Tag Archives: LGBT

Three Reasons Why the Fight for Equality Isn’t About Marriage

Now that the rush of excitement is over and we’ve digested the Supreme Court commentary and maybe even listened to all or part of Question 1 or Question 2, all we can do is wait for the Court to… er, validate our lives.

And while we’re waiting, I’d like to make another case: The case for actual equality. Here’s why:

  • LGBT people can still be fired or denied housing or public accommodations for no other reason than the simple fact of who we are in just about as many states as same-gender couples can now get legally married.
  • Transgender people worldwide are regularly shot, stabbed, beaten, burned, mutilated, tortured, strangled, hanged or stoned — generally to death — simply for being who they are. It’s why the single biggest transgender-focused event in any community is a day of remembrance to honor those who have suffered in the last 365 days.
  • About 40% of youth experiencing homelessness identify as LGBT. LGB youth are also 4 times more likely to attempt suicide as their straight peers — and this is in a context where suicide is already the second leading cause of death among young people age 10-24.

And this is to say nothing of adoption rights, wage gaps, transgender underemployment and unemployment… you get the picture.

My point being that, while it will be thrilling to see same-gender love advance from second-class status in America, it’s important for us — and for our allies and observers — to understand that the fight for marriage equality in many ways happened on its own timetable thanks to the courts. So if there is a Big Gay Agenda, it’s not exactly a to-do list and marriage is now at the top.

In fact, the actual Big Gay Agenda is probably not much of a list at all, because it really only has one thing on it: Equality. True equality. The kind that results in less discrimination, violence, despair, scapegoating and loss. Because when we are truly equal, more of us are able to rise up to contribute to our world in all the big and small ways that make everyone richer.

Maybe it would be better for everyone to see equality as the hub of a mighty big wheel we’re all trying to build in order for LGBT people to live with dignity. Marriage equality is just one of an awful lot of spokes that still need to be built if that wheel is going to support all of us. We need marriage equality, but it’s just the latest sprint in a very long and important marathon.

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

The Road to Hell is Not Paved with Wedding Cake

On Tuesday I joined hundreds of other souls at the state Capitol to rally against the “religious liberty” bill making its way through the current legislative session — a bill that is clearly designed to be red meat for the conservative base. And by that I mean: It’s a distraction from the real issues the Legislature should be tackling.

Among those for whom this red meat is intended are apparently Christians who would believe that their eternal salvation might hinge on whether or not they baked a cake for a gay wedding. I am not making this up. (And I sincerely wish I were.)

So please add my voice to the growing chorus who say, not in my name. Not only because I do not believe a law like S.B. 129 belongs in Georgia (or anywhere), but also because I can assure you that God is not waiting to damn anyone for baking a cake.

What God is waiting for is for us to do something like this. Because God is already on our side. And by the way, Jesus spoke quite directly to our ability to get lost in a tangle of laws.

That’s my idea of exercising “religious liberty”. If the day ever came that my right to do those things were curtailed, then I would have grave concerns. But for now, I think the best thing we can do for ourselves as people and as a nation is to remember Jesus’ teaching that anyone who is not against us is for us. And in the meantime, there is much real work to do.

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

“Erotic Liberty” Pastor Proves He’s Stuck on Stupid

Fair warning to you who are about to read this: It’s written with an “R” rating. It’s not sugar-coated, mealy-mouthed or any of the other indirect, passive-aggressive things you might expect from a pastor. In fact, I’m feeling quite aggressive.

Maybe I’m about to exercise my “aggressive liberty”. Now, if that term doesn’t make sense to you, read on to find out what was done in our names yesterday under the Gold Dome – which is a place that still apparently can be stuck disappointingly on stupid.

Let’s start with the Rev. Bryant Wright. He’s stuck on stupid for sure. But before I go into that, allow me refresh you on how the Urban Dictionary defines “stuck on stupid”: In a prolonged state of being completely clueless or too high to think straight. A second definition is: a person who cannot learn, a fool who repeats their mistakes time and again, a person who constantly screws up.

