“The Matt Hill Comer problem” & a tearless Greensboro


All in one issue… all in one fell swoop. Two guest columns this week in The Carolinian, one focused on the evil of homosexuality, the other in response to one of my previous columns.

The first, written by a former member of the UNCG College Republicans states that I am a person “prostituted to a cause which wrecks the lives of other human beings.” Later in the column, the writer states, “In the wink of an eye, God can frown into hell all those rebels like Matt Hill Comer, the members of PRIDE!, and all those administrators and students that have foolishly desecrated what the King calls sacred.” Check out “The Matt Hill Comer problem: Where is God when smart people go bad?

The other, written by a member of the UNCG International Socialists Organization is in response to my column last week. Check out “No tears need to be shed for Greensboro.”

P.S. & Clarification – I am no longer affiliated with UNCG’s LGBT student group, PRIDE!. To be honest, I believe I’ve missed enough meetings, technically, to not be counted as a member anymore. Yup, according to the president of the group, I’m no longer an “active member,” in accordance with the group’s attendance regulations and constitution.

[Editor's Note: Post edited on Thursday, 1/25/2007, 10:15am; Originally posted Wednesday, 1/24/2007, 12:36am ~Matt]


Comments
38 Responses to ““The Matt Hill Comer problem” & a tearless Greensboro”
  1. Ryan says:

    P.P.S. & Clarification – As far as I know, Jason’s no longer a CR.

  2. Matt says:

    I said “former” didn’t I? lol

    He connected me to a former organizational affiliation… no harm in me pointing out his. At least I was clear about making it a “former” affiliation.

  3. Micah says:

    Matt;

    I thank you for your progressiveness and the good work you do for the benefit of the GLBT community as a whole.

    I only read the first article, “The Matt Hill Comer problem” (I couldn’t bring myself the read anymore intolerance with the second article.) The bottom line is that the first article was intolerant and arrogant; there is no other way that I can put it. My problem with these people that cling oh so tightly to their Bibles (completely missing the teachings of Jesus Christ) is that they think their actions of forcing their religious beliefs on others is completely justified. That is wrong. I could write an entire book on why that is wrong, but I choose not to do so in a website comment.

    I have said it before, and I will continue to say it, what we need today, in this society, is acceptance and tolerance of all people, regardless of gender, race, sexual orientation, religious beliefs and political ideology. It is imperative that we come together as a society and work for the good of all people. Sadly, we are far from that “utopian” society, but through the tolerant socialism that we teach one another and the evolution of thought in the 21st century, I believe that we can begin to dismantle these baseless prejudices and that over time tolerance will be the majority moral consent. I look very forward to this day.

    I will leave this with two quotes from Margaret Cho, a comedian and political activist:

    “If you are a woman, if you are a person of colour, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are person of intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. And it’s going to be really hard for us to find messages of self-love and support anywhere…. If you don’t have self-esteem, you will hesitate to do anything in your life…. You will hesitate to report a rape. You will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote; you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution, and our revolution is long overdue.”

    “If racial minorities, sexual minorities, feminists both male and female, hell, all liberals got together and had this big “too much information,” “go there,” voice… that would equal power. And that power would equal change. And that change would equal a revolution. “

    • realchristianty says:

      really? are you serious? I mean its quite laughable that you say in this farce of a letter that someone who says the bible hates the act of homosexuality not the actuals gays needs to learn the teaching of Christ. Tell me what does Jesus Christ teach in the Bible about Homosexuality? I find it quite funny that homosexuals say things about the Bible that are not true. Sin is sin, no matter how you look at it. God says its a sin, so its a sin, Jesus didnt teach anything different from God. Love the sinner hate the sin, its that simple. its the same as murder, lying stealing its all sin, none is any worse then the other, its all sin.

  4. Matt says:

    Thanks Micah, for your very well-thought out comments and responses.

    Again, thanks for your comments Micah. You always offer a great breath of fresh air with your honest, insightful and intelligent remarks.

    If I ever run for office, want to come on board my campaign staff and be my speech writer/consultant? LOL

  5. Samantha says:

    a bunch of friends of mine and i were reading the Jason Crawford piece and got pissed, calling you and PRIDE! (yes, I know you are not affiliated with them as a member, but just stating what the article said) members desecrations from the King.

    And those are some of my favorite Margaret Cho quotes. That is all :)

  6. Dan says:

    Jason Crawfords article has got to be one of the best pieces of literature I have ever read! I believe he has pointed out exactly what is wrong with your “god-sent” mission of equality. Now I am not trying to condemn anyone or call out Mr. Comer, but what I see as a huge problem with this site is the hypocrisy.

    Matt calls himself a Christian, (which in the sense he believes in Jesus is true) but how can you call yourself a Christian if you go against what the Bible teaches.

    Here is the list of things that go against the Bible.

    1.
    Genisis 9:7
    “As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it.”

    I think it is pretty obvious how homosexuals cannot do this. That is of course unless they go against the teachings of both old and new testaments and against the teachings of Jesus and have adultry or fornication. (where ever their relationship is at at the time)

    2.
    Romans 1:24-27
    “24Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. 25They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

    26Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. 27In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.”

    Once again I think it is extremely clear that God sees homosexuality as a sin and a perversion that goes against what God had intended for mankind. How can someone who lives in sin serve an almighty and perfect God?

    3.
    Leviticus 20:13
    “If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestable. They must be put to death; their blood will be on their own heads.

    Now I am not saying we should kill Comer and his kind, because that rule is under the law. We live in the Dispensation of Grace, but still you can see the same principle, that God doesn’t approve or condone homosexuality. I am not saying God doesn’t love LGTB people, but he doesn’t approve of their actions. This is the same for straight people who commit adultry and fornication, and even for people who steal and lie. They are all sins! They all need to be stopped and repented for the remission of sins.

    I’ll stop with that and let you guys respond.

