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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Sinful lifestyle

February 25, 2014

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To the editor:

Recent concerns in Kansas government have centered around protecting Christian rights versus denying gay rights. Actually, speaking as a Christian, we don’t have rights per se since we are committed to the Lordship of Christ. However, we are blessed to have rights bestowed on us by our Constitution; albeit, they are slowly being lost to other groups who don’t share the same truth.

Concerning a letter to the editor (“Party of bigotry,” Feb. 18) about why gays can’t enjoy marriage like straight people, I would suggest the following reasons. First, a marriage between the same sex denies that family an opportunity to procreate. Secondly, even if adoption is accomplished, the child is denied the opportunity to be influenced by a father and mother. Thirdly, health statistics show that there are major consequences of a gay lifestyle.

Fourthly, the cost to society of providing health care to HIV/AIDS patients is very high. Fifthly, societies/nations that have adopted the gay lifestyle as acceptable, are eventually destroyed from within. Sixthly, God cannot bless the gay lifestyle because it is sinful. The final reason is the most important: Gays cannot accept God’s message of love because the lifestyle is diametrically opposed to his righteous standards.

Comments

Aaron McGrogor 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Can you show me any country that has been destroyed from within for allowing the gay lifestyle?

Also, most of those reasons center around "God". Why do you get to impose your belief system that is based on an invisible man in the sky on everyone else? Maybe I believe that there's a giant fish in the sky. Maybe eating fish is wrong in my opinion. Since you support the discrimination of others for your religious beliefs, would you support laws barring you from eating fish simply because it violates my religious beliefs?

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Aaron, your remarks are insulting and obviously meant to be so. As a Catholic Christian I totally disagree with Carl and I do not believe in an "invisible man in the sky", but rather a Spirit that has created everything. Please stop making fun of those like myself who have religious beliefs. I have no trouble with you believing whatever you want to, and yes, I support rights for gay people, for all people.

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months ago

Catholics gave their right away to complain when they began trying to take other people's rights away. You can complain but you're wrong.

When Catholics get out of the bedrooms of gays and women, then they can complain if we attack their beliefs. Keep your beliefs in your churches and your home, and out of our laws.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

AM: Also, most of those reasons center around "God". Why do you get to impose your belief system that is based on an invisible man in the sky on everyone else?

RS: If I am speak for Mr. Burkhead, it is not that he is imposing a belief system upon you, but is simply telling you the truth concerning reality.

AM: Maybe I believe that there's a giant fish in the sky. Maybe eating fish is wrong in my opinion. Since you support the discrimination of others for your religious beliefs, would you support laws barring you from eating fish simply because it violates my religious beliefs?

RS: My Burkhead did not say that he supported discrimination of others, but simply showing some consequences of denying the truth. You might also consider that many believe that they are being discriminated against if there are not laws set up to protect them in this area.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

He's not "simply telling the truth concerning reality." He's proposing that the state adhere to his religious beliefs and not allow gay people to marry.

Steve Jacob 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I think it was US Supreme Court Justice who Elena Kagan who wondered if you deny gay marriage because of procreation reasons why do we allow couples over 50 to marry?

Scott Morgan 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Hey, we can certainly try. I'll have you know my wife of 34 years and I stayed out past 7:00 p.m. last night celebrating a milestone birthday. I'd give you a verbal lashing you...you... you young whippersnapper, but my back hurts and I have to take a nap.

Abdu Omar 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Here we go again, Christianity against gays. This is not a Christian country, never has been although the majority of the American people call themselves Christian. But we are a country of laws and these laws are built upon the rights of all.

I do not support homosexuality in any form, but I cannot, with good conscience, deny anyone their right to pursue happiness and have life and liberty. We can wholeheartedly oppose anything in our hearts but cannot legally deny any people of their rights. This freedom was hard won in many wars and the living and dead who fought them have protected us from the tyranny of religious, despotic and dictatorial rule that tries to supercede those laws and rights.

Gerald Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Our freedom is protected by the rule of law, including the Bill of Rights. Said Bill enumerates prohibitions on the Governments power which prevent it from interfering with citizens rights to associate, speak, bear arms, pursue happiness, etc.. The rub comes when the Central power decides that I must provide service to those who are celebrating something I consider dangerous, irresponsible, and demoralizing to myself and the community at large. Public accommodations laws require us to serve all without discrimination based on race or religion. These laws were hard fought and in retrospect were, in justice, needed to redress past habits of harm stemming from the historical evil of slavery.

Must we, without regard to race, bake cakes and provide wedding photos to those celebrating that which we believe imprudent, immoral, and dangerous to society? Must we be part of that celebration against our will? Are we to be compelled by raw government power and threat of fine or jail to contract with those we would rather not contract with? Could not those wishing to have cakes and photos contract with others who freely choose to supply them?

As in the metaphor used by Aaron McGrogor above must we be forced to eat fish if we find them abhorrent to us based upon grounds of principle or taste or even religion?

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Gerald, who exactly is forcing you to bake a cake, take photos, or eat fish? Maybe you chose the wrong profession if your job somehow forces you to do something you find immoral? You must find it real difficult to even leave your house everyday with all those people you are so afraid of out there having fun baking cakes, taking photos, eating what they want, and enjoying their lives. Is someone forcing you to smile and say hello when you see those people, too? If you don't want to help out your fellow man or perform your job, it's no big loss to humanity, but I think you'd feel a lot better with yourself if you understand and accept that not everyone sees the world the same way you do. We don't need any new laws just so a few people like yourself can feel more comfortable being intolerant and legally justified with their discrimination. If you don't want to, don't bake that cake, don't take those photos, don't eat that fish, just stay home, life will go on just fine without you.

Gerald Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I guess the problem is that small shop bakers and photographers around the country are being sued for not providing catering and photography at events they don't support or would prefer not to become involved with. They are forced to make contracts for their services by constraint of law. The question is should their rights to refuse contract service generated by their talent and toil be threatened by law courts?

I understand quite well that not everyone sees the world as I do. That is as it should be, and I applaud their freedom to see the world as they wish. It would seem that the bill of rights should ensure my freedom to contract my services as I choose as long as I don't discriminate by race or religion. Many would jump at the opportunity to service the events in question. Others would prefer not to be compelled by law to contract for services they choose not perform.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Are they being sued in Kansas? Answer: no. This law changes nothing on that front.

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Gerald, when we make ridiculous laws we get ridiculous results. A law like the one you propose doesn't solve anything, it raises more questions and opens up the floodgates for all kinds of nonsense. What if you find out that your employer is gay, do you get to do what you want and stop doing your work for them and still get paid? What if you think people with blue eyes are unholy, do get to refuse service to them, too? Will the government need to put an identifying symbol on our drivers license so people like you can be sure you're discriminating against the right people? What's the difference between a gay and a straight cake, anyway? Where exactly in the bible does it say you shouldn't bake cakes for gay people? Gerald, I'll bet you'd forget all about your religious bias if a gay doctor was the only one available to perform a life saving surgery on you or one of your loved ones. Stop the nonsense, baking a cake for a gay person or anyone else you disagree with isn't going to lead to eternal damnation in any religion that I know of.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

WK: Stop the nonsense, baking a cake for a gay person or anyone else you disagree with isn't going to lead to eternal damnation in any religion that I know of.

RS: The point is being part of a type of wedding that one firmly stands against. Baking a cake may be seen as giving approval in some way. His position is not nonsense at all, but you might consider what it means to give hearty approval to things like this. Romans 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"Baking a cake may be seen as giving approval in some way." Yeah, that's a real stretch right there. You're going way, way, out of your way to signal your disapproval and spread your vindictiveness against gay marriage. It's a cake, that's all, no one is making you attend the wedding or eat the cake, get a grip man.

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

And Richard, just to be clear, I'd like to know more about these new rules you all have made up. I understand people are refusing to bake cakes. Is it ok to be in the same room as a gay person? Can you drink out of the same glass? Do you have to shake your head in disapproval when you see someone you suspect of being gay? I suppose reviving a gay person from a drowning is out of the question? What else do we need do to be sure it doesn't look to anyone like we're showing our approval of gay marriage? It's going to be hard to keep track of all these new rules, I hope you're keeping a list.

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Gerald - are you required to do these now?

Answer: No.

The bill failed, so nothing has changed.

Dustyn Polk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A fairly concise, well-thought out argument.

In rebuttal...

No laws has ever banned the existence of the KKK, but it's still illegal to burn a cross.

No one is saying you have to personally like anyone. No one has to like you and you don't have to like anyone else on this planet, truth be told. Frankly, I find your attitude fairly repugnant. However...

Were I to know you, in regards to recognizing who you are in regards to your statements on here, my opinion of you would not be legal grounds to toss you out of my establishment, whatever that might be.

Nobody cares if you like, love, disapprove, or openly seethe in hatred about homosexuals. You don't have the right to use the latter two to refuse service, or at least you shouldn't.

Leviticus is used most commonly to denounce homosexuality. Okay, it's in the Bible, so I will vaguely give you a pass on it, but since the word of God is immutable, you will also need to tell people with tattoos that they will not receive your services as well, since that is marked as a sin in Leviticus as well.

