The Price of Bad Theology

July 29, 2007

From PlanetOut News, we see why inclusion and equality is a justice issue, and why the church must take a stand for full inclusion of GLBT people.

A Texas man charged in the slaying of Southwest Airlines flight attendant Kenneth Cummings Jr. said from jail that he was doing God’s work when he went looking in Houston gay bars for a gay man to kill.

“Sexual perversion” is the “worst sin,” Terry Mark Mangum told reporters July 21 from the Brazonia County jail where he awaits trial, explaining that he believed “with all my heart that I was doing the right thing” when he stabbed Cummings (pictured) in the head with a six-inch knife.

Mangum is charged with murder with a hate-crime enhancement in the June 4 slaying.

As long as the church condones treatment of GLBT people that is different from heterosexual people and attempts to justify its discrimination, that bad theology will be extended to similar scenarios such as Kenneth Cummings tragic case.

Read the whole story here, and if you haven’t already, make sure to take action on the Federal Hate Crimes act.  Vote on the Federal bill has passed the House and is pending in the Senate.



10 Responses to “The Price of Bad Theology”

  1. jonolan Says:

    It’s not “bad theology” and it’s way past time for the GLBT people to realize that. It’s just theology, neither good nor bad since it CAN’T BE JUDGED!

    Christians believe all the homosexuals will burn in hell, condemned to eternal damnation for their heinous sins. GLBT people believe – for the most part – that they won’t. The two groups disagree.

    A Gay attacking a Christian’s theology is as stupid and reprehensible as a Christian attacking a gay and using his religious belief’s as an excuse.

    Get over it! Attack the churches – brick, mortal and bad attitude secular organizations – over it all you want. They are violating laws and should be punished. Leave the “theology” out of it; it’s as unasailable as the Gays want their sexuality to be.

  2. Jeff Says:

    “Get over it”? Is that what you tell the family of Kenneth Cummings Jr.? That certainly is a different religion than the compassion of Christianity than I am familiar with.

    Second, Christians don’t believe that gays will burn in hell. Conservative Christians may, and particularly fundamentalist Christians. That’s not the same as all Christians. It doesn’t appear that you took the time to read much about this site, but I am, in fact a Christian (an Episcopalian, if it matters) and in seminary in order to (hopefully) become a priest. So I don’t see “gays” and “Christianity” as mutually exclusive at all, since I am both.

    Rather what seminary has reinforced for me is that when theology results in violence and systematic oppression, I do and can place a value judgement on it.

    I call it bad.

    Certainly you don’t have to agree, and that’s your right. However, the Bible is full of the same judgement against theology which results in such actions. When I get a second maybe I’ll write a post to back that up, although there are many such posts already on this site.


  3. Rev. Spitz Says:

    You are right, all unrepentant homosexuals will spend eternity burning in hell. Your think God lied about that? All who continue in their sins and reject Jesus Christ will spend eternity in hell fire. Repentance and receiving Jesus for your forgiveness is the only way out.

  4. Jeff Says:

    “Rev.” Spitz –

    I have removed the link from your website which contains disgusting and repugnant graphic images of abortion for sensationalistic and polemic purposes. Additionally, supporting convicted murderers because they support your views on abortion is completely unChristian. Christianity abhors violence.

    I will not dignify your comment with a further response.


  5. Jan Says:

    Thank you for replying to Rev. Spitz in a dignified manner. Since he is speaking about my daughter, I feel like cursing him. Golden Rule, anyone? Love thy neighbor as thyself–and WHO is NOT your neighbor???

  6. Jeff Says:

    Thanks, Jan.

    And that, for the record, is what I call GOOD theology– what you have done– resisted the urge to fall into the divisive and hateful polemic that would have us resort to judgement, vitriol, cursing, and de-humanization.

    Instead, you are going back to the core teaching of Christianity- love of God, neighbor, and self– including our enemies. That is what its all about.



  7. jonolan Says:


    There a multiple references in the Christians’ bible decrying homosexuality as a sin worthy of damnation. That is what I meant. It is “proper” theology to follow the words of your holy book.

    My entire point was that LGBTs need to stop attacking the theology and start attacking the organizations that foster illegal behavior. You can argue New Testament “don’t judge” scripture, and they can argue Old Testament “Judgement of God” scripture back and forth until Doomsday and not make any difference since both view are equally valid or invalid.

    And yes, you’re homosexual and trying to become an Episcopal priest. That church is “sort of OK” with that. So am I – for all that counts since I’m Pagan LOL

  8. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jonalon –

    Actually, you are making exactly the point I’m working against.

    The Old Testament and New Testament God is exactly the same. It is a God of love and restoration– the Old Testament God is not one of rules, regulations, and judgement any more than the New Testament God ignores justice. God loves all and seeks justice and peace for all. The Old and New Testament both support love and social justice.

    That is why your statement is bad theology– it is common or “pop” theology, systematized by the tradition of the church, but ignoring historical, anthropological, and archaeological evidence that has allowed us to shape the way we understand scripture over the past 50-100 years (see my post from today, for example).

    Changing that understanding in the public’s mind is much more difficult, though. I get that you want a separation of church and state (so do I, for the record). But people who don’t want hate crimes laws or same-sex marriage cite religious reasons. That means we have to better educate the religious institutions before things can change. Spitz’s post proves that – his web site supporting people who murder doctors who perform abortions is further proof. God knows what he does to gay people.

    So yes – it is bad theology, and I am becoming a priest partly to change the institutions which allow “bad” theology to continue unchecked. (For another day – there is a way to do that and a way not to do that– the way not to do it is to insist that you have your way or leave the church… It has to be dialogical.)


  9. jonolan Says:


    I think we’ll have to agree to disagree on the “Bad Theology” point. You believe in the existence of “Good” and “Bad” theologies and I don’t believe that theology can be judged as either. Apologetics being what it sadly is, arguments mostly devolve into a schism with both parties claiming the “true faith”.

    What I was truly trying to say was that arguing over people’s beliefs is a waste of effort. Arguing against their actions may not be.

    “Render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar’s, and unto God the things that are God’s ”

    I extrapolate this into the concept that people should maintain the right to judge others based on the tenants of their personal faith, but should NOT “enact sentance” if doing so would violate the laws of the land.

  10. Jeff Says:

    Hi Jonalan –

    Religion is, in part, the discernment of belief.

    I believe that action is much more important– that is a big problem with the way the Christian tradition has unfolded.

    But if belief leads to improper action, it is bad theology.


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