The US Constitution laying atop LGBT flag
Is this image a violation of separation of church and state? One North Dakota politician believes so.

A new bill introduced in North Dakota seeks to curtail LGBTQ rights by recasting homosexuality as a "secular religion" which shouldn't receive any special treatment from the government. 

The ten-page HB 1476, introduced to the legislature by State Rep. Terry B. Jones, has LGBTQ right advocates incensed.

Under the pretenses of stopping religious influence in the law, the bill threatens to prevent everything from transgender people changing their gender on their driver’s license, to Drag Queen Story Hours on public grounds, to gay marriage itself.

Is "not being religious" a religion in and of itself? That seems to be the argument. 

No Religion is the New Religion

The bill’s goal is clearly to thwart the progress LGBTQ individuals have made in the last dozen or so years. To do so, the bill tries to redefine homosexuality as inexplicably linked to “the secular humanist religion.”

But critics say that's nonsense, as secular humanism is a philosophy or worldview – not a religion. It's defined on secularhumanism.org as “a comprehensive, non-religious lifestance incorporating a naturalistic philosophy, a cosmic outlook rooted in science, and a consequentialist ethical system.” Secular humanism specifically rejects any sort of religious dogma or supernaturalism.

HB 1476, however, defines secular humanism very differently. Here's what the bill's authors have to say:

“Secular humanism is a belief system that is centered on the unproven assumptions there are no moral absolutes and no one moral doctrine should be used as the superior basis for law and policy… The term refers to a religion that tends to promote licentiousness and to justify practices that are inconsistent with the peace and safety of the state. The term refers to the belief that man is merely a bundle of chemicals, animated pieces of meat, or accidental particles, and that nature is all there is.”

LGBTQ Erasure

Under the basis that secular humanism is a religion, the law would essentially erase all traces of LGBTQ symbols, acts, even marriages, from North Dakota public life.

For example, the bill redefines marriages between individuals of the same sex as “nonsecular marriages”, and directly compares them to marriages between “a person and an animal, or a person and an object.”

It redefines transgenderism as a “Nonsecular self-asserted sex-based identity narrative” that will “erode community standards of decency and promote licentiousness.”

It even targets Drag Queen Story Hour, a popular activity at libraries across America, where drag queens read books to children. That is redefined as “a nonsecular event where men dress up as women and display an inherently sexualized performance targeting minors with the purpose of promoting and normalizing the faith-based beliefs and practices that stem from the secular humanist religion.”

Because the bill essentially redefines being gay or transgender as a religious statement, it would have grave consequences for the acknowledgement of LGBTQ individuals in public life.

Marriage licenses between same-sex partners would not be available. Transgender individuals would be banned from changing their sex on their driver’s license. The state would be legally barred from flying gay or trans pride flags. Public schools would not be able to teach students that LGBTQ people exist as part of sex education without explicit approval from parents.

It seems pretty clear that if this bill is passed (which is a longshot), it would face a serious legal challenge. Still, it is a stark reminder of the faith-based hatred LGBTQ people continue to face in the United States. 

What is your reaction?

169 comments

  1. Anthony Feltner's Avatar Anthony Feltner

    Is being gay a religion? It is no more a religion than being heterosexual is a religion. I was born homosexuial, even though my parents were both heterosexual, the same is true for my life partner of 18 years. We are a monogoimous, married couple the same as many of my minister heterosexual peers. Even though I define myself as gay, I am a father, a son, and a brother. I am also a military veteran and a Registered Nurse with a Bachlor's Degree in Science from a major division 1 university. I do not believ God would take preference to a ministeerr based on his or her sexuality, but instead he looks at their heart as a servant. God has blessed my life in many ways and I am very thankful to him for those blessings, which came in leu of my sexuality. Love is love in all relationships, regardless of our definition.

    1. Rebecca L Tice's Avatar Rebecca L Tice

      By the commentaries.... it appears a lot of people have a lot to say on this topic.... but most of you don't have a clue.

      After Sodom.... God decided to clean off the earth and start all over again. So he had Noah build an ark and the put Noah and Noah's three sons on that ark to save humanity. GOD CHOSE NOAH AND NOAH'S THREE SONS TO BE ON THE ARK.

      Now.... the three sons of Noah were Seth, Japheth, and Ham. Seth was the great great great whatever grandfather of Jesus the Messiah. Japheth's people settled the North and East.... Ham's family settled the South and East. That's the way God set it up. Noah had three sons... those three sons were going to repopulate the world.

      BUT HAM.... Said something to Noah... while Noah was naked... that caused Noah to curse Ham. Numerous commentaries consider this the "homosexual moment" between Noah and Ham.... signaling homosexuality had survived the flood.

      God created time.... God controls time. God knows how everything turns out because God can see the future... He knows if we are going to "choose" to be Christians.

      God also knew Ham was going to say something to Noah while Noah was naked... and Noah was going to curse him.

      If God didn't want the "homosexual" experience to happen.... wouldn't He have left Ham to perish in the flood? Think about it.... God allowed a homosexual on the ark. God knew......

      I have to say... the majority of the people who commented on this page don't have a clue. I married a "funny" guy back in 1969. I was 18.... didn't have a clue myself... he was a odd guy... to make me laugh he danced with a toilet seat on his head in a Sears store.... a weird guy.... funny. I thought he was "shy".... fact is he was bisexual and didn't even know it.... the day the space craft landed on the moon for the first time... I went home early to watch on TV and caught my husband with a man....

      My mom told me "you made your bed.... lay in it".... the church told me it was a choice that man was making and I had to stay with him to turn him around. I'm a freckle faced blue eyed Southern Baptist. I had three babies before a Baptist Preacher showed me that I could leave because he was hurting my Christian Witness.

      I wasn't always so understanding. I almost cost two school teachers their jobs because they were gay. I stood up against the PTA because they condoned "Jane has two moms" type book. I was a vengeful hate spewing witch... because I was bitter over marrying a gay man.... I didn't have a clue....

      My oldest daughter's grandchildren don't know their grandfather. He lives on the east coast and they were raised out west. My granddaughter.... is gay. She just is... that's it. It's not something she learned... it's not something she saw... it's just who she is.... like a beagle is a beagle and a hound dog is a hound dog.

      Being Gay has all kinds of hateful repercussions. No one would "choose" to be gay. It's hard to find a good job.... it's hard to make friends.... it's really hard to find a partner in every day life. But she is gay... she just is.... and she's a great person.... I would love to know her even if she wasn't my granddaughter.... but others would hate her. I fear for her... even in today's "liberal" society.

      This Colorado legislation is hateful.... but it's reminiscent of the hate filled filibuster and rhetoric of Jim Crowe... just a different group of people to hate.

      Heterosexual couples are aborting babies.... but gays are the ones we all love to hate..... they would be happy to adopt our babies.... saving lives.... but NO>>>> because most people think they "choose"... when they "just are". Wake up people.... Gay Rights and BLM are both signs of that discrimination is alive and well... because of ignorance.... and bigotry.... get a clue people....

      Jesus didn't say "Father forgive them... but not the gays or blacks.... "

      1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

        I liked what you wrote, So I save it.

      2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

        I like your writing style it reminded me of Cat on a Hot Tin Roof by Tennessee Williams.

      3. Pamela J Leavitt's Avatar Pamela J Leavitt

        And Noah went in, and his sons, and his wife, and his sons' wives with him, into the ark, because of the waters of the flood. This is the actual verse. Please, if you are going to "quote" the Bible, be accurate. I believe that's what's wrong with Religion today is we tend to reword things that better suit our own situations instead of listening to what God's message to us really is.

    2. Dan Anderson's Avatar Dan Anderson

      Apparently, then, having blue eyes is a religion, therefore one with brown eyes are of another religion! The CURLY-HAIRED PROTESTANTS need to watch out for the WAVEYS!

    3. Rebecca L Tice's Avatar Rebecca L Tice

      Comment removed by author.

  1. Ty Ford's Avatar Ty Ford

    it's not a religion.

  1. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

    This just too bizarre to believe. What did they put in the North Dakota water! I read the HB1476 and among many thoughts, describe it as hate literature. The people in that legislature, the law makers who have designed this need to be removed from or voted out of office. Their bigotry alone disqualifies them from 'representing' the best interests of the people in that state. And they refer to it as a 'safety concern'.....? OMG

    1. Alan S Corr's Avatar Alan S Corr

      LGBTQ is bizarre

      1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

        Has it occurred that LGBTQ individuals might perceive heterosexuality as bizarre or incomprehensible?

        Do you think nature makes mistakes? Humans are part of nature, yeah? Isn't everything around us and within us in a constant state of adaptation to the world around us? All life forms grow through resistance. Humans are gifted with ability to reason, so it follows we are tasked with exercising objective discernment, ideally, in all things.

        This is not an altruism. Rather, an exercise worth practicing to evolve into the best and higher self each of us is capable of.

        While I think what is unfamiliar can seem bizarre at a glance, there is a lot about life that is not easily understood or explained. Some things require a lifetime to grasp. Why not explore what makes us uncomfortable with an open mind? And if we are too busy to look into a thing, at least not be so quick to undermine what affects the lives of others.

        After several decades, I have yet to cross paths with any individual whose gender or sexual orientation has negatively impacted my life. And if that happened, still I would have to consider that to be an anomaly and uncommon occurrence that does not represent the entire LGBTQ community.

      2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

        Alan, for your information you are on the Universal Life Church's website. Our organization supports the LGBTQ community. You are invited to leave and take your bigotry elsewhere. Thank you.

      3. Carl Bernard Elfstrom's Avatar Carl Bernard Elfstrom

        It only sounds bizzare to those who can't relate, and don't accept others who they can't relate to, like prejudiced people, who are the only ones who seem bizarre to me.

    2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Well the problem is that places like North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming is they are not highly populated they don't have highly populated cities it mostly small towns, so they don't have a lot diversity. They are not very much exposed to different cultures and ideas, so they are slow to change their way of thinking. That not to say that they all are narrow and close minded, but the one that are more open minded and accepting are far out number by those who are not.

      1. Robert A Stiff's Avatar Robert A Stiff

        Very true, Kosse. But what these small-town zealots don't realize is that they are living and interacting with gay people every day...they are there in these towns, working, being neighborly or just minding their own business, and fearing being exposed to christian hatred (small 'c' intended). Any religion that teaches hate as part of its doctrine is a cancer on humanity's soul.

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    Take it to the courts and fight it even al the way to the Supreme Court if necessary, besides this law just might backfire on them since if they define homosexuality as a religion then they would be trying to curtail someone freedom of religion which is unconstitutional.

  1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

    After reviewing the previous comments, including the interpretation of certain Bible verses through a Western European cultural lens, the crux (fulcrum) remains the same:

    Sexual orientation is (not) a choice.

    Might I also suggest that gender, sex, orientation and identity are all continua and not merely concepts with only discrete points?

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      Sexual orientation is not a choice. your right it's not .

    2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      sorry but it is a choice, you have yet to provide any scientific or genetic evidence that it isnt a choice. All you need to do is look at people Like barry manilow, or elton john or Madonna or a host of others who suddenly decided they were gay. And Sexual Fluidity, psychology professor Lisa M. Diamond clearly shows that this IS a choice.

      Nice try people but facts prove you wrong.

      1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

        Based on my 60+ years of experience in life (meaning with everyone I have met in North America, Europe and the Middle East), some people do not initially deal with their bi- or homosexuality. Hence, the inaccurate observation that when one does deal with their sexual orientation later in life, it may appear to have been chosen.

        "Diamond is clear that sexual orientation is not chosen, but that identity can shift non-voluntarily for some women. The sexually fluid women she studied did not "experience those changes as willful", and some even resist them. Diamond says that conversion therapy cannot remove same-sex attraction." (From a Wikipedia entry about her.)

        As with heterosexuals, orientation does not determine when a person becomes sexually aware and, subsequently, sexually active. What facts 'prove' one's sexual orientation, whether heterosexual, bisexual, homosexual, asexual or omnisexual?

        1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          Well you're going have to come up with more the one person pushing her NEW theory to her sell books. If you believe that then you Daniel Gray can become gay, because according her your sexual orientation changes over time, it not like one day you're gay and the next day you're straight. So if that theory is true then it still wouldn't be a conscious choice that you make

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Tell Elton John that Kossee and while you are at it tell all of these people who"suddenly" came out as gay https://www.pride.com/comingout/2020/12/31/these-71-celebrities-came-out-2020

            Seems you are wrong yet again Kossee, but at least your batting average of being wrong is still sitting at 1000%

            1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Have you ever heard of being in the closet They didn't just "suddenly" come as gay they were always gay It just they weren't open about being gay they kept it hidden from most people. Beside Elton John has been out of the closet for a very long time So it not anything new that we just heard about.

            2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Just like you instance you didn't suddenly become stupid you were always stupid only you never hid in a closet you were always open about your stupidity, you wear your stupidity like badge of honor for the whole world to see.

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                we all know thats your personal problem Kossee, why you decided to post it is known only to you

              2. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

                Poor DG, you cant seem to grasp we are secular not insular here, thus all spoken in a insular manner is invalid.

                You lack the most basic grasp on the formal rules of forum debate and discourse and cant seem to help but use a tone and words that invalidate all you hope to say.

                You try to bluster and bully, you ignore any response that factually proves the lies you post and keep on wailing away just like your false orange god you love to suckle the goo from.

                I really do wonder sometimes why you even come to the ULC forums, and feel the need to troll and spread hate so badly here. Did your beloved leave you for a fellow woman? Did your namesake son come out as gay and destroy your idea of what it is to be a man?

                Perhaps you found yourself getting hard to Brad Pitt in Troy? I mean I get ya he was like a living golden god in that flick terrible as it was.

                Oh I know, your name is the hint, and your wife left you for a Dom after seeing shades of gray and finally figured out she could have an enjoyable intimate relationship filled with good kinky fun rather then be used like a hole in the mattress by you.

