One Step Closer

We exist in a reality where the occupant of the White House, through his own actions, raises the specters of racism, nationalism, xenophobia, and misogyny on an almost daily basis.[1] In such a reality other important problems can go unnoticed simply because of the constant fight over these very important issues. One such example is the recently proposed order regarding religious liberty released by the White House about two weeks ago. The new rule would allow those who apply for and receive federal contracts the ability to discriminate in their hiring and firing based on any religious tenets the organization (or those behind the organization) might hold. While the administration claims that this will not cause discrimination against members of protected classes (i.e., race, religion, gender, the disabled) it will certainly affect the LGBTQ community, which is not a protected class under Federal law.

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at

Jason Hines,

Once again you have “ nailed it “ with your perceptive, pertinent, and provocative analysis of our government’s latest sally into religious liberty and the subsequent slippery slope of disaster for a marginalized minority.

It was a toxic travesty when our own churchmen in recent weeks, threw our LGBT members under the bus, when Adventists vociferously opposed the EQUALITY ACT being debated in the US Congress.

This desperately needed legislation would have prevented overt discrimination in housing and employment for LGBT individuals.

Currently any landlord can evict a gay / lesbian tenant merely and solely on the basis of their sexual orientation. Similarly, more affordable public housing can be denied to gays / lesbians, merely on that basis.

More despicably, an LGBT employee, no matter their competence,
no matter the adequacy of their performance, can be fired, merely because of their sexual orientation.

And let us remind ourselves, that ALL modern psychology, psychiatry entities proclaim that gays / lesbians have no more input / choice in their sexual orientation than do their straight siblings / cousins— through zero fault of their own, their innate gayness invites persecution / discrimination.

The EQUALITY ACT was forcibly drafted to outlaw such overt discriminations against fellow tax paying citizens who deserved better.

And TW opposed this protective package !

Also recently, the SOUTH PACIFIC DIVISION, in a blatant mockery of real religious liberty, tried to impose our church doctrines on members of other faiths — Jews, Buddhists, Shintos, Hindus, and even those with no belief — Atheists and Seculars —who were be impacted, when Adventists opposed the upcoming same sex marriage legislation in Australia.

Our church’s opposition to their own members marrying same sex partners ( would they prefer promiscuous sex instead of a loving monogamous relationship ?) should not then be imposed by legal fiat, on tax paying citizens not of our religious persuasion.

During the PROPOSITION EIGHT debate in California, where LGBT tax paying citizens were being denied same sex marriage, with its multiple attendant tax, financial, and estate benefits, again our church was in adamant opposition — thereby imposing by legal means, our religious views on a wider majority.

I recently shocked friends when I stated GOD HATES GAYS.

Oh no, they remonstrated, God loves everybody!

Not our God,
not the Christian God,
not the Islamic Allah,
not the Jewish Jehovah,
these deities are all arguably the same personhood,
and yet those three religions,
ruled over by this cruel deity,
are the ONLY ones perpetrating hateful gay persecution.

There is zero inherent homophobia in the
Shinto religions,
nor in the original animist / pagan tribal religions in Africa—-
but when Christianity “ contaminated “ ( I use that term advisedly ) East African countries, suddenly their LGBT citizens were subject to imprisonment and even threats of death, from the government entities there.

The British, Anglican Church colonizers of those African countries for multiple decades, had created homophobic legislation that even years after independence from Britain, is still on the books.

Similarly, India has just recently decriminalized homosexuality. Their own Hindu religion was never opposed to gayness, but decades of British rule ( again “contaminated “ by Anglican Christianity ) had resulted in cruel incarceration of Indian gay citizens !

At the recent fortieth anniversary KAMPMEETING of KINSHIP — the LGBT group who banded together in defense of Adventism’s shunning and shaming— there were multiple stories of miserable meanness, enforced conversion therapy, and pernicious persecution of gay members by fellow Adventists.

Had this been a gay Buddhist group, a lesbian Hindu group, and yes even an Atheist LGBT assemblage, there would have been zero tales of cruelty and persecution.

Why is it that only believers in God / Allah / Jehovah are so punitive to their LGBT family members ?

— quite frankly, it is because their God allowed hateful homophobic statements in their Scriptures, that are used to validate venomous, vindictive, vituperative, violent oppression of their gay members.

God, in formulating these toxic texts, fomented, fostered and inflamed hatred of gays, amongst his followers.

This hatred even extends to our still virginal / celibate teenage gays who have been viciously victimized by families, congregations and schools proving that sexual “ behavior “ was not the motivator for this animus.

Millennia of MISERY for gays in our westernized Christian world — gay bashings, gay bullying, gay murders, gay persecution, are all directly attributable to Christianity’s hateful homophobia.

