Permit me a few thoughts on the issue of tolerance. This post is not intended as a systematic treatise on tolerance. Rather just some thoughts on a frequently misunderstood concept that some have called the only “virtue” left in our neo-pagan society.

The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy defines Tolerance and toleration: 

Toleration — from the Latin tolerare: to put up with, countenance or suffer — generally refers to the conditional acceptance of or non-interference with beliefs, actions or practices that one considers to be wrong but still “tolerable,” such that they should not be prohibited or constrained. [1]

It goes on to make a distinction that is often lost today:

[I]t is essential for the concept of toleration that the tolerated beliefs or practices are considered to be objectionable and in an important sense wrong or bad. If this objection component (cf. King 1976, 44-54) is missing, we do not speak of “toleration” but of “indifference” or “affirmation.” [2]

In effect tolerance involves putting up with something we consider wrong or displeasing but not so wrong that we must move to constrain it. Tolerance does NOT mean we approve of something as good. This essential point is often glossed over by those who often demand that tolerance mean approval, and that to disapprove of something makes one “intolerant.”

Of itself, tolerance is a good and necessary thing. But, like most good things, it has its limits. As a good thing, tolerance is essential in an imperfect world. Without tolerance we might go to war over simple human imperfections. We all have friends and family members who are people we like but, as with every human person, they also have annoying or less desirable traits. Without tolerance we would be locked in a power struggle and a fruitless battle to make each person perfect to us. As it is we tolerate less desirable aspects of people for higher goods such as harmony, friendship, respect, mercy, kindness and the like.

However, there are limits to tolerance. There are just some things in human relationships that are “deal breakers.” There are things that cannot be tolerated. For example serious and persistent  lies breach the trust necessary for relationships and such behavior is not tolerated reasonably.  Behavior that endangers one or both parties (either physically or spiritually) ought not be tolerated and often makes it necessary to end relationships or establish firm boundaries.

In wider society tolerance is also necessary and good but has limits. For example we appreciate the freedom to come and go as we please and it is good to tolerate the comings and goings of others. This is so even if some of the places they go, (e.g. a brothel), do not please us or win our approval. Without such a general tolerance of movement things would literally grind to a halt. But for the sake of the value of coming and going freely we put up with the less desirable aspects of it. However this tolerance has its limits. We do not permit people to drive on sidewalks, run red lights or drive in the left lane of a two way street. Neither do we permit breaking and entering or the violation of legitimate property rights. We restrict unaccompanied minors from certain locales, etc. In effect, every just law enshrines some limit to tolerance. Conservative and Liberals debate what limits law should enshrine but both sides want civil law to set some limits. Even Libertarians, while wanting less law,  see a role for some law and limits, for they are not anarchists.

So, toleration is a good and necessary thing but it has its limits. Our modern struggle with the issue of tolerance seems to be twofold:

  1. The definition of tolerance, as we have discussed, is flawed. Many people equate tolerance with approval and many call disapproval, intolerance. But, as we have seen this is flawed. Without some degree of disapproval, tolerance is not possible.
  2. The second problem centers around the limits of tolerance. In our modern world we are being asked to tolerate increasingly troublesome behavior. A lot of this behavior centers around sexual matters. Proponents of sexual promiscuity demand increasing tolerance despite the fact that their behavior leads to diseases, abortion, teenage pregnancy, single parent families, sexual temptation, divorce, and all the ills that go with a declining family structure. Abortion proponents also demand tolerance of what they advocate although this behavior results in the death of an innocent human beings. Many people of faith think that the limits of tolerance have been transgressed in matters such as these.    

Rapprochement? - The debate about toleration and its limits is not new but it seems more intense today when a shared moral vision has largely departed. Perhaps we cannot as easily define the limits of tolerance today but one way forward might be to return to a proper definition of tolerance. Perhaps if we stop (incorrectly) equating tolerance with approval a greater respect will be instilled in these debates. To ask for tolerance is not always wrong, but to demand approval is.

Consider the debate over homosexual activity. Many people of faith, at least those who hold to a more strictly Biblical view, find homosexual behavior to be wrong. The same can be said for illicit heterosexual behavior such as fornication, polygamy, and incest. But on account of our disapproval of homosexual behavior we are often called “intolerant,” (and many other things as well such as homophobic, bigoted, hateful, etc).

