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December 9, 2009

Christians condemn Ugandan anti-gay law

With lawmakers in Uganda poised to make homosexuality a crime punishable by death, a group of American Catholic, Protestant and Evangelical leaders is speaking out.

From a release by the groups the Catholics in Alliance and Faith in Public Life:

“Given U.S. Christian groups’ extensive history of involvement in Uganda, these numerous Catholic, Evangelical and Mainline Protestant leaders – including several members of the President’s Advisory Council on Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships – felt especially compelled to speak out against the ‘Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009’ as counter to Christian values and call on all American Christian leaders to join them.”

“This bill is an affront to human dignity and offensive to Christians around the world who take seriously Christ’s command to love our neighbors as ourselves,” said Thomas P. Melady, a former U.S. ambassador to Uganda and the Vatican and one of the signers of the statement. “I’m proud to stand with other people of faith who believe our values compel us to speak out against this profound injustice.”

According to the Associated Press, Ugandan lawmakers proposed the measure after a visit by leaders of U.S. conservative Christian ministries that promote therapy for gays to become heterosexual. But at least one of those leaders has denounced the bill, as have some other conservative and liberal Christians in the United States.

"I agree with the general goal but this law is far too harsh," Scott Lively, a California preacher and author of "The Pink Swastika" and other books that advise parents how to "recruit-proof" their children from gays, told the AP.

Lively did not sign the statement, which appears after the jump.

U.S. Christian Leaders’ Statement on "Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009"

Our Christian faith recognizes violence, harassment and unjust treatment of any human being as a betrayal of Jesus' commandment to love our neighbors as ourselves. As followers of the teachings of Christ, we must express profound dismay at a bill currently before the Parliament in Uganda. The "Anti-Homosexuality Act of 2009" would enforce lifetime prison sentences and in some cases the death penalty for homosexual behavior, as well as punish citizens for not reporting their gay and lesbian neighbors to the authorities.

As Americans, some may wonder why we are raising our voices to oppose a measure proposed in a nation so far away from home. We do so to bear witness to our Christian values, and to express our condemnation of an injustice in which groups and leaders within the American Christian community are being implicated. We appeal to all Christian leaders in our own country to speak out against this unjust legislation.

In our efforts to imitate the Good Samaritan, we stand in solidarity with those Ugandans beaten and left abandoned by the side of the road because of hatred, bigotry and fear. Especially during this holy season of Advent, when the global Christian community prepares in hope for the light of Christ to break through the darkness, we pray that they are comforted by God's love.

Regardless of the diverse theological views of our religious traditions regarding the morality of homosexuality, in our churches, communities and families, we seek to embrace our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters as God's children worthy of respect and love. Yet we are painfully aware that in our country gays and lesbians still face hostility and violence. We recognize that such treatment degrades the human family, threatens the common good and defies the teachings of our Lord -- wherever it occurs.


Thomas P. Melady
Former U.S. Ambassador to Uganda and the Vatican

Ronald J. Sider
President
Evangelicals for Social Action

Jim Wallis
President
Sojourners
Rocco Puopolo, SX
Executive Director
Africa Faith and Justice Network
James E. Hug, S.J.
President
Center of Concern

Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference

Institute Leadership Team of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas

Rev. Adam Hamilton
United Methodist pastor and author

Arturo Chavez
President & CEO
Mexican American Catholic College

Dr. Sharon E. Watkins
General Minister and President
Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada

T. Michael McNulty, SJ
Justice and Peace Director
Conference of Major Superiors of Men

Dr. David P. Gushee
Distinguished University Professor of Christian Ethics
Mercer University

Marie Lucey, OSF
Associate Director for Social Mission
Leadership Conference of Women Religious

Bryan N. Massingale, S.T.D.
President, Catholic Theological Society of America
Associate Professor of Theological Ethics
Marquette University

Melissa Rogers
Director
Wake Forest University Divinity School's Center for Religion and Public Affairs

Maryann Cusimano Love
Department of Politics
The Catholic University of America

The Rev. Canon Peg Chemberlin
Incoming President
National Council of Churches of Christ USA

The Hon. Douglas W. Kmiec

Diana Butler Bass
Author and Educator

Jim Martin, SJ
Associate Editor
America magazine

Brian McLaren
author. speaker. Activist

Rev. Christopher P. Promis, C.S.Sp.
Justice, Peace and Integrity of Creation Promoter
Congregation of the Holy Spirit
Province of the USA
Dr. Derrick Harkins
Senior Pastor, Nineteenth Street Baptist Church
Board Member, World Relief

Marie Dennis
Director
Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns
Co-President, Pax Christi International

Jim Winkler
General Secretary
United Methodist General Board of Church and Society

Thomas J. Reese, S.J.
Senior Fellow
Woodstock Theological Center
Georgetown University

The Reverend Debra W. Haffner
Executive Director
Religious Institute

Stephen F. Schneck, PhD
Director
Institute for Policy Research & Catholic Studies
The Catholic University of America

Geoffrey Black
General Minister and President
United Church of Christ

David Hollenbach, S.J.
University Chair in Human Rights and International Justice
Theology Department
Boston College

Richard R. Gaillardetz
Murray/Bacik Professor of Catholic Studies
University of Toledo

Alex Mikulich
Research Fellow
Jesuit Social Research Institute
Loyola University

Christine Firer Hinze
Professor, Christian Ethics
Department of Theology
Fordham University

Rev. Dr. Ken Brooker Langston
Director
Disciples Justice Action Network and Coordinator, Disciples Center for Public Witness

Paulette Skiba, BVM
Religious Studies
Clarke College

Paul Lakeland
Aloysius P. Kelley S.J. Professor of Catholic Studies
Fairfield University

J. Matthew Ashley
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Director of Graduate Studies
Department of Theology
University of Notre Dame

Erin Lothes Biviano
Fellow- Theology, Center for the Study of Science and Religion
Columbia University

Rev. Paul de Vries, PhD
President, New York Divinity School
Board Member, National Association of Evangelicals

John Sniegocki
Associate Professor of Christian Ethics
Xavier University

Nancy Dallavalle
Chair, Department of Religious Studies
Fairfield University

M. Shawn Copeland
Associate Professor of Systematic Theology
Boston College

David DeCosse
Director of Campus Ethics Programs
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University
Bruce T. Morrill
Associate Professor of Theology
Boston College

Kristin Heyer
Associate Professor, Religious Studies
Santa Clara University

Chris Korzen
Executive Director
Catholic United

Jeannine Hill Fletcher
Associate Professor of Theology
Fordham University

William O'Neill, S.J.
Jesuit School of Theology of
Santa Clara University

Michael Duffy, Ed.D.
Director,
Joan and Ralph Lane Center for Catholic Studies and Social Thought
University of San Francisco

