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God's opinion of gay people shouldn't affect public policy.

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So.. there was an article in this website that was posted last Thursday. It’s about that “protect religion from a perceived threat” bill that gives pretty much anyone who wants to claim religious motivation to act out their hateful or bigoted fantasies something to lean on if they get complaints.

The actual text of the bill basically restricts local governments from doing anything to “burden” someone claiming some kind of religious exemption. Feels pretty vague and far reaching. Almost as if it could be applied to pretty much any situation involving civil rights.

Discrimination based on gender, race, age, disability, military service, “other” religions, all those things suddenly become legal if someone decides to say it’s a religious thing.

The thing that gets me about this is that the motivation, allegedly, was anti-gay sentiment. Apparently, anti-gay sentiment great enough to erase decades of civil rights history.

I’m just not sure where it all comes from. I’m not the most well-read person in the world, I’ll admit. But most of what I’ve read suggests the average gay person is as benign as the average straight person. I honestly doubt that a rainbow-colored gay-people launched bomb is going to land on anyone’s church.

There was a lot of commentary below the article, 251 comments as of this writing. The vast majority of the supporters of the bill were of the “God hates gays, and government should, too” variety.

To me, God’s feelings on any issue, including homosexuality, should be taken with a grain of salt. There’s too many ways to interpret the holy books, and too many people with differing agendas between god and the masses. “God said so” is, without other justifications, a bad reason for any action or inaction.

So, is there a real reason for this odd fear about what two consenting adults might do when they get a private moment? Reason enough to justify attacking a lifetime of civil right movements? Other than “God said so?”

I don’t think there is. It worries me that our current crop of elected officials believe otherwise.

Comments

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

Well, I dun screwed up my first post. I attached the wrong image.

This was supposed to go up top. :P http://i212.photobucket.com/albums/cc250/Morichalion/Gaypanic.png

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

I've looked, and I can't find an option to edit or delete a post once it's published.

I don't know if that's because it's a new blog, or just standard procedure for a published post. Not that big of a deal, though. The text all came out right. Sort of.

RoeDapple 3 years ago

To the left of your blog title is a "Edit post" button. Go from there

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

Hmmm. Curious. The edit buttons aren't there when I try going through the "manage your blog" stuff. They're there when I click through the main page. Seems a bit counter-intuitive.

Thanks for the assist, Roe.

KSense 3 years ago

True God and Jesus loves everybody. However a key point people often miss is that God also has a standard He intends for us to follow. That standard clearly forbids a lesbian lifestyle. While God does and we should love the people, their choice to lead that life is an abomination in the eyes of God.

KSense 3 years ago

I can't answer for all godly people, just myself. What you said is exactly right and I couldn't agree with you more. My point is that while God loves everybody, that doesn't excuse sin. Any sin. Autie, and maybe I took it wrong, it seems was saying because God loves everybody we should just accept people and their sin because hey! God loves them so it must be alright. It is not alright, it's sin. I simply used lesbianism due to the current topic.

jonas_opines 3 years ago

Which is exactly why sin should not be the sole basis for legislation of any sort. Because it's basically going to be corrupted by the politics, and in turn will corrupt those politics as well.

Religion and faith, and following the precepts spelled out in them, seem like they'd run cleaner when they are allowed to be, as God himself is said to have intended, our own free choice.

KSense 3 years ago

There was one thing I'm not sure I quite understand what LN meant. You wrote: "Being a homosexual is not a sin. Having same gender sex is a sin." Can you please expound a little more on what you meant exactly? You can sin without actually acting on a thought or feeling. I.E. if you hate somebody you are guilty of murder.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

If you actually look in the Bible, you will discover that it says that gay sex is almost exactly as sinful as eating shrimp or pork.

And adultery is MUCH more sinful than all of the above. That is obvious, because adultery is condemned about 5 times as often as homosexual acts are.

Stuart Evans 3 years ago

KSense.. are you claiming to know what gods want? How do you possess such infinite knowledge? Also, how are you or anyone else responsible for handling the problems gods have with other people, and why would gods need the government to be involved?

back in the day, gods supposedly did some pretty amazing things; creating everything in the universe and whatnot. But now, gods have to line up a bunch of yokels to harass gay people in order to get things done? How come there isn't a gods squad who's mission is to free the world of mixed-blend fabrics or that repugnant abomination of eating shellfish? And you'll be hard pressed to find the last time a mob of people went looking to exact revenge on sabbath-day workers.

pick and choose what you like from the bible, but do NOT try to force anyone else to live your lifestyle; it does not belong in government, and frankly it's pretty pathetic.

Kendall Simmons 3 years ago

Yup. That's exactly what Ksense is claiming. Weird, isn't it...all that judging of other people and presuming to speak for God.

verity 3 years ago

"I honestly doubt that a rainbow-colored gay-people launched bomb is going to land on anyone’s church."

Well, maybe a glitter bomb. Which could be kind of fun.

Too many people commenting here seem to have missed the whole point of the blog.

"'God said so' is, without other justifications, a bad reason for any action or inaction."

I'll just add that people are hearing themselves when they claim that they hear God.

KSense 3 years ago

"God said so" is without other justification beacause it is justification enough in and of itself. That is, assuming it comes directly from the Bible.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

One religion's guide book is most definitely not sufficient justification for laws and policies in a secular society that is open to people of all religions and people of no religion at all.

notaubermime 3 years ago

I think that it is rather narcissistic to be so convinced that your views are so inherently perfect that they should be codified into law to the exclusion of other views.

asixbury 3 years ago

You do know the bible in the form we have today is vastly different than when it was first created (by a group hundreds of years after Jesus died). Words and connotations do not mean the same now, out of context, as they did when the authors first penned the gospels. The gospels were not written by the disciples, either. The books were given the name of the disciples to make them seem more credible and easier for the populace to accept as God's word. Just another reason religion has no place in politics or the laws of this country.

KSense 3 years ago

Nothing personal, but where in the world can you find the evidence to back up that hogwash? I'm not talking about websites either. It's possible to find evidence on there to back up any personal opinion, even if it was as bizarre as "The world is flat" As far as the last sentence goes, I am not a politician, neither do I understand politics. For that reason, I don't discuss them.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

What asixbury wrote is pretty basic knowledge. The earliest gospel was written sometime around 70 a.d., so about 40 years after the events in the gospel. The later gospels were written decades later. Even today, there are still disputes about what should be in the Bible. Have you ever heard of the Apocrypha? There are books out there that some church councils decided centuries ago should not be in the final canon. None of these facts are at all controversial among biblical scholars.

asixbury 3 years ago

Couldn't have said it better myself. Thank you ebyrdstarr!

frankwiles 3 years ago

Pretty much any scholarly religious text out there. That info is Bible History 101 honestly.

Kendall Simmons 3 years ago

Are you serious???? You truly aren't aware of any of the Biblical historical research out there? Aren't aware of Constantine and the Council of Nicea and what they did? (And are you one of those folks who still believe that the 4 Gospels...Matthew, Mark, Luke and John...were all written by the Apostles/Disciples??? When there was no Mark or Luke among the 12 of them???)

Wow. Maybe you ought to expand your concept of "Bible study". After all, it should not simply consist of taking a line or two from a particular Biblical translation and talking about what it means to you and your friends in the context of the 21st century.

