The absurdity of the argument, “It’s Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve.”

wildflowersGot this question in as a comment to the video that my wife Catherine and I made for  The NALT Christians Project :

John and Cat,

Great answer to some of the more fundamental Christian arguments. I do have a question on how to answer the most basic statement made by anti-gay Christians; the one that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve, so that they can procreate. That is the one area that I’m troubled with. I agree that the Bible doesn’t have an all-condemning statement against homosexuality, and I’m so sick of these Christians pushing young teens, who are just coming to terms with their sexuality, to the brink of suicide, if not to actually accomplish the task. There is still way too much bullying being done today against our LGBT brothers and sisters and I want to help stop it. But, I need to be armed with all of the come backs to the Christian arguments against homosexuality. Can you help?

So we’re talking here about these words from  (the King James Version of) Genesis 1:

And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness …

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female he created them.

And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, …

So. First of all, where does it say here that the total number of people created by God was two? It doesn’t. If this were a story of God creating the entire human race in one moment, it would read perfectly well just as it is. It fact, it makes more sense if read that way—especially given how common it is in today’s Bibles for that “man” to be translated “mankind.”

Mankind isn’t two people. It’s lots of people. We have zero reason to think that God here isn’t saying, “Be fruitful, and multiply and replenish the earth” (emphasis mine) to all kinds of people. Where in the text does it indicate that he’s only talking to two straight people?

And even if he were only talking to two straight people, where does it say that the only kind of men and women God would ever create would be straight? At most it says that the first couple God made were straight. And that makes enough sense, doesn’t it? God needed a straight couple to get the ol’ human population going. He was needin’ the breedin’!

And clearly, Adam and Eve fit that bill.

And now we’re all here! Yayeth!

So even if you accept the idea that God is here addressing no one but two lone straight people, it’s absurd to read the text as a negation of the possibility that one day God would create gay people, same as he did straight. Especially given the beyond-obvious truth that God did create gay people.

I think it’s safe to say that the fact that gay people exist means that God always knew that part of his/her divine plan was to gift the world with people of all kinds of sexual orientations and identifications. I vote that’s what “in our image, after our likeness” means.

Variety, people. It’s all about blessed, sacrosanct variety.

What dangerous foolishness it is to believe that in his wisdom God would never create and bring into our lives people who are at once so similar and so different from us that their very existence forces us to either broaden or contract our own personal, working definition of what it means to be a loving, compassionate, caring, trusting, reasonable human being.

I think we’re all being tested, all the time. And I think the single question we’re all constantly being tested on is, “How well—how deeply, how thoroughly, how constantly—do you love?”

Here’s hoping we all deserve an A.

About John Shore

John Shore (who, fwiw, is straight) is the author of UNFAIR: Christians and the LGBT Question, and three other great books. He is founder of Unfundamentalist Christians (on Facebook here), and executive editor of the Unfundamentalist Christians group blog.  (In total John's two blogs receive some 250,000 views per month.) John is also co-founder of The NALT Christians Project, which was written about by TIME,  The Washington Post, and others. His website is JohnShore.com. You're invited to like John's Facebook page. Don't forget to sign up for his mucho-awesome newsletter. If you shop at Amazon, help support John by entering the site through this link right here--Amazon will then send John 3-4% of the cost of anything you buy before exiting the site again.

 

  • http://brucegerencser.net Bruce Gerencser

    Yeah, the whole Adam and Steve line is cute and sure to get Amens at the local Evangelical church, but, as you easily show, it is an argument that can be explained away in 2 seconds.

    As an atheist, it is even simpler for me. God didn’t create anyone. :)

    As you know, sexual orientation is complex and can not be divided neatly into two categories.

    Sadly, I remember using this line in a sermon or two. :(

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Bruce: God called. He says you’re forgiven. (He tried to call you to tell you that, but … you know: you didn’t pick up.)

      *snerk*

      Good to hear from you, buddy.

      • http://brucegerencser.net Bruce Gerencser

        :) He and I used to have long phone conversations and then one day he quit calling. Maybe it is because I moved and didn’t give him my new number. :)

        Your post was a reminder of all the stupid ass things I said in my sermons. I did outgrow such childishness, but I do regret saying such things.

        Things like the hole in the ozone? The bigger the hole the easier it is for Jesus to come through the clouds when he comes back again. So dumb.

        As always, I appreciate your blog.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          No way!! You actually said that about the ozone hole?! Man, that is just too too funny. I love it. I mean … well, I mean … it’s wrong, of course. But your brain does kind of go, “Well, yeah. That makes sense. Jesus doesn’t want to get ozone all over himself when he’s coming down to save everybody.”

          I spend so much time trying to essentially bridge the Christianity I understand with the Christianity of … well, the people I’ll probably now forever think of as Ozone Christians. But when the day is done, I know how true it is that ultimately 99% of what I’m doing is blocked by the intractable truth that there is no bridge between … . Well. Let’s just say that when it comes to God’s football team, the varsity and junior varsity teams don’t exactly play on the same field.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

            It seems to me, the problem is, the 99% are so caught in the storyline, rules, purposes, questions of right and wrong, etc.; they don’t cultivate a hunger to know the eternality of our very being.

            No real curiosity about the nature of God. Just memorized and ritualized response to stimuli.

          • Jill

            “cultivate a hunger to know the eternality of our very being…No real curiosity about the nature of God. ”

            That is such a beautiful statement, and once which does seem to create a marked distinction– from those who are all about this hunger and those who couldn’t care less. It helped me just now to understand why I often do not relate with ‘religious’ people and ideologies, and why that is ultimately more than ok.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

            Yes! thank you.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            I’ve come to think the problem may be that the junior varsity team isn’t playing *at all*– they’re sitting in the locker room memorising the rule book and play manual and insisting that that’s what football *is*.

          • Jill

            This, right here.

            Because getting out onto the field is a scary prospect. It means the rubber has to meet the road, and what if real life makes me question what my faith looks and acts like? What will I do then? That’s a whole lot of work.

            Easier just to stay in the locker room with everyone else convincing you that the locker room is where God’s at anyway.

  • Dana

    Thanks, John. It all makes such perfect sense when you explain it so eloquently! I kind of thought that God created homosexual people because the heterosexuals were being pretty irresponsible with the replenishing command.

  • Allie

    Typo: foolishness to believe, not belief. [fixed! thanks! J.]

    Nice, concise.

    Apropos of Steve the mythical gay man, I recently played Mass Effect 3 (which I enjoyed, ending and all). Interesting how the Mass Effect series has evolved in relation to sexual expressions – in Mass Effect 1, it was originally intended for a male potential love interest, Kaiden Alenko, to be bisexual, capable of being romanced by either a male or female love main character. We know this because they recorded his romantic dialogue as spoken to a man and left it in the data, although it’s never used by the game. Apparently at the last moment someone in development chickened out. And probably that was wise at the time, given that the “lesbian” alien love interest provoked outrage. Two guys would have made heads explode.

    Fast forward a few years, and in Mass Effect 3, Kaiden comes out as bisexual to the male main character. “Hey, there’s something I wanted to tell you…” My male main character turned him down. “We still cool?” Kaiden asks. Yeah, still cool, bro. Just, you know, I’m straight. Oh, okay.

    And no one’s head exploded. No one’s at all. Google “Mass Effect 3 controversy” and you will find a bunch of people ranting about not liking the ending, and no people ranting about gay sex. Better still, no one cared that there were two strictly gay romantic interests added, one male, one female. These aren’t characters who, as is becoming common in games, will sleep with your same-sex character if you ASK, thus proving that you aren’t offended by same-sex relationships. This is a nice lesbian chick with a thing for female androids and a guy who talks about his dead husband and goes to bars to watch other guys dance. They are gay whether it offends the player or not. Because in 2012, EA thought that it was a good safe bet that NO ONE WOULD BE ALL THAT OFFENDED. And they were right. No one much was offended. That’s progress, people. I work with a guy at EA and he’s gay and married and now he can write about his own life without having to worry about offending people.

    Oh, and the gay guy is named Steve, which I think is cute.

  • Todd Reeder

    Even Christians do not agree with what might have happened back then. Some say that Cain and Able had sex with sisters to populate the world. Some say that other women were created. Someone could use the idea of Cain and Able having sex with sisters to say incest is ok. Some Christians say being gay is not a sin. Acting on it is what makes it a sin. I am not against gay people. I don’t see anything wrong with being gay. I have a few gay friends in different countries. I had a gay friend who I spent time with weekly. He died of a heart attack. :(

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

      No need to speculate about Cain, Abel, and Seth having sex with sisters to support incest. The father of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam– Abram/Abraham/Ibrahim– was married to his half-sister, Sarai/Sarah. Isaac was the product of an incestuous marriage. For the next couple generations, wives of the descendants of Abraham were sought among his relatives, so the Israelites would have been a pretty inbred population.

      It isn’t until the Mosaic law that we encounter laws against incest, and most of those are actually focused more on abuse of power than actual genetic relationship. I’ll note that Mosaic law actually made Moses’ parents’ marriage unlawful, as they were an aunt and nephew.

      That said, by conservative thought, the human race would have been created genetically perfect, without mutations which would lead to genetic diseases. As the race continued, more mutations would have occurred and been passed on to children, making incest more and more dangerous as time went on. I don’t remember the exact number, but I read somewhere that the average human carries something like 8 potentially lethal genetic mutations. They just don’t show up too often because both parents have to be carriers and pass the mutated gene to a child.

      But regardless of whether the initial population was 2 or a hundred, some amount of inbreeding is going to happen even if you don’t allow brother-sister marriages, and such marriages only carry a very small additional risk of genetic disease over marrying a more distant relative.

      In other words, people today make a big deal about incest in the Bible and its risks, but that’s *our* perspective. In older societies and cultures, the social benefits of endogamy may have outweighed the genetic risks.

  • Richard W. Fitch

    First complaint: this article buys into the Fundamentalist literalism of scripture. When the ancient began to develop their narratives of the origins of the cosmos I am certain that they had no intention of making what became our book of Genesis a textbook for Sex Ed 101. Second: there is no resolution here for those who claim that homosexuality is a result of “The Fall”. Humankind was created “perfectly” but thru rebellion must suffer all manner of evil. It is really difficult to dialogue wiith those who live in an entirely different universe.

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

      In answering a fundamentalist objection, it’s necessary to assume a common framework. It’s why “I don’t care what you imaginary Sky Daddy has to say,” doesn’t bring any sort of resolution beyond making the person who says it temporarily feel better and making the person it’s said to feel that they were right to believe LGBT people are immoral anti-christians. Approaching the question as, “What does the story of the creation of Adam and Eve have to say to us about human sexuality and marriage?” is, therefore, more valuable than, “Is the story of Adam and Eve even true?” Whether the story is literally true or not has no bearing on the teachings within the story, so we need not concern ourselves with addressing whether it is true and literal or not.

      Likewise, whether homosexuality, transgenderism, etc. are products of the Fall or not is immaterial. Most of us would agree that much in the world such as genetic diseases, non-neurotypical people, and physical challenges might or might not exist in a sinless world, but we don’t regard people with genetic diseases, physical challenges, or non-neurotypical brains as being *sinful* for existing or living their lives in such a way as to navigate a world not ideal for them. It is only with the non-neurotypical gender identities and sexual orientations that we suddenly decide they shouldn’t adapt but should just stop being non-neurotypical. This is not a loving position to take with someone who is deaf, autistic, has a cleft palate, or club foot, and it is not a loving position to take with LGBTQIA people either. Whether they would be LGBTQIA in a sinless world has no bearing on how we should treat them.

      • https://talkingonthethink.wordpress.com/ Ron

        Once again, Lyn: brilliant.

        It’s the selectivity of consequences based on filters of personal (and tradition-propagated) bias that leads to the profoundness of the hypocrisy in extrapolating to sinfulness.

      • https://talkingonthethink.wordpress.com/ Ron

        This is not a loving position to take with someone who is deaf, autistic, has a cleft palate, or club foot, and it is not a loving position to take with LGBTQIA people either. Whether they would be LGBTQIA in a sinless world has no bearing on how we should treat them.

        I’m pretty sure that what makes this “non-neurotypcial” condition a suspect class to anti-gay Christians all boils downs to sex (at least from the “hate the sin / love the sinner” standpoint). If I compare a corrupted-human gay person to a corrupted-human deaf person, it is not the obvious handicap that is in question, but how the handicap is exploited for self-indulgent and immoral ways.

        So if you believe that sex is a way to love another person and you believe that the complementary procreative plumbing (‘is’) determines moral use (‘should’), then you have to believe that the only alternative for the corrupt-human gay person is to not engage the sexual part. And if you believe that — and you believe marriage is between a male and female for procreative purposes — then you’re trapped in a box of intolerance.

        But I understand your point, however. (At least I think I do.) And that is, you have to get at the basic assumptions and presumptions, such as what is sinful (what deviates from the path toward Divinity’s Presence) to address wild-ass extrapolations.

      • Sheila

        OMG this is wonderfully stated! It’s this type of logical thinking that has me mulling over my own ideas about sexuality. For Tom, who thinks this is boring, I have to tell you that there are people like me who were raised to believe that being gay is a sin, and who know & love gay people, and who want to figure out this all out. I feel like I am in a spiritual closet. I am against the discrimination and denigration of LGBTQ people, but I don’t want to lose my church. I love my faith, and I have questions about where sexuality fits into it. It is in these types of discussions that I find myself really challenged.

    • Ron

      Oddly, “The Fall” is a foray into a discussion about the corruptibility of Revelation, since Nature is one of its three forms. The Evangelists who have tried to stomp out debate with “The Fall” argument have been horrified (never having considered their logic) at the implications.

