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Archive for Friday, June 20, 2008

Religious fervor surrounds gay marriage

June 20, 2008

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Marriage and Scripture

Here are some of the scriptural passages cited most frequently by opponents of gay marriage and homosexuality:

Leviticus, the Torah

¢ 18:22: You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination.

¢ 20:13: A man who lies with a man as one lies with a woman, they have both done an abomination; they shall be put to death, their blood is upon themselves.

Romans, New Testament (New International Version)

¢ 1:24-27: Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another. They exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator - who is forever praised. Amen.

Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion.

Quran

¢ Chapter 7, Verse 81: For you practise your lust on men in preference to women: you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds.

Source: Los Angeles Times research

— As gay and lesbian couples begin to wed across California this week, people of faith are renewing a passionate debate over whether homosexuality is sanctioned by God.

Christians, Jews and Muslims on both sides of the issue cite the holy writings of their religions. Some note that the Bible depicts man-lying-with-man as an "abomination," while others say it speaks of God's love for all people created in his image.

Scriptural debate

Both sides defend their positions with the zeal of the biblical warriors who inhabit their scriptures.

"Homosexual intimacy is out of bounds. It's not what God created us for," said Richard Mouw, president of the evangelical Fuller Theological Seminary in Pasadena.

Mouw cites Romans 1 in the New Testament that decried men and women abandoning "natural relations" and men who were "inflamed with lust for one another" committing "indecent acts with other men" - behavior that carried death as punishment.

"Sexuality within the context of marriage," he said, "is the order of creation."

Nonsense, says the Rev. Mel White, a former Fuller professor and evangelical author who married his partner of 27 years during a ceremony Wednesday at All Saints Episcopal Church in Pasadena.

White calls the Bible a living document that must be understood in its historical context - a view shared by reform-minded clergy and theologians from other faiths.

Early Jews and Christians, White says, defended a heterosexual ethic to ensure the continuity of tenuous tribal communities. These religious pioneers, he adds, had no way of foreseeing modern advances in psychology and other fields that would reveal homosexuality as an orientation rather than a deviant choice.

"The Bible says as much about sexual orientation as it does about toasters or nuclear reactors," White said. "We have to grow with the times."

A decision by the California Supreme Court in May allowed weddings to go forward starting Tuesday and set the stage for a statewide referendum in November aimed at reinstating the ban.

Oft-quoted verses

Theologians and biblical scholars trace the origins of that dispute to a handful of passages in the Torah, New Testament and Quran.

Perhaps the most frequently cited is Leviticus 18:22: "You shall not lie with a man as one lies with a woman, it is an abomination."

The passage from the Torah is repeated, with slight variations, in Christian scripture, which, like the Jewish text, orders death for violators. The Quran also denounces homosexuality, in Chapter 7, Verse 81: "For you practise your lust on men in preference to women: you are indeed a people transgressing beyond bounds."

Conservatives in the three religions largely interpret the passages the same way. There is nothing wrong with being gay, they say. Acting on homosexual impulses, however, is another matter.

"The church says that homosexuals should be treated with love and respect, but redefining the natural and divine institution of marriage is simply something we are not able to do," said Father Marcos Gonzalez of St. John Chrysostom, a Catholic parish in Inglewood that serves 9,000 families. "From all time, it is obvious, for the species to procreate, it requires a man and a woman. The bodies are made to fit with each other. We do not have the authority to redefine it."

Selective reading

But other clergy decry what they call a selective analysis of the texts. Jesus condemned divorce and remarriage, they point out, but that hasn't stopped legions of Christians, including priests in some cases, from splitting and remarrying.

"Everybody without exception reads the Bible selectively," said Jay Johnson, theology professor at Pacific School of Religion in Berkeley. "The question is, how do we decide that one portion is critical to our lives while others are not?

"These texts come from a different culture, a different society," added Johnson, who also serves as research director at the Center for Lesbian and Gay Studies in Religion and Ministry. "They need to be interpreted."

Muslims weigh in

The same tension has played out in Islam.

In the aftermath of the Supreme Court's decision, the Islamic Shura Council, an umbrella organization for mosques and Muslim groups in Southern California, issued a statement that called the ruling "a violation of God's law as clearly given in the Quran and the Bible."

The group said that sexual relationships are to be "enjoyed within the framework of matrimony only," even as it registered its opposition to "all forms" of discrimination.

Comments

supertrampofkansas 6 years, 6 months ago

"I could spend my life banging a hole in the ground:.but I'm pretty sure I wasn't given a penis and testicles to perform that function." - vpete69Silence.....(crickets chirping)Cool. See you all later. Gotta go dig a few holes.:-0

Bradley Kemp 6 years, 6 months ago

logicsound isn't "well-versed enough in physics to be able to explain why it is impossible for the Earth to have come into existence prior to the existence of stars and light."Here's the simplest explanation. Other than hydrogen and helium atoms, all the atoms in the universe were made in stars. So anything that contains atoms of something other than hydrogen or helium could not have existed until after at least one star existed. Therefore, the earth could not have existed before stars existed.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

anxious.......I want to know how you know specifically that the bible isnt true?? Where did you get your info from and when did you first see it?? I do not want an "I just know its not true cause I dont believe it" answer, you said with passion and conviction that it is not true, and I want to know what proof beyond a shadow of a doubt do you have to prove it is not true?? And please, dont answer that with the question of how do I konw it is true....I never said one way or another, but you have......Also, I want to know how you can "judge" me to be ignorant when you dont even know me....isnt that what you are crying out against so much?? People not knowing or understanding gay life...and yet you are doing the same thing????

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"Since the Earth was not created in 7 days and the Bible says it was, then that qualifies as "not true". Why is this so hard?"Since logicsound said the Bible says the earth was created in 7 days, and my Bible says no such thing, then shall we say logicsound qualifies as "not true"? Are there other things he thinks the Bible says which qualifies as not true?In my Bible, before the seven days started, it says the earth was formless and empty. What is so hard to understand that the earth already existed at that point? But, maybe there is confusion of earth in verse 2 and verse 10. Verse 10 says God called the dry land, "earth". By the way, verse 8 defines heaven as the firmament or expanse. So, "earth" could be used to mean different things, or the "earth" in verse 2 was "wet land".

terrapin2 6 years, 6 months ago

vpete- Do you produce offspring every time you have sex or do you do it just for fun sometimes? Why does sexual activity necessarily have to have anything to do with having children?

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"Ironically, Brittney Spears can get married for a day and then divorce. ... This religious argument against gay marriage is wearing thin."So, is there someone claiming Spears is religious? Even more so, is anyone believing she is religious?

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

I think the point here is that there have been wars and murders for 2000 yrs in the name of religion, that will never change. So how does one live with what they may believe to be a moral sin? They stand against it right? Just because gay people dont want the bible to be true, doesnt make it not true, and just because christians want gay people to be wrong doesnt make them wrong. The point is, each side just wants their own way, its that plain and simple. If the gay marriage thing is struck down by voters, then the gay people are gonna scream discrimination, if its upheld, then christians are gonna scream its the downfall of society.But the truth lies somewhere in between, if the majority of people do not want gay marriage to be legal and they vote that way, then that should be the end of it. And get over it.If the majority of people vote to keep it legal, then that should be the end of it and christians can get over it. But either way, its just another issue for people to be able to fuss about.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

No anxious, its not up to me, I never said the bible was true, however you said that the bible was not true and Im asking for your proof. In fact, you were so passionate about it that you called me ignorant, so pony up! Whats your proof, and I dont want some spill on "logic" that is not proof! The truth is you believe that the bible is not true but you have no "proof" that it isnt, therefore making your claims moot and fall on deaf ears. Read up and tell me where I said the bible was true?????And logic, again, you have out assumptions on there, where is your proof that none of htat stuff happened??If you 2 are going to be telling people that the bible isnt true and you want that to hold some water, then pony up the evidence! Not assumptions as you know what happens when you assume.......

