moral and / or christian conservatism

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by Imported, Sep 19, 2004.

  1. Imported

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    suaige: I am kind of on one tonight so I am going to post this and see what happens.

    From most of my posts I am sure you can tell my opinions on life and morality. I try really hard to live what I preach. Not perfect, but think I do a pretty good job.

    Some what from this site, but also from other locations, it seems to me the only PC form of descrimination these days is anti-christian. I mean having to call Christmas - the winter holiday so as not to offend the minority non-christian portion of the population is pretty bad.

    But more related to this, There are many liberal minded people on this site and the topic of homo/hetro sexuality is pretty open, cool. And, many are able to post in a non-inflammatory way- very commendable and helpful. I try to do so, even when I am offering one sided advise.

    And, I have as a conservative christian who is opposed to the practice of homosexuality and gay marriages, been much defamed. Called narrow minded, hateful, intollerant, old fastioned, bigotted and the like.

    Those in opposition to views like mine cry for civil rights, equality and tolerance. But I feel as do my roomies and others with whom I associate that this is very one sided. We are told we hide behind our religion and we are cruel.

    Where is the tolerance of our beliefs. Today I was reading Leviticus in the bible and in the Law of Moses homosexualtiy was called an abomination -- something worthy of causing hate or disgust -- I think that pretty accurately describes it in many peoples minds. It was a capital offense. I am not jewish and believe also in the new testament, when though contested states in my opion the same thing.

    So when I am in opposition to gay marriage and the like ( note my brother is a practacing gay and actively campaigning on the other side ) how come it is only I that am intollerant and not those who want me to give up that which I cherish most in life, my core beliefs to be tolerant of others.

    I think it intersting while the ACLU says we have to take down the 10 commandments from our school becuase people might read them and if they read them they might be inclined to follow them -- such a bad thing, don't commit adultary, dont kill, don't steal, don't purger. Hm evil aren't they. Can't follow them out of religious belief yet most of them are written into our law, or would solve a lot of problems in our society.

    It seems like I am looked upon similarly harshly or as a freak for being 32 and only having had sex during the 3 years of marriage. I even heard a government official say "teaching abstenance is irresposible and inhumane" like we are out to torture people. Well lets see 1/3 of all children born are born outside of marriage, the largest # of people on welfare are single moms (and yes this includes divorce), many studies show one of the biggest causes of joining a gang is father absenteeism, STDs are at epodemic levels, and AIDS has spread largely throuh sex. So here we have Govt finances, crime, poverty, and health that all would be improved by a little morality. And yet some how I am sidelined and defamed.

    I think the media, news, hollywood and TV are the major forces behind this, and perhaps the ACLU, but it seems to become generally pervasive. Its not good to gay bash, but I feel that my opion is often the most umwelcome in conversation and I should not even bring it up, even among rather open minded people.

    That said I do not condone hatred of anyone. I am much a believer in hate the sin not the sinner. check my meet and greet "a small rant/rave/get it off my chest" if you think I blow water or came to any of these conculsions lightly. I do not condone gay bashing or anything of the like. Hatered and ignorance only leads to things like the inquisition, Naziism, the historical treatment of indians and blacks and the like.

    I post this here due to the openness of the people, the representation of most of the spectrum on these issues and would like to hear from both sides. I am not likely to change any of my beliefs but if I find I am wrong am likely to change some of my opinions.

    lets carry on a good debate, not just spew vendictive hatred. A paraphrase of a great quote, An argument must be an organized collections of facts to make a point not merely a contradiction of the other person. :D

    I have so been wanting to carry on this discussion in more of a mixed group. go to.
     
  2. Bluespeedoz

    Bluespeedoz New Member

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    Hi,

    First, may I say that while I do not agree with your outlook on this issue you have every right to it.

    Second, I don't think it is for me or you to tell other people who they should not sleep or have sex with as this is a personal matter only the individuals concerned can decide for themselves.

