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March 2, 2012
by Davey Wavey

The Cross: A Symbol of Love or Hate?

When I was driving into Canada, I passed a giant white cross on the side of the road. It was likely erected by one of the local congregations, and soared some 50 or 60 feet into the sky. For those that built it, the cross is a symbol of their faith. For me, the cross evokes a lot of mixed feelings.

On the treadmill last night, I caught a few minutes of a CNN interview with an openly gay woman named Barbara Johnson. At her mother’s funeral, the priest denied Barbara Holy Communion. He said:

I can’t give you Communion because you live with a woman and in the eyes of the church, that is a sin.

To add insult to injury, he left the altar when Barbara delivered the eulogy – and refused to attend the burial. On one of the hardest days of her life, the priest’s actions added insult to injury.

I know that the cross stands for many beautiful and compassionate teachings. But as a gay man who went through both Catholic high school and university, I’ve seen so many individuals and organizations hide behind the cross as a justification for their hate. After a while, it takes its toll on you.

When I see a cross, the teachings of love and compassion are overshadowed by the stories of people like Barbara Johnson.


  1. When I think of Church or “holy symbols” my heart truly aches. They are what separate my father and I from having any kind of relationship at all. I literally can’t talk to him unless i need something because I’m gay and an ex-drug addict with mental problems. I’m just labeled as a horrible person by him through the moral standards he got out of a book. I have hated religion of all kinda for about 10 years but recently I have accepted other people’s faith and envy it. I started Tai Chi through therapy and from that stemmed my belief in Taoism and that truly makes me feel calm and open to the world.

    On a side note, something you hang a corpse from isn’t very inspirational in my opinion.

    • I am sorry, Jake. Your father like so many others have forgotten that in the end, it’s all about loving one another. Reject their thinking and look at who you are. So you have a history of addiction! So you have instability in your life! You are as good as anyone.

      A therapist once told me when I was beating myself up so badly: Write down all the things that you are proud of about yourself. List your accomplishments whatever they may be. You will find that you have value, hopefully more than you realize.

      So use Tai Chi and learn and grow. Your life will improve as you adopt a new attitude, a new frame of reference that doesn’t condemn you, but supports you.

      I wish you much happiness.

  2. Symbols were created by humans to strengthen beliefs, to reinforce suppression over the weaks and poors and to impose ideas that are strange towards human spontaneity.
    Why don’t we try to make our own love symbol instead of trying to project noble feelings and ideas, like love, on other symbols?

  3. @Joel J
    Quite a few posts ago, you mentioned that nobody had brought up papal infallibility yet.
    That concept is relatively new, in Catholic years, dating back to 1869-70.
    And it is indeed a very slippery slope, even to Catholics (one of which I am not). Apparently, some things popes do are infallible. Others can be quite fallible. The lines of distinction seem blurry to me.
    One question I do have; was the whole infallibility doctrine made retroactive prior to the time before 1869 and, if so, how far back? Would it pertain to the actions of Alexander VI, the Borgia dude? If so, was there anything AT ALL he did which could be considered “infallible?”

    • @Clippersuper
      As a non-Catholic, it always seemed to be that Catholic dogma was constructed from tortured logic. How else can the dogma reverse some of its previous holdings? I cannot answer you question as I am not a Church historian. The Church recently reversed its position on Galileo: the earth does revolve around the sun after all. I shake my head in disbelief. It is also my understanding that the vow of celibacy is relatively recent in Church historical time. Anyone waiting for a reversal on that had better be prepared to wait a few milennia.

  4. This infallibility thing is yet another attempt to enforce what THEY believe. But as Joel points out, they were dead wrong on many things and come back centuries later to acknowledge them (Galileo is one example but the crusades are another). As I said in an earlier posting, so much has been about politics and financial gain. How can you trust that? Infallible? Sorry!

    That is why, while I am a Catholic, I have created a life based on healthy, respectful loving. I don’t give a crap about what the pope has to say about homosexuality because I know in my heart he is wrong! So I use the good things the liturgy of the Mass, the positive messages of love and loving I get in the sermons, and the examples of the good people in the church – and there are many, religious and lay – to keep me grounded with a positive and nonjudgmental perspective.

    • The doctrine of infallibility applies only to moral issues and matters of faith, from what I understand. The Pope could not start telling people the world was cubic in nature nor that 2+2=5. Those things are beyond his purview.

    • What was wrong with the Crusades? The turkeys from Turkoman swamed in k& stole half the empire, not to mention the folks from Medina & Mecca.

    • @Tom

      I meant Bravo to “…This infallibility thing is yet another attempt to enforce what THEY believe.” Not to the question about the crusades, that’s an obvious mess where someone claimed to be Pope and failed to obey ANY of God’s commandments, and failed to be Pope at all.

