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Macy’s Store Fires Employee for “Religious Beliefs” – or Does It?

December 08, 2011 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Featured

The Macy’s store at Rivercenter Mall in San Antonio, Texas, recently came under fire for its termination of Natalie Johnson, who was employed by Macy’s until a few days before Thanksgiving. Ms. Johnson refused to allow a transgender woman to use the lady’s fitting room. According to the organization representing Ms. Johnson, Liberty Counsel, she was fired for her religious beliefs. To clarify, they argue she was fired for being Christian.

Blog posts and comments abound, telling the story of the oppressed Natalie. Most of the stories indicate that Liberty Counsel is a pro-Christian rights organization, a claim which is designed to sway the public to rally behind a suspect class: the religious. But Liberty Counsel is anything but pro-Christianity. Their purpose has not historically been to walk in the steps of Christ, but instead to demand our government provide them, as moral superiors, with the infinite power to bend others to their will.

In her recent address in honor of Human Rights Day, Secretary of Defense Hillary Clinton highlighted these sorts of religious justifications for discrimination noting:

The third, and perhaps most challenging, issue arises when people cite religious or cultural values as a reason to violate or not to protect the human rights of LGBT citizens. This is not unlike the justification offered for violent practices towards women like honor killings, widow burning, or female genital mutilation. Some people still defend those practices as part of a cultural tradition. But violence toward women isn’t cultural; it’s criminal.

But even though Liberty Counsel wants you to believe this is about Ms. Johnson’s religion, it is not. Liberty Counsel is not a “Christian rights group,” but rather an organization devoted to preventing the human rights of LGBT people. According to the Southern Poverty Law Center:

In 2009, J. Matt Barber, formerly with Concerned Women for America and Americans for Truth About Homosexuality…, joined Liberty Counsel as director of cultural affairs (also becoming Liberty University’s associate dean for career and professional development). A year earlier, Barber had argued that given “medical evidence about the dangers of homosexuality,” it should be considered “criminally reckless for educators to teach children that homosexual conduct is a normal, safe and perfectly acceptable alternative.”

The Counsel also has been active in battling same-sex marriage, saying it would destroy the “bedrock of society.” In 2005, the group’s blog said: “People who … support the radical homosexual agenda will not rest until marriage has become completely devalued. Children will suffer most from this debauchery.” A 2007 blog posting said same-sex marriage would “severely impact future generations.”

Like other anti-gay groups, Liberty Counsel argues that hate crime laws are “actually ‘thought crimes’ laws that violate the right to freedom and of conscience” — an opinion rejected by the Supreme Court.

The claims by Liberty Counsel are not a declaration of freedom, but instead further desperate attacks by a group of people protected by Federal Non-Discrimination Laws (religious people), on a group that is not (transgender people).  Freedom of religion is a protection from worshipping as one chooses, not from forcing your opinions on others.

Closet Talk: Marlin’s Story. From Christ to Queer

June 18, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Closet Talk, Community Outreach, Featured

Closet TalkMarlin used to be a Church of Christ pulpit minister.  Now, he’s an out and proud gay man.  He left the pulpit, in effect, to “come out” of the closet he had been hiding in for 42 years.  Marlin and I discussed the coming out process, he’s preaching about homosexuality, the effect of his coming out on his faith, conversion therapy/left handedness and religious arguments against homosexuality.

The full conversation is available below:

God, Organized Religions and Gay.

June 13, 2009 By: geekgirl Category: Commentary, Community Outreach, Religion

religious toleranceIn the fight for equal rights for LGBT folks, gay activists are often confronted with religious groups who are anti-gay. Some of these groups are very vocal and have also poured a lot of money into convincing legislators and everyday citizens that our world will be destroyed if we give equal rights to gay people.

Obviously, I don’t believe this or I wouldn’t be here blogging on a gay man’s website. But it does raise the question: Are all religious groups like this? We all personally know Christians who are gay or support gay rights. I attend the United Church of Christ, an open and affirming church, which I have seen described as a left of left cult that isn’t even Christian. Clearly, these individuals haven’t taken the time to familiarize themselves with this denomination or they would know what good people these are.  Gee, kind of like…… they don’t know any gay people so it’s ok to dehumanize them too.

