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Source: (consider it) Thread: One third of young people who abandon Christianity cite anti-gay policies
SvitlanaV2
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I'm inclined to think that the CofE, along with the other churches, should probably get out of the marriage business. The fact that the churches have a stake in who has legally-binding marriages surely adds to their confusion - they naturally think that what they say should be of importance to a post-Christian country. I think we Christians need to disabuse ourselves of this idea.

I also think we should disestablish the CofE, and then it wouldn't get ideas above its station. (Having a 'coup', indeed!) But that's for another discussion.

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Pomona
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I am inclined to favour the model of Germany and many other European countries - everyone gets an official civil wedding, and then you can add a religious service if you want to do so.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Barnabas62:
Horeseman Bree and mousethief

With the recent sniping exchanges, it looks like you're starting to move into Commandment 3/4 territory. You know the guidelines; best to back off or take it to Hell.

Barnabas62
Dead Horses Host

Roger Wilco.

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Horseman Bree
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Similarly, I've decided to stop posting here for just that reason.

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It's Not That Simple

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A.Pilgrim
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
[Content deleted to save space - see earlier post for full text]

I have personally heard Wallace Benn say such things, so certainly such attitudes exist in certain corners of the CoE.
It is a pleasure to hear a report of a CofE bishop promoting the teaching of Jesus: 'Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few’ (Matt.7:13-14 ESV)

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quote:
Originally posted by seekingsister:
quote:
Originally posted by South Coast Kevin:
[Content deleted to save space – see earlier post for full text]

I think everyone should be forgiven, but I do not think the New Testament intends for someone whose home life is in such disarray (he's divorced the second wife and married the third over the past 2 years, and remained in leadership the entire time) should be at the helm of a church.

I've seen a few cases where (usually male) church leadership is allowed to remain in position while dealing with infidelity, divorce, porn addiction, alcohol/drug addiction (not just in my old church but in others) and these are all evangelical places where homosexuality is 100% forbidden.

It sends a very nasty message to young Christians who are perhaps realizing that they are gay. It's OK to be in church or lead in church if you're up to your eyeballs in sin as long as you make a big show of repenting, but you can never, ever, be accepted if you are gay, even if you conduct your love life with the same standards that the Bible expects of straight people. It's hypocritical.

seekingsister, I completely agree with your reply to SCK. Selecting one form of perceived immorality for total condemnation while glossing over and excusing other forms is intolerable injustice. The whole area of the discipline of those in the church (and especially church leadership) who have done wrong is one where the church in general has major failings.

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quote:
Originally posted by Gildas:
...
I realise that I am banging my head against a brick wall here but, in over a decade posting on these boards has no-one has ever explained to me in which part of a relationship which models the greater love hath no man than this bit between two people of the same gender is intrinsically evil. In what part of their love does the sin, the evil reside. What compromises their relationship so that it can never, despite any heights of mutual self giving or self-sacrificial love, ever be valid or meaningful? All you ever get back is an opaque fundamentalism plus some shit about how we need to be respectful of some African homophobe or other.
...
Give us a credible argument or, as Malcolm Tucker would say, fuck the fuck off.

OK, I’ll try, though I don’t know if this argument has already been proposed. Whether it is credible or not depends on the judgement of the reader, and it relates to an area of theology that has been debated intensely for centuries.

In the account of the creation of mankind in Genesis 1 we read: (vv.26,27): ‘Then God said: “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion ...”. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him, male and female he created them’ (ESV)
or, in the translation by Robert Alter (Genesis, translation and commentary. Norton, 1996):
‘And God said, “Let us make a human in our image, by our likeness, to hold sway over ...”. And God created the human in his image, in the image of God He created him, male and female He created them’.

(I’ll avoid the tangent of discussing the various translations of the Hebrew ’adam in a generic context – whether it should be man/mankind/human etc.)

In v.27, the image of God is said to be represented in the human/man (subsequently referred to as ‘him’) before the following phrase explaining the differentiation into male and female. So while both male and female in their separate being represent an image of God by derivation from the human/man, they also re-create the image of God in their re-uniting into one being.

While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’ – the latter not just being a coy way of referring to physical sexual congress, but also to the ontological re-creation of the human/man made in God’s image. So the closest representation of God’s image that we have in human existence is in the heteroerotic union of male and female.

I particularly favour the very high status that this understanding gives to sex, in total contradiction of the Augustinian view of sex as dirty, which has pervaded and polluted the church for centuries – to much detrimental effect. Two other factors appear to me to support such a high view of sexual relations. Firstly, a usual – though not necessary – consequence is the creation of new life, an act closely demonstrating God’s nature. Secondly, sex is the one aspect of human nature that the Enemy loves to degrade and spoil above all others, and there’s plenty of evidence of that in the world. The Enemy loves to spoil anything godly in God’s creation. (And I’m intrigued to throw into the mix the insight from anthropology that, in humans, sex is primarily about pair-bonding and secondarily about procreation. This matches my view that in spiritual terms, sex is about the re-creation of the image of God in the physical union of becoming ‘one flesh’, and then secondarily about imaging God by the creation of new life.)

