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Identity

Homosexuality in the Bible: Here's what six passages say and how to interpret them.

The video does a really great job of contextualizing each reference.

Bible, homosexuality, scripture, gender identity, sexual orientation
Image from YouTube video.

Looking into the text of the Bible.


Matthew Vines' "God and the Gay Christian” video at the bottom of this article analyses six passages related to homosexuality in the Bible. It does a really great job of contextualizing each reference (because we all know that Scriptures out of context can cause misinterpretation at best and d-r-a-m-a at worst).

We've also broken down each reference to homosexuality in the Bible here:



The Story of Sodom & Gomorrah (Genesis 19)

This story in Genesis 19 is probably the most popular passage used to condemn homosexuality. Here is how Vines explains it:

"God sends two angels disguised as men into the City of Sodom where the men of Sodom threatened to rape them. The angels blind the men, and God destroys the city. For centuries, this story was interpreted as God's judgment on same-sex relations, but the only form of same-sex behavior described is a threatened gang rape."

So gang rape = not good (also not the same thing as homosexuality). But the recap of Sodom and Gomorrah found in Ezekial 16:49 highlights what Vines believes is the real point of the story:

"Now, this was the sin of your sister, Sodom. She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed, and unconcerned, they did not help the poor and needy."

In other words, everyone using this story as evidence of the sin of homosexuality, might be missing the point entirely.

When God calls homosexuality an abomination(Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13)

Yep. We've all heard that Leviticus is where the Bible straight-up says that homosexual behavior is an abomination. And yes, it does. It also says that homosexuals should receive the death penalty (!!!). It also says the same thing about eating pork or shellfish, charging interest on loans, and a whole bunch of other restrictions that were a part of the Old Testament Law Code. But for Christians, the Old Testament doesn't (dare I say "shouldn't?") settle any issue because Romans 10:4 says that Christ is the end of the law. Which is probably why most Christians today eat meat, use credit cards, wear makeup, and support equality for women. Because, as Hebrews 8:13 says, the old law is obsolete and aging.

When people turn away from God (Romans 1:26-27)

"Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones; in the same way, men committed shameful acts with other men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

This is where Vines really digs in on the the cultural context angle. In Biblical times, same-sex behavior was primarily seen as happening between adult men and adolescent boys (masters and servants — yikes), via prostitution, and by men who were married to women. In all of those cases, we can see why it would have been viewed as sinful, excessive, lustful, and against God's law. But he makes no mention of love, commitment, faithfulness, or the type of same-sex relationships that are at question in the debate around marriage. (By the way, Paul also says that men having long hair is "unnatural" and that women shouldn't speak in church, so it's clear Paul himself may have had some issues of his own.)

Uses of the Greek works "Malakoi" and "Arsenokoitai"(1 Corinthians 6:9-10) (1 Timothy 1:10)

These words are included in the New Testament's lists of people who will not inherit God's kingdom. And there has been much debate over their original meaning. (Translating ancient words is hard, guys.) Some believe them to mean homosexuality and sodomy, whereas others have said that the closest modern translation would be "dirty old men." Ha! Here's how Vines explains it:

Many modern translators have rendered these terms as sweeping statements about gay people, but the concept of sexual orientation didn't even exist in the ancient world. Yes, Paul did not take a positive view of same-sex relations (nor did he support women speaking in church...), but the context he was writing in is worlds apart from gay people in committed, monogamous relationships. The Bible never addresses the issues of sexual orientation or same-sex marriage, so there's no reason why faithful Christians can't support their gay brothers and sisters.

Fascinating, right? If you'd like to learn more about homosexuality in the Bible or hear Matthew Vines' personal story check out his book "God and the Gay Christian."


This article originally appeared on 06.27.14





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3 organic recipes that feed a family of 4 for under $7 a serving

O Organics is the rare brand that provides high-quality food at affordable prices.

A woman cooking up a nice pot of pasta.

