House Bill 2453 and My Valentine to Kansas

Well, Kansas made international news again. And again, it didn’t look the best. If you somehow you missed it, you can read about it here or here or here (that last one compares Kansas to Russia).

Or here is part of the bill itself:

“No individual or religious entity shall be required by any governmental entity to do any of the following, if it would be contrary to the sincerely held religious beliefs of the individual or religious entity regarding sex or gender:

“Provide any services, accommodations, advantages, facilities, goods, or privileges; provide counseling, adoption, foster care and other social services; or provide employment or employment benefits, related to, or related to the celebration of, any marriage, domestic partnership, civil union or similar arrangement.”

Thankfully for great critical thinking skills, a great social media campaign against House Bill 2453, and/or great open minds, the Kansas Senate has no interest in bringing the bill, as it stands, forward (here you go for another article).

Still, this last week has been fascinating. Sure, the bill is absolutely terrible in my mind, and the lives it could have hurt are uncountable. Who knows the damage it has done already to those uncomfortable with being LGBT and seeing a bill passed by Kansas elected officials to make them feel basically like second-class citizens? All I can say to them is to echo Dan Savage with it gets better, and it definitely is going to do just that.

For those who know me well, you know that Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning is one of my favorite books (If you haven’t read it, do so. For less than $10, you can have a book that can change your life). One of his big points is to find meaning through the suffering, and I have taken this to heart, so my looking at the bill is probably slightly different from many others.

While I stayed up to date with news as I always do, I paid especially close attention to the comments. The mass majority of them were against the bill. Ten years ago, I don’t think that would have been the case. To quote Bob Dylan, “[t]he times they are a-changin.” There is no doubt at all about that.

One of the last times Kansas made international news in a not so positive way was with the 2005 Kansas State Board of Education’s decision to allow the teaching of intelligent design as an alternative to evolution. While many jokes were made about Kansas, what came from the laughter was none other than the Flying Spaghetti Monster, which has impacted so many lives since then and brought genuine smiles to people’s faces with his touches from his noodly appendage.

Flying Spaghetti Monster
Thanks to Kansas, we have the awareness of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

So even through that craziness of Kansas, something extremely nifty came from it. I have a feeling the same thing is going to happen with House Bill 2453.

House Bill 2453 never should have made it to the floor, and it never should have passed (At this time, I would like to thank my Congressman Steve Becker for voting against it). However, it did and proved many things about how some feel about LGBT (US Supreme Court, the Kansas Congress has given you HB 2453 with, umm, love). So that is in the past, but what is in the future?

Well, for starters, there is a mid-term election in November and primaries in August.  There are also a lot of angry people out there for what their representatives have done. Just a quick look on Facebook shows that. If this momentum continues, it is going to be a very interesting election season, and if those people who were against House Bill 2453 get out to vote and get others to do so, they more than likely will not be voting for Governor Brownback either. If the Moderates and Democrats have great candidates in all races and play their cards right, some massive changes may be happening for the Sunflower State because of the passing of this bill. It wouldn’t be the first time something anti-gay turned out to have very unexpected results.

One thing I noticed in quite a few of the comments in the articles from throughout the nation were people talking about either their leaving Kansas or wanting to leave Kansas because of feelings conveyed in the same spirit of House Bill 2453. To all of you, I say either come back or stay. Make Kansas your home because (you had to know this was coming given the topic) there is no place like home, and there is no place like Kansas.

Arguably speaking, Kansas started the Civil War and sent the victory towards the North from the very beginning. We were the first state to ban the Klu Klux Klan. Brown vs the Board of Education which ended segregation in public schools – yep that happened here too. Even the first female to ever serve as mayor and first woman to ever be elected to any political office in the States was here in Kansas. These are just a few of the absolutely amazing things Kansas has done in the past. I have full faith in a very bright future ahead for us too.

While some may argue otherwise, Kansas really is a land of enchantment. The tallgrass prairies of the Flint Hills are like none other regardless of the season. The fires, the green grass after the rain, the flowers, and rolling hills are all stunning. Stargazing at Coronado Heights in the Smoky Hills can take one’s breath away. The same for a sunset there as well. Really, actually, that goes for a sunset any place in this state. We are famous for them, and after seeing one in person, it is easy to see why. The same goes for our sunrises too.

Kansas Sunset
A picture that doesn’t even come close to giving justice to a Kanas sunset. Yep, this is the kind of painting we get often in the Sunflower State’s sky.

Then there are the Kansas towns. So many of them are filled with some quirky but extremely neat things. Just take a drive off the Interstate and visit these small towns of the Great Plains. Have some tasty food at the hometown diner, talk to the locals, and explore what neat thing the town has as its claim to fame (pretty much every town in Kansas seems to have something). We even have the World’s Largest Ball of Twine, which now that I think about it, sort of reminds me of the Flying Spaghetti Monster.

IMG_2751All quirk aside, the towns’ most precious treasures are not the tourist attractions but rather the people. We have so many just simply good people in this state who would do anything in the world for another. The conversations, the smiles, the caring, and the genuine interest in the betterment of each other are all there in the people I have been so fortunate to have either met briefly or become part of my life.

Kansas is really a fantastic place, and there is something in this piece of the heartland that runs deep and brings about greatness. Sure, the method, like this recent situation with House Bill 2453, is not always pretty, but the outcome tends to be fantastic and not just life-changing but country- and sometimes world-changing. One just has to have faith it is going to happen again because history is on the side it will. Plus, it is almost a self-fulfilling prophecy thanks to the picking  of “Ad Aspera per Astra” as our state’s motto back in 1861.

For that reason and for so many more, I am, even after this latest embarrassment, proud to be a Kansan and proud to have the spirit of Kansas running through my veins. Pretty much everyone remembers that Dorothy and Toto were from this state, but so was Superman and so were, are, and will be so many super men and women who have the vitality of Kansas within them and the desire to bring about great and wonderful change that truly represents the splendor of this home on the range.

