Thursday, May 26, 2011

HOMOPHOBIC PROFESSING CHRISTIANS DEFAME CHRISTIANITY

UPDATE, 5/27: Rockford Catholic diocese to end adoption programs over same-sex civil unions.

The following post is a repeat of the post I wrote last February 9th, as I feel it is worth repeating here:

A couple of years ago, I received the following email from the American Family Association. It read as follows:

Dear Rev. Dr. Jerry S.,

"ESPN and its parent company, ABC, have refused to take any action against ESPN anchorwoman Dana Jacobson for her hateful, slurring remarks against Jesus, saying 'F-- -- Jesus.'

"On January 11, Jacobson was speaking at a celebrity roast in Atlantic City, N.J., when she unleashed a profane tirade, saying, 'F--- Notre Dame,' 'F--- Touchdown Jesus' and finally 'F--- Jesus.'

"'Touchdown Jesus' is the popular moniker for a statue of Jesus raising his arms, located on the Notre Dame campus.

"Catholic League president Bill Donohue spoke with ESPN about the attack and received an e-mail from Jacobson which basically treated the incident as a non-event. The statement said, in part, 'I respect all religions and did not mean anything derogatory by my poorly chosen words.'

"Jacobson's comments were at a public event where she was representing ESPN.

"The fact that neither ESPN nor ABC has taken any action against Jacobson indicates they have a bias against Christians. Donohue said that Jacobson should be fired.

"This anti-Christian bias of the networks is becoming commonplace. Actress Kathy Griffin used her appearance on the Emmy Awards program to tell Jesus to 'suck it,' responding to athletes who thank Jesus when they achieve certain levels. No action was taken against Griffin."

Although I find the "popular moniker" for the statue of Jesus at Notre Dame to be defamatory, as it trivializes Jesus, I also find the statements made by Dana Jacobson and Kathy Griffin, as reported by the AFA, to be defamatory, showing the contempt that they may well have for Christianity. They have no apparent qualms that their defamatory statements would offend their listeners.

And, the unfortunate fact is that it is very likely that increasing numbers of people would not be offended by their statements as reported. And that likelihood is due to the fact that we have allowed as spokespeople for Christianity to be what used to be until recently "the fringe" within the Christian community.

What was the fringe a mere thirty years ago has largely overtaken much, if not most, of the institutional Church and most all clergy, and other professing Christians, have not condemned the hate-mongering and hateful rhetoric that has been spewed from all too many pulpits against LGBT people. Indeed, the history of the institutional Church is replete with its being enmeshed with the most reactionary forces within secular society, being their spokespeople, affirming their hatred and exclusion of assorted minority groups, and being in the vanguard in the oppression visited upon LGBT people.

This reality has caused untold numbers of intelligent, sensitive, and decent people to distance themselves not only from the institutional Church but from Christianity itself, as these people falsely believe that the fringe, the haters, the homophobic clergy speak for Christianity and speak for God. Indeed, many Christians have distanced themselves from the institutional Church and, as in my case, do not even go to church any longer, unless it is a church that embraces all of God's children.

Christianity is largely held in contempt by many people because clergy and other professing Christians have not confronted the homophobic clergy for not only preaching the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion, but for perverting Christianity to be in accordance with their own prejudices and, frequently, hate-filled hearts.

Moreover, those who profess to be Christians, by their mere attendance in churches that have homophobic clergy as their pastors, have lent credibility to those clergy, and have affirmed and encouraged the homophobic hatefulness that has been spewed for all too many years. And such clergy have also emboldened assorted politicians and others to either to engage in homophobic rhetoric themselves or, just as hatefully and cowardly, helped prevent almost all politicians to be against full and equal civil rights for Gay people.

The image of Christianity has come to such a sorry, distorted, state that it is very likely that if you even mention the word "Christian," the first word that would likely come into another person's mind would be the word "sin." The crying shame is that the word "love" would not likely be the first word that would come into people's minds when the word "Christian" is used.
I don't merely blame the homophobic clergy for this state of affairs, but I also blame cowardly professing Christians for allowing these clergy to speak for Christianity, for the Church, and for God, and to do so with impunity!

