May 7, 2012

"Prick is a much better word."

Pricking and searing... what's been going on with your conscience?

Bonus: A new Bible-based argument for same-sex marriage.
St. Paul contemned the bad religionists who "forbid people to marry," and — right at that point — said "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." Did God not create gay people?

Here we are "in later times." Is your conscience seared or pricked?


Icepick said...

Didn't God create pedophiles, too? So is this an arguement for pedophilia?

TMink said...

Let us not forget that God made Hitler, Mao, and Stalin. Not that this is to slam gay people, just the specious argument.


Jay said...
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Jay said...

Did God not create gay people?

No. Because people aren't "created" gay.

Dave said...

Classic proof texting: using a few verses out of context to "prove" your favorite point. It's one of the marks of a cult.

traditionalguy said...

God created people. Therefore God created gay haters. Great argument you've got there.

The conscience is intentionally disabled by most folks. Having an active conscience makes you very easily manipulated by others. It also makes you a poor liar. It also makes you unemployable as a torturer of innocent slaves ( a/k/a a Federal Bureaucrats job.)

A cold determination to do great evil that is masked behind a smile and a charming facial expression at will is what is dangerous. But no more about Obama today.

Jay said...

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." Did God not create gay people?

A new bible based argument for drug legalization:

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." Did God not create heroin?

A new bible based argument for stealing:

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." Did God not create Thieves?

Your "argument" is Kathleen Falkian (lame).

t-man said...

It looks like everyone beat me at shooting down that barrel-o-fish argument.

Ann Althouse said...

Obviously, I'm pushing back against the people who use other verses in the Bible against gay people.

This is a much more impressive text than those stray Old Testament verses that hang out with the don't-eat-shrimp stuff.

And of course, Paul is specifically ragging on the don't eat shrimp crowd.

Dan in Philly said...

"New?" Ah, no. Ann, I get you sometimes, but sometimes I don't. Sometimes you just seem to make the most clueless statements which reveal something I just don't like.

Ann Althouse said...

Those of you who won't listen to my argument, why are you not afraid that you are the ones who have seared consciences?

You haven't thought deeply. You're just saying: This is easy; argument over; I won.

I am not impressed by your religion or your reason.

Steve Burri said...

Finally, a Biblical defense for marrying my dog!

Dan in Philly said...

"Obviously, I'm pushing back against the people who use other verses in the Bible against gay people. "

The bible is amazingly clear on its attitude about such topics. You can certainly reject some or all of it, but you really can't pretend it says what you want it to say just because you want it to say that thing.

TreeJoe said...

God created sin and spent a few thousand years, in a wide variety of forms, teaching us (man) to recognize and avoid sin.

Everything God has created can be enjoyed in some form or another. But the way in which those things are enjoyed CAN be sinful (i.e. opioids are great painkillers; get addicted to them or use too much and it's bad news - regardless if it's a sin).

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...
Obviously, I'm pushing back against the people who use other verses in the Bible against gay people

And you're failing.

Jay said...

Ann Althouse said...
Those of you who won't listen to my argument

You have no "argument"

You are referencing things you do not understand.

I am not impressed by your religion or your reason.

I'm not impressed by your ignorance of the Bible.

Dave said...

The same author St. Paul was clearly against homosexuality Romans 1:26-27.

I agree with Jay, you haven't made an argument to speak of. Your understanding of Christianity is incomplete. God made all good and gave us freedom. It was our abuse of freedom that resulted in sin and the contentious world we live in. In one sense your concept is correct. All that is was once good, or can be. Evil has no existence on it's own, rather evil and sin is the disordered or distorted good. This evil must be allowed to exist so that we can freely choose to love God (the purpose for which we were made) rather than automatically choose Him out of compulsion or fear. That is Christian Theology 101. The good origin of each creation does not necessitate that each creation is perpetually good. After all God created Lucifer as well, and gave him the freedom to rebel. If God's creations were all incorruptible they're would be no sin.

Paddy O said...

"I am not impressed by your religion or your reason."

Well, it goes both ways. :-)

Here's a thicker sort of response. Everything in the Bible was written in a specific context, so the arguments can't just be lifted out and applied to whatever context we want them to. That's proof-texting. If we did that, literally anything can be justified. The more you know the Bible the more proof-texts you can come up with to piece together.