              3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                Poor turkey, when shown you are wrong instead of accepting it, you try and cherry pick to show you are partially correct and fail in every instance

      2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

        Sorry but you Daniel Gray have yet to provide any scientific or genetic evidence that you're a sentient being. As far as I can see you rate below a non-sentient being which includes certain animals, plants, protists, archaea, fungi and bacteria. Some even consider the earth to be a sentient being because the earth is living planet. In the theory, the whole earth is sentient "being" that regulates processes in the natural environment by balancing various aspects of it against others. It is the right distance from the sun, it is protected from harmful solar radiation by its magnetic field, it is kept warm by an insulating atmosphere, and it has all the right chemical ingredient for life including water and carbon. So that would place you far below dirt.

      3. Tom's Avatar Tom

        Umm... Diamond is very clear in her studies that sexual orientation is not chosen, but that identity can shift non-voluntarily for some women.

      4. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        Daniel, you speak of "facts", but in fact, you have none to present. Please stop being disingenuous, trying pass off your opinions as facts simply by repeatedly asserting that they are because you say so. And please stop using the appeal to authority fallacy. I've yet to see you provide any thoughtful insights that contribute anything of value to these discussions.

        1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

          I have provided more facts in this thread then the whole time you have since you started o=posting on the blogs

      5. Pamela J Leavitt's Avatar Pamela J Leavitt

        And where is your evidence that it is a choice?

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    Laughable and no. I think this is wasted taxes, time, and energy that could unquestionably be better applied toward genuinely beneficial endeavors.

    "... the bill tries to redefine homosexuality as inexplicably linked to “the secular humanist religion." The Hulk couldn't reasonably expect to make a successful leap this far.

    The same State Rep. Terry B. Jones "... wants 'American' as race option on forms, says Black Americans 'glad their ancestors were brought here"

    https://www.wctrib.com/news/government-and-politics/6841819-North-Dakota-rep-wants-American-as-race-option-on-forms-says-Blacks-glad-their-ancestors-were-brought-here

    Jones is pointlessly pot stirring, forcing individuals to engage in necessary busy work to upend his nonsense. I hope affected individuals are able to quickly douse this, while keeping their eyes on the ball. Something else is surely afoot or will be soon.

    This is a clear and unfortunate example of how lawmakers work against constituents to lay groundwork for other aberrations.

    However, laws can't be changed until someone introduces opportunity. I hope the LGBTQ is able to turn this around to work in their favor.

  1. Thom's Avatar Thom

    So, getting effed in the butt is a religious act? Well, I guess it could come close because someone is going to scream Oh God!. Forcing the non-normal lifestyle of others onto kids and telling them is normal is not a "special activity" is a indoctrination and not a religion. Telling me something is normal when it is not and then telling me it is a religion is not going to change my opinion, it is going to make me fight harder against it.

    One denomination I know of, Methodist, has used the subject of homosexuality as one of the reasons to split. A church here in Dallas covered their Methodist name with a rainbow flag so they can say they are a gay church. Good for them. Go enjoy your life, celebrate life how you want but, don't shove it down the throats of normal families. Yes, I used the word normal. There is also a non-denominational church in Dallas - Cathedral of Hope (I think) was set up for the LBGTQABCD groups. I say more power to them. We all need a place to practice our religion of choice. I expect more denominations to have problems when it comes to the gay folks but, this in my opinion is normal. If someone is gay then, they are gay. They have their lifestyle and I have mine. If they come together I don't expect any gay guy to try and turn me however, I don't expect for them to tell me what goes on in their bedroom as I will not do. This is our personal business and does not need to be brought out into society.

    So, is the gay lifestyle a religion? Nope. Is the straight lifestyle a religion? Nope. Are drag queens needed to read books to kids, well, I don't like clowns so it may make it a little more fun.

    If I offended you or said something you don't agree with well, it is my opinion.

    1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

      It was interesting/fun to read your comment. I can see the points you want to make. One that brought a smile to my face was "don't shove it down the throats of normal families." If you are using 'normal' in context of statistics, I agree. If you are using it in a socionormative manner, I disagree, because a society is then imposing their mores and strictures on everyone. Your words seem to be straddling both usages of the word, 'normal,' and thus my smile and raised-eyebrow response as I was reading.

      Ah, ambiguity. ;-)

    2. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Yeah, Thom - I'm a bit confused about what you where trying to get across here. I got a bit of "live and let live" out of it, but then when talk about "shoving it down someone else's throat" and "turning people", that's where I got a bit confused. I hope that was sarcasm. I've heard people say those things before, usually in ignorance. I hope yours was parody. ;)

  1. Reverend Lisa Smith's Avatar Reverend Lisa Smith

    No it's not a religion, but a different way of life.

  1. Clayton Beardmore's Avatar Clayton Beardmore

    Any time anybody mentions "rights", they're shirking their "responsibility". Everyone is the same - nobody has more rights than anybody else.

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      I think the point about LGBTQI+ "rights" here is about "equal rights", just like women and blacks have fought for in the past. It's essentially a pretty simple concept, but there always seems to be some American minority group that is treated as "less equal", and currently, this is that group.

  1. Alexander Clarke's Avatar Alexander Clarke

    Many people choose a lifestyle regardless of the kind of lifestyle. I was born Hetero but I have several co-workers that are gay and everyone one of them knew from a very young age that they were "different". Some chose to hide it while others "came out". In any event none chose homosexuality any more than I chose being a hetrosexual. Give it a rest we all were not created equal or with the same sexual orientation.

    1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      I don't understand what you meant by "we all were not created equal". How are we born any other way? Inequalities are taught, then perpetuated. Until then, I think we are indeed each born equally.

      Have you seen or read about the "Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Experiment"?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1mcCLm_LwpE

      The link goes to a video by Frontline, with about an intro up to about the 2:45 minute mark, at which point the experiment begins.

    2. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      I do not understand "we all were not created equal". Are you familiar with the "Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Experiment"? Substitute LGBTQ and the same exchange could occur.

    3. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Lifestyles, more often than not, organically evolve. Sometimes, elements of them may be chosen. But do sexual orientation or gender identity constitute lifestyles? No. Heterosexuality is not a lifestyle. Members of the heteronormative population can and do make many different lifestyle choices. Just because they are sexually heteronormative, doesn't dictate that their lifestyles are heterogenous and interchangeable. "Equal" means offered equal opportunities, and treated with equivalent respect and dignity regardless of individual differences in sexual orientation, gender identity, political philosophy, religious belief system or faith tradition, national origin, ethnicity, favorite style of music or sport/sports team, etc. Actually, the historically most divisive thing in this world has been religion, because there are major religions which are mutually exclusive and intolerant of one another. As dear as they may be to many of their adherents, those types of religious denominations (I've run into someone in the past who thought Christianity and traditional Judaism were different denominations, failing to recognize them as completely different religions) are unevolved, immature faith systems which either need to grow up or just wither away into oblivion. When religions become fanatical, and evangelism becomes disrespectful of differences and in self-righteousness progress into violence against challengers and contradictions, it becomes a hazard and a danger to the safety and the continued growth and thriving of humanity. We are better off without religions which seek to preserve outmoded and primitive thinking, because they justify close-mindedness, and actually inhibit true acceptance of the "other", and spiritual growth.

  1. The Rev. William C, Millhouse's Avatar The Rev. William C, Millhouse

    Homosexuality's definately not a religion. LGBTQ folks are involved in all religions and some are not even religious, It is just a genetic fact of life and occurs in all animals.

  1. Minister Mike's Avatar Minister Mike

    No. Being gay, or even being heterosexual, is not a religion. Good lord, even the North Dakota legislature knows that. What an asinine question.

    Religion is a choice, gender identity/sexual orientation is not. One would think the ND legislature would find something important to legislate instead of neanderthalian/retrumplican issues such as this. Shame on them.

  1. Dr. Bob Thomas's Avatar Dr. Bob Thomas

    Most of these arguments, either for or against, point to either a life-style choice or being born that particular way. Both justifications do not fit the premise of "something learned."

    Christianity rests upon the written Word which states:

    Romans 10:17 NASB So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ.

    So, faith ( religion) is something we learn, not something we are born into.

    If LGBTQ is something learned, then it can be said to be a religion.

    If LGBTQ takes place within the genes or some part of our bodily makeup, then it cannot be said to be a religion.

    I believe that this is where the stand needs to be made. Prove that LGBTQ has a physical marker and win your case.

    I must point out however; that just because something cannot be found does not prove that it does not exist. The technology may not be available at this time to find said marker. Remember, the Earth was once flat. The Earth was the center of the Universe. There were no planets or stars in the night sky as it was just a very large curtain of night covered with pin prick holes. And other fairytales. Patience may be the watchword.

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Not everything that is learned is a religion.

  1. Edgar D Bitner's Avatar Edgar D Bitner

    Maria, I was born of Heterosexual parents in1960. I experienced bulling as a child in and out of school. I was bullied because I was small and shy. My parentage made no difference. Being gay is not a hormonal,medical and certainly not an emotional issue,but your are right, it is not a choice. It is just as natural for me to love a man as I assume it is for you.On the issue of adoption. Many of my Gay friends have children both natural and adopted and their children [are far more loved ] and tolerant of others [ and honestly more intelligent ] than the children of my heterosexual friends and family members.So your assessment of that point is also flawed. I also would like to point out that ending your statement with "P.S. I am not gay, but I have known quite a few" is just as ignorant as saying I am not Black but I have known a few. So in my last point will be to leave you with this. Something I have pointed to many times.The shortest book in the bible is a letter from Paul to a christian slave owner. Paul does not say that Christians DO NOT own people. He talks about HOW Christians own people.The bible got the moral issue of slavery so very wrong. So I put to you that the bible got the issue of human sexuality wrong as well. Blessed Be.

  1. Clay Serenbetz's Avatar Clay Serenbetz

    Homosexuality is not a lifestyle. Homosexuals' lifestyles are as varied as heterosexuals lifestyle. Homosexuality is no more a lifestyle than having brown hair or green eyes or is a lifestyle.

  1. Douglas Robert Spindler's Avatar Douglas Robert Spindler

    This is politics something similar was done in California 20 years ago. The facts are in one out of every 200 live births results is genetically sexually different for the other 199. If you know anything about human development we all begin life physically with female characteristics. If there is not enough testosterone during stages of development someone who is genetically male will look female. How do we classify people who are genetically not male or female? They are born this way? What criteria do we use to determine if someone is male or female?

  1. John's Avatar John

    Hard to believe how terrified some people of the 21st century still are oven the differences among us. I think growing up in North Dakota must be like living in a fishbowl. You see the same fish every day and that's all you know. Silly, narrow minded, bigoted people. I shall visit North Dakota someday, but I won't stay long.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Sorry kiddos but the Supreme Court of the US HAS ruled that Atheism and Secular Humanism ARE religions in the 1961 decision Torcaso v Watkins and it has never been overturned or altered. I mean just check the Military and these two groups want pastors and churches...now why would you need a pastor and a church if you were not a religion?

    1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

      It would be interesting if each commenter here were to consider your last question, "What criteria do we use to determine if someone is male or female," for a couple of well-documented physical situations.

      Is a person with both a penis and a vagina male or female? Is a person with a penis and naturally-occurring, fully developed breasts male or female?

      There are several other expressions of physicality that we could also consider, but I think there is broader awareness of these two.

    2. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

      Interesting. So, if atheism and secular humanism are religions, then other religious organizations that attempt to legislate against atheism and secular humanism are inciting the government (at whatever level) to violate the First Amendment to the US Constitution.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        IF this were true and you could prove it, then yes it would be a violation of the 1st Amendment.

        Now in saying that, I must remind you that you have to prove it first

        1. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

          LOL. I merely stated a logical counterpoint. I am not claiming it to be "the truth" and I certainly will not invest time into "proving" something whose premise I do not accept. Previous comments have dealt substantially with the religiousness of atheism and secular humanism, including a properly framed context for the Supreme Court findings.

          Therefore, I have no need to prove anything. Besides (and this is why the LOL), ask anyone in my family and many of my friends what my response is to any statement that includes "have to" or "must".

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            you can provide whatever you want, but science and medicine have proved there is no such thing as a mythical "gay gene" so you cant be "born that way". And people like Elton John who by his own admission was in a loving relationship with a female and was set to be married to same, suddenly decided he was gay. Take Bruce Jenner who suddenly decided he was a woman and this was after he had children with a woman meaning he had sexual congress. And now he tries to date men. There is a plethora of evidence that proves homosexuality is not a something you were born as, but a choice. Far more then anything that is brought up claiming otherwise.

            1. Tom's Avatar Tom

              There is actually a plethora of studies proving that it is not a choice but a natural biological occurrence.

              https://theconversation.com/stop-calling-it-a-choice-biological-factors-drive-homosexuality-122764

    3. Tom's Avatar Tom

      That's not what Torcaso v. Watkins ruled. This was a case that reaffirmed that the United States Constitution prohibits States and the Federal Government from requiring any kind of religious test for public office, in the specific case, as a notary public.

      Some groups have tried to use the case to argue that "secular humanism" is a religion based on a footnote in the ruling but that footnote just lists examples of beliefs that Justice Black notes do not believe in "God".

      https://supreme.justia.com/cases/federal/us/367/488/#F11

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Sorry but it is EXACTLY what it ruled

    4. CB Cuff's Avatar CB Cuff

      Then I guess by using that same logic fundamentalism would be a cult, would it not? George Carlin put it so right ; "Atheism isn't a Religion, it's a personal relationship with Reality."

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        If you have a problem with the Supreme Courts decision, take it up with them

    5. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Secular Humanism is Not a religion "for Establishment Clause purposes." But when Christians attempt to get the religion of Secular Humanism out of the government schools, based on the same emotional frame of mind which atheists had when they went to court against God in schools, then pro-secularist courts speak out of the other side of their faces and say that Secular Humanism is NOT a religion "for establishment clause purposes." This is slimy deceitful legalism at its worst.

