Distinctions

I keep being told by Southern Baptists that they are nothing like their Independent, Fundamental brothers but when I see the same old politics, fear mongering, and showmanship going on at SBC churches, I really start to think that being part of the convention is a distinction without a difference.

336 thoughts on “Distinctions”

    1. Fox News’ Megan Kelly helped the Duggars try to save their image/show by minimizing Josh’s perversions and his parents’ cover-up during her interviews. Fox is no friend of mine.

      1. Megan Kelley is a real shark behind her platinum blond hair. Some say that’s a good thing society has progressed so that women can be as big of a-holes as men. I’d prefer to have less a-holes of any gender.

    2. Re: Dwelling’s comment:

      Yeah, when he said (inaccurate quote follows) “If there’s one thing I want you to take away this morning, it’s that you have a friend in Fox News,” I wanted to barf.

      When your focus, in what is apparently a church service, is on your ass-hatted puffery and the schmucky TV channel you work for, and not on Christ, you’re just as much a part of the pagan culture you’re supposedly fighting.

  1. A county employee doesn’t want to do her job, so she quits.
    Where’s the persecution?
    Are vegetarians being persecuted if slaughterhouses don’t pay them not to work there?

    1. Agreed. County employees need to serve everyone. Besides they are being hypocritical since the employee had previously given out marriage licenses to couples who did not follow their religion. Doing their job and providing marriage licenses (or wedding cakes) does not equal condoning a couple’s choice to wed.

      All this moaning and whining about having to follow the law is just making them look petty.

    2. Any public employee has a right to resign (except in the military, where a lot of rules apply).
      It would be persecution if the government somehow attempted to force her (maybe on pain of imprisonment?) to keep working at the clerk’s office after she decided it was against her beliefs.
      But no one has a right to refuse to do his or her job and expect to keep the same job title, pay, and benefits.

      If you don’t believe in mowing lawns, then don’t mow lawns. But no landscape company is going to pay you if you don’t.

  2. God! The slanting of the truth is breathtaking! The couple was not asked to participate in a lesbian wedding. The couple was simply asked to bake a cake that was similar to any other wedding cake. They didn’t have to step foot in the wedding venue. Unfortunately, most likely the majority of people at this conference will not do the least bit of fact checking to discover that the truth has been so slanted that it is nothing short of a lie. And it’s so blatant that it grieves my soul. It’s a shame that we didn’t have the Internet back in the 1950s. The rhetoric here is the exact same rhetoric that one heard from “Southern Baptists” that felt that integration was against God’s will. And what is so tragic is that these people are inserting themselves between gays and God. They’re doing Satan’s work by convincing people that God does not love them, and there’s no hope.

    1. “The rhetoric here is the exact same rhetoric that one heard from “Southern Baptists” that felt that integration was against God’s will.” – Good point

      1. If some of these gentlemen who want a theocracy got what they were asking for, when they preached that God forbids integration or misegnation, they would be dragged from the pulpit and immediately stoned to death for falsely speaking in the name of the LORD. You really can’t make a case from scripture that actual sexual activity between two individuals of the same gender is not sin, but a lot of these bastards have seriously weakened any argument they might have had against gay marriage by trying to disguise their personal opinions and racial prejudices as bible doctrine.

    2. The fine was for refusing to sell a cake to a same-sex couple– illegal because Oregon is one of the minority of states where anti-discrimination laws cover discrimination based on sexual orientation– and beyond that, for putting the would-be customers’ personal information up on the Internet and encouraging people to harass them. The fine apparently would have been much less if not for that second part.

      Nobody’s forced to participate in anyone’s wedding, but if you have a business that sells to the general public, you can’t just say “I won’t deal with you because I don’t like your (race, religion, gender, nationality, etc.).”

      1. Actually, I believe that a lot of the fine was imposed because this loving Christian couple released the names and personal information (i.e., telephone number and address)of the two lesbians, and as a result, these two got death threats from another group of loving Christians. I have noticed that this type of Christian delights in condemning people to hell. It’s a shame that Dana Carvey no longer does the Church Lady. He would have a blast with all of this. It’s the superiority strut on steroids

        1. “… a lot of the fine was imposed because this loving Christian couple released the names and personal information (i.e., telephone number and address)of the two lesbians, and as a result, these two got death threats from another group of loving Christians.”

          Isn’t that what I said?

        2. That columnist is more saying he doesn’t agree with the decision than that it didn’t happen.

      2. …and beyond that, for putting the would-be customers’ personal information up on the Internet and encouraging people to harass them.

        Because Jesus would totally whip his fan base into a frenzy to get them to harass people who disagreed with him. Those are some “Christian” values for you!

        1. The lesbian couple were also, if the source that I read was accurate, which it generally is, afraid of the loss of their foster children from having all their personal information out on the internet. They didn’t, fortunately, and are intending to adopt the kids.

      3. BG, you’re possibly as good a writer as any I’ve come across on the internet, and there are a fair number of things on which we see eye to eye, but I can’t completely agree with you on this issue. While it doesn’t bother me that same sex couples are now guaranteed the same tax benefits, hospital visitation rights, and inheritance rights enjoyed by married heterosexual couples, I do not believe, however, that an individual forfeits his first amendment rights simply by opening a business.

        It’s one thing to allow people to peacefully live their own lives secure in their persons and property, but it’s a completely different matter for those same individuals to compel others to take actions that would cause those others to violate their consciences or feel that they were sinning against their Creator. Nobody buys a wedding cake for a birthday party. Given that, it actually is understandable that the bakery owners felt that by preparing a cake, they would approving of and participating in ( however tangentially) a gay wedding. The case of the photographer who refused to take photos at a gay wedding is even more clear cut since, if he were to have taken the job, he naturally would have been required to attend the wedding. While, in either case, the level of persecution certainly doesn’t rise to the level of being cast the Colosseum to be torn apart by wild beasts, being financially ruined is not a trivial punishment. If a minister who marries couples from outside of his congregation for pay cannot be compelled to perform a ceremony for a same sex wedding, why should florists, bakers, and photographers be deprived of these same first amendment rights?

        At the risk of being tedious, the Catholic Church regards homosexual activity (not merely same sex attraction) as mortal sin. Should the state really have the right to demand that the Church either adopt children to homosexual couples or go out of the adoption business? Morality clauses in most cases are probably a bad idea. Still should a woman who, let’s say, wrote Sunday School material for a Christian publishing house be able to collect damages from her employer for firing her for marrying another woman? One person’s ability to exercise their 14th amendment rights (which no one even knew were there for almost 150 years) shouldn’t come at the expense of another person being able to exercise their first amendment rights. Seriously, I have no problem with rendering unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s, but I do have a problem with Caesar demanding that which belongs to God.

        1. These people had a cake-making business.
          How would it compromise their principles to sell someone a cake?

        2. Should a Catholic baker be allowed to deny service to someone marrying for the second time?

          Has any Catholic baker ever even bothered asking?

        3. Ben, if businesses were allowed to discriminate who they did business with on the basis on gayness or whatever, it would be possible for a community to commit murder simply by refusing to do commerce with someone.

          Could a gas station refuse to sell gas to a gay couple? Or a grocery store refuse to sell food to a gay couple?

          This is not just a flaky argument. In some communities in the South, people who did certain kinds of commerce with black people found their businesses burned to the ground. Commerce is enabling. The ability to keep people from being served is disabling to those discriminated against.

          “Individual liberties” have limits. Your rights end where they prevent me from having similar rights. Liberty is a balance, it is not a lack of rules. Being forced to drive on one side of the road and observe traffic rules is not an assault on your liberties, but is a preservation of freedom of movement for everyone, with fewer accidents!

          In our country, marriage is a civil institution, not religious. Ministers are licensed by the State to perform marriages, but there still has to be a marriage license signed and filed at the court house. Government workers as justices of the peace are required to marry whomever asks them to, because marriage is a civil institution.

          But religious clerics have never forced to marry someone they did not want to. They are authorized to marry people. They can choose. They do not have a marriage “business,” they perform the function as part of their “ministry.” On the other hand, in England, ministers in the Anglican Church ARE required to marry whomever comes to them, because the Church of England is the State Church and the ministers are considered agents of the Crown.

          The conservative hype about preachers being thrown into prison over gay marriage is just as valid as their hype about preachers being thrown in prison for any of a myriad of other fantasies they have concocted over the years — none whatsoever! We should remember that their complaints about persecution in the US have never been true, not ever! When the facts have come out, the lies are exposed. It is time to stop letting them define the arguments, seeing they are always so deceitful with them.

        4. Rtgmath, I’m not altogether sure what the situation is in a lot of European countries concerning churches and Same Sex Marriage. I know Gay Marriage it is not legal in Northern Ireland but we do have a very militant Gay Rights movement and a number of very vocal people in it have vowed that if it were to become legal, they would fight to remove the rights of Churches to refuse to marry Gay couples if requested. After all, a church is an organisation and why should ANY organisation be allowed to discriminate on the grounds of Sexuality? I think there may be similar voices in number of European Countries.

        5. Paul, in Ireland Catholicism is the official state religion, so its churches are actually agents of the State. Similarly with Protestantism in the North. Wherever a church is officially sanctioned by the State, I have no problem with their ministers being required to perform their duties accordingly, even marrying gay couples.

          In France it is illegal to have a church marriage before you are officially married in a civil ceremony. No church actually marries anyone. They perform religious ceremonies. Marriage is recognized as a civil right and a civil and legal union. France could care less about a ceremony in a church. You’d just better not have it first. You cannot pretend to be married if you haven’t been married in the eyes of the government.

          Just looked it up — the Netherlands have the same arrangement.

          Frankly, I like this. Let all marriages in the US be performed as civil ceremonies first. Then let churches solemnize them as they will (or won’t). But get churches out of the “marriage business”!

          The idea that marriage is a religious union is a lie. Even when it was exclusively performed by the Church (something that didn’t actually happen until the 1300s if I remember correctly), it still involved legal contracts, recognition of legal responsibilities to spouses and children, exchange of dowries, and other such things. The Church took it over as they were busy taking over civil law and becoming an earthly power.

          The idealized marriage model in Israel where there was a betrothal at a very young age, then a period of waiting where the bride had to be ready for the groom to come get her, etc. was actually a contract between prominent families involving legal obligations. It wasn’t religious at all. There was no religious marriage ceremony given in the Bible. Most of the common people married simply, a dowry given and the girl becoming a wife with not a lot of ceremony.

          I think we have a warped view of the issues because we really don’t know what “marriage” was like in the past!

        6. So Ben, in your line of business do you even ask your customers/potential customers what their sexual orientation is? What is their religion? Do you get down to the minute details of their “spiritual” life as in how much they pray, how much they give etc. etc. Of course not.

          If you own a business, you are doing so to make money. Any sane businessman sets aside political/religious ideologies in order to make a profit. To not do that is asinine and will result in that person not being a business owner for too long. Unless your conscious is more important than a profit. In which case you probably don’t have the drive to own a business to begin with.

          These people who are refusing to provide a service are doing so now for publicity. Because you have Fox Noise and knuckleheads like Todd here that rush to their defense and give them their 15 minutes of fame. After which they can all go out of business. Which they will because 99% of the population will decide not to do business with bigots.

        7. Thank you, Ben Padraic.

          *This* is what I meant by the Party Line at SFL. (Thank you, Admiral, BTW, for supporting meon that.)

          I love this site, I really do, but more and more these days I just can’t stand to come here. because opposing views are shouted down or marginalized. Believe it or not, BG and y’all, it really *is* possible to oppose same-sex marriage, support religious liberty, and yes (gasp!) even occasionally vote Republican *in good faith.* And no, one needn’t be a knuckle-dragging neanderthal to self-identify as conservative. (For the record, I would consider myself only “fairly conservative,” as I am soft on immigration and kind of a bleeding heart.)

          Anyway…thanks again, Ben Padraic! 😀 Love youse guys; no hard feelings, OK?

        8. Party Line? There is no party line here at SFL. I express my opinion, and accept or not the opinions of others who have equal rights to post what they believe here.

          Nothing I post or that others post is an official policy of Stuff Fundies Like.

          Now you can be a Republican, vote Republican, oppose the rights of others to have the same rights you do, and think that religious liberty is your religious right to tell others what they can and cannot believe and do. I was there once. I hate the memory of it.

          Fortunately I decided to base my belief on what was right for others, not on what preachers with a desire to control had to say. I saw the antithesis to Christian morality in Conservatism and abandoned it.

