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What exactly IS marriage anyway?

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Toerag
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150 posted 05-18-2004 03:43 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

Aenimal....I have multiple personalities...and I didn't really see a reasonable answer to this?...What is your answer?...Furthermore....yes, incest can create disorders in off spring...as can two fathers, two mothers...etc., truly not physical, but mentally....in fact, just the ramifications from peers can be mentally destructive....yanno aenimal, I like you too, love your poetry, love your pic too..reminds me of me..and you and I will always disagree on this, but that's what's great about this country and this site and generally decent folks, I know we won't go to war over this...LOL....I've been raised differently than some others...do have some moral issues, (though I'm a very immoral person in alot of ways).....have no problem with what anyone does in the privacy of their own lives, my biggest and only argument with this is not even really with the couple, but with anyone with an alledged "sanctified" religious background, let's say, "ordained" minister that would perform this ceremony I guess....it's like The American Cancer Society" selling Marlboros....It's hypocrisy...you can't believe in God, Christ, the Bible, any of the above and condone this without being a hypocrit...I honestly have no problem with gays and what they want to do or how they live their lives..I just don't like to see God's blessings being a part of blessing it....I am probably the most "non religious" person you've ever met, I've done things even I'm ashamed of, have no excuses, and, some regrets ....anyway, my opinions are based on my upbringing I reckon...no disrespect to you or your opinions....I usually stay away from these boards but was getting bored at the others...and I know now to just stay away from here...take care bro...hope I haven't offended you or anyone else....I'm outta here for my own good.....

[This message has been edited by Ron (05-18-2004 04:46 PM).]

Ron
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151 posted 05-18-2004 04:43 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
I guess then, it should be "okay" for brother to marry sister, brother to marry brother, son to marry mother, son have many wives, sister marry sister, son marry anyone that is of age or not of age, do we ever draw a line?..

If you read through previous posts and threads, Toe, you should discover those objections already addressed (if perhaps not answered). Indeed, those are halls walked at the earliest beginnings of this discussion. Of course, if you have something new to add, we can certainly revisit the halls.

quote:
It's too easy to confuse corruption with "progress", and to praise one as the other.

And under which would you consider human rights to fall, Stephen?

quote:
In other words, religious ideas should remain irrelevant to any form of public policy ... privatization. And the state is called to higher ethic than the Church.  In other words, the church can teach something as fundamentally wrong or right or whatever.  But Ron apparantly believes that the "tolerance" of the state reflects a more sublime ethic than the disagreeable tenets of scripture.

You can "teach something as fundamentally wrong or right" all you wish, Stephen. But teaching doesn't seem to be your goal. For several thousand years, mathematicians have managed to teach that two plus two equals four with no apparent need to pass State laws to enforce it. What you propose isn't teaching, Stephen. It's forcing others to accept what you have accepted simply because you have accepted it. That's not only contrary to human law, it's antithetical to God's will.

quote:
And no, homosexual marriage remains illegal in many states, so legality cannot be used as an argument for homosexual marriage.

The laws of which you speak are, themselves, illegal, Stephen. Just as were all the state laws stricken in the Fifties and Sixties that discriminated against blacks. State law cannot contradict the Constitution.

quote:
I realize all have different opinions...I think Perversion is sin, no sin is worse than any other but by law have different consequences

Whose law, Toe? God's or man's?

Your personal view of perversion and sin is between you and God. Unless you believe God is too weak to enforce His consequences, or too foolish to set them wisely, that is exactly where your personal view should remain.

If you wish to believe that dancing is a sin, as some certainly do, that is your right. You can even teach others that dancing is a sin and use all the many tools of persuasion to promote your view. But until and unless dancing brings harm to another human being, you have no right to force your religious views on others. When the world is united under a single religion, led by God, there will be no need for a State to exist. Until then, however, state governments must remain a religious-free buffer zone, because history has shown over and over that when the State becomes a mere tool of religion the result is always abhorrent.

Homosexual marriage is not a religious issue. It's a secular one and needs to be addressed as such.
Toerag
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152 posted 05-18-2004 05:50 PM       View Profile for Toerag   Email Toerag   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Toerag

I guess depending on your "morals"..would decide whether it's a moral issue or not....and like I said above, I'm finished with this issue....with what's on TV now, with what's being done with God in schools and elsewhere, and with morals being thrown to the wayside now-a-days...almost "anything goes" is the way of the times...I'm just amazed at how many people are taking such things with a grain of salt?...Didn't Lot's wife do that?..LOL
Stephanos
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153 posted 05-18-2004 08:38 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
The laws of which you speak are, themselves, illegal, Stephen. Just as were all the state laws stricken in the Fifties and Sixties that discriminated against blacks. State law cannot contradict the Constitution.



Ron, you can do better than that.  They are only illegal according to ultra-liberal judges and their relativistic ideologies.  You haven't shown in the least how Gay Marriage (which is the imposing of an arbitrary change of something foundational for millenia) is the same as segregation.  You can repeat that assertion all you want to ... but that is always your argument.  Your conclusion IS your argument.  