    Dan

  7. Matt says:

    Hi Dan… I’m going to address your points, in the same order you made them. I’m not going to address your opinion about Mr. Crawford’s column, for that is just your opinion (although I do agree that it was very well-written and composed).

    1. Genesis 9:7
    What stops homosexuals from having children? Are we infertile? No. Is there a Biblical law against artificial insemination? Not that I’ve ever been told or read myself. Homosexuals can and do reproduce and/or care and raise children, whether it be through artificial insemination, surrogate mothers or through adoption. Your point is a straw-man argument: It makes no point. Homosexuals can and do reproduce children of their own.

    2. Romans 1:24-27
    This passage has got to be the most commonly mis-used, abused, mis-interpreted and mis-applied Biblical texts supposedly addressing homosexuality throughout the entire Bible. I urge all to go back to Paul’s Epistle to the Romans and read the entire text without cherry-picking verses 24-27; start reading at the beginning of the chapter. Paul is CLEARLY, without question, addressing the “pagan” (i.e. non-Christian/non-Jewish) populations of Rome.

    The proof there is clear to see as he speaks on how these pagan worshippers (22) Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, (23) And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. (24) Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: (25) Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.

    Pauls is, without question, addressing the pagan idol-worshiping cults of ancient Rome. No doubt. He is also addressing how these people, after “changing the truth of God into a lie” and turing the glory of God into “an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things” turned to obscene temple rituals of which any person of history will know included ceremonial, ritualized sex (inside the temple).

    Paul is NOT discussing homosexuality was we know it today. He is discussing temple ceremonies and rituals involving sexual practices in the worship of idols, i.e. images “made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things.”

    3. Leviticus 20:13
    The book of Leviticus contains portions of the Holiness Codes of the Ancient Hebrews. These codes were not created as “law handed down directly from God,” but rather human, man-made law (mainly by and for Priests). Also… the modern evangelical and fundamentalist movements who want to put so much stress on the word “abomination” miss the point that abomination does NOT mean something that is intrinsically or inherently evil or sinful. “Abomination” refers only to that which was “ritually unclean” for the Ancient Hebrews: acts or actions which were meant to seperate the small tribes of Israel from that of larger society. I, along with many other gay Christians raised in fundamentalists homes and churches, can attest to the fact that the definition and meaning of “abomination” has been stolen, as we were taught that an “abomination” was something that sent us directly to hell, no questions asked. This understanding of Leviticus is dangerous and flimsy, as it allows any person to come along and cherry-pick which portions of the Holiness Code he or she will or will not follow. We are Christian… in the 21st Century. We are not Ancient Hebrews living 2,000-3,000 years ago. The Holiness Code has absolutely no bearing on us today.

    ——————

    Dan, you say that you are “not trying to condemn anyone or call out Mr. Comer,” but that is exactly what you did in the next paragraph.

    I don’t understand how you confuse “this site” with me, as a person. This site is inanimate. It is a vessel of LGBT news, views, opinions and my writings. This site can’t be hypocritical. Now I could be hypocritical, but I’d maintain I’m not.

    Dan… You are not the only person in the world who can claim what is “true.” We all look at the Biblical texts and take away different things (especially if we have no knowledge of history or if we decide to cherry-pick certain verses and ignore the other verses which would totally blow our argument out of the water).

    Please don’t tell me what I need to do for my Salvation. You haven’t the power. You aren’t God and you aren’t Christ.

  8. Dan says:

    Alright, I am trying to keep an open mind here. So if in Romans he is talking only to unbelievers does this mean that something that is sin to unbelievers is not sin to us believers? Can I steal without sinning while a unbeliever can’t or does this only apply to homosexual relationships? Also if what you say is true why does Paul call it “Unnatural” relations?

  9. Matt says:

    I didn’t say that Paul was saying that it was a sin to unbelievers. I’m saying that Paul was addressing these rituals being used in connection to idol worship.

    Also… You can’t compare ritualized Temple prostitution of the pagans to the committed, monogamous relationships of homosexuals. You can’t do it. It is totally uncomparable.

    Also… to the “unnatural” portion: I maintain that it is unnatural to use acts meant only for love between two people in ritualized Temple prostitution.

  10. Dan says:

    alright fair enough. Answer this.

    If two women love each other and want to produce a child they may be able to use whatever sorts of “artificial insemination” but they still need a seed. They can in no way produce this seed. So no I do not believe two women can have children, but, two women a man and a machine may have children.

    Pretty much the same for males. They have the seed, but they do not have the capacity to bear a child.

    And as for adoption, that is not being fruitful and multipling but merely taken someone elses fruits.

    I do not believe God intended mankind to run like this. We are becoming extinct. Very slowly but none the less, we are killing are children with abortions and those of us still alive are failing to produce more. (homosexuals)

    I believe the reason why God create male and female is so that we can procreate.

    Waiting a response
    Dan

  11. I don’t want to interrupt anything but the phrase “I believe the reason why God create[d] male and female is so that we can procreate” is my pet peeve.

    I mean, it’s a given that God created male and female beings for the purpose of procreation… but to assume that procreation is the ONLY thing for which we’re put on this earth is… well, depressing.

    Does this mean that infertile men and women are useless? Or are they simply being punished? What about those that choose to not have children? Are they going to hell too?

    And the extinction argument is laughable. If it hadn’t been for natural disasters, war, and other various man-made abominations, the earth would have been overpopulated years ago. I had a Geography professor who called the tsunami a necessary evil. I doubt extinction by abortion and homosexuality are some of the last things the doomsday scientists are concerned about.

  12. Matt says:

    Ok… first of all… Thanks Melissa…

    Secondly…

    Dan says:

    If two women love each other and want to produce a child they may be able to use whatever sorts of “artificial insemination” but they still need a seed. They can in no way produce this seed. So no I do not believe two women can have children, but, two women a man and a machine may have children.Pretty much the same for males. They have the seed, but they do not have the capacity to bear a child.

