Fostering Justice on the battle fields of the Culture War

Crude recently wrote a response to my last posts warning against Christians passionately hating homosexuals.

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“I like Lothar Lorraine. Truly I do – he’s a pleasant guy to talk to even if I disagree with him. He’s welcome here, he’s welcomed me at his blog, and until relatively recently most of my interactions with him have been civil, even when we disagree.

Except lately, if you’ve been following the conversations – previously linked – I’ve been spending most of my time yelling angrily, at least as much as you can do typing into a computer and still maintaining decent-enough grammar. I’ve been pissed off, not so much at Lothar as at his links of choice, and really, the “progressive” response to them.

Honest to God? I don’t like yelling in Lothar’s general vicinity. He’s nice. I can talk with him. At the same time, all the niceness in the world isn’t going to make me give an inch to dishonest hate speech directed anywhere, but particularly in my direction.

I’m talking real hate speech, by the by. Not, ‘You noticed that group X is responsible for more crimes than group Y by every available measure, that’s horrible of you’ styled bull, but full blown ‘This group of people is responsible for heinous acts and you should hate them all and fight them because this is WAR’ hate speech. “Whip up an angry mob to attack some people based on next to no evidence” hate speech.

So why has it kept happening lately? I have a hunch. Little more than that right now, but it’s worth airing.

I think there is a somewhat common breed of Christian who, while intellectually rather orthodox and conservative, is nevertheless on the more soft-spoken and diplomatic side. They are not fire and brimstone. They pride themselves on being open-minded, on ‘agreeing to disagree’, on setting themselves apart from the more fervent culture-war social conservatives who at times seem as if they are locked in a neverending battle against Islam, New Atheism, Liberals, the Gay Agenda, and more.And one way they send up the signal that they’re different from THOSE Christians is by conceding the intelligence and morality of their opponents, and openly, even eagerly, admitting to flaws.

Even flaws that aren’t really flaws, that are blown out of proportion, or that largely exist in the minds of people who hate them.

So if someone angrily demands that they apologize for, say… ‘Christianity’s legacy of anti-science and bigotry and racism and homophobia and misogyny’, they’re going to typically, without reflection, say “Oh, yes, some Christians – nay, many – have been guilty of that. But many nowadays have come to regret that past and…” And on and on it goes. They get to show how open-minded and humble they are, their opponents get a concession to a million and one imaginary evils at the hands of Christians, and everyone is happy.

I am not one of these Christians. I do not grant the wickedness of Christians, even Christian groups I am not a part of, purely to score humility points. If I’ve investigated the issue and come to the conclusion that the accusations are fundamentally wrong or warped, I will say as much. And when I see what comes across as a calculated bit of hate speech to try and demonize Christians, I’m going to start yelling, loudly, about the flaws I see, demand evidence, and point out when it either fails to be forthcoming, or is weak beyond excuse.

I suspect that may be the problem here. I can’t read Lothar’s mind, but I think he may have heard ‘Conservative Christians HATE gays and want to kill them’ so many times – and other Christians may have granted this without argument so many times – that he brings this up, and (while admitting that not every conservative Christian is like this) expresses an interest in having my agree that this sort of thing is bad, so we can continue the conversation civilly. And then I explode and I’m off yelling and challenging people to, you know, provide some goddamn evidence of these claims and pointing it out for the hate speech that it is, and he’s wondering what he did wrong.

Well, HE didn’t do anything wrong, most likely. He simply was played – he bought a line offered up by a nasty little culture, perpetuated by weak-willed Christians more interested in being humble than being honest, and he’s run into a guy who’s not going to let it slide so easily, and who actually gets pretty pissed off when the accusation comes up. I’ll cop to real evils, real mistakes, and I’ll point out the context and the situation those mistakes took place in. I will not cop to progressive monster-fantasies that they conjure up in large part to let themselves sleep easier at night when they hear about the latest abuses their more fascist leadership is diving into.

Perhaps that will set the record straight. Or perhaps not. But there is my attempt for the moment. “

 

First of all, I’m thankful to Crude for all his kind words about me. I’m also grateful he emphasized many important points EVERY culture warrior (both on the left and on the right) ought to respect if he or she is sincerely pursuing justice.

 

Many self-proclaimed “progressives” are just serving the Zeitgeist and will uncritically accept any kind of arguments which promote their views and give them the feeling of belonging to the “forces of Good”.

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For me, being a progressive means challenging all kinds of dogmas hindering human well-being. It goes hand in hand with a huge responsibility and entails earnestly seeking to understand your opponents before bedeviling them.

 

Having often talked with Conservative Evangelicals about homosexuality (both in the real world and on the Internet), I know that there is a truly hateful minority among them.

If you don’t believe me, go to any Conservative Evangelical forum with a fundamentalist trend, be always nice and respectful but tell them that you’re a queer atheist. Wait on their reactions and start measuring how well they satisfy the Golden Rule.

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I don’t know well John Shore, but I linked his post because his description fits all too well what is going on in the right-wing part of Evangelicalism. I largely  support his notion of “Christianity with humanity” even if I find he is not as objective as he thinks.

 

AGAIN, I defend the right of Conservative Christians to disapprove of homosexuality and defend their position without having to fear any professional repercussion. And I clearly recognize there are MANY Conservative Evangelicals who oppose homophobia.

 

Still, it would be unhealthy to deny there is also a deep-seated hatred in some corners of Evangelicalism. Progressive Evangelical theologian Randal Rauser gives us nice examples here: [1], [2], [3].

 

When atheists make claims about past Christian misdeeds I know to be factually wrong, I won’t accept this just for trying to be viewed as one of “these cool Christians”.

But I must also clearly face the truth that there are real atrocities committed by followers of Christ, both in the past and the present.

 

31 thoughts on “Fostering Justice on the battle fields of the Culture War

  1. If you don’t believe me, go to any Conservative Evangelical forum with a fundamentalist trend, be always nice and respectful but tell them that you’re a queer atheist. Wait on their reactions and start measuring how well they satisfy the Golden Rule.

    John Shore said that conservative evangelicals, because they believe unrepentant homosexuals are hellbound, want to beat them to death with their bare hands, were responsible for slavery, and that everyone should declare war on them.

    I have pointed out that Shore’s rant is hate speech, grossly inaccurate, and more. I have asked for evidence. You’re telling me ‘pretend you’re a queer atheist and go to any conservative evangelical forum ‘with a fundamentalist trend’ and see how they react.’

