old and hypocritical. And now we know it is dangerous.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

You're wrong. The tobacco companies were able to find scientists who made exactly the kinds of arguments you're trying to make. Besides, there is a causation between being a sexual pervert and having moral problems in other areas too.

J. Srnec

August 27, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Do the dangers of smoking tobacco make it a sin? I would say no. Your analogy fails.

As for correlation and causation, anal intercourse between men is the cause of many health problems for men who engage in it. But it is not the cause of domestic violence among lesbian couples, of mental illness, or of promiscuity.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Hi James,

You apparently have simply assumed exactly what the article describes: the "gay identity paradigm". Thanks for providing an excellent of example of what Mr. Carter was describing. Now, please read the article with an open mind.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

As a Red Sox fan, I found your post funny. The difference is a Red Sox can become a Yankee or vice versa. If gays and straights could trade players, your analogy would be accurate. The idea that sexual orientation is changeable is pernicious

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 10:55 AM

There are empirical studies cited, not done by FRC. I think you're just assuming that any information that doesn't jibe with your pre-conceived conclusions is "biased garbage." If you can't cite empirical studies that prove the data above wrong, then you're just trying to suppress the truth -- exactly what the Apostle Paul said that homosexuality was an expression of.

John Carpenter

August 27, 2012 at 10:53 AM

Once again, you miss my point: Your approach is entirely "post-modern" (for lack of a better term) and you're guilty of exactly the kind of judgmental arrogance for which you accuse others, only you self-servingly put yourself above being accused of that by arbitrarily defining the truth as "arrogant" and your position as "tolerant". The irony, of course, is that you won't tolerate any other position than your "tolerant" one.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 10:52 AM

Until this week, I didn't realize FRC generates all of its data in house. That's not data, that's propaganda. When they "quoted" other researchers, those researches issued statements protesting the abuse of their work and demanded that FRC stop misquoting from their work. You can claim the whole world has an agenda, but when multiple groups -- secular and Christian come up with one answer and only one group contradicts the world, it's very clear who has the agenda.

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 10:48 AM

Thanks Pam. To be honest, I held similar beliefs of FRC and Gospel Coalition less than a year ago. I've had quite an eye opening year that showed me the harm that my beliefs were having. When I had to move from an academic setting to working with members of the LBGT community, I realized how unloving my beliefs were. I saw how many pastors and evangelists kicked their children out of their homes because they were LBGT. I learned about the horror of forced re-education camps. I became aware of the suicide rate and the self hate that the LBGT has. I found theological conservative gay churches. Their statement of faith could have been pulled from a southern baptist church with the one exception that they did not view being LBGT as sinful.

If LBGT associate the church with hate, how can we be doing what Jesus wants us to do? If we really think they are endangering themselves with their behavior, why are we not befriending them?

EricP

August 27, 2012 at 10:40 AM

Once again, you missed my point. I'm not calling the truth or what you believe the truth to be arrogant. I'm calling his approach arrogant. I'm saying that only your exegesis is correct and being unwilling to have an intelligent discussion arrogant. And you never answered my question, "Can I pray for you that you may be enlightened?"

Phil

August 27, 2012 at 09:07 AM

I must have missed the part where Mr. Perkins said that MALE homosexuals have a higher incidence of domestic violence (and female homosexuals have a lower rate of domestic violence).

Indeed, Mr. Perkins merely said that "homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of...domestic violence."

As shown above, this is not true.

Here's my point: In terms of domestic violence, clearly the best option is for women to live with women; women should NOT live with men!

Bob

August 27, 2012 at 02:47 AM

[Greetings, TGC. Here is what I discovered on the amazing net.]

The SPLC and Gays

Does the Southern Poverty Law Center love or hate the God who "made" gays? Or were gays merely "evolved" and not "created"? If a gay doesn't believe in creation then he must have evolved. If so, what's to keep him from changing again, if he desires, and becoming an ex-gay?

(For more light on the SPLC etc., Google "Jewish Codes Behind the DC Shooting.")

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 01:21 AM

Eric isn't factually wrong. Sandusky abused boys but identified as heterosexual.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 01:18 AM

Yet women who cohabit with men have the highest rate of domestic violence of all - two times higher incidence than the next group.
So basically straight men are the most dangerous of all. I guess we'd better start using these statistics to warn everyone against cohabiting with any straight male.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 01:11 AM

Excellent comments, Phil.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 01:08 AM

You don't know how research works if you think that. And you smoking comparison doesn't work, either, because it was directly studying causation whereas this, as JSmec said, is only correlation.