The Constitution?  LOL.  You know as well as I that the constitution does not speak into the issue of changing the definition of marriage.  Why not?  The framers never dreamed of a day when homosexual marriage would be sought as public policy.  They simply did not anticipate the moral corruption that we are now seeing.  This Constitutional "support" of yours is inferred by your own interpretation of the Constitution and that is all ... At any rate, the issue is foreign to the document itself.  Others use the same interpretive reasoning to say the constitution also protects the human rights of the unborn, yet you deftly (and inconsistently) deny that.  



Stephen.

Stephanos
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154 posted 05-18-2004 08:46 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
If you wish to believe that dancing is a sin, as some certainly do, that is your right. You can even teach others that dancing is a sin and use all the many tools of persuasion to promote your view. But until and unless dancing brings harm to another human being, you have no right to force your religious views on others.

Again, Ron, you are in the uncomfortable position of having to say that the scriptural warnings against homosexuality (both individual AND societal) are moral directives given arbitrarily, and in a vacuum of sorts.  That God does not deem something immoral because it IS harmful, but just does it to impose a rule.  Can you sustain that argument?  If Sodom is not a concrete example of how such a thing is harmful to society and the individuals who make up that society, I don't know what is.  Interestingly enough, widespread public acceptance of the homosexual lifestyle in the Roman empire was considered one of the death throes of that society, by the historian Edward Gibbon.


Your definition of harm, as being only immediate bodily harm, would render multitudes of laws unjust ... because your view lacks any foresight or long range considerations


Stephen.


Essorant
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155 posted 05-18-2004 10:11 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

By the way, Where in the the bible does it condemn a romantic and spiritual relationship with one of your own sex?   It condemns homosexual lechery, as it condemns any kind of lechery; but I don't know of a part that expresses against seeking a healthy and monogamous relationship with one of your own sex...  

Ron
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156 posted 05-18-2004 10:53 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
They are only illegal according to ultra-liberal judges and their relativistic ideologies.

LOL. And they are only ultra-liberal and relativistic because they don't agree with you. They are the law of the land, my friend. Live with it.

quote:
You haven't shown in the least how Gay Marriage (which is the imposing of an arbitrary change of something foundational for millenia) is the same as segregation.

You're mixing terminology, Stephen, because I never mentioned segregation, but I'm guessing I know what you meant. Discrimination against gays by legally preventing them from marrying who they want is no different than discrimination against blacks by not allowing them to be landowners in the neighborhood they choose. When a privilege is allotted to a few and not to everyone, based solely on which group you belong to, it is discrimination. Segregation is a different issue, though obviously linked.

quote:
Others use the same interpretive reasoning to say the constitution also protects the human rights of the unborn, yet you deftly (and inconsistently) deny that.

And you've heard me say that where?

Not that it would matter how either I or others interpret the Constitution. Ultimately, it only matters what say the ultra-liberal judges of the land.

quote:
Again, Ron, you are in the uncomfortable position of having to say that the scriptural warnings against homosexuality (both individual AND societal) are moral directives given arbitrarily, and in a vacuum of sorts. That God does not deem something immoral because it IS harmful, but just does it to impose a rule. Can you sustain that argument?

Stephen, I have absolutely no problem at all should God choose to impose His will on the people of Earth, and I consider it very significant that He hasn't. I have a big problem, however, when you choose to impose your will on us. Your morality is conjecture, and your faith that you are right is no stronger than is mine or the guy who believes dancing is a sin. You have every right to live your life according to your own conjectures. You have no right to tell me how to live mine.

God gave me and everyone else choices to make. Who are you, Stephen, to make those choices for us?
Stephanos
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157 posted 05-19-2004 08:28 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
By the way, Where in the the bible does it condemn a romantic and spiritual relationship with one of your own sex?   It condemns homosexual lechery, as it condemns any kind of lechery; but I don't know of a part that expresses against seeking a healthy and monogamous relationship with one of your own sex...

The difference between heterosexuality and homosexuality, biblically speaking, lies in this ... heterosexual union is mentioned in many biblical passages, in positive even spiritual terms.  The only time heterosexual union is condemned is when it is practiced outside of the Marriage covenant.  This of course is known as adultery or fornication.  But homosexual behavior is never mentioned in a positive light.  There is absolutely no distinction made between lecherous homosexuality and "acceptable" homosexuality.  Some might reply that there was not as much homosexuality during that era, but that is untrue.  Homosexuality was very prevalent in the Roman Empire.  And Paul's letter to the Roman Church is the one that addresses homosexuality the strongest.  As adamant as biblical writers were about never calling what is good evil, and what is evil good, it is hardly a plausible interpretation to say that they just failed to mention monogamous homosexuality as "Okay".  Every reference to homosexuality is about the behavior and tendency itself ... it has no qualifiers attached.  Adultery has qualifiers ... it is heterosexual behavior, WITH another woman, WITH my neighbors wife, WITH ... etc...  When homosexuality is mentioned in the Bible there are no qualifiers whatsoever to make any distinction between "right" homosexuality and "wrong" homosexuality.  If you're interested I could refer you to all the places in the Bible where homosexuality is addressed and you can see for yourself.


Also a great book on the subject ...



http://www.amazon.com/exec  /obidos/tg/detail/-/0764225243/qid=1085013024/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-6554122-0215262?v=glance&s=books&n=507846



Stephen.   

