Tim Barto: Bible study lesson from a gay rights pioneer



Thirty-six years ago I attended a young adult Bible study group at my former church in San Jose, Calif. Arriving 15 minutes late was Doug (a pseudonym used to protect the innocent as much as cover for my terrible memory for names).

Doug was a good 10 to 15 years older than the rest of us, but we didn’t mind, as he was a bit different and it was unspoken, yet apparent to the rest of us that he needed some socialization, even if it was with a bunch of twenty-somethings whose primary goal of young adult Bible study was to meet a Bible-believing member of the opposite sex. 

On this particular evening in particular, Doug was not only late — a particularly heinous sin in a gathering of staid Lutherans — but he was visibly upset.

Usually, Doug just stared at his surroundings through Coke bottle-thick glasses with a look somewhere between “Where’s the nearest exit?” and “Who’s hiding the coffee and Danish?” But now he was visibly angry, enough that the rest of us were scanning the room for the nearest exit.

“You okay, Doug?” asked our group leader, who also happened to be a rather young assistant pastor and a heckuva centerfielder on our softball team that finished runners-up in the church league that year. (Truth is we should’ve won the championship, but being Lutheran and unencumbered by restrictions on alcohol consumption, still went out after the game and had a few beers with our second place trophies.) 

“Not really,” replied Doug, which was, in actuality, quite an expansive use of vocabulary for him.

“Oh, you just returned from that meeting, huh?” asked the centerfielder. 

Doug turned. “Yes!” he said rather emphatically. We didn’t know what the meeting was that the pastor referred to, but this gathering was already more intriguing than any such previous. But Doug didn’t expand upon his one word answer, so we waited anxiously for him to spill the tea.

“What meeting?” someone finally asked. I admit to being that someone. There were no single, eligible, Bible-believing Bettys there that night and the lesson plan was, to be blunt, uninteresting. Getting Doug to talk about why he was angry, let alone just talk, was far more interesting.

Doug looked at the centerfielder/pastor with a questioning look. “Yeah, it’s okay, Doug. Would you like to let the group know where you were?”

“If it’s okay with you all,” Doug asked the circle of suddenly interested attendees.

“Absolutely. Sure. Tell us, Doug.” The encouragements poured in as we shifted to the edge of our chairs, and I became aware that I wasn’t the only one disappointed with the lesson plan or the lack of potential marriage material.

“Okay, then,” Doug said, following it up with a long pause that almost caused me to fall forward onto the carpet. “I was at a synod meeting where they were discussing the three homosexuals who were being allowed to enter seminary.” This statement was followed by an even longer silence. 

“Pardon?” someone asked, breaking the silence of incredulity that hung over the room. Doug again looked quizzically at the pastor of the golden glove and quick bat.

“If you feel comfortable, Doug. Go ahead,” said the cleric.

“Okay, well, I was asked to attend the meeting because I used to be gay.”

I swear you coulda’ heard a crumb of Danish drop on the carpet. “I lived a homosexual lifestyle from my teens until my yearly 30s,” Doug confessed, “until I was saved.” 

I’m pretty sure no one even blinked because the sound of shutting eyelids would have been audible. Doug proceeded to tell us that he not only lived his early adult life as a gay man, but he was entrenched in the movement. 

“Movement? There’s a gay movement?” Yep, and our very own Douglas, whose persona was increasing in stature by the second, was part of it. He’d been living in San Francisco, which was about an hour north of our location, during the 1970s and early 1980s.

“And I was one of the leaders,” Doug answered.

“The gay movement has leaders?” This question appeared to offend the newly-knighted Sir Douglas, but then he looked around the room, not searching for exit signs or pastries this time, but realizing he had us Silicon Valley yuppies-to-be in unchartered waters. 

Feeling confident now, His Dougness went on to describe how we were going to see big changes in the next 10 to 30 years. Homosexual rights groups were, at that time, protesting to not get beat up while tied to fence posts, but there was a bigger agenda. They would seek admission to the clergy and freedom from employment discrimination. Then they would fight for permission to get married and adopt children. There were timelines and strategies involved. 

