Prayer zone for a better, empowering, inspiring, promoting, prospering, progressing and more successful life through Christ Jesus

Posts tagged ‘Gay’

Obamacare to Cover Married Gay Couples in 2015.


Married gay couples will be eligible for a family health policy under President Barack Obama’s healthcare reform law beginning in 2015, the government said on Friday, encouraging insurers to begin offering coverage this year.

The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) also announced it would extend for one month a temporary program that offers insurance to some of the sickest Americans, who have had trouble finding private plans in new health insurance marketplaces set up in all 50 states under Obamacare.

Friday’s announcements add to the series of delays and modifications the administration has made to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly called Obamacare, since the law was enacted in 2010 and formally launched last October.

Obamacare’s six-month enrollment period ends March 31. And with volume expected to surge in the final two weeks, officials say the website HealthCare.gov continues to operate smoothly after technical problems in October and November paralyzed the portal for consumers in 36 states. The remaining 14 states run their own markets.

About 4.2 million people have enrolled in private Obamacare health plans so far, and millions more have been found eligible for the Medicaid program for the poor, according to the administration.

It continues, however, to wrestle with complicated and controversial issues related to the law.

In its decision on gay couples, HHS exercised federal authority to prevent discriminatory insurance market practices on an issue that has been caught up in state marriage laws.

The move follows a February lawsuit filed by an Ohio gay couple, who were unable to obtain family coverage under Obamacare, they said, because their state does not recognize same-sex marriage.

The gay community is a key constituency for Democrats, who are facing a Republican onslaught over Obamacare in this year’s midterm elections for control of Congress.

“If an insurance company offers coverage to opposite-sex spouses, it cannot choose to deny that coverage to same-sex spouses,” Dr. Matthew Heinz, who heads HHS outreach to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transsexual communities, said in a posting to a government website.

“In other words, insurance companies will not be permitted to discriminate against married same-sex couples when offering coverage. This will further enhance access to health care for all Americans, including those with same-sex spouses.”

A formal clarification from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), the lead Obamacare agency within HHS, said the administration is encouraging insurers to voluntarily implement the non-discrimination policy for the 2014 coverage year under the Public Health Service Act.

Compliance will be required starting in 2015.

“We expect issuers to come into full compliance with the regulations as clarified in this guidance no later than for plan or policy years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015,” CMS said.

“We also expect states to begin enforcing the regulations in accordance with this clarification no later than for plan or policy years beginning on or after Jan. 1, 2015,” it said.

Administration officials said the gay marriage decision and extension of the program for people with pre-existing conditions, known as the Pre-Existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP), were both intended to help Americans transition to the new healthcare era established by Obamacare.

The law requires most Americans to pay a penalty unless they are enrolled in insurance coverage by March 31, which is also when the PCIP program was set to expire.

Patient advocates welcomed the move, saying people with cancer, multiple sclerosis or other serious disorders need time to find insurance plans that meet complicated healthcare needs.

“We encourage patients in PCIP to look at other insurance options, including the health insurance marketplace at HealthCare.gov, as soon as possible so they are assured of coverage beyond the short term,” the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network said in a statement.

The extension came a day after U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius told lawmakers in Congress that the enrollment deadline would not be delayed.

Administration officials said the PCIP program was being extended through April 30, under congressional authorization that has already allowed for two other extensions. PCIP was originally intended to expire at the end of 2013, but was extended first through January and later through March. (Reporting by David Morgan, editing by Karey Van Hall and Gunna Dickson)

© 2014 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.
Source: Newsmax.com

More Methodists Pushing Rebellious Gay and Lesbian Envelope.


 

Frank Schaefer
Frank Schaefer serves communion to his supporters at the end of his two-day church trial. Photo by Kathy L. (Kathy L. Gilbert/United Methodist News Service)

Almost daily, evidence mounts of defiant United Methodist clergy breaking church law on behalf of gays and lesbians as the nation’s second-largest Protestant denomination struggles with what may be its most vexing rebellion in decades.

