Real Christian Persecution: Are We Near the Tipping Point?

By Tom Gilson Published on May 20, 2017

During last Sunday’s sermon, the pastor at my church said, “Some people would rather not know what’s going on, because it might lead to a responsibility.” That describes every church in America that’s still doing church as usual. American Christianity is heading toward a tipping point, where real violence against Christians could very likely erupt. Yet the church remains sleepy, almost unaware.

The early signs are all in place. Just this week at The Stream we’ve reported on:

  • A teacher in Maine being threatened with firing for privately telling a co-worker, who attended her church, that she would pray for him
  • A Washington Post reporter tweeting that Marco Rubio has “lost it” for tweeting a Bible verse about peace, and a reporter at Esquire adding that Rubio’s biblical tweets are “oddly terrifying”
  • The cancellation of a successful TV show, likely because of its conservative message. (Conservatism enters into this even if it isn’t Christian, as I’ll explain shortly.)
  • Anger over opinions expressed by the current Miss USA
  • A California professor scrubbing out pro-life messages on campus
  • A New Jersey school trying to fire a teacher for handing a student a Bible
  • An entire list of hostilities against Christians on campus

If I were to look back more than seven days, this list could include Christians losing their homes and businesses for the sake of conscience, and churches and Christian organizations being targeted with guns and with arson. Some of that has been racially motivated, but not all of it.

Could we reach a tipping point that boils over into widespread, active anti-Christian violence? Yes. Most of the pieces are in place.

John Zmirak closed his article on Rubio’s tweets with, “Our families are in danger.” He’s right. I’ve sat down with both my adult children and talked with them about the dangers they face as Christians. They’re young, but they’re very aware. They knew I wasn’t making it up.

Yes, It Could Escalate

Persecution is already real to an extent no one could have dreamed just a decade ago. There’s no doubt it could grow. It already would have, had Hillary Clinton been elected. She herself said, in a speech on abortion, “Laws have to be backed up with resources and political will. And deep-seated cultural codes, religious beliefs and structural biases have to be changed.”

George Yancey has shown at length the anti-Christian hostility that exists, especially among America’s elite.

Impending Signs of a Tipping Point

Could it reach a tipping point, where it boils over into widespread, active anti-Christian violence? Yes. Most of the pieces are in place.

First, our nation’s politics are less stable right now than ever in anyone’s living memory. There’s a lot of anger associated with it.

There was violence in the streets when Trump was elected, and again when he was sworn in. Current events are likely to fan those flames anew. Anti-conservative feelings are also running high on college campuses — even spilling over into violence.

The mood isn’t getting any better as time goes on. Many are wondering whether Donald Trump was seeking to obstruct justice when he fired James Comey. Whether that’s the case or not, enough people believe it — and are angry over it — to increase anti-Trump feelings higher than ever. His release of secret information to Russia hasn’t helped. Impeachment is being openly discussed.

A Recipe for a Tipping Point

Add it all up, and we have anti-Christian feelings widely enmeshed with anti-conservative feelings — which have already been known to turn violent. We have an unstable political situation in a conservative government. That’s a recipe for a tipping point.

What I do know is that too many American Christians are still doing church as usual, as if none of this were going on.

Anger against Washington is close to a tipping point of its own. We could reach that point with just one or two more surprises from Trump, fanned into flame with the help of leftist media. With conservatism being so closely connected with Christianity, that could overflow into widespread anger against Christians. “Protests” against right-of-center leaders and speakers have already grown to become full-scale riots. In the country’s current mood, some of those involved in such “protests” could easily begin aiming them at churches.

I don’t know for sure that this will happen. I don’t know when it will happen. I don’t think it’s far-fetched.

Church as Usual Isn’t Good Enough

What I do know is that too many American Christians are still doing church as usual, as if none of this were going on. We’re not preparing our people with focused prayer. We’re not equipping them with apologetics, giving them reasons to hold firm to their faith while under pressure. We’re not building nearly enough community to keep each other strong.

There are exceptions, obviously; but as I talk with Christians, I find that many aren’t even aware.

Like it or not, though, church as usual is likely coming to an abrupt and alarming end. Responsible pastors, priests and lay leaders will start preparing their people for it — now.

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  • Timothy Horton

    VICTIMS!! We’re VICTIMS!! All those meanies are out to get us! They won’t let us pick on minorities anymore! They won’t let us ignore anti-discrimination laws we don’t like! The push back when we produce fake propaganda videos! WAAAAAAH, WE’RE VICTIMS!!

    (eyeroll)

    I have to admit Tom, no one on the web does whiny victimhood quite as well as you. You’ve got it down to a science.

    • Shaquille Harvey

      Why don’t you go to the Middle East and say that to the Christians there.
      “Victimhood” like the way you keep portraying the LGBT in the US ? I am surprised Timothy that you claim to be for those who are marginalised, yet you only care for those in the LGBT community! So why aren’t concerned then for the LGBT in Muslim majority countries ?

      • Timothy Horton

        Why don’t you go to the Middle East and say that to the Christians there.

        Tom was specifically whining about the poor victim Christians in the U.S.

        So why aren’t concerned then for the LGBT in Muslim majority countries ?

        I am, just as I’m concerned over the violence against all minority groups. The problem is there is very little I can do about changing the culture there except support political candidates who advocate putting pressure on the regimes, which I do.

        • Shaquille Harvey

          “Tom was specifically whining about the poor victim Christians in the U.S.”

          And ? They the only group in us and west whom it’s fine to criticise no other worldview, who also believes homosexuality to be like a sin as Christians, gets shut down. Your messages prove that.

          “I am, just as I’m concerned over the violence against all minority groups.”

          Really which ones ? You, so far, have defended no other group other than those in the LGBT community.

          “The problem is there is very little I can do about changing the culture there except support political candidates who advocate putting pressure on the regimes, which I do.”

          “support political candidates who advocate putting pressure on the regimes”
          1. What regimes ?
          2.”putting pressure” as in silencing others and “support political candidates” as in only those who agree with your worldview
          3. Isn’t this something a fascist or something a totalitarian state would do ?

          As for “little I can do about changing the culture” except complain to Christians constantly and tell what to do ? What little ? Aren’t there muslims in the US who don’t support gay marraige ? Why aren’t you over there at thier businesses, sites/blog or mosques telling them what to do or think ?

        • Shaquille Harvey

          “Tom was specifically whining about the poor victim Christians in the U.S.”
          And ? They are the only group in US and west whom it’s fine to criticise, no other worldview, who also believes homosexuality to be like a sin as Christians, gets shut down. Your messages prove that.
          “I am, just as I’m concerned over the violence against all minority groups.”
          Really which ones ? You, so far, have defended no other group other than those in the LGBT community.
          “The problem is there is very little I can do about changing the culture there except support political candidates who advocate putting pressure on the regimes, which I do.”
          “support political candidates who advocate putting pressure on the regimes”
          1. What regimes ?
          2.”putting pressure” as in silencing others and “support political candidates” as in only those who agree with your worldview
          3. Isn’t this something a fascist or something a totalitarian state would do ?
          As for “little I can do about changing the culture” except complain to Christians constantly and tell them what to do ? What little ? Aren’t there muslims in the US who don’t support gay marraige ? Why aren’t you over there at thier businesses, sites/blog or mosques telling them what to do or think ?

        • Jim Walker

          You like to constantly bash everyone here with insults just because you don’t accept and agree with our beliefs and faith.
          Why don’t you go to a Muslim forum to voice your objection?
          Do take up this challenge.

    • Nice to know you like my work. Thanks. 😉

      • Char B

        Tom, I DO like your work.

    • Patmos

      Timothy Horton you are easily one of the more ignorant people I’ve come across on the internet, and considering the internet doesn’t consist of the greatest pool to draw from, that’s quite an accomplishment by you.

      I will try my best here to explain the situation, by I somehow think you won’t get it:

      It starts with small things just like this piece outlines, then it grows, steadily leading into full on persecution. You only need to look at the examples of the socialist and communist regimes of the 20th century for examples. The statement by Hillary quoted in the piece shows the next steps are already being considered.

      It’s this type of tyrannical mindset that help spawn the American Revolution, so that people can have voices, even if they are completely void and self defeating like yours. If stuff like this is not guarded against, they will come after you too. So maybe consider trying to be something other than cattle headed off to the slaughter.

      • Kevin Quillen

        Patmos; You are wasting your time trying to reason with Little Timmy. He is too stupid or disingenuous to know or accept that he has the right to be an idiot precisely because of Christianity. Without the influence of Christianity in the founding of our nation, we would not have the rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Liberalism is truly a mental disorder. They do not even realize they are trying to cut their own throat.

    • Phil Steinacker

      There’s usually at least one progressive idiot who demonstrates he’s absolutely incapable of making any argument of substance to the obvious truth of an article like this one.

      Sophomoric and anti-intelligent sarcasm is a poor substitute for objective facts, but such fools bravely sadly forth as if you actually have something to contribute.

      You’ve got nothing, and it shows in that you said nothing..

      • Timothy Horton

        There’s usually at least one progressive idiot who demonstrates he’s absolutely incapable of making any argument of substance

        His name seems to be Phil Steinacker.

  • Gary

    Anti-Christians come in a variety. Some just want to do what they want to do without being criticized for being immoral. Many have a theology that is very different from that of Christians. I am in a conversation right now on another website with a fellow who believes the real god is not the God of the Bible. His god accepts everyone, (with the possible exception of Bible believers), endorses homosexuals, punishes no one in Hell, and generally endorses anything liberal. I am trying to get him to explain to me what the negative consequences will be for Bible believers, according to his theology. So far, the only thing he has told me is that if you base your life on fiction (the Bible), you will come to a bad end. I am trying to get him to tell me what that “bad end” will be. Not surprisingly, this fellow hates Trump with a passion. And he isn’t very fond of Mike Pence either. But he is most hostile to Bible believers. He thinks we are the reason Hellary didn’t win, and basically the reason for all the problems that exist in the world.

  • Kathryn Rose MacDonald

    “Some people would rather not know what’s going on, because it might lead to a responsibility.” I think that is probably the truest statement I’ve read in quite some time. That statement applies not to just to Christians or churches; it also applies to veritably every sphere of our lives. There seems to be a giant hole in our understanding of how personal words/actions affect and effect (they simultaneously cause the change and are themselves the change) our wider communities.

    Our current cultural climate of blaming and victimising is a direct result of our failure to both understand and teach personal responsibility.

  • GPS Daddy

    Biblical history shows that many have tried to eliminate the bible and Christianity throughout history. Christians in Iran face intense persecution. In China non-sanctioned churches are illegal. Yet the real church thrives. I know of churches that never meet in the same place twice in China. All of the members of the church will find themselves at the same place at the same time without communicating with each other. When this happens (weekly) they have church there.

    So lets use some logic: If Jesus is who the bible claims He is then those who fight against the church are fighting against Jesus. Trying to stop or eliminate the church is fighting against God. They will loose in the end. If Jesus is not who the bible claims to be then I will quote what the Apostle Paul wrote on this:

    1 Corinthians 15:12-19New American Standard Bible (NASB)

    12 Now if Christ is preached, that He has been raised from the dead, how do some among you say that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13 But if there is no resurrection of the dead, not even Christ has been raised; 14 and if Christ has not been raised, then our preaching is vain, your faith also is vain. 15 Moreover we are even found to be false witnesses of God, because we testified [a]against God that He raised [b]Christ, whom He did not raise, if in fact the dead are not raised. 16 For if the dead are not raised, not even Christ has been raised; 17 and if Christ has not been raised, your faith is worthless; you are still in your sins. 18 Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ have perished. 19 If we have hoped in Christ in this life only, we are of all men most to be pitied.

