Why Tony Campolo’s LGBTQ Reversal is Evangelicalism’s Tipping Point

Tony Campolo at the Redline conference in 2008. Image via TonyCampolo.org

That crashing sound you heard Monday morning was waves of change breaching the levees of the evangelical Christian world when one of its most venerable icons, the Rev. Tony Campolo, came out in favor of full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life of the church.

While his name may not be as familiar outside the evangelical bubble as his contemporary, the Rev. Billy Graham, Campolo, 80, is undeniably a pillar of the evangelical world and has been for close to 60 years.

Both Campolo and Graham, 96, are best known and beloved first and foremost as preachers largely unencumbered by overt denominational or political biases. Like Graham, Campolo also has been a spiritual counselor to U.S. presidents and has played the role of public pastor in times of national sorrow and joy. (Since I first heard him deliver a version of it during chapel when I was a student at Wheaton College in 1989, I cannot recall a single Holy Week passing without hearing his classic “It’s Friday But Sunday’s Coming!” homily at least once.)

Graham and Campolo, both Baptist by tradition and creed, have been among the leading voices of mainstream evangelicalism, and their influence spans several generations. Together they helped shape the direction and expansiveness of the church as it attempted to navigate H. Richard Niebhur’s Christ and Culture paradigms and be in the world but not of it in the midst of ever increasing pluralism.

So when Campolo posted a statement on his web site this week announcing that he had changed his mind about homosexuality and was “urging the church to be more welcoming” to LGBTQ people, it was a big deal.

A very big deal.

In his statement, Campolo, a sociologist who earned a doctorate from Temple University, said in part:

As a social scientist, I have concluded that sexual orientation is almost never a choice and I have seen how damaging it can be to try to “cure” someone from being gay. As a Christian, my responsibility is not to condemn or reject gay people, but rather to love and embrace them, and to endeavor to draw them into the fellowship of the Church. When we sing the old invitation hymn, “Just As I Am”, I want us to mean it, and I want my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters to know it is true for them too.

Rest assured that I have already heard – and in some cases made – every kind of biblical argument against gay marriage…Obviously, people of good will can and do read the scriptures very differently when it comes to controversial issues, and I am painfully aware that there are ways I could be wrong about this one.

However, I am old enough to remember when we in the Church made strong biblical cases for keeping women out of teaching roles in the Church, and when divorced and remarried people often were excluded from fellowship altogether on the basis of scripture. Not long before that, some Christians even made biblical cases supporting slavery. Many of those people were sincere believers, but most of us now agree that they were wrong. I am afraid we are making the same kind of mistake again, which is why I am speaking out.

Quintessential Campolo, ever the straight-shooter.

Clockwise from top left: Graham, Campolo, Stewart, Letterman. Images via The Billy Graham Association, TonyCampolo.com, The Peabody Awards, and CBS.

Clockwise from top left: Graham, Campolo, Stewart, Letterman. Images via The Billy Graham Association, TonyCampolo.com, The Peabody Awards, and CBS.

Funny, passionate, and emotive, Campolo, who for years was a sociology professor at Eastern University in Pennsylvania while traveling the world teaching and preaching, is the evangelical world’s Jon Stewart to Graham’s more reserved, buttoned-down David Letterman. He has no poker face, wears his heart on his lapel like a prom boutonniere, and is known to weep, spit, and/or sweat profusely while he preaches. (Maybe that makes him the DeVito to Graham’s DeNiro?)

When Campolo came to preach at Wheaton, as he often did, we would joke about handing out rain ponchos to those seated in the front row a la the audience at one of watermelon-smashing comic Gallagher’s shows.

Campolo is messy and unbridled. That is part of his vast appeal in a religious milieu that is too-often concerned with the appearance of perfection. In certain quarters of the Big Top tent that is evangelicalism in the United States, his passion for social justice (and for life in general) has been less than welcome.

He is famous (or infamous, depending on your point of view) for beginning speeches to Christian audiences this way: “I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.”

Campolo has been labeled a heretic by some (he is the only living evangelical leader to have undergone an actual heresy trial), but perhaps not quite as often as he’s been called a prophet by others.

Either way, Campolo, like Graham, is a revered elder of the American church writ large, even if he has more of a propensity toward the social gospel than Graham. While he generally eschews partisan politics (save for his unsuccessful run for Congress as an antiwar Democrat in 1976), particularly in the life of the church, unlike Graham, Campolo is an unapologetic progressive and long-time critic of the so-called “Religious Right.”

“What scares me is that Christianity in America today sees nothing wrong with being allied with political conservatism,” he told The Progressive magazine 10 years ago. “Conservatives are people who worship at the graves of dead radicals. Stop to think about that. The people who started this country, George Washington, Jefferson, Hamilton, these were not conservatives; these were the radicals of the time. In fact, conservatives always look back on people who they despised and make them into heroes. If you were to listen to the religious right today, they would make you believe that Martin Luther King was one of their flock. In reality, they hated him and did everything they could to destroy him.”

A prolific author—some of his nearly 30 books include titles such as 20 Hot Potatoes Christians Are Afraid to TouchFollowing Jesus Without Embarrassing God, and Adventures in Missing the Point—in more recent years Campolo has become best known as one of the leaders of the influential Red Letter Christian movement, which seeks to counter the incursion of partisan politics into evangelicalism by focusing on  the “radical, counter-cultural teachings” of Jesus as set forth in scripture, and by “embracing the lifestyle prescribed in the Sermon on the Mount.”

“I think that Christianity has two emphases,” Campolo has said. “One is a social emphasis to impart the values of the kingdom of God in society—to relieve the sufferings of the poor, to stand up for the oppressed, to be a voice for those who have no voice. The other emphasis is to bring people into a personal, transforming relationship with Christ, where they feel the joy and the love of God in their lives.”

A few years ago, when a few progeny of preachers from Campolo and Graham’s generation began to speak out in favor of LGBTQ inclusion, I wondered aloud whether American evangelicals were on the cusp of a “great gay awakening.” Then, as now, I think the answer is, clearly, yes.

“Only time will tell whether more evangelical leaders—Emergent, emerging or otherwise—will add their voices to the chorus calling for full and unapologetic inclusion of homosexuals in the life of the church,” I wrote. “But I’m sensing a change in the wind (and the Spirit.)”

Statistics, anecdotal evidence, and prevailing cultural mores testify that the winds have changed, even as Campolo’s statement arrived on the heels of Billy’s son Franklin Graham’s latest facepalm move against LGBTQ civil rights, nevermind ecclesial inclusion.

In his statement, Campolo explained how he arrived at this watershed moment:

Because of my open concern for social justice, in recent years I have been asked the same question over and over again: Are you ready to fully accept into the Church those gay Christian couples who have made a lifetime commitment to one another?

While I have always tried to communicate grace and understanding to people on both sides of the issue, my answer to that question has always been somewhat ambiguous. One reason for that ambiguity was that I felt I could do more good for my gay and lesbian brothers and sisters by serving as a bridge person, encouraging the rest of the Church to reach out in love and truly get to know them. The other reason was that, like so many other Christians, I was deeply uncertain about what was right.

It has taken countless hours of prayer, study, conversation and emotional turmoil to bring me to the place where I am finally ready to call for the full acceptance of Christian gay couples into the Church.

One of the greatest influences on his change of heart and mind, Campolo says, is his wife, Peggy, with whom he has famously held a series of public debates over the years on the subject of LGBTQ inclusion.

“One reason I am changing my position on this issue is that, through Peggy, I have come to know so many gay Christian couples whose relationships work in much the same way as our own,” Campolo wrote. “Our friendships with these couples have helped me understand how important it is for the exclusion and disapproval of their unions by the Christian community to end.

“We in the Church should actively support such families. Furthermore, we should be doing all we can to reach, comfort and include all those precious children of God who have been wrongly led to believe that they are mistakes or just not good enough for God, simply because they are not straight,” he said.

Campolo ended his missive with these words:

I hope what I have written here will help my fellow Christians to lovingly welcome all of our gay and lesbian brothers and sisters into the Church

To which I’ll add a benediction borrowed from the vicar of the Episcopal parish I used to attend in (Wheaton’s neighbor) Glen Ellyn, Ill., that had, some years ago, survived a painful split over LGBTQ-related concerns:

“And what part of ALL do you not understand?”

  • Abide

    Cathleen, as usual – great piece. I must ask a tough rhetorical question though. At this point, why should the gay community even care whether the church invites them in? If I were gay, I would tell the church it had its chance and I moved on at their unwelcome.

  • DKeane123

    Based upon this article, I really like this guy. The fact that he doesn’t whitewash the history of evangelical positions on important social movements in our recent past – is refreshing – to say the least. I always feel as if 20 years down the road, I’m going to hear about how religious institutions led the way on gay rights.

    With respect to this being a bellwether, I don’t know. I think many institutions run the risk of withering and dying if they don’t change or evolve due to environmental pressure (so to speak).

