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Old 07-15-2007, 07:58 PM   #346
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i only have one question to some of the people here:

Do you accept and willing to live and make friend with homosexual people, because:

a). You wanted to, because you like them, you think they are good people, and you appreciate their friendship.

b). Becuase your religious believe said you have to. You accept them because it is your duty to follow hat he said, and obey God(s)' command.

c). None of the above. Please insert your own answer.


Which one describe you the best?

To be honest, I have HUGE problem with some people's attitude towards homosexua, or simply, same sex relationship. I come from a culture background that historically people establish brothels with beautiful boys dressed up, singing, dancing and serve male customers. For me, it's nothing wrong with it.
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Old 07-15-2007, 09:20 PM   #347
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Quote:
Originally posted by butter7
i only have one question to some of the people here:

Do you accept and willing to live and make friend with homosexual people, because:

a). You wanted to, because you like them, you think they are good people, and you appreciate their friendship.

b). Becuase your religious believe said you have to. You accept them because it is your duty to follow hat he said, and obey God(s)' command.

c). None of the above. Please insert your own answer.


Which one describe you the best?

To be honest, I have HUGE problem with some people's attitude towards homosexua, or simply, same sex relationship. I come from a culture background that historically people establish brothels with beautiful boys dressed up, singing, dancing and serve male customers. For me, it's nothing wrong with it.

Well, I haven't read most of this thread, but my answer is None of the Above. Why? Because a person's sexuality never even factors in when I'm meeting new people and making new friends. It's not like I go around seeking out homosexuals because I'm OK with that. I make friends, period, and after getting to know them, a few might turn out to be homosexuals. I don't like prejudging people regardless of whether I'm "for" or "against" them. Only my closest friends and I talk about things like sexual experiences and such, so I find it inappropriate to care or be curious about someone's sexuality unless they are one of my best friends. It's not a matter of whether I think it's right or wrong, I just think it's gross for people to be so fascinated with the sex lives of people they don't really know.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:05 AM   #348
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Irvine, I have been praying about how best to answer your question. I was discussing it with my wife and she said something very insightful. She reminded me that once we have that saving faith, God sees us as perfect, sinless, and glorious.

Essentially, God wouldn't see you as anything different than His son, Jesus Christ. It doesn't matter if you are homosexual or heterosexual - it matters only that you believe.

Irvine, if you were in our congregation - I would love you as a brother in Christ. I wouldn't send you to Exodus or even hint that you need to change your orientation. I would love and accept you for everything that you are, just as God would. Instead, I would simply be there for you as a brother and strategize with you about how best to demonstrate Christlike love in this often bleak world.
So this is a different sin to the others. When I asked you before, you indicated in a tizz that you'd already addressed this. Now, we're either misunderstanding each other, or it's something that Christian folk can't or don't want to answer. You say we're all sinners, we all have sin. That would be you, me, irvine, my neighbour. I'm not sure what ours all are, so let's get some assigned. I'm a thief, you covet your neighbour's ass, irvine is a gay bloke, my neighbour is a serial killer. I'd have to stop my thieving ways and say a sincere apology and pray for forgiveness. I'd probably want to make amends for the trouble I've caused. You'd have to stop coveting ass and be sincerely sorry for your ways. You'd pray for forgiveness. My neighbour would have to stop killing people, be naturally very sorry and pray for forgiveness. We're all able to change, and should change. Religion aside, these are not good things no matter how you slice it. Irvine, however, is a different sin. His is natural. He makes no conscious choice to have his orientation point in that direction. How does he do this? Does he need to pray for forgiveness? You're saying he'd be loved as is, so please explain then how he'd be accepted as is if it's 1. such a definite sin, 2. sin needs praying for forgiveness, 3. sin needs repentance so how does this contrition tie with acceptance? It sounds like he is not really in a position to be absolutely happy with who he is and be able to reconcile this with Christ, because a relationship with Christ will require him to repent, to pray for forgiveness, to ideally cease his sinning nature - essentially deny who he is to be welcomed. If you're genuine in the loving and open arms post above, then how is this really such a sin?