Aenimal
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158 posted 05-19-2004 08:49 PM       View Profile for Aenimal   Email Aenimal   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Aenimal

Toe you haven't offended me at all and i know the feeling of wanting to get out of here but it's hard to keep, what many here no doubt think is a big mouth, shut. shrugs

My problem with morality especially biblical morality is that it's selective. Where people can accept certain changes but rail against others.

For example we accept and recognize women and their contributions to society more then scripture ever allowed and more than any previous society.

As a race and society we evolve and realize certain modes of thinking are outdated. Years ago a woman showing more than her ankle was a harlot. We evolve. Of course, the thinking in here is, we push things too far and lose control. But the same applies the other, we push 'moral' or 'religious' thought to the point where we're too rigid and controlled.

The main point is that laws are made and governed by State not Church. This isn't impossible, nore will it lead to a free for all of all the scenarios being thrown around in here. Just like allowing women and blacks to vote didn't destroy western civilization.

Stephanos
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159 posted 05-19-2004 08:52 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Ron:
quote:
LOL. And they are only ultra-liberal and relativistic because they don't agree with you. They are the law of the land, my friend. Live with it.



Finally ... your attempts at reason and justification abandoned, and your position stated clearly and concisely.  Thank you.  But I wonder if you would feel the same way if those Judges making decisions, were ones which you vehemently disagreed with.  Would you like someone else to just say "live with it"?
  

quote:
Your morality is conjecture, and your faith that you are right is no stronger than is mine or the guy who believes dancing is a sin.


So you are saying that the Bible is ambiguous about what is sin, and therefore any arguments for or against the propriety of anything are on equal footing?  Sorry ... when's the last time you tried to defend dancing as sin, using biblical exegesis?  Pedantic legalism is hard to bolster.  Emphatic unambiguous biblical statements are not.


quote:
And you've heard me say that where?



I recalled it from our lengthy debate on abortion ... you said that, in not so many words.  At least I didn't get the impression that you felt unborn children were protected under "human rights".  Sorry if I misinterpreted.  If that's not your position, maybe you need to learn to argue your position instead of someone else's.  



Stephen.
Ron
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160 posted 05-19-2004 10:56 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
So you are saying that the Bible is ambiguous about what is sin, and therefore any arguments for or against the propriety of anything are on equal footing?  Sorry ... when's the last time you tried to defend dancing as sin, using biblical exegesis?  Pedantic legalism is hard to bolster.  Emphatic unambiguous biblical statements are not.

The Bible is ambiguous about many things, of course all arguments are on equal footing until proof is offered and accepted, and absolutely none of that has anything to do with the laws that govern a free society. Theocracy doesn't work. Legislating morality doesn't work. And, ultimately, treating others as less deserving than yourself doesn't work, either.
Stephanos
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161 posted 05-20-2004 10:01 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 Bible is ambiguous about many things



Perhaps ... But whether homosexuality is sin surely isn't one of them.  Neither is the question of whether widespread public endorsement of homosexual behavior is good for a society.  The former has been established doctrinally, by the apostles of your faith.  The latter has been established historically ... both within the pages of scripture and otherwise.


quote:
of course all arguments are on equal footing until proof is offered and accepted



Okay, if we're talking about whether homosexuality is sin or not ... If you accept the Bible as authoritative, then there's the proof.  Can you reasonably say it's not, using the biblical texts, without contorting them to fit a pro-homosexual position?  Could you convince a court of law, if the Bible was the proof of what the apostles taught as truth?  I don't feel that you could.  


If were're talking about whether or not such a widespread sanctioning of sinful unions would be good and beneficial for societies, there has been proof, historically, albeit proof which you deny or refuse to talk about.


Otherwise what kind of "proof" are you looking for?  


quote:
Theocracy doesn't work



That's always your song and dance ... "If you advocate a law that lines up with the Biblical view of things, you MUST be an absolute theonomist".  Only one problem with that approach ... it just isn't true.  I am not for a man established Theocracy.


quote:
Legislating morality doesn't work.



What do you mean by "work"?  It sure helps, as you no doubt are glad there are laws on the books which say "Do no harm to your neighbor", "Do not murder", "Do not steal" etc ...  These are legislations firmly based upon moral priniciples, as I've already shown before.    


No they don't make people inwardly moral.  But they do restrict certain abuses in a fallen and sinful world.  And Biblically, that's all they were ever supposed to do. (read 1 Timothy 1:9-11)


Stephen.
Ron
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162 posted 05-20-2004 02:19 PM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

You're starting to repeat yourself again, Stephen. Every point made in your last post has been covered already. Your Biblical proof is both ambiguous and irrelevant in a civil court, your historical evidence is completely nonexistent, and murder or theft is no more a moral issue than is running a red light or breaking a contract.
Stephanos
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163 posted 05-20-2004 07:36 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
You're starting to repeat yourself again, Stephen



No, you're right, I'm not saying anything essentially different than I already have.  Neither are you.  So why the complaint?


quote:
Stephen:Okay, if we're talking about whether homosexuality is sin or not ... If you accept the Bible as authoritative, then there's the proof.  Can you reasonably say it's not, using the biblical texts, without contorting them to fit a pro-homosexual position?  Could you convince a court of law, if the Bible was the proof of what the apostles taught as truth?  I don't feel that you could.  

