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Old 11-15-2009, 01:12 AM   #976
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And there it is again. You, and obviously many others, believe that God says it is a sin and therefore society shouldn't allow them to get married.

Please tell me why one religion - or any religion - should be able to dictate this?

Despite your well-written posts (which are appreciated, even in the midst of the snide comments that are often just born of frustration), we're still at the same spot we seem to always end up at: another faith-based reason as to "why not."

It makes no sense to me, and just makes me incredibly sad and frustrated.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:12 AM   #977
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that was my point
and my point too.

we're only talking about the state. churches can do what they like.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:13 AM   #978
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That was funny. Good one!

I would like to point out - we all could post pics of the extreme edges of our viewpoints - sort of an appeal to emotion tactic.
It was inteneded to be.

And the photos were pretty obviously parody (aren't they? ) -- I mean, Man-on-Horse sex and Do Minorities get into Heaven? Come on these can't be real...can they?
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:15 AM   #979
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You made an interesting comment above. You said “if society deems this prudent” – is that a general allowance or specific to this point about divorce?
There is a traditional distinction between law and inalienable rights, all the more highlighted by the creation of the Bill of Rights over two centuries ago and continuing court precedent standing on the side of civil rights. I do not believe that society has the right to discriminate against classes of people--in other words, the civil and equal rights of a minority should not, morally speaking, be subject to a vote. We should remember that black civil rights, for instance, were not achieved by popular vote; the Reconstruction-era amendments only passed the former Confederate states because it was mandatory for readmission into the Union, with much of the remainder of progress only achieved through court cases and Congressional laws.

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If this is true – wouldn’t that reinforce the argument against gay marriage here in America? If religion is a “ritualization” of the culture’s values – and religion forbids gay marriage – then the cultures’ values are against gay marriage. And if Christianity is practiced differently around the world, and all those practices are valid – then doesn’t that make our version of Christianity also valid?
Of course, the trap one gets into is that of cultural relativism. Is something "right" or "wrong" just because it's a traditional and widely held belief? I'm reminded of the disconnect between U.S. condemnation of female circumcision in Africa and enthusiastic support for male circumcision. In both circumstances, both practices are justified out of traditional habit, rather than out of any rational reasoning. But, frankly, I don't care how many people support it, because I think that a most substantive moral argument can be made against unnecessary surgeries against those who are unable to consent.

But I digress. Arguing that religion is the "ritualization of culture" should, frankly, evoke contemplation and humility in an institution generally known for unabashed dogmatic statements. Should "social morality" (in contrast to "personal morality") be based on something as potentially arbitrary as religious mores, especially considering its poor track record on issues of civil rights historically speaking? Instead, this is where I defer to Western philosophy and its methods of logic and reason. For me, the philosophical heritage of the U.S. and the Western world makes gay marriage a no-brainer in favour of equality.

As an aside, as an example of differing prescriptions according to social and personal mores, I do not like abortion and nor would I advocate it. However, from a societal standpoint, is it permissible to force a woman to bare a child against her will, especially considering the stigma often attached to pregnancy? In the spirit of personal freedom, I tend to err on the side of pro-choice for social considerations.

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Is this statement descriptive or prescriptive? Are you saying that marriage should reflect the cultural values or just happens to follow the cultural values? Either way, great point. I think you can see why people are choosing gay marriage as the “battleground” so to speak. If marriage is representative of the culture’s values – then allowing gay marriage is a reflection that the culture has accepted homosexual behavior as nothing inappropriate. If gay marriage remains as it is – then the culture has still not completely accepted homosexual behavior as appropriate. Interesting…
Irvine hit one point on the nail: we're not a "behaviour"; we're people.

Just to clarify, religion "just happens" to follow cultural values, and I optimistically believe that those values are of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and equality. And I believe that's where the majority of people are heading, even if the institutional church is generally heading in the opposite direction.

I do think that, while gay marriage is a "battleground," it is merely symptomatic of a larger problem in the United States. For one, it was noted that the unifying feature of American culture, in absence of ethnic unity, is material wealth. That is, as long as the money flows, Americans are happy and unified; but, progressively over the last 30 years, starting from the "Rust Belt" to a nationwide phenomenon presently, the success that has defined the "American Dream" is no longer guaranteed. And without that guarantee, the American public is starting to resort to infighting, much of which I believe to be misdirected and unproductive. Of course, much of this is starting to resemble Arnold Toynbee's theories on societal collapse, which is a whole other can of worms. Basically, homosexuals have as much relevance to current societal turmoil as Jews had on the origin of the Black Death in the Middle Ages--a popular, but irrelevant scapegoat.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:38 AM   #980
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And there it is again. You, and obviously many others, believe that God says it is a sin and therefore society shouldn't allow them to get married..
Do you not accept Melon's view that the religion is essentially the "ritualization" of the culture's values? Meaning, my beliefs about homosexuality - as taught through my religion are actually a reflection of the values taught by my culture. Hence, it is today's culture, not my religion, that is the true source of my opinion on gay marriage - which is to oppose it.

