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Letters to the Editor

Condemn sin

February 10, 2012

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To the editor:

As a “religious fundamentalist” (who does not fear homosexuals), I would like to commend Anna Slemmer for her letter (Public Forum, Feb. 3).

She points out a real problem in society, i.e., divorce. People take marriage far too lightly today, so when hard times or personal differences arise, more and more often couples simply dissolve their marriages.

Additionally, Anna’s letter was an excellent example of justifying one sin by reference to the acceptance of another. Society has been long defined by just such “thinking.” This kind of rationalizing is largely responsible for the miserable state of culture and society in America today.

I do not condemn homosexuality because I don’t like it. But I do point out that the Bible condemns it. Nor do I think it is my place to confront the “gay community,” because I have my own sins. But I will not agree that, just because I have my own sins, that the sins of others are not wrong. We should condemn sin, our own as well as that of others, not shrug our shoulders and say, “Oh, well …”

Comments

Gandalf 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh well! Shrug. Who gets to define sin?

Paul R Getto 2 years, 9 months ago

The person who gets to invent the list, then tell us their imaginary friend wrote it. All we need is the three jewels: Compassion, moderation and humility.

gr 2 years, 9 months ago

So, if nothing is sin, and at the same time one's sin justifies another, then why should be discriminate against various sexual perversions? If homosexuals get to do their choice, why can't others?

Liberty275 2 years, 9 months ago

"If homosexuals get to do their choice, why can't others?"

What can consenting adults not do in the privacy of their home?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Gandalf, I think it's rather obvious that you did or are thinking about doing something wrong in many cases, and if you know something is wrong and do it anyway, I think I can step out on a limb and define that as a sin.

There is something basically wrong with you if you don't realize that. There are even two names for people that are like that, because it's considered to be a psychiatric condition. Sometimes the disorders are indistinguishable, at least to me. A friend tried to explain the difference to me a few weeks ago, and it was totally lost on me.

Sociopath, and Psychopath. Those disorders are never amenable to treatment, and it is estimated that about 1% of the population has those disorders. They have a very high genetic propensity, and of course the percentage is much higher in prisons.

It is fundamentally wrong to make a promise and then not keep it, or at least make every effort to do so. But, maybe you are not aware of that, 1% of the population is not. People like that really don't care about what they do to other people or how other people think about them.

And what a marriage is, is a promise.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Just this morning a short fictional story about a man that was having an affair and wanting a divorce from his wife made the rounds on Facebook. It originated in Asia. I considered it to be quite charming, but I'm sure many will not. So, in order to not take up too much column space, I'd put it below this so that it will be compressed.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

1) When I got home that night as my wife served dinner, I held her hand and said, I’ve got something to tell you. She sat down and ate quietly. Again I observed the hurt in her eyes.

Suddenly I didn’t know how to open my mouth. But I had to let her know what I was thinking. I want a divorce. I raised the topic calmly. She didn’t seem to be annoyed by my words, instead she asked me softly, why?

I avoided her question. This made her angry. She threw away the chopsticks and shouted at me, you are not a man! That night, we didn’t talk to each other. She was weeping. I knew she wanted to find out what had happened to our marriage. But I could hardly give her a satisfactory answer; she had lost my heart to Jane. I didn’t love her anymore. I just pitied her!

With a deep sense of guilt, I drafted a divorce agreement which stated that she could own our house, our car, and 30% stake of my company. She glanced at it and then tore it into pieces. The woman who had spent ten years of her life with me had become a stranger. I felt sorry for her wasted time, resources and energy but I could not take back what I had said for I loved Jane so dearly. Finally she cried loudly in front of me, which was what I had expected to see. To me her cry was actually a kind of release. The idea of divorce which had obsessed me for several weeks seemed to be firmer and clearer now.

The next day, I came back home very late and found her writing something at the table. I didn’t have supper but went straight to sleep and fell asleep very fast because I was tired after an eventful day with Jane. When I woke up, she was still there at the table writing. I just did not care so I turned over and was asleep again.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

2) In the morning she presented her divorce conditions: she didn’t want anything from me, but needed a month’s notice before the divorce. She requested that in that one month we both struggle to live as normal a life as possible. Her reasons were simple: our son had his exams in a month’s time and she didn’t want to disrupt him with our broken marriage.

This was agreeable to me. But she had something more, she asked me to recall how I had carried her into out bridal room on our wedding day. She requested that every day for the month’s duration I carry her out of our bedroom to the front door ever morning. I thought she was going crazy. Just to make our last days together bearable I accepted her odd request.

I told Jane about my wife’s divorce conditions. She laughed loudly and thought it was absurd. No matter what tricks she applies, she has to face the divorce, she said scornfully.

My wife and I hadn’t had any body contact since my divorce intention was explicitly expressed. So when I carried her out on the first day, we both appeared clumsy. Our son clapped behind us, Daddy is holding Mommy in his arms. His words brought me a sense of pain. From the bedroom to the sitting room, then to the door, I walked over ten meters with her in my arms. She closed her eyes and said softly; don’t tell our son about the divorce. I nodded, feeling somewhat upset. I put her down outside the door. She went to wait for the bus to work. I drove alone to the office.

On the second day, both of us acted much more easily. She leaned on my chest. I could smell the fragrance of her blouse. I realized that I hadn’t looked at this woman carefully for a long time. I realized she was not young any more. There were fine wrinkles on her face, her hair was graying! Our marriage had taken its toll on her. For a minute I wondered what I had done to her.

On the fourth day, when I lifted her up, I felt a sense of intimacy returning. This was the woman who had given ten years of her life to me. On the fifth and sixth day, I realized that our sense of intimacy was growing again. I didn’t tell Jane about this. It became easier to carry her as the month slipped by. Perhaps the everyday workout made me stronger.

