The Point: Rainbow French Fries

We just can’t get away from these four letters. For the Colson Center for Christian Worldview, I’m John Stonestreet with The Point.

In honor of LGBT “Pride Weekend,” Washington, D.C. McDonalds’ locations sold large orders of fries in rainbow-colored boxes. In just a few days, the Washington Nationals baseball team will be hosting its annual “Night Out” game—a celebration dedicated to same-sex couples. Oh, and I almost forgot to mention: this month is LGBT Pride Month…which makes me think, how is this different than the other eleven months?

Is there anything we can do, or say, or wear or attend, or eat anymore that doesn’t require talking about homosexuality or transgenderism?

How can we live well at a time when everything is drenched in these colors of sexual brokenness? Well, consider U. S. women’s soccer player Jaelene Hinkle—an outspoken Christian—who will sit out two international friendly games where the team is wearing rainbow jerseys.

She’s not making a big fuss out of it, but she’s not putting on the colors. And if we ever face that choice, neither should we.


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  • Nancy

    Yahweh bless her for standing by her convictions.
    It’s good to remember the purpose of the rainbow; Yahweh’s pledge to never again destroy mankind with a flood. I drew a rainbow to put up in the greenhouse I work in and because of it’s new affiliation nowadays, I added the caption ‘ It’s a Promise’.

  • Joseph

    Is this more egregious than the St. Louis Cardinals hosting Christian Day at the Ballpark? In-n-Out printing Bible verses on their food and drinks? Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day? In other words, is there anything we can do, or say, or wear, or attend, or eat anymore that doesn’t require talking about Christianity or religion?

    Also, in case you’re not aware, June is LGBT Pride Month in honor of the Stonewall riots, widely considered to be the most important event in the gay rights movement.

    • Scott

      Joseph and Phoenix, you are both going to disagree with me. J But…

      I do not understand why anyone would choose to celebrate sexuality at all? Heterosexuality and homosexuality are just two forms of sexual expression. For the same reason I do not go to a pornographic video store or a strip club, I do not wish to encounter a sexuality celebration of any kind in public.

      Christian Day at the ballpark is not celebrating sexuality therefore it is not a fair comparison. In fact, Christianity is about pointing people to Jesus, our sexuality is a very small part of our faith. If a large group of heterosexuals were to pick a group of colors and claim a month to celebrate their form of sexuality, then you might be comparing apples to apples.

      • Gina Dalfonzo

        Scott’s got a point. I was just thinking, Phoenix, that you made “celebrating” sound about as celebratory as KP duty. “You will celebrate, or else!”

        • Phoenix1977

          In Dutch there is a saying: “Wie betaalt, bepaalt” (he who pays the bills dictates policy). Corporate America pays the bills for pretty much everything, from public events to the political campaigns for your politicians. So corporate America decides the policy. And corporate America is very LGBT-friendly.
          So your statement is not wrong, as Jaenele Hinkle is quite likely to experience.

      • Joseph

        First, as a straight ally, I certainly don’t claim to speak on behalf of the LGBT community, and Phoenix and I are clearly two different people.

        But just like with other historically marginalized communities, it is a time to celebrate being free, safe, and proud of who they are without fear of discrimination, hatred, or violence. We as a community also celebrate that our country continues to become more tolerant and respectful of people despite differences in sexual orientation. Anyone can choose whether or not to participate.

        Celebrating gay pride is certainly not comparable to going to a porn shop or strip club. I don’t think you mean any harm by your statement, but it is that kind of attitude that perpetuates harmful stereotypes of gay people as social deviants.

        Christian Day is also a group of people celebrating their community. One may easily ask why Christians need a special day set aside for them. I personally don’t have a problem with it, and if I did, I could choose not to attend that game. But I find it interesting that when Christians get certain celebrations (outside religion) they get upset when other groups wish to do the same.

        Just because you may not feel like celebrating with certain communities doesn’t mean that it’s not something worth celebrating.

        • Scott

          Joseph,

          You and Phoenix1977 were the only two who had posted at the time and your posts were similar so I was just replying to both of you.

          To be fair, I have the choice of going to either a strip club or a pornographic video store. Neither of which would be associated with a soccer or baseball game. We are not talking about fear of discrimination, hatred or violence… rather we are talking about whether or not expressed sexuality is the same as expressed faith. I do not think the two are in the same stratosphere.

