A Minister Calls Men to Action on Reproductive Justice


The Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice recently asked me, because I am a “man in the movement,” to tell my story.  I became involved with reproductive justice issues while I prepared for the ministry, but I think the impetus to advocate for women’s issues was planted in my heart when I was a young boy.  

My mother worked for the American Red Cross and was ill-treated by her supervisor. After they divorced, my father did not abide by his agreement to pay child support and in those days, the courts did not enforce the agreement.  That alerted me to how women are treated differently than men.

My first girlfriend and I were both reckless and stupid.  She got pregnant and had to go to Puerto Rico for an abortion.  That alerted me to restrictive abortion laws.  My wife had an abortion before I met her and she had to travel from an upstate New York dairy farm to inner-city Philadelphia for the procedure.  I know that among my four daughters, three have had abortions.  It would have been impossible for me not to be involved in advocating for reproductive justice.

For a year, while I was in seminary, I worked as the statewide coordinator for the Illinois chapter of the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice.  I recall preparing promotional materials and once, making a trip to the statehouse to advocate and meet representatives.

It concerns me that laws drawn from religious beliefs are being considered and in some cases, passed, in legislatures dominated by men who are moved too much by those religious beliefs.

I wish that legislators who would restrict abortion or tighten its availability could meet more women and listen to the stories they tell.  I believe they should be exposed to the human side of the issue.  It’s not an issue to be considered in the abstract, like the decision to build an airport.

The issue of abortion is a lot like immigration reform, where language is so important.  When someone uses the term, “illegal alien,” it frames the issue as a matter of law and order.  But if we talk about how children die in the desert trying to cross into this country, if we name them and tell their stories, we have a chance to see the human side of immigration.  Same for reproductive issues.  Tell the stories.

You never hear Dick Cheney hollering about “the gay agenda,” like so many intolerant zealots.  That’s because his daughter is gay and he knows she doesn’t have an “agenda.”  He knows her and knows her story.  Same for anyone (except Fred Phelps and others of his ilk) who knows a woman who had an abortion and knows her story.

When we put a human face on this issue, we will begin to change the way the issue is perceived.

I also wish that more men appear at legislatures alongside women.  Yes, it’s important for women to be heard, and no, I don’t want to stifle their voices, and no, I’m not saying women can’t speak for themselves, but the fact is that men listen differently to men than they do to women.  It’s a cultural thing, but it can be countered.

To speak for the rights of women without alienating them is not an easy task.  To be successful, it’s critical that the man who speaks for women appear to other men as a self-reliant man, not someone who is riding the bandwagon with women only because the big boys won’t play with him.

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  • faultroy

    This comment has been removed.

     

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  • jeff-briere

    For Faultroy:

    The term “Reverend” is an honorific bestowed by a religious denomination upon those people it deems worthy.  It has nothing to do with a “clearly defined set of moral values.”  And by the way, I earned it through several years of study, hard work, an internship, dozens of worship services, a chaplaincy and prayer.  My use of the term was definitely not “cavalier.”

    I was ordained in 2003, long after any incident I wrote about in this post.  

    My “girl friend” did not go to the inner city; she went to Puerto Rico.

    I was asked to tell my story, so I did.  My message came from my life, so it would be pretty hard to divorce the two.  And in this case, the request came from the Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice and the Clergy Action Network, so my story had to contain references to my status as an ordained minister.  

    Your conflation of reproductive justice with child abuse insults me and all the dedicated people working to support women’s health issues.

    I stand by what I wrote.

  • jodi-jacobson

    Dear Faultroy,

     

    Religious figures are human beings, not gods.  I find it very “reverential” for an ordained minister to speak the truth about his life and how it relates to the realities of most people and their experiences, as opposed to, say, the “reverential” behavior of priests who abuse children and then try to hide and excuse their behavior under their frocks and blame their victims.

    the majority of religious figures have normal life experiences, which can help them relate to real people.  i think it is honest, refreshing and healthy to talk about it.

  • beth-saunders

    Newsflash: all religions are different. Just because someone’s life experience doesn’t fit into the narrow confines of what you deem to be “moral” says nothing about the person and really more about your smallmindeded view of religion.

    You say you believe in a woman’s right to choose, but you must only mean “certain” women. And the daughters of a religious leader don’t seem to qualify. One in three women will have an abortion, and believe me, some of those women are related to – or ARE – religious leaders. Problem pregnancies happen to all women, equally.

  • evah

    Thank you for sharing your story. For too long, the debate over abortion has been skewed with outdated rhetoric that fails to consider the complexity of this issue, particularly as it pertains to the unique and individual lives of women. I am happy to see those in the religious community speaking out for reproductive justice. Your story is a wonderful example of the compatability between faith and allowing women the self-determination to make the right choice for their lives and their families.

  • squirrely-girl

    Trolls enjoy trolling kinda like how haters like to hate. 

     

    Thank you for sharing your perspectives. Your position reminds me there are certainly good people of faith. :)

  • beenthere72

    Thank you for your support, Rev. Briere!

  • truth

    Anyone involved with procuring or helping to procure abortion(s) is committing murder or is an accessory to murder. Like murder, abortion is about the worst sin one can commit. So…tell your “story” (sin) to God, ask for forgiveness and amend your ways going forward. We cannot forgive you. Acceptance is not forgiveness. God doesn’t accept the fact that you helped kill His children, but he does Love you and wants you to turn from your wickedness – for your sake!

     

    Putting names and faces (i.e. circumstances) to sin doesn’t pardon their sinful actions. Look, most serial killers were abused or mistreated or lonely but this doesn’t dissolve their actions of taking human lives – does it? Justice is blind – remember – blind to these “circumstances.” Why do you think that Justice MUST wear a blindfold? …because… We are all human and understand others on a humanistic level. We’ve all been in hardship at one time or another and have the wonderful ability to empathize with others – it’s a beautiful gift. But actions are what Justice discerns – not circumstances! Murder = Guilty not Murder = “Oh, but we understand, just tell us your story!”

     

    Sure, we should all feel sympathy for anyone struggling with difficulties in their life whether it be unplanned pregnancy, loss of job, cancer, abusive relationships, rape, etc. …but we should never glorify sinning due to hardship. If you are advocating for people to kill and mame human life because of their hardship – you’re not loving them – you’re spittting on their soul. Priorities man, for crying out loud, these are children you’ve help to kill! 

  • kate-ranieri

    How do you spit on a soul? How do you even demonstrate that there is such a thing as a soul? Perhaps the same way you create monstrous rhetoric for those with whom you disagree. To be sure, you make a threadbare attempt at claims that we should feel sympathy for anyone struggling and yet you find no grace, no sympathy, no modicum of understanding for women? How does that work? Your comments reek, as garlic, cigarette smoke, and B.O. reek, of hubris, of self-satisfied, self-assured patriarchy.

     

    So, let’s leave things with these thoughts, Sweetie. Abortion is not murder, is not a sin, is not wicked, is not selfish. Every day good women choose abortion for good reasons. And every day good women from every religious faith choose abortion for good reasons. Those are a few facts that the majority of the United States embrace. 

