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Jack and Diane and What's Love Got to Do With It?

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Essorant
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25 posted 03-25-2004 07:09 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

No physical point like gender may compare to loving someone above all others. Either you love one that much or you don't.  That is what makes marriage true or false, I believe.
Local Rebel
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26 posted 03-26-2004 07:53 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Hush,

Savage makes an interesting observation but, I'm not able to agree.  I find that when an issue engenders this level of conflict in a society there are deeper implications than puritanical prudes stressing over whether or not people are having fun.

When people talk about 'time-tested boundaries' and  'undermining society as a whole' and 'tradition',  they are employing metaphors for 'we might have been wrong'.

Stephen is correct when he says the 'proliferation' of any lifestyle will have an impact -- but the question is -- what kind of impact?  And, in this case the other question is what kind of proliferation are we talking about since gays represent about 5 to 10 percent of a population and that people aren't going to arbitrarily change their sexual orientation.

The real worry is that if Rachel and Sarah move in across the street and their daughter Heather (who has two mommies)  comes over to play with Jack and Diane's daughter, Jessica  -- Jessica may learn that Rachel and Sarah and Heather are perfectly normal people and not the bogey men they are made out to be by the loud preacher at their fundamentalist Evangelical church.

This might cause Jessica to question the faith of Jack and Diane.  She may reject it entirely.  She may find that she can find faith in a more liberal Christian church.. or another religion altogether.  If there are too many Jessicas then their movement will lose political ground.  Their preacher will lose political power.  And, even worse, Jack and Diane may be forced to question their own beliefs and practices.

This becomes on the order of magnitude of discovering the Earth is not flat -- even though the Bible says so.  That slavery is not acceptable -- even though the Bible says so.  That capital punishment is -- oh yeah -- that's still acceptable.  

That's the unraveling of society.  Just as the Jim Crowe society unraveled.

Re-ordering one's faith is a constant fear.  Especially to practitioners of strict, rigid, dogma.  The more defined the position.. the harder it is to defend.

Christopher -- good work -- but, when responding to anything that comes out of The Weekly Standard -- you can really just say -- so what?  It's just Bill Kristol's http://www.weeklystandard.com/aboutus/bio_kristol.asp propaganda rag -- by conservative Republicans, for conservative Republicans -- it doesn't need to be treated as an objective source.  

And thanks -- glad you liked the story -- and you as well Blazey.  

Ron -- thanks for attempting to redirect the thread back to the topic -- but, I suppose since no one can actually claim a specific damage to Jack and Diane -- there is truly none -- just rhetoric.

Stephan -- this story contains what really makes a mockery of marriage -- the enemy of marriage is not same-sex unions -- it is divorce and serial monogomy.
Stephanos
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27 posted 03-27-2004 12:34 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

LR:
quote:
When people talk about 'time-tested boundaries' and'undermining society as a whole' and 'tradition',they are employing metaphors for 'we might have been wrong'.

Are you suggesting that large segments of society have never rejected anything but what is "wrong" and "archaic", as opposed what is wise and prudent?  I'm sure you don't really believe that.


quote:
Stephen is correct when he says the 'proliferation' of any lifestyle will have an impact -- but the question is -- what kind of impact?And, in this case the other question is what kind of proliferation are we talking about since gays represent about 5 to 10 percent of a population and that people aren't going to arbitrarily change their sexual orientation.


Children and teens are still before or at that crossroads.  When homosexuality is embraced by an entire culture, it does increase.  Remember it was "Jack and Diane's" kids moreso than Jack and Diane that I'm concerned about.

quote:
The real worry is that if Rachel and Sarah move in across the street and their daughter Heather (who has two mommies)comes over to play with Jack and Diane's daughter, Jessica-- Jessica may learn that Rachel and Sarah and Heather are perfectly normal people and not the bogey men they are made out to be by the loud preacher at their fundamentalist Evangelical church.

Does the teaching that a behavior or lifestyle is sinful, mean that those who practice it are monsters?  If that's true we're all monsters.  "Perfectly normal" people are sinners.  And homosexuality is sin.  But I don't have to teach my kids to hate homosexuals.  I don't hate homosexuals myself.


quote:
This might cause Jessica to question the faith of Jack and Diane.She may reject it entirely.She may find that she can find faith in a more liberal Christian church.. or another religion altogether.



Why?  Because her faith is at odds with society at large?  That's not exactly a new thing.  But you are right.  The widespread acceptace of what is wrong, does increase the tendency of apostasy from the faith, because it makes holding to the tenets of that faith even harder to do.


quote:
This becomes on the order of magnitude of discovering the Earth is not flat -- even though the Bible says so.That slavery is not acceptable -- even though the Bible says so.



Is that your attempt to make the Bible look out of touch with reality?  

