Friday, September 23, 2005

Student Expelled Because of Parents' Relationship

A private Christian school in Ontario, California, expelled a student yesterday because it was discovered that her parents are lesbians.

The Los Angeles Times reports today: . . . .

Freshman Shay Clark, 14, was told to leave Ontario Christian High School after administrators learned of her parents' relationship this week.

"Your family does not meet the policies of admission," Supt. Leonard Stob wrote to Tina Clark, Shay's biological mother. The policy, he added, states that at least one parent cannot engage in practices "immoral or inconsistent with a positive Christian life style [sic] such as cohabitating without marriage or in a homosexual relationship."

The letter included two checks refunding $3,415, Shay's tuition for half the school year and an art fee. . . .

Clark and her partner, Mitzi Gray, have been together for 22 years, and have three daughters; the others are ages 9 and 19. Clark and Gray said school officials learned of their relationship after Shay and another cheerleader were reprimanded for talking to the crowd during a football game Sept. 16.

After Clark was told that her daughter could no longer attend the school, the mother was ordered to remove Shay from cheerleading practice, collect her daughter's belongings and leave the property. Shay and her parents say they will not appeal the school's ruling.

Do you believe that the school did the right thing based on its beliefs and policies? Or do you think the school should've taken a different approach in resolving the matter?

Hat tip to Matt Drudge at Drudge Report.

56 Comments:

At Friday, September 23, 2005 10:59:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

What do you think?

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 11:02:00 AM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

I bet you there are a few straight parents at that school that don't live up to their idea of a "positive Christian life style", but you gotta pick on the lesbians dont ya?

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 11:27:00 AM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Roch, I want you guys to react the situation, not me, at least not yet. That's why I left it open ended.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 11:48:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

The Constitution is pretty clear on the right of free association. As a private school, they have a right to do what they did (although their half-tuition refund might not be enough to cover the damages). But, their intolerance is deplorable in modern society and they should be condemned for it.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 11:52:00 AM, Blogger Roch101 said...

On second thought, they may not have had the right to do what they did because, by accepting payment, they established a contract. One would need to know if there were any rules agreed to between the school and parents about under what circumstances a child could be expelled. If the school didn't establish its right to expell students under these circumstances, then I think they may be in breach of contract.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 12:14:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

You know Roch, I was going to mention that contract possibility... I think moreover, eventually someone is going to realize that this is techincally a violation of civil rights that guarantee each person be afforded equal liberty among citizens. If this was the same article and the two parents where black, (instead of gay) can you imagine what would happen?

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 2:03:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Sun said...

They must have had to expel a lot of good kids of adulterous parents. They listened to the gossip and investigated those parents too, I'm sure.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 4:01:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

C'mon Beth, for crying out loud. When there is an obvious sin against God then yes the situation must be dealt with. Do you put everyone in jail because 1 or 2 are breaking the law? Of course not, you deal with the known offenders. Good grief!!!!

Man, this group of commenters seem to know an awful lot about this situation. Who among you has the bi-laws or specific code of conduct required by this school? I'm not saying I agree with this school's decision, I'm just saying without the facts your comments are merely rhetoric.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 4:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex,

I, too, wonder if we have heard the whole story. I respect the school's rights to establish a criteria. I also wonder what the contract was and whether or not the two 'parents' knew of this rule or not. And also how all this was uncovered.

The problem I have with it is the fact that it is hurting the child that has no control over the situation. I wish all kids could have a mother and father that love and live together- but that's not reality.

I have to imagine what would happen if little Jimmy's daddy was caught in a hotel room with a prostitute. Is he also going to be yanked out of school in shame? If the school would be that strict and treat such things equally across the board- then so be it.

But I believe that if the school was to monitor all parents that enrollment would be dwindling on a constant basis. I think I'll need to reserve judgment for the rest of the story...

the Heckler

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 4:31:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

So the Heckler is the judge - good to know that. Can't wait to hear his/her verdict when all the facts are in.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 5:38:00 PM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

bgh, Mickey asked this of his readers in his orignal post: "Do you believe that the school did the right thing based on its beliefs and policies? Or do you think the school should've taken a different approach in resolving the matter?"

And then, when a commenter asked Mickey to weigh in, he said: "I want you guys to react the situation."

So...The blogger invited a particular type of comment...and the commenters have replied thoughtfully. What is it exactly that you are complaining about?

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 5:47:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

"C'mon Beth, for crying out loud. When there is an obvious sin against God then yes the situation must be dealt with."

Not every Christian believes that its a sin against God though... Thats just someones opinion. Their interpretations of religion.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 5:54:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

Where do I find a copy of "The Blog Commenters Response Rules?"

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 6:10:00 PM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

Hah. We're figuring out the rules as we go along, my friend...respectful conversation and some attention to the subject matter at hand might be good starting points...I'm just saying that the whole thread was quite explicitly set up by the host to elicit opinions on this subject, so I didn't understand your complaints that commenters were opining.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 6:14:00 PM, Anonymous BGH said...

Beth,

If you can read/study Romans and honestly think that homosexuality is not a sin then nothing I can say here will convince you.

Anyway, I'm awaiting the rules of response engagement from Ed C then I'll feel better about how to respond in a more blogger correct manner.

Bye for now!

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 6:40:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

I can/have read Romans, and the rest of the Bible. I never saw the word homosexual in it. Again, opinion.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 7:14:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 7:15:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 7:17:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

If I can ever get the post to show it correctly... check out the letter from the sup...

thebostonchannel.com/money/5010286/detail.html

 
At Friday, September 23, 2005 8:26:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school should have found out sooner considering they require a family interview.

http://www.ocschools.org/about/admissions.cfm

Also, I can't see a Christian school acting so hastily unless the student was advocating for the homosexual lifestyle at that football game.