  • Kevin Quillen

    Christianity will never be stopped. The Christian RELIGION though may be. Christianity is not a “religion.” It is a relationship with the Father through Christ. The “church” is the people of Christ. Not a building. Man has made such a mess of a simple message that it is unrecognizable. Foolishness like the rapture(man made doctrine, see J N Darby), rebuilding the temple(see the attempt to do this in 363 A.D.), silly end time scenarios(too many to count), second coming of Christ,(already happened in 70 A.D.), new heaven and new earth(once again, already happened), tithing(not for us). If this is what will be stamped out then good, it is all deception anyway. I, as a born again believer and recipient of God’s grace will never shut up or sit down. Those like me are the true church and will always be true to the Father regardless of persecution. We should actually “unchurch” and just live our individual lives, following Christ and living as an ambassador of Christ to all we meet. This is how the world will come to know Him. Please do not give me the Hebrews 10:25 argument until you understand the second half of the verse. What was “The Day” he was talking about? Hint, study Full Preterism and you will learn.

    • Aliquantillus

      You make a false and illogical distinction between “Christianity” and the “Christian religion”. The Christian religion is nothing else but the practical aspect of Christianity, in liturgy, ritual, common prayer, morality, &c. Your perspective on the Church is completely opposite to that of St. Paul who teaches that the Church has a solid and tight community structure with a strong leadership. Read for instance the Epistle to the Ephesians ch. IV. The Church is a physical-social reality, the Mystical Body of Christ here on earth. To talk Christians into “unchurching” and just living “our individual lives” is just big nonsense. It is crap, not based on any serious NT scholarship.

      • Kevin Quillen

        you do realize of course that Ephesians and the rest were written before 70 A.D.. Yes all of it including Rev.
        Man has destroyed the message of Christ. The “church” is the individuals who believe Jesus and follow Him.
        1Pet 3:5 and Rev 3:12.

        • Aliquantillus

          I don’t see what the question of the dating of Ephesians has to do with this. And no, the Church is not just a collection of individuals. To say so is expressly against the teachings of the Apostle Paul who never grows weary of emphasizing the importance of the Christian community.

          To see the absurdity of your position, one only has to think about a particular consequence. According to your perspective each individual living today has to discover and decide for himself what should count as a source of divine revelation, in particular Holy Scripture. So each individual has to find out for himself what Scriptures belong to e.g. the NT, since relying on the tradition of the Church is no option. Such an individualism to my mind destroys the very concept of divine revelation.

    • glenbo

      >>”Christianity is not a “religion.” “<>”The “church” is the people of Christ.”<<

      Wrong. The Church is nothing but a tax-exempt corrupt corporation.

      Neither religion nor the Church do anything good for society. Both are selfish, greedy, hypocritical, self-contradictory, immoral and parasitic.

      • Shaquille Harvey

        Wrong how do you have any basic understanding of Christian theology ?
        What corporation ?

        “Neither religion nor the Church do anything good for society. Both are selfish, greedy, hypocritical, self-contradictory, immoral and parasitic.”

        According to who ? Immoral ? According to what objective moral standard ?

        • Natureboi

          [[“What corporation”]]

          The Catholic Church is not referred to as the
          “Roman” Catholic Church except in English speaking countries which are most familiar with the Latin Rite. Roman Catholic Church originated as a slur in England after the Protestant revolt.

          Each diocese, headed by a Bishop, is the Catholic Church.
          There is no world-wide legal entity called the Catholic Church, there is a moral entity called the Catholic Church under the Pope, but legally each diocese is independent and is considered a church entire in Catholic law.

          In the United States, each diocese is incorporated in
          American law as a corporate sole, meaning that the diocese is incorporated in the person of the Bishop of that diocese and he owns all the land, the parish churches, the rectories, convents, etc. in his diocese – in his name.

          A corporation in the United States is a legal entity
          recognized by the government. Each individual diocese would be considered a legal corporation from that point of view NOT the Catholic Church as a whole.

          The Catholic Church must have a legal existence so it can
          operate under civil law. It requires an entity that can be served with civil suits and that can hold title to real property. For example, the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Boston is termed a Corporation Sole, a legal entity that was created under Massachusetts law in 1897. Under Massachusetts law that entity has the legal ownership of assets under the jurisdiction of the Archbishop who is in office at any given time. In other geographic subdivisions a Bishop may
          have the powers of a Corporation Sole. The laws may vary from state to state but the Bishops generally have a “corporate” position to act for the Church in legal matters.

          The Church owns a vast amount of real property. Any deed of conveyance must be executed by the person in office. Any civil lawsuits are served on the same. In that respect the Church has a corporate presence. Additional Answer Historically speaking,
          the Catholic hurch was the first premodern corporation (15th century), the East India Company was the first modern corporation (17th century).

          Put it all together, and the Catholic Church by its function
          and presence is by and large essentially a corporation.

          [[“According to what objective moral standard?”]]

          The universal one that does not operate under a subjective standard requiring a dictator and guide book full of slavery and child murder:

          The objective moral standard is a simple one that atheists use. It is simply being attentive to the well-being of others. Religion fails at this in far too many ways.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            1.
            “The universal one that does not operate under a subjective standard requiring a dictator and guide book full of slavery and child murder:”

            Where do you get this object morale from and why ? Why is it objectively wrong to be a dictator or slavery or child murderer ?

            “The objective moral standard is a simple one that atheists use.”

            No it’s not christians use it too

            “It is simply being attentive to the well-being of others.”
            Again why if we are only molecules in motion ?
            ” Religion fails at this in far too many ways.”

            How ? Where does atheism or secularism get its morality from ?

          • Natureboi

            [[” Why is it objectively wrong to be a dictator or slavery
            or child murderer ?”]]

            You are joking with this question, right?
            Are you asking why it is immoral to own slaves and murder
            children?
            Apparently, your bible needs amending, because the bible
            doesn’t declare doing those two horrific acts as being immoral.

            [[“How ?”]]

            How does religion fail in looking out for the well-being of
            others?
            Did you or would you vote against same-sex marriage?
            Are you against ENDA?
            Are you against diversity education specifically anti-bullying of LGBT children in public schools?
            If you answer yes to any or all of these, you fail at looking
            out for the well-being of others.
            If you learned to be against the above from religious teachings, you just proved religion fails at looking out for the well-being of others

            [[“Where does atheism or secularism get its morality from ?”]]

            Empathy.
            Empathy doesn’t come from a guide book that condones slavery
            and child murder and rape.
            Empathy is an evolutionary innate attribute. Many animals in
            nature possess empathy for others.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            “You are joking with this question, right?
            Are you asking why it is immoral to own slaves and murder
            children?
            Apparently, your bible needs amending, because the bible
            doesn’t declare doing those two horrific acts as being immoral.”

            Again you did not answer my question where do you get your objective moral standard to say any of this is wrong ?
            What amending and since when ?

            “How does religion fail in looking out for the well-being of
            others?
            Did you or would you vote against same-sex marriage?”

            Since when was this an indefinite moral right ?

            “Are you against ENDA? ”

            Is it an organisation that will try to silence against anybody it that conflicts with them, somebody else’s view? Against somebody that disagrees with them ?Will combat against my morale or groups like Christians ?

            “Are you against diversity education specifically anti-bullying of LGBT children in public schools?”
            What does “against diversity education” mean and teach ? No I am not for bullying for anyone however I am also against “victimology “.

            “If you answer yes to any or all of these, you fail at looking
            out for the well-being of others.
            If you learned to be against the above from religious teachings, you just proved religion fails at looking out for the well-being of others ? ”
            again what well being of others ? Where in your morale is this stated as being absolutely good ? Failed at what ?

            “Empathy.
            Empathy doesn’t come from a guide book that condones slavery
            and child murder and rape.”
            Again how explain ? Empathy how ?how does empathy teach of wrong and right ? One can show empathy to those who commit wrong acts, to criminals etc empathy can be used in the same way emotions can. One can be happy by making or using somebody’s misery for thier benefits and self, are they wrong and how ?

            “Empathy is an evolutionary innate attribute. Many animals in
            nature possess empathy for others.”
            How ? Many animals also do murder, rape and other things we would consider immoral. When was the animal kingdom subjected to laws the same way we humans are ?Why Do animals not go to prison for their crimes if they commit? Why don’t moral and laws apply to them ?

          • Shaquille Harvey

            What “book on slavery” ?

          • Natureboi

            [[“What “book on slavery”]]
            Exodus 21:20,21 and plenty more.
            Read your bible.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            The problem is the bible taught indentured servitude.

          • Natureboi

            [[“The problem is the bible taught indentured servitude.”]]
            Wrong.
            The problem is God said it is okay to own human beings as property, beat them to death, buy and sell them and kidnap and rape them.
            The problem is making excuses for an immoral God.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Part 1
            Wrong

            “The problem is God said it is okay to own human beings as property, beat them to death”

            2. The OT institution of Hebrew ‘slavery’ in the Law of Moses–its purpose, and structure.

            First of all, we will have the same wide, wide range of meanings of the terms for ‘slave’ here, as we did in the ANE. It will refer to general (and sometimes vague) subordination:

            “The word >ebed, however, denoted not only actual slaves occupied in production or in the household but also persons in subordinate positions (mainly subordinate with regard to the king and his higher officials). Thus the term >ebed is sometimes translated as “servant.” Besides, the term was used as a sign of servility in reference to oneself when addressing persons of higher rank. Finally, the same term was also used in the figurative meaning “the slave (or servant) of God.” Thus, the patriarchs Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, prophets, David, Solomon and other kings are regularly called slaves of Yahweh (Exod 32:13; Lev 25:55; 1 Sam 3:9; Ezra 9:11, etc.). Similarly, all the subjects of Israel and Judah are called slaves of their kings, including even wives, sons, and brothers of the latter (1 Sam 17:8; 29:3; 2 Sam 19:5, etc.; cf. also Gen 27:37; 32:4). Addressing Moses and prophets, the Israelites called themselves their slaves (Num 32:25; 1 Sam 12:19, etc.). Ruth refers to herself as a slave girl of her relative Boaz (Ruth 3:9). Being a vassal of the Philistine king Achish, David called himself his slave (1 Sam 28:2). It is natural that the same vague and inexplicitly formulated social terminology characteristic of the ANE is also used in the Bible in relation to the subjects of foreign rulers. For example, courtiers of an Aramean ruler or the soldiers of the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II were considered slaves of their monarchs (2 Kgs 6:11; 24:10–11). It is natural that kings of Judah depending on more powerful rulers of neighboring countries were considered their slaves. Thus, Ahaz is referred to as a slave of the Assyrian king Tiglath-pileser III (2 Kgs 16:7). In modern translations of the Bible >ebed/doulos and several other similar terms are rendered “slave” as well as “servant,” “attendant,” etc. Such translations, however, might create some confusion and give the incorrect impression that special terms for the designation of servants and slaves are attested in the Bible…However, selecting the proper meaning from such a broad metaphorical application of the term designating a general dependence rarely presents great difficulty. For example, Abimelech, king of Gerar, called up his slaves and told them his dream (Gen 20:8). Apparently, these “slaves” were royal courtiers and officials. Abraham gathered 318 of his slaves, born in his household, in order to recover his kinsman Lot who had been captured by Chedorlaomer and three Mesopotamian kings (Gen 14:14). At least, a part of these persons constituted freeborn members of Abraham’s family. Upon ascending the throne of Judah, Amaziah executed his slaves who had murdered his father, the former king (2 Chr 25:3). These slaves were certainly royal dignitaries. When Josiah, king of Judah, had been killed at Megiddo, his body was taken in a chariot to Jerusalem by his slaves (2 Kgs 23:30). It is quite evident that these slaves were royal soldiers. In a number of cases, however, the interpretation of the actual meaning of the ambiguous >ebed may be disputed. For instance, the steward of Abraham’s household who was in charge of all his possessions is called his slave (Gen 24:2). His status can only conjecturally be interpreted as an indication of actual slavery and, of course, he could have been a freeborn person.” [ABD, s.v. “Slavery, Old Testament”]

            In the ANE, legal systems divided ‘slaves’ into different categories, and prioritized interventions (social intervention has costs, remember, and scarce resources in the ANE had to be allocated to optimize their effect on social/community survival) around these categories:

            “In determining who should benefit from their intervention, the legal systems drew two important distinctions: between debt and chattel slaves, and between native and foreign slaves. The authorities intervened first and foremost to protect the former category of each–citizens who had fallen on hard times and had been forced into slavery by debt or famine.” [HI:HANEL:1,42]
            “buy and sell them and kidnap and rape them.”

