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What exactly IS marriage anyway?

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LeeJ
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200 posted 06-03-2004 11:22 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Ron

Look how far we've come?

Yes, we've come far, but with our technology today we should be much further along...

And we should Ron, not confuse progress with morals, respect for oneself and others.  My goodness, it's a jungle out there...hehehehee

What has stagnated our society is our promiscuious ability to define anything to our own way of thinking as moral and respectful belief...no matter the issue, in today's world we have regressed to anything goes, with anyone or anything.  

Honesty has been lost along with trust...and honor, Ron, in those values we have regressed along with promiscuos thinking.

all I'm trying to say is this....I don't believe in homosexuality as normal...

As someone said in a thread above, not one sin is worse then any other, and remember, it also states in the Bible that even thoughts of sin are as deviate as the sin itself.  

When I look around me, at nature, people, different societies, there has been an intent on the basis of some greater power, organizing everything and connecting everything and everyone.  

In that, rules/laws do not always seem fair, but are there for a reason otherwise, everything would be chaotic.  

I'm perhaps to cut and dry, but...by being so, I've learned that life has aided me on my journey.  

We can bend words to fit our own interritations..."Devil will sell you and entire lake of truth to disquise one pt. of poison".  

I gotta tell you I would be horrified to raise a child in this liberal world today.  I oft time wonder, how I'd explain some TV shows and commercials to him if he were 6 - 17 years old today?  

I believe also, a lot of decissions are made in the context of the dollar bill only....and for those of you who have seen the way Philadelphia is campaigning to get tourists to come back to Philly, it's down right embarrassing.  

Used to love the show Will and Grace...now can't help but wonder, was what I was laughing at really immorral and corrupt?

Could I be held accountable for as far as things have gone?  I deem yes, I can and am.  

We've become a promiscuos being where anything goes, in the name of sex, sex, sex...which, should be a very sacred and privot union, "I think" between a man and a woman.  Not for anyone elses eyes but theirs. Same with erotica and other forms of sexual behavior.  Why does everything have to be so in the open today.  Doesn't anyone wonder if that tempts the petifiles even more, the sex offenders?  To me, it seems like no one is ever satified, they must take it a step further, and further still, until people actually become boared and need something else in their sex life to satisfy them?   This is very very dangerous.  

If you want to be gay, then so be it, but I would indeed prefer it is not paraded in front of my child, just the same as I would not want to take my child to a nude beach.

When he grows older, he can decide for himself, but while under my roof, I'm going to do the best I can to promote some form of confidence/moral/balance and respect within him and for him, without the confusion of same sex marriages and sexual exploitations.  

Worse part about it that alarms me is this, same sex marriages will breed same sex marriages in their children...just like welfare breeds welfare.  Its a conditioning.  

Soon, we straight ones, will be outnumbered and perhaps even considered abnormal?  Doesn't anyone ever ask, where are we going with this, what's next?

It will be more difficult for our children to decifer what is normal and what is not.  Can you imagine, having fingers pointed at them on the playground b/c they are NOT Gay?  

Think about it?  Perhaps that day will come, who knows?  Its not just about us here folks, and our insatiable and uncontrollable pleasures, it's about everyone else connected to us...whom we affect.  what's next when we open a can of worms and are we ready for the consequences from it?  

Also, adding one more thing...fidelity also means, fidelity to oneself...and I truely believe if you compromise your beliefs for the sake of gaining material wealth, then one has also performed a sin of infidelity.
And if one cannot be true to oneself, how can she/he be true to anyone else? You are, exactly what you accept, and the question is, are you thinking about the repercussions of your actions later on in life.

Have you any idea, the profound and fine thread you may be weaving that others may suffer from for months, years, perhaps centuries?  I don't think the concept of living for the moment is a healthy one for anyone nor do I deem a tax cut reason for homosexual marriage.





  
hush
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201 posted 06-03-2004 11:12 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

'Worse part about it that alarms me is this, same sex marriages will breed same sex marriages in their children...just like welfare breeds welfare.  Its a conditioning.  

Soon, we straight ones, will be outnumbered and perhaps even considered abnormal?  Doesn't anyone ever ask, where are we going with this, what's next?

It will be more difficult for our children to decifer what is normal and what is not.  Can you imagine, having fingers pointed at them on the playground b/c they are NOT Gay?'

Fisrt, I laughed, because I thought these comments sounded silly. Then, I realized how scary they are.

They appear to be fear driven, much the same way the "Well, there goes the neighborhood!" comments about blacks moving in are fear driven.

First of all... to compare homosexuality to poverty is ridiculous. People don't choose to be poor... it's not something they are picketing and protesting about- they don't put rainbow-color "poverty pride" bumper stickers on their cars. And one of the reasons welfare breeds welfare is that you have to be dirt poor to qualify for it. If I had the opportunity to make a little more money, but it meant that I would lose my healthcare for myself and my kids, and actually, once it evens out, be takin a paycut- hell no I wouldn't take a raise!

I also don't believe that it will breed more homosexuality... it will, however, breed tolerance.

And... the fear of being outnumbered? Yes, that's right, those dastardly gays are out even as we speak recruiting for their army in order to overthrow us norms! Seriously, you've got to be kidding... why not make the same argument about every other minority? I mean, it has been projected that within a certain amount of time (I don't remember the estimated year, my mom told me this quite some time ago) that people of color (all ethnicities combined) will outnumber us whites... egads, we might even be in for a black president, and kids of different ethnicities who pick on white kids for being white...

Oh, hey, wait, I've had that happen to me before! And you know why? It's simply because I was in the minority of the group, and didn't fit in... but let me clue you in- ANY group of kids will pick on the outsider. You don't want to see straight kids getting picked on for being straight, but it's okay for gay kids (or kids the other kids just declare are gay) to get picked on? That's an extremely offensive viewpoint... it's not OKAY for any kid to get picked on simply for being different- the key is to teach tolerance, and to raise children with the coping tools they'll need, because I guarantee, no child grows up having never been picked on.

Sorry, rant over.
LeeJ
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202 posted 06-04-2004 11:33 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

We're not talking about color here, and I'm not comparing sexual prefrence to the neighborhood...the point I tried to make is that we are parrots of our parents...we do, think and feel as they did...

The other point I tried to convey which to me is not silly nor fear driven...I don't see color, but am very concerned about our children becoming not only tolerent to this issue, but also part of it...

One never knows what opening a can of worms will spill over into, just look at 30 years ago, our generation, the 60's and what drastic changes were made, some very good changes, but...there is also the other side of the coin...it isn't ending here...this day, it will flower and it will influence, and I'm wondering how.

No one seems to think about tomorrow...the connections we have to each other....

I don't deem my points, feelings on this subject anywhere near silly.  Nor do I write of this in fear...it's everyone's individual choice when all said and done...

I'm not silly my friend b/c I don't think and feel like you...any more then your comments, thoughts are.  

I believe we should consider everyone's opinion as relevent and then decide what is best for us in our hearts.  I just don't know how to feel about these marriages, and what comes next?  

LeeJ
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203 posted 06-04-2004 11:42 AM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Hush, and oh by the way, I think you should know, I grew up very very poor.  It was just my mom and me.  
jbouder
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204 posted 06-04-2004 01:18 PM       View Profile for jbouder   Email jbouder   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for jbouder

Lee:

I think I get your point, but I believe it overly involves what is moral and pleasing to God with what should drive public policy.  The laws of the land in a Country which, by its very Constitutional foundation, is morally diverse ought to protect the rights of all without impairing the rights of others to the greatest extent possible.

Your indignation concerning homosexuality is certainly justifiable biblically, and resultantly ought to be a view which is vigorously argued and defended in the marketplace of ideas.  But being a culture's moral conscience is the domain of the church, not the domain of the state.  In order to justify civil discrimination, one must demonstrate by preponderence of evidence, why such discrimination is in the public interest and those discriminated against must have an opportunity to voice their grievances in a court of law.  Homosexuals are as entitled to due process of law as Christians are and when homosexuals believe their rights are being violated, they ought to challenge what they perceive as inequitable to the utmost of their abilities.  In a Constitutional system like ours, one must present factual arguments to counter these grievances, not allusions to Biblical revelation or ungrounded feelings of conscience.