There's a lot that isn't known about this situation.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 9:05:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

“Not every Christian believes that it’s a sin against God though... That’s just someone’s opinion.
Their interpretations of religion.” - Sorry, Beth, but every “Christian” does believe that
homosexuality is a sin. Just as every Christian believes that adultery is a sin (or a host of other sins
mentioned in the Bible). There are many who profess to be Christians, but refuse to align
themselves with the teachings of the Bible. I would say that they are not Christians.

“ I can/have read Romans, and the rest of the Bible. I never saw the word homosexual in it.
Again, opinion.” - Romans may not mention the word, but 1 Corinthians 6:9 does in the original
Greek. The word “abusers” (KJV) is from the Greek “arsenokoites” (literally “bedding with
men”). The rest of the verse should remove any doubt, unless someone is willfully blind to the
meaning. The same word is found in 1 Timothy 1:10, translated as “sodomites” (NKJV) or
“homosexuals” (NASB).

(Note to Mickey and Alex - Sorry to get into this tired old debate, as I know it is not the thread
that you wanted. I will leave it now and go on to the original thread. Thank you for your
patience.)

“The ministry of Ontario Christian is to promote discipleship of Jesus Christ as defined by the
Bible and consistent with historical Christianity. The school forms a voluntary partnership with
parents who seek the same discipleship” (From the Superintendent’s letter). - If this is their
ministry, then the “contract” is between professing Christians. If one side enters into that contract
under false premises the contract becomes void. The school would be well within their rights to
exercise the option of discontinuing the contract. That they refunded the money indicates to me
that they were trying to be proper about their actions. The school made their rules clear to anyone
who would read the contract or rule book. They apparently believed that they were entering into a
contract with at least one professing Christian. Yet some who have commented here seem to want
to blame the school because they may have been lied to. That’s an interesting standard.

“The school should have found out sooner considering they require a family interview.” - This
begs many questions. Who attended the interview, if there was one? What questions were asked?
How detailed would the school get in asking about sin in the family? Did the family member who
was interviewed give full disclosure? Etc. Given that these questions are not addressed it is
difficult to determine who said or did what. Along those same lines, what were the girls saying to
the crowd at the football game? As was mentioned before, were they promoting homosexuality,
or something equally offensive to the school? I find it hard to understand why the school would
reprimand the girls unless they were being unusually disruptive (given the chaotic nature of many
football games).

Finally, I wonder what the motives of the “partners” was in placing the girl in a Christian school.
Especially if ( as seems to be the case) they concealed their relationship. Call me cynical, but I
harbor a suspicion that there are deeper waters here. Could they have been looking for such a
situation in order to set the school up for a lawsuit. A lawsuit that would gain national attention to
promote the homosexual agenda? It is not implausible, since the case of the father who is suing, at
every opportunity, to get “Under God” removed from the Pledge of Allegiance.


I believe that churches and Christian schools should be hospitals for the weak and sick. I welcome
sinners of every stripe (like me) to come and participate. If they want to become members, with
voting and leadership privileges, then they have to understand that there is a higher expectation of
adherence to the word of God. But they should never be barred from coming to learn about God
and His love for all us imperfect sinners.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 9:17:00 AM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Thank you all for your comments.

As for where I stand, based on the conditions all parties apparently agreed to prior to this girl's admission to the school, I think the expulsion was the correct course of action. However, I am disappointed that this Christian school has such a condition for admission. I don't believe that children should be held accountable or punished for the sins of their parents.

My first thought when I read this yesterday was that quite possibly the only Christians in this young girl's life have now turned their back on her, and that saddens me.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 10:03:00 AM, Anonymous Ed Cone said...

I think Mickey pretty much nailed it, although I would substitute "defensible" for "correct" to describe the course of action. Interesting thread, thanks Mickey.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 2:22:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Sun said...

Mickey -- I raised an issue that continues to trouble me about conservative Christians: the inconsistent application of the inerrant word of God. There are a lot of sins enumerated in the Bible. This school recommends expulsion of students whose parents commit that sin. What about the many other sins. I mentioned adultery, but there are countless others. In this particular example, and in society in general, the sin of homosexuality seems to have become a Super Duper Sin with Super Duper consequences. The Bible may be the inerrant word of God, but regular old fallible and biased people decide which sins get you kicked out of school. How can you defend a "no homosexuals" policy unless you have a "no adulterers" policy and a "no convicted of business fraud" policy, and more?

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 2:50:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Mr. Sun,

While I don't pretend to support this school's decision (entirely) since I don't know all the facts, there is a distinct difference between committing a sin and advocating a lifestyle.

Someone may very well have been weak at a moment in their life and committed adultry or fell in a business-type setting where they did something dishonest or criminal. The question, however, is whether or not that was an exception to the rule- or if it is your rule.

Take someone in the mafia for example. They are committed to a life of crime. That is different that someone who is a decent person who made a mistake and is begging for forgiveness.

A homosexual couple, on the other hand, is committed to a lifestyle that is considered a sin. There's a big difference.

the Heckler

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 3:01:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

P.S.

Having said that, I would hope that this school would treat a heterosexual couple that, for example, had an 'open marriage' of sorts the same as the homosexual couple.

Although, my preference would be that they not take any of this out on the kids.

the Heckler

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 3:29:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

"Sorry, Beth, but every “Christian” does believe that
homosexuality is a sin."