Elena Procario-Foley, Ph.D.
Driscoll Professor of Jewish-Catholic Studies
Iona College

Lisa Sowe Cahill,
Monan Professor of Theology
Boston College

Dennis M. Doyle
Religious Studies
University of Dayton
Lew Daly
author of God's Economy: Faith-based Initiatives and the Caring State

Bradford E. Hinze
Professor of Theology
Fordham University

Kirk O. Hanson
University Professor and Executive Director
Markkula Center for Applied Ethics
Santa Clara University

David J O'Brien
University Professor of Faith and Culture
University of Dayton

William L. Portier
University of Dayton

Terrence W. Tilley
Professor of Theology and Chair of the Department
Fordham University

Margaret A. Farley
Gilbert L. Stark Professor Emerita of Christian Ethics
Yale University Divinity School

Nicholas P. Cafardi
Dean Emeritus and Professor of Law
Duquesne University School of Law

Teresa Delgado, PhD
Director, Peace and Justice Studies Program
Assistant Professor of Religious Studies
Iona College
Maria Riley, OP
Center of Concern
Washington, DC

Victoria Kovari
Interim Executive Director
Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good

Adam Tice
Associate Pastor
Hyattsville Mennonite Church

Posted by Matthew Hay Brown at 10:59 AM | | Comments (57)
        

Comments

Any word yet from those "conservative" (i.e., homophobic) American Episcopalians who, uneasy with the mainline denomination's simple extension of Christian community to all, have alligned themselves with the Ugandan Church? When you lie down with dogs .... you may find you like it there.

This, quite frankly, is too little too late. This Ugandan legislation has been under discussion for weeks, and only now, when the bill is on the brink of being passed, do these good christians come forward to make their voices heard. Too late. What christian churches have shown us is the depth of their hatred for us. Forget about "hate the sin, love the sinner." They prefer to hate the sin and kill the sinner. Highly skeptical of organized religion before this, I now understand that christians want me dead. I won't forget that.

The bill that is before the parliament in Uganda is really an issue for ugandans to worry about, but as I see the American gays are more worried about this bill more than the people in Uganda. Homosexuality in Uganda is not as open as in the US a lot people are afraid even to talk about it in public.
I was born and bred in Uganda but I didn't het to know about homesexuality until I was the age of about sixteen. In a nutshell a lot people in Uganda do not even know that this bill is before parliament infact many people would not even care if it was passed.

Joseph - So state sanctioned murder in your home land is OK, as long as you don't know about it? There is a certain danger in living your life with your head in the sand, or in some other dark place, because you might end up the victim sometime. It would be like what would happen here if we listened to those trying to keep insurance companies in control of health care and allowed them to arbitrarily kill people to enhance their bottom line, a crime against Humanity.

Has anyone used the word "Holocaust" for this legislation yet? Has anyone really thought about the scope of this outrage to humanity? They are going to put us to DEATH!! Where are the world leaders? They are now not content to just take away our basic human rights, now they want us dead! Just a little backwards country,it will never happen here! That's what the Jews said!!!

Executing people for being homosexual is no different than executing people for cheating on their income taxes. We are all sinners and do wrong things. The only difference is that the gay minority will use this as an excuse to say that Christians are bad people and somehow they are the ones who caused this law to be enacted. If someone wanted to pass a law about similiar punishment for cheating on taxes chances are it would never be passed because people who cheat on their taxes are more of a majority. In that case there wouldnt be anyone pointing the finger at Christians.

Robert I just want advise you that we have a democtratic government in Uganda. The bill before parliament was introduced by a private member of the public the government had nothing to do with the drafting of this bill. Secondly some of the issues raised in this bill have been brown out of proportion by the different interest groups mainly in the US.
As I said before homosexuality in Uganda is a relatively a new thing both the government and the different Christian groups want to discourage it from taking off. To be honest with you I don't think this bill will be passed in it's current form without major adjustments being done on it. Either way let's keep our fingers closed. May God bless you.

Clay, you are damn fool--the Christians of Uganda are systematic persecutors--in fact it is widely believed the next Pope will be emerging from the womb of Africa--so do not ever think Africa is irrelevant to Christianity. Africa is a bastion of Christianity, What's the matter with Africa? First we have the Lord's Resistance Army, a Christian cult, whose leader appropriated for himself a bunch of ruffians, abducted young women from their schools, raped them repeatedly in cold blood, impregnated several and bred for himself a brood of young recruits. His brutality has run the gamut and has thrived in Uganda unchecked under Museveni, whom we have supported as a benign tyrant. Then we have Uganda participating in the great war of Africa--called the Third World War, in magnitude and slaughter so savage--the unremitting war in the Congo--Rwanda, Burundi, Angola, Uganda, Namibia, all participants in the race for natural resources. Is this a country in any real sense--this Uganda? Here we speak of Africa, a continent belaboring under the chains of so many dictators and criminals--they kill those with vitiligo there. Across the continent, those who are losing their skin pigment , who cannot go out into the harsh African sunlight, but have to emerge only in the dark of the night to breathe any fresh air, are hunted down as bad omens or witches or are skinned because some believe that fishing nets made of their depigmented skins will catch a bounty of fish. Christians across the world should be ashamed and shocked. When the Arabs killed or enslaved the darker skinned Christians in the south of Sudan, or enslaved the Darfurians, the cry was not that loud but certainly, it was not as muted nor as late as the cry against this insane legislation, death penalty for homosexuals, before the Ugandan Parliament. If the church repeatedly condemns homosexuality as a sin against god, if it perpetually deplores the homosexual life style as being antithetical to god's plans for humanity, then indeed, the homosexuals are jeopardized wherever they live-god sanctioned killing and other such rationalizations by dictatorial Christian leaders is just a hop skip and jump away from the condemnatory attitude of the so called enlightened Western Christian churches toward homosexuals. Again it's not as if Africa is a remote place that does not matter to Christianity--it is neither in the margins nor in the fringe lunatic group of countries--it is central to Christianity's march for more foot soldiers for the lord and this is the state of affairs there--wow and Clay dare say that Christianity will be unnecessarily blamed for what vagrant individuals have done? The ambivalent messages about homosexuals, from the belly of Western Christian churches are squarely responsible for this legislation.
Ravensfan Anon

Clay honey, it's not just the gays pointing their fingers at the hypocrisy of some Christians. Don't blame them solely.

Clay - Seriously, get some help. You seem to have no connection to reality and are only making religion seem more ridiculous than it already is. You have crossed a line where your comments should not be posted because you are obviously insane.

The list of "Christians" who oppose the anti-homosexual legislation reads like a who's who of the most annoying progressives. Who, once again, choose to stick their noses into Africa with their failed interpretations of Christianity.