    Third, you quote from the Old Testament, specifically Leviticus, and I do not dispute what this says.

    Fourth, the Old Testament was written long before Christ came to earth. What he taught us updated and / or replaced in many ways what the Old Testament says. Amongst his many teachings He taught us that God is Love, that we should love one another and love Him. Afterall He came to the earth to redeem our sins, no matter what those sins might be.

    Fifth, I believe that if two people including same sex couples love one another they have every right to have a loving sexual relationship with one another and that in doing they are so are not committing any sin.

    Six, in the end it does not matter what you or I believe - we could each be wrong because we are not infallible.

    Seven, we will all be judged by Him when the time comes. As He is a God of Love I trust that if any sin has been committed that we will not be punished for them but forgiven if we are truly sorry.

    Eight, finally can I say this is a very complex issue which we could debate ad infinitum and still never agree on. I have set out my personal beliefs for you to consider but it is not my job to persuade you and others of the rightness or otherwise of them. I have done my best to set my beliefs out in a respectful way and I trust that they will be received in the same way.
     
  3. Imported

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    wvalady1968: I couldn't possibly add much to what Mike has so eloquently written.

    But I do believe that we are born with our sexual identity, i.e. created by God with our preferences. Who am I to tell Him that He did it wrong?

    If I can't conceive of changing my sexual preferences, why should I expect someone else to? And it's hard to believe that anyone would choose a more difficult path if they had another option. And being gay in today's society is difficult and often dangerous.

    I know many wonderful gay men and women, Christian and otherwise. When I have a conflict of beliefs, I opt to go by what Christ said, only, ignoring the prophets and disciples. And He spoke of love and tolerance, and not judging others.
     
  4. xtrathickdick

    xtrathickdick Member

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    I love Jesus. It's his followers that scare the shit out of me.
     
  5. mindseye

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    1. I think your first example is absurd. You claim that calling the break between fall and spring semester the "winter holiday" instead of "Christmas" is a form of discrimination. It's not.

      It's a more general term for the break, rather than a more specific term. It's as if you walked into a grocery store and said, "Look at all the vegetables!" That statement doesn't discriminate against carrots because you used a generic term instead of a specific term.

      Using the term "winter break" connotes tolerance for the members of the community who aren't Christian, but it doesn't slight the people who are Christian one bit. If you were a victim of real discrimination, you'd understand what a petty quibble you're making here.

    2. You cite Leviticus as justification for your beliefs. But I haven't seen you protest against shaving, or wearing cotton/poly blends. Do you banish parishioners with cataracts from your church? Or import slaves from Canada?

      See, I have never met a Christian who faithfully obeys the proscriptions in Leviticus. But I have met many who take one verse from Chapter 18 out of context to justify their homophobia.

    3. Religious practice and the law are two separate entities. We are not asking to force your church to consecrate gay marriages or to accept gay couples in your ranks. (Of course, we wish your church were more tolerant!) What we are asking for is equal access to the 1,138 legal rights (PDF) afforded only to those married couples with penis-vagina parity.

      We obey the same laws, and pay the same taxes. And even if you insist that homosexuality is a sin, you must agree that every couple who does have these legal rights is also made up of sinners.

    4. You bring up irrelevant ideas in justifying your opposition. "Single moms" have nothing to do with equal marriage rights. It's an attempt to lump a whole bunch of diverse issues together under a single umbrella. You're using economic and educational issues to blur your focus.

    5. I was raised as a Christian, and there used to be a time when marriage was defined in terms of things like love, fidelity, trust, and commitment. You mention none of these things in your argument. The Federal Marriage Amendment mentions none of these things either. In their zealous opposition to homosexuality, the Christian right has reduced the once-noble institution of marriage down to a mere question of who has the hot dog and who has the taco.

