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Tag: Same Sex Marriage

Pastor Art Kohl Equates Homosexuality with Bestiality, Incest, Rape, and Pedophilia

andy gipson tweet on homosexuality
2012 tweet by Andy Gipson, a member of the Mississippi House of Representatives. Gipson is a Southern Baptist.

Art Kohl is the pastor of Faith Bible Baptist Church in Eden, New York. Faith Bible is a church that believes in “soul winning, worldwide missions, old fashioned music & preaching, modest appearance, and loving God” and only preaches from the “King James Holy Bible.” Recently, independentbaptist.com posted an article by Kohl titled Just Because I’m Against Homosexuality Doesn’t Mean I Hate You; Here’s What The Bible Says!  (link no longer active) This is a reprint of an article written by Kohl in 2002.

In the article, Kohl trots out the usual Evangelical objections to homosexuality:

  • The Bible (God) says homosexuality is a sin and an abomination against God
  • Homosexuality is a chosen lifestyle not a sexual orientation/sexual identity
  • Homosexuals choose to be an abomination and by the saving grace of God they can choose not to be an abomination
  • Homosexuals don’t live as long as heterosexuals (a thoroughly debunked argument, BTW)

 Nothing new, right? Change the faces, the same codswallop comes out of the mouth.

What I want to focus on is Kohl’s subtle equating of incest, bestiality, rape, pedophilia, torture, and  beating his wife and children with a baseball bat with homosexuality. Since the state legislates against the former, why not the latter? Kohl writes:

“Stay out of our bedrooms, stay out of our private lives,” is a defensive posture we hear from pro-homosexuals. There are many different laws that affect each of our private lives. Laws against adultery, fornication, pedophilia, beastiality, incest, torture, rape, even seat belt laws. Most laws in some way legislate morality. Do not kill, do not steal, etc.

For the average Evangelical church member who lets their pastor think and speak for them, this argument might seem incontrovertible. However, let me show how easy it is to dismantle this argument.

When it comes to incest, rape, pedophilia, torture, and beating your wife and children with a baseball bat, are there two consenting parties? No. Even with bestiality, the animal cannot consent, so there is only one consenting party. However, homosexual sex, like heterosexual sex, is between two consenting parties. While we have laws that govern the age of consent, once that age is reached there is no prohibition against who a person has sex with. Consenting parties have every right to expect the government to stay out of their bedroom or any other private place they engage in sexual activity.

Kohl is using an apples and oranges argument. Many of the actions mentioned by Kohl are violent acts against others, especially women and children.  We rightly, though our laws, punish those who behave violently against others. To quote the opening line from Law and Order SVU, “sexually based offenses are considered especially heinous.” There is no victim when two men or two women have sex. We’re human and sex is what humans do, along with eating and drinking.  And we are not alone. According to Wikipedia, homosexual and bisexual behavior has been observed in 1,500 species.

None of this really matters to Kohl because the ONLY issue is what the Bible says about homosexuality. If homosexuals would only agree with the Bible when it says that homosexual behavior is “abusers of themselves with mankind”, all would be well. All homosexuals need to do is deny WHO they are and behave contrary to their nature. How hard can that be,  right? Well, based on the various sexual scandals over the years involving Evangelical preachers, it must be pretty hard.

In almost every IFB church there are repressed homosexuals who, out of fear of God and man, hide who they really are. It is a sad existence, one that is exacerbated by continually being pounded by the sin verses found in the Bible. As a former Evangelical preacher, I have a lot of guilt over how I used the Bible to hammer parishioners into what I perceived was God’s rigid mold for sexuality. At the time, I did not know that there were homosexuals sitting in the pew. I now know differently because I have talked to them and asked for their forgiveness. I still shudder when I think about my preaching against homosexuality. I can only imagine how hurtful my words were to those trapped in a religious system that forced them to play heterosexual.

