Your Brain: The Final Frontier

Discovering the obvious and beating it like a dead horse.

Who Am I To Judge?

I posted a blog in support of Skutt Catholic High School yesterday. Skutt did not renew its contract with one of its teachers, Matt Eledge, because he has decided to live a life that is openly contrary to Christianity. While nobody has to agree with or like Skutt’s decision, those who claim that Skutt has committed discrimination exhibit their lack of knowledge in this area.

I have received a number of responses to my blog. Most of them cannot be posted because they contain inappropriate language or rise to nothing more than logical fallacy, but several are fit for public view. Many of the comments that will not be posted challenge ignore my statements and reason by using nothing more than personal attacks. Among the responses from people who cannot tolerate me, I’m called both a religious extremist as well as a non-Christian, uninformed, ignorant, offensive, a hater, a bigot and warped. Not bad for one blog I suppose.

In my blog, I cited a number of health risks and unpleasant consequences that flow from the homosexual lifestyle. I did not cite any sources for these risks and consequences. However, I’m happy to report that one LGBT advocate challenged me to provide those sources. In providing the following citations, it is important to remember that same-sex marriage is a very new experiment in the U.S. Because of its “newness”, there are times when we look at the impact SSM has had in European countries who legalized gay marriage years ago. In those countries, the legalization of SSM has shown the following:

  1. A study of same-sex marriage in Norway and Sweden showed that same-sex divorce was considerably more common than traditional marriage failure.
  2. Committed same-sex relationships, especially male relationships, have a much shorter duration than traditional marriages, averaging 1.5 years for male relationships in Amsterdam.
  3. Countries who legalize same-sex marriage have also seen a drop in their national birthrate, which suggests a correlation between same-sex marriage and the general disinterest in family.

Some facts about same-sex relationships in the U.S. are already available.

  1. Children who are raised by a loving mother and father (as opposed to single-parent homes) have an advantage in many areas including, academics, socially and with physical health.
  2. Same-sex relationships experience a much higher rate of domestic violence. Less than 1% of men who are married to women are victims of physical abuse. Among women, who are married to men, 2.6% are victims of spousal abuse. But 11.4% of lesbians and 15.4% of male homosexuals end up as victims of physical abuse by their same-sex partner.
  3. The word “commitment” appears to have different meanings, depending on the type of relationship being discussed. Among heterosexuals, a committed relationship typically means monogamous. But in same-sex couples, committed does not exclude the expectation that one or both of them will engage in sexual activities with people other than their partners and sometimes on a frequent basis. (Laumann, The Social Organization of Sexuality, 216; McWhirter and Mattison, The Male Couple: How Relationships Develop (1984): 252-253; Wiederman, “Extramarital Sex,”)
    1. This is one reason why same-sex marriages will continue to experience a higher rate of divorce than traditional marriages.
  4. Leading a homosexual lifestyle significantly increases physical and mental health complications, such as significantly increased rates of cancer, STD’s, depression, drug and alcohol abuse and addiction, suicide, etc…
      1. Men who have sex with men (MSM’s) are 20 (CDC says 17) times more likely to be diagnosed with rectal cancer than the general population of males. Rectal cancer is about as common and as deadly as lung cancer, hence the title of this document.
      2. Comparisons of environments with broad acceptance of homosexual behavior to environments intolerant of homosexual behavior shows the same elevated levels of mental illness in the LGBT populations.

One LGBT took issue with my clarification as to whether Mr. Eledge had been fired or not in saying:

“I’m not sure what you think fired means, but not renewing a contract to teach basically means he was fired. You are basing your claims on semantics.”

Actually, I’m basing my discussion on the law. Neb.Rev.St. §79-843, §79-844 and the collective bargaining process govern the contractual arrangements between schools and teachers in Nebraska. Because Skutt is not a public school, some of the laws and provisions of the collective bargaining agreement do not apply, but most private schools follow the same labor practices as the public schools. Regardless of any of this, Mr. Eledge has not yet been fired by Skutt, which is more than a matter of semantics. In fact, Mr. Eledge himself says he’s still employed as of April 9, 2015, according to an article by the World Herald. Therefore, if it were a matter of semantics, I’m using the same semantics as the speech teacher himself.