    And as for adoption, that is not being fruitful and multipling but merely taken someone elses fruits.

    Then, Dan says that he does “not believe God intended mankind to run like this.”

    So Dan… do we outlaw infertile couples from getting married or having a relationship because God said be fruitful and multiply? Do we stop heterosexuals from adopting because God said be fruitful and multiply?

    The human race is not going extinct. According to figures gathered by the State of North Carolina, population growth in this state alone is projected to be 14.6% higher than total number of the population at the beginning of the millenium by the year 2020 (src). According to the U.S. Census Bureau (src), the world’s population in the year 2050 is projected to be at over 9 billion (we’re currently at just over 6 billion)

  13. Matt says:

    Oh… and another question for Dan… Since God said “be fruitful and multiply” do we then force all the unmarried people – gay or straight – to get married and then… do we use the force of law to force them to procreate?

    Procreation was not the only commandment given to humans. In fact, procreation wasn’t even the most important commandment given to humans. Do you know what was, Dan? I’ll tell you, and so would any minister: The most important commandment given to humankind were the two given by Christ: First to love your God with all your heart, mind and soul and the “second is like unto it,” To love your neighbor as yourself (after which he stated, upon these two commandments “hang all the law and prophets”).

  14. One more thing…

    “And as for adoption, that is not being fruitful and multipling but merely taken someone elses fruits.”

    It is an unfortunately fact that not every person living in the United States is a Christian, or even a “good person” by any standards. As a result, there are numerous children living in abusive situations. Foster care is a less than ideal option, and because there are already so many foster children, social workers often cannot help children who are in these abusive living conditions. And whether it is “politically correct” to point out this fact or not, the number of foster parents that become such just for the small government stipend they receive each month is outstanding.

    I am a straight, Christian, Republican (*gasp*) woman who personally feels that I would rather help those unloved children than have them on my own. It breaks my heart to see young brothers on the news age 8 and 10 who want to stay together, but few people are willing to adopt children that age, let alone two of them. If they ever DO get adopted, the odds are stacked against them that they will both be adopted to the same family. Most likely, both will stay in foster care until they commit some crime which puts them in juvenile detention, and they’ll just end up on the streets after that.

    Is it therefore not noble to want to adopt children rather than procreate on your own? Do we allow children like those two brothers to go without parents or positive role models simply because we don’t think gay couples are “moral” enough to handle the task of raising children? And even if we are ignorant enough to believe that a gay couple will only succeed in raising gay children (and if that’s so, will someone please tell me how straight people manage to raise gay children?), would we not rather have our children grow up gay than grow up as murders, thieves, and other such delinquents?

    As a Christian, Dan, I worry that your priorities are misplaced. We cannot pick and choose which parts of the Bible we are going to follow. And so long as we realize that, we should remember that God expects us to leave the judging up to Him.

  15. Matt says:

    Amen Sister… from the Gay Brother in the front pew!

  16. Crawford says:

    Matt,

    I would like to say something about the Romans 1 passage. I want to focus there because it would take too long to mention the others.

    But let me briefly say something to Dan and Melissa about the argument from Genesis 1:28. May I humbly suggest that the procreation argument – though I am sorry to say it has wide circulation among conservative evangelicals – is usually made more for rhetorical effect than for the purpose of seriously helping people that are grappling with homosexuality from a biblical standpoint. As has been alluded to already, that kind of thinking puts homosexuality on the same moral plane as infertility if followed to its rational conclusion. Dan, there is another way: Genesis 1:26, not verse 28. Homosexuality squelches something in a human being far loftier than the ability to procreate. Like all sin, it robs him of the capacity to carry out the very purpose for which he was created: to bear the image of the perfectly holy God that made him. Christ came to restore that image in those that are called by His grace, Romans 8:29.

    Now concerning the first chapter of Romans, let me first address some problems with your view. At the very outset, I do not see how narrowing the scope of Paul’s words to a few Roman citizens in the first century has any qualitative impact on the message to us today. Even if the pagans in Roman society were on Paul’s mind when he wrote – and far from denying that, I actually am sure they were – this does nothing to remove the sting of these words for those of us guilty of the same sins in the 21st century. To the extent that any society duplicates what Paul here delineates in excruciating detail as the pattern of the reprobate mind, that nation or group of people would also seem to be worthy of the sentence of death spoken of in the last verse, 32. Any other conclusion would lead you to be saying that God was just picking on the ancient Romans. But if we believe God is consistent, then any modern-day parallels we see to the Romans 1 situation must likewise provoke the wrath of an unchangeable God. No passage of Scripture can be dismissed in the way you suggested for all of Scripture “is profitable for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness,” (2 Timothy 3:16).

    But I actually don’t believe the context will support the notion that Paul is only thinking of pagans in Rome. Verse 18 makes it clear that Paul is employing the broadest scope possible. “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” The scope is therefore laid out by Paul himself: it is for every man that has ever been ungodly, unrighteous, or has suppressed the truth in any time or place. In other words, the entire chapter of Romans 1 starting at verse 17 is an essay about the collective state of the sea of humanity to whom Paul is debtor, verse 14. And what it is he owes them is this Gospel that is God’s power unto salvation, verse 17. He launches into this description of the history of the spiritual wreckage of the Gentile world here and then of the hypocrisy of the Jewish society in chapter 2. This all culminates in the third chapter where he concludes in verse 10 and following that “there is none righteous, no not one.”

    Romans 1:18-32 is really just Paul amplifying the words of Christ and the prophets. Christ: “And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil,” (John 3:19). Again: “For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies,” (Matthew 15:19). Jeremiah: “The heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jer. 17:9). And one of the OT texts from which Paul quotes in Romans 3 as applying to all mankind also says, “The wicked are estranged from the womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies” (Psalm 58:3).

