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middletree's Comments

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Rick Perry Jabs Wendy Davis For Being A Teen Mom: Too Bad 'She Hasn't Learned From Her Own Example'

Rick Perry Jabs Wendy Davis For Being A Teen Mom: Too Bad 'She Hasn't Learned From Her Own Example'

Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 23:35:14 in Politics

“rreggaeredkc, the problem with that line of reasoning is that we pro-lifers don't believe it is about a womb, but about the life of a living person, not a potential one. So this debate will never be settled as long as the pro-choice side insists in keeping the focus on the woman's body. We agree with you that trying to control a woman's body is wrong. That's like me saying the sky is blue and you arguing by saying that grass is green.
What I meant with my original comment is that my interpretation of Perry's comment is this (my words): The pro-choice position often centers on the idea that a pregnancy has come along at a time or a situation where a baby would keep a young mother from fully realizing her potential. In this case,Wendy Davis was born to a teen mom who was urged to abort, but refused, and then Davis, when she found herself in the same position, did not abort, but bore the child and then managed to put herself through school, thus defeating one of the core reasons that many use for keeping abortion legal.”

rreggaeredkc on Jul 1, 2013 at 18:50:28

“First let me say I appreciate your civil and thoughtful response. I also agree that Wendy Davis did the right thing for herself. I think she should be proud of her accomplishments in life. She has spunk and spirit to spread around.
I think it is not the same for all women. There are many emotional issues to be resolved as we are all individuals.
While I am pro-choice in the case of incest or the mother's life or rape, the focus should be on the mother's circumstances as well. Middletree, I assure you any woman seeking an abortion in any of those 3 circumstances should be allowed to make a choice. I think Wendy Davis is a fine person who understands this issue because she once considered it but she understands the reasons why not all women would make her choice. It's about 2 lives, not just one life. Don't get me wrong, I understand your thought as well. Thanks for your reply.”
Rick Perry Jabs Wendy Davis For Being A Teen Mom: Too Bad 'She Hasn't Learned From Her Own Example'

Rick Perry Jabs Wendy Davis For Being A Teen Mom: Too Bad 'She Hasn't Learned From Her Own Example'

Commented Jun 28, 2013 at 17:02:49 in Politics

“I have been very vocal in my opposition to Perry since he was agriculture commissioner. He's a snake. That said, what he said this time was perfectly appropriate, and not insulting at all. Shame on those who are looking for the worst in everything that their political opponents have to say.”

rreggaeredkc on Jun 28, 2013 at 19:30:03

“This woman is not ashamed of anything. Perhaps I am misinterpreting yourcomment. Political opponent or not, trying to control a woman's womb is insulting as well as inappropriate.”

mpeeps on Jun 28, 2013 at 17:45:23

“Spoken like a true "man."”
huffingtonpost entry

Modesty Culture's Hidden Victims

Commented Aug 7, 2013 at 10:00:11 in Religion

“Nicely said, Emily. I don't doubt that some modesty teaching is needed, just as boys of a certain age need to be taught how to respect women. But it's possible to mean well and still do damage. We Christians, especially those who teach kids in any way, need to pray for wisdom, and think about how our sayings will be perceived by the kids we teach or coach.”

An Thrope on Aug 7, 2013 at 18:21:13

“That's going to be tough, considering how inherently misogynistic the Bible is.”
huffingtonpost entry

Is the Bible 'Clear' on Those Verses?

Commented Apr 6, 2013 at 16:53:05 in Religion

“I'm not sure I understand your question. Let me restate my point: When the Law was given to Moses, the Israelites just came out of Egypt, where they had been slaves for 400 years. Nobody among them knew how to make or enforce laws. God gave them 600+ laws to start with. It was for those people, in that circumstance,in that time.

To point this is out is about convenience, as you allege.

For that reason, to use those laws to state that homosexuality is sin is, in my opinion, in error. As Emily points out, plenty of people do exactly that.

But many Christians who believe the bible to be God's word believe that homosexual sex is sin, and don't rely on the Law to draw that conclusion. That's pointed out to Emily.

The rest of your post challenges those who believe the bible to be God's word at all, and frankly, I'm not interested in participating in that discussion. Been there, done that, and my experience is that those who engage in that argument tend to bring in their own presuppositions, and come out with unchanged minds. So would I, and so would you. So count me out.

Besides, Emily's article carries an understanding that the bible is true, but presents the idea that one can believe it to be true yet not see it as a rulebook. So the notion that you do not trust the bible as God's word is really another discussion entirely.”
huffingtonpost entry

Is the Bible 'Clear' on Those Verses?

