How can Christians best respond to pride month? While this is a big question, Sean shares a bonus episode of a conversation he had a few months ago with a lesbian YouTuber to encourage and equip you. We hope you enjoy this conversation and will consider reaching out, during Pride Month, to have a similar conversation with someone who sees the world differently than you.

Episode Transcript

Sean: Hey friends, welcome to the ThinkBiblically podcast. I'm your host, Sean McDowell, and today we've got a bonus episode for you. Now why would we have a bonus episode today? Well, we're sitting around as a team thinking about how we might encourage Christians to better engage others during Pride Month? So, what we wanted to do is post a conversation that I had a number of months ago that's never been posted here on this channel, from my YouTube channel with a lady by the name of Arielle Scarcella. Now, she described herself to me in this conversation as the OG, or original, lesbian YouTuber. She's been creating content for over a dozen years. Now, the reality is probably a lot of her followers would find my stuff offensive and many of the followers here on the ThinkBiblically podcast might find her stuff offensive. But I noticed that she saw things in the world very differently than I did, and I decided to reach out to her and said, "Hey, would you be willing to have a conversation? Full disclosure, I'm a Christian professor and apologist at a Christian university called Biola.” She said, "Sure."

For about 45 minutes, I just got to ask her questions about her life, about her family, about her faith, even a little bit about her politics and her goal on YouTube and beyond. Let me just tell you, it was one of the most interesting conversations I've had in a long time. And I hope it would be an encouragement for you to have similar conversations during this month and beyond. Now, one of the interesting things I told her to begin with, I said, "Hey, when we get to the end, you can ask me anything you'd like to ask a Christian professor." I didn't have a clue what she was going to ask me, but her last question was fascinating, and I gave my best response.

So, we hope, number one, you'll just enjoy this, feel equipped by this. But while there's a lot of ways Christians can think about responding during Pride Month, We hope one way is you'll just reach out to somebody who sees the world differently and just engage that person in conversation. We hope that this bonus episode will equip you and inspire you to do so. So enjoy, and as always, we hope you'll consider sharing it with a friend. Enjoy this bonus episode of the Think Biblically podcast.

Sean: Thanks for coming on the show with a Christian professor.

Arielle: Thank you. Thank you for being a Christian professor. Thank you for living your truth. Even though that's something liberals say—I should say leftists say. But I don't think I'm a leftist. I think I'm a liberal. I'm a classic liberal.

Sean: Okay.

Arielle: It's like, let me live my life. Don't tell me how to live my life. Don't take my money. That's it.

Sean: Well, we're gonna get—

Arielle: That's liberal, right?

Sean: Yeah, I'm really interested in just what you believe, why you believe, your story, your experience.

Arielle: I am open to you. I am open to the world. I mean, there's very little I shy away from. I don't think there's anything I shy away from, to be honest but—I think you found the right person for this job. We'll just say that.

Sean: Well, part of that is you're from New York, I'm from California, so that even adds another extra—

Arielle: We got this going on here, right?

Sean: For different reasons, I love it. Well, if my audience doesn't know who you are, I noticed at the time of this interview, you have over 700,000 YouTube subscribers, so clearly you are rocking in that vein, but—

Arielle: But you're doing well too, you got 100,000, that's great.

Sean: I appreciate that.

Arielle: It's true.

Seam: It's coming along. So, if I introduce yourself, assuming that probably a decent number of viewers may not be familiar with you.

Arielle: Yeah, so I've been, my name's Arielle. I'm from Brooklyn, New York. I'm very much gay. And I've been making videos on YouTube for over 12 years. I'm like the OG lesbian of YouTube. But over the last three, four years, I've been, like, at odds with the more left leaning political side of the spectrum. And then two years ago, I came out as leaving the left. And I talk mainly about culture and politics now—more culture than anything, but how politics affects culture and vice versa. Beforehand, I was talking mainly about like sex education and, like, being gay and stuff like that. More like comedy. And I'm like, okay, I'm too old for comedy—not that you can be too old for comedy, but I was like, I guess I wore myself out in that department. Like, let me talk about some more controversial stuff, deeper issues like with people like yourself.

Sean: So if you recall, what were some of the first things that got your attention that made you think, okay, wait a minute, I'm not at home with the left. Like do you remember an experience or a story or something that happened or a few of the things that just started to make you—that kind of cracked that door open—so to speak?

Arielle: There was a bunch of things. I would say one of the first things was how they were treating President Trump. And I say this as somebody who didn't vote for him the first time around.

Seam: Okay.

Arielle: I remember I was hanging out with one of my Jewish friends, and I say that specifically because it's important in the conversation— 'cause he is a minority. And I mean, he is a minority, but, like, you know, the way the leftists use it. And I remember I was, like, rolling my eyes about him talking about Trump, blah, blah, blah. And he's like, so why don't you like him? And I was like, well, I just don't. And he's like, that's not an answer. And I was like, oh, like S-H-I-T. I was like—wait, am I allowed to curse on here? Probably not. I was like, wait, why don't I like him? Like, there's something that I was, like, either I was told to not like him or I was convinced. But I don't have, like, an actual reason. That doesn't make sense. It was a red flag for me. So that was like the first red flag that I was being conditioned to think a certain way without even realizing why.

Sean: Wow.