    • Thanks, Vance

  5. @FAKEbill(Guillermo3):
    No,FAKE !:
    YOU are the imposter .Were you not,you would know that the b in bill(Guillermo3) is lower case.
    The ONLY REAL,ORIGINAL,and BEST bill(Guillermo3)

  6. Self pity is a weakness. Be strong. Stand for what you stand for when standing for is the most difficult.

  7. I was lucky in my coming out process to find a church that was mainly GLBTQ. Just walking through those doors I knew I was home. It was like walking into a gay bar that served a different sort of Spirit. Everyone knew something intimate about me and I knew something intimate about them without saying a word. Very freeing. (Well, that did change. Anything that trendy you KNOW the straights will find out sooner or later. I didn’t really mind you have to evolve.)

    It was an old warefouse. Cement floor, folding chairs, track lighting, a piano and a lecturn. And NO gold or brass symbols and no cross which I kind of liked. Just a painted mural that changed from time to time. We didn’t care if you were straight or gay just that you were there to worship. As simple as that.

    As I said before a symbol is what you make it, positive or negative. We had people who wouldn’t take a hymnal because of the language. We were donated an organ (sorry, not that kind) but it was only played a few times. Too “Old Church”. Too many people were still smarting from the pains they got from the churches they had left or were kicked out of. Too bad.

    Religion unfortunately relies on a persons mind, intepretation and feelings. And we humans always muck that up.

    There are positive people churches and the opposite. To judge everyone by the one example? As GLBTQ people don’t we all know about that in our lives? The churches I have been a part of I have been lucky. They are like a second family. I treasure them and they mean something dear to me.

  8. I find “christians” to be among the most judgemental people on this planet.

  9. @FAKEbill(Guillermo3) from the only real bill(Guillermo3):
    Re:Your “I am so sad!….. BooHoooo” comment:Who,or what ever you are,FAKE bill} You are correct.
    You are sad,and if your multiple FAKE comments made in my name are how you amuse yourself,
    YOU are pretty sick too.

    • @bill(Guillermo3) Original and Fake
      OK guys, CUT IT OUT. Your mother and I are sick and tired of this constant wrangling. And I looked at both of your computers today and found you two are on some tube run by a guy named “Davey Wavey” — obviously a fake name if I ever heard one. And when you aren’t fighting on this tube, you are talking about “foreskin.” Now that’s disgusting! I am beginning to think this may be some special tube for deviated preverts to talk all about their preversions. We are really worried about you two. Your mother tells me she has to wash your bedsheets nearly every day! If this keeps up, we will talk with Pastor Fahnestock at the Foursquare True Gospel Church of the Eternally Damned and arrange for both of you to be put in his special six-month-long “We Make Them Straight or They Die Trying” re-education camp. And no more ice cream treats EVER!

  10. @Steve:
    Regarding your response to my response to your comment FfffAAaaarrrr above:
    I apologize for assuming that you are gay_The majority of people commenting on BTI blog posts are,I believe LGTB,or at least questioning their sexual orientation,or “curious”,I believe.
    The “Pray the Gay Away,Coulter,Bachmann comments were my (perhaps excessively) sarcastic response to your decrying the “hating on”,as you put it, organized religion.They followed my remarks reminding you that many LGBT people have been condemned and/or excluded,or led to feel & self-loathing guilt a in various ways by various religions.

  11. Re. the ____bill(Guillermo3)____ fake or not

    This is addressed to the imposter. Get a f***ing life already! This game of posting under the moniker of another person, pretending to be him is getting very, VERY old and only demonstrates a level of immaturity that cannot be matched. I honestly don’t know what your beef is with bill, nor do I give a crap. Just get over it already!

    (Seriously, F***ing damned children posting in here, I’m guessing — or some seriously screwed up individuals who are hearing voices in their heads.)


    • @Michael M:
      THANKS!!!!!,Michael ! I needed that support.Frightening [and annoying] ,isn’t it.how many whack-jobs there are in the world?!
      The REAL bill(Guillermo3)

    • TO: Michael M

      I feel bill(Guillermo3) is a lunitic who is writing every word of this to draw attention to himself.

      You temper fit and rage are not going to silence him.

      The only answer is LOVE. I sure Davey Wavey will agree.

      FIts of rage are not appealing to many of us. Please try to control yourself.

    • I would request greater civility on BTI if I thought it would do any good. At the least, we ought to agree not to make ad hominem attacks in debating the issues however rancorous they may become.

    • TO: Frank

      You’re entitled to your opinion but I imagine a good many of us are tired of reading this crap. At some point, it gets so ridiculous that I simply stop reading and leave the site altogether.