      Personally, I'd rather focus my efforts on repudiating sham marriages that are motivated by quick fame (Rick Rockwell/Darva Conger), inheritance (Anna Nicole Smith/Howard Marshall), drunken impulsiveness (Britney Spears/Jason Alexander) or to defuse negative publicity (Michael Jackson/Lisa Marie Presley). Where's the proposed constitutional amendment to defend America from these attacks on the sanctity of marriage? Has the Christian right abandoned all their values, but one?

    6. In the same post, you call homosexuality "worthy of causing hate or disgust -- I think that pretty accurately describes it"; then you call for me to "not just spew vendictive hatred." Sounds like one of us can dish it out but can't take it.
     
  6. SpeedoGuy

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    Same here. And when it comes to politically exploiting their supposed status as "victims", few groups can top today's brand of loudmouth conservative Christians active in the religious right.

    SG
     
  7. Imported

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    doubtless_mouse:
    Suaige - The comment you make here is part of the problem. I am going to rewrite it two times with a few changes, see if these sound any better.

    This statement doesn’t sound very good when we change out the gay community for the African-American community does it. As a matter of fact it sounds a lot like the beliefs held by many people 40+ years ago. These people too were conservative Christians as well. Many of them thought that it was their god’s word and will that they held belief to. They were not willing to change their way of life, nor their way of thinking.

    Does this sound any better…to me it doesn’t. This was a view held 80+ years ago by the same type of people. These were god fearing men (and women) who felt that god did not create women equal to men. These same people helped the poor, cared for their children, etc. They were not bad people; they just didn’t want to change their way of life, nor their way of thinking.

    The next few statements are my thoughts, they are not intended to offend anyone, but as we have started a discussion based on the exchange of ideas, then I too should be allowed to express mine.

    I will be honest, I don’t understand homosexuality. I am not saying I think it is immoral or evil or guaranteed to bring eternal damnation, I just don’t understand it. I accept it, I accept homosexuals. They are living the life they choose to live. Is it a choice made by the individual or is it a predetermined characteristic of the person like the color of their eyes or the color of their hair? I don’t know. Do I care which it is? Not really. I feel that each and every one of us should live our lives the way we see fit. Should gay couple be allowed to marry, I can’t see why not.
     
  8. Imported

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    suaige: a real quick note got to run.

    my first my example about christmas is a fact, there was a large ity in like Illinioin or MI or somewhere overthere that was sued by the ACLU and barred from using the word chrismas in any of its decorations. they had to give it a generic name of winter holiday or something thing like that. I do not remember the details as to the city and they excact wordage, but they were barred by the court from using the word chirstmas in any of the cities christmas decor, the whole church and state thing. It had to be presented as a non-chirstian holiday if the city was doing to do anything for it at all.

    Second I was afraid I would come across more harsh than I intended using that quote, it was fresh on my mind as having just read it. and I should have inserted the word UNFORTUNATLEY in there, because that is unfortunately how homosexuality comes across to many people. I think that is why there is so much gay bashing and such. I do not think beating someone to death is the answer to anything.

    And yes my thing about singles moms has nothing to do with gay marriage, it has to do with morality in general as you will see from the rest of that paragraph.

    I do appreciate the replies. I was expecting both, agreement and disagreement. so feel free and say what you like. But lets try and keep from getting too hostile.
     
  9. InsertHere

    InsertHere New Member

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    I think I haven't seen enough of your perspective on the issue, but living as I do now in a more conservative part of the country, I hope I will. What you said about morality intrigues me.

    While it is certainly true that the ten commandments and the teachings of Christ in general do promote a morality that more people would do well to follow, my problem with your argument stems from the fact that you seem to believe that Christianity is the ONLY path to morality, and thus everybody should be taught it, whether they want to or not. While I haven't studied the bible, that doesn't vibe with my understanding of Christ's teachings about tolerance.

    If a CITY is decorating for Christmas, that is nudging the line that separates church and state a bit. While the lawsuit may seem a bit ridiculous at first, remember that things like that can be the "thin edge of the wedge," opening up possibilities for more gross breaches of this constitutional dictate.