Over the past few years, rising supermarket prices have forced many families to make compromises on ingredient quality when shopping for meals. A recent study published by Supermarket News found that 41% of families with children were more likely to switch to lower-quality groceries to deal with inflation.

By comparison, 29% of people without children have switched to lower-quality groceries to cope with rising prices.

Despite the current rising costs of groceries, O Organics has enabled families to consistently enjoy high-quality, organic meals at affordable prices for nearly two decades. With a focus on great taste and health, O Organics offers an extensive range of options for budget-conscious consumers.

O Organics launched in 2005 with 150 USDA Certified Organic products but now offers over 1,500 items, from organic fresh fruits and vegetables to organic dairy and meats, organic cage-free certified eggs, organic snacks, organic baby food and more. This gives families the ability to make a broader range of recipes featuring organic ingredients than ever before.


“We believe every customer should have access to affordable, organic options that support healthy lifestyles and diverse shopping preferences,” shared Jennifer Saenz, EVP and Chief Merchandising Officer at Albertsons, one of many stores where you can find O Organics products. “Over the years, we have made organic foods more accessible by expanding O Organics to every aisle across our stores, making it possible for health and budget-conscious families to incorporate organic food into every meal.”

With some help from our friends at O Organics, Upworthy looked at the vast array of products available at our local store and created some tasty, affordable and healthy meals.

Here are 3 meals for a family of 4 that cost $7 and under, per serving. (Note: prices may vary by location and are calculated before sales tax.)

O Organic’s Tacos and Refried Beans ($6.41 Per Serving)

Few dishes can make a family rush to the dinner table quite like tacos. Here’s a healthy and affordable way to spice up your family’s Taco Tuesdays.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 20 minutes

Total time: 22 minutes

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 packet O Organics Taco Seasoning ($2.29)

O Organics Mexican-Style Cheese Blend Cheese ($4.79)

O Organics Chunky Salsa ($3.99)

O Organics Taco Shells ($4.29)

1 can of O Organics Refried Beans ($2.29)

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Add 1 packet of taco seasoning to beef along with water [and cook as directed].

3. Add taco meat to the shell, top with cheese and salsa as desired.

4. Heat refried beans in a saucepan until cooked through, serve alongside tacos, top with cheese.

tacos, o organics, family recipesO Organics Mexican-style blend cheese.via O Organics

O Organics Hamburger Stew ($4.53 Per Serving)

Busy parents will love this recipe that allows them to prep in the morning and then serve a delicious, slow-cooked stew after work.

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 7 hours

Total time: 7 hours 15 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 ½ lbs O Organics Gold Potatoes ($4.49)

3 O Organics Carrots ($2.89)

1 tsp onion powder

I can O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 cups water

1 yellow onion diced ($1.00)

1 clove garlic ($.50)

1 tsp salt

1/4 tsp pepper

2 tsp Italian seasoning or oregano

Instructions:

1. Cook the ground beef in a skillet over medium heat until thoroughly browned; remove any excess grease.

2. Transfer the cooked beef to a slow cooker with the potatoes, onions, carrots and garlic.

3. Mix the tomato paste, water, salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian seasoning in a separate bowl.

4. Drizzle the mixed sauce over the ingredients in the slow cooker and mix thoroughly.

5. Cover the slow cooker with its lid and set it on low for 7 to 8 hours, or until the potatoes are soft. Dish out into bowls and enjoy!

potatoes, o organics, hamburger stewO Organics baby gold potatoes.via O Organics


O Organics Ground Beef and Pasta Skillet ($4.32 Per Serving)

This one-pan dish is for all Italian lovers who are looking for a saucy, cheesy, and full-flavored comfort dish that takes less than 30 minutes to prepare.

