We are often told that god is love, and that the ultimate sign of godliness is showing love, even in the face of adversity.
Back in my Christian days, I truly believed that, mainly because there was one person I knew who lived this in his day to day life. Some of the most powerful memories I have of my great-grandfather are of times when I felt sad, or angry or be in trouble of one kind or another, and he’d ask me what was wrong. When I told him, he always listened, and then he would take out his bible.
Back then, I thought this was awesome. Grandpa knew his bible, backwards and forwards. I used to ask him “Grandpa, what does (insert random bible verse here) say?” and he’d recite it to me, letter perfect. Even so, he always, ALWAYS took out the actual bible and showed me the verse he was referring to when he gave advice. He never expected me to just take his word for what the bible said. I thought that was awesome too.
When grandpa gave advice, it was always based on biblical principle, and for a good while, that was enough for me. The bible was always right. That lasted right up to the time when I heard a pastor in another church interpret a passage in the bible in a way that was completely contrary to what my grandfather was always saying. That was when I decided that grandpa was a holy man, because he knew better than the pastor.
The trust of a child is the most absolute trust there is.
It was the love that grandpa showed everyone that stuck by me. His love for his fellow man, regardless of race, sex or religious conviction. He never judged anyone in his life. When my aunt’s husband cheated on her, she asked grandpa for advice. As usual, he took out his bible, and read to her the various passages in the bible pertaining to divorce. He told her that under Mosaic law, divorce was allowed under certain circumstances, but that Jesus would really rather we didn’t. My aunt ended up deciding that divorce was the best option for her, and grandpa supported her fully in that. He considered himself more of a messenger than a judge. Having delivered the message, he left the decision up to those who had to make it. He never told my aunt that she’d disappointed Jesus, or that she’d go to hell, or tried to distance himself from her in any way. He accepted her decision because he recognised that it was her decision to make, and he’d done all he could by telling her what the bible said.
I respected the hell out of granddad for that, even when I started drifting away from Christianity. I think he became my yardstick, my fixed reference point of how I expected Christians to behave. He was my example of what some refer to as True Christians (TM). Granddad was a True Christian (TM) in the truest sense of the word.
These days, I’m neo-pagan, but the memory of what it means to be a True Christian (TM) is still very much with me. The principles that grandpa lived and died by, and steadfast adherence to biblical example he displayed is something I will never forget.
Enter the MyNews24 variety of Christian. Let me quote you something that one of them (PhillipHoffman) said to me in comments on Atheitis’ article “’You just hate god’ Really?”
PhillipHoffman (in reply to Athe): “I still do not understand why atheists spend so much time and energy attacking others beliefs in an "entity" that does not exist. What difference does that make to you atheists?”
My reply to PhillipHoffman: “What difference does it make to you (or to these people who oppose same-sex marriage) who gays marry or what they do in their bedrooms? What difference does that make to you? Why do you (or such people if you're not among them) spend so much time opposing it that's already a done deal? Mmm?”
I was of course trying to illustrate to Phillip what the point was by citing a real-world example of what difference it made to atheists (and others who are affected by the actions these Christians took). He asked (and I paraphrase) “Why does what we believe matter to you? It doesn’t affect you.” I countered by showing him that his religion is indeed interfering in the lives of others even though those same people and what they do have absolutely no effect on him. PhillipHoffman of course completely missed the point. Here’s his reply:
PhillipHoffman: “Keita. I see that you are trying to subvert the conversation to your pet topic. Homosexual relationships CANNOT naturally produce off spring. Just imagine what would happen if everybody was homosexual. The human race would die out in 80 years.
I find it disgusting that people have perverted something good. This goes the same for the ridiculous new heights of "crush porn" as well. This is something that I only found out about last week. Just shows how sick and depraved mankind is becoming.”
Whether or not homosexual relationship produces offspring is of course completely off topic and totally irrelevant. We were talking about how Christians needlessly interfere in the lives of other people, and now we’re talking about homosexuality being wrong because it doesn’t produce offspring. This is the logic and love of MyNews24 Christians (some of you, yes I know not all of you, okay? If you don’t do this, then obviously I’m not talking to you.)
There is one little part of Phillip’s comment I want to highlight, though.
“I find it disgusting that people have perverted something good.”
YOU find it disgusting that OTHER PEOPLE have sex in ways YOU find disgusting, and therefore THEY are not allowed to do it because YOU find it disgusting. This of course proves the point I was making right from the beginning: you (some of you; for those of you who don’t, thank you) claim that your religion doesn’t affect anyone else at all, but in your very next post, you prove that it does. And yet that connection is somehow not being made in your head.
