If I Were a Street Preacher.

I read recently about, Matt Moore, a young evangelical.  He blogs as an “ex gay” Christian saying, “You can leave gay behind.”  But, he periodically registers on a gay social site looking for companionship.

The interview below is a sad commentary on the cruelness of evangelical religion.  He acknowledges his daily longing for same sex companionship.

Because he is convinced homosexuality is a sin, he trys not to look for companions.  He has sold his computer and had someone else program his phone so he cannot go to gay chat sites.  He said about his same-sex attractions, “There is no solution.”

So there he sits with decades of intense conflict ahead of him.  He cannot do anything about his sexual orientation but believes he cannot live as gay because it is sin.  Religion has assigned to him a life of unhappiness and he has voluntarily accepted it.

How different that is from the lives of gay couples I know.  They have successful careers and households that fulfill their need for companionship.  Their lives are filled with community engagement and the confidence they are living lives worthy of praise from others.

I wish I were a street preacher saving souls like Matt Moore.  I would tell them sin was invented to control people.

Then, I’d shout, “Forget sin.  Replace it with a dedication to be the best possible citizen you can be, helping others to make their lives better. Don’t let religion steal happiness from you.”


Profile photo of Jon Lindgren

About Jon Lindgren

I am a former President of the Red River Freethinkers in Fargo, ND, a retired NDSU economics professor and was Mayor of Fargo for 16 years. There is more about me at Wikipedia.com.
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55 Responses to If I Were a Street Preacher.

  1. Michael Ross says:

    “Forget sin. Replace it with a dedication to be the best possible citizen you can be, helping others to make their lives better. Don’t let religion steal happiness from you.”

    Just go ahead and indulge. ” If it feels good, do it”, as we said in the sexual revolution of the ’60s.
    Will this include pedophiles in the future?

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Michael 2:02 “Will this include pedophiles in the future?”

      I’m glad you included the phrase from my blog, “…be the best possible citizen you can be…” Now, not everyone will be a good citizen, but that will have nothing to do with religion. Among the “peddophile in the future” will be a fairly large group of priests and preachers. There have always been some.

      • Michael Ross says:

        I feel for Matt Moore. He is trying to walk the straight and narrow but his fleshly lusts and the culture he lives in tells him to go ahead and do what he knows is wrong. If the culture said “NO”, period, he would likely never have fallen into this lifestyle (deathstyle) and would live a normal life as a heterosexual. We all have to struggle with temptations and with God’s grace we can overcome but when we succumb He is there with mercy and forgiveness. These struggles are not unique to homosexuals

        “No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

        • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Michael 2:52 “If the culture had said “NO”, period, he would likely never have fallen into this lifestyle (deathstyle) and would live a normal life as a heterosexual.”

          First of all, Michael, society has been saying NO for hundreds of years. The occurrance of homosexuality has nothing to do with whether society says nor or yes. And, it hardly ever happens, if ever, people who are gay become heterosexual. Homosexuality is the “normal” for for gay people.

    • Brad says:

      Religion is just an ancient political system designed by political and religious hustlers for the sole purpose of controlling people through guilt and fear, while putting themselves in positions of power and accumulating wealth. Aside from the obvious benefits to the hustlers, it has never really worked, but freedom affords us the ability for some people to delude themselves into thinking it does.

      • Michael Ross says:

        Are you saying the world would be better of without religion? You need to move to North Korea.

        • entech says:

          Perhaps, you could try preaching Christianity in Mecca. With and without there are bad examples.

          Actually I think NK does have a religion, it is called ancestor worship – as long as your ancestor is called Kim.

          • Michael Ross says:

            In other words they worship the state just as we do here. Although here it has been somewhat restrained by the Christian Gospel but that has weakened now and the state is becoming more tyrannical.

          • Jinx says:

            The Holy Roman Empire could be considered a state as well………..boy talk about political snow job on the believers!

          • Michael Ross says:

            The Bible was not available to the masses at the time. Only kings and clergy had Bibles and, yes, they told the people what they wanted them to believe. A snow job it was.