          But I do notice this here at SFL. Those who really, really believe that morality is more than a set of rules tend to speak vigorously against discrimination, as they should. Conservatism, on the other hand, tends to sound mean and petty and selfish and fearful — all things which we know Christianity is not. So people who support these conservative policies that (insert your favorite conservative policy here) tend to not speak up. They know they can’t quite put into words what they support in a way that will look good and reflect a gospel of Grace and Love as shown in Jesus.

          It just can’t be done. If it could have been done, it would have. There are a lot of smart conservatives out there. Their beliefs and actions are just so much darker than the Light they want to exhibit.

          Believe me, I know the internal struggle with these things.

          This little thing with the Confederate Flag, for example. In what way does cross-burning by the KKK show the light of Christ? The KKK web sites try to tell you it does. And the Confederate flag is tied intimately with the KKK and its policies. You see the active influence of it even today in police departments throughout the South.

          In George Wallace’s inaugural address as the Governor of Alabama in 1963 invoked the name and blessings of God 27 times. Yet what is Christian about “In the name of the greatest people that have ever trod this earth, I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny . . . and I say . . . segregation today . . . segregation tomorrow . . . segregation forever”?

          Isn’t that what “Conservative Christians” want to do to LGBT people? Well, the more “tolerant” ones. The really conservative want to put them to death aka Leviticus.

          I would be very happy for my conservative friends to stop whining about a “party line” and start telling us how their conservativism reflects the Love of Christ. I’d like to know. Because honestly, in looking back on my life I can’t for the life of me see ho my conservatism or the conservatism of those around me actually reached the love of God to others.

          Sorry for the rant. Make of it what you will. This is my opinion, not that of SFL. Posted by permission. You can post, too! Please do!

        9. Rtgmath, once again you make me think. ( a dangerous thing for a Chritian to do) I sometimes wonder when I look at the “Christianity” of my own situation in Northern Ireland, what did Jesus come to die for – a set of Laws or for Sinners? Judging from how much of my own belief system had been based in the Old Testament, I would have to askif anything really changed andwhy did He even bother?

        10. Mark 12:33-34

          32 And the scribe said unto him, Well, Master, thou hast said the truth: for there is one God; and there is none other but he:
          33 And to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the soul, and with all the strength, and to love his neighbour as himself, is more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
          34 And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question.

          Paul, I think you are *there*. Take comfort, God is working in you as He does in all of us, challenging us and pushing us outside of our comfort areas. Jesus came to change us, and through us to change the world.

        11. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God. Justice, mercy and humility.

        12. I think the effect is the same as in other places in society, RT. Those who hold a more conservative (and I use that word loosely) viewpoint are less likely to comment. It seems to go with the personality. While OTOH we have you, Scorpio, Big Gary and maybe one or two others who make up a high percentage of the comments and seem to be on the more liberal side of what I imagine the average SFL reader is.

          Just my $.02.

        13. Mag, maybe you just hang out with us liberals too much. Or maybe your FB friends are more liberal.

          MY experience is that Conservatives are much more eager to speak in venues where their conservatism and trashing of people can go unchallenged. Fox News is just the tip of the iceberg.

          I left my IFB church in part because my liberal views were not welcome. I had to be careful. I couldn’t question, comment, or respond appropriately in public, and even to my best friends I had to be very careful. The church has ways of, uh, “encouraging” group, uhhhh, “think.” It really isn’t thinking, you know.

          As Jeb Bush recently complained about Obama, the Right does not like deep thinking, complicated thoughts, or nuances. The Right prefers to lead by force instead of by example.

          And the Right shouts all day long. If you haven’t heard it, Mag, maybe you have chosen better company.

        14. CG-C,

          For years many of us were told how to think politically and how to vote. When some of us realized that we had liberal thoughts we had to hide them. I would sit in church and listen to the loud-mouth preacher say, and I quote “if you are liberal you are not welcome and we don’t want you anyway!”. Does that reflect Jesus in any way?
          What you call “the party line of SFL” is actually people free to express their views and opinions without fear of repercussions from the pulpit or family. It is a wonderful feeling. And no one tells us what to say. We do not receive marching orders from Darrell. These are our own thoughts and ideas expressed in our own words. I am sorry if somehow they offend you or anyone else. If your ideals cannot stand up to public discourse without ridicule, maybe the problem is with the ideals. And when I say “your”, I am not referring to you specifically.

        15. Judging from what has been said, I would guess that most of the regular posters here would be in favour of Gay Marrige. I’m not. But I have never been forced by Dar-El or anyone on this blog to keep quiet or change my views, or be forced off. (that did happen on another blog, that was so “liberal ” that it crucified anyone who did not support Their liberal attitude to Gay marriage) At least there is open and frank discussion. I think this as all too rare among Christians. And I am aware that there are people who would not describe yourselves as “Christian” I greatly appreciate and value your input too. You can bring s different view of the absurdities that can so easily creep into “Christianity”. Under all the snark there is a community that really cares deeply about each other.

        16. Gate-Crasher and Paul Best, even when I don’t agree with you, your right to your own opinion is precious to me. Have I ever told you to shut up?

          And since you think same-sex marriage is wrong, I would fight fiercely against anyone who tried to compel you to marry someone of the same sex.
          But by the same token, I don’t see why you and all those with the same opinion should be able to prevent other same-sex couples from marrying, or allow discrimination against them.

          The truth is I’m getting a little tired of talking about the right to marry, which now seems to be settled for the most part (here in the U.S., I mean). Now I’m more interested in equal treatment for those who can’t marry or choose not to. One of the most powerful arguments for recognizing same-sex marriages was the list of all the privileges, subsidies, and benefits our system gives to married couples. These subsidies and privileges all come at the expense of single people, just as subsidies to people with children come at the expense of childless adults.
          I was single until fairly late in life (my wife and I were both in our late forties when we married), and I felt the discrimination and exclusion that society doles out to anyone who is still single when they are over 30. But then, at least some people gave me “the benefit of the doubt” by assuming (incorrectly) that I was gay and therefore not allowed to marry (not, of course, that it was OK not to be married). Now never-married people can’t even claim the gay exemption.

        17. I’m almost fifty two and not married. I have been asked if I’m gay. (No.) how does a Christian prove he is not gay, except … Well, you know…..

        18. Paul I don’t think that problem is limited to Christians. I know several people who I was convinced were gay all through high school when really they were either shy or just plain didn’t meet anyone that they clicked with. Or they were too picky 🙂

        19. Also, I’m becoming more aware that the same old arguments are going round in circle. I’m sorry if I have helped to keep that wheel spinning….

        20. We do seem to be going nowhere on this which is probably to be expected. It is a polarizing topic.

        21. please explain how this is different than asking people of color to eat at a lunch counter that doesnt mind “those people”.

        22. Scorpio,
          The closest I come to owning a business is renting out my home which I was forced to move from due to financial reasons. As far as I know, my current renters are not married to each other. They seem to be good renters, however; and since I’m not the morality police, I figure their business is their business. My concerns are first that they take care of the property and second that they pay the rent. Thing is, if a church lady were to find herself in a similar situation regarding her home, and were to refuse to rent to these folks because she felt she would be making it easier for them to sin, I could respect her decision. The fact that I might not have a problem with a certain issue doesn’t mean that someone else is guaranteed to feel the same way. When I was younger, I saw no conflict between my faith and serving in the military. Still, there are others, many Quakers for example, who feel that serving in the military might put them in a situation where they would be forced to violate the fifth commandment. In the U.S., these folks have historically not been forced into the armed services even during times of war.

          Even when it comes to the kind of Fundamentalists we remember, I have great respect for soul liberty and would not infringe on their religious liberties simply because I would enjoy either seeing them hanged or struck by meteors.

    3. Also, they weren’t slapped with heavy penalties just for refusing to bake a cake. They were slapped with heavy penalties for responding to legal action by doxxing the couple, thereby threatening the safety of their children.

        1. Doxxing is when you publish a person’s contact information (address, phone number, email) on the internet without their permission, with the intent, either explicitly stated or not, to enable the harssment of that person.

        2. The name comes from “dox” for “documents,” as in “I’m going to make all your personal documents public.”

      1. Day is correct. The bakers responded to a notice of legal action by logging on to Facebook and posting the couple’s contact info along with their rant about teh gayz. The death threats, etc., got so bad that they almost lost their children (fosterlings, in the process of adoption) due to concern for their safety.

      2. Correction: They weren’t penalized at all for doxxing, just for breaking their state’s anti-discrimination law. Also they have made back the amount they were fined and more in donations.

        1. One thing I don’t understand is why the court awarded one of the two plaintiffs (of the lesbian couple) more $ damages than the other partner.
          There’s probably some explanation as to why she suffered greater harm (maybe from the doxxing), but I haven’t seen the reason reported in any of the news coverage of the case.

    4. “The couple was not asked to participate in a lesbian wedding. ”

      Exactly. If baking a cake is participation, then Bushmaster firearms participated in the Newtown school massacre.

        1. I am split on how I feel about that. If the weapons manufacturers produced weapons only, I would not see a connection.

          But the weapons manufacturers actually work to remove all restraints from guns in the public sphere, including schools. They oppose all background checks or mandatory training. They also fuel and fund anti-government rhetoric to push gun sales. And they blamed Sandy Hook on the school, the parents and the children for not being locked and loaded.

          I don’t blame gun manufacturers or sellers for those crimes, but they certainly enable the crimes! Would you hand an insane man a loaded gun? The NRA would! Would you hand a gun to a man who abuses his wife and kids? The NRA does! They promote the idea that you are safe only if you are ready to kill.

          There can be no more unchristian idea than that.

        2. Sorry, but the argument remains illogical. The real problem is that we have decided that our constitution allows almost any person to own almost any weapon. I’m not sure how to get around that, but I am not only a CC permit holder and gun collector, I have hundreds of hours of formal side-arms training with a former IDF instructor and others. My conclusion? It is virtually impossible for someone who does not have extensive training to responsibly deploy a firearm. Even our police have far too little training to be carrying, at least in my opinion and at least in my area. I think the solution is in the area of limiting access, not limiting manufacture. I know that sounds weird coming from someone who could legitimately be accused of being a gun-nut, but I have a lot of experience. Most people simply aren’t capable of responsibly discharging today’s high-powered weapons in any situation that requires accuracy or judgment. It takes hundreds of hours and thousands of rounds under proper training to really deploy effectively. Just my two cents.

          P.S. Anyone who thinks range-time improves their accuracy or capability is a lunatic. You have to practice drawing from concealment while under stress.

        3. Dr. Fundystan, Jim Wright of “Stonekettle Station” agrees with you, and has a wonderful post up right now about using the NRA firearms rules themselves to regulate the public use of firearms. It’s definitely worth reading, and would make the country a lot safer, I think, if it could be adopted into law:

          http://www.stonekettle.com/

    1. A lot of the more “moderate” Baptists have made like Jimmy Carter and left the SBC. So the remaining SBC congregations are closer (on the average) to the IFB group than the denomination on the whole was once.
      The SBC airplane flies with only the right wing most of the time now.

      1. Have the moderate Southern Baptist dropped out of the convention, or are they just sitting on the sidelines? When I lived in Stillwater, OK back between 1986-92, I attended a church that identified itself as moderate. I was told that moderate churches stayed within the Convention but started to form their own agencies, and they didn’t bother going to the national convention and all that. My information is quite old. Have things changed?

        1. Many of the moderates have been kicked out of the convention. There was a prominent moderate congregation in Charlotte that was booted out because they objected to a much more strictly reworded statement of faith (as well as conservatives putting much greater burdens of proof on missionaries that they were toeing the line). Southern Baptist conservatives have been penalizing denominations that ordain women to the ministry, for example.

          I consider the SBC as Fundamentalist. They aren’t IFB because of the larger association. But they are fundies all the same. Moderates are getting squeezed out.

          The purge process in conservative religious groups is running parallel to the purge in conservative politics.

          You know, of course, that there are no more moderates in the Republican Party. At least, there are none who have any chance of being elected any more. We are seeing the era of “purity” in politics, where the Right demands adherence to their standard. There is no more loyalty to one’s constituents, and there is no more room for personal convictions that do not conform to Doctrine.

          I note that the Bolsheviks suffered a more radical form of this purging as they became the Communist party. At first the moderates were simply put out of power. Then they were murdered. By the time the process was done, the Party had moved to a very radical form tolerating no internal dissent or discussion. The Republicans seem to be moving on a parallel course, albeit in the early stages. No bloodshed yet, but power grabs aplenty!