The Bible nowhere teaches that Slavery is acceptable ... It rather teaches Christian slaves to be in submission to their masters and for Masters to treat their slaves with some measure of kindess.  Taking the biblical teaching as a whole, the Bible gives an overall negative picture of slavery  (ever since Egypt).  Only it is not a social Custom that is ripped from the roots by the apostles (impossible to do), but borne with ... Interestingly, Christian principles have often been instrumental in the abolishment of slavery.


And I'm curious, where does the Bible say "The Earth is Flat"?


And if discovering that society is increasingly geared toward moral relativism, social decay, and breakdown of families, is like discovering that "The earth is not flat" ... then the Bible has been greatly helpful in dispelling that myth.  It's all been predicted.


quote:
The more defined the position.. the harder it is to defend.


For sure.  But the difficulty in defending something is not always indirectly proportionate to it's truth.


quote:
... by conservative Republicans, for conservative Republicans -- it doesn't need to be treated as an objective source.



That could be said of anything you don't agree with right?  ... by liberal Democrats, for liberal Democrats- it doesn't need to be treated as an objective source.  

I don't line up with the republicans on everything, by a long shot.  But I just wanted to turn that around and let you hear what it really sounds like ... a convenient way not to respond.


quote:
Stephan -- this story contains what really makes a mockery of marriage -- the enemy of marriage is not same-sex unions -- it is divorce and serial monogomy.


I believe you when you say that Divorce and adultery are responsible for the general state of marriage.  But I disagree with your assertion that redefining marriage to include homosexuality will not add to that downward trend in a more drastic way.  

Stephen.
Ron
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quote:
Does the teaching that a behavior or lifestyle is sinful, mean that those who practice it are monsters?

You are perfectly free to teach your morality, Stephen. The law, however, should confine itself to protecting people from people, not from themselves,  and certainly not from someone else's personal ideas of right and wrong.
Local Rebel
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29 posted 03-27-2004 01:56 AM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

No, I don't really believe that because it's not what I said.  At all.  What I said is that people are cloaking their meanings. Just like white males did in trying to justify segregation in the south, in keeping blacks out of professional sports, and trying to fight against the 'Negro music' rock and roll.  We know what the real underlying fears and insecurities were.

Teens aren't trying to make up their minds about their sexuality.  They aren't at a crossroads.  Unless you think everyone is born bi-sexual.  They're trying to figure out who they are.  That much is true -- but -- they aren't going to have very much say over their sexuality.

When people like Robertson and Falwell blame homosexuals and feminists for 9/11 -- yep -- that's painting them as monsters Stephen.  Plain and simple.  

Wouldn't homosexuality only be a sin for Jewish people though?  After all -- they were the only ones the death penalty applied to -- right?

Jessica won't question Jack and Diane because their faith is at odds with society at large -- because it's at odds with what she can see, hear, and feel.. right across the street.

Are you actually suggesting that Christians didn't use the Bible to justify slavery for hundreds of years Stephen?   Do you want me to start quoting which parts they used?  I can, as well start pulling out all the verses that address the cosmology of a flat-earth world view -- if you like.  But it's going way, way, way off point.

Propaganda is propaganda -- whether it's liberal or conservative.  It doesn't factor in because it's propaganda.  Why respond to it?  Rush Limbaugh bills himself as an entertainer.  If we quote him everyone understands that it isn't serious commentary.  The Weekly Standard tries to pass itself off as an actual magazine.  Kind of like the New York Times tries to pass for a newspaper.  Or Fox News Channel.

Everyone is free to believe what they want and teach what they will in their homes and churches.  And, I assure you that if there is any attempt made by a Federal Marshall or any other law enforcement agent to abridge your first amendment rights or violate the establishment clause -- it will not be with pseudo-moral outrage that I come to your defense.  

Now, about Jack and Diane?

jbouder
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quote:
You are perfectly free to teach your morality, Stephen. The law, however, should confine itself to protecting people from people, not from themselves,  and certainly not from someone else's personal ideas of right and wrong.


Ron:

That seems to be a pretty naive jurisprudence.  And you're presupposing that lawmakers ought to have jurisdiction over marriage in the first place.  If the law should "confine itself to protecting people from people, not from themselves," why should suicide be illegal?  Why should I have to park my car on the other side of the street on Tuesdays between 8:30 and 10:30?Further, what does sanctioning marriage have to do with protecting people from people?

Jim
Denise
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quote:
Stephen is correct when he says the 'proliferation' of any lifestyle will have an impact -- but the question is -- what kind of impact?  And, in this case the other question is what kind of proliferation are we talking about since gays represent about 5 to 10 percent of a population and that people aren't going to arbitrarily change their sexual orientation.