Commented Apr 5, 2013 at 09:14:35 in Religion

“Emily, your arguments are based on a misunderstanding of what theological conservatives really think. They (We, actually) see that the verses about two different types of threads aren't some special exception. The bible explains itself, and in this case, it explains that those verses never were intended for anyone except one nation at one point in history. The new testament verses, in contrast, are for modern believers. For you to pair those together like that is either intentionally dishonest (which I doubt), or very misguided. Either way, they don't belong together, and your argument loses credibility when you pair snippets from the Mosaic Law with New Testament commands. It's like saying that conservative Christians insist on Americans follow Bulgarian Law.

Feel free to disagree with those who view the bible differently, but it's a bit off the mark when you insist on changing what we are really saying.”

Darr Sandberg on Apr 7, 2013 at 21:12:05

“"Emily, your arguments are based on a misunderstanding of what theological conservatives really think."

Nope.”

Maerwynn on Apr 6, 2013 at 09:56:17

“Interesting. Are you referring to Leviticus when you speak of the two different types of threads?

Are you then saying that none of the passages in Leviticus chapter 19 apply to us in the here and now but only to one nation in one point in history?

Well that's convenient, eh? No need to worry about Leviticus 19 34 telling us to love the strangers that dwelleth with us as ourselves. Or to refrain from stealing, dealing falsely with others or telling tales about each other. And certainly no need to leave the gleanings from the harvest or some vineyard grapes for the poor and stranger. Well that's good to know.

You say the bible explains itself. Where does it explain that the new testament is for modern believers? Which of the various translations is the official version for the modern believer? What about the books that once were part of the new testament but eventually missed the final cut? And those that looked like they might not make the cut but did make it in at some point?”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 16:26:29 in Religion

“mrovin, I'm sorry to hear that you feel that way about Christianity. I assure you that it's not only not an insult to the world, but is in fact the best news the world has ever heard. Christianity isn't about sex, but about how a Savior has come to fix what is right, and to provide hope to all of us.”

mrovin1 on Feb 21, 2013 at 18:25:13

“First, your savior has done a lousy job. He hasn't fixed anything, and much human progress has occurred despite religion, not because of it.

Tell you what. If you can explain how a religion in which the god sends non-believers to hell provides hope, I'll convert. If you can explain how it's moral to blame all people for the sins of Adam and Eve, I'll convert.

The 'best news' that you refer to has killed and tortured more people than almost anything else. 2000 blood-soaked years of tyranny, of scientific stagnation, of superstitious groveling is NOT a benefit to mankind. The fact that your go allows CHILDREN to die of starvation while calling his name, shows that HOPE is the last thing on his mind. It's sickening that Christians defend a god that allows such horror.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 21, 2013 at 16:24:50 in Religion

“I have explained this a few times already, but I will repeat myself: I am not making any claims to be an expert on what causes a person to have homosexual desires. I simply said that one should not compare this issue to race-related issues, because we know, with 100% certainty, that people are born whatever their race is, but we do not know, and in fact, don't have any strong evidence, that sexual desires are genetic.
In your comment, you mention "choice", but that is an entirely different topic. One can have a desire, of any kind, that is a result of something environmental, as opposed to genetic. It's important that we not confuse the two.
I am all for having a civil discussion, as I tend to learn a lot from those with perspectives different from my own. But a productive dialog will never be the result if one continues to mix and match unrelated issues.”

mrovin1 on Feb 21, 2013 at 18:27:03

“Even if you're correct about homosexuality, which you're not, it's still the act of a tyrant to condemn people for who they chose to love. God is evil for doing that, and people who worship that god are continuing that evil.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 18, 2013 at 10:11:40 in Religion

“I caused a lot of reactions last week with my comments, but I want to make a couple of things clear: (1) I know God loves gays, and will slam any christian who is hateful toward gays. I disagree with the author about what it looks like when we Christians are to also love and serve gays, but I don't take the stance that it's ever OK to to be mean or hateful toward this, or any group. I respect the author's love for the gay community, and I am convinced she is spreading a message of love to them that is badly needed.
(2) Many commenters here keep bringing up the law, and the legal ramifications of this situation. It is important, of course, but I will remind you that the author was specifically commenting on what the baker should have done, as a Christian. She wasn't focusing on whether the law was right or wrong in this case. She rightly points out that Christians have obligations to the community that are beyond the minimum requirements of the law. I agree with her on that.
Peace.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 14:12:08 in Religion

“My point was that, in all but a very few cases, those who express their opposition to homosexual sex or marriage are not fearful of homosexuals. It is easy to cast those who disagree with you as fearful when you don't have any legitimate points to make your case.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 14:07:22 in Religion

“If this were about the law, I'd remind you that being a Christian can sometimes mean doing something illegal. It's against the law to own a bible in China. It's against the law to convert to Christianity in Saudi Arabia. Most of Jesus' disciples did jail time because of their obedience to Him.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 14:05:41 in Religion