    I have several Christian friends who also feel that their religion is under attack for the sake of political correctness (kids can study every "winter holiday" in school except for christmas, generally), I also know several Christians who don't feel the need to learn about any other religion, and don't think children should either. For me, that's cheating our children out of a balanced education and a balanced view of the world.

    As far as homosexuality goes, I think I'm far too biased in this area to say anything that will add to or change your understanding of this issue. But think about what doubtless_mouse said, and try to remember Jesus's teachings of love and tolerance in general. Although you try to keep your actions reasonable, "love thy neighbor" goes beyond actions. It has to do with what you feel in your heart. And hate, fear, or disgust in your heart is not very Christian, no matter what a certain verse in the bible may say about who it's directed towards.
     
  10. stx1979

    stx1979 New Member

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    This my first post. I feel strongly enough about this topic to share.

    To respond to InsertHere, most within the Christian faith do believe that believing in Christ, confessing your sins to Him, and accepting Him into your heart and life is the only way to make it to heaven. Jesus Himself said "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14.6)

    Now concerning the "pick-a-verse" method that sadly too many people on both sides use when justifying their beliefs on homosexuality... The Bible is written as a narrative to be a guide for faith and action. It's not a book on systematic theology; it's a collection rich in history, morality, values, and revelation of the Messiah. The Bible is not meant to be picked out. I have no answers for those extremists who take a select few verses out of context. And for crying out loud, even the Apostle Paul said all things are permissible (including moral issues). But he also said that not all is profitable (including moral issues).

    As pointed out, Christ did not come into this world to condemn it but to redeem it. He is love and He encompasses all with love. But does that mean that God has to forgive everyone after their time on earth has expired? No. Can He? Sure. If He wants to, I'm not telling God how to run His show! But one thing I know is that the Bible contains instruction on faith and values. Eternity is one thing I never want to be wrong about.

    Interestingly, throughout both the Old and New Testaments, God dealt with people corporately rather than individually (ex: Noah and the Flood, Tower of Babel, Moses and the Law, Period of the Judges, Divided Kingdoms, the Early Church, the epistles, the churches in Revelation). While God relates to us individually, it is very difficult to separate an individual from the corporate body in matters of moral issues. So for many Christians, one moral issue is intrinsically tied to another. This is why so many Christians seem so defensive about the gay marriage issue.
     
  11. MisterMark

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    Religion divides people. It always has and it always will. Anytime I hear someone talk about doing good deeds because "it's the Christian thing to do", I just shake my head (and then I discount much of what they say after that). Anything and everything can be justified in the name of "God" or in the name of a religion, including war and murder.

    Oh - and yes, I am intolerant of people who want to deny science and reality and who spend time praying to a ghost, hoping that the ghost will solve their problems.

    We need more Atheists in America. We've got enough "Christians".
     
  12. InsertHere

    InsertHere New Member

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    How you get to heaven is almost entirely unrelated to morals, which is what I talked about. I know that this is difficult for some people to separate, and I also know that it pains people who are very certain that their non-Christian friends are not going to heaven - but they can admit that they are good people.

    And some people don't believe in heaven. It's sort of a moot point from my perspective...
     
  13. Imported

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    suaige: have not read any more since my post this morning, I was in a big hurry and am pretty tired now, but thought I should rephrase something as I realized I sound to have contradicted myself.

    as for calling homosexuality an abomination, my first statement was that many seem to still feel about it as i defined above.

    My second was supposed to mean something more like, unfortunately many who feel that way do not look beyond that feeling far enough to treat people like humans or get to know them. I have dealt with it myself, my brother is gay and I have friends who are. So while my moral opinions on it do not change. I hope you understand I am not out for blood or nothing and think this is case where many on both sides would probably benefit from understanding the other better. Especially people who tend to be judge jury and exocutioner.
     