I disagree with Hush that tolerance ought to be the standard by which we make moral choices, but I do believe that the we must, as Christians, respect the rule of law even if we disagree with it on moral grounds.  Everyone practices discrimination at some level by holding a certain moral position.  I'd be interested in hearing from Hush whether her views on my moral position could be construed as "intolerant" and inconsistent with her "tolerance" standard.

When homosexual marriage becomes more commonplace (which I have no doubt it will), the onus will be on the church to intelligently articulate why, though it may be legal, it is not a relationship recognized as sacred and pleasing to the God of revelation.

I will teach my sons what I believe - namely that homosexuality is sin, but that homosexuals are human beings deserving of the same respect and dignity as any other sinful human being.  And when I last checked, we all are sinful human beings.

Jim
LeeJ
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205 posted 06-04-2004 01:34 PM       View Profile for LeeJ   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for LeeJ

Jim, I did not mean to imply that I have anything against homosexuals, some are very good friends of mine.  I don't look at them as homosexuals, but as people...and yes, they do ahd have know my Biblical fidelity to the subject, but it doesn't change, to me who they are.  

I agree, they should have equal rights, and I'm not saying my thoughts and feelings are written in stone...they are not, and always open to an invitation to hear and learn from others...again...it is an individual choice...in the end...but I suppose due to my conditioning and upbringing, I'm sitting in the middle of the fence.  I don't know what to think, and yet, I can't help but speak the truth, to see them kiss passionately and embrace repulses me....and I wish I didn't feel that way.  I really do.  Whose to say, I may be so totally wrong and they may be right?  It's a difference of opinion...doesn't mean I harbor animosity or hate in any way for them or their life style.  What worries me the most is are we growing much to liberal and lenient in a society where almost anything goes? Doesn't make me love someone any less, but in the same, I ask, that my opinion be respected as well?

Have a great day




Essorant
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206 posted 06-04-2004 01:52 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Stephenos,

I disagree with your position, not the bible's!

But I don't disagree completly.  If one uses the word "homosexuality" looseliest for anything samesex, in naked literalness, this word has place as whereso you put it, and you may bend all conditions around something involving same-sexed folk, and the use still has some right.  
But I still don't think what the bible refers regarding ill doings of people same sex is anymore what we today refer to as "homosexuality" than either reference is parallel to meaning anything involving people of the same sex.
It is a mistake to read what is being referred to in the bible as a parallel in meaning to what we refer to today as "homosexuality" which obviously includes personal connotations of union between people of the same sex.  


"That's a contradiction in terms ... to say that the Bible only condemns "homosexuality" when it is an act committed by a heterosexual"

Why? what is referred to seems an act bible, not a sexuality.  If that is supposed to be what we refer to when we say "homosexuality" instead of a sexuality, who are (by process of elimination) the -sexuals commiting that?  


"When Paul used the phrase "against nature" he was referring to the nature of men and women according to the created order of God."

So you will force the idea that he meant love between two people of the same sex, as well?  How is love against God's create order?


"Why would heterosexuals act against their heterosexual desires?"

Why not, if there are more meaningful desires e.g. personal, amourous, monogomous, intellectual, etc?


"And if homosexuality per se were not wrong, why would a heterosexual be condemned for committing such otherwise acceptable behavior?

If the behavior is wrong, why should the sexuality or sexual be treated as the wrong in a sense of being sexual, rather than abusive?  I don't think behaving ("hetero"/"homo") sexually, is the wrong, behaving indecently, abusively, immorally is.  



"The context just doesn't allow for such an interpretation."

And yet the context allows a shift in meaning to say he means (homosexual) love too?


"Adultery is often done for much more than a physical act.  Yet the Bible still refers to it as a sin.

But it is wrong because deception and disloyalty are wrong, not because it is wrong to be loving or (hetero/homo)sexual.    


"If you're going to defend homosexuality based upon the possibility of love and commitment, you would have to defend many cases of adultery as well"

Why?  They are two different things.  Homosexuality doesn't come about by being married and then having an affair with someone else.
What is the condition such as already being married to someone else to adultery,  may be brought about against a (hetero/homo) sexuality that makes love and monogomy its center?


"Don't you see that if the Biblical writers even thought homosexuality was wrong in and of itself, it would be out of place to include the kind of description you are looking for?"

I don't think so.  Where is it out of place to condemn (hetero/homo) sexual acts if they are indecent, abusive, destructive?  Suggesting that sexuality itself is the indecency, abusiveness, destructiveness, etc, itself is a contradiction, one which I am not willing to believe Nature or God makes.

[This message has been edited by Essorant (06-04-2004 10:36 PM).]

Stephanos
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207 posted 06-05-2004 12:23 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant:
quote:
It is a mistake to read what is being referred to in the bible as a parallel in meaning to what we refer to today as "homosexuality" which obviously includes personal connotations of union between people of the same sex.



Essorant, you keep saying this but you haven't been  responding to my specific arguments at all.

Answer this for me:  Why are we to assume that homosexuality in the ancient world didn't have "personal connotations of union"?  People are people whether ancient or modern.  History and literature don't lend any support to what you are saying.


Remember Bahnsen's quote? ...

"In ancient culture homosexuality was commonplace, with certain distinctions customarily drawn between homosexuality as an ideal expression of love (e.g., in Plato's Symposium) or an aid to military prowess (e.g., in Spartan propaganda) and homosexuality in the form of prostitution and indiscriminate infatuation. The one was encouraged, the other discouraged."


That sounds a whole lot like your own distinction doesn't it?


So historically, textually, can you give me anything to back this up?  It seems to me that you have just decided that it couldn't have been the same as it is now ... but upon what are you basing that assumption?  
  

quote:
Why? what is referred to seems an act bible, not a sexuality.  If that is supposed to be what we refer to when we say "homosexuality" instead of a sexuality, who are (by process of elimination) the -sexuals commiting that?



This was hard to decipher but I think I might know what you're trying to say.  You're saying that the bible refers to mere actions rather than orientation.  Again, textually you are going to have a hard time sustaining that.  Paul referred, in Romans 1, to "vile passions", and to men "abandoning the natural use of the woman".  These phrases are not describing a momentary lapse of reason, or reluctant indulgence ... they are referring to a deep identification with a sexual lifestyle contrary to that which is natural, which is described as "abandonment".  It would make no sense to say that a heterosexual "abandoned" the natural way, if the sins described were merely temporary deviations and did not involve a change of sexual orientation ... a change of heart on the whole matter.  Also Paul mentions that God "gave them over" indicating a deep and thorough identification with homosexuality on the part of the offender.


And, as hard as I try, I cannot take seriously the assertion that Paul was referring to heterosexual "homosexual" behavior.  Let your modern knowledge correct you here.  For, heterosexuals do not practice habitual sexual intercourse with those of their own sex.  So why would Paul be addressing such a non-issue as that?  



quote:
So you will force the idea that he meant love between two people of the same sex, as well?  How is love against God's create order?




Essorant ... certain kinds of love are improper in certain situations, don't you agree?  The Bible refers to different kinds of Love, but the romantic/ sexual kind of love between lovers is called "Eros" in the Greek.  It would be wrong for you to have Eros toward your biological Mother.  But it is perfectly lawful for you to have "Phileo", which is a love more akin to friendship, for your Mother.  It is also right for you to have "Agape" (the Greek word for the highest kind of love, an unwavering love which is most like God's) for your Mother.


So briefly, to answer your question, yes "Eros" between men and men, and women and women is against God's created order.  God made that to flourish only between male and female.  My view is made to sound most villainous when it is suggested that God would be forbidding love between those of the same sex.  That just isn't true.  He never forbids what is proper.  Love in it's proper context is not forbidden at all.
  


quote:
Stephen: Why would heterosexuals act against their heterosexual desires?"