There’s no hope for preachers like Art Kohl until they see how harmful their preaching is. Until they are willing to chuck the Bible into the dustbin of history, they will continue to demand everyone live by the antiquated morality found in the Bible. Well, at least some of the moral teachings found in the Bible. I was curious about Kohl’s preaching on divorce. The Bible has a good bit to say about divorce, yet many IFB preachers seems to ignore what the Bible says, either because they are divorced or they have divorced parishioners. It’s one thing to preach against homosexuality, knowing that no one in the church is going to cop to being a sodomite. But, when there are tithing church members who are divorced, well that’s a whole other matter. Listen to how kind and compassionate Kohl is to those who are divorced:

…Divorce is devastating to those involved. Whether it becomes ugly or is “amiable,” few entered marriage expecting this result. Sayings like, “It is better to have tried at love and failed, than to never have loved at all,” do not help. It comes into your mind everyday. It never goes away. Some feel like they are labeled, “Unclean, Divorcee!” They feel like outcasts to family, friends, neighbors, fellow employees and especially churches.

Your relationship may have ended but your life has not!…

…I ha’ve never been able to answer all the questions and complexities that come with some divorces: lawyers, alimony, child support, custody battles, garnished wages, in-law problems, financial pressures, hurting children who blame themselves, anger, emotional agony, visitation rights, and so on. But one thing I can tell every divorced person for sure: God in heaven is very personal and he loves you very much. You can have a real relationship with him that can never be broken. He has said in his word, the Bible, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

God knows the hurt of divorce.

He was divorced, too! God had married the nation of Israel but she departed from him (Jeremiah 3:14, 20). God had to give her a divorce. Jeremiah 3:8 says “…Israel committed adultery I had put her away, and given her a bill of divorce;…”

This was a spiritual relationship, but God still knows how it feels to have someone so close to you leave. He knows your hurt and feels your pain.

Why don’t you get to know this God?…

Imagine how different things might be if Evangelicals like Kohl treated homosexuals in the same manner? In 2011 Kohl stated:

“It seems we hate and we get angry at certain sins and love and coddle and pet other sins and befriend them if we’re not careful. We ought not to hate the sinner but we ought to hate the sin.”

Most observers of the last thirty years of the culture war would agree that homosexuality has been elevated to the status of THE sin above all sins. Look at how Evangelical pastors, parachurch leaders, and Republican candidates for President responded to the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage. Conspiratorial hysteria, the end of Western civilization. No “sin” has had a greater effect on Western civilization and the American family than divorce, yet these same pastors, leaders, and candidates for President are strangely silent. Why is this? (and they are silent on many behaviors their Bible calls a sin)

Here’s what I think. There are a lot of closeted Jesus-loving homosexuals in the Evangelical church, many of which stand behind the pulpit preaching against the very desires that secretly rage in the dark recesses of their life.  Many of them will spend a lifetime denying who they really are. Others will act on their desires thinking no one can see them, only to be exposed through some sort of scandal. And a few others will realize that the BIBLE is the problem, and they will seek happiness and fulfillment through embracing their sexuality. Among those who are exiting the Evangelical church for political and social reasons are those who can no play the heterosexual game. They leave because they want the freedom to be who they are and not who the church, pastor, and Bible says they are.

Mark Anthony Escalera Follows Dorothy Over the Rainbow Over Gay Pride Flag

gay pride flag
Fundamentalist Christian Mark Anthony Escalera Slays a Gay Pride Flag

Snark, sarcasm ahead!

Over at the fundamentalist Christian Defending Contending blog, Mark Anthony Escalera had this to say: (link no longer active)

…After the flood, God created a rainbow to be His seal in the heavens. It was a declaration to show the mercy and longsuffering of God. The rainbow was His picture to a depraved world that while He would never again destroy the world with a flood, He would be coming again. The next time He comes, there will be no rainbows. There will only be fire and total destruction of ALL that stand opposed to Him.

The true rainbow is made up of 7 different primary colors of a spectrum. It is a beautiful reminder of the wonder that God long holds up His wrath and judgment against the wickedness of this world. Seven in the Bible indicates perfection and completion.