I have to believe ol’ Dougie was telling the truth. Everything he said was going to happen has indeed happened, and his timeline was pretty spot on; if anything, it was somewhat pessimistic.

The gay rights movement that Doug was a part of, and then separated himself from, seems tame in today’s world. While in college in the 1980s, there were GALA groups on campus, with GALA standing for “Gay and Lesbian Alliance.”

Now we have half the Roman alphabet committed to a combination of sexual proclivities; a string so long that even its supporters have said “Enough is enough” and inserted a plus sign after so many letters, i.e., LGBTQI+. 

I don’t know if all the other groups in that string of letters have leadership committees like the homosexual movement had, but it would not be surprising. There is certainly an agenda, and a well-organized and funded one at that.

The movement to prop up non-traditional sexual lifestyles — and degrade traditional lifestyles — is fervent. Their supporters are passionate and bold, and they have obviously seen from the gay rights movement how social mores and even religious beliefs can be broken.

Tim Barto left California for Alaska 31 years ago. He is vice president of Alaska Family Council. 


  1. “They would seek admission to the clergy and freedom from employment discrimination. Then they would fight for permission to get married and adopt children. There were timelines and strategies involved.” Why would you NOT allow others the same freedoms you enjoy? Why would who someone loves have any bearing on your life?

    • Because those freedoms for sodomites wear away at the foundation of the traditional family and infringe on our 1st amendment rights to practice Christianity freely as a Christian country.

      It has bearing on our life because it is sin and we are forced to allow it in our society when God says it’s an abomination. Again this violates our religious freedom.

        • “One Nation Under God”
          “In God We Trust”
          “all men are CREATED equal, that they are endowed by their CREATOR with certain unalienable Rights”

          We are a Christian country. If you don’t follow Christ you are welcome and encouraged to leave back to where you came from.

          • God is never mentioned in the Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land. It’s a godless document on purpose.

          • All the things you mention acfak are Deist, not necessarily Christian.
            Our founders were Deists.
            Thomas Paine was an atheist.
            Franklin was raised a Christian, but rejected it later in life.
            Patrick Henry was a devout Christian.
            These guys were all over the place, just as we are, but most believed in God/creator.
            They left religion (how we worship God) totally up to the individual.
            Barack Obama was the 1st Christian in his family.
            His father was a Muslim …. his white mother’s family were atheists.
            He found God in Chicago (for political reasons ….imo)

    • According to the Bible, any man that lays with a man as he would a woman, is a mortal sin and is blasphemous. Same the other way with women. Homosexuality is against everything moral and good. That, Blaine of Camelot, is why it is wrong. Look at how this mess is destroying our lives just for their sick “kinks”. Disgusting human behavior. Has ZERO to do with who loves who. Get it right.

      • Hey Daisy Mae check out the documentary 1946 which discusses the mis-translation of that very verse.

      • Jesus never said a word about homosexuality. The parts of the Bible that did, the Old Testament, also state that you should kill someone if they work on the sabbath. I assume you also agree with that? Move to a theocracy if you want to live in one. America isn’t one…at least for now.

        • cman you are way over your head. Jesus said many things that were not recorded, such as “I need to sleep,” and “I am hungry.” Don’t try to be a biblical scholar on us by pretending everything he said was recorded years after his death.

          In fact, Jesus only was recorded mentioning five of the 10 commandments so in your logic, he only supports five of the commandments. That is absurd.

          Matthew 5:17-19: “Do not think that I came to destroy the Law or the Prophets. I did not come to destroy but to fulfill” (verse 17).

          The Greek word for destroy (Greek, katalyo) can can be translated as “dissolve,” “demolish,” “abrogate” or “deprive of force.”

          Instead of abolishing the law of the Torah, Jesus came to fulfill (pleroo) it. (Other translations are make full or accomplish it).
          Matthew 5:17-18: “Do not think that I have come to abolish the law or the prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly I tell you, until heaven and earth disappear, not the smallest letter, not the least stroke of a pen, will by any means disappear from the law until everything is accomplished.”

          The phrase the law and the prophets means the entire Hebrew Bible, the Old Testament. Jesus spoke of this many times. When he wasn’t sleepy or hungry or being pounded to a wooden cross.