      What’s truly disturbing is that for as long as this has gone on, DW has not shown any interest in addressing it. There are plugins for WordPress that allow one to blog a poster’s computer by IP address (and seriously, that would address THIS issue quite easily). I know; I have the plugin installed on my own site and have had to use it from time to time (not often, but on occasion).

      As for controlling myself, try getting off your stepstool, son. Everybody is entitled to share their opinion and frustration when crap like this is posted constantly. That’s the last I’ll say on the matter (you’re welcome to have the last word).

    • “blog a poster’s computer” should have read “BLOCK a poster’s computer” w/e

  12. Hi at all,
    I’m very sad about these things I’ve read here.
    Many of these problems happend because of a low level knowledge about catholic church and its laws by many of the priests and also the people.
    The priest had no right to deny spending communion to Barbara. She’s not excommunicated from the officials and it is not the business of the priest to evaluate her private life. The only reason could be that this would be necessary to avoid a scandal in the parish (but this is very seldom

    • Sorry, wrong button ;-)
      … Today it’s mostly a scandal if the priest would deny spending communion.
      Similar to the other ‘believers’: it’s not their thing to decide if someone is a sinner or not. It’s their duty to spend their love!

    • @Tom D
      Please explain to me certain bishops who said they would not spend communion to candidate John Kerry in 2004 because of his support for a woman’s right to choose. Was it their Perogative to decide?

  13. The cross is an instrument of torture. It was used to make people suffer before death. When one considers this symbol of Christianity in this very literal sense, a true meaning can be deduced. It is no accident that Christian churches have chosen this symbol as their icon. Whether it was intended or not, the sign of the cross is a reminder that only through suffering can one grow a soul. Suffering makes our tendency to live complacent lives intolerable. Its purpose is to force us to search for a way out of our limited consciousness. In this light, that woman, through suffering, was given the opportunity to learn and grow out of her dependance on the accepted authority of the church that shunned her.

    • Jupiteron: You are slightly off. The cross was death, not torture. It was used for “hardened criminals” as an example to others. Both the Roman Republic and the later Empire used RULE OF LAW. Laws were promigated via an assembly and a Senate, If one broke the law, one was tried in a court of law before a jury and magistrate. If convicted of a very high or serious crime, one might be nailed to a cross, but this was only for very serious offences. The Romans were not perfect and they made mistakes. It was a better system of governing than what preceded it. It was not as careful as what we have today, but it was good and not bad. From everything I have read, the Romans really tried to have a perfect government. Both the Romans and the Greeks were generally tolerant of other religions. In the 3rd century, christanity swept Rome. The new christians were dogmatic and not so tolerant to the unconverted. The fish was used by early christians, more than the cross, as their symbol as Peter, the fisherman, converted them. Peter fished nude http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=John+21%3A7&version=ESV

    • According to a documentary I saw this week on tv entitled Constatine’s Sword, it was the Emperor Constatine who introduced the cross as the symbol in Christian churches. The documentary would support Engelbert’s statement that the early Christians did not use the cross as their symbol. Again, according to the documentary, Constatine was taken with the cross after he had a vision of the cross during a victorious military conquest. He evidently thought the vision was a sign from God leading to his victory.

    • So I guess having your hands and feet nailed and bound to a wooden cross for hours before death was not meant to be a painful, torturous death? Wake up guys ! I couldn’t care less about what the Romans or early Christians did or didn’t know about the symbol of the cross. Throughout time the cross became the symbol of Christianity despite however it came to be in the first place. The fact I was trying to convey in my comment is nonetheless true about suffering. It is the ONLY way that one grows the soul.

  14. @Frank:,@Michael M:,@Everyone:
    Frank,your comment just a few spaces above is addressed to Michael M,not to me:However,using unvarnished insult to do so,it is about me}So I am answering.Difficult as it may be for you,Frank,to conceive,lunatic or not I am not the author of MANY of the comments posted under my identity:
    bill(Guillermo3).This is annoying,sometimes infuriating,and worrisome,because many of these fraudulent comments are the polar opposite of what I believe. There have been quite a number of FAKE,often inflammatory comments by one or more FAKE bills over the last year,and I find that discouraging.I value the interactions on BTI,and I am grateful to Davey for providing the resource.
    The answer for me may be to stop wasting my time here,The problems with that answer are that
    1]:I would miss it,and 2]:to use a phrase from the early days of the”War on Terror”}the terrorists will have won.

