Forget Issues, Remember People

The following is a reflection that was written by Nathan Albert on August 4th after Prop 8 was ruled to be unconstitutional by Judge Walker in California. Nathan serves as the Director of Pastoral Care at The Marin Foundation.

I have been sitting in front of my computer trying to come up with words to say tonight.  I’ve been typing and deleting almost every sentence I type as I try to respond to what I know is an important day.  Prop 8 has been deemed unconstitutional.  Instead of any words, I find myself tired.

Here is why.  Homosexuality has become an issue in many Christian circles (not all, but many).  It’s become a hot-button issue.  People are afraid of it.  People debate over it.  People do awful things to one another because of it.  And I have a problem with that.  It makes me tired.

My problem is this.  Homosexuality is not an “issue” at all.  It’s not a hot-button “issue.”  It’s not an “issue” that people fight over.  It’s not an “it” at all.  It’s not an “issue” at all.

This is about people.  People.

Have we forgotten this?  It seems to me that we just might have.

It’s easy to turn things into “issues.”  But I think it’s dehumanizing.  It’s easy to label people: liberal, conservative, Christian, or atheist.  But I think labels are too often used to dismiss people entirely.  Again, dehumanizing.  It’s easy to make the topic of homosexuality some exegetical debate where people argue over ancient languages, texts, and cultural contexts.  But I do not think this is an exegetical issue.  I think this is about people.

It seems to me that many people don’t think this is about people or the implications of that.  Therefore an entire community of people are dehumanized or turned into the “least of these.”  Right now it seems in certain places (key word: certain. Of course this does not include all Christian communities) the options for gay Christians are either to be celibate or become straight and marry someone of the opposite sex.

Sometimes I think, what if this was demanded of me?  What if, because I was straight, the Christian community said to me, Nathan you either have to be celibate forever or marry someone of the same sex?

What if I was forced to spend the rest of my life in celibacy because I was straight?  One, it would suck.  Two, I don’t think I have the gift of celibacy.  And yes, I think celibacy is a gift for certain people.  Three, it would suck.  Four, I would probably have a hard time controlling my lust.

What if I was forced to marry someone of the same sex to whom I was not attracted?  Again, it would probably suck.  Although, I could possibly have a great relationship with emotional intimacy and could probably be physically intimate with another male.  But I would not be fulfilled, it would feel awkward, and I would still dream of being with a woman instead.

And so my goal is not to debate the exegetical work, the theological implications, the above examples, or the decision in California.  There’s too much of that already and frankly I’m getting tired of that too.  Instead, I want to remind those people who forget easily (myself included) that this is about people.

Do we think about people before we make decisions?  Do we remember that this is about people when we go to the voting polls?  Do we remember that this is about people when we preach from a pulpit?  Do we remember that this is about people when we have late night debates?  Do we remember that this is about people when we read Scripture?

If not, we are guilty of dehumanizing people.  And I might even be bold enough to say that dehumanizing people is a sin.

So today I am again reminded this is about people.  Today people wept with joy because they are closer to finally being able to marry the person they deeply love.  Today became a day of rejoicing.  Today Facebook and Twitter exploded with people’s excitement over the decision in California.  Today I am reminded that this is a small step for thousands of people.

And today I am reminded of my countless gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender friends.  Today was a good day for them.  Actually, today could be said to be a great day.  And I stand with them.  I rejoice with them.  I shed tears of happiness because they shed tears of happiness.

And today I am reminded that God loves people.  All people.

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About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation (www.themarinfoundation.org). He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Kevin Monds

    Yes! Holy cow! This is what I’ve been saying! This is what I’ve been trying to get across to my friends and my family. This is so important! I am not responsible for changing others’ beliefs and actions to suit my own beliefs! Realizing this helped me to be friends with and love others who hold completely different beliefs from my own. And it is so freeing! I do wish everyone could come to this realization.

  • Biz Gainey

    Thanks for your post. I do, however, believe that theological and exegetical work (at least at its best) is also and always about people. You suggest that enough of this has been done already – a statement that may well be true. Where is the Marin Foundation work found in this regard. In other words, what has been your theological and exegetical work and is it all gathered where it might be read. I have read Andrew’s book and have recommended it as reading to others. I know there are some things spelled out there, but as the ministry grows is there a plan to present something more in this regard. Just curious – again, thanks for your post

  • Ben

    This is a well written article if we are attempting to be dismissive of certain implications. As Americans, we appreciate a good story that has a good struggle. We rejoice with those people when their struggle has a breakthrough, no matter what it is. Unfortunately, this can hold a more humanistic foundation than spiritual foundation.
    Homosexuality isn’t an issue, it’s a sin; just like all the others. As a society, we are getting tired of trying to state this over and over again. It’s a good way to get something passed, as children we did it to our parents all the time; simply wear them out until they give in.
    To state that we support sin is anti-Christian, to support, love and meet people where they are at is certainly Christlike. This statement may not be popular but it is how I see it. I don’t hate people who are homosexuals but I certainly do not agree with their lifestyle. However, I do think that the church has sucked a big egg on dealing with this issue. Our faith to believe that God has an answer certainly has not risen to meet the cry of those who struggle with this.
    Yes, I am tired of the way it is being handled but I am not so tired that I will just lay down and toss aside what scripture says. Anyway, those are my two cents.

    • Eugene

      “I certainly do not agree with their lifestyle.”

      You see, Ben, “their lifestyle” is a fact, not an opinion, so you can’t agree or disagree with it. It’s as if you did not agree with rain or gravitation.

      And, no, it’s not a “lifestyle”. Homosexuality can be contained in many different lifestyles: from anonymous sex with strangers to lifelong marriage based on love and commitment.

      What you actually do, Ben, is condemn people for loving another man/woman. And, yes, Nathan is right. It’s easier to condemn people when what you see is a “lifestyle” you think you can “disagree” with.

      • Ben

        Well Eugene, I am sorry that we will not be able to get past the semantics that clearly we will disagree on. However, I don’t feel like I attacked anyone or was even snarky. It is a complicated issue and I see it as a lifestyle, a choice, that they are making to partake in.
        We will not agree on that.
        I don’t condemn them but if it makes you feel better to say that I do, that is fine also. This is part of the greater discussion that I think we need to have. Does that mean I hate anyone? Nope. Disagree? Yes.

        • Eugene

          My point has nothing to do with “choice”, and, yes, you didn’t attack gay people. I have a problem with something else.

          Nathan said, “It’s easy to turn things into “issues.” But I think it’s dehumanizing.”

          It’s equally easy to turn things into “lifestyles”, and it’s equally dehumanizing. And this is what I have a problem with. You are dehumanizing gay people – regardless of how nice you are. It’s as if you’re saying, “I don’t care if you suck the meaty ones by the dozen or love another man till death does you apart. It’s the same sinful lifestyle.”

          And I guess it’s much easier to “disagree with the homosexual lifestyle” than “prevent loving couples from getting married” – even though it can be the same thing.

          Also, I believe you should read what Andrew Marin wrote about validation and affirmation:

          http://love-is-an-orientation.blogspot.com/2009/04/follow-up-to-scot-mcknights-postpart-2.html

          Andrew himself doesn’t seem to extrapolate it onto legal institutions, but it can be done. What do you think?

          • Ben

            Well Andrew and I disagree on the approach to this but I still respect what he does. Because the core argument is over the issue, lifestyle, whatever you want to call it, I am simply calling a spade a spade. What I have found in my interactions with the GLBT community is that if you can’t accept their issue,lifestyle,choice, what they were born with, but you accept everything else, then they really distance themselves from you.
            I attempt to stay relatively agnostic in accepting or rejecting a person’s lifestyle and instead respect them for where they are at. We all know that we disagree so we simply don’t bring it up.
            Trust me, I stand back in awe at how Andrew can walk the politically correct tight-rope with this issue but I simply have my opinions and feel better having them be forthright so that you know where I stand and we can have an honest discussion. Like right now. ;-)

          • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

            Ben,
            You are on shaky ground here because ‘lifestyle’ isn’t a Biblical concept (it’s not a Christian’s lifestyle that saves him/her) and the moment you define what you mean by a “gay lifestyle” a crowd of gay people will step forward and (truthfully) say “What has that got to do with me?”

        • Dennis

          Ben, once you understand that it is not a choice, then perhaps you will stop condemning gays and start seeing them as people like yourself.
          If it was a choice, then we would not have gay christians, if it was a choice, we would not have gay moslems(they risk death in some countries), if it was a choice, I believe no one would choose to be rejected by family, friends, his faith and the whole community at large.
          Once you understand that it is not a choice, then you will change your opinion and perhaps realize too that it that the authority to condemn(let alone judge) lies not with you but with God.

          • Ben

            What news to me, saying that I am condemning anyone when I have said time and again that I simply disagree with your point of view. It actually hurts the dialogue to paint someone with the “condemning” or “hate” brush because you attempt to take someone’s credibility down because you disagree with them.
            There are people who feel it is a choice, I stand in that conviction; we agree to disagree.

          • Eugene

            No, we can’t “agree to disagree”. It’s a fact, not an opinion. You’re not gay, so you’re not in a position to “stand in the conviction” that it’s a choice. Even scientists – who actually study these things – don’t think it’s a choice. And, yes, Ben, you are condemning gay people when you equate them to murderers.

    • Eugene

      Ben, I’m not entirely sure why you think you’re being forced to “toss aside what scripture says”. Even if you believe that homosexuality is “a sin; just like all the others”, it doesn’t mean that gay marriage must be illegal.

      First of all, it surely won’t stop gay people from having sex with each other. More importantly, divorce/remarriage (unlike gay marriage) is obviously un-Christian, but it’s legal. Finally, here’s what the scripture says:

      “What business is it of mine to judge those outside the church? Are you not to judge those inside? God will judge those outside.” (1 Corinthians 5)

      What do you think?

      • Ben

        Proof-texting to make a point is not good for making scriptural arguments. We are allowed to judge sin in the church, not the sinners. In regards to those outside, that would point towards non-Christians; for those people who call themselves Christians but act out in homosexuality, that is contrary to Biblical teaching, just like murder, lying, masturbating, etc is. You can judge the sin of that person and encourage them on a better path.
        Also, what is the precedence set Biblically regarding sin? It doesn’t change from beginning to end. I don’t mind if you say I am judging but at least put it into the proper context.

