July 7, 2007

"Why are the churches miring themselves in debates on homosexuality when the very validity of religion is under attack?"

Why does the Daily Mail put this caption under that picture?

IN THE COMMENTS: "Is God gay?"

73 comments:

tjl said...

Because Michelangelo loved painting muscular male nudes in churches?

Bissage said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
hdhouse said...

Good morning Ann. Bummer to start this lovely morning reading that article.

I suppose that he used Michelangelo's debated homosexuality as parallel to the point he was making (although poorly and very badly written)...as in:

The unparalleled art in the Sistine Chapel is to Michelangelo's alledged homosexuality as the Current trials and tribulations of churches in England is to "much talk about nothing". Essentially not focusing on the more important aspect.

Just a hunch. By the way, ran across these poems while looking around a bit:

http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/REN/MICHEL1.HTM

amba said...

Oh God, that's funny.

amba said...

It subconsciously makes you go, "Is God gay?"

Bissage said...

I prayed that I might have the strength to resist the temptation to post a silly comment. Oddly enough, God took my call and said, “Nah, go for it. I could use a good laugh.”

Cool.

BTW, take another look at those cut-off shorts George Michael’s wearing. Who knew Adam was a never-nude, as if he were Dr. Tobias Funke?

Having at least something to do with it might be the “frontispiece” that came with the Adam suit!

Poor George Michael! He suffers the afflictions of G.O.B.

Bissage said...

Botched comment corrected.

Lesson learned: And THAT'S why you always run your posts by Mrs. Bissage!

hdhouse said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ann Althouse said...

Actually, I'm working on my post on the NSA case. Sorry if you think breakfast is thin gruel.

hdhouse said...

How can anything doing with Michelangelo be "thin gruel"?

Ann Althouse said...

Okay, then, it's a big heaping bowl of chewy oatmeal with raisins and heavy cream.

Dave F said...

Churches are miring themselves in debates on homosexuality because, as arbiters of the increasingly irrelevant thing known as "religion" they are marginalized. Ergo they chase their tails around trying to make sense of a world that has long since passed them by.

Doubtless people here will disagree with me.

TMink said...

From an insider's point of view, Christianity is always under assault. Twas ever thus.

And the discussion within the Church is not about homosexuality as much as it is orthodoxy. Scripture is clear on homosexual acts and heterosexual acts as well. The first is completely proscribed, the second extremely limited.

I have found no scripture about homosexual people, just homosexual acts, though it is a big book and their may be a mention.

The struggle is what do we make of Scripture? Do we ask it to conform to our ideas or do we seek to conform to the ideas it gives us.

The gay issue is just a topic that fans the fire of the real debate.

Trey

vet66 said...

""Why are the churches miring themselves in debates on homosexuality when the very validity of religion is under attack?""

Because the devil is in the detail!

Believing what is convenient, that is, the universe revolves around poor pitiful me, is counter-intuitive to the truth and beauty that is on constant display around us. The universe was found to not revolve around earth just as the universe does not revolve around each individual.

There is Godliness in each of us as there is intrinsic beauty in each of us. How we use those gifts is the choice we have as we celebrate the intrinsic value of that which ties each of us to one another-the value of life.

Only arrogant, eog-centric humans could make something so simple as faith so difficult to embrace.

reader_iam said...

Now that hdhouse is "assigning" topics (btw, "couple" doesn't mean "five"; your "topic sentences" aren't topic "sentences"; and the word you're seeking isn't "loosing"), in a tone reeking of condescension, I've lost all interest in responding.

I intended to post a more serious comment which, as it happens, would have touched upon no less than three of the listed topics. But I stopped taking writing assignments from assholes (except for pay) when I left school. No way would I want it to even appear that I've changed that policy for someone as full of assumptions and presumptions as hdhouse, Arbiter Of The Sublime For We The Unwashed.

At the risk of assuming myself, I strongly suspect I was dealing with overweening snot(/b)s like you since before you were born. Or at least before you were "loosed" on the adult world, in all your self-satisfied, pre-judging glory.

reader_iam said...

points to comment on are rich and sublime.