    The same God who spoke light into existence at the creation of the world has now pledged to change this heart by His Spirit. “I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh,” (Ezekiel 36:26). The glory of grace is God’s love and power that are manifested in this radical transformation. You do no service to grace by minimizing the depths of the ditch from which Jesus must pull His sheep.

  17. Matt says:

    And herein lies the problem between your theological viewpoint and mine, Mr. Crawford.

    You see the Bible and the text within it and do not pause long enough to seriously consider the context in which it was written. Oh, you have considered it, but certainly you have not given it enough consideration to give the context its full weight and influence over the writing.

    I, on the other hand, do see the context. I see it plainly and I see it clearly. I understand that St. Paul was writing about the Roman pagans at that time, for very specific actions, practices and rituals and I understand that the Bible cannot always be applied 100% to our present-day situations.

    If we do not see, in full measure, the historical and situational contexts of Scripture, then we are doomed to constantly mis-interpret, mis-apply and mis-judge it.

    Mr. Crawford, the lives St. Paul describes of the Roman pagans do not represent my life or the lives of many of my gay friends. Of course, some of my gay friends could certainly fit perfectly into St. Paul’s description of the Roman pagans, but I also know many more straight friends who would also fit into these descriptions. The descriptions of the lives of those forsook God and his glory and exchanged it for the glory of the creature (i.e. idols) applies to all persons, not just homosexuals. The descriptions and the effects of exchanging the Glory of God for lies have absolutely nothing to do with sexual orientation, but rather everything to do with evil. This is why context is so important. At the time of St. Paul’s writing of this letter to the Roman Christians, it just so happened that the ritualized sexual Temple practices of the Roman pagans were the actions which went along with exchanging God’s Glory for lies.

    In our time in the 20th and 21st century, perhaps our evil is not ritualized sexual Temple practices, but rather our materialism and obsession with Hollywood “news” and celebrity gossip (as well as our insatiable need to hear about the Oscars, the Academy Awards, etc.). Perhaps our evil lies in our political posturing, ethical violations, failure to be good stewards of the earth and universe of which God commanded us to be guardians, the commercialization of our “high holy days” celebrating Christ’s birth and the Resurrection or the scandalized hierarchy of many of our religious institutions.

    Despite what you claim, Mr. Crawford, historical and situational context are important. St. Paul may have been divinely inspired, but he was not Divine like Christ; St. Paul was still human and subject to the same human failure, fallibility and the limitation of our mortal minds and intellect.

    St. Paul’s focus in chapter 1 of his epistle to the Romans is focused on the Roman pagans, and while he does, indeed, state that evil can be seen in all men and women he is still focused on the particular sins of the Roman pagans and the Gentile world in which many of the Roman Christians found themselves living.

    Again, I stress that our differences on this matter are a matter of two very distinct and different theological viewpoints. We both, however, continue to worship the same God and the same Saviour, proving that while two people may have different theological views they can also have the same strong faith and belief in God and Christ, the Saviour.

    Now… moving on…

    Speaking on your argument on Salvation, Mr. Crawford, I would maintain that it hinges on the aspect of an “unchangeable God” as well as a concept of “only one true way.” Indeed, I would agree with your statement that God is unchangeable, but I also think we’d disagree on exactly what “unchangeable” means. I think we’d also disagree slightly on the “only one true way” aspect of Salvation. I do believe that God is unchangeable, but I also know that Scripture tells us God has changed His ways and plans and intentions for humanity many times throughout history (just one example is clearly seen in Acts, when Peter is told that following many of the Old Testament Jewish laws are no longer required for living a holy, Godly life or for receiving Salvation). If God is unchangeable as you maintain, then all of the Jewish laws should still apply to all those seeking Salvation today through Christ.

    I would also say that there may not just be “only one true way.” I quote from my column this week:

    While I’m confident in knowing what the Gospel is and while I have no doubts as to the principles Christ sought to teach humanity, I find myself asking, “What the hell was I thinking?” Who am I to put God in this little box and say that it is big enough to hold Him? My puny, mortal human mind and “intellect” are nothing in comparison to my omniscient, omnipresent, omnipotent God. Do I believe that Christ was divine? Sure. Do I believe that Christ is my Saviour and that God sent Him to save humanity? Sure. Can I say with absolute certainty that God has never placed divinity in another person or revealed His truth and glory through other means? Nope. Can I say that God hasn’t used other people in “saving” humanity? Nope.

    Although I don’t have all the detailed answers, I do know this: God is too big, too complex and too unimaginable for me to think I could ever pin down the “true path” and put up a “one way” sign on Salvation Lane. After all, I’m only human.

    Mr. Crawford, I’m sure that you are reverent enough to admit that you, as a mortal human, cannot ever hope to fully imagine the full scope of God and His plan for humanity and its Salvation. If you can admit this, can you not also admit that you cannot claim to know the “only one true way”?

  18. Crawford says:

    Matt, let’s talk about these ways of ours. I do not flinch in saying that I know “the Way, the Truth, and the Life, (John 14:6). The Way is a Person, not a grab-bag assortment of religious ideas that appeal to me. The “one way” sign you speak of was posted by Christ Himself, not upon His teachings or His religion, but upon His very Person.

    But Christ has gone farther than even that. He has posted yet another sign you haven’t mentioned. I grant that my Way seems narrow to yours. But Christ has posted both a sign upon Himself as the Way, and a sign over your “broad way.” And yours is very large in comparision to mine, isn’t it? And for that very reason the sign reads “destruction,” Matt. 7:13, 14. Read that Matthew 7 passage and see if Christ does not contrast these ways of ours Himself.

    I grant that you have a different viewpoint. “There is a way that seemeth right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death,” (Proverbs 14:12). And because it is a broad way, with a wide gate, your viewpoint can accomodate a large range of conflicting ideas. It facilitates homosexuals and heterosexuals. I agree that Romans 1 describes many straight people as well as it does homosexual. It is not necessary for the reprobate mind to engage in each and every sin cataloged in Romans chapter 1 because “we all like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way,” (Isa. 53:6).

