BreakPoint: Human Sexuality and the Spirit of the Age

A Statement Abandoning the Faith

More than 125 years ago, The Chautauquan, a scientific journal, first posed a question that we’re all familiar with: “If a tree were to fall on an island where there were no human beings, would there be any sound?” People have debated the answer to that question ever since.

Today I want to raise a different question: If a group puts out a statement on an important subject and very few people take notice, and those who do are all virtually disagreeing, was anything really said?

Usually, the answer is “no.” But in the case of a recent statement, the opportunities for teaching and clarification are enough to warrant an exception.

The statement was put out by a group calling itself “Christians United in Support of LGBT+ Inclusion in the Church.” The statement’s animating conviction is that “A new day is dawning in the Church, and all Christians are being called to step out boldly and unapologetically in affirmation and celebration of our LGBT+ siblings as equal participants in the Kingdom of God.”

What follows are a series of affirmations and denials. What’s being affirmed is the new sexual orthodoxy expressed in theological language that’s completely untethered from either Scripture or two millennia of Christian teaching. Not surprisingly then, what’s being denied is the teaching of Scripture, tradition, and even nature itself.

This denial is present in the very name of the group—specifically, the term “LGBT+, which prompts an obvious question “Plus what?” The polyamorous? What about the “Otherkin,” people “who socially and spiritually identify as partially or entirely non-human?”

The “+” is a reminder that, to a large extent, the selling of the new sexual orthodoxy from the very beginning has been a case of “bait and switch.”

Americans, including many Christians, have been swayed by sentiments such as “you can’t help who you love,” and Lady Gaga’s “born this way.”

What they don’t understand is that this was only the tip of an ideological iceberg whose goal was about a lot more than “civil rights, tolerance,” or even “legitimacy.” It was, as a 1993 (!) cover story in the Nation put it, the possibility of “changing America forever” by “altering the way we all live, form families . . . and understand the very meaning of identity.”

Remember that scene in Star Wars where Han Solo is told that the reward for returning Leia and Luke to the Rebel Alliance would be “more than you can imagine.” He replied, “I don’t know. I can imagine quite a lot.” In a world where “the very meaning of identity” is up for grabs, what the statement calls the “wide spectrum of unique sexualities and gender identities” seems limitless.

Lately, I’ve been telling anyone who will listen that for Christians, biblically-shaped Christian teaching about human sexuality, and therefore identity, isn’t something we can agree to disagree on. The Bible and two thousand years of Christian tradition are unequivocal on this matter.

In 1 Thessalonians 4, for example, the Apostle Paul tells the Thessalonians, “This is the will of God, your holiness: that you refrain from immorality, that each of you know how to acquire a wife for himself in holiness and honor, not in lustful passion as do the Gentiles who do not know God.” He adds “Therefore, whoever disregards this, disregards not a human being but God, who [also] gives his holy Spirit to you.”

First Thessalonians is widely regarded as the oldest book in the New Testament. From the start, traditional Christian teaching on sexual ethics has been a part of the apostolic proclamation.

People who disregard this teaching are not, as the statement insists, following the “calling” of the Holy Spirit to “return to the Scriptures and our traditions.” In fact, it’s quite the opposite. They’re abandoning the Scriptures and tradition altogether, at the prompting of a very different spirit, the spirit of the age.

An age in which truth and even reality itself is up for grabs.

 

Human Sexuality and the Spirit of the Age: A Statement Abandoning the Faith

The truth of God’s Word doesn’t change, whatever the spirit of the age. As John said, sexual ethics are incorporated in the proclamation of our faith.

Resources

The Faith
  • Chuck Colson, Harold Fickett | Zondervan | September 2008

Comment Policy: Commenters are welcome to argue all points of view, but they are asked to do it civilly and respectfully. Comments that call names, insult other people or groups, use profanity or obscenity, repeat the same points over and over, or make personal remarks about other commenters will be deleted. After multiple infractions, commenters may be banned.

  • sandra

    Thank you.

  • I leave this bit from the novel: Considering the Ant.

    “So we can’t get married, is that it and then you’ll be happy.” Betty responds.
    “Betty, as a society we’ve got to agree on standards to live by, or we’re doomed to a struggle that’ll never end, all those different standards dividing us into multitudes. You have yours and I have mine and you want me to change, and I want you to change each of us thinking I’ve got that right, so leave me alone. That’s been the struggle from the beginning and it will not end till we all stand aside accepting those universal standards provided us by the Almighty God who does not change.
    “What is marriage and why do you want to get married when you can live with whoever you want and nobody would interrupt? Yes, you can commit your life to another, live in the same house and do whatever you want behind those closed doors and nobody would come and disturb you. There are no laws against it. So, go do it. If I come and knock on your door, you can refuse to let me in and I’d go away leaving some thoughts for you to think about on your doorknob, and you could do the same with me. You’d throw mine in the trash, and I’d throw yours in the trash. We’ve got those rights.
    “What is marriage anyway? Where and when did the concept of a man and a woman coming together as one, which we call marriage start? Like everything else, we have to jump back in history to find that out. The Father God, the creator of us initiated it when the first woman was created out of the rib of the first man; two distinct physical bodies created for the purpose of enlarging the human population. The sperm of the male impregnating the egg of the female creates the fetus of a baby, and that’s marriage; a male and a female bound together as one for the purpose of having children to nurture, to train, so, when they grow into adulthood they leave mama and papa to bind together with another, united together as one for the same purpose. Betty, if this world only consisted of two males or two females binding together, the human race would end.
    “Over time society has muddied this basic concept into confusion. Now love is being reduced to an emotionally changing subjective concept of plain self-satisfaction. Oh, I don’t love you anymore. I want a divorce. I want out. I love someone else now. Marriage is not subjective to our changing emotions. It’s a commitment, a vow until death for the purpose of furthering life, of nurturing those little ones in that blessed close relationship called family.
    “We can submit to standards of a higher than human realm which does not change, or submit to a chosen or appointed human realm which will continually change over and over again. The universal unifies. The others are divisive. Again, as I said earlier, the creator has repeatedly designed and we’ve witnessed it throughout human history; there’s a male Eagle and a female Eagle. They look the same, but can a male Eagle lay eggs? Has a male monkey ever changed into a female monkey? Wow, there’s a subject for those evolutionists to investigate. No, A boy is a boy and a girl is a girl. A male body cannot have a baby. Period. Nature will not allow it. Their chromosomal DNA’s are different. Two males together cannot further human life. Period. That’s a scientific fact.

