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Old 11-15-2009, 10:48 AM   #21
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No. Even though they do not believe it, I still believe their marriage is, at its very core, a spiritual act.


but mine cannot ever be?
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:49 AM   #22
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The conversation about cultural/societal norms and how they spring from religion is definitely an interesting one, but one I really have nothing worthwhile to contribute to, so I'm not going to be able to respond to your post from the last thread, AEON, that was directed to me in response to my own knee-jerk questions.

But I did want to acknowledge your response and thank you for it.
Thank you. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:53 AM   #23
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but mine cannot ever be?
ever be what? A civil marriage? If the laws change/endorse a new definition of marriage - then you will have that.

If you are referring to a "spiritual" act, then I fall in line with Barack Obama when he states that "God is in the mix" during this "union between a man and a woman."
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:54 AM   #24
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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?


Only if you can first tell me why your personal definition is superior to mine
I'm too lazy to fix these quotes up properly (damn lazy non-Christians), but I answered your question just fine. I gave my definition. I could give some long-winded answer, couched in oh-so-civilized terms, talking about why a theocratic state should exist when it comes to marriage, giving some apologetic, yet incredibly insulting answer about how I don't really believe that Irvine's relationship is inferior to mine, then bring up some subject that has nothing really to do with the rights of gays and lesbians to have equal access to the Constitution, but I just don't want to.

My definition is superior to yours, AEON, because it is. It doesn't hide behind Jesus, it includes people who love each other, and it answered the damn question. Unlike yours.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:57 AM   #25
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ever be what? A civil marriage? If the laws change/endorse a new definition of marriage - then you will have that.

If you are referring to a "spiritual" act, then I fall in line with Barack Obama when he states that "God is in the mix" during this "union between a man and a woman."

You are so lazy!! You never really give him a real answer. You just quote Obama all the time.

Man up and admit to him and the rest of us that you really do think he is somehow inferior. Maybe we'd all have a little more respect for you if you'd just admit it. Sheesh.
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Old 11-15-2009, 10:58 AM   #26
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No. Even though they do not believe it, I still believe their marriage is, at its very core, a spiritual act.
How can it be, when they themselves are not spiritual?
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:02 AM   #27
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How can it be, when they themselves are not spiritual?
as far as i can tell, marriage is basically a u2 concert - god enters the room whether or not you invited him.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:22 AM   #28
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You are so lazy!! .
You really think so? I think I've racked up quite a word count the last 2 days, but okay
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:24 AM   #29
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ever be what? A civil marriage? If the laws change/endorse a new definition of marriage - then you will have that.

If you are referring to a "spiritual" act, then I fall in line with Barack Obama when he states that "God is in the mix" during this "union between a man and a woman."
No, this is lazy because you switch from your opinion to, "Well, if the government ever does anything, I guess!"
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:29 AM   #30
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ever be what? A civil marriage? If the laws change/endorse a new definition of marriage - then you will have that.

If you are referring to a "spiritual" act, then I fall in line with Barack Obama when he states that "God is in the mix" during this "union between a man and a woman."


are you surprised, then, when people call the position you've advocated a bigoted one? that because you cannot defend your position in a secular manner, you have to resort to notions of "God" and what may or may have not been said -- itself very shaky theology, as you have pointed out in response to Melon's posts -- and so you are using that which cannot be logically challenged "God says it's so" in order to defend a position that cannot be logically sustained. and subsequently, since bigotry itself defies logic, how can we not arrive at the conclusion that your position is bigoted, most likely because it is rooted in your own professed ignorance?

you have no secular argument, AEON, nor have you tried to make one. doesn't this underscore the fundamental weakness of your position? shouldn't your own experience, your own critical faculties, your own assessment of what's real here and now trump whatever fundamentalist abstractions you're able to concoct when in the company of people who wish to believe the same thing you do? aren't we correct when we say that religion is (as ever) being used as the vehicle by which to justify that which by any other name we would call discrimination and bigotry?
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:31 AM   #31
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So, two people who both profess to have absolutely no belief in God - flat out deny his existence - are ok, because you believe God enters the room anyway. But two people who may even have a strong belief in God are out simply because they're the same gender.