Thankfully they don't. According to your definition of a Christian though, I have to ask... Who gave you the right to decide? You mean you personally know what God wants? Oh thats right because thats what the Bible says right? Of course. But only your interpretation of the Bible, your opinion. But Beth the Bible clearly states.... bla, bla, bla...
The Bible clearly states nothing. It is a collection of grammatically imperfect writings by mortal men which has been edited to suit political presures, translated numerous times, further edited and, in the case of the King James Version, pared down and rewritten into formal & archaic English.

If the Bible says anything at all clearly, it is the love and acceptance of "all of God's children"

Let me ask a few questions then? If God's political campaign cares to exclude the Gays & Lesbians of this world then why did he create them? Or for that matter any other person you can weave a Bible passage against? You say Beth, but God didn't make these people Gay, they chose that lifestyle. Right? Okay... but what is Gay? Two men, two woman? I know you probably forget there are people out there that are both male and female. Individuals with male genitiala, but female DNA make-up, or individuals with partial sex organs from both sexes. God made them, how are you going to consider when they are gay or not. They certainly didn't choose to be that way, just like people born with downs syndrome, cerebral palsy, or any of the many other of God's gifts. Are we going to kick these people out of the church too?

"but 1 Corinthians 6:9 does in the original Greek. The word “abusers” (KJV) is from the Greek “arsenokoites” (literally “bedding with
men”). "

Close but no cigar, it more accurately translates to male-bedder, or in todays english a "male prostitute", which is not a homosexual.

But I doubt this will sway your opinion. Ok, but just keep in mind we should probably adhere to some of the more clearer passages in Corinthians as well. How about "Women are to be silent in the church...for it is a shame for a woman to speak in church" (1 Corinthians 14:34-35)

Of course Paul wan't very politically correct. He was human after all and not God.

But back to the topic at hand, I doubt the two woman realized when the enrolled their child in the school, the bias its administraters would have for their child and lifestyle. Until each sect of Christianity comes out a clearly states their position on Gays, it will be very difficult to determine the Christians that choose to accept it and those fringe cults who continue to promote hatred towards people who are different. The family may have been under the false impression of love and acceptance that most Christian education programs offer & may not have realized that a professional organization would make such a un-christian-like decision.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 4:41:00 PM, Blogger Mr. Sun said...

Heckler -- that seems fair, but it sets up nicely for the Secret Sinner, doesn't it? The serial adulterer, abusive parent, or other sinner who is also making a lifestyle choice, but not getting caught. I hear you, but if you walk all the way back a thousand miles would you dispute my sense that there is an all-out war against homosexuality and something like token opposition to adultery? My point is that the gap between those two things is measured by man, not by God.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 5:17:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Alex, Im not sure what your point is. Yes the bible does have a "moral to the story" but words change in meaning over time. To take any single phrase out of the bible and exclaim it is the only meaning of such phrase is lunacy. Imagine so many words we have today such as "cool" which could have multiple meanings, yet use it in a different time period, and the meaning could be lost.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 6:04:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Mr. Sun, you're right, in the eyes of God, a sin is a sin. Unlike most other sins, homosexuality has become the hot-button topic mainly because there are people in our society who adamantly believe it is not a sin, do not think they need to turn away from it and are actively lobbying for it to become an acceptable lifestyle. By contrast, I don't think there are any advocacy groups out there trying to make adultery not a sin and therefore acceptable (unless you count Hollywood).

Also, Christians, for the most part, did not seek out this conflict over homosexuality. The struggle over this issue was brought to them - through the courts, in the public schools, even within their own denominations. Bible-believing Christians have been challenged and accused of bigotry and are trying to defend their position in response to these challenges.

Another related problem that compounds this issue is that there are too few churches out there that truly practice church discipline any more. In other words, many churches these days are not holding their members accountable when they commit such acts as adultery, fraud, etc. The goal of such discipline is to bring these people back from their sin and restore them in their faith. However, since many churches no longer actively do this, it does make Christians look like hypocrites when they speak out on such things as homosexuality.

If you'd like to better understand the conservative Christian position on the issue of homosexuality, I'd recommend that you read what I consider to be an excellent Biblically based response from John Piper's church in Minnesota. (Click here to read it.)

And thank you, Mr. Sun, for asking. I hope I shed some light on this for you.

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 7:47:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

"I have to ask... Who gave you the right to decide? You mean you personally know what God wants?" Beth, I base my determination on what the Bible says. You don't believe that the Bible can be accurate (unless it is a portion you happen to agree with. i.e. "If the Bible says anything at all clearly, it is the love and acceptance of "all of God's children"). Be that as it may. If I were to go out bird-watching and I was trying to determine what species a given type of bird I saw was, I would pull out my trusty copy of the Audobon Society's Guide to North American Birds. I'd find the description matching the bird I'm looking at and see what the authorities have to say. The Bible is that authority for determining whether our relationship to God is right or not. When I stray from the description of a Christian (all too often, unfortunately), the Bible guides me back. The difference is that I am willing to submit myself to the authority of the Author. Those who are not willing to do so have two choices: give up trying or change what the book says. I am not willing to do either.

1 John 2:17 says "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." - If it were not possible to know the will of God it would not be possible for this to have any meaning.

There are no sins that are "better" or "worse" than others. Proverbs 6:16-19 eqates lying, gossip and pride with murder. As was pointed out previously, homosexuality has become a hot-button topic because it is being shoved at us. But, please, do not assume that because of the attention the topic gets, Christians are any less offended by adultery, embezzelment, fraud or all the other sins we see in and around us. As the old saw goes, "The squeaky wheel gets the grease."