    This is not evidence, Lothar. You said you had evidence, that you’ve seen this yourself on these forums. Where is it? And I don’t mean namecalling or bad behavior. Do you forget that I went over to a very prominent ‘progressive christian’ forum on patheos and not only experienced a lot of nastiness, but flat out had someone who thought they knew my RL identity threatening me and talking ominously about how ‘my employers’ may react to knowing what opinions I have?

    All I am asking you here is, if you don’t have evidence that supports John Shore’s claims, to consider that maybe I’m right about him. But you know what? If you really want me to hit a ‘conservative evangelical’ forum and identify as a queer atheist to gather my own evidence, I warn you: I may do that, and post the results. If I do, and I don’t get the reactions you’re saying, THEN will you consider Shore is what I’m saying he is?

    Even your defense of Shore may as well be a condemnation. ‘A hateful minority among them’? Shore didn’t talk about a hateful minority of conservative evangelicals. He said they were hateful, period, and war should be declared on them.

  2. Lothar, your first Randal Rauser link is absolutely chilling. That those Americans in the “op-doc” believe that homosexuality ought to be against the law in Uganda is shocking. The death penalty, imprisonment, and torture are routine “punishments” for engaging in homosexual acts in Uganda. Why don’t those Christians know this?

    Or, is it worse than I imagine? Do they realize what the law means to the LGBT community in Uganda, but just not care?

    How is what is taking place in Uganda much different from jihad? Muslim extremists believe Allah wants them to kill infidels. American conservatives are influencing Uganda’s politics in a way that will result in the torture, imprisonment, or even death of gays. It looks very similar to me.

    It might not be true that every single conservative, evangelical Christian hates gay people, but it is that faction of Christianity that is making the most noise against LGBT people. I don’t care a whit how angry Crude is because of exaggerations by John Shore or other progressives. I’m more angry at real persecution by human beings committed against gays in the name of God.

    • Or, is it worse than I imagine? Do they realize what the law means to the LGBT community in Uganda, but just not care?

      What if they do know, and have been condemning it?

      Oops, wait. That doesn’t fit the narrative, so it’s ignored. They must be what John Shore, hatemonger, says they are. Because if they aren’t? That would make you something of a monster in what you turn a blind eye to and endorse.

      And that’s not possible.

      I don’t care a whit how angry Crude is because of exaggerations by John Shore or other progressives.

      Of course you don’t, sweetheart. Because you don’t care about justice, or fairness, or hate speech. You care about Your Side. And Your Side dictates that ‘Conservative Evangelicals’ are to be hated, and that means it’s time for you to dance to the tune of the bigots, no matter what the actual fact of the matter.

      Let me paint a picture for you, sheila.

      One day you’re at the hospital, and you notice a child being interviewed by police. 14 years old, probably. Maybe a little on the heavy side. Young boy, face bloodied up. The cops ask him what happened, and he says that some kids at his school found out he’s from a conservative family, he thinks gay marriage is wrong.

      So, you know what some kids did? They took John Shore’s words to heart, and they declared war on him. They mocked him. Laughed at him. And one day, someone decided to REALLY fight the good fight, and they beat the fucking shit out of him on his way home. Teeth knocked out, face bloodied up. Told him how they’re sick of monsters like him, that he’s “probably wants to suck some cocks himself”. And you know what? He’s going back to that school, because he realizes it doesn’t matter what school he’s going to.

      That’s the culture now.

      And you know what, Sheila? If it comes to that, my advice: feel proud. Hold your head high and talk about how you’re glad it happened, because now – without a thought of irony – it’s just a sign of your successful fight against “bigotry”.

      Good job, Sheila. Christ smiles upon your decision to endorse hatred in the name of high morality. We sinning scum, however, will just have to go on condemning hatred, lies, and slander, no matter the target. Even if the target doesn’t happen to vote the way we wish or live the way that’s ideal. Since, you know, I’ve got the hunch that’s what Christ actually wants.

      I know, I know. Alien thought to you.

      And certainly not a Christ you recognize.

      • Wow. Such a diatribe to my questions. Yes, questions. I didn’t say I know the answers. Nor have you seen me defending John Shore. He uses hyperbole on his blog. It’s his blog, he has opinions, and those are based on his experiences. Just as yours are. “My Side” is equal treatment under the law for everyone. It gets uncomfortable when religious freedom rights clash up against secular rights. People get angry.

        I believe your long response to my questions is illustrative of your own anger at what you see as hate speech. You are entitled to your anger. You can even question my own relationship with a “Christ I recognize”. I was against the treatment of the CEO of Mozilla, and I also condemned the actions of the NBA against Sterling. You read snippets of what people say on the few forums I see you on, and believe that you can extrapolate an entire worldview from those snippets. People are complex, issues such as gay rights are complex, and guess what? Some people will not agree with you.

        I was born and raised in a Fundamentalist Protestant family and I know firsthand about their attitudes towards gays. I contend that it is people with a particular view of the Bible that are making the most noise against gays and gay marriage. I stand by my contention because the vast majority of my friends and family are still Fundamentalists, and follow a very rigid view of homosexuality. I’ve heard firsthand the kind of rhetoric used against gays. You are sick and tired of seeing all conservative Christians painted with the same brush by those on the “Other Side”. It’s ok to say that. It’s even ok to be angry about it. But don’t assume things about people that you do not know.

        Peace.

      • Wow. Such a diatribe to my questions. Yes, questions. I didn’t say I know the answers.

        Sure, just like a presidential candidate asking another ‘Are you still beating your wife?’ is just asking a question. Hey, the guy didn’t make any claims. He merely asked a question. It is the height of innocence, is it not?

        What’s more, you did make claims:

        “American conservatives are influencing Uganda’s politics in a way that will result in the torture, imprisonment, or even death of gays. It looks very similar to me.

        It might not be true that every single conservative, evangelical Christian hates gay people, but it is that faction of Christianity that is making the most noise against LGBT people.”

        If you want to ditch them, then ditch them. Owe up to it. Or perhaps you’re even less concerned about being honest than you are about being correct?

        Nothing insulting there, of course. Why, it was just a question. I gave no answer to that question.

        Nor have you seen me defending John Shore. He uses hyperbole on his blog. It’s his blog, he has opinions, and those are based on his experiences. Just as yours are.

        Sheila, guess what? When you start saying that John Shore’s talking about conservative evangelicals wanting to beat unrepentant homosexuals to death is merely ‘hyperbole’ and imply it’s understandable because it’s ‘based on his experiences’, that is a defense. When you refuse to condemn him, when you suggest that there’s nothing condemnation-worthy in what he said, that is a defense.

