Out From Under the Umbrella

playing in the rain

Coming Out of the Dark….

58 Comments

…Ages, that is.

“When evil is called good, darkness is ushered into the land. And with the darkness comes a threat to our freedoms,”  says Janet Porter, author of the Faith2Action documentary, The Criminalization of Christianity, as she walks into view in the darkness under a moonlit forest, the tree branches bare.

What is this evil, you might ask?  The gays.  It’s always the gays.

Conservative Christians are alleging all sorts of actions by the “gay agenda”, such as making it illegal for a business that has an owner who has Biblical principles from opening in specific locations. Mike Huckabee has this to say:

What kind of freedom of speech do we have, if a person who expresses a biblical viewpoint about marriage is told they can’t open their business in a location?”

Yes, there has been much controversy over wedding services providers refusing service to LGBT couples.  Nowhere has anyone been told that if they have a Biblical viewpoint they cannot open their business. They have been told that they may not discriminate against customers based on sexual orientation.  In turn, businesses have screamed loud and long about having the right to refuse service to anyone they see fit.  It’s quite reminiscent of the days when businesses could refuse service to people based on the color of their skin.

In response to the upholding of non-discrimination laws some businesses have opted to shut their businesses down.  Not really.  They close their storefronts and then continue to operate out of their homes.

Another Conservative Christian pastor has this to say:

...homosexual activists get everything they want. Nothing less than criminalization of Christianity.

Listen, conservatives, it’s not that hard.  No one is forcing homosexuality on you.  The legalization of homosexual marriage in no way forces you to be homosexual.  How is that so hard to comprehend?    What you don’t seem to recognize is that what you want to do absolutely is forcing your lifestyle on others.  If you get to dictate whether or not consenting adults can marry then it is you who is cramming your morality down the throats of those who do not agree with you.

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58 thoughts on “Coming Out of the Dark….

  1. Next thing you know these businesses will have a checklist at the door.
    1. shoes
    2. shirt
    3. race
    4. religion (or not)
    5. sexual orientation
    6. Ethnic background
    7. Type of vehicle driven
    8. political viewpoint
    9. weight
    10. married or single

    There are dozens more they could add and if you don’t check all of them appropriately you cannot do business with them. Where would it stop?
    On the other hand who would want to do business with such people?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Absolutely! No one would dare dream of having a sign that reads “fat people will not be served” or most any of those other things on the list (I see the shoes and shirt one a lot). Or having a quiz as to what religion a patron is before selling them their wares. Why on earth do people think they’re entitled to do that with a person’s sexuality?

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Ruth. That scares me listening to those people. Why? Because I know people who believe these people just based on faith alone. 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    • That trailer is scary. I can only imagine the full documentary. The entire thing is such a straw man and, yet, there are many who, like you say, will gobble down every spoonful just because of who it is that is saying it. Terrifying, really.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Words are powerful. The words in the Bible have led to enormous harm against the LGTB community. They are the #1 minority group targeted for hate crimes according to the FBI. The New York Times reported (using FBI statistic) that gay hate crimes in New York City were 70 percent higher within one year. They are spewing their hatred globally.

    From http://www.globalpost.com/dispatches/globalpost-blogs/rights/uganda-gays-american-evangelicals-LGBT

    “Fanned by Western evangelicals, homophobia has spread across the African continent voraciously in recent years, including Uganda, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Nigeria and the Democratic Republic of the Congo to the point that the European Union’s highest court last week ruled that fear of imprisonment [and death] for homosexuality in African countries is grounds for asylum in the EU.”

    But it doesn’t just affect the LGTB community. PBS (Public Broadcasting System) produced a Frontline program titled “In the Mind of People Who Hate Gays — Roots of Homophobia”. Forensic psychologist, Karen Franklin stated:

    “Heterosexism is not just a personal value system, it is a tool in the maintenance of gender dichotomy. In other words, through heterosexism, any male who refuses to accept the dominant culture’s assignment of appropriate masculine behavior is labeled early on as a “sissy” or “fag” and then subjected to bullying. Similarly, any woman who opposes male dominance and control can be labeled a lesbian and attacked.