The very fact that homophobic clergy and others know that most people will not confront them for the anti-Christian sentiments they express partakes of the same dynamic as the defamation of Jesus by some people in the media. Both groups of people fail to know what Christianity truly is, and that is because the living out of the Christian life is so infrequent; the exposition of the Gospel of Christ is similarly infrequent; they know that their target audiences are likely to view their hateful sentiments favorably.

The only Gospel to be found in Christianity is the Gospel of grace (God's unmerited favor), faith (trusting God over and above seen circumstances), love, peace, reconciliation, and inclusiveness. Anything else is not of God and is, indeed, a distortion and perversion of Christianity!

That's why the word "Gospel" means "good news!" The Christian is liberated from legalism and from the yokes of bondage imposed by mere fallible human beings.

Jesus tells us that we are free! Hear Him: "If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed." (John 8:36)

The homophobic clergy and their blind followers, uttering words and frequently acting in discriminatory ways diametrically opposed to the Gospel, show by their rhetoric and actions the facts that they, themselves, are not free, and that they don't seem to have a clue concerning the Gospel of Christ.

Moreover, they also seek to impose yokes of bondage onto others so that other people can be as warped in their theology and in their lives as they are; by so doing see to it that intelligent, sensitive, decent people aren't likely to even consider Christianity as "a reasonable faith" and as a viable way by which to navigate their lives in this world.

Indeed, homophobic clergy and other homophobic professing Christians are doing the devil's work!
And if professing Christians remain silent in this matter, and don't speak out against the perversion of the Gospel and the demonizing of LGBT people, they are not only aligning themselves with these homophobes, but they are showing themselves to be every bit as culpable in doing the devil's work!
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15 comments:

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Jerry,

The Lord had advice for the blasphemers and the false prophets you're talking about:

LUKE 12: 8 - 10
(Jesus Christ said) “I tell you, whoever publicly acknowledges Me before others, the Son of Man will also acknowledge before the angels of God. But whoever disowns me before others will be disowned before the angels of God."

LUKE 12: 42 - 46
(Jesus Christ said) “Who, then, is the faithful and wise manager, whom the master puts in charge of his servants to give them their food allowance at the proper time? It will be good for that servant whom the master finds doing so when he returns. Truly I tell you, he will put him in charge of all his possessions. But suppose the servant says to himself, ‘My master is taking a long time in coming,’ and he then begins to beat the other servants, both men and women, and to eat and drink and get drunk. The master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him, and at an hour he is not aware of. He will cut him to pieces and assign him a place with the unbelievers!"

Jerry Maneker said...

Thanks Don Charles. These are excellent and appropriate verses of Scripture as applied to professing "Christian" homophobes who deny the grace of God, thereby denying the Gospel, and who heap untold suffering on God's LGBT children, and have the temerity to do so in the name of God. Best wishes, Jerry.

tastetherainbow33 said...

It is amazing isn't it how so many slights can be said against religion and Christianity without anyone batting an eyelash, but if a celebrity were to say the word "fag" it is made national news. This is sad. I don't understand why people think it is okay to trash any particular group. We are all people, we all deserve to have our opinion, even if we might not agree with one another.
I like how you mention that the homophobic clergy is doing the devil's work. I think it is these "Christians" that preach of hatred that give all of Christianity a bad name at times. I think this is a completely unfair assumption to be made.
In a totally unrelated note, I e-mailed your hotmail account with the first five questions of the interview if you are still interested. I would really appreciate it if you could send back your answers ASAP. Thank you so much, once again, for your time.

Jerry Maneker said...

I agree with you, tastetherainbow33, and I'll do my best to answer your questions within the next day or two. Best wishes, Jerry.

genevieve said...

There's always been a bias against Christians just as there is against LGBT people. It's grieving when the institutional has been at the forefront of bigotry and repression of LGBT people throughout the centuries.