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Katie Ranieri Thank You, Great Post! ~

  • beenthere72

    These are not children.  Abortion does not equate to murder.   We all don’t believe in your G-d.    

     

    You never answered my question on another thread:  how does my having had an abortion affect YOU?  Answer please.

  • rebellious-grrl

    I’m sensing a lot of hate and misogyny from the trolls.

  • jan

    First of all, abortion being a “grave sin” is about your and your religions judgement, but is not based in fact.  BIRTH is when a new life enters the world, when a name is given, and a birth certificate validates a seperate human life is in the world.  The contents of a woman’s uterus, while it can be considered a potential life, is NOT a human life.  It is not relevant to anyone but the woman herself, as it should be.  Since it affects her life, it is sanctioned by law and by virtue of place it is growing, and by virtue of the fact that she is the one whose life is directly affected by it’s existance, to be her problem or joy, depending on the situation of her life. Forcing a woman to give birth would be the sin, but we aren’t dealing in sins.  Sins are judgements from antiquated religious books, and we do not live in a theocracy, no matter how much you wish that we did.  Your interpretation of a Patriarichal religious book does not trump a woman’s right to body autonomy, as we have laws in this country.  However, even if these laws were overturned and abortion was made illegal once again, as in the past women would still have abortions.  They would just cause more threats to her health and her life.  Comparing this choice that only a woman has to make to a serial killer is actually a disgusting and ridiculous strawman argument, since serial killers kill actual born named loved mostly women whose birth was sanctioned by a birth certificate and whose death will be sanctioned by a death certificate and who actually had people who loved her and would miss her.  How you compare a woman killed in such a manner to a fetus is an insult to women everywhere, and shows your deep hatred of women and the misogyny that you aim to perpetuate by holding women’s lives hostage to a blastocyst, zygote, or fetus.  It shows how little you think and feel about women.  They are not babies or children until they are born, and your using those words to describe IT does not make them anymore those things than what they truly are- an implanted egg, a blastocyst ( division of cells) a zygote (looks like a guppy) or a fetus ( starting to look human, but could never survive outside of the WOMAN’S uterus).  Over 90% of abortions occur in the zygote stage.  Most fetal abortions are due to something going horribly wrong, or by laws designed to keep her from accessing abortion in the first place making it harder for her to get one.  You and people like you and your obsession with trying to end a woman’s right to body autonomy is misplaced and should instead ( if you REALLY cared about children) be focused on trying to help real actual birth certificate sanctioned children born into bad conditions, poverty, and other things that would actually make this world a better place, not a worse place, rather than wasting your time trying to police someone else’s body to try to fit your Patriarichal religion’s lies. 

  • saltyc

    Thank you for this article, and one more thing for the trolls: Women don’t have abortions because they are pro-choice, and anti-choice women have abortions every day. Being pro- or anti- is not what determines whether soemone needs an abortion: their situation determines it.

    The saddest thing is talking to the daughter of an anti-choicer who is on her own because she can’t talk to her parents. For instance someone who was adopted by anti-choicers who think their faith is the reason she is alive. They make her very existence a part of their rhetoric, when at the hour of her most desperate need they fail her and will probably never know it. It doesn’t have to be that dramatic and complicated, but they make it so.

  • squirrely-girl

    Blah blah blah… God… blah blah blah… sinners… abortion… murder… blah blah blah. 

     

    Truthfully, Internet fire and brimstone proselytizers like yourself do much greater disservice to His message than any abortion ever could.

     

    You shame your “side.”

  • arekushieru

    Edited:

    Christian, here.  God is NOT a misogynist and neither is Jesus.  Abortion is NOT a sin, in Their eyes.  And I really hate it when people like you try to make them out to be that way, such as the ones that made FBIR’s life such a living hell.  And, if you think child-killing is a sin, then YOUR version of God is the biggest sinner around. 

    Murder IS: Illegal killing with malice aforethought.  Four reasons, RIGHT THERE, that abortion fails to qualify as murder.  Abortion is legal (the only reason, though I hate to admit it, that the death penalty is NOT considered murder).  Abortion is NOT killing (abortion, itself, removes the implantation of the fetal placenta and the fetus from the uterus.  That’s much like removing artificial life support from a brain-dead patient.  Which is NOT classifed as killing since killing is cause of death.  And the cause of death, here, is cessation of all brain function NOT the removal of the life support).  Abortion is NOT about malice (unless you think saving a fetus from any future pain and suffering is malicious, which would be really… weird).  Abortion is NOT done with intent (unless you can prove that women created the uteruses within their bodies, intentionally.  Yeah… thought not). 

    Someone apparently can’t read their Bible.  The Bible, itSELF, explicitly states that all who come seeking forgiveness WILL receive it.  

    Obviously, you can’t empathize with women since you don’t recognize what a burden pregnancy is on women.  You don’t realize the humanity of women when you tell them they should just suck it up because they were unfortunate enough to have a uterus developed within their bodies, esPECially when, I’m sure, you are male, and thus will never have to deal with the fear of that kind of gross (on ALL levels) bodily enslavement.  

    Murder = all the above circumstances I’ve given you.  You may thank me for your edification, now.

    So we should never defend ourselves during rape?  We should never defend ourselves from assault?  EsPECially if the assaulter is unaware or incognizant of his actions?  Such as from the sleepwalker who killed his mother- and father- in- law?  Because these scenarios ALL outline exACTly what pregnancy entails.  SO sorry that we had to disillusion ya, once again.

  • rebellious-grrl

    In addition, violent threats and misogyny will not be tolerated here!

  • paul-bradford

    Rev. Briere,

     

    I’m all for letting anyone, including religious leaders, participate in the discussion about human rights.  From a religious perspective, the issue is religious — but there’s a rub.  If you call attention to something as being ‘religious’, a great number of people will disqualify your thoughts on the grounds that religion and politics shouldn’t mix.

     

    I know, from my own reflection on the issue, that it’s impossible for a religious person not to draw from her/his religious convictions when s/he considers any issue that involves the way one person behaves toward another, or the way that the society behaves towards its individual members, or the way societies treat one another.  Just the same, though, the conversation has to be entirely inclusive and religious identification turns a lot of people off.  I know from my discussions here that my identification with religion gives people the idea that my convictions can be dismissed for being ‘religious’, as having no place in a secular discussion.

     

    You shouldn’t deny your religious identity — but it’s a handicap sometimes.

  • jeff-briere

    Thanks for your comments, but I stand by what I wrote and I stand by the way I identified myself.

    For me, this is a political issue only because people, the states and legislatures have made it so.  

    In truth, it is a matter of justice.  And that is a religious issue.

  • plume-assassine

    Abortion access is an important issue for social justice Christians. When 1 in 3 American women will have an abortion, it’s no wonder that Rev. Briere knows so many women in his life who have needed this medical service. I sincerely thank him for his religious and caring humanist perspective on this, because too often, we hear of the extremist conservative Christians (the type that FBIR often references) trying to claim moral high ground.

