5 Reasons Why More Christians Are Becoming LGBTQ Affirming

5 Reasons Why More Christians Are Becoming LGBTQ Affirming May 27, 2016

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If one follows the news they’d see that many major Christian denominations are split over LGBTQ inclusion. As I have followed these developments, one observation that has stood out in my mind is that the division over LGBTQ inclusion is a recent development, historically speaking. This means one thing: the movement to include and affirm our LGBTQ brothers and sisters in the church is growing.

I believe we are seeing the early stages of what will be, within a generation, a seismic shift in the Church toward LGBTQ inclusion and affirmation. While some would assume this is due to younger Christians (who I do believe are leading the way) a recent Pew Research Center poll showed that increasing support for our LGBTQ brothers and sisters is actually climbing across all demographics– even the older generation.

Why is this dramatic shift happening?

No, it’s not because we’re in the “great falling away” that those end-timers preach about.

There’s actually 5 really solid reasons why more Christians are becoming LGBTQ affirming, and as your Explainer-in-Chief, I’d be happy to break this down for you. Here’s what’s happening:

More Christians are engaging with biblical scholarship than before.

Funny thing: many Christians are becoming affirming not in spite of the Bible, but because of it. As they engage some of the great work being done today, they’re realizing that when reading the six passages that seem to reference homosexuality, there is far more to consider than the unquestioned interpretations they grew up with. For example, they’re discovering folks like Dr. JR Daniel Kirk whose extensive work demonstrates Old Testament prohibitions are about more than meets the eye. Plus, Christians today know that OT law was completed through Christ, rendering those verses (along with that shellfish and mixed fibers stuff) relics of an ancient tribal people.

In the New Testament, more Christians are engaging the three “clobber” passages with a heart for understanding original language and context– something otherwise known as basis exegesis. Scholarship in that area reveals that the type of homosexual behavior observed and critiqued by Paul was hardly a 1 for 1 correlation to the movement for the monogamous, life-long relationships being advocated today. Instead, a cultural investigation shows that Paul would have seen a Roman culture where straight people were having gay sex out of excess, gay sex happening in conjunction with idol worship, and pedophilia in the Roman military, etc. The ancient realities of Paul’s day, compared to our modern realities, quickly make this an apples and oranges comparison.

Previous generations didn’t have this scholarship at their fingertips, and had to rely on their pastors (often not biblical scholars at all) who did their best to interpret English translations of the Bible, but did so in a way that simply reflected the views of the generation before them. Thankfully, we’re more biblically informed than our grandparents were able to be.

More Christians are realizing that being gay isn’t a choice.

No one chooses their orientation– orientation chooses you. While we do not yet completely understand the biology behind orientation to a scientific certainty, we can say with confidence that you are either born with it, or it develops so young in life that it could in no way be seen as a choice one can consent to, or reject.

A growing number of Christians are realizing that one can no more repent of being gay than they can repent of being left handed (and as a lefty, I’ll tell you: I’d die of starvation and exposure to the elements if I had to do things with my right hand.)

I’ve never met a single person of any orientation who claims they actually chose it. I have however, met scores of people who all tried to un-choose their orientation, only to realize that un-choosing orientation isn’t possible.

More Christians are aware of the harmful impact of non-affirming theology.

The struggles facing those in the LGBTQ community, especially LGBTQ youth, are undeniable and no longer unseen. More Christians are waking up to the reality that a non-affirming stance is leading to growing LGBTQ youth homelessness, as families reject their own children. They’re also more aware of things like suicide among our LGBTQ brothers and sisters, stemming from the rejection and isolation that non-affirming theology naturally cultivates, even if unintentionally.

More Christians are seeing these and other negative impacts of non-affirming theology, and are realizing that it produces bad, bad, fruit. For me, this was the precise turning point on my own journey to an affirming stance. It happened one night when a non-affirming friend asked me quite sincerely, “How can I hold a non-affirming stance in such a way that kids won’t want to go out and kill themselves?”

I thought long and hard about the question, and when I realized that I didn’t have a single answer for him, I knew that affirming was the only possible stance I could morally justify to my own conscience– and there’s a growing number of Christians who are with me on that.

More Christians are seeing people instead of seeing an abstract issue.

In the previous generation, LGBTQ was just a distant “issue” that many Christians didn’t have personal experience with. It was easy to be scared of “the gays” as they’d call them, because most folks only had distorted caricatures and stereotypes to go by– usually shaped by anti-LGBTQ rhetoric that had little resemblance to reality.

But today? Today it’s no longer a detached, dehumanized “issue.” As more and more of our LGBTQ Christian brothers and sisters have the courage to come out and share their stories, more Christians are beginning to see LGBTQ not as an “issue” but as the real life stories and experiences of their friends, neighbors, siblings and children.

When we humanize an issue by accepting the invitation to walk on the inside of someone’s sacred story, something magical happens: we develop compassion and empathy, and these eventually break way to acceptance and affirmation.

The more one knows and sincerely loves the LGBTQ people in their life, the harder and harder it becomes to hold onto non-affirming theology.

More Christians are are siding with the message of hope– and there’s no hope in non-affirming theology. 

Christianity has always been the message of hope and inclusion, but non-affirming theology doesn’t offer that– and a growing number of Christians are catching on.

Think about it. In traditional non-affirming theology this is the best it gets: “Your only hope of not going to hell when you die is to spend the rest of your life completely lonely, and to totally resist ever having your most basic physical and emotional needs met.”

And that’s not an exaggeration– that really is most hopeful scenario I can think of that non-affirming theology offers. Forced celibacy and loneliness in order to avoid hell.

It’s an easy message to preach when you’re not one of the people in the audience.

More and more Christians are awakening to the realization that Christianity was never intended to be so devoid of hope, and that such hopelessness and isolation has no room in the beautiful and inclusive tradition of Jesus.

Yes, it’s true that many denominations are finding themselves divided over LGBTQ inclusion, but remember: this is a good thing, because it shows us that a growing number of Christians are doing the hard work of rethinking this, and that love is winning.


unafraid 300Dr. Benjamin L. Corey is a public theologian and cultural anthropologist who is a two-time graduate of Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary with graduate degrees in the fields of Theology and International Culture, and holds a doctorate in Intercultural Studies from Fuller Theological Seminary. He is also the author of the new book, Unafraid: Moving Beyond Fear-Based Faith, which is available wherever good books are sold. www.Unafraid-book.com.

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What Are Your Thoughts?leave a comment
  • Ben, I have embraced every one of the reasons you list, although not all at the same time. But I began with the issue of biblical analysis including the clobber passages and Jesus’ remarkable practice of inclusion.

  • Josh Case

    I’ll bet the adulterous woman was glad Jesus chose emotions over truth.

  • Frank, I would suggest this represents the empathy, compassion, and care taught by Jesus in word and example (love) over misguided interpretations of God and the Bible.

  • So… I know there’s the term “affirming” with regards to LGBTQAI… Generally, the way I’ve seen it used is “it’s natural, it’s ok, it’s not sinful, and God has non problem with it in any way”…

    …if that’s the case, I’m not affirming… but…

    NOT Affirming I’ve seen used to say, “It’s sin, it’s a choice, repent and change, you are not a good a Christian until you do, stay quiet in the church until you do”.

    …if that’s the case… I’m not that either.

    So… what do you call someone who thinks that it’s not part of the way that the universe is supposed to be ordered but that there are a lot of things that fall into that category, many of which I am guilty of, and that I think the church should be less about figuring out which kind of Christian we are and more about struggling through it together, agreeing and disagreeing on many things but relying on Jesus and the Holy Spirit to help us work together for the goal of telling the world, “Good news! God loves you and has made it possible for you to come near him to experience that love.”

    What term is there for that?

  • Josh Case

    But the law said to stone her. That’s rejection of God right there.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    But Jesus hadn’t taken the punishment upon himself; he hadn’t been crucified yet. So what you are proposing can’t be the case.

  • Dan Miller

    “More Christians are engaging with biblical scholarship than before.”

    That’s simply incorrect. If people are engaging in biblical scholarship, it’s modern, fringe scholarship, not historical scholarship. Homosexuality as an acceptable Christian practice has been rejected by the universal church for 2,000 years. It’s rejected by most of the global church. It’s specifically a 21st century, white, western theology. It confuses me how people say we need to avoid seeing the scripture through the eyes of western, white people in the 21st century, and then push LGBT theology, which is nearly exclusively white, western, and 21st century.

    If you engage in historical, biblical scholarship, you see a universal rejection of homosexuality. We simply have modern scholars who think they understand scripture correctly, whereas the global and historical church simply didn’t “get it.” It’s an absolutely arrogant view to begin with. It also just happens to be convenient that our culture is pushing homosexuality, and at the same time we just happen to have an interpretation of scripture that is different than what the original readers and everyone else for the last 2,000 years understood.

    “More Christians are realizing that being gay isn’t a choice.”

    Right. That’s biblical theology. We’re all inclined towards sin. It comes natural for all of us. It feels right. But simply being born with an inclination doesn’t mean it’s not sinful to act on it. I’d also argue that alcoholism isn’t a choice. Nobody decides to become an alcoholic, but a person’s environment and individual choices can lead them on that path without it being a conscious choice.

    “More Christians are aware of the harmful impact of non-affirming theology.”

    Your argument can be made for just about any sin. Sin creates division. It creates separation. It’s usually way easier to ignore or even affirm sin because the effects can be devastating. It’s way easier for churches to ignore sin in the church than it is to discipline. While calling out homosexuality as a sin may be “harmful” in the short-term, if it truly is a sin that can separate people from God, it seems the short-term gain pales in comparison to eternal consequences.

    “More Christians are seeing people instead of seeing an abstract issue.”

    I agree that it’s important to see people instead of a sin or a lifestyle. None of us should be viewed as an “issue” or a “cause.”

    “More Christians are are siding with the message of hope– and there’s no hope in non-affirming theology.”

    This statement is absolutely baffling to me. Our hope is in Jesus Christ, who saves us from sin. It’s not in whether homosexuality (or anything else, for that matter) is a sin. If you have no hope unless you’re affirmed in a certain lifestyle outside of Christ, you’re putting your hope in the wrong things. You’re also making the argument that there’s no hope in the theology of the church for the past 2,000 years, and here in 2016, we finally have a theology that offers hope. This is simply a ridiculous statement.

  • Josh Case

    But you said Jesus showed that we are not responsible for punishing sin, yet in the law there are plenty of examples where people are encouraged to punish sin. Would you say that Jesus came to show people a way that was different from the law?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    If you’re arguing that because Jesus knew he was going to be crucified, there was no point in the law, then there was never any point in the law, as one assumes that God always knew that he was going to send his son to die for our sins (from your point of view). Yes?

    In other words, your view continues to make no sense.

  • Josh Case

    The church was either endorsing slavery or ignoring it for 1800 years, then we got it right. You don’t think it could happen with another issue?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    In other words, you can’t actually dispute what I’m saying.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    “You haven’t provided anything supported.” isn’t even a proper sentence.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I wasn’t correcting your grammar or spelling; I was pointing out that you aren’t even speaking in proper sentences. How am I to respond to you when you are literally speaking nonsense?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I admit that I can’t refute something that isn’t a sentence, aka literal nonsense. But then you haven’t refuted my actual points.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Your reading comprehension needs some work.

  • Frank

    That’s ironic.

  • $136305622

    It is nice to see a more affirming attitude but I think it has to do with accepting marriage for gay people. This way, they can say they accept the married, sexually active gays. When it comes to the non-married, sexually active gays, they are just like the fundamentalists. Everyone has to have someone they think is worse than themselves I guess…this way, they preserve that gay category for good measure.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Actually, no. My point this thus: You indicated that the woman who was caught in adultery didn’t need to be stoned because Jesus died for her sins. I pointed out that Jesus had not in fact died yet. You said this was irrelevant because Jesus knew he was going to die. I pointed out that if foreknowledge was all that was needed to do away with the law, then the law should always have been done away with because God always knew He was going to send His son to die for us. You offered no response.

  • Dan Miller

    You’re confusing the history of the church with the history of the 19th century American church. Even in the New Testament, we see Paul encouraging Philemon to treat his slave not as a slave, but as a brother. Ignatius wrote that churches used funds to free slaves, and Augustine was anti-slavery, to name a few.

    Those who try to compare homosexuality and the treatment of women to slavery do not understand the church’s historical position on any of those issues. Yes, there have been abuses when it comes to slavery and the treatment of women, but generally the church has been progressive for thousands of years on those issues. Homosexuality, on the other hand, has been universally condemned for 2,000 years.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    This still explains nothing. Why, if Jesus’s death took the punishment for sin away from humans even before he died would God teach humans erroneously that the punishment for sin was in their hands? After all, if Jesus’s death took punishment for sin away from humans regardless of time, then punishment for sin was taken away from humans even at the instant that humans were first being taught the punishments.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    It’s not my fault that your theology doesn’t make sense.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    So you say. I’ve studied Christianity, and it’s not at all what I’ve been taught that is “accepted and supported theology for millennia.” But I understand that most branches of Christianity want to believe that they have history on their side, regardless of whether or not they do; after all, if they think something different than Jesus did, they’re kind of in trouble, aren’t they?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I don’t know; I didn’t come up with the example. I’d have picked a different one if it had been up to me, like how the OT says that mixing different fibers is a sin, but no one bats an eye at that anymore.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’ve heard people say that kind of stuff before (there were more than one kind of law, blah blah), but no one can PROVE it to me. So, can you? Point me at where in the Bible it says that there is more than one kind of law, and that Jesus only came to abolish certain ones? Because that seems pretty important.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    So, you can’t prove it?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Of course you need to prove it. It’s your claim. It’s hardly my job to prove your claim.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    You are saying that it’s accepted interpretation informed and supported by scripture and history. That makes it your claim. So prove it.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    No, you didn’t. You provided no evidence of any kind. Your word alone is not enough, as “Frank” is not a source. I want a credible source.

  • Dean

    I suggest you guys cut this out so the rest of us came read the comments pages in peace. The woman caught in adultery story is not the best passage to use for those wanting to affirm same sex relationships. The takeaway from that story is not that Jesus affirms adultery or even that sin doesn’t need to be punished. The point of the story is that only God has the authority to judge and as it turns out, he is a merciful judge. You guys are fighting over the wrong passage, it’s a waste of time.

  • Josh Case

    I’m glad a few got it right, but we can’t erase that a large portion of the worldwide church either condoned, encouraged or even participated in the slave trade. And their literal reading of scripture, without the spirit of it, was at the forefront of their argument.

  • Josh Case

    We all have sins known and unknown. God gave us the Holy Spirit to convict and push us. I would suggest concentrating on your own sin rather than making sure others you don’t know nor have a relationship with stay sin-free. We may all be very surprised at the end of days that God was more angry at the greed of the average American than what two people did in the privacy of their bedroom.

  • Curtis Martin

    Hi Frank.

  • Dan Miller

    Nobody is advocating that we erase abuses the church has made, and frankly that has nothing to do with the conversation. What I’m saying is this: homosexuality has been universally condemned by the church for 2000 years, and is still condemned by the vast majority of the christian church. Pro-LGBT theology is brand new, and to hold pro-LGBT theology is essentially to say that white westerners in the 20th and 21st century understand scripture better than the universal church, including those closest to the original text. Slavery and women’s issues don’t compare, because despite some abuses, the church has generally been progressive on these issues for 2,000 years. If nothing else, there’s at least been a divided opinion. That’s where LGBT theology and slavery/women issues are remarkably different. Anti-slavery and pro-woman theology is as old as the church itself. LGBT theology is a product of the 20th and 21st century. That should raise some major red flags when it comes to biblical interpretation.

  • Josh Case

    We wouldn’t be talking about it if there weren’t divided opinion now. My point is that the church has gotten it wrong in the past, and may be getting it wrong now. We must follow our consciences at times, despite what scripture says. The suicide rate of LGBTQ teens who can’t change and have been rejected by their families is startlingly high. I agree with Mr. Corey that we must look at the fruit of our theology and trust that if we are wrong, but wrong for the sake of mercy, God will forgive us.

  • Dan Miller

    so you’re saying that the universal church for the past 2,000 years, including probably at least 70% of the global church, has had a misguided interpretation of scripture, and we here in the west in the 20th-21st century finally figured out what it really means?

  • apoxbeonyou

    The universal church did not see eye to eye about everything for 2000 years. There is no evidence of that at all, and with so many denominations and sects, it actually points to the contrary.

  • themediocrecommission

    Thanks Ben. Great blog. I am turning 50 this year, and I have to say that my opinion has changed on this issue over the last 30 years, for many of the reasons that you discuss. Now I see see my gay brothers and sisters as full members of the church – fully welcomed and loved by our Lord. And I think that they should be able to receive all the sacraments offered by the church – including marriage, and they should be able to exercise their gifts of leadership for the building up of the body of Christ.

  • Ron McPherson

    “And their literal reading of scripture, without the spirit of it, was at the forefront of their argument.”

    Amen

  • Dan Miller

    You can essentially make that argument about anything. “We were wrong about slavery, so maybe we’re wrong about _____” Divinity of Christ? Trinity? You can also make the argument that “if we’re wrong for the sake of mercy, God will forgive us,” about almost any sin. I’m not sure that the authors of the bible could have been any more clear about homosexuality, which is why the church has universally rejected it for 2,000 years. There simply wasn’t a gray area until we came up with extremely creative interpretations in the 20th century to try to create one. We call it mercy, but that’s just putting a pretty bow on sin. It’s not mercy. Mercy is warning people that sin has consequences, both in this life and in eternity. I think the American church has done an awful job of showing compassion and grace to the LGBT community in the last 100 years or so, but that doesn’t mean that accepting homosexuality in the church is the solution. We should be able to extend love while not sacrificing the biblical ideal that God’s design for humanity is heterosexuality.

  • Actually, I’m pretty good friends with Ben… I don’t see him as being someone to call someone with my particular view point as bigoted or as an oppressor… So, not sure you and I are EXACTLY on the same page but at least you and I agree that the one dimensional spectrum of “affirming” and “non-affirming” with the two polarized ends is not the only way to think about things and that there’s a whole three-dimensional space around that linear singularity where folks can wrestle with this whole thing…

  • Josh Case

    Sorry man, but that answer is a punt. Some of those things may contribute to the rate, but we can’t wash our hands of any responsibility. I’m sure the rejection by family and church ( a person’s two core social groups) plays a pretty big part in depression.

  • Ron McPherson

    I’m curious as to why you are so passionately anti-gay. Because I rarely see much comment from you about any “sin”other than this one. To be honest, as I was reading this I pretty much figured we’d be hearing from you because whenever there is a Patheos article with respect to LGBTQ affirmation it’s like you leap into the fray. I can only assume you’re not as dogmatic about other issues because you rarely weigh into those. And it’s certainly not like this is the only issue on progressive Christian blogs so the opportunity abounds to participate in other discussions. i realize we all have our hot buttons so just curious why this one seems to occupy your interest

  • Frank, I respect your opinion but I just can’t agree with you that all same sex romantic and sexual behavior is sinful. And I have no need to change your mind about it.

    But if you want to know why I, as a conservative believer, determined that the Bible did not teach such behavior is a sin, I can send you article about it.

  • Dan, I know that many believers throughout the centuries have opposed same-sex relationships, and Yes, I am saying this is based on misguided interpretation of the proof-texts used against same-sex relationships.

    Do you want articles I have written to that affect?

  • Dan Miller

    What I want is some examples from th church prior to the 20th century that support LGBT theology. Unless you’re arguing that everyone has been proof texting on the issue, and you’re finally the one who has looked at it objectively after 2000 years? Of course, that would be incredibly arrogant in my opinion. Again, for 2,000 years the church has been consistent on this issue, and most of the global church stands with the historical church.

  • Steven Kerr

    I disagree Dan Miller:

    You need to define between “modern”, “fringe”, and “historical” scholarship. If by fringe you mean that affirming Christians have a minority view then true. But being in the numerical minority does not make you wrong. I think there are certain revisionist arguments which are not very good but there are many arguments that are and have a solid biblical foundation. As for being “white and western” how is that relevant? If the affirming view was taking place more often in India then would that make is more credible to you? Affirming scholars are raising questions mainly about the historical context of the bible and contrasting it with the solid biological and scientific evidence that we know today about sexual orientation. Stories about overindulgence and homosexual gang rape are not similar to loving same sex Relationships.

    You also talked about the worldwide church rejecting homosexuality which is mostly true although changes are occurring there as well. Is it a coincidence that those places tend to have more people ignorant about LGBT issues? Many people believe that homosexuality is caused by demon possession and that it is a choice when it clearly is not. The decreased presence of LGBT activism in places such as Africa and the Middle East means that there is much less awareness in those places, ignorance does not seem to be a good foundation for theology or understanding of God.

    No one has ever argued that the historical church didn’t “get it” but rather that Christians in the past did not have the same concept of sexual orientation or gender identity as we do today. That’s part of the reason for sola scripture, while church tradition is rich and informative for a walk with Christ it cannot be infallible. There are plenty of examples in church tradition where Christians would argue that slavery is right, women are lesser beings (Augustine Argued both actually). Puritans in early America believed that dunking sinners in a lake to drown was just. So although Chirch traditions are vital to Christians, they are not perfect.

    As for your comment about sin creating separation your analogy is wrong. People abstaining from pre marital sex, drunkeness, greed, lying, murdering, embezzling (name any sin), adultery etc. do not report feeling suicidal or shame, but rather liberation as Christ frees from those sins that hold bondage over a person.

    Homosexuality is not in the same boat. Telling a gay or lesbian or bisexual person (or a Trans person) that their entire ability to seek intimacy with a partner and raise a family and love another person are sinful (and this wrong in Gods sight) is something that causes major damage to many LGBT people. If it causes this much damage then that causes me to question if barring LGBT people from the sacrament of marriage and life in the church is the correct thing to do. If this was God’s will we would be seeing the destruction of same sex relTionships like we do with alcoholism or sex addiction but we don’t for the most part.

    God created humans for himself but also each other. What if we were to teach that marriage period, was a sin and that all relationships are sinful. That’s wrong because marriage is one of the gifts which God gives us to reveal more about himself. Barring same sex marriage and relationships is in effect calling the God given capacity for love and relationships wrong. We would never do this for opposite sex married people so why for gay people? I would go farther and argue that Gods design and aims for marriage can be completed in same sex marriage as well and that they are consistent with the same principles and purpose God has for opposite sex marriage.
    These realizations require us to see LGBT people as human beings made in the image of God, rather than the nasty stereotypes and ignorance that still exists in many places around the world.

  • Robert Conner
  • Josh Case

    Dan, thank you for your respectful replies. I feel like a little humility maybe in order, that yes, us with our finite wisdom may be off on thoughts and systematic theologies of a being that transcends space and time. I will have to respectfully disagree. We all start in our mother’s wombs as the same base tissue. At about 4 weeks our mothers give us hormones that determine our sexuality. For most of us we fall neatly in two categories, but there is a spectrum of sexuality for those that received differing amounts of hormones. 1 in 2000 are intersex and cannot be distinguished as male or female. I’ve worked with them as a healthcare worker. Now in the old testament, anyone with a physical defect couldn’t be accepted into the temple. But Jesus changed it all. He acknowleged those born eunichs, and didn’t forbid them. He touched those with physical differences. He accepted “sinners” as friends (and didn’t require their change before walking with them). I don’t believe that “God’s design for humanity is heterosexuality” because God created the intersex and a whole spectrum of sexuality. And the gospel is big enough for them too. Christ’s gift on the cross is big enough for everyone.

  • Ficino

    Re “white, western …” The biggest countries in Latin America already have same-sex marriage or, in Mexico’s case, are on the road to it. I don’t think Latin America is normally classified as part of the “white” sphere of influence, which I mean here in the cultural sense in which I think you mean it, Dan.

  • Dan Miller

    Mexico is predominantly Catholic, and the Catholic Church rejected homosexuality and has for as long as it has existed. When I refer to “white western” I’m talking about church theology in the US and European church, not the governments.

  • Arachne646

    Various sexual orientations aren’t sins, they are how God created us to love one another. And even if no Christian churches today were open and affirming of LGBTQ people, you would still risk having lesbian/gay or transgender children, not just because that’s we’re created, but because your kids are going to be living in an increasingly secular society.

  • Arachne646

    There was no definition of such a thing as “LGBT” prior to the 1970’s. “Homosexuality” as a concept and definition dates from about the late 1950’s. Otherwise, the Church has been looking strictly at the physical acts of sexual activity going on between men, and the Scriptures being referenced weren’t particularly apt.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    Gays were used as a scapegoat by the religious right to win elections.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    They put gay marriage on the ballot in 11 states during the 2004 election

  • Arachne646

    Same-sex relationships harm no one. That’s a major requirement for an act to be a sin. Being in a couple is a loving experience of God in the world. That’s not sin.

  • Arachne646

    “Sexual sin is more damaging to us according to Scripture”?

  • Dan Miller

    I’m simply saying that pro-LGBT theology is uniquely white, western and modern to point out it’s fringe. Your statement that people in Africa and Asia don’t understand it like we do just underscores the white, western tendency to assume we know more than everyone else. Pro-LGBT theology is essentially saying that we white westerners not only know more than the rest of the global church, but we have a better understanding of Paul’s letters than the people who they were written to, and the rest of the early church. That’s just simply arrogance. As I’ve said in other posts, issues like slavery, women’s rights, and witch hunts don’t compare, because those are examples of abuse that have generally gone against church teachings.

    Pro-LGBT theology is not shared by other cultures, and it hasn’t been for 2,000 years. We’re alone in this theology. As one of my seminary professors used to say, if you study scripture and come to a different conclusion than the historical church, you better be darn sure you’re right. And these pro-LGBT interpretations of scripture are all-around awful. There are many interpretations I disagree with where I can understand how people come to their conclusion. However, Pro-LGBT theology is not one of them. The interpretations are arguments from silence, taking verses out of context, assigning modern understandings of sexuality to ancient writers, and redefining terms. They’re just bad. I have more respect for people who simply say Paul was wrong than people who try the mental gymnastics to try to get scriptures to mean the opposite of what they clearly mean.

    I’m also a bit confused by your argument about suicide. So, because people commit suicide because the church tells them homosexuality is wrong, then it’s right? I can’t imagine what it’s like to have same-sex attraction and have the church tell me it’s wrong. I’m sure it’s nearly impossible to deal with. But just because people commit suicide doesn’t mean their behavior is okay. Your argument is just very much based on feelings than anything else. There are also many people who say they were formerly LGBT and are no
    longer, and give credit to Christ for freeing them from what they call
    sin.

    “What if we were to teach that marriage period, was a sin and that all
    relationships are sinful. That’s wrong because marriage is one of the
    gifts which God gives us to reveal more about himself. Barring same sex
    marriage and relationships is in effect calling the God given capacity
    for love and relationships wrong.”

    Again, this is a bit of a strange argument to me. We call homosexuality wrong because the bible calls it wrong, while it calls heterosexual relationships right. Your argument is essentially that marriage is a gift from God, so straight and gay relationships must be okay. We have to define marriage as it is defined in the bible. You can’t just call any relationship a ‘marriage’ and claim that God gave it to us to reveal more about himself. If I marry my sister, or my dog, it doesn’t automatically mean God gave it to us to reveal more about himself. We have to take his gifts on his terms.

  • Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? it is hard for thee to kick against the pricks.
    acts 26.15
    it’s a wonder and a miracle to me that you continue to posts your pathological nonsense on Christian blogs. are you trying to make Converts? don’t you know people are praying for you? IMHO the day is coming, Robert, when a whole new world will open up to you and you won’t even remember what a cynical s*** head you used to be! *~\]:D

  • Bones

    The Catholic Church also rejects contraception while it’s priests gorged themselves on abusing kids.

    More and more Catholic countries are rejecting their church’s ignorant dogma.

  • Bones

    Actually if you engaged in true critical scholarship of the Bible you wouldn’t be playing the pharisee like Christianity has done for 2000 years. Let’s remember it was this organisation that kept gays firmly in the closet under threat of death because…well…the Bible says…

    It’s clear from church history that the church never got it.

    It was ALWAYS about dogma over people.

    BTW you can see how homosexuals are treated in ‘traditional ‘ Christian countries such as Uganda who has criminalized homosexuality and tried to pass the death penalty and Russia where the influence of the Russian Orthodox church has removed all anti-discrimination laws against gay people.

    That is the history of Christianity and ‘historical scholarship’ .

  • Bones

    What is your point?

    In South Africa there have been many cases of corrective rape of lesbians. …there’s a wonderful cultural practice which my modern western white mind says is fricking disgraceful….

    In Uganda they tried to pass capital punishment laws against gay people.

    To make you happy, some Islamic countries openly execute gay people, like historical Christianity did based on ‘ historical scholarship’ but yeah the fact I see that as appalling is more of a modern, western white thing.

    If I was a 17th century black African I would probably support burning gay people alive….like the church did.

  • Mike Wise

    Wonderful thoughtful post Dr. Corey. As someone who attended an evangelical college (Grove City) and seminary (Gordon Conwell) in the 1980s, but has a gay son today, I have struggled with this issue. At this point, I have chosen affirmation and I hope your theology is correct! I rest today knowing that when my time on this earth is done, I am willing to risk being wrong in my theology and having affirmed my son.

  • What has that got to do with Christians becoming more LGBT affirming?

  • And some people can’t make a marriage at all, eh Frank?

  • Bones

    You mean Paul who sent the runaway slave back to his owner.

    The church has not been progressive on the treatment of women.

    What complete fiction.

    Its only the civil rights movement which has stopped people like yourself and ‘historical christianity’ continuing to oppress, bully and victimize gay people because the Bible tells you to….

  • Dan Miller

    “It’s clear from church history that the church never got it.”

    ¯_(ツ)_/¯

  • Bones

    I have major red flags about historical biblical interpretation.

    Burning gays alive, criminalizing gays, sending gay people to mental institutions should raise some major red flags in any thinking human being who cares for his fellow human.

    The gays are out of the closet and ‘historical Christians’ hate it.

  • The problem is that you’re using “historical” and “scholarship” in a unique way.

    What most theologians have been doing for the past 1900 years isn’t scholarship – it’s articulating the Bible in light of Western concerns of the era (the East has somehow managed to bypass a lot of this). The Bible has been in the hands of theologians, not historians.

    When you say “historical scholarship,” you don’t mean “scholarship,” you mean “an intentional effort to bolster the existing theological structures European society has created.” By nature of the case, you will reject anything as “scholarship” that is critical of this tradition.

    But yes, most Christian scholars are looking at these texts and realizing they are part of historical contingencies that the early church fathers and following just didn’t care about or even know about in most cases. That theology should be overturned, or at the very least thoroughly critiqued by what we now know.

  • I think that’s abundantly clear from church history, especially the Reformation. What started as a very healthy corrective to the excesses of certain exercises of the Roman Catholic church ended up being a huge exegetical biff of mammoth proportions.

    Why people like you insist we keep that going instead of looking at it with more thoughtful eyes outside of that political cauldron, I have no idea.

  • Bones

    Pretty much…..

    We’ve seen the ‘biblical ideal’ which entailed oppression of people based on their sexuality.

    We know so much more about the Bible now than medieval scholars or even the early church fathers.

  • I think you are confusing “pro-LGBT theology” and “not anti-LGBT theology.”

  • Bones

    That’s stupid.

    You’ll find people who supported slavery hated gay people.

    It’s your behaviour which is that of the pharisee which Christ condemns.

  • I would be very interested for you to point out the progressive anti-slavery and pro-egalitarian theology that has been the hallmark of church theology. Pick a century, any century.

  • Bones

    Except it didn’t.

    I’m surprised people bring up ‘historical Christianity’ because it’s treatment of gay people was disgraceful.

    But no surprise that you thought it was good.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    For hundreds of years (over a thousand) the church was clear: the sun went round the earth and the earth was the center of the universe. Why? Because the Bible clearly said so, and church history was behind this. Anyone who disagreed was to be silenced by any means necessary for the good of humanity.

    They were wrong in a truly spectacular way. We know this. We accept this. There is no question. To say that the church couldn’t be wrong about anything else is silly.

  • Eris, that’s only fringe scholarship that promotes a heliocentric solar system. The church has universally taught that the Sun goes around the Earth for over a millennium, and you find it clearly mentioned many times in both testaments – clear as day.

    It’s only these “progressive” fringe scholarships that are promoting this idea that the Earth goes around the Sun to fit in with a sinful society who denies the authority of God’s Word and OH wow, I can’t do that anymore. It’s not even satire.

  • Or if one of the people is you, for example.

  • Bones

    Just like they never got the Jews who were treated appallingly by ‘historical Christians’ and nearly wiped out.

    I can understand why you sort like ‘historical Christianity’.

    It was worse than Islam in being the most destructive force ever.

  • Dan Miller

    “That theology should be overturned, or at the very least thoroughly critiqued by what we now know.”

    And what is it that we now know that should cause that theology to be overturned?

  • Dan Miller

    semantics.

  • Bones

    What was the church’s stance on burning people alive? Or the Jews? Or the mentally ill? Or indigenous cultures? Here’s another one. The shameful treatment of suicide victims and their families…

    Excuse me while I reject your ridiculous ‘historical Christianity’ knows best nonsense.

  • Dan Miller

    well we can start with Jesus’ female disciples in the first century, as well as teachers in the first century such as Priscilla. As far as slavery, we can go with Ignatius, who said church funds were used to free slaves. Or Clement, who spoke out against slavery. Or Augustine, who said that slavery is the result of sin. Sure, the church has a mixed record on slavery, but even in American slavery, played a large role in abolition. The church is active even today in fighting against human trafficking throughout the world. My point in saying that comparing slavery and the treatment of women to homosexuality is that unlike the former, homosexuality has universally been condemned by the church for 2,000 years.

  • Bones

    Well there is actually.

    Maybe one day you’ll work it out.

  • Bones

    Jesus said ” neither do I condemn you” without any repentance from the woman. What do you think Jesus would have done if they dragged her in again.

    “Yeah she had her chance guys. All in”

    That’s difficult for people like you who believe Jesus condemns the unrepentant.

    You don’t even understand your basic biblical narrative.

    Jesus did however condemn the religious fundamentalists…..

    Weird that, huh?

    I think you’re in the wrong line…

  • Bones

    Nope….

    They don’t need to.

    Nice try at changing the topic…

    But the only people Jesus condemned were fundamentalists.

  • Bones

    It harms no one.

    The only harmful ones are people like you.

    Just look through history and around the world.

  • Bones

    The evidence of Christ’s ministry is in……

    He condemns fundamentalists…..like you…

  • Bones

    I’ve studied it.

    What’s bizarre is the Jewish context of Jesus’s life is hardly studied.

    Jesus lived at a time when there was conflict between two Jewish schools of thought. Those who believed the law should be applied literally (Shammaites) and those who believed the individual came before the Law (Hillel). Jesus was clearly of the Hillel school hence his condemnation of fundamentalists.

  • Bones

    And in so doing He condemned the Law.

    He condemned those who used the Law to divide and oppress others – the fundamentalists.

  • Bones

    In English please?

  • Mike Gainer

    THANK YOU.

  • Bones

    Nope.

    He condemned a system which separated the sick, women and gentiles as unclean.

    A system brought on by hardline fundamentalists.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I think it’s funny that you believe that refraining from love for their entire lives isn’t an ‘undue burden” for homosexuals as far as you are concerned, but I’ll bet my cookies that you’ll bend yourself into a pretzel finding ways not to obey commandments on things like lending money at at interest (you do have a bank account, don’t you?), giving to those who ask of you (don’t refuse them!) and so on.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    “So why do believe mixed fibers were unlawful?” is missing at least one very important word to make it a complete sentence. Bones is asking you to add that word in so the sentence is comprehensible.

  • Ron McPherson

    “There is a great lie and deception perpetuated by our culture and may (sic) followers of Christ have succumbed to it…Every Christian has the responsibility to speak up against this deception.”

    So this must mean you also feel the need to warn all obese Christians about frequenting the all-you-can eat buffet. I mean, their actions alone must reveal their ignorance that gluttony is sinful right, so it’s your duty to speak up and correct them. Considering the high divorce rate in America, does this mean you hang out at the city clerk’s office warning previously divorced Christians to not apply for marriage licenses if their divorce was for any other reason than infidelity (surely they must not realize that it’s sinful). If so, they wouldn’t be doing it right? And yikes, if they DO know it to be sinful and yet do it anyway, then that’s an even worse problem (same with the gluttony thing). So to use an argument that no one is denying gluttony to be sinful, or that no one denies that unbiblical divorce and remarriage is sinful (which is why you may not be speaking out on those) won’t fly, because, acknowledging something to be sinful, but yet doing it anyway, is a worse problem. This is why your explanation is so perplexing.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Feel free to address my point.

  • Bones

    Because the Law is a man made invention.

    Jesus knew that and condemned it.

    There is no reference to the Law in any writing past 270BCE.

    Prior to this it was being compiled and rehashed by an assortment of Jewish scribes and clerics.

  • kaydenpat

    The fourth reason stands out to me personally. I know members of the LGBTQ community as friends and loved ones. I see no reason to hate them for who they are regardless of what any holy book says. I will always put human beings before religion.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    You did not; you attempted to dodge it, and not very well at that. That being said, of course eros isn’t the only love that is fulfilling, but giving it up is nevertheless a burden. Or are you claiming that it isn’t? And I think that most spouses would take umbrage at you claiming that their love is “less powerful” than other types of love.

    I will note, however, that you haven’t dealt with my point, which remains that you hold homosexuals to a higher standard than you hold yourself. They have to refrain from a “sin” that Jesus never said anything about, while you get to indulge in behavior that Jesus explicitly spoke against. You get to fall short without repentence, they don’t. Tsk tsk.

  • Ron McPherson

    Meanwhile 29,000 all over the world will die of starvation tonight, which truly “does great harm” and yet for some inexplicable reason you continue to be obsessed over the actions of LGBT people.

  • Right. Exactly. You are confused about the meaning of the terms.

  • Bones

    Supported by the vast majority of modern biblical scholarship

    Eg Mark 10 Jesus condemns a system (ie the Law) where men can divorce women but women can’ t divorce men. Also married men didn’t commit adultery against married women if they screwed a single woman.

    That clowns like you use this verse against homosexuality shows you have no clue.

  • Wait a second.

    Are you telling me you are here authoritatively lambasting scholarship that you have absolutely zero acquaintance with?

  • No, it’s not an insult. Marriage is hard, relationships are hard, and sexuality is a minefield. There’s no shame in screwing those up. Healing is called for.

    However, I would expect the same people who screw them up to have a little more circumspection when it comes to declaring what true marriage must be.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Dun dun dun!

  • Ron McPherson

    Re-read my post. I addressed that. Here’s what I wrote,

    “So to use an argument that no one is denying gluttony to be sinful, or that no one denies that unbiblical divorce and remarriage is sinful (which is why you may not be speaking out on those) won’t fly, because, acknowledging something to be sinful, but yet doing it anyway, is a worse problem. This is why your explanation is so perplexing.”

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Lots of people claim gluttony isn’t sinful . . . I encounter them all the time . . . this especially applies if we’re talking about gluttony of resources that aren’t food (for example, fuel). The argument generally goes that if one has the money to consume the resources, one has the right to consume said resources. And overeating is especially accepted if one does something like “exercise it off” later.

  • Dan Miller

    No, I’m just asking you to explain yourself instead of making blanket statements like “that theology should be overturned.” I could start listing the most common arguments used by pro-LGBT theologians (Paul was speaking out against pederasty, Paul didn’t understand orientation as we do, “arsenokoitai” doesn’t actually mean homosexual, etc.) but I figured I’d let you speak for yourself. I know I don’t like it when people assume my reasons for believing what I believe, and I wanted to extend the same courtesy to you.

  • kaydenpat

    Homosexuality is not sin. It’s no different than being straight. It’s an orientation.

  • If you’re referring to the biblical accounts of Jesus’ female followers, that’s not church theology. I’m talking about what the church has historically done with the Bible, not what you personally ascertain from the data.

    I think you may be confusing Ignatius of Loyola with Ignatius Sancho. Here’s what Ignatius the early church father says about slavery:

    “Do not despise either male or female slaves, yet neither let them be puffed up with conceit, but rather let them submit themselves the more, for the glory of God, that they may obtain from God a better liberty. Let them not long to be set free at the public expense, that they be not found slaves to their own desires.” – Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp, Chapter IV.

    I can only assume by Clement, you’re referring to the Paedagogus, where he does not speak out against slavery at all, but he speaks against the vast amount of money people spend on slaves and pleasures taken with slaves rather than adorning themselves internally. It’s the same stretch where he criticizes having too much jewelry – Book III. He does say that slaves should be judged based on their servile attitude and not their price. Not sure that really counts as being anti-slavery.

    You are correct that Augustine said slavery was the result of sin. He also says it’s an inevitable fact of life and the righteous are permitted to use the sinful, since if someone is a slave, it is because of the judgment of God. For example, The City of God, 19:15 –

    “The prime cause, then, of slavery is sin, which brings man under the dominion of his fellow — that which does not happen save by the judgment of God, with whom is no unrighteousness, and who knows how to award fit punishments to every variety of offence.”

    The church has NOT had a mixed record on slavery. It is only very recently that people began to use the Bible to argue against slavery, and 99% of those people were black. It was the conservative, Reformed, Presbyterians in the early Americas who insisted that the Bible clearly taught slavery and church history had agreed with them for two thousand years, and that only people wanting to undermine the authority of Scripture thought otherwise, cf. Dabney, Rushdoony. About the best you get are people like John Calvin, who insist we must have slaves, but we must not abuse them.

    Using the Bible as an argument to abolish slavery is a thoroughgoingly modern development in theology.

    We can find at least as much wiggle room in the early church for homosexuality, such as with the “erastai” Sergius and Bacchus.

    Just keep in mind that every time you get on your keyboard and type about the historical testimony of the church and the flaunting of the authority of Scripture, your theological forefathers were saying the exact same things about slavery as early as 150 years ago.

  • Ok, I appreciate that, and I mean that genuinely and not in my typical SnarkVoice ™.

    But I don’t think you read me very carefully. I am not just talking about the specific issue of homosexuality – I am talking about the entire enterprise of the Greco-Roman theological project that decided that Jews are not to be listened to in favor of Plato and Aristotle.

    Much of theological tradition you are defending right now came from a conscientious process of removing the Scriptures from their Semitic historical contingencies and telling a cosmic, abstract story more pertinent to Greco-Roman interests and more compatible with their philosophical outlook on truth. That doesn’t mean every single thing they ever said was wrong; it does mean that they should be highly suspect and no aspect of our tradition should escape unharrowed.

    We know more about 1st century Judaism today than Irenaeus, Augustine, and Constantine rolled together. We are in a great position to listen to the Bible speak without these men shouting in our ears. We should be, and we should be willing to overturn things that our efforts show to be unlikely.

    As soon as Moses gets back from parting the Sea of Reeds, I’ll give you some examples.

  • Ron McPherson

    Lol!! How convenient

  • I guess the whole splinter/beam saying of Jesus isn’t in your Bible, is it? Oh well. Best of luck with your long history of bedrock success.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’m not sure what part of my post was unclear. They will overeat, and then insist that what they are doing isn’t sinful, either gaining weight or engaging in excessive exercise to burn off the excess calories. They will also consume other resources wastefully (gasoline, paper, etc) and claim that it’s fine because they paid for it, and therefore there is no sin.

  • Ron McPherson

    Nope but I’m not the one harping on how it’s our duty to speak out on sin (or rather the ‘sin’ of LGBT folks specifically since the others don’t seem as important to you).

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    That’s not what Jesus said about divorce.

  • But the parable doesn’t say, “As long as you are aware of your own sins, it’s fine to call out those same sins in others.” It says remove the beam from your own eye, so that you can assist in removing the splinter from your brother’s eye.

    You have neither removed your beam in this area, nor are you “assisting” anyone. Listening to you tell people what makes for failed and sinful relationships is like listening to Donald Trump lecture other Republicans on the evils of greed.

    You need to stick with areas that you have struggled through and conquered, and then approach others from a standpoint of helping them. Like, in your case, maybe you could help Christians who show too much love or spend too much time trying to actually learn from the Bible. That’s the kind of stuff you seem to have gotten past.

  • Ron McPherson

    So any sinful actions on your part are ok provided you acknowledge they are sinful?

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’m saying it’s an undue burden, one that you don’t hold yourself to.

    And no, you don’t hold homosexuals to the same standard you hold yourself and everyone else to. Otherwise you wouldn’t have a bank account. You pick and choose the commandments from the Bible that you want to follow based on a plethora of things, just like everyone else does.

  • Ron McPherson

    Our culture, including Christians, see no problem whatsoever in making money off the interest of others in spite of biblical instructions. Does that trouble you as well? Do you spend time confronting others about that too?

  • Bones

    It’s facts based on evidence….not really a belief.

    A belief is that God told Moses to write the Law down then Jesus came along and said the Law is such a good idea that no one should follow it…..

  • Ron McPherson

    No the problem with your view is that one can easily become untangled from that one, but you don’t afford that opportunity to LGBT issues

  • Bones

    The law was made up.

    It did not come from God.

    I know you like the idea that women on their periods are unclean and gay people can be lynched but they are totally man made.

    In fact some of it is copied word for word from the Babylonians like rapists marrying their rape victims.

    Maybe God was Babylonian.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Such a good idea that no one should ever have followed it because I’m going to die to absolve everyone of the responsibility of following it, and this isn’t limited by time.

    o/

  • Bones

    Yeah. I mean that’s why after centuries of oppressive religious government and burning people you didn’t like alive, we’ve gone to a secular system and the separation of church and state.

    Now we have to tame the Muslim savages just as we’ve (mostly) tamed the Christian savages.

  • Ron McPherson

    What am I dealing with? I just find it humorous how people rationalize away certain things. So does this hit close to home or something?

  • Bones

    Except John 8 contradicts your nonsense.

    Jesus tells the unrepentant woman “neither do I condemn you” BEFORE telling her to go sin no more.

    Of course according to you the same Jesus will burn the woman for eternity if she doesn’t repent.

    No the only people Jesus condemned were fundamentalists like yourself who hated his egalitarianism and his condemnation of their religion.

  • Bones

    Well it never was……

    The eternal truth that the sin of fundamentalism is a blight on humanity and human society will never change….

  • Ron McPherson

    See the problem here is how you establish God’s grace under your own terms.

  • Bones

    Game….set….match…..

    They’ll have to go back to the old slavery really wasn’t that bad meme…

    I’m more worried about other ‘historical Christian’ teachings like on Jews, mental illness or burning people alive.

  • Bones

    Divorce isn’t sinful…..eg the Torah……

    In fact it’s a sin to not divorce an abuser…..

  • kaydenpat

    Neither is a sin no more than me sleeping with my spouse of the opposite sex is sin.

  • Ron McPherson

    Frank, I don’t know of anyone here who believes that divorce cannot be forgiven. That’s not the issue being made.

  • Arachne, I agree.

  • Bones

    Actually the Jewish Law (apparently given by God according to you) was that women couldn’t divorce at all and men could screw single women to their heart’s content (the Law again).

    Divorce isn’t a sin.

    It’s a sin to stay married to someone who rapes you and your kids….

  • Frank

    Not at all. Never been divorced.

    Just telling you what scripture says. Your choice what you do with it.

  • Frank

    If she didn’t go and sin no more she will answer for it.

    You are welcome to whatever unsupported opinion you chose to believe.

  • Ron McPherson

    So you’ve dealt with all yours then?

  • Bones

    Well we are trying to tell you but you prefer your own demonic lifestyle….

  • Ron McPherson

    Good then, welcome aboard

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    https://www.openbible.info/topics/lending_money

    You do understand where the interest for your bank account comes from, don’t you?

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok please forgive me for the implication (seriously). However, you do understand that scripture says a lot of stuff that I presume you don’t follow

  • Ron McPherson

    So how do remarried couples go and sin no more?

  • Bones

    That’s an interesting comment….

    Given that God mandated divorce according to you….which part is embarrassing.

    It’s people like you that keep women in abusive marriages.

    Personally I think fundie’s like you care more about sex than God does.

  • Ron McPherson

    Never mind

  • Bones

    And we’re telling you that your behaviour is sinful.

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok

  • Bones

    Well it’s clear from the Bible.

    Except we now have Christian pharisees.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Exodus 22:25 “If you lend money to any of my people with you who is poor, you shall not be like a moneylender to him, and you shall not exact interest from him.

    Deuteronomy 23:19
    “You shall not charge interest on loans to your brother, interest on money, interest on food, interest on anything that is lent for interest.

    etc

  • Good point, Eris.

  • Ron McPherson

    This could go on ad infinitum

  • Bones

    Actually the choice is to follow the way of Jesus…..or not.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Ah, but you do lend money, via your bank.

  • Ron McPherson

    Nailed it!!

  • Bones

    Read about the pharisees…

    Exclusiveness based on the law/bible, keeping people out of the kingdom of God while not entering it themselves, religious condemnation over compassion and mercy….

  • Bones

    Except yours is the way of the pharisee…

  • Ron McPherson

    Nope. Same principle. You claim that a same sex relationship is sinful as long as it continues. How does one in an unbiblical marriage not continue in sin? Double standard. I’m not dissing divorced folks. I’m trying to point out how you apply different sets of rules

  • Bones

    Nothing will change your perception of it….just as nothing will change an Islamic extremists perception of it.

    You’re in good company….

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I feel like you don’t understand how the banking system works. The interest that you gain from having a bank account is actually PAYMENT you receive for allowing the bank to lend out your money. That’s why it is possible for the bank to “lose” your money, and why banks have done so in the past: they don’t actually have all the money that they say they have. If you want to get out of lending your money and getting paid for it, you have to not have a bank account, which I imagine you consider to be an “undue burden.”

  • Ron McPherson

    Then if you believes as much, why do you continue to harp on it?

  • Bones

    Oh stop lying for once.

    It’s a bit difficult when the pharisees were hard line fundamentalists like yourself.

  • Ron McPherson

    Progressives aren’t trying to exclude people from the kingdom. Quite the contrary

  • Bones

    No its all a matter of perception.

    You hate gays therefore they are sinful.

    ISIS believe the same.

  • Ron McPherson

    Huh?

  • Ron McPherson

    Define usury

  • Bones

    Well it’s pretty clear what the pharisee believed…..

    Pretty much the same as you….they hated gays too.

  • Bones

    Unless they’re gay….

    I mean Martin Luther was an antisemite who called for the holocaust and John Calvin burned people alive but saints and sinners and stuff hey.

    Gay people do not have to repent hence why you are keeping them out of the kingdom of God with your exclusivist narrow fundamentalist view of religion.

  • Bones

    Gay Christians say the same….

    But we know what you think of them, pharisee.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    1) And? Do you disregard the OT condemnations of homosexuality for the same reason?

    2) You have control over whether or not you support their actions and whether or not you take part in it.

    3) Of course I use a bank, but I also think homosexuality is fine and dandy. I think that the Bible should be read with a less literal viewpoint; I believe the commands of the Bible have a point and are not meant to be followed blindly. I think that each of those anti-homosexuality passages have a point that isn’t about committed, loving homosexual relationships the same way that I think that anti-interest rules aren’t about screwing over hapless individuals. You reject my interpretations and go for the most hard-line, literal reading for others yet allow a softer approach for yourself, something I find to be incredibly hypocritical.

  • Bones

    And fundamentalism is one of the worst…..a billion times worse than gay sex because it actively destroys all those around it even attempting to kill god himself.

  • Richard Woodell

    Does that mean that a Bi-Sexual can marry BOTH of his partners?

  • Bones

    She won’t answer to Jesus unless he changed his mind.

    See God treats sin by healing people not condemning them….

    You on the other hand should be worried….

  • Bones

    Jewish History 101

    Jesus was part of the liberal Hillel school who were in violent disagreement with the hardliners fundamentalist Shammaite school who had control of the sanhedrin in the first century.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    1) So, you think we can just ignore the entire OT now? interesting; this goes against your assertion that only some laws were abolished and others were not, and now insists that the entire OT was abolished?

    2) But they do participate in lending at interest, which I just posted a plethora of passages against.

    3) This doesn’t actually deal with anything that I said.

  • Bones

    And I’m telling you what we know of first century Judaism.

  • Bones

    Am I supposed to work out as to who you are referring to?

    The mixed fibers thing, along with laws about shellfish were priestly codes written into the Israelite narrative.

    We have papyrus dated 5th century BCE rom the Jewish community at Elephantine which shows that they and Jerusalem had no knowledge of the Torah. .

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    1) Fine, but then we can’t just disregard something because it’s in the OT, yes?

    2) Proof? I’ve posted a plethora of passages that say “interest” not “usury” or “excessive” or “unreasonable” interest, and the history indicates that I’m in the right (for many years Christians were forbidden from lending at interest; have you ever seen the Merchant of Venice? The whole plot depends on Christians being unable to make loans and Jews being able to do so).

    3) I think I was quite clear, but I’ll reiterate: my standards are consistent, although you may not agree with them, and they allow me to use a bank; I think each passage of the Bible has a point that needs to be discerned and not literally adhered to. Your standards are not consistent, otherwise you would not be using a bank; you think that the literal word needs to be adhered to, regardless of the spirit.

  • Frank is a well-known troll, if you haven’t run into him before. He has a self-imposed 200 character limit and randomly shows up on the websites of actual Christians to engage in thoughtful dialogue like:

    “That’s ridiculous.”

