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Old 12-06-2004, 01:49 PM   #91
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You've got a good point, there, Irvine511, about infertile couples and post-menopausal women. What could be said about that? Should they not get married if they can't procreate?

First of all, there is always the hope of children. People of faith can't completely rule that out, even though it is doubtful it would ever happen that a 99 year old would bear children. However, it is worth noting that in the Bible, some of the most prominent matriarchs and patriarchs are those who were thought to be barren or well beyond childbearing years.

Furthermore, said couples may also serve as models for faithfulness and love in marriage for those couples who are, in fact, able to have children. I think the whole community always benefits when two people decide to pledge their commitment and fidelity to each other, especially in light of the transient, self-serving nature of relationships in our world today.

In this last case, I think that homosexual unions (I'm sorry, Irvine511 if the quotes are bothersome. I'll take them out for now, but realize that the jury is far from out as to what homosexual unions really are supposed to be or look like) may serve this purpose, because two people of any sex may pledge fidelity to each other and serve as a stable model for other couples.

However, my main problem is with the issue of orientation. I just don't know if we should base what's right on what feels right for me. Just because people feel attracted a certain sexual way to others may not mean it is necessarily right...even IF it is proven that orientation is determined genetically. We already know that plenty of questionable behaviors, predispositions, etc are determined by genetics; should they, then be right, purely because of that?

My deep-seated feeling is that our culture is so unbelievably saturated in sexuality that we have reached the conclusion (without realizing it) that a person is not truly and fully human unless they are "expressing their sexuality" as fully as they see fit. Images, song lyrics, references, TV shows, movies...everything that surrounds us in our culture exudes sexuality, and people have become unable to form their identity without thinking about how often they are using their sexual organs. And so the question becomes: "are you having sex? Is it good? Fulfilling? Because if you're not and it isn't, then, geez, you sure are missing out. You're not fully living yet!"

This puts pressure on everyone to answer these questions...if it's not working with the opposite sex, then maybe it will work with the same sex...maybe with both...maybe...maybe...and the list goes on. Wouldn't it be great--truly freeing--if we weren't so obsessed with sex all the time? (And I'm not saying that I'm any more obsessed than anyone else, but I am a product and victim of our Britney Spears, Janet Jackson, Michael Jackson, 50-cent, Sports illustrated swimsuit issue culture as anyone else).

Being fully human and living life to the fullest should not (and in my opinion DOES not) involve sexual union with anyone. It's nice if it occurs, but it's not necessary.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:02 PM   #92
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Another thing that intrigues me about the whole gay marriage debate:

A favorite battle cry of advocates of homosexual unions and gay marriages is "what does it matter to you what people are doing in their bedrooms? It is a private matter." Perhaps so. However, marriage, BY DEFINITION, is a public act. If you're going to solemnify and legalize a ceremony or relationship in a way that the community must claim it (which is precisely what marriage is), then it's not a private matter anymore what people do in their bedroom. It may be unspoken, but it's certainly not private. What we're arguing is individual rights VS the good of the community. When marriage comes into play, the good of the community necessarily gets involved. The community's voice has a right to speak.

If sexuality relationships are going to remain truly private, then we need to develop private marriage. But to my knowledge, nothing like that has ever existed (although Sting does sing about it in one song).
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:16 PM   #93
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Originally posted by paxetaurora
Sin surely does hurt God. But how does the reality of two adults engaged in a consenting relationship based on fidelity, respect, and love hurt God? Particularly if these individuals are committed to a family life in which they are raising children--in many cases, the children that the good straight couples do not want, children that are given up for adoption for a number of reasons, foster children, children who are biracial or have special needs...

So how does this hurt God? I would think God would be happy that someone is taking care of these kids.
Well, I think we should let God define what hurts Him, not us.

