Poll

What are your views on homosexuals and/or letting them wed?

I accept them.
51 (66.2%)
I tolerate them.
6 (7.8%)
It's flat out wrong.
7 (9.1%)
I don't really care.
9 (11.7%)
I have mixed views. (Describe)
4 (5.2%)

Total Members Voted: 77

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Author Topic: Homosexuality and Same-Sex Marriage  (Read 103381 times)

« Reply #270 on: January 04, 2012, 01:42:29 PM »
Well, having first hand experience, I will tell you that had it been a choice, I would see no point in choosing to be homosexual (lol "let's choose to be one of the most discriminated against groups in our time", kinda like when I "chose" to be Jewish). I begin to feel that people don't consider that, if it were a choice, why would everyone be choosing it when in some cities, you get tied to a tree and beaten for being gay? (Sadly, i'm not just making that it. It happened to my best friend, here.)

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #271 on: January 04, 2012, 09:33:17 PM »
As one who's been on both sides of the Christians vs. Gays debate, I believe part of where the confusion comes is that the standard conservative Christian viewpoint is supposed to separate between homosexual activity ("sin") and homosexual feelings ("temptation"). You can't control what you're tempted by, but you can control how you respond to temptation (or as Luther said, you can't stop birds from landing on your head, but you can keep them from building a nest in your hair). So when conservative Christians talk about "being gay", it's supposed to mean having one or more gay relationships, or at least actively, intentionally entertaining thoughts thereof, whereas when gay people say "I can't stop being gay," they're referring to the feelings.

In most cases*, the feelings cannot be significantly changed -- this has been shown scientifically, and it agrees with orthodox Christian doctrine. The problem arises when definitions are not kept clear and communication is garbled (sometimes intentionally, sometimes not).

Doctrinally, conservative Christians who believe that homosexual activity is a sin** ought to treat it as any other sin. In practice, this is never the case, as American Christians allow themselves to be highly influenced by the homophobic tendencies of the natural, worldly, secular society. The knee-jerk reaction to homosexuality for most heterosexual people is "Ew, gross." And most American conservative Christians look at the one or two verses in the Bible that appear to label homosexuality as sinful and take them as confirmation of their natural tendency, rather than allowing themselves to be transformed by the renewing of their mind. I mean, someone can stand up during a Bible study or prayer circle or whatever and say that they're struggling with greed, or anger, or slothfulness, or rebellion, or gluttony, or even porn, but if anyone ever says they're struggling with homosexuality, they get driven out of town for it, because at a gut level, we don't think it's a choice -- if you've got those feelings, then that means you're one of them. The temptation and the sin get conflated, in part because everything the fundamentalist/evangelical conservative Christian believes is put at the same level. The existence of God, his denomination's view on soteriology, his personal feelings about homosexuality, the United States Constitution -- they all have Bible verses to support them, and the Bible is the infallible word of God, so that means all of those things, all of his opinions, are infallible.

If homosexuals are sinners, then first of all, they ought to be treated the same as all sinners (a group that includes everyone ever, including Christians), and if they need to be saved from their sins, it should be done with love, not condemnation. The only people Christ spoke condemningly of when he was on earth were hypocritical religious leaders. When he spoke to Gentiles -- the outsiders, basically the contemporary equivalent of non-Christians -- it was to encourage them, to comfort them, to heal them, to commend their faith. Jesus didn't yell at unbelievers about how they're going to hell because they don't believe the right things. When he talked about hell (literally Gehenna, which was Jerusalem's city dump), it was a place for hypocrites who claimed to be righteous followers of God yet never followed through on it by loving their neighbors.

Whether homosexuality is a sin or not, the sin Jesus would be concerned about is the utter lack of love from so many of those who name themselves after him.



*- Most people are probably at least slightly bisexual, but in the majority, one side or the other is clearly dominant and relative levels of attraction are rather stable. "Conversion therapy" does not work for those who would not have been open to the other side anyway (these are usually people who are relatively in the middle who would probably best be identified as bi, for whom there kinda is a choice -- you can't chose to not be attracted to both genders, but you can decide to stick to one or the other; you can "pass" as either one without having to date people you aren't at all interested in).

