Jars of gay


The Wire reports…

“Remember Jars of Clay? One of a handful of “cool” 90’s kind-of Christian bands? The group’s lead singer Dan Haseltine has caused a mini firestorm among his evangelical base of supporters this week by issuing a series of tweets in support of same-sex marriage.

His move comes just weeks after World Vision, a major Christian charity, had to walk back its brief decision to not discriminate against perspective employees who were LGBT. Like World Vision, Haseltine quickly had to reckon with a pretty strong backlash in the wake of his public engagement with the subject. And while the singer has since apologized for his “poor choice of words” on the role of scripture in his thinking, he has yet to walk back his questions on same-sex marriage itself. If nothing else, the episode is a telling example of just how tough it is even in 2014 for many evangelical Christians to move away from a traditional stance on the issue. 

Here’s the beginning of his days-long series of tweets on the subject, which were prompted in part because of a film he viewed on a plane trip — 12 Years a Slave : 


That tweet produced quite a few replies, as one might expect, and Haseltine went back and forth with his followers on the subject. Some were very respectful: “I don’t think there would be immediate harm to our nation. We have free will. Then again, what about Sodom and Gomorrah?…also, this is just a thought. The more gay unions, the less natural procreation,” one follower tweeted at the musician. He replied, “why? I don’t follow the logic in that.” Other exchanges were less polite. Eventually, some members of the Christian press picked up his take on the subject — one that has become more and more a source of generational divide among Christians. Charisma News sounded a bit panicked in a piece called “the Shattering of Jars of Clay:” 

Dan, you wrote, “Never liked the phrase: ‘Scripture clearly says…(blank) about… Because most people read and interpret scripture wrong.”

Perhaps this is the root of your problem? Is the Bible not clear about anything? Sin? Salvation? Forgiveness? Jesus being the only Savior and Lord? Adultery being bad? Fidelity being good? Shall I list 100 more items that are abundantly clear in Scripture?

The Christian Post’s Crossmap blog chided Haseltine with this response: “Scripture also addresses homosexual behavior in both the Old and New Testaments, warning that immoral sexual activity will lead to death and eternal damnation.” 

Some Christian radio stations (reportedly) pulled his music from rotation in response to this thoughts on Twitter, and some (former) fans deleted Jars of Clay from their playlists. All the while, Haseltine tweeted about same-sex marriage for days, dropping in and out of an active conversation with his followers with new thoughts on why there’s basically no good argument against allowing same-sex couples to marry: 


And that’s just a small portion of his thoughts. You can read the rest here.

On Friday, Haseltine announced on his personal site that his Twitter conversation on gay marriage had ended, for now, in part because he was upset that the backlash against his questions had negatively impacted his Jars of Clay bandmates. He also said that he “communicated poorly” when he “unintentionally wrote that I did not care what scripture said. Thus, the tsunami hit.” But he also gave a lot of context for what started his Twitter engagement in the first place, indicating that he is not done with the issue: 

 If gay men and women were being oppressed, not having an opinion in the matter seemed equal to the acceptance of systemic racism by way of silence.  The common quote, “What is necessary for evil to triumph is for good men to do nothing” came to mind.

Having grown up in the Christian church, I have observed and perpetrated many acts that originated out of fear.  In my career as an artist, musician, and storyteller, I have attempted to illuminate fear-based behavior in the church.

I have attempted to provide questions that could lead to a more love based approach.  This has meant taking a careful and often critical view of contemporary church behavior and culture.

Although Jars of Clay was never the most explicitly Christian of Christian bands (Religion News Service noted that Haseltine has long described Jars of Clay as occupying a “middle space”) Haseltine is open and active in his faith as a Christian. His band founded the Christian charity Blood:Water Mission, which combats AIDS/HIV and water shortages abroad.”

From http://www.thewire.com/politics/2014/04/jars-of-clays-christian-fans-lash-out-after-the-lead-singer-tweets-for-same-sex-marriage/361256/


13 thoughts on “Jars of gay

  1. At least the clay jar guy has apologised for his poor use of words in his tweets.
    But no doubt, he will have lots of new fans over this from the ranks of gays, ex-christians, and those who identity themselves as Christians who want to use this to attack evangelicals and promote homosexual marriage.

    At least he works for himself and can still have an opinion and make money. Unlike the Mozilla guy who was bullied by the gay mafia (Bill Maher’s term – not mine).

