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Old 06-18-2012, 07:27 PM   #736
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As far as most people are concerned, the Salvation Army is a series of stores that sell discount goods by purchasing things cheaply from people who would otherwise just throw them out. ...

So why does such an organization have to take stances on political issues? It's because of this terrible, awful belief that morality cannot exist without religion. And because of its religious nature, it feels the need to get political, because that's what religious organizations do in this country.
The reality is that the Salvation Army is, first and foremost, a religious organization -- a church that is, in fact, considered its own denomination. As a result, it is not a philanthropic organization that happens to be religious -- it is a religious organization, a church, that believes in philanthropy. And for most people, church, religion and morality go hand in hand. Trying to separate religion (which I would probably define as answering the big questions of why we exist) from morality (the application of those religious answers to our daily lives) is a bit of a fool's errand.

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So, you have this organization that does good things going around telling gay people that they're sinful if they practice homosexuality, because the Bible says so. This is an organization, mind you, that calls itself the Salvation Army because it is fighting a "war against sin." And now it's posting things like this about one specific sin, and trying to look compassionate just by saying it respects gays despite themselves and the fact that they are going to Hell if they attempt to enter a relationship of any kind.
I'm not sure that the Salvation Army is looking to insert itself into the cultural conversation on this issue. Its statement on the issue is fairly nuanced, even-handed, and (to these eyes, anyway) one that attempts to straddle conviction with compassion. At the same time, the question of how churches and denominations will wrestle with the specific issue of sexual morality has, for better or worse, become a culturally-mandated conversation. Churches are being forced to draw theological lines that I'm not sure they necessarily want to draw.

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"Love the sinner, hate the sin." It's one of the most frustrating defenses of religious intolerance. "Oh, I don't hate you, I just hate what you are."
This is probably worthy of its own thread, but I find this perspective somewhat intellectually dishonest -- because "love the sinner, hate the sin" is how we treat ourselves all the time. We all do things that we disagree with all the time, don't we? We don't always live up to our own standards. We all have little white lies that we tell ourselves. At the same time, we don't throw ourselves out the window, do we? Nor do we labor under self-condemnation. We are all walking hypocrites of one stripe or another, regardless of our moral, religious, or spiritual creed. None of us measure up to our own standards. But at the same time, we all carry grace for ourselves -- we accept ourselves, despite the fact that we don't measure up. So why not carry that same grace for someone else? "I disagree with what you do/how you conduct yourself, but I still believe that you have inherent worth as a human being." To me, this is the essence of "love the sinner, hate the sin." Because I certainly don't hate myself, even though I sin all the time. So why should I hate someone else, just because I don't like what they do?
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:26 PM   #737
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This is probably worthy of its own thread, but I find this perspective somewhat intellectually dishonest -- because "love the sinner, hate the sin" is how we treat ourselves all the time. We all do things that we disagree with all the time, don't we? We don't always live up to our own standards. We all have little white lies that we tell ourselves. At the same time, we don't throw ourselves out the window, do we? Nor do we labor under self-condemnation. We are all walking hypocrites of one stripe or another, regardless of our moral, religious, or spiritual creed. None of us measure up to our own standards. But at the same time, we all carry grace for ourselves -- we accept ourselves, despite the fact that we don't measure up. So why not carry that same grace for someone else? "I disagree with what you do/how you conduct yourself, but I still believe that you have inherent worth as a human being." To me, this is the essence of "love the sinner, hate the sin." Because I certainly don't hate myself, even though I sin all the time. So why should I hate someone else, just because I don't like what they do?
Agreed in general, except the problem is that stating homosexuality is a "sin" and saying one "disagrees" with it makes no sense to many people. To my eyes, I don't see anything wrong with homosexuality at all, so I'm really confused as to what makes it sinful or worth disagreeing with in the first place.

There are things people do that one doesn't like-people do drugs, and drink, or inflict some sort of self-harm, or whatever-but that's because those activities harm the people doing them. And if you love someone, of course, you want to make it clear their behavior is harmful to them and their well-being, you don't want to see them hurt or dead.