    The potential of being ostracized as homosexual, regardless of actual sexual attractions and behaviors, puts pressure on all people to conform to a narrow standard of appropriate gender behavior, thereby maintaining and reinforcing our society’s hierarchical gender structure.”

    I’m pretty sure it’s not hard to guess where this “personal value system” stems from.

    Liked by 1 person

    • “Heterosexism is not just a personal value system, it is a tool in the maintenance of gender dichotomy. In other words, through heterosexism, any male who refuses to accept the dominant culture’s assignment of appropriate masculine behavior is labeled early on as a “sissy” or “fag” and then subjected to bullying. Similarly, any woman who opposes male dominance and control can be labeled a lesbian and attacked.

      I can so completely see this. Any male who is the slightest bit effeminate is labeled gay. Any woman who demonstrates masculine traits is deemed a dyke. It’s really quite frightening how much pressure there is to maintain the status quo on gender roles. Fear of reprisal for being “different” is crushing.

      Liked by 3 people

    • Also when you take a step back and stop viewing this in light of good and evil and realize that the LGBT community are not the devil incarnate you realize just how nutters these people sound. As if allowing gay marriage will be the downfall and undoing of American society.

      What will be the undoing of American society is the hate and bile people spew at one another – in the name of religion and otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Obviously Victoria we see eye-to-eye perfectly on this social ostracism & often hate-crimes, and we’ve touched on another philosophy called monism and its nephews, erroneously misplaced dichotomies, such as Good vs. Evil… all unsupported fallacies by Nature. With so much more expansive scientific education available in the 21st century, it is almost beyond human comprehension (at least mine) HOW any logical rationale human still thinks or believes in a monistic “binary” world-view when ALL OF NATURE and every single working part — subatomic to macro-cosmic — SCREAMS anything BUT binary or monism!!! LOL Wow, simply wow. 😮

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Well, I’m glad to know that I’m not the only blog that doesn’t allow for “blockquote” in comments. It’s interesting but we have the same template so I thought I do an experiment to see if it worked here. When I first started blogging on this template blockquote worked in the comment section. Now all I or other commentors can do is use “cite” or “em”. At least I know now that it’s not a glitch on my blog. Excellent post, btw.

    Like

    • What’s strange is that when I read your comment from the notifications widget the block quotes show up as block quotes. I responded to you from there and also used the “blockquote” cyntax. Mine isn’t showing up here either. 😕

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  5. Ruth, not sure if you saw this, but they (conservatives) have a strategy. They are emotionally manipulative and cause the fears centers of the brain to become overly active in people who buy into the biblical bullshit.

    http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2015/03/california-lawyer-files-papers-for-sodomite-suppression-act-to-save-state-from-gods-just-wrath/

    “Saying that it is better if offenders (“sodomites”) be put to death rather than “all of us should be killed by God’s just wrath against us for tolerating wickedness in our midst,” the attorney proposes that “any person who willingly touches another person of the same gender for purposes of sexual gratification be put to death by bullets to the head or by any other convenient method.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh, dear Gussie! Whatever next? This is exactly what I was talking about. It’s as though homosexuality is not only a sin in their eyes, but the worst sin. Nowhere in Christian scripture does it say God will wipe entire cities of the face of the earth(unless you count Sodom and Gomorrah and it’s questionable as to whether the offense was homosexuality or not) because some of it’s members are practicing what is considered sin in said scriptures. This is just so terribly frightening. And it’s not the first time I’ve heard this idea, either.