Indeed, that's why the whole shrimp thing is so important. Paul is specifically making arguments against the dietary laws that separated Jews from Gentiles. Acts 15 is a big discussion about whether it was required to be a Jew first in order to be a Christian.

So, where the OT was particularly strong, specific arguments on specific issues in the NT address why those specific rules don't apply to everyone.

With issues of sexuality, the rules stayed strict. Jesus never brought up the sexual ethics because wasn't something he protested. And where he did bring them up he was more strict (Don't even lust!).

That led the early church to really start thinking that people shouldn't even get married--also because of the expectation they were in the 'last days'.

This can be seen even more clearly in the trajectory of the church. The tendency throughout history, and especially early, was for Christians to forsake sex altogether--with the monastics showing precisely where the line was for the early Church. Paul said staying single is better than marriage.

To then make it about expanded sexual ethics, do whoever feels good, misses the context of the conversations and attaches very contemporary arguments onto almost entirely settled trajectories of discussion.

Had the early church wrestled with homosexual unions, and decided against them, we could then see that these Biblical discussions were more about what the extent of marriage might mean and who it would include. But they didn't.

That's precisely why the posts so far are very much to the point. It's ludicrous to attach validation for issues that were beyond conception for the writers of those texts. By using issues that are ludicrous for validation to us, we show what the earliest Christians would have felt about raising an issue of gay marriage. It would have been entirely incoherent to a 1st century Jew or Christian to suggest gay marriage.

syd B. said...

Like George Carlin said of two way words, Roberto Clemente can say on tv, "I pricked my finger, but he can't say, "I fingered my prick".

themightypuck said...

Don't goad the pricks.

MadisonMan said...

God created people. Therefore God created gay haters.

I think that's learned behavior.

Mitchell said...

A big prick is an oxymoron.

Dave said...

grammar error that they're should be "there"

AllieOop said...
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Paddy O said...

Using the Bible against "gay people" isn't really the issue at hand.

I think that has been done, and done in grievous ways, especially as all sorts of behaviors are overlooked depending on the status of the sinner or the type of sin being committed.

The issue at hand, for the Bible at least, is that our instincts are wrong.

Our instincts about sexuality are wrong. Don't trust them.

Our instincts about wealth being a sign of God's favor are wrong. Don't trust them.

Our instincts about violence are wrong. Don't trust them.

Our instincts about tribal narrowness are wrong. Don't trust them.

Our instincts about revenge are wrong. Don't trust them.

So, the Bible is as much against gay people as every person. Meaning, we all have wrong instincts that are disordered. Don't trust them as a source of identity because they, ultimately, are futile.

That's where the gay marriage argument is ultimately incoherent to the Biblical testimony. "It's who I am" goes up against "Don't trust who you think you are."

Otherwise, everything can be relativized.

Jesus said violence is bad. Well, I celebrate war with thanksgiving, so it's good?

Jesus said love your neighbor. Well, I celebrate vanquishing my neighbor with thanksgiving, so it's good?

Jesus said help the poor. Well, I celebrate a lavish life with thanksgiving and am thankful for not having to help the poor, so it's good?

It's fine to say all that, but going that direction basically means undermining the entirely of Biblical ethics, because if we're thankful for our behaviors and instincts we would then make them good. Anyone can do anything, as long as they are thankful for it.

Now that's a loophole.

Quayle said...

And this is the problem with religions derived from a book.

In all cases when God deals directly with humans, the church and doctrines never came from a book.

Rather, the church and the book always came from a prophet and contained the doctrines the prophet established on behalf of God.

Geoff Matthews said...

They are begging the question that people are created gay.
And ignoring the instances where Paul specifically addressed homosexuality.

Mary Beth said...

It says more than whatever God made is good. It includes "received with thanksgiving". So, wouldn't gay marriage be acceptable with prayer and consecration?

AllieOop said...

Comparing gay people you don't know to Hitler, Mao, Stalin, dogs, and pedophiles, putting them in the same class?

Ann, you will never get through to haters and bigots, especially with Bible verses. Some believe gays chose to be gay, ignoring very young children who display gay tendencies. Only they understand the mind of God. They don't understand fetal development either.

So far the only voices of reason are Tradguy and Madison man. The majority of your readership is against you on this one, they resent you using the Bible in your argument.

Only they are allowed to twist and manipulate Bible scripture to fit their agenda.

bagoh20 said...