She was choosing what to wear one morning. She tried on quite a few dresses but could not find a suitable one. Then she sighed, all my dresses have grown bigger. I suddenly realized that she had grown so thin, that was the reason why I could carry her more easily.

Suddenly it hit me… she had buried so much pain and bitterness in her heart. Subconsciously I reached out and touched her head.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

3) Our son came in at the moment and said, Dad, it’s time to carry Mom out. To him, seeing his father carrying his mother out had become an essential part of his life. My wife gestured to our son to come closer and hugged him tightly. I turned my face away because I was afraid I might change my mind at this last minute. I then held her in my arms, walking from the bedroom, through the sitting room, to the hallway. Her hand surrounded my neck softly and naturally. I held her body tightly; it was just like our wedding day.

But her much lighter weight made me sad. On the last day, when I held her in my arms I could hardly move a step. Our son had gone to school. I held her tightly and said, I hadn’t noticed that our life lacked intimacy. I drove to office…. jumped out of the car swiftly without locking the door. I was afraid any delay would make me change my mind…I walked upstairs. Jane opened the door and I said to her, Sorry, Jane, I do not want the divorce anymore.

She looked at me, astonished, and then touched my forehead. Do you have a fever? She said. I moved her hand off my head. Sorry, Jane, I said, I won’t divorce. My marriage life was boring probably because she and I didn’t value the details of our lives, not because we didn’t love each other anymore. Now I realize that since I carried her into my home on our wedding day I am supposed to hold her until death do us apart. Jane seemed to suddenly wake up. She gave me a loud slap and then slammed the door and burst into tears. I walked downstairs and drove away. At the floral shop on the way, I ordered a bouquet of flowers for my wife. The salesgirl asked me what to write on the card. I smiled and wrote, I’ll carry you out every morning until death do us apart.

That evening I arrived home, flowers in my hands, a smile on my face, I run up stairs, only to find my wife in the bed - dead. My wife had been fighting CANCER for months and I was so busy with Jane to even notice. She knew that she would die soon and she wanted to save me from the whatever negative reaction from our son, in case we push through with the divorce.— At least, in the eyes of our son—- I’m a loving husband….

The small details of your lives are what really matter in a relationship. It is not the mansion, the car, property, the money in the bank. These create an environment conducive for happiness but cannot give happiness in themselves.

So find time to be your spouse’s friend and do those little things for each other that build intimacy. Do have a real happy marriage!

If you don’t share this, nothing will happen to you.

If you do, you just might save a marriage. Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.

grammaddy 2 years, 9 months ago

This is not something new to FB. I first saw it a few years ago when I joined.It is a touching parable though. Thanks for sharing it.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

"if you know something is wrong". Take a close look. Do you see a "you" in that statement? I was referring to self examination, which we should all do from time to time.

And yes, I am aware of the problems that you are talking about, but I am powerless to prevent such activities, as it is another culture's values that we are witnessing.

I consider that to be tragic, just as I was personally shocked when the exhilaration and thrill of being one of a crowd that was stoning a woman to death was relayed second hand to me.

I knew, although not closely, the man who had participated in that stoning in Saudi Arabia, and I was told he was smiling with happiness and joy as he described his participation in the event. I do not understand that at all.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

The answer depends upon the moral or religious views of the responder. It would be whoever or whatever he believes it to be.

Or, you could look it up in a dictionary.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Oh yes, every one of us is the best!

LWJworld on January 2, 2012 OTS If you make just one change this year, what will it be?

RonHolzwarth (Ron Holzwarth) says… I would like to give everyone on Earth the ability to see themselves the way others see them.

http://www2.ljworld.com/onthestreet/2012/jan/02/if-you-make-just-one-change-year-what-will-it-be/

Crazy_Larry 2 years, 9 months ago

Sociopaths are a subset of psychopaths. And many are found in positions of leadership (CEOs and Government) because they have no conscience or empathy and will do whatever it takes to get into leadership positions. Yeah, Brownback is probably a psychopath.

Ragingbear 2 years, 9 months ago

Reading this is a sin. It's in the Bible. Don't look, just trust me.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

That's a very good point. Matthew Chapter 7, verses 3, 4, 5:

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, `Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother's eye."

That also appears in Luke Chapter 6, verses 41, 42:

"Why do you see the speck that is in your brother's eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, `Brother, let me take out the speck that is in your eye,' when you yourself do not see the log that is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take out the speck that is in your brother's eye."

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

ah but notice he does not say don't tell your brother there is a speck in his eye ;) He just says we should focus on fixing our own problems, before we attempt to solve others. There is no better way inspire people to live virtuous lives than to live one ourselves. We do our brother a disservice though if we fail to stand strong in refusing to accept something that is wrong, as a good thing.

You don't hand the guy who is going to commit suicide a gun. You tell him you believe it is wrong, and refuse to help him in committing suicide. You offer to help him in any way you can though as far as getting him counseling and such to help him put his life together.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

I cannot argue, the best teaching is done by example. If it were not for teaching by example, I would never have passed Calculus II. After that, I did fine in Calculus III.

Mercy 2 years, 9 months ago

Who gets to define what is a sin? You? Me? Anyone? That was many think now adays. But the truth is that God defines what sin is whether you believe or not! How can we know what is God's Truth? Inform your conscience by looking to the Church 1st Timothy 3:15. Now which church did Christ found upon the rock Peter and promises to protect it from teaching error in matters of faith and morals? The One Holy Catholic and Apostolic Church!!!!!!!