          Celebrating gay pride is celebrating a form of sexual expression. I would not want to attend a celebration entitled heterosexual pride either… such a celebration would be outside my religion as well. : )

          Also notice that I did not use the phrase sexual deviant. Your implication was inferred. People who go to either a strip club or a pornographic video store can do so lawfully. Under the law they are not considered social (or sexual) deviants but I’m sure you meant no harm when you said that.

          • Joseph

            Scott,

            I know that *you* are not talking about fear of discrimination. The LGBT community is. If you’re not part of that, you probably haven’t faced persecution based on sexual orientation. You asked earnestly why people would celebrate sexuality, so I am trying to explain to you that gay pride is about much more than merely that.

            If you’re genuinely interested in understanding, I hope you’re able to seek out LGBT folks and hear directly from them about what they’ve experienced, and why things like gay pride celebrations are so important.

            Re: sexual deviance, sure, you can legally visit a strip club or porn shop, however the law certainly doesn’t stop Christians from arguing moral values on these subjects. The problem is that, even if you’re not one of these people, those most likely to treat such activities as sexually deviant (which by the way, doesn’t necessarily mean illegal) are also those most likely to treat LGBT people in the same way. That’s why I think it’s problematic to group these issues together, which inadvertently can lead to serious real-world consequences.

            Again, though, I wouldn’t substitute my feelings and try to tell African-Americans what Black History Month really means, or lecture Muslims about their faith. I think it’s better to hear directly from people in those communities. So I hope you have opportunities to bridge this gap if you choose to do so.

          • Phoenix1977

            Fair is fair, Scott is among the more openminded Christians I have encountered and he is trying to understand where the LGBT community comes from.
            Indeed, he cannot understand what LGBTs experience quite often (and in some situations on a day-to-day basis) because he’s not LGBT. Whenever I talk to straight people about my reluctance to come out in a new setting they look at me like I have 2 heads, most of the time mumbling: “But you have come out a long time ago already”. But you don’t come out only once as LGBT. You come out every single time you meet a new person in your life and every single time you need to determine whether that person is worth coming out to, right after determining whether that person might post a threat.

            The other day I got a wedding invitation from a collaegue. We have been working together for almost 3 years. I know her fiancé (he’s also a doctor in our hospital) and they both know my boyfriend. So it was quite a slap in the face when she asked me not to bring my boyfriend to the wedding because some of her relatives don’t take kindly to gay people. Straight people never have to worry about that. When they get a wedding invite saying: “Plus one” they never have to think whether it would be safe to bring their significant other or what that decision might do to the opinions about them, their careers (in case it’s linked to work situations) or even their physical safety. And trust me, I would never wish those situations to anyone because more than sometimes they make me sick to my stomach.

            That’s also why I have a fixed response to people stating being gay is a choice. “Yes, because I love being ridiculed, hated, threatened and even physically hurt and what better way to achieve that than coming out as gay”.

          • Joseph

            Yup, I deal with a similar situation in which my sister is not “allowed” to bring her partner to Christian family events or relatives’ homes because it might make some people uncomfortable. Just her presence is bad enough. Not all Christians behave this way, of course, but this is normal for gay people to experience every day.

          • Phoenix1977

            Although that exposes you to the trouble LGBTs are facing on a daily basis it’s not the same. My brother is among the biggest LGBT activists in my country. But he’s straight, married with 2 children. I’m very grateful for his support but he doesn’t really get it. He witnesses the problems but that’s not the same as experiencing it first hand. And the same goes to you.

          • Joseph

            I never said it was the same. I said these are common experiences within the LGBT community, and it’s happening in my family too. If you thought when I said “I deal with a similar situation,” I meant that I understand firsthand what it’s like, you’re wildly off-base. Obviously this is something my sister deals with firsthand, but the rest of the family is also impacted and we deal with that impact too although clearly in a different way. Didn’t think I needed to spell it out for you, but there you go.

          • Phoenix1977

            True. I stand corrected.

          • Scott

            I would so love to take that threat away. It seems Christians have a lot of work to do within our own communities. All people are created in the image of God… ridicule, hate and threat of violence have no place in His kingdom. They are agents of evil used to “divide and conquer” as you put it earlier.

            Just because I believe differently does not mean I hate you. If we can understand each other, there is hope… don’t you think?

          • Phoenix1977

            Somehow I don’t doubt you would, Scott (and trust me, that coming from me towards a Christian is saying something). But we both know neither of us can remove that threat. The only way to remove it is when someone’s sexuality is no longer relevant in society. The only way to remove the threat LGBTs are facing every day is to remove the need for a coming out completely by simply accepting (not tolerating) someone they way he or she is.