    Your own way may not be the way of the straight sinner, or the drunk sinner, or the murdering sinner — but it is your own way. And my Lord’s word about this pet little way of every individual sinner is this: “Let the wicked forsake his way,” (Isa. 55:7). Why? Well God explains: “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts,” (Isa. 55:8,9). The way of man will always miss the Way of God for lack of spiritual altitude. I know that and that’s why the Bible is so important to me. But you show which way you are on when you prefer to not be pinned down by it.

    I’m really saddened that you disregarded so much of what I said about Romans 1. I hope it was because you were just tired. But I really think if you consider the full meaning of that 18th verse, you will realize Paul can’t be talking about Roman pagans alone. It’s all bigger than that. Remember: “The way of the wicked is an abomination unto the Lord: but He loveth him that followeth after righteousness,” (Prov. 15:9).

  19. Matt says:

    I’m really saddened that you disregarded so much of what I said about historical and situational context.

    I’m also really saddened that you have chosen to jump toward judgment and that you are so busy judging you forget Christ’s most important commandments, the ones which must always come first: Love your God and love your neighbor as yourself.

    In the words of the Reverend Joseph Lowery, “God didn’t call us to judge; he called us to love. And when you are too busy judging, you have no time to love. For with the measure you judge you shall be judged, and none of us wants to live with that.”

    Mr. Crawford, you are so busy attempting to use the Holy Name of God and His Word to judge and condemn the actions of others as sin and abomination, you do not have time to love. Please take off the judicial robes, step down from the bench and stop playing judge, a job which rightfully belongs only to our King.

  20. Crawford says:

    Do you remember what aggravated the original Sodomites when Lot tried to kindly reason with them? It was what they said right before they tried to break down his door. They said, “This one fellow [Lot] came in to sojourn, and he will needs be a judge,” (Genesis 19:9). They initially came to gratify their lusts for homosexual sex, but their last moments on earth were spent trying to tear down what they thought was a judge upon his bench. By your own mouth, you are revealing you are infected with the same spirit of the original Sodomite.

    Just analyze your own words. They condemn you, not me. Judgment is indeed involved with what I am doing, but it is not my own, but the righteous judgment of my God. My task here has been like Micah’s who said, “But truly I am full of power by the Spirit of the Lord, and of judgment, and of might, to declare unto Jacob his transgression, and to Israel his sin,” (Micah 3:8). Do you think Micah was wrong too?

    Or if you prefer the NT, was Jude wrong when he said, “Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire. Likewise these filthy dreamers defile the flesh, etc.” (Jude 7,8)?

    It is not too late for you. True love is when the Spirit moved Jude to write that the ancient Sodomites were set forth as an example of judgment. The many religious theives and hirelings of this world cry, “Peace, Peace; when there is no peace,” (Jeremiah 8:11). That is because they don’t love the sheep like the Good Shepherd does. See John 10:11-14.

    I hope the Lord does not deal with you as He did the Sodomites of old when He struck them with blindness at the hands of his two messengers. I’m talking about spiritual blindness, not physical. I pray that something inside of you tells you I’m right. If so, listen to it. It is the still, small voice of the Good Shepherd.

  21. Bram says:

    Mr. Crawford,
    You must be careful with the words you use because it is important to choose ones that accurately describe a given situation. Considering the context and reality of Genesis 19, the drive of gang rape is one of power, domination, and humiliation and has nothing to do with homosexuality as we are discussing it, here and now in the 21st century. No gay Christian would advocate gang rape.

    Also, we could play the “pick and choose” verse game all day. This was how slavery, racism, sexism, etc. have been justified in our recent past. We’ll take our prejudices and justify them with Bible verses. All you need is to be well-read, analytical, intellectual and to possess an extreme desire to be “right” no matter what. There are many mysteries about God and the faith and it is wise to remember that. So I could retaliate back with a comment about suggesting that you continue reading Romans past verse 1:18 and see what Paul says about judgment. But I’m sure you’ll fire back with something else. And on and on we go.

    But what is the point? While you may be very convinced that you are correct, can you not see that Matt and I could continue this conversation endlessly defending our position as well? I am a straight Christian who grew up hearing EVERYTHING you are putting forth…it is not a “herald” who eloquently summarizes the status quo as you have done. True prophetic voices are those who speak truth when very few believe it to be true or understand it. It takes little intelligence and bravery to regurgitate beliefs that have been ingrained in church-members and society for generations. The traditional views of homosexuality are pretty well known. We’ve heard them. Listen for a new voice of truth…every great change in human history was radical at first.

  22. Regan DuCasse says:

    There are variations of a singular phrase in just about every culture: that is to treat others as you would want to be treated.
    Mr. Crawford, self determination is in our DNA as human beings. Weighing how an act against a person does harm to the whole is part of the process of thinking through moral dilemmas.
    We live in the 21st century. And live lives of tremendous information and access only dreamed of my the writers of the Bible.
    I am a straight black woman, and to tell you the truth, I find the entire book highly suspect. Written by men, the rules of life dictated by men.
    In American, WHITE men used that same book to justify all manner of injustice against those not like them. History should have taught you by now, and the moral high ground that Matt stands on is this:
    gay men and women have the intelligence, genius and compassion to fully participate in anything that is positive for the success of the species.
    It’s true, SOME of us procreate, and SOME of us don’t. But our roles as full human beings, fully realized is more than that.
    You should LISTEN to gay people, more than lecture.
    ASK questions, seek common ground.
    Look around you at the history of men and women…men and women don’t get along well at all.
    In the strictest religious communities, women are offensive. Their bodily functions, even their very forms.
    And such societies structure the roles of men and women artificially and give no openness to individuality, but conformity and control.
    And the people most violated and repressed in this, are women and homosexuals.
    And it’s inevitable that they WOULD, because in all of nature…there is no strict duty to ONLY what’s female and ONLY what’s male.
    Creation is varied and of many colors. We are many things as human beings.
    But taking it for granted there is a form of supremacy of the common human being over the rare…is folly.
    Dangerous, illogical and stupid folly.