Consider:

  • A retired seminary president, the Rev. William McElvaney, said Sunday (Jan. 19) that he is willing to officiate at same-sex weddings. The 85-year-old former president of St. Paul School of Theology made the announcement at Northaven United Methodist Church in Dallas. He called church trials “the Methodist version of inquisition in the 20th and 21st centuries.”
  • After the Jan. 14 federal ruling striking down a gay marriage ban in Oklahoma, a group of Methodists favoring same-sex marriage took out ads in the Tulsa World and The Oklahoman praising the ruling and inviting people to Methodist churches.
  • Every week, another Methodist minister “comes out” and acknowledges performing a same-sex wedding on the website of the New York-based Methodists in New Directions. So far, 14 clergy have made such disclosures; none has faced a church complaint, said Dorothee Benz, MIND spokeswoman.

Meanwhile, Frank Schaefer, the former Pennsylvania pastor stripped of his clergy credentials after presiding at a same-sex ceremony, continues to receive emotional and financial support. A collection organized by Foundry United Methodist Church in Washington, D.C., raised more than $30,000 for Schaefer.

The ongoing crisis over gays is embarrassing to the denomination, says a Southern California bishop who offered Schaefer a job working in her conference.

“The defrocking of Frank Schaefer brought great shame to our denomination and much pain to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters,” said Bishop Minerva G. Carcano of the California-Pacific Conference of the United Methodist Church.

“It saddens me and many others that we continue to use trials as a way of addressing this. It does not look good at all,” she said.

She sees the growing movement challenging church policy as a turning point.

“People are stepping up and expressing what they feel in ways I have not seen before,” she said. “It is a moment of real possibility for change in the church.”

Carcano’s comments follow the Jan. 17 news that a second United Methodist pastor faces a church trial for officiating at the wedding of his son to another man. The Rev. Thomas Ogletree, 80, retired pastor and former Yale Divinity School dean, faces a March 19 trial in Stamford, Conn.

United Methodist law since 1972 has defined marriage as between a man and a woman. It bans clergy from performing and churches from hosting same-sex ceremonies.

Carcano said Schaefer met with her and her Cabinet on Jan. 12 to discuss his potential hire in California, but no decision has been made.

The Rev. Bill Bouknight, associate director of the Confessing Movement, an evangelical group, said church trials are necessary to hold clergy accountable.

“The developments sadden us because they are clearly contrary to Scripture and to doctrines of the United Methodist Church,” said Bouknight, a retired pastor who lives in Columbia, S.C.

Bishop Melvin Talbert, the only bishop known to have presided at a same-sex marriage, said the number of people challenging what he considers unjust church law encourages him.

“Biblical obedience means we decide to do the right thing no matter what,” he said.

Several other clergy are likely to face church trials soon.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

Gays and Atheists Were Created in the Image of God Too.


 

evangelism
It’s time to put an end to the rhetoric pornography.

I write bold columns about agendas that oppose God’s will each and every week through myWatchman on the Wall column. My passion is to see God’s truth reign in the land, witness the captives—whatever they are in bondage to—set free, and see masses healed by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Although people who oppose my biblical worldview often launch especially distasteful attacks against me, I keep right on writing. Not because I am trying to anger those who oppose me but because of my calling to boldly speak the truth in love, to wake up the church and to see people break free from anything and everything that would hinder them from an intimate relationship with Jesus.

So when Samuel Rodriguez, a man of God I respect tremendously, called me yesterday afternoon to share his heart about Imago Dei, I was all ears. And when he asked me to join the movement as aprophetic voice to this generation who is committed to proclaiming God’s truth to all people, I immediately signed on.

The foundation of Imago Dei is this statement: “I recognize that every human being, in and out of the womb, carries the image of God—without exception. Therefore, I will treat everyone with love and respect.”

The worldwide Imago Dei campaign is a Holy Spirit-inspired response to the rise of incivility, bullying and disrespect for all mankind. We’re all created in the image of God—all of us. Imago Dei leadership is moving to build a platform that advances a loving truth conversation and repudiates rhetorical bullying at the same time. Our mission is to change the world by sharing truth with love and grace.

Imago Dei states that the image of God exists in all human beings—black and white, rich and poor, straight and gay, conservative and liberal, victim and perpetrator, citizen and undocumented, believer and unbeliever. The challenge of the Imago Dei campaign is for individuals to recognize this in friend and foe, acquaintance and stranger, strong and weak, oppressor and liberator.