However, Satan perverted that sign and it is now used around the world as a symbol of “gay pride.” It has only 6 colors. Six in the Bible is the number of man. This “rainbow” is not a true rainbow, but is a symbol of perversion, debauchery, sodomy, lust, pedophilia, and bestiality – just to name a few. The one below is a perversion, and for the record, the White House KNEW what was coming and this was done deliberately. Read Psalm 2 for the conclusion….

According to the ignorant Escalera, a TRUE rainbow has SEVEN colors, seven being a number that many fundamentalists think signifies perfection and completion. The gay pride flag only has SIX colors, six being a number that many fundamentalists think is the number of man; you know like 666. In Escalera’s addled mind, the difference between seven and six colors is proof that the gay pride flag is a “symbol of perversion, debauchery, sodomy, lust, pedophilia, and bestiality – just to name a few. ” For a minute, when he started listing all the sins gays practice, I thought he was talking about Evangelical pastors. Just saying…

Evidently Escalera doesn’t have access to Wikipedia:

A spectrum obtained using a glass prism and a point source is a continuum of wavelengths without bands. The number of colours that the human eye is able to distinguish in a spectrum is in the order of 100. Accordingly, the Munsell colour system (a 20th-century system for numerically describing colours, based on equal steps for human visual perception) distinguishes 100 hues. The apparent discreteness of main colours is an artefact of human perception and the exact number of main colours is a somewhat arbitrary choice.

Newton, who admitted his eyes were not very critical in distinguishing colours,[8] originally (1672) divided the spectrum into five main colours: red, yellow, green, blue and violet. Later he included orange and indigo, giving seven main colours by analogy to the number of notes in a musical scale. Newton chose to divide the visible spectrum into seven colours out of a belief derived from the beliefs of the ancient Greek sophists, who thought there was a connection between the colours, the musical notes, the known objects in the Solar System, and the days of the week.

According to Isaac Asimov, “It is customary to list indigo as a color lying between blue and violet, but it has never seemed to me that indigo is worth the dignity of being considered a separate color. To my eyes it seems merely deep blue.”

The colour pattern of a rainbow is different from a spectrum, and the colours are less saturated. There is spectral smearing in a rainbow owing to the fact that for any particular wavelength, there is a distribution of exit angles, rather than a single unvarying angle. In addition, a rainbow is a blurred version of the bow obtained from a point source, because the disk diameter of the sun (0.5°) cannot be neglected compared to the width of a rainbow (2°). The number of colour bands of a rainbow may therefore be different from the number of bands in a spectrum, especially if the droplets are particularly large or small. Therefore, the number of colours of a rainbow is variable. If, however, the word rainbow is used inaccurately to mean spectrum, it is the number of main colours in the spectrum.

The question of whether everyone sees seven colours in a rainbow is related to the idea of Linguistic relativity. Suggestions have been made that there is universality in the way that a rainbow is perceived. However, more recent research suggests that the number of distinct colours observed and what these are called depend on the language that one uses with people whose language has fewer colour words seeing fewer discrete colour bands.

And just like that, Escalera’s  Bullingerian (see notes) numerical nonsense goes up in smoke.

Think this is Escalera’s worst with Dorothy over the rainbow moment? Oh no. Here’s how he ends his post:

…If you are reading this and think that this is the final conclusion of the LGBT community, then you have been duped. The LGBT community will NOT stop until the next step of Satan’s agenda has been accomplished and accepted. Polygamy will soon be accepted. The age of consent will be dropped just as is happening in other parts of the world. Adherents of LGBT, PFLAG, and NAMBLA cannot have their own children and will only grow as they prey on more and more young people trying to entice them to a life of lust-filled debauchery that will never offer anything but disease and heartache for it is not what God ordained.

