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Hi Tom,

In a way, I always find it strange when people assume that Witnesses are somehow bewildered or upset when one of our legal precedents benefit a group whose conduct we may not condone. We have always fought for freedom of conscience for all people; we don't try to force our beliefs upon others via government sanction, but instead we rely on reasoning with people, face-to-face, on why we believe what we do and the benefits of it. In my opinion, this sets Jehovah's Witnesses apart from the majority of religion.

As the upcoming December 2010 issue of the Awake! magazine comments, "The Bible says: 'Honor men of all sorts' or, as Today's English Version renders it, 'Respect everyone.' (1 Peter 2:17) Therefore, Christians are not homophobic. They show kindness to all people, including those who are gay.--Matthew 7:12"

In addition to Mr. Engardio (who has my respect as both a fair-minded person and excellent journalist), you may also want to check out the work of Dr. George D. Chryssides (for example, see http://www.energypublisher.com/article.asp?id=40147 ). Also very fair, seeking understanding and new insights rather than just recycling the same old narrative.

tom sheepandgoats

TJ: I hadn't heard of this fellow, and I did check him out. You're right, he doesn't just recycle the same old same old. Thanks for the heads-up.


>>In many ways, he explains Jehovah's Witnesses better than the Witnesses do themselves....<<

That, right there, is a joke. If we are unable to explain ourselves to him it's because he, like most people, do not listen to us when we speak.

tom sheepandgoats

I probably didn't phrase the point as I would have liked. But I don't think we always explain ourselves very well. In recent years, we have gotten better


you write:
"You don't swim against it; you can't, in any conceivably short time, will yourself or even pray yourself straight. You don't swim with the tide, buying into prevailing propaganda that holds ones sexuality ought be irrevocable and a source of pride. You have to swim parallel to the current, maybe for a long long time, maybe for the duration of this system, with faith that the influence of God's spirit and congregation will, over time, serve to readjust sexuality."

With all due respect, my personal sexuality does not need to be readjusted. Religious zealots, Christians, Muslims, et al, need to stop even THINKING about MY life and worry about their own. Gay people do not need to be "readjusted" so that we can fit into your narrow view of how a life should be lived. Laws are enacted to provide a safe and even playing field for EVERYONE, and that includes non believers, believers and everyone in between. We don't ask for your approval, we don't need your approval. What we need is a civil society that allows every individual the right to happiness and contentment without infringing on the happiness and contentment of others. YOUR religious beliefs are YOURS and the only time we will have a problem is when you attempt to make ME follow the principals YOU guide YOUR life with. I am not a Christian, a Buddhist, a Jew, a Hindu or any other "organized" religion, and there is zero reason for me to follow the tenets of any religion beyond the basic human tenets of decency and respect. If I am EVER lucky enough to meet a man I'd like to share my life with, my gay marriage would have ZERO impact on your straight marriage. Live and Let Live. You believe in what you believe in and show me the same respect. The Federal Government is there to protect that right for me and for you. Prop 8, and ANY proposition that puts up the rights of a minority to a vote by the majority is just flat wrong on the face of it. Human civil liberties should NEVER be put to a vote. Christians have the right to their belief system, but they do not have the right to try to make me live my life according to their "rules" and we certainly don't need to be spoken condescendingly to by Christians waiting for us to "readjust" to their own personal religion.

tom sheepandgoats

Thanks, Casey, for the comment.

When I wrote the paragraph you cited, it was with the understanding that it applied only to those within our faith, not outside, as you appear to be.

Gays, understandably, might find that paragraph rough. But it's not written for all gays. We apply our standards only to ourselves. To be sure, we publicly recommend what we feel is the Christian way of life. But people are free to decline that invitation, and most do. With that being the case, we don't feel it's our place to meddle in their lives. Isn't that in harmony with what you wrote?

Sorry to cause offense.

Tru Agape

Tomsheepandgoats you wrote" They're a Bible organization and they don't assume the authority to change scriptures."

This is not true at all with regards to homosexuality. Jehovah nor any of the men whom he used to author the bible never NEVER linked sodom and gomorrah with homosexuality. Biblical history and even the Septuigent confirm this. The New World Ttranslation uses the man made word "sodomite" as it's excuse for equating arsenokoitai with homosexuality. Changing scripture is a blasphemous affair, and the society cannot wipe its hands clean of such decietfulness.

tom sheepandgoats

TA: We've been through this before in a lengthy exchange at the end of the post Advise and Consent:


I didn't buy it then. I'm afraid I still don't.

I don't want to hash through it all again. We've been there.

Tru Agape

T.A. a nickname! I like it!

I will post a response in that other thread. Thank you.

Oh and rest assure that I don't want you to "buy" anything. Facts aren't sold, they're given.

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