     

    To the above commenters: If you honestly believe that 1 in 3 American women, or about 820,000 women every year, are murderers and criminals then you really need to critically re-evaluate your personal “morals.” And ask yourself how many women do you know in your own life who could be “murderers“….?

  • paul-bradford

    My first girlfriend and I were both reckless and stupid. She got pregnant and had to go to Puerto Rico for an abortion.

     

    Rev. Briere,

     

    It was very gallant of you to make your first girlfriend responsible for your recklessness and stupidity, but I would like to suggest a different way to look at the situation.  You say, “She got pregnant and had to go for an abortion”.  It’s equally valid, and more pertinent, to say “I had a son or daughter who died in a procured abortion because I was reckless and stupid.”

     

    Every child that has ever been aborted has had a father as well as a mother.  Abortion victimizes both mother and child and spreads a disrespect for life all around.  The father is the perpetrator of this disrespect.  Your recklessness and stupidity had consequences.  For one thing, your child wouldn’t have had to die if you’d considered how disrespectful it is to impregnate a woman who doesn’t want to, or isn’t ready to have your baby.  You seem to have thought about the trouble you caused your girlfriend which is a step in the right direction; I wish you would also think about the trouble you caused your child.

     

    Instead of celebrating the ‘choice’ women are afforded to offset the damage that their partners have done them, you ought to be directing your attention to men.  If men behaved, children wouldn’t be aborted.  Each one of us is responsible for where our sperm end up, even if you complain that your girlfriend was “reckless and stupid.”

     

  • julie-watkins

    Paul: you went unacceptedly beyond rudely agreeing with Rev. Briere’s self assessment, in my opinion. I therefore have reported this post.

    I also have the debate, every time I see one of your posts, whether I should “report” for the misreprentation of “Catholics” instead of the singular, … unless something has changed and your “organization” has more than one member (you).

  • bj-survivor

    a piece of work. The one and only time I have ever seen you take another man to task is when that man is pro-choice and actually respects the woman he impregnated. Seems that, according to you, it’s perfectly okay for a “pro-life” man to claim that he is not at all responsible for an abortion that results from his not wrapping his penis, even though he knows his sex partner is not at all willing to become a mother, because he is willing to “take responsibility” by paying child support.

     

    Stop wasting our time, troll.

  • ack

    Even if men followed your definition of being well “behaved,” women would still get pregnant, and be in situations where they did not want to be pregnant. Where they did not want to birth a child.

  • colleen

    Each one of us is responsible for where our sperm end up, even if you complain that your girlfriend was “reckless and stupid.”

     You’ve consistently ignored ‘pro-life’men on this blog who admitted to being rapists or to enabling rapists. You’ve been still as a mouse when ‘pro-life’ ‘men’ claimed that, except in cases of rape, a pregnat woman is ALONE responsible for each and every unwanted pregnancy. You  You’ve remained silent for YEARS as your ‘pro-life’ brethern spewed their hatred. And here you attack and twist the words of  a decent and honest man who spoke the truth.

     

     

     

  • squirrely-girl

    Thank you for articulating that thought so well.

  • paul-bradford

    You’ve been still as a mouse when ‘pro-life’ ‘men’ claimed that, except in cases of rape, a pregnat woman is ALONE responsible for each and every unwanted pregnancy.

     

    colleen,

     

    I WISH I came across a comment such as the one you describe. I’ve heard you say that they exist and I can’t wait until I find one because I would DEFINITELY unload on any man who made such an ignorant and hurtful statement.

     

    Who’s to blame for abortion?  The blame doesn’t rest solely on the mothers who procure abortion.  I don’t even think they bear the majority of the blame.  If a woman finds herself in the difficult position of carrying an unwanted pregnancy and her partner is disrespecting unborn life, and her family is disrespecting unborn life, and the society is disrespecting unborn life, it becomes a nearly unbearable hardship for her to respect unborn life.

     

    That’s my position.  You’re mad at me for getting mad at the author of this post.  This is the first time I have ever seen a man comment on a situation where he was more to blame for the abortion than his partner was, and since this particular man — even all these years later — is more interested in making it easy for the men of the future to be ‘reckless and irresponsible’ without consequence than he is in urging men to be ‘prudent and responsible’ I took him to task.

  • saltyc

    re-post

  • saltyc

    Bei/Bornin1984/panhandler made many statements that women are to blame for abortion and the men having sex with them are not, he has defended his practice of having sex with women who do not want to be mothers and you never said a word.

    Your hostility to Rev. Briere’s attempts to de-stigmatize is contemptable and BTW you never answered my queries to prove that you actually believe that embryos are people, except to say that it was impolite of me to question your questionable assertion of faith so I still think you don’t truly believe that embryos are people therefore your calling them such in this context is a sadistic attempt to inflict guilt on a good person, though I’m sure he can handle it, others reading your vile accusations aren’t as strong as he might be. Sorry for the run-on, I’m in a hurry.

  • colleen

     

    I WISH I came across a comment such as the one you describe. I’ve heard you say that they exist and I can’t wait until I find one because I would DEFINITELY unload on any man who made such an ignorant and hurtful statement.

    You are so full of crap, Paul. I’ve seen you repeatedly ignore the ugly excesses of ‘pro-life’ men and women  in threads you’re participating in. I find it impossible to believe you haven’t seen it. Indeed much of what you write is condescending, ignorant and harmful to women. Indeed I’ve seen you complain that you’re LONELY when one of your woman hating brethern leaves with a flounce. Your buddies and your sorry passive aggressive self make ignorant and hurtful statements every day as does your church. You ignore and and enable it all. You’ve been posting  here for over 2 years and I do not believe your lies

    Who’s to blame for abortion? 

     

    That’s not the question. The question is, who’s to blame for unwanted pregnancies?

     

     

    You’re mad at me for getting mad at the author of this post.

    How like you to tell me what I am thinking and feeling.

    You get “mad” at anyone and particularly any man  who posts here with an alternative view to yours which is that women are breeding livestock.

    I’m happy to know that some Christians don’t share your position. I’m happy to know that some men don’t share your contempt towards women.

    is more interested in making it easy for the men of the future to be ‘reckless and irresponsible’ without consequence than he is in urging men to be ‘prudent and responsible’ I took him to task.

    You didn’t ‘take him to task’ , you are being rude (as usual), you twisted his words and tried to pick a fight like a child. I understand that you feel like someone is pissing on your territory; the thing is, this isn’t your territory and we are not your flock. If it were most of us would find another blog to post on. 

    You’re like a guy who refuses to hear ‘no’. So once again NO. We are not going to share your belief in the personhood of zygotes. We are most certainly not going to share your belief that pregnant 10 year olds should  carry their pregnancies to term and we don’t share your unexamined hatred of and contempt towards women.

    I’m angry because I would love to see more men like Rev Briere posting here and way less men like you. He likes women, you do not.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Every one reading Paul Bradfords self-indulgent self-centered post needs to know that he advocates raped ten-year-olds who became pregnant from rape, to carry their pregnancy to term and give birth!  He believes himself to be a top authority on respect, when in actuality he has no respect for females, and cares no more for raped female children then the creeps who rape them.