  14. ponybilt

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    I have never met a purported Christian who agrees to disagree, so a mutual understanding of the others' point of view does not aid in moving the discussion further; It results in so-called "compassionate conservatives," using religion as a means to inject legislated discrimination into the US constitution. In fact you end up with people like Fred Phelps applauding the brutal murder of of Mat Shepard, and picketing the funeral and telling Mat's parents that he's burning in hell. Nice morals, there.

    As to the city suit you mention, the US is supposed to have separate church and state. If the city (a government entity) displays "Christmas" decorations, then what does that say? That the official, state-sanctioned religion is Christianity? To be all-inclusive, they would either have to mention all religious holidays, or make it generic to include all citizens. Oh, except that the neo-cons don't want to include everyone, because the rest of us are going to hell -- double hell for those of us who happen to be gay, as well. Why should my tax dollars be used to pay for your holiday?

    And gay marriage? Why do people have a problem with it? You can't offer one protection or benefit to one class of people without offering it to everyone.

    As Mindseye pointed out people like Britney Spears have already defaced the institution of marriage. Oh, and so has the 50 percent divorce rate. Why not legislate against Britney Spears ever being allowed to marry. That'll help protect the sanctity of marriage. In fact, if you're not Christian, then we should make it illegal for them to marry as well. That just infringes on on Christian's rights, and makes sooo much more work for them to discriminate against all those extra people.

    Hope everyone's having a nice day :D

    To edit, after having read Naughty's post: Yes, I pointed out the most horrific examples of what's wrong with the Christian conservatives in the US, but it exists. This was not at all intended to be a direct attack on Suaige. It was intended to point out the love/hate hypocracy that dominates the beliefs and actions of those in power.

    Hope everyone's having an extra nice day :D
     
  15. naughty

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    Workin' up a good pot of mad!
    Fellow members,

    Suaige has expressed his beliefs and opinions in a non offensive and respectful manner. He has not called any one member out, he has not used derogatory names nor has he flamed anyone in his response to some rather angry responses to his post. I too am a christian. I also have friends and loved ones who are gay.I do not hate them I do not necessarily agree with their lifestyle but that does not stop me from loving them nor even having them as friends. Christ looked at the person not the behavior. But when he truly felt something was wrong he did not fail to let it be known. Yes, we all know of unfortunate individuals who have taken it upon themselves to serve as judge, jury and high executioner. But then there are people of every religion who have made a sham and mockery of their alleged beliefs.We in the United States and across the world are living with the daily results of this type of behavior a quite tragic example being 911. I was asked a few weeks ago why was I not as vociferous about certain things as other christians they had met and why was I here.I guess that is something I will have to answer for myself. But please note that many of our members come here for legitimate support in dealing with the unique challenges of extreme endowment.But that is only a small part of who they are. Please if you wish to be allowed to live and let live then try to do the same. Thank you.

    naughty
     
  16. jonb

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    The problem is that conservative Christians engage in the same defamation. Every time you see a Christian mention anything about gays (gays as pedophiles, universality of one-man/one-woman marriage, etc.), he's most likely invoking Job 13:7.
    No one's forcing you to give up your core beliefs. However, they're forcing you to give up your "right" to force others to adopt your core beliefs. Bottom line: The First Amendment covers free speech, but not free speach
    And what kind of psychopath thinks you're supposed to do those things? You don't need some invisible man in the sky telling you "Thou shalt not kill." You might need one to tell you not to work every seventh day, but it only makes sense to take a day off every now and then to rest.
    1) Every level is "epodemic [sic] levels". In case you've forgotten, many of these diseases aren't endemic to humans, therefore they are epidemic. (A lot of diseases jump species; Hong Kong's had a problem with one such disease, SARS.)
    2) 1/3 of all mothers give birth to their first child outside of marriage. Needless to say, most women give birth to more than one child; otherwise, our species would've gone extinct ages ago.
    3) In terms of dollars, corporations certainly outnumber single mothers as welfare recipients.
    4) South Africa tried abstinence-only education; had Mandela endorsed condoms, he would've lost backing from Xhosa elders. Do you know South Africa's adult seroprevalence rate? 21.5%
    Actually, one justification was becuase Indians allowed for same-sex marriage. And guess what those pink triangles mean? Either way, I have two words for you: Godwin's law.
     