“Actually, this is not about the law. This particular piece, written by Emily, is about what a Christian should do, despite the law. She was very clear about this in the piece itself and in one of her comments.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 12:22:11 in Religion

“Emily, you just mixed up two things: whether one is born gay, and whether one has a choice. Those are not synonymous. In other words, it's possible for someone to have developed homosexual desires from other, non-genetic factors. Things which were environmental, which happened after birth.
I don't profess to be an expert on this, but the reason I brought it up is to explain why I don't think the comparison with racism is a valid one.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 08:44:17 in Religion

“This is an old argument, and frankly, I am tiring of it. At the very least, I find it unconvincing.
Yes, the Mosiac Law was given to a particular group of people at a particular time and place in history, and does not apply to you or me. But God's design for men and women and sexuality was clear long before the Law of Moses, and this topic is also covered in the New Testament. All of it, I am convinced, is the word of God. But as you point out, not all of it applies to modern believers.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 08:41:42 in Religion

“I didn't say that God said being gay is a sin. I said the bible says same-sex sex is sin. If you're gonna argue with me, at least deal with me on what I actually said.”

cwebster on Feb 15, 2013 at 11:29:46

“"I said people aren't born gay, but not that they do/don't have a choice.... God's word trumps our opinions and our preferences. If He said something's a sin, then it doesn't matter how a sinner got to that point..."

You didn't mention same-sex sex...and the OT does not apply to Gentiles (thank heavens). In the NT...Christ never said a single word, and Paul was talking about temple prostitutes (of course he didn't approve of anyone having sex).”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 15, 2013 at 08:39:02 in Religion

“Matt, it's comments like this that make me realize that people are coming in wanting to be heard, rather than coming in and actually reading and considering the thoughts of others. I specifically said that I do not share the view that racism is a valid thing to compare this to. You are free to disagree with me on that, and I respect that. But since i don't agree on the idea that race = sexuality, then why are you trying to convince me by using that line of thinking?”

esperando on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:34:00

“This isn't a question of your personal views, it's a matter of law. The fact is that Oregon law makes no distinction between refusing someone service because of their race and refusing someone service because of sexual orientation - they are both ILLEGAL. So when you said that businesses have a right to turn down customers on the basis of sexual orientation, you were wrong as a matter of legal fact, at least in this particular jurisdiction.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 22:35:16 in Religion

“Lots of comments while I was away from the PC. I'm not going to repeat myself, but will clarify in those areas I think I have been misquoted or misunderstood:
1. I said people aren't born gay, but not that they do/don't have a choice. Two different things. And, I might add, irrelevant in this discussion. God's word trumps our opinions and our preferences. If He said something's a sin, then it doesn't matter how a sinner got to that point; the issue here is: should a businessperson feel biblically obligated to endorse it?
2. I didn't compare anyone to Rosa Parks. I questioned why this couple insisted on forcing the one baker who didn't want to, to bake a cake, and suggested they think they might be in the same league as Parks.
3. the point about making a cake for a divorced person remarrying is a very thoughtful one. IMO, Emily should have brought this up, as it is a substantial one.”

Cynthia Brown Christ on Feb 15, 2013 at 16:37:22

“middletree: Where in the bible does it say that it is right to not do work for people who have sins that you don't like? Where in the bible did Jesus shun people who were sinners? And when Jesus did not shun sinners was he embracing their sins? Why not do what Jesus did?”

Phyllis Copeland on Feb 15, 2013 at 06:43:36

“God didn't say homosexuality is a sin, Moses did. 5,000 years ago. In the same book where he also said eating shellfish and pork are sins, but it's ok to sell your daughters as slaves, so long as you pick the right bunch of folks to sell them to (be sure to haggle and get a fair price, of course). He also forbade wearing clothes of mixed fibers (which makes poly-cotton blends sinful), stipulated that it's ok to rape a woman as long you either marry her or provide adequate compensation (i.e. livestock) to her father and forbade doing anything other than worship on the Sabbath, which is actually Saturday by the Gregorian calendar. If you afail to keep all of these laws, you are as bad as homosexuals by your own yardstick and ought to fast for Lent in repentance (oh, except Lent's not in the Bible .... ) Mr. Klein ought to deny to bake your cake, too, you vile sinner. God said nothing. A lot of men in a nomadic tribe in the Middle East 5,000 years ago wrote the things the Nicaean counsel saw fit to keep in the Bible - mind you, there are reams of documents missing - and many of those old laws have been deemed wrong and discarded as society developed more equality and justice. You're on the wrong side of history. I just hope you'll see that one day and have the courage and dignity to grow.”

cwebster on Feb 15, 2013 at 01:17:14

“Can you tell where, exactly, in the Bible, GOD says being gay is a sin? Because I've read it...and I can't find it. Bear in mind that you can be gay AND a virgin.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 17:25:54 in Religion

“You're comparing someone standing up for their beliefs with racism? Apple, meet orange.
They aren't the same, for many reasons. For one, one is born white, or black. One is not born gay. Also, your race is not a behavior. It's not a sin to be white, black, or, for that matter, to be gay. It is a sin to engage in same-sex physical relationships. And that's what Mr Klein is attempting to not be forced to embrace.”

mrovin1 on Feb 21, 2013 at 11:09:15

“How do you know gay people aren't born gay. Are you saying you aren't born straight? Do you like men, but you choose to be straight? Of course not.