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Seriously? Still pushing the church as the world's moral arbiter? The catholic church should worry more about their own sexual perversions, and less about trying to control everyone else's. Maybe then popes and bishops would stop impregnating women and priests would stop raping children.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

True, historical bible history would tell you: The Catholic church was founded on the testimony of a man who claimed to hear Jesus speak once. It was not Peter. Jesus spoke against meeting in public or praying in public, because declaring your beliefs in this way are then meant to boast and therefore invalid. So...churches should be like they were in the immediate days following Jesus: private, in someone's house, alone.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

I have personal problems with religions and denominations that claim exclusivity, and I am absolutely sure that on their personal Day of Reckoning there will be a very large number of people who are extremely surprised. .

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, if you really want to know, do some research on religions of the past. You'll find the Egyptians and Sumerians both had sin, well before the Jewish religion was founded. In fact, the Egyptian Book of the Dead, a book that Moses would have been very familiar with, has the same 400+ sins in it that the Jewish Torah does. Wouldn't it be just to much if every Christian, Muslim and Jewish person were still carrying on what the Pharaohs started over 5000 years ago?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Moses was raised by an Egyptian princess, so I'm sure he heard a few things about that. I don't doubt a bit that a lot was borrowed from the ancient Egyptian concepts.

Here I go off on a tangent, so watch out or skip to the end of this:

In 1994, I decided to go back to basics, and read up on the ancient Egyptian religion of 5,000 years ago, when the pyramids were being built. It was very interesting.

5,000 years ago, they were talking about the Ha and the Ba, your Ha being your physical body, and your Ba being your spirit, your soul, or your higher level of consciousness, where you feel emotions and where your true spirit lies.

For instance, an Egyptian would say when he was bothered by something that caused him emotional pain something like "My Ba is troubled."

At death of course, your Ha would die, and your Ba would continue on.

So far so good. But after that, they had a very strange concept for eschatology.

They believed that your Ba would come back and merge again with your Ha, and guess what. Your Ha was going to be a mummy, and if you weren't mummified, you would never be part of the life to come, which they believed would be literally right here on earth. That's why there were so many mummies.

And then, Moses comes along when the pyramids were about 2,000 years old, and I think he believed in the Ba concept, but without the mummy part of it. Actually, I think by that time, mummification was no longer practiced. But I'm not really sure.

So the concept of your soul as being a separate thing from your physical body that will survive your physical death is literally as old as the pyramids.

And then along comes St. Thomas Aquinas in the 1200s and he repeated exactly the same thing as the Egyptians were saying 5,000 years ago. But no mummies, of course.

The interesting thing is he just pretty much parroted out the exact same thing as the ancient Egyptians did 5,000 years ago, but without the mummies.

But you have excuse him for plagiarizing the Egyptians from 5,000 years ago because the texts that described what they believed had not been translated yet, that had to wait until the Rosetta Stone was found in 1799.

And so, nothing has changed for 5,000 years.

SO! That means that you were literally correct when you said:

"Wouldn't it be just to much if every Christian, Muslim and Jewish person were still carrying on what the Pharaohs started over 5000 years ago?"

Yeah, it is too much.

Ecclesiastes Chapter 1, verse 9: "What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; and there is nothing new under the sun."

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

This sort of thing is very OT.

Jesus said "Let he who is without sin cast the first stone".

rtwngr 2 years, 9 months ago

Your reply indicates there is no purpose for the Old Testament. The inference is that the New Testament supersedes or supplants the Old. The New Testament fulfills the covenant made in the Old Testament between God and Abraham.

It is up to the members of the universal Body of Christ to support and correct those that act out their lives in sin. You may have heard, "Judge the sin not the sinner."

I would offer the example of a blind person, at a crosswalk, about to step out into traffic unknowingly. No decent bystander would allow this to occur. It is this way with sin. If I believe that you are placing you immortal soul in grave jeopardy I am obligated to mention it. It doesn't mean I hate you or wish you ill. It means I love you and want only good for you.

Now, you can choose, if you wish, to heed my warning or not. We all have free will. But if I see you about to step out into traffic with your blind soul and I make no move to prevent that, God looks at it as if I allowed you to be harmed.

That is why, on the subject of abortion, we religious zealots become so impassioned. If we don't speak up, we believe that someday God will say to us, "That which you did for the least of these, you also did for me." Matthew 25:40

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, there's not enough space or time for an in-depth analysis of this.

But, the OT and the NT differ greatly in their portrayal of God, the relationship between humanity and God, etc.

In the OT, adulterers are stoned to death, in the NT, Jesus says as above, and then when nobody casts a stone, "Nobody condemns you? I do not condemn you either".

So it's clear that Jesus was not preaching condemnation.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes but lets look at what he said after they had all left and decided not to stone her:

"Neither do I condemn you; go, and do not sin again."

The problem here is your definition of condemn. Telling someone something is a sin is not condemnation. If so, then Jesus' statement above is nonsensical. Condemnation implies no possibility of forgiveness. This is what Jesus has a problem with, because everyone is worthy of forgiveness.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, that's right, that's the next part.

I was arguing against "condemnation", which is often used in this context by Christians, and in fact in this letter.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

I would say its often attributed to being the attitude many Christians take, but falsely so. Most of us think people like Fred Phelps are absolutely crazy.

I think some misunderstandings occur when we say things like: "Committing __ mortal sin will separate you from God and cause you to go to hell if you do not repent".

This is not condemnation in the least, but rather is a call to repentance and to ask for the forgiveness that God believes everyone has a claim too.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, most of the folks I see taking anti-homosexual positions as Christians do not appear to me to be coming from a loving place, but rather a judgmental one.