        And no, my opinions are not merely based on my experiences in this case. They are based on evidence, including some of the links I provided – such as, contra both your and Shore’s claims, conservative evangelicals condemning Uganda’s law years before it came to pass. But apparently you think it’s okay to demonize people, lie about them, and declare war on them on a freaking hunch.

        I was against the treatment of the CEO of Mozilla

        You also were against anyone protesting Mozilla as a result. How convenient. ‘He was fired for his views, that’s wrong. But you know what would also be wrong? Encouraging people to react to that in any way.’

        People are complex, issues such as gay rights are complex, and guess what? Some people will not agree with you.

        I am not ‘angry’ that someone disagrees with me about gay rights. I am angry that a “progressive” “Christian” accused conservative evangelicals who disagree with him of wanting to beat unrepentant gays to death, and more, while “progressives” stand by and cheer him on, and turn a blind eye to his hate speech. But apparently when a progressive does such a thing, well, gosh, we all have our opinions, we should just agree to disagree on this one?

        I was born and raised in a Fundamentalist Protestant family and I know firsthand about their attitudes towards gays. I contend that it is people with a particular view of the Bible that are making the most noise against gays and gay marriage.

        Wonderful. It’s not the issue. The hate speech is the issue. I didn’t ask whether conservative evangelicals tend to be against gay marriage – no duh, they do. The issue is whether believing that unrepentant sin will ultimately land a person in hell therefore justifies beating them to death with your bare hands (oops, it doesn’t), along with whether that is hate speech (yes, it is), and why progressives seem to have trouble condemning it.

        I provide cases of conservative evangelical leaders, prominent ones, condemning the Uganda bill and it doesn’t so much as dent anyone’s view that conservative evangelicals support the bill and want to beat gays to death, or at the very least the justifiability of making that claim. Amazing.

        Just remember, the next time Westboro Baptist – the tiny church that progressives use as a proxy example of “conservatives” because reality tends not to be as convenient to use – goes on a tear and starts talking about how God Hates Facts, and your friends condemn them, be sure to pipe up and mention how everyone has an opinion, they just have a different experience of the world and are doing what they think is right, and how everyone gay rights are a complex issue and some people will disagree about it.

        • You seem to be fixated on John Shore’s comment regarding “all conservatives Christians” wanting to beat gays to death with bare hands. Let’s suppose Shore really believes that every single, solitary, conservative Christian is itching to beat gays to death. Of course, his belief would be factually in error. After all, one cannot ascribe motives, attitudes, or beliefs to an entire group. (Hmmm. I suppose that includes the so-called “Other Side”) So, if I think that Shore believes such a thing, (which I do not), I will tell him I think he is incorrect in his assumptions. Shore speaks of his “NALT” project frequently, and points out that there are plenty of Christians from all walks of life who support gay rights. Based on that, I called his comments regarding “all” wanting to beat gays to death as hyperbole.

          If you see hyperbole as hate speech, I remain sorry for your emotional state. You’ll see hate speech where none exists, and, since perceived hate speech pushes your buttons, you will be popping off quite often.

          So, be angry. Believe that I am following a “different” Jesus. So what? I really, truly do not care about what you fling at me, be it “sweetheart” (usually reserved for my husband to say to me), or “progressive” or “endorsing” hate speech. But, I still wish you peace. I used to be constantly angry about opinions when I was a young adult, and all it did was waste spiritual energy. I’m done with it. I will continue to be angry at ACTIONS that actually harm people. Rhetoric alone is not enough to get me riled up.

          The public arena of debate is a rough place to be. Some people can handle it, while others just…well… get angry.

      • You seem to be fixated on John Shore’s comment regarding “all conservatives Christians” wanting to beat gays to death with bare hands.

        Gosh, you noticed? You noticed that I’m worried, offended and upset about a prominent “progressive” Christian classifying ‘evangelical conservatives’ as a pack of violent people who want to beat to death unrepentant sinners – and doing this without any evidence provided, AND in the face of a whole lot of evidence besides?

        Yeah, I know, it’s amazing I’m focused on that. I wonder why.

        Let’s suppose Shore really believes that every single, solitary, conservative Christian is itching to beat gays to death.

        What’s operative here is John Shore’s speech, not his beliefs. Plenty of people say things, even give speeches, they do not really belief. It’s called ‘propaganda’. PR. Spin. Media manipulation.

        And it doesn’t make it no longer hate speech.

        Shore speaks of his “NALT” project frequently, and points out that there are plenty of Christians from all walks of life who support gay rights.

        Wonderful: Shore believes that Christians who are in favor of gay marriage do not hate gays.

        That’s not the freaking problem, Sheila. The problem is that people who oppose gay marriage don’t want to beat them to death, much less hate them.

        I know – shocking to you. The people you disagree with are not monsters animated by ferocity and bloodlust.

        If you see hyperbole as hate speech, I remain sorry for your emotional state.

        Whereas I am grateful for you, Sheila. See – you’re terrible at this spinning game. You’re sitting there trying to find some way, any way, to excuse Shore’s hate speech, and you’re just rotten at it. And you seem to think that so long as you dig in your heels and defend him and snark at me, you ‘win’.

        But in reality, Sheila? Your lame defenses are just educating people about progressives. Any person here – conservative or moderate – can take one look at Sheila engaged in her apologetics work, refusing to criticize Shore for his hate speech, lashing out in defense of him, and they can see the problems I’ve been talking about with the “progressive” Christians. They can see the hate. They can see the dishonesty.

        Frankly, I would have rather you said ‘Shore was wrong, he shouldn’t have said that, it was despicable. I still disagree with that group politically, but this was going too far.’ But hey, if you want to go all-in on the hate speech defense, I won’t stop you. I’ll just shine a light on you, so everyone can know what ‘tolerance’ means where the progressive is concerned, and ‘love’ means where the progressive Christian is concerned.

        But, I still wish you peace.

        Sure, Sheila. You wish the sort of peace that comes from justifying hate and talk about ‘declaring war’ on people – all because they oppose gay marriage and think sodomy is immoral, and that unrepentant sinners will have God to answer to.

        That’s some peace you wish, and some Christ you follow.

        The public arena of debate is a rough place to be.

        Mostly due to those maniacs declaring war on people and describing them as hate-fueled monsters who want to beat people to death, merely for disagreeing for them.

        Hey, here’s some more hyperbole for you. I’m sure the whole thing was just blown out of proportion.

    • It might not be true that every single conservative, evangelical Christian hates gay people, but it is that faction of Christianity that is making the most noise against LGBT people. I

      Oh, and by the way? This is a bald-faced lie on Sheila’s part.