     

    Paul Bradford knows more in his opinion about women, little girls, raped women, raped little girls, pregnant women, and pregnant little girls then they do, he thinks he is a god. He is here to set all us stupid females right to his child raping catholic churches opinions.

     

    Paul, Mr. Briere actually gives a care about women, he is very respectable and a blessing to women, little girls, raped women, and raped little girls, when you are just another advocate of abuse on raped little girls. And I, as someone who had a gross childhood think he is fabulous, and you remind me of the perverts I knew when I was little. We need and want more men like him and a lot less men like you! You are vile to raped little girls.

     

    “It’s equally valid, and more pertinent, to say “I had a son or daughter who died in a procured abortion because I was reckless and stupid.”

     

    ~ No Paul, misogynistic christian and catholic men dreamed up life begin at conception to make it as if “men” created life with “their” penis and sperm, and to pretend the pregnant woman has nothing to do with it. And were they could use forced birth as a way to subjugate women. Normal people do not have to go along with your man-ego benefiting catholic misogynistic dreams. ~

     

    “spreads a disrespect for life all around.” ~And Paul Bradford and his child raping catholic church spreads colossal disrespect for raped children all around the world. ~  

     

    “I wish you would also think about the trouble you caused your child.”

     

    ~Meanwhile Paul and his catholic church do not think about the horrific pain and trouble they cause real children with actual physical and emotional feelings who have been raped.~

  • jan

    with your brilliant post!  You said a lot of what I was thinking, and I applaud you my dear!  Thank you so much for telling Paul the woman hater off.  I am so sick of his righteous, sanctimonious rantings about abortion.   Besides rape, and pedophilia,  Trying to force women to carry pregnancies that they don’t want is the most hateful act that I can imagine.   If Paul is so worried about something, he should worry about poor born named children and the rampant Pedophilia that Paul’s Church seems to support with the moving of pedophile priests around so they can rape new children in another church.  It seems like new cases come out every month about these priests who raped children and damaged their bodies, souls, and lives forever! 

       I too, have the highest respect for Reverend Briere.  He TRUSTS WOMEN to do what is best for their situation and their life! :  )

  • catseye71352

    If faultroy could get pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

  • arekushieru

    You are victimizing ME because I have a uterus.  Saying I have to endure nine months of rape just because the way my body was developed means that, in order to show respect, as the “Almighty Paul” puts it, I can’t determine my own bodily autonomy (because, that is what you’re saying, full stop.  In order to show respect to fetal life, they must be allowed to live.  In turn, if they must be allowed to live, a woman must NOT have the ability to determine her own bodily autonomy.  If she must NOT have the ability to determine her own bodily autonomy, you  are NOT showing respect to her bodily autonomy.  It’s so sad that it has taken you SO long to grasp this point.  Orrr… are you still going to display your regular obtuseness and say you STILL don’t understand???).  It’s also sad that you don’t respect me like Rev. Briere respects his wife.  So VERY sad.  :(

    If you’re going to complain that you are completely confused, again, Paul, don’t bother.  Just go back and re-read the thread Guns, Abortion… where I pointed out that you are conflating ideas of respect and the women ALWAYS come out the loser, by your own logic.  Sorry to disillusion ya.

    Very patronizing, too.  Talking as if women are too stupid to know what they want, without a man to ‘guide’ them.  If the man gets her pregnant, it’s his fault if the fetus is aborted because the woman was just too simple-minded, easily led, stupid and delicate to have chosen that all on her own.  If he doesn’t get her pregnant, he’s congratulated for keeping one more fetus from being aborted.  Ugh.  SICKening. 

  • arekushieru

    Another Unitarian Universalist!  Sweet!  I’m so glad to meet more and more people of my own faith who exhort such rational, level-headed thought.  Kudos to you and it is my hope to hear more from you on a variety of topics, especially reproductive justice,

  • truthseeker

    Kate, you are wrong.  Most Americans are not down with abortion, the legal slaughtering of human beings.

    Arekushieru, unitarian universalists are not Christian.  Obviously, you are someone who needs to read her Bible, since you claim to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, and you are spreading heresy.  The Bible does not state that all who come seeking forgiveness will receive it.  Only those who “confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  ~Romans 10:9  “And so John came, baptizing in the desert region and preaching a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins.”  ~Mark 1:4  Repentance is a prerequisite for forgiveness.  “Peter replied, ‘Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins.’”  ~Acts 2:38  Read John 15 for further enlightenment.  “But if you do not forgive others their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.”  ~Matthew 6:15  Forgiving others is yet another stipulation for being forgiven by God.  “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it.”  How sobering is this in Matthew 7:13-14, and this in 21-23……….” “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only the one who does the will of my Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name and in your name drive out demons and in your name perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”

    Jan, you are the one lying to yourself, and attempting to persuade others with your lies from the pit of hell.

    la plume assassine, there is no such person as a social justice Christian.  That’s an oxymoron.  

    .  

     

  • squirrely-girl

    More Bible thumping :/

     

    Seriously. If you can’t make your point without quoting scripture you likely don’t understand the point you’re trying to make. I know it’s difficult to understand let alone accept, but not everybody is a Christian or cares about that book. If you were really interested in making a universal ethical point try using something other than a book that only applies to one group of people.

  • rebellious-grrl

    truthseeker, you have a very narrow view of Christianity. Very. Spare me the “fire and brimstone.” Many liberal Christians are concerned with social justice issues. If you don’t believe that you are clearly ignoring the truth. Just because you say it doesn’t exist, doesn’t make it go away or not be real.

    Many, many Christians are pro choice! This is fact and reality. I feel sorry for you that you are so narrow-minded you can’t see the truth.

  • truthseeker

    There is no such thing as a liberal Christian.  Either one has surrendered all to Jesus or one has not.  One that hasn’t is not a Christian.  All I did was list Bible Scripture.  That is truth.  The fear of God is what is pathetically lacking in our country.

  • truthseeker

    Squirrely one, I was addressing points particular individuals had made.   Arekushieru claims to be a Christian.  Jeff Briere made no such claim in his essay above.  Others erroneously concluded that he is a Christian, and I was simply pointing out the truth. Declaring the truth which is Jesus is the “one thing” that is significant in this life, and all else either measures up to that truth or it doesn’t.  Since you do not know the truth, I was not speaking to you, because you are blind and deaf to the truth.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Shouldn’t you love god not fear god? You can say there is no thing as a liberal Christian all you want it doesn’t make it true the more you say it. As someone who was raised Catholic and was indoctrinated in Catholic school k-12, I’m well aware of Catholic theology and know for a FACT there are liberal Christians. This may be really scary for you, there are feminist Christian theologians and feminist Christians. For example, Rev. Rita Nakashima Brock, Ph.D. is a feminist theologian. You can either ignore the truth or bury your head in the sand.

  • arekushieru

    Fearing God PROVES why Right-wing Christians can’t actually BE of the Christian *faith*.  You are supposed to LOVE God, NOT fear him, as RG said.  Their misogyny and dehumanization of women also proves why they cannot be of the same.  Sad, but true, that when you are a misogynist you canNOT give all up to a feminist God and Jesus.