  • seashell

    If the marriage equality movement, led by LGBTQ people, comes to be the cultural tipping point where evangelical Christianity turns from basically a white, selfish hate movement into one of love, acceptance and social justice, we’d have to coin a new phrase for what to call the event. None of the words I know, like ironic or poetic justice, could do justice to the gift that such a turn of events would give us. Is it possible?

  • Jim Reed

    “What scares me is that Christianity in America today sees nothing wrong with being allied with political conservatism,” he told The Progressive magazine 10 years ago.

    It’s pretty easy to be concerned about political conservatism 10 years ago which was after Bush led us into a war of choice against a non-enemy, and backed it up with torture. The real key is what about 15 years ago when religious conservatives were putting Bush in power in the first place.

  • Eric

    “In certain quarters of the Big Top tent that is evangelicalism in the United States, his passion for social justice (and for life in general) has been less than welcome.”

    I’m wondering if this isn’t a bit of an understatement. Are Red Letter Christians and (other) emergent evangelicals still considered “evangelicals” (or even “real” Christians) by, say, the Franklin Grahams and their ilk? I mean, this is indeed a momentous, and welcomed, announcement by Campolo–but for whom, really?

  • Kyle

    my internal sense of justice compels me to wonder if the people who have made the church so unwelcoming to LGBTQs will face any smiting from God. ( “when I told you to love one another, I fricken meant it” – God )

    I don’t wish them eternal damnation, but a weekend at Chateau Lake O’ Fire would seem appropriate.

  • cranefly

    Because a substantial percentage of LGBT people are Christian.

  • cmbennett01

    It is very encouraging to see members of the evangelical community decide to come out on the side of justice and equality. My only concern is that it really shouldn’t take countless hours of prayer and emotional turmoil to come to that conclusion.

  • Ashley Leonard

    Of course it should. As Cathleen affirms, this is a very big deal…. especially for a public figure. And far from being a conclusion, this is probably just the beginning of a battery of discussion/defense & negotiation for Tony Campolo & people who, like him, are trying to do the right thing. There’s no turning back for him. Wise as serpents, innocent as doves.

  • Robert Weissman

    or how about he doesn’t want his legacy to be tainted by being on the wrong side of history

  • John Doyle

    DKeane123 – Good article. Wise man. Great choice. As far as your comment about how religious institutions led the way on gay rights, I don’t think history will see it that way. I’d say the religious institutions are lagging behind in a distant third. The gay community itself has led the way, making themselves known and fighting for justice. The business community followed next because gays are a vital part of the economic system. Franklin Graham’s banking snafu proves how much LGBT issues mean to business and the communities it serves. Many of the progressive churches braved new waters for inclusion, but in their defense, they’ve had to deal with the absurdities of the religious right. I applaud Dr. Campolo. I think this is a bellwhether day and hope the fog of ignorance and arrogance continues to be cleared.

  • DKeane123

    I agree with you whole heartedly – but revisionist history always creeps into the playbook. It will be impossible for Christians of the future to bear the idea that they missed this easy moral question. So what to do? Cite anecdotes to alter the narrative and claim that they were pro-gay the whole time. You see the same thing happening for slavery, civil rights movement, and so forth.

  • GMG248

    It should not be forgotten that many progressive mainline Christians and their churches have already embraced the LGBTQ community and are fully inclusive. Cathleen has reminded me that evangelicals, in their commitment to “not be of this world,” always have trouble affirming any value or virtue, no matter how noble, that society embraces. This adversarial or separatist mindset has caused them to also resist progress in the areas of racial and gender equality. What will be fascinating to watch will be Southern Baptists’ response to this evangelical shift. Al Mohler (SBTS Louisville) is not happy with Campolo. He sees this issue as the red line his church will never cross. See Baptist News Global.

  • Don

    Try to spell Niebuhr. Warning: It’s not aesy!

  • gapaul

    Campolo was raising questions about the Religious Right way, way back.

  • Wow!!! I did not know such men existed in the evangelical movement still today. It is refreshing to read about this man and his work. Perhaps if more of the evangelical leadership followed his example rather than Franklin Graham’s, the church might be more relevant to so many people today.

    This man does not seem to seek out the kind of media attention that the Religious Right does, but he should and he should do so loudly and completely. He notes that he preaches from the perspective of what Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount and the Gospels, not what the so-called Christian leadership is spewing today as religion. Perhaps it is time to call the Religious Right leadership what they really are – Armageddon embracing, religiously intolerant, money grubbing liars who are more interested in power and wealth than in anything that Jesus ever stood for.

    Perhaps most Christians who are more like Campolo than Graham, should stand up and call these clowns out when they come with their special services and tent shows, instead of getting swept up in the hysteria that these events sometimes engender. I know I get in their faces when they come to my small town, and when you ask them a question like the opener Campolo uses, they stop dead in their tracks and then quickly change the subject. It is time for people of faith to be like Campolo, and start speaking out and demanding that their churches start acting like churches again instead of campaign headquarters for the GOP or radical religious right training centers that have nothing to do with the teachings of Christ, but only of Revelations and the hate-filled teachings of Paul.

  • John Doyle

    Whole heartedly agree with you. I like how you phrased, “missed the easy moral question.”

  • unreligious

    I think a number of them long ago made that assessment and left their churches. And yes they will not return.

  • Greg

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for a ss couple to equate to the three most significant aspects of marriage:

    First, the complexity of an opposite gender relationship. The complexity of the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul is capsulized in the title, ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’.

    Second, the complementary union of a man and woman. It is the blend of masculinity and femininity. The wisdom of logic and intuition united. Strength and delicacy perfectly balanced.
    Protection and nurture combined as one.

    Third and most significant, the blend of a father and mother combined in a child. How disgraceful and demeaning to the role of a mother and father, the very birthplace of every single other relationship that exists!

    From a social science perspective, at its most basic essence marriage is a pan-cultural constraint on evolutionary mating behavior. Ss couples are a failure of mating behavior making ss marriage an oxymoron.

    From a historical/cultural perspective, in 8,000 years of human history not one single culture has normalized or legalized ss couples as married from start to finish. It has never established itself and spread. The current period is far too short to be a change.

    Finally, from a Biblical perspective (The only authority for a true Christian), marriage between a man and woman is affirmed in the very first chapter of the Bible, and specifically affirmed by Christ and Paul.

  • Greg

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for a ss couple to equate to the three most significant aspects of marriage:

    First, the complexity of an opposite gender relationship. The complexity of the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul is capsulized in the title, ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’.

    Second, the complementary union of a man and woman. It is the blend of masculinity and femininity. The wisdom of logic and intuition united. Strength and delicacy perfectly balanced.
    Protection and nurture combined as one.

    Third and most significant, the blend of a father and mother combined in a child. How disgraceful and demeaning to the role of a mother and father, the very birthplace of every single other relationship that exists!

    From a social science perspective, at its most basic essence marriage is a pan-cultural constraint on evolutionary mating behavior. Ss couples are a failure of mating behavior making ss marriage an oxymoron.

    From a historical/cultural perspective, in 8,000 years of human history not one single culture has normalized or legalized ss couples as married from start to finish. It has never established itself and spread. The current period is far too short to be a change.

    Finally, from a Biblical perspective (The only authority for a true Christian), marriage between a man and woman is affirmed in the very first chapter of the Bible, and specifically affirmed by Christ and Paul.

  • Linda Diane McMIllan

    Campolo is old. He doesn’t want a legacy of hate.

  • RICHARD

    Brilliantly and beautifully stated Greg!

  • RICHARD

    “hate-filled teachings of Paul”? You people scare me! You call yourselves Christians but I have never heard such hatred and anger!

  • csquared78

    Sorry Ms. Falsani, there is no debate or tipping point. Homosexuality is still a sin. It is still wrong, and just b/c this Christian celebrity or that Christian celebrity says its okay, doesn’t change anything. This is a debate that never was.

  • George M Melby

    It’s not moral or ethical to ‘like’ your own comments, Richard! Methink you are a hypocritical troll who is closely related to another troll named “Hooper, et al.” Please realize that there is a big difference between ‘christian’ extremists who despise God’s love, and those Christians like Tony Campolo who are accepting the changes in their lives who love ALL of God’s children, not just those they ‘agree’ with. Repent, Richard, and sin no more… at least in this subject and genre!
    George M Melby, M.Div. Pastor/Chaplain

  • George M Melby

    I can do no other than to extol Campolo’s heart-warming turnaround and your splendid comments. It takes a big person to admit they’re wrong. I wouldn’t call Paul a hateful person but he certainly was strongly influenced by his social culture in that time period. He went more by the patriarchal social norms than he did with Christ’s teachings. But most Biblical scholars realize that the Gospels were written 60-90 years after Christ returned to heaven so they can be excused for fuzzy memories at best. If they had clear memories, ALL Gospels would more closely coincide with each other… we know this is NOT the case. (Warning: Beware of the RICHARD troll! 😉 )

  • George M Melby

    Now THAT I consider “extreme” torture! GWBunnypants did a LOT of damage to our country AND the Christian religion!