  • Phoenix1977

    “… biblically-shaped Christian teaching about human sexuality, and therefore identity, isn’t something we can agree to disagree on.”
    Which is exactly why there is no room for compromise. Why the LGBT community has no choice but to fight Christians with everything we have got. Why we can’t allow people like Jack Phillips, Baronelle Stutzman and Aaron and Melissa Klein to get away with discrimination. Because every victory for Christians in this field is a defeat, and therefor a step back, for the LGBT community. Because if we allow Jack Phillips to refuse to make a wedding cake for a same-sex couple, why should an employer not be allowed to fire a gay man? If Baronelle Stutzman can refuse to make floral arrangements for a same-sex wedding, what will stop a landlord from evicting a lesbian couple with their children? If Aaron and Melissa Klein get away with posting hateful messages against a lesbian couple of Facebook, together with their address and phonenumber, why wouldn’t a government body be allowed to call for registration of LGBT individuals and revoke basic human rights from them? If the American president will be allowed to ban transgenders from the military, what will stop everyone else from banning LGBTs from everything else?

    Thanks, John, for proving the exact point I have been trying to make here every single time and demonstrating the LGBT community will have no choice but to defeat Christians in every way possible in order to be simply safe.

    • Mark

      So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
      Genesis 1:27-28 NIV
      The very first words recorded in the Bible, spoken by Satan were, “Did God really say?” And he has never stopped asking that question.
      As the quote from Genesis 1 above makes clear, God created mankind, created them male and female, and commanded them to procreate.
      Jesus stated in John 10:10 that the thief, meaning Satan, comes only to steal, kill and destroy.
      Satan promises the privilege of self-determination. God requires submission to his sovereign wisdom. Satan’s lie to Adam and Eve resulted in pain and loss, death and disease but trust in God and obedience to his way brings life, blessing and wholeness.
      This “new” concept of sexual self-determination is the age-old lie, “you shall be like God.” It will only lead to pain, loss and eventually death, both physical and eternal.
      You can reject what God said and choose your own course. Or you can admit your pride and sin, trust what Jesus did for you by dying in your place and find real life and true purpose.
      Logic would say, “Choose life!”

      • Phoenix1977

        I don’t submit to anyone.

        • Daniel

          Your hurt grieves us all Pheonix. We are not designed to carry the bondage of hatred. Only in submission can we be set free from the one that seeks to kill, steal and destroy. Peace to you.

          • Phoenix1977

            Submission by definition means a person is not free. So I will never submit to anything or anyone.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Believing that other people made you what you are, without your say in the matter, also means a person is not free.

          • Phoenix1977

            Perhaps.

          • Scott

            Unless (I would use the word “until” for my self but I know you might prefer “unless”) you find out that you are wrong about God. : – )

          • Phoenix1977

            Still won’t 🙂

        • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

          All people submit every day in every way. The only questions are who or what do you submit to and do you submit passively or by choice. People passively and willfully submit to lust, greed, and all manner of worldly temptations. If you are passively submitting or think you have no choice, then you’re not free. You’re chained and enslaved by whatever controls you. The only true freedom is choosing who or what you will follow. For Christians, that can mean choosing Christ even when they know it can cost them.

          I read your comment telling me to get back to you after Christians have faced 2000 years of persecution. If you don’t think Christians have faced 2000 years of persecution and mistreatment of the worst possible kinds, then look what Christians have faced around the world for years. Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. This isn’t new. Christians have faced persecution since the dawn of Christianity.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Christians are the most persecuted people in the world. ”
            For “the most persecuted people in the world” you people managed to do a lot of harm and damage to virtually everyone not agreeing with you.

            “Christians have faced persecution since the dawn of Christianity.”
            You have dealt more persecution than you received of the course of history. The fact you fail to realize that is exactly what makes you so dangerous for others.

          • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

            You talk a lot of propaganda but no facts. Look at history and you’ll find that Christianity has been the greatest force of good in all of history. Does that mean that Christians are perfect and never make mistakes? No, of course not. Christians don’t claim to be perfect. Look world wide for the last five to ten years. Christians have faced murder, lawful execution, imprisonment, slavery, torture, rape, terrorization, and every manner of evil known to man. This is the kind of persecution Christians have faced since the dawn of Christianity. Sometimes, the persecution has even come from other Christian religions.

            The best and safest places in the world for all people, including LGBT people, is the western world. Our cultures, customs, beliefs, governments, and laws are based on a foundation of Christian belief. It’s the foundation of Christian belief that created the conditions that allow all people the freedom to live as they choose, and be protected by law. It’s the foundation of Christian belief that leads the western world to continue to strive for equal justice and equal treatment under law.

            I don’t know how old you are. If 1977 is a reference to your birth year, then you’re younger then me. When I was a kid, my mother’s church would excommunicate anyone caught living an LGBT lifestyle. They also excommunicated anyone caught committing adultery or any other serious sin. Still, LGBT people were always welcome to come to services and participate in church activities. They could, and still can, be baptized into the church if they repent of their sins, same as for adulterers. LGBT or not, people today are still asked to leave and not come back if they are speaking against their churches doctrine on homosexuality, but are welcome back if they aren’t preaching against church doctrine. Now days, a lot of churches have LGBT support groups and have no problem accepting LGBT members. A lot of the support groups even support those actively living an LGBT lifestyle, whether they are in a relationship or looking for a same sex relationship. I don’t agree with supporting people to sin. I’d prefer a more AA style support group, supporting LGBT people to abstain from LGBT relationships. I’ve heard testimonies from many same sex attracted that complained because their churches support groups didn’t want them to come back because they thought they’d make the other people uncomfortable, the ones still living an LGBT lifestyle.

            I’ve never been mistreated by a Christian for being same sex attracted, or for my gender issues. Oddly enough, the few times I have been mistreated for it, it was by LGBT people. I’ve seen a lot of hate, intolerance, and mistreatment from LGBT people against Christians. Maybe your experience is different, but that doesn’t make every Christian responsible. You are not responsible for the behavior of other people either.