          • glenbo

            Wow.
            You are a slave to cognitive dissonance and cognitive bias.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            What the passage identifies the biblical “slavery” was indentured servitude, where one would sell themselves for a certain time to pay of ones debts.please read in its original exegetical form.
            Slave to what bias ? You are the one who has not answered my questions yet. You’re the one who comes over here and is resulting in name calling.
            Also since your a secularist do you believe in free will ?

          • glenbo

            >>”one would sell themselves for a certain time to pay of ones debts.”<>”Slave to what bias”<<

            Sir, you are a cafeteria Christian. You cherry pick your bible, harp on what you agree with and push out of your mind the immorality.

            Watch this video.

            www (dot) youtube (dot)
            com/watch?v=zDHJ4ztnldQ&list=RD6mmskXXetcg&index=6

            Copy and paste to your browser, the replace the (dot) with a real dot. (.)

          • Shaquille Harvey

            How were “slaves” owned for life. They, the “slaves” once entering insured servitude would work for 6 years to pay of debts then on the seventh ( the year of the jubilee) the masters would have to let them go. If the servants or “slaves” wished to stay they could stay there for the rest of thier life as this now would become thier job and livelihood. Beaten to death where ?
            “CHerry pick your bible” your the one who won’t answer the questions and is and if words in the bible that aren’t there.
            Also what immortality ? Where do you get your morale from ?

            “Whatch this video ”
            Oh “great” Richard Dawkins. He is one of the last people to go to for biblical theology or to understand the bible. He is so bad on it.

            Also he doesn’t believe in any morality.

            Maybe try this

          • “And would this “selling” of oneself include agreeing to be owned for life, and beaten to death?”

            No. See detailed answers at www*dot*rationalchristianity*dot*net/slavery_ot.html

          • glenbo

            >>”No. “<<
            Wrong.
            Exodus 21;20,21 clearly outlines how to beat and own slaves.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Part 2
            “Beat them to death ”
            · Treatment: Slaves were frequently mistreated by modern standards, and punishments were extreme.

            OT: The Law forbade harsh treatment, set stipulations for positive treatment, and set tight boundaries around punishment/abuse of servants.

            § There are several general admonitions in the Law against harsh/abusive/oppressive behavior toward Hebrew servants:

            Do not rule over them ruthlessly, but fear your God. (Lev 25.43)
            ..but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly. (Lev 25.46)
            53 He is to be treated as a man hired from year to year; you must see to it that his owner does not rule over him ruthlessly. (Lev 25.53)
            Do not consider it a hardship to set your servant free, because his service to you these six years has been worth twice as much as that of a hired hand. And the LORD your God will bless you in everything you do. (Deut 15.18)
            § In fact, the Law assumes that the situation may be lucrative enough for some servants to decide to stay with their masters for their lifetime.

            “But if the servant declares, `I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,’ (Ex 21.5)
            But if your servant says to you, “I do not want to leave you,” because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, (Deut 15.16)
            § The general scholarly assessment is that this domestic “slavery” was not very atrocious, went way beyond “property only”, and instead created family-like bonds:

            “However, domestic slavery was in all likelihood usually fairly tolerable. Slaves formed part of the family and males, if circumcised, could take part in the family Passover and other religious functions. Moreover, in general there were probably only a few in each household–there is no indication, for example, that large gangs of them were toiling in deplorable conditions to cultivate big estates, as in the later Roman world.” [OT:I:101]

            “Slave labor was used in domestic service and thus made for a close relationship between master and servant in everyday life. In spite of the legal status, the slave’ position was in practice closer to that of a filius-familias than to that of a mere chattel.” [OT:HLBT:114ff]

            “The treatment of chattel slaves indicates that these slaves are considered human beings…” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]
            “The slave’s personal dignity is also evident in the prescriptions concerning personal injury (Ex 21.20-27)., since the punishments for mistreatment are meant to restrain the abuse of slaves…Clearly, the personal rights of slaves override their master’s property rights over them.” [OT:DictOT5, s.v. “Slavery”]
            § Not only was abusive treatment of servants strictly forbidden, but the Law held masters very accountable!

            § If a master beat a slave and the slave died, the master was held accountable under the ‘life for life’ clause:

            “If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished (Ex 21.20, NIV)
            “When a man strikes his slave, male or female, with a rod, and he dies there and then, he must be avenged” (JPS Tanach translation)
            “If a man shall strike his slave or his maidservant with the rod and he shall die under his hand, he shall surely be avenged.” (Stone Edition Tanach translation)
            § If a master caused any type of permanent damage to a servant, the servant was given immediate freedom:

            “If a man hits a manservant or maidservant in the eye and destroys it, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the eye. 27 And if he knocks out the tooth of a manservant or maidservant, he must let the servant go free to compensate for the tooth. (Ex 21.26-27)
            § The above prescription is hugely instructive, in comparison to the ANE: In some ANE codes, a master could literally put out the eyes of his slaves![HI:HANEL, e.g., at Mari, 1:383; at Nuzi, 1:586]. This represents a MASSIVE departure from ‘conventional morality’ of the day!

            § And the above prescription is also instructive, in comparison to today: whereas typical insurance programs will pay 50% of maximum disability for ‘loss of a single eye’, they pay nothing for the loss of a tooth…(smile). But in the OT, there was a huge “disincentive” to strike one’s slave in the face! [Legitimate community punishments were by rods, on the back. Facial blows were considered culpable.] The ANE, however, did NOT have the same ‘respect’ for the face of slaves–besides eye-gouging, they resorted to branding, cutting of the ears, mutilating the nose, etc– IN THE LAW CODES!. These practices are NOT in Israel’s law codes, and they are implied to be prohibited by the focus on penalties for striking the face.

            § And this passage is noted as being ‘oddly humanitarian’:

            “In the case of bodily injury to slaves, whose status does not qualify them for equal compensation, the owner whose abuse results in the loss of an eye or a tooth is to free that slave, a remarkably humanitarian provision directed at cruelty and sadism in a slave-owner.” [WBC]

            § The law allowed disciplinary rod-beating for a servant (Ex 21.20f), apparently under the same conditions as that for free men:

            If men quarrel and one hits the other with a stone or with his fist and he does not die but is confined to bed, 19 the one who struck the blow will not be held responsible if the other gets up and walks around outside with his staff; however, he must pay the injured man for the loss of his time and see that he is completely healed. If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property (ksph–“silver”; not the normal word(s) for property, btw).

            § Free men could likewise be punished by the legal system by rod-beating (Deut 25.1-3; Prov 10.13; 26.3), as could rebellious older sons (Prov 13.24; 22.15; 23.13). Beating by rod (shevet) is the same act/instrument ( flogging (2 Sam 7.14; Ps 89.32). This verse is in parallel to verses 18-19. If two people fight but no one dies, the aggressor is punished by having to ‘retributively’ pay (out of his own money–“silver”, ksph) for the victim’s lost economic time and medical expenses. If it is a person’s slave and this occurs, there is no (additional) economic payment–the lost productivity and medical expenses of the wounded servant are (punitive economic) loss alone. There was no other punishment for the actual damage done to the free-person in 18-19, and the slave seems to be treated in the same fashion. Thus, the ‘property’ attribute doesn’t seem to suggest any real difference in ethical treatment of injury against a servant.

          • Natureboi

            Ugh.
            The God you worships finds it moral to own, buy and sell humans as property. He also declares it moral to beat them to death.
            The God you worship is an immoral monster.
            Now let’s talk about his condoning of child murder.
            1 Peter 15:3.
            Let’s see you justify that moral disaster.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            1 peter 15:3 ?

          • Natureboi

            [[“1 peter 15:3 ?”]]
            My mistake…
            1 Samuel 15:3

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Hyperbole in the Bible
            Critics often attack citations in the Bible that use exclusive or hyperbolic language. (I.e., “all”, “none”, “utterly”) In general it is enough to note that such language may be legitimately construed as rhetorical, whether it be in modern times (“Everyone likes chocolate ice cream.”) or ancient times (“Cretans are always liars, vicious brutes, lazy gluttons.”).

            In the second case, and elsewhere, the rhetorical principle of brevity accounts for many such phrases. Emphasis is needed, but to spell out exceptions or to explain that the exclusivity is made for the sake of emphasis would dull the point. Thus exceptions can not be ruled out on the basis of exclusive language, and contradictions cannot be asserted because of it.

            Critics may object, but they do so without knowledge of the ancient principles of rhetoric (as expressed by writers like Quintillian) and exaggeration (as is found typically on Ancient Near Eastern war inscriptions and elsewhere; see below). But let us emphasize the difficulty that will result if we ignore the nature and purpose of exclusive language.

            The laws of our country speak in exclusive terms. A sign that says “Speed Limit 55” is absolute. It does not specify exceptions such as ambulance drivers or people who have passengers who become deathly sick. Yet no judge would penalize an ambulance driver or other person who dared exempt himself from the absolute language of the law on that sign.

            And yet, we see that problems arise when this principle is ignored. Our federal government produces reams of rules in an attempt to cover “exceptions”.

            Not long ago two heroic laborers rescued a co-worker from death in a situation where prompt action saved the co-worker’s life; yet the powers that be in the realm of safety regulation attempted to force the absolute letter of the law, and imposed fines on the rescuers for not putting on safety gear before coming to aid. The public outrage that followed was no surprise: The man on the street recognizes the language of exclusivity for what it is.

            The language of exclusion, whether ancient or modern, should be recognized for what it is and not used to create contradiction and difficulty where none exists.

            As a further demonstration, let us now consider an ancient example from outside the Bible. First, here is a cite from the Scriptures that is sometimes regarded by critics as problematic:

            1 Samuel 15:8 And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.
            Critics find it odd that a people here recorded as being “utterly destroyed” come back making trouble just a few chapters later in 1 Samuel. But compare this to an inscription offered by the Egyptian Pharaoh Ramesses III [taken from Moshe and Trude Dothan, Peoples of the Sea, 27]:

            I slew the Denyon in their islands, while the Tjekker and Philistines were made ashes. The Sherden and the Washesh of the sea were made non-existent, captured all together and brought on captivity to Egypt like the sands of the shore.
            Cleary when Ramsses tells us his enemies were “made non-existent,” he was not meaning this literally, since he goes on to indicate that they were captured. In ancient context, then, such claims as 1 Samuel 15:8 makes are not to be taken literally either. They are no more absolute statements than those of football fans who celebrate a team’s win by shouting, “We’re #1!” — even if the team has lost more games than it has won.

            Another example cited by critics is Luke 14:26, in which Jesus tells use that we must “hate” others for the sake of the Gospel. Critics want to read this as literal hate; we reply by identifying such sayings as containing a rhetorical emphasis, not referring to literal hate.

            And in fact, such rhetorical emphasis typifies ancient and even modern Semitic cultures. G. B. Caird, in The Language and Imagery of the Bible [110ff], notes the frequent use of hyperbole among Semitic peoples, and notes that “its frequent use arises out of a habitual cast of mind” which tends to view matters in extremes, or as we would say, “black and white.” The Semitic mindset is dogmatic, and despises doubt; things are either one way or another, and there is no room for introspection. As a result, statements like Luke 14:26 are simply typical of this mindset that encourages extreme forms of expression.

          • Natureboi

            No loving god would order the killing of children and suckling infants.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            What order ? Did you not read the post ?