Essorant:  Why not, if there are more meaningful desires e.g. personal, amourous, monogomous, intellectual, etc?"



So tell me, how many professed heterosexuals have you ever met (or even heard of) who indulged in the homosexual experience because of either a lack of personal traits in their hetero mate (there are countless other heterosexual mates to choose from), or because of the mere charisma of someone of the same sex?  I'll bet the answer is none.  



quote:
If the behavior is wrong, why should the sexuality or sexual be treated as the wrong in a sense of being sexual, rather than abusive?  I don't think behaving ("hetero"/"homo") sexually, is the wrong, behaving indecently, abusively, immorally is.



I understand this is what you think.  But we were discussing the Biblical view, not personal opinions right?  And the Bible categorically condemns the sexual aspect of homosexuality, rather than anything coexistent with it.  Again, if you want to argue this ... please refer me to the text.  And I'll listen.
  


quote:
And yet the context allows a shift in meaning to say he means (homosexual) love too?




Yes the Bible condemns sexual love between those of the same sex.  And the context does not allow a shift   (or at least you haven't shown me how my view requires a twisting of meaning, and a manipulation of the text)... this conclusion doesn't require a shift.  It is easily defensible from the Biblical texts and historical.  Many non-Christians, and even homosexuals, concede that this is so.  
  


quote:
But it is wrong because deception and disloyalty are wrong, not because it is wrong to be loving or (hetero/homo)sexual.



You're right ... deception and disloyalty are wrong.  It does not therefore follow that disloyalty to the will of God regarding sexuality is not also wrong.  To put it simply, adultery is doing what is right, with the wrong person.  Homosexuality is doing what is right, with the wrong sex.  My whole point in bringing up adultery was to show that love and tender emotions alone do not justify something.  It seemed that you were using these as the justification for homosexuality.  I therefore showed you that they are present in adultery as well.  Now you switch argumentation, and say that what makes adultery wrong is human disloyalty.  But surely that's not the only ground for things to be wrong.  Cruelty is wrong for it's own reasons ... Stealing for another ... Lying for another ... homosexuality for another.  


quote:
Where is it out of place to condemn (hetero/homo) sexual acts if they are indecent, abusive, destructive?  Suggesting that sexuality itself is the indecency, abusiveness, destructiveness, etc, itself is a contradiction, one which I am not willing to believe Nature or God makes.



It's not sexuality itself which is the indecency.  It is a perversion of sexuality.  

As to nature, have you ever wondered why homosexuals cannot procreate?  Nature at least makes some distinction about that which is proper I guess.


As to God ... it is a certainty that the apostles of the Christian faith, and the patriarchs of the Jewish religion, thought otherwise and held a view which is quite different than your own.  You can disagree with them.  I'm trying first to convince you that you really do.            



Stephen.
Ron
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208 posted 06-05-2004 03:13 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
It is a perversion of sexuality. As to nature, have you ever wondered why homosexuals cannot procreate?

LOL. Reminds me of the typical reaction of an adolescent upon discovering his grandparents still have sex. Ewwww.  

Your entire argument, Stephen, seems to be based on the assumption that sexual orientation is always a choice, with your assumption inevitably leading to a skewed definition of homosexuality as anyone who engages in a same-sex relationship. That's why you can't seem to understand Essorant's arguments. Despite your apparent naivety about the real world, Stephen, heterosexuals often choose homosexual alternatives, for a variety of reasons, and such choices doesn't suddenly mean they're no longer heterosexual. It simply means they're unwilling to accept your rules.

Homosexuals, on the other hand, are genetically and physically different. While they may choose to engage in heterosexual acts, they will never be heterosexuals. Any more than a lesbian who plays the role of a man can ever be a man. Gender is determined at the moment of conception, and there is every reason to believe sexual orientation follows very soon afterwards, obviously being driven by gender, but just as obviously not being solely determined by gender. Homosexuality isn't a choice, but an act of God.

The opposite of natural isn't unnatural, it's supernatural. If something occurs in nature it is, by definition, natural. To call homosexuality perverse is to call God perverse. When Paul refers to men "abandoning the natural use of the woman," in Romans, it behooves us to ask if this is the same Paul who, in 1st Corinthians 11:14-15, instructs, "Doesn't even nature itself teach you that if a man has long hair, it is a dishonor to him? But if a woman has long hair, it is a glory to her, for her hair is given to her for a covering." One has to wonder, natural to whom? If God didn't want me to have long hair, it seems He could have arranged for it to not grow. Clearly, I think, Paul's descriptions of natural and unnatural reflect his society, his biases, his times, and not the will of God.

Those who wish to condemn homosexuals on the basis of Paul's biases must also be willing to condemn women to a life of perpetual servitude.

"Let a woman learn in quietness with all subjection. But I permit not a woman to teach, nor to have dominion over a man, but to be in quietness. For Adam was first formed, then Eve; and Adam was not beguiled, but the woman being beguiled hath fallen into transgression: but she shall be saved through her child-bearing, if they continue in faith and love and sanctification with sobriety." (1 Timothy 2:11-15)


Essorant
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209 posted 06-05-2004 02:58 PM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

"Why are we to assume that homosexuality in the ancient world didn't have "personal connotations of union"?  People are people whether ancient or modern.  History and literature don't lend any support to what you are saying. "


We are not; but the biblesayings don't seem to speak therein.  
"Vile passions" "use" "commiting what is shameful" "in their lust" "lie with" speak in context of flesh not spirit.
To say a personal and spiritual sense is tacitally given, is one's own superstition, not scripture!

"Remember Bahnsen's quote? ...

"In ancient culture homosexuality was commonplace, with certain distinctions customarily drawn between homosexuality as an ideal expression of love (e.g., in Plato's Symposium) or an aid to military prowess (e.g., in Spartan propaganda) and homosexuality in the form of prostitution and indiscriminate infatuation. The one was encouraged, the other discouraged"

Truly; but again the bible doesn't make such distinctions.  Suggesting that it tacitly refers to them is conjecture.  


"So historically, textually, can you give me anything to back this up?  It seems to me that you have just decided that it couldn't have been the same as it is now ... but upon what are you basing that assumption?"


My point is that what the bible refers to doesn't  live up to what homosexuality is, so why should it be translated as if it refers thereto, as "homosexuality"?
I could equally refer to heterosexual indecency without a reference to heterosexual decency;  And then you shall note I am not speaking of the good things.  Why do you think the biblesayings suggest good aspects as bad things too, when they seem to speak only of bad aspects?  If I was convinced heterosexuality was a sin, and there are many instances of indecency that could support my belief,  then I may equally suggest no good things change that about herterosexuality or justify it.  Now will you still suggest "no good things" justify the sexuality when those good things are there instead of the bad, when obviously there are indecencies, and perversion of sexuality in heterosexual behavior, such as abuse, prostitution, exploitation, etc.?  

[This message has been edited by Essorant (06-05-2004 06:52 PM).]

ESP
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210 posted 06-06-2004 04:32 AM       View Profile for ESP   Email ESP   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for ESP

Interesting debate...

Stephanos said:
"There is the danger of a constant redefining that will eventually usher marriage into a state of meaninglessness."

--That's the sort of 'armageddon argument' that makes people laugh. Proposing or opposing gay marriages shouldn't use doomsday as a reason.

Personally I am in favour of gay marriages and found my thoughts often aligning with those of Ron and Hush.

~Liz

PS when i am not about to go and revise for tomorrow's exam, I will come back and put forward some statements. But for now, adios!

"Time has told me not to ask for more, one day our ocean will find its shore" ~Nick Drake

hush
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211 posted 06-06-2004 11:21 AM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

Lee, I'm Sorry that I called your comments silly, it probably wasn't very respectful. However, that is my gut reaction when people express fears such as 'gays are going to out number us what will we do then????'