Also, notice what Jesus did not say to the woman - he didn't say any of what you said, he didn't say make it illegal, he didn't (so far as I know) follow her around to make sure she didn't sin again, etc.

rtwngr 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes, there is a difference in the portrayal of God in the OT and NT of the Bible. Without oversimplifying it, the reason is because in the NT Jesus and God are one in the same. God is no longer a burning bush, pillar of fire, or whispering voice. He is incarnate and walking among us.

Jesus/God gives us a series of rules and guidelines by which we should live our lives. These guidelines lead to pure love which is God. This pure love set us free.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

So did all those generations of pre-Jesus Jews who faithfully followed the OT teachings that then became sins in the NT retroactively go to hell after Jesus/God came on the scene with a new contract?

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Jews do not believe in Hell, because it is not mentioned even once in the Tanakh. I've pointed that out a few times already on this thread.

Jews also believe this:

Is there a Heaven? Open question. Don't worry about it, you're on earth to be alive, not to worry about what happens after you're dead.

Is there an afterlife at all? Again, open question. It is not ruled out. Don't worry about it.

I'm going to quote the rabbi here:

"Most Reform Jews are uncomfortable with the idea of an afterlife."

Judaism is all about ethics and morals in this life, there is nothing to worry about or be saved from after you die.

But for various reasons that I am absolutely sure are valid, yes, there is an afterlife, and there will be a payment to be made if you have not been a moral person that was helpful to others. What life is all about is interpersonal relations, that is, how we treat each other.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Glad to see the faux "Christian" still poking his nose in other people's business like the old biddy he is. God bless you too and I hope the scale condition in your eyes gets better.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

If that's for me, I majored in religious studies, seriously considered seminary and the ministry, and am not an atheist.

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 9 months ago

Just because I don't believe in magic rocks doesn't mean I haven't thoroughly investigated the claim. Critical thinking is a learned skill. It takes no skill to blindly trust things one is told. The claim that one needs faith to believe is lacking in logic. Saying the sky is purple does not make it so, yet there are those who would oft repeat the claim once they heard it without ever looking up to investigate.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Faith and reason go hand in hand. Faith is what makes up the rest of of what logic and reason are unable to provide. For example lets say I'm 51% sure that God exists by way of logic and reason. Faith is the 49% worth left that it would take me to reach complete assurance that God exists.

It would be nonsensical me to live my life 51% of the time as if God exists and 49% of the time as if God did not exist would it not? What happens is I make a decision that it is more likely God exists than that he doesn't and work to live accordingly 100% of the time. Faith is what allows me to strive to live my life like that 100% of the time even though I may only be 51% sure of the existence of God.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I have faith in the FSM. He is my noodly companion (and the most reasonable pasta of them all.)

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Haha I'm sure that take quite a bit of faith ;)

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

It is true that the Torah does contain those mitzvot (commandments), but they were written for a much earlier time. Consult the Talmud for a modern interpretation of those passages. It was completed in approximately the year 700 CE.

Or, you could possibly discuss the matter with a rabbi. However I recommend that you not do that, because he or she will have difficulty refraining from laughing at you. But I am sure that a rabbi would not do that, because any question that is asked in earnest deserves an answer that is not accompanied with ridicule.

Or, you could take a look at Jewish practices during the time Jesus was alive. The death penalty was almost never carried out. A Sanhedrin that handed down a death sentence once every seven or seventy years (sources differ) was referred to as a "Bloody Sanhedrin".

It is a very common Christian custom to look at selected mitzvot from a thousand years before antiquity and the destruction of the Temple and consider them to be binding today. That is very puzzling to any Jew. Why do they think that way? They pick out some passages but not others, pointing to a few mitzvot, and then they don't even eat kosher.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

Jesus was not crucified by Jews, that was never done. That was strictly a Roman practice. And yes, Jesus was crucified with two thieves, according to the New Testament. He was not stoned to death, that was just about history at that time. Bloody Sanhedrin, remember?

This is something that is shocking to most Christians, but Jesus really didn't have very much that was original to say. It is believed that He was an Essene, and apparently He very eloquently quoted their beliefs. That in no way diminishes what He said though, they are very valid principles to live by.

But a Jew will never believe He was G-d on earth.

About "The death penalty was almost never carried out."

As far as at the time when Jesus was alive is concerned, all I can say about that is go read some history. However, it is quite possible that it was practiced by criminals without the authority of the Sanhedrin, crime is a very old thing.

About Todd's Bible, maybe he is unaware that Jews wrote the verses he is quoting. Maybe the people that wrote the book can tell you what it means to us today.

I heard quite an interesting concept quite some time ago. It had to do with a new religion, based upon 'Gone With the Wind.' All you have to do is proclaim it to be Divinely Inspired, and bingo, it's your Bible. Go live by it.

So, Todd can take whatever he wants out of context and use it for his Bible if he wants. But he should keep in mind that Jews do not believe very much of that anymore, and that is especially true for Reform Jews.

mom_of_three 2 years, 9 months ago

And it also permits slavery, and stoning, and oh, no lying, cheating or stealing... so how do you pick what to follow and what NOT to follow.. its called common sense, which Todd seems to have

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

You have pointed out many more things in the Torah that have not been practiced by Jews since antiquity. It is very easy to pick which are considered to be binding today, and I explained it.

It is contained within the Talmud, which is an interpretation of the Torah, and the writings of the rabbis over the last 2,000 years. But that is Jewish, and Christians think they have found something better than the wisdom of the ages.

No wonder so many of them are so confused.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"But that is Jewish, and Christians think they have found something better than the wisdom of the ages."

One thing a lot of fundy Christians in this country and lots of Jews in Israel (and elsewhere) seem to agree on is that murdering Arabs/Muslims by the thousands is what God wants them to do.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

"You shall not kill (murder)." Exodus Chapter 20, verse 13 is a binding mitzvah.