If being gay is a choice, then why would someone choose it over heterosexuality? For the discrimination?

And people used the bible to justify the inferiority of other races. Now it's other sexual preferences.

Christianity is an evil cult, and an insult to the world.”

hp blogger Emily Timbol on Feb 15, 2013 at 10:01:37

“You really think one is not born gay? Now that saddens me. That someone as seemingly logical and intelligent as you, who has been exposed to countless evidence that one does not and cannot choose their sexuality, would hold this antiquated belief.”

non fiction on Feb 15, 2013 at 01:26:48

“If you can choose, you are bi, not gay (or straight, for that matter).”

Greg Wert on Feb 14, 2013 at 21:38:23

“You are wrong about not being born gay. Ask any gay person.”

NCMan on Feb 14, 2013 at 19:27:58

“In Oregon, it doesn't matter whether you believe people are born gay or not. It is illegal in Oregon to discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation in the same way it is illegal to discriminate on the basis of race. Additionally, individual's beliefs in what are or are not religious sins is irrelevant in civil law.”

OldDaveNJ on Feb 14, 2013 at 18:06:51

“Sexual orientation is no more a choice than race. Wanting to marry somebody of a different race is no LESS a choice than wanting to marry somebody of the same gender ... except that in the case of homosexuals, they are able to enter into healthy, successful marriages ONLY with people of the same gender. If laws against interracial marriage were unconstitutional discrimination, then laws against same-gender marriage are even more so.”

secondsoprano on Feb 14, 2013 at 18:03:50

“I was BORN left-handed. Because that is how my brain is wired I CHOOSE to pick up my pen in my left hand and "engage in left-handed behaviour". This choice is perfectly natural (and certainly not sinful) FOR ME, even though writing right-handed is probably natural for you. I could choose to write right-handed, but that would be silly, and unproductive, and would make me miserable. If you told me I could not write with my left hand because your bible required me to deny my innate left-handedness, that would be preposterous. If a pen shop refused to sell me a pen because they considered my left-handedness to be sinful and unnatural, that would be irrational and discriminatory.

I was also BORN gay. Because that is how my brain is wired, I CHOSE to form a lifelong intimate relationship with another woman, and we CHOOSE to "engage in same-sex phyical relationship."

Do you see where I'm going with this?”

Norman Gurtler on Feb 14, 2013 at 17:57:14

“Yes they are the same. Only your bigoted view makes them different in your eyes.

People are indeed born gay.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 17:15:33 in Religion

“I didn't overlook the argument; I think it's groundless. The "fear" accusation is used all the time, but nearly always it's without any actual evidence.
You have no way of knowing if he's focusing on one sin. I'm fairly sure that people who engage in other sins -- hetero couples shacking up, saying naughty words, (pick a sin) don't try to drag him into endorsing their activity.
I know what the definition of homophobia has become. Dictionaries don't dictate what words should mean; they reflect how words are being used. Every other "phobia" word means "irrational fear of", period. It's my contention that the media has dictated that "homophobia" gets to be the exception to the rule, and is used to mean anyone who believes same-sex sexual relationships to be sin.
I don't know why I'm arguing about this, though. The battle over this is over. The culture has shifted such that those of us who hold to the view that we should not embrace same-sex sex are the oddballs. We are encouraged to keep our mouths shut. A gay person coming out of the closet is no longer brave. It's far more difficult to come out of the closet and say you hold to the old-school view of this sin.
Anyway, I agree with you that gays have been on the losing end of some terrible treatment from professing Christians. I don't agree that Mr Klein's choice to not endorse this relationship falls into that category.”

Angel1999 on Feb 15, 2013 at 15:35:05

“He's not endorsing a relationship. He's making a cake. The only people endorsing the relationship are the state, the person officiating at the wedding and the people getting married.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 17:02:09 in Religion

“I get that. I just take issue with the reasoning you gave.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:54:34 in Religion

“This is part 2 of my response:
2. Jesus served sinners
Yes, He did. But I see no record of Jesus affirming the sin of any of the people He served. In fact, he often called them out about their sin. Additionally,in a few cases, people who were in His presence instantly became repentant and wanted to make things right about their past sins and sin no more (see the tax collector who promised to pay back 4 times what he owed to those he had cheated.)
Mr Klein seems to believe that serving a cake to this couple would be an affirmation of their relationship. If he's right, then you'd be asking him to do something Jesus never did.