L.R., I think I would classify "sexual orientation" as one of those "spin" words. I think it tends to give the impression that homosexuality is more of a biologically determined condition that one can't do much, if anything, about. The scientific jury is still out on that issue, though, but more and more research tends to lean towards it probably being more of an environmentally  determined behavior than a biological issue. And the 5-10 percent figure is now considered, even by homosexual researches, to be a bit inflated, and most researches put the figure at around 1-3 percent of the general population.

Proliferation doesn't have as much to do with "numbers", I don't think, but with how some in that number are able to use their influence to undermine the foundation of our society, the rule of law, particularly through flouting existing law and through use of judicial activism in an attempt to remake society in their own image, with total disregard and contempt for the "will of the people." That's the more immediate danger that I see for our country in all of this, and then the more gradual but eventual downward spiral that I believe the redefining of marriage itself would have on our society. If one person or group of people gives themselves the right to break the law, in lieu of following the process of working legally through the system, then any person or group can justify the same action. If the foundation upon which our government is built is destroyed, people may indeed gain all the "rights" that they have ever insisted upon, but no one's rights will be able to be guaranteed/protected in a lawless society.

quote:
When people like Robertson and Falwell blame homosexuals and feminists for 9/11 -- yep -- that's painting them as monsters Stephen.  Plain and simple.


It's unfortunate that they did that, but they don't speak for Christians in general, anymore than it could be said that a Betty Friedan or a Gloria Steinam speak for women in general, or a Roger Moore speaks for Democrats in general. I think that the majority of Christians have the correct understanding that no one sin is more aggregious than any other in the eyes of God.


quote:
Wouldn't homosexuality only be a sin for Jewish people though?  After all -- they were the only ones the death penalty applied to -- right?


No, it doesn't mean that. According to the Bible, the entirety of the human race has been declared to have fallen short of the perfection and glory of God, and all are therefore guilty of sin. That the Mosaic Law and its penalties were only given specifically to the nation of Israel and not to the other nations does not mean that those of the other nations were not capable of commiting sin. Those under the Law and those not under the Law are equally concluded to be under sin. God dealt with Israel through the Law and with the other nations through the conscience.

quote:
I can, as well start pulling out all the verses that address the cosmology of a flat-earth world view -- if you like.  But it's going way, way, way off point.


It's not going off point if your making such assertions about the Bible as a way of making it appear to be false and irrelevant. The Bible does not condone slavery anywhere. It does give advice on how to live under it, just as it gives advice on how to live under any adverse condition. That it gives advice on how to live under persectuion and tyranny does not mean that it endorses such things. That some misuse it doesn't invalidate what it does teach. And I believe that somewhere in Genesis the earth is described as "a sphere hung on nothing" by God. If there are verses elsewhere that may seem to describe it as flat, I would think it would be just a case of a descriptive view from earth-bound man's vantage point that is being expressed there.

quote:
Everyone is free to believe what they want and teach what they will in their homes and churches.  And, I assure you that if there is any attempt made by a Federal Marshall or any other law enforcement agent to abridge your first amendment rights or violate the establishment clause -- it will not be with pseudo-moral outrage that I come to your defense.


But who would you defend when two opposing views conflict? Would you defend the mother who has been forbidden by a judge in Massachusetts to teach her daughter her own religious conviction that homosexuality is a sin, and even more than that, she must ensure that her daughter not only never hears that at home from her, but she must ensure that she never hears it at church either, or she will be in danger of losing custody, or would you side with the judge (and the woman's lesbian ex-lover), who in decreeing homosexuality as a valid alternative lifestyle, and attempting to protect the rights of the lesbian ex-lover (and who had never been granted parental legal rights by the legal mother, by the way) is in fact, in my opinion abridging someone's religious rights and freedom of expression? Things can tend to get very complicated, can't they?  
Ron
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There's more than a few issues hiding in your question, Jim. How do you intend to punish someone for killing themselves immediately springs to mind as one, and why should you be allowed at all to park on a street you don't own is another. But those issues, and the few score ramifications they raise, are probably fodder for another thread?

Nonetheless, you're certainly right that my view of government is probably nave. Though I prefer to think of it as simple? IMO, the only true mandate of government is protection and defense. Everything beyond that is just varying degrees of enforced socialism. Do we need to force people to cooperate? Probably, at least to some small degree, but we should recognize it is no longer cooperation at that point. It becomes coercion. Again, fodder for a different thread perhaps?

Setting aside those tangents, however, and returning to Stephen's words, the minute you mention "sin" in the context of our legal system I think we are clearly entering a different arena. I believe legislating cooperation is a bad idea, but I also recognize it works. Legislating morality, on the hand, doesn't.