          • Natureboi

            [[“What order ? Did you not read the post ?]]”
            I read the bible. 1 Samuel 15:3 specifically orders Saul to “go and slay the Amalakites.”
            There’s plenty more child murder in the bible.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Maybe this will help

            http://christianthinktank(dot)com/rbutcher1.html

            Please replace brackets and word dot (dot) with real real dot (.)

          • Natureboi

            Oh, now I understand.

            The Amalekite children and infants deserved to be murdered.

            Because, according to the website you referred me to:

            1. They are NOT
            an internal group.

            2. They are NOT
            a minority group.

            3. Amalekites are NOT targeted because of their Amalekite-ness. (since they were welcome as
            immigrants in Israel)

            4. They are never under the government control of Israel.

            5. They are not pursed and hunted in other countries for extermination.

            Therefore, with this explanation, I cannot fault God for ordering these children’s murders.
            This absolves God of any morality issues in his ordering the slaughter of the Amalekite children and babies.

            Thank you so much for this explanation!

          • The Evangelical

            Just a word of advice: let people define our own terms. Exegesis of scripture leading to a careful and consistent view of the text is what leads to truth. If you find an interpretation faulty, then present evidence that they are wrong and then suggest a more plausible alternative. Do not insist that your interpretation is the only correct one without first supporting it and disproving alternatives–otherwise you will simply talk past the other person. Happy debating!

          • Natureboi

            [[“Exegesis of scripture leading to a careful and consistent
            view of the text is what leads to truth.”]]

            How do you interpret Exodus 21:20,21?

            How do you interpret 1 Samuel 15:3?

            What is your definition of “truth?”

          • The Evangelical

            Exodus 21:20-21 is a legal limitation on the punishment of slaves. It prevents punishments unto death. If the slave does not die, then the damage to the slave is considered punishment enough to the master since the slave is the master’s property.

            1 Samuel 15:3 is God’s command to wipe out Amalek.

            These passages are pretty straightforward in what they are describing, so I don’t think we would disagree in their interpretation. But I’m certain we would have disagreements with how they are viewed practically and in light of other scripture.

            Systematic theology requires us to understand these passages in harmony with all other scripture. If the Bible is the Word of God, and God is Truth, then there can be no contradiction in the Bible. So how can I love my neighbor as myself and spread the Gospel to all people, while the Bible describes the slaughtering of entire peoples and owning slaves?

            In short, read Romans, Hebrews, and Jesus’s discussion of the law to show what is not to be followed in the Old Testament by Christians. In general, we are bound to follow the teachings of Jesus; not the old covenant law.

            As for slavery and Amalek, these were done under specific circumstances that do not apply to us anymore. God can choose to regulate and limit a sinful law without demanding that we abolish it. We see examples where a law was allowed and limited that God never condoned, such as polygamy. As for Amalek, as God’s creation he is free to punish us for our sins. At that time, God spoke directly through the prophets and his commands must be followed. That is not the case today with the scriptures being the only infallible, inspired Word of God.

          • Natureboi

            Any god that would condone the owning of another human as property is not a moral god.

          • The Evangelical

            The old testament never condones or promotes any particular economic system. Rather it is regulated. You cannot extrapolate that the regulation of something implies acceptance or condoning. The economic system at that time included owning people as property. What basis do you have to suggest that it is immoral? There is a strong biblical basis for the elimination of this practice based upon later revelation (the New Testament).

          • As I was saying…

            “Ugh,” the sound made by the foot-stomping pagan frustrated that Christians will not bow down before him and accept his pagan mythology. In other words, the banality of evil.

            God is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of “to be” itself. The uncreated creator of all and uncontingent source of all.

            There is no holding God as a possession nor personalizing Him. Though you would -in your eternal stupidity- love to come up with any falsehood you can about God in the hopes you may one day relieve yourself of the shame of being a sodomite.

            That will never happen. Your evil will always haunt you even if you were to realize your mistakes.

            Moreover, it has never been Christian to own slaves nor has it ever been Christian to kill children. The Church has consistently abolished, fought against, and destroyed those pagan evils time and again.

            Christian children have been killed and Christians have been enslaved. You would not be the first idiot (nor even the first idiot this week) to try and claim that the Church supports slavery because Christians have been enslaved before.

            As I told the last fool, that is mental illness on par with claiming that all people have have worn a red shirt are now descendants of English soldiers.

          • Natureboi

            [[“the hopes you may one day relieve yourself of the shame of being a sodomite.”]]
            I’m not gay. What makes you think I am?

          • As I was saying…

            Your entire profile is full of it.

            That is unless you are a good marxist and just using it as a weapon to try and attack Christians with.

          • Natureboi

            [[“That is unless you are a good marxist and just using it as a weapon to try and attack Christians with.”]]
            Defending LGBT people is not “attacking.” I have many LGBT friends.
            My girlfriend has LGBT relatives as well as friends.
            There is no rationale in denying them rights.
            There is no rationale in regurgitating the vile and venomous hate that you do.

          • Timothy Horton

            Their religion teaches them hatred and intolerance of anyone different than themselves. Of the LGBT minority, of other religions, anybody who’s not a 100% hetero WASP. You can’t reason them out of the prejudices they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.

          • Natureboi

            [[“You can’t reason them out of the prejudices they weren’t reasoned into in the first place.”]]
            Well said! Thank you.
            Their deeply entrenched hatred and bigotry is unyielding as is their faith.
            This is what happens when you indoctrinate children into a belief system structured on fear while they still believe in Santa Claus.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Really Timothy looking at your comments you attack no other worldview other than those of Christians. You use the same attacks over and over again.
            Yet there are other worldviews that teach LGBT to be that like a sin you still only attack christians. You are in consistent and hypocritical

          • Timothy Horton

            Really Timothy looking at your comments you attack no other worldview other than those of Christians.

            Some Christians here (not all) are the only ones I see espousing bigotry and intolerance against minorities.

            You use the same attacks over and over again.

            When certain Christians stop with the bigotry and intolerance against minorities I’ll gladly stop pointing out their bigotry and intolerance.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            What bigotry and intolerance ? You keep saying this over again and use it like a gun going of with unlimited rounds. What intolerance people with a different worldview to you ?
            Why do you call out Christians all the time, even though thier folllowing thier worldview, when others like muslims are against ss marriage and LGBT ? Why aren’t you calling them out ?

            Where do you this view from that there is intolerance or bigotry or someone is morally bad for being this things when you don’t believe in an objective morality ?

          • Natureboi

            Hey Tim…
            Just let it go.
            I’m done with Shaq.
            You can’t fix stupid.

          • Timothy Horton

            True but you can point it out to others as an example of what religious fundamentalism does to a person. 🙂

          • Shaquille Harvey

            As a posed to secular fundamentalism ?

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Which minorities would that be ?

            Instead you still going to attack
            people with name calling and keep on berated Christians because of thier worldview?

          • As I was saying…

            There is no hatred in the truth, and you cannot silence the truth by mischaracterizing it as so.

            Moreover, rights are given by God. There are no rights that can be given to allow what is an abomination.

            I will give you one more message fo find an argument before you are blocked.

          • Natureboi

            [[“There is no hatred in the truth”]]

            Nonsense.

            Define “truth.”

            [[“Moreover, rights are given by God.]]”

            Wrong. Rights are governed by secular law.

            Are you saying that you approve of Sharia law?

            Since there is no proof of God, you and the Church cannot control who gets to have rights.

            [[“There are no rights that can be given to allow what is an abomination.”]]

            Why is homosexuality an abomination?

          • Shaquille Harvey

            Since when did secular law give rights or have a concept of individual and unalienable rights ?

          • Timothy Horton

            Since when did secular law give rights or have a concept of individual and unalienable rights ?

            In the U.S. it’s since 1791 when the Bill of Rights was added to the Constitution.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            1. Since when did that make it a secular law ?
            2. Where did they, the founders and authors of the bill of rights, get thier definition, concept or notion of rights and they each individual is accredited to the unalienable?
            3.why does the bill of rights, not denounce religion or religious practices and allow people of if to freely exercise it ?

          • Natureboi

            [[“Since when did secular law give rights or have a concept of individual and unalienable rights?”]]

            1776 when the declaration of independence was signed.

            [[“And where do secular law get absolute morality from?”]]

            From the understanding that the well-being of all humans must be preserved and respected.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            “1776 when the declaration of independence was signed”
            Again that did not answer my questions. How is that a secular document ? Where did the founders get this notion of unalienable rights from ?

            “From the understanding that the well-being of all humans must be preserved and respected.”

            Why ? why is that detrimental ? Where does secularism or atheist naturalism get its ideas that there are absolute rights and that each individual is accredited to them “unalienable “?

          • Natureboi

            [[“Where did the founders get this notion of unalienable rights from?”]]
            God.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “From the understanding that the well-being of all humans must be preserved and respected.” —– This CANNOT provide for absolute morality. This can only provide for man-made, dynamic and ever changing morality.

            “1776 when the declaration of independence was signed.” —– When the Declaration of Independence was signed, it was understood that a moral society could not exist and function without static/fixed morality – from God.

          • As I was saying…

            Truth is what actually is. Did you honestly just ask that? You have tried that deflection in a few of your posts. It didn’t work for the sneering pilate and it doesn’t work for you.

            God based truth on Himself, Natural Law is truth, scripture is truth, the Chuch is truth. All of the things you deny precisely because they are true.

            You hope if you deny the truth that your falsehood can replace reality. Doesn’t work that way, but yet you do try. The truth is not dependent on your ego, nor does it require your consent dear sodomite

            From Roger Scruton:
            “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

            Laws are made by man, whatever that is worth. Rights are given by God.

            There is no foundation in anything outside of God. The idea that you idiotically claim that rights are based in secular law, the fact that you think rights can change or be against nature, all shows you have no idea what rights even are.

            God is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of “to be” itself. The uncreated creator and the uncontingent cause. The source of all. All things naturally have to come from one singular cause and all things share the same creator. That isn’t even to mention that God found us, we did not find Him. The Word of God is the Word of God, the Church is the bride of Christ.

            As I said above, you cannot sneer away the truth.

            Rights are given by God and they are based in the fact that mankind is made in the Image of God. Rights are applied to all people. All rights exist to help protect life in this fallen world.

            You cannot merely sneer into existence a “right” to abomination and what is against nature merely because you are too evil to change your ways.

            Your digestive tract is not a sexual organ. Men cannot procreate with other men. You are a sneering, flamboyant mockery of women and your sin is so great that even the demons are disgusted when someone actually perverts themselves into one of you. That is self explanatory.

            That is why you deny truth, that is why you deny God, you have made yourself into an abomination and you are too arrogant to admit your problem.

            It is a right of mankind to be free from evil, and it is a grave, diabolical evil your kind does when you try to force people to deny nature and deny God or else face destruction.

            As I said before,

          • As I was saying…

            Truth is what actually is. Did you honestly just ask that? You have tried that deflection in a few of your posts. It didn’t work for the sneering pilate and it doesn’t work for you.

            God based truth on Himself, Natural Law is truth, scripture is truth, the Chuch is truth. All of the things you deny precisely because they are true.

            You hope if you deny the truth that your falsehood can replace reality. Doesn’t work that way, but yet you do try. The truth is not dependent on your ego, nor does it require your consent dear sodomite

            From Roger Scruton:
            “A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ‘merely relative,’ is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.”

            Laws are made by man, whatever that is worth. Rights are given by God.

            There is no foundation in anything outside of God. The idea that you idiotically claim that rights are based in secular law, the fact that you think rights can change or be against nature, all shows you have no idea what rights even are.

            God is ipsum esse subsistens, the subsistent act of “to be” itself. The uncreated creator and the uncontingent cause. The source of all. All things naturally have to come from one singular cause and all things share the same creator. That isn’t even to mention that God found us, we did not find Him. The Word of God is the Word of God, the Church is the bride of Christ.

            As I said above, you cannot sneer away the truth.