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Please tell me why one religion - or any religion - should be able to dictate this?
Cultural values are constantly debated and fought over be every ideology and belief system. Why should secular humanism dictate views? Or communism? Or fascism? It is, and always be, a work in progress.

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Despite your well-written posts (which are appreciated, even in the midst of the snide comments that are often just born of frustration), we're still at the same spot we seem to always end up at: another faith-based reason as to "why not."
would you accept a scientific reason? Would a scientist even dare try to do a neutral study on this in today's political climate? Would anyone even accept the outcome if it did point against gay marriage? I think these are fair questions.

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It makes no sense to me, and just makes me incredibly sad and frustrated.
I fear this is the case for both sides of the argument.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:41 AM   #981
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No one here has fully explained it yet.
I did explain it. Whether you accept my reasons or not is up to you.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:46 AM   #982
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I did explain it. Whether you accept my reasons or not is up to you.


you still fail to address the actual people in this thread: myself and Melon.

we are both in long-term, committed relationships.

what is it about our relationships that makes it so that you see nothing worthwhile about offering us the same protections that you and your wife are entitled to (and, indeed, Britney Spears and Hugh Hefner are entitled to), and why do you feel it is necessary to maintain the distinction of "marriage" vs. "not a marriage"?

surely you can offer us more than the automaton "this is what my religion says," yes? you can at least distinguish between your religion and the secular government that offers atheists civil marriage (which has nothing to do with god).
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:48 AM   #983
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would you accept a scientific reason? Would a scientist even dare try to do a neutral study on this in today's political climate? Would anyone even accept the outcome if it did point against gay marriage? I think these are fair questions.

but you and INDY (especially) like to point out that it's currently 32-0 when it comes to gay marriage at the ballot box. surely this is an immensely favorable climate for said "neutral" study about homosexuality.

also, what "outcome" are you talking about? what scientific "reason" could there be against gay marriage?
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:03 AM   #984
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It has been my observation - that over time - God's wisdom prevails both personally, and socially. I concede that Melon's interpretations regarding the Bible's stance on homosexuality may be correct, and I always pray that the Holy Spirit will open my eyes and heart to the actual meaning of any passage, not just the ones concerning homosexuality.

As it stands now, it just seems that if the Bible genuinely wanted to make an exception for homosexuality (and as many have pointed out, there were certainly homosexuals in Biblical times) then there would be more written about it. Every instance of homosexuality written in the Bible is portrayed in a negative light. It would seem - that if God did intend to permit loving gay marriages - there would be at least one example and just a tad bit of wisdom thrown their way on how to be a good loving gay married couple.
Allan Bloom noted that if one were to look at all philosophy prior to the 18th century or so, it would all be pro-authoritarian. Likewise, all philosophy prior to the 20th century or so was generally written from a non-feminist POV. And this is only because these writings were all a product of the environment in which they were written. The Bible, in all critical analysis, is of no exception, and perfectly reflects both the progress and deficiencies of the times in which it was written. It should be remembered that the Bible does not, specifically, refer to "homosexuality," because, as a word and a concept, it does not exist until the mid-to-late 19th century. And if one looks at the etymology of all the ancient Hebrew and Greek words that have subsequently been translated as "homosexuality" in modern Bibles, all of them refer to archaic practices and taboos that have no relevance in the modern vernacular.

It cannot be expected for Plato to be an ardent defender of representative democracy nor for Aquinas to be a feminist, because such concepts were foreign to their timelines. It is also equally preposterous to expect the Bible to anticipate modern homosexuality, as a practice corresponding to modern heterosexual relationships, particularly when same sex acts of the era were typically done as a matter of rape as a weapon of humiliation (Sodom and Gomorrah; also committed against Iranian dissidents), as an act related to pagan temple prostitution rituals (Leviticus, Romans), or related to Greco-Roman pederasty (1 Corinthians). Morally speaking, rape, idolatry, prostitution, and pederasty/pedophilia are not tolerated in heterosexuality, and if were to see Biblical passages in which the above were heterosexual acts, we would not come to the immediate conclusion that all heterosexuality was to be banned--only those specific acts within heterosexuality. And yet, when it comes to homosexuality, we're all ready to be academically sloppy!

But returning to the fact that Plato will never be anything more than authoritarian, Aquinas as misogynist, and the Bible as permanently reflective of the c. 500 B.C. to A.D. 100 (setting aside, of course, inserted translation biases of the following two millennia) time period in which it was written down, we have two options: either we discard them as obsolete and irrelevant, in context of our "enlightened" present, or we accept their limitations, while still divining truths from them. I say this, knowing that the modernist/postmodernist response was mainly precisely to abandon them, at least in terms of Plato and Aquinas. The early church fathers also ran into a similar dilemma regarding the Old Testament, as it had been seen as equally irrelevant in light of the new truths created by Jesus and the New Testament. Ultimately, it was decided that the New Testament could not be understood without the Old, and I would counter that the same can be said about the ability to understand our modern world and the role of classical philosophy in leading up to it. That doesn't mean we embrace authoritarianism, misogyny, and perceived homophobia; it means that the important truths to be gleaned from Plato, Aquinas, and the Bible are greater than their flaws.

