Guest Blogger

That Weird Hug from Rick Warren

Filed By Guest Blogger | December 19, 2008 10:00 AM | comments

Filed in: Living, Marriage Equality, Politics, Politics
Tags: California, inauguration, LGBT families, Prop 8, Rick Warren, Saddleback Church, Soulforce

Editors' Note: Guest blogger Jeff Lutes is the Executive Director of Soulforce, jeffheadshot.jpga national civil rights and social justice organization dedicated to freedom for LGBT people through nonviolent direct action.

According to the first three books of the New Testament, Judas identified Jesus to the soldiers by means of a kiss. An act of ultimate betrayal, that peck on the cheek led to the arrest of Jesus.

I know how Jesus felt. Well, sort of.

On June 15, 2008, mega-church pastor Rick Warren embraced me and my husband, and each of our three young children. Then, he apportioned his considerable power and influence to eliminate our California marriage. But the story really begins six months before that hug of pretense.

In December of the previous year, I wrote a letter to Warren outlining my plan to bring a group of gay and lesbian couples, and their children, to visit his Saddleback Church over Father's Day weekend. I expressed our intent to attend worship on Sunday, and my hope that he and some families in his congregation would share a meal with us in an effort to reach beyond our differences and focus instead on the commonalities we share as parents and people of faith. In due course, I began a series of phone conversations with Warren's chief of staff. Over the next several weeks, we agreed that eight of our families would eat lunch on June 16 with Warren, his wife Kay, and six of their staff members. After the family meal, eight people from our group would then convene for a 90 minute conversation with Warren, his wife, and the six other church leaders. Here's where it gets interesting.

The week before our visit, Newsweek senior editor Lisa Miller published an article that contained a single sentence about Warren's upcoming get-together with a bunch of gay dads. Suddenly, the tone and demeanor from those paid to protect Warren's public image began to deteriorate.

First, we were told that things had changed and Warren and his wife "might" attend the meal and forum. A few days later, Warren posted a message on a religious blog saying that he never intended to meet with our families. Once we arrived in California, I called his chief of staff to discuss final details. Implausibly, I was told that Saddleback had now decided to only feed the eight people from our group who were going to be in the meeting, but not our children or spouses.

I pushed back by expressing my opinion that it was not very Christ-like to renege on our covenant after we had already traveled thousands of miles from Texas. "We'll discuss your visit again and call you back," they said. An hour later they telephoned - this time with a much more serious tone. I felt like I was negotiating a nuclear arms deal rather than the breaking of bread and some fellowship among families. With seeming reluctance, they finally settled on feeding everyone but announced that now only four Saddleback staff members would attend and that Warren and his wife would not be among them.

They made a new offer. Warren had decided to preach from one of Saddleback's satellite facilities, 45 minutes away from the main campus. He would sit down with my family for ten to fifteen minutes after the early service, if we agreed to attend. I accepted that offer and on Sunday morning we waited near our seats at the conclusion of church.

Eventually, I heard Warren call out my name. As I turned to greet him, he hugged me, my partner, and our three children . . . and then walked away. No conversation. Minimal eye contact. Just an awkward hug and he was gone.

The following day we tried to initiate heartfelt conversation with the four Saddleback staff members who managed to show up. From the opening moments it was clear that this was a meeting to save face without any real interest in hearing our stories or getting to know us.

That frustrating experience behind us, my husband and I were married in Malibu the next day as our kids and friends stood watch on the beach. Thanks to Warren and others who worked diligently to eliminate equality with the passage of Proposition 8, our marriage now hangs in limbo.

On January 20, Warren will lead the invocation at Obama's inauguration. I'll pray with him because our country and our new Commander in Chief need all the prayers we can muster. Afterwards, I'll say another prayer - this one for Rick Warren. When I'm done, I'll get up off my knees and keep marching until all people, all couples, and all families have the same civil rights. I won't quit until the church and its leaders cease spreading fear and misunderstanding about lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people.

That's my purpose driven life.

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As an agnostic who is openly hostile to established religions, particularly Christianity and Islam, I am always amazed by stories of religious gays trying to negotiate the perils of Christ's love as it is interpreted by evangelicals and their allies. I watch as good men and women, such as yourself, get spit on, slapped, abused, and still they come back for more. I think I admire you for it. If someone with your patience who speaks their language can't get evangelicals to act like human beings, then what hope is there? I could tolerate treatment such as described above for myself, and perhaps even for my husband, but never for my children. You must have had some conversation with your children afterward to explain how a "man of G-d" could possibly have treated them like that.

My son was one of the kids who participated in the American Family Outing, and I do not think that he was demeaned. We talk to him all the time about injustice and non-violence. He understands that Rick Warren has a "wrong idea" about gay people, and he knows that we went there to help the people at Saddleback to learn the truth about our families. (We weren't going with hat in hand, seeking their acceptance, we were going to help them.) If anything, I think he felt bad for them because they are so misinformed and because, after a lifetime of attending a welcoming, LGBT-affirming church, he thought that mega-churches were really boring.

Thank you. Very powerful piece.

It reminded me of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr - the ones who stood before evil, got knocked down, and got back up again, bloody but heads held as high as possible - because Love is still more powerful than hate and politics.

Thanks for the reminder.

Allyson Robinson | December 19, 2008 11:59 AM

Jeff, thanks for sharing this with us. I'm so proud to know you and so grateful for the work you're leading.

Jeff, terrific piece. Smart, moving. Thanks for sharing.

Congratulations on your efforts and also on Mel White's effort of sitting in Falwell's church all those years to seemingly no avail. Warren is just another fat Jerry Falwell, but wearing a Hawaiian shirt instead of a suit.
The good part of Soulforce in my opinion is the non violent civil disobedience training you offer to all, not just Christians.
As long as those homophobic words are in the bible, especially Paul's Romans, you can't convince anyone, as it is seen as your biased interpretation of a New Testament passage
against their interpretation of passage. They argue that Jesus upheld the old law which he said that he did. I don't believe any of it, because it depends on where one is born as to what the believe. If born in the Middle East, people are most likely Muslim, if born in India, Hindu or Muslim, born in China or Japan Buddhism, ect. Born in USA Christian. I don't believe in any of the mythologies.