        2. rtg – you are so right that the GOP has no one electable running for POTUS. And the fact that Trump continues to lead in the polls shows you the status of the GOP. They are in trouble. They are out of touch. They are splintered beyond repair.
          My only hope is that enough people pay serious attention to Bernie Sanders and he can upend Hillary in the primary.
          #feelthebern

        3. Scorpio, I agree with Bernie Sanders on most of the issues, but I don’t think he can win a post-Citizens United election.
          Getting elected now has much less to do with having people agree with your stands or like you as a person than with getting huge corporate and personal campaign contributions. One billionaire writing checks for you is now better than a million working stiffs wanting to vote for you. And I don’t see any of those fat cats going for a truly progressive candidate.

        4. BG – I think the same thing was said about a certain Nigerian Muslim Senator from Illinois in 2007. 😉

        5. Ditto what Scorpio says. Of course that was pre-citizen’s united decision. Keep hope alive though, BG!

    2. Burk and Strachen stretch the boundaries of Biblical interpretation to justify subjugation of women. Other times, they, or at least Burk, will make things up out of whole cloth, like the belief that a gay person sins merely by being attracted to members of their own gender (no lust or same-sex sex required). If it weren’t for the outsized influence they hold in my current circles, I’d ignore these two and their like-minded friends entirely.

        1. You have a point, Paul. One of my concerns is that these higher-profile fundamentalists are “poisoning the well” for conservative evangelicalism. I believe most people feel like they only have two Protestant options – fundamentalism or progressive Christianity. That is a real shame, because as Pope Francis has demonstrated, a religion can be thoroughly traditional in its morality and still remain compassionate, engaged, and humble. The screeching coming from the “largest protestant denomination in the US” is rapidly drowning everyone else out.

    1. He’s just one of the new breed of “celebrities” who are on TV because a lot of people enjoy gawking at their trashy behavior.
      Jersey Shore, Real Housewives, the Kardashians, Paris Hilton … the list goes on and on.
      People who think that makes someone a “hero” are very hard-up for heroes.

    2. Phil Robertson did no such thing as “defending traditional marriage”. Phil Robertson declared the lynchings going on all around him to be NBFD, apparently the blacks he knew back then were all happy to be getting lynched. Robertson’s (and this schmuck’s) definition of “traditional marriage” is as uninformed as Robertson’s highy offensive redefinition of segregation.

      Classic self justification & demagoguing in the pulpit. Real classy dude here.

    3. Phil Robertson — confessed adulterer, by the way! Oh, and racist. And redneck to the extreme — may be a “Christian,” but that doesn’t make him worth spit for anything more than entertainment.

      But then, you team up with Fox Noise and you can create instant experts out of any ignorant fool, and that is what they have done with Phil Robertson.

      1. But he’s not actually a redneck. Robertson and all the rest of the clan were college graduate, middle class businessmen before they found out how well the faux-redneck business paid. It’s all sthick.

    4. Phil and his family are fakes. You can find pictures of them in their more clean cut, earlier years. Phil is playing a persona that is taking advantage of easy hysteria and playing on the emotions of his audience.

  3. If believers would just be followers of The Way, there would be less need to fear losing their lands, buildings, Constitutional rights, and 401 (c)(3) tax exempt status; non of which is promised to us anywhere in holy writ.

    B.R.1

  4. I feel like the SBC is more dangerous than the IFB in a way. It seems to have much of the same fundy fear mongering rhetoric, but dressed in a more appealing package. (Like not having crazy dress codes or being so strict on music, for instance.) They fooled me for a long time.

        1. Don’t worry, if that doesn’t work out, he can engage the services of a PR firm to place bulk orders for his book in an attempt to fake his way on to the NY Times best seller list. If it worked for Mark Driscoll and a number of other Christian celebrities – Ted Cruz is the latest to get in the news for apparently trying this stunt – why not him?

    1. I may or may not use that (totally will), with or without giving the appropriate citation to you (never gonna happen). you sir, have been given the appropriate notification. have a great day.

    1. I hope that the law will be as strict towards the behaviour of people of *ALL* religions – Christian, Jew, Hindu, Buddhist, Sikh, Pagan, even Atheist.
      Watch this space.

        1. Absolutely not! I am a women. Not too long ago the law called me a chattel. However, we progress, we make better laws, we become a more civilized people. OR we just go back to Sharia like law.

        2. It is supposed to be. It is flawed where it is not. The typical icon of Justice is a blindfolded woman with a set of balance scales. Justice is supposed to be blind, impartial.

          So is God’s wisdom.

          James 3:17-18

          17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
          18 And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.

        3. All the same if God was only interested in Justice, treating us as we deserved, where would any of us be, as Sinners? I don’t think God’s Justice is blind. That is why Jesus came and died for us.that is why he paid for us. It’s good to remember that.

        4. Great point. Then should we be so interested in punishing gay people for being gay? Because that is what this whole controversy is about.

        5. Your sexuality may not be a choice. What you *do* with it… is open to choices. And that applies to Straights as well as Gays.

        6. Until recently from a legal point of view, and to this day in many churches, a straight person is given the choice of marriage if they can find a suitable partner, while a gay person is given … no such choice (in churches, they are expected to remain celibate, or “chose to become straight” in the bat crap insane out of touch with reality churches). If you believe that’s the way it should be, that’s fine, but don’t blow smoke up my rear and tell me that’s equality.

        7. Josh, I’m sorry if I offended you. I’m still trying to untangle my own prejudices. As a Gay Christian, (who is celibate for now?) how are you regarded by the Gay community? Talking to a couple of Gay Christians I have got to know very recently I get the impression that there can be considerable pressure within your community to be in some sort of “relationship”. Same as the straight world. What is your experience? Or am I talking batshit (as usual) ?

        8. Paul, I wasn’t offended, just trying to keep things straight – which is hard for me, as you can imagine! I’m not “out” in real life, and on the internet, when I want to discuss LGBT matters, I hang around sites where Christians who are LGBT tend to gather. So I don’t feel the pressure to be partnered up from them, and I can’t speak to what it’d be like in a more secular environment. If I had to, I’d speculate that it’s probably not tremendously worse than the pressure straight people are put under to couple up from society and especially from the evangelical church (if you replace “couple up” with “marry right out of college”).

        9. As I said, I have recently got to know a couple of gay men are both “out”. They came “out” in very different situations. One had lived a very “active” gay lifestyle for many years and was very open about it. Before that he had been a Christian pastor but had lost his Faith. He came back to faith about 3 years ago, and no longer wants to be part of that”scene” He is finding it difficult to convince his friends of that. The other friend was “outed” against his will. He is a Christian and very definitely Gay, but did not want to “come out” because he knew it would hurt his family. However the Gay community in Northern Ireland, and especially in Belfast, can be, as this friend, put it, very “in your face and up your ass” and he was “outed”by someone he thought he could trust. Someone who could not understand why anyone would not want to tell the whole world “I’m gay!” And who thought it was wrong to hide it from anyone. This seriously hurt this friend and his family, and has left him feeling betrayed and a bit bitter.

        10. Gay people are just as human as the rest of us, just as mean, just as demanding, and just as intolerant–but no more than the rest of us are.

          Face it. We are all jerks. The subject of the Jerkiness varies.

        11. I think I will make a plaque of that last paragraph and hang it on my wall to remind me 🙂

  5. I think of SBC churches as “fundy-lite” bc they’re two sides of the same coin in my experience. Still lots of rules to follow to be considered a good Christian, lots of works to do & plenty of abuse that’s been covered up (& continuing to be covered up).

  6. I went to the SBC after leaving the IFB because it felt familiar, yet somehow safer. The pastor taught expository messages from the NASB and had actually earned his doctorate. He was soft spoken – never did I hear him scream in the pulpit. He preached Romans 14 as it should be preached; saying some members drink alcohol while others choose to abstain, and how we should love all. In fact, that particular sermon generated a lot of questions/responses, so the pastor held an open-mic Sunday where people took turns asking questions about it. The pastor answered every one patiently (even mine 😉 ) There were times the grace expressed in sermons made me tear up because it was so different from the shame I was used to having heaped upon me in Fundystan sermons.

    Because of all the overt displays of grace it took several years for me to notice the underlying legalism among the inner circle of the church.

    Here are some examples:

    Homeschooling was considered best, with church school attendance a solid second choice. How could someone who loves God send their kids to the public school, because their kids would be taught a secular world view? The odds of your public school kids being invited to members’ homes for parties, etc. were small. The church school did not want kids in their school if their older siblings went to public school, because of the negative influence. No kidding.

    Courtship was popular. I wonder how I missed this for so long. It was probably because my kids weren’t dating age at the time and (having been burned in the IFB) I chose to stay out of the inner circle. But if your kids go to public school, the odds of them being able to find a prom date at this church would be practically nil.

    Literal young earth creation is taught exclusively. Over and over and over and over throughout their kids’ curriculum. It is a major hobby horse. Ken Ham is a hero, and he believes old earth creationists are a cancer upon Christianity…so it is hard to feel the love there if you do not agree.

    Many young ladies are not being sent off to college; probably because it would be hard to manage a courtship that way. They will allow them to take online classes, but are not encouraging their girls to have sports or academic dreams. “We thought it best to keep her home”.

    *Encouraging* young marriages (within a year or two of high school graduation). “Better to marry than burn” is probably what they are basing this on. Premarital sex is considered such a great sin (considered far worse than many other sins, it seems) they consider it safer to have their kids select a lifelong mate while still a teenager.

    Church leadership was teaching this mostly outside of the pulpit. They are more tolerant than the IFB because I noticed there were active members who disagree with some of this stuff (some even openly), but dissenters were not in leadership positions. In most IFBx, dissenters would have been chased out.

    I must say, members and leadership have been very nice to me since I left. That is not at all how it works in the IFBx.

    But don’t let the modern CCM, pants on women, casual attire, and multiple Bible versions fool you into thinking there is not a core of legalism under the surface.

    1. Wow, just wow. My SBC church has none of that. My pastor’s kids go to public school (and most of the other kids too); I don’t know ANY teens that are doing the “courtship” thing; young earth isn’t taught, in fact the current pastor when he first got hired on there two years ago said he didn’t care how old we thought the earth was in a sermon; both men and women go onto college after high school (including staff members’ kids); and many of the young men and women do not marry until their 20’s. I do think, however, that a higher percentage of Southern Baptist churches in the West tend to be moderate as we do not have as many American or Cooperative Baptist churches here, and we are also further away from the more conservative center of the denomination.

    2. I think there is a core of legalism in every church. It’s a part of life. You can’t escape it. We can all be legalisers. We just express it in different ways 🙁

      1. Would you believe me if I told you that there’s even legalism in agnostic/atheist groups? I think it’s really just a state of mind that can be applied to anything, but it probably thrives more in certain scenarios like the IFB.

        1. )Actually, although Dawkins says he doesn’t believe in any God, I suspect that, deep down, he believes he IS God)

      2. There is also a core of legalism in every individual Christian it is our default mode because legalism seems more comfortable than allowing the Holy Spirit free reign in our lives. The Holy Spirit sometimes can make life messy, unpredictable and uncomfortable. However, as someone else has pointed out, Legalism will inevitably become a hard taskmaster. But we go down that road because, if we are truly honest, how many of us *really* trust God?

    3. I love how you’ve explained the way legalism is hidden in non-IFB contexts – and in IFB-lite contexts, for that matter. It took me a while to see it after I left my old IFB church for my current conservative Baptist church.

      To add from my experience, one of the few sins that is worse than premarital sex is the sin of being attracted to people of the same gender (i.e. being gay).

  7. Random weird question: if a gay person came to a Christian baker with a request for a cake saying “Jesus was Gay” would the baker have a right to refuse? Would it make a difference if the person making the request was *not* gay?

    1. Bakers don’t have to write anything that they disagree with on cakes. Neither do you or I.
      But it’s not in their economic interests to draw the circle of what they won’t allow too widely.
      In the Oregon case, though, it wasn’t just a dispute over what the cake should say. The bakers simply refused to make a cake at all for the same-sex couple.
      There was no evidence that they had ever screened other customers to see if they were adulterers or fornicators or theives or gluttons or otherwise unworthy to buy a cake, or if they were going to eat the cake at a bachelor party or a saloon or some other den of iniquity.

      Suppose you have a shoe store. Would it be OK to refuse to sell shoes to a gay man if you thought he would wear them to a gay wedding? Or if you were afraid he would wear the shoes to a gay bar and try to pick up other men?
      Not unless you also question every other customer about their life history and intentions before you agreed to let them have shoes.