            In order to understand each other there first needs to be a will to invest in a dialogue. That will is absent in (most) Christians as well and in (most) LGBTs. It’s quite difficult to have a dialogue with someone who immediately calls you “intrinsically disordered” (the way the Catholic Church describes LGBTs) just as it would be quite difficult to have a dialogue with someone who calls you “backwatered, bigotted and obsolete” (the way the LGBT community sees Christians). You and me are having this discussion because we both are fairly open towards each other without attacking each other (even though it’s quite unlikely we will ever agree on this subject). I know for a fact that discussion would be over the moment you would make a derogative remark towards me just as I think you would not take kindly to me making such a statement. Unfortunately derogative remarks (if not plain insults) are what most discussions between LGBTs and Christian end with (or even start with). For example, take a look at a website as lifesitenews.com and the “discussions” on Pride month. On that note I/m pleasantly surprised with the openess on this website. I have been banned on other websites for simply giving my view on matters. The moderators are lifesitenews kicked me off, stating “We don’t want you liberal gay views on our website”.

            So, is there hope? I don’t know. Even in 21st century there are enough people who take the bible literally and who believe LGBTs are plain evil. You don’t have to turn to the Westboro Baptist Church to find them. And there are a lot of LGBTs who believe in their core Christianity and LGBTs simply cannot coexist so one of them has to go. As I said before, I don’t see a middle ground here. But I wouldn’t mind being proven wrong if those Christians were as openminded and tolerant as you are, Scott.

          • Scott

            Why would you doubt that? Is that not what I am trying to do now?

            Acceptance of all things in impossible… Tolerance is not. Since neither of us can accept all beliefs, then we must learn how to live with a degree of tolerance towards those that differ from our own. I do not presume to know your intensions, but I do know my own. I have shown you nothing but respect and a willingness to listen to your point of view. If this is not evidence pointing us in the right direction than I do not know what is.

            And you can be sure that you will not hear me utter a derogatory remark even if you were to use one or more against me. I take my faith seriously. : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            That’s my point, Scott. I don’t doubt it. At least, not from you. So only 1.5 billion more Christians throughout the world to go 🙂

            And that’s the problem at the same time. Even after our discussion I can trust you, but that’s not BECAUSE you’re a Christian; that’s DESPITE you being a Christian. The fact that you are an openminded and friendly person with respect for others doesn’t mean, at least not to me, that I will assume all Christians to share those positive qualities in you. Just like the next LGBT you meet won’t automatically know you are a good person simply because I now know.

            In the end it all comes down to trust. And there is no trust in the LGBT community towards Christians (or members of other religions). We have been dissapointed too many times in the past. So it’s easier to keep our distance or (the tactics oftenly used by the LGBT community today), adhere to the old dogma: “The best defense is a good offense”. And we have become pretty good in our offensive capabilities, in more ways than one.

          • Scott

            Trust can be reconciled between LGBTs and Christians if we consider our conversation as a model. It probably will not happen in our life time but I am trying to illustrate that a devout Christian can earn the trust of LGBTs (and vice versa) without compromising their Christian beliefs. In fact, I’m trying to illustrate that it is because of our Christian beliefs that we can find peace. Each would have to offer some degree of respect for the other… but I think we can both find evidence of that within our conversations. If we can take hate and anger out of our conversations and replace them with empathy and grace, then we exist in peace.

          • Phoenix1977

            That’s quite the assumption you’re making there. For one, you believe the anger and hatred can be taken out of the equation. Perhaps, in a distant future, it can. But for now there is too much bad blood, at least from the LGBT side of the discussion. And I doubt current affairs are improving that. I mean, what will happen should the Supreme Court rule in favor of LGBTs in the case of baker and cake decorator Jack Philips? That would mean all Christians in all 50 states would be forced to make cakes, flower arrangements and wedding photo’s for same-sex couples. Although personally I would applaud such a ruling it wouldn’t contribute to any kind of reconciliation.
            And, once again, our frame of reference is completely opposite. You believe because of your Christian faith we can find such a peace while I believe it would be accomplished despite your Christian faith. After all, it would take quite an effort to deal peacefully with people who consider you to be “intrinsically disordered” …

          • Scott

            Can it be said the the human condition is intrinsically disordered? Should one be condemned because of their different beliefs? I wonder if you’ve missed my point? You want freedom to be atheist, I want freedom to be Christian. This can be accomplished if we have the right to refuse the other…

            I do not hate you Phoenix. Nor do I hate that you are different than I am. If you do not hate me for being different than you than we have hope… don’t you think?

