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Old 02-21-2003, 02:19 PM   #31
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Originally posted by gabrielvox
The bible does teach that homosexuality is wrong and that those who practice it unrepentedly will perish on God's day of judgement. It says that about a multitude of other sins as well.
"Homosexuality," as in the idea that they are a distinct sexual class, is an 1874 concept. The Bible does not condemn this, because, prior to 1874, it is believed that straight people just whimsically committed homosexual acts. You may ask yourself, "Why would they think this?"

The world of 2000+ years ago is very much different to today. Both Ancient Greek and Ancient Hebrew have words that have either no English translation at all or a very clumsy translation to a concept that no longer exists. That is very much the case for so-called anti-homosexual passages. Sodom and Gomorrah, for instance, is not a condemnation of homosexuality, as often misinterpreted. It is a violation of the Jewish custom of hospitality to strangers, which was very much valued. God smote Sodom and Gomorrah not because of sex, but because the entire city went out of their way to insult Lot in the greatest manner possible--by attacking his guests. Sex is not the point of this passage, as Lot voluntarily offers to give the mob his virgin daughters--they are not his "guests." This passage is mirrored in Judges with the city of Gibeah, where a mob also steps at someone's door, and they raped and killed a female concubine. If this really had to do with sex, then Gibeah would be a pronouncement against heterosexuality.

In both the Old and the New Testament, there is the problem of temple cult rituals, where worshippers would have mass orgies with the temple priests. It was believed that, through these sexual orgies in the temple, that they would get closer to the gods. Since this is a very foreign concept that has long been forgotten, words for these rituals and the "male temple prostitutes" are often mistranslated as "homosexuality." The male prostitutes were not homosexual; they had sex with both men and women in the temple orgies. St. Paul's reference to the prostitutes were generally in anger to idolatry.

This is also a likely origin for Christianity's sexual hang-ups, since often they merely did the exact opposite of what pagan religions did. If pagans believed that sex brought us closer to the gods, then, automatically, Christians believed that celibacy would bring us closer to God.

This is a complex concept that has nothing to do with modern knowledge of sexual orientation.

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Old 02-21-2003, 02:52 PM   #32
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Interesting points Melon.

I ask tho, just in reading the passages, *some* opinion offered:

- what is the interpretation of 'men who lie with men', condemned several time in Scripture? Not sure if this was in the context of a pagan rituals..

- God didnt smite Sodom (if you believe he did at all) because of inhospitality - dang thats a pretty harsh God! He smote it because it had sunken to a level of depravity that made it the worst place on earth - homosexual, heterosexual, idolatry, offering babies as sacrificies to pagan gods, whatever acts all included. None were any better or any worse. The angels were sent, not to test the Sodomites hospitality, but to warn Lot and his family that they'd better get the heck out of there or they'd be killed too. Lot wasn't attempting to appease the hospitality rules, he knew the two angels were from God and as such the designs of the crowd were an abomination to him. If it had been a mob of angry horny females his distaste would have been the same I would imagine. It is interesting to note that not even sex with two young virgins could have pacified those men. I would hazard, following the complete story, that this incensed God even further. It was illicit sexual depravity of any kind that had plunged these cities, Sodom, Gomorrah, and Gibeah into God's disapproval that was the point of these fables, not hospitality.

- Again, I don't believe St Paul's reference to be mainly about idolatry. To me it was more about depraved sexual acts that had been deemed immoral (het/homosexual/whatever) happening in God's house. Thats more like disrespectful abomination than idolatry.

I think tho that I will leave it at that as Im simply relating what I read when I read certain passages, not necessarily what I believe myself. And this thread is more about people stating their affiliations and beliefs than discussing minute details of scripture, which I myself have been known to fall into..

And will restate that I think that using Christianity as an excuse to abuse anyone based on what they do in terms of sexual behavior is just plain wrong.
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Old 02-21-2003, 07:13 PM   #33
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I actually wrote a whole response to this...

