Saturday, November 22nd, 2014
The Layman Online > Letters to the Editor > February 2013: If terrorists put down arms, the shooting will stop

February 2013: If terrorists put down arms, the shooting will stop

If terrorists put down arms, the shooting will stop and peace will reign

Predictably, the Presbyterian Church (USA) Office of Public Witness sent us an email to help urge my Senators and Congressmen to harass Israel about misuse of foreign aid. The underlying presumption of their demand was that Israel is at fault for the regional conflict and our tax dollars are being used to kill Palestinians in violation of US law.

 

At the same time, our nation is pouring millions into Islamist-controlled countries who are overtly supporting or conducting offensive killing operations against Israel. The recent transfer of US F-16s to the Muslim Brotherhood controlled Egypt is the latest example.

 

This fact is lost on the anti-Israel zealots inside the PCUSA.

 

Instead of using their boilerplate, slanted and factually incorrect email, I sent an email urging a Congressional investigation into the offensive military and terrorist activities of Islamist controlled nations, such as Egypt, who receive our taxpayer support but attack Israel.

 

Peace will erupt in the Middle East with three changes:

 

  1. Islamist acceptance of Israel’s right to exist (as specified in international law and UN resolutions).
  2. A renouncing of terrorism as a practice and policy.
  3. An immediate, permanent ceasefire along the borders of Israel.

 

Remember, if the terrorists put down their arms, the shooting will stop, peace will reign. If Israel puts down its arms, the wholesale genocide will commence. Those are inescapable facts in the region.

 

Martin Roules

San Diego, Calif.

 

 

 

You cannot insert your own agenda between the lines of Scripture

Re: Janet Edwards’ letter posted 11/28/12

 

As far as David and Jonathan being gay, I don’t think so. David saw Bathsheba bathing and lusted after her. She was very beautiful and he sent for her and he slept with her. She became pregnant and David had her husband Uriah sent to the front lines in battle so he would be killed. I don’t think David would do that if he was gay. He had sons by her.

 

Did Jesus say anything about gays? Remember, if we believe in the triune God there is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, who are one God. The Holy Spirit inspired the writing of the Scriptures and God’s commands are in the Scriptures. Jesus would say the same thing as the inspired Scriptures and the same thing God the Father says in them. Jesus said marriage was between a man and a woman, not two men or two women.

 

Jesus was not gay because He perfectly fulfilled the Law and He was sinless. It is certainly not scholarship to say because John was called the beloved disciple it means he and Jesus were lovers. You cannot insert your own agenda between the lines of Scripture.

 

Daniel Patterson

 