    “This is sinful.”

    “The Bible says otherwise.”

    It is unknown if he is being serious and is really that terrible a person and a thinker, or if he does it to get a rise out of people and feeds off that like a legit troll.

    Personally, I think the latter. In the middle of one of his Magic 8 Ball responses, he said, “WAKE UP AMERICA!” which seemed so over the top I felt it absolutely had to be trolling.

    Either way, it accomplishes nothing, wastes time, is offensive, and contributes nothing to either side. He is the most anti-Christian person claiming to be a Christian I have ever run across. He is possibly Satan.

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    The religious right is obsessed with sex. They have made gays and now transgendered folk their cause Celebre . But then when one of their own like Dennis Hastert gets caught in sexual sin they become pretty quiet

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    And have to sand blast Hastert’s name off the economics building at that fundy Valhalla Wheaton

  • Your bisexual Christian friends are -also- polyamorous -and- bigamist? Your church is more progressive than I am, I think.

  • “I will always put human beings before religion.”

    There was a guy a couple of thousand years ago who was that way, too. What was his name… what… was… his… name. J something.

  • Richard Woodell

    I have a bi-sexual friend who wants to marry both of his partners..Who are you to stand in his way?

  • Bones

    Has quite a lot if you’r writing about Jesus and the Law.

  • Bones

    Contemporary Jewish attitudes to the Law in Jesus’s day is hardly irrelevant.

  • Bones

    Why?

    Because you don’t understand a simple narrative.

  • Bones

    Aaah but your sins aren’t as damaging.

    It’s fundies ie people like you with their pharisaic mindset who have caused untold misery around the world.

  • Bones

    Dude you believe the same as the pharisees although even the sanhedrin changed the penalty for homosexuality from death to a floggin such was the draconian penalty supposedly given by God.

  • Bones

    You could just imagine the howls of protest if Martin Luther or John Calvin had’ve had gay sex.

    Meh calling for genocide and actually burning people alive – just boys being boys and being men of their time.

  • Bones

    You’re pretty sad.

    You only came on here because it was about gays.

  • Bones

    It’s not an opinion.

    The pharisees were fundamentalists who believed the same as you. That’s a historical fact and you’ve admitted that you agree with them about the Law.

  • Bones

    I don’t think they want your sympathy which is really patronizing.

  • Bones

    The pharisees were fundamentalists.

    You are a fundamentalist who believe that God gave the Law including killing gay people.

    You are a pharisee.

  • ADNreader

    They can and they do!

  • ADNreader

    Two people of the same gender can and do marry and have good marriages!

  • How is bisexuality relevant to the question? One might as well ask if anybody can marry both their partners, and I’m not sure what in the article suggested so.

  • Are both his partners agreeable to sharing a spouse and receiving only half the attention and love?

  • Bones

    No one’s business what consenting adults get up to.

  • Ron McPherson

    “They are claiming that they are completely correct and everyone else is wrong.”

    Pot, meet kettle.

  • don’t be naive. *~\]:D

  • surely not at the same! time that would be polygamy don’t you think? *~\]:D

  • don’t be such a dumb s***! *~\]:D

  • Jake Lindqvist

    I like your style, and appreciate your thoughts very much. But I wanted to comment, since the topic is interesting and I disagreed quite much.

    “More Christians are engaging with biblical scholarship than before.”

    Many of the best “liberal” scholars understand the issue is complex. This idea has only become easy for the one`s who have already made their mind or who have their axe to grind. For example Räisänen (1941-2015), was transparent about it (making clear you can not say OT/NT affirms homosexuality), even though he affirmed “liberal” politics and ethics.

    And about the OT law, in my opinion conservative sexual ethics are mainly derived from Christian theological anthropology (Gen 1-2), not from the law texts which only affirm it. (See for example John Paul II)

    Plus even Plato knew there are genuine deep (sexual) love relationships between males (and said they are the best soldiers), so the ancients faced something very similar we have in our culture.

    “Thankfully, we’re more biblically informed than our grandparents were able to be.” Amen

    “More Christians are realizing that being gay isn’t a choice.”

    For example Lisa Diamond has (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m2rTHDOuUBw) pointed out how our orientation is not wholly biologically determined or “either-or”. Instead it`s (to a degree) fluid, open to change. Of course no one in his/her right mind thinks biology has no saying.

    “More Christians are aware of the harmful impact of non-affirming theology.”

    First of all, it is completely unchristian and SICK, if a family rejects their children. That should not happen, ever. This kind of behavior should not exist, in Christian circles. But aren`t there some other theological flaws at work then? So that the solution might not be lowering the ethical ideals?

    Anyway there are countless other things as well that we should learn to disagree on, without first changing our theology (or theological ethics). I might be an idealist, but I think we should be able to love people who think (or act) differently on different issues. Isn`t that like one of the basic Christian principles?

    “More Christians are seeing people instead of seeing an abstract issue.”

    Well again, I think Christian way should be that of “compassion and empathy” anyway, no matter what`s your stance on ethical ideals. There probably exists hateful religious bigots in this world, but I think it is not about their ethical stance on LGBTQI-issue per se, or political stance or whatever. Sometimes of course the political stance and personality type might correlate. But the issue is not settled by changing your stance on politics or ethics or with starting to wear skinny jeans or stetson, but by getting to know people. You can be a jerk what ever your side in politics or ethical issues.

    “More Christians are are siding with the message of hope– and there’s no hope in non-affirming theology.”

    “In traditional non-affirming theology this is the best it gets: “Your only hope of not going to hell when you die is to spend the rest of your life completely lonely, and to totally resist ever having your most basic physical and emotional needs met.”” What the heck!! Really? Is it really so that in the States people get saved by their “works”? I am a “traditionalist” on the issue, but that is even further away from my stance than total “LGBTQI-affirming theology”. I have though that the basic entity in Christianity is not a nuclear family or romantic relationship, but the CHURCH! …I know that we are miles away from the situation where churches really would be the love-shaped places for the broken and lonely, but that`s our goal, I think. Yes, one solution might be to move our ethical stances, but that does not sound “hopeful” to all same sex attracted people. There are (maybe a small minority of ) people, who are confused in their sexual orientation (or sexual identity), who seek loving support in their travel, but their deeply-felt ideal and goal is heterosexual. I`m afraid will these dear ones find a loving home, and HOPE anywhere. The term “hope” can be defined in many ways, and again, I think the ultimate hope should not be firstly about our family type or (romantic) relationship status. But yes, the church should be the place of hope.

  • kaydenpat

    There are thousands of people in same sex marriages all over this world. You’ve lost that battle, Sir.

  • Too much to reply to, but I’ll make one point…
    I’ve long argued that we need to start the conversation about gay sexual expression by looking at what it means to be human and where our sexuality fits into that (rather than whipping out the clobber passages to bludgeon dissenters).

    We are created as relational beings and our sexuality helps us relate to the world on myriad levels. To repress one’s sexuality because traditionalist theology views it as pathological (“against nature” or “intrinsically disordered” in Protestant and catholic parlance respectively) is to cut against Christian anthropology (Gen 1-2).

    After all, the bible doesn’t say “It is not good for man to be alone unless you’re gay”.

  • I’m a man married to a man. Biblically speaking, I would say that penile / vaginal sex is normative but not prescriptive. Procreation is not the sole telos of sex.

  • At least they now affirm us gay people as fully human with the capacity to love and be loved intimately.

    Sex within marriage is a posture of “correctly” expressing ones sexuality.
    Non-affirming theology is a posture of pathologizing gay people.
    There is a world of difference.

  • So very, very well said.

  • Regarding the biblical view of the physicality of human sexuality, I would say that penile/vaginal sex is normative but not prescriptive. Procreation is not the sole telos of sex.

  • Ron McPherson

    You tell the LGBT to go and sin no more. Presumably that means to forever exit out of their ‘sinful’ relationship. So why does go and sin no more not apply to remarried divorced couples to exit out of their sinful relationship as well?

  • Ron McPherson

    And so would you not agree that the possibility also exists that there are LGBT folks who also “try to follow Jesus as best” as they can as well?

  • $136305622

    Theoretically there is definitely a works of difference. Practically not so much. The rhetoric remains the same.

  • Ron McPherson

    So what’s an unreasonable amount?

  • DailyAlice

    Homosexuals must be celibate, in other words. Some might be comfortable with that, but not I believe most. Would you?

  • DailyAlice

    Not only can they make a marriage but they can and have reared children. Lesbians can bear children. Already happening.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I would have thought the issue of better Biblical scholarship improves the odds of LGBT affirmation not because (let’s ne honest) anyone has read Leviticus in particular and thought anything other than it appears to condemn (male) homosexual sex, but because people are exposed to ways in which it can arguably be read differently. Dress it up how you will but reinterpretations of the Bible in an affirming direction derive not from an objective reading of the text but because the obvious reading of the text combined with what we at least think we know about human sexuality produces an absurd and unjust result.
    The latter part of your post to an extent contradicts the first: if you agree that as Christians we walk relying not on bodily things but on the spirit, and not on the law but on Jesus, the Church should be LGBT affirming not because we agree revisionist interpretations of the Bible are right but because it fundamentally doesn’t matter: the Church should welcome all those who want to follow Jesus as best they understand how, even while we don’t have the same understanding of a couple of not-terribly-key biblical passages.

  • Monogamy is a separate issue from orientation.

  • DailyAlice

    Everyone can come up with a list of sins. Mine would include cruelty, greed, hypocrisy, pride…one could go on indefinitely. I’ve been guilty of many. But to define an entire group of God’s children as “sinful” by virtue of their nature is, I believe, illogical and destructive. History has taught us that, finally. And it partakes of the sin of arrogance.

  • DailyAlice

    In other words they disagree with you. Welcome to the world. And you disagree with them just as hard. This sexuality thing is–considering the hardship and violence in our nation–quite petty.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Sex with a member of the same sex is certainly a sin if you are not a homosexual, since it is a rejection of the intimacy of marital love and family life for the ultimately futile search for fulfilment in selfish pleasure-seeking.
    If you are a homosexual it is (or can be) out of desire for the intimacy of a lifelong committed relationship and a loving family life and if so cannot be regarded as the same sin.
    The Bible contains no clear guidance for those who earnestly desire these things but who in all good conscience by their nature cannot find them in heterosexual marriage (and Paul says “it is better to marry than to burn”).

  • RonnyTX

    Benjamin:
    Yes, it’s true that many denominations are finding themselves divided over LGBTQ inclusion, but remember: this is a good thing, because it shows us that a growing number of Christians are doing the hard work of rethinking this, and that love is winning.

    Ronny to Benjamin:
    And in the end, love does win, for God/Jesus Christ is love! :-)

  • Steven Kerr

    Thanks for the reply Dan!

    My argument wasn’t that people who are western automatically have a de facto superior understanding. It was rather that many of the scientific advances and the knowledge we understand about the biological basis and origin of sexual orientation and gender identity is well supported. This is not only the case for the US and Europe but the whole scientific community around the world. They don’t fully know everything about sexual orientation but they’re getting there and finding out new things and there is lots of research to back this up. I see your point as coming across arrogant, but I don’t believe it is because rather than a simple assertion of “I know more” it is rather an assertion of the scientific advances we have made in the past few decades. It would not be arrogant to say that the western church After the 18th century has a better understanding tan the previous church about the solar system or modern medicine. Acknowledging new advances and new knowledge is not the same as white western imperialism or white superiority. Those advances are not as well known in less developed areas of the world such as Africa, parts of Asia, or South America.
    I certainly don’t think that white people have unique white-specific insights either. I think that all Christians around the world have the equal capacity to discern and understand the Bible, and also through history. But in cases such as “the sun orbits the earth” or the evolution v creationism debate, new knowledge about the universe that God created sometimes affects our understanding of the Bible. I don’t see this as a threat, but rather learning about Gods creation through the scientific process.

    And also there are affirming churches around the world including China, Kenya, argentine so the revisionist view is not unique the the west, even though it is in the minority right now. I don’t think that I am taking the bibles verses out of context when arguing that they predominantly deal with forms of prostitution, catamites, and sex slavery. I think I can support that very strongly. It may technically be true that the bible doesn’t technically “limit” itself to those forms of homosexuality, but I definitely think those are major predominant forms that are relevant to what Paul, and OT writers are thinking of (eg: parallels between Leviticus 18:22 and 1Kings 14, and arsenakotai being used in conjunction with andrapostai and pornoi, in 1 Timothy which imply a sex slavery context when the meanings of those Greek words are researched. Justin R Cannon made an argument about this if you want to look it up). I don’t believe my arguments are from silence or taking things out of context but I do believe that many traditionalist arguments are. But of course we both disagree on this.

    I also did not argue that the tendency to commit suicide made a behavior morally permissible, but rather that seeing the harm that forced celibacy on LGBT people does and that it is not akin to liberation fro sex addiction or alcoholism, gives a clue as to that there may be a problem with the traditional view. By itself this is not a good argument, but I don’t rely on that argument, but rather the arguments about same sex marriage being in accordance with biblical purpose and principles about opposite sex marriage which would take several pages for me lol.
    My argument is not based on “feelings” hit rather on biblical sexual ethics, mainly that the heterosexual sexual ethic is binding in all situations and by definition it must apply to homosexuality (again another long lost).
    I also don’t believe same sex relationships are equivalent to invest or people marrying dogs….no comparison.
    Finally I would argue that the biblical definition of marriage is rather in purpose, morals, and principles rather than gender. The problem I have with the “one man one woman” definition is that it is a poor one. There are several heterosexual marriages which are bad (eg: abusive, dosrespectful) and many that are good. But secular and church councilers so my simply say “well your a marriage one man one woman that’s all that matters”, but rather we look at whether the heterosexual marriage is wrong and we fix it to be in accordance with a Christlike principled definition of marriage (love, self sacrifice, commitment), this implies that the definition of marriage is not in sex, but in principle. And same sex relationships and marriages can be in line with these biblical principles and are thus not sinful and not the same as what is discussed in Romans 1.

    Thanks again Dan!

  • Al Cruise

    ” To repress one’s sexuality because traditionalist theology views it as pathological (“against nature” or “intrinsically disordered” in Protestant and catholic parlance respectively) is to cut against Christian anthropology (Gen 1-2)” . I order for your argument to be valid you must use it against all Biblical warnings. More people are suffering and dying today because of greed for money and power than every other Biblical sin combined. North American Christianity is in bed with greed for money and power and the two have been fornicating openly in face of God. Unless you address real sin in your own house you are just another empty clanging bell.

  • RonnyTX

    Frank to Kay:
    No one hates them. It’s hate to affirm sin.

    Ronny to Frank:
    You’re right Frank, that it is wrong to affirm sin. And I grew up in a plain old Baptist church, where several forms of sin were affirmed. For instance, at a very young age, I was wrongly taught to believe, that to hear my pastor as he preached, was the same as my hearing God speak to me. Or that all teachings of my church, pastor and main elders, were all from God and true beyond question. And it’s quite ironic; but I was encouraged to read in the bible; but I was taught to believe that I was just plain wrong and in fact, calling God a liar, if I saw or believed something there, that my pastor and church elders taught differently.

    And when I was 12 years old, I had entered puberty and discovered I was attracted to some males and not to any females. This was rural, small town NE Texas, 1967, so I had no idea that there was such a thing as gay people or gay couples. So right at first, I thought my being attracted to some guys, was the grandest thing ever. :-) But then as a child will sometime do, one day I over heard some of my church elders, talking about those homosexuals. The did so with scorn in their voices, said such was chosen and the worst of sins. I had to look up the word homosexual, in my Mom’s medical book and in that way, found out my church elders, were talking about people like me! :-( And right at first, I knew I hadn’t chosen to be gay; but I came to falsely believe, that I must have. Why? Because, as I said earlier, I was early on taught to believe the lie in church, that what ever my church taught, what ever I heard from our pulpit, that had to be from God, the same as me hearing such directly from God and was true beyond question. So, I came to believe the lie, that I had chosen to be gay and that it was the worst of sins. And I lived with that, for 28 years. I did, until God showed and taught me better. :-) Now I simply say, my being gay, that is one of God’s good gifts to me! :-)

  • I don’t disagree with you about the need for the (big C) Church to speak out about all sorts of things (including greed) and to ensure those things do not take root within the institution. I would also include homophobia on that list.

    However, your comment is entirely unrelated to the notion of Christian anthropology.

  • First of all, this bisexual is not your friend. Friends do not talk about their friends the way you did earlier, as if it’s some ludicrous affront to the universe that they might want to get married. You might consider yourself a patron of this man, but you are not his friend.

    I don’t want to stand in his way at all. I’m just saying that bisexuality, polygamy, and polyamory are all very different things, and it’s both stupid and mean-spirited to just lump everything you can’t stand into one big category. Bisexual does not mean “having two partners.” Bisexual means being attracted to both genders. It would be like me saying, “You don’t want homosexuals to marry, so does that mean I have to go to tractor pulls, now?” Because opposing gay marriage and frequently attending tractor pulls are not the same thing, and it’s unfair for me to discuss them in such an uninformed way. The fact that opposing gay marriage and loving tractor pulls often go together is just statistical clustering, probably.

    Unlike yourself, I have an actual friend (we have shared hardships together, spend time together, and know each other better than most people in my life) who is bisexual. I don’t know that I have any others, so I’m not trying to pull a “some of my best friends are bisexual.” As far as I know, he’s the only one, although there may be others.

    In his past, like most of us, he has had ups and downs romantically. They happen to involve both genders. However, just like me, his relationships have been monogamous and what he wants is love, trust, and stability from a long term partner. Some people may want other things, and that’s their choice. My point is that these are fundamentally different things, and there is no way you are a bisexual’s “friend” if you don’t understand that.

    I should add that refraining from beating someone up does not make you their friend, just in case that’s the definition you’re using. The two are not the same thing.

  • It very much depends on what you mean.

    If you mean the biology of putting a penis into a vagina for the purpose of procreation, that is one way species reproduce and two men cannot do that. There are also species that reproduce in other ways.

    “Sex” as a human activity has a much broader definition than that, though. In that sense, God created sex the same way God created kissing or singing. It’s a human cultural activity. It’s not something emblazoned on the physical creation.

    For instance, if a man goes out and gets blowjobs from women every night who are not his wife to whom he has pledged to be monogamous, we would consider him an adulterous man even though he has not had vaginal sex, and the hurt and damage and betrayal of trust his spouse would experience would not be derived from where the penis went. It’s not like she would go, “Well, you actually didn’t have sex, so I guess we’re good. Just stick to mouth stuff, though.”

    She would -rightly- feel her trust had been betrayed and we would offer help and recovery to both partners on the basis that betrayal and trauma have occurred and the man’s destructive habits are sexual in nature.

    That’s sort of a long way of me answering your question with “no.” Within the homo sapien species, only a man and a woman can reproduce sexually, although this is not true in all of creation. However, if we’re looking at sex as something humans do relationally whether reproduction is an effect or not, then obviously two men can do that, a man and three women can do that, etc.

  • $136305622

    Sexuality is a natural need and desire (like eating, drinking, sleeping). If you can control it, you control people. That is at the core of all of the major religions – controlling people’s natural behaviors. As long as it does no other person harm, there is nothing intrinsically moral about any sexual act. In order to control people, the higher ups decided to write rules about sexual behavior. It is crazy that anyone would follow a charlatan who preaches sexual morality. But then again there are people who don’t eat pork because a book tells them not too! Too funny.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Now that we’re becoming more inclusive, we’ll get to have a dialogue and servitude together.”

    Probably not a good idea however to start off the conversation telling LGBTQ folks that they have a “warped view of love.” That sounds like paving the way with one-way preaching, not a two-way dialogue.

  • $136305622

    You bring up a good point here. On this issue, you are very much like the progressive christians described in the article. They, too, do not believe that same sex attraction is sin. You part ways on how you address the other forms of sexual activity, but you have more in common than you think. Like you, progressive Christians cling to a sexual morality based in the Bible (why, I have no idea). They have gotten to the point where they see committed, same-sex relationships as equal to opposite sex committed relationships, so homosexual behavior in that context is not seen as immoral. There you guys differ. However, you do still agree on the immorality of gay sex outside of a committed relationship. It is fascinating for an outsider like myself to see how much you all have in common, but yet you yourselves don’t think you do!

  • $136305622

    If they decide to remain a Christian who believes that Bible means something, then celibacy seems to be what they are called to. (Don’t get me wrong, I think it is silly to do that, but that is what seems to be required. Shed the Bible and religion and one can find freedom!! Worked for me 23 years ago :) )

  • Al Cruise

    I wasn’t to clear here, I agree with your comment. Humans were in relationships long before Christian theology came about, it like all theologies are just that, not necessarily truth. In reality there is no such thing as valid Christian anthropology.

  • Ron McPherson

    Of course it’s not complicated. It’s sadly obvious. I’m not claiming that they should be forced to sin again by getting divorced. What I’m showing is that we live under God’s grace, we all sin, and that Christ forgives. Grace is not forcefully operative and dependent upon technicalities. Under your terms, all one needs to do is ask for forgiveness and go and sin no more in the sense of not getting another divorce. But then if they should divorce again, then all will be well if they again ask for forgiveness thus allowing them to remarry still again, and again, and again. The cycle can be endless. However, Jesus did not clarify his discussion on divorce under the terms you state. In other words, you insert caveats into those things you can abide (as in divorce) but not in the things you can’t (as in homosexuality). That’s the double-standard.

  • DailyAlice

    There is no actual support for this notion in scripture. When one sees the hot button verses in context, they decrease in validity. Just as we no longer observe the complex sacrificial rituals described in Leviticus, we longer need to condemn homosexuals. And as someone who has paid no attention to the bible in decades, your theological opinions can’t be worth much. My guess is that you escaped a fundamentalist congregation and are still obsessed with the issues that drove you out. Just a guess.

  • DailyAlice

    Badly supported, in my opinion.

  • Hi all,

    For those of you who are new to Frank, he is a well-known troll of Christian websites. He is always “Frank” or “FrankXXXX” or some such variant, but he will have picked random Disqus logins, random email addresses that do not exist, and a proxy to hide his activity behind random IP addresses. As a moderator, I can tell you he has used four different email and IP addresses so far in this one article’s comments.

    He does this, because he is frequently banned and has been ejected from a veritble Who’s Who of online Christian Community – Fred Clark, Pete Enns, James McGrath, and many more, all of whom have sent Frank packing, but he gets bored, changes up his Disqus info, and comes back around. He is the herpes of Christian website Disqus comments. He is also the herpes of online dating websites. He may also have herpes, but I don’t know that for a fact. It’s a metaphor.

    You can recognize a Frank because he wanders into potentially controversial discussions on issues and says short quips that do not advance the discussion, like:

    “This is so unbiblical.”

    “Clearly, you are justifying sin.”

    “God hates this.”

    It’s sort of like having a Westboro Chat Bot in your comment stream. Frank has been at this for years and is very well known “around” for this behavior and has stirred up some debates about whether he is just a troll getting his kicks from riling people up (he feeds off response – more on this later) or someone who sincerely believes these things and is utterly incapable of actually reasoning about them. Possibly both.

    In any case, as your friendly neighborhood moderator, I highly encourage not responding to Frank at all. This is really hard to do. I still do it, sometimes. He’s been at this a long time and, like Satan himself, knows how to pull your strings.

    It is a facade, however. He does get bored and go away, eventually, if nobody interacts with him, and I highly recommend this course of action.

  • Ron McPherson

    Yeah, I’m familiar with him. Unfortunately, I succumb to responding because hypocrisy cranks my chain. For the best just not to go there I guess. Thanks for the reminder

  • Haley McCalister

    There are several things wrong with this article.
    1) what St. Paul talks about in the bible isn’t something completely different than homosexuality today. It is not comparing apples to oranges.

    2) while more Christians are realizing being gay isn’t a choice, that doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s a sickness, if you will. People are born with defects, even psychosocial ones. Just because you didn’t choose to have a same sex attraction doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means our world is broken and infused with sin.

    3) there is a way to love them and still tell them that they are sick. The problem comes from people flat out rejecting those who suffer from homosexuality, or from a lack of acceptance that homosexuality is a disorder. If you can’t accept what it is, of course you’re gonna be depressed and suicidal. This isn’t helping anyone, and accepting this disorder as normal doesn’t help these people get better or get closer to God.

    4) it’s true, seeing people can make a problem more real and better to understand. However we have forsaken our faith for making those who disagree with it feel better. We need to show them the kind of love and understanding and compassion that Jesus would, and help them overcome their deviance. Not tell them it’s ok and it doesn’t matter if you choose to live a sinful lifestyle. (To be clear, to be gay isn’t a lifestyle, but choosing to act on homosexual desires with free will is a choice, and therefore a lifestyle).

    5) to say there is no message of hope in non-affirming ideology is a lie. There is always hope in God, and God can do anything. God can heal someone of homosexual desires if he so chooses. There is no hope in affirming sin, but there is always hope in affirming God. Being homosexual does not reduce or dignity as human persons in any way, but we cannot encourage a life of sin for those who suffer from a disease that orients their sexuality in a sinful nature.

  • Haley McCalister

    good question. The answer is yes, unlike this article is trying to promote.

  • Al Cruise

    He could be just a troll, commenting for shits and giggles. However in years of outreach ministry I have met several like him who were closet homosexuals and behaved and commented exactly like him on the outside, feeling to scared to disclose their true nature, probably from a fundamentalist upbringing and intense emotional ties to family and friends who would not be understanding. Once he has painted himself into that corner he sees no way out for himself. Frank, if this is your case, it is O K for you to come out here on this blog. You will not be judged by us, we understand what you are going through.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Whilst progressive Christians do also have a concept of personal morality, if you look, the “rhetoric” (which actually means the presentation not the substance) is entirely different, if you look: you rarely find progressive Christians publicly denouncing someone’s private morality (even though as you say they do indeed have clear views on this) whilst fundamentalist Christians seem to bother with little else.
    Though not obvious to outsiders and not always recognised even on the two sides of the Christian fence, it has been observed that an apparently minor difference stems from a fundamentally different understanding of morality and sin. On the fundamentalist side morality is a matter of obedience: something is wrong because God says so, he will pinish you if you disobey him and no further analysis is required. On this view the Bible apparently says homosexuality is bad, so it us, so that is the end of the matter.
    The progressive Christian view of morality is consequentialist, the specific rules in the Bible pointing to an ideal of living which enhances ones love and fellowship with one’s neighbour and brings one closer to God. On this view the Bible concerns itself with sexual morality because a loving lifelong committed and exclusive relationship and family life are the best promoters and tutors of love and anything that damages them is condemned, and because dealing with people principally as a means to one’s own needs is seen as spiritually damaging so forms of relationships that either do this or place one in danger of doing so are likewise condemned.
    On this view condemnation of committed loving homosexual relationships makes no sense, and the Bible’s (relatively scarce) references to homosexuality are presumed not to refer to these.

  • “God can heal someone of homosexual desires if he so chooses.”
    Yet it looks like, for the most part, God chooses not to heal people of homosexuality (or in my case, gender dysphoria). Could it be he doesn’t agree with your premise that they (I) need healing?

  • jjuulie

    Don’t forget there were many strong Quaker voices against slavery in the early Americas.

  • I definitely don’t want to give the impression that no Christians whatsoever in the Americas spoke out against slavery and in fact, Quakers were possibly the first religious body as an organization to condemn slavery.

    In local congregations, however, there was a lot of division, and you can find a lot of Quakers shouting down the abolitionist Quakers, especially if the abolitionists were particularly outspoken. It just wasn’t a popular position with anyone except black theologians for a long time.

  • There are people who pursue homosexual expressions of sexuality because of trauma. There are also people who pursue heterosexual expressions because of trauma. God can heal those individuals and we shouldn’t just uncritically drop people in deterministic buckets. Sure.

    But homosexuality isn’t a sickness or a birth defect – certainly not because you declare it to be. The Bible certainly never says that.

    The Bible doesn’t say being born a Gentile is a birth defect either, which is a good thing for me, despite the many passages about how terrible Gentiles are and how Israel should kill them.

    Now, you’re probably already coming up with a reason why the passages advocating the killing of Gentiles does not mean that A) Gentiles should be killed today, and B) Being born a Gentile is a hideous spiritual deformity. I would encourage to think on why you are generous with your hermeneutic for one group and not another.

    Also, what St. Paul talks about in the Bible is vastly different from what Christian churches are dealing with, today. Today, we have Spirit-filled homosexual Christians who want to be faithful to Christ, sexually responsible, and faithful to their marriage vows. This was absolutely not on the early Greco-Roman radar and I doubt Paul could even conceive of the phenomenon.

  • This reminds me of a Bart Simpson quote when he’s complaining about a fight between a Protestant and Catholic minister.

    “You guys focus so much on the stupid differences that you overlook all the stupid similarities!”

  • jjuulie

    1) On what basis do you assert that “what St. Paul talks about in the bible isn’t something completely different than ” what we call homosexuality today.? Flesh that out a little.

    2) While I think it’s true that people flat out rejecting people with same-sex attraction can be a huge part of why LGBTQ have emotional problems and commit suicide more, I think it’s also a huge part of the problem that those same LGBTQ people are called “sick” and “disordered”. Their lived experience is that their sexual attractions and feelings about gender and themselves are similar to most other people around them, but are not accepted by people around them.

    When those feelings ARE accepted and affirmed, the LGBTQ people grow to become normal, socially well-adjusted adults who contribute to society in many valuable ways. Or not, if there are other issues in their lives, but it isn’t the LGBT things that are the problem, IF THEY ARE ACCEPTED AND AFFIRMED. This is very observable in society today, as we become more accepting and affirming of LGBT people.

    In my experience, things that are defined as sin cause damage to a person and to those around that person. Sometimes it’s not immediately apparent, or it isn’t obvious. But it becomes more apparent as time goes on. I just don’t see this dynamic in people I know who are LGBT and living in committed, monogamous long-term relationships or marriage.

    However, I DO see the dynamic of calling someone “sick” and “disordered” causing much much damage to both the sender and receiver of that message. It is a sin I think we ALL should be very, very careful not to engage in.

  • andrew

    If you really believe that the creation tale, told in the bible, written by ancients who believed the earth was flat and demons caused diseases has an ounce of truth in it, I have a bridge in Brooklyn that I will sell you for just a few dollars. Can you actually imagine a being that created billions of galaxies in the universe, billions of years ago, appearing on this little third rock from our star, in one of the billions of galaxies that exist and making a deal with the nomad Abraham, to make his tribe the creators special tribe and requiring the foreskins of the males as a sign of their deal ? Again, the deal on that bridge is too good to pass up.

  • $136305622

    As a follower of the bible, your opinion with regard to gay issues is not worth much. So stick to what you know and I will stop reading religious blogs. How’s that?

  • Josh Case

    It’s a sickness? Brace yourself Haley.

  • $136305622

    To clarify, I only comment on religious blogs that decide to talk about gay issues, which they know nothing about. I was never raised in fundamentalism. I was catholic. And gay. I hate the fact there are gay folks that would be fooled by and harmed by religious folks so I do step in when I see that harm happening. If I can help just one, it is worth getting the hate from the likes of you.

  • Haley McCalister

    A disorder, yes.

  • $136305622

    Exactly. They have much more in common than either likes to admit! !

  • $136305622

    So under Frank’s religion I am condemned if I am gay and have sex under any circumstances. Under progressive religion I am okay if I am gay and get a long term committed relationship. If I am gay and single I still have to be celibate under both religions. Not that much a difference at the end of the day. Gay folks sex lives are still regulated by each religion. Crazy!

  • Haley McCalister

    1) here is a link that might shed some light on it.
    http://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/what-does-st-paul-say-about-homosexuality

    2) except the problem is disordered and against human nature. If you tell a person that’s it’s ok to have sex with animals because we are all animals in the grand scheme of things, he won’t be bothered by it if he does it responsibly. Same for homosexuality. While it does damage the soul, nothing on the outside seems to point to it being bad (aside from the higher risk of cancer and other things). The problem with homosexuality is that it is a disordered way of expressing the sexuality they we were created with. One man and one woman is how humans are supposed to be, and that is how they will forever be ordered to before the fallen world gets to us.

    It is true, damage can be done if what people think is entirely ok is being treated at wrong. However homosexuality IS wrong and needs to be dealt with as a disorder, not as a normal occurance. These people also need to love themselves and accept they have a same Sex Attraction disorder. The key to not hating yourself is accepting yourself – if we could all accept ourselves with all our faults we wouldn’t see any suicides at all.

    I am careful not to call out sin where there might be none. I am the last person to tell you that you are a terrible person, or going to hell, or any number of things so called Christians spew at those who sin. They often forget that they sin too, just in different ways. I’m not here to say anyone’s going to hell or that they can’t be Christian. I’m just here to say that we should not be accepting homosexuality as a normal occurance and need to be doing research into what causes it and how to help these people develop normal sexual relationships.

  • $136305622

    Thank you for the correction. Yes, I should have said substance not rhetoric! ! Like I have always said, the Westboro Baptist church had awful rhetoric but the substance of what they believe is shared by milions of Christians, they just don’t say it so bluntly!

  • Haley McCalister

    If by deterministic buckets you mean male or female and heterosexual monogamous relationships with one man and one woman – then yes we can certainly drop them in there. There are deviance sin this world, yes, but they are the product of sin in this fallen world.

    And of course it’s not a sickness or sin because I declare it to be. That would be ridiculous. I didn’t make human nature, God did. I’m repeating His words.

    If you mean the Old Testament, then yes I am preparing a statement saying the Old Testament was 1) for the Jews only (and those who were allowed to follow the Jews), 2) in a time where there was no salvation, and people couldn’t go to heaven, and 3) before Christ instituted the new covenant with all the new rules (rules that were supposed to be in the OT as well but due to the world and the Jews being the way they were God kept having to accommodate them to move forward).

    A gentile was literally anyone NOT a Jew, it’s impossible to have a spiritual deformity because you weren’t born a Jew. Now, we are all technically born with the spiritual deformity of original sin, but that’s a different topic.
    The answer to that is simple: homosexuality is a disordered sexual orientation, and being a gentile is just being born not a Jew. In the New Testament Jesus tells us that there is no difference between the Gentiles and the Jews and that’s why Gentiles didn’t have to be circumcised when they converted to Christianity. However sin is not something we can condone – even tho we are born with an orientation toward it (not just talking about homosexuality, we are oriented to all kinds of different sins). There’s also no moral wrong with being born any way shape or form. Even if one is born with a homosexual orientation, it is a product of the fallen world and not how God intended us to be. But having a homosexual orientation isn’t a sin. Acting on it in an immoral way is (which includes having sex with the same sex).

    Here is an article that may shed some light on the St. Paul thing:
    http://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/what-does-st-paul-say-about-homosexuality

  • Bones

    Uhuh.

    That’s why Christians had gay people sent to asylum for shock treatment and lobotomies.

    It isn’t a disorder or a sickness or what other crap you’re trying to peddle.

  • Haley McCalister

    No, he agrees. God permits things to happen to us for reasons we may not know yet. God can make a greater good come out of any evil, no matter how bleak it may seem. If you have tried to free yourself from gender dysphoria and it hasn’t worked, that may be a result of bad therapists, or just that we don’t have the right tools at our disposal at this point in time. Especially since the move is to accept gender dysphoria as normal, there is less research going into how to actually help someone who has it, they just want them to transition even though in the end it will damage their soul and won’t bring them ultimate satisfaction.

    Here’s a link to back my statements:
    http://www.catholic.org/news/national/story.php?id=56646

    http://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/what-does-st-paul-say-about-homosexuality

    (If you skip through the first one please read this one as it explains in detail everything that I’ve been saying)
    http://www.mncc.org/catholic-spirit-transgender-persons-human-dignity-response/

  • Bones

    This is the same saint Paul who said men with long hair were unnatural and a disgrace…just like homosexuals….

    Pardon me if I don’t accept Paul’s OPINION on this or men with long hair or women wearing hats….

  • Haley McCalister

    If it was seen acceptable at the time is something we should consider. I have no proof Christians in particular were doing those these, but the Catholic Church teaches that we need to treat all gays with love and compassion and sensitivity.

    The methods that people used to do things back then were very immoral – even if they believed them not to be. Objective Immorality doesn’t change based on what we think. I am not advocating for the torture of gays, and neither is anyone else.

    You are using a straw man fallacy. And yes it is a disorder. Homosexuality is a sexual disorder within ourselves. It goes against our human nature, and when accepted and practiced turns into a sin against God.

    http://bustedhalo.com/questionbox/what-does-st-paul-say-about-homosexuality

  • In the New Testament, the same passage that says there is no Jew and no Gentile also says there is no male and no female.

    Obviously, I am not trying to make an exegetical case for killing Gentiles. I am one, after all, and that would be awkward. But what I am demonstrating is that we have a class of people that Israel is instructed to flat out kill for the apparent sin of being born in another nation – men, women, children, and cattle.

    Yet, you do not seem very adamant that being a Gentile is a sinful birth defect. You’re just born Gentile. Doesn’t matter if the Old Testament says to kill them, that was then and this is now. But when it comes to homosexuals, it’s a totally different story. This, despite the fact that both the OT and the NT talk about Jew/Gentile relations a massive amount more than homosexuality, Gentiles are not part of the original creation story, and the New Testament constantly tells the Jews not to be like the Gentiles, who are apparently the worst people you can imagine.

    Let’s take a look at Ephesians 4:17-19 –

    “Now this I affirm and insist on in the Lord: you must no longer live as the Gentiles live, in the futility of their minds. They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of their ignorance and hardness of heart. They have lost all sensitivity and have abandoned themselves to licentiousness, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.”

    Why are you not on a kick about how being a Gentile is sinful, and even if we were born a Gentile, this is a horrible, sinful birth defect that was not part of God’s perfect creation, and we need to repent of being a Gentile and try suppress our Gentilehood? Being a Gentile is just part of the fallen world, right? The Bible, by contrast, never calls homosexuality a birth defect or even deals with it as a birth issue, because both the OT and the NT are dealing with a particular cultural behavior that characterized the oppressive (Gentile, btw) empires that Israel was not supposed to be like.

    Incidentally, saying the OT was a time when there was no salvation doesn’t make a lot of sense. The OT is full of God’s salvation, salvation being prayed for, God being praised for His salvation, God’s salvation being displayed before the nations, etc. I only point this out to demonstrate how much your pre-existing framework controls your Bible reading.

  • Bones

    1) Paul declares men with long hair as unnatural.

    Paul was just as influenced by his culture including Greek thoughts on the flesh and sexuality as we are today.

    2) It is not a sickness. It has been taken off the list of mental disorders much to the annoyance of people like yourself.

    3) They aren’t sick or disordered. It’s people like you who.ake gay people suicidal.

    4) Your faith has been responsible for all kinds of atrocities against gay people and making sure through fear they stay in the closet.

    5) God doesn’t need to heal gay people anymore than he does hetros. Because it isn’t sin.

  • $136305622

    Those were the psychiatric professionals. Christians tortured, killed or imprisoned gay folks!

  • As a Catholic, do you believe the Church was in error to canonize Sergius and Bacchus as saints ?

  • Bones

    It’s not a strawman because it isn’t a sickness just because the Catholic Church says it is.

    And you are kidding right.

    The Catholic Church has absolutely no authority to tell people what is natural when their clergy have been abusing kids for years with the support of the hierarchy.

    So when Pope Benedict tells the world that gay people are intrinsically evil, he can f**k off and get his own house in order.

    But he buggered off because that was too hard.

  • andrew

    The god of the ancient Israelites, Yahweh, is nothing more than a nasty little vindictive tribal god. The creator, if one exists, of the vast and awesome universe or multiverse would have to be so utterly other that we can not possibly comprehend it. Your god, of the bible, is such a little god, no more believable than all the other mythological gods created by primitive people. Yahweh like all the gods of mythology is such an obvious human creation. If you believe in that mythology, enjoy it.

  • Haley McCalister

    St. Paul never said that – literally every Jew had what we would consider long hair at that time. Here’s some reference for that (btw, homosexuality and having long hair aren’t the same. There’s nothing innately immoral with long hair):

    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/if-st-paul-says-long-hair-is-unnatural-for-men-why-do-our-portraits-of-jesus-show-him

    Here is a lengthy but well written article about what that entire passage means. Please read it if you want to understand what Paul was really saying. we should always lean to focus our learning and have an open mind to the truth:
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/clergy_hair.aspx

  • Bones

    Christians also referred homosexuals to psychiatric therapy.

    I know one Baptist pastor who was referred to shock therapy to cure his gayness by giving him an electric shock while he viewed naked men.

    It didn’t work.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    “St. Paul never said that,” you say before linking to the very passage where he says that . . .

    1 Corinthians 11:14
    Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,

    Bwah?

  • Bones

    Saint Paul did say that….

    1Cor 11

    13Judge for yourselves: Is it proper for a woman to pray to God with her head uncovered? 14Does not the very nature of things teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a disgrace to him,

    No it doesn’t.

  • $136305622

    Just awful.

  • Haley McCalister

    1) read my other response to you about that, but I’ll link it again:
    http://orthodoxinfo.com/praxis/clergy_hair.aspx

    2) have you ever done research on WHY it was taken off? It was taken off because gay activists were attacking and threatening and the DSM caved. They had and have no logical foundation to take it off.

    3) it’s not people like me, but if they react badly to what I say then you could say that. However I come not to call them evil, I just come to help them understand the truth. I’m not the enemy, satan is.

    4) people who follow my faith my have been responsible for all kinds of atrocities, but that doesn’t mean the faith itself is. People sin – my faith is pure. The religion has no false teachings because GOD instituted the religion in the first place.

    5) he doesn’t need to but he can if he wants to. And having a homosexual attraction isn’t a sin, acting on it in an immoral way is.

  • Bones

    “If it was seen as acceptable at the time…”

    What, like letting pedophile priests rape kids and protecting them????

    When Catholics try to teach the world morals like how evil condoms are nobody is listening for a very good reason.

  • Haley McCalister

    People who claim to be Christian and who actually follow Christian teaching are two different things. I could claim to be a Christian but if I go out killing people I sure am not living a Christian life.

  • Bones

    That would make you a Catholic….

    Tell us how evil condoms are Haley….

  • Haley McCalister

    Whether the practices were licit and moral I don’t know because I haven’t looked into all of that stuff. I do know that objective morality doesn’t change, and that people with good intentions can make grievous mistakes.

    A sin by any other name is still a sin. If those things are immoral, I would not (and don’t because I don’t know what they entailed at all) endorse them in any way and my faith doesn’t either. People just misunderstand things or misinterpret things and end up doing terrible things instead of helping.

  • $136305622

    That might be true. We will hopefully look back in 100 years at Christians who actively try to make gay people’s lives miserable in our current times (by saying they are disordered or should face discrimination) as not living a Christian life!

  • Haley McCalister

    It’s not a sickness because some random religion says it is, it’s a sickness because GOD says it is. God instituted the Catholic Church, and all the doctrine and dogma inside it. The church can’t be wrong on matters of faith and morals because it’s not us creating or promulgating those rules, it’s God.

    Pope Benedict never said gays are intrinsically evil. You either didn’t read right or misheard. Homosexuality is intrinsically evil, but the people are not. All sin is intrinsically evil. When we steal we are committing an intrinsically evil act. But that does not make us intrinsically evil.

  • Haley McCalister

    No. And they were not gay. Unless for whatever reason they were and they repented right at the last second. Any canonized Saint in the Catholic Church is in heaven, and there is no sin in heaven. So either they were gay and repented, or they were never gay to begin with (close male friendships are a thing you know. And they weren’t gay).

  • Haley McCalister

    I meant in the context of men wearing hair that we would consider long. Not that he didn’t say the exact words. I apologize for the confusion.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’m sorry, but I don’t believe that God just flips a coin and randomly decides that something is wrong based on the results. I think that if something is going to be wrong, it’s wrong for a reason, and no one can give me a good reason for homosexuality to be wrong. As such, I think the Church is wrong about homosexuality acts being a sin, just like they were wrong about the sun going around the earth.

    1 Thessalonians 5:21
    but test everything; hold fast what is good.

  • Haley McCalister

    I meant in the context of men wearing hair that we would consider long. Not that he didn’t say the exact words. I apologize for the confusion.

    And no it doesn’t what?

  • Bones

    1) That’s right. It’s a specific cultural practice and here’s news, Paul was influenced by his culture including Greek teaching about the evils of the flesh.

    2) It was taken off because religious criteria aren’t the criteria for a disease. Your beliefs aren’t based on reality.

    3) you call them sick and disordered. Which is pretty clear what you’re trying to tell them.

    4) your faith is not pure. History is littered with the destruction caused by it. Is there a country that hasn’t been mired with clerical abuse which stems directly from Catholic teaching on the sanctity of the priesthood. Even now you pronounce condoms as evil.

    5) it’s not a sin any more than acting on hetro urges.

  • Bones

    They were people like you who thought homosexuality was a disorder and a sickness.

    They were wrong.

  • Bones

    Your religion is a random religion.

    Heck you teach that condoms are evil.

    Pope Benedict did say that homosexuality is intrinsically evil.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley:
    There are several things wrong with this article.

    1) what St. Paul talks about in the bible isn’t something completely different than homosexuality today. It is not comparing apples to oranges.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, in Romans chapter one, Paul speaks of men who left the natural use of the women, to go with men. I never left then natural use of a female, for a person can’t leave, what they never had to start with. And the people Paul is talking about he said they set up and worshipped idols and that they hated God. I have never hated God and especially not, since I was born of God at 16 years old and in that way, found out how greatly God/Jesus Christ loved me. :-) And in my being born of God, God never even brought up my being gay; but at that time, I had known I was gay for four years. But in saving me, what God showed me in myself and led me to repent of, was my sinful selfrighteousness. The irony in that, is that I was taught to be that way, in the church I grew up in.

    Haley:
    2) while more Christians are realizing being gay isn’t a choice, that doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s a sickness, if you will. People are born with defects, even psychosocial ones. Just because you didn’t choose to have a same sex attraction doesn’t mean it’s right. It just means our world is broken and infused with sin.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I was probably born hard of hearing and then over time, that’s gotten worse. So my deafness/hard of hearing, that’s a defect; but my being gay, that’s a good gift of God, to me. :-) And I mean that in the same way, that it’s a good gift from God, when God makes another person heterosexual.

    Haley:
    3) there is a way to love them and still tell them that they are sick. The problem comes from people flat out rejecting those who suffer from homosexuality, or from a lack of acceptance that homosexuality is a disorder. If you can’t accept what it is, of course you’re gonna be depressed and suicidal. This isn’t helping anyone, and accepting this disorder as normal doesn’t help these people get better or get closer to God.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I don’t suffer from homosexuality; but what I have suffered from, in my lifetime, is some people believing the lies, that are taught about me and other gay people and then, them passing on those lies. Such as when I was 12 years old and overhearing some of my church elders saying, that being homosexual was chosen and that it was the worst of sins. As a 12 year old, I had to believe them. Why? Because I’d already been taught in church, to believe the lie, that whatever my pastor and church said and taught, was one and the same as my hearing such, straight from God. So of course, whatever they said, had to be true. Or so I was falsely taught to believe.

    Haley:
    4) it’s true, seeing people can make a problem more real and better to understand. However we have forsaken our faith for making those who disagree with it feel better. We need to show them the kind of love and understanding and compassion that Jesus would, and help them overcome their deviance. Not tell them it’s ok and it doesn’t matter if you choose to live a sinful lifestyle. (To be clear, to be gay isn’t a lifestyle, but choosing to act on homosexual desires with free will is a choice, and therefore a lifestyle).

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, being gay is not a deviance. And choosing to act on homosexual desire, may or may not be a sin; but then the exact same thing is true, for those who are heterosexual. And that’s the main problem I have with some of my fellow heterosexual Christians, who so look down on gay people. How is it that such people, seem to of lost sight of the fact, that Jesus Christ also needed to be on the cross for them, their taking their sins upon himself? How is it, they think they can afford to look down on some other people, while they themselves are sinners and were so in need, of Jesus Christ and the cross?

    Haley:
    5) to say there is no message of hope in non-affirming ideology is a lie. There is always hope in God, and God can do anything. God can heal someone of homosexual desires if he so chooses.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, when I was 12 years old, I knew I was attracted to some guys and not to any female. And at school, I saw and observed young male/female couples. Watched as they walked along with their arms around the others waist, holding hands or sometimes kissing, if the thought no teacher was about, to get on to them. :-) And at 12 years old, I simply desired to have and do the same; but with another boy. So what I desired, was to be part of a two person relationship and have a boyfriend. Now, can you tell me exactly, where you see the sin, in what I desired to have, when I was 12 years old?

    But as I’ve also said, it was in my 12th year, that I overheard some church elders talking and from what they said, I came to wrongly believe that my being homosexual was self chosen and the worst of sins. So there I was, a 12 year old kid, in a very fundamentalist church and taught to believe these lies about myself. And I was in that church, till I was 25 years old. Then in another church, for around two years. All that time, hiding my being gay and being scared to death, that someone would figure out I was gay and go on to tell others that. The around 27 years old, as I put it, God graciously allowed me to escape, the local church. But that church I had grew up in, it was still controlling me and causing me to have great fear. That from the lies, I had been taught about my being gay. Then I was in my 30’s and having severe depression. And it was years later, after I’d got online, that I found the name for what I went though, while in my 30’s. It’s called post traumatic stress disorder/PTSD. And for anyone who has had such as that, you wouldn’t wish such, on your worst enemy.

    Then in my mid 30’s, I got so scared someone would figure out I was gay, that I asked God to change me, to heterosexual. Of course, God didn’t and I blamed myself for that. And what I didn’t know then, was there was no good reason, for God to change me from gay to heterosexual. I didn’t realise then, that my being gay was just fine and a gift of God, to me. :-) But that was something, that God showed me later. :-)

    Haley:
    There is no hope in affirming sin, but there is always hope in affirming God. Being homosexual does not reduce or dignity as human persons in any way, but we cannot encourage a life of sin for those who suffer from a disease that orients their sexuality in a sinful nature.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I don’t suffer from a disease, that makes my sexuality sinful. And besides that, being gay is a lot more than just the sexual. That true for being gay, just as it is for being heterosexual. There’s nothing just sexual, about it. But it takes in affectional, sexual and a lot of other stuff as well,such as simply loving and being loved and that is all good and from God. :-)

    BTW, I was 40 years old, before I even thought to ask God to tell me the truth, about my being gay. But then I asked God to show me the truth, as I went back and studied on the scriptures, that I’d been taught to believe, condemned my being gay. Now this is a very shortened version of that story; but the end result was, God let me see that they didn’t condemn my being gay. And God let me know and told me directly, that my being gay was not sinful. And I am so thankful for the Baptist preacher, that God provided for me back then, who simply taught the truth, that if we want to know the truth about a matter, then we simply need to go to God directly and ask God to show us that. It amazes me now, how many times in church, we are taught not to do that very thing; but instead, we are so many times falsely and sinfully taught to look up to certain preachers, like they were God. Now that is one of if not the worst sin, in the church.

    And Haley, what I’ve said to you above, this of course is a very shortened version of my life story to date. So, if you have any questions, feel free to ask them. But the bottom line to me, in what I’m telling you, is that God simply and directly let me know, that my being gay was not sinful and in fact, was a good gift from God/Jesus Christ, to me. :-)

  • Bones

    I was answering Paul.

    No nature doesn’teach that women should cover their heads or that men with long hair are unnatural.

  • True, but close male friends usually don’t go through a special adelphopoesis rite to formalize their “close male friendship.” Lots of close male friends in the early church managed to be close male friends without a special ceremony about it. And lots of close male friends weren’t referred to as ritual lovers “erastai” in early manuscripts, either.

    So, was the Catholic Church in error for making saints out of gay men, or were they in error to formalize a loving relationship between two males?

    As far as I’m concerned, it doesn’t matter, because the views of the Catholic Church do not close the matter for anyone on this site, and I have to admit I’m a little confused as to why you keep referring to the teachings of the Catholic Church when nobody on a progressive Christian website is going to think that ends the discussion.

    It would be like me going to a Hindu website and telling them their blogs are wrong because the contradict the Bible. Even if I’m right about that in a specific scenario, who among them would care? What would such a pronouncement accomplish?

  • Bones, the Catholic faith is flawless. Just ask the three Popes who all excommunicated each other in the 14th century.

  • How do you know the dogma and the doctrine in the Catholic Church came directly from God Himself? Just curious.

  • Bones

    Actually Romans 1 states that God gave people up to homosexuality because of their idolatry. Nothing about a sickness. It’s something God gave to them because they were idolatrous.

  • Haley McCalister

    Good reference. I almost forgot about that. Maybe I shouldn’t have used that example because I remembered and am looking up now that was in reference to Gods love that it doesn’t matter what we are, God still loves us. So I recede my statement with that line, I was wrong to use it. It has no physical bearing to anything we are talking about. I hope my mistake doesn’t make everything I say uncredible.

    When God tells people not to be like the Gentiles, he means that we should not fall into the immoral and pagan ways that practically every Gentile practiced.

    Also I meant like total human salvation – no one could get into heaven. There was no spiritual salvation. Yeah God saved them from the Egyptians and other things, but their souls were still incapable of getting into heaven and we had no hope of getting there prior to Jesus Christ.

