Here’s your sign!

In Editorial on February 14, 2012 at 11:47 am

When Fort Des Moines Church of Christ’s pastor, Mike Demastus, put “Gay is not okay” on his church marquee, all hell broke loose.

The preacher was deluged with mail, most of it impolite, and about a hundred gay, and gay rights supporting, protesters showed up during the church’s Sunday service.

Not being a Christian, I had no familiarity with whether or not Jesus ever issued a position statement on gay issues. But I am familiar with the writings Jesus, an observant Jew, used when discussing other matters of his policy. I recalled something about male homosexuality that is prohibited.

Just to be sure, I looked in each of the several copies I keep to see if G-d’s position on homosexuality had changed.

Nope. It’s still there.

Male homosexuality is specifically prohibited conduct. And by a stretch of the positive commandment to “be fruitful and multiply”, female homosexuality is also prohibited.

So, it would appear that, according to the rules of play set forth by Gee-Dash-Dee (AKA “G-d”), the pastor was correct. “Gay is not okay.”

In fact, at my last count, there are six hundred and thirteen things that G-d says we “shall” or “shall not” do. And, if you bring Talmud into the discussion, there are literally thousands of ancillary “shalls” and “shall nots”.

Evokes a "Jesus Facepalm"

Still, the state sells barber’s licenses to barbers who “round the corners of the beard” and shave men with knife-like razors. Adulterers can marry. Thieves are permitted to use money. Those who drive on the Sabbath are given vehicle


And my favorite: Liars and cheats are permitted to persist in the political world.

On one hand, Bob Vander Plaats and his merry band of Christian Talibanists are nowhere to be seen picketing barber colleges, banks, or the DMV. In fact, Bobby is a politician.


Go figure.

I guess it’s just “gay” that pisses them off.

On the other hand, we do not see secularists carrying signs protesting bearded rabbis. There are no representatives of the Free Love Movement picketing houses of worship where adultery is scorned. Paroled bank robbers have not taken to marching on institutions upholding property rights.

For Demastus and his followers, “Gay is not okay”.


For members of the GLBT community, Demastus’ religious beliefs should not dictate the law of the land or the social acceptability of homosexuals outside of his church.


As a long-time supporter of equal rights for everyone, I fail to see where Demastus erred. He simply made a statement that is consistent with Scripture. I saw nothing indicating that Demastus and his followers meant to harm homosexuals or that he incited others to do so.

On the other hand, Demastus received numerous threats against his personal safety.

How is that right? What was their message, “Show tolerance, or else”? Doesn’t anyone else see the lack of logic here? Threatening people who have a different point of view is not okay.

Demastus subsequently changed his church sign to read, “Adultery is not okay”.

I know a lot of people who have committed adultery. There were no calls on social media to picket Demastus and there were no threats made in retaliation for his stand against adultery.

What else could Demastus pick? Who else could he piss off with his sign?

Eating winged, swarming creatures is not okay!

Striking your mother or father is not okay!

Leavening on Passover is not okay!

Kidnapping is not okay!

Delaying payment of wages is not okay!

Oppression of another (with words) is not okay!

Demanding payment from those who cannot pay is not okay!

Gossip is not okay!

Revenge is not okay!

Mamzerim (bastards) marrying Jewish women is not okay!

A kohen marrying a zonah  (Look ‘em up.) is not okay!

There is a “not okay” for each of the 365 days of the year. Think of the possibilities!

According to Scripture, tattoos are also specifically “not okay”.

Hell-bound and doesn't know it.

If Demastus put up “Tattoos are not okay” on his marquee, would legions of local tattoo artists, merchant sailors, and most of the women under 50 years of age in Des Moines show up at his church and make death threats?

Why doesn’t the tattooed Popeye stand out as a symbolic example of “moral decay” for the Family Leader?

Demastus is the leader of a church. Houses of worship are where we do crazy. I am willing to stipulate that there is an equal amount of (secular) crazy on the streets outside.

So long as religious crazy stays inside the church, synagogue, or mosque, I have no problem. So long as the secular craziness outside stays out of churches, synagogues, and mosques, I have no problem.

I wonder how many of Demastus’ flock wore suits, dresses, shirts, pants, coats, hats, and other apparel made of mixed linen and wool to Sunday’s services?

That’s just as “not okay” as homosexuality.

What is my take-home message from Demastus’ sign and the resulting uproar it caused from some members of the GLBT community?

“Stupid” on both sides of the gay rights issue made headlines.

That’s not okay.


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