It's one of the Big Ten.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

How many of the other 9 do they also so blatantly violate?

rtwngr 2 years, 9 months ago

I will leave you with this thought: Not long after the Romans had crucified Christ, the Jews of that day were up in arms over the people listening and following what these "disciples" were teaching. Gamaliel, a very wise and learned Rabbi, a teacher of the apostle Paul, said to ignore it. If it is not of God it will die out and go away. If it is of God there is nothing we can do to stop it anyway. Think about the emperors that executed St Paul and St Peter in Rome. Where are the ones that follow them? Where are the lasting reminders of them? Who is the one that Roman authority is handed down to? Look at those the Romans persecuted. St Peter's Basilica, the Basilica of St Paul Outside the Walls. Lastly, Pope Benedict XVI is the most recent in a line of authority handed down by Jesus Christ himself. "Truly this was the Son of God." Mark 15:39

Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

Fear not the Gays, but go forth and sin no more! Better bring in The Mitt on these matters of sexual unholiness and crimes of divorce, he was a minister for sometime you know and he is in touch with the little people. Can we settle Abortion today too?
Oh, back to business, how about a special divorce tax(only on the lower and middle classes), that will show them who's boss. There must be something in the Bible about taxing the little people who get divorced. Research that scholars.

Let's settle this once and for all - right here on the LJW blog. Should we use the: Hindu Scriptures, Taoist Scriptures, Buddhist Scriptures, Old Testament, New Testament, Koran, or the Tanakh.... as the rarefied absolute truth in scripture as guided by the hand of God to settle all these puzzles of life and death? What, can't do it, why not? Not enough empirical data? Can't decide who's interpretation of the interpretation of the interpretation to use? Ok, let's begin anew. Well put anything we can prove that Jesus, or any of the other glorified religious leaders said, in red type, and the rest in black type. What do you mean we already tried that and it didn't work, Ok then we will annotate all of it, use tapes, charts, and color pictures and use direct quotes to prove it was GOD talking. What do you mean we tried that already too. OK, if we agree to apply Blind Faith, across the board, it will not matter if we can prove anything, we just believe all of it and all is well on heaven and earth. Ok, does everyone accept that? What, hey you in the back pew there, put your hand down we are not taking any more suggestions right now and maybe never and especially if you are not baptized, circumcised, de-demonized, or pre-crucified by accepting a savior into to your heart. Just pray, do it in school, in a pool, in a cab, in the shower, on the filed. But you must do it!!!. Don't hide your light under a basket(Jesus said that) It is a sin to do otherwise and if you don't, an inquisition and a holy war will be upon you, your children and your children's children. Get it? Ok, let's get back to the love and figuring out which of the scriptures are The Absolute Holiest of the Holy and use that as the LAW OF GOD(S). What there is more than one GOD? No way! Oh yes, there are many gods, the Bible says so(it really does), but there is a twist, you can't put any of the other ones before the Big One and so on and so forth. Guess we are not going to get to Abortion today children - sorry.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

Love that you pointed out the mention of other gods in the Bible. Did you know (I researched this myself, and studied it in college) that Genesis has a remarkable resemblance to the oldest known text--the Epic of Gilgamesh? Interesting....since they were pagans.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

'The Epic of Gilgamesh' is much shorter, does not detail moral behavior, and did not found a religion that has any living adherents.

The Reform Jewish point of view is that the Flood of Noah is a myth that was orally passed down from generation to generation for about 700 years before it was written down with quill and parchment. It was passed down from generation to generation because it was considered to be important.

It is not impossible that they came from a common source, and exactly where the story came from is lost in the mists of time. What is important about it is what we can learn from it today.

Again, that is the Reform Jewish point of view. The official platform of the Reform movement is considered to be heresy by many, including other Jews.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 9 months ago

The only sin diappointed progressive believe in is not following the dictates of the hive mind.

Jeff Zamrzla 2 years, 9 months ago

I genuinely feel sorry for you. To be so entrenched and rigid in thought must be a miserable way to live. I hope you learn to stretch your boundaries just a little, that is what living is for. Being bound up and rigid in thought and deed makes one very unpleasant to be around.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

Or perhaps there's no such thing as sin, and it is a fictional concept.

Nor is the concept of sin necessary to construct a moral schematic. Of course, you lose the ability to declare moral absolutes, but there is also the possibility that moral absolutes are a fictional concept. Declaring a moral absolute because God or the Bible says it is so is no different than declaring one because Douglas Adams or the Hitchhikers Guide says it is so. You can always find a source to put your unshakeable faith in.

So condemn sin if you like, but please don't make any laws based on sin. If one isn't a Christian, then there is no reason to act based solely on what is said to be sinful.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

I put my unshakeable faith in reality. Unless your going to start asking nonsensical questions like "Is the pencil really there?" I think you would agree with this as well. Our reality is that sexual relations between two men or two women are absolutely irrational.

Sex has two obvious purposes: bonding two people together and making babies

Just using the powers of observation is it not apparent that the bonding nature of sex only serves a purpose because sex has also been designed to produce babies? I mean lets imagine for a second that sex had nothing to do with furthering the species and just bonded people together. What purpose is there in sex being a bonding experience if it is not also a way to produce babies? The answer is zero.

If you look in nature and all the animals you will see this principle holds. The only reason nature works to bond two people together in sexual relations is for the purpose of making sure they are together to raise the children their sex act produces.