  15. @Joel J:,@Whomever:
    Joel,the use of the cross by the early Christians far predates Constantine.However,it’s public display was limited for the reasons [probably among others] that Christianity was a widely,often lethally
    persecuted cult [by the State] and that the cross was an embarrassing symbol since crucifixion was widely used for criminal execution.
    The documentary you saw was correct.Constantine was not the first Christian Emperor,but he made Christianity the state religion.In the dream,or vision of Constantine,he saw a hand with a sword and a cross and heard:”In hoc sign vinces_”In this sign,you will conquer”. IHS is still emblazoned on crosses in the RCC,Anglican,Episcopal,and perhaps some other churches.
    You may have seen various art works illustrating this story.One of the most famous,and probably the best of these is Piero della Francesco’s fresco cycle the “Legend of the Finding of the True Cross” in Arezzo,near Florence.

  16. @Joel J:,@Tom D:
    Joel,: Re:your question to Tom concerning Kerry’s having been denied eucharist by some bishops:
    Their Prerogative was that in stating his support for choice,Kerry had violated official Vatican doctrine,and was therefore barred from receiving the body/blood.Had any of the bishops wanted to they could have petitioned Rome for Kerry’s excommunication.
    As usual the meeting of religion & politics was/is frightening,which is what scares many,including myself about the current alliance in the U.S. about the alliance of the extreme Right and extreme Evangelical groups.

    • When you mix religion and politics, you get politics. I didn’t coin that sentence, but it is apropos.

    • …and the politics ain’t pretty…

    • If what you say is true, bill, then every Catholic who has used contraception (over 90%) may be denied communion and excommunicated. There is one exception, of course, as determined by the current pope: gay male prostitutes may use condoms to help prevent the spread of AIDS. No issue with contraception there, is there?

  17. Davey began this topic a long, long time ago by asking what the cross symbolizes. Here we have the definitive answer, at least with respect to what it means to those Christians who display it. I suspect that the intended victory is victory over death, e.i, salvation.

    For each of us personally ,the cross may symbolize something different ,depending upon how we feel about Christianity or the Christian church and our personal experience with either of these institutions.

  18. @Frank:
    Frank,Re:”discouraged you may be.Respected you are not.”:Thanks ,Frank!!}You are a wonderful human[?] being.

    • We wonder why there is conflict in this world. Even here some of us are not allowing a different point of view. While you might disagree, you don’t have to go for the throat.

    • @Tom: ??? From what I saw in the above comments, it was Frank who was taking the pot shots at bill (not the other way around).

      I will tell you this; unless I’m mistaken (and I don’t believe that I am), I’ve exchanged emails privately with bill long before this crap ever began (the fake posting). All indications were at that time that he does in fact believe the polar opposite of what the imposter has been posting. However, it is quite irritating and confusing to try and identify who is the real bill and who is the fake. For that reason, I usually just skip over ALL comments made under that moniker anymore.

      Whatever. If I bother to spend much more time on this site it will likely be only to read what DW has to share and to hell with the comments.

  19. Shame on that Priest! He knows better, living in a country that openly accepts and embraces gay men and women. Shame on him. And it was at her mother’s funeral, no less. My heart goes out to her for her loss.

    And that Priest, time to find another country in which to reside.

  20. @clippersuper:
    Funny as usual!! …However,my mother is long dead,and I understand that Rev. Fahnestock has been relocated to a church near you Bumf.ck,Wyoming.I too like Major Bat Guano.
    I can live without the ice-cream,especially butter brickle,but am happy that the threatened re-education camp isn’t We Make ‘Em Straight,or Tie-Dyeing.
    Shades of Davey’s Daddy Date….

  21. @FAKE bill(Guillermo3):
    Well,FAKE bill,you appear to be as ignorant of history as you don’t appear to be,but ARE:an annoying FRAUD.The Eastern Roman Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1450 something ,following the Medici’s decision not to advance loans for defense to Constantinople,thinking them a bad credit risk.Gotta love that Capitalism!The Eastern Empire was temporarily interrupted in the 3rd[?] Crusade,when the mostly Norman crusaders decided to stop en route to Jerusalem to depose the Byzantine emperor.
    You certainly are an ignorant sphincter,FAKE bill.
    The only REAL bill(Guillermo3)

    • There can’t be that many human sphincters walking around. What does a human sphincter look like?

    • Ditto above, bill: We wonder why there is conflict in this world. Even here some of us are not allowing a different point of view. While you might disagree, you don’t have to go for the throat.

  22. Thomas,

    I simply disagree. Belief in god, any type of supernatural being, divine revelation or whatever you want to call it, IS the problem. In my experience people in general can’t, won’t or simply reject that proposition. I will now quote you in this context: “And as long as that does not change, there will always be an institution or person that imposes its definitions upon others.” The ability to impose anything would change if human (however fallible it may be) reason and facts (based on the best scientific and social methods we can develop) ruled the day and not arguments derived from and used to protect “religious belief” of any kind.