Homosexuality isn't one of those sorts of issues, however. A man in a happy relationship with another man, a woman in a happy relationship with another woman, I fail to see where the problem comes in. I want that for them, I support that. I want them to feel comfortable enough with themselves to be as open as they want to be, and to be able to love and be loved. I don't see how calling that sinful and worthy of hell, or saying, "love the sinner, hate the sin" is beneficial at all.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:41 PM   #738
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This is probably worthy of its own thread, but I find this perspective somewhat intellectually dishonest -- because "love the sinner, hate the sin" is how we treat ourselves all the time. We all do things that we disagree with all the time, don't we? We don't always live up to our own standards. We all have little white lies that we tell ourselves. At the same time, we don't throw ourselves out the window, do we? Nor do we labor under self-condemnation. We are all walking hypocrites of one stripe or another, regardless of our moral, religious, or spiritual creed. None of us measure up to our own standards. But at the same time, we all carry grace for ourselves -- we accept ourselves, despite the fact that we don't measure up. So why not carry that same grace for someone else? "I disagree with what you do/how you conduct yourself, but I still believe that you have inherent worth as a human being." To me, this is the essence of "love the sinner, hate the sin." Because I certainly don't hate myself, even though I sin all the time. So why should I hate someone else, just because I don't like what they do?

what could be wrong with this saying?

Love the criminal, hate the crime.


In some countries practicing Christianity is a crime.

They don't hate you Nathan, it is just the criminal behavior.

You seem like a nice person, and they love you. Criminal behavior should not be tolerated just because some people want to do it.
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Old 06-18-2012, 08:55 PM   #739
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Agreed in general, except the problem is that stating homosexuality is a "sin" and saying one "disagrees" with it makes no sense to many people. To my eyes, I don't see anything wrong with homosexuality at all, so I'm really confused as to what makes it sinful or worth disagreeing with in the first place.
PhilsFan specifically made a comment about how he didn't like the "love the sinner, hate the sin" statement, and specifically referred to it as a statement of intolerance. That's what I'm responding to.

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In some countries practicing Christianity is a crime.
Actually, most countries -- even heavily Muslim ones -- allow you to practice your faith privately. It's prosletyzing that can bring you a world of hurt.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:05 PM   #740
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Communist countries? would you want to live in a country where you coulld not be practice Christianity openly?

would you feel loved if your chosen life style practices* were deemed criminal, but at the same time the people that called your behavior criminal said they were loving towards you.


* and that is what religion is, not sexual orientation.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:27 PM   #741
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PhilsFan specifically made a comment about how he didn't like the "love the sinner, hate the sin" statement, and specifically referred to it as a statement of intolerance. That's what I'm responding to.
I know. I understand what "love the sinner, hate the sin" is supposed to mean overall, and I don't think in every instance it's an intolerant position to take.

But on the issue of homosexuality, PhilsFan would be right that it's a pretty insulting, intolerant phrase to use. Your response was discussing how everyone does things that many don't approve of, but they love them anyway, and how we're all guilty of "sin" and whatnot, which is true. But given that this thread relates to homosexuality, it came off like that issue is on the same level with any other instance where people do things that others don't like. I don't think it meant to read like that, but that's how it came across to me.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:42 PM   #742
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This is probably worthy of its own thread, but I find this perspective somewhat intellectually dishonest -- because "love the sinner, hate the sin" is how we treat ourselves all the time. We all do things that we disagree with all the time, don't we? We don't always live up to our own standards. We all have little white lies that we tell ourselves. At the same time, we don't throw ourselves out the window, do we? Nor do we labor under self-condemnation. We are all walking hypocrites of one stripe or another, regardless of our moral, religious, or spiritual creed. None of us measure up to our own standards. But at the same time, we all carry grace for ourselves -- we accept ourselves, despite the fact that we don't measure up. So why not carry that same grace for someone else? "I disagree with what you do/how you conduct yourself, but I still believe that you have inherent worth as a human being." To me, this is the essence of "love the sinner, hate the sin." Because I certainly don't hate myself, even though I sin all the time. So why should I hate someone else, just because I don't like what they do?
This doesn't hold up, though. When you use that phrase (which is almost exclusively used now by "compassionate" anti-gay orators), you are saying that gay people are okay as they are, just so long as they do not act on their natural inclinations. That's like saying it's okay to feel the need to sneeze so long as you never actually let one rip.

Telling lies and being gay are simply incomparable.
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Old 06-18-2012, 09:51 PM   #743
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preaching to hate sin
is still preaching to hate people, even striaght people.


you can not hate sin, without hating people, sin requires people

birds don't sin, trees don't sin

for a sin to be, there has to be a person sinning, I suppose if someone was stealing, one could say something stupid like, only their hand is stealing and cut if off.
For someone to believe and practice that they would have to follow a belief system that incorporates stupidity.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:33 PM   #744
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preaching to hate sin
is still preaching to hate people, even striaght people.
I disagree.

This really does deserve it's own thread--indeed I thought there was one a few years ago, because I think this has much to do with people's hangups about sin period as it does with homosexuality.