I was raised in the Church, so I know full well that God's law is all or nothing. You don't get to cherry-pick your faith. The Bible is not a Chinese lunch buffet.

Pick a side of the fence. I'd hate to see you mistime your jump and land on a picket on accident.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

A Christian viewpoint:

John Chapter 8, verse 7:
And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron H: A Christian viewpoint: John Chapter 8, verse 7: And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, "Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her."

RS: Also a Christian viewpoint:
Mat 7:21 "Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. 22 "Many will say to Me on that day, 'Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?' 23 "And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; DEPART FROM ME, YOU WHO PRACTICE LAWLESSNESS.'

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Did you prophesy?

Did you cast out demons?

Did you perform many miracles?

Doug Weston 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ah, so much delightful ridiculousness to comment on. But, I'll exercise some self control and focus on only one issue:

"Fourthly, the cost to society of providing health care to HIV/AIDS patients is very high."

If you're so worried about HIV/AIDS in the homosexual community (accepting your ridiculous premise for the sake of argument), Mr. Burkhead, wouldn't it be better to encourage homosexuals to enter into long-term, monogamous relationships (i.e., marriage)?

Don Brennaman 9 months, 3 weeks ago

How about the cost of not fighting any communicable disease? Only the strongest will survive...isn't that evolution?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

BS: I remain thankful for Carl Burkhead's regular contributions to the discourse, as his off-putting nonsense does more to discredit religion in general, and Christianity in particular, than all the fulminating of a village atheist like me.

RS: Which is not the same thing as denying that he is actually speaking the truth in many ways, though perhaps not all of his arguments are as sound as others. What some call off-putting nonsense does not negate the truthfulness of what is said.

BS: He helps to ensure what is well undrway, that more and more young people will turn their backs on this ridiculous, ignorant, disgusting tradition.

RS: Which certainly sounds like bigoted hate speech if one is to apply those terms in this context. However, the fact that you think of it as ridiculous and ignorant may simply mean that you don't like it, which is far from a case that it is not true. A disgusting tradition? But of course some of us are convinced that it is the eternal truth of a holy God and all the aspersions against it are really against Him.

BS: Keep up the good work, Mr. Burkhead. I would never dream of stopping you. You are a gift to my favorite cause.

RS: The cause of declaring truth in a dark world? So when you die, what happens to your cause? What will your whole life matter then? From your viewpoint, that is, taken to its logical end, human beings are nothing but adult germs with no meaning, no way to know if they know anything, and no objective standard of morality. What is it, then, that you are trying to get these young minds to accept? That they have no purpose or meaning in this world. When the sun burns out, there will be no history of what has been done and all will be nothing. Sorry, but your position sounds far more radical than Mr. Burkhead's position. The cry within the human soul for purpose and meaning cannot be totally extinguished, so some try to find meaning and purpose in getting away from meaning and purpose. That sounds like a position full of nonsense to me when you have no way of obtaining an objective standard of knowledge.

Julius Nolan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Another weekly sermon from Mr Burkhead. Would suggest that he form his own church and invite all those (the very few) to join with him to worship his"god". If I want a sermon, I go to church, which I haven't been into except for funerals and weddings of those who are really Christian in the way they live or lived their lives. And that covers a period of 50+ years.

Phillip Chappuie 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The first is procreate? Well heck we need more of that in this overpopulated world. This is one of them more bigoted and narrow minded pieces I've seen in awhile. Mostly based on the greatest fraud of all. Mr. Author, you cannot pray a lie.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

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

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I've always thought it odd how some people like Carl seemed to be so obsessed with gay marriage. What's the deal? Carl, do you think allowing homosexuals to have the same rights and freedoms that you enjoy somehow diminishes your own rights and freedoms? Why are you so obsessed with this one issue, I don't get it? The seven reasons you've given are really weak. I think you've missed the message of god's love completely. You seem to be full of hate.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

WK: I've always thought it odd how some people like Carl seemed to be so obsessed with gay marriage. What's the deal? Carl, do you think allowing homosexuals to have the same rights and freedoms that you enjoy somehow diminishes your own rights and freedoms? Why are you so obsessed with this one issue, I don't get it? The seven reasons you've given are really weak. I think you've missed the message of god's love completely. You seem to be full of hate.

RS: Or perhaps you have missed the message of what the love of God is. We are told that if we love Him, we will obey His commandments. If we think that God is some floating blob of love that will wink at all rebellion and sin, we have missed the fact that He is also holy, holy, holy and perfectly just. Perhaps this God loves holiness and justice and hates sin.

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Is discrimination against people we don't agree with a commandment? I don't remember that being one of the original ten.
If you don't agree with gay marriage, then you shouldn't do it. People have the right to choose their own destiny, it's called free will.
Why do you care what two consenting adults do in their own home? Why shouldn't they have the same rights and freedoms as the rest of us? Does gay marriage somehow make homosexuality too tempting for you?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

WK: Is discrimination against people we don't agree with a commandment? I don't remember that being one of the original ten.

RS: Why do you think that disagreement with something means discrimination? Are you disciminating against me because you disagree with me?

WK: If you don't agree with gay marriage, then you shouldn't do it.

RS: But your views evidently want to force me to provide services for those if I run a business.

WK: People have the right to choose their own destiny, it's called free will.

RS: Free-will is a myth. Unless a person is set free by Christ, that person is a slave to his own passions and is driven along by those.

WK: Why do you care what two consenting adults do in their own home?

RS: Why do you not care about that and instead stand for it when we are told this: Rom 1:32 and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also give hearty approval to those who practice them.

WK: Why shouldn't they have the same rights and freedoms as the rest of us?

RS: Who says they don't, but apart from a bill on this order they will be able to push their so-called rights upon others.

WK: Does gay marriage somehow make homosexuality too tempting for you?

RS: Oh, please. I guess when you are without an argument you can just resort to absurdity.

Wayne Kerr 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Richard, not allowing homosexuals to have the same rights and privileges as everyone else is discrimination. No one is pushing anything on you, you're projecting. You seem to have given this subject a lot of thought. Why do you and Carl have such a strong obsession with homosexuality and religion? I'm not trying to be absurd, that's what it seems like to me.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

WK: Richard, not allowing homosexuals to have the same rights and privileges as everyone else is discrimination. No one is pushing anything on you, you're projecting. You seem to have given this subject a lot of thought. Why do you and Carl have such a strong obsession with homosexuality and religion? I'm not trying to be absurd, that's what it seems like to me.

RS: I hear you, really. I don't think that it is an issue of different rights and privileges as such, though that is how it is set out. Why it seems to be an obsession, however, is that this is being pushed on everybody to consider it as something that is not sin. Is it so wrong to allow one group of people the right not to serve (a very limited parameter) another group? Why can't a privately owned business refuse to serve a particular group of people? I see signs in businesses that say they have the right to refuse to serve people. If person A has a business and strongly disagrees with homosexual marriage, then that person should not have to do their business for that.

What appears to be an obsession is perhaps a reaction to an agenda that is pushing for what is clearly set out as sin as something that is not sin. It turns out to be, then, a battle for what is truly right and truly good. It also turns out to be a battle over the eternal souls of homosexuals and for those who support them. If a person lives in unconfessed and unrepentant sin, there is no hope for that person. So all the political machinery that is operating to take this behavior and say it is normal and moral, it is actually robbing people of true hope.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Which commandment, exactly, deals with homosexuality?

Oh wait, it's not listed as a sin.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It actually violates all Ten Commandments, when one takes them into consideration in the context of the character of God. I will list a brief outline for you. 1. It is to have self as the god of self rather than God 2. It is to worship the idol self rather than God 3. It is to a misuse of the name of God as it is misusing HIs image 4. It is not resting (Sabbath) in Christ alone but in self 5. It does not honor our father or the heavenly Father who created all 6. It is spiritual murder as it contributes to the murder of souls 7. It is sexual misconduct and as such it is spiritual adultery against God 8. It is stealing from God His glory and all obedience to Him 9. It is a lie about who God is 10. It is coveting another which is forbidden by God

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Fortunately, that's irrelevant in a country that's not a theocracy. Perhaps Iran would be more to someone's liking if they wish to live in a world committed to upholding the Ten Commandments.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Seth Peterson: Fortunately, that's irrelevant in a country that's not a theocracy. Perhaps Iran would be more to someone's liking if they wish to live in a world committed to upholding the Ten Commandments.

RS: It is the most relevant thing to each person for all eternity. I am not just speaking to things like laws of the nation, but the real issue is what happens when people stand before God. All die and all will stand before God.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Then let God deal with it then, until then, butt out of other people's lives and stop denying them their Liberty!

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Anon: Then let God deal with it then, until then, butt out of other people's lives and stop denying them their Liberty!

RS: What liberty are they being denied?

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

We've been through this before. Please do read the bills before you write LTEs supporting them.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

What liberty are they being denied?

How about he liberty to marry their beloved or the liberty to sue for discrimination when it occurs, to name a couple.

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Please stop being intentionally obtuse if you plan on continuing to post.