Ron:Your Biblical proof is both ambiguous and irrelevant in a civil court,



I wrote the above in response to whether or not homosexuality was sin, assuming biblical authority, and using the apostolic writings as the sole criteria ... If that were the question in a court of law, using legal/ historical methods, you would not be able to convince any judge that homosexuality was not at least TAUGHT as sinful.  Keep it in context.  It's only fair.      


If you don't squirm out, we could take a look at all of the biblical texts themselves, and invite Jim with his legal knowledge and everyone else to give their views as to whether or not the writings are ambiguous.  Whether or not they believe or even respect the texts, most concede that the Bible teaches homosexuality is sin.  It's usually only the liberal theologians (and Christians) who want to have their cake and eat it too ... and try to say the Bible says something else.


quote:
your historical evidence is completely nonexistent



You think Sodom and Gommorah was a fictional account?  Liberal theology again?

I'll wait until you answer this before we speak of Rome.


quote:
and murder or theft is no more a moral issue than is running a red light or breaking a contract.



Explain ... don't just state it over and over.  Most people know that running a red light is careless or a blatant disregard for others (a moral issue), that breaking a contract is a devious thing to do which hurts others (a moral issue).  And theft and murder... not moral issues?  Ask anyone on the street.  You're literally the only human being I've ever met who doesn't think so.  Convince me ... In what other context should I think of these, that would exclude moral responsibility?   Be verbose.


Stephen.
jbouder
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164 posted 05-21-2004 11:39 AM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Ron and Stephen:

Well, I can’t say I entirely agree or disagree with either of you.  I’m not sure either of you will like my opinion.  

Ron, your position that “you can’t legislate morality” is propaganda and untenable at best.  The questions I believe you need to ask yourself are (1) what is “morality” and (2) when is it appropriate for government to enact law that promotes moral living?  You may have tried to do this by asking repeatedly, “Who does it hurt?” but I’m not sure you’ve demonstrated that it hurts nobody.

Stephen (and Denise), while the Constitution establishes concepts of freedom and inalienable rights which are thoroughly biblical, it also expressly disavows the establishment of religion.  I think the popular right-wing view that the founding documents essentially make Christianity the faith of the land does more harm to Christianity than it does good (consider the examples of the Church of England and the Lutheran Church in Germany where Christianity has become more of a civic duty than individuals free choice to worship of the one true God).

I believe I can identify with Ron’s argument if he is really trying to say that we should avoid legislating non-revelational morality in the name of revelation, or to legislate even genuinely scriptural moral teachings that are not socially necessary. But while I believe Christians ought to expressly avoid doing this, I think we should aim to legislate all biblical standards that have demonstrable value to our society and argue vigorously when we believe new law threatens to erode our freedoms.  For example, Roe v. Wade redefined the definition of life to non-biblical terms that alienated the unborn from their inalienable Constitutional right to life.  Regardless of where we decide (secularly) when life begins, it should be self-evident that if a child is capable of being born alive and surviving outside the mother’s womb at virtually any time during the third trimester, it is a body unto itself, and the killing of the unborn anytime during the third trimester ought to be regarded as murder.

In order to argue successfully for mandating biblical moral standards, we must be prepared to make a strong case on scientific, social, and ethical grounds meaningful to non-Christians.  Failing at this, as we have in Massachusetts if indeed the issue of gay marriage is of societal importance, we should do all in our power to shape public opinion in the marketplace with the goal of eventually making our views acceptable (as they were in the 1800’s where the issue of gay marriage would not have been considered in any way except, perhaps, theory).

If gay marriage does not erode our Constitutional freedoms or stability as a society, then a gay-marriage ban hurts Christianity by falsely portraying the Church’s mandate.  Our job is not to mandate social mores so as to conform the world to the future Kingdom of God on Earth, but rather to evangelize, preaching and teaching the Good News that Christ has won us a freedom that exceeds any Earthly freedom (i.e., freedom from the prison of our own making) and that one day, those who believe will have eternal life with Him as evidenced by His resurrection.

Jim
Denise
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165 posted 05-23-2004 10:39 AM       View Profile for Denise   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for Denise

I couldn't agree more, Jim.

I think a lot of Christians lose sight of our real mission in this world. Getting non-Christians to conform to Christian values is pointless. It isn't conforming to Christian morals or values that brings salvation to the non-Christian, nor maintains it for the Christian. Faith in the finished work of the crucified and risen Saviour is our message. And any behavior on our part that flows not from resting in that knowledge, no matter how moral or noble, is still only a deed of the flesh, and does not bring glory to God.
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166 posted 05-23-2004 02:18 PM       View Profile for sweet_cute_palestinian04   Email sweet_cute_palestinian04   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for sweet_cute_palestinian04

hi,,,,i found this poem kinda weird but good,,,i dont actually agree with gay marriges ,,,,i mean guyz say " guyz are better and they understand better ,,and girlz say the same thing , but how?,,,,cant you just be friends ,why sleep with each other? because it feels good??,,its not about feeling good believe me ,,,,,its about understand each other i dont think its good to sleep with the same kind ,,would'nt you like to meet new people?,,,,,   i strongly disagree god made us for a reason and he had choose for us ,but your messing with mother nature and thats not right,,well thats my opinion ..but good write keep it upp..