Arielle: Yeah, and he was like my first red pill moment, but just from the culture perspective of things, all the hypocrisy. I would say it was mainly for me about control. I continuously, consistently felt controlled by leftists. And it was very reminiscent of abusive relationships that I've had with women in the past. And I've spoken about this publicly, as well. If you look—and I made a video about it, too, if you look at the characteristics of abusive relationships—we're talking about emotional and verbal-- and I guess in some ways physical, too. Like, they're burning down buildings and stuff, beating people up for having different beliefs. But, the majority of what I'm talking about was verbal harassment and emotional abuse, mental abuse. If you look at a chart from or something, it dictates—it was like a pie chart. And it was all the different ways you can be emotionally manipulated and abused. And every single—and it was all talking about relationships, like romantic relationships—

Sean: Interesting.

Arielle: But every single one, every single piece of the pie, also made sense with leftists and how my relationship felt with people on the left. So, whether it was they were trying to control your finances, if they disagreed with you, they tried to get you fired from your job, holding money over your head, you know? Saying who you could or could not follow, who you could or could not be friends with. That's another abusive tactic, in relationships, right? An abusive boyfriend or girlfriend, “I don't want you hanging out with them, I don't like them.” Like, who the hell are you to tell me who to hang out with type of thing? It doesn't affect you, right? That's an abusive, you know, segregating somebody so that you can control them is abusive. Every single one of these things was happening. And I started realizing that about three years ago, I would say. I got to the point where I spoke to my friend, Tim Pool, and my friend, Sydney, who's from Australia, and I was like: I need help. I don't know what to do, but I can't allow myself to be treated this way anymore. And my friend, Sydney's like you need to make a video about leaving, like you're done with them. You don't have to come to the right. People are gonna assume that, but you need to make a video. And I was like, I need help writing it, and they helped me write it. And it went viral and I was like, okay, well that's done.

Sean: Sure.

Arielle: And I just sat back and I hoped to the best, I really didn't know what was going to happen. I really didn't. And little by little, Dave Rubin found me. Ben Shapiro found me,.Steven Clowder reached out to me, I had an interview with him maybe a day after the video went viral. I was actually in Australia and I had to wake up at like four in the morning to do a video when he was in Dallas, yeah. So, that's where I'm at now. Now it's like, I would say I'm probably a moderate classic liberal, but I lean conservative on certain issues. But it's more, for me, it's more about the controlling aspect.

Sean: Okay.

Arielle: 'Cause if there's a lot of control on the right, I'm not for that either, right? So it's like live and let live, leave me alone.

Seam: Very interesting.

Arielle: I hope that wasn't like a long drawn out—

Sean: No, this is great. I just wanna hear your story and your experience. Now, you still describe yourself as far as I'm aware as a part of the LGBTQ community, but I see a lot of people as I was just searching through giving critique to you. Is it because of the critique and newer positions that you've taken or is there something else going on that I missed?

Arielle: I would say that's definitely a big part of it. But I would say it was starting before I even became like publicly out about supporting President Trump and being more conservative with politics. It started when I began criticizing the trans movement, because it went from zero to 100, with that movement, very quick, and I was not for it. I was very lenient in the beginning and understanding and I still am with certain issues in the trans community. But as anybody that is not a leftist or is a leftist even knows, even though they might not be completely fully self aware of it, once you go against the grain you're going to be outcast forever, right? So, once I started critiquing, you know—and the goalposts are constantly, constantly shifting, right? It's further and further to the left. So, no matter what you do, it's like you can't be, you can't be perfect until they bring the next social justice clause your way and you have to agree with it, then you're perfect again. So, I stopped agreeing with some of the things that they were saying. I was like, no, this doesn't make sense, because this, this and this. And I started disagreeing with them. And they obviously were not happy because they could no longer control me.

That's when it first started. But then when I became public about promoting, believing in President Trump and what he stood for, and actually did my research, that just created a whole new influx of hate. But also it brought me a lot of support. Which I didn't know was going to happen. A lot of people say, "Oh, you're a grifter." It's like, how could I have known? Honestly, you don't know what's going to happen when you do those types of things. You're hoping for the best, of course, but you don't know.

Sean: This is a question just purely out of curiosity: how many would you say within the LGBTQ community would vote Republican versus Democrat, support Trump, or not? And I'm not asking you to make a case for him. I would have some assumptions.

Arielle: Just look at what I think.

Sean: But would it be a—I would think it'd just be a significant minority, but is that true?

Arielle: I think it's more people every day that are being red-pilled—speaking from a minority's perspective. There was a video yesterday of Hillary Clinton in New York walking from her hotel or walking to her hotel to her car or whatever, and people were booing her. Did you see this video? It went viral.

Sean: I heard about it. I didn't see it.

Arielle: And there was, if you look at the video, every single person in that video that was booing her was a minority. They were either black, Hispanic, I would say mostly Hispanic people looked like, maybe one white person, a few women. And I think that says a lot. Like when New Yorkers that are minorities are pissed at you, or when gay people are pissed at you—you effed up. Like you messed up because we're very, we're usually very lenient because we know the struggle, right?

Sean: Okay.

Arielle: So, when we're being taken advantage of, when we find that out,

Seans: Interesting.

Arielle: It's not good for you.

Sean: Okay, let's talk a little bit about—you mentioned some of your concern with the trans movement. I have some concern about it, and I've always thought it's interesting that you have Christians and lesbians coming from a very different perspective,

Arielle: Agreeing on things?

Sean: But just your concerns about some of the trans movements. So tell me, why did you part ways at that point? What were some of the things that you saw that you're like, "Time out, I can't go with this movement"?