Soon, this blog may be taken down because it will be considered hate speech. I know that day is coming. Many companies openly rejoice in the ruling by SCOTUS. One day soon, true believers will be given a choice to conform to the world’s standards or lose their jobs…

Someone unschooled in hyperbolic, delusional Evangelical rhetoric might conclude that Escalera is exaggerating (literary lying) to make a point. But, he’s not. He really believes that ONE DAY SOON, (as in ONE DAY SOON Jesus is coming back’?) his blog will be considered hate speech and taken down by the U.S. government. ONE DAY SOON, (as in ONE DAY SOON Evangelicals are going to start caring about the poor and disenfranchised’?) Christians such as he are going to lose their jobs over their homophobic, bigoted stand for Jesus.

Here’s the truth. Yes, Escalera’s post is offensive, ignorant, hateful, bigoted, and homophobic. But, all of these behaviors are completely legal. Escalera seems to forget he lives in the United States. Hate speech is protected speech, so Escalera is free to hate away. The same goes for losing his job. No employer is going to fire employees over what they believe as long as they don’t promote their beliefs while at work. In some instances, employers have a personal conduct code and this might result in someone being fired over hate speech, but most of the time employees, on their own time, are free to swill Schlitz, wave around an AK47, listen to Toby Keith, drape themselves in the confederate flag, and remind anyone who will listen that God hates fags!

Note

E.W. Bullinger was a nineteenth century Fundamentalist dispensationalist who believed the numbers in the Bible have spiritual meanings.(You can read Bullinger’s book, Number in Scripture: Its Supernatural Design and Spiritual Significance, here.

020916

Local Christians Respond to Supreme Court Ruling on Same-Sex Marriage

biblical marriage

On Friday, the godless, anti-American,socialistic, communistic,  jihadist, liberal, satanic-inspired U.S. Supreme Court overturned Ohio’s constitutional ban of same-sex marriage. Ohio Governor John Kasich, also known as Mr. Wall Street, publicly admitted the marriage battle is over: (link no longer active)

“I’ve always felt that marriage is, you know, one of these traditions between a man and a woman, but the Court has spoken. And I’ve said all along that when the Court makes a decision, we abide by the law of the land. And they made their determination and—just move on. It doesn’t mean I’m not disappointed, I am, but the decision has been made.”

 

Williams County Commissioner Al Word, formerly the sheriff of Williams County, evidently slept through high school government class. Word told The Bryan Times (behind paywall):

“Why don’t they change the voting process so the minority always wins?  I believe everyone should be treated with respect, whoever they are, but this has gone completely over the edge. I’m in total disbelief and most people don’t realize the gravity of the whole thing. It changes who we are and how our issues get decided.”

Evidently, Word thinks the United States is a democracy where the majority rules. However, as anyone who has ever taken a government class should know, the United States is a republic with a representative form of government. Majority or minority has little to do with it, and in the case of the Supreme Court ruling, the issue is the court’s interpretation of the Fourteenth Amendment, especially the equal protection clause.

I understand why Word is upset. In 2004, Ohioans voted to restrict marriage to “only a union between one man and one woman.” This constitutional amendment passed 62-38 percent statewide. In Williams County the margin was 73-27 percent. According to The Bryan Times, the voting margins were similar in nearby Defiance, Fulton, Henry, Putnam, Paulding, and Van Wert counties.

But, let’s look at the numbers (link no longer active) for God’s Kingdom-Northwest Ohio Division, also known as Williams County. In 2004, there were 26,722 registered voters in Williams County and 18,294 of them voted on the marriage amendment. (68% voter turnout) 13,275 voted for Issue One, and 5,019 vote against the amendment. Yes, 73% of those who voted cast a vote in favor of the marriage amendment. However, when measured against the number of registered voters, the number drops to 50%. As in the case of most Ohio ballot initiatives, they are voted up or down by a majority of a minority. (in 2004, Ohio had its largest voter turnout in years)

I think Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown is right when he said:

“The court has spoken. The public is behind the court and the court speaks for the public…I am convinced Ohio voters, if they had it to do over would agree. Marriage equality is the law of the land now, period, just like civil rights. It’s a victory for everyone, gay and straight. Those who disagree will be relegated to the dustbin of history.”