            I wish I could say I rejected my same sex attraction and gender issues because of my Christian faith, but that would be a lie. I rejected it because of the hate, anger, bitterness, and unhappiness I saw from LGBT people. I rejected it because of the behavior I saw from LGBT people. I knew it wasn’t the life I wanted for myself. I did know some of what the Bible said about it, and that made me uncomfortable, but I wasn’t making decisions based on the Bible back then. I was more fascinated with witchcraft then I was with Christianity at the time. I went through a long period where I developed a severe aversion to anything Christian. If anyone tried to talk to me about Jesus, the Bible, or anything Christian, my instant reaction was an overwhelming sense of hate and rage. I literally felt like I wanted to get up and leave, just escape, any time the subject was brought up. The last time I tried to kill myself, I almost succeeded. I don’t remember anything between passing out and when they woke me up. I remember waking up terrified. I was absolutely convinced I was in hell, surrounded by demons tormenting me. It had been over 24 hours since my attempt before I passed out. I felt crummy, but I thought I’d failed. Going to hell was the farthest thing from my mind before I passed out. I’m not saying I was there; I don’t remember anything. I’ve never been able to shake the feeling that I was there and that He gave me a second chance. I didn’t change over night. Can’t say I’ve done a great job with my second chance, but there is no doubt in my mind that the Bible is true. There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus is my Lord, God, and Savior. There is no doubt in my mind that He loves you and will take you as you are. He took me as I am, I’ve changed a lot since then.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Look at history and you’ll find that Christianity has been the greatest force of good in all of history.”
            Really? Let’s ask the Aztecs if they agree. Oh, wait. We can’t because Christians eradicated them. Than let’s ask some LGBTs who underwent reparative therapy in some Christian camps. Oh, wait. We can’t because those camps don’t “exist”, even though recently ABC News did a 20/20 special on them, unmasking quite a few “therapists” and preachers and even helped lock one of them up for a long, long, very long time. So how about the previous generation of LGBTs? At least, one that has not been castrated or lobotomized in Christian clinics …
            Not perfect? That’s the understatement of a lifetime.

            “Christians have faced murder, lawful execution, imprisonment, slavery, torture, rape, terrorization, and every manner of evil known to man.”
            Your point? That’s the same treatment LGBTs have faced by Christians since the dawn of your religion.

            “Our cultures, customs, beliefs, governments, and laws are based on a foundation of Christian belief.”
            Yeah, except that they are not. Most of our current forms of government, rule of law, science and customs find their origin in Rome and Ancient Greece, and a little in Ancient Egypt. The reason why you think they originate from Christianity is because the early church took those elements from previous cultures (cultures that succumbed to Christianity in the end), adapted them and incorporated them in church mythology. Easier for the natives to accept the new order that way. And your truth, your bible, is filled with evidence of that fact. For example, the notion that your Jesus was born in December? Big mistake. Because if Jesus was born at the end of the Jewish year he would not have been born in December since the Jewish calendar doesn’t match ours. However, what does match is the fact that December 25th was the Pagan Midwinter Feast. Isn’t that a nice coincidence?

            “It’s the foundation of Christian belief that leads the western world to continue to strive for equal justice and equal treatment under law.”
            Ironically, the Western countries where Christianity is the strongest are also the countries where equal rights and equal justice are the farthest away possible.

            “LGBT or not, people today are still asked to leave her church and not come back if they are speaking against their church’s doctrine on homosexuality or other issues”
            Something like that was tried in the Netherlands as well a few years back. A young gay man was refused to receive Communion because he refused to give up his same-sex relationship. Everyone who openly supported him was also refused Communion. It caused quite a problem because the priest, who was not Dutch, refused to back down under public pressure. In the end the parish no longer exists, the church building is now an apartment building and the priest, in order to escape criminal prosecution under the Dutch anti-discrimination laws, was recalled to Rome indefinitely.

            “I’d prefer a more AA style support group, supporting LGBT people to abstain from LGBT relationships.”
            That’s your prerogative. However, there is a reason why there aren’t many “support” groups like that. There is simply no demand for them. Perhaps you haven’t noticed but most Western governments now urge churches and religious orders to accept LGBTs unconditionally. And in Europe the governments are willing to pay handsomely for that in the form of grants or tax deductibles for historic churches and stuff.

            “Oddly enough, the few times I have been mistreated for it, it was by LGBT people.”
            I believe you. I don’t know your age (you were correct about 1977 being my year of birth, by the way) but in the days before 1977, before the APA reversed their previous mistake about homosexuality being a psychiatric illness, there were 2 types of gays: closet cases and those who burned the closet. And they really didn’t like each other. If you indeed asked the wrong type on a date …

            “I’ve seen a lot of hate, intolerance, and mistreatment from LGBT people against Christians.”
            You reap what you sow and after 2000 years of mistreating LGBTs Christians should not be surprised their harvest is going to be big and bitter.

            “Maybe your experience is different, but that doesn’t make every Christian responsible.”
            I see that differently. As long as churches speak out against LGBT rights, against marriage equality, against gay parenting and against simply letting LGBTs be everyone attending those churches is at least an accomplice to whatever damage is done to the LGBT community.

            “I knew it wasn’t the life I wanted for myself, but didn’t think I had a choice because of the propaganda.”
            I hate to be the bringer of bad news but you don’t have a choice. So far, the APA reports a 100% relapse in those who consider themselves a “cured” or “ex-“gay. Although, those numbers are not entirely accurate. They should state a 100% relapse in those who, in the end, don’t commit suicide. Those numbers are quite high as well.

            “There is no doubt in my mind that Jesus is my Lord, God, and Savior.”
            Just as there is no doubt in my mind Christianity is a sham which will be exposed in time.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Aren’t you forgetting something? You criminally prosecute enough priests, and public sympathy is likely to shift to their side. The world loves a martyr, even if — perhaps especially if — it’s done its part to create that martyr.

          • Phoenix1977

            “You criminally prosecute enough priests, and public sympathy is likely to shift to their side.”
            The people of the parish in a small suburb of Den Bosch (a city in the south of the Netherlands) threatened to break down the doors of their own church when the priest locked himself in after refusing to surrender himself to the police. And a few days later he was gone. The Dutch DA’s office received word the Vatican had recalled him for spiritual guidance. This was in February 2010. So far all request by the Dutch DA’s office to have the priest sent back to stand trial have been in vain, which resulted in another outcry by the Dutch people who now blame the Vatican for harboring a fugitive.
            So I’m not that worried about shifting public opinion towards the prosecuted priests anytime soon.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Oh, perhaps not anytime SOON. These things take time. But they do tend to happen eventually.