How about instructing by example, rather than lecture, hdhouse?

Where, exactly, are YOUR comments on the rich and sublime? 'Cause I've scrolled up and down through this thread and they are nowhere to be found.

You jumped straight to the snark, hypocrite.

Oh, but I guess that's more "weighty," more "deep," more "illuminating" than mere humorous quips. Or maybe the yardstick is different when it comes to you????

Natch.

Dave F said...

So I don't get it. Why the enmity for hdhouse's comments?

I mean, sure, they're disjointed and replete with spelling errors but they seem rather harmless, no?

Internet Ronin said...

Malevolent intent, Dave.

Meade said...

Dave F,

I'm thinking it's something in Althouse's oatmeal.

Big and heaping -- that's good. Chewy is good. Raisins -- mmm, yummy.

Ah! That's it -- the heavy cream. Ugh. Shoulda gone with the soy milk.

Internet Ronin said...

R_IAM: When you finally let go, you do it with such style:

Now that hdhouse is "assigning" topics (btw, "couple" doesn't mean "five"; your "topic sentences" aren't topic "sentences"; and the word you're seeking isn't "loosing"), in a tone reeking of condescension, I've lost all interest in responding....

At the risk of assuming myself, I strongly suspect I was dealing with overweening snot(/b)s like you since before you were born. Or at least before you were "loosed" on the adult world, in all your self-satisfied, pre-judging glory.


Touché.

reader_iam said...

Tone. History. Word choice.

I'm not going to analyze the whole thing, but here's a clue: "... And what shows up?" in a comment just eight in, which follows the "just a hunch" bit in the 7 a.m. post. Plus, you know, he listed topics, as if people aren't capable of "getting" them on their own.

Shorter: I "listen" to what I read in comments, and I heard hdhouse's intent loud and clear.

Now I'm out of here. Carry on with the elevated discourse.

Zeb Quinn said...

Me, I've always wondered why Michaelangelo, who obviously adored the male body and relished in creating renderings of them, always depicted them as so under-endowed. My theory is that it was his way of de-sexualizing the content because he didn't want any sort of erotic message conveyed.

Ann Althouse said...

Zeb: I know! God could have made Adam any way he wanted, so what's with the... carrot stick?

BTW, in that picture, God is wearing a pink dress. A pink dress!

Tim said...

"...American fundamentalists who eagerly await Armageddon and the eternal fire that will consume everyone but themselves."

Nice.

Moral equivalence always peaks my interest.

paul a'barge said...

Forget the caption ... what the heck is FEMAIL?

Have the Brits been so feminized in their soy-addled, testosterone-deficient brains that their media think this is cute?

Bissage said...

(1) And it’s Reader with a knockout punch to the solar plexus!!!

(2) [H]dhouse, it might interest you to know that the “sublime” Michelangelo had a sense of humor. Behold, the genitals of his critic Biagio da Cesena. Some quick background, here.

(3) Dave F, Althouse is a community and commenters earn their reputations. Some deserve the benefit of the doubt; some don’t. That's my two cents.

(4) In his defense, hdhouse is seldom nasty to our hostess. He is, however, consistently nasty to her commenters. He can change that anytime he chooses.

Eli Blake said...

Trey,

What gets me about all of this is how selectively religious opponents of homosexuality read the Bible.

They love, for example, to quote Mosaic law as expressed in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as a prohibition against homosexuality, but then ask them about other passages in the law of Moses, such as proscribing the eating of pork but prescribing the eating or locusts, or about stoning to death rebellious sons (Deuteronomy 21), or about not loaning money for interest (Exodus 22;25, Leviticus 25:36) and all of a sudden they will say that the law has all been fulfilled in Christ. Except about punishing homosexuals, I guess.

True, Paul also wrote against homosexual acts, but then he also wrote that women were to be totally subservient to men and should have long hair and wear a hat or other head covering while praying. How many of those who are quick to otherwise quote Paul strictly practice that (I figure since this in the internet, few Amish will be reading this.)