    Here are some articles that deal with why homosexuality and transgenderism are wrong:

    http://www.catholic.org/news/national/story.php?id=56646

    (This one is a better article than the first one)
    http://www.mncc.org/catholic-spirit-transgender-persons-human-dignity-response/

    http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/five-questions-for-supporters-of-gender-transitioning

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

    http://www.catholicscomehome.org/your-questions/moral-issues/homosexuality/

  • Bones

    Come on, Phil.

    Haven’t you read Mark 26 where Jesus spoke against condoms?

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Haley:
    Uhuh.

    That’s why Christians had gay people sent to asylum for shock treatment and lobotomies.

    It isn’t a disorder or a sickness or what other crap you’re trying to peddle.

    Ronny to Bones:
    I had an older cousin who was gay and he was made to feel so bad about that, that he tried shock treatments and that because he was falsely told, that such would change him from gay to heterosexual. But as he wryly put it years later, all the shock treatments did for him, was cause him to forget somethings! (ha)

    This same cousin, was also falsely told at a young age, that getting married to a female, would make him heterosexual; but of course, it didn’t. Then later on, he and his wife divorced and he met this guy he loved. They were a couple and together, for well over 20 years. They were a couple, till my cousins death.

  • $136305622

    So many lives ruined because of religion. Not just gay folks either. The teachings on sex are toxic to healthy relationships.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I always think that passage is fun: homosexuality is a PUNISHMENT, not a sin. It’s like when God punishes people with barrenness in the OT: you don’t blame people for being barren, you blame them for whatever sin caused them to become barren. Or maybe someone else sinned and then God punished the innocent third party, in the case of the barrenness in the OT.

  • Overlooking references doesn’t hurt your credibility, but I would say that you have a difficulty articulating the exegetical basis for your position beyond citing the Catholic Church, and while I respect your faith, Rome’s church pronouncements do not settle an issue for me.

    “When God tells people not to be like the Gentiles, he means that we should not fall into the immoral and pagan ways that practically every Gentile practiced.”

    Yes, bingo, exactly. ExACTly. It’s not that being a Gentile is evil. Gentile society at large (i.e. the Roman Empire) was filled with all kinds of corrupt practice, and when Paul is telling believers not to be like the Gentiles, he means, “don’t adopt the kinds of terrible things we often see Gentiles doing.”

    So, to circle back around, why is it that Paul can’t be talking about immoral Gentile practices around homosexuality? Why is it that a person born homosexual, just like being born Gentile, is inherently the product of a sinful defect?

    “Also I meant like total human salvation – no one could get into heaven. There was no spiritual salvation.”

    And that is also not the definition of salvation in the New Testament, either. I would be interested to see the NT passage that defined the salvation of God as “going to Heaven.”

  • I think someone must have covered it up.

  • Haley McCalister

    God doesn’t give anybody defects. However he does allow people to be affected by sin. Why we may never know for some things. God doesn’t give anyone sins. That goes against Gods nature.

  • Haley McCalister

    Bad things don’t necessarily happen to you because you sin. You can be barren and have it not be something that happened to you because you sinned. Rather, all bad things that happen to us are a result of the original sin caused by Adam and Eve. But God does not punish people by “giving” them bad things. The way it’s worded in the bible is more analogous than exactness.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Of course bad things don’t happen to you necessarily because you sin, and barrenness can have nothing to do with sin. But God did use barrenness as a punishment in the OT (example: see the story of Abraham and Abimelek in Genesis 20). The point is that Romans 1 doesn’t say what most people want it to say; it says weird stuff instead.

  • Oh Please. Gender dysphoria is evil? How do you know? And how do you know He isn’t also She? How about Them? (“Let us create man in our image”) The point is we have to reduce things to their lowest common denominator; otherwise we end up going around in circles when we try to prove that our interpretation of scripture is the only correct interpretation. Let’s look at the fruit to see if it is good or not. A bad tree cannot bear good fruit, and I see a lot of very good fruit in the LGBTQ community. And I see a whole lot of love and compassion. Those seem like pretty good fruit to me.

    The RCC position is self-servingly patriarchal at best. Of course the will try to figure out a way to keep males as males. It gives the likes of Monsignor Tony Anatrella more young men to choose from.

  • Al Cruise

    Good points. Keep in mind much of the Bible is what the writers “thought” God would do, to try and explain things that they couldn’t understand or what they “wanted” him to do, to help fortify their positions of power in explaining the unknown.

  • Haley McCalister

    1) it’s true that people can’t leave what they were never with. But St. Paul’s association with homosexuality did not just reach to adulterers. If it did, there would be no reason to mention homosexuality at all. Just say adultery and pedophilia.
    A lot of churches preach false teachings, sometimes on accident or with good intentions. But people make mistakes, and I’m sorry if your church taught you to be sinfully self righteous. However I’m glad you have found Jesus.

    2) I’m sorry to say that homosexuality isn’t a gift =/ it’s a cross (I mean, you could technically say all crosses are gifts because they help us be more life Christ but I just mean it in the general sense). It’s not the way God intended for humanity. Homosexuality came out of the fallen nature of the world when Adam and Eve first sinned against God. Why you never felt anything about your homosexuality when you became a Christian I don’t know, and we may never know. I do know that God has a reason for everything, and can make good out of any evil.

    3) homosexuality isn’t the worst sins. In fact, all fleshly sins (usually sexual sins) are actually the least of the grave sins. However it’s still a grave sin, they are right in that area. YOU as a person are not evil, and no condition you may or may not have dictates how good of a person you are. How kind or loving or anything. However homosexuality itself is intrinsically evil. I want to say that I am in no way TRYING to offend you, or say you’re going to hell, or any other thing. As a Christian i cannot condemn people to hell and as a person I cannot know what is in your heart. I am just trying to show you the truth about homosexuality…

    4) I do not look down on gay people like they are pests that need to be rid of. I see them as lost souls like I see every other person who sins (which btw is all of us). People who sin in heterosexual relationships are just as much at fault for sexual sin as those who sin in homosexual relationships. The difference is we are all supposed to be patterned as heterosexual, not as homosexual. Homosexuality is a sexual disorder, not how God created the human nature at all.

    5) the sin isn’t in the desire to be loved, the sin is the desire to go against your human nature given to you by God and distorted by sin. The biggest problem with homosexuality is a moral one. I’m sorry that you developed into homosexuality and that you never found proper help or guidance needed to see it in its proper light. I do hope you’re happy and wish you the best of luck, but I also want you to pray about this more with an open mind. I know I’m a random girl from the Internet and you’ve lived this way for a long time, and many see it as fine. I am in no way saying you have to or anything. It is just a plea from someone who cares about your soul.

    If you are a homosexual you do suffer from a homosexual disorder. However how you live out that suffering is different for every person. To some, suffering is not suffering at all. But it’s still not ordered rightly.
    And that other stuff you mention can be found in any healthy friendship, male to male, female to female, or otherwise. The exact point that makes homosexuality sinful IS the sexual part. The romantic part. The part that desires a romantic engagement with one of the same sex. That part.

    I do agree that we should pray directly to God more, and I doubly agree we are not taught that enough. However God didn’t put us on this earth without any guidance. He has placed his church here on earth for us to follow, a church that is incorrupt when it comes to faith and morals. Currently that very church is infiltrated by evil men who commit scandalous acts with women and boys and steal and every other terrible thing. But the religion herself, the church herself, instituted by Christ himself, is not wrong on those matters. In other matters maybe, but not matters of faith and morals.

    And I commend you for being brave and telling your life story to me, even though I obviously oppose it. I am not nearly as brave as you. My own sins and troubles I keep in the dark from people because of my own insecurities and shortcomings. I pray that you find no reasonable ill will with me =) you seem like a wonderful man, and I will pray for you =)

  • Zach Mercer

    To say that the Catholic faith is flawed based on the actions of an individual, who the faith says are capable of sin and imperfect, popes are no exception but a leader is necessary for organized groups, is like saying science is flawed because a couple scientists got their answers wrong or did something unethical to get the results they wanted; the scientists acted in a way contrary or ignorant to the scientific method or incorrectly used said method. Just because someone sins, even the pope, doesn’t mean the faith is flawed, it simply means those people were flawed.
    Also you can’t have 3 popes who all excommunicated each other, there is only one pope at a given time, if a pope resigns he cannot return to the position of being a pope. Excommunication would require a mortal sin that that carries with it the punishment of excommunication. The pope would have to break the vow of privacy of confessed sins, intentionally uphold heresy or other things like that. So I don’t see where what you’re talking about took place. What event are you talking about exactly?

  • Haley McCalister

    1) while he may have been influenced by his culture, what he was preaching wasn’t wrong.

    2) it wasn’t taken off for religious criteria, it was taken off because of pressure.
    http://www.home60515.com/27.html

    3) I said that homosexuality is a sexual disorder and against human nature (I used the word sick as a generic term). People who have homosexuality have a disorder, but that doesn’t mean they’re terrible people or that they can’t go to heaven or that God doesn’t love them or anything. It just means they have a disorder (like practically all of us do to some extent for different things).

    4) condoms ARE evil (not the actual item, but what it is used for yes), and the faith is pure. Again, how people act is not and should not be a reflection of the faith itself. rather, it should be a reflection of the person. This would be easier if we all knew what the truth was about certain religions and cultures, but we don’t mainly because there are so many and secondly because no one bothers to teach them. People sin, people can cause evil. No one is denying that. Catholics aren’t perfect. I said the religion was perfect.

    5) acting on hetero urges in an immoral way is still a sin. And acting on homosexual urges that have to do with sexual or sexual related acts and/or intentions are sinful.

  • Haley McCalister

    Can’t seem to find what event you’re talking about. But Zach is right in what he said. There is a fundamental difference between God and man, and the church is Gods. We are just in it, and we make mistakes.

  • Haley McCalister

    I’m sorry your cousin was told that by marrying a woman he would become straight. People didn’t know much about science back then I guess….

  • Haley McCalister

    Have you looked at the church teachings on relationships? They actually function much better than relationships without these guidelines.

  • Haley McCalister

    I’m not saying they should face discrimination. But calling a disorder out for what it is is not evil, and hopefully will be seen in the future as noble. I’m not out to make anyone’s lives miserable, but just to engage in conversation and hopefully help them learn the truth they either haven’t heard yet or don’t believe.

  • Haley McCalister

    I am a Catholic, yes.

    Condoms are evil because they stop one of the most basic reasons sex exists, to procreate. That is also one of the big problems with homosexuality. While not having children isn’t a sin, purposefully trying to go against our nature to HAVE children is. (Staying single doesn’t count, I’m talking about having sex and trying to not participate in one of the greatest things about it)

    http://www.davidlgray.info/blog/2011/04/why-using-condoms-is-immoral-and-how-it-objectifies-woman/

  • Haley McCalister

    I don’t think pedophilia was ever seen as acceptable, however you missed my next line where I said all objectively immoral acts are always immoral, even if one believes they’re not. I do not approve and the church does not approve of pedophilia, or rape. Or Roman Catholic priests having any sexual relations as a priest.

    Nobody is listening for every bad reason. They are just reacting and not actually listening to what the church has to say. Yes there are evil men in the church, giving the Church a bad name. But the religion is perfectly fine from them – they cannot touch the doctrine. Only preach it falsely and live a sinful life.

  • Zach Mercer

    Firstly, pedophile priests are extremely rare. Look at the number of priests during those times who acted morally and according to their position compared to the number who were active pedophiles. Very very few priests did that and it was not acceptable, that’s why they were removed from their positions by the Catholic Church and imprisoned.
    Secondly, those are the acts of people who sinned, not acts of the Catholic faith. To pin the Catholic faith as wrong based on the immoral actions of an individual contrary to the Catholic faith and outlined as a sin in the Catholic faith is illogical because that person is an example of someone who is NOT following the Catholic faith and is abusing their position and free will. To say one priest behaved evilly therefor all priests are evil is flawed logic.
    Thirdly, you’re using a fallacy again by attacking the person or their beliefs rather than addressing the topic at hand. Don’t mock others or the Catholic faith if you’re trying to talk about the topic, that’s like someone trying to explain their evidence on a topic and the other person saying they are wrong because they’re stupid and what they think is stupid and their evidence is stupid. You aren’t changing anyone’s mind or talking about the subject, just insulting people unnecessarily.

  • Haley McCalister
  • Haley McCalister

    I would appreciate it if you would hold some form of respect as others are doing on this page. Obviously you are not required to, but it would be a common sense of decency to behave in an adult manner toward other of your same and opposing opinions.

  • Haley McCalister

    My religion is not a random religion, it is the religion instituted by Christ. The true religion of the world.

    Yes we teach that condoms are evil. That doesn’t make the religion random.

    He said that homosexuality is intrinsically evil youre right. What you’re confusing is homosexuality and homosexuals. The people are not intrinsically evil, the disorder is.

  • Haley McCalister

    Good! Neither do I. That would be a terrible God to believe in. We would never know right from wrong. I completely 100% agree that it has to be wrong for a reason. That reason is that is goes against human nature and is not open to procreation, a fundamental part of sex. While children are not needed to make a marriage unsinful, the openness to children must always be there. A marriage is the combining of one man and one woman to become one, to form the family unit. Homosexuality goes against that, as do birth control and abortion for generic reasons.

  • Haley McCalister

    Adelphopoiesis, or adelphopoiia from the Greek ἀδελφοποίησις, derived from ἀδελφός (adelphos) “brother” and ποιέω (poieō) “I make”, literally “brother-making” is a ceremony practiced historically in some Christian traditions to unite together two people of the same sex (normally men) in church-recognized friendship.

    Literally that definition is friendship, not lovers. So I’m not sure where you’re getting the idea they were gay. If you look into the actual history of the time period for these saints, being in a close heterosexual male friendship was not abnormal, and I really wish they still existed today. I feel most men don’t want to have close male friends for fear of being called gay.

    And that examples a little different because a Hindu is not a christian. I am a Christian, and using the sources of my religion to point out and back up what I’m saying. Not sure how that’s weird or confusing.

  • Haley McCalister

    The bible was written by man, inspired by God. Everything in the bible was inspired by God to write. However the language is mans language, and the context they were writing in can make things incredibly confusing for us if we don’t understand it. I think you are right in the fact that there are things that just can’t be explained well through writing because our minds can’t process it (like if we try to think about how God is outside of time…we can’t actually process that 100% because we live in a temporal world).

  • Haley McCalister

    The wording in the OT is very strange I will agree. However I will testify again that God does not deal out punishments in the way we think. Just like God doesn’t get angry and he doesn’t love anyone one person more than another. The wording is analogous because the nature of God in its entirety is still somewhat of a mystery, although we can know some very definite things through human reason.

    God does however permit bad things to happen to us, as in the case of Abraham and abimalek. God allowed either menopause to take place early or he allowed them to just not get pregnant on their ovulation days or something. Now, God can heal any problem that he allowed us to endure. So if Sarah was barren and the rest of the women he could have totally healed them to not be anymore. However if God is truly a God of love then he would not inflict punishment on others in the way that we think of it here on earth. When things like that are referred to in the bible it is the writers being either metaphorical or analogous. God is love, he cannot give out any less than pure love and goodness. He cannot give someone a defect.

  • ashpenaz

    Nobody uses the terms “gay” or “straight” anymore. Sexuality is seen as a spectrum, which I think is a lot healthier. It’s easy to make fun of, but using initials, GLBTQAI, etc., expresses that each person’s sexuality is unique. I, for instance, am a cisgender graysexual who is prone to queerplatonic relationships. I wonder what Paul would say about that!

  • Haley McCalister

    Gender dysphoria is a result of sin, and since it twists and perverts our human nature and leads us away from how God created us to be yes, it’s evil. Don’t confuse that however with the person. People who have gender dysphoria are not evil, it is the disorder itself that is evil because it was brought about by sin.

    Because it’s impossible for you to be a completely different gender than your sex. Your soul belongs in your body, it cannot be taken out and put into another body. That’s not how real souls work.
    http://www.mncc.org/catholic-spirit-transgender-persons-human-dignity-response/

    The trinity has no sex, it’s a spiritual being. When God said “let us make man in our image” he was talking about the free will, the soul, the rationality, the ability to reason and comprehend and understand, to have all the values that God is (truth, goodness, beauty, love, etc) and let them live through our being. We do not look like God physically, for God has no physical body (when we talk about Christ it can get a bit confusing, but it still holds true that God does not have a physical body. God is a spirit). So while we are made in his image (capable of all of these things) we must grow in our likeness to him. If we were made with his likeness already we wouldn’t sin! Wouldn’t that be wonderful? Unfortunately Adam and Eve took advantage of their image and abused their free will to bring sin into the world and that’s why we even have these problems today.

    I agree that LGBTQ people are not evil people. So many of them are good upstanding citizens! Helping others, showing compassion and mercy. However accosting their disorders as normal and living in a way that contradicts our human nature is sinful to God. That is what is wrong with LGBTQs. Not because they’re terrible ppl, but because they are just misguided in their sexuality snd sinning against God (either knowingly or unknowingly).

    Your comment about the church is absurd and frankly a bit generic and ignorant. The church teaches against pedophilia and rape and immoral sexual acts. to say that sinners in the church advance no homosexuality so they can use their homosexuality is weak. Yes there are sinners in the church. But if you look at the doctrine (what we claim to be infallible on matters of faith and morals) then you will see where the church really lies. We do not claim that the people who practice the faith are perfect. Everyone of course should strive to be perfect as God is perfect (indeed, he is perfection itself) but we are human. We make mistakes. And it’s our fault. God instituted the Catholic Church and God does not make mistakes when revealing matters of infallible faith and morals.

  • Haley McCalister

    I do admit that I have issues articulating what I want to say well. I’m getting better and better the more I engage in conversation. And since I am a Catholic, I won’t go to sources that aren’t Catholic as I believe of course that the catholic faith is the true Christian faith. We could get into a discussion about that but I think you would agree this is not the place. We may have to agree to disagree in the end =) but it was nice talking to such an articulate person! It’s always refreshing to see someone who asks real questions and rebuts with real answers =)

    Ah, I think I understand your position fully now. =) homosexuality is immoral because it goes against human nature and how the sexual act was supposed to be used. A key factor in sex is the openness to procreation (which is why the church is also opposed to birth control and abortion for generic reasons). Homosexuals cannot pro create, they are missing that key factor that is essential to our human nature. We can derive from that that homosexuality is disordered and distorts ones views of sexuality and creates an attraction to the same sex (for various reasons each unique to the individual). THAT is why it’s immoral. It has nothing to do with anything else but that right there. Any relationship meant to be encountered in a heterosexual monogamous relationship as God made us to be is good, and anything else is bad (that’s why bestiality is wrong as well as for other reasons but it’s a big one). I want to emphasize again that homosexuals as persons are not bad or evil – rather it is the disorder that is evil.

    When I used the word salvation, I was using it in the context of our salvation from sin with Jesus’ death on the cross and his opening up heaven to us. The salvation story of Christians. We currently use the word salvation for much lesser things, and I’m sorry if it got confusing because I didn’t clarify properly. Heaven was not open prior to Jesus’ death on the cross because Adam and Eve closed it off to humans when they sinned against God. So the OT is the salvation history leading up to Jesus Christ, who is the savior, and saved us from sin and reopened up heaven to us. That’s why there were no OT saints, because none of them could go to heaven when they died way back when. Those who chose heaven in their earthly life made it into heaven (like Abraham) after christs death (when he descended into “Hell” – aka Abraham’s bosom – and brought them back into heaven with him.

  • Ryan Dabian

    Uhh…gay people can have children, you know. It’s not uncommon for gay and lesbian couples to have children by either surrogacy, IVF and/or adoption. Some even have biological children from prior relationships as a result of your religion’s twisted mind games.

  • All other sins have direct consequences to ourselves, to others, and to society: gossip, adultery, lying, stealing, murder, etc. Please explain to me the direct harm that a committed gay relationship causes, without using Christian-ese metaphors that actually don’t tell me anything: “It’s against God’s design,” “God made Adam and Eve,” etc. That’s symbolism, not a specific, tangible explanation. Explain to me HOW and WHY homosexuality is so toxic, and then maybe we can start to take your posts seriously.

  • Bullshit. I’m not taking the risk of passing down my history of mental illness, nor can my husband and I afford children at this point. And even if we could, we’d make terrible parents because we don’t want children. But people like you would call us selfish for not bringing unwanted children into the world, as if there aren’t enough already. Got it.

  • Bones

    You seem to have a problem with Romans 1 then where Paul clearly says God gave them up to their sin because of their idolatry……

    Try fitting that into today’s secular society…….

  • Bones

    “When things like that are referred to in the bible it is the writers being either metaphorical or analogous.”

    Unless it refers to homosexuals….

    Then it must be taken literally.

  • Bones

    Ronnie doesn’t have a disorder….

    The one who has a disorder is the one quoting Catholic dogma as truth….

  • Haley McCalister

    Here is an article that gives the answer you are wanting from me:
    http://www.jamesalison.co.uk/texts/eng15.html

  • Haley McCalister

    I meant about God. When the writer is speaking about God directly it is either in metaphors or in analogies. Like God being angry – God can’t get angry.

  • Haley McCalister

    Well Catholic dogma is truth so…

  • Bones

    1) Says who….Paul sent a slave back to is owner….He was wrong about men with long hair, women wearing hats…..Paul isn’t Jesus Christ.

    2) That article is complete rubbish.

    Is homosexuality a mental disorder?

    “No, lesbian, gay and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras. Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Therefore, these mainstream organizations long ago abandoned classifications of homosexuality as a mental disorder.”

    http://www.apa.org/topics/lgbt/orientation.aspx

    3) You have said that and you are wrong…Gay people are neither disordered nor sick.

    4) Condoms are not evil…That’s pretty dumb. Yet again you think church dogma is truth and something that those of us who are not Catholic should give a toss about. Many Catholics don’t either.
    And no the religion isn’t perfect. You have to be pretty blind to not see that.

    5) hetro and homosexual urges are not a disorder….

  • Bones

    The Catholic Church is not God’s.

    It’s a manmade institiution with manmade rules….eg celibacy.

  • Bones

    The whole theology of the Catholic Church is flawed…..

    That’s why it had a Reformation…..

  • Bones

    Well, no it isn’t…..

  • Haley McCalister

    God created Adam and Eve as the perfect humans. They were to live in a heterosexual monogamous relationship and develop a family. They chose to sin against God being evil into the world and making it a fallen nature. That imprint has lasted forever and affects us even today and will effect everyone in the future. All humans were meant to live in heterosexual monogamous relationships. Since sin got ahold of our sexuality, there have been deviances and mental illnesses regarding it. The entire reason homosexual relationships are immoral is because they don’t have the option to procreate. Sex was made to do several things, one of them was to make children. We cannot have a healthy sex life and block ANY of sex’s purposes. That’s why rape is evil, among other reasons. Homosexual relationships are not with the opposite sex, and therefore cannot reproduce which is in our innate human nature. And going against the way God intended for us to be is a sin against God. For we are rejecting his purpose for us.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

  • Bones

    Pretty sure GOd was pissed off with the Catholic Church eg burning gays alive or molesting kiddies.

  • Bones

    “It is my view that Romans 1 has quite simply nothing at all to do with what we call homosexuality…..”

  • Haley McCalister

    1) Paul isn’t Jesus Christ, but he was right about many many things. Wait, how was he wrong about men and women? He wasn’t – you just have to read it in the right context. Context is key. Paul is not wrong.

    2) you can say what you want but it doesn’t make it true. It was taken out of the APA for political reasons and not voted on legitimately.

    3) I’m passing over this one because it’s moot at this point

    4) condoms are evil. Just because people don’t understand or want to follow the religion doesn’t mean the religion is wrong. Just because a Catholic sins doesn’t mean their faith is sinful. What is your reasoning as to why condoms are not evil? And how is the religion not perfect? I’m talking about matters of faith and morals (the only two things claimed by the Catholic Church to be infallible).

    5) the urges are not immoral, but acting on them is. We cannot judge a person for feelings they can’t control. And acting on hetero urges in a moral way isn’t immoral (obviously).

  • Bones

    “We cannot have a healthy sex life and block ANY of sex’s purposes. ”

    Wrong…

    I had a vasectomy……

    Sex life is even better….

  • Haley McCalister

    The Catholic Church teaches that all couples should be open to children, but if there are grave circumstances only then can we try and prevent children from coming into the world.

    “Grave circumstances” is vague, and it’s up to each person to decide what that means. Not having enough money may qualify as a grave circumstance. Or maybe the medical issue might. However the Church still advocates against birth control and instead advocates for NFP because birth control still blocks a key part of the sexual act, whereas NFP just helps you learn your cycle and stuff so you can know when and when not to have sex.

    If you end up pregnant and don’t want the child, you can always adopt it out. But killing it isn’t a valid option.

  • That’s all it is? It all boils down to reproduction? As if marriage and sex don’t have any other purpose beyond that?

    I really don’t have the words to describe how empty that response is, but the overpopulation problem we have in this world is enough to completely debunk your theory. And God forbid a loving gay couple adopt a child out of foster care. If your religion mandates bringing more unwanted children into the world and preventing already-born children from being loved by a couple who can care for them, your religion is evil.

  • “Grave circumstances” is vague, and it’s up to each person to decide what that means.”

    That’s pretty convenient.

  • Haley McCalister

    They can’t have children naturally, and that’s the problem. Anyone can adopt a child, and the church is against surrogacy and IVF specifically because of the fact that it takes something that is supposed to be in the context of sex, and takes it out. Among other thing as well but that is the main reason. So no, gay couples can’t have children within their regular sexual relationship.

  • Haley McCalister

    Did you even read the article?

  • Haley McCalister

    Again – God doesn’t experience emotions like we experience emotions. However if anyone (Catholic or not) commits an immoral crime like that it’s a sin against God. But please make sure to separate the person from the religion. What the religion teaches is not killing or molesting.

  • Haley McCalister

    It’s supposed to allow freedom of the individual to decide their individual unique circumstance because we are all different and in different stages of life. We need to take that line seriously and can’t use it flippantly for everything or meaningless things if we expect God to respect our decision.

  • Haley McCalister

    Not man made rules at all. However certain things can be changed that are not matters of faith and morals. In the Byzantine rite priests can marry. However celibacy before marriage (Or a committed monogamous relationship) is not man made either.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Believe what you want. If you don’t think the way you act can have any consequence on the way or who you are, that nothing about you requires (or is capable of) change or improvement and that everything you do is as a passive consumer altering nothing about yourself, then the concept of any form of self-regulation or personal morality (other than the requirement i presume you accept of avoiding harm to others) is plainly “crazy”.
    Personal morality in religion (for the progressive Christian at least) is about making oneself into a better person.
    It is not a question of “condemnation” but the belief (rightly or wrongly) that casual relationships are harmful for you and that a long term committed relationship and family life is a better and more beneficial way to live. Crazy.

  • Haley McCalister

    You do not understand the root of the reformation if that is what you think. The reformation happened for several reasons, but the main reasons were that Martin Luther saw the evils within the people running the church and wanted to fix it – except he went ahead and started making changes to doctrine and dogma that he had no authority to make. There have always been people within the church doing it harm. Humans sin. But the faith itself is given to us by God and should be respected as such.

  • Haley McCalister

    You’re right – nature doesn’t say that. Neither does St. Paul.

  • Ryan Dabian

    So if any couple can adopt, what’s so wrong about a committed same-sex couple doing that? Lemme guess: you wouldn’t count that as a family.

  • Bones

    1) Paul was wrong about things as well…..

    2) Actually it was social mores which had homosexuality as an illness. There was no scientific evidence that it was an illness and when examined scientifically it clearly wasn’t. It’s pretty pathetic that people still think it’s a disease.

    The APA has listed it as not a disorder contrary to what you want and your gay hating sources. So go have a sulk. In fact its pseudo psychologists like yourself which ruin people’s lives.

    The Fight for the Cure: The Declassification
    of Homosexuality as a Mental Illness

    “What led to the declassification of homosexuality as a
    mental illness in 1973?

    The answer to this question involves a combination of political, social, economic, and scientific factors. Proximately, the political pressure of gay activists, the increasingly vocal gay community, and the presence of scientific validation for their claims led to a reconsideration of the pathological state of homosexuality. Ultimately, however, social views towards homosexuals had to be changed in order for the decision to pass; the evidence and arguments in favor of the change held no real sway until the prevailing homosexual stereotype was challenged.

    The Scientific Argument Emerges
    It is reasonable to assume that the Board made their decision on the basis of scientific evidence. Evelyn Hooker presented the first and most compelling evidence that disproved the pathological status of homosexuality.

    Hooker was the first researcher to distinguish between patient and non-patient homosexuals. This distinction was significant because most of the assumptions that modern psychiatrists made about homosexuality were based on patient homosexuals, generally unsatisfied people who requested treatment or were forced into it by their families.4

    If you add to this the social stigma associated with homosexuals at the time, it is understandable that psychiatrists had not questioned the pathological status of homosexuals up to this point.

    Hooker first presented her report, “The Adjustment of the Male Overt Homosexual,” in October of 1956. She asserted that only one mentally healthy homosexual was needed to disprove the idea that homosexuality was a symptom of sickness, and this was what her work contained.5

    Hooker showed that non-patient homosexuals displayed the same variation of personality, talent, and mental health as heterosexuals, concluding that homosexuality might be considered a normal variance on sexual orientation.6

    If this was scientific evidence that homosexuality
    was not a mental illness, then why did it take the APA seventeen years to acknowledge this in their DSM? While her report did not bring about this official change, it is worth noting that Hooker felt the profound impact of her work fairly early on.

    In an interview with Eric Marcus, author of Making History: The Struggle for Gay and Lesbian Equal Rights, 1945-1990, Hooker recalls a conversation she had with a lesbian sometime shortly after her presentation: “The young woman’s psychiatrist was familiar with my work, and he was able to keep them from giving [electroshock therapy] to her. She had tears streaming down her face as she told me this.”7

    While it affected some psychiatrists positively (as it did here), Hooker’s work was so heterodox that it was sure to inspire disbelief among others. Still, this doubt caused many psychiatrists to conduct new studies and experiments on homosexuals, thereby throwing the pathological status of homosexuality into question.8
    Although these experiments meant to disprove Hooker’s hypothesis, they legitimized homosexuality as a field of study and mobilized research on the question. ”

    Conclusion
    For homosexuals everywhere, this decision was remarkably life changing. The declassification of homosexuality and the subsequent civil rights resolution transformed the lives of gays. The resolution, passed on December 15, 1973, stated, “the [APA] deplores all public and private discrimination against homosexuals in such areas as employment, housing, public accommodation, and licensing.”40 This list includes mainly responsibilities of the federal and state governments, revealing how widespread and accepted the unfair treatment of homosexuals was.

    The sickness label had allowed horrible discrimination because it was supposedly scientific, and for that reason, unquestionable. Although homosexuals are still discriminated against, overtly labeled by some as immoral, Gittings remarks that this is still a huge step forward by pointing out that “You can argue with people who say you’re immoral because…there are so many kinds of morality.”41

    Looking back, the idea of “curing” homosexuality overnight seems ridiculous.

    In some respects, the decision only ratified what some people had known to be true for years. This episode in American history shows us that the experts cannot always be trusted.

    During a debate before the Nomenclature Committee, Marmor maintained, “It is our task as psychiatrists to be healers of the distressed, not watchdogs of our social mores.”42 As the declassification of homosexuality shows, scientific institutions do not always uphold this task. The area of diagnosis is sometimes foggy, but in this case, social views overrode scientific evidence for seventeen years.

    Unfortunately, equal licensing rights have not been granted to homosexuals even today. Recently, President Obama has declared the Defense of Marriage Act unconstitutional, which is perhaps a step toward greater equality.43 However, true change will require that social views towards homosexuals evolve, as it did in 1973.

    http://roundtable.menloschool.org/issue10/3_Taylor_MS_Roundtable10_Fall_2011.pdf

    3) Gay people aren’t sick nor disordered. The Catholic Church does not speak for society or even God.

    4) Lol a religion which claims itself as infallible can’t be wrong can it? Your religion is wrong. The use of condoms has nothing to do with morality.

    Eg in 1864 Pope Pius IX issued a document called the Syllabus of Errors that listed a number of statements that were to be “condemned.” Among the ideas to be condemned were religious liberty and separation of Church and State (two principles of a “heresy” called Americanism) and that “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” Shock, horror.

    5) There is nothing sinful about homosexual sex.

  • Bones

    Yep totally manmade eg male only clergy, celibacy, infallibility….

  • Bones

    Kapow!

  • No one is going to tell me my marriage is meaningless because I don’t want kids. I have rescue cats, does that count? smh

  • I’m not okay with a God who wants me to be a baby machine.

  • Bones

    It doesn’t teach it. It just did it which was a consequence of their doctrine….eg the sanctity of the priesthood, the infallibility of the church….

    When an organisation thinks its infallible it can do what it wants and is a law unto itself….history shows us that…..well now the Catholic Church is being made accountable for its crimes….its the only way anything would have been done about it……by suing the bastards.

    I can’t believe how many American dioceses have filed for bankruptcies due to child sexual abuse payouts…..

  • Bones

    Did you?

    I’m quoting from it……

  • Bones

    In other words the church needed a reformation of its dogma…..

    eg in 1864 Pope Pius IX issued a document called the Syllabus of Errors that listed a number of statements that were to be “condemned.” Among the ideas to be condemned were religious liberty and separation of Church and State (two principles of a “heresy” called Americanism) and that “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization.”

    Yep the Catholic Church is infallible…..

    Only the most brainwashed Catholic believes that.

  • Bones

    That was when homosexuality was a sickness which you want it to be…..

  • Bones

    Dude. good luck with that as the number of Catholic dioceses filing for bankruptcy due to child sex payouts (although they are probably funneling the money elsewhere so they don’t pay- such is the immorality of the Catholic Church).

    We’re also talking about paedophiles protected by senior clergy.

    I mean this is an organisation which censured Catholic clergy like Leonardo Boff, Gustavo Gutierrez, Dom Helder Camara and even Oscar Romero, yet turned a blind eye to its own immorality.

    But stick your head in the sand.

    But you’re the one claiming your organisation is infallible..

    It’s so laughable….

  • Bones

    We’re Christian – not Catholic…..

    You seem to not understand that….

  • Bones

    Yes, Paul does……

  • Bones

    It is not a religion instituted by Christ…..it is not true either….In fact, it basically just became the Christian version of Pharisaism…and no, homosexuals were never disordered….

  • Bones

    You are being treated with the contempt you deserve. You have shown those of us who have no time for your Catholic nonsense or gay people, respect at all.

  • Bones

    Yeah some people have a hide……I have six…..that is enough for my poor wife…..

  • Random but still relevant: one of our rescue kitties has food AND seasonal allergies. She requires a special diet and occasional steroid shot to stop the itching when she breaks out in hives. So we can’t be good human parents because we’re too poor being pet parents (but she’s worth it because she’s the sweetest fur baby in the world. IN THE WORLD).

  • Bones

    Too bad if you don’t approve. The Catholic church via its senior clergy were far more concerned with protecting the church’s image and the sanctity of the clergy and infallibility of the church, than it was about justice for the victims.

    It’s still happening. That’s why dioceses are funneling money to other accounts with instructions from the Vatican and declaring bankruptcy.

  • Bones

    I’m sorry that you have to be told what to believe and think…..

  • DailyAlice

    You make an excellent point. Sin is the water in which we swim. Many decisions are between sins: which is worse? That’s why generalizations about sinners are arrogant and reflect back on the judge.

  • DailyAlice

    Paul wouldn’t have any idea what you’re talking about. I’m not sure I do.

  • DailyAlice

    The ancient Romans had no problem with it.

  • $136305622

    That is good that you believe that.

  • DailyAlice

    I doubt actual progressives object much to premarital sex. they may object to selfish, manipulative sex. they certainly object to unloving, insensitive sex.

  • $136305622

    Lol. Yeah my grandma was told to live like brother and sister with her husband. The RCC did a great job with sexual relations!

  • Ron McPherson

    I once asked an anti-gay individual if he alone could decide the fate of a child given only these two choices: 1) provide an orphaned child adoption from a loving same sex couple or 2) not allow the adoption where the child would remain orphaned. He literally chose option 2.

  • DailyAlice

    I don’t hate you! But I find your loyalty to the “condemnations” found in the bible odd. Apart from anything else, they have caused much suffering.

  • Ron McPherson

    We have three sons. One just happens to have four legs

  • $136305622

    We must misunderstand each other. I am not religious. I have no loyalty to the condemnations in the bible. When I see articles that purport to be gay friendly yet rely on the bible, it is odd. The bible has caused and continues to cause grave harm to gay (and some straight) people.

  • $136305622

    That is good to know. They should stop referring to “committed, monogamous” gay relationships as the standard all the time. Even “gay” groups like gay Christian network use such language. The disapproval of casual sex is rampant.

  • DailyAlice

    I am not “a follower of the bible.” Your language betrays your background. I find much wisdom and beauty in the bible and much outdated detritus that we now perceive as manmade and not relevant to the age we inhabit. Moreover, I know more about gay issues than you realize.

  • $136305622

    That is good to know. I would assume people who found much detritus in a book would not worship or give credence to such a book (like they do every Sunday). Why not have readings from the Canterbury tales or aesop’s fables? They are chock full of beauty and wisdom? People give the bible a special position of importance. So even if we like only some of the nice things, we are allowing for the bad because we are saying it is an important book for moral guidance.
    You are right, I don’t know what you know about gay issues. Doesnt feel nice to be categorically dismissed does it? (That was my point)

  • I’m not saying the Catholic faith is flawed based on the actions of an individual. I’m saying it’s flawed on the basis of it being an organization composed of flawed humans who quite obviously do and say flawed things regardless of what position they occupy, both in a small scale and on a very large, global scale.

    The three Popes thing just happens to be funny.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Schism

    I would never use that as the most telling criticism of Roman Catholicism, though, there are plenty more. But the same is true of Eastern Orthodoxy and Protestantism and myself as an individual, so I don’t know why acknowledging that is a problem.

  • $136305622

    Oh I misread that last paragraph. I saw it as more positive. Wow, this is a comment worth saving since it illustrates my point exactly! No difference from Frank. People just can’t stop judging gay folks!

  • There are some common threads about those articles that I find unconvincing:

    1. They all eventually come down to, “The Roman Catholic Church has divine authority because the Roman Catholic Church says so.” This is obviously a problem. If I claimed as an individual that all my doctrine came straight from God, I would hope you would not believe this and would critique me on the grounds of things outside of my claim. This is how we evaluate claims to authority.

    2. The other aspects they point out – leadership for the benefit of the led, flexibility to deal with changes in historical situations (which I’m not sure the RCC has always been the best example of) and the like may have merit, but you could easily say the same about the Orthdox Church, Protestantism, and Judaism for that matter.

    All those groups cannot all be correct about everything they proclaim. My solution to that is that everyone is wrong about things and we’re all in the same boat trying to figure out this God thing together. I do not accept an explanation that such a dynamic is true for literally every single group EXCEPT Roman Catholicism who is not subject to this dynamic because they said so.

  • Thank you for copying and pasting Wikipedia. I know what adelphopoiesis is. My point is, why did those men undergo that ritual which is almost unheard of in church history, and why do our early manuscripts call them “erastai?” I mean, you have to admit, this looks pretty dodgy.

    “This is my special friend Bacchus. We underwent a special ceremony to seal our special friendship and declare it to the world. Our biographers refer to us as ritual lovers. But really, we’re just good friends like every other common male friendship.”

    “I am a Christian, and using the sources of my religion to point out and back up what I’m saying.”

    It’s perfectly appropriate for someone to say “I believe X because my church teaches X.” It’s perfectly inappropriate to assume that someone who is not part of your church will find that compelling. If we intend to have a discussion rather than long lists of links of Stuff The Catholic Church Says, then we need to be able to move into things we can actually discuss.

    For example, when I talk to atheists about the potential credibility of Christian claims, I don’t say atheism is obviously wrong because my church says God exists and the bulk of my discussion is quoting Christian theologians who affirm God exists. That may be encouraging material for me, but why would they care about that?

    So, when you come to have a discussion with people who do not unilaterally accept the Roman Catholic church’s decree as the final point on which we make decisions of faith, those decrees may be useful to -you-, but they’re totally useless to anyone else who doesn’t already completely agree with you.

  • Oh, well, thank you very much for the humility – that’s an encouragement for me to be more humble and I am not great at that, if you haven’t noticed. I think as far as -expressing- yourself, you’ve done a great job. Where our issue lay is that Roman Catholic teaching settles the issue for you. There’s nothing else to discuss, really, because an authoritative source has already made an authoritative decree. It would be like debating whether or not we have Obamacare in the U.S. Obviously, we do regardless of what anyone thinks about it.

    That’s fine for you, but if we’re wanting to have a back and forth where we increase in our understanding, those kinds of appeals just shut off the discussion as far as I’m concerned, because the RCC does not function for me as a final stop. If all you want to do is clarify your position, everything you’ve said so far has been just fine for that. If you’d like me to also accept your position, or most of the people on this site, really, you have to go beyond that.

    I’ve gotta run (church, you know), but real quick:

    1. On what basis would you say sex is primarily defined by procreation? If a husband visits a prostitute and they do everything except procreate, is he an adulterer? Why?

    2. I understand how you were using the word salvation. I’m asking if you can demonstrate from the Bible that the term “salvation” equates to the concept of “going to Heaven.”

  • Al Cruise

    “Everything in the bible was inspired by God to write.” Prove it.

  • $136305622

    It would be great if people didn’t see sexuality in such strict terms and as more on a spectrum, however, people DO use the terms gay and straight….

  • $136305622

    To be fair Catholic dogma is as true as any other religious “truth”…

  • Ron McPherson

    “while he may have been influenced by his culture, what he was preaching wasn’t wrong.”

    How about this one from I Timothy 2:12: ‘But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.’ Not trying to be a butt here, but see the problem when we ‘culturize’ some portions but not allow it for others? I have a high regard for Scripture, but also try to remain open to understand culture and context.

  • Ironically, Jesus is supposed to make people better…except when he makes them worse.

  • Ron McPherson

    I think Jesus does make people better. But things often mistakenly done in the name of Jesus, does not.

  • Haley McCalister

    Yes, but the context of the entire article doesn’t come down to that one line.

  • Haley McCalister

    Here is an article that explains it well:
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/proving-inspiration

  • Haley McCalister

    I agree completely!

  • Haley McCalister

    There are certain things the church does with Tradition (capital T) and others with tradition (lowercase t). When it comes to matters of faith and morals the church cannot change its doctrine or dogma, because those things were given to us by God. When it comes to lesser things NOT related to faith and morals (how the mass is to be said, what garments the priest should wear, and a plethora of other things) then the church can change whatever she wants given its appropriateness to the times.

    The Catholic Church is ONLY infallible in matters of faith and morals. And that is in the doctrine. People are NOT infallible, and people make mistakes. Even popes. All of the corrupt clergy is a result of bad religious education and huge scandals that were covered up in the 20th century. Likewise anything prior to that that was bad was also a result of sin. If the church preaches against certain sins it’s followers commit, that doesn’t make the religion a hypocrite, it makes the people a hypocrite.

    And it IS terrible. These people need to be found and charged for their actions. The church in America is full of terrible people, mostly due to Americas falling from morality. Hopefully we will fix that soon, but I don’t think we will…

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    The idea that we must be open to be having children is silly. If this was the case, then being single would be sinful, too, because one can’t have children while being single. Furthermore, as I’m sure you are aware, lots of couples can’t have children, and that’s fine. Why? Because one doesn’t need to have children to be unsinful. It doesn’t need to be possible by any stretch of the imagination for the sex to be unsinful. For example, if the woman involved lacked reproductive organs, you’d still be fine with her having sex with her husband, even though there was zero chance of her having children, right? So why is it different with gay couples?

  • Haley McCalister

    Our dogma was given to us by Christ that can be proven on many levels. Other religions don’t have that going for them (there are religions that have valid historical backgrounds, Judaism, Islam, but most other little ones don’t have that).

  • Haley McCalister

    Do you have any proof that it’s not?

  • Haley McCalister

    Ok I probably said it a bit wrong when I explained it… I’m not very good at explaining things but I figured I would try. I’ll give you an article that explains in much better detail everything I was trying to say…

    However I do want to address 1) the world isn’t overpopulated. If you did a quick math calculation you’d find that we are FAR from over populated.
    2) my religion mandates we follow God, that’s about it. Homosexuality is disordered and therefore cannot and should not replace the family in any way. The fact that there are even unwanted children at all in this world is a result of sin. We will never live in a perfect world until Christ comes again. But we must still try.

    Here’s that article:
    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/homosexuality

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Actually, the wording is pretty clear:

    Genesis 20:17 Then Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelek, his wife and his female slaves so they could have children again, 18 for the Lord had kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving because of Abraham’s wife Sarah.

    God had been displeased with what was going on with Abimelek and Abraham’s wife, Sarah, so he kept all the women in Abimelek’s household from conceiving. When the whole thing got straightened out, Abraham prayed and God removed the curse of barrenness.

  • Haley McCalister

    That’s a very hard situation. There are varying studies that show severe problems with children who grow up in same sex families. There is also the fact that being in a gay family may make him think homosexuality is ok and therefore accept sin as normal. On the flip side being orphaned isn’t being in a real family either, and also can bring about great harm to the child… It would be something that most people would want to give an answer to right away, but really that is something we would have to think and ponder about. Are they equal in harm? are they equal in good? What are the pros and cons for each and under what circumstances would he be living? It’s definitely not an easy question.

  • Haley McCalister

    What Ron said =P

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    There are varying studies that show severe problems with children who grow up in same sex families.

    Source please.

  • Haley McCalister

    I don’t know the entirety of your personal situation, so I’m just going to say with what facts you’ve given me.
    1) I think it’s GREAT that you save animals. I absolutely love cats and appreciate everyone who goes out of their way to help our little or big friends in the animal kingdom.
    2) humans are worth more than animals. Animals do not have the cognitive reasoning and rationality that humans do, and they do not have a soul made in the image of God. Animals do not possess free will like we do.
    3) again – I don’t know you. But from an objective standpoint, anyone who values animals over humans would be in the wrong. And I don’t think the Catholic Church would accept keeping an animal alive as a grave reason to not have kids. Not saying this as you are a terrible person and going to hell or whatever else – I don’t know you. That’s just the objective standpoint. Obviously you would probably want to talk to your pastor or priest or whoever else to really get some clarification, because contrary to popular belief I don’t know everything. That is my educated guess.

  • Haley McCalister

    Your marriage isn’t MEANINGLESS. That’s a bit much. However if you really don’t want kids then it is missing a fundamental part of what marriage is supposed to entail. Creating a family. Now, if you naturally can’t have kids that’s a bit different. But trying not to have kids naturally because you don’t want them is wrong.
    Although it’s wonderful that you rescue cats!! The one you mentioned above I’m sure feels loved and sounds adorable <3

  • Haley McCalister

    My baby (kitty) had to stay at my home because my new apt doesn’t allow animals =( when me and my boyfriend get married and have a place that will allow animals we will get a cat again ^_^ (Oliver is currently at my parents house).

  • Al Cruise

    That is no way proof. Purely subjective human assumptions. You are only parroting what your religion has taught you. Historical proof on the other hand has shown that catholic missionaries have killed 50 to 80 million indigenous people by introducing diseases for which they had no resistance — mainly smallpox, influenza, and measles. They justified it by saying they were called to bring God’s word to them. What they were doing was not of God and they did not have his inspired word to do so. They did what “they wanted to believe ” God would have them do.

  • Haley McCalister

    Just because it feels good doesn’t mean it’s healthy…

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I suppose that my remaining single is a terrible violation of God’s perfect design, then, just like homosexuality, eh?

  • Haley McCalister

    Good question! That gets brought up a lot when talking about the bible and St. Paul =P here’s an article that explains all that:

    http://jimhamilton.info/2006/09/02/may-women-teach-men-at-church/

  • Haley McCalister

    Ah you’re talking about the schism. I thought you might be referencing that, but wasn’t sure.

    Just to be clear, there was only one pope, and 2 false popes. there was a pope elected who WASNT Italian, and the people got all upset, and then later they elected an Italian again and the French got upset, and then there were people who wanted to be pope and held an elected but weren’t valid in doing so and it was all resolved relatively quickly. But yes, even popes sin lol

  • Haley McCalister

    Where do you have the evidence that it’s man made only?

  • “God instituted the Catholic Church and God does not make mistakes when revealing matters of infallible faith and morals.”

    Yikes.

    Have a nice day and light a candle for me.

  • Haley McCalister

    To say a religion is flawed because of its followers is bad logic. EVERY religion has bad followers. Especially in a religion that teaches that all humans are sinners.

    The only way to debunk a religion is to get at its theology, its structure, it’s philosophy, and what it is exactly.

  • Haley McCalister

    No, people just made the wrong move in order to right the wrongs they saw.

    I don’t know much about that particular document but Americanism is a heresy lol

    The Catholic Church is infallible on matters of FAITH and REASON ONLY. And no, you don’t have to be brainwashed to believe that.

  • Haley McCalister

    If her husband was her brother the idk

    I’m assuming he wasn’t therefore there is more context needed to understand what they meant. There is also the possibility that whoever she went to wasn’t completely aligned with the faith.

  • Haley McCalister

    God doesn’t want you to be a “baby machine”. You just have to be open to life. Being closed to a fundamental part of our nature isn’t healthy, spiritually and sometimes physically.

  • But if being ‘open to life’ means no birth control allowed, that IS being a baby machine. NFP is not a reliable method, and why is that okay to use to avoid pregnancy, but everything else is ‘evil’? So much hypocrisy.

  • Haley McCalister

    The immorality of people WITHIN the Catholic Church you mean. You again are not separating the people from the religion itself. We CANNOT judge a religion by its followers. ANY religion. We can however judge the followers by the religion. That’s how it’s supposed to work.

    The Catholic Church is infallible on matters of faith and morals. It’s teachings are pure. The people who follow Catholicism may be wrong, and we all sin. If you want to attack the church please do so toward the actual faith, and NOT its followers.

  • Haley McCalister

    I meant in Christianity. Sorry about the confusion.

  • It’s not ‘fundamental’ anymore, now that the world has more than the two original people it started with. I’ll be the judge of how meaningful my marriage and family is, thanks.

  • Ron McPherson

    Haley,

    Me and my wife have two grown sons and they are a blessing. However, a family is formed at the marriage. While having kids may enlarge the family, it doesn’t make it one. Just my 2 cents.

  • $136305622

    Catholic Church taught that coupes should live like brother and sister except when coming together a couple times for child making. Living like brother and sister means platonicly.

  • Haley McCalister

    I agree that there are many many bad people in the church today that are doing terrible things and deserve justice. All we can do is keep searching and hope we rid them all.

  • I’m not Catholic, so I’m not too invested in what the Vatican thinks of my marriage and family choices. I’d rather look to Scripture for that guidance than the ‘advice’ from fallen men who are forbidden to have marriages and children of their own. There’s much that I admire about the Catholic Church, but there’s also so many ‘rules’ that just don’t make any sense, and this is one of them.

  • Ron McPherson

    I hope this doesn’t sound mean, but wouldn’t the burden of proof be on you to prove that it IS, not on Bones to prove it is NOT.

  • Ron McPherson

    We used to have a dog named Oliver : )

  • Jeff Preuss

    Oh my gosh, so much is right with this. Especially if her whole argument is resting on us having a ‘sickness.’

  • Haley McCalister

    1) I hear what you’re saying. I agree, that wouldn’t be a sound argument. Here’s one more article about the subject – but I can in no way change your mind on anything. And neither would I expect to. If you find your interest piqued I would encourage you to look into these matters for yourself (a bit of self educational learning is always healthy! Usually…lol XD) but only if you want to =)
    http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2011/01/glad-you-asked-how-did-jesus-found-church

    2) I agree with you on that point. The authority of the Catholic Church needs to be the base point – and really those other ones stem from it.

    If there is a god (which I believe there is, and after many many philosophical and theological studies I have found the Christian God to be the most likely option) then it would make sense from what we know of him that he would leave us with a way to find the truth. I believe there is a solid truth, and that we can know it. Of course I believe it’s Catholicism, and will continue to do so until I find something that seems contradictory or false about it. I don’t think we can never know, or that there isn’t one religion that isn’t right about everything. That wouldn’t make sense as to how we understand God working. But that would get into a huge theological and philosophical discussion that I believe would be better with a person and not over the Internet.

  • Haley McCalister

    If you feel attacked I apologize. It’s not my intention to attack you. However others on this thread are behaving in an adult manner and it should follow that we all behaved accordingly.

  • Haley McCalister

    What proof do you have that it wasn’t? Here’s an article about it if you care:
    http://www.uscatholic.org/church/2011/01/glad-you-asked-how-did-jesus-found-church

  • Haley McCalister

    We must be open to children in the context of a marriage relationship (or a committed monogamous heterosexual relationship). Being single is a vocation just as marriage or the holy life.

    Lots of couples can’t have children due to this world being fallen. Not being able to have children naturally is completely different than stifling your ability to have children. You must be open to life either way. And most people who can’t have children end up adopting because they want children. So it kinda works out in this crazy world…

    Here’s an article that explains infertile couples and this reasoning is why it can’t be applied to gay couples. Please read the whole thing as it will sound very confusing at first:
    http://www.catholic.com/blog/trent-horn/why-the-church-cannot-marry-the-impotent

  • Ron McPherson

    Well I appreciate the reference, but the very point I’m making is that everyone, and I mean EVERYONE, reads the Bible in context. Those who take Paul’s words addressing homosexuality in anything other than literal fashion, while refusing to admit that any differing interpretation may have validity, themselves have no trouble whatsoever in reading other things Paul says in context and non-literal fashion.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’ve read that article before, and it says nothing about infertile couples and why it can’t be applied to gay couples, only that infertile couples can get married and impotent couples can’t (something I’m aware of). But nothing that you’ve said disputes anything that I’ve said: that being unable to have children is not a problem in straight marriages, so why would it be an issue in gay marriages? And as you said, being single is just fine (even though it obviously means no kids) so clearly it isn’t as if one needs to be having kids to be living a holy life.