          • Phoenix1977

            I used the words “intrinsically disordered” because those are the exact words the church describes LGBTs. Those aren’t my words. They are words used by Christians to categorize me and people like me. Like I said, it would be very difficult to peacefully coexist with people who see and/or describe you in this way. I doubt you could easily get over people openly calling you names like that, right?

            No, Scott, I don’t hate you. I don’t know you well enough to hate you (or love you, for that matter). I do know there is a part of you I’m not too fond of: your religion. And I honestly don’t know if I would ever be able to see past that part. So I don’t share your optimism, to be honest.

          • Scott

            Joseph,

            You touch on too many subjects for me to properly address them all so I will start with the one I know best, my intensions. J

            I know many people who are connected to all the communities you list above and have friends in most. All of those people know that not only are they safe around me, but that I genuinely care about them. I have devoted my life to Jesus and I am being led to do exactly that, “bridge the gap.”

            When it comes to Christian morals, I believe as a created being that God defines morality as law for us to abide by (interestingly He gives us the choice to follow or not, so enforcement of such laws have to be His). We could have a much longer discussion about Christian morality but in the end we might agree that the Christian goal is not to impose His moral law. Rather it is to lead His people to Jesus so He may begin a redemptive (and miraculous in my case) change. I would again suggest reading Rosaria Butterfields book “The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert.” It is also helpful in bridging the gap between LGBT and Christian communities.

            The words you choose to use above “argue(ing)” and “lecture” I think paint a fairly negative picture of Christians (in some cases Christians are). Perhaps this was your intension, perhaps not. They are unhelpful in any case because if we (you and I) are trying to bridge the gap, then an empathetic understanding of both sides is our goal.

            Lastly I would like to say that I have not told or lectured anyone about their specific cause. My intension is to understand their cause and link it to my cause as a call for peace and understanding between all causes so that we all may exist in the same society.

          • Phoenix1977

            But we are talking fear, discrimination, hatred and violence here, Scott. There is not a single LGBT who has not encountered discrimination, hatred and violence, just as there is not LGBT who has not experienced fear. Fear for being found out (when still in the closet), fear of being discriminated against or hated and even being the victim of (sexual) violence. For example, did you know several Christian churches in Africa promoto “corrective” rape against lesbians in order to turn them straight? Don’t you think lesbians in those parts of the world live in constant fear?

            Like Joseph said, Pride month is about celebrating we don’t have to live in fear anymore. It’s to give a clear signal to those who hate us that we are with many and that we will no longer be subdued. It’s even sending a signal that we will defend ourselves if required, since most Pride marches include military personnel and law enforcement. It’s also about commemorating the ones before us who fell defending their basic human rights as well as showing support to those of us who are still too afraid to be themselves or who live in circumstances preventing them from coming out. For example, did you know in 18 states in the US LGBT can still be fired from their jobs for simply being who they are? Or that in 11 states local law enforcement was allowed to enter a home simply by claiming the suspicion of gay sex going on in that house until Lawrence vs. Texas in 2003? Or that a recent ruling by the Supreme Court can be interpreted so that Christian hospitals can refuse treatment to LGBTs, even in life threatening situations?

            So, no, gay pride is not about celebrating a sexual expression. It’s celebrating freedom and having our basic human rights respected. It’s even, if you wish, a huge middle finger towards those who oppressed us and who are still trying to do so. But the only group of people who say gay pride is about sex are the religious conservatives we used to fear. But not anymore.

          • Scott

            Equal rights I can understand and support. Fortunately police can’t enter someones home for suspicion of any kind of consensual (and unsolicited) sex. I don’t believe the sale of sexual favors should be legal whether or not both parties agree to the sale. Hospitals should treat all people… in my opinion that could an evangelical opportunity. If nothing else a Christian should want to save both physically and spiritually. Job opportunities should be fair and equal… I will say that depends on the job in some cases. For example both LGBT and Christians should be able to work for Microsoft. Out Magazine however should not be required to hire a Christian editor any more than Wheaton College should have to hire an LGBT theology professor.

            Rape is not Christian. All people (in Africa or anywhere in the world) that condone this should be punished. Sexual sin gets no more damaging to all parties than rape.

          • Phoenix1977

            I think for argument’s sake we should leave prostitution out of this discussion. It’s complicated enough as it is 🙂

            “Hospitals should treat all people… in my opinion that could an evangelical opportunity.”
            But this, once again, infringes on people’s rights. For example, a Christian hospital has a very good cardiac surgery program but all patients being admitted must agree on being visited by the Reverend during their hospital stay (if not formally than at least informally forced upon them). So basically someone would have to chose between being operated on by one of the best surgeons or being free from being forced to experience religion. How would that be fair or just?