        • Eugene

          “We are allowed to judge sin in the church, not the sinners.”

          I’m afraid it doesn’t work this way, Ben. Your judgment offends and angers “the sinners” just the same (as you can see in these comments). And when a church is kicking out a priest because of his “sin”, it’s kicking out the whole person, not just the “sin”. And when people ban gay marriage because it’s “contrary to Biblical teaching”, it means that gay people – people – can’t get married.

          So, no, you can’t judge “sins” without judging “sinners”. And many Christians don’t think that homosexuality is “contrary to Biblical teaching”. Are you really sure that your understanding of the Bible is so flawless that it must be forced on other people – including non-Christians? After all, no one is forcing you to marry another man.

          • Ben

            To be honest, it angers people because it doesn’t line up with their opinion. I could be angry too but I would rather dialogue.
            What is funny, if I got on here and said, “the Bible totally supports homosexuality and just loving people for who they are, sleep with who you want.” I would be praised, adored and loved by so many others. People would say, “you really have an understanding of the Bible and that is what people should really know.”
            I am not saying my understanding is “flawless” or that it should be “forced.” I am simply presenting how I view it. It is a person’s choice to accept that view or not. You clearly do not, joy to the world, doesn’t mean I dislike you any less. We are simply disagreeing.

  • Nate

    One thing I love about the Bible, I love about Christianity is that it is the great big story of God and his mission to people, yes people. It is all about God and People.

    Whilst I agree with much of the sentiment of what Nathan writes here I just wanted to add a few of my thoughts.

    I would suggest that the greatest dehumanising of people comes when people are not in step with the will of God. Now that is something we are all guilty of for sure, so no point in pointing the finger at anyone in society particulary Gay people. I have often thought how easily Christians sin in the way they attempt to tackle what they see as sin, when actually God has called us to love. Anyone can shout, hold up a banner or qoute scripture or act religious – but loving someone, unconditionally as Christ loves us – now that is a different matter.

    However I just wanted to add that in my mind the great de-humanizer is not how we debate or talk about people although this might contribute but it is actually the work of the enemy (Satan). Sin is what dehumanises us. We must never forget this.

    We should also never forget that surely God has called us to be a people of redemption – to be people who work to rid the world of all that de-humanises – to be a people that love in such a way that the Kingdom comes, people find Christ and out of finding Him they desire to live like him.

    You are right homosexuality is not the issue, the issue for all people will be selfishness, lust, power, money, pride, hate, a desire to do life our way not Gods etc etc… and whilst we need to rid this out of the church before we can rid it out of the world – even with our failings it does not make the worlds failings any less either.

    Finally the call to Holy living will never be easy, Jesus has called us to take up on cross not our holiday home. Yes the cost of following may mean being single, abstaining from sex. But those who believe and find Christ know it is worth it, are blessed by his grace when we fail – and hey nothing we sacrifice will ever compare to that which he gave for us.

    To water down the demand of scripture will never make it easier, will never make it more attractive – all we can do is love and yes love people because he does – but love should never allow us to leave people in a state that allows the enemy to de-humanise them.

  • http://vestacha84.wordpress.com/ Michael

    First of all, Nathan, thank you for this. In 2003, I left the church because people stopped looking at me and seeing a person, but rather, because of my honesty, started seeing an issue, a sin. It’s happened to a countless number of my friends as well. I was glad to see many of my own friends rejoice and what this meant, what a victory it was for the LGBT community. It’s refreshing to see people understand that legislation should not be used to impose one groups ideas of morality. We’re not talking about murder. We’re talking about the ability for me to visit my partner in the hospital and not be left penniless when he dies, to do our taxes together, own a home together, raise a child together. Prop 8 was about legally telling me that I am living a life that cannot be condoned. Thank you for rejoicing and being glad for this win. For expressing your love for us.

    And to Ben, I’m not angry that you repeat a phrase I’ve heard said thoughtlessly my so many people in my life. I can only imagine the effort and emotion and intention that so many people before you in life put into making sure that you believed that phrase wholeheartedly. I don’t doubt how much they love you and sincerely want to see you live a God-honoring life. I had those people in my life too. But let me say this – I spent a good ten years praying, crying, yelling with God for me to be different. I know that I sincerely wanted to change, to be straight, if only to be more certain of His love for me. Finally, shortly after my home church asked me to step down from ministry because the person I had become was living in deliberate sin, had given into a lie and was not worthy of speaking the name of Christ, I remember trying to pray but feeling so heartbroken and repulsive and unloved. I remember sincerely hearing Jesus say, “I’m sorry. They got it wrong. I made you and knew who you would be from the beginning. I love you as you are and I’m not asking you to be straight. I’m not asking you to be alone. I’m asking you to love me and trust me and let me love you right where you are. I want you to grow and change and be like me, but that does not involve my making you straight. That’s not who you are. I still have plans to prosper you, not to hurt you. I have hope for you, and I know your future.”

    I know you mean well Ben, but I want you, or anyone else who believes all this, to sincerely sit down with God and look at your own heart. Think about how you feel about me and those like me. Not about my lifestyle. Not about who I love and how I express that love to them. Think about how you view me as a creation of Christ, as someone who loves and tries to serve the same God as you. Think about whether you came to your conclusions on your own, or are simply spouting off what was possibly blindly handed down to you. I would hope that if you met me, you would not see an issue, nor would you see a sin first and foremost. Rather you’d see a person, different from you, yes, but still just as in love with Jesus as you are and just as sincere about following Him.

    • Ben

      Let me say this much, I am attempting to separate delicately that I feel homosexuality is a sin, just like any other. I can empathize with you because we all struggle with any sin that has an emotional attachment. I can see you as a person because we all fall short of the glory of God and we are all on this road together. Just because I don’t affirm your value of homosexuality does not mean that I don’t see you as a person. Nor does that put into question your love for Jesus. I am simply not affirming what I see as a sinful act. Just like I wouldn’t affirm someone murdering, masturbating, looking at porn, lying, you name it.

      • http://vestacha84.wordpress.com/ Michael

        Ok I can reason with that. You’re right. Bare with me because I wanna try and frame my response from your point of view…

        I am emotionally attached to my identity. I define myself as gay because it makes sense to do so. Let’s take out what I do or do not do sexually with anyone, and reason it down to attraction. Because biblically, the interpretation you’re using limits me from being physically/sexually intimate with another male, not from entering into deliberately contractual relationship with one. I will give you that one. However, let me ask you this. If I were to want to enter into a civil marriage agreement with another man, and we were companions. Neither of us had found a female mate that could compare to the kind of relationship that we had, yet we deliberately abstained from any kind of sexual intimacy, would that be considered sinful? I’m not asking do you think it would still be better for me to find a wife. I’m asking, if a marriage is a bonding of 2 people through love for the purpose of building a life together, and potentially raising children, then aside from the idea that we presume marriage = sexual intimacy, because, let’s face it, plenty of married couples are not sexually intimate, what would be harmful or sinful about allowing 2 consenting adults to enter into that type of contractual agreement. Is my attraction and desire to be close to and intimate with (albeit physically intimate) sinful? Is your capacity for lust in and of it self sinful, or lying, thievery, whatever it may be?

        Marriage has changed drastically over the past few centuries. From Ownership and political power strategies to gender redefining to supposed mutual love and intention. What, aside from our interpretation of scripture and assumption that we always know or think we know what God ultimately deems as best or desirable, tells us that “marriage” as an institution should be limited to male/female combinations.

        Btw, I’m glad you said you would see my as a human. That’s more than many Christians would do, sad to say. I won’t say most Christians, because I do have believers in my life who, though they disagree, I still believe genuinely love me and see me as fully human, not merely a sin, nor an issue. But I appreciate that I know a lil more where you are coming from.

        • Ben

          Hey Michael,

          It is difficult to argue hypothetics because your situation is quite complicated all the way around. I understand your emotional attachment to your identity, in the end that is the only stability you really have been able to cling onto. However, that doesn’t necessarily mean that your identity is what God intended it to be. For example, I am overweight, have dealt with self-esteem issues all my life and my identity formed around those issues. Did that mean my identity was correct? No. It meant that I had to believe that God would provide new ways for me to be transformed, which has happened quite a bit.
          In regards to your hypothetical situation, marriage is consummated through sex, which is why sexual intimacy was set aside for the marriage bed. So the argument would have to include the question, are you even married if you are not sexually active? Biblically, you would not be. (I am presenting my arguments from a Biblical POV, in my opinion just so you know)
          Regardless of whatever sin you are voluntarily acting out on there are consequences. Otherwise, James would have not said all sin leads to spiritual death. Eventually you do become numb to what that sin is doing in your life, opening up the door for you to go deeper in that instead of deeper in Christ.
          While marriage has changed, we must remember that culture does not dictate what the Bible says. That is the most difficult thing to get around because the Bible does not change just because we want it to. Once again I turn to precedence in regards to marriage and male/female combinations.
          Of course I see you as human, dude we all have our issues and we can disagree and still go watch a movie haha. People get their undies so up in a bunch over good discussions.

          • Eugene

            Have you never thought that it’s more than a “good discussion” for gay people?

            It’s their life.

            If your marriage rights and your social status were on the line, wouldn’t you get your “undies so up in a bunch” over it?

  • http://theviewfromher.com j a n

    I completely agree that Christians or the Church or whoever have taken a completely wrong approach to this: harsh, critical, judgmental, condescending, without compassion.
    But.
    Believe it or not, a lot of people intelligently oppose gay marriage. And it is because they care deeply about people. They care about the future of people. They care about the smallest of people, the very “least of these.”

    Children have been left completely out of the debate. Because as adults we are all (gay/straight, religious or non) more interested in getting what pleases us & makes us happy, so we’ve unilaterally decided that whatever we want is “better” for kids. Convenient, if untrue. The purpose of “marriage” is to bind biological parents to children. Biological parents are the only ones who can have children, an unchangeable truth. Marriage is meant to protect and raise these very small people into grown, productive members of the world.