Pam

August 27, 2012 at 01:04 AM

His argument was rubbish because it contained completely false information. Most paedophiles are not homosexuals. I'll repeat that again: most paedophiles Are Not Homosexual. They are overwhelmingly heterosexual. Just like most male rape in prison is committed by heterosexual men, not homosexual men.
There's also this incredibly hateful comment that FRC published in 1999 that the author conveniently didn't examine: "one of the primary goals of the homosexual rights movement is to abolish all age of consent laws and to eventually recognize pedophiles as the ‘prophets’ of a new sexual order."
The words to describe that piece of propaganda aren't fit to be written here, but suffice to say that wuote alone makes the FRC a hate group.

John Carpenter

August 26, 2012 at 11:40 AM

As I said, it's a very "post-modern" tactic to label the expression of truth as "arrogant." It's the pseudo-tolerance of the pseudo-tolerant. Insulting someone with false accusations of arrogance is arrogant.

EricP

August 26, 2012 at 08:41 AM

I was saying dividing the world between himself, the obedient Christian and others is arrogant. Reducing their arguments which tend to be more sophisticated and nuanced to "hater" is arrogant. Insulting someone with fake concern "Can I pray for you?" is arrogant.

Can I pray for you that you will see the truth of my position and stop being a hater?

John Carpenter

August 26, 2012 at 08:13 AM

You sound like an apologist for tobacco: 'Just because there are so many bad health effects associated with smoking doesn't mean that tobacco causes them. Correlation is not causation!'

I guess you think that is clever. In reality, you're deceiving yourself. And that's what the Apostle Paul said that homosexuality (and idolatry) is all about: the suppression of the truth, self-deception, hatred of God (Romans 1:18ff).

John Carpenter

August 26, 2012 at 08:06 AM

The author appears to have an agenda. The text of 1 Corinthians 6:9 says nothing at all about traders in slaves of any kind, certainly not "traders in homosexual slaves". The translation of these two words is generally accepted and there are serious, widely accepted lexicons available, instead of going to look for propagandists who will supply the "information" you want.

You've been trying to spread the lie here that homosexuality is not a sin. You are assaulting the truth of God. Please repent.

John Carpenter

August 26, 2012 at 08:01 AM

"A moral wrong cannot be the basis of a civil right."

In 20 years there will still be faithful Christians who seek to be obedient to the faith once for all handed to the saints. And that faith tells them that homosexuality is "unnatural" and that no one who practices it will enter the Kingdom of God (Romans 1:18ff, 1 Cor. 6:9ff). It maybe that groups like the SPLC which labels what the WORD OF GOD says about that sin as "hate speech" will be even more vitriolic and self-righteous in their persecution of the church and suppression of the truth. But the promise of the Lord Jesus is that the "gates of hell" will not prevail against His true Church (Mt. 16).

I'm sorry that the truth makes you sick. You need to seriously search your heart as to whether you are really "in the faith", whether Christ is in you and you have accepted His Word and priorities (2 Cor. 13:5.)

John Carpenter

August 26, 2012 at 07:53 AM

@ Eric, It's a very "post-modern" tactic to call telling the truth "arrogant."

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 12:34 PM

"that the homosexual, just like every heterosexual, is a sinner condemned to hell absent repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. " What if they've already repented? Do you believe in once saved always saved or salvation by works?

Also the word translated as homosexual in 1 Cor 6:9 can mean any non procreative sexual activity. That would include sex with women except in their 12-14th day in their ovulation cycle. Thanks to modern science, we know that the other 25 days are useless for conception. You might counter with 1 Cor 7:9, but then how does that verse apply to homosexuals. What is a homosexual supposed to do when they burn with lust (like heterosexual Christians do)? Are you asking homosexuals to be super Christians? Is there an alternative (gay marriage) which puts the two on level ground.
I'm sure you are familiar with Exodus International's position that reparative therapy is at best unsuccessful and at worst deadly. Since sexual orientation is immutable (as even the leading Christian gay ministry admits), what is the homosexual to do? Chastity?
If that's your position or FRC's position, I never hear them state it explicitly. FRC implies that sexual orientation is like changing shirts when it's very much like changing skin color.
Since you are a nuanced scholar of this subject, I expect you to refer to the kinsey scale in your reply. That is an excellent point and for those that are even somewhat attracted to the opposite sex, encouraging them to find someone is ideal. But for Kinsey 6 people, what should they do?

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 12:25 PM

False statements are false. Primary one that is false is the pedophilia homosexual connection. The FRC takes the fact that 1/3 of the victims are male to state that 1/3 of the perpetrators are homosexual. This completely ignores the work of others in sociology that a pedophiles sexual orientation does not impact his choice of victims. FRC twists the data to make homosexuals look as bad as possible. As an example (I've stated elsewhere), Sandusky was a heterosexual abusers of boys. FRC would add Sandusky to the list of homosexuals even though he was not. All other groups would list Sandusky as a heterosexual based on his own claims and behavior. FRC's difference is not because of biblical truth but to target gays.