    I stand by this: There is no compromise with “revealed truth”. It is right, always everywhere regardless of facts or reason (poor Galileo) or it must be rejected. One way around this is to have “new revelations” or re-understandings/re-interpretations” of the sacred texts but that is for me a marking that revealed truth is neither revealed or necessarily the truth. Finally, it has no base except the unproveable god or divine revelation it stands on. Theories, understanding and facts based in the “scientific” method of both the physical and social sciences by their nature are and must be open to further testing, experimentation, rejection, evolution and change. Not so “revealed truth”.

    And, yes, praying to a heavenly father or a man/god named Jesus is as foolish as praying to a god (Jove) no one (I think) believes in any more.

    Finally, you seem to blame people for not wanting -”to be responsible for themselves. They hate to have to work things out by themselves, they want the easy way of having someone or something to give them definite guidelines and rules.” I think there is some evidence to back that up. However, that is precisely what religion (belief in a supernatural god or a divine revelation) is about. They are hoodwinked into not having to work things out for themselves. I agree that most don’t want to go beyond that. “Religion is the opium of the masses!” ( I heard that before, I am sure.) Is saying people are lazy (intellectually or otherwise) any more or less the trap you say that I fall into calling religious belief “foolish”? Just asking.

    (back to) you say:
    “And as long as that does not change, there will always be an institution or person that imposes its definitions upon others.” There is some reality there. However, even if that is so I would rather have it based in “scientific”, “rational” thinking, methods and institutions than in anything we might describe as derived from religion. I guess that is unreasonable or prejudicial in the minds of those who believe. Sorry, I see now way around that.

    Again, I say, religion, faith in a supernatural being, divine revelation of any kind is the source of the suffering this discussion is about and the source of many human “troubles” (to use the Irish” understatement).

    I don’t want to impose unbelief on anyone. Although I would like people to get there. Believe what you want. (Even believe that homosexuals are the way they are because they have given up their natural desire for unnatural desire. But I think that is as foolish and based in myth as prayer is.) But I will fight against its influence in the public square as based in a fairy tale as I would anything I find harmful based in religious faith or not.

    Finally, I pray to the almighty father of us all, Jove, for all you believers, to reveal the falsehood of believing in him to all his faithful flock and those who are being fleeced by all other false gods beside him.

    • @Rick

      While you say that religion is the problem, and that there is no God, and that people are irresponsible in the way that they treat others with their influence becoming abusive with a misapplication of power for personal gain; either for wealth or retribution in the form of mislabeled acts of “justice” causing more harm than help, there is the essential need to recognize something bigger than ourselves.

      In this, you want me to believe the petty and viscous acts of a minority acting in the name of God to mean that God doesn’t exist, I would have to point out that you don’t have my view of God. I don’t believe God to be an abusive insensitive lout with delusions that punishment is a deterrent for bad behavior.

      I also don’t believe that religion has been any less abused than any other role of authority that man has made over it’s attempt of self governance and moderating people’s behavior. Just be good to others and you’ll get more satisfaction out of your own life than any amount of riches poured into your pocket could ever give.

      Cheers and Peace.

      This discussion was about how a woman was abused at a funeral by a man who claimed to be a priest. His acts proved he wasn’t a priest, because he failed to perform his duties at her mother’s funeral, someone who contributed to the church her whole live, and who sinned during her live and raised a loving child who happens to love women.

      He isn’t a priest, just a pretender stealing respect from people who do good by claiming to be a good person.

  23. everyday i go to work-at an intersection-there is a cross-a young man named Erick was killed-crushed by an oncoming truck.this cross symbolizes Erick-he was the innocent victim.in no way does this cross stand for a particular faith.the cross symbolizes Christ.Not any particular Christian faith.

  24. @bill(Guillermo3)
    Sharp as a tack as always. Glad you caught the Keenan Wynn reference from “Dr. Strangelove” but I’m not surprised. It’s been years since I heard the words “butter brickle ice cream.” Does anyone still make that crap? Brings back unpleasant childhood memories! When we made the obligatory Sunday-After-Church trip to Grandma Super’s house for a bad lunch, she would drag a tub of that disgusting stuff out of the Kelvinator for “dessert.” Everyone would then roll their eyes, rub their tummies and proclaim “What a perfect end to a great meal.” That was my first exposure to Christian hypocrisy.

    • @clippersuper:
      Thanks clipper,
      Worse than butterbrickle,or rocky road are cheapie discount versions of either.Cheap lime sherbet
      would count as cruel and unusual punishment also.To get back to the religious theme of this post(I wonder if D.W. foresaw that he’d be opening this huge can of worms?):Maybe it should be served on hot cross buns.
      Whatever the ice-cream served or ith-held as punishment,it at least is better than Tie-Dye Camp!!

    • @Clippersuper
      Does every family have one? In our family it was Grandpa’s Howdy Doody pudding. Don’t ask.