  • George M Melby

    Heh heh heh! I can almost hear Richard and Reinholt laughing out loud now. THANK YOU, Don!

  • Meh

    While I’m happy Tony has had a change of heart I think the author overstates his current evangelical qualifications. Thirty years ago he might have been an evangelical pillar. Most in that camp wrote him off long ago.

  • Sukatra

    He specifically references gay couples, but makes no mention of other LGBTQ persons. Does that mean his acceptance and welcome does not extend to them? I think it’s great what he’s doing, but unless he includes these other people in his welcoming, he still has a ways to go.

  • Jim Reed

    You can look at it as he did a lot of damage. You could also see it as he just exposed the religion for what it actually was.

  • Kyle’s Foil

    More fundamentalist than some fundamentalists.

  • Ken Hymes

    So much wrong with your assumptions. Point by point:
    1. You clearly know no gay couples, or you would never characterize Heterosexual relationships as being uniquely complex. That’s really funny.
    2. We are each blends of masculine and feminine internally. And the diversity of this internal balance is not restricted to gender or sexuality, but is a huge and kaleidoscopic spectrum of experience and perspective.
    3. It demeans no child or parent for gay couples to take care of children the rest of you have no time for. How are you insulted by this? How sensitive and weak your little marriage must be, your sense of yourself as a parent.
    4. Social science is not a consensus, it is an ongoing discipline. And any significant review of the research says just the opposite: human sexual and family relationships are anything BUT consistent within and across cultures. this is just stuff you made up in your head.
    5. Historically, the Romans dominated Europe for centuries through torture and brutality. These are the people who brought your style of Christianity into the Western world. Are you seriously suggesting that social patterns among humans are fixed or should be? Slavery, anyone?
    6. Ah yes, the Bible. You know as well as the rest of us that you are cherry picking, and that you don’t follow the Bible in detail. Loans are forbidden. Shellfish is forbidden. Children are to be killed for disobedience. God specifically instructs the killing of pregnant women. If the Bible does not allow for change form those standards… we’d be much better off putting it down. JESUS is the measure, not your idea of which passage is important. But if you wish to cherry pick, then deal with this: in heaven there is no male or female. Please tell me the tortuous way you manage to process that and hang on to your narrow, oppressive ideas of sex and sexuality.

  • Ken Hymes

    You don’t follow the Bible, you just think you do. Have your children disobeyed you? Why are they walking around? Do you have a mortgage? Why? Have you eaten shellfish? Do you believe that women should be killed for adultery, or that gays should be killed for being gay? If so, you have no place in civil society, period, and neither does your brand of religion, because it’s basically terroristic and hate-filled at its core. The rest of us are saying as clearly as we can…. change, or your way dies forever. And the Holy Spirit will cry tears of joy.

  • Ken Hymes

    Every bit helps. Long past time the church stopped pretending it cared about the Bible anyway.

  • RICHARD

    Let me get this straight George, I am “sinning” because I take exception to the Appostle Paul being called hateful and because I call out the mean-spirited and hateful comments posted repeatedly on this thread?? I have nothing against Pastor Tony…I do object to the hypocrisy and venom of the commentors.

  • Liya

    Bullshit. Sadly you just don’t comprehend the love of Christ and are an embarrassment to Christianity, Greg. Glad your breed of haters is dying out!

  • Liya

    What happened to you, haters? You were way more active figting to keep negros boutta white congregations, schools or water fountains? Getting old and feeble ;)?

  • jimlefferts

    “…run the risk of withering and dying if they don’t change or evolve…”

    The point Bishop John Spong (Episcopal) has been making for quite some time now. Some very good reading can be found in his work.

  • jimlefferts

    As long as the right will support such characters as ‘historian’ David Barton (& I currently see no diminishing of their adoration of each word he utters), your conjecture spot-on.

  • Greg

    I don’t think “Bullshit” is a rational rebuttal, nor does stating obvious reality expose a lack of comprehension about the love of Christ.

  • Greg

    Ken, thank you for taking the time to address what I wrote.

    1. Frankly, I’ve lived next door to ss couples most of my life. However, I really don’t need to know married couples or ss couples to know that one is far more complex than the other.

    I did not claim ss couples were not complex in their own right as you seem to be confused about. At a simple level, obviously two elements are more complex than one element duplicated. When you consider the complexity of uniting two distinct sexes, that complexity is compounded at every level of existence.

    2. I find it hard to take your response here as honest. If the blend of masculinity and femininity were as mixed as you insinuate, we would not distinguish gender identity. I’d love to see you convince a transsexual of that idea…

    However, the complementary aspect is distinct at a genetic level, it proceeds through such significant areas as brain function and hormonal effects. It is evidenced in such intimate ways as the complementary union of a penis and vagina. Or even more so, two men will never provide the complement that a wife birthing the literal blend of the couple in a child does.

    In fact, your injection of experience and perspective only further exposes the complementary element of a male/female union.

    3. Where did I suggest that default parenting situations demean a child? And I find it incredibly dishonest and hateful to insinuate that the only reason children are in that situation is because birth parents don’t want them.

    Frankly I think it is a sad attempt at deliberate diversion from the point I did make. Marriage normally bears fruit. Ss couples never do. The only ones demeaned are your parents by you in denying that blessing.

    4. Once again you are confused. There is a difference between historical social science and evolving social science. The fact remains that across cultures throughout history, the primary motivation for marriage has been the bond that children create. In fact, the reason marriage is falling out of favor is exactly because we have removed consideration of children by birth control, divorce and abortion. Now the attempt to equate ss couples to marriage has required that we reject the idea that a father or mother are important. Again, the children pay a horrible price for our convenience.

    5. What a perversion of history and a cheap attempt to desecrate Christianity! Roman already ruled the civilized world when Christianity was birthed.

    And once again, you attempt to avoid my point by distorting what was said. It is incredibly profound that while marriage has existed in every single culture in know human history, which means it was probably there long before, not ONE culture anywhere at anytime fully accepted and legalized ss couples as married. It has never established itself and spread.

    Moreover, Christianity was nowhere around for the vast majority of that time! Only your bigotry is responsible for your blame.

    6. Noting the singular definition of marriage, the subject of the article is ‘cherry picking’??? It is the very first relationship noted in the Bible. It is quoted by no one less than Jesus and Paul!

    Where does it say there is not male and female in heaven?

    Did you know that in our time shellfish is 20% of the seafood consumed and 80% of the seafood poisoning? Thank you for making my point…

    Your response makes me wonder if you really know what a marriage is or what the Bible is about…

  • Ken Hymes

    How sad to be you. Your marriage must be very weak. Your sense of your own worth must be weaker still. Why else do you feel this desperate need to decide for other people how they can live? I know the Bible well. It is worthless, but for two saving graces the sermon on the mount and Matthew 23. Without understanding those, you know nothing about why Jesus matters. You might as well be a Muslim or a Buddhist or a Hindu, if what matters to you is ritual purity.

    But none of that matters, Greg. Because you and your faction lost this a long time ago. The church has zero credibility about sex and marriage. The Bible is absolutely incoherent on the subject (and your ignorance of cross-cultural social history with regard to gender relations is truly vast – try reading instead of talking). No one cares anymore what a bunch of closeted gay men and loathsome child molesters thinks about gay people’s private lives. The church is dying, and you are helping kill it.

  • jackell

    What other sexual orientations should be embraced by the Church? What other feelings that have traditionally been contrary to the Biblical world view should be accepted in this new world order? If not, why not? Just wondering. I may want to marry my car someday and was wondering when this will be OK with Tony.

  • Greg

    Oh, there it is: The personal attack when you have no rational rebuttal.

    Where did I dictate how other people live? I simply noted the reality that a ss couple can never come near to equating to marriage. You couldn’t even begin to honestly address the distinctions!

    Seriously Ken, if you can’t be honest about reality, nature and history, how can you be honest about spiritual things??

    As to ss couples and marriage? How will a manipulated court ruling change the distinctions I note? There never was a contest Ken.

  • CDR_N

    Tony is a nice guy, but he has been on the Liberal side of the homosexual question since 1980. His announcement surprises no one, and changes nothing.

  • Liya

    :). Good points. His life in Planet Greg must be lonely as hell

  • Liya

    You are not making any sense! How about this : Read Tony Campolo quotes in the article. Try to make a rebuttal . Just stay on topic and dont play dumb.