Also-

'I did not mean to imply that I have anything against homosexuals, some are very good friends of mine.  I don't look at them as homosexuals,'

But you seem to look at homosexuals as a whole, as being homosexuals. If they are just people, and if you are able to be friends with them, why should it even matter if they someday outnumber straights?Jim-

'I disagree with Hush that tolerance ought to be the standard by which we make moral choices, but I do believe that the we must, as Christians, respect the rule of law even if we disagree with it on moral grounds.  Everyone practices discrimination at some level by holding a certain moral position.  I'd be interested in hearing from Hush whether her views on my moral position could be construed as "intolerant" and inconsistent with her "tolerance" standard.'

Interesting that you say that, becausse it is something that I struggle with, having a pretty relativistic viewpoint.

No, I don't find your position intolerant, simply because you don't seem to wish to infringe upon anyone's rights. Everyone has a right to believe what they want to believe, whether it be that gays are living in sin, blacks are dumber than whites, jews are penny pinchers, etc. Just don't infringe upon anyone else's rights, and it's fine.
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quote:
Stephen:  Why are we to assume that homosexuality in the ancient world didn't have "personal connotations of union"?  People are people whether ancient or modern.  History and literature don't lend any support to what you are saying.


Essorant  We are not; but the biblesayings don't seem to speak therein.  
"Vile passions" "use" "commiting what is shameful" "in their lust" "lie with" speak in context of flesh not spirit.
To say a personal and spiritual sense is tacitally given, is one's own superstition, not scripture!


Then you're actually confirming what I've been saying all along.

You only have 2 arguments available to you, if you want to uphold your view:
  

1)The Biblical writers were ignorant of any personal aspect of homosexuality.

or

2) The Biblical writers chose to ignore the personal aspect of homosexuality in order to condemn it.



I've already shown that historically #1 is unlikely.  Homosexuality was generally percieved in the ancient world in much the same way you proposing now ... sometimes virtuous, other times vile.  And Paul was very aware of the Greco-Roman culture surrounding Israel.  There are numerous places in the Bible where Paul quotes Greek poets and philosophers, which at least shows that he was not ignorant of Pagan culture and literature.  He also lived in a nation that was controlled by Roman Government, and among "Hellenistic" Jews.  They all spoke Greek as their primary language.  What language do you think the New Testament is written in ... Hebrew!?  Nope ... Greek.      



So what about #2?  Well that's to say nothing more, in essence, than that you disagree with Paul.  Which in my opinion, is where you must end up ... unless you want to hold on to the opinion of #1 without offering any basis, in history, the bible, or otherwise.  


And once more ... emotions, and loving feelings, and the rest, were obviously a part of homosexual relations.  But in Paul's mind (if indeed he believed it to be immoral) what difference would that make as to whether it was right or wrong?  Again, until you can justify any other thing based upon emotions and feelings ALONE, then this argument fails.


And really,  Essorant.  Maybe we should close this particular disagreement ... at least until you give me something historical or biblical to back it up.  You've done no exegesis at all ... but rather have commented concerning your own mind.  There's nothing wrong with that, per se ... But it's not really sound argumentation about the original meaning of a text.  If you are arguing about a text and it's meaning you have to reason from the text and/ or history and culture.
  


quote:
again the bible doesn't make such distinctions.  Suggesting that it tacitly refers to them is conjecture.



I've given three reasons as to why the Bible doesn't refer to such a distinction as "kosher homosexuality" & "unlawful homosexuality".


1)  If the writers view is a condemnatory one about homosexuality, then it would be textually unnatural and incongruent to refer to such a distinction.


2)  It was common in Greco-Roman culture to view homosexuality as sometimes okay, and sometimes not.  Why should we assume Paul was ignorant of such a view?  His own view came as a refutation of such a view, not out of ignorance of it.  Heck, the epistle in which he wrote it was called "Epistle to the ROMANS".  


3)  That homosexuals experience emotions and even commitment in their relationships is simply obvious (either now, or in ancient times) to anyone.  But if Paul’s premises about the Created order of God are true, such things are pretty irrelevant.  Just as “true love” among adulterers and mistresses is irrelevant to the question of whether or not adultery is moral.


But You haven’t given any reasons at all, as to why we should assume Paul was ignorant of the “relational” aspect of homosexuality.  Until you provide some reasons for my consideration, our conversation is circular and pointless.



quote:
I could equally refer to heterosexual indecency without a reference to heterosexual decency;  And then you shall note I am not speaking of the good things.  Why do you think the biblesayings suggest good aspects as bad things too, when they seem to speak only of bad aspects?



But the Bible also refers to “heterosexual indecency” ... but NOT without a reference to heterosexual decency.  The Bible readily acknowledges the appropriateness of male/ female union and marriage ... based upon it’s presuppositions about the created order.  So the Bible does not “seem to speak only of bad aspects”, as you suggest it does.  There are however some things it only speaks of in a negative context.  Why?  Because according to the world-view, the presuppositional lens of the Jewish and Christian culture, there is no such thing as a positive context for certain things.  Again ... there’s no positive context for adultery.  It is categorically condemned throughout the Bible.  There is also no positive context for homosexuality (either in desire or action).  It is categorically condemned.  But notice that I did not say that good things (feelings, emotions, commitments, and numerous others) cannot coexist with a sinful lifestyle.  God rains on the just and the unjust alike.  But according to the “Weltanschauung” of the Judaic heritage, the sexual union of men with men, or women with women could never have a positive context.  


For your view to be plausible, you would have to offer articulated reasons as to why Paul might have excluded a positive homosexuality, but included a positive heterosexuality.  And it’s either a philosophical / ideological / theological reason ... or it’s ignorance.  My aim is to help you see that the ignorance argument doesn’t hold water.  The Pagan world that virtually engulfed the little Judaic community viewed homosexuality in much the same mood as you do.  And Paul was quite familiar with the surrounding world of his day.  I have given textual and historical data, and reasoning to back this up.  Can you give any reasons as to why the “ignorance” argument would be more valid than the ideological one?  You have to at least begin to try to support what you are saying.



quote:
If I was convinced heterosexuality was a sin, and there are many instances of indecency that could support my belief,  then I may equally suggest no good things change that about herterosexuality or justify it.



You may, but you would be wrong.  Paul had a foundational reason to reject and condemn homosexuality.  He didn’t merely reason his way there from weighing societal or individual benefits, against the cons.  If Paul were reasoning in this way, then you’re right, he should have at least mentioned something of homosexuality that was more acceptable.  But this is what you must ask yourself ... why didn’t he?  Was he just ignorant of all of the benefits and enjoyment that the Pagan world around him saw concerning homosexuality?  Or was he basing his judgment upon something deeper than humanistic analysis ... something ideological, philosophical, theological?  I’d say that the evidence points exclusively to the latter conclusion.


Stephen
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213 posted 06-06-2004 11:42 PM       View Profile for hush   Email hush   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems  View IP for hush

I was rushed earlier, back to add some more.

Stephen:

'And, as hard as I try, I cannot take seriously the assertion that Paul was referring to heterosexual "homosexual" behavior.  Let your modern knowledge correct you here.  For, heterosexuals do not practice habitual sexual intercourse with those of their own sex.  So why would Paul be addressing such a non-issue as that?'

What do you make, then of people who identify themselves as heterosexual but have had romantic or physical homosexual encounters? And what about bisexuals?

Also, I need to correct you on something:

'As to nature, have you ever wondered why homosexuals cannot procreate?  Nature at least makes some distinction about that which is proper I guess.'

Uh... yeah they can. Same way they can (legally) get married- with someone of the opposite sex. And it just so happens that reproductive technologies make this feat possible without the man and woman even having to touch each other.

Anyway, getting back to my earlier response to Jim... yes, everyone holds a certain moral position. My moral position is one that values tolerance, even to people who don't agree with me. Of course I'm going to disagree with certain things, and there are things that I will continue to think are just plain wrong. But if a bunch of white people want to sit around and call black people the N-word... or if a bunch of straight people want to sit around and call gays the F-word... it's really no skin off my back until somebody's got burning crosses in their yard, or until someone drags a poor gay guy to death by their pickup truck. Then, it's time to take action... but until then, all I can do is repeat to others the human dignity in us all, and express my opinion that we should be accepting of the actions of others until they become dangerous to people around them.
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214 posted 06-07-2004 12:48 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Essorant,

Here are a few of links of interest ...