  • Haley McCalister

    Here is an article that explains he erastai thing:
    http://abbey-roads.blogspot.com/2010/10/sts-sergius-and-bacchus-soldier-saints.html?m=1

    Yeah, and I get that… I’m only 20 and not a speaker by any means lol i figure, in the end, every true discussion would lead back around to is there a God and who’s God is he? However I think online it’s incredibly hard to articulate these things, and even harder to type it out. So I usually just come in with the mindset of sharing the truth with others, and if they don’t believe it they can go their merry way or search for it themselves. It may not be the best approach, it may even be a downright terrible approach that does more harm than good. I don’t know yet. But I still wanted to say something. I know the probability of changing anyone’s mind online is 1-1000. Probably less. So i just hope to bring people another view and to explain why I disagree with certain things, and maybe we could all have an open minded discussions about things. (If people would talk about anything other than how sinful people are… Cuz that doesn’t work as an argument…

  • Haley McCalister

    Catholics are Christian. You are not a Christian Catholic.

  • ashpenaz

    Old people do, sure. I heard someone say “gay” the other day and it sounded like “Negro.” It was weird. Here’s a list of current terminology:

    https://internationalspectrum.umich.edu/life/definitions

  • ashpenaz

    Paul wouldn’t know what homosexual meant, either.

  • Haley McCalister

    No problem =) thanks for being so respectful yourself! ^_^

    Yeah, I want to but I don’t think I have the knowledge enough to do it well, especially not over the Internet =/ the best I can do right now is just explain my position. I don’t really know how to go about converting people or anything =P the best I can hope for currently is that people are interested enough in what I have to say to look it up for themselves some more, but eh, I do what I can

  • Haley McCalister

    Yes, but it’s not me who says that. The family unit is between a man and a women and their children. Sin has taken control of the world and the family is broken now, but what constitutes a marriage is why homosexual unions aren’t valid marriages, or why they are sins against our nature, against God.

  • Haley McCalister

    I will ;)

  • Haley McCalister

    I am not being told anything. The Catholic Church is one of the biggest places where we can exercise our free will to the fullest. Just because you don’t understand that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

  • Ryan Dabian

    I thought as much…

  • Haley McCalister

    What does catholic missionaries have to do with the bible? Most Protestants believe the bible was inspired as well. And the Jews definitely thought so.

    Again – another example of people either sinning or not. You cannot cite humans as a reference for why the faith is wrong. You cannot judge a religion based on humans. You judge humans based on their religion. If you have a problem with the church then find something in its doctrine that you don’t like and I’ll talk about it. If you have a problem with people in the church I’ll have to find what exactly they did and why it was or was not wrong. And I don’t have the proper context or education to argue the latter currently.

  • Haley McCalister

    The basic point is if the possibility of pregnancy is possible, then a marriage is valid. Gays have no possibility of pregnancy. Marriage is between one man and one woman, and sex is used as the ultmate gift of self toward your partner, as a procreative method, and other things. You cannot take anything that sex was created for and take it out of the equation. Gays can’t have children, and therefore homosexuality is disordered. Here is one more thing on it. I asked my philosophy teacher for a better explanation on this, so I’m going to quote him:

    “Homosexuality and Infertility

    That’s a good question and, as you’ve experienced, asked often when people argue for marriage as it has been traditionally understood.

    It seems to me that an adequate answer needs to be rooted in human nature. The meaning of marriage is love, a love which is specifically sexual in that it forms on the foundation of sexual difference. Sexual differentiation creates the possibility for a unique love, one that disposes a couple for an exceptionally intimate union, which union is by nature ordered toward the creation of life.

    From these facts available to reflection we can see that marriage is founded in human nature, precisely in sexual differentiation. It is nature that is the decisive factor, and this is why someone infertile (due to disability or age) can get married, for the marriage is still in accord with human nature as sexually differentiated.

    A sexual relationship without sexual difference doesn’t have the same capacity for intimacy of union, since it does not have the physical, emotional or psychological complementarity that a sexual differentiated couple has; nor does it have the natural potential to create life, and so the couple can’t, as friends, share in the greatest of goods that can unite two people: the good of another person, the child, another “you-and-me.”

    Because of these reasons the Catholic faith argues that same sex sexual relationships will frustrate the desires for happiness of the members of the couple, and they will always fall short of the intimacy of communion the heart truly desires.

    The human heart desires communion and life; human nature is inscribed with these two possibilities; and sexual union is their expression and realization.

    I hope this is of some help, God bless you, Haley,
    R.McN”

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    You cannot judge a religion based on humans.

    You keep saying that, but I fail to see why anyone would follow a religion that doesn’t seem to do anyone any good.

    Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

  • Haley McCalister

    No I would agree usually. But I’ve already presented articles about it that he doesn’t like, and it’s obvious he doesn’t actually care about what I think. So I was just giving him the opportunity to say something that I might be able to form an argument against.

  • Haley McCalister

    No, single is a vocation as any other.

  • $136305622

    You are really pulling our leg here lol. You are definitely alone in feeling that reaction from hearing gay!

  • Haley McCalister
  • Haley McCalister

    Well if you don’t understand I would highly encourage you to find something local to teach you about it =) since you understand some things about the church, I think you would do well in learning more ^_^ I could also just tell you, but I don’t believe you want that and things like this are better received under willing circumstances.

  • Al Cruise

    You judge a religion based on the fruits it produces through humans. Namely, how that fruit effects the least among us, the vulnerable and the innocent. Your theology doesn’t hold up well, especially when looked at through the lens of the Holy Spirit.

  • Ryan Dabian

    So it all comes down to genitalia? Huh, I always thought a little thing called love was the most important thing in a romantic relationship. Turns out that the naughty bits make the marriage.

    Keep asserting your opinion as fact won’t eventually make it true. No matter how vehemently you try, your dogma won’t be seen as anything else than arbitrary rules made by ignorant men.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    The basic point is if the possibility of pregnancy is possible, then a marriage is valid.

    No, no, no, no; even by the Roman Catholic standards, this is wrong. Go read the article you just referred me to; it isn’t if pregnancy is possible, then marriage is valid, it’s if sex is possible. That’s why two infertile people can get married; a woman who didn’t have any reproductive organs at all (no uterus, no ovaries) could still get married so long as she had a vagina that was capable of taking in a penis. While I find this to be a weird prerequisite, it is the one that the Roman Catholic Church abides by.

    Which is why the whole, “and gays can’t have kids, so they can’t get married!” thing doesn’t make sense; being able to have children isn’t a prerequisite to marriage.

  • Haley McCalister

    Yes I believe a family starts with the marriage =) not with having kids. But I also believe not being open to children go against the very nature and purpose OF the family.

  • Ryan Dabian

    Family Research Council. Seems legit.

  • Haley McCalister

    What’s fundamental for humans on an objectively moral and spiritual level will always be fundamental. No amount of science or technology can do away with that.

  • Haley McCalister

    ^_^ <3

  • $136305622

    That is a good way to look at religion. Although, I do believe if everyone really adopted that view (“how that fruit effects the least among us”) no one should adhere to any of the established religions.

  • Haley McCalister

    Not everyone reads the bible in context (unless you were meaning that everyone thinks they do). There is a specific way to read the bible that really should be left to the people who are educated to do so. Uneducated allowance of reading spiritual texts is how the biggest confusion in church history came about to begin with.

  • DailyAlice

    The term, no, but he certainly knew of its existence.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I’d look at the study, except it’s behind a $35.95 paywall.

  • Ryan Dabian

    Oh and besides your hilariously biased source. They based their opinion on the discredited research by Mark Regnerus. You’re going have to do better than that.

  • Haley McCalister

    1) yes, every human has said something wrong at one point. But his talks about homosexuality aren’t.

    2) the scientific research that went into disproving it was nowhere near the full validity needed to take it out of the APA. But ok.

    3) Catholic Church was instituted by God, and when they speak on matters of faith and morals yes they speak for God.

    4) infallible in matters of faith and morals. And condoms have everything to do with morality.

    5) at this point well just have to agree to disagree.

  • DailyAlice

    No one can prove such a thing, as you well know. But I tend to believe that it is untrue. I think the bible was written by men trying to figure out what God would think. Sometimes they were right. And then Christ came and, in my opinion, simplified things considerably.

  • DailyAlice

    A religion doesn’t do things. People do things. Just as a business or institution can’t be religious. Only people.

  • DailyAlice

    A vocation? Sometimes being single is just (happy or unhappy) a condition.

  • No he didn’t. Sexual orientation wasn’t understood as a concept until the 19th century, and even now we’re still learning.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx
  • $136305622

    He knew of two men getting it on. Otherwise, he wouldn’t have mentioned it.

  • DailyAlice

    There are even more studies that show severe problems with children who grow up in opposite sex families. Geez.

  • Ryan Dabian

    On your second point: no one is replacing anything. Merely matching reality of families headed by same-sex couples.

    You have made it clear that you believe this to be your position of the definition of family as a man and a woman. I am in no way of stopping you from believing that, but could you give others the same right to hold on to their definition of family?

  • $136305622

    “You cannot judge a religion based on humans.”
    You can only judge a religion based on humans. Humans created the religion and carry on its rituals, policies, etc.

  • DailyAlice

    Why is it wrong? Trust me, bringing a third party into my marriage would have been disastrous. And financially unfeasible.

  • $136305622

    “You keep saying that, but I fail to see why anyone would follow a religion that doesn’t seem to do anyone any good.”

    Yes – also, think about why someone would follow a religion that actually does people harm. Every religion does someone some good somehow. Just think of the freebies or riches the preachers get, or those who make up the rules.

  • Okay Haley. It’s time to sit your straight arse down, shut up, and actually listen to LGBTQ people because we are a lot more qualified to speak on our own lives than an armchair theologian who doesn’t understand the first thing about sexual orientation, mental health, or gender identity.

    First things first: We are not a disease.

    Do I need to repeat that?

    We. Are. Not. A. Disease.

    My sexual orientation is not a mental health issue for you to diagnose. You are not qualified. You don’t get to do that. Every legitimate mental health association in the world unanimously agrees that you are completely wrong. Sexual orientation is simply another type of human sexuality.

    But you don’t care, because it’s easy for you to claim that we’re diseased than that we’re normal, healthy people who are simply different than you.

    We don’t need to be cured. There’s nothing to cure. Your god cannot change my orientation. Believe me, I was forced to try. It didn’t take.

    But hows this for an experiment? Why don’t you show your Christian love by actually standing in solidarity with the people you spiritually abuse? By that I mean, live the life for yourself that you demand of us. Set aside your boyfriend or husband as Peter set his wife aside for Christ. No children. No hot sex with your hubby. No companionship. No marriage. Nothing for you that you demand of us. Think you can find the strength to make this sacrifice to show your Christian LGBTQ siblings how much you care about them?

    Yeah, didn’t think so.

  • DailyAlice

    I like your icon. Moving on–

  • …the hell?

    Bisexuality mean a person is attracted to more than one gender. That’s it. The end. A bisexual person can just as easily be monogamous as a straight or gay person (and considering the rate of infidelity in heterosexual marriages, its not a hard bar to reach).

  • DailyAlice

    I’m no theologian (though I know some) but it seems obvious to me why homosexuality is disparaged or condemned in the Old Testament, or the Hebraic books. It is because a tribal people, particularly a monotheistic people beset by powerful enemies, NEED TO GROW THE TRIBE. The paternalistic pattern of their vulnerable situation needed all the support possible, and they knew that God had given them their homeland and were desperate to hold onto it. Man on man sex would not be helpful. Neither would masturbation, a subject I enjoy bringing up because no one else will and the prophets were just as hard on that sexual practice!

  • Sexual orientation comprises a lot more than just who one ‘gets it on’ with.

  • $136305622

    Interesting. As a gay man, I honestly can say I am no different from my straight male friends except for whom I wish to “get it on” with. I must have missed something in the past 23 years of being an adult, out gay man!!

  • DailyAlice

    I’m sorry if I offended you, but I still find it odd that having rejected your church (there ARE Catholic fundamentalists) you presume to advise gays on church teachings. For one thing, several of the large protestant denominations have changed their policy on homosexuality –and yes–experienced schism as a result. As for Catholicism, we all know good Catholics who ignore primary teachings. There are devout, sexually active gays in the pews. There are many Catholic women on birth control. And now with this pope: it’s anyone’s guess what doctrinal tumult he will foment. Perhaps none of this is relevant to your avocation of helping religious gays, but at least you’ll understand where I stand. Out on the border, with the progressives.

  • andrew

    Like what? Please expand on that comment.

  • DailyAlice

    I thought gays were pushing for the right to marry. I’m proud of Christians who stand with them, but it never occurred to me that single gays are the new target of disapproval. And I doubt it’s occurred to many Christians.

  • And as another gay man, I can say that I differ from my straight male friends not only in which gender I wish to ‘get it on’ with, but who I fall in love with, make romantic connections with, am emotionally intimate with, marry, start a family, etc. All separate from just ‘getting it on.’

    If that’s not your case, fine, but enough with the assumption that the only thing that defines sexual orientation is sex.

  • MrCorvus

    No, it comes down to this part:

    “One of the things which I hope this makes clear is that even if it could be shown (as I do not think it can) that it is obligatory to regard Paul as referring to lesbians and gay men in what we know as Romans 1:26b-27; even then, the one use to which his reference could not be put, without doing serious violence to the text, is a use which legitimates any sort of judging of such people.”

    Of course, you immediately judged such people, saying they were sick. Did you even read your own link?

  • If you’re straight, I’m assuming your heterosexuality also influences who you fall in love with, create emotional intimacy with, and all those other things that straight people gush over beyond just sex.

    It’s the same for us. Not a very difficult concept.

  • DailyAlice

    Oh, I getcha. Yeah, sex was sloppy and all over the place in the old days. Little children were reared in an atmosphere of anything goes. Then the “grey Galilean” had to ruin the fun. Except I think the early Israelites got there first.

  • $136305622

    I am not sure I am “advising gays on church teachings” (well, honestly, I don’t know what that actually means, so I know I have not done it).

    As for Catholics – those who are active gays or birth control users are worse than the strict Catholics. Why continue to support an organization that hates you?! The pope is fundamentalist (has a nicer smile than his two predecessors but upholds the exact same dogma and doctrine – as we have seen.) Nothing will change under him with regard to treatment of gay people. It is just sad that a gay person would not see through the problems of believing in these religions.

  • $136305622

    Yes, I wish to get it on with men, fall in love with a man, make romantic connections witha man, be emotionally intimate with a man, start a family (maybe) with a man, etc. Enough with the assumption that it has to do with more than the object of our attraction.

  • andrew

    The discussion about the meanings of phrases in these ancient mythological writings is interesting, but no more related to reality than discussing the gods of Mount Olympus or Thor. You are discussing the writings of people who believed that demons caused diseases and had no concept of the reality of the vastness and splendor of the universe.

  • ashpenaz

    Are you aromantic? biromantic? genderqueer? cisgender? genderfluid? polyamorous? Saying you’re “gay” means nothing anymore.

  • That is not what you said. And since I’m tired of having my sexual orientation reduced to ‘getting it on,’ I’m not interested in continuing this exchange.

  • $136305622

    Sure I did – i said that the difference between me and my straight friends is sex of who I want to be with. Same thing.

  • DailyAlice

    I thought you said that you were trying to spare young gays from the pain of becoming Catholic, or some such. Sorry if I misunderstood. As for your final line, maybe he just believes in God. Believing or not believing is where the line lies, not between sinful or not sinful.

  • $136305622

    cuckoo comment.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Given this last post, I’m not sure what you and @the_irish_atheist:disqus differ on in opinion, given that you both believe that being gay is about who you want to form romantic relationships with?

  • ashpenaz

    Walk into any campus LBGT+ center and find out for yourself. There are no binaries between “gay” and “straight” anymore. There is no “male” and “female” binary, either. Using “gay” means you’re of a certain generation.

  • $136305622

    Oh I got you – now I understand the advising. Yes, I would encourage young gays to flee all connection with a bible-believing religion.

  • $136305622

    Indeed! I am not sure either lol.

  • $136305622

    Hmmm…and yet I would be walking into a LBGT+ center. You might want to check your use of offensive terminology!!!

  • Al Cruise

    Agreed.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    “Gay” has nothing to do with the terms you mentioned; they do not supersede or take the place of “gay.” It’s rather like saying “peanut allergy” means nothing because of “lactose intolerance.”

    edit: We’re going to use me as an example:

    Am I aromantic? No. Biromantic? No. Genderqueer? No. Cisgender? Yes. Genderfluid? No. Polyamorous? No. Now, am I attracted to people of my sex or people of a different sex? You tell me.

  • 1) The main thing I liked about the article is that, at the crux, it says that the RCC traditionally understood the church to be the kingdom of God, but this was wrong. This doesn’t seem to cause the author any dissonance that there has been a clear shift in Catholicism on the definition of the church and its relationship to the kingdom Jesus proclaimed.

    But Matthew 16:18 does not say, “I, Jesus, hereby found the church as an institution. I make Peter this institution’s head, and this institution will continually have a primary leader that will have an organic connection to Peter. It is this body, and this body alone, that is qualified to speak for me.”

    All those things are interpretations of Matthew 16:18. You can’t -depend- on Matthew 16:18 as proving the RCC’s authority, because that understanding of Matthew 16:18 -depends- on the RCC’s authority. Plenty of Christians don’t think Matthew 16:18 says what the RCC claims it does, and it’s circular to say the RCC’s interpretation is the correct one.

    2) God has never promised his people that there would be a group or mechanism for them that would provide constant certainty. Israel did not have the Roman Catholic Church, nor were they promised infallible leadership, prophets, or teachers.

    -We- may desire that, and having such a ready access of certainty is definitely attractive, but God doesn’t have to provide it, nor has He promised that He would. In both Testaments, nobody’s authority or interpretations go unchallenged but God Himself. Even the apostle Paul in Acts 17 commends the Berean church for not accepting his word on the basis of his office or authority. It actually seems to me more like God wants the pursuit of his truth to be a collective, Spirit-filled enterprise where no particular gifting or office is a guarantee that Person X is going to be error free.

  • Ron McPherson

    “There is a specific way to read the bible that really should be left to the people who are educated to do so.”

    Leaving the interpretation of Scripture up to someone else can be dangerous. Rely on the Holy Spirit of God to bring you truth. Teachers and educators can be good, but God speaks to us directly through His Spirit. Don’t depend on a church structure to tell you what it means.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    From your website:

    Gay: A person who is attracted primarily to members of the same sex. Although it can be used for any sex (e.g. gay man, gay woman, gay person), “lesbian” is sometimes the preferred term for women who are attracted to women.

  • He does, but he doesn’t cite any sources where erastai is used to mean anything but “lovers.” The Greek word literally means “lovers.” That’s not to say it couldn’t be used to mean “guys who have a deep but totally non-romantic love for each other.” I have male friends whom I love whom I am not interested in romantically, and that’s totally a thing.

    However, literally every manuscript I’m aware of uses the word to mean lovers. That’s where we get the word “pederasty” from. I’d be happy to see other manuscripts that use the word differently, but I haven’t seen any.

    I’d also want to know why those two saints were paraded around in women’s clothing when they were arrested.

  • Ron McPherson

    As a hetero male, the light bulb finally turned on for me when I came to the understanding that being LGBT could not be reduced down to merely a sex act. I seriously think this is where a lot of ignorance persists.

  • 1) Ok, and I would agree with you, but that definition of “sex” can easily accommodate two men. The fact that two men can’t procreate does not strike me immediately as grounds for being sinful. If a married man and woman can’t get pregnant, is it a sin for them to have sex?

    I think the whole procreation-natural law angle flows more from the early church’s reliance on Aristotle than the Scriptures. But obviously YMMV.

    2) Ok, but still – I’m still looking for the Scriptures that connect the concept of God’s salvation of His people with going to Heaven. I think Plato would have that concept of salvation, but I don’t think the Semitic authors of the New Testament do.

  • Well thanks!

  • I get what you’re saying, and maybe spectrum is an even better way of thinking about these issues, but I’m pretty sure common usage does not reflect this, even among the LBGT community.

    Then again, Jeopardy and Matlock are on, so I need to grab my recliner and check ’em out.

  • Why would they call it an LBGT center? Why would YOU for that matter?

  • I’m aromatic.

  • MrCorvus

    The Bible disagrees with you.

    There are a multitude of verses that speak of God’s anger and his wrath. To say God is incapable of anger is to ignore a large chunk of the Bible.

  • $136305622

    Very true – there is a lot of ignorance about sexual practices!

  • $136305622

    Ah, I get what you were meaning now. (Sorry, took me a little time!). Paul would not have understood the concept of being “gay” or having a complete life with a same-sex partner. You are correct. I misunderstood you to say that Paul would not have understood what a “homosexual” was. I do apologize – we are on the same page I believe!!

  • DailyAlice

    Though glad to end this exchange on a note of amity, but I must mention that when people use the term “bible-believing” they usually are referring to a literalist reading. And despite two ancestors and two close relations in the (Lutheran) ministry, I am no literalist.

  • $136305622

    Thank you for the heads up about the term. I mean literally those who believe in the bible at all.

  • Grove City and Gordon Conwell! How do we not know each other?

    I mean, I didn’t go to either, so that probably accounts for it, but T. David Gordon is an old friend, and so was Dr. Meredith Kline before his passing.

  • Haley McCalister

    When we talk about God at all, our language is either metaphorical or analogous. God does not get angry and act out of spiteful anger like we might.

    http://www.thedivinemercy.org/news/Which-is-He-A-God-of-Wrath-or-of-Mercy-2578

  • Haley McCalister

    The faith, when lived correctly, does much good. More good than other faiths I would say. When people DONT live it out, then it produces bad fruit. We absolutely must judge people by how they live their faith because you can’t say “a pedophile is a Catholic therefore Catholicism is wrought in sexual sin” when the very teaching of the Catholic Church condemns pedophilia.

    I would agree, we need to look and see how certain Faith’s are played out when followed correctly to see if they produce good or bad fruit. Which is why I said you can’t judge a faith based on those who sin against it. It makes no sense.

  • DailyAlice

    Speaking for myself, I don’t see sex outside of a “committed” relationship as sinful. I think sex outside of a loving and respectful relationship as sinful. And within casual sex there is much opportunity for manipulation and exploitation. It requires responsible attention to detail. It can be done, I guess. No relationship is safe from accident/mistake/sin.

  • Haley McCalister

    That’s true. What I was saying was that you can’t judge a religion by those who constantly sin against it. If you take a Catholic who is also a pedophile as your example that Catholicism brings about sexual evil, your argument is invalid because the Catholic Church condemns such acts. You have to look at what the church does through the people who follow it perfectly.
    A problem in this world is there are no perfect people. So what we need to do instead is to see what fruits are produced when someone follows the the teachings of the church. Since no one persons life will be perfect to their religion (the exceptions being Jesus and Mary).

  • $136305622

    I agree that sex that is manipulative and exploitative is wrong (because by definition someone gets harmed). I don’t think that describes casual sex that much. I definitely think there was more chance for me to be manipulative or coercive when I was dating or in a relationship than when I was just having a hook up!

  • Steven Kerr

    Haley McCalister – With all due respect, I think that the Catholic Faith and Tradition is a very rich, vibrant, living tradition which portrays the beauty and truth of the Christian faith. There are many Catholic laymen that I know, wonderful clergymen, and great resources that I try to immerse myself in. My more than happy to consult Catholic and Orthodox books, teachings, sites and people as well as Protestant resources in order to enrich my faith.

    But your dead, dead wrong on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity and so is Catholic Teaching. Your terribly ignorant comments are exactly why I am a Protestant Believer. There are many things that the Cathoic Tradition teaches which I can never accept: for example they don’t allow transgender people to be godparents (what a disgusting policy), putting aside all of their strange teachings about birth control, women’s ordination, purgatory etc.

    There is nothing in the Bible remotely about transgender issues and I believe that there are positive hints towards people who do not fall completely male or female. And anyway a
    Christian’s primary identity is in Christ so it does not matter what the race, sexual orientation, gender identity, class they are.

    I believe that a living faith is personal and that every Christian has a personal responsibity to responsibly interpret the Bible for themselves user the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In this case that means being open to what we now know about orientation and gender identity.

    For the most part, Catholic
    Officials are completely ignorant about LGBT issues because they derive their understanding from traditions which are completely ignorant of what we know about gender identity and orientation.

    There are several times when traditions were wrong: eg: slavery, women’s rights, anti-Semitism. Therefore I don’t believe any tradition can be infallible.

  • DailyAlice

    Universal condemned. And universally present. And frequently winked at. I have seen the role of gays in church congregations. They are active and creative. They are accepted as friends, fellow worshippers, fellow art and music enthusiasts. (I go to a pretty fancy church.) But they do not claim to be gay and no one calls them gay. It’s a deal. Lie and you’re in. I don’t think we should expect people to lie lest we be forced to reject them. I think that is a sin. Of course, under the rule of silence, it’s hard to judge how the congregation as a whole feels. (Or as individuals.)

  • Haley McCalister

    I have listened to several LGBTQ people thank you. The ones actually interested in conversation only confirmed what I have learned. Also I’m not an armchair theologian. Please don’t make any assumptions about my character, as I am not making any about your character. Also I know a lot about all three of those categories. Just because you don’t agree doesn’t mean I don’t know.

    I never said you were a disease. You, as most people, are confusing homosexuals with homosexuality. They are not the same. One is a person with a homosexual orientation, the other is just an orientation. And homosexuality is a disorder. You are not a disorder, homosexuality is.

    Also you and others seem to think I’m pulling this out of thin air. I’m not pulling it out of thin air. I didn’t just look at homosexuals and decide for myself what to think about them. I researched it and looked into my faith and science and looked at everything that’s gone down over the years concerning it. They may say I’m wrong, and if you want to believe them fine. I just don’t find their findings to match up with good studies, and I understand my faith personally to a point to where I know what that means about our sexuality as humans. I can’t articulate it very well in writing but I’m trying.

    People don’t usually change if they don’t want to. Regardless of if they can. And God can heal anything – even homosexuality. There are so many people and witnesses to that fact.

    And I love my gay brothers and sisters. I don’t think they are any less than me, or that I’m better than them, or that they are automatically going to hell or anything like that. I just believe they have a sexual orientation that’s contradictory to our nature and should be dealt with in love, compassion, understanding, and with God.
    And for the record I haven’t had sex with my boyfriend. And we don’t demand those things of you. We just teach that doing those things with the same sex is immoral. So yes, I do do those things already. I don’t have sexual relations with people of the same sex. That is what we ask of every person, because that is what our nature is.

  • Haley McCalister

    If you don’t even believe in God then you can’t really create an argument against me. Not about this topic, as I’m clearly discussing things from a Christian perspective. If you want to talk about religion that’s fine, but I’m not very good at articulating what I want to say and I may just make it more confusing for you.

  • DailyAlice

    The “if you have the money” thing comes up often. As if those without money are not entitled to their own moral decisions. Prosperity theology.

  • Haley McCalister

    Saying someone has a disorder isn’t judging them. The kind of judging Christ forbids us to do is to judge someone character, which I take precautions never to do, and I apologize in advance if it seems like I am. I think gays are wonderful people. I’ve said that since the beginning. I know many gay people who are much nicer than some religious people. But saying someone has a disorder isn’t judgemental like that. I’m not saying their stupid, or that their slow, or anything. Just that they have a sexual disorder (we all have a disorder in one way or another, some peoples are just in a different part of their lives. However we shouldn’t just knock it off as perfectly fine when it’s not).

    And yes I read it.

  • Haley McCalister

    The bible was compiled after Christ, and the NT was written after Christ. The OT was written previously. But the entire Old Testament was definitely inspired by God (as the Jews hold for most of it) and the New Testament was inspired by God as well with those who closely followed him (like Paul, Luke, Matthew, etc)

  • DailyAlice

    In Jesus’s time, to divorce a woman (the opposite couldn’t happen) was next door to a death sentence. Wives were thrown into the streets to starve or sell their bodies. The children belonged to the husband. This may explain Jesus’s negative view.

  • Haley McCalister

    Humans created the vast majority of religions you’re right. But most religions claim that their God/s started it. Therefore you must look at their doctrine, and see how it plays out when actually followed by people. If catholic doctrine goes against pedophilia, but a Catholic commits the sin of pedophilia, you cannot blame that on the religion because it teaches against that. It is the human that did the wrong. You must look at how things happen when the faith is lived out like it’s supposed to be.

  • Haley McCalister

    The wording is confusing specifically because God does not actually inflict punishment onto people. He allows bad things to happen, and he can heal bad things that happen. If you believe that a perfect God would inflict imperfection upon his creation then I don’t think we can take this further, as our perception of God is completely different.

  • Haley McCalister

    Yes a vocation. Each person is called to be something, whether single, or married, or holy life. But I was saying that in response to being single is a sin because you can’t have children. If you are single your whole life and like it that way (or don’t) then no not having kids isn’t a sin because you are not in a vocation currently that involves having sex or having kids.

  • MrCorvus

    It was confusing, because the first part of your first post stated:

    “what St. Paul talks about in the bible isn’t something completely different than homosexuality today. It is not comparing apples to oranges.”

    Where the link you provided argues exactly the opposite, that what Paul is referring to in no way is a reflection on current homosexual relationships, but was in reference to the pagan ritual homosexuality and pederasty of that culture.

    It seems you were trying to refute one of Mr. Corey’s points with a link that agrees with his interpretation.

  • Haley McCalister

    They want to replace the definition of a family from man and woman to any two adults. So yes, they are replacing it.

    Technically anyone can do whatever they want and I can’t stop them. But I will still try to say otherwise because I know homosexuality to be disordered, and same sex families would then be bad for the soul and for the people involved in it. I would not be against it if I did not think I had a valid reason for it to be wrong.

  • $136305622

    Yes that is true. There are many actions that are immoral that are part of church teaching ( example being the missionaries in a previous post for one, since you brought up pedophilia, the protection of priests by bishops, the refusal to report offenses to public authorities, defaming glbt in public, etc.)

  • $136305622

    P.s. ALL religions, not a vast majority, were created by humans.

  • Haley McCalister

    Yes, but those families are usually broken. Also, this world is a fallen world so nothing will be perfect. If you look at healthy heterosexual families you will see that they perform much better than any other kind of family.

  • Bones

    So the pedophile scandals are America’s fault not the Catholic Church’s.

    Hmm we (Australia) have a massive investigation into bishops over here and an even bigger one in Ireland. And I know there’s more around the world.

    No.

    The root cause is within the Church itself. Which includes it’s teaching.

    If it wasn’ t for secular law the bastards would still be doing it.

  • Bones

    How is having sex with my wife not healthy?

    I would say enforced celibacy is unhealthy.

    That is truly bizarre.

  • Bones

    Really…

    The separation of church and state and religious liberties are heresies???

    That hole you’re digging is getting very deep.

  • Bones

    The church is its people.

    And it is not infallible.

    You repeating it’s own claim about itself does not make it so.

  • Haley McCalister
  • Haley McCalister

    Really? =/ I didn’t have to pay anything

  • Bones

    Oh I’m not the one being called sick and disordered.

    I’m just astounded that you think we should accept Catholic dogma, like that means anything to us.

    You may as well quote from the Book of Mormon or the Koran.

  • Bones

    Thank god.

  • Haley McCalister

    That’s not the vibe I was getting from it, but if that’s what you got out of it then I won’t press the subject because obviously we are getting different results =P

  • Haley McCalister

    Are you a Christian? God created a religion (that is by no means a mere religion) for his people on earth.

  • Bones

    Religion is the framework and ideology which motivates behaviour

    Eg protecting the sanctity of the priesthood and the infallibility of the church by protecting sexual abusing priests.

  • Haley McCalister

    How are the missionaries the church teaching? Again the sins of the bishops and the priests are not a reflection of Catholic teaching when Catholic teaching clearly says we can’t do those things.

  • Haley McCalister

    If the teaching is against pedos it can’t be in the teaching. That’s an ignorant statement. People are doing it because they have no sense of morality, of God, of respect for human dignity, and a plethora of other things because they have been corrupted. We are all corrupt to some degree. The problem is not with the teaching, it’s with the people who no longer care about the faith they follow.

  • Haley McCalister

    If you would be financially unstable in a terrible way that would probably count as a “grave circumstance”. I only say probably because I don’t know your situation and it’s supposed to be something you pray about and decide for yourself in good conscious while trying to follow God.

  • $136305622

    Was catholic. I know all about what man has created.

  • Haley McCalister

    It’s not healthy spiritually even tho it may not cause any physical problems. However our souls are intertwined with our bodies (being a spiritual substance) and what damages our soul will still have negative side effects, even if we don’t realize it (like agreeing or falling into sin more, or other things).

  • $136305622

    You have to read up on church history. The missionaries had full backing of church from a financial AND theological perspective. That is how pope Francis can canonize juniper serra

  • Julie

    Maybe because God doesn’t live outside of time. Nothing in the Bible suggests that, anyway. Perhaps time is simply a word we use to describe the reality that existence is sequential. I know, off topic. But just some thoughts.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Okay, I’m thinking you don’t have a background in science, yes? What you linked to wasn’t a scientific study, but was instead someone’s interpretation of a study (in this case, the Family Research Council’s interpretation). When I went to access the actual study itself (located here) I found that it was behind a paywall. However, from what I can tell, others find the study to be problematic. I can’t judge for myself because, as I said, the thing is behind a paywall. I can only go by what others indicate.

  • Haley McCalister

    Relying on yourself alone with God can also be dangerous too. While I don’t oppose to reading or owning a bible (I own my own as well) I don’t take it upon myself to be able to interpret what it means on a very theological level. We shouldn’t just accept it blindly from anyone else but we shouldn’t just rely on ourselves either.

  • Bones

    That is abject twaddle.

  • Haley McCalister
  • Bones

    The infallible Syllabus of Errors

    Statements the encyclical condemned as false include the following:

    “Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil.” (No. 3)

    “All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind.” (No. 4)

    “In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” (No. 77)

    “Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church.” (No. 18).

    “The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church.” (No. 55)

    “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (No. 15) and that “It has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship.” (No. 78)

    “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” (No. 80) (cf Jamdudum cernimus)

    Totally man made rules.

  • Julie

    Saying God is unable to experience emotions like humans is to deny Jesus, the human, is God.

  • Haley McCalister

    The only time I can find where that was a thing is when people were living in irregular situations: like if one was divorced and remarried, then the easy solution was to live as brother and sister because the annulment process could be a hassle. I have no information to give you on your situation above. If you really want to know the answer, you could always ask a catholic priest.

  • $136305622

    Yes, it was a priest who advised them of this.

  • Hi Haley,

    You’re certainly entitled to your religion-based view that gay people have broken sexuality from the fall (although I wonder why you obviously view your own sexuality as somehow less broken). But you’re factually incorrect about homosexuality being a pathology, and you’re factually incorrect about “severe problems with Children who grow up in same sex families.”

    The overwhelming scientific consensus is that kids raised in gay families have equal or better outcomes than kids in straight families. This is confirmed by 74 out of 78 studies conducted around this question (link to overview provided below).

    I personally believe that the doctrine to which you subscribe is emotionally and spiritually abusive. But I know for certain that (intentionally or unintentionally) spreading malicious falsehoods about gay people is hugely immoral. I’m really curious how you square “bearing false witness” with your faith. Does the means somehow justify the end (stigmatizing gay people)?

    http://whatweknow.law.columbia.edu/topics/lgbt-equality/what-does-the-scholarly-research-say-about-the-wellbeing-of-children-with-gay-or-lesbian-parents/

  • Haley McCalister

    No, because you don’t have a kid every time you have sex. For couples that don’t chart things they don’t get pregnant every time either. It really depends on your biology and other factors. There are people with only one kid who tried to have more and couldn’t. NFP actually is very reliable if used properly. People just don’t like it because it’s a lot of work.

    And actually it’s not ok to use NFP to avoid pregnancy under normal circumstances. That would be considered birth control and wrong. The only time using NFP to avoid pregnancy is allowed is when you have a grave circumstance. However only NFP is allowed because other methods of birth control prevent pregnancy, whereas NFP just reroutes your sex to “safe” days. It takes self control and fortitude but any serious couple would do it who cares about God and their faith. Because if for whatever reason you do get pregnant, you can do a couple of things: 1) give the baby up for adoption, 2) have someone else raise the baby for a bit till you feel you can take care of it, 3) trust God to help you through the tough time and find a solution that is best for you (that doesn’t involve killing the child).

  • Haley McCalister

    Except neither of those are Christian so…

  • FRC has been labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group for spreading the types of malicious lies that you have bought into (and are now spreading yourself).

  • Haley McCalister

    Did I mention that I don’t articulate things well? If the answer above didn’t satisfy you, I won’t be able to do much more because I have a hard time putting into the correct words what i believe and why. If you are genuinely curious i would encourage you to ask a Catholic priest about the issue.

  • Haley McCalister

    These rules were set by God. But if you want to believe men set them up go ahead.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Otherwise, you’re often just believing in other people (and who they say God is), and not in God Himself…

  • Precisely.

  • DailyAlice

    I do not excuse the Roman church for their role in this. My own notion is that child predators create safe arenas for those of their persuasion, and the word was silently spread that the Catholics would be blind to this behavior or TURN blind as necessary. But the church was trying to protect itself: again, a mistake. I’m a Lutheran. There are surely people in my church less liberal than I, but we don’t monitor each other and I feel free in my own moral framework. The creeds don’t argue with me. As for motivating behavior, what doesn’t? Atheists have no framework, apart from denouncing religionists. I believe the most powerful and evil ideology in this country is the worship of money: capitalism. It has invaded religion in the form of prosperity theology. Just watch any television preacher. And it is camouflaged (sp) by rampant sentimentality: gift-giving for every other holiday and God forbid a wedding costing less than $25 thousand. I shall stop now. I sense I have become something of a crank. Normally, I’m polite.

  • DailyAlice

    Dogma doesn’t change. Doctrine may. Study up.

  • DailyAlice

    Which many of us do. it was written by men.

  • Haley McCalister

    Here’s a different article that might help (also she said that wasn’t even a proven story. It’s just that, a story):

    http://www.acrod.org/readingroom/saints/sergius-bacchus

  • Your religion has way too many rules and restrictions. I prefer freedom under grace, not law.

  • DailyAlice

    Cheap shot. I had a granddad preacher. Every spring he got free strawberries. And he did good and his neighbors loved him and did him honor by doing good. It is easy to point out (although exhausting) the evil that has been pinned on religion (which, remember, was part and parcel of government). It is less easy to understand the good works done by Christians every day. Not all Christians. Not every day. But far more than anyone can quantify.

  • Haley McCalister

    1) I hear you. I have a response from my philosophy teacher who may be able to shed some light, or maybe not. As I’m limited in my ability to say what I know and believe, if you don’t agree or understand what I put here I would encourage you to ask a Catholic priest in your area. They are supposed to be able to answer these questions =P

    “Homosexuality and Infertility

    That’s a good question and, as you’ve experienced, asked often when people argue for marriage as it has been traditionally understood.

    It seems to me that an adequate answer needs to be rooted in human nature. The meaning of marriage is love, a love which is specifically sexual in that it forms on the foundation of sexual difference. Sexual differentiation creates the possibility for a unique love, one that disposes a couple for an exceptionally intimate union, which union is by nature ordered toward the creation of life.

    From these facts available to reflection we can see that marriage is founded in human nature, precisely in sexual differentiation. It is nature that is the decisive factor, and this is why someone infertile (due to disability or age) can get married, for the marriage is still in accord with human nature as sexually differentiated.

    A sexual relationship without sexual difference doesn’t have the same capacity for intimacy of union, since it does not have the physical, emotional or psychological complementarity that a sexual differentiated couple has; nor does it have the natural potential to create life, and so the couple can’t, as friends, share in the greatest of goods that can unite two people: the good of another person, the child, another “you-and-me.”

    Because of these reasons the Catholic faith argues that same sex sexual relationships will frustrate the desires for happiness of the members of the couple, and they will always fall short of the intimacy of communion the heart truly desires.

    The human heart desires communion and life; human nature is inscribed with these two possibilities; and sexual union is their expression and realization.

    I hope this is of some help, God bless you, Haley,
    R.McN”

    2) (the section at the end clarifies)
    http://www.vatican.va/archive/ccc_css/archive/catechism/p122a5p1.htm

    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/were-all-the-people-who-died-between-the-time-of-adam%E2%80%99s-sin-and-jesus%E2%80%99-opening-the-ga

  • DailyAlice

    I dare you to find a perfect family in the whole of the bible. Being serious here.

  • DailyAlice

    Define healthy. Can one disallow the family formed by a desperate woman who may not abort and forces her boyfriend to go through the motions? Child abuse is rampant. Or don’t your pollsters visit bad neighborhoods?

  • DailyAlice

    Okay. My husband, whom I love, is severely damaged by childhood abuse. We have had a life in which I suspect I’ve functioned as a savior of sorts. He cannot be a church member. His father was a minister; his mother was a psychopath. Was it unethical not to conceive a child? You can give your opinion. I’m not waiting up.

  • DailyAlice

    Just because it doesn’t feel good doesn’t mean it’s good.

  • Haley McCalister

    It is obvious you don’t agree with Catholics on these issues, but do you know why we teach them? Or do you just not agree with what we say? You sound like an open minded person who would be willing to sit down and talk about it, but I’m afraid that I would be inadequate to explain my position to you in its entirety. But I’ll try.

    We don’t allow transgenders to be godparents because a transgender who identifies as the wrong gender is lying to himself, and is under the influence of his mental illness. A man who believes he is a woman is not a woman. And he cannot be a godmother. Regardless of if he undergoes reassignment surgery or not. And we are against reassignment surgery because it is mutilating your body for your mental illness, for new parts (usually) that do not even work as they should. A man who becomes a woman will never be a woman. He can’t get pregnant, he doesn’t get his period, he is just full of estrogen and has possibly cut off his own reproductive organ. Trans is a terrible illness that hurts so many people involved. Also, you have to follow church teaching to do anything in the church, including being a godparent.

    We are against BC because it prevents pregnancy on purpose, and we shouldn’t block a natural fundamental part of the sex act.

    We do not allow women priests because the church believes if Christ wanted women to be priests, he would have appointed a woman to be one in the beginning. We are currently however going through whether a woman can be a deacon, which I think would be cool.

    And purgatory is a place where we are cleansed of all of our sins prior to going to heaven. If we didn’t get confession right before we died, then we will go to purgatory to be cleansed. There’s more to it but that’s the basic definition.

    A lot of people always say “it’s not in the bible!” Well the bible isn’t the only thing the church relies on (and shouldn’t only rely on) for its teachings. The bible has all the elements of salvation to it, but it does not have all the doctrine and dogma in it. Doctrine and dogma can be supported by the bible of course, but they are not solely dependent on it. That would be to limit God and his laws to a book. And we all know God can’t be limited to a book.

    The reason we have sexually confused people today is because there is sin in the world. We are not perfect. We are all broken, and sin affects each of us differently. For some, it’s their sexuality.

    It’s true a Christians identity is in Christ, but there is still a different between male and female, age, and other things. If you’re referring to that passage where it says there’s no difference, he was saying there is no difference in Gods love to these matters. God loves everyone – regardless of anything.

    A person interpreting the bible for themselves is wrong because how can your interpretation be right and someone’s else’s interpretation that is completely different also be right? It can’t. Now different passages can resonate differently between people but that’s not the same thing. Interpreting scripture needs to be done with a great deal of understanding first. The average joe can’t pick up a bible and figure out what the entire thing means without any help. Sure, we can pray to the Holy Spirit to guide us to the correct interpretation, but it is always safer to either become a biblical scholar/theologian yourself or to consult with people who are.

    We derive our traditions from human nature and human reason, and the nature of God himself. Transgender individuals suffer from gender dysphoria, and that should not be catered to. It should be helped in a way that helps them love and accept who the ACTUALLY are. Not who they think they are.

    I agree some traditions have been wrong, even some catholic traditions (with a lowercase t). Like cremation. The church didn’t allow cremation for a time because of the rising from the dead thing at the end times. But then they lifted the ban because that’s the END times and our bodies disintegrate into dust anyways…lol however Traditions (with a capital T) can’t be wrong because they are traditions instituted by christ.

  • MaaaaaatlocK! (Grandpa Simpson says Matlock this way!) *~\]:D

  • $136305622

    Oh I totally don’t discount the good that religious people do! I was responding to a specific statement someone made. But good people do good things regardless of religion.

  • Julie

    1) what St. Paul talks about in the bible isn’t something completely different than homosexuality today. It is not comparing apples to oranges.

    Why would you say that? Were you aware that for the first 300 years of the existence of the Church, they interpreted that passage to be talking about women having non-procreative sex with men? How is it that they had it wrong and now we have it right?

    Let’s forbid 5% of the population to be without romantic love, lifelong commitment, and family because we’re pretty sure we, the Church, have the interpretation of this passage correct this time. You feel comfortable with that?

    Absolutely nothing about that passage gives the impression Paul is writing about faithful same-sex relationships. The passage speaks of the participants as “burning” with desire. Clearly, these people are engorged with lust. As a matter of fact, it seems obvious to me that these are straight men and women switching it up as their excessive lust drives them, a far cry from what we’re talking about in the homosexuality debate today.

    .2) while more Christians are realizing being gay isn’t a choice, that doesn’t mean it’s right. It’s a sickness, if you will.

    Left-handedness used to be called a sickness too. Pretty sure Christians used to think that one was also a result of the fall.

    If you can’t accept what it is, of course you’re gonna be depressed and suicidal.

    That is why the suicide rate is so high with these kids? Because they haven’t yet accepted that their sexual orientation is a sickness?

    Think about this. The creation story is a story of beginnings. The story had to include both genders because the creation story is about how things came into existence. Both genders must be in the story of beginnings because 1) both male and female are in God’s image, not just males, and 2) humanity consists of both male and female, not just males. And, for that matter, procreation is about beginnings, so both genders were required to have that element in the story of how things came into existence.

    Check out Romans 13:8-10: “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law. The commandments, ‘Do not commit adultery,’ ‘Do not murder,’ ‘Do not steal,’ ‘Do not covet,’ and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no harm to its neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.”

    Paul says that whatever commandment there may be can be summed up in the rule to love your neighbor. In other words, Paul is saying that if we lived our lives with a truly loving spirit, acting in truly loving ways, we would automatically fulfill every one of God’s laws. We could literally go through every single one of God’s commandments and show that each one of them is simply an extension of this basic principle to live a life of servant love. Therefore, the Romans 1 passage cannot possibly be speaking about faithful same-sex relationships, because if one is living one’s life according to Romans 13:8-10 they are fulfilling the entire law of God.

  • I remember when they used to mean
    lighthearted and carefree! *~\]:D

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I am not aware the Bible has much to say on tje subject of masturbation at all: I may have missed it?

  • Vive La difference!
    There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus.
    Galatians 3:28

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Er, what are you on about and what have you read / misread that you have a problem with?

  • $136305622

    I read it correct now. You make a distinction about which relationships are better than others. Just like frank and company. I can’t imagine thinking casual relationships are lesser than committed ones just because of a religious doctrine. So progressives are not much more tolerant of people’s sex lives as they pretend.

  • DailyAlice

    I’ve often heard this. But isn’t it possible that, living as we do in this secular society, we forget where many of the good impulses came from. I’m not a “this is a Christian nation” kind of person, but the omnipresence of Christian values must have had an effect even on everyone. Even super-keen atheists.

  • Haley McCalister

    Having non-procreative sex is still wrong. That’s the entire reason gay sex is immoral – because there is no possibility of pro creation. And it’s not like they have something wrong with them that if it were healed or not broken by sin then they would get pregnant. No, that’s why it’s wrong.

    Left handedness was never a sin. It’s true, in several cultures it was deemed as the devil, and many people who became Catholic kept those beliefs – but the church has never taught that being left handed is a sin. Nor were lefties required to confess that sin.

    Right! Exactly! And because God created man and women in the beginning, they ARE the sole figure for the family unit. Sex in its entirety is supposed to be performed between a man and his wife within their marriage only. A key part of that sex is its pro creativeness. There are other key parts like the self giving act, and the fact that it’s one of the most symbolic symbols of the holy trinity (the son and the father loved each other so much that the Holy Spirit was created – man and wife love each other so much that when they come together as one a child is created). And therefore homosexual sex is immoral because it isn’t oriented toward a FUNDAMENTAL part of the sexual act! It is impossible for them to procreate.

    Here is what the church says about all kinds of sexual relations (it’s a rough read if you aren’t ready, but I figured it was the best explanation I could find):
    http://www.catechism.cc/articles/QA.htm

  • Haley McCalister

    …? God DOES live outside of time. In fact, to say he lives is kinda limiting. Since God is literally existence itself. To say that God did not create our temporal universe is to say that God had a beginning and will have an end – and that goes against every teaching that we know about God, no matter what form of Christianity you are.

    (I apologize if that sounded rude…it was more incredulous because I didn’t think anyone believed that… Please don’t take too much offense ‘^_^)

  • Haley McCalister

    I’ve met many former Catholics who don’t actually know the faith. Do you understand when the Catholic Church began?

  • $136305622

    That might be potentially true. Although sometimes I wonder if it is actually the move away from religion (as we see in the post-enlightenment) that has helped people in society actually live more in accordance with good values. Like, the principles have been ingrained in many of us, but religious institutions were kind of standing in the way.

  • DailyAlice

    Oh, like Lutheranism? I had a dear friend, an ex-nun, who used to talk like that. She wasn’t interested in protestants. On the other hand, she was an ex-nun.

  • $136305622

    I have met many practicing Catholics who don’t know their faith. After 10 years of Catholic school and 2.5 years of seminary I am not your average “former Catholic”! (Sadly – I hate that I know more about Catholicism than many sitting in the pews!).

    Catholic Church began with the Apostle Peter according to the Church itself. Many (mostly non-CAtholics) would say that the Catholic Church began around the 4-5th century.

  • Haley McCalister

    Junipero Sierra has deserved his sainthood. But I will also point out that being canonized a saint does not mean you were perfect. Many many saints have done many wrongs. St. Paul killed the first martyr for the faith. St Augustine was sexually rampant and war hungry. St. Peter denied Christ. Saints are not saints because they were perfect. They are saints because they achieved a holiness in their lives that God desires for each of us. We could all be saints if we wanted to.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I continue to wait for an explanation as to why some non-procreative sex (for example, sex with a woman that doesn’t have a uterus or ovaries) is fine but other non-procreative sex (for example, sex with a condom or homosexual sex) is bad.

    It’s funny, actually, because more babies are conceived to people who use condoms than are conceived to women with no ovaries.

  • Haley McCalister

    Jesus was fully God AND fully man. However the spiritual God part of him does not experience emotions like we experience emotions. Jesus’ human part of course experienced emotions like we did.

  • $136305622

    The point was that all the harm that Junipero Serra committed (and it was grievous wrongs) were done with a clear conscience as far as he was concerned. He had the Church’s blessing. Natives were savage beings with potential for becoming saved if they were christianized by the missionaries. All of the missionaries’ work and actions were blessed by the Church from a doctrinal perspective.

  • Haley McCalister

    That still doesn’t go against what I said. Whether doctrine or dogma – the church cannot change anything related to faith or morals because they are divinely revealed infallible teachings.

    http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/can-the-church-change-its-doctrines

  • Haley McCalister

    All Protestant religions came from Catholicism at their root so I would say sorta.

  • Haley McCalister

    Mary Jesus and Joseph

  • DailyAlice

    Luther saw church abuses within his country and invited colleagues to discuss his 39 theses. Some smart kid got hold of this and PRINTED it. The printing press was the internet of the day. Luther was trapped. Well, not really. He was a strong man with strong allies as well as a clever turn of speech. And politics played its part in fomenting Protestantism. History. I like the way he thought and spoke under duress, and I will stick with his “reformed” true church. Okay: the anti-Semitism. He was disappointed with the Jews and also senile. You get senile. Everybody better get that. It does not spare the faithful.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    No, no, no. Part of the beauty of that story is how imperfect a family they were. After all, did not Mary get pregnant out of wedlock? How perfect is that? Surely you must be aware of the scorn that this brings, even now? And how perfect is it for Joseph to be raising a child that wasn’t his?

    Besides, even if you did decide that all of this was a perfect situation (whee!), it’s hardly something we can emulate, what with the virgin birth and all that.

  • Haley McCalister

    Heterosexual sexuality is normative, but I do agree that heteros can commit sexual sins just as easily as anyone else.

    I’ve seen the studies you talk about, but there are factors that weren’t necessarily included. I don’t have the resources to go deep into that matter specifically, so we may just have to leave it at that.

    As for bearing false witness, no the means don’t justify the ends. I do not condone lying for any reason (although I, like many others, often do because of our insecurities). And if I ever find myself promulgating something that turns out to be false, I either retract my statements or take them down or something. So far, I haven’t seen anything to completely disprove what my religion teaches about homosexuality. In fact, it seems the most logical answer when you get down to the metaphysical.