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

terrapin2:I could spend my life banging a hole in the ground....but I'm pretty sure I wasn't given a penis and testicles to perform that function.

bd 6 years, 6 months ago

Auntie, lets talk more about getting stoned!!!!!!!!OOOOPPPPPSSSSSS!!!!!Got to go Little Feat is on XM!

ndmoderate 6 years, 6 months ago

Well, if it's that easy...Gogoplata is wrong. It is not a choice.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

AA, I can respect that position you take, and as I stated, if you ever want to talk about it, I would be happy to meet with you and chat, I cant speak for other people, and I would not even try, all I know is what my experiences have been and why I believe the way I believe,Let me say this at the risk of opening pandoras box, then im off to the lake for the weekend.I am not against gay people, I have friends/family who are gay, and they roll out on the floor when they read posts like this and someone calls me a bigot or homophob, because Im far from it, Its not my job to judge anyone, its my job to love everyone, and thats what I try to do for the most part, I try not to get into political retoric, especially when it comes to religion, this is why I dont share my political or religious beliefs on here for the most part, of course I have my moments, Im only human, but again I just want to close with this, I do believe in equal rights for all people, but I also believe it is the right of the American people to make that call.Thank you AA and logic for your thoughts and opinions on the subject today, and I hope that oneday we will be able to meet and have a conversation worthy of a pulitizer! Have a great weekend All!

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

And let the "Christian" bashing begin..........

yeah_right 6 years, 6 months ago

anxiousatheist, thanks for your opinion :)

craigers 6 years, 6 months ago

From the article:"White calls the Bible a living document that must be understood in its historical context - a view shared by reform-minded clergy and theologians from other faith.""For I am the Lord, I change not." Malachi 3:6I also like the reasoning of, well Christians have gotten divorces and the bible says that is wrong, so there!! We can do whatever we want to.

hairyarms5 6 years, 6 months ago

I am a christian who believes that marriage is between a man and a woman who believes in God. I know many couples that are of the same sex that have been together longer and have better relationships than some of my hetero friends. I am not here to judge(that is for God), I just don't think that marrige is for same sex couples. It is a religous act and should be reserved for religous people. If you choose to believe in another god or no god at all that is fine with me, but if you ask me I will share my views. I am open to being friends with any one regardless of personal preferences.If Christians want to continue to be looked at in a positive light they need to stop judging others a get there own house in order. This world is hard enough to live in without concerning yourself with the thoughts and views of others. If same sex couples want to live together that is their choice. I have no problem with that, I don't even care about tax breaks and benefits to those who are in real relationships. The only problem that I have is the fact you want marriage rights, but don't want the God who created marriage. Sorry this is a ramble.

storm 6 years, 6 months ago

"Bacon and porkchops, anyone?" Love that comment!!! Same-gender couples deserve to be married because they're a minority, and the U.S. constitiution protects and allows minorities the same rights as majorities. It's a Puritan thing..those immigrants were treated badly over in their native country and didn't want discrimination happening in their new country.

bd 6 years, 6 months ago

Did someone earlier say something about getting "stoned"

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

but wait! anxious and logic.....youve provided no proof that the bible isnt true! Only your opnions, I asked for proof, that is what I would like to have, I want proof that it is not true.And by the way anxious, I read up on my posts and wow, I never said any of the things you stated in your response, so where is that coming from??

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

not really it is not weird it is called faith. Everyone has a right to believe what they want and everyone else should just accept it, all this arguing really is just a waste. You know the saying live and let live.

BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

Here is something else I came across. Fascinating.Imelda Lambertini, Died 1333Vincent De Paul, Died 1660Bernadette Soubirous, Died 1879Saint Silvan, Died around 350, yes around 350 ADhttp://www.catholicapologetics.info/library/gallery/incorrupt.htm#Silvan

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

Gay bashing?? not in this town..............

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

no logic, this is what I want you to prove, that did not happen:earth and heavens created in 7 days-earth is several thousand years old-earth created before light and the stars-humans created from dirt************The rest of it was just silly and everyone knows all that, but you were very biblical specific, so where is your proof??

Chris Golledge 6 years, 6 months ago

I'd like to add that, yes, the Bible does say that it should not be changed, but that is likely a reaction to how many changes there have been. "Misquoting Jesus" is an interesting read. Apparently there are more differences between versions of the Bible in history than there are words in the Bible. Some are minor; some are directly contradictory in significant ways. There have been many translations and there are no original texts. Considering the contradictions, we have no real way of knowing what was originally intended or even if we'd be impressed with the original writings. Am I faithless? I don't think so; I just think that there's more to this universe than humans are capable of understanding and it's extreme arrogance to claim sure knowledge of the metaphysical when we don't even have a good grip on the physical.But, more to the point of this article, this country was founded on religious freedom; so, what business do religious groups have in influencing law?

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

gr:Since it was mankind who invented 'time', and knowing that God and the heavens are eternal, wouldnt it make more sense to believe that Genesis was more of a metaphorical account of the creation of the universe? Would it be possible that to God (an eternal being), a day lasted a little bit longer than 24 hours? I consider myself a Christian, but I DO NOT take the Bible to be a literal work. I dont believe that God pointed his finger at the earth and zapped it with trees, animals and people. I believe that the earth went through different physical progressions after its creation...which I believe to be the result of cosmic activity. This progression, or evolution of the earth and life is a scientifically proven fact. But I still believe there is some higher power behind it all. Those who take the Bible in a literal sense need to open their eyes and minds and try to view its readings in a different way. You will get so many more questions answered, and will be so much more enlightened if you try to read the Bible with the understanding that it is not a history book, but a metaphorical account of what happened. It is not 'against your religion' to believe in scientific fact. It cannot be ignored.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

For any non Christians who have a mind to learn what the Bible says about science (and any number of topics which concern us all) check out scientific facts in the Bible athttp://www.sbea.mtu.edu/users/slstonge/science.htmlIf logicsound04 is searching for truth then this will be most helpful.God is the author of true science and the natural laws man has discovered (many of which He first revealed in His Word). Christians have no need to take a back seat to true and accurate science. We all must fear false and misleading science (science falsely so called) promoted by charlatans with ulterior motives and erroneous worldviews. This fear certainly includes false and misleading religionists (some who call themselves Christians) appropriately termed in the Bible as wolves in sheep's clothing.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

The point is that everyone who uses the Bible uses it selectively - there are too many contradictions to embrace it completely, and there are many, many things which most folks ignore completely.Do you follow all of the dietary restrictions in Leviticus, for example?

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

"And the same with me, "faith" is detrimental to the human race for the reason given above, it is a lag on creativity, morality, and science."Funny how a lot of science in the past was done by those of faith.

gogoplata 6 years, 6 months ago

These religious pioneers, he adds, had no way of foreseeing modern advances in psychology and other fields that would reveal homosexuality as an orientation rather than a deviant choice.That is wrong. It is a choice.

gr 6 years, 6 months ago

Rev. Mel White says the Bible is no longer relevant. An attack on the Bible.-------"Do you follow all of the dietary restrictions in Leviticus, for example?"If one divorces, if one doesn't follow dietary guidelines, does that somehow invalidate the guidelines?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

So I assume that craigers believes that adulterers should be stoned to death?

terrapin2 6 years, 6 months ago

There is A LOT of evidence of gay behavior in other species. It is well documented. It has been shown that sex is not just for procreation (even in the animal kingdom) but also to cement social bonds. Just because something occurs less often does not mean it's not "normal" or it's not a "natural" occurrence. And what if a gay man's brain is more like a hetero woman's? Why does that make it abnormal? There is nothing wrong physically with a gay man so what is abnormal?We all have little differences in our brains. Some are "right brained" etc.. and all forms are normal and natural.