      The ‘faction that makes the most noise’ are people who are against gay marriage, who think same-sex sexual acts are sinful, who wish they would stop and behave, every much as they wish alcoholics, drug users, people having casual sex and more would do so. NOT people who want to BEAT THEM TO DEATH WITH THEIR BARE HANDS.

      You know, I’m trying to understand why this communication breakdown is happening. Why is it that the clear and obvious truth – that the rant about how the belief that unrepentant sinners (not exclusive to homosexuals, by the by) risk hellfire in the eyes of conservative evangelicals does not cash out to hatred and wanting to beat gays to death, and is in fact hate speech – is being denied. Why is this not getting through to people? Why are they trying to look the other way?

      Maybe the problem is some people think this is some healthy competition. Like, you know: ‘Well this whips people up and gets them emotionally animated and gets them to vote the right way, and that’s a good thing.’ Take that route and you’re beyond hope.

      Maybe it’s because ‘well, in the past there were laws against sodomy and those were bad, so now we get to take some free shots at people who are critical of these sex acts and whip up some hate against them’. Sorry, but no. This isn’t a game of grade school softball where the other side ‘gets a free hit’ if you decide something unfair happened.

      Yes, I realize that what I’m saying may be hard to hear. Believe me, when I argue with some social conservatives – who, while they do NOT want to beat to death gays, do at times have other views that I regard as wrong – they don’t want to hear what I have to say either. It means arguing against people who are ‘on your side’, who may view you as a traitor for daring to speak up. It’s hard.

      Too bad. Get some courage and do it, NOW. I don’t mean eat a chicken sandwich for one day to make yourself feel better in the most anonymous way possible. Speak up, and denounce it. Or, if/when this hateful “progressive” cultural conflict eventually spirals out of control – as a whole lot of Christian dead in the 20th century indicates it certainly can – be prepared to look at yourself in the mirror and accept your portion of the blame when it comes to pass.

      • Hello Crude.

        First of all I want you to know I consider myself as extremely fallible .

        So if you did the test I described above, and no hatred (but just disapproval) would come out of it, I’d further revise my position and consider this hateful Evangelical minority to be very small.

        As I told you, I have a rather impulsive personality and tend to react too swiftly while reading emotional things.

        I approvingly quoted John Shore because I thought he JUST had in mind those hateful Conservative Evangelicals I have myself experienced.
        Now, IF I realize I was wrong and that he’s really calling people to wage a war on ALL conservative Evangelicals (not just the hateful ones), I will completely distance myself from him.
        As soon as I find more time, I will examine his publications and write a response to him if it seems warranted.
        I am open to the possibility he is really using a heinous rhetoric and that I should not have quoted him.

        But Sheila is right about one thing: even if Shore (possibly) resorted to hate speech, this is far LESS preoccupying than the situation of Ugandan gays people who are really beaten to death.
        Furthermore, it’s okay for you to disagree with her, but I find that your language was way too harsh. She is a sister in Christ and even one of your fellow Roman Catholics.

        Friendly greetings despite all what divides us.

      • First of all I want you to know I consider myself as extremely fallible.

        Aren’t we all.

        As I told you, I have a rather impulsive personality and tend to react too swiftly while reading emotional things.

        Which is probably the key problem with hate speech.

        I approvingly quoted John Shore because I thought he JUST had in mind those hateful Conservative Evangelicals I have myself experienced.

        I still would like to see these ones you say you’ve experienced. Where are they?

        And more than that – where did John Shore zero in on JUST the ‘hateful’ conservative evangelicals in that article? He explicitly compared the ‘largest protestant body in the United States’ (Southern Baptists) with the WBC, and conservative evangelicals collectively with people who hate unrepentant homosexuals to the point that they’d like to beat them to death with their bare hands.

        As soon as I find more time, I will examine his publications and write a response to him if it seems warranted.

        I am open to the possibility he is really using a heinous rhetoric and that I should not have quoted him.

        It’s there in the very article you quote, man. I’m not sure what you’re after. Quoting him isn’t the problem. Quote him all you like. But please condemn him, because he’s engaged in tremendous hate speech. I do not see any way you can square his view of conservatives with this desire to treat ‘the other side’ with respect.

        But Sheila is right about one thing: even if Shore (possibly) resorted to hate speech, this is far LESS preoccupying than the situation of Ugandan gays people who are really beaten to death.

        Sheila doesn’t get off the hook for endorsing hate speech or refusing to condemn it when she comes across it – nor does anyone else – for playing the ‘but there’s a BIGGER victim’ card. Like I said, this isn’t a game where you get some free hate speech so long as it’s politically more viable to engage in it.

        By the by? That law in Uganda was recent, and it could only be passed by fellow Ugandans refusing to deal with the cultural attitudes towards LGBT people. Just as the current climate in the west, which includes a whole lot of hate towards conservative Christians, is building a cultural attitude that is already leading to their being fired from jobs, bullied by the state, and generally threatened. I am not going to wait until it gets as bad as Uganda to demand people behave like human beings and denounce such things.

        Furthermore, it’s okay for you to disagree with her, but I find that your language was way too harsh. She is a sister in Christ and even one of your fellow Roman Catholics.

        I’m Byzantine rite, not Roman, though that’s a minor concern. And she’s a Catholic who excuses hate speech against fellow Christians when it’s politically convenient, and who sneers at condemning it in favor of endorsing or keeping her mouth shut about said hate speech.

        Shore blasts the entirety of ‘conservative evangelicals’ as brutal hate mongers who want to kill unrepentant gays with their bare hands, and he’s he’s worked up about justice. I point out that someone turning their nose up at condemning it is casting a blind eye towards hateful rhetoric, and I’m being unfair to a sister in Christ? Nah, that doesn’t work.

      • You know, I’m trying to understand why this communication breakdown is happening.

        What if it is an inability on the part of some people—conservatives, progressives, etc.—to distinguish between sin and sinner? Or to use neutral language, between idea and identity? I will bet that you and I, Crude, don’t see a person as first a sexual orientation and then a person. No, that’s bass-ackwards. And yet, what if some of the people with whom you’re talking cannot make this distinction? One of the noetic effects of sin is the diminished ability to distinguish, to discern.

        • I would say the whole “sin” vs “sinner” debate is religious in nature. Those who do not believe in any god don’t believe in “sin”, either. How about identity vs actions. I’ve seen some Christians say that the same-sex attraction is not a sin, but acting on that attraction and having homosexual sex crosses some line. Then, there are Christians out there who believe that even being gay, without sex, is inherently evil. I stay out of the “sin” vs “sinner” debate because I recognize that there are those who do not believe in the concept of sin at all. If an action actually brings real harm to society, then there are logical, nonreligious arguments to be made. As Bill O’Reilly once put it, those who are opposed to gay rights need to be able to do more than “thump the Bible” at people. God gave us both faith and reason, after all.