      Liked by 2 people

      • Ruth, this bigot knows his law proposal would never pass, but like I said, collectively, they have a strategy and it’s sinister. Hitler used a similar strategy against the Jews. That’s how he was able to turn a whole country against them. He manipulated their emotions and convinced the Christian population that the Jews killed Jesus. Here’s an actual flyer quoting 1 Thess 2:14,15

        They know they will get attention via passing around petitions and pictorial flyers, along with media attention. By doing so, will have planted a seed — a seed to discriminate. A seed of disgust. A seed to hate and justify hate crimes.

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      • Ruth, in case you were unaware… 🙂 regarding the fate of ancient Sodom and Gomorrah, there’s recent evidence & plausible theories that the little Levant town was wiped out by the after-blast of a 3123 BCE asteroid. Which reminds me that all of the 10 plagues of Egypt have also been very plausibly explained naturally, if not convincingly explained.

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        • Professor, I had not heard about the theory of an asteroid (was just reading up on it), but I have read that they found evidence of a major earthquake which produced a massive landslide.

          http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/sodom_gomorrah_01.shtml

          I’m sure you remember the horrible comments and judgements that went on from conservative “leaders” even from the New Orleans Mayor after Hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. The whole Mississippi Gulf Coast took the brunt of the storm — was wipd out, literally, but the fundies honed in on New Orleans because it got most of the news coverage due to the levies braking (caused by poor construction of the levies). I guess God planned all that well in advanced — made the civil engineers to do shoddy work to ensure those “sinners” suffered and drowned. Sigh.

          Liked by 1 person

  6. One half of me says such idiots should be penalised, the other half says – let ’em do what they want. My gut tells me such bigotry would soon be its own death knell.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Extremism is usually never good or helpful for the greatest number. And responding to extremism with equal extremism usually only fuels the insanity. Nevertheless, two of my most favorite quotes…

    “My definition of a free society is a society where it is safe to be unpopular.” — Adlai Stevenson

    “Patterning your life around other’s opinions is nothing more than slavery.” — Lawana Blackwell

    The ONLY reason and time a human being should ever feel threatened by someone or something is when lethal deadly force is within a matter of seconds of happening to you, and/or your spouse, and/or your immediate children. How often does that occur and if so, why? Anything OUTSIDE of those parameters is…

    …well, in reality simply self-deluded. Am I missing any other circumstances? Seriously?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Sorry, I just realized too that there are indeed moments, “circumstances” in one’s life where some innocents CANNOT defend themselves against lethal tyranny. In those cases, and simply as a decent capable human being, if you are able to stand next to them and resist (and as an absolute last resort defend against lethal aggression) then you should — I know I would, not just verbally, but if called upon physically too. Otherwise, true evil would perpetuate.

      Sorry, there was another circumstance! LOL 😛

      Like

    • Love that Stevenson quote!

      Liked by 2 people

    • I’m against extremism in any form. Though it has been pointed out to me that the feminists during women’s suffrage were considered extremists. I think it helps to start with a universal definition of extremism.

      Liked by 1 person

      • You make a good point Ruth. I would HOPE that a Collective Good on this planet would be able to do something so simple and critical. The formation of the League of Nations (after WW1) then the United Nations were a good step in that direction, DESPITE the biasness of them being formed thru Western ideals; i.e. not the perceived threating ideologies of the Near and Far East. :/

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  8. Mike Huckabee’s son captured and hung a stray dog for amusement. I think we can dismiss anything this “man” says.

    Same for the other nutcases in the video. Lunatics.

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  9. How How HOW can anyone be so ignorant in this day and age?
    Honestly, I think the people heading up this video are willfully idiotic. Sometimes it is hard to know if they believe their own propaganda. Well said, Ruth.

    Liked by 2 people

    • They take the Bible literally and try to apply it literally to EVERYONE else. I’m not sure why anyone would perpetuate the propaganda if they didn’t believe it. Yes, I would describe these people as willfully and woefully misinformed and ignorant.