  • Haley McCalister

    Child abuse is rampant, and it’s a very sad and terrible thing that should never happen. I’m not sure what you mean by “disallow the family” formed by those things, so I’m not sure what you’re asking exactly.

    Healthy would be a heterosexual family who’s parents are in a loving monogamous relationship who treat their kids with love and understanding. I have friends and family who live in very healthy families. I wouldn’t necessarily call mine the best but it wasn’t the worst. Unhealthy families (or broken families) would be those with only one parent or child abuse or whatever.

    I want to make a point tho: having a one parent household doesn’t mean you’re a terrible parent. A healthy household would have a mom and a dad. But this world is not perfect as I said above. If it is healthier to separate from an abusive parent and raise the kid on your own, then that’s perfectly fine. While it’s not the best situation it is a completely acceptable situation considering all of the problems that would occur if they stayed. An abusive family does not outweigh the good of a single parent family.

  • Haley McCalister

    Most people like to label things as hate when they don’t agree with them.

  • Haley McCalister

    Oh, sorry about that. =/

  • Haley McCalister

    I’m not going to tell you whether it was unethical or not because I don’t know 100%. I’m not going to judge your life because 1) I’m not a super educated theologian who knows the answers to everything. 2) I don’t want to risk possibly saying the wrong thing and misrepresenting my faith. 3) I really don’t know you and can’t honestly make that decision for myself, or for you. I really hope you weren’t wanting an answer, because I don’t want to give you one. I don’t claim to know everything – and I don’t want you to think that I am somehow the judge of whether your life is morally good or bad. Humans cannot judge character anyways. I don’t know and will never know what’s in your heart. However I hope in the end you find favor with God and live a fulfilled life.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Yes. It is “intolerant” of people’s sex lives to have a view on what makes a good relationship and a better life in much the same way as nutritionists or dietitians are “intolerant” of food.
    Clearly, if you don’t believe in God you are not going to believe that a spiritual or religious viewpoint as to what makes for a better life has any validity or probative force. Fair enough, don’t agree with the view taken, but the fact you don’t agree with it and think it worthless advice doesn’t make it “intolerant”, merely wrong.

  • Haley McCalister

    True.

  • Julie

    God DOES live outside of time.

    Can you prove that or is that something you take on by faith?

    In fact, to say he lives is kinda limiting.

    I don’t see how it limits God.

    Since God is literally existence itself.

    God is not existence. Existence is a word used to describe that God is. But if what you’re trying to say is that God didn’t create existence, that it always has been because God always has been, then I agree. Existence is simply a part of reality. So, the same could be said of time. It’s simply a part of reality. It’s not something God created, it has always been because God always has been. Saying God did not create time doesn’t limit Him any more than saying God did not create existence.

    To say that God did not create our temporal universe is to say that God had a beginning and will have an end

    No. It’s saying that time has always been because God always has been.

  • Ron McPherson

    “Having non-procreative sex is still wrong.”

    Huh? You mean my wife and I can only have sex if we want to make another baby? Dang.

  • Haley McCalister

    It was actually his 99 thesis and he wasn’t trapped. He was asked to take it down after it was printed and he didn’t. He could have if he wanted to, but he rejected the church. He was trying to fix an evil that had to do with men, and ended up messing with the doctrine instead.

  • Julie

    If Jesus was fully God and Jesus experienced emotions, then God experienced emotions.

  • DailyAlice

    Ever heard of onanism? Look it up.

  • Haley McCalister

    You’d have to ask a priest what exactly that meant then, cuz I don’t know. And nowhere in church doctrine does it say that couples must live as brother and sister unless having sex. So idk.

  • Haley McCalister

    They’re not rules unless you look at them that way. They are the natural way we were supposed to be before the fall. It only seems like a lot because we are consumed by sin today.

  • $136305622

    Yes. I don’t agree. Just know that there is no room to differentiate yourself as a “progressive” Christian with regard to gays. It is just as hard to be a gay person around progressives as it is around fundamentalists. I grant you your viewpoint – people can believe whatever they want about sex. The problem is when they pretend to be friends of those they don’t like!!

  • Haley McCalister

    the people make up the body of Christ, and you’re right they are the collective church. However their actions don’t dictate the doctrine. If a person sins, they sin. If it is not condoned by the church then you can’t say the church advocates such sin.

    It’s infallible about faith and morals because they are divinely revealed –
    And God doesn’t make mistakes.

  • $136305622

    P.S. that comparison of anti-sex-for-fun advocates to nutritionists/dietitians is precise! Very cute. (I assume you were kidding – it makes no sense. If kidding, very funny. If serious, scary…)

  • Ron McPherson

    Jesus yes, the family? … not so much

  • The interesting thing about this article is that it cites the Byzantine text for this rite, which reads like this:

    I. The priest shall place the holy Gospel on the Gospel stand and they that are to be joined together place their right hands on it, holding lighted candles in their left hands. Then shall the priest cense them and say the following:

    II. In peace we beseech Thee, O Lord. For heavenly peace, we beseech Thee, O Lord. For the peace of the entire world, we beseech Thee, O Lord. For this holy place, we beseech Thee, O Lord. That these thy servants, N. and N., be sanctified with thy spiritual benediction, we beseech Thee, O Lord. That their love abide without offense or scandal all the days of their lives, we beseech Thee, O Lord. That they be granted all things needed for salvation and godly enjoyment of life everlasting, we beseech Thee, O Lord. That the Lord God grant unto them unashamed faithfulness and sincere love, we beseech Thee, O Lord…. Have mercy on us, O God. “Lord, have mercy” shall be said three times.

    (My Note: It is true that the word for love in each location is “agape,” which is neither erotic love nor the love between male friends, but is rather unconditional love. God’s love for His people is agape, for example, as is Jesus’ love for his bride. However, note the prayer that their love abide without “scandal,” and again “unashamed faithfulness.” What could possibly be scandalous or shameful about this if it’s just a couple of guys being friends? )

    III. The priest shall say: Forasmuch as Thou, O Lord and Ruler, art merciful and loving, who didst establish humankind after thine image and likeness, who didst deem it meet that thy holy apostles Philip and Bartholomew be united, bound one unto the other not by nature but by faith and the spirit. As Thou didst find thy holy martyrs Serge and Bacchus worthy to be united together, bless also these thy servants, N. and N., joined together not by the bond of nature but by faith and in the mode of the spirit, granting unto them peace and love and oneness of mind. Cleanse from their hearts every stain and impurity and vouchsafe unto them to love one other without hatred and without scandal all the days of their lives, with the aid of the Mother of God and all thy saints, forasmuch as all glory is thine.

    (My Note: Once again, agape all around. But what of the mention of Philip and Bartholomew as an example of men so united. What about the other disciples? Were they not bound in brotherly love? What’s special about Philip and Bartholomew? What special bond of love did Philip and Bartholomew share that the other disciples did not?)

    IV. O Lord Our God, who didst grant unto us all those things necessary for salvation and didst bid us to love one another and to forgive each other our failings, bless and consecrate, kind Lord and lover of good, these thy servants who love each other with a love of the spirit and have come into this thy holy church to be blessed and consecrated. Grant unto them unashamed fidelity and sincere love, and as Thou didst vouchsafe unto thy holy disciples and apostles thy peace and love, bestow them also on these, O Christ our God, affording to them all those things needed for salvation and life eternal. For Thou art the light and the truth and thine is the glory.

    (My Note: Unashamed fidelity?)

    V. Then shall they kiss the holy Gospel and the priest and one another, and conclude.

    That’s the rite in its entirety.

    So, you’ve got two guys making a pledge before a priest in the church to love each other faithfully without being ashamed all their lives, then they kiss at the end. Maybe we could make the case this isn’t a marriage, but wow – talk about very blurry lines – especially considering two men could easily be the best of friends without pledging a special vow about it in a church.

  • In my opinion, this doesn’t advance the case. According to your prof, the difference between gay men getting married and an infertile couple getting married is that people of the same gender cannot have the same level of union or complementarity that people of differing genders have.

    I would say that your prof must not know any gay married couples. I strenuously disagree with this point that has no Scriptural support. There is absolutely no Scripture that says two people of the same gender cannot have the same intimacy of relationship that differing genders can. This seems to be a large assumption on his part that prejudices the issue.

    Now, if he can point out that gay marriages end up with, say, a tremendously higher divorce rate or rate of domestic abuse than heterosexual marriages, he might be on to something, but I seriously doubt anyone can beat the failure rate of heterosexual marriage anytime soon.

  • andrew

    There may be a creator of the billion plus galaxies universe or multiverse, but it seems clear to me that the creator isn’t one of the little gods of ancient mythology. They are obviously gods created by men in their own images and likenesses. If there is a creator of this universe, it seems to me that humans are insulting that creator by suggesting that he/she is one of these little human creations. The universe is just too vast and magnificent to have been created by any of the little gods of mythology and that includes Yahewh.

  • RonnyTX

    Maybe it’s because I’m 61 years old; :-) but I have no problem with using the words homosexual or gay. That to describe a part of myself and some other people as well.

  • RonnyTX

    Ah my, I wish I could find a station on here, that still had those good Matlock reruns! :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    Gotta love his suit

  • Julie

    Having non-procreative sex is still wrong.

    There is no possibility of procreation between me and my husband. We sin when we have sex?

    And because God created man and women in the beginning, they ARE the sole figure for the family unit.

    That’s an opinion. Where’s the proof that they are the sole figures for the family unit because God created man and woman in the beginning? Of course, both are necessary to populate the earth. But where’s the proof that because both are necessary to populate the earth, then that means that any other coupling is never okay?

    You didn’t acknowledge my comment about Romans 13:8-10. Paul tells us that every commandment there may be (including any commandment you think exists relating to same-sex unions) can be summed in the rule to “love your neighbor.” If a same-sex couple is living out Romans 13:8-10 they are automatically fulfilling every single one of God’s laws, according to Romans 13:8-10.

  • RonnyTX

    I use the word lesbian and have no problem with that; but personally, I had rather use the term gay, for males or females like myself, who are that.

  • DailyAlice

    I daresay some institutions are standing in the way now, as has been pointed out, but in the middle ages Christians were teaching and healing and protecting the helpless. Not perfectly, of course. As for living a virtuous life, the Church was there before the Enlightenment, and offered its knowledge. Even Jefferson kept a “Jesus” bible. I don’t mean to overstress this, but don’t underestimate the will of Christians to do good. They, we, have failed abysmally. But–what do you compare us to?

  • RonnyTX

    Amen, for we are truly all one, in Jesus Christ! :-)

  • $136305622

    We have become better people over the course of the centuries. (The middle ages used religion to keep people in castes…I think we would all prefer to live in current times than 1000 years ago). As a personal example – I am an atheist but spend many years as a Catholic before reaching age 23. I definitely learned good morals during those years. Once I was freed from the bounds of religion, I actually was able to practice those good morals more freely! (No more need to judge people, rank their sins, tell them they needed to believe in Jesus to get help, etc.).

  • DailyAlice

    Society kept people in castes (?), of which religion was just a part. We have no folk memory of a society without Christianity, for better or worse. The church was the government, and vice versa. I am contented with my progressive faith, which is searching but still aware of its history. BTW, nice conversing with you.

  • RonnyTX

    I can’t help but believe, that even back in Pauls day, people like him did know of those human beings, who were attracted to their own gender. I know my Dad and people in his little NE Texas community did and the time I’m talking about is the early 1900’s. As my Mom told me, Dad said back then, people knew of guys who liked guys. What startled me, was that she said Dad said those in his little community and about, they weren’t all bent out of shape, about people like that. Because how they judged people, was by whether or not they did their best to support their family. And by how they did the same, if they could, in helping their neighbor.

    And in the 1930’s, my Mom said she had a big crush on this teen boy in church; :-) but the pastors mother told her, she didn’t want to see her get hurt, so not to set her cap for that particular boy. Why? Because she told Mom, he liked other boys. And Mom said she didn’t put the boy down about that. And this was the same lady, whose son was later out pastor.

    It just shocked me, when my Mom told me those stories. I didn’t realize, that there were people like that, here in our little part of NE Texas, who were so live and let live, when it came to gay people. And this, back in the early 1900’s to 1930’s!

  • Ron McPherson

    exactly!

  • andrew

    Obviously sexual orientation involves who you are sexually attracted too, who you fall in love with and the sexual intimacies and bonding of that relationship. All of that is part of ” who one gets it on with”. I don’t see that sexual orientation “comprises a lot more than” that. Oh and I’m a Kinsey 6, as gay as one can be.

  • $136305622

    Middle ages in Europe – essentially a caste system, just called feudalism. The royalty was divinely put there. No poor person would have ever thought that there was a reason to not be part of that class. And the religion was what was putting them there. Yes, the government was the religion – that is what was so important and revolutionary (literally and figuratively) about the 18th century enlightenment period.

  • RonnyTX

    True and I still have fond memories of some few boys I had it bad for, when I was a teen. :-) One guy, about 3 years older than me, he was so nice, his smile could light up a room and he looked good too, in gym shorts! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Ron, I’m so glad that light bulb moment came on for you. :-) It’s still hard for me to believe, that nowdays some people still think being gay, is all about sex. When the truth is, just like heterosexuality, it’s very much about who you can be attracted to and fall in love with. :-)

  • Jeff Preuss

    Like a Yankee Candle?

  • $136305622

    P.S. Very nice conversing with you! You have given me much food for thought today!

  • DailyAlice

    I absolutely agree. But never forget that whatever religion was guilty of, it also brought us to the Enlightenment. And whatever the feudal system did, religion was only part of that. Politics and religion have been entwined since the beginning. A circumstance which should give you pause.

  • $136305622

    “Politics and religion have been entwined since the beginning. A circumstance which should give you pause.”

    Oh I know!!! It gave me pause 20 years ago, hence 20 years of atheism :)

  • ashpenaz

    What you say is offensive to the asexual community. It’s a particularly heinous kind of discrimination called “erasure.” As we identify ourselves, you choose to act as if we and our terminology isn’t real. I would think that you would want to affirm the reality of the asexual community the way you want your community affirmed.

    http://www.asexuality.org/en/topic/66353-asexual-erasure/

    “Now, am I attracted to people of my sex or people of a different sex?”

    I don’t know. Are you romantically attracted? allosexual? demisexual? sexually fluid? queerplatonic? quasiplatonic? People can be attracted to the same sex in a variety of ways.

    You can make fun of these terms or you can embrace the non-binary way of identifying yourself. Why is it important that you keep the boxes “gay” and “straight” as the only option? Why don’t you want people to see beyond those boxes?

  • $136305622

    I couldn’t care less about the terms. I use plenty of the terms you use when the case merits it. Asexual is different from gay or straight or further defines it. Totally different from anything you are discussing here.

  • andrew

    What a bunch of Roman Catholic nonsense you spout. ” Having non procreative sex is wrong”. All post menopausal women have non procreative sex. All sterile people have non procreative sex. The Church even approves the Rhythm Method for family planning. The Rhythm Method is designed so that people can have non procreative sex. The Catholic Church is so conflicted about sexuality. How could it be otherwise? It is an organization run by men who are required to live non sexual lives. That, for most, is a very unhealthy way to live. You don’t have to look further than all the recent stories about the sexually conflicted and psychologically immature men who are Catholic priests. They are trying to follow what is, for most, an impossible requirement. The Catholic Hierarchy has lost credibility especially when they teach and preach about healthy sexuality. Your comments about sex sure sound like that of a Catholic Nun or Priest, because they seem so far removed from the reality of sexuality. Lastly: “The Son and the Father loved each other so much that the Holy Spirit was created”.Setting aside how twisted that sounds, I think your Church would label that heresy. If the Holy Spirit was created by the love between the Father and the Son, he/she/it was not present at the very beginning and as such must be a lesser member of the trinity.

  • Haley –

    You are not discussing in good faith.

    You clearly haven’t seen the studies linked. There are myriad studies – 78 of them – peer reviewed and conducted in various, scientifically valid ways. Nearly all of them, save for the one you cited plus three others, come to the same conclusion – one that you refuse to cede for reasons I can only guess at – that the kids of gay couples have similar outcomes to kids of straight couples. It’s clear that you aren’t coming from a place of integrity.

    In fact, out of the nearly 80 studies, you chose the one by Mark Regnerus that didn’t actually study children raised by same sex couples, but primarily studied children born in opposite sex couples who later split because one partner is gay. He managed to prove that children of broken mixed-orientation marriages have similar challenges to other broken marriages.

    At this point, you have been given the objective facts. Henceforth, by making this false claim you are willfully perpetuating falsehoods. That is, in fact, lying.

    If what you believe is actually the truth, it doesn’t need to be defended by lies.

  • The SPLC is not “most people”. They have stringent criteria for identifying hate groups. They have an unassailable record when fighting bias and discrimination. This has nothing to do with agreeing or disagreeing; it has to do with the truthfulness (or lack thereof) of the claims of this particular organization in their quest to stigmatize gay people.

  • Ok, yes, let’s go with that. Not sure what kind I am, though. There’s no Internet quiz for this sort of thing. “What kind of Yankee Candle are you?”

    I’m thinking “November Rain.”

  • ashpenaz

    Again with the erasure.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    I don’t know.

    That there is my point, my friend.

    You can make fun of these terms or you can embrace the non-binary way of identifying yourself. Why is it important that you keep the boxes “gay” and “straight” as the only option? Why don’t you want people to see beyond those boxes?

    If you want to add additional terms on other than “gay” and “straight,” you can do that; such was not my point. My point was that “gay” and “straight” as terms still fill a needed niche that the terms that you originally listed did not fill.

    As for the rest of it . . . romantically attracted? Yes. allosexual? Yes. demisexual? No. sexually fluid? No. queerplatonic? No. quasiplatonic? No.

    Now that I’ve answered these questions, can you even answer my original query: am I attracted to people of my sex or people of a different sex? If not (and I’m guessing not, which makes the questions invasively pointless), I continue to not understand your objection to “gay” and “straight,” as you have yet to come up with a term that supersedes them. And this is hardly a inconsequential question, as it will have a large influence in my mate choice.

    Also, I object to your assertion that I am “making fun” of anything. Nowhere have I done that.

  • Jeff Rose

    I understand the need for non binary language when describing sexuality but how does that remove the meaning of “gay?” How would you describe someone who wholistically attracted to members of the same biological sex?

  • ashpenaz

    Are you attracted only to those who share your biological sex, or are you attracted only to those who present as your biological sex? As you can see, the gender choices of others make your simple statement about your orientation more complicated. You can’t simply be gay or straight in a genderfluid world. Also, are you sexually fluid? Can you have sex with either sex? Most people experience fluctuation in their orientation over time.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    And this question, “Are you attracted only to those who share your biological sex, or are you attracted only to those who present as your biological sex?” runs the risk of being labeled by some as transphobic in its presentation. I’m sure you didn’t mean it that way, but even the whole “gender choices of others” (choices? run for the hills, quickly!) comment is going to sets off warning flares. But maybe you and I just run in different circles, because really, I’m not used to the kind of language you’re using being bandied about. From where I’m standing, it feels like you just got a hold of your first sexuality dictionary and are trying to jam as many terms as possible into your sentences, whether the terms are relevant or not.

    And I already told you I’m not sexually fluid.

    edited

  • When did LGBT become a binary? Bisexual represents a (very broad) point on the spectrum, and transgender represents a different concept altogether.
    Not only are you factually incorrect, your supposed specificity makes a mockery of us all. Please stop.

    EDIT TO ADD:
    I’ve decided that you are a conservative Christian who is engaged in Poe trolling. So I’m glad that your trolling yielded an empty net.

  • Maybe it’s a cultural thing, but where I’m from, ‘getting it on’ is slang for sex and only sex, not anything emotionally or romantically beyond that.

  • Eris, elder daughter of Nyx

    Old people do, sure.

    This, my friend, is ageist.

  • Zach Mercer

    Actually it makes more sense if God exists outside of time. If God lives within time than this means that all He does is limited by time. To say that time always was because God always was makes time itself equal to God in existence, in other words God would not be the sole Alpha and Omega as He says because time would also have come first. God also could not be omnipotent if He must live within the limitations of time, now if God is outside of time but can enter into time and space while at the same time not being limited to them, then God is omnipotent. God is also spirit and eternal, He is omnipresent and therefor not constrained by space. Since time is a function of space, the physical plane, God is not bound to it.
    _
    _
    Haley means that God is the very act of being, which is a theological statement that means nothing exists without God and nothing can exist without His willing or premising of it. No law of the physical universe, spirit or human person can by their own power exist, it is only by God’s will that existence can occur and only He can exist without anything else necessarily existing. She means time cannot exist without God but God can exist without time.
    _
    _
    Also there are plenty of places in the Bible that show God is not bound by time but experiences it differently than humans. The story of creation states that there was nothing except God before anything was created. Revelation 1:8 speaks of how God is, was and always will be which makes God eternal. Something that is eternal cannot be touched or bound by time by definition. Also several passages speak of how neither God nor His love for humanity changes, something that is immutable or cannot change cannot be bound by time. For God to be almighty and all-knowing He must be unlimited by time and space, however because He is all knowing He knows exactly how time is experienced but is nonetheless not bound to it.

  • Zach Mercer

    Bones, you seem to be trying to put allot of words into people’s mouths about this. Haley has already stated that it is not the fault of the Church which teaches against pedophilia and all manners of sexual sin like bestiality and fornication (look them all up if you’d like, you’ll find pedophilia under the list of sexual sins) but is the fault of people in the clergy who do not follow the Catholic Church’s teaching on sexual sins or acted in sin against God. If clergy members covered it up then they too did not follow Catholic teaching that is stated within the Bible, within the Catechism and within the guidelines for removing clergy members who abuse their positions or commit mortal sins. Haley never said pedophilia scandals were any country’s fault.
    Also, you’ve repeated these statements several times, that the Catholic Church itself is immoral in its teachings or that it has acted in evil. You have only mentioned how people within the Catholic Church have acted immorally, you haven’t given any proof that shows the Catholic Church itself somehow permits pedophilia within its teachings.

  • Steven Kerr

    Hi Haley! Thanks for the response, there are a lot of interesting topics that you raise:

    1. I very very strongly disagree with your assertion about transgender being a mental illness. I assume you believe that because you hold the belief that while a trans person identifying as a man but in the body of a woman is “denying” that God created them as a “real woman” (I think this is wrong, just expressing the sentiments of people who do not think that transgender is not a legitimate identity).
    Biological sex is not simply DNA, but rather a combination of genetics, hormones, external appearance, and yes the brain as well. I commonly bring up the example of women with androgen insensitivity syndrome as an example to people who insist that DNA is the end-all-and-be-all (eg “he has XY chromosomes therefore Bruce Jenner is a man not a woman”).
    Woman with AIS have the body of a woman, sex organs of a woman, and identify as women, but have XY chromosomes. In their case, the androgens affected by the Y chromosome (androgen – “male” hormones such as testosterone) do not take their usual effect because the body is insensitive to them, therefore a female body develops instead of a male body. The argument that just because a trans person has the ‘wrong” chromosomes is therefore a bad argument.
    People who are transgender are not mentally ill. But rather their gender identity does not correspond with their biological sex. Although the research about the origins of transgender is still being developed, there is an increasing body of evidence that gender identity and transgender identity have a biological basis. For example there are studies highlighting similarities between the brains of trans and non-trans men and trans and non-trans women. When people (eg: teens going through puberty) look into a mirror and go through the cognitive process of “oh I’m a girl” or “oh i’m a boy”, that cognitive process is occurring in the brain. The brain is integrating the fact that that person sees their sex characteristics (eg: facial hair, pubic hair, boobs, penis etc) and “self-identifying”. That cognitive process which we take for granted is gender identity. There is increasing evidence that gender identity manifests itself in the brain somehow.
    No medical, health, social, or scientific organization sees being trans as a mental illness, but rather as a healthy expression. All of these organizations recommend acceptance of transgender people because of the damage that non-acceptance and prejudice does (eg: depression, suicide). Being trans in and of itself does not inhibit perception of the world and therefore it is wrong to call it a mental illness, it also does not impair cognitive ability or do anything else. Sex reassignment surgery is not “mutilation” anymore than any surgery is. There are women who are infertile, cannot be pregnant, and even don’t have female sex organs, but they are still women, saying anything else is wrong and insulting.
    Being transgender does not hurt trans people. I assume you are referring to people who have parents who are trans, but cannot accept their parents as trans people (eg: Denise Shick’s story in the newspaper the Daily Signal). The “pain” that they feel comes from their own refusal to accept trans people and understand their trans parents. This does not compare to the real suffering and prejudice that trans people face daily around the world: such as being called “deviant”, “perverts”, being called mentally inferior, being assaulted, being killed, being infantilized, being legally discriminated against. Transgender people have every ability to be good parents and godparents and do anything else that a non-trans person can do, therefore I am for complete equality and full inclusion of trans people in the Church and in secular society around the world. Trans people are not confused, that term is wrong because trans people KNOW that their gender identity does not match their biological sex, confusion implies uncertainty. Calling trans people confused is also very insulting because you are implying that they cannot “think straight”, I promise you that transgender people understand themselves far far better than people like us will. It is on us to listen to the experience of transgender people and respect them fully.

    2. Birth Control: I agree that a primary purpose of sex is procreation but that is not the only purpose. Intimacy is also another important purpose. I see no issue with responsible use of birth control in marriage (to be clear I do not think that God designed sex to be used outside of marriage). I would argue that sex for the sole purpose of enjoyment and intimacy in marriage is fully permissible and within God’s design.

    3. Women priests: It is technically true that Christ didn’t appoint women priests at the beginning, but you can use that logic on a number of things. In the NT Christ didn’t directly ordain American or African priests, low-income priests, or non-jewish priests. Christ’s ministry was just prior to the missionization of the gentiles. We recognize that exclusion of ordination based on race would be wrong, so why not sex? Also there are examples of women in the Bible who display leadership: Junia, Priscila, Phoebe, Deborah in the OT. There are also women who are called to ministry and leadership by God. You can do this in some Protestant Churches, but a Catholic Church would tell these women to essentially ignore God’s calling.
    A common argument against Catholic theology is that many beliefs developed just after the writing of the NT. Some Catholics respond by saying that certain Catholic and Christian beliefs have developed over time. I agree with this. So why is it not okay to see the realization of women’s ordination? I believe it is consistent with Biblical principles, I believe similarly with same sex marriage and LGBT affirmation.

    3. Sola Scriptura and Church Tradition: You agreed with me that there are some traditions that have been wrong and some that are right. So my question is Haley, how do you determine the difference between false traditions and true Traditions? I think you would agree that you would study the issue yourself and utilize other scholars, mentors, clergymen, tradition, the Bible etc…
    With the infallibility of Church traditions: who decided what traditions are infallible? If the answer is that Christ tells the RCC what traditions are infallible, who does Christ tell? Why is revelation limited to the Pope? Why can’t all believers have equal access to revelations from Christ? If the RCC decides how to interpret the Bible, why should we automatically accept that one interpretation, what if it is wrong (eg: slavery, anti-semitism). The RCC attempts to answer that question by simply designating authority to one person, but that seems really arbitrary. If the pope can be infallible then why can’t I, or you?
    I believe that the answer lies in the community of believers reading and interpreting the Bible for themselves, praying for the Holy Spirit’s guidance, relying on tradition to act informatively (but not authoritatively). That way we are open to the insights that many people have. Arbitrarily saying that “ya know we’ll just say that John is infallible” does not seem to be the best way. Although I believe that the Bible is the final authority, understanding of the Bible sometimes changes over time (eg: slavery, heliocentrism, creationism v evoution) and therefore sometimes that challenges traditional beliefs about secondary issues (as opposed to primary fundamental beliefs in the Nicene/Apostles Creed which are absolutely unchangeable). This process of interpretation may result in split, schism, and division, but that is a normal process.

    Thanks for the interesting conversation Haley! I’m sorry that my post was so long. And to be clear, there are many things about the Catholic Church that I love and respect, I think that anti-Catholic prejudice is wrong, but I also strongly disagree with Catholics on certain issues.

  • Zach Mercer

    The problems caused by homosexual activity between two people have been verified several times by medical professionals and by people in the LGBT community themselves as well as children who grew up in same-sex families. People who live active homosexual lifestyles as apposed to single or heterosexual lifestyles tend to, by a very large margin, feel significantly more depressed, have a higher suicide rate, report feeling unsatisfied with their relationships, have higher chances for developing various mental disorders, have more instances of violent abuse in their relationships and are overall less stable mentally. Children who are raised within these families, according to several years of research on this and first-hand accounts of this by said children, usually end up in broken families where the family falls apart because of the large amount of promiscuity that tends to occur in these families (from 1-100 people the other spouse or both spouses have been with) and also suffer from the abuse and mental instabilities that the parents suffer from in the same way as a child in a family with an abusive parent would. Children have also reported being pressured into becoming homosexual, being forced to approve of LGBT ideologies, growing up heavily confused about gender roles in American society and being unable to express themselves or leave the LGBT lifestyle due to threats made by others and/or their parents.
    The proof for all of this is even available online if you would like to read more on it and not just take my word for it. I don’t say these things out of hate or something like that, these are real medical problems that people with same-sex attraction who engage in homosexual activity face. The damage it causes to themselves and to the people involved might be what you’re looking for as to why homosexuality is considered sinful in Christianity (anyone who says it isn’t taught as such in Christianity, including the maker of this blog post, has either taken bible verses out of their original context or has not read the passage where God states acts of sodomy and homosexuality are an abomination – again; ACTS, not people, just to clarify), along with how homosexual activity is in-and-of-itself non-normative to human sexual behavior.

  • If “nobody uses the terms ‘gay’ or ‘straight’ anymore”, what do you think the ‘G’ in GLBTQAI stands for?

  • Are you trolling?

  • Zach Mercer

    If you think he was wrong in that statement then you probably haven’t looked much into just how homosexual unions affect the children within them. Very few of the recorded homosexual unions where the two decided to adopt a child have ended well for the child, this has been shown several times in the limited studies of homosexual unions all over the world and has been confirmed by many children who grew up in those households. Unfortunately many children have also been silenced about this kind of thing, and when they do talk about it many of them are instantly ridiculed and belittled by members of the LGBT despite having a very strong and valid voice as children of those kind of unions.

  • Their posting history includes describing abortion as the dismembering of infants, so I’m guessing they’re not the radical leftist SJW they’re pretending to be.

  • Zach Mercer

    Considering how scant the studies are on this it would be hard to say that children raised in these settings have better outcomes than kids from straight families. The vast majority of the world is heterosexual, only a very small amount is homosexual, around maybe 3%. That is still an enormous number of people since it is 3% of, I think 7 billion people. Anyway that claim does not have much grounding to it, to truly measure that one would have to research on families all over the world using more than polls and surveys, across several years starting from birth to 40 years old. And that is with full compliance and without the possibility that someone could lie about it. The testimonies from many children-now-adults who were raised in those families who have spoken on the number of problems that can and have occur from them is something of merit though.

  • “I researched it and looked into my faith and science and looked at everything that’s gone down over the years concerning it.”

    So did many of us: http://www.freecomchurch.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/04/response.pdf

  • Bones

    …so are just as irrelevant….as what the Pope says about gays being intrinsically evil…

  • Zach Mercer

    Also, the Catholic Church, in its dogmas, doctrines, papal statements or even in its changeable traditions that do not concern matters of morality or faith, has never attempted to degrade, maliciously insult or harm people with homosexual inclinations. It has only stated that homosexual activity is immoral. The CC has also stated that all people are to be treated equally; with love and respect regardless of race, gender, religion, nation, etc. However because we are to treat everyone with love and it is known to us that homosexual activity is immoral and so puts your soul in danger, Catholics are called to let others know this. This is out of love for others, the only thing one could say Catholics hate about homosexuality is the homosexual inclination itself and homosexual actions, but never people.
    Unfortunately other denominations and even members of the Catholic Church have stepped out of line and harmed others physically, mentally and/or emotionally. This is not the fault of the Catholic Faith but the fault of those people, whoever they are, because they do not adhere to the Christian teachings of mercy, love and compassion as they are supposed to. I completely agree with everyone on this blog that it is despicable to intentionally physically or emotionally harm any person who may posses same-sex attraction as I am sure Haley believes as well. Attempting to save another’s soul by warning them that what they do means death is not an act of hate or evil, even if we were to somehow be wrong.

  • Bones

    It is the fault of the church which covered up abuses to protect the sanctity of the priesthood and the infallibility of the church. It’s immorality continues in that dioceses follow Vatican instructions to funnel money into accounts and declare themselves bankrupt rather than pay victims.

    You can’t worm your way out of that.

    Nor are you gonna pass the buck.

    The blame sits fairly and squarely on the Catholic Church – not the evils of America.

  • Zach Mercer

    Jesus doesn’t make people worse. If you are referring to when Christians abuse one another or when people intentionally harm people with same-sex attraction physically or emotionally, those are people who are not following Jesus.
    _
    Also, I find it a bit amusing how people here seem to feel as though they must mock someone else and their religion in order to prove a point when they at the same time repeatedly tell said person not to insult or hate on homosexuality or homosexual people. The hypocrisy in that should be noted. Allot of logical fallacies.
    _
    And if your immediate reply to this is to attempt to point out some kind of hypocrisy or flaw in Christianity or the Catholic Church then you’re just proving my point that people are trying to use fallacies and mudslinging at Haley instead of actually addressing her argument with counter evidence on what she said.

  • That was a tongue-in-cheek comment.

    I’m not mudslinging at Haley. Only at a rhetoric that encourages thousands of suicides per year.

  • No citations? Are these all from scientific, peer-reviewed sources that are not religious (read: biased) in nature? Whatever the case, no way are those statistics representative of every gay couple, every child raised by gay parents.

    Did it ever occur to you that homosexuals have a higher rate of depression *because* of religious harassment and bigotry? And are you aware that the word ‘homosexuality’ didn’t exist at the time Paul wrote his letters?

    I’m trying to understand. Really, I am. But all the ‘evidence’ I’m reading that’s supposed to prove how wrong it is are easily debunked by logic or don’t make a damn bit of sense. All other sins, on the contrary, have tangible, obvious consequences that don’t require a debate.

  • Bones

    These acts of abomination – do they include eating shellfish by any chance?

    Fundy catholics and fundy protestants are both tarred with the same brush.

  • Bones

    Seems kids raised by gay parents turn out the same as kids raised by Catholic ones….

    Same-sex marriage and children’s well-being: Research roundup
    Tags: gay issues, parenting, research roundup | Last updated: June 26, 2015

    Research Findings
    Same-sex parents and children (Wikimedia, Emily Walker)
    (Wikimedia, Emily Walker)
    A leading issue in the same-sex marriage debate is the welfare of children raised by same-sex parents. How might a child’s general well-being be affected by these primary caregivers versus having a more traditional family?

    The question was central to the defense strategy of supporters of Michigan’s ban on gay marriage, which was challenged by a lawsuit and went to trial in March 2014. A federal judge overturned the state’s ban, but the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the right of Michigan and three other states to ban same-sex marriage. The issue was decided by the U.S. Supreme Court on June 26, 2015, when it ruled that the Constitution guarantees the right to same-sex marriage. Before the ruling, 36 states and the District of Columbia authorized gay marriage, and the Court’s decision compels all 50 states to do so.

    The following are scholarly research papers and studies on psychosocial and educational outcomes for children raised by same-sex parents. For an overall exploration of the challenges and potential lines of criticism in this field, see “Gay & Lesbian Parenting,” a review of the research literature by the American Psychological Association.

    ———————-

    “Child Well-Being in Same-Sex Parent Families: Review of Research Prepared for American Sociological Association Amicus Brief”
    Manning, Wendy D.; Fettro, Marshal Neal; Lamidi, Esther. Population Research and Policy Review, August 2014, Vol. 33, Issue 4, 485-502. doi: 10.1007/s11113-014-9329-6.

    Abstract: “Recent legal cases before the Supreme Court of the United States were challenging federal definitions of marriage created by the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s voter approved Proposition 8 which limited marriage to different-sex couples only. Social science literature regarding child well-being was being used within these cases, and the American Sociological Association sought to provide a concise evaluation of the literature through an amicus curiae brief. The authors were tasked in the assistance of this legal brief by reviewing literature regarding the well-being of children raised within same-sex parent families. This article includes our assessment of the literature, focusing on those studies, reviews and books published within the past decade. We conclude that there is a clear consensus in the social science literature indicating that American children living within same-sex parent households fare just as well as those children residing within different-sex parent households over a wide array of well-being measures: academic performance, cognitive development, social development, psychological health, early sexual activity, and substance abuse. Our assessment of the literature is based on credible and methodologically sound studies that compare well-being outcomes of children residing within same-sex and different-sex parent families. Differences that exist in child well-being are largely due to socioeconomic circumstances and family stability.”

    “Promoting the Well-Being of Children Whose Parents Are Gay or Lesbian”
    2013 study from Tufts University, Boston Medical Center and the Committee on Psychosocial Aspects of Child and Family Health published in Pediatrics.

    Abstract: “Extensive data available from more than 30 years of research reveal that children raised by gay and lesbian parents have demonstrated resilience with regard to social, psychological, and sexual health despite economic and legal disparities and social stigma. Many studies have demonstrated that children’s well-being is affected much more by their relationships with their parents, their parents’ sense of competence and security, and the presence of social and economic support for the family than by the gender or the sexual orientation of their parents. Lack of opportunity for same-gender couples to marry adds to families’ stress, which affects the health and welfare of all household members.”

    “U.S. National Longitudinal Lesbian Family Study: Psychological Adjustment of 17-Year-Old Adolescents”
    2010 study from the University of California-San Francisco, the University of California-Los Angeles and the University of Amsterdam published in Pediatrics.

    Findings: “The 17-year-old daughters and sons of lesbian mothers were rated significantly higher in social, school/academic, and total competence and significantly lower in social problems, rule-breaking, aggressive, and externalizing problem behavior than their age-matched counterparts… Within the lesbian family sample, no Child Behavior Checklist differences were found among adolescent offspring who were conceived by known, as-yet-unknown, and permanently unknown donors or between offspring whose mothers were still together and offspring whose mothers had separated… Adolescents who have been reared in lesbian-mother families since birth demonstrate healthy psychological adjustment.”

    “Nontraditional Families and Childhood Progress Through School”
    2010 research by Stanford University published in Demography.

    Findings: “Children of same-sex couples are as likely to make normal progress through school as the children of most other family structures… the advantage of heterosexual married couples is mostly due to their higher socioeconomic status. Children of all family types (including children of same-sex couples) are far more likely to make normal progress through school than are children living in group quarters (such as orphanages and shelters).”

    “Children’s Gender Identity in Lesbian and Heterosexual Two-Parent Families”
    2009 research from the University of Amsterdam and New York State Psychiatric Institute published in Sex Roles.

    Findings: “Children in lesbian families felt less parental pressure to conform to gender stereotypes, were less likely to experience their own gender as superior and were more likely to be uncertain about future heterosexual romantic involvement. No differences were found on psychosocial adjustment. Gender typicality, gender contentedness and anticipated future heterosexual romantic involvement were significant predictors of psychosocial adjustment in both family types.”

    “Parent-Child Interaction Styles Between Gay and Lesbian Parents and Their Adopted Children”
    2007 study from Florida State University published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies.

    Findings: “Gay and lesbian adoptive parents in this sample fell into the desirable range of the parenting scale and their children have strength levels equal to or exceeding the scale norms. Finally, various aspects of parenting style significantly predicted the adoptive parents’ view of their child’s level of care difficulty which subsequently predicted the type and level of strengths assessed within their adopted child.”

    “Meta-Analysis of Developmental Outcomes for Children of Same-Sex and Heterosexual Parents”
    2008 metastudy from Michigan State University published in the Journal of GLBT Family Studies.

    Findings: “Analyses revealed statistically significant effect size differences between groups for one of the six outcomes: parent-child relationship. Results confirm previous studies in this current body of literature, suggesting that children raised by same-sex parents fare equally well to children raised by heterosexual parents.”

    “Pychosocial Adjustment Among Children Conceived Via Donor Insemination by Lesbian and Heterosexual Mothers”
    1998 research from the University of Virgina published in Child Development.

    Findings: “Children [developed] in normal fashion, and that their adjustment was unrelated to structural variables such as parental sexual orientation or the number of parents in the household. These results held true for teacher reports as well as for parent reports. Variables associated with family interactions and processes were, however, significantly related to indices of children’s adjustment. Parents who were experiencing higher levels of parenting stress, higher levels of interparental conflict, and lower levels of love for each other had children who exhibited more behavior problems.”

    – See more at: http://journalistsresource.org/studies/society/gender-society/same-sex-marriage-children-well-being-research-roundup#sthash.6MlrqYHV.dpuf

  • Bones

    Huh? What have you been smoking?

    History of Catholic Church and Homosexuality

    In Iberia, the Visigothic ruler Egica of Hispania and Septimania demanded that a church council confront the occurrence of homosexuality in the kingdom. In 693, the Sixteenth Council of Toledo issued a canon condemning guilty clergy to degradation and exile and laymen to a hundred lashes. Egica added an edict imposing the punishment of castration (as already in the secular law promulgated for his kingdom by his predecessor King Chinawith).[89][90][91]

    The matter was also dealt with at the Council of Paris—in canons 34 and 69 (AD 829),[87] which went beyond Elvira and Ancyra in explicitly endorsing the death penalty for sodomy—claiming that it had led God to destroy Sodom and Gomorrah and send the Great Flood[92] The concern at Paris was that toleration of sodomy might provoke God to give victory to the enemies of Christianity (i.e. Islam). At about the same time, the set of forged capitularies produced by the deacon Benedict Levita implied that Charlemagne had likewise supported the death penalty. Meanwhile canon 15 of the Council of Trolsy (AD 909) warned against “pollution with men or animals”.[87]

    Alongside this, penances for such sexual transgressions may increasingly be found in a few of the penitential books which first emerged in the 6th century in monastic communities in Ireland (including for women having sex with other women).[87][93]

    Medieval and Early Modern period Edit
    By the late Middle Ages, the term “sodomy” had come to cover copulation between males, bestiality, and non-vaginal heterosexual intercourse,[94] coitus interruptus, masturbation, fellatio and anal sex (whether heterosexual or homosexual);[95] and it increasingly began to be identified as the most heinous of sins by authorities of the Catholic Church. In Italy, Dominican monks would encourage the pious to “hunt out” sodomites and once done to hand them to the Inquisition to be dealt with accordingly: “These clerical discourses provided a language for secular authorities to condemn sodomy… By persecuting sodomites as well as heretics, the Church strengthened its authority and credibility as a moral arbiter”.[96]

    Klaits writes: “From the twelfth century on, outsiders came under increasing verbal and physical attack from churchmen, allied secular authorities, and, particularly in the case of Jews, from the lower strata of the population”; and among “outsiders” he considers Jews, heretics, homosexuals, and magicians as having been among the most important.[97]

    Around 1051, Saint Peter Damian wrote the Liber Gomorrhianus in which he argued for stricter ecclesiastical punishment for clerics guilty of “sins against nature”.[98][99]

    At the same time, Hildegard of Bingen, in her book Scivias detailing her visions which she attributed to God, condemned same-sex intercourse (including lesbianism): “A man who sins with another man as if with a woman sins bitterly against God … a woman who takes up devilish ways and plays a male role in coupling with another woman is most vile in My sight, and so is she who subjects herself to such a one in this evil deed”.[100]

    The Council of London in 1102 in 1102, called at the urging of Archbishop Anselm of Canterbury, explicitly denounced homosexual behavior as a sin for the first time at an English council.[101] Anselm felt that sodomy was widespread and was not condemned strongly enough or regarded with the seriousness that it should have. Confessors were urged to take account of such ignorance when hearing confessions for sodomy, and to take into account mitigating factors such as age and marital status before prescribing penance; and counselling was generally preferred to punishment. In Canons 28 and 29 the Council decreed that the people should be informed of the gravity of the sin, and their obligation to confess (particularly if they derived pleasure from it). Nevertheless, Anselm deferred publication of the proceedings, arguing further time was needed to clarify certain matters.[101] Boswell argues the decrees were never published at all.[102][103]

    In 1179, Pope Alexander III presided over the Third Lateran Council which decreed (canon 11) that all those guilty of sodomy be removed from office or confined to penitential life in a monastery, if clergy; and be strictly excommunicated, if laity: “Let all who are found guilty of that unnatural vice for which the wrath of God came down upon the sons of disobedience and destroyed the five cities with fire, if they are clerics be expelled from the clergy or confined in monasteries to do penance; if they are laymen they are to incur excommunication and be completely separated from the society of the faithful.”[104]

    This was followed by canon 14 of the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215. This stated that if a priest suspended for unchastity of any kind—especially the vice that “on account of which the anger of God came from heaven upon the children of unbelief” (that is sodomy)—dared to celebrate Mass then he was to be deposed permanently from the priesthood.[105][106]

    By the early 13th century (time of the Fourth Lateran Council) the Church determined that “secular authorities, as well as clergy, should be allowed to impose penalties on ‘sodomites’ for having had sexual relations”, and by the end of this period, “Sodomites were now [regarded as] demons as well as sinners.”[107] Civil authorities were in parallel trying the crime of sodomy in their own courts, although in practice applying even more severe punishments (Roman civil law had prescribed death by burning for those found guilty of sodomy).[108]

    In 1232, Pope Gregory IX established the Roman Inquisition which investigated claims of sodomitical acts; in 1451, Pope Nicholas V enabled it to prosecute men who practice sodomy. Handed over to the civil authorities, those condemned were frequently burned in accordance with civil law.[108]

    In the Summa Theologica, Saint Thomas Aquinas stated that “the unnatural vice” is the greatest of the sins of lust.[109] In his Summa contra Gentiles, traditionally dated to 1264, he argued against what he called “the error of those who say that there is no more sin in the emission of the semen than in the ejection of other superfluous products from the body” by saying that, after murder, which destroys an existing human being, disordinate emission of semen to the preclusion of generating a human being seems to come second.[110]

    In 1424, Saint Bernardino of Siena preached for three days in Florence, Italy against homosexuality and other forms of lust, calling for sodomites to be ostracized, and these sermons alongside measures by other clergy of the time strengthened opinion against homosexuals and encouraged the authorities to increase the measures of persecution.[111]

    In 1478, with the papal bull Exigit Sinceras Devotionis Affectus, Pope Sixtus IV acceded to the request of Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile, granting them exclusive authority to name the inquisitors in their kingdoms. The Spanish Inquisition thus replaced the Medieval Inquisition which had been set up under direct papal control, and transferred it in Spain to civil control. In 1482, in response to complaints by relatives of the first victims, Sixtus wrote that he had not intended his grant to be abused in that way. However, strong pressure brought to bear on him prevented him from revoking it.[112]

    Tomas de Torquemada was a prominent leader of the Spanish Inqusition. 150 sodomites were executed by burning in Spain from 1570–1630.
    The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition in Spain was therefore under the control of its monarchs and the initial direction of the Dominican friar Tomas de Torquemada. At first it seems to have been reluctant to take on responsibility for trying those accused of sodomy, and that the Suprema (the governing body) ruled in 1509 that such cases were for the secular courts, which already punished sodomy with death. However, in 1524 the Suprema requested papal authorisation to prosecute sodomites. Pope Clement VII granted permission but only within the Kingdom of Aragon and on condition that trials be conducted according to the civil laws, not the standard inquisitorial procedure.[94] The Pope refused the request of King Philip II of Spain to extend the authority of the Spanish Inquisition to conducting such trials in the rest of Spain.[95]

    Within Aragon and its dependent territories, the number of individuals that the Spanish Inquisition tried for sodomy,[94][95] between 1570 and 1630 was over 800[113] or nearly a thousand.[94] In Spain, those whom the Spanish Inquisition convicted and had executed “by burning without the benefit of strangulation” were about 150.[114] The Inquisition was harsh to sodomizers (more so for those committing bestiality than homosexuality), but tended to restrict death by burning only to those aged over twenty-five. Minors were normally whipped and sent to the galleys. Mildness was also shown to clergy, who were always a high proportion of those arrested.[115] In fact, conviction and execution for sodomy was easier to obtain from the civil courts in other parts of Spain than from the tribunals of the Inquisition in Aragon, and there executions for sodomy were much more numerous.[116] After 1633, where the Spanish Inquisition had jurisdiction for sodomy, it ceased treating it as requiring execution, and imposed lesser penalties in cases brought before it.[94]

    The Portuguese Inquisition was established in 1536; and in 1539 Henry, Archbishop of Braga (later cardinal and king of Portugal) became Grand Inquisitor. (An earlier appointment as Portuguese Grand Inquisitor was Friar Diogo da Silva.)[117] It received 4,419 denunciations against individuals accused of sodomy, of whom 447 were subjected to a formal trial, and thirty were burnt at the stake, in accordance with the pre-1536 civil laws enacted under Kings Afonso V and Manuel I, and many others were sent to the galleys or to exile, temporary or permanent.[94]

    In England, the accused were originally tried by church courts, which almost never punished homosexual behaviour.[108] This changed when Henry VIII, while still a member of the Roman Catholic Church, enacted the Buggery Act 1533, as part of his campaign to break the power of the Catholic Church in England.[118]

    Although homosexuality was not directly discussed at the Council of Trent, it did commission the drawing up of a catechism (following the successful lead of some Protestants) which stated: “Neither fornicators nor adulterers, nor the effeminate nor sodomites shall possess the kingdom of God.”[119]

  • IDK, I prefer to use Lesbian to distinguish because people who talk about “gay news” and such are almost exclusively male-focused as it is– the reality of the situation is that “gay” in many peoples’ minds refers to men, with gay women as merely an afterthought.

    … I could give a thousand reasons that this is the case but meh…

  • Bones

    The Syllabus of Errors issued by Pope Pius IX 1864

    Some statements of condemnation
    Statements the encyclical condemned as false include the following:

    “Human reason, without any reference whatsoever to God, is the sole arbiter of truth and falsehood, and of good and evil.” (No. 3)
    “All the truths of religion proceed from the innate strength of human reason; hence reason is the ultimate standard by which man can and ought to arrive at the knowledge of all truths of every kind.” (No. 4)
    “In the present day it is no longer expedient that the Catholic religion should be held as the only religion of the State, to the exclusion of all other forms of worship.” (No. 77)
    “Protestantism is nothing more than another form of the same true Christian religion, in which form it is given to please God equally as in the Catholic Church.” (No. 18).
    “The Church ought to be separated from the State, and the State from the Church.” (No. 55)
    “Every man is free to embrace and profess that religion which, guided by the light of reason, he shall consider true.” (No. 15) and that “It has been wisely decided by law, in some Catholic countries, that persons coming to reside therein shall enjoy the public exercise of their own peculiar worship.” (No. 78)
    “The Roman Pontiff can, and ought to, reconcile himself, and come to terms with, progress, liberalism and modern civilization.” (No. 80) (cf Jamdudum cernimus)

    Must be a bit awkward the infallible Pope Pius IX condemning the infallible Pope Francis….

    There are some real clangers in that especially the heresies of religious liberty and separation of church and state.

  • Bones

    Pretty sure my spirituality has nothing to do with the severance of my vas deferens.

  • Bones

    I got the same thing.

    It was weird that someone posted a link that disagreed with them.

  • Bones

    We might believe God doesn’t inflict punishment but that is not the belief of the original writers who did believe that.

  • Bones

    We’re talking about senior bishops protecting the infallibility of the church and the sanctity of the priesthood. And there is evidence that the Vatican is actively involved in Catholic dioceses funneling money to declare bankruptcy to avoid paying sex abuse victims.

    In fact many clergy were able to abuse kids precisely BECAUSE of the untouchability of the priest.

    What’s weird is if they even had a whiff of Marxism they’d have been given short shrift ala Halder Camara and even Oscar Romero.

  • Bones

    Yes…..

  • Matthew

    .

  • Bones

    I think you’re turning people off.

    You’ve turned me off and some of my heroes are Catholic.

  • Aristophanes, or a character based on him, spoke of men largely drawn to men in BC times. Although it’s debated how serious the idea was taken by him or anyone.

    It’s largely true that Christian prohibitions were more on the act of sodomy rather than a theory of orientation one or two Greek guys may have held.

    I know though it’s ahistorical, or wishful thinking, to think that

    A) The early Christians saw celibacy, even maybe forced celibacy, as “spending the rest of your life completely lonely, and totally resisting ever having your most basic physical and emotional needs met.” (Even before the Council of Nicaea Christians had some, I believe, “virgin martyrs” and religious celibates. The New Testament itself I think indicates that. The dumping of celibacy as honorable was largely a Reformation idea.)

    and

    B) That early Christians would be okay with adult consensual homosexuality. The practice was rare in ancient times, but it actually wasn’t non-existent. Yet when Christianity gained power in Rome homosexuality, and heterosexual sodomy perhaps though that may have been later, was discouraged. But there’s a strong, and I grant powerful, need for progressive Christians to either ignore Christian history outright or read it in a way applicable to what they need to believe.

    But also Protestantism puts itself in a bind on issues like this. By gutting much of tradition, and largely seeing celibacy as inferior rather than equal or superior per Pre-Reformed tradition, it makes it where it’s maybe natural that they have to either affirm it or make the people with those desires feel less-than.