So I suggest that it is because of the exceptionally high value, status, and associations of heteroerotic relations that God regards various forms of sexual immorality with such disfavour. Therefore, along with other unacceptable sexual acts, the homoerotic union of male with male is a mockery (maybe even a desecration) of the image of God. That’s why God regards it as so unacceptable. And in case readers haven’t picked it up yet, what I represent as unacceptable to God is homoerotic behaviour, not homosexual desires as such.

It would be remiss of me to post this theoretical discussion without any acknowledgement of the pastoral implications. But, as I have gone on for long enough already, I just want to point out that I am far from ignorant of or insensitive to the feelings of people for whom it has great relevance. I really do feel the tension between showing compassion to people, and attempting to represent accurately what God has revealed.

Angus

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L'organist
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A Pilgrim

I'm astonished to read of the thoughts of Wallace Benn on moral issues are being quoted favourably.

So we take as our moral guide someone who knew of a predatory, active paedophile but didn't think to report him to the police?

Unbelievable.

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Rara temporum felicitate ubi sentire quae velis et quae sentias dicere licet

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
It is a pleasure to hear a report of a CofE bishop promoting the teaching of Jesus: 'Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few’ (Matt.7:13-14 ESV)

So why is the gate narrow for gay people and wider for straights?

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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sebby
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There was a time when the CofE was regarded with mild micky-taking affection by the media: All Gas and Gaiters; The Vicar of Dibley; to an extent Rev. The attittude to women and gays will turn the attitude from seeing the church as being benign, or mildly and kindly ineffectual, to being seen as toxic.

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sebhyatt

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SvitlanaV2
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And yet there are probably more women and gay clergy than ever before.

PR is (almost) everything, but churches tend to be extraordinarily bad at it.

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sebby
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More women yes, but gay? Probably about the same percentage wise- or a smaller amount as the clergy is smaller.

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sebhyatt

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

Meant to add - in the Hebrew text, the term for God alters between singular and dual throughout - Walter Bruegemann suggests that this is 'playfully' teasing us to consider that there is more to God's 'image' than appears on the surface.

Also, in terms of our calling, we are called to imitate Christ, the second Adam, not the first one, so Genesis 1 - 3 have nothing to say about discipleship through sexuality for Christians.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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SvitlanaV2
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sebby

I was reading a while back that gay men are overrepresented in church in general. There's the stereotype that a disproportionate number of the clergy are gay, but of course, this could be mostly because kiss-and-tell stories on this topic are very appealing to the media rather than because of actual numbers. Still, I have come across a number of fictional and true-life accounts that seem to emphasise rather than undermine the broad presence of gay clergy.

The paradox of both high participation and potential exclusion seems not to be noted by most commentators, and the judgmental general public don't connect the dots at all. Mind you, if it were discussed it would probably be rather like black slaves and their descendants in the Americas being criticised for taking on their white oppressors' religion.

[ 08. March 2014, 14:10: Message edited by: SvitlanaV2 ]

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
The paradox of both high participation and potential exclusion seems not to be noted by most commentators, and the judgmental general public don't connect the dots at all.

It's not a paradox, it's the logic of the closet. If you're gay and a member of an anti-gay organization the usual tactic is to be even more anti-gay than the organizational baseline. How many stories have we come across recently where some anti-gay clergyman or activist turns up cruising gay bars or hiring prostitutes of the same sex?

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Curiosity killed ...

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Croesos - that's really not true in the CofE - there are churches that are very gay-friendly and open, where the clergy are openly gay. There are other churches where the anti-gay groups hold sway - some of the local Reform aligned churches come to mind. There are dioceses where the bishop had an annual get together of the gay clergy and their partners - that bishop was a patron of Changing Attitudes.

But, there is enough anti-gay sentiment within the CofE, particularly now, that I'm not naming names or putting churches in jeopardy where I know they are led by partnered gay clergy.

And Wallace Benn was reported to be homophobic in the linked story, but I have heard worse comments bandied about.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

1) the term is intersex, not hermaphrodite
2) intersex and bisexual are not mutually-exclusive categories

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:
Croesos - that's really not true in the CofE - there are churches that are very gay-friendly and open, where the clergy are openly gay. There are other churches where the anti-gay groups hold sway - some of the local Reform aligned churches come to mind. There are dioceses where the bishop had an annual get together of the gay clergy and their partners - that bishop was a patron of Changing Attitudes.

But, there is enough anti-gay sentiment within the CofE, particularly now, that I'm not naming names or putting churches in jeopardy where I know they are led by partnered gay clergy.

And Wallace Benn was reported to be homophobic in the linked story, but I have heard worse comments bandied about.

I can't comment on Wallace Benn's homophobia or lack of it (although as I said, I have personally heard him say that endorsing/affirming 'practicing homosexuality' puts salvation at risk which is getting pretty close to the mark), but I spent many years in his diocesan area (not sure of the precise term for the area covered by a suffragan bishop?) and there is deep homophobia in many churches there. None of this was challenged by him.