      But it explains why so many are confused about whether Secular Humanism is a religion.

      Here is the rule: When Secular Humanists want the benefits of religion, Secular Humanism is a religion. When Secular Humanists are challenged for propagating their religion in public schools, it is not a religion. If that sounds insane, it is; but all insane people are still rational. This insanity is cloaked in the rational-sounding rhetoric of constitutional law. Remember:

      Secular Humanism is a religion "for free exercise clause purposes," and it is not a religion "for establishment clause purposes."

      Here's how it works. In Peloza v. Capistrano Unified School Dist., 37 F.3d 517 (9th Cir. 1994), a high school biology teacher tried to balance the teaching of evolutionism with creationism based on the claim that Secular Humanism (and its core belief, evolutionism) is a religion. The court emphatically rejected this claim:

      We reject this claim because neither the Supreme Court, nor this circuit, has ever held that evolutionism or secular humanism are "religions" for Establishment Clause purposes. Indeed, both the dictionary definition of religion and the clear weight of the caselaw5 are to the contrary. The Supreme Court has held unequivocally that while the belief in a divine creator of the universe is a religious belief, the scientific theory that higher forms of life evolved from lower forms is not. Edwards v. Aguillard, 482 U.S. 578, 107 S.Ct. 2573, 96 L.Ed.2d 510 (1987) (holding unconstitutional, under Establishment Clause, Louisiana's "Balanced Treatment for Creation-Science and Evolution-Science in Public School Instruction Act").

      Note 5: See Smith v. Board of School Com'rs of Mobile County, 827 F.2d 684, 690-95 (11th Cir. 1987) (refusing to adopt district court's holding that "secular humanism" is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes; deciding case on other grounds); United States v. Allen, 760 F.2d 447, 450-51 (2d Cir. 1985) (quoting Tribe, American Constitutional Law 827-28 (1978), for the proposition that, while "religion" should be broadly interpreted for Free Exercise Clause purposes, "anything `arguably non-religious' should not be considered religious in applying the establishment clause").

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Sorry Kossee, but SCOTUS says you are wrong and last time I looked you dont have any authority to say different.

        1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          A recent federal district court decision holding that Secular Humanist prisoners are entitled to organize a discussion groups focused on their beliefs on the same terms as theistic prisoners is easily misunderstood as relying on the conclusion that Secular Humanism is a religion. The judge did indeed note in his ruling that “[t]he court finds that Secular Humanism is a religion for Establishment Clause purposes.” However, at another point in the decision, he also wrote that “the touchstone of the Establishment Clause was ‘the principle that the First Amendment mandates government neutrality between religion and religion, and between religion and nonreligion.’[McCreary County v. ACLU], 545 U.S. 844, 860 (2005) (emphasis added). Thus, whether Humanism is a religion or a nonreligion, the Establishment Clause applies.” Just as the Establishment Clause protects Christian or Muslim prisoners who wish to hold a discussion group where they promote belief in God, so it also protects Secular Humanists or atheists who want to promote the opposite view.

          From an Establishment Clause standpoint, it does not matter whether Secular Humanism is a “religion” in any deep philosophical sense, but only that it entails beliefs about religion. The key question is not whether Secular Humanism is a religion, but whether equal treatment of Secular Humanists is a component of nondiscrimination on the basis of religious belief. The answer to that latter question is yes. Even if Secular Humanism is not a religion, it clearly entails rejection of commonly accepted religious commitments (such as belief in various gods and other supernatural forces). Discriminatory treatment of people who reject these types of religious beliefs is discrimination on the basis of religion in much the same way as discrimination against people who refuse to support any political party or ideology is discrimination on the basis of political belief. As the district court decision points out, Supreme Court precedent has long held that the Establishment Clause forbids discrimination in favor of religion against irreligion, as well as in favor of one religion over others.

          The Supreme Court briefly referred to Secular Humanism as a religion “which do not teach what would generally be considered a belief in the existence of God” in the 1961 case of Torcaso v. Watkins. But, as in the recent district court case, the result in Torcaso did not depend on whether Secular Humanism qualifies as a religion or not. As Justice Hugo Black put it in his opinion for the Court, “We repeat and again reaffirm that neither a State nor the Federal Government can constitutionally force a person ‘to profess a belief or disbelief in any religion.’ Neither can constitutionally pass laws or impose requirements which aid all religions as against nonbelievers, and neither can aid those religions based on a belief in the existence of God as against those religions founded on different beliefs.” Thus, it makes no difference whether a law discriminating in favor of theists against atheists or secular humanists qualifies as favoring religion over non-religion or favoring one religion over others

        2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          Nice try Daniel Gray several time Christian groups try to use Secular Humanism as a religion and have fail to do so. https://lawecommons.luc.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1833&context=luclj

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            Nice lie yet again Kossee, the SCOTUS has ruled on this and they say atheism AND Humanism ARE religions. So you can bring up whatever you want but just remember the SCOTUS is the final ruling on anything unless a 2/3rds vote of both houses of congress overturns the decision.

            1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Right Daniel Gray you can just keep on believing that all you want. While the rest of us go on with our life in the real world.

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                No Kossee, its YOU who seems to be living in a fantasy world and even science and medicine are saying the same thing. you have no idea what you are talking about and then you get upset when you are proved wrong.

              2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                Wow so now it science and medicine, whatever medication they have prescribing to you don't seem to be helping your delusions and hallucinations. Perhaps you need a stronger dosage.

              3. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                only one having halu8cinations here is you Kossee, thats why you get roasted in every thread you post in as you instead of using fact, you cherry pick to fit your agenda and outright lie.

    6. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      AS always DG you hurl insults, and then try and use the same kind of nonsense that your false orange god did in his rants to bluster a lie into your new truth.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        no sorry turkey, I am responding to you the way you respond to people that have shown you dont know what you are talking about. If this upsets you then maybe you should look at your ownself for the problem

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Nope sorry turkey, I respond how I am responded to so if you think there is a problem then look in the mirror

        And as usual you screw it up yet again, I have been an independent voter for longer then you have trod this earth, but since I used facts and you cant refute them, the best you can do is to whine and cry and throw insults as this is all you have to use.

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          Why do you bring up personal as if its important? you do understand things you claim about yourself are not as relevant as what you say here which gives proof to your constant lies right? And I frequently call you DG? that is a simple abbreviation of your initials a far cry from your chronic childish name calling that literally in any forum of debate makes everything you say invalid. Why do you seem unable to grasp that simple fact, if you wanted to be treated with civility first you must submit in abject humility for you are but a guest here, not one of us as that is clear by your insular rhetoric.

          You never actually use valid sources of information, you never actually speak honestly about any so called fact you cite, always spinning it to try and mean something factually untrue. You spew hate and spread lies, and then play the victim. You are so truly carved in the image of your false orange god it is pathetic.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            why do you? You have been doing it in almost every post you have made so its very hypocritical for you to start complaining when its done to you

    7. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      So Daniel, if SCOTUS rules that wrong is right, black is blue and night is day, then the essence of reality is by those rulings immutably and forever changed?

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Until they are changed...thats the way the constitution is written.

        1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

          Daniel - you are certifiable.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            You dont have to keep admitting what is already known about you robert

  1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

    Whenever I encounter or read passages people quote from the historical bible, I have to ask, did you ever read Genesis? Plus, what is written about what Jesus said about sexual orientation? Nothing. If you are a Christian, then you are aware that we are ALL created in the likeness and image of the gods as stated in Genesis. "Let US MAKE MAN In Our Image." Hello, is anyone home? Stop twisting and cherry picking passages to support bigotry which is only YOUR fear. The historical bible is nothing more than the ancient Sumerian Clay Tablets copied and distributed with many edits. Don't pretend to be a biblical scholar unless you have done your research into ancient texts, archeology, linguistics. Jesus was an Essene, a mystic.

    1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

      I love to point out to the gun toting bible thumper types that the original form of their faith from roughly 0-300 AD was so non violent they would sooner pray for the souls of their killers then even speak a single word in anger. Its sad that the earliest form of the cult seemed to genuinely seek to end the more violent traditions found in the earlier jewish faith tradition.

      Most of these so called modern christians dont even grasp they follow a middle eastern faith the same as muslims.

    2. Walter Eugene Curtis's Avatar Walter Eugene Curtis

      Some religions teach that there are both a God and a Goddess, or that there are additional Gods with other realms/realities than the one for this earth. Others say that there is a Council of Gods.

      To proclaim a fact of God's nature, one must be an eyewitness of God's (non)physicality, as is the case. I am not, and I think there are only rare individuals who are.

      What we have are people's recounting of their spiritual/mystical experiences, that are by their very nature open to the interpretation of individual life experiences and frames of reference.

      Very occasionally (to mess with a dogmatist's mind mostly and not as a statement of my personal belief) I will ask a theoretical, rhetorical question that offends some and infuriates a few: What if God is an omnifunctional, omnisexual hermaphrodite?

  1. Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson's Avatar Ealdormon Piparskeggr Robinson

    My wife and I have 2 friends from college who are to us, brothers from different mothers. We attended a pretty conservative college. When Tee came out to me in Autumn 1979, my reaction was; shrug, "Oh, okay, how does this change why we became friends?" We decided it did not.

    In a few days, Anita and I will mark the 43rd anniversary of becoming a couple. Later this spring, they will have their 41st anniversary.

    The four of us often went to dinner together, before time and tides took us to different parts of the country. After I left school, they would take her out to dinner and make sure she wasn't too lonely between my visits.

    Tee was my best man, Jay was an usher alongside my birth brother when Anita and I wed in June 1982.

    I think the last time we actually talked sexuality was about 30 - 35 years ago. Tee opined a negative view of using lifestyle, as implying he had a choice in the matter. It isn't a choice. He also told me that if it was, would not have been a choice he made.

    Both of them are fairly conservative Roman Catholics, enjoying retirement in their home up in New England. Such long term devotion ought be lauded.

    The troll from North Dakota, I hope he is voted down, and laughed out of town.

  1. Rev. Jonathan Peebles's Avatar Rev. Jonathan Peebles

    That is the stupid thing I ever heard!!! What is there Creed nor are they organized and many are not Spiritual. most already have a religion/spirituality already as well as being homosexual! It just is what they are and science has already proven they have a choice! Religion is a choice...

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    Did they ever stop to think that if they declare homosexuality a religion, then the LGBTQ would be able to have their own church and there would be nothing they could do to stop it. Just imagine it would be Protestantism, Catholicism and Homosexualism. What an interesting church that would be. Did they ever stop to think that more people might be converted over to Homosexualism especially the younger people. That the newer generation might become more open and accepting of other people differences.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      wong again Kossee, for it to be a recognized church or religion it would have to be recognized by the FEDERAL Government, so even if the state did claim it was a religion, nothing is going to change until the feds changes it.

      1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

        You just made a huge fool of yourself with your own statement Danny Boy remember you wrote this statement in this very same blog:

        Daniel Gray

        Jan 28, 2021 at 01:58 pm

        Nice lie yet again Kossee, the SCOTUS has ruled on this and they say atheism AND Humanism ARE religions. So you can bring up whatever you want but just remember the SCOTUS is the final ruling on anything unless a 2/3rds vote of both houses of congress overturns the decision.

        So are you calling yourself a liar now Danny Boy?

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    Daniel, you speak of "facts", but in fact, you have none to present. Please stop being disingenuous, trying pass off your opinions as facts simply by repeatedly asserting that they are because you say so. And please stop using the appeal to authority fallacy. I've yet to see you provide any thoughtful insights that contribute anything of value to these discussions.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      Robert, I have presented more facts in on post then you have in the whole time you have been in these blogs

  1. Maria's Avatar Maria

    Well, I believe that if you are gay it’s not a choice, you were born with some sort of hormonal or medical issue. Therefore, not able to control who you are. So, I believe if someone who is gay would like to marry someone they love they should be allowed to. If God thought they were committing a sin he would not have created them. On the flip side, I do not condone gay people adopting children. Even if they will make the best parents. It will confuse the child and make him/her subject to bullying in school, and most likely emotional issues. Being gay is not a religion and that is ridiculous. It’s a medical or emotional problem. PS I am not gay, but have know quite a few.

    1. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

      Maria, you make some nice points, however, your statements about "medical or emotional issue" is unfounded. The DSM5 does not identify homosexuality as a psychiatric problem. The problem sits squarely in the laps of ignorant and fearful people. The issue around a child being confused is also unfounded and just an indication of your unfamiliarity about gay parents. Children are not confused by the sexual orientation of their parents. What children need to be healthy are loving parents, who provide stability, the basic needs that all humans have, i.e., food, clothing, shelter, education and fostering positive self esteem. As a child and family therapist, I cannot tell you how many cases I have had of kids in state custody due to neglect, and abuse by heterosexual parents. Over my long career I have never had a case involving neglectful or abusive gay parents. Sexual orientation does not define parenting abilities. Skills, commitment and willingness to learn and understand how to raise healthy and loving children is the most important factor.

    2. Maria's Avatar Maria

      Also, I’d like to add that I think transgender people need psychiatric help. If you have a penis you are a male. And if you have a vagina you are a female. If you’re confused get therapy! There are only two genders in this world, male amd female! And stay our of my bathroom and young girls bathrooms if God gave you a penis! This is dangerous because now you’re stepping over the boundaries of MY life! If it interferes with a straight persons life it is wrong.

      1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

        Actually Maria it is you who is showing behavior in line with mental illness. You seem to be delusional and confuse your feelings with actual facts and science. Its clear you are far too ignorant of things and in dire need of education.

        I will try to use a very dumbed down example. Are you familiar with the Calico cat? Are you aware that only around 1 in 3000 are born with male genitals? However that does not make it a male. It in fact at a genetic level is still a female. will be genetically.

        This is why we now as a science minded species now recognize that such things are on a spectrum, and are not binary in nature. Just like those born full or partial hermaphrodites. This is not inherently some evil sign one is marked as an abomination by god like some insane people think in much the same way some once beat children who were left handed because they had the devil in them.