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

I like how the first amendment only applies to anxiousatheist and not Fred (douche) Phelps or anyone else that AA disagrees with.

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

dialupandy: Great questions! Not gay bashing at all. I want to add to your comment, and reply to mommaeffortx2. "A. What about the FACT that two of the same sex cannot naturally produce offspring? A male and female can produce offspring..so we'd call that 'normal' right? It is the 'natural' role of two sexes, correct?B. Does this same-sex orientation occur with any other animal in nature? :and if so is it as 'common' as with man? Can we say that besides humans, this is any kind of 'normal'/'natural' behavior?" ===================Two animals of the same sex (with the exception being seahorses) can NEVER PRODUCE OFFSPRING. Amphibians may be able to change sex, and male dogs may hump each other. But a male gecko does not have the ability to bang a female gecko, then change its sex to a female and call it same-sex conception. It was a male at the time of the 'deed'. Nor can two male dogs have sex and produce puppies. Sorry.

ndmoderate 6 years, 6 months ago

I really wish the state legislatures would focus on creating a civil union option for those people not wanting to marry within the structure of a church. Give the same worldly benefits (visitation and inheritance rights and such) to civil unions and be done with it. Who cares what it's called (marriage or civil union), as long as you get the same benefits and opportunities.

Bone777 6 years, 6 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

brittney and religion trying to wrap my brain around that not getting a good visual.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

oh but you are!!! You are the one who has said since the beginning of this thread that christians are ill informed, ignorant, "It's not really "bashing" christians to point out the inconsistencies in their ancient bronze-age text that they claim is 100% correct. It's more of a service to those people" man, talk about arrogance, and you wont even back it up with your own logic! You have very passionately spoke out against christians and any stand against gay marriage, you have tried to bully me with you retoric and design of the english language to make yourself seem superior and all others are inferior to your belief system, Ive not come out and said that you are ignorant because you dont believe in the bible, Ive not said that what makes you ignorant is your lack of respect for others and their opinions, Ive not attacked you for the things you do or dont believe in.I believe that you have a right to believe the way you want, just as I have that same right and should get the same respect that you expect out of people, Im not trying to sway anyones opinion about religion or gay marriage, what I said was, the people of Cali decided that they wanted to take this issue to a vote, and they have the right to do that. You made this a religious and personal attack, and was unable to back up what you say about the bible not being true. By throwing words around about some logical or illogical reasoning you think that answer will suffice, but it doesnt wash with me. If you choose to believe that there is no God and that the bible isnt true, thats on you, and you have to live with the choices of that decision, not me.But do not make assumptions about me and my beliefs when Ive not shared them on this thread. I will not be bullied, plain and simple, and thats what you are trying to do!

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

faith does not need to be proved never ever no one needs to prove a thing don't believe do believe what ever, just enjoy life and believe what you want.

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

people are so so un funny two dogs, male female brains normal hello people and heck if peope could change their sex, no knives involved, just think. Thanks about the sea horse forgot about them cool species they are. Still male/female brain and normal? Please we are all just humans and it is not our job to judge or condem that that is different than us.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

The Old and New Testaments are owner's manuals for thinking, truth loving human beings who desire to know their Creator and to do what He wishes. It is a clear way to live which makes one's life fit nicely into the order of creation we find around us. He created us to bring glory to Him and to freely worship and love him. He gave us free will so we can accept or reject Him. Both choices bring earthly and eternal consequences. Though the Bible was written thousands of years ago the people then are hardly different from us today. The physical, emotional and spiritual natures are exactly the same in fact. The needs of children and the old are the same and the things which make us happy and sad haven't changed either.We are all sinners and when we sin we hurt someone, if not just our self. All sins separates us from a perfect, holy, and sinless God. God's Son Jesus was sent to save those who know, love and accept Him. Jesus' life on earth and His sacrifice was perfect and His blood shed on the cross covers our sins and gives us passage into the presence of the Father on judgment day where He sees His Son's blood and not our sins.Christians do not hate sinners, just the sin that separates us from the love of God. Christians too are sinners, just saved from eternal damnation by Jesus' work on the cross. We show our thanks by repenting (to turn from sin and dedicate oneself to change; to feel regret or contrition) from sin and telling others the way to be truly free. The sinful urges and desires are still there but we replace acting on these with learning more about the Bible, reveling in the great gift we have received and praising the One who came to set us free.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

Gosh, I go away and come back to find that now the same bullies are picking on other people who have different beliefs from them.....again!So let me spell out what Ive been trying to say while having an intellictual convo here......You cannot prove that the bible is wrong, anymore than I can prove the bible is right...and thats the bottom line!And by the way, life is an inconsistency, in case you havent noticed, I dont know either one of you but Id bet the farm that you have many inconsistancies in your lifes as well.So you cannot prove its wrong and I cant prove its right.But the American people have the right to decide what they want, and obviously, since this isnt legal in all states, and obviously since the people of Cali want this put to a vote, then the majority of Americans dont want it either. That doesnt mean that they are discriminating against anyone, it means that they believe that marriage should be between a man and a woman.And logic, I appreciate you, and I appreciate the fact that you tried to make it sound like AA wasnt disrespecting me by calling me ignorant, but she/he was, and I find it incredible interesting that someone who seems to be knowledgable (you) at least you seem to be on other posts, that you would chime in on disrespect like that.I would actually LOVE to have this convo with the 2 of you face to face, but alas, I know it wont come to be....

Jason Bowers-Chaika 6 years, 6 months ago

Has anyone considered that those that are working to ban marriage equality are denying me and my beloved partner of over ten years the right to practice our faith?Our church believes in marriage equality but is not able to perform a legal marriage between two persons of the same gender.Ironically, Brittney Spears can get married for a day and then divorce. Straight couples can have a ceremony in Las Vegas performed by a guy in an Elvis outfit, tip him with a chip from "slots o' fun" and then go to a topless/bottomless review. Their marriage is recognized all over the USA. But somehow my getting married would somehow be a threat to the sanctity of marriage. This religious argument against gay marriage is wearing thin.www.KansasEqualityCoalition.org

craigers 6 years, 6 months ago

I am duplenty. I think divorce isn't an option unless like the bible says the spouse is unfaithful and commits adultery. This article isn't about divorce, so I didn't state my opinion on it. Divorce destroys families and lives probably more often than any other sin. But to point out that statement to justify anything else that occurs in society contrary to biblical teaching is like the whole saying of, "If your friends jumped off a bridge, would you?" Both are saying well they do it, so I can to. Both are equally ignorant.

vpete69 6 years, 6 months ago

Duplenty:Can you date the creation of the universe? And can you date the end of it? It is impossible for the human mind to comprehend of a time when it has not, or will not exist. And i was using the term 'eternal' to aid in the basis for my argument. The comment was designed for believers in God, therefore that is how I tailored it. You dont believe in God, which is fine. You cant prove that there is, or isnt, a God. I do believe in God, but I cant prove it either. The difference between you and I however, is that I am fine with your belief, but you make a mockery of mine.

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

a true christian is forgiving and tolerant and would not resort to violence name calling, or anything else that is just distasteful.take what you want from that that is my feelings on the matter.

JohnBrown 6 years, 6 months ago

The anti-gay religious people are welcome to have their views, and to enforce their views on those wishing to become members of their sects. But no further.

mom_of_three 6 years, 6 months ago

There are also men and women who can't naturally produce offspring - does that make them not normal? no..

yeah_right 6 years, 6 months ago

My personal opinion: God loves everyone. God hates sin. We all sin. We can all repent from our sins and God will forgive us. If what they Bible says is true, which I believe it to be, then the sexual acts of homosexuality are a sin as are premarital sex, divorce, lies, unwholesome talk, murder, the list goes on and on. Now, if we follow God's word it is the Christian's duty to spread the word of God and the sacrifice of his son. This is not done by discriminating against homosexuals or anyone else. What makes their sins greater than our own? Although we may have an idea that the severity of sins can be measured, they can all be washed away in the eyes of the Lord in the same way... a sin is a sin is a sin. I suggest that Christian's quit acting hatefully towards any certain group and start showing your appreciation of what God has done in our lives through loving acts, praying and praising the Lord. That is much more effective in trying to win people to Christ.