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25 thoughts on “House Bill 2453 and My Valentine to Kansas”

  1. What about the people who are being forced to “make accomodations” to people who’s LIFESTYLE CHOICE (people are “gay” because they choose to be, unlike the color of someone’s skin, which is not a choice) is contrary to personal belief or religious conviction? For example the bakery in Seatle who was fined for not baking a wedding cake for a lesbian couple. This is not freedom, friends. This is facism. My rights TRUMP your rights. Why because I (and the group screaming the loudest at the moment) say they do. This implies that our constitutionally guaranteed rights, such as freedom of religion are not “inalienable” (given by God). But are given by man and can be taken away on a whim. (Freedom to sodomise is not one of the inalienable rights, by the way, nor is child molestation or murder, ect). Why? Because they are all moral evils! This does not mean we should hate practicing homosexuals but we also should not reward deviant behavior which is what is being shoved down the majorities throat. Even if it were not a majority, The wonderful Reverand Fulton Sheen said this “Moral principles do not depend on a majority vote. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong. Right is right, even if nobody is right.” This issue is much bigger than “gay rights”. This is about whether or not we let “man” decide what “rights” will be guaranteed, or we follow the constitution which proudly and intellegently display our “God given” rights. If we choose the former we are opening the door wide for facism and then we will ALL know what it is like to live without “the inalienable rights”. Another timely quote from Bishop Sheen. “A spirit of license makes a man refuse to commit himself to any standards. The right time is the way he sets his watch. The yardstick has the number of inches that he wills it to have. Liberty becomes license and unbounded license leads to unbounded tyranny. When society reaches this stage, and there is no standard of right and wrong outside of the individual himself, then the individual is defenseless against the onslaughts of cruder and more violent men who proclaim their own subjective sense of values.” My advice is to take these words to heart.

  2. Dear James,

    Thank you very much for your comments. You mention many things to consider. First, I have nothing but the utmost respect for Reverend Fulton Sheen. He was a man ahead of his time in terms of many things including civil rights. With his passing away in 1979, it is hard to tell what he would say about today. One could argue either way on the current issue. Regardless, he has many writings and quotations that are good to contemplate. Thank you for sharing.

    For this reason, I do view you as a smart man. Therefore, I would like you to take on several tasks.

    Task #1: Prove It Is a Choice
    You write that people choose to be gay. For the next year, I would like you to choose to be gay. In order to do so, you will need to change your mindset so you find men to be romantically attractive and women to be beautiful like a painting. To continue with this, you will need to go on dates and fall in love with a man. I am not asking you to perform any bedroom activities at all, so you will be chaste, if you so desire, which then should keep you safe from committing any behavior people may consider as deviant. During this next year, I would like you also to come out to your family, friends, clergy, co-workers, and anyone else who should take an interest in your romantic life. Whenever even a random person should mention something about your girlfriend or you should date her, you will need to correct that person and say “boyfriend” or “him.”

    If you fail to take on this task, I will take that as proof one cannot easily choose to be gay or straight. While I do believe the mind is a very powerful thing, I think even some things, like sexuality, are beyond its control. Prove me wrong, James, with your choosing to be gay for a year.

    Task #2 Find God in the Constitution.
    This one is easy. Read the Constitution and find God mentioned in it.

    If your search like mine, you will find God does not appear, and those are actually man-given right. I can believe God may have inspired those rights, but God does not appear in the document so therefore they should not be described as “God-given rights.”

    Task #3 Print Off Your Post, Keep It for 20 Years, and Read It Both to Your Grandchildren and Your Clergy
    I will take on this task with you with my printing my blog post, keeping it safe for 20 years, and reading it to my grandchildren and my clergy. I will expect you to do the same. Then we will get together and discuss the reactions to our writings. If that is good with you, I will come to you whether you are in February 2034 for dinner (it will be my treat, but do not worry for it will not be a date, for I am guessing after your year of choosing to be gay that you will go back to choosing to be straight).

    Task #4 Power through Collaboration

    There are so many things in the world that need attention. Let’s put differences in thoughts aside and tackle an issue like poverty, hunger, or education. We will put our religious beliefs aside also, much like the Founding Fathers did when they wrote the Constitution, and come together to carry out work for the betterment of our fellow brothers and sisters throughout the world. Deal?

    On a side note, I grew up in a family who did not believe in lawsuits. While I find it wrong to refuse anyone service for really any reason, I cringe a bit whenever I hear of people suing others in situations like the ones you referenced. Personally, I would much rather people be up front with their beliefs like Gary James of Gary’s Chicaros in Enid, Oklahoma. That knowledge would allow me to choose never to do business with places like that and allow people those who shared his thoughts to do so much like the great number of people who supported Dan Cathy by going to Chick-fil-A, a place I would never go to, but I wasn’t going there anyway for they use MSG in pretty much everything and allergies to that run in my family. Back to the point though, I do live in a larger town that gives me options, and I would feel bad for those in small towns who lack alternatives. Plus, no one should ever be treated like a second-class citizen regardless of anything at all that sets him/her apart from others. It’s all about mutual recognition.

    With that being said, I do not agree with the bill that government employees would be able to refuse service based upon their religious beliefs.

    Once again, thank you, James, for your comments and I look forward to hearing from you soon.

    1. Curious Kansas. Fulton Sheen was Orthodox Catholic and he would be Orthodox Catholic today. His cause for Sainthood is moving along nicely. Morality as well as virtues and sin have not and do not change with time or current opinion. You can speculate that he would think differently but all we have is the writings, film and audio he left us and I am content with them.
      Task #1: Prove “It” is a choice. Words can be subjective and “Gay” seems to be very much so, so let me start with some definitions. To me, when someone says they are “gay” it means they have embraced the modern homosexual lifestyle, consider it a legitimate lifestyle choice, choice being the operative word. It is a choice. This does not mean that everyone who may be same sex attracted is “gay”. Quite the opposite in fact. I think it is fair to say there are a sizeable number of same sex attracted that do not embrace the “gay” lifestyle however I don’t have any statistics, only personal knowledge from ministries I support. With same sex attraction,from what I’ve read and studied, the jury is still out as to what exactly is the cause but in regard to Christianity it matters little. Regardless of whether you have an “inclination” towards same sex attraction, alcoholism, promiscuity or any other weakness in character, this in itself is not sin. Acting on them is. What the “gay” community (I personally despise the use of this beautiful word as a description for sodomites) is trying to do is tell me, force me into not treating homosexuality as the sin it is and to not treat them as the sinners they are. I have great plans for the next year, none of them include pretending I’m gay. I have my faults and I am a sinner but I choose to strive towards Holiness and yes, I will call my sins sin. Not going to try to whitewash or try to get you to accept them as something other than what they are.
      .
      Task #2. Read the Federalist papers, Declaration of Independence. Our Founding Fathers separated church from state, but they wisely did not separate God from state; they acknowledged God as the source of our rights, and, in fact, they were careful to place Biblical morality directly into our founding documents and laws, and into our values and culture precisely to help prevent a future of totalitarian or tyrannical rule in America. The 10 Commandments are written in stone above the entrance to the US Supreme Court building. Without Judeo-Christian philosophy and principle we wouldn’t have the Constitution or the Bill of Rights as they are written. A “secluralist” view of the constitution was not even a consideration until after Darwin. As Judeo-Christian moral law is eroded and eradicated, our rights are also. I don’t know how anyone could be blind to this. It’s happening before our eyes.