Arielle: What were some of the things? I mean, I know I can't curse on the channel, but I'm gonna say the word penis because I don't know what else to say. But when they started telling me that in order to be a proper lesbian, I had to accept trans women as real women in the biological sense—meaning that I would have to date a trans woman and give oral sex to a person with a penis—like, I was just like, no, that's like not what lesbian means to me. Like it can be, it's fine if that's what it means to you. Again, the libertarian stance, but don't tell me how to live my life. Don't tell me what it means for me 'cause it doesn't mean that. Well, a trans woman is a woman, a woman sometimes has a penis, and if you're a lesbian, you like women. It's like, well, yeah, but lesbians don't like all women. I'm not attracted to every single woman that walks down the street. You know? And trans women are trans women. Like that's a very important, you know, prefix. Is that the word? Descriptor. Yeah, that comes into play. Like why is the word trans there? Because there's something biologically different about them. And that was, I would say that was like my main thing.

And then, after that, it just started snowballing from there. Now they're saying that, you know, biological women should be competing in sports against biological males, which again, I was for and I still am for in certain cases. Like if you're somebody like Jazz Jennings, who did not, I think, from what I understand, correct me if I'm wrong, did not experience any male puberty. Like, they went on hormones and they went on puberty blockers and testosterone blockers rather, like very, very early. Somebody like that, like Jazz, in my opinion, she has no biological advantage, against a biological female. because she doesn't have that testosterone in her body in the way a biological male would if he went through male puberty. So I was for it in the beginning and I even had an interview with Fallon Fox, who's a trans woman MMA fighter or boxer, I think she's MMA, and at the time, like science always changes, right? At the time, science, this was like five years ago, science said that she didn't have an advantage. Now it says she does, so, my stance on that has changed, which is crazy, right? It's crazy to just look at science and be like, "Wow, I can think differently now." No, if you're a leftist, it's whatever you believe you believe, no matter what the science says.

Sean: Now, you had some concerns, you did a video recently on sports and trans athletes competing in sports. I did an entire interview with a professor who did his doctoral dissertation on the biological differences between men and women. He actually said there's 6000 differences from bone strength to blood circulation to you know,

Arielle: Lung size, hand size, right?

Sean: Exactly all that stuff adds up. So, that's my concern, just out of fairness, and having my wife who competed in college sports and got a scholarship like there's a lot of things that my daughter—what's the heart of your concern? Is it the same or do you have any other concern you would add to that with the sports question?

Arielle: I think that's my main concern. I think it's that we're taking away trophies, scholarships, world records from females, right? Just yesterday, Leah Thomas, for a trans woman, a swimmer from University of Pennsylvania, I just filmed this before our interview. She, and I say ‘she’ because I respect people's gender identities, but I can also understand biological differences, right? People are gonna get on me for saying ‘she,’ but it's like, no, I'm gonna respect the person, but also recognize reality. Like, you can do both. So, she won the 500 meter, I guess, freestyle. I don't know anything about swimming, freestyle, whatever. And it was interesting to watch because I think the pendulum is starting to shift, well, it's been starting to shift more to the right. It's starting to swing back hard the other way 'cause we went way too far left. They post, the University of Pennsylvania posted the video of Leah winning. I'm assuming, thinking they were gonna get, like, a lot of praise for it. Like, wow, yes, trans women in sports, yes, trans rights. That's not what happened on Twitter. It was really interesting. People were like not having it. Majority of people were like, “congratulations to,” I think the girl's name was Catherine, maybe, who was like the rightful owner, the rightful winner. She came in second place, but she was really the first place winner. A lot of people were critiquing Leah Thomas, obviously, for being, I think she was like 460th ranked in men's. And then she was, like, on HRT for a year or two years and now she's like first place in women's. And it's like, "Hmm, that doesn't add up, does it?" So, she was getting a lot of hate, which I don't think hate is the answer, but I think critique is the answer. And we have to sit back and be like, "Well, why are sports sex segregated in the first place?" Not everything is sex segregated, right?

Sean: That's right.

Arielle: Certain things are. So the question is why? Why? Because of safety, because of biological advantages. That's the only reason why. We have to make it as fair as possible.

Sean: Love it. I think I can agree wholeheartedly with you. Let's talk about a little bit, let's shift, and we may come back to some of these ideas but you've done some videos on Jesus, you've shared some spiritual ideas. I think my audience in particular is gonna find this fascinating but before we dive into some of the videos where you talked about: was Jesus transgender, was just non-binary? Maybe tell us just a little bit of your spiritual beliefs. Do you believe in God? How did you come about having those beliefs?