**- There is no sound, internally consistent biblical argument to say that inadvertent homosexual feelings and desires are sinful. Orthodox Christianity has always held that it is not sinful to be subject to temptation, or else Jesus, who was "in all ways tempted like we are" (Heb 4:15), could not be a sinless sacrifice, and the whole thing kinda falls apart. And with so few mentions of homosexuality in the Bible, it's pretty difficult to argue that it's at some much higher level of sin than the others, the way we tend to treat it. If any sin is at that level of egregiousness, it would probably be oppressing and/or ignoring orphans, widows, the poor, and similar vulnerable groups, the sin that's mentioned just about everywhere in the Old and New Testaments.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 09:36:41 PM by CrossEyed7 »
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #272 on: January 04, 2012, 09:51:22 PM »
Seconded. I am both catholic and homosexual (wow, I've never felt like trollbait this hard before) and I myself think that If Jesus wouldnt hate gays, neither should christians (being like, followers of Jesus :P)

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #273 on: January 04, 2012, 10:15:10 PM »
That post does a pretty good job of highlighting what's wrong with a lot of fundamentalists' views on the matter, how people tend to point fingers while also harboring personal feelings of hatred toward the people rather than the sin.  I agree with the admonishments (if not some of the presuppositions behind them) right up until the very last sentence.  Maybe I'm interpreting it wrongly, but it almost seems as if you're suggesting that because one group is dealing with another group's sins in an ungodly way, it justifies the sins of the accused.  That's not right either.  You seem to be implying throughout the post that no one sin is inherently worse than any other (which could be debated if you take into account the nature and consequences of the sin) but then you also imply in that last sentence that speaking with condemnation rather than love is more cursed than the sin being spoken against.

Speaking of condemnation, there's a bit of a false dichotomy going on here - the choice between men's loving sinners and men's condemning sinners.  If you believe the Bible (which is a whole 'nother issue in and of itself), you're already going to recognize that God, not man, has already condemned sin; and that He commands men to judge with right judgment.  Not only is it that men aren't the ones doing the condemning, but it's also that judgment of sin and love of the sinner are not mutually exclusive (and of course there's the fact that if you're really loving your neighbor as yourself, you're going to do your best to tell them where they're erring now rather than when it's too late).  To say that something is a sin is to condemn it.  You have to find what's wrong before you can fix it.

Also relevant?

On this count, however, you're absolutely right: the church needs to shape up, because we're really the ones at fault for pretty much every problem in society today.
« Last Edit: January 04, 2012, 10:59:41 PM by Turtlekid1 »
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #274 on: January 04, 2012, 11:25:23 PM »
Maybe I'm interpreting it wrongly, but it almost seems as if you're suggesting that because one group is dealing with another group's sins in an ungodly way, it justifies the sins of the accused.
The point I was trying to convey is just that, while it is possible to believe homosexuality is a sin and still be charitable, mainstream conservative Christianity is failing rather hard at the charitable part, and we ought to be dealing with that eye-plank first. Basically what you said, "judgment of sin and love of the sinner are not mutually exclusive."

I probably came off as also implying that deviation from heterosexuality is not necessarily sinful (understandable, considering that's what I believe), but in the post, I sort of tried to make my position more of a "no comment, for now"

Quote
but then you also imply in that last sentence that speaking with condemnation rather than love is more cursed than the sin being spoken against.
If the sin is worse, it's because of who the sinner is. As Rob Bell put it, "Why blame the dark for being dark? It is far more helpful to ask why the light isn't as bright as it could be." Christians are meant to be, and claim to be, light to a dying world. When we don't shine that light, it has a bigger impact than when dark continues to be dark. Quite possibly the biggest topic Jesus spoke about was hypocrisy -- it's one thing to not love one's neighbor, but to not love one's neighbor while claiming to be a follower of the god who told you to love your neighbor is another. A non-Christian who doesn't follow the will of God is at least acting honestly.

I'm reminded of when James said "Not many of you should become teachers, for we know teachers will be judged by a higher standard" -- someone who claims to know the way, and tells other people to follow them, is going to get in bigger trouble if they don't really know it. In a sense, that applies to Christians in general -- if we're going to be the ones who say we know the way God wants everyone to go, we better be sure. He resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.

Quote
(and of course there's the fact that if you're really loving your neighbor as yourself, you're going to do your best to tell them where they're erring now rather than when it's too late).  To say that something is a sin is to condemn it.  You have to find what's wrong before you can fix it.
And on this point, I would probably have to generally agree with you in spirit and then get into a debate over whether homosexuality specifically is wrong.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

« Reply #275 on: January 25, 2012, 09:26:55 PM »
Love that the majority of people here accept it. I have the view that I accept it without question, but I might be slightly unnerved to see it in action (no thanks to the media of yesteryear making it seem unusual or a joke), and my orientation's still up in the air (I'm some level of gay, but I haven't been meeting people to actually find out. To my knowledge I'm straight). I do want to accept, though, which I've started with my beliefs. And yes, I have three gay [online] friends.