From a Christian and Jewish view of homosexuality and scripture.

http://www.tuftsdaily.com/vnews/display.v/ART/2004/04/30/4091eb1daf99c

http://www.catholiceducation.org/articles/homosexuality/ho0003.html

http://www.equip.org/free/DH055-2.htm


Stephen.

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215 posted 06-07-2004 02:10 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'm not saying it is determined by whether or not the biblewriters were ignorant of things going on.  I am just saying I don't BELIEVE the biblical passages (aside from what was known or not) refers to homosexuality.   I believe it refers to indecency and deviation for flesh and for perverse sex.  To me it is not in context of telling people how to live lifestyles or orient relationships, it is disgust at perverse behavior  in context of flesh, and condemning that shamefulness.  The passage "lie with" is so narrow and vague.  But again I think that is an act in the context of perversion in the context of fleshlust,  As any behavior should be condemned for indecencies and being based on flesh.  I'm not trying to say this "this is the truth and that is all there is to it".  I'm just saying that is the way it reads to me; it is what I sense and believe it speaks of from what I read.  
If the bible wished to condemn lovers that in the same gender for being romantically inclined, samesexness in context of relationships, personality, uniting, and the genderness (aside from sexual intercourse) why should it not speak directly, when it speaks directly about things like theft, adultery, etc?  Why should it not see it important to clarify such a thing, if it is a sin?
Yes it is important to understand where the writers are coming from.  And I appreciate your emphasis and knowings that they were often aware of thing that we were.  But I still have doubtfulness about what the biblesayings say themselves.


"until you can justify any other thing based upon emotions and feelings ALONE, then this argument fails."

I read what is written and tell you what I believe?  what more may man do?

"I've given three reasons as to why the Bible doesn't refer to such a distinction as "kosher homosexuality" & "unlawful homosexuality"."

You again presume that homosexuality is inevitably being referred to.  I don't agree with you.  If the bible wanted to refer to homosexuality I think it shall have direct sayings regarding the genderness and relationships of two people of the same sex, rather than indecencies in lust and flesh.


"If the writers view is a condemnatory one about homosexuality, then it would be textually unnatural and incongruent to refer to such a distinction."

Again, I don't agree.


I still fail to see how man may find anything superior view in Pauls way of reference to anything negative.  Paul is harsh.  Not just that he is unduly harsh; Ron's quotations was a good example of that.  Just like other parts in the bible, where some aspect may be indeed in need of being spoken out against, and may be trusted up to a point, it may only be trusted until it goes to some undue oddity and harshness.  How many of these instances of oddities and harshnesses do we have to overlook before we are allowed to admit the views in the bible have some undue oddities and harshnesses?  
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216 posted 06-07-2004 02:15 AM       View Profile for Essorant   Email Essorant   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Essorant's Home Page   View IP for Essorant

Thanks for the links Stephenos.  
Stephanos
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217 posted 06-07-2004 02:30 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

quote:
Stephen:  Regardless of what interpretation you think is right, Ron ... interpretations of the Bible must be defended from the Biblical texts.


Ron:Really, Stephen? And what passage would you cite to support that rule?

Actually Ron there are many passages of scripture which speak about the authoritative nature of scripture, and the importance of determining truth from it, rather than from current cultural moods.  I'll mention just a couple which should be of interest to you.


"All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work"  (2 Timothy 3:16)


"...These things we also speak, not in words which man's wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.  But the natural man does not recieve the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him;  nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned."  (1 Corinthians 2:12-14)


I think letting "the Bible interpret the Bible" has been an understood principle of scriptural scholarship since the texts began to be studied.  Any other approach is just poor exegesis.  Now granted, understanding what scripture is actually saying often depends on a deeper look into the surrounding cultures and histories of the text in question.  But I believe all of that too is on the side of "homosexuality as sin" as a scriptural view.  There is a book which you should consider looking at called "Out of order:  Homosexuality in the Bible and the Ancient Near East" by Donald J. Wold, which seems to deal with many of the "revisionist" attempts to say scripture says that homosexuality is okay.


But this is really where you and Essorant part ways in your argumentation.  Essorant has been (perhaps out of some reverence or respect for the Bible obtained by cultural osmosis?) trying to revise what the Bible is actually stating, and referring to in it's condemnation ... not homosexuality per se, but to certain detestable types of it.  Though sometimes it seems that you force yourself to try to do the same thing, when you say things like ...

quote:
I tend to believe the Bible is never wrong. Man's interpretation of it, however, has been wrong a whole heck of a lot. (highlights mine)

then say things like:
quote:
I think, Paul's descriptions of natural and unnatural (in the Bible) reflect his society, his biases, his times, and not the will of God. (parenthetical additions mine)



But which is it?  Is scripture refective of the will of God, or filled with cultural biases?    


And regardless of other examples of scripture such as the "Head Covering" scriptures of 1Corinthians ... or the teachings on the more submissive (but no less valuable or essential) role of women, you fail to show that these are identical.  You never do any textual or exegetical analysis at all.  And, by the way, these scriptures you mention are not disregarded by me as "culturally irrelevant" just because their foundational assumptions are not harmonious with relativistic contemporary culture.  So don't assume that just because you reject them, or their governing principles wholesale, that I do.  Of course I think that there are biblical, textual, and cultural reasons to think that the particular expressions of moral principles spoken of in these scriptures are different in some significant ways, than Paul's moral condemnation of homosexuality.  And we could discuss those reasons.  But to simply throw them out as some sort of smoke screen (like some have tried to do with slavery and the bible ... and geocentrism and the bible) doesn't amount to much.
  


quote:
Your entire argument, Stephen, seems to be based on the assumption that sexual orientation is always a choice, with your assumption inevitably leading to a skewed definition of homosexuality as anyone who engages in a same-sex relationship.



What then would be your "unskewed" definition of homosexuality?  I don't limit homosexuality to lengthy relationships, or any settled orientation.  Bisexuals and what you erroneously call "heterosexual experimentors" are also guilty of this immorality.  My definition of homosexuality is actually much wider than yours.  That doesn't mean it's wrong.  Actually it's the more popular view.  I don't care if you call yourself heterosexual or not, if your neigbor found out that you "rejected my rules" by having sex with another male, I'll bet he would conclude that you were to some extent "homosexual".  That's the common man's view of homosexuality, and that's pretty sound actually.  You are in the minority if you call those who dabble in homosex "heterosexual" ... There's a more accurate word for that, "bisexual".  But all of that is really irrelevant to the issue of the Biblical view of homosexuality.


  
quote:
Homosexuals, on the other hand, are genetically and physically different. While they may choose to engage in heterosexual acts, they will never be heterosexuals.


They are no more genetically different than you and I are genetically different.  They are at least not provenly different in an actual genetic sense.  No "homosexual gene" has been found ... all scientific evidence that is used to suggest such a thing is inconclusive and unsatisfactory.


"The most recent research suggesting that homosexuality may be caused by biological factors came out in 1991 with the publication of some preliminary findings of Dr. Simon LeVay, a neuroscientist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in San Diego. His research consisted of studying the brains of 41 cadavers, including 19 homosexual males. He found that "a tiny area believed to control sexual activity [the hypothalamus] was less than half the size in the gay men than in the heterosexuals."

This study was seized upon by many as "irrefutable evidence" that homosexuals are born gay, something the homosexual community has been proclaiming for many years. However, "instead of resolving the debate," a Newsweek article suggests, "the studies may well have intensified it. Some scientists profess not to be surprised at all by LeVay's finding of brain differences. 'Of course it [sexual orientation] is in the brain,' says Johns Hopkins University psychologist John Money, sometimes called the dean of American sexologists. 'The real question is, when did it get there? Was it prenatal, neonatal, during childhood, puberty? That we do not know.'