3. "You're under no biblical obligation to only accept money from people who think and believe exactly as you do."
People are free to turn down business all the time. Lawyers tell people they won't take their case. When that happens, the potential customer simply finds another lawyer. It seems to me that this couple could have saved everyone a lot of grief if they'd have simply found a cake-maker who didn't oppose their wedding. Why'd they press this issue so hard? Why'd they insist on the one baker that didn't want their business? Do they fancy themselves some sort of modern Rosa Parks? I wonder if, rather than calling out Klein, you shouldn't have questioned the actions and motives of the couple who wanted the cake.”

Razpooten on Feb 15, 2013 at 01:45:09

“"But" cancels out your first assertion - try again.”

Matt Sunderland on Feb 15, 2013 at 00:44:00

“Imagine if a baker says "I refuse to bake you a cake because you're black." Would you then say, "what's the big deal; it's just one baker; these black people can just find another baker; what is their agenda"?

People are not "free to turn down business all the time"--for example, you cannot refuse to serve someone because of their race. The baker *is* free to close his business at any time, but he is not free to stay open and choose who he serves and who he does not serve.

From Munn v Illinois (1876): "When, therefore, one devotes his property to a use in which the public has an interest, he, in effect, grants to the public an interest in that use, and must submit to be controlled by the public for the common good, to the extent of the interest he has thus created. He may withdraw his grant by discontinuing the use; but, so long as he maintains the use, he must submit to the control."”

Benjamin Keith Phelps on Feb 14, 2013 at 18:33:00

“@middletree - Yes, you ARE free to turn down money OR people's business all the time. And it happens everyday, in every place. HOWEVER - you are NOT(!) allowed to do so because of things protected under the law by being defined as discriminatory practices. I.E. - employers don't hire Asian people all the time (or African Americans, or Muslims, or women, or whatever on down the list....). BUT, when they do it BECAUSE the person is one of those things, it becomes a crime, punishable by law. Now, that said, they can discriminate if they blame it on some other reason & the person has no way to prove discrimination - but if they are "out there" enough to actually tell the person they're not hiring him or her b/c s/he's an Asian or whatever, THEN there's a HUGE problem! And a judge will greet that employer in court if legal action is taken.”

OldDaveNJ on Feb 14, 2013 at 17:37:43

“The notion that a store owner selling his goods/services to a customer represents an affirmation by the owner of the customer is nonsense. As for being "free to turn down business" ... private businesses that serve the general public have not had an unfettered right to do that for nearly 50 years. Private businesses that make and sell goods to the general public have been precluded from refusing service to certain protected minorities that whole time, and such laws generally have as a matter of necessity NOT had religious exemptions that whole time. In Oregon, homosexuals are a protected class. The comparison with Rosa Parks is off, only because the couple is already protected by the law.”

Corkryn Williams on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:54:15

“Wait. Why does Rosa Parks get a free pass? Shouldn't we also question her motives in refusing to give up her seat. Clearly she was only interested in pushing the Black Agenda. I mean no individual could possibly be outraged at being treated like a 2nd class citizen unless they had some ulterior motive right?”

hp blogger Emily Timbol on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:31:35

“He's certainly free to turn down any business he doesn't want. My argument was simply he had no Biblical reason to.”

SensibleJoe on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:28:35

“Does Mr. Klein refuse to bake wedding cakes for divorcees who are remarrying -- something Jesus said was a big no-no that put at least one of the divorced spouses in the position of adultery? If not, Mr. Klein is affirming them in their sin. Or is he simply selective about which sins he wants to discriminate against?”

Norman Gurtler on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:27:57

“A fine defense of hate and discrimination if one has no moral compass.”
There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

There's No Biblical Reason to Deny Gay Couple Wedding Cake

Commented Feb 14, 2013 at 15:52:56 in Religion

“Emily, this post saddens me. I enjoy your writing often, but this piece has a lot of problems.

You have every right to call out Mr Klein for his refusal to do something you believe he should, as a Christian, do. But I want to be on record as calling you out for the reasons you give. Let's list them:

1. He's homophobic.
This is not the first time I have read where you make the illogical connection between people exercising their religious beliefs and fear. To accuse people you disagree with of being anything-phobic is such a cop-out. You're better than this. Falling back on the "fear" accusation, without seeing any evidence that Mr Klein is actually fearful of something, is another way of saying you don't have a solid argument against his choices.
(On a side note, I have known people with actual phobias. They need professional help. Even with help, the thought of getting on a plane or elevator, or being close to a dog, spider, or whatever causes their paralyzing fear, is debilitating, and shouldn't be minimized by using the word "homophobic" for people who have religious-based beliefs about homosexuality.)
(cont'd)”

esperando on Feb 15, 2013 at 12:36:13

“These semantic arguments are too cute by half. Xenophobia does not always refer to an actual fear, but it is demonstrably irrational - otherwise rational people have been shown to be unable to calmly and rationally consider the facts about foreigners or their rights, and justify abominable treatment on those grounds. Homophobia is no different.”