Based on that it can only be concluded that homosexual relations are completely illogical, irrational, and without purpose. There is zero reason why society should recognize such acts and relationships as being good for society. Obviously people are free do what they want in this regard, but there is zero reason why society should recognize and uphold it as something good.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

lol "Was it the spoon that moved or was it you that moved though...." :)

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"If you look in nature and all the animals you will see this principle holds."

Actually, homosexual acts among animals is not that uncommon. There is even occasionally interspecies sex.

"Obviously people are free do what they want in this regard,"

Yep, and people are free to be bigots. But please do us a favor, and spare us the long-winded rationales for your own bigotry.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

"Actually, homosexual acts among animals is not that uncommon. There is even occasionally interspecies sex."

Yes, and those acts are illogical as well unless the inter-species sex has the possibility of being procreative. I never claimed nature was perfect but rather that an obvious design and purpose in nature is apparent regardless of whether you believe it was created by a God or is just the natural order of things.

Do you deny that the only biological purpose of sex being bonding is that is also has the potential to be procreative? Also please note I'm not excluding the purpose of sex between a couple who may be barren. I'm looking at this from a principled point of view. Intercourse between a man and woman is always ordered towards procreation and therefore has meaning regardless as to whether or not it actually results in a child.

"Yep, and people are free to be bigots. But please do us a favor, and spare us the long-winded rationales for your own bigotry."

Ah the comments of someone who is drowning in their own irrationality.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

" I never claimed nature was perfect but rather that an obvious design and purpose in nature is apparent "

No, it's not apparent. And just because you believe it is doesn't give you the right to demand that society discriminate against same sex couples.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Discrimination only exists when you have to equal things under consideration that are treated differently.

I don't think it takes anything more than observation to see that a homosexual marriage and a heterosexual marriage are not equal. The people involved are all equal, but the relationships and what comes from them are not. Thus it is not discrimination to treat these relationships differently if it is done so based on the real inequalities that exist within the relationships.

Our laws on marriage are not about recognizing "love" or some emotional response between two people. I'm sure the love between two homosexual persons can parallel that between heterosexual persons. Laws on marriage are about recognizing that they provide the framework by which to raise the children that come from heterosexual relationships in a stable, loving environment.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Those are nothing but your prejudices, and discrimination based on prejudice is bigotry.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

One act = babies

Another act = no babies

Its called the "reproductive system" for a reason... ah reason.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"One act = babies

Another act = no babies"

People have babies (mostly) because they want them. Or not.

Your superstitions have nothing to do with it.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Your right I forgot about the stork.

I love your view on how babies seem to be owned by the parents. I always thought parents existed for the sake of children, not that children existed for the sake of the parents....

Your view on these things makes your other irrationalities much easier to comprehend.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Interesting-- I find your irrationalities impossible to understand.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Marriage is legally a civil contract, whose main purpose is disposition and ownership of assets. Luckily, we live in an era when wives and children are no longer part of the assets belonging to the male.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Yes and all of those legalities are obtainable by homosexual couples currently by way of a good lawyer and a little paperwork. If we wish to bundle all these legalities together for any two people whether they are homosexual or not to make it easier on them, I'm all for it.

Marriage though is promoted through the benefits the government gives it because the government realizes that marriage is the best framework to raise the children that come from the sexual relations heterosexual couples have. Its apparent many have lost sight of this.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Civil marriage exists to protect property, not children. Children up until recently were, in fact, property, as were wives. In many parts of the world they still are property. Sterile and post-menopausal couples have all the same rights as fertile heterosexual couples. The state has no interest in whether or not couples procreate. The ability or desire to procreate is no more a prerequisite for entering into a legal marriage than it is into a desire to buy a house or rent a car. Legally, there is no difference.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

All marital rights are not obtainable by the use of a lawyer, for example, social security survivor benefits.

jafs 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually, many legal rights are not available to homosexual couples, even with legal contracts.

If you truly advocate for creating a framework within which homosexual couples can obtain all of the legal rights/benefits of marriage, I'd be surprised.

What difference does it make if we call it marriage or not, if all of the same benefits are available?

That doesn't seem very logical, to be supportive of a civil union which grants all of the same benefits, but to be opposed to calling it a marriage.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Natural_Law is not arguing logically when he claims that because sex acts are the means to reproduction, any bonding that may occur in sex acts must be a result of the possibility of reproduction. It would be more logical to say that bonding is the first purpose, because bonding occurs as a result of sex much more often than reproduction. From a biological perspective, if reproduction were really the primary goal and bonding merely supports it, then women would not be receptive when they weren't fertile. That's true of some species, but not of humans. Or bonobos, who engage in sex all the time. So based both on logic and on the biological evidence, Natural_Law's position cannot be sustained.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

" Or bonobos, who engage in sex all the time."

I'm sure that Natural_Law will explain this by saying that all bonobos go to hell.

Getaroom 2 years, 9 months ago

This is an unshakeable truth: For humans certainly, there is the mutual pleasuring of the senses. Has nothing to do with procreation. Enjoy it while you can, it doesn't last forever. Sin and sin some more in that case.

But if you have your CC Permit, the whole world will be safer and there again, the more the merrier. The more people who carry concealed, the more sinning, the more safe sex w/o offspring. This is conversely dynamic as you can plainly see through empirical evidence and scientific rigor. Monkey see, monkey do. "Survival of the Carryist". The new and powerful belief system that is sweeping the world, one Glock 9mm w/30 rd clip at a time.

esteshawk 2 years, 9 months ago

If the reason for sex is to reproduce, why is masturbation a basic human act? Boo- yah!

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Condemnation is declaring that someone is going to hell and is otherwise not worthy of forgiveness.