        The fact you still use terms like straight, exhibit paranoia about bathrooms, and think a fear of a possible threat based on pure delusional fantasy you have conjured up is reason to deny another their rights in favor of your superior ones, you really should not be trying to call something that is clearly not a mental health issue such, as perhaps it may well be a case of missing the one really in need of therapy and better social tools.

      2. Catherine Ohrin-Greipp's Avatar Catherine Ohrin-Greipp

        No, Maria, take it from me, they do not need "psychiatric help" because they are not psychiatrically ill. People like you, definitely need help with your phobia, which is an illness. Homophobia is a phobia. Not sure why you are focused on genitalia though. Are you sexually repressed?

      3. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

        Maria, what about intersex people who are born with both sets of genitalia (also known as hermaphrodites). They're not common, and the decision is usually made when they're pretty young to eliminate one of the set of genitalia, but they do exist. So, there are not only two genders. It's what society has indoctrinated us to believe, and it's what is common to experience, but it is not all that there is. It is a spectrum. Just because it it coming out of the darkness now does not justify us trying to deny that it has existed. Some creatures in nature can actually change their gender if needed. Let us try not to let acculturated beliefs become prejudice.

    3. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      What would Jesus do? Who would Jesus exclude? Moneychangers assumed, who would Jesus judge?

      I will add that a variety of sexual behaviors in nature do not always indicate a hormonal or medical issue. This sounds like an attempt to find a 'reason why' about a thing for which reason is unnecessary.

      Instead, what about a naturally occuring, God-made being who is simply a little different? Instead, what else is commong between us? Why focus on differences?

      Though adaptation to changing evironments is a possibility, why should that be presented with anything other than simple acceptance and gratitude that you are not such a challenged individual being forced to cope with unreasonable percpetions that Jesus would surely eschew?

      Why is it your place to condone gays (or anyone) adopting children? Do you realize by practicing such a belief that you open the door to your own life and behaviors being condoned or condemned by those who have no understanding about how God made you?

      Isn't it God who knows all, and humans not so much? Let go and let God, yeah? :.) If you let God take care of what you cannot control, a huge weight might be lifted. Your heart might feel fuller with the love Jesus exemplified.

  1. Pamela Kay Waters's Avatar Pamela Kay Waters

    Being gay is not a religion, it's a person's choice of lifestyle. Good God people

    1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

      Pamela - I think we've already clearly established here that being gay is not a choice, and not a lifestyle. No more than being hetero/cis is.

  1. Katelynne Shouse's Avatar Katelynne Shouse

    Someone needs to give that idiot a swift kick directly in his nuggets!

  1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

    Whenever life questions come up I look to God for answers, the following answers are from the Bible God's word. Rom 1:24-27 1 Tim 1: 9 - 11 Gen 19: 4 -5 - 24 - 25.
    1 Cor. 6: 9 -11 Eph. 4: 17 - 24 Col. 3: 9 - 10 Jude. 7 this may not be what people want to hear, but it is God's word. what dose God think should be the question ! IMHO

    1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

      (Setting aside controversies about the men who wrote, translated, copied, and rewrote and retranslated it.)

      Biblical lessons reach for a reader's willingness and persistence to self-improve. What other reason is there to read and re-read a bible? I think it is to practice and learn how to self-right through Jesus' teachings, and try to understand God's intent.

      Jesus' teachings are based on universal principles that have been found to be shared by cultures that remain unaware of the God and Jesus we are familiar with. So, there is what all might agree upon. Among those principles, the application of personal meaning and experience has no mention.

      Reiterated from another post above, who would Jesus exclude? Who would not be loved and embraced by a kind, benevolent, and loving God?

      Each of us understands from the bible what works for us an individual during a present phase of life, and at a pace separate from others. Yes? A magical thing about re-reading the bible and doctrines that address the frailty and potential of humans, is that we can grow through reassessing resistance and challenges. Inwardly regrouping thoughts and setting aside what no longer applies.

      That is what I appreciate most about religous doctrines and and learning in general. The revisiting of principles so I might learn again and again. Isn't this experience what makes Jesus' and others' teachings worthwhile and timelessly applicable?

      1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

        Who would would Jesus exclude from" what" is the question, and if that question is who would Jesus exclude from God's kingdom here are some answers for you . Rev . 21: 8 2 Thess . 1: 8,9 and Jesus dose sit at the right hand of God.

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    Comment removed by author.

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    I do not understand "we all were not created equal". Are you familiar with the "Blue Eyes Brown Eyes Experiment"? Substitute LGBTQ and the same exchange oculd occur. There is a revisit by Frontline on YouTube. The experiment begins at about the 2:45 minute mark.

    <a>youtube.com/watch?v=1mcCLm_LwpE</a>

  1. Catherine Colvin's Avatar Catherine Colvin

    Comment removed by author.

  1. Rev Hannah Grace's Avatar Rev Hannah Grace

    It's just a desperate attempt to justify trying to alienate members of society that they don't like or approve of. It's hogwash.

    1. Stanley Alan Marchand's Avatar Stanley Alan Marchand

      Please try to remember I would not try to alienate anyone. The bible passages I left are not my words they are God's, when people write in that i'm a bigot or what i'm saying is hogwash , that's fear talking . I was taught that "lack of knowledge produces fear and doubt then anger and frustration set in" insults are the result Rev.

      1. flugo's Avatar flugo

        Yelp! You're right on. God is holy. His Word is eternal. God hates the sin of LGBTWxyz as He does most all sins. Man cannot change that. Humans were created male and female. To this day they still exhibit (born with) XX female and XY male factors. God made no one transgender/homosexual. He would not create what He hates. It's an exercise in futility to manufacture man-made opinions, theories, and self-serving excuses that violate the original design of God.

        1. Ilmenheru Terikson's Avatar Ilmenheru Terikson

          Except Flugo, you seem to forget that your god does not actually exist. It was just a pathetic act by some stone age tribes to exert some control on their little group. They were not even clever about it as they just took the names of two other gods of the time Yaw and Weh and merged them into one bigger god to say their god was more powerful.

          The only one doing anything futile here is you, as no one secular minded deems one word you say of value.

          1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

            Iron Age I (1200–930 BCE): El, Yahweh, and the origins of Israel

            Israel emerges into the historical record in the last decades of the 13th century BCE, at the very end of the Late Bronze Age when the Canaanite city-state system was ending, and the milieu from which Israelite religion emerged was accordingly Canaanite. El, "the kind, the compassionate", "the creator of creatures", was the chief of the Canaanite gods, and he, not Yahweh, was the original "God of Israel"—the word "Israel" is based on the name El rather than Yahweh. He lived in a tent on a mountain from whose base originated all the fresh waters of the world, with the goddess Asherah as his consort.

            This pair made up the top tier of the Canaanite pantheon; the second tier was made up of their children, the "seventy sons of Athirat" (a variant of the name Asherah). Prominent in this group was Baal, who had his home on Mount Zaphon; over time Baal became the dominant Canaanite deity, so that El became the executive power and Baal the military power in the cosmos. Baal's sphere was the thunderstorm with its life-giving rains, so that he was also a fertility god, although not quite the fertility god. Below the seventy second-tier gods was a third tier made up of comparatively minor craftsman and trader deities, with a fourth and final tier of divine messengers and the like. El and his sons made up the Assembly of the Gods, each member of which had a human nation under his care, and a textual variant of Deuteronomy 32:8–9 describes El dividing the nations of the world among his sons, with Yahweh receiving Israel:

            When the Most High ('elyôn) gave to the nations their inheritance,

            when he separated humanity,

            he fixed the boundaries of the peoples

            according to the number of divine beings.

            For Yahweh's portion is his people,

            Jacob his allotted heritage.

            The Israelites initially worshipped Yahweh alongside a variety of Canaanite gods and goddesses, including El, Asherah and Baal. In the period of the Judges and the first half of the monarchy, El and Yahweh became conflated in a process of religious syncretism. As a result, 'el (Hebrew: אל‎) became a generic term meaning "god", as opposed to the name of a worshipped deity, and epithets such as El Shaddai came to be applied to Yahweh alone, diminishing the worship of El and strengthening the position of Yahweh. Features of Baal, El, and Asherah were absorbed into the Yahwistic religion, Asherah possibly becoming embodied in the feminine aspects of the Shekinah or divine presence, and Baal's nature as a storm and weather god becoming assimilated into Yahweh's own identification with the storm. In the next stage the Yahwistic religion separated itself from its Canaanite heritage, first by rejecting Baal-worship in the 9th century, then with prophetic condemnation of Baal, the asherim, sun-worship, worship on the "high places", practices pertaining to the dead, and other matters.

            In the earliest literature such as the Song of the Sea (Exodus 15:1–18, celebrating Yahweh's victory over Egypt at the exodus), Yahweh is a warrior for his people, a storm-god typical of ancient Near Eastern myths, marching out from a region to the south or south-east of Israel with the heavenly host of stars and planets that make up his army. Israel's battles are Yahweh's battles, Israel's victories are his victories, and while other peoples have other gods, Israel's god is Yahweh, who will procure a fertile resting-place for them:

            There is none like God, O Jeshurun [a name for Israel]

            who rides through the heavens to your help ...

            he subdues the ancient gods, shatters the forces of old ...

            so Israel lives in safety, untroubled is Jacob's abode ...

            Your enemies shall come fawning to you,

            and you shall tread on their backs. (Deuteronomy 33:26–29)[47]

            1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

              Israelites/Hebrews/Jews never referred to God as "Yahweh". That's a contrivance the latter day Christian church came up with in teaching Biblical history, in trying to pronounce the translation of tetragrammaton, JHVH, which has remained sacrilegious for Jews and their ancestors to speak aloud. In English, modern day Jews write G-d with a dash in the middle. In prayer, they say "Hashem" which is Hebrew for "The Name". In temple, they'll use one of the qualities such "El Shaddai" (The Almighty). In ancient times, Judeans/Israelites/Hebrews were known to refer to God as Elohim (the royal plural of El) or Adonai, representing the feminine aspect of the divine, which would manifest itself in the holy of holies as the spirit of the divine, or the shechinah. Unlike in Christianity, the spirit essence of God in Judaism was a feminine facet of the Divine, and not a separate entity. Just as water baptism was adopted from the communal mikveh, or "purifying bath" of the Jewish temple. But please, stop using "Yaweh". El, Elohim, Adonai, El Shaddai or Hashem are all fine. It is ignorant to use Yaweh when talking about the history of Judaism. I recognize that it's a common practice, but it's still an ignorant one. No Jew or any ancestor of a Jew ever called their God "Yaweh", just for the record.

            2. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

              All names such as Daniel, Michael, Raphael, Israel, etc., mean "of El". I went backed and see how you're making the distinction of when the Canaanites when from polytheism to monolatry to monotheism. Just use the tetragrammaton, please (JHVH). No one of Judaic lineage pronounces it (which is as it should be). And it was a "J", not a "Y", when translated. That's why we have "Jehovah's Witnesses" and not "Yehovah's Witnesses".

          2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

            Iron Age II (1000–586 BCE): Yahweh as God of Israel

            Solomon dedicates the Temple at Jerusalem (painting by James Tissot or follower, c. 1896–1902). Iron Age Yahweh was the national god of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, and appears to have been worshipped only in these two kingdoms; this was unusual in the Ancient Near East but not unknown—the god Ashur, for example, was worshipped only by the Assyrians.

            After the 9th century BCE the tribes and chiefdoms of Iron Age I were replaced by ethnic nation states, Israel, Judah, Moab, Ammon and others, each with its national god, and all more or less equal. Thus Chemosh was the god of the Moabites, Milcom the god of the Ammonites, Qaus the god of the Edomites, and Yahweh the "God of Israel" (no "God of Judah" is mentioned anywhere in the Bible). In each kingdom the king was also the head of the national religion and thus the viceroy on Earth of the national god; in Jerusalem this was reflected each year when the king presided over a ceremony at which Yahweh was enthroned in the Temple.

            The centre of Yahweh's worship lay in three great annual festivals coinciding with major events in rural life: Passover with the birthing of lambs, Shavuot with the cereal harvest, and Sukkot with the fruit harvest. These probably pre-dated the arrival of the Yahweh religion, but they became linked to events in the national mythos of Israel: Passover with the exodus from Egypt, Shavuot with the law-giving at Biblical Mount Sinai, and Sukkot with the wilderness wanderings. The festivals thus celebrated Yahweh's salvation of Israel and Israel's status as his holy people, although the earlier agricultural meaning was not entirely lost. His worship presumably involved sacrifice, but many scholars have concluded that the rituals detailed in Leviticus 1–16, with their stress on purity and atonement, were introduced only after the Babylonian exile, and that in reality any head of a family was able to offer sacrifice as occasion demanded. A number of scholars have also drawn the conclusion that infant sacrifice, whether to the underworld deity Molech or to Yahweh himself, was a part of Israelite/Judahite religion until the reforms of King Josiah in the late 7th century BCE. Sacrifice was presumably complemented by the singing or recital of psalms, but again the details are scant. Prayer played little role in official worship.

            The Hebrew Bible gives the impression that the Jerusalem temple was always meant to be the central or even sole temple of Yahweh, but this was not the case: the earliest known Israelite place of worship is a 12th century BCE open-air altar in the hills of Samaria featuring a bronze bull reminiscent of Canaanite "Bull-El" (El in the form of a bull), and the archaeological remains of further temples have been found at Dan on Israel's northern border and at Arad in the Negev and Beersheba, both in the territory of Judah. Shiloh, Bethel, Gilgal, Mizpah, Ramah and Dan were also major sites for festivals, sacrifices, the making of vows, private rituals, and the adjudication of legal disputes.