middletree on Feb 14, 2013 at 22:35:16

“Lots of comments while I was away from the PC. I'm not going to repeat myself, but will clarify in those areas I think I have been misquoted or misunderstood:
1. I said people aren't born gay, but not that they do/don't have a choice. Two different things. And, I might add, irrelevant in this discussion. God's word trumps our opinions and our preferences. If He said something's a sin, then it doesn't matter how a sinner got to that point; the issue here is: should a businessperson feel biblically obligated to endorse it?
2. I didn't compare anyone to Rosa Parks. I questioned why this couple insisted on forcing the one baker who didn't want to, to bake a cake, and suggested they think they might be in the same league as Parks.
3. the point about making a cake for a divorced person remarrying is a very thoughtful one. IMO, Emily should have brought this up, as it is a substantial one.”

Benjamin Keith Phelps on Feb 14, 2013 at 18:57:28

“Ummm, @middletree, I don't know anybody out there that goes into paralyzing fear when they encounter a homosexual walking outside. Homophobia is a different KIND of fear than the 1 those conditions describe. It's the type of illogical fear that makes people believe that if gay people have equal rights, we'll recruit children, ruin everyone's marriage, & keep going until everything is pink, puffy, & fierce. But let's get real. Nobody's recruited to be gay. You either are or aren't. A straight person thinks gay sex is disgusting, & would NEVER just decide to engage in it (outside prison, perhaps, but usually wouldn't consider himself gay even then). And our getting married doesn't ruin anybody's marriage or anything else... It just gives us equal rights to enjoy marriage & its benefits that heterosexuals already enjoy (think hospital visits, insurance, pensions...). Lastly, we aren't out to rule or take over the world - we just want to be treated as you want to be treated - w/dignity & respect. We've been here since air & rocks. Why would equal rights change anything now? Being fearful of irrational things serves no one well. It used to be claimed by uppity white folks that black slave men were all rapists, so they should protect their daughters. We all know that the melanin in a man's skin doesn't innately make him a rapist. MUCH fear is used to scare people into voting against LGBT rights. Read any conservative website (conservapedia.com is a perfect example).”

BeninOakland on Feb 14, 2013 at 18:20:57

“Let's agree-- homophobia is a terrible word. It'ss more accurately defined as fear that oneself is homoseuxal.

How about homohatred, homobigotry, prejudice against homosexuals, or-- my favorite-- discrimination on the basis of religious belief?

The question to ask is what other things causes Klein not to make wedding cakes. Does he make them for divorced people? Jesus was clear about that-- divorce except for adultery is a sin. Would he make them for atheists, Jews or buddhists? Because according to the bible, not believing in jesus is also a sin.

Somehow, i suspect the only people that Klein won't makes cakes for are gay people.

We have laws at every level of government which forbid discrimination on the basis of religious belief. Why is this different? Oregon also forbids discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. sounds like Klein is SOOL.

If you disagree that laws banning discrimination are a good idea, then work to toss out those laws. But finding exceptions to those laws proves the necessity for them.

BTW, homoseuxality is not a choice. even the mormons and catholics, along with every major scientific, social, and medical organization in the west, agree. Our only choice as gay people is to live in denial, or to live authentically as we are made. When you can tell me when you chose to be heterosexual, when you can provide evidence that every major organization in the west is wrong, then you are entitled to make that claim.”

OldDaveNJ on Feb 14, 2013 at 17:32:36

“You need to look up the word "homophobia" ... it's meaning is not confined to "fear" but also covers the beliefs of those who discriminate against homosexuals. I'm pretty sure that is the sense that it is used in the article ... and probably generally. Check w/ Merriam-Webster.”

hp blogger Emily Timbol on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:30:51

“Definition of HOMOPHOBIA

: irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals

I stand by what I said James, and I believe you overlooked my argument for why I called him homophobic. It's discrimination because he doesn't treat every customer the same way, questioning them about their lifestyle, and focusing in on one "sin" instead of the sins of all other customers. You can disagree all you want, but I do not believe my argument was a cop-out or illogical.”

Norman Gurtler on Feb 14, 2013 at 16:29:29

“It is homophobic to deny services to LGBT people just because of their sexual orientation.