But tolerance is really not the issue. Most Christians are willing to tolerate the fact the people “do things in their bedroom”  of which we disapprove.  As long as we are not directly confronted with private behavior and told to approve of it we are generally willing to stay out of people’s private lives. But what has happened in modern times is that approval is demanded for behavior we find objectionable. When we cannot supply such approval we are called intolerant. This is a misuse of the term.

And further, what if our objections do simply emerge from bigotry as some claim but, rather, from a principled biblical stance?  Our disapproval does not, ipso facto, make us bigots. Neither does it mean we are wholly intolerant and seek to force an end to behavior we do not consider good. Very few Christians I have ever heard from are asking for the police to patrol streets and enter bedrooms and make arrests. We are not intolerant, we simply do not approve of homosexual activity. And, according to the proper definition of tolerance, it is the very fact of our disapproval, that permits us to show forth tolerance. Perhaps such a consideration might instill greater respect in these debates and less name-calling from our opponents.

An aside- Gay “marriage” is a more complicated matter since it involves existing law and a demanded change in that law by proponents of so-called “gay marriage.” Most traditional Christians see a limit to tolerance here since we consider that God defined and established marriage as described in Genesis 1 & 2. Hence we cannot favor attempts to substitute a human redefinition of something we believe instituted by God.

Finally a thought as to who really “owns” tolerance. Opponents of traditional Christians often claim the high ground of tolerance for themselves. But the paradoxical result of this is a holier-than-thou attitude and an increasing intolerance of Christian faith by the self-claimed tolerant ones. Legal restrictions of the proclamation of the Christian faith in the public square are increasing. Financial exclusion of Catholic Charities from Government money used in serving the poor are becoming more common as well.  In other parts of the world where free speech is less enshrined, Catholic priests and bishops are being sued and even arrested for “hate speech” because they preach traditional biblical morality. None of this sounds very tolerant. Our opponents need not approve of our beliefs but they ought to exhibit greater tolerance of us, the same tolerance they ask of us.  

Please add to this discussion.

I first saw this video at Patrick Madrid’s blog. It demonstrates comically how even those who demand tolerance often exhibit intolerance themselves.

 

34 Responses

  1. Vijaya says:

    I might be going off on a tangent but I’ve read books where the Bible is quoted to support behavior that is explicitly prohibited (ex. homosexuality) by interpreting it loosely. Ex. surely the sin that is being punished is that of inhospitality (instead of homosexuality) when referring to Sodom and Gomorroah. And this by Christian writers. I am very much pained by this but I have found it very difficult to write to the author even privately to argue about this. I would be afraid to do it publicly. So I am arming and educating myself so that I can write about Catholic values. I pray for courage.

    Thank you so much for this article.

    • Bender says:

      The twisting of the Word of God to suggest that what is evil is good, and what is good is evil, has been going on since Genesis 3.

      But there is more than mere twisting going on here, and it happens to more than just scripture. It has been happening increasingly in law for the last several years, as well as in the study of history, and now even in science.

      It is what is called outcome-determinative interpretation. Rather than starting from a neutral position and then investigating to see what reason, observation/experience, and/or revelation have to say on the matter, they start from a pre-determined outcome (homosexuality is a moral good), and then seek to justify it. Often this includes taking things out of context, such as reading various scriptural passages in isolation.

      But the Bible cannot be, and is not meant to be, read in piecemeal fashion. Sodom and Gomorroah must be read in the context of what is said in the the Bible as a whole, including those accounts dealing with the question of the nature of the human person found in the Creation accounts. Reading the Bible as a whole, it is abundantly clear that S&G is not merely about inhospitality and Paul was not simply a homophobe. To the contrary, the whole of scripture makes clear that homosexual activity is contrary to the truth of the nature of the human person, that is, contrary to moral truth, i.e. a sin. And it should not be surprising that the whole of scripture says this since the nature of the human body and the nature of sexuality says the same thing.

      • Vijaya says:

        Thanks, Bender. This gives me some more food for thought as I gather courage to write to the author because it has been bothering me for some time …

      • Dismas says:

        Vijaya,

        You may already be aware of this, but if not, this might help in selecting sound doctrinal spiritual reading. Look for material with the Churches official Nihil Obstat and Imprimatur declaration. The declaration can be found within the first few pages of the material or most Catholic websites and publishers identify it in the product description prior to purchase.

        http://www.fisheaters.com/imprimatur.html

        “The “Nihil Obstat” and “Imprimatur” are official declarations that a book or pamphlet is free of doctrinal or moral error. No implication is contained therein that those who have granted the Nihil Obstat and the Imprimatur agree with the content, opinions or statements expressed.”