Either one accepts the Bible as completely literal or not. If not, then it is up to the individual or Church to interpret how much of what was given 2000 or 3000 years ago is as things should be interpreted today. And I have no problem with any church basing their doctrine on whatever they want to. My problem is when they try to lobby for legislation forcing others, who are not members of that church, to live as they think they should.

I could even make the following argument: When those laws were given, they made sense, but they are now obsolete. For example, parasites that live in pork (especially trychinosis-- sp?) are more dangerous than parasites that live in other kinds of meat, and since cooking methods back then often simply involved roasting over a fire (which cooks unevenly) the prohibition against eating pork (whether given by the Lord or not) helped insure the survival and good health of the people.

Similarly, in those days the strength of a nation was directly related to how many male children it produced who could when they were old enough be deployed in battle. A law against homosexuality would, at least in terms of its implied inclusion of women, help ensure a larger number of warriors for the next generation (maybe some women were actually gay and didn't like being forced to pretend otherwise, but in those days they had little other choice-- and rape of a wife in an arranged marriage by her husband was not a crime then). Some other societies, notably the Greeks, achieved the same result by allowing (in fact, encouraging) men to be gay but explicitly requiring all females to marry and bear children. But just like the situation with pork, the reason why this would have once made sense is no longer valid-- as a society our survival is no longer dependent on producing enough warriors who could go defend the country against a more populous opponent (for example, China.)

With the original basis for the law no longer applicable, the proscribing of homosexual marriage or otherwise limiting homosexuality today under the law makes no more sense than the laws requiring that motor car drivers have someone with a lantern walk in front of them at night to warn of the approach of the car (which was still on the books in Connecticut until a few years ago when someone found it and questioned it.)

Galvanized said...

amba, you read my mind...it does! lol
The pic indeed has nothing to do with the caption.

Paddy O. said...

"Why are the churches miring themselves in debates on homosexuality when the very validity of religion is under attack?"

This is a lot like asking why scientists are miring themselves in stem cell research when the very validity of evolution is under attack. The support of this statement being that Intelligent Design books have been published and are selling well.

The fact is that those books mentioned have been responded to, copiously, and are mostly in fact dependent on the ignorance of readers for the broader theological conversation.

As symbolized by the caption under the picture. It's a religious picture that everyone can recognize.

There's really no fear that religion is going to go away. In fact I'd say there's a good chance it's going to get even stronger. The real conversations going on in influential circles isn't about homosexuality (which is mostly happening in already declining denominations) or about the validity of religion. It's about reforming the character of the church to its original goals.

People might get irritated or excited by the books by Dawkins and Hitchens, but in 15 years those books will be totally forgotten while a new generation of readers picks up CS Lewis.

hdhouse said...

oh Christ Reader_Iam...no one was assigning topics. Get a grip. There are some excellent minds who post here and this could have been an interesting set of comments. Then you get all crazy.

Make sure to flush after you speak next time.

hdhouse said...

there ya' go reader_iam i took it down. feel better?

let those pearls of wisdom shine forth. i can't wait to read them.

Peter Palladas said...

Ergo they chase their tails...

...that's getting stuck into gays I assume.

Funnily enough I was more sexually harassed when I was a celibate monk - by both women and men - than before or since.

Which, if you consider the point, you will appreciate is a source of enduring personal sadness.

Quite funny at the time mind you.

Put a bit of fencing round a patch of grass and the watch the whole herd come a-trampling, a-lowing and a-mooing and a-roaring.

Eli Blake said...

Peter,

Not to puncture your bubble, but I'd point out that you were probably a bit younger then.

And younger people tend to be more popular as targets for sexual attraction than older ones.

Which is true whether you believe in evolution or Intelligent Design-- if the first, then it's because younger members of a species are generally stronger and are more likely to survive until the offspring are mature; if the second, it's because God designed it that way so that it would be easier for weak humans to remain faithful to their marriages over the decades.

