The QuasiChristian

Critical Thinking and Spiritual Reasoning

Faith, Hope And Love: Ending LGBT Teen Suicide

Lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) pri...

Rev. Patrick S. Cheng, Ph.D.

I have been simultaneously horrified, saddened, and enraged at the spate of suicides in the last month by teenagers and young adults who were bullied for being, or being perceived to be, gay. Billy Lucas, 15, hung himself on September 9 from the rafters of a barn. Seth Walsh, 13, hung himself on September 19 from a tree in his backyard. Tyler Clementi, 18, jumped off the George Washington bridge on September 22. Asher Brown, 13, shot himself in the head on September 23.

As an openly gay minister, theologian, and seminary professor, these suicides have brought back vivid memories of being bullied myself in junior high school. I remember being taunted so badly at the bus stop on Helen Drive that I no longer wanted to go to school. I remember being kicked out of my tent at Cutter Scout Reservation, with my possessions thrown in the dirt, and spending the rest of the night under a picnic table. I remember spending my recesses and lunch breaks in the Taylor Intermediate School library, which was a place of refuge for me, thanks to Mr. Rand, the kind-hearted librarian.

I believe this recent string of suicides by LGBT young people is, at root, a religious problem. For me, there is a clear and indisputable link between these horrible deaths and the rhetoric espoused by anti-gay Christians who continually condemn lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people as sinners worthy of divine punishment. Where else do you think the bullies learn their behavior? No matter how well intentioned, anti-gay Christians need to understand that their nonstop rhetoric of sin and punishment creates a toxic environment that views LGBT people as less than fully human and thus deserving of socially or religiously sanctioned violence — including self-inflicted violence.

Link to Article (Continue Reading)

October 8, 2010 Posted by | Commentary, Current Events, Societal Concerns | , , , , , | Leave a comment

God as Abuser: Similarities Between the Christian God and Abusive Spouses

An interesting perspective in this article.

It’s common for Christians to compare the relationship between humanity and God to that between husband and wife. God is the “man” of the house to whom humanity owes obedience, respect, and honor. Usually this relationship is portrayed as one of love, but in far too many ways, God is more like an abusive spouse who only knows how to love through intimidation and violence. A review of classic signs and symptoms of spousal abuse reveals how abusive the “relationship” people have with God is.

Religions like Christianity are abusive insofar as they encourage people to feel inadequate, worthless, dependent, and deserving of harsh punishment. Such religions are abusive insofar as they teach people to accept the existence of a god which, if human, would have long ago been shut away in prison for all his immoral and violent behavior.

Link to Article

I would add that after an episode of abuse, the violent spouse becomes remorseful, guilty, and ashamed (can’t really tie this in with God). Promises are made, and tears are shed. A period of pleasantness follows, until some minor upset occurs to start the pattern again.

September 20, 2010 Posted by | God | , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Failure Of The Black Church

Steve Cole: “Since a peoples belief system is strongly influenced by their religion, then our religion has failed us. Since the Black Church is the instrument of these teachings, the Black Church is essentially the root of the problems of the Black community.”

September 17, 2010 Posted by | Education (Video) | , , , | Leave a comment

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 5

The series “Onward, Christian Soldier” continues. There are 10 commonly accepted principles for new Christians. The following list is from The Way of the Master.

  1. Read your Bible daily
  2. Have faith in God
  3. Spread the gospel of salvation
  4. Pray to God in faith
  5. Beware of the world, the devil, and your flesh
  6. Attend church regularly
  7. Give thanks to God in everything
  8. Be baptized in water
  9. Give 10% of your income to a church
  10. Never question the Christian faith; stay away from those who do

Wow, 10 simple steps for living the Christian life. No wonder so many can’t articulate what it means to be a follower of Christ. Some may say, “Christianity is not a religion, it’s a relationship with God”. Well, when I see a handy-dandy checklist like this it gives me pause.

According to Wikipedia:

Religion is the belief in and worship of a god or gods, or in general a set of beliefs explaining the existence of and giving meaning to the universe, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.

Christianity is clearly a religion.

The last principle is quite disconcerting, but it’s easy to understand why questioning the faith is admonished. Christians aren’t encouraged to use intellect and reason in their faith. Such practices are for conservative Christian scholars only. If you’re ever in doubt about what the Bible says just look at your study Bible notes or an evangelical commentary. Avoid sources that point out errors, inconsistencies,  and questionable conduct and beliefs sanctioned by God. Those who don’t believe the Bible to be perfectly shaped and molded by God himself are Satan’s pawns positioned to keep you from experiencing God’s blessing and divine favor.

In part six of this series I’ll scrutinize the education of new Christians in the local church. Perhaps I’ll do a better job of keeping my sarcasm in check, or not. Until then, stay rational.

Onward, Christian Soldier – Part 4

September 16, 2010 Posted by | Christian Education | , , , , | Leave a comment