Christine Pennewell Davis 6 years, 6 months ago

some male/females can not reproduce.some animals in nature change sexes, look up anphibians, not to mention have you ever watched dogs? and who ever said either the female or male is normal?

terrapin2 6 years, 6 months ago

These comments were made in a letter to a church that was leaving their diocese because the leadership was allowing a gay bishop to be ordained. I think the writer did a very good job pointing out why you can be a Christian and Gay and be accepted in the church. This was about allowing gay priests to serve, but speaks to the marriage issue quite well also."First, let me say that I believe quite strongly that your position regarding the role of homosexuals in the leadership of the church is antithetical to the teachings of Christ. I would suggest that the teaching of Christ is simply that God is Love. Where there is love, there we find God. I also believe that all people are children of God. There is no ambiguity or wiggle room in these statements. All means all. No exceptions. He has made all of us, with all our human characteristics, including our sexuality. We also receive the grace of God in equal measure. Grace is not a state that can be requested or earned; it is simply granted to all creatures that draw breath. All means all. Again, no exceptions. The idea that some aspect of our physicality could impede this spiritual condition in my mind is simply incredible. Your position suggests that there are physical measures that make some of us less worthy to serve Christ. I cannot even conceive that the Christ I know would have asked any qualifying questions of a person who might have comforted him along the Stations of the Cross or anyone who might have chosen to follow him in his ministry. Certainly he would not have asked what their sexual orientation might be or if they are, in fact, made "righteous" by their practice of celibacy. I have no doubt that you have many eloquent and compelling responses to this line of thinking based on the distinction of celibate versus non celibate behavior. However, I don't believe that anyone is qualified to make judgments about what is or is not "righteous" in th area of personal issues that could in no way be misconstrued to be harmful to others. Again, God made us all and gave us our sexuality. We do not believe that heterosexuals must be celibate, which for me reveals this double standard as a form of human fear."

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

And logicsound, to you I would ask, are you saying that just because you may not "believe" in gay marriage, to not vote for it would be discrimination, so then should those people who do not believe in it go ahead and vote for it anyway, just so that they are not being discriminative??Are you in fact saying that people should set aside what they believe to be a moral sin, just so that they are not bigots or discriminatory???

beatrice 6 years, 6 months ago

The Bible was written by people who believed the earth was flat. In "debates" like this, I always think of the XTC song "Dear God", and the plea to God that goes, in part:"...Your name is on a lot of quotes in this book/Us crazy humans wrote it/You should take a look ..."As long as adults are involved, people should keep their religion out of other peoples' bedrooms. It is as simple as that.

ksdivakat 6 years, 6 months ago

logic.....I would ask you to find a post where I said "I believe gay marriage to be wrong" You probably wont, because that is not my issue.I also never stated that I hate anyone, or that I thought that people are not entitled to equal rights.My anger comes from the fact that If I dont believe the way you and anxious believe, and I dont follow that suit, then Im ignorant and dismissed. Isnt that what the both of you are preaching?? That bigotry and discrimination is wrong? Yet you crucify me and Ive made no political or religious stand on it one way or another.What I do believe in is the process of the people, the people want this put to a vote and I believe they have a right to do that, If they want to vote it out, then I believe they have a right to do that, and I believe in the right for all people to be able to stand up for what they believe in no matter if you dont like it or believe in it or not.Ive not called you or anxious names, Ive not insulted either one of you, yet my posts seem to draw a negative response from both of you, BUT, there is no negative reaction to other people on thi sthread who out right state they believe it is wrong.I dont see anxious calling them ignorant, and I dont see you attacking them either, so why me? Ive made no political stand on this one way or another, and I wont, my position is that I believe in the democratic process of the people deciding by a majority what is law and what is not.

terrapin2 6 years, 6 months ago

The letter continues:"Some would say that your position is one of intolerance; however I would suggest that this is not an accurate description. For a person to say they are tolerant towards a certain person or group suggests that there is some reason why the person who is being "tolerated" is somehow inferior to the person supposedly being tolerant. I believe that Christ's message was not to be tolerant; in fact I think he would be offended by the concept. Christ taught us instead to embrace everyone. In fact he was quite clear that it doesn't really count if we just embrace those who are like us, but that we must seek to love and respect precisely those who are different. This kind of love, like many things in the real world, is messy. It doesn't fit neatly into boxes that keep us from being uncomfortable. In the end, regardless of the rhetoric that is used to qualify your position, you cannot avoid the fact that it is based on a distinction that suggests some people are less worthy than others to fully receive God's grace."

BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

I came across this on youtube and find it absolutely fascinating and I cannot find anything that explains the following phenomena.If you watch this, most look as good as new, others, not so good, but one thing, most of these people died hundreds of years ago. My understanding is they remain pliable and will bleed if cut.http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F7uPLx...

terrapin2 6 years, 6 months ago

I agree that you should live and let live also. So let gay people get married and receive the benefits that that contract allows. It harms NO ONE. If you don't agree then don't go to the wedding.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

bigprune: Of course they do, they're hopelessly in the minority.

yoornotmee 6 years, 6 months ago

I really don't get what the big deal about gay marriage is. It doesn't hurt anyone, and there's not supposed to be any religious influence in the government, so I really don't get what the deal is. It's not like a baby has to get stomped on the head in order for two guys to marry each other. I could see a big problem with it then. The government should allow it and move on to more important things, like state-wide recycling programs, or kite-flying leagues...

Frederic Gutknecht IV 6 years, 6 months ago

WWID.Since we all think that anyone who disagrees with us is an idiot, shouldn't we all STFU and allow each other to live in peace?We're not changing minds here. Really. We're not. This is especially true of those not consciously "allowed" the flexibility of their mind, as creed/philosophy tightens around the neck of their lives and their freedom to think outside of the books. As has been said, we all follow some word(s). WORD!~)Having said that, I still kinda believe that everyone but me is an idiot!~) What Would Idiots Do? Continue to open their holes and allow all to put to rest the notion that they are not idiots...MAGICALLY, without realizing that THEY are idiots, themselves. It's truly a miracle...and WHY we should live and let live, unless others cause us GRAVE harm...and THAT is what we decide as a society and THAT is why discourse is more important than regurgitation AND...that is how we will remain idiots unto the end we cause, the joy of an almighty accident, 42 or WTFE. Words allow us to try to make sense of what we cannot possibly understand in our current (uni)form...and they help...to keep us OCCupied!~) So...Carry on...withOUT trying to save the WHOLE danged world.What I meant to say was, "Beer is GOOD!"...sorry I got off on a tangent!~)

yoornotmee 6 years, 6 months ago

I got this email today. It seems pretty relevant. "Thanks for doing so much to educate regarding God's law. When someone tries to defend the homosexual life, I remind him that Lev. 18:22 clearly states it to be an abomination. End of debate. I do need some advice from you regarding some of the other laws and how to follow them.When I burn a bull on the altar as a sacrifice, I know it creates a pleasing odor for the Lord (Lev. 1:9). The problem is my neighbors. They claim the odor is not pleasing. How should I deal with this?I would like to sell my daughter into slavery, as it suggests in Exodus 21:7. In this day and age, what would be a fair price?I know that I am allowed no contact with a woman while she is in her period of menstrual uncleanliness (Lev. 15:19-24). The problem is, how do I tell? I have tried asking, but most take offense.Lev. 25:44 states that I may buy slaves from the nations that are around us. A friend of mine claims that this applies to Mexicans but not Canadians. Clarify?I have a neighbor who insists on working on the Sabbath. Exodus 35:2 states he should be put to death. Am I morally obligated to kill him myself?A friend of mine feels that even though eating shellfish is an abomination (Lev. 11:10), it is a lesser abomination than homosexuality. I don't agree. Please settle this. "