          • Every jot and tittle, then, yes? That only proves my main point that the Bible and Jesus were/are amoral monsters. Thanks for helping me prove my point.

        • Homosexuality is condemned in the New Testament also (Romans)
          Get a better Bible (& read it) and keep the secular propaganda to yourself

    • Get back in your closet if you must be a degenerate, Blaine, and stay far, far away from kids.

      • Sure Aunt Sally, it is those horrible LGBTQ+ people who are preying on the kids.

        I mean I just read an article where I learned that close to 2000 kids were abused by over 450 adults. We need to keep kids away from groomers and pedos.

        Oh wait, it wasn’t LGBTQ+ people who did the abuse, it was the Catholic Church in Illinois.

        Most abusers/groomers/pedos are not LGBTQ+ people. Sure there are some horrible offenders in that group of the population, just like any group of people will have some horrible folks in it, but most abusers/groomers/pedos are a relative or a coach or a scout troop leader or clergy. People the child knows and often those people are in a position of authority.

        Can you give me 2000 examples of abuse by 450 LGBTQ+ people in one state?

        • If a male pastor abuses a male child it is a member of LGBTQ+ who did the abuse, not the church. Your 2,000 examples are your own examples, you’ve just framed it untruthfully.

          • Tell me you don’t understand the point without telling me you don’t understand the point.

            And all of those kids who were abused, they weren’t all male.

    • “Why would who someone loves have any bearing on your life?”- unless you were a cake baker.

    • Every homosexual has the God-given right to marry someone of the opposite sex, just as heterosexuals do. Every homosexual has the right to pursue life, liberty, and happiness in his or her own way. Perhaps you can tell us what rights a homosexual is denied in this day and age in this country before you agitate for more rights for homosexuals than the rest of us have. One person’s perversion does not entitle that person to trample on the rights the rest of us were given by God, to live in harmony with God’s laws and to NOT give in to satanic temptation. The same rights I have, they have. So what is the issue, exactly? Some homosexuals feel bad about their perversion, so they want us to say it isn’t a perversion after all. Not. Gonna. Happen. In all Christian charity, affirming people in their sins is not in any way, shape or form, mercy.

      • Which God are you referring to?

        Would that be Allah? or Buddha? or Odin? or Yahweh? or Zeus? or the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

        This country is not a theocracy. In this country one can worship any and all Gods they wish to, or none at all.

        We are all entitled to our own opinion and beliefs, but one cannot force their beliefs on others. And before you say it, LGBTQ+ people are looking to be treated as equal citizens by all other citizens, they are not looking for any more rights than you already have.

        Why shouldn’t LGBTQ+ people be represented in media? Why should they be denied housing or a job or service because of who they are?

        You, and many on this forum, would be the first and loudest to scream about discrimination if a Christian person was denied housing or service because of their religious beliefs.

      • Wrong. They do not have those rights when those rights infringe on the 1st amendment rights of Christians in this country. The 1st amendment is the most important and God says they are an abomination. To tolerate sodomites marrying and practicing sodomy is to infringe on the most holy and sacred rights Americans have, share, and enjoy.

        • Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

          That is the text of the first amendment. Do you see anything there stating that the USA is a Christian country? Do you see anything there that allows you to force your God on anyone else? If you know of something in the Bill of Rights or Constitution that states this explicitly, please let me know.

          What ever happened to freedom? Why do you get to decide who gets to marry each other? None of these LGBTQ+ people are forcing you to practice sodomy. No one is forcing churches to host marriage ceremonies between same sex couples. In this country, marriage is more of a social contract between people. Who made you, or people who think like you do, the arbiter of right and wrong?

          How does what someone does in their own home reduce your freedoms or rights?

          Live and let live. If you do not want to associate with LGBTQ+ people, then don’t. Why is your narrow world view what everyone else must live by?

          There are no “God Given Rights” in the USA. We are not a theocracy. Want one of those, head to Iran. I think your religious views are pretty close to theirs in regards to LGBTQ+ people.

          Lastly, what rights/freedoms are these LGBTQ+ people taking from you/infringing on? Please help me understand.