  2. Richard Peterson says:

    @Michael Ross

    “Will this include pedophiles in the future?”

    Why should it? Laws against sex with children protect those who have not developed the ability to make their own decisions about their bodies. Your comment seems to assume that gays/lesbians are similarly immature. There is no basis for that belief; no evidence that they are less capable than heterosexuals of making their own decisions.

    Not that that is saying much.

    • Michael Ross says:

      ” Laws against sex with children protect those who have not developed the ability to make their own decisions about their bodies”

      What is the age of consent? 16? Will we hear the call to lower it to 14 or 12? We can’t legally consume alchohol until 21 but we can create another life at 16. I’d say our laws are too liberal now. How many 16 year olds that you know are mature adults?

  3. .e says:

    Alcoholics struggle in similar ways. I would expect gamblers and pedophiles the same. It may be a struggle the rest of your life.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      .e 3:10 re: alcoholics, gamblers, pedophiles the same.

      These are criminal and self destructive behaviors. Homosexuality is no more criminal or self destructive than heterosexuality. Surely you are not classifying homosexuality with alcoholism, gambling addition and pedphilia. Or, are you???

  4. buzz marick says:

    Does neutering take the urge for sexual activity away or is it also a mental obsession?

    • entech says:

      Let me know if you ever experiment with yourself to find out. :twisted:

    • Jinx says:

      2 points to my response:

      1. Chemical castration or actual castration, Depo injections, etc are not effective enough for pedophiles to totally eliminate the behavior and protect all children. Arousal is hormonal, AND as one’s personal experience increases, arousal also become’s a learned response. So its both, hormone driven and a learned behavior with a long chain of behavioral triggers.

      2. A pedophile can abuse a child sexually without an erect penis.

  5. entech says:

    If you have 2 (more if that is your want) mature people that know what they want and understand the consequences then religion should keep it’s dirty little nose out of it.

    Note well: mature, understanding – this would exclude most of the things people bring up as being a natural corollary to anything they do not approve of.
    I have news, your approval is not requested or required and I feel sorry for those twisted, perverted minds that think same sex attraction is a precursor to every abomination that they can think of, but that very few “normal” people would think of and possibly many have never even heard of.

  6. buzz marick says:

    entech 3:45 That was serious request for information. Not for a smart ass comment.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buzz 4:02 “Not a smart ass comment.”
      Let me approach you comment, then, in a slightly different way than entech did. Were you talking about nuetering heterosexuals, homosexuals, men, women or all?

    • entech says:

      Sorry Buzz, my idea of humour quite often leaves something to be desired.

      From what I have read a lot of aberrant behaviour rape, child molestation etc is a result of some terrible need to be dominant as much as it is for sexual gratification. Whether the removal of the possibility of sexual gratification results in the suppression of these aberrant desires I don’t know. I suspect not, while it seems that many can not get sexual gratification without going through whatever they need to do, the basic psychological defects would remain. The result of neutering could perhaps be catastrophic – adding severe frustration to the problem could lead to the development of a serial killer.

      Perhaps someone who actually knows could enlighten us both.

      • Jinx says:

        Entech, rapers of adult women fall under 3 catagories, Power Rapists, Anger Rapists and Sadistic Rapists. Pedophiles are more difficult to catagorize and generally fall under basic differentiation where they prefer same sex, opposite sex or no differentiation between sexes. There are a small number of pedophiles that were not victims themselves but do feel inadequate when it comes to having a normal relationship with adult women. Being a victim seems to play a strong role in the development towards pedophilia. NOTE: Many child victims never become pedophiles!!!

    • Jinx says:

      Buzz, I gave an answer to you inquiry based on research. How to prevent pedophiles from re-offending has been a hot research topic for decades…..and its damn hard even if castrated.

  7. .e says:

    Same sex attraction is a disordered desire against nature. The acting out of that desire is destructive. Any sexual act outside marriage, is disordered and destructive.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      .e 4:27 “Same sex attraction is a disorded desire against nature.”