Please explain where you see condemnation in this post? Calling out the sins of others as wrong is not condemnation.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Haha there is a difference between condemning sin and condemning people ;)

If I say "Committing __ mortal sin will send a person to hell if they don't repent and ask for forgiveness" that is not condemnation of a person. Condemnation of a person only occurs when it happens under the guise that someone has no chance of being granted forgiveness from God if they ask for it.

There are some people out there who believe just even being attracted to the same sex is a sin and that such people are abominations unworthy of God's forgiveness. That is condemnation, but people with that kind of view are few and far between. If it was the mainstream of thought don't you think Fred Phelps would have a lot more followers?

rockchalker52 2 years, 9 months ago

Old Version: It's in the Bible.

New version: I read it on the internet so it must be true.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

"Isn't is just condemnation, once removed?"

No, its acknowledging that sin actually matters and has consequences if we don't repent and turn away from it. Hell does exist and some people really will end up there on accord of their own freely chosen actions. Was John the Baptist condemning people by calling them to repentance for their sins? The first step in making a change in life, is admitting you have a problem. If someone does not believe what they are doing is wrong, what is the chance they will turn away from it?

And if something that is wrong has no chance of leading you to hell, why should you care whether or not you do it? The fact is that either these things are wrong and could lead a person to end up in hell if they don't repent or they are not.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

"The first step in making a change in life, is admitting you have a problem."

I agree-- the sooner you acknowledge your bigotry towards homosexuals, the sooner you can begin to overcome it.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

The sooner you join reality the sooner you will realize that calling people bigots is not a good way to get people to see you view on things.

Its kind of like going around and calling people heretics. Could be true but do you really think someone who was a bigot would be swayed to see your side of things when you call them a bigot.

I think you may have more hate towards people you consider bigots than Fred Phelps does towards gays lol. Unfortunately hate always spawns more hate.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I didn't call you a name. I merely assigned an accurate descriptor of your attitude/demeanor towards those you consider "sinful," and the discrimination you expect society to inflict on them.

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually I consider homosexual acts to be more illogical and irrational than anything else looking at it from a secular viewpoint. Reason is the thing that separates us from the animals.

Linda Endicott 2 years, 9 months ago

In a lot of ways, I don't see much separation between humans and animals...

Illogical and irrational? There are a lot of things in life that could be considered such...I myself don't see much logic or purpose in fingernail polish, but lots of people use it, anyway...

Not much logic or purpose in buying a blue car instead of a white one...but people do it anyway...

Come to think of it, "love" itself seems pretty illogical, doesn't it? Doesn't much matter which two or three (or pick your number) individuals are involved in it...

Matter of fact, the more I think about it, the more I would like you to give an example of human behavior (any human behavior) that is truly logical, Mr. Spock...

Natural_Law 2 years, 9 months ago

Haha well view it as being forever removed from God's love then. That is what Hell is. If you don't think this is possible ask the rich man who was looking up from the pit of hell asking Lazarus for a drink. Who cares about the logistics of it, Hell exists and is defined as being forever being removed from God's love.

Ron Holzwarth 2 years, 9 months ago

"Hell does exist"

Not if you're Jewish. There is no mention of it at all in the Tanakh. "Hell" was new with the New Testament.

voevoda 2 years, 9 months ago

Lots of religions don't have any "hell" (or equivalent), yet they still manage to come up with some pretty compelling reasons for people to avoid wrongdoing and embrace moral conduct. Many versions of Christianity provide an "out," too: sin all you like, and repent before you die.
Of course, if Natural_Law is condemning only the sin and not the sinner, then he'll propound a theology in which the sin goes to hell and the sinner goes to heaven. Interesting, but heretical.

esteshawk 2 years, 9 months ago

What in this natural world makes you think hell exists? Either you believe in fairy tales or you dont. Which is it?

downriverdan 2 years, 9 months ago

Will I have the sense to use my purple robe to warm Lazarus and use my linen for his bandages? Or will I leave him to his nakedness and open wounds for it was he who was born into such a state and not I? Someday will I be judged for my self-importance and disregard of some homosexuals own needs? Or judged for my choices of self-aggrandizement and expediency like the wealthy priests of Jerusalem? What judgment will be used against me?

Nay I say, for I love all others just like I do this God that you kneel to. Or in the case of those who do not believe in supernatural beings, I love and care for my fellow inhabitants here on Earth. It is the least I can do for the least of you...

somedude20 2 years, 9 months ago

Sin is to "God" as being bad is to "Santa"....

You are grow adults. Stop with the fairy tales. We are all going to die, don't be so weak minded that you have to believe in a "act 2" (heaven) out of fear of death to live life.

You guys slay me. You won't believe that Obama is a natural born citizen (or that man is affecting the earth's climate) but you know that there is a god. I guess I should be happy that other pieces of fiction from history did not become your false idols of hope.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I've often marveled at how well the losing team's cheerleaders can remain so buoyantly cheerful.

deec 2 years, 9 months ago

Well, except refute everything he says, that is.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

Apologies for spelling errors, only have my phone right now

The purpose of sex is to bond and make babies? No, not necessarily. Making babies is a biological reaction to sex, under a certain set of circumstances. Bonding is not even that, necessarily. Purpose is an abstract, a personal interpretation. Someone's purpose in sex may be to procreate, an it also may not. Another purpose might be to bond, but it may not. It may be for purely physical enjoyment, it may not. It may just be to brag to your friends that your number of conquests you've achieved has increased, but it may not. All of those things could be considered to be a purpose for sex in the minds of the doer, none of then are intrinsic. Saying that the purpose of sex is to procreate is the same as saying the purpose of eating is to take a dump. They are potentially fixed biological results, but there are other reasons to engage in them.