          • You’re wasting your breath trying to reason with acfak. He/she/it is delusional. I see it quite often with religious extremists. They create their own version of American history to fit their bronze age morals. I was raised to believe that Christians were modest and humble, but many aren’t. Like acfak many are unbelievably self centered and solipsistic. Also, like acfak, they’re mind numbingly nasty.

          • Thanks for the reply cman.

            I feel the need to speak up when there are people who will shout out untruths. To not do so just reinforces their narrow world view.

            Even if it seems like I am shouting into the ether, if I can have a meaningful conversation with just one person, it makes it all worth it.

            Unfortunately, those conversations are far and few between in these comment sections.

          • “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights…”

            The USA is not a theocracy, but we were founded upon Judeo-Christian principals, with a healthy understanding of human reason.

          • What creator? Some people believe that humans and life in general are just a random occurrence in the cosmos. Just because “creator” is used in the constitution does not mean this country was founded on Judeo-Christian principals. For all you know, the “Creator” could be alien life

            The same laws/commandments from the bible originated with Hammurabi’s Code. That text of 282 rules was established in ancient Mesopotamia close to 2000 years prior to Jesus Christ.

            At least give credit where credit is due.

    • See: The Homosexual Network: Private Lives and Public Policy

      It’s all laid out in this book.

      Here’s the description from Amazon:

      The book (from 1982) focuses on the political and ideological aspects of the homosexual movement. The book is particularly strong in its depiction of the relationship of religious, particularly Catholic, groups, with the homosexual movement. There is also Information about the amount of government financial support for the homosexual movement, for those interested in the extension of the homosexual network into our various institutions.

  2. They already have their own church it’s called the metropolitan church!! Plus they have their own anti- church called the sisters of perpetual indulgence which blatantly ridicules and attacks the Catholic Church and it’s Christian heritage. No discriminatory barriers exist against gays EXCEPT from private organizations, mostly of a religous nature WHOSE FOUNDATIONAL PRICIPLES ARE FIRMLY OPPOSED BY THE LBQTF MOVEMENT, so why would they want to work there and why would those organizations want to hire them? Marriage has been traditionally defined from the beginning of time as one man married to one woman and that is the foundation of society and the nation. For all its faults this is an institution sacred to most churches and a vital component of our society. The degrading of this institution ONLY HARMS A CHURCH A SOCIETY AND A NATION so why would you want to change it unless your purpose is the downfall of the former?

      • No, Maureen.

        You clearly hate Western civilization, you’ve made some terrible life choices, and you’re a complete loon if you expect decent people to accept you, your warped behavior, and your unhinged belligerence as normal.

        Despite your bizarre insistence that you’re some kind of “warrior woman”, you’d have been institutionalized and lobotomized in more civilized times.

      • Okay, Maureen, tell us of all things that homosexuals can’t do, and then explain how their lifestyle choices have consequences…. Oh, right. You don’t do logic.

        • They can’t find Bud Light or shop for Pride at Target because of a big group canceling of those businesses freedom to advertise and sell to who the want.

          I think those businesses were attacked by the lifestyle choices of folks who are not homosexual.

          • ‘…canceling of those businesses…?’ Truly you jest. People make choices every day; it so happens that many people who used to drink Butt Light and shop at Target have chosen to do so no longer.

            The pressure tactics of which you speak have Neeeevvvveeeerrrr been executed by the left? Are you serious? Oh wait: It’s clear you’re not.

            That one chooses to NOT ENDORSE your lifestyle choice, is a first amendment right that you and your fellows (above) would disregard, dismiss, and disparage simply because one professes faith in Christ as Lord. It is difficult enough for a person of true, bible believing faith to live in this society without your ilk disseminating your unhealthy perversions to the world generally and — most recently — to children in particular.

            In America today, Satan is winning many more skirmishes than was true in the past. In the end, when God executes his judgement upon man, many more than not will find themselves on the wrong side of His Story.

            I thank all here for the opportunity to pursue my growing sense of clarity on the matter of faith. Tip of the hat to Tim for writing this article,

      • Freedom is for American citizens. Freedom is not for sodomites, they enjoy none of the protections of our laws.