      1. Bakers might not be *compelled* to write what they disagree with, but there may be consequences do refusing to do so. I only have to mention Asher’ Bakery, here in Northern Ireland. But saying “Jesus is Gay” is not a political issue. refusing to Bake a cake supporting Gay marriage is.

        1. I think Gay Marriage has become one of those Sacred Issues that nobody should dare question.

        2. Baking a cake for a gay couple is supporting gay marriage? Is baking a cake for a divorced couple supporting divorce? It’s a wedding cake. What the happy couple does with it is, in my opinion, their business, not the baker’s.

      2. Well put. Slogans are another matter entirely. The thing I keep going back to is that Canada has had legal gay marriage for a long time now and we don’t have these kinds of problems that people keep imagining might happen. The reality is a lot tamer than the fears. Sure there was an adjustment period but honestly, it is now simply a non issue.

        1. But that may be in part because Canada has a slightly better adjusted sense of social responsibility. I do believe there are arseholes in the US that intend to test every possible way of making trouble. For my part, if my religion ever causes me to choose not serving someone for the sake of making a moral point, then I will become atheist. Certainly such a choice is the very definition of anti-christ.

        2. It interests me to see people picking and choosing what morals they will fight for. They say supporting gay marriage goes against their moral code. What about supporting child labour? Do these people pay more money to ensure that a child has not been beaten or starved or threatened to make the child work to produce the things they buy at dollar stores? How about irresponsible use of energy destroying the beautiful planet given us by the Creator? Are they ok with pouring clean water on their pesticide ridden lawns and throwing out dumpsters of food while people die of thirst and starve? What exactly is their moral code? They drive past homeless people daily, do they feed them? Clothe them? Comfort them? Their politics and greed are fueling wars all over the world but they don’t care. I call that immoral. I don’t understand how they think their god is going to be more offended by a same sex marriage than by a person dying of starvation on the streets of a rich country. Please excuse the rant.

        3. Nothing wrong needing excused! You are completely correct in my book! Poverty ought to offend us because there is so much we could do about it. But instead we invest in weapons systems for our militaries (many of which don’t work and are just pouring money into the pockets of war profiteers).

          Republicans are so offended at the idea that some people might get a meal or two they haven’t earned that they are willing that many go hungry. They pretend that starvation wages are enough to make a family thrive. They take away help to get a good education and saddle people with lifetimes worth of debt. And with the specter of a few people voting in places they shouldn’t, they take away the voting rights of minorities, the poor and the aged.

          They have less morality than rats. They are so individualistic they will not care for others. They echo without shame the question of Cain, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” and blatantly answer, “No.”

          If I were not a Christian right now, I would have to say that Christianity is without any spiritual power at all. Fortunately there are some Christians who do not identify with the Religious Right.

    2. That’s a more clear case of refusing to take part in an expression the person finds objectionable. “I don’t want to write that” seems unobjectionable, especially if the baker is willing to write most anything else.

      A straight person asking for the cake would be even less of an issue, because “straight person asking for a message on a cake” isn’t a protected class of person, so wouldn’t even be covered by any non-discrimination laws.

      Incidentally, wedding cakes often have no writing on them at all. There’s not much room, what with all the rosettes and other decoration, and the layers, and whatnot. You probably couldn’t tell a gay wedding cake from a straight one until the little bride and bride gets stuck on top.

      Interestingly there don’t seem to have been any cases of a baker refusing to make a birthday cake for the child of a gay couple. Or anniversary party cakes for gay couples (which probably *would* have text on them). It’s almost like a few shops are grandstanding about the hot topic of the moment, rather than practicing genuine opposition to gay relationships via the many cake-related activities in life.

      1. “Grandstanding about the hot topic of the moment” I think maybe you nailed it right there. Christians need a cause, something to fight against, especially preachers, otherwise too many of us would have nothing to say. And homosexuality has always been THE hot topic. Focus on that and all the sins that Christians are guilty of don’t really matter, do they?

        1. In Northern Ireland, are shops allowed to refuse service on sectarian grounds?

          Or is it more like the Protestants know which shops are Protestant-friendly, and the Catholics know which shops are Catholic-friendly?

          I’d think asking the wrong baker for a “Woo! Marching season!” cake could go badly.

        2. Certainly in the past , shops could, and would, refuse service on sectarian grounds. It was not legal to do so, but not exactly illegal either. It happened. But mostly it was a case of knowing which shops belonged to your Tribe. And going to those. To be honest I’m not sure that much has changed 🙁

        3. Actually, a LOT of Christian DO expect “Sinners” to change Immediately, as soon as they get, “Saved”, to stop doing they things they disapprove of, and adopt *their* attitudes. NOW. Or you are *not* saved. I know. I experienced it. I became part of that mindset. It is surprising easy to forget your own struggles when who can judge someone wit sexual issues, or is still struggling with addiction. You know, REAL sins. Sometimes Christians can expect more of a newly-saved person than God does. And it is not just a characteristic of Fundamentalists.

        4. Sorry, George is messing with me again, that was in reply to a comment further down, from rtgmath about what would happen if a Gay married couple got saved.

        1. I left some wiggle room for drive-thru Vegas weddings and similar, where who knows what kind of cake might be involved.

        2. A few years back I do believe I witnessed the most unique wedding ever. It was at a drive through chapel not far from where I live, (now sadly gone, they were great free entertainment), it was a bi-racial, lesbian couple both dressed as Elvis in drag, (my best guess) standing up in the back of a vintage pink pick up truck. You can’t make this shit up. Sadly it was before I had a cell phone with a camera or I would post the pics.

        3. A drive-through wedding chapel is an interesting concept. It caters to those who say, “I want to get married, but not if I have to get out of my car to do it.”

      2. So…. If I wanted to marry my sister or my mother (actually I don’t, but there are those who do) is there any reason why I would not be allowed to do so? After all, it’s all about Grace. the Law no longer applies. (why is The first half of Leviticus 18 in the Bible at all?). Think about it.

        1. Paul, we don’t do it because there are laws against it. These laws developed over time as reactions to in-group and out-group relationships. But we don’t have the prohibition because of Leviticus 18! Close kin relationships was a problem with genetic difficulties for children. Years ago that would have been a problem. Today, not so much. In the future, it won’t be much of a problem at all if gene therapy works out. It is showing significant promise.

          But we don’t forbid it because of Leviticus 18. We also don’t camp around a Tabernacle. We eat pork and rabbit.

          You can’t pick out a few convenient parts of the Law and take those while eliminating the rest. If you offend in one part, you are guilty of all of it. The Law brings death.

          So tell me. How much of the Law do you wish to enslave yourself with? For that is what the Law does. On the other hand, Christ tells you to love your neighbor as yourself — and that includes gay people. John tells us that if we don’t love our brothers, we cannot claim to love God, and I will tell you frankly that there are lots of gay Christians.

        2. Of course there is a solution to the “problem” of GeneticallyDefective babies, one that is used all the time, anyway. It’s called Abortion. The fact that I have a greater problem the the moral issues of abortion than with homosexually is irrelavent and doesn’t stop it happening. I guess Morality will inevitably get in the way of *someone* expressing their Rights as they should.

        3. I wasn’t referring to abortion.

          But for your reading, I suggest Numbers 5. In it is described the Law of Jealousy, when the husband thought his wife had been unfaithful. The bitter water was an abortifact, and would cause “the belly to swell and the thigh to rot” if she were with child.

          This helped ensure that the husband would not be raising a baby which was not his.

          I also note that God commanded the Midianites to be exterminated, including women with child. God-commanded abortions, those were.

          We have our pet peeves. We have our prejudices. We either control them or they control us. Our choice.

        4. Hmm…. When it comes to the Law, Jesus Himself is a problem. He was not Joseph’s child.

        5. So much of this round-robin of arguments is based on the OLD Testament. What does Jesus say?

        6. Jesus doesn’t actually say anything on who to marry. He does tell us (well the men. Jesus never preached to the women!) not to lust after women we aren’t married to. He tells us that if we divorce for any reason other than a wife’s unfaithfulness we are committing adultery. He also says that divorcing the wife causes her to commit adultery even if she is innocent of wrongdoing.

          I would say he had a bit of a double standard there.

          And He said what God has joined together let no one put asunder.

          But His references to marriage were all within the cultural context. And He never said anything against polygamy! He preached about pride. He didn’t try to restructure the institution of marriage. He never claimed that He was setting the standard on what a marriage should look like.

          What Jesus talked about was how we love each other and treat each other.

          And if you want an ick factor, Paul, John laid on Jesus’ breast. Close cuddles. You and I would back off. That says nothing about Jesus’ sexuality, but it says worlds about the differences in culture and perspective we do not recognize.

          The apostle Paul did not address changing marriage customs among the heathen, either. Paul said a leader in the church had to be a married man, particularly a man married to only one woman. But otherwise, no rules are set.

          I do have a question. Suppose a gay couple came to you and wanted to know about Jesus. Would you tell them they had to divorce each other first? Would you tell them they had to stop being gay in order to get saved? Or would you tell them about the Savior, and then let God work on them and convict them of what sins they need to repent of first?

          The Lord can take us in whatever state we find ourselves.

        7. Father-daughter. Son-mother is prohibited directly.

          Now, why is Father-daughter marriage not prohibited? There is actually a very good explanation for this, but probably not what you expect.

        8. The reason is not religious — it is economic. The father collected a dowry for his daughter if she was a virgin, so the father protected her virginity like a hawk. She was property.

          And if she didn’t get any offers of marriage by age 13 or so, the father could sell her to be a slave. And female slaves would be expected to perform sexually for their masters. The awful details are in Exodus 21. And girls sold as slaves were not freed as the boys or men sold as slaves. They could be “redeemed” if they were wanted back, but once a slave always a slave.

          If you read the Law carefully with cultural awareness, you will find some truly horrid things there.

          But the fact that the Law did not speak to forbid Father-daughter marriage when it forbad other relationships is pretty much a proof that the laws regarding sexual relationships were not there for “holiness” reasons, but were codified cultural constructs. Only today, we miss the point.

        9. I would have to accept them as they are, just as others Christians accepted me as I was (I hope I’m s bit different now!). That is what Jesus would have done. What happens to them IF they accept Christ as Savior, may be a bit messy…

        10. The only messy thing would be your shattered expectations of what would come next.

          You see, when you and I got saved, God did not automatically bring us to our knees about the sins most obvious to others. He began to work on us a little bit at a time.

          Like us, they would face moral dilemmas. Putting away anger and bitterness. Learning to walk humbly with God. Stuff like that.

          Oh, and as for marriage, Paul said, “Brethren, each one is to remain with God in that condition in which he was called.” (I Cor 7:24). Isn’t that a sticky wicket! God declares that He hates divorce and says that divorce is dealing deceitfully with one another.

          The best thing God can do for us is to shatter our preconceptions and make us to know what grace, forgiveness and acceptance really mean so we can give the same to others.

        11. Christian *can*and *do* expect the newly-saved to stop doing those things they disapprove of, – *real* sins – and adopt *their* morality. NOW. Or you are not saved. I experienced it. I was also guilty of having that mindset once I had been a Christian for a while. So Easy to forget your own struggles when you see someone struggle with sexual issues, addictions and other obvious Sins (with a Capital “S”) and it is not just fundamentalists who do it.

    3. I have actually wondered something like this, Paul. What if someone went to a baker and requested profanity on their cake. Does the baker have the right to refuse? It sometimes seems like we are legislating common sense because it is non-existent in the wild.

      1. Asher’s Bakeey have, in the past, turned down requests for profanities, pornograpgic images, sectarian and overtly political slogans and never experienced any problems. The people simply went somewhere else. It was when they dared to turn down a request concerning the sacred issues of Gay Marriage that the brown stuff hit the rotating blades.

        1. Let me help a bit. You have a bakery. You can refuse service to John. John bounced a check here, he’s disruptive when he comes in, and once he kicked your dog. John is not a protected class of citizen. He could be a gay disabled vet, but you have reasons to refuse him, personally, service.

          You cannot refuse to serve that Navy guy, because you don’t like Navy guys (go Army!). You can’t refuse to make an accessible doorway because those wheelchair wheels mark up your floor. And you can’t refuse to sell the article that you are known for, in this case a wedding cake, to a gay person — BECAUSE they are gay. All of these are protected classes of citizen in that state. You are licensed by the state to be a business.