Then there were two LGBT advocates who went fully Biblical on my blog, which is a really bad place to go if you are trying to justify homosexual behavior. Even the most religious LGBT advocates find it impossible to honestly use the Bible to justify homosexual behavior. But it appears some people are either just venturing into that effort or they are so oblivious to what the Bible actually says and therefore, as to what Christ actually says, that they couldn’t help themselves.

One critic challenged me:

“The second comment you make is that homosexual behavior is a direct violation of Christ’s teachings. I would ask you to provide what specific statement or teaching of Christ and where you find this in the Bible…”.

For a preview of my response to this which appears below, see Matthew 19.

The critic presumes that Christ did not teach us that SSM is contrary to His teachings, so the same critic unwisely continued:

“Jesus’ silence on the subject suggests that an issue which can be controversial and/or fraught with emotion these days was simply not a central issue in his lifetime 2,000 years ago in the land of Palestine. The fact that he didn’t address this issue leaves us all to ponder what he might say were he here today.”

Another critic challenged me:

“Pick up your Bible and read through the Gospels if you will. Then respond to me and find the verse where Jesus talks about gay marriage or, really, any marital or sexual issue at all. Christ never taught about marriage.”

All I can say is that if you consider yourself a Christian, and you think SSM is consistent with Christ’s teachings, you are going to be extremely uncomfortable with the following paragraph, so pause for a moment and take make sure your high blood pressure medication is at your side. You may also want to remove any sharp objects within arm’s reach. Now you can continue reading:

What did Christ say about marriage? Please crack open that dusty Bible that you have crammed into the bottom shelf of the bookshelf in the guest bedroom and turn to Matthew 19:3-6, where you will read: “Some Pharisees came to Jesus, testing Him and asking, ‘Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife for any reason at all?’ And He answered and said, ‘Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.’”

So, Jesus did talk about marriage, he wasn’t silent on the matter. As you can see, he also talked about the male and female parties in the marriage, their commitment to each other and the conjugal act which creates new life. This is all quite different than one would talk about a same-sex marriage. Also note how Christ takes the Pharisees (and us) back to Genesis 2. (If you are not familiar with the Bible, that is the right at the beginning.) And instead of playing down the male and female complementarity, he emphasizes it all over again, “the two shall become on flesh”. In Matthew 19, Christ did not change any teaching on marriage, he returned it to the original design and elevated it in doing so.

Keep in mind that this is not the first time an LGBT advocate has ignored Christ’s words in an effort to paint Jesus as a tolerant and accepting guy who would not think to suggest that anyone change the way he or she is living his or her life. I find the attempt laughable but I also marvel at the self-deception this must take. Most of the LGBT advocates try to play down all the harsh language in Genesis, Leviticus, Romans, 1 Cor, 1 Timothy and Jude, but when it comes to Matthew 19, they just act like that chapter is missing from their bible. They also overlook the fact that every time marriage is discussed in the Bible, it is discussed as a relationship between a man and a woman. There are several Old Testament references to polygamy, but in no chapter or verse, is there a suggestion that same-sex marriage was approved or recognized in any way. Over and over again, especially in the New Testament, marriage is discussed in terms of a man and a wife.

So, Jesus did discuss marriage, in various parts of the Bible, homosexual behavior is included in the group of unacceptable behavior (no more or less unacceptable than other unacceptable behavior), and we are left with clear and irrefutable knowledge what Jesus says about it today. Before I tell you what Jesus says, if you are an LGBT advocate, just check around you one more time to make sure there are no sharp objects… Jesus would say, “repent”. I know that is a terrible word in many minds today, but it is what Jesus said many, many, times in the Bible and he never once said, that anyone should continue walking away from God.