      Certainly, some religions think that is a true statement. Outside of religion, there is not consensus it is true. The problem is defining “against nature” or what is “natural”. Everyone agrees two sexes are necessary procreation. But, if homosexuality occurs regularly in a certain percentage of people, as it does in animals, it that “natural”? There are all kinds of variations in humans that occur randomly without being altered by “unnatural” or man made guidence.

      As to being “destructive”, gay people can now marry in several states so it is not destructive in those states.

      • entech says:

        Jon. 5:02 I think you missed one of the dangers of this “normative” approach as suggested by .E .E and Aristotle, Thomas Aquinas et.al.

        Briefly if you can demonstrate that something is “against nature”, unnatural, not normal and so on you are halfway to defining people that are “not normal” in your terms as “the other”. When you can have a clear normative definition of the other, as Jews in Nazi Germany were “the other”, then as “the other” is not normal you can redefine them as not human, and then anything goes. Anything can be justified Hitler’s Holocaust, The Jewish pogroms in Christian Tsarist Russia, burning at the stake for heretics, the death penalty for homosexuality; name it and it can be done.

        Who decides what is normal, Fred Phelps, Michele Bachmann, me, you ? I hope not.

      • Jinx says:

        The percentage of homosexuals is a constant number across cultures, ethnic groups, and as much as can be determined, over time. I can’t recall the percent but I believe it is between 2-4 %.

    • entech says:

      There are some marriages, with abused wives (although I have read of cases where the wife is the abuser). In these cases the sexual act within marriage is disordered and destructive.

      • Jinx says:

        Whoa there Entech!!! You aren’t making an argument that the abused wife is somehow to blame if her child is abused by her husband BUT some readers will. There are a number of abusive marriages where the children also become sexual victims of their father……..(I would have to catch up on teh research to give any hard facts). The question is …Why does he abuse?….. and that is completely separate from issues with his wife, sexual or otherwise.

    • Brad says:

      This idea that people can simply “choose” their sexuality is insane. It’s saying that a gay person, who by nature is really heterosexual, just decides one day that they are going to completely abandon their current sexual desires, and switch their attraction to those of the same sex. Anyone who actually believes this is apparently out of touch with their own sexual identity, because I can tell you as a heterosexual person, I could no more abandon the attraction I have for the opposite sex than I could sprout wings and fly.

      • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

        Brad 4:13 “Anyone who actually believes this is apparently out of touch with their own sexual identity.”

        Perfect expression of the truth. I’ve had right wing religious heterosexaul people say to me when I have made this point, “Oh, I could become gay.” Never seen them do it, however

        • Brad says:

          Well, it boils down to this: in order to believe that a gay person chooses their sexuality, you either have to believe that nobody is born with any sort of sexual orientation, and that all people choose their sexuality at some point (in adolescence I presume), or you have to believe that everyone is born a heterosexual and that some people choose to stop being attracted to the opposite sex and start being attracted to the same sex. Neither way makes any sense to me.

          • Jinx says:

            Good point Brad!

            When my son was 8 years old he became aware that there was something different about him but he didn’t know what. Rural life on a dairy farm with no known gay people in the small nearby town wasn’t even close to so called “gay indoctrination” touted by the right wing evangelicals. He kept this secret to himself until he was a senior in high school……I figured it out 4 years earlier and waited until he was ready to tell me. He got nothing but support from me, his step dad and those who his true friends.

            He and all others like him were born gay and that is supported more and more by good research. Pray away the gay? Matt Moore is in total denial and living that lie will suck him dry.

  8. buzz marick says:

    jon 4:28 I am talking all people of any persuasion. Simple question I thought.

  9. buzz marick says:

    entech 4:43 no problem. i know the feeling.thanks for the info

  10. .e says:

    Entech, you are correct. It is also possible and probably quite common that a husband and wife use each other for sexual satisfaction. The goal of the sexual embrace is total self giving. The benefits of this love is to bond the couple and the potential for new life.