    You live in a limited world, but only made free by your life in America.
    Your commitment to your chosen lifestyle, as a man of faith….cannot trump the guarantees of the Constitution and force another citizen from it’s protections and standard of equality.
    We are allowed our choices to not have a religious life, and you will have to accept THAT.
    And gay men and women are subject to this country and it’s laws, not the ones YOU CHOSE to live by.
    Now, it’s easy for you to say what you want about gay people as say the Bible is a good enough reference for your actions against gay people.

    It’s a foundation and a chronicle of how far we have come as a species.
    And we have come VERY far. So to use that standard against the sound and open exercise of honesty and integration, and try to twist gay people back into that hole, isn’t going to work, however much you protest.
    You are having tantrums for the benefit of people who don’t know better or don’t want to.
    But you have no moral supremacy over a gay person. Heterosexuality isn’t a virtue. Neither is fecundity and fertility.
    These are merely involuntary states of being.
    As is homosexuality.
    What one does with it, is most important.
    And a gay person can’t hurt you by standing beside you performing their public function as a citizen, nor in a private function in a committed relationship.
    Wishing and dreaming and saying it’s so, doesn’t make it so.

    It makes YOU look irrational trying to sell what a sin being gay is, when heterosexuals commit a lot of evil on each other and all of us, with their sense of entitlement and supremacy.
    White men did it to black men here in American. Men against women and straight against gay.
    One cannot claim truth, where one isn’t and hasn’t been willing to promote honesty and integration with people they have no social or intellectual intimacy with.

    What was uttered in the Bible was said by another presumably straight male.
    You have to be taught to hate homosexuality, all other acts of brutality or betrayal by another human being, you know is wrong without instruction.
    So the victimized can teach on this.
    Straight people are NOT expert on gay people.
    No more than a man is on childbirth. Nor whites on the pain of how racism feels.

    What does that make you who has so little compassion for the gay person who is simply different and only offends because you PREFER offense to instruction from gay people.
    Well, you OWE truth to taking instruction FROM gay people.
    Standing in their skin, and facing what they face if you can.
    Otherwise your claims ring hollow, Crawford.
    They really do.

    There is a purpose for everyone here. Most of all, gay men and women ARE the caring and competent bridge between the brutal misunderstanding and sexual tension between men and women.
    You do not question the thumb on your hand to the fingers. It is less in number and works in opposition to the fingers…but without it, your hand would be less strong and skilled.
    You do not argue with your thumb about why it won’t function like fingers.
    You accept it as a part of life.

    Gays and lesbians WILL and CAN help our species to survive. With the intellectual and spiritual and physical gifts offered all mankind every day, any day of the week.
    We won’t survive without them. Or we will be too many and destroy the world with an excess of humanity.
    We are MUCH more than our procreative ability.
    So what if gay sex is sterile?
    So what?

    In a world with over 6 BILLION people and counting, most of whom live in poverty, disease and violence…less people procreating is a problem?
    Your fantasy of heterosexual supremacy and righteousness, is just that a fantasy.
    And only fostered because there are more heterosexuals.
    Not because heterosexuals are right.
    I like to think I am an intelligent messenger. And so far, all your messengers that you want to align with, share power with, invoke God with…are all males and hetero like yourself.

    Those of us who had to fight to allow our true selves to be seen and heard, still have to fight to do so.
    You’re not right Mr. Crawford, you’re not even brave.
    To be brave would be to dare to share in what those of us NOT LIKE YOU know all along.
    That you’re not the supreme being held in such self esteem, but more alike us than ever.

  23. Regan DuCasse says:

    I really think that a person in college, and who is so articulate and presumably smart enough to be so instructional on the Bible and such…
    Mr. Crawford,
    Gay men and women transcend color, ethnicity, religious background, family structure, economic strata, nationality and country of origin.
    This an indigenous, universal and enduring part of the human population (natural selection speaks!).

    So, why…why, why…do those so invested in hating gay people and homosexuality, keep calling this symbiosis of human evolution, a ‘chosen lifestyle’?

    Especially when arguing that a ‘chosen lifestyle’, doesn’t deserve civil and equal protection under the law.
    Why then, should YOUR chosen lifestyle of religious faith, be given ANY Constitutional consideration, Mr. Crawford?

    Gay people haven’t banded together and violently taken over whole cultures and countries and destroyed the indigenous religions of so many.
    Gay people aren’t the Islamic terrorist bombers, nor have they set an agenda for MAKING OTHER PEOPLE GAY, or threatened some form of incarceration or repression or violence against their fellow citizens, wherever they live in the world.
    But the major religions in the world, Christianity and Islam, haven’t gotten that way through flowers, songs and charity.

    If I had to choose who truly has been more brutal to exact God’s vengence…on the non believers
    I trust gay people a lot more, than a person of unswerving and certain religious principle any day.

  24. Crawford says:

    Jesus Christ and the mercy He extends to all sinners has been proclaimed afresh all through this thread. I am satisfied for now to rest upon what I have already written in other posts, knowing that His sheep will hear His voice in my words. A servant is not greater than his Master, and I expected something of this reception I received on a website like this. But let me nonetheless say that if I am ever able to put two words together, it is only because of the gracious power of Him that loosened the tongue of the dumb, gave sight to the blind, and hearing to the deaf. May each one of you that wrote in for whatever reason consider afresh this solemn warning that is attached to the message of mercy: “Today if ye will hear His voice, harden not your hearts,” (Hebrews 3:15).