    It’s true, not all couples have children, & children are orphaned & need the love of adoptive parents. But all children have biological parents. Some people are simply (and legitimately) alarmed at the intrusion of government
    into this basic relationship: creating new definitions of marriage and assigning children to any interchangeable combination of moms/dads/donors, etc. It doesn’t seem like we care very much about THOSE little people…

    I say all this because “dehumanizing” doesn’t only go one way. Straight people can intelligently disagree without being “haters.” I’ve tried my best to demonstrate that…

    • Michael X

      Jan you state”
      ” The purpose of “marriage” is to bind biological parents to children.”

      This is emphatically untrue. If it were the case, sterile couples and geriatrics could not get married. It was also shown (and quite clearly referenced in the recent ruling) that children in same-sex households do just as well as other children. So using children as an excuse to continue discriminating against homosexuals doesn’t fly.

      The true intrusion of government is in it’s forced restriction of who is allowed to marry on the basis of nothing more than popular opinion. The government should play no role whatsoever in deciding what kind of adult is fit or unfit to marry.

      • http://theviewfromher.com j a n

        Maybe I wasn’t clear… yes, there are couples w/out children, as you mentioned – sterile or geriatric. But there are no children without biological parents – a male & a female. One of the primary purposes of marriage is to bind those individuals together for the benefit of the child – and his/her right to be raise by his biological parents. We rarely talk about childrens’ rights in this discussion which I think is significant. They’ve become an afterthought. Believe me, I realize even heterosexuals don’t like to be reminded of this thanks to no-fault divorce… but just because we don’t like it doesn’t mean it has no validity…

        • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

          jan i think youre wrong that children are an after thought. research shows that samesex couples on average put a lot more thinking and planning into having children than straight couples do. research over here in the uk has shown that children of lesbian parents do better than children of straight parents. so if youre concerned about kids, it looks like you should be advocating for all kids to be raised by lesbian couples.

          i apologise for the slightly random typing, we dropped a cup of tea on the keyboard

    • http://vestacha84.wordpress.com/ Michael

      I see what you mean Jan, though I don’t agree with it. I have to think about it this way. Yes, I have biological parents. I have never met my biological father because he, though married to my mom, opted to leave that contract, that covenant, that agreement. He opted to not be involved in my growing up, not intellectually, emotionally, or financially. My mom was around, though she spent a good chunk of my childhood physically and emotionally abusing me, especially once she learned of my sexual orientation. Yet she is still my mom.

      I know you think that in an ideal world, a mom and a dad would stay together, love each other willfully and intentionally, and deliberately take care of the children they had as best as they were able to. I can see you value parenting, and what a marriage should be. Again… in an ideal world. I realize that we should strive to further Christ’s kingdom, to be his presence here on Earth and represent him individually, in our partnerships, as parents and family members, and as members of the whole body of Christ.

      I would like to think that you do not assume that, simply because my significant other is a man, that we would immediately be poor parents and offer a less than par life to any child we had. I personally want to have an open adoption one day where I am the biological father, or my partner is, and the mother is involved in the raising of the child. Will I love the mom – probably, if only for the gift she has opened up to me. But think about this… if I enter into that kind of agreement, what kind of life would be allowed for that child simply because I am afforded less civil support and opportunities than if I had been in a marriage with the child’s birth mother? I don’t want marriage just so I can change my name or file taxes or refer to someone as my husband, which I kind of already do lol. I would like it so that if I am one day able to answer my calling to be a father, than legally and in a civil manner, I will be able to give a life to a child that would be at least as good as if I were straight with a wife. Maybe not everyone feels that way… they probably don’t. But because I do, I would like to serve as an example of someone who does think about the “least of these”.

      Oh, and thank you for trying to be intentional about your words. It’s a good habit, and I like that in a person, and respect it. Look forward to hearing what other thoughts you have.

      ~Michael

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      So my children don’t deserve the protections of legally married parents because they were adopted as opposed to biologically connected to us? Or is it that they’re just less deserving of marriage now that they don’t live with their biological parents?

  • CRD

    Nice piece, Andrew. I can’t help but think that if all these Prop 8 supporters looked past their prejudices, unclenched their dogma for a moment, and and actually spoke to and truly got to know a few gay people, they might arrive at some different conclusions.

    Ben, I mean no offense, but I think you have overvalued your “two cents.”

    • Ben

      Overvalued because you simply can’t engage in the discussion or overvalued because it is contrary to your own beliefs?

      • CRD

        Ben, I’m able to engage in the discussion quite competently, thank you very much. It’s overvalued because you insist on equating sexual preference with “choice” and “lifestyle,” and this is the entire basis of your logic. This assumption is inherently wrong. One of the offshoots of this assumption is your lumping homosexuality in the same category as murder (see one of your responses above). If your religion compels you to make this categorization, that’s fine, but if you can’t parse the difference between taking the life of another individual (an act which is clearly a violation of the laws established by the secular laws of this country) and leaving people alone to their love (which hurts no one and has no secular basis in its prohibition), then there is no point in trying to have a reasonable discussion with you.

        • Ben

          So you demote my statement because we disagree. There are different camps of logic on this issue and yours isn’t the only one. I have an angle that I am bringing to the table. Your inability to join into the discussion because my logic doesn’t fit yours furthers nothing. It’s to bad that you aren’t willing to dialogue more about this. If anything, I have attempted to respond to anyone who has questioned my original post and also tried to do it out of love and compassion for where they are coming from. It isn’t an easy topic to discuss but I am willing to have it with those who want to have it with me.

  • Robin

    I don’t understand why people who call themselves gay use the word as though they are a race of people. Gay in itself only represents a sex act between two people of the same sex. This is a choice..plain and simple..I wouldn’t say I’m an apple pie because I desire to eat apple pie every day. Why do we as people try to define ourselves by what we do in the bedroom? That’s NOT who we are…We are human beings..yes, we all have the same desires and needs but we need to stop defining and shaping our country by what our sexual needs state. Our country has become sex obsessed and selfishness abounds.
    I have friends who call themselves gay and they define themselves by that which I think is sad. They are more than sex, they are people who are needing love and to be loved. We are people…we are not gay, straight, heterosexual or homosexual. We are human beings who need God to fill the empty places…and if you believe in God..start with yourself to love your neighbor and teach people that God loves them, not because of their sexuality, but because we are his children.

    • Drew

      Being gay IS more than just a sex act in the same way that being straight is more than just a sex act. I challenge you to think about how your heterosexual desires and (God willing) partnership ripple out, impact and guide your life and the path you’ve chosen: relationships, loyalties, finances, sacrifices, intimacy, touch, and so on. Can you tell me, in all honesty, that your journey is NOT hugely informed by how your view yourself as a heterosexual man (or woman)? Seriously. As a gay celibate (so far) man who doesn’t see heterosexual marriage as viable option can I count on you to come along side me, in a meaningful way for a lifetime so that I might experience some of the benefits that married heterosexuals with families take for granted? Or is the Christian family (in the broadest sense of the word) just a nice idea?

      All I see here is Andrew trying to put himself in the gay person’s shoes and get some idea of the tremendous sacrifice that traditional Christian is asking for. I don’t see him compromising his beliefs.

      I think the only way to truly win people to Christ (or back to Christ) is through relationship. Reducing the struggle of a person whose orientation comes into conflict with their theology to a taste for apple pie is frankly, hurtful, and does nothing to foster that relationship.

      I’ve been on the fence for some time about which direction my own path should take. I’m close to tossing in the whole Christian thing. But guess what? One of the things that has come closest to nudging me back to a more orthodox perspective has been Andrew’s clearly demonstrated (and deeply moving) love for those in my position. Surprised?

    • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

      Robin,

      ‘Gay’ tells you no more about a person’s sex life than ‘married’ does. You can assume and suppose all you want, but unless a gay or married person actually tells you something about their sex life, your assumptions are little more than guesswork.

  • CRD

    Jan, children have not been left completely out of the debate. Rather, children are unfairly used as tools of political manipulation by those who support your side of the argument.

    Your stated “purpose” of marriage is a complete straw man. You say that the purpose of marriage is to bind parents biologically to children, but that’s your definition, not the definition of everyone else. I could claim that the historical “purpose” of marriage is instead to bind a wife to her husband as property, and there is plenty of language left in even modern law that supports this. That seems a little antiquated and sexist for my taste, though. I could also claim that the purpose of marriage is simply to establish loving committed vows between two individuals who wish to spend their lives together, regardless of gender. What exactly makes that definition “wrong”?

    While you’re hysterically shrieking “think of the children!”, those same children are growing up in a world where committed same-sex relationships are going on all the time and are widely accepted. Whether or not you’re willing to put the label of “marriage” on those relationships, you’re not going to be able to put blinders on the children. They realize these relationships are occurring, and thankfully we are evolving to become a society that does not discriminate on that basis. Even so, you’re still welcome to teach any children you meet that same-sex marriage is “wrong” when it becomes completely legal, just as you now teach them that same-sex relationships are “wrong.” What exactly have you lost here? We’re not forcing the children to marry anyone when they grow up, and you are free to dissent. There are plenty of laws in this land with which I do not agree, but I still respect them on the basis of Constitutionality, the rights of the people, or established law.

    Conversely, I’ll give you an example of something that same-sex couples have lost without the ability to marry. How would you feel if your spouse were on a hospital deathbed and you were denied visitation rights because the government claimed that the relationship with the love of your life was not “legal”?

    Beyond that, please show me one scientific study that demonstrates that children raised in a same-sex marriage home are adversely affected by that fact (beyond being possible victims of the possible discrimination that your position espouses).

    I’m sorry if I’m a little confrontational on this, but this issue makes me extremely angry. I truly do see it as one of the last frontiers of civil rights and the only slam-dunk, obvious issue in the political sphere at the moment.

    And, yes, Robin, it is a “civil right.” Sexual preference is innate; that is why the analogy to race is applicable. You can deny this if you like, but as Andrew eloquently describes above, try to imagine what it would be like if you were compelled to marry someone of the same gender. Wouldn’t that go against every fiber of your being? Couldn’t you imagine being depressed because you have absolutely no physical attraction to your spouse? I don’t think that these gay people you “know” do define themselves solely by sex. I expect they are well-rounded individuals that have many interests and only rightfully let the rest of the world know about their differing sexuality because said society oppresses and highlights it. If they do in fact desire love as you say, they desire love from someone to whom they are attracted, and I don’t think it is fair to deny them that.