Mostly it just frustrates me that religion seems to be the only argument given against homosexuality. Sorry, but religion's not a good enough reason for me, some of the beliefs given may be outdated or be the work of a person's interpretation or opinion. It gives me the impression that the only opposers are those who are intolerant, not even briefly considering that a gay person or gay couple can be good. I don't foresee a bunch of homosexual couples causing widespread chaos or burned-down cities. There shouldn't be any disease outbreak either, but I'd think people would be smart enough by now to know how to take care of themselves. It's worse when trying to force intolerant opinions on a large group of people. I thought we were past that, to celebrate diversity... and to not make a big deal out of it so that we're all treated as equals.
You didn't say wot wot.

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #276 on: February 28, 2012, 06:01:23 PM »
Y'know, I have to admit, Rick Santorum's sexual positions are more internally consistent in their logic than the average Republican's.

Everyone has to draw a line -- or erect a wall, if you will -- between sexual activity they consider permissible and sexual activity they consider wrong. Santorum draws the line at procreative sex with one's one and only spouse. Sex is either on the inside of that wall and okay, or outside of that wall and wrong. That's why, to him, breaking down the wall between heterosexuality and homosexuality, or even the acceptance of condoms and birth control pills (even for married couples), would also bring pedophilia and incest and bestiality into the fold -- it's all non-procreative sex (or at least, as in cases of hebephilia or orgies or polygamy, sex with someone who's not your singular spouse), and while that doesn't make it all identical, they do share the fundamental quality of being from the wrong side of the wall.

Santorum doesn't seem to realize or accept, though, that there are other legitimate places to put the wall (at least when talking about secular governmental policy). Traditionally, most people have just drawn that line around "stuff I like" to exclude "stuff I don't like", but increasingly today, most people put the wall up around sex between two consenting, fully-informed adults, who are in agreement as to the nature of their relationship. That allows for homosexuality, contraception (without even necessarily including abortion), and even old or otherwise infertile people (something that, strictly speaking, Santorum's wall shouldn't include), while still solidly excluding bestiality, pedophilia, sex in public parks, and adultery.

But most Republicans are okay with preventative contraception, but not with gay sex and/or marriage. When you really think about it, that makes about as much sense as being pro-choice and against adult prostitution. If you've already made the concession that it's legal for sex, within a committed monogamous relationship, to be purely for the pleasure of the two lovers rather than having to be about procreation, it's much harder to justify excluding homosexuality between consenting adults (again, at least from the perspective of secular law).



Also: the debate really isn't about the "sanctity of marriage." As I've said before, if it were really about that, then there'd be at least as much stink raised, if not more, over divorce, yet even Santorum doesn't talk much about divorce. It's about the definition of marriage. The thing is, though, the reason we can even talk about gay marriage as a possibility is because the definition has already changed. In Bible times (specifically, in the times depicted in the first six or seven books of the Old Testament) and in colonial America times, marriage was about making lots of babies so you could populate the promised land, have lots of farmhands, and make up for the infant mortality rate, and also as pretty much the only way for women to not starve to death, and maybe you grew to like each other too along the way. Today, in a more comfortably harnessed world, marriage is primarily about a romantic connection between two independent equals -- ideally, for life -- and maybe you decide together to raise some kids. Santorum, to his credit, disparages this idea and is trying to get us to go back to the pre-modern definition.

However, while his position is more internally consistent than the hobbled-together political compromise that most Republicans hold to, it's not necessarily more biblical. The Bible never explicitly prescribes marriage as being exclusively or even primarily about procreation. In the Old Testament, you've got the Song of Songs, which is all about the pleasure of sex, not so much about having kids. And then in the New Testament, you have both Jesus and Paul saying that, while it's good to go it alone if you're able, if you can't make it alone -- or if you can't resist your sexual urges -- then you should go ahead and get married. Neither of them mention babymaking as a top priority. Even in the story of Adam and Eve, their relationship is not exclusively about populating the world -- it's just as much, if not more, about their relationship to each other. The general nameless faceless account of creation in chapter 1 says that God told men and women to go have kids, but in the more personal story in chapter 2, procreation isn't mentioned -- Eve was created to be Adam's companion, as an intellectual equal. Babymaking came after that, as a consequence of the love that was at the center of the relationship.