  • arekushieru

    Please do tell me where I mentioned that Unitarian Universalists are Christian?  Oh… you mean this: Christian Unitarian Universalist?  Ummm, replace Unitarian Universalism with Catholicism and you get…?  That’s right, Christian Catholicism.  Which DOESN’T MAKE SENSE!  Because it is Catholic Christian, for one VERY simple reason that you obviously missed, Catholicism is a denomiNAtion of Christianity.  So denomination COMES FIRST.  Which meeeaaaannns that Christianity is *more like* a denomiNAtion of Unitarian Universalism.  DUH!

    Btw, someone is presuming to lecture ME on the tenets and origins of Unitarian Universalism, as it applies to Christianity, while accusing me of writing about something I know nothing about?  Unitarian means I don’t believe in a trinity and Universalism means I believe all are saved.  As the first applies to Christianity, IT MEANS that I believe God is the only divine being.  And Universalism means that I believe all Christians are saved and forgiven.  If you are NOT a Christian you are not saved or forgiven by God but by some other force.  Hmmm,  guess I DO know my bible (and Unitarian Universalism) better than you, eh?      

  • truthseeker

    Just because a person is standing in a garage does not make them a car.  Just because somebody claims to be a Christian does not necessarily make them one.  For instance, sadly, churches are filled with psychopaths.

  • truthseeker

    God is not female.  Sorry for all you Sophia worshipers out there.  Further proof you are NOT a Christian, Arekushieru.

  • truthseeker

    I certainly do not know Unitarian Universalism, but I do know the Bible, God’s Holy Word.  What Bible do you know, A?

  • arekushieru

    Uh, gee, if I thought God was female why did I reference Him as “him”?  Hmmm…?  For that matter, neither is God male.  Oh, I see, you think feminism automatically means female.  ANOTher term that TS knows NOThing about and then accuses us of talking about something WE know nothing about, as a result.  Feminism means fighting for equal rights FOR women.  So, I know quite a FEW feminist men.  SO sorry that you aren’t included.  You obviously think that women are nothing more than walking wombs, biological incubators, baby-making machines.  SO sorry to prove you WRONG, once again.

  • arekushieru

    I know that Bible.  I just proved you don’t.

  • truthseeker

    A, you have yet to prove me wrong.  Just because you say something does not make it so.  Apparently you are on the thone as the god you serve.

  • truthseeker

    Not at all, A.  Not at all.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Women, little girls, and pregnant rape victims do not have to have extreme vaginal agony to satisfy the pro-lifers sadomasochistic, pornographic, fixation, of forced pregnancy and birth. Most Americans do “NOT” own my vagina. I know it is your desire to own, control, and dictate every vagina in the world. Pro lifers are just a “giant rape mob”.

    ~ 1 Peter 3:1
    In like manner, you married women, be submissive to your husbands [subordinate yourselves as being secondary to and dependent on them, and adapt yourselves to them]

    1 Peter 3 : 6
    It was thus that Sarah obeyed Abraham [following his guidance and acknowledging his headship over her by] calling him lord (master, leader, authority). ~

    Exodus 21:7
    If a man sells his daughter to be a maidservant or bondwoman, she shall “not” go out [in six years] as menservants do.

    ~ Leviticus 12:2
    If a woman bears a man child, she shall be unclean seven days.

    Leviticus 12: 5
    But if the child she bears is a girl, then she shall be unclean two weeks as in her periodic impurity. ~

    ~ Numbers 31:18
    But all the young girls who have not known a man by lying with him keep alive for yourselves. The Christian god telling soldiers to rape thirteen year old and twelve year old virgins.

    Numbers 31:17
    Now therefore, kill every male among the little ones, and kill every woman who is not a virgin.

    The Christian god telling his soldiers to kill every one (proof he is not pro-life) but virgin girls because his beloved men are entitled to their much desired sex with little girl virgins. Every time I hear a soldier has invaded a country or village and raped young girls I remember how the bible says the christian god advised it so many years ago. ~

    ~ The pro lifers favorite piece of literature of all time, the one that really floats their boats, which prove they like their god are sadomasochistic cretins.

    Genesis 3:16
    I will greatly multiply your grief and your suffering in pregnancy and the pangs of childbearing; with spasms of distress you will bring forth children. Yet your desire and cravings will be for your husband, and he will rule over you. ~

    Every horrible evil thing that ever happened to me or any women or little girl I know the bible incited. ~

  • rebellious-grrl

    truthseeker, you didn’t answer my question. Shouldn’t you love god not fear god?

    For instance, sadly, churches are filled with psychopaths.

    Sure for example some psychopaths you might see at church on any given Sunday,
    * Priests/clergy that have molested children
    * Abusive men who beat their wives and children, or molest/rape their wife/children family
    * Scott Roeder (or folks like him) (I guess Scott won’t be seen in church for a while because he is in prison

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    Truthy, your wrong again! God is not male or female. God is neither. Humans assign a gender to God. I usually use the term “Goddess” when I discuss God because of the historical influence of the Patriarchy on most religions.

     

    God/Goddess has no gender, no beginning no end. But hey truthy, you can worship any idol you want.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Every horrible evil thing that ever happened to me or any women or little girl I know the bible incited. ~

    Indeed.

    Great post FRIB. Your knowledge of the bible is impressive. Thanks.

  • truthseeker

    The Bible refers to God as He.  I choose to believe His Holy Word in its entirety.

  • truthseeker

    Since you are referencing Scripture, you do believe in God the Father, Jesus Christ His beloved Son and the Holy Spirit?  Somehow I find it dubious.  Why is it people such as yourself blame all evil upon God, while at the same time you claim not to believe in Him?  When all is going smoothly in your life, you do not attribute that to God, but when all hell breaks loose, you freely blame God.  The same God you claim not to believe in, you freely curse, taking His name in vain.  If the Bible is merely a fairytale, how can it be blamed for evil taking place in this world?

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Because men such as your self believe in it, and try to force it on women. I do not believe in god, but women I know were abused because their husbands and fathers said they were not submissive enough. Men use the bible as a tool to control and hurt women. The republicans and christians are doing in America now. ~

     

    ~ And the bible does not say you have to have genital pain to bring new people into the world, It says it about me! ~

     

    ~ I grew up in a southren baptist family all I ever heard was women were created by the bible god to serve men, women are for babies and serving their husbands. That is a gross thing to hear all your little girl childhood. If they get beat it is because they are not submissive enough. ~

     

    ~ It is like what happens to muslim women and little girls because muslim men believe in their god, it tells them everything they want to hear about themselves and women. Women are nothing but servants, men are wonderful. ~

    ~ The bible is to blame for bad things happening to women and little girls, such as the pro-life movement. ~

  • rebellious-grrl

    Really truthy?

     

    “God is an eternal Spirit” (Deuteronomy 33:27, Psalm 102:27; John 4:24; 1 Timothy 1:17; Revelation 1: 8) 

    “a spirit hath not flesh and bones” (Luke 24:39).