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1 comment

  1. John McWilliams says:

    Daniel Patterson makes some insightful and accurate comments regarding Janet Edward’s comments about David and Jonathan. In my opinion, and with all due respect, it’s time to call for some accountability in the ongoing discussion regarding same-sex relationships. As Mr. Patterson pointed out, I’m concerned that some of our Christian brothers and sisters who favor same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage are manipulating things in ways which the facts don’t support.
    For instance, on the one hand, many who favor same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, often proclaim as fact, things which have never been proven to be fact. On the other hand, they simultaneously and consistently refuse to discuss numerous actual facts which clearly undermine their theological position. My experience shows that some do this out of ignorance of the facts, while others do it purposefully in spite of the facts. The latter is cause for greater concern as it is tantamount to intellectual dishonesty.
    For example, we so often hear stated as fact, that our gay brothers and sisters are born gay and God made them that way. That may be your opinion. Yet to pronounce it as fact when it has never been proven to be fact is irresponsible and can be misleading. The opposite also holds true. Those who are not in favor of same-sex relationships and who feel that people are not born gay, should refrain from stating that people are not born gay until that becomes established as fact.
    Science has been searching for a definitive genetic cause for people being gay for years now, but to date, none has been found. Perhaps one day one will be found, but until that day comes, it seems to me that none of us should be claiming as fact, that people are or aren’t born gay.
    In addition, after proclaiming that people are born gay, many Christians who favor same-sex relationships often automatically make the leap to pronouncing that since a person is born gay, that logically means God designed them that way and therefore their gay sexual orientation is in fact, a gift from God.
    Consider this example from the Oprah Winfrey Show where two ministers did this very thing. One was The Rev. Ed Bacon, Rector of the 4,000 member All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. The other was The Rev. Michael Beckwith, Pastor of the 8,000 member church called the Agape International Spiritual Center in Los Angeles.
    Through a live video feed, they were talking with Sedrick, a gay man calling into the show from his friend’s house in Decatur, Georgia. At one point in the conversation, Rev. Bacon simply pronounced as fact “Being gay is a gift from God.”
    Completely surprised by that comment, Oprah said, “Well you are the first minister I ever heard say that being gay is a gift from God,” to which Rev. Beckwith said, “Now you’ll hear two.”
    After the two ministers exchanged a high five and lots of audience applause, Oprah said, “You are the first two ministers I ever heard say being gay is a gift from God. Rev. Bacon then said “Well of course it is,” to which Rev. Beckwith said “Absolutely.” Rev. Beckwith then went on to proclaim as fact, “People don’t just happen to be gay,“ to which Rev. Bacon responded, “Right.” Then referring to the caller Sedrick, Rev. Beckwith said, “You know, when people are born, they have that type of orientation. So he is gay by divine right. . . .”
    All this was said and presented as fact without a single shred of evidence to back it up. If actual scientific data and research existed to back that claim up it would be fine, but since there isn’t any, making such a claim is disingenuous at best. So I’d like to respectfully suggest that it’s best to stick to proclaiming as fact only things that are facts.
    In addition, it should be pointed out that just because someone is born a certain way doesn’t automatically mean God designed them that way and that whatever that way is should be declared a blessing. After all, science has in fact identified a genetic predisposition for alcoholism, but we never hear anyone making the leap to saying alcoholism is a gift from God, or that someone is an alcoholic by divine right. To put it another way there are no alcoholic pride parades.
    On the other side of the coin and more disturbing, many of our pro same-sex brothers and sisters, whether they be gay or straight, continue to ignore, refuse to discuss, or flat out deny certain actual facts about same-sex relationships which have been proven beyond any doubt. For instance, it has been factually established that there are numerous inherent dangers which are unique to normal same-sex sexual relationships, and those dangers apply equally to relationships between completely healthy partners in committed, monogamous relationships. Yet these same dangers are never present in normal sexual relations between healthy, committed and monogamous heterosexuals. These dangers threaten our gay brothers and sisters every day. So one wonders why we virtually never hear about them from Christians who support same-sex relationships and marriages.
    Again, this can be the result of ignorance. Yet there are Christians, both straight and gay, who support same-sex relationships and are in fact aware of these dangers. Yet it seems as though there’s some kind of “spiritual gag order” in place regarding them. They avoid them like the plague, won’t talk about them and instead, paint a glowing picture of gay relationships as if these dangers didn’t even exist. That’s not only irresponsible, it’s dangerous!
    Try as I might, I’ve yet to find any Christians who support same relationships who will discuss these dangers intelligently and responsibly and who will offer some kind of Biblical or theological reason as to why these dangers exist and why they’re linked directly to what’s being proclaimed to be a gift from God.
    It seems they simply refuse to be held accountable in this area of the discussion. That’s why I took the time to research and write a paper called “Homosexuality: Blessing Or Sin? The Part Of The Discussion We Never Really Seem To Discuss.”
    In the paper I present documented irrefutable scientific research, data and evidence from credible organizations and experts, showing that in fact, unique and inherent dangers are present in normal gay sexual relationships, even when both partners are completely healthy, committed and monogamous. By credible organizations and experts I mean Centers for Disease Control in the U. S., National Health Services of England and people like Dr. Stephen E. Goldstone, a nationally recognized surgeon and author on this subject and a non-Christian gay man.
    Yet here’s the really amazing thing. Although experience shows that Christians who support same-sex relationships generally refuse to even acknowledge these dangers exist, let alone discuss them, non-Christian gay organizations and non-Christian people like Dr. Goldstone not only recognize and openly discuss them, they warn about them all the time. They write about them on their websites, blogs and in books educating their readers about them in very responsible ways. You have to wonder why Christians refuse to do the same. In fact, one might assume that it would be Christians who would be among the first to warn our gay brothers and sisters about such dangers.
    I shared these dangers with Dr. Michael Adee, who at the time was the Executive Director of More Light Presbyterians. Contrary to the above mentioned credible sources, he argued that there are no significant differences between normal gay and normal heterosexual sexual relations. Yet based on the facts, that is at best intellectually dishonest and a denial of reality.
    He told me that my facts came from homophobic sources. I’m still trying to determine how Centers for Disease Control and a nationally respected non- Christian gay surgeon qualify as homophobic.
    Yet, unfortunately my experience has been that if a person is determined to deny the reality of these dangers, they often default to the tactic of doing their best to make the messenger out to be a person who insists on spreading a mean spirited, unloving and homophobic message which victimizes the gay community.
    I then shared these dangers with the Board of More Light Presbyterians and respectfully asked for a response. Here is their official response to the dangers that threaten our gay brothers and sister every day.
    “The Board of More Light Presbyterians has made the determination that your concerns lie outside the scope of our mission.”
    Really? It seems to me that More Light Presbyterians and other similar Christian ministries are uniquely positioned to warn our gay sisters and brothers about these dangers and could do so easily, discretely and lovingly. If non-Christian organizations do it all the time, you wonder why organizations like More Light Presbyterians don’t.
    I also shared the dangers with Brian Ellison, Director of The Covenant Network. He politely refused to discuss them.
    I shared them with the aforementioned Rev. Ed Bacon of All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena. He never even acknowledged my letter. Numerous other pastors I shared them with also gave no response.
    One of those pastors is Dr. Mark Achtemeier. I’ve written Dr. Achtemeier numerous times in the past few months respectfully asking him to respond to my paper and some of the questions it raises, especially in regard to his own writings on this subject. He has never given me the courtesy of an answer. You really have to wonder why.
    One can certainly see how admitting that such dangers exist, could undermine the theological claim that committed, monogamous same-sex relationships are God-designed blessings. It does seem to be sort of an “Achilles heel” of that theological position. After all, why would God design it so that normal gay sexual relations, even between committed, monogamous and healthy partners come with inherent and unique dangers, while those same dangers are never found in normal sexual relations between committed, monogamous and healthy heterosexual partners?
    Nonetheless, these dangers are very real and threaten to harm our gay brothers and sisters every day.
    So I’m still looking for someone who supports same-sex relationships and same-sex marriage, who is willing to step up to the plate, address these dangers seriously and attempt to put them into some kind of reasoned theological and Biblical perspective.
    One thing is for sure. If my goal was to harass and harm, rather than love and protect my gay brothers and sisters, the best way for me to do that would simply be to keep quiet about these dangers. Yet I’m not the one keeping quiet. Even if one is unable to make any theological sense out of why these dangers exist, does that justify keeping them quiet, especially when you have the tools and means to warn people about them?
    Respectfully in Christ, Pastor John McWilliams, Naples, Florida

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