Christians will find little to comfort them for more permissive views of this type of behavior. Biblical citations are clear that God considers these actions "abdominal" and worthy of death:

Lev. 20:13: "If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death."

And:

1 Tim. 1: 9-10: “We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law,
9 with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, 10 the unchaste, sodomites, kidnapers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching....”

From the Bible’s point of view, death, if dispensed by competent authority, is a perfectly acceptable punishment for the moral crime of homosexuality.

Like I said, it is wrong to put people to death for homosexuality just as it is wrong to put people to death for cheating on taxes. Both are absurd, and the great majority of Christians do not support such a thing. Please dont point fingers at all Christians for what someone in Africa wants to do that the bible says is wrong that a man here from that country says probably wont pass. And please dont take anything from the old testament about punishment for the people of Israel and try to say that it is what God wants now. The new testament of Christ says no such thing including the verse from 1 Timothy above that talks about the law being for the unruly and lawless, etc. It says nothing about punishment of death for homosexuals and never will. That why Christ was sent here, at least one of the reasons anyway. He took our punishment on the cross.

Clay - All Christians should be outraged at such a law.

Yes, perhaps those who support such a law arent really Christians. Thanks.

Allan, So you know better then God? God commands the proper state authorities to put to death those who are worthy of death that includes the acts of homosexuality.

In Deuteronomy 4 God tells us that the laws given to Israel were a model for ALL nations.

"“Surely I have taught you statutes and judgments, just as the LORD my God commanded me, that you should act according to them in the land which you go to possess. Therefore be careful to observe them; for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the peoples who will hear all these statutes, and say, ‘Surely this great nation is a wise and understanding people.’ “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?"

God tells us that the magistrates (state rulers) in Romans 13 were given the sword to suppress evil in the lands.

"For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil."

The laws of God still stand today and are good for those who use them lawfully. The lawful use of God's law are drawing us to Christ, our Sanctification, and the Political use of the law in order to suppress evil in the land. The unlawful use of the law is using the law to form a bases of our Justification before God. God's Law is moral and is based on His unchanging attributes and He requires justice throughout the Earth to be carried out by His Magisterial Ministers according to His prescribed Laws and Penologies. Only God can determine what is a righteous punishment and what is considered justice, not sinful and deprived man. Only the Ceremonial Rituals of the Old Covenant has been superseded by New Covenant Realities. The Moral Law and all of the Penal Codes attached to them stands for the Nations today.

What you are espousing; antinomianism, dispensationalism, and Marcionism has never been considered orthodox in the History of the Church and are considered heterodox doctrines. Why is it wrong to put people to death for homosexuality if God requires death? Are we wiser then God? The history of the Christian church proves that the majority of Christians believed that homosexuality is worthy of death because God commands it. Only today and in the past 100 years do we find Christians who believe otherwise and believing otherwise because of their own innate "deprived" understanding of fairness and individualism, both contrary to Divine Scriptures and because of false doctrines entering the Church.

Christ tells us in the Sermon on the Mount:

"“Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to confirm. For assuredly, I say to you, till heaven and earth pass away, one jot or one tittle will by no means pass from the law till all is fulfilled. Whoever therefore breaks one of the least of these commandments, and teaches men so, shall be called least in the kingdom of heaven; but whoever does and teaches them, he shall be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I say to you, that unless your righteousness exceeds the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven."

As a minister and presbyter of Christ Church in the Reformed Tradition I commend the Ugandan state for carrying out their God ordained function and upholding the eternal immutable moral laws of God and not bending to the popular will of the people who are deprived and sinful.

In my last letter I wrote to Allan and that was a mistake, it was meant for Clay. I misread who was posting what. I apologize.

Presbyter Mikhael,
Are you for real or are you pulling a fast one to get attention--if it is the latter, you've got it. If what you have written is to be believed as your true feeling about homosexuality, I am not surprised you are confused about who has posted what--you are blind from hate--your retina has detached and your lens are cloudy--you keep this up you'll stroke out with your own venom or you will drown in your own Bi-Bull bilge. I love Robert Littel for coming up with that most apt term for the holy book rendered unholy by the likes of the Presbyter and Clay whose brain increasingly is overflowing with the muddy material children fashion into pattycakes. Where by the way is pattycakes--is he the Anonymous in the other blog about homosexuality--what is it about Christians? If homosexuality did not exist they would starve for an outlet for their religious sadism.
Ravensfan Anon

I think there are several examples above of why religion is basically EVIL. No matter how benign a religion seems to be, it will always provide the fertilizer that allows idiots like Clay and Presbyter to sprout and float to the surface of the cesspool. It is time (past time) for Humanity to grow up and rid itself of infantile god concepts, they serve no real and positive purpose.

Ravansfan Anon, It is the "Buy-Bull".

Ravensfan,

Yes, I am for real. I am a ordained Presbyter, by your vocabulary a Minister/Pastor, within the Reformed Faith. A Church that has a history since the days of the Reformation 500 years ago. We are not a single church but a multi-congregation Communion existing of local, regional, national and international presbyteries and synods; a Ecclesiastical Judiciary Court Structure, Jus Divinum Regiminis Ecclesiastici.

Another name for us that you would recognize would be Puritan, the same Puritans that came over from England and started this country. We have also been called Covenanters in Scotland and Huguenots in France and Calvinist in Germany though the first name was Reformed in Geneva at our founding.

So again to answer your question yes I am for real and yes I believe what I wrote. As it is written in our Larger Catechism which is required to be summited to by every Presbyter within our Communion:

"Q139: What are the sins forbidden in the seventh commandment?

A139: The sins forbidden in the seventh commandment, besides the neglect of the duties required,[1] are, adultery, fornication,[2] rape, incest,[3] sodomy, and all unnatural lusts;" [4]. Rom. 1:24, 26-27; Lev. 20:15-16

and our Confession of Faith (Westminster), on the civil magistrate it is written,

"1. God, the Supreme Lord and King of all the world, hath ordained civil magistrates to be under him, over the people, for his own glory and the public good, and to this end hath armed them with the power of the sword, for the defense and encouragement of them that are good, and for the punishment of evil-doers."

and under the chapter dealing with the Law of God it states:

"The moral law doth forever bind all, as well justified persons as others, to the obedience thereof; and that not only in regard of the matter contained in it, but also in respect of the authority of God the Creator who gave it. Neither doth Christ in the gospel any way dissolve, but much strengthen, this obligation."

and

"Neither are the forementioned uses of the law contrary to the grace of the gospel, but do sweetly comply with it:a the Spirit of Christ subduing and enabling the will of man to do that freely and cheerfully which the will of God, revealed in the law, requireth to be done."

There are NO ministers in our Communion (Denomination) that does not believe and adhere to our Confessional Standards above.