I will cover you with my blood,not only because
i love you but because your are the one that turned my blood a color....

Stephanos
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167 posted 05-24-2004 09:54 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Jim:
quote:
If gay marriage does not erode our Constitutional freedoms or stability as a society, then a gay-marriage ban hurts Christianity by falsely portraying the Church’s mandate.

and ...

Denise:
quote:
I think a lot of Christians lose sight of our real mission in this world. Getting non-Christians to conform to Christian values is pointless.


I also agree, despite my insistence that legalizing gay "marriage" would be a bad thing.  Such desire for laws to conform to what is right, is not meant to be a replacement of the gospel message.  As I'm fond of saying, it's not an "either/ or" kind of thing ... but a "both/ and".  


To Jim I would say that the historical evidence is there, which would indicate that a public sanctioning of the homosexual lifestyle is not good for society at all.  (Sodom, Gommorah, Rome, more recently Scandinavia)  Perhaps socially speaking, the proof in research findings is not immediately forthcoming (but neither is evidence in the other direction).  There is also the folly of rashly altering a socially pervasive custom, just because of the agenda of a few.  Then there is the arrogance of assuming that the nearly unbroken unanimity of past civilizations was because they were obviously backward and bigotted.  There is also the false confidence in comparing this issue with the civil rights issues of the past ... as if homosexuality has been proven to be no different than a physical trait.  There is the danger of a constant redefining that will eventually usher marriage into a state of meaninglessness.  On and on.  I've touched on these before.  


But my point is, there is enough reasons (even secularly speaking) to not actively change a foundational institution, merely because of political pressure.  And that's exactly what's happening.  


The Christian, or anyone else, is justified in being against Gay "marriage" for those reasons alone.  


As to a Biblical view of Civil law, the Christian is justified to view the Government as "the instrument of God" to uphold what is right and what will protect society from harm.  Therefore it is no replacement for preaching the Gospel, but it is certainly scripturally condoned to be a proponent of just legislation.  In fact it is the Church's responsibility to warn the State when erring in such a way that will bring the judgement of God.  


Oscar Cullman put it this way in his book "The State in the New Testament":

"The Church's task with regard to the State, which is posed for all time ... First it must loyally give the State everything necessary to its existence.  It has to oppose anarchy and all Zealotism within its own ranks.  Second it has to fulfill the office of Watchman over the State.  That means:  it must remain in principle critical toward every State and be ready to warn it against transgression of it's legitimate limits.  Third it must deny to the State which exceeds its limits whatever such a State demands that lies within the province of religio-ideological excess; and in its preaching the Church must courageously describe this excess as opposition to God"


And certainly, the arbitrary redefinition of marriage (as given by God to humanity ... not merely defined and constructed by human society) by the State is a "transgression of legitimate limits" and "religio-ideological excess".  Far from the Church advocating legislation of all moral prinicples down to the smallest jots and tittles, and espousing Theonomic reconstructionism (as Ron accuses me of doing),  being against homosexual "marriage" is the duty of Christians to the State.  It's no trifle to pervert something so foundational as marriage ... and from the Church's standpoint something important enough to  symbolize "The Mystery of Christ and the Church".  


I think there is a danger involved for Christians to compromise their own revelatory worldview and buy into the "secularization" argument ... as if there were really such thing as a secular state, not under God's judgements, not responsible to him, and not in need of counsel and warning.  As Kierkegaard divorced God from reason ... "Secularization thinking" in the Church divorces God from public life.  I'm not ignorant of the fact that the whole question of Church and Governent poses problems in both tendencies (Secularization and Theonomy) ... But it's my opinion that ditches aren't desirable no matter which side of the road they're on.  And why do ditches hold attraction?  Because they each represent the clearest articulation of the errors of the other side.  


Having read Luther, do you think he would be apt to agree with your view of the Church and law, or mine?  From everything I've read of Luther, I feel certain that he would be vehemently opposed to legalizing such a travesty of holy matrimony.



And Denise ... why would God choose the instrument of the State to "reward those who do good, and to punish evil doers", (Romans 13) if he didn't want to impose his values on non-Christians?  It appears that the apostles at least  (though never equating the State with the Kingdom of God) had a somewhat different view of the function of Government than you are expressing.      


Just some things to think about ...


Stephen.

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Stephen:

quote:
… the historical evidence is there, which would indicate that a public sanctioning of the homosexual lifestyle is not good for society at all.  (Sodom, Gomorrah, Rome, more recently Scandinavia)  Perhaps socially speaking, the proof in research findings is not immediately forthcoming (but neither is evidence in the other direction).


In those cultures (past and present), I think the social harm resulted/results from rampant Epicureanism – the gratification of self at the expense of others.  I’m seeing potential danger of a post hoc ergo proctor hoc in your line of reasoning here.  Sexual immorality, I think, is a symptom of a society in moral decline.  When preaching the Law and Gospel, I think the onus of the Christian is to demonstrate that, while certain actions may be legal, they are displeasing with the God of revelation and history and require repentance.

quote:
There is also the folly of rashly altering a socially pervasive custom, just because of the agenda of a few.  Then there is the arrogance of assuming that the nearly unbroken unanimity of past civilizations was because they were obviously backward and bigoted.