        “Please know that the presence of an Imprimatur does not mean that a book is an official text of the Church. It doesn’t make the book the equivalent of an encyclical, say. It’s not the approval of the work by the Pope or a dogmatic Council, and it’s not a stamp of infallibility. It doesn’t even mean that everything in the book is accurate, only that there is nothing in it that contradicts Catholic dogma. But, while occasionally a book sneaks through and its Imprimatur later recalled, this procedure is an important way for Catholics to increase their chances of staying error-free with regard to doctrine. Sadly, because of the triumph of modernsists and liberals in the human aspect of the Church since the Second Vatican Council, books which could well contain a watered-down theology, a warped view of History, etc. now do receive the “Imprimatur.”

      • Bender you have written well here. I especially like your phrase: “outcome-determinative interpretation”

      • Michael says:

        “It is what is called outcome-determinative interpretation.”
        In the world of science and math, it is called “confirmation bias”. Looking for evidence to support a theory, and ignoring any evidence that disproves it.

    • Lizzy S Falnikar says:

      Yes, Vijaya, pray you must and the Holy Spirit will arm you. From your posts, I can clearly make out that you are an Indian non-christian who has come to accept Jesus. Being involved in the church and catching up with the RCIA program animators here in my own parish aand seeing the catechumens being initiated, I often get to see the faith of my non-christian brethren who accept Jesus much more than I do. It is a humbling experience. I see that desire blazing like a forest fire in most of them and I find them standing up for the cause of Jesus with more firmness and commitment. I am quite confident then, that with time, you will be able to stand up and speak for Christ. The Holy Spirit will empower you. That is my belief. You are already a witness to many around you and god-willing you will become for the larger community. All the best.

    • Daniel says:

      Vijaya,
      I don’t know what book you are referring to, but it is indeed a well-accepted interpretation that the story of Sodom does deal with the sin of inhospitality when the story is understood in it’s historical context. The Catholic approach to Scriptures involves study (history, language, exegesis) in order to unpack the richness of the text, so you shouldn’t be disappointed that some might find meaning in a story which goes beyond a face-value interpretation. It may also be read in light of sexual morality, although again it ought to be understood in it’s historical context, especially since it involves Abraham, a man with a concubine, and yet doesn’t condemn this practice. To see Scripture merely as a simple “how to” guide would be disingenuous to the Catholic Tradition, and more like a Protestant “sola scriptura” approach.
      In regard to this entire post, it would seem a much safer argument to use the Natural Law tradition to condemn homosexual behavior or gay marriage (the justification most bishops have used to uphold a sense of “traditional” marriage) rather than Scripture, which presents many historically-conditioned visions of appropriate sexual behaviors which would not be accepted in modern Western society.

      • Daniel, It think your describing the inhospitality argument as a “well-accepted interpretation” is overstated. I have no doubt that there are certain people who have argued for this. But any straight-forward reading of the passage makes it clear that such an interpretation, even if a background motif, is far from what the story is plainly about. This obvious understanding does not amount to a “how-to” or “Sola Scriptura” approach as you suggest. THere are jsut times when the plain meaning of a text has to be accepted for what it is: the plain meaning. Attempts to introduce and emphasize a “hospitality” interpretation are what Bender well said about, a ” outcome-determinative interpretation”

        That polygamy is unremarked is sad but true. Polygamy is wrong, though not a sin against nature, and would come to be forbidden later.

      • Daniel says:

        Msgr.,
        “Plain meanings” of stories are frequently not plain, and certainly are frequently not the ONLY meaning of a story. My point to Vijaya was not that one could not possibly read a meaning about sexual morality in the story–it certainly seems to be a part of the account–but that he ought not to be scandalized that there are other meanings as well.
        The inhospitality argument is the result of seeing the story of Sodom in a wider view, beyond the Genesis account: To the Prophets Isaiah (1:9) and Ezekiel (16:46-49) the message Sodom was not about homosexuality at all, but about justice, and care for the poor, widow and orphan. Surely they didn’t miss the plain meaning.