          • Atheists have their own version of ‘sin’; it’s called “irrationality” and “false beliefs”. You might be able to add in wanting things that will result in harm to others that they did not ask for. You’ve still gotta figure out what your attitude is toward a person who has either executed bad actions, or refrained from executing good actions. Whatever it was the person did or didn’t do, one can trace it back into beliefs and desires. Whether it is called ‘sin’ or something else really doesn’t seem to be all that relevant?

    • I don’t care a whit how angry Crude is because of exaggerations by John Shore or other progressives.

      Cool. Are you angry with him because he lies then uses his lies to justify war against conservative evangelicals?

      Because that’s what we’re angry about.

      But hey, he supports The Cause, so obviously he’s only “exaggerating” and conservatives are REALLY the bad ones.

      • I said I don’t care a whit about how angry Crude is. I didn’t say I am angry at Crude. My point is that his anger doesn’t move me. Yes, John Shore said that the largest portion of evangelicals want to beat gays to death. Anyone who takes that seriously, and doesn’t see it as hyperbole, is to be pitied. John Shore is in the trenches with gays, both believers and non-believers, and has a vast amount of experience dealing with those who hate gays. I take that into account when I read his blog.

        I take Crude’s anger at the injustices & rhetoric flung by supporters of gays against all Christians, into account as well.

        John Shore has made some statements with which I disagree. He would like to see all churches embrace gays and gay marriage. I do not. Religious freedom dictates that churches are free to express their doctrines in the way they worship. The Roman Catholic Church does not permit previously divorced people from getting remarried unless the previous marriage was annulled. Both the bride and groom must also be baptized Christians. The Church has the right to enforce its rules. It’s not just gays who cannot marry in the Church.

        Anyway, I look more at actions than words or emotion. Facts dictate what I think about issues. Most of the time, when dealing with a very angry person on forums, I see the anger degenerate into berating and sarcasm, and that is when I tend to discount what is being said to me. Crude gets angry a lot, he uses quite a bit of sarcasm and snark, and he just doesn’t move me. I am not angry at him. I just don’t give credence to much of what he says. I think he dances at the periphery of hate speech himself, but I will not condemn him. He is expressing his opinions based on what he has observed.

        I hope this clears up some of what I said. If not, so be it.

        Peace.

      • I said I don’t care a whit about how angry Crude is. I didn’t say I am angry at Crude.

        I never said you were. I was asking if, since you weren’t angry at Shore for his “exaggerations”, perhaps you were because of his lies and calls to violence.

        John Shore is in the trenches with gays, both believers and non-believers, and has a vast amount of experience dealing with those who hate gays. I take that into account when I read his blog.

        John Shore has called for war against folks who believe homosexual sex is a sin or don’t support gay marriage. He thinks violence against somebody on those grounds is not just okay, but the right thing to do.

        Crude gets angry a lot, he uses quite a bit of sarcasm and snark, and he just doesn’t move me. I am not angry at him. I just don’t give credence to much of what he says. I think he dances at the periphery of hate speech himself, but I will not condemn him. He is expressing his opinions based on what he has observed.

        I hope this clears up some of what I said. If not, so be it.

        Translation: Crude does not show proper deference to The Cause, and so his opinions are not relevant.

        • Cite for me, if you will, where John Shore ever called for physical violence against those who oppose gay rights. I’ve seen him call for supporters of gay rights to be activists and “fight” for those rights, but I have never seen him ask for physical harm to be done to those who oppose his view. Just as Sarah Palin did not want people to shoot political opponents with real guns because she had targets on certain districts. It’s ridiculous.

          And, no, I don’t dismiss Crude’s comments because they are not relevant to what I believe. I dismiss him because he uses emotionally charged sarcastic comments to make his arguments. Such tactics are not persuasive.

          It continues to amuse me how my motives are put forth by other people, especially people who do not know me at all. Depending on the topic, a particular person will think he knows me based on a few comments on one issue on one blog. I don’t comment very often here, but I do read the comments. I have seen Crude use the same type of approach with others. He just can’t seem to avoid the snark when he gets angry. And, that he is angry, is admitted to, himself, here:

          “Except lately, if you’ve been following the conversations – previously linked – I’ve been spending most of my time yelling angrily, at least as much as you can do typing into a computer and still maintaining decent-enough grammar. I’ve been pissed off, not so much at Lothar as at his links of choice, and really, the ‘progressive’ response to them.”

          I had to laugh out loud because I pictured angry Crude, hunched over his computer, practically foaming at the mouth, typing as fast as he can, while muttering angry words under his breath. That’s how I perceive him, that’s what I think of when the snark hits, and that’s why he just doesn’t have credibility as far as I am concerned. That level of anger, combined with the snark, tends to be less rational and more just flying off the handle with no real control.

      • Yes, John Shore said that the largest portion of evangelicals want to beat gays to death. Anyone who takes that seriously, and doesn’t see it as hyperbole, is to be pitied.

        Of surprise to no one: Sheila approves of hate speech so long as it’s on “her” side. When a progressive declares “war” on conservative evangelicals, when they’re described in the most vicious, dishonest, visceral terms, she doesn’t care. It’s allowed, even encouraged. It’s just a little bit of hyperbole, can’t people understand that?

        Well done, Sheila. The light of Christ shines through you.

        John Shore is in the trenches with gays, both believers and non-believers, and has a vast amount of experience dealing with those who hate gays.

        Yeah, he can’t possibly be lying, spreading hate speech, and trying to whip people up into an emotional frenzy against his ideological enemies. He says that if you believe unrepentant sinners risk hell that you’re onboard with beating them to death with your bare hands? That’s hyperbole. Screaming about how evangelical conservatives were on the side of chattel slavery? More hyperbole. Declaring war on them? Yet more hyperbole.

        And Sheila knows that her heart is in the right place. Did you know she ate a chicken sandwich once at Chik-fil-a? That’s how you can tell she’s right.

        Shore declares war, he slanders people with hate speech, and Sheila finds that all okay. She’s totally onboard with hate speech when she likes the cause. I point this out, and gosh, Crude is angry, tut tut.

        Malcolm,

        Translation: Crude does not show proper deference to The Cause, and so his opinions are not relevant.

