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Watch: Michelangelo Signorile Speaks with Evangelical Who 'Loves' Him Despite His Homosexual 'Choice'

Signorile

Last week I reported that Orange County megachurch Crystal Cathedral was having its choir members sign a "covenant" asking them to respect the Biblical view of sexual intimacy and marriage, between one man and one woman.

Crystalcathedral This week on his SiriusXM radio show, Michelangelo Signorile spoke with a member of that church.

Writes Signorile: "I was discussing the new policy of the famed evangelical church, the Crystal Cathedral, in Orange County, California, when John from Imperial Valley, CA, called in. He is a member of the church and saw no problem with the new policy that asks choir members to sign a covenant stating that sexual intimacy is only to be enjoyed between a man and a woman. I wondered why they focus only on that issue when there are many other sins that they don't ask members to sign off on. He then told me that homosexuality is a 'choice' and that even though he believes that he doesn't think he's 'better than' me and still 'loves' me. I told him that, actually, I do think I am better than him, for a variety of reasons, and that no, he does not love me, doesn't even know me -- that's creepy!"

Watch, AFTER THE JUMP...

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Comments

  1. Personally I don't like Michelangelo Signorile's style.

    Posted by: CGD | Mar 24, 2011 12:31:58 PM


  2. Love Signorile's response, and BTW, shouldn't Crystal Cathedral be a contestant next season on RuPaul's Drag Race?

    Posted by: bobbyjoe | Mar 24, 2011 12:35:17 PM


  3. Love Michaelangelo!

    Posted by: Christopher | Mar 24, 2011 12:50:30 PM


  4. In their heart of hearts, these evangelicals don't "love" us. They really don't know the meaning of the word. If we were bleeding on the streets they would say we deserved it...waitaminit that's all they said from the 80's to today. Signorelli is absolutely right when he talks back to them. I feel no sympathy for these people when they lie to my face. They're despicable hypocritcal sinners and we should throw stones at their crystal house.

    Posted by: woodroad34wo | Mar 24, 2011 12:59:27 PM


  5. By the way, the Crystal Cathedral is bankrupt. Not just morally, but literally -- they filed for Chapter 11 last October.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/10/18/crystal-cathedral-bankrup_n_767219.html

    Posted by: Traveler J | Mar 24, 2011 1:09:53 PM


  6. These individuals that call themselves "Christians" are in fact not living the life Jesus suggested. They are busy making sure others remove the rafter from their eye. Of course this sort of discussion is no different than discussing eating Pork with a Jew or Muslim. Why bother. Gay Americans need to remain focused on gaining equality, not changing someone's religious beliefs that suggest Pork is good or bad to eat.

    Posted by: Sargon Bighorn | Mar 24, 2011 1:12:53 PM


  7. this guy is so smart and articulate and he knows how to clearly state his point as he's talking to these people. his style might not be nice and diplomatic, but its straightforward and honest. he has no problem calling these people out on their bullshit. finally someone is saying it as it is, gays can't change and are not wrong, these people are the one's who can change and are totally in the wrong.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 24, 2011 1:24:03 PM


  8. I do love Signorile's response: "I do think I am better than him. . ."

    It's really annoying how the uppity Christians are all like, "I love you in spite of your 'condition.' I hate the sin, but not the sinner," or some other related nonsense. To me, John telling Signorile that he does not think he is better than him pretty much confirms that he does, in fact, think he is better. Why else did he call into the show and say this?

    Posted by: Austin | Mar 24, 2011 1:25:06 PM


  9. I like Signorile, but I didn't feel his argument here was going to win anyone over to his point of view.

    He makes a good point when he asks about why there's this one issue on the agenda. Why is the choir not making a "declaration of opposition to divorce" (or some such other issue that -- unlike homosexuality -- Jesus ever DID have any comment against?