            Yahweh-worship was famously aniconic, meaning that the god was not depicted by a statue or other image. This is not to say that he was not represented in some symbolic form, and early Israelite worship probably focused on standing stones, but according to the Biblical texts the temple in Jerusalem featured Yahweh's throne in the form of two cherubim, their inner wings forming the seat and a box (the Ark of the Covenant) as a footstool, while the throne itself was empty. No satisfactory explanation of Israelite aniconism has been advanced, and a number of recent scholars have argued that Yahweh was in fact represented prior to the reforms of Hezekiah and Josiah late in the monarchic period: to quote one recent study, "[a]n early aniconism, de facto or otherwise, is purely a projection of the post-exilic imagination" (MacDonald, 2007).

          3. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

            Yahweh and the rise of monotheism

            Pre-exilic Israel, like its neighbours, was polytheistic, and Israelite monotheism was the result of unique historical circumstances. The original god of Israel was El, as the name demonstrates—its probable meaning is "may El rule" or some other sentence-form involving the name of El. In the early tribal period, each tribe would have had its own patron god; when kingship emerged, the state promoted Yahweh as the national god of Israel, supreme over the other gods, and gradually Yahweh absorbed all the positive traits of the other gods and goddesses. Yahweh and El merged at religious centres such as Shechem, Shiloh and Jerusalem, with El's name becoming a generic term for "god" and Yahweh, the national god, appropriating many of the older supreme god's titles such as El Shaddai (Almighty) and Elyon (Most High).

            Asherah, formerly the wife of El, was worshipped as Yahweh's consort or mother; potsherds discovered at Khirbet el-Kôm and Kuntillet Ajrûd make reference to "Yahweh and his Asherah", and various biblical passages indicate that her statues were kept in his temples in Jerusalem, Bethel, and Samaria. Yahweh may also have appropriated Anat, the wife of Baal, as his consort, as Anat-Yahu ("Anat of Yahu", i.e., Yahweh) is mentioned in 5th century BCE records from the Jewish colony at Elephantine in Egypt. A goddess called the Queen of Heaven was also worshipped, probably a fusion of Astarte and the Mesopotamian goddess Ishtar, possibly a title of Asherah. Worship of Baal and Yahweh coexisted in the early period of Israel's history, but they were considered irreconcilable after the 9th century BCE, following the efforts of King Ahab and his queen Jezebel to elevate Baal to the status of national god, although the cult of Baal did continue for some time.

            The worship of Yahweh alone began at the earliest with Elijah in the 9th century BCE, but more likely with the prophet Hosea in the 8th; even then it remained the concern of a small party before gaining ascendancy in the Babylonian exile and early post-exilic period. The early supporters of this faction are widely regarded as being monolatrists rather than true monotheists; they did not believe Yahweh was the only god in existence, but instead believed he was the only god the people of Israel should worship. Finally, in the national crisis of the exile, the followers of Yahweh went a step further and outright denied that the other deities aside from Yahweh even existed, thus marking the transition from monolatrism to true monotheism.

          4. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

            Second Temple Judaism

            In 539 BCE Babylon itself fell to the Persian conqueror Cyrus, and in 538 BCE the exiles were permitted to return to Yehud Medinata, as the Persian province of Judah was known. The Temple is commonly said to have been rebuilt in the period 520–515 BCE, but it seems probable this is an artificial date chosen so that 70 years could be said to have passed between the destruction and the rebuilding, fulfilling a prophecy of Jeremiah.

            In recent decades, it has become increasingly common among scholars to assume that much of the Hebrew Bible was assembled, revised and edited in the 5th century BCE to reflect the realities and challenges of the Persian era. The returnees had a particular interest in the history of Israel: the written Torah (the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy), for example, may have existed in various forms during the Monarchy (the period of the kingdoms of Israel and Judah), but it was in the Second Temple that it was edited and revised into something like its current form, and the Chronicles, a new history written at this time, reflects the concerns of the Persian Yehud in its almost-exclusive focus on Judah and the Temple.

            Prophetic works were also of particular interest to the Persian-era authors, with some works being composed at this time (the last ten chapters of Isaiah and the books of Haggai, Zechariah, Malachi and perhaps Joel) and the older prophets edited and reinterpreted. The corpus of Wisdom books saw the composition of Job, parts of Proverbs, and possibly Ecclesiastes, while the book of Psalms was possibly given its modern shape and division into five parts at this time (although the collection continued to be revised and expanded well into Hellenistic and even Roman times).

            Second Temple Judaism was centered not on synagogues, which began to appear only in the 3rd century BCE, and the reading and study of scripture, but on the Temple itself, and on a cycle of continual blood sacrifice (meaning the sacrifice of live animals). Torah, or ritual law, was also important, and the Temple priests were responsible for teaching it, but the concept of scripture developed only slowly. While the written Torah (the Pentateuch) and the Prophets were accepted as authoritative by the 1st century CE, beyond this core the different Jewish groups continued to accept different groups of books as authoritative.

            During the Second Temple period, speaking the name of Yahweh in public became regarded as taboo. When reading from the scriptures, Jews began to substitute the divine name with the word adonai (אֲדֹנָי‬), meaning "Lord". The High Priest of Israel was permitted to speak the name once in the Temple during the Day of Atonement, but at no other time and in no other place. During the Hellenistic period, the scriptures were translated into Greek by the Jews of the Egyptian diaspora. Greek translations of the Hebrew scriptures render both the tetragrammaton and adonai as kyrios (κύριος), meaning "the Lord". After the Temple was destroyed in 70 CE, the original pronunciation of the tetragrammaton was forgotten.

            The period of Persian rule saw the development of expectation in a future human king who would rule purified Israel as Yahweh's representative at the end of time—a messiah. The first to mention this were Haggai and Zechariah, both prophets of the early Persian period. They saw the messiah in Zerubbabel, a descendant of the House of David who seemed, briefly, to be about to re-establish the ancient royal line, or in Zerubbabel and the first High Priest, Joshua (Zechariah writes of two messiahs, one royal and the other priestly). These early hopes were dashed (Zerubabbel disappeared from the historical record, although the High Priests continued to be descended from Joshua), and thereafter there are merely general references to a Messiah of David (i.e. a descendant). From these ideas, Christianity, Rabbinic Judaism, and Islam would later emerge.

          5. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

            Part 3 of 3

            Names of God in Judaism

            Seven names of God

            Elohai

            Elohai or Elohei ("My God") is a form of Elohim along with the first-person singular pronoun enclitic. It appears in the names "God of Abraham" (Elohai Avraham); "God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob" (Elohai Avraham, Elohai Yitzchak ve Elohai Yaʿaqov); and "God of Sarah, Rebecca, Leah, and Rachel" (Elohai Sara, Elohai Rivka, Elohai Leah ve Elohai Rakhel).

            El Shaddai

            El Shaddai (Hebrew: About this soundאל שדי‎ )‎, pronounced [ʃaˈdaj]) is one of the names of God in Judaism, with its etymology coming from the influence of the Ugaritic religion on modern Judaism. El Shaddai is conventionally translated as "God Almighty". While the translation of El as "god" in Ugarit/Canaanite language is straightforward, the literal meaning of Shaddai is the subject of debate.

            Tzevaot Tzevaot, Tsebaoth or Sabaoth (צבאות‎, [tsvaot] ), lit. "Armies") appears in reference to armies or armed hosts of men in Exodus and Isaiah but is not used as a divine epithet in the Torah, Joshua, or Judges. In the First Book of Samuel, David uses the name YHWH Tzavaot and immediately glosses it as "the God of the armies of Israel". The same name appears in the prophets along with YHWH Elohe Tzevaot, Elohey Tzevaot, and Adonai YHWH Tzevaot. These are usually translated in the King James Version as the "Lord of Hosts" or "Lord God of Hosts". In its later uses, however, it often denotes God in his role as leader of the heavenly hosts.[citation needed]

            The Hebrew word Sabaoth was also absorbed in Ancient Greek (σαβαωθ, sabaōth) and Latin (Sabaoth, with no declension). Tertullian and other patristics used it with the meaning of Army of angels of God.

            Jah

            Main articles: Jah and Theophory in the Bible The abbreviated form Jah (/dʒɑː/) or Yah (/jɑː/); יהּ, Yah) appears in the Psalms and Isaiah. It is a common element in Hebrew theophoric names such as Elijah and also appears in the forms yahu ("Jeremiah"), yeho ("Joshua"), and yo ("John", ultimately from the biblical "Yohanan" and Jonathan, "God gives". It also appears 24 times in the Psalms as a part of Hallelujah ("Praise Jah").

            At Revelation 19:1-6, Jah is embedded in the phrase "hallelujah" (Tiberian halləlûyāh), a Hebrew expression that literally means "Praise Jah". The short form "IA" (Yah or Jah (יה)) in the phrase hallelouia (Ἁλληλουιά) is transcribed by the Greek ia.

        2. Tom's Avatar Tom

          Sorry but there is plenty of scientific evidence that disproves this. Not all humans have XX or XY chromosomes. https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/q-a-mixed-sex-biology/

          Scientific studies have also linked numerous different genes in our DNA that plays a role in our sexuality and sexual preferences. https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/08/genetics-may-explain-25-same-sex-behavior-giant-analysis-reveals

          1. James Allen Palm's Avatar James Allen Palm

            Comment removed by author.

          2. James Allen Palm's Avatar James Allen Palm

            God said be fruitful and multiply! Not marry the same sex! If you believe God said to men to be fruitful and multiply sexually, WHY did God create a WOMAN FOR MAN. OH YES to birth children! TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY! So why was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed! Lot offered up his daughter's and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted another man! Did not God destroy them? YES YES YES! So shall He destroy sin, and Homosexuality is SIN!

            1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

              That's a cultural accretion of the times in which the Bible was captured in writing. If you don't believe me, study anthropology. Heterosexual unions were so strongly encouraged because of the high mortality rates of the era. It doesn't take a genius to recognize this, but it does take real thought.

              1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                That is correct Robert Edward Szekely

            2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 6 of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              6 Once there, Ruth did all she could to take care of her companion. She even risked her safety to go and glean in the fields alone, so Naomi could have bread. The society, though, required that they have a male, so that the family land could be inherited. Ruth’s decision to seduce Boaz into marrying her was also risky. She did it out of her love for Naomi; she was the birth mother for a child that would be raised by both of the women. By the end of the story, after he had done his part, Boaz disappears. The scene is of Naomi, the baby, and the women of the town, and we can assume Ruth. The women, in celebration of Naomi’s grandson, proclaim to Naomi that Ruth “your daughter-in-law who loves you, is more to you than seven sons.” A similar statement is made by a man to his wife indicating his being “worth more than ten sons” (Elkanah to Hannah in I Samuel 1).

              1. David &amp; Jonathon

              The bible records that King David of Israel had, among other things, many wives/women. This was the expected behavior of a king, especially to insure a male heir to the throne. David’s relationships with women, though, were often troubled and unhealthy. The best relationship recorded for David is that between him and Jonathon, son of David’s arch enemy, King Saul. The texts of I &amp; II Sam describe in great detail the interactions between David and Jonathon. Read through non-heterosexist eyes, this is a story of romance. The souls of the two men are described as being “joined together as one.” They make a solemn covenant of fidelity to each other. They kissed and wept upon having to be parted. Jonathon is said to have loved David more than his own life. The most obvious, and most difficult to deny, statement of the depth and nature of the love shared between these two men is found in David’s lament over the deaths of Saul and Jonathon. In his grief, David states: “I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women” (II Samuel 1:26). It appears that the biblical writers/editors were not troubled by this presentation of a deep love between two men, even with one of those men being the great King David.

              Conclusions

              The most certain statement that can be made is that the bible does not address the same-sex relationships encountered in the church today. Some might even say that the bible is “silent” on this issue. Those who still hold onto the idea that there are texts that condemn homosexuality, must ask themselves if they still support slavery or stoning sassy children (both of which are clearly sanctioned in the bible). Despite their claims that they read scripture for the “plain truth,” they have had to do some “interpreting” of their own in the past in order to reject other unjust treatment of human beings.

              Another suggestion is that Christians spend more time reading the texts of the 1st Testament and the gospels rather than the Pauline letters. If they did, they would note that Jesus never mentioned homosexuality, but he did speak about judging others and welcoming all of God’s children. With new eyes, persons can find, within the 1st Testament texts, a healthy understanding and appreciation of sex.

          3. James Allen Palm's Avatar James Allen Palm

            God said be fruitful and multiply! Not marry the same sex! If you believe God said to men to be fruitful and multiply sexually, WHY did God create a WOMAN FOR MAN. OH YES to birth children! TO BE FRUITFUL AND MULTIPLY! So why was Sodom and Gomorrah destroyed! Lot offered up his daughter's and the men of Sodom and Gomorrah wanted another man! Did not God destroy them? YES YES YES! So shall He destroy sin, and Homosexuality is SIN!

            1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 1of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality

              By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              Introduction

              Within Christian circles, the debate about homosexuality has been at the forefront over the past few decades. It is not that this issue was unheard of until recently, but that it was not the focus of so much attention. Much like the civil rights movement and the women’s movement, there was no problem as long as those in the GLBT community kept their place within a heterosexist religious system. Only when GLBT persons began to ask for equal rights did the church make it such a hot topic.

              The fodder for many of the arguments against homosexuality has been a handful of biblical texts, which have been interpreted historically by modern scholars as condemning of intimate relationships between two persons of the same sex. In fact, some of the more modern translations of the bible contributed to the church’s anti-gay teachings (e.g., the New Revised Standard Version translation of 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 used the word, “sodomites,” to translate a Greek word that had no etymological connection to the town and/or people of Sodom). Most people caught up in the turmoil over the issue have been laity who relied upon their pastors/priests to instruct them on the biblical stance toward homosexuality. Many church leaders have presented their biases without allowing their congregants to study what the bible actually says, or doesn’t say about this topic . For example, many persons in the church are still unaware that there is no word for “homosexuality” in Hebrew, Aramaic, or Greek, the three original languages of the bible. In fact, the word did not appear in the English language until the late 19th century. Neither the ancient Israelites nor their later descendants within 1st century Judaism and the early church had any concept of sexual orientation, which is a relatively new concept for us today.