  • dutch

    i don’t think a tipping point, and, frankly expected him to agree with his wife a long time ago… Tony Campolo saying God now fully blesses man on man marriage/romance/sex. It would be hypocritical to not take this all the way – God now fully blesses man on man marriage/sex right? According to CDC 98% of all male gays have anal sex. We can talk about this can’t we? Or is it off limits, too messy. God now blesses a man inserting his penis in a man’s anus. Dispite the extremely high risk of disease/infection/tearing and compromised sphincter muscles. That activity is now encouraged and blessed within the context of a committed gay relationship right? It should be lauded in Song of Solomon right? We should lift it up as an ideal – something God ordains.

  • Ken Hymes

    This whole discussion is so tired. And so sad. Gay people don’t need you to give them a stamp of approval. 30 years ago you could have saved your massive self-righteous social club by changing this posture, but it’s waaaaay too late now. Partly because in the meantime, the rock has been lifted up on the sexual practices of so many who condemn. Partly because people have learned that institutions lie constantly to protect themselves. Partly because so many of us have found out that the sky doesn’t fall when we find God outside of your club, or not. I like Tony Campolo, but it’s stable door time here. My son and mt friends are so much more important to me than what any so called Christian thinks about what some tribe in the desert wrote down about what they thought God thought about other people. It’s so ridiculous. There are plenty of problems with science and power and public policy that we can’t even get around to because of all the wasted time and energy over a stupid book that none of you even really understands, either in its origins or its import. Put it down. Get in touch with reality, because whoever God is that’s where God is.

  • Greg

    How about you answer how I was hateful or an embarrassment to Christianity?

  • Greg

    Words describe reality. Words that falsely describe reality are lies. Lies hurt everyone.

    It is a lie that ss couples equate to the complexity and complementary union of a husband and wife or the combined blend of a father and mother in a child.

    Why would anyone want to legitimize their relationship with a lie?

  • Greg

    In 8,000 years of history marriage has been a part of every single culture.

    Yet in all that time not ONE culture has ever fully embraced or legalized ss couples as married. You call that being on the wrong side of history???

  • Greg

    Words describe reality. Words that falsely describe reality are lies. Lies hurt everyone.

    It is a lie that ss couples equate to the complexity and complementary union of a husband and wife or the combined blend of a father and mother in a child.

    Why would anyone want to legitimize their relationship with a lie?

  • Greg

    First the word marriage redefined, now evangelical?

    Words describe reality. Words that falsely describe reality are lies. Lies hurt everyone.

    It is a lie that ss couples equate to the complexity and complementary union of a husband and wife or the combined blend of a father and mother in a child.

    Why would anyone want to legitimize their relationship with a lie?

  • Greg

    According to you they’d look just like the dying mainline denominations…

    Smile.

  • Greg

    A lot of assertions about wisdom and absurdity:

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for a ss couple to equate to the three most significant aspects of marriage:

    First, the complexity of an opposite gender relationship. The complexity of the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul is capsulized in the title, ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’.

    Second, the complementary union of a man and woman. It is the blend of masculinity and femininity. The wisdom of logic and intuition united. Strength and delicacy perfectly balanced.
    Protection and nurture combined as one.

    Third and most significant, the blend of a father and mother combined in a child. How disgraceful and demeaning to the role of a mother and father, the very birthplace of every single other relationship that exists!

    From a social science perspective, at its most basic essence marriage is a pan-cultural constraint on evolutionary mating behavior. Ss couples are a failure of mating behavior making ss marriage an oxymoron.

    From a historical/cultural perspective, in 8,000 years of human history not one single culture has normalized or legalized ss couples as married from start to finish. It has never established itself and spread. The current period is far too short to be a change.

    Finally, from a Biblical perspective (The only authority for a true Christian), marriage between a man and woman is affirmed in the very first chapter of the Bible, and specifically affirmed by Christ and Paul.

  • Liya

    Your poorly constructed arguments ,based solely on your own interpretation of the Bible are in essence of the same style that racists, women rights deniers , slaveowners and ssegregationalists of old had used..that’s why you are an embarrassment to Christianity.

    Your desire to hurt people and deny children loving adoptive homes is what makes you hateful. You are so evil you want to hurt an orphan!!!

  • Liya

    You are another sad hater. Glad people like you are dying down !!

  • Greg

    Only the very last distinction addressed what the Bible said.

    Racists, slave owners or chauvinists quoted the Biblical definition of marriage?

    Where did I deny children adoptive loving homes?

    Who are you responding to? Did you even read what I wrote?

  • Liya

    By denying gay marriage

  • cmbennett01

    Your entire world view is based on a book full of words that falsely describe reality. You are free to live your life in any manner you choose, but in a modern civilized society you don’t get to impose your beliefs on others. This is a fact that you will eventually have to accept.

  • Greg

    Where did I base anything I said on the Bible?

  • cmbennett01

    Your arguments are typical of the religious fundamentalist, and my screen can scroll as well as yours.

  • Greg

    “It is a lie that ss couples equate to the complexity and complementary union of a husband and wife or the combined blend of a father and mother in a child.”

    First, post any fundamentalist that says what I said.

    Second, rationally explain how what I wrote is not true.

  • cmbennett01

    First, you have given no rational argument for anything you have said. As is typical of the fundamentalist, your comments have so far been limited to unsupported statements that “it’s all a lie”. If you can come up with a rational argument to support you statements, I’ll be happy to discuss it with you. Other wise just crawl into a hole and hate the world because it has left you behind.

  • Monty Fowler

    I respect Tony Campolo and find his teaching to usually be spot on. But on this matter, I must respectfully disagree. While I support marriage equality in civil society, the bible is clear on the design for and definition of marriage for believers. One man & one woman become as one flesh. A same sex union, especially between believers, is categorically unrepentant habitual sin (fornication) which the bible declares to be “wickedness” for believers.

    Like Campolo, I do believe that some people are born with same sex attraction, just like some people are born with a predisposition to alcoholism, violence, anger, depression, and myriad other “thorns” of the flesh. We are called as believers to overcome such predispositions that drag us into sin through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    I also agree that the church must be inclusive to people struggling with this sin issue and every other sin issue. That’s what the church is—a group of sinners united before the cross of Jesus Christ in desperate need of mercy, grace, and truth. We must do a better job of loving and welcoming gay and lesbian people, and we need to stop using our political influence to discriminate against them by promoting laws based on our biblical beliefs. We are not called to change the laws of the land, we are instead commanded to “go and make disciples of all nations…” by being “light and salt” and radically loving people the way Jesus did. But loving them means we tell them the truth about their lifestyle, we pray with them and for them for grace and mercy and power to gain victory over their sin, and we fellowship with them to bring them fully into the family of God and the church. It is only through authentic relationship that we are able to have an impact through the power of the Holy Spirit.

    While I understand Campolo’s heart in this matter, he is leaving critically important doctrine at the doorstep of the church in order to not offend gays and lesbians with the truth of God’s Word. My fear is that teachers of Campolo’s stature bowing to the culture of our fallen world is just another victory for the enemy inside our camp.

  • Greg

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for a ss couple to equate to the three most significant aspects of marriage:

    First, the complexity of an opposite gender relationship. The complexity of the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul is capsulized in the title, ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’.

    Second, the complementary union of a man and woman. It is the blend of masculinity and femininity. The wisdom of logic and
    intuition united. Strength and delicacy perfectly balanced. Protection and nurture combined as one.

    Third and most significant, the blend of a father and mother combined in a child. How disgraceful and demeaning to the role of a mother and father, the very birthplace of every single other relationship that exists!

    From a social science perspective, at its most basic essence marriage is a pan-cultural constraint on evolutionary mating behavior. Ss couples are a failure of mating behavior making ss marriage an oxymoron.

    From a historical/cultural perspective, in 8,000 years of human history not one single culture has normalized or legalized ss couples as married from start to finish. It has never established itself and
    spread. The current period is far too short to be a change.

    Smile.

  • cmbennett01

    Metaphors from pop-psy self help books, more unsupported derogatory statements about how people choose to live their lives and a profound lack of understanding of history and cultural evolution. Human history can not be sorted into neat little boxes. The current period is as long or short as any other. Same-sex marriage is normalized and legal and establish, even in societies that have vehemently opposed it based on religious ideology. Not exactly what I was looking for in a rational argument. Perhaps take some time, head down to the library. Careful though, there be dragons there.

  • Greg

    First you claimed my post was based on the Bible.

  • cmbennett01

    Then you claimed you want a rational conversation. To the library, man. Let me know when you get back.

  • Sean

    “It should not be forgotten that many progressive mainline Christians and their churches have already embraced the LGBTQ community and are fully inclusive. How are those Churches that reject Biblical teachings doing these days? Their Churches are empty. If you truly are a Believer then why do you not heed the warnings.

    1 Tim 1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

  • Sean

    Ken, from your post I can see that you do not understand much of the Gospel. You claim that shell fish are forbidden, I guess you have not gotten into the New Testament where the dietary laws and ceremonial laws were done away with. As far as sexual immorality, they were not done away with. You can find references to them in many of the letters to the Churches. If you need help in finding those start in Romans.