Arielle: I believe in God, but not as in God, as in in the sky or as in separate from us. I think that we are all God. We are all a part of the universe. We're not in the universe, we're a part of the universe. We're an intrinsic part of it. And I was raised Catholic, similar to you probably, I was raised Catholic, Italian Catholic, which is like, you know, it's a whole different order of guilt. But, I was raised Catholic. I was raised up the block from my Catholic church. And I haven't been to a church like that except for, like, a wedding, maybe since I was 11 or 12. I stopped believing in it because at the time, I didn't understand that I was gay, but I didn't understand what it meant, but I knew that I was different. And I knew that I didn't feel welcome. So it just naturally felt safer to distance myself from a place that I didn't feel accepted in, right? But looking back, even if I felt accepted now, it's still a lot of the teachings I don't believe in. I do believe in what Jesus taught. But not a lot of what, not the way people interpret it, maybe, is what I'm trying to say. I think Jesus, I mean, we can't prove that he's real, or maybe we can, I don't know, but regardless, that's not the point I'm trying to make. The point I'm trying to make is, regardless if he was, I don't think he was the son of God. I think that Jesus is a son of God. Like what I believe he was trying to say, and I watched a video on this, and now it's my new belief as well, was that we're all children of God, right? We are all, like, he is a son of God. I'm a daughter of God. You're a son. Like we all come from the source. I think Jesus was a highly, highly, highly spiritual person. And I think he was definitely a leader and a preacher and huge, a huge importance in any spiritual teachings. He was very highly conscious and aware of the fact that we're souls in a body, that kind of thing. That's kind of what I believe. And I came into spirituality, and spirituality for me, I think means, I mean, it's a lot of different sayings, but I think for me, it just means knowing that you're more than just a brain and a body, right? You're a soul living a human experience. You're a heap of energy living a human experience. And I also believe that our souls come here to learn different lessons. And I think that whatever life lesson that you—whatever lesson you see consistently in your life is probably what you're here to learn. And you'll see it because that's what you signed up for, right? You signed up to learn self-esteem, and you'll constantly be put in situations in your life where you have to learn that lesson. And it's gonna keep repeating itself until you learn it. That's, I would say that's the majority of my, not the majority of my spiritual beliefs, but that's where I, I came into it actually when my dad got sick and I needed—

Sean: Oh wow.

Arielle: Yeah, I came into it when my dad got sick and a spiritual advisor told me to read "The Power of Now" by Eckhart Tolle, who's a spiritual teacher. I think he's Austrian.

Sean: Yeah, I’m familiar with it.

Arielle: He's great. And it talks about how we live in our minds and that's actually not, that's not real life because our minds, the only place you can live is in the present moment, in the now, like the power of now. And if you're living in the future or the past, you're only living in your mind. The future and the past don't exist. One of the ways the spiritual advisor is to tell us, "Sure, it exists. You could look at a picture, whatever, whatever." He's like, "Really, it exists? Show it to me." And I was like, "Oh, it can’t show it to you physically. It doesn't exist, it's a mental thing, it's a time." Whatever, I don't know what I'm trying to say, but—

Sean: That's fine.

Arielle: I feel like you cut this up, 'cause I'm just, like, blabbering, but.

Sean: No, no, you're doing great. Just trying to get a sense of your, so if—

Arielle: That's, yeah, it's difficult to talk about in like five minutes. Like there's a lot of things that I believe in.

Sean: No, that's fine. If I could ask one more about Jesus before we get to your videos.

Arielle: Yeah, yeah.

Sean: Like you said, Jesus was a son of God in the way that we are. So, if I talk about that, when it comes to like Jesus walking on water, healing the blind, rising from the dead, either we're all capable of doing those things if we tap into the power or those would have to be explained away as corruption in the text, legends that seeped in, it's not really true. Is that something you're like, "I'm not even sure I land, haven't really thought through," or where would you go with that question? Because clearly he made claims about his identity and did things that stand apart from what arguably anybody else has done.

Arielle: I mean, if those things were true, then I would. Like, if there was a way to prove that 100% of those things happened, then I would say, okay, that's great. What does that tell us about God then? You know, like what would that mean? Like what type of human was this Jesus person? I don't think that the fact that he rose from the dead is, or like cured the blind is even remotely important in my opinion. I think the main messages are the fact that he was about healing people, and about helping people, and about loving people. Who cares if he rose from the dead? But like, I get it, people need, people, a lot of people need that: wow, he could do something that nobody else can to respect him and believe in him. Like I get why that, I get that that's why—if that's not actually what happened, I get why people would have written that in the Bible, right? Because you need something of magnificence to believe in something bigger than you, so to speak. But the thing is, I already, I believe that we are already bigger than we think we are. Does that make sense?

Sean: I think so. I’m trying to understand where you're coming from. As much as you're comfortable, you can just deflect this and we can move on. But obviously, a Catholic family going the direction that you've gone, some of those dynamics, maybe how your family responded. And I ask because I deal with a lot of kids who will experience same-sex attraction and they try to navigate this in their Christian families. I'm trying to help parents love on their kids while holding onto what they believe is true. So, I'm just curious your experience there.

Arielle: I came out when I was 19 and my parents were 100% fine with it. My dad, my mom had laughed. My brother came out five minutes after I came out—we’re both gay. And then, honestly, I've never felt—after I came out, I was fine. I was scared before doing it, not because I thought my parents and family wouldn't accept me, I knew that they would. It was more that I was having a problem accepting myself for some reason, looking back how dumb that was. One of the things my dad actually told me after I came out to him and I basically said to him, I was scared, I had trouble accepting myself. And he said to me, "Why would God create you this way just to damn you?" And I was like, "Ooh." I was like, "That's it. That's what I needed to hear." If you're created in God's image, or regardless, we're proven at this point, scientifically it's proven that we cannot fix this. We cannot change this. So, why would God or the higher power or the universe create something just to shame it? If that makes sense. And I guess a Christian faith would say, well, it's temptation maybe, or original, I really don't know what they would say at this point. I haven't been involved in the religion in so long. That's my understanding of what their stance would be on it, I think, right?

Sean: Do you wanna know what I think or do you want me to keep going?

Arielle: Well, you can tell me what you think, yeah.