Our Christian God HATES GAYS — otherwise He would never have been so directly implicated in their egregious persecution ! Orthodox Jews and Sharia Islamists, worshippers of this same God, exhibit equally egregious enmity to gays.

Our church’s malicious manipulations of the EQUALITY ACT have jeopardized our jobs, endangered our employment and harmed our housing !

God, and our church are harshly hostile, hard hearted and inhospitable to the very heart and happiness of our LGBT offspring.


Any article by Jason is GOOD for conversation. I don’t know if Jason
believes EVERYTHING he writes, but he does bring GREAT
Conversation to the Spectrum Table.
It IS OK if it brings out the ‘worst’ in us. That in itself promotes more
conversation. Spectrum is primarily the One Place that allows for
disagreements without censorship [unless we start calling each other


Thanks @JasonHines for another straightforward, realistic, and open minded article. You nailed it again!

Actions like this, by our beloved POTUS, is what any religious person should be concerned with and afraid of. Nothing new regarding his governing style, but certainly one more issue to be scared of. It shows that the accusations often thrown against the Democrats should actually be directed at the Republicans. Being afraid that the Democrats will compromise freedom of religion is either naivete or a mal-intentioned, cheap political attack. Nothing but.

And what about the behind-the-scenes order to deport people (mostly children) who have been authorized by the very US Government to be in the country for specialized health treatment? I wonder how can this make Republicans proud!?!? But, as I often see in the news, it actually does!

I often think of how many more attacks on humankind may be happening behind the scenes, in secret. Until some (damn) journalist unveils the facts and exposes the true colors of the tiger…

Voting is the only avenue to moving on! VOTE!!! Vote according to your conscience, but please vote!

Just wait… Those Christians, or any religious group who support the current administration should not be surprised on the day they realize (open their eyes for) what we are already seeing in terms of religious liberty being subverted.

How can they be so blind? For 8 years they were expecting Obama to suppress their liberty, based on nothing but prejudice and bias. And, for their frustration, nothing like that happened. Well, now they may finally be getting what they were expecting in those good old days! Stay tuned, more to come!!!


Thanks Robin, for nailing it again! Those issues must be unveiled so that those who have been blinded may see!

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As Vice President for academic Affairs, I was also senior Affirmative Officer. I day I received a complain from a farmer who had been admitted to the hospital for tests… His complaint was while being x-rayed he was sexually abused.He identified the alleged person. I asked the dean of the School of Allied Health to investigate. He came back saying the chair of radiographic technology had given the staff member a clean bill saying the patient had been under heavy sedation.I accepted the report.Only to have the chair die of HIV several months later.

No other reports of the alleged tech so the matter was dropped.

The issue is separation for documented cause not alleged orientation.

It would be great if Jesus could write a comment about this article. He did. When Lot was led out by an angel LGBTQ was left behind. Disagree with the writer on his character assassination about our current president. Trump has hotels and other business enterprises and for him to discriminate as the writer allude too is ludicrous. * Jason’s political party affiliation is well noticed and if wrong, apologies.


Am I to assume that you think HIV is a disease that is only found in a population that is either gay or promiscuous?


It would be great if Jesus could write a comment about this article. He did. When Lot was led out by an angel LGBTQ was left behind


There are several vs. in scripture that could be used to scourge the Gay community. The one you chose is completely off mark. The story of the confrontation between the mob in Sodom and Lot is not about homosexuality. It is about what the people of Sodom, and numerous surrounding nations did to their enemies. Even the Israelites were known to do this please read Judges 19. Also read Ezekiel 16. Sodom & Gomorrah’s great sin was their inhospitality.

The story you quoted about Lot as a key sentence in it. “bring them out lest we do worse to you”. How could you possibly think that is sexual? That is rape, plane and simple. It was a violent act that was how inhospitable nations of the region treated their enemies.


Yes at that time early on before supportive treatment had been developed. Our hospital was a state designated hospital and hospice for HIV. We had one patient that upon release Said, I plan to give this to as many SOB’s I can find. We had one patient on a gurney waiting for radiology who took off his mask. And coughed. Loudly with spittle in a waiting room with several other patients so it is not limited now.

What an awful story…I’m sure that’s the way all HIV infected people react. (sic)

Back in the middle 1980’s I had joined the Infection Control Nurses group
in Chattanooga. A Lab Tech came from a seminar in Atlanta telling us of
the AIDS program there. We took it upon ourselves to begin and organization
we called Chattanooga CARES. AIDS awareness, and also developed a
Volunteer Program for persons to visit and help persons with AIDS in their
homes. Back then there was not much treatment so most died. Many HAD
to die at home. Even Funeral Homes tended to treat the bodies somewhat
I was involved with it for several years. Laurelbrook had a print shop. I did
the monthly news letter for a year until we were able to hire an Executive
and he took over that task.
The HIV program here in Macon is very good. Of course there is so much
better therapy available and persons with HIV are living 20-30 years healthy.
Both men and women are clients at the clinic.
Persons with HIV as hospital patients are treated well. And Funeral Home staff
now treat bodies of the deceased with respect.