    I doubt I have swayed either of you at all, but that’s my “two cents” for the time being.

  • http://theviewfromher.com j a n

    CRD,
    wow you read a lot into my comment that I didn’t say. (“hysterical?”) But that’s okay… I’m still trying to learn how to word things in a discussion so others can actually hear them. I get that there’s a lot of hurt & anger on both sides of this issue. I definitely don’t have an answer… just wish we could somehow make it safe enough to actually listen to each other’s arguments for/against. You don’t have to agree with mine, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t valid. Just as I find that many of your points are valid & have to think through them. Thanks to the Marin Foundation for creating a place where we could have this conversation. Best to you…

    • CRD

      Jan, I apologize for ascribing “hysteria” directly to you. If you have seen some of the television advertising that has been used to support Proposition 8 and similar laws in other states, though, I think you can probably guess why I equate those melodramatic, alarmist messages with your argument related to children as a whole. (“Think of the children!” is a running humorous meme.)

      This particular ad does not focus as much on the children, but it’s the sort of commonly used tone that I found preposterous during the campaign.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Wp76ly2_NoI

      Best to you as well.

  • vanessa

    I love how people who believe homosexuality is a sin want to ban gay marriage but they accept divorce and aren’t trying to overturn divorce laws. Jesus himself spoke of divorce but never spoke about homosexuality. Seriously….if marriage is so sacred why not just ban divorce rather than restrict marriage. The state allowing gay marriage doesn’t infringe on heterosexual marriage or negatively affect children any more than the astronomical number of divorces each year. People who have never been discriminated against unfortunately just don’t understand. Thank goodness the state is willing to get their head out of their rear in this situation even though the church wont. Thank God for the seperation of church and state. He knew what He was doing when He allowed that! :-)

    • http://dwhwar.wordpress.com/ Joe S

      Hypocrisy over divorce is the main reason evangelicals will eventually accept gay marriage (10 or 20 years from now). If they can skip over Matthew 5:32, they can easily ignore the ‘gay’ bits in Romans 1.

  • http://tetheredsoul.wordpress.com Andrew A

    I find this post to be very honest. It’s good to see the resulting conversation be a little more civil than it’s been on other forums.

    Just wanted to point out that this reflection was written by Nathan and not Andrew. Just giving credit where credit is due.

    • Drew

      Apologies and thanks to Nathan. I skimmed too quickly through the first paragraph.

      Drew

  • Stephen

    Thank you for this very heartfelt article.

    Over the past few days, my heart has ached as my Christian Facebook friends have railed and lamented the fall of Prop 8. Despite how someone feels in regard to this issue, the lack of humanity, love, grace and mutual respect coming from the Christian side is appalling. I am a Christian who happens to be gay, and I make it a point to maintain friendships, or at least acquaintances who are not wholly understanding of the issue, for the main reason of doing my part to build bridges. Having grown up as a “straight liar” in the Christian faith, I know firsthand how easy it is to sit in our little spiritual glass houses and regurgitate words and responses that have been carefully primed in us since we sat in Sunday School. Fortunately when I came to terms with my sexual orientation, my relationship with Christ “reset” and I’ve never been more connected or close to God. My Christian friends are still quite stuck in that comfortable box.

    I appreciate the Marin Foundation for what they do. While not knowing exactly where they stand on this issue is maddening to a person who has been told their whole life they are not good enough, whole enough, or spiritual enough to be a Christian…it’s what attracts me to this place…and I am doing my part to build my half of the bridge…

    Peace

    Stephen

  • Dora

    Being lesbian is not a lifestyle, any more than being straight is. And personally, in a world where one group has all the social power, and controls all the institutions… well, we know that majorities really have a very hard time with minorities. And we know that when people have too much power they abuse it.

    We know what Jesus said about divorce, and we know what he thought of a bunch of men about to stone a woman to death. We know who followed Jesus and why.

    But the institutional church doesn’t really know much about human sexuality at all, and seems ill equipped to really deal with it.

    This is not an issue about a “lifestyle” it is an issue of basic human rights.
    We are not living in a theocracy, we are living in a country that has separation of church and state for a reason.

    And in the future, lesbians and gays are going to win this, because minorities in America when they get courage and speak up, make social change. The majority always gets it wrong historically, and that’s an interesting thing. You needed the courts to integrate the schools, you needed the courts to end Jim Crow, and you needed constitutional amendments to give women the right to vote. Today we got the third woman on the Supreme Court after 214 years of court history. This is huge. Imagine the Supreme Court with all women on it deciding the law of the land. Now that would be interesting. I’m looking forward to this day.

    So a lot is happening this week. It’s a good week.

    I’m not going to argue about the origins of gayness, because in every culture and every period in history, it looks different. I like to think that the men who invented democracy in Greece had a personal experience of it, in that they celebrated true equality in homosexual relationships… for men.
    Men of that time, or this time too could not conceive of true equality between the sexes, so I credit homosexuality in Greece to opening a door that benefited many other groups later. You need white men to get freedom sometimes, to overthrow kings who used to have a “divine right” to rule, remember that “biblical self serving principle? If some poor white men get rid of a king, then perhaps women wake up, and decide women want freedom from male domination… what a concept right?

    Equal rights is complex, and majorities are uncomfortable with the concept.
    I’m learning just how afraid and out of it straight people really are about us.
    And like the Jews of ancient Israel, one way you can see gay christians or gay people in general, is that we have come to consciousness as a people in the mid-20th century. We have a divinely ordained purpose on earth, and when we are free we contribute in huge ways to the world.

    The world’s population has doubled in my short life time, and the rise of gay people worldwide is no accident. We are an alternative to reproduction, we are a people who has a different purpose. It’s exciting to see how this purpose unfolds in the U.S.

    I think straight people have a lot on their plates. I’d like to see them tend to their own marriages better. I’d like to see hetero men and women live as equals in couples (not holding my breath on that one, but one can hope now and then :-)

    I think heterosexual marriage is in a big crisis right now. I see huge social change in this area, and I think we are being blamed for all of this upheaval.

    There is a supreme irony, that hetero marriage has become this huge legal mess in the U.S., and gays and lesbians should learn a lesson from this. Be careful what you wish for…. :-) Thanks to all the straight people who get this and who are showing support for us! Keep up the good work!

  • Dora

    The rape of men by other men is a sin. The rape of women by men was not considered a sin in the story of Sodom.
    Rape in marriage used to be legal. Remember that?

    When you say that gay people are sinful, just because we are gay, you are dehumanizing us and “othering” us. You then can make the next move and advocate our extermination or our excommunication.

    You can twist the bible any which way, but you can never ever properly describe marriage historically speaking as between one man and one woman. Modern marriage is, well modern. To attempt to use the bible to make civil law today would be an absurdity. It took science and the enlightenment to bring us to where we are today.

    We can see that separation of church and state prevented us from being middle eastern patriarchal nightmares. We can see that Muslims in America fare better because of this, compared to say France.

    Any time a straight person says gay marriage is legalizing sin is dehumanizing and degrading and othering gay people. This is exactly how we see it. I don’t really know what most straight people think of me. I think they are too chicken s— to say these days to my face.

    But this arrogance of “the institutional church” is why Anne Rice wrote this powerful Facebook comment that I love:

    “I refuse to be anti-gay. I refuse to be anti-feminist. I refuse to be anti-artificial birth control. I refuse to be anti-Democrat. I refuse to be anti-secular humanism. I refuse to be anti-science. I refuse to be anti-life. In the name of …. Christ I quit Christianity and being a Christian. Amen.”

    There is a wonderful NPR interview of Anne talking about being a follower of Christ compared to being Christian. I love what she said, and it really rings true for me, more so every day.

    So when I read the “sin” comments, I feel that a straight ally like Anne Rice really does ministry to me, and gets me as a Christ follower and a feminist and a lesbian and all that I love about my life, and my search for the highest truth women can achieve. It is this search that encourages me, even as the narrow “gay = sinner” seems so incredibly primitive, tribal or just plain clueless… perhaps even self-hating people who feel sexual attraction to another man or another woman, well maybe those feelings are too scary for people who want to be straight.

    You can “gay=sin” all you want, but it won’t stop human consciousness. Galileo wasn’t silenced by discovering scientific truth, and to quote that old hymn, “farther along we’ll know all about it, farther along we’ll understand why….”

    Any lesbians out there care to weigh in? It’s getting kind of lonely here.

  • LV Anonymous

    Wow! There are so many angles to this. As an evangelical, I wan’t upset like so many of my brethren must be. The bigger concern was what the Constitution of California says & whether the judge ‘legislated from the bench.’ That needs to be checked. Laws should be changed legislatively, not judicially!
    To clarify some of what was said here, being GLBT isn’t the sin; it’s what you do with it & that is another complex issue too complicated to discuss now!
    As a victim of a ‘broken home,’ I wonder why Christians don’t realize that children from divorced homes, cohabiting homes, & single parent homes are very damaged. True, gay couples may have problems, but the average gay isn’t that interested in marriage & even fewer may have kids. So, you can’t use the argument about damaging kids. What damages them is the school system tying to introduce sexual info(all kinds) at younger & younger ages. THAT is the battle you should be fighting. If you stop fighting GLBTs & their personal lives & start ‘fighting’ other things, you will do more for the kids of today & tomorrow.

    I maintain that the gay movement was strengthened by heterosexuals. The Stonewall ‘attacks’ unified GLBTs. If gays were left alone, they wouldn’t be as strong. Persecution strengthens many people & movements. I ‘blame’ heteros for all this, so if you complain, guess who you can blame!

    We also have become more socialistic as a country for good or bad, depending on your views. So, when we are giving out insurance benefits & whatever other ones are mandated, we have to treat the gay worker equally. Without gay marriage or civil unions, that cannot be distributed fairly.
    Thank you, Nathan. Take care.

  • Dora

    LV Anonymous–

    Wow, where to begin. I suggest you check out the Williams Institute at UCLA, because they have excellent demographic information on gay families, and their kids. I think about 40% of lesbian couples surveyed were raising children — either by adoption, from previous hetero marriages or by IVF — in vitro fertilization.

    And socialism… I believe people said that of every New Deal program enacted by FDR in the 1930s. What we need to be mindful of is wealth accumulation, and who controls the lion’s share of this in America, and what this does to middle class straight families.