Did you have to wash off the cooties? :)

Darlene Bogle | December 19, 2008 1:58 PM

Jeff: Thank you for speaking up about Rick Warren. I was part of that day at Saddleback, and I've been wondering how a man with Rick's lack of integrity can possibly stand before the country and pray. The answer is that people just don't know who he is at the core! He wrote a best selling book but words aren't what matters, it's how he lives. I will never forget his actions that day, and pray that it will all come to light.
As a child, I learned a poem:
I'd rather see a sermon, than hear one anyday;
I'd rather one should walk with me, than merely show the way:
For the eye's a better pupil, and more willing than the ear
Fine counsel is confusing, but example's always clear!
I prayerfully join you on your purpose Driven life.

Allyson Robinson | December 19, 2008 2:01 PM

From a story yesterday, emphasis mine:

"Warren himself is working to contain the fallout from his support for California's Proposition 8. In an interview set to air this week, he denied that his stand against same-sex marriage meant he was homophobic.

"'Of course not. I have always treated them with respect,' he said. 'When they come and wanna talk to me, I talk to 'em. When the protesters came, we served them water and doughnuts.'"

Not so much, I guess.

How about we simply turn our backs on this religion - and the other ones like it - with its worldview rooted firmly in the pre-Dark Ages? The Abrahamic religions that refuse to embrace reason, science, and a 21st century understanding of the human species are irrelevant to a secular society.

I'm tired of the Bible.

With it, I've been told that:

as slaves, we good colored folk were to be obedient to our masters as if they were God themselves (Bible said so);

that we were slaves 'cause some guy didn't run to cover up his nekkid, broke-down drunk father's nasty carcass (Bible said so);

that we women weren't to speak in church, that we were ritually unclean--and that we had to fend for ourselves outside the safety of the village to keep away the wild animals drawn by the scent of blood, that we could be bartered away like camels, that our marriage rights were whatever our fathers arranged and our husbands allowed, that our children could be sacrificed for God's blessing or stoned for misbehavior by their fathers, that we brought death to the world (Bible said so);

that my gay friends and family were doomed to hell (Bible said so).


I am, frankly, tired of Bible-based discrimination. Seems like the biggest threat to my straight marriage and my little Black woman self is whatever is written in that book.

Good luck on the Rick Warren front. I just don't think he deserves your time. Religion, as espoused by the Religious White (or Right?) has had a long history of codifying discrimination here in this country. Just saying: at least you know some of the heinous views he holds. Many other contenders for this coveted role might have just been haters in private. What, I wonder, does the man giving the benediction think about sexual orientation-spanning rights.

I wonder.

Hopefully, what we're seeing is the last gasp of their peculiar insistence on politico-religious orthodoxy.

Dear Jeff,

I'm so glad you posted the true story of Father's Day at Saddleback. Being a part of the day, I know the ache in our hearts when it didn't go as originally promised. How this man claims to be "Gay Friendly" just because he offers help to HIV positive people simply amazes me. He has God to answer to and someday he will. This situation is simply a slap in the face to all who fight for equality and I'm so blessed to know you. We are all praying and praying hard.

God bless you always, Shawne, Randall, Morgan and Piper

First, I'd like to point out that for all Warren's bragging about helping people with AIDS, it is always qualified by talking about "helping people in Africa infected with AIDS," and we all know the people in Africa who have AIDS are straight it's OK to help them.

I continue to attend a Methodist Church here in Tampa, as it is the tradition in which I was raised. I believe I can affect more change from within than from outside.

I recall a discussion a few Sunday's ago in the class I attend. I made a comment that often "religion" gets in the way of "Christianity." The class leader asked, "So when does it become religion and not Christianity." A lady there had an astute answer when she said, "It's when my ego becomes more important than the message of Christ."

I can't think of a better description of the Rick Warren's of the world. I have no assurance of what the man believes, because what he's going to say and preach are what keep the dollar$ being dropped in the collection plate.

Thanks for your kind words of encouragement my friends. Blessings to you this holiday season.

Marla R. Stevens Marla R. Stevens | December 19, 2008 7:05 PM

My wife, Phyllis, usually the one whose back stuff rolls more easily off of, said to me last weekend as I Bogarted the remote control, distracted a moment too long as some erstwhile perfectly tasteful Christmas program began on PBS, "Please change the channel. I've gotten so I can't stand any more Christian noise. Even Christmas, which I usually enjoy at least the secular parts of is too much for me this year."

I had to agree. We'll quietly celebrate the Solstice then put everything away.

Maybe it's that we've had to spend too much time with her Pentacostal relatives and been reminded in too many painful ways what hypocrits they are, maybe it's the result of Prop. 2, Prop. 8, Arizona, and Arkansas, and McClurkin/Obama, maybe it's that we've reached our body burden limit to evangelical Christianity like one develops an allergy to crustaceans or can't handle any more exposure to radiation -- but we're getting so even Spong's version of the religion is more than we can stand and, when we're in our private lives where we don't have to be tolerant, we can't muster even simple exposure anymore.

We know that's not your fault, Jeff and your followers on this board, and, though we'd rather you not waste your time butting your head against the brick walls you're inexplicably drawn to and hope you would use your considerable organizing skills more productively, targeting those there's a real chance of reaching, we appreciate that it sometimes produces irrefutable proof that creeps like Warren are not what they claim.

Exbloviation can be a valuable thing. Take away some of the overly earnest quality of your version of it, substituting a little more fierce camp instead, and it might produce results worth the effort.

