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Old 11-15-2009, 03:48 PM   #41
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memphis and i went for a very long walk down to the Tidal Basin. it was beautiful today, with highs approaching 70, and perfectly clear sunshine.

i took note of the following at the Jefferson Memorial:

Quote:
"I am not an advocate for frequent changes in laws and constitutions, but laws and institutions must go hand in hand with the progress of the human mind. As that becomes more developed, more enlightened, as new discoveries are made, new truths discovered and manners and opinions change, with the change of circumstances, institutions must advance also to keep pace with the times. We might as well require a man to wear still the coat which fitted him when a boy as civilized society to remain ever under the regimen of their barbarous ancestors."

as ever, the world only spins forward.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:03 PM   #42
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TJ ftw.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:05 PM   #43
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Originally Posted by nathan1977 View Post
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.
I've read that ruling, and I disagree with it, much like John Harlan's dissent against Plessy v. Ferguson in 1892, which, as you know, stated that racial segregation was compatible with equality.

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"But in view of the constitution, in the eye of the law, there is in this country no superior, dominant, ruling class of citizens. There is no caste here. Our constitution is color-blind, and neither knows nor tolerates classes among citizens. In respect of civil rights, all citizens are equal before the law. The humblest is the peer of the most powerful. The law regards man as man, and takes no account of his surroundings or of his color when his civil rights as guaranteed by the supreme law of the land are involved."
It seems rather preposterous that marriage can be one of the "basic civil rights of man"--but only if you want to marry another race.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:32 PM   #44
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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.
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I'm guessing you can figure out on which side of the divide each of us is on here.
Thank you for bringing this up. I actually get into heated discussion in Bible Studies over this very topic. For instance, there are some Christians that believe only the King James Version is an accurate translation and that he was a "Bible Believing" Christian (as opposed to other Christians that I guess are not) - but I asked him, since he was a "Bible Believing" Christian to please find that passage that supported that the KJV was authoritive. As you could guess, the sound of crickets is what followed.

I am always more concerned with finding the deeper meaning of passages instead of accepting the English translations. With the small bit of Greek and Hebrew that I've learned, I, like you, see the weaknesses in the English translations. For instance, my actually username (Aeon) is from the Latin version of the Greek word "aion". I actually took it from U2's (Until the End of the World) - which is from Jesus saying to His disciples in Matthew 28:18 "Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen."
Jesus said, or what He is quoted as saying, in the Greek, is until the end of the "Aion" - which could also mean "age" or "and indiscernible amount of time" - it is also the word used to describe the length of Hell, which English translators insert "forever" when in fact, it could also mean - for an "age" or "and indiscernible amount of time"(and it can also mean "forever). Unlike my "fundamentalist" brothers - I do not feel an eternity in Hell is just - the punishment doesn't fit the crime. How can infinite torture equal even a whole human lifetime of sin? When Jesus is speaking of Hell (Gahenna), I believe He is quite often talking about being in a spiritual trash heap - which is what Gahenna was in ancient Jerusalem (and unfortunately, this word gets translated into Hell - which is more influence by Dante and Milton than actual biblical passages). This is just one example where I stray from the Fundamentalists. Trust me, there are others...

I quite often disagree with Conservative Christian theology on a great many topics. For instance, I think that astrophysics has demonstrated that the known, visible universe is around 12 to 13 billion years old. I accept that, and I see no contradiction with Genesis. Even an elementary understanding of ancient Hebrew would clearly show that the Hebrew words have multiple meanings. What is important, and why the Bible is not a science book, is that God created the universe and placed Man in it for a relationship with him. The rest of the Bible is about that relationship.

If you had to pinpoint my actual theology - I would probably more in line with Narrative (or Post-Liberal) Theology (read about it here).

Postliberal theology - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

With all that being said - can anyone agree on anything in the Bible? To a certain degree - no. You will rarely find universal consensus on any passage either on the original intent or in the translation. For instance, in Luke 17: 21, the NIV states "nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you." While the NASB version of the same passage reads "For behold, the kingdom of God is in your midst" and others read "the kingdom of God is amongst you". Are all of these wrong? The Greek phrase entos humon literally means "inside you" but was also a common way of saying "within reach" So, as it turns out, the different translations are both right and wrong at the same time.

So how can we discern anything from the Bible? That is what Narrative Theology addresses. By the stories, the word pictures, the parables, the examples - we can get to the root of the teachings, to the real gemstone. Jesus, and other rabbis of the time, used parables because their audience could relate to them. We don't need to a be a wealthy prince that ran off and squandered a fortune or a rich father to understand the parable of the Prodigal Son. When you take the Bible as a whole, there are certain themes that reoccur and are emphasized. The importance of the family is there. The fact that God chose to come into this world by way of a family and not a lightning bolt from the sky is not a small point. Of course, we can debate forever on the what the Greek and Hebrew words used for family mean - but I think it is evident that Bible uses examples of relationships to help us understand - examples of father, son, mother, brother, sister, bride, groom...etc. And it is through these examples, through this narrative, that the Bible instructs us on how God wishes us to live.
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Old 11-15-2009, 04:52 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by Irvine511 View Post
that because you cannot defend your position in a secular manner
And as I've pointed out, I cannot defend any moral decision in a purely secular manner.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:05 PM   #46
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And as I've pointed out, I cannot defend any moral decision in a purely secular manner.