Also, my doing good in one area does not absolve me from responsiblilty before God in another.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:17 PM   #94
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Originally posted by pwmartin
A favorite battle cry of advocates of homosexual unions and gay marriages is "what does it matter to you what people are doing in their bedrooms? It is a private matter." Perhaps so. However, marriage, BY DEFINITION, is a public act. If you're going to solemnify and legalize a ceremony or relationship in a way that the community must claim it (which is precisely what marriage is), then it's not a private matter anymore what people do in their bedroom.
The ceremony is public, but the activities of the couple on their wedding night are not. Those are saved for the privacy of the room they decide to be in.

And besides that...so, you're telling me that you'd have no problem with me dictating what you and your significant other can do in the privacy of your own home? You're telling me that you'd be totally willing to let others watch you and your significant other express your love for each other?

If your answer to that is no, then please explain why it has to be the case with others.

Angela
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:18 PM   #95
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I do not want anyone looking at my hairy ass......
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:31 PM   #96
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I've mentioned the controversy over the purpose of marriage as the root of the gay marriage disagreement. The argument against gay marriage is basically that marriage is for procreation *only*. Why should it *only* be for procreation? We've got to have procreation; I won't argue that. There's another argument that's older than some might think; it dates back to the late Middle Ages in Europe. It's the concept of marriage for companionship as well as procreation. This idea was promoted by the first female professional writer in Europe, Christine de Pizan. I have a paper about Christine on one of my history sites. Christine was unlucky enough to be widowed at the age of 25, an age when a hell of alot of us haven't even married in this day and age. It's easy to see why the concept of marriage for companionship was attractive to her, and I agree with her that marriage need not be strictly for procreation. The view that marriage is strictly for procreation is from the Judaeo-Christian tradition and has much to do with the influence of Aristotelianism in western culture.
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Old 12-06-2004, 02:49 PM   #97
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i think a 99 year old woman and a lesbian probably have about the same chances of becoming pregnant by their partners. some sort of divine interverntion might be necessary. and i don't care what the Bible says, i believe the world record for a woman getting pregnant is 56 years old.

people who love each other should be allowed to get married whether or not they choose to procreate.

i agree with you on several points: i do think our society is over-sexed, and i do think marriage is the ideal place to have children, and that is why we protect it, but how many people in marriages take care of children where one parent is not the biological parent of a child? or the child is adopted?

as for over-sexed society, i don't see what bearing that has on homosexuality. it's not like homosexuality was invented with MTV, or there's more of it now than before. yes, it's more visible now because, 1. we're more open and accepting of difference, and it's safer to come out, and 2. gay men, in particular, are great consumers and urban citizens so they are directly marketed at -- lots of $$$ to be made. this may give the impression that we're more gay than ever, but the actual numbers of gay people really haven't changed much.

a homosexual union looks pretty much like a heterosexual union, only with two men or two women. the dynamics between homosexual and heterosexual couples are different, because you have two men and two women, and men and women are different, but the visible part of the relationship, as well as the basic structure of love and trust and commitment, are essentially the same.

as for sexual orientation being "right" ... i'm so baffled by this. no one is harmed by a gay couple. in fact, everyone benefits when people are in stable relationships. and, if anything, the homosexual stops harming himself -- with deceit, lies, deception, and self-hate -- when he/she comes out of the closet, embraces his orientation, and chooses to live a life of dignity and self-respect.

i would also say that sexuality is directly tied to our humanity. no, it is not necessary, but i think the denial of sexuality has consequences just as negative (think priests) as the unfettered expression of it. simply, we're a very immature society, especially compared to many of our northern european friends who don't have nearly the same issues, hangups, and subsequent social problems that we do. sex is an adult activity, we should treat it as such and not like our advertising culture does as if we're all 19 year old frat boys.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:00 PM   #98
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Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
i would also say that sexuality is directly tied to our humanity. no, it is not necessary, but i think the denial of sexuality has consequences just as negative (think priests) as the unfettered expression of it. simply, we're a very immature society, especially compared to many of our northern european friends who don't have nearly the same issues, hangups, and subsequent social problems that we do. sex is an adult activity, we should treat it as such and not like our advertising culture does as if we're all 19 year old frat boys.