Prep time: 2 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes

Total time: 27 minutes

Servings: 4

Ingredients:

1 lb of O Organics Grass Fed Ground Beef ($7.99)

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 tsp dried basil

1 tsp garlic powder

1 can O Organics Diced Tomatoes ($2.00)

1 can O Organics Tomato Sauce ($2.29)

1 tbsp O Organics Tomato Paste ($1.25)

2 1/4 cups water

2 cups O Organics Rotini Pasta ($3.29)

1 cup O Organics Mozzarella cheese ($4.79)

Instructions:

1. Brown ground beef in a skillet, breaking it up as it cooks.

2. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and garlic powder

3. Add tomato paste, sauce and diced tomatoes to the skillet. Stir in water and bring to a light boil.

4. Add pasta to the skillet, ensuring it is well coated. Cover and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

5. Remove the lid, sprinkle with cheese and allow it to cool.

o organics, tomato basil pasta sauce, olive oilO Organics tomato basil pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil.via O Organics

An English doctor named Edward Jenner took incredible risks to try to rid his world of smallpox. Because of his efforts and the efforts of scientists like him, the only thing between deadly diseases like the ones below and extinction are people who refuse to vaccinate their kids. Don't be that parent.

Unfortunately, because of the misinformation from the anti-vaccination movement, some of these diseases have trended up in a really bad way over the past several years.



Wellness involves a lot of personal choices and the tradeoff between personal liberty and shared public good.

Measles is the starkest example. There were about 61 cases of measles in all of 2012, but in just the first seven months of 2014, there have been nearly 600.

As this chart shows, vaccinations are not like taxes rates or even freedom of speech. The impact of one's personal health choices can have a significant impact on the population around them, in their communities and even on a national level. It makes that trade-off all the more complicated and one not easily distilled into one convenient political or religious ideology.

Obviously, the topic of vaccinations has become immensely more complicated since the onset of COVID-19 in 2020. But history teaches us valuable lessons and information is power. No matter how you feel about vaccines today, this chart is a reminder that medical science can be used for incredible good. Without breakthrough vaccinations in the past, many of us would likely not be here to have the debate about our personal choices now and into the future.


This article originally appeared on 11.21.14 and this infographic is based on data from 2012.

Images provided by P&G

Three winners will be selected to receive $1000 donated to the charity of their choice.

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Doing good is its own reward, but sometimes recognizing these acts of kindness helps bring even more good into the world. That’s why we’re excited to partner with P&G again on the #ActsOfGood Awards.

The #ActsOfGood Awards recognize individuals who actively support their communities. It could be a rockstar volunteer, an amazing community leader, or someone who shows up for others in special ways.

Do you know someone in your community doing #ActsOfGood? Nominate them between April 24th-June 3rdhere.Three winners will receive $1,000 dedicated to the charity of their choice, plus their story will be highlighted on Upworthy’s social channels. And yes, it’s totally fine to nominate yourself!

We want to see the good work you’re doing and most of all, we want to help you make a difference.

While every good deed is meaningful, winners will be selected based on how well they reflect Upworthy and P&G’s commitment to do #ActsOfGood to help communities grow.

That means be on the lookout for individuals who:

Strengthen their community

Make a tangible and unique impact

Go above and beyond day-to-day work

The #ActsOfGood Awards are just one part of P&G’s larger mission to help communities around the world to grow. For generations, P&G has been a force for growth—making everyday products that people love and trust—while also being a force for good by giving back to the communities where we live, work, and serve consumers. This includes serving over 90,000 people affected by emergencies and disasters through the Tide Loads of Hope mobile laundry program and helping some of the millions of girls who miss school due to a lack of access to period products through the Always #EndPeriodPoverty initiative.

Visit upworthy.com/actsofgood and fill out the nomination form for a chance for you or someone you know to win. It takes less than ten minutes to help someone make an even bigger impact.

Joy

6 states where the minimum wage and cost of living offer the best bang for your buck

The highest state minimum wage in the U.S. is now $16.28 per hour, but some cities are even higher.

State minimum wages range from $7.25/hr to $17.00/hr in 2024.

Public discourse about minimum wage and living wages has been ongoing for years, with people debating whether the government should mandate a minimum hourly pay for workers.