        It’s a sight to behold though, and really, provides yet another learning experience: this is “progressive christianity”. Cheer on the people calling for “war”, who describe their ideological enemies in the most nasty, hateful, dishonest terms, right in the midst of their being fired from their jobs for having their opinions. Progressive Christians, with rare exception, will not only forgive it all – they will encourage it.

        I’m grateful to sheila for her responses, because let me tell you – they speak volumes. They show just how much hate is tolerated by “progressives”, so long as it’s hate at the right people. And you know a great way to get hated? Just oppose gay marriage.

        Exactly how much respect am I supposed to have for progressive Christians again, Lothar? On this blog, exactly one was willing to step forward and condemn what Shore said. Everyone else is engaged in studied silence, or active support, of that hatred.

        As I said before – gosh, it’s a mystery as to why I now regard progressive Christianity – and “progressives” in general – with contempt, isn’t it?

        • I reject your premise that what Shore said was hate speech. Love the Chik-Fil-A comment, which, of course was isolated. I went on to say that I would spend my money on overpriced coffee at Starbucks if the conservatives tried to stop Starbucks from building new stores due to their support of gay rights. And, I eat at Chik-Fil-A quite often–it was a place I liked before and after The Great Controversy. Businesses and individuals should not be targeted for financial ruin because of their political ideas. That is why I do not support boycotts, in general. I’d frequent Starbucks all the time if my choices were based on politics. But, they are not. I frequent businesses who give me a good product at an affordable price. That’s not Starbucks. They are overpriced and their coffees are not healthy.

          But again, I love how put out untruths about me, in your anger, hunched over your computer, typing as fast as you can without making grammatical errors, throwing around your rhetoric with sarcasm and partial reality.

          I’m still trying to figure out when I became a “progressive” Christian in the first place. If the definition is based on a point of views about gays, then I can see why you say what you do. I don’t know what the Progressives say about themselves. In the political arena, I know I am definitely not a Progressive, because I disagree with nearly everything our self-identified Progressive leaders in government espouse.

          In the odd divide-and-conquer world of Christianity, there is this need to label. I’m pro-life and anti-death penalty. Am I a progressive Christian? I believe in the Holy Trinity, with personal trust in Jesus’ death and resurrection as my source of salvation. Am I a progressive Christian? I believe parts of the Bible are allegory, not meant to be taken literally. Does that make me a progressive Christian?

          Perhaps a self-identified progressive Christian in this forum can lay out all of the “rules” and “doctrines” which define progressive Christianity. I can then run my spiritual beliefs against that checklist to see if I make the grade. But then, no, not really–I did all of that when I was still in Fundamentalism. I am a follower of Jesus who worships at the RCC. I look at issues individually and constantly re-evaluate where I stand on them, as I listen to all points of view. In the end, I have to be secure in my own relationship with Jesus. What others say is not all that relevant to me when what is said is only partially true, or outright wrong, because snippets of conversations are used to “prove” what is said.

          Crude, I don’t want to put words into your mouth, but it looks as though you really dislike John Shore and want Christians to stand with you and condemn him. Your call to action against him is, maybe, a bit of hate speech by your own definition? But, then again, no. Your dislike of the man is based on your opinions on what you see as “hate speech”. Sorry, I just don’t see it. I need more quotes, in context, to make that leap.

          I have made other comments about where I have disagreed with Shore. They are around here. Perhaps you’ll find those, when you cherry pick what I say here. And, if that “reveals” me in an expanded context, that’s good, too. Meanwhile, I continue to urge you to drop your visceral anger. It’s not healthy.

          Peace.

      • Cite for me, if you will, where John Shore ever called for physical violence against those who oppose gay rights.

        What would it matter if he did, Sheila? You could just call it “hyperbole”.😉

        And, no, I don’t dismiss Crude’s comments because they are not relevant to what I believe. I dismiss him because he uses emotionally charged sarcastic comments to make his arguments. Such tactics are not persuasive.

        The irony continues to build. Emotionally charged sarcastic comments are not persuasive? Tell John Shore. Unlike him, I work in arguments, observations and evidence when I make my claims. So far you have the magic bullet of ‘It was all metaphor!’ and little else.

        It continues to amuse me how my motives are put forth by other people, especially people who do not know me at all.

        It’s almost as if these people read your writings on a blog, where you expressed your views and behaved in various ways from which others could make informed guesses about your beliefs, your mental state and more.😉

        I had to laugh out loud because I pictured angry Crude, hunched over his computer, practically foaming at the mouth, typing as fast as he can, while muttering angry words under his breath. That’s how I perceive him

        Of course you do, Sheila. Because, as has been made abundantly clear – that’s how you operate mentally. Now, I can have a good laugh at mental imagery of you, which I will politely spare you the description of. But ultimately, that means nothing. I interact with your arguments and your claims.

        It really isn’t my fault that you have tragically little to offer on that front other than ‘Okay, so he said evangelical conservatives want to beat people to death with their bare hands and they’re animated by hatred, but that was just metaphor!’ and self-congratulation over eating a chicken sandwich once.

        See, that’s a big difference between you and me. When I want to refute or criticize you – or John Shore – I go for your words, your arguments, your statements, the evidence. You? Much like Shore, you skip all that and just try to imagine your opponents as un-People, and you think that’s sufficient.

        Behold, the light of the Progressive Christian. Behold their love, and their tolerance: they endorse hate speech, and squeal with glee at imagining they hurt their opponents and made them angry through it.

        Truly, they walk with Christ.

        • Untrue: I see opponents of my ideas as unpeople. When did I say that? Have I somehow made you feel less than human because we disagree?

          Untrue: I ate one chicken sandwich & somehow think that makes me–what, exactly? I still don’t get that point. You’ll see in my other reply that you left out my whole point entirely, as I also spoke about Starbucks. I support freedom of ideas/opinions for every American citizen.

          Untruths: a) I endorse hate speech. b) I refuse to condemn “hate speech” if the person agrees with my point of view. You have personally never see me call out those who agree with me, who resort to using spiteful, hateful language, because I think you only ever see me here on this particular site. I criticize other people, both friend and foe alike, if I see rhetoric being abused.

          Here it is important to recognize that what you see as “hate speech”, I sometimes do not. I have a very narrow view of “hate” speech. Speech that calls for actual harm to a person, such as the forcing out of Eich because of a political contribution he made to traditional marriage–that’s “hate” speech.

          Actions are really the problem, however. Keep that in mind. The NBA is trying to force Sterling to give up his team, depriving him of his investment, because he said something in private that was offensive to the minority community.