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RS: It is the most relevant thing to each person for all eternity. I am not just speaking to things like laws of the nation,

SP: That's funny, you want to use your imagination while claiming to want to discuss something relevant to reality.

RS: but the real issue is what happens when people stand before God. All die and all will stand before God.

SP: No, we won't.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Old post RS: It is the most relevant thing to each person for all eternity. I am not just speaking to things like laws of the nation,

Old post SP: That's funny, you want to use your imagination while claiming to want to discuss something relevant to reality.

RS: No imagination at all, but simple and sober reality and truth that down deep in your uneasy conscience you have to suppress.

Old Post RS: but the real issue is what happens when people stand before God. All die and all will stand before God.

Old Post SP: No, we won't.

RS: Yes, you and all will. Denying it will not prevent the reality of it coming true.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Well hell, put in that context, almost everything humans do can be considered a sin.

What's the point of living then if you're not meant to be whom you were created to be?

If God doesn't want homosexuals, maybe he should stop creating them. Or maybe he creates imperfections on purpose- ever think maybe you're imperfect? And that your imperfection is incorrectly interpreting his word?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Anon: Well hell, put in that context, almost everything humans do can be considered a sin.

RS: That is correct. That is something people hate and so try to deny.

Anon: What's the point of living then if you're not meant to be whom you were created to be?

RS: I would agree that living is being who you were created to be, but human beings were created to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

Anon: If God doesn't want homosexuals, maybe he should stop creating them.

RS: He creates human beings, He does not create homosexuals.

Anon: Or maybe he creates imperfections on purpose- ever think maybe you're imperfect? And that your imperfection is incorrectly interpreting his word?

RS: I am acutely aware that I am quite imperfect. Have you ever considered that your imperfection contributes to your incorrectly interpreting God's Word?

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Anon: Well hell, put in that context, almost everything humans do can be considered a sin.

RS: That is correct. That is something people hate and so try to deny.

Sin isn't real, it's a concept which was thought up to sell you something you don't need in order to fix it.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Seth Peterson: Sin isn't real, it's a concept which was thought up to sell you something you don't need in order to fix it.

RS: No, sin is a reality in the world and it takes the bloody cross of Jesus for a person to have the perfect justice and wrath of God satisfied for that sin. All sin is infinite because it is against an infinite God and as such deserves an infinite punishment, though because human beings are finite they will suffer for an infinite amount of time (eternity) and yet never satisfy the wrath of God upon them.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I think they must have had angry letter to the editor writing day at Famous Daves.

Rick Masters 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Wow! It did not take long for that LTE to hit the Kooky Event Horizon.

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, for Pete's Sake! Is no one aware that there are Catholic and Protestant Christians and about two hundred different Protestant sects? Please stop lumping us all together and assuming that you know what we all think and believe and how we all worship.

In other news, Rick, Carl and Michonne are on the run, not from just the zombies but the humans one of which knows he has the knowledge to save the world. Yes, the entire world.

Now the people are scarier than the zombies and more of a threat. Think about that.

Of course, I am talking about The Walking Dead.

Rick Masters 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm glad you brought up "The Walking Dead" in this argument because "Gimme a Break!" would have seemed off topic.

Julius Nolan 9 months, 3 weeks ago

When you say The Walking Dead, I get a mental picture of the GOP and their tea drinking fringe.

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Reading comprehension is non-existent on here. Think about it. Walking Dead, finding people more of a threat than the zombies. What was I trying to get across? I thought it was obvious, but I guess not.

People are doing worse things to each other than the zombies, at least they just kill you they don't try to mess with your head.

Fred Mertz 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Leslie, just so you know you're not alone. I am a practicing Catholic and support gay marriage. Why? Because I can separate my faith from the secular world in which we live. The government should govern based on law and not faith. It should apply the law equally and in my opinion that means allowing gays to marry. Doesn't threaten my marriage. Doesn't diminish its value.

It does allow two committed people to more fully enjoy their lives together. It allows them to be happy and to enjoy the benefits provided to other married couples.

Love is the message of my faith. Think about this - my faith demands that I believe God is all powerful. I do believe it so if it is good enough for God to allow us free will when he could force us to be "good" then why isn't it good enough for us? Why do some feel the need to legislate so-called morality?

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Carl, your insane letter is quite reflective of your gross prejudice, bigotry and downrignt stupidity. You are one of the reasons real Christians are cast as offensive in the debate against gays.

You have managed to insult and defame nearly all good grace with your ignorance. Your insinuations about AIDS and HIV are downright insulting and offensive.

None of your religious righteousness is defensible in any type of religion Christ told us to love one another. You have defamed and denied Hiis instructions.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

First, a marriage between the same sex denies that family an opportunity to procreate.

So does a marriage when someone is infertile. Are you going to go with the ancient Scandinavian tradition of making sure the woman is pregnant and can bear sons before the marriage is officially performed?

Secondly, even if adoption is accomplished, the child is denied the opportunity to be influenced by a father and mother.

Are you going to ban single parents from existing, too? If a woman gets pregnant and the dad wants no part of the parenting, should the woman immediately abort? Furthermore, is it better for a child to have no parents at all and remain in the foster system than it is for that same child to be adopted by a loving couple of the same gender?

Thirdly, health statistics show that there are major consequences of a gay lifestyle.

And those consequences are...? You can't just say "consequences" and expect us to read your mind and concede the point. And these consequences are more or less bad than the consequences of, say, professional football or skydiving? You going to ban all activities that have "consequences?"

Fourthly, the cost to society of providing health care to HIV/AIDS patients is very high

Well good thing that straight people never get AIDS. Oh wait....

Now it would seem to me that monogamy would be the thing you'd need to encourage to stop the transmission of an STD. Why not legally encourage monogamy?

Fifthly, societies/nations that have adopted the gay lifestyle as acceptable, are eventually destroyed from within.

Please provide an example of this happening and why alternative explanations would not have accounted for this alleged destruction from within.

Sixthly, God cannot bless the gay lifestyle because it is sinful. The final reason is the most important: Gays cannot accept God’s message of love because the lifestyle is diametrically opposed to his righteous standards.

Says you. There are plenty of Christians who say otherwise.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

JH quoting Burkhead: Sixthly, God cannot bless the gay lifestyle because it is sinful. The final reason is the most important: Gays cannot accept God’s message of love because the lifestyle is diametrically opposed to his righteous standards.

JH: Says you. There are plenty of Christians who say otherwise.

RS: All who claim to be Christians are not necessarily Christians. This was written to be a warning about how some are deceived about being Christians.

I Corinthians 6:9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

The word used is arsenokoitai, and there's still debate about the exact meaning. How's your ancient Greek?

Enough about Paul. What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

JH: The word used is arsenokoitai, and there's still debate about the exact meaning. How's your ancient Greek?

RS: There is no real debate on the issue that is not brought in by people trying to deny the obvious. The word arsekokoitai is made up of two Greek words. 1. The word arsen means men or males. 2. The word Koitai has the same idea of coitus in English. The word could not be any clearer other than some trying to get around it on purpose.

JH: Enough about Paul. What did Jesus say about homosexuality?

RS: He spoke against sin in general and against porneia specifically. Porneia is a word that speaks of all kinds of sexual sin and promiscuity. But there is no need to divine Jesus and Paul. After all, Paul received what he said from Jesus.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

That's one theory on the meaning and origin of the word, but it is far from the only opinion on the matter. Paul seems to have made up the word, even though a perfectly good word already existed in Greek for sexual activity between men. So why make up the word, unless he meant something other than what you assume to be the obvious? Some speculate that he meant men who raped other men, for example.

Unless you've also been given a vision on the road to Damascus, you're just assuming that your interpretation is the correct one. Stop judging others for making a different call.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

James Howlette 5 That's one theory on the meaning and origin of the word, but it is far from the only opinion on the matter. Paul seems to have made up the word, even though a perfectly good word already existed in Greek for sexual activity between men. So why make up the word, unless he meant something other than what you assume to be the obvious? Some speculate that he meant men who raped other men, for example.

RS: Yes, some speculate about many things. The word itself is quite obvious. It means "male" and "sexual intercourse." Not much room to really go wrong on that one. A little more to chew on below.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the lusts of their hearts to impurity, so that their bodies would be dishonored among them. 25 For they exchanged the truth of God for a lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen. 26 For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error. 28 And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper,

JH: Unless you've also been given a vision on the road to Damascus, you're just assuming that your interpretation is the correct one. Stop judging others for making a different call.

RS: No, there is no real assumption on my part. The word is quite clear along with the context it is found in and the contexts of the Bible. There are many things about interpretation and how one understands spiritual things rather than just making an assumption. I am not judging anyone as such, but I am simply saying what the Word of God says on the subject. People can run around seeking to escape it if they want, but that is not a good errand to be on. One should seek for truth rather than for error.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Is the word quite obvious? Are you an ancient Greek scholar? You can't literally translate all words with a one to one meaning. It doesn't actually work that way. Trust me. While I'm not an ancient Greek scholar, I am a polyglot, and I do know a thing or two about the hazards of translation. There's a reason for the debate, and it exists beyond simply wanting to wiggle out of an uncomfortable truth, such as the permissibility of wearing polyester or eating shrimp or the political contexts of which books made it into the Bible and the outsized importance of Paul (who never met Jesus in person) to James, who was his actual brother and regarded as the leader of the church by contemporaries (even appointed such by Jesus in the Book of Thomas.)