            Believe it or not but I work at a Catholic hospital as an openly out gay doctor. And I have never worked with so many openly gay collaegues ever before. But basically you say the hospital should be able to fire me for being gay, even though I am a good doctor (and that’s not just my opinion. According to surveys among patients and their relatives they actually give me the highest satisfaction scores). What has my sexuality to do with my ability to treat patients?

            “Sexual sin gets no more damaging to all parties than rape.”
            At least one thing we agree on.

          • Scott

            For what its worth, I believe the patient should have the right to refuse the reverends visit… and I do not find it hard to believe that you work in a Catholic hospital. Especially considering the vast majority of hospitals began out of Christian compassion (perhaps another piece of evidence for God). While ruling oppressors were doing their thing, some of the faithful Christians were doing theirs. : )

            Also hospitals should not be able to fire you because of your worldview/ideology or sexuality. Never said that, never will. You are a doctor… you have every right to be one. You just shouldn’t teach Christianity… I would argue a Christian shouldn’t teach LGBT rights as well. J

          • Phoenix1977

            And yet, in 18 states in the US a hospital based on religious grounds can fire a doctor, nurse or secretary for no other reason than being gay, or an atheist, etc.

            “Especially considering the vast majority of hospitals began out of Christian compassion (perhaps another piece of evidence for God).”
            More like an example how badly governments were doing in the 1600s and 1700s.

          • Scott

            And yet Christians (not atheists) had the compassion (and desire) to help the sick. Also many were volunteers… sounds like sacrificial love to me. Tell me how that fits into an atheist’s naturalist/materialist world view?

  • Phoenix1977

    “Is there anything we can do, or say, or wear or attend, or eat anymore that doesn’t require talking about homosexuality or transgenderism?”
    No, there is not. We’re here to stay, whether you like it or not.

    “Well, consider U. S. women’s soccer player Jaelene Hinkle—an outspoken Christian—who will sit out two international friendly games where the team is wearing rainbow jerseys.”
    And who will take a significant drop in income because of it, while it’s debatable if she will ever rejoin the team. Because several sponsors already made it clear they are not amused by Jaelene Hinkle’s decision not to celebrate gay pride.

    • Just one of many voices

      Whoa now…I can understand your comment based on other things you’ve shared, but nobody brought up the removal of anyone until you said “we’re here to stay, whether you like it or not.”

      I think we can agree society has always gone through vicious cycles, right? Christians–at least, the really judgmental ones–have harassed and tried to force others to abide by their lifestyles. Sadly, humanity never seems to learn from past mistakes (hence the vicious cycles).

      So, is John simply not asking, are we getting to a point where the coin is flipped (yet again, for the million-billion-trillionth time)? Flipped, to where Christians will be forced to wear colors, provide services, etc regardless of whether we agree?

      • Phoenix1977

        I think I can agree with that statement, yes. However, if you are looking for sympathy within the LGBT community it’s quite unlikely you will find it. Being forced to hide ourselves and acting like something we’re not was a daily business for LGBT until the beginning of this century. Don’t expect us to feel sorry for our previous oppressors.

        • Scott

          Perhaps sympathy is the wrong word. I would prefer empathy. To “bridge the gap” as Joseph states below, it will take a degree of empathy on both sides.

          Not all of your oppressors were Christians… in another conversation I could argue that many of them were not acting Christian at all. I can also (in another conversation) shed some light on why a Christians objection to participating in an LGBT marriage ceremony is not an act of hate but rather an act of obedience to a higher power. Even though you may reject the existence of God, your rejection is no different than the Christians rejection of your belief that none exists. If we can take away the hate, anger and violence then we can begin the process of healing. In a society where there are many different religions, ideologies and world views, this is the only way we can exist. I believe Christians have a duty to protect such societies… there also has to be room for those different religions, ideologies and world views to (peacefully) object to one another. I believe this is possible as well, not forcing one to participate in the others culture (specifically the events/customs that cause conflict with their own) would be a good start. Pluralism is tricky… If we truly believe that diversity is good, than this must be the way forward.

          Phoenix, if you were to see a man drowning and knew how to swim well enough to save him, would you? I would no matter what that man believed. I think you told me you are a doctor… if that is the case then I believe your answer to my question is yes? Christians believe that all who do not believe in Jesus are drowning eternally. We would choose to save everyone if we could. We can’t do that through hate… it can only happen if we genuinely love all (as God commands). I want to learn about your pain, so I can bridge the gap between you and I. If we know that we act out of compassion for the other than we can erase the real enemy, hate.