All I know is it must be a damned good book if people are still arguing about it after all these years. I think I'll check it out.

Any recommendations on version?

Paddy O said...

What's interesting also is how closely this ties to the particular interests of our hostess.

Not in the gay marriage stuff. The Constitution.

Essentially, it's a very similar kind of issue as Constitutional cases. We have a Constitution around which we frame our society.

Now, what can the government do? Anything it wants as long as it has a good cause?

Or does the Constitution constrain the government even acting on a good cause because there are higher principles involved (and dangers from violating those)?

It would be much easier to do what we wanted if there wasn't a Constitution. What we need is a guru to enlighten us to what is right for now, not what was right 200+ years ago.

Shana said...

English Standard Version

Paddy O said...

The only reasonable people are the people who agree with me!!

bagoh20 said...

God must have created bigotry too. Rejoice in it.

I think mosquitoes have no redeeming qualities.

If we could just agree that God may not be infallible, then a lot of stuff would make more sense.

Smilin' Jack said...

"For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." Did God not create gay people?

Did God not create the AIDS virus?

Jim S. said...

I understand Paul to be saying that every concrete thing God made is good. Sex itself is not a thing it is an act. That doesn't mean sex isn't good (the Bible says it is elsewhere) it just means that may not be what Paul is addressing in this particular text. So to say God made homosexuals gay is incorrect: what God made is people and people are good. At any rate, Paul is really talking about dietary restrictions here, I think, so to use it to draw conclusions about marriage may be out of its scope.

Jim S. said...

I think mosquitoes have no redeeming qualities.

C. S. Lewis wrote that a mosquito heaven and a human hell could be conveniently combined.

Ann Althouse said...

"C. S. Lewis wrote that a mosquito heaven and a human hell could be conveniently combined."

I'm picturing all sorts of combinations.

You're there for a thousand years and then you discover this is actually hell, and heaven is somewhere else.

edutcher said...

I read some expert on Scripture noted nothing in the New Testament repudiates anything said in the Old.

And this was long before same sex marriage was an issue.

AllieOop said...

Comparing gay people you don't know to Hitler, Mao, Stalin, dogs, and pedophiles, putting them in the same class?

If Oop(s) actually read what people wrote, she'd know TMink WASN'T doing that, but Lefties need to feel sanctimonious.

PS Am I apple polishing now, dear?

AllieOop said...

How about this scenario? You get to Heaven and it's filled with gay people? You get turned a way at the gates because you didn't love thy neighbor as thyself.

AllieOop said...
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Quayle said...

You haven't thought deeply. You're just saying: This is easy; argument over; I won.

I am not impressed by your religion or your reason.

So, the issue as I understand it is how does one discern between a seared conscience and a fully active conscience that is pricked? In the sides on this issue, whose conscience is seared and whose is active?

I propose the following:

I. One must possess and use the gifts of the Holy Spirit to discern. There is no other way.

(1 Corr 2) 12 Now we have received not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit that is from God, so that we may understand the gifts bestowed on us by God.

13 And we speak of these things in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual things to those who are spiritual.

14 Those who are unspiritual do not receive the gifts of God's Spirit, for they are foolishness to them, and they are unable to understand them because they are spiritually discerned.

So, how does one know that they have the Spirit of God with them? How can one discern the Spirit of God and when they have it or are listening to or under its influence?

II. One knows those things that are of the Spirit of God by observing the fruits of the Spirit: (or as Christ said, by the fruits that come from what people do you will be able to know if they are of God.)

Paul said the fruit of the Spirit are the following (factors):

(Galations 5) 22...the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness,

23 gentleness, and self-control.

So, hold homosexuality and all the surrounds it up against these factors, which I do briefly in a moment.

But first, also note that Paul contrasts these fruits with what he calls the works of the flesh (i.e. negative factors), which Paul says are obvious:

(Gal 5) 19 Now the works of the flesh are obvious: fornication, impurity, licentiousness,

20 idolatry, sorcery, enmities, strife, jealousy, anger, quarrels, dissensions, factions,

21 envy, drunkenness, carousing, and things like these. I am warning you, as I warned you before: those who do such things will not inherit the kingdom of God.

So when I do a factor analysis, I see that (a) the outcome tends away from open and active gay sexuality (and indeed most of the unmarried sexuality of our day), but that

(b) it isn't a slam dunk because there is so much evidence in so many gays of goodness, kindness, compassion, creativity.