When in your life are you ever going to see a homosexual couple having sex? Are you going to go to their home and hide in their closet while they go down on each other? You’re never going to see them do it unless you’re a perving peeping tom, or if you go online to watch gay porn. If gay sex disturbs you so much, then for Thor’s sake, don’t watch it! Same with anal sex. If you find it so disgusting, then just don’t do it, or don’t watch others do it. There. Your problem is solved. The only other way you could possibly be affected by it is if you were constantly thinking about it...but of course if you’re doing that, then maybe the problem lies with you and not them...in which case it becomes a case of “don’t make your problems theirs.” Because one way or the other, it’s YOUR problem, not theirs. You find it disgusting, that’s just too freaking bad. Grow up.
I’m going to use another illustration now that I found online somewhere. I can’t remember where I saw it or who said it, but I remember it quite clearly. For those Christians (some of you) who are reading this and have trouble following, no, I’m not changing the subject or, what did Phillip say, subverting the conversation. We’re not suddenly talking about food (the other evil topic I like to talk about: just ask Merry Martin and Daisy Nougeira). I’m merely using food as an example.
You’re sitting in a restaurant. I’ll let you imagine which restaurant. The couple next to you orders cake for dessert. But you don’t like cake, and so you wave your hands around to get the waiter’s attention and tell him “No! They’re not having cake. I don’t like cake, so they can’t have it. Why are you even serving cake here? Cake is disgusting!” Tell me, since when is it okay for you to decide, based on your own preferences, what anyone else is allowed to have?
Of course, that was not the end of PhillipHoffman’s mouthings. In response to Sarcastic Heathen’s reply, which (once again, paraphrasing) went something like this: “So sex exists for the sole purpose of reproduction, and therefore heterosexual couples who do not reproduce for whatever reason are also disgusting. Further, what do you think the odds are of everyone in the world becoming homosexual?” Phillip left the following gem:
PhillipHoffman: “Sarcastic. Yes there are many hetro couples that are unable to have children. No this does not make their marriage disgusting. Let me put it this way. Homosexual sex is perverted. The same as anal sex in my mind. Homosexual sex will NEVER naturally produce offspring.
Yes not all hetrosexual relationships produce offspring. Those hetrosexual couples that do not have off spring are NOT the same as homosexual couples.
The fact remains that the sexual act has been perverted and the perversions appear to be getting worse. That is disgusting.”
Notice that he fails to answer S.H.’s second question. The reason for that should be fairly obvious: because it simply cannot happen. I know it’s practically an article of the faith for certain kinds of Christians to claim that there’s a gay agenda to 1) destroy Christianity and 2) turn everyone gay. This is of course patently ridiculous, because homosexuality isn’t a choice, and even if it was, how will you get everyone in the whole world to make that decision at the same time, and then not unmake it for long enough to kill the entire species. Then we haven’t even spoken of the motive, about WHY gays would want to kill off the entire human race. Seriously, it boggles the mind. This makes believing in the Illuminati look normal.
Notice that Phillip keeps rabbitting on about how disgusting it is and that even though producing offspring is the purpose of sex, the one thing that makes it not disgusting, some hetero couples not having offspring isn’t disgusting, even though they’re not having offspring. It somehow only applies to homosexual couples.
Do I need to point out the logical flaw in that reasoning? Of course, we all know the REAL reason Phillip and his ilk are against homosexuality. It’s because GOD said so. It always comes back to almighty god and his book the holy bible. It’s GOD who doesn’t want that couple in the restaurant to have cake. GOD is the one saying cake is disgusting.
And this is the point where I refer you back to my great-grandfather. He believed in the bible, and followed what it said to the letter. He was the ultimate example of “WWJD – What Would Jesus Do”.
I asked my grandfather, once I grew old enough to start noticing that sometimes the bible contradicted itself, how he reconciled these problems. How did he decide whether to turn the other cheek or stab out someone’s eye. He gave me a wonderful answer: “If god says that I can stab out someone’s eye, or turn the other cheek, then I will go with what Jesus said. Moses said an eye for an eye, but Jesus said turn the other cheek. So I will turn the other cheek. You see my boy, god is love. When in doubt, always walk in love. Hate is a choice. When the bible tells you to love, but you use it to justify hate instead, then you have chosen to hate. You chose to hate instead of love. If you do that, you reject god, because god is love. Remember that.”
That was such a wonderful answer to me. He told me that god never said anything about “love the sinner, hate the sin”. What god did say was “love the sinner and hate your own sin. Let he who is without sin throw the first stone.”
I wish I had the chance to come out to my great-grandfather. Sadly, he died shortly before my eighteenth birthday. I know what he would have said. He’d have taken out his bible, and showed me that passage in Leviticus. And then he would have hugged me and told me he loved me, because I am his great-grandson, and no matter what else happened, he’d always be there for me. He’d have given me the message, and then left it with me. He would not have picked up that first stone and thrown it. He would have let me have my cake while he had his biblical koeksisters.
Grandpa was the greatest Christian I have even known, and one I respected and loved, even though near the end of his life, we disagreed about religion.
Who among you Christians will stand up and say my grandfather was wrong?