Don't fool yourself. You are not saying what the Word of God says on the subject. You're saying what you interpret the translated version Word of God to say and what you think or have been told it means. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps you are not, but you're not the only one with a valid interpretation on the matter.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

James Howlette Is the word quite obvious?

RS: yes

JH: Are you an ancient Greek scholar?

RS: No, but scholarship cannot determine the truth either espectially when scholars disagree on the subject depending on which way they lean. The word is really obvious.

JH: You can't literally translate all words with a one to one meaning. It doesn't actually work that way. Trust me. While I'm not an ancient Greek scholar, I am a polyglot, and I do know a thing or two about the hazards of translation. There's a reason for the debate, and it exists beyond simply wanting to wiggle out of an uncomfortable truth, such as the permissibility of wearing polyester or eating shrimp or the political contexts of which books made it into the Bible and the outsized importance of Paul (who never met Jesus in person) to James, who was his actual brother and regarded as the leader of the church by contemporaries (even appointed such by Jesus in the Book of Thomas.)

RS: But Paul said that he had met Jesus. I am sorry that you think that the importance of the one sent by Jesus to speak forth His message is virtually irrelevant.

JH: Don't fool yourself. You are not saying what the Word of God says on the subject.

RS: Well, then, don't fool and deceive yourself into denying what the Word of God says on the subject. There are some things that are as clear as day. This is one of them. Running from it and denying it will not change the truth.

JHL You're saying what you interpret the translated version Word of God to say and what you think or have been told it means. Perhaps you are correct. Perhaps you are not, but you're not the only one with a valid interpretation on the matter.

RS: Perhaps your use of the word "valid" could be tightened up a bit. However, since you admit that I may be correct, you should study hard on it. I might suggest that there are those who study in order to deny and then there are those who study with an effort to understand what is really there. I might also suggest prayer as well.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Pretty much everything you just said has been disputed. Paul never actually met Jesus. He claims he had a vision. Jesus appointed his brother James to lead the church. Even if you set aside all historical context and problematic translations, you can still take the sola fide view that one's actions do not matter, so long as one is a Christian.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

James Howlette Pretty much everything you just said has been disputed.

RS: That is beyond dispute, yes. But the question has to do with what is being disputed and by whom. I have found that those who hate Christianity will dispute almost anything about it. I have also found that disputation does not mean that something is incorrect or wrong. It can just show that something is right.

JH: Paul never actually met Jesus. He claims he had a vision.

RS: Was it really just a vision? Did not Jesus meet with Paul on the road to Damascus? It was more than what we think of as a vision.

JH: Jesus appointed his brother James to lead the church. Even if you set aside all historical context and problematic translations, you can still take the sola fide view that one's actions do not matter, so long as one is a Christian.

RS: Sola Fide has nothing to do with whether the actions of people matter or not. Biblical Christianity teaches that actions do matter and they matter a lot, though sola fide (as understood by Luther and the Reformers) will deny that they earn merit for salvation.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

It's very convenient to label anyone who disagrees with you as "those who hate Christianity." Very easy binary worldview. It inconveniently happens that quite a number of the people who disagree with you are, in fact, Christians. You'll just continue the no true Scotsman fallacy and claim that they're not real Christians.

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Oh, no, he didn't! Paul never met Jesus and converted several years after the crucifixion. He was totally against the followers of Jesus and even participated in the stoning of Stephen. The falling away of the scales over his eyes and the blinding light are metaphors for how he came to accept the new faith. Then he tried to make it his.

Peter was a much better example of what Jesus would have wanted from his followers and he actually knew Jesus, they were friends, they hung out together. It is just that Peter didn't get the publicity that Paul did. Too bad.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

There was considerable debate about the message of Paul at the time. There's considerable debate about it today, for that matter. James was considered the leader of the church at the time, but his role was downplayed centuries later when the books of the Bible were being compiled. Many speculate that the cult of Mary found the idea of Jesus having brothers a bit uncomfortable. It was also convenient that Paul was Roman when it came to Constantine spreading the word. He did at least write many (but not all) of the epistles attributed to him. That's not true of the the other apostles, who were likely illiterate.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

James Howlette: There was considerable debate about the message of Paul at the time. There's considerable debate about it today, for that matter. James was considered the leader of the church at the time, but his role was downplayed centuries later when the books of the Bible were being compiled. Many speculate that the cult of Mary found the idea of Jesus having brothers a bit uncomfortable. It was also convenient that Paul was Roman when it came to Constantine spreading the word. He did at least write many (but not all) of the epistles attributed to him. That's not true of the the other apostles, who were likely illiterate.

RS: I notice that you prefer to read books that are against the Bible rather than the Bible itself. You speak with a great deal of certainty about the speculation of others. It is obvious that you don't like what the Bible says, but there is no need to be given over to the myths that liberal scholarship has come up with in an effort to escape the truths it contains.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You know, the fundamental attribution error is a dangerous thing. You should stop engaging in it.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

LS: Oh, no, he didn't! Paul never met Jesus and converted several years after the crucifixion.

RS: Paul said otherwise as to meeting Jesus and he said that he got his teachings from Jesus. I guess people could argue when Paul was converted and what "several years" actually means. However, we can say with certainty that Paul made several missionary trips and preached for many years. He died in AD 62 or so.

LS: He was totally against the followers of Jesus and even participated in the stoning of Stephen.

RS: Yes, that is correct.

LS: The falling away of the scales over his eyes and the blinding light are metaphors for how he came to accept the new faith. Then he tried to make it his.

RS: Perhaps they are more than mere metaphors. You might also consider that a person must be born again or born from above and become a new creature in Christ Jesus. That is what happened to Paul.

LS: Peter was a much better example of what Jesus would have wanted from his followers and he actually knew Jesus, they were friends, they hung out together. It is just that Peter didn't get the publicity that Paul did. Too bad.

RS: Well, then, listen to the words of Peter: II Peter 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation; just as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given him, wrote to you, 16 as also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which the untaught and unstable distort, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures, to their own destruction.

Addie Line 9 months, 3 weeks ago

One of the best church signs I've seen said "god needs witnesses, not judges." I am not a Christian but I am often appalled by those who feel they are in the right to judge others when I am sure they themselves have also commited many, many "sins". As an above commenter said, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

I am also inclined to think that those with such a fixation on homosexual relationships are suppressing their own homosexual urges.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

AL: One of the best church signs I've seen said "god needs witnesses, not judges." I am not a Christian but I am often appalled by those who feel they are in the right to judge others when I am sure they themselves have also commited many, many "sins". As an above commenter said, "Let any one of you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her."

I am also inclined to think that those with such a fixation on homosexual relationships are suppressing their own homosexual urges.

RS: I could not resist replying to your argument here. Bruce Springsteen, for example, seems fixated on his atheism and opposed to religion of any kind. Such a fixation does not prove that he is religious.

But to answer a question or two of yours. The Bible clearly and without any reservation states that certain things are sin and that those who practice those will not enter the kingdom of God. It is not so much a fixation on this issue that some want to reply as people are wanting to jam this issue down the throats of those who say it is sin, but simply not wanting it be accepted as a non-sin and that for the eternal good of the people themselves.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"The Bible clearly and without any reservation states that":

eating pork and shellfish, among many other things, is an abomination. But, some say that the Creator later changed His mind, as was stated in the New Testament.

I thought that the ideas of the the Creator are eternal. But no, He changes his mind on occasion, apparently.

A quote:
"I think that's an illustration of how the Bible, and other religious books, can be interpreted in many different ways. It all depends upon which verses you were taught were the most important."
- Ron Holzwarth, in the LJWorld.com, February 14, 2014

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RH quoting RS: "The Bible clearly and without any reservation states that":

RH eating pork and shellfish, among many other things, is an abomination. But, some say that the Creator later changed His mind, as was stated in the New Testament.

RS: It is not a matter of changing His mind, but the purposes of those laws were fulfilled in Christ.

RH: I thought that the ideas of the the Creator are eternal. But no, He changes his mind on occasion, apparently.

RS: No, He never changes and He never changes His mind. You might note that in the OT there are the temporary civil laws that were applicable to the nation of Israel, but then there were those laws that were the moral laws. One should exercise care in distinguishing the two.

RH: A quote: "I think that's an illustration of how the Bible, and other religious books, can be interpreted in many different ways. It all depends upon which verses you were taught were the most important."

RS: But that makes the focus on how it is interpreted rather than on the truth of it. It does not all depend on what I was taught was the most important, it is a matter of reading it and coming to the conclusion of what God says is most important.

Addie Line 9 months, 3 weeks ago

And to clarify my above comment, no I do not think being gay is a sin. But if someone believes that it is, what business is another persons "sin" of theirs?