      Task #3. If we are still in some form of free society in 20 years and we both are still alive, you are free to look me up. I have my doubts. Not sure who your “clergy” might be but I look to Christ, the Church He founded and to Magesterial Teaching which has not changed in 2000+ years and is not going to in 20. If you are Protestant, yes that is changing all the time. My opinion is the Protestants stepped off the Rock into a lie over 500 years ago and modern Protestantism is the result. Whatever you want to believe, you can find a church that is preaching it and if you can’t, just start one of your own. Protestantism gave birth to the modern subjective hell we are living today.

      Task #4 Power through Collaboration. My faith is my life. Sounds like your trying to get me to make a deal with the devil here. I will not collaberate in sin. There is a sleeping giant slowly waking up and, God willing you may be quite surprised at the result. The recent Phil Robertson incident, I think suprised a lot of people. I work my charity through the Catholic Church, which, by the way is the largest charitble organization in the world. No other even comes close. All my time, talent and treasure I can spare goes here. You as well as every same sex attracted person out there is more than welcome to come join us. You will have to pick up your cross, though. Recognise it as a cross. Offer up any suffering this may cause you for this is the path to true happiness and in the end, salvation. Or you can continue to fight a fight of subjective morality. Either way it doesn’t change the path I choose. Disagree on the Founding Fathers as stated earlier and no. No deal.

      Side note: I agree that in a free society, I should have the right to refuse service, refuse to rent, refuse to do business with anyone I choose to and to not have to give a reason. Like you say you will soon gain a reputation and then people can decide whether they want to do business with you. I am for getting the government as far out of our lives as possible. “no one should ever be treated like a second-class citizen regardless of anything at all that sets him/her apart from others. It’s all about mutual recognition.” Say I own a business and I am forced to buy insurance that pays my employees’ birth control, abortion, same sex partner’s insurance which fly in the face of my personal beliefs? What “class” citizen does that make me? I could quote some stats like gay men comprise 1-2% of the population, yet are responsible for 66% of new HIV infections. Syphillus, including the new almost untreatable strain as well as a host of other diseases are epidemic among the male gays. Suicide rate as well as illicit drug use is 200% higher in the gay community than the general population. Male gays die 24 years sooner on averge than their heterosexual conterpart. Stats show that lesbian women, 95% report to have had sex with over 150 men in their lifetime (promiscious sex and VD). Many are unhealthily overweight.
      Domestic abuse is over 2 X higher in the “gay community.(nothing “gay” about any of this in my opinion. Terribly sad really). But I’m afraid I am trying to convince the inconvincable that this lifestyle choice is a horrendous choice in both the moral and natural realm. God Bless!

  3. Good day, James.

    I hope this finds you well and warm on this Sunday.

    Thank you for your further comments!

    I am a bit confused about how you describe Fulton Sheen. I thought he was a bishop and later an archbishop for the Roman Catholic Church rather than the Orthodox Catholic Church of America. I will admit my ignorance about the later. However, with the former, beliefs within the Roman Catholic Church have indeed changed through history. Even in our life times, changes have occurred. You should think about this further as you listen to Mass in Latin this morning. Just curious, what are your thoughts about Pope Francis?

    Task #1
    It sounds like you are not taking up the task, which means you are not going to be able to prove firsthand one can choose one’s sexuality.

    Task #2
    The task was solely tied to the Constitution; however, you have brought up the Founding Fathers. As a collective whole, there was a wide array of religious beliefs among them. Their hope was for all to unite and work together towards a common good, hence religious freedom and our uniting of states. This is actually a very good thing for you, for a very small percentage of them were Catholic (basically it was just Charles Carroll). If they would not have believed in religious freedom, more than likely the official religion would have been Protestant, which in turn would have led to a very different life for you. Whenever you think about the Founding Fathers, may this thought always be there with you.

    Task #3
    It sounds like our twenty-year dinner date is still on! Yay! Be sure to continue to save your comments you make on this post and read those to your clergy and grandkids as well. I am looking forward to meeting you.

    Task #4
    It sounds like our collaboration is not on though. It’s too bad, for I believe it would have made our Founding Fathers proud.

    Catholic Charities does indeed do some great work throughout the world. However, in the United States, it is not the largest charitable organization. That would be the United Way (Catholic Charities is at an admirable fifth place). While the United Way International is expanding, I think Catholic Charities is safe with its unofficial title of being the world’s largest charitable organization for now. I fear its future may be contingent on people’s views on religion though.

    Side Note:
    Those are really some interesting statistics. What are your sources? I am still having some trouble wrapping my mind around the one about 95% of lesbians having had sex with over 150 men in their lifetime. Wouldn’t that make them bisexual or perhaps heterosexual to have that many male sexual partners? Needless to say, my lesbian friends have quite the secret life, and I am thoroughly looking forward to discussing this further with them. My hopes are also that your BMI is under 25, for if it is 25 or above that, you would be considered as overweight, which would mean you should really not reference a group as being overweight as a negative thing until you have your own situation resolved. And even then, the classy thing to do is still not to do that but rather lead by example.

    As far as some of your other statistics, some critical thinking can point out why these are the case. This is especially true for the very tragic case of suicide in the gay community. However, a correlation could be (and has been by several studies) found between self-loathing and the church’s approach/vocal views towards LGBT (Sticks and stones may break bones, but words can by far do so much worse damage). My hope is that percentage is greatly lower when we meet for dinner in 20 years, for no one, both the person who committed suicide as well as their family and friends, should have to go through that kind of suffering. (And this aside to those reading these comments who may have those kind of thoughts, know that things do get better. You are just going to have to trust me on that one. Keep going forward and you and I can also grab dinner in twenty years to discuss just how much better things indeed are. Plus, if you are having suicidal thoughts, there are places like the Trevor Project you should contact. And please James, don’t attack that or any of this in the parentheses. If you do, any respect I may have for you will be gone instantly.)

    God Bless!