Sean: Yeah, I think, so, scripturally we have creation in Genesis chapter one and Genesis chapter two. Genesis chapter three would be what we call the fall. And that all of us are broken in different fashions, not living and being the way God wants us to. So, yes, God made every single person. Your race is irrelevant to be made in God's image. Your biological sex is irrelevant to this. Your socioeconomic status, level of intelligence, in the womb, out of the womb. Every single human being is made in God's image., but when sin entered into the world, we've also been broken. And that manifests itself in very, very different ways.

Arielle: Okay. I can see that. I can see people believing in that.

Sean: So it's taking both of us into consideration for a lot of Christian theology. So really, part of the Christian message is that, like Jesus says in Mark 7, or Paul in Romans 3, it's like we are all miserable sinners. We have infinite value 'cause we're made in God's image, but our hearts are broken, turn against the Lord, and we need to repent. So it's not the kind of message to me that's like, hey, let's invent a message that makes you feel good. 'Cause it basically says all of us have sinned and turned against God—

Arielle: Right, right, right. And as long as I feel like, I feel like as long as it's not targeting a specific group of people, it's not something that I'm gonna condemn. You know what I mean? Like the message is like, okay, we're all sinners and we can all do better. I think that's a great message. I don't agree with what's considered a sin, necessarily. But I think it's good that we're treating everybody equally. I can agree with that.

Sean: Well, that is definitely a biblical message that either Greek or Jew, male nor female, all are put in Christ.

Arielle: I 100% get behind that.

Sean: Yeah, they're all sinners in that sense. Do you think, I'm curious, sometimes when I speak with people who call themselves Christians and gay and then others who aren't Christians, they'll make distinctions. Some will say, "Sean, it's your theology that you hold and your position about marriage that is hateful in itself. You cannot be loving towards me unless you change your theology." Other people say, "Look, you hold this historic view about the nature of marriage, but as long as you are gracious and you're kind and you treat me a certain fashion, you can still be loving." So, would the heart of your concern be the position that the church holds or the manner in which the church holds it or both?

Arielle: The manner in which they hold it. Because as far as I'm concerned, if I don't like what a church is saying, I can go to another church. You know what I mean? I can go to a religion or just make my own religion up. Not that I'm like, oh, I believe in the sky. I mean, you can. But what I'm saying is you can pick apart different religions and what works best for you, which is what I do, right? I think that's helpful. I don't think that a church should be able to get into legal issues. That's where I have an issue with. If somebody's religious beliefs are messing with my legal rights, then I'm gonna have an issue with it. If you wanna believe what you wanna believe in, this is America, go for it. If you wanna believe that I'm a sinner and I'm gonna die I'm going to go to hell—okay. Like, you're allowed to believe that, like, who the hell am I? Who the hell am I to tell you what to believe in? I don't think it's a healthy belief. But that's on you to figure out. Not my monkey, not my circus, as we say. My thing is, if your religion is impeding, like I said, is impeding on my human rights, to live, you know, what's the declaration of independence say: life, liberty and pursuit of happiness. You know, if you're impeding on those things, then I'm going to have a big issue with it. But I don't think most religions these days do, unless it's Islam and you're in the Middle East. Let's be real. But nobody wants to talk about that.

I don't have issues with Catholics or Christians. I really don't. I think the majority of them don't care at this point. And if somebody does, I feel like the worst thing that I've heard is, well, “I just think a man and woman should get married, not a woman in a moment.” Like, OK, so don't get married to a woman if you're a woman. That's your belief, and that's your right. But just don't impede mine. And we're talking about morality here. It's not the same as saying that, oh, well, I'm a pedophile and can't help my attraction to kids, which is also true. This is something that these people can't help. Morally, that's a different argument. Morally, I can't stand by that. But to me, being gay, it's always a woman attracted to a woman, a man attracted to a man. There's nothing morally, in my opinion, wrong with that, two consenting adults. So, that goes back to ancient Rome.

Sean: Sure.

Arielle:; There were like homosexuals all over the place. I'm sure before that in cavemen, I'm sure they didn't couldn't find a girl.

(Sean laughs)

Arielle: I don't know.

Seam: So, what would your take be if you have really a ‘live and let live’ approach of when like questions of religious liberty come up? Like ,a baker or a florist who says, “I'll serve gay people, but I have concern with baking a cake that celebrates a same sex union because…”

Arielle: I agree with you. I agree with your stance on that. I don't think I would have understood it beforehand until I became a fan of Trump and more understanding of what freedom actually means. I am, personally, like if this happened in my real life, I'd be like, "Bye. I'm just going to go to a different baker.”

Sean: Sure.

Arielle: Like, it's really-- it would be that simple for me. But I can understand if somebody lives in the middle of nowhere and then that's the only baker that they have and they want to celebrate their gay wedding, whatever, whatever, I can understand that they would get upset. But I still-- so it's not wrong that they're getting upset, but it's also not wrong of the person who doesn't want to be forced to do something they don't believe in.

It would be the same as if you told somebody, like if I own a bakery and you wanted to come in my bakery and you wanted a cake, you were an actual white supremacist and wanted like a cake, you were going to a KKK rally and wanted me to write, I love Nazis on a cake. And I was like, nah, I'm not really cool. How is that any different? Talking about coming from the law specifically, there's not much difference there, right? You're telling me to do something I don't wanna do. I shouldn't be forced to do it. Just like masking and vaccines, like my body, my choice. This is my expression, my choice. My business, my choice. I don't agree with it, obviously, 'cause I'm like, okay, you wanna celebrate your gay wedding, go ahead, make a cake. But I don't think people should be forced, obviously.