Thanks for showing that the response for people with HIV has changed dramatically. I can remember, and I’m sure you do, of how it was a “gay” disease and people tended to disregard the people suffering because they felt that they had brought it on themselves. It was disgraceful. I have had two friends die of AIDS, both were gay and both were very loving caring human beings. I am not gay, but I feel for this group who, through no fault of their own, are put in a position where they are still treated as outcast, especially among the conservative Christian community. I know Jesus would never have treated them this way.


A larger problem than what this article refers to is the democrat supremacy. They tend to be very racist minded.

The current Adventist rhetoric has become totally disconnected from what the original Adventist message was all about. The idea was that the signs of Christ’s return were such that there was no time to lose, and we were to circle the globe with that fact. The Bible lists the various signs that include social and environmental breakdown. The message was that our only hope is to “get ready” because Christ’s return was imminent. Many an Adventist kid went to bed with trepidation that it could be before they were “ready”.

Fast forward to the run-up of the 2020 US election and the Adventist message, from enlightened quarters, has become just another political rant. Should we be surprised that society and the environment are breaking down? Are we expecting to fix that? Sure, we have the example of the “good Samaritan” to teach us Christian compassion and empathy; but nowhere do we have a promise that the world will embrace it, this side of the millennium.

The Adventist message, until rather lately, was for the Christian to be apolitical. This was bothersome on many levels. It seemed like they were saying that Christians shouldn’t be involved in what was going on around them in the wold; so, it’s understandable that some would pick up the gauntlet and join the fray against injustice and the perceived ills flowing from political climate. But, we are losing focus.

The Bible does not preach a social gospel. Nowhere does it even imply that Christians are going to change the world - for good. Christians are going to suffer the same injustices Christ suffered. OK, so the Adventist view of that, bordered on paranoia, as we imagined being chased into the hills for our faith, and it was time to tone that down and become responsible citizens, invested in our current social problems.

… But, Christ’s message of love and empathy was/is directed to the individual Christian. The gospel message of the “coming kingdom of God” was never intended to be directed at political caucuses. It is directed to individual Christian’s heart and behaviour. When it comes to politics, the Bible cautions to “render onto Caesar”. The reason for that is - that it’s easy to lose focus of the Christian message, and to get embroiled in the political wars that pit even Christians against each other. There seems to be a steady drum beat for that lately.


Thx for this. I have heard this often in reference to people who smoked or drank …or still do…and get cancer, cirrhosis, whatever, but, like you, I feel they deserve empathy and compassion in their suffering.


The writer states, “We exist in a reality where the occupant of the White House, through his own actions, raises the specters of racism, nationalism, xenophobia, and misogyny on an almost daily basis.”
Racist mindedness was compounded with the previous administration making it come alive, stirring up many to use it as a crutch to point fingers, cause rebellion, embolden many to resist arrest when breaking the law, and mostly to build walls of hatred. Trump was elected in part, as a response to the imbalance and outlandish direction Obama was leading the unthinking people towards.
The claim of xenophobia and misogyny is simply not supported. That is just a misguided opinion based on a strong hatred for the duly elected president.
If any of the Trump haters would pause and be attentive to the directions of protection for our country that Trump is working towards they would see that he is a true patriot, a true American that cares for our proven successful Capitalistic and free living country. He simply does not favor the dependent approach that the democrat supremacy way of governing tends to be.
That being said, Trump is certainly not one to speak with political polish and is a rough edged character like so many normal people in our society are. I doubt he takes the time nor even cares to present himself “professionally” since it is really kind of a show anyway.

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Dont you feel it is important for us/them to point out what caused the problem however to others as a warning? Or, simply, I dont know and you gotta die from something.

Good question. I’m not sure. It’s something I struggle with. I think usually individual people know what caused their problem. I’m for public warnings, like no smoking ads, safe sex ads, etc. In person-to-person interactions, I’m for compassion. I used to smoke and drink alcohol. I may suffer negative consequences in the future, yes “that’s what you get” might be true, but hopefully my friends and family would be more kind than to actually say that. :blue_heart:


The proper attitude is not “that’s what you get.” But, Perhaps there were reasons and where do we go from here? I’ll try and help if you need me.


That also sounds like a good response. Especially, I’ll help if you need me. I was just thinking, yes-- attitude counts a lot. I’ve heard in AA, well you know he drank all those years…sad tone…poor guy type thing, and in church the same words, well you know he drank all those years…self righteous , poor guy didn’t have the health message like we do tone…same words, big difference.