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 9:18:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Since its obvious that this isn't going anywhere. I'm still open to hearing a response to my question of intersexuals, and how that plays into your definition of homosexual.

Any takers?

 
At Saturday, September 24, 2005 10:11:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Beth, I'm no expert on intersexuals, but from what I understand, these people are born with this physical abnormality and have no choice in the matter.

As for what they should do about intimate relationships, Jesus addresses this in Matthew 19:10-12 in discussing divorce and those who should not marry, and, therefore, should not be involved in a sexual relationship:

The disciples said to him, "If this is the situation between a husband and wife, it is better not to marry."

Jesus replied, "Not everyone can accept this word, but only those to whom it has been given. For some are eunuchs because they were born that way; others were made that way by men; and others have renounced marriage because of the kingdom of heaven. The one who can accept this should accept it."


I hope that helps.

 
At Sunday, September 25, 2005 9:09:00 AM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Thanks Mickey for your genuine response. I think what you are saying is these individuals shouldn't marry? Is this correct?

Who should they have sex with then? Men or Women, when they are both? Or should they not have sex at all, ever.

I'm curious as to your defininition of a eunuch, as well. Eunuch is generally defined as a castrated male, a person without sexual organs. Where as an intersex individual does have sexual organs, perhaps of both sexes.

 
At Sunday, September 25, 2005 7:54:00 PM, Blogger Mickey McLean said...

Beth, in this passage, Jesus is saying that some people are not meant to marry, and since sex outside of marriage is not pleasing to God, they should be celibate. And eunuchs were the example he used.

As for the definition of eunuchs, you have a point. A eunuch, according to Webster's, is a castrated male or one who's lacking normal function of the testes, so maybe they don't fall under the category of intersexuals.

After doing further research, it seems that although intersexuals may appear externally both male and female, in most cases, internally their genetic code indicates one gender or the other.

Here's a link to a site that tries to explain the Biblical perspective on this complicated issue you've raised. I wish I had a more definitive answer for you, but I don't.

 
At Monday, September 26, 2005 11:34:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

I think it is within the range of reasonable possibilities for priviate religious schools for a Christian/Jewish/Moslem school to require that a child have at least one parent with a credible profession of faith. I am not saying that I personally would prefer to do private Christian Ed that way, or private Jewish Ed that way, or private Moslem Ed that way, but it seems a reasonable way to go about it amongst the many ways to go about it. If that is what is in the contract, and if the parents signed it, then if it came to light that both parents were practicing homosexuals or cohabiting without marriage (which is what seems to be implied), then one would think the contract is violated, from the standpoint of how the school likely defines credible profession. I am using the phrase credible profession here as a substitute for the phrase used in the article. Basically in this case the school wants one parent to be a Christian, much like we as a church require for baptism of a child. Since the school likely would consider homosexuality to be a sin, and since ongoing homosexual behavior would then be unrepentant sin, the profession of faith would be rightly deemed not credible. If both parents were known practicing heterosexual adulterers, or were cohabiting heterosexually and not married, the same conclusion could be reached. One could go down a long list. Personally, I have a moral/ethical problem with these private school contracts in that they seem to have unequal accountability, plus, it seems that the school is putting itself in the place of the church or synagogue or mosque, which can be problematic. There is a role of the church of what we call "church discipline" which is restorative in nature, and which is as non public as it can be, such that people have opportunity to exercise due sorrow and repentance and be restored to good standing in the community. It seems the contract places the school in a moral policing role with respect to the child's parents which could be very tricky. And you would think the original contract and information sheet would have asked for information that would have made the situation obvious.
I can assure you Mr. Sun (as per comments to Heckler) that in circles where I travel there is no "pass" on adultery while there is some war on homosexuality. This could not be farther from the truth. They are both treated equally seriously.

 
At Tuesday, September 27, 2005 8:20:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Let them do to this girl what they want to. It is supposed to be a free country. She and her family should turn the other cheek and find a school that isn't run by a bunch of creeps. Why would they want the daughter there anyway? Whether they can sue to get a partial refund for the school year is a different matter.

 
At Tuesday, September 27, 2005 11:29:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Well, yes, they should be able to take their refund and go find a school they like. My understanding is that they did get a refund for the half of the school year missed. (Yes, to the disbelief of all, I read the actual original post) You know the parents maybe should have read the rules before they signed on. The school has to be able to assume that the adults can read and understand what they sign. And it is not acting as creeps for a religious institution to want one of the parents of its students to support and advocate by example and practice and teaching what the child is getting taught at the school. So, I assume by your comments that if a religious organization frowns upon unmarried cohabitation that its leaders and members are creeps? Is that what makes them creeps? Or is it just that they have the policy thay have about parents that makes them creeps. If the former, then you've just written off most Christians -- traditional Protestants Catholics, Greek Orthodox, and Catholics as creeps. Thanks a lot.

 
At Thursday, September 29, 2005 8:18:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yes I'm calling them creeps. If this were 1800, we could say that most "Christians"—at least the men—would have been against a woman's right to vote. I would have called them creeps, too. Would you be in this group? Or would you have been ahead of the curve on that? Both issues come down to personality types. Some people want to hold others down because it makes them feel superior.