      Like

      • Perhaps not the people making it, but the people watching and agreeing. In my experience, people are all too eager to tout propaganda and belief nuggets without even a second thought. But when it comes down to it, they aren’t as adamant as their words suggest.

        That’s just in my experience, of course. But I do think that most people are better than their rhetoric.

        Liked by 1 person

  10. I watched the video; it made me sad. And their sanctimony, just…ugh. 😦

    Ruth, you brought up a lot of good points. I have a bit of a different take on the “gay wedding cake” issue, though. My view may be unpopular, and I’m open to reconsideration, but I thought I’d float it out here, and see what people think.

    In general, I absolutely agree that businesses ought not to discriminate against people/customers based on sexual orientation or gender (among other things). I also agree that in most cases there should be laws enforcing that fairness.

    However, as much as I disagree with certain people’s religious views, I am a firm believer in religious freedom and freedom of expression. And as I see it, the wedding cake is a form of speech/expression.

    I question the morality of forcing a business by law to participate in some particular speech – in this case essentially endorsement of gay marriage – which may violate the religious beliefs (and thus conscience) of the business owners. I’m actually inclined to think such a law would be “wrong”. It seems to me that this would be roughly like forcing the business to be a common carrier, in the same way as telecommunications providers are in the US.* I think there’s a difference though, in the level of participation of the business in creating the speech (vs. just sending bits and waves over a wire, or through the air).

    Don’t get me wrong. I do agree that a business refusing service like that is wrong, and I’m totally in favor or other means of convincing everyone (business owners and other people) of the same. As consumers, people can band together and picket, protest, or boycott lawfully. Speak out against their bigotry. Teach them the value of the freedoms that a secular pluralistic society affords all of us. Failing that, shame them for it. Correct or fire them, if they’re not the business owner. But, IMO (so far), forcing some person or business by government mandate to participate in some speech that violates their conscience is a bridge too far.

    * Incidentally, US internet service providers are not regulated by common carrier law. I actually think that they should be, and that “net neutrality” doesn’t go far enough. But that’s a separate issue.

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    • I guess I can see what you’re saying, but in my humble opinion, a wedding cake isn’t a manner of speech. Baking one is not an endorsement of the marriage taking place. It’s a finished good for which the baker received payment. Does this same baker ask if hetero couples have had sex prior to marriage? Do they ask if the couple is previously divorced?

      It’s totally not the same as, say, a screen printer being asked to print up “gay pride” t-shirts. That is speech and even though I don’t agree with their stance, they are not required by law to print language they find offensive.

      Having said all of that, I would not want a cake baked by someone I knew disliked me that much. If I went to a baker and they started asking me questions about my religion, sexual orientation, political affiliations, whether I was divorced, etc. I would walk out the door and find another baker.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I wouldn’t consider it an endorsement of a particular marriage, but rather it seems to me like a tacit endorsement of the type of marriage, or the “institution” of gay marriage, so to speak. By that reasoning (of mine), the analogies you suggest don’t seem like parallels to me. Likewise, I do see a similarity by the gay pride t-shirt example.

        Do you see the distinction I’m suggesting? Do you find it at all persuasive?

        Having said all of that, I would not want a cake baked by someone I knew disliked me that much. If I went to a baker and they started asking me questions about my religion, sexual orientation, political affiliations, whether I was divorced, etc. I would walk out the door and find another baker.

        Sounds good to me!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Hrm, seems blockquotes don’t work here. My 3rd paragraph was quoting yours.

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        • I wouldn’t consider it an endorsement of a particular marriage, but rather it seems to me like a tacit endorsement of the type of marriage, or the “institution” of gay marriage, so to speak.

          Yes, but what makes that type of marriage objectionable? Is it because it’s sinful? Aren’t those other things just as sinful(when it comes to the Bible)? If you’re basing your objections on religious grounds then I think those other situations are parallels(in my thinking). I still don’t see baking a cake for any type of marriage an endorsement thereof. If so, then every time a cake is baked for a wedding it is an endorsement of said wedding.