Oh, and I assume you are either not wealthy or you hide it well. Rich men still seem to have that problem of women tripping over each other go get a date with them (especially if they live in community property states); and if they are old and rich, they even have a bigger problem fighting them off. Not sure why that is ;)

Kev said...

I thought this comment, at the bottom of the Daily Mail article, was interesting:

"Evolution is, to put it crudely, the survival of the fittest. Therefore it makes no sense to have a welfare system, old age pension, organ donars, blood donars, charitable organisations, and so on. Altruism and evolution do not fit together. If we are nothing more than an intelligent animal then Ghengis Khan is a good example of how we should each live our lives."--MIke, London

Internet Ronin said...

Put a bit of fencing round a patch of grass and the watch the whole herd come a-trampling, a-lowing and a-mooing and a-roaring.

Yep.

Internet Ronin said...

Reader_Iam: Please DO NOT remove your comments. Thank you

Eli Blake said...

Kev:

A very explicit description of 'Social Darwinism.'

Which was discredited by the Second World War.

Because if altruism and welfare are bad, then that would be because they would slow down evolution. But if you then follow the line of thinking in exactly the opposite direction, Nazism becomes the natural conclusion-- hastening the process and directing it as the powerful see fit to direct it.

Thank you, but I'll stick to advocating welfare and altruism, thank you. Because I'd like to think that we are more than just pseudo-intelligent animals.

Emy L. Nosti said...

The lack of belief in something is full of holes? Must be like a black-hole-in-empty-space kinda thing. And he calls us "militant" for attacking belief right before he speaks of Christians attacking people? I demand equity in pejorative labels.

If I claim that tiny purple unicorns (invisible to you of course) live in my ear and give my life meaning...well, the burden of proof is rightly on me. The idea of tiny purple unicorns that you could never completely disprove is under fire too, I say! You unicorn atheists sure have a lot of holes in your belief though.

Clearly, if you see one of my last posts in the Thanking God thread, theology as it stands has much more to explain and reconcile, particularly if it wishes to impose a specific purpose and nature on the mind of God.

PS: I can't wait until winter, when I can resume the war on Christmas (in between more or less observing it with my family).

TMink said...

Eli, thanks for that great comment. I can't get to it right now, but I wanted to say thanks and I look forward to reading and perhaps responding to your thoughts.

Trey

PatCA said...

It subconsciously makes you go, "Is God gay?"

Probably so, amba, but people were so homophobic then that it's only now that we can talk about it and allow him his proper place in history.

Peter Palladas said...

tiny purple unicorns (invisible to you of course) live in my ear and give my life meaning...

My father once proudly showed me a ball of hard brown wax he'd extracted from his ear.

I never forgave him. Perhaps I missed the secret meaning of his life damnit.

Troy said...

Eli Blake,

In response to your earlier post responding to TMink...

The OT was written for a specific people in a specific period of time -- for Jews ca. 1400 BC and was used as the law of the land. From that, we -- as Christians draw general principles -- but are not hidebound to the punishments given. The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is an abomination -- an unnatural act. That principle does not require Christians to view it as a capital offense or the worst sin a person can commit, but the principle is still there -- it doesn't take much interpretation to draw it out. The text also talks about the "act" not the orientation. People are made how they're made. "Being" a homosexual -- if in fact it's nature and not nurture -- is not a sin -- sodomy is. You don't agree with that and that's fine obviously, but Scripture CLEARLY teaches that and many if not most Christians (dubious stats no doubt!)

We (most of us) still have control over our actions -- no matter how we are made -- that is why we are not animals, but above them I believe. We all struggle with something -- that's why I completely reject the notion that thinking homosexuality -- the acts not the being -- is sinful is in no way hateful or "phobic" etc. It's (as well as myriad other sins) "right there" in Scripture to be believed or cast aside as individuals choose. Choices -- in our world -- carry consequences of course. We all make choices and get the reward for them -- I didn't make it that way and it dosn't really matter whether I agree or disagree with it -- that's the way it is.