What about other denominations? Where do they stand on gay rights? The answer is there is a growing movement in literally every denomination that supports gay rights.

The Lutheran Church, that one started by Martin Luther that gave us Protestant faiths, as in Protest, has been making progress toward the acceptance of lesbians and gays. These Lutheran churches are called Reconciling in Christ. I was pleased and surprised to see this in today’s news.

The Southeastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America oversees Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi and Tennessee. ……The resolution showing support for gay clergy and their relationships was approved in a 238 to 183 vote. The synod also passed a statement on human sexuality that calls for a “greater understanding of sexual orientation and gender identity.”

“I am old enough to remember when pastors being held to a higher standard meant that if you were divorced, not only did you have to suffer that pain, but you could no long be a pastor in the church,” said Rev. Dale Sillik of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lilburn.

“Thankfully the church looked deeper and wider into what our Lord said, and found Christ in the grace to see beyond those words, to the truth that God had given those people to ministry.”

First, I want to point out this is happening in the Deep South, which is perceived as the most intolerant of gay people. I truly applaud these Lutheran ministers. They have looked into their hearts to find truth and compassion. I think that last sentence says it all. “the grace to see beyond those words…”

Reading more deeply into the meaning of words is a reoccurring theme as humans become more enlightened. We read deeper and deeper into our Constitution, Bill of Rights and Declaration of Independence. We didn’t stay frozen in time, accepting slavery, accepting that only white men with property have rights. We read more deeply into the words. Some people believe that the Bible came directly from God. I don’t believe this. I believe the Bible was written by humans, greatly influenced by their culture and ability to understand the world in the context of the times.

Before we examine how faith and religious organizations are changing in our world, let’s look at this concept that the Bible is carved in stone (no offense Moses). These quotes are from a website Fundies Say the Darndest Things.

“To say the Bible was written by men and may contain inaccuracies completely contradicts the word of the Bible. “

“Make sure your answer uses Scripture, not logic.”

“If your original Hebrew disagrees with my original King James — your original Hebrew is wrong. If your original Hebrew agrees with my original King James, your original Hebrew is right. “

Well, these are opinions and all I can do is point out that the statements are absurd. Let’s examine a claim by one poster who cites Bible passages to prove their point. Now we’re getting somewhere.

The Fact the Earth is Flat is not my opinion, it is a Proved Fact! While all we need to know is that the Bible says the Earth is flat (Is.40:22, Ez.7:2, Dn.2:35; 4:10-11,20, Mt.4:8)… but for a second can you imagine what these so-called ‘scientists would have us believe — If the earth really was round, that would mean there arre (sic) people who are HANGING DOWN, HEAD DOWNWARDS while we are standing head up.

I have my both my childhood Bible and my husband’s childhood Bible. Mine is the original King James version from 1600 while my husband’s is revised. (GASP!).  I looked up every single chapter and verse in this quote. Let’s look at Dn 2:35, which is Deuteronomy. My book says “Only the cattle we took for a prey unto ourselves and the spoil of the cities which we took.” My husband’s says “Only the cattle we took as spoil for ourselves, with the booty of the cities which we captured.” It might be me, but that doesn’t seem to say anything about the earth being flat.

Two of the quoted verses do mention the earth. One, Matthew 4:38 says, in my Bible says , “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world”. The other verse is Ezekiel 7:2 which says “thus saith the Lord God unto the land of Israel; An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land”.

From this, would you conclude that the earth is flat? Or could there be other interpretations? You might be thinking, of course the earth isn’t flat. You didn’t address the Bible verses that say being gay is wrong. No, I haven’t. But I will. Just as soon as I can find a reputable theological source on those verses. So for now, you will have to stay in suspense. Besides, you already know….. that no matter what I find as the original words and intent, I will still consider those the words of people writing in the context of their time. In other words, nothing will make me believe them. So is it worth my time and yours for me to address those? Let me know.