          I do see the distinction you’re suggesting but I’m afraid I don’t find it very persuasive. I see the gay-pride t-shirt thing as completely different. It’s interesting how we all view these things, isn’t it?

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          • I feel like there’s a difference in the level of personal involvement required to make the judgement. I’m not sure I’ve captured the essence of the difference, though.

            I’m not sure what else to say on the question. If you have more thoughts, I’m open.

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          • Hmm, let me try this… If you’re interested in continuing this topic.

            Would a cake to celebrate a ritual sacrifice be speech? Would it be OK for a cake maker to refuse service to such a patron based on a moral objection(s) to that institution?

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          • It depends. If the cake has some writing on it then, yes, it would be okay for a baker to refuse service. On the other hand, if a person wanted to buy such a cake but it had no specific writing on it would the baker even know what it was going to be used for?

            For instance, should a Christian baker be able to refuse a Muslim a cake for a holy celebration? Should a Muslim baker be able to refuse a Christian a Christmas cake? Should either be entitled to refuse to bake a cake for a Bar Mitzvah?

            I don’t even know if any of these(other than Christmas) use cakes in their celebrations, but I think you can see where I’m coming from.

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          • I’m a champion for business owners. Really, I am. I’m not against capitalism in the way that many liberal-minded people are. I think there could be a happy medium. With regards to people civil liberties, though, I’m inclined to be a bit more liberal. In my mind this refusal of service is tantamount to the segregation era when blacks could be refused service simply on the basis that they were black. We all agree that was wrong and I think at some point in the future this will be viewed much the same way. Is it okay to refuse people service based on sexual orientation? *shrug* I really don’t think so.

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          • Sorry I let this sit so long.

            It depends. If the cake has some writing on it then, yes, it would be okay for a baker to refuse service. On the other hand, if a person wanted to buy such a cake but it had no specific writing on it would the baker even know what it was going to be used for?

            Agreed. And I figured in the wedding cake scenario, that its intended use would be apparent to the baker.

            For instance, should a Christian baker be able to refuse a Muslim a cake for a holy celebration? Should a Muslim baker be able to refuse a Christian a Christmas cake? Should either be entitled to refuse to bake a cake for a Bar Mitzvah?

            These are good parallels – perhaps even spot on. I think if I’m to be consistent, I’d have to say that that should be legal. (Again, still a lousy thing to do…) But, TBH, my feeling is, “I don’t know.” And I’m not sure where that leaves me.

            Excuse my ignorance: would refusing service in these situations be legal now?

            In my mind this refusal of service is tantamount to the segregation era when blacks could be refused service simply on the basis that they were black.

            I do see a distinction between celebrating some particular occasion and an unchangeable personal characteristic. I’m not entirely sure whether it should matter, though.

            We all agree that was wrong and I think at some point in the future this will be viewed much the same way. Is it okay to refuse people service based on sexual orientation? *shrug* I really don’t think so.

            I’m not sure if you meant it this way, but remember, I wasn’t suggesting it’s “okay”, just that maybe it shouldn’t be illegal.

            Like

          • Agreed. And I figured in the wedding cake scenario, that its intended use would be apparent to the baker.

            You might be right about that. I was speaking more to the ritual sacrifice you asked about. Regardless, I think when anyone goes into business offering a public service or product they expect to provide that service or good in situations they find less than tasteful. I know people go into business thinking they can pick and choose who they can do business with, but that’s just not always the case. There are laws governing this sort of thing. If the cake baker knows that the cake is being baked for a ritual sacrifice I think the first order of business should be to find out if the sacrifice is legal. Barring illegal sacrifice I’m not sure it would be okay to refuse service.

            I’m not sure if you meant it this way, but remember, I wasn’t suggesting it’s “okay”, just that maybe it shouldn’t be illegal.