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

We are all governed by someone's word - it might as well be God's revealed Word found in the Holy Bible. Using our free will we can either accept or reject it; the consequences of this choice rest on each of us.Find a Bible and read the passages on homosexuality from:Genesis 19:8Leviticus 18:22-24Deuteronomy 23:17Isaiah 56:3Ezekiel 16:49Romans 1:26-271 Corinthians 6:9Interestingly but not suprisingly the Bible has words about abortion too:Psalm 51:5Psalm 139:13-16Proverbs 24:11Matthew 1:20Luke 1:41, 44Romans 5:12Hebrews 7:9-10The eternal value of these passages is much greater than what you or I think should or should not be. After all, our Creator should know what's best for His creation, He is the author, the maker and the finisher.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas, "...to allow for a better governing of the societies that they lived within."You really believe that's what Christianity is? I beg to differ. I believe that Christianity started as a minority belief system, and a counter-cultural movement. I thought also that you had a adquate grasp of your belief system. Or are you in turn, being tongue in cheek?TTFN.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Readingsports: "You really believe that's what Christianity is? I beg to differ. I believe that Christianity started as a minority belief system, and a counter-cultural movement."You don't agree that virtually every belief system, and every movement both pro and counter-culture, has nothing more at it's base than a method to allow for smoother or more rewarding social interaction between like-minded humans? Besides, of all of those citations, at least for homosexuality, that bondman cited above, all but the Romans and Corinthians references are from the Old Testament. And if you don't believe that the Old Testament is anything more than a supernaturally-charged history, and a method of governance, then you have yet to, shall we say, have the scales drop from your eyes.

mommy3 6 years, 6 months ago

I have to decided just to skip all the other post, and just post my own comment. I am sure with it being Lawrence there is alot of crazy things being posted. I just wanted to say that I know that Jesus Christ died for each of you, and He loves you so very much. I will continue to pray for you and all the gay's that have been led astray. May God have Mercy on our souls!

BigPrune 6 years, 6 months ago

In every instance this issue is put to a public vote, the gays lose. It is the court that is legislating.

mommy3 6 years, 6 months ago

OH! I forgot one more thing! Just in case you didn't know. God loves you! And He will forgive you no matter what! Just ask! thanks! Have a Blessed Day!

yoornotmee 6 years, 6 months ago

Okay, the government should legally recognize marriage between two consenting adults, regardless of their gender. Better? :)

George_Braziller 6 years, 6 months ago

Woman loves man.Man loves woman.Woman loves woman.Man loves man.Making any of them offiical and legally recognized.So who's being hurt?

Rationalanimal 6 years, 6 months ago

Judging by the secularist viewpoint, or anti-religion, of those voicing their support for gay marriage and imbedded vehement hatred of religion, the proposition actually should be "secularist fervor surrounds gay marriage." The antagonists here are not religious folks. Gay advocates have historically demanded the issue be placed in the public forefront, have sought to indoctrinate children in the education systems, have formed special interest groups to infiltrate our legislative halls, have formed parades, have manipulated the media, and generally have attacked and attempted to re-characterize religion as an enemy under the pre-tenses of "intolerance" and "bigotry." The reality is, religous people have tolerated gay advocacy to its fault; similar to a parent that fails to correct a child until the unalterable point when the child narcissiticly comes to view itself as entitled to all.Religion is not the intolerant here, as the propoganda has attempted. The true intolerant are those that choose a lifestyle and then demand others accept it against their own conscience as moral and virture. This is America where people have as much right to view one's lifestyle choice made public as immoral just as one has the right to choose such lifestyle. The gay agenda is as much a facism as environmental extremists and appropriately call home the Democrat, dba Marxist, party.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Oh, just for fun's sake. bondmen (Anonymous) says:"We are all governed by someone's word - it might as well be God's revealed Word found in the Holy Bible."Except, of course, that it's not God's word revealed in the Holy Bible, but the word of men who lived several millenia ago, and wrote a book, justified by an Authority that primitive people would understand and fear, to allow for a better governing of the societies that they lived within. If you're going to base your life off of someone's word, it might as well be someone that understands the culture and the society -- the world -- that you currently live in. Time for a tasty dinner of shellfish.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas,You would repeat Marx's goofiness like it's great wisdom. Or I would remind you where Marx's "wisdom" led. Oh, his hiers gave the religious people under their care lots of opiates, so that it fit his pet theories when they really did go crazy.Of course Marx and Stalin are some of those peaceful, non-abusive atheists that I keep hearing about. I also disagree with your opinion of the Old Testement, but that discussion is for another time, perhaps. And you shouldn't be surprised that I would.The scales dropped from my eyes a long time ago, maybe you should see a physician yourself. And now I really must be going.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Errrr. . .. . in which part of that do you see the influence of Marxism? I read it, but an awfully long time ago, and only in my Western Civ class. Like most philosophers, I found him a mix of a few somewhat valid points with a whole lot of BS and equally invalid points. Certainly there's no conscious application of any of his primary theories. So please, try and justify yourself past "I say it is this way," which is pretty much what you have up there. But yes, lets tackle that before we worry too much about the superstitious work of Hebraic citizens from well into the BCs, shall we. Then maybe we can talk about why it's somehow different that, say, the Daodejing and the Analects, or the Roman/Greek pantheon, or the Egyptian pantheon, etc etc, in any way other than that it's what you currently believe.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Readingsports: Basically, because if the Judeo-Christian God is the true God, then frankly I don't like him, and I think he's done some pretty terrible things to us, his creation, out of what I see as his arrogance as our creator, as if that gives him a right to dictate our actions after he willingly gave us free will. And because he would demand blind faith with no sense of surety, and asks us in many ways to forego this life that we know exists in favor of a seemingly fictitious one that we do not. If the story of Original Sin and the freeing of the Jews from Egypt are both true, then I can not follow a God that would do either of those things, whether he created me or not.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

That's absolutely false and foolish, rationalanimal. It has nothing to do with acceptance, or condonation. I doubt most even care what your opinion is or how you feel about their behavior. The problem, as they see it, is that they are being unfairly discriminated against, in apparent violation of some of the founding concepts of our country. Whether or not you have a "right" to get married, and I suppose that's up to debate, you should have the right to do with your own life, and your own property, what you please, provided it does not infringe upon the rights of other people to do the same. The fact that they cannot is a rights infringement, and unfair, and calling it that is certainly not intolerance, much less vehemently anti-religious. As for your assertion that intolerance is shown by the gay community pressing of the issue, give me a damned break. The laws as they stand are in place, they are the status quo, so you don't need to do anything to keep things the way that they are, and the way that you like. (If, of course, you call desperately trying to warp our Constitution not doing anything) You might as well ask who the intolerant ones were in other civil rights movements. We all know that most of the ones pressing the issues along the way were the women, the blacks, the immigrants, etc. Because they had to, or they would be forever oppressed. I could go on, but it would be mostly the same, as your ramblings are all basically based on the same set of pre-mentioned fallacies. And I should note that I'm not anti-religious for anyone except myself, which is why I only attack it on threads like this, where people are using it as a Truth upon which to justify discrimination against a group of people, for something as vague, variable, and unprovable as moral rectitude.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