  25. Regan DuCasse says:

    Matt could help you prepare the way if…or when you have your own gay child Mr. Crawford.
    You could talk to Matt’s parents. Or the parents of the other gay students.
    Sermons won’t help in this way.

    You wouldn’t recognize or be able to see Jesus in whoever he returns.
    I can tell.
    The reason why, is….you aren’t trying to invite Matt towards Jesus…but away.
    The Jesus way was still to love your neighbor as yourself. He said that because when you do, the rest takes care of itself.
    The blanket ‘we’re all sinners’ doesn’t fly in the way Americans do business so they can get along.
    All the other sinners can marry and bear children without the likes of you voting that they can’t.

    You don’t love Matt as yourself, you don’t want Matt to have what you have in this country. So Jesus is lost on you too.

  26. Regan DuCasse says:

    Is it just me, or is Mr. Crawford using Scripturespeak to anesthetize against honesty and intellectual parity?

  27. Regan DuCasse says:

    Hi Matt…
    I’m an anti hate activist. You could say I promote justice, and with that goes general welfare too.

    One doesn’t require a religious affiliation to have examined ethics and moral responsibility. I was raised in a home that saw ignorance as evil. Lack of motive for experience a tragedy, especially when experience with others was in abundance.
    I have felt the sting of injustice because of my gender and color.
    I’ve seen the damage done to others because of their difference and I won’t have it.
    And I won’t participate in it.
    No thank you.

    These are the only claims that I make and I hope to be brave when other people need attending to.
    Write me if you like. I’d wanted to go on the tour myself a while back, and I hope to again.
    I’d love to see what the legacy of Freedom Riders has wrought.
    You’re in good company.
    Too bad Mr. Crawford didn’t offer to take the ride with you.
    It’s the little things that can put things in perspective. Whether sharing the last Oreo, or talking to each other’s moms and giving assurances to them you have each other’s back.
    Those little things matter in this big, scary world.
    Mr. Crawford doesn’t sound like he wants to take your hand.
    I will, Matt…I surely will.
    And share my last Oreo with you.

  28. ExHack says:

    (cross-posted to the ‘Blend.)

    Jason’s rant has all the hallmarks of the self-hating, closeted gay boy, projecting his own self-loathing and internalized terror onto the most convenient and visible target. Been there, done that, got the T-shirt, ain’t doin’ it anymore.

    If you care to shut Jason up (although you probably could care less), best bet is to ask him out on a date.

    —–

    Matt, you’re a rockstar. I wish I were as brave as you when I was your age. Most of us have become so p***ed with the right-wing nutcases, fundies, and asst’d other freaks and geeks that we answer them with anger and the same hatred they show us. You answer them with courtesy and love combined with an unwavering commitment to justice and equality, like the Southern gentleman you are. When I have a few spare bucks to throw your way, I will.

  29. Alan down in Florida says:

    Matt – you speak correctly about social and historical context. The Genesis call to “go forth and be fruitful and multiply” comes from the context that the Jews, the first of the monotheists and God’s “chosen” were a small tribe within a wide world of pan/polytheists. The call for massive procreation was two-fold – to provide the families of the tribe with sons to work the farms and provide prosperity for both family and tribe and daughters to produce future generations. The Jews (and I am one) lived in a hostile and violent world. The call to procreate was also meant to increase the tribe’s sheer numbers in order to better defend itself from marauding invaders from other tribes and from nomadic thieves. Any interpretation of the Genesis quote outside of that context is a perversion of God’s intent.

    Mr. Crawford should also remind himself that saying that he has the right and duty to pass along God’s judgment is pure pride – one of the seven deadly sins.

    Mr. Crawford should also remind himself that we are all created in God’s image and we are all His Children. There have always been homosexuals (even if the word in a creation of man) and there always will be. There is nothing unnatural about it. It exists on every continent, in every race/ethnicity as well as a majority of species.

    God is omniscient and all-powerful. If it were his intent that there were no homosexuals then there would be no homosexuals. It IS JUST THAT SIMPLE. He made us the way were are and loves us the way we are and GOD DOES NOT MAKE MISTAKES.

    Finally, I hope Mr. Crawford is not too disappointed when he is left behind at the Rapture for following false prophets and bastardizing the word of Jesus Christ who – leave us never forget – was a JEWISH activist.

    Keep up the good work Matt. You are the future.

  30. Matt says:

    First… thank you to Bram, Regan and ExHack for their insightful and wonderful comments. I thought I replied right after Bram’s comment, but I guess I never hit submit. oops.

    Also… To Regan… I apologize that some of your comments got hung up in the comment spam filter. They’ve been moderated out of the filter now so I hope you don’t have anyother problems commenting.

    Thanks also to Pam for cross-posting and adding a bit of commentary on her site.

    I’m currently sitting in a coffee shop in Downtown Greensboro, about to head over to an event for the Guilford Green Foundation (Triad Takeover Night at the Green Burro near the corner of Elm Street and McGee if you want to stop by). It starts at 5:30. I’ve been busy all day with appointments and other commitments so as soon as I get to a point where I can sit down and read all the comments more fully and completely I’ll reserve any response I may have.

    Again, thanks ya’ll.

  31. Matt says:

    Also thanks to Alan, who made a comment while I was making mine, lol.

  32. Patrick ONeill says:

    I hate to see you in this position Matt, because arguing with a religious bigot is a complete waste of time – it just encourages them.

    Nothing that you can say will ever change that bigot’s beliefs, nor should you be required to attempt to.

    What you should do is sue the bastard.

    P.S. – The carolinian seems to have it’s opinions webpage down – I wonde why :) )

  33. Matt says:

    Hey Patrick,

    I don’t think I can sue him. Mr. Crawford has broken no laws. Technically, I believe I fall under the legal classification of what constitutes being a “public figure.” I’m fair game for columnists and journalists. Ooops.