As Rodriguez put it to me yesterday, “We should be known not by what we oppose, but rather by what we propose.” I believe if we all adopted this mindset, we would be more effective in disarming people who have fallen into the snares of the enemy so that, instead of battling us on the grounds of theculture wars, they could hear our heart. It’s often a fine line to walk, but by the grace of God we can do it without compromising His Word and see transformation in our society.

The Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference, the largest Hispanic Christian organization representing over 40,000 U.S. churches, is leading the charge with Imago Dei and is attracting national leaders in the body of Christ, including Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family; James Robison, president of LIFE Outreach International and co-host of LIFE Today; Mark L. Williams, presiding bishop and general overseer of Church of God International; Mat Staver, founder and chairman of Liberty University; and Mark Burnett and Roma Downey, award-winning television producers and producers of the upcoming feature film Son of God, which will be released nationwide on Feb. 28, 2014.

I stand with these men and women of God to urge everyone who agrees with this movement to join right now by visiting imagodeicampaign.org. Together, we can execute this new strategy to see true change in the lives of millions and turn our nation around in the process.

Jennifer LeClaire is news editor at Charisma. She is also the author of several books, including The Making of a Prophet. You can email Jennifer at jennifer.leclaire@charismamedia.com or visit her website here. You can also join Jennifer on Facebook or follow her on Twitter.

No Right To Force The Legalization Of Same-Sex Union By Hannatu Musawa.


 

Hannatu Musawa
Columnist:

Hannatu Musawa

The signing of the Same-sex Prohibition Act by President Jonathan on January 7 2014, elicited negative reactions from Western countries such as the US, member countries of the European Union and Canada. They have consistently mounted pressure on the federal government over the president’s signing of the Same-Sex Prohibition Act 2014, claiming that the law is a violation of the fundamental human rights of Nigerians with same sex orientation.

Notably, the law does not only criminalize same-sex marriage, it also makes public displays of affection and even socializing in the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and inter-sex community illegal. The US ambassador to Nigeria, Mr James Entwistle threatened that his country would scale down its support for HIV/AIDS and anti-malaria programs in response to government’s position on the gay rights issue. The Vanguard also reported that they learnt the US is committing “substantial” resources to fund the emergence of gay clubs and advocacy groups in Nigeria. The Canadian government canceled a planned state visit by President Jonathan scheduled for next month. The Canadian government’s action is believed to be that country’s reaction to the president’s assenting to the bill, which has so far enjoyed popular support in Nigeria.

Since 2011, certain Western countries have been considering and implementing laws that limit or prohibit general budget support to countries that restrict the rights of homosexuals. Regardless of this, many African countries have continued to refuse pressure to legalize homosexual practices. Many African leaders feel that gay rights are against Africa’s culture and religious value systems and believe that they have the sovereign right to reject what is seen as an imposition by Western nations that attempts to affect national sentiments via aid. While I vehemently disagree with the laws that impose the death penalty on those who come out as homosexuals, the reality is that same sex acts are illegal in about 38 African countries and actual enforcement varies widely and punishment ranges from prison sentences to the Draconian sentence of the death penalty.

In Mauritania, Sudan and Nigeria, homosexuality is a serious punishable crime. In Uganda, Tanzania and Sierra Leone, offenders can receive life imprisonment for homosexual acts. South Africa’s constitution is the most liberal towards gays and lesbians within the continent, with a constitution that guarantees gay and lesbian rights and legal same sex marriage. However, even there, gay rights have been described as an “exclusive privilege of the whites and well-heeled, a small but high-profile subset.”

The raucousness from Western nations that has been accompanying the banning of same sex unions in some parts of Africa, Eastern Europe and Asia has risen to a crescendo. And in their bid to ram the freedom of same sex unions down the throat of more traditional and conservative nations, the west has discarded high-minded rhetoric for bullying tactics dressed in the guise of human rights mantras. The result? Hypocrisy has taken center stage as the preferred response of the west in their bid to redefine the limits of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in some African, Eastern European and Asian countries.