          “Behold, the light of the Progressive Christian. Behold their love, and their tolerance: they endorse hate speech, and squeal with glee at imagining they hurt their opponents and made them angry through it.”

          Well, if squealing with glee at imagining real hurt to anyone is part of the definition of “progressives”, then you surely have mislabeled me. I never rejoice in anyone’s harm. I find your statement that I squeal with glee at imagining I have hurt anyone to be preposterous. You don’t see inside my head. Not only do I never imagine opponents of gay rights, for example, being hurt, I certainly would never be happy if they did get hurt. And, I am not seeking to make you angrier. I am imploring you to loosen that tight grip you have on anger. I really think that such anger will damage you, both physically and mentally. I plead this way with lots of others on forums to let go of visceral anger, too. It’s a bad way to live for every person. I want each person I encounter to be mentally healthy. You truly don’t know me.

          Finally, I apologize for my comments on your words about being po’d at the replies to the links Lothar puts here. I thought you were seeing yourself as a man of honor, hunched over your computer typing away. I misjudged you. I think now that you were earnest in your description of yourself, not flaunting it, as I first thought. Again, I deeply apologize for my own misbehavior in that regard. I really want you to be well.

      • I reject your premise that what Shore said was hate speech.

        It’s not a ‘premise’, Sheila.

        Love the Chik-Fil-A comment, which, of course was isolated.

        Thank you, I’m glad you found it amusing too.

        And, I eat at Chik-Fil-A quite often–it was a place I liked before and after The Great Controversy. Businesses and individuals should not be targeted for financial ruin because of their political ideas. That is why I do not support boycotts, in general.

        Sure, you don’t believe businesses should be targeted because of their political ideas – even if their political ideas involve firing people because of their political ideas. Which, by the way, is not just an idea – it is an act. Your idea of protesting an injustice committed expressly by a business is to go ‘Hey that’s bad!’ and not let this alter your patronage of them whatsoever.

        But again, I love how put out untruths about me, in your anger, hunched over your computer, typing as fast as you can without making grammatical errors, throwing around your rhetoric with sarcasm and partial reality.

        Ah, yes. I’m typing in furious anger, yet at the same time barely making a fraction of the mistakes you make. You know, those things that tend to indicate actual emotional distress. You probably should not be diving for that particular (in your case, hallucinatory) measure, since the only one who seems rattled here is yourself. Me? I’m animated – I always am – but I’m staying on the subject. You know, giving arguments, making comparisons, analyzing responses and replying to them. You’re stuck with ‘metaphor’ and ‘I imagine you as angry, I win!’😉

        In the odd divide-and-conquer world of Christianity, there is this need to label. I’m pro-life and anti-death penalty.

        Pro-life? Since when? Or is this another redefinition, along the lines of how you define hate speech?

        Crude, I don’t want to put words into your mouth, but it looks as though you really dislike John Shore and want Christians to stand with you and condemn him. Your call to action against him is, maybe, a bit of hate speech by your own definition?

        No, Sheila. Here, let me spoonfeed this to you.

        The problem is not “condemnation”. John Shore didn’t say, ‘I approve of gay marriage! Shame on conservative evangelicals for opposing it!’ I’d shrug and move on.

        If he said ‘Opposing gay marriage is immoral!’ I’d argue against him, or shrug and move on.

        But when he says that conservative evangelicals are animated by hate, and pretty well want to beat gays to death with their bare hands, that they were on the side of slavery, and that we should declare war on them? Well yeah, that’s hate speech. It’s an attempt to whip up a crowd to out and out despise a group of people, based on lies and dishonesty, complete with a declaration of ‘war’.

        By the by – saying ‘the declaration of war is hyperbole, he’s not calling for tanks and an army’ doesn’t magically make it something other than hate speech. If a pack of neo-nazis declares war on the local jewish population of “blood-sucking, baby-killing parasites”, it’s hate speech all the same.

        But, then again, no. Your dislike of the man is based on your opinions on what you see as “hate speech”. Sorry, I just don’t see it. I need more quotes, in context, to make that leap.

        Sure, Sheila. Saying that one’s political opponents are all animated by hatred, are urged to beat to death people with their bare hands, and that we should declare war on them… no hate speech there. No need for alarm, no cause for concern.

        After all, he’s on your side.

        I have made other comments about where I have disagreed with Shore. They are around here. Perhaps you’ll find those, when you cherry pick what I say here. And, if that “reveals” me in an expanded context, that’s good, too. Meanwhile, I continue to urge you to drop your visceral anger. It’s not healthy.

        Neither is hallucinating, Sheila, but you still seem capable of operating a computer while doing it, what with your visions of me. Perhaps you’re low on protein – I suggest another chicken sandwich.😉

        • Actually, I was going to refer to my typos as evidence that I am not angry. You type fast and furious without grammatical or other errors. I type slowly. I review and cut some things, and my cut and paste often leads to wrong grammar and dropped words, because I don’t proof-read what I write. Which is why you have more comments here. I am willing to agree to disagree with your contentions about me and what I think about Shore. Yes, he gets angry, too and says some really over the top things. But he is not wrong about the views of some Christians who do beat up gays, who did think slavery was ordained by God, and other odd ideas. Not all calls to war are meant to be declarations to go out and physically hurt other people. But because I did not condemn John Shore, you think I am an ardent fan with blinders on, not seeing who he really is (according to you), and you label me as hallucinatory. I don’t read John Shore every day. Some of his blog posts don’t interest me. If you can show me where he is advocating actual physical violence against anyone, I’m willing to take a look at that. His comments on the motives of “all” Christians regarding beating to death of gays & slavery was over the top hyperbole. Nothing in the post was a “call to arms” for pro-gay rights activists to go out and actually physically hurt people.

          I never mentioned tanks, and I honestly wasn’t thinking along those lines. I was merely remembering how Sarah Palin was bashed unfairly when she used icons of targets over districts where she thought targeted action by the GOP would make a difference in election results. I called out those who were berating Palin. Am I still a progressive? I just don’t understand why you are so narrowly focused on merely a few of my comments, while seeming to discount other things I’ve stated.

          I am pro-life. It is wrong to intentionally take the life of another human being except for self-defense. This includes euthanasia and the death penalty, for me. But because I called out other pro-lifers for promoting policies that will lead to more abortions, you say I am not pro-life. Whatever.

          By the way, what is your response to my inclusion of Starbucks? Did you really miss my point that I support any business owner to be permitted to hold ideas with which I may or may not agree? That boycotts are poor strategies, not just because the owner is hurt, but the employees are as well? That I welcome opposing points of views?