KSense 3 years ago

No! I'm not that ignorant, Mark and Luke weren't one of the twelve apostles but they were eyewitnesses of Jesus' life, death and resurrection. Mark is mentioned several times in Paul's writings and Luke was a physician who also went with Paul on many of his journeys. That much and some more I do know.

asixbury 3 years ago

They didn't write the books with their names attributed to it. Back in their day, if they lived, everything was passed down orally. This leaves a lot of room for error. Even the Catholic Church itself acknowledges that the Bible is not infallible. That is a well-known fact with any bible-scholars.

tomatogrower 3 years ago

If you consider gay sex a crime, then don't do it, but your religion cannot dictate to people who are not of your religion.

JayhawksandHerd 3 years ago

This. I don't understand why such a simple concept is lost on so many people.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

And, I don't understand why such a simple concept as Calculus is lost on so many people.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

Gack.

I'd hoped to avoid sparking another religion-based disagreement with the post.

@ KSense: I get that "God said so" is good enough for you. It's difficult for me to counter that argument. At least, without naming groups that do crazy things inspired by the bible.

The best, most polite, least offensive thing I have to say on that point is that I'm unmoved by it. You can shake the bible all you like, it makes it no more relevant to the conversation.

Do you have real evidence to suggest that homosexuality poses a danger to a community? Studies that suggest a causal relationship of homosexuality to violent crime would be a good start.

Without that kind of evidence, you really don't bring much to the table.

KSense 3 years ago

The Bible, not my opinion is what I bring. It is Truth. Whether or not you choose to believe that is your perogative. I don't have statistics but here is a site that explains what I am struggling to say: http://www.faithfacts.org/christ-and-the-culture/gay-rights#fairness.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

Please don't go there. I've read the book. You can provide no more information in that regard than I already have about the bible. There's no polite way to handle the topic of what to do with the bible beyond an agreement to disagree.

Once we start talking about legislation, the idea of agreeing to disagree goes out the window. The other options are pretty darn rude.

If you have scientific data to present on the subject, please do. That would be a fun conversation. Please be sure to give links to the studies you cite, I'd like to go over them myself. How a study is done is as important as the data it yields.

If you can't do that, then I won't respond to you further in the comments of this blog post. If you can't let it go, I'll be writing a post in a couple of weeks about the bible, we can talk about it then.

KSense 3 years ago

Sure. In the meantime I will be doing some studying. If it makes any difference, I have no interest in it from a political standpoint. It is a purely from a moral right and wrong view.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

In your studying, please read a book by Bart Ehrman. Any book by him. Understand anything about the real, historical origins of the book that we now know as the Bible and it won't be so easy to run around proclaiming it as absolute, infallible Truth.

KSense 3 years ago

Sure. I am willling to listen to other people's opinions and try to gain a better understanding of why they hold those opinions. But please know, it will not change what I know to be truth. I have seen evidence for myself in real life that God does exist and that the truths of the Bible are very real. When I was baptized I made a vow to live faithful to God and Christ Jesus until death. That is a vow I intend to keep.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

I'm not trying to change your mind about that (though I do find it personally offensive to have it suggested to me that there is an ultimate Truth and I'm just ignorant or willfully denying it).

But it frustrates me to see people place all their faith in the bible without having any sense of the history behind the book.

KSense 3 years ago

I'm sorry you were offended. I didn't mean to offend but there is an ultimate truth and that is God. I didn't intend to imply you were either ignorant or willfully denying it. Not knowing you, that would be unfair of me. It seems I mislead you. My faith is not in the Bible, it cannot redeem my soul. It is in Christ and Christ alone that I place my faith. I'm aware of the whole Apocrypha thing. What I was mostly speaking of was the gospels not being written by the disciples.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

But I disagree with you. Thus, it is offensive to me that you proclaim a Truth that I don't accept.

The gospels were definitely not written by the disciples. They were simply written much too late to have been written by the actual men who were around when Jesus died.

KSense 3 years ago

"Wherefore also it is contained in the scripture, Behold, I lay in Sion a chief cornerstone, elect, precious: and he that believeth on him shall not be confounded. Unto you therefore which believe he is precious: but unto them which be diobedient, the stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner, And a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence, even to them which stumble at the word, being disobedient:whereunto also they were appointed." -1 Peter 2:6-8. Jesus is that rock. Once again, I'm sorry it's offensive to you but I can not nor will not pretend God is anything but truth. To do so would be to lie to myself, to God and to you. That I cannot do.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

And I don't expect you to. I just wanted to convey that there are a lot of people who hear or read stuff like that and will be offended. Count me among them. As I'm sure you would be offended if I went around telling you that all you believe in is a big lie.

KSense 3 years ago

Yes I am aware of how offensive it all is to some people. Christians die everyday for the cause of Christ. It isn't offensive to me for anyone to discredit my beliefs or Jesus, that's your privilege. Afterall it doesn't reflect on me but on Christ.

KSense 3 years ago

Thank you. As for the infallicy of Scripture, it's apparent we strongly disagree so I won't even go there. God asks that women submit to their husbands. That doesn't mean they should be a slave or a servant to them (or that higher education should be denied them) but that they should respect him as the head and leader of the home. Ever since those fatal bites that Adam and Eve took in the garden of Eden, Satan has masterfully convinced women that submission is a negative, confining concept. Many homosexuals believe that their desires are normal and that they have a right to express them. God does not encourage us to fulfill all of our desires. Desires that violate His laws must be controlled. If I have the desire to steal or kill, and I act on it, then explain my acting so by saying I had a desire to steal or kill, it would not justify my actions before God or in a court of law. The law may place one crime or sin above another but God does not. The law may condone certain things but ultimately what matters is what God says. Homosexual desires do not come from God. Hence, they must come from Satan. Surely Christ did come to promote love. More importantly, he came to bridge the gap between us and God caused by sin. He, the very one who created us, sacrificied himself to save us from damnation when it was our own fault we were in such a position in the first place. Can there be any greater love than that?

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

The scriptures have Jesus dying on two different days. They can't both be right. Knowing that and knowing how much politics went in to the decisions about what books belong in the bible and which don't, and knowing that the authorship of many of the books is shady (no way Paul wrote some of the letters attributed to him), and recognizing so many of the theological inconsistencies in the bible, I can't buy at all the idea that the scriptures are infallible. You have to ignore an awful lot to cling to the belief that they are.

asixbury 3 years ago

ebyrdstarr keeps answering things for me...awesome. My work here is done, through him/her. Thanks!

KSense 3 years ago

Jesus dying on two different days is a new one on me. References please? I should like to look it up for myself.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Just compare the stories from Mark and John. One has the last supper being the night before Passover whe the other has it on Passover. One has him dying on the cross at the same time the other has him facing Pontius Pilate.

Now, I grant you these aren't big discrepancies and they are what we would expect from eyewitness accounts, that details would differ. But this discrepancy does make clear that the bible isn't one big, overarching, infallible in all things book. It was written by humans over centuries from stories that were handed down to those who ultimately committed them to the written word. And even then, the various copies of those written words we have don't always match completely or involve translations, etc. which means that the humans who put the books of the bible together into what we now know as the bible had to make judgment calls about all sorts of words and phrases.