  4. in the broken brian state i fail to see how refusal to serve gays is diffrent than refusal to serving blacks (or any other racial group). how does being gay affect your life? i mean if you are a baker and refuse service to bake a cake for a gay couple are you not loosing money? and further business because of word of mouth (or newspaper)? in my opinion whats next? i wont serve you because you are religios? because you are not? because you own a dog? because you have brown eyes? COME ON…. the bible tells people to love and that those who live in glass houses throw the first stone. i mean even jesus let a prostitute wash his feet! god tells us to love one another. i was raised that unless you were of “this religion” you were wrong. i was not allowed to have friends that were not of that religion. sounds crazy huh?? are we heading backwards to when blacks and whites couldnt get married? as a parent and as one who studied to be a teacher, they tell you dont judge a book by its cover….. is that not what people are doing?? judging someone who is gay just because they are gay? a child will see love, a child will sae past color, some people were in too big a hurry to grow the f— up! and i suppose people who judge are to damn busy to tell a person please and thank you! i am prejudice….againt people that hate on stupid ass reasons, and i am working hard on that.
    sorry mr.d i had to sae something! i hope you are well and i love your posts!! i hope you have a beautyful february and coco saes “woof woof wof” to callie ❤

    1. Curious. My mistake. I capitalized Orthodox when I shoudn’t have and the meaning went from adjective to a noun. I was describing his faith as orthodox, meaning in full communion with the Church. Pope Francis is wonderful and completly orthodox in his belief also, contrary to what the media is trying to paint him as. Regarding Church Teaching, you are mistaken. Changing the Liturgy of the Mass from Latin to the vernacular is considered a discipline and those can and do change ( like eating meat on Friday, Holy days, Priestly celibacy. You can still attend a Tridentine Mass by the way in most states and more and more Parishes are reverting back to Latin which I love! Doctrine (Teaching, be it written or oral) does not change cannot change until Christ returns. An example of this is the subject at hand, homosexuality. The Church’s Teaching is absolutley consistant and will remain so.

      Task #1 You asked me to do something totally immoral and repugnent. Of coarse I will refuse! I don’t have to swim in a sewer to have a pretty good idea of what it would be like. I may not know every detail but then I don’t want to. “choose one’s sexuality”? Mark 10:6 “But from the beginning of creation, ‘God made them male and female.” I vote for this. Suggest you find an online concordance search and just type in “commandments” and see what comes up. A favorite of mine is 1John 5:3 “For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments. His commandments are not grievous.”

      Task #2 Am quite aware of Charles Carroll and his role in the revolution and the forming of our country. I am also aware of the anti-Catholic prejiduce present at this nation’s founding that carries over to this very day. You are right that God is not explictly mentioned in the Constitution but He is implicit throughout. We are just going to look at this through different lenses. That’s the way it is.

      Skip to Task #4 Catholic Charities is huge and does great work, however it is just one of many. Here is a incomplete list.
      1. Aid to the Church in Need
      2. Pontifical Mission Societies
      3. Catholic Missions Canada
      4. Peter’s Pence
      5. St. Vincent de Paul Society
      6. Little Sisters of the Poor
      7. Sisters of Mercy
      8. Catholic World Mission
      9. Jesuit Refugee Services
      10. Franciscan Action Network
      11. Matercare International
      12. Chalice
      13. Children of Paraguay
      14. Christian Foundation for Children and Aging
      15. St. Peter’s University Hospital
      16. Catholic Near East Welfare Association
      17. American Life League
      18. Priests for Life
      19. Catholics Come Home
      20. Virtue Media
      21. Encourage Priests
      22. Catholic Concern for Animals
      23. The Chastity Project
      24. Population Research Institute
      25. Natural Family Association (WOOMB)
      26. Natural Family Planning International (Couple-to-Couple League)
      27. Catholic Civil Rights League
      28. Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Toronto
      29. Catholic Children’s Aid Society of Hamilton
      30. Carmelina’s Home
      31. EWTN
      32. Sisters of Charity
      33. Project Rachel (help for post abortive women)
      34. I am a Knights of Columbus and in 2012 the Knights donated $167.5 million to charitable needs and projects and volunteered more than 70 million hours of their time to charitable causes. From Wikipedia “The Roman Catholic Church is the largest non-government provider of health care services in the world.” Sorry curious but it will be a good long while before anybody even comes close to the charitable giving of Catholics.

      On the Side note I got the 95% stat from a study done in Austrailia and i haven’t been able to locate it again however here is a link with stats from the U.S. alone, also indicating the promiscuity of lesbians. You can call them what you will however they are living as lesbians. Promiscuity is by no means exclusive to the lesbians. A recent Amsterdam study found that men in homosexual relationships cheat with an average of eight partners a year. Others have found that the average homosexual has between 100 and 500 sexual partners over his or her lifetime. One study showed that 28 percent have had 1,000 or more sex partners, with another study placing the percentage between 10 and 16 percent.

      http://marriagepolicy.org/2012/08/homosexual-promiscuity-breeding-a-national-health-problem/

      Listen curious, it has been fun but we are not going to come to any sort of consensus. Morality is not up for negotiation. I hate new laws of any kind but states are going to have to be proactive in stopping what is coming down the pipe If homosexuals would just rein in the radicals, the overtly flamboyant in their midst and encourage them to quietly live their lives, however they choose, I think we could live together as a society but HRC, Gay Pride, ect ect want a battle and they want to shove it down our throats. Well, they got a real fight on their hands! God Bless!

  5. Jessica, the Bible says a lot of things. But not knowing and quoting the precise quote or contextual meaning is a wasted excercise. If you were taught to judge people then you were taught wrong. You are free and indeed obligated to judge someones actions and also their lack of remorse in doing wrong. There are steps you are obligated as a Christian to then take but I’ll let you get your Bible back out and study that on your own. This is how our judicial system works in this country. No matter how heinous the crime, the person is always (ideally) to be treated with as much respect as the situation allows for. Why? The person may not deserve that merit on his own, but because he is a human being, created in the image and likeness of God, he gets (or should according to our law) this respect. This would not be written into our laws if not for a belief in a higher power. In the “gay” we are judging deviant, unrepentant behavior and are supposed to (while still loving and praying for such an individual) treat them as an anathema, not to hurt them, but to cause them to repent and also not to corrupt your children or any others who may be vulnerable and weak in this area. This is true for any sin, not just homosexuality What harm? I could give you a litany but instead I’ll post a link. Read it or not as you please. Good evening! http://carm.org/homosexual-gay-sex-harms-no-one