As per your comment that I am blinded by hate. I do not hate my enemies but I do hate and am required to hate all of God's true enemies and who does the bidden of Satan unto death. Just as God hates them so are we to hate them. Yes you read that right. God hates and it is not contrary to His Holy Will. But His hatred is a Holy hatred that is not tainted by sin which is why we are not to hate our own enemies because our hatred is tainted by sin and our hatred would be based not on holiness nor of God's word but on our own deprived reasoning. We are only to hate what God hates.

As it is written in the 5th Psalm written by the sweet psalmist of Israel under the inspiration of the Spirit of God and is the very words of Christ attested to by Luke 24:44:

"For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness, Nor shall evil dwell with You. The boastful shall not stand in Your sight; You hate all workers of iniquity. You shall destroy those who speak falsehood; The LORD abhors the man of blood and the deceitful man. "

and in the 139th Psalm we read:

"Do not I hate them, O LORD, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?"

Suffice to say I also believe that other crimes should be included under capitol punishment clause by the Word of God, including premeditated Idolatry, Blasphemy, Sabbath Profaning, and all others that are included in the list of worthy of death in the Word of God.

I will defer your other ramblings for another time.

Soli Deo Gloria, To God Alone be the Glory

Presbyter Mikhael

Mikhael, you have more satan to you than Carter has liver pills. Stop trying to blend the old testament with the new when it comes to punishment. What did Christ say when the scribes and the Pharisees brought to Him a woman caught in adultery? "They said to Him, Master, this woman was caught in adultery, in the very act. Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such a person should be stoned: but what do You say?" This they said, tempting Him, that they might accuse Him. But Jesus stooped down, and with His finger wrote on the ground, as though He didnt hear them. So when they continued asking Him, He lifted Himself up, and said to them, "He that is without sin among you, let him be the first to cast a stone at her." John 8:4-7. When all of the accusers walked away, Jesus asked the woman, "where are your accusers? Has no one condemned you?" She said, "No Lord." And Jesus said to her, "neither do I condemn you. Go and sin no more." John 8:10-11. Satan I know your voice when I hear you. You can just as well put on a voodoo mask and spin around in circles over a fire because you dont fool me, regardless of your position or clothing. The shame is when some do believe in what you say.

Presbyter Michael - Always wondered how Calvin was able to justify the 300 thousand heathens he had put to death during his reign of religious terror during the Geneva dictatorship. Thanks for clearing that up and for showing us that Christianity can be every bit as evil as fundamentalist Islam, even in this day and age.

It's not Christianity. It is someone taking old testament commands from God which He saw as necessary at the time, ignoring Jesus who came here to die for our sins so we could be forgiven, and saying that this is the type of thing that Christians are supposed to be involved with. Then people like you Robert say, "look how terrible Christians are, and all the evil that happens because of them." You are helping Mikhael for all you complain about him. Thanks.

Robert Littel,

Do you have any documentation for your assertion that Calvin had executed 300 thousand and heathens at that? That is a far out claim that need to be substantiated. Even the Anti-Calvin historians like Bernard Cottret, puts the number at 38. The highest number I have seen is 57 and is rarely footnoted.

John Calvin was also NOT the dictator of Geneva. He was the Presbyter (Minister) of the Church of Geneva.

John Calvin was also forced to flee Geneva for a time when he was pushing for church reform on the Lord's Supper, Congregational Psalm Singing, and Holidays but was rejected by the Town Council.

In considering these executions, is important to note that Calvin never held any formal power outside the Church during his time in Geneva. The government of the church in Geneva was Presbyterian ­– it had a pastor and a consistory, or board of ruling elders.

Contrary to popular portrayal, the government of the church was not the government of the city. The government of the city was called “the Council”. The consistory handled moral matters, and the maximum penalty it could impose was excommunication. The maximum penalty that the Council could impose was death, however, even the Council’s decisions could be appealed to another body called “The Council of Two Hundred”, so named because it consisted of two hundred citizens of Geneva.

Calvin himself was not a citizen of Geneva during the upheaval in Geneva, and thus was disqualified from voting, holding public office, or even serving on the Council of Two Hundred.

So the government of Geneva was a Republic and not a Dictatorship.

Of the 38 executions accounted for by Bernard Cottret, Calvin himself writes about 23, and the justification given, several are named to be executions for serial adultery, and murder both a capital crime in the Torah. Contrary to what is commonly implied, this was not a group of all women or all poor people who were executed. Among the executed was a prominent Genevese banker who went to his death proclaiming the justice of the judgment – Geneva did not discriminate on the basis of sex or class, as it often implied.

So the bulk of the executions were for conspiracy to commit murder and for adultery.

Of the other executions, history has only given us details of two – the beheading of Jacques Gruet and the burning of Michael Servetus. Gruet was executed for heresy and sedition. He attached an anonymous note to Calvin’s pulpit threatening to kill Calvin and overthrow the government of Geneva if they did not flee the city. He was arrested, tortured for 30 days, and, upon confession, beheaded. The execution, for conspiring to overthrow the government, may have been justified given the danger to the citizenry that such a conspiracy entailed. Either way, Calvin did not have the authority in Geneva to arrest, torture, or execute anyone. Those were the decisions, not of Calvin or the church Consistory, but of the Council and of the Council of 200.

This brings us to Servetus. He was arrested for heresy, tried, convicted, and sentenced to death by the Council. After escaping from prison when he was on trial for heresy in Lyons, Servetus traveled to Geneva on his way to Italy. According to Schaff’s Church History, Servetus stayed at Geneva for about a month, taking few pains to conceal his identity. After attending services in Calvin’s church one Sunday, Servetus was arrested on charges of heresy. Calvin believed that it was just and right for heretics to be put to death. In this regard, he was not different from Servetus who also believed that heretics, specifically the heretic John Calvin, should be put to death by the Genevese Council.

During the trial it was Calvin’s job as expert witness to prove that Servetus was a heretic. Calvin’s expert reason and clear thinking triumphed when Servetus chose to hurl insults at Calvin rather than offer a defense. It is important to note that at this time the Council was not controlled by friends of Calvin but by his enemies, the patriots and libertines. This is probably why Servetus felt that he did not have to offer a substantive defense against charges of heresy. We have a written record of the debate because each was required to write their statements and responses for review by the churches of four other prominent protestant cities.

During the time that the other cities were reviewing the debate Lyons requested extradition, but Servetus pleaded to stay in Geneva and protested that he would accept the judgment of the Genevese Council rather than be sent back to Lyons. He had reason to believe that the libertines on the council were on his side, given their intense hatred of Calvin. However, in the end, after receiving recommendations of guilt from the four cities, and in light of the publicity the trial had generated throughout Europe, the libertines and the patriots on the Council decided that Servetus was not worth saving. In a show of bravado intended to send a message that they could be just as “tough on crime” as John Calvin was, they sentenced Servetus to death by burning. When Servetus heard, he could not believe it. Despite Calvin’s intercession on behalf of Servetus that he be put to death humanely, the Council refused and Servetus was burned on October 27, 1553.