So what of that?

My answer:
No person is totally good or totally bad. All are offspring of God and as such possessed with divine traits and characteristics. Love is love no matter who has it. The converse it also true – selfishness is selfishness no matter who has it.

We need to take the binary thinking out of this discussion, and indeed all discussions of sin.

Sin is, more than anything, delay and decay in progress - delay and decay in the development of god-like capabilities and capacities. (I don’t have space to go into it here, but this derives from the Mormon view that our life is a contrived experience for us to have a body, be suspended between good and evil, have our free will to move about and try, fail, experience joy and pain, and learn why good is good (sweet) and why evil is evil (pain))

I would propose that the 'sin' of illicit sex (homo or hetro) is delay and decay in that that it screws up the emotional bonding capacities of a person and destroys trust and trust-ability between two people.

The 'sin' of homosexuality is delay and decay in that it hinders two people in their most opportunity laden relationship (a man learning to meld and work with a woman and a woman learning to meld and work with a man), and in their most powerful creative capabilities and opportunities to create their own offspring, the full creative extend of which is immeasurable.

(What is the production of a good play on Broadway compared to the beauty and creativity of 5 generations of human beings you created?)

Quayle said...

But there is another mitigating or intervening issue. Sin is, by my definition, doing what is against God’s word, willfully, when you know it is God’s word and you don’t care. So clearly people can sin in ignorance, and can sin unknowingly when they don't fully know God's law, and as such they are not condemned, and may possess spirits as children on that particular matter.

Bottom line, though we can feel much goodness that certainly exists in the hearts and souls of all people, homosexuals certainly included, and we certainly feel love for them and for all as family members and fellow brothers and sisters in God's family, on the point of sex outside of marriage and in particular sex with another of their own gender, we can also clearly feel a sinking and a lack of wholeness in our hearts when we contemplate the matter. This is the Spirit leaving and not endorsing that thing.

And likewise on that narrow point of homosexual sex, we can observe, when we introduce and discuss the subject with gays, not the fruits of the spirit but rather a lack of peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, and self-control.

We can sense this all in our hearts when we touch on that narrow issue, so we know it is not of God.

The things of God are discerned by the Spirit of God, the fruits of which are peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

AllieOop said...

Edutcher, no because your bigotry supercedes your sychophantic tendencies.

Yes! Edutcher you are the man!

Quayle said...

And sorry my writing is so rough hewn.

Consistently sized and smoothly shaped sentences and paragraphs just don't linearly flow out of me as they seem to from Ann and others here.

I hope the main blocks I drop enable you to grasp the logic steps.

Erika said...


What do you hope to accomplish by calling people haters and bigots? You're convinced they are (according to your definition, anyway) and they know they are not. No one is persuadable on that front. So why do you do it?

ricpic said...

God creates free men and women and offers them a choice: be normal or be perverse. We're supposed to celebrate the ones who choose perversity?

n.n said...

A mother's work is rarely appreciated.

To be fair to individuals who engage in homosexual behavior, it is arguably worse for human viability when heterosexuals pursue unmitigated self-gratification, including elective abortion of their unwanted children's lives. The latter in particular is not something that will concern individuals who embrace a homosexual lifestyle.

Erik Robert Nelson said...

And this post is a prime example of why arguments over this sort of thing go nowhere. Ann can be forgiven her ignorance of Christian theology on this point, I suppose. But she should realize that this argument was raised and answered within living memory of Christ's disciples. It's not a new argument. It was the first major theological debate among Christians (as I've pointed out before here on these forums and as someone else pointed out above).

The amusing thing is that Ann (and many others) have shown themselves to have not really engaged in any substantive argument with Christians about why they oppose homosexuality. Otherwise she would have at least a passing familiarity with arguments over the moral law and the temple purity laws. But she doesn't understand the argument because she's never had it.

And there is rarely anything more insufferable than someone offering an argument when they don't even understand what's being debated. Seriously, Ann. Pick up a book on Christian theology before you start slapping down arguments like this. You're smarter than that. Own up to your ignorance. That doesn't mean you need to change your mind on the issue, but at least make an effort.

gail said...

I'm a fan of the New Revised version, but for serious study, the King James and Strong's Concordance are the way to go imo.