A bracing definition to be sure, but what happened yesterday in the state Legislature was just as bracing to me – and also hopefully to you. If you’re not sure why, keep reading.

You see, our fine General Assembly was witness yesterday to a “lesson in morals” sermon offered as the opening devotion – or invocation – to their session by a certain Rev. Bryant Wright, senior pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church and a former leader of the Southern Baptist Convention, who took that opportunity to denigrate the TLGB (transgender, lesbian, gay, bisexual) community in the context of showcasing his support for the “religious liberty” non-issue that our fair Legislature apparently now likes to treat with the same perennial faux solemnity that the Christian-identity crowd has lovingly lavished on my other favorite example of seriously misguided Christianity-under-attack thinking: The never-ending fight against the never-declared “War on Christmas”.

AJC statehouse reporter Aaron Gould Sheinin reported via columnist Jay Bookman that the following came directly from Rev. Wright’s lips yesterday:

“It is just one example of what our culture is going to increasingly see as an issue of erotic liberty versus religious liberty,” Wright said. “We’re liable to see this with our military chaplains in the years ahead if they in good conscience believe they cannot perform same-sex weddings and could be kicked out of the military.”

That looming threat, he said, is a reminder of lawmakers’ role in making sure government is “protective of its citizens against evil and is working for the common good.” Religious liberty, Wright said, is a “foundational aspect” of the U.S. Constitution and is for the “common good and welfare of man.”

He urged legislators to remember the nation’s heritage “even though a majority of your constituencies have embraced erotic liberty over religious liberty.”

Erotic liberty?!? I really thought I’d heard it all, and then yesterday was a new day for me, and not in a good way.

Just what in all of God’s green earth does “erotic liberty” mean? And why, in particular, is it cast in opposition to so-called religious liberty? Is Rev. Wright saying that TLGB relationships are void of anything but sexual pleasure? Is he trying to impart that he sees TLGB sexual appetites as being so wildly out of control that sex is seriously all that they are about?

Please tell me people erupted in laughter yesterday in the Gold Trailer. Please.

But I suspect that’s not what happened – in fact I know it without even asking – and that’s just so sad at this late date in our evolution as a civilization. I also can’t decide if I’m more horrified at the thought that Rev. Wright earnestly believes what he said, or that he doesn’t actually believe it but said it because that’s his role as he sees it. Do you get where I’m coming from on that point? Because this is the age of hyperbole, and it’s becoming harder and harder to determine where the line between the real and the exaggerated actually lies anymore.

Maybe Rev. Wright and his ilk need to return all the videos that have been rented from Southern Nights or Inserection as “research material” and understand this: My partner and I have been together for 33 years. The amount of time we’ve spent in “erotic liberty”, I’m afraid, barely tips the scale compared to the amount of time we have spent in practicing “religious liberty”.

And of course, by “religious liberty” I am sure Rev. Wright meant: Going to worship services, leading bible studies, advocating for the abandoned in society, seeking housing for the homeless, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, spending time visiting the sick or imprisoned. Does the good Reverend’s definition of “religious liberty” include going to court alongside parishioners, or advocacy for the disenfranchised? Does it also include being a moral compass on race relations, immigration issues, or on unfair banking practices that cause people to lose their homes and livelihoods?

Because if that isn’t the good Reverend’s definition of “religious liberty”, then I really have no idea what it was God called me to be as a minister thirtysomething years ago, now working 60-70 hours a week, 50 weeks of the year. Or is he just stuck on stupid? (And by now I’m guessing you can tell that I’m being rhetorical with that particular question.)