    I agree LV that children from broken homes fare very badly, and I see this all the time. It’s one reason I would never want to have kids, just don’t want the expense or the responsibility….

    Everyone commenting here about gay community life, really needs to do some reading. You need to know what the surveys and statistics say about us, what census data says, and what non-conservative theologians are saying. But 40% of lesbian couples have kids…. I’ve had friends who have recused so many kids from foster care or bad situations.

    Say thank you to all those wonderful teachers you had in school throughout the 50s, 60s, and 70s — “single” women who educated straight kids for generations, brilliant women who were shut out of medicine and law but who worked for low pay as female educators. The numbers of lesbian teachers of those eras is truly amazing. Want to know why education went down the drain? Hey, women wanted better paying jobs, and lesbians started companies and became doctors— some of those lesbian doctors are saving straight lives as we speak.

    Wow, if only the straight world knew the work we do that is so positive and so powerful in the world! Get to know us. It’s a “teachable moment” if you want to learn about us! :-)

  • Dora

    Ben– Robin— gay says little if nothing at all. Ask more questions, because I am very different from Mary Chaney or Ellen :-)

  • Dora

    They cut themselves slack in the divorce department, since evangelicals and non-Christians have similar rates of divorce vis-a-vis “traditional” family units… whatever that means, since the nuclear family itself is a very modern invention.

    I don’t see them kicking divorced people out of churches or railing night and day on the christian airwaves about straight divorce, which is epidemic in America. But have little old us stay in committed relationships, pay our taxes, not “beat our wives”, and educate straight kids, and we’re the bad ones.

    If only they could see how dull gay marriage is really going to make gay people. Ironically, it might just destroy our very vibrant and eclectic community. I already see this rush to assimilation rather problematic, but that would be too complex a subject for the gay 101 audience :-)

  • Cory X

    Love the original post!

  • Dora

    Bigotry is using false information to restrict adult freedom. This country is about the expansion of freedom. I quoted the Williams Institute at UCLA that has done actual research on gay people raising children, and it turns out that lesbian couples make excellent parents. And shock, in the study, they actually made better parents… one reason for this, is that lesbian couples actually CHOOSE to have children. There is no way we can accidently get pregnant the way probably millions of straight women do.

    If two women choose to have a child, it is never accidental or unwanted. Unwanted pregnancy and lesbian don’t go together, unless we are speaking about men raping lesbians.

    Maybe the real fear is that gay and lesbian homes will be more loving and child cherishing in America than children growing up in misery in a lot of straight homes. And I see incredible misery and neglect among children in “traditional” homes. I have yet to meet one child of a gay or lesbian couple that has been neglected to that degree. The little boys behave like gentlemen, the little girls are bright and conversational… I’d say a gay family is a really loving family, just to survive the hatred and social rejection. It’s amazing how loving and non-violent a people we really are in the face of all this right wing nuttiness.

    I guess I’m still kind of in stunned shock over Prop 8 getting the shove. maybe I should repent of my gay republican bashing….

  • blake

    Ben,

    I am a christian and gay- and after doing ex gay ministries etc, I’m finally out and dating someone.

    Would God have me depressed and lonely, in therapy and alienated in a church that actually doesn’t give a shit about gay people but cares about standards and pretends to love- no matter what they say-

    Or feeling free to breathe, live life in a godly way as a gay man and be looking for a ltr with a partner?

    I came close to suicide due to those ex gay group. I am gay. Its never changed and prob won’t ever either.
    I’ve done extensive biblical text work and I’m happy for God to show me I’m wrong.
    I feel I can breathe for the first time in my life and have known I was gay since bout age 6.

    I didn’t choose it.

    That’s the person you are speaking about. If you think its wrong- then commmit to truly loving me unconduitionally, support me when I’m lonely and help me through single life…

    • Ben

      I am all about supporting you in lonliness and through single life. I can tell you are offended that I have a different opinion than you do on this topic but just because we have some differences doesn’t mean I am intending to offend anyone. It is simply that, a different perspective and opinion.

      Unfortunately, God and the church are two different entities and the church does fail to represent God in a good way. However, if that means that the church must affirm someone’s choice to act out in homosexuality for them to be considered a good church, then that person is going to be pretty disappointed.

      This is a larger conversation and not easily dealt with through the comment pages of a blog.

  • Eugene

    Stephen Colbert’s commentary illustrates Nathan’s main point rather nicely:

    http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/08/does-it-matter.html
    (How to Ruin Same-Sex Marriages)

  • pm

    Framing a dialogue like this requires people on both
    sides of the opinion-spectrum to try and recognize
    that it represents a degree of complexity within a
    dynamic of ‘living-in-the-tension.’ When we read
    scriptures and believe we are encouraged to reach
    out and elevate the conversation as shown by our
    LORD in Matthew 12:11, it sounds reasonable, right?

    “And he [JESUS] said unto them, ‘What
    man shall there be among you, that shall
    have one sheep, and if it fall into a pit
    on the sabbath day, will he not lay hold on
    it, and lift [it] out?’ ”

    The Marin Foundation has sought to create such an
    elevated conversation without minimalizing such
    dynamics. While the reach of their efforts is a
    jouney of heart-felt struggles, it’s value has been
    in recognizing the ‘bonds-of-fellowship’ according
    to the love of God.

    The road to reconciliation reverberates with conflicts
    and unforeseen obstacles. Specifically, those articulated
    perceptions from one side who refuse to graciously
    recognize in a humble valuation others who are opposed
    to their goals.

    What happens when leaders head towards the proverbial
    pit/ditch with those like-minded? I read Matthew 15:14
    “Let them alone: they be blind leaders
    of the blind. And if the blind lead the
    blind, both shall fall into the ditch.”

    For me, the emphasis is focused on the local, the
    personal, the relational between our neighbors, our
    contacts in everyday life. What happens within our
    own life’s sphere is reasonable approach to reaching
    out. My daily struggles help define how I live out my
    faith, hope and love. Hopefully, these are honest
    enough to reach out to others with credibility.

  • http://r_dimitri22@yahoo.com CRD

    Dora, thank you for your posts in this thread on the subject, and congratulations. :- ) It’s time to completely celebrate yet, though, as this one is probably headed to the Supreme Court.

    Regarding your co-workers, unfortunately I think that this issue is still too much of a lightning rod to openly discuss in an office setting without creating discord. I almost guarantee that not all of those 45 people are supportive of the legality of your marriage; the public opinion on this topic that hovers near the 50/50 mark in even the most liberal of states speaks to that. At my office, a co-worker and I were ecstatic over the decision, but discussing this within the earshot of some co-workers led to uncomfortable and heated moments later that are not suitable for a work environment. I do hope that some of your co-workers privately convey their support to you.

    We’re getting closer, but we still have a journey ahead of us in creating a fully tolerant society. (Not that it matters, but I am straight, so I hope I passed your test.)

  • Dora

    CRD– you passed the test! And the issue was not all the people I knew being afraid to mention the court victory over the evil Prop 8 in public, it was the fact that NO STRAIGHT PERSON privately said anything either. That is what I am angry about.

    But you passed the test here! There is hope yet…

  • Anonymous

    I’d love to comment on this post, but it’s hard to find which dissertation to reply to…I guess rules are made to be broken, huh?

    Anyway…great post. As a gay man, I totally disagree with Judge Walker’s decision. California has, as do all other states, the right to self-determination. If we don’t like it (see Prop 8) we change it in the LEGISLATURE where laws are made. If an amendment is added to the constitution (state or federal) by a vote of the people, then said amendment is, by definition, CONSTITUTIONAL. Like it or not (and I don’t like it) Prop 8 was and is constitutional because it was added to the constitution. We either operate under the constitution or we do not. We cannot have it both ways.

    (Save your fingers in your replies Dora and Eugene. I can never read past the first line…I don’t have that much free time available.)

    • anonymous….huh?

      …boy do I hate it when emoticons are automatically added…second paragraph, third line, in parentheses (see Prop 8 )…

    • Eugene

      The amendment was added to the state constitution. It still contradicts the federal constitution, so it isn’t constitutional.

      • Anonymous

        Which article or amendment to the federal constitution does it violate? The federal constitution is silent on the issue of marriage (gay or straight) and where the federal constitution is silent on an issue, that issue is left to the states to decide…see Amendment X. Californians decided by making a CONSTITUTIONAL amendment. This judge circumvented the will of the people of the State of California.

        • Eugene

          “Which article or amendment to the federal constitution does it violate? ”

          That’s what Judge Walker had been studying. Of course, you probably think you know more about law than Judge Walker, but I don’t think it’s true.

          • Anonymous

            You still didn’t answer the question, but OK. I don’t know Judge Walker, but I might indeed know more than him. The Men in Black (robes) in this country are not monolithic. I’m sure you could find one or two who think Judge Walker is an idiot.

            Look at you, though….able to respond to me without writing a book! I’m proud of you!

        • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

          Anonymous: It was successfully argued that Prop 8 violated the 14th amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees equal protection under the law.

          BTW, do you got a name or a nick-name? It might make it easier to identify you in case another anonymous poster begins commenting.

          • Anonymous

            Do I have a name or a nick-name? I do have a name. My momma made sure of that at birth. The only nickname I’ve ever had in life is “faggot”….shall I use that one?

            Yes, I’m vauguely familiar with the 14th Amendment and happen to believe it was misapplied in this case. (As it has been in MANY cases brought by disgruntled groups or individuals who seek redress at the bench when they cannot win at the ballot box.)

  • Dora

    Guess Loving v. West Virginia over ruled the people, when that Supreme Court decision over ruled the white racists allowing blacks to marry whites.
    And of course Brown v. Board of Education also over rules states rights in saying that “separate but equal” is not equal.

    And let’s see, there is that pesky little equal protection clause in the US constitution that makes all these “separate and unequal laws” nationwide a bit problematic. The reason the US Supreme Court is there, and the Federal Courts as well, is that minorities are protected in the US from the will of the bigoted majority. It’s what makes this country quite a bit different from many places in the world.