    Saying "I believe that homosexuality is a choice" is ignorant and inaccurate, but it is not in itself a condemnation (except perhaps in the sense that it labels Signorile and every sane gay person in the entire world a liar).

    A better argument would have been that the signed statement of condemnation itself is proof of an attitude that is unloving and condemning.

    This caller is probably terrified to admit aspects of his own personality to himself. He's been scared and confused his entire life.

    Like any human, he desperately wants to be part of an "in-group." Whether its a scout troop or a soccer team or a frat house or a church congregation or even a family, people feel validated by being told that the group is their "brothers/sisters" and that the group keeps saying "we love you." (Sincere or not, people want to be loved.)

    Then he talks to Signorile and all he hears is: "Well, I don't love you and you don't love me, either." This drives him back to the "loving arms" of his "brothers" at the congregation, and it doesn't much matter to him whether they're doing something for good or for evil toward others in the world as long as he's getting his strokes as a part of the "beloved" in-group.

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 24, 2011 1:32:55 PM


  10. Religionists have enjoyed a taboo prohibition from criticism that would not be tolerated over any other issue. It is imperative that each and every antisocial assertion perpetrated by religionists be called out and accurately described at every turn. Nobody has the right to not be offended which is the trump card so long used by religionists as protection from critique and criticism. Freedom of religion extends only as far at the tip of the next person's nose.Personally, even the premise of opinion-as-truth and systematic lying in service of delusion is offensive to me. It's just too bad some people are offended by being confronted with reality. Reality is the only and best defense against oppression by mythical fiat. Well done! Keep up the good work.

    Posted by: southpaugh | Mar 24, 2011 1:52:15 PM


  11. Whether homosexuality is a choice or not is, ultimately, irrelevant. While we all agree it's not a choice, even if it were, there'd still be no problem with it. It is amoral, just as so many other aspects of make-up.

    Choosing to use your religion to control others is, however, an immoral choice.

    Posted by: David R. | Mar 24, 2011 2:02:17 PM


  12. Who cares if Signorile won anyone over with his argument. It was wonderful to watch a bucket of cold reality water thrown on that caller and all his tired worn out christianisms. For far too long the world has been hampered by the protected status of beliefs supported by organized religions. It is creepy to say you love me when both you don't know me & you're judging me & yes, I am better than you becasue I dont call what you do a sin, I'm only asking you to mind your own business.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 24, 2011 2:31:09 PM


  13. So much hatred here and it is all on the part of the non-Christians. True Christians can love people they don't know. How? It is agape love. The love of God. English has only one word for many types of love, so for Signorile to mock him in that manner just shows his ignorance of true Christianity and his total lack of tolerance for our rights to believe in the Bible. If you don't like what the religion is all about, then don't go to the church and try to get some leadership position!

    Funny, I hear nothing about any other religion that has the very same protocols with regards to homosexuals. Try that in an Islamic Mosque! Try that at a Jewish temple! Why haven't you? Because they are not the easy targets that Christians are and you all know that. And guess what...Islam is the fastest growing religion in the world today! Good luck with changing their beliefs about homosexuals! You won't even try that one though and we all know why. Funny, but in some middle eastern countries, the only ones protecting homosexuals, are the Coptic Christians!

    True Christians will always love you, and pray for you because that is what they are called to do. No matter how intolerant and hateful you become, they will NOT return it. You call their belief, that your lifestyle is a sin and unnatural, hatred. That is because you have hatred for anyone that does not believe as you do. You don't wish them well, and in fact, you wish them harm and do whatever it takes to bring them down.

    No Signorile, you are not a better person than that young man is. You are worse, but it has nothing to do with your sexual orientation. It has everything to do with your own hatred, intolerance and inability to get past your self and what YOU want to see happen in this country. You have become exactly like the people that persecuted you, but you have the whip now and you intend to use it to the fullest. It won't make you happy, content or respected. Hatred never does.