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 12:16 PM

A long comment, so I'll break my replies into sections for ease of reading.

Patient/Doctor analogy -- Misses the point. What causes the higher rates of problems in gays? Is it being cut off from their church, family, and community? Are STD's a result of being promiscuous or being gay? A monogamous gay relationship will not spread STD's just like a monogamous heterosexual relationship.

So in your analogy, the FRC doctor's are misdiagnosing the problem. It's like having a patient who smokes and has a blue collar job. The blue collar job makes him more likely to smoke and hence more likely to have lung cancer. But taking a blue collar job does not give him lung cancer.

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 11:13 PM

Michael,

1 John also mentions " Anyone who loves their brother and sister[c] lives in the light, and there is nothing in them to make them stumble. 11 But anyone who hates a brother or sister is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness."

Obviously you have decided homosexuality is a sin. And we agree there is no hierarchy of sins. But wouldn't it make more sense to welcome people into God's kingdom and let the Holy Spirit determine what sins need to be worked on?

For instance, I've been a Christian for 19 years. In the beginning, I worked on selfishness and helping others. For many years now, I've worked on sins around being a good husband and father. At times, I've worked on areas that doing children ministry has shown me. In the past year, I've realized I have objectified my "opponents" instead of loved them. I've looked for reasons to win arguments not win souls.

The point being if God wants a homosexual to work on sexual purity, God will.

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 11:00 PM

John, here's where I got that comment. http://www.jeramyt.org/gay/arsenok.htm#parafusin

You apparently know more greek than I do. What do you think?

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 11:00 AM

That's not true. Many Christian organizations disagree with the "gay agenda" and are not labeled a hate group. The FRC makes up their "facts" that are harmful to gays. All of their "research" comes from a few in house people, much like the tobacco companies did to say tobacco was not harmful.

EricP

August 25, 2012 at 10:57 AM

Does everyone stop sinning when they become a christian? Do you need to be perfect before God will accept you? Does God have a heirarchy of sins?

Or does God meet you where you are? And is sanctification a lifetime promise.

"if we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us."

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:44 PM

You're absolutely correct. I once over-heard a wise, older Christian man do a brilliant job of sharing the gospel with a homosexual young man who wanted to make homosexuality the central issue. The man witnessing didn't take the bait but sensitively, gently, humbly let the young man know the truth that homosexuality is a sin, like other sins such as the older witnesser confessed to. The result: the young homosexual reported the incident (falsely) to the college administration, claiming he had been harassed, and the church that the wise Christian witness was from was banned from coming on that campus. Any opinion that doesn't toe the line the homosexuality isn't equivalent to heterosexuality is considered hate speech and is suppressed with intolerant censorship.

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:39 PM

1 Cor. 6:9
? ??? ?????? ??? ?????? ???? ????????? ?? ???????????????; ?? ????????: ???? ?????? ???? ???????????? ???? ?????? ???? ??????? ???? ????????????

my translation: "Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the Kingdom of God; do not be led astray, neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor a passive homosexual partner nor a homosexual . . ."

There are actually two words referring to homosexuality here suggesting that it could have been some people's belief that a passive recipient of homosexual activity was less morally culpable than an active one but Paul wants it to be clear that no such distinction.

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:27 PM

That's a cute philosophical exercise but in any other area of empirical examination, if a certain behavior has remarkably higher levels of multiple deleterious effects, it would normally be concluded that the behavior is harmful. If empirical studies show that smoking is associated with various cancers and other diseases, most scientists would conclude that smoking is harmful.

Your appraisal is cute but fundamentally dishonest.

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:19 PM

If there are crickets, that's because few believe you've read the original research better than Mr. Carter. Further, according to you, male homosexuals have a higher incidence of domestic violence and thus supports the original statement by Mr. Perkins. So . . . what was your point?

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:16 PM

You comment about the Greek words in 1 Corinthians 6 is just wrong. Cite a legitimate Greek lexicon that supports such statements.

You're scripture twisting.

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 09:10 PM

According to the statistics cited in the article, the incidents of domestic violence among lesbians is almost twice that of heterosexual couples. According to the same source, the incidents of domestic violence among male homosexuals is supposedly lower than heterosexuals. We can conjecture why but that the same source reports that domestic violence is lower among male homosexuals suggests that it is being fair; thus lending credence to it's shocking disclosure that nearly a third of lesbian relationships are abusive.

That Mr. Carter had the integrity to report the data about male homosexuals, suggests too that he was being fair and empirical.
No you haven't refuted any part of the article.

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 08:55 PM

The facts are cited above. I don't believe the author once quotes the FRC as the source of facts but other empirical evidence.