KSense 3 years ago

Actually they don't contradict. Mark refers to the entire first day of the feast (the Passover) and John refers to the actual feast, an evening occurance on the day of Passover. With God all things are possible. True human hand literaly wrote the Bible but if God's hand guided the human's (figuratively speaking) hand which wrote the Bible, and guided the judgement calls of those who first assembled the Bible (which he most certainly did) is there any reason to doubt it is literally the Word of God? If we throw away the Bible, Jesus and his Truth would still remain. When you get to the heart of it, it's not the Bible people reject or disagree with, it's Jesus. It grieves me and surely it grieves the heart of God to see so many throw his gift of Life right back in his face. Whether you choose to believe it or reject it is your choice.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Well, they do contradict each other, as do many other biblical passages, but I can't make you acknowledge that.

What reason is there to believe that god guided the hands that wrote the bible? Even now, go compare every current print version and you'll find different word choices, some quite significant. How are we supposed to know which one is the right one? Also some denominations include books that others do not. Who is right?

It's because I can't take the bible seriously as anything other than a fallible human creation of stories that I see no reason to believe the Jesus myth any more than I accept the myth of Zeus or Thor or any other god out there.

And if the gift being offered to me is eternal life, I do not want that. Living forever sounds dreadful to me.

Jason Bowers-Chaika 3 years ago

Is your belief system monotheistic or are their two deities? Seems like you're giving this "Satan" character a lot of power that isn't Biblicaly supported.

I reject your narrow interpretations of out of context and mistranslated scripture. God made gay people. Just as with Adam, it is wrong for Man to be alone.

Leviticus outlines prohibitions against idolatry and things that are meant to differentiate the Jews from those cultures that they pass through. None of those other laws are followed. Jesus replaced those laws.

Sodom? Ezekiel says that the sin of Sodom was based on inhospitality, a disregard for the needs of the poor by those of wealth. (sound like Republicans?)

Paul and his list of the unrighteous? Mistranslated.

akuna 3 years ago

You mean you bring the 2000 - 1000 year old transcripts, fables, and stories from scribes that have been translated, abridged, and muddled to the table. Hardly the Truth. Not really even Truthy.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

The description of Jesus dying on a Friday and then being resurrected on a Sunday, and that being considered to be 3 days, is discussed as a questionable topic. The answer is very simple, if you have any study at all behind you.

We do not count days the same way as the Romans did 2,000 years ago. Instead, we consider the following day to be one day, and the day after that to be two days. Hence, the Resurrection took place 2 days later.

But, 2,000 years ago days were counted very differently, using the Roman method of counting days.

Jesus was dead part of Friday, which was 1 day. He was dead for all of Saturday, and that makes 2 days. Then, He was still dead for part of Sunday, and that makes 3 days.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

The discrepancy between the two gospels can't be written away that way, but whatever. If you want to believe in that book as ultimate, infallible truth, you'll find ways to argue around it rather than just admit that one gospel clearly placed Jesus on the cross while the other gospel had him somewhere else. One of them got the time wrong. They really can't be reconciled. And, btw, the two gospel writers would have counted time the same way, so that explanation that "we count time differently now" doesn't explain why those two writing under the same rules would have a discrepancy.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

That is nowhere in the Talmud, that's for sure.

verity 3 years ago

Any argument about the validity of the Bible is irrelevant to this conversation.

Our laws should not be based on it or on anybody's understanding of it.

KSense 3 years ago

I hope you realize that would include throwing laws against murder, robbery etc out the window.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Of course it wouldn't. Laws against these crimes really have nothing to do with the bible and would exist regardless. Otherwise, why do we see such laws in countries that aren't predominantly of a Judeo-Christian background?

KSense 3 years ago

Straight from the mouth of God came the Ten Commandments.Moses then recorded them onto stone tablets and later in what became known as the book of Genesis. Two of them, as you well know clearly said "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" Hence we know, the basis of civil law comes straight from God (I should of said that instead of the Bible) and that's all I have to say on the matter. What do you suggest our laws be based on?

notaubermime 3 years ago

There are several codes of law (which list killing and stealing as illegal) that predate the Ten Commandments. The Code of Ur-Nammu is one of them. Reason is what allows us to understand that these laws are necessary for societies to flourish.

Our ability to reason wrong from right is the basis for law. It is what allows us to make laws against drunk driving despite the fact that the Bible makes no reference to "Thou shalt not drink and operate heavy machinery."

jafs 3 years ago

However, there are many other commandments that aren't codified in our legal system.

Adultery isn't illegal, and due to it's prevalence, you can't win a civil suit for damages if your spouse strays.

Honoring the sabbath isn't required legally.

It's not illegal to worship graven images.

Etc.

The problem with your beliefs is that you are certain they are truth, and present things as absolutely true, rather than your belief in them.

Stuart Evans 3 years ago

you take all of that as fact, when in fact, it is not.

why would we only utilize two of the 10 commandments in our laws? aren't all 10 just as important? heck the first several are just about not worshipping other gods... murder ranks where? Number 6... clearly very important..

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

How would we codify the commandment to honor thy mother and father anyway? What would that statute look like? And if our idea of crimes comes from the ten commandments, why do we have drug laws?

Stuart Evans 3 years ago

most people don't require a religious text to have empathy, which is the basis for not doing terrible things to other people. Morality did not first arrive with your 2000 year old book; the world got along just fine for a few billion years before that.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

In fact, I would suggest most people who claim to get their sense of empathy or most ideas of morals from a religious text don't really do so. Those views come from somewhere else and then color the way we interpret those religious texts.

As for why we have codes of law if not 'cause some fallible book written by fallible humans over some unknown period of time, perhaps we should look to Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan. If we as humans didn't come together and create a code by which we all live together in something like peace, we would all be living in the state of nature in which life is nasty, brutish, and short. Self-interest as much as empathy compels us to outlaw things like hurting other people and stealing from other people.

verity 3 years ago

edyrdstarr: "Self-interest as much as empathy compels us to outlaw things like hurting other people and stealing from other people."

Well said. We would all be better off if more people realized that. In the long run, cooperation works best for everybody.

KSense 3 years ago

Okay, once again I was not clear. Yes NOT you are right. There are many other written codes of law that predate the Ten Commandments. Where did our ability to reason right from wrong come from if not from God? If it has anything to do with evolution I am not interested. V-those commandments are just as impotant. I used stealing and murder as an example because we actually have laws against them. As far as laws against what you mentioned? I'm not here to discuss politics but the reason those commandments are ignored is simple. Man wants their own way and simply choose to ignore what God has said. In short, our civil code of conduct (even waaaaay back when) is based upon a sense of moral right and wrong that God has placed in each of us. His law and his love for us was revealed through his chosen prophets and through his Son, Jesus. This law of love was recorded in writing. Some choose to ignore this. It's to their own hurt. And that's all I will say on this particular matter.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

If you aren't willing to consider explanations based on science, you must not have much faith in your faith.

Where did god come from?

Stuart Evans 3 years ago

"if it has anything to do with evolution, I'm not interested" knowing that people like yourself are out there, blindly dismissing reality, scares me a lot.