    We would have very few minority protections in this country if courts didn’t step in. The ruling from Judge Walker really is about the Pro Prop 8 arguments in court, being, well not very well executed, the witnesses were unable to say exactly why gays and lesbians were not fit for marriage. When you read the entire body of work, and the ruling itself, you can see quite clearly that anti-gay bigotry has no defense at all when it is forced to have its day in court. And no, in a secular society, you can’t just wave the bible, because ever biblical scholars of repute overrule the gay hating mobs as well.

    I’d say that the anti prop 8 people just didn’t have a very good case. Bigotry, held under strict court scrutiny under oath sometimes just doesn’t get very far in the world.

    • Anonymous

      As I said, we either live by the Constitution or we do not. The cases you mentioned, while I ultimately agree with the rulings, are examples of judicial activism and are, BAD LAW, just like Roe v. Wade is BAD LAW! If we don’t like what the constitution says, there are methods to change it and those methods DO NOT include judicial activism.

      If left to the states there would be states where gay marriage is legal and states where it is not legal according to the will of the people. This is how our contitution is designed and how it should be executed. It was not written to either protect minorities or strengthen majorities. It was written to govern a nation without consideration for race, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation or the myriad other “statuses” people claim these days.

      Don’t like it? Change it…in the legislature, the branch of government charged with creating law. But, hey…let’s just ignore that “pesky” little document up there in the National Archives and make it up as we go along, right?

      The road we are on now ends in with the collapse of society. Don’t believe me? Check out Ancient Rome…they gave everybody what they wanted and couldn’t sustain themselves.

      …but you go ahead and make fun of me, Dora…in the end, one of us will be right.

  • Dora

    To me, it doesn’t matter how people come to be gay or define gayness.
    I belive that heterosexuality should not be forced on anyone, particularly women. Human beings have a very wide way of expressing themselves, and I don’t think the church or most public institutions really have much of a handle on private behavior of any kind.

    I’d like to see the church come down on the real crimes that are such horrifying aspects of society– men who buy temporary women slaves and beat them (commonly known as prostitution), men who beat their wives and rape their children — these are horrifying acts that are normalized, and not really dealt with in churches.

    There is a lot of hypocracy in churches, because institutionally, they don’t have the expertise to deal with these matters. If they are hiearchical and overly pastor centered with few checks and balances, they are problematic.

    Whether someone chooses or is born with gayness or lesbianness is simply not the issue at all, and the “born with” group has no monopoly on human behavior. I think the real issue is the hysterical social prejudice leveled at gay people, and this has been going on for so long, that heterosexuality itself is distorted.

    If you are burning witches and beheading people for not being christians, this doesn’t really indicate whether you have real believers or not. If you condemn gayness, and make it so socially taboo, you won’t get a realistic idea of how humans really are.

    I actually have many lesbian friends who have chosen to be lesbian. I think they might have been slightly bi-sexual, or overly concerned with social conformity. At any rate, the lesbian world has become so large now compared to the early days in the 70s, that women do choose. They can choose to be self-supporting, they can choose not to have kids, and they can choose to be free of male dominance in the home — the very worst and most abusive kind of dominance in my opinion.

    If we have freedom in America, and if we have imagination and creativity, which is a hallmark of gay life, we can say that this kind of basic value of freedom of association should be available to all Americans.

    I would not leave it to straight people to define my life in any way, nor would I leave it to men to tell me anything about what is best for me. I’ve been a lesbian forever, and would never ever consider living with men. I have no attraction to them whatsoever and am happy with my life.

    But I don’t think all lesbians are like me. I’m often a minority within a minority. I celebrate women who wake up and decide their destinies.

    People who are wedded (no pun intended) to the status quo and to a narrow definition of christianity, well, they should just read Anne Rice :-)

  • Dora

    Actually, I am always curious to find out what mainstream seminary or advanced degree in Biblical studies and languages people have here.
    Ben do you read Hebrew, Greek and Latin? Have you gone to an accredited university? Just how are you able to be so sure about passages in the Bible that have long been exposed as texts of terror ages ago?

    Anyone who compares gayness to murderers is simply not someone I would respect intellectually. I really think this evangelical nonsense so slanders Christ and his mission on earth. I believe this gay slandering is what is making a lot of people find christianity distasteful. Again, I refer you all to the powerful words of Anne Rice.

    You have to get back to what Jesus said about gayness, and I can tell you he never said anything about it. He did heal gay people in his ministry, he did violate Hebrew Bible laws and customs. He did find men who would stone women to death hyprocrites and successfully shame them.

    I like Jesus. I like how he models relationships with people oppressed and marginalized. If you really think about who the Christ is, and how this spirit manifests itself in each age, you’ll find a kind of complex and enigmatic existence. Frankly, the depth of discussion here… well… it’s sad.

  • Dora

    I’d say comparing gay people to murderers is slightly suspect in the “condemnation” department. If this weren’t such a serious human rights issue, I’d laugh at such a comparison Ben. Just what is your point anyway? And do you even know any gay people IRL? Sometimes, I just have to wonder.

    • Ben

      I do know gay people IRL. I have read many books, studied the scripture on this topic alone. My conclusions are pretty solid in my opinion. That doesn’t mean you have to accept them but that is where I stand. If you disagree that certainly doesn’t make you any worse than me, we simply disagree.
      I am sorry that I don’t fit the mold of someone you can have an intellectual conversation with however, even the great Anne Rice needs to match her words up with what the Bible says. It’s fine if you want to choose to believe in certain things but that doesn’t mean you are necessarily living a Biblical life.
      I don’t know where Jesus healed anyone who was gay in the Bible. However, Jesus only spoke of marriage within the context of man and woman. I would also suggest you are cherry-picking who and what Jesus has represented and said. Considering in Revelation it says that He comes to war and judge the living and the dead, to destroy kingdoms and pretty much slice and dice people, that is a part of Jesus that we forget to see.
      I agree that the depth of the discussion is sad, considering I feel very condemned by you simply because I am stating a point of view.

  • Georgie

    I have an adult child in pain. Do I ignore the childhood trauma that he has gone through that has possibly led to his homosexuality or do I embrace the lifestyle where he seems to be comfortable at the moment? I guess I would rather challenge him to seek why he feels the way he does. I believe God accepts us where we are but expects or should I say wants or desires for all of us to grow. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing!

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      What specifically is your child’s lifestyle? If he was heterosexual and his lifestyle is pretty much what it is now except for liking women, does he really need you to challenge him?

      Did he really go through some sort of trauma or is that assumed because he’s gay? If he did go through trauma, it’s really up to him to decide if and how he addresses that trauma. If it’s just assumed that there’s been trauma, then it would be best not to help him invent a trigger event.

      • georgie

        I believe God accepts us where we are but desires for us to grow in the likeness of Him. The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. :)

        • http://www.livingitout.com Rachel

          I don’t know Jon, if you see your child in pain I think you must feel driven to do something to help out, whatever age they are. So I’d say Georgie don’t ignore your child’s pain and trauma. But please don’t make the mistake of assuming it’s in any way associated with him being gay – or view him ‘becoming straight’ as a sign that he’s no longer traumatised. Some straight people and some gay people experience childhood trauma – and most straight people and most gay people don’t. The trauma and his sexuality is unlikely to be linked.

          • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

            I was more curious about whether or not there was actual trauma or if that’s just assumed because he’s gay. There’s this one ex-gay guy that spent way too much time with me trying to get me to identify some sort of traumatic event from my past to explain why I’m gay.

            Then again, if there’s been trauma in the past, don’t assume that he hasn’t already dealt with it.

  • Dora

    As my Jewish grandmother used to say Ben… oy. So let’s see here (as John Glen used to say) you don’t know any gay people in real life, but yet you feel so compelled to “pontificate” as my Irish Catholic grandmother used to say. I get it, you don’t hang out with anyone gay at all, so you’re the expert on us?

    Here’s my assignment for you: go out and get to know real life gay people. Go to some gay events, have lunch with us, go to a Metropolitian Community Church service in your city or town. Then after you’ve gained some IRL experience, then come back here and comment. How’s that?

    • Ben

      Ummm read again, I said I do hang out with gay people in real life. Are you so determined in proving me wrong that you can’t have a good conversation?

      • Anonymous

        Yes, Ben that is what Dora does. She reads bits and pieces of things that you and others write and then comes back with a dissertation that is, at best, unreadable! She MUST be right all the time because she’s a lesbian and she’s been wronged by the world and she has to prove it every time she posts!

  • Dora

    Here are some handy rules of the road:
    1. If you are a straight person and don’t have a personal connection to a real live gay or lesbian person, please note this in your post.

    2. If you are straight and want to “pontificate’ about the Bible vis-a-vis gay people and you still don’t know us IRL, just say this. We’ll make note of this.

    3. If you are a straight white male, and you don’t know about what lesbian christian feminists are doing, have no clue about our academic biblical scholarship, well say so… I might think you lazy as all get out, but I may issue a free pass (one time only) and then send you to the nearest library to GET EDUCATED.

    4. If you are a gay male and have no lesbian friends, then say so.

    5. If you are a sincere straight christian and want to learn, then I’ll give you extra points for asking good questions, and actually trying to learn about lesbian christian perspectives.

    6. Any straight person who goes off and calls us all sinners without knowing us IRL, well, I’ll send you to Mr. Dante, and he can send you through a spiritual journey that’s a classic.

    7. If you are a lesbian who is strong and comments here— hey :-)

  • Dora

    Hey Ben, do you say all this stuff to your gay friend’s faces? What do they say to you when you do? Just curious. This is fascinating, really it is.

    • Ben

      Yes I do have open and honest conversations with them. I don’t agree with their stances but we walk away knowing that these things aren’t going to get in between them. They also know that I don’t condemn them. Of course because we aren’t narrow minded about our arguments, we don’t walk around with proverbial wedgies all day over minor issues.
      You don’t want to have a conversation, you want to argue straight from your point of view. That’s fine, it just shows the depth you are willing to go to have a full scale conversation in this. That’s all I will say with you for now.

  • Dora

    Read Judge Walker’s entire opinion, and the “expert” witness testimony pro and con Prop 8, and then get back to us straight people. If you haven’t read the legal opinion, stop commenting here.

    • Anonymous

      Since when do you get to tell people to “stop commenting here”?? Maybe we want YOU to stop commenting here. Maybe we’re tired of your incessant, rambling, meaningless diatribes about militant lesbian feminism and how right you are. So, why don’t you stop commenting here??

      • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

        Let’s let everyone posts as they see fit and everyone else leaves it up to Andrew to police his own blog?

  • Dora

    Well of course I’m right 100% of the time, I’m a lesbian of genius :-)

  • Dora

    The 14th amendment– equal protection clause… go and read it everyone, you might learn something here.
    PS Did you read the Walker decision?

    • Anonymous

      Ya know…I started it, Dora. But, much like your posts here, I just couldn’t get past the first line or two. I don’t have that much free time….I work n’stuff to pay my bills. I don’t rely on the government to do it for me.

  • Amy

    Nathan, thank you, thank you, THANK YOU. You GET it! When I read your reflection, I felt the heart of God. Regardless of which side of the fence we each fall on, the perspective that you’ve described is undeniably Christ-LIKE. What an amazing breath of fresh air and pure love for PEOPLE. Wow…

  • David

    Interesting insights in an article at http://www.foxnews.com/opinion/2010/08/09/margaret-hoover-prop-gay-rights-marriage-conservatives-civil-rights/ discussing the case from the perspective of a conservative Republican.

  • michelle -Georgia

    I actually found this site because you posted a link on Operation Save America’s FB page about your outreach at the CHicago gay pride event.
    I am trying to understand your position and it seems you are celebrating the gay marriage ruling in California. Marriage by definition is between 2 people of the opposite sex to bring about procreation. The thing is that people are free to love each other whatever, but why do they need to change the definition of marriage? If anything is dehumanizing people it is the very acts that actually occur in homosexual sex that do that, it is perverse and dirty and I mean that literally. I am not being hateful. It is the truth. If heterosexuals did the same kinds of things during sex as they did I would say the same thing. The problem I see is that marriage has changed. Couples now take God out of the marriage bed and replace it with their own wants and desires by using what they can to stop the natural process of children. This is where everything has changed. Christians have taken God out of marriage and now are okay with changing the definition. This is a sad day!

    • Drew

      Heterosexuals DO engage in the same acts, though in what numbers I can’t say.

      Marriage changed a long time before gays started asking for their relationships to be legally recognized. I think it’s change in some good ways and in some bad ways but I hardly think the very recent shift towards the normalization of gay partnerships is responsible for soaring divorce rates among straight Christian couples over the last 30 or 40 years!

      That in and of itself does not make gay marriage right or wrong but the Christian community has lost a lot of credibility since its own house is not in order.

      As for stopping the natural process of children: are you suggesting that ANY measures to limit the number of children you have are against God’s will? Or am I reading you incorrectly?

    • Eugene

      “Marriage by definition is between 2 people of the opposite sex to bring about procreation. The thing is that people are free to love each other whatever, but why do they need to change the definition of marriage?”

      Now, what’s more important to you, Michelle, people or definitions?

      Even if you genuinely believe that marriage can only happen between people “of the opposite sex” – well, no one is trying to outlaw it. :) People just want to let gay people marry legally.

  • michelle -Georgia

    Dora,
    I just want you to know that just because you are a lesbian meaning you are attracted to women doesn’t make you a sinner. It is when you fantasize and carry out your thoughts that it turns to sin.

    This is equal to the sin of fornication between those of the opposite sex and adultery. Also , Christians who are married who use birth control are equally guilty. These are not my words it is the truth and was taught up until the 1930′s when Margaret Sanger wanted to limit the population of black people and others she thought should not breed. She was successful and got the entire Protestant church to accept birth control. This was the beginning of Christians destroying the marriage contract with God. This allowed husbands to more easily have affairs , if there was no child of proof they thought they could control the chances of being caught. Of course all this just lead to more sin, accepting abortion, euthanasia and now gay marriage.
    So here we are today….

  • michelle -Georgia

    @Drew I am assuming you are asking me….
    Going back to the history of the Church just 80 years ago that was the universal teaching. This is why the Bible speaks of certain times to have ” relations ” with our spouses, or since we aren’t animals to abstain. This is a prayer , true not followed by many today due to our HEAVILY SEXUALIZED society but still what God desires. Just because our society is now okay with Porn, adultery, fornication, homosexual sex does not mean God is okay with it. Here is a great study on it: http://www.rtforum.org/lt/lt67.html .
    It might help you to know the more recent history of the churches teachings.

    • Drew

      Hi Michelle,

      It looks like you’re referring to Catholic theology. Correct me if I’m wrong. If so, I’m afraid you’ve already lost me. From where I sit Catholic teaching is so hidebound by tradition and literalism that I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree and leave it there, at least with respect to the topic of contraception. (And you’re talking to someone who at least started out in a pretty orthodox position, albeit Protestant.) I don’t mean to be a jerk, but we’d carrying on a discussion from two markedly different sets of assumptions, from which I suspect neither of us would be willing to budge.

      I think to use the reference to Onan to set the stage for what sexual relations “should” look like is taking the verse WAY out of context. As I see it, this situation had not so much to do with particular sexual practices but more to with Onan’s duty to his family and community. I believe the article you set me recognizes the latter though I have not read it thoroughly.

      • Drew

        Michelle,

        I think I came on a little strong and probably said more than I should have. I hope I wasn’t too offensive. It’s easy to get carried away when one has personal stake in the discussion but that’s no excuse for putting tact aside. Thanks for weighing in on the discussion.

  • michelle -Georgia

    @ Eugene “people are trying to let gay people get married legally”.
    That can never happen. Let them write up a legal document pledging to share each others possessions etc. but marriage can only be between a male and female.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      But it has happened. I’m legally married to my husband. Gay people have been legally marrying each other in Massachusetts for something like six years. We’re marrying in Canada and in Mexico and overseas, etc. It’s happened.

  • Dora

    I think it might be a good idea for straight christians to get their own house in order. Recently, they did studies to find out if christians were any different statistically from the rest of the country. They discovered that christian straight people have the same rates of divorce as non-christian straight people, that birth control use and abortion were statistically the same etc.

    If you look at Internet porn that is created by straight men for other straight men, you’ll find women so badly used and abused… nothing like that exists in lesbian worlds. So maybe the sex acts you so detest are not about lesbian life. I like to think of lesbian life as highly virtuous and morally superior, naturally :-) (That’s a joke…kind of sort of…) Needless to say, I would, from my point of view, consider all sex with men as rape, and your life horrifies probably about as much as we horrify you Michelle. It would take a lot to bridge this gap I think. But we could bridge this gap with mutual knowledge and respect. I’m not sure where you are actually coming from or what happened with you and gay people.

    Prostitution itself largely serves straight men, and very high level high profile straight men at that. Christian straight men cheat on their wives in record numbers and perform unsafe sex acts with prostitutes… just look at Elliot Spitzer. In the 18th century, V.D. was rampant, and husbands infected their wives with this disease in record numbers. The Victorian era was considered a huge time of prostitution, and straight male sexual acting out. This was deadly for the wives, who didn’t even know they had V.D. to begin with. AIDS is rampant in the black community, again, christian men are on the down low, and women get infected with this illness and don’t know they have it. It’s a huge issue that the black church has had a very hard time dealing with honestly. It’s literally life and death.

    So if we want to condemn sex acts, I think Michelle that you really have to look at straight men overall. You have to look at men raping girls, you have to look at the rates at which straight christian men cheat on wives, abandon their children, become dead beat Dads. They even have christian run domestic violence shelters, because these paragons of virture.. straight christian men are beating their wives and terrorizing their children. There are not enough shelters to accomodate all the women who need these services in my town. Our women’s group has done a lot of fundraisers for those domestic violence shelters; we want all women protected, even conservative straight christian women.

    We can say that there are gays and lesbians who are supremely virtuous, and others who are not.

    But the latest Prop 8 court decision was about civil rights, and it doesn’t have anything to do with churches or christians. Civil liberties are about a separation of church and state. Christian biblical law does not govern our land; the idea of individual rights and free speech didn’t exist in Jesus’ time.

    In fact, marriage in the bible was very much polygamous, where women weren’t even counted, and sheep were.

    Your arguments don’t make much sense to me. Either that, or you are overly focused on gay male pornography, which I will agree with you is distasteful, as is all porn. Since you don’t know that much about our community, and probably confuse gay men with lesbians, there is a lot you could learn. I guess the whole Jesus dictum about throwing stones is a good place to start, and I like that story because Jesus defended a woman against fundamentalist murderous men.

    Good luck, reach out, get educated. I think one reason straight conservative christians are so upset over the marriage issue, is that marriage is all messed up with them. It is in such crisis as an institution in America, that maybe the fear is that gays and lesbians will destroy it.

    Although I am flattered by all this conservative christian attention ( :-) ), there is something odd about the fixation on us as gays and lesbians by the mega-churches in the US. Or maybe I am beginning to understand the story of David and Goliath a bit better these days :-)

  • Dora

    And I got married in the 80s in a Christian church, way ahead of “the movement” so yes, it is very much a done deal.

    The other day, I watched an interracial couple holding hands and walking across a street. In the 1920s, the black man would have been lynched.

    Every innovation in human rights stuns the world, because it is new.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Mark and I were wed in the church back in 1997. So even though we’ve been legally married for only about 6 months, we’ve been married for quite a bit longer than that.

  • michelle -Georgia

    @ Dora, I totally agree with you regarding Christians getting their house in order that is what I have said in my posts. ( 4 + this one today) . I have a niece who says she is a lesbian , she has real hormonal problems, extra body hair and lots of extra testosterone. That is a fact. Back when she was in middle school early high school she liked boys. NOw that she has this hormonal issue going on she likes women. I think it is a real physiological problem.
    I am not asking anything from her than from any of my young adult / teen children. Just don’t engage in sexual behavior. If you do know you are sinning and need to seek the Lord for forgiveness, BUT in order to be forgiven let us not forget that we have to repent. There is no repentance from those that think it is okay.
    So what does that mean to all those people and their souls? They choose their path as we all do. To follow the straight and NARROW path or take the WIDE one that MOST will choose.
    I think there will be equal amounts of heterosexuals and gays in hell. Hell is not reserved for the few.
    I am not being hateful. The Bible tells us that nothing unclean shall enter the gates of Heaven. For me I know that I am a sinner too, and that I will have to pay the price of my sins in Purgatory . Just saying I believe in Jesus is not enough, if it were I would truly give up everything for Him. To turn to HIM AND BELIEVE ON HIM ( which is a totally different meaning that IN HIM) means living your life for HIM and not yourself. Who can say that? Nuns, and monks for the most part but most Priests in the United States have very comfortable lives. When my soul is cleansed I can enter into heaven. Purgatory is where all attachment to sin is lost. You can’t enter into heaven if you are unclean.
    So back to your point Dora I agree that the Church has many problems that they need to address .