Do you not see how irrational that is, Aeon?
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:37 AM   #32
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So, two people who both profess to have absolutely no belief in God - flat out deny his existence - are ok, because you believe God enters the room anyway. But two people who may even have a strong belief in God are out simply because they're the same gender.

Do you not see how irrational that is, Aeon?


my guess -- and AEON can speak for himself -- is that whether or not those two people choose to believe in God, he is still there.

still, doesn't it seem creepy that there's some sort of metaphysical threesome going on?

i would like to know the answer to this -- yes, it is true that the union of a man and a woman could possibly (but not always) result in the creation of a new human being from the two parties. i can get that. i can see how that could be considered spiritual.

but, then, don't we have to put all non-procreative sex, or any sex outside the bond of marriage, on the same level as homosexual sex?

because if we don't do that, then we have to say that no matter who's doing it or what it's for, two 15 year old kids fucking in the woods is more spiritual than two lesbians who've been together for 20 years doing it on their wedding night in Northampton, MA.
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Old 11-15-2009, 11:42 AM   #33
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Don't you mean civil union night?
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:37 PM   #34
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I believe I've answered this at least a few times. If I accept the definition that a marriage is between a man and a woman, and I do - then that automatically excludes a marriage between a man and another man or between a woman and another woman. They cannot exist by the very definition of the word, therefore there is nothing to deny or protect.

The discussion that naturally follows is concerning the "why" I accept this definition, which is NOT an extreme position as indicated by current votes and the a the very liberal President, Barack Obama.
Once again we've come full circle to the "because that's what the dictionary says" argument. I think we've made the 'evolution of the conservative argument against gay marriage' circle at least twice in the last two days.

It's exhausting, if no one is really willing to answer questions and come up with an intelligent reason then I'm out...
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Old 11-15-2009, 12:40 PM   #35
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I think one way of looking at it is this: the Bible contrasts those actions above by offering numerous examples and passages of positive heterosexual relationships. In the thousands of years of recorded history in the Bible (maybe only 1,000 for the skeptics) - there is not one example of a positive homosexual experience to offset the negative ones (assuming homosexual admonitions are confined to rape and temple worship).
Hah...well, it's funny. Researching my response, I found this page, which probably outlines our fundamental philosophical disagreement:

SAME-SEX RELATIONSHIPS IN THE BIBLE: CONSERVATIVE AND LIBERAL VIEWPOINTS

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Conservative Christian theologians tend to accept English translations of the Bible, such as the New International Version (NIV) and the King James Version (KJV) as authoritative. They generally accept the inerrancy of the Bible. They interpret passages literally, unless there is a good reason not to. They consider all Bible passages as instructive in today's society. When they see any same-sex activity condemned, they believe that this applies to all homosexual activities. All homosexual behavior is sinful, regardless of the nature of the relationship. Homosexuality is a chosen, unnatural, abnormal, changeable, and perverted lifestyle, which is hated by God.

Liberal Christian theologians tend to follow a wider variety of translations, and to be more concerned with instances of copying errors in the original Hebrew or Greek, of forgery, and of biases among the translators. They consider some passages (e.g. those referring to slavery, burning some hookers alive, raping female prisoners of war, etc.) as not being valid today, as immoral, and against the will of God. They differentiate among various homosexual and heterosexual sex practices, treating some (rape, prostitution, temple sex rituals) as immoral and some (within committed relationships) as positive. Homosexual orientation and behavior is seen as a normal human sexual expression among a minority of adults. It is not changeable or chosen. Like all sexual behavior, it can be a sin if it is exploitive or manipulative or not carried out safely within a committed relationship.
I'm guessing you can figure out on which side of the divide each of us is on here.