      • Lymis

        I didn’t quite get that.

        • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

          I *think* what he means is that the creation is one of the sources of revelation about God. The argument that nature has been terribly corrupted due to the Fall suggests that the revelation of creation about God is also corrupt. Which, then, suggests that scripture that confirms the usefulness of the revelation of creation is *also* corrupt. And the dominoes start falling.

  • Matt

    I had trouble with this too. Leaving aside how glib and stupid the “Adam and Steve” argument is, I was thinking, “Wait, so Adam and Eve had kids …and then? How did we get to 7 billion from there?”

    Genetics tells us that every human alive today descends (on their mother’s side) from a woman who lived between 140,000 and 200,000 years ago, but she was not the only woman alive at the time. She was just the only person whose female line was unbroken leading up to the present day. Many other women were involved at some point, adding their DNA to the mix. Clearly God adores diversity; He created an entire system that utterly thrives on it.

  • Lymis

    Even if you ignore the creation of mankind in Genesis 1 and leap directly to Genesis 2, even if you decide that every word in Genesis is literally true (though Genesis 1 is literally irreconcilable with Genesis 2 without some serious pretzelating of logic), and even if you leap to the pretty absurd conclusion that every single human being in all of history was intended by God to be reflected in Adam and Eve, there’s still absolutely no indication in the text that the two of them were heterosexual.

    All we know from the text is that they were mutually fertile, and that Eve was a “suitable helper” for Adam. They could well have been completely heterosexual. They could both have been bisexual, and perfectly attracted to each other in the absence of other options. They might both have been 100% gay by today’s standards, but perfectly capable of breeding with each other (just as many of today’s gay people have children through a heterosexual coupling.)

    Additionally, again, assuming you take the creation narrative as literal, the mere fact that they were created implies that they were created with DNA and genetic material in their bodies, which opens the door to either Adam or Eve or both carrying recessive genes for lots of human characteristics that they themselves didn’t manifest. Were they both right handed? Brown eyed? What color was their skin? Even a literal instantaneous Creation doesn’t in any way mean that they weren’t created with the genes for 10% of their kids to be gay.

    In fact, one of the theories of why homosexuality is present in humans and hasn’t been selected out is the value to a tribal or collective society in having extra adults who can care for the children of their siblings or tribe members if one of the parents dies, and that having a small percentage of people who are less likely to breed their own and therefore invested in caring for the others is a positive survival trait. If there is any merit in this idea (and it is controversial), then it would be reasonable to feel that God was bright enough to plan for it to occur naturally.

    My parents were both straight, and 2 of their 7 kids are gay. Out of how many kids and grandkids Adam and Eve would have had in hundreds of years, we’re supposed to believe that by definition, none of them could be LGBT, simply because Adam and Eve were straight? Bah.

    There is absolutely no indication whatsoever in the text relating to the sexual orientation of either Adam, Eve, or any of their children, beyond the bare fact that there were children. Fundamentalist claims that none of their kids were gay are utterly unjustified by the text. And isn’t the text supposed to be the final word for such people?

    • Ron

      This is brilliant. I’m saving this post for reference — it really was well put.

      It never ceases to amaze me that extrapolation and reductivism should work both ways in one’s interpreting Scripture, and it doesn’t. I don’t see that Christians have any problem with interpreting meaning *into* passages when it suits a bias, but resist like crazy when it doesn’t and instead they work to interpret meaning *out* of a passage.

      For instance, the “man shall leave his mother … one flesh” argument.

      “Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take away the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? May it never be! Or do you not know that the one who joins himself to a harlot is one body with her? For He says, ‘the two will become one flesh.’ But the one who joins himself to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee immorality (porniean). Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man (porneuon) sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own?”

      Just because we’re focusing on porneia in heterosexuals doesn’t preclude the use of porneia in temple prostitution that included same-sex “union of flesh.”

      And while the Israelites always seemed to understand everything has having physical-spiritual duality, they understood that the union was also spiritual. But “spiritual” is a union of spirits — complementary physical plumbing is not relevant.

      At this same time, “holy” referred to setting aside in a way that reserved it and, thereby, holding it special, or sacred. Leviticus and most of the Hebrew traditions were about separating their culture for other cultures (Gentiles), thereby separating themselves (maintaining the sacredness of the tribe).

      This idea of how holiness works applies naturally to marriage. Becoming one flesh with its spiritual connotations is holy when reserved to marriage. Marriage is that reservation, and plumbing does not qualify it as valid or invalid.

  • Lymis

    And, I actually ask these people, on the rare occasions that I actually have to interact with one, who DID make Steve?

    Or Reeve, Cleve, Genevieve, or Ranjeve, for that matter?

    Somehow, the very same people who refuse to acknowledge that God made Steve have no problem proclaiming that they themselves were “made” by God (even if God used the mechanism of their parents having sex to do so).

    Who made Steve? Steve would really like to know.

  • Ron

    In the beginning, God hadn’t made them male and female … there was only Adam, which means “red dirt” in ancient Hebrew. Females came about as a result of pulling the rib from the red-dirt being.

    What was the red-dirt being? Was he “male” — how does that make sense if there is no female?

    If the red-dirt being was neither male nor female, AND it was created in God’s image, my thinking is that Adam was closer to God’s image than a division of the sexes represents.

    Further, without the sex division, plumbing was not a factor in spiritual identity. Jumping over some steps in logic, we can say that we’re spiritual beings first, physical second. Judging “image of God” by the division of sexes commits the naturalistic fallacy: is = should.

    • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

      Brilliant!

  • Tom Brisson

    Geez, when will this issue go the eff away…don’t you get tired of arguing with idiots or preaching to the choir? Maybe it’s time to address some other questions – poverty, the environment, other aspects or humn rights…just saying.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      It’s so weird. That I’ll get criticized is never in question. But it’s always so … weird to see in what exact form that criticism arrives. It’s a thing you can’t quite ever anticipate, somehow. Oh, well. We all have to pick our fights. Tom: a picked this one, because of my gay friends and because 91% of Americans, when asked, first associate the word “Christianity” with “homophobic.”

      Ninety. One. Percent.

      • Tom Brisson

        Well that is a lot. But after reading these debates for years, my eyes have started to glaze over; I guess I feel like I’ve heard it all. I also have gay friends and family and want them to be able to choose their own path, whatever makes them happy. I guess I just don’t see what the constant debating has accomplished. I don’t know anybody whose opinion has been changed on this by argument — they have to get to know gay people. Period. And some folks never will.

        • http://Fordswords.net David S.

          ” I guess I just don’t see what the constant debating has accomplished.”

          Really?!? You don’t?

          How about major steps toward full civil equality for gay people? How about dramatic reduction in social stigma? How about a reduction in discrimination?

          We’re not there yet, so the conversation must continue. I’m sorry if my desire to be treated with dignity and respect bores you.

        • Alan

          Tom,

          I don’t think projects like NALT or It Gets Better are the same type of discourse as arguing with an internet troll.

          I agree with you that no one’s opinion on beliefs like this has ever been changed by any argument ever. If all it took was a well-crafted argument and some evidence to change behavior, there would be no overweight doctors who smoke.

          Instead, people change because they know someone, as you say. The NALT project, as I understand it, is not designed to change the minds of the Simons or the Tony Perkins of the world. It isn’t an argument. It is real people coming out and speaking their truth for others to see and hear. Those who will never hear that truth? Well, the project isn’t for them, from what I can see.

          And, I believe that as a Christian community, we’re given gifts in different areas, so while I work to further the equality of my LGBT brothers and sisters, I feel confident that there are other brothers and sisters in my community who are busy feeding the hungry. We’re the body of Christ, and the different parts work together.

          (That, and some of us really can walk and chew gum at the same time. While I focus on LGBT issues, it doesn’t mean I can’t spend some time hanging drywall at a Habitat house once in a while.)

          • Lymis

            I’m not sure I can agree that these arguments have never changed anyone’s mind, because I’ve found far too many people whose minds have changed over time to believe that.

            I’ll agree that it generally isn’t some flash of revelation during the course of the specific argument that has someone stop in their tracks and say, “Gosh, you know, you’re right! I’ve been wrong! Let’s hug!”

            But first, I’ve seen too many people get into an argument like this, and then read more, or talk to others, or have it filed away in their brains, and then later, in another circumstance, or with another person, or when it becomes personal because it involves a family member or close friend, the cracks that happened earlier allow the walls to crumble.

            And second, not all the value in this kind of debate happens with the person being debated. A lot of what makes it valuable is what it provides to those who are following it, listening to it, mulling it over. People who have feelings, but don’t know how to express them in a way that makes the points they know to be true. If they get insight or clarity or help with their discussion points, the ripples extend outward.

            When I came out as gay, I expected to have a lot of in-your-face arguments from anti-gay people, but honestly, in my life, I’ve had very few. But what has happened it that the people close to me keep coming back and asking questions, because third parties who don’t want to confront me make their arguments with them.

            That’s a big part of why NALT excites me. Most of the progress I’ve seen in my personal world has come from allies talking to the hostile, not from my own discussions or arguments with people who confront me. So giving people the fuel to address this kind of argument between straight people, letting our allies know how to express the things we’ve had to learn in self-defense because we can’t avoid dealing with them, is a huge benefit.

          • Alan

            You’re lucky then, because I have never ever seen someone like Simon above, who, in the midst of one of these arguments says, “You know what? I was wrong.” Ever.

            Instead, I think engaging with them just enables their behavior and perhaps suggests to them that their ideas are actually worthwhile enough to argue with.

            But when I see someone with such a ridiculous “argument” that homosexuality is wrong because of …. Atoms … I think the only reasonable response is to point and laugh.

            But then I’m not the sort to argue with someone who believes gravity doesn’t exist, or that the moon landings didn’t happen, or some other similar nonsense. :)

          • Lymis

            My point is that, regardless of how Simon (or Simons) responds, a lot of other people see both the tinfoil chapeau nature of that side of the discussion and both the arguments and humanity of the responses of the other.

            It’s my firm conviction that a significant percentage of the population really doesn’t care, and just sides with the viewpoint they think will cause less disruption in their own lives. That’s what’s tipping, and one of the things groups like NALT will achieve.

            There will always be a small percentage of people who simply will refuse to be convinced. The choice, though is whether to let them blather unchallenged or to stand up and reclaim the moral ground.

            As John said in one of his comments, recent studies show 91% of people surveyed associate Christianity with homophobia.

      • harrisco

        When will this issue just go away? Tiresome, yes–and dispiriting and predictable and often ugly. This is verse 537 of a very long song of ignorance and contempt–and I imagine lots of folks are pretty tired of it. However, if people equate Christian faith first and foremost with anti-gay bigotry then Christian messages on poverty and the environment and basic brotherhood and sisterhood start out in our society with a deep deficit of credibility and consistency. As MLK, Jr. said when people told him to butt out of discussions of the Vietnam War, (paraphrasing) My moral concerns are not divided but unified. The same impulse that leads me to speak out about civil rights leads me to speak out about the costs and consequences of war.

        I do not like that figure John cited–not at all–but that is where the story of the Christian faith is in this country at this moment. I do not understand it fully, but that 91 percent is the big red blinking light on the dashboard–and putting a little electrical tape over it will not help in the long run. John brings us sad news quite often, but he is doing a prophetic service by keeping us focused on the deep engine trouble that is keeping that light switched on.

  • Simon Alipio

    John,

    If we observe the natural world, we can see that every entity possesses dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity and comes into existence only when these characteristics have formed reciprocal relationships, both within the entity and between it and other entities.

    For example, subatomic particles, the basic building blocks of all matter, possess either a positive charge, a negative charge or a neutral charge formed by the neutralization of positive and negative constituents.

    When particles join with each other through the reciprocal relationships of their dual characteristics, they form an atom. Atoms, in turn, display either a positive or a negative valence.

    When the dual characteristics within one atom enter into reciprocal relationships with those in another atom, they form a molecule. Molecules formed in this manner engage in further reciprocal relationships between their dual characteristics to eventually become nourishment fit for consumption by plants and animals.

    Plants propagate by means of stamen and pistil. Animals multiply and maintain their species through the relationship between males and females.

    According to the Bible, after God created Adam, He saw that it was not good for the man to live alone.1(Gen. 2:18)

    Only after God created Eve as Adam’s female counterpart did He declare that His creations were “very good.”2(Gen. 1.31)

    Even though atoms become positive or negative ions after ionization, each still consists of a positive nucleus and negative electrons in stable unity. Similarly, each animal, whether male or female, maintains its life through the reciprocal relationships of yang and yin elements within itself. The same holds true for every plant. In people, a feminine nature is found latent in men and a masculine nature is found latent in women.

    • Lymis

      I’m not sure precisely what your point is.

      My husband and I are complementary to each other, and within our relationship and our love, we both complete and reinforce each other.

      That doesn’t require some artificial mapping onto masculinity and femininity, as though everything he reinforces in me is a lack of masculinity in me that he counters or a lack of femininity in me that he embodies, or vice versa.

      LGBT people are real people. Some of our experience, even as two men or two women, is roughly analogous to the male/female duality, but some of it most definitely is not, and reflects a unique complementarity that only two people of the same sex, or only two people who don’t embody traditionally understood genders, bring to each other.

      We really are real people. We really are children of God. We really are unique individuals, and in some ways being gay, or lesbian or bi, or trans is different from being straight, not some watered down fun-house mirror version that can only be understood through the lens of heterosexuality.

      Our lives and our loves are not valid purely to the extent that they mirror straight lives and loves. We stand before God as who we are created to be, and how we live and love, not in the shadow of straight people.