The Apostle Paul tells us that homosexuality is the moral expression of suppressing the truth (Romans 1).

John Carpenter

August 25, 2012 at 08:53 PM

The article briefly deals with this topic. See above. Your accusation apparently reveals that you've bought into the "gay identity paradigm."

As for Sandusky, he molested boys not girls. So you're simply factually wrong.

One cannot be a homosexual (as defined above as involved in the activity) and be a Christian. The Apostles Paul and John tell us that Christians do not willfully continue in such sins.

Senator Blutarsky

August 25, 2012 at 08:03 AM

The left has really lowered the bar on what constitutes hate and bigotry. Back in the day, you had to actually, you know, hate people, and maybe even oppress them for good measure. Now all you need to do is fail to offer your full-throated support for gay marriage and you’re the moral equivalent of Bull Connor (which party did he belong to again?).

http://senatorjohnblutarsky.blogspot.com/2012/08/bigotry-just-aint-what-it-used-to-be.html

Michael Swart

August 25, 2012 at 07:27 PM

In reply to EricP's comment Aug 25 10:57 AM (reply button missing)

Eric, the words you quoted from 1 John 1:8 must be read in context. They are part of 1 John 1-2 which is addressed to Christians.

The verse actually answers your first question. Christians continue to sin but their lives need to be characterized - every single day - by fighting sin, seeking forgiveness and striving to please God. This is called sanctification - becoming the children God wants us to be.

The next three questions belong together. There is no hierarchy of sins. Jesus said that the thought is as sinful as the deed. Paul said greed is as much of a threat as sexual immorality and slander as idolatry. No matter which sin, it separates people from God and it will prevent the sinner from inheriting the kingdom of God.

The good news is that God calls us in our lost condition to turn back to him seeking his forgiveness (repentance) and simply to believe the astonishing message of Jesus (the message both about him and from his own lips). As we turn back and believe, we find that God accepts us without us in any way having to do anything to deserve his love and kindness. The good news is that God comes to us in our messed up world and messed up situations. Jesus, speaking about himself, said, "The Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost." Luke 19:10. This is what the four gospel accounts explain to us.

I hope these answers will help you gain more insight into what God has made known to us.

Michael Swart

August 25, 2012 at 05:11 AM

You appear to ignore the message that Jesus preached. People are not brought to Christ by preaching a popular, acceptable message. It is when they are told that they are sinners who need to repent and to believe the good news that the Spirit of God convicts and draws them to Jesus. That is why God's judgement on sinners is a central and oft repeated component of Jesus teaching and preaching. There is no arrogance in this approach. It is simply a faithful obedience to God.

John the Baptist appeared in the wilderness, preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. Mark 1:4.

After John was put in prison, Jesus went into Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God. “The time has come,” he said. “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” Mark 1:14-15

(compare Matthew 3:2, 4:17)

Phil

August 24, 2012 at 09:33 AM

Crickets....

I'm glad to see that, at least with respect to domestic violence, I've convinced people that Tony Perkins (and Joe Carter) are, in fact, wrong.

EricP

August 24, 2012 at 08:24 PM

The FRC deliberately confuses pedophilia with homosexuality. (As an example, Sandusky was a heterosexual pedophile.) 47% of Americans think homosexuals are a danger in schools. That is the biggest claim of SPLC.

The title of the article is quite presumptuous. The FRC is not the church. Exodus International one of the leading Christian organizations that minister to homosexuals holds different positions than FRC. Many denominations/congregations hold different positions.

Also many of the comments assume that homosexuals are not Christians. Many are. Many grew up in the church.

EricP

August 24, 2012 at 07:57 PM

That's a very arrogant approach. How many gay people have you brought to Christ with this approach? How many gay Christians have you forced out of your church?

Truth Unites... and Divides

August 23, 2012 at 10:58 AM

Michael Swart: "The brief comment of "Truth Unites . . . and Divides" recognizes this unavoidable conflict between Christians who wholeheartedly follow Jesus and his teaching and those who do not. Avoiding conflict is not the loving way when it comes to upholding God's teaching on marriage and family."

Predictably, this comment thread has provided prima facie evidence of this unavoidable conflict. Here's a novel thought: Unavoidable conflict for the Glory of God causing obedient servants and slaves of Christ to strap on Ephesians 5 armor of God.

"The failure to warn people of the consequences of all sin and to point to the way God resolved this through the death of Jesus - this is the most unloving action against our fellow men and women."

Agreed.

And the reality is that there is diametric opposition and disagreement to this claim. Hence, the likely guilt-by-association tag to the FRC and Joe Carter and to members of the Christian Church as a whole with that of the Westboro Baptist Church.

Obedient Biblical Christian: "Affirm God's Design for Marriage. Affirm God's biblical teaching that holy human sexual behavior is one man, one woman in marriage."