The hypocrisy of the west regarding their stance on the banning of same sex unions is most apparent when considered next to the position taken on polygamy under western laws. In most western nations, the practice of polygamy is not only frowned upon but has been criminalized. The hypocrisy and bully politics of the west in regards to the banning of same sex unions occurs when Western countries pass laws that limits the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom in line with their value system while they employ strategies and tactics to intimidate, harass, undermine, threaten and abuse other countries for doing the same.

In the case of Reynolds vs. United States, the American courts declined accepting polygamy as a legitimate religious practice, dismissing it as “almost exclusively a feature of the life of Asiatic and African people.” While that particular case is very old, in later decisions, American courts have declared polygamy to be “a blot on our civilization” and compared it to human sacrifice and “a return to barbarism.”

In all the countries that have banned homosexual unions, traditions and religion defines the issue and because most countries have varying values of which they adhere to and are guided by, none should have a right to impose their value system on another. Not only is the practice of polygamy one of the common threads between Christians, Jews and Muslims, studies have found polygamy present in 78% of the world’s cultures. In the same way that countries that accept polygamy have no right to force western nations to legalize polygamy, western nations have no right to impose same sex unions on the countries that ban it.

As a sovereign nation, Nigeria has a right to ban same sex unions in the same way the west has banned polygamy. Indeed the anti-gay legislation is a reaffirmation of core Nigerian values, as the Nigerian society is, to a great extent, based on respect for traditions and religion. The leadership in Nigeria has taken a position on a practice that is alien to its culture and its religious and traditional institutions. The public relations officer of the northern Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) stated that Christians and their counterparts in other religions have unanimously expressed gratitude to the president and National Assembly for passing the Anti Same-Sex Marriage law, despite opposition from Europe and the US. Similarly, the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State, commended the president for signing the bill into law. The group applauded the president for standing his ground, despite pressure to reject the anti-gay bill by some international organizations and foreign countries.

In line with traditions that don’t prohibit same sex unions, neither of the two dominant religions of the world supports homosexuality. In the scriptures, marriage is a sacred contract between a man and a woman that cannot be redefined and it is the cornerstone of family life. In the Bible, passages in the book of Leviticus prohibit homosexuality. Chapter 18:22 states, “Thou shalt not lie with mankind, as with womankind: it is abomination.” Similarly, chapter 20:13 also states, “If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them.” Jews and Christians have historically interpreted these two verses as the clear prohibition of homosexual acts. Furthermore, the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has historically been interpreted as condemning homosexual acts.

In Islam, the traditional schools of Islamic law based on Qur’anic verses and hadith consider homosexual acts a punishable crime and a sin. The Qur’an cites the story of the “people of Lot” (also known as the people of Sodom and Gomorrah), destroyed by the wrath of God, because they engaged in “lustful” carnal acts between men. The Qur’an contains seven references to the people of Lot; 7:80-84, 11:77-83, 21:74, 22:43, 26:165-175, 27:56-59 and 29:27-33, and their destruction by Allah is associated explicitly with their sexual practices.

In 2012, the Nigerian parliament approved a bill banning same sex marriage despite threats from the US and UK that they would consider withholding aid if the country didn’t recognize gay rights. Curiously though in the US, 17 states out of 50 (less than half) have endorsed same-sex practices and others reject its legality. This means that even in the US, not all its citizens are in support of same-sex practices.

Nigeria and the countries that have banned same sex unions have cultures that are clear and intact and they have a right to rededicate themselves to their traditional values. Same-sex marriage is inconsistent with Nigerian values of procreation and the belief in the continuity of family and clan. And in that vein, Nigeria has a right to fashion its laws in accordance with its values and traditions.

It increasingly seems that the Western countries’ mandate is to coerce African states to institutionalize behavior systems that they frown upon or deem illegal. There is the urgent need for these African states and the Nigerian leadership not to be dependent on foreign assistance for governance. Nigeria and the continent should use its net worth to dismantle the entrenched dependence syndrome and to also say no, no matter how many times they are accused of not adhering to the value system of the West. Aid given with strings attached is not worth it. Nigeria should not lose its moral and spiritual integrity for the sake of aid.