            Rights are given by God and they are based in the fact that mankind is made in the Image of God. Rights are applied to all people. All rights exist to help protect life in this fallen world.

            You cannot merely sneer into existence a “right” to abomination and what is against nature merely because you are too evil to change your ways.

            Your digestive tract is not a sexual organ. Men cannot procreate with other men. You are a sneering, flamboyant mockery of women and your sin is so great that even the demons are disgusted when someone actually perverts themselves into one of you. That is self explanatory.

            That is why you deny truth, that is why you deny God, you have made yourself into an abomination and you are too arrogant to admit your problem.

            It is a right of mankind to be free from evil, and it is a grave, diabolical evil your kind does when you try to force people to deny nature and deny God or else face destruction.

            As I said before, on the other site: the thing that your kind did to those Christian bakers was little different to what the nazis did when they threatened Catholics to either stomp on their rosaries or face execution.

            And as also promised, you failed to come up with an argument and therefore will now be blocked.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Wrong. Rights are governed by secular law.” —– FALSE. Rights are endowed to us by our Creator (God). There are civil rights which the government grants (making them more like privileges).

            “Since there is no proof of God, you and the Church cannot control who gets to have rights.” —— There is an abundance of proof of God. Yet you are comfortable with government controlling who has rights? If that is the case, why wasn’t it okay for government to say slavery was okay? If the government has authority to control what rights we do and do not have, then what is to stop them from taking ALL rights? The Founders understood that our rights are IRRESPECTIVE of government – they simply exist and it is the role of the government to protect those rights.

            “Why is homosexuality an abomination?” —– Because it is biologically abnormal. Because it defies God’s plan for mankind.

    • m-nj

      “We should actually “unchurch” and just live our individual lives, following Christ and living as an ambassador of Christ to all we meet.”

      That would be disobedience to the Scripture… Heb 10:24,25 – And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.

      It would also be contrary to the overall plan of God for His people to be in community, as the “ecclesia” or called out ones … unless you are advocating for house-churches, which i would say is in align with the scriptures (and likely moreso than our current “church” situation).

  • The Evangelical

    As sensational as these stories get I encourage everybody to learn the facts before screaming persecution. I personally have run into people who claimed they were persecuted and the local churches took their word at face value. However, at least in one situation, I knew a lot more about the specific situation and what the “persecuted” person was doing was completely inappropriate due to another issue–not the religious one. Sometimes we try to justify our actions by claiming that we are persecuted for our beliefs when it actually was something else unrelated.

    Also, the California professor had an issue with the politics primarily–not Christianity. Being anti pro-life movements is NOT Christian religious persecution. Christianity is not synonymous with the conservative platform. Just ask the Alt-Right.

    Lastly, “church as usual” should be the proclamation of the Word…which includes plenty of passages about Christian persecution, living for Christ, and getting mistreated by the world. Everything implied in this article SHOULD be church as usual.

    • Ken Abbott

      We are too much at ease in Zion, no question.

    • m-nj

      I have to agree that the term “persecution” may not apply to a portion of what is happening. Maybe some other terms more applicable, like “hostility”, “hate”, “intolerance”. Just like many christians elevate the normal pains and struggles of life in this fallen word as “sufferings”. However, I would think you would agree that the anti-christian-o-meter is definitely seeing an uptick.

      • Natureboi

        [[“Maybe some other terms more applicable, like
        “hostility”, “hate”, “intolerance”.”]]

        As an atheist, I do not approve of how Christians treat LGBT
        people. The Christian teachings and voter ballots they create to marginalize and demonize LGBT people for no rationale reason violates my conscience and deeply held sincere beliefs that all people are to be treated equally.

        As a Secular Humanist and Atheist, (considered a religion) I
        reserve the right to turn away Christians from my place of business. ( I am an LGBT friendly/accepting/supportive entrepreneur.)

        Therefore, under conscience protection laws, I reserve the
        right to deny Christians service due to the fact Christianity rejects LGBT
        people and ONLY because they are Christians and for no other reason.

        But in no way am I being hostile, hateful or intolerant. And
        please don’t dare call me a bigot.

        [[“I would think you would agree that the
        anti-christian-o-meter is definitely seeing an uptick.”]]

        One can say that all the anti-same-sex marriage amendments that
        were passed and refusal of wedding caterers to serve gays and RFRA and FADFA laws (religious/conscience protection) could be considered an “uptick” in anti-gay bigotry.

        • “As an atheist, I do not approve of how Christians treat LGBT
          people. The Christian teachings and voter ballots they create to marginalize and demonize LGBT people for no rationale reason violates my conscience and deeply held sincere beliefs that all people are to be treated equally.”

          First, do you approve of stereotyping? Because that’s what you’ve done in your first sentence here.

          Second, you’re simply factually wrong to say “No rational reason.” You may not know our reasons for disagreeing with gay marriage etc., you may disagree with our reasons, but we have carefully considered, evidence-based, rationally developed reasons.

          One good rule for debate is that if you can’t state your opponent’s position clearly and in the same positive light your opponent would state it, then you don’t know your opponent’s position. You don’t know what you’re arguing against. I invite you to study our reasons until you at least know what they are.

          • Timothy Horton

            One good rule for debate is that if you can’t state your opponent’s position clearly and in the same positive light your opponent would state it, then you don’t know your opponent’s position.

            I’d love to hear you explain why LGBT couples deserve to be treated fairly, with dignity, not discriminated against AT ALL in public places of business, and given equal civil rights in things like marriage laws.

          • Natureboi

            [[“First, do you approve of stereotyping? Because that’s
            what you’ve done in your first sentence here.”]]

            Christianity teaches its followers to reject LGBT people.
            Just read some of the vile hate on these blogs.

            Let me ask you this:

            Do you approve of same-sex marriage? If not, why?

            [[“You may not know our reasons for disagreeing with gay marriage etc., you may disagree with our reasons, but we have carefully considered, evidence-based, rationally developed reasons.”]]

            Name just one, please.

            [[“I invite you to study our reasons until you at least know
            what they are.”]]

            Please give me one logical, rational reason to deny rights
            to gay people.

          • Timothy Horton

            Please give me one logical, rational reason to deny rights to gay people.

            Good luck getting an intelligent answer to that question here. Every last excuse offered for the prejudices against the non-hetero minority falls into the following three categories:

            1. The Bible says being gay is a sin.
            2. Historically gays have been denied equal rights.
            3. I personally find being gay is icky.

            None of which is a compelling reason to deny equal rights to the non-hetero minority today.

          • glenbo

            >>”Good luck getting an intelligent answer to that question here.”<“the psychological state of Christians do not count as evidence.”<

            I had to remind him that the "psychological state" manifests into behavior. So essentially, the only "logical, rational reason" to deny rights to LGBT people is psychological.
            Stemming from…?

          • Diogenes71

            Your ignorance of Christianity is vast. You are starting from a place of negativity and seem to be repeating talking points not trying to have an intelligent conversation based on reality, facts and beliefs.

          • Timothy Horton

            LOL! Allow me to rephrase. Bible fanatics think being gay is fine as long as you don’t act gay in any way, shape, or form. Heaven forbid you do something that upsets their delicate sensibilities like being true to yourself instead of lying for their benefit.

            Feel free to provide your reasons for denying the non-hetero minority equal civil rights, reasons that don’t fall into the three categories above. No one else here can.

          • Shaquille Harvey

            What true to yourself tim ?

          • Aliquantillus

            No, this isn’t true. The real point is that gay behaviour is anti-natural and that natural reason is capable of knowing this. The reproductive system of the human body isn’t made to engage in anti-natural behaviour. Man has a natural capacity of truth and can discover the basics of the moral order. To attack these basics is irrational and this irrationality is one of the main characteristics of the gay movement.

          • Timothy Horton

            The real point is that gay behaviour is anti-natural

            Wrong. Science has conclusively demonstrated non-hetero orientation is completely natural. It’s a normally occurring variation in sexuality that’s seen in hundreds of other species too. It’s no more “anti-natural” than being left handed is anti-natural.

          • Aliquantillus

            This isn’t true. Science only demonstrates that non-hetero orientation exists, not that it is natural, or good, i.e. according to the teleological order of nature. The question whether a certain behaviour is natural or good is a question modern science is unable to answer, since it doesn’t know of any normativity. Modern science ignores final causality.

            The point that non-hetero behaviour is sometimes found in animal species isn’t a convincing argument, since animals are not endowed with reason and cannot make rational decisions. They are bound to an instinctive order which in general terms is to the benefit of the species. Humans, however, are able to know the purpose of their reproductive powers and are thus able to avoid what is contrary to this purpose. Their actions are based on decisions, and since decision making is a property of the rational faculty, human beings are bound to follow reason.

          • Timothy Horton

            Science only demonstrates that non-hetero orientation exists, not that it is natural, or good, i.e. according to the teleological order of nature.

            It occurs in the natural world with no conscious decisions of external guidance. It is therefore natural by definition. Evolutionary speaking it’s a neutral trait. It doesn’t hurt the overall reproductive fitness of the species so it hasn’t been selected out.

            There is no such thing as the “teleological order of nature”. That’s simply your anthropomorphism of natural processes.

          • Aliquantillus

            Even if a teleological order were an anthropomorphism — a position with which I disagree — it would still be relevant. For in that case it would be an exclusive property of human reason. And since reason has no determinated object but is about all things, the consequence would still be that a teleological order in nature has to be presupposed or assumed. If not, one would be forced to conclude that reason has an irrational property, an obvious self-contradiction.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Christianity teaches its followers to reject LGBT people.” —– FALSE. Christianity teaches us to reject immoral sexual BEHAVIOR (along with other immoral BEHAVIOR). Christianity teaches us to love everyone, regardless of their behavior.

          • Natureboi

            Denying rights is not “love.”

          • Mark Bradshaw

            What rights are you being denied?

          • Natureboi

            Equal protection and due process if you vote against gay marriage.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            FALSE. Marriage is NOT a right. ANYONE if free to be married under God, but they are NOT free to compel government to recognize it. Do you support the right for ANYONE to marry? What about a mother marrying her son (or daughter), or a father marrying his daughter (or son)? What about plural marriages? What about a person marrying his/her pet? If you believe that any of these are wrong and should not be condoned and supported by government, then (based upon your “logic”) YOU are denying them due process and equal protection.

            Simply stating that something is immoral and choosing not to support such behavior is NOT denying anyone anything. People like you seem to be all for society deciding what is acceptable and good….. until that decision conflict with what YOU want.

          • Natureboi

            I didn’t say marriage is a right.
            I said equal protection is a constitutional right.
            Due process is a constitutional right.
            Marriage allows those rights.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Christianity teaches its followers to reject LGBT people.” —– FALSE. Christianity teaches its followers to reject BEHAVIOR, NOT people. In fact, Christianity teaches us to love all, regardless of who they are or what they do.

            “Just read some of the vile hate on these blogs.” —— People who purport to be Christians do NOT necessarily follow the teaching of Jesus. There are many groups and individuals who claim to be Christian, but in fact do NOT behave as Christians should.

            “Do you approve of same-sex marriage? If not, why?” —– No. Because SSM goes against God’s design of marriage and mankind.

            “Name just one, please.” —— Because God has said that homosexual behavior is a sin. SSM defies God’s intent and design for marriage.

            “Please give me one logical, rational reason to deny rights to gay people.” —– What rights are being denied to homosexual people? Civil marriage is NOT a right – it is a privilege granted to certain groups by the government. If civil marriage were a right, then NOBODY could be denied the right to marry (i.e. parent/child, siblings, cousins, plural marriages, human being/animal, etc…). And, if government can deny any of those marriages, then it can most certainly deny SSM.

          • Natureboi

            Please stay on the current topic/debate.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Why? Why aren’t I “allowed” to comment on any topic I choose?