Opponent: "Hater!"

Obedient Biblical Christian: "God hates sin. And yet He loves sinners. So much so, He sent His son Jesus, who knew no sin and was sinless, to die on the Cross.... (John 3:16. Verses of Romans. Etc...)."

Opponent: "Hater!"

Obedient Biblical Christian: "May I pray for you?"

Opponent: "Hater!"

Kathy

August 23, 2012 at 10:31 AM

Abused children...Sounds exactly like the homosexual teenagers who are killing themselves because of bullying. Or the children of illegal immigrants who themselves are legal, but are not allowed to go to school in Alabama because of hateful unconstitutional legislation. Y'all are out of touch with the issues facing the southeast specifically the state of Alabama which is the SOUTHERN Poverty Law Institute's primary focus.

Mike B

August 23, 2012 at 09:11 AM

Eric, is homosexuality sin? You said "go and sin no more". Is that a fine thing for a Christian to say to a homosexual?

Phil

August 23, 2012 at 08:58 AM

So let's recap the statistics:

Approximately 15 percent of men who had lived with a man as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant, while 30 percent of women who had lived with a man as part of a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a male cohabitant.

Approximately 11 percent of women who had lived with a woman as a couple reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a female cohabitant, while approximately 8 percent of men who had lived with a woman reported being raped, physically assaulted, and/or stalked by a female cohabitant.

I think this successfully refutes the article.

Cranios

August 23, 2012 at 08:31 AM

Why wouldn't the FRC have a list of groups it considers extremist and/or hate groups, and have the SPLC on it? After all, this is politics and you've got to fight back and frame issues. If it isn't politics, why is the FRC located in Washington DC?

Phil

August 23, 2012 at 08:23 AM

With regard to men, it states this:

Men living with male intimate partners experience
more intimate partner violence than do
men who live with female intimate partners.
Approximately 15 percent of the men who
had lived with a man as a couple reported
being raped, physically assaulted, and/or
stalked by a male cohabitant, while 7.7 percent
of the men who had married or lived
with a woman as a couple reported such violence
by a wife or female cohabitant. These
findings, combined with those presented in
the previous bullet, provide further evidence
that intimate partner violence is perpetrated
primarily by men, whether against male or
female intimates. Thus, strategies for preventing
intimate partner violence should
focus on risks posed by men.

page IV-V

Phil

August 23, 2012 at 08:11 AM

Tim,

Here is a reply with regard to domestic violence:

If you actually read the DOJ report which is cited (click on the link embedded above, then find the quote on that webpage, and click on the link there--that link will bring up the actual report). It states this:

Women living with female intimate partners
experience less intimate partner violence
than women living with male intimate partners.
Slightly more than 11 percent of the
women who had lived with a woman as part
of a couple reported being raped, physically
assaulted, and/or stalked by a female cohabitant,
but 30.4 percent of the women who
had married or lived with a man as part of a
couple reported such violence by a husband
or male cohabitant. These findings suggest
that lesbian couples experience less intimate
partner violence than do heterosexual
couples; however, more research is needed
to support or refute this conclusion.

page IV.

With regard to the actual quote Joe Carter cites in the article, that quote if from a section entitled "Prevalence of Intimate Partner Violence Among Same-Sex Cohabitants," (starting on page 29), and begins with the paragraph:

Research on violence in same-sex relationships
has been limited to studies of small, unrepresentative
samples of gay and lesbian couples. Results
from these studies suggest that same-sex
couples are about as violent as heterosexual
couples.

The problem with Joe Carter's quote above is that the 39.2 percent includes violence from a man against a woman in a same-sex relationships (assuming I am reading the study correctly). That is, the 39.2 percent is not just woman on woman violence (as you are led to believe by the quote), it also includes man on woman violence (and the woman is now and/or has ever cohabitated with a woman). Thus, any woman who has ever cohabitated with a woman is included in that sample, even if she has cohabitated with a man as well, and the man was violent against her!

Phil

August 23, 2012 at 07:41 AM

Tim,

I misunderstood you. I thought you meant the original article (that is, Tony Perkin's article where the quote comes from) fleshed out these things. I see now that you meant Joe Carter's article, above.

J. Srnec

August 23, 2012 at 07:06 AM

My point was that the fleshing out misses the point. Higher rates of drug usage among those who engage in homosexual conduct than among the general American population no more implies that something is wrong with those who engage in homosexual conduct than higher rates of drug usage among Canadians than Americans shows that there is something wrong with being Canadian. (I am not sure Canadians actually have higher drug usage rates, so this is merely an illustration.)