 
At Friday, September 30, 2005 8:26:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Dear Anonymous,

OK, so you think that the people who run a private school that has the kind of rules as described in this post, and men in 1800 who were against a woman's right to vote all have the same personality type - the type that likes to hold down and dominate others so as to feel superior. Wow, so, 95% of men in 1800 just happended to be creeps. Or, is it that you have staked out a certain moral ground, and you have decided that anyone not standing on your moral ground is a creep. Or, is it that any person that has a moral standard against some kinds of behavior you desire or approve of is a creep. Or is it that anyone who holds to a different political/moral view than you is a creep. The more I ponder your two posts the more I'm having a hard time figuring out just what makes one a creep. I might say that you're trying to hold down those people that have particular moral standards and rules that they have clearly laid out in a totally voluntary private institution. Does that make you a creep?

 
At Friday, September 30, 2005 9:30:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Beth Marion over at greensboring.com wrote a piece entitled “Why I'm Worried About The Bible Beaters.” The real point of the piece seemed to be to continue a discussion she had been having here on this chain at Carolina Christian Conservatives about “intersexuals,” whom she defines as “people that show either physical, hormonal, or genetic instances of both sexes. In layman's terms... Woman with willies, and men with well... You get the picture...” Although I was not familiar with this term, I am a Biology major, and a father, and a pastor, and I have pondered the moral/physical/sexual ramifications of this phenomena. I have dealt with this in personal experience, have had to counsel parents of newborns in such situations, and the like. So, at some point I hope to interact with Beth on that issue. But that’s not what concerns me right now. Here is how she starts her piece, referring to this thread with a hyper link.
“First let me start off with saying, I am known to state the obvious. I by no means want to generalize as Ed Cone has pointed out is often the case is both the pro & con sides of religious debate. :) Yes, I often say what others are thinking but are too nice to say & others don't want to hear. I've been doing a lot of thinking since this thread. I did want to state the obvious, but I didn't. It was off subject and I already knew the answer. Those of the people in the opinion of "kill the gays" probably don't know a gay person. Have never had that impact on their lives. They make their judgments based on never having personally experienced the types of people they so ravishly try to expel from their mindset. Using various passages from the Bible they try to justify an opinion, absolutely incapable of considering there could be another interpretation. If those people making those statement could perhaps spend a week with a gay family (something like adopt-a-straight) I think I'd might take their opinions with more seriousness.”
OK, so “this thread” is a thread on Carolina Christian Conservative. You should check it out. She hyperlinks the word “this” so it will take you right there. The “obvious” it seems which she did want to say, but didn’t, was that “those of the people of ‘kill the gays’ probably don’t know a gay person.” She goes on to make the apparent point that if Bible Beaters (that is who I assume she is talking about) would just get to know a few gay people and see how nice they are, they would see things differently, be open to different interpretations, and, best of all, she, Beth, might be able to take their arguments more seriously.
Where do I begin? First, I think the “kill the gays” thing is cute. So, people who believe that there exists a moral prohibition against homosexual sexual expression really want to “kill the gays.” What do you call that – homophobaphobia? Second, does she really believe that people who use computers and hold jobs and write intelligently about these issues don’t know gay people? Third, does she really think this homosexual marriage issue is about who us Bible Beaters think to be nice?
I have known many gay people. Almost every single gay person I know is nice. I would go so far as to say that I’ve had homosexual next door neighbors several times, homosexual landlords, homosexual workmates, homosexual bankers, etc. I have enjoyed my relationship as neighbors with many homosexual folk along the way, with one exception, but the non enjoyment in that one case had nothing to do with homosexuality.
I have known many very nice alcoholics too, including my own father. I have known many very nice porn addicts. I have known very many adulterers. Many of them were and are quite nice. I’ve known many embezzlers. They were so nice that no one could believe that they embezzled money all the years that they did. I’ve known a very nice cat burglar and even a very nice husband beater. Some of the truly nicest people I have ever met are heterosexuals who live together and aren’t married. I go over to their house. I hang out. Some of them are so nice I would entrust the care of my own children to them, even as I would to many of the nice homosexuals I have known.
The point is, what makes an act morally right or morally wrong is not whether the person committing the act is a nice person. The idea that the people here at Carolina Christian Conservative, especially Mickey McLean, or myself for that matter, secretly is a “gay killer wanna be,” and that we base our moral views on whom we deem to be nice people is just patently ridiculous and silly and uneducated and slanderous (but I don’t take it personally).
So, this is me as a parent. “Children, as long as the people doing such and such are nice people, then it’s OK to do such and such.”
Give me a break.
And that’s how I as a pastor give out counsel, “OK everyone, if the people doing it are nice, then it’s OK to do it.”
What you like to call Bible Beaters, people like me for example, happen to believe for many reasons that this assortment of writings we call the Bible, and which contains among other things the record of the life and teaching of Jesus Christ, is a revelation from the being who made all things to us. We believe at many levels and for many reasons that it is more intellectually credible to believe that it contains a true accounting of things than a false accounting, including a true accounting of what is fundamentally right and what is fundamentally not right for human brings to be and do.
I have given a summary accounting of why I am a Christian in an essay of that name. There are good moral, ontological, and epistemological reasons for believing that the Bible represents a revelation from the one true God to his creation. Not everyone agrees. That’s fine. I am currently having a dialogue with a Muslim via e-mail about the truth claims of Islam and Christianity.
Ultimately, there is only one reason to be a Christian, and that is because it is true. If you are Jewish, or Muslim, or Atheist, or Universal Unitarian, or Hindu, or Buddhist, then fine; state the ground of your beliefs or lack thereof, and let’s converse. But let’s do so respectfully. None of this “kill the gays” stuff. None of this “Bible beater” stuff.
When I preach or teach from the Bible I use certain tools or methods to help me as I try to understand what it is saying. Then, I teach it is it is. I did not make the heavens and the earth, so it is not my job to decide what is right and what is wrong. Much about my life has yet to be made right. But I don’t call what is right wrong, and what is wrong right, so as to make the Bible line up with what comes easy or naturally for me.
And the Bible is unambiguous about homosexuality just as it is about adultery and stealing and lying. Only readings that deconstruct and twist with the force of thousand crow bars can make what is clear not clear. These readings come forth from the hands of what we in the Christian theological world refer to as “liberals” because that is what they called themselves early on. They no longer believe or accept the world view of classic Christian orthodoxy, and no longer have what we might call a “high” view of the authority of the Bible. So the fact that “liberal” Methodists and Anglicans and Presbyterians and the rest condone homosexual marriage or civil union doesn’t mean much of anything to folks who have a higher view of the Bible and a lower view of the vagaries of culture.
I think Beth Marion owes Mickey a sincere apology, but Mickey, being the humble and decent man that he is would never ask or require such. He is much too nice for that.
If only she would get to know Mickey she would find that he is indeed a very very nice person. Maybe if she could spend a week with him and his family she would come to have a different view about Bible Beaters. They are really pretty nice people. So their views about gay marriage must be right, right?