    I don’t know if the Carolinian’s site was down earlier or not, but I do know that there have been some DNS problems. If it happens again, try refreshing the page and it may work (I’ve had to do this numerous times myself).

  34. Regan DuCasse says:

    Matt, I wonder of Mr. Crawford would have ever reached out to a mother like Mrs. Shepard or Mrs. Kittles.
    One the mother of a compassionate, intellegent gay college student. The other of a gay soldier, willing to fight for Mr. Crawford’s freedom to vilify him-but not extend any gratitude.
    Is it in him to understand the results of what he and so many others have learned about gay people…without really knowing any gay people?

    When I ask…a person like him, armed for bear with Scripture, what good has come from punishing gay people?
    What preciously wonderful results have come from preventing gay youth from their full realization?

    There is no answer but more Scripture. Punishing words, come to physical punishment and it’s very difficult to get the Crawfords of the world to admit they contribute to it.
    Let alone that they obviously WANT to, but will never witness the tears, blood, broken bones and broken spirits of the gay people they so enthusiastically preach to.
    The price isn’t inconvenience.
    The price is blood, and life itself.

    That’s what the Bible proscribes. The words are right there. No way to deny that’s what the Bible and other religious texts will say.
    The thing is, Mr. Crawford chooses to believe those words. He’s free to line item veto how he and his fellow believers will exact their judgement in civil law.
    His private beliefs are arranged now around who is the easiest to target and ultimately hurt.
    To shy away from exactly what HIS work will do, is the cowardice I speak of.
    Will his faith allow him to look directly at the broken skulls of the victims of his faith?
    The imploded families and marginalized lives?

    Does he ever question who would still be alive, their family whole…but not for HIS choices and how consistently he arranges his beliefs onto his ballot?

    There are things that have happened to me, to make me stay my own course.
    The white mother that beat her little three year old for being nice to the black lady with a white husband who said ‘good morning’ to them.
    That kind of hate that wasn’t directed at me, but towards the haters own tiny one.
    The epiphany I had when I realized that I was willing to die for the handful of gay adolescents (most of them abandoned by their parents) I had the privilege to teach.
    That was about the most powerful and terrifying feeling I’d ever had.
    These kids WERE supremely innocent, beautiful…ambitious and interesting. Mr. Crawford may judge these kids without looking at them and seeing himself.
    Woe to him. He may not think he’s missing anything.

    But Jesus was willing to die for those who were misunderstood. Those for whom justice was elusive and his own people who were scattered and needed unity and courage to guide them and secure their survival.
    Jesus stayed with the unwanted and unloved.
    I thank whatever brought that epiphany to me. It was love so strong and real and present.
    This came without prayer, without solitude…without summons.
    It came looking at the faces of gay kids. I’m supposing you’ve been there Matt.
    I’m not Christian. I’ve spent more time in temple than church.
    But I feel happy to recognize what is going to be required of me.
    I only hope that I’m worthy. I’ve asked my young friends why me?
    I’m not gay, I know nothing of being gay.
    I know that what Mr. Crawford chooses to believe, does so much more harm than good.

    I could try to teach him that, and those who believe like him.
    Demand they show what meaning and success comes from THEIR work against gay people.
    And at the same time, SHOW them the harms, and cruelty…and demand justification other than words on a page.
    The blood of Sakia Gunn, Matt Shepard, Scotty Joe Weaver and Freddy Martinez cries out for it.
    Mr. Crawford may be deaf to the voice of such blood.

    But I’m not. And I’m not afraid to listen…and ACT.
    I don’t want any more names on such a sad, horrible list.

    Matt, I’m proud of you brother.
    When is the next ride? I’d love to be there, maybe I can match what you need for it.
    Let me know.

  35. Musicguy says:

    Matt– Kudos for all you have done! I read Pam’s House Blend daily and finally decided to rad about you. You are an extremely well-spoken, determined individual who will certainly be a strong voice for the GLBT community all across America, and eventually, the world.

    Thank you for your time and dedication to GLBT causes. I’m sure you’ve developed a rather thick skin when dealing with the irrational fundies. If you think back in history, bigots have never much appreciated hearing the truth in a rational, well thought out argument.

    Best of luck in all you do.

  36. John says:

    As a Catholic it has been interesting to watch some people here, whom I assume are Protestant, add caveats to the Reformation principle of sola fide. Surely Dan isn’t implying that works have some role to play in eternal salvation? Hmm…

  37. Dan says:

    Replying to John.

    I am not quite sure where you got that idea rom but no I wasn’t.

    Alan says:
    “The Jesus way was still to love your neighbor as yourself”

    This is absolutly correct! I know I believe this and I am pretty darn sure Mr. Crawford does too. But does loving someone really mean to stand by watch them stumble? I am sure we all agree that we need to pull the plank out of our eyes before reaching for the speck in someone elses. (Matthew 7:3-5) But if I had a brother who started useing drugs, I would try to help him. Even though I would be judging him and telling him he was wrong and that he needed to stop, would that honestly be so bad?

    My point is you can judge and still love! Believe it or not I still love all you guys! (and not in the gay way either!)

    Just on a side note, I thought this was rather interesting.

    Alan says:
    “Mr. Crawford should also remind himself that saying that he has the right and duty to pass along God’s judgment is pure pride – one of the seven deadly sins.”

    It’s kind of interesting that you guys would name your organizations after a deadly sin!

    Now taking this back to the way top… My comment about homosexuals not being able to be fruitful and multiplying, let me clarify a few things.

    1. I never said adoption was bad. In fact I think it is very good thing for people to help out children who need them. I was saying the Adoption can not be counted as homosexual procreation.

    2. I also never said that I think that our job is simple to keep our race alive through procreation. Are we like may flys who are born, give birth, and then die? No, but it is important to do so. And once again I never said that it wasn’t God’s plan for some to never get married, and for others to never have children.

    Dan

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