Lastly, do you really think Jesus puts this much politics and crap in the conditions he loves us with? It doesn't gel, surely.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:23 AM   #349
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So this is a different sin to the others. When I asked you before, you indicated in a tizz that you'd already addressed this. Now, we're either misunderstanding each other, or it's something that Christian folk can't or don't want to answer. You say we're all sinners, we all have sin. That would be you, me, irvine, my neighbour. I'm not sure what ours all are, so let's get some assigned. I'm a thief, you covet your neighbour's ass, irvine is a gay bloke, my neighbour is a serial killer. I'd have to stop my thieving ways and say a sincere apology and pray for forgiveness. I'd probably want to make amends for the trouble I've caused. You'd have to stop coveting ass and be sincerely sorry for your ways. You'd pray for forgiveness. My neighbour would have to stop killing people, be naturally very sorry and pray for forgiveness. We're all able to change, and should change. Religion aside, these are not good things no matter how you slice it. Irvine, however, is a different sin. His is natural. He makes no conscious choice to have his orientation point in that direction. How does he do this? Does he need to pray for forgiveness? You're saying he'd be loved as is, so please explain then how he'd be accepted as is if it's 1. such a definite sin, 2. sin needs praying for forgiveness, 3. sin needs repentance so how does this contrition tie with acceptance? It sounds like he is not really in a position to be absolutely happy with who he is and be able to reconcile this with Christ, because a relationship with Christ will require him to repent, to pray for forgiveness, to ideally cease his sinning nature - essentially deny who he is to be welcomed. If you're genuine in the loving and open arms post above, then how is this really such a sin?

Lastly, do you really think Jesus puts this much politics and crap in the conditions he loves us with? It doesn't gel, surely.
As a Christian, I believe that my sinful nature was put to death on the Cross. My new, eternal, perfect nature is now the only one that God is concerned with. The old nature was dealt with on the Cross with Christ. The new nature is sinless. When I sin, it is me trying to bring the old nature back to life, it is about me not trusting that God dealt with it by shedding the blood of Christ, the perfect sacrifice.

I am conceding, after much prayer and reflection, that God is not concerned that one of His children is a homosexual. He is concerned about the faith of his children, about preparing them for their eternal place in heaven. In heaven, we are all perfect. And that is how God sees all believers - perfect. The expression "all believers" includes someone who happens to be homosexual.
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Old 07-16-2007, 12:35 AM   #350
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Why this thread has certainly taken an unexpected, but very interesting turn...and I've been writing in threads like these here for close to seven years now!

I'm still pondering and reflecting about my issues with "fundamentalist Protestantism," by the way. I'm kind of appreciating the virtues of patience and silence right now.
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Old 07-16-2007, 01:18 AM   #351
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Originally posted by AEON

I am conceding, after much prayer and reflection, that God is not concerned that one of His children is a homosexual. He is concerned about the faith of his children, about preparing them for their eternal place in heaven. In heaven, we are all perfect. And that is how God sees all believers - perfect. The expression "all believers" includes someone who happens to be homosexual.
That's refreshing to hear but do you think that most christians share your belief that God is not concerned about one of his children being homosexual??
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:31 AM   #352
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Originally posted by jonnytakeawalk


That's refreshing to hear but do you think that most christians share your belief that God is not concerned about one of his children being homosexual??
To think such a way would go against the whole NT concept that our new identity is in Christ.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:32 AM   #353
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I'm kind of appreciating the virtues of patience and silence right now.
I certainly go through that phase from time to time. No need to rush a response.
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Old 07-16-2007, 02:50 AM   #354
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Originally posted by Ormus
"What is natural is moral, and what is moral is created by God."

This, indirectly, established the principle that sin was not inherent, and, as such, any sin must be a conscious choice. This idea was mainly expounded by Jewish theologians, particularly Moses Maimonides, back in Moorish Spain (just as classical and Islamic knowledge found its way north, notable Christian scholarship trickled down south, as well), who then declared that those born with traits contrary to "the Law" (which, in this case, referred to the various idiosyncrasies that make up Mosaic Law) were not violating it. Between this precedent and probably the shared experience of centuries of persecution, this is likely why Jews have been far quicker to embrace the modern understanding of homosexuality than Christianity (the Jews that are most hostile are Orthodox Jews and similar sects, which reject the Talmud and other medieval scriptures, and, as such, they wouldn't be exposed to this kind of philosophy).