          • Phoenix1977

            In Europe those oppressors were indeed Christians. Same-sex relationships were completely common in Europe before Christianity and are once again completely common since Christianity lost it’s power over the majority of people. So for a period of a little under 2 millennia being LGBT was a sickness, an abomination and a crime and those some 2 millennia Christianity reigned supreme. That’s no coincidence, that’s at least associated and quite likely causality.

            The frame of reference is, once again, different here. For one, I don’t care about someone’s believes. And with that I mean I truly have no feelings about it. But that indifference on my end only extends to where I don’t suffer from someone’s believe. If someone discriminates against me I suffer from their believes, ending my indifference and making want to fight them. Another important difference between me (a European) and you (an American) is that in Europe the freedom of religion is not absolute. In every Constitution in every European country the freedom of religion is limited in one way or the other. For example, in the Dutch Constitution, all basic liberties are limited with the sentence: “Within everyone’s responsibility according to the law”. So the law trumps everything and Dutch law states you cannot discriminate against LGBTs in any way. In the eyes of the average European the American First Amendment is completely ludicrous.
            In my country pretty much all religions and other believe systems coexist and that is possible because everyone recognizes the fact the have to obey the law and every aspect of it, meaning Christians, Jews, Muslims and everyone else cannot excuse themselves from participating in a same-sex wedding. They can only request being excused but the decision is not theirs.

            I don’t need saving and especially not by conservative Christians who do such a bang up job behaving Christian-ish. Like I explained to you in a different post, I have been exposed to that kind of Christianity more than enough to last me several lifetimes. And with me most LGBTs. I don’t believe we can bridge the gap, not for another couple of generations after Christians have learned to accept us fully for who and what we are and leave us alone. I’m not sure to call it hate but there is certainly a lot of distrust in the LGBT community towards Christians. And, as I explained before, not without reason.

          • Scott

            In using the drowning analogy, I was only attempting to show you that some Christians act the way they do out of compassion of all of humanity.

            I would not agree that all oppressors in Europe have been Christian… but that might be for another debate. I would agree that there have been more than a few.

            When you say things like “I don’t care about someones beliefs” and “(insert religion here) cannot excuse themselves from participating in a same sex-wedding… the decision is not theirs.” You become like your oppressors.

            Also, You cannot prove that you do not need saving. You just do not believe that you need saving. Big difference. You have the right to choose your beliefs and and I will defend that. You also have the right not to attend church (or a Christian wedding) and I will defend that as well, but I will also fight for that same right.

          • Phoenix1977

            “When you say things like “I don’t care about someones beliefs” and “(insert religion here) cannot excuse themselves from participating in a same sex-wedding… the decision is not theirs.” You become like your oppressors.”
            I’m quite aware of the potential paradox. Although, I would argue at least religious people in my country have to possibility to ask to be excused. LGBTs have not been given that same right throughout the past 2000 years.

            “I will also fight for that same right.”
            And I have no problem with that. As long as your rights don’t interfere with mine. Because once they do I will have a problem with that.

          • Scott

            “And I have no problem with that. As long as your rights don’t interfere with mine. Because once they do I will have a problem with that.” I’m sure you are well aware of the paradox here too. : – )

            I thought you might like the idea of a government that neither promotes one faith over the other nor a doctrinaire form of secularist belief that marginalizes religion. Such a government does not exist, but if it did it would create a society where people of all kinds of beliefs (including non religious secular) could freely contribute, cooperate, coexist in mutual respect and peace. Such a place is what the creators of our republic had in mind and can only be achieved with room for ideological differences. People like you and I need such a place.

          • Phoenix1977

            Such a government does exist. My country is like that. Religion has no place in the public realm but whatever you do in your own home and in your house of worship is up to you. If you are asked something which violates your believes you can ask to be opted out but you cannot demand others to bow down to your believes. Our country is, in essence, secular with respect for all religions but it has taken quite some time to get where we are today. And at the moment we see religious people being unable to accept the fact they no longer hold the priveleges they had until the mid 1900s. In those cases the courts are very clear: religion is a private matter, belonging in the privacy of one’s home. And no one is to be affected by someone else’s religion.

          • Scott

            I am not familiar with laws in your country? Would they allow a Muslim church to politely refuse same-sex weddings? Would they force Christian property owners to host a same-sex wedding ceremony?