    Still, this clay jar guy needs to know his bible more and think more before tweeting, given his influence in the christian world – who after all are the ones from where he gets most of his money).

    I’ve read this guy’s tweets and his blog explanation, and the Facebook page, and Michael Browns’s response, and the attack by Benjamin Corey.
    Hopefully, instead of just lying and attacking all evangelicals over this the gay mafia will read ALL of the evangelicals response and Christians (including recent ex-christians like Bones) will read Michael Brown’s response instead of just copying and pasting other’s bloggers attacks on anyone who has criticisms of those strange tweets.
    And they were strange and badly worded – as the clay jar guy admitted and apologised for.

    So he’s not completely clueless.


  2. Bullying? Like what happened to the poor guy who made Firefox?
    Bones, talking about Bullying? lol

    Check out Bones bullying of Jews (or has it been deleted because those quotes from the anti-semitic website were too vile?)


  3. “Vile is a good word. As well as contemptible. Shameful.”

    From the Villain of Vile himself! lol

    You can probably find lots of ex-christians, and questioning Christians who aren’t happy with the response to tweets. You’ll find even more who are amazed that a supposed gospel singer can’t think of any reasons why gay marriage is wrong. Or why he would publish lesbian orgy videos.

    But then again, these days Bones and friends think nude church services are biblical…

    Bones talking about vile…..


  4. “the tendency for some Christians to lash out and attack their own scares me. ”

    Nothing like ex-Christians….

    I think Christine should have read Michael Brown’s actually article. So should Bones. Though he usually just copies and pastes without reading. Remember the Talmud Bones…


  5. Throwing the First Stone: The Scourging of Dan Haseltine

    When I read his (Haseltine’s – sic) tweets, I immediately thought that he was working through some complicated issues and needed to discuss them–nothing more. Personally, if he did decide that he did not oppose gay marriage, that would not make me assume he is denouncing the faith or anything else. Some Christians believe that they have no right to impose their beliefs on those who do not share their convictions. Other Christians do not believe that it is actually a sin the way they interpret the Bible. Lots of Christians are confused by these issues and have to struggle with passages in the Bible that go against what our culture accepts.

    But what seems worse to me is the mean and, in my opinion, Pharisaical response directed toward the band as a result of a few tweets. A couple of days ago, I started seeing shocking posts about “throwing out your Jars of Clay CDs” and all manner of name-calling, “heretic,” “apostate,” “false prophet,” along with accusations that they have always just been “in it for the money.” Shocked, I immediately went to Haseltine’s tweets and waded through more of the insanity, searching for a lucid explanation.

    As a person who openly struggles with my faith, the tendency for some Christians to lash out and attack their own scares me. It is one thing to point out a mistake or ask what was meant by a certain remark, but why the knee-jerk attack on his beliefs? Just from listening to the lyrics Jars of Clay write, and what they choose to record led me to believe that this was either a new crisis of faith or more probably a misworded expression of frustration in getting his point across, the latter turning out to be the truth. Why are people so quick to jump to conclusions? Doesn’t anyone ever ask questions and wait peacefully for a reply anymore?

    In my opinion, indignant Christians did more damage to the faith by attacking Dan Haseltine than his misspoken tweets could ever do. I believe there are many reasonable and unruffled Christians who do not immediately turn every mistake into a platform to attack those who disagree with them, but unfortunately, the ones who do are much more visible.

    While reading the comment thread on Michael Brown’s article “The Shattering of Jars of Clay” on CharismaNews and on Twitter, I could not stop the image of the Pharisees self-righteously throwing accusations at Jesus while harboring murder in their hearts. Granted, Dan Haseltine is not Jesus, but he certainly was not deserving of their hypocritical scorn. By their very words they reveal the redwood tree lodged in their own eyes while they attempt to gouge out the speck in Haseltine’s.