KSense 3 years ago

I did not reject evolution blindly. I gave it intelligent consideration once and because of that intelligence, I rejected it. It's still just a scientific theory, not fact. Darwin himself discounted it before he died. To admit to creation would require one to admit to a Creator. To admit to a Creator would require one to admit to an authority higher than man. That principle runs contrary to the sinful nature of man so they gave in to the lies of the Devil and rejected the Truth. That's where I stand and I will not discuss it any more. It is apparent your heart is hardened towards anything to do with God so I will not waste anymore of my time.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

My heart is hardened toward ignorance. (Please understand what the term "scientific theory" means, btw. It does not mean what you think it means.)

My heart is also hardened toward those who would turn to this book when making policy decisions for a secular government, especially when those policy decisions would otherwise have no justification in reason.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Oh, and no, Darwin did not discount evolution before he died. He was polite to a nice lady and somehow this turned into a claim that he disavowed his life's work.

asixbury 3 years ago

Evolution and god can exist harmoniously together. How would a god create a world with natural laws guiding everything? He/she/it would use a natural means...evolution. Just because it is not mentioned in the bible does not make it true or untrue. It does not mention it because the people who committed the oral tradition to the written word did not have the slightest concept of many scientific theories.

Oh, and your argument that evolution is just a theory; gravity is just a theory as well. You obviously don't understand what scientific theory really means.

You have your faith; do not act like it is fact. It is a belief based on faith, no indisputable evidence. That is good for you, and you should not let anyone change your mind. You should not, however, use your religion to influence laws that affect the secular world. Not all of us believe the same as you (obviously), so your rights should not trample mine.

KSense 3 years ago

If by faith you mean what or rather whom I put my faith, trust , hope, heart and soul in, it's Jesus Christ. He is Truth. Jesus said "To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth." John 18:37b. I have no notion of changing or initiating laws. What I have wrote was only with the intention of conteracting lies so masterfully spread by Satan. I accept the fact that not everyone believes as I do but that doesn't take away my right to speak truth. You may counter by saying it is not truth but my belief, we will have to agree to disagree. It is not truth because I or any other human says so, it is truth beacause God says so. In a world that is convinced that our salvation depends upon the self-acculization of ourselves and of the pursuits of our own desires and wants, the Bible stands in their way. Empires, religions, philosophy, science, academia, and judiciary have all attempted to extinguish, suppress, discredit, dilute, deny and ignore the Word of God and yet it still stands. That in itself ought to be testimony enough to the power of God. I will say no more.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

What I meant was you don't seem to have faith enough in your faith in Jesus to subject it to tests of scientific and historic knowledge.

What on earth do we need salvation from?

KSense 3 years ago

Ah. I see. The fact is, it has been tried and tested by such knowledge and it has came through every time, even stronger than it was before. I am weary of the constant debate between evolutionists and creationists. It's obvious to me which is true (creationism) and I don't wish to hash over the same ground that's already been hashed over a thousand times. It won't change your mind and it won't change mine so I'll save my breath for someone who really cares. God, being perfect, requires us to also be perfect (we are made in the image of God). Adam and Eve were perfect, sinless, then they made the choice to disobey God and sin entered into the world, making all men sinners. (Romans 3:23) God requires death as the penalty for sin (Romans 6:23) but he also loves mankind, his creation, very much. To bridge the gap between man and himself caused by sin, he sent his Son, Jesus Christ, the ultimate sacrififce for sin. (Romans 5:12-19). In short, we need salvation from the righteous wrath of God. This salvation is open to all people (Luke 24:47). Don't get me wrong, I do not believe and worship God out of terror but out of reverence and love for Him for what he has done for me. There's so much more depth to the relationship between God and man, which ties directly into salvation, but I tried to answer your question only

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

All I ask, all I've asked throughout all of this, is that you keep your ideas about god, salvation, etc., out of our public policy. Your faith, deep and unwavering, shouldn't have any say over my life, and thus my government. Is that really so much to ask?

KSense 3 years ago

And I repeat: I have no premonition of changing or initiating law(s). All that I have written was purely from the intention of counteracting the lies so masterfully spread by Satan, the father of lies, with Truth.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

So I'm a pawn of Satan? Or one of his minions?

Gee, that's not an offensive, obnoxious thing to suggest. Not at all.

KSWingman 3 years ago

"Where did our ability to reason right from wrong come from if not from God?"

According to the Bible (Genesis, chapters 2 and 3), Adam and Eve gained the power of reason when they ate the fruit of the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil, and God punished them for it (and all of us, by extension.)

asixbury 3 years ago

Another tidbit about the book of Genesis: it is loosely based off of the Epic of Gilgamesh. If you read the two stories, side-by-side, the similarities are amazing. The Epic predates the bible by thousands and thousands of years. Every idea stems from somewhere. Nothing is truly original and without influence from another source.

You never responded to my comment on evolution and god not being a contradiction. If god created nature, then he would use a natural means to keep nature going: evolution. You can be a Christian and believe in evolution. The bible is not meant to be taken literally. Parables, which are what the bible consists of, are stories with good meaning. Maybe some of the events happened, maybe not, but that does not take away from the stories morals. They're good stories that can lead mankind on the right path in their own life.

It's when the Christians use their bible and religion to judge and condemn people (homosexuals) that I have a problem with.

Gandhi himself said: "I like your Christ. I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are nothing like your Christ."

KSense 3 years ago

Of a truth, the writing of the Epic of Gilgamesh does predate the writing of Genesis. "Every idea stems...from another source" That being true, from where did the author(s) get their ideas for the E of G? Perhaps the historical similarities between Genisis and E of G are so similar because it was actual happenings! How do you mean "keep nature going"? Anyone in touch with reality, any scientist for that matter, will tell you that we live in an intricately disigned, extremely ordered, yet continually dieing universe. Take a look at the inside of a cell, it's amazing all that goes on in there. It's like somebody actually designed it! Look at the function of the earth, it's orderly. Why is there order rather than chaos? When God is left out of the picture it makes no sense. A basic Evolutionary principle is that (paraphrasing here) things sorta, just, randomly formed here or there then next thing you know, why it looks like a frog! It's impossible for something created out of chaos to be anything but chaos. Randomness means there is nothing intelligent there, no order. This cosmos we live in, is undeniably ordered and intelligently designed.
The 2nd law of therodynamics states that energy is always being converted to less useful energy. (It's winding down). Evolution says things are improving. The reality of a dieing world is all around us, rotting trees, fallling stars, cemeteries and the list goes on. Psalm 19:1-3. The Heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament showeth his handiworks. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge. (think of those amazing stars). There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard." The true fight for evolution is not a fight of scientific correctness. It is a fight to prove there is no Creator, no God, no sin. If there is no God, there is no responsibility for sin. But also, no purpose for life. (Romans 1:18-20, 21, 23 & 25) I don't know what you believe about God but if you believe he is all powerful, all knowing, how is it he could not have created the universe? There is a difference between judging and condemning people and judging and condemning sin. I do not hate, nor is it Biblical for any Christian to hate, homosexuals as people. We, by all accounts, are just as sinful as they. Every human has sinned and no sin is greater than another. But. That does not excuse the fact that acting on homosexual feelings is flat wrong. Nor does that excuse hating on them.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Of course you cite the 2nd law of thermodynamics. I could have predicted it. Because that's what the anti-evolutionists do. Just like they make that silly claim about Darwin disavowing evolution. But you are wrong in your understanding of that law of thermodynamics. The refutations are readily available on the Internet, but you don't care to read them or acknowledge that you're just wrong about what the law is and how it works.