The context, by the way, was a talk discussing the issues of homosexuality and women's ordination in the CoE. He was talking to differentiate between the issues - that endorsing non-celibacy amongst gay people puts salvation at risk, but endorsing the ordination of women doesn't. Maybe about 6 years ago now.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:

But, there is enough anti-gay sentiment within the CofE, particularly now, that I'm not naming names or putting churches in jeopardy where I know they are led by partnered gay clergy.


I don't know how 'chummy' CofE clergy are normally expected to be with their congregations, but find it hard to believe that churches can flourish and thrive when the clergy and laity aren't on the same page theologically, and when there's a lack of warmth and openness between them.

In the long term perhaps the problems sort themselves out naturally as mismatched clergy-laity pairings result in some churches becoming less appealing and so less viable.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

1) the term is intersex, not hermaphrodite
2) intersex and bisexual are not mutually-exclusive categories

Fair enough and thank you. I have more work to do on this issue but my substantial point still stands that you can't use Genesis 1-3 to bash LGBTQIs.

--------------------
My Jewish-positive lectionary blog is at http://recognisingjewishrootsinthelectionary.wordpress.com/
My reviews at http://layreadersbookreviews.wordpress.com

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Gracious rebel

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quote:
Originally posted by leo:

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

Very rarely do I agree with Leo, or find much value in what he says, but this comment struck a chord with me.

I think its a rather tenuous interpretation of that particular scripture, but nevertheless the sentiment is one I can relate to, indeed one upon which I am now living my life.

For yes, I do prefer someone of my own sex to be my partner. I believe this is the way God made me. Its messy because formerly I was in a heterosexual marriage, so there is fall-out. But I believe I have more integrity now than when I was 'pretending' to be straight, and I hope it is not too bold to say that I think God understands. Thankfully I am in a church where some people seem to understand as well.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
quote:
Originally posted by Curiosity killed ...:

But, there is enough anti-gay sentiment within the CofE, particularly now, that I'm not naming names or putting churches in jeopardy where I know they are led by partnered gay clergy.


I don't know how 'chummy' CofE clergy are normally expected to be with their congregations, but find it hard to believe that churches can flourish and thrive when the clergy and laity aren't on the same page theologically, and when there's a lack of warmth and openness between them.

In the long term perhaps the problems sort themselves out naturally as mismatched clergy-laity pairings result in some churches becoming less appealing and so less viable.

I think (but please correct me if I am wrong) that Curiosity was talking about gay partnered clergy being at risk of harassment from other clergy, not their congregations.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

1) the term is intersex, not hermaphrodite
2) intersex and bisexual are not mutually-exclusive categories

Fair enough and thank you. I have more work to do on this issue but my substantial point still stands that you can't use Genesis 1-3 to bash LGBTQIs.
Oh definitely agreed on your main point, I just knew that you would want to know the right terms. Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Also it's worth pointing out that gender and sex are different and that many (probably most) genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary people are not intersex. So I'm not sure which would be the best description of Adam here - possibly non-binary since that can cover both sex and gender here.

--------------------
Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Where do you get that interpretation from?
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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by leo:
quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
While not referring to God’s image, the second account of the creation of mankind (Gen.2:5-25) also describes the formation of male and female as a process of differentiation from a human/man, and the reuniting and reintegration of the two into ‘one flesh’

The story also describes how God gave Adam a choice - God offered him various animals. It was only when Adam rejected those that he created isha-woman. That creation was from his 'side' (Rib in Hebrew also means hillside) and Adam became ish-man.

Two thing, therefore:

God created Adam as some sort of hermaphrodite or bisexual

God intended humans to choose - so if a person prefers someone of their own sex to be their partner, then that is in accordance with god's original plan.

1) the term is intersex, not hermaphrodite
2) intersex and bisexual are not mutually-exclusive categories

Fair enough and thank you. I have more work to do on this issue but my substantial point still stands that you can't use Genesis 1-3 to bash LGBTQIs.
Oh definitely agreed on your main point, I just knew that you would want to know the right terms. Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Also it's worth pointing out that gender and sex are different and that many (probably most) genderqueer/genderfluid/non-binary people are not intersex. So I'm not sure which would be the best description of Adam here - possibly non-binary since that can cover both sex and gender here.

Spectrum - definitely - not just of humans but of God if the Hebrew is taken seriously (the translators never understood so translated according to their blinkered view.) A linguist takes the whole thing apart: Kjeld Renato Lings - A fresh approach to Homosexuality and the Bible

Re- binary and the difference between sex and gender, I am still trying desperately to catch up - currently, my brain and my guts tell me different things.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
Kjeld Renato Lings - A fresh approach to Homosexuality and the Bible

To update - that was a paper - it became a huge book: Love Lost in Translation: Homosexuality and the Bible

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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Where do you get that interpretation from?
From that being the actual meaning of the Hebrew used.