 
At Saturday, October 01, 2005 9:18:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i wonder if this school(or any,for that matter) keep a record of parent/school/student incidents? i mean, is there a record that describes the occurance, etc.? And if there is such a record,I wonder how many parents are guilty of a much worse crime?Iunderstand this school is a private institution, and as such may not be held accountable or responsible to "outside" influences and/or regulations like a public school;but I think that these types of situations(involving the private living arrangements of others) is a matter best left up to the parents and children involved to work out. In todays'society children and adults must be able to deal with many situations that in the past were not issues that were talked about or played out in the public arena. Those days are gone, and we all need to face todays' realities, like them or not. And I believe it is also up to teachers and schools to prepare children for this fact, hence the term "teaching".

 
At Saturday, October 01, 2005 6:11:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Gay Killers???

Not what I said, not what I meant. You know it.

Secondly, despite what you you think, I do in many ways still consider myself a Christian. I just happen to interpret it differently then you do. Alex if you could only hear the irony of your posts you might be a tad embarrased.

 
At Saturday, October 01, 2005 7:22:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

Alex do you know what agnostic means???? It means I don't have to choose!

And again... please go read the original post, if you'd like to see what I said. Rather then post the incorrect quote over and over, lifting it from the context that may help explain its usage.

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 12:06:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Alex - I know at least two other people who would like to participate in Mickey's blog but are afraid of the nasty remarks they would have to put up with from at least one very extreme liberal who thinks he knows everything about everything and denies and gets nasty every time he is proved wrong.

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 5:55:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

"Those of the people in the opinion of "kill the gays" probably don't know a gay person."
Face it Beth, you were caught out. Your heterophobic, bigotted prejudices got the better of you. It's OK. I don't think any less of you. But Alex and Joel (one of my new heroes after his last few posts!) are right. You have made assumptions about "Bible Beaters" that you do not tolerate from us. Deal with it.

Still, I will ask a question here that I posed in another of Mickey's posts: Why do you react so stridently when all I, as a Christian, am doing is pointing out that I believe that these are immoral acts? I have not (to the best of my knowledge) suggested that anyone be punished, discriminated against, harassed or impuned. If I have done so, please show me where so that I may repent and seek forgiveness. I will strongly defend the Word of God
against people who claim to be Christians, yet who distort what it teaches.

To say something is wrong is not, in and of itself, evil. It may hurt someone's feelings, as I know from painful experience. But which is worse, to attempt to correct false beliefs or to allow someone to continue on a dangerous path simply because they feel good about where they are going?

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 7:16:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Beth and Alex,

That is not what "agnostic means." An agnostic is one who believes that truth about ultimate matter, or in this case truth about God, cannot be known. Being an agnostic is quite a different thing than simple choosing not to make a decision. Choosing not to make a decision about Jesus however does mean that you cannot be a Christian by any reasonable definition. I don't mean that as an insult at all. If you aren't a Christian, or aren't sure enough to be a Christian, then that's fine. Be straightforward about it. In our southern culture being a "Christian" has come to be almost synonymous with being a "decent person." So people are overly hesitant to say that they really don't buy it. Or they are pushed to redefine the meaning of Christian so that heading or label can still be sued of them. Beth, we are responsible for our words. It is splitting hairs to say that you didn't say, or imply, that the people on this web site who speak against homosexual marriage are or are tantamount to "gay killers." They have a right not to appreciate that. Alex, a blog is a public forum, not a Sunday School class. Mickey has the choice to lock up the comment section, or to allow only certain people in. He does not want to do that. He invites feedback and comment. He gets it. Granted, some of it is vitriolic, but then, so is some of the conservative comment on other web sites. If you are a Christian then you are under an obligation to return evil (if you think it to be so) with good, to bless those who persecute you, and not to judge those outside the church. This is inherent problem with the kinds of issues being addressed. They have a moral and a civil (or public policy) component, so it is easy to get the two all intertwined. At the possible risk of irritating my friends who are not Christians you and I share a certain view of regeneracy, and how that impacts what is received and not received as truth from Scripture. But you can’t throw Bible verses at people who aren’t professing Christians, or who have a profoundly different concept of Christianity based in a different concept of the Bible, and expect that to mean anything in an argument about public policy or even about moral issues.
What I find in blogging is the same that I find in e-mail as a medium. It is too easy to forget what we have learned as children – you know good manners, being respectful of the other person (even if they’re not respectful back). I want to see good dialogue about these issues. They are important. Maybe I have taken on a role of a grandfatherly figure of sorts and maybe that seems patronizing. I hope not. But I am investing my little stock in this goal.
We as Christians are called to do good and to trust God. Period. If we despair that “evil” will win because we are not using the same tactics as others, and we sell out to that, then we have sold our souls. We are like many politicians, left and right, who sell their souls to the money machines. We can make arguments, but we must make them respectfully. We are to treat the other person with dignity, whether they treat us that way or not. They are created in the image of God. It is not always easy for me. I have a very sharp tongue. I spent many years first as an eco warrior (Greenpeace would have been very proud) and then as a pro life warrior, and I did and said many things I shouldn’t have. It seems I have a mind and heart well suited for demolishing and humiliating people. I am not saying I am greatly talented at it I am saying I am inclined to it. Much of my lif4e has been a internal war against this tendency. Of the people out there who sees this about me, I think Mr. Sun has me figured about as well as anyone, and I greatly appreciate his grace towards me in my weakness. Anyway, my point is that this is an open forum. If only people who already agree comment, then what’s the point. I have stomped my feet and yelled about the meanness of the so called “liberal” commenting; at the same time there is more grace and reserve and dignity needed on the conservative side too. I think this can become one of the premier blog sites around. Let’s all take a chill pill, and next time Mickey posts a topic ripe for comment and controversy let’s go at it with new resolve to be honorable in every way. Joel
God.