could you explain to me, in precise terms, why it is that Memphis and i are undeserving of the status of marriage. i would like to know what it is about our relationship that lacks in comparison to any and all other heterosexual relationships.

because that's really what's going on here. i can understand, to a degree, the mild apathy of FG and BW. really, why should they care if i'm allowed to get married or not? i do have the legal right to have sex with any consenting adult of my choice, i do have the right to live with the consenting adult of my choice, and in some states (though not VA), we can have various documents written up that will offer us some kind of legal protections. but why should FG and BW care if i'm of a less-than status? why would it be in their best interests to allow me to get married?

empathy and compassion are certainly difficult to generate for other human beings when we have abstractions, and when we resort to mob rule, those are usually the first two things that go out the door. clearly, the message that gay relationships are one thing, and straight relationships are another (and better), is a message that comes across loud and clear (and why gay teens tend to be far more likely to kill themselves). so why *should* we make changes?

that seems to be the situation, and that appears to be the task at hand.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:15 PM   #47
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And as I've pointed out, I cannot defend any moral decision in a purely secular manner.
If this is how you feel, then you should step aside and stop halting progress in the secular, legal realm.

Like financeguy, I don't really understand why the Bible is being discussed in here either. We are using a book of stories about men being eaten by whales, snakes talking, virgins having babies and all manner of beasts small and large coexisting happily on a big boat to justify the prohibition on gay marriage...you can see how this sounds basically demented to anyone who values our SECULAR legal system.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:35 PM   #48
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If this is how you feel, then you should step aside and stop halting progress in the secular, legal realm.
Actually, I guess what I should have said is that nobody can discuss morality in a purely secular manner.

In one way or another, your belief system is what you eventually turn to when you are asked "why" you believe what you believe.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #49
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Actually, I guess what I should have said is that nobody can discuss morality in a purely secular manner.
Um, sure they could...
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:38 PM   #50
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i would like to know what it is about our relationship that lacks in comparison to any and all other heterosexual relationships..
well, to begin with - a vagina seems absent
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:40 PM   #51
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well, to begin with - a vagina seems absent
Wow, now we've gone to 3rd grade tactics...

Why do I even bother?
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:42 PM   #52
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well, to begin with - a vagina seems absent

exactly.

now, tell me, why is a vagina so important?
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:51 PM   #53
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exactly.

now, tell me, why is a vagina so important?
Do you want bad heavy metal song lyrics? Poetry? The birth of Christ?
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:52 PM   #54
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Do you want bad heavy metal song lyrics? Poetry? The birth of Christ?


be serious.

why is a vagina so critical.
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Old 11-15-2009, 05:56 PM   #55
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All jokes aside - this path of discussion usually ends up with the notion that there really is no such thing as "gender" - and if there is no such things as "gender" then there can be no such thing as a "gender role" - and if there is no such thing a "gender role" there can be no definition of marriage that includes "man" and "woman".
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #56
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All jokes aside - this path of discussion usually ends up with the notion that there really is no such thing as "gender" - and if there is no such things as "gender" then there can be no such thing as a "gender role" - and if there is no such thing a "gender role" there can be no definition of marriage that includes "man" and "woman".


no. see? you're avoiding the issue. i am not talking about gender, i am talking about biology. i am going in the exactly opposite direction you're thinking.

i am not at all talking about gender role constructs. i am talking about penises and vaginas and why they are so critical to the definition of marriage.

be serious.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:00 PM   #57
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because that's really what's going on here. i can understand, to a degree, the mild apathy of FG and BW. really, why should they care if i'm allowed to get married or not? i do have the legal right to have sex with any consenting adult of my choice, i do have the right to live with the consenting adult of my choice, and in some states (though not VA), we can have various documents written up that will offer us some kind of legal protections. but why should FG and BW care if i'm of a less-than status? why would it be in their best interests to allow me to get married?
I should mention I really have no great interest in getting married myself, which is mainly why I come across as apathetic on the gay marriage issue.

Marriage seems to be painted as some kind of panacea by some gay people (and I don't mean you), perhaps when it is finally legalised gay people will realise romantic relationships aren't exactly a bed of roses for us in the het world either. And I emphasize I am not directing that at you personally.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:04 PM   #58
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Marriage seems to be painted as some kind of panacea by some gay people (and I don't mean you), perhaps when it is finally legalised gay people will realise romantic relationships aren't exactly a bed of roses for us in the het world either. And I emphasize I am not directing that at you personally.


i understand.

i think there are some gay people who do think that marriage will solve their problems, but not too many. i know there are some people who's lives have been changed by getting married. i also know that i can think of fewer people more unsentimental about romantic relationships than gay men over the age of 40.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:18 PM   #59
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All jokes aside - this path of discussion usually ends up with the notion that there really is no such thing as "gender" - and if there is no such things as "gender" then there can be no such thing as a "gender role" - and if there is no such thing a "gender role" there can be no definition of marriage that includes "man" and "woman".
Well, then there you go. There are no such things as gender roles; most certainly not in Western civilization. And by somehow belittling homosexuals it is not going to make that so ever again. The days of women taking a supporting role to her leading man's life are over--gay marriage or not.
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Old 11-15-2009, 06:19 PM   #60
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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.
That is simply false.
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