    God Himself announced: “The Strength of Israel…is not a man.”(Samuel 15:29)

     

    You are entitled to believe anything you want, as am I.

  • plume-assassine

     

    .

  • plume-assassine

    I agree with squirrelly girl. Maybe you should listen to her advice.

     

    Every time I read one of your comments, it’s some holier-than-thou BS. Who do you think you are to tell someone whether THEY are Christian or not, or question their faith? The fact that you think you alone have been bestowed with “Truth” and all others are “blind and deaf” is a prime example of your disgusting egotism and your black/white thinking. Seriously, it’s narrow-minded people like you that turn others away from Christianity. The Jesus of the Bible was not a hateful misogynist like the rhetoric that you constantly spew.  Reverend Briere is a Christian because he has studied his faith for many years to earn the title of Reverend. You are not God; you do not get to tell him otherwise.

  • ldan

    In English translation, sure. English doesn’t have decent gender neutral pronouns, so he/him/his were used without thought for a long time as ‘neutral’. Because men are considered the norm while women are other. 

     

    The original Bible texts (or as close as we have to them) are murkier with regards to the gender of God.

  • truthseeker

    Where in his essay did Jeff Briere claim to be a Christian, because somehow I missed it?  Unitarian universalists do not claim to live as disciples of Christ.  I have been a serious student of the Bible for decades, and I have surrendered my allegiance to Jesus Christ.  Have you, since you seem to know so much about the topic?

  • jeff-briere

    OK, Paul, “We got pregnant.”  That better?

     

    I stand by all the rest.

  • plume-assassine

    For one who claims to be a follower of Jesus, it’s interesting to me that you seem to ignore that Jesus never said a damn thing about abortion. And he never said anything about curbing women’s rights, as you would like. I think, actually, that you are a “serious student” of the rest of the Bible not strictly concerning Jesus, which is full of evil passages, and plenty of hateful misogyny.

  • colleen

    there is no such person as a social justice Christian.  That’s an oxymoron. 

    That’s a mighty big hook you’re trolling with today.

     

  • arekushieru

    I’ve just proven that you know NOThing about the term, feminism.  It’s pretty simple.  If you make the claim, you have to provide the proof.  YOU claimed feminism meant something was simply female.  (When even Grade 6 students would laugh themselves silly at something so ignorant.)  You haven’t backed yourself up, so one must conclude that you know you are wrong but just in De Nile.  Whooops! 

  • arekushieru

    Only those who “confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.”  

    Yeah, so says the person who contradicted his claim, with the above quote, that I was wrong that all those who believe in Jesus (because… uhhhh… that’s who I’m TALKING about, as a Unitarian Universalist…?) will be forgiven. 

  • arekushieru

    FbiR, that last is something I often like to bring up, in regards to anti-choicers, myself.  Notice how Adam and Eve didn’t share the suffering, equally, yet Eve was the one deceived by the supernatural, while Adam was simply deceived by another human?  And Adam’s suffering is only brought about as a result of  Eve’s punishment, while Eve’s suffering is multiplied by Adam’s own punishment?  Considering the times that the Bible was actually written and that was written BY humans, it’s understandable that such misogynistic, appalling and disgusting language made it in there.     

  • arekushieru

    Look up Unitarian Universalism and you will see that the basic tenet that is  unitarian universalism is a Christian tenet.  It is more likely that one is a Christian Unitarian Universalist than not.  So, the default ‘assumption’ is that a Unitarian Universalist IS a Christian.  So, your question SHOULD have been, where has he told us that he is NOT (a Christian)? 

  • truthseeker

    All Scripture in the Bible is inspired by God, God-breathed.  It is NOT men’s words.  They are God’s words.  It’s not your opinion that matters.  Only what God says is significant on any given topic.  His ways are much higher than our ways.  There are meant to be many mysteries with Him.  That’s where faith comes in.

  • truthseeker

    Jim Wallis with Sojourners is NOT Christian.  One major tipoff is that George Soros funds them.  Shane Claiborne is NOT Christian.  Neither are Rob Bell, Donald Miller, Paul Young, Brian McLaren or Joel Osteen.  They are a mere smattering of the heretics filling churches these days, wolves in sheeps’ clothing.  We should not be surprised for the Bible is quite clear on its teaching concerning false teachers who are leading many away from the narrow way.  Only God is good.  We are all as filthy rags compared to Him.  Only what we do in His name amounts to anything lasting, either here or in eternity.  No, Ted Kennedy was NOT a Christian either because what he did was not done in Jesus’ name.  It was done in Ted’s name.  He gave no glory to God. 

  • truthseeker

    Oh yeah, neither are Unitarian Universalists, Oprah or Obama Christian.

  • truthseeker

    I have never said a thing about curbing women’s rights.  I love and live for Jesus, and He instructs us not to murder, whether you like it or not.  You will believe what you selfishly want to believe no matter what the truth presents.

  • truthseeker

    I only tout what the Bible teaches.  The Bible instructs us to judge other believers.  However, we are not to judge the world.  That’s up to God.  Those who reject Jesus do so because they are narcissistic, seeking to live for themselves and not Jesus.  They’ll use any excuse they can possibly dredge up to reject Him.  I am not reponsible for their foolish decision.  Go ahead and ask Jeff Briere whether or not he’s a devoted follower of Jesus alone.  I have no doubt he believes in coexistence, that all will go to heaven, that Jesus is not the way, the truth and the life.  He’s remained tellingly silent, hasn’t he?

  • mechashiva

    there is no such person as a social justice Christian.  That’s an oxymoron.  

    Tell that to all the Christian social justice organizations. Tell that to a NUN (they’ve been involved in social justice since everwhen). Does Mother Theresa ring a bell for you? How about ALL THE SOCIAL JUSTICE WORK JESUS DID? I think you’re confusing “social justice” with “socialism,” and still there are Christian socialists out there. No, you don’t have to be a capitalist to be a “real” Christian. To be a real Christian, you MUST be involved in caring for the sick, elderly, abused, downtrodden, and disenfranchised… because that’s what Jesus would do. Otherwise, you’re just sitting up on your high-horse telling everyone else what to do so that you look more holy than them, which is something Jesus didn’t look very kindly on.

  • plume-assassine

    If you believe all scripture in the Bible is the infallible, inspired word of God, then your vision of God is evil.

     

    I will hand you over to ravaging men, artisans of destruction.  You shall be fuel for the fire, your blood shall flow throughout the land.  You shall not be remembered, for I, the LORD, have spoken.”  (Ezekiel 21:33-37)

     

    “If within the city a man comes upon a maiden who is betrothed, and has relations with her, you shall bring them both out of the gate of the city and there stone them to death: the girl because she did not cry out for help though she was in the city, and the man because he violated his neighbors wife.” (Deuteronomy 22:23-24)

     

     “Thus says the Lord: ‘I will bring evil upon you out of your own house.  I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor.  He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.” (2 Samuel 12:11-14)

     

    When a man sells his daughter as a slave, she will not be freed at the end of six years as the men are.  If she does not please the man who bought her, he may allow her to be bought back again.” (Exodus 21:7-11 )

     

    Not to mention all of the rampant murder in the Bible. God specifically orders you to kill people who don’t listen to priests or nonbelievers, suspected witches, homosexuals, fortune-tellers, children who disobey their parents, those are adulterous, women who are not virgins on their wedding night, infidels, people working on the Sabbath,

    among many others.