            There needs to be room for religious and ideological differences for such a place to exist.

          • Phoenix1977

            Churches are not forced to do anything.
            But yes, if you own a property in which you host weddings you are required to host same-sex weddings as well. If you are a baker and you make wedding cakes you are required to bake them for same-sex weddings as well. If you are a photographer … Well, you catch my drift. Like I said, my country doesn’t know the option to opt out. In the past wedding officials (if think you would call the justices of the peace) tried to opt out. They have all been replaced or reassigned to situations their religion no longer interferes with their jobs. For several that meant unemployment.
            There is room for religious and ideological differences, as long as you obey the law. Openly discriminating is not obeying the law.

          • Scott

            It sounds like the law in your country openly discriminates against religious ideology in favor of secular naturalist/materialist ideology. This is not what I was speaking of:

            “Such a government does not exist, but if it did it would create a society where people of all kinds of beliefs (including non religious secular) could freely contribute, cooperate, coexist in mutual respect and peace. Such a place is what the creators of our republic had in mind and can only be achieved with room for ideological differences. People like you and I need such a place.”

            The words cooperate and mutual respect are left out of your version. Your idea of government forces others to live and act as if they share your ideology.

          • Phoenix1977

            No, you can believe whatever you want in my country, as long as you obey the law. Effectively that means you are to keep your religion in the privacy of your home and your church. There is no room for it in the public square. And, in my opinion, that is the only way different ideologies can coexist.

          • Scott

            That is not free speech… or freedom of religion.

            The laws your government has adopted suppress/oppress/marginalize religion. They place your naturalistic/materialistic ideological beliefs above others.

    • AtTheCrossroads

      Hmmm Phoenix “And who will take a significant drop in income because of it . . . ” Doesn’t that call into question your comment on the “Steadfast Surrogate” story where you claimed that everything is about money? Jaelene doesn’t seem to agree. Good for her!

      • Phoenix1977

        Let’s see how “good” both you and Jaelene will feel if her sponsors decide to end their contracts over this issue. Jaelene might have ended her career for absolutely nothing.

        • AtTheCrossroads

          Wow, very diabolical-sounding wouldn’t you say, Phoenix? Just missing the “. . . and your little dog, too! (cackle, cackle, cackle!)”. Believe it or not, there are still people in the world who know there is more to life than money/career. Jim Elliot was one such person . . . “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.”

          So let me ask you, if the choice was between celebrating the viewpoint that homosexuality is a self-debasing sin by wearing around a T-shirt that quotes Romans chapter 1 -or- losing your job . . . which would you choose?

          • Phoenix1977

            I would wear the t-shirt. Even post-crisis this is not a time to be without a job. Principles don’t pay the bills, put food on the table or a roof over your head; a job does.

          • AtTheCrossroads

            Wow, surprising frankly. I took you as more of an idealist. It does, however, help me understand your criticism of a person of integrity like Jaelene Hinkle.

            Now take it a step further and imagine that by wearing the T-Shirt you truly believed you would be supporting an idea that would ultimately prove destructive both to those who embraced it and society in general. Still insufficient sense of duty nor integrity to stand up to the bully’s on behalf of others? Tin Man may not be the only one needing a heart! :o)

          • Phoenix1977

            With pragmatism you accomplish far more than with idealism. Idealism would never have made it possible for LGBTs to get married because in that case LGBTs would have continued with demonstrations and lobbying for equal rights while being shut down by conservative forces time and again. Pragmatism led to the law suits that ultimately ended in the ruling in Obergefell vs. Hodges, legalizing same-sex marriage throughout the entire Union.

            And don’t forget, I have the luxury of being able to portray myself as an idealist. I have equal rights while the law, the courts and Big Business are on my side. I have a very strong position in society nowadays. People like Jaelene Hinkle don’t. However, not that long ago LGBTs were in the same position Jaelene Hinkle is now. In that situation I would have worn the t-shirt. Nowadays I would have set it on fire.

          • Phoenix1977

            I do hope you have more recent movie references than “Gremlins” (1984)?

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Earlier than that, Phoenix! That was a “Wizard of Oz” reference (1939).