  6. Curious:
    You’ve done a decent job entertaining the backwards views of people like James on your blog. He comes at you with debunked studies from the Marriage Policy Institute and statistics that have been debunked by the legitimate scientific community, and you have been kind to debate him, which I respect. His not so thinly veiled homophobic remarks are what I truly consider to be vile and the equivalent of swimming through slime and sludge. He tends to defend the Catholic Church, and he calls being gay slimy?? What about the massive cover-up of pedophiles in the Church? What about the instillation of pontiffs from mob and money laundering families (the Borgias)? What about the pontiff standing by while Nazis were appeased and Facists (isn’t that the creation of Italians, and isn’t that where the Holy See is) ran rampant through Europe? What about the sexism, racism, nationalism, and homophobia his church’s interpretation of scriptures breeds? That is the true slime, James.
    Also, you mention that promiscuity is not limited to “the lesbians,” and I agree. After all, straight white males were said to be the most inclined to adultery and promiscuity in most studies. Also, these stats and sites he has referenced have all been exposed as flawed and full of a racist, white, right-wing, homophobic agenda! James seems to be part of that. Yes, James. We understand that your church, and your interpretation of your scriptures is what you understand it to be. The problem is, you guys have been inciting wars (crusades, children’s crusades, inquisition) for years because of those scriptures. You refuse to ordain women to the priesthood even though the New Testament clearly had women in spiritual authority. Your pontiffs have come from families that were tied to the mob, (goes all the way back to the Borgias) and the Holy See and Vatican did not care to do a thing to stop it. What I see as slime is the needless slaughter of thousands of innocent Muslims, the money-laundering, the crime, the mob racketeering, the pedophila, the child exploitation at the hands of priests, the millions of dollars spent on elaborate cathedrals, basilicas, artwork, seminaries, and lavish lifestyles of church hierarchy while millions of children around the world starve. Yes, there are Catholic Charities that have done a lot of good in that realm, but recent reports from your own Pope Francis (Jose M. Bergoglio) indicate that far too much money is spent on needless things and lavish underpinnings in the Catholic Church.
    Men such as yourself are actually seen as the instigators of such dim views of homosexuals. PBS and teams of social scientists recently undertook a study of that very thing. Here is their report. Doubt folks like James will read it.
    http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/shows/assault/roots/overview.html
    Also, James mentioned that God is implied throughout the Constitution? Where? Oh, when it talks about the Electoral College? No. What about when it defines the role of the judiciary? No. Oh, wait, perhaps as it established the powers of Congress? No. See, what James doesn’t understand (actually, he seems to not understand a lot) is that the Constitution is simply a framework for our federal government. It does not mention God. It is simply a blueprint for how our federal system is to be established. As a matter of fact, you are right Curious, a lot of our founders decided against instilling religious tones in our founding documents. In fact, the only reference to a deity in the U.S. Constitution is the date when they wrote “in the year of our Lord.” That’s it. A great study about our founders and God was done by scholar Dr. William Martin of Rice University. Here is his curriculim vitae.
    http://bakerinstitute.org/experts/william-martin/
    You can easily ascertain his essay about how the founders distanced themselves from weaving religious doctrine in to the writing of the Constitution. Anyone reading his essay and research who still thinks they didn’t are, well, blocked, as I am sure the right wing tends to be on these issues. Heck, many of these founders were Deists. I will admit, many of them had religious beliefs and were, by their own definition, Godly men (albeit a lot of them were slaveholders or condoned it if they weren’t).
    Curious, you did well in posting things for James to prove, and he proved none of them. First, if being gay were a choice, do you think gay men and women would choose to have sex with people they could easily choose not to. I mean, a simple discussion of anatomy would answer that. Men having sex with other men by choice and not attraction would be sort of hard given that it takes an erection. Trust me, most human beings have sex with what they are attracted to, not what they randomly choose to have sex with but have no physical attraction to. Psychologists, experts at the AMA, international social scientists and a whole cadre of other legitimate scientific experts have all agreed on this. Why would people choose to build their lives around a sexual choice that an overwhelming majority of other people on the earth don’t understand or have negative feelings about? Why would people like Matthew Shephard choose to put himself in harm’s way. It being gay is a choice, then logically speaking, being straight is too. James said he would not participate in your test because it is immoral and vile. Actually, he has already been vile and immoral by being homophobic and intolerant. If he sees people who fall in love and want to be together as immoral, then so be it. He is free to follow that warped logic, and it is warped. No Christian has ever been able to tell me why God (if he even is) is against homosexuality. They point to the fact that they interpret scripture that way-Old Testament mainly, and there is a lot of debate about those meanings. I mean, Christians don’t have to work hard to explain why God is against lying, theft, pedophilia (some Catholic priests should think about this one a bit harder, as well as the Holy See), molestation, rape, vandalism, hate, false witness, or wrath. However, there is no logical explanation as to why God would be against homosexuality. Because they can’t produce kids? Well, what about sterile folks? Because there are STDs in the gay community? Yes, but aren’t there also STDs in the straight community? They think it leads to promiscuity. Well, gay people AND straight people are promiscuous. So, in essence, gay people are just like straight people in these respects. Straight people also have anal sex just like gay men. Straight people have oral sex, just like gay people do. So, sorry. Being gay doesn’t really harm anyone. Homophobes like James and his ilk are the ones contributing to high suicide rates in the gay community. Don’t blame God, James. Take a look at yourself.
    Also, James made the argument that business owners should have the right to deny services based on religious convictions. Okay, so what happens with a person who is like Fred Phelps gets that right? What happens in Atheists refuse to serve Christians or any religious groups? What about if Muslims (who are the fastest growing religious group in the US) decide that they want to take advantage of laws like this? This opens a can of worms people like James have absolutely no clue they opening. James, by his own admission, does not like more state laws. Okay, I can accept that. He is probably a small government guy. Sure, I can accept that, and as a matter of fact, I respect it. I am too. But what this law does is flies in the face of small government. How would this be enforced? Would customers have to fill out surveys before being served by some businesses? What about inter-faith conflicts? For example, I used to be a member of a church where women were ordained. Would a business owner be able to deny service to me or those women because they disagreed with that? This law is trivial, almost totally impossible to enforce and creates more government. Eventually Repugnicans (sorry) would have to come up with an agency in Kansas to oversee this. There you go, James. Small government.
    Also, does James not understand that the arguments behind this bill and his argument were used by southerners who opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 1965. Read the Southern Manifesto, James. See specific comments by men like Richard B. Russell of Georgia, John C. Stennis of Mississippi, Strom Thurmond of South Carolina and William Byrd of Virginia. These men made arguments that the rights of property and business owners were being violated. They disregarded the rights of the minorities they sought to exclude. Also, these business owners do not realize that the streets leading to their businesses, the police and fire fighters who patrol the streets protecting their businesses, the street ligths, bridges and other public works are supported by not just their tax dollars, but the tax dollars of the entire community. The fact that restaurants import food and other products across state lines means Congress can regulate these kinds of things, so exclusion that is relatively arbitrary like this will not pass muster.
    James quoted a theologian in his opening remarks. Let me quote one. Perhaps James has heard of him. His name is Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King. He said, “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” Thank God the nation heeded those words. Of course, right-wing bigots are still at work trying to usurp the rights of black people because for years religious leaders led us to believe they were inferior and slavery was condoned by God. (See Florida, George Zimmerman, Michael Dunn)….
    James also exposed himself as being a little prejudiced against Protestants. Gee, James. You think those Puritans who came to America and stepped off the boat might have had to leave England because they were afraid of Catholic monarchs there who were removing their heads? Remember Bloody Mary? It appears that Catholics have quite the issue with intolerance, so I guess we really should not be all that shocked at James’ comments.
    As far as sites that might open our minds to the other side of the debate, here are a few. I know James won’t visit the first one, though.
    http://rationalist.org.uk/articles/2905/31-arguments-against-gay-marriage-and-why-theyre-all-wrong
    Curious, James tried to ply you with advice for the gay community, telling you to keep your weirdos behind closed doors, well, if he will do the same with the pedophiles, homophobes, racists, mysoginists, Fred Phelps crowd, and bigots in the Catholic Church, we will work on Dykes on Bikes and the flamboyant crowds at Pride parades. Once we do that, we can then expect the straight community to clean their act up as well in terms of divorce, rape, molestation, etc…
    Right now, I think Catholics should really focus on the issues tearing up their church, and it seems to be an age old problem. See this article.
    http://www.alternet.org/story/146920/what's_really_behind_the_catholic_church's_sexual_abuse_problem
    When Pope Francis assumed the papacy, I thought about exploring the Catholic Church, but James has certainly shown me that we still have a ways to go. Not so fast, I told myself. Not so fast.
    So James, you mention a fight. You’re darn right there will be a fight. Just like there was a fight to eradicate the Confederacy and the slaveholding mentality of the South and the misogynists who kept women from voting until less than 100 years ago. This nation’s history is one big fight for freedom, and this battle will be fought with no less intensity on our side than it will be on yours. But history is certainly on our side. Freedom beckons. If you are not interested in it for all, kindly get out of the way…..