Calvin went to his deathbed believing that the execution was just because Servetus was a blasphemer and a heretic – a murderer of souls.

I stand with Calvin in believing that the state is charged to uphold the law of God and the execution was just.

Clay,

You are pulling that passage on Christ way out of context. First rule of scriptural interpretation is that Scripture must be interpreted by Scripture and that one Scripture can not due harm to the rest of Scripture. The way you interpret that passage does great violence to the rest of Scripture and all of the passage that I quoted thus far.

Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22 require that both guilty parties are to receive the same civil sanction for adultery. That is the requirement of the law. Yet for some reason the mob was uninterested in following the law of God even to that small degree, but rather they replaced God’s law with a manipulation of it (one that suited their own personal gain), not having brought to Jesus the man who sinned. Coupled with this concealment of the whole truth, John 8 explicitly states that the mob’s intention was to test Jesus in order to accuse him. Accordingly, not only was the report false by Christian standards (because of the concealment of truth), it was also malicious toward Jesus and not accompanied by a godly desire for justice because it aimed to get Jesus to follow the masses in a perversion of justice.

Accordingly, had Jesus the Savior acquiesced to the masses and partaken of their misuse of the law, he himself would have been in violation of God’s law! Exodus 23:1-4 teaches: “you shall not bear a false report”, nor “join your hand with a wicked man to be a malicious witness”, nor “follow the masses in doing evil” nor “pervert justice.”

In this particular case, that only the woman was brought forward can only at best corroborate the ill-intention of the mob, which was explicitly noted in the text and is no mere inference.)

You are also forgetting Jesus’ modus operandi for dealing with what he believed to be the more critical issue that was before him, even at the expense of ignoring what was being asked of him while knowing full well that some would infer erroneous conclusions that cannot be deduced.

There are many examples but the point should be obvious. We cannot logically deduce that which is not deducible! And when it comes to Jesus, the master of making the point he wants to make regardless of what precedes it, we must be doubly careful when assuming what is not said. In the final analyses, if we could deduce that John 8 demands the repudiation of Penal Codes of the Law.

In Summary, The sole intent of the mob was the entrapment of Jesus and whether a life was callously taken in the process, without regard for godly motive, was of no consequence to these wicked men. Accordingly, had Jesus acquiesced to their plea by condoning the woman’s death on their terms, he would have partaken in their scheming and wickedness according to Exodus 23:1-4. Moreover, had Jesus allowed for the penalty under Moses to be enacted in this particular case, he would have implied that men need not submit to God’s ordained government, a clear violation of the general equity of God’s lawful principle of rendering unto Cesar that which is Cesar’s (which equity is also affirmed later in Romans 13).

Jesus was in a predicament. He did not want to condone the woman’s execution given the motivation of the witnesses and accusers, lest he himself could be guilty of paving the way for their sin and become an accomplice with them according to Exodus 23:1-4. Nor did Jesus want to suggest that the woman did not deserve immediate punishment for her sin as prescribed by Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22.

Her action was indeed worthy of death, (lest the law which he authored had been abolished; yet he had already stated most unambiguously that he had not come to abolish the law. Matthew 5:17) Let there be no mistake about it, Jesus was for the death penalty when his law required the death penalty. He also required that such penalties be carried out not by perfect men but rather by those who had removed the plank from their own eye. Execution was to be carried out in a spirit of godly humility. Anything less than that was to do God’s bidding with a murderous heart, which would reduce to self-serving vengeance as opposed to righteous justice. We are God’s servants, and we not our own. Indeed, Jesus was concerned not only with the letter of the law but also the spirit in which it was to be followed. This must be appreciated by all Christians, especially theonomists who uphold the law of God.

Let there be no mistake - the people of God should at all times desire that the civil Law of Moses be upheld. What Jesus opposed was not his law (how ridiculous is that?!) but rather the Pharisees’ desire to substitute for it their traditions: “Jesus replied, ‘And why do you break the command of God for the sake of your tradition? For God said, Honor your father and mother and Anyone who curses his father or mother must be put to death.’” Now did Jesus contradict himself? Did Jesus want laws carried out that were not in accordance with the Roman law that was placed into authority by divine providence? Clearly Jesus did not contradict himself by requiring that the Pharisees uphold civil laws that would have conflicted with God-ordained Roman law. Consequently, Jesus’ question of “why” cannot logically imply that they ought to have carried out the penalties prescribed by Moses at that time. Rather, the question is looking for the reason behind their motivation not to carry out the Law of Moses, which in the case of the Pharisees was that they preferred the traditions of men - hence Jesus’ leading question and rebuke. In other words, although the law was not to be carried out at that time (lest God contradicted himself), there should have been a desire to do so that was in submission to the greater principle of obeying Roman law per God’s precept. Accordingly, no answer would have been solicited by Jesus and no rebuke required had they desired in godly submission to carry out lawful executions yet were constrained only by another principle of scripture - that of obeying God ordained government. Such was not the case, not by a long shot. The same hardness of heart and misguided motivations apply to the mob in John 8.

By handling the difficult providence as he did, Jesus upheld Moses’ intention pertaining to a godly accuser's spirit, yet without compromising the deserved, temporal penalty for the woman. We might say that the case was thrown out of court due to the greater sin of the witness-accusers (and the priority of Roman rule, which I believe was secondary). Yet by couching the invitation as Jesus did, the Lord acknowledged both the rightful penalty and the unworthiness of anyone within that mob that day to carry out God’s law as in the manner God would have it - as God’s servant.

God is concerned with the spirit of the law but not at the cost of abrogation. Now if anyone wants to make more of the passage as it pertains to Penal Code and suggest that Moses has been abrogated because nobody is without sin, then in turn they prove too much by relegating all temporal justice to the Final Day, a most absurd and unworkable principle. The only question I have at this juncture is whether the anti-Law advocates will go out one by one in shame for butchering the logical implications of the text. Or will the angry mob of Jesus' day prove themselves more worthy than these?

Presbyter Mikhael - Please spare us your cut and pasted propaganda from "Christian Reconstructionist" fabricated history. The modern movement of Reconstructionists is every bit as murderous in their desires over the influence they wish to impose on us, as was that of their (your) Calvinist fore-bearers in Geneva. That you end your post in agreement with Calvin, that execution is a just punishment for not subscribing to your narrow delusional superstitions, only shows what a truly evil person you actually are. Your Taliban type Christianity has no room for deviation and no hope of surviving the backlash that will occur if you ever try to make it a reality in the real world.