KSense 3 years ago

Is that the only thing you can come up with? Why don't you try talking to a real scientist instead of the internet? Ask them what the 2nd law of therodynamics is in layman's terms. When you do, don't ask what it means for the proof for or against evolution. It seems when evolution is involved it clouds things up and changes the real meaning of things.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Sigh. Try citing the law correctly, first, before accusing me of being clouded and changing the meaning of things.

It just flat does not prove that evolution doesn't exist. Evolution is not incompatible with any laws of physics.

jafs 3 years ago

The 2nd law of thermodynamics applies only to "closed systems" in which energy is not entering the systems.

Since that isn't a description of life on earth, which involves the constant infusion of energy from the sun, it doesn't apply.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

I'm not sure ksense cares. Usually once somebody cites this law and refuses to back down, they're pretty far down the rabbit hole of ignoring facts that are inconvenient for their belief system. Which is why public policy shouldn't be based on anyone's religion. Especially if the religious beliefs are incompatible with facts.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

(I've always wanted try this out...)

What's the first and third laws of thermodynamics? Googling them is cheating.

asixbury 3 years ago

Keep nature going, as in without god's constant involvement, he/she/it/his noodliness would enact a method in which nature would take care of itself.

Evolution never says there is no god. It explains a phenomenon (for lack of a better word) we find in the natural world. Maybe a god created what we know as the universe. He/she/it/noodliness created it by the methods science is discovering. Studying science can be thought as of studying god's methods, including evolution.

Also, energy is forever evolving into a more simplified form of itself. Not into a less useful form. The example you use could also be used to support evolution. Energy, people, animals, the entire universe is constantly changing and adapting. Also, the world and the universe is actually expanding at a rapid rate. Eventually, scientists believe it will collapse back in on itself. Then the whole process starts over again.

Energy changing into a more simplified form is much like evolution. People and animals evolve by getting rid of useless traits (simplifying), among other things.

KSense 3 years ago

But that's just it! God loves us enough that after creating us, He didn't just fling us out into the world then sit back and watch. He created us! Why WOULDN'T He want to be involved? I don't know if you're a parent, but let's assume that you are. When you hold that new baby in your arms for the first time and look at this little person you have "created", what is your first impulse? Fling he/she out into the world then sit back and watch how it does? No! You want to be involved with it, take care of it, love it. That is the same way it is with God and His creation. Last time I checked (just a few minutes ago), the world was 24,901.55 miles circumference at the equator, the same it's always been since science's first accurate measurement. As far as the universe expanding in size, perhaps it only appears that way since man is just beginning to discover and understand the magnificence of the universe. What an awesome God He is!

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

You're right that the earth is not expanding, but the universe is. None of that provides any evidence for or against the existence of a god.

KSense 3 years ago

How do scientists know the universe is expanding if we don't really know how big it is to start with? Asixbury is right. God's "noodliness did creat(ed) it [the world] by the methods science is discovering." More and more, science is discovering things like: A world os intricate design and detail. There was nothing, then suddenly, there was everything. Both the nature of God and the Word of God backs that up. I can give you references, if you care for them, to prove I'm not just spouting what comes to mind. My first paragraph doesn't provide evidence for or against God (I didn't mean for it to) but it does provide something reasonable to consider. I have some questions. Let's assume that you are right, there is no God and the world came to be just like evolution said. Let's assume every bit of it is true. My question is, What is the purpose of man? Why are we here? If we have nothing better to do than live and die, then why? What for?

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

We don't need to know how big the universe was to start with to be able to see that distances between stars, planets, etc. are increasing. That the universe is expanding is not a matter of debate among astrophysicists.

As for why we're here, what our purpose is, well, I don't have an answer for that. And I'm ok with that. I'm ok with it just being a fluke mystery of nature that we are alive, sentient beings with all sorts of potential. Not knowing where this gift came from does not in any way inhibit me from trying to make the most of the time I do have.

What I can't understand (and I have tried, believe me) is why the idea that we're put here by a loving god makes it any more meaningful. This god supposedly loves us, surrounds us, knows all, etc., but is still willing to let an awful lot of us condemn ourselves to eternal damnation. And for something as silly as not accepting Jesus as our lord and savior. Who cares what sort of good life you lead or how nice you are to your fellow humans. That simply is not a satisfying explanation for our origins to me. But, honestly, I don't think we really ever can explain our origins so it's not worth spending too much time worrying about. Because even if we accept that there is a god who created us all, that still doesn't address the question of where god came from. And then where did the thing that led to god come from...

KSense 3 years ago

Axisbury didn't answer KSWingman's question either and I'm interested in the answer to that question as well. "Where did our ability to reason right from wrong come from if not from God?"

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Why does it have to have come from somewhere? Why can't it just be something innate, like other animal instincts? I did point out that it is in our best interests to treat other people well.

And, by the by, you already said you weren't interested in hearing any explanation based in evolutionary biology, so I kinda figured why bother.

KSense 3 years ago

God gave us the choice, heaven or hell. He gave us free will; it's up to us to choose whether or not to accept salvation He has gave us. By our own choice we separated ourselves from God by sinning. He responded (went out of His way really) by sending His Son to redeem us. He didn't have to. Why is God angry at sinful people? Because they have substituted the truth about Him. With a lie. They have stiffled the truth God naturally reveals to all people in order to believe anything that supports their own self-centered lifestyles. God cannot tolerate sin because His nature is morally perfect. He cannot ignore or condone such willful rebellion. God wants to remove sin and restore the sinner- and He is able to, as long as the sinner does not stubbornly distort or reject truth but God shows His anger against those who persist in sinning.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

I just don't understand how that's a god anyone wants to worship. Sounds kinda like an egomaniacal puppetmaster to me.

Not someone I want dictating public policy. Heck, that's why I so disliked Dick Cheney and Karl Rove. ;)

KSense 3 years ago

Sorry, I don't understand politics at all! :) I can understand why you would react so to my above post. Said post was a direct answer to your statement about not understanding why a loving God would send people to hell. It was not, however, an answer that displayed the whole aspect of God, why we should build a relationship with Him through Jesus Christ and what that relationship with Him should look like. It would take too much room to put it all here. It's all in the Bible though. I don't know if you've read the Bible before but here's a challenge for you: Read it from beginning to end, Genesis to Revelation, and don't just read it but examine it closely, analize it. Any questions you have about God or anything you don't understand about Him and why I and thousands of others have chosen to worship this God, the answers can be found in that book.

jafs 3 years ago

I'm sorry, but "analize" the Bible?

I couldn't find a better example of a Freudian slip if I tried - that's great!

There may be some truth in the idea that those strongly opposed to homosexuality have latent tendencies in that direction.

Most people who have read the Bible, and "analyzed" it come to the conclusion that there are many inconsistencies and contradictions in it, that it was written over many different years by many different people, that it contains much that is not literally true, etc.

In order to maintain your belief system, you must have to ignore and deny much of the Bible that doesn't fit your view.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

The answers are not in that book. I have read it. I honestly find it sad that anyone can read that book and be satisfied. What about a god who wipes out the entire population of people he created but for one family is worthy of worship? Or a god who destroys entire towns? Or authorizes dashing children against rocks? You can come back with, "Oh, but that's all Old Testament," but that's a non-answer because it was still the same god, right? So if he changed his tune, well, he's not perfect. And isn't the very fact that he gets that angry pretty clear evidence that he's not perfect?