Just like it is racist to deny services to black people just because they are black.”
huffingtonpost entry

It's Right to Outlaw Gay-to-Straight Therapy

Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 14:48:21 in Religion

“Not being part of the gay community, I can't say I know enough about this therapy. I do know that at least 3 major religions would have their religious freedoms threatened if such a law were passed for consenting adults. Are you saying that it's OK to bypass parts of the First Amendment if there isn't peer-reviewed science to back it up?”

Gwendolen Powell on Oct 10, 2012 at 10:19:52

“I'm not sure that practicing a so-called therapy is a matter of religious freedom. Calling it a therapy and aligning it with the scientific community means that claims made about success rates are fraudulent if not substantiated. There are plenty of regulations on the practice of psychology and psychiatry, including what kinds of drugs and therapies are considered acceptable (for example, people don't really use flooding techniques for phobias anymore because they are cruel and cause trauma). I don't think putting a Christian veneer on this "therapy" makes it a matter of religious freedom. Not to mention, participants in this type of therapy are often either minors or somehow coerced because of exactly the situation Emily described. That would go before an ethics board of any reputable institution.”

Pffffft on Oct 9, 2012 at 13:19:19

“Please note: This therapy is being banned for children which I completely agree with. It's not being banned for any adults wanting to entertain such lunacy!!!

On another note, passing this law does not threaten your right to religious ridiculousness! It simply protects rational people from your religious ridiculousness! I'm sorry to tell you, but your religious CHOICE could NEVER supersede an individuals Human rights! The fact that you think such a ruling is bad, says everything a person needs to know about you. Religious belief is for the weak minded, those who fail to, and refuse to, deal with the realities of life and take responsibility for them!”

Mrmiklos on Oct 8, 2012 at 22:02:49

“NO, what *I* am saying is the three religions are irrelevant to the conversation. The therapy is FALSE, it does not work...those are FACTS, not my opinion, but peer reviewed FACTS. Therapists that offer this are offering it KNOWING that it does not work. IF they do not know it does not work then they are LYING or are so incompetent as to not be QUALIFIED to be therapists.
They are snake oil salesmen guilty of FRAUD...and we prosecute FRAUD, and religion has no relevance to that.”

origamib on Oct 8, 2012 at 21:18:50

“Any religion that makes a parent feel that it is acceptable (or necessary) to throw their kid out of the house and disown them because of who they LOVE is not worth the powder it would take to blow all it's ridiculous "scripture" to hell ( a fictitious place, but you get my drift).
This "therapy" is simultaneously ridiculous and harmful.
If your religion said that you are supposed to drill holes in your kids' feet to make them more pious and "Christlike", are you suggesting that preventing that harmful act would be an infringement upon your religious freedoms? So be it. I'll fight to the death to prevent children being abused by religious zealots.”

Quislet on Oct 8, 2012 at 21:13:55

“"their religious freedom threatened" Give me a break. They can still believe that being gay is a sin all they want.”

Daniel Vidal on Oct 8, 2012 at 16:49:31

“When you call it therapy, it becomes bound to scientific ethics and principles, not religious ones. Take a look at all the MEDICAL (not LGBT) associations who supported this law. Medical science isn't covered by 1st amendment rights, you don't have freedom of speech on what's medically responsible or not, you don't have to "believe" in it for it to be truth.
Science has already ascertained sexual orientation to be an immutable personal characteristic. Much like it has ascertained that the first human was a female, not a male.”

esperando on Oct 8, 2012 at 15:40:18

“The California law applies to licensed medical practitioners, and only bans the practice for minors.  No one has a first amendment right to practice medicine, and this "therapy" has been denounced by every legitimate medical and counselling authority.”
huffingtonpost entry

It's Right to Outlaw Gay-to-Straight Therapy

Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 14:46:01 in Religion

“Emily, I can see your point when it's kids. But your headline simply makes the reader think you believe it's OK to outlaw this therapy itself. Huge difference. Thanks for clarifying.”

Mrmiklos on Oct 8, 2012 at 22:04:05

“IT is ok to outlaw fraud...it is ok to outlaw torture..that's all this is...and the therapists that do it are criminals...and should be made to SUFFER for their crimes, financially, legally, and personally.”
huffingtonpost entry

It's Right to Outlaw Gay-to-Straight Therapy

Commented Oct 8, 2012 at 12:04:54 in Religion

“Sorry, Emily cannot agree. You can come up with stories of those who went through this therapy, but others can come up with those who did achieve the desired results.
But not being exposed to such therapy, I have no place to argue with you on those grounds. I dispute your assertion for a much more basic reason: such therapy is based, at least in part, on the beliefs of many people, including Christians, Muslims, and Jews, that homosexuality is sin and consequently it's in conflict with their religious beliefs. If we allow legislatures to outlaw the exercising of one's religious beliefs, we are heading down a very scary road.
One more thing to consider: any therapy should be the choice of the person who wants to go through with it, assuming they are adults. When we hear pro-choicers talk about how the govt shouldn't tell someone what they can do with their body, I see no reason that the same reasoning can't apply here. You are against abortion: don't get one. You are against this therapy? Don't try it.”

