Gay Marriage to Alfred: Your Thoughts

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there IS stuff in the bible that frowns upon homosexuality, although it's not really any more vociferous than injunctions against gambling and lying and stuff. which gives rise to my opinion that this isn't really about the bible at all, or even religion--although religion provides a *necessary* pretext.

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

or maybe it is about religion, and not about the bible. the bible's relationship to christianity is not very straightforward. different aspects and interpretations seize the christian imagination at different times. see also: all monotheistic religions.

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:11 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Well, there is stuff in the Old Testament, the law of which was fulfilled at Christ's resurrection. This is why Christians eat pork, for example - such laws are irrelevant, and Christ redifined a new moral law, which was the ten commandments plus love thy neighbour. Homosexuality is only mentioned once in the NT, in Romans I, in kind of a vague rambling way. Western society has had taboos against sexuality, but it hasn't used the bible for their justification - they were taken as self-evident. Now that is being questioned the religious right has decided the message of Christianity is contained in one nonsense and demonstratably false rambling of St. Paul.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This whole issue of gay marriage really depresses me. I really thought homophobia was a thing of the past.

daavid (daavid), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:16 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That shoulld be homosexuality, not sexuality - though the latter is also true, but to a lesser extent. (x-posts)

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:17 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

This is a wild idea, but maybe some are afraid that allowing same-sex unions would be one step closer to legalizing pedophilia or beastiality.

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"maybe"? some people have explicitly said this.

see nabisco's point on my "why do people hate 'the homosexuals' so much" thread.

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:21 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Homophobics have always mashed homosexuality and paedophilia together.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:22 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

With sexy results!

sorry! (Dan Perry), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:23 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

the word is "homophobes"--"homophobics" sounds like some form of alternative medicine. or a reading aid.

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and probably a lot of people opposed to same-sex unions are not homophobes

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:26 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one is a policy the other is personal

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:27 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

That's a tenuous position, A Nairn; I can see arguing that same-sex unions are not marriages based on (I believe tenuous) religious grounds but across-board opposition to even secular unions? That's some serious stone-casting.

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Yeah, I don't know where 'homophobics' came from. Very odd. that maybe true, A Nairn - those who think a legalisation of same sex union will lead to a legalisation of paedophilia probably are. And I can't think of a reason beyond homophobia for banning gay marriage.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:28 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

we're going in circles

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:30 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

It's like a dream come true
Come Alive
Through and through
It just goes to show
Take a chance
If you're ready
Let everything flow
Each and every one of us
Can talk in circles
Yeah each and every one of us
Will walk in circles
It's all you'll ever need
Chorus 1:
Why do we idolize it
(It's all you'll ever need)
If you can't justify it?
(It's all you'll ever need)
I'm bedazzled
By the answers that unravelled
That were fantasized
There's no single disposition
On the planet
Just the colours that collide
Yeah each and every one of us
Can talk in circles
Yeah each and every one of us
Will walk in circles
It's all you'll ever need
Chorus 1:
Why do we idolize it
If you can't justify it?
Why do we idolize it
If you can't justify it?
Get ready to go
Come on let's pick up speed
It's all in the mind
It's all you ever need
It's all you ever need

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

and probably a lot of people opposed to same-sex unions are not homophobes

They're either homophobes or they profoundly misunderstand the church/state nature of the argument.

Casuistry (Chris P), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

People keep saying odd things! That's where the circles come from.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:33 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

dan those are the worst lyrics ever. where are they from?

amateur!!st, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


"Circles" - Meat Beat Manifesto

The Ghost of Dan Perry (Dan Perry), Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:35 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

We should enact a bunch of laws based on the more ludicrous sections of Deuteronomy.

Deuteronomy 23 to thread, pls.

don weiner, Thursday, 4 November 2004 22:57 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


Deuteronomy 23, Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:01 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Doesn't Leviticus have something to say regarding homosexuality too?

Slept at Sunday School (Hereward), Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:12 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"It's a red herring that played upon the fears and insecurities of people who aren't smart enough to use the Bible as anything other than what it should be used for -- kindling or a doorstop."

OTM. i love you alex.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:34 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

in a totally heterosexual way of course.

latebloomer (latebloomer), Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:38 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

ok, a non-homophobe intelligent conservative Christian may think along these lines

1 - I should love my neighbor as myself.
2 - When I am at a fault it would be best for others to rebuke me with the truths of scripture.
3 - So, loving my neighbor would entail rebuking them with the truths of scripture (as the bible often tells to do, and in a gentle manner).
4 - Scripture makes known the wrongness of homosexuality
5 - I should vote aginst a law that would give the impression that the government encourages (or does not discourage in anyway) a same-sex relationship

A Nairn (moretap), Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I hate gay marriage, and so does my wife Frank.