But let’s humor Rev. Wright on one of his other points – i.e., that in the years ahead, if military chaplains in good conscience believe they cannot perform same-sex weddings, they could be kicked out of the military. Where in the world is he coming from on this? It was not that terribly long ago that military chaplains in good conscience would not perform interracial marriages, or interfaith marriages – yet when the military wisely (and perhaps, dispassionately) recognized that all human beings are created equal in the eyes of God, they adjusted for what would best serve their readiness objectives – an adjustment that just happens to be in tune with a higher moral law.

But Rev. Stuck-on-Stupid conveniently glossed over that and in doing so insulted everything America is actually about. And he did it in our state Legislature. Are you angry yet?

How exactly is his marriage, his religious practice, or his ability to preach on Sunday affected because a TLGB person is allowed to express their love, get married, or enjoy the ability to have a job? You can guess my answer: It’s because he’s stuck on stupid.

Please make a note dear Reverend, as perhaps I’m the first person to share this breaking story with you: Most of the country, most of Christianity, most of Judaism and many other faiths – in other words, the majority – are no longer stuck on stupid. The majority is no longer with you.

So what does that mean for Rev. Wright? It means he’s stuck in the past. He’s stuck in a past model of Christian religiosity that has been used to subjugate women, people of color – and really anyone who might have been inconvenient to the patriarchy at any given time. He’s willing to beat that tired old drum of denigrating a minority that he mistakenly thinks is a despised outlier.

Worst of all, he does it in the name of the God of love and the Jesus of redemption – and in the very city that was the capital of a civil rights movement whose members grew up hearing similarly mealy-mouthed broadsides lavished on them by the Rev. Wrights of their day. With the film “Selma” poised to make a fine showing at this year’s Oscars, what a sad day for Atlanta, the capital of the American civil rights movement, that Rev. Wright was given an audience by the state of Georgia just blocks from the Martin Luther King Jr. Center for Nonviolent Social Change. It’s almost surreal when you think about it. It’s like we just don’t learn, ever.

Once you recognize all that, I think you’ll agree with me that calling the good Reverend “stuck on stupid” is really quite nothing compared to the sad truth of who he actually is and how much he sincerely gets it wrong. Rather than being stuck on stupid, I do believe we followers of Jesus are called to be stuck on love – and the Rev. Bryant Wright is decidedly, sadly and regrettably not stuck on that. He is the outlier, not TLGB people or the people who love them.

And by the way, would you like to guess whose side the God of love and the Jesus of redemption are on? But there I go again with rhetorical questions.

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

Clearing Out the Temple

Since the end of March I have been trying to write my next blog. I know the subject I want to cover, but I have hit that “writers block” which is made of solid brick.

Part of the reason for the block is there is just so much un-Christian like behavior and events going on that about the time I settle into something I want to say or share something else happens and I find myself unable to write anything that makes any sense or is the least bit thought provoking.

While rummaging in my wasteland of a writers mind, a friend and colleague of mine Rev. Lisa Heilig needed to let off some steam concerning the world we live in and the community in which both are Pastor’s. She is one of those Pastor’s that I greatly admire because she is one who has a “pastor’s heart” and wears it right out there for everyone to see and experience. Currently she is on a Sabbatical so she can do further Studies in the Gospel, Culture, and the Transformation of the Church at Columbia Theological Seminary.