...but I have decided not to post it here, because I don't want to derail this thread. I would have PM-ed it to you if you were a Premium Member, but, alas, you aren't. If you're interested in reading it, post your e-mail address I guess, and I'll get back to you.

Overall, though, the idea that sexual sin is the worst of them all is a modern construct. Idolatry was on the top of their list in the polytheistic world of 2000 years ago.

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Old 02-21-2003, 07:39 PM   #34
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Hey Melon,

Im sure I would be very interested to read your response, as I have always enjoyed your thoughts on religion etc.

Unfortunately I can't post my email address up here as the last time I did I experienced some 'issues'.

I'm working on the Premium thingy tho...stay tuned..
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Old 02-21-2003, 07:41 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally posted by gabrielvox
Hey Melon,

Im sure I would be very interested to read your response, as I have always enjoyed your thoughts on religion etc.

Unfortunately I can't post my email address up here as the last time I did I experienced some 'issues'.

I'm working on the Premium thingy tho...stay tuned..
LOL...I understand. I'm too scared to post mine myself.

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Old 02-22-2003, 12:50 AM   #36
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Quote:
Originally posted by SkeeK
Basically I'm just wondering about some things such as what you believe. agnostic? humanist? perhaps you worship Loki? If you are part of an 'organized' religion... how often do you go to church (or it's equivalent)? how do you feel about churches? how closely do you follow the bible/how literally do you interpret it? what caused you to be the way you are spiritually? If you could mention your age too, that would be helpful.
Quoting the above so I'll remember what the questions are...

In labelling myself, I am Roman Catholic with tendencies toward some Eastern religions and practices, especially hatha yoga and Buddhism.

I go to church in spurts. I rarely miss midnight mass at Christmas, Ash Wednesday, or any part of Holy Week. (I consider Lent my favorite "holiday." ) As for the rest of the time, I find that my biggest obstacle in getting to church is not being married to a Catholic. When I first met my husband, he considered Catholicism to be some kind of Bizarro World. Now he's more open to it, but he is still not Catholic and is not really motivated to go with me. And I find it difficult to go to church by myself, for some reason. But the time I spend away from church is quite religious and spiritual for me, which makes up for not going...in my mind, anyway. Almost every night I meditate, I read from a book entitled "Lives of the Saints" and say the specific saint's prayer for the day, and then I pray thoroughly (I run the gamut of topics) as I lie in bed. I have also been known to pray the occasional rosary outside of church.

In regard to the Bible, it is my belief that much of the Bible is to be interpreted symbolically rather than literally. I do not claim to have read the whole thing by any means, but I am working on it. The Catholic Church believes in many things that are outside the realm of the Bible, and that's great by me. I have a hard time with people/religions who take the Bible one hundred percent literally and have a Bible verse to back up any agenda they might have. (No offense, it's just true that I have a problem with it.) I certainly do not adhere to all the moral guidelines that many people take from the Bible. (For instance, I use birth control.) I especially think that people pick and choose the guidelines they want and conveniently forget about the other ones. It has also been my experience that the ones who are trying so hard to condemn everyone else would find it much more useful to focus on their own behavior. It may seem like I'm on a tangent here, but when I think of the Bible, it often makes my skin crawl because of all the people I've seen using the Bible to further their own political, social, or moral agendas. It is such a controversial book, but I am doing my best to understand it.

What caused me to be the way I am? Here's the evolution. I was born into the Roman Catholic Church. I voluntarily was confirmed in high school. About a year later, I became disillusioned with religion because of all the atrocities throughout history that have been committed in the name of God, Allah, etc., especially by my own church. I reconciled this by recognizing that churches are run by people, and we are by nature fallible. In college I took a course where we read St. Augustine's Confessions in Latin. Everyone in the course, from Catholics to Jews to Quakers, was deeply affected by this book, including me. If I hadn't been engaged to be married, I would have explored becoming a nun, so inspired was I by Augustine. Around that time, I also became interested in yoga and its philosophies. Now, a few years later, I incorporate the eightfold path of yoga and what I know of Buddhism into my Catholicism. I live by the yamas and niyamas (ten dos and don'ts, or commandments, of yoga) in addition to the ten commandments of the Bible. I find Buddhist meditation and teachings to be a powerful means of connecting with the divine and understanding my own humanness. I usually even offer up my meditation practice as a prayer for someone or something. I thank God for giving me yoga and meditation, because I feel that they are just more tools given by Him to provide me opportunities to feel His presence, worship Him in another way, and contribute peace to the universe. So far, the tenets of yoga and Buddhism have only complemented and enhanced my Catholicism, although I am sure that on some technical levels there are irreconcilable philosophical differences.