Now, that we’ve had our Saturday fun, let’s move on to the more serious topic at hand. Can a person be gay and be a Christian, or be a member of an organized religion? Of course.  Believing in a supreme being isn’t about sexual orientation. It’s about your belief in how the universe was created, what makes it tick. Many straight people are atheists or agnostic. There is no moral advantage to believing in a supreme being or any organized religion. Many of my close friends are atheists or agnostic and they are the most caring people I have ever known.

Whether you are straight or gay, this is my message for you. Each of us goes through life on our own journey, our own path. Be true to yourself. Your whole self, from flesh to mind to heart to spirit. If we all embrace the values of compassion and respect, seeking understanding and acceptance of others, the world can benefit from our diversity. I go to church because our minister has a way of making me feel better about myself. I find his sermons enlightening and they touch a part of my being. I go to be part of a group of people that actively help others in our community and far away places. I don’t go because I’m afraid of God’s judgment or hell. I don’t need the threat of punishment in order to behave with values. If you are seeking a spiritual life, gay or straight, I hope you use your heart and look inwardly to find that guidance, rather than being afraid of words that have been written, translated, rewritten and retranslated. If God did speak to people 2000 years ago, why can’t s/he speak directly to you?

I’ve collected websites from many faiths that support LGBT folks, as well as links to the work that HRC and GLAAD are doing with different faiths. I believe that every day, we will see more and more clergy and faiths stepping forward to speak up for gay rights.

Christian (general):

Worldwide Directory of Open and Affirming churches

Metropolitan Community Churches

Jewish:

Aleph

GLBT Jews

Hindu:

Galva 108

Catholic:

Dignity USA

Presbyterian – More Light Presbyterians:

MPL.org

Various churches:

http://www.operationrebirth.com/affirmingchurches.html

http://www.lafof.org/P20-Links.html

Mormon:

http://mormonsformarriage.com/

Lutheran – Reconciling in Christ:

LCNA.org

Methodists:

Umaffirm.org

Baptists:

Rainbow Baptists

Episcopalian:

Integrity USA

Quaker:

FLGBTQC – quaker.org

GLAAD:

GLAAD (faith information)

HRC – Human Rights Campaign:

HRC’s Religious Information

jaysays.com contributor geekgirlGeekgirl is a straight woman, a mom and has been married for 32 years to the same wonderful man. She believes in Buddhism and attends the United Church of Christ. She is a molecular biologist, her best friend is a lesbian, and she believes that every human deserves equal rights, respect and a life free from hate, fear and discrimination. The only thing she hates is pickles.

Who Are the Victims of Hate Crimes?

June 04, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Discrimination, Hate Crimes, LGBT News

The FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, Hate Crimes Statistics for 2007 is likely the most reliable report available to answer the question “Who is Hurt by a ‘Hate Crime?’  Regrettably, the FBI data even admits that:

  • During 2007, 13,241 law enforcement agencies participated in the UCR Program’s hate crime data collection. Agencies provided 1 to 12 months of data about bias motivated crime, and of those agencies, 2,025 (15.3 percent) reported 7,624 incidents.
  • The remaining 84.7 percent of the participating agencies reported that no hate crimes occurred in their jurisdictions.

It’s obvious by these statistics that the report was lacking in complete information; however, a remarkably high number [approximately 21 per day] were reported in the remaining 15.3% of reporting jurisdictions.

The report indicated that over half of the hate crimes reported were based upon a person’s race, followed by religion with sexual orientation coming in 3rd:

Hate Crimes Chart

The report goes a step further and breaks down the number of reported hate crimes by subcategory within each bias area.  For example, the hate crime victim group with the most reported crimes is the “Race” category.  Perhaps not surprisingly, anti-black hate crimes topped the group with 68% of hate crimes being committed against “blacks” (2,658 incidents).  However, what may surprise you is that white people were “runner-up” with 19% (749 incidents) of the reported hate crimes in the Race category.

2007 Hate Crimes – Race Category:

Hate Crimes Chart - Race

The category with the second most hate crimes reported is “Religion.”  As with race, the report breaks down hate crimes based upon which religion was assaulted.