Completely literal or not is a grossly false and foolish statement. Much of the Bible is written in poetry, story narrative (Parables anyone?) allegory, etc. Again I go back to general principles -- our entire system of laws -- common law especially is based on using general principles. When the Bible talks about the rising of the sun -- it doesn't mean Christians don't think the Earth rotates and gives the appearance of a sun rise -- obviously the sun doesn't literally "rise".

Unclean pork -- God didn't explain why pork was bad in an ancient civilization without proper refrigeration and other techne needed to properly preserve pork -- he just said it was unclean period. A discourse on trichinosis (sic) would be unwieldy and out of place in the text.

There are many books by John Piper, John Stott, JI Packer, etc. that explain these things much more thoroughly than a blog comment. If you are seriously interested then I can give you specific titles. If not, well, then... what difference does it make to argue?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Emy L. Nosti wrote:

If I claim that tiny purple unicorns (invisible to you of course) live in my ear and give my life meaning...well, the burden of proof is rightly on me.

First, you shouldn't advertise the fact that you have things living in your ear.

Second, as far as I'm concerned, there is no burden of proof on you as long as you don't show up my door to try to convince me that I need something living in my ear to give my life meaning.

tjl said...

"The Bible clearly teaches that homosexuality is an abomination -- an unnatural act"

The Bible clearly teaches that a lot of other things are abominations, too. Troy finds it convenient to edit them out, apparently on little ground other than homosexuality triggers his gag reflex and pork chops don't. If he wants to claim that he isn't simply expressing his bigotry, he ought to come up with a more logical explanation of why homosexuality shouldn't be classed with the other discarded Bronze-Age taboos.

TMink said...

I oinly got a secopnd here:

"All fags should choke on their own vomit" is a clear, heinous, homophobic statement.

"The Bible condemns sodomy" is a statement of fact.

One of these things is not like the other.

Trey

Sloanasaurus said...

The other day my kid was lying to me about some spilled kool aid. i told him he could go outside when he told the truth about the kool aid. He still refused. Then I told him that despite what he may say to me, god still knows the truth.....(he later fessed up)

People always talk about the bad things man does because of religion. But, how about all the bad things man refrains from doing because of religion. You never hear about those statistics because they are impossible to compile. There are many humans that would be uncontrollable but for the fear of god and the guidance of religion. Nothing secular has yet been its equal.
The world would be far more violent without religion then it is today with religion.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Then I told him that despite what he may say to me, god still knows the truth

Sloan, you lied to your kid because of spilled kool aid?

Troy said...

tjl...

I didn't "edit" anything out.

[though we could riff blue on the gag reflex comment]

The Bible is replete with both negative and positive statements. Eli specifically mentioned homosexuality. If you look at the unclean foods in the OT -- many, if not all, make sense in a world with no refrigeration, pasteurization, etc., etc. Some of the things like women's head coverings, etc. are purely cultural to 1st century Middle East or Asia Minor. The GENERAL PRINCIPLE is modesty -- the head covering is a time and culture specific advice.

For the last time... Christians, the overwhelming majority, do NOT take EVERY word in the Bible as explicitly and literally applicable to 21st c. America. Any accusations to the contrary is both unfair and akin to being a flat earther. (And I wouldn't confuse the most visible, in the MSM, preachers with reprresenting the majority of Christians Do some? No doubt some snake handler somewhere thinks the OT and NT should implemented as the Arkansas Penal and Family Codes, but that is an insignificant minority. Do some think homosexuality should be a capital crime? No doubt, but unlike mainstream Islam which appeases and ignores or remains silent (with many heroic exceptions) about its darker fringes those dolts are shunned and unwelcome in most (I would say all, but don't have the stats to back that up) mainstream congregations and in fact are denounced roundly whenever some jackass kills an abortion doctor (for example).

Deal with me and my post fairly and we can converse -- otherwise ignore it.

blake said...

Eli,

I think, unfortunately, that WWII didn't discredit "social Darwinism" so much as push it underground until it could be rephrased in such a way as to make it clear that it wasn't that the death camps were wrong so much as targeting the wrong people.