Just like with polygamists in Western countries, a day of social acceptance is unlikely to come for homosexuals in Nigeria and most African and Asian countries. It is unlikely that any law will be passed in Nigeria where the act of same sex marriage will be legalized. No matter, the rights of every nation to infuse its value system into its laws should not be based on the views of other nations, but on each nations individual principle.

Despite one’s view on the subject matter, there is no doubt that Nigeria has a right to enact laws that are reflective of its traditions and religious values and norms. No country has a right to dictate another countries laws that defines the boundaries of marriage, privacy and religious freedom. Thus, just as Nigeria has no right to harass America, Canada or any other nation to enforce and adopt polygamy and other traditional practices into their statutes, these nations also have no right to harass Nigeria to adopt laws that legalize homosexuality. The more the West continues to malign Nigeria for passing laws that prohibit certain modern western value systems, while they hold onto laws that disallow traditional practices acceptable in Nigeria, their hue and cry over human rights becomes a little more than hype and they become much more than hypocrites. May each country be free to preserve the value systems they wish to be defined by and adopt the laws of which they wish to be governed.

Article Written by Hannatu Musawa

I invite you to:

Follow me on Twitter- @hanneymusawa

Visit my Website- www.hannatumusawa.com

Like my Facebook- www.facebook.com/hannatu.musawa

Text (SMS Only): 08116759753

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

Back To Basics : Homosexuality Is Not un-African, Homophobia Is By Ijabla Raymond.


By Ijabla Raymond

In Nigeria, university lecturers have been on strike for nearly 6 months; medical doctors are contemplating going on strike; the roads are death traps; people rely on generators for power as electricity supply is epileptic ; people have to sink wells or boreholes to supply their own homes with water; those who can’t have to buy water off the street from water vendors; Nigeria remains one of only three countries in the world where polio is endemic, the other two being Pakistan and Afghanistan; our hospitals are poorly resourced and people with money fly abroad for routine health checks; we have one of the highest infant and maternal mortality rates in the world; many state governments have refused to adopt the Child Rights Act, and those which have, are failing to enforce it; child marriages occur with reckless impunity and no one appears interested in banning the practice anytime soon; you get 7 years for raping a woman but 14 years for a consensual same-sex intercourse; we rely on foreign aid to assist with poverty alleviation despite our stupendous wealth; our government is one of the most corrupt in the world etc.

But guess what? The Nigerian government has chosen to prioritise anti-gay law over all of these pressing needs. The government feels that legislating on what two consenting adults choose to do in their closet takes precedence over all of the aforementioned problems.

Sadly, but as expected, this law has turned out to be very popular with Nigerians, who say that homosexuality is wrong because it contravenes God’s principles in the Quran and the Bible. They say that homosexuality is wrong because it is un-African, foreign and that it will lead to a de-population of the human race. But, if I may ask, what is African about Christianity and Islam? These religions are foreign to us and are very un-African, when are we going to ban them too?

Homosexuality is as old as human history and it exists in all human races. It even occurs amongst animals. Gay people lived freely and even got married in many African cultures pre-colonisation. It was colonisation, through the instrument of the twin foreign religions, Christianity and Islam, which criminalised homosexuality. Till date, those who live in northern Nigeria will be very familiar with the “yan daudu” – the third gender men who can be anything from transvestites, homosexuals, to bisexuals. I grew up in northern Nigeria and I remember how well these individuals were accepted – their lifestyles were even featured in TV dramas.

My question to those who say that homosexuality will lead to a de-population of the human race is: When should we start jailing heterosexual couples who practise anal and oral sex or couples who suffer from infertility or those couples who use contraception?

And to those who say that homosexuality is wrong because the Bible or Quran God said so, first of all, may I remind you that these religions are foreign to Africa and were instruments of slavery? They were used to subjugate our forefathers. Secondly, if we say that God is omnipotent or omniscient, then we must accept that it was His grand design and plan to create homosexuals, so, why destroy them?

Who would believe, that in the 21st century, we would still be making laws based on books that were written a few thousand years ago by men who reasoned that diseases were caused by demons and evil spirits? We need to separate religion from the State, it’s only in doing so that we can guarantee and uphold the human rights of all people.