  7. Jeremy, I would love to answer every point you have attempted to make here but it would take 20 pages! You came with quite a diatribe. Let me tackle the first paragraph so people who might read this will get a sense of where I might go with the rest. The studies I have posted are legitimate. Obviously you don’t think so. That is your right. Let people decide for themselves if they are factually debunked by what you have posted. I will read through them as I have time.

    A “phobia’ of any kind implies “unreasonable fear”. I don’t fear either homosexuals or homosexuality. It has been around as long as man has and it will be here until the end and I don’t hate anyone but by the same token I am not going to pretend it is something it is not. It is deviant sexual behavior and in the religious world it is and always has been serious sin. I did not call anyone or anything “slimy”. What you have said against the Catholic Church DOES appear phobic in nature for virtually all is based on unsubstanciated accusation, 1/2 truth or total lie. Like I said it would take bme 20 pages to debunk it all so I’ll just do the first few. “What about the massive cover-up of pedophiles in the Church?” I have read several independant studies and the statistics indicate anywhere from 2.5% to 3.9% of Priests were accused (not found guilty, necessarily) of chlld molestation. This means that 94 to 96% of the Church had NOTHING to do with the scandal. Massive? Perhaps from your point of view. One of those studies includes all incidences of child abuse and found that the Protestant community had virtually the same incident rate. The general population is around 8% and the public school system around 7%. Draw your own conclusions.

    “What about the instillation of pontiffs from mob and money laundering families (the Borgias)” Pontiffs are elected by Cardinals from around the world and these powers you speak of would elect a Jesuit from Argentina? One who holds institutions you speak of in great disdain? Hmmm ok. These rumors came from the fact that Church money was manipulated and used as a means to launder some mafia money. This was done by the institutions the Church trusts to handle Her money and when it was discovered it was stopped. You need to prove otherwise. Just a unfounded accusation.

    “What about the pontiff standing by while Nazis were appeased and Facists (isn’t that the creation of Italians, and isn’t that where the Holy See is) ran rampant through Europe?” The Vatican is it’s own sovereign country and is recognised as such by the whole world. No single institution did more to help persecuted Jews than did the Catholic Church during WWII. The Pope’s efforts did not go unrecognized by Jewish authorities, even during the War. The Chief Rabbi of Jerusalem, Isaac Herzog, sent the Pope a personal message of thanks on February 28, 1944, in which he said: “The people of Israel will never forget what His Holiness and his illustrious delegates, inspired by the eternal principles of religion which form the very foundations of true civilization, are doing for us unfortunate brothers and sisters in the most tragic hour of our history, which is living proof of divine Providence in this world.” There is much written on this subject. Eugene Zolli, chief rabbi of Rome at the time of World War II was so impressed with the Catholic Church and what She did to help his people, he converted after the war. He wrote a book called “Before the Dawn” and is a great read to understand the precariousness of the times. I also suggest a book called “The Myth of Hitler’s Pope: Pope Pius XII And His Secret War Against Nazi Germany”. Take a chance, jump outside the realm of your “Catholicaphobia” and read a little unbiased history. 4 star rating on Amazon. I’m going to let it all rest. You all be good! God Bless!

  8. You all have a great debate going on here (and it’s been fun to read!) and I just wanted to inject this tidbit as far as choice is concerned: http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/technology-science/science/homosexuality-dna-say-scientists-3145703

    Choice may be considered in some situations, as well as curiosity and other circumstances, but it appears that it is likely that people are hardwired with their sexuality. One may agree or disagree if the actions are deplorable, but you can’t argue with science.

  9. For once, I’m actually enjoying reading an argument online.
    Some things about me–I was raised Catholic and went to Catholic schools all my life. Since I graduated high school (2012), I’ve left the Church. Not because I disagree with the morality or any teachings, I’m just exploring other options. From what I understand based on my religious education, both of you are under some misconceptions about Catholic teaching, and, honestly, in James’ case, science.

    Another thing about me, I’m bisexual. Maybe. I haven’t had the chance to actually be sexual with another woman. Maybe it’s more than that–there’s all these new terms defining sexuality, and I’m not exactly sure which best describes me. But for me, for as long as I can remember, I’ve always been attracted to both sexes. In fact, I find women to be more attractive than men. Yet I enjoy sex with men. The choice isn’t in who one is attracted to, the choice is in what you choose to do with that attraction.

    The teaching of the Church is that all sex outside of marriage is wrong. (This is where my issues with the Church come in–I’ve had a decent amount of sex, but I’m definitely not promiscuous, and I don’t regret it. Therefore, I can’t make a good confession, and because of that, can’t receive the Eucharist, so there’s no point in going to Mass anymore) And the Catholic church only recognizes marriage as between one man and one woman. So the fact is that all the sex that I’ve had, all the sex that my unmarried straight friends have had, all the sex that my LGBT friends have had, and all the times that everyone has masturbated (yes, a generalization, but I don’t know anybody that doesn’t; and yes, it counts in this case) all falls under the same category: sin. Mortal sin, in fact. And sex (outside of cases of rape) is always a choice. Outside of marriage, the choice to sin and be distanced from God.

    There are two aspects of sex, according to the Church: unitive and procreative.