Yolland, of course, is free to correct me if I've misrepresented Judaism at all. This is what I've surmised through my own reading.
Haven't been around much the last couple days, but since you offered I will comment.

Yes, Maimonides was unquestionably profoundly influenced by the Mu'tazilites--though not by High Scholastics like Aquinas, since he lived and wrote a century before them. In his commentary Mishneh Torah he develops the Talmudic concept of midot, "character traits," into the familiar-sounding (given his influences) theory that the 'middle path' should be the ideal; everyone's 'constitution' displays a mixture of inborn and acquired tendencies in terms of appetite, temper, 'sensuousness' and so on, but regardless one's goal should be to achieve moderation in all these. However, it *sounds* to me like you might be somewhat conflating this concept with another Talmudic principle Maimonides draws on, oness rachmana petarei, which essentially means that violations of Jewish law committed under "duress"--which here can signify either coercion, or something somewhat resembling our concept of a "crime of passion"--ought to be pardoned. And oness certainly does play a role in many rabbinic arguments (from all mainstream denominations, including Orthodoxy) in favor of, at minimum, welcoming openly gay and lesbian Jews in synagogues. So, I suppose you could argue that to a point this concept (oness) may 'predispose' Jews to an acceptance of the modern recognition of sexual orientation. The problem with reliance on oness, at least from the standpoint of Jews who wish to see same-sex Jewish marriages granted the same halakhic (Jewish law) legitimacy as straight Jewish marriages, is that it doesn't entail nullification of the wrong committed; it merely grants reprieve from the consequences. Therefore, it isn't adequate grounds for abrogating Levitical law (see below) so as to decisively grant said legitimacy.

(Rabbinic Judaism, of course, never had the doctrine of Original Sin to begin with--I'm not sure if that's what you were getting at with the part about "establish[ing] the principle that sin was not inherent"?)

As far as the sources you named and the Orthodox attitude towards them, Orthodox Jews certainly don't reject the Talmud--on the contrary, that's the one denomination where it's commonplace for anyone besides a rabbi to have studied Talmud (which is why I've studied it; I had a fairly traditional Orthodox upbringing). The Talmud is an indispensable fixture of rabbinic Judaism, period, since it contains not only the Mishnah (Oral Law) detailing the application of everything from agricultural tithes to marriage contracts to Sabbath cookware regulations, but also the Gemara, rabbinic debates and commentaries on the Mishnah compiled roughly 4th-5th cen. AD, which establish the basic jurisprudential, hermeneutical and exegetical principles of rabbinic analysis. Contemporary Talmud editions do always include one or more of the numerous important medieval commentaries in addition to the Mishnah and Gemara, but there's no strong correlation between which denomination one belongs to and which Talmud edition one prefers.

As for Maimonides, while his synthesis of Judaism with a Mu'tazili-inflected Aristotelian--and, to a lesser extent, Neo-Platonist--worldview (his Moses sounds remarkably like a 'philosopher-king') hasn't had quite the decisive impact on subsequent Jewish thought that Aquinas had on Catholic thought, he's still the closest thing to a 'Jewish equivalent' of that, and his works are still widely read and studied in Jewish higher education, regardless of denomination.

It's a highly speculative topic, but personally I wouldn't locate any (relatively) greater receptivity on the part of Jews to modern understandings of homosexuality in the absence or presence of any one particular doctrine. Other than the socio-historical aspect you mentioned--i.e., awareness from experience of how elements of existing worldviews have a way of getting taken out of context or deliberately exaggerated so as to justify persecuting minorities--I would tend to see the key difference in how that dialogue has unfolded as being that Judaism has the principle of la'akor davar min haTorah, abrogation of the Law, whereas Christianity has, in essence, 'It's the One, True, Eternal And Definitive Interpretation or Bust'. (A generalization, I know, but then what follows is all generalizations too, so...) The Oral Law gives the Sanhedrin--and by extension, rabbis, in the diaspora condition--the power to abrogate a law if following it in the present environment would entail violating the precepts ('spirit of the law') underlying it. As such, the abrogation must have majority support of the rabbinic assembly, and must be performed in accord with the principles and qualifications spelled out in the Oral Law. Abrogation is not a matter of 'striking the law from the books,' but rather of definitively delimiting its application (and thus by extension, its interpretation as well). Ancient examples of this would include the abrogation of the Deuteronomic injunction to kill a rebellious son, the Hillelite prosbul allowing lenders to avoid cancelling debts in Sabbath year as required by turning them over to the Sanhedrin instead (which was done because too many were refusing to lend once Sabbath year drew near), and the loosening of Sabbath moratoria on work to facilitate the healing of the sick and the sharing of food with the poor (incidentally, the latter two occurred during Jesus' childhood).

