Does the Christian Faith Have More Love than Hate or Visa Versa?

I must start by saying branches of the Christian faith do incredible amounts of good deeds.  In certain ways, the faith has changed the world with these deeds. There are too many to even start discussing.

But, part of the faith also is about hate.  The hate projected at patients and abortion providers has been matched by hatred toward gays.  Today a branch of Lutheranism in Ethiopia is splitting off from the international church reflecting this hatred.  On the official level, however, branches of Protestantism would have trouble matching the Catholic Church.

The outgoing Pope, when a Cardinal, called gays objectively disordered and intrinsically evil.  He referred to transgendered people as mentally disordered.  As Pope, he said marriage between gays would endanger world peace.  He smacked down nuns and dismantled the social gospel efforts in Central and South America.

While this Pope has expressed remorse about the abuse of children under his watch, he has never apologized for his vitriolic condemnation of gays/trans.

There is a story from Europe today about allegations of castration of boys ordered by priests in the 1950′s.  It was to cure their homosexuality.

This pattern of calling itself a loving religion but projecting hatred is changing the religious face of the globe.  We see Catholicism falling in Latin America, stalled out in the U. S. and Europe.  We see anti gay versions of Protestantism stalled in North American and Europe, but growing on the African continent.

Demonization and good deeds have always been side by side in religion and politics.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-17453849

Avatar 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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20 Responses to Does the Christian Faith Have More Love than Hate or Visa Versa?

  1. entech says:

    This shows that the MAIN problem is that there are not enough faithful in Europe, if they were a majority the covers would remain firmly in place.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      entech 5:16 “…if there were a majority the covers would remain firmly in place.”

      Sort of true in the U. S. as well. There are just not enough conservative Catholics and Protestants to maintain the control needed.

  2. Doug says:

    Church Stands Up Against Bullying and Supports GLBT Youth

    http://www.uppermichiganssource.com/news/story.aspx?id=861907#.USJW1qVwq84
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
    Please read this short article.
    THIS is what the Mormons and the Roman Catholics SHOULD be doing in this world of hatred. I’m so glad the pope has resigned. Unfortunately the replacement will without a doubt be as bad, if not worse.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      Doug 5:06 re: church in Upper Michiage

      Good for this church. I read an article today where the writer speculated on how many GLBT youth would be alive today if every church were like this one. You have to think if all churches were supportive, it would make a dent in the numbers of glbt youth suicides, now 2 1/2 time more likely than with straight youth.

      I can’t help but be a little snarky, I wish conservative churches were as concerned about the lives of glbt teens as they are about the unborn.

      • Doug says:

        While all statistics regarding the LGBT community are merely estimates (there is no real way to know just how large a percent of the population even identify as belonging to this group, as many individuals are not even “out” to themselves), there have been a number of studies with regard to LGBT youth relative to the general population (peer group). Never the less, numerous studies have shown that lesbian, gay, and bisexual youth have a higher rate of suicide attempts than do heterosexual youth. Jon, the estimated rate you mentioned of 2 1/2 times is a bit short. The Suicide Prevention Resource Center synthesized these studies and estimated that between 30 and 40% of LGBT youth, depending on age and sex groups, have attempted suicide. A U.S. government study, titled Report of the Secretary’s Task Force on Youth Suicide, published in 1989, found that LGBT youth are FOUR times more likely to attempt suicide than other young people. This higher prevalence of suicidal ideation and overall mental health problems among gay teenagers compared to their heterosexual peers has been attributed to MINORITY STRESS (including peer and familiar rejection, bullying, unrelenting physical and/or mental and spiritual obuse, etc.)

        I do speak from experience when it comes to LGBT suicide. Early in my life I lost two very good friends who happened to be gay to suicide (separate incidents.) There was a period of about six years between the two tragedies. My life was never the same after that. I’m still paying to this day.

        • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

          Doug 8:09 People can speculate on the causes of all suicides. The thing is, if there is a harmless and cost free way attempt to reduce suicides, why not try it? If it helps, we can all celebrate. If it doesn’t, we are not out anything.

          Changing church dogma to declare homosexuality is not a sin and accept gay people as it does others would be cost free–it would not hurt or cost anyone anything. If teen suicides went down, churches could give themselves a well deserved pat on the back.

        • Jinx says:

          My beautiful gay son was suicidal when he finally came out to his father and I, he got our acceotance complete support immediately and an appointment and evaluation with in days. Between medication and a skilled counselor PLUS a gay friend of mine added his additional support, he was back to his old self in no time. My only concern was what the world would do to him and I didn’t want him and others like him to be hurt in anyway.

          He is a University professor and published author and the world would be less bright without him and his partner.

          Doug, I am so sorry for the loss of your friends. With a more tolerant and accepting society they would probably still be here living a normal life. Your friends were born two spirited and suffered needlessly for who they were.
          Please forgive yourself, you may not have been able to make a difference in their decision and then, ask yourself if your friends would still want you to continue paying.