    The unitive aspect recognizes that sex makes two people into one, not just in some weird spiritual way, but physically, and chemically. Physically, it’s obvious. People are meant to fit together a certain way. That is why men have penises and women have vaginas. They fit together perfectly and pleasurably. This touches on why sex between two members of the same sex is considered wrong. While there are ways of getting around it, sex between two men or two women is not really sex. Chemically, during sex, and pleasure in general, there are bonding chemicals released in the brain. And, while I don’t know all the science behind it, I know that it can’t be good to have sex and bond like that with multiple people. I also have personal experience with it. Three of the five men I have had sex with were A) Emotionally abusive, B) Emotionally distant, or C) a combination of the two. And yet, because of the unreasonable feelings I had toward them, which I blame on the amount of sex I had with them (quite a bit), I stayed in the relationship and two fwb’s for much longer than I would have if sex was not an issue. So, the point behind all that, is that it’s much emotionally healthier to only have sex with one partner for your entire life, rather than multiple partners.

    The procreative aspect of sex recognizes that it is an act meant for reproduction. This does not mean that sterile people or people otherwise unable to conceive should not get married. There are other options to them, such as adoption, if they wish. And that is another reason sex between same-sex couples is frowned upon. They are naturally unable to procreate. Yes, adoption now applies to them too. However, another teaching of the Church is the necessity of both a man and a woman (mother and father) to be in the child’s life. That I definitely agree with. There are things that a man brings to a family that a woman can’t, and things that a woman brings to the family that a man can’t. As an orphan, I understand this better than many. I can say for a fact that I would have made different choices had my father been alive during my teenage years, and had my mother been alive now.

    While all these are the technical and topical teachings (as I learned them in my extensive Catholic education), the most important thing the Catholic church teaches is LOVE. Love your neighbor as yourself. Love the sinner, hate the sin. Everyone is a sinner in his or her own way. No sin is greater than any other, and it doesn’t matter anyway, as God is our only judge. He is the only one who can truly see into our hearts and know our intentions. So, what I leave you with is the truth on what the teachings truly are, but most of all this, to both of you, and anyone else who may read this: Love each other. Because that is what will change the world. Not legislation, not religion. Love. When everyone truly sees everyone else as a brother and a sister in this world, there will be no discrimination, no hatred, no war. And that is the world we should hope for and teach our children to make.

  10. Jessie. You did an excellent job of expaining Catholic teaching. God shows us exactly how much He loves us by giving us free will. He gave us His Church to guide us and be our authority and gave us the freewill to reject that Teaching. We also know we are choosing Hell because nothing imperfect shall ever enter heaven. To all, I am quite aware of the science and psychology and the different camps in both. I am coming at it from a different prespective in that I am interested in the salvation of souls. You can call it your sexuality, you can believe you are hard wired, you can believe you were born that way. I believe there is no hard science to prove any of it but that is fine. Believe it. But at no time, irregardless of what you believe, do you not have a choice to engage in homosexual activity. Even compulsives, in the end make the choice to engage. You might consider the science from antother prespective. http://www.narth.com/#!key-narth-documents/cf3y In the end it is all about th choices we make.

  11. Good day, James.

    I hope this finds you well.

    Thanks for posting about how the LGBT “ha[ve] been around as long as man has and [they] will be here until the end.” You are spot on. It isn’t because it is a sin either. It is just what nature has given us. You can either look at it with disgust or as a blessing. Religions through time have done both (but let’s not talk about what largely happened to the religions that did the latter, for that just opens up a not-so-pretty history of the Christian church and its fun times with colonization).

    Now, though, I have another task for you. You’ve largely rejected the others and even compared the idea of collaborating with me on a project to take on poverty or world hunger as making a deal with the devil. Don’t worry, for I have given up on your choosing to be gay for a year, but I haven’t given up on your saving these conversations for our 20 year dinner date. What I would like you to do now is read through your comments and focus on whenever you compare homosexuality to be deviant, a serious sin, totally immoral, and repugnant (on a side note, your indirectly comparing it to swimming in a sewer is likely where Jeremy picked up the slimy part). Now, change your mindset and imagine yourself as a teenager who has these sexual urges for the same sex. He has fought them as much as he can. Hey, he even tried the therapy you referenced in your last post, which, on a side note, has been proven to either do nothing in the long run or more damage than good. Got the mindset now? I am hoping so, for I want you to imagine what it would be like to hear these comments about something that you are so desperately trying to change within you from your parents, your friends, your priest, your respected community members, and even people online. How great does that make you feel about yourself?

    If you are actually taking on this task, which I am really hoping just even a small fraction of your mind is doing, you can probably now figure out why suicide rates and drug use is so high in the LGBT community. They have been conditioned by these words to hate themselves. Then throw in the rejection from those around them into the mix. This can range from their family and friends being cold and distant to disowning to even threatening to kill them just because of who they are despite their great efforts to change. Sure, you may be like Bishop Larry Silva and see it as tough love, but not everyone can survive tough love. Rather, it can ruin them, which is really sad, for I am right there with you and Jessie that the church should be about love and not tearing a person apart.

    It isn’t just those people who suffer from these comments either. Rather, the church itself does as well. These comments and these campaigns are causing people to turn their back on the church, hence why so many churches are dying across the country. People may say society is just losing its morals and that is the reason why they are not going. While this may play a small part for some, there is also the church pushing people away with the rhetoric you largely echo. I think Pope Francis recognizes this, and that would explain some of his comments lately and his attempts of what seems to be damage control.

    Plus, that was an impressive list of charitable Catholic organizations; however, as the membership declines, so will that list. My hope is another non-profit will fill in those holes, but if not, so many more innocent people are going to suffer.

    So there you go, James – your latest task from me.

    Last but not least for my comments towards you, James, I think you need to expand your experiences with the LGBT community. You seem to be working with stereotypes of their all being promiscuous, drug-using, AIDS-infected, God-hating sinners. I think you will find there are so many who do not fit into that category (or those categories). I actually wish you could hang out with some of my LGBT friends. Sure, probably, we would have to avoid the conversations like we have had on here, for that might possibly set them off thanks to their long histories of having to listen to those thoughts. However, if you were able to set that mindset aside, you would like them – like really genuinely like them. They are some of the best and strongest people I have ever met, and none of them would fit the descriptions you have been using. I know you live in a small Nebraska town, but if you get chance, have coffee with someone like one of my great friends. Listen to their stories, their battles, and their desires for true love, not just some one night stand, and happiness in this lifetime.

    And now for a change of conversations.

    Howdy Jeremy, Scott, and Jessie! Welcome to the dialogue. Great job with your additions to it! Glad you are enjoying the comments so far, and I thoroughly enjoyed your contributions as well. Thank you for taking the time and joining the fun.