          • Phoenix1977

            That’s a little before my time. Feeling quite ashamed, though, being gay and not recognizing a quote from “The Wizard of Oz” …

  • Mama Lawing

    These earthly crowns are short-lived, her Heavenly crown for doing God’s will is eternal.
    The bible says for the Christian to have no part with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. The bible also says “He who justifies the wicked and he who condemns the righteous, Both of them alike are an abomination to the LORD”. … Proverbs 17:15

    • Scott

      I love Proverbs!.. “Fools give full vent to their rage, but the wise bring calm in the end.” – Proverbs 29:11

      Let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.” – Colossians 4:6

      “This world is fading away, along with everything it craves. But if you do the will of God, you will live forever.” – 1John 2:17

      Christians rejoice! Jesus is our teacher, our savior, our king! Praise be to God.

  • Stephen Stewart

    It is pretty evident that the Bible condemns homosexuals/homosexual behavior. It was a capital offense under the Old Testament law (Leviticus 20:13) and a secured a sure ticket to hell in the New Testament writings (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). Is that the fate of these and thousands of other brilliantly gifted and prolific gay people (many who self-identify as devout Christians)? I have long wondered: Should we have no use for them and shun/ignore them and their work? : Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, Hans Christian Anderson, Petr Illich Tchaikovsky, Jean-Baptiste Lully, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Walt Whitman, John Maynard Keynes, Virgil Thompson, Aaron Copland, Samuel Barber, Leonard Bernstein, Vladimir Horowitz, Ophelia Dahl, Van Cliburn, Yves St. Laurent, Elton John, Ari Shapiro, Barry Manilow, Earl Wild, Jennifer Knapp, Ray Boltz, Virgil Fox, Howard Helvey, Mark Hayes, Chad Sewich, Tim Cook, Rachel Maddow, Anderson Cooper, Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Mark X. Hatfield, Neda Ulaby, Don Lemon, Thomas Roberts, Shepard Smith, Robin Roberts and countless others….
    Is it realistic and honest to believe that people actually choose their sexual orientation? Should those who feel no physical attraction to those of the opposite sex be forbidden to ever experience an intimate relationship? How much severe and permanent psychological damage has been done to young people by the forced but futile attempted use of the invalidated and discredited “conversion/reparative therapy?” How many young men have tragically committed suicide after being told by their churches that their sexual orientation was sinful – an abomination in God’s eyes – and that they were hell-bound if they didn’t “change?” I personally know at least two.

  • Scott

    You acknowledge bad only… and refuse to acknowledge the good?

    I know that atheists can do good deeds and I am willing to recognize that. It does not seem that you are willing to recognize all the good deeds done by Christians though.

    Sorry, the english language is tricky… what I meant by naturalist/materialist:

    Naturalism = a philosophical viewpoint according to which everything arises from natural properties and causes, and supernatural or spiritual explanations are excluded or discounted

    Materialism = the doctrine that nothing exists except matter and its movements and modifications. The doctrine that consciousness and will are wholly due to material agency.

    “Today there are more emergency relieve organisations, human rights organisations and long term developmental organisations based on atheism in the world than there are based on religious grounds.” This statement is not true, most of the organizations you refer to are not “based” on atheism considering many Christians serve in them.

    • Phoenix1977

      Like I said, some good does not erase all the bad. And there is a lot of red in the Christian books.

      The relief agencies I mentioned above all clearly state they are atheistic in origin and do not recognize any religion as leading in any way. Other medical organisations giving emergency relief state pretty much the same on their websites, or state they are oblivious to religion and it doesn’t guide their actions. It’s not that surprising since they all receive funds from European governments. And EU memberstates are prohibited by EU treaties to support religious organisations.
      So yes, Christians may serve in them, but not because they’re Christians but despite that fact and only if they keep their religion private. Kind of like “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”.

  • Scott

    I think we can all agree that murder cannot be allowed. : – )

    Different kinds of weddings are not that far fetched.

    • Phoenix1977

      “I think we can all agree that murder cannot be allowed. : – )”
      And why rule out murder and not open discrimination? After all, they are both crimes. You can’t have it both ways. You cannot say you are entitled to complete religious freedom, including open discrimination against LGBTs (for example) and at the same time deny others their complete freedom of religion because you think human sacrifices go too far. That’s their religion and so they should be allowed to express it freely as well.

      For the record, I too think human sacrifices are too much, before some people (including the moderators) are getting a heart attack. And besides, as far as I know all Kali worshiping with human sacrifices subcults of Hinduism were eradicated during the British occupation of India. But that doesn’t change the principle. You want to enjoy all freedoms and protection of your religious believes but as the same time see no problem in restricting others. That’s a bit hypocrite of you, don’t you think?

      Again, for the law there is only 1 type of marriage and therefor also only 1 type of wedding. Did you know the law does not even acknowledge a Christian wedding without a by the government approved marriage license and certificate?