      For that matter, not all straight men embody masculinity the same way, and not all straight women embody femininity that way, and even if complementarity is one valid way of looking at straight relationships, not all heterosexual couples complement each other in exactly the same ways as all other heterosexual couples.

      And as tidy as your physics and biology appear to be, they are flawed. Not all animals and plants reproduce sexually. Not all organisms come in male and female versions, and not all physical and chemical processes are binary. Some are, and some can sometimes be metaphorically compared to human sexual binary models.

      And, least of my objections to your post, you have your Genesis quotes out of order. The declaration that creation was good was in Genesis 1, while the creation of Eve was in Genesis 2.

      As John points out in the main article, the declaration that creation is good involves the creation of lots of people, not just Adam and Eve, and certainly isn’t contingent on heterosexuality.

      • http://Fordswords.net David S.

        Lymis,

        This is so perfectly said. Thank you so much.

      • Simon

        God chose Adam and poured His spirit into him.

        Since God is an incorporeal being and does not have a physical body, He wanted A&E to represent Him physically on the earth and become the parents of humanity but due to their fall, they separated form God and became the false parents of fallen humanity instead.

        God took back His spirit from Adam and it took 4000 biblical years of preparation for God to have one true son again born untainted by the human fall. The Bible says that Jesus came as the second Adam. God once again poured His spirit in Jesus.

        The Bible says that Jesus is the true bridegroom. The second coming takes place at the time of the marriage of the lamb.

        This is why the bible says that we are consider single until the time of the resurrection. Our marriages until today are connected to the fallen lineage of the dead Adam.

        From Genesis to Revelation we can see that God has worked to fulfill His purpose of creation describe in (Gen 1:28).

        • Elizabeth

          God had a corporeal being. We call Him Jesus. It’s in the Nicene creed, pretty much a deal breaker if you call yourself Christian. “We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father, Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; Who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnateand was made man.”

          And I want no marriage like Adam’s. Do you know he’s missing a rib and one of his kids killed the other one?

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Yeah. The supposed first family was dysfunctional. Apparently we’ve been following the dysfunctional ideal ever since.

          • Jill

            IDK. I thought Simon’s argument made us all zombies, being lineage of dead Adam and all.

            Dysfunctional zombies, of course.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            I am not going to apologize for the next statement, blaming it solely of the current dysfunction of my sinuses

            ….

            braaaaaiiiinnnns….

          • Simon Alipio

            sdparris, yes you are right. The original sin is transmitted through the blood lineage.

            We are all born connected to the original sin. Jesus says that we all need to be reborn and grafted to the tree of life instead of the tree of death.

          • Simon Alipio

            Adam fell and created the first dysfunctional family from which humanity descends. We are all born connected to the original sin

        • Lymis

          Simon, even if your points were correct, nothing about them excludes LGBT people from full inclusion in them.

          LGBT people are as much part of humanity, fallen or redeemed, as much a physical reflection and representation of God, and as much a part of the plan of Creation as straight people are.

          However, the idea that God yanked Adam’s soul and nobody since has had one is just creepy.

          Look, you don’t get to claim that marriage is defined by the creation of Adam and Eve as an opposite sex couple in one post and then claim that marriage is defined as connected to the fall and God intended everyone to be single in another.

          I don’t know who you are trying to convince. Sex is wonderful. Sweaty, messy, physical, emotional, and often, undignified, It’s human. It’s part of who we are and how we connect with each other and show and experience love. And because it’s how we experience love, it is a path to and reflection of God. It’s not some Royal Palace. It’s not some Holy Temple. It’s not a reflection of Our Fallen Nature.

          And no, we don’t have to wait to live and love and connect and share our lives until after the Second Coming. (Ahem.)

          Mary and Martha, dude. If whatever you got going on works for you and God, well, okay, but don’t get all over the rest of us who have chosen another, and I think, better, way.

          If you experience God pouring himself on you by being celibate, good for you. If what Paul says about that being the more spiritual and holy path resonates for you, go for it. But if you think the lesson of the Bible is to condemn your neighbor for loving and marrying and forming families, you need to go back and start over with your reading.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            Something that’s just struck me recently is that when we read Paul rejecting marriage, we often forget what marriage was in Paul’s time. It was a social contract between families where a woman was basically sold to a man to be the bearer of his offspring, for life or at least until he grew tired of her and kicked her out, keeping the kids. Now, I’m sure there were couples whose families arranged their marriage because the couple loved each other. And I’m sure there were couples who learned to love each other. And I’m sure there were a few men out there who weren’t part of arranging the marriage either, but they had more of an out than the woman had. And it’s not like they were comparing their marriages to ours today, because everyone’s marriage was like that. But Paul was a pretty thinky guy.

            And I look at Paul saying it’s better not to be married and, well, it makes a lot more sense that he might not think marriage was a great thing for Christians.

          • Lymis

            No disagreement, Lyn.

            But further, remember that even though Paul saw being single (and presumably celibate) as the ideal, even Paul acknowledged that is someone wasn’t drawn to that ideal, it was “better to marry than to burn.”

            I’ve never seen a compelling argument why that should only apply to straight people. Even if one agrees that same-sex relationships are not a reflection of the ideal (with which I vehemently disagree), why would it not be better for same sex couples to marry than to burn? (For whatever meaning of “burn” that one might interpret the text to mean?)

          • Todd Reeder

            Please give exact references to Paul says it’s better not to be married.

            1 Corinthians 7 :2 says “Nevertheless, to avoid fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.”

            And

            1 Corinthians 7:8-9 says “I say therefore to the unmarried and widows, it is good for them if they abide even as I. 9 But if they cannot contain, let them marry: for it is better to marry than to burn.” In other words; If they cannot contain there sexual desire it is better to be married than to have sex outside of marriage and suffer the consequences.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

            Why are you asking for where Paul advises that people should stay unmarried when you’re quoting parts of it?

          • Simon Alipio

            You wrote” Look, you don’t get to claim that marriage is defined by the creation of Adam and Eve as an opposite sex couple in one post and then claim that marriage is defined as connected to the fall and God intended everyone to be single in another.”

            That is not what I wrote. You keep twisting my words.

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            No Simon,

            No twisting of words. You have a worldview in which you want to flatten men and women (and sexuality) into two-dimentional, cardboard-cutout caricatures.

            But humans and our sexuality are not so easily understood. God’s creation is marvelous and diverse.

            So you have to adopt an inconsistent ethic in order to explain (and continue to believe) your facile understandings. You’ve been liberally inserting into scripture things that simply aren’t there.

            So let’s agree that our understandings of theology are not going to change in this discussion.

            Now, let me ask you this question honestly and sincerely: why are you so passionate about defending this understanding that homosexuality is proscribed by scripture? What is it about differing beliefs on this topic that evoke this assertive defense of complimentarianism?

          • Simon Alipio

            Where did I say that God intended everyone to be single ? That would be contrary to His ideal of creation

            This is what I meant by “you are twisting my words.”

            God is the Original Harmony of Masculinity and Femininity. There is no homosexuality in God. The whole creation supports this Nature of God.

            God is the perfect union of masculinity and femininity. By creating man and woman God divided Himself. Our union as man and woman creating a place for God allow us to become co-creator with Him and feel joy.

            It is more than just the complementarity between Adam and Eve. They needed to create a trinity with God.

            Tragically, they created a trinity with satan.

            Our spouse is a gift from God.

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            Simon,

            I’m really seeking to understand you. I didn’t say you think everyone should be single, so…I’m not sure where you’re coming from there.

            What I did ask was why you are so passionate about your understanding of the sinfulness of hosexuality and your assertions about complentarisnism. You and I are not going to agree on the substance, but I’m interested in your motivations for engaging here so vigorously.

          • Lymis

            That was me pointing it out.

            His quote:

            “Christianity marriage are not for eternity but until physical death. This validate what I am saying. The Bible says that until the time of the resurrection we are considered to be single.”

            Good luck with him.

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            Ah, got it.

            Evidently, Simon’s not going to answer my question.

          • Simon Alipio

            David, I am not passionate about the issue of homosexuality. actually, it is a distraction and a headache.

            I am interested in discussing what I think God’s ideal and purpose of creation is

            Someone started this project NALT wanting to push homosexuality as part of God’s plan.

            I do not think God is happy about that

            Standing for our Father in Heaven is my responsibility.

            If someone is pushing NALT, I need to be SALT. :)

            By the way everyone on the earth is struggling with sexual sins.

            I understand the implication of the fall

          • http://fordswords.net David S

            Simon –

            Thank you for the response. Not for nothing, your fervor makes it seem like you are fighting “the normalization of homosexuality”. You are essentially advocating for the suffering of gay people because, as you have stated, you believe God’s design for human sexuality demands it.

            Please rest assured that you have put your beliefs out there. They have been understood (and mostly rejected in this thread). Continuing to insist that you have a monopoly on truth betrays a lack of faith. God doesn’t need any of us to be His enforcer; He’s quite capable of that job.

            I would sincerely ask to you to spend as much time looking at your beliefs through the redemptive lens of Christ as you seemingly do looking at it through the lens of man’s sinful nature.

            With that, thanks for the engagement. I leave the last word to you.

          • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

            (whereas I feel it should be had by you.)

          • Elizabeth

            Always happy to defend my title as the world’s least patient Christian!

          • LukeH

            Who do you think you are, that it is your responsibility to stand for our Father in Heaven? She is quite able to stand for herself, and doesn’t need pipsqueaks like you and me to stand up for her. Or if he did, he wouldn’t be a God worthy of much consideration. People who think they are called to stand up for God join groups with names like Army of God or Hezbollah, and perpetuate some of the greatest of the world’s evils, so nip that bit of blasphemy in the bud, bub.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      And then we get creatures in nature who are capable of changing sexes…like clown fish or earthworms. And then there are the surprising variety of animal species that have homosexual partnerings including penguins, or mallard ducks, and of course the famous bonobo monkeys. There is apparently even a breed of Whiptail lizard that can reproduce without a male in the mix. That’s right the females can release a substance that causes reproduction.

      So you were saying it must be?

      • Elizabeth

        Before I turned 10 (I dunno how long before, it was a long time ago), I read in Time that women were officially obsolete. That men carried the X and Y chromosome and modern medicine meant they could just move around their internal organs to fit a growing fetus. Problem solved. Except for the whole being female part.

        Needless to say, I went to college anyway.

    • Alan

      It’s bad enough that someone who doesn’t appear to understand how atoms and molecules actually work, or what “charge” is on a subatomic level attempts to use it in an explanation of human sexuality. But what’s worse is that someone thinks that the two have anything to do with each other. Sort of the “As above, so below” fallacy, but in reverse. Ugh. This bad science hurts like a hangover.

      But if we’re going with the “there have to be dualities because … of atoms and stuff” analogy, then I can just as easily say there need to be homosexual relationships because there are heterosexual relationships. QED

      Seriously though folks, you don’t think you’re going to convince Simon of anything do you?

      • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

        Nope. Simon’s not arguing to share understanding or information. He’s arguing to impose dominance over others.

        But we might convince someone who is reading Simon’s craziness and going, “This… might make some sense,” to realise that, no, it doesn’t make sense, but is all hogwash, as my dad would say.

        I mean, people do lose their heterosexism/heterocentrism, but it’s not instantaneous. So, yeah, I’m not expecting Simon to do anything but continue attempting social dominance, but maybe in a few years this combined with other experiences may yet get through to him.

        • Elizabeth

          I think I can convert them all. It’s a sickness, really. But everyone who listens at least has a shot at not being the hateful Bible-thumpers I grew up with. One victory at a time.

        • Lymis

          Wonderful point, Lyn!

          We serve the people who think “I know that’s wrong, but I can’t say why” at least as much and likely more than we have a chance at changing the minds of some of the people who float the arguments.

          At the same time, some of the people who float the arguments are, somewhere inside, desperately hoping to be proved wrong, and use this kind of argument as a cry for help.

          One of the greatest evils that some kinds of religious belief has imposed on the world is the tragic idea that you have to choose between sex and God. It’s particularly vehemently used as a weapon against LGBT people. People are told that if they “accept” sex, they are somehow “giving up” God – as though that were even possible.

          I know for me, my rock-solid awareness of the the presence of God in my life was a huge source of pain and confusion, because I bought into the idea that to be sexual meant pretending God didn’t exist. I suffered until I learned that it was that idea that was the problem, not me, not my life, not my sexuality. God loves me for who I am, and the only possible path to God starts right where I find myself standing.

          When I find someone building these huge castles of high-concept metaphor and intricate and convoluted explanations and associations, I hear the echoes of my own adolescent terror at my sexuality.

  • Simon Alipio

    In Gen 1:27, it says that God created us in His image, male and female.

    This means to me that God has the duality of male and fame within Himself.

    We can conclude that we marry in order to resemble God.

    • Simon Alipio

      sorry for the typo. It should be “the duality of male and female”

      • Jill

        So single people, or people who don’t want to marry, or asexual people, are doomed to live as half of what God intended them to be?

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          Good question. There are plenty of people who never marry.

        • http://Fordswords.net David S.

          Jill, Exactly this.

          …and we wonder why the church sucks at supporting single people…

          Scheesh.

          • Jill

            Oh my dear, don’t get me started. :)

            love you.

          • Todd Reeder

            I have heard of single people being treated like something is wrong with them by those in there church. People Ask why don’t you get married? Can’t you find someone to love?

          • Elizabeth

            I find so many people to love. I just don’t fuck them.

          • Jill

            well maybe not ALL of them.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            snerk!

          • Jill

            I just grow tired of the overt coupling in churches, as if we’ve entered the freaking ark. The obvious couples, down in front. The rest of us single freaks-of-nature, go find your spot in the far, far back. Ah, the joys of social conformity!