You guys know me, and know I'm a man of faith, so please take this within that context. Christians, I believe, need to worship God and stop trying to play God. We have a right to protect ourselves, but when we begin advocating laws designed only to enforce our interpretation of Laws we are essentially usurping God's authority with our own. He can't get it right and needs our help?

I just don't think that's the way He intended it to work.

If two people getting married and taking responsibility for each other can be shown to hurt others, then it should certainly be a crime. Whether it is a sin or not isn't for the State to judge, but should remain instead in the hands of God.


Ron
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33 posted 03-27-2004 11:37 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
some in that number are able to use their influence to undermine the foundation of our society, the rule of law, particularly through flouting existing law and through use of judicial activism in an attempt to remake society in their own image, with total disregard and contempt for the "will of the people."

Which is a very apt description, Denise, of Rosa Parks.

If two laws were passed that were in obvious and direct conflict with each other, you would have no choice but to break one of the laws. When two laws are passed that are in less obvious conflict, it is the role of our judicial system to resolve the conflict. Should Rosa Parks have been punished for breaking an unjust and illegal law?

Not according to the law.


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34 posted 03-27-2004 11:37 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

quote:
and why should you be allowed at all to park on a street you don't own is another.


Yeah, we only "own" the streets (and sewer pipes too, for that matter) when it is time to pay for their repair!
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35 posted 03-27-2004 11:51 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I'll be back later on, Ron, I have my own 'conflict' going on right now to tend to.
Local Rebel
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36 posted 03-27-2004 12:03 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

*sigh -- If I must;

Let's take a look at the Traditional Value of Slavery in the Bible.

All from New International Version

quote:

Exodus 21
1 "These are the laws you are to set before them:
2 "If you buy a Hebrew servant, he is to serve you for six years. But in the seventh year, he shall go free, without paying anything. 3 If he comes alone, he is to go free alone; but if he has a wife when he comes, she is to go with him. 4 If his master gives him a wife and she bears him sons or daughters, the woman and her children shall belong to her master, and only the man shall go free.
5 "But if the servant declares, 'I love my master and my wife and children and do not want to go free,' 6 then his master must take him before the judges. He shall take him to the door or the doorpost and pierce his ear with an awl. Then he will be his servant for life.

And here's the proper way to sell your own daughter into slavery...

7 "If a man sells his daughter as a servant, she is not to go free as menservants do. 8 If she does not please the master who has selected her for himself, he must let her be redeemed. He has no right to sell her to foreigners, because he has broken faith with her.

Leviticus 25
44 " 'Your male and female slaves are to come from the nations around you; from them you may buy slaves. 45 You may also buy some of the temporary residents living among you and members of their clans born in your country, and they will become your property. 46 You can will them to your children as inherited property and can make them slaves for life, but you must not rule over your fellow Israelites ruthlessly.

Deuteronomy 15
12 If a fellow Hebrew, a man or a woman, sells himself to you and serves you six years, in the seventh year you must let him go free. 13 And when you release him, do not send him away empty-handed. 14 Supply him liberally from your flock, your threshing floor and your winepress. Give to him as the LORD your God has blessed you. 15 Remember that you were slaves in Egypt and the LORD your God redeemed you. That is why I give you this command today.
16 But if your servant says to you, "I do not want to leave you," because he loves you and your family and is well off with you, 17 then take an awl and push it through his ear lobe into the door, and he will become your servant for life. Do the same for your maidservant.




But now let's go back to Exodus to find out how hard we can beat our slaves:

quote:

Exodus 21
20 "If a man beats his male or female slave with a rod and the slave dies as a direct result, he must be punished, 21 but he is not to be punished if the slave gets up after a day or two, since the slave is his property.



Thus the immortal words of good ol' Jeff Davis;

quote:

"[Slavery] was established by decree of Almighty God...it is sanctioned in the Bible, in both Testaments, from Genesis to Revelation...it has existed in all ages, has been found among the people of the highest civilization, and in nations of the highest proficiency in the arts." Jefferson Davis, President of the Confederate States of America



If you say the number is only 3 percent -- it just goes to my point even more Denise...

Thanks

Good luck with your conflict(s)
Local Rebel
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37 posted 03-27-2004 02:56 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

This one is another one of my favorite Traditional Family Values and marriage passages from the Bible;


quote:

Deuteronomy 21

10 When you go to war against your enemies and the LORD your God delivers them into your hands and you take captives, 11 if you notice among the captives a beautiful woman and are attracted to her, you may take her as your wife. 12 Bring her into your home and have her shave her head, trim her nails 13 and put aside the clothes she was wearing when captured. After she has lived in your house and mourned her father and mother for a full month, then you may go to her and be her husband and she shall be your wife. 14 If you are not pleased with her, let her go wherever she wishes. You must not sell her or treat her as a slave, since you have dishonored her.