  • Russ Westbrook

    Among true Christians- those who hold to and begin practically their religion with the inerrancy of Scripture- Campolo isn’t and has never been “a significant icon”.

  • Sean

    If one claims the Bible is worthless except for the sermon, then how would one even know if they are Saved or not and under Grace or Wrath?

  • Sean

    Greg, to these folks, if you do not agree with them then you are hating on them.

  • Sean

    Liya, you really should look up what the word hate really means.

  • Sean

    Ken, maybe reading the Bible would give you a better understanding of it.

  • Liya

    I replied twice.

  • Liya

    Sure, how about I give it to you in a sentence” LGBT rights deniers are losing the fight because they are haters” soon you all will be extinct.

  • Ken Hymes

    I know the Bible. It’s me you don’t know. It’s my gay son you don’t know. This is personal. The Shiite “Christians” in the US threaten him with hell, deny him a place at the table in the churches I’ve led worship at for over a dozen years. Deny him the love they claim for themselves. it’s personal. I don’t care what you can find in the Bible if you can’t find love in your heart for gay people that doesn’t involve telling them they are broken. Read Matthew 23, preferably in the Message version. Maybe you will understand it this time?

  • Ken Hymes

    Don’t get sucked in. He’s a pseudo-intellectual who REALLY likes his words.

  • Sean

    We do find love for them, that is why we tell them to repent! This is for you as well, your Pride is getting the best of you. It is not all that you did for these Churches that matter, it is the life you lead and the path you follow.

    I am going to leave you with some scripture on why this is a big issue and one not to be taken lightly because many today are being mislead to think that they are Saved, but are not and the proof is in the life they lead and the blind eyes they turn to the Truth.

    1Tim1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

  • Sean

    Yeah, I think not. Just because the big mainline Churches sit empty does not mean the Word is not being spread to all the World.You should really and I mean really look up what Hate really means.

  • Liya

    By extinct I mean anti lgbt rights people, not Christians.I am a Christian myself.

    Hate – ” strong feeling of dislike”. According to dictionary definition. Actually you correct – its too mild of a word for scumbags like anti- gay g so called ” Christians “

  • Liya

    Exactly!! Many people here told him that, but he refuses to listen

  • Greg

    Now you are point blank lying.

    You have no rational rebuttal so you spew the hate accusation. How sick and sad.

  • Sean

    Again, maybe you need to look up the word hate. It seems that you are full of it and claiming that is others that hate because they do not agree with you.

  • Sean

    You call yourself what ever you want, but saying you are a Christian is lying to yourself. You reject sound teachings from the Gospel.

  • Tony Campolo is not viewed in Evangelical circles as mainstream.

  • Greg

    If gay people don’t need a stamp of approval, why are they trying so hard to falsely take a heterosexual relationship role instead of developing their own relational identity?

    The reality remains: Ss couples can never equate to marriage, they will always have a clearly inferior counterfeit.

    Do you understand the impact of that? Do you understand the resentment that breeds when the lie is forced on others? At the expense of children no less?

  • Greg

    You are right about this, many Christians don’t understand homosexuality. However, even science does not understand homosexuality yet.

    But more importantly, history has not understood homosexuality. It is not just Christianity that has seen homosexuality as abnormal, but many cultures throughout history. The aspect of anal sex is a primary reason.

    I find it interesting that the Bible condemns the sexual behavior, NOT the orientation. Jesus did mention homosexuality in Matthew 19 when he gave the Disciples three options to marriage. The first, a eunuch ‘born that way’ requires celibacy.

    I understand that is an incredibly difficult situation, the passage even notes it. However that is what the Bible says whether you or Tony accept it.

  • NavyBlues05

    You might want to study the history of Native American tribes that populated this continent. The matriarchal societies and the sacredness of those of two minds…homosexuals. The social structures that accepted the need for intimacy without the possibility of producing a child in lean times. 8000 thousand years of human history contains a wide variety of social and cultural constructs but hey, history is written by those who successfully oppress other cultures.

  • Greg

    The term ‘two spirit’ reflects the Indian concept that limits gender to male/female. A two spirit was both. Literal homosexuality was never accepted by Indians, that is why they dressed as women. The term ‘berdache’ was coined because of how early explorers observed the treatment of two spirits.

    Perhaps you would like to try another culture, say Greeks?

  • RMC1171

    You are the type that causes more pain and discord in this world than disease or war- you are a TERRIBLE person!!!

    Who judges what a lie is? Your bible cannot withstand historical or scientific fact so your bible is of no authority at all- yet you sit behind your computer condemning others.

    YOU are the type that needs an overhaul.

  • RMC1171

    right on man.

  • RMC1171

    you imply there is a division between xtians and gay people.

  • RMC1171

    rainbows over Ireland….. floods and tornadoes over Texas…. what do you think?

  • NavyBlues05

    noun
    1.
    (broadly) any of the diverse forms of interpersonal union established in various parts of the world to form a familial bond that is recognized legally, religiously, or socially, granting the participating partners mutual conjugal rights and responsibilities and including, for example,opposite-sex marriage, same-sex marriage, plural marriage, andarranged marriage:
    Anthropologists say that some type of marriage has been found in every known human society since ancient times.

  • RMC1171

    Greg- you are AMAZING at cutting and pasting….

  • RMC1171

    really REALLY amazing cutting and pasting skills!!!

  • RMC1171

    really really REALLY REALLY amazing cutting and pasting skills!!

  • RICHARD

    Hate is not in my vocabulary Liya, and I am anything but sad. You sound bitter…sorry you’re having such a bad day, maybe tomorrow will be better for you.

  • RMC1171

    Greg- can you do ANYTHING other than cut and paste someone else’s answer?

  • RMC1171

    …and again…..

  • RMC1171

    and again and again and again and again……DON’T FEED THE TROLL!!!

  • NavyBlues05

    The “lie” lies within your own personal construct. Why confine total strangers to your view of acceptable relationships?

  • RICHARD

    Boom! Greg 1 – SS “drones” 0.

  • RICHARD

    You were just “schooled” big time by Greg! Maybe YOU need to spend more time in the library cmbennett01!

  • cmbennett01

    Oh, a new one just crawled out from under his rock. You an intellectual giant in the same vein as your buddy greg?

  • cmbennett01

    On second thought I think I smell a sock puppet. Are you Greg’s sock puppet Rich?

  • Kathy Guth

    I have no issue with gays. But in the Bible, marriage is the law of God, one man, one woman. Gays are sinners just as we all of what sins we committ. . We love all but same sex is a sin. Unfortunately. Therefore, it cannot be acceptable because it is a sin. No other sin has become such a explosion of having to accept as same sex. Violence is a sin but we are not FORCED to accept it are we? Just saying. And, if one disagrees, then extremist gays become disgruntled. I am a sinner. But I do not expect you to be forced to accept my sin. Sin is sin regardless.

  • Greg

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for a ss couple to equate to the three most significant aspects of marriage:

    First, the complexity of an opposite gender relationship. The complexity of the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul is capsulized in the title, ‘Men are from Mars and Women are from Venus’.

    Second, the complementary union of a man and woman. It is the blend of masculinity and femininity. The wisdom of logic and
    intuition united. Strength and delicacy perfectly balanced. Protection and nurture combined as one.

    Third and most significant, the blend of a father and mother combined in a child. How disgraceful and demeaning to the role of a mother and father, the very birthplace of every single other relationship that exists!

    From a social science perspective, at its most basic essence marriage is a pan-cultural constraint on evolutionary mating behavior. Ss couples are a failure of mating behavior making ss marriage an oxymoron.

    From a historical/cultural perspective, in 8,000 years of human history
    not one single culture has normalized or legalized ss couples as
    married from start to finish. It has never established itself and
    spread. The current period is far too short to be a change.

    There you go, no Bible.

    Smile.

  • cmbennett01

    Here’s a hint. When you start off with “I have now issues with gays, but the Bible says…” It means you have issues with gays.

  • Greg

    Who said anything about confining acceptable relationships? Ss couples have every right to establish their relational identity just like heterosexual couples have.

    What they don’t have the right to do is dumb down marriage to a contract between two adults, something countless relationships qualify for, so the can finally ‘equate’ to marriage!

    Get a lawyer if you want a contract.

  • Greg

    We distinguish between relationship for countless important reasons.

    I note three significant core distinctions that have separated marriage from other relationships in every culture. Ss couples are completely incapable of equating to a single one. That is why not one single culture has ever fully accepted or legalized ss couples as married in one single culture in all of the 8,000 years of human history.

    Ss couples have every right to establish their own relational identity just like heterosexual couples have. You have no right to dumb down marriage to a contract between two consenting adults, something countless relationships equate to, so ss couples can finally qualify.

  • Greg

    Reality just keeps bitch slapping denial, doesn’t it.