  25. @Joel J:
    What does a human[term used skeptically] spinster look like Joel? Like FAKE bill(Guillermo3).obviously ! How many human sphincters walking about? That depends,Joel J:One might guess all colonially intact people who can walk.Most certainly,the entire Republican Party,at least those still both ambient and alive.
    Recently,in a Starbuck’s,a man wearing an expensive looking suit made a very insulting,ageist remark to me.I asked him if he was a lawyer.He answered “Yes.How could you tell?” “Easy”,I said.
    “I used to be a proctologist.”

  26. I am openly Bisexual and openly Catholic. The Church doesn’t really does not hate Gays. It teaches that it is not wrong to be Gay because it can’t be helped. they just don’t recognize Gay marriage.

    • Felix, it goes beyond that. It is ok to be gay in the Catholic Church, but you can’t act on it sexually. You are supposed to remain celibate.

    • @Felix
      Which leads to the interesting question: In the confessional booth, when you admit to fornication with a woman, how many Holy Mary’s do you get — as opposed to the number you get when confessing to fornication with (shudder the thought) a man? Has anyone ever done a survey on this?

    • Clipper: Who cares?

    • @clippersuper
      If you say, “holy Mary” as the hard cock slips thru the glory hole, that is sufficient.

    • @clipper supremo
      Il depende–a top, a bottom, o un bolognese? ciquanta, dieci, due

    • I don’t confess that, I don’t find it a sin. lol = D ya see I believe that over time as the bible was translated people, of all faiths, have added prejudices. I just don’t recognize those stereotypes.

  27. Now I know why they say in a group NEVER discuss religion or politics. To true!
    Heck, we Christians haven’t agreed on anything for over 2000 years (some religions way before that.)
    Religion and it’s symbols are a very personal thing and everyone views them differently. Some with passion, some with hurt and some with no feeling at all.
    Maybe (and this is SO cliche) maybe we just have to agree that we disagree and get on with life.
    Davey? Next topic. Like “People whose E-mails that are totally off the subject and make YOU cross.” (Sorry, sorry, that was low. I apologize.) I a little miffed, I got two phone calls form credit card companies on Sunday! I only talk to God on Sunday and that didn’t so up on the caller ID! (Oops, now I AM off the subject. Okay, I am a hypocrate.)

    • @Peter from Minneapolis:(your name still cracks me up!! Great name for missionary hustler for the frozen North)
      Hypocrite,or not,Peter,you are certainly refreshingly funny! I hope one of the card company reps who called wasn’t God.He may be merciful and all-forgiving,but the late payment penalties are murder! Anyway,I have His e-mail address.It’s God @verizon.net.Must warn you though:He’s very lax about responding to messages.

  28. @Pete from the Twin Cities
    OK, no more “Dr. Strangelove” quotes, or butter brickle ice cream or my grandmother’s rotten cooking. At least not in this post.
    Of course we Christians argue about everything. Bickering is the human condition. Quite often over the course of human events this bickering has led to warfare. But maybe wars are a part of God’s larger plan. Helps keep the population down — a necessity now that we no longer have the black plague to do it for Him.
    So the occasional Rwanda or Balkan dust-up are a much better alternative to the dreaded contraceptive.
    The problem with the cross, as I see it, was that crosses were not particularly efficient killing machines. They were just peanuts compared with Zyklon B.

  29. @Joel J:
    Do I know Dr. Hardon,Joel? Not carnally,fortunately.

  30. @Fr. Guido Sarducci
    So good to hear from you again, Father. Been a long time since the SNL days, no?
    Not sure what you are referring to with the term “bolognese.” Do you mean the sauce, or the people of Bologna themselves, builders of the justly famous Ducati motorcycles and other stuff.

  31. For what it’s worth given that the story is a few days old, it’s worth setting the record straight:


    • Thanks for the reference Charlie, however, it still violates the priest’s mandate to follow the ten commandments, one of which is to not covet other people’s property.

      Demanding that a person deny themselves the pleasure and love of someone of the same sex who wishes to be in a relationship with them is certainly less offensive than a man demanding that she deny herself pleasure and be in a valueless and devoid relationship that is a lie, based on the demands of someone who can’t even follow the ten commandments in the first place.

      It’s her sex life he’s objecting to, and he’s calling it a sin is based on a book written by some obscure author that got his works published in the bible. It is not the commandment of God given to Moses, which the so-called-priest is violating by demanding that she live her life as he would see her live it, essentially taking her life and making it his, coveting her property.

    • I don’t agree with the Catholic Church’s take on sexuality but I will say this… From everything I have read (and the link you provided is not the first I’ve read on this matter), the priest was following the directions of the Church. That the priest was censured FOR following the lead of his Church is, imo, one of the most hypocritical, lame and soddish responses I’ve heard of.