The statistics are designed to buttress the confidence of those already opposed to homosexuality, but they do nothing to show that homosexual conduct - the narrow concern of this article - is in itself harmful. It would be easier to show that the gay lifestyle is harmful, but this is not the task the author set for himself.

Michael Swart

August 23, 2012 at 06:13 AM

Joe Carter must be commended. No name calling but a clearly laying out of what needs to be considered when evaluating the statements and attitude of the SPLC towards certain groups like the FRC.

One particular quote struck me:
"social conservatives perceive the key issue in public policy debates as being whether HOMOSEXUAL CONDUCT and HOMOSEXUAL RELATIONSHIPS should be discouraged; treated as entirely private (that is, neither discouraged nor affirmed); or ACTIVELY PROTECTED, AFFIRMED, and CELEBRATED. The latter is what gay activists demand."

The problem is that when Christians want to ACTIVELY PROTECT, AFFIRM, and CELEBRATE faithful, loving, lifelong marriage between a man and woman in their homes, churches, schools, community this will sharply contrast with the values and behavior of gay activists (and those who support them) and lead to unavoidable conflict.

The brief comment of "Truth Unites . . . and Divides" recognizes this unavoidable conflict between Christians who wholeheartedly follow Jesus and his teaching and those who do not. Avoiding conflict is not the loving way when it comes to upholding God's teaching on marriage and family.

Jesus is clear: his followers must love God wholeheartedly and their neighbors including enemies with a compassionate love. The failure to warn people of the consequences of all sin and to point to the way God resolved this through the death of Jesus - this is the most unloving action against our fellow men and women.

[...] Peter Sprigg was recently quoted as he tried to help others understand how FRC was given the “hate group” label. Sprigg says: [...]

[...] light of this, I found this article – Debatable: Is the Christian Church a ‘Hate Group’? – which is very helpful and detailed in explaining why this organization was labeled a [...]

mel

August 23, 2012 at 02:17 PM

Kathy it is very obvious that you only care about some children and not all children. Jesus was speaking of ALL children and not just then ones that fit your political cause. You can not use Him to abuse people for your purpose.

Tim Wilcoxson

August 22, 2012 at 11:45 PM

Phil,

Not sure where your coming from on this since quote #4, which J. Srnec cites, is accompanied by a discussion of the 5 points found in the quote. Since the 5 points are described in more detail and goes beyond the overly simple quote/syllogism, I would say it "fleshes out" and should be engaged. As you get more details it's possible to show causation as more likely. Ask yourself, "How you do prove causation with statistics?" Be careful that you don't throw out all of sociology with your answer. :)

Phil

August 22, 2012 at 11:12 PM

Tim,

I read the article, and I do not understand your statement that "the claims in the quote are fleshed out immediately after and those should be responded to."

Here are the next three sentences (which make up the end of the paragraph):

It is not loving to encourage someone to indulge in such activities, no matter how much sensual pleasure they may derive from them. It is more loving to help them overcome them. This is why, in the public policy arena, we will continue to oppose any policy or action that would celebrate or affirm homosexual conduct.

As you can see, the claims are not "fleshed out." They are merely asserted.

J. Srnec

August 22, 2012 at 09:00 AM

"Since homosexual conduct is associated with higher rates of sexual promiscuity, sexually transmitted diseases, mental illness, substance abuse, and domestic violence, it too qualifies as a behavior that is harmful to the people who engage in it and to society at large."

This is a non-sequitur. If A is associated with B, C, D, E and F, and B, C, D, E and F are harmful, it does not follow that A is harmful. "Correlation is not causation", as they say.

Tristan

August 22, 2012 at 06:10 PM

I'm going to say this and then not even look back at this. Eric, that bit you said in the first part is proof texting that passage. Most of the scripture you have posted thus far has been proof texted and actually doesn't help your arguments because they aren't saying what you think they mean. I would encourage you to go and read those passages and study up on them :) Good luck!

Tim Wilcoxson

August 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM

J. Srnec is correct. The statement quoted from Tony Perkins in the Washington Post is very clearly a non-sequitur. However, the claims in the quote are fleshed out immediately after and those should be responded to. Pointing out a faulty syllogism is not enough to discredit the whole article (that may not have been J. Srnec's intention).

melody

August 22, 2012 at 01:50 PM

The least of these would be children abused, mistreated and blocked from knowing the love of our Father because they were used for sexual objects.

melody

August 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM

So because they didn't mention this they can't mention that. Your method of arguing gets so old.
It's a sin. It destroys people's lives even from a secular view point.

They are not a class.

Phil

August 21, 2012 at 11:10 AM

It appears that the irony of the last paragraph was lost on the writer.

Joe Carter

August 21, 2012 at 08:58 AM

Well said, Mr. Fosi.