          Sorry if my points appear to you as “spin”. I really hope you aren’t too dizzy. And, my dinner tonight was actually chicken–my own baked recipe. I love chicken. Always have, always will. Somehow that makes me….a progressive? I find it hard to follow your logic, too, you know!

      • By the way, Sheila – one side comment.

        There’s nothing wrong with anger, appropriately directed, and controlled. I would not hold it against someone for being angry at the government of Uganda for their laws about gays, for example. Some things should make us angry, should get us animated, and this kind of hate speech really is one. What ire I have over this subject is being directed – I’m pointing out the silence of “progressive” Christians, the excuses that are made on behalf of Shore, and I’m educating a (very small) group of people about Shore’s writing and the state of the culture in general. Minor stuff – I am a nobody, after all – but I do what I can.

        I hold Shore’s anger against him precisely because of the dishonesty, the lies, the insults and attacks he traded in. It was hate speech. I have a tremendously low opinion of LGBT activists, but when I’ve encountered – and it’s been exceptionally rare – people bashing ‘gays’ collectively as predatory child molesters, I’ve been pretty damn animated in attacking and calling them out on that as well.

        But going by your words, perhaps that was wrong of me. Maybe I should have chalked it all up to metaphor and let it slide. Right?

      • Sheila, what “quotes” from John Shore could we give you that would prove he was using hate speech?

        There are two answers. Either:

        1) Any quote from him where he strongly condemns something contradicting The Cause, or

        2) Whatever he hasn’t said.

        But lying, like he did here:

        The evangelical right’s attitude toward gay people has always been about pure hatred.

        …is not hate speech. Just exaggerating.

        And this:

        If you believe that the Bible teaches God condemns to hell all “unrepentant” gay people, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every gay person you saw?

        …is merely hyperbole, not vicious slander. Yes, why wouldn’t we want to viciously attack everybody we think is in danger of Hell? What could the logic behind that be?

        With that said, I’m sure you’ll agree that if I quote an article that says this:

        The homosexual rights activists’ attitudes towards babies has always been about pure hatred (why else would they oppose the nuclear family).

        …is just exaggerating, right? Not hate speech.

        And this:

        If you believe that Christianity is not the true religion, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every Christian you saw?

        …is hyperbole, of course. Certainly not slander against non-Christians!

        And of course, Shore calls for war using these words:

        This is a war, folks. It’s always been a war. It was a war when the evangelicals said the Bible supports slavery. It was a war when they said the Bible supports denying women the vote. And it’s a war when they say the Bible condemns homosexuality.

        In a war people choose sides. They have to, because they realize that not doing so will only cause more death and suffering.

        …But that’s no biggie, because he’s not calling for PHYSICAL violence. Just a war that he justifies by using lies and slander…but all is far and love in the name of The Cause.

        But hey Sheila, Crude is angry! I’m apparently not too happy either! Looks like you won the argument after all!

        QED

        • “With that said, I’m sure you’ll agree that if I quote an article that says this:

          The homosexual rights activists’ attitudes towards babies has always been about pure hatred (why else would they oppose the nuclear family).

          …is just exaggerating, right? Not hate speech.

          And this:

          If you believe that Christianity is not the true religion, then why wouldn’t you pound to death every Christian you saw?

          …is hyperbole, of course. Certainly not slander against non-Christians!”

          Those quotes would indeed be exaggerations, and not hate speech. Franklin Graham said the real motive of gays who want to adopt is to recruit children for a homosexual lifestyle. Shockingly wrong, but not hate speech. If you follow me around the web, you’ll find that it is, indeed, actions that I speak against. Actions that deny citizens their Constitutional rights are hateful. Speech is protected unless its motivation is to incite a riot or perpetrate criminal actions. It’s both amusing and frustrating to see people here label me, having never met me, having never seen any other comments of mine anywhere else, but who are quite comfortable in accusing me of seeing others as “unpeople”, of having “glee” at the very idea of someone with an opposing view getting hurt, of “endorsing” hate speech, having “hallucinations”, being somehow found wanting for liking Chik-Fil-A, and of following some kind of “different” Jesus.

          I don’t see the fun in turning honest disagreements into some kind of blood sport.

          • So, you don’t believe in hate speech at all?

            I don’t care if the speech is protected, Sheila. Nobody here was arguing about that. Are there things people say, lies they can spread that we should speak out against? If I called you a slut, would that qualify?

            We’ve been quoting you repeatedly and quoting the original source repeatedly. Pretend all you that we’re really just “labeling you”, but like it or not we’re not pulling this out of thin air.

  3. I don’t see myself as a warrior in a culture war. Hate speech, to me, is attempting to incite harmful action against another person in violation of his or her human rights. Both “progressives” (whatever THAT means) and “conservatives” (whatever THAT means) use hyperbole when angered. Angry speech is not, per se, hate speech. In my opinion, of course.

    Peace to all here.

    • Both “progressives” (whatever THAT means) and “conservatives” (whatever THAT means) use hyperbole when angered.

      So talking about how all gays are child-molesting perverts responsible for the spread of aids, and who we need to declare war on – no hate speech there, eh? Mere hyperbole?

      Or ranting about how blacks are criminals to a man, dangerous and savage, who whites need to declare war on? Again, no hate speech?

      Peace to all here.

      This line would be more believable if you had the courage to denounce someone for literally urging “war to be declared” on a group of people.

  4. Lothar,

    Here are some problems with you supporting John and not scrutinizing some of his claims. He writes:

    //…have been surprised to learn just how deeply the evangelical right despises gay people.//

    http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/2014/03/why-the-surprise-at-learning-how-much-evangelicals-hate-gay-people/

    [All of the quotes from John are referenced from the link above.]

    In the above John is asserting the evangelical right “despises” gay people. Indeed, he is saying the whole “evangelical right” does not like gay people, because he does not say otherwise; there is no hyperbole. In fact, he goes on to make some sweeping claims:

    //How can that possibly be a surprise to anyone? Where in “You’re going to hell because God deplores you!” does anyone see even a hint of affection or respect?//

    Basically he is giving us rhetorical questions with some presuppositions with a less than charitable characterization of the whole “evangelical right”. Ironically, he writes about the evangelical right not being affectionate or respectful to the gays. So I ask, how is he being respectful to conservatives whom he willy nilly bundled in his sweeping claims?

    It gets better, though, he writes:

    // This is a war, folks. It’s always been a war…//

    Indeed, it is, and those who call themselves Christians need to stop and think! What do I believe? Why do I believe it? And finally, Christians need to stop appealing to their emotions only and include reason.

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