          • Phoenix1977

            These things take time indeed, as Christians in the Western world are now experiencing. They managed to stay on top of the sociological food chain for almost 2000 years before the public opinion shifted against them. I don’t think Christianity can spare another 2000 years to see that situation reversed, do you?

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            As a matter of fact, I do.

          • Phoenix1977

            Interesting. Stronger, purer institutions have decayed in less time. Even within itself Christianity is at war. Today’s allies are tomorrow’s adversaries. Christianity has proven to be incapable of destroying other religions over time. Even the Pagan and Wiccan ways of old have returned, despite the churches conviction they had destroyed every single sign of them. Hinduism and Buddhism were never truly affected by Christianity and Islam is forcing Christianity to it’s knees as we speak. And still you think your religion has enough time to recover from all of this?

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Yes.

    • Just One Voice

      “Fight Christians with everything we have got….defeat Christians in every way possible”

      Sooo, what I’m hearing is, fight fire with fire? Return evil for evil? Is that really your method?

      • Phoenix1977

        I am what you made me.

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          Well, that’s rather sad. I had expected that someone with your independence of mind would have been able to make himself.

          • Phoenix1977

            To add an cliche in the mix: “No man is an island”. Everyone is what others made him, except sociopaths.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            I’m pretty sure that’s not what Donne meant by “No man is an island.”

          • Phoenix1977

            I’m pretty sure you are right. Still, it applies.

        • Just One Voice

          Indeed, that IS sad. I’m thinking exactly what Gina said, about someone with your kind of independence. You’ve always struck me as one with very independent thoughts & responsible for himself.

          Furthermore, doesn’t “I am what you made me” imply submission to a creator of some kind? Are you saying Christians made you?

          Of course, due to your transparency on this forum, I get where you’re coming from. You’ve had a lot of evil from supposed “Christians.” But still, a little too convenient to just blame others for who you are isn’t it?

          • Phoenix1977

            “Are you saying Christians made you?”
            I’m saying Christians installed a distrust, perhaps even hatred, in me that will never go away again. I’m saying Christians made sure I will never allow any Christian close enough to hurt me again. I’m saying Christians made me their enemy.

            “But still, a little too convenient to just blame others for who you are isn’t it?”
            Ever heard the phrase “The Lord works in mysterious ways”? Talking about easy. That way you can get away with anything, even murder. Oh, wait …

          • Just One Voice

            Heh, wow….that’s really mature. I wish I could just clear myself & lay the blame on others. Be it hatred, enemy, or any time I’ve been a victim of something.

            And equating the LORD’s mysterious ways to getting away with murder? No. Simply not true or valid. That’s opening a whole different topic though. And this is kinda turning south, I feel.

            I’m out. See ya on another thread.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Just One Voice has a point there, Phoenix. Bringing murder into it is a little much. Please try to keep the tone civil.

          • Phoenix1977

            You have read in my comments what some Christians have done to LGBTs while using the bible as justification. For example my classmate’s mother. If that’s not murder, what is?

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            “The unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.” (Oxford Living Dictionaries)

            An act may be appallingly unjust, unfair, and unloving, as your classmate’s mother’s act was, but all of that doesn’t necessarily make it murder, no matter how much you want it to.

          • Scott

            “Thanks, John, for proving the exact point I have been trying to make here every single time and demonstrating the LGBT community will have no choice but to defeat Christians in every way possible in order to be simply safe.”

            This statement is not true. I have a member of the LGBT community coming over to my house this weekend and she knows she is safe. She also knows that I am Christian and do not affirm her sexuality. She is my neighbor, attends our block parties and lives peacefully four houses away from me.

            You have chosen hatred and fear (and to become an “enemy” of Christians). Many of us (myself included) have experienced torment and physical abuse at the hands of others who are different and have chosen not to stereotype them because of that difference. You were abused by hateful people who said they were Christian but did not act Christian. Hate and abuse are not part of the gospel message and Jesus rebukes them. Christianity is not a weapon that can be used against those who are not Christian… Anyone who has read the New Testament (and understands it) knows this.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Christianity is not a weapon that can be used against those who are not Christian”
            And yet my story is far from rare. Most LGBTs have been subjected at one time or another to abuse by Christians. And I really don’t care whether other Christians consider them not to be true Christians. They did what they did because they considered it the Christian thing to do and felt themselves strengthened by their religion. And so far no branch of Christianity has ever stood up to them or offered support to those abused by them.

        • MLipenk

          You make your own choices.

          • Phoenix1977

            Yes, of course I chose to be discriminated against, beaten and have my home and property violated.

    • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

      As a person that is same sex attracted, with a long history of thinking maybe I should’ve been born the other sex, and a Christian, I don’t agree with the persecution of Christians by LGBT people or by the courts. So far, every court case persecuting Christians for declining to take a job based on the fact that their religious beliefs are a personal conflict that prevent them from performing the job, has proven conclusively that it doesn’t prevent LGBT people from receiving the services they want. A Christian telling Christians that Christians should accept, believe, promote, and behave the way the Bible teaches, does not prevent anyone else from believing, promoting, or behaving differently.

      In America today, Christians and conservatives are far more likely to be discriminated against because of their beliefs and lifestyle. If a baker can refuse to make a cake with a quote from the Bible, then a Christian baker can exercise his/her, God given and constitutionally protected right to not take part in an LGBT wedding. The Bible says you know a man by his works. It says no matter who you work for, no matter what kind of work you do, your work is a service to God and you should act accordingly. The Bible clearly defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. It clearly condemns homosexual sex separately from adultery, fornication, beastiality, and incest. It clearly condemns those that practice the behavior. It also clearly condemns the effeminate. For some Christians, changing the definition of marriage to include a behavior that is forbidden and condemned by God is profane. Taking part in something profane would be a sin for some Christians.