          And if you try to use your religious beliefs about homosexuality, then you’re going to be asked about divorced people, adulterous people, shellfish and mixed fabrics. You can’t pick and choose which Levitican laws you’re going to follow and make your stand on THAT one, and hand-wave away all the other ones.

        2. So do we ignore all the Levitcal Laws? Including all the other sexual prohibitions of leviticus 18?

        3. I think the point being missed in the Asher’s case is that it was not simply the sexuality of the person that was the issue but a blatantly political slogan:Support Gay Marriage. But maybe that was just an excuse to disriminate against someone for being Gay…. Would someone who wanted a cake saying “Satan is Lord” claim discrimination on religious grounds?

        4. I have always believed the laws of Leviticus were written at the time of Moses and that Abraham lived before that. God, in His wisdom chose Abraham and Sarah for His purposes. But I’m not sure that it invalidates Leviticus 18….

        5. The sexual laws were written to ensure that paternity was clear and direct. If you wanted to be an heir of the Promise, you had to be able to trace your lineage back to Abraham. If you wanted to be an heir of the Promise, you had to have children (male) who would continue your line. Because the Promise was alway future.

          Remember that a woman was “unclean” with her period? No sex at that time! Sex pretty much meant pregnancy, and adultery was cheating the husband out of his rightful lineage. That is why the “bitter water” was used to cause an abortion.

          That’s right. Look it up. Why was the husband jealous? Evidence of a baby that wasn’t his? Get out the bitter water and put her to the test!

          Adultery was a death sentence. Marrying relatives tangled up the line of succession. The Hebrews needed it to be direct and simple. Deliberately not having kids (as say, Onan) was punished by death as it despised the Future Promise. Not making sure your childless brother actually had kids was terrible. You were cutting your brother off from the Inheritance. Relationships which would not produce children for the future were not allowed. Men could have lots of wives. There was no limit. The more children you had, the greater your share of the Promise.

          Does it sound strange? It is. But that is how they thought. Their view of immortality was only in their children. And if you read Leviticus 18 with this information in mind, it will make a lot more sense.

          And in fact, take this information, and look at the other sexual laws in Leviticus and Deuteronomy. There are several. You will see that the collected view makes more sense.

          For example, in chapter 19 we find that a man can rape a slave girl belonging to another man and not die. There will be punishment because she wasn’t free. He doesn’t have to marry her, either. On the other hand, if a man rapes a girl who is not spoken for (and not a slave) he has to marry her. There will be children, likely. Children of the Free Woman count. Children of the Slave Woman doesn’t. That should sound familiar! Guess where it comes from!

          We read the Scripture with 21st century eyes and are unable to fathom their world view. We need to remember that.

        6. Also, Abram/Abraham was married to Sarai/Sarah long before God called Him, probably married according to the Pagan traditions of his day

        7. Paul Best said, “So do we ignore all the Levitcal Laws? Including all the other sexual prohibitions of leviticus 18?”

          Yes. I do not live in a theocracy. Levitican law has ZERO to do with US accommodation law. Zero, zip, zilch.

        8. Agreed. And if we give special precedence to these laws, all the others including carrying around a shovel and the dietary regulations must apply.

          You cannot pick and choose. If you are justified by the Law you have abandoned Grace.

  8. UTBF,
    My husband and I had a similar experience after leaving the IFB. We were members at 2 different SBC churches in 2 different cities ( not at the same time!). The last one we were at seemed so great and liberating, but over time, we picked up on the more subtle stuff.
    For instance, the pastor did not believe in using birth control methods of any kind. He did not preach it from the pulpit, but there were several very large families in the church.
    Gender essentialism was taught as scientific fact and biblical truth.
    Young Earth Creationism was taught as scientific fact and biblical truth.
    There was a great deal of peer pressure for women to be stay-at-home moms.

    One of the last straws for me was when one of the pastors said this from the pulpit: “When someone tells a man he’s acting like a woman, what they are saying is that he can’t control his emotions.” Little did he know how well this woman controlled her emotions by not stomping out in the middle of the service! We left that church soon after, running straight into the welcoming arms of a CBF church, where we are very happy.

    1. If someone says a man is behaving like an ass, it’s because he’s unable to control the sh*t that is flowing out of his mouth, like this example pastor you mention. 🙂

      1. The difference between the usual brown smelly stuff and the toxicity that comes from this guy’s mouth( and those like him) is that the brown smelly stuff can be used as a fertiliser

  9. “Even when it was exclusively performed by the Church (something that didn’t actually happen until the 1300s if I remember correctly), it still involved legal contracts, recognition of legal responsibilities to spouses and children, exchange of dowries, and other such things”

    You can remember back eight centuries? Wow!

  10. This one hits close to home. My sister-in-law was the daughter of a SBC Pastor. When I was a teen we attended IBF churches where the whole dress this way don’t do this restrictions were in play. I would go to her church for special events and there was none of that. They didn’t care if kids listened to rock-n-roll of if girls wore pants. Since it was closer to where we lived I would often ‘hang out’ with the young people of that church and attend their youth events. It was fun. I think being with them helped me to begin to achieve some sort of spiritual ‘balance’ in my life.

    Her father left and a new guy showed up…that church changed almost overnight. Strict standards were laid down and the church imploded…people left. By this time I had aged out of the youth group but I was really saddened by the fundamentalist invasion. There were a lot of bad feelings but eventually that guy left. I don’t know who or what they have now….but I do know that while the church building remained the because of the switch over it could have easily been mistaken for two completely different churches.

  11. When I look at the Churches of Today, I see a lot of parallels with the early days of Protestantism. In that era, Faith was the vehicle for politics, and vice versa. If you were a ruler and had a quarrel with a neighboring province, you might not want to have the same brand of faith as they did. Your faith determined your allies and your enemies.

    If you were Catholic, you were expected to follow the Catholic Church’s political pronouncements in ruling your province, and you were expected to fight the Protestants to force them back into the Church. If you were Protestant you had a choice between Lutheranism and Calvinism, but either one ultimately meant war on the Catholics.

    Millions died in the Hundred Years’ War.

    There are more choices religiously today, obviously, and non-faith is one of those choices. Furthermore we have individual rights instead of being treated solely as a part of our class structure. But the rhetoric is such that the topic of the necessity for religious war is being brought up time and again by the right wing.

    This idiot doesn’t just predict persecution, he advocates rebellion. He tries to frame it as “stand[ing] up for the word of God,” but he is in direct rebellion against Romans 13. He doesn’t advocate bloodshed, but his words are just a hairsbreadth away from it, the hint of physical battle yet to come. Some preachers cross the line. We are hearing apocalyptic messaging where the Saints have to Stand Up for their Rights (and God’s Word, incidentally).

    God and guns are going together, according to the Right. Those who live by the gun will kill by the gun. I have read lots of comments in places like Huffingtonpost and Facebook where people talk about giving LGBT people the death penalty. Of course they are only repeating what people like Alabama Supreme Court Justice Roy Moore are saying! Then I hear people talk about killing liberals! Wow! Why? We liberals are no threat to their lives or actions. We just want people to treat others like they want to be treated!

    People like this Fox Noise preecher screecher talking to the Southern Baptist Convention scare me. They remind me that words beget actions and that lies appealing to fear are more attractive to the radical right than the sane truth is.

    What kind of world will my children inherit?

    1. Its worth mentioning that there has been an uptick in hate crimes against LGBT folks since the Supreme Court decision on marriage equality a few weeks ago…

    2. Don’t throw the entire “Right” into one bunch. I consider myself on the “Right”. I am a Southern Baptist [because I attend a Southern Baptist church building]. I would prefer to say I am a Christ-follower who attends a Southern Baptist church, but I’ve been told I can’t do that. If I attend a Southern Baptist church I AM a Southern Baptist.

      But I digress. I also own guns. A lot of guns compared to some, just a few guns compared to others. We never know what we would do in any given situation. But my mind set is that I would never use my weapons on another human being unless it was in defense of others. And I don’t mean defending others beliefs, I mean defending their lives. I ask myself often if I would use a weapon in defense of my own life. I can’t answer it honestly. I know where I am going when I die. I don’t know where someone is going who might be attempting to take my life. Therefore, I would hope I would lay down my life for the one trying to take it. But I can’t honestly say my will to live would not trump my ideal. Plus, I have a wife and daughter who would miss me terribly (well, my daughter would for sure).

      Anyhow, I’m not of the opinion that I should defend my religious beliefs to the death. That’s why I tell people the line between ISIS and the conservative holiness movement is pretty fine.

        1. The line between how radical they will get to defend their beliefs.

          And don’t get me wrong, P.B., I’m not against conservative holiness folk or conservative anything. In fact, I’m finding that I have been pretty sheltered my whole life and as I learn more of the perspectives that exist, I’m probably considered pretty close to “right wing nut job”.

        2. Norm, the Good News is that Christ has the power to change us!

          I, too, was once a “right-wing nut job.” But over the years I have become a liberal looking to see how more of God’s goodness can be shared rather than be hoarded by a few. I have moved from Law to Grace, brother. And … You might want to sit down for this…




          I have confidence it will happen to you!

        3. That depends who’s looking at you. Different people have different perceptions. compared to Steven Anderson you are probably a wishy-washy Librul and a Bolshevik to boot! The difference between you and other “right wing nut jobs” is that you try to look at yourself the way others outside your mindset look at you. That takes courage.

    1. Is Norm short for Normal? HA!!!! I’m not normal. In fact, prior to my birth, the doctor gave my mom the option to abort me because, according to him, there was a 50% chance I would be retarded (I know some people today don’t like the word “retarded”, but that was the word the doctor used).

      Some days, I’m not sure the doctor was incorrect in his prediction!!! 🙂

  12. I’ve been thinking about this bakery thing and other businesses. It’s a sticky wicket.

    What if you had a poster printing shop and someone came to you from some religious group wanting you to make up posters for a demonstration stating that women were subservient to men? Do you refuse them because you want no part in it, it’s against your beliefs? Or go ahead, it’s just business and you don’t refuse anyone, it’s their conscience?

    Another thing: What about the “no shirt, no shoes, no service”? Just food for thought (no pun intended).

    1. The good news is we have courts to sort out where those lines are and let us know. Generally if someone is doing something genuinely offensive you can refuse service. Getting married is not considered something that is “offensive enough to refuse service” for a business open to the public.

        1. That someone else gets married to someone they love should be no more offensive to you than you marrying someone you love should be to others.

          Really! How does it hurt you if a gay couple decide to be monogamous and not promiscuous? Why do you focus on denying gay people the right to marry, but allow divorced people to remarry? What happened to “one man, one woman”? Or is it “at a time”?

          I could offend you in a myriad of ways. But as long as I am not denying you your personal liberties, you have no call to deny them to me.

    2. The “no shirt, no shoes, no service” is generally a local or state code put in place by the Board of Health.

      If you own a business like a print shop and someone asks you to do a job that offends you, make sure you give them such a high quote or tell them you can’t get it done by the deadline. Either that or you could screw it up so much that they refuse delivery. Or “lose” the paperwork authorizing the job. Stuff happens, you know?

    3. I also wonder whether the people slamming these Christian bakers would similarly slam Muslim or Orthodox Jewish bakers who refused to bake a cake for a same-sex marriage.

      Or is it just Christians who must be forced to violate their consciences lest they incur the wrath of the thought police?

      1. Would a Jewish baker be forced to bake a cake that says “Ban Circumscision”? Er…no. Some say that the law banning homosexuality is archaic and has no place in a twenty-first century democracy. What about Jewish dietary laws? They make even less sense. Should Jewish butchers be forced to sell pork? After all, most people eat pork and why discriminate against a majority? Of course, theJewish butcher does not *have* to eat pork himself ( though there is no reason to maintain such bigoted practices) but he souls provide a service for those who want it.

        1. Of course there are differences between the above scenario and Gay marriage . dietary laws are not a political issue and cannot be used against christians

        2. Paul, the question ” Should Jewish butchers be forced to sell pork?” makes no sense in the discussion. You sell what you make, to whoever. If you do custom work, you can set the ingredients. No one has demanded that custom bakeries expand their ingredient list. If they order decorations from a supplier, they have the supply lists the customer chooses from. I wouldn’t recommend saying you won’t order an available bride-bride top for the cake if it is in the supply lists. And don’t say you won’t go to another supplier if you have done so in the past on miscellaneous items. Consistency is a virtue. Lying will muck you up.