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Pomona
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Leo - re the difference between sex and gender, that is the experience of trans, non-binary and other gender-variant people. Gender-abolitionist perspectives have done immense harm to those people. Whatever your brain and gut tell you, the most important thing is to listen to those who have experienced the differences between sex and gender.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
I find it a bit disturbing that two thirds of young people who abandon Christianity don't cite anti-gay policies.

I imagine the current rate is much higher than one-third, because that statistic averages across a group of people who have abandoned Christianity in the last ~20 years, and in many areas gay-rights have only become a serious issue of contention very recently. So I agree with the answer Justinian gave: "Although to answer Dafyd my reason for leaving the Church in the mid 90s was I simply thought it was full of codswallop. Millenials aren't all recent leavers and the Church's homophobia wasn't as out of step then as it is now."

A lot of churches particularly take the view that same-sex love is Not A Fit Subject For Talking About And Particularly Not For The Ears Of Our Children, and take some pains to hide discussion of it (and consequently their own ongoing discrimination against it) from the ears of their young people.

I think the one big thing that has saved the church thus far is that millennials are largely unaware of the extent of the church's anti-gay policies. Most young people simply have absolutely no idea of the extent to which (a) their current church has discriminatory policies; (b) the extent to which Christians over the last 100 years in the Western world have institutionalised, maintained, and defended discriminatory laws; and (c) the extent to which Christians over the last 2000 years have persecuted and executed gay people in the name of Christianity.

If the church is feeling suicidal, the best thing it could do would be to advertise its anti-gay policies to its young people. Go on bishops, tell your young people what you really think: I dare you! [Warning: Don't actually do this. If you preach an anti-gay sermon in a youth service you may be assaulted.]


To share my own view on the subject, as a millennial:

I spent the first 25 years of my life in and around various churches and Christian groups without ever hearing anything much in the way of a position or teaching on homosexuality. In hindsight this was not because those groups lacked strong anti-homosexuality views among the older people in leadership positions, it is simply because they never shared those views with me. Being rather over-educated and also interested in theology and biblical interpretation, I happened to be aware that there were differing views on the interpretation of biblical passages that touched on homosexuality, but I held extremely misguided assumptions about the comparative popularity of different views and what church policies were in practice.

I took it for granted that Christianity was fundamentally about love, compassion, and helping those oppressed and in need, and to stand up for those who were being persecuted and discriminated against. So I took it for granted that the Christian attitude toward homosexuals would be affirming and supportive of them and their rights. On the extremely rare occasion that discussion ever ventured onto the topic of homosexuality, my dozen closest Christian friends of my own age made it clear to me that they shared my views, and thus I completely assumed that those same views were shared by all Christians and the church in general. On those occasions on which I saw any news articles informing me of an ongoing fight for gay rights, I simply assumed and took it for granted that the vast majority of Christians would be the ones fighting for rights for gays, just as they would fight for any oppressed minority group, and that any Christians who happened to be persecuting gays would be a tiny minority of Christians.

My generation, probably far more than any before it, has grown up hearing continuously just how wrong discrimination against minority groups is. We learned in schools of how in colonial days the native peoples were disenfranchised, and we think "that was wrong, but they didn't seem to know any better centuries ago." We learned of how they thought some races were inferior to others and made them slaves, and we think "that was wrong, but they didn't seem to know any better centuries ago." We learned of how they didn't use to let women vote, or be properly educated, or get proper jobs, and we think "that was wrong, but they didn't seem to know any better back then" and though we know in our heads that equality for women was something that happened in the last century, it was a fight largely over before we were born and so it might as well have been centuries ago as far as we are concerned. We learned of how people never used to like interracial marriage and we think "that was wrong, but they didn't seem to know any better back then" and again are glad to see such evil behind us. Or we look at the Nazis, and the Ku Klux Klan and shake our head at the utter stupidity and evil of those who lived in the past, and again feel thanks that we live in a society that has equal rights for all and is free from prejudice and persecution.

We tell ourselves that had we lived in the time of slavery we would have put a stop to it, because denying people rights is totally unacceptable. We tell ourselves that we wouldn't have stood by and done nothing when women were denied the right to vote, when blacks or Jews were persecuted. We would have acted to stop it! And so we congratulate ourselves for being morally better than the previous generations and living in a world where human rights have been given to all, and prejudice has been eradicated. I think a lot of people don't fully realise the vast extent to which that narrative and pattern of thinking permeates my generation. We really do assume a status of moral superiority, have been trained to have loathing and contempt for discrimination and prejudice, and sincerely believe that had we lived in the bad old days of evil that we would have acted to fix it. Those millennials who are Christians also take it for granted that this type of viewpoint and thinking represents the ultimate achievement of Christianity - there is a pervasive view that Christianity has been at work through all these things over the last 2000 years, with its teachings of love and equality fighting to overcome human rights abuses and discrimination - the lack of discrimination and prejudice in the present is assumed by many Christian young people to be due to Christianity being against such things.

