Christians Will Be Known By Their Love?

Some days the news really gets to me. Today is one of those days. Within the past week, I’ve heard two stories of supposed Christians using their faith to spew hate towards gay people.

The first was of a man in the parking lot of a restaurant who shouted down a gay couple calling them “fa**ots” (that word doesn’t deserve to be spelled out). He also said that gay people should be stoned to death as it says in Leviticus. All of this was done in the name of his religion.

Then today I read a story about a church who canceled the funeral of a gay man the day before the scheduled funeral simply because he was gay. The family of the deceased man were members of the church and wished that the last memories of their son be shared there during the funeral. But the self-righteous pastor felt otherwise and wouldn’t let them have the funeral there.

Both of these stories just make me furious. It is not in the spirit of Christianity to deny a person the dignity of a funeral, or to shout obscenities. The man at the restaurant and the pastor are poorly misguided.

The spirit of Christianity includes LOVE, RESPECT, MERCY, and JUSTICE. Neither of the men showed any of these fundamentals in their showing of the faith. I did not see any compassion anywhere from these two men.

It is truly a shame that this continues to happen in our world. I hope more people of faith will stand up for what’s right. I am a person of faith and I fully believe in LGBT rights. Humans deserve respect. Respect is shown through equal rights. Doesn’t everyone deserve that?

My Experience in a NOM Comment Section

Today was the National Organization for Marriage (NOM) March for Marriage in Washington, D.C. I watched a live stream on YouTube (muted). From what I could see, there were only a few hundred people there. My guess was 300 max. While watching the live stream, the comments were ablaze! All of those comments have since been deleted as well as the ratings, which were overwhelmingly dislikes.

I would guess that 95% of the commenters were for marriage equality rather than for what this rally stood for. At first I just watched the comments and stayed silent. But after a while, I just felt the need to interject here and there.

The few anti-gay-marriage people kept throwing out fallacies about gay marriage to which they were immediately shut down, but ignored this fact. Things like natural law, the Bible, and looking out for the children were repeatedly on their fingers.

As for natural law, there are MANY signs of homosexual couplings in nature. As for the Bible, not everyone agrees on what the Bible says, nor should that dictate the law of the United States of America. As for the children, there are many different types of families where children thrive and it’s not always a one mom-one dad household.

Repeatedly, these truths were told to the deniers, and repeatedly we were accused of not being tolerant. How silly a thing to say! To fight against injustice is not intolerance! If so, Martin Luther King Jr. would have been intolerant towards the KKK. We all know that’s not how it works.

People who believe like NOM have every right to believe what they want and have their opinions. Heck, they have every right to express those opinions. But when it gets in the way of the rights of others, or hurts people, that’s when I think it’s wrong and we need to fight back.

To deny two people the right to marry just because it is perceived to be against one’s religion is wrong. I also found it so ironic that no one mentioned divorce as much as they did gay marriage. Allowing gay people to get married is not and will not ever be ruining marriage. Do you know what is ruining marriage? Divorce is. Infidelity is. But we don’t see rallies about that, now do we? It’s a problem and I was happy to take some time today to point that out.

I will always fight for equality and even in the comments section of this YouTube stream, I will stand for what’s right.

The Bible Was Clear on Slavery (But Not in the Way You Might Think)

Originally posted on Sketches By Boze:

postfull-see-a-free-screening-of-12-years-a-slave-fassy_sarah_detIf you had lived in the days before the Civil War when the battle for abolition was heating up, whose side would you have been on?

It’s important to remember that for thousands of churches, this conflict was a religious conflict – with God and the Bible “clearly” defending a person’s right to own slaves.

It was a serious moral issue: the idea that slaves should be freed was dangerously immoral.

“The right of holding slaves is clearly established by the Holy Scriptures,” said the Rev. Richard Furman in 1823.

“How this question can at all arise in the mind of any man . . . that is acquainted with the history of the Bible, is a phenomenon I cannot explain to myself,” said Rabbi Morris Raphal in 1861.

Verses like Ephesians 6:1-5 and 1 Timothy 6:1-2 were marshaled by the pro-slavery forces, who in most cases were decent…

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My Italian Stuffed Peppers Recipe

Most of my close friends and family know that I’m not much of a cook or baker. When the holidays roll around, I’m always eager to try a new recipe, but most of the time it fails. One irony is that one of my most hated recipes is my dad’s favorite! I guess there’s always the oddball!