      • Daniel: Isaiah 1:9 is a reference to Sodom in terms of its destruction, it’s particular sin is not discussed. Israel’s numerous sins and injustice and harlotry are set forth in broad terms. There are no reference’s in the chapter to Sodom’s lack of hospitality neither to Israel’s. Ezekiel 16 speaks in terms of Israel’s harlotry. She is an unfaithful spouse who has given herself over to shameful prostitution and her depravity has increased. Indeed her depravity is worse that Sodom. Now this sexual depravity may be literal or more symbolic int terms of the fact that she had become unfaithful to God her husband. Again there is no reference to hsopitality but rather, here, a very clear reference to sexual depravity as the result of forsaking God. Hence, I am pussled by your reference to these text. Neither refer to hospitality. The first references Sodom only interms of its destructon and the second references Sodom as an image of sexual depravity. THis would seem to confirm the plain meaning of the text rather than what you are attempting to have them mean. I would concur that many texts admit of several meanings, but to ask the reader of the S & G story to seriously think that it’s primary meaning is about hospitality and that we should set aside thoughts that it is really speaking about sexual sins it quite a lot to ask. Indeed I would go so far as to say that such an attempt is a conclusion in wild search for data. The plain meaning is very plain here. The requested interpretation about hospitality is murky at best and fanciful at worse.

      • Daniel says:

        By “hospitality” I mean offering generosity and ministering to the needs of a guest or stranger. The mandate to the Israelites to care for the poor, the widow, and especially the stranger (or foreigner) was a hallmark of the sense of Divine justice aspired to by God’s people. The Isaiah passage referencing Sodom begins at verse 9 and says in verse 17 (as a remedy to the evil) “Learn to do good. Make justice your aim: redress the wronged, hear the orphan’s plea, defend the widow.” Ezekiel’s reference to Sodom in chapter 16 does indeed use the analogy of an unfaithful spouse but verse 49 zeroes in on the sin: “…proud, sated with food, complascent in their prosperity, and they gave no help to the poor and needy…”
        The messengers of God in Genesis 19 are wayfarers in need of shelter. Lot’s objection to sending them out to be used by the crowd is based on them being under his roof as his guests (v.8). He in turn is promised punishment by the crowd on account of being an immigrant himself(v.9). Does Lot’s offer to let his daughters be raped somehow teach this as an acceptable substitute for homosexual behavior? Certainly not. This is a story which needs to be understood in it’s context. I grant that there is clear mention of homosexual activity in this passage, but I think to fixate on sexual issues and to ignore any other dynamic is short sighted and closed to a much deeper and richer meaning about love, justice, and the defense of the poor which ties this story in with the broader message of the Lord in the Hebrew Scriptures.

      • Vijaya says:

        Thank you all for helping me out here. I am a neophyte Catholic … and the book I speak of is fiction targeted to teens with an author’s note that is full of terrible misinterpretations that go against the teachings of the Church.

        The children’s writing community is small and I am a part of it and afraid of being called intolerant, but the fact that months after reading this book, it is still bothering me, it means I should do something about it. God help me.

      • Daniel, you have conveniently left out the verse of Genesis 19 wherein the sin is clearly set forth: “The townsmen called to Lot and and said to him, “Where are the men who came to your house tonight? Bring them out that we may have intimacies with them.” (Gen 19:5) Lot then goes out to say to them: “I urge you brethen not to do this wicked thing.” (Gen 19:6). Lot is so offended that he (sadly) would prefer his daughters be sent out to them than they do this wicked thing.

        Now Daniel, this isn’t unclear. It is a true fact that Lot felt an obligation to protect the men under his roof but to say that is the point of this and the true sin of Sodom (offending against hospitality norms) is really quite a stretch and overlooks that the “wicked thing” the text speaks of is homosexual rape. That they compound the matter with attempted breaking and entering, and dis Lot for his immigrant status is depicted but no plain reading of this text can see this as the main point or insist that it is just about hospitality as the main crime of the the people. This is the argument that some make. And Vijaya is right to be puzzled and offended by such an argument. It’s just plain wrong.

        Your quoting of Isiaiah and Ezekiel are highly slective. They condemn a number of sins and practices. Both Chapters are extremely lengthy and do not admit of your simplification of them.

