David Bruce: 250 Anecdotes About Religion — Freedom of Religion, Gays and Lesbians, Heaven and Hell

Freedom of Religion

• The Puritans faced religious discrimination in Great Britain, so they moved to Massachusetts Bay — where they engaged in discrimination. When the Quakers arrived in Massachusetts Bay in 1655, the Puritans whipped them, put them in prison, and then banished them. After some Quakers returned to Massachusetts Bay, the Puritans passed a law calling for the execution by hanging of any Quaker who had been banished, but returned. The Puritans also banned Catholic priests and sometimes whipped and imprisoned Baptists. James Madison put freedom of religion into the Bill of Rights in order to outlaw such religious discrimination.

• The Puritans did not practice freedom of religion. When Native Americans in New England did not keep the Sabbath, the Puritans used that as an excuse to seize their lands.

Gays and Lesbians

• Not all churches are loving. A minister speculated that the son of a family in the church was gay, and he started spreading that speculation around. The speculation turned out to be true. Very quickly, the family of the gay boy came under verbal attack from other members of the church. Meanwhile, the gay boy was being both verbally and physically attacked at school. The mother of the family complained about the church: “Instead of being overwhelmed by love, we were overwhelmed by judgment.” The family was unwilling to give up on religion because of a few bigots, including a bigoted minister, so the family left that church and attended a much more loving Episcopal church.

• Gays and lesbians have their own church in which to worship God. The worldwide network of Metropolitan Community Churches is nondenominational. In addition, many gay and lesbian groups exist within established denominations. Integrity is a group for gay and lesbian Episcopalians, Dignity is for gay and lesbian Catholics, and Affirmation is the name of two groups, one for gay and lesbian Mormons and one for gay and lesbian United Methodists. Some synagogues specifically serve gay, lesbian, and bisexual Jews — the oldest such synagogue is Temple Beth Chayim Chadashim in Los Angeles whose Rabbi, Lisa Edwards, is a lesbian.

• As a lesbian, Lois Hoxie didn’t feel comfortable at a Catholic Church in the Oakland, California, area, so she stopped attending. Shortly afterward, she was surprised when the priest stopped by to visit her and asked, “Why don’t you go to church?” She replied, “I don’t feel welcome at Saint Pascal’s.” “Why is that?” the priest asked. She replied, “Because I’m gay.” The priest asked, “Yes, but why don’t you feel welcome at Saint Pascal’s?” The priest didn’t mind that she was gay; however, other Catholics made her feel unwelcome, so eventually she became a Friend, aka Quaker.

• Following a Gay Pride march, several gay men and lesbians gathered at a church for worship. Unfortunately, some protesters arrived and shouted, “Sinners! Repent of your sick and evil ways!” The gay men, lesbians, and the minister of the church began chanting in return, “Jesus loves me and Jesus loves you. Jesus loves me and Jesus loves you.” This angered the protesters, and they shouted, “Jesus hates you! Jesus hates you!” In this case, the protesters won — they shouted down the gay men, the lesbians, the minister, and this message: “Jesus loves me and Jesus loves you.”

• Lesbian comedian Kate Clinton appeared on a daytime talk show, the producers of which decided to create controversy by busing in a group of churchwomen to sit in the audience and watch the show. To the surprise of the producers, the churchwomen fully supported the rights of gays and lesbians.

• When people tell lesbian comedian Judy Carter that homosexuality is a sin against God, she replies, “So is judging people.”

Heaven and Hell

• Among Mark Twain’s favorites of the books he had written was Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc, about a French heroine for whom Mr. Twain had enormous respect. Mr. Twain met the Archbishop of Orléans, who told him that St. Joan (aka the Maid of Orléans) would no doubt see to it that anyone who wrote so beautifully about her would get into Heaven. Mr. Twain replied that he would be “perfectly satisfied” in the next life if he were near Joan of Arc and as far away as possible from her enemies.


Copyright by Bruce D. Bruce; All Rights Reserved


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Music Recommendation: Los Reverbs — “Tu Cariño se Me Va” [“Your Love is Leaving Me]”


Music: “Tu Cariño se Me Va” [“Your Love is Leaving Me]”

Album: This track is a one-sided single.

Artist: Los Reverbs

Artist Location: San Jose, Costa Rica

Info: “The Reverbs are a psychedelic bolero band that under certain conditions transforms into the Musical Reverberation Ensemble. The band has performed on the regular stages of the metropolitan area, International Arts Festival, Epicenter Festival, International Film Festival and in December 2018 they were invited to play [in] Honduras at the Nu Festival.”

Price: FREE Download

Genre: Spanish Language.


“Tu Cariño se Me Va” [“Your Love is Leaving Me]”


Los Reverbs on Bandcamp


Los Reverbs on YouTube