    Now the oddity is we are seeing this in the Catholic world, like your own country, too. And some will say things like “It’s not in spite of their Catholicism”, but yes of course it’s in spite of it. Irish have much reason to be angry at the Church, even I recognize that, and that is likely a big part of why it happened. Also Catholicism, and Orthodoxy too but the Orthodox world seems to be staying pretty “as is” on this, doesn’t teach anything like “romantic love is your most basic physical and emotional need.” That’s more Luther and maybe Freud.

    From a progressive perspective I suppose I must be miserable and lonely because I can’t get-with any of the men I’ve been attracted to. But to me as a Catholic what progressives or even Protestants think is not going to be binding on me. From my perspective celibacy is traditionally praised above marriage. And I have love. the idea that the best love is romantic love is also maybe not widely believed until the 19th century. As Christians the best love is presumably love of God and then Neighbor. I seek that. I’m unconvinced by the idea that coupling with a guy would inevitably improve that or solve a “problem”, loneliness, I don’t even have. But the ideology is strong and I’ve certainly seen people insist I’m in some kind of “false consciousness.”

  • Bones

    I asked my celibate priest friend if I was called to a life of celibacy when I was a lonely 30 year old..

    He asked me if I wanted to be with a partner.

    I said I do.

    He said then you aren’t.

  • I can see that argument. It’s the more sweeping “forced celibacy means loneliness and no emotional needs met” that annoys me. It could even be putting way too much on having a partner. Presumably most people aren’t going to off into their own little universe with their partner. They are going to have some needs their spouse or lover are not really going to meet. Or they should. If all a person needs is their spouse/partner it’s kind of shutting yourself off from society.

  • To be Biblical the marriage, and sex, of elderly and infertile straight couples is pretty clearly blessed in several passages.

    If you want the natural law type basis the sterility is incidental not inherent. The action is not fertile due to age or illness. It is not infertile due to the design of the sexual activity itself. (I do think some of my fellow Catholics are too permissive of heterosexual sodomy.) It also still has the true unity of the sexes.

    There is nowhere in the Bible where a same-sex coupling is clearly blessed. (I’m aware of people who believe the Centurion and his servant were a gay couple, but this is debatable at best.) The best progressives tend to be able to do is say that the condemnations mean something else and to argue that the Bible says virtually nothing about the subject. But considering sex outside of marriage is generally disapproved of, and marriage is only ever described as uniting a man to a woman or women, it just seems more sensible to me to think it means what Christians have almost universally thought it meant until maybe the 1960s.

    (Also there’s a bit of the modern tendency to confuse romance and love in some of the above posts. Two men or two women having a loving, even intense, relationship is not negated by prohibitions of sodomy or defining marriage as uniting the two sexes and fruitfulness.)

  • I think for able-bodied people without mental health issues “disorder” sounds really bad. For me thinking of it as a disorder was maybe less bothersome than it is for many others with same-sex attractions.

    Your phrasing on some of this is maybe not ideal, but I agree that the existence of sexuality is procreation and the design of our bodies makes heterosexuality more fitting. That in my life I’ve desired men as much or more than women is maybe not as upsetting to me as I’ve seen several Catholics think it should be, but it doesn’t mean I disagree with the premise. I don’t do anything with men nor would I.

    As for “healing” I may vary from you more. I mean yes God is capable of changing anything or anyone. But personally I think the evidence is that being cured of homosexuality is extremely rare, at best, and so it’s maybe more useful to think of why some of us are in a sense “born to celibacy” or have celibacy thrust upon us. (Although as a bi I could marry a woman.) The idea of that I think is well within Christian history. If anything the disdain or disgust to celibacy is, to me, something of an aberration in Christian history.

  • Larry TheKeyboardist Blake

    I can’t speak for everyone else who supports LGBTQ rights, but I can explain my own personal reasons for affirming them and supporting their rights.

    First, because I’m a person who was born with something else society tends to look down upon. In my case, I have Asperger’s Syndrome, and I got made fun of a LOT as a kid simply for reasons related to that. While I was never bullied to the extent a lot of LGBTQ children were, I can still relate to the struggles a lot of them went through. Everything I’ve heard about LGBTQ children doing – from self-loathing to contemplating suicide – I did at points in my life as well, simply because I was a weird, geeky, autistic kid who was constantly getting harassed by my classmates for not fitting the mold they supposedly wanted me to fill, and there was nothing I could do to change that. I have since gotten over all of that and don’t care what haters say about me anymore, but I can relate to the struggles LGBTQ children experience because I had something not too far removed from that happen to me when I was growing up.

    Second, because I have no reason to feel any differently about them because of their sexual orientation. What they do in their personal lives is none of my business, just like it’s none of theirs what I do in mine. As long as what they’re doing isn’t illegal or done with an intent to harm others, I have no reason to be worried about them, and even then, that would hardly have anything to do with being LGBTQ in the first place.

    And lastly – from the more religious perspective – Jesus Christ’s main message was about love and acceptance, not of hate and rejection. The leaders in the religious right are nothing more than Pharisees and false prophets who have made a fortune off of stirring up paranoia and hatred towards LGBTQ individuals for over 40 years now, and that paranoia has led to our LGBTQ brothers and sisters experiencing bullying in the school, slander in the media, rejection from the pulpit, and discrimination in the workplace by those who have bought into the RR’s constant lies and demagoguery. Their behavior is something you might expect Satan to encourage, but not one a loving, accepting Jesus Christ to condone.

  • Bones

    Dude if your’re happy being single then go with it.

    If you ain’t….then you have a problem……

    “From my perspective celibacy is traditionally praised above marriage. ”

    Actually marriage is bloody hard work, requires sacrifice and the giving of self…..

    I don’t know how it can be praised above marriage unless you’re following Paul’s advice in a missionary culture.

  • The fact is that the CCC goes well beyond simply saying gay acts are immoral. It also attempts to pathologize gay people by saying that homosexuality is intrinsically disordered and that gay partnerships are gravely depraved and can, under no circumstances, be condoned. It teaches contempt for people who are gay.

    Let’s forget for a second the impact of telling a gay kid that he is pathological. Let’s look at the working out of the “cannot be condoned” part. How many organists, choir directors and high school instructors has the RCC fired because they are openly gay? Are you saying the CC did not intentionally harm these people?

    The USCCB actively engages in efforts to keep employment discrimination against gay people legal – not only in the church but also in general society.

    Again, the facts belie your claims.

    I agree with you that the RCC maltreatment of gay people is not always born out of animus. That doesn’t mean that it’s not intentional maltreatment. The Christian Scientist who withholds essential medical care from her child also claims “love” and “faith” motivators. Injurious beliefs are no less injurious just because they are sincerely held. There is no reason why such beliefs should not be met with centure in the public square.

  • So it’s your position that the overwhelming consensus based on 78 studies to date is baseless?

    If we consider (as we should) the testimonies of adult children who claim problems with same sex parenting, we must also consider the testimony of those who are happy and healthy in gay families as well as the testimony of those who experienced dysfunction in straight families.

    Your claims are entirely without merit. I can only guess at the reasons you make them.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    A lot of gay people actually are progressive Christians, and plenty of gay people place value on commitment and fidelity in relationships, wven if you do not. You seem to be using the term “gay people” to basically just mean you.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Committing to a faithful, long term and loving relationship with someone can make you a better and more unaelfish and loving person as a result.
    Using other people principally as fun consumer goods to obtain satisfaction of your own desires / needs can make you a worse and more self-centered and selfish person as a result.
    If you can’t get your head round the concept, or even of why becoming a better and less selfish person is something you’d feel the need to do, this really ought to worry you a lot.

  • Ron McPherson

    Also, ever notice that ones who bring up homosexuality being an abomination don’t bring up others like a lying tongue, haughtiness, wicked heart, false witnesses, one who spreads strife, etc?

  • RonnyTX

    Thank you Larry, for that really great post. :-)

    Thinking about how my parents taught me right, at an early age. Not to think of myself as better than and look down on anyone. Really, the only people they would get upset with at times, was a person who would not help support their own family, was very self centered in that way and or would not help a neighbor, when they had the ability and time to do just that.

    Another thing my parents taught me early on. Never to think of myself as better than, because of the color of my skin. Nor was I to look up or down on anyone, because of what they had or didn’t have, as far as material goods. So it didn’t matter to my parents, if a person had a lot of material goods like money or other things or if they didn’t.

    Just sorry, for the wrong things you have had to put up with, in your life. Some people can surely act like horses asses, at times. (ha) That never made sense to me. Like one guy, a little younger than me, in school. He happened to be a bit slow, had a harder time with school work and things like that. Some few people made fun of him and seemed to think of themself as better than. All that, simply never made any sense at all, to me.

    And because they lived out of state, I never got to see one cousin that much, who was autistic. And I have a little great niece, who has Downs Syndrome. Get to see her now and then, when she and my oldest sis, her Grandma, to to see them. When this little girl sees me and her Grandma coming in the house, she comes running towards us, with her arms thrown way out and she is going to give both of us, a big hug! :-) My, that little girl, she’s one of the brighter lights, in my life! :-) Surely don’t understand some people, who think it would of been best, if her parents hadn’t of had her! :-( My, I’m glad they chose to, no matter what one doctor said to them.

    Like you said, Jesus Christ simply tells us to love others, as we love ourself. And when we know how greatly Jesus Christ loves us, that makes it that much easier, to love every last person! :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    Well, you posted nary a source here to confirm your assertion though did suggest that I haven’t done due diligence in researching how homosexual unions affect children. Fortunately Bones posted a host of sources that helped me but ironically refuted your claims. So you may want to objectively do some research as well.

    Peace

  • $136305622

    I definitely understand the concept of becoming a better and less selfish person. I think it is something we all should strive for. It is definitely part of my morality of treating others well.

    I have no idea how someone can see a mutually agreed upon sexual encounter that might be for fun as “using other people principally as fun consumer goods” and making one worse and more self-centered and selfish. There is no evidence for that. Just as there is not evidence or reason to believe that committing to a faithful, long term and loving relationship with someone make you a better and more loving person. It might. It might not. It should not form the basis of how we judge others who don’t desire it.

    Why should I be worried if I realize that sex could be fun?

  • $136305622

    I personally place value on committment and fidelity in relationships (just celebrated 11 years with my partner!). I would never have the gall to claim I know what is best for everyone else though. That is where I differ from the obnoxious religious folks :)

    I am well aware of the gay Christians – progressive and not progressive – who judge their fellow gay people who might like to experience sex differently. It is so weird – the progressive Christians only like gay people if they are seeking marriage now.

  • Ron McPherson

    You’re as bad as Phil. Always screwing up these worthwhile debates with facts

  • Ron McPherson

    “How is having sex with my wife not healthy?”

    Because you enjoy it. Geez, what’s so complicated about this?

  • Ron McPherson

    Watch your language sir!

  • RonnyTX

    Melissa:
    IDK, I prefer to use Lesbian to distinguish because people who talk about “gay news” and such are almost exclusively male-focused as it is– the reality of the situation is that “gay” in many peoples’ minds refers to men, with gay women as merely an afterthought.

    … I could give a thousand reasons that this is the case but meh…

    Ronny to Melissa:
    I can understand that somewhat, the way some people are, to anyone who is female. It’s like they see such people as 2nd class and or lesser than. But I don’t. And I’ve sort of felt at times, that some people were leaving gay/lesbian females out, when they used the term gay. But again, when I use the term gay for everyone who is that, male or female, to me anyway, it’s just my way of expressing everyone, on an equal footing. With the male side, not being better than, the female side.

    Just grinning a bit here, thinking of my Mom and some of my aunts. They grew up at a time, when way too many people seemed to think male was always better and higher than female. Well, my Mom and aunts would put up with this, to a degree; but I noted when someone pushed a little too far, then, they sure better watch out, because they were going to get an earful, about how they were wrong,etc! :-)

  • Haley McCalister

    I just wanted to say that I 100% agree with you and pray you have a wonderful life. I don’t think it’s probable for all gays to be “cured” either. I just meant it was possible. Thank you for commenting on my post and I hope you have a great day…=)

  • Although I’ve taken what could be deemed a “non-affirming” or “rejecting” stance I think hatred or paranoia toward LGBT individuals is very wrong. I supported Lawrence v Texas and some kind of civil union. If hate crimes is limited to actual crimes I believe I support listing them under hate crimes legislation.

    Just as I would for Hindus or Sikhs or whatever.

  • Well I’m Catholic. Our leaders are celibate. They are in Orthodoxy too, usually.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Creative misinterpretation again. Sex is fun: what would worry me is if I did not see the necessity to become a better person, or that learning to live in love with someone might under the right circumstances assist with that.

  • Reading your post I think I can explain some things even though you’re unlikely to like them.

    Psychology, for a variety of perfectly good reasons, use terms like “disorder” to specify things that impair your ability to function in secular society. Unlike some conservative Catholics I have come to agree homosexuality is not a “disorder” in that sense. In my case when I say it’s a disorder I do not mean in the sense of secular psychology.

    But for me, as a Catholic, “disorder” means something a tad different. It’s not about if you can function in society. In some cases “functioning in society” could be contrary to living the right kind of life. It’s more about the purposes of things. Psychologists can be religious, though on the whole they aren’t, but generally psychology isn’t so much about purpose or at least I don’t think it has any creed telling people what their purpose is. Religions are about purpose. Homosexuality is “disordered”, in my faith, because it goes against the purpose of sex.

    If we valued eating as of greater significance than sex we might deem things like drinking soda to be “objectively disordered.” It wouldn’t mean we’d think people who drink soda can’t function in society, or even that a moderate soda drinker is inevitably unhealthy, it would be a statement that soda has no nutritive value.

    Saying your romantic or sexual connections have no value is understandably insulting, but it’s not like I’m demanding you agree. And I would say the emotional connections may indeed have value, but for us (and again basically all Christianity from, at least, the fifth century to 1960) the sexual aspect of a same-sex relationship is “disordered” because it lacks the purposes of sex. (To unite the sexes and be fertile if possible.) So the great same-sex relationships of the Bible and Christian history are non-sexual friendship/kindred-spirit relationships.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    How then are you making this a “gay” thing? On your logic progressive Christians wouldn’t like anyone at all, gay or straight, who wasn’t a progressive Christian with all the same views as themselves. (Which is sin any event simply untrue.)

  • $136305622

    Um, the article made it a gay thing. … frequently there are articles on progressive Christian blogs that try to make it seem progressive Christians are better than fundamentalists with regard to gays. But in reality, as your comments have pointed out in as evidenced but most progressive Christian blogs, they actually have similar visions of sexuality and sin. For instance, they are just as judgmental of gay folks who don’t follow the rules the Christians have set up. Personally, I am fine with that as long as they don’t pretend to all accepting. That is a bit deceptive.

  • ashpenaz

    My point is this–ideas and terminology about sexuality change. Just as we’re getting used to “gay” and “straight,” a new generation comes along and doesn’t want to be put into those boxes, so they create new words for who they are: “demisexual,” “queerplatonic,” “ace.” There is absolutely no connection between our words about sexuality and Paul’s words about sexuality. “Arsenkoitai” is just as much a word he coined as “genderfluid” is a word someone in our day coined. Would Paul condemn graysexuality or aromantic allosexuals? Would Paul condemn an ace and his zucchini? We have no way of knowing, and it’s wrong to use words coined in Scripture to condemn any group today.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    I think you may be missing the point of a religion. A
    The fundamental proposition of a religion is that here are a set of practices and way of life which promise a better way to live. Complaining that a religion is not accepting of those who do not believe its tenets and do not wish to follow its practices is a bit like complaining a gym is not accepting of people who don’t want to exercise and get fit or a restaurant of people who don’t want anything to eat.
    The difference is that fundamentalist Christians impose the rather unreasonable obligation on gay people who do in fact wish to seek God and follow Jesus that they also cease to be gay.

  • Thomas, I was baptised Catholic and I was sent to reparative therapy against my will. So if you really believe you can ‘explain’ to me how my sexual orientation is disordered in a way that I have not heard time and time and TIME again, you have an overlarge opinion of your abilities.

  • Julie

    Actually it makes more sense if God exists outside of time. If God lives within time than this means that all He does is limited by time.

    Like what?

    To say that time always was because God always was makes time itself equal to God in existence, in other words God would not be the sole Alpha and Omega as He says because time would also have come first.

    So to say existence always was is to say God is not the sole Alpha and Omega because existence also came first? To say love always was is to say God is not the sole Alpha and Omega because love also came first? No, not so. If time is not a created entity, it’s not an “it” that comes first or second. Existence is simply the word we use to describe the reality that “God is.” Time is simply the word we use to describe the reality that existence is sequential.

    God also could not be omnipotent if He must live within the limitations of time

    Omnipotence simply means to know everything knowable. That wouldn’t change.

    Also there are plenty of places in the Bible that show God is not bound by time but experiences it differently than humans.

    For one to experience time differently is not evidence that one lives outside of time.

    The story of creation states that there was nothing except God before anything was created.

    So? If time was not created, we can say God existed before anything was created. Did love exist before God created? Yes, it did. Love was not created, so we can say God existed before anything was created, even though love existed before God created.

    Revelation 1:8 speaks of how God is, was and always will be which makes God eternal.

    God’s eternality doesn’t change if time is not a created entity.

    Something that is eternal cannot be touched or bound by time by definition.

    In what way is God bound by time?

    Also several passages speak of how neither God nor His love for humanity changes, something that is immutable or cannot change cannot be bound by time.

    Time is unending but that doesn’t change God’s love or character. So why would no beginning to time change God’s love or character?

  • $136305622

    I really like the gym example! So fundamentalists would be like – you have to join a gym – it is the only way to a good body and healthy lifestyle. You have You have to use the treadmill.

    Progressives would be like – you have to join a gym to get a good body and healthy lifestyle but we will let you use the treadmill OR the elliptical for cardio. But you still have to do cardio.

    However, one might actually be healthy and in good shape and not even need the gym. Or maybe you go to the gym but you want to do the treadmill, elliptical, stairmaster, AND weights!

    Only one of the scenarios seems non-judgmental. You have done a very good job of summarizing what religion is and position 2 above.

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    The entire reason homosexual relationships are immoral is because they don’t have the option to procreate.

    And yet, I’m sure you have no problem with an infertile couple having sex – because their relationship is somehow ‘open to life’.

  • hi Ronny! I’ve seen Matlock reruns on YouTube! *~\]:D

  • Haley McCalister

    You are confusing several different theologies together.
    1) God IS existence, he did not create it. All properties of God are identical to himself – philosophy 101.
    2) God IS love. He did not create love – he is love.
    3) God IS beauty, and goodness, and truth, and all these other things. He did not create them because these things ARE God. They are what God is.
    4) time is a created entity.
    5) While Zach was wrong in saying that if time always existed it would be equated to God, time has not always existed because time signifies that there will be an end. And that there was a beginning. God has no beginning and no end, therefore time is a created entity.

  • Iain Lovejoy

    Apart from over-analysing the analogy, you have missed the other difference between fundamentalist and progressive Christianity, in that progressive Christians say “You need to join the gym or otherwise your health will suffer” whilst fundamentalists say you have to join the gym or the management will come round and break your windows.
    You have a funny definition of “judgemental” which would seem to include a doctor telling someone who doesn’t want to or doesn’t like it that their health is suffering because they are overweight and they nevertheless need to do cardio accordingly. (This may be bad advice – I don’t do gym!)

  • Julie

    1) God IS existence

    God is not existence. It’s absurd to say, “Existence is God.” Existence is not God and God is not existence. Existence is a word we use to describe that “God is.”

    2) God IS love.

    God is not literally love. Love is an attribute of God. The phrase “God is love” is an expression that means God is the source of love or that God perfectly manifests love.

    4) time is a created entity.

    Prove it. You can’t. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. It can’t be proven. It’s something people take on by faith.

    God has no beginning and no end, therefore time is a created entity.

    God can still have no beginning and no end even if time has no beginning and no end. You don’t believe there is an end to time, do you? Or do you think we’ll all just sit in a big bubble of “eternal now” after the resurrection and restoration of all things? The fact that time has no end doesn’t impact that God has no end, so why would the fact that time has no beginning impact that God has no beginning?

    Did you see my reply to you regarding the main topic of this thread?

  • Ron McPherson

    “Relying on yourself alone with God can also be dangerous.”

    Being alone with God brings peace, not danger.

    “While I don’t oppose to reading or owning a bible…”

    Well I should certainly hope not. This sounds almost like reading is best left to the ‘experts’. Shouldn’t the church encourage one to read it for themselves? Centuries ago it was kept out of the hands of the ‘commoners.’ That didn’t work so well.

    I agree that there are trained biblical expositors that can provide much help in plowing thru certain weightier matters, assistance with proper exegesis, valid hermeneutical approaches, etc, but when all is said and done, it’s the Spirit of God that brings truth. Even the Apostle Paul wrote that our “faith should not stand on the wisdom of men, but on the power of God.”

  • Caladrius

    I’ve had exclusive homosexual attractions ever since I hit puberty. Recently I moved from a 6 to maybe a 5.5 on the Kinsey scale (not by choice, but by a sort of random drift that I can’t explain. I just find women prettier than I used to). That’s how gay I am. Since converting to Christianity several years ago, however, I’ve never once thought it was a choice, nor that it was genetic.

    I frankly refuse to subscribe to this whole debate. It’s ridiculous and makes me feel like a pawn used in a larger theological game between progressives/liberals and traditionalists/conservatives. I was born human. Human. Image of God. My sexuality developed due to experiences, people, places, events, etc., in my early life. The same as for straights and bisexuals and transgendered people. It’s all in the psychology of experience & association.

    Lumping gays into one big “born that way” group is ridiculous. Same for straights. Same for everyone. While I never chose it, and was certainly not born this way, I believe very strongly in a non-affirming stance. Sexuality is tremendously labile. I resent the gay community taking up the language of the Civil Rights moevment of the 1960s. Blacks were born black. Women were born women. They could use this language of birth or genetics as a backup. We can’t. We’re not a sub-group in the same way blacks and women are. I’m sorry.

    I am very happily celibate, and will remain so because I believe God considers all gay sex acts as inherently wrong for human life. These are not arbitrary of God, nor are they the result of my misunderstanding the Bible. Away with the chronological snobbery of this article. Away with the gay-elitism and prejudice against traditionalists and my straight friends who have a conscience.

    Unfortunately, I am part of the losing side. I acknowledge that. Even the Roman Catholic Church, of which I am a member, is full of clergy who not only ignore gay people having sex and being in long term relationships, I’ve met many clergy who personally encourage it.

    Also, for good measure: screw this stupid LGBTQI language. I’m gay, not a friggin’ lesbian, bi, trans, or queer. I am a man who is gay. I am not one of those other groups. Stop making me into part a label for your political and philosophical radicalism! I’m not a wine bottle! I’m a person!

  • Julie

    The whole “born that way” argument is just another way of saying one doesn’t have a genuine choice in the matter, which you already agree with.

  • Bones

    Given that you say the Old Testament is definitely inspired by God and God doesn’t get angry, I would suggest the two views are mutually exclusive eg Sodom and Gomorrah and the various slaughters of people and their cultures.

  • Caladrius

    Thanks for the thought, Julie. I do have to disagree though.

    The “we’re born this way” defense is a mode of tribalism; if anyone goes against us, we can say they’re the sexual equivalents of racists. And who can question the evil of racism? Very clever rhetorical twist. But if we’re not born this way, and merely develop through events in puberty which we have no control of, then we have no excuse to speak in terms of civil rights or race-rights or gender-rights, only in terms of misunderstanding and of wounds. Big, big difference.

  • Julie

    You may disagree with those who use the “race-rights” argument because they, personally, feel they’ve been born that way, but the author of the article doesn’t mention the whole “race-rights” argument. He says, “we can say with confidence that you are either born with it, or it develops so young in life that it could in no way be seen as a choice one can consent to, or reject.”

    As far as sexuality developing due to experiences, that’s not true for me. Boys made me feel different than girls did from the time I was about five years old. Butterflies & those kinds of feelings. There were no experiences from infancy to five years old that could have led to me have butterflies around boys but not girls. If someone says “I was born that way” who are you or I to say differently? If you say it was due to your experiences, who am I to say differently?

    If I may ask, why do you believe God considers all gay sex acts as inherently wrong?

  • Caladrius

    I don’t think the author used or even conceived of this in terms of racial imagery; that was the analogy I used.

    If you are born gay, as you’re born black or female, it can’t be changed. If it’s a development, psychology can look into it, help explain why it happened, and help those who desire to shift in the opposite direction. Obviously it has to be voluntary. I’m only fighting so strenuously against the “born with it” stuff because it’s a very passive way of looking at our humanity. Even in the most difficult areas, we can change a lot with our free will. I fear that the “born with it” attitude is a negation of freedom as humans. We can’t will our skin to be a different color, obviously, but I think we can shift sexuality. It’s not set in stone like race, species, or gender.

    You’re right about the butterflies and such. I know the feeling. From before puberty, I felt more comfortable around boys and wasn’t interested in girls — but that’s just natural. What young boys don’t associate with boys? Which young girls don’t associate with girls? Early friendship is different from growing sexual desire.

    Who am I to say anything different? Well, I’m just a person making observations about human nature. Nothing is so relative that we can say we know nothing about it. From my experience, I can build a quasi-scientific observation: “every gay person I know had great difficulties with their same sex-parent and was very close to their opposite-sex parent”. This may be proved wrong in the future, but it has held true. I’m just applying my personal experiences to the Universal human nature. It’s how we as humans can do philosophy, and even science.

    Anyway, I believe gay sex is “wrong” in the same way that a broken pencil that doesn’t write or draw is inherently wrong. It is not a fulfilling use of the sexual faculty, which exists for procreation. I realize that sex is much more than that, but ultimately it is for the purpose of children. As for God, I see it this way: he could only make a universe where 2+2=4, not where 2+2=5. The former is an absolute truth; the latter is impossible. Likewise, sex ontologically exists for makin’ babies. If it is not used for that purpose, it is not a right usage.

    Now, as to whether God sends us to Hell for using things wrongly, that’s a totally different question. For me, this is a neutral issue. I don’t really care about Hell, in this context. This issue is about what makes us human, and what it is to BE human. If we throw the threat of Hell in, well, that’s just a threat and takes all rationality out of the discussion.

  • I think Bones is correct, though. That article is an extended argument as to why Romans 1 can be read as not condemning homosexuality. It’s kind of the opposite of what you’re going for, I think.

  • RonnyTX

    Caladrius to Julie:
    Who am I to say anything different? Well, I’m just a person making observations about human nature. Nothing is so relative that we can say we know nothing about it. From my experience, I can build a quasi-scientific observation: “every gay person I know had great difficulties with their same sex-parent and was very close to their opposite-sex parent”. This may be proved wrong in the future, but it has held true. I’m just applying my personal experiences to the Universal human nature. It’s how we as humans can do philosophy, and even science.

    Ronny to Caladrius:
    I’m gay and I never had great difficulties with my Dad. In fact, from a very early age, I knew both my Dad and Mom loved me. :-) They proved that to me, by both words and actions. To who, do I attribute me being gay? Well, to God of course. For it is God who chooses, whether we will be gay, bisexual, heterosexual, asexual, transgendered, etc. And whichever God chooses, that is God’s good gift to us. :-)

  • Julie

    I don’t think the author used or even conceived of this in terms of racial imagery; that was the analogy I used.

    Oh! Got it.

    …Even in the most difficult areas, we can change a lot with our free will. I fear that the “born with it” attitude is a negation of freedom as humans…

    I see what you’re saying. But it’s more complex than that. From my point of view, even if sexuality is a development, the supposed freedom one has to choose is not genuinely free. It’s just not that simple. One can’t just go to a “reprogram your sexuality” camp for six weeks and come back attracted to the opposite sex. For most, it’s so complex that willing one’s sexuality to change might as well be as impossible as willing one’s skin color to change.

    You’re right about the butterflies and such. I know the feeling. From before puberty, I felt more comfortable around boys and wasn’t interested in girls — but that’s just natural.

    I’m not saying the butterflies I experienced beginning at five years old were feelings of not knowing how to relate to boys. I’m saying that I was interested in boys but in a totally different way than I was interested in girls. That wasn’t taught to me during infancy, toddlerhood, or preschool.

    Who am I to say anything different?…

    I’m not saying you can’t have an opinion based on your experiences and observations. But that means people who believe they were “born that way” are equally entitled to their opinion based on their experiences and observations. You don’t like it when they say they were born that way, right? It bugs you because not only do you think them wrong, you think it’s a negation of freedom as humans. Well, it’s only a negation of freedom as humans if they really weren’t born that way. But, guess what, they think they were born that way and they are the only ones who can speak to who they are based on their own experiences and observations.

    Anyway, I believe gay sex is “wrong” in the same way that a broken pencil that doesn’t write or draw is inherently wrong. It is not a fulfilling use of the sexual faculty, which exists for procreation…

    The same could be said of my breasts. My breasts ontologically exist for breastfeeding. Is it inherently wrong that my husband uses them for his pleasure? It’s not a “right usage” according to your argument.

    This issue is about what makes us human, and what it is to BE human.

    What makes us human? Just as sex is for procreation so are the breasts for breastfeeding. Are humans ignoring what it means to be human when they engage even if the primary purpose is set aside?

  • RonnyTX

    Caladrius to Julie:
    Now, as to whether God sends us to Hell for using things wrongly, that’s a totally different question. For me, this is a neutral issue. I don’t really care about Hell, in this context. This issue is about what makes us human, and what it is to BE human. If we throw the threat of Hell in, well, that’s just a threat and takes all rationality out of the discussion.

    Ronny to Caladrius:
    Caladrius, there is no Jesus Christ created hell, to be threatened with. And such a hell, it was not in the Bible, as it was written in Hebrew and Greek. But such a hell, it was added to the Bible and that because some people wanted such, so they could better have control/dominance over other people. A good page on this, below.

    http://www.tentmaker.org/articles/ifhellisreal.htm

  • Caladrius

    Ronnie: Thanks for the input. I know Tentmaker very well, and love its contents/arguments. My fear of Hell is more of a deep subconscious fear, as if it’s something that my whole soul intuits as a natural consequence of God’s Justice. I am very much unsure.

    As to your parents: I am glad that you had a positive experience of family life. I wish I could talk to you more and understand how that worked out. My own experience is that my distance from and inability to connect with my dad led me to desire male/father figures, which became sexual. Since the human person is so hugely complex, I really can’t say whether this is true or a mere illusion. I hate ambiguity and unsureness, though, so I try to make it concrete and simple. God is so not interested in the simplistic, though. :P

  • Caladrius

    Julie, I don’t know how to use quotes on Disqus yet, so I’ll reply generally:

    You are right about the complexity of choice and freedom, especially with our “ingrained” things. I don’t believe in “pray the gay away” or any sort of reparation therapy. For me, going from exclusively-attracted-to-men to having some slight attractions to a few specific women, has been a long and confusing process. Most days I’m “100% gay”, but sometimes a particular woman makes me feel physical attraction. Based on this experience, and the confusion it creates in my sense of identity, it seems to me that sexuality isn’t at all concrete. So, to make a Cause out of it in the same way that we made a cause out of, say, black voting rights or equal pay for women, doesn’t make much sense to me. It is inherently senseless to exclude people from voting based on color, or from equal pay for equal work based on gender; however, it’s equally senseless to predicate special rights for a class that is in constant flux.

    About your right usage thoughts: I was approaching from a sort of Aristotelian “perfection” standpoint. I myself am constantly unsure whether to approach Humanity “scientifically”/”philosophically” or realistically/practically. In terms of abstract philosophy, there’s a lot that can be questioned… but in terms of practical reality, well, who cares?

    I’m just trying to be a “gay voice” that lets it be known that we’re not all the same; not all just a big left-wing or liberal bunch that wants to stick it to the “conservatives” (whoever they are).

  • Julie

    God is not interested in the simplistic? Then He’s got zero interest in us! ha ha!

  • Julie

    Trying again…
    Okay, write and then copy & paste the person’s quote and end it off with

    Man, sorry…don’t know if that makes sense.

  • Julie

    Most days I’m “100% gay”, but sometimes a particular woman makes me feel physical attraction.

    Well, after talking to many about this over the years, it seems that a lot people experience some degree of sexual fluidity, even if very small. But those who are “far left” or “far right” without any room for budging, I respect them when they say they can’t budge. Only they can say who they are and what they’re capable of. Not me.

    …it’s equally senseless to predicate special rights for a class that is in constant flux.

    Most people I’ve talked to about this want equal rights, not special rights.

    About your right usage thoughts:…

    Well, my husband and I can no longer procreate. I feel confident in saying God is okay with us still having sex. Surely, you can think of many things God created with a primary purpose but He’s not only okay when we use those things for other reasons, He’s pleased.

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    The meaning of marriage is love, a love which is specifically sexual in that it forms on the foundation of sexual difference. Sexual differentiation creates the possibility for a unique love, one that disposes a couple for an exceptionally intimate union, which union is by nature ordered toward the creation of life.

    You’re perfectly free to believe that – but why do you insist on imposing that definition of ‘love’ on others? (I assume) you would accept that an opposite-sex couple that never has sex can still love each other. Can’t you accept that people can love each other without the possibility of being able to reproduce?

    It is nature that is the decisive factor, and this is why someone infertile (due to disability or age) can get married, for the marriage is still in accord with human nature as sexually differentiated.

    Homosexuality is perfectly natural – it’s found in many other animals besides humans.

    and so the couple can’t, as friends, share in the greatest of goods that can unite two people: the good of another person, the child, another “you-and-me.”

    It’s great to know that, simply by knowing about the genitals of a couple, you can dismiss their entire relationship as not ‘real’ love.

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    In what way is a same-sex marriage ‘not valid’? In other words, apart from directly looking at your particular interpretation of the Bible, what aspect of a same-sex marriage could you point to back that up – leaving the gender of the people aside?

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    “Supposed to entail” – that’s just pure dogma. What if one or both people think or know that they would be bad parents? What if they simply don’t want to have children? Unlike choosing to have kids, there’s really no way that not having kids harms anyone. Why would you want a couple to do something that neither of them are interested in, when they’re perfectly aware of all of the positive and negative consequences of it?

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    Your first paragraph almost completely contradicts the rest of your comment. You state that “had exclusive homosexual attractions ever since [you] hit puberty”.

    Yet, you also state that “They could use this language of birth or genetics as a backup. We can’t. We’re not a sub-group in the same way blacks and women are. I’m sorry.
    “.

    You understand that ‘born this way’ doesn’t literally mean that gay people are sexually attracted to the same gender at birth, right? The difference between sexuality and sex/race is more of a technicality than anything – all of those traits are determined at nor near conception (though sexuality isn’t expressed until much later), and none are any sort of choice.

  • Hi Caladrius –
    Are you currently engaged in reparative therapy?

  • Caladrius

    No, thank God. I’m Catholic, not evangelical. We generally don’t do that sort of thing.

  • Caladrius

    I apologize. This matter is very unclear to me. I am just sharing what seems true to me: that there is a tension between “being” gay and having the inherent tendency towards developing homosexuality from birth. For me, all of life is a set of paradoxes and contradictions. Either God made it that way and enjoys it, or there is no God. I find it very saddening that this world (and especially Humanity) is so understandable, and yet so hard to understand.

  • I’m curious where you’ve been introduced to the reparative therapy thesis (homosexual orientation is a result of distant father and/or overbearing mother and to change, one need establish healthy male connections).

    Are you involved with Courage?

  • Caladrius

    I was brought up by very reserved, quiet agnostic/atheist, parents and never had many friends; I developed a gay identity by age 12-13, was baptized at age 23. Just before Baptism, I told my first real friend (a seminarian) about my homosexuality. I asked about how the Church views it.

    He didn’t answer at first, but asked me two questions: whether I was close to my dad, or not? and whether my mum was very clingy, or not? I answered that I was never close to my dad, and my mum was very clingy. He shrugged, all-knowingly, and said “there you go”. No real judgment, just a sort of neutral observation, as if I had confirmed something which he had been told by some authority greater than himself.

    Ever since that encounter, which I’d call “eye-opening”, I’ve looked at the gay guys I’d known in the past, and realized that what they’d experienced had all been the same as me. They’d either hated their dads or had no relationship with them — and their mums had been very needy, worrisome women. The more I found this in other gay men, the more my friend’s observation seemed justified. Another very macho straight friend (who barely tolerated my self-identification as gay) also went in-depth on this perception which he shared.

    That is the logical process by which I came to hold my current views. I’m not a member of any group, organization, or whatever. I am just a lonely person who is wary of laws establishing morality and movements trying to change old morality. :)

    I have no time for Courage and other patronizing institutions.

  • Well, I’m with you about Courage;)
    What you’re claiming is actually the central claim of reparative therapy. I obviously can’t speak to your personal situation. I’d just mention that I know several families who have suffered a lot by buying into this theory.

    I pray that you find peace and that your family finds healing.

    My sincere best to you
    David.

  • RonnyTX

    Caladrius to Julie:
    For me, going from exclusively-attracted-to-men to having some slight attractions to a few specific women, has been a long and confusing process. Most days I’m “100% gay”, but sometimes a particular woman makes me feel physical attraction. Based on this experience, and the confusion it creates in my sense of identity, it seems to me that sexuality isn’t at all concrete.

    Ronny to Caladrius:
    Caladrius, from what you say here, it more seems to me, that you are simply bisexual. As for myself, since puberty and 12 years old, I’ve only been attracted to some males and never to any female. Now in my mid teens and around, there was one girl in my school class, who I did notice. It hit me later, why I took note of her and that was simply, because she was sort of boyish looking. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Caladrius to Ronny:
    Ronnie: Thanks for the input. I know Tentmaker very well, and love its contents/arguments. My fear of Hell is more of a deep subconscious fear, as if it’s something that my whole soul intuits as a natural consequence of God’s Justice. I am very much unsure.

    Ronny to Caladrius:
    You’re welcome Caladrius. :-) And I like Tentmaker.org too. Found out about it and other sites like that, just 7 years ago. And from birth, I grew up in a Protestant church, where I was taught to believe in a Jesus Christ created hell of eternal torment. But then I found out about people who believed differently from that and I did what God had previously taught me to do. That is, I read their own words, as to why they believed as they did and the scriptures they used to back that up. And in that way, I came to see they were right. :-) And yes, you’re right, that God is just. Which by itself, shows that there could not be a hell of eternal torment. For what justice would there be in tormenting someone forever, for a finite amount of sins? But more important even than that, is the simply fact, that God/Jesus Christ is love. :-) And it is that love, that has made every person, from Adam on down, right with God. :-) And that came about, by what Jesus Christ did for us all, on the cross. For there, he took all of the sins of every last one of us, on himself. He loved/loves us all, just that much! :-) So, we all have been forgiven and made right with God the Father. It’s just, that not everyone knows that yet. But, before everything is said and done, everyone will know that, by God showing and proving such to them. :-)

    Caladrius:
    As to your parents: I am glad that you had a positive experience of family life. I wish I could talk to you more and understand how that worked out. My own experience is that my distance from and inability to connect with my dad led me to desire male/father figures, which became sexual. Since the human person is so hugely complex, I really can’t say whether this is true or a mere illusion. I hate ambiguity and unsureness, though, so I try to make it concrete and simple. God is so not interested in the simplistic, though. :P

    Ronny to Caladrius:
    Caladrius, maybe God is more into the simplistic? And maybe it’s our Protestant and Catholic church leaders, who lead us astray and teach us to believe differently from that? And I grew up in a Baptist church, from the time I was a baby. Now there is one more thing I wish my parents had of taught me early on and that was simply that I was not to look up to and believe all our church leaders said, as if they were God speaking to me. The thing is, sometimes our church leaders are right; but just as surely, they are also sometimes wrong. But I was brought up in a church, where I was taught to believe, my church leaders could never be wrong. I was taught that so strongly, that if I even thought they were wrong about something, I was taught that was the same as me, calling God a liar! In other words, in the church I grew up in, I was taught there, to sinfully idol worship our church elders.

    When I was 14teen years old, I was shocked when my Mom told me, that out pastor was wrong about who was and who wasn’t in the church. And I don’t remember how I did it; but I somehow worked it out in my mind, so both my Mom and my pastor, would be right? :-)

    Too, as I got up in my teens, I could see their were somethings, that out church leaders were wrong about. Such as the pastor saying, the worst sin an unmarried young person could commit, was in having sex before marriage. I knew that teaching was wrong, because I could easily see and understand, that things like rape, murder and child molestation, had to be much worse sins.

  • Julie

    God made everything beautiful and the most beautiful thing He ever made was creatures capable of loving and capable of receiving love. With this gift of being able to love and receive love, though, comes the ability to do the opposite of that.
    We humans can complicate things. But isn’t it true that it’s in the most simple things that bring us the most pleasure and the most feelings of fullness and love?

    Goodnight, Caladrius. Praying for you tonight.

  • Bones

    But are they happy.

    My brother is a Catholic priest and he is married, still with his wife and has 6 kids.

  • Bones

    Except the Fall is a metaphor…….

  • Bones

    I think tractor pulls should be banned…..

    Sounds kinky…..

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    And conservatives haven’t used gays as pawns for ( their own political agenda? ( see the Presidential election of 2004) Or conservatives haven’t been using the infamy of gays to fund raise ( Jerry Falwell did this since 1981) I’m sure Democrats find it expedient politically to be more welcoming of gays. But the whole gay cooties / gay agenda conspiracy was started by conservative politicians

  • Paul Schlitz Jr.

    Of course they are doing the same thing to Muslims and immigrants .and certainly to the poor They love their country so much they end up hating 93% of the people in it

  • Jake Lindqvist

    “To repress one’s sexuality because traditionalist theology views it as pathological (“against nature” or “intrinsically disordered”)”.

    I agree, sexuality is not pathological or against nature. I have never realized that the traditionalists teach like that or:

    “It is not good for man to be alone unless you’re gay”.

    To say any of these is highly problematic. But for me the question is are there any biblical limits to one`s expression of sexual desire or is the biblical way to battle loneliness first and foremost necessarily sexual?

  • RonnyTX

    Ashpenaz to Lookinguo73:
    Old people do, sure. I heard someone say “gay” the other day and it sounded like “Negro.” It was weird. Here’s a list of current terminology:

    https://internationalspectrum….

    Ronny to Ashpenaz:
    As I’ve said in another post, I’m 61 years old. So I have no problem with the word Negro. I think you would understand that, if you realized I grew up at a time, when some people used words for black people, that were very bad and not nice at all. Words some people used to put down and at the same time, they thought they were elevating themselves. They weren’t of course; but instead, were simply showing their sinful selfrighteousness. That’s what we have, anytime we think me and my group over here, is up high and you and your group over their, is down below us and not as good as we are.

    And just as an aside, my racial makeup is white, NA Indian and black. Or as I sometimes like to put it, I’m a just fine 100% American mutt! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Ashpenaz:
    Old people do, sure.

    Eris to Ashpenaz:
    This, my friend, is ageist.

    Ronny to Eris:
    True. And since I’m 61 years old now, I guess I can get all bent out of shape, at some one saying something like that! :-)

    Just grinning here, because I don’t really think of myself as old. Well, not yet anyway! :-) LoL But maybe I will, if I make it to 70 or 80 years old?! :-) LoL

    Also funny to me, that when in and around my mid teens, I viewed people up in their 20’s, as old! :-)

  • “But are they happy.”

    Happiness isn’t necessarily the main goal of being Christian, but the ones I know seem as happy as anyone else. Marriage isn’t a guarantee of happiness. (I know studies say married people are happier, but personally I think that’s because something like 87% of single people wish to be married so being single could feel like, or just is, not what they want. I don’t know of a study comparing “single by choice” to “married by choice” people.)

  • Okay then. I’m sorry you were sent to therapy against your will. I do want to be clear I don’t believe in that.

  • …are there any biblical limits to one`s expression of sexual desire or is the biblical way to battle loneliness first and foremost necessarily sexual?

    I’m not sure that we can say sexual intimacy is a way to battle loneliness. I think most of us can look at our friends and family and conclude that marriage isn’t a cure for isolation. I believe the Church has much, much work to do in becoming family to one another – especially singles – and that we have idolized marriage in an unbiblical way.

    That said, sexual expression is a strong human instinct. So strong that Paul said “it’s better to marry than burn with passion.” He recognizes sex drive as a basic human characteristic.

    And if we look elsewhere – Song of Songs in particular – we see the emotional entanglements of sexuality. I personally don’t believe in the idea of consequence-free sex. I think the potential for emotional harm exists even between consenting adults.

    Marriage is a covenant. It is a vow of lifelong mutual self-sacrifice, caretaking, and fidelity in the service of community. It is cruiciform. It is objectively virtuous, and it certainly isn’t “the easy way out”. Sex in this context has the power to profoundly unite a couple – body and soul (one flesh, if you will) as they live into their wedding vows. Sex – with the vulnerability and mutual pleasure giving – can be a beautiful expression of their covenant.

    Finally coming to your point…affirming the sanctity of gay covenantal partnership is not removing all biblical limits to the expression of sexual desire. As Christians, if we look at gay partnering through a consequentialist or virtue ethical framework, the self-sacrificial love leads to human flourishing and is something to be celebrated. It is only a deontological framework that could possibly demand the stigmatization of gay couples.

    Traditionalists take the position that the licitness of gay coupling hinges on the moral permissibility of gay sex. I disagree. The moral permissibility of gay sex is grounded in the sanctity of covenantal partnership.

  • Sure you do. A ‘non-affirming’ stance is reparative theology. It’s no different than conversion therapy has ever been except that it exchanges heterosexuality as a goal for asexuality (which is a separate orientation on its own). Demanding that LGB people live celibate, asexual lives when they are not celibate or asexual people uses the exact same language, techniques, and abusive theology as demanding we live heterosexual lives does. And it yields the exact same consequences.

    I’m not going to play the politeness game you and your Church does. You are not ‘non-affirming.’ You are not ‘Side B.’ You are anti-LGBT. If you believe that LGBT people must hold to a different set of moral standards than you do in sexuality and marriage because of our orientation or the gender of our partner, you are anti-LGBT. Full stop.

  • I have to admit my experience is a bit like that even if I’m more bi.

    I think the born/not-born thing is almost about messaging more than anything. If homosexuality is morally good, or just neutral, than it even being a choice would be fine. People choose to marry or date someone tall or short, thin or fat, etc. It’s not usually seen as a moral issue if they do so.

    If homosexuality is not morally good it being innate would not really change that. If a person has an innate fetish for say dead things, as I believe such behavior was observed in penguins, we can judge that as unhygienic and unwise despite it being part of their nature.

    Granted it may matter, perhaps, if you see homosexuality as something a bit weird but acceptable if you’re wired that way. Making it like I don’t know stuttering. Stuttering is not immoral, but we don’t necessarily want most people to try it. But we’re okay with people having a stutter as that’s them.

  • Bones

    Marriage, happiness and Christianity are not mutually exclusive.

  • RonnyTX

    Charles, thank you for than info! I was just doing a Google search on such and finding some old Matlock reruns myself! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    I remember something about when someone bought him a new and different looking suit and he didn’t like that, at all! :-)

  • Bones

    Weird because some Catholics here still want homosexuality classified as a mental illness and that the APA was duped by the gay agenda.

  • Bones

    Actually she claims homosexuality is a mental illness and should still be on the APA list but for gay pressure.

  • Well you have a right to be angry what with your experiences and all.

    I’m not asexual though. I’ve never went through any program to become asexual. No priest has ever asked me to go through any program whatsoever. My sexual attractions to men have not disappeared nor do I expect they will. And even if I was living as chastely as I wished, more chastely than I tend to actually manage, I would presumably still have homoerotic dreams of some sort.

    And I’ve never really asked any openly gay people I know “go be celibate.” Yes that’s the ideal, but they probably aren’t going to listen.

    As for “hold to a different set of moral standards”, people are different. They have different needs and purposes. I might hold some to a different diet than others. Plus the standards of straight Christians, lifelong monogamy, I think is increasingly not of interest to straights and among us gay or bi men I think such interest is borderline non-existent. At least with me I know that, on the same sex side of my attractions, I’ve rarely imagined lifelong monogamy. (even on the hetero side of my attractions I don’t know that I’m built for a lifelong relationship.)

    But aside from all that I’m not forcing people to be Catholic or for that. It’s your life, not mine. So yeah I meant what I said. I don’t want people forced into any therapy, not even to “make them celibate.” They have free-will.

  • Well yeah. Even I felt that way for a time, but when I looked into the subject I came away thinking the support for it not being a mental illness, in the secular sense, was better than I thought.

    I have seen people, at Crisis for example, who have a pretty “they all must be cured, they are disease” mindset I don’t think makes sense.

  • I was not agreeing with a 100%, some of the wording she used I thought was shall we say inelegant.

  • RonnyTX

    I remember when I first heard of some people, who were asexual. Before that, didn’t know such people existed. Just as I didn’t know gay people existed, till I found such in a medical dictionary, when I was 12 years old. As for people who are asexual, I certainly have nothing against them. And of course, they are not lesser than me, because they are asexual and I’m gay. We are all simply fellow human beings and not lesser than or better than another, because of things like our being asexual, gay or whatever.

  • Jake Lindqvist

    “I believe the Church has much, much work to do in becoming family to one another – especially singles – and that we have idolized marriage in an unbiblical way.” Amen to that!

    And by the way “stigmatization of gay couples” is wrong in any framework. I don`t believe the traditionalist limiting of sexual expression only to heterosexual covenant relationships needs to be stigmatizing. It shouldn`t be at least, I think stigmatizing cannot be a virtue.
    Anyway, the deontological framework has ruled in protestantism, even in this discussion (above) the OT law texts have been central (which go well with deontological thinking).

    I agree, we should turn to virtue ethics or some form of teleological ethics in any case. But we will face this same discussion there and answer the question “what is the goal of human sexuality?”

    We need also to define what consists biblical theological anthropology according to Genesis 1-3.
    In my opinion (and largely Tradition`s opinion) two adults of two opposite sex/gender are central to it when we are talking about covenant relationships. In this framework the “one flesh” demands two people of two different sex/genders.

    It have become clear, there are several ways to answer these questions, …and all sides quote the Bible. It seems we need to learn to live with each other and proceed maintaining separate congregations for those in different paradigms. Some offer support for those who call themselves “X-gays” or feel they have “unwanted same sex attraction” and some offer guidance and support for “coming out” and living in same sex covenant relationships. But I`m not too optimistic that we could have both in same congregation, both “stigmatize” each other.

    2016-05-31 15:39 GMT+03:00 Disqus :

  • Jake Lindqvist

    Thanks for very important comment. God bless!

  • Jake Lindqvist

    “all of life is a set of paradoxes and contradictions”,
    same here.

  • Jake Lindqvist

    Well said: “Now, as to whether God sends us to Hell for using things wrongly, that’s a totally different question. For me, this is a neutral issue. I don’t really care about Hell, in this context.” …And about the former topic, Lisa Diamond (herself a practising lesbian as far as I know,) has recently made clear that according to statistics sexuality is very much fluid, open to changes, even though not in some 90% cases open for total change.

  • RonnyTX

    Anakin to Haley:
    “I researched it and looked into my faith and science and looked at everything that’s gone down over the years concerning it.”

    So did many of us: http://www.freecomchurch.org/w

    Ronny to Anakin:
    Thank you Anakin, for that link! :-) I won’t get to read it all this morning; but I did read down through the part about Sodom and surely wish to read the rest, later on. And the author of that was right, in saying the incident at Sodom, was not about some people being gay; but was about planned rape. And even when I was taught to believe that my being gay, was self chosen and the worst of sins, even then, I could see that the story of Sodom was not about gay males like myself. For what I had was a desire to be intimate sexually with another male; but I certainly had no desire to rape another male! And the author of that article was also right, in saying that the sins of Sodom were laid out in Ezekiel chapter 16 and that no where mentions being gay. And another interesting thing to me, that I found out just a year or two back, about Sodom. Of course, God destroyed the people of Sodom, wiped them out, because of their extreme sinfullness. So many people I know, think that means upon their death, those Sodomites went directly to hell; but that is not true. Too, in Ezekiel chapter 16, God tells us that one day he is going to restore and bless the people of Sodom. :-) Ah, what a day that will be, when every last person will be born of God and in that way, know how greatly God/Jesus Christ loves them! :-) But in the here and now, I wonder how many people don’t even know, that scripture that says, God is going to restore and bless Sodom?

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Bones:
    God doesn’t give anybody defects. However he does allow people to be affected by sin. Why we may never know for some things. God doesn’t give anyone sins. That goes against Gods nature.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, what sin of mine do you think caused me to be hard of hearing, when I was a child? Or what sin of hers, cause a much loved great niece of mine, to be born with Downs Syndrome? Or the same question for a cousin of mine, who was born autistic?

  • SamHamilton

    Thanks for relating your experience with same-sex attraction. As time goes by and the taboo is lifted on same-sex sex we’re going to see more and more people talk about their sexuality as a spectrum as opposed to “gay and straight.” People will be more comfortable swinging between all sorts of sexual expressions. Any supposed “science” will be left in the dust. It’ll all be about personal fulfillment and desires of the moment. There’s no “science” behind 50+ genders on Facebook.