The theory about priests being examples of "fettered" sexuality is completely wrong...and I'm not just talking it's wrong "in my opinion." There is absolutely no proof that priests are any more sexually repressed than anyone else. Sexuality is not like hydraulics...press it down in one place and pressure will pop it up somewhere else. Priests are held to a different standard, perhaps, than everyone else (and thus the apparent repression), but they are not examples of denied sexuality. As a matter of fact, you only prove my point by erroneously citing them as examples. Why can't their expression of sexuality be celibacy? Why must it involve "getting off"? See, here we go again...you're not fulfilled if you're not using your organs...

And are you OK with the fact that gay people are commercially exploited??? You make it sound like identity and validity should be based on whether or not you are a consumer. Yet another proving of my argument.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:05 PM   #99
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Originally posted by nbcrusader


Two things:

First, I could simply deny that I am hurting myself.

Second, it open the potential that we can define sin so that an individual does not hurt themselves (which can go just about anywhere at that point).


Sin hurts God.
You said worshipping an idol does not hurt another. Worshipping an idol certainly hurts oneself, just as alcoholism can be denied or any other addiction for that matter.

I am kind of lost by the direction we are going here.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:13 PM   #100
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The theory about priests being examples of "fettered" sexuality is completely wrong...and I'm not just talking it's wrong "in my opinion." There is absolutely no proof that priests are any more sexually repressed than anyone else. Sexuality is not like hydraulics...press it down in one place and pressure will pop it up somewhere else. Priests are held to a different standard, perhaps, than everyone else (and thus the apparent repression), but they are not examples of denied sexuality. As a matter of fact, you only prove my point by erroneously citing them as examples. Why can't their expression of sexuality be celibacy? Why must it involve "getting off"? See, here we go again...you're not fulfilled if you're not using your organs...

And are you OK with the fact that gay people are commercially exploited??? You make it sound like identity and validity should be based on whether or not you are a consumer. Yet another proving of my argument.
my goodness.

#2: i'm pretty agnostic on being commerically exploited. it just sort of is, and it's a reason as to why things seem to be more gay than ever, when they're really not. on one hand, it feels good to be acknowledged, on the other, no one likes to be exploited, even when it's well intentioned. you've no idea the amount of attention i now get from straight females who are dying for a "gay boyfriend" -- sure, the attention is fun, but sometimes i feel like i need a t-shirt that says "novety act."

i have no idea what part of your argument that proves.

#1: actually, i disagree. i don't know how you prove, or disprove, the sexual repression of priests. i'd imagine that's a subjective interpretation, and the stories i've heard of priests who endure daily torture between their vows and their desires, combined with the large amount of men who never become priests because it means having to live a life of celebacy, does appear to make it tantamount to some form of repression or oppression. i'm sure some priests are able to live happy lives of celibacy, but i imagine most struggle mightily with it.

and, yes, i do think there's a human need to "get off." you can choose to combat it, and that's fine, but please recognize that your body was designed to want to have sex, and that sex feels good so you'll do it again and again and again to ensure survival of the species. does this mean we should fuck at will? of course not. we know the negative consequences to sex, and we exercise our judgement and will power to regulate our behavior. but the fact remains that our organs work, and they want to be used -- think back to being a 14 year old boy, were you not made aware, sometimes at the worst moments possible, that your organs were working? maybe a bit too well?

like i said: let's be adults. and let's learn something from the Europeans, the Dutch and the Scandos in particular. they strike me as having a very mature view on sexuality, along with some of the lowest STD and teen pregnancy rates in the world.
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Old 12-06-2004, 03:22 PM   #101
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You said worshipping an idol does not hurt another. Worshipping an idol certainly hurts oneself, just as alcoholism can be denied or any other addiction for that matter.

I am kind of lost by the direction we are going here.
I guess I should have asked how it hurts one's self?
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:18 PM   #102
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Originally posted by Irvine511
people who love each other should be allowed to get married whether or not they choose to procreate.
Exactly. Not to mention, I'm curious as to exactly why people care so much about who is and isn't having children? What business is that of other people's or mine?