BTW -- no, I've never said the Bible is irrelevant.  To the contrary.  What I've always said is that attempting to literalize it renders it that way.

In this particular example what I'm saying is people were afraid of what new knowledge would do to 'society' and the church-- both in the instances of abolition and of Copernicus and Gallileo -- it meant their 'time tested' translations might have to be rethought.

This is another one of those crossroads and the Christian philosophy is perfectly capable of surviving yet again.  The fears are not justified.
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38 posted 03-27-2004 10:03 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

No, Ron, I don't think Rosa Parks should have been punished for breaking an unjust law. But that still doesn't mean that I think she should have broken it, and if I were in her shoes I may very well have done the same thing, but I think the unjust law could have and should have been challenged through legal means even though it would have taken longer.

I guess I wonder sometimes, even with the good that has been accomplished through the use of civil disobedience, if an even greater outcome might have been achieved ultimately if the established procedures for redress of grievances were followed.

I see a big difference in the Rosa Parks case and the case of the issuing of marriage licenses to gay couples, though. Rosa Parks was a private citizen who was making a stand against the government. The ones who are breaking the law now are the government officials who have taken an oath to uphold the law, so, to me, I think that places an even greater responsiblity upon them to do things properly and in order.

L.R., I don't agree with the conclusion that Jeff Davis came to, of course, but could see how he came to that conclusion given the mindset of the times.

I think that God was just giving the people rules to regulate what they were doing already to ensure the most humane treatment possible under those conditions, not that He decreed it a good thing or was giving it His stamp of approval. And I think people forget sometimes that slavery was deeply entwined with the socio-economics of those times (just as it was here) and it wasn't something that people really recognized as the evil that we recognize it as today, and it also wasn't something that could have been done away with without a complete reorganizing of their culture and economic system, not something that could happen quickly or easily.

And no big surprise here either, but I hold the exact opposite view about the Bible than you do. I think rendering it as non-literal makes it irrelevant.

But we do agree that the Christian philosophy is perfectly capable of surviving and people don't need to fear change, even change that they see as undesireable.

Stephanos
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Ron:  
quote:
You guys know me, and know I'm a man of faith, so please take this within that context. Christians, I believe, need to worship God and stop trying to play God.


and ...

quote:
If two people getting married and taking responsibility for each other can be shown to hurt others, then it should certainly be a crime. Whether it is a sin or not isn't for the State to judge, but should remain instead in the hands of God.


Ron ... In addition to the dangers of going too far in blending State and Church, there is indeed a danger in going too far in their separation.   But tell me, how does your view constitute a Christian view of Government?  How do you interpret the following passage? ...


"... The authorities that exist have been established by God.  Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgement on themselves.  For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong.  Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority?  Then do what is right and he will commend you.  For he is God's servant to do you good.  But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing.  He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.  Therefore it is not necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience."

(Romans 13:1-5)


You admit "hurting others" as a rule of law.  And yet you say that law has nothing to do with morality.  But hurting or not hurting is based upon a moral principle ... never sheer pragmatism.  


Your description of what law "should" be based on, is your own personal philosophy of law.  And I respect it.  But history has not borne out your philosophy.  Law has often been based upon moral principles.  Nor do I think that law CAN be free of moral considerations.



And one last question.  If homosexuality IS sin, how can you, from a Christian point of view say it doesn't hurt anyone?  At the very least, doesn't it bring people into the judgement / punishment of God?


Stephen.        
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quote:
... but I think the unjust law could have and should have been challenged through legal means even though it would have taken longer.

But defying a statute is EXACTLY how the law is tested in our system, Denise. It's the old checks-and-balances stuff we learned in high school. The legislative branch makes the law, the executive branch enforces the law (which presumes someone first has to break it), and only then does the judicial branch have its chance to either uphold or strike down the law.

Haven't you wondered why all those officials breaking the law haven't been prosecuted, yet? Until the executive branch gets its turn, the judicial branch has to wait. One might presume those who break the law want the law to be tested and are confident they will be vindicated when it is overturned as unconstitutional. One might also presume, in the absence of prosecution, that maybe others are less sure of their legal standing.

It takes all three branches of government for a law to truly be a law.

quote:
In addition to the dangers of going too far in blending State and Church, there is indeed a danger in going too far in their separation.

I don't believe that for a minute, Stephen. And I think the only ones who ever do believe it are the ones convinced they have the votes to insure "their" church is the one that dominates.

quote:
But hurting or not hurting is based upon a moral principle ... never sheer pragmatism.

I don't believe that one, either. Butchering a chicken is not immoral. It still has a tendency to hurt the hen. Many believe that executing a serial killer is moral. Few would argue it doesn't hurt him.