Addie Line 9 months, 3 weeks ago

So what are the other "certain things" that "the bible clearly and without reservation" states will prohibit someone from entering heaven? Are these equally focused on and avoided by Christians? I'm just curious as to what they are and how, from all the things the bible states, you have determined these are most important ones.

And should we really be forming new laws around the beliefs of a religion that not everyone follows, in a nation that supposedly has separation of church and state? Or is this okay only because Christianity is in the majority here? What if the tables were turned and Muslims were attempting to make their interpretation of the Quran law? How would you feel about that?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RS: Very good questions, AL. I would not argue that we should be making all laws straight from the Bible, but it is not wrong in our form of government (considering our Constitution) to want the freedom not to have my rights trampled on in terms of what to accept as morally right. You are right in noting that these things are not equally focused on and avoided by professing Christians, but the Bible states what it states with clarity on this subject. But again, that does not mean that there should be legal suppression and true hatred toward others. Declaring something as sin before God does not mean that one hates the people one is saying that too.

As for the separation of church and state, the Constitution was written to keep the Government from running Christianity rather than Christiatnity out of the Government.

I would certainly hope the Muslims would not pass their laws here as that would mean a lot of executions for atheists and Christians.

I Cor 6: 9 Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, 10 nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Gal 5:19 Now the deeds of the flesh are evident, which are: immorality, impurity, sensuality, 20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, outbursts of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions, 21 envying, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Eph 5: 5 For this you know with certainty, that no immoral or impure person or covetous man, who is an idolater, has an inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God. 6 Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience. 7 Therefore do not be partakers with them; 8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light

Amy Varoli Elliott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You are an extremely confused person if these are seriously the way that you read the bible, I would place money on you being one of Fred Phelps clan members

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Amy Varoli Elliott: You are an extremely confused person if these are seriously the way that you read the bible, I would place money on you being one of Fred Phelps clan members

RS: You would lost your money on that one.

Dustyn Polk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Treaty of Tripoli, Article 11, and I quote:

"As the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion"

Signed into law by one of the authors of the Declaration of Independence. His duties overseas kept him from actively participating in the debates over the contents of the Constitution, but given his stature as a Founding Father, surely he would have objected to that addition to the treaty with the Ottoman Empire.

Jim Slade 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Also passed unanimously in the House and Senate.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Addie, there are 613 mitzvot stated in the Torah, of which homosexual acts rate only one.

Have you ever worn an article of clothing that was composed of more than one type of fiber, such as cotton and linen? That's a sin, you know, along with planting a field with two different crops.

Our relationship with the Creator has changed and grown over the thousands of years since those mitzvot were written between 2,700 and 3,000 years ago. Of course, many of them have been superseded as our knowledge base has grown by all except the Ultra Conservatives, and the Karaites. Reform and Conservative are the most liberal, and they claim those were written for a different time, and we have now progressed beyond that.

But that must be qualified by adding the statement that only a few movements of Judaism will unequivocally claim that there is an eternal life, or a Heaven at all. They claim that is not for us to know, or worry about. We were born to be alive, and after that we will be in the hands of the Creator. So what could we possibly have to worry about?

But ALL movements of Judaism deny that there is a Hell. After all, it's not mentioned in the Tanakh at all. That's the Old Testament, same books, but sorted out into their correct categories: the Law, the Prophets, the Minor Prophets, and the Writings.

Listing and explaining the other 610 mitzvot would be far beyond what is allowed here, only 3,000 characters are allowed per comment. If you really want to know, you've quite a lot of studying to do. (Although there's 10 of them that you've already heard of!)

And of course, there is Messianic Judaism, which attempts to blend Judaism and Christianity. Although I have had an in depth conversation with a Messianic Jew, we didn't discuss theology in any great detail.

To me, it seems that many people pick and choose exactly what they want to believe, and of course they pick and choose the things that will show themselves in a good light.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth:
Addie, there are 613 mitzvot stated in the Torah, of which homosexual acts rate only one.

Have you ever worn an article of clothing that was composed of more than one type of fiber, such as cotton and linen? That's a sin, you know, along with planting a field with two different crops.

RS: While it was a sin for OT Israel, the purpose of their civil laws which pointed to Christ have passed away. So it is not a sin now.

RH: Our relationship with the Creator has changed and grown over the thousands of years since those mitzvot were written between 2,700 and 3,000 years ago. Of course, many of them have been superseded as our knowledge base has grown by all except the Ultra Conservatives, and the Karaites. Reform and Conservative are the most liberal, and they claim those were written for a different time, and we have now progressed beyond that.

RS: You make the assumption that you have progressed beyond that and you make the assumption that knowledge (of God) has grown.

Ron H: But that must be qualified by adding the statement that only a few movements of Judaism will unequivocally claim that there is an eternal life, or a Heaven at all. They claim that is not for us to know, or worry about. We were born to be alive, and after that we will be in the hands of the Creator. So what could we possibly have to worry about?

RS: But what if Jesus came to declare the truth of God and did so? Then there is a lot to worry about.

Ron H: But ALL movements of Judaism deny that there is a Hell. After all, it's not mentioned in the Tanakh at all. That's the Old Testament, same books, but sorted out into their correct categories: the Law, the Prophets, the Minor Prophets, and the Writings.

RS: But of course just because the word itself is not mentioned does not mean that the concept is not there.

Rk: Listing and explaining the other 610 mitzvot would be far beyond what is allowed here, only 3,000 characters are allowed per comment. If you really want to know, you've quite a lot of studying to do. (Although there's 10 of them that you've already heard of!)

RS: But as you should know the laws that the Rabbis came up with were pretty much decimated by Jesus.

RK: And of course, there is Messianic Judaism, which attempts to blend Judaism and Christianity. Although I have had an in depth conversation with a Messianic Jew, we didn't discuss theology in any great detail.

To me, it seems that many people pick and choose exactly what they want to believe, and of course they pick and choose the things that will show themselves in a good light.

RS: That is pretty much the truth. People do pick and choose what they want to believer, but there may be more to the story for some. Also included in your statement is the implication (though you may not have intended it) that objective truth may not be knowable and it is just up for us to decide the way. Not so fast.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Richard Smith, maybe you should attend a Jewish study class, the Jehovah's Witnesses study class, study with the Mormons, attend Roman Catholic Mass a couple times, attend a Russian Orthodox Mass, attend church with the Methodists and the Baptists, and study the ancient Egyptian religion from 5,000 years ago. I forget what all else.

And also, read a whole lot of books. Then we can continue this discussion in a couple years, after you're done.

New topic:
"Also included in your statement is the implication (though you may not have intended it) that objective truth may not be knowable."

You should have read my short story 'The Ride'. That is its central premise, however very few understand it.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RH: Richard Smith, maybe you should attend a Jewish study class, the Jehovah's Witnesses study class, study with the Mormons, attend Roman Catholic Mass a couple times, attend a Russian Orthodox Mass, attend church with the Methodists and the Baptists, and study the ancient Egyptian religion from 5,000 years ago. I forget what all else.

RS: I have studied with JW's and Mormons. I have attended church with Methodists and Baptists.

RH: And also, read a whole lot of books. Then we can continue this discussion in a couple years, after you're done.

RS: I have read many, many books.

RH: New topic: "Also included in your statement is the implication (though you may not have intended it) that objective truth may not be knowable."

You should have read my short story 'The Ride'. That is its central premise, however very few understand it.

RS: So, where can this short story be obtained? I would also add that studying system after system of error is not always the best way of arriving at Truth. All religions in the world are essentially man-centered in some way and provide a way for man to save himself or at least to contribute to his salvation. True and historical Christianity is the only one that says salvation is by grace alone and it cannot be earned or merited in any way. God alone saves sinners. In other words, of all the religions I have studied and looked at it things depended pretty much on me. Historical Christianity is that it all depends on God and He does this through Christ alone and by grace alone.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Email me, my address is listed after you click on my name, and I'll email you a copy. But, very few understand it. The premise is that we can't understand much of anything at all.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth: Email me, my address is listed after you click on my name, and I'll email you a copy. But, very few understand it. The premise is that we can't understand much of anything at all.

RS: I did email you. If the premise is that can't understand much of anything at all, it should be no surprise if very few understand it. :-)

Charles Fogarty 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I once saw this incredibly insightful bumper sticker: Zeus is God! Read The Iliad!

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Good one! Now the only thing I can think of is Brad Pitt. Oh, wait,,,

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Here's a good one! And it is attributed to Jesus Himself!
Matthew Chapter 7, verses 3 - 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."

Addie Line 9 months, 3 weeks ago

What about "Matthew 19:9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Does this not mean remarriage is a sin (adultery) that would prevent someone from entering heaven? Adultery was listed within the bible verses you cited, which I assumed were in answer to my question about what disqualifies you from entering heaven. In that case why is there not more opposition from Christians in regards to second (third, fourth, etc) marriages? I am not understanding how the same verse can say homosexuals and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of god yet only the homosexual part is deemed applicable. It comes off as a matter of convience to me. Just tryjng to understand the logic.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"I am not understanding how the same verse can say homosexuals and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of god yet only the homosexual part is deemed applicable."