satirical: I'm nowhere near a Bible, but I found this online. Exodus 7 1 Then the LORD said to Moses, "See, I have made you like God to Pharaoh, and your brother Aaron will be your prophet. 2 You are to say everything I command you, and your brother Aaron is to tell Pharaoh to let the Israelites go out of his country. 3 But I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and though I multiply my miraculous signs and wonders in Egypt, 4 he will not listen to you. Then I will lay my hand on Egypt and with mighty acts of judgment I will bring out my divisions, my people the Israelites. 5 And the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD when I stretch out my hand against Egypt and bring the Israelites out of it." The rest, for each of the miracles, the online text translated it slightly differently that the Bible that I have at home, to where it simply states Pharaoh's heart hardened like the Lord had said, whereas in my own it said that God hardened his heart, so Pharaoh would not listen. Either way, the Lord takes pre-emptive credit for it, so it's not a stretch to give it to him when it happens.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas,"You don't agree that virtually every belief system, and every movement both pro and counter-culture, has nothing more at it's base than a method to allow for smoother or more rewarding social interaction between like-minded humans?"No, I don't. Show me a single Christian that does. This is your opinion, and it is as much a part of atheist dogma as the statement that all Christians are ignorant bronze-age savages, and is as condescending. How can you know the motivations of those that started the different religions? And when your viewpoint conflicts with those that follow those religions, that makes you correct?You say you've studied Marx, surely you recognize the origin of the sentiment. It is that "Religion is the opiate of the masses". Actually, I think the opiate of the masses is probably beer and football, but whatever. You stated your opinion, don't get annoyed or put me down that I don't share it. The rest will have to wait, but I would love to resume this discussion at a later time. RS.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

I see your point. I personally believe this was translated incorrectly and think the correct reading is "And Pharaoh will harden his heart..." JST Ex. 7: 3. I think a practical understanding would be; in context, when someone had slaves, they aren't going to free them just because someone claims God will be angry if they don't. Therefore, I conclude that his heart was already hardened.Although you could take the words as given and still come to a similar conclusion. God didn't directly harden Pharoah's heart, but it was the result of what He was doing to the Egyptians, in order to free them from bondage. So God hardened Pharoah's heart indirectly, but only because the Pharoah wouldn't let His people go.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

anxiousatheist... Faith by definition is illogical, if you believe logic requires only using your five senses.duplenty...Your attempt to draw me into this argument will not succeed. Perhaps you should continue thinking you are right simply because you, in your own mind, cannot think of any social consequences to gay marriage, polygamy, group mariage, or incest. You may also continue to believe that because I choose not to respond means I cannot. It matters not to me. (If you truly seek knowlege you may read my previous posts and do independent research)

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Anxiousatheist:I am not arguing for not trusting your senses, the point I was making is; there is a degree of faith even in trusting the accuracy of your empirical senses. So while it is illogical to have faith, it is to some degree necessary. I trust myself which is why I have faith, because of what I have personally experienced. I do not rely on "crap out of a believer's mouth," I rely on what I know to be true. If I read something or listen to someone and want to know if it is true, I pray and ponder about it, and "listen" for the Holy Ghost. Although I admit I am predisposed to implicitly trusting some sources and people since my experience tells me they (it) tends to be right. However, I still have to find out for myself if what they (it) say is true.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

"You stated your opinion, don't get annoyed or put me down that I don't share it."I've done neither, and you're not going to put me on the defensive by claiming that I have. I've merely spoken the truth, as I see it and have pondered at great length. It's simple fact that the both the Christian and Hebraic Bibles were written thousands of years ago, and it's simple foolishness to believe that they were written under any other perspective than that of their own time. And if I'm wrong, and no Christian would share that viewpoint, then why are we talking on this particular thread, if not for a group of people advocating their particular method of lifestyle as the correct one, and indeed going further to attempt to force their lifestyle as the correct one. It is beyond foolishness to say that Christians are not interested in demonstrating, advocating, and frequently legislating the tenets of their religion upon the societies in which they live. There are hundreds of examples of them having done just that, time and time again, from Christ tossing the money-changers out of the Temple on through. The only defense that you've offered was its original status as a counter-culture movement, which is of course accurate, but so what. So was Mao's communist movement, and they certainly were interested in advocating and pressing their way of life on the rest of their country, more's the pity. Even the motivations of early Christians were to share the way of Christ and the divinity of Christ, would you not agree with that? If you do, then kindly explain how it differs in anything other than the wording from what I wrote above that you claim that every Christian would disagree with. I'm perfectly familiar with the quote in reference, but it's simplistic and inflammatory to automatically credit him for my thoughts, or to credit him as the base of atheistic thought. It's also assuming a great deal that I'm an atheist, and I'm not. An atheist has certainty that there is nothing more than the physical world, but I've continued to believe in a higher order to things than the merely physical even after I abandoned Christianity. For me, the fact that virtually all people seek for meaning in life is proof enough. My issue is, and has always been, solely with the arrogance of the dominant religions and their members, who claim that they alone offer the true path to salvation, satisfaction, happiness or purity, to the point of interfering in things that are not their business, because they view them as sinful. Compounded when the only justification that they can offer is a book, without demonstrating the slightest bit of proof that it was anything other than written by men, edited by men, published by men, and distributed by men. At any rate, since there are more than one religion that can claim Truth and have people believe it, that's more than enough proof for me that they are all wrong.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

All but one jonas. One is true and if one doesn't realize it now, one will discover it later. Better now than later. Read Evidence that Demands a Verdict or look up the work of Lee Strobel. Both men investigated the veracity of the Bible in an effort to disprove it and were subsequently converted by it instead. It is life transforming.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

Yes indeed ReadingSports I have no fear of death or final judgment, praise God! He has given me the faith I need to know He exists and that the promises detailed in His Word, which apply to all believers, are immutable and true. Like you brother, my sins are covered by the precious blood of Jesus and at death, I look forward to living in His presence forever.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas, A worthy and thoughtful defense. Yes, Christian's do advocate for belief in God. Though with respect, I differ in the particulars. However, I respect our differences.Please respect the fact also that I have also pondered these things for a long time. The truth as I see it is different than the truth as you see it.

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Our country was founded on the Constitution, not the Bible.Religious folks are free to believe whatever they choose - the 1st amendment guarantees them that right.However, since marriage is a secular institution with secular benefits, it shouldn't be discriminatory.If churches want to choose who can/can't marry in their churches, that's ok with me, but civil marriages should be available to gay as well as straight couples.The reasoning is that in our "pursuit of happiness", adults enter into committed relationships - if these are availabe to straight couples and provide concrete legal/financial benefits (like spousal insurance), then they should be available to gay couples as well.Of course, the other way to solve this problem would be to remove any/all secular benefits for married couples.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Readingsports: "Please respect the fact also that I have also pondered these things for a long time. The truth as I see it is different than the truth as you see it."That's fine, I would never advocate that you give up or alter your choice of lifestyle based on my personal belief structure. Why do you think I'm posting on this thread in the first place?

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas:You ask some very good questions concerning the nature of God. I will attempt to briefly respond. First, let me just say, the way I understand God is that he is our Father. Thus I call him my Heavenly Father. I believe he created us not out of arrogance, but out of love, similar to two married adults who decide to have a child and share love with that child. I believe Heavenly Father doesn't dictate our actions; what he does is give us commandments to make us happy, safe and productive. This is similar to a Father telling his children, "Don't do drugs," "Get an education," the Golden Rule, etc. We teach our children principles and give them guidance to make them happy, safe, and a productive member of society. Similarly Heavenly Father gives us commandments, not to dictate, but to help and teach us.I do not believe He requires blind faith, but He does require some faith. I believe that if we even have a small amount of faith we can pray to Him and can receive confirmation of His existence and other truths through the Holy Ghost. Once you get confirmation via the Holy Ghost of His existence it is no longer blind faith because just like using your empirical devices, you have witnessed something.I do not believe Heavenly Father asks us to forego this life; after all why would we be here if there were no point, and since I do not believe God is arbitrary I believe He put us here for a reason. I believe we are put on earth to progress, learn, and become more like Him in every way including serving others. The benefits to following His plan brings us happiness not only in the next life, but also happiness in this life as well.I cannot address your points regarding Original Sin, and the Exodus without reasons why this challenges your faith. I do not write this to argue with you or to convince you that I am correct; for logic is an improper and irrational method of understanding the true nature of God. I believe the only way to know for sure is by confirmation from the Holy Ghost. But this is my testimony, and I share it with you.

ndmoderate 6 years, 6 months ago

Fear is a poorly conceived motivator, bondmen. Unfortuately for some, it also works. Is it a Christian's responsibility to spread the Word through fear, or just to spread the Word?