            No, I didn’t mean it particularly that way.

            Here are opposing viewpoints on the matter:

            http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-religion/3038216/posts

            In that opinion piece the author says this:

            “Customers discriminate (make choices) all the time so why not a business owner? The bakery sells to adulterers, homosexuals, tax cheats, etc., but will not bake a cake for a “gay” wedding. Obviously, they don’t hate gays since they sell them birthday cakes but not wedding cakes. The bakery owners do not support same-sex “marriage.” That is their right and responsibility as Christians. What if a pedophile group wants a cake for their annual bash promoting sex with kids? Motto: “Sex by eight or it’s too late.” This is not about a cake but forcing a perverted agenda on others just as the Supreme Court did. I would bake homosexuals a birthday cake but not a wedding cake. I would sell a cake to an abortionist but not to celebrate his 10th anniversary as an abortionist.”

            Equating a gay-wedding cake to a pedophilia group celebrating pedophilia is certainly absurd. Pedophilia is illegal. I do see the parallel with the abortionist cake scenario, though. And the author does make some other good points. He also says this:

            “What about a Jewish baker refusing to make a cake for a meeting of holocaust deniers? How about a black baker who refuses to bake a cake for the KKK? Can a Muslim business refuse to serve a Jew, or a Muslim caterer refuse to provide pork for a Christian organization? How about a gun-hating baker refusing to bake a cake for a gun manufacturer’s annual party? What about a “gay” architect refusing to draw plans for a pro-family group? What about a radical leftist printing firm refusing to print material for an outspoken conservative cause?”

            I’m not sure what I think about some of those being illegal(i.e. the Jews baker refusing a group of holocaust deniers, and the Black baker refusing to bake a cake for the KKK). In other situations, such as the Muslim being asked to provide pork for a Christian celebration, it’s simply a non-starter. A Muslim wouldn’t offer pork as an option. It wouldn’t be on their menu. And if it was then I don’t think they could rightfully refuse service to a Christian group. The difference is, a baker offers wedding cakes.

            As I said before, were it me I wouldn’t even want someone who balked at the idea to serve me anyway. I certainly wouldn’t be keen on pressing the issue or forcing them to. But then I’ve never really been discriminated against in this manner. And it is discrimination. A gay person can no more change their sexual orientation than a black person can change their skin color. Regardless, if that’s the way they were born, even if they could do such a thing why should they want to or need to in order to be considered equal or worthy?

            Here’s an article from The Atlantic that gives some compelling arguments allowing Christian service providers to discriminate:

            http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2014/02/should-christian-bakers-be-allowed-to-refuse-wedding-cakes-to-gays/284061/

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          • Just another thought I had about this: suppose the baker is gay. Should he or she be allowed to refuse to bake a cake for an anti-gay group to celebrate an anti-gay milestone?

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          • Crap, I forgot about the blockquotes… 😦

            Liked by 1 person

  11. “An assault on Christianity.”

    Let’s see….I believe NBC will be playing a new Jesus movie this Easter. Jehovah Witnesses and Baptists knock on doors to spread the gospel. Atheists can’t run for politcal office and gays can’t marry in my state. Churches send out bulk mailings to my house and oh, my elementary age, public school kids have brought home Church flyers.

    If this is assault I don’t even want to see what they think support is. I suppose they believe it was the Trail of Tears, slavery, Japanese prison camps or when this country hijacked the nation of Hawai’i.

    When they take over it’s good and godly, but when someone simply defends him/herself it’s an evil attack against them, their Church their Bible, their families and their God.

    Somebody call the waaambulance!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Great to hear from you, Charity!

      Yes, the Christian privilege is overwhelming, and yet they do not seem to see it. Any difference of opinion is automatically an assault or attack on their religious liberties. Sigh…It must be so difficult to be so persecuted. Martyrs, the lot of them.

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  12. Political that is. I should proof more and ramble less.

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