ISTR a case from the '70s where a proposal to set up a concentration camp in California for "likely offenders" was made and nearly approved. When they find "genetic markers" for criminal behavior, I think we'll see more pushes for that.

TMink said...

Eli wrote: "What gets me about all of this is how selectively religious opponents of homosexuality read the Bible."

Me too. Jesus said that a man that looks at a woman with lust in his heart had committed adultry and was in danger of hell.

Whoa. That so burns me. I am totally hosed by that statement. So what in the world business would I have thinking that I am good or capable of condemning another.

But people make a lifestyle out of focusing on verses that have nothing to do with them. It makes us less uncomfortable. Clearly Jesus meant to say something that makes us uncomfortable. Too many people who identify themselves as Christians like to divide sin into the bad ones and the notsobadatall ones. Without exception, they do the latter. It is hypocrisy, pure and simple.

"Either one accepts the Bible as completely literal or not."

I do not agree with you here. My fundamentalists brothers and sisters take a word for word literal interpretation of Scripture. God created the world in 6 24 hour days, etc. I believe that some of scripture is figurative, and while God is God, and as the supreme being of the cosmos could create the world in 6 seconds if He so desired, I believe that it took longer that 6 24 hour periods.

But I do believe in the literal, physical resurrection of Jesus. So I try to understand the meaning of the Scriptures while allowing the writing to be at times figurative. That puts me in the Evangelical camp. I am sure that I am wrong in some of my interpretations, but I am also sure I am forgiven.

For me, the Biblical teaching on sexual morality is clear. MUCH more is written about breeder behavior, and as I am a breeder, I focus on that. But the teaching on homosexual behavior is clear to me: it is sinful. Just like my prematial sexual encounters, just like when I looked at a beautiful woman that was not my wife and fantasized about her, just like when I got grouchy and withdrew when a nice girl I was dating did not want to engage in premarital sex.

I could go on, but you get the picture. I accept that sex between unmarried people is wrong, but I work to keep my own life clean. It is a full time job, and I still suck at it.

Trey

Peter Palladas said...

"The Bible condemns sodomy" is a statement of fact.

Too many fish in one barrel here.

1. Sodomy as an act cannot be condemned - only the person (well OK persons it taking two to dance this tango) is condemnable.

2. If condemned, condemned to what precisely? Our Lord never spoke of Hell being full of sodomites to my recalling.

3. If you mean human condemnation, then who frankly gives a fig? I condemn all people who do not support my soccer team, but I guess the world can live with that.

4. But this is the big one - sensitive Protestants look away now - 'The Bible' does not 'say' anything...it is a book, printed words on a page. Good human words, great words, words of God indeed. But The Bible is not itself a person or a God.

5. The Bible is a book of many books, chosen as 'the bible' by tradition and church law. We are not frigging Mormons for heck's sake claiming the book magically appeared.

Apart from that I totally agree with you. Saying bad things about gays is a bad thing - something even to be condemned by God and by man. Sodomy also probably does not feature high on God's list of 'Great Human Pastimes I Endorse', but then a lot higher than rape, murder, drunk driving even.

Funnily enough I was talking to St. Peter only the other evening and he made it quite clear that the number of sodomites who made it through the Pearly Gates in the past five years (as we count them) outweighed drunken drivers who caused harm by a hundred to one.

True stuff. Coming to a book near you soon. It's in the chapter 'Hate the sin, but love the sinner' coming right after the one 'I sin because I'm a sinner, not I am a sinner because I sin.'

Kev said...

Eli et al.--Re the comment I posted earlier (the "social Darwinism" one), I just wanted to clarify that those aren't my personal thoughts as well; I just thought it was something interesting over there at the Daily Mail site that hadn't been thrown into the mix in this thread. I'm considerably more compassionate than that (and I'm pretty sure that Mike from London is as well).

Eli Blake said...

Trey:

You can give me the titles (though I don't know if I'll have time to read them any time soon.)