Morality, as history has unfortunately proven over and over, does not guarantee empathy. Nor, I believe, is it a necessary ingredient for empathy. We each know hurt when we see it, regardless of morality, because each of us is capable of feeling hurt.

quote:
And one last question. If homosexuality IS sin, how can you, from a Christian point of view say it doesn't hurt anyone? At the very least, doesn't it bring people into the judgement / punishment of God?

And that's a bad thing how? Surely, Stephen, you're not suggesting that it's our job to protect people from God.

Your crimes are between you and the State, and that's an equitable situation because not everyone in society commits crimes. There's a reason, after all, why convicted felons can't sit on juries or shouldn't hold offices of high power. Only the innocent can properly judge the guilty.

Your sins, however, are between you and God. That, too, is equitable, because the rest of us are ALL convicted felons and have neither the right nor the wisdom to interfere.

The bottom line is pretty simple, Stephen. If you truly want to discriminate against others because you believe they've sinned, you really have no choice but treat everyone exactly the same. In which case, of course, it's not discrimination any more.  

Stephanos
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41 posted 03-28-2004 09:47 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The legislative branch makes the law, the executive branch enforces the law (which presumes someone first has to break it), and only then does the judicial branch have its chance to either uphold or strike down the law.



But what then holds the Judicial in "Check"?  Our system is woefully deficient to defend against judicial despotism if the Judges are only accountable to Judges.


quote:
I don't believe that for a minute, Stephen. And I think the only ones who ever do believe it are the ones convinced they have the votes to insure "their" church is the one that dominates.



Basically what you are describing here is "Secularization" which is, as Ravi Zacharias put it ... Where religious ideas, institutions, and interpretations, have no social significance or place in public policy.  The only problem is that your position is not at all biblical.  If God "judges" nations, then their laws must open to the same moral scrutiny that our lives are.


quote:
I don't believe that one, either. Butchering a chicken is not immoral. It still has a tendency to hurt the hen. Many believe that executing a serial killer is moral. Few would argue it doesn't hurt him.


You beg the question Ron ...  Then WHY is it immoral to hurt people and not chickens?  Even that question is a moral one ... and one upon which the foundation of those type laws are based.  

And regarding execution ... when I'm talking about "hurting" I'm talking about undeserved, unjust, hurting of others, not punishment by the State for wrongs done.   And that's evident regardless of what side of the Capital Punishment debate you're on.  


quote:
Morality, as history has unfortunately proven over and over, does not guarantee empathy. Nor, I believe, is it a necessary ingredient for empathy.



True.  But when I talk about law being based upon moral principles, I don't see that empathy is a necessary ingredient.  Empathy comes from individuals, not systems of law.  Empathy and compassion are absolutely necessary for a society too.  But rules of law should be based on a mix of pragmatic and moral considerations ...  and that has very little to do with emotion.


quote:
And that's a bad thing how? Surely, Stephen, you're not suggesting that it's our job to protect people from God.


Despite your attempt to make it sound absurd by oversimplifying ... yes I am.  Since biblically, the function of government authority is to reward and punish.  And also to contain and limit the wickedness of the depraved and unregenerate.  If those in authority are God's "ministers", then he does use civil authority to limit the sins of the people ... to "protect them from themselves".


quote:
Your crimes are between you and the State, and that's an equitable situation because not everyone in society commits crimes. There's a reason, after all, why convicted felons can't sit on juries or shouldn't hold offices of high power. Only the innocent can properly judge the guilty.


Your sins, however, are between you and God. That, too, is equitable, because the rest of us are ALL convicted felons and have neither the right nor the wisdom to interfere.



I agree with those statements.  Only they don't suggest that some sins shouldn't also be crimes.  And remember Ron, I'm not pushing to make homosexuality illegal.  But if it's wrong, it should not be elevated to a place of honor ... which, despite our failures, Marriage is in.  "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure ..."


And lastly, your willingness to see marriage turned into something else is not biblical either.  Biblically speaking, marriage is defined.  And remember that the scriptures, when speaking of marriage do not speak of it as something given to God's people alone, but to all.  The reason that societies have generally seen marriage as between male and female, is the guiding hand of God.  Therefore, if some cultures arbitrarily redefine what God has built into nature and conscience, then there will be ill consequences for them, and not just on "Judgment day", but before.


Stephen.  


      
Denise
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42 posted 03-28-2004 11:56 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Ron, I guess that's where we differ, our understanding of the system and what makes it work. The power of enforcement, as I see it, is designed to be a deterrent, not merely something that was set up to deal with infractions, as if breaking a law is necessary to the facilitating of the checks and balances between the three branches. Sure it works that way when a law is broken, out of necessity, but I don't see the breaking of a law as the proper channel for redress of grievances. And yes, I'm sure that the government officials breaking the law are doing so exactly for that reason, to force the issue into the Judicial Branch. But they are violating their oath of office and misusing their office and showing contempt for the will of the people who elected them in doing so and shouldn't retain their elected position, in my opinion.