In 1972, nine families in Pennsylvania rashly altered the socially pervasive custom of arbitrarily excluding children with mental retardation from the public schools.  In hindsight, anyone reading the old legal briefs of school districts would regard categorical exclusion on the basis of disability draconian and a violation of Constitutional due process protections on its face.  Which leads me to …

quote:
There is also the false confidence in comparing this issue with the civil rights issues of the past ... as if homosexuality has been proven to be no different than a physical trait.  There is the danger of a constant redefining that will eventually usher marriage into a state of meaninglessness.


Only when Christians allow a redefining of God-pleasing marriage, will marriage be thrown into a state of meaninglessness.  Christians today have the challenge … or perhaps the privilege … of living in a world that is becoming increasingly akin to the world Paul traveled.  It is worth noting that Paul’s defense of Government as bearing God’s sword of justice was set against a very, very pagan Roman backdrop.  Our failure as Christians has been to allow the State to supplant the Church as civilization’s moral conscience.

As much I as believe homosexuality is unnatural and sinful, because the United States Constitution expressly distances itself from establishing a Christian theonomy, pagans have the same civil rights as Christians in this country.  Sadly, marriage in the United States (at least in the last century and a half) has become little more than a civil right in the eyes of its citizens.  That is a failure of the church, not a failure of government.

quote:
But my point is, there is enough reasons (even secularly speaking) to not actively change a foundational institution, merely because of political pressure.  And that's exactly what's happening.


But is it really changing a “foundational institution” or is it providing for a pagan definition of marriage by which those with pagan-worldviews can be married?  You might compare this to the issue of no-fault divorce – in the past, divorce laws reflected Christian mores and it was very difficult for someone to obtain a divorce sans adultery or abandonment.  Creating a new standard – a pagan one – that is inconsistent with biblical teaching in regards to how a Christian is to conduct his or her self does not prevent Christians from upholding the revelatory standard.

quote:
The Christian, or anyone else, is justified in being against Gay "marriage" for those reasons alone.


And when gay marriage is made legal across this nation, Christians ought to oppose its encroachment into Christian doctrine regarding marriage.  To deny a Constitutional basis for homosexual marriage, however, requires one to build a factual record demonstrating either the harm caused by or the absurdity of recognizing its legitimacy. I’ll gladly go on the record as saying that I believe homosexual behavior is abhorrent and sinful, but at this point I’d have to say I cannot find a compelling Constitutional basis for preventing pagan-Americans from marrying under pagan standards.

I was with Cullman through the first two points.  His third point (and his second less so) seems dangerously subjective.  I would not see legal recognition of homosexual unions as a “transgression of legitimate [State] limits.”  The foundational Constitutional principles protecting our inalienable rights, and right to due process of law whenever the State encroaches on those rights unjustly, protect the American Christian and American Pagan alike.  Using the law to force-feed Christian mores on citizens is harmful to Christians and pagans.  Until the State makes it illegal for me to voice my disapproval of homosexual marriage on revelational and moral grounds, I wouldn’t say it has transgressed its legitimate limits.  Christians ought to take seriously the biblical institution of marriage.  I agree with you that the Church’s abdicating its legitimate role as civilization’s moral conscience on this issue would be error – but this culture war must be fought in the marketplace of ideas, not in the courts.

I would challenge you, however, if you are characterizing my worldview has having been secularized – actually, I think my political views are closer to being Pauline than yours seem to be.  When injustice is done, and the Christian finds his/her Constitutional rights violated, the Christian ought to pursue whatever action, including legal action, necessary to right the wrong.  By example, Paul often did this when invoking his rights as a Roman citizen as he did when he was illegally imprisoned and beaten in Philippi (Acts 16ff).  The issue of abortion is one in which I believe Christians ought to be vigorously working to reshape public policy to restore the inalienable right to life to the unborn.  I find it impossible, however, to sustain a Constitutional argument against recognition of homosexual marriage by the State without finding myself on the edge of a precipice.  Without more facts, I can’t say I’m willing to make that leap of faith with you on this one.  The biblical record is unambiguous enough, but the Constitution is not an extension of the biblical record.

quote:
Having read Luther, do you think he would be apt to agree with your view of the Church and law, or mine?  From everything I've read of Luther, I feel certain that he would be vehemently opposed to legalizing such a travesty of holy matrimony.


You might forget (or perhaps didn’t know) that Luther would also have recommended to the German Princes that my son be thrown in a river and drowned for being an abominable “body without a soul.”  While I have great respect and admiration for Luther’s theology, particularly his soteriology, some of his least shining moments occurred when he intervened in State affairs.  These failings of Luther are a good indication of the wisdom behind separating church from state.  Clergy shouldn't do the work of statesmen and statesmen shouldn't do the work of the clergy.

If the issue was church recognition of the legitimacy of homosexual marriages, I have no doubt I’d be standing next to both you and Luther on this issue.  But we are not talking about whether homosexual marriage is “holy matrimony” … no legal proclamation can do that – only biblical revisionism.  Yet I still cannot see how my view of government runs contrary to Paul’s when, in the same letter in which he strongly denounced homosexual behavior as unnatural, he counseled the Roman Christians to obey the Roman government as you pointed out.  I think this is illustrative of how the Church can honor God by preaching Law and Gospel AND obey government.  I think Augustine captured the Pauline concept very well in "City of God."