Did Jesus say, “homosexual behavior is sinful”? No. Nor did he say robbery, physical assault, rape or drug use was sinful. What Jesus spent a lot of time doing was telling us how to find happiness. He did not do this by telling us a lot of stuff we could not do, but he did tell us that the key to happiness was more than simply following the Ten Commandments. The key to true happiness, Christ tells us, is in the beatitudes. What does he say about all the old rules and laws of the Jewish people? Does he tell us not to worry about them? Some he does, such as the dietary rules and other rules that had no relation to morals and our relationship with God. So, it is okay to eat shellfish and pork (Acts 10:13-15), but it is not okay to commit adultery, which can include as little as looking at a woman lustfully (Matthew 5:28), nor is it acceptable to kill, which can include simply being angry with someone (Matthew 5:22). So if anything, Jesus calls us to a more challenging way of life and a more significant repentance. He does not tell us to condone behavior which is contrary to His teachings.

Believe me, I know this is hard stuff to accept. I’ve talked with many LGBT advocates who cannot even bring themselves to read entire sections of the Bible because they prefer ignorance over knowledge. But the truth is, anyone who wishes to take up their cross daily and follow Christ (Luke 9:23), must accept the fact that God is God and we aren’t. In other words, we don’t get to rewrite the Bible, change Christ’s own words or ignore his words. To do any of these things is to reject Jesus and simply manufacture a private version of Jesus that always pats us on the back and says, “keep on doing what makes you feel good, it’s going to turn out fine”.

Then there was the LGBT advocate who reminded me that homosexual behavior predated Christianity in an apparent effort to suggest that first in time means first in right. But this would depend on whether or not you believe in God. Since in Genesis, we see that God created them “male and female…”, we see that God’s design came first. There have been an abundance of bad decisions since the beginning, but we don’t simply say something is right because it has been around longer than something else. If that were the case, we had all better tear up the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (many are trying to do that right now anyway) and pledge our allegiance once again to the Queen of England.

Then there are posts from people who failed to read the blog. They say things like, “the decision goes against Skutt’s mission statement”, “it is discrimination to fire someone because they are gay” and “just because his sin is different than yours does not give you the right to treat him differently”. I addressed all of these flawed arguments in my blog.

Finally, there are the constructive comments, both positive and negative, which are certainly welcome and can actually help open reasoned discussion on the issue. To these people I say, keep it up.

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3 thoughts on “Who Am I To Judge?

  1. Something to ponder. When has it served our society as a whole to repress people? I may disagree with a life style choice but I do not agree with repressing someone from living the way they want to live their life. A choice to live your life in a way that goes against the “norm” or popular belief is between them and their maker (God, Allah, father sky, etc). We could go as far as to argue that we should have the government control and judge/determine who has children and who does not based on statistics and the rate of child neglect. Judge and be not judged, yes?…or only when it serves you and your message?

    1. Thanks for the comment Jill. Your reference to “judge and not be judged”, appears to refer to Matthew 7. Let’s look at that for a moment:

      “Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.”

      It is important to see that Christ is not saying, “never judge”. He’s saying that if you judge, don’t be a hypocrite. In other words, a car thief cannot justifiably criticize a shoplifter for being dishonest, can he? But if that car thief has come to terms with the dishonesty of car theft and has decided to turn his life around, he will someday be able to tell the shoplifter that there is a more honest way to get what you need. Just as Jesus taught, the car thief took the log out of his eye so he could see clearly to take the speck out of the shoplifter’s eye. Unfortunately, most people stop short of truly understanding this teaching. Additionally, people use judgment and condemnation interchangeably and this is incorrect. It is essential that we make judgments every day, often time hundreds of times each day and often times, these are judgments of other people, what they are doing, what they are saying, what they are not saying or doing, etc… We are not condemning everyone on these occasions, we are just navigating our way through the day. This is why we don’t run for cover when we see a gun on a police officer’s hip. If some dude in the liquor store had a gun on his hip, it would make us think (judge the situation) differently. The Church teaches that no human can condemn another human. We can condemn ourselves, but I cannot look at President Obama and condemn him because I’d be putting myself in place of God and that is blasphemy. It is also foolish to think we can condemn because we have no idea what is truly on a person’s heart. I do look at President Obama and I judge him, but everyone who voted in the last election did that. We all looked at what he had to say, what he had done and we judged these things in order to decide whether or not to vote for him. Actually most people just looked at the letter behind his name in order to judge whether it was an “R”, a “D” or an “I”, but that is for another blog. I didn’t vote for him because I felt that he stood for extremely bad things and I judged that he would work to further those bad things if he remained in office. But I do not condemn him. Also, I hold out hope that as he gets older and wiser, he will see the foolishness of his ways and convert to Christ. I judge that to be extremely unlikely, but you get my point.