    The other problem with the Bible as “the word of God,” is the circular reasoning involved with such a statement.

  • plume-assassine

    Abortion is not murder. And, actually, abortion was pretty common in Jesus’ day, too, so if he wanted to equate it with “murder” so as to raise awareness, then it’s interesting that he never mentioned abortion at all…. Hmm. And, yes, whether you like it or not, if you want to force every pregnant woman to give birth, that is a direct violation of women’s rights.

  • reproductivefreedomfighter

    Of course it’s MEN’s words.  Wasn’t it “transcribed” by men?  Hasn’t it been translated, over and over and over, by MEN?  And anyone who knows anything about translating knows the translator’s biases come through.  Besides, there is no god. 

  • truthseeker

    Actually, I am over myself.  Now, I’m concentrating on God.   :)

     

    If you don’t seek help for your parched spirit and soul, your body will suffer as well.  I wouldn’t be suprised to learn that it is already.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ “Men” can kill a fetus as long as the pregnant woman or girl dies with it “for oil”, but a woman or girl can not to spare herself extreme unwanted vagina pain, no, no. The christian republicans deserve their oil, but women and girls do not deserve to not have unwanted vagina pain. ~

  • rebellious-grrl

    Fine, I understand you take the bible verbatim. But there are many religions in the world and with more than 6 billion people on the plant we need to learn how to figure out how to live with each other and respect everyone’s religious autonomy.

    There is more to Christianity than the bible, or with other religions the sacred texts. My best friend is a devout Christian. He recently said to me, “I don’t want to judge people. I don’t think that’s what Jesus would want me to do. I will live my life and love other people because that’s how I want to serve Jesus.” I respect him for who he is as a person and as a Christian. He actually lives by following the teachings of Jesus of serving and feeding the poor and treating others with respect. He doesn’t damn women for using birth control or having an abortion. I wish more Christians could be like my friend.

    After many years of rigorous religious study and soul-searching I consider myself a Christo-Pagan. “Christo” because I was born into Catholicism, but Paganism (Wiccan) is my chosen spirituality. As with other major religions I feel Christianity has been hijacked to a certain extent by some that have claimed the moral majority and have used that to control policy and society. We would be much better off as a society if we could learn to coexist.

  • forced-birth-rape

    ~ Apparently nice people cannot be christians, the real christians are hatemongers like George Bush, Glenn Beck, James Dobson, Tony Perkins, Bill O’Reilly, it is so sexy to force raped girls to give birth Sarah Palin. Jesus very much disliked “Pharisees” and that is exactly what you are TruthSeeker. ~

    ~ TruthSeeker and his like or why every one I grew up going to church with has stopped going, they say christians are the biggest ass-holes in the world. ~

  • rebellious-grrl

    I completely understand FBIR. Great post.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Rev. Briere – I hope men will hear and take your call to action. Thanks for your well-spoken thoughtful article.

  • plume-assassine

    No, you act and judge like you are God, making little narcissistic “lists” of people who don’t qualify as Christian in your eyes. Your comments are very egotistical and self-righteous.

     

    If you don’t seek help for your parched spirit and soul, your body will suffer as well.  I wouldn’t be suprised to learn that it is already.

     

    LOL What the hell is this? Yeah, all of the non-Christians and non-believers of the world are all suffering and in sooo much bodily and spiritual pain! Right, what nonsense.  I am an atheist and so are my family members. I guess it would surprise you to know that we are all very happy, healthy, peaceful individuals… and we do social justice work for others! (gasp!)

     

    Here’s another secret, “…several studies have found Sweden to be one of the least religious countries in the world, with one of the highest levels of atheism. According to different studies, between 46% and 85% of Swedes do not believe in God.” And it is well-known that the Swedish people have a healthy, high standard of living. They get along just fine without “God.”

  • squirrely-girl

    … just what I needed, a handy dandy list of who is and isn’t Christian. I was about to pass out from holding my breath waiting for somebody to post that list. I mean, how else would I have EVER known?! Thank you SO MUCH for enlightening the rest of us. //end snark

  • squirrely-girl

    Oh don’t worry ’bout little ol’ me. Truth and I are on a first name basis and God is my homeboy. In fact, I distinctly remember chatting with Him the other day while I was waiting on my Pumpkin Spice Latte in the drive through about all of the haters that proselytize and pass judgement in His name. Guess what?! Apparently He is NOT a big ol’ fan of that! Crazy talk I know! Who would have guessed?! Just thought I’d pass that message along. :)

  • arekushieru

    Although, I don’t think God condemned homosexuals, ever, but homosexual (along with heterosexual) infidelity.  Whether someone takes the bible, literally or not, I think it is inappropriate for those (like TruthSeeker) to condemn homosexuality on that basis, is all….

  • arekushieru

    Contradict yourself, much?  First you accuse me of something I never said because you presumed to be all-knowing about Unitarian Universalism, then you say you don’t know anything about Unitarian Universalism, now, here you go, again, proclaiming that you know all about it, enough to declare that they aren’t Christian.  Hmmm.  Christian tenets (remember?  I mentioned these earlier… orrr… maybe you just skipped over them because you couldn’t comprehend them?) do not make a Christian.  I’ll have to remember to tell my grandmother that when I see her, again.  What’s that, TS, gonna contradict yourself, again?

     

    I hope Rev Jeff Briere finds the support he needs to offset such rabid anti-women as yourself from ever making laws based on your religion, as God, Jesus and the Christian (and all other) faith(s) would want. 

  • truthseeker

    Ps 111:10  The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and they who live by it grow in understanding…

    Prov 8:13  To fear the Lord is to hate evil.

    Prov 19:23  The fear of the Lord is life; he who is full of it will rest untouched by evil.

    Jer 5:22  “Should you not fear me?” declares the Lord. “Should you not tremble in my presence?”

    Mat 10:28  Jesus said, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the one who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”

    2 Cor 5:11  Since, then, we know what it is to fear the Lord, we try to persuade men…

    2 Cor 7:1  With promises like these made to us, dear brothers, let us wash off all that can soil either body or spirit, to reach perfection of holiness in the fear of God.

    1 Pet 1:17  And if you invoke as Father him who judges each one impartially according to his deeds, conduct yourselves with fear throughout the time of your exile. 

     

    Humanism declares man is the measure of all things, while feminism is humanism on the half shell, declaring that woman is the measure of all things.  Neither is true.  God alone is the measure of all things!

     

     

     

     

     

  • truthseeker

    rebellious, the examples you gave are definitely psychopaths, but they are NOT followers of Jesus Christ.