Mr. Fosi

August 21, 2012 at 08:15 AM

At no point in the post did anyone say that homosexuals should be denied counseling or drug treatment or any other service. At no time have I ever seen such a thing suggested by any of the GC members. That means that you're actually burning a strawman here. Why is that?

The purpose of this article is to point out that an SPLC's characterization of the FRC as a "hate group" was erroneous. The "false statements" made by FRC are, in fact, not false at all. Admitting the truth is the first step to recovery, Eric.

You seem to be saying that we should ignore the problems of homosexual and other damaging relationships and just connect them to disease prevention, domestic violence counseling, and drug rehabilitation services?

I guess I don't see how treating the consequences of dangerous and unhealthy relationships, while ignoring the underlying problem is loving. Successful treatment of things like domestic violence and drug abuse can't occur if the person doesn't admit there is a problem and that they need help.

Your comments assume that the real problem is the domestic abuse and that if we just help them recover from the abuse that they will be fine. Actually, the real problem is that the homosexual, just like every heterosexual, is a sinner condemned to hell absent repentance and faith in Jesus Christ. Help people recover from abuse, sure, but if you don't condemn their sins and solicit repentance, pointing them to Christ for forgiveness and the grace to change, you are making beds on the Titanic.

So you interpret the parable of the good Samaritan as: ignore the underlying problems of immoral and wicked behavior (or even say that such behavior is not wicked!) and just treat the symptoms of people's problems. How is that loving? In no sense is it loving. It's not loving to the person in danger and it's not loving to people looking to you for an example of holiness. Didn't Jesus dig right into the heart of the Pharisee seeking to justify himself to show that the man was trying to build a ladder to heaven?

Why should pointing out that the One True God has identified homosexuality is unequivocally evil be considered hateful? I guess we should start charging doctors with hate crimes for identifying diseases as well.

Patient: "I'm regularly having shortness of breath and chest pains."
Doctor: "You have stage three lung cancer and you need immediate treatment. If you aren't treated, this will kill you."
Patient: "How can you act in such a hateful way toward me? I was born this way! How dare you judge me! I'm sure you aren't Mr. Perfect either!"

Ignoring God has never been a prescription for long life and eternal happiness.

It isn't merciful to what Jeremiah condemned: "They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’” That goes for all sins, including lying, being unjustly angry, greedy, and... homosexuality.

It's loving to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins, including homosexuality, to all people through Jesus Christ. Heterosexual wife beaters, thieves, liars, adulterers, and *GASP* homosexuals. No one is innocent and we need to condemn all sins as strongly as Jesus Christ did, invite repentance, and point people to the One who is their only hope.

From your (3) comment, you state a major part of the gospel, but you seem to undermine it with the rest of the comment, indeed the rest of your post. Is homosexual behavior a sin or isn't it? Is affirming and celebrating homosexual relationships sinful or isn't it? How many sins were committed if a homosexual gets angry and punches her girlfriend's front teeth out? Should we only condemn one of the sins and ignore the other? Surely not!

The really hateful behavior here is the deliberate mischaracterization of FRC as a "hate group" in an effort to marginalize them and the issues that they promote, including recognizing homosexual relationships and deviant and dangerous to the people engaged in them. Dangerous in the temporal here-and-now vis-a-vis all the myriad abuses and disease dangers but even more eternally dangerous.

Eric

August 21, 2012 at 07:02 AM

You're welcome.

1. Love and compassion -- Do those words really need any clarification? As Jesus put it, do unto others what you want them to do unto you.

So, for instance, if you were at risk for domestic violence, would you want someone to (a) put you in touch with domestic abuse advocacy groups to help you recover, or (b) flaunt the fact of your abuse to score cheap points in a hackneyed culture war? One of those actions is loving and the other is hateful.

2. Jesus' commandment wasn't "Love your repentant believing neighbor as yourself." The Pharisee "seeking to justify himself" was the one who asked the question "Who is my neighbor?" As Jesus pointed out, it's a false question, because it assumes there's someone who's not my neighbor.

3. What does "my view" have to do with the Gospel? It's not a matter of opinion. (For that matter, maybe you should ask the "Gospel Coalition" what they think!) It's simply that we're all equally sinners, all in need of constitutional amendments to stop us from sinning-- oops, I mean we're all in need of Jesus to save us from our sins.

Jesus' name doesn't appear once in this article. Can we preach the Gospel without mentioning Him? If not, then what exactly is being preached here? See my concen?

Anar

August 21, 2012 at 05:50 AM

Kathy, this was a technical argument. The SPLC may do some wonderful things, but in labeling the FRC (and others) as a "hate group" it made the first (could we say bigoted, at least flippant, and hopefully not calculated) move. The FRC and Joe Carter here are only acting in defense of another organization that supposedly also does wonderful things. His argument was fairly solid; so for me and many others the SPLC has lost some of it's credibility and unless it publicly changes some of it's positions, it should not be supported and should move aside so another organization could better look out for "the least of these" in Alabama.