Now, here's where it gets somewhat complicated: while all mainstream denominations of Judaism accept this principle, only Conservative Judaism is likely to apply it, in this case, in the foreseeable future. For Reform Judaism, it's basically a moot point: by definition, that denomination sees most of Jewish law as devoid of spiritual value in the modern world and therefore nonbinding, save for those laws which they define as "moral laws" as opposed to "ritual" ones. (As you might expect, this distinction--which owes much to the influence of Hegelianism on Reform thought, but I'll skip that tangent--is a historically unprecedented distinction within Judaism, and much of Reform rabbinic literature is devoted to debating which laws go into which category.) At present, by majority opinion the relevant Levitical laws are classified as 'ritual law' and therefore nonbinding, so marriages/commitment ceremonies for gay Reform Jews are permitted; while at the same time, a recognized minority opinion gives Reform rabbis who don't support the distinction (in this case) the option of refusing to perform such ceremonies. This typically rabbinic, multiple-official-opinions approach is possible in this case precisely because no actual abrogation occurred.

In Orthodoxy, by contrast, the traditional stance on abrogation is that in a post-Gemara world, Judaism is irrevocably compromised by the intellectual, social, and cultural fragmentation inherent in diaspora life; therefore, any claim that sufficient, collective rabbinic wisdom to righteously make such a change exists is greeted with intense skepticism at best, hostile denial at worst. As I mentioned earlier, on the principle of oness, many Modern Orthodox (as opposed to the Haredim, basically meaning the Hasidim plus a few other 'ultra-Orthodox' groups of mostly Lithuanian descent) now welcome gay and lesbian Jews in their synagogues, but that's pretty much the end of it. My younger brother, a liberal Orthodox rabbi, feels that all the emphasis on oness is actually hurting the cause at this point, as it comes with the downside of encouraging the view that gay people are inherently morally flawed in some unique way; in his opinion, what needs to happen is renewed debate as to the acceptability of contemporary abrogation (including the argument that many Orthodox rabbinic rulings over the last few centuries involve 'creative reinterpretations' which appear to be abrogations in all but name), followed by debate over the various Talmudic and medieval opinions which have interpretively expanded the Leviticus passages to encompass far more than one particular act, such that the very idea of sexual orientation is in itself seen as a direct challenge to Jewish law.

As you might expect from that summary, the Orthodox thus tend to cling very hard to the "hope" that homosexual orientation is somehow categorically capable of being "cured"--and the same is true for those Conservative rabbis who strongly oppose abrogation. Once they acknowledge that that's not the case, then they'll be put in a very tough place ethically, due to the intense traditional Jewish distaste for celibacy, the sense that it's an imbalanced and stunting way to live (as Maimonides might say), and most definitely a cruel burden to force on anyone. Of course, this still leaves the option of retorting, "Well, let the state extend civil marriages to them then; that much I have no problem with," but then you'd be violating yet another traditional taboo, namely against driving Jews who wish to live an observant life away from their faith.