Fred Beetle Barnes, Thursday, 4 November 2004 23:43 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

2 - When I am at a fault it would be best for others to rebuke me with the truths of scripture

Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.

4 - Scripture makes known the wrongness of homosexuality

No, we've been through this.

5 - I should vote aginst a law that would give the impression that the government encourages (or does not discourage in anyway) a same-sex relationship

This is where the invalis jump is made. (even if we assume the other premises, which I feel are false). 'Rebuking' and pointing out someone's sins is not the same as coercing them with force, as the law would entail. Also, the idea that morally wrong = illegal is nonsense. Adultery is legal. Lying is legal. etc. etc.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Friday, 5 November 2004 00:32 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

2 - rebuking in truth of scripture would not be considered "casting a stone". The bible says this in many places and it may seem like a contradiciton to many people, but there is a difference.

4 - Many of them see this in the scripture. Like I said earlier it would be under the "sexual immorality" label

5 - This is too where I agree their easist to contest fault may be, but what they are concerned with is not coercing with force but rather not having the government endorse it.

A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:04 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

"What's wrong with America today, pt 23222: Why do people think they must be personally endorsing something if they don't outlaw it?

oops (Oops), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:10 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I really thought homophobia was a thing of the past.

Good heavens. You seriously thought this?

Ned Raggett (Ned), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:15 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

rebuking in truth of scripture would not be considered "casting a stone".

Yes it would. Christ was comforting those who scripture condemned, and protecting them from the indignation of those who seek to dish out God's Law. He comforts adultresses, prostitutes etc.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:19 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

yeah, but at this point it would seem that turning over outlawing it would be like endorsing it. And isn't marriage something directly endorsed by the government?

A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink


A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:20 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

there is a shortage of love in this world, if two individuals want to make a public statement of their feelings for each other by getting married i think that's great and their sexuality is completely irrelevant, we should do all we can to respect and value their wishes. that's my opinion.

also, apart from the general homophobia issue, i heard in an interview on the radio yesterday (i.e. i don't know the veracity of the statement) that some US states have gone further with their referenda and are in fact considering excluding homosexual relationships from other benefits, such as caring benefits and superannuation and insurance. which will eventually place an increased cost on a welfare system under great pressure. that's not cool either if you ask me.

this stuff makes me feel a bit queasy about the world we are living in.

gem (trisk), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:25 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't want to get into any tedious theology debate here (at least not now)

but there is a difference between "letting oneself be used by God to gently let someone else realise their fault" vs. "Thinking oneself is better than someone else and looking down on them; judging them" (in action they may appear very similar, but in motive they are opposite)
In the case of stoning the prostitute, Jesus was speaking to the second group.

This is the kind of thought that needs to be examined to see how to get your agenda across (to the non-homophobe intelligent conservative Christian). Just saying, "that kind of thought is religious and wrong" will get no where.

A Nairn (moretap), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:40 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

So what are the chances that these gay marriage bans will be thrown out for being unconstitutional (since they seem to interfere with freedom of religion).

Casuistry (Chris P), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:51 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I don't understand why the Christians are against gay marriage. Can't have gays having babies out of wedlock can we?

Dan I. (Dan I.), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:53 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

(xx-post) Yes, I agree. I would never look down on someone for their faith - I have nothing but respect for people of faith. I do think, however that most people are homophobic, and those that use the Bible to justify their hatred are doing a disservice to themselves and God, and harming their brothers and sisters in the process. I've been surprised, since starting to use message boards (known lots of Americans, but I seem to meet religious liberals...) how anti-religion young Americans can be. The knee-jerk anti-faith is something I had only encountered among schoolchildren before - which isn't to dismiss the opinions of people who are anti-faith, merely illustrating how surprised I was to find intelligent people speaking like this. I know 2 reverends as friends (1 American), and several from doing Divinity for a while at Uni, and several who were my reverends. They were all, uniformly, both tolerant of homosexuality and supportive of gay marriage, in a civil and a religious sense. But this is Scotland, not the US. I don't accept that tolerance of homophobia comes within my definition of religious tolerance. I don't hate homophobes, and I think they can be shown the truth about homosexuality, but only once their preconceptions about what the Bible says about homosexuality are exposed, and they get a better grasp on the Biblical message. As for thinking I am better than homophobes, I don't - I think I am the worst person I know, and my failings certainly outweigh theirs. However, on this subject I believe that common humanity is right, and hatred is wrong.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Friday, 5 November 2004 02:58 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Okay, promised, and here it is. This is not my work, but, er, I approve this message.


'Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind, it is abomination.' Leviticus 18:22)

'They shall surely be put to death' (Leviticus 20:13)

'Sons of Belial' (Judges 19:22)

''Their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature' (Romans 1 :26)

'Men leaving the natural use of the woman ,burned in their lust toward one another' (Romans 1:27)

'Men with men working that which is unseemly' (Romans 1:27)

These statements would at first glance seem to defintively prohibit homosexuality, but on further consideration this conclusion becomes less certain, if not highly questionable and is a debate that must be very carefully addressed. Those who do come to a decision against homosexuality can do so only with caution, as it results in significant implications for a number of wider issues.
Two overarching questions must be kept in mind throughout, which are of great importance: 1) What is a sin? A sin is usually defined as an act or thought which in some sense is contrary to God's will for humanity. Is this always inescapable the case with homosexuality? 2) Equally crucial is in what manner scripture is to be interpreted, how literally? With what freedom? Can science, theology and philosophy make valid contributions to the debate?

From the outset it is important to point out that despite the length of the Bible there are very very few mentions of a topic which today is considered of great importance, and these are almost equally distributed between the Old and New Testaments. This sparsity should alert us to the fact that it was not an issue of great concern throughout the Biblical period, no more than a very minor issue, and thus suggests that there was no developed theological stance upon homosexuality. Thus prohibition of homosexuality is more likely to be the result not of a theological given, but an imposition of social prejudice and taboo upon scripture. Prejudice against what? This might seem a strage quesstion, but did the ancient Israelites who wrote Leviticus or the Jews of Jesus' time have any real notion of homosexuality as we might do now? The word certainly did not exist. For those who did, homosexuality was not seen in the light of a loving committed relationship between two individuals, but as a lustful act committted by the depraved. It was a degradation of one individual by another, upsetting the natural order of things. This concept of 'natural order' is very important in understanding the Biblical statements. In Genesis God creates man and woman and commands 'go forth and multiply', thus homosexuality would seem to undermine if not directly threaten this command.' Homosexuality as an act then is perhaps less of a sin in itself, per se, but more because it prohibits this injunction, and upsets natural order. It is for this reason (amongst others) that contraception is banned by the Catholic church. Consequently, any church which accepts contraception (which i believe is all except the Catholic) runs a risk of contradiction on this issue. Why should some acts be condemend on the basis that they deny the possibility of life and not others? Moreover, it was for this reason that barren women were so stigmatised in the Old Testament, being incapable of having children they were a shame upon a godly society. This would be considered unacceptable now- yet the basis of the rejection of barren women is virtually the same as that of homosexuality. The importance of children and the idea of a natural order in terms of relationships to the ancient Israelites (as it continues today amogst many Jewish communities) cannot be underestimated. Equally significant was the idea of purity and impurity. Those who did acts contrary to God's will were considered ritually impure, they could not partake in any religious activities and were considered abominable, they threatened the entire community in fact, because of the potential callimg down of God's wrath. Part of the significance of the New Testament (for Christians of course) is that God/Jesus sweeps away this conception of the divine, God is no longer a 'jealous God' who demands the complicated ceremonial observance of the Jewish law as exhaustively outlined in the Law books, and enforced by the Pharisees. Instead the God of the New Testament fundamentally alters the divine-human relationship, reorientating it and internalising it, making motive, namely love, the chief criterion of a sinful act. For tis reason Christians do not follow the Laws which many Jews follow today such as those of food and that of circumcision. The prohibition s of homosexuality in the Old Testament must thus be considered very carefully- are they still valid? The Early Church Fathers decided that while ceremonial law was to be discarded, the moral must be kept. In many ways though, this is impossible to carry out, it is an artificial distinction, for the Israelites has no separation, all acts, were ceremonial and directly related to ritual purity. Most people today would consider it highly unethical to shun the ill and the infirm, but these individuals were considered impure and to be avoided. If one is to condemen homosexuality on the basis of the purity laws, it is done at the very great risk of ignoring the fundamental message of the New Testament, and by that logic the ill, the barren and the infirm must also be rejected as sinful and outside God's Kingdom. That there are references aginst homosexuality in Romans thus adds weight to the concept that it was a social and not divine prohibition, the result of Pauls' Jewish background. While Paul's marvellous contribution to Christianity cannot be denied, as neither can his importance, one must be caitious about accepting on face value all that he writes. If Paul's views are to be followed exactly then slavery is tacitly accepted as is the subjugation of women as naturally inferior to men (eg 1 Corinthians 14:35 'If they will learn anything, let them ask their husbands at home, let the woman learn in silence with all subjection.') Paul is thus clearly speaking in the mould of treditional Jewish belief, and this has serious implications for the woman's movment. It goes without saying that any church that gives women any role within it is already inconsistent with Paul, thus condemning homosexuality is a double inconsitency. To follow Paul in all things it to reject female equality and the dignity of freedom to all individuals. This is not to undermine Paul but simple to be aware of his limitations as an individual of his time, albeit inspired by God as an apostle. Jesus noticably says nothing on the issue of homosexuality, it is simply peripheral- does this not suggest that it is irrelevant if one's relationship with God is one of reciprocal love? A mentioned, God's love and HIs wish for this to be extended to all individuals is the defining feature of the New Testament revelation for Christians. Consequently, those who condemn homosexuality must do so with great caution- are they themselves failing to live up to a far more fundamental injunction of love? Love in its fullest sense surely inclides the wide-hearted, prayerful acceptance and tolerance of individuals. This is not a blanket acceptance that does away with morality, but that the debate must be conducted on this basis and that homosexual people must be considered as individuals with needs and desires who have their own relationship to God. Jesus in the New Testament is the friend of the outcasts and reviled minorities and those who condemn homosexuality should be very much aware of this- they may be attacking those whom God holds dearest as the persecuted. Moreover, modern psychology and genetics shows that homosexuality is not a lustful whim of devil possesion as the Israelites and the first Christians saw it, but an unallterable aspect of an individuals sexual preferences. Why would a loving God implant such inherent sinfulness in such a basic human urge? Romans might prhibit homosexuality as it is not a 'natural use', but surely it is a natural use for those whom it is their sexual orientation? Prohibiting homosexuality runs the risk of denying God's essential goodness. God as loving surely wills all His creatures to be happy and fulfilled. Relationships (whether woth other humans or with God) is the chief means to do achieve this- espescially the close loving bond of sexual relations with another person that simultaneously is a groing towards God, and for this reason marriage is considered a sacrament that should take place within the Church. Are homosexuals to be denied this, because of an unalterable facet of their nature which God himself has made? Other sexual practices such as bestiality or incest are immoral because they can never be non-exploitative and thus truly loving, but homosexuality is of another category and can fulfull these criteria, surely where love is, God is, as God is love? Moreover,to take the Biblical texts at face value is in many ways a direct affron to God's love and wisdom. A literal reading is a superficial one, and thus is failiure of respect for the Bible, and incredibley beautiful and complex text that God has caused to be written over thousands of years and through hundreds of individuals, it is truly representative of the mass of humanity and its thirst for God over time. To take it literally is to debase it to a simple text and without its true richness and value, and surely such a rejection of God is far more serious a sin than homosexuality ever sould be? As is the mental torture and judgement of individuals whom God loves. it strikes me that homosexuality can be seen as a challenge by God, a particular one of the present time to mankind to widen their love to more people. And it is interesting that the debate on homosexuality is espescially conducted in America, which (with the greatest respect for the diveristy of views that exist there) is having great difficulty in applying Christian love to people on an international basis. The Bible, far from declaring homosexuality a sin, actually may suggest that it is one of the many ways that individuals can reach out to God and reach out to each other in mutual love, trust and tolerance.