        3. Which goes to show the value of “the more excellent way” the tender care of each and every one of God’s children.

        4. RT, I think you might missing my point. Let me put it another way. Supposing someone wanted a slogan which advocated abortion? People have a right to make that choice. Would a baker be brought to court for refusing. Maybe that’s not a good example either as the whole gay marriage thing revolves around the whole issue of “discrimination”…..

        5. However I am still puzzled as to what is the difference between pork and any other kind of meat….

        6. The Jewish law regards pork as unclean.

          The Hebrews really didn’t do much close observance of nature if they could help it, and relied upon their religion to keep them from having to study. Animals considered unclean weren’t worth studying further. Only a very few were considered clean.

          Their religion kept them ignorant and happily arrogant. They knew everything worth knowing, they thought. They thought they could prove it. After all, didn’t God speak exclusively to them? Wasn’t the Law everything?

          It still is, to the ultraorthodox. The men happily study the law and do not work, while the women have to work, earn the living, and bow to their every whim. If at any time the women caught on to the scam and left the men to fend for themselves, the whole thing would crumble. But “faith” keeps the women as virtual slaves.

        7. But I didn’t ask about pork or circumcision. I asked about gay marriage. If a Muslim or Orthodox Jewish baker refused to bake a cake for a gay wedding, would you object? Would you consider him or her a bigot? Or would you defend his or her right to follow his/her conscience?

        8. I would object! I would also object to the gay couple going in there in the first place. As I object to them forcing the issue with the Christian bakers. In my view, it is wrong to discriminate and should be illegal BUT having said that, I would not go into a bakery called, “Godless Cakes”, and ask for a cake with a scripture verse on it. It could all have been handled with so much more finesse but it wasn’t and now here we are.

        9. jewish butchers dont sell pork. to anyone. not just “not sell pork to those people”. apples & oranges

      2. Any business owner that wants to shut out a potential revenue stream, based on what 2 consenting adults do in their free time won’t be a business owner for too long. A fool and his money are soon parted. Then when their business shuts down due to a lack of sales, they can cry persecution. The irony is just too delicious.

        1. Any business owner that wants to shut out a potential revenue stream, based on what 2 consenting adults do in their free time won’t be a business owner for too long.

          1. The issue is not refusing to sell cakes to gay people. Most Christian bakeries will happily do that. I mean, how would they even know? Gay people don’t walk around wearing signboards proclaiming their orientation. And, even if they did, I can’t imagine that Sweet Cakes or any other bakery would refuse to serve them That is NOT the issue. The issue specifically concerns baking a cake for a ceremony (gay wedding) the owners consider gravely sinful. I assume they would similarly balk at baking a cake for that British woman who married a dolphin a few years ago. (IIRC the groom , showing excellent taste, swam away during the reception.)

          2. According to the CDC, fewer than 3% of Americans identify as gay. Far fewer, presumably, would approach a Christian bakery for a wedding cake. So, I think it’s safe to say that the Sweet Cakes owners and their ilk are probably safe from imminent ruin — providing, of course, that a tyrannical state does not slap crushing fines on them or liens on their houses. (But the benevolent Left would never do anything mean like that, would it? ;))

        2. CG-C,

          1. Gay marriage is the issue that has brought all of this to light but the bottom line is that discrimination against gays has been for the most part, the “ick” factor. And how is gay marriage “gravely sinful” when, correct me if I am wrong, it is not mentioned specifically in the Bible? Someone has determined that it is the sin that God cares about the most. Why is that? Why are no other sins examined prior to business transactions? it is the hysteria of TEH GAYZ. (I did not hear about the woman marrying the dolphin. I will have to look that up. Maybe he heard they were serving tuna at the reception).

          2. It is not the loss of business from the potential 3% that could hurt a business. It is the unknown percentage of the remaining 97% that could be at risk that could hurt a business.

          Just substitute the word “black” for gay or LGBT and make an argument as to why a business should not cater to them. It happened for years in this country. But you don’t see “colored” signs anymore. How do you think the most racist bigoted people from the 1950s would react if you showed them a future where blacks and whites ate together, went to the bathroom together, rode the bus together, married each other etc.? Now explain to me how that viewpoint is any different than the anti-gay stuff now? And remember, the racists had religion on their side too.

        3. These whole idiotic cake news stories drive me insane. Can’t two reasonable people have a reasonable conversation, see each other’s side and decide;

          Owner: “Hey I’d rather not bake the cake for this ceremony it interferes with my personal beliefs, but I’ll be happy to give you a free cake in the future for another event. Here’s the name of another baker I highly recommend who’d be happy to help”

          Engaged Couple: “Thank you for your honesty, and for your offer. We’ll check in with the baker you recommended and call you in the future, have a great day!”

          Nope….. let’s sue the pants off each other and blast it all over social media

          I know everyone is going to say “It’s the principle of the matter!”
          But come on; doesn’t anyone have any common courtesy for what the other person is feeling whether you agree or not?

        4. CGC: ” The issue specifically concerns baking a cake for a ceremony (gay wedding) the owners consider gravely sinful.”

          What, exactly, is different about a gay wedding cake? Wedding cakes usually don’t have words on them, or anything that would distinguish a straight cake from a gay cake.

          Also, if a gay wedding cake is intolerably sinful, wouldn’t a gay wedding anniversary cake be also? Or a gay couple’s baby’s birthday cake?

      3. Are they really “Christian” bakers or bakers who are Christians?

        I don’t go into a Lebanese food shop and demand Chinese. Most ethnic bakeries are ethnic exclusive, and they sell their wares to everyone, even infidels like you and me.

        There are no shops that produce “Christian” goods that cannot be sold to unbelievers. As far as I know, Egyptian bakeries do not make American-style wedding cakes for anyone who comes in for them, but if they did, I would oppose them discriminating who they sold them to.

        You really should think about the question. You obviously got it from some other petulant, probably on conservative news. But the question makes no sense on a whole number of levels.

        1. I was going to mention this before but forgot. I saw a FB post from a fundy that was of a “news” article (it may have been WND) that claims a Muslim bakery in Michigan refused to bake a cake for a gay couple and of course, there was no liberal media coverage of that! I am sure it was all made up and yet people fall for it hook line and sinker and it becomes the week’s talking points.

        2. That Crowder guy is wrong on so many levels (about law, Islam, Christianity, and civil rights) that there aren’t enough hours to unpack it all.
          Most of it has already been covered here, so that’s all I’ll say about it.

    4. There was a bakery asked to make a cake with either a racist or homophobic slogan written on it (I forget now which). The baker said she would make the cake but would not do the writing herself. She offered the customer a tube of frosting so that he could write it himself. She managed to refuse to say anything she found offensive while also avoiding refusing to serve a customer based on a disagreement with his choices. I think he sued, and I’m pretty sure the case was thrown out.

      Point being, yes, you have to offer the services you offer to everybody. No, you don’t have to offer specific wording you would find offensive as a service. There is a way in most situations to do both.

  13. Got to say I listened to the who clip and did not find it offensive in the least. What he states is true or will be proven to be true. The LGBT community would like nothing more than preachers who believe God’s word to be silienced on this issue.

    We need God’s mercy and we should not want the judgement that appears to be on it’s way.

    1. No Michael, the LGBT community just wants to enjoy the same civil rights as other people do.

      Instead of LGBT, insert the word “black” and see how that sounds and how that would make you look. Yeah. Go right ahead and let everyone know that you are a bigot.

      1. It’s not a civil rights issue. It concerns the definition of marriage — a definition accepted by every culture and civilization until recently.

        I am all in favor of civil rights for LGBT people — including inheritance rights, hospital-visitation rights, etc. But that’s not the same thing as marriage. And it’s not what this issue is about.

        Marriage is not an absolute right. If it were, you could marry your hamster, your daughter, your first cousin, or your underage student. Or multiple wives, for that matter.

        BTW, all the black people I know personally in my very diverse workplace feel even more strongly about this than I do. They most certainly do not regard this issue as the exact equivalent and counterpart of the Civil Rights Movement.

        1. “a definition accepted by every culture and civilization until recently” Sorry, how recently are you talking? We cannot simply ignore history that we do not like. The truth is lots of cultures accepted different types of sexuality. The First Nations people called them Two Spirit people and honoured them for their spirituality. Persian literature has many love stories featuring two men. Not every civilization or culture at all but every Abrahamic one.

        2. Uhigh, a thorough and honest examination of marriage throughout history will convince any honest person that there is no one idea of traditional marriage and that marriage has everything to do with inheritance rights. And I don’t care how the blacks you know view the issue, mixed race marriages used to be forbidden. That was a civil rights issue. Gay marriage is also a civil rights issue. How can it not be? Hamsters cannot consent to marriage ( so that is a bad argument!) but people can.

          Those opposed to gay marriage really need to show how LGBT people are not being denied civil rights by being denied the right to marry. They can’t since the denial of rights, of liberty and even of life itself is openly declared in various and sundry venues of the anti-gay crowd.

        3. Oh goodness. Well, I majored in history; I’m married to a guy who has his doctorate in history from that obscure institution on the Charles River in Cambridge, Mass.; my kids are majoring in history (well, one just graduated, but the point is that history kind of runs in the family). But whatevs. 😉

          And yes, I’ve heard of the late John Boswell, the dude who claimed there was same-sex marriage in the Middle Ages. I do not find his arguments convincing. In fact, I have yet to see any solid, hard evidence of any culture actually practicing same-sex marriage. Same-sex relationships of all sorts and varieties, yes, but not marriage.

          But is that really the point? The point is that marriage is not an absolute right; otherwise we’d have legalized polygamy…non?

        4. Point taken. Marriage however, differs from society to society. Romance and freedom of choice in partners is a fairly modern idea. What is the problem with gay marriage then? Is it that they will receive all the rights straight couples will receive? I believe the outrage is that a person who is opposed to gay people existing, doesn’t want his or her country to legally recognize them as existing. If they just live together and don’t get any official recognition they can be ignored. I feel for people in this position, I really do. Life is full of things we don’t like. People don’t like change but I am grateful that I do not legally belong to my husband as I once would have. I am grateful that I was not raised in segregation. The problem, historically proven, with holding a segment of the population down is that eventually they get violent. We can’t pretend gay people do not exist any more, we can’t go back to the “comfortable” fifties or Victorian times. Life is messy.

        5. The point is that polygamy was an absolute right of men in Bible days. That was traditional marriage back then!

          I understand the desire to prove your viewpoint. But you really have to be honest in your look at marriage through the ages and in the Bible. If you aren’t, you are going to get burned. The anti-gay “traditional” marriage people always ignore what the Scriptures say in the inconvenient parts. They talk about the “Scriptural model” but ignore the fact that God actually endorsed polygamy.

          You can’t invoke Leviticus against gays and forget to invoke Leviticus in favor of polygamy. One man, one woman was never a law or rule in the OT. Never. Not even hinted at.

          I am not arguing in favor of polygamy. I am arguing in favor of good arguments, consistency and honesty.

        6. We can’t pretend gay people do not exist any more, we can’t go back to the “comfortable” fifties or Victorian times.

          I honestly don’t think any sane person is arguing for this. I think the issue is specifically about the definition of marriage — not about whether gay people should be deprived of basic human rights. I don’t know anyone who would try top prevent gay people from exercising their inalienable right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. But you don’t have to be legally married to your same-sex partner to possess that right. 🙂

        7. Certainly no sane person would advocate that but there are people who do just that. Members of my own family have said openly that gays can be “cured”, that they are a “disease” and openly bemoan the fact that they cannot be “swept away” into jails or worse. Now, I am not saying my family is sane but I know they wish exactly what I said, that these people just didn’t exist. Perhaps coming from a background of severe Christianity, I have seen more of these people, but they are out there. Actually they would like same sex partnerships to be outlawed too. Also common law ones. This is something each country is going to have to deal with one way or another. I hope it can be done compassionately.

        8. Hmmm. I would say that if I were told I was not allowed to marry whom I love, I would be denied the right to pursue happiness.

          If it were you, you would probably say the same. Unless you have had a messy divorce and hate everyone.

          Marriage is a part of the cure for “being alone” that God wanted to cure.

        9. We always keep jumping back into the Old Testament in these arguments. I keep coming back to the question: did anything change when Jesus came? And does the NEW testament have anything to say about marriage?

        10. Well the NT does say that it is good not to marry but that it is better to marry than to burn in lust. It doesn’t seem like a sound base for a marriage to me.