    The irony of this situation is glaring. While attempting to rescue Christianity from Haseltine’s innocent solecism, the whole point being that Christians should treat others with love first and foremost, they batter and abuse Haseltine, treating him with anything but love. Who is really guilty of the greater error here? — Christina Knowles



  6. Shot For Asking A Question: What We Can Learn From The Jars of Clay Fallout

    Let us just say, the tribe isn’t too happy about his (Haseldine’s – sic) questions. The response on their Facebook page was vile; fans saying they’re done, nearly every thread has been hijacked regardless of the actual original post, and there were even comments taunting same sex marriage supporters to commit suicide. One of the most disturbing aspects of the story is how the Conservative Christian Internet quickly began twisting his words into their headlines, especially the consistently dishonest folks over at Christian News Network. Headlines across the internet continue to read that Haseltine has “come out” as a gay marriage supporter, which continued to fuel the fire since that’s not what happened.
    And of course, we have Michael Brown over at Charisma News who is quickly becoming the angry father figure on the American Christian landscape. I suppose no news would be complete without Michael’s predictable response.
    All this, because he simply asked questions about the legality of civil, same sex marriage.


    Typical Evangelical bullying tactics and sprouting of lies. But then they say they’re the holy and righteous ones upholding God’s laws. It’s OK to lie to do that.

    Vile is a good word. As well as contemptible. Shameful.


  7. Someone has to answer your nonsense.
    If I don’t you just obsessively post even if nobody listens to you.
    Jews? Stay away from that topic. You already shamed yourself with the Talmud post.
    I have no problems with Jews or blacks. I have good black friends. Lunch with gays. Don’t know any Jewish people but I’m all for them. That’s why it angers me when idiots lie about them.
    If there’s a synagogue in Bundaberg you should apologise.


  8. Heaps of supportive posts on Dan’s blog, in between the shrill posts of condemnation.

    I posted my own message of support.


  9. Well we only need to see your posts to see how obsessed you are with me and this issue.

    You obviously aren’t in your right mind.

    Jews and blacks make some people feel the same way.


  10. “Yep.”

    “Evangelicals love to bully.”
    Disagree. Some ex-Christians like Bones do though.

    “Oh and love pulling the music. ”
    No they don’t. If it made money they probably didn’t.

    “Like yeah that’ll teach you to question our beliefs.”
    If a gospel singer came out in support of abortion or free sex or cocaine use, the same thing would happen.

    “Who knows my kid might become gay by listening to your music.”
    If Evie in the old days made public statements against basic Christian morality, the same thing would have happened

    “I can see some guy who wanks off to internet porn saying “That Jars of Gay is the Anti-Christ”.”
    Well when you close your eyes you probably love to imagine all sorts of scenarios. But we better not go there! Lol

    “There is no grace or compassion when it comes to the big G issue.”
    Not true.
    ” None. Cross that line and you’re DOOMED.”
    Wrong, completely wrong. There is no special line. That’s a lie. And you know it. If a gospel singer said he enjoys looking at porn and said it’s great, or openly lived with two women, or advocated abortion the same thing would happen. You have created the G issue to be special. But you’re not a Christian anymore so you don’t speak for evangelicals.

    ” A line they have created in their own minds. Nor common sense. Though common sense isn’t very common in the Evangelical world.”
    Well you said gay sex was sin two or three years ago, and basically changed because you just kept losing arguments so now want to oppose evangelicals over everything. Being against sex before marriage or abortion is probably something else you have changed your mind over. Bones mantra “if you can’t beat them, obsessively attack them and lie about them”.
    No evangelical bully has matched Bully Boy Bones.

    “Though I see hope in the young people who aren’t as bigoted .”
    We’ll keep brainwashing them. Most of them support drugs, sex before marriage, abortion etc too. And as we know, young people know a lot about life.

    ” The likes of Graham and his ilk are a lot like the segregationists in the US who died off.”

    No. Wrong again. Graham’s father insisted on preaching to blacks and whites together – because it was biblical. After all these years he is still believed homosexual sex, abortion, three lesbians marrying etc is wrong.

    Those who believe having sex with whoever you like is okay might mostly die off too. But there will always be some.


  11. n Friday, Haseltine announced on his personal site that his Twitter conversation on gay marriage had ended, for now, in part because he was upset that the backlash against his questions had negatively impacted his Jars of Clay bandmates.


    Evangelicals love to bully. Oh and love pulling the music. Like yeah that’ll teach you to question our beliefs. Who knows my kid might become gay by listening to your music.

    I can see some guy who wanks off to internet porn saying “That Jars of Gay is the Anti-Christ”.

    There is no grace or compassion when it comes to the big G issue. None. Cross that line and you’re DOOMED. A line they have created in their own minds. Nor common sense. Though common sense isn’t very common in the Evangelical world.

    Though I see hope in the young people who aren’t as bigoted . The likes of Graham and his ilk are a lot like the segregationists in the US who died off.


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