Jim
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Deleted by me....(Hey, that's new, it's usually a moderator?)

[This message has been edited by Toerag (05-25-2004 07:15 AM).]

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Stephen,


" But homosexual behavior is never mentioned in a positive light."

Was a positive path, such as Marriage, ever offered to "homosexuals" in former ages?  There are more negative things in the news about Natives where I live, for a great part of the natives where I live deal with poverties, racisms, inequalities, troubles; it is unbalanced; and those in ill conditions are made ill by them and continue to make conditions ill again; those that find a way out of them and are offered the help in our society that is especially there for people like them, are no more like any of the natives on the street the news, or any other people that face those problems.  If people are given a cleaner and securer passage to living, many shall take it.  Many shall not.  But denying them that passage, shall do NO ONE good.
And when people get out of jail and are still treated like criminals, they are most likely to behave like criminals if those conditions continue; many again may act like criminals for lack of learning much better; but if they find a cleaner manner of life, and are offered some sense, and are able to acknowledge  that they still have honour and may be honoured in this life, they shall most likely I believe behave better, in believing better, feeling and being treated better.  


"There is absolutely no distinction made between lecherous homosexuality and "acceptable" homosexuality. "

The bible puts everything into one heap; it doesn't really seem to distinguish any postive kind of lust in life either.  Do you think all lust is evil as well, just because the bible seems to say or suggest it?
It doesn't seem to say anything good about the world and wordliness either; in the dispositions of biblelore, those are evil and only evil.  

I think Life itself tells the truer tale about that.


"Homosexuality was very prevalent in the Roman Empire."


It was as wrong and indecent and lecherous as any other sexualness fell in that age.  "Homosexuality" inevitablly falls into any kind of wrong that people take sexuality to.  But you are suggesting it may not rise to any right and right choices that people may make regarding such things, which I think is a wrong.  If you don't believe in "homosexuality", so be it.  But we shouldn't treat people that are "homosexuals" as if they are not able or not interested in pursing and meeting  dignity and righteousness in this life.


"Adultery has qualifiers ... it is heterosexual behavior, WITH another woman..."

So an act like adultery is less wrong because it is "heterosexual"?


  

Stephanos
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171 posted 05-25-2004 09:34 PM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
If people are given a cleaner and securer passage to living, many shall take it.  Many shall not.  But denying them that passage, shall do NO ONE good.

Essorant, as a general principle I agree.  But you misunderstand the Biblical view of homosexuality.  It is not poverty, but perversion.  Helping homosexuals is not the issue ... The Bible upholds all efforts to help others, regardless of their lifestyles.  That is loving your neighbor as yourself.  But to elevate homosexual relationships to a place of public honor (like marriage), would only enforce the delusion and self-deception that it's "okay" behavior.  That doesn't mean that the Biblical mandate is to hate and maltreat homosexuals.  But it does mean that in love, we are to call what is wrong, wrong.  IF homosexuality is truely sinful and harmful, then any approving provisional efforts would not be doing anyone good.  Notice I did say, "IF".  The Bible plainly says it is ... You may not agree, but that is the position.
  

quote:
The bible puts everything into one heap; it doesn't really seem to distinguish any postive kind of lust in life either.  Do you think all lust is evil as well, just because the bible seems to say or suggest it?



But it doesn't.  The bible doesn't fail to include positive kinds of desire in it's descriptions ... Even sexual.  Ever read "The Song of Solomon"?  Quite a romance it is.  To think that the Bible teaches Stoicism is to misread the Bible.  When the Bible speaks of "lust", it is a good desire met in a wrong way.  But if there is a wrong, there must a right that was wronged.  If there is a counterfeit, there must be an original.  And the Bible is very balanced to bring forth the positive and the negative.


quote:
It doesn't seem to say anything good about the world and wordliness either; in the dispositions of biblelore, those are evil and only evil.  
I think Life itself tells the truer tale about that.



Again this is a misrepresentation of the Bible, and tells me you might need to return to your study.       Even the key scripture of Christian believe, John 3:16 says "For God so loved the world ...".  There are different senses of the Greek words used for our English "World".  1) There is a world of people and activities, 2) there is the natural world that God created, and then there is 3) the present system of things which is in opposition to God.  As Satan in this sense is called the "god of this world".  It's important to make these contextual  distinctions in your understanding of scripture, or your interpretation may be off.
  

quote:
It was as wrong and indecent and lecherous as any other sexualness fell in that age.  "Homosexuality" inevitablly falls into any kind of wrong that people take sexuality to.  But you are suggesting it may not rise to any right and right choices that people may make regarding such things, which I think is a wrong.



Again you are maintaining that there can be a "good" kind of homosexuality, which the Bible denies.  Your original argument was that the Bible made distinction between acceptable and non-acceptable homosexuality.  My goal has been to show that this is not so.  That the Bible only speaks of homosex in negative terms ... as if it were inherently wrong.  It speaks of heterosexuality in a different way ... wrong when it is outside of Holy Covenant relationship.  That's why adultery is wrong, and fornication is wrong, even though the heterosexual aspect of it is not wrong in and of itself.
  

quote:
So an act like adultery is less wrong because it is "heterosexual"?