Other problems with his findings include: (1) all 19 of the homosexual men had died of AIDS, something that many researchers believe could very well account for or contribute to the differences; (2) there was no way to know the sexual history of the "heterosexual" men; (3) there is no way to determine if the smaller hypothalamuses were the cause or the result of homosexuality; and (4) Dr. LeVay, a homosexual himself, admitted that his study was not entirely a dispassionate scientific endeavor.
" (From "Homosexuality: Fact and Fiction" by Joseph P. Gudel)


Here's some other links of interest about the "genetic/ biological" argument ...

http://www.narth.com/docs/istheregene.html
http://www.narth.com/docs/bioresearch.html


And also to say that someone who is homosexual will/ can never be heterosexual, is to deny the possibility of repentance and of the transforming power of God ...


Do not be decieved.  Neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor homosexuals, nor sodomites, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners will inheret the Kingdom of God.  And such were some of you.  But you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God. (1 Corinthians 6:11)



quote:
The opposite of natural isn't unnatural, it's supernatural. If something occurs in nature it is, by definition, natural. To call homosexuality perverse is to call God perverse.



One definition of nature is "what occurs in nature".  But if you considered context you'd know that Paul's usage of "against natural" is in the sense of "out of place, out of order".  Maybe you didn't know that there are different senses of use and definitions of this word?  Just like the word "Sorry", can mean both to apologize and to be of a poor character.  Think about it ... where Paul wrote "against nature", try substituting it with the word "supernatural".


Seriously Ron, if we used your definition of natural (which ignores context completely) We'd have to say that to call "murder" perverse is to call God perverse ... or to call rape perverse is to call God perverse.  Or to call anything perverse is to call God perverse.  Talk to any Bible scholar about your understanding of that word and see what he/she would say about it.


Stephen.


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Essorant,  

Let's take one thing at a time.  And I'm going to demand some answers from you before we proceed to any other point.


This one issue you are not adequately answering ...


quote:
Stephen:  "I've given three reasons as to why the Bible doesn't refer to such a distinction as "kosher homosexuality" & "unlawful homosexuality"


Essorant  You again presume that homosexuality is inevitably being referred to.  I don't agree with you.  If the bible wanted to refer to homosexuality I think it shall have direct sayings regarding the genderness and relationships of two people of the same sex, rather than indecencies in lust and flesh.



I have given reasons as to why Paul would naturally exclude mentioning "relational" aspects of homosexuality, IF he indeed felt that it was intrinsically wrong and against the created order.  (Read them in my former reply ... 1, 2, 3.)


Now the burden is on you to give reasons as to why he Didn't refer to "relational" aspects if he were only talking about "indecencies" or particular types of homosexual behavior.


Answer this and we'll continue.

Stephen.
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219 posted 06-07-2004 03:14 AM       View Profile for Stephanos   Email Stephanos   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Stephanos's Home Page   View IP for Stephanos

Hush:  
quote:
What do you make, then of people who identify themselves as heterosexual but have had romantic or physical homosexual encounters? And what about bisexuals?



Notice that I said that heterosexuals do not have habitual or repetitive sexual encounters with someone of the same sex.  The view that heterosexuals sometimes cross the line, is actually more congruous with my view of homosex, that it is a chosen sinful behavior ... which may or may not take root as a bondage and prevalant orientation.  Heterosexuals who have had encounters with homosexuals, were, to put it simply, tempted.  


I still find it difficult to call "heterosexual" those who have had romantic or physical homosexual encounters.  That is, if heterosexual refers to a settled personal sexual orientation.  Bisexual would be more accurate I think.  


In briefest form ...I think bisexuals have it at least half right.    


quote:
Uh... yeah they can. Same way they can (legally) get married- with someone of the opposite sex. And it just so happens that reproductive technologies make this feat possible without the man and woman even having to touch each other.



I meant that homosexuals can't procreate by the homosexual method ... they at least have to be "heterosexual" for the momentary pragmatic purpose of concieving.  But then there is adoption.  And you're right that technology is making the sexual interlude more and more unnecessary for making babies.  But I think you're misunderstanding my argument.  I was pointing to the fact that from the beginning of mankind, there has been only one "natural" way to bring forth children ... and that's between man and woman.  To me it is not the total indicator that homosexuality is wrong ... but it's a fascinating clue and for me is only part of a totality of arguments against homosexuality.  I understand that standing alone, it's not the most compelling of arguments ... but interesting nonetheless.


Stephen
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quote:
Stephen:  There is the danger of a constant redefining that will eventually usher marriage into a state of meaninglessness."


ESP:  That's the sort of 'armageddon argument' that makes people laugh. Proposing or opposing gay marriages shouldn't use doomsday as a reason.



Who said anything about doomsday?  (though I do believe in judgement and consequences from God).  I was referring to the specific concern that if we reject the traditional view of marriage, then it will constantly be redefined in society, perhaps into an absurdity.  There are already groups lobbying for polygamy rights and polyamorous marriage ... and who knows what else.  


Stephen.
  
Ron
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221 posted 06-07-2004 04:44 AM       View Profile for Ron   Email Ron   Edit/Delete Message      Find Poems   Click to visit Ron's Home Page   View IP for Ron

quote:
Actually Ron there are many passages of scripture which speak about the authoritative nature of scripture, and the importance of determining truth from it, rather than from current cultural moods.

Which does not support your contention that interpretations of the Bible must be defended from the Biblical texts. The passages you cite, Stephen, instead imply the Bible needs no defense at all and, indeed, the passage cited from Corinthians more closely aligns to my contention that interpretations by man are often faulty. The Word can and has been used to justify every atrocity imaginable.

quote:
But which is it? Is scripture refective of the will of God, or filled with cultural biases?

Scripture is more than reflective, it IS the will of God. The Bible, however, is a compilation of interpretation, specifically an interpretation by the Catholic church as to what should and shouldn't be included. There are many people who believe in Christ, but not in Paul, and many more who believe everything attributed to Paul was not necessarily written by Paul.

Let's rephrase your question, Stephen. Is the Bible authoritative? Or, as you've already quoted from Corinthians, should it be filtered through the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit?

quote:
But to simply throw them out as some sort of smoke screen (like some have tried to do with slavery and the bible ... and geocentrism and the bible) doesn't amount to much.

It amounts to a great deal, Stephen. It irrevocably proves that man's interpretation of the Bible is not infallible. If Pope Paul V was wrong about Galileo, why should we believe you are right about homosexuals? You can't just brush credibility off as being irrelevant.

quote:
You are in the minority if you call those who dabble in homosex "heterosexual" ... There's a more accurate word for that, "bisexual". But all of that is really irrelevant to the issue of the Biblical view of homosexuality.

It's not irrelevant if Paul's condemnation of homosexuality is based on the same definition you insist upon using. That's Essorant's whole point.

If homosexuality is nothing more than the experimentation of heterosexuals, then I agree it is no less a sin than any other sexual activity outside the sanctity of love. I still won't throw the first stone, I still won't pass human laws to enforce God's laws, but I will agree it is wrong and like every sin will lead to Earthly repercussions. That's between the sinner and God.

However, I don't believe you can define either gender or sexual orientation solely by actions. Both are physical manifestations, which in turn, define the actions. In your worldview, Stephen, I sense you can't imagine ever being attracted to another man. But your worldview is sorely limited if you've never encountered a man who can't imagine ever being attracted to a woman. Nothing short of a supernatural miracle is going to turn you into a woman, and nothing short of a miracle is going to turn a true homosexual into a heterosexual.

quote:
One definition of nature is "what occurs in nature".  But if you considered context you'd know that Paul's usage of "natural" is in the sense of "out of place, out of order".

I agree, but with only one small change. Paul's usage more appropriately should be characterized as, "out of our place, out of our order." If you define natural in any way apart from nature, it becomes entirely subjective. Which is exactly the problem. When homosexuality and long hair on a man are both deemed unnatural, questioning the usage probably isn't such a bad idea.

quote:
They are at least not provenly different in an actual genetic sense.  No "homosexual gene" has been found ... all scientific evidence that is used to suggest such a thing is inconclusive and unsatisfactory.

It's inconclusive for everyone, Stephen, but only unsatisfactory for some.