If you want to worship this god, that's your choice. But stop trying to impose it on me and my country's laws.

You never did answer my question about where god came from. But that's ok, because I know you can't. It's one of the logical flaws that makes it so obvious there's something wrong with the very idea of a god.

KSense 3 years ago

Those accounts are recorded in the Old Testament and it is the same God so for that reason, to answer as you suggested I might, would indeed be a "non- answer". God didn't change His tune. There are plenty of examples of God's judgment on sin recorded in the New Testament. Examples: Ananias & Sapphira & the death of Herod Agrippa I (Acts 12:21-23). There is a difference between God's anger & God's judgment. Anger implies an emotion. Judgment implies an action. God's judgment is not motivated by His anger. Rather God's judgment is motivated by our unrighteousness & willful rebellion & stubborn disobedience towards Him. The flood & the destruction of Sodom & Gommorah was a direct judgment of God because of great wickedness. But praise be, He is not without mercy. Genesis 6:3 gives a record of God giving mankind 120 years to repent before deciding to flood the earth. In Genesis 8:32 God promises Abraham to save S & G if just 10 righteous citizens could be found. Man didn't repent in those 120 years and neither did God find 10 righteous citizens. Considering how greatly sin vexes the heart of God, both times show a God of both great mercy & great judgment. The account of Ninevah in the book of Jonah is a good example of God's mercy towards a wicked people who repented. Dashing children against rocks. Is that a reference to Hosea 13:16? I ask because there are several places where such an incident is recorded but all for different reasons. I can answer "Where did God come from?" Who created God? To ask that question, we have to assume there was another creator before God. At some time, we are forced to stop asking that question and realize that there had to be something that has always existed. God is that infinite Being who has always been & who was created by no one. This is difficult to understand because finite minds cannot comprehend the infinite. For example, we can try to think of the highest number, but we can't do it. Likewise, we must not limit the infinite God by our finite understanding. Again, my reason for discussion is not one of fighting for or against a law.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

"Dashing children against rocks. Is that a reference to Hosea 13:16? I ask because there are several places where such an incident is recorded but all for different reasons."

But it's atheists who are supposed to be moral relativists with no sense of absolute right or wrong? I would LOVE to know when dashing children against rocks is ok and when it is not.

You have no sarcasm detector, it would appear, so let me be clear: I'm being sarcastic. It is never ok to dash children against rocks and if you're so far into accepting every word of your precious bible as the divine and true word of god that you can think the context of the dashing matters, I'd say you're pretty far removed from any sort of rational, moral judgments. Providing further evidence for my argument that the bible and ten commandments are not, in fact, the source of all morality and law in this land. As they should not because I would like to live in a land where dashing children against rocks is NEVER acceptable.

asixbury 3 years ago

A god capable of anger is not a perfect god. Anger (you didn't accept my son as your savior, now you must die), jealousy (by not accepting this god as the only true one), and vengeance (you are condemned to hell for your insolence) are all human emotions. No perfect being would have those traits. A perfect, loving god would accept people based on their actions in life; not on whether they accepted a specific person/being as their savior. Tell me, does this not sound like an immature child, "You didn't do what I said; now you will burn forever!"

I'm with ebyrdstarr, doesn't sound like a god worthy of my worship. Not in the way the bible illustrates god.

jaywalker 3 years ago

KSense,

I appreciate the way you've handled the argument, and I certainly respect your opinion. And I too know that God exists, feel Him in my soul; my faith is steel. However, the Bible is not Him. It is certainly not Truth. Jesus did not pen a word. It was written by the hands of men - MEN - with all their prejudices and bias and preference; or transferring that of the society of the era.

I have relatives that subscribe to the Book as written. Life began w/ Adam and Eve not so long ago, regardless the irrefutable evidence to the contrary. Not surprisingly, women in their sect aren't allowed to pursue higher education. With the women you know personally, does it seem logical that God would truly want them subservient in any way?

The Bible can't be taken literally. Homosexuality is NOT a choice. And in case you choose to argue that such is a choice, please include the details involved when you "chose" to be heterosexual.

More than anything else, wouldn't you agree that Jesus' purpose here was to promote humanity and love? How can those principles not apply to all those made in His image? The God I know and trust is loving and accepting. Why would it stop with people He made "that way"?

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Boy, yeah, life really would be better if all those annoying people who aren't recognized as having all the same rights we normal, mainstream people take for granted would just shut up already.

dwendel 3 years ago

Nobody screams and kicks and stomps any louder or more often around here than you, math (well except that Glen Beck wannabe "guy". What does that say about you?

dwendel 3 years ago

Nobody screams and kicks and stomps any louder or more often around here than you, math (well except that Glen Beck wannabe "guy". What does that say about you?

gudpoynt 3 years ago

the ultimate hypocrisy is the failure to see your own.

phoggyjay 3 years ago

Jesus was bisexual and consumed cannabis.

Laura Moriarty 3 years ago

Should we introduce a bill that allows people to ignore anyone's civil rights if their religion teaches them to do so? Would we do that today regarding race? I've heard people use the Bible to justify racism (as an example, consider the first two 'in the parking lot' quotes: http://www.pinponpun.com/blog/2008/10/15/things-atheists-hate-2-using-religion-to-justify-racism/)

The Bible has been used to justify slavery as well: http://www.religioustolerance.org/chr_slav1.htm

somedude20 3 years ago

Wait, doctors and churches now can't be forced to do things they find immoral but same sex people can't do things they find moral? You can't have your cake and eat it too.

"So, is there a real reason for this odd fear about what two consenting adults might do when they get a private moment?" My theory is that many of the Republicans who are vocal aboout being anti-gay are in fact gay themselves. Look at ole Larry Craig, he was very very vocal about being anti-gay and look what happened to him. On the side of "god" is ole Ted Haggard who was rather anti-gay and we know how that story ended as well. Hate what you are I guess. Live and let live I say.

gudpoynt 3 years ago

It's so simple, i don't understand why so many people have trouble understanding it.

You absolutely cannot legislate morality when it comes to things like services for the underprivileged. Philanthropy and charity must come from within.

However, we can, and must, legislate morality when it comes to things like abortion and curbing the social affliction known as homosexuality. For these are God's laws, which supersede those of man. The more that the laws of man diverge from those passed down by the infallible Father, the closer we are to tipping into the abyss of eternal damnation.

Duh.

KSense 3 years ago

I don't know if you were being sarcastic but thank you. You put it quite gracefully what I have so completely flubbed up!

jafs 3 years ago

It is clearly sarcastic, and it's a real shame that you can't see the obvious inconsistencies in those beliefs.

Patricia Davis 3 years ago

I don't believe in god. That is my choice. I don't believe in the bible, except for some lovely parts which I view as poetry (the commandeered Song of Solomon for example). What I do believe in is equality and justice. Homosexuality is not a choice. Our fear of homosexuality says a great deal more about us than the people who were born homosexual. Gay marriage does nothing to change your believes or your god or your church or your life.

jjt 3 years ago

What I do find amusing is that much of the word of god was put together at the behest of a British King in the 1600s. His secretaries pulling, collating ,culling and rewriting what they thought was appropriate to go in it. Since it is generally recognized that they also made mistakes (eye of needle or world 3000 years old or missed out whole book of's for example) it seems a bit strange to base one's life and views on that particular book as being the literal word of god. There are so many bibles, which is the correct one for the actual word of god?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

"There are so many bibles, which is the correct one for the actual word of god?"