      A Christian saying what the Bible teaches, believing what the Bible teaches, and professing their belief that the Bible is true and it’s teachings are correct, doesn’t force anything on anyone. A Christian professing the belief that following the Bible’s teachings gives a person the best chance possible to live a happy, healthy, and fulfilling life, doesn’t hurt anyone. Christians asking Christians to stop accepting, promoting, and condoning LGBT ideologies that contradict what is written in the Bible and two thousand years of Christian teaching and belief, is about accepting, promoting, and condoning Biblical beliefs. It is not about persecuting, harassing, harming, or discriminating against other people who believe or behave differently. The Bible teaches that you can’t cherry pick verses out of the Bible, each verse must be taken in the full context of the chapter and verse it was written and in the full context of the Bible as a whole. This means that the verses on sexuality and identity can’t be taken out of the context of verses that remind us that all have sinned and fall short of the grace of God, and verses like judge not lest ye be judged. Does that mean that all Christian will behave perfectly? No. Not all LGBT people were responsible for the harassing and threatening calls against Christians that want to follow their personal religious beliefs, and not every Christian should be held responsible if one doesn’t behave with Christian compassion.

      This is a big country founded on freedoms of religion, belief, speech, the press, and many other freedoms. We are the most diverse country on Earth, with every race, religion, belief, and lifestyle possible. People came here looking for freedom, and escaping from oppression based on beliefs and lifestyles. We cannot maintain freedom and create equality by deciding whose rights overrule and override whose rights. The rights of each group must be protected. A Christians freedom to practice their religion in their daily life is equal to an LGBT persons freedom to live and believe as they see fit. Both should and do have a right to believe what they believe and live according to their beliefs. Neither have a right to force their will on the other. This country is big enough for both to live without infringing on the rights of the other. LGBT people do not need to force Christians to profess a belief that the Bible condemns in order to be free or safe. LGBT people do not need to force Christians to behave in ways they consider sinful, or to take part in LGBT activities that violate their personal religious beliefs, in order to be free or safe. LGBT people do not need to arrest or imprison Christians that don’t want to violate their beliefs. They don’t need to fine Christians, take their businesses, homes, life savings, and everything they have because they don’t agree with LGBT beliefs or don’t want to take part in LGBT behavior that they don’t agree with. LGBT people do not need to force Christians to undergo court ordered re-education to force them to profess beliefs that contradict what is written in the Bible. This is religious persecution and bigotry. It’s religious discrimination. LGBT people do not need to persecute and discriminate against Christians in order to be free or safe.

      • Phoenix1977

        “So far, every court case persecuting Christians for declining to take a job based on the fact that their religious beliefs are a personal conflict that prevent them from performing the job, has proven conclusively that it doesn’t prevent LGBT people from receiving the services they want.”
        The blacks in the 1950s and 1960s weren’t prevented in receiving the services they wanted either. They could eat food in THEIR diners and get gas in THEIR gas stations and use THEIR bathrooms. And yet, today the average American feels at least a little shame about that period in your history, not to mention it was ruled unlawful despite a strong opposition for Christians who favored the status quo.

        “The Bible clearly defines marriage as being between one man and one woman. It clearly condemns homosexual sex separately from adultery, fornication, beastiality, and incest. It clearly condemns those that practice the behavior. It also clearly condemns the effeminate.”
        What your bible defines or condemns has no standing in the law of the land or in a court of law. The only role your bible plays in a court of law is a place to rest your hand on when you take an oath. An oath meaning nothing to more and more people nowadays because your bible means nothing to them.

        “It is not about persecuting, harassing, harming, or discriminating against other people who believe or behave differently. ”
        Really? Want to live some of the moments from my life for a while? When I came home and saw my windows and front door covered in eggs, only to noticed those eggs were a few weeks old by the smell of them as I got closer? Or having someone keyed a quote from Leviticus in your brand new car? Or having to attend a funeral of a former classmate who hung himself because his Christian mother convinced him it was better to take his own life than to be a ***? (Sorry, Gina).
        Not to mention the countless moments when you meet a new collaegue or professor or whoever and you need to decide whether or not to take the risk of coming out to them, never knowing if it will come back to bite you in the future? Which, in my case, it has multiple times.

        “Not all LGBT people were responsible for the harassing and threatening calls against Christians that want to follow their personal religious beliefs, and not every Christian should be held responsible if one doesn’t behave with Christian compassion.”
        Don’t even think of going there! How many Christians have been maimed, violated and even killed by LGBTs over the past 2000 years? Even today Christian therapists violate LGBTs by offering reparative therapy, damaging them both mentally and physically! Only once you have suffered as much from us as we have from you you can equate our suffering. So come back in about 2000 years, okay?

        ” LGBT people do not need to force Christians to behave in ways they consider sinful, or to take part in LGBT activities that violate their personal religious beliefs, in order to be free or safe. LGBT people do not need to arrest or imprison Christians that don’t want to violate their beliefs. They don’t need to fine Christians, take their businesses, homes, life savings, and everything they have because they don’t agree with LGBT beliefs or don’t want to take part in LGBT behavior that they don’t agree with. LGBT people do not need to force Christians to undergo court ordered re-education to force them to profess beliefs that contradict what is written in the Bible.”
        Neither did Christians but they did it anyway, and more. Far, far more!

    • MLipenk

      So… “tolerate” me and my beliefs and lifestyle, but be darned if I’ll afford you the same courtesy. In essence, do as I say… not as I do. When the governor of N.M. went to a gay hair-stylist, the hair stylist refused to service her, and the G-BLT-XYZ-WTF community celebrated. They said it was his prerogative as a business owner to refuse… and I agree. But it is very hypocritical to claim that on one hand, while suing Christian business owners into oblivion because they too have convictions. And its always Christians. Even though Muslim owned businesses will do the same thing the BLTQ-GXYZ-ABC community never sues them. How is that for discrimination? Pick out the specific group you hate and start suing.

      • Phoenix1977

        Not feeling like going down that lane again. That argument has been beaten to death more than enough now.

  • Amanda

    Drawing comparisons to Star Wars is probably not the most compelling use of analogy, but I do appreciate that it’s probably the best you’ve got.

    I also see that you’re a fan of Lady Gaga. From one fan to another, I recognize, love and respect who YOU are, even if we don’t look at the world the same way.

  • tasharina1

    They will not be equal in creation. Only a male and female can hook up with our Father Creator to be co creators with the light. Not being able to create is the worst thing that can happen to a soul, since that is what we are created to do. This is not a punishment from our Father Creator and it is just how He set up His creation to function properly. That is why He specifically warned us about homosexuality. He loves homosexuals as much as any of His children and it greatly pains Him to see them cause themselves and Him so much grief. Satan loves it.

  • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

    I remember Jesus criticizing people for confusing man’s wisdom for God’s word. Christians should be encouraging Christians to learn what the Bible says, believe what it says, and practice it’s teachings. As someone who is Christian, same sex attracted, with a history of gender issues that I’ve mostly resolved, I personally want Christians to be supporting and promoting Biblical teachings, not man’s wisdom. When I was growing up, I sometimes heard what the Bible said about it, but mostly I heard the LGBT ideology. For some, learning and believing the LGBT ideology allows them to live the life they want to live without feeling bad about it. For me, it was disempowering and oppressive. How many kids these days are being indoctrinated to believe that they were born this way, don’t have a choice, and have no control over it? How many have heard that there is no scientific or medical evidence to support those beliefs, but there is scientific and medical evidence that those beliefs are not true? Christians are supposed to be the salt of the Earth, purifying by speaking the truth. Christians should be challenging beliefs that contradict what the Bible says, not supporting them.

    World wide, Christians have been persecuted, discriminated against, murdered, maimed, enslaved, raped, imprisoned, and mistreated in every way possible for over 2000 years for the sake of their faith. World wide, for over 2000 years, Christians have suffered for their faith, even in the US. Jesus warned His followers that we wouldn’t be treated better than Him, and look how He suffered. I hope all Christians will remember that Christians have suffered too, and not behave in an unchristian way towards LGBT people. No one should be persecuted, discriminated against, or mistreated in any way. We are supposed to love even an enemy, and LGBT people are not our enemies. The Bible says we are fighting powers and principalities. The people caught up in these false doctrines are not our enemies, but the false doctrines should be challenged with Biblical truth and scientific evidence.

    The US constitution says the government can make no law respecting the establishment of religion or restricting the free exercise thereof. Establishing a religion is more than establishing a place to worship and putting a name on it. Establishing a religion requires establishing beliefs and rules of behavior. We have a God given, constitutionally protected right to not be forced to express beliefs that violate our religious beliefs, and to not be forced to do things that violate our religious beliefs. People came here looking for freedom and trying to escape from oppression. We can’t preserve freedom by taking away any groups rights; that is oppression. Both Christians and LGBT people should be free to believe what they want to believe, and act according to their beliefs. Freedom means, I can’t force you to do anything or express a belief you don’t agree with, and you can’t force me to do anything or express a belief I don’t agree with. Persecuting Christians and taking away their rights, will not make LGBT people safe or free. When a government takes away the rights of one person or group, it is just a matter of time before they decide to take rights from the next and the next… If you support taking away the rights of a different group, just keep in mind that it won’t be long before the government decides to take your rights too.

  • Gina Dalfonzo

    I appreciate your weighing in, but next time please remember that someone has to read and screen all these comments, and keep it short. I only have so many hours in my day. 🙂

  • Phoenix1977

    “Who can be against you when God is with you?”
    You want a list?

    ” You’re talking about temporary battles. God has already won the war.”
    If that’s the case why are you Christians fighting others so hard? After all, from your point of view it’s all pointless anyway.

    “Nothing happens accept that He allows it.”
    Not that comforting if you take into account all the damage done by three recent hurricanes …

  • Phoenix1977

    Wow! I thought I could talk but it seems I have met my match 🙂

    “Your story of the church proves that that government has made Christianity illegal. It demonstrates the hatred, persecution, intolerance, and discrimination faced by faithful, Bible believing Christians in that country.”
    No, in my country, like in most European countries, everyone is expected to obey the law. Religions and religious institutions are not excempt from that. Discrimination by religious institutions is simply forbidden, no matter what that religion teaches.

    “God is the king. He makes the rules for faithful Christians.”
    And didn’t Jesus teach Christians to obey the law of the land? Something about giving to Caesar what is Caesars?

    “It was not my place to tell them that they had to change their religion to conform to my wants.”
    But it is up to governments to uphold the law.

    “When talking about human behavior, anytime someone says 100% or all people will behave this way, it’s a safe bet that it’s just propaganda.”
    The APA is the American Psychiatric / Psychological Association, the largest scientific community dealing with mental health. They have absolutely nothing to do with any LGBT organisation.

    “The labels were changed for political reasons, not scientific or medical reasons.”
    The labels were corrected for political reasons because the original labels, claiming homosexuality as a mental disorder, were also installed for political reasons. Christian mental health professionals threatened to boycot the DSM psychiatric classification system in the 1950s if homosexuality was not included as a mental disorder. Once their influency had almost dissapeared in the 1970s the APA corrected their earlier mistake.

    “An illness is a deviation from the normal or average function or processes in a way that causes harm to the mental, emotional, or physical health. A disorder would be if there is something abnormal about you physically or mentally, or some kind of disturbance in the natural order.”
    I’m a doctor myself. I think I know what qualifies as an illness and as a disorder.

    “Some of the research showed that those that received professional counseling for homosexuality, who wanted to change, had a great deal of success.”
    Yeah, that research simply doesn’t hold up. For one, because there were little to no rules as to how to conduct research. Second, because quite a bit of that “research” was done without consent and was therefor unethical, if not illegal. Third, because quite a few of the “test subjects” were not admitted voluntarily but by force BECAUSE of the mental illness label.
    Today the APA condems all the “research” done in those days, not only in LGBTs but in all psychiatric patients, because they find the ways the “research” was done below any standard. The only people still quoting the old research are people like Paul McHugh, who cannot get their own research published in serious medical journals either.

    ” I never went to counseling, but ended up in the long term celibate category with not much effort. If I was attracted, I dragged my eyes off and walked away. Sometimes quickly, sometimes after a little self indulgence, but I walked away. I made the decision not to act on it before I saw them. I made the commitment to look away if I thought I might be tempted.”
    As a medical professional I would recommend counseling in order to get you to accept yourself. Because, no offense, but your behaviour is far from healthy.

    “Changing the label from mental illness did not remove the want or need for help. People still went looking for help for themselves and their kids.”
    But it should have. Because there is no treatment available for something that is not a disease or disorder.