Robert,

For your information I am not a Reconstructionist because I am not Post-Millennial. I happen to be Covenantal Pre-Millennial in my Eschatology. I am a Reformed Theonomist after my Calvinist fore-bearers. For another thing I wrote what I typed and with years of schooling and research.

Try not to dodge the question.. Where is YOUR proof for YOUR assertions?

I backed up my evidence and even by quoting a Anti-Calvinist.

Presbyter Mickhael - If you are trying to draw a distinction between Theonomy and Reconstuctionism, you are wasting your time. To a rational person, both have their roots in Calvinist dogma and those roots are heavily intertwined. The difference is little more than like the difference between two substances that appear similar, but because one comes from a horse's butt and one comes from a cows butt, there is little difference between the two when someone like you places a hot steamy platter of either before us, hands us a spoon and says, "Bon-appetit". Theonomy is government, politics, and diplomacy as a state of being, governed by god. In as much as NO ONE has EVER been able to prove that there is now, or has ever been, such a creature/being, then your belief that such a system, based on a seriously spurious notion of god concepts, IS RUBBISH, and we will not have it thrust upon us, even at the point of a Swiss pike. I refuse to answer your "question" because I do not believe you, as a delusional would be Bible Nazi, have proven your right to ask it. I pity you, because you have invested your life in the pursuit of the smell of crap.

Presbyter Mikhael - Where did you come up with your first rule for scripture interpretation? It’s not mentioned in any book in the Bible. I don't ever recall hearing it before? In any event it's you who are in error Christ commanded us to love your enemies. His last words on the Cross were to ask God to forgive the very people who crucified him. You quote far too much from the Jewish law which is not binding under the new covenant. Christ spoke of love and finding lost sheep not killing them. If that’s what your Church teaches then it’s anything but Christian. Quote all the OT verses you like, but unless you can quote Christ advocating killing sinners you are in error and not following His word.

Robert,

I have given careful exegesis of my belief with a full systematic view of scriptures along with that I have given historical information that not even rational unbiased people who are against ME and MY view agree to be accurate. And before I became an ordained Presbyter I was a Historian and had my first Doctorate in history.

You are the other hand have given me NOTHING to prove your side or your view or any documentation to fit your pre-conceived view of history. Instead you have done nothing but give some small portion of inaccurate information and do nothing but name call.

By the way, to call me a type of Christian Taliban is nothing but a scare tactic on your part to "woo" try to intimidate me and try to scare others who might be reading with using scary words to freighten them away. It won't work.

Your right by the way, There is no room for deviation when it comes to the eternal, immutable, unchangable, moral law of God. There is no room for deviation when it comes to the essential doctrines of the faith. But there is room to defer on non-essentials such as certain doctrinal-aspects of eschatology and other secondary doctrines. But I will not move when it comes to God's Holy Law.

I am not alone and neither is my Church denomination alone. Theonomy is growing. Many Reformed, and Puritan Forum boards are filled with Theonomist. One such board I know has about 50,000 visitors per month who believe in the Reformed Doctrine of the Civil Magistracy.

So Robert,

With you, this is where "I shake off the dust off my feet" and refuse to "cast pearls before swines" by the Lord's commandment. I have given the reason for the faith that is within me and in the words of Martin Luther, "I can do no other, Here I stand."

"Jesus was in a predicament. He did not want to condone the woman’s execution given the motivation of the witnesses and accusers, lest he himself could be guilty of paving the way for their sin and become an accomplice with them according to Exodus 23:1-4. Nor did Jesus want to suggest that the woman did not deserve immediate punishment for her sin as prescribed by Leviticus 20:10 and Deuteronomy 22:22."

You seem to be guilty of adding your own slant to Jesus in that account. Jesus was in no predicament he was teaching a lesson which applies to the law you are now supporting. You are no better than mob that wanted the woman stoned.


Presbyter Mikhael - You are not a sane Human being. Theonomy means to rule the world and in the world's defense, such an effort to enforce your narrow beliefs, of your vain and vindictive made-up god, will be resisted, no matter how many idiots you manage to bring to your twisted side.

Theonomy is religious fascism and you are a religious fascist, pure and simple. I call you a Taliban type Christian, because you represent the same intractable belief that yours is the only way and that we all deserve to see things only in your way, much the way as those who now demand that peace can only be guaranteed with the ultra-fundamentalist Muslims, if we would only become fundamentalist Muslims ourselves. You represent the same threat that Osama bin Ladin represents, for exactly the same reason.

Presbyter Mikhail,
Of course your numbers are growing--there is mob fervor afoot and you are leading the foaming pack. When it comes to authoritarianism, dogmatism and unswerving loyalty to violent theology there never is any dearth of followers. You, like all of your ilk give me a massive headache--perhaps in your own life you feel impotent, therefore you have seized the opportunity to condemn those with whose tenets and ways of being you don't see eye to eye. You sound like a zealot of the worst kind, your interpretations of the Buy-Bull convinces me that from the depths of that book much harm and depravity can emanate--it is wonderful to savor the fact you have no power to criminalize sexual orientation and execute people. You should take your Theonomics out of here and peregrinate to Afghanistan--the Taliban is looking for street cops to chop off heads that sport no scarfs, to amputate hands that have done some stealing, and lop off the breasts of women who wear bras because Allah doesn't approve of bras--be thee gone Presbyter--may be the rabid crowds will follow you to sow anarchy in far away lands.
Ravensfan Anon

It just goes to show you how satan twists what God wants to try to influence people. Christ never said to kill anyone, and this man cant quote it from scripture. The way I have pointed out Christ's act of love and forgiveness to the woman caught in adultery does violence to the rest of scripture? No it doesnt. If that is the case, why is there even a new testament? Yes Christ said that sinners will be sent to hell, but He came here to die for us so that we dont have to kill sinners. He wants sinners to follow His example and to be forgiven so they dont go to hell. The only violence this passage does is to the attitude and heart of people like Mikhael, who long to follow satan and to kill people. It sounds like the attitude of the men wanting to throw the stones. What did Christ say to them? He told them to look at their hearts and they walked away and He told the woman she was forgiven and to sin no more. What is Christ saying to Mikhael? The same thing. How is he reacting? "Oh no, that isnt what Christ is saying at all. He was upholding the laws of the old testament. Dont pay attention to the forgiveness. Pay attention to the law. We must put these people to death." Sure sounds like the guy down below to me.