      • Why should we talk about freedom for all with communists like you; you don’t believe in it.

  3. I got news for you Tim, “Doug” is still gay. Blaine makes a good point. Why would anyone care what other consenting adults do together. The people that usually care the most are the same people who claim they love freedom, yet are obsessed with hamstringing the freedom of others. People like Mr. Barto would like it if gay people went back into the closet and I bet if given the chance, would try and make being gay illegal. Why people who claim to love freedom and god choose to try and keep people from being who they were born as is beyond me.

    • “Being gay” is an odd euphemism. The urge for homosexual sex is not the same thing as acting upon that urge, just at the urge to steal is not the same as actually stealing. Nobody is a sinner for their emotions, their urges, and other things over which they have no control, but their actions in dealing with those things is what defines a sin. Nobody is telling anybody to get in a closet, but neither does anyone want a homosexual to end up in hell, or cause havoc on earth, because he or she cannot do as God wishes. The same is true of those who steal, murder, lie, and all the other Big 10. Why do you claim that somebody should be able to sin and cause havoc because they have no self control?

      • Even thinking about it is a sin according to the Bible. Thought crime, The very essence of totalitarianism.

      • I recall Carter said he sinned by having lust in his heart. He didn’t act on the lust but took responsibility that he had sinned in his thought and feelings.

        I don’t want YOU to live in hell. YOUR thoughts and feelings are causing that now. Change your thoughts and you can change your feelings.

        PS no trauma here tho incessant directions by all adults to “wear a dress, put your knees together, do your hair, put on make-up, stand up straight and maybe the boy cooking steaks for us at Ponderosa will ask you out. And don’t speak up.

    • C’mon, cman. Most of the rest of us want you back in the closet or on a flight to San Francisco as well.

      You people violate kids at extraordinary rates, you typically carry all manor of nasty and often fatal diseases, you’re frequently suicidal, you’re a cancer on the social fabric, and Charles Darwin himself wouldn’t hesitate to declare you a dysgenic dead end deserving of nothing less than rejection by those interested in the perpetuation of healthy society.

      You weren’t “born” that way, cman; you were raised to be weak-willed and fruity by sadly misguided parents, you probably should have been bullied more by your peers in your formative years, and you’ve willfully accepted the sick programming to become the disgusting individual you are now.

      Just sayin’.

  4. Problem is the “gay rights movement” is a leftist movement.
    That’s why.
    I have a transgender daughter, several gay relatives & a couple of gay friends.
    Each one, a socialist leftist.
    I believe G*d made gay people.
    I don’t think they should be running things ….. (basically too emotional ….imo)

    • They’re only leftists because they are hated and vilified by the right. Which is how it should be, they are an abomination as God states. Only the left would succor abominations in God’s eyes.

      • God made all of us.
        He made gay people (who sin) just as he made straight people who lust (that’s a sin)
        I won’t get into greed & theft right now.
        God also made Jews AND Muslims AND Hindus

        Do you hate & vilify straight men also acfak?
        Do you vilify Donald Trump? (lust, greed, money for harlots & trophy wives)

        You sound like a great Christian; who needs to open a bible now & then.

  5. And in The next 10-15 years pedophilia will be accepted. MARK MY WORDS!
    What’s going to stop a pedophile from using, “I was born this way!”
    We’ve accepted homosexuality with that.
    I really wish homosexuals would just be open and honest about the trauma that led them into that lifestyle instead of the ole, “I was born this way.”

    • What’s going on to stop a Christian from using I was born this way?

      Why would ANYONE religious or not want adults to take advantage of children who can not consent?

    • It may sometimes be trauma LMF, but generally not
      4 boys …. same married parents …. same schools …. same sports …. same church attendance …. same house their whole life ….. all cub scouts (2 boy scouts)
      None of these 4 were every molested, I guarantee that.
      One is gay. (& a decent, honest person) 3 are not.

  6. I have never met a single homosexual who was not traumatized as a child. I have never met a single 8 year old boy who thinks gay sex is a great idea. “Born this way” may be true, but acting that way is a whole different story.

    • As the terribly true old maxim reminds us, Tamra, homosexuals reproduce by touching kids and tolerance for any of it ushers in more of the same.