Bumfluff, Sunday, 7 November 2004 15:39 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

Thanks for the article - it's very good, quite compelling.

Kevin Gilchrist (Mr Fusion), Sunday, 7 November 2004 16:02 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

I think a good solution to the entire fiasco would be this:

Fine, let gays have marriage. Whatever, they can keep it. So long as heterosexuals get to have SUPER marriages!

David Allen (David Allen), Sunday, 7 November 2004 16:18 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

D'oh, sorry about all the typos.

Bumfluff, Monday, 8 November 2004 00:46 (fourteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Dan (Awesome) Perry (Dan Perry), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 20:42 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Alex in NYC's sputtering rage upthread is most refreshing. I wish the producers of "Inanity & Colmes" would ask him to appear on the show.

Alfred, Lord Sotosyn (Alfred Soto), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 21:25 (twelve years ago) Permalink

oh if only we could hack in and post our own "great things"...

Shakey Mo Collier (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 21:29 (twelve years ago) Permalink

A gay friend of mine shot me this link

don weiner (don weiner), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 23:34 (twelve years ago) Permalink

you misspelled "load"

Curt1s St3ph3ns, Tuesday, 18 April 2006 23:37 (twelve years ago) Permalink

roffles baby roffles

don weiner (don weiner), Tuesday, 18 April 2006 23:44 (twelve years ago) Permalink

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