Sean: I think you and I are gonna have a lot in common on that one, and especially at the bakery in Colorado. If I remember correctly, it was like a five minute walk, I don't even think it was a drive, to another bakery that would make the cake design for the same sex unit. But this gay couple was like, no, this cake is going to. And he's actually been, he was sued by the Colorado, what is it, like the Commission of Human Rights in Colorado, one sued again, one in Supreme Court, like a third time on a trans issue. What do you think motivates people to—

Arielle: Wait, who won, the gay couple or the baker?

Sean: So the baker was sued three times by a gay—not the same exact couple. There were different cases against him. And last I checked, he's in the middle of the third, won the first two. It's dragged on for about a decade. So the Baker won the first two. - The Baker won the first two, yes.

Arielle: Interesting, okay.

Sean: But I did an entire show interviewing him and he was like, "Look, I don't do cakes for Halloween because of my convictions. I have concern with Halloween.” I wouldn't, like, if not just targeting this issue "and he would serve gay people." He goes, “he views his making cakes as an artistic expression of his beliefs.” That's how he views it.

Arielle: That's fine. And that's fine. He, to me, he has that, right? I think he has that, right? I'm not gonna, just because somebody wants me to say something on my YouTube channel, because they believe in something doesn't mean I have to say it. I shouldn't be forced to say it. That's my business and my self-expression. How is it any different than his business and his self-expression?

Sean: So what do you think motivates somebody to just not say, okay, I'll walk five minutes down the road, fine, like that's—

Arielle: Because they, because two things, I think one, they want attention and they want validation right from the world. Oh yes, you're doing human rights, you know, you're doing good things for human rights and blah, blah, blah. But also, of course, they want to believe that they are a part of the change. The truth is, and I was having this conversation yesterday with somebody about trans rights, the gay community was making way more progress back like 10, 15 years ago, when we were just like, we wanna live amongst you, we don't wanna be treated special, right? And now, it's gotten to the point where we're all, obviously not all of us, not me, most of us are wanting to be treated special and then people have an issue with it, right? It's swung too far to the left and now you have people using bug and bug self pronouns. It's like, people are not on board with that. kid. Like you can't do that. You can't force people to love you. It's just, like, not how it works. You have to internalize that and learn that, if I'm trying to gain this love for myself from the outside world, that's not what love for yourself is. That's outside love. Does that make sense? I know I'm saying that a lot, but I say it. In my head, it makes sense, and then I say it. I script my videos so I can't just like go off the cusp and just…

Sean: That's awesome. I have to get to a couple videos, I didn't expect this, but you've done at least two videos that I saw recently about Jesus in particular and this is gonna really interest my audience. You had one on was Jesus transgender or woke? Talk about that you're making and why you hold it.

Arielle: I think it was a few non-binary activists on TikTok, I believe, this was a few months ago, that were saying, "Oh, Jesus was non-binary because he was born of a virgin birth, which means he technically had no male chromosomes because he had no Y, you get the Y chromosome from your dad, but he was presenting male and presenting as a man, therefore he was non-binary," and other people were like, "Oh, he was non-binary because he had long hair and did feminine things, like washed people's feet," and I'm like, "Get out! Like, stop making everything about being non-binary or gender, whatever. Jesus was literally, if he was real, we're just saying, he was a guy; an Israeli guy from the Middle East who was very spiritually actually woke, very self, very conscious, very spiritually conscious, very sweet, very smart, very good-natured, and he was very enlightened. And he wanted to spread that message to the world. And people thought he he was crazy and then they killed him. Like that's really, that's the only important thing. It's not important that he was like non-binary and washed people's feet. That's not the message that you're supposed to get from Jesus in my opinion. You're supposed to get, this is how you love somebody. This man was good at it, learned from it. That's it. There's a whole book about it, but you know, that's the main message throughout the book, right?

Sean: It is interesting to me. It says something about the significance of Jesus, at least culturally speaking, that people feel the need to say, we're gonna advance our movement by arguing that Jesus was non-binary, Jesus was transgender, that's behind it, right? They're just trying to make—

Arielle: I mean, it's the most popular book in the world, right? Isn't the Bible still the most popular book in the world?

Sean: Most commonly sold, most translated. Yeah, across the board, it's not even close to a second.

Arielle: Right, so it makes sense that they're latching onto that. Like they already latched onto the gay movement, right? 'cause a lot of these non-binary people aren't even same-sex attracted. So, they're latching onto different cultural movements, whether it's LGBT or Black Lives Matter, or even like we were talking about religious movements, you know, or religious…you have to remember a lot of this woke stuff is like a new type of religion. So it's not the word of God anymore. I call it the word of woke. Because that's what it is for these people. They don't have, people these days Gen Z, a lot of them aren't religious. And they need to find a purpose and they're falling into this, this moral superiority complex, which honestly is what a lot of religion is. Not that it should be, but a lot of it is right. Like, I guess specifically, I would say Hasidic Judaism is kind of like that, like they believe that, from what I understand, they believe that they are the chosen ones, right? That they're morally superior, that they're God's chosen people. I don't think that's healthy and I think that's a similar mindset to the people that are involved with this ]wokeness sweeping across the nation. So I guess, not even sweeping across the world now. Canada, it's gone to the UK.