Anyhow, I think i've ed on here long enough, especially since the Jewish debate on this is, effectively, a sideshow at best; but hopefully that clarifies the picture a little.
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Old 07-16-2007, 03:24 AM   #355
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Well, I haven't read most of this thread, but my answer is None of the Above. Why? Because a person's sexuality never even factors in when I'm meeting new people and making new friends. It's not like I go around seeking out homosexuals because I'm OK with that. I make friends, period, and after getting to know them, a few might turn out to be homosexuals. I don't like prejudging people regardless of whether I'm "for" or "against" them. Only my closest friends and I talk about things like sexual experiences and such, so I find it inappropriate to care or be curious about someone's sexuality unless they are one of my best friends. It's not a matter of whether I think it's right or wrong, I just think it's gross for people to be so fascinated with the sex lives of people they don't really know.
thanks for the answer.
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Old 07-16-2007, 06:55 AM   #356
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Originally posted by butter7
i only have one question to some of the people here:

Do you accept and willing to live and make friend with homosexual people, because:

a). You wanted to, because you like them, you think they are good people, and you appreciate their friendship.

b). Becuase your religious believe said you have to. You accept them because it is your duty to follow hat he said, and obey God(s)' command.

c). None of the above. Please insert your own answer.


Which one describe you the best?

To be honest, I have HUGE problem with some people's attitude towards homosexua, or simply, same sex relationship. I come from a culture background that historically people establish brothels with beautiful boys dressed up, singing, dancing and serve male customers. For me, it's nothing wrong with it.
Well...I guess I'm C. I'm friends with homosexuals because...well it just turns out that some of my friends are homosexuals. I don't go around seeking specific types of people. People of many cultures and backgrounds are brought into my life and teach me new things. Many times, I don't find out about somebody's sexual identity until much later. Because, honestly, I don't ask. Their sexual identity isn't exactly at the forefront of my mind. The idea of reducing someone to a single act makes me uncomfortable. I like many of the individuals I meet, for being the unique and beautiful individuals they are. Even the ones that work my nerves I find very interesting.

I am a christian, and I practice the catholic faith. But by no means am I God fearing. I'm God loving. I don't do things because "it is what God commands me to do." I TRY to do things because it is what God WOULD do. Now...I'm far from perfect, and I'm not always 100% caring and loving. Especially lately. But I still try. I try to accept people as they are. For me that becomes especially difficult when somebody directly offends me.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:35 AM   #357
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^


Count me in as C also, for the same reasons. They're my friends who just happen to be homosexual
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:54 AM   #358
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thank you guys for you answers!

talk about myself, I think I'm kind of A type person. From time to time, I trying to keep at least one or two gay people around, we go shopping together. I could discuss almost everything that a girl interests but usually could not have a honest opinion from a straight guy, with them, like clothing, make up, skin care, beauty tips, good restaurant...etc, etc...

I think they are the most fantastic type of people, and they really understand the word "gay" - Bright, joyful and lovely.
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Old 07-16-2007, 08:34 AM   #359
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Originally posted by yolland

Haven't been around much the last couple days, but since you offered I will comment.

...

Anyhow, I think i've ed on here long enough, especially since the Jewish debate on this is, effectively, a sideshow at best; but hopefully that clarifies the picture a little.
Ahh...it reminds me that there's much more that I need to learn about Judaism.

Thanks for taking the time to write.
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Old 07-16-2007, 07:06 PM   #360
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I despise the mormon religion and any religious people that..

... have negative opinions towards gays and lesbians.. Everybody should be treated equally. I'm not gay but I accept everybody as they should be in society.

I just found out a best friend was in a culinary class a few years ago and these two religious republican guys and this Mormon girl would not say a word to my friend just because they thought he was gay which he isn't BUT they were talking to the one guy in the class that was gay for the whole duration of the class and he told my friend and a 2nd close friend that he was gay. Then Erick (the guy) told the three people that thought my friend was gay that HE was which was a total blow to him. The Mormon bitch said "Her god doesn't believe or allow that and he should change" and Erick said its the way he is. "Her god"... what the hell? Its EVERYBODY'S God.

Now these three people are not speaking to him and all of a sudden want to talk and be friendly to my best friend; he told them to go to hell or something. This was hard on Erick because his parents have disowned him basically and he had AIDS. My friend, 2nd friend and Erick all became very close friends than ever as erick revealed all of this.

I don't know Erick personally or what happened to him because my friend and the 2nd close friend from class lost contact with him but ANYONE who does unthinkable shit like this can go burn in HELL. I've always never been a fan of the religious spectacle and the Mormon church but I am very livid now and just angry more than ever after hearing this stuff.
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