  • Ron McPherson

    Haha. I still think of him as Sheriff Taylor. My fave is Mayberry

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to LU73:
    St. Paul killed the first martyr for the faith.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, when he was in on the killing/murder of Stephen, he was still Saul of Tarsus and not yet Paul the apostle. He became the latter, only after Jesus Christ confronted him on the road to Damascus and then and there, he was born of God/Jesus Christ. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Al:
    That’s true. What I was saying was that you can’t judge a religion by those who constantly sin against it. If you take a Catholic who is also a pedophile as your example that Catholicism brings about sexual evil, your argument is invalid because the Catholic Church condemns such acts. You have to look at what the church does through the people who follow it perfectly.

    A problem in this world is there are no perfect people. So what we need to do instead is to see what fruits are produced when someone follows the the teachings of the church. Since no one persons life will be perfect to their religion (the exceptions being Jesus and Mary).

    Haley to Al:
    Haley, no one is to follow a church. Or to put it in a more precise way, no one is to follow leaders in a church. I know about that latter, for I was brought up in a particular type of Baptist church, where I was taught to follow my church elders and that without question. So in church, I was taught to treat them and their word, just as if they were God and God speaking to me. Now what I later found out and what God freed me from, was that idol worshipping sin, that I was taught by some people, in the local church I grew up in. Who are we to listen to and follow? Why, Jesus Christ. For as he simply tells us in scripture, follow me.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Eris:
    Bad things don’t necessarily happen to you because you sin. You can be barren and have it not be something that happened to you because you sinned. Rather, all bad things that happen to us are a result of the original sin caused by Adam and Eve. But God does not punish people by “giving” them bad things. The way it’s worded in the bible is more analogous than exactness.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, something you said here, reminds me of one of my favorite scripture passages. :-) Note in the following scripture passage, we’re told we all died in Adam. Now, look at the next part and we are told the same all who died in Adam, will be made alive in Jesus Christ! :-)

    “20 But now is Christ risen from the dead, and become the firstfruits of them that slept. 21 For since by man came death, by man came also the resurrection of the dead. 22 For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. 23 But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. 24 Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. 25 For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet. 26 The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.” 1 Corinthians 15:20,26

  • Ron McPherson

    “You see Ron, you latch on to that statement above all else because you are offended.”

    Well no, I’m not offended. Not sure why I would be since I’m not gay. Frank accused me of disagreement because I wanted to justify my sinful lifestyle lol. I think some just can’t fathom someone straight coming to the defense of the LGBT community. Not saying that’s you, but assuming I’m offended just seems a bit off.

    “Warped views are what all of us can see.”

    I’m not quite sure what this means. Surely you don’t view ‘us’ as all the straights, cause I’m one as well, and I don’t view it as warped. And if it’s an ‘us’ versus ‘them’ approach, then constructive dialogue won’t occur. Sorry if this is not what you meant.

    What I’m trying to show is that entering a dialogue requires both ‘sides’ to leave preconceived biases at the door. When you equate LGBT to things like ‘sexaholic,’ ‘alcoholic’ or ‘mooch,’ it’s a statement against ones identity as LGBT. The LGBT community had to educate me on this. When I finally started listening to what they were saying, and really being open to hearing from them, that’s when the light bulb came on for me.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Eris:
    The wording in the OT is very strange I will agree. However I will testify again that God does not deal out punishments in the way we think. Just like God doesn’t get angry and he doesn’t love anyone one person more than another.

    Ronny to Haley:
    I agree with you, that God doesn’t love one person more than another; but I would have to disagree with you, where you say God never gets angry. I see too many scriptures, where God/ Jesus Christ, does get angry. And Jesus Christ tells us, if we have seen him, we have seen God the Father. For Jesus Christ, is the exact representation of God the Father. And he got very angry at times. Especially so, at how some religious people mistreated others and thought of themself, as so much better than.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Bones:
    Again – God doesn’t experience emotions like we experience emotions. However if anyone (Catholic or not) commits an immoral crime like that it’s a sin against God. But please make sure to separate the person from the religion. What the religion teaches is not killing or molesting.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Ummmm Haley, God is love. And when a person experiences that love, it produces great emotions. :-)

  • Ron McPherson

    Ok, but if your mind is already made up and you’re unwilling to budge an inch, then what kind of a “dialogue” would you expect to have?

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Haley:
    Given that you say the Old Testament is definitely inspired by God and God doesn’t get angry, I would suggest the two views are mutually exclusive eg Sodom and Gomorrah and the various slaughters of people and their cultures.

    Ronny to Bones:
    You’re right Bones. God/Jesus Christ, does get angry. Angry at people mistreating each other, rather, than simply loving each other. About Sodom, it was so good to read in Ezekiel chapter 16, that there is coming a day, where God is going to restore and bless Sodom. :-) And the way I see it now, God/Jesus Christ is going to do that for every person, every one, from Adam on down! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Bones, I was brought up in a particular type of Baptist church and from my youth up, I was falsely taught there, that our church’s teachings were infallible. Later, God knocked that out of me and showed me better and I am so glad, that God did just that for me! :-)

  • Hi Jake,
    A few quick thoughts.

    The traditional sexual ethic states that only heterosexual covenented partnerships are morally permissable. Any other arrangement is contrary to God’s design and cannot lead to human flourishing; therefore, gay coupling should be discouraged in society. The obvious implication is that gay couples are immoral and inferior. How can one preach that “truth in love” without stigmatizing gay couples?

    How does one determine which of the Levitical laws still apply and which disappeared in the new covenant? The historical approach has been arbitrary and culturally informed. I often hear talk of moral versus ritual law; but that doesn’t explain why we put gay sex (in all contexts) into the first category, but we put having sex with a menstruating woman in the second. Deontology has its limits in interpreting scripture; everything outside its boundaries is human extrapolation. Most biblical literalists I know are reticent to concede this (for reasons I guess have to do with the architecture of their faith).

    I like what Ken Wilson says in “A Letter to My Congregation”: The gospel truth is that our common life in Jesus doesn’t require one another’s moral approval (quoting from memory…so might not be exactly right). I believe that the legitimization view (or “disputable matters approach”, or the so-called “third way”) is a real way forward here.* It mitigates the inherent harm of the traditionalist view while still honoring the faith and faithfulness of those who are not at the same place on the spectrum of belief. It gives us space to explore the hard questions you’ve posed openly and honestly while still valuing each other as peers at the foot of the cross. That, however, would require retrenchment and humility from all of us who are so emotionally invested in this conversation.
    ___________________
    *I also believe that the accommodation view (posited by Lewis Smeedes and other conservative theologians) is another way to hold traditionalist beliefs in a less harmful way. It says that we are all dealing with post-fall sexuality, and even if gay covenantal partnership falls short of God’s ideal, it might be the most moral life available to some people who are gay.

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Haley:
    Ronnie doesn’t have a disorder….

    The one who has a disorder is the one quoting Catholic dogma as truth….

    Ronny to Bones:
    Thank you Bones. :-) And I do have several problems right now; but, being gay is not one of them.

    And I understand Haley parroting what is probably Roman Catholic dogma. For I used to do the same; but from a particular Baptist point of view. It’s interesting isn’t it, that in the particular type of Baptist church I grew up in, I was taught to look up to our preachers and teachers, just as some in the Catholic church are taught to look up to their popes, bishops and priests. It’s rather ironic, that I was taught to look down on all other churches, including the Roman Catholic, as being so wrong; but at one and the same time, I was taught to look up to my church and its leaders as if our teachings were always straight from God and therefore, could never be wrong. Reminds me of the old saying, about the pot calling the kettle black! (ha) :-) Of course, what is not funny about such, is how much it hurts, so many people! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    LU73 to Bones:
    To be fair Catholic dogma is as true as any other religious “truth”…

    Ronny to LU73:
    You’re right on that! And the problem all in church have, is so much of what we’re taught is religion and is not of God/Jesus Christ. But all I’ve been taught/shown of God, has been true and good. I just can’t say the same, of all I was brought up and taught to once believe, in a particular type of Baptist church. But when I was born of God, that was when I learned directly from God, how much God/Jesus Christ loved me. :-) And what God did for me in that, caused me to love every person. :-) But in church, I was taught to look down on people, who didn’t believe and teach, just as my church did. And that was sin, that I was taught/got from my home church; but then God got ahold of me and knocked that out of me! :-) And it is my firm belief now, that what God has done for one and for some, before all is said and done, God will do the same and that for every person, from Adam on down! :-) So all will be born of God and we will all be spending eternity together! :-) But then, people won’t be arguing back and forth with each other, for we will all have been changed by God and we all will be living in the presence of God/Jesus Christ, who is pure love! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to LU73:
    Our dogma was given to us by Christ that can be proven on many levels. Other religions don’t have that going for them (there are religions that have valid historical backgrounds, Judaism, Islam, but most other little ones don’t have that).

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I was wrongly taught to believe the same and that in the particular type of Baptist church, that I grew up in. And before I got online, I knew there was more than one type of Catholic church; but since getting online in the late 90’s, I’ve found out there are more types of Catholic churches, than I previously knew about. That, sort of surprised me. But the thing is, when I look in the bible, I don’t see the first church at Jerusalem, called the Catholic or Baptist, no matter which sort, we’re speaking of. No, it was simply called, the church at Jerusalem.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Beth:
    God created Adam and Eve as the perfect humans. They were to live in a heterosexual monogamous relationship and develop a family. They chose to sin against God being evil into the world and making it a fallen nature. That imprint has lasted forever and affects us even today and will effect everyone in the future.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, God put the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, in the midst of the garden of Eden. Then the serpent/Satan was there as well, to tempt Adam and Eve, to do what God told them not to do. And remember, Adam and Eve were made like little children, in that they didn’t know good and evil. That is, they did not have both to start with, so it’s not like they could compare such. So the way I see it, God set things up and chose for Adam and Eve to sin, to fall. Why? So Adam and Eve could learn about evil. And then they could compare the evil with the good, they had from/with God. But think about it, without them coming to know evil, they could not of fully understood and appreciated that which is good. And what is good? Why God, who is love. :-) And what was to take care of and take out Adam’s sinning? Why, Jesus Christ and the cross. And that was something already planned for and set up to do, before Adam and Eve, were even created by God. So God, God is is full control of all things and we can all be so grateful, that God is! :-)

  • Jeff Preuss

    And, ultimately, one is responsible for one’s own soul and its spirituality, so why place understanding of all faith matters in another’s hands? If, as many say, salvation is THE most important thing in life, then one should have a very personal investment in understanding and directing one’s spiritual journey…not just doing what an ‘expert’ tells you you have to do.

  • Jeff Preuss

    Not “kind of.” Rather, precisely the opposite.

  • Jake Lindqvist

    “Any other arrangement is contrary to God’s design and cannot lead to human flourishing; therefore, gay coupling should be discouraged in society. The obvious implication is that gay couples are immoral and inferior. How can one preach that “truth in love” without stigmatizing gay couples?””

    It`s always complicated when we bring the social/political aspect into discussion. Or when we talk about a state church situation, when pretty much everyone is a church member.
    I try to see this from the minority point of view instead, meaning that the church is at the fringes of society having not so much power or even willing to “lead” the society. Meaning the church is a countercultural community, which I think it is in many parts of the world.
    …I also wonder do Christians who maintain high standards in sexual ethics, really think the one`s who do not share his/her convictions (meaning in the West majority) are inferior? Kind of sad if it is so.

    “How does one determine which of the Levitical laws still apply and which disappeared in the new covenant? The historical approach has been arbitrary and culturally informed. I often hear talk of moral versus ritual law; but that doesn’t explain why we put gay sex (in all contexts) into the first category, but we put having sex with a menstruating woman in the second. Deontology has its limits in interpreting scripture; everything outside its boundaries is human extrapolation. Most biblical literalists I know are reticent to concede this (for reasons I guess have to do with the architecture of their faith).”

    Yes, “moral/ritual” dichotomy has been rejected in the biblical studies as far as I know. I think the most common way to settle this has been to reject those laws and principles that are not dealt in the NT. John Paul II started his t. anthropology with the Genesis allusion Jesus made in Matthew probably for this reason (meaning the view Jesus held on marriage/sexuality was derived from there).

    “disputable matters approach”, or the so-called “third way”) is a real way forward here.* It mitigates the inherent harm of the traditionalist view while still honoring the faith and faithfulness of those who are not at the same place on the spectrum of belief. ”

    I agree, it might be a way forward here.

    …”post-fall sexuality, and even if gay covenantal partnership falls short of God’s ideal, it might be the most moral life available to some people who are gay.”

    Hey, I definitely have to check out Smede`s approach better, it seems to make sense in many respects. David Gushee`s thoughts on the topic have been full of wisdom, he brings this “pos-fall” point of view up often. On the other hand I have always thought isn`t it the normal / obvious case, that we are talking about post-fall situation every time we are theologizing. But anyway the point that we should be in search of the most moral life possible is a good point. For traditionalists like me it sound good and more Christian than many other approaches, because the Biblical standard is held high here, but the pragmatic solution has been covered by grace.

    Well that`s about it, thanks for your good answers.

    – Jake

    2016-05-31 19:00 GMT+03:00 Disqus :

  • Haley McCalister

    Not your personal sin. It’s not like you’ve done some terrible thing and you have to suffer for it. No, the sin from Adam and Eve. The world was 100% perfect (something we can barely imagine since we are so touched by sin today) when Adam and Eve were created. When they chose willingly to sin against God (and God warned them of this) they brought sin, evil, and curses to the world. The animals turned on each other, the plants wouldn’t always grow, the ground wouldn’t always produce what we wanted, the trees would bear bad fruit, and we would be forever tarnished by sin with no hope of going to heaven (until Jesus came – hence the whole salvation story).

    My sister had a cyst in her left ear when she was really young, and has had so many surgeries that the doctors forbid her to have anymore until she was 20 at least. She’s now currently 80% deaf in that ear. The cyst and her hard of hearingness wasn’t a result of anything she did, she was only a child. However our defect in hearing or the sicknesses we encounter are a result of the great sin that Adam and Eve cursed the world with right in the very beginning. So it’s nothing you’ve done directly – God doesn’t punish people like that =) however because our world has a fallen nature (as do we) we are prone to sicknesses and mental illnesses and disorders and defects and malformation and a million other things we would never have encountered had Adam and Eve never sinned.

  • Haley McCalister

    That’s true, but it was still the same person. While a person is born again in Christ when he accepts him as lord and savior and strives to follow his commandments, he does not physically become a new entity. We still have our failings and faults and shortcomings as before, we just have Christ in our lives to help us combat them. So yes, he was still Saul when he killed Stephen, but him being born again doesn’t mean he didn’t kill Stephen. It does however mean God forgave him and the sin is forgotten in him. But my point was we are all sinners and Eve the best of saints have committed the worst of crimes against God.

  • Haley McCalister

    You misunderstand me when I say church. The Catholic Church was instituted by God, not by man. And all of her infallible teachings are given by God, not by man. The Church is the bride of Christ. Supernatural by nature, and stewarded by men here on earth. The people inside it (indeed, not even the popes) are not and never will be perfect. However the church herself is divine by nature.

  • Haley McCalister

    Almost! But not quite =) here’s an article that explains Adam and Eve better. God did not wish and never wishes that any of his creatures choose to sin against him (although he can take any evil and bring a greater good out of it).

    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/before-sin

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Ronny:
    You misunderstand me when I say church. The Catholic Church was instituted by God, not by man. And all of her infallible teachings are given by God, not by man. The Church is the bride of Christ. Supernatural by nature, and stewarded by men here on earth. The people inside it (indeed, not even the popes) are not and never will be perfect. However the church herself is divine by nature.

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I disagree that the Catholic Church was instituted by God and that all of her teachings are infallible and come from God. But then, I say the same about every church/denomination, that I know of. Who did I say and believe, is the church of Jesus Christ? Everyone, who has been born of God and that by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. That is, that God lets a person know they are lost/not in a right relationship with God, God shows the person their sin as God leads them to repentance and God takes that person, on to faith in Jesus Christ and what he did for them, on the cross. Jesus Christ there, in their place, taking all of their sins upon himself. So what I’m saying is, a person is a Christian, a believer in and follower of Jesus Christ, who has been born of God. But even many who are that, can and do get led astray, by some people. But then, God brings that person out of that and back to what is true. And the person God does all of this for, that person has no right to look down on anyone and or think of themself as better than anyone else. Why not? Because God/Jesus Christ, does not play favorites. And before all is said and done, everyone from Adam on down, will be born of God. :-)

  • Haley McCalister

    Coming together in a marriage has the basis that you should have kids. If you don’t want kids, marriage probably isn’t your calling. It’s easy to fall in love, but it’s a hard vocation to fill.

  • RonnyTX

    Ron to Bones:
    We have three sons. One just happens to have four legs

    Ronny to Ron:
    I have a little 4 legged son too, who is a mini Doberman, as far as looks. :-) Have to walk him on a leash, because when he sees the big neighbor dogs, he wants to fight them and obviously thinks he could win. He obviously thinks that, even though I tell him, they could eat him for breakfast , in two or three bites! :-( LoL

  • Ron McPherson

    Got it

  • RonnyTX

    I used to have a little dog name Danny. Named him the same as one of my first cousins sons. When that cousin found out I’d named my dog, the same as his son, he seemed a bit put out! :-) LoL

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Ron:
    Not everyone reads the bible in context (unless you were meaning that everyone thinks they do). There is a specific way to read the bible that really should be left to the people who are educated to do so. Uneducated allowance of reading spiritual texts is how the biggest confusion in church history came about to begin with.

    Ronny to Haley:
    I disagree and simply say, if a person doesn’t understand something in the bible and really and truly wants to, then the way to get to that, is to simply ask God to guide you and show you the truth of a particular matter. In other words, do just as James tells us to do, I James chapter one. There he tells us, if we lack wisdom, we are to pray and ask God to show us the truth of a matter. We need to do that, as we read in the bible, trying to understand something.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley:
    “There is a specific way to read the bible that really should be left to the people who are educated to do so.”

    Ron to Haley:
    Leaving the interpretation of Scripture up to someone else can be dangerous. Rely on the Holy Spirit of God to bring you truth. Teachers and educators can be good, but God speaks to us directly through His Spirit. Don’t depend on a church structure to tell you what it means.

    Ronny to Ron:
    Amen Ron, amen! :-) For the way I have gotten in the most trouble in my lifetime, is my looking up to and being taught to believe what my religious leaders said and that without question. And in fact, in church I was taught to look up to some people and their words, just as if it were God speaking directly to me. And when I did that, I didn’t realize I was being brainwashed into committing the sin of idol worship; but in effect, that is exactly what such was. But at the time of God’s choosing, God taught me to simply ask God and to depend on God alone. And to never treat another person, as if they were between me and God. Or as if their words were always from God and God alone. I am just so thankful, that God showed and taught me better on this! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Amen Jeff, amen! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Ron:
    Relying on yourself alone with God can also be dangerous too.

    Ronny to Haley:
    It is not ourself, that we are to rely on; but it is God and God/Jesus Christ guiding us, that we are to rely on. For what we get directly from God/Jesus Christ, will never be wrong and will always be true and for our good and the good of others. :-)

    Haley to Ron:
    While I don’t oppose to reading or owning a bible (I own my own as well) I don’t take it upon myself to be able to interpret what it means on a very theological level.

    Ronny to Haley:
    There is much, that I can’t interpret; but I know to depend on God to show me the truth of a matter and not another person. Not even if that other person is a Catholic priest or a Baptist preacher, etc,etc.

    Haley to Ron:
    We shouldn’t just accept it blindly from anyone else but we shouldn’t just rely on ourselves either.

    Ronny to Haley:
    True. For the one we are to rely on, is God. And we are to treat no other person, as if they were God and or a god, between us and God. And when we are taught to do the latter, we have been taught to idol worship some people. And that, is simply a taught sin, that many in church are led right into, by their particular churches leaders.

  • RonnyTX

    Ron to Haley:
    Well I should certainly hope not. This sounds almost like reading is best left to the ‘experts’. Shouldn’t the church encourage one to read it for themselves? Centuries ago it was kept out of the hands of the ‘commoners.’ That didn’t work so well.

    Ronny to Ron:
    Ron, wasn’t it the Roman Catholic church, that for many years forbade most of it’s people, from even having and or reading in a bible on their own? And in the particular church I grew up in, I was encouraged to read my bible; but I was also falsely taught there, that if I thought I saw something in the bible, that went against my church and church leaders teaching, if I thought I saw something like that there,then I was taught to believe, I was always wrong in that and my church leaders were always right. Which I late saw as very ironic, since they also had no use or good words for Roman Catholic popes, priests,etc. What an irony, when they taught some things, just the same.

  • I have to say, it’s a little hilarious seeing this conversation for the first time after Frank’s comments have been deleted. And also, I somehow knew it was going to be Frank, even though the name’s not there any more.

  • Ron McPherson

    “So you might not be offended in the fact that you’re not gay. OK. But surely your reason to discuss this is that you’re offended by that statement at least for the sake of others.”

    It was not so much about being ‘offended’ necessarily, but maybe more about ‘hurting’ for others. Over the last several years I’ve felt such a burden for LGBT individuals because I finally woke up to the fact that this is not about a sex act. It’s not so much about what folks DO, but rather who folks ARE. That truth literally hit me like a ton of bricks a couple of years ago. People are actually rejected by their families, churches, segments of society, places of business etc because of this. Not implying that you would do this, so please don’t hear that. A couple of weeks ago I heard with my own ears a gay person who is very close to me and who I dearly love say, “My grandfather thinks I’m an abomination.” At any rate, peace.

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Haley:
    “The young woman’s psychiatrist was familiar with my work, and he was able to keep them from giving [electroshock therapy] to her. She had tears streaming down her face as she told me this.”7

    Ronny to Bones:
    I had an older gay cousin, who was talked into taking electroshock therapy. :-( He was told, it would take away his being homosexual and that he would then be heterosexual. It didn’t. As he put it, the shock treatment just made his forget somethings. And he was talked into taking this treatment, by an older brother. Not sure who exactly talked him into getting married, before all of this? Maybe his parents or his older brothers? But I know his mother, she thought he could not be a Christian and that because he was gay. And I know my Mom told her, she knew he was a Christian, because she had been there, when he was saved. And that one good statement about a gay person, that was the one and only one I ever heard and that from the time I was born, till I was 40 years old! Yet I knew I was attracted to some males only, by the time I was 12 years old. Well, I got messed up big time, by some religious people and no doubt, some of them were even Christian.

  • Ron McPherson

    I think my family could deal better with my death than to have to deal with Buddy’s (he’s our dog, no wait..our third son). Ha. He’s 13 :(

  • Ron McPherson

    Next time name one after me (or you ha, same thing)

  • Ron McPherson

    One of the biggest problems facing uber conservative churches, I feel, is this notion (often subtle) that merely questioning an entrenched belief system ancillary to the gospel is akin to heresy.

  • RonnyTX

    Ron to Ronny:
    One of the biggest problems facing uber conservative churches, I feel, is this notion (often subtle) that merely questioning an entrenched belief system ancillary to the gospel is akin to heresy.

    Ronny to Ron:
    Oh my yes! And that was exactly what I was taught, in the particular Baptist church, that I grew up in. Really, the teaching was, to doubt or deny a teaching of that church, was one and the same as doubting God and or denying what God said! Or as I sometimes put it, the church I grew up in, was ultra-fundamentalist!

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Ronny:
    I’m sorry your cousin was told that by marrying a woman he would become straight. People didn’t know much about science back then I guess….

    Ronny to Haley:
    Thank you Haley. :-) And true, people were very ignorant about what was the cause of being homosexual. And the truth is, many still are.

    I remember one story too, about how my uncle asked their doctor, why his son was gay? His doctor, going by some of the ignorance they taught back then, said it was the fault of the boy’s mother. (ha) Another big ignorance back then, was so many people believing, that a person chose to be gay. And as I’ve said before, I was taught to believe that lie, at the time I was 12 years old. Taught that way, by over hearing some of my church elders saying such.

  • disqus_uspgq2j3XQ

    That seems like a very narrow view of marriage – but you’re perfectly free to live by that definition if you want to.

    Imposing that definition on others, through the legal definition of marriage, is a completely different matter.

  • RonnyTX

    :-) Haley, I’m just having to grin a bit here, because one of my brothers and his wife, used that natural family planning; but then, they ended up with 7 kids! :-) But what really shocked me, was after their being married for over 20 years and having those 7 kids, they ended up getting divorced! :-( That was my brothers idea. I didn’t agree with his actions. And the way I always looked at it, he got divorced from this particular woman; but she was still a part of my family and that is exactly how I treated her. To me, she is still family, no matter that my brother chose for them to divorce.

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Bones:
    You are using a straw man fallacy. And yes it is a disorder. Homosexuality is a sexual disorder within ourselves. It goes against our human nature, and when accepted and practiced turns into a sin against God.

    http://bustedhalo.com/question

    Ronny to Haley:
    Haley, I know you don’t know any better than this; but the teaching you got here, you got that from some people and not from God/Jesus Christ.

  • Thanks! I’m glad you find it useful. I’m actually the author – I wrote it for my church, as well as to link to things like this instead of rehashing the same arguments each time. :P

  • RonnyTX

    Julie to Caladrius:
    God is not interested in the simplistic? Then He’s got zero interest in us! ha ha!

    Ronny to Julie:
    Good one Julie! :-) LoL

  • RonnyTX

    Ron to Ronny:
    Haha. I still think of him as Sheriff Taylor. My fave is Mayberry

    Ronny to Ron:
    Oh my yes! :-) Still love to watch those old reruns, with Andy, Barney, Aunt Bee, Opie, etc, etc! :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Anakin to Ronny:
    Thanks! I’m glad you find it useful. I’m actually the author – I wrote it for my church, as well as to link to things like this instead of rehashing the same arguments each time. :P

    Ronny to Anakin:
    You’re welcome and good to know you wrote that. :-) Think I will get to finish reading it, in the morning? Been a busy few days here, what with my older Sis’s oldest boy coming in for the weekend. And I hate not being able to keep up at times; :-( but near the end of this week, Sis and I will be going over to the Dallas area, to take care of her youngest grandson. His parents are going somewhere and I just found out, they want be back till around 2 the next night! Not sure, why so late? Then next week, Sis has cataract surgery and we’ll have to drive 60 or more miles, to get to her doctor and clinic. Just so much going on soon, I don’t know which end is up! :-) But will be taking my laptop with me, when we go to my nephews this week. And may take it with me, when Sis goes for that cataract surgery? Maybe the clinic down there, will have free wifi? Need to get the name of that clinic and see what I can find out about that, online?

  • RonnyTX

    Bones to Haley:
    Actually Romans 1 states that God gave people up to homosexuality because of their idolatry. Nothing about a sickness. It’s something God gave to them because they were idolatrous.

    Ronny to Bones:
    Bones, it’s a wonder to me, how some people can miss that?! For Paul is talking about people who set up and worshipped man made idols and that in the place of God. And then the scripture there, says something like, therefore God gave them up into vile affections, etc. And that the men and women, left what they were naturally. So Paul was talking about heterosexual idol worshippers. He wasn’t talking about gay people, at all in Romans chapter one. And I used to be brainwashed, into thinking this passage of scripture was about gay people like me; but then the only part of a verse, that I was taught to dwell on, was where it says the men burned in their lust toward other males. What I never saw, until I was 40 years old, was Paul saying these men left the natural use of the women. Well, I never had that. Plus, Paul says these people hated God; but I had loved God every since I was born of God, when I was 16 years old. And it was then, that God showed and proved to me, how greatly God/Jesus Christ loved me. And yet I had been brainwashed to believe the lie, that in Romans chapter one, Paul was speaking about and condemning gay males, like myself. But then I learned better, when God simply taught me to listen to God, instead of some people/preachers. And I surely thank God for that! :-)

  • Bones

    Yes it will upset people with a black & white worldview.

  • Bones

    I think it’s more like people being left handed…and as moral….

  • Ron McPherson

    Amen, ha

  • I can see that. Although I don’t know that that people choosing to improve their abilities with their left hand, or being forced to be left-handed by an injury of the right-hand, would be seen the same as if someone said they are choosing to be gay.

  • SamHamilton

    We all have black and white worldviews. It just varies by case.

  • Bones

    That might be what you say to justify yours…..

  • Bones

    What’s with all the Catholics coming on here to unaffirm gays????

  • samantha

    People are born with their orientations, gay or straight, and it begins in Utero. An Endocrinologist is the best resource to explain it. It is very complicated.
    In summery, it is Epigenetics. It begins in Utero and finishes off in puberty. It is guided by hormones, Testosterone, Estrogen, and Androgen.
    Testosterone is the deciding Hormone.

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21094885

    The above link is only one publication on this topic.

    Pub Med, Web MD, NIH, and many more good medical resources are available for folks to read or study about this topic. :)
    Sexual differentiation of the human brain in relation to gender identity and sexual orientation is what to search for.

    Higher education and reading are fundamental !!

    Amen to this post.
    We are all human beings regardless of who we are attracted to. Sigh…..

  • Bones

    I have children.

    They don’t make a choice to be left or right handed. I have both (there were times of course when left handedness was seen as demonic!!) It just develops….

    You seem more tied to your church’s teaching on homosexuality than reality.

  • Bones

    Adam and Eve are metaphors…….as is the whole story of the Fall…..

    It also has many similarities with a Zoroastrian myth.

    The scientific evidence shows that there was no time of perfection…..

  • Agent99SP

    Hi Haley,

    Sorry about this, but the Church Militant website blocked me from commenting (Why did they do that?) and I wanted to respond to your last comment to me. Just as a reminder, this had to do with Michael Voris’ statement that Catholics and Protestants each worship a different Jesus. (He was correct that only one is right; but which one?)

    Following is my response to your last comment to me (it might be helpful to look back at your last comment to Agent99SP):

    God is not constrained by time; He is all knowing and foreknew all of our sins. God poured all His wrath for the sins of His people on Christ when He was crucified. Jesus’ once for all sacrifice was sufficient to propitiate all of God’s wrath for all of His people’s sins. Because of this, any further sacrifice for sins He considers an abomination. This was one reason for the destruction of the Jewish temple in Jerusalem in 70 AD. The Catholic mass is considered a propitiatory sacrifice and implies that Christ’s death on the cross was insufficient. Any Christ that must be perpetually sacrificed is a different Jesus from the one who hung on Calvary’s cross. He said, “It is finished,” (Greek: tetelestai – paid in full). Roman Catholicism, in the mass says, “No it’s not.”

    The Lord’s supper/communion is an ordinance or sacrament which commemorates and proclaims His death for sins which one must trust in to receive forgiveness (the death, not the sacrament which
    represents it.) Jesus took the remembrance of the Passover meal
    observed by the Jews (in which a lamb was sacrificed) and revealed its full meaning/its fulfillment of His offering of Himself (which He was soon do) to His disciples in the upper room. He commanded that His church observe this ordinance in remembrance of Him, the lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, not the Jews only. This is done now as a witness to His completed sacrifice. It proclaims to all who observe it that Christ’s death is the basis for our redemption.

    Repentance is an aspect of faith. It is a response to believing what God says in Scripture that we are guilty before him, and that we need a Savior. It’s agreement with Him and a turning away from what He says offends Him. Jesus said, “Go and sin no more.”

    Yes, people do go to hell because they have sinned against God who is Holy, Holy, Holy (Isaiah 6:3). Hell is the place of eternal
    torment for those who haven’t received forgiveness of their sins. For those who have repented of their sins, and trusted in the once for all, completed sacrifice of Jesus Christ, heaven is guaranteed. It’s guaranteed, not because of anything we have done, but because Christ’s sacrifice was accepted by God the Father. We know this because He was resurrected. Because of these things, Christians put their full trust in the only Savior and in nothing else. Jesus purchased our entry to heaven and so it is as good as done. “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ
    Jesus. For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of
    yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should
    boast.” Ephesians 2:4-9

    Again, Jesus should have the last word, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” Mark 1:15

    ***************************************************

    Don’t worry, I’m not hounding you….just wanted to respond to your comment and this was the only way I could figure out.

  • But one can improve one’s ability with the non-dominant hand. Or I assume they can.

    And sex isn’t exactly like handedness anyway. To me acting like homosexuality and heterosexuality are basically the same, which is different than saying both are morally acceptable understand, is clearly denying reality. The male body, and to some extent mind, are different than the female in a way unlike how the left hand is different than the right. The one time I may have kind-of “fallen in love” with a man his masculinity was certainly part of the package. (Not sure if the pun is intended or not, but whatever.) It is a part of what he was. He wasn’t simply “a woman, in reverse” or something. He was a man. Cute mustache and all.

    And in a way that makes homosexuality an “exploring of your own sex.” True there is some possibility of “complementary”, rather than mirroring, relationships. I am physically weak, what often attracts me in men are often physically strong men. (My infatuation was not a particularly athletic man though.) So there is a differing. Still it’s lacking an aspect of the human. Additionally though homosexuality may relate to greater fertility in female relatives there’s no solid reason to think the species would die off if it were all heterosexual. If it were all homosexual it likely would. It is less necessary.

    This doesn’t tell us homosexuality is immoral, the species would likely die off if it were all OIs (osteogenesis imperfecta, my condition), and live if it were all able bodied. Yet I’m happy people like me exist and have no desire to be cured. I do not think it’s necessarily more “moral” to be a walking person and you could argue, from Catholic philosophers even, that it is. And there’s some evidence relationships are better if the couple is similar. An argument can be made, and I’ve seen it be made, that homosexuality is in a way better than heterosexuality. That the relationships are fairer.

    But that it’s different in a real way I think is something I’d believe even if I believed in acting on it. The leap from “different” to “sinful” I admit can be increasingly hard to justify in modern society and traditional Abrahamic religious sexual morality might well be on its way to being seen as akin to white supremacy in the secular West. (Because prohibitions on homosexuality are not unique to Catholicism. They occur in most of the world’s Protestantism, Russian Orthodoxy, Coptic Church, most Mormonism, pretty much all Islam, most Ultra-Orthodox Judaism, and Baha’i.) But what the secular West believes isn’t necessarily “reality.” It’s just what the secular West believes.

  • SamHamilton

    I’m willing to bet there are things you view in black and white too. Anyway, there’s nothing wrong with viewing certain things in a black and white worldview. Some times it’s called for. What’s important is using judgement to know when it’s called for and when it’s not.

  • Ron McPherson

    I hope I didn’t sound preachy or condescending. Thanks for your considerate reply. God bless.

  • Arbustin

    Except, at least, for divorce: Jesus and Shammai agreed on this, and it was Hillel who allowed for divorce for all kinds of reasons.

  • RichardAubrey

    Actually, it’s also okay to be bored with the subject.
    Gayness, of whatever kind, is either learned/taught by environmental factors, genetic, or a matter of in utero issues. That means several things. If it can be discerned pirior to birth, abortion against it might be a choice. Gene repair might be an option. And nobody can be against choice. Or, if it’s learned/taught, perhaps it can be unlearned. As more is learned, more decisions show up. Problem is, we’re not to judge others’ choices et tedious cetera.

  • Realist1234

    Ben, oh dear you rather depressed and annoyed me! As you may remember, though I appreciate Im just one of many minions that read your blog, I am a gay Christian who remains celibate as I do not think the Lord approves of gay sex, in any circumstances.

    In this piece, it seems you have gone out of your way to effectively produce a caricature of those who disagree with your position and do not accept gay sexual relations as ‘good’ in God’s eyes.

    From what you have written, you strongly imply that all Christians (and Jews for that matter) who reject gay sexual relations:

    – havent understood the Bible’s teaching on the subject. They’ve been wrong all along, despite centuries of theologians and scholars, some of whom have been gay themselves, coming to the opposite conclusion of yours. To argue that only some of the more recent biblical scholars have finally understood what the Bible actually teaches on the subject is quite unbelievable.

    – believe that being physically and sexually attracted to the same sex is a choice, and that gay people could all easily change their choice in the same way you might change your job, and find people of the opposite sex physically and sexually attractive. That simply isnt true. Perhaps it is for high-profile American evangelist-types, but not for the majority of Christians (certainly not the ones I know). That isnt to say that ‘change’ isnt possible, I personally know of a number of gay Christians who have gone on to marry a woman and been happy. You cannot dismiss such people and their experiences. Though I am not one of those. I do not accept that you were ‘born heterosexual’ and I was ‘born gay’, but rather a complex mixture of genetic/physical and psycho-sexual development factors have all played their part, which is precisely why many do not ‘change’.

    – produce ‘bad fruit’ and suicide in others. I can understand why you say this, but I would suggest that such possible consequences come from unloving Christians rather than simply because they do not accept gay sex as good.

    – are immoral because having such a view may may lead to the bad effects in others’ lives as stated above. Again, in reality, it is unloving Christians that may have had such an impact. I am living proof that being a gay Christian does not lead to suicide! It can lead to loneliness, but that is often because of unloving Christians again (both gay and straight), who have failed to see the church truly as a family. This also applies to the significant number of particularly older heterosexual females in the church who have not met a Christian man they wish to marry, and so remain unmarried and celibate.

    – can only give a hope-less message to others and are unloving. I thought Christianity was all about ‘hope’. And love and faith. Why does rejecting a certain sexual behavior mean being hopeless? As a Christian, I have been given the Holy Spirit guaranteeing my salvation. God also expects me to behave in particular ways, and not in other ways, and in so doing, reflect the Father and the imago Dei. When I fail, my salvation is based on Jesus’ death on the cross. That is my hope.

  • Realist1234

    Indeed, it seems if youre not a ‘progressive’ youre automatically unloving, hopeless, biblically illiterate and the direct cause of suicides.

  • There are many of us who can live a celibate life and be happy no matter our sexual orientation. However, most people want to live their life in a love relationship with another person. The message of many churches for gay Christians is that you can’t ever have a deep, loving, sexual relationship with a person you are attracted to of the same sex. Therefore, your only recourse to avoid hell is to live a celibate life and not have a loving life partner. For most people, that is a completely hopeless life.

  • Haley McCalister

    That’s ok ‘^_^ your comment was deleted so I thought you had done it. I’m not sure why either.

    I do believe only “one is right”, but I still disagree that we worship fundamentally different Jesuses. It’s pretty clear we worship the same God, but we have different ideas about what he wants and what he commands of us, even maybe about certain things about his nature specifically, but I do not think we worship fundamentally different Jesuses.

    You misunderstand the meaning and symbolism of the mass. The mass is not a sacrifice of our sins because Christs death was insufficient. We do it as a memorial to remember christs ultimate sacrifice for us and to partake in the grace once again as we renew our conviction to live as he told us to.

    http://www.catholic.com/tracts/the-sacrifice-of-the-mass

    http://www.aboutcatholics.com/beliefs/the-purpose-of-mass/

    And I completely agree with you that christs death is the basis of our redemption. His death and resurrection ARE the reason we can be saved at all. But we are not automatically saved be caused Christ died. He just repaid the debt we owed to the father, so that we may have a chance at heaven again. To see God like we were always supposed to. For hope.

    And I also 100% agree that only God can forgive sins.

    However I think you are gravely mistakening how we end up in heaven. If I’m not (as I’m about to explain) then I apologize, it’s just what it sounded like you were saying.

    When Christ died on the cross, he repaid the debt that Adam and Eve caused when they first sinned against him (hence why Jesus is called the “new Adam”). When Adam and Eve first sinned, they were kicked out of the garden of Eden. They lost the privilege to see God and walk with him, and they brought sin, evil, and curses to this world. Ultimately they closed off heaven for all of us. But God anticipated this would happen, so he started to put in motion the salvation for all mankind.

    Throughout salvation history we see very holy men and women doing Gods will. But when people died, if they lived according to God they went to Abrahams Bosom (or hades, sheol, hell). If they were people who rejected God they went to hell. (http://www.catholic.com/quickquestions/did-all-the-people-who-died-prior-to-jesus-go-to-hell)

    When Christ came, he made the ultimate sacrifice normal humans could never achieve – humans broke a divine covanant, needing a divine person to repay the debt. Good thing Christ was also God right? ;) (that was a joke in case you couldn’t tell…)

    When he died, he descended into hell (Abrahams bosom) and took all the righteous people who should have gone to heaven into heaven. That’s when he opened up the gates of heaven for all of humanity, since they had been closed since the beginning of time practically. What Jesus did was make it possible to be with God again – he also brought the Holy Spirit into the apostles which strengthened their faith so that they would not fall into sin as easily. What he DIDNT do was guarantee any single person would get into heaven. He just gauranteed that we COULD get into heaven. That’s why St. Paul iterates “faith without works is dead”. If we say we believe, but continually or even just sometimes disobey God, then our faith means nothing. When we sin against God we MUST repent. But we must also take care to avoid that particular sin again. If we do nothing to correct our sins then what on earth do we think we believe? God has said he will not let the lukewarm into heaven. We must always actively try to follow his will in every part of our lives. If we were a perfect Christian up until the last year of our life, then I say got really depressed and killed someone or killed myself and never was sorry or repented of it, I would most likely go to hell. Our actions dictate so much more than our words. (Although the two must work in tandem to get to heaven, for as St. Paul says even if I move a mountain because of my faith, but have no love, it is meaningless.)
    Just to clarify, it is true that everyone who follows Jesus Christ to the fullest is gauranteed heaven, however we can never know if anyone else is living fully (because we cannot see into their heart, only God can do that. I mean, we could make an educated guess but that’s all it would be). Once they die you can of course ask god if they are in heaven and sometimes he answers. I’ve had friends do that before. But for ourselves, we can too only make an educated guess. For every human sins. We have a fallen nature. And even the smallest of sins is a great offense against God.
    But there are so many things to account for like culpability and circumstance and willingness and repentance – that no one else can say from the outside whether any actions merit us heaven or hell. Only God decides, for he is the only one who knows perfectly everything about us.

    But all this to say that Jesus does not say we can know while here on earth if we will get into heaven, and he definitely doesn’t say all we have to do is just believe and that’s it. Our life will and should be a series of repentance towards God. There will never be an “ok just repent now and you’ll be saved forever – just make sure you actually believe it!”
    http://www.catholic.com/magazine/articles/are-you-saved-if-only

  • Realist1234

    Thats the problem – it seems many are unable to have deep, loving relationships today without sex. Which is why so many young people have sex so early into a relationship – some even on their first date. That says more about our society rather than God’s will.

  • Bones

    No they didn’t.

    Mark 10 is stating that Jesus believes in equality between men and women

    According to Torah men could divorce and women can’t. Also married men didn’t commit adultery with single women against their wives.

    Jesus isn’t condemning divorce but the patriarchal Law.

    The shammaites would hate that.

    All of Jesus’s enemies in the sanhedrin would have been Sham mates.

    Gamaliel who defended the Christians in acts was hillel’s grandson.

  • Bones

    In other words it’s subjective and based on opinion….

    So in reality it’s not black and white.

  • Bones

    And the secular west, yet again, has to lead religion into the Enlightenment.

    That’s why you aren’t being treated in an asylum.

  • Sex is beautiful and good. It is God-conceived and created. To want to have sex is a natural and God-given desire that most people want to fully experience. There is nothing wrong with desiring to love someone and share a sexual life–it’s perfectly within God’s will. So telling someone they can’t have what God created for them to have is incredibly unkind. And unkindness is not of God.

  • Arbustin

    Shammai held that divorce was allowed only for serious transgressions involving sexual immorality, not for pretty much any reason as Hillel held. Jesus’s view as stated in Mark 10 is even stricter than Shammai’s.

  • Cassie Devereaux

    How many of the people who are rejecting anti-LGBT theology are actually affirming, though? By this I mean actively working to provide welcome? Because I think that we have to take ‘affirming’ as an active verb and I think many people you describe are accepting in their private thoughts, but don’t want to trouble any waters in their own circles. While there is value in a private change of convictions, there’s also the human cost of lives lost to suicide, children cast out from families, etc. With the exception of specifically progressive Christian websites, you really can’t venture out very far without vitriol and disgusting expressions of hate. People ‘loving the sinner’ with vile rhetoric. Meanwhile in the larger cultural context, the voices of hatred are becoming ever more ubiquitous with Christianity every year, and the only denominations not in decline seem to be those deeply embedded in anti-lgbt theology. So what’s going on here? Are people merely expressing private thoughts in anonymous surveys? Are OnA churches a brave stand against declining membership? Are things really getting better, or are they polarized and lopsided?

  • Julie

    From what I’ve seen in my personal life, which is filled with conservative Christians, more are becoming less vocal about how wrong the “gay lifestyle” is and more are becoming more affirming in that they desire to and also actively do so affirm the person and/or couple in the sense of inclusion in regards to friendship and activities whether or not they are decisive on the right or wrongness of gay coupling. I tend to think many Christians are undecided because they feel the tension between what they’ve been taught and what they experience from real, human interaction with those who have come out as well as those who are out and seeking monogamous companionship. So, yes, things are “getting better” I think.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “Think about it. In traditional non-affirming theology this is the best it gets: “Your only hope of not going to hell when you die is to spend the rest of your life completely lonely, and to totally resist ever having your most basic physical and emotional needs met.”

    I think that has a strong whiff of a sort of selective, hypocritical Gnostic asceticism. “Your ‘homosexual’ body is evil, corrupt and should be denied and segregated from our glorious, born-again Evangelical-race bodies, for which God demands special legal privileges.”

  • Gregory Peterson

    Or. you could just accept that Gay makes life a little more interesting and leave it at that.

    I don’t think that there is a Gay gene anymore than there is a left-handed gene, so you would probably need to ‘repair’ a complex pattern of genetic/epigenetic/micro-RNA interactions.

    Why bother, LGBT people can be and are productive members of society, and that’s all a social species really needs from a minority less given to procreation than the majority of people.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “I resent the gay community taking up the language of the Civil Rights moevment of the 1960s. Blacks were born black.”

    http://killingthebuddha.com/mag/damnation/gays-are-the-new-niggers/

    “Race,” like “homosexuality,” are much abused, modern era social constructs with a lot of long discredited scientific baggage.

    Racial characteristics are individually inherited and are certainly not mutable. My grandchildren may be of a different “race” than I am, for instance, or they may be of a ‘new race,’ such as interracial or whatever definitions and labels they decide on.

    “Race jumping” was one practically a national sport (yes, I’m exaggerating, but it was more common than you might guess), and not always from light skinned people with African ancestors to “white,” either. Some people couldn’t in good conscience remain in an oppressor caste called “white,” after all, and yet, they had to be something ‘racial,’ somehow, in America.

    That doesn’t mean that social constructs don’t have tremendous social, political, and staying power, however. Just that they evolve, fade into other social constructs. etc. Even the characteristics of social constructs like “man” and “woman” have evolved. Gender roles evolve.

    “Blacks are born blacks” because Black people insist that they and their community be called “Black.” And for good reason.

    There aren’t any “Negroes” anymore for the same reason that there aren’t any many “homosexuals” around anymore. Who, after the Civil Rights Movement, will allow people of obvious ill-will label and define you and your communities?

  • Gregory Peterson

    I remember reading an entomologist, if memory serves, who wrote, somewhat tongue in cheek, perhaps:

    “Life is a stochastic process.”

  • Gregory Peterson

    It doesn’t matter if you are born that way, or made a choice to be that way, or just accepted an identity that was sort of an inheritance. When it comes to civil rights and equality under the law, it just shouldn’t matter. You’re a human.

    We all, sort of choose to be something, even if some things about us are just a given.

    For instance, your gender relationship orientation is very probably a given, a condition which influences your self-identity. Your sexual identity may not be compatible with your sexual orientation, yet that’s what you want as part of your identity for whatever reasons or pressure from societal dynamics.

    Your occupation may be a carefully considered choice…or it may have just somehow fallen into your lap and you just went with it (I slowly raise my hand and look around, lol)…and yet, what you do or don’t do for a living also influences your self-identity.

  • Gregory Peterson

    You know you’re bisexual when you have two “first times,” or at least can imagine having two.

    However, if one first time was so much more satisfying somehow than the other, you might not be as bisexual as you may want to think that you are.

  • Gregory Peterson

    This is the 21 Century, We live in the future, so to speak, however imperfectly realized.

    You can change many things about you. Your complexion, your body and gender appearance to match your internal gender identity, your hair, the color of your eyes, the shape of your nose, chin, breasts, waist, butt, weight, public sexual identity, occupation, nationality. You can deny your born in ethnicity, or exalt it. You can change your name. Your address. Temporary or permanently.

    You can broaden your interests and acquire a taste. You can throw something away, changing your live that way, or dig something our of the trash and make it your own.

    You can change your sexual orientation, Repressing it is, after all, changing it. You can probably nudge it a bit one way or another on the Kinsey sexual continuum.

    However, some changes can be just too expensive, too much maintenance, too…well…adequate, to bother tweaking, improving, changing it. Some changes will bite back, somehow, sometime, somewhere.

    And some people just like being as they are. But I’m not judging them.

  • Gregory Peterson

    The primary purpose of sexuality for an extremely social species such as ours is…pair bonding, not procreation.

    If it was procreation, women would have an estrus cycle and we just wouldn’t be human. They would also die shortly after menopause.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Pencils don’t write or draw, people do. Pencils are tools we make and use for our drawing and writing.

    They can also be repaired with other tools if they should break or grow dull from use.

    And, they aren’t the only tools that we can use for those activities. You can even use your finger in dust.

    You can also use pencils for something other than writing and drawing, even broken ones.

  • Gregory Peterson

    “every gay person I know had great difficulties with their same sex-parent and was very close to their opposite-sex parent”. This may be proved wrong in the future, but it has held true.

    It’s long been proved wrong, and even it were true, it may not be causal. Your every Gay’s straight dads might just feel uncomfortable around Gay people because of socialization, religious teachings, however nonsensical and bigoted; and be uncomfortable around even closely related Gay people. This would make them less close, therefor distance themselves from their Gay son.

    While the mothers with Gay sons with distant dads may feel the need to step up their nurturing game and sort of be a parent and a half.

    Personal experience isn’t “every” experience. It can be used to illustrate averages, trends etc, or to illustrate outliers and possibilities.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Some people have “conditions” if you want to think about it that way. I can’t change my mild genetic/neurological condition, so I don’t think of it as a “disease” as I can live a productive life with it…so, why bother hitting my head against a stone wall to try to conform to other’s expectations of how I “should” be.

  • Cassie Devereaux

    That’s good to hear. My situation is fairly particular…. I’ve stayed away from church for 30 years, since I was a teenager. Stayed away from the faith. And now, coming back, I’m absolutely floored by all the venom. Perhaps this is because the internet brings it all to my doorstep in a way that I hadn’t seen in the mid 80’s. Still, what I had thought to have been a vocal minority seems like an avalanche of the world language and behavior. I’ve been despairing and wondering if there’s just something broken in the Christian faith that causes people to talk of love while acting spitefully, pridefully, and with slurs and metaphors unbecoming of…. well. Anybody. I’ve been worrying that we’re trying to save a ship half sunk already. =/ It’s really good to hear your perspective. It gives me hope.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Being a little bisexual one way or the other probably isn’t uncommon. Enjoy it…hopefully lovingly and responsibly.

  • Bones

    No.

    Jesus isn’t admonishing divorce or introducing a hard line rule.

    He’s admonishing the Torah which disallows divorce by women and allows adultery by married men with single women.

    It has to be read in that context hence why Jesus uses scriptures on equality to trump the Torah.

    Jesus takes the debate away from the Shammaites and condemns the whole Law as unequal.

    Jesus actually takes an extremely liberal and egalitarian stance completely at odds with Shammai.

  • SamHamilton

    What’s not black and white? What does the “it’s” stand for in your statement?

    My point is that no one views everything in black and white terms and no one views everything in subjective terms. I’ve yet to run into anyone who thinks everything is subjective and I’ve yet to run into anyone who thinks there’s an objectively true and right answer to everything. You can’t divide people into two groups: those with black and white worldviews and those without.

  • SamHamilton

    I haven’t read a holy book that says we’re to hate gay people. The Bible certainly doesn’t say that.

  • SamHamilton

    While I agree with Iaian on the matter of whether sex outside of marriage is sinful, you’ve made a critique of Progressive Christians I’ve been trying to get them to understand for a while now. They judge other people just as much as any more orthodox Christian does, they just have different standards on which they judge people.

  • RonnyTX

    Wow, I had to click on the load more comments button 19 times, to get to the bottom of this page of comments! :-) 909 comments in all! I’m wanting to search through them now and see if their are any new questions, to somethings I’ve written? Will try to get caught up this morning. Or at least hoping I do, in this one thread of posts? :-) But just wanted to explain, that I won’t be able to keep up with everything, towards the end of this week and next week. Going with my oldest Sis, over towards Dallas this Saturday. Helping to babysit her youngest grandson, while his parents are gone somewhere. And seems they won’t be home, till 2am Sunday morning! (ha) But plan on taking my laptop with me and hope to use it at their home. My, sure do look forward to getting to visit them. And my 18 month old great nephew, he is something else! :-) Very sweet; but also very hardheaded, much like his great uncle! :-) LoL

    Next week, Sis has to go for her cataract surgery. Around a 70 mile trip, to get to her doctor for that! Then I’ll need to drive her home. Then another visit or two, to that doctor later on in the week; but thankfully, that will be close by, in a neighboring town! :-)

    Just wanted to explain, why I’m sure I won’t be able to keep up in here. Nothing against anyone or ignoring some, just going to be way busier than usual! (ha) :-)

    P.S.
    The rain just started pouring down again, here in my part of NE Texas; but now I see it’s letting up a bit. We had two inches of rain yesterday. And it’s supposed to rain here through this coming Saturday; but maybe not such heavy rains, on that last day? :-) Whoa, really started back to pouring now! Saw in the paper today, where yesterday, a lady in this county, had her car swept off of the road and when she was rescued,her car was half filled with water! :-( Just so glad, that the firemen and deputies, got her out safe and sound! :-)

    OK, enough of my talking! Over and out! :-)

  • $136305622

    You said it much better than me. Thank you, that is exactly what I was getting at.