Sounds like you're focussing too much on people rather than the Soverign God of love. Focus on His love and his righteousness and how that relates to your own heart. : )

I love God and try to follow what Jesus taught, but when people like Rick Warren attack us (and are now trying to forcefully annul 18,000 marriage - in contradiction to Jesus's teaching about divorce), my heart swell with so much hate that I can feel God's love being drowned out. It makes me so sad to know how I fail to live up to God's standards. I pray and that helps. But that people use the words of God and Jesus to inflict so much pain upon my brothers and sisters makes me hate Christians and attacks my faith. I don't really have anything else to add, but perhaps many of you have been where I'm at.

Kevin, I'm an atheist, but as an adherent to non-violence I struggle with the exact same issue. I want to approach civil rights opponents with the love and strength of purpose that Martin Luther King and Gandhi brought to their fights, but I just get so angry. I really appreciate Jeff's article for showing loving non-violent action.

You just can't ask people who believe what God says about homosexuality in the Bible to focus on what we have in common and ignore the facts to make accommodations. It's not a compromise. The Bible is clear and evangelicals are not going to ignore what is written in their fundamental beliefs.

2Co 2:11 "...that no advantage may be gained over us by Satan: for we are not ignorant of his devices."

Although mentioned elsewhere in other essays on the site, I wanted to take some space & devote it to the primary problems regarding the skewed theology of the "Same Gender Relationship" issues within the "church".

1. Laziness in the study of the Scripture. Jesus who called the religious leaders of his day the "offspring of the Devil" also made it clear that they did NOT KNOW THE SCRIPTURES. Imagine that. The libraries they kept in their phylacteries missed their brains by about 1 cm.
2. The second problem is that they did not know the power of God. Today, this translates into Christians who have not obeyed the teachings of the Apostles -nor had the experiences with the new birth as clearly (say "clearly") described in Acts (2, 8, 10,11,18,19). And if you don't know what I'm talking about then may I suggest point #1 applies to the likes of you.
3. Virtually every translation of the Bible from the KJV on -has been corrupted.
It started by the KJV translating the Hebrew term "KODESH" as "SODOMITE" in stead of the actual meaning of "HOLY ONES". The meaning inferred is more likely "Intermediaries of foreign Gods", "Temple Prostitutes", or even "Titles of Nobility". "SODOMITE" is not even close. Furthermore, "SODOMITE" is, by definition: "An Inhabitant of Sodom". Since Sodom was destroyed; --The obvious folly of the translation is glaring! There ARE NO SODOMITES!

In another essay, I showed how Lucifer operates by misquoting God & then looking for flaws in responses to exploit. So, when a translation contains GROSS ERRORS, FABRICATIONS & MISREPRESENTATIONS, -who do you suppose was whispering to the "translator"/man who put them there?

So here's the summary: Every time you see the term "HOMOSEXUAL" in the Bible, it's a BLATANT MISTRANSLATION (every single instance). This can be proven by looking at the underlying source text & consulting appropriate concordances. Very often, the word itself is ill fitting to the very sentence it is in. For Example:

"You know that wicked people will not inherit the kingdom of God, don't you? Stop deceiving yourselves! Sexually immoral people, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, homosexuals, thieves, greedy people, drunks, slanderers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God." -1Co 6:9 ISV

Presuming that Paul was not sloppy with his writing, it would seem logical to presume that he would NOT REPEAT HIMSELF while composing such a list. First on the list is "Sexually immoral people", and a ways down -"homosexual" is listed. If being a "homosexual" is a form of sexual immorality, - then why repeat what was said first on the list? And, the translators who rendered the Greek into English chose to say "thieves" & "robbers" in the same sentence. Hmmm.
The explanation to these curiosities is simple: SLOPPY TRANSLATIONS. And those people who will cling to a bad translation despite contrary evidence in the source texts are: IDOLATERS (& you'll notice that the list in the Scripture above names that sin as a trait of those who will not reign in God's kingdom).

So what is really being said? Well, the most obvious way to determine this is to look into the matter for yourself (But if you're lazy, you won't; --& hence you'll get what the wicked deserve). A good interlinear Greek w. concordance is a great way to check the source text. And here's a rule of thumb: If a translator uses a word that some man invented for the purpose of filling in the translation, then I'd suggest that you find another term. "SODOMITE" was literally created to translate kodesh. "HOMOSEXUAL" as a word did not even exist until the late 1800's AND (get this point), the PREfix is "HOMO" which in itself is a GREEK word meaning "sameness". Considering that the New Testament is written in Greek, doesn't it seem logical that Paul would have used the term "HOMO", IF (say "if") he was describing the thing that most modern translators say he was??? Well, he didn't use the term "homo" in relation to any sexual proclivity. Ironically, the Scripture uses the Greek term "HETERO" in the Book of Jude describing the sin of Sodom!
Yeah: According to the Scripture - the sin of Sodom was some sort of HETERO-sexuality (NOT HOMO). How's that for a twist on 'common knowledge'!?

At this point, most readers are feeling one of three emotions:

1. The elation of liberation...
2. The guilt of being self-condemned...
3. The denial of a self-justifying pride that will not hear & will not seek. Hell-spawn thou art...

Of course, the only advice I can offer is to continue to read the essays on this site & then check into the issues raised & adopt your own conclusions. The best this group of essays can do is to say: LOOK OVER HERE & EXAMINE FOR YOURSELF.

A g0y essay...

I was one of untold millions of guys who grew up in rural Amerika. My parents attended a fundamentalist-type of religious denomination, and so I did too. There were different "flavors" of fundamentalism and by the time I was 13, -I had my groups that I enjoyed. One was a summer camp run by local churches. It was really great -except for the fact that it was really terrible. I'll explain:

By the time I was 12, I had made the startling discovery that I was 100% into good look'n guys and 0% into women. Being raised in a "fundamentalist home", -I made the prudent decision to keep this discovery to myself. Nobody else had a clue. 13 was the age of my 1st year of summer camp. I had a really great time. Of course, even then, I had reached the realization that none of my friends liked the "real me" because it was always open season on "fags" & it seemed that a guy could do almost anything to get that label -especially if it had anything to do with being tender on other guys. Of course, NOBODY at the camp had "those feelings" (Except for me). Yeah, now I realize how bullsh1t the lie was. But the fact is that nobody can tell what somebody else is feeling and because there is no "GUY LOVER light" that glows pink or something, - everybody that has those feelings denies it -- making everyone feel like they're the only one!