President Franklin D. Roosevelt signed the first federal minimum wage law in 1938, setting the lowest wage a worker could be paid at 25 cents per hour. Nearly a century later, the federal minimum wage is $7.25/hr, holding steady since 2009, with people lobbying to raise it to at least $15/hr for over a decade. However, in addition to federal law, each state has its own laws, a handful of which establish a state minimum wage higher than $15, a handful of which don't have a set minimum wage at all and everything in between.

Cost of living has also been a hot topic as inflation has squeezed everyone's wallets and certain cities and states have become utterly unaffordable, especially for people in low-wage jobs or who who are just starting out in their careers. So how do minimum wage and cost of living correlate state-by-state? Are there any sweet spots with a high(er) minimum wage and low(er) cost of living?


While there’s no perfect storm of super low cost of living and super high minimum wage—for instance, Washington, D.C. has the highest state minimum wage at $17/hr, but housing costs 140% more than the national average—there are some states where the ratio is far more favorable than others. According to Insider Monkey, here are the top six states where you can get the most bang for your minimum wage buck.

6. New Mexico

The Land of Enchantment offers a relatively decent living for its $12/hr minimum wage thanks to the state's below average cost of living. According to Rent Cafe, housing in New Mexico is 8% lower than the national average, monthly utilities are 9% lower, food is 4% lower, transportation is 3% lower and healthcare, goods and services are 2% lower.

According to Smart Asset, Albuquerque, New Mexico ranks as No. 10 in U.S. cities where minimum wage goes the furthest.

5. New Jersey

The Garden State's relatively higher-than-average cost of living is counteracted by relatively solid minimum wage of $14.13/hr. Most of the cost of living in New Jersey is wrapped up in housing, which is 30% higher than the national average, according to Rent Cafe, and utilities, which are 12% higher. Goods and services are 5% higher, but healthcare is 2% lower than the national average. Food and transportation are 1% and 2% higher, respectively.

4. Connecticut

With both a cost of living and minimum wage slightly higher than New Jersey, Connecticut rolls in at No. 4 with a $15/hr minimum wage. Where the Constitution State hits hardest is in utilities, which Rent Cafe places at 30% higher than the national average, and housing, which is 24% higher. Healthcare and goods and services are both 9% higher, while transportation and food are just 1% and 2% above average.

3. Missouri

The Show-Me State says, "Show me the money!" with its somewhat respectable $12/hr minimum wage, which goes pretty far with its relatively low cost of living. Housing is the biggest cost benefit Missouri offers at 18% lower than the national average. But utilities, food, healthcare, and goods and services are also all below average, with only transportation landing right at the national average.

Additionally, St. Louis clocked in at No. 5 for a minimum wage real-world value of $13.68 when adjusting for the city's lower-than-average cost of living.

2. Washington

With the highest state minimum wage in the nation (unless you count Washington, D.C.), Washington's $16.48/hr puts it in second place when accounting for cost of living. Make no mistake, Washington isn't cheap overall, with a cost of living 15% higher than the national average. Housing and transportation hit hard at 29% and 27% higher than the national average, respectively. Healthcare is pricey as well at 20% higher than average. Food costs 12% more, but utilities clock in at 7% less than the national average.

Two cities in Washington hit the top 15 for highest real minimum wage value, though, with Seattle at No. 13 and Spokane at No. 2.

map of united states with these states highlighted in green: Washington, New Mexico, Missouri, Illinois, New Jersey and Connecticut

These six states offer the best minimum wage to cost of living ratio.

Created with mapchart.net

1. Illinois

If you want the best bang for your minimum wage buck, head to the Prairie State with its $13/hr minimum wage and 8% lower than average cost of living. Housing in Illinois is 22% lower than average and utilities are 10% lower. The only expense that comes in higher than average for Illinois is transportation at 3% above average, which isn't enough to keep it out of the top spot.

However, there are some minimum wage sweet spots in certain U.S. cities that aren't reflected in these state rankings. According to Smart Asset, Denver, CO, is the city where minimum wage goes the farthest in the nation. Colorado comes in at a respectable 7th place in state minimum-wage-to-cost-of-living ratio, but Denver has its own mandatory minimum wage of $18.29/hr.