  • Greg

    What are you afraid of?

    Why are you not able to simply use the truth?

    Smile.

  • RICHARD

    That’s it cmbennett01…typical liberal response. ..attack them personally if they disagree with you. And you call youself a Christian?!?

  • cmbennett01

    I would certainly never call myself a Christian. It seems you are confused Greg.

  • NavyBlues05

    Perhaps you would like to try the culture of the Navajo.

  • NavyBlues05

    Marriage is a legal contract between consenting adults. You have no right to restrict the legal behavior of consenting adults to your narrow constructs. You have no right to determine equality or inequality.

  • Greg

    I didn’t address legal aspects. I simply noted that reality will point out the idiocy of any legal decision that denies the distinctions I note between ss couples and marriage.

    You know this, and that is why you are incapable of directly addressing the distinctions I note.

  • NavyBlues05

    Relational identity? Seriously? You’ve applied a generic term to define the behavior of consenting adults but also insist that one “relational identity” is of lesser value than the other. I can’t fathom why are not equal in every sense of the word.

  • RICHARD

    My bad cmbennett01, thought all you bullies were “Christians” that had decided to interpret their own definition of Christianity. But keep attacking if it makes you feel better, we want you to be happy.

  • NavyBlues05

    The “distinctions” you have noted are rudimentary: primitive, crude, simple, unsophisticated, rough, rough and ready, makeshift, constructs, that is all.
    They are not based on 21st century reality and thereby irrational.

  • Greg

    By your reasoning, every relationship must be called marriage.

    Where did I ‘insist’ that one relational identity was of lesser value than the other?

    If you can’t ‘fathom why (they) are not equal in every sense’, then specifically address the aspects I noted.

  • Greg

    The complexity of two elements combined vs one element duplicated is ‘primitive’? Not even getting close to the complexity of male and female distinctions. How idiotic.

    The complementary nature of a penis and vagina is ‘unsophisticated’? LOL.

    The blend of a man and woman combined in a child is ‘constructs’? Is that what your mother and father called you?

    Smirk.

  • Greg

    You will have to be more specific. What are you asserting?

  • poliltimmy

    ‘the union of a man and woman in body, mind and soul’
    Soul has religious origins.

  • Greg

    Certainly not limited to religion, but to acquiesce to your ignorant bigotry, you can forgo the ‘soul’ part.

    Smile.

  • NavyBlues05

    Well, my folks taught me this, you can be anachronistic or you can grow. I chose to grow and live in the complexity of the 21st century. I know I need not marry a male and reproduce when I can marry the woman I love AND provide a loving and stable home for a child or children languishing in state custody enduring whatever the penny pinching backwards leaning purists inflict upon them.

  • Greg

    Of course you can do that.

    It just is not marriage.

    And of course another child is missing one gender parent.

  • NavyBlues05

    It’s not marriage you define it. No one is bound to your definition. As far as a child missing one gender parent, better to have a loving home with two parents regardless their gender. Aging out of a poorly funded system that receives little oversight is no place for a child. It’s the narrow confines of marriage, religion, and race that keep the most valuable asset in this country in jeopardy.

  • Liya

    (Yawn) ah, another passive aggressive hater.sorry you having such a bad day Richard,maybe tomorrow will be better for you

  • Cynthia Astle

    Cathy, this is one of the most even-handed and cogent reports on Tony Campolo’s decision that I’ve seen. I know that some LGBTQ writers have criticized Campolo for being too little, too late, but I don’t think that’s a valid criticism under the circumstances. Your account makes it quite clear that this particular journey is a natural outgrowth of years of progressive ministry. Excellent work; congratulations. I’ll be linking to this article from the Facebook page of my Reconciling Ministries congregation, St. Stephen United Methodist Church in Mesquite, TX, and from the news-and-views website that I coordinate, United Methodist Insight.

  • seashell

    You must have been constipated a long time to come up with all the wordy poop you have dropped in this thread, Greg. Time to find a new bathroom, please.

  • Greg

    Where did I define anything? I noted key elements of every normal marriage in history. That’s some serious denial you have going there honey…

    As to children, we are not just talking about adoption in the first place. More often we are talking about broken families and worse, the deliberate birth of a child apart from one real parent.

    Second, if you really cared about the child you would try to place that child in the most natural setting. Even the child knows that.

  • Greg

    TROLL ALERT!!!

  • Liya

    Absolute majority of young Christians under 30 are progay rights . So we all are not Christians according to you? Haha

  • Greg

    I defined nothing. I noted the significant elements of all marriages throughout history. The closest a ss couple can come to marriage is marrage.

    Most children are not not adopted by ss couples, they are from broken relationships and worse, deliberately birthed apart from one real parent.

    Moreover, a person who really cares about the best interests of a child will seek the most natural setting for that child, with a father and mother role.

  • poliltimmy

    There is no soul. It is a religious concept. I am not the bigot spouting off why people should not be able to be joined with whom they love, you are.

  • Fired, Aren’t I

    I know he thinks he’s being smart, but a person like Greg (or sock-puppet “RICHARD”) is to be pitied. Anybody who feels the need to respond personally to dozens and dozens of comments on a thread about gays must be really threatened and conflicted inside. Of course, no matter how much they protest, they’ll never be able to find internal validation for their conflict. Everyone around him gets to be happy but him. That must be so depressing.

    Smile.

  • RICHARD

    Liya, looks like your struggling to come up with something original…it’s ok though, you can plagiarize. Remember, we want you to be happy!

  • seashell

    Ss couples have every right to establish their own relational identity just like heterosexual couples have. You have no right to dumb down marriage to a contract between two consenting adults, something countless relationships equate to, so ss couples can finally qualify.

    You have so overthought this that you’re on the verge(?) of a mental breakdown. It’s not complicated. It’s simple.

    (1) The state oversees marriage.
    (2) If the state calls two people married, then they are married.
    (3) You don’t have to like it, agree with it, do it or use it, but your disapproval means nothing and those two people are still married.

    The rest of it is just a lot of words in your head, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.

  • seashell

    Smiled. And then laughed. Out loud. Thanks.

  • Frank

    Campola lost credibility awhile back. You overstate his influence. Everyone Christian can see he was unable to support his emotional opinion with scripture.

    Homosexual behavior was , is and will always be sinful and marriage will always be man plus woman. Tony, nor anyone else can change that.

  • Frank

    Greg this social experiment will fail miserably in a couple generations as peoples eyes are opened.

  • seashell

    Tony, nor anyone else can change that.

    Except that it’s already been changed, Frank. Try to keep up.

  • Frank

    Except it hasn’t. It’s still sinful.

    Try again.

  • seashell

    Nobody cares about your opinion, Frank. Or sin.

  • Frank

    Most true Christians do. Whether you do or not is irrelevant.

  • Mark McKenzie

    David Letterman is reserved?

  • Craptacular

    “There you go, no Bible.” – Greg

    No logic, either. Quoting the title of some pseudo-pop psychology book as if it were an established fact, then following it up with some further yin/yang claptrap about socially constructed gender roles, with a final shout-out to mom and pop genetics does not make your case, either. Oh, and from a “historical perspective regarding the last 8000 years of human history,” you are wrong. I encourage you to do the investigation yourself, but I am probably talking to the wind.

  • Greg

    Plenty of non-religious people would disagree.

    I prevent no one from love relationships, I just don’t call all love relationships marriage. Neither do you.

    Now, if you have a rational rebuttal to the distinctions I note, then state them, otherwise, quit whining.

  • Greg

    Over thought? I’m a near senile old jackass with simple common sense.

    Why would I be near a breakdown? Are you wishing something evil like that?

    You are right, the issue is not complicated. That’s why you can’t address what I wrote and make these childish attacks on me.

    You wave that piece of paper and I still simply point out:
    1. Your relationship is vastly less complex than marriage between a man and woman.
    2. A duplicate sex can never provide the complementary elements opposite sexes do. It is impossible at any level of comparison.
    3. Your relationship will never bear the blended fruit of a child. Normally a marriage does.

    Those aren’t just ‘words’, they are a clear and accurate description of reality.

    No matter what piece of paper you wave, you will never be able to impose the idiotic, depraved distortion of marriage on decent people. There is not one thing you can do about it.

  • Greg

    That is the resounding and repeated judgment of history Frank.

    Thanks for your support!

    Blessings.

  • Greg

    How silly stupid! Scoffing and denial is not a rational rebuttal.

    Come back when you have an adult response.

  • Fired, Aren’t I

    Nothing like answering attempted smugness with actual smugness.

    Smile.

  • Allen Rench

    Must be why there are so many Catholic child molesters and divorces. All that complexity (vomit)!

  • Allen Rench

    Don’t worry Kyle. Along with all their stone-age mumbo-jumbo, their “hell” is fictional as well–ergo no eternal damnation. It’s how they scare people into giving them money.