At 14, I was back for another summer & I noticed that the "gay hate" was turned up a notch with occasional sermons & comments by "counselors". Man, looking back at the respect these guys got - so UNdeserved...makes me want to p1ss in someone's coffee. Counselors of "death" they were in some cases. Anyway, at 14 I was much more sure of my sexuality; - Namely, that it wasn't going to change. Guys 100%, girls 0%.

However, girls liked me. I'm sure of that. I had lots of "friends". Well, the guy I pretended to be had lots of friends. Everyone seemed to hate the guy who loved guys (so I kept him hidden away just beneath my skin). You try to block it out, but the continual comments about "those people" builds up over time. For a few years, you get a thick skin, -but I think that as you mature & figure out just how bad the hate is & that nobody really likes you for who you are, -& well: lots of people give up on life. Giving up is easy - especially when you listen to the sermons about "Hoe-Mo-Sex-Shu-uls" & "A-Bomb-In-Ations". And the people yelling & wagging their Bibles over their heads as they talk about the "Sin of Sodom" ... -at the time - I had no idea that they didn't know what they were talking about. I hadn't read the Scriptures in the original languages then, -nor did I know enough to catch the sheer number of logical-errors in their rantings.

So, I concluded that I'd be the best "Christian" I could be & try to deny "these feelings". I became the ultra-responsible guy. I was the one people could trust - depend on. Everybody liked me. But I suppose, that nobody did.

Then summer camp rolled around again. I was 15. He was 14. And I was in love. Nobody had prepared me for this! Yeah, he was handsome & a stud, for sure -- but that wasn't the entirety of my obsession. No, it was the way he walked, talked & his voice was gentle, deep & something I could have listened to all day. Everything about him made me feel good to be near him. We were good friends & I let him know in my own way that I thought he was a great guy. As the days went by, I found myself consumed with anticipating his presence & I really enjoyed any activity that brought me into close contact with him. But, I realized that he didn't seem to share the same feelings. In his mind, we were "friends", so I made the effort to be the very best friend I could be. For the next 3 years, he became my waking thought & among the last of each day. The fact I saw him less than a month out of the year didn't matter. I kept in touch with letters, phone calls & when I finally got my driver's license, I'd invent reasons to make the 45 minute drive to see him. It wasn't often, but at least 3 or 4 times that year. We were great friends & that's what mattered. It was the best I could hope for - considering.

When I was 19, I attended an event at that same camp for men. He was there too. Somehow, it felt different. Later that night I tool a walk alone down a dirt road. Around a corner, the road was very dark along a stretch where the trees were thick on each side -blocking the light. Little did I know, but my friend was walking back in the other direction with another counselor making smalltalk. I stopped walking as I heard them approach in the pitch blackness.

"So, are you & Alan going to get married, -or what", the other counselor asked my Buddy.

"Huh?", My bud Jon responded - confused by the question.

"Well, it seems pretty obvious that he's got wood for you, or something...", Greg continued.

Jon thought for a few seconds & figured out what Greg was hinting at. "Shut up...he's not like that...", Jon went on. I wondered if they could hear my slamming heartbeat just a few feet away from them as they slowly passed me - standing right there in the blackness.

"I dunno...", Greg went on: "Has the guy ever mentioned any dates or anything?", Greg pried. Seconds passed. Too many seconds passed. Jon was thinking - examining the accusation's validity.

Then he answered, "Sheesh. As if.", but the venom had taken. I waited for them to pass by & then walked down the path a ways until I came onto one of the empty cabins the camp uses during the summer session. I went inside & in the dark, sat on a hard bed that was missing a mattress. I remember shaking & sweating profusely with a knot in my stomach. Up till that time, nobody had ever seriously suggested that I was a "hoe-moe-sek-shual". I had done everything in my power to make such a thought seem ridiculous -- except date women. It seemed wrong to intentionally lead another person into the same feelings that I had for Jon by providence. For the 1st time, I felt truly threatened - genuinely panic'd on the inside about what a rumor could do - not only to me, but to others.

It took me about half an hour to recompose myself & return to the main group's gathering. I played "clueless", but I felt tension in the air & friends I'd known for years seemed a little leery - kind of -short in their conversations around me. And Jon, well he didn't say much at all, but seemed to be preoccupied with any place in the room where I was not at. I tried to give benefit of the doubt in my mind. You have to - because the alternative is too painful to imagine as the truth. However, over the next 2 days, -it was obvious to me that I had contracted some sort of "contagion" that turned years of friendships into fair-weather acquaintances. On the second evening, the "counselor" spoke about several things & then circled around to the "gay agenda" & "Sodom" & "UnNatural affections", etc. I feigned listening in a disconnected fashion as if studying for some class about some emotionally neutral subject matter. 'Hmm, a this group of people lives like fascinating.'

However, out of my peripheral vision, I caught occasional glances in my direction to see how I might be "taking the rebuke" - to see if I was taking it personally. I "blew it all off" - played clueless, unaffected, naive. It was the best defense. You see, if you knew how those people could have destroyed my life - because of who they knew & the strings that were pulled in the local communities from the "Good 'ol Boy networks", -- you'd have understood how the denial I lived under was justified by the terrorism inflicted by ignorant pseudo-christian fundamentalists. Considering the circles my parents moved in combined with their personal beliefs: There was no room for truth in my family nor in my community.

My friendship with Jon was never the same after that weekend. He always seemed "busy" & soon joined the military. I went to college & learned how to better conceal my personal life. In retrospect, I never emotionally connected with the "gay" community because of the gender-bending & arse-plow'n mentality.