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            Well, when marriage is an idol, you want to make sure it’s well lit.

          • Jill

            HAR!

          • steven waling

            The church’s attitude to sex seems to me to be rather like a teenager who’s suddenly discovered his parents had sex in order to concieve him: “Ugh, disgusting, icky…” It witters on about spiritual conjoining so it can avoid the physical messiness of real relationships.

        • Simon

          God gave us freedom. With freedom comes responsibility.

          We are responsible for our choices.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            But we are not responsible for our nature. Our choices involve navigating the world as who we are, as God created us to be. An intersex person must seek whether their gender is male, female, both, or neither, and then must make life choices accordingly. A transgender person must seek how best to inhabit the gender he or she was given with the body he or she was born in. A gay person must seek a life that honours how he or she was created to be. A heterosexual person does the same. God blesses and honours the choices we make that are loving and honest and true based on our own natures, not someone else’s nature.

          • Simon Alipio

            Since the time of the fall, we inherited the fallen nature of Adam and Eve serving 2 masters God and satan. We are unfaithful and betray God often. We want to do God’s will but then commit evil acts. There is a war inside each one of us.

            We need to be aware that we have an original nature and a fallen nature. The existence of Homosexuality is due to the fall.

            Homosexuality is another form of adultery as we commit sexual acts with someone else spouse.

          • Elizabeth

            I didn’t inherit that. If you reread the passage, Satan is God’s sidekick. They’re buddies making a bet on what humans will do. I’m thinking Job, but as an über source text, like Gilgamesh, it applies. Homosexuality wasn’t even a concept, then. We were all straight who occasionally did the maid.

          • Lymis

            I don’t serve Satan. I’m not even on his mailing list.

          • Todd Reeder

            The bible says you can not serve two masters. You will love one and hate the other. So can not Serve God and Satan. Only one. Like the Bob Dylan song says. You got to serve somebody.

          • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

            Serve God by not serving the god/satan duality.

            If there is a shadow it is not God.

            If we require that God be only “good” and “loving” we keep the “bad” and “hateful” in play.

            Real Love has nothing in opposition to it.

            Knowing God means knowing there is only God.

    • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

      Mightn’t it also mean that each one of us contains the full complement of traits that people, in their endless need to separate and categorize, have decided to classify as masculine and feminine? And if that’s true–and I argue that it is–then each person in the world fully reflects the creation and nature–the image–of God. And if that’s true, God as a whole is in no fuller way captured or manifested by the marriage of any two people than it is by the union of any two other people, no matter their genders. Full is full.

      • Lymis

        Thank you, John. Wonderfully put. I agree.

        We don’t assume because humans have toes and an appendix that God does, too. If God is eternal and incorporeal, wouldn’t it be the eternal and spiritual parts of humans the most resemble God?

        In Christ, there is neither male nor female, but we still have to get into separate lines to reflect human unity in Love? Nah. God is Love, so the image of God would be Love as well, as lived in males and females (and by extension, those who don’t fit neatly into either category.)

      • Simon

        ” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

        Only a man and a woman can become one flesh. By becoming parent themselves they can experience what parental love is. The child is in the father and the mother. The father and the mother are in the child.

        Such love creates life and life create lineage.

        Same sex love cannot create life and cannot create lineage.

        • Jill

          And now people who don’t have children–people who don’t want to have or cannot have children– they, too are somehow ‘less than’ in your version of things?

          There is an amazing world of human beings out there that you have obviously never met before.

          • Simon

            We should not be concerned by our version of things but instead be concerned by God’s version of things.

            True Freedom resides in living according to God’s principles.

            There are physical laws and spiritual laws.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            huh???

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          So by that reasoning, a person is incomplete by themselves. That reasoning assumes that the only purpose for marriage is procreation aka lineage. Like that is going to happen for those of us who married a second time around, and biology has prompted the removal of the housing unit for procreation…Or for those who opt not to have children, or for those who cannot have children, or for those who adopt children.

          And that “one flesh” concept is an allusion to the act of sex…You do know that, don’t you? Trust me, even if you were bunnies in a former life, you cannot physically stay in that state all the time. If that were so, how would you eat, do laundry, sleep, mow the lawn, go to work? It is only a part of a romantic pairing.

          • Jill

            ” Trust me, even if you were bunnies in a former life, you cannot physically stay in that state all the time.”

            ~ sd, you are awesome! That’s the laugh I needed for my sleepy morning!

        • Lymis

          ” For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and shall be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.”

          Yes. Some women, and some men, and that is indeed the reason that those particular women choose to marry those particular men.

          Other particular men leave their father and mother and get joined to their husband, and they become one flesh.

          Other particular women leave their father and mother and get joined to their wife, and they become one flesh.

          Jesus said that a loving father gives his child bread when he is hungry. Nobody interprets that as claiming that keeping a child on bread and water is responsible parenting.

          In Christ there is neither male nor female. How can there be a gender requirement in marriage, if marriage reflects Christ?

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      We marry to resemble God??

      Err…that is not why I got married at all, either time. Considering how hellish my first marriage was, if that was true, then would mean that God can be a monster.

      • Simon

        The fact that a husband and wife fail to resemble God in their marriage does not mean that the ideal of marriage changes or that God is a monster.

        Projecting or failure on to God is not correct.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          So marriage must be perceived as an image of God in order for it to be ideal?

          So what about all those couples who are atheist in faith beliefs, or Buddhist, or Shinto? What about the polygamous marriages not uncommon in Africa parts of East Asia?

          As for those of use who have survived the hellish marriages, we usually blame the person who was abusive, or adulterous, or who was more concerned with spending more time and money with a “liquid mistress”, not God. Which is why the whole idiotic concept of marriage being an image of God holds no water. To make that assumption that marriage resembles God while being in hell, which is what some marriages feel like, is more akin to what one finds at the local sewage waste plant.

        • John (not McCain)

          Why should I care what you or your god think? FYI: I don’t want to spend eternity with you or anyone like you, so that argument is a non-starter.

        • Lymis

          “Projecting our failure on to God is not correct.”

          True.

          But projecting our gender on to God is not correct, either.

          • Simon

            The whole creation is based on the duality of masculinity and femininity as well as the duality of internal character and external form.

            God had human beings in mind before He created the universe.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            “The whole creation is based on the duality of masculinity and femininity as well as the duality of internal character and external form.”

            You sure about that? What about asexual plants, like iris, sunflowers, dandelions and sunflowers. Or asexual single cell organisms, like ameobas? What about fungi, or viruses, or creatures where gender is either interchangeable, or not clearly defined?

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            You realise complementarianism is an idea we got from Plato, right? I’m not saying all ideas that are derived from the philosophies and beliefs of non-Christians are automatically suspect, but we need to exercise judgement before filtering our understanding of scripture through a pagan lens.

          • Simon

            Romans 1:20 ” For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.”

            If we observe the natural world, we can see that every entity possesses dual characteristics of masculinity and femininity and comes into existence only when these characteristics have formed reciprocal relationships, both within the entity and between it and other entities.

            For example, subatomic particles, the basic building blocks of all matter, possess either a positive charge, a negative charge or a neutral charge formed by the neutralization of positive and negative constituents.

            When particles join with each other through the reciprocal relationships of their dual characteristics, they form an atom. Atoms, in turn, display either a positive or a negative valence.

            When the dual characteristics within one atom enter into reciprocal relationships with those in another atom, they form a molecule. Molecules formed in this manner engage in further reciprocal relationships between their dual characteristics to eventually become nourishment fit for consumption by plants and animals.

            Plants propagate by means of stamen and pistil. Animals multiply and maintain their species through the relationship between males and females.

            According to the Bible, after God created Adam, He saw that it was not good for the man to live alone.1(Gen. 2:18)

            Only after God created Eve as Adam’s female counterpart did He declare that His creations were “very good.”2(Gen. 1.31)

            Even though atoms become positive or negative ions after ionization, each still consists of a positive nucleus and negative electrons in stable unity. Similarly, each animal, whether male or female, maintains its life through the reciprocal relationships of yang and yin elements within itself.

            The same holds true for every plant. In people, a feminine nature is found latent in men and a masculine nature is found latent in women.

          • Elizabeth

            My masculine nature is far from latent. I don’t need a man to prove it. Paul was a great marketing man. Christianity wouldn’t be what it is today without him. But he had many flaws, most of which you’re exhibiting. When someone crucifies Paul, I’ll give a damn.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            You’ve made this argument before on here, and you’re wrong. Not all things in nature embrace a masculine or feminine nature, not all things in nature are produced through the joining of male and female. Not all things exist in duality. Not all HUMANS are binary. 3.5 million humans are intersex. You cannot erase them just because they don’t fit your model.

            You have interpreted scripture through the lens of a pagan philosopher, developed a flawed model of reality, developed a flawed morality based on your flawed model, and are not attempting to make people conform to your poorly conceived, unscriptural, unscientific, unnatural “morality”.

            You are wrong. You do not inhabit the moral high ground. Your philosophy is harmful, poisonous, and unloving. You can repeat your incorrect assertions all you want, but the actual observation of nature as it actually exists shows that your assertions are wrong. An observation of the fruit of the tree of your complementarian platonism shows it is destructive and unloving.

            You have had your say. You are wrong. No amount of yelling, “Is so!” like a child throwing a temper tantrum will change this.

            You are wrong and your philosophy is unloving and destructive. Repeating yourself will not change this.

            If you can find no more to say on the subject but repeating points that have already been rebutted, please, do us all the favour of shutting up.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            “and are not attempting to make people” should be “and are now attempting to make people”

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            Also, you have ignored my point that there are 3.5 million people in the world who, physiologically, do not fit into your duality model. They exist. This is a heinous act of erasure on your part.

          • Anakin McFly

            I don’t think it’s only 3.5 million, though. Recent estimates have about 1% of humans being intersex to some degree (more lenient definitions bring it up to as much as 1 in 60, if for instance we include men with hypospadias, which is technically a mild intersex condition even though not officially listed as one). Lots of intersex people are not even aware that they are intersex, until for example they take a karyotyping test or investigate their infertility (though not all intersex people are infertile), or something else happens.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com Lyn

            I was basing it on the 1 in 200 births figure that is often made. That’s .5%.

          • Lyn

            Oh, wait, you may be right…

            7,000,000,000 x .005 = 35,000,000

            I missed a zero. So that’s 35 million, not 3.5 million.

          • Lyn

            That’s the population of Canada. Claiming all humans are binary is like denying the existence of the entire nation of Canada.

          • Lymis

            Then if gay and lesbian people are 3-5% of the population, imagine how many people are denying the existence of when they say we don’t exist. (And saying we are straight people choosing to act gay is saying we don’t exist.)

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            Definitely. But even by the crazy God-only-cares-about-genitalia-and-chromosome so standard, the gender binary doesn’t exist. Their argument is doomed, even ignoring LGBTQ and A, and only looking at I. Once you throw in all the rest of the gender and sexual minorities, you’re looking at a huge population. Probably one in ten, honestly, doesn’t fit neatly in the heterosexist, binary box in one way or another. Even if you go with the conservative 3.8% figure recently touted, that’s 266 million people worldwide. That’s almost the population of the US.

          • Lymis

            “God had human beings in mind before He created the universe.”

            Yes, including the gay ones.

            We are as much a part of God’s plan and purpose, and it would be as much a tragedy for us to deny or be denied the fullest expression of our nature as it would be for anyone else.

            The highest reflection of God is not binary duality. The highest reflection of God is Love. Love in all its forms, love in all its expressions. That includes the love between LGBT people as much as between straight people.

            You don’t get to bar the gates to God’s love. You can, however, fence yourself off from God’s love by judging others. You will want to watch that.

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

      See, the thing about this whole duality/binary thing is it doesn’t really fit with actual reality. We’re not all born male or female. Even if you want to claim the only thing that matters is plumbing and not neurology (which is the argument you’re making that male-male relationships, female-female relationships, and transgender people don’t fit into creation), you’re still forgetting that 1 out of every 200 births is intersex– not clearly and distinctly one gender or the other.

      Sometimes that’s because the genitalia is a mix. Sometimes that’s because the chromosomes are XY but because of androgen insensitivity the genitalia is female. Sometimes that’s because the chromosomes are XXY. Sometimes it’s because the person actually has some cells that are male and some that are female. Lots and lots and lots of people who are intersex for a myriad reasons.

      Now, one out of 200 births with 7 billion people on the planet means there are 3.5 million intersex people in the world. And you just dismissed them all as not a natural part of creation.

      I mean, dude, there’s othering and then there’s flat out claiming that people don’t exist! The world isn’t black and white. It exists in billions of shades of colour, some of which humans can’t even see. Human gender isn’t binary either.

      • Matt

        Although I heartily agree with you, Lyn, I don’t think the binary needs to necessarily go away. It works for a lot of people. What I’d like to see is its borders be softened and made more flexible. I’d like to see it less harshly enforced, or not even enforced at all–a sort of “if it works for you, great! If it doesn’t, no sweat” attitude towards the whole thing. In my ideal universe, it would always be thought of as a binary encased in the 4-dimensional universe that is sex, gender, gender expression, and sexual orientation.

        • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

          “I don’t think the binary needs to necessarily go away.”

          I’m not making a statement of prescription, I’m making a statement of description. The binary does not actually exist. The binary model is flawed from the start because, before even getting into the discussion of transgender and non-heterosexual people, the model still ignores .5% of the human race.

          Models shouldn’t be enforced, period. The idea of a model is that it reflects reality. They exist to describe reality, not to prescribe what reality should look like. And certainly a *flawed* model shouldn’t be enforced, ever. We should be adjusting our models to account for actual reality, not trying to force reality to fit the model.