    “You seem to take my personal beliefs about right and wrong, and my personal beliefs about how I should behave like it’s some kind of attack.”
    Don’t take it personal. I take most things Christians say and do as an attack. Has quite a bit to do with my personal history with Christians.

    ” I did not and do not support changing the definition of marriage itself. It’s not just a social or legal institution. It is primarily a religious institution, created and defined by God.”
    That’s actually not true. Like the date for Christmas and the period of the year we celebrate Easter marriage is another institution seized and addepted by the church in order to make it easier for newly converted people to adhere to the rules of the church. But marriage already existed long before there was a Christian church and will exist long after that.
    And we never redifined marriage. We reinstated the original definitions the way marriage was defined in Rome and Ancient Greece. Marriage was available for same-seks couples back then until the Christian church undid that. And we simply undid that decision.

    “Taking rights from Christians, or any group, will not make LGBT people safe, it will lead to the loss of their own rights, and consequentially, their safety.”
    Except we are not taking anything away from you. We are taking back what was stolen from us.

    “If you can’t tell the difference between what is an act of Christian faith, or an act of a Christian individual acting in ignorance, you could try some research. ”
    Yes, I could try that. I could also simply say it’s not my problem and if Christians are somehow affected by people abusing their religion it’s up to Christians to stop those abusing their religion. Because, for me, it makes no difference how the person causing me problems is stopped as long as he/she is stopped.

    “You might want to avoid reading the Bible or trying to prove it’s wrong. I’ve heard testimony from too many people who were atheists that tried to do that and accidentally converted themselves.”
    I was raised a Christian and left the church in my late teens. Although my sexuality played a part in that decision it was far from the only reason. So I know the bible quite well to know how many times the authors of that book contradict each other and themselves.

    “The paper trail, for example, shows that the US constitution was taken almost word for word from a Christian sermon predating the Revolutionary War.”
    That hardly improves the way atheists see Christianity or the American Constitution. In fact, it strengthens atheists in their view the American Constitution is an outdated document and perhaps even unconstitutional itself.

    ” You don’t think western culture isn’t still affected by the hundreds of years of Christian belief and practice?”
    I’m Dutch, meaning from the Netherlands. Christianity, and other religions, never had much influence in my country, simply because we are a traders nations. We have been doing business with pretty much every culture in the world and you can’t do business with people if your principles or your religion gets in the way. Which is why the average Dutch considers religion to be a bothersome thing which causes us more trouble than it’s worth.

    • Gina Dalfonzo

      Number one, please bear in mind what I just said about length. 🙂 I understand that you wanted to respond to specific points, but the idea here is to get these responses shorter, not longer.

      Number two, why is self-restraint unhealthy? We all have to practice it in certain areas of our lives. And many of us choose sexuality as one of those areas. I’m celibate myself, and there’s nothing unhealthy about it.

      • Phoenix1977

        I tried to restrain myself. I really did. But there were so many points to answer.

        There is a difference between self-restraint and self-denial. From what disqus_k86nMKUXNB described he was so afraid to be tempted that he basically chose social isolation.
        Of course people restrain themselves sexually. Most of the time not by choice, by the way, but by law (but that’s a different discussion completely). Even I, as a gay man, restrain myself sexually. But I never felt like I had to walk away quickly or could only restrain myself after “after a little self indulgence”. As a matter of fact, when I see a handsome man (gay or not) I look at him and quite oftten my body responds. And than I think of my boyfriend and conclude the guy I’m watching might be handsome but in no way a match to the guy I already have. That’s restraining oneself. What disqus_k86nMKUXNB does, is more fleeing the scene out of fear his resolve might not be as strong as he wants it to be. So I have some serious questions about his self-acceptance and why he chose to live the way he does. Because I don’t think it’s healthy if you feel you have to look away or leave the place you are because you’re afraid you might get tempted.

        • Gina Dalfonzo

          Did he say it was fear that drove him, or are you putting words in his mouth? As I’ve already mentioned to you, you do have a way of doing that.

          • Phoenix1977

            You have read his comment, right? That doesn’t read like fear to you? I’m not putting words in anyone’s mouth. I interpret the things he wrote, which is quite a normal thing to do in a discussion.

          • Gina Dalfonzo

            Yes, I have. I will let him speak for himself about his own motive. I will say, though, that many of us who purposely avoid sexual temptation do it out of love and respect for God, not out of fear. Whether you consider that a legitimate motive or not, it is a motive, and it is not a fear-based one.

          • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

            No, it’s not fear. Due to personal issues, I’ve spent a lot of time being overly indulgent this year, while reexamining my feelings and reactions to both sexes. A few months ago, I reconfirmed my commitment and went back to trying not to indulge in so much sight seeing. Not all my reasons are religious, but I see those as helping me to stay faithful to my religious beliefs.

          • Phoenix1977

            Sounds complicated to me.

    • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

      I disagree with you on everything, and my beliefs are based on all the evidence I’ve personally seen and experienced myself. I was enjoying the debate, but don’t want to wear out Gina with my rambling, so I’ll attempt to restrain. I understand that the special interest groups that pressured for dropping the mental illness designation also managed to get people placed on the council that makes those decisions. I think of it more as a sin and an addiction. The effects of addiction can resemble an illness.
      The US constitution is supposed to regulate the governments behavior. It’s supposed to prevent the government from discriminating against someone because of race, religion, etc. Unfortunately, they seem to think they should apply it to regulate behavior between citizens now. That has resulted in the government deciding whose rights overrule and override whose rights. Our government recently has decided that gay rights are not equal to Christian rights, but superior. If the rights of both are equal, then one can not force their will on the other. The right to practice your religion should be equal to the right to live life as you choose.
      Your government is not stopping discrimination. Your government is discriminating against Christians. I heard that the EU had promised that the laws protecting LGBT rights and freedoms wouldn’t infringe on the rights of church’s and people to practice their religions, but that is what they are doing now. Christians have always believed in obeying laws and authority to the best of our ability. When laws require you to violate Biblical commandments, Christians have a long history of choosing God’s laws over man’s. You’re not supposed to take verses out of context. Render unto Caesar what is Caesar’s didn’t violate God’s commandments. Wasn’t that about paying taxes? I think there is plenty in the Bible to support not violating a commandment when it conflicts with a law.
      It’s hard to tell a person’s emotional state from what they write. Your writing usually sounds like you’re carrying a lot of pain and anger. It’s not unusual to transfer feelings from the source to another target. When I’m upset, prayer helps. I ask Him to help me forgive. It usually doesn’t help the other person, but it helps me to heal and let go of the negative feelings. I also ask Him to look into it and either judge between us or do what He thinks is best. Even when I’m certain I’ll never know the outcome, He often finds a way to let me know. When I can’t do anything about it, I’m always amazed by what He can and will do for me. When my uncle felt he was wrongly fired, he walked out of the building the last time, stopped just outside the door, stomped his feet, brushed off his clothes, and walked away without looking back. He followed what the Bible told them to do when leaving some cities. This business was doing great while he worked there. They were constantly getting new clients, growing, and expanding. Within a few years after they fired him, they had lost so many clients that they went bankrupt. From what you’ve written, you seem angry at a lot of people. Have you ever tried handing the whole thing over to Him and just letting Him decide what to do about all of it? It takes patience, but I’m always surprised by how well that works.