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

I've always wanted to be without fear. Tell me ndmoderate, how does one make it happen?

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

ndmoderate,A good question. Just to spread the Word is the answer. Bondmen, brother, and I know that you are my brother, I hope that you live your life in Christ without fear or worry. Though I do fall short, myself.

ndmoderate 6 years, 6 months ago

"I've always wanted to be without fear. Tell me ndmoderate, how does one make it happen?"Living without fear is like living without happiness, anger, love, or any other basic, general emotion--impossible. That is completely different from what I brought up, which was the negative-motivation aspect of spreading the Word using fear as persuasion (if you don't do ___, then this terrible ___ will happen to you as a result).

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas...First, let me be clear that I do not consider myself a biblical scholar.Original Sin: I believe it was necessary for Adam and Eve to eat of the fruit, otherwise we would never be born (Thank you Eve!) I believe God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil in their presence but forbade them to eat it as a means of giving them choice and free agency. If they never had the opportunity to do wrong, then they would not have a choice. I believe God loves us enough, he allows us to choose whether we want to be with him or not. He does not force us. Also, I do not believe that every child is born with sin (as does Catholicism). I believe children are born perfect and without sin.Exodus: Could you please provide the verses you are referencing so I can read them for myself and provide you with a better answer?

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

too add (sorry, had internet troubles for a minute there) that perhaps, since you yourself suggest that rationality is not the best way to approach the basis for your way of life, that you should not then be suggesting real, actual restrictions and laws be made on issues that almost solely spring from your religion's viewpoints on the issue and it what it entails. Whatever applies for personal lifestyle choices, our laws at least should be rational, I opine.

Rationalanimal 6 years, 6 months ago

jonas--I appreciate your reply. Explain to us who are intolerant and bigots, racists, oppressors of women, pillagers, plunders, etc., how gays are oppressed. Gays are actually very affluent (not all), politicially well organized, and enjoy high political connnections. So, where is your real life burning cross of tyranny and oppression? Last time I checked, we use the same restrooms and water fountains in public and private places.To compare the gay movement to the real and brutal oppression overcome by blacks insults people who were actually beaten, brutalized, and truly oppressed beyond anything you care to take yourself away from sex for five seconds to understand. What you do by comparing black civil rights to gay rights make real struggle, real triumph a cheap punch-line. Spare us the oppression sob story. It is about imposing your value system on others that don't share it, nothing more.Religion has been enemy number one with the gay movement because religion traditionally does not accept the gay lifestyle as moral and virtuous. So, what gay activism has done, is to use the government generally, courts and goverment sponsored school systems to impose a value system that contradicts religous beliefs. In other words, the gay activists have actively worked and strategized to alter and/or destroy traditional American religion. Again, the fervor here is secularists, not religion. It is the younger sibling that actively incites and antagonizes the patient elder sibling to a point of conflict.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas...I completely agree with you conclusion. If someone's personal beliefs are their only justification opposing a law, and they have no rational basis, then it is insufficient. However, on the issue of gay marriage, it is arguable that there are also social reasons (not religious) for not allowing gay marriage, polygamy, group marriage, incestuous marriage. (Even if they are between consenting adults.) Although I do not write today to address those issues, I write to address your issues on that nature of God.Also, I think there are rational ways to reach the same conclusion, for one's purpose in life, the best way to understand it is by confirmation of the Holy Ghost.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

Truth is a fearful thing when we choose to deny it. Better to be warned in advance of the hot stove, the deadly drugs on the street, the dangerous bars in town, and the fact one can either spend eternity in the presence of God or in His absence. It's better to know isn't it than to be blindsided and negatively suprised when it's too late to change one's place or course? Positive motivation is to know the benefits and receive them now. Have at it, it's not exclusive and it can be yours too. As far as Hell goes, Jesus spoke more of it than of heaven. He is God and He is in charge. We can't change that so we either accept it, reject it or avoid it. The important questions is, faced with this fact, what will you do?

yoornotmee 6 years, 6 months ago

.....My cat's breath smells like cat food.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

bondmen (Anonymous) says:"All but one jonas. One is true and if one doesn't realize it now, one will discover it later. Better now than later. Read Evidence that Demands a Verdict or look up the work of Lee Strobel. Both men investigated the veracity of the Bible in an effort to disprove it and were subsequently converted by it instead. It is life transforming."Yes yes. I'm sure you can dig up plenty of converts going in both directions if you feel the need. I know I've seen at least one published work in both directions. As for discovering the Truth, I've certainly considered carefully the consequences if I'm in the wrong, and even if I were I would not follow that path. I'm certainly willing to admit my own belief structure's potential fallibility, I admit that there's always the chance that I am in error. I don't think that you can really say the same. At least, not without sounding like a total hypocrite.

Calliope877 6 years, 6 months ago

I personally think people who claim to understand the true nature of God are fools. No religious text, whether it be the Bible, Quran, the Torah, or whatever, can give an accurate portrayal of what God's nature really is -- because all of these books were written primarily by people long dead -- and people are flawed, biased, and myopic to whatever nation or culture during which the texts were written.

ndmoderate 6 years, 6 months ago

See, but I'm not "faced with this fact" because I don't accept the premise (and I don't have to because in this country, that's supposed to be OK)--just as your own individual beliefs are yours, and no one can take those away.To you, telling a child that she shouldn't touch a hot stovetop because she'll get burned is an equal analogy to "believe in Jesus or you'll go to hell." To me, these two aren't even the same sport much less in the same ballpark.But we're all individuals, aren't we.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

Satirical: That's a good response, that at least shows some level of thought, even if I don't agree. To your final questions:Original Sin: Again, if this is a literal story and not a metaphor (and it works much better as a metaphor). Putting the means of your demise within your reach, and then just forbidding it's usage, strikes me the same as leaving a loaded gun on your mantle, telling your kid not to touch it, and then booting them out of the house when they shoot themselves in the foot. The Exodus: God slaughters the Egyptians for the purpose of showing his people the great power that he is capable of. Every time Moses goes to Pharaoh to ask that his people be freed, God himself hardens Pharaoh's heart to make him refuse Moses' request. It specifically says that without God's intervention then Pharaoh would have let the Israeli's go Each time that Moses asked, but that God wanted it done the way it was done so he could show off. His showing off kills a large percentage of the Egyptian people. And in turn, I guess I don't write any of this to convince you, as faith appears to trump all, but only to show my justifications for believing the way that I do, not as vehementally anti-religious, but as a personal choice that I've come to with thought.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

rational animal: Sorry, you don't get to play that game. I could just cut and repaste my response that it has nothing to do with acceptance or tolerance, but I'm not going to waste the space. There are very few gay couples out there that are, as you say, forcing their way of life upon the rest of the population. I don't even think you could define what that would even mean. As for comparative struggles, if you're going to compare the gays to the blacks, why stop there? Why not, say, compare the women to the blacks? Sure, the struggles faced by women might not have included such blatant ownership or segregation, but stil. . whatever. It's all bunk anyway. There are parallels of thought to be drawn between all forms of struggle and discrimination, and blocking off valid comparisons through the manipulation of extraneous and unrelated factoids is simply dishonest.

jonas 6 years, 6 months ago

But it's all pretty theoretical anyway, and I'm not worried, as I don't think it's true at all. Marion: @#$%!!! Say it ain't @#$%^ so!!!