          And certainly any model that acts to erase the existence of 3.5 million people cannot be considered a good model upon which to build a loving ethical stance. (3.5 million was the Jewish population in Europe at the start of WW2, the estimated number of homeless people in the US, and slightly less than the population of Detroit, Michigan, or Naples, Italy, to give you some comparisons.)

          • Matt

            “The binary does not actually exist.”

            I understand what you’re saying, but as someone attempting to cross said binary in a medical, legal, and social sense (I am transsexual), I can say that it exists. We’ve taken it out of descriptive and moved it into prescriptive in every single facet of our society, from birth certificates to clothing to public restrooms. I am working against 21 years of gendered history that started before I was born, and it’s in my face every day. In other words, please stop telling me I’m not climbing this slick ten-thousand foot wall with no ropes.

            I want intersex people not to have to be shoved into one of two categories. I want them to not have to endure painful and unnecessary surgery, examinations, and humiliation just for being born a certain way. I don’t want them erased at all, whether in conversation, media, or anywhere else. But I don’t think taking away the binary that we have made physical through our laws, customs, and everyday behavior will actually accomplish that. I think allowing intersex people and their allies to speak up and and create change is what is necessary.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            I’m not saying there aren’t two genders, I’m saying there aren’t *only* two genders. The binary model– there are only two genders and every person belongs to one or the other– certainly exists. But just because the majority of people see the world as binary doesn’t make it true. The world wasn’t flat just because everyone thought it was. If we had devised some sort of moral idea because we believed the world was flat (say, declaring all sailors legally dead if their ships had sailed off the map regardless of whether they had returned home afterward) that moral idea is flawed. Simon has devised a moral system based on the idea that there are two genders and everyone fits into one or the other. That moral system is inherently flawed because the biology, the science, does not support the base assumption. It doesn’t matter how many people, laws, social situations, etc. operate on the binary model, it is still an inadequate model. That doesn’t demean or deny your experience of people using the model on you. Nor does it mean that you are not a member of one of the two categories, just that not everyone is.

            It would be like Simon declaring that there are only red upward-pointing triangles and blue downward-pointing triangles and I point out that there are millions of sideways-pointing triangles, if you are a red downward-pointing triangle transitioning to being a red upward-pointing triangle, your experience of people telling you that you should just act blue in no way changes the point that there are more than two kinds and colours of triangle.

            The model is flawed and, therefore, inadequate as a basis for a moral argument.

          • Anakin McFly

            Like button.

      • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

        And perhaps, evolution is moving the ideal toward androgyny.

        A more perfect reflection of Christ.

        The sex part is just what goes on down here in the trenches while we wait to see what is next.

        Probably have to put the Bible down for a minute to entertain this.

        Main thing is that we don’t judge. Having opinions, “for or against”, postpones revelation.

        Bottom line, an open heart and generous spirit.

        • http://Fordswords.net David S.

          This is a truly intriguing notion I’ve never heard or considered. As we move toward reconciliation, is that true in our biology as well? I need to give this some serious thought. Thanks for this comment.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            I actually read somewhere where they’ve done studies that have shown that women are more and more moving to a preference for androgynous men instead of the muscular, bearded, deep-voiced manly men preferred in the past. The studies theorised it might be due to the prevalence of hormonal birth control– while fertile, women’s brains are wired to seek strong men to make strong babies, but if your hormones tell your brain that you’re pregnant (which hormonal birth control mimics), then your brain is more wired to seek a man who is nurturing and is likely to stick around, and for some reason androgynous appearance is associated with nurturing and commitment.

            And, of course, any look at what was considered womanly and sexy in older times (curves, wide hips, and a lot of padding) versus the thin-craze of today, often with a distinct preference for narrower hips, shows that androgyny in women is being seen more and more as attractive.

            In another study I read of a case where they took men’s faces, women’s faces, and faces made by morphing male and female faces, and had people rate the attractiveness of the faces, they found that the androgynous faces were rated more attractive than the men’s or women’s faces.

            Just a current fad or natural selection in action? Who knows.

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            Lyn,

            Really interesting stuff. I also wanted you to know that I’m always blown away by your contributions. This thread is no exception.

            Best

            Ford

          • Anakin McFly

            While yes to that, I’d be cautious of removing or minimising the influence of media on these preferences, because it has been shown to have a huge effect on what people find attractive – I recall a thing about Fiji (?) in which curvier, bigger women were seen as the ideal until the introduction of Western media that glorified thin female bodies, and it led to widespread anorexia as the ideal shifted accordingly.

      • Anakin McFly

        Well, I’m gay and trans, so technically Simon should be wholly supportive of any sexual/romantic relationship I get into in future, given that the plumbing in this case works out to his approval.

    • LukeH

      So God is bi, or trans, eh? God is transcendent-gender! BIG T!

      Simon, you are free to believe what you want about Genesis and its significance. You can have an intentional marriage to a woman to fulfill your notion of what it means to be in the image of God. You can define marriage for yourself and presumably your wife. You can define love for yourself. Be satisfied with that and leave everyone else alone. They don’t have to tailor their lives to your sermons and hermeneutics. To require them to do so is to put yourself in the place of God.

      • Jill

        God is The Big T! LOVE.IT.SO.MUCH.

        I want to be transcendent gender too.

    • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

      Feel free to conclude that that’s the reason to marry, but there’s nothing scriptural about that. It’s an idea derived from Plato, not the Bible. I prefer what scripture says– we marry for companionship, because it is not right to be alone.

  • Todd Reeder

    Why are some Christians almost obsessed with homosexuality? Why aren’t they making a big deal about adultery and fornication? They should be trying to stop that. Adultery and fornication ruins lives.

    • Lymis

      For narrow minded people seeking someone to condemn, it’s always ideal to have someone to attack with whom you don’t share temptations. If there’s something you can point to in others that you are reasonably confident you aren’t likely to find yourself doing, it’s a great choice to elevate to The Ultimate Sin. That way you can condemn, free of concerns for your own glass house, and you can discount your own failings, because, while you may be flawed, at least you’re not as bad as “them.”

      There’s also another very highly likely source of it. More and more indications are that there are far more bisexual people in the world than most people acknowledge, not to mention the large (but mercifully, declining) number of gay people who are closeted and in opposite sex relationships as cover. A lot of people behave as though the best way to keep anyone from suspecting their own deep dark secret is to jump up and down and shout “look over there!”

      It’s not limited to homosexuality. How often are the loudest voices stridently screaming family values the ones having secret affairs they hope stay secret, and the most visible moralists the ones embezzling from the firm?

      Scapegoating has a long tradition. In the gay community, we’ve learned to notice that the loudest and most unreasonable anti-gay voices are inevitably the people who either get caught in a men’s room or park or eventually melt down and come out.

  • Allie

    Talked about this article today to a friend who gave me his standard comeback to people who say this: God made Adam and Eve first because he needed the practice before making Steve. You see, gay men had to be fabulous.

  • Simon

    The purpose of marriage is to join together the man’s and woman’s worlds of heart and to perfect the love of each of them.

    So to be married is to declare that we will show proof of this love. If we have perfected our love and our heart through marriage, we can say that we have realized the ideal of the family.

    What is marriage? Why is marriage important? It is because marriage is a path for finding love. It is a path to love and a path to creating life. It is a path for the life of a man and a woman to become one.

    In marriage, the lineage of the man and the woman becomes mixed. History manifests through marriage; a nation emerges and the ideal world begins.

    For whom do we marry? It is for the sake and common benefit of humankind. Thus, marriage represents the world.

    • Elizabeth

      Marriage is the celebration of love in two people. Not sure what you’re rambling about.

      • Simon

        Any two people cannot become one flesh. Marriage is a blood covenant. It creates new life.

        Our sexual organs are the holy palaces where love, life, lineage meet.

        • Elizabeth

          Our sexual organs are where blood pressure rises, heightening our senses so it feels super good. Hey, I like sex as much as the next person. Probably more than most. But I’ve become “one flesh” with plenty of people. My body is holy because I say so. It has nothing to do with my lineage or my ability to bear children.

          • Simon

            Why did God need Adam and Eve?

            He had two purposes:

            first, to realize the ideal of love, and second, for the invisible God to make Himself visible after taking on a form and establish a relationship with the visible world.

            Why was it necessary to create Adam and Eve with dual characteristics like (male, female)?

            To become just like the invisible God

          • Elizabeth

            Except for the whole ‘invisible’ part. God’s love was palpable in His son Jesus, and it’s apparent to anyone with the courage to look around them. It’s clear. There is no coincidence in the presence of an omniscient, omnipresent God. It infuses everyone. Regardless of gender.

          • Allie

            So post-menopausal women or men who have gotten vasectomies should be banned from marrying?

          • Simon

            I agree with you. It had nothing to do with being concerned with your ancestors or descendants or trying to create an ideal family.

            I believe that our sexual organ belongs to our spouse only.

          • Elizabeth

            In my case, it belongs to me alone. I’m unmarried and more or less celibate. God gave us sex as one of His most generous gifts, though. I believe that with my whole heart. No one having sex with their whole heart is sinning. They are believing in the goodness of someone else. They are trusting them. Sometimes it works out; sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes there are rings; sometimes there aren’t.

            God’s love is in all of them.

          • Anakin McFly

            Logically then, you should be in favour of gay marriage.

        • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

          Our sexual organs are holy palaces? There is so much wrong with that, that I don’t have the time or the energy to list it all.

          • Jill

            you’re killing me today. SO great

          • Simon

            The sexual organ is the royal palace of love.

            A person’s sexual organ is the royal palace of love, the royal palace of life, and the royal palace of lineage.

            But the human Fall has turned it into something dirty.

            From the original viewpoint of God, it is not something dirty, but something holy.

            After they fell, Adam and Eve hid they sexual organ in shame

            Satan defiled such a holy place.

          • Elizabeth

            Wow. Your sexual organs are so not like mine. Mine aren’t shameful or dirty. Mine are so holy I was named after three saints and two queens.

          • Elizabeth

            That’s why I don’t let the hoi polloi in.

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            If our sex organs are royal palaces, then why were they built right next to the sewer?

          • Lymis

            Every royal palace I’ve seen is open to the public for tours, usually with paid tour guides. I think this is a metaphor in need of reconsideration.

          • http://Fordswords.net David S.

            Spit. Coffee. Out… Through nose.

          • vj

            :-)

          • Simon Alipio

            If your read my post correctly. I never wrote “Royal palaces”, I wrote HOLY PALACE.

            Please do not twist my words.

            Every day people die because of the misuse and misunderstanding

            of the preciousness of their sexual organ. This is where Love, Life and Lineage meet.

          • Lymis

            “The sexual organ is the royal palace of love.

            A person’s sexual organ is the royal palace of love, the royal palace of life, and the royal palace of lineage.”

            Your post. The one people are actually responding to. You know, just above where you clicked Reply?

            If even YOU can’t be bothered to pay attention to what you’re posting, why in the world should you expect anyone else to?

            You’re just making all this up as you go along? Is that the problem?

          • Lymis

            Okay, I’ll admit that we may be juggling a couple of different Simons speaking with essentially the same voice. If it wasn’t your post, you can at least stop claiming that people are misquoting and twisting what someone in the conversation posted. It’s right there in black and white.

          • Simon Alipio

            Lymis, you are right. I typed Royal but I meant Holy.

            Thank you for correcting me

            My apologies.

          • Lymis

            Um, again, setting aside the fact that the Genesis stories are not literal history, even in the text, the point is not that Adam and Eve’s nakedness actually became dirty, or their sex organs became shameful, but that they developed a severe misunderstanding and thought they needed to be ashamed.

            Our sexual organs, like every other part of our bodies, and our minds, emotions and everything else that makes us human, are STILL perfect in the sight of God. There is no “original viewpoint of God” and “later viewpoint of God.”

            Even in your metaphor you have it backwards – when Adam and Eve were in a perfect state of grace, they weren’t ashamed of themselves and they didn’t treat sex as some holy royal palace.

          • Simon Alipio

            The fact that Adam and Eve hid their sexual organs in shame point out that the cause of their fall, the cause of their sin is connected to the misuse (illicit) of love.

            As Jesus said, “the heart is the source of ALL iniquities”

            God did not bless Adam and Eve’s union.

            Adam and Eve were not to eat of the fruit until they had become individually fruitful (mature)

          • Elizabeth

            Yes, dear. If only God weren’t omniscient and didn’t see it coming. Giving humans a rule not to do something is basically a dare. Big Sky Daddy knew that. He wasn’t ashamed; they were.

          • Simon Alipio

            Parents love their children and warn them of danger. God is our Heavenly Parent and warned Adam and Eve.

            Parents cannot force their children to love them. That would not be true love

          • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

            Wait just a second here. If god did not bless Adam and eve’s union, then why are you insisting it as the ideal example?

            That is a big ole hole on the logical screen door of this whole line of thinking.

          • Simon Alipio

            Marriage is a blood covenant. Eve first fell with the archangel (spiritual fall) and then fell with Adam (physical fall). They then felt sexual shame. They were chase out of the kingdom. By believing the false words of the archangel, they united with him.

            Satan stole the precious daughter and the precious son of God whom created the first dysfunctional family centered on satan

            The whole Bible after the first 2 pages of Genesis is about God trying to recover His lineage, His precious sons and daughters.

            Jesus came to claim back the blood lineage from satan.

          • LukeH

            Eve first fell with the archangel (spiritual fall) …. By believing the false words of the archangel, they united with him.