      In the article, it states “the Archdiocese said that Guarnizo’s actions were against diocesan policy, and that ‘any issues regarding the suitability of an individual to receive communion should be addressed by the priest with that person in a private, pastoral setting.’” They WERE. He told Ms. Johnson that she would be unable to receive communion earlier when she introduced her lover and [again] VERY quietly when she approached him for communion in line.

      I’m not saying that the Church is right to refuse anybody communion but damnit, if you’re going to tell your priests TO refuse somebody communion for any reasons whatsoever then have the f**king balls to stand behind them when they do.

      (Now, let the haters start chafing on my *ss for speaking my mind and standing up for this man. Whatever. If you want to blame somebody, blame the Church for refusing to recognize that they are millennia behind and would do well to evolve past this archaic belief that homosexuality is a sin or even the last bit unnatural. And blame Ms. Johnson for behaving like an a** and, even AFTER being told she would not be allowed to receive communion, making a scene during what was a ceremony in honor of her MOTHER in lieu of her passing. There is a right time to take a stand and then there’s a time to show a little damned respect for those who brought you into this world. Personally and from what I’ve read, I’ve little respect for this woman or the Church for censuring a man for “doing his damned job.”)


  32. Re: The Christians’ good luck.
    Now that Davey Wavey has started a new talkey blog on masturbation — sure to draw many comments from all willing to share their personal experiences with seed-spilling — I’ll post one final comment on the cross and its symbolism.
    Jesus appeared on the scene at a propitious time. Sure, he endured six hours of agony nailed to the cross on Mt. Golgotha, but he got a decent burial thereafter and was, indeed, resurrected from the dead. The Romans enjoyed their bit of torture fun, as do we all, but once life was extinguished lost interest.
    Had Jesus turned up in mid-15th century Wallachia (present-day Romania, more or less) and hung out in Bucharest instead of Jerusalem, he undoubtedly would have run across Vlad Tepes, who ran the show there at three different times. And, no doubt, he would have gotten on the bad side of Vlad since just about everyone else did.
    If Vlad didn’t like you, or if you expressed any sort of disagreement with his policies, you wound up impaled on a wood spike. And you stayed there while your corpse rotted away as a warning to others to keep their noses clean and mouths shut.
    Resurrection would have been tricky, one would think.
    So Christians ever after, instead of having a crucified Christ as their symbol (esthetically questionable, but not stomach-churning) would have had a truly gruesome Jesus impaled on a spike.
    Or if Jesus had been in Auschwitz-Birkenau during WWII — he was a Jew, after all — the church would have been presented with the difficult task of designing a symbolic gas chamber.

    • @clippersuper:
      YOu BAAAaaaD,clipper.

    • @bill(Guillermo3)
      Can’t help it, Bill. Since I am predestined to go to hell at some point, I figure I might as well let it all hang out. It’s just the Calvinist in me…

    • What about our modern-day, 20th century Vlads in the Jim Crow South who lynched thousands of blacks using the same justification as Vlad. And while we are on the symbolism of the cross, what about those burning crosses used by the Klu Klux Klan to intimidate blacks? That’s symbolism at its worst. I guess the cross DOES mean different things to different people. It’s all about context, isn’t it?

      I have just begun reading The Warmth of Other Suns whose stories begin in the Jim Crow South (in the Bible Belt!)

  33. @Vance and (hopefully) all:

    This I fully agree with you:

    “be (do) good to others and you’ll get more satisfaction out of your own life”

    As a believer before and as a non-believer now, I hold that as my philosophy.

  34. @ Vance, I think you stretched your argument way too far. Regarding your comment: if the new testament author is truly so obscure, why do you give greater credibility to the old testament author who is even more obscure?

    I see where you’re going with the coveting property bit, but I think you stretched it too far.

  35. @clippersuper:
    Re:Calvin}Told you not to hang out with those Scots &Swiss grease balls,clipper:Not only Hell,but NO butter-brickle for you,Fa.got.

  36. I just wanted to say that this post makes me both happy and sad. I am sad that so many times the christian church universal (Catholic and Protestant varieties) have been so accepting of the LGBTQ community, for the most part. I read all of the negative stories and I am driven to tears. I was raised Southern Baptist and I know the hate that can spew. It was this culture that kept me in the closet for 42 years. My family was involved in the church deeply and I was always there. I heard all the time about being gay is a sin and just a horrible thing. I was not brave enough to come out until it was getting to the point that I wanted to…I won’t go there.