That said, I agree that the Bible condemns homosexuality (as well as a lot of other things, including loaning money for interest-- one of the underpinnings of capitalism).

But I think you missed my point-- it was condemned in scripture at a time when it made sense to do so, just as it was the case with pork. You are right, that a discussion of refrigeration and parasitology would have made no sense in the Bible of 1400 B.C., so God just said eating it is wrong. Which he also said about homosexuality (and a discussion of armies and war, though maybe more appropriate for the Bible than refrigeration would be, is still not the main point of the Bible. So, he just said that homosexuality was wrong, just as eating pork was.)

The questions are,

1. whether that is still against the laws of God today. We've made the concerns about pork obsolete with modern technology, and so high tech weaponry has meant that simply having the most men means little in battle (unlike in the days when the men were fighting hand to hand with spears, shields and breastplates and numbers mattered much more.)

2. Given that you and I would certainly agree that churches have the right to their own doctrine, including about homosexuality (and yes, the large majority of Christian churches condemn it), does this mean that we should ensconce church doctrine into civil law? I would say no.

Adultery was once a crime, in fact at one time it carried a death sentence (as it still does in some Muslim countries.) And the Bible is very clear in prohibiting adultery. And that is fine, and most Christians don't engage in adultery. But it is no longer a crime (and where it is still on the books it is never enforced in criminal court-- though it may end up in civil court).

Which brings us back to gay marriage. In the absence of any demonstration that allowing it causes societal harm, I tend to favor allowing it. The whole 'sanctity of marriage' argument is intentionally misdirected, confusing the sacred church sacrament of marriage (and churches can marry-- or not marry-- whoever they please) with the civil law (under which the status of 'marriage' affects everything from inheritance and custody to employee benefits and insurance coverage to hospital visitation and taxes.)

Eli Blake said...

And Trey, I am glad that we both agree that sex outside of our marriages is wrong, but again-- is that a matter for Christians to teach other people about, or is it a matter to legislate?

Conserve Liberty said...

Faith is that it is.

The imperfect nature of Man must spoil the sublime.

Perhaps the question should be asked of organized religion.

amba said...

Galvanized,

In all the times I've seen (reproductions of) that famous painting, and even hearing what they say about Michelangelo and all, I swear to God I never had that thought until I saw the picture juxtaposed with that caption.

And I never noticed that God had on a pink dress! But, by God, he does!

Galvanized said...

He sure does. How did this escape me? LOL I'll never view it exactly the same again.

Troy said...

Peter...

Of course the Bible doesn't "say" anything. How exceedingly clever of you to point that out.

Next you can give us a disquisition on that whole "Can I?" "May I?" issue.

Sloanasaurus said...

you lied to your kid because of spilled kool aid?

Ba ha ha ha a hah hah

I can only imagine what you would say to your kid Cyrus.... "don't worry kid, the truth is what you want it to be...."

Moron.

bearing said...

...What gets me about all of this is how selectively religious opponents of homosexuality read the Bible.

They love, for example, to quote Mosaic law as expressed in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13 as a prohibition against homosexuality, but then ask them about other passages in the law of Moses, such as proscribing the eating of pork ...


Yawn.

What gets me about all of this is how unoriginally opponents of religion read the Bible and construct their arguments. Do they really think they're going to stop us in our tracks?

Gee. I never thought of that one.

Revenant said...

From an insider's point of view, Christianity is always under assault

Mostly by other Christians. :)

reader_iam said...

But people make a lifestyle out of focusing on verses that have nothing to do with them.

Word!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Sloan wrote:

I can only imagine what you would say to your kid Cyrus.... "don't worry kid, the truth is what you want it to be...."

Moron.


Well Sloan, this isn't about "what the truth is," but then again, you know that. I assume you've temporarily lost your sense of humor and your snarky reply is a reflection of crankiness about something else. I hope that you're feeling better if and when you reply to this.

Aside from the fact that I was teasing you (which I thought was pretty darn obvious), the underlying question is this:
"Should fear of punishment by God be the basis for teaching children the importance of telling the truth?"