      • Daniel says:

        Vijaya,
        I hope I have not puzzled or offended you as Monsignor suggests. I did not intend to be a contrarian to Monsignor’s opinion regarding the Genesis story (or anyone else’s) in my postings–only to suggest the richness and breadth of Scripture as a resource for discerning God’s will for humanity through study and prayer. God bless you in your efforts to come to a deeper understanding of the depth of Truth.

      • Aaron says:

        Daniel,

        What about what Sacred Tradition has to say? There is a reason why “sodomy” refers to homosexual acts…not being inhospitable. Its the obvious thing.

        Consider Onan’s sin. It is obvious that Onan’s sin was spilling his seed onto the ground…this is what Tradition tells us unequivocally. However, talk to pro-contraception people now (many of which support the “well-accepted interpretation” you cite), and they will say he was struck dead for failing to uphold the levirite law.

        Let us apply the “Catholic approach to Scripture” to this event. Onan takes his brother’s widow as his wife, and sleeps with her, thus fulfilling his levirite duty. To prevent his children from being considered his brother’s, he contracepts and is immediately struck dead…for what he did was an abomination. His father, Judah, as we see later, violated the law because he failed to give Tamar to his youngest son to produce offspring for his oldest son (which is the same rationale Onan had for contracepting). Judah is left alive, while Onan is struck dead. The only difference between the two is that Onan contracepted, while Judah did not. There is a reason why in Jewish tradition, contraception is forbidden (at least for Orthodox Jews and many Conservative branches).

        Let’s extend this principle to Sodom. You point out that some places connect Sodom with the of Israel, like not being hospitable. But let us take it one step further, and go beyond those scant references. Leviticus attaches the death penalty for men who lie with men as with women (and calls it an abomination). Paul says that heaven has no place for sodomites (or homosexuals). Where is the utter condemnation of being inhospitable? Where is the death penalty attached to not giving the orphans and widows aid? How can being inhospitable be the cause for Sodom’s destruction when nowhere in Scripture is being inhospitable condemned by death or called an abomination? Indeed, look at the whole of Scriptures, and it becomes obvious that while appealing, certain interpretations don’t hold much weight.

    • Brad says:

      Those who deny the traditional cause for Sodom’s ruin also often deny Magdalen’s past, thereby denying the enormous favors she received after her conversion, and indeed the copious grace that was given to a notoriously rank sinner in order to even begin the conversion. It’s oh so predictable: people doing xyz always want to make xyz acceptable by promoting tolerance. Tolerance is nothing but nasty relativism. But relativism is made impossible in a universe inhabited by God, since He is objectivity itself. Thus Pilate, representing the apex of what the pagan mind could achieve, was utterly befuddled by Christ, who stood before him as objectivity incarnate: “What is Truth?” he asked, blind. Woe for us all that paganism’s curse of relativism is still spread by those in the Church who advocate tolerance. It’s nothing but a trick of the devil and it causes many lost souls: those who espouse it and those who are never resultingly admonished.

  2. jcd says:

    Great post.

  3. Dismas says:

    I’ve always thought of tolerance as a virtue. An attitude of patience exercised, in the light of truth, by the moral or cultural majority toward an amoral or counter cultural minority. In our current culture has not this words true meaning been abandoned, twisted and blasphemed? Is this word not now being used to absolve the counter cultural minority and condemn the moral majority? In our current culture, in the absence of truth, does this word any longer have meaning?

  4. jj says:

    I agree with you Bender. When christians challenge those who suppress the truth about the Bible and about themselves, they are considered to be intolerant of other peoples view. But there is only one truth, anything else should be intolerable.

  5. Laura R. says:

    Thank you, Monsignor, for providing some clear thinking on what tolerance is and what it is not. You are quite right: the demand from those promoting the homosexual agenda has jumped from a request for tolerance to a demand for complete approval, even celebration. They use the accusation of “intolerant” or “bigot” against anyone unwilling to agree with them, and too many people give in without really thinking the whole matter through.

    I might add that the idea of “inclusiveness” has been used in much the same way. It’s an impossible ideal in and of itself; inclusion of those promoting the homosexual agenda will inevitably result in the exclusion of orthodoxy in the Church.

  6. Cynthia BC says:

    LOL at the picture. Some years ago:

    I was bringing a load of laundry down the stairs. Quita, our 70-lb yellow lab, was sprawled on her doggie bed. George, our 3-lb kitten, was sitting on the floor looking at her.

    A few minutes later, I came back up the stairs. George, the 3-lb kitten, was sprawled on the doggie bed. Quita, the 70-lb yellow lab, was nowhere to be seen.