This g0y-thing fits who I've always been. Since the days of "camp", I've discovered that I wasn't the only guy in deep cover there. Sadly, some of them were not as discrete as I was & that indiscretion cost several of them dearly. 2 younger guys (teens) were thrown out of their homes. 1, swallowed a gun barrel. And a few I don't have histories on. Several "campers" eventually "came-out" as "gay" & are probably plowing arses somewhere if they've swallowed the gay-lies about M2M intimacy-forms. The sad thing, the evil thing is -that fundamentalism doesn't make distinctions between mere feelings or between actions that don't hurt anyone (as opposed to those that tend to cause harm). Fundamentalism is like a botanist that thinks all mushrooms are the same & then declares them all to be deadly. And anyone who would consider cultivating mushrooms: Labeled a producer of poisonous, tainted produce. Let's push for legislation to outlaw growing such a thing! Evidence of distinctions be damned!

I eventually got away from "them" & discovered this g0y-thing. Now, they're going to deal with the likes of me for a long time; --And I've managed to place editorials in several local newspapers describing my experiences & showing what the Scriptures really say (How gender is not relevant - but laws were written forbidding analsex - which happens to be the form of contact that spreads diseases explosively)! Fundamentalists are dangerous & I believe, many are Satan's puppets & lying, hypocritical representatives in the now. The truth is their enemy - taken right from their very own Bibles. That's ironic. That's the power of this g0y-thing: The defiance of lethal-theology (by strongly appealing to the actual Scriptural texts themselves)!

Lynn David Lynn David | March 12, 2009 8:43 PM

You are yet delusional if you believe the Bible affirms your supposed "g0y" sex, which is nothing but gay sex afterall.

What is it Leviticus 18:22(?) - which more literally translates: Do not with man do that joining done with women, it is abomination.

Anything sexual you do with a man is seen as an abomination in the Abrahamic religions. Getting around that is ridiculous, it's not worth trying.

And it's not just sexual relations that are seen as sinful in Christianity. Lev 18:22 can also be seen to be indicative of that form of love which men and women share which should not be shared between men. Thus Alan Chambers of the ex-gay Exodus International quite recently wrote:

During lunch, my friend asked my views on "covenant friendships". I'd never heard that term, but quickly realized she was referring to sexless committed relationships between members of the same gender. I immediately called them sinful. ... Talk about selling God short in the "I will supply all of your needs" category. What about abstaining from all appearances of evil? How about fleeing from temptation? Two same-sex attracted women getting married and pledging their lifelong love and devotion to one another, with or without sex, is called homosexuality. How can we say anything less? There is no such thing as diet homosexuality.

It wasn't the idea of sex that was repulsive to your 'Jon' - it was the idea of your brand of love. You are not going to gain any of your lost "Christian love" back by simply disavowing any involvement in anal sex.

And yes, you certainily have espoused the qualities of a bigoted homophobe, since you choose to degrade your fellow homosexually oriented persons because of either effeminate qualities or their choice of sexual activity - and why? Out of a reading of a supposed holy book which you demand must read to your liking. I got news for you, it doesn't.

You sling just as degrading speech around about anal sex or being effeminate as anyone. First, about effeminancy. Not every gay man is effeminate or necesarily needs to act in that way. Effeminancy is not necessarily a choice, just as a homosexual orientation is not a choice. We do not know what causes one to be gay but whatever it is may be a continuum or endpoint with that which causes transgenderism. Effeminancy for some may thus be a only an expression of their inborn personality.

Second, anal sex never has been the end-all, be-all of gay sex. There is a large minority of gay men that want nothing to do with anal sex. On the other hand there are many who enjoy anal sex from both sides of the issue. Only your needful reading of Biblical scripture condemns one particular sexual act and leads you into a condemnation of those who are basically your own brothers.

Yes, you movement is based in homophobia.

I agree The Bible is very clear. Why would you contact Newsweek??
It makes the story sound exploitive. I would also question your groups intention and reconsider the meeting.

You didn't stand a chance in hell.....


What does the Bible say about homosexuality?
The Bible very clearly says that homosexuality is a sin.

"Homosexuality is absolutely forbidden, for it is an enormous sin." (Lev. 18:22 TLB)

"Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor male prostitutes, nor homosexual offenders, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor slanderers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." (1 Cor 6:9-11 NIV)

While all sin is destructive, Romans 6 warns us of the great dangers in sexual sin when it says, "Run away from sexual sin! No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does. For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body." (1 Cor 6:18 NLT) This includes not only homosexuality, but all sexual immorality: adultery, sex without marriage, pornography. We must not act as if homosexuality is the only serious sexual sin, and we must not act as if homosexuality is not a serious sexual sin.

I've heard it asked, "Isn't being homosexual something that a person is physically born with?" First of all, there are absolutely no facts to support this claim. From time to time studies have been reported in the news that seemed to indicate this, but every one of these studies has proven to be wrong. Secondly, even if some physical difference were discovered, it would be no excuse for sin. We know that some people can develop a stronger physical addiction to alcohol than others, but that's obviously no excuse for living an alcoholic lifestyle.

Finally, a word about being judgmental. It's not judgmental to say that what the Bible calls a sin is a sin, that's just telling the truth. Not being willing to talk to someone caught up in sin, or not believing that they can be forgiven, or thinking that you are not just as much in need of Jesus as they are ... that's being judgmental.

Because membership in a church is an outgrowth of accepting the Lordship and leadership of Jesus in one’s life, someone unwilling to repent of their homosexual lifestyle would not be accepted at a member at Saddleback Church. That does not mean they cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

In equal desire to follow Jesus, we also would not accept a couple into membership at Saddleback who were not willing to repent of the sexual sin of living together before marriage. That does not mean this couple cannot attend church – we hope they do! God’s Word has the power to change our lives.

Thank you Lynn for taking the time to write this. While it is easy to both mis-interpret and spin the Word of God to accommodate ones choices, totally omitting whole, clear passages on sin and the repercussions of such, is beyond... The gay community wants to make the church responsible for accepting their actions using the commandment to love and the notion of equality as a measure of standard for Christians to uphold. Can we not both love and refuse to accept sin?? I commend Saddleback Church for reaching out in love, and for also upholding the Word of God.