The original, which was written in Leshon Hakodesh (Hebrew), although a few verses in the book of Daniel contain some Aramaic words. The texts are extant.

And, if you're Christian, the original Greek. But that could not possibly be what Jesus or the early church leaders actually said, because they spoke in Aramaic.

It is an absolute fact that a large number of very liberal constructs have been written and published as 'The Bible'.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

"The original?" There's no such thing. Which "original" one are you talking about?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Here is where you will find your answer: Study.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

I have studied. Which is why I know there's no such thing as the "original" bible. What on earth are you talking about?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

1) It is quite obvious that you did not understand what I was referring to. The Tanakh is undoubtedly in its original form. Textual variations might exist, but they are incredibly minor, if indeed they exist at all.

With your great scholarly background, I certainly do not need to define 'Tanakh'.

I have no comment on the New Testament.

I believe in the Reform Judaic point of view, which is that the events described in the Tanakh had a basis in some event, but they certainly do not describe scientific fact, the history is obviously not in chronological order, and there were a whole lot of liberties taken when the events were finally put quill to parchment.

Something, whatever it was, happened that the Israelites considered to be important. The miracles described in the Bible did not occur as described, but something happened that apparently impressed the population.

Stories of what happened were oral, and were carried from one generation to the next. Almost all of the Tanakh was actually written about 700 years, or 28 to 35 generations after the events described actually took place. Obviously, over a period of so many centuries, almost all of it did not occur as was eventually described. For example, my grandparents were totally unable to accurately describe events which took place in the 1300s, which is the exact same period of time.

What is important in the stories told in the Tanakh is not what they literally say, but what they meant to the people who conveyed what they thought was important through the centuries from one generation to the next.

It is the ideas behind the stories that are important. What do they say about the human condition? How do they relate to our lives today? It is quite obvious that people have not changed much at all in the last 3,000 years.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

You were responding to a question about the bible as a whole and started discussing "originals." My point was, and still is, that it's not like more modern books where there is some "original" copy. They generally started as oral traditions passed down over generations. And, of course, the Christian bible still does not have one form agreed upon by all denominations. So there's no one "original" of that, either.

And, yes, I know what the Tanakh is. We probably just disagree on what qualifies as "original" form.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

2) For an authoritative statement on morality, there is only one source, which is the Talmud. It is almost entirely based upon ethics and morals, and is not a history story at all. It is a very comprehensive set of commentary that uses the Torah as a basis, but delves deeply into many different aspects of moral behavior.

It was completed in approximately the year 700 CE, and is approximately the length of the Encyclopedia Britannica. It is some interest that is almost exactly the same time that the Koran was dictated by the Prophet Mohammed. He had to dictate it, because he was illiterate. The Koran is very short, maybe the length of the New Testament. The simple fact that one culture produced a book the length of the Encyclopedia Britannica, and another produced a book that is so short speaks volumes.

The other denominations of Judaism, Conservative, Reconstructionist, Keratite, Orthodox, and Ultra-Orthodox (there are probably a few more, but they are very small movements), take a very different position on some of those matters, but I am quite sure that the Reform Judaic viewpoint is correct in that almost all of the events described in the Torah were myths, and they were an explanation that was satisfactory to a primitive people that lived about 3,000 years ago.

Many people are quite shocked at how liberal the Reform Judaic platform is. Some of them simply cannot get past the idea that the miracles described were only myths. But they were important myths to the people who wrote them, and by studying them, we can learn what they considered to be the important things, which is the relationship between man and HaShem, which is an unchanging thing.

What is changing is our awareness of our present place in the universe, and we sure do have a lot to learn.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

How do you get to say that the Talmud is the "only" source for an authoritative statement on morality?

Hudson Luce 3 years ago

He means, "For me as a Reform Jew, the Talmud is the only source for an authoritative statement on morality."

For Gentiles, in the Talmud, there is an obligation to follow the Noachide laws:

"The basic assumption is that all non-Jews are subject to certain universal laws, religious, moral, and social (called the seven *Noachide laws): (1) institution of courts of justice; (2) idolatry; (3) blasphemy; (4) incest; (5) homicide; (6) robbery; (7) eating the limb of a living animal... (Sanh. 56a–b, et al.)." http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0007_0_07182.html

Of course, as a non-Jew I have a limited understanding of this, but most of these seem to be relatively universal throughout human cultures, especially (1), and (4) through (7).

jjt 3 years ago

Is God ( the christian one) a man?

asixbury 3 years ago

Most Christians believe God is a man. Wouldn't it make more sense, if god has a gender, for god to be female? Considering females give birth, they're the bearers of life.

jaywalker 3 years ago

"Straight from the mouth of God came the Ten Commandments.Moses then recorded them onto stone tablets and later in what became known as the book of Genesis. Two of them, as you well know clearly said "Thou shalt not kill" and "Thou shalt not steal" Hence we know, the basis of civil law comes straight from God (I should of said that instead of the Bible) and that's all I have to say on the matter. What do you suggest our laws be based on?"

So until Moses came down from the Mount it's your contention that stealing and killing were looked upon as noble past-times or something? And I'd suggest our laws be based on the inalienable rights of man, perhaps ordained by God at some point, but instilled in us from birth. We know right from wrong. We don't need stone tablets to tell us.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

To sufficiently address the above, what needs to be discussed is what is known as the Noahide Commandments. That is the list of the 7 commandments that should be obvious to any moral person. There is a vast body of literature available on that topic.

Later, 3 more were added to the basic 10 of the 613 commandments in the Torah.

jaywalker 3 years ago

Due respect, nothing else needs to be discussed, Ron. Laws deemed by the Divine to be just were already common place. God instilled common sense from the start.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

You should read my posting 1) and 2) a few comments above, posted May 5, 2012 at 8:03 p.m.

And, it appears that you are stating another opinion.

jafs 3 years ago

As are you, when you claim that the Tanakh is myth, or that the Talmud is the only authoritative source for moral philosophy, or that the relationship between man and Hashem is unchanging, etc.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

jafs - I am very careful to preface my comments with "It is the Reform Jewish platform" or "I believe".

I do not believe that I have ever presented the unknowable as a fact. But, I may have misspoken.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

Gotland - The Reform "Jewish delusion" that the miracles described in the Bible are myths is not fact? Then, you are claiming they really happened.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

"God's opinion of gay people shouldn't affect public policy."

I am totally unaware of any living prophets among us. They would be the only ones that could possibly know what God's opinion is. Jewish belief is that the age of prophecy ended with the destruction of the Temple in 70 CE.

Could someone please send me or publish a list of the living prophets?

(I do not consider the Mormon aka Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints prophets to be real prophets.)

jaywalker 3 years ago

Please. Someone today claims to be a prophet, what do you think? Soon as you can quote God yourself feel free to be sarcastic. Posing superiority based on ancient claims of Divine contact is the height of hilarity.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I think they're not a prophet. It seems that I'm wasting my time here. You totally missed my point, as so many others do on this forum.