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Calliope877"(People are fools if they believe in a text which was) written primarily by people long dead - and people are flawed, biased, and myopic to whatever nation or culture during which the texts were written."By that logic I conclude that anyone who believes in the U.S. Constitution is a fool.As I stated earlier, the best method of understanding that nature of God is through prayers and confirmation from the Holy Ghost. Since I believe in Prophets, I believe the Bible provides a great deal of insight, although I do not believe it is the final word.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

duplenty..."I do not write today to address those issues"

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

anxiousatheist...I think it is illogical to rely too heavily on your empirical devices, after all how do you know they are not deceiving you? How do you really know anything external exists if you can't trust your senses?

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas,"even if I were I would not follow that path" Why not Jonas? You would choose eternal torment over a Christian life? What is it about this life that you find distasteful? I think you already stated that, I'm asking a rhetorical question.If Christ himself were to appear to you in a vision in your room tonight, you would still choose to turn your back on him?Please understand that I wouldn't wish hell on anyone. Not you, not bondmen, not Karl Marx. And my understanding is that God doesn't wish that on anyone either. But we make our own choices. To deny God, to deny Christ, is to refuse to be admitted into heaven. Would you have me and bondmen drag you into God's presence unprepared? And I would if I could, rather than see you in Hell forever, but my understanding of God's presence is that were I to drag into his presence, kicking and screaming as it were, is the same as hell. Hellish at least. As for being wrong, I'm wrong about a lot of things. I'm a fallible sinful human being, as is bondmen, as are you. But I know 1 thing... Christ, and him crucified. Nothing more nothing less. Well, Jonas, been a long day, and I've had an interesting couple of weeks in the real world. Maybe we've given each other something to think about. As for gay-marriage, I could care less, in the larger scheme of things, it's not important.

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Jonas,You've obviously put some thought into this. Blind faith isn't exactly descriptive. First of all, many, but not all, Christians receive some more concrete reassurance of their faith at some point in their lives. For example, Mother Teresa had received such assurances early in life, but hadn't received recurring assurances later in life. Also many Christians arrive at faith through intellectual reason. A couple of the more prominent examples of this are C.S. Lewis and Lee Strobel. Both men have written a number of books, BTW. Both men are far smarter than me, and their writings would do a better job addressing the things you have written than I will. As a Christian, I have not foregone this life at all. I have just lived, in some ways, differently than you have. On Pharaoh, first of all this was not exactly a nice guy. His father had given orders to kill the Israeli children. Second of all, if you know the story, you must know that the Israelis turned their back on God when Moses was up on Mount Sinai. I won't sugar-coat this, your interpretation is probably correct. But I have a question for you: Remember that this story forms the basis for faith for both Christians and Jews. What if Pharaoh, had just said "Okay-Dokey"? Would the story carry the same weight? Wouldn't the answer have been too easy and too pat? And even after all that happened there's the Isrealis and that lovely calf."dictate our actions after he willingly gave us free will." Yes, you have free will. You can choose to do anything you want to. Here in the United States we also have freedom, but there is a difference between free will and consequences. You could go out and rob a liquor store, but there would still be consequences, are you then oppressed in some way? Don't you have responsibility for what you do? You and I also share the American culture. It is an individualistic culture, as Americans we don't like people telling us what to do, do we? Sorry, this is really barely adequate: I'm not exactly recovered from some recent challenges, so I appreciate your forbearance.

Rationalanimal 6 years, 6 months ago

"Our country was founded on the Constitution, not the Bible."The preceeding is embarrassingly stupid statement. That is not to say that the Constitution was a cut an paste from the Bible. But, the evidence that the founders were influenced by religion, christian, is undeniable. The very premise of settlers coming to America was for the purpose of gaining religious freedom.What is abudndantly evidenced by every word typed by people like Jonas is that it is imperative to trash religion in order to advance gay rights. It was the same with Lenin's revolution. Religion was a threat to his political and social philosophies because religion holds, as expressed in our founding documents, that freedom originates from God, not government. Good government is merely an instrument of preserving freedoms endowed by our Creator. Thus, if people like Jonas who operate by imposing their value system on others find resistance, the natural reaction is to attack the source of resistance. In the instance of sexual extremists, the enemy is religion.

Calliope877 6 years, 6 months ago

Belief in what the constitution stands for is completely different from believing that you know the nature of an omnipotent diety. The constitution wasn't written in vague parables and metaphors (unless of course you're a conspiracy theorist). The consitution is pretty straight-forward.The Bible, and other religious texts, are not as straight-forward. The passages of religious texts can be interpreted in many different ways. And, in my opinion, God trying to explain itself to a human would be the equivalent to a human trying to explain him or herself to a cockroach. Things are bound to get lost in translation. You can maybe glean a few truths about such a powerful diety, but you can't truly know It, what It thinks, or how It will judge you -- and to think otherwise is arrogant and somewhat blasphemous.This is just my opinion, of course.

EXks 6 years, 6 months ago

I think that this article would be more appropriately titled, "Superstitious Fervor Surrounds Gay Marriage".----------------------Marionthanks Marion, Or yet.....maybe......."Religious Hysteria(!!!) Surrounds Gay Marriage"

Calliope877 6 years, 6 months ago

Sorry I spelled deity, and constitution wrong.That sort of thing is bound to happen when typing.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

I think you bring up a good point ReadingSports (however I am not stating I agree with your conclusion that Rationalanimal is not acting like a Christian). You often see the phrase What Would Jesus Do (WWJD)? However, in order to answer this, you must understand His nature and purpose.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Calliope877:"The constitution is pretty straight-forward"The constitution is not straight-forward. This single document is being constantly interpreted to by the judicial branch, and the U.S. Supreme Court to understand its historical and contemporary meaning. I agree that God is greater than man, however I do not believe we have no ability to understand and comprehend Him. I believe we can learn more about Him through prayer, and by listening to his mouthpieces on earth (prophets). I believe God wants us to know about Him because he loves us. He wants us to be like Him and return to live with Him again, as would any loving father. I think it would be too difficult for almost anyone to instantaneously get a full and true understanding of the nature of Heavenly Father. I believe He works in degrees, line up line and precept upon precept, according to our faith in Him. That way one day when we see Him we will be able to recognize Him.

Satirical 6 years, 6 months ago

Correction: "line up line" should read "line upon line"

ReadingSports 6 years, 6 months ago

Rationalanimal, Down boy! Your statements about Jonas are way off base. If you are Christian then act like one!

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

Again, our country's founding document is the Constitution, not the Bible.And, I didn't trash religion, in fact, I mentioned that the freedom of religious belief is guaranteed by the 1st amendment.The claim that Christianity influenced our founders is most probaby incorrect - most of them were more like Universalist Unitarians.Some sort of general belief in a Creator was probably widely held, but this is quite different from a fundamentalist interpretation of the Bible, and the belief in Christ as a personal Savior.And, finally, the "inalienable" rights with which we were "endowed by their creator" were "life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness". It is blatantly discriminatory to allow straight couples to marry and garner secular benefits, but not gay couples.The more I think about this, the more I think that the best solution would be to remove any/all secular/legal benefits from marriage. Wouldn't that make this a non-issue?

jafs 6 years, 6 months ago

There are some basic rights which American citizens should have which shouldn't be taken away by a majority vote.

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

The fascist, jack booted, radical homosexuals in Kalifornia are attempting to circumvent a vote of the people by appealing to four black robes in their effort to steal democracy from the people. This is what 2% of the population is willing to do to the other 98%!http://www.cnsnews.com/ViewCulture.asp?Page=/Culture/archive/200806/CUL20080624b.htmlTalk about religious fervor!

bondmen 6 years, 6 months ago

You have exactly all the Constitutional rights every other citizen in America has jafs. You want more than that. You want to force your perverted peccadilloes on the rest of society. You want to force us to accept your sexual lifestyle choice yet you deny the very natural fact that men were not created to sexually reproduce one with the other.

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