She like a lot of us who work so hard for our communities is tired and frustrated and when I read her words I knew what my block was about, what my frustration is and why I feel so helpless in writing about any subject much less anything pastoral.  She hit the old theological nail on the head!
So while I pull myself out of the swamp of unending excuses for not writing, I give you my friend’s pastoral rant.  I will have my mind cleared to write the blog about gun control and gun violence next week.  In the meantime without further delay I hope Rev. Lisa will touch your heart and jangle your nerves.
Warning: rant ahead. But, even though it is a little lengthy, please read to the end.
 I am over it. I am over the sexism, racism, heterosexism, Transphobia, xenophobia, ableism, ageism, and classism! I have witnessed, sometimes very closely, all of these happen over the years, but at least once in the last week.
I am over it when a woman says something and it is ignored until a man says the same thing. And, while I’m at it, rape jokes are NEVER funny.
I am over it when people of color are targeted by law enforcement in harsher ways and people in mixed race groupings are stared at.
I am over it that my wife of 19 years and I cannot just go down to the courthouse, but have to plan to go out of state to secure our rights.
I am over it that trans* and gender non-conforming people are victims of violence – physical, emotional, spiritual – so often.
I am over it that derogatory “jokes” based on nationality are considered funny.
I am over it that businesses (including some churches) are unwilling to make even minor accommodations for person with differing abilities.
I am over it that young people and their outlook and opinions are so often easily dismissed and that older people’s experience is devalued.
I am over it people are so concerned about affiliating with people and organizations that are the “right” ones, i.e., middle-class…
I am beyond over it with the ways that violence has been become so commonplace
I am over others saying those of us who share these experiences are “too sensitive” or playing a “card” or that when we hold people accountable for their actions of exclusion, that we are bullies.
While I am in rant mode, let me make this clear:
Just because I look like you, does not mean I think like you. And, just because I do not look like you, does not mean I don’t feel like you.
My parents grew up in a segregated South in the 60’s and probably should have been exclusionary and taught us to be, and yet, they did not.
They taught us LOVE.
Not perfectly, because none of us can. I remember one time asking them, specifically, about racism and how they escaped the worldview they grew up in.
My mother talked about how moved she was by watching the news reports about Martin Luther King and the Civil Rights Movement and how that spurred her to read and learn more. My father, A Vietnam vet with a colorful way with words, said that, “When the enemy’s on your ass, you don’t care the color of the person who’s got your back, you just care that they do.” They opened up and learned to know better and did better by their children.
I am not perfect, either, and despite my best intentions, may end up with a negative impact on someone or a group of someone’s – for times I have and will do this, I am truly sorry and beg forgiveness as I strive daily to know better and do better, to bring down barriers and build bridges.
And, in the end, although I am over all of the ways we hurt instead of help each other, I have hope for a world where we walk together in the ways of healing and wholeness for all.
It is a deeply spiritual hope that love will be lived out and peace will prevail, a hope bolstered by my faith in the God of my understanding, which is a God of radically inclusive love.
It is a hope strengthened by other situations that I get to see…
when little girls are praised for their smarts and strength, not just for being a pretty princess, when groups of children play together in harmony with no regard for the skin color of those next to them, when discriminatory marriage laws fall and more and more communities pass inclusive non-discrimination laws.
When trans* actress and activist Laverne Cox graces the cover of Time magazine and is interviewed in a respectful, thoughtful manner,
when the gifts and achievements of peoples of all nationalities are lifted up and honored.
When persons of differing abilities are included in the lives of our communities as a matter of course, when the leadership of youth is sought out and valued, and our elders are listened to and appreciated, when we care less about being affiliated and getting things done in the “right” way and more about coming together for good, and when we indeed come together, even in our pain, and find ways to reason together for peaceful resolutions.
We have so much work yet to do. And the work can seem so hard, but it isn’t really just about us. We tell our kids “It gets better” and it gets better faster if we work together with open hearts and minds, with compassion and kindness, so that when our faith flags, someone else can lift us up and carry us until we find our footing again.
Thank you to so many of you who do that for me. Rant is over,
The way and work of love calls – meet you there…
Amen sister, Amen!

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

MARTA Beating: Pastoral Statement and Call to the Community

The beating of two transgender women on MARTA on May 20th was despicable and degrading.  But sadly, it happens again and again because the transgender community is laughed at, scorned and made fun of.  In my own community their needs are only dealt with as an afterthought.

In the world we live in today there is no “safe way” to be transgender: Some are living very out lives, and some are living fully “stealth” lives. Some are identifying as male, some as female and some as both and neither. Some live in small towns, and some in our metropolitan area. There are things we can do and must do, if the beatings, assaults and killing is to stop.