        11. Traditional marriage in Greek and Roman culture went like this: you married a woman of advantageous status with whom you would have children. On the side, you’d have girlfriends. There was no expectation of monogamy or faithfulness. And in Greek and Roman culture, it was expected that you would also have had sex with an older, likely married, man as an initiation to sex, and that when you grew up, you’d mentor a young teen in the same way. All of this was quite “traditional”. Other cultures found polygamy traditional. Others found child marriage, what we would consider pedophilia, traditional. The definition of traditional marriage gets rather awkward when you realize that what we think of as traditional (heterosexual monogamy based on a love relationship for life) is not at all the only, or even usual, definition. It might be argued to be the best, or most Christian, but traditional? Depends on who you talk to.

        12. CGC wrote: “The point is that marriage is not an absolute right; otherwise we’d have legalized polygamy…non?”

          You’re pro-legal polygamy, aren’t you?

          There’s plenty of historical and Biblical precedent, which you seem to think is most important.

        13. rgtmath, I haven’t invoked Leviticus at all. Jesus Christ has given Christians the definition of marriage: “A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” It’s all Greek to me, but I assume the word for “wife” is feminine. 😉

        14. CGL, are you saying that all the marriage examples (many) in the Old Testament don’t count? Are you saying polygamy isn’t marriage?

          Or are you saying that Jesus’ definition defined marriage for the whole world and for all time and delegitimizated all others?

          You’d best be careful. Jesus wasn’t defining marriage. He was answering a question about divorce, and He did it within the cultural context of his day and area. They already knew what marriage was to them, and even so there were people practicing polygamy at that time, too. It just wasn’t economically feasible for most people at the time.

          You cannot ignore the Law. I am not saying we are bound by it. But the fact is that marriage has existed and been approved of by God in many forms.

      2. I also have a rebuttal on marriage equality being an issue of civil rights.
        Most civil rights are contingent upon the genetic or biological nature of a persons make-up. You made a reference to skin color, as well as ethnicity, gender, disability, age etc.. would be examples that science has proven to be physiologically part of a persons make-up they have no control over.

        I may have missed it, but I have yet to see conclusive biological or genetic evidence that homosexuality is pre-wired into an individual. I feel like this would have been major news event had it been discovered.

        All that to say, it seems the Supreme Court has redefined the parameters of civil rights to go beyond discriminating against what a person is, and into the realms of what that person consciously chooses to be.

        1. “Most civil rights are contingent upon the genetic or biological nature of a persons make-up.”

          Religion is a civil right and that’s not genetic or biological. (Religiosity might have a biological basis, but not one’s choice of specific denomination.)

        2. Hang on Jon (you and I know each other well)
          don’t confuse civil rights with religious liberty. Civil rights are based on the idea that a person cannot be discriminated against for the make up of who they genetically or biologically are.
          Religion is a choice, that is why the founding fathers wrote into our American constitution that freedom of religion should be protected.

          Homosexuality has not been conclusively proven to be part of an individuals genetic or biologically design. Therefore this is not a civil rights issue it is a question of freedom of choice.

        3. Even more important than the determination as to whether homosexuality is chosen or innate is the actual nature of rights and what that word meant when our founding documents were written.

          The rights in the constitution, specifically in the Bill of Rights are restrictive towards the government, in that they outline what the government cannot stop you from doing. They are never communicated in the other direction, we don’t see in the Bill of Rights “here’s what you are entitled to have the government do/enforce/give you” – The negative voice of these descriptions is critical to this issue, because the court (and this is not new to the Roberts court, its been going on a long time) has started to interpret “basic” rights that go way beyond restricting the government in order to ensure each individual’s right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The freedoms are described as stuff you can do without coercion. By expanding “rights” into the positive language of giving, enforcing, and doing the courts have damaged the actual rights in the constitution (because these positive rights often intrude on those because they coerce behaviour and belief) and actual erode the ability of the court to protect the rights actually deliniated in the founding documents.

          This is the basis for my approach where I really find the methods and the route this change took to be dangerous and abhorrent, while supporting some of the practical outcomes. I desperately want equal protection under the law, but this ruling actually damages that instead of expanding it by conferring special rights positively by expanding the scope and reach of government into marriage and the bedroom instead of getting them the hell out. It really doesn’t matter how “obvious” the arguments are in favor of gay marriage (and I think they are rather obvious) this ruling damages the constitution and puts a burden on individuals by limiting the scope of the foundational rights that are in those documents in black and white.

          Also, the government’s establishment of the new pagan religion endorsing promiscuity, infant sacrifices, and genital mutilation bothers me a little too. 😀

      1. It’s funny you say that,

        Speaking with friends in Canada (who have had marriage equality for years now) they made the remark that they find the militant nature of the LGBT community in the states to be quite a put off, and feel it will back fire on them in the end.

        To be honest, when Americans felt they were being unjustly taxed on tea they declared war on the British….. it’s kinda in our DNA.

  14. Can I ask those who are Gay a genuine question? I know that there is not just one “Gay Lifestyle” Are there any Lifestyles that are definitely out-of-bounds to those who are Christian?

    1. “Are there any Lifestyles that are definitely out-of-bounds to those who are Christian?”

      Well, I dunno. Are there any hetero lifestyles that are definitely out-of-bounds to those who are Christian?

      I think people are pretty talented at compartmentalizing, rationalizing, and generally deciding that *these* parts of their professed faith are important, and *those* parts which don’t suit their lifestyle are not so important, or that they aren’t really in violation.

      It isn’t just sex, though. I’m sure there are plenty of self-described Christians with lifestyles as crooked business execs, politicians launching unjust wars, cops using excessive force on unarmed and handcuffed persons.

      I mean, George W. Bush wrecked Iraq with a vast loss of life, and had people being tortured, while he was spending much of his time at the ranch he had the nerve to call “Prairie Chapel”.

      1. My personal belief is that. For Heteros, any sex outside of marriage is out of bounds for a Christian. But that’s just me. I also think that we need to realise that “living morally” goes far further than just abstaining from illicit sex.

  15. Todd is dead on. You guys are just blind. Major persecution is coming. As an SBC pastor, I can tell you there are differences between the IFB and the SBC. We don’t enforce extra biblical dress codes for one thing. We are not KJV only. I can do this all day. In fact, we shun legalism.

      1. What about an SBC’er who believes in Grace? Whose church helps the homeless by feeding them, opening up the church to them when it’s cold, letting them take showers in the gym, etc? What about the SBC’s disaster relief organization, and the people involved in it? SBC is large and diverse.

        1. Glad to hear it. Unfortunately such churches in the SBC are getting rarer.

          Another unfortunate thing. You are known by the company you keep. As an SBC, that church is judged by the actions and words of the larger group.

      2. Ok, Darrell. I’ll keep going a bit. 1. IFB hate Calvinism. There are more in the convention than you might think. Me for one,
        2. Expository preaching is embraced. In the IFB they make fun of it. I heard it called suppository preaching more than once.
        You might not think you and I have any common ground, friend, but here it is. I wouldn’t send my dog to PCC or any other funny school for that matter. We may have more common ground than you think. I know of at least that one. i do get more than a bit ruffled when I feel the convention is being attacked. I found my home in it. Not because it was safe, but because I am more autonomous in the convention than I ever was as an independent. That would be another difference. Independents claim to champion autonomy and accuse of bowing down to Nashville. Not so. I would tell those guys that they are the ones bowing down. To Hammond, to Pensacola, etc. so, who’s really autonomous in the end.

    1. I have all day and all night. And tomorrow. And the next day too. So do tell Adam. Where is the persecution coming from? Oh wait, I thought it was judgment. Our friend Michael above, claims that judgment “appears to be on its way”. Is it persecution or is it judgment? You guys can’t even agree on the horrors that will befall us because we finally did what the rest of the world has been doing for years.

      But seriously, I am here all week. Fill us in all of the differences.

        1. So Adam, what gives the US special status in the persecution/judgement department? Enlighten us please. There are many countries who have just gone ahead and done things that you in the States are fretting over and claiming persecution/judgement will be the end result of these things. Why are Christians in Canada not being persecuted or judged noticeably? God doesn’t care about us? Or is it Satan that can’t be bothered with us?

        2. I never said anything about special status. You assumed that. The servant is not greater than his master. I was simply agreeing that it exists and will get worse, but it was always going to end up where we are. Something has to set up for the end of time.

        3. “Where we are” is living in such times of peace and prosperity and lack of persecution as have rarely been seen in the history of man.

        4. At least, that is true of America (and even Canada) In those parts of the world east of Cape Cod and west of San Francisco (yes, they DO exist!!) life is not so comfortable for Christians, especially outside of Europe. And yes., there *are* Christians of genuine faith who are not culturally American. Probably more Christians outside America, than inside it.

        5. define persecution from am American perspective? Being called names? Not being able to force your morals on others? Not being allowed to stone Gays? Having to say “happy Holidays” instead of “merry Christmas”? A lot of Christians would be happy to accept persecution like that, instead of what they get.

    2. It may, it may not but if it does it will force you and your flock to reckon with the things you should have focussed on rather than whine about petty things such as pants, die hard attendance, etc etc. If you think you are being persecuted, like Todd said, by having someone take the ‘Christ out of Christmas’ (which by the way don’t get me started on) then you haven’t seen anything about persecution. Go to where ISIS is and let’s see how you judge that situation. They are being persecuted. Modern Day, Western Christianity knows nothing of true persecution. But like I said, I agree with you…one day it may get like it does over there. Then what?

  16. Waaaay up above somewhere, rgtmath made a comment that I really think deserves a thoughtful response.

    rgtmath, you mentioned that, during your fundy days, you had a particular narrow worldview imposed on you, which included conservative politics (especially SoCon stuff). I totally get that. I think I can understand reacting and rebelling against the oppressive strictures of control freakery.

    But isn’t it possible to swing too far in the opposite direction? Might it be that you have less tolerance for conservative-minded people now simply because you’ve been so badly burned?

    Not all of us conservatives are fundies. As I mentioned, I myself am conservative in some areas but not so much in others. (Catholics tend to be like that; we are pro-life, for instance, but also concerned about social justice and stuff.) I was raised by the Massachusetts Liberal to end all Massachusetts Liberals — she was so far left she was off the charts — so, yes, I can relate to the urge to move too far in the opposite direction, in reaction to one’s previous training. But over the years I’ve come to see that my mom was right about some stuff and (in my view) wrong about other things, and I guess I’ve kind of mellowed. I think that’s how it is with most people. Few of us are rigid ideologues, but all of us have some things we feel strongly about.

    I disagree with the person who said that liberals always dominate the conversation while conservatives are scared to peep. I think it depends on the context. In a context where liberals are more numerous and vocal, conservatives may feel marginalized or afraid to speak out. In a context where conservatives are more numerous and vocal, liberals will feel marginalized and scared to peep. And always, when there are several people who seem to play a dominant role in the conversation, other folks will be easily swayed by them, or cowed by them. If you’ve ever witnessed a focus group, you’ll be familiar with this phenomenon.

    I do think conservatives have less of a “voice” here at SFL, but, at the same time, I deeply appreciate the warm welcome y’all have given me and your continued kindness and graciousness toward me. After all, I *am* a gate-crasher. 😀

    And, in conclusion…ROLL TIDE!

    1. I am also a gate crasher and I also appreciate the kindness I have received. I don’t want to offend. Dialogue is something that Fundies don’t teach. I really enjoy it.

    2. CATHOLIC GATE-CRASHER asked: rgtmath, you mentioned that, during your fundy days, you had a particular narrow worldview imposed on you, which included conservative politics (especially SoCon stuff). I totally get that. I think I can understand reacting and rebelling against the oppressive strictures of control freakery.

      But isn’t it possible to swing too far in the opposite direction? Might it be that you have less tolerance for conservative-minded people now simply because you’ve been so badly burned?

      What you don’t understand is that is wasn’t a reaction like what you mention, but a slow movement. I was put into situations where I learned what it was like to be the underdog, to be scorned, and to be lied to. I learned I had to make my own decisions.

      My mom once told me to “Value the truth, no matter what.” I found out later she meant “her” version of the “truth,” but too late! the admonition held. I don’t just pick up any so-called liberal cause. I try very hard to listen and to think through the ramifications of what I am hearing. I study a wide field of knowledge. Although I am best at math, I have a good knowledge in lots of areas. And I am good at making connections.

      I understand conservatism, possibly more than most conservatives. I have seen the gamut. I have lived much of it. And I find to my sorrow that conservatism is supported by lies and enforced inequality. I have as a personal conviction that a position that must be supported by lies needs to be challenged.