Whether homosexuality is technically immoral by biblical standards is another matter, but to say that it's a fundamentally different and immoral method of sex specifically because it can't make babies is an angle that doesn't seem to be supported by scripture.
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

Turtlekid1

  • Tortuga
« Reply #277 on: February 28, 2012, 06:33:30 PM »
Also: the debate really isn't about the "sanctity of marriage." As I've said before, if it were really about that, then there'd be at least as much stink raised, if not more, over divorce, yet even Santorum doesn't talk much about divorce.
Again, I would point out that sometimes divorce is acceptable under Biblical principles.  The stink isn't being raised there (comparatively; although if you go to any reasonably conservative church on a Sunday it seems like you'd have pretty good odds of seeing or hearing an issue being made of it in some form) because, as much as it's abused today, there's still a place for divorce Biblically.  Not that I don't agree that married couples are splitting too often, too easily, and for the wrong reasons; because they are.  That needs to be an issue as well (in fact, if you asked Santorum what he thought of the divorce rate, he'd probably tell you it's atrocious - the stink is also not being raised there because the issue of divorce is not as likely to come up in a political campaign because it's not something that people are actually voting on right now).  But even if it were as big of an issue, that doesn't make this one any less of an issue.  A hurricane's striking Florida is not made less damaging because of an earthquake's occurring at the same time in California.

If that analogy makes any sense...
"It'll say life is sacred and so is death
but death is life and so we move on"

Luigison

  • Old Person™
« Reply #278 on: February 28, 2012, 07:12:09 PM »
A hurricane's striking Florida is not made less damaging because of an earthquake's occurring at the same time in California.
Which is homosexuality and which is divorce? 
“Evolution has shaped us with perceptions that allow us to survive. But part of that involves hiding from us the stuff we don’t need to know."

« Reply #279 on: February 28, 2012, 08:02:40 PM »
Rick Santorum's sexual positions

...hah.
Luigison: Question everything!
Me: Why?

CrossEyed7

  • i can make this whatever i want; you're not my dad
« Reply #280 on: February 28, 2012, 09:40:22 PM »
in fact, if you asked Santorum what he thought of the divorce rate, he'd probably tell you it's atrocious - the stink is also not being raised there because the issue of divorce is not as likely to come up in a political campaign because it's not something that people are actually voting on right now.
But contraception wasn't really an issue either until Santorum made one of it. He could have just stuck to gay marriage, but he decided to bring up contraception, and now everyone's talking about it. He's perfectly situated right now to make divorce an issue too -- for perhaps the only time in his career, he's got the media hanging on his every word -- and go whole hog on procreative marital sanctity, but he's not. He's spoken about it in the past, and he does believe divorce should be made harder to obtain, but for some reason he hasn't made it an issue at all in this campaign. Why not push for three constitutional amendments: one to ban gay marriage, one to require covenant marriages, and one to require all fertile married couples to have three children?

The Bible certainly has more to say about divorce than it does about contraception or gay marriage (though still much less than it has to say about helping orphans and widows).
"Oh man, I wish being a part of a Mario fan community was the most embarrassing thing about my life." - Super-Jesse

BP

  • Beside Pacific
« Reply #281 on: February 28, 2012, 10:07:00 PM »
and one to require all fertile married couples to have three children?
What? What?
All your dreeeeeeams begiiin to shatterrrrrr~
It's YOUR problem!

« Reply #282 on: August 15, 2012, 07:29:30 PM »
i have absolutley no problem with homosexuals in our society, as long as it doesnt get out of hand.

i feel that people should be able to do whatever they want as long it is within the law.
however what i DONT like is when homosexuals maker it very visible to others, a great example was at my gr8 ottawa trip when we were walking past a hotel and a man was walking in high heels and a dress, thats just disgusting.

bottom line: i can tolerate it
people who hack sports games, obviously didn't make the team!

« Reply #283 on: August 15, 2012, 08:15:10 PM »
Downtown Ottawa can be a very strange place indeed.
YYur  waYur n beYur you Yur plusYur instYur an Yur Yur whaYur

« Reply #284 on: August 15, 2012, 08:28:18 PM »
however what i DONT like is when homosexuals maker it very visible to others

Public display of affection, perhaps? I think that goes for everybody.
Unwillingly, but successfully! Twice!

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