You wouldn't say that it's odd for people to hate the cancer but love the patient. After all the cancer is slowly killing the patient--of course you'd "hate" it. That's how most Christians view sin--as something that is slowly killing the person.

The key to understanding is to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and if you want to understand (and thus maybe even change the minds) of some Christians, you have to be able to see things from their perspective.

For the record, I don't believe that homosexuality or "homosexual behaviors" are sins. I think the Salvation Army is mistaken in that regard. And I came to that conviction through two things: One, having a former student who is a close friend of the family come out, and second having Melon step into my shoes and help me see a way that my convictions about the validity of scripture and my heartfelt belief that homosexuality couldn't be wrong could coincide. He treated me with respect, tried to understand where I was coming from, and didn't say asinine things like "Why you can't you just believe this. . ." (That's like me telling an atheist, "But why can't you just believe in God!")

So no, I don't believe homosexuality is a sin. But I do believe in the idea of sin.
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Old 06-18-2012, 10:51 PM   #745
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I disagree.

This really does deserve it's own thread--indeed I thought there was one a few years ago, because I think this has much to do with people's hangups about sin period as it does with homosexuality.

You wouldn't say that it's odd for people to hate the cancer but love the patient. After all the cancer is slowly killing the patient--of course you'd "hate" it. That's how most Christians view sin--as something that is slowly killing the person.

The key to understanding is to put yourself in someone else's shoes, and if you want to understand (and thus maybe even change the minds) of some Christians, you have to be able to see things from their perspective.
after I wrote that I drove to Del Taco and got a burrito and a taco, as I was driving I was thinking about how some might respond, and I thought of hating cancer, but loving the patient and that someone might put it in that context.

well, for the record I don't hate religion or religious people, and I do think we are at our best in here when we try and understand the other person's point of view. I have changed my mind when I have listened to others positions presented in a reasonable manner.

Many of my immediate family are religious as are many friends, and you Sean, though we have not met I consider you a friend.

We have discussed sin in here before, it would be nice if we could have an inclusive, thoughtful discussion. As I was driving home I thought I might start a new threat inclusive of that.
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Old 06-18-2012, 11:01 PM   #746
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I guess that's the thing, for me I always associate the word "sin" with religion, and since I'm not all that religious, that word doesn't stick with me the way it does others. I don't use it to describe things I consider bad. Add in that with some things, like murder or rape or abuse, "sin" seems too simple a word to describe the horror of those actions. A "sin" seems like something that can be fixed. But the horrible actions mentioned in the last sentence...those aren't as fixable.
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Old 06-19-2012, 05:30 AM   #747
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Thankfully, the Australian arm of the Salvos has distanced itself from the parent organisation.

And I'm sorry, I'm trying to see how their stance is respectful or compassionate, I really am, but when you break it down, it reads like this: "You can be gay if you want. That's your business. We'll still help you. But god forbid you ever so much as think about acting on your disgusting, despicable urges. Control yourself, read the bible, see the light, and do the right thing. Be straight."
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Old 06-19-2012, 09:51 AM   #748
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That used to be the Catholic position, actually.

It's only recently that they've affixed the downfall of civilization and the destruction of the natural order of things on the shoulders of gay people and would rather deny services to the poor rather than, god forbid, extend health care benefits to same-sex partners.

The Salvation Army seems positively enlightened in comparison.
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Old 06-19-2012, 06:45 PM   #749
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Strong public support for same-sex marriage exceeds strong opposition by a significant margin for the first time in ABC News/Washington Post polls, and African-Americans have moved more in favor, perhaps taking their lead from Barack Obama on the issue.

Overall, 53 percent of Americans say gay marriage should be legal, steady the past year but up from 36 percent in just 2006. Thirty-nine percent “strongly” support it, while 32 percent are strongly opposed – the first time strong sentiment has tilted positive. Six years ago, by contrast, strong views on the issue were negative by a broad 27-point margin.
I have said dozens of times here, over a number of years, that time waits for no man.

This is a lost cause for the GOP and social conservatives in general. Question is when they all collectively and officially decide to give up (like their counterparts in a number of other countries).
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Old 06-22-2012, 05:44 PM   #750
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http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2012/06/22/...ow-take-backs/

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IN my 2007 book, “The Future of Marriage,” and in my 2010 court testimony concerning Proposition 8, the California ballot initiative that defined marriage as between a man and a woman, I took a stand against gay marriage. But as a marriage advocate, the time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do. I’d like to explain why.
http://www.nytimes.com/2012/06/23/op...nged.html?_r=1
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