It has to do with:

"many people pick and choose exactly what they want to believe, and of course they pick and choose the things that will show themselves in a good light."

Amy Varoli Elliott 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yourself included, I would suggest you take a reading compression class then re-read your good book. You can't pick and choose the things you wish to follow and damn people for things you don't like.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Amy Varoli Elliott Yourself included, I would suggest you take a reading compression class then re-read your good book. You can't pick and choose the things you wish to follow and damn people for things you don't like.

RS: But no man can damn another as such and I have not picked and chose the things I follow. What I am doing is simply pointing out what Jesus and the Bible says. You seem to think that it all depends on me, but it does not. We are all in the hands of the Sovereign Potter and we should seek Him for life for there is no other place to find it.

Addie Line 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I assumed so! Was wondering if RS had any other explanation...thanks for the additional information. Judaism makes far more sense to me than Christianity.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Addie, Reform Judaism makes a whole lot of sense. You can go to the Jewish Temple and discuss the Creation Myths with the rabbi in class, of which there are two that are incompatible with each other in the book of Genesis.

And, I listened to a sermon which was titled: 'Did the miracles described in the Bible actually occur?'

The conclusion was: "No, but you are free to believe they did if you want."

I wonder how that would go over in a Christian church, the central theme of which is the Resurrection! That didn't actually happen? Note: That is Reform only, other movements believe differently.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth Addie, Reform Judaism makes a whole lot of sense. You can go to the Jewish Temple and discuss the Creation Myths with the rabbi in class, of which there are two that are incompatible with each other in the book of Genesis.

RS: Making a lot of sense is different than stating Truth. By the way, the two are stories of creation are not incompatible with each other.

RH: And, I listened to a sermon which was titled: 'Did the miracles described in the Bible actually occur?'

The conclusion was: "No, but you are free to believe they did if you want."

I wonder how that would go over in a Christian church, the central theme of which is the Resurrection! That didn't actually happen? Note: That is Reform only, other movements believe differently.

RS: But you are assuming that the things you heard are true. Remember, the apostles of Jesus believed that He had been resurrected and they suffered and died for that belief. Remember that there were over 500 witnesses that Jesus appeared to, but the Jewish leaders of that time paid the guards to lie about it. Could it be that the same lie is being passed on today?

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Thousands of people have seen ghosts, that proves they exist, right?

And, where are those 500 witnesses today?

Truth is subjective, and never objective.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth Thousands of people have seen ghosts, that proves they exist, right?

RS: I am not arguing that there are no ghosts or that they are not spiritual beings who are set out to deceive.

RH: And, where are those 500 witnesses today?

RS: Assuredly they are not here to tell us with their voices, but then again no other person in history is here either.

RH: Truth is subjective, and never objective.

RS: Is that objectively true? If your statement is true, then once again your statement is false and it falls as a result of self-contradiction. The tree that falls in the forest is a case of objective truth and is not subject to human beings. Jesus Christ said that He was the Truth. I would argue that is both the objective Truth and that when He takes over the soul it becomes objectivedly true. We must have truth or we can know nothing and truth and error mean the same thing. In that case the argument that homosexuality is sin and that it is not sin mean the same thing as well. Why are you so upset with me since we are saying the same thing? I take it that you don't really believe what you asserted.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I'm not upset with you at all. In my belief system, objective reality is almost impossible to perceive, let alone understand. In fact, I'm not sure there really is one.

And, religious truth is something that we each find alone, and there is no such thing as a universal truth that is applicable to all, since we are all being subjected to different tests during our lifetime. So, sharing your personal religious truth with someone else is not really possible, because we each have our own challenges, and have different perceptions.

But, morality is different. Morality is how we treat each other, that is, fairly and at least without letting our prejudices show.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth I'm not upset with you at all. In my belief system, objective reality is almost impossible to perceive, let alone understand. In fact, I'm not sure there really is one.

RS: But wouldn't you have to have an objective reality of some sort to be a basis for making the statement that there is no objective reality?

RH: And, religious truth is something that we each find alone, and there is no such thing as a universal truth that is applicable to all, since we are all being subjected to different tests during our lifetime

RS: Again, you are making some very confident assertions in your statement that at the very least make it seem that you are operating on some universal truth that does apply to all. If we can get past the idea of "religious truth" in one sense and get to the idea that there is an eternal and infinite God, then there is the objective truth. It is not impossible for Him to have universal truths for all and to be able to communicate that to whom He is pleased to do so.

.RH: So, sharing your personal religious truth with someone else is not really possible, because we each have our own challenges, and have different perceptions.

RS: But the basic issue comes back to the nature of God and HIs ability rather than man. It appears that you begin with human beings and my beginning is with God.

RH: But, morality is different. Morality is how we treat each other, that is, fairly and at least without letting our prejudices show.

RS: Why would morality be different if there is one God that all answer to and that one God is the standard of all morality? Why do you think of morality is how we treat each other? Is that a universal and objective standard that you have come up with? What if there is a different reality on how we are to treat our neighbor? If you had a neighbor and he was asleep and his house was on fire, would it be love to leave him alone in an effort be kind or to break into his house to awaken him and drag him out?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

AL: What about "Matthew 19:9 And I say to you: whoever divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another, commits adultery.”

Does this not mean remarriage is a sin (adultery) that would prevent someone from entering heaven? Adultery was listed within the bible verses you cited, which I assumed were in answer to my question about what disqualifies you from entering heaven. In that case why is there not more opposition from Christians in regards to second (third, fourth, etc) marriages? I am not understanding how the same verse can say homosexuals and adulterers will not inherit the kingdom of god yet only the homosexual part is deemed applicable. It comes off as a matter of convience to me. Just tryjng to understand the logic.

RS: The passage in I Corinthians 6 (quoted earlier) does list adulterers as those who will not inherit the kingdom. You are correct to note that some focus on the one and not the others, however at the moment this is the issue of the day. If people began screaming that adultery and idolatry (and so on) were not sin and acceptable, then some would need to stand up on that one as well. But notice the last verse that I quoted: 11" Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God." In other words, it sets out a list of things that demonstrate that a person is following their sinful hearts rather than having a heart that has been regenerated by God. Some of the Corinthians had been that way, but they had been changed. That is why it is so dangerous to simply accept what is being said about homosexuality today (and adulterly and so on), is because until one realizes the problem they won't see the need to be washed and cleansed.

Fred Whitehead Jr. 9 months, 3 weeks ago

All this commentary about "the Bible" has me laughing!! Do you not know that the Bible is the work of King James I of England. (That why it is called the "King James Version"!!)

It was concocted by the Council of Hampton Court in 1611 at the behest of the aformentioned "King James".

The King's orders were for a bible that would conform to the requirements of theChurch of England which he was principal dictator and leader of.

To not conform to the King's wishes in 17th century England (and many other places) was to have your head cut off.

How do you like glorifying the wishes of a despotic monarch??

The Bible was written by poeple who put on their pants (or whatever) one leg at a time just like we do and who are just as prone to ignorant dogma as many of those on this forum are.

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

If you hear someone say "The Bible says so, therefore it is true," watch out. What you are about to hear is a firmly held religious opinion, and firmly held religious opinions very often do not represent Truth, no matter how earnestly they are held.

If you want to live in a nation where firmly held religious opinions are believed to be Truth, there are many other nations you can move to.

Or, you can go on listening to the missionaries.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Ron Holzwarth If you hear someone say "The Bible says so, therefore it is true," watch out. What you are about to hear is a firmly held religious opinion, and firmly held religious opinions very often do not represent Truth, no matter how earnestly they are held.

RS: On the other hand, other people seem to quote themselves as the standard of truth and morality as opposed to a real objective standard. Notice that the standard you are relying on in your quote above is nothing but yourself. This is an old trick used back in the Garden where one said to the humans there, Did God really say...

RH: If you want to live in a nation where firmly held religious opinions are believed to be Truth, there are many other nations you can move to.

RS: But if you want to live in a nation where they have no objective things believed to be Truth then stay here? If your standard of non-truth is true, where does that leave us? Do you believe that your standard of non-truth is true? Do you not see the contradiction there? If you standard is true, then it is false.

RH: Or, you can go on listening to the missionaries.

RS: But there are zealous missionaries for atheism and zealous missionaries for non-truth as well.

Andrew Stahmer 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Here I thought that LTE would pass quietly with few even taking note.

Richard Heckler 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Yet the divorce rate among heterosexual couples is or was at 50%. How does this guarantee a happy home to all?

Personally I do not understand who marries who or who lives with who should matter to anyone but those immediately involved.

All married couples should be treated equally regarding medical insurance etc etc etc under all circumstances rather than allow circumstances of personal dislike that promotes discrimination.

Of course discrimination is against the law UNLESS one is a follower of Sam Brownback and/or other like thinkers who obviously assume privilege. By what authority? There is no authority of exception.

I claim discrimination and homophobia are anti American and unacceptable behavior.

According to the interpretation of my teachings God loves all thus discrimination,homophobia and hate were never an option.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RH: According to the interpretation of my teachings God loves all thus discrimination,homophobia and hate were never an option.