Sean: It's interesting to hear you call it religion. John McWhorter has a recent book called “Woke Racism” and his cases are that there's certain prophets who speak for woke- ism. There's rites, R-I-T-E-S and practices. There's a certain kind of sin that you cannot do. There's a way of gaining virtue movement. And his argument is that it really functions like a religion, like, he says actually as our culture gets less and less religious../ Is that the heart of your criticism of woke? I notice you have a few videos about this or is there something else just about woke ism that just gives you pause.

Arielle: Oh, that's definitely the majority of it. The fact that it's acting like a religion and that it's that it's controlling. It's trying to control people, it's trying to control people and it's abusive. That's the main issue and I think the second issue is that? It's a total lack of self-awareness. And it's putting the onus on everyone else to make you feel self self-esteem and self-love and validation. Everybody else has to appease me and that's not something that I stand by. It's not a belief I stand by it. I don't think it's healthy for anybody to live their life that way; to expect everybody else to cater to them.

Sean: So, what are you trying to accomplish on your YouTube channel? You've done it 12 years. Obviously, there's a business angle to it, which is totally fine if you invest your time into something you should have a business angle to it. But is it educating people? Is it entertaining? Like what are you hoping to accomplish through your YouTube channel

Arielle: I wouldn't say hoping I think I am accomplishing it. And I don't mean that in like—

Seanl: Yeah, no, no, no.

Arielle: —the way. It's like, no, I've been doing this for a long time. No, I think that-- I think that my main goal has always been self-love. And when I see a lack of that, either in myself or in others or in a movement, I want to have conversations about that. Because there's such a lack of love in this world at the moment, such a lack of love for others and of love for others or of love for people, you know, or love for themselves. That's always been my message from the beginning, whether that was me talking about dating somebody or relationships or sexuality and now culture. How you're supposed to interact with other people, all of it's about love. That's all that everything always comes down to.

Sean: Fair. Fair enough. Do you find yourself, you've talked about, you have Catholic roots. You've done a couple videos on Jesus. Do you find yourself going back saying, "You know, I'm gonna read the gospels and explore what Jesus said," or do you just feel like you have enough sense of what he believed that—

Arielle: I have, no, I took a, I mean, I read the Bible in elementary school and junior high school, whatever it was, up until I was 12. And then I took a New Testament class in college, so I have read the New Testament. I don't remember much of it, but I did take a class. So I knew, I studied it. I studied the Dead Sea Scrolls. So people won't hate on me, “You don't even read it.” No, I did. I took a class in college. It was an elective. You need 10 electives to graduate or whatever it was. So, I was like, oh, maybe just do something different and take a Bible class. But it was more of a critique of the words, not a you must believe in this. Obviously, it was a private art school. It was more like, oh, what can we learn from this? And what is it-- and was it the art of it, too, because it was writing. And there's also all the Dead Sea Scrolls and the beautiful-- I mean, you ever see them? They're gorgeous.

Sean: Yeah, I actually just did a show last week on an expert on the Dead Sea Scrolls. So it's something I've explored, and I think it's super fascinating.

Arielle: Yeah. All those documents are just beautifully preserved. Well, a lot of them. And some of them got destroyed in Alexandria, the old, old stuff. But what was the original question? Oh, do I see myself looking back? I think I see myself becoming more and more spiritual and if Jesus's statements and beliefs align with that, then I'll look into it more. But I don't think I look to Jesus for spirituality. I think I look into spirituality and different teachers like Deepak Chopra and Miriam Williamson, who ran for president recently. She didn't win, obviously, but she wasn't the candidate. But she was one of the nominees in the Democratic Party. And she's insanely spiritual. She's got a ton of great books to read. And then from that, I take what I believe in, and then I look at other religions, and I'm like, oh, this is kind of something similar, and maybe I relate to that. I think that's the way to do it. You take a little from each thing, because they're all very similar, right? At the core. Well, most of them. I wouldn't say Islam is that simple.

Seam: I would actually argue they're similar on the edges, but at the core, very, very different.

Ariell:E That's possible.

Sean: Part of like, whether there's a personal God or not, in Buddhism, there's not a personal monotheistic God. Judaism and Islam there is. To be human is hugely different in Buddhism versus in Christianity. What's wrong with the world? Obviously, in Buddhism what's wrong with the world is in a sense that we have these desires and desires create suffering, the eightfold path alleviates it. But in Christianity it's like the heart, in Islam we’re not submitted. So I think there's similarities with the teachings of Jesus and Buddha on the edges, but at the heart there's huge differences about the kind of world we live in, the afterlife, what's wrong with the world.

Arielle: That's true. Yeah. Yeah. I've only dove into Catholicism and Buddhism and I could say… I guess yeah, you're right, I see what you're saying on the surface I could see that they're very similar. But yeah, that makes sense to me. I haven't dove into any of the other…I mean I grew up around Hasidic Jewish people, so I know their religion is nothing like mine just by the way they were acting. Which is interesting right because it's like both followers of Jesus? At the time, anyway when I was a kid and the interpretations were so ridiculously different. It's kind of funny but that's the human experience. I guess it makes sense, we shouldn't be surprised by that anymore. Everybody's gonna experience things and take it in and push it back out differently based on their own life experiences or what they're told to believe.