              Understanding the historical, sociological, and ideological background of biblical texts is essential in determining both an original meaning as well as a meaning for the modern faith community. Particularly within the community that wrote and passed down the texts of the 1st Testament, the primary concern for Ancient Israel was for survival. The dangers of life in those times meant that their people were constantly on the verge of extinction. Many children did not survive past the age of 2 or 3, and life expectancy was very short, especially for women, who often died in childbirth. Procreation was of the utmost importance. Anything that endangered the possibility for children (e.g., masturbation, non-intercourse sexual activities, etc.) was a threat to the whole community.

              During the writing of the New Testament, the early church was also a minority group, but its greatest threat came from the Greek culture, especially their religions, and the threat of assimilation. In trying to prove their legitimacy and carve out their identity, early church leaders, such as Paul, tried to emphasize the sins of Greek religion, especially their incorporation of sexual behavior within their rituals. Anything even closely resembling their behavior (e.g., temple prostitutes, fertility rituals, etc.) was strictly prohibited for the new Christian community.

              Given this backdrop for the reading and interpretation of the biblical materials, stories and

            2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 2of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              2 passages once thought to condemn many things, homosexuality being one, are seen in a much different light. The threats that existed for Ancient Israel and the early church are not what threaten today’s world and church. We face possible extinction not due to lack of procreation but because of over population. The Christian faith is no longer a minority voice, especially in the United States. Just as the biblical texts were written in certain historical contexts, so must we interpret them today, within our own contemporary world.

              First/Old Testament Texts

              1. Gen 1-2 – “God Created Adam &amp; Eve, not Adam &amp; Steve”

              Those who are opposed to the acceptance of GLBT persons and relationships often quote the above statement. Referring back to the two creation stories found in Genesis 1 &amp; 2, this argument claims that heterosexuality was divinely ordained from the beginning of time. This interpretation of the text fails to take into account both the literary and logical aspects of stories of creation. First, one must realize that the point of any good story is to get from one point to the next as smoothly as possible. The creation stories are attempting to explain how all of creation came to be, especially humanity. Based on their understanding of procreation, the ancient writers knew that, to go from two persons to many peoples, God had to start with a female and a male. More specifically, both stories describe the creation of two sexes but not of sexual orientation. In Gen 2, God understands that the first human creature is lonely. Out of a concern for the human creature’s need for companionship, God divides ‘adam into two parts. The Divine affirms that we all need to be in relationships. Thus, our lives are about finding that which completes us .

              1. Gen 19 – The Origin of the Word, “Sodomite/Sodomy”

              The sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was inhospitality, not homosexuality. Hospitality was a primary obligation for persons in ancient cultures, especially Israel. The way that the people of Sodom treated the two angelic guests showed their lack of hospitality and their hostility to those who were different from them. Most of the biblical translations of Gen 19 fail to acknowledge that it was the whole community – male &amp; female, young &amp; old – who came to Lot’s house and demanded that Lot turn his guests over to them. If anything, the citizens of Sodom intended to commit gang rape. When the reader realizes that it was not just a group of men who demanded to “know” the male visitors, then the possibility of seeing the story as being about homosexual behavior disappears. Interpretation of the story for centuries has been that Sodom &amp; Gomorrah’s downfall was: greed, inhospitality, pride, injustice, idolatry, etc (cf, Isa 1:9, 10; 3:9; 13:19; Jer 23:14; 49:18; 50:40; Ezek 16:46, 48, 49, 53, 55, 56; Matt 10:15; 11:23-24; Mark 6:11; and Luke 10:12; 17:29). One early rabbinic legend tells of two girls in Sodom. The first girl was starving, so the second girl gave her some flower for making bread. When the people of Sodom found out about this act of generosity, they burned the compassionate girl alive. Only with Augustine in the 4th and 5th centuries C.E. did the sin become identified as solely “homosexual” behavior. The Christian tradition’s understanding of homosexuality has been most influenced by his views,

            3. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 3 of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              3 while the Jewish tradition has continued to understand the primary sin of Sodom and Gomorrah as being inhospitality.

              1. Lev 18:22; 20:13 – “Abominations” 18:22 You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination. 20:13 If a man lies with a male as with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination; they shall be put to death; their blood is upon them.

              The laws of Leviticus were intended only for Israel. It was a set of laws that were to be kept as a whole, not a buffet from which one could pick and choose. Primary concern was for Israel to remain holy and identifiable from other cultures/faiths. Both texts speak of a man lying with another man as with a woman. No mention of lesbianism. Why not? Again, the concern is for procreation. Male-male sexual relations “wasted seed” as did “masturbation.” Female-female sexual relations did not. Another possibility is that the disgrace here would be that one of the men would have to “play the part of a woman,” which was the greatest humiliation for males in a patriarchal culture.

              Much ado has been made about the labeling of male-male sexual activity as an “abomination.” The Hebrew word is to’ebah, and it usually has to do with ritual impurity or with idolatry. Perhaps it was related to the prohibition of participation in fertility cults of other cultures. To keep this label in perspective, it is important to consider what other behaviors are called to’ebah: wearing polyester/cotton garments or eating foods that contain both meat and dairy products (e.g., cheeseburger).

              New Testament Texts

              1. Romans 1:26-27 – “unnatural relations” For this reason God gave them up to degrading passions. Their women exchanged natural intercourse for unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men, giving up natural intercourse with women, were consumed with passion for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in their own persons the due penalty for their error. [NRSV, italics added]

              This text is confusing all the way around. Paul is describing what happens to persons of faith who turn to idols and follow other religions. He describes one result of this unfaithfulness in the above verses. The Greek phrase (see italicized word), para physin, is better translated as “unconventional” or “unusual”. Paul uses same phrase in 1 Cor 11:14 in referring to men with long hair, something that today we probably do not see as being “sinful.” The behaviors described in this text (i.e., sexual orgies, etc.) probably were connected to practices by Greek religions, which Paul deemed “pagan.” These people were guilty of idolatry, and thus their behavior became unconscionable: adultery, orgies, envy, gossip, etc. In fact, a more obvious problem in the above state of affairs is adultery. Some have even suggested that the text describes more of an orgiastic phenomenon. Both of these would be considered contrary to the Christian (influenced heavily by Jewish) view of marriage and sexual intimacy.

              1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

                "to’ebah" in the sense of "ritual impurity", can generally be cleansed in the temple mikveh.

            4. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 4 of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              4

              1. I Cor 6:9-10 – Sin Inventory 9Do you not know that wrongdoers will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! Fornicators, idolaters, adulterers, male prostitutes, sodomites, 10 thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, robbers-- none of these will inherit the kingdom of God. [NRSV, italics added]

              I Tim 1:9-10 – Another Sin Inventory

              9 This means understanding that the law is laid down not for the innocent but for the lawless and disobedient, for the godless and sinful, for the unholy and profane, for those who kill their father or mother, for murderers, 10 fornicators, sodomites, slave traders, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is contrary to the sound teaching. [NRSV, italics added]

              The word translated in both passages as, “sodomites,” is the Greek word, ‘arsenokoitai, which is hard to translate. Linguistically, the word possibly means “male beds”. It is most often used to mean “male prostitute.” Again, Paul is concerned with pagan religious practices. Many of the most recent translations of the bible have used “homosexuals” or “sodomites.” Even the NRSV, considered by many denominations to be the most accurate translation to date, uses “sodomites” for this word. The previous RSV used “sexual perverts.” Another possibility is that this word, ‘arsenokotai, refers to the practice of pederasty (men keeping young boys as sexual slaves), which was a reality in ancient Greek cultures. Both adultery and pederasty would be contrary to God’s will because they objectify human beings.

              1. Jude 7 – “Strange Flesh”

              Likewise, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding cities, which, in the same manner as they, indulged in sexual immorality and pursued unnatural lust, serve as an example by undergoing a punishment of eternal fire.

              Given the previous interpretation of the sin of Sodom &amp; Gomorrah as inhospitality, displayed in gang rape, this would certainly be considered sexual immorality, which is referred to in this text. There is nothing said about males having sex with males, nor about females having sex with females. In the time of the writing of Jude, sexual immorality was a broad topic, as it still is today. However, there is no reason to equate this description with homosexual behavior.

              Sex-Friendly Texts

              Given the dominant use of biblical texts to condemn certain sexual activities, one might wonder if there is any “good news” about sexuality in the bible. One must concede that there are few of these texts in the New Testament. With the influence of Hellenistic culture and the resulting dualism present in Christianity, sex became something unholy, necessary maybe, but not to be encouraged. It was equated with the flesh and thus was seen as being base and not of a higher spiritual quality. Luckily, though, the Ancient Israelites did not suffer from such dualism and the resultant separation of body and spirit. The human being was seen as a whole. God created us as “fleshy” beings, and thus the body could not be “bad.”

            5. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              Part 5 of 6

              What the Bible Says, or Doesn’t Say, About Homosexuality By: Rev. Dr. Lisa W. Davison

              5

              In the 1st Testament, sex is seen as a gift from God and is literally commanded by God of human beings. The words of the Creator to the first humans, “be fruitful and multiply,” are also inherently a command to engage in sexual intimacy. An overwhelming number of the stories in the 1st Testament involve sex in one way or another; for some texts it is the dominant topic. Too many times, the stories involve unhealthy/abusive sexual activity, such as the rape of the Levite’s concubine in Judges 21 or the rape of Bathsheba by King David in 2 Samuel 11-12. Despite all of this, there are some valuable texts in the 1st Testament for the celebration of sexuality, even that of same-sex relationships. Only mention three texts will be presented.

              1. Song of Songs

              This book is often shocking to the unsuspecting reader. The book consists of nothing but erotic love poetry. No mention is made of God, Israel, covenant, etc. Early Christian biblical interpreters allegorized the text, claiming that it described the relationship between Christ and the Church or between Mary and God. Either way, there are some pretty risqué texts that one must fit into the allegory. Earlier Jewish and contemporary scholars have approached the text as what it is, a vivid description of the love affair between two unwed individuals. The couple in the poem are not married, yet engaged in a sexual relationship. In a few places, the Song of Songs indicates that the couple has to keep their relationship secret and often take risks to be together, because their society does not approve of their being together. People often ask why such a text as Song of Songs is in the canon. It seems very plausible that its inclusion in the canon is due to the Israelites’ understanding of the basic goodness of a healthy sexual relationship and recognized God’s participation in that aspect of their lives as well.

              1. Ruth &amp; Naomi

              How many of persons have been to a heterosexual wedding and heard these words read or sung:

              "Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will die-- there will I be buried. May the LORD do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you!" [Ruth 1:16-17, NRSV]

              Many people never stop to think that these are the words Ruth spoke to Naomi, not those of a woman to a man. It seems doubtful that this is something a woman would promise her mother in-law; no matter how much she loved her husband’s mother. No, the use of these lines in traditional weddings shows that the church (consciously or not) has always understood them to be words of life commitment. Without thought to her own well-being, Ruth chose to go to Bethlehem with Naomi.

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                trying to claim a disproved fact that the Bible does in fact state Homosexuality is wrong huh Kossee? and failing at that.

              2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                Simply saying that the bible state that homosexuality is wrong isn't good enough, you have to prove what you say is in fact true.

              3. Tom's Avatar Tom

                We both know Daniel isn't able to do that though.

  1. Amber Fry's Avatar Amber Fry

    This is ridiculous. No, it isn't a religion. I don't understand how it is people insist every choice HAS TO BE some religious choice. People live just fine outside of religion. For religious people to decide no religion is a religion makes me wonder if they even understand what a religion even means or how to live with religion at all.

  1. Peter Bradshaw's Avatar Peter Bradshaw

    Wait, what? Aren't these the same people who are all gung-ho on so-called religious liberty laws? I think maybe they haven't thoroughly thought this through.

    FWIW, the courts have said that for First Amendment purposes, atheism is a religion. And the Satanic Temple (not the church of Satan, mind you) is using the same religious liberty argument as Hobby Lobby to have its members exempted from state abortion restrictions.

  1. James Allen Palm's Avatar James Allen Palm

    Practicing homosexuality is a SIN! GOD created Man and then He created WOMAN for MAN! YOU the catholic church and those who believe 2 people of the same sex can pro create are living a lie! You sir was not born a woman! Just check your genitals! You dont see a Vagina! I pray your confusion will be cleared up! May God help you!

  1. Dorothy E. Cogswell's Avatar Dorothy E. Cogswell

    Jesus said he loves ALL his children

  1. William Lawson Thompson's Avatar William Lawson Thompson

    Minister Will After reading all these post, The Bible is GODS WORD! You cannot change the LORDS teathings and Laws to Suit your life.GOD doesn't interfere with free will, it is your choice, but choose wisely, because in the end he will judge you. Is your eternal soul worth not following his teachings. The BIBLE IS OUR INSTRUCTION MANUAL.It says so in it's title. Basic,Instructions, Before, Leaving, Earth. If you choose not to follow his word you WILL BE JUDGED! And I will pray for your SOULS!

  1. Richard Lee Cornell's Avatar Richard Lee Cornell

    It is up to the IRS to issue the 501 (c) (3) in the religious category section to be recognize as a religion. Others need not apply.

  1. Bing Cote Eagle's Avatar Bing Cote Eagle

    I am pleased to see that most people, at least on this forum, see this measure for what it is: fear and hate. I expect we will see signs of this popping up from time to time throughout the country as those who refuse to accept life in all its diversity scramble to control that which is uncontrollable. We need to speak out and become involved in helping to defeat such ridiculous measures as they pop up. Kind of whack a mole for a time. I really doubt Jesus would have supported any such movement ever.

  1. Gary Stephen Lowden's Avatar Gary Stephen Lowden

    Did you choose to be straight? Can you point to a date or time that you did so? If not, and you are not gay, please don't tell gays that they made a choice and that is a fact because you have no basis or experience to say so.