A citywide minimum wage is part of what puts Seattle at the No. 13 spot on that same list. Seattle is one of the most expensive cities in the U.S., but its $19.97 minimum wage for most workers changes the ratio in its favor.

Other cities in the top 10 include Buffalo, NY; Minneapolis, MN; Tucson, AZ; St. Paul, MN; Phoenix, AZ and Stockton, CA.

The minimum wage conversation may vary widely across the U.S., with different costs of living and different state laws on the books. But if you're looking to move someplace where your wage will go the furthest, these six states will likely be your best bet to check out first.

A mother confronts her daughter for judging her friend's weight.

A 42-year-old mother wondered whether she did the right thing by disciplining her 18-year-old daughter, Abby, who disinvited a friend from vacation because of her weight. The mother asked people on Reddit for their opinion.

For some background, Abby had struggled with her weight for many years, so she went to her mother for help. The two set up a program where Abby was given a reward for every milestone she achieved.

“Four months ago, she asked that I don't get her any more rewards and add it up to her birthday gift, and for her gift she wants a vacation I will pay for, for her and her friends instead of the huge party I had promised for her 18th. I said OK,” the mother wrote.


So, instead of a series of small gifts, Abbey wanted one large one, a vacation with two of her friends. The vacation would also celebrate Abby’s 18th birthday. The mother agreed and booked the trip for the 3 girls.

“Fast forward to last weekend, we started preparing for her vacation,” the mother wrote. “I called the other two girls' parents to confirm the girls would be and learned Abby's best friend Betty isn't going. Betty loves traveling and was looking forward to the vacation, so I asked why. Apparently, Abby uninvited her because ‘she is too chubby to look good in pictures.’”

When the mother approached Abby about the situation, she doubled down on her comments to Betty. “I calmly talked to Abby and reminded her how Betty would feel being left out for such a reason, and she went off with, 'I didn't work so hard for this vacation so my pictures will be ruined,'" the mother wrote.

Abby then asked Betty to contact her mom and say that she decided not to go on the trip because she wasn’t feeling well. Betty refused to lie, and Abby sent her a “ton of hateful texts and body-shaming insults.” Betty shared screenshots of the texts to the mother, and she promptly canceled the entire vacation.

Now, Abby’s father, who shares 50-50 custody with the mother, is livid, and Abby won’t speak to the mother. The mom asked the Reddit AITA forum to see if she was in the wrong, and the commenters overwhelmingly said she did the right thing. "Some of my friends agree on my approach, while others think I should have put my daughter first,” the mother said.

The most popular commenter was short and to the point.

"Teaching your daughter to not be a horrible human being IS putting her first," Due_Laugh_3851 wrote. "I commend your strength and parenting skills. This was the right thing to do and would've been hard to do. Well done, you deserve to go on the holiday yourself," Loud_Wallaby737 added.

"... uninviting someone because you only want skinny people in your pictures is a disgusting attitude frankly. Sorry, I just don't find a nicer word for it. I am totally with you that this needs to have consequences, and while I'm very much against breaking promises, I do believe this is an exception. Like you said, your daughter knows what it feels like. She (but anyone really) should be supportive of friends wanting to lose weight if that is the case and if it isn't they she should just mind her own business body," SensitiveSires wrote.

One of the few people who thought she was in the wrong believed that the mother set her daughter up for failure.

"[You're wrong] for giving your daughter who is a child rewards for weight loss. Her behavior of value based on weight shows she likely has developed disordered eating patterns and attitudes and this will cause her a lifetime of pain," tamtheprogram wrote.

The silver lining to the story is that many people who commented said that even though her daughter did something very hurtful, she’s still a teenager and there’s a chance she’ll realize the error of her ways.