And I think you put too much stock in your supercilious superstitions.

Actually, the SPECIFIC SIN named in Leviticus is using a man in PROXY of a woman. In other words, it's a variant of "Thou shalt not bear false witness".
Sexually, this prohibition forbids AnalSex[.]
This is so easy to extrapolate from the texts of both testaments, that I'm blown away that so many people have been duped for so long with the assertion that the passage is "Anti-Gay". It's NOT and you'll find no parallel passage forbidding women w. women. According to the CDC (& WHO), AnalSex is some +5000% more dangerous than ALL other acts combined! Yeah: +5000%!
As far as the "marriage" thing goes: Why would ANYONE want a partnership with their spouce & the State -where the State is the party of superior interest? Are you all nuts? Oh, and guess Who ISN'T a party to the contract? G0D ISN'T!
Before God, a "state marriage license" is an ABOMINATION. Loving someone of the same gender, ISN'T. But to be Christian, LOVE MUST WORK NO ILL.
There is a growing group of men who know these things & don't do the buttNasty. They're called g0ys -spelled w. a zer0. G00GLE 'em - I dare you.

Cricket Haake | December 20, 2008 1:25 PM

I am intrigued to find this today. My husband and I were having a discussion about all of this last night. All of this has become a HUGE topic in our marriage and in our family. My husband and I are what the world calls "Evanglical Christain" ....our world was turned upside down when our son told us he was gay! My first encounter with the hatred from the pulpit toward homosexuals came when I was still reeling from what our wonderful son had told us and I was a very long way from home on a mission trip to Haiti. My pastor that I respected beyond belief had no idea about what I was going thru...and he beagan to make horrible jokes about homosexuals. I can never ever express in words what this has done to me and for me. My eyes are wide open to the hatred and fear out there. I know God has called me to reach people and make a change ...a REAL change in the Christian world. WHY WHY are we going through our Bibles to find ways to HATE others when Christ was ask the question...OF ALL the commandments which is the most important CHRIST JESUS speaks of two............they both talk about LOVE!!! What is wrong with us??
Give me your heart Jesus... a heart to love EVERYONE just as you do.
My struggle now is to not hate those who hate...because I become what I hate most.

I wrote an essay several years ago after somebody gave me a copy of the "Porpoise driven strife" - by Warren. Seriously -if THAT'S where the "Church" is at -- I'm leaving (knocks dirt off feet).
My "faith" has cost me in ways that hucksters like Warren can't begin to imagine. However, the biggest hurdles are dealing with the "religious experts" of the day -the PROBLEMS are the Rick Warrens of the world. However, I'm quite finished being "nice" to people who are on moral par with soft-spoken murders. And, this IS what we're dealing with - a lying murderous doctrine of demons that virtually owns most so-called churches. I think it's time to rip-em a "Matt 23 hole"!

Rick Warren's selection is a big deal. The GLBT reaction to the selection is very, very important. Why would we accept such a selection without voicing our displeasure? Watch Rachel Maddow's show. She does an excellent job of "getting the word out" on why we can't "just sit back, relax and enjoy it".

I am pleased GLBT leaders are being outspoken. People are hearing us. If some of you think we're just whining; then, I expect you are the same people who thought the FDA would find drugs to combat the ravages of HIV/AIDS without intervention of groups like ACT-UP. We are speaking out, we are being heard, the message is clear, and I am more than certain Rick Warren will go back to Saddleback and be a distant memory in the future. Rick Warren has been discredited in so many ways. He calls for assassination of world leaders, his church isn't inclusive, he says gays are incestuous, he says gays are pedophiles, and he says gays are only interested in multiple sex partners. The guy's visibility in so many ways paints him as a lunatic. I don't think he gives a shit about global warming (it's just he lives in Southern California), I don't think Warren has any interest in a National AIDS policy (if he does, I have not heard it-he gives some lip service to HIV/AIDS in Africa-I suggest he look around as there is a pandemic in America), I am uninterested in how Warren translates the bible because it is just another book of fiction.

There is no reason for the GLBT "community" to become divided on the issue of Rick Warren. Rick Warren is a fat, pompous ass. His bible is his crutch, but he will never be a friend for our community and he should be repudiated in the strongest possible terms.

A few of the best comments made on Joe.My.God about Rick Warren and his interview --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

Has anyone told this worthless piece of shit that gluttony is one of the seven deadly sins?
Tex | 12.20.08 - 12:15 pm | #


Yes, and his off the cuff remark that he wants to have sex with every pretty woman he encounters may also be a clue. Of something.
Greg Laden | Homepage | 12.20.08 - 12:16 pm | #


he's definitely a GAY in DELAY [...but not in food delay]

todd | 12.20.08 - 12:38 pm | #


I noted when he told the interview woman that he "wanted to have sex with every beautiful woman he saw" there was a classic pause and stare down -- her look was classic -- "I think you're a closet fag, buddy, but if you ain't and you think you can get a piece of me, dream on Creep". Whether it women or closet men he's after, this freak's ego is so wrapped up in sex, it's like he's a walking colonoscopy and his soul is a cancerous stool. These evangelical asswipes are all sex maniacs whose self-loathing sex suppression is resulting in bile ejaculating from every clenched orifice. And they think no one can notice this. Magical Thinking Perverts.
dwerk | Homepage | 12.20.08 - 12:51 pm | #


Christopher Hitchens on the vulgar huckster Rick Warren
Jason Stackhouse | 12.20.08 - 1:27 pm | #

Lynn, you missed my point. I'm agreeing with you : )


This seems like more of the same from him.

I truly believe Rick Warren is gay. Seriously. I also believe he has never had a homosexual experience, thus he considers his character to be spiritualy mature. If he can live his whole life without succumbing to his own sexual temptations than everyone has the same ability to be spiritualy mature and build a strong christian character...just like him. Right?