Stephen, the Constitution does provide a check on the Judicial Branch. They really don't have the final say on any matter as most of us have been led to believe. There is an Article in the Constitution (I can look it up later if I have the time to give the exact wording) that gives Congress the authority to limit the issues that can even be sent to the Judicial Branch for a hearing. Perhaps as misuse of the system by intentional lawbreakers and the judicial fiats that result increases in arrogant opposition to the will of the people, Congress will once again exert its lawful authority to ensure a check on the Judicial Branch. And of course there is always the possibility of using the impeachment process. Individual members of the Judiciary are also subject to that remedy as well.

quote:
Therefore, if some cultures arbitrarily redefine what God has built into nature and conscience, then there will be ill consequences for them, and not just on "Judgment day", but before.


I agree. And I think that is one of the reasons why we are seeing some of the problems that we have today in our society. I think that the reason God decrees certain things as the 'right' way, and decrees certain things as 'wrong' is not to be a killjoy and to ruin anyone's fun or pleasure, but because He knows what leads to real happiness and fulfillment and He knows what leads to healthy and prosperous relationships and societies. And whether people choose to follow after God's wisdom or choose to follow after their own wisdom, they, and the society in which they live, will reap what has been sown.  

Denise
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43 posted 03-28-2004 12:58 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Here it is:

Article. III.

Section. 1.
The judicial Power of the United States, shall be vested in one supreme Court, and in such inferior Courts as the Congress may from time to time ordain and establish. The Judges, both of the supreme and inferior Courts, shall hold their Offices during good Behaviour, and shall, at stated Times, receive for their Services, a Compensation, which shall not be diminished during their Continuance in Office.

Section. 2.
Clause 1: The judicial Power shall extend to all Cases, in Law and Equity, arising under this Constitution, the Laws of the United States, and Treaties made, or which shall be made, under their Authority;--to all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls;--to all Cases of admiralty and maritime Jurisdiction;--to Controversies to which the United States shall be a Party;--to Controversies between two or more States;--between a State and Citizens of another State; (See Note 10)--between Citizens of different States, --between Citizens of the same State claiming Lands under Grants of different States, and between a State, or the Citizens thereof, and foreign States, Citizens or Subjects.

Clause 2: In all Cases affecting Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, and those in which a State shall be Party, the supreme Court shall have original Jurisdiction. In all the other Cases before mentioned, the supreme Court shall have appellate Jurisdiction, both as to Law and Fact, with such Exceptions, and under such Regulations as the Congress shall make.

Ron
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44 posted 03-28-2004 01:01 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
But what then holds the Judicial in "Check"?  Our system is woefully deficient to defend against judicial despotism if the Judges are only accountable to Judges

On the contrary. Judges are appointed by the Executive branch and need to be confirmed by the Legislative, both of which, of course, have been elected by the people. Check-and-balances. It's a system that has worked remarkably well for a few hundred years now.

quote:
Basically what you are describing here is "Secularization" which is, as Ravi Zacharias put it ... Where religious ideas, institutions, and interpretations, have no social significance or place in public policy.

Yep. Because I have absolutely no faith at all in ideas, institutions, and interpretations. Do you?

quote:
You beg the question Ron ...  Then WHY is it immoral to hurt people and not chickens?  Even that question is a moral one ... and one upon which the foundation of those type laws are based.

I don't need morality, which is too often open to interpretation, to know what I don't want done to ME. If I don't want it done to me, it would be shortsighted and foolish to condone or sanction it for others; because as sure as the sun rises in the East, it WILL come back to bite me. Or worse, someone I love.

Which is precisely why separation of Church and State is important. Without it, I know as sure as the sun rises in the East, that my children or grandchildren or great-grandchildren will one day be forced to bow to the wrong god. What goes around comes around is as inexorable as the laws of gravity.

I don't insist my Hindu friend down the street should be free to worship as he wishes because I think he's right. I don't do it because it's moral. I do it because it's the only way to make sure my children's children are given the same freedom of choice.

quote:
Empathy comes from individuals, not systems of law.

And systems of law come from individuals, too.

quote:
Empathy and compassion are absolutely necessary for a society too. But rules of law should be based on a mix of pragmatic and moral considerations ...  and that has very little to do with emotion.