  • truthseeker

    Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness… So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. ~Genesis 1:24-27

    In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  ~John 1:1

    The Word became flesh and dwelt among us……..full of grace and truth.  ~John 1:14

    We do share something in common; I’m a rebelutionist like Alex and Brett Harris, the twin authors of Do Hard Things.

     

     

     

  • truthseeker

    A, the truth is if you have given your allegiance to Jesus Christ, King of kings and Lord of lords, you would not be tolerated on this site.

    “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that what it does is evil.”  ~John 7:7

    But whoever fails to find me harms himself; all who hate me love death.  ~Proverbs 8:36

     

  • truthseeker

    That’s scary to know the Bible and not live by it!

  • truthseeker

    Just because you grew up in a southern Baptist home does not indicate you grew up in a Christian home.  Many Baptists are not Christian.  God is love, not what you experienced.  I’m sorry for your pain.

  • truthseeker

    Followers of Jesus believe His Word revealed to us.

    2 Tim 3:16-17  All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching the truth, rebuking error, correcting faults, and giving instructions for right living, so that the man who serves God may be fully qualified and equipped to do every kind of good work.

  • truthseeker

    So, you’re not a Christian after all, A?

  • truthseeker

    Haven’t you learned that followers of Jesus are called to love the sinner while, at the same time, hating their sin?

  • truthseeker

    I Corinthians 13:1-3 teaches us “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophesy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.” As is proclaimed in I John 4:8 “God is love,” until we surrender all authority over our lives to Him, we cannot truly love, and we cannot be truly good.

  • truthseeker

    How irresponsible and dangerous it would be for us not to make judgments.  We make judgments about others on a daily basis.  When an employer is in the process of hiring a new employee, he makes a judgment for/against/between those who have applied for the position.  We make judgments when our children are acting willfully defiant:  cheating in school, destroying a friend’s property, lying.  We make judgments when someone steals from us, when someone makes a pass at our spouse, when someone kidnaps our child, when someone cuts us off in traffic.  We make judgments of evil people like Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Che, Jim Jones, those who brought down the twin trade towers in NYC, Lt. Calley, priests who molest young boys.  The Bible does not command us not to judge as so many in this world would like to believe.  How interesting that those who claim to be atheists love touting that which they consider a Christian precept.  The Bible does instruct us to make a righteous judgment, not one based on mere appearances.  

    Jesus said, “I did not come to bring peace, but division.”  Peace is not possible among those of the world.  However, for Jesus’ disciples, He affords peace that passes all understanding, even in the midst of hardships, trials, persecutions, pain and suffering. 

  • truthseeker

    The Bible is clear on who is and who is not a follower of Jesus, plume.  Even though you have chosen to reject Jesus, He still believes in you, for He created you in His image, breathing His breath of life into you.  With God all things are possible.  Hope never dies.

  • mechashiva

    A person is good if they are empathetic, generous, kind, thoughtful, and respectful. Love is not limited to the members of a single religion (or interpretation of that religion). You don’t need a book to know that.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Sorry, you can’t claim the moral high-ground with that agrument.

    Christianity is not the only religion and cannot claim the moral high-ground above all other religions. Even Wicca provides pagans with guidance on moral thought and action. The Wiccan Rede, “An’ it harm none, do what thou wilt.”

    http://www.patheos.com/Library/Pagan/Ethics-Morality-Community/Principles-of-Moral-Thought-and-Action.html

    Also, The Rule of Three is a religious tenet held by some Wiccans.

    “The Rule of Three (also Three-fold Law or Law of Return) states that whatever energy a person puts out into the world, be it positive or negative, will be returned to that person three times.”

    We live in a secular society where we come together to make rules we can all live by, not based on one particular religious dogma. Christianity is used as a way to wield unattributed power by those who profess its theology to enforce social structures like the patriarchy. Not everyone believes in your particular dogma. Upholding everyone to your beliefs is detrimental to society as a whole.

  • colleen

    Love is not limited to the members of a single religion (or interpretation of that religion).

    I would say that love has nothing to do with religion at all and indeed religion, particularly the harsh, punative varieties favored by the American Taliban seems to produce more evil and justification for hatred than anything else.

    I mean look what’s happenbing here. Y’all are talking to a troll who says that ‘Social justice Christian’ is an oxymoron.

     

  • rebellious-grrl

    Love is not limited to the members of a single religion (or interpretation of that religion). You don’t need a book to know that.

    Exactly.

  • rebellious-grrl

    Y’all are talking to a troll who says that ‘Social justice Christian’ is an oxymoron.

    Good point. Thanks for the reality check colleen. I’m going to go have some coffee and wake up a little more.

  • ack

    The Bible mentions helping the needy over 2000 times. That’s right. OVER 2,000 TIMES.

     

    If Jesus came into your living room and saw you ranting about abortion on the internet instead of volunteering, lobbying, or supporting social services, he would be ashamed of you. I mean this in all seriousness. He would be ashamed of you. He would forgive you if you redirected your energy. But he would be ashamed that you have wasted countless opportunities to better your community because you were obsessed with abortion and abused his name in your rants.

     

    And social justice Christians, IMHO, are the only real Christians out there. They’re working toward equality. They’re working toward humanitarian ideals. They fight for social programs and respect for women and children. If your Messiah comes back, he’s going to be hanging out with them.

  • arekushieru

    The ‘no true Scotsman’ fallacy, eh?  As read, Christians are those who believe that the only way to be saved is through Jesus Christ.  Baptists believe that, thus they are autoMATically Christian.  It has nothing to do with ‘love’ or what have you.  That is why Jews are not Christian, although they are one of the Abrahamic faiths/religions.  It’s the meaning behind the belief, itself, just as it is in the case of ProLife vs Anti-Choice.

  • arekushieru

    Umm, an epic example of why you don’t know your bible but I do. Do you not know what the ternm ‘world’ means?  It’s talking about Satan, those who are opposed to the Christian faith but not the Christian religion.   Those who have ritualized rather than spiritualized beliefs.  Organized religion is of the former, faith is of the latter.  Organized religion is of the world (yes, in turn, you are of this world).  Or don’t you remember the comment Jesus made about turning God’s house into a marketplace?  That’s much like organized religion taking over spirituality.

  • arekushieru

    Um, actually, I proved that I was of the Christian FAITH not of the religion, of the ‘world’, the latter of which you most definitely are.  You are a Christian, of the ‘world’.

  • truthseeker

    It’s time for me to stop casting my pearls before swine.

  • truthseeker

    Dorothy Sayer said, “Hell is the enjoyment of our own way forever.”  With Jesus’ strength and guidance,  “I will endure to the end.”   :)   “For I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I’ve committed unto Him against that day.”

  • arekushieru

    Yup, enjoy your own way in the ‘world’ of organized religion.  I will enjoy Jesus strength and guidance through my FAITH.  I can give my all up to him, however, those in the ‘world’ of organized religion will never be able to do so and will never be able to endure till the end.  Just as Rev. Briere can and does do.  Hopefully, he will bring more men such as himself to the fold, so to speak, for that very reason.  And my hope is that he will keep casting his pearls before ‘swine’, even those swine that mistake everything they cast as pearls.  He will reach them, some day!