In my opinion, people should value truthfulness itself; the importance of telling the truth should not depend on the existence of a Supreme Being and fear of punishment in an afterlife.

Anyway, I'm sorry you took my teasing the wrong way. Take care Sloan.

TMink said...

Hey Eli, I did get your point, I was just kind of sidestepping it! So much for that attempt.

My understanding is that the dietary laws were rescended in Peter's dream of Jesus telling him to rise, kill, and eat.

The penalities for the sins you mention were for a religious government of the Jews. Jesus did not mention governmental issues much, he was more about the heart of the matter. While I think that the OT informs us of God's pleasure and displeasure, I do not think it is a governmental tome.

We ALL make decisions on how to vote based on our spirituality. People really only argue about this when they do not like the way someone else votes!

I cannot vote for gay marriage. Marriage is a sacrement, a holy sacrement. Civil unions are a different matter and I would vote to allow that as it is not a religious matter while marriage is.

And Peter, not sure where you are coming from in what you wrote pal. It seemed a bit discheveled to me.

Trey

TMink said...

Peter wrote: "2. If condemned, condemned to what precisely? Our Lord never spoke of Hell being full of sodomites to my recalling."

Peter, two words.

Sodom.

Gomorrah.

Trey

Peter Palladas said...

Peter, two words. Sodom. Gomorrah.

You miss my point. This was an Old Testament story - and the offence is betrayal of guests not sex - but Jesus is not recorded as condemning sodomy or even gomorrahy in the New Testament.

We cannot, must not, conflate the two testaments.

rebel said...

I hate homosexuals. Not the women as much as the men.

The physical act of male homosexuality makes my skin crawl.

Homosexuals will burn in lakes of fire in hell when they perish.

If homosexuals are able to repent for their sins there is an option for them to become an ex-gay.

Many ex-gays move on in their life and marry a woman and have a family and are able to find love and happiness.

Unfortunately, most homosexuals do not change their sexuality. Instead, they choose a life of anonymous sex, destructive drugs and alcohol abuse, disease, early death, unhappiness in relationships and strained family relations.


Only through God that these homosexuals change and have any hope of going to heaven. I know much of this sounds harsh but it is the TRUTH.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

rebel wrote:

[hateful garbage] +

I know much of this sounds harsh but it is the TRUTH.

Actually you only consider it "the TRUTH" because you want to believe it is so. Religion does not require that you hate.

BTW, I didn't know Hell has lakes. I'll be sure to pack a brominated flame-retardant bathing suit when I go.

TMink said...

"Religion does not require that you hate."

Amen.

And to add a bit, Jesus said "Love your enemies. Pray for those who persecute you." Now I have very few enemies, and none of them are gay that I know, but you get the idea.

Trey

tjl said...

"I didn't know Hell has lakes"

It has a fiery lake in "Paradise Lost," a frozen one in the "Inferno," where the worst sinners spend eternity encased in ice. But the burning lake seems better suited for hateful personalities like Rebel above.

Palladian said...

"The physical act of male homosexuality makes my skin crawl."

Mmm, it makes mine go all tingly too, big boy!

Revenant said...

Jesus is not recorded as condemning sodomy or even gomorrahy in the New Testamen

Jesus stated that he wasn't out to change the law. There is nothing that was considered a sin by the "Old Testament" for which Jesus said "that is not a sin". The major focus of Jesus' teachings were (a) loving your neighbor and (b) leaving punishment, especially capital punishment, up to God. Thus, when Jesus stopped a mob from stoning an adulteress to death, he wasn't denying that she was a sinner who would burn in Hell if she didn't mend her ways. He was just telling the mob that it wasn't THEIR place to punish her.

A simpler way of putting it: sodomy was a mortal sin. Jesus said nothing and did nothing to change that, ergo it is still a mortal sin.

reader_iam said...

There is nothing that was considered a sin by the "Old Testament" for which Jesus said "that is not a sin".

And therefore ... .

(Follow this one through, then, in context of some of the things to which, for example, Eli Blake refers.)