However, when one denies who they truly are it may lead to some unhealthy addictions. For example; glutiny - a sin, according to the bible. Addictions are often a sign of unresolved personal issues which are not confronted and dealt with.

Warren would like us to believe that he has love and compassion for everyone and the moral fortitude and character to guide the common man closer to God. But why is he so obese? Can he truly be happy with who he is? What issue in his life has he not dealt with? Why is he endangering his own life on a daily basis? Perhaps the majority of his self-discipline is being directed towards sustaining a "pure" sexual lifestyle, and perhaps there is little self-discipline left-over to manage a nutritional healthy lifestyle.

Making assumptions based on stereotypes can often lead to the wrong conclusion, BUT the first time I saw and heard Rick Warren, and every time since, my gay radar blinks uncontrolably. In my opinion Warren is gay, and can't stand the thought that some of us are leading a loving and sexually fulfilling life with our partners... and he is missing out on it. Now that's what I call having a choice. All I can say is have another twinkie Rick and leave us alone. I certainly don't want to decide to be miserable and forsake myself and mask my misery with unhealthy addictions. Grow a pair Rick.

homosexuality is a sin.

and lalita is retarted. what bible are you reading? a bible written in ebonics?

What the Scripture forbids is ANAL-SEX - NOT "HomoSex". The most scholarly Rabbis will even tell you that the specific prohibition is against Anal.
That's what Paul is talking about in Romans chapter 1: Women having AnalSex with men, & men having AnalSex with Men.
Homosex has never been the issue. The Torah is silent on lesbianism.
That's why the g0ys movement is gaining such momentum & Christian bigot group are terrified of the implications & g0y's theology.

Lynn David Lynn David | April 28, 2009 6:48 AM

You miss the point again.

I responded to you above and spoke of how even if there were no sexual contact Christians would see a homosexual relationship to be sinful.

You miss the point of Paul's writings in Roman's also. To give up the natural use (of a woman by a man) is not just simply sex in Romans 1. The natural use includes the object of one's passion and romantic feeling, one's love. And if that is a man for a man then they have given up the natural use which shoul be a man's love and feelings for a woman.

Thus Christians will always (as I pointed out about Alan Chambers above) understand homosexual relations, even without anal sex to be unnatural and thus sinful. For instance, this will never pass muster with the Aquinian/Aristotlian 'natural law' that the Catholic Church follows. Even though it has very little to do with "nature" and is more a philosophical understanding of man in nature.

No... anal sex or not, mainline Christianity will not see homosexual relations as not sinful. You're going to have to point out the "terror" of Christians have with your supposed movement.

No, I don't miss the point. The problem is that you're implying that Paul said something - that he clearly did not.
This is the same Paul who warned not to go beyond what was written in Torah. Your assertion suggests that he violates the very legal principle he pointed out.
This is the same Paul who wrote: " There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male and female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." - Gal 3:28
Eliminate the concept of "male & female" as Paul did in Gal 3:28 and the entire notion of sexual orientation disintegrates all together.
The only thing that remains is faith expressing itself in love.
Not surprising, -really as Peter warned of people who would distort Paul's teaching.
That would be you and about a billion Lax/Lazy Sheeple Who keep the Book on a shelf instead of putting it between their ears.

Paul doesn't add a letter to Hebrew Law. And the SPECIFIC PROHIBITION in Torah is against Anal Sex (coming into contact with feces in general).

The Scripture goes to great length to explain the number & prevalence of "religious leaders" who honored God with lip-service while not knowing the most fundamental things of His nature.

And today, we live among a new generation or religious hypocrites who think that same-gender affections are on moral par with murder! Blind leaders! Spiritual stumbling blocks! Empty heads!

May they be judged by the measure they judge by!
Let Romans 2:1 be fulfilled!

It's well covered on the website!

Yeah... I've read fair part of your website a while back. You are just as religiously-inspired homophobic as those you call "a new generation or religious hypocrites who think that same-gender affections are on moral par with murder." But then you're even more pathetic because you think that Biblical fornication doesn't include other sexual practices performed between men or women.

1 Corinthians 7:2 Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.

Paul does not say as a man that a man can have a husband to escape fornication. Sorry, you lose. Atheist that I am, I don't have to worry about your religious foolishness.

You need to back up to verse 1 to understand verse 2 (CONTEXT - what a surprise). Paul's instruction is specifically to men who need a woman. Say "NEED".
In other words: You'd be better off without a woman (v.1), but if you need one, then get married to one.

Since "marriage" in Hebrew context is between a man & a woman (the woman is consider legally incompetent in such context by the way -because they were generally not educated [which is why - till this very day the traditional marriage asks: "Who gives this woman..."].) - Paul would not speaks of a male/male partnership as a "marriage" for a number of good reasons. Even the g0ys website is opposed to using the very notion of "marriage" for same gender domestic partnerships, and g0ys are opposed to ALL state licensed marriages because it is essentially a party of (3) where the state has superior interest in the contract.

Paul didn't say let those men who need a woman get one.... he said if you need it (woman/sex) then EVERY man should get a woman.

Otherwise you might tell me where Paul says to run out an g0y is up.

Paul was not talking about marriage to begin with. His beginning premise was the desire to have sexual intercourse by one of the Corinthian faithful. So Paul said find a woman and marry her. Marriage was Paul's answer to the problem not the beginning premise. And then there was that "every man" bit..... so.....

Tell me the definition of fornication in Biblical terms, what is it? Fornication is sexual relations outside of a marriage. Now since you have told us that Hebrew/Jewish understanding of marriage is simply that of a man and woman, then how the heck did Paul or anyone in the Bible ever mean that you could get your rocks off with another man even if it wasn't butt-sex??? Hmmm....???