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"Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." - Romans 13:8-10
Amen!
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:07 AM   #985
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Two non-related, mentally competent adults who love each other and are willing to enter into the commitment that makes a marriage.
who determines which people are "mentally competent"? Which standard will they use? IQ? SAT? CAT Scan? Do they have to love each other? What is they realy, realy like each other - can they marry then?

Please describe how your definition of marriage, "Two non-related, mentally competent adults who love each other and are willing to enter into the commitment..." - is any different than an ordinary dating relationship?

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You tell me why my definition is inferior to yours.
Only if you can first tell me why your personal definition is superior to mine
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:08 AM   #986
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what scientific "reason" could there be against gay marriage?
My point exactly. Thank you.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:37 AM   #987
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Agreed, and I think you will find that the Catholic Church (the main church in this discussion) makes divorce much more difficult.
This is the perception, but the ugly truth is; it's just as political as any other realm of society. I have first hand knowledge...

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I happen to agree with the Catholic Church's view that being a homosexual is not a sin, but acting it out is. I don't fully understand why God creates the desire - then forbids it.
Answer me this, why do you think THIS is the only sin that doesn't seem to have logic behind it? I've asked you this before, but I'm wondering if time has granted you an answer.


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As it stands now, it just seems that if the Bible genuinely wanted to make an exception for homosexuality (and as many have pointed out, there were certainly homosexuals in Biblical times) then there would be more written about it. Every instance of homosexuality written in the Bible is portrayed in a negative light. It would seem - that if God did intend to permit loving gay marriages - there would be at least one example and just a tad bit of wisdom thrown their way on how to be a good loving gay married couple.
Really? I remember when you first start posting here, you said you were in seminary school but you were flat out wrong about a very important part of biblical history, and you were corrected by those who didn't agree with your stance and even those that did agree with your stance. At the time it shocked me that someone who was that far along didn't know this... I have to ask did you ever finish?

The reason I ask is that every person I know that went through seminary school, no matter if they are considered more conservative or liberal, they all agree that one of the first things they learn is that there isn't an example for every aspect of life or question that comes up. Almost every seminary student I've ever talked to tells me how this is something that is stressed from almost day one... So I find it odd that you of all people try and play this card.

I mean it seems obvious that Jesus didn't talk to his disciples at the time about the world being round because frankly they wouldn't understand, he didn't speak much on women's rights because they wouldn't have understood, he also didn't speak about interracial marriage but surely you don't think that is a sin, right?
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:44 AM   #988
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Owe nothing to anyone, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. The commandments, 'You shall not commit adultery; you shall not kill; you shall not steal; you shall not covet,' and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this saying, (namely) 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' Love does no evil to the neighbor; hence, love is the fulfillment of the law." - Romans 13:8-10 Amen!
Melon, I am glad to see that in your extensive Biblical research you found a passage that you still consider relevant in these modern and "enlightened" times. It would be very unfortunate to lose this passage to history because it seems so beautiful, universal , and timeless. It is no wonder to me why this is one of the most famous quotes in Western Civilization, and used quite often - even by those mocking Christianity.

Another great passage (not quite as "beautiful" perhaps - but certainly as universal and timeless) is this one:

Quote:
"You shall not do at all what we are doing here today, every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes" - Deuteronomy 12:8
I also found it interesting that in the Catholic Catechism - the part addressing the problems with homosexuality are in the "Love Thy Neighbor" section, which is based on the quote you used above (which of course is based on other quotes in the Old and New Testament).

In the end, I think the greater problem is that many Christians (perhaps even some non-Christians) believe we are living in a time when every man is doing what is right in his own eyes...and in Biblical history , at least, that didn't work out too great.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:49 AM   #989
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I believe the same thing goes for hate, many Christians believe their hate is justified...
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:54 AM   #990
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Seriously, I do apologize. I do not mean to offend you by saying "homosexual behavior" instead of "homosexual". I happen to agree with the Catholic Church's view that being a homosexual is not a sin, but acting it out is. I don't fully understand why God creates the desire - then forbids it. But I can say that about a great many desires. It goes all the way to the beginning of mankind's relationship with God - desiring what is forbidden.

It has been my observation - that over time - God's wisdom prevails both personally, and socially. I concede that Melon's interpretations regarding the Bible's stance on homosexuality may be correct, and I always pray that the Holy Spirit will open my eyes and heart to the actual meaning of any passage, not just the ones concerning homosexuality.

As it stands now, it just seems that if the Bible genuinely wanted to make an exception for homosexuality (and as many have pointed out, there were certainly homosexuals in Biblical times) then there would be more written about it. Every instance of homosexuality written in the Bible is portrayed in a negative light. It would seem - that if God did intend to permit loving gay marriages - there would be at least one example and just a tad bit of wisdom thrown their way on how to be a good loving gay married couple.
To me it's fine and dandy for churches not to marry gay couples -- or any other couple for any other reason. I don't really care what churches allow or don't allow. But marriage in this country is a civil contract, so religious concerns should have no bearing whatsoever on that civil contract. I believe there are no valid religious reasons to deny civil marriage to any couple, gay or otherwise.
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