  • Allen Rench

    And tornados, earth quakes and floods abound here in the bible belt.

  • Greg

    What would gay pedophiles using the Church have to do with marriage?

    Now the complexity does give cause for marital struggles.

    One is worthy of vomit, the other well worth working through.

    Now do you have a rational rebuttal or not?

    Smile.

  • seashell

    No matter what piece of paper you wave, you will never be able to impose the idiotic, depraved distortion of marriage on decent people. There is not one thing you can do about it.

    Here’s the thing: Your tribe used to shape culture and politics, but that has changed. Now my tribe is doing the shaping and it too is composed of decent people. You can call it an imposition if you want. We call it equality. There is not one thing you can do about it.

    Smile.

  • Greg

    Oh, I wasn’t talking just about religious people, I was speaking of anyone who faces reality with courageous honesty.

    For instance, I noted how it is impossible for ss couples to equate to marriage. You are unable to even begin to address that reality. It is exactly why I noted you waving your piece of paper. The reality remains the closest you come to marriage is marrage. You have changed nothing with that denial. And that denial certainly isn’t the mark of decent people.

  • seashell

    Oh, I’m a straight female, by the way and my pieces of paper look like yours. The papers my friends wave look exactly the same, also. Some of us are religious, others are not. The reality is you have no clue who among us are what. And we are all decent people.

    The reality remains the closest you come to marriage is marriage.

    Yep. You got that right.

  • Craptacular

    “Come back when you have an adult response.” – Greg

    Come back when you actually have an adult education.

  • OCW

    You keep saying the exact same words over and over. Your point has been clearly established. What is up with that? I would like to read a comment thread without having to see the same comment from one person repeatedly. It all seems very indulgent.

  • OCW

    Absolutely right. I just replied to him (probably in vain) that he has clearly stated his viewpoint and does not need to repeat it. It’s that internet disease where you get the needed validation and attention you seek by pissing everyone off. It is sad, stupid, and also very self indulgent. Like a meth head that just can’t stop talking.

  • OCW

    There ain’t nothing wrong with butt sex. It just takes practice. AND you DO know lots of heterosexual couples enjoy it as well don’t you?
    Also why do folks always focus on man/man sex. Have you forgot about the lesbians? That is what I wonder….

  • OCW

    You know you only encourage him by responding. I say it is best not to poke at disturbed people.

  • Frank

    It’s just a shame that it will damage a couple generations in the process. So selfish.

  • Craptacular

    “By your reasoning, every relationship must be called marriage.” – Greg

    No, only marriages will be called marriages. That’s also why we don’t call a “death certificate” a “birth certificate”…you know, so everyone else knows what you are talking about. It’s the way we communicate. However, your continued insistence that the term “marriage” carries a host of other conditions is a non sequitur. The rest of us understand what is meant by the term marriage, and your continued attempts to cloud the issue by beating the term relentlessly will be brushed aside like those that lobbied for “separate but equal” facilities for blacks.

    A marriage is two people joining their lives together in the eyes of the government in order to obtain legal recourse to spousal responsibilities and benefits. Any other stipulations or conditions exist only in your own bias’.

  • Craptacular

    “1. Your relationship is vastly less complex than marriage between a man and woman.” – Greg

    You mean, like Britney Spears and Jason Alexander’s 55-hour marriage? That level of complexity?

    “2. A duplicate sex can never provide the complementary elements opposite sexes do. It is impossible at any level of comparison.” – Greg

    On the contrary, same sex couples can double their wardrobe if they are of similar build. How is that NOT more “complementary”?

    “3. Your relationship will never bear the blended fruit of a child. Normally a marriage does.” – Greg

    I don’t remember the “I will create children” requirement on the marriage license either time when I got married. And using the term “normally” in this sense is attempting to conflate a statistical element with a desired behavior. Just because something is a statistical “norm” does not make it a requirement or even desirable.

    These three “significant aspects of marriage” are baseless talking points designed to enmesh the continued march towards true equality in the mire of “defining terms.” Get over it. We will call it “marriage” so we can move on to more important things.

    Next.

  • Craptacular

    “If gay people don’t need a stamp of approval, why are they trying so hard to falsely take a heterosexual relationship role instead of developing their own relational identity?” – Greg

    What an idiotic thing to say. Gay couples are seeking the same thing in marriage that heterosexual couples are seeking…love, support, and the legal protections that come with marriage (medical rights and visitations, holding property in common, etc.), not trying to “falsely take a heterosexual relationship role,” whatever that is supposed to mean.

    Marriage is the term we use for this relationship. Your continued attempts to stipulate that only relationships that meet your criteria are to be considered “marriages” is something you will have to deal with, not the rest of us.

  • Craptacular

    From a rational perspective, it is impossible for Greg’s posts to equate to the three most important aspects of posting:

    1. something intelligent to contribute
    2. avoiding endless repetition of the same three talking points
    3. third and most significant, the complementary blend of humor and pointed criticism

    Until you, Greg, can meet the above criteria, you are not really posting so we are free to ignore you and your childish attempts to join an adult conversation.

  • Greg

    My piece of paper says groom and bride. Anything else is marrage.

    The reality remains a ss couple is completely incapable of ever equating to the essential elements of marriage.

  • Greg

    LOL, too funny. You skip past the hundreds of posts by people saying “children aren’t required”, to complain about one you cannot provide a rational rebuttal to.

    I would like to read a comment thread without having to see the same comment repeatedly. It all seems very indulgent.

    Smirk.

  • Greg

    You make my point. Words describe reality. Words that falsely describe reality are lies. I noted significant distinctions that make calling ss couples married a lie.

    I make no ‘host of conditions’, I note several classic distinctions, most certainly not a non sequitur!

    Nor have I offered a ‘separate but equal’. Get your own relational identity, dumb it down to government recognition, it just never will equal marriage.

  • Greg

    1. Do you really want to get in a contest about the worst behavior of orientations? How immature.
    2. Another mark of your maturity.
    3. Where did I indicate any ‘requirement’? I noted that marriage normally procreates. In fact, they need protection NOT to procreate.

    On the other hand, ss couples NEVER mutually procreate. In fact gays need protection to abusively mimic heterosexual intimacy! A key reason why decent people see it as a desecration, marrage at the most.

    Come back when you are ready to have an adult, rational discussion.

  • Greg

    What idiotic denial.

    Many of those benefits and rights came to support a mother and the children the couple procreated. Two men don’t need or deserve those, how disgraceful!

    Moreover, many relationships have established their own rights and privileges without imposing a fraud on marriage. Have the self-respect to establish your own.

    I ‘stipulate’ nothing, I simply note what reality exposes: A ss couple is incapable of equating to marriage in any significant way. Even a child can see the difference, especially if one couple is mom and dad.

  • Greg

    You were free to ignore me at the start. But reality has a way of getting under your skin. Now it’s too late to ignore the distinctions I note. Light has shown in darkness and ss marriage is exposed as a fraud.

    It’s not funny, it’s really evil.

  • Craptacular

    “…gays need protection to abusively mimic heterosexual intimacy!” – Greg

    This statement tells me everything I need to know about you in regards to equality. Your inability to see past your own bias’ and bigotry is sad and I pity you.

  • Craptacular

    “Many of those benefits and rights came to support a mother and the children the couple procreated. Two men don’t need or deserve those, how disgraceful!” – Greg

    Interesting where you went with this…since I never said anything about monetary support. You did that all on your own.

    I also thought it was interesting that you find it “disgraceful” if two men would need financial support. Another piece of the puzzle falls into place…to paraphrase a bit, “methinks thou doth protest too much.”

  • Craptacular

    “But reality has a way of getting under your skin.” – Greg

    …says the guy that has almost more posts on this article than everyone else combined. Yeah, I guess it does.

  • Craptacular

    “this social experiment will fail miserably in a couple generations as peoples eyes are opened” – Frank

    Like the abolition of slavery? Like women getting the right to vote? Each of those events also had their corresponding naysayers and bigots with the exact same predictions of the end of our culture/civilization.

    But hey, dust off your “The World Will End Tomorrow” sandwich board and get out there and tell people!

  • George M Melby

    And they’ll never realize that the thing they see in the mirror is a monster who can’t escape the closet, any closet! They refuse to see the Light!
    Pastor Dak!

  • George M Melby

    We ‘re NOT beholden to live up to those three aspects… that’s up to the straight folk! We have higher callings than to uphold YOUR responsibilities. As for your 8,000 years hooey, they didn’t need Marriage Equality but you can bet there were close personal ties between same sex couples when there were finally enough to chose from. (Hi, Frank Hooper Dooper Pooper Scooper… I see they’ve let you back in on a trial basis. I hope you’ve learned your lesson! And no up-voting your own twisted comments!)

  • George M Melby

    And NOT a good wind either. In Portugues, they call it “bufa.”