But the main reason I'm bringing up this page is that "liberal Christian theologians" would argue that there is evidence of positive same-sex relations, not entirely cognate with modern homosexuality (as, again, it is as futile as seeking Plato's approval for representative democracy over a millennium before it existed), but in keeping with Ancient Near East custom. In the case of David and Jonathan, you can argue all day as to whether the relationship was sexual or not, but I believe that's the wrong preoccupation. There is no doubt that substantial love between the two men is present.

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"I grieve for you, Jonathan my brother; you were very dear to me. Your love for me was wonderful, more wonderful than that of women." - 2 Samuel 1:26
So I ask one question: if I were to briefly describe your marriage, as an example, would you rather I discuss the love between you two or the fact that one of you has a penis and the other a vagina? To me, this semi-crude example serves a point: with conservatives fixated on sex, they have completely (and I'd argue purposely, as a way to belittle and dehumanize) ignored that same-sex relationships, like their opposite-sex counterparts, are just as defined primarily on love.

Indeed, there is an argument that David and Jonathan's relationship was "homosocial"--that is, a same-sex relationship with a strong emotional bond, but not of a sexual nature--but one researcher who has advocated this stance, Martti Nissinen, ultimately concluded:

Quote:
"Perhaps these homosocial relationships, based on love and equality, are more comparable with modern homosexual people's experience of themselves than those texts that explicity speak of homosexual acts that are aggressive, violent expressions of domination and subjection."
So, again, I guess this takes a bit more analysis and forethought than just regurgitating a one-line Biblical verse, but I believe it to have worth all the same.
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Old 11-15-2009, 01:49 PM   #36
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Mind elaborating a bit? I'd enjoy hearing your thoughts.
I really don't want to elaborate much on this topic

I did vote 'no' on the Maine question, but I'm still unconvinced by either side. The posts that financeguy made pretty much sum up my position:


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Quoted from the previous thread. I don't have a strong opinion on gay marriage myself, my attitude is there are few valid grounds against legalisation, so why not legalise it, but I don't really see it as a fundamental human right to be honest.

It goes without saying, or at leas ought to, that what a religious text has to say about the subject is really of no import in adjudging whether or not it should be legalised.
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Exactly. The laws of modern secular states should not be based on some old book of fairy stories, so I don't even know why we're talking about the Bible here. BTW, it is possible to construct arguments against gay marriage on purely secular grounds, just as it's possible to construct arguments against, say, legalised divorce or pornography on purely secular grounds - though I don't necessarily agree with them.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:36 PM   #37
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Well, it goes without saying that I agree that religious texts should have no bearing whatsoever on law, although I do believe that marriage is a fundamental human right, as concluded in "Loving v. Virginia" in 1967, which vacated laws against interracial marriage.

I must admit that, from an intellectual perspective, I have a particular interest in history, philosophy, and theology, and so I guess it is quite easy for me to fall into one of those traps, even if it has only a tangential relationship to the topic at hand!
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:48 PM   #38
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^ The detail you put into your posts is appreciated.
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Old 11-15-2009, 02:49 PM   #39
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but I don't really see it as a fundamental human right to be honest.
Even if this is true, isn't equality a fundamental right?
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Old 11-15-2009, 03:14 PM   #40
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Well, it goes without saying that I agree that religious texts should have no bearing whatsoever on law, although I do believe that marriage is a fundamental human right, as concluded in "Loving v. Virginia" in 1967, which vacated laws against interracial marriage.
I'm not really interested in jumping back into this discussion -- I'm of two minds on this issue -- but if we're going to be intellectually honest, your application of "Loving v. Virginia" is incorrect (or at the very least, beyond the definition of the case), since its decision was solely constrained to the racial issue, as debated and ruled two years later by "Baker v. Nelson"'s decision when applied to this specific issue.
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