With the Christian right in the front lines of this bigotry, it's not surpising that LGBT reject Christ and Christianity. I can't really blame them.

Jerry Maneker said...

I can't blame them either, genevieve. One of our tasks is to show LGBT people that Christians worthy of the name are not homophobic and in no way reject any of God's children. Best wishes, Jerry.

MK said...

Hello Rev. Jerry.

I like Genevieve's point about church-based bigotry. The vast majority of anti-gay laws and activity are done in the name of religion, or aided and abetted by organized religion.

Many LGBTs have been rejected by churches, or their spirit was broken by the church. Many other gay men are forced into the closet, or continue to attend antigay churches. One cannot blame many LGBTs for choosing not to associate with religion, or even rejecting religion altogether. It's their choice as an adult.

BTW, I have a question for your friend, the writer and essayist Don Charles. Why is he nicknamed "Stuffed Animal" Was it a childhood nickname? Just curious.

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi MK. Thanks for your comment. I'll send it to Don Charles. Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

To MK:

Submit this question to me on my blog, Ignorance Is Plentiful, and I'll respond to it.

MK said...

Thank you for responding, Rev. Jerry.

And thank you, Don. My apologies for going off-topic. I'd be delighted to comment at your blog. I enjoy your and Jerry's essays.

Mark Kassidy said...

Hello Rev. Jerry.

I was thinking of you, Don Charles and this post when I was watching the news last night.

Have you been keeping abreast of the sexual scandal and lawsuits around "Bishop" Eddie Long in Atlanta? And the other mega church pastors who are defending it?

It's quite arrogant and galling, these homophobic gay bashing pastors who secretly harbor same sex desires! And the church members are in massive denial and don't even care there tithes are being used to pay off sexual coercion lawsuits and fund his lavish lifestyle! I saw so much of this in the Church of God in Christ. It's very sad how some of these pastors are clearly lying and hypocrites.

I would love to hear your thoughts (and Don Charles, too) and hope this isn't too far off-topic ...

Also, have you heard from Don Charles? Per his instructions, on Sunday I posted my question about his nickname to his excellent bog Ignorance is Plentiful. I also left two other comments. None have been posted. I hope he is not under the weather.

MK

Jerry Maneker said...

Hi Mark: Don Charles wrote: "It's frightening, how prone so many Gay men are to slavish celebrity worship. They're like lambs to the slaughter for opportunists like Lady Gaga."

Regarding your other well articulated point regarding those who support these hypocritical pastors, I'm reminded of Frederick Schiller's remark: "Against stupidity, even the gods contend in vain." Best wishes, Jerry.

DON CHARLES aka "STUFFED ANIMAL" said...

Mark:

Your question about my nickname has now been answered on my blog.

"Bishop" Eddie Long, and other repressed Gay religious leaders like Donnie McClurkin and Ted Haggerty, have a lot of repenting to do. Forgiveness is available to them, but they've got to seek it out! At present, they are unrepentant. They continue to break God's Commandment not to bear false witness. Worse, they bring falsehood into the pulpit. On top of that, they bring ignorance and hatred, too! And there are so many people who seem unable to resist charismatic clergy. They're like puppets on a string!

There is a terrible punishment awaiting these clergymen if they don't change their ways. Jesus Christ had a stern warning to preachers who put stumbling blocks in the path of those who seek salvation: "Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!"(Matthew 18:7).

I've said this before: You cannot stand before God wearing masks and disguises! There is no truth you can conceal from Him, especially not the truth of LGBT status, which He Himself designed and gave to us as a gift. To be Gay, Bisexual or Transsexual is to mirror the gender of God. What an insult to the Lord, for anyone to conceal such a blessing! It is sinful for a Gospel messenger to hide in the closet, and even more sinful for Him to try to closet others. But, having read my essay "Trouble The Waters", you know how I feel about this, Mark.

Mark Kassidy said...

Thank you for those very cogent analyses, Don and Rev. Jerry. Have a great weekend!

Jerry Maneker said...

Thank you so much, Mark. You have a great weekend too. Best wishes, Jerry.