    I understand this hatred you have, you were, and in many ways still are, discriminated against where you should not be. You have not been treated with love and respect in the public sector as you should have been. So now it is your turn to be the ones to dish out the hate, the discrimination, the intolerance, so others may feel your pain and wrath. Be forewarned though, as this will cause a much blacker soul than you may bargain for. We see examples of this everyday in the secular and religious realms.

    Yes, I have gays in my life that will tell you they have never felt anything but love from me and even though they may disagree with my beliefs, they love me too. If I were a betting person, I would bet you don't have one Christian that you love who feels that you are choosing this lifestyle. By the way, we all sin, but the sin of hatred is the one that will cause you the most anguish in your life in the long run.

    God bless you.

    Posted by: Agapegiver | Mar 24, 2011 2:32:13 PM


  14. 1. When will these dumbasses learn that being gay is not a choice?

    2. Signorile was absolutely right.

    3. The concept of "Love thy neighbor" is so prevalent in the Bible that it is mentioned in 9 separate passages. None of these verses even remotely imply the oft repeated "Love the sinner, hate the sin". That is not in the Bible and they just made that up.

    4. You would have to live in SoCal to know that the Crystal Cathedral is in Garden Grove, CA, square in the heart of Orange County. If John lives at even the very edge of Imperial Valley as he states, then it would take him at least 4 or 5 hours to get to church on Sunday - so he is either lying about being a member of the CC or he just doesn't go very often. Hardly a spokesperson for the membership of the church.

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 24, 2011 2:36:29 PM


  15. Another handsome spokesqueen with a pretty voice. Too bad he didn't make arguments that would've skewered the fundy. He didn't mention that fundys cherry pick scripture, ignore plenty of rules, and worst of all, ignore the demands for mercey and fairness that are the real fundamentals. Instead he makes the false claim that you can't love without knowing someone. Yes you can. You can act with love without knowing someone. You can do charity work, and a hundred other things for people you don't even know. You do all that from love for others.
    But again, queer culture is obsessed with looks and bodies, instead of what we really need in our leadership: brains and kindness and integrity.

    Posted by: Wilberforce | Mar 24, 2011 2:44:24 PM


  16. AgapaGiver, I know that you are about to be hit hard by the responses that are going to come in this thread, but I want you to know that I really appreciate your comment.

    Posted by: Pekemo | Mar 24, 2011 2:46:06 PM


  17. @agapegiver:

    P1. Don't preach to us about lack of tolerance. Christianity certainly has not revealed itself to be tolerant with its political activism. Yes, you have the right to believe the Bible. You do not have the right to force your beliefs on others thru the force of law.

    P2.The Jews and Islamists are not the ones behind the Republican party that is actively trying to legislate gay people out of existence. I'll need some examples of protection by Coptic Christians before I take your word on that.

    P3. Maybe you haven't seen the "God Hates Fags" signs. What was that about Christians not returning hate? You will probably use the term "True Christians" to wiggle out of that one, but sorry. I just can't turn the other check thousands of times. No one is actively trying to legislate away the rights of Christians.

    P4. This paragraph doesn't even really make sense.

    P5. "Were and in many ways still are"? Have you seen the political / judicial landscape? Don't tell me how I should feel about being persecuted until you have been persecuted in the same way. Try walking a mile in the shoes of ANY gay man.

    P6. Are you saying we chose this lifestyle? And secondly, why are you trying to hold people accountable for various sins when you don't even realize that some of us are atheists who don't believe in sin at all. What you call sin, I call life. You are trying to hold everyone accountable to your belief system because that is what your Christianity does - attempts to force everyone to conform to the Christian way of life and even feels entitled to do so.

    If you and other Christians feel hatred coming out of the gay community, look at your actions for the last hundred or so years and see if you can figure out why. It is not just because we are a hateful, intolerant people. It is because we are tired of your BS where you say you love us on one hand and then try to legislate away our very existence on the other.