      Is it possible that I have gone “too far”? I suppose. But I doubt it. I have a pretty good BS detector, and I have “liberal” friends who are not quite the equivalent of the wild eyed fundies, but close enough. I argue with them as well. I don’t really consider them “liberal” either because they don’t pay attention to the rules of evidence any more than fundies do.

      Evidence matters. I am really not a “rebel.” I try not to act on my emotions because that always gets me into trouble. I *do* approach my learning experiences with a kind of mental greed. I want to understand why people think the way they do.

      I thank you for your concern. Your question was a valid one, not something most people would know by reading a few of my posts. It also gave me a point for reflection.

      We all are resistant to change. But I can tell you that if you are open to the Spirit of God, the Scripture tells you that you will be changed beyond your ability to imagine. Nor does He reveal the end product of His work. I just have to trust that He Who has begun a good work in me will continue it.

      1. Are you saying that you know, as a certainty, that the conservative position on any given issue is wrong while the liberal position is right?

        Isn’t that a claim to some sort of infallibility?

        I don’t think I would make such a claim, personally. Too many issues are really complicated. (Immigration, for instance.) And I’m not God, and I’m not infallible, and I don’t know everything. In fact, I know practically nothing.

        1. Not every position perhaps. But many of them, with certainty. If you don’t see that you haven’t been listening to your Pope.

          Christianity is not about preserving the old unequal power structures. It is about making things right, looking for the kingdom of God, treating others as we want to be treated, loving our neighbors as ourselves.

          Conservatives my not only does not do those things, it revels in the things it does contrary to them.

          I am a Christian and a Liberal. Nothing is perfect. There is always room to do better. There is a better way. Christianity was not meant to stay stuck in its prejudices and remain infantile. As Paul said, we are no longer under a schoolmaster. We are to move toward a mature, growing, living faith.

        2. George!

          I could have gone with your last statement and simply agreed with you. But I am trying to be nice.

          Here is hoping we will all learn something more today!

        3. Not every position perhaps. But many of them, with certainty. If you don’t see that you haven’t been listening to your Pope.

          Um…?

          My pope has denounced same-sex marriage in no uncertain terms. He has also repeatedly denounced abortion and championed the Culture of Life. A quick Google will turn up all the relevant quotes.

          The media think that, because Pope Francis is accessible, humble, and a champion of the poor, that means he has changed Church Teaching. He has not, and he cannot. It doesn’t work that way.

          I’m sorry, rtg, but I just don’t buy that Liberalism = Incontrovertible TRUTH argument.

        4. Uhh, CGC? I didn’t say Liberalism was incontrovertible truth.

          Don’t you read? Play nice.

          Your Pope has spoken authoritatively on many issues. Many of the ones he has spoken on favorably have been liberal ones, very liberal. I don’t agree with him on everything, but I like this pope better than many others.

          And I believe there are some Conservative positions that are wrong. No doubt in my mind. Not all, necessarily. But some.

          Some things you can be assured of because the facts tell.

          And one of these items in fact is that even in Scripture there has never been one and only one form of marriage acceptable to God. Make of that what you will. For me, it means much of the conservative argument against gay marriage is not true. It doesn’t mean that Gay Marriage is right. What it means is that there has not been and cannot be one, singular exclusive definition of marriage. What a particular society allows depends on a host of things. But to be sure, marriage differs from society to society.

          Now. I have said what I have said. I did not say what you claimed I said, at least part of it. If you misunderstood, I have tried to elaborate.

          I am unabashedly a liberal. I am not asking you to be one. We both speak according to our perspectives.

    3. CG-C,

      I want to thank you for the civil discussion we had yesterday even though we don’t agree on everything. We are certainly not going to change each others’ minds. But the spirited debate is invigorating. It makes me examine why I believe what I believe. So different that the experience in fundyland where thought is frowned upon.

      So anyway, I am not much of a college football fan so I had to Google what this ROLL TIDE means. I found some videos and was wondering if you could explain how that fits into this interesting video I found.
      🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqIBNX0CXDc

      1. I agree with Scorpio. The debate is certainly lively! And thought-provoking. I particularly appreciate rtmath’s contributions, even if some of what he says can make the still-Fundy parts of me uncomfortable. Someone has to raise these issues. Rather him than me! 🙂 We will always differ over topics such as homosexuality and same-sex marriage, but because of him I hope I can gain a more compassionate view. Thanks Rtmath for making me think

        1. Just passing along the discomfort my teachers gave to me as they strive to break through my thick skull to some form of rational thought!

          You challenge me, too, as I strive to explain ideas that are not intuitive. And the discussion has been generally cordial, which is a great relief.

        2. I agree. I don’t post much because all of you are much smarter and funnier than I, but I read everything. These civil debates have challenged my thinking as well and taught me much. Thanks guys! ☺️

        3. You should try anyway. Really. Honestly. I am sure we would love to see your comments and questions on the board, things that are important to you and such. We like to make friends.

          I really appreciate your encouragement. But please remember that you are welcome. The more you post, the better you get at it. The more you write, the better you get at expressing yourself.

          And if I get out of line, just tell me. I will apologize, as most of us will and do.

          I certainly don’t expect that everyone will wind up agreeing with me. I simply hope to be a reasonable influence and to let the Grace of Christ work in us.

          Again, thank you, Mykneesareshowing! (I am sure they are lovely knees, too!)

        4. Rational thought in the KJB:

          Isaiah 1:18
          Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

      2. Scorpip. at the 30 second mark you see Nick Saban. In Alabama, he is God.

        And because his team lost, he is an angry God. Very angry.

        I lived in Alabama for 18 years. There is nothing more important in that state than the Alabama-Auburn rivalry.

        1. preach!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
          lol 🙂
          Nick Saban ain’t God. The rivalry is highly important though. For more than one reason. In recent history, The SEC west has come down to the Iron Bowl more often than not. The toughest division in College Football

        2. Some of you may know but I am a huge college football fan. So I am very acquainted with the significance of Alabama-Auburn.
          About 30 years ago I spent the week leading up to the Iron Bowl in Huntsville, AL. It was quite the experience. The driver at the airport had to confirm we were not Auburn fans before he took our fare.
          I truly have no dog in this fight. I appreciate good football. I just like to tease the ‘Bama fans on here. I would probably do the same to any Auburn fans.
          For the record, I am a Notre Dame fan. I make it out to a game in South Bend every couple of years.

  17. Here’s a weird random thought. Supposing a man is bisexual. Could he marry either a man or a woman? Would he have to chose, one or the other? If he wanted to marry both, would that be bigamy?

    1. I have a friend, a woman, who was married to a woman who tragically died. Now my friend is married to a man. I do not understand but neither will I judge. I am so sick of judging.

      1. I echo this sentiment. I just got tired. Tired of judging and being angry and morally outraged all the time over stuff that was none of my business. Last I checked, God did not die and leave me, or the Fundies, or Republicans, or Rush Limbaugh, in charge.

        If somebody is being hurt, that may be my business. (I recently did point out to a bunch of bigots freaking out about what would happen to their property values if poor minorities were allowed in their neighborhoods what crap neighbors they’d make and that I wouldn’t want to live next to them even if I could afford it. Sometimes it’s just too much…) Otherwise, I try to back off.

      2. you love who you love. how can we possibly explain in an adequate way the how’s and why’s we can love another person so deeply and strongly that we want to exclude everyone else.

        all appearances are that ypur friend is bi. you dont understand it because you arent bi. neither is better than the other

        1. JLH, absolutely she is bi. I meant I don’t understand bi, because I am not bi. She is. It is as simple as that.

    2. Marrying two people in the US and many other civilized countries is bigamy, if you are married to both at the same time.

      We do not support bigamy. We support serial monogamy. One man and one woman at a time. Or only two legal consenting individuals at the same time.

      Christians who allow divorce and remarriage don’t believe in one man and one woman. They have to add the “at a time” option. Just spread out the variety to keep the cost down!

      1. But why shouldn’t a man who wishes to marry two women at the same time and is willing and able to provide for two families not be able to say, “That’s big of me?”

        1. If people think they should be able to be polygamous and want to fight for it, that is one thing a democracy is about. At the moment it is against the law. That is why it can’t be done.

    3. My question was meant to be tongue-in-cheek (and turned out to be foot- in-mouth) but yeah, it’s possible that it could become a very real scenario. We live in an increasingly weird world….

      1. Get used to it. If we are going to be of any use to Christ we will have to put aside being afraid of every little thing.

        Jesus has already overcome the world. Scary gay people shouldn’t worry you. Threats of persecution shouldn’t faze you (especially since it hasn’t happened). Grief, if the test of a prophet were applied to all those speaking in God’s name prophesying terrible things, they would have all been stoned!

        Change brings opportunity. Change can help us grow.

      2. There is a big world outside of America. This might surprise a lot of Fundies but There are Christians in that world that are not american. Outside the “West”, most Christians don’t have it so easy. Persecution hasn’t happened in America or in Northern Ireland but what makes Christians think that these places will always be protected by God? If I was faced wit the prospect of imprisonment, torture, even death, how will I react? How would Fundamentalusts react when their “Rights” are taken away? How would any of us react under pressure. Only God Knows. I can only pray he will give me strength to face any situation. I can’t do it on my own.

  18. Since when is jailing corrupt ‘preachers’ classified as persecution? Also, questioning what is actually in the bible isn’t a crime the last time I checked. Do they know how much symbolism, numerology and guidance by astrological signs are in the bible? For instance, David said, “Purge me with hyssop and I will be clean”. Do these people not know that hyssop is used in many ‘new age movements’ as a cleanser of the aura and purifier of the home and has been since before the late King David could walk? The twelve tribes (also a very important number) were represented by cardinal directions, gems and colors. They had High Priests for goodness’ sake. The TWELVE disciples? Paul, while on his mission, guided himself by the zodiac Gemini. It’s in one of his accounts. Look it up. The Creator’s favorite number is three: Triune godhead, Christ was 33 when he died, he was betrayed three times, he rose on the third day….shall I go on? Revelation is fuuuullll of symbolism and numerology.
    Just like all of these crazy folks claim that they’re taking Christ out of Christmas. Two things: A.) It was Yuletide way before anything. When everyone would wish each other a Happy Yule season so that kinda leaves us ‘pagans’ as the original heir and 2.) I don’t have any problem with Christ. Never have, Never will. It’s his ‘ultra I’m-gonna-shu- black-cats-cause-they’re-evil followers’ I have against. Blind obedience, most of them, to their own history of their religion. The right wingers are a poor representation and willingly ignorant in my book. I’ve met a few self professed Christians who are genuine and I can actually sit down and enjoy their company. But the right wings? Forget it. God these people have a collective IQ of two. Now it seems the SBC is catching up. Oh and Fox News? Seriously? Lol that’s like the main IV line for right wing paranoia. “Faux News, honesty for real…honest.”

    1. Too much can be read into apparent “symbolism” where none actually exists. That is the problem with too many branches of “Christianity” (or should that be “Churchianity”?)

  19. I just watched that video clip again. I wish I hadn’t. What I saw was a vivid illustration of why the first 18 verses of Leviticus Ch. 18 are in the Bible. It just lacked the banjo music in the background.

  20. Dear SFL Reader:

    When many things need to be said, it is perhaps best to focus on the few things that must be said.

    1. Our unquestioning endorsement of Constantine Christendom does not help us in this situation.

    2. Genuine persecution implies recovery of a more authentic Christian faith; this would not be entirely bad.

    3. I see no evidence that Todd is interested in a responsible, exegetical understanding of related issues.

    Christian Socialist

    PS: If I could be allowed one, further indulgence, it would be that I cannot shake the feeling that the many presumptive and irresponsible statements herein made intend to strengthen connection to an ostensibly ‘Christian’ community/network of church/media/political connections from which pastors, authors, media figures and politicians derive income and political support. Otherwise put, this commercializes religion. Perhaps I’m wrong, but it seems to me that we’ve dropped the ball on far too many critical issues to have a sudden interest in public justice.

    1. C.S.

      I’ve made many such statements here on SFL but sense that I am beating the air, particularly regarding points 1 and 2.

      I wrote a few days ago, “If believers would just be followers of The Way, there would be less need to fear losing their lands, buildings, Constitutional rights, and 401 (c)(3) tax exempt status; non of which is promised to us anywhere in holy writ.”

      I feel the current Christian tradition has died on the vine centuries ago, yet refuses to admit it’s dead…kind of like Bruce Wilis in Sixth Sense. We even wear a bunny suit and carry ourselves with an air of superiority.

      B.R.1

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