2007 Hate Crimes – Religion Category:

Hate Crimes Chart - Religion

These statistic tend to evidence what we should already know, antisemitism is still alarmingly prevalent in the U.S.  In fact, crimes against the Jewish community outnumbered all other reported crimes in the category of religion – meaning that, if you total all other crimes against religions other than Jewish, they still don’t number as many as those against people of the Jewish faith.

The report breaks sexual orientation down into the following categories:

  • Anti-Male Homosexual
  • Anti-Female Homosexual
  • Anti-Homosexual [generally]
  • Anti-Heterosexual
  • Anti-Bisexual

It’s important to note that the report only includes three sexual orientations (lumping homosexual into one group rather than three).  The reason this notation is so important is because religious groups and those opposed to hate crimes legislation have argued that there are hundreds of sexual orientations, including pedophilia.  Well, here’s your government sanctioned version of what sexual orientation is: Homosexual, Heterosexual, Bisexual.

Out of the 1,265 reported hate crimes against people based upon sexual orientation, 1,221 were against homosexuals, 22 against bisexuals and 22 against heterosexuals. Notably absent in the report were crimes committed against individuals based upon gender identity.

Further, 1,007 hate crimes were reported based upon Ethnicity/National Origin and 79 hate crimes were reported against the disabled.

It is obvious from the report that hate crimes legislation is all inclusive, white, black, gay, straight, Muslim, Christian, Jewish and disabled.  Because we can all be victimized by these crimes, we should all support the passing of such legislation.  Hate crimes legislation is not just a gay issue, it’s a human issue.

Christians Support Atheists for Jesus? A WTF Moment.

May 01, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Featured, Religion

Atheists for JesusI recently stumbled across this article, F-Words: The future of atheism is religion, which quotes another blog at BoingBoing on “Big Tent Atheism”.

I think closeted atheists who participate in other religious activities are the future of atheism. They know that prayer feels good without a needing brain scientist to tell them, and they know you don’t need God to want to feed the hungry, heal the sick, and provide homes for the orphaned. What if they simply stopped reciting the words that they didn’t agree with during religious services, without calling attention to it? In many places I don’t think they would be kicked out or turned upon and beaten just for that.

As a gay man and an atheist I find the above very disturbing.  Although I’m well aware that my “religion,” unlike my sexual orientation, is a belief with no foundation in fact (something a significant portion of Christians could use a dose of), I still feel as though pretending to pray would be as vile as pretending to be heterosexual and it would likely invoke the same nausea.

There is a certain level of hypocrisy that I refuse to breach.  Sitting quietly by while others pray is one thing, but I draw the line at reciting the rosary with anyone – leaving out words or not.

There is also something I know that apparently the author of the above was unaware – prayer doesn’t feel good to me, it’s actually sometimes uncomfortable and almost always leads to comments about how I did not pray.  Prayer for me is less fulfilling than standing in front of the mirror talking to myself.  If prayer were fulfilling, perhaps I would not be an atheist.

There have been many occasions where those around me have joined hands to pray, say the rosary or offer a blessing over their meal – I do live in Texas after all.  Each time I’m in that situation, I make it a point not to lower my head, not to appear to be muttering words to nothing and to remain very quiet and very still.  While I respect their religious choice, I will not “pretend” to be of the same persuasions and beliefs anymore than I would expect them to pretend to be homosexual if they were not.

Perhaps I feel so strongly about this because I spent so many years pretending to be a heterosexual and even more years pretending to be “christian,” or perhaps I’m upset at the inference that atheist organizations wish to have “big tent” meetings and join together in some sort of celebration of … of what?  Does this author expect that atheists will form a new church, “The Church of Atheists for Jesus?”

Believing in the existence of an all powerful deity is exhausting – particularly when their are thousands of organizations claiming their way is the right way, each purportedly acting on behalf of “god.”

Yet the religious opinion seems to have been and will always be, “At least pretend to conform to the way we believe so we don’t have to hate you.”  Oh hypocrisy… didn’t Christ have something to say about that?