Now I think the older generations have a right to scoff and say "those young people were born into a world of our creating, who are they to be self-righteous and take any sort of credit for living in a world that respects human rights and equality?" And I think that is a fair point, and suspect that on the whole that millennials have a unjustifiable tendency towards congratulating themselves on how good the world is compared to the past, when its a world that is not of their making. But I think the older generations often make a serious mistake and misjudge how millennials would actually react if they were sent into the past to live in a situation where injustice was occurring. The older generations see millennials saying "well if we had lived in those times, we wouldn't have tolerated slavery for a second" and the older generations laugh up their sleeves at such statements and say "of course you wouldn't dear, of course you wouldn't" while actually thinking that of course millennials would have fallen just as much a victim to the evils of ancient times as the people living in those times did. And I am completely convinced the older generation is very wrong about this. Older generations were taught to respect authority, to accept the status quo, to not speak out, to accept that it was okay for some people to suffer for the greater good of society, and were not at all as thoroughly trained to seek out and destroy discrimination and prejudice. When people imagine how they would act in a certain situation over and over and over and over again, then it becomes a habit, and when you put them in that situation they almost inevitably act exactly how they'd planned because they've rehearsed it and so the behaviour comes naturally. The stories people tell themselves about how they will act become reality. And so millennials are a generation which greatly values equal rights and who have utterly convinced themselves that if they themselves ever had lived in a time of any discrimination or prejudice they would have attacked it with a vehemence until it was absolutely and completely eradicated.

Against that background of thought, we then have the modern church, who comes along and tells millennials: "hey, there is this minority group, called gays. They are bad. They should be publicly discriminated against to prevent people wanting to be gay. Their human rights should be restricted. They shouldn't be allowed the right to marry. They shouldn't be allowed the right to have or adopt children. They should be fired from their jobs. Ideally they should be put in prison."

And the general millennial response to that is to assume the church isn't serious. It is treated as a joke. Because millennials know they live in a society where there are human rights for all and that discrimination is decades and centuries behind us, and that what little vestigates of racism still remain are something to be embarrassed about when it comes out of the mouth of senile grandma. So millennials will literally laugh or snigger when they first hear churches spout anti-gay stuff because they simply really and truly assume it's a joke, because they really don't believe it could be meant seriously.

Then if the church keeps at it and make it clear that they are serious and that they really are going to try and engage in real and actual discrimination in the modern world, then the millennials will go into shock. There is a feeling of unreality, of disconnection, that the world isn't what we all assumed it was. The millennial may simply absolutely refuse to budge and say "nope, there's no way you can do that! Unfire that gay person right this instant, and I'm going to occupy your church/school in protest until you do! This is not a subject for discussion, you'll do it and you'll do it now." At this stage of the process a lot of millennials simply discontinue membership of the Christian organisation spouting the hate, or all Christian organisations. This helps solve the cognitive dissonance, and to some extent allows the millennial to hide from the fact that the world isn't at all the way they thought it was. Either the process may end there with the young person having left the church and being a bit confused about the state of the world, or it can continue with the young person engaging in active research about what the church is actually doing to gay people.

If the church is stupid enough to continue to parade its anti-gay discriminatory teachings in front of the shocked millennial, or the young person does their own research to find out what the church is actually doing and has done on the subject... then the next stage is rage. Pure utter, white hot rage. How dare they.

Telling a millennial that it's a good idea to discriminate against a particular minority group is basically a red rag to a bull. The millennial has been trained all their life to find discrimination morally reprehensible, has told themselves all their lives that they would never stand for it, has utterly convinced themselves that they would never rest until such evils were stamped out if they had lived in such a society... and then they are shown an ongoing instance of serious discrimination in their own city... I think the older generation really has absolutely no idea of the level of sheer rage that will result from poking millennials with the cattle-prod of anti-gay discrimination. People know that waving a red flag in front of a bull puts one in serious physical danger, but they don't actually seem to realise how millennials react to discrimination.

I think all that is standing between the church and an utterly enraged generation is that millennials are largely unaware of the church's anti-gay policies. Also, the church is currently benefiting from the fact that the vast majority of millennials are not yet old enough and powerful enough to do anything about it. But there is a generation about to mature that has been trained to absolutely loathe discrimination and to exterminate and eradicate it wherever they find it by any and all means necessary. I am surprised that there have not yet been any news items of churches being burned down or anti-gay preachers assaulted or killed. If the church continues anti-gay teachings over the next two decades, it will be subjected by millennials to absolute extermination, with no more compunction than they would have for poisoning a wasp nest or eradicating the Ku Klux Klan. Laws utterly prohibiting discrimination will be enacted, people will go to prison for discrimination, and churches will be closed if necessary. As much as older generation squirms now about their religious freedoms being infringed on, it will be as nothing compared to the fire of a thousand suns when millennials mature and get into power. I don't think that is so much a prediction as an observation - I can see the tidal wave coming because I'm just at the edge of it, apparently the older generation hasn't realised it exists and has no clue about the danger they are actually in.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:
OK, I’ll try, though I don’t know if this argument has already been proposed. Whether it is credible or not depends on the judgement of the reader, and it relates to an area of theology that has been debated intensely for centuries.