Also...

Quote:
Originally posted by Irvine511
as for over-sexed society, i don't see what bearing that has on homosexuality. it's not like homosexuality was invented with MTV, or there's more of it now than before. yes, it's more visible now because, 1. we're more open and accepting of difference, and it's safer to come out, and 2. gay men, in particular, are great consumers and urban citizens so they are directly marketed at -- lots of $$$ to be made. this may give the impression that we're more gay than ever, but the actual numbers of gay people really haven't changed much.

a homosexual union looks pretty much like a heterosexual union, only with two men or two women. the dynamics between homosexual and heterosexual couples are different, because you have two men and two women, and men and women are different, but the visible part of the relationship, as well as the basic structure of love and trust and commitment, are essentially the same.

as for sexual orientation being "right" ... i'm so baffled by this. no one is harmed by a gay couple. in fact, everyone benefits when people are in stable relationships. and, if anything, the homosexual stops harming himself -- with deceit, lies, deception, and self-hate -- when he/she comes out of the closet, embraces his orientation, and chooses to live a life of dignity and self-respect.

i would also say that sexuality is directly tied to our humanity. no, it is not necessary, but i think the denial of sexuality has consequences just as negative (think priests) as the unfettered expression of it. simply, we're a very immature society, especially compared to many of our northern european friends who don't have nearly the same issues, hangups, and subsequent social problems that we do. sex is an adult activity, we should treat it as such and not like our advertising culture does as if we're all 19 year old frat boys.
. Very well said.

Angela
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:38 PM   #103
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Well, I think we should let God define what hurts Him, not us.

Also, my doing good in one area does not absolve me from responsiblilty before God in another.
nbc, I'm sorry - but thinking that any human is sinning because they happen by no choice of their own to desire the same sex is so ridiculous. I just can't believe that God would be so discriminating. If I took the scripture as literal as you I wouldn't even be a Christian.

I have had a kind of stange day, as apparently - according to my ex-in-process, our marriage is over due to my interest in Religion and U2. It really is unbalancing to also hear that I don't have a clue as to the God I believe in because I don't take the scriptures literally and my fellow Gay Christians are sinners. I can't understand why it is felt that my Church is causing a controversy and it's a bad idea to want to include everyone.

I do hope your Church is as inclusive as mine is - but it seems impossible if a gay person walks in the door and is put at the level of sinning even before a heterosexual person sins. A heterosexual has a chance to not sin, a gay person is automatically a sinner. Even if your Church would welcome a gay sinner, please research and understand that there is a lot of American Christian denominations that are not as welcoming.

The ad is saying that people who feel like they don't belong in the "Christian Club" can really belong. God loves everyone - what's the problem?
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:56 PM   #104
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I don't usually vent that loudly, but I am so sick of the scripture saying that homosexual people are sinning. The Morman religion wanted to follow the scriptures and allow polygamy. They wanted the law to change to reflect the scriptures. That didn't happen. The scriptures contained slaves and we as a society realized that was wrong. It is wrong to put a person with a different sexual preference on a different level of all of us.

Also, I would hope my marriage didn't end on such a simplistic thought as I mentioned. I'm not very Evanglical AND I was a U2 fan before I met the guy. U2 is 1983 - I met him in 1988. Obviously there is more to it, but his comments infuriated me just the same. A lot of time has passed where I am very over the loss & grief and I know I couldn't go back there. So no feeling bad for me - I'm beyond it all.
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Old 12-06-2004, 04:59 PM   #105
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Everyone who enters a church does so as a sinner. I'm not sure why we differentiate otherwise.

I am sorry to hear about the actions of your spouse. I was just reading Hebrews when I read your post. Perhaps you will find comfort in this:

"Remember those earlier days after you had received the light, when you stood your ground in a great contest in the face of suffering. Sometimes you were publicly exposed to insult and persecution; at other times you stood side by side with those who were so treated. You sympathized with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you yourselves had better and lasting possessions. So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised." Hebrews 10:32-36
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