          • Natureboi

            You are bumping a months old debate. I was not debating you.
            Please stay on our current debate on abortion, otherwise you will be perceived as a troll.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            The date of the comments on which I choose to comment are irrelevant. If your comments can’t stand the scrutiny of being “bumped”, then I suggest you don’t make them. It is also irrelevant who you were debating – your assertions/statements to which I replied were factually incorrect.

            I like to get a sense of the people with whom I am engaging in debate.

            Please stop telling me what to do. How you “perceive” me is irrelevant.

          • Natureboi

            Fine.
            You realize you were incorrect when you responded to: “Name just one, please.”
            Your response was:

            [[“—— Because God has said that homosexual behavior is a sin. SSM defies God’s intent and design for marriage.”]]

            Your response is not an evidence-based, rationally developed reason.
            Your “because God says so” response is devoid of evidence and rationale.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Sure it is. There is plenty of evidence of God’s existence.

            “Your “because God says so” response is devoid of evidence and rationale.” —- FALSE. You use the same “rationale” when you say that we have right “because government says so”.

          • Natureboi

            There is no evidence of God’s existence any more than there is evidence of Allah’s and Mohammad’s existence.

            The government uses rationale to enact laws. The government actually can be proven to exist in modern day reality.

            God cannot be proven to exist in modern day reality, just like Allah and Mohammad cannot be proven to exist in modern day reality.
            Therefore, there is NO rational reason to not allow gay to people to marry.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            The government makes laws based upon the political leanings of the legislators of the time.

            The existence, or non-existence, of the government is irrelevant.

            “God cannot be proven to exist in modern day reality” —– FALSE. Proof of His existence is abundant – however people like you choose to ignore the reality around you.

            Therefore there is ample reason to deny SSM. Again, if you can deny marriage to ANYONE (parent/child, siblings, cousins, people/animals, etc…), then SSM can also be denied.

          • Natureboi

            Is it true that dogs can give legal consent in California?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Maybe. I am not sure. How could anyone know for sure if the dog did NOT give consent? And, what constitutes legal consent? And, if marriage is a right, how can the government require consent?

          • Natureboi

            Voting is a right, but you have to be 18 to vote.
            Why can’t that apply to marriage? Oh wait…it already does.

          • Natureboi

            How do you know that Allah isn’t the real God?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Because I know that God (Yahweh) is the real and only true god.

          • Natureboi

            How nice.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Sarcasm noted and dismissed!

          • Natureboi

            I wasn’t being sarcastic. Muslims believe Allah is the one true God.
            Why are you dismissing their religious freedom to believe that?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            I am dismissing nothing. They have every freedom to believe whatever they choose.

          • Natureboi

            If 1.5 billion Muslims believe they have chosen the correct God to worship, you do you determine that you have chosen the correct God to worship?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            There is nothing to “determine”. I have a relationship with God and understand that He is the one true God.

          • Natureboi

            So do 1.5 billion Muslims.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Then one of is wrong. When judgement day comes, we will know for sure (although I, and most Christians, already know).

          • Natureboi

            How do you know you chose the correct God?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Because the Bible asserts that He is the one true God.

          • Natureboi

            Are Hindus wrong?
            Are Buddhists wrong?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Yes.
            Yes.

          • Natureboi

            And Muslims?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Yes.

          • Natureboi

            How do you know you have chosen the right God?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Because Yahway is the one true God. All others are false ones. I believe in the inerrancy of the Bible and of God’s word.

          • Natureboi

            But Muslims believe the exact same thing.
            What makes you right?

          • John Crawford

            Are you asserting their Right to be superior to ours? If not, why is female genital mutilation not condemned, since it violates the Rights of women?? Why are they not forced by the homosexual mafia to serve open homosexuals, and pork dinners?
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            N/A

          • John Crawford

            Of course it applies.
            Semper fi

          • John Crawford

            Because a God of hate, death, and subjugation, isn’t the God of mankind. And yes, those terms apply to Muslims as well, given his commands towards women and girls.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            Leviticus 20:13 = hate.
            Noah’s flood = death.
            Exodus 21:20,21 — 1 Samuel 15:3 = subjugation
            Exodus 21:7 = selling girls into slavery.

            You are right!
            Your God is so much better than the Muslim God!

          • John Crawford

            You must have missed the New Testament, and the New Covenant God made with us.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            Are you saying that God never did and/or said these things?

          • John Crawford

            He did. What is your point? What were His justifications? As God, is He answerable to you or I?
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            So you approve of someone who murders children, toddlers, infants and pregnant women?

          • John Crawford

            God doesn’t require my approval. He is God. I require His approval.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            Then your morality belongs in a toilet.

          • John Crawford

            My morally, your morality, comes from God. If you don’t believe, you have no morals. You have convenient uses, temporary mores. Just like Obama and Hillary when they first insisted that marriage is between a man and a woman, later adjusting their mores. They, like you, have no morals.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            If I have no morals, what am I doing immorally?
            How do I know how to respect my fellow man?
            How do I know not to lie, cheat, steal and murder?
            If I have no morals, why do I have a clean police record?
            I am an in-paid volunteer firefighter.
            I help my neighbors in need for free.
            How did I learn to be good?

          • John Crawford

            If you respect, it comes from God’s laws.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            But if I don’t believe in God and “God’s laws,” where did my morality come from?

          • John Crawford

            You have none, as I said. What you call morals are merely momentary choices, which you will discard as it becomes convenient, just like Obama and Clinton, and so many who crave public attention. Since you’re likely not in their position, you merely take the easy road at any moment, deciding what will make you feel good.
            Semper fi

          • Natureboi

            But I have no desire to behave immorally.
            I have no desire to harm or do wrong to others.
            It repulses me to even think of doing harm or evil, and it repulses me when I see others doing harm and evil.
            Why is that?

        • Mark Bradshaw

          “due to the fact Christianity rejects LGBT
          people” —– This is a false premise. Christians don’t reject LGBT people – they reject LGBT BEHAVIOR. Most Christians love the person and reject their sinful behavior.

          • Natureboi

            “Most Christians love the person and reject their sinful behavior.”

            Denying them rights isn’t “love.”

          • Mark Bradshaw

            What specific rights are being denied?

          • glenbo

            “What specific rights”

            Equal protection and due process.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Right. God’s law doesn’t provide for unequal protection or denies due process. How does a business owner saying “No thanks” equate to unequal protection? How is the free exercise of one’s religion and adherence to the tenants of that faith equate to denial of due process? How are people being denied due process?

          • Natureboi

            Anyone who votes against the right for gays to marry does not “love” those they are denying the right to marry to.
            When you say Christians “love” the person, you are lying.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Again, your assertions are FALSE.

            “When you say Christians “love” the person, you are lying.” —– FALSE. One can love another AND reject their sinful behavior. In fact, this is what Jesus did. “Love” dose NOT mean accepting everything anyone does. A parent loves their child, yet still tells them that stealing is wrong. God (and Christians) still love you regardless of your sinful behavior. Rejection of sin and sinful behavior is NOT a rejection of love – despite what people like you think.

          • Natureboi

            >>”Rejection of sin and sinful behavior is NOT a rejection of love”<<
            Rejection of rights is hateful.
            You lie when you say Christians love gays.
            Denying rights is an act of hate.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Rejection of rights is hateful.” —– FALSE. Rejection of mankind’s redefinition of marriage is not hateful.

            “You lie when you say Christians love gays.” —— FALSE. Christianity teaches us to love all, regardless of who one is or what one chooses to do. However, that doesn’t mean that we are to accept or condone or be complicit in the sinful behaviors of others.

            It is clear that you don’t really understand love or what it means.

          • Natureboi

            You can disagree about the definition of marriage or behavior, but when you physically deny rights to others, it is not love.
            Denying rights is harmful. It is not love.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Again, marriage is NOT a right. Ci IL marriage is a governmental privilege. It is a governmental privilege that has certain benefits.

            The government has denied legal recognition of unions for many groups. Are THEY being discrim8nated against? Is it hateful to say that a parent shouldn’t be able to marry their child, or for siblings to marry? If you deny those groups the legal right to marry, then YOU are hateful.

          • Natureboi

            >>”Again, marriage is NOT a right.”<<

            Yes it is for 2 consenting adults In law within a prohibited degree of kinship referring to a degree of consanguinity (blood relatedness) between persons that results in certain actions between them becoming illegal.

            The Supreme Court said marriage is a civil right in 14 cases.

            You lie when you say you "love" gay people.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            What you just described is a PRIVILEGE. If requirements are placed upon the ability to do something, then that something is NOT a right.

            Sorry, but your assertion that one cannot love another if you reject thir sinful behavior is NONSENSE. Does a perent stop loving their child if they say stealing is wrong? You clearly equate love with acceptance and allowance of ANY behavior. Your view of love is incorrect.

          • Natureboi

            Are you saying heterosexual marriage is not a right?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            I am saying that NO marriage is a right.

          • Natureboi

            So you never had a right to marry your wife?
            Then why were you allowed to do so?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Civil marriage is not a right. I wasn’t “allowed”, I just did.

          • glenbo

            >>”God’s law doesn’t provide for unequal protection or denies due process. “<<

            Nonsense.
            Legal marriage doesn't require God or religion.
            Denying gay people the right to marry is denying them rights.
            That's the farthest thing from love.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Civil marriage doesn’t require God. However, marriage was designed to be between one man (husband) and one woman (wife).

            Civil marriage is NOT a right – it is a privilege. If it were a right, then ANYONE could marry and demand that government support it by providing benefits.

            You twist and warp in order to rationalize non-natural and immoral acts (marriage). If you believe that certain marriages are taboo or wrong, then by your own rationale, you are hateful.

          • glenbo

            >>”Civil marriage is NOT a right”<<
            Yes it is.
            Marriage IS a right.
            The Supreme Court determined that 14 times.
            Marriage is ONLY a right for only two consenting adults within reasonable consanguinity.
            Your love is phony.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Marriage is ONLY a right for only two consenting adults within reasonable consanguinity.” —– You CLEARLY do not understand what a right is. If you (or government) can say that marriage is only for two consenting adults, then they can say that it is only for two consenting heterosexual adults.

          • glenbo

            >>”If you (or government) can say that marriage is only for two consenting adults, then they can say that it is only for two consenting heterosexual adults”<<

            What is the reason for denying two homosexual adults this right?

          • Natureboi

            Equal protection and due process if you voted against allowing them to marry.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Again, FALSE. Marriage is NOT a right. You are free to love and live with whomever you choose. However, you are NOT free to compel government to recognized and support (by way of benefits) that union.

          • Natureboi

            “Marriage is NOT a right.”
            Yes it is.
            Afer (dot) org/blog/14-supreme-court-cases-marriage-is-a-fundamental-right/

          • Mark Bradshaw

            While marriage, in and of itself, may be a fundamental right, governmental recognition is not. And, even if governmental recognition were a right, you cannot compel another individual to go against their religious principles/conscience.

            Marriage was designed by God to be between one man and one woman. And government cannot compel me to accept/support any “marriage” outside of that scope.

          • Natureboi

            >>”governmental recognition is not.”<<

            Yes it is.

            Marriage is only validated by the state and federal government.
            Otherwise there are no legal benefits and rights available for the people seeking the right to marry. To deny this is not "love."

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Civil marriage yes, but marriage as it was designed/intended – NO, government is NOT necessary. Ones rights are IRRESPECTIVE of government – that is what makes them rights, versus privileges.

            “To deny this is not “love.”” —– BS.

          • Natureboi

            “marriage as it was designed/intended – NO, government is NOT necessary”

            Without government, many rights are unavailable, such as social security benefits and inheritance/survival rights.
            Marriage is a secular government entity. To deny it is not “love.”

          • Mark Bradshaw

            FALSE. Government is NOT needed for one to have rights – fundamental rights. Government is only needed for privileges and government-sponsored/controlled “rights”.

            Civil marriage is a secular thing. However, marriage’s original design is of God.

            Do deny that which is immoral and against God’s law is love, because that ultimately is what God intended for us and what is best for us.