  • George M Melby

    My guess is that Frank and Greg are actually the same person. Frank has also used the same name as Hooper and a plethora of other nom de plumes. Ignore the trolll.

  • George M Melby

    Do tell… and yours is stained!

  • George M Melby

    Frank/Hooper, you’re in danger of being flagged!

  • George M Melby

    Triple “Like.”

  • Greg

    Of course you are not ‘beholden to live up to those three aspects’ of marriage, you couldn’t if you tried!

    If you have a ‘higher calling’, then why the need to try to dumb down marriage to a contract?

    What 8,000 year hooey? I didn’t deny there were ss relationships, I accurately noted that ss couples were never fully accepted and legalized as married in a single culture.

  • George M Melby

    Thank you! Frank, RICHARD, and Greg are not the brightest light bulbs in the Chandelier of Intelligence!

  • George M Melby

    Whateva.

  • George M Melby

    Greg, we don’t care about your weak arguments; they’re lax-atives.

  • George M Melby

    Greg/RICHARD/Frank is (singular) a troll; Don’t feed the trolls.

  • Greg

    ‘rev’, do you have a rational rebuttal or just liberal cuisine, whine and BS?

  • George M Melby

    But RICHARD, Honey… you ARE Greg! Let the REAL Greg speak for himself!

  • George M Melby

    This is the favorite gambit of the frustrated Fundie conservaturd! We will never learn anything of value from retarded false Dr. Seusses!

  • George M Melby

    RICHARD, you and Greg really ARE same sex buddies/twins. We can’t tell youse bois apart! 😉

  • George M Melby

    I know you couldn’t tell the difference between the three so I thought I’d go easy on ya, silly boi! Now go do RICHARD!

  • George M Melby

    Is that really a “smile” or are you holding back a giant bufa?? The corners of your lips are starting to wiggle.

  • George M Melby

    Geez, I thought Berdache’s was a store on 5th Avenue! Goodness me!

  • George M Melby

    Boy, do YOU have a surprise coming from the SCOTUS in a few days. Hold on to your legal britches!

  • George M Melby

    Ohhhh, it will in a few days!!!

  • George M Melby

    I would imply that there is a huge chasm between Christians/GLBT people, and fundamentalist conservative christian freaks. There is a BIG difference between ‘christians’ and “Christians,” and always will be!

  • George M Melby

    Even though I ‘Liked” your comment, I think we have a wrong perception of what Hell is, or is like. 95% of Hell’s definition seems to be allegorical, yes, in order to scare the hell out of everyone, literally. I have a more reasonable possibility: Imagine, if you will, being alone in a closet (yes, ANY closet!)… for one year! NOBODY to talk to, not even your buddies, friends, neighbors… JUST yourself! This resembles what it will be like to be separated from God… no hell, fire, brimestone, et al… just silence! For those who are unbelievers, 24 hours per day for eternity of prerecorded evangelical, fundamentalist, wacky sermons and broadcasts, plus Rush Limbaugh thrown in for good measure! Now THAT, to me would be unmitigated torture, the likes of which would break any tormentor in pieces. And there will be no more money to pay yourselves in.. or out of anywhere! Now, Greg… smiles!

  • George M Melby

    That might just be his/their own personal hell! See my comment just above to Allen Rench. You are spot on the mark!

  • George M Melby

    Heh heh heh… y’all got THAT right!!

  • George M Melby

    My take is that Frankie Graham has taken Billy hostage and is holding him for ransom in Sturgis, SD at the yearly Biker Rally!

  • Greg

    How would that change the reality I note?

    Ss couples will still be inferior to marriage, a legal manipulation can ever change that.

  • George M Melby

    Well, you’re about ready to see a sea change of events, lil pardner! 🙂
    🙂

  • George M Melby

    People like you, yes; normal, common sense people are awaiting the changing of the law any day now. Don’t let us hear you crying!

  • George M Melby

    LOLOL… no one is interested in your ‘self-manipulations.’

  • seashell

    You have somewhere around 50 posts on this one thread alone, Greg. That’s known as, inter alia, above and beyond the call of doody. Are you trying to get in front of the Supremes by getting your ridiculous argument out, or are you trying to convince yourself, or what? WorldNut Daily might be interested.

  • George M Melby

    Annnnd… that ‘groom’ and ‘bride’ thingy is about to change! 🙂

  • George M Melby

    Touche! 😉

  • George M Melby

    The correct answer is, sadly, NO! It’s like a prerecorded operator who tells you the is out of order or has been disconnected. Maybe that’s what Greg/Frank/Hooper/et al’s problem is! OOO! Out Of Order!

  • George M Melby

    How can you bless yourself, you old fool!?? That’s blasphemy! Greg/Frankenstein, the evil twin christians!

  • George M Melby

    Truer words have never been spoken. The unchurched, however, are coming back, and we intelligent, caring ministers and congregants are giving them hope again. On Pentecost, we accepted 30 new members into our church, between the ages of 23-40 and only lost five members last year, all due to old age and/or moving. All these people, single and married, needed was love, acceptance, and hope!

  • George M Melby

    Sadly, you are right on the mark! Greg/Frank and their ilk have done more to hurt Christians than any other religious group. They will be dealt with in time. We don’t need to judge them… they condemn themselves!

  • George M Melby

    Awwww, just shut up! Foul-mouthed bastard! You’ve been judged!

  • George M Melby

    The big mainline churches that preach Christian love and acceptance are growing by leaps and bounds because we’re taking in the unwanted people that you asses treat like trash! You don’t even know what the word “Christian” means, much less what Jesus Christ commands us to do! You are a true zealot and rabblerouser of ancient religious times!

  • George M Melby

    Geez, Hooper/Frank/Richard/Greg have just added another nom de plume called Sean. Will you toady turds never quit?

  • George M Melby

    Don’t worry, Liya. I’ve had enough and flagged his comments. Don’t feed the trolls!

  • Greg

    Exposing a lie is limited to 49 posts?

    Sacred marriage and children don’t deserve being defended from a fraud?

    Where is your character and morals???

  • George M Melby

    We’re not afraid… we’ve just had enough of your bullshit religious hypocrisy!

  • George M Melby

    LOLOL… THANK YOU!!!

  • Sean

    And I can see from your language you really know what being a Christian is. I am going to leave you with a bit of Scripture that you should take to heart. It is a strong warning, but then again you have may head it before and just overlooked it.

    1Tim 1:8 We know that the law is good if one uses it properly. 9 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, 10 for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine 11 that conforms to the gospel concerning the glory of the blessed God, which he entrusted to me.

  • Sean

    Yup, I can see from your Language you are truly faithful, faithful to what is another conversation.

  • Greg

    Evil is always afraid of the light.

    If you’ve had enough, then why not provide a rational rebuttal???

    Because you are dumbfounded and can’t.

  • Allen Rench

    I’ve been in your place in my journey to full on atheist. I was raised an evangelical xtian but realized mid-life of the silliness of religion and cleared my head of working both sides of the street. You sound like you are not following your beliefs nor are you clear on the options. You either believe in Hell or you don’t. Allegories are used all the time when religious believers can’t face their biblical “facts” that their “loving” “god”/”jesus” threatens them with eternal “damnation”. How could he do that? Good luck on your journey.

  • Liya

    Thanks, George. Usually I remember that well, but occasionally get sucked into trollfeeding 🙂

  • Frank

    Not good with logic are you?

    “Because some people got some things wrong, everything must be wrong.”

    Sad.

  • Craptacular

    “Not good with logic are you?” – Frank

    From you, this is a compliment. Thank you.

  • Frank

    Thanks for proving me right again. Too easy!

  • RICHARD

    Yawn…more personal attacks and name calling Georgie-boy (Liya)! Thought you would have outgrown that by now. It’s ok though if it makes you HAPPY Georgie (Liya)!

  • RICHARD

    Wrong again Georgie-girl. Some of us are VERY interested in what Greg has to say. It takes great courage and character to go to an obviously extremely pro-gay marriage site and debate with intelligence, making logical points and counterpoints, rebutting, explaining in detail, etc., all WITHOUT responding in kind to name calling, sarcasm, belittling, and character assassination. I’m sure my comment will be met with more juvenile name calling but that’s ok Georgie…remember we want you to be HAPPY!

  • Natalie Cooper

    Exactly which 8000 years of human history are you talking about, Greg? Been at least 50 000 years and counting so far.

  • Natalie Cooper

    And it’s way too late for the many gay kids who have ended their lives because of what the church told them about themselves, or who were bullied because of what the church told others about them.

  • Natalie Cooper

    “My piece of paper says groom and bride. Anything else is marrage”

    Apart from that typo, Greg. you got that right.

  • Natalie Cooper

    Greg, the child is not ‘missing one gender parent’, They’re in state custody because their heterosexual, biological, “mom and dad” couldn’t / wouldn’t / shouldn’t care for them. So in order that they don’t ‘miss one gender parent’ they should stay there? Wonderful.