No I never said that.  It is wrong, period.  But heterosexuality is not wrong, period.  I said that heterosexuality was only wrong when it was qualified with things like, "with another man's wife".  Why?  Because heterosexuality is God's design.  That doesn't make adultery "less wrong".


I can hear someone protest that we don't therefore make it illegal for adulterers to marry.  No, we don't.  But that's not the issue.  Adultery is not given a public place of recognition and honor in marriage ... that would be bigamy.


Stephen.    
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172 posted 05-26-2004 12:04 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephenos

I think you are right the bible speaks against what it refers to.  But what it names doesn't seem to encompass what we name "homosexuality" today, other than being same-sex.   What the bible refers to, that we will also call "homosexuality," seems something that is not truly relationship at all.  It is sexual perversion.  Sexual and perverse for being sexual and perverse, not for people being of the same sex and intimate.  Where in scripture is it condemned that two of samesex pursue monogomous relationship, such as may evolve marriage?  I don't know any passages. But homosexuals today wish to get married.  So it is different.  And to me seems proof that there are homosexuals that are monogomously inclined, and wish for a marital lifestyle, not a perverse lifestyle.  Marriage is a postive thing.  When two people wish to get married I trust they seek a positive, not a negative.   People know what marriage is.  Every one know it is historically between a man and a woman ; but I think most know as well that it is not most, or especially, about being a man and a woman that makes marriage.  It is the relationship and the personality and trueness of two people,which one word may encompass, and I still trust makes marriage.  When people pursue marriage, I trust that they pursue something in similar goodness.  If they don't; I can't know.  I think only they know for sure if they are honest, And God knows.  But any people that think to judge a couple yet don't know the couples truth for all their thoughts, but as marriage is meant to be a goodness, it seems the couple should be given at least the benefit of the doubt that they are pursuing a good lifestyle when they wish to get married, not a bad one!
Essorant
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173 posted 05-26-2004 12:55 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"IF homosexuality is truely sinful and harmful, then any approving provisional efforts would not be doing anyone good. "


If is a good sign, Stephenos            


It doesn't need to have anything to do with gender, but encouraging and fastening a healthy/holy estate by two/true lovers.  
Stephanos
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174 posted 05-26-2004 09:55 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
I think you are right the bible speaks against what it refers to.  But what it names doesn't seem to encompass what we name "homosexuality" today, other than being same-sex.   What the bible refers to, that we will also call "homosexuality," seems something that is not truly relationship at all.  It is sexual perversion.

Have you actually examined all of the scriptures in the Bible which deal with homosexuality?  I believe if you had, and if you're honest (and I believe you are), you would concede that the Bible condemns homosexual behavior wholesale ... Not a certain "kind" of it.  
  

quote:
Where in scripture is it condemned that two of samesex pursue monogomous relationship, such as may evolve marriage?  I don't know any passages.


But Essorant, I challenge you to show me one scripture about homosexuality where multiplicity of partners is primarily condemned, rather than the improper sexual orientation.  I have examined all of them ... and this is true of none of them.  Again, you are free to disagree with the Bible.  But it is faulty argumentation to say that it says something other than it does.


Then there are all of the passages which define Marriage as God ordained / designed union between a man and woman.  And the absence of any passages which would allow otherwise.  The exclusively defined nature of marriage in scripture, coupled with it's clearly negative view of homosexuality, would make it impossible to cogently interpret the Bible as allowing or encouraging homosexual "marriage".  Again, anyone is free to disagree with the Bible.  But saying that it declares something other than it does (regarding this issue), is a hopeless endeavor.  Regardless of the fact that many portray the bible as ambiguous and endlessly pliable in it's message, those who actually read it rather than hear it second-hand, find out otherwise.


quote:
Marriage is a postive thing.



I agree.  But what is marriage?  The Bible clearly states that it is a defined thing ... a gift given to humanity by God.  Others think it is whatever we say it is.  I hold to the Biblical view.  Anything else is not true marriage at all.  That's not to say that homosexuals cannot enjoy good things like friendship and companionship and even tender loving feelings.  God's sunlight falls on us all.  But those things alone don't justify homsexuality.


quote:
But any people that think to judge a couple yet don't know the couples truth for all their thoughts, but as marriage is meant to be a goodness, it seems the couple should be given at least the benefit of the doubt that they are pursuing a good lifestyle when they wish to get married, not a bad one!



There may be a difference in "pursuing a good lifestyle", and demanding the public recognition and honor of a bad one.  There are many homosexual activists who really also mock the concept of monogamy as oppressive, who also want homosexual marriage legalized.  Not for the purpose of settling down in the traditional securities of marriage, but for elevating their lifestyle to the place of public acceptance and political "equality".


Desiring to overturn a pervasive moral disapproval by challenging and changing public policy, is only pursing a "good lifestyle", if the moral view is really wrong.


If it is not, it is the elevation of an immoral lifestyle into a widespread acceptance.  But popularity doesn't necessarily change whether something is right or wrong.


Stephen.  

 
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