Eric

August 21, 2012 at 04:00 PM

"...we need to condemn all sins as strongly as Jesus Christ did." You mean the time when He told the adulteress, "Neither do I condemn you, go and sin no more"? Or did you have in mind, "Let the one without sin cast the first stone"?

I agree that "It's loving to preach repentance and the forgiveness of sins, including homosexuality, to all people through Jesus Christ." Too bad this article didn't demonstrate that. Again, why not? If preaching Christ is the most loving thing, why spend all that time reducing one single class of people to statistics, instead of, maybe, mentioning Christ? That's my whole point, and it's distressing that you don't see it.

Your response merely put words in my mouth (I "seem to be saying" nothing of the sort!) ironically since you accuse me of attacking straw men. Even more ironically, I spent much of my comment simply quoting Jesus directly, so if you have such a problem with those ideas.... Well then. I think it's not worth my time to respond any further.

I pray the Gospel Coalition will reconsider the company they keep and repent of this latest specimen of Gospel-less doctrine. Peace out.

melody

August 20, 2012 at 12:51 PM

Very well written

Truth Unites... and Divides

August 20, 2012 at 12:38 AM

Jesus: "If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first.

Kathy

August 20, 2012 at 11:33 PM

This makes me sick. I am glad my generation supports equal rights, Because in 20 years this will all be a none issue! I have met Mr. Dees (SPLC Co-founder) he is a good man, and a Baptist no less! Perhaps you could focus on all of the wonderful things the SPLC does instead of removing the speck from their eye? NOBODY looks out for "the least of these" in my great state ALABAMA more than the SPLC. Go meet a gay person, their over abundance of STDs will not rub of on you simply by befriending them.

Senator Blutarsky

August 20, 2012 at 09:59 AM

I always thought the Red Sox and their fans were just fellow citizens peacefully exercising their rights, including the right to express opinions with which I disagree. How blind I was.Thanks to the Southern Poverty Law Center, I now realize what should have been obvious all along - the Red Sox and their followers are a hate group:

http://senatorjohnblutarsky.blogspot.com/2012/08/alert-splc-boston-red-sox-are-hate-group.html

Mr. Fosi

August 20, 2012 at 09:22 AM

Nice to see some analysis done here rather than a parroting of talking points.

How long before the first of the homosexual activists arrive, I wonder.

Mr. Fosi

August 20, 2012 at 09:19 PM

Maybe you could flesh that out a little.

Exactly what do you mean by "love and compassion"? I mean, how does cash out on the street?

How is "the least of these, my brothers" equated to unrepentant unbelivers?

What precisely is the gospel in your view? A full definition if you please.

Thank you in advance for discussing these things directly without trying to be slippery.

Eric

August 20, 2012 at 08:38 PM

So let's see if I have this straight. According to this article, a certain class of our neighbors (fellow sinners just like us) are statistically more likely to be victims of domestic violence, suffer from disease, and experience mental illness.

And there's not one word here even suggesting us that, just maybe, these might be reasons to have compassion on them.

Jesus said that the way we didn't treat the least of these is the way we didn't treat Him.

So what's the opposite of love and compassion?

Oh, right.

I guess that proves it then.

The Gospel itself proves that the FRC's doctrine in this very article is false and hateful. It's sad to see The Gospel Coalition keeping company with them. Or do we need to start putting "Gospel" in quotes?

James Bradshaw

August 20, 2012 at 05:31 PM

Several facts:
a) African-American men are far more likely than white men to have been incarcerated for a crime
b) heterosexual men commit almost ALL incidences of the thousands upon thousands of sexual assaults against women every year
c) heterosexual infidelity is common and is a frequent cause for the divorce rate of anywhere between 30-50% of the American population


Yet, I don't see you opposing ENDA laws that protect blacks or straight men in employment. Why is that? You're seeing cause where there may be only correlation (if it exists at all).


By the way, you did neglect to mention that Tony Perkins of the FRC appeared before the white separatist Council of Conservative Citizens a few years back. Google it. You can't miss him standing in front of the Confederate flag. He also [allegedly] paid for the mailing list of former KKK member, David Duke. Is that because racists can also be relied upon for their intense loathing of gays? Nah.

Daniel

August 20, 2012 at 04:39 PM

Joe, I think you meant to put "Full Disclosure" at the end, not "Full Discourse." Thank you for going through the evidence. I've tried doing searches in the Cochrane database on homosexuality and am always surprised at how hard it is to find research articles on it.

Joe Carter

August 20, 2012 at 01:02 PM

Thank you, I appreciate you saying that.