I guess that's why I am all about letting people have their own religions so long as they don't force their religions/beliefs on others. Religion for me is a private affair, and I have no authority to convince people that my way is the only right way. If I am to convert people, it must be through example, not force or missionary work, which I find appalling. I sure have rambled a lot, so Skeek, I hope you've found some of this interesting or enlightening. I conclude with OM and Amen!

I'm 26 years old.

By the way, I've enjoyed reading everyone else's experiences and philosophies. Great thread.
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Old 03-13-2003, 09:57 AM   #37
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amna said previously (in a previous post on this thread)
I'm a Shia muslim... I try to study more about it every day, becuase there is so much to learn... I attend gatherings at the center almost every week... Learning, and praying gives me more patience with life... It is a beautiful religion and every rule and story in the quran makes sense...
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what a coincidence, i just found out that "Shia" muslims are in a small region in the south of iraq! so there must be a [b]lot[/] to learn about the other sects, such as sunni and shiite(or are they really too far away to CARE about, little female islamic studier, who must bow and pray at least as many times as a [b]male[/] shia muslim (is it five times for the male in shia islam?) and then has to bang her head on the ground to show humiliation! that must be a great religion to practice! (the foregoing is an actual statement, not a cut down or disrespectul thing in anyway, ok, please don't think i don't think that shia does not have validity in the eyes of Allah, because the god of the muslims is NOT the god of the Christians, be they Presbyterian or Catholic (holy and universal ) or the Lutherans..."YahweH", little islamic studier, is the Jewish (or Hebrew) god and Allah is some demon that infected your leader, like Adam Smith or whover is the founder of the Mormons here in the States. Does that look clear to you?

If not, go see the verse in the Quaran that refers to the way G-d speaks to His People, the jews, formerly of Judah, LOL!! (and partially Israel, except they got carted off by the Syrians even before the ancestors of the current iraqies took the residents of Judah, a very sad 70 years, but, alas, to return to Jeruslam...
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:08 AM   #38
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:16 AM   #39
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Debbie, you really need to stop.
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:34 AM   #40
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:52 AM   #41
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is Melon disgusted now?

I am sorry, i will cease and desist, here. (hey, you are right, Sicy!)

What a terrific moderator, we have here, paying attention to the "refugee" status members, who REALLY are New Yorkers, had not several hundred threads dissappeared over the summer
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Old 03-13-2003, 10:58 AM   #42
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What a terrific moderator, we have here, paying attention to the "refugee" status members, who REALLY are New Yorkers, had not several hundred threads dissappeared over the summer
Lord knows that's what is really important. One's member status on a message board.
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Old 03-13-2003, 11:05 AM   #43
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Quote:
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is Melon disgusted now?
Since you brashly inserted my name in here for no particular reason, but to ASSume that I complained (when I didn't), allow me to ask you a question that everyone here in Interference.com is too cowardly to ask.

What is wrong with you?

Writing racist threads, insulting other peoples' religions, and, most confoundingly, formulating incoherent threads that no one can decipher but yourself.

I remember you a year or so back. We did disagree on several subjects, but you always wrote very intelligently, and I was quite sorry to see you go. Then you return, and with this kind of stuff! Are you the same person? Are there multiple people using your screenname? You either need to clean up your act or get professional help--your choice.

I am a very patient man myself, but when you start involving me in all this for no reason, expect me to bite back.

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Old 03-13-2003, 11:05 AM   #44
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Old 03-13-2003, 11:15 AM   #45
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She wont be answering your question melon.
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