Sean: So just some kind of final questions for you. Can Christians like myself, conservative, and someone like yourself, part of the LGBTQ community, can we be friends? And I guess I don't really mean can you and me be friends. Can Christians and gay people who are not Christians be genuine friends even if they differ on huge issues like the nature of marriage? And maybe even differ over what should be legal or not legal. Is that enough to divide to say we can only be friends on, you know, surface friends, or can there be real friendships across those differences? And if so, what would it take for that kind of friendship to take place?

Arielle: I would say that's going to differ for everybody, unfortunately. For me, the line's drawn for everybody differently. For me, the line would be drawn at like... the legal stuff, right? I mean, if somebody that were Christian were to say legally that they think gay people should be able to, you know, go through conversion therapy still, I'd be like, it's proven not to work. Like there's scientific evidence. That's just torture. Like I don't agree with torturing people and legally being able to do so. So like, I don't think I could be somebody's friends that believed in that. But if somebody was just like, I don't believe in gay marriage, I'd be like, good for you, then don't get gay married. Like, that's it. That's all it has to be to me. When it becomes something that's physically, you know, affecting somebody, and it's not just hurting my feelings, that's when I draw the line. Not that it would hurt my feelings, but it would hurt other people's feelings. That's when I would draw the line, I think.

Sean: Okay. What if it was something like, one of the difficulties with conversion therapy is so many things are thrown in this bucket. For example, like I have a friend with same-sex attraction, married to a woman, and he says just counseling and prayer and certain spiritual disciplines just help me stay giving my affections and love towards my spouse. Is that discipline okay? Because some would say, "Well, that's conversion therapy."

Arielle: Well, it depends on what this person…like is he putting himself in this situation or is somebody forcing it upon him?

Sean: He's choosing to do it.

Arielle: And that's fine. And that's fine, I won't have anything wrong with it.

Sean: They choose to do it. So, some people would think they could have a law that prevents any Christian counselors from working with people who choose this voluntarily, you would probably put the line there and say, I'm not sure the government should overreach even if I don't think they should live that way. I don't want the government overreaching in any area telling somebody else how to live. That's where you would?

Arielle: Correct. Okay. Yes. Yes. Yeah. I mean, I feel my personal opinion: I don't think that that's going to change your friend's same sex attraction. I think it's either in you or not. Pun intended in this case.

(Sean laughs)

Arielle: But I think to me it sounds like he's more worried about cheating than having a same sex attraction. Right? He's more worried about acting on it than actually the idea of being same sex attracted. Does that make sense?

Sean: Do you have any final questions just for me or thoughts? If you don't, that's totally fine. But anything that you're like during this conversation, I'd be interested in asking Christian professor on, on anything.

Arielle: I don't have any questions at the moment. I guess a good question that my audience might enjoy is, what would you do if one of your kids came out to you as being gay?

Sean: Here's exactly what I would say: I would look at my son or daughter in the eyes and I would say, “Thank you so much for sharing with me. I can only imagine how much time and effort and probably fear it took to tell your dad. So, the fact that, in this moment you're sharing with me, thank you for trusting me with this, know that I love you no matter what. That my love for you has nothing to do with what relationship you get into or don't get into. Your religious beliefs, any behavior, however you choose or end up just seeing yourself in this world, I love you. And we are gonna work through this together.” That's exactly what I would say to my son or daughter if they can.

Arielle: I think that's perfect, honestly. That's, I mean, what I think doesn't necessarily matter. It's your life, it's your kid's life. But I think because I have an audience, my opinion does hold weight. And I think coming from that, I think I would say I'm very proud of you. I think that's a perfect way to handle it. I really do, yeah.

Sean: Well, I appreciate that. That's one of the reasons I wanted to have you on is sometimes there's so much, Christians have assumptions, throw bombs at the LGBTQ community, it comes back and there's not a lot of listening, there's not a lot of trying to find common ground and start differences and frankly just showing care and love for one another. And I got the impression you're willing to listen, open to things, and that we could model this in a small way for both communities.

Arielle: I hope so. Yeah, I have a friend, Matthew Vines, his name is. He's a—You should look at, oh, you know who he is? -

Sean: We had a-- - He's not used to looking up. Matthew and I had an extensive public conversation about two or three years ago on the Bible and LGBTQ relations.

Arielle: Yeah, yeah. Yeah, I interviewed him like six, seven years ago when he first came out with his book. Was it God and the Gay Christian, I think it was called?

Sean: That's right, yeah.

Arielle: Yeah, I interviewed him a long time ago. What a sweet man. So yeah, I'm not, I was gonna say, you should interview him if you haven't already. I'm glad you already found him. Which makes sense, 'cause what is he, like the one of five people that do that kind of thing?

Sean: There's a growing few. Matthew and I have done a, we've built a friendship, even though we differ pretty significantly over what the Bible says. There's a mutual respect and care there. So yeah, don't wanna take any more of your time, but really appreciate you coming on. Before I finish up here, I want to say goodbye and thanks for coming on, but really, really appreciate it. I guess, last thing I'll say to my audience is if some of your audience comes and looks at my videos, they might be like, "Okay, time out. Wait a minute. This guy's crazy." If my audience goes and looks at your video, they might think, "Oh my goodness, this lady's crazy." I would just ask people on both sides, I think we've shown a spirit of charity and willingness to listen to each other, positive conversation.

Go check out the different YouTube channels, maybe with a different sense of openness than you had before. And that's a win if that happens.

Arielle: I love that. I think that's absolutely true.

Sean: Thanks for coming.


Thank you so much for having me, Sean.