Not credible to the point of being utter nonsense.

With regard to Genesis, I think it is not often enough noted that the primary criteria for the creation of Eve is her similarity to Adam. All the animals were found to be not suitable companions for Adam because they were too dissimilar. Eve, however, being created out of Adam's flesh was sufficiently sufficient to be a companion for him. The implications for the validity of same-sex relationships are rather obvious, yet seem to be always ignored. The Gen 2 account lacks any sort of idea that Adam and Eve are similar but different in complementary ways, and instead it focuses solely on the similarity between the two as the defining criteria.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Where do you get that interpretation from?
From that being the actual meaning of the Hebrew used.
Which lexicon or translation? Author?
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Laurelin
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quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
I am surprised that there have not yet been any news items of churches being burned down or anti-gay preachers assaulted or killed.

I'm not surprised at all. That's because people who see themselves as tolerant and liberal, people who are dismayed by prejudice, do not generally make a habit of committing extreme violence against other people who hold prejudiced views. People who oppose racism don't go around killing racists. Firstly because that would be wrong and secondly because they are better than that. Only fanatics think it's OK to kill, for example, doctors who perform abortions. (And why single out churches only in this hypothetical example? Wouldn't many mosques be equal targets?)

Anybody serious about fighting discrimination can hardly view violence and murder as acceptable methods of stamping out discrimination. (I'm aware even as I type that of Mandela's actions in the early 1960s ... although I can't endorse his bombing campaign, I do understand why he and his cohort felt driven to it, because of the stubborn brutality of the regime - and anyway, he himself came to a different POV over the years.)

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SvitlanaV2
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Plus, most people, gay or otherwise, really don't care what 'churches' say most of the time, so why would they suddenly become hyper attentive when various religious spokesmen make remarks about homosexuality?

Angry western clergymen these days are all bark and no bite. They're not 'winning' anything. Politicians are interested in what the people want, not what particular church leaders want. Christians don't have a uniform view about various gay rights issues, so there's no religious 'leader' who can claim to speak for all Christians - not even the Christians in their own denominations. In the UK at least, the most united denominations are probably the smallest and the least politically powerful; but the people who make the political decisions know full well that the mighty CofE is all over the place, no matter what its officials say in public.

So, IMO the gay rights topic mostly proves how weak angry religious spokesmen are in the West nowadays. Maybe in the USA (which is an exception in the Western world) they have more influence over popular mores, but even there things aren't as they were. Is there a more highly sexualised country than the USA, for all the posturing of the Religious Right?

Every country is different, but taking a very broad view, the Western world has only been moving in one direction. Surely it isn't worth assaulting anti-gay clergymen in the face of that reality!

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Starlight
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Laurelin,

I think millennials differ significantly from the previous generations on the validity of violence as a political method in certain circumstances. I would say there is an extremely strong belief among millennials that violence is an acceptable mechanism for achieving human rights. I think the typical thinking of most millennials would be that only once you have human rights in place do you have civilization, and that then you move forward into a civilized society that has purely non-violent political discussions on other issues.

By contrast, I think previous generations in the 20th century tended to place extreme value on non-violence as a political methodology. Something I see those generations emphasising time and again is their belief in the value of liberal democracies for allowing people to express different and opposing views in a way that does not result in violence. I do not think that viewpoint has been passed on fully to the millennial generation, and I think there has been a subtle shift in thinking towards the view that non-violence is the ideal, but a strong belief that it is not necessarily achievable until human rights have been properly enshrined constitutionally.

Googling for something to disprove or confirm my gut instincts on the views of millennials about the validity of violence as a political methodology yielded this summary which lists one of the values typical of millennials as "Violence is an acceptable means of communication" [!!]. (I don't think I agree that that statement worded that way is true of millenials! Though perhaps I can see why an older person writing an article about millennials might say that...)

quote:
(And why single out churches only in this hypothetical example? Wouldn't many mosques be equal targets?)
I would say there is a tendency among millennials to treat Islam, and also the Catholic church, as somewhat humorous entities in the sense that they are regarded as belonging to the Dark Ages and having neither validity nor relevance in the present. Like a household cat, or a mentally retarded child, they can cause a bit of havoc without a millennial regarding them as being particularly responsible for their own actions. They are allowed a free pass on morality because no one takes them seriously as a moral entity. Most millennials also do not have any personal experience with either one, and it is particularly easy to ignore what you never encounter.

Unlike Islam or Catholicism, Protestant churches seem to be typically regarded by millennials as valid actors in the sphere of morality. They don't have the built-in excuse of "wow, look at their Dark-Ages-equse, historically quaint teachings, aren't they funny?!" (Well okay, the Amish do, they go in the Islam category) So protestant churches typically get held up by millennials to normal standards of moral conduct and measured against them - and of course they are typically found severely wanting. The situation is dramatically worsened by the fact that these same churches are preaching that they are an amazing source of love and morality - because moral hypocrisy tends to anger millenials in and of itself.