"Hate the sin" is different from "love thy neighbor". It is possible to do both. If you read one of my favorite books, (little) John I, perhaps you will gain some understanding.

(Btw, by read I mean s-l-o-w down from your normal reading speed, and read the book every day for "x" days (to avoid cultish structure, let your heart guide you). It helps to pray before hand and ask Him for help in understanding and revelation.)

AllieOop said...
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Steven said...

The efforts people go through to pretend that the Bible doesn't say what it manifestly says have always confused me. Is there some idea that if you manage to find a loophole in the wording, the Author is going to have to let you off?

There's a relatively limited list of things for which the Old Testament prescribes the death penalty (Leviticus 20:13) and which get condemned at least three separate times in the New Testament (Romans 1:26-27, 1 Corinthians 6:9-11, and 1 Timothy 1:8–10).

Either the Bible is the Word of God, or it's of no more value than, say, Aristotle's collected works. In either case, there's no particular point in trying to pretend it doesn't mean what it says. In the second case, it's as stupid as torturing The Physics to pretend Aristotle got Newtonian mechanics right. In the first case, it's actively angering the most powerful being in the universe, which is stupid to the point of insanity.

edutcher said...

Erika said...


What do you hope to accomplish by calling people haters and bigots?

Oop is Hatman in drag.

craig said...
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craig said...

The Catholic Church, the largest body of Christians on earth, absolutely rejects a "Scripture alone" methodology, and has done so continuously for the last ~1979 years. When Orthodoxy, the Copts, et al. are included, an absolute majority of all Christians similarly reject such proof-texting. Yet whenever secularists argue against any Christian doctrine (and this sadly includes Professor Althouse here), they resort to arguing against fundamentalist straw men and not against the wellspring and mainstream of Christian thought.

(And later when they want to argue against Catholicism, they'll cite Catholic doctrines as not being found in the bare text of Scripture, as if this were somehow required. Pound the facts, pound the law, or pound the table, as the saying goes.)

Argue against Aquinas if you dare, but spare us the tedium of responding to 'shellfish' arguments until you can articulate the difference between divine and immutable moral law, and the preparatory, didactic nature of Old Testament ritual law (which only ever existed merely to be fulfilled/superseded in Christ). This is Catholic Theology 101.

It is necessary to listen to the whole narrative arc of Tradition (incl. liturgy and prayers) and Scripture, not just skip around looking for rules. In order to know whether something is immoral or disordered, it is first necessary to grasp the created purpose of the world and its intrinsic natural order. God is the source of rationality; know Him better and you will come to understand other stuff better. You don't learn to spot counterfeit dollars by looking a fake bills; you learn by looking at real bills until you know them thoroughly.

wyo sis said...

Thank you. Your argument is sound and I agree with it. CS Lewis says that sin is perversion of good as when when we use good things to obtain incorrect ends.
As for which Bible version is best. I like King James because it's language is beautiful and I think it retains more of the chiastic structure of Hebrew.

chickenlittle said...

I'm bored with pseudo-theological arguments to undermine biblical teachings. Stick with U.S. Constitutional Law and legal precedent.

Not even the Europeans went so far as to undermine Christian teachings--they just let church weddings be church weddings and civil weddings be civil weddings. Only in America do we have a contingent hell-bent on rewriting to Bible to conform to their precepts.

Palladian is right when he says the Government needs get out of the business on conferring rites.

chickenlittle said...

5/7/12 9:52 AM AllieOop said...
Comparing gay people you don't know to Hitler, Mao, Stalin, dogs, and pedophiles, putting them in the same class?

Meanwhile, in another thread, Allie says:

There was a shameful time in history, not so long ago that a nation of Germans were convinced that Jews were not decent, were dirty, thieves, somehow less human. They were very wrong.

I'm afraid you can't have it both ways, Allie. :)

Sweetbriar said...

I'm with chickenlittle. I would prefer the government got out of marriages and religious groups could not conduct a civil union. To be plain, marry in the religion of your choice and register the legal union down at the courthouse. The states need to define that union in the form of a binding legal contract which resembles their current marriage and divorce laws in conformity with what is accepted by the legislatures now, and grandfather all those married prior into the new civil union framework. It keeps the states out of religious law and gives all voters a clear option as to whether they want to have same sex civil unions affecting insurance, pension and legal liabilities.