"Fornication" is UNLAWFUL sexual relations.
Your glaring blindness to the fact that many men had CONCUBINES (Solomon had 300 & 700 wives) makes it very clear that not all sex outside of marriage is fornication! Clue phone: It's for you.
And again, Corinthians 7:1-2 reads: "Now, as to the things in your letter to me: It is good for a man to have nothing to do with a woman." (v1)

"But because of the desires of the flesh, let every man have his wife, and every woman her husband." (v2)

It's quite clear that the "DESIRE OF THE FLESH" that Paul is talking about is about MEN for WOMEN -- his instruction being to men.

He doesn't talk about peanut butter sandwiches here either -- but that doesn't mean that nobody has an appetite for them nor does it imply that eating such is unlawful.

Lynn David Lynn David | May 1, 2009 7:33 AM


You quote things that are fornication and say they are not.

You quote Paul who says if you burn in the flesh get a woman, and as I said he says nothing about getting man.

You did nothing but screw your own pooch.

Hmmm. Having proven that you obviously cannot read, -I simply refer any person reading this thread to back up & read what I've already written.
- Yawn...

I was really quite surprised by the comments in your first paragraph. It is amazing to me that christians are the bad guys all the time and that we don't understand. I've heard it said over and over and over again - but obviously without hearing - that God does not hate the sinner, he hates the sin. I have been reading and trying to understand the Soulfource website and am more than a little confused as to who your creator is and who you think your adversary is. Jesus Christ died for all mankind - even gay and lesbian people. However, the truth is that ALL of us have to make a choice to serve him as Lord and Savior of our life. Please remember that God made each and every one of you in his image. We have a choice to follow him or not and to be continuously changed to be more like him. His Word is the truth and the truth is that no man can get to the Father unlesss they go through Jesus Christ. Jesus clearly says in His Word that we are not to have relations with the same sex. I am NOT your adversary, I love you and care for you and want nothing more than to see you in Heaven. You don't have to change anything about you - just accept Him as your Lord and Savior. He will do the rest!

Soulforce? That's not me or my group.
We're g0ys - spelled w. a zer0 (G00GLE us - I dare ya).
Now, for the stupid assertion of the day:
LYNNE wrote: "Jesus clearly says in His Word that we are not to have relations with the same sex."

Oh, really? And do show us where Jesus said that.

Lynn Clark says, "Jesus clearly says in His Word that we are not to have relations with the same sex." Unfortunately Lynn you are quite wrong. Jesus never once made any comment whatsoever about gay relationships one way or another. Some argue that he did say something very positive about it in the story of the Centurion, but I won't get into it here.

Suffice it to say that while you seem to think it's a huge deal, Jesus never once thought it important enough to comment about, and I challenge you to find the statements you believe Jesus made.

Jesus never even endorsed the Ten Commandments. He provided two love God and to love your neighbor. That was it. In fact, he says he came to set aside the law.

And just so we are clear, Jesus wasn't around during the writing of the Old Testament, so none of the supposed anti-gay statements you find there can be attributed to him, and of course, the obvious question is, do you follow every single Old Testament law, or do you pick and choose?

I know that God made me, in his image, and I know he loves me just as I am. In other words Lynn, for whatever great reason he has, he made me Gay, and I would be an abomination in his sight if I pretended to be something else, or to love someone else, just because you think I should.

Actually, the principles in the Torah & in the NT are in harmony. The #1 PROBLEM is one of people who are sloppy in their reading of both.
In Leviticus 20:13, Moses forbade AnalSex (a man proxying a man in place of a woman). This is why THERE IS NO PARALLEL commandment about women laying with women (& that absence speaks volumes).
See, there is an ancient principle of Law that Moses was fully aware of: "Inclusio Unius est Exclusio Alterious". "What is written is written with precise intent." - Or in simple terms: What is not forbidden in the law is not forbidden in practice.
Fundamentalists would have us believe that Lev 20:13 violates the tightly binding principles of the law by forbidding mere same-sex intimacy (when Torah actually forbids using a man in place of a woman - AnalSex/transgender fetishes -- & this is in harmony about not wearing clothing specific to the opposite gender --bearing false witness).
Ironically, the very Law of Moses prescribes the EXACT PENALTY on those who sloppily translate it to bear false witness against other people!
"If a false witness makes a statement against a man, saying that he has done wrong, Then the two men, between whom the argument has taken place, are to come before the Lord, before the priests and judges who are then in power; And the judges will have the question looked into with care: and if the witness is seen to be false and to have made a false statement against his brother, Then do to him what it was his purpose to do to his brother: and so put away the evil from among you. " - in Dt 19

In other words, the Law says that if a person bears false witness against another -saying that he has violated the Law; --Then the penalty that would have fallen on the one falsely testified against is to be applied to the one making the false testimony.
Those who say that "people who have same-sex-intimacy are "damned" for it merely because of the gender mix", --are themselves -- according to the Law of Moses, -DAMNED (because their testimony against the other is based on a false rendering of the commandment the liar says has been violated).

This theme is echoed throughout the NT as well, "By the measure you judge will it be measured back to you.". And when a person's standard damns the innocent then they themselves will be judged accordingly. And this principles applies to Christians 1st & foremost! Judgement begins 1st in the house of God. God is not mocked - for what a man SOWS, that will he also REAP. And if you SOW false witness & merciless testimony ... then you shall reap the same!

The g0ys men's movement has taken great efforts to show who fundamentalism has perverted the Scriptures with sloppy reading/teaching & has become a stench in the nostrils of even the Gentiles -who now cures God because of the evil pouring out from the ranks of those who claim to represent Him. G00GLE g0ys (spelled w. a zer0) - I dare ya!

My God you are so theologically uneducated. And if that is not the case, you are simply stubbornly clueless and ignorant.

All the Biblical quotes you have given are from revised, diluted, polluted and mis-translated latter day versions. Try going back to the original Hebrew texts. You'll find a completely different "Bible".

Actually - I use MANY translations including the original language texts. And my Scripture is COMPUTER based & Free. Top Rated: E-Sword:
You got no game -so you try to attack my sources without a shred of corroborating texts. LAME!