  17. B_DoubleMeatWhopper

    B_DoubleMeatWhopper New Member

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    I'm giving a response as a gay Christian ... and yes, there are many of us. The existence of groups like Dignity, Integrity, Affirmation, Axios, TransFaith, CLOUT, Q-Light, the Metropolitan Community Church and others attests to this. Do not confuse morality with heterosexuality or Christianity ... they are not the same things. There are many gay men and women who have a strong moral sense, and as we all well know, there are many heterosexuals who have no clue about morality. Adding religion to the mix doesn't help. Less helpful still is quoting Leviticus. Levitical law was directed specifically to the Jews of the Exodus. The precepts of Levitical law served two purposes: to keep the Jewish people alive during their forty years in the desert and to affirm them as a people of a separate culture. Break from Levitical law by the Christians is attested as early as the apostles themselves. Peter ate foods that violated the rules of kosher, and ate them with Gentiles ... and Peter was Jewish! During the first century A. D. The law of Moses was superceded by the law of Christ by his followers, and it's a shame that modern Christians have forgotten that. "Love one another as I have loved you" ... what's ambiguous about that? "Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God." These are words from our Testament and express the core of our beliefs. "Everyone who loves" ... not"only heterosexuals who love" nor "only Christians who love". If you're opposed to gay marriage, that's fine. That's an opinion based on tradition, and tradition has value. But to oppose homosexuality based on moral grounds? That's making a dangerous and judgemental assumption, and what Christianity teaches about making moral judgments against others should be well-known to those who profess to be its followers.
     
  18. jonb

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    Not only that, DMW, but most people today don't follow all the laws of Leviticus, outside the Islamic world at least.
     
  19. Imported

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    pghcyclist:
    Jon, don't worry. As the first vice-president of an ACLU chapter and a member of a board of a state ACLU affiliate (I'm not yet on the national board, but I can hope, can't I?), the one thing I got use to was people saying, "my problem with the ACLU is..." then having something totally different from what I'd heard before being said. It took three years before any person repeated what someone else said. The ACLU defends the constitution and takes hundreds of position. It is impossible for anyone who agrees with their general principles to not disagree some position. Whether it is defending the KKK or the rights of comic book publishers or some other issue, there are so many positions that the ACLU takes on principle that any thinking person may disagree.

    Fortunately for the ACLU, the Ten Commandments argument is an easy one. There are several versions of this document that differ between religions. There is a Jewish version of the ten commandments, a Catholic version, a Protestant version and some religions have no version of it all. Which version is correct? If a school were to proscribe a particular version, which religion's should be adopted and how would someone who is not a member of that particular sect feel when their children are taught someone else's religious values? Maybe we should teach the original Jewish version that worshipping a triology of "Father/Son/Holy ghost" is wrong, but I don't think many Christians would feel comfortable with that. Maybe, there are some things best left for parents to teach children and not involve public schools, but then, I'm Jewish and I support the ACLU so what do I know.
     
  20. evanrude36360

    evanrude36360 New Member

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    Today gay people have to understand the the lifestyle is not apart of the identity. Christ makes our identity. I am gay though my identity is not of the lifestyle. Gay people have been around since the dawn of time and I feel that the gay movement is not a good voice for the rest of us. I think gay people should be left alone and continue as we have always have. I do not feel any type of legislation will allow us to be happier or make anything any different. I do not agree with a the gay movement nor to am I for any type of legislation. As Christians we should lead people to love just as Christ did. I am saved in Christ and Christ is my identity. Less government allows all of us to be more free.
     
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