      Secondly, we need to look at the rest of your comment to see if it holds to reason. In order to do that, I am going to give you an analogy, which is by no stretch of the imagination meant to be taken literally or personally. My analogy is to be used only for sake of discussion.

      Let’s assume that you are married. If I’m wrong, please humor me for sake of the analogy and potential further discussion. Let’s say your husband came home one day and said, “Jill, I met this awesome girl at the park today. We decided we are going to have sex tomorrow. Don’t worry, I’ll wear a condom and she is on the pill and she’s been tested for all the STD’s you could ever think of, so you are safe from any risk of being infected with an STD or from me ending up with an illegitimate child. And really, we both have busy lives and probably won’t get together again, so it’s not like this is going to be a long-term thing. I promise I will never leave you. You see I have been reading about open marriages and I think they are the path to true marital happiness, so this will help me decide if I’m right or if I need to rethink it.”

      I’m guessing that you would consider your husband’s belief to be unacceptable and totally contrary to your belief on how marriage (or any relationship) works and should be practiced. You might tell him that this is not what you had agreed to when you got married. Would you be repressing your husband by informing him that if he followed through with his plan, you would file for a separation or divorce? After all, based on your comment above, your husband’s decision to have an affair is simply a decision to live his life in the way he wants to live it right? If your comment is to be taken on face value, it seems that your husband’s decision is simply between your husband and whatever he considers to be his god.

      You see, if our message is tolerance and acceptance, then we need to tolerate and accept everything, not just the things we like or the things that come easy. To remove the social rules, cultural restraints and the obligation to honor God, we remove all order in society. Additionally, if we remove some, but not all of these, who gets to decide which ones to remove? Is it a purely democratic process where the majority should decide what is to be left in place and what is to be removed? This of course, has happened over time and it is called repression. African Americans and women suffered this repression for many years at the hands of the majority. Then we discovered that truth is truth, no matter how many people say it isn’t. In other words, truth is not relative. There are truths in the world that are true for everyone, no matter where they are and no matter when in time, they exist. For instance, everyone agrees that it would be wrong for a nursing home to sell senile elderly people to laboratories for experimental medical testing as though they were lab rats.

      Like this, marital infidelity has always been a bad idea. Abraham and Sarah found that out in Genesis, but people who engage in the alternative lifestyle of polyamory or polygamy today will tell you that it is extremely rare and extremely difficult to attain a peaceful existence with multiple husbands, wives, partners or “friends”. One spouse is difficult enough, even cultures that have bragged about the wisdom of having a mistress have admitted it ends up being destructive and unpleasant.

      Likewise, Mr. Eledge is in a relationship with his employer. As a Catholic institution, Skutt has a mission and a vision that is centered on the truth of Christ just as your vision of marriage included monogamy. Mr. Eledge has walked in, suggested he can behave in a way that is unacceptable and totally contrary to the Catholic belief on how their relationship should work and be practiced and they have told him there will be a separation just as you told your husband you would separate from him. Mr. Eledge’s plans are not what Skutt agreed to in the employment contract. Similar to the way you would tell your husband he was planning to do something to which you had not agreed to when you got married.

      If your husband decided to give up his ideas of an open marriage, you would probably remain married to him (although remaining cautious and attentive at all times I’m sure) even though he may still believe that open relationships were a good thing. Likewise, Skutt was willing to continue its relationship with Mr. Eledge if he were to give up his ideas of same-sex marriage, even though he was known to have same-sex attraction.

      It isn’t repression, it is simply the right to believe something different and to live your life in a different way.

      Just think about the trouble you would have with your husband if he taught your children that open marriage was the best way to marital happiness.

  2. Bob! You hit the nail on the head over and over and over again with Scripture references and decisive reasoning to stand firm in the light of Christ!
    I embrace you with a heart of such gratitude and am passing this on to people I know across the country from Chicago to Virginia and out to Nevada! God continue to bless you with wisdom to speak the truth, Which is Christ laws of love in our Catholic Faith, HIs church!

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