We knew that blue eyes was genetic several hundred years before the gene was found, and anyone who has been close friends with a homosexual knows it is not something they picked up on the playground or learned in college. It's who they are and how they see the world, determined by wiring set in place long before that first slap on the butt. Sexual orientation, like intelligence, probably isn't determined by a single gene. But that's okay, too, because when I get to know someone well enough, I really don't need a scientist to tell me what's what.

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Good Morning All

I've given this issue thought over the weekend...Since Friday, I must say, you've all offered some very good imput to ponder further.

I unfortunately, am a very expressive talker, writer, which sometimes doesn't come across clearly to the reader, realizing, but also, in the same, sometimes the reader reads and sees only what he/she wants to read.

Again, let me reinterate that my statement about gays outnumbering us was not a statement of fear, but perhaps someday it will be a reality.  

There is also something else inside which I have also discussed and admitted to my friends (when asked) who are gay, as follows.
"My Beliefs" of which I cannot or won't compromise which is same gender sex is abnormal.  I believe there is a very rare change that during conseption sometimes, something goes wrong...and a very few percentage of people are born with a tendancy toward feeling like they are a man when they are a woman or visa versa.

But, on the average, taking that step towards homosexual tendicays is a choice made by the individual.  Yes, hormonal imbalance can occur, I also believe that, but not to the magnification that has impacted this issue today.

When I read over my last two comments the first one adamently speaks the truth of what I feel and have felt all my life on this issue.  The second comment bends with some doubt.  

I am always open to discussion, and I don't hate gays nor fear them.  And yes, someday, they may outnumber straights, that is a definate possiblity.  I was simply stating a fact of something that may come in the future, surely it isn't impossible. Certainly there are more people today, then 50 years ago, but I believe there are more people choosing to be gay for reasons other then a hormonal imbalance or complications which occured during conception.

My point being, I stand by my beliefs...your sexual prefrence is your choice, but in the same...as heteralsexuality is mine.  
I will not judge anyone for their choice, as long as they respect my feelings on the subject as well.  I have and always will raise my son to believe it is wrong...but in the same to no hate someone for their race, color, beliefs and sexual prefrences.  Gays "are" human beings, and God's children.  And even though I disapprove, I will still love them and give them my trust and utmost respect.

I hope in this 3rd comment I have been able to articulate that I harbor no adamosity or fear of gays.  They have been a part of my life, and there have been many many fond memories of laughter, agreements, disagreements.  We're not perfect human beings...there will always be conflicts of opinion...feelings, beliefs.  But as a whole, we are all people, one united under God, and hopefully we will learn to listen, to each other, trust each other, respect each others opinions, and not reach a point where being right and lashing out becomes more important then love and understanding.

Remember, always, everyones opinion is important to them, it is who they are, and a composition of their entire being.  It is important to express your thoughts, believes and opinions, but it is also important to allow others and not react to the point that the being right becomes the issue.  

We must somehow establish this courtesy to all.  Freedom of speech balances on both sides of the scale, and that scale weighs different to each individual.  

I don't consider myself a member of any religious group, nor do I go to church, but do believe in God...and the same respect should go towards people who do go to church and believe what they believe.  There is good, bad and inbetween in all, and we're not going to find perfection in any human being.  We all, even the Pope, even our Presidents, make mistakes, and hopefully we will learn from them...as each individual has a signficant journey to accomplish...if we don't understand that, and allow and give in at times, then how would each of us be any different from dictating what another should be.  That's why we are still the Greatest Nation in the world to live in, because we Do have a choice, and allowance is a very large part of that great freedom.  But, in the same, freedom is not and will never be at the cost of anyone's integrity, loss of respect, name calling or looking to our leaders, parents, lovers as Gods.  If you do, you set yourself up for dissappointment when they do make a mistake.  People are people, human beings capable of making some pretty good choices and some not so nice choices due to many things, upbringing, conditioning, etc. and none of us, not one of us, are absolutely 100% right all the time.  

Happy Monday to you all and thank you kindly for this opportunity to express.  

  
Stephanos
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223 posted 06-13-2004 05:38 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:
Which does not support your contention that interpretations of the Bible must be defended from the Biblical texts.



That's exactly what I'm saying ... even if not wholly from those texts.  Of course we often have to go extrabiblical to define the cultural implications, and hone in on what is being stated.  But any interpretation which runs diametrically opposite to what the text is stating, (if the text is thought to be in any way authoritative) must be called a heresy.  By your methodology, literally ANY interpretation is valid.  But the Apostolic tradition, along with an almost unbroken consistency in Church History, denies that approach to biblical interpretation.
  


quote:
The passages you cite, Stephen, instead imply the Bible needs no defense at all



It doesn't imply that at all.  Again, even your interpretation of THIS passage must be supported by the rest of the Bible.  My view, (though I'm not denying there is ambiguity in the Bible) is that there is correct way to interpret scripture versus an erroneous way ... a heretical way.  And again, though there is some ambiguity in the Bible, my contention is that it's not here, on the issue of homosexuality as sin.  You must also remember that those who have challenged the doctrinal certainty of the deity of Christ, and the literal nature of a corporeal death and ressurection (doctrines which I assume that you hold as non-negotiable), have done so using the exact method of obscurantism that you are now using.


Here are some further scriptures to support that the Bible indeed DOES require some defending and proper principles of exegesis:



"Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine."  (1 Timothy 4:13)



"Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine.  Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you."  (1 Timothy 4:16)



"Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  (2 Timothy 2:15)



" ... consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation, as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you, as also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable people twist to their own destruction, as they do also the rest of the Scriptures."  (2 Peter 3:15-16)



"Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.  For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ."  (Jude 3,4)



quote:
indeed, the passage cited from Corinthians more closely aligns to my contention that interpretations by man are often faulty



I agree with this.  As your interpretation is also an interpretation "by man".  That's why proper exegesis is so important.  There has to be a way to distinguish between what is faulty and what is not.  Or else you just threw us all (including yourself) in the post-modern mire of "nobody can really know".  Though it may be more difficult with knotty passages of scripture, which can be confusing, these particular ones are not of that category at all.



quote:
The Word can and has been used to justify every atrocity imaginable.


Indeed ... and often by violating sound principles of Biblical interpretation, in order to justify what one desires to do.  The word has also been used to condemn those very atrocities.  The two methods should be compared and contrasted ... rather than constantly mired together.

  

quote:
Scripture is more than reflective, it IS the will of God. The Bible, however, is a compilation of interpretation, specifically an interpretation by the Catholic church as to what should and shouldn't be included.



Aren't you confusing the thing interpreted with the interpretations?  If we only have recorded the interpretations rather than authoritative documents, what is there to judge error with, to compare the Bible with?  If the Bible is to you only "man's interpretation", then what right do you have to call it "The word of God"?  


The Canon of scripture is another great subject.  But the Church, as a whole, has always felt that God himself has purposed what is and what is not scripture.  Whether writings were "inspired of God" or not, must be at least patially objective.  The Catholic Church, as faulty as men may be, was the instrument of discovering and confirming what the Canon of scripture already was.  These writings did not become "inspired of God" all of a sudden, when certain Bishops and councils decided to make a definitive list.  A rainbow didn't become a rainbow, when we became able to articulate what the spectrum is.  


You have to believe in some sort of divine boundary for what is authoritative and theologically true, or you may as well pick up the Koran, the Book of Mormon, and the Satanic Bible the next time you hit the bookstore.
  


quote:
There are many people who believe in Christ, but not in Paul



But if Christ chose Paul, and gave him apostolic authority ... that means that they are wrong doesn't it?  We would have to weigh one argument against the other.  Should a Christian believe in Paul or not?  I'm prepared to show that "believing in Jesus", while rejecting the teachings of Paul is an untenable position.  History, and exegesis, and reasoning support either one or the other, not both.  


Actually Jesus put it simply ...