Pragmatism too often leads to expediency and morality inevitably leads to discrimination. Laws need only be just and fair to everyone. Emotion? IMO, every law should be weighed against the very real FEAR that it will one day be used against you or someone you love.

quote:
Despite your attempt to make it sound absurd by oversimplifying ... yes I am.  Since biblically, the function of government authority is to reward and punish.  And also to contain and limit the wickedness of the depraved and unregenerate.  If those in authority are God's "ministers", then he does use civil authority to limit the sins of the people ... to "protect them from themselves".

Thus abrogating free will?

(There's so much more to say, but that discussion would take us far astray from this one.)

quote:
And remember Ron, I'm not pushing to make homosexuality illegal. But if it's wrong, it should not be elevated to a place of honor ... which, despite our failures, Marriage is in. "Marriage should be honored by all, and the marriage bed kept pure ..."

Government's role should never be to "honor" people by granting them more rights than others. Privileges, sure, but not rights.

In 1960, this country elected the first Catholic President, in spite of many predictions that our government would soon find itself ruled from the Vatican. Those old enough may remember it as one of the larger issues in the campaign. Turns out the fears were unjustified, but let's pretend for a moment they weren't. Let's pretend for a moment, as could very realistically happen, that the Pope determined the state of marriage in this country.

Certainly, there would be no legal recognition of homosexual marriages. But there would also be no legal recognition of second or subsequent marriages, either. And don't for a minute think the Catholic Church can't quote chapter and verse to support their doctrine. If marriage is a reflection of our union with Christ, after all, there is a very compelling argument against divorce. It all comes down to interpretation. One could even argue, I think, that unlike a homosexual marriage, a divorce will always result in someone getting hurt. Usually the kids everyone so wants to protect.

About fifty percent of our adult population would suddenly find themselves in the same situation as a homosexual couple. And, very frankly, I think it would be much easier to justify. Marriage is a commitment. People might be less inclined to make that commitment lightly if they knew they could only make it once. Break the promises you made to one person and you can live with another person, have sex and children with another person, even engage in civil contract with another person, but you will never ever be a family.

Am I seriously suggesting everyone should be limited to only one chance at marriage and family? No. But I would hope everyone can recognize the parallels. The arguments against homosexual marriage are pretty much identical to the arguments against multiple marriages, with the only real difference being that you might agree with one and disagree with the other. Why should we recognize your interpretation of sin and fail to recognize the Pope's? If you insist the Vatican is wrong, why should anyone believe you are right? Is sin now something to be voted into being? Our hearts and stance with God should be subject to majority rule?

If sin is to remain between an individual and God, as it must so remain if our relationship with the divine is a personal one, the only societal question is the same one that has been repeatedly asked and never adequately answered.

When two people commit to care for each other for the rest of their natural lives together, who is harmed?
Ron
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45 posted 03-28-2004 01:16 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

Denise, you posted while I was still writing. Didn't mean to ignore you points, though.

quote:
And yes, I'm sure that the government officials breaking the law are doing so exactly for that reason, to force the issue into the Judicial Branch. But they are violating their oath of office and misusing their office and showing contempt for the will of the people who elected them in doing so and shouldn't retain their elected position, in my opinion.

On the contrary, Denise. If they chose to obey illegal laws, they would then be violating their oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States. They recognized a conflict and were forced to make a choice.

If Congress passed a law that any unwed mother HAD to have an abortion, would you encourage women to first follow the law and then try to get it changed?
Local Rebel
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46 posted 03-28-2004 01:27 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

Stephen -- you're sounding more like a Theonomic Reconstructionist than an Evangelical... I don't think you are one because I don't recall ever reading anything you said that sounded as though you reject antinomianism per se.

But even Ralph Reed has denounced such views as being anti-democratic.

Small point for Denise -- the officials you refer to as not respecting the electorate -- more probably DO respect the wishes of the people that elected THEM in their JURISDICTION... wouldn't you think?  The Mayor of San Francisco is after all, the Mayor of San Francisco.

Denise
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47 posted 03-28-2004 01:30 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

But Ron, it's only an "illegal" law that they are violating in their opinion. That doesn't necessarily make it so.

And no I wouldn't encourage a woman to follow such a law as mandatory abortion because I consider abortion murder, and as I've stated before, that is the only acceptable time according to my conscience anyway, to break a law.
Denise
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48 posted 03-28-2004 01:34 PM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

Probably, L.R., but the mayor of a city is still bound by the laws of the state and has sworn an oath to uphold and defend the U.S. Constitution and its laws, the State Constitution and its laws and whatever local charters and laws of his jurisdiction.
Local Rebel
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49 posted 03-28-2004 01:37 PM       View Profile for Local Rebel   Email Local Rebel   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Local Rebel

quote:

it's only an "illegal" law that they are violating in their opinion. That doesn't necessarily make it so.



No, it doesn't.  But they are elected and paid to have those opinions and act on them.  That's what executives do.
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