Marijuana Found to Cure Homosexuality

March 10, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Thought of the Gay

I’ve been trying to find a way to infuse truth into the statement, “Marijuana Cures Homosexuality.” The problem is, I haven’t hired the Anti-Gay Agenda’s advertising firm. What is it about their rhetoric that makes statements like, “homosexuals are the biggest threat to America” (uttered by Chris Buttars) so believable? Finally, I figured it out. God makes it believable.

By declaring your faith in “God” or making claims that you are speaking God’s word, you automatically become believable in the U.S.A. – after all 76.5% of American’s identify as “Christian” according to a 2001 ARIS study.

It was then I realized, to have authority in such an asinine statement as “Marijuana Cures Homosexuality,” I must first invoke God. But how? I decided a little research was in order and turned to my old friend, Google.

As it turns out, by taking singular bible quotes out of context, I can show that Marijuana cures Homosexuality:

The Lord said unto me, ‘I will take my rest and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs.’  — Isaiah 18:4-5

And I will raise up for them a plant of renown, and they shall be no more consumed with hunger in the land, neither bear the shame of the heathen any more. — Ezekiel 34:29

It is obvious that God used Marijuana and even more apparent that marijuana would prevent man from bearing the shame of homosexuality. Perhaps marijuana advocates should use this argument in their next ad campaign… legalizing marijuana will put all this “gay” behind us.

By invoking the word of God, I have found that I can argue for, or against, just about anything.  In fact, many pro-gay websites and blogs have taken the position that the Bible does not condemn homosexuality while anti-gay blogs use it to argue against homosexuality.  I realized that for me there is no truth in either debate.  Both arguments are hypothetical and debating what “God” thinks about homosexuality is a bit like debating what “Romeo” wanted out of his relationship with “Juliet,” the only difference is when debating God, you debate it as truth.

VIDEO: Evangelical Teachings of “TRUTH”

March 03, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

I’ve been contemplating this project for a while – Should I, do a video slide show?  Do a video monologue?  Use puppets?  All of that seemed complex and I wanted the message to be clear.  The fact remains that Evangelical Christians continue to abuse biblical text and the “authority” bestowed upon them by “God” to keep people other than themselves down.  But how do you express that in an honest and forthright way?  I attempt to with this video:

Stupid Things People Say About Gays: U.S. Should Remain Anti-Gay Because God Said So

February 25, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Stupid Things People Say About Gays

On February 23, 2009, Scott Renfroe, a senator in Colorado stood before his peers and made the following remarks:

I oppose this bill because of what the will of the people was [and] because of what my personal beliefs are and I think that what our country was founded upon was those beliefs also.  In the beginning God created our earth…

[insert sermon of Biblical proportions and heavy breathing here]

Homosexuality is seen as a violation of this natural creative order and it is an offense to God the creater who created men and women male and female for procreation.

[insert additional Bible quotes and additional heavy breathing]

The truth is what the family was created for in the beginning, that is a husband a wife and children and that is why we are here and this goes against that.  This is just a continuation of the detraction of the family.  And what I, I say all that to back up my beliefs and where we are going with this.  I believe government is here, we are here to create the laws of our land.  And when we create laws that goes against what Biblically we are supposed to stand for, I think we are, we are agreeing or allowing to go forward a sin which should not be treated by government as something that is legal.  And that is what we are going to do with this and we have done in the past.  We are taking sins and making them to be legally ok and that is wrong.  That is an abomination according to scripture…

[insert sinful rhetoric and more heavy breathing]

Hear is the YouTube of the sermon:

“The truth.”

That is the phrase often spoken by evangelicals when making their decrees against homosexuality.  They are speaking the truth.  I have a very different truth.

TRUTH: Homosexuals exist.

TRUTH: I do not believe in God.  (note I did not say God does not exist or that God does exist; thus the statement is true.)

TRUTH: Eating pork is listed as an abomination in the Bible.

TRUTH: There are no state or federal laws against eating pork.