EscherEnigma on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:37:43

“People are entitled to their own beliefs. They are not entitled to a license to practice "therapy" that has no scientific basis or medical benefit.

That is to say... even with this law (or a more strict one that applied to adults as well as minors) there would be nothing stopping a family from dragging their gay kid to a "therapist" who will try to get them to change their orientation. That "therapist", however, won't have a license that says "the state of California thinks this guy is an all-right Joe, and his therapy is totally cool and consistent with our code of ethics for therapists".

If that license from the state of California is important to people's religious beliefs then I think they're doing their religion wrong.”

felliott on Oct 9, 2012 at 12:10:55

“Minors can't give legal consent. The ban protects minors from being forced into conversion therapy by their parents or legal guardians. If we allow religion to justify child abuse we are headed down a very scary path, but we are already on that path.”

F Young on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:17:14

“"...but others can come up with those who did achieve the desired results."

Actually, no, they can't. Haven't you noticed?

There are countless examples of people who say they couldn't change. However, the only people who say they changed are the counsellors whose business model requires them to make that claim, and people who must claim to have changed so as not to be disowned.

Plus a couple of people who are deceiving themselves into thinking that asexuality or abstinence are the same as heterosexuality.

By the way, fantasizing that you're with a man when you're having sex with a woman doesn't count as a change in sexual orientation.”

Mrmiklos on Oct 8, 2012 at 22:00:15

“Fine, your idea MIGHT work for adults...we can argue it, but when it comes to MINORS the answer is NO...parents do NOT have the right to subject their children to this therapy, I don't give a CRAP about their religious beliefs. RELIGIOUS freedom does not cover abuse, and it never will.
You, as an adult want to do this, I still say, no, the reason is, this therapy DOES. NOT. WORK. There is not a SINGLE peer reviewed study that shows it works. There are, however plenty that show it is harmful, so therapists that offer this to adults, desperate adults usually are offering snake oil and are guilty of FRAUD.
So no, this therapy should never be allowed, and the "religious freedom" argument holds no water in TRUE abuse and fraud.”

JRShire on Oct 8, 2012 at 16:04:05

“Licensed medical practitioners cannot perform treatments deemed unethical and illegal if they want to keep their licenses, and that is what the law speaks to. When it comes to medical procedures, we are as a society willing to defer to professionals to the ethics and legality of procedures, and this is no different. A person can REFUSE treatment, that is their right. But a licensed doctor must operate within the bounds of the law and hippocratic oath to do no harm. Conversion therapy does harm to people, and thus is unethical and the law responds to its unethical nature. If people want to go to their pastors or to an unlicensed practitioner, that is their choice.”

Jeffrey Marks on Oct 8, 2012 at 14:58:46

“The fact of the matter is that most people coming out of this therapy have not "changed" their orientation, they've merely managed to "manage" their orientation. Typically this means that they avoid all one-on-one contact with the same sex and live a celibate life. This is a far cry from actually changing orientation. Even those who marry often express that they still have same sex desires, but they choose not to act on them. This is not truly changing anything; it's merely repression of orientation.”

hp blogger Emily Timbol on Oct 8, 2012 at 13:03:28

“James, the therapy that was outlawed was for gay minors, under 18, who would NOT have a choice. If an adult wants to go to this type of therapy, that's totally different. I don't believe it works, but if they're not pressured into it (like Craig was, even though he was an adult) that's their choice.”

esperando on Oct 8, 2012 at 13:02:57

“A single peer-reviewed study with repeated results could verify your claim that some people "achieve the desired results." It would also allow these organizations to compare the efficacy of different approaches, and quantify their success rates, which would help improve the therapy. Why, then, in all the decades since this farce of reparative therapy began, haven't any of these organizations that promote this therapy done one? It seems to me that they are either terrified of legitimate scientific scrutiny (in which case they know this therapy is bunk), or they don't really care much about patient outcomes, because this therapy is not offered in the interests of its "patients" at all. I think it's likely a bit of both.”
huffingtonpost entry

Christians, Stop Fearing Obama

Commented Sep 21, 2012 at 09:28:02 in Religion

“Emily, I'm one of your conservative FB friends, and I have never posted those things. (I hope you don't have me blocked). I just want to say this is well said. The things I see my right-leaning friends write about Obama is not only appalling, it's disobedient to God and His word. (1 Timothy 2:1-2)

If Obama is re-elected, life will go on, Jesus will still be on the throne, and we Christians will still be called to share the love of Jesus, as well as the Good News, to those who God brings into our lives.”

hp blogger Emily Timbol on Sep 21, 2012 at 09:49:36

“You're not one of them James, promise!”
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