After the Court’s decision, The Bryan Times contacted “virtually every church in Bryan”  to get a response. Only two pastors responded: Pat Schwenk, pastor of New Hope Community Church and Kevin Kellum, pastor of Grace Community Church. Both pastors were deeply disturbed by the ruling.

Schwenk stated:

This is certainly not the firs time the U.S. Supreme Court has made a ruling contrary to the truth of God’s word. It’s not a decision we celebrate, nor is it one we despair over either. God is still in control. Regardless of the moral and spiritual drift happening in our country, our response should be to faithfully honor God first, while loving others–even when there is disagreement.

Kellum stated:

Troubling, for a number of reasons. The church’s worldview of marriage has always been that it’s a vow between a man and a woman. Now we’re in uncharted territory. We’ve talked about openly with the congregation. Our doors are open to any race, gender, and (sexual) orientation.  We still have hope and we still believe and obey the word of God and depend on him for guidance on our lives, and we continue to look to God for his definition (of marriage). I’m concerned that there is a whole generation of young people who have no foundation in the church’s teachings, and with this ruling, I expect that to continue, to present a challenge to the church.

Don’t be blinded and misled by the talk of loving others and open doors. These words are loaded with Evangelical presuppositions, and all that is meant by their perfidious words is:

Yes we love homosexuals, they need Jesus, so our doors are open so that they can repent and find Jesus as their Lord and Savior. And if they don’t, they are going to be eternally tortured by God in hell.

Neither pastor is willing to openly and without reservation embrace homosexuals and welcome them into the membership. Married same-sex couples will find that very few local churches are willing to treat them as they do married heterosexual couples. As long as the Bible is the authoritative standard, same-sex couples will never be treated justly, fairly, and equally in churches like New Hope and Grace Community Church.

Over in Defiance County, the Crescent-News asked readers what they thought of the Court’s ruling. Here’s what several local fundamentalists had to say on the newspaper’s Facebook page:

crescent news 1

crescent news 2

crescent news 3

I left more comments on the Crescent-News’s page than anyone else, yet when the newspaper printed many of the comments in today’s edition of the paper, none of my comments were printed. It’s hard not to conclude that they either “overlooked” my comments, they were too long, too intellectual, or they didn’t want to give the village atheist any more press.

The Bryan Times was able to find an openly gay local man willing to comment. Here’s what Denver Henderson of Bryan had to say:

“Yesterday, I could do anything everyone else does–buy a car, own a house, pay taxes, fall in love–but there was always one thing I couldn’t do. Tomorrow I can. It’s not a big national question of ‘Can we?’ anymore. Now it’s the personal question of ‘Do we want to?’  (That kind of freedom is)  what it feels like to be a part of ‘We the People.’  It’s a big deal. It’s history happening right now and you don’t get to see that very often.”

Notes

Over the years, I’ve tried to give the Crescent-News editorial staff the benefit of the doubt when it comes to things like not printing my comments, but I have reached a point where I am no longer willing to do so. If I am missing something here, then I’d love for Steve VanDemark, Dennis Van Scoder, Todd Helberg, Mark Froelich , or Bruce Hefflinger to point it out to me. From “lost” letters to the editor, a “lost” 35th wedding anniversary announcement, numerous resumes submitted for a photography position flushed down the toilet, and no response to emails, comments, and tweets, it’s hard not to conclude that the newspaper has no interest in engaging me at any level. Even when fundamentalists personally attack me in their letters to the editor, making inflammatory and untrue statements, the newspaper says nothing. Why is this?

Grace Community Church is a part of the Ohio Mennonite conference. While there has been some movement towards accepting same-sex marriage at the national level, I suspect most NW Ohio Mennonite pastors/churches consider homosexuality and same-sex marriage a sin.