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 7:33:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

All,

My last post ended with me signing off with my name. The the word "God" hung around, so it looked like Joel God. I stopped halway through the post to write it in Word so as to have spell check and when I pasted back I suppose I didn't highlight the word "God." Sorry. Repeat, Joel is not, nor does he thinks he is, God! Ha! Beth, please do NOT be an agnostic on that one!

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 8:12:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

"Face it Beth, you were caught out. Your heterophobic, bigotted prejudices got the better of you. It's OK."

Ok... I'll play, lets take Beth Literal...

"Kill The Gays"

Examples:

Matthew Shepard
On October 6, 1998, 21-year-old college student Matthew Shepard was tied to a fence in Laramie, Wyoming, pistol-whipped, then left for dead in the freezing night. He died six days later

Brandon Teena
Born Teena Brandon and raised as a girl, he was living as a man known as Brandon Teena in Falls City, Nebraska, when he was murdered at age 21. In December of 1993, two men who discovered his gender raped him. His attackers later shot and killed him after learning Brandon had reported the rape and was to help police in the investigation.

Danny Overstreet
On September 22, 2000, a man looking to "waste some faggots" entered a gay bar in Roanoke, Virginia and opened fire, killing Danny Overstreet, and injuring 6 others.

JR Warren
On the fourth of July, 2000, JR Warren, 26, who was gay, was beaten to death by three men in West Virginia, then run over by a car to make it look like a hit and run.

PFC Barry Winchell
Pfc. Barry Winchell, 21, was beaten to death by fellow servicemembers while sleeping in his cot on July 5, 1999 at Fort Campbell, Ky. His Army colleagues thought (correctly) that he was gay, so they killed him.

Billy Jack Gaither
Billy Jack Gaither, 39, of Sylacauga, Alabama was bludgeoned to death by two men on Feb. 19, 1999, then set on fire with automobile tires because he was gay.

Bill Clayton
On May 8, 1995, Bill Clayton, 17, committed suicide after having been brutally assaulted for being bisexual.

On August 7, 1995, Tyra Hunter died after DC fire department emergency medical technicians called her epithets, backed away, and refused to render treatment on discovering that she was a transgendered woman.


A few thousand more are available as well. When you tell people something is a sin against God they might just believe it. You yourselve might not be doing it, but by advocating that homosexuality is wrong you are promoting hate.

 
At Sunday, October 02, 2005 10:36:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth,

People die every day for being gay, Christian, white, black, old, young, weak, poor, rich, honest and dishonest. Being able to site examples of persons who died for a particular reasons is irrelevant. How many gay people did not die today for being gay?

A couple of weeks ago an armed robber got shot by a store owner. Do Christians go forth and preach that armed robbery is not a sin because someone might get hurt?

Believe me, I'm not condoning in any way whatsoever the killing of people becuase of their orientation, color or whatever- but I also think it silly for you to use those examples as reason for Christians to decide that God was wrong about His feelings on the issue.

the Heckler

 
At Monday, October 03, 2005 9:02:00 AM, Blogger Tim said...

Beth - Apparently you believe that all Christians are liars and that nothing they say can be believed. You have been told time and again that Christians do not condone, support or defend these kind of actions. Yet you persist is branding us murderous homophobes. You ignore the many Christians that are ministering to homosexuals every day. You ignore the Christians who maintian healthy friendships with people of all lifestyles. Instead you focus on the hate and tragedy you see and accuse all Christians of applauding them. Where is your indignity over Muslims who kill Christians for simply possessing a Bible or New Testament (Thanks be to God that is not in this country!). Or is it OK because it happens in another country? Where is the outrage over kids being censored in school because they brought a Bible to read with their friends on the play ground? Or how about a little outrage over children having their civil liberties violated because they bowed in silent prayer before eating in the lunch room? Is that OK because they are Christians, so they brought it on themselves? They deserve it?