"He who hears you hears me, he who rejects you rejects me, and he who rejects me rejects him who sent me."  (Luke 10:16)


Muslims claim to believe in the God of the Old Testament, and the God of the New Testament too, yet they reject Jesus.  If God set forth his son as the way to himself, will it really matter if they continue to call themselves followers but reject the Christ?  It's much the same way with those who reject the Apostle Paul.  Similarly, if you claim to be my friend and yet deride my wife, I've got a problem with you.    


  

quote:
Is the Bible authoritative? Or, as you've already quoted from Corinthians, should it be filtered through the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit?



Why do you pose this as an "either/ or" situation?  I never denied the Church's need of the Holy Spirit.  Yet I can't imagine a non-authoritative bible being "filtered through the guiding hand of the Holy Spirit".  All you are saying, is that God is needed in this whole interpretive process.  I'm with you on that.  But does that nullify the need for textual honesty and biblical scholarship, especially when we are called to "study to show ourselves approved"?
  


quote:
If Pope Paul V was wrong about Galileo, why should we believe you are right about homosexuals? You can't just brush credibility off as being irrelevant.



Part of credibility is one's ability to "rightly divide the word of truth".  When's the last time you examined the Biblical support of Geocentrism?  You can't win an argument on laurels of a wholly seperate one.  The possibility of being mistaken is a given, and too obvious to be mentioned.  But how is that an argument for ANYTHING?  Each Biblical issue must be looked at quite separately, and each of the opposing arguments presented with it's own weight of interpretive evidence.  And that is exactly what you haven't been doing.  It's much easier to just say someone is in the same unfortunate position as Pope Paul V.  But then again, you might be wearing his miter yourself.
  


quote:
It's not irrelevant if Paul's condemnation of homosexuality is based on the same definition you insist upon using. That's Essorant's whole point.



You and Essorant are forwarding two very different arguments.  He seems to be saying that the Bible means something else.  You seem to be saying that the Bible is wrong on this point.  At least that's what it sounds like to me when you write that Paul was merely writing out of cultural bias rather than the inspired words of God.  I was showing Essorant that biased or not, Paul did not mean a certain "kind" of homosexuality.  I maintain that that argument is indefinsible historically and from the text itself.  Would you like to try to defend this view?  Like Essorant, you'll have to offer something historically or textually to give weight to your assertion.  
  


quote:
However, I don't believe you can define either gender or sexual orientation solely by actions. Both are physical manifestations, which in turn, define the actions.



But science has not, up to this point, offered any evidence that homosexuality is essentially a physical difference.  Any physical differences that are there (inconclusive and pretty much limited to the brain) might have been caused by the habitual practice and variance in thinking, not vice versa.


quote:
In your worldview, Stephen, I sense you can't imagine ever being attracted to another man. But your worldview is sorely limited if you've never encountered a man who can't imagine ever being attracted to a woman.



Who says I've never encountered a man who can't imagine ever being attracted to a women?  I have.


quote:
Nothing short of a supernatural miracle is going to turn you into a woman, and nothing short of a miracle is going to turn a true homosexual into a heterosexual.



And nothing short of a miracle is going to turn a sinner into a saint.  Habitual adulterers and pedophiles do not typically change either .. that alters nothing concerning the immoral nature of their deeds.  All of the above mentioned are "sexual orientations".


quote:
Paul's usage more appropriately should be characterized as, "out of our place, out of our order." If you define natural in any way apart from nature, it becomes entirely subjective. Which is exactly the problem.



It must be entirely subjective unless God is imposing a rule of "what should be" onto nature.  And that is exactly what the Bible teaches from beginning to end.  There is an an appropriateness, a natural or moral order that the creature is accountable to conform to.  If this were not so, then Paul's context of "exchanging God's truth for the lie" becomes meaningless.  Also the wrath of God being revealed from Heaven against all "ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness" is without significance.  For God to punish men for violating human subjectivity is an incredible interpretation.  That means that you assume the subjective view of what is "natural", and then wrestle with the fact that the entire structure of context in which Paul speaks does not conform.  Your unsavory task now is to defend why God has the right to punish men for merely overstepping social norms, which have no real moral foundations.  In this instance, I interpret the piece of the puzzle according to the overall context (the pieces already in place).  While you're throwing out the context in order to salvage the piece of your choosing.


If you define "natural" in this scripture, as any way other than that which is orderly and appropriate according to God, then EVERYTHING becomes entirely subjective.  Because every crime and sin imaginable, condemned by the pages of scripture, occur "in nature" ... if nature merely means "that which is".


quote:
When homosexuality and long hair on a man are both deemed unnatural, questioning the usage probably isn't such a bad idea.



Briefly, on the "long hair" issue ... Paul was speaking within the context of culture here.  But cultures typically reflect what is universally proper in various outward forms.  We must determine what is variable here, and what is constant.  Again, looking at the rejection of pedantic legalism by the early Christian Church as opposed to Judaism ... and looking at such things as the Nazarite vow in which men were set apart and holy and required to have long hair, the underlying principle must be what is kept as universal.  


What is that underlying principle?  I believe it is that nature teaches us that there should be a proper social distinction between men and women ... that the importance of gender difference should not be ignored.  A friend of mine informed me that in certain Native American community, it was that a man should have a bear chest.  If his chest is covered, as an Indian woman's, it was improper.  The male Indian's long hair was actually seen as an emblem of masculinity.  The principle is kept, the variable is not.  It would be unnatural and counterproductive to impose a different form of this principle upon a society for the sake of legalism.  In light of the whole Bible, my interpretation of Paul here involves proper Gender differences and roles.  But again I don't disregard mountains of clear scriptural principles in order to reach my conclusion, by sweeping them under the proverbial rug.  I use them in my reasoning and exegesis.  


I don't want to turn this thread into a debate about Paul's instructions on "head coverings", simply because it is comprehensive and might deserve a thread of it's own.  But I'm contending that it only looks the same to those who haven't looked closely enough.  And again, you can't forward your position based on something quite different.  And I am prepared to discuss why these two are worlds apart, based upon context.  
  

quote:
It's inconclusive for everyone, Stephen, but only unsatisfactory for some.



So was Geocentrism.  It wasn't so satisfactory to Galileo and his entourage.
  

quote:
We knew that blue eyes was genetic several hundred years before the gene was found



We also had instantaneous empirical evidence that humans are born with eye color.  Since it's not the same with sexual orientation, you're comparing apples and tennis balls.
  


quote:
anyone who has been close friends with a homosexual knows it is not something they picked up on the playground or learned in college.



I do have homosexual friends.  And who ever said it was as simple as choosing to buy a car?  (actually that's probably not so simple either, from a psychological standpoint)  I never denied that it was a complexity of influences.  But the same can be said of a multitude of behavioral wrongs.  And yet we don't tend to justify them just because they didn't happen overnight.



quote:
It's who they are and how they see the world, determined by wiring set in place long before that first slap on the butt.



It's the "determined by wiring set in place long before that first slap on the butt" that you can't prove, either by intuition or by science.
  


quote:
that's okay, too, because when I get to know someone well enough, I really don't need a scientist to tell me what's what.



Thanks.  That's a clear statement to me that what you have earlier passed off as "scientific" is merely intuitive, a hunch.  I don't mind that.  And those kinds of intuitive arguments do hold certain weight at times ... but not when they are passed off as science.  I think we've made some progress.


Stephen
  
Ron
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224 posted 06-13-2004 10:28 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 any interpretation which runs diametrically opposite to what the text is stating, (if the text is thought to be in any way authoritative) must be called a heresy.

quote:
Briefly, on the "long hair" issue ... Paul was speaking within the context of culture here.  But cultures typically reflect what is universally proper in various outward forms.  We must determine what is variable here, and what is constant.  Again, looking at the rejection of pedantic legalism by the early Christian Church as opposed to Judaism ... and looking at such things as the Nazarite vow in which men were set apart and holy and required to have long hair, the underlying principle must be what is kept as universal.

Nothing like trying to have it both ways, is there, Stephen?

Your rationalization of what Paul meant about the length of hair mandated for men and women brought what is probably the best smile I've had all week. Thanks.

It's late. I'll try to touch upon some of your less outrageous points later.


 
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