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 24, 2011 3:00:39 PM


  18. Agapegiver ==

    Do you support passing laws based on the doctrines of your religion?

    If yes you are evil and dangerous and not someone who "loves" the religious freedom of others.

    If not you are a proud supporter of Secularism.

    Which is it?

    Posted by: reality 101 | Mar 24, 2011 3:08:35 PM


  19. @Agapegiver: Gays (and all thinking straight people) understand that sexuality is not a "choice." Bisexual people can be attracted to men and women and choose an individual to partner with for life who may be the same gender or not. Most of us humans, however, are attracted to one gender or the other. We don't control this. Growing up in the rural deep south, I would not have chosen to be gay. It happened anyway, and I am happy to be who I am now. I found a wonderful husband and we just want to live our lives in peace - without bothering anyone else. We can't because christians don't "love" us at all. They don't understand why or how we could be together, and they focus on our "sin" and not our contributions to the world as individuals and as a couple. Religionists, including fundamentalist christians, muslims, jews, etc., don't love gay people and many religionists would like to see all of us dead. It doesn't matter how much "love" a christian thinks he or she feels for others, it comes down to basic human decency: Let me quietly enjoy my life with my husband. Leave me alone. I don't believe in your concept of sin, so don't shove it down my throat. And don't make laws that treat me as a second-class citizen. Gay people, contrary to your opinion, don't hate christians and we don't have the desire or the political power to "bully" the religionists. When christians and other religionists show their animus toward us by enacting laws based on their religions that negatively affect us for no other purpose than to create a group of outsiders that their religion views as acceptable to persecute, we become angry and we fight back. I don't wish to be persecuted or stigmatized because I have a great husband. Frankly, I don't deserve the persecution. If religionists have such a need to trample others in the name of "love," they should persecute the people who willingly hold their same beliefs but do not act according to those beliefs (i.e. "christians" who build a "crystal cathedral" instead of helping the sick, poor, widows, and orphans). Technically, if I don't believe in your concept of "sin" then I am not sinning. It's the same for christians who eat shellfish; if the bible says that is a sin but you believe that it is no longer a sin, are you technically sinning? That point doesn't really matter because this is a secular society and I shouldn't have to play by the rules of any religion in order to live peacefully under the same rules as everyone else.

    Posted by: WewaBoi | Mar 24, 2011 3:08:46 PM


  20. @wewaboi - Well said.

    Posted by: Chadd | Mar 24, 2011 3:13:18 PM


  21. Agapegiver. Your mask slipped a little in paragraph 4. I recall your holy book saying "Judge not, lest ye be judged" - but you just went off on how Signorile was worse than the caller, full of hatred and intolerance - and then predicting that he will not be happy, content or respected. It kind of slipped away from your professed belief system.

    By the way, it isn't just Christianity - I thnk all religions are mind-cancers.

    Posted by: Rob | Mar 24, 2011 3:48:27 PM


  22. "True Christians can love people they don't know."

    I agree, but it is unfortunate that there are so few "true" Christians among those in the world who use that label for themselves.

    "...Signorile...shows...his total lack of tolerance for our rights to believe in the Bible."

    He is reacting to the lack of tolerance shown in their written declaration. He is in no way suggesting that any religion should have their rights to freedom and equality taken away in some kind of hateful Prop 8- style campaign.


    "Try that in an Islamic Mosque! Try that at a Jewish temple! Why haven't you? Because they are not the easy targets that Christians are and you all know that."

    Most Jewish temples in America officially support equal rights for gay people. Many Christians (mainly concentrated in the most educated and developed parts of the US and the world) also support equal rights for gay people. He is dealing in this case with this particular group and the negativity it has directed toward gay people.


    "...in some middle eastern countries, the only ones protecting homosexuals, are the Coptic Christians!"

    Where and when has that happened? I know of many Christian groups that see gay people as equals, some of which have argued strongly in favor of equal marriage rights and fair treatment under the law. But I have never heard of Coptics being involved in this.