New Hope Community Church is a garden variety Evangelical church. Here’s their doctrinal statement (proof texts removed):

The Infallibility of the Bible
We accept the miracles, creation, etc., as literal accounts.
To repudiate any portion of Scripture as unreliable is like changing an inch on a ruler.
If one inch is changed, the entire system of measurement is altered.

The Absolute Diety of Christ

The Virgin Birth of Christ

The Historical Creation of Man
Man did not accidentally evolve from lower forms of life.
God created man as a unique spiritual being.

The Sinful Nature of Man
Man is not basically good.
He is basically evil.

The Substitutionary Death of Christ
Others have died difficult, martyrs’ deaths.
Jesus is the only One who died for the sins of the world.

The Bodily Resurrection of Christ
Some say Christ arose in spirit or His teaching lives on.
But the Bibles teaches Jesus arose bodily from the grave.

A Literal Return of Christ to Earth as Promised

The Resurrection and Assignment of All People to Heaven or Hell
We are sometimes criticized for too rigid a stand.
But Jesus said, “Narrow is the way…”

NW Ohio: Secular, Non-Religious, Same-Sex Wedding Ceremonies

bruce gerencser 2015

Are you having a hard time finding someone to perform your wedding ceremony? Are you non-religious, secular, humanist, atheist, agnostic, or pagan and want to get married but can’t find anyone to perform the service? Are you religious but not affiliated with a church and are looking for someone to perform your wedding? I can help!

Are you a same-sex couple looking for someone to officiate your wedding? Now that the Supreme Court has legalized same-sex marriage in Ohio, same-sex couples can now be legally married. Now is the time to book a date for your special day.

My name is Bruce Gerencser and I am duly licensed by the state of Ohio to perform wedding ceremonies. If you are interested in having me perform your ceremony, please contact me at defiancecounty@gmail.com

Service area: Bryan, Montpelier, West Unity, Alvordton, Pioneer, Wauseon, Napoleon, Archbold, Paulding, Hicksville, Defiance, Ayersville, Antwerp, Sherwood, Farmer, Ney, Holgate, Deshler, McClure, Malinta, Evansport, Ridgeville Corners, Pettisville, Fayette, Liberty Center, Stryker, Edon, Edgerton, Blakeslee,  and all points in between.

Fundamentalist Al Mohler Admits Same-Sex Marriage No Threat to Churches

al mohler
Al Mohler

I have repeatedly asked Evangelicals to give me ONE instance where pastors or churches would be harmed if same-sex couples are allowed to marry. Just one…how hard can it be to come up with ONE instance where two people in love marrying would materially harm any Evangelical church or pastor? Evidently, quite hard and Al Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary  agrees with me. Speaking in Columbus at the national gathering of Southern Baptists, Mohler stated:

“Look, I really don’t fear – it’s really important that you and the other presidents and every Southern Baptist pastor, every Gospel pastor, preacher needs to say ‘I’m not going to perform a same-sex wedding.’ But let’s be honest: There’s not really a danger that the sheriff’s gonna show up and say, ‘You have to do this.’ So far as I know, no pastor has been sued successfully for refusing to marry someone on other grounds; that’s not the real danger.”

“The real danger is we’re going to pay an enormous social, cultural price for not doing a same-sex ceremony….We’re going to be considered to be morally deficient. Let’s admit it: We’re much more accustomed to being accused of being morally superior. They’ve said we’ve been ‘stand-offish,’ meaning better than them. Now a large part of this culture thinks we are morally deficient. And we’re going to find that’s a very different way to do ministry.”

I sense resignation in Mohler’s words, realizing that all the Evangelical bigotry and hate towards homosexuals and same-sex couples has come to naught. According to Mohler, instead of being viewed as the standard bearers of Christian morality, Evangelicals are increasingly viewed as “morally deficient.” Morally deficient? Nope, just ignorant bigots who, like slave owners of a century ago, refuse to act justly.  Now that Mohler has told the faithful that there is no homo boogeyman under the bed, can we all get on with love, peace, and happiness…and equal protection under the law?

Bruce Gerencser