This particular recipe I want to share is one that I claim as my own, but I have used a few other recipes as a guide. I normally like to use red peppers, but really any bell pepper is fine. In this post, I’ll share photos of my dinner where we got orange, yellow, and green bell peppers from a local farmer’s market. Unfortunately, I didn’t think to take photos step by step until I was putting the peppers in the oven! But here goes anyway!

Mel’s Italian Stuffed Bell Peppers
4-6 bell peppers
1 lb. ground beef
1 1/2 to 2 cups cooked rice (I use white rice)
2 cups spaghetti sauce
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 450°F.

Cut the stems out of the peppers and cut the peppers in half, lengthwise. Make sure all seeds and ribs are removed from the peppers. Place the peppers on a baking pan that has been lined with foil and sprayed with cooking spray such as Pam.

Brown the ground beef and drain the grease, then return to pan.

In a separate pan, begin to cook your rice based on the packaging so that it will be done when ready to add to beef mixture.

To the ground beef, add the spaghetti sauce, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, salt, pepper, and Parmesan cheese. Cook over medium heat until spaghetti sauce starts to warm and all ingredients are well mixed.

When the rice is done cooking, slowly and gently stir into beef mixture until combined.

Spoon mixture into each pepper. The amount of peppers you need will vary based on how big the peppers are and how much beef mixture you desire in each pepper, so you may use your judgment.

Once all the peppers are filled with the beef mixture, sprinkle desired amount of mozzarella cheese on top of each pepper.

Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, or until cheese is melted and golden brown. Remove from oven to cool slightly, but serve hot.

My personal opinion is that this recipe fares better with red, orange, or yellow peppers over the green peppers, but we used what was at our market, and it still turned out great!

Let me know if you try this recipe and what changes you might make! Enjoy!!!

Old School Christian Views on Abortion

The following text is taken from a letter sent from the Baptist Press dated January 31, 1973. It was sent to members of Southern Baptist churches regarding a recent Supreme Court ruling in Texas that overturned a law which outlawed abortion except in cases where the life of the mother was at risk. In essence, it made abortion legal.

Excerpt from the Press Release

Excerpt from the Press Release

Towards the end of the letter they shared a “FAQ” type section and this was one of the questions that they must have known would be brought up.

Question: Does the Supreme Court decision on abortion intrude on the religious life of the people?

Answer: No. Religious bodies and religious persons can continue to teach their own particular views to their constituents with all the vigor they desire. People whose conscience forbids abortion are not compelled by law to have abortions. They are free to practice their religion according to the tenets of their personal or corporate faith.

The reverse is also now true since the Supreme Court decision. Those whose conscience or religious convictions are not violated by abortion may not now be forbidden by a religious law to obtain an abortion if they so choose.

In short, if the state laws are now made to conform to the Supreme Court ruling, the decision to obtain an abortion or to bring pregnancy to full term can now be a matter or conscience and deliberate choice rather than one compelled by law.

Religious liberty, human equality and justice are advanced by the Supreme Court abortion decision.

THIS. I don’t even have commentary. It speaks for itself. The same question is asked today regarding gay marriage by many conservative Christians, and the same answer can be given.

to my gramps.

Originally posted on gypsies & sinners.:

Hi, Grandpa.

I love you. I miss you. My heart aches to see how you’ve been laid waste in the media by our own family. Everyone talks about you as if you’re already in the grave; I know your heart is still beating & I hope you live up to your stubborn legacy & live for a long while yet.

To the whole world you were only ever the face of an evil entity. But of course to me you were always my Gramps. My kind, sweet, adoring Gramps. I miss you so much. I wish the sisters & I could meet you & Granny for another shake party up in your room (we’ll even bring your favorite strawberry one from McDonald’s).

I’m sorry for every second we’ve been apart this last year and four months. I’m sorry I didn’t appreciate you more when you were mine. I’m sorry our…

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The Question That Keeps Me Up at Night

Originally posted on Sketches By Boze:

the-tree-of-life-2A few weeks ago, a Tennessee youth pastor (Charlie Pittman) was suspended from work after being charged with murdering his girlfriend and staging her suicide.

The people who hired him were baffled.

Their church carefully screens all its employees. Only decent Christians are allowed to work there. He has to be a “nice guy, not on drugs, doesn’t smoke.”

And by that definition, Mr. Pittman was a pretty great guy. He was also, apparently, a murdering sociopath.

And it just makes me wonder. Because our leaders tell us that anyone who confesses Jesus is a born again Christian. But I see an awful lot of born-again Christians who are raping and killing and committing horrible abuses. Hell, I see a lot of *pastors* who do all of those things.

And I think it was Jesus who said, “Beware of false prophets who come to you in sheep’s clothing. You…

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