  1. Robert Edward Szekely's Avatar Robert Edward Szekely

    A hugely important, but simple point that I believe many of us are missing here is that this is a Divine test of our love, acceptance and compassion of those different from us. Any many of us (especially those blithering idiots in the ND legislature) are FAILING MISERABLY. You don't need to delve into the Bible for the answer. The answer is written on our hearts. Love them as we love ourselves. Without question. As we are all sons and daughters of the same God - regardless of our path to Them.

    WAKE UP! :)

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Um sorry but no, Diamond is very clear that sexual choice IS chosen an I have given hundreds of people and examples that prove it

    1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Really! and just who are these "hundreds of people" that you speak of and what "examples" have you given that prove It. Give us all a full list of names of all these "hundreds of people" that you speak of and Give us all the "examples" have you given that prove It.

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Thats EXACTLY what Torcaso v. Watkins ruled. All you have to do is read it to see you are wrong and again I am correct as I am taking it directly from the ruling.

    1. Tom's Avatar Tom

      No you're not correct because that's not what this case says. Here's the syllabus for that case:

      "Appellant was appointed by the Governor of Maryland to the office of Notary Public, but he was denied a commission because he would not declare his belief in God, as required by the Maryland Constitution. Claiming that this requirement violated his rights under the First and Fourteenth Amendments, he sued in a state court to compel issuance of his commission, but relief was denied. The State Court of Appeals affirmed, holding that the state constitutional provision is self-executing, without need for implementing legislation, and requires declaration of a belief in God as a qualification for office. Held: This Maryland test for public office cannot be enforced against appellant, because it unconstitutionally invades his freedom of belief and religion guaranteed by the First Amendment and protected by the Fourteenth Amendment from infringement by the States. Pp. 367 U. S. 489-496."

      Nothing here about secular humanism or atheism being a religion, just that you cannot force someone to declare a belief in God as a qualification for public office as that infringes on a persons freedom of belief and religion.

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        so tell me how exactly can I be wrong when I copied and pasted it directly from the decision itself?

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    And not one of your claimed "conversions" are based in science or genetic or medicine. Try again

    1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

      Exactly what science, genetic and medicine would that be Danny Boy? What proof do YOU have to back up YOUR claims Danny boy?

      1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        Ok Kossee, where is the gene that you claim makes them gay. Why are people suddenly deciding they are gay. Using your false logic then none of this is supposed to happen

        1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          Prove it danny boy prove it you're still are saying a lot of words, but still you haven't proven anything, you're the one making the claim, now it either put up or shut up danny boy.

        2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          Show me when did I even make the claim that there a "gene" that make you gay.

          1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

            You keep claiming that its not a choice, thus meaning that you were born that way. Ok then show where there is a gay gene Kossee. I wont hold my breath in waiting for you to try and prove this fallacy

            1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

              You're the one making the claim therefore the burden of proof is on you You haven't provided any proof so far all you have done say a lot o words but still no proofs which mean that you can not prove it therefore you're wrong.

              1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

                sorry Kossee, I HAVE proved there is no such thing as a gay gene meaning that you are not born that way as you try and insist that you are. Now its up to you to prove different, and so far if you can you will have done something that medical science has never been able to do even though they have mapped the human genome

              2. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                Sorry no you still haven't proven anything you keep on saying it has, without providing any proof of any kind to back up what you say is in fact true. So it put up or shut up Danny Boy

              3. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior.

                Part 6 of 6

                Animals displaying homosexual behavior

                part 2 of 2

                List of mammals displaying homosexual behavior

                Selected mammals from the full list

                • Baboon • Bison • Brown bear • Brown rat • Cavy • Caribou • Cat (domestic) • Cattle (domestic) • Chimpanzee • Common dolphin • Common marmoset • Dog • Elephant • Fox • Giraffe • Goat • Horse (domestic) • Human • Koala • Lion • Orca • Panda • Raccoon

                Birds

                List of birds displaying homosexual behavior

                Selected birds from the full list

                • Barn owl • Chicken • Common gull • Emu • House sparrow • Kestrel • King penguin • Mallard • Ostrich • Raven • Rock dove

                Fish

                Research going back to the 1950s has shown both male and female graylings exhibit homosexual behavior.

                List of Fish displaying homosexual behavior

                • Amazon molly • Anglerfish • Blackstripe topminnow • Bluegill sunfish • Char • Grayling • European bitterling • Green swordtail • Guiana leaffish • Houting whitefish • Jewel cichlid • Least darter (Microperca punctulata) • Mouthbreeding fish
                • Salmon
                • Southern platyfish • Ten-spined stickleback • Three-spined stickleback

                Reptiles

                Three species of Aspidoscelis.

                The all-female Whiptail lizard species Aspidoscelis neomexicanus which reproduces via parthenogenesis. Research has shown that simulated mating behavior increases fertility for Aspidoscelis neomexicanus. One female lies on top of another, playing the role of the male, the lizard that was on bottom has larger eggs, in most cases. The lizards switch off this role each mating season.

                List of Reptiles displaying homosexual behavior

                • Anole • Bearded dragon • Blue-tailed day gecko (Phelsuma cepediana) • Broad-headed skink • Checkered whiptail lizard • Chihuahuan spotted whiptail lizard • Common ameiva • Common garter snake • Cuban green anole • Desert grassland whiptail lizard • Desert tortoise • Fence lizard • Five-lined skink • Gold dust day gecko (Phelsuma laticauda) • Gopher (pine) snake • Green anole • Inagua curlytail lizard • Jamaican giant anole • Laredo striped whiptail lizard • Largehead anole • Mourning gecko • Plateau striped whiptail lizard • Red diamond rattlesnake • Red-tailed skink • Seychelles giant tortoise • Side-blotched lizard • Speckled rattlesnake • Water moccasin • Western rattlesnake (Crotalus viridis) • Western banded gecko • Whiptail lizard
                • Wood turtle

                Amphibians

                List of Amphipians displaying homosexual behavior

                Appalachian woodland salamander Black-spotted frog Mountain dusky salamander Tengger desert toad

                Insects

                Male homosexuality has been inferred in several species of dragonflies. A survey of damsel and dragonflies reveals characteristic cloacal pincher mating damage in 20–80 percent of the males, indicating a fairly high occurrence of sexual coupling between males.

                Male flour beetles engage in same-sex coupling to practice mating and to rid themselves of "old, less effective" sperm. List of Insects displaying homosexual behavior

                Alfalfa weevil Australian parasitic wasp Bean weevil
                Bedbug and other bug Blister beetle
                Blowfly Broadwinged damselfly
                Cabbage (small) white (butterfly) Checkerspot butterfly Club-tailed dragonfly Cockroach
                Common skimmer dragonfly Creeping water bug
                Cutworm Digger bee Dragonfly
                Eastern giant ichneumon wasp Eucalyptus longhorned borer Field cricket
                Flour beetle Fruit fly
                Glasswing butterfly Hypoponera opacior ant Grape berry moth Grape borer Green lacewing Hen flea House fly Ichneumon wasp
                Japanese scarab beetle Larch bud moth Large milkweed bug Large white Long-legged fly
                Mazarine blue Mexican white (butterfly) Midge
                Migratory locust Monarch butterfly Narrow-winged damselfly Parsnip leaf miner Pomace fly Queen butterfly Red ant
                Red flour beetle Reindeer warble fly (Hypoderma tarandi) Rose chafer (Macrodactylus subspinosus) Rove beetle
                Scarab beetle (melolonthine) Screwworm fly Silkworm moth Southeastern blueberry bee Southern green stink bug Southern masked chafer Southern one-year canegrub Spreadwinged damselfly
                Spruce budworm moth Stable fly
                Stag beetle
                Tsetse fly Water boatman bug Water strider
                Other invertebrates List of Other invertebrates displaying homosexual behavior

                Blood-fluke Box crab Harvest spider
                Hawaiian orb-weaver (spider) Incirrate octopus
                Jumping spiders Mite
                Spiny-headed worm

              4. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                Animals displaying homosexual behavior

                Part 5 of 6

                Animals displaying homosexual behavior

                part 1 of 2

                For these animals, there is documented evidence of homosexual behavior of one or more of the following kinds: sex, courtship, affection, pair bonding, or parenting, as noted in researcher and author Bruce Bagemihl's 1999 book Biological Exuberance: Animal Homosexuality and Natural Diversity. Bagemihl writes that the presence of same-sex sexual behavior was not "officially" observed on a large scale until the 1990s due to observer bias caused by social attitudes towards nonheterosexual people, making the homosexual theme taboo. Bagemihl devotes three chapters; Two Hundred Years at Looking at Homosexual Wildlife, Explaining (Away) Animal Homosexuality and Not For Breeding Only in his 1999 book Biological Exuberance to the "documentation of systematic prejudices" where he notes "the present ignorance of biology lies precisely in its single-minded attempt to find reproductive (or other) 'explanations' for homosexuality, transgender, and non-procreative and alternative heterosexualities." Petter Bøckman, academic adviser for the Against Nature? exhibit stated "[M]any researchers have described homosexuality as something altogether different from sex. They must realize that animals can have sex with who they will, when they will and without consideration to a researcher's ethical principles." Homosexual behavior is found amongst social birds and mammals, particularly the sea mammals and the primates. Sexual behavior takes many different forms, even within the same species and the motivations for and implications of their behaviors have yet to be fully understood. Bagemihl's research shows that homosexual behavior, not necessarily sex, has been documented in about five hundred species as of 1999, ranging from primates to gut worms. Homosexuality in animals is seen as controversial by social conservatives because it asserts the naturalness of homosexuality in humans, while others counter that it has no implications and is nonsensical to equate natural animal behaviors to morality. Sexual preference and motivation is always inferred from behavior. Thus homosexual behavior has been given a number of terms over the years. The correct usage of the term homosexual is that an animal exhibits homosexual behavior, however this article conforms to the usage by modern research, applying the term homosexuality to all sexual behavior (copulation, genital stimulation, mating games and sexual display behavior) between animals of the same sex

                List of animals displaying homosexual behavior

              5. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior.

                part 4 of 6

                https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/10842723/

                Familial aspects of male homosexuality

                K Dawood , R C Pillard, C Horvath, W Revelle, J M Bailey

                Abstract

                Research has generally supported the existence of familial-genetic factors for male sexual orientation, but has not shed much light on the specific nature of those influences. Gay men with gay brothers provide the opportunity to examine several hypotheses. Sixty-six men, representing 37 gay male sibling pairs, completed questionnaires assessing behavior on various measures including childhood and adult gender nonconformity, timing of awareness of homosexual feelings, self-acceptance, and the quality of family relationships. Consistent with prior findings using twins, gay brothers were similar in their degree of childhood gender non-conformity, suggesting that this variable may distinguish etiologically (e.g., genetically) heterogeneous subtypes. The large majority of gay men with brothers knew about their own homosexual feelings before they learned about their brothers' homosexual feelings, suggesting that discovery of brothers' homosexuality is not an important cause of male homosexuality.

                https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/31950380/

                Familiality of Gender Nonconformity Among Homosexual Men

                J Michael Bailey , Gerulf Rieger , Ritesha S Krishnappa Alana B Kolundzija , Khytam Dawood , Alan R Sanders Abstract

              6. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior.

                part 3 of 6

                https://science.sciencemag.org/content/365/6456/eaat7693

                The genetics of sexual orientation

                Twin studies and other analyses of inheritance of sexual orientation in humans has indicated that same-sex sexual behavior has a genetic component. Previous searches for the specific genes involved have been underpowered and thus unable to detect genetic signals. Ganna et al. perform a genome-wide association study on 493,001 participants from the United States, the United Kingdom, and Sweden to study genes associated with sexual orientation (see the Perspective by Mills). They find multiple loci implicated in same-sex sexual behavior indicating that, like other behavioral traits, nonheterosexual behavior is polygenic.

                INTRODUCTION

                Across human societies and in both sexes, some 2 to 10% of individuals report engaging in sex with same-sex partners, either exclusively or in addition to sex with opposite-sex partners. Twin and family studies have shown that same-sex sexual behavior is partly genetically influenced, but previous searches for the specific genes involved have been underpowered to detect effect sizes realistic for complex traits.

                RATIONALE

                For the first time, new large-scale datasets afford sufficient statistical power to identify genetic variants associated with same-sex sexual behavior (ever versus never had a same-sex partner), estimate the proportion of variation in the trait accounted for by all variants in aggregate, estimate the genetic correlation of same-sex sexual behavior with other traits, and probe the biology and complexity of the trait. To these ends, we performed genome-wide association discovery analyses on 477,522 individuals from the United Kingdom and United States, replication analyses in 15,142 individuals from the United States and Sweden, and follow-up analyses using different aspects of sexual preference.

                RESULTS

                In the discovery samples (UK Biobank and 23andMe), five autosomal loci were significantly associated with same-sex sexual behavior. Follow-up of these loci suggested links to biological pathways that involve sex hormone regulation and olfaction. Three of the loci were significant in a meta-analysis of smaller, independent replication samples. Although only a few loci passed the stringent statistical corrections for genome-wide multiple testing and were replicated in other samples, our analyses show that many loci underlie same-sex sexual behavior in both sexes. In aggregate, all tested genetic variants accounted for 8 to 25% of variation in male and female same-sex sexual behavior, and the genetic influences were positively but imperfectly correlated between the sexes [genetic correlation coefficient (rg)= 0.63; 95% confidence intervals, 0.48 to 0.78]. These aggregate genetic influences partly overlapped with those on a variety of other traits, including externalizing behaviors such as smoking, cannabis use, risk-taking, and the personality trait “openness to experience.” Additional analyses suggested that sexual behavior, attraction, identity, and fantasies are influenced by a similar set of genetic variants (rg &gt; 0.83); however, the genetic effects that differentiate heterosexual from same-sex sexual behavior are not the same as those that differ among nonheterosexuals with lower versus higher proportions of same-sex partners, which suggests that there is no single continuum from opposite-sex to same-sex preference.