      • Phoenix1977

        “I understand that the special interest groups that pressured for dropping the mental illness designation also managed to get people placed on the council that makes those decisions.”
        You understand wrong. In the 1950s the DSM classification system for psychiatric disease was written and in the original concept version homosexuality was not mentioned. At the moment the APA was not the influential association it is now and it had to negotiate with several other organisations, several of the Christian in origin. Those Christian organisations made it clear they would not support the DSM classification system unless homosexuality was admitted into it as a disorder. The APA had little choice but to agree.
        By the time the APA almost finished the third edition of the DSM system (DSM-III) things had changed dramatically. The former Christian organisations had merged with the APA or had ceased to exist and the APA was by far the largest and most important mental health association. So they corrected the problem they were forced to introduce in the DSM-I by removing homosexuality from the list of disorders. And yes, there was a push to do so by the LGBT community, because the DSM system was abused to lock away LGBTs indefinitely. And since there was never a shred of scientific evidence that homosexuality was a mental disorder the APA had very little problems removing homosexuality from the DSM-III.

        “I think of it more as a sin and an addiction. The effects of addiction can resemble an illness.”
        That’s fine with me. You can believe whatever you want. I won’t stop you. Doesn’t make it true, though. And doesn’t make a difference either, since you don’t get to decide what is or isn’t a mental disorder. Only the APA, it’s European counterpart en the WHO do.

        “Our government recently has decided that gay rights are not equal to Christian rights, but superior.”
        No, your government recently decided the LGBT community needs to be protected from religious conservatives. Big difference.

        “I heard that the EU had promised that the laws protecting LGBT rights and freedoms wouldn’t infringe on the rights of church’s and people to practice their religions, but that is what they are doing now.”
        Dutch anti-discrimination laws predate the EU so Brussels has no say in the matter. And even if the EU did have a say in laws predating the founding of the EU, the European Union is not a federal state (despite most EU leaders would want it to be). The Netherlands is one of the main contributors financially towards the EU. We may not have that many votes in the EU Parliament but when threatening to cut of the money flow Brussels definitely listens to what we have to say.

        “When laws require you to violate Biblical commandments, Christians have a long history of choosing God’s laws over man’s.”
        Really? Which biblical commandment required my neighbors to key a verse from Leviticus in the paint of my new car? Or to start a petition to have me and my boyfriend evicted from out apartment because of our sexuality? Which commandment forced my classmate’s mother to drive him to suicide because it was her Christian view he’d better be dead than gay? Which commandment required my home to be “decorated” with rotten eggs? Which commandment told told my ex’ father to beat him to an inch of his life because of his sexuality? Which commandment allowed my neighbor to true and break down my door because he was convinced my ex and me had turned his son gay?
        Christians obeying the law? I would laugh if it wasn’t so tragic.

        “I think there is plenty in the Bible to support not violating a commandment when it conflicts with a law.”
        And in most European countries that means you will have your day in court.

        “From what you’ve written, you seem angry at a lot of people.”
        You’re not wrong.

        “Have you ever tried handing the whole thing over to Him and just letting Him decide what to do about all of it?”
        Yes, I have. Like I said, I was born and raised a Christian so I tried that for a very long time. No good came from it and at least one person I know lost his life because of it.
        If your god is real, powerful and truly cares he should have kept his followers in check. That way a lot of people would have suffered far less.

        • disqus_k86nMKUXNB

          I would consider the treatment you suffered to be a sin and a crime. I know they’ll have to stand before God some day. If they didn’t answer for it in this life, they’ll answer to Him. We all will. Even you seem to admit that their behavior was not biblically supported. As for your friend’s parents, the suicide of a child can drastically effect people and change them. Whatever they did, they have to live with the guilt and pain. I know I’ve heard stories from parents that blamed themselves because of how they reacted to their child’s sexuality. It tore them up and they became LGBT advocates. Too late for your friend, I know. I’m just saying, you both lost your friend. People normally don’t know what other people are going through. You don’t need to tell me you don’t care; I already know you’re wrapped up in your own pain. I’ve had times when I was so focused on my experience and feelings that I was only concerned about how things effected me.

          • Phoenix1977

            “Even you seem to admit that their behavior was not biblically supported.”
            Many things are not biblically supported and still deemed acceptable by the church. So that doesn’t mean much. When I confronted the neighbor I suspected for damaging my car, he said I would have a hard time proving it was him (which he was correct about) and that I should be happy it was just my car. According to Leviticus he should kill me instead.

            ” As for your friend’s parents, the suicide of a child can drastically effect people and change them.”
            Unfortunately it only strengthen her resolve to fight against LGBT rights wherever she can. She even refused to go to her son’s funeral because he was “nothing but a filthy …” (I think you know what she said. Don’t want to upset Gina anymore than necessary). Her husband left her and her other children want nothing to do with her anymore. 2 of her 3 other children have since left the church and their religion behind. So in the end all she caused was misery for absolutely nothing.

            “Whatever they did, they have to live with the guilt and pain.”
            And I wish them a long, very long life.

            “I already know you’re wrapped up in your own pain.”
            It’s quite a long time ago so it doesn’t hurt as much as it once did. And the pain wasn’t because we were such good friends. We hardly knew each other, in fact. The pain is sadness over a lost life where it shouldn’t have happened and (in part) guilt for not knowing how much he was suffering. Perhaps I could have helped him if I had know, or paid more attention.