    It was bad enough that, along with other factors in my life, I had a small stoke. I had been away from the church for about a year. When I was in the hospital the chaplain came to see me and asked if there was anyone she could call for me. I told her my family knew where I was but if she could please call the church and tell the preacher. He never came. The person who did come was the person I now call Pastor and friend. My aunt started going to the church where he was and when she called he said no problem. He did come. No questions asked and was a great comfort. After a while I went to the church as well. I told him I was gay and he said “ok so what does that matter?” I told him I had not told my Grandmother who is very important to me and I was taking care of. I told him I didn’t know how she was going to react and that I was worried. He said that her reaction should be that I am her Grandson and nothing should change that and he was right.

    At this church I have found peace, grace and comfort. I currently serve in a number of capacities at the church. My Pastor’s favorite saying is “you can either scare them out of hell or pray them into heaven and since we are all sinners who am I to throw stones so I will pray.”

    I know the church can be an ugly place for LGBTQ folks, but it can also be a great place. My wish is that everyone could find a place a wonderful as I have found. And if not, I hope they won’t taint us all with the same ugly color that some others deserve. I spent too much time in fear and loathing. I don’t want anyone to be in that place. There are churches where we fit in we just have to be open to finding them. If it isn’t your thing, then I wish for you peace, love and grace in whatever form you find it.

    • Well said; I hope that your message will be heard. I too am from a deeply religious family. My faith is important to me and it is frustrating when others paint too broad a stroke, making sweeping generalizations and lumping all places of worship and persons who are faithful or spiritual in the same category. It takes all kinds and, for me, there’s nothing more comforting than believing that there is more to this life than just what we are capable of seeing on the surface. I have no problem with my sexuality; I never have. I recognize that there are those out there who are prejudiced and try to justify their hatred or bias with “their own brand” of religion … but it’s just that; their “own” brand. What is sad is that those who DO identify with prejudice and mean-spiritedness, who use religion as an excuse … are the ones who get the notice of the press (while those who support us and are accepting are so often left unrecognized). Anyway, I’m glad that you found a place to worship that you feel comfortable with and supported by. Namaste.

  37. @Fr. Guido Sarducci
    Thanks for clearing that up. By the way, what are you and your evil twin brother Skippy, er… Don Novello doing these days?

    • Ronzoni sono buoni. Mangia bene.

    • @Fr. Guido Sarducci
      Are you and Don doing commercials for Ronzoni now?

    • Si, the vatican gets a commission on each plug. Mama mia, Ronzoni sono buoni!

    • @Fr. Guido Sarducci
      Is Ronzoni related to Rice-a-Roni, “The San Francisco Treat”?
      On some of those TV quiz shows years ago, the contestants who bombed-out would get a box of Rice-a-Roni — and that, apparently, was all. They go on national TV, make complete asses of themselves, and get a box of crap as a reward?
      By the way, Guido Sarducci and Don Novello are one and the same. The “evil twin brother Skippy” was a failed attempt at humor on my part…

  38. Church is full of broken people… some of those people (too many of them) are full of hate.
    This makes me sad. Sad beyond what words can express.
    I have to remind myself that church is human…
    church is not the same as the god that I love.
    And I celebrate the fact that I have been part of churches that indeed are places that welcome, places that offer hope and celebrate love.
    I strive to be one who can help love and compassion cast aside the darkness that clouds the hearts of folks like the minister from Barbara Johnson’s story.
    Not for the sake of perpetuating my beliefs, my understanding of who God is… but instead for the pure and simple sake of love- for indeed my understanding of who God is– and in fact my personal experience of who God is– directs me to love for the sake of love.

  39. Yes I am still awake, :) this priest did not follow the actions for the Catholic Church in his not being there during the the eulogy – and refused to attend the burial, as it says within the teachings of “The Church” aka The Catechism 2358 “The number of men and women who have deep-seated homosexual tendencies is not negligible. This inclination, which is objectively disordered, constitutes for most of them a trial. They must be accepted with respect, compassion, and sensitivity. Every sign of unjust discrimination in their regard should be avoided. These persons are called to fulfill God’s will in their lives and, if they are Christians, to unite to the sacrifice of the Lord’s Cross the difficulties they may encounter from their condition.” The other articles in there are up for much debate yet with me,…. I have had the chance to read “Sex As God Intended” by John MacNeil, a Catholic ordained Jesuit priest, who has been has been devoting his life to ministering and spreading the good news of God’s love for lesbian and gay Christians. He has many other books too.

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    • @Nathan Fasoldt:
      Surprising to get notice of ANY new comment on this ancient BTI post, Nathan.
      Particularly surprised to see one like this.
      My first reaction was “Is this for real?!? My second reaction:anger/disgust:It’s not often that commenters to BTI turn it into a cheap dating site,and I,for one, would hate to see it become that.
      Third reaction: “Oh,No! What if this guys is serious and his comment a desperate grasp at getting connected?!”

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