Your definition of purpose is poorly constructed, hence it fails. Thus fails your notion that homosexual sex is illogical. If it was true that the only desired reaction to sex was babies then it would true, but that is not true. That is entirely your construct of purpose, and just because it is yours, that does not make it absolute. You cannot prove purpose, only natural reaction. One is opinion, one is natural law. It is erroneous to collate the two.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

Great post, jonas.

"Saying that the purpose of sex is to procreate is the same as saying the purpose of eating is to take a dump."

he he

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

I have to credit Bill Hicks for that. The man was a genius.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I vaguely remember that line now. But he could string a lot of similarly brilliant lines together in quick succession so well that it's hard to remember them all. Thanks for remembering that one for us-- very applicable to the discussion at hand.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

In the case of bonobos, it is their own choice.

asixbury 2 years, 9 months ago

It happens mostly in the mammal species. The fact that their sex drive is chemical based, yet homosexual acts still occur, is even more evidence that homosexuality is not something one chooses, but is a part of who they truly are.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

Perhaps it's because animals are biologically driven to pleasurable or satisfying physical sensation, irrespective of and unrelated their biological drive to procreate and survive.

/just like the animals known as humans are

jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

'Scuse me, Mr. Wilson, but the Bible condemn's a lot of things that are fairly silly now. Considering that book is a collection of allegories and second hand accounts, and considering some Books of the Bible weren't written until many years after Jesus' passing, and considering the faulty memory that comes with any passage of time, and considering the prejudice of man........ WAKE UP! The fact you hold the same opinion as Iwannajihad and the Phelps clan, one would hope the fog might begin to clear a tad.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

Finally can read the full thing, I guess I have only one thing left to add.

Natural Law says: "Hell does exist."

I respond: Prove it empirically. Until you can do so, I see no reason for it, or sin, to enter into debate, other than when clearly marked as personal opinion.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

"Then just ignore it."

No.

You have the same option to ignore me as I have the same option to ignore them. We both choose not to do so, for reasons of our own.

People invite response to their ideas when they post them on a public forum. If you don't want a response, then don't post, or at least just mark somewhere that there is no point in responding to your post. But don't expect that to change anything.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 9 months ago

I find the rule here that you can demand that someone not attempt to engage you in discussion very odd-- no, make that silly.

It takes two to have a discussion. If you decide you don't want to have a discussion with someone, the just don't do it. If they're breaking other rules of use while attempting engage you, report them, and let admin deal with it.

Otherwise, if you don't want someone to respond to your thoughts or ideas, don't post here.

jonas_opines 2 years, 9 months ago

Some posters, even when they've run out of things to validly say, still have to say something, and it tends to be some variation on "just shut up!"

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

Just to let you know, BAA, the First Amendment to the US Constitution grants you the right to free speech. That same amendment grants me the right to tell you to shut the hell up. You don't HAVE to but I can still say it.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

I condemn sin damn near everyday ...... it's called Sam Brownback!

jaywalker 2 years, 9 months ago

I certainly hope your existence isn't as sad as it reads out on these boards, merrill, I sincerely do.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

Seems to me that Mr Getto pretty much nailed it in the second comment on this thread.

"Compassion, moderation and humility." The Golden Rule works pretty well, too.

Everything else is prologue.

As for the usual swipe at atheists---let me enlighten you a bit. I did not choose to be an atheist. As I studied the Bible, other religions, science and logic, among other things, I came to realize that belief in the supernatural made no sense.

If a belief in a god or gods helps someone else live a better life, I certainly have no problem with that, but you don't get to tell me what is right or wrong based on your belief in something I find unbelievable.

I am responsible to myself for my actions. I don't get to do unto others as I would they not do to me and then blame god/gods or the devil for it. I have to learn to live with questions and look for the best answer I can. My world is not black and white, but the colors are so very vivid and interesting and often I learn something new from someone who I least expect to learn from.

This doesn't mean that I don't have very firm and passionate opinions about any number of things, but I hope I am able to listen to and consider other's thoughts.

Hong_Kong_Phooey 2 years, 9 months ago

As soon as they outlaw divorce, I'll agree with this author.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

I was late coming to this thread and as I read the responses I found myself bursting out laughing more than once. This is one area where we "progressives" have the other side beat all to hell; we have a true sense of humor. Now, believe it or not, this is important. True humor has a purpose in life; to teach, to make comparisons, to point out faults in others AND ourselves and to do it in such a way that it's non-threatening and makes people smile. Good job, guys. It was enjoyable. Keep it up.

Richard Heckler 2 years, 9 months ago

If the divorce rate seems a bit high maybe marriage is the culprit?

Or if IRS and medical benefits were the same for couples simply loving and enjoying the company of one another perhaps divorce rates would not be an issue.

Or why is a governor concerning himself with divorce rates? Is it really any business of the governor? or any politicians?

Perhaps if elected officials did not put so many people out of work there would be fewer divorces?

How come family values Newt is allowed 3 wives without persecution?

Perhaps marriage and divorce is not the business of anyone else? Both seem to require a lot of understanding and effort.

Peter Macfarlane 2 years, 9 months ago

Man, I haven't seen this much hot air expended on an issue in a long time. The problem with religion is we take it too seriously. For all we know God, god, or whomever it is up there is having quite a laugh at our expense.

Let's expend electrons on something worthwhile.

Cait McKnelly 2 years, 9 months ago

But you have to admit, there was a lot of it that was at least entertaining.

Armored_One 2 years, 9 months ago

I know it probably won't get answered, but I still feel teh need to ask a question.

Which religion are we going to base these "Sin Laws" on, by chance? Different religions have different sins.

Oh.

Wait.

That pesky entry in the Constitution prevents us from doing that.

verity 2 years, 9 months ago

Which religion? Why, mine, of course.

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