I would encourage our community and friends to:

  • Educate ourselves about transgender people and the issues which go with that.
  • Let us be aware of our attitudes concerning people with gender-atypical appearance or behavior.
  • Let us make more than a good faith effort to use names and pronouns that are appropriate to the person’s gender presentation and identity.
  • Let us not make assumptions about transgender people’s sexual orientation, desire for surgical or hormonal treatment, or other aspects of their identity or transition plans.
  • Let us keep the lines of communication open with the transgender person(s) in our lives.
  • Let us become more aware of the things which would make life easier and the transition smoother, i.e., markers on drivers licenses, applications and forms.
  • Let us not just sit on our lack of knowledge and understanding. Let us seek out support in dealing with our feelings. This is the 21st century and there are plenty of resources for us to get help.

I also affirm this day the call put forth by the SNaP Coalition‘s demands:

We are asking that the community bring these men forward and that a process of transformative justice be pursued.  We would demand these men attend a Men Stopping Violence course, are made to do community service in support of an LGBT community organization, and be confronted directly by the women they harmed and the larger community and made to hear the impact they have had.

But most importantly, we call on the institutions who are supposed to protect and serve all of us to take this as a call to action and transform the way they do business.  The City of Atlanta should be deeply disturbed by the acts of harassment and violence endured by trans* women both at the hands of the Atlanta Police Department in Midtown and other neighborhoods that have recently been brought to light and by the general public on trains, buses, and on the streets.  Our lives matter, trans* lives matter and we will no longer be silent or swept aside.  Enough is Enough!

God Bless,
Rev. Paul M. Turner

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.

Just Saying…

For the person of faith (in this case Christian) there is this standard which says we are suppose to be fair, merciful and be humble in our walk with God (Micah 6:8).

Jesus taught the greatest love one can express is to lay their life down for another.
Jesus in his entire ministry only gave one command: “A new command I give you, to love one another as I have loved you.”

Jesus also spent almost all his time in his active ministry eating with, partying, healing, loving, visiting, and embracing all those folks that the powers of the day and the really anal folks (conservative then Tea Party today) didn’t like and said were a travesty before God.

Jesus has reportedly said that if someone strikes us we should turn the other cheek.  He also said that if we want to kill (capital punishment) someone we ourselves have to be without sin.

Jesus also says that if we really want to be allowed into the Kingdom of God we need to feed the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, cloth the naked, visit the sick and imprisoned.  By the way there are no if’s ands or buts’ about this list.  It is pretty straight forward and has no exceptions.

Not to mention in a post resurrection appearance Jesus very pointedly told Peter to mind his own damn business. (John 21:20-23)

So if we can all agree these are the major, moral imperatives of the faith, then a few questions need to be asked.

How can the State of Georgia House of Representatives and Senate (Many of whom loudly proclaim their Christian faith) say to my partner and I who have been in a blessed and holy relationship (marriage) in the eyes of our church (see GA. Law about what makes a church) for 31.5 years we are not married?

How does a bunch of legislators (who also loudly proclaim their love for Jesus, at leastat election time) from the state of Kansas even consider much less “overwhelminglyapproved a measuredesigned to bring anti-gay segregation—under the guise of “religiousliberty”—to the already deep-red state.”?

How does Governor Bobby Jindal (A convert to Christianity) with a straight face say, “No church or church-affiliated organization, or individuals whose business is run in a manner consistent with their faith practices, should be required by the state to take steps in conflict with their religion. Nor should they be legally punished for how they treat marital arrangements outside the teachings of their faith. …”  So I guess we can view this two ways if you take into consideration my first question, but I digress.

How did the President of Uganda (a born again Christian) sign into law a bill thatwill jail LGBT people for life under the excuse given by a “Government spokesman Ofwono Opondo, confirmed that PresidentMuseveni made the decision at a conference of his governing NRM party. He addedthat the president based his decision on a report by medical experts whoreported that homosexuality is not genetic but a social behaviour.”?