This anti-gay law smirks of gross ignorance of our own history and culture. If we are going to make laws, then let’s do so from a position of knowledge and best evidence, and not ignorance or religious bigotry. I have included links at the bottom of this article for those who wish to know more about “yan daudu”, homosexual practices in pre-colonised Africa or the practice of adult men using young boys as sex slaves in Afghanistan (the dancing boys). I believe there are similar practices in Arab countries.

President Jonathan (GEJ) and his government have succeeded in distracting Nigerians from our main problem – corruption. I have seen photos of harmless gay people on news media being hounded into the back of vans with their hands cuffed, but those who steal our collective wealth and cause us untold hardship and death are not only walking freely, they are even worshipped by some of us. I will not be surprised if GEJ gets voted back into office for a 2nd term on the back of this popular, but inhumane, anit-gay law. I weep for this country.

Ijabla Raymond,
Medical doctor of Nigerian heritage writes from the UK

Email: Ijabla.Raymond@facebook.com

REFERENCES:
1.     http://www.hrw.org/sites/default/files/reports/lgbt1208_webwcover.pdf

2.     Tritiya-Prakriti: People of the Third Sex. Pages 220 – 227

3.     Alternatively, swipe through pages 220 – 227 of this e-book:http://books.google.co.uk/books?id=iZ5RAAAAQBAJ&pg=PA221&lpg=PA223&ots=P…

4.     http://yoknyamdabale.wordpress.com/2010/07/31/africa-kill-the-gays/

5.     http://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jun/10/nigeria-yan-daudu-persecution

6.     http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/world-south-asia-11217772

 

Source: SAHARA REPORTERS.

New Tough Penalties For Gays Under Bill Signed By President.


 

By SaharaReporters, New York

A bill which takes aim at the gay lifestyle and criminalizes gay marriages with threats of long prison terms was signed in secret by Pres. Goodluck Jonathan.
While marriages by same-sex partners are growing in number worldwide, Nigeria would make the partners subject to incarceration of up to 14 years. Any marriage partnerships celebrated in other countries would be “void” in Nigeria.

Further, anyone who registers, operates or participates in gay clubs or organizations including gay rights groups, or who directly or indirectly reveals an amorous same-sex relationship would also be in violation of the new law and face up to 10 years in prison, according to the new law.

The signing of the bill was denounced by human rights groups including Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International which called the bill “discriminatory” and warned of “catastrophic” consequences for Nigeria’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

Presidential spokesman Ruben Abati said: “I can confirm that the president has signed the bill into law,” while declining to provide such details as when the signing took place.

He added further that “More than 90 percent of Nigerians are opposed to same-sex marriage. The law is in line with our cultural and religious beliefs as a people.”

Investigation by our correspondent showed that the President assented to the Act on Jan. 7, 2014.

Under existing Nigerian federal law, sodomy is punishable by jail.

When it was passed by Nigerian parliament in May of 2013, the bill was condemned by the United Nation’s High Commissioner of Human Rights and other groups which urged President Jonathan to reject the bill.

The bill signing by President Jonathan, while quiet and without fanfare, has dismayed western nations who have relaxed their own laws on gay lifestyles including marriage. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said the United States was deeply concerned by the new measures.

“Beyond even prohibiting same sex marriage, this law dangerously restricts freedom of assembly … and expression for all Nigerians,” Kerry said in a statement.

“It is inconsistent with Nigeria’s international legal obligations and undermines … democratic reforms and human rights protections.”

Finally, it was pointed out the bill could endanger people living with HIV and AIDS as any HIV/AIDS organization could be ruled a “gay organization” and outlawed.

“Any form of assistance to LGBT people is now illegal, which may well translate into more young people becoming homeless and social and state violence,” Davis Mac-Iyalla, a Nigerian LGBT rights advocate said in a press interview. “Furthermore any safer sex prevention work with men having sex with men is now illegal and will surely exacerbate HIV infection rates and death from AIDS related illness.”

“The authorities and society will now feel safe and secure to persecute LGBT people violently, knowing that that the law supports them,” said Mac-Iyalla. He called on the international community to make their voices heard and oppose the law.

The Painful Truth About Gay Pleasure.