    As comfortable as the dog looked, I can’t imagine that she just up and left. I’ve always wondered what happened…

  7. Beth says:

    What does the church say about the difference in behavior between loving, monogamous gays and those who are promiscuous? This subject came up just yesterday when a young friend of ours, a recent convert to Christianity, sought some clarification. Her advisers (not of the Catholic faith) told her that homosexual behavior of any kind is a sin. However, she has friends who are monogamous gays and she finds them very gentle souls.

    She thinks it is cruel for gays to be denied a loving (and sexual) relationship just because they are biologically wired to be romantically attracted to their own sex. She doesn’t have it in her to disapprove of her friends’ behavior for that reason. Is it a matter of degree? Are they committing a worse sin than someone who is a rigid fundamentalist but who is coldhearted? The Old Testament Sodom and Gomorrah seems a far cry from monogamous Christian gays.

    It is a choice to become a Christian, but I have known many gay Christians (loving, gentle souls) who are not necessarily celibate. I’m guessing that our friend will either ignore it, turn away from Christianity, or seek to understand it further. Anyway, she needs some better counsel than “It’s a sin” or than being quoted scripture that does not seem to address her concern (since it is not given in context). It’s hard to have this conversation with her as I am confused myself.

    Thanks for any advice you and your readers might provide.

    • Aaron says:

      Any and all homosexual behaviors are intrinsically disordered. Genesis 1 clearly tells us: “man and woman, he created them”, and then explicitly tells us that “a man cleaves to his wife, and the two become one flesh”. There is a reason why Holy Scripture likens the relationship between Christ and His Church as that between a husband and his wife: the “one flesh union” is fertile and unitve…not sterile. Sex is great between a husband and wife. Regardless of whether you are homosexual or heterosexual, sex with anyone aside from your husband or wife is gravely immoral. Seeing as having kids together is part of marriage (being open to life), there is, in reality, no such thing as “homosexual marriage”, no matter what some judge in California says. Thus, any homosexual behavior is gravely immoral.

      • Aaron says:

        Also, remember the TRUTH is absolute and unchanging.

        Genesis says we are made in the image and likeness of God. We are patterned after the Divine, so truly ordered human relationships are modeled after Divine Relationships, like that of Christ and His Bride, the Church. Christ’s Sacrifice on the Cross (the “one flesh union” St. Paul talks about in Ephesians) is in and of itself a complete self-giving (He held nothing back), and life-giving. The Church accepted this self-giving completely and totally, thus allowing Christ’s Sacrifice to bring new life to those who are a part of the Church. We were given marriage (and sex) as a gift to experience this Divine Relationship, and in the end, enter into true Communion with the Godhead: marriage and sex are designed to bring us closer to GOD.

        Any sexual behavior or attitude that is contrary to the pattern of intimacy established by Christ’s Gift of Himself for His Bride does not bring us closer to Him, but rather farther from Him. Christ’s Sacrifice was self-less, total, and intrinsically life-giving (it was His Sacrifice that allows us entry into Heaven, the Divine Presence). Any kind of sexual behavior that is not self-giving, total, or life-giving is a far cry from Christ’s example, and abuses GOD’s gift to us for selfish reasons. No matter how you cut it, sex that is not total self-giving, is not open to life, and is not engaged in the state of matrimony is ultimately selfish: it is not about God, or the other, but about how you feel. Thus, it carries you further and further from Him.

        I hope that helps.

  8. Brad says:

    As I underwent RCIA I noted one Sunday while we were being instructed on the virtues that tolerance is not one of them. I was an awkward, un-p.c. moment.

  9. Dave says:

    Daniel,

    Just so we are clear here: You are contending that God would destroy a whole town all becasue the townspeople refused to have tea and crumpets with the alien guests?

  10. Rich Rainbolt says:

    I don’t expect tolerance. I demand equal treatment and that requires acceptance. You don’t tolerate black people, you don’t tolerate women, you accept them. Accept homosexuals as they are, they’ve been around for all time and they will be around for all time. As a Christian you should know that nothing Jesus said implies that homosexuality is bad. The books of the bible that claim homosexuality is bad, also perscribe a lot of other things that Christians don’t follow. You are picking and choosing what is bad from versus in the bible. That is what I call real “human redefinition” of Gods intent.

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