          • Doug says:

            Jinx, thank you very much for your kind words of support. One never really recovers from the experiencing the loss of someone close following their suicide, much less sudden death from an accident or medical emergency. I’m so very glad to hear of the wonderful support your son received in dealing with this hate-filled world post-coming out. Sometimes things DO get better. I have been with my partner now for nearly 37 years, so I do feel like a veteran in this societal war. The only reason we’re still living in this repressive state of ND is because, until recently, I was family care-taker for my father who has recently passed away. As executor of his will, I’ve been cleaning up after all of that, including taxes for both him as well as for his estate. As soon as we’re able to formulate a plan, we are out of here. Life is too short to spend what time is left among such vitriolic people as we have come across here in ND. I thank you also, Jon. You’ve been in the forefront of this battle for many years, and we do appreciate it.

          • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

            Doug 10:16 “I thank you also, Jon. You’ve been in the forefront of this battle for many years, and we do appreciate it.”

            You’re welcome, Doug. Thank you also for moving through the societal myths that should have been blown away in winds of change long ago. I would never have become involved with this issue had not some brave young men come to the Mayor’s office to talk to me about it. They were a gift to my life.

          • Jinx says:

            Thank YOU Doug! So sorry for the recent death of your father and I do hope he was comforted by the care of his precious son. Despite the vitrol society directs toward the GLBT community, I do see progress towards tolerance and acceptance and hope once you move from ND you & your partner will experience this as well.

    • Simple says:

      I guess it depends on where a person is viewing from but I see a whole hell of a lot of hate come from christians.

      A story on GLBT bullying in Anoka-Hennepin scholl district in MN where the district was prevented from taking strong action by christians. This story made my blood boil.

      http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/one-towns-war-on-gay-teens-20120202

      • entech says:

        That story just about says it all. This is not tolerating bullying, not even encouraging bullying, this is almost making it compulsory.
        Hate? practically a definition.

        • Jinx says:

          I must add, my hope for that hate monger’s, (Michelle Bachmann) defeat in 2014 is at a fervent pitch. I am an agnostic but do believe Jesus was at least a great philospher & prophet who never condoned such hatred and chastisement of anyone.

          This Minnesotan is shamed by fact that Bachmann represents anyone from Minnesota in the US House of Reps.

  3. buzz marick says:

    I get so sick of you accusing me of Hate. I don’t hate you or any one else. I disagree with your lifestyles and alot of your ideas but to keep Bible bashing and judging Believers is so wrong and detracts from anything worthy you may contribute to Humanity. You would be well served by any recovery group in town. Just my opinion.

    • Avatar of Jon Lindgren Jon Lindgren says:

      buzz 7:54 “I get sick our you accusing me of hate….You would be well served by any recovery group in town.”

      I think my blog referred specifically to the kind of hate I was speaking of, the hate of gay people mostly. There is some of women also. Religion has been used to hate people of color and others.

      As to my needing a recovery group, what I really need to “recover” from being a skeptic is some evidence there is a super natural being. If there is a group that can provide that, I’ll attend. I haven’t heard of any churches that provide that information.

    • Doug says:

      If you are so sick of being accused of hate, then at least try to appear to be listening to what people are telling you. My having an affectation and/or attraction to SOME people of my own gender is not a LIFESTYLE. Spending summer weekends at a lake cabin, volunteering at a local hospital, collecting stamps, THOSE are lifestyles. BEING LGBT or straight, for that matter, is who we ARE, or at least one aspect among many. Having blue eyes, red hair, gluten intolerance, these are also aspects of an individual that one does not choose (they are certainly not lifestyles.) However, one CAN chose a religion, and yet that is a protected classification under the laws of this land. Yet, in ND (and in 32 other states) I can be fired from a job, refused public accommodations, kicked out of my apartment with no recourse. And, there are NO protections from the federal government for LGBT people. The damaging psychological and spiritual effect this can have on a MINORITY GROUP can become staggeringly devastating to ones self-image, especially with regard to LGBT youth.

      • Jinx says:

        Yes Doug, the Gay “lifestyle or agenda” is a christian figment of their imagination. When some mentions “the gay agenda/lifestyle” around me I always ask them exactly what that is…….they sleep, love, shop, grief, eat, work, garden, run for office, care for their children if they chose to have children, play sports just like everyone else. Why is it that perhaps the 1% of their behavior that is sexual somehow defines every aspect of their life! Is their a heterosexual lifestyle or agenda? Ridiculous!! Just as ridiculous as a Gay lifestyle or agenda isn’t it!

  4. Avatar of Mac Mac says:

    Jon, it’s been my real life experience that about 10-20% of Christians in our area are about vitriolic hatred. The rest tend to embrace Christ’s message of love and personal reflection and accountability.

    Regrettably, that 10-20% are bringing so much shame to the faith, that in normal society, to say someone is a “Christian” causes people to wince.

    Just callin’ it like I see and live with it . . .

    • Doug says:

      Well, since this 10% to 20 % of “christians” bring so much shame to their “faith”, perhaps the remaining 80% to 90% of Christ’s followers should be speaking up in support of LGBT people, . . . PEOPLE that are their children, their brothers, sisters, mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, cousins, neighbors, doctors, teachers, first-responders, contractors, designers, service men & women, etc. I am in total agreement with you, Mac. Christians need to save themselves from the “christians.”

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