While all sins may be created equal according to Senator Renfroe’s beliefs (not truths), all crimes are not equal according to the legislation, court decrees and mandates.  In fact, many laws have been established and repealed over the years, like: Prohibition (which had Biblical support), Segregation (which had Biblical support), Women driving (which had Biblical support), Sodomy laws (which had Biblical support), and more.  Further, many states treat things that are illegal differently and provide worldly punishment (rather than after-life punishment) for those laws.  For example, in some states the possession of marijuana can render one imprisoned for 10 years (or more), while in others, it is a small, misdemeanor offense punishable by fine.

Sin is distinguishable from law as law is distinguishable from sin.  Your theology should not be our democracy.  As so eloquently told in the book, The Kite Runner, “The only sin is theft.”

Bill Maher: Your Silly Gods Cost Us Too Much

February 24, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

Not so very long ago, I wrote a blog post where I discussed the history of Christian violence.  Shortly after, I discussed the use of the Bible to justify discrimination against African Americans, women and homosexuals.  Those two post obviously represent my feelings toward the church and its power.  I find it frightening, but not in that “We’ll put the fear of God in you” sort of way; in the “boy you sure got a pretty mouth” sort of way.

As an atheist, it is surprising to me that the first thought that came to my mind after hearing Bill Maher say, “Someday we all do have to confront the notion that our silly gods cost us too much” was: Bill Maher better be glad he’s wearing a rubber suit ‘cuz God going to strike him down with lightening.

It then occurred to me that I may subconsciously be a believer in “God.”  All day today I debated the ramifications of what it will mean now that I realize I do believe in God.  Now, instead of sleeping in on Sunday until 9 a.m. (10 if I’m lucky), I will have to rise early, dress like I’m going to the office, have a nice breakfast so my stomach doesn’t interrupt the guy at the altar, drive 50-ish miles to the nearest city (I’m certainly not ready to go to church in the country) and listen while I’m told what my belief in God will require.

That’s where the fantasy of my thoughts end.  I realized at that very moment that the reason I do not believe in God (now or even when listening to Bill Maher) is because people expect you to do certain things in order to believe in God.  You can’t declare, “I believe in God” and just have people believe you, you must prove you believe in God.

How does one prove they believe in God?  Let’s see:

  • Go to church.
  • Say, “Bless you,” way too often.
  • Tell other people they must believe in God too.
  • Donate money to organizations that make people cry, but not tears of joy.
  • Pray over my meals.
  • Tell other people they must pray with me or their eternal soul will suffer unthinkable ill.
  • Give 10% of my assets to the church.
  • Pray the church will raise enough money from the very person that is giving the church the money.
  • Get married to some-one of the opposite sex whether or not we love each other.
  • Have children.
  • Teach my children to believe in the same God I believe in.
  • Never have an independent thought without thinking its a sin.

So, if you ever wonder what makes a person who was once a believer stop believing, the answer is simple, I can only believe what it is I believe, whether it be in tooth fairies or money trees, gods or a God, it is what I believe.  Perhaps ironically, I “believe” that is exactly the same reason people do believe in God.

Therefore, I disagree with what Bill Maher did, but not what Bill Maher said.  I agree that “gods,” by away of religion, have cost us greatly.  I disagree with him using the term “silly.”  It was disrespectful to a people.  As someone in a group that is often disrespected (homosexuals), I can truly empathize with the way it feels to be disrespected.  The way those that are believers in God felt as those words fell from his mouth is exactly the same feeling I feel every time I hear you condemn me.

Promoting Hatred with the Word of God

February 19, 2009 By: jaysays Category: Commentary, Religion

Historically, the Bible has been used to secure the white heterosexual man’s superiority.  In spite of this, we still haven’t learned our lesson.

Biblical passages have been used to define specific gender roles, including eliminating women from church leadership.  In fact, during the second century, Tertullian wrote:

It is not permitted to a woman to speak in church. Neither may she teach, baptize, offer, nor claim for herself any function proper to a man, least of all the sacerdotal office.