According to MSNBC's self-outed lesbian (and she therefore has a special bias on this matter), Ruth Maddow, when she 1st started pushing this matter, said, and read the Bill, that the death penalty was reserved ONLY for those sodomites in Uganda who had HIV/AIDS and therefore made themselves a deadly threat when they then deliberately engaged in acts of sodomy with other people. Deadly reckless endangerment which causes death can also bring the death penalty in the US, as it well should. It is a listed form of homicide. (I am a former trial and defense counsel and appellate counsel and military and county prosecutor in 400 criminal cases, including my defending the very 1st Viet Nam mass murder case where the death penalty was the UCMJ-listed punishment, etc.) Is Maddow wrong then? She now keeps saying that "Uganda wants to kill all homosexuals", which is a severe departure from her 1st assertions. I do not know which of her assertions is correct. Does someone know the actual fact(s)? It would help this discourse if we all worked from the facts, whatever they are. Thank you.

Can we have a serious, rational discussion, without all the calumny? Please? God correctly tells us that, "A soft answer turneth away wrath".

Clay, on 12/13, is in error. Jesus Christ HAS always said, right after the Noahic Flood, and DOES still command, the death penalty---despite the false new assertions of the USCCB and of many of the apostate and 'always' wrong signers of the above petition re. Uganda. He is the co-equal Lord of the Universe. And in Genesis 9;5-7, the Trintarian Godhead, i.e., God, commanded that we humans carry out the execution of ALL those humans [and even/also man-killing animals] who "take innocent life". That command, ordered explicity out of His love for us and our likeness to Him---and AS an effective DETERENT to murder, is reitereated in Deut. 19, and also in 17, for adultery and blashemy. And it is also placed in Lev. 20, and in Romans 1 and 13, etc., etc., and throughout Scripture. Please READ those passages, before asserting something which is not true and accurate. Thank you.

No. You show me a passage anywhere in the bible where Christ says for sinners to be killed. Thanks.

I should have added that all of the passages you have quoted are from the old testament when Christ hadnt been sent to earth yet, with the exception of Romans, where Christ does not say for sinners to be executed. The reason He was sent here was to get rid of the old way and to die for us, as His Father wanted. When satan uses old testament scripture to infer that it is all about Christ he is trying to get people to essentially ignore what Christ was sent here for to begin with. As someone here pointed out, the last thing that He said on the cross was to forgive those who did these things to Him. Of course Christ says many times that sinners will go to hell if they dont change. Please quote any passage from the bible where He says that these sinners should be killed here now on earth. Thanks.

Have you ever heard Europeans or Americans condemn Saudi Arabia or Asian countries for their laws against homosexuality? ( they are even more harsh). Why do Western countries specifically point out African countries? Why is the West so obsessed with homosexuality in Africa yet we have more pressing problems like lack of education, clean water, poor health, poverty etc... This is pure RACISM with a colonial mentality.

Olal Otunu - When the bigots are supposed Christians with heavy connections to American fundamentalist bigots, there is more of an impetus to get involved. After all, aren't Christians supposed to be better than that? The Saudis on the other hand, are members of a meteorite worshipping (Kaaba is a nickle/iron meteorite) religion with a long history of barbarity and repression of not only infidels, but also of each other and all of their own women. We hold them to a lesser standard, for the time being and once we are off the oil teat, I'm sure our concern will increase there too.

I've never attended any church that condemns sin in Africa any more than sin anywhere else. The bible says homosexuality is wrong in any country, and so are laws that would kill someone for it. Thanks.

Robert Littel - What Christian group is supporting this law? Did you even read the article or just the headline and jump at the chance to launch an attack at Christians. How do you know what the Kaaba is? Did you receive some sort of divine atheist revelation?

Anonymous,
What's your beef with the Kaaba being no more than a meteorite? What do you think it is? A big slab of butter carried on the wings of Gabriel to Mecca? As for the question, "What Christian groups are supporting this law?"--probably none, vocally or openly in America--but it is the constant haranguing of the fundamentalist Christians against homosexuality and the ambivalent massage "condemn the sin but not the sinner" and the type of Christianity, Presbyter Mikhael claims as his own--with plenty of followers as he puts it--that spawn these laws in far flung places--don't help Christianity escape culpability Anonymous--we have Clay here on a regular basis railing against homosexuality--you do that long enough Anonymous, you set off a chain reaction of the Christian extremists, running around looking to purge the world of homosexuals or imagining it is their god commanded duty to do so.
Ravensfan Anon

Fake Anonymous - In Saudi Arabia there are few dark colored rocks, and when one showed up, it was usually turned into a god of some sort by the ignorant tribes that inhabited the area. When Muhammad took Mecca (violently), there already existed a cult worshipping that piece of space junk and he expropriated it and made it the center of his stupid cult. It is a nickle/iron meteorite, which is why I call Muslims meteorite worshippers. In the same vein, I call Jews penis mutilators and Christians, god eaters. Its all good.

Fake Anonymous - In Saudi Arabia there are few dark colored rocks, and when one showed up, it was usually turned into a god of some sort by the ignorant tribes that inhabited the area. When Muhammad took Mecca (violently), there already existed a cult worshipping that piece of space junk and he expropriated it and made it the center of his stupid cult. It is a nickle/iron meteorite, which is why I call Muslims meteorite worshippers. In the same vein, I call Jews penis mutilators and Christians, god eaters. Its all good.

Ravensfan Anon & Robert Littel - I don't know what it is and neither do either of you. Since it's obvious that you also know of no Christian group supporting it I guess all I can do is blow both of you off as bigoted, loudmouth atheist. All either of you seem to be good at is name calling and making up your own version of history and reality. Is that what atheists do for answers, make them up? Then attack anyone who questions them. Put your heads together prove your point with facts. That’s what rational logical people do.

Fake Anonymous - This copied from a Muslim source; "(1) Muslims say that this stone was brought by Hz. Jabreil (A.S) (an angel) from paradise during the construction of kaaba sharif and it was found by Hz. Ibrahim (A.S) when he was searching for stones with which to build the kaaba sharif. (2) Secular historians point to the history of meteorite worship, in pre-islamic Arabia, and say it is likely that the stone is a meteorite or possibly impact glass, from the meteorite impact crater at wabar, about 1100 km from Mecca. " In as much as they don't allow anyone to examine it, we will have to go by the best guess that they seem to trust. It makes little difference though and it was expropriated from another small religion in Mecca when Muhammed invaded, according to sketchy accounts from that time.

An anti gay law in Uganda is no more excuse for rejecting God than complaining because you dont like the colors that the Easter bunny picked out this year for his outfit.

Robert Littel - Thanks for the information. It would have been better if you had saved the insults and simply done that in the first place. It doesn't prove it you know. It's simply an accepted explanantion. Of course you still haven't answered my other question. What Christian group is supporting this law?