So despite the fact that Islam and Catholicism may be far worse offenders they typically do not receive such intense criticism from millennials because they are less well known and viewed as just plain crazy. That's my take on it anyway.

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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]Also I'm sure you know about 'created them male and female' having a meaning more like 'from male to female inclusive', ie supporting a spectrum of gender rather than a binary.

Where do you get that interpretation from?
From that being the actual meaning of the Hebrew used.
Which lexicon or translation? Author?
From the theology department of Manchester University, sorry. But Leo said a similar thing and listed the author, so presumably my ideas are intrinsically suspect because I am not a middle-aged man.

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Pomona
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Starlight - I think Islam and Catholicism are also (accurately) seen as cultural as much as religious. I'm a Millenial and we're well-aware that liberal and cafeteria Catholics and Muslims are the majority in the West.

And you know, there aren't special roles for RC bishops or the Muslim equivalent in the House of Lords...

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Consider the work of God: Who is able to straighten what he has bent? [Ecclesiastes 7:13]

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Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras
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Starlight, I think you are overlooking the radicalisation of a signficant segment of American youth and young adults of the "Boomer" generation coming of age during the Viet Nam War and the Civil Rights struggles. Many of us approved the use of violence if necessary to achieve our political ends, and a relative few actually implemented programmes of violence.

[ 09. March 2014, 12:13: Message edited by: Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras ]

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Ricardus
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quote:
Originally posted by A.Pilgrim:

In v.27, the image of God is said to be represented in the human/man (subsequently referred to as ‘him’) before the following phrase explaining the differentiation into male and female. So while both male and female in their separate being represent an image of God by derivation from the human/man, they also re-create the image of God in their re-uniting into one being.

I think (sincerely) this is an interesting allegorical interpretation of Genesis 1-2, but I'd have some reservations about the conclusions you're drawing from it.

a. Firstly ISTM dangerous to assume that because the Bible uses X as a metaphor for God in some passages, therefore X has to be totally immutable so as not to destroy the metaphor. The Psalms use images of God with sword and bow. That doesn't mean our armed forces are perpetually committed to fighting only with swords and bows.

b. Your argument, AIUI, supposes that the fusion of male and female reflects the image of God more closely than either maleness alone or femaleness alone. But that obviously invites the response: What about monks and nuns or celibate clergy? What about people who never find a partner for one reason or another? Are they less in the image of God?

c. Likewise I think you need to show what about the Godhead is more perfectly reflected in the union of a man and a woman than in maleness alone (or femaleness alone). One could say that the union of a man and a woman reflects the Trinity, which also consists of a union of distinct Persons. However the point of the Trinity is that the Persons are the same in their essence. So for a male-female union to reflect the Trinity, then either there must be no essential difference between male and female - in which case, why is there an essential difference between male-male love and male-female love? - or else one must deny that the Persons of the Trinity are of one essence.

d. I don't think that one can hold together the beliefs that i.) the Godhead is best represented as a fusion between male and female, and ii.) it is of more than grammatical significance that the Bible predominantly refers to God in masculine terms. Granted, you haven't espoused view (ii) as far as I'm aware, but a lot of conservatives do.

e. I'd also question whether this is a common interpretation of the passage - it sounds reminiscent of a rather odd book on Hermeticism I once read, rather than classical Christian theology, but I may be wrong.

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Then the dog ran before, and coming as if he had brought the news, shewed his joy by his fawning and wagging his tail. -- Tobit 11:9 (Douai-Rheims)

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sebby
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
sebby

I was reading a while back that gay men are overrepresented in church in general. There's the stereotype that a disproportionate number of the clergy are gay, but of course, this could be mostly because kiss-and-tell stories on this topic are very appealing to the media rather than because of actual numbers. Still, I have come across a number of fictional and true-life accounts that seem to emphasise rather than undermine the broad presence of gay clergy.

The paradox of both high participation and potential exclusion seems not to be noted by most commentators, and the judgmental general public don't connect the dots at all. Mind you, if it were discussed it would probably be rather like black slaves and their descendants in the Americas being criticised for taking on their white oppressors' religion.

That is interesting. 'Judgemental' general public presumably refers to those of a certain age.

I spend my life with the 18-30 age group, most of whom don't have a problem with gay issues in the sightest, and who would regard the church's preoccupation with sex and gender as an incomprehendible bore (if they were ever bothered to think about it at all).

But I have the honour to work with young colleagues of all social classes who take E and D seriously, are not hampered with the absurd
hermenutic of ancient texts, nor have an unpleasant viral puritan gene.

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SvitlanaV2
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In this case, the 'judgmental public' are those who criticise the churches for being anti-gay. In British society that probably covers quite a broad age-range.

Startlight's analysis suggests, ironically, that he lives in a fairly 'religious' society. Otherwise, why would the young people there care what 'Protestants' think? I'm reminded of what Nietzsche apparently said about the influence of religion living on for far longer than the 'death of God'.