"The daughter is just a teenager, she still has a lot of time to learn and grow up. Writing off her entire future as a mean girl when it’s very rare to be the same exact person you were at 18 as you grow up is a lot," Stephapeaz wrote.


This article originally appeared on 9.18.23

Magnet fishing near Masters Bridge, Rugby. (Representative image.)

Magnet fishing is one of the more unique hobbies that people got into during the pandemic and it has remained popular even in its aftermath. The idea is simple: anglers drop a heavy magnet into a waterway and see what they can pull up.

It’s pretty common for people to find guns, knives, fishing tackle, scrap metal and even the occasional bicycle. The hobby is popular on YouTube, where there are hundreds of thousands of videos related to the topic.

The hobby is fun for those who get a kick out of finding buried treasure, but it’s also great for the environment. Anglers with magnets that can pull anywhere from 400 to 2,000 pounds have done a great job of removing dangerous waterway debris.


A couple who got into magnet fishing during the pandemic made an incredible catch in the Flushing Meadows Corona Park in Queens on Friday, May 31, that earned them a spot on the New York 1 News. James Kane and Barbie Agostini threw a rope with a magnet into a river and pulled up a safe with an estimated $100,000 inside.

"We pulled it out and it was big stacks of freaking hundreds," Kane told New York 1. "These are thick stacks—they're soaking wet, they're pretty much destroyed."

Agostini thought Kane was joking when he said there were stacks of money in the safe. “He showed me and once I saw the actual dollars and the security ribbons I lost it,” she said.

To avoid legal trouble, the couple contacted the police to ensure that the safe wasn’t connected to any crimes. "There were no IDs, no way to find the original person, in the safe. [The police] were like: 'Well, congratulations!'" Agostini said.

The police said they had never seen a discovery like it before.

Kane told New York 1 that they got into the hobby during lockdown. “We were bored during COVID lockdown and I’ve always had this itch to become a treasure hunter … so we discovered something called magnet fishing,” Kane said. He calls the hobby “the poor man’s treasure hunting."

Even though the money was soaked and covered in mud, the couple may be able to spend it. They sent it to Washington, D.C., to be cleaned and inspected. "To clean it up takes 6 months to 3 years," Kane told The Project. But we believe this one's not gonna be that long."

One wonders why a safe with so much money wound up in a river. Was it stolen by thieves who ditched it because it couldn’t be opened? Did a jilted lover steal the safe from someone and throw it into the lake so it would be lost forever? Unfortunately, no one knows.

The couple also recently found 6 or 7 vintage guns in Sheepshead Bay in Brooklyn and a few grenades from World War II.

Do you have a treasure hunter deep inside you who wants to try magnet fishing? Clay Copeland, founder and president of Brute Magnetics, a magnet fishing equipment company in North Georgia, says it’s a relatively affordable hobby.

"Even our highest [priced] Brute Box is $200. There are not many hobbies you can get into and get top-of-the-line equipment for a couple of hundred bucks," he told Mapquest. "That was intentional on our part to open this up to a wide variety of people because it is such an interesting and fun hobby that you just never know what you're going to find."

Copeland says magnet fishing is a lot of fun for families with kids. He magnet fishes with his 5 and 7-year-olds regularly.

"When we throw the magnet out and bring it back ... just seeing that joy in their face when something is coming up, it's the greatest thing ever,” he said.

Image from YouTube video.

What is your biggest regret?

"Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh."

—Henry David Thoreau

No one escapes this world without a regret or two.

Time and time again, when we hear the final regrets of the dying, they're not about wishing they'd made money or worked more hours.

They're almost always about wishing they had the self-confidence to pursue their dreams or the time to stay in touch with loved ones.

community, culture, honesty, collaboration, art

Here are some thoughts on the subject.

Image from YouTube video.

Recently, A Plus in partnership with Strayer University's Ideal Year Initiative, put up a chalkboard on a New York City street and asked passersby to write down their biggest regrets. The people who wrote on the blackboard were from different walks of life, but their regrets were alarmingly similar.

Watch the full video below:

This article first appeared on 9.16.17