            So, based upon your rationale, we shouldn’t deny civil marriage to ANYONE, right? IF a father wants to marry his daughter/son – OK? If a mother wants to marry her son/daughter – OK? If a person wants to marry their pet – OK? If you deny ANY of these marriages, then you are denying the rights and benefits to those individuals.

          • Natureboi

            If you are in a same-sex marriage, your union will be legally recognized everywhere in the United States and you are entitled to all of the same state and federal benefits as opposite-sex married couples. However, these rules do not apply to unmarried couples that have established either a domestic partnership or civil union. If you are in either of these two marriage-alternative unions, none of the benefits of marriage under federal law will apply to you, because the federal government does not recognize these same-sex relationships.

            Denying full legal marriage to gay couples is discriminatory and is not “love.”

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “Denying full legal marriage to gay couples is discriminatory and is not “love.”” —– Then denying full legal marriage to ANYONE is discriminatory and hateful.

          • Natureboi

            So you agree.
            See how easy that was? Your “love” is phony.
            You lied.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Uh, no. I am illustrating the illogical nature of your argument. As I have repeatedly stated, one can love AND reject immoral nehavior.

            You accusations are baseless and utter nonsense.

          • Natureboi

            Denying marriage to gay couples is hateful.
            There is no reason to do so.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            NO, it is NOT hateful. By your own reasoning, denying marriage to parents and their children is hateful. And, denying marriage to siblings is hateful.

          • Natureboi

            Why don’t you want gay couples to be allowed to marry?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Because it perverts the true design of marriage and opens the door to acceptance of all kinds of immoral behavior.

          • Natureboi

            What is the ‘true design?
            What immoral behavior has been opened in Massachusetts in the past 13 years since gay marriage has been legal?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            True design = God’s design of one man (husband) and one woman (wife).

            What has happened (or not happened) in one state is irrelevant to what COULDN’T happen. A woman has chosen to, and was allowed to by the state, marry HERSELF. A man has been allowed by the state of CA to marry his DOG. These are the type of things SSM has opened us up to.

      • Then there’s the way Jesus spoke of it in Matthew 5:11

  • glenbo

    The two main (only?) issues that render Christians as being “persecuted” are abortion rights and LGBT rights…both of which are nobody’s business.

    The controversy with abortion is between women who want to retain the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy and the Church that desperately needs a replacement population for its job security. Search: FRC dot org/ Amish America’s fastest growing church. The Baptist Church admits the only reason it fixates and obsesses with sexual behavior and procreative rights is for its selfish need to secure its future. THAT’S IT.

    The so-called “battle” against same-sex marriage is in fact not a battle at all. It is a control issue. The Church wants to control human procreation via denying birth control, abortion, and in some sects masturbation. (Really?)

    As for homosexuality, the only “battle” going on is group A (LGBT people) want equality, and group B (The Church) insisting it owns the rights of others. THAT’S IT. Group B wants to punish/marginalize/demean/demonize group A via denial of rights/equality for NO LOGICAL REASON. This is bigotry by its very definition.

    Women want the right to control their pregnancy and subsequently their lives which will be permanently and significantly altered by an unwanted pregnancy. LGBT people ONLY want to co-exist on this planet we all must share. The Church does not own this planet and all life on board.

    There is no need to “battle” abortion rights, and there is no rational reason to “battle” LGBT rights. Neither are anyone’s business. It is disrespectful, intrusive and divisive.
    If you refuse to welcome unwanted hardship intrusively introduced into your life and finances against our wishes and free will, then what gives you the right to do so to anyone else against their wishes and free will? Nothing, and certainly not a non-existent imaginary God’s so-called dictates written by man during the Bronze Age when the world was still flat.

    Perhaps if one doesn’t want to feel and/or be persecuted, one should refrain from being a persecutor in the first place and leave others alone and just mind your own business.

    • Shaquille Harvey

      “The two main (only?) issues that render Christians as being “persecuted” are abortion rights and LGBT rights…both of which are nobody’s business.”
      What two main issues ?
      Maybe for “abortion rights” and “LGBT rights” is these two are so prevalent in our culture and are being pushed onto Christians. As for persecuted many Christians stand opposition to these issues and are called out by our society even though many other groups and worldviews also disagree to theses two. “Nobody’s bussiness ” so can Christians go on being Christians are they state still able to run bussiness without being sued ?

      “The so-called “battle” against same-sex marriage is in fact not a battle at all. It is a control issue. The Church wants to control human procreation via denying birth control, abortion, and in some sects masturbation. (Really?)”
      Yes the church teaches these issues immoral sin ( some cases sexual immoral sin)however how is the church wanting control ? How controlling others ? Are they controlling what you do ?

      “As for homosexuality, the only “battle” going on is group A (LGBT people) want equality, and group B (The Church) insisting it owns the rights of others. THAT’S IT. Group B wants to punish/marginalize/demean/demonize group A via denial of rights/equality for NO LOGICAL REASON. This is bigotry by its very definition.”

      1. What equality ?
      2. “Demonise” kind of like your doing to Christians and the church ?
      3.owns what right if others
      4. Where do you get your objective morality from to say this or any of it is wrong ?

      “Women want the right to control their pregnancy and subsequently their lives which will be permanently and significantly altered by an unwanted pregnancy. LGBT people ONLY want to co-exist on this planet we all must share. The Church does not own this planet and all life on board.” The only problem is it’s not quite as simple as women’s rights here. As for coexist ma I ask what of Muslims then ? Muslims don’t believe in ss marriage or LGBT why are they allowed to be against this ? Why aren’t you telling them what to do ?

      “against our wishes and free will, then what gives you the right to do so to anyone else against their wishes and free will? Nothing, and certainly not a non-existent imaginary God’s so-called dictates written by man during the Bronze Age when the world was still flat.”
      Bronze Age ? Some portions of the bible are written during that era however during the time of the New Testament we have left the Bronze Age long ago. Why should a certain age have any relevance on a doctrine or a testament on the life of a persons account. Since when did the ages have objective meaning ?
      Also by the time of Jesus some historians believe people had stopped believing the earth was flat.

      • glenbo

        Sir…you seem to have a comprehension problem. Are you on medication?

        • Shaquille Harvey

          What comprehension problem ? you keep saying the same things over again and will not answer my questions. You also result to attacking others from yourself each time

      • By the time of Jesus the circumference of the earth had already been computed within about 10 percent accuracy.

    • Glenbo, I suspect you believe in evidence-based reasoning. I don’t know where you find the evidence for the charges you’re making against the church here. Note that assumptions about the psychological state of Christians do not count as evidence.

      • glenbo

        >>”Glenbo, I suspect you believe in evidence-based reasoning. I don’t know where you find the evidence for the charges you’re making against the church here.”<>”Note that assumptions about the psychological state
        of Christians do not count as evidence.”<<

        Religion teaches LGBT people are sinners. (Amongst other
        things)
        Voter ballots materialize that directly work against LGBT
        rights and accomplish NOTHING else.
        Christians largely vote conservative and generally support
        anti-LGBT politicians (such as Trump) and ballot initiatives creating marriage ban amendments that accomplished NOTHING but to deny LGBT people rights.

        The “psychological states” of Christians manifests into votes
        (based on their stereotyping of LGBT people) and becomes reality.

        Thusly we have evidence. Anti-same-sex marriage bans that accomplish
        nothing but marginalize gay people, and politicians who legislate laws that do the same and accomplish nothing.

        What more evidence that the Church is against gay rights and is the driving force to block gay rights do
        you need?

        • goldrushapple

          What constitutes a “right”?

          • glenbo

            >>”What constitutes a “right”?”<<
            Protections for people as per the constitution.

          • goldrushapple

            Gotta be more specific than that bud.

          • glenbo

            >>”Gotta be more specific than that bud.”<<

            The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection. Marriage provides this.

            When my Mother re-married, her 2nd husband had an excellent job with an excellent health insurance plan. She was able to be covered under his plan, but only because they were married.

            They were able to file their taxes jointly.

            She was able to have more income tax deductions.

            Her new husband was able to advocate for me and my 3 other siblings in many ways in her absence.

            He had next-of-kin status for us kids.

            Since he was a vet, she was entitled to preferential hiring for spouses of veterans in government jobs.

            She was able to make medical decisions for him when he got cancer.

            When he died, she was able to receive his social security pension.

            She was entitled many survivor and inheritance benefits.

            Need more?

            There's 1138 federal + hundreds of state benefits she would have the "right" to enjoy because of a singe piece of paper.

            How does denying all these marriage "rights" to gay couples with children benefit those children? It doesn't. denying gay couples all these "rights" that ONLY marriage automatically brings benefits children in same-sex households.

            My Mother would not have had these protections, as guaranteed by the constitution had she not been allowed to marry.

            What is the rationale in denying gay couples this?

            What is the purpose of denying gay couples this?

            What is ultimately and actually accomplished in denying gay couples this?

          • goldrushapple

            > The 14th Amendment guarantees equal protection. Marriage provides this.

            All that you listed really brings the cat out of the bag, no pun intended. It really wasn’t about “let gays get married because of love.” It’s all about the benefits. By your reasoning I can technically get married to my second cousin whose a man in case I need health benefits. At least that’s clear.

            >What makes it any of your business if gay people are allowed to marry?

            First this is not a serious question. The REAL question is were gays denied marriage in the first place. The answer to that is that they weren’t. How do I know this? Because there have been cases were a gay person got married to the opposite sex. They got the coveted benefits you so cherish. So in the end gays were always allowed to marry.

            The rest of your questions, like the one I quoted aren’t serious questions because, well, they’re just really dumb questions. I know game. You want me to answer “Well, I just hate them gays. I’m a bigoted person.”

            It’s all about the benefits.

            And I say this as an ex same-sex mirage supporter.

          • glenbo

            >>” It really wasn’t about “let gays get married
            because of love.” It’s all about the benefits.”<>” Because there have been cases were a gay person
            got married to the opposite sex. They got the coveted benefits you so cherish. So in the end gays were always allowed to marry.”<>” By your reasoning I can technically get married to
            my second cousin whose a man in case I need health benefits.”<>” It’s all about the benefits.”<>” You want me to answer “Well, I just hate them
            gays. I’m a bigoted person.””<<

            So far you have already indicated this, but I will give you
            one chance to disprove that with one simple question:

            What is the rationale in denying gay couples 1138 federal + hundreds on state benefits many of which clearly benefit the children in a gay household?

            In other words, what does denying gays the ability to marry accomplish?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            “How do you know gay people don’t love one another?” —–Nobody has said that gay people don’t love each other. The assertions is that the only purpose of homosexuals seeking marriage right is for benefits. One does not have to get married in order to love someone and/or spend the rest of your life with them. In fact, NOBODY has to get married to love or spend the rest of your life with them.

            “To insist that ALL gay couples marry ONLY for the benefits is presumptuous.” —– NOT presumptious….just factual.

            “Why are you against them having benefits?” —– Thanks for confirming it IS about benefits. Does this man you support ANY ONE getting married for any reason – after all, you don’t want to deny them benefits, right?

            “Why would a homosexual want to marry someone of the opposite sex?” —– Benefits, as previously stated.

            “It’s like saying: You can drive a car, but ONLY the model I choose for you. You are NOT allowed to choose which car suits you, because it doesn’t suit ME.” —– Uh, NO. It’s like saying that certain cars are street legal, while others are not allowed. NOBODY is choosing who you can “drive”. You can “drive” anyone you like, but the government doesn’t have to recognize such “driving”.

            “What gives YOU the right to decide who others can love?” —– Absolutely NOBODY is making such a decision. You are free to love ANYONE you choose.

            “What gives YOU the right to decide for others who they can marry?” —– So you support ANYONE getting married then, right?

            “You would NEVER allow someone else to force you to buy a car you didn’t like because it offended them” —– FALSE PREMISE. Nobody is forcing you to love and/or marry someone you don’t want to.