    • My gay kid was not traumatized, but of course you haven’t met them I suppose.
      How many homosexuals have you met?
      Did you interview each one & did they willingly open up about the trauma they experienced as children?

  7. Each of us was born into a sinful ‘mankind,’ if one may still use that fine and descriptive word. From birth, we err in countless ways, whether from depraved natural proclivities, or from depraved personal or cultural influences, or from our own depraved selfish choices. Depraved sexual thoughts and behaviors are derived from one or more of these causes, and here we are each confronted by the clear Word of God, our Creator and Supreme Judge. We each must choose; how shall we then live?

    • Correct. Most men desire young, good looking women. The lust is born in us
      A good man, (especially a married one) resists the carnal temptation in him, as God asks (Pres. Trump doe not do this)
      Gay people should do the same …. control their natural lusts to be in God’s grace.
      And there are some who do but we don’t hear about that.
      We only hear about PRIDE Inc.
      It is shoved down our throats by anti-God Progressives (many of whom are gay)

  8. God didn’t create Adam and Steve. The rib from Adam provided the building material for Eve. A wife is symbolically and physically close to a man’s heart. Together they are perfectly complimentary. Men are hierarchical creatures among themselves. That alone will cause innate dissatisfaction. Attraction to same gender appears to be a symptom of immaturity which may fade with time. Meanwhile adherents may become compulsive and combative. Not a satisfying way of life and quite unappealing.

  9. Perverts don’t produce anything because they don’t work and they can’t even have a baby. They are completely worthless

    • They don’t work? Your kidding right?
      They are teachers, office workers, business people, bar & restaurant employees, 5% of our military, etc…etc..
      WE wish they didn’t work. Or do we?

      • I’ll answer the question. No, I’m not a christian as I don’t believe in immoral ideas like human sacrifice.

        • Ummm, yeah, that was the OT, not the NT. The only true sacrifice in the NT was that made by Jesus Christ.

          The martyred Christians were just that: Martyrs. They were not sacrifices.

          You might find the bible a fascinating read and study. If you give it a shot. Find a good study bible and devote some time to it. I started 8 years ago and it has changed my life in many positive ways. I remain a sinner; I struggle with it every day; but I continue to ask, seek, and knock to find His guidance.

          Of course, you can pick up the Quran if you like, but I suspect you’ll not find the answers there that are provided by the loving God of the Judeo-Christian bible. (Trust me, the love is there from the beginning to the end; you simply have to open your mind to see it.)

          May he bless you with a new found interest in His Word….

      • How about Art? He wished me an early death to my stage IV Cancer because I had a different opinion than him. I’m guessing not.

        No I am not Christian. I was raised Catholic with Catholic schooling 2nd grade through college.

  10. Interesting impassioned comments all. Whether we accept the words of the old testament as absolute or not, none of this is about whether it’s okay to be gay or otherwise. This article and the true threat is about where we’re headed as a society, and the highly manipulative long-term tactics (ie dog-eat-dog) used to get us there. We’re all prey. Just look up, good people duking it out here when none of us are the enemy. It seems we may have found our societal limits to this movement… one thing we can all still agree on, do not hurt the children. Unfortunately pain in some forms comes slowly and over time and some yet do not understand what they’re doing, by its very nature, is hurting the children.

  11. Tim, didn’t you say Doug “used to be gay”? We need some elaboration here – thousands of ex-gays can testify, if they will, that gender identity is not immutable. And just from the comments from the usual lefty flame throwers, I’d say it will take a great deal of courage to testify to the truth.

  12. I was trying to figure out why Doug was visibly upset. The rest of the writing doesn’t elaborate on it. I think you need another column talking about the Gay-movement and how Doug thought there was a gay-movement. That’s probably why mrak’s better readers allowed the leftists hijack the thread, they don’t really understand Doug and they unusually couldn’t contribute anything extra to help me understand why Doug was so upset after finding the Lutheran church would allow three Gay pastors. Instead the better mrak readers spent their comment time to attack back at the leftists given over to a depraved mind because of they could’nt understand Doug and the Gay movement and its movement in the church denominations.

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