Anonymous,
Your question has been answered--no Christian group is openly supporting this law in the West but Christians don't belong to the West alone--there are Christian groups in Uganda, obviously, that would have homosexual heads on a platter--would you divorce yourself from the Christian groups of Africa Anonymous? Would you say that the Christians of the West are superior or like most religious put out a disclaimer saying that anyone perpetrating intolerance is truly not a Christian because he does not follow the precepts of Jesus-- claim the good, reject the bad and sing a song of religious six pence to achieve this goal?
Of course you would Anonymous, because every time you pop up you demand proof--what Christian group you say. Do we need Christian groups to openly dance a jig to this law? All we need are constant rumblings about homosexuality being unnatural, all we need are constant murmurings about homosexuality being a sin condemned by the lord god in Sodom, we need no more than forgive the sinner and then a stern forgive not the sin, accept not the perversion, go forth and sin no more, be thee gone because thou canst NOT marry in the church, thou canst NOT lead a flock of parishioners, canst NOT be ordained, we WILL PRAY for your irredeemable soul--keep saying these things Anonymous, keep saying them in the rich West and eventually the poor East catches on--what the politically correct West won't do, the brash and fervid East will do--will say to the West, "Thank you brother for pointing out the sin--for showing us the way--now we'll go a step further and kill our openly gay citizens. Don't worry, we won't let the rascals disobey the Lord!" Then the Christians of the West go, "We didn't do this--we didn't say this--we don't support this!" Heck no--they didn't and they DID Anonymous--can do both you see--quite possible for the Christians of the West--they colonized the East--robbed and plundered Asia, India, and Africa--all the while spouting pieties--that's what's called disingenuous Anonymous.
Ravensfan Anon

Ravensfan Anon – Why is it atheists like you and Robert demand proof from Christians and then get your panties in a bunch when the same is done to you. You didn’t mention any names of any groups. Why is it that you need proof for God, but as so willing to assume the worst about Christian groups. If they do exist I won’t repeat what you already know. Tell you what you show me where in the Bible Jesus told his followers to kill homosexuals or any other sinners or even condoned it being done by human beings and I’ll concede to you that the groups are representative of the religion. Of however you can’t then you concede that I am correct that groups anywhere who do or advocate such things are not following their faith. It’s time to put up or shut up.

Atheists cant put up or shut up because it takes love to do that. If they loved God they could put up, since they dont love others they cant shut up.

Anonymous,
Clay right here has insisted that the Bible says homosexuality is a sin. So does the Catholic Church quote the Bible on this. I am very clear about what I have written. I have put up--it is you who needs to shut up pal--but you are a belligerent religious nut--so I don't expect you to. That people are not following their faith is a nice escape hatch--religion is about the people--if 95% are not following the precepts then there is something wrong. Outsiders are the victims of those who don't follow these precepts. We on the outside are not worried about what your books say--there are a thousand arguments about the contents of these so called holy books and a million interpretations--actions speak --I don't care what some guy said 2000 years ago--you do--I do, however care that the words of this buy-bull, misinterpreted or interpreted properly, are used to persecute those who are not within the religious fold--you can hem, haw and dance around the issue--don't tell me what your holy book says--tell me what the Christians across the world are using it for--again actions speak louder than words.
Ravensfan Anon

Ravensfan Anon - I knew you couldn't put up and wouldn't shut up. Something being a sin and killing sinners are two different issues. You are clear about what you right, clearly wrong. The Bible is very specific on the issue of judging others. Add to that it says that only few walk the narrow path to salvation. It also discusses false teachers who would lead people astray claiming to be from Christ. You seem to have trouble adding everything up. All you care about is pushing the atheist myth that Christianity has caused all the worlds problems. Why is it you operate with two standards? You demand absolute proof to acknowledge God yet deny the need to prove your own dogma. If you really cared you would work with Christians who oppose such misuse to end it instead of trying to use it to propagate lies to further your own agenda. You really don’t care about the suffering in Uganda just how you can use it to promote hatred of Christians and Christianity. If I eat a pescetarian diet and call myself a vegetarian. Does that still make me a true vegetarian? Nice try but your fallacy of necessity won’t cut it. What it comes down to is Robert and now you made claims you can’t back up with any credible support. Deny the truth all you wish that doesn’t change it. Regardless of what faith or lack of faith one has it’s human vices that are the cause of the problem.

You don't know what I do and what I don't Anonymous--so don't jump to conclusions. When you call something a sin Anonymous, you ostracize, you condemn, you derogate and you disparage--all in the name of religion and a Buy--Bull whose relevance is no more than man made--to fight that kind of prejudice, to question it, to enervate it and to prevent it from sprouting as biased policies--that too is part of the battle--whether I do it alone, with Atheists, Muslims, Hindus, or Christians does not matter. ( You seem to be quite impervious to the existence of religions other than Christianity.) To you it is perfectly merciful and natural to call a sin a sin--in this case homosexuality and expect that the person condemned as a sinner for his natural sexual proclivity will bow and rejoice because though you condemn his act you don't condemn him--baloney! A man's sexuality does not define him entirely but defines a part of who he is--if that part of him is disparaged as a sin and if he is asked to go alter himself, because of the buy-bull Anonymous you think he will rejoice that you are a merciful man, that your god is a merciful god, your buy-bull is a merciful book? Stuff it Anonymous--you bore me and so does the Christianity YOU represent.
Ravensfan Anon

Maybe this is the decision tree that leads to differences of opinion on this issue:

1. Does one accept the Christian Bible as authoritative?
2. If so, does the OT require the execution of all those who engage in homosexuality?
3. If so, does this OT penalty still apply to all people?
4. If so, is civil government the mechanism that enforces this penalty?

Ravensfan Anon – Interesting definition of sin you have. It’s completely wrong, but interesting none the less. It’s the kind of logic used to rationalize something as ok. No one attempts to condemn, derogate and disparage more than you and your buddy Mr. Littel. Spare me the atheist dogma I’ve heard it before and it just as nonsensical when you say it as when Little or any other atheist tries to use it. Are you familiar with the word hypocrite? You fit it perfectly. You do exactly to me what you accuse me of doing. I know you better than you think I’ve seen your kind many times before. Never once have I advocated anything in the Bible as something that should be forced on anyone. You are far too full of hate and intolerance which is why you can not now or ever make a calm logical argument. I guess I’m supposed to be upset that you find me and my faith boring. I can’t say the same for you. I find you rather amusing. You try and play the intellect, but deep down your as full of bigotry and hatred for what you either can’t or don’t want to understand as your buddy. When pushed a bit you can’t maintain your façade and your emotion gets the better of you.

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About Matthew Hay Brown
Matthew Hay Brown writes and blogs about faith and values in public and private life for The Baltimore Sun. A former Washington correspondent for the newspaper, he has long written about the intersection of religion and politics. He has reported from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, traveling most recently to Syria and Jordan to write about the Iraqi refugee crisis.
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