  • gimpi1

    The internet is a factor in these changing ideas, We can do research so easily these days, and it’s straightforward to discover different interpretations of history or beliefs. It’s also easy to communicate with people all over the world. This makes it more common to have a greater depth of knowledge about the Bible and the world it was compiled in, and to get to know people far outside of your normal day-to-day life. And that’s a good thing. We can grow in compassion and knowledge by engaging with people from different beliefs and with different life-experiences. That almost always makes us more willing to embrace people we might have previously been afraid of.

  • gimpi1

    Have there been many cases of predators posing as transgender people and using that as a way to commit crimes? I know of none. and for that reason I frankly do think your argument is much ado about nothing.

    I don’t think it’s intolerance to know that the thing you profess fear of is incredibly unlikely, and the people your preferred action will hurt are not responsible and shouldn’t suffer for your unjustified fears. Do you have facts to show that I’m wrong?

  • RonnyTX

    Haley to Ronny:
    That’s true, but it was still the same person. While a person is born again in Christ when he accepts him as lord and savior and strives to follow his commandments, he does not physically become a new entity. We still have our failings and faults and shortcomings as before, we just have Christ in our lives to help us combat them. So yes, he was still Saul when he killed Stephen, but him being born again doesn’t mean he didn’t kill Stephen. It does however mean God forgave him and the sin is forgotten in him. But my point was we are all sinners and Eve the best of saints have committed the worst of crimes against God.

    Ronny to Haley:
    No Haley, Paul was not the same person as Saul of Tarsus. For Saul of Tarsus was a murderer and Paul was not. Saul of Tarsus, he was dead in his trespasses and sins against God; but then Jesus Christ confronted him on the road to Damascas, he was born of God. In a spiritual sense, Saul of Tarsus was raised from the dead and made alive. And after God/Jesus Christ doing that for him, he was a very different person. He now loved all people. Whereas before, he didn’t love all people and in fact, was going around having some people thrown into prison and or murdered. So Paul the apostle, he was a very different person, after God/Jesus Christ saved him. :-)

  • gimpi1

    Quite a few countries that are historically Catholic have accepted same-sex marriage. All it requires is a separation of church and state. The Catholic Church is not obliged to perform or accept same-sex marriages, and they have no right to prevent the civil authority from treating all people wishing to marry who they love as equal. That’s pretty simple, isn’t it?

  • gimpi1

    Then why was Galileo prosecuted for the heretical idea that the earth went around the sun in the early 1600’s. That’s less than 1,000 years ago…

  • RonnyTX

    LU73 to Ronny:
    So many lives ruined because of religion. Not just gay folks either. The teachings on sex are toxic to healthy relationships.

    Ronny to LU73:
    That’s true, a lot of lived have been messed up big time, because of man made religion; but the best news of all, is that God/Jesus Christ is going to straighten all of that out, before all is said and done. :-) And I don’t just mean for some people; but for all people! :-) For Jesus Christ is truly the Shepherd, that goes after the last lost sheep, puts that sheep on his shoulders and brings it safely home! :-) And that is exactly what Jesus Christ is going to do for every last one of us, from Adam on down! :-)

  • Imagine a “/sarcasm” at the end of my comment to Eris. :)

  • Beth Taylor

    I have every sympathy for people who struggle with sexual identity and with their sexuality. What we need to remember as Christians is that God created sex, back at the beginning of time, and God described His boundaries for it: between a man and a woman in a lifetime relationship (marriage). EVERY sex act outside those boundaries is sin. For the heterosexual, it means sex before marriage is sin, looking at pornography is sin, sex with multiple partners is sin, and so on. The bisexual and homosexual add sex with a person of the same gender to the list. If a heterosexual or homosexual person engages in sex outside the boundaries God has set, it’s sin. And all sin separates us from God. Sexual sin is no different from the other sins that are mentioned throughout the New Testament. So I welcome the person who is homosexual, transsexual, or bisexual to fellowship in Christ, knowing that faith in Christ will provide them with the strength they need to overcome their sin, just as Christ provides me with strength to overcome my (many, unfortunately) sins. “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13.

  • RonnyTX

    Gimpi1:
    The internet is a factor in these changing ideas, We can do research so easily these days, and it’s straightforward to discover different interpretations of history or beliefs. It’s also easy to communicate with people all over the world. This makes it more common to have a greater depth of knowledge about the Bible and the world it was compiled in, and to get to know people far outside of your normal day-to-day life. And that’s a good thing. We can grow in compassion and knowledge by engaging with people from different beliefs and with different life-experiences. That almost always makes us more willing to embrace people we might have previously been afraid of.

    Ronny to Gimp1:
    You are so right, in what you say here. :-) For before I got online, in the late ’90’s, I had so little contact with any fellow Christians, who weren’t very fundamentalist. And before getting online, in 1995, that was the first time I found out about other Christians like myself, who were gay as well. Found out about that, in a US News magazine. Found out about a gay Christian man there and was shocked to find his book, at my local library. Of of course, it took me two visits there, to get up the nerve to check that book out. But when I read this preachers book, I could see for myself, that he and his male spouse, were not in a sinful relationship. Then around 4 years after that, I got to get online and meet other gay people. :-)

    And 7 years ago, I found out about Christian people, who were universalist in belief. The ones who believed, that before all was said and done, everyone was going to be born of God, by way of Jesus Christ and the cross. And they said there was no hell of eternal torment, taught in the bible, not as it was written in Hebrew and Greek. I read what some of these people had to say, why they believed as they did and the scriptures they used, to back up what they believed. And in this way, I came to see they were right. :-)

    But now on the whole, I can’t say I would ever advise any gay person or couple, to move to my small town, rural area of NE Texas. Now over in Dallas and around there, that’s a bit different. At least there, you would have some people who openly supported you and didn’t look down on you and think that you were a horrible person, simply because you were gay.

  • RonnyTX

    Cassie, somethings are getting better and I can say that as a Christian who is gay, living in rural, small town NE Texas. There is TV, the internet and a lot more ln the papers/magazines and on the news today, about people who are gay. So that much, helps a lot. And this goes back a number of years; but I can still remember when there was an Ann Landers column and she said something positive about gay people. Doesn’t sound like much does it? But it was like a light shining in darkness, here in my part of NE Texas. And I am just so glad today, that so many of the non-heterosexual kids, have the internet. At least they can seek out other people like themself and not be so cut off. So that part, is a lot better for gay kids and adults here, in my part of Texas. :-)

  • Bones

    Yes you can…

  • RonnyTX

    I know what you mean Gregory. Now from 16 years old on up, I never believed I was going to hell. That because that was the year I was born of God and learned directly from God, how greatly God/Jesus Christ loved me. :-) But still I was taught to believe and did believe, that God was highly disappointed in me and that because I was gay. And I spent a lot of time simply praying for God to forgive me, when I would see a guy and be attracted to him. Well, from 12 years old, I had also been taught to believe the lie, that I had chosen to be gay and that it was the worst of sins. And I was 40 years old, before I learned better. I was that old, before I any doubts about what I was taught, as a child. One thing that did that for me, was reading a book by a gay Christian preacher and in doing that, I could see that he and his male spouse, were not living in sin. Still, I thought almost 100% that my being gay was still sinful and self chosen. But then I also watched a Christian preacher on TV and he said he got very upset at people, treating him as if he were God. He also encouraged people to simply study the scriptures for themself and ask God to show them the truth of a matter. God also put that man in my life and that for a very good reason. :-) And that was how I came to learn, the my being gay was not sinful or self chosen. I simply studies the scriptures, that I’d been taught, condemned my being gay. I asked God to guide me and show me the truth, as I read and thought on those. On the last, I ran upon one scripture verse, that I thought surely condemned my being gay; but then how could it, when I could see the rest didn’t? I despaired of ever knowing the truth on this matter and I even thought of suicide;but just as soon as I did, God put a scripture in my mind, reminding me of how much God loved me and that everything was going to turn out just fine. :-) And then I simply stopped my trying to understand this matter and simply asked God if my being gay was sinful or not? And I was shocked, when God immediately answered my prayer and that with a no. :-) Well, that shocked me too. (ha) So much, that I had to ask the exact same prayer, over again. And God immidieately, gave me the same answer. So, that is how and where I learned directly from God, that no, my being gay was no sinful. :-) And then I realized, my being gay was a good gift from God to me! :-)

  • Julie

    Um…not sure what your point is in relation to my discussion with Caladrius.

  • RonnyTX

    Cassie to Julie:
    That’s good to hear. My situation is fairly particular…. I’ve stayed away from church for 30 years, since I was a teenager. Stayed away from the faith. And now, coming back, I’m absolutely floored by all the venom. Perhaps this is because the internet brings it all to my doorstep in a way that I hadn’t seen in the mid 80’s. Still, what I had thought to have been a vocal minority seems like an avalanche of the world language and behavior. I’ve been despairing and wondering if there’s just something broken in the Christian faith that causes people to talk of love while acting spitefully, pridefully, and with slurs and metaphors unbecoming of…. well. Anybody. I’ve been worrying that we’re trying to save a ship half sunk already. =/ It’s really good to hear your perspective. It gives me hope.

    Ronny to Cassie:
    Cassie, it’s not anything broken in the Christian faith; but it’s what’s broken, in what falsely goes by the name, of the Christian faith. Way back when I was born to my late 20’s, I was brought up in such as that. Some things I learned in church, were very good and very true; but other things I learned there, was not true and was not of/from God/Jesus Christ. And from what I can see, I believe that is true of all denominational churches. They all have their mixture of truth and errors. And the way I see it now and for sometime, Jesus Christ simply tells me to follow him and God/Jesus Christ is love. :-) So, I am to follow him and simply love. :-)

  • gimpi1

    Ah, sorry. I’ll have to reset my sarcasm filter. That thing keeps cutting out…

  • RonnyTX

    Richard:
    Actually, it’s also okay to be bored with the subject.
    Gayness, of whatever kind, is either learned/taught by environmental factors, genetic, or a matter of in utero issues. That means several things. If it can be discerned pirior to birth, abortion against it might be a choice. Gene repair might be an option. And nobody can be against choice. Or, if it’s learned/taught, perhaps it can be unlearned. As more is learned, more decisions show up. Problem is, we’re not to judge others’ choices et tedious cetera.

    Ronny to Richard:
    Richard, I hope you’re joking; but even if you are, what you’re saying here is not funny. I mean, if doctors could tell that a baby in the womb was going to be gay, do you seriously think, that would be a good reason for the mother, to abort her unborn child?!

    And I can tell you, where being gay comes from. It is of God, just as being heterosexual or bisexual is. All three of these, are God’s good gift, to the people of the human race. :-)

  • RonnyTX

    Good question Bones. And it sort of surprises me, that there aren’t more Baptist here, doing that! (ha)

  • RonnyTX

    Gregory, I’m part white, NA Indian and black. So I’ve started to say, I’m a perfectly fine, 100% American mutt! :-) LoL

  • I’m not directing this at you personally, Beth, because your position is shared by many fundamentalists, but: Based on your interpretation of the bible (as opposed to that of scholars who state that it doesn’t actually say what you think it does, as discussed in the article), sex outside of marriage is a sin. (Never mind that the institution of marriage back in the bible days was a completely different thing, essentially making the woman or women the property of the man, and giving men a lot more leeway as to with whom they might legally have sex.) But, you also don’t want gay people to get married! So then, what are they supposed to DO? This question was raised by a priest when I first joined the Episcopal Church after having been involved with a fundie church. As someone with a vocation I answered, “They could be celibate.” He replied, “Easy for you to say! Are we to assume that all gay people have the gift of celibacy? It is a rare vocation.” If the person does not have that gift, we are condemning them to a lifetime of loneliness, and the bible also says “It is not good for man to be alone.” And there are many gay Christians who have a strong relationship with Christ but it does not render them straight nor give them the vocation of celibacy.

  • HRH_Christa

    …..well, okay.
    You’re far from alone in the ‘depressed and annoyed’ club. Indeed, by the suicide rate in LGB and especially T communities, it seems a lot of folks are being ‘love the sinner’ed into early graves. So…. I mean, I know it doesn’t feel good. But neither does it mean the discussion is going to cease to accommodate such things, as appealing as it is to imagine a society that considers our personal comfort levels. If you’re annoyed, it’s a shame. But, that doesn’t give you the last word or mean you’re right.

  • Cassie Devereaux

    Yes, while the ‘every gay person I know has difficulty with their same sex parent and close to their opposite sex parent’ may be a true statement, it’s only true with the opening qualifier. Yes, this may be true for every gay person this person knows (or at least, that they know is gay). But that simply suggests that maybe they need to know more gay people. Or rather, ones that have come out to them.

  • kaydenpat

    Obviously, that’s how it has been interpreted by too many.

  • SamHamilton

    So which group do you neatly fall into on every single issue?

    And what’s the “it’s” stand for in your previous statement?

  • Gregory Peterson

    I’m of Scandinavian descent, but every generation of my family looks more and more like America…or a Benetton ad…or the world.

  • Gregory Peterson

    Trying for a little levity. His metaphor of sexuality as tribalism reminded me that sexually, some people belong to two “tribes.” (And, I’ve been kind of ADD after a hard whack upside the head.)

    Everyone in this country, at least theoretically, has civil rights, from the super rich to the most caring, to the most heinous criminal. The problem is when majoritarian privilege trumps the civil rights of minority people.

    Law abiding people, regardless of what makes them a minority person in a protected class or whatever, should expect and demand if necessary, to be treated as a law abiding person. When it comes to civil rights, it doesn’t matter if you are born that way, became that way, chose to be that way, erroneously labeled as being that way. Civil rights is civil rights.

    Caladrius, as near as I can tell, seems to think that only racial minorities can make civil rights claims, which is…well…kind of racist.

  • Perichoresis

    Hey Benjamin…You said it was impossible to realize an “affirming theology” for kids struggling with their sexuality that would help them avoid self-destruction. Since you could not discover such, you made a pivotal adjustment in your theology. The spiritual malady you perpetuate, along with many others, is the notion we are to look at life through the prism of the human condition. I sense you are in search of truth, but the tragic mistake you make in such a quest is your “truth is solely based on human experience,” in other words, the narrative of many people. And it is tragic. For you are among millions who profess a knowledge of God based on an abstract understanding and this gives explanation to how you can misinterpret Scripture. Let me illustrate. Many Christians who profess Christ, also believe the Holy Spirit is within them. But, if you asked them what it was like to be inhabited by “deity,” their answer would not be concrete. It is like eating a certain kind of chocolate…everyone knows the distinction between “dark” and “milk.” But, when it comes to knowing the Holy Spirit, His Person, and therefore His ontology…we don’t get concrete answers. Why? Because they don’t really know Him!
    There is only one place Jesus defined what eternal life is and it is found in John 17:3, as He prayed to the Father….”And this is eternal life that they may know you the one true God and Jesus Christ whom you sent.” The Greek word for “know” means to experience or encounter the reality of God through His Holy Spirit. Jesus underscored this truth in John 14, 15, and 16. When one does encounter God, you cannot help be transformed. Which brings me to your other issues. If you think Christianity is simply about avoiding the bad place and going to the good place, you have missed the central message of the Good News. The pulse of Christianity is about transformation, transforming our orientation of self-centeredness into God-centeredness. 2 Cor. 5:14-15 states… “For Christ’s love compels us that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and was raised again.” Such a reorientation is only produced by the Holy Spirit and to the degree you want God in your life….on His terms. Jesus never prayed the “sinner’s prayer.” What He offered was an invitation to anyone who would want to be His disciple (learner or student), and that is to surrender oneself to His love, and take up one’s cross. To deny self or surrender oneself means to surrender your presuppositions or preconceptions about God, about relationships, about human sexuality, about philosophies, and most importantly about yourself. Just because you think it…or feel it…or imagine it…does not mean it is what God wants for you. In essence, reorientation is just another word and a misunderstood word, “repentance.” It means a radical change or upheaval in the human will.
    The journey of the Christian life is about change…transformation…and not sin-management! This is where you derail on your theology. Your starting point is the human experience, rather than the nature and heart of God. If you don’t start with the One who is truth, you inevitably will collide with a chaotic morass of confusion. Such is the indicator of the abbreviations…LGBTQ….God is a God of order, not confusion. But, if you don’t truly want Him, being the gentle Person He is, He will give you what you want…blind deception!
    On that note, you cannot merely interpret Scripture on the basis of other commentaries…you must know how to rely on the Holy Spirit. If you are willing to be open or teachable, here is your test….What did David mean when he described the love of Jonathan as “very pleasant and extraordinary surpassing the love of women (2 Sam. 1:26)?

  • Questioning

    Wow, looks like you have it all figured out. I salute you. Sadly, looks like heaven might be a fairly empty place or could this “transformation” you speak of take many forms and could “knowing” the Holy Spirit truly be a personal experience unique to every individual? In any case, I don’t think you are qualified to decide who really knows God and who does not. Sorry, but you went off the rails there.

  • Bones

    “On that note, you cannot merely interpret Scripture on the basis of other commentaries…you must know how to rely on the Holy Spirit.”

    Ergo you must agree with me…….instead of studying the scriptures….

    It’s funny how the Holy Spirit agrees with people’s opinions a lot.

  • Perichoresis

    There is no question one’s experience could be unique. However, my emphasis is on the Person of the Holy Spirit, and not the uniqueness of each individual. Jesus taught on the Holy Spirit and defined and described His characteristics and His functions. He does not live in a vacuum or some abstract essence, but has definitive concrete ontology. Let’s face it…when the “supernatural” intersects the “natural”…you will truly know who He is.
    As for knowing Christ, He himself indicated there would be those who profess knowing Him, but actually don’t because He declares…”I never knew you! (Matt. 7:21)” Many believers have an extrinsic knowledge, and that is the problem with the current anemic condition of the Church-at-large!
    Finally, regarding heaven, that is not the true believer’s destination. Heaven is simply the reward. The destination, which defines the kind and the only kind of “transformation” God desires is Rom. 8:29…”For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He (Jesus) might be the first born among many brothers.” Conformity to Christlikeness is the transformation God is after…the attributes of the Spirit…Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control (Gal. 5:23-24).” Thank you for your comments!

  • Bones

    The Holy Spirit tells me that Matthew 7:13-29 is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem.

  • Snooterpoot

    Really? You’re making “the species would die off”argument?

    Gay men and lesbians are not infertile because of our orientation. The urge and desire to procreate isn’t limited to people who are heterosexual. We can, and many of us do, procreate.

    I’ve heard this argument so many times, and each time I have been astonished by the ignorance.

    Abrahamic sexual morality was and is primarily practiced to control women. Think about it. How many times do you hear men shamed for enjoying sex? How many times have you heard condemnation of us when we have been told to keep our legs together with nary a peep about men keeping their pants zipped?

    People who say that people who are gay and lesbian don’t have to be sexually intimate are cruelly advocating that we should live unfulfilled lives, devoid of the intimacy that they enjoy simply because they disapprove of it. It is cruel and unloving to demand that of us.

    It is also none of anyone’s business.

  • Zaoldyeck

    “Let’s face it…when the “supernatural” intersects the “natural”…you will truly know who He is.”

    Except for people who end up believing they had that interaction and knew him but didn’t. But you, you’re not like that. You TRULY have the holy spirit right? You are immune to confirmation bias that prevents others from truly knowing or understanding, right?

    Or maybe the holy spirit is just as much all in your head as it is for others.

    But then, I am sure you “truly” have it all figured out.

    Can someone please explain to me how the hell Christians can ever consider themselves humble?

  • Sure gay people can procreate, but not without artificial means or doing things they don’t desire.

    And sure if one buys the premise that without sexual intimacy people have unfulfilled lives that makes sense, but I don’t buy that premise. As mentioned I’m Catholic, and celibate, so how could I buy that premise? Does Catholicism or Christianity have to buy that premise? Why?

    And Christianity in principle is to treat male sexual indiscretion the same as female. This has too often not been observed, but I think it was noticed by other religions during the early Christian era. Among the Catholic saints and blesseds are men who repented of past, heterosexual so far as I know, sins. In one story Thomas Aquinas’s brothers hired a prostitute to seduce him, but he resisted. (Although Aquinas indicated men were more sexual so some such men should go to hookers rather than bothering virginal women. So not perfect, but still believed in men can be celibate.) If male sexual sin was meaningless there would be no need for such stories of men repenting of it or resisting losing their virginity.

    Outside Catholicism the Puritans actually did, as I recall, punish male adulterers. The Anglicans were maybe a bit lax on that, but they were sort-of founded by an adulterous man. The Russian Orthodox Church wanted, as I recall, to punish Ivan the Terrible for marrying more times than the church allowed but he was the Tsar so their ability to actually punish him was limited or almost non-existent.

  • Ron McPherson

    There is much in your comments that suggest you are unfamiliar with Ben, his approach to scripture, and his walk with Jesus

  • Bones

    The reality is homosexuality is not a disorder, a mental disease, a punishment of God or demonic influence as believed by your cadre of churches.

    Neither is it intrinsically evil as pronounced by your own Pope. Or the cause of ISIS as recently proclaimed by the Russian Patriarch. Or the cause of Sodom’s destruction as trumpeted throughout church history by fundamentalists and theologians.

    That is reality.

    The reality is you’d be locked in a mental institution and under treatment for having homosexual thoughts or probably even worse, had it not been for secularism. You would still be very much in the closet cowering through fear.

  • Maybe, but Marc-André Raffalovich converted to Catholicism in the 19th century and joined a third order. Before this he wrote on homosexuality. His lover became a priest.

  • samantha

    and to add….:)
    Thomas R.,
    It is heterosexual people who give birth to LGBTQ people.
    Yes,they are people, Human Beings…..SIgh………………and guess what, some of the parents are heterosexual Christians, monogamous, been married for ever……
    Gay folks are not dropped off in the front yard by the stork or hatched in a nest or grown in a lab some where. :) :) ;)

    They have been around forever and will continue to be around forever. Many just have never spoken out…..and now they are!!
    For all of the one’s coming out, they are helping others to be Brave too. Live and be true to yourself.

    Higher education and reading are fundamental. I keep saying it. :) :)

    It is Epigenetics.
    Sexual differentiation of the Human Brain;relation to gender identity
    An Endocrinologist can explain it.
    NIH, WHO, Web MD AEA (American Endocrinology Association)

  • Snooterpoot

    Sure gay people can procreate, but not without artificial means or doing things they don’t desire.

    So, what? Infertile heterosexual people cannot procreate without artificial means. Are you opposed to that, too? Let’s not get into the sexual activities of strangers. It’s creepy, and it’s none of anyone’s business.

    And sure if one buys the premise that without sexual intimacy people have unfulfilled lives that makes sense, but I don’t buy that premise. As mentioned I’m Catholic, and celibate, so how could I buy that premise? Does Catholicism or Christianity have to buy that premise? Why?

    There is a difference between choosing celibacy and forcing it on others. By insisting that people who are gay and lesbian refrain from sexual activity you are saying that we should, because of your discomfort, deny ourselves the fulfillment that we experience from that intimacy.

    Additionally, I am not, nor have I ever been, a Roman Catholic, so why should that doctrine and theology have any influence on my life whatsoever?

    And Christianity in principle is to treat male sexual indiscretion the same as female.

    Bullscat. From ancient times until present day male sexual activity has been ignored while female sexual activity has been condemned. Even now it seems that many Christians are ignoring repeated infidelity committed by the GOP presidential nominee. Don’t even try to tell me that if a woman was running for the GOP presidential nomination and she was a serial adulterer she would be treated the same. We will put a human being on Jupiter before that would happen.

    Even Jesus limited divorce to men whose wives were unfaithful.

    This has too often not been observed, but I think it was noticed by other religions during the early Christian era. Among the Catholic saints and blesseds are men who repented of past, heterosexual so far as I know, sins. In one story Thomas Aquinas’s brothers hired a prostitute to seduce him, but he resisted. (Although Aquinas indicated men were more sexual so some such men should go to hookers rather than bothering virginal women. So not perfect, but still believed in men can be celibate.) If male sexual sin was meaningless there would be no need for such stories of men repenting of it or resisting losing their virginity.

    Again, you’re speaking of Roman Catholic beliefs. Not every Christian denomination recognizes Saints. You are writing from a limited perspective.

    Outside Catholicism the Puritans actually did, as I recall, punish male adulterers. The Anglicans were maybe a bit lax on that, but they were sort-of founded by an adulterous man. The Russian Orthodox Church wanted, as I recall, to punish Ivan the Terrible for marrying more times than the church allowed but he was the Tsar so their ability to actually punish him was limited or almost non-existent.

    Puritans were one Christian sect, and a small one at t hat. I don’t think that’s a credible reference to support your argument.

  • Bones

    He also supported the criminalization of gays in Germany specifically Paragraph 175 . An act which Hitler used to send thousands of homosexuals to concentration camps and continued into the 90s in the West. And remains unacknowledged unlike the Holocaust of the Jews.

    The reality is its sad that people have such a degrading view of themselves.

  • curt1034

    Reducing Biblical references of homosexual behavior as “cultural” is nonsense. There are several Biblical passages where homosexuality is mentioned, in multiple cultural settings from pre-Moses all the way up to the Roman Empire. The result is always the same, condemnation. It is hardly “scholarship” to manipulate the passages so as to have them speaking about something other than homosexual bahavior in the broadest sense. Ben Corey, your interpretation smacks of agenda-driven eisegesis that breaks any scholarly sense of honest research. At least admit your unfettered bias, rather than trying to pass your writing off as a real attempt to understand the point the Biblical writers are trying to convey.

  • Everything in the Bible is tied to the historical contingencies of the time. It didn’t drop whole cloth out of the sky.

  • Isn’t that weird? The Holy Spirit pretty much always sounds like what I thought to begin with. It’s almost as though I’m deifying my own opinions, but that’s crazy.

  • Your Holy Spirit sounds like a scholar.

  • curt1034

    Ok Phil, then please answer me this. Multiple Biblical authors in several different time periods in several different cultural settings all condemn homosexuality. If the Biblical writers are only speaking “culturally” and not normative, then how would they speak in normative terms if they desired to?

  • “So, what? Infertile heterosexual people cannot procreate without artificial means. Are you opposed to that, too”

    Yes. As a Catholic I don’t believe in artificial reproduction.

    “Additionally, I am not, nor have I ever been, a Roman Catholic, so why
    should that doctrine and theology have any influence on my life
    whatsoever?”

    It shouldn’t. I’ve been consistent on that. And if “you’re side” was consistent on saying your values and doctrine should have no influence on our lives I’d have less or no problem.

    “From ancient times until present day male sexual activity has been ignored while female sexual activity has been condemned.”

    Elements of pre-Christian cultures survive, but the Gospels speak about adultery and lust from men. Several early Christian men were celibate or believed in faithfulness.

    “Again, you’re speaking of Roman Catholic beliefs. Not every Christian
    denomination recognizes Saints. You are writing from a limited perspective.”

    Around 60% of the world’s Christians are Catholic or Orthodox. The main other group is Pentecostals. Pentecostals don’t believe in celibacy, but most Pentecostals don’t support male adultery and I seriously doubt you can prove they do. (I think there might be an African Pentecostal grouping that allows male polygamy.)

  • ExFallwellian

    Christians have always told me how their god’s morals are immovable and immutable .. except when they are not. And railing against situation ethics. Funny how fundamentalist Christians morph over time to conform to societal norms about slavery and homosexuality, to name just a few. Let’s dispense with fantasies about immutable morals and just admit that you wish things were fixed .. . except they are not. And that your fixed religion is anything but.

  • They would have to say something like, “Any kind of homosexual expression is sin in all forms in all ages,” I suppose. But since the purpose of their writings was not to provide us with timeless ethical injunctions, I wouldn’t expect to see that.

  • curt1034

    How do you know timeless ethical injunctions was never their purpose? Are you holding the Biblical writers to the same form of criteria that you’ve created for them with regards to homosexual behavior? They must explicitly say that its just for a certain culture? For example, “Do not covet your neighbor’s belongings” must include “but just in this culture” somewhere in their statement as well? Or is this criteria for absolute specifics only when it suits your purposes?

  • Bones

    So are babies born via artificial reproduction not real humans or not created by God?

  • Bones

    I dunno maybe the fact they endorsed slavery tells us they are influenced by their own culture.

    And the fact they couldn’t agree whether people were unclean for eating shellfish….

    But yeah maybe they were right about homosexuality…….or most probably they weren’t.

  • Bones

    Well my Holy Spirit isn’t a fundamentalist…..

  • Now you’re just being silly. One can believe the way a child was born was immoral without thinking anything about the child produced. If a child was produced by incest, even, it wouldn’t make the child bad or soulless.

    The issue with artificial reproduction is it tends to lead to embryoes dying or require masturbation.

  • Bones

    OK so they are created by God by means of artificial reproduction………

    There is definitely a problem with your logic.

    Do people still see masturbation as a bad thing????

  • In Catholicism it still is, yeah. It’s still sex without fertility or the union of the sexes. I’m guilty of it, but yeah. Hence I know there are Catholics who, to do a fertility test, have sex with their wife using a pinprick or perforated condom.

    Granted there are mitigating factors like intent and habituation, but that might be true of anything. (Does that mean if you don’t intend homosexual activity to be a sin, and have developed a habit of it, it’s not a sin? I doubt that, but I have seen Catholics who agree with the teaching yet kind of lean to something like that.)

  • Bones

    That’s just, like, weird…..

  • No, it’s a given that commands recorded in a writing that ends up in the Bible already arises from a particular historical condition. And this is all over the place. For instance, there are contradictory laws in the OT about where to offer sacrifices. Well, they’re contradictory if you assume they are meant to be timeless regulations. They are not contradictory at all if you include the minor detail that Israel was in the wilderness in Exodus and was returning from exile in Ezra’s day.

    This is part of the task of exegesis – understanding that we are reading “someone else’s mail” as it were and using that mail to give meaning to the current experience of the people of God. You can’t read Deuteronomy’s commands to say, exclude Gentiles from the congregation and assume this is meant to be a timeless principle, especially since Deuteronomy itself will later allow for Egyptians and Edomites. Later, the Edomites will be condemned.

    So, are Edomites cool or not? It depends on what’s going on in Israel’s history.

    You can’t read a law about homosexuality from three thousand years ago in the Levant, 2000 years ago in a Hellenized Roman empire, and an American law in the 21st century and just assume all of those are the same thing.

  • Snooterpoot

    I wish people like you would stop using “homosexual behavior” bullshit and say what you really mean – homosexual sex. Because that is your objection. You and your ilk just don’t say it. I think you don’t say it because you know that you’ll be told that the sexual activity of strangers is none of your damned business.

    And it isn’t. Keep your mind out of the bedrooms of strangers. You have not been invited there and you are not welcome.

  • Snooterpoot

    Masturbation? Are you serious? Wow!

  • RonnyTX

    Curt1034 to Phil:
    Ok Phil, then please answer me this. Multiple Biblical authors in several different time periods in several different cultural settings all condemn homosexuality. If the Biblical writers are only speaking “culturally” and not normative, then how would they speak in normative terms if they desired to?

    Ronny to Curt:
    No, there are no parts in the bible, where anyone condemns any person or person, for being gay. And the same true for those gay couples, who have a loving relationship of a married couple.

    And if you have been taught to believe that the people of Sodom, were condemned and wiped out by God, because they were homosexual, then you need to read Ezekiel chapter 16, where we are told God is going to restore and bless Sodom. And in that same chapter, is a list of the sins of Sodom. Plus, in the New Testament, Jesus Christ tells us that the people of Sodom would of repented, if the great works that were done in Capernaum, had of been done in Sodom.

  • RonnyTX

    Gregory to RonnyTX:
    I’m of Scandinavian descent, but every generation of my family looks more and more like America…or a Benetton ad…or the world.

    Ronny to Gregory:
    I like that. :-) Why? Well, because of the way I see it, I and everyone on earth are all kin to each other, we’re all family. Some many look a bit different from another; but that’s surely no big deal. I mean, at the least, we’re all cousins! :-)

  • I accept the logic of the faith on the matter yes. To say that one kind of non-procreative sex is okay and another isn’t might be unfair. Plus even in myself I think the first time I ever actually did it I knew there was something slightly sad and unpleasant about it. (And yes I do it on occasion, my beliefs are not about saying “I’m better than you” particularly if that’s a lie.)

    That said I’ll admit total avoidance of it seems unlikely, for the unmarried at least, so a part of me is maybe more mild on it than many Catholics I’ve seen online like. I kind of lean to seeing it as more a fault or bad habit. And though I’m strict on what is a sexual sin I’m fairly forgiving on when it happens. Even before I realized I had such attractions myself I remember thinking gay people might occasionally slip up on celibacy, but as long as they were trying for it that was something. People on sites like “Crisis” sneered at me for bringing up LGBT converts from before Vatican II. I think the real “Traditionalists” see people like Cardinal Newman and Pope Pius XI as almost vaguely suspect. If they knew even Pope Pius IX gave an award to a Muslim, Emir Abdelbaker of Algeria, they might have a conniption. (Okay looking it up the alleged letter referring to this has not been found at the Vatican so maybe it didn’t happen. Still Pope Pius IX, as strict as he’s known, did hav friends who believed in the existence of extraterrestrials and had a meeting with Jules Verne. That’s maybe also more “out there” than they see him.)

  • Realist1234

    ‘Thou shalt not murder’ is viewed by most as a timeless ethical injunction.

  • Thank you Beth, now that you’ve successfully repeated all the things Christians have told us for generations about how awful we are for wanting EXACTLY what straight people are so privileged to have, I see the error of my ways. I’m totally straight now. Congratulations, looks like 1,336th time’s the charm.

  • RichardAubrey

    There’s already abortion for sex selection, and against Downs Syndrome. Who dares condemn “choice” WRT those?

  • Right, but not by Paul. Murdering may be something that’s always wrong, but the law “Thou shalt not murder” was historically contingent. Especially considering this same group of people would kill Canaanite babies.

  • Widge Widge

    Yep spot on article

  • Widge Widge

    You are correct there. Ignore the wind up merchants

  • Widge Widge

    Yep you are correct there if you are being serious

  • Widge Widge

    Pitiful

  • Widge Widge

    According to you he does

  • Realist1234

    You’re confusing murder with God using Israel as his instrument of judgement on a nation.

  • Realist1234

    I wouldn’t expect to see that either as the writers all believed same sex sex was wrong on Gods eyes.

  • So, something I’ve noticed from the other two folks and now from you championing a fundamentalist position on a blog called “Formerly Fundie” is that, instead of arguing the logic of the point, you focus on the example and argue with it. Is that like a hermeneutic thing or what? Like, the details are absolute, but principles and coherence mean nothing? That’s another matter, I guess.

    We could volley back all day on whether or not going into a nursery, picking up a baby, taking out a knife and cutting its throat is perfectly acceptable if you believe God told you to do it. I still think of that as the sort of thing the Decalogue would normally prohibit, but obviously your mileage varies. Thou shalt not murder unless thou art killing the baby of a bad guy. Nice, literal reading.

    My point, however, has nothing to do with whether or not a particular example constitutes murder, but whether or not the Decalogue or any part of the OT law is intended to give timeless legislation. Clearly, for Paul, it isn’t, because he outright says so. This is probably Paul’s theological way to make sense of the fact that Gentiles who do not have the Law are being filled with the promised Spirit that belongs to Israel, and the fact that there are lots of Gentile converts in comparison to relatively low numbers of Jewish ones.

    Even so, we see Jesus himself overturning the Mosaic Law insofar as its regulations run afoul of the arrival of the kingdom of God.

    Furthermore, assuming you eat ham, you are also admitting that just because a law shows up in the OT does not mean it was intended to last forever, even though there is absolutely zero evidence FROM the Torah that this is the case.

    It’s not even clear it was meant to be timeless legislation for the original audience. God has Moses create a brass serpent and the people look to it to be saved from the serpents. (Maybe I’m confusing “making a graven image” with “God using a graven image as his instrument of salvation for a nation”). We’ve already seen the polymorphic nature of the sacrificial laws that change to adapt to Israel’s different circumstances within the actual OT, not to mention the prophetic declarations that God doesn’t care about animal sacrifices (and, even more shocking the prophetic claim that God -never asked for them- (Jer. 7:21-22).

    As you can see, these matters are actually pretty complex. You definitely don’t -live- as though an OT law can just be used to enforce current obedience, so I ask you – on what basis are you choosing which laws you can still use that way?

  • How do you know that? I feel a bout of circular reasoning coming on, here.

  • Snooterpoot

    So, Richard, you’ve talked to every woman or couple who have opted for abortion and found that some abort for sex selection or because the fetus has Down (not Downs) Syndrome, right? Because that’s the only way you could possibly know that.

    The reason women or couples choose to abort is none of your business. Period. Nattering busybodies like you want to tell everyone else what we must do with our bodies and our lives. Well, again, it’s none of your business.

    I’ll write it again in case you didn’t get it. It’s none of your business!

  • Snooterpoot

    Gah! Here’s another “acting on it in an immoral way” euphemism. Why don’t you say what you really mean? Why don’t you just outright say homosexual sex is wrong?

    Because that is the basis of your objection, right?

    Why dance around it? Why not just say it? Are you afraid you’ll be told that the sexual behavior of strangers is none of your business?

    Well, it isn’t. And I wish you and people like you would keep your minds out of the bedrooms of strangers. You haven’t been invited and you are not welcome there.

  • Snooterpoot

    Condoms save lives. They are not evil. Telling people not to use them because of some religious dogma is evil.

  • Snooterpoot

    I’ve kinda been waiting for the “God said it; I believe it; That settles it” kind of bumper sticker theology as an argument.

  • Snooterpoot

    Caldrius, you can only speak for yourself. The fact is that all research into human sexual orientation points to being “born that way.” There may be an odd one out who, for whatever reason, chooses same-sex relationships instead of opposite-sex relationships, but I think that’s situational and the person who chooses that is not gay or lesbian.

    I’m happy for you that you’re comfortable in the Roman Catholic Church and it’s dogma and theology. I’m disturbed that you seem to think that everyone should live according to that dogma and theology.

    My Christian affiliation does not agree with the position of the Roman Catholic Church. We believe that people who are gay or lesbian are created by God just the way we are and that our love and marriages are pleasing to God.

    We don’t insist that you believe that. I don’t insist that you believe that. I do, however, insist that you give my beliefs the same respect that I give yours.

    You seem to me to be an angry, angry man. For that I pity you.

  • Snooterpoot

    Farah, bless your heart, but I don’t have “homosexual tendencies.” I am a lesbian. My wife and I have been a monogamous couple for 15+ years. We got married on our 10th anniversary as a couple.

    Are you referring to the Roman Catholic church that should be more loving? I would agree with that, but I also think there are many more Christian denominations that should accept God’s children who are homosexual as the complete human beings we are, made in God’s image, and loved unconditionally by him.

  • RichardAubrey

    Missed again. It’s none of my business. Nor of your business. So if somebody decides to abort a fetus because the child will be gay…it’s none of your business. The no-business crowd will have nothing to stand on to condemn it. That’s my point. Sort of the careful-what-you-ask-for thing.

  • Proud Amelekite

    The simple fact is that people are generally not as stupid and evil as we sometimes like to believe. You make good points but one of the biggest allies in LGBT advancement has been the very same people trying to hold us back. So many easily refuted lies that have been disemboweled thanks to the internet.

    If God is on their side, why do they lie?

    If they are lying, is God really on their side?

    They are rhetorical question that come to the minds of those who research this stuff. As a result, the anti-gay side has become an empty meme. From Scott “Pink Swastika” Lively to his progeny like Pastor Martin “Dey Eat Da Poo Poo” Sempa.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [As for knowing Christ, He himself indicated there would be those who profess knowing Him, but actually don’t because He declares…”I never knew you! (Matt. 7:21)”]

    How do you know you aren’t one of the ones he mentions in Matthew 7:21? How do we know?

  • Proud Amelekite

    [What we need to remember as Christians is that God created sex, back at
    the beginning of time, and God described His boundaries for it: between a
    man and a woman in a lifetime relationship (marriage).]

    Prove this statement, please.

  • Perichoresis

    Great question…God did not invent the game “hide & seek.” We did. That ‘s why God made it simple in terms of accessing Him. He stated there would be only one way. He knew how the human condition, especially when estranged from Him, has the proclivity to complicate matters. So it isn’t “many different roads” that lead to the same God. Only one. Jesus declared it…”I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me (John 14:6).
    Further yet, Jesus promised those who would believe in Him, and become interested in doing what He wants, He offered this promise of the Father… “If anyone loves me he will keep my word, and my Father will love him and we will come to him and make our home with him (John 14:23).” This occurs because of the amazing grace of God. One of the best definitions of grace I’ve ever heard is this… “God acting in our lives, to accomplish what we cannot accomplish on our own.”
    The Holy Spirit of God is a Person. He has characteristics and qualities like any other personality. When you encounter Him, you will know it, and no one will need to tell you. He is a power. He is love (agape). He is joy.
    Some scriptures that provide evidence you are His… “When you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him (Jesus), were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it… (Eph. 1:13-14).” Guarantee is like “the deposit or earnest money” which is the indication you are His and He is yours!
    Or… “And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, Abba! Father! (Gal. 4:6)” Or…”He (the Father) who has prepared us for this very thing is God, who has given us the Spirit as a guarantee (2 Cor. 5:5).” Or… “The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, and if children, then heirs–heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ…(Rom. 8:16-17).”
    God provides tangible evidence through His Holy Spirit, and when you encounter and experience the reality of His Spirit, you will be able to declare like the psalmist…”O taste and see the Lord is good (Ps. 34:8).” He definitely is good! Again, God does not play hide and seek, but desires for us to know Him…to truly know Him. That is the essence of the warning in Matt. 7:21.

  • RichardAubrey

    Missed again. If it’s none of my business, it’s none of yours. And if it becomes possible to abort a fetus which tests show would be a gay individual, then that abortion is not your business. What if the population of gays declines by, say, 90% due to such abortions? Still, nobody’s business. You said so yourself. This is one of those careful-what-you=ask-for things. Like that guy who claimed to identify as a girl and took first place in track and field at state. Can’t challenge him. That would be transphobia.

  • Snooterpoot

    I stand by my statement. The reasons why women or couples decide to abort is none of anyone else’s business, your parade of imaginary horribles notwithstanding.

    Your comment about the guy who claimed to be a woman is a non sequitur. Nice try, though.

  • RichardAubrey

    Point about the guy winning the girls’ track meet is to say he can’t be challenged. So you need to ask the girls what they think. So, according to you, the gay community has nothing to say to a frequent choice women may make to abort fetuses which will be gay children. Just remember that when it happens. It’s not your/their business.

  • Snooterpoot

    He can’t be challenged according to whom? Was it actually a transgender woman/girl? If so it wasn’t a guy that was competing.

    As far as I am concerned, no, the “gay community,” as if we are a monolithic group of people, has no right to say a damn thing about any reason whatsoever a woman or couple chooses to abort.

    How many times do I have to say this to you? The reason a woman or couple decides to abort is none of anyone else’s business! Bring up all the unlikely scenarios you wish; my answer will be the same.

  • Proud Amelekite

    [Jesus declared it…]

    Even assuming your Jesus is the real deal there are 40,000 different sects of his church. So which is it? Lutheran? Presbyterian? Catholic? Southern Baptist? Are the Mega Churches the right ones? Episcopalians? I know many from different sects. All feel called by the Holy Spirit and all have different interpretations of Scripture. How do I know you are right and Benjamin is wrong? Can you prove it? Perform miracles?

    Face it. Your Christ is the author of confusion.

  • RichardAubrey

    A guy can claim female gender if it seems to be useful, and who has standing to challenge him? If an almost-good GPS golfer wants to clean up in the LPGA, all he has to do is insist he’s had an epiphany. He’s in. Right. Nobody has standing to complain if abortion for selection against gays becomes possible. Not even gays.

  • Snooterpoot

    Nobody has standing to complain if abortion for selection against gays becomes possible. Not even gays.

    No, people (not gays) who are gay or lesbian have no standing to complain about any reason any woman or couple who have chosen to abort may have.

    Are you being deliberately obtuse? Do you think you can make me say there is a reason why that private decision is anyone else’s business?

    You can’t. You’ve become as annoying as a gnat.

  • Widge Widge

    Good pony th family research council hate group cult in USA are proven liars

  • Widge Widge

    They all supported slavery too so you argument is mute

  • Widge Widge

    The Holy Spirit told me you are wrong

  • Widge Widge

    Abortion happens for any reason so a ok you both agree well done

  • Bones

    So is genocide.

    Oh wait a minute. …

  • Bones

    You seem to be talking about a state policy.

    Pretty sure they’ve tried killing gays off in the past…only after they were born…..with help from people like you….

  • Bones

    If we’re bringing up scenarios how about real ones like the ten year old that was forced with the Church’s backing to have her father’s child in Paraguay or the woman in Ireland who died from carrying a dead foetus.

  • RichardAubrey

    You’re losing it. According to ABC, when a genetic test determines a fetus has Downs Syndrome, abortion is chosen 90% of the time. Those are women’s choices. My point is that if genetic testing can determine gay in utero and women choose to abort, nobody has standing to say anything about it. Not our business. We also see abortion for sex selection not being challenged by pro-choice folks. So it would be interesting to see the cognitive dissonance if gays are being aborted.

  • RichardAubrey

    Jeez. You guys can’t see the forest for your own nose. My point is that if genetic testing for gay becomes possible, nobody–including the gay community–has standing to say anything about it.

  • Realist1234

    Phil – Ill quote Tim Keller – sorry I sometimes find other people can explain my position better than me!

    I find it frustrating when I read or hear columnists, pundits, or journalists dismiss Christians as inconsistent because “they pick and choose which of the rules in the Bible to obey.” What I hear most often is “Christians ignore lots of Old Testament texts—about not eating raw meat or pork or shellfish, not executing people for breaking the Sabbath, not wearing garments woven with two kinds of material and so on. Then they condemn homosexuality. Aren’t you just picking and choosing what they want to believe from the Bible?”

    It is not that I expect everyone to have the capability of understanding that the whole Bible is about Jesus and God’s plan to redeem his people, but I vainly hope that one day someone will access their common sense (or at least talk to an informed theological advisor) before leveling the charge of inconsistency.

    First of all, let’s be clear that it’s not only the Old Testament that has proscriptions about homosexuality. The New Testament has plenty to say about it, as well. Even Jesus says, in his discussion of divorce in Matthew 19:3-12 that the original design of God was for one man and one woman to be united as one flesh, and failing that, (v. 12) persons should abstain from marriage and from sex.

    However, let’s get back to considering the larger issue of inconsistency regarding things mentioned in the OT that are no longer practiced by the New Testament people of God. Most Christians don’t know what to say when confronted about this. Here’s a short course on the relationship of the Old Testament to the New Testament:

    The Old Testament devotes a good amount of space to describing the various sacrifices that were to be offered in the tabernacle (and later temple) to atone for sin so that worshippers could approach a holy God. As part of that sacrificial system there was also a complex set of rules for ceremonial purity and cleanness. You could only approach God in worship if you ate certain foods and not others, wore certain forms of dress, refrained from touching a variety of objects, and so on. This vividly conveyed, over and over, that human beings are spiritually unclean and can’t go into God’s presence without purification.

    But even in the Old Testament, many writers hinted that the sacrifices and the temple worship regulations pointed forward to something beyond them. (cf. 1 Samuel 15:21-22; Psalm 50:12-15; 51:17; Hosea 6:6). When Christ appeared he declared all foods ‘clean’ (Mark 7:19) and he ignored the Old Testament clean laws in other ways, touching lepers and dead bodies.

    But the reason is made clear. When he died on the cross the veil in the temple was ripped through, showing that the need for the entire sacrificial system with all its clean laws had been done away with. Jesus is the ultimate sacrifice for sin, and now Jesus makes us “clean.”

    The entire book of Hebrews explains that the Old Testament ceremonial laws were not so much abolished as fulfilled by Christ. Whenever we pray ‘in Jesus name’, we ‘have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus’ (Hebrews 10:19). It would, therefore, be deeply inconsistent with the teaching of the Bible as a whole if we were to continue to follow the ceremonial laws.

    The New Testament gives us further guidance about how to read the Old Testament. Paul makes it clear in places like Romans 13:8ff that the apostles understood the Old Testament moral law to still be binding on us. In short, the coming of Christ changed how we worship but not how we live. The moral law is an outline of God’s own character—his integrity, love, and faithfulness. And so all the Old Testament says about loving our neighbor, caring for the poor, generosity with our possessions, social relationships, and commitment to our family is still in force. The New Testament continues to forbid for example committing adultery, and all the sex ethic of the Old Testament is re-stated throughout the New Testament (Matthew 5:27-30; 1 Corinthians 6:9-20; 1 Timothy 1:8-11.) If the New Testament has reaffirmed a commandment, then it is still in force for us today.

    Further, the New Testament explains another change between the Testaments. Sins continue to be sins—but the penalties change. In the Old Testament things like adultery or incest were punishable with civil sanctions like execution. This is because at that time God’s people existed in the form of a nation-state and so all sins had civil penalties.

    But in the New Testament the people of God are an assembly of churches all over the world, living under many different governments. The church is not a civil government, and so sins are dealt with by exhortation and, at worst, exclusion from membership. This is how a case of incest in the Corinthian church is dealt with by Paul (1 Corinthians 5:1ff. and 2 Corinthians 2:7-11.) Why this change? Under Christ, the gospel is not confined to a single nation—it has been released to go into all cultures and peoples.

    Once you grant the main premise of the Bible—about the surpassing significance of Christ and his salvation—then all the various parts of the Bible make sense. Because of Christ, the ceremonial law is repealed. Because of Christ the church is no longer a nation-state imposing civil penalties. It all falls into place. However, if you reject the idea of Christ as Son of God and Savior, then, of course, the Bible is at best a mish-mash containing some inspiration and wisdom, but most of it would have to be rejected as foolish or erroneous.

    So where does this leave us? There are only two possibilities. If Christ is God, then this way of reading the Bible makes sense and is perfectly consistent with its premise. The other possibility is that you reject Christianity’s basic thesis—you don’t believe Jesus was the resurrected Son of God—and then the Bible is no sure guide for you about much of anything. But the one thing you can’t really say in fairness is that Christians are being inconsistent with their beliefs to accept the moral statements in the Old Testament while not practicing other ones.

    One way to respond to the charge of inconsistency may be to ask a counter-question—“Are you asking me to deny the very heart of my Christian beliefs?” If you are asked, “Why do you say that?” you could respond, “If I believe Jesus is the the resurrected Son of God, I can’t follow all the ‘clean laws’ of diet and practice, and I can’t offer animal sacrifices. All that would be to deny the power of Christ’s death on the cross. And so those who really believe in Christ must follow some Old Testament texts and not others.”

  • There is so much wrong with this article I can’t even begin to correct it without spending an hour. I’ll try to hit the high points and we can go from there if you’re interested.

    1. The whole Bible is about Jesus and God redeeming His people.

    No, it isn’t. It is obviously about many more things than that, primarily because the Bible is not a cohesive book that dropped out of the sky. It is an aggregation of writings over time that held special significance and authority to the faith communities who both produced and received them. “The Bible” is not about anything because “the Bible” is an anthology that didn’t even exist at the time the people received these writings.

    2. The New Testament also has bad things to say about homosexuality.

    Yep. That doesn’t really answer the question of how you decide which OT laws to keep observing, though. If you’re going to say, “If they show up again in the NT,” then I guess bestiality is fine.

    3. Christ’s death on the cross obviates the sacrificial system.

    Ok, but the sacrificial laws are a very small facet of the Law. It’s ridiculously careless for Tim to lump the clothing and dietary laws in here. How does the death of Christ fulfill the law to avoid wearing blended materials? I don’t remember the verse that says, “Jesus, who wore blended materials on behalf of us all.”

    4. The moral law is still in force, but not the ceremonial ones.

    This has absolutely zero biblical basis. Aquinas formalized this division in the 13th century. The Torah does not divide itself into these categories. When the Jews in the times of the Maccabees did not resist enemy soldiers because it was the Sabbath, and instead chose to die, it did not seem to occur to them that Sabbath observance was only ceremonial.

    This really just makes me ask the next form of the question, “How do you know which laws are moral and which ones are ceremonial since there is no biblical text that divides them up NOR addresses the issue of the ongoing validity of those categories? Is keeping the Sabbath holy moral or ceremonial?” I strongly suspect that Tim Keller’s answer would be that the moral laws are the ones that we think we have to keep, today, and some laws have “moral parts,” which are the parts we think we have to observe, today, and thus the circle remains unbroken.

    5. If Christ is God…

    The deity of Christ has absolutely zero to do with this argument, and his random invocation of it shows he’s long on rhetoric and short on exegesis. Especially since he contrasts this with “if Jesus is not the resurrected Son of God….” Those are not equivalent statements. There is so much unclear thinking in this article that it makes me embarrassed to be an inheritor of the Reformation.

  • Bones

    The whole ceremonial/moral/civil divide of the Law is an arbitrary false division of the Law.

    Of course Tim Keller gets to pick which law is moral or ceremonial. I mean what would marrying a rapist or the fact that only women virgins underwent public examination and the fact that men could divorce while women couldn’t and married men could