            Archangel? Say what? I just checked and the story doesn’t say a freaking thing about any freaking archangel. Just a serpent, described as being more crafty than any other wild animal. So Simon is just making stuff up. Oh, to be sure he didn’t invent the identification, but it still ain’t there. The hebrew bible / old testament doesn’t even have a devil as a malevolent force in opposition the God, and certainly not as an archangel. That was a much later import from persian dualism.

            I thought Simon was writing from a Catholic milieu, but now I’m thinking maybe LDS.

          • Simon Alipio

            God wanted to bless Adam and Eve union as well as all their descendants as we see in Genesis 1:28

            Due to their fall, their union was not bless by God.

            Jesus came as the second Adam to reclaim God’s blood lineage.

            He said that we all should be reborn.

            There is no hole in my line of thinking.

          • Simon Alipio

            Luke, just as the fruit must be evaluated likewise the figure of the serpent who calls attention to the fruit.

            The issue, then, is the serpent a literal talking snake or, just as the fruit, is it a symbol of a type of presence in the garden.

            Ezekiel 28:17 reports about the “covering cherub” in Eden,

            “Your heart became proud on account of your beauty, and you corrupted your wisdom because of your splendor. So I threw you to the earth;

            So it is the archangel who was placed in the Garden, a most revered angel of wisdom and light, to protect, to “cover” the son and daughter of God during their growing period.

            How utterly convoluted is his actual demeanor. Something has so effected him that now, rather than protecting and serving, he becomes “the serpent” bent on corrupting the daughter of God; enticing her with the very forbidden fruit God had instructed them not to eat.

            What are the circumstances that brought about this transformation of Lucifer’s personality and motives for the fall

            It begins with understanding the original (preliminary is a better word) order. That is, the order that existed in the spiritual world before the creation of Adam and Eve. At that time angels were the “highest” created beings. During that time Lucifer was a type of “number one” and enjoyed the position to be able to “report” directly to God.

            Adam and Eve are created, but during their immaturity, Lucifer serves as “covering” cherub. This would be like a teacher, mentor or guide.

          • LukeH

            Simon:

            The issue, then, is the serpent a literal talking snake or, just as the fruit, is it a symbol of a type of presence in the garden.

            Or is the whole thing just a piece of mythology lifted from earlier creation myths, with the serpent, a symbol of wisdom in ancient times, representing the role of the godess (always) of wisdom, helping the humans overcome the plots of the other gods. Not that there is anything wrong with mythology.

            Ezekiel 28:17 reports about the “covering cherub” in Eden

            No, he doesn’t. First off a cherub isn’t an archangel. And it isn’t verse 17. Chapter 28 is addressed to the king of Tyre:

            “Moreover, the word of the Lord came to me: Mortal, raise a lamentation over the king of Tyre, and say to him, Thus says the Lord God:

            You were the signet of perfection,

            full of wisdom and perfect in beauty.

            You were in Eden, the garden of God;”

            Somehow I don’t think that the king of Tyre was in Eden, as Tyre came a bit later. The whole thing is imagery and metaphor. My Oxford annotated notes that the king of Tyre is a reference to a mythic figure. I don’t really know what all that means. Ezekiel is some pretty weird stuff. Maybe it is something that is not really intended to be fixed in meaning. You certainly don’t know what at means, but at least I can admit it. You just make up a bunch of stuff and pretend that is what it says.

            So it is the archangel who was placed in the Garden, a most revered angel of wisdom and light, to protect, to “cover” the son and daughter of God during their growing period

            Sorry, that is not in the Genesis text, and you don’t get to put it there. That is simply tradition, someone’s interpretation. And you aren’t anybody special to spout these things as if they were absolute truth.

            It begins with understanding the original (preliminary is a better word) order. That is, the order that existed in the spiritual world before the creation of Adam and Eve.

            Oh, really? And who are you to understand that? Who is anyone to understand that? You just totally can’t admit that there is stuff that is above your pay-grade. So you go on and on with all this tradition and sermons and doctrine round and round in circles. Doctrine from scripture and scripture from doctrine, bits and pieces here and there. Because that is so much easier, isn’t it, than confronting the real, beautiful, complicated world of God’s creation. It is so much easier than living the authentic, human life that God gave you to live, in all its uncertainty and confusion. God in a book you can put in a box, safe and certain.

            No it isn’t. Not really. You have to work so hard at it, inventing things to do to be more holy, or more like God. I’ll even give you the benefit of the doubt and assume you have those expectations for yourself and not just for others. I have good news for you: you are free! You see, Christ shows us that you can stumble along, say stupid things, be full of yourself, wrong 10 times a minute and God will still love you. You can mock, him, and beat him, jam thorns on his head and nail him to a tree and you are still good enough for God. The love and mercy and blessing of the Lord are boundless, his grace infinitely extravagant. So you are free to give life your best shot, love the best you can, give the best you can. All of that doctrine, all the mythology, it isn’t what is important. And all those rules aren’t necessary. You don’t have to try to make your marriage conform to some holy ideal, just love each other and be loyal to each other. Be who you are to each other. You don’t have to make sex into some big religious deal. Just have fun responsibly and lovingly. Make some babies if you want, or not, but if you do, just give parenting your best shot. You’ll screw it up, but it will probably be close enough.

            Now of course, as I indicated before, I recognize the value of intentional living, so if you want to make some aspects of your life a form of ritual to express a spiritual meaning, have at it. But it doesn’t put you above anyone, nor does it mean that other people aren’t doing it right.

          • Allie

            Simon, I have to ask, where are you getting this stuff? A lot of it seems vaguely Catholic, but there’s a lot of garbage thrown in. What was your religious education? What are your credentials, if any?

          • sheila0405

            Not sure this posted. Simon’s theology is not Catholic. It’s a mish mash of junk. We need to ignore him. Let him have the last twisted word. Maybe he’ll go away.

          • Elizabeth

            Too much fun. :)

          • Simon Alipio

            God wanted to bless Adam and Eve. Due to the fall, they separated from God. He never was able to bless their union.

            God’s original plan is absolute and will never change.

            This is why we need a Messiah, someone with the sinless seed, untainted by the human fall.

            Jesus came as the new Adam. He was God’s bridegroom coming for his wife (the new Eve) in order to graft fallen humanity to the tree of life (God’s lineage)

          • Lymis

            Jesus didn’t become human just to perform weddings.

            God is hardly so limited in his scope that a single human action could throw his entire divine plan all catawampus.

            And as for “sinless seed…” well, ick.

            I honestly don’t want to know just what, exactly, you imagine Jesus doing with his seed. Please don’t share any details.

          • Simon Alipio

            Allie, what is garbage in what I am saying. It is right out from the Bible.

            It is not nice and does not help to say to someone else that what they are saying is garbage.

          • Allie

            Saying that what you are saying comes from the Bible would be one example of what I am calling garbage. That is factually untrue and I am calling you out on it. Many of the things you claim to be from the Bible are not. Let me ask again: since these statements of yours come neither from the Bible nor from any established set of Christian beliefs of which I am aware, where DO they come from?

          • Lymis

            “Adam and Eve were not to eat of the fruit until they had become individually fruitful (mature)”

            Oh, now you’re just making stuff up. That interpretation is not justified anywhere in the text. “You must not touch it or you will die” is hardly the same as “Wait until you’re older.”

            Now you’re claiming that Adam and Eve were never married? All so you can condemn gay unions.

            Wow.

          • Simon Alipio

            Adam and Eve were married centered on the false words of satan. All fallen humanity descends from that fallen tree

            The Bible says that Christ returns for the MARRIAGE OF THE LAMB.

            At that time, we can be grafted to the tree of life (God’s lineage)

          • Lymis

            Okay…..

            But once again, that would apply to ALL humanity, including the LGBT parts of it.

          • Lymis

            You’re also claiming that no human marriage in the history of the earth, including those that happened since Jesus’s time on earth, are valid in the eyes of God and that no true marriage is possible until after the Second Coming.

            I can’t strongly enough deny that.

            But if that is your claim, then what possible justification do you have of excluding LGBT people from marriage beyond bare anti-gay bias? If all human marriage is Satanic in origin, why allow straight marriage?

          • Simon Alipio

            Lymis:” You’re also claiming that no human marriage in the history of the earth, including those that happened since Jesus’s time on earth, are valid in the eyes of God and that no true marriage is possible until after the Second Coming”

            Christianity marriage are not for eternity but until physical death. This validate what I am saying. The Bible says that until the time of the resurrection we are considered to be single.

            We enter Heaven as a couple resembling (God’s image) and not as 2 halves. Blessed couples are the unit of the kingdom of Heaven.

            Christ returns once more for his bride. The Kingdom was destroyed by A&E. It will be restored by a new Adam and a new Eve.

            Revelation 21:9-10 “One of the seven angels who had the seven bowls full of the seven last plagues came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the bride, THE WIFE of the Lamb.”

            Revelation 19:7 “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and HIS WIFE hath made herself ready.

            Christianity is in the position of the spiritual bride waiting faithfully for the second coming when the Bridegroom the everlasting father comes again.

          • Lymis

            You know what, I’m just going to back away slowly and hope I can make it to an exit safely.

            Good luck to you.

            Yikes.

          • Simon Alipio

            Hi Lymis,

            Good luck to you too :)

            Matt 19:6 says “therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.”

            As Christians we say that marriage last just until we physically die!

            Why ?

            That is a good question to answer.

          • http://rindle.blogspot.com/ Lyn

            ‘As Jesus said, “the heart is the source of ALL iniquities”’

            I take it you’re one of those people who have been told that your emotions are suspect to the point where you deny your own feelings. This isn’t scriptural. The people who hardened your heart were misrepresenting scripture.

            Jesus says, “A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.” (Matthew 12:35)

            Note that the product of the heart depends on the heart.

            We are told that God has written his law on our hearts (Jeremiah 31:33-34, Ezekiel 11:19-20, 36:25-27, Romans 2:14-15, Romans 10:8, Hebrews 8:10-11, 10:15-17); the Holy Spirit resides in our hearts (Romans 5:5, 2 Corinthians 1:21-22, Galatians 4:6-7); righteousness comes from the heart (Romans 10:10); the peace of God guards our hearts (Philippians 4:7); the love of the Lord makes your heart blameless (1 Thessalonians 3:12-13); and the Lord directs your heart to love (2 Thessalonians 3:4-5).

            And finally:

            1 John 3

            19 This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: 20 If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything. 21 Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God.

          • Allie

            You know, it’s easy to make fun of Simon, but I think we may be making fun of him for the wrong reason. Sex IS holy. That’s not a perspective unique to Christianity. I’m thinking of a prayer (which I seem to recall is… Zoroastrian maybe?) which compares the female pudenda to an altar and the pubic hair to a flame upon the altar. There’s all that fancy stuff in Song of Solomon. Sex is the analogy chosen by the writer of Revelation to illustrate the relationship of Christ to the church.

            I have a coworker and close friend who is gay. He’s about my age (mid forties) and grew up Catholic in the Deep South. His parents were not accepting of his sexuality; they still aren’t. While he was growing up he tried very hard to become straight. It didn’t work. One thing he told me made a big difference to him, reading the book “The Front Runner.” He asked me to read it so I would share it with him. It’s a book written by a woman about two gay men, a trainer and an Olympic athlete, who fall in love. It was written sometime in the 70′s, I think, and by today’s standards parts of it are pretty hokey. But it meant something deep to my friend as a teenager, because it was the first place he had ever gotten the message that being gay wasn’t just okay, wasn’t just something you might not go to hell for, it could be something holy, something magical, something ordained and blessed by God.

            Sex, done right, is holy. And “done right” doesn’t mean missionary position for the purposes of procreation only between a man and a woman who were married before they lost their virginity. That holiness comes from seeing and knowing for just a moment what it means when it says mankind was made in the image of God, because just for one moment the person next to you opens up like a window and the light shines through. That holiness means being for a little while completely selfish and completely generous at the exact same time with the exact same act. And it means feeling so good that for a little while you have no doubt, no doubt whatsoever, about the goodness of God and the goodness of his creation. And so much more, that I don’t begin to have words for. It’s not just straight people who can do and feel all these things.

          • Elizabeth

            Seconded. You might also like Leslie Feinberg’s Stone Butch Blues. It redefined gender for (our) generation. xo

          • Lymis

            “You know, it’s easy to make fun of Simon, but I think we may be making fun of him for the wrong reason. Sex IS holy. ”

            Yes, sex is holy. It’s a connection to the Divine, and a sharing of something ecstatic beyond the bumping together of various body parts.

            But the disagreement with Simon (or the two different Simons, I confess I’m losing track), is not on that issue. It’s on his circular argument, that sex is holy because it’s heterosexual and that therefore only heterosexual sex is holy.

            All of his arguments about the reflection of the Divine, the indwelling of the Spirit (my words, not his), and the role of sex, sexuality, and marriage in human lives apply just as equally, without exception, to LGBT people, but he excludes us from God’s plan by definition, and then warps the rest of his argument to justify that first principle that he’s imposed on it.

            The high metaphors and royal this and holy that and God’s Divine Duality and all that deserve to be mocked if they are used to declare that anyone is not a part of God’s plan.

            It’s no different than mocking some self-important…let’s go with “person” …. who tried to claim that God’s separating the light from the darkness and calling it good is some sort of metaphor for racial segregation.

            Sex, done right, (and I’d even include sex done wrong) is a holy act if we allow it to be. True. But claiming that because of that, it can’t include any participation by LGBT people is to claim that LGBT people are inherently incapable of being holy.

            That deserves correction, and when that correction is as vehemently refused as the Simons are refusing it, mocking the idea is not out of line.