    Jeremy, I thoroughly enjoyed your post. You have some great (and highly credible) sources. I hadn’t read the PBS/Frontline piece before. The “31 Arguments” was also nicely done. Actually, all of the sources were. Fantastic reads/selections, so anyone who may be reading this comment and hasn’t checked out those links, you should definitely do so. And Jeremy, you are definitely right about history. It is indeed on our side.

    Scott, what a timely article you have posted! Thanks for that! Although some probably will disagree with yours (and my) idea of science and go for more things like, perhaps, the largely discredited science of NARTH, others should definitely read your article from the Mirror and realize what this scientific breakthrough means. It’s good stuff, and it is further showing there is really not too much of a choice about sexuality.

    Jesse, don’t worry about labels. Keep in mind one of my grad degrees is in Cultural Studies so I have had quite a few classes on gender theory. Our society, though, tends to be obsessed with trying to put things in boxes. Don’t feel like you have to do that as well with yourself. And definitely, I echo your plea for us all to love each other. Life is too short for close-minded discrimination, war, and hatred. Plus, there is so much we could do, so many heights we could take society, if we just choose the path of mutual recognition, collaborate, and make the world a better place for all. Now if I only drank soda, I would probably need a Coke right now.

    God bless!

  12. Curious. I have a cousin that is blatantly gay. A nephew who is struggling at this very moment. I have lesbian neighbors whom I get along just fine with (we often take our dogs to the dog park together). I have had two lesbian bosses and a lesbian and 2 homosexual co-workers over the years. I treat and have treated them no differently then I treat anyone else but if the subject comes up, they know where I stand and I have been asked for advice before on several occasions. While I agree with you that the stigma of being a practicing homosexual in society (virtually any in the world) plays a part in the low self esteem and the self hate many openly homosexuals’ feel, I think the larger contributer is their own God given consciences and changing society isn’t going to help them here. You say it is what nature has given us. I say it is what some men and women choose to do with their fallen nature. The nature arguement might hold up if we were just animals and not thinking rational human beings with a clear ability to control our more basic urges and drives if we have a mind to. This is consience choice, I know. I’m human. I know what it is like to choose sin over love of God. I also know what it is like to choose love of God over my sin and that makes me feel a whole lot better about myself. Actually homosexuality, in my opinion flies in the face of nature. Body parts are being used in ways and for things they were never designed for and the health problems this is causing is quite staggering. I just read where esophageal cancer is now epidemic among gay men. Such self destructive behavior can’t be natural in my opinion.

    Curious,, I largely ignore your “tasks” because besides being immoral, I find them rather condescending but I acknowledge that could just be me. I did go to your suggested site as a counter to mine. While it was certainly an interesting pro gay opinion piece, I would love to see the credentials of the person(s) who labeled repairative therapy as “junk science”. The author I found nothing on and the editor, Evelyn Schlatter could hardly be considered neutral on the issue. I can certainly get you the credentials of some of the therapists with NARTH and they are impressive. In spite of your article to the contrary, they are having good short and long term success with those motivated to change their lifestyle. Heard 2 interviews of successes. Amazingly they seem to feel pretty good about themselves. Go figure..

    The Catholic Church is growing at a 2.2 to 2.6 % rate world wide and has for the last 30 or so years. While that doesn’t seem like much, She is growing faster than the world population and 2.2% of 1.2 billion is how much? Like homosexuality, the Church will still be here at the end.(in case you change your mind). Oh, and another interesting stat regarding giving. Conservatives give about 30% more than liberals in all 3 T’s (time, talent,, treasure) even though they overall make less money so I wouldn’t be counting on your friends to bridge the gap. God Bless.. .

    1. There is a national bill looking for sponsers and is gaining momentum. Marriage and Religious Freedom Act (S 1808). I have already contacted my Senators encouraging their support. Not the exact bill offered up in Kansass but it will go a long way to protecting religious freedoms and is a good start.

  13. Matthew 22:36-40

    New International Version (NIV)

    36 “Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?”

    37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’[a] 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’[b] 40 All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

  14. Impressive, but you know what I see? I see the fact that as God has been removed from the equation and the as Psychological community “powers that be” moved away from religion over the years, their views changed accordingly. Here are some things I know and believe. Psychology and Psychiatry are a “gray” science, not a hard science. There is still more that is NOT known about the brain and how it functions than we know.

    And no one can know the power of God’s Grace in your life unless you believe in It, experience it and or witness it. It is transformative, it is powerful and it is real. I know Catholic therapists practicing this therapy never lose site of this.

    Leaving the LGBT community to it’s own self destructive devices is far more harmful to both them and society then even the most negative outlook on conversion therapy. They are such a small percentage of our population, yet look at what they are doing to healtcare costs alone. This affects all of us!! http://www.wnd.com/2013/12/the-stats-dont-lie-gay-health-costs-coming-your-way/

    And I agree with the post Jessie left us. Give people the freedom back to do business with, associate with, the people they care to with no apoligies and no reason has to be given. Let adoption agencies refuse people THEY DEEM (not the government) unfit for parenthood ect ect. the LGBT demands their freedom and rights. So do I. I think this bill is a GREAT idea and as for me I support it wholeheartedly and hope it’s a fire that spreads accross the whole country. God Bless.

  15. All I can say, James, is that a healthy dose of critical thinking would be great for you, but in your mind, you are doing that; however, the sources you post show otherwise. Even Ann Coulter is not a fan of Joseph Farrah of WorldNetDaily.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/WorldNetDaily

    Truth be told, Fox News would be a step up from these sources you cite.

    Also, give the Catholic therapists some time. They will eventually go the way of Exodus International (the majority probably already have, but don’t worry though, for some will probably hold out and continue to do work condemned by all of the major organizations of highly credentialed professionals in that field).

    And as far as adoption agencies, they can refuse people. They just also have to refuse government funds to do so. Therefore, they need to just move all of their funding to private, and they can serve who they want.

    1. Curious, well I’m not a great fan of Ann Coulter so there you go.,And next to Drudge, Fox is my favorite. WND, newsmax, debkafiles all good. I even go to Alex Jones (that ought to scare ya). Are you saying the numbers in this article are false? I will do some checking when I get off work to verify from different sources if you like. I woudn’t think it would be to hard.. Criticle thinking? Yes that is definitly subjective. To me criticle thinking would involve encouraging people not to engage in such high risk behavior, no matter the approach. If critlicle thinking involves calling sin anything other than sin then I want know part of it. Listen Curious, its been fun, really, but I think I’m going to move on and bother someone else for awhile. Keep fighting what you think is the good fight. I’ll do the same and we’ll see where it all ends up. You and everyone on this list, especially Jessie, are in my prayers. God Bless!

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