As Ann has showed us, very likable people often carry a profound dislike for God and those groups who follow after Him. There is no reason for those who are not joined by God's law in marriage to try to conform. Let people who have created their own laws live according to them. First century Christians were noted for the loyalty and care they took of their own wives and children. Separate religious and civil unions and we'll see whether this God thing has any effect. It's okay.

Bender said...

Did God not create gay people?

Sigh. How many times must we go over this again and again and again and again?

But why bother addressing directly the answers that have been given previously when you can simply ignore what has been said before and repeat your questions over and over and over like a parrot (or like 36 or like any typical person of the left)?

So, apparently the logic here is --
God made people.
Some people identify as "gay."
Therefore God made "gay people."

Why in the world would God purposely design someone to use his reproductive organs to transmit procreative genetic material into another person's digestive tract? What possible logic can there be for that?

Males are bodily designed and made for joinder with a female. That is the biological and ontological nature of the male. Why would God make someone inherently contrary to the truth of his nature?

Bender said...

It is an extremely poor exegesis that takes a verse or two totally out of context and tries to make definitive conclusions from that. Especially when such is done as some sort of "gotcha."

Rather, to properly understand, one must read scripture in context, e.g. in the context of a given text, in the context of the entire Bible, in the context of extra-biblical history. Moreover, it must be interpreted in a manner consistent with the purposes for which a text is written, and since it is written for purposes of revelation, especially with a hermeneutic of faith.

Regarding passages concerning the conscience, it is also helpful (essential really) to know what "conscience" actually is, rather than conveniently use your own definition of conscience.

Bender said...

What is "conscience"?

Conscience is not the same as one’s opinions or feelings, rather, it is a judgment of reason in the application of objective moral truth to a particular case.

The word "conscience" comes from the Latin "con-scientia," meaning "with knowledge." Knowledge of what? Knowledge of something other than ourselves, something that is beyond the self -- knowledge of objective truth.

(And for those believe, we can go further and say, knowledge of the voice of He who is Truth itself, the God who exhorts us to love in truth. Rightly understood, conscience is not the voice of self, but the voice of God within our hearts, our very souls, it is the light which is given us so that we might make our way in the dark. We ourselves are not the light, God is the Light.)

Whether one is a believer or not, he cannot justify his conduct merely by saying that, because he does not feel bad or think it wrong, such conduct does not violate his “conscience,” as if he could choose or create his own conscience. That is not the conscience, that is the will.

The task of conscience is not to create moral truth, but to perceive it. The judgment of conscience does not establish the law or decide for itself what is right or wrong; rather it bears witness to the authority of the natural law, it is the voice of Truth within the person calling him to act in conformance with objective truth, to do good and avoid evil.

A good conscience does not restrict human freedom, but instead calls a person to genuine freedom in truth, for only in truth will one be set free. On the other hand, a poorly formed "conscience" is not one that is "with knowledge," but is instead one that is "with ignorance." To act or believe in a manner contrary to objective truth, or otherwise seek to apply reason to something that is contrary to objective truth, is to act in bad "conscience."

So, what is the objective truth of the human person, male and female?

Bender said...
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Bender said...

More specifically, just so that there is no mistake, and given the premise of the discussion here --

What is the obligation in conscience toward those with same-sex attraction?

To embrace them with love in truth.

Erik Robert Nelson said...

The Christian tradition on the question of homosexuality is nuanced. And the current political debate over it *isn't*. People generally don't want discussion.

It reminds me of certain students in college, when I was a lowly TA. They didn't want to argue about philosophy. They wanted to know the arguments that allowed them to ignore the philosophies they didn't like.

That's what these arguments over shellfish and homosexuality are. They're placeholder arguments. Anyone who knows anything about what the arguments are really about knows the placeholder arguments are silly. But displacing them is a waste of time: people aren't interested in discussion, they just want to be right. And morally superior. The shellfish argument is enough to give them that, even if it's confidence out of ignorance.

For me, I'd much rather have a substantive reason than one that simply makes me feel better about having the "correct" opinion.

Bender said...

Just a little bit more, then I'm going to go get something to eat.

A new Bible-based argument for same-sex marriage -- "For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving." (1 Tim. 4:4) Did God not create gay people?

Again, as noted by many people above, one must read scripture in context, not in isolation (just as one must read a contract or statute in the context of the whole).

