I'll bite...and I'm not a strong Christian, but I also believe in God. I think most of your questions stem from the ignorance and fear that many people of high faith and low intelligence bring to the table. I find that people that follow that logic and call themselves Christians are little more than bigots. My understanding of Jesus was that his disdain was only for those that sought to take advantage of or for those who were intolerant of others (enter current US-centric Christian conservatism).
God created the world 6000 years ago (well really about 5800): Many theological scholars, both Jewish and Christian, have rectified this statement by referring to Psalm 90:4 and 2Peter 3:8. Paraphrasing, to god a day is like a thousand years and a day a thousand years. Accepting that science is proven observation, that the timeline is not literal, and taking into account the cooling of the universe and relativistic effect on gravity and the perception of time, theological scholars actually put the biblical age of the universe at 15.3 billion years
. I believe our (science's) best guess is currently 13.8 billion years
, pretty damn close if you ask me.
Immutable types: God created man in his image. Well, God really created everything in his image. If you reduce every living thing (or even non-living collection) down to its basic form, you come up with a shape not dissimilar to that of an atom...whether it is a galaxy, a star-system, or a living-cell. Everything seems to organize itself in that basic shape. And from different organizations of those cells comes the various species. Nowhere in the bible, that I am aware of, says that God made these immutable. From what I know of the bible, the stories outline dynamic people who go through cycles of change and rebirth...evolution if you will...it seems to me that all of the universe, and all its creatures, would follow this formula. I think it is hard for people to understand how anything could think so far ahead as to account for the dynamic processes which may have caused one trait or another to be naturally selected in an animal or plant, but isn't this exactly what a God could do?
God punishes Gays: Really? Just closed minded people would think this. People often point to Leviticus..."to lay with another man is an abomination." Unfortunately, the entire book was specifically a guide for those who wished to serve as God's priests. To me, the book is not meant to be a doctrine for common man. And then there is translation accuracy...does the usage of the word "man" refer to the sex of a person, or the common grouping of both men and women (which it is commonly used as). In which case, for a priest to lay with any man or woman could be considered a violation of the power bestowed upon the priest...which is an abomination. I'm not saying that a priest must remain celibate, just that power corrupts and a degree of caution should be taken by the priest.
God will cure your cancer: Personally, I find praying for yourself self-serving. It is my belief that God setup the universe in such a way as to favor those people that live in the service of others...karma. It is my personal experience that being a "good" person has provided for me. I often do not seem to get what I want, but I always seem to get what I need. That being said, life is only a ride, one that you were allowed to endure on borrowed time...when the ride is over, its time to get off. God already knows you want to stay...hell, its a pretty cool fucking ride...instead pray for the ones that must remain on the ride.