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      .e 5:20 “and the potential for new life.”

      I’ve always been curious about this little marker laid down by those who don’t approve of gays. It seems like the Catholic Church should treat marriages of old folks as a taboo just as it treats gay marriage. That is to say, when old people marry, they might not be able to “consumate” the marriage and have no intention nor ability to fulfill, “potential for new life.” What is the deal with the devil that allows priests to marry old folks.

  11. Profile photo of Mac Mac says:

    Well, I scanned through the comments until my eyes glazed over . . .

    Why do any of you commentators think you’re worthy to validate or discredit the life Ricky and I share?

    Michael, not interested in Bible references . . . we’ve done that.

    • entech says:

      Nothing personal Mac, I thought I was talking generalities. You know – not normal meas different, different means and so on, a dangerous path.
      But it is worth noting that this topic, being concerned with “sin” seems to have taken a quicker path to life than the last few. Could this be what will be projected as Jon’s fascination with sin? The fascination seems to be on the other foot, if I may mix a metaphor.

    • Michael Ross says:

      I thought you were a “Christian”. Where do you get your moral code? “It can’t be wrong when it feels so right” as Debbie Boone (I think) sang?

      • Profile photo of Mac Mac says:

        Michael, I’m probably getting off track here, but it’s been my experience some Christians have the most deplorable moral code of conduct. What you call moral code I call character and that has very little to do with religion.

        And for the record, God and I just fine on all accounts.

        • Michael Ross says:

          “You will know them by their fruits. Grapes are not gathered from thorn bushes nor figs from thistles, are they?”(Matthew 7:16)

          • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Michael re Matthew 7:16 Mac did not quote scripture, he asked you earlier not to do so either. Maybe we could work on arguments that don’t use scripture.

          • Michael Ross says:

            Sorry, I didn’t mean to offend Mac. He’s not the Freethinker you are, apparently.

          • Jinx says:

            Mac isn’t a free thinker! Judging him is not the actions of a freethinker!

            Matthew 7:16, read that again and then try to understand how others may apply that statement to you.

            Then, go and read Matthew’s “Judge not…….”

            Pluck the board from thy eye before criticizing the splinter in another’s…….

    • Jinx says:

      Mac, your relationship is beautiful to me. If a gay couple are content with each other and face the world together they should serve as an example to all married life, hetero or homosexual. That is how my gay sons relationship with his partner is. I am so proud of both of them.

  12. entech says:

    Michael 6:19. The whole of Mathew 7 is a lot of trite nonsense. When I see an apple tree I “expect” to see apples, similarly for pears and peaches. Obviously words for the city folk that have been lured into the country and need a bit of education. It goes on, good trees give good fruit, bad trees bad fruit. By their fruit shall you know them, that is so blindingly obvious and repeating what you just said, “see you city slickers that is how you know it is a grape vine it has grapes growing on it, see the apple tree over there, you can tell by the fact that it has apples growing on it”. Right from verse 1 don’t go round judging people to verse 23 should be a warning to those who think they are perfect and others are Sinners.

    As for morality, the worst book one can imagine, moral behaviour kill them all except the little girls.

  13. buzz marick says:

    Jon: How do these postings get so out of sequence?

    • Profile photo of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buzz 2:35 “Jon: How do these postings get so out of sequence?”

      I really don’t know. I think they are always in the sequence in which they arrive at the site, but I would guess some arrive more quickly than others depending on the server each person has. Sometimes that server might have a lot of traffic so that person’s message is delayed a little while. I get all the posts on an email account and read them there before I read them here so I don’t miss any. Sometimes they arrive in my email in a different sequence than they appear here–I get an answer to someone’s post before the post itself.

      I appreciate people who can enter a little of the post they are responding to so readers can more easily follow the back and forth. But, typing is more difficult for some folks and I understand it if they don’t. Sometimes I edit the post to include what the person is responding tol

  14. buzz marick says:

    Jon 2:35 Thanks

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