With respect to "same-sex marriage," one need not go very far to accurately understand the above verse in context --

Only a short time earlier in his letter, Paul says this --

The aim of this instruction is love from a pure heart, a good conscience, and a sincere faith. Some people have deviated from these and turned to meaningless talk, wanting to be teachers of the law, but without understanding either what they are saying or what they assert with such assurance. We know that the law is good, provided that one uses it as law, with the understanding that law is meant not for a righteous person but for the lawless and unruly, the godless and sinful, the unholy and profane, those who kill their fathers or mothers, murderers, the unchaste, sodomites, kidnappers, liars, perjurers, and whatever else is opposed to sound teaching, according to the glorious gospel of the blessed God, with which I have been entrusted. (1 Tim. 1:5-11)

Now, it is not my (or the Church's) preferred terminology today, but that bolded reference expressly states that the sexual practices of those who we now call gay is "opposed to sound teaching."

Quayle said...

Not that anyone's asking, and certainly not for missionary purposes, but Book of Mormon contains some principles that, while not new, are well stated about life, fee will and the urges and temptations of fallen man,

2 Nephi 2:11 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so...righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.

[skipping down]

15 And to bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, after he had created our first parents, and the beasts of the field and the fowls of the air, and in fine, all things which are created, it must needs be that there was an opposition; even the forbidden fruit in opposition to the tree of life; the one being sweet and the other bitter.

16 Wherefore, the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.

22 And now, behold, if Adam had not transgressed he would not have fallen, but he would have remained in the garden of Eden. And all things which were created must have remained in the same state in which they were after they were created; and they must have remained forever, and had no end.

23 And they would have had no children; wherefore they would have remained in a state of innocence, having no joy, for they knew no misery; doing no good, for they knew no sin.

24 But behold, all things have been done in the wisdom of him who knoweth all things.

25 Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy.

26 And the Messiah cometh in the fulness of time, that he may redeem the children of men from the fall. And because that they are redeemed from the fall they have become free forever, knowing good from evil; to act for themselves and not to be acted upon, save it be by the punishment of the law at the great and last day, according to the commandments which God hath given.

27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and all things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

28 And now, my sons, I would that ye should look to the great Mediator, and hearken unto his great commandments; and be faithful unto his words, and choose eternal life, according to the will of his Holy Spirit;

29 And not choose eternal death, according to the will of the flesh and the evil which is therein, which giveth the spirit of the devil power to captivate, to bring you down to hell, that he may reign over you in his own kingdom.

Hunter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Hunter said...

Want to know what God thinks of marriage? Go to the source, Jesus himself in Matthew 19:

He answered, “Have you not read that he who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let not man separate.”

The Bible is not ambiguous about how God intended marriage. He created male and female and intended the union of one male and one female. There is a parallel about which Paul writes, where the same kind of union is intended between Christ and the church. The union is a completion of the original design.

As to whether gay people are condemned for their sexuality even if they believe in Christ and try to act according to their conscience, I do not pretend to know. God will judge the condition of each person's heart.

Where the argument you posted, Ann, goes wrong is in trying to work within the frame of determining state marriage law on what the Bible teaches about marriage. The better argument is to get outside that frame entirely and turn it into a debate about self-determination.

From the spritual angle, I think Christians should allow gay marriage for the state not for reasons of permissiveness but for reasons of compassion and to resist our natural impulse to condemn.

Using state to force the terms of marriage in a legal sense, rather than allowing churches to do as they will, misses the point just as badly as using the (coincidentally also in Matthew 19) story of Jesus and the rich man to advocate punitive taxes.

Jesus understood the difference between Caesar and God. So should we.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

Dan in Philly said...

The bible is amazingly clear on its attitude about such topics. You can certainly reject some or all of it, but you really can't pretend it says what you want it to say just because you want it to say that thing.

What part of Constitutional Law Professor do you not understand?

David R. Graham said...

"Did God not create gay people?"

He did not. Their parents did.

I'm gay ... well ...I try to be, anyhow. It ain't easy. My wife and children often ask me to try to be of cheerful countenance. I think St. Paul has words to the same effect. Gay is good.

I am gratified that so many commentators here have more than cursory, rote skill in exponendis sacris scripturis, despite their sometimes arriving contra Spiritus Sanctus.

RonF said...

Did God not create gay people?

Lots of people say "No." And there's no science that proves otherwise.