                CONCLUSION

                Same-sex sexual behavior is influenced by not one or a few genes but many. Overlap with genetic influences on other traits provides insights into the underlying biology of same-sex sexual behavior, and analysis of different aspects of sexual preference underscore its complexity and call into question the validity of bipolar continuum measures such as the Kinsey scale. Nevertheless, many uncertainties remain to be explored, including how sociocultural influences on sexual preference might interact with genetic influences. To help communicate our study to the broader public, we organized workshops in which representatives of the public, activists, and researchers discussed the rationale, results, and implications of our study.

              7. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior.

                part 2 of 6

                Eric Vilain, director of the Center for Genetic Medicine Research at Children’s National Health System, said the study marks the end of “the simplistic concept of the ‘gay gene.’ ”

                “It just shows us that same-sex sexual behavior is much more complex than this idea of having just one gene influencing it all,” said Vilain, who was not involved in the study. “It shows that there are genetic factors, which we had suspected long ago … but it also shows those genetic factors do not tell the whole story.”

                Previous studies have suggested that sexual orientation and same-sex behaviors may be, at least in part, genetic. For instance, research has shown patterns in families with multiple men in the same family identifying as gay. There is some evidence of a correlation between left-handedness and same-sex attraction, and left-handedness has both genetic and environmental influences. Environmental effects may be a factor for some people; for instance, having older brothers increases the odds that younger brothers will be gay, which researchers suspect may have to do with changes to the mother’s immune system in response to the earlier pregnancies.

                Zeke Stokes, chief programs officer for GLAAD, said in a statement that the new research on the genetics “provides even more evidence that being gay or lesbian is a natural part of human life, a conclusion that has been drawn by researchers and scientists time and again. The identities of LGBTQ people are not up for debate. This new research also reconfirms the long established understanding that there is no conclusive degree to which nature or nurture influence how a gay or lesbian person behaves.”

                There are limitations to the new research. Vilain, chair of the Department of Genomics and Precision Medicine at George Washington University, noted that the study’s authors placed all participants who had reported even one same-sex sexual event into the same group. “The problem with this is that it might dilute the efficiency of a search for genetic factors that may be present only in individuals who have exclusive same-sex attraction throughout their lives,” he said.

                That said, Vilain added, “it does capture the complexity of same-sex attraction. It captures real-life experiences rather than trying to put people into bins that are always arbitrary.”

                Also, Vilain said the study, which includes mostly European-American participants, lacks key diversity. “It’s missing out on what’s going on in other populations,” he said.

              8. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

                There’s no one ‘gay gene,’ but genetics are linked to same-sex behavior.

                part 1 of 6

                By Lindsey Bever

                August 29, 2019

                There is no one gene that determines a person’s sexual orientation, but genetics — along with environment — play a part in shaping sexuality, a massive new study shows.

                Researchers analyzed DNA from hundreds of thousands of people and found that there are a handful of genes clearly connected with same-sex sexual behavior. The researchers say that, although variations in these genes cannot predict whether a person is gay, these variants may partly influence sexual behavior.

                Andrea Ganna, lead author and European Molecular Biology Laboratory group leader at the Institute of Molecular Medicine in Finland, said the research reinforces the understanding that same-sex sexual behavior is simply “a natural part of our diversity as a species.”

                The new study, published Thursday in the journal Science, is not the first to explore the link between genetics and same-sex behavior, but it is the largest of its kind, and experts say it provides one of the clearest pictures of genes and sexuality.

                Ganna, who is also an instructor at Massachusetts General and Harvard, and an international team of scientists examined data from more than 470,000 people in the United States and the United Kingdom to see whether certain genetic markers in their DNA were linked to their sexual behavior. Specifically, the researchers used data from the UK Biobank study and from the private genomics company 23andMe, which included their DNA data and responses to questions about sexual behaviors, sexual attraction and sexual identity. More than 26,000 participants reported at least one sexual encounter with someone of the same sex. Earlier studies, the researchers said, weren’t large enough to reveal the subtle effects of individual genes.

                The researchers were able to find five genetic variants that were statistically associated with same-sex sexual behaviors, but none had a large effect and none could itself predict same-sex behaviors. One of the variants was found in a stretch of DNA that includes several genes related to the sense of smell. And another one of the genes is related to male pattern baldness, which the authors said could suggest that sex hormone regulation may somehow be involved.

                These variants, along with thousands of others in the human genome that have even smaller effects, together accounted for 8 to 25 percent of variation in same-sex sexual behavior, the analysis showed. Some of the variants were correlated with same-sex sexual behavior in men, others in women, and some in both.

      2. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

        whats wrong Kossee? mad because I use PRIDE magazines own list to prove you wrong?

        1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

          Really when have you used PRIDE magazines own list to prove anything and how would have it prove anything.

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    Part 2 of 3

    Names of God in Judaism

    Seven names of God

    El

    El appears in Ugaritic, Phoenician and other 2nd and 1st millennium BC texts both as generic "god" and as the head of the divine pantheon. In the Hebrew Bible El (Hebrew: אל‎) appears very occasionally alone (e.g. Genesis 33:20, el elohe yisrael, "Mighty God of Israel", and Genesis 46:3, ha'el elohe abika, "El the God of thy father"), but usually with some epithet or attribute attached (e.g. El Elyon, "Most High El", El Shaddai, "El of Shaddai", El `Olam "Everlasting El", El Hai, "Living El", El Ro'i "El my Shepherd", and El Gibbor "El of Strength"), in which cases it can be understood as the generic "god". In theophoric names such as Gabriel ("Strength of God"), Michael ("Who is like God?"), Raphael ("God's medicine"), Ariel ("God's lion"), Daniel ("God's Judgment"), Israel ("one who has struggled with God"), Immanuel ("God is with us"), and Ishmael ("God Hears"/"God Listens") it is usually interpreted and translated as "God", but it is not clear whether these "el"s refer to the deity in general or to the god El in particular

    Eloah

    Elohim

    A common name of God in the Hebrew Bible is Elohim (Hebrew: About this soundאלהים‎ ‎). Despite the -im ending common to many plural nouns in Hebrew, the word Elohim when referring to God is grammatically singular, and takes a singular verb in the Hebrew Bible. The word is identical to the usual plural of el meaning gods or magistrates, and is cognate to the 'lhm found in Ugaritic, where it is used for the pantheon of Canaanite gods, the children of El and conventionally vocalized as "Elohim" although the original Ugaritic vowels are unknown. When the Hebrew Bible uses elohim not in reference to God, it is plural (for example, Exodus 20:2). There are a few other such uses in Hebrew, for example Behemoth. In Modern Hebrew, the singular word ba'alim ("owner") looks plural, but likewise takes a singular verb.

    A number of scholars have traced the etymology to the Semitic root *yl, "to be first, powerful", despite some difficulties with this view. Elohim is thus the plural construct "powers". Hebrew grammar allows for this form to mean "He is the Power (singular) over powers (plural)", just as the word Ba'alim means "owner" (see above). "He is lord (singular) even over any of those things that he owns that are lordly (plural)."

    Theologians who dispute this claim cite the hypothesis that plurals of majesty came about in more modern times. Richard Toporoski, a classics scholar, asserts that plurals of majesty first appeared in the reign of Diocletian (CE 284–305). Indeed, Gesenius states in his book Hebrew Grammar the following:

    The Jewish grammarians call such plurals ... plur. virium or virtutum; later grammarians call them plur. excellentiae, magnitudinis, or plur. maiestaticus. This last name may have been suggested by the we used by kings when speaking of themselves (compare 1 Maccabees 10:19 and 11:31); and the plural used by God in Genesis 1:26 and 11:7; Isaiah 6:8 has been incorrectly explained in this way). It is, however, either communicative (including the attendant angels: so at all events in Isaiah 6:8 and Genesis 3:22), or according to others, an indication of the fullness of power and might implied. It is best explained as a plural of self-deliberation. The use of the plural as a form of respectful address is quite foreign to Hebrew.

    Mark S. Smith has cited the use of plural as possible evidence to suggest an evolution in the formation of early Jewish conceptions of monotheism, wherein references to "the gods" (plural) in earlier accounts of verbal tradition became either interpreted as multiple aspects of a single monotheistic God at the time of writing, or subsumed under a form of monolatry, wherein the god(s) of a certain city would be accepted after the fact as a reference to the God of Israel and the plural deliberately dropped.

    The plural form ending in -im can also be understood as denoting abstraction, as in the Hebrew words chayyim ("life") or betulim ("virginity"). If understood this way, Elohim means "divinity" or "deity". The word chayyim is similarly syntactically singular when used as a name but syntactically plural otherwise.

    In many of the passages in which elohim occurs in the Bible it refers to non-Israelite deities, or in some instances to powerful men or judges, and even angels (Exodus 21:6, Psalms 8:5) as a simple plural in those instances.

  1. T Kosse`'s Avatar T Kosse`

    Part 1 of 3

    Names of God in Judaism

    Rabbinic Judaism considers seven names of God in Judaism so holy that, once written, they should not be erased: YHWH, El ("God"), Eloah ("God"), Elohim ("God"), Shaddai (“Almighty"), Ehyeh ("I Am"), and Tzevaot ("[of] Hosts"). Other names are considered mere epithets or titles reflecting different aspects of God, but Khumra sometimes dictates special care such as the writing of "G-d" instead of "God" in English or saying Ṭēt-Vav (טו, lit. "9-6") instead of Yōd-Hē (יה, lit. "10-5" but also "Jah") for the number fifteen in Hebrew.

    The documentary hypothesis proposes that the Torah was compiled from various original sources, two of which (the Jahwist and the Elohist) are named for their usual names for God (Yahweh and Elohim, respectively).

    Seven names of God

    The seven names of God that, once written, cannot be erased because of their holiness are the Tetragrammaton, El, Elohim, Eloah, Elohai, El Shaddai, and Tzevaot. In addition, the name Jah—because it forms part of the Tetragrammaton—is similarly protected. Rabbi Jose considered "Tzevaot" a common name and Rabbi Ishmael that "Elohim" was. All other names, such as "Merciful", "Gracious" and "Faithful", merely represent attributes that are also common to human beings.[

    YHWH

    Tetragrammaton, Yahweh, and Lord § Religion

    The Tetragrammaton in Paleo-Hebrew (fl. 1100 bc – 500 AD) (two forms), and Aramaic (fl. 1100 BC – 200 AD) or modern Hebrew scripts.

    The Tetragrammaton in the Ketef Hinnom silver scrolls with the Priestly Blessing from the Book of Numbers (c. 600 BC). The name of God used most often in the Hebrew Bible is (י ה ו ה‎), (generally transcribed as YHWH) and is called the Tetragrammaton (Greek for "something written with four letters"). Hebrew script is an abjad, so that the letters Yōd, Hē, Vav, Hē in this name are normally consonants, usually expanded in English as "Yahweh".

    Modern Jewish culture judges it forbidden to pronounce this name. In prayers it is replaced by the word Adonai ("The Lord"), and in discussion by HaShem ("The Name"). Nothing in the Torah explicitly prohibits speaking the name and the Book of Ruth shows it was being pronounced as late as the 5th century BC.[n 1] It had ceased to be spoken aloud by at least the 3rd century BC, during Second Temple Judaism. The Talmud relates, perhaps anecdotally, this began with the death of Simeon the Just. Vowel points began to be added to the Hebrew text only in the early medieval period. The Masoretic Text adds to the Tetragrammaton the vowel points of Adonai or Elohim (depending on the context), indicating that these are the words to be pronounced in place of the Tetragrammaton (see Qere and Ketiv), as shown also by the subtle pronunciation changes when combined with a preposition or a conjunction.

    The Tetragrammaton appears in Genesis and occurs 6,828 times in total in the Stuttgart edition of the Masoretic Text. It is thought to be an archaic third-person singular of the imperfective aspect[n 2] of the verb "to be" (i.e., "[He] is/was/will be"). This agrees with the passage in Exodus where God names himself as "I Will Be What I Will Be" using the first-person singular imperfective aspect, open to interpretation as present tense ("I am what I am"), future ("I shall be what I shall be"), imperfect ("I used to be what I used to be").

    Rabbinical Judaism teaches that the name is forbidden to all except the High Priest, who should only speak it in the Holy of Holies of the Temple in Jerusalem on Yom Kippur. He then pronounces the name "just as it is written". As each blessing was made, the people in the courtyard were to prostrate themselves completely as they heard it spoken aloud. As the Temple has not been rebuilt since its destruction in 70 AD, most modern Jews never pronounce YHWH but instead read Adonai ("My Lord") during prayer and while reading the Torah and as HaShem ("The Name") at other times. Similarly, the Vulgate used Dominus ("The Lord") and most English translations of the Bible write "the Lord" for YHWH and "the Lord God", "the Lord God" or "the Sovereign Lord" for Adonai YHWH instead of transcribing the name. The Septuagint may have originally used the Hebrew letters themselves amid its Greek text but there is no scholarly consensus on this point. All surviving Christian-era manuscripts use Kyrios [Κυριος, "Lord") or very occasionally Theos [Θεος, "God"] to translate the many thousand occurrences of the Name. (However, given the great preponderance of the anarthrous Kyrios solution for translating YHWH in the Septuagint and some disambiguation efforts by Christian-era copyists involving Kyrios (see especially scribal activity in Acts), Theos should probably not be considered historically as a serious early contender substitute for the divine Name.)

  1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

    Sorry but these are nothing more then homosexual based claims and not based in science. Try again

  1. Pamela J Leavitt's Avatar Pamela J Leavitt

    And by the way, this argument is a shame. Who cares why someone is gay choice or no choice. Our lives are pre-planned by God and we are doing exactly what and exactly where God needs us to be. Don't forget..... We are HIS plan not ours.

    1. Daniel Gray's Avatar Daniel Gray

      sorry but no, thats why you have freedom of choice. So you can decide to follow the rules of your religion or no rules at all. But you cant then blame it on something else.

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