How do those who call themselves good loving Christians allow for laws and city ordinances that turn homeless folks into criminals?

How are the good bible Christian folks in this country not simply outraged that the Olympics are being held in a country where LGBT people are being hunted down? Is it not interesting how Russia’s, Putin, is waltzing around Sochi promoting his Olympics just like Hitler did during the German Summer Olympic games of 1936.

Hitler was all the while plotting ways to get rid of the LGBT people in Europe. The atrocities that took place against the LGBT community in the 30s and 40s by Hitler are now continuing to occur in Russia.  By the way in this land it is not only my people in trouble as this is a land where the President laughs at our 1st, 2nd, 4th and 13th amendments, so no one is really safe.

Final question:  Why did a good Christian from GDOT order the bull dozing of an entire tent city of homeless men, women and children?

Oh OK, one more question, Why did any good faith claiming, bible believing Christian even get onto the bulldozer?

Actually the answers are all in the book which these folks claim to live by but apparently have never read this part.

“Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2 “The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach.4 They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them.

5 “Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries[a]wide and the tassels on their garments long; 6 they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; 7 they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

8 “But you are not to be called ‘Rabbi,’ for you have one Teacher, and you are all brothers.9 And do not call anyone on earth ‘father,’ for you have one Father, and he is in heaven. 10 Nor are you to be called instructors, for you have one Instructor, the Messiah.11 The greatest among you will be your servant.12 For those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted.

13 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You shut the door of the kingdom of heaven in people’s faces. You yourselves do not enter, nor will you let those enter who are trying to. [14] [b]

15 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You travel over land and sea to win a single convert, and when you have succeeded, you make them twice as much a child of hell as you are.

16 “Woe to you, blind guides! You say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gold of the temple is bound by that oath.’17 You blind fools! Which is greater: the gold, or the temple that makes the gold sacred? 18 You also say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it means nothing; but anyone who swears by the gift on the altar is bound by that oath.’ 19 You blind men! Which is greater: the gift, or the altar that makes the gift sacred?20 Therefore, anyone who swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. 21 And anyone who swears by the temple swears by it and by the one who dwells in it.22 And anyone who swears by heaven swears by God’s throne and by the one who sits on it.

23 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You give a tenth of your spices—mint, dill and cumin. But you have neglected the more important matters of the law—justice, mercy and faithfulness. You should have practiced the latter, without neglecting the former. 24 You blind guides! You strain out a gnat but swallow a camel.

25 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.26 Blind Pharisee! First clean the inside of the cup and dish, and then the outside also will be clean.

27 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You are like whitewashed tombs, which look beautiful on the outside but on the inside are full of the bones of the dead and everything unclean. 28 In the same way, on the outside you appear to people as righteous but on the inside you are full of hypocrisy and wickedness.

29 “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites! You build tombs for the prophets and decorate the graves of the righteous. 30 And you say, ‘If we had lived in the days of our ancestors, we would not have taken part with them in shedding the blood of the prophets.’ 31 So you testify against yourselves that you are the descendants of those who murdered the prophets. 32 Go ahead, then, and complete what your ancestors started!

33 “You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell? 34 Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. 35 And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. 36 Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation.”  (Matthew 23:1-36 NIV)

Just saying, yep just saying!

About Rev. Paul M. Turner

Founding and Senior Pastor of Gentle Spirit Christian Church, Rev. Paul M. Turner grew up in suburban Chicago and was ordained by the Universal Fellowship of Metropolitan Community Churches in 1989. He and his husband Bill have lived in metro Atlanta since 1994. He is the editor of the Seeds of Hope blog whose posts from 1999-2005 are at http://whosoever.org/seeds/ -- and which now resides at https://gentlespirit.org/topics/blog/seeds-of-hope/.