Heckler spoke well to the issue that we do not drop our opposition to crime because someone might use it as an excuse to harm the offenders. Otherwise we would have to legalize pedophilia because someone might kill a pedophile. Or murder, because someone might kill a murderer.

The issue of homosexuality does not exist in a vacuum. Christians can simutaneously love the sinner and hate the sin. They can simultaneously preach against homosexuality and decry outrages against those same homosexuals. One does not cancel out the other.

 
At Monday, October 03, 2005 3:00:00 PM, Blogger Beth Marion said...

First... I'm very, very tired...

Second... I love you guys... You make me laugh so hard I nearly fall out of my seat laughing so hard reading this somedays.

Third... Hypothetical question here. (Again only hypothetical) If magically the bible clearly stated that being straight was a sin, and being gay was, well.... the way to heavenly bliss. Would you become gay just to follow your religion. I'm sure you might dodge this question, so a nice yes or no will be fine.

 
At Monday, October 03, 2005 6:27:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Beth,

I'll be glad to answer that. I'd respond the same way as I would if God told me 2 + 2 equaled 5, totally confused. But I deal with challenges from God every day. I don't always like what he asks me to do.

Perhaps it is hard for a female to understand, but for a heterosexual male, the concept of male homosexuality is the most destible act found in nature. Why one male would become intimate with another is beyond comprehension.

I do not believe one is capable of knowing that someone is gay without a glancing thought of what it is that they do. It's disgusting.

It also makes sense (like 2 + 2 equaling 4) that God says this should not be. It also explains the fact that we would be extinct if we lived by your ridiculous scenario.

All I can do is pray that those who are gay will see the light. I know that is not reality to think they all will but it is also not for me to simply accept them as being perfectly normal.

the Heckler

 
At Monday, October 03, 2005 7:49:00 PM, Blogger Tim said...

Beth, I will take a stab at answering your question (though maybe not in the way you intended). I am not trying to duck the question. (I also don't do "yes" or "no" questions very well.) It is just that the thought is so anathema to me that I have difficulty addressing it as stated. I would have to say that, if the Bible were to require me to be something that I am not (gay vs. straight, for instance), I would seek out the whole counsel of God. As Mickey has already pointed out, Jesus said that some people are not suited or destined(for various reason) to be married. I would submit myself to these instructions to the very best of my ability. So, were that the case, I would practice both celibacy and chastity. No one said it would be easy! Of course, this is a hypothetical situation and I am approaching it from the standpoint of a very heterosexual male.

I allow that there are people who, for whatever reason, believe that they are naturally attracted to the same sex. I allow that they feel that they have no control over this attraction and that it is not simply a matter of choice or preference for them. Given those circumstances, and given my belief that the Bible is the inerrant, infallible Word of God (in the original autographs), I believe that only leaves celibacy and chastity in order to be obedient to God.

There are a good many things that I have found in the Word that my nature rebels against. Not to get off into a political distraction but... when Bill Clinton was President I struggled daily to render him the repect and deference the Bible demands we give our leaders. It galled me every time I saw or heard him. It sometimes still does. There are many times I feel the same way about G.W. Bush. I was saved after I was married. There were adjustments that I had to make in relation to my wife (adjustments that SHE found very positive, by the way). I had to give up an old and settled way of thinking in order to be obedient to God. I have never regretted the changes, though the struggles have made me crazy at times. I once had the opportunity to take something that belonged to someone else. Something that they did not need anymore, nor would they even known was gone. But I called the person and asked to buy the item from them, because it is what God would want me to do. I took a great deal of ridicule for that. The owner was shocked that I would even bother calling and gave me the item, with thanks for asking. Why would I make myself look that foolish to people around me? Because of obedience to God's Word. Not out of fear that He will throw me in Hell for being disobedient, but out of love for the fact that He gave me a clean, new eternal life.

The Bible says that " To Obey is better than sacrifice." (1 Sam. 15:22). I guess I look at it this way: it is no sacrifice to obey God. It only feels like sacrifice when I am being self-centered. When I look at it in light of HIS sacrifice, count it all joy!

 
At Tuesday, October 04, 2005 9:10:00 PM, Blogger Joel said...

Beth,

I too will take a stab at your question, more or less, trying to make it comparible. Please don't laugh too hard. The Bible is already asking me to be a whole lot of things that don't come naturally to me, you know, like being selfless rather than selfish, content rather than discontent, thankful rather than unthankful, etc. That is the whole idea of becoming renewed and transformed. It's very hard. So, it is not an order of magnitude different thing for a man with a desire for men not to have sex with men. Anyway, if, added to all of the things that I already am compelled in obedience to Christ to change, if I were to find out that I could not have sex with a woman, then I would be celibate. Period. Many many heterosexual men have chosen the route of celibacy. Many heterosexual men have chosen in obedience to Christ to remain chaste because they are not married. We act these days like the only way to live a complete and whole life is to have sex. So, what about Jesus? What about Mother Theresa? There are many joys in life to make up for the absence of sexual relationship.

 
At Friday, October 14, 2005 1:04:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The school had the rigt to do what they did. They were clear about what they required. As a private school, they have the right to set their own standards. No one forced the parents to put their daughter in that school. Refunding their money for the semester was a generous offer as half the semester is almost over. As far as their other parents who don't live up to the Christian lifestyle, I'm sure there are some, just as their may be other gay parents they don't know about. They can't act until they do know which is what happened in this situation. If you don't agree with the beliefs and policies of a private school, the why the heck would you put your child there? The school is only enforcing to its policies. The parents made a bad choice in enrolling their child there. Don't blame the school.

 

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