RS: 1. Why do you think that God loves all? 2. What do you mean by love? 3. What do you mean by hate? 4. Why do you think that the love of God does away with discrimination and homophobia? 5. It appears to be that you have think all who disagree with you must be hateful and homophibic. 6. Take a look at the verses below. They clearly show that God does not love all as you seem to think. Psalm 11:5 The LORD tests the righteous and the wicked, And the one who loves violence His soul hates.

Psalm 5:5 The boastful shall not stand before Your eyes; You hate all who do iniquity.

Proverbs 6:16 There are six things which the LORD hates, Yes, seven which are an abomination to Him: 17 Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, And hands that shed innocent blood, 18 A heart that devises wicked plans, Feet that run rapidly to evil, 19 A false witness who utters lies, And one who spreads strife among brothers.

Romans 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Romans 9:13 Just as it is written, "JACOB I LOVED, BUT ESAU I HATED.

John 3:36 "He who believes in the Son has eternal life; but he who does not obey the Son will not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Okay, how about this? I will live my life my way and you will live your life your way. If we have something in common and enjoy talking to each other we will. If we don't we won't.

How would that work out?

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

it would be great, if people didn't spend vast amounts of time, money and energy, trying to legislate their delusions.

Munchma Quchi 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Live and let live. Also, I've never understood why "straight" Christians spend so much of their time occupied with homosexuality. #wheretheressmoketheresfire

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I would think that if there were gods, and they really didn't like homosexual behavior, then they would do something to stop homosexuality (in every species). But gods don't do anything to stop it; unless you count the nuts who find a public forum, from which to tell us how wrong it is. These gods that people have conjured up, sure are powerful on paper, but when you hold them to any sort of scrutiny, they fold like a house of cards, and their fan base explodes in anger and hatred, lost in their argument, by opposing viewpoints.

I don't believe in your magic stories, so don't expect me to care about your reasons for being a hateful bigot.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Stuart Evans I would think that if there were gods, and they really didn't like homosexual behavior, then they would do something to stop homosexuality (in every species).

RS: That is basically saying that if there is a God or gods then they would do what you think would happen. Maybe God is far wiser than what you think.

SE: But gods don't do anything to stop it; unless you count the nuts who find a public forum, from which to tell us how wrong it is.

RS: Perhaps you misunderstand the nature of judgment. Consider the issue that if what Darwin said is true, then you have no moral basis on which to pass judgment on anyone else and you also have no basis on which you can build a case for knowledge.

SE: These gods that people have conjured up, sure are powerful on paper, but when you hold them to any sort of scrutiny, they fold like a house of cards, and their fan base explodes in anger and hatred, lost in their argument, by opposing viewpoints.

RS: That is actually almost funny, but I can assure you that you are so far off it is not funny. It may be that you have the wrong idea of power and how God works in the world.

SE: I don't believe in your magic stories, so don't expect me to care about your reasons for being a hateful bigot.

RS: Your lack of belief does not change the fact that there is a God, you were created by Him, and you will "stand" before Him to be judged. There is nothing hateful or bigoted about my warning you of the judgment to come. There is nothing hateful or bigoted about my standing for the rights of some and that does not hurt the rights of others, though indeed they may get their feelings hurt at times.

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RS: Your lack of belief does not change the fact that there is a god, you were created by him, and you will "stand" before him to be judged.

SE: ..and your entire supposition is predicated on an unfounded "fact". Your lack of understanding in evolution, doesn't change the actual FACT that every living thing on this planet has evolved over the course of millions of years, and will continue to do so long after we finally shed these fear-based rituals.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

SE: ..and your entire supposition is predicated on an unfounded "fact".

RS: And your entire supposition is predicated on several unfounded facts and or presuppositions. However, the fact that there is a God is the most obvious thing in the world. His handiwork is all over the place, and that includes human beings and the sense of Him in them.

SE: Your lack of understanding in evolution, doesn't change the actual FACT that every living thing on this planet has evolved over the course of millions of years, and will continue to do so long after we finally shed these fear-based rituals.

RS: One, your so-called "FACT" cannot possibly be true and yet you know that it is true. A non-rational process with no guidance at all cannot account for the highly designed cell, the facts of knowledge, and the facts of intelligence. If a non-intelligent process brought about intelligence, then there is no real intelligence on the planet. You cannot account for true morality or meaning in life. So despite what your present "FACT" says, it cannot account for the most basic things in life.

SP: and will continue to do so long after we finally shed these fear-based rituals.

RS: I am not sure what you refer to as fear-based rituals, but true Christianity is based on love for God. Yes, for all who refuse to serve Him and instead serve themselves, their own pride, pleasures, and honor, then they do have a lot to fear. There is no way for human beings to wipe God out of their consciences because He put Himself there. It is out of a fear of that God that people try to suppress the knowledge of Him by their sinful acts and even the way they do science and all manner of things. But one thing is for sure, the moment an athiest or hater of God dies, all doubt and all suppression will be gone.

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RS: I'm so delusional and wrong, it's not even funny.

SE: Finally, you're right about something.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Stuart Evans Saying that RS said, to make a point: I'm so delusional and wrong, it's not even funny.

SE: Finally, you're right about something.

RS: One thing that is so interesting in this, Stuart, is that your position does not allow you to even know if you have knowledge and allows you no basis for morality. This means that any time you state something as knowledge or as moral and accuse others of being delusional or wrong, it means that you are delusional if you think you have a basis for saying that. Try to take your position seriously and take it to its logical end. You have no access to knowing that you know, no basis for morality, and no real meaning in life. So your post here, at least, is ironic.

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I think that you're confused about what an atheist position is. If you took one step outside of your god delusion, you would see that the real story of the universe and evolution is much more fascinating than what the Roman hierarchy cobbled together, to fool some pagans into tithing a new god.

Mark Rainey 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"Don't try to match wits with a half wit" - Mark Twain

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Everyone arguing over what their imaginary friends say and mean, when none of it matters. None of what anyone's imaginary friends have opinions on have a place in government.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Seth Peterson Everyone arguing over what their imaginary friends say and mean, when none of it matters.

RS: You are the one that is imagining about the imaginary friends of others. You can only hope that what we are saying is not true, though deep down in your being you know that something about it rings true. There is nothing that matters more for each person than this. What good would it do if you gained the whole world, obtained all the riches of the world, and could have every pleasure of the world if for eternity you suffered the wrath of God for all that?

SP: None of what anyone's imaginary friends have opinions on have a place in government.

RS: Of course can pretend that God has no place in their lives or government, but what they don't realize is that they cannot get rid of Him. All that they think, desire, and do will be brought up on judgment day. But even today, their sin is judged by being turned over to more sin. Realize that sin itself is punishment for previous sin. Are you really free? No, perhaps you are in bondage in ways your don't realize.

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Richard, you may officially be delusional.

"You can only hope that what we are saying is not true, though deep down in your being you know that something about it rings true."

False.

"There is nothing that matters more for each person than this."

Also false.

"What good would it do if you gained the whole world, obtained all the riches of the world, and could have every pleasure of the world if for eternity you suffered the wrath of God for all that?"

You need work on your reading comprehension, as none of any of these has been stated by anyone anywhere on this forum. Fortunately none will suffer the wrath of any god, as there is none.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

SE: Richard, you may officially be delusional.

RS: At least you can try to hope that what I am saying is delusional.

SE: You need work on your reading comprehension, as none of any of these has been stated by anyone anywhere on this forum. Fortunately none will suffer the wrath of any god, as there is none.

RS: But those on this forum do not set the standard of reality, though what I said was in response to what another said. You can only hope (futile) that no one (yourself included, or primarily) will suffer the wrath of God, but the denial of that says a lot about yourself. As to your denial that there is a God, I might add that you just made a statement that you cannot possibly prove or even give evidence for. That shows that your hope of there not being a wrathful God upon sin is not based in knowledge or evidence. It is just something you want and so you live by that desire.

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Do seek professional help, you seem to suffering severe problems with Stockholm Syndrome.

Betty Bartholomew 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"Sixthly, God cannot bless the gay lifestyle because it is sinful. The final reason is the most important: Gays cannot accept God’s message of love because the lifestyle is diametrically opposed to his righteous standards."

Wonderful thing about marriage: It doesn't have to be sanctioned by any religion. I know an atheist who got married by a judge and the law still allowed all of the same privileges as any religious couple married by a preacher. ... Oh, right, that was me. So if I can do that, I see absolutely no reason a gay couple can't do the same.

(As to the rest of the letter: Ditto James Howlette's point by point.)

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

That's really the best answer.

I pointed out that not all Christians agree with their interpretation, to which RS has basically only responded with, "but all the real Christians agree with me because anyone who doesn't agree with me is by my definition not a real Christian." Way to go in circles there, bro.

But yeah. I hear they even let Jews and Muslims get married.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Betty B: Wonderful thing about marriage: It doesn't have to be sanctioned by any religion. I know an atheist who got married by a judge and the law still allowed all of the same privileges as any religious couple married by a preacher. ... Oh, right, that was me. So if I can do that, I see absolutely no reason a gay couple can't do the same.