  • michelle -Georgia

    @Dora and Jon . So you went to a State and got ” legally” married. What does it mean? It is twisting what is good and right into something wrong. If you take God out of marriage, why marry? Does somehow having a ” legal” marriage make you more accepted?

    The Genesis record is perfectly clear that the institution of marriage was intended for a man and a woman, and no aberration is permitted as a substitute, e.g., male with male, female with female (cf. Romans 1:26-27) or, for that matter, humans with animals (Leviticus 18:23; 20:15; Deuteronomy 27:21). Who knows when sexual deviants may petition for the legalization of human-animal “marriages”? An atheist recently criticized the biblical laws prohibiting sex with animals. She felt that such might be bizarre, but she issued no moral objection (Hayes, 184).
    Professor John J. Davis wrote that:
    marriage is to be heterosexual; the mate that God created for Adam, a male, was Eve, a female. In spite of the persistence with which the “gay liberation movement” argues the case for legitimizing homosexuality, its case cannot stand in the light of biblical revelation…. The first marriage that God performed is quite clearly a pattern (78).
    Arguments against so-called “same sex” marriages are irrefutable.
    The biblical pattern excludes such relationships.
    The unique physiological design of males and females argues against such unions. A consideration of the ingeniously designed factors of compatibility in the male/female sexual relationships are compelling evidence that homosexual unions were never intended for human beings (see Jackson, 85ff).
    The inability of same-sex unions to reproduce the species is not in harmony with the divine ideal for humankind (Genesis 1:27-28).
    Thousands of years of human history have rejected “same-sex marriage.” This bizarre notion made its modern debut in 2001, when homosexual “marriage” was legalized in the Netherlands. Even now only five nations world-wide have adopted the anti-biblical, illogical, and immoral ideology — the Netherlands, Canada, Belgium, Spain, and South Africa. However, if many other nations — including our own — adopt the perverse practice, such will not transform an evil action into a righteous one (Isaiah 5:20).
    Both Testaments condemn the horrid practice of same-sex unions (Leviticus 18:22; 20:13; Romans 1:26-27; 1 Corinthians 6:9-11).
    Even in the pre-Christian era of “toleration” (that overlooked polygamy and loose divorce; see below), homosexual liaisons were not permitted.

    • http://jontrouten.blogspot.com/ Jon Trouten

      Michelle: I have no clue what you’re cutting and pasting from, but citing “Hayes” does me no good when it comes to your athiest/bestiality story.

      And if you are going to cut and paste, at least make sure that it’s up to date. Many more countries currently recognize the legal marriages of gay people. Many more beyond that recognize legal alternatives, such as the UK.

      As for my marriage, we didn’t get married so that others accept us. People accept or reject us as they see fit. We got married because we love each other. We got married because we want to legally protect each other in a way that we cannot as single individuals. We got married because we believe that it’s important that our children have the protection and security of legally married parents. We got married because we believe that it’s our Christian duty to join together in the institution of marriage. We got married because we believe we should have to legal obligations to support each other in sickness and health that isn’t present as single individuals. Others’ acceptance isn’t anywhere on that list.

      FWIW, we didn’t go anywhere. We got legally married here in my community, just as we were originally wed at our church here in this community back in 1997.

  • Drew

    All sex with men is considered rape?!! Good gravy…what does one do with that? Makes bridge building a herculean task.

  • Dora

    Learn to read– sex with men would be considered rape to most lesbians.

    • Drew

      Sorry…didn’t know if you meant that, as a lesbian, you consider all sex with men (as a concept) as rape OR the idea of you yourself having sex with men as rape. I’ve heard the latter view espoused before (elsewhere) so I guess I assumed that’s what you meant. Sorry for rushing to a conclusion. I should have clarified first.

      • Drew

        Ooops…I mean the former view. Sorry for the confusion.

  • Dora

    Well good news just hot off the presses… Judge Walker has ended the stay on gays and lesbians getting married, and marriages will continue next week.

    As for Michelle, well, one reason I love America is that we have separation of church and state. I am not a fundamentalist christian, and don’t take the bible literally. I believe you have to look at the bible from the cultural context it was written. No woman alive today would want to go back to that time, and be considered less than cattle. To me, there is more horror to how women were treated back then, than any stuff involving gay people.
    Jesus said absolutely nothing about gays and lesbians, but he did heal gay people and blessed their relationships. Yeah, gays are in the bible. Just as they are every where worldwide, and have been throughout history.

    The term homosexuality was invented in the 19th century; the concept of gay identity didn’t exist in biblical times. You really can’t compare spirituality to science anyway. Both are truly separate things. Most of the things in the bible just aren’t scientifically true, but that doesn’t mean that how Jesus lived his life doesn’t have great value for us. To take the bible literally I think is probably childhood upbringing, but not serious academic study. It is mental laziness in my opinion.

    As for the hormones; I think the medical science is not completely clear.
    I have been a lesbian all my life, I feel zero sexual attraction to men, and feel completely natural in myself. It is straight people who seem to have a lot of difficulties with us, and people who aren’t very biblically literate — culturally literate, linguistically literate. The bible as you quote it has no supporters among reputable university trained theologians. And I think I’d take a bible scholar from Harvard who is fluent in all the ancient languages more seriously than a lot of conservatives who quote the bible here. For every marginal unaccredited bible college professor on christian talk radio who thinks we are evil or going to hell based on who we honestly love, there are many more who would not interpret the bible that way at all.

    Fundamentalists do not have a corner on faith or biblical understanding; most people don’t seem to get beyond kindergarten theology in my opinion, but that’s another issue.

    I’m glad you are not my next door neighbor, your views are simply reprehensible and bigoted to me Michelle, and I don’t think you really know what you are talking about. There won’t be equal numbers of gays and straight people in hell, because straight people are the majority of the world’s population. So mathematics seems to be an issue here as well.

    What I don’t want you doing is making civil law, and interfering with my rights as a citizen. I am sure your churches will continue to preach hell and damnation against gay people no matter what our laws say, just as there are hundreds of white churches who are extremely racist. It’s why there still is a black church, because white christian racism has not ended either.

    That said, I’m going to celebrate the ongoing drama of gay people and the courts today. California simply needs to reclaim its place as a progressive state!

    And FYI, I don’t need the state, the government or male supremacy itself to dictate my life or its aspirations. My partner and I feel completely loved and accepted by god, and I think she’s pretty happy for all of us.
    We didn’t get married for the benefit of anyone but ourselves… at the time we did have this ceremony, it wasn’t going to gain us social points to do so.
    Back in the 80s, we were in a different world, but our decision back then was the right thing to do.

    If I had waited more than a decade later for “public recognition” of our marriage, I would have missed out on a key early adult event– finding the love of your life and marrying her. If we had waited for society to catch up with us in terms of legal wisdom or social conscience, I think we would have short changed ourselves. What scares me Michelle is the damage you are going to do to your lesbian relative. That young girl is going to grow up having to deal with your condemnation and hatred, and our community then has to deal with all the damage right wing christians do to kids.

    If she read your comments here what would she think?

    • michelle -Georgia

      Dora,
      Do you even read the Bible try Romans there is a lot there about how the people turned away from God so he let their hearts get hardened, they engaged in every sort of evil, they became adulterers , idolators, gossips, murderers, haughty, boastful , greedy , their females exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones and the males likewise gave up natural relations with females and burned with lust for one another. Rom chapter 1.

      What we have here is not some higher theology that you practice.
      It is a made up religion based on desires of man instead of seeking to please God. It is created to make those engaged in these kinds of relationships feel good about doing it.
      But it is made up. God’s Holy Word does not change or evolve as you would like to believe. It is Holy and there is nothing holy about a women laying with a women and a man laying with a man.

      People like me actually believe in a right and a wrong ; a heaven and a hell. You are right there are more straight people than gay I meant the %’s in hell would be the same. Not believing in a hell is a heck of a gamble.

      I can see your relationship being agreeable in a way by God if you lived as sisters, and loved each other in that way. But I don’t think that is what you mean. It is the perversion of the sex act that God hates. To me sex between 2 men is even more perverted and repulsive I mean think about it, the anus is not meant for THAT!! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realize it is un-natural and wrong to do.
      I am sure it makes you feel better about yourself and at peace believing the Bible says nothing about homosexuals and you
      can tell yourself it isn’t so because some person who wrote a book and happened to go to Harvard says what you want to hear. Just know that people like me who refute that lie, do so as a lie from the pit of hell, a lie that is dragging lots of souls to hell with it. We love you enough to tell you it is not truth. This is true love, it is not hatred , what a common tactic that satan uses to twist the truth and call those who are good evil. To call love, hatred. I don’t agree with anyone holding signs that say ” God hates Faggots” or whatever some of those sign are. That is not truth as I read it in the Bible , he hates the sin and loves the sinner. He wants us to repent. He wants us free from a lifestyle that dehumanizes us!

      So , regarding my niece, she is loved and accepted. We welcome her into our family and love her with our actions. We do not preach to her about religion, going to heaven or hell. Maybe we should? But she does know it is not going to be acceptable to bring her lesbian girlfriend over our house and kiss her in front of my young children. This is not condemnation it is respect. I can accept her and the life she chooses to live but that is as far as I have to go.

  • Dora

    Drew, apology accepted. This is very complex stuff.

  • Anonymous

    This is really all an exercise in futility…when this case gets to the SCOTUS, Prop 8 will be upheld. That is of course unless our current…eh hemm…leader gets to pack the court.

  • Ron Graves

    Bud, as I read this I am once again reminded how much I just love ya…what a necessary voice you are, NECESSARY! I believe Papa is pleased that the GLBT community has chosen the rainbow to be their I.D. sign; maybe its time the ‘church’ (and I mean ALL of us) did likewise. I love ya to little bits brother, enjoy being at His mercy (while you mend).

    Ron


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