          • Allie

            Oh, I’m not opposed to mocking Simon. ;) But I do think it would be easy for a third party reading this thread to misunderstand what’s being mocked, and why. Ironically enough, he’s doing exactly what he accuses gay people of doing – taking something holy (the words of Scripture) and turning it into evil.

          • LukeH

            Simon is a troll, but to give him credit, he is an interesting troll. I too would really like to know where he is getting this stuff, what particular flavor of Christianity. (Not that I could say where I get some of my stuff, but he pontificates in great detail, so I assume he has been schooled in it somewhere.) I also was thinking Catholic, but then he comes up with oddities that, AFAIK are not Catholic canon. I can recognize some of the historical the lineage of his theology, but I’m just not familiar enough with the various sects and denominations to place him. I was wondering if he might be Mormon, but I could be way off on that. Or he could just be a crackpot. Would anyone else care to take a more educated guess, since Simon doesn’t seem to want to answer that question?

          • Simon Alipio

            Why are you so obsess to put labels on people.

            Is it so you can mock them or destroy them because they challenge your thinking.

            I thought NALT Christians are about love, acceptance and tolerance, not like those fundamentalist Christians, narrow minded hateful bigots!

          • Matt

            It’s your arrogance in claiming to be “standing for our Father in Heaven,” yet you use the phrase “I think” in your claims that leads us to call you a troll. Saying your thoughts and God’s are one and the same is not a loving thing to do. God’s plenty big enough to speak for Himself, so speak your own mind and stop using Him as a crutch.

            As for “loving,” we’re working towards the full acceptance of all God’s people. What we don’t tolerate is someone calling those same people and their problems a “headache” and a “distraction.”

          • LukeH

            Simon, I am not sure what you are referring to with respect to “labels”: my calling you a troll or my speculation on your theological or ecclesiastic background.

            If being called a troll offends you, then don’t act like one. If there is one defining characteristic of a troll it is that when asked a direct question or challenged on a point, a troll will deflect and distract rather than answer the question or engage the point honestly. Which is exactly what you are doing.

            Don’t flatter yourself, you don’t come anywhere close to challenging my thinking. OK, I’m mocking you a little bit there, but it is totally true. You are interesting, but your ideas don’t hold together anywhere near as well as you think they do, and you clearly are not the expert you pretend to be, and nobody here is the least bit threatened or impressed. Were we to meet, I would extend a hand in friendship, I would accept that you are a bit looney to my point of view and probably I to yours, and I would tolerate your free exercise of conscience as I would expect you to tolerate mine. But it doesn’t mean I have to refrain from calling out your bullshit and arrogance for what it is.

            As far as my speculation about your background, well that is mostly intellectual curiosity. For that matter, I am not trying to put a label on you so much as your theology. It is a very imperfect thing, but people do create a taxonomy of ideas to help us understand how they relate to each other at a high level.

          • Anakin McFly

            I don’t know either, but I’m nonetheless fascinated by his Bible fanfic.

      • vj

        Oh good, I thought it was just me that went “huh?” while reading this…

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      What is it with these odd analogies? How does a lineage get mixed if a couple doesn’t have kids? How does, unless a marriage is politically motivated…you know the daughter of the member of a nation’s leader marries the son of the leader of a another nation, in order to keep peace and trade?

      How does getting married benefit mankind? And where on earth did the idea that marriage is the only way for two people to perfect love?

      • Simon

        They are 4 kinds of love [4 realms of the heart]

        Children’s (love that we receive from our parents)

        Fraternal love (Sisters and Brothers’love)

        Conjugal love (Husband and wife)

        Parental love (Love for our children)

        The family is the school of love where we learn how to love mankind and perfect our love.

        Parental love is the highest. We can experience the parental love of God for His children, having become co-creator of our own children with Him.

        • Elizabeth

          The words you’re looking for are Greek, as was the New Testament. Agápe means love in a “spiritual” sense. That’s what we’re talking when we’re talking God. Éros is “physical” passionate love, with sensual desire and longing. Romantic, pure emotion without the balance of logic. Philia is “mental” love. It means affectionate regard or friendship, usually what we’re doing around here.

          Storge means “affection” in ancient and modern Greek. It is natural affection, like that felt by parents for offspring. It’s rarely used in ancient works.

          That’s at least three kinds of love not in your lexicon.

        • Matt

          If one learns to love from family, I should have turned out a sociopath. What’s more, apparently people without biological children are blocked from experiencing God’s love. Try again.

    • Lymis

      Trust me, my husband’s lineage and mine are mixed just fine – and I have photos of my stepdaughter’s messy bedroom and the student loan bills to prove it.

      Marriage is a path for finding love, and an outward sign proclaiming it (at least, when it’s working.) That does not require two people of different genders.

      While I recognize the contribution my marriage makes to our community and our world, we most definitely did not marry “for the sake and common benefit of humanity.” And I’d seriously question the motives, if not the sanity of anyone who did. Benefits to society flow outward from successful marriages, but they are neither the cause nor the purpose of them.

      • Sheila

        Excellent reply!

  • http://Fordswords.net David S.

    Thank you so much for this Mr. Shore.

    Here’s the thing that always boggles my mind about those who view the creation story as prescriptive rather than simply normative: they’ll often use Genesis 2:24 to underscore their point while completely ignoring Genesis 2:18 – “It is not good for man to be alone.”

    This is a universal truth about the human condition; we all long to know and be known & to love and be loved. Yet the “one man/ one woman” crowd insists that truth does not apply to people who are gay.

    • http://allegro63.wordpress.com sdparris

      I like that David. Connectivity with others has long been proven to be healthy for humanity. We are better when there are others we feel affinity to, to feel that we matter to another, and they matter to us. I think you are exactly right, that this passage is not speaking of marriage, but of companionship.

    • Sheila

      Right after God says that it isn’t good for man to be alone, he created a woman. That’s the context in which the conservatives hold to the belief that God’s intent was always a heterosexual union.

      • http://Fordswords.net David S.

        Yes, I understand that (and acknowlege that above). My point is that conservatives believe that gay people should be alone – that somehow we are all “gifted with celibacy” which is a concept unsupported by Genisis or even Paul.

      • Lymis

        No, Sheila.

        Right after God says that it isn’t good for that particular man to be alone, he created that particular woman. If it says anything, it says that Adam was a straight or bisexual man, and that the perfect person for him not to be alone with would therefore be that particular straight or bisexual woman.

        If anything it says that God’s plan for those two people was that they would be in a particular heterosexual union.

        It does not follow that the perfect person for someone else would automatically be a person of the opposite sex. Or even a person exactly like Eve.

  • Anne

    I think it also makes sense that the bible is neither a science textbook NOR a document that places limitations on human culture. There is more, in human sexuality than strictly male and female–intersexed genitalia are a biological reality. And, there is a wide range of human culture that is compatible with monotheism and Christianity. It helps to see the Bible as what it is, in its context, to make it most illuminating for us today in our faith communities.

    • Sheila

      It is the existence of mixed genitalia people, along with other deviations from “normal” babies that makes me believe that some folks are born gay. Not every person comes out of the womb intact, with everything working perfectly. Lots of influences, especially hormones, have influences on the developing human being. Who are we to question God about his creation?

      • Jill

        And a gay or trans* or intersex baby came out of the womb perfectly, whether society wants to recognize this or not.

        • Anakin McFly

          Yes to the gay baby, less certain with the trans and intersex babies -some of whom did indeed come out of the womb perfectly, but others of whom have actual biological issues that need fixing and which the individuals in question want fixed, rather than having other parts of society insist that they are beautiful just as they are and, despite personal wishes, should not do anything to their bodies. It’s more an issue within the trans community, but there are also intersex people who do actually feel like and want to live their lives as ‘normal’ men or women, and view their conditions as imperfections.

          Unless of course by ‘perfectly’ you were referring to their innate human worth, in which case I agree fully with you.

          • Elizabeth

            Nice Anakin. Children, avert your eyes. I’m using big words. If you want more background on medical vs. social requirements re: infant gender assignment, Google Kessler’s The Medical Construction of Gender: Case Management of Intersexed Infants. She synopsizes the prevailing wisdom at (my) time. For example: “The formulation ‘good penis equals male; absence of good penis equals female’ is treated in the literature and by the physicians interviewed as an objective criterion, operative in all cases. There is a striking lack of attention to the size and shape requirements of the female genitals, other than that the vagina be able to receive a penis.” It’s so demoralizing to, well, just about every permutation of gender, it’ll stick with you for years.

          • Matt

            God, those old medical textbooks on anything gender and sex related are just awful. I’m a huge nerd for medical history, and I can’t stand them.

            I think that Jill was going for “innate human worth” (as you so wonderfully put it, Anakin) in referring to us as perfect. It’s how I’ve always approached my transgender condition–I may need to reassign my sex to male, but who I am underneath came into this world perfectly formed, and I actually have no issues with the body I was given beyond that.

          • Jill

            All of the above. Perfect is such a blinking word, and yet I use it with reckless abandon.

          • Elizabeth

            Hey Matt. Just to be clear, Kessler is one of the good, um, guys. She’s critiquing John Money, professor of medical psychology and professor of pediatrics, emeritus, at the Johns Hopkins. My prof was a true lady and lesbian named Mary Porter. Her field study was in Kenyan female circumcision rituals. In the early ’90s, the atmosphere was so militant, the lecture hall swarmed with angry skinheads yelling to abort all male babies. I sat in the back with my long hair and flowered dresses. Dr. Porter was always gracious.

          • Matt

            Oh yes, your professor is way cool. I wouldn’t have kept my head in a room like that!

  • Todd Reeder

    Jesus taught people are suppose to love there neighbor. And he taught everyone is your neighbor. The people from west boro Baptist say they are Christians. They don’t act loving toward LGBT people. And there are others who say they are Christians who don’t act loving.

  • Simon Alipio

    God is the Original Harmony of Masculinity and Femininity. There is no homosexuality in God.

    • Elizabeth

      God is genderless. “Although God is referred to in the Hebrew Bible with masculine imagery and grammatical forms, Jewish philosophy does not attribute to God either sex or gender. At times, Jewish aggadic literature and Jewish mysticism do treat God as gendered, though these are not uniformly masculine or feminine.” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gender_of_God)

      We are talking the Judeo-Christian God, yes?

      • Simon Alipio

        Elisabeth,

        Genesis 1:27 ” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them”

        Male and Female reflect the image of God.

        The whole creation is based on that duality and femininity (+,-) from the atom all the way to human being.

        Without that, we will not exist.

        God is our Heavenly Parent (Father and Mother)

        • Elizabeth

          There are at least four authors of Genesis: Elohim, Deuteronomist, Jahwist, and Priestly. Bloom posits the Jahwist was an educated woman. And as long we’re name-checking random passages, “For my part, this is my covenant with you: you will become the father of many nations. And you are no longer to be called Abram; your name is to be Abraham, for I am making you the father of many nations. I shall make you exceedingly fertile. I shall make you into nations, and your issue will be kings.” 18: 5-6, NJB

    • Lymis

      Good God, give it a rest.

      There is as much homosexuality in God as there is heterosexuality.

      For that matter, you don’t get to declare that the perfection of God is combining masculinity and femininity in one Being and then declare that the people who most embody that are least reflective of God.

      Individual straight people each embody various harmonies of masculinity and femininity, in their individual ways. But LGBT people often embody that harmony more clearly and more demonstrably.

      But it doesn’t matter. ANY argument that seeks to declare that LGBT people are not just as validly children of God and reflections of the Divine is a flawed argument.

      • Simon Alipio

        There is no homosexuality in God.

        We are born primarily as male or female, physically, emotionally etc…

        • Lymis

          Yes, and some people who are born primarily male are heterosexual, some are bisexual, some are homosexual, and some are born in bodies that appear on the outside to be female.

          Some people who are born primarily female are heterosexual, some are bisexual, some are homosexual, and some are born in bodies that appear on the outside to be male.

          And some people don’t fit neatly into other people’s boxes. But God isn’t so narrow minded.

          All are “in God” and God is in all, no matter what the variations.

          You can keep repeating yourself, but it doesn’t make it true.

          • Simon Alipio

            The human fall was caused by the misuse of love.

            Our original nature has degenerated. Sexual sins have been committed in our lineages by our ancestors.

            This affect us and create many distortions, struggles and suffering.

            Breaking the curses and the chains that tie us is difficult.

            He has tried to stir us further and further from our original nature as true men and true women.

            We are spiritual beings in a physical body and are affected by the spiritual world around us which is mostly satanic.

            It is a spiritual battle to free ourselves

            Only the Messiah can free humanity from the original sin.

            We are still responsible from our ancestral sins and personal sins. Some of us have a greater burden than others. This is why, we should not judge.

          • LukeH

            We are still responsible from our ancestral sins and personal sins.

            Ancestral sins? But, it says right there in Ezekiel 18:

            “The word of the Lord came to me: What do you mean by repeating this proverb concerning the land of Israel, ‘The parents have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge’?

            As I live, says the Lord God, this proverb shall no more be used by you in Israel. Know that all lives are mine; the life of the parent as well as the life of the child is mine: it is only the person who sins that shall die.”

            “Some of us have a greater burden than others.”? Dare you say this except to say, as Paul did, that you are the foremost of sinners?

          • Nicole

            I need to get back into my Bible! That scripture is wonderful! Never spent much time in the Prophets. Maybe I should.

        • Elizabeth

          Welcome back, Simon! Wholly, fully, primarily and in every other way female. Since I could speak, people told me I thought like a man. Why? Too obstinate? Too smart? I just can’t care. Speaking is what I do best. There is simply no Biblical doctrine for gender or sexuality bias.

          • Simon Alipio

            Some men are more effeminate and some women are more masculine. Also culturally, we see differences how men or women are portrayed.