            “If your point is, ‘Now that gays can marry, I can marry my dog,’ you are foolish” —– What gives you the right to deny/reject this? What if the man loves his dog? How can you deny his right to love his dog?

            “And again, you are stating the absurd, that ALL gay people ONLY want benefits and that NO
            gay people want to merely affirm and express their love” —– Again, one does NOT have to marry in order to express/affirm his/her love for another. So, the ONLY reason to get married is for benefits.

            “Why can’t you understand that gay people fall in love just like heterosexuals?” —– NOBODY contends that homosexuals fall in love. But marriage isn’t about love – it’s about benefits.

            “Even if this false claim was true, how is that any of your business what legal contracts other people enter into?” —– NOT a false claim. So, you don’t oppose ANY marriage (father/daughter, mother/son, brother/sister, etc…)? How kind of you.

          • glenbo

            If marriage is not about love, but only about benefits, then everyone should be able to marry someone who will provide them with benefits.
            If we are free to love who we choose to love, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to marry that person we love.
            If we choose to spend the rest of our lives with the one we love, marrying that special someone only enhances that love.
            If only two consenting adults are allowed to marry within a legal prohibited degree of consanguinity (blood relatedness) then there is no harm to anyone else… man or beast.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            FALSE PREMISE and a STRAW MAN!! Christian business owners who simply want to provide for their family are NOT “worshiping money”. They are simply providing for their family while doing their best to live in accordance with their faith.

            “If we are free to love who we choose to love, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be allowed to marry that person we love.” —– Then you MUST AGREE that ANYONE should be able to marry ANYONE they “love”, right? Love and marriage are two separate and independent things. One is not required for the other. One can love without ever getting married. And one can get married without ever loving the other. You CONFLATE the two by stating that they are intertwined- but the are not.

            “If we choose to spend the rest of our lives with the one we love, marrying that special someone only enhances that love.” —– By providing BENEFITS. Therefore, since marriage is NOT required to be able to love another, civil marriage is ONLY about benefits. Anyone is COMPLETELY FREE to spend the rest of their life with whomever they choose -civil marriage is not required for that.

            “If only two consenting adults are allowed to marry within a legal prohibited degree of consanguinity (blood relatedness) then there is no harm to anyone else… man or beast.” —– So, you are okay with putting limitations on who can marry (civilly) then? Awesome! We can reject/deny civil marriages between homosexual people. But there IS HARM (by your standard) to those that do not fit that criteria -only2, only adults, and those hat aren’t blood related. Why would you deny people that don’t meet that criteria the ability to marry the one/ones they love? Doesn’t THEIR love count? After all, marriage sent about procreation, so blood relatedness isn’t an issue.

            Your arguments are illogical, irrational, and show that you haven’t really given them much thought.

          • glenbo

            What is the harm of allowing gay couples to marry?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Because it opens the door to other types of marriages. Because it forces business owners into associations onset that may violate the tenants of their faith. Because homosexual behavior – which includes unions that celebrate that, is a sin.

            Likewise, what is the harm inot recognizing ANY type of civil marriage? What is the hardest with parent/child marriages? Oradult/child marriages? Against human/animal marriages? After all, civil marriage is not about procreation, so what exclude those unions where procreation is not possible?

          • glenbo

            Did this happen in Massachusetts since gay marriage has been legal for 13 years?
            Can children and animals give legal consent?
            NO.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Why is legal consent relevant when it is all about love?

            And, just because it hasn’t happened in a SINGLE INSTANCE, it doesn’t mean that it couldn’t happen. The door was opened, and it is irrelevant whether or not someone has actually walked through the door.

          • glenbo

            13 years isn’t enough?
            Okay then

          • Mark Bradshaw

            WHAT are you talking about?

          • glenbo

            Same-sex marriage has been legal in Massachusetts for 13 years. NONE of the nonsense you mentioned happened.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            That doesn’t mean that it CAN’T happen. SSM opened the door to other unions. Some of which you might not find acceptable.

            Just because you (may) leave your front door unlocked and nobody has broken in doesn’t mean that such behavior (leaving your door unlocked) doesn’t increase your chances of someone breaking in.

          • glenbo

            >>”. SSM opened the door to other unions.”<<
            Where? When?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            You don’t really understand what “opening the door” means, do you? It mean that since the terms/parameters of marriage have been redefined, then ANY interpretation is possible.

            The ruling on SSM opened the door to other unions because of the arguments made for SSM – the arguments you present here. You assert that marriage is about love. If it is about love, then how can rejection of ANY marriage based upon love be denied? SSM nullified the procreation argument, so how can ANY non-procreative marriage be denied?

          • glenbo

            What happened in the last 13 years in Massachusetts while this door was “open?”

          • glenbo

            Religious freedom doesn’t give you the right to tell others what to do..
            What people do with their genitals is none of your business.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Nor have I EVER told others what to do.

            Nor do I care what people choose to do with their genitals.

            I only care about what people like you try to force me to condone/accept, or support my labor with.

          • glenbo

            You judge others by what they do with their genitals.
            This is creepy.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            NONSENSE!!! I am judging NOBODY. I am simply trying to live in accordance with God’s law. I rebuke sinful behavior.

            YOU are the one interjecting genitiles into the conversation. You are an idiot.

          • glenbo

            Sex sex sex.
            That’s all the church cares about.
            Meanwhile, God turns his back on 20,000 children who die every day.
            Nope.
            It’s all about making babies.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Sin, sin, sin… that is what churches care about.

            It is all about rejectiin of behavior that is sinful.

          • glenbo

            Yes…rejection of SEXUAL behavior which is NONE of your business.
            Get your mind OUT of other people’s bedrooms. Creepy!

          • Mark Bradshaw

            You (people like you) make it my business when you advocate for laws that penalize me for rejecting such behavior.

            My mind isn’t in anyone’s bedroom. It is in the public sphere, where people like you have thrust sexual immorality into. You do WHATEVER you like, wherever you choose, just don’t force/compel me to accept it.

          • glenbo

            Always with sex.
            Creepy.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Yeah, why do YOU keep bringing up sex. Your assertions are a little creepy.

          • glenbo

            Then why are you engaging with me in conversation…about SEX?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            To illustrate that you are the one who keeps bringing up the subject.

          • glenbo

            Why are you so concerened with procreative behavior?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            I am concerned about SINFUL BEHAVIOR and being forced (through laws, regulations and policies) to accept/support such behavior. Why do you continue to attempt to sexualize the issue?

          • glenbo

            Other people”s behavior is none of your business.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            It is when I am compelled by force of law to accommodate such behavior.

          • glenbo

            You cannot even explain why homosexuals are “sinners” without invoking SEX.
            Creepy!

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Sure I can, because God says it is sinful behavior. It is contrary to His design of human beings.

          • glenbo

            Then why did God create homosexual attractions?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            He didn’t. Mankind CHOSE to stray from God’s law and design. Besides, it is NOT about attraction – it is how one acts/behaves.

          • glenbo

            Are you saying sexual attractions can be chosen?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            No. I am saying that God didn’t create homosexual attractions.

          • glenbo

            Why do they exist?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Who, knows. Perhaps you should ask a behavioral expert.

          • glenbo

            If you don’t understand why they exist, you have no business denouncing them

          • Mark Bradshaw

            I have NEVER, EVER denounced attractions. I have denounced/rebuked BEHAVIOR – sinful behavior.

            Please STOP conflating things.

          • glenbo

            Other people”s behavior is none of your business

          • Mark Bradshaw

            It ABSOLUTELY IS when I am compelled by force of law to accommodate such behavior.

          • glenbo

            Then you should stay away from “sinners.”

          • Mark Bradshaw

            WHAT? Why should I stay away? Besides, we are ALL sinners.

          • glenbo

            >>”Why is legal consent relevant when it is all about love?”<<
            This stupid statement demonstrates your ignorance.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Uh, NO it isn’t. It is relevant because you made the connection. Why is consent (legal) relative when your whole justification for marriage is “love”. Can’t one love another without consent to sex?

          • glenbo

            Why do you think consent is important in entering a legal binding contract?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            So, marriage is nothing more that a legally binding contract – and therefore has NOTHING to do with love?

            I never said that consent isn’t important for legally binding contracts.

          • glenbo

            Who someone loves is none of your business

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Nor have I EVER asserted that it is my business.

            AGAIN, you conflate love and marriage. Those two things are DIFFERENT and DISCONNECTED things. One is NOT NEEDED for the other.

          • glenbo

            Who others want to marry is none of your business.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            It is when I am forced to accept the consequences of such unions. It is when I, as a business owner, can be penalized (monetarily, legally) for rejecting such unions.

          • glenbo

            Then you shouldn’t market products sinners want.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Again, NONSENSE!!!! Your premise/assertion/suggestion is IDIOTIC. Rather than limiting what I can do or produce, perhaps you should focus on YOUR actions.

          • glenbo

            >>”perhaps you should focus on YOUR actions.”<<

            There you go again…telling others what to do.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            NO. I am merely suggesting that you focus on YOUR actions. It is called a SUGGESTION. You are completely free to believe and act as YOU choose.

          • Natureboi

            “AGAIN, you conflate love and marriage. Those two things are DIFFERENT and DISCONNECTED things. One is NOT NEEDED for the other.”

            www (dot) youtube (dot) com/watch?v=BRDBvKGc1fE

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Riiiiiiight. Your argument is based upon a Frank Sinatra song. Figures.

          • Natureboi

            So he’s wrong?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            He is a singer.

            I married my wife to show my life-long commitment to her and our (at the time) future children. It is a commitment before God.

          • Natureboi

            Did you marry your wife because you love her?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            Yes. Are you saying that ANYONE who loves another should be allowed to marry them? Are you saying that love is the only requirement to marry?

          • Natureboi

            I thought you said that love and marriage are different and disconnected things.
            Why did you marry your wife?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            I said that love is not required for one to marry, nor is marriage required to express one’s love.

          • Natureboi

            So you married your wife because you love her?
            Why then can’t gay couples also be allowed to do this?

          • Mark Bradshaw

            That was one of the reasons that made me want to commit to her for the rest of my life.

            Again, if love is the only requirement, why can’t ANYONE marry: parent/child, siblings, person/pet?

          • Natureboi

            Can children and pets give legal consent to enter into a legal agreement?
            If not, your argument fails.

          • Mark Bradshaw

            So, you interject yet another arbitrary qualifier – legal consent? I thought it was just about love.

            And, according to at least the state of CA, a dog CAN give legal consent. Perhaps you should look at the bigger picture, rather than focus on you utopian MA.

          • glenbo

            >>”according to at least the state of CA, a dog CAN give legal consent.”<<

            OH MY GAWD!

            First you LIED about "loving" gay people.
            Now this absurd lie.
            That's TWICE you lied.

            You lost all credibility and respect.

      • 7.genie

        Thank you for your article Tom. Yes we are very aware of this on my channel and continually have to deal with it when people like glenbo and natureboi come and attack us for our beliefs. The thing they don’t seem to understand is we didn’t write the bible. We as Christians believe it is the word of God. Their hatred for God and defense of the LGBT movement speaks volumes about where they are coming from.

        If I’m to be 100% honest I don’t care what they do, but they want us to approve and accept it and that is where I draw the line and say “don’t stick it in my face”. I have known many homosexuals and met up with many of them on disqus. They will often introduce themselves that way, “I am a roman Catholic and a homosexual”. I have never introduced myself with my denomination and sexual preference. What would I say “Hi I’m a protestant and a heterosexual? What I prefer and what I do in the bedroom is no ones business and I don’t care to hear theirs either.

        What God actually has to say about homosexuals is in Romans and that is they will pay the price in their own bodies. I don’t have to do anything or say anything. The results of this will pan out as God has created us and knows what is good for our well being.

  • Philmonomer

    Real Christian Persecution: Are We Near the Tipping Point?

    No.

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