 

Fire in My Bones
(iStock photo)

I’ve never hunted ducks, and I’ve never watched Duck Dynasty, so I didn’t rush to defend Phil Robertsonlast month after the bearded reality TV star sparked an uproar with his comments about homosexuality. I do believe everyone is entitled to their opinion aboutreligion, so I was amazed that people were calling for Robertson’s head just because he dared to quote a Bible verse that says homosexuals (along with adulterers, fornicators, idolaters and swindlers) won’t go to heaven.

The Duck Dynasty hullabaloo proved many things: (1) A lot of people in America today love to make fun of conservative Southerners; (2) conservative Southerners might need some coaching on how to express their views in the media; and (3) if you dare to say that gay sex is contrary to God’s moral law, you’d better be ready to hide in a Louisiana bayou because people are going to get really, really angry.

Phil Robertson made his remarks in his own backwoods way. He said: “It seems like, to me, a vagina—as a man—would be more desirable than a man’s anus. That’s just me. I’m just thinking: There’s more there! She’s got more to offer. I mean, come on, dudes! You know what I’m saying? But hey, sin: It’s not logical, my man. It’s just not logical.”

OK, so maybe it’s not the most sensitive way to say that gay sex is not God’s plan. But I’m glad Robertson and GQ magazine opened this can of worms. We need some honest dialogue about this topic.

I counsel men and women who struggle with same-sex attraction. Most of them are Christians who know homosexuality is not God’s will for their lives, and they want the Holy Spirit’s help to live in purity. They want to please God, and they don’t want to live in gay relationships. But they crave spiritual guidance and loving acceptance as they learn to resist temptation.

As a minister, I owe them respect and compassion—and if I really love them, I will tell them the truth. When I talk with guys, I always address the gory details about gay sex that many Christians today won’t mention. (WARNING: These points are not for the squeamish.) If we don’t talk about this stuff in church, more people with same-sex attraction are going to assume we have no answers.

1. Gay sex is against nature. People who believe in God also believe He created human bodies. He designed every part of us, including our genitals. The first chapter of Genesis is clear that God created male and female and that He not only did this for procreation (v. 28) but also for sexual pleasure (Gen. 2:24-25). Even the most amateur biology student knows that a penis was made for a vagina and that the act of heterosexual intercourse is the only form of sexual activity that results in conception. The only way to make a baby is with a sperm and an egg.

When a man has sex with another man, or a woman with another woman, they will experience bonding, deep affection and intense physical pleasure. But nowhere does the Bible say pleasure alone is a sign of God’s approval or blessing. Some pleasure is outside God’s boundaries. This is why Paul warned Timothy that in the last days, people would be “lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God” (2 Tim. 3:4, NASB). Just because it feels good does not mean you should do it!

2. Anal sex is very unhealthy. Doctors will tell you that the anus is very different from the vagina. Penetration of the anus by a penis can lead to tearing of rectal tissue, bleeding and infection. Because the anus is full of bacteria, anal intercourse spreads the human papillovirus and can result in anal warts, anal cancer, HIV and other diseases. It can also result in bowel incontinence. When anal sex is combined with oral contact, disease is even more likely. Yet despite these concerns, about 90 percent of male homosexuals participate in anal intercourse. Condoms can offer some protection, but they aren’t foolproof. Anal sex is high-risk behavior.

3. Any form of immorality separates us from God. The apostle Paul was blunt in his description of homosexuality in the first century. He wrote in Romans 1:27, “Men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error” (NIV). God offers mercy, forgiveness and healing to anyone who wants to be free from immorality. But those who continue to live in sexual sin will become slaves to that sin—and in the end they will be eternally separated from God.

God is not homophobic. He understands why people feel confused or broken in their sexuality. He offers the grace and forgiveness of Jesus Christ to anyone, no matter their sexual history or their sexual inclinations. He invites us to join Him in a journey toward healing. But those who want a relationship with Him must, like all true disciples, deny their own desires, take up their cross and follow Him.

Source: CHARISMA NEWS.

J. Lee Grady is the former editor of Charisma and the director of the Mordecai Project(themordecaiproject.org). You can follow him on Twitter at @leegrady. He is the author of 10 Lies Men Believe and other books.

Tag Cloud