This sort of thinking continued on, and more recently, Martin Luther wrote:

…the wife should stay at home and look after the affairs of the household as one who has been deprived of the ability of administering those affairs that are outside and concern the state…

This was a blatant attack on not only women in the church, but also women in politics and matters outside that of the “home.”  Unfortunately, in spite of efforts of many churches to be more inclusive of women, the archaic belief that women are inferior remains even in modern times.  Evangelical author, John MacArthur, Jr., wrote:

One of the most devastating, and debilitating, and destructive movements in our day is the ‘Feminist Movement.’ It is changing not only the world but sadly it is changing the church, and as a result the Word of God is being dishonored; opponents are having plenty bad to say about us and God our Savior is being dishonored and shamed. Radical feminism has brainwashed our culture. It has brainwashed our culture to the degree that even the church has fallen victim to this.

Many who believe that a woman is less than a man and that men should rule over women cite the following passage from the Bible:

To the woman he said, ‘I will greatly increase your pains in childbearing;with pain you will give birth to children. Your desire will be for your husband,and he will rule over you.’  Genesis 3:16

Other Bible passages cited to support the degradation of women include:

Wives, submit to your husbands as to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything.  Ephesians 5:22-24

Let a woman learn quietly with all submissiveness. I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; rather, she is to remain quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve; and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor.  Timothy 2:11-14 [ESV]

Now I want you to realize that the head of every man is Christ, and the head of the woman is man, and the head of Christ is God.  Corinthians 11:3 [NIV]

Evangelicals also use the Bible to disenfranchise, insult, enslave and demean “people of color”.  This is largely based on the story of Canaan, or “The Curse of Ham”  (See Genesis 9:20-27)  This “curse,” purportedly illustrated by the color of one’s skin to evangelical Christians, has mostly faded away in modern times; however, it still exists but is NOW generally considered to be non-christian and occult like.  Historically; however, the “curse” inspired such statements as:

Bar Hebraeus (Syrian Christian scholar, 1226-86): “‘And Ham, the father of Canaan, saw the nakedness of his father and showed [it] to his two brothers.’ That is…that Canaan was cursed and not Ham, and with the very curse he became black and the blackness was transmitted to his descendents…. And he said, ‘Cursed be Canaan! A servant of servants shall he be to his brothers.’” Sprengling and Graham, Barhebraeus’ Scholia on the Old Testament, pp. 40-41, to Gen 9:22.

According to Catholic mystic Anne Catherine Emmerich, “I saw the curse pronounced by Noah upon Ham moving toward the latter like a black cloud and obscuring him. His skin lost its whiteness, he grew darker. His sin was the sin of sacrilege, the sin of one who would forcibly enter the Ark of the Covenant. I saw a most corrupt race descend from Ham and sink deeper and deeper in darkness. I see that the black, idolatrous, stupid nations are the descendants of Ham. Their color is due, not to the rays of the sun, but to the dark source whence those degraded races sprang.”

— From Wikipedia

Unfortunately, the discriminatory use of Biblical text continues and is even popular ideology with regard to homosexuality.  Some comments which claim to hold the word of “God” include:

Homosexuality is a sin according to the Bible (Leviticus 20:13; Romans 1:22-32; 1st Corinthians 6:9,10; Jude 1:7). Let every believer speak out against the evils of homosexuality in society today, for it is our responsibility…

Homosexuality is disgusting, unnatural, and just plain wrong and God hates it.

Well, we know punishing homosexuals by death would be extremely hard in today’s society,but we hope that we can help to drive it underground so in about twenty or thirty years, the punishment can fit the crime.

Evangelical Christians have been whining about how society is starting to make fun of them and treat them as “less” than human.  They have been calling gay rights advocates terrorists and claiming that they are being threatened with violence.  Frankly, I disagree with threats of violence against the evangelicals; however, there is a little smirking part of me that wants to scream out, “HOW DOES IT FEEL TO HAVE THE TIDE TURNED AGAINST YOU!?!!?”  Michael Novak had this to say:

“There is a bigotry rampant in America, against evangelicals. It is the last respectable bigotry.” (Michael Novak)

So, after centuries of being the “bigot” and discriminating against, enslaving, dehumanizing, murdering and otherwise belittling group upon group of persons, now you want to play the victim card?  Perhaps you are now just reaping what you have sown.