RS: Notice that you have made yourself the standard by which you are judging by as well as your desires the standard for marriage. The problem for you is that God alone has the right to do those things.

James Howlette (in response to Betty B's post): That's really the best answer.

RS: Or not. Huan beings don't have the right to adjust some part of the created order as they please.

JH: I pointed out that not all Christians agree with their interpretation, to which RS has basically only responded with, "but all the real Christians agree with me because anyone who doesn't agree with me is by my definition not a real Christian."

RS: No, that was not my response. I am saying, however, on this issue the Christian position has been determined by the Bible and that has been determined for a long, long time. It is not whether people agree with me, but whether they agree with the historical Christian position. As there are many deceptions in all walks of life, so there are many deceptions about Christianity. There are many warnings in the Bible for people not to be deceived about their salvation. We are told that this is one of the areas that we are not to be deceived by.

JH: Way to go in circles there, bro.

RS: I think your head is spinning and you perceive me as going in circles. If I argued as you say I did, perhaps I could be accused of that. But I did not. I hope your dizziness gets better soon.

JH: But yeah. I hear they even let Jews and Muslims get married.

RS: Yes, but one male to one female. Just like the created order. For what it is worth, a ceremony doth not a marriage make.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

You could have just saved yourself typing by admitting that yes, you essentially think you've got the only correct interpretation of the Bible and anyone with a different understanding or interpretation is, in your mind, being deceived. How do you know they're being deceived? Because they disagree with your interpretation, and you interpret that to mean that they've been deceived. Circular reasoning at its finest, and you've continued to repeat it while denying that you were repeating it.

But all of that is really a big distraction to the point Betty made. God's blessing is not required for a marriage to be legally binding. If the LTE writer was presenting reasons why gay people should never get married, none of those reasons were unique to gay couples.

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I know that they are deceived because that they are doing what Paul was warning people not to be deceived about. All this talk about interpretation on some of this is just an attempt to escape the obvious. I would think that you would know more about circular reasoning since you are practicing it. You have yet to give me one truth that can seriously be considered objective truth, which means it keeps making the circle back to you for its source and authority.

As for God's blessings, you are quite sure that on your authority you can state what God blesses and what He does not. Is that circular reasoning again? Are you even interpreting something or simply stating what you want? I would argue that in reality it is impossible for gay people to be truly married since God alone can truly join people together and make them one. What the laws of the nation say, on the other hand, may be different, but the laws of the land cannot make two people one as God does. So it is not just that they should never get married, but they CANNOT ever get married in the most real sense of the term. You don't have to like it or agree with it, but trying to wish something away will not work.

James Howlette 9 months, 3 weeks ago

In other words, you know they're being deceived because you interpret the Bible to mean that they're being deceived. Exactly what I just said. You're stuck in your circular logic. Neither I nor anyone else can give you something to change your mind, because faith is internal, not external. It doesn't matter to you that I can objectively show that Christians have differing views on the matter. You've concluded that you've got the only correct opinion. Your circle is closed.

Betty Bartholomew 9 months, 2 weeks ago

RS: I would argue that in reality it is impossible for gay people to be truly married since God alone can truly join people together and make them one. What the laws of the nation say, on the other hand, may be different, but the laws of the land cannot make two people one as God does. So it is not just that they should never get married, but they CANNOT ever get married in the most real sense of the term.

Me: I would point out that same-sex couples aren't asking for God to sanction them, but rather for the government to sanction them, which - if one is using religion as a measuring stick for who should or shouldn't get married - is a reasonable request since the government doesn't care about religious beliefs when issuing a marriage license. (A demonstrable fact as, again, atheists and other non-Christians are allowed to marry. As I recall, it's not even a question on the application.)

Stuart Evans 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I have a question about "one male to one female" ; How come there are more men in the world than women? also, as I ponder god's perfect plan; Why do children die from starvation and disease at a rate of 1 every 5 seconds? Are homosexual dolphins condemned to hell, even though they don't know the word of gods?

Richard Smith 9 months, 3 weeks ago

I have some questions to your questions. If your worldview is correct, then what does it matter if there are more men in the world than women? If your view is correct, what does it matter if children die from starvation and disease? After all, if they didn't die they would only be here but a short time longer, leave meaningless lives and die a meaningless death and be meaningless forever. Homosexual dolphins? They are not made in the image of God. According to some, the scientific paper that has been said to speak of homosexual dolphins was actually misread and that misreading was reported across the world. Either way, they are not made in the image of God.

What is another interesting part about your note is that you presume to know to denigrate what you say is God's perfect plan. This is to say that evidently you claim to know what is better for what is good and your way should be reality. However, once again, that is a claim that is far, far more than your position will allow you to make (logically). If it is okay with you for babies to be aborted, then why is it so wrong for people to practice infanticide and why is it wrong for them to starve?

Sin has entered the world and there are consequences and punishments for those who sin and for those who around those who sin. In other words, though you may deny that there is sin in the world, that does not stop the consequences of sin from swarming upon us.

Dustyn Polk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

Speaking as a gnostic Christian, your assumptions as to the word of God is of course based on the belief that the Bible, as it stands, is whole and complete without missing text and/or passages...

Seth Peterson 9 months, 3 weeks ago

RS: Yes, but one male to one female. Just like the created order. For what it is worth, a ceremony doth not a marriage make.

Actually religious law is quite open on the subject, rarely as one male and one female. For easy reference:

Betty Bartholomew 9 months, 2 weeks ago

RS: Notice that you have made yourself the standard by which you are judging by as well as your desires the standard for marriage. The problem for you is that God alone has the right to do those things.

Me: Is there any other way to go about it? I can hardly judge life by somebody else's standards. For that matter, I can hardly judge life by God's standards since, ya know, I don't believe God exists.

Dustyn Polk 9 months, 3 weeks ago

There is a truly simple cure.

We can just set aside the WWJD (What Would Jesus Do) wristbands and put on headbands that say WWTD (What Would Torquemada Do).

Sorry, but I simply couldn't resist.

At any rate...

Here we are again, discussing one of the prime questions of American history, namely who gets what rights and who decides which group is entitled to what freedoms.

What defines a 'freedom'? How od you express it? How can you exercise something intangible?

Very simply. We are a nation of secular laws, written by men to attempt to instill some sense of order and regulation to a society that sought to be free of oppressive Church intervention into private lives. No, the laws are not expansive, or all-inclusive. I seriously doubt the Founding Fathers sat around and debated the concept of marriage rights. There were more pressing issues to settle. They couldn't have foreseen a tenth of what has transpired in this nation. Freeing of the slaves, women voting, car insurance, Iran-Contra, or much of anything else that transpired once their time on this planet was finished.

Were they religious men? Reasonably. But they penned some very important words; words that have been lost in the shuffle to be labeled the correct side of history.

All men are created equal.

If we are all equal in this nation, then we should all be equal. If it is a right that a man and a woman can be married, then it has to be a right that two men or two women can do the same thing, otherwise we put to lie the words that founded this nation. No citizen of this nation should be denied the rights I am endowed with at birth, nor should any citizen be given greater freedoms than I shall enjoy the day I die.

So are all men created equal, with Lady Justice truly being blind, or are we going to call the men that brought the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States of America into existence liars?

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

What if the human beings that canonized the Christian Bible were in error? Maybe what Jesus was quoted as saying is more important than what the Apostle Paul had to say later, after Jesus was no longer around to correct him. This is part of what Jesus had to say, according to the Gospel of John:

John Chapter 8, verse 15: "You judge according to the flesh, I judge no one."

John Chapter 12, verse 47: "If any one hears my sayings and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world."

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 3 weeks ago

PS: Please hurry up, Jesus, we need savin' real fast.

Grégoire Guillaume 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I admit I haven't read the comments so this may be rehashing what's already been said. I believe that almost all gay individuals feel that they were made this way and it was not something that they consciously made a decision for. If this is the case Who made them this way? Well God of course. If God made them this way then who does the onus fall on?

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 2 weeks ago

I consider myself to be asexual, please watch the documentary of the same name on Netflix for an understanding of what this is, as I have never had any enjoyment from sex and don't miss it at all.

I believe that God loves and understands me. The God I worship is kind and generous and weeps with His children and laughs with them. He has given us all, even animals, free will. He does not force anyone to do anything. Maybe we should try to be more like God.

Just sayin'

Ron Holzwarth 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Yesterday I came across a comment I made on September 28, 2013 here:

Although it was made about a very different topic, I think it is applicable to this discussion as well:

"I think that as long as there are those among us who actually believe that all of the answers to the problems that we face today can be found in books that are hundreds or thousands of years old, and also as long as there are those among us who believe that their culture should hold sway over the entire world, there are no realistic solutions in sight."

Nathan Wycoff 9 months, 2 weeks ago

Should we outlaw divorces now too? My guess is this bigot has a gotten at least one divorce... I mean who could stand being with someone like that?

Leslie Swearingen 9 months, 2 weeks ago

That would be someone that believes the same things that he does.

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months ago

Is this letter writer Fred Phelps back from the dead?

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