            That does not change the fact that they are 2 genders.

          • Elizabeth

            Anthropologically speaking, there are three. Gender and sexuality at Sarah Lawrence. I was only 19. Mind blown, right? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_gender

          • anakin mcfly

            Five, actually in some ancient cultures that divided people into masculine men, feminine men, masculine women, feminine women, and everyone else.

          • Anakin McFly

            There are more than two, even just biologically speaking where you have intersex people, some of whom are perfectly healthy and capable of reproduction despite having bodies that are ambiguously gendered. I also know one intersex woman with weird chromosomes who was born with a body that looked mostly male, and then a few years into adulthood it started spontaneously changing into a body that looked mostly female. There’s also an entire village whose name I forget which commonly produced baby girls who, at puberty, suddenly developed into perfectly normal male bodies and were even able to father children. Human sexual differentiation is amazingly diverse; the binary gender system is but an approximation for convenience’s sake.

        • Lymis

          You seem inordinately committed to telling God who and what he is allowed to be.

          What’s up with that?

          • Simon Alipio

            You wrote:” You seem inordinately committed to telling God who and what he is allowed to be. What’s up with that?”

            Can you point out what I wrote that would substantiate your statement?

          • Lymis

            The part where you define God as not including “homosexuality” (but in context, somehow including “heterosexuality”) is all that I need to point to.

    • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

      God becoming aware of God is Self.

      Self reflecting upon Self, is the seed of creation.

      Losing track of Self is man’s dilemma. The sense of personal ownership, is the mother of death. It is a false understanding.

      My rule of thumb in sorting it all out, relies on detecting shadows.

      If a god casts a shadow, it can not be God.

      Satan is an illusion.

      Male and Female translates to a tension of opposites. The possibility of opposites, is the foundation of Universe. The infinite multitude of permutations and manifestations.

      The only real problem is loosing track of the Eternal. The seamlessness of Self.

      • Lymis

        Except male and female are not opposites. They are complements. And male people and female people are more than just their genders, and share far more similarities than they do differences. (And of course, there’s far more to gender than a simple binary, no matter how you frame it.)

        Other than that, I was pretty much with you.

        • http://brmckay.wordpress.com brmckay

          Sorry, an habitual choice of wording. I was hoping that “infinite multitude of permutations and manifestations” might cover it.

          Complementary Otherness, it is then.

          • Lymis

            Thanks! I like that.

  • Simon Alipio

    If you look for instance to all the great Christians saints during the last 2000 years. The monastic life, the single life were considered the best way to be closest to Christ.

    St Paul says that man should not have sexual relations with woman if they can.

    Christianity has been focused primarily on individual salvation because Jesus could not marry and show us how to love as a husband and a father.

    There is no model of an ideal family in Christianity. The model we have is of a single man crucified on a cross.

    Jesus came as the new Adam. He was God’s only true bridegroom because he had God’s sinless seed within him.

    The only way, he could have removed the Original Sin from the earth was by creating God’s lineage, the first family where God could fully dwell and to whom all humanity could be grafted to.

    He was the Tree of Life. Today, we are still connected to the fallen tree of our first ancestors, the fallen A&E that separated us from God.

    • Elizabeth

      Yup. We got Abraham, David, Solomon, John the Baptist, and Elizabeth all carefully mentioned in Jesus’ lineage. That mattered in Midrash, which was how knowledge was passed down. You didn’t write it because proof could get you killed. Jesus changed the game. After Him, you could love prostitutes, tax collectors, lepers, Judas, and even gays. For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life. Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. John 3:16-17 NRSV

      • Simon Alipio

        Elisabeth, I have no idea how you reply has to do with the content of my post.

        Can you enlighten me ?

        Thanks

        • Elizabeth

          The name is Elizabeth with a Z. Jesus wasn’t a new Adam. He was/is the alternative to the shame of original sin. For everyone. Period. Enlightenment: granted.

          • Simon Alipio

            Sorry for misspelling your name :(

            The Apostle Paul tells us in his first letter to the church in Corinth, “The first man Adam became a living being; the last Adam, a life-giving spirit

            I understand Jesus as a new Adam. I know that many Christians see as you do.

          • Elizabeth

            Less Paul, more Jesus. Paul was, like, Jesus’ ugly kid sister. Good for getting the proletariat out, making Christianity an impactful voice on Augustine, Petrarch, Luther, et al. But, ultimately? A PR man who fell off a horse. Couldn’t get crucified if he tried.

            You don’t want to be PAUL. You want to emulate Jesus.

          • LukeH

            Where’s the “like” button?

  • Lymis

    Most of what I’ve posted to this discussion has been reactive – and reactive to a particular viewpoint that I find, frankly, repellant. So if people don’t mind, I’d like to “wash the taste out” and state a quick summary of what underlies my beliefs and informed my answers elsewhere in the thread.

    The Bible, especially not the early parts of Genesis, is not history. It’s not literal. It’s not fact. It was written by men out of a sincere effort of documenting their interaction with a very real and present God, but it was not written by God and is not dictation from the mouth of the Father or of Jesus. That being the case, it needs to be seen through the eyes of metaphor and meaning and story, not as a news documentary or science text.

    To me, what is clear in the paired creation stories in Genesis is that the material world was a deliberate creation, a conscious choice by an eternal God, an ordered and ordering structure, and that at its heart, it is fundamentally good. And that any evil in the world is a result of a disconnect between the mind of man and the mind of God. There is a reason that the fruit Adam and Eve were said to have been forbidden is the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. When we look at that, it’s clear that the issue is not whether there is objective good and evil in the world but rather that humans are suddenly perceiving that duality, and by extension, that separation.

    My frustration elsewhere in the thread was often because the poster was claiming that the dualities he was hinging his argument on were inherent in creation, and in several posts, inherent in God himself. The idea that God is gendered, and that “there is no homosexuality in God.” To me, the creation story and the story of the forbidden fruit is the story of the beginning of those dualities, and that the Fall is primarily the temptation, and the human experience of seeing things as separate. Far from homosexuality (or any other human variation) being the result of the Fall, it is seeing separation and difference where it does not exist that is the symptom of the disconnect from God. It isn’t that being gay is a result of the fall, it is that looking at a fellow human being, looking at another Child of God, and seeing them as fundamentally different, and seeing in that difference a reason to claim that God himself cannot love them that is the ongoing manifestation of the disconnect from the mind of the Divine.

    In Christ, there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female – In Christ, humanity is united and unified. In Christ, the very perception of differences that matter are erased. It’s not that those differences themselves are ‘fallen” or “not part of God’s plan” or anything else like that aren’t real and valid and holy human experiences, but rather than they don’t matter to God.

    Just as every color in the spectrum is included in the white of pure light, and yet has it’s own unique characteristics when seen separately, and just as light is diminished if any of it’s component colors are removed or discounted. so it is with the spectrum of human experience, which includes gender.

    Gender is mentioned in the metaphorical story of creation in very important ways. It’s clear that humanity is created as beings that are best when they are not alone, that “male and female created he them” and that “it is not good for man to be alone” – but not because heterosexual maleness and femaleness are supposed to be privileged. Of course people who were writing the story of how the world became populated would feature people who can breed children at the heart of the story. It would be pretty pointless not to. But that doesn’t mean that other people are not part of God’s plan – just that they weren’t part of that story. As people have pointed out, even the people who wrote that story identified that the reason Adam was given a mate was that it wasn’t good for him to be alone.

    There is no mention in the creation story of mandatory heterosexuality, The command to be fruitful and multiply was to humanity as a whole, not to each person individually. We’re to work as a society in alignment with the will of god, not a mindless breeding stock. Reducing the complexity of human love and relationships to the purely animal considerations of procreation diminishes us as people.

    • Lymis

      That’s some weird italicization glitch there. Oops.

    • Barbara Rice

      *it is that looking at a fellow human being, looking at another Child of God, and seeing them as fundamentally different, and seeing in that difference a reason to claim that God himself cannot love them *

      This is so brilliant.

    • http://narmacil.wordpress.com Kagi (@soracia)

      I have never thought of this interpretation before, but it clarifies a great many things for me, as a gay person and a christian of sorts. Thank you for laying it all out like that!

    • Nicole

      Thank you, Lymis. *hug*

  • Jill

    And it just has to be said, David S. is the classiest of acts.

  • Soulmentor

    After reading half way thru the posts, I gave up. Nearly all of it quickly became reactive to Simon. Even Lymis’ brilliance succumbed to his rote, repeating-tape, ramblings. Simon is a STAR TROLL. So much so that he became boringly unbelievable. There’s only one reason I can think of why someone like him becomes a repeating tape and that is to protect him from his own doubts. This kind of person is a time bomb that, given what we are seeing these days, I hope never has access to a gun.

    • Elizabeth

      Hi Soulmentor. You’re right, of course. Every so often, John lets one stick around. It’s sort of an homage to the days when this was the Whac-A-Mole of Christian baiters and itinerant preachers. The quality of discourse is so much more elevated now. The writing, breadth of knowledge, and multiplicity of backgrounds… there’s just no comparison. John and/or his moderator curated that deliberately.

      But old-timers get nostalgic. At least, I do. I think there’s merit in newcomers knowing how to respond logically to low-hanging fruit, too. And you never know. You might get through. :)

      • vj

        Also, coming rather late to this particular thread, I found it quite entertaining, and I thoroughly enjoyed the twists and turns. It’s pretty surreal, but at least, as Luke pointed out, *interesting*…

      • Soulmentor

        And if you don’t “get thru”, there’s always those readers and watchers on the edge and willing to learn.

  • Todd Reeder

    I saw this on facebook. What if being gay is all part of God’s plan to test whether well Christians love there neighbor?

    • Lymis

      I get what you’re going for there, Todd, but it’s not at all how I would phrase it, for a number of reasons, but not the least because it still means that the world is all about straight people (and in this case, all about straight Christians), and everyone else is merely an accessory rather than actual people in our own right.

      I think the concept you’re shooting for, though is the idea of individual people, or groups of people, serving a prophetic role in the lives of others. And yes, at this point in history, the challenge that being healthy, happy, openly and unapologetically L,G,B, or T brings to a lot of straight Christians IS a prophetic role, and a circumstance that can most definitely be used by the Holy Spirit in the minds and hearts of those who are willing to open themselves to it.

      That doesn’t mean it’s “why we’re here” or anything resembling sufficient reason to claim why we exist. I’m not on this earth to be a prop in someone else’s story, to be judged purely and simply in terms of how someone else responds to me, and irrelevant if they don’t. I’m a child of God because I’m a child of God, and my life has meaning and purpose far beyond “testing” someone’s prejudices.

      I can still recognize that there are times and places where God invites me to put myself out there with the full awareness that others will be challenged by me, and there are times and places where that is the call that God asks me to follow – and as a child of God with free will and a real, live person in my own right, I am free to accept or refuse that call, and to respond to it with grace or reluctance.

      It may be the most important thing about me in someone else’s life, and a source of genuine spiritual growth for them (or a source of pain and constriction, and a refusal on their part to answer the Spirit’s invitation). But if so, it’s not the only reason I exist, or the only thing God needs me for.

      • vj

        Lymis, it just cannot be said often enough: you are truly amazing – full of grace and wisdom and love (and patience!). You are an inspiration to me, and I learn so much from how, and what, you write :-)

      • Allie

        We all end up being props in someone else’s story, all of us, straight and gay. The other day I was driving while tired and turned the wrong direction then had to do a U-turn once I realized what I had done. Drove back past an annoyed guy waiting to pull out, and realized that to him, I was “that driver.” You know, the what is that person even doing, were they put on Earth for no other purpose than to get in my way driver?

        Seriously though, I am a real person even though I acted as a test of that guy’s patience. You are a real person even though your sexuality serves as a challenge to some people’s Christianity. I also had an actual goal I was driving to get to, and so do you.

        • Lymis

          That was pretty much my point….

  • Todd Reeder

    People please give the exact reference when trying to use the bible or any other source to defend or prove a point. Like Book, chapter, and verse. People say the bible says. Or Paul says. But they don’t prove it by giving where it is said.

    • Lymis

      I’ll decline the request. If I feel it’s appropriate to do so, I’m happy digging up a chapter and verse reference, but I don’t use the Bible that way – I don’t do proof texting, and I don’t think of it in terms of chapter and verse, certainly not single verses taken alone.

      For me, it’s the context, the story, the symbolism, the meaning, and the way it fits into the whole story. The legitimacy of a Bible quote or reference to me has nothing whatsoever to to with its literalism or its inclusion in the Bible. Since I think of the Bible in terms of the broader meaning, I’m not willing to accede to being constrained by my ability to pop out a citation. Since I’m not claiming that any argument I make is valid because of the proof texts involved, I don’t need to cite them in the first place.

      For me, it’s about the internal consistency of a point being made and it’s alignment with the broader principles of Christianity and my own personal experience of God, the Christ, and the Spirit.

      Sure, when arguing with someone else who claims that their authority for an argument lies in their ability to cite a quote, I’ll often look it up, because for the most part, they get it completely wrong, whether standing on its own or in its original context, and if I choose to play their game by their rules, I may go along with it.

      But that’s now how the Bible, or my experience of God works for me. I’ll agree that if someone claims that their argument is based on the authority of a specific verse of the Bible, they ought to be able to cite it. Those of us who don’t shouldn’t be expected to play by those rules.

      • Todd Reeder

        I could say the Bible says same sex marriage and same sex intercourse is ok. But not have to prove where it says that. And not be able to back up what I say. If people say someone said something they should be able to back it up with a source reference.

        • http://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnshore/ John Shore

          Thanks for stopping by, Todd.


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