I claimed that there are no "living prophets". That makes no claim as to whether or not I believe there ever were any.

For you, I would recommend Logic 101.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Who let you be the decider of which claimed prophets were legit and which weren't?

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I never claimed any of the prophets were legit in that posting. Did you read it?

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

That was my point. Did you read my post? I made no reference to living or dead. I just questioned why you get to say whether there are any prophets.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

I did not say there were or were not any. What I said was that I am unaware that there are any.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

@lauramoriarty:

That's why I posted this blog entry. The text of the bill in question feels like something to be waved at anything, anything at all, that might make one feel "religiously burdened."

If the bill was supposed to be an anti-gay thing, why would it be so vague? Almost anything could be considered a "religious burden" under that bill.

Don't like people marrying outside their own race? Don't like other religions? Don't like the disabled? Don't like white, black, asian, indian, native american, or any combination of races? Don't like women?

This bill has your back. You can deny services of essentially any kind to any class of people so long as you claim it's a "religious burden" to provide them.

If this whole "slash and burn" approach is inspired by hating gay folks, being gay must be hugely bad for everyone. I mean, like an apartment building bursting into flames the moment a gay person moved in.

In any case, I'm disappointed. I was hoping someone would pseudoscientific, instead of simply religious on the issue. You can always tell someone their science is wrong, and explain why. But for the truly religious, you will never get beyond the paint they put on their own eyeballs.

Someone owes me some ice cream.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

There is spiritual and there is religious. They are so very different but the distinction is obviously lost on many.

Hudson Luce 3 years ago

Under this law, I could refuse to rent property to Jews, on the grounds that they "deny Christ" and to be forced to rent to Jews would constitute a "religious burden" on me as a Christian... I can't wait to see a good test case on this...

KSense 3 years ago

All right Morichalin, here's some stats like you are interested in. * Gibson,P (1989) "Gay Male and Lesbian Youth Suicide" In M. Feineib(Ed), Prevention in Youth Suicide (Report Task Force on Youth Suicide, Vol3,pp 110.44) Washington, D.C.: US Department of Health and Human Services. According to this study, gay and lesbian youth are two to three times more likely to commit suicide than other youths and 30% of all completed youth suicides are related to the issue of sexual identity. * In a study of depression and gay youth, researchers found depression strikes homosexual youth four to five times more severely than other non-gay peers. (Hammelman. T.L. 1990 There's another source with too much information to put on here: http://carm.org/homosexual-gay-sex-harms-no-one Yes, the article is from a Christian view point but the statistics it uses, which I gather is all your interested in, are taken from non-objective parties and they all have links to the direct source, so you can see for yourself. I hope you find the answer to your question.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

But why are gay and lesbian youth more likely to commit suicide and suffer depression? Couldn't it be because they're being raised in a society that tells them they're bad, sinful, sick, disgusting, etc? Seems a pretty likely explanation. So if we stop basing policies on the idea that we dislike homosexuality, teens wrestling with sexual identity issues won't feel those external forces hating on them.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

I'm impressed. I didn't think you'd be willing to look for any answers anywhere but the good book. Well done.

It's a known, well-publicized fact that homosexuals, particularly teenagers, are more likely to deal with depression and suicidal tenancies their straight peers. Correlation doesn't necessarily mean causation, though.

Other than being gay, what set of conditions might prompt depression?

The current, secular, hypothesis is that these kids deal with more abuse from their peers.

If we quit treating them like dirt, would they be less likely to become depressed?

For the STD issue, well, that stuff (including preventative measures) should be gone over in sex ed.

For the other issues, how is anti-gay legislation going to help?

The big question I have is, how does any of these things hurt you?

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

You know, from a public health standpoint, homosexual female sex is as safe as it gets. By far. And there's no risk if I intended pregnancy! So, really, having policies that discourage this kind of sex make no sense. From a health standpoint.

Glenn Reed 3 years ago

Cute. Gave me the gigglez there for a second.

What am I supposed to do, though? If all the women are having sex with each other, I mean?

verity 3 years ago

Morichalion, I aspired to be homosexual for that very reason, and the fact that men can be such---well, you know, but it just doesn't seem to work that way.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Amen, verity. Wouldn't it be nice if we could just go lesbian?

Christine Anderson 3 years ago

Uh, yep. But old preferences just won't quit. lol

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

ebyrdstarr, there is safer sex than that. You can take matters into your own hands, and then there is no risk at all.

After my last major relationship turned into a decades long slow motion train wreck that is still not over reached the Associated Press wire and became national news again after 25 years, it seemed to me that is the only way to go.

At least for me, that's it. No more.

Ron Holzwarth 3 years ago

And some people wonder why I'm insane today. Considering everything I have been through, I am doing very well.

FloridaSunshine 3 years ago

Ron, you're not insane. You're one of the most brilliant, respectful, compassionate commenters I have read on LJWorld. It's been quite a while since we PM'd, but I have thought of you often and I weep every single time I read your personal story. To open up oneself to the world as you have done takes a man of strength and integrity. I have a couple of questions about your quest to find your son...I will send you a PM.

In the meanwhile, please know that I think you are one amazing man because I've been reading your comments for quite a long while. I studied Judaism (Orthodox, no less!!) and I find your comments on religion fascinating. (I studied out of curiosity and respect, not to convert.) I'm happy with my "denomination" but just enjoy learning about others. I studied Mormonism for quite a while many years ago (when I was married and my children were young)...we found ourselves in a Mormon community. That was quite an experience to say the least!

I comment ONLY on Faith Forum nowadays...and not very often. The Pit Bulls show up there once in a while, too, and it gives me a headache to deal with them! :~) So, I make my comment and "X" out. I do read comments on threads that interest me...there aren't many that do. But this was one that caught my attention...I saw you were commenting and wanted to say "hi"... I wish you the best always, Ron...

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

But on a serious note, even if after controlling for cultural and familial tolerance, etc., you still can show that gay and lesbian teens have a higher rate of depression, etc., so what? That does not provide a rational basis for enacting policies that discriminate against the lgbt community.

Other demographic groups have statistically higher rates of alcoholism (Native Americans, lawyers) and suicide (dentists, for some odd reason). Does that mean that we should pass laws that say Native Americans can't get married? Or say that being a dentist is "incompatible with military service?" (The Republican party platform, last updated in 2008, says that about homosexuality.)

And finally, allowing public policy to discriminate against the lgbt community won't stop those people from existing. So trying to justify discrimination on the grounds that it's harmful to be gay makes absolutely no sense. You're not going to make those depressed gay and lesbian teens any less confused and depressed, so exactly what good does that discriminatory public policy do?

Jason Bowers-Chaika 3 years ago

Anti gay policy is good as a wedge issue and to fire up the base of the conservative wing of the Republican party. The tide is changing. The younger demographic is pro equality and the Republicans are viewed as out of sync dinosaurs and bigots.

ebyrdstarr 3 years ago

Really? Sure, it's annoying that he won't just come out and say he's pro-same sex marriage already, but he's still the guy who got rid of DADT and ordered the DoJ to stop defending the indefensible DOMA. His opponent wouldn't have done either of these things. The choice between the two candidates is ridiculously easy for those voters who prioritize LGBT equality issues.

(BTW, I think for once you actually used quotation marks in a rational way. Good job!)

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