    "True Christians will always love you, and pray for you because that is what they are called to do. No matter how intolerant and hateful you become, they will NOT return it."

    Perhaps true Christians will love us, yes. But then we have far too many self-labeled "Christian" roups that start hateful campaigns against people who have done nothing to them.

    "...you have hatred for anyone that does not believe as you do."

    It sounds like you are talking about the so-called "Christian" anti-gay groups that demonize and try to legislatively attack gay people. I am sure there would be outrage among those groups if they were being treated the way they treat gay people. (For example, imagine if there had been a referendum in California to nullify all the marriages of Mormons or an attempt among non-Christian legislators in Montana to get everyone EXCEPT Christians covered under hate crimes or employment non-discrimination laws.)

    " You have become exactly like the people that persecuted you..."

    No, he has not. At most, he has told someone he is frustrated with that he doesn't love him. He's taken no concrete actions to attack them as they do to him.

    "I understand this hatred you have, you were, and in many ways still are, discriminated against where you should not be...So now it is your turn to be the ones to dish out the hate, the discrimination, the intolerance..."

    I don't think that is ever going to happen. Nobody is proposing legal "revenge" discrimination or intolerance against those who have discriminated against us. If the worst I had to deal with as a gay man was someone like Signorile saying "I don't love you because I don't know you," then I would consider that no discrimination at all.

    ``If I were a betting person, I would bet you don't have one Christian that you love who feels that you are choosing this lifestyle.``

    I can`t speak for Signorile, but I can tell you that EVERY Christian I know and love and who knows and loves me KNOWS that I did not choose to be gay, that being gay is not a `lifestyle,` and that gay and straight people`s lives are equally valid and valuable. To believe anything else would be to ignore the facts; and that would not be ``loving.``

    Posted by: GregV | Mar 24, 2011 3:49:43 PM


  23. @Agapegiver: "So much hatred here and it is all on the part of the non-Christians." Sorry: this statement is laughably wrong on its face. The caller tried to sugar-coat his bigotry in the form of agape love. He wanted to make himself likeable even though his underlying message was (a) insulting and (b) wrong. The scientific answer is clear: orientation is innate, not chosen. Please, you've already lost this argument a million times. Move on to something else.

    "True Christians can love people they don't know. How? It is agape love. The love of God." Not sure how you would define a "true" Christian, but the fact that you think such a thing exists is scary. No doubt you place yourself in that group. Very convenient.

    "English has only one word for many types of love, so for Signorile to mock him in that manner just shows his ignorance of true Christianity and his total lack of tolerance for our rights to believe in the Bible."
    It is beyond arrogant to think you're the only person to know the various Koine Greek words for love (agape, philos, eros, storge). You don't have to be a Christian to know these things. It DOES take a Christian, however, to turn the meaning of these words on their heads. Answer me: do you think making people sign statements about same-sex relations is a vehicle for demonstrating agape love? (On second thought, don't: the answer is obvious.)

    I know you feel that Christians are being attacked for enunciating their beliefs in public, but you need to know this: I will not stop attacking Christians in the public arena until my rights as a full and equal citizen of this country are recognized. That includes marriage.
    You know I'm going to win, Mr. Agape. It's just a matter of when. In the meantime, either change your mind and join us, and get used to the label "bigot." I know you think it's inappropriate, but bigots always do.

    Posted by: plinx | Mar 24, 2011 4:31:09 PM


  24. "OR get used the label . . ."

    Posted by: plinx | Mar 24, 2011 4:40:03 PM


  25. AgapaGiver, you lie to children at the most formative and impressionable stage in their life with the scariest thoughts imaginable (i.e. hell). And if you don't, the book you live by does.

    I suppose that makes you a good person.

    Love you and god bless.

    Posted by: Wes | Mar 24, 2011 4:49:57 PM


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