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
Whatever your brain and gut tell you, the most important thing is to listen to those who have experienced the differences between sex and gender.

Completely agree and I try to get the opportunity to do so - because it's right to do so and not because the 'church' urges itself to listen and usually fails to do.

BTW am I the 'middle-aged man' referred to above?

If so, that's flattering as i am 62!

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quetzalcoatl
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quote:
Originally posted by Lietuvos Sv. Kazimieras:
Starlight, I think you are overlooking the radicalisation of a signficant segment of American youth and young adults of the "Boomer" generation coming of age during the Viet Nam War and the Civil Rights struggles. Many of us approved the use of violence if necessary to achieve our political ends, and a relative few actually implemented programmes of violence.

Yes, I am nearly 70, and my cohort, well at least some of us, were shouting for the NLF in London in the 60s; in relation to other policies, I thought that we fired up anti-homophobia and feminist campaigns.

Maybe the churches are full of 70 year old homophobes and misogynists, I don't know.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Startlight's analysis suggests, ironically, that he lives in a fairly 'religious' society. Otherwise, why would the young people there care what 'Protestants' think?

Speaking as another Kiwi, I didn't particularly agree with Starlight's analysis. I think if young people think about the church at all, they lump all denominations of Christianity together and tar them all with the same brush. I have not yet met a non-churched person under 25 who would be clear on the differences between being RC and Baptist, for example. They might notice that some ministers/priests wear robes and others wear suits, but beyond that? Zippo.

NZ is a very secular country generally.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by SvitlanaV2:
Startlight's analysis suggests, ironically, that he lives in a fairly 'religious' society. Otherwise, why would the young people there care what 'Protestants' think? I'm reminded of what Nietzsche apparently said about the influence of religion living on for far longer than the 'death of God'.

I live in New Zealand. Religious rates according to the last census: ~50% No Religion, ~30% Protestant, ~12% Catholic. Though those reporting a religious identity in the census do not necessarily ever attend church. I grew up in a protestant (Baptist) family, so arguably that somewhat biases my own analysis.

I would emphasize, however, that I never said millennials in general regard protestant churches as moral authorities - they certainly don't. I merely said they tend to regard protestant churches as moral actors - ie entities whose standard of conduct can be judged. One of the traits very typical of millennials is an almost complete lack of respect for authority. As this summary puts it, one of the core values typically shared by millennials is that: "Respect must be earned; it is not freely granted based on age, authority or title." In the past the church has laid claim to moral authority and past generations have given respect to the church and taken it for granted that the church is a valid source of moral authority. Millennials tend to find that kind of thing incomprehensible, and tend to find the idea of self-appointed "authorities" humorous. So there is certainly no general thought of "I'm interested in hearing what the church has to say about this moral issue, because I view the church as a moral authority"!

However if a millennial reads a newspaper article and sees person X saying Y about some moral issue Z, then the millennial may judge that person negatively or positively depending on what that person is saying. And that is what I'm thinking of when I say protestant churches are often regarded as valid actors in the sphere of morality - namely that when a millennial reads a statement by them the particular statement may be subjected to moral judgment by the millennial resulting in a more positive or more negative view of the protestant church giving the statement.

As I mentioned, and as I discuss further below, Islam and Catholicism are typically not even considered subjects for moral judgment because they are viewed as entities that are just too silly and/or too vague to render judgment upon and/or too unknown. Because of the low rate of Catholicism in my country, and the high percentage of Catholics who are nominal, most millennials probably know no-one who is an actually-church-attending Catholic (I don't, for example), whereas most millennials do have at least some friends who have attended protestant churches at some point. I also suspect that the majority of millennials in NZ if asked "what does 'the Pope' mean?" wouldn't know the answer. Obviously the situation would be very different in countries which are predominantly Catholic, though most English-speaking Western democracies are not (Ireland being the major exception perhaps?).

quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
I think Islam and Catholicism are also (accurately) seen as cultural as much as religious.

Agreed. Thus comparing Protestantism with Catholicism and Islam is a little tricky because they are not really the same type of entity. More often than not I suspect that if someone identifies as "Catholic" that what they mean is "my parents call themselves Catholic" rather than anything along the lines of "I attend a Catholic church regularly" or "I hold personal beliefs distinctive of Catholics". So it tends to be somewhat of a cultural / family-history designation. That's another reason I think millennials would (justifiably) tend to regard "Islam" and "Catholicism" as not being subject to moral judgments - because you're talking about a cultural entity that is far too vague to say anything too specific about it. And, by contrast, while nominal Christianity is perhaps fairly widespread for the older generations particularly among some denominations (eg Anglican), in my experience most millennials who identify with a specified protestant faith are actually religious and not just nominal Christians.

quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
I have not yet met a non-churched person under 25 who would be clear on the differences between being RC and Baptist, for example. They might notice that some ministers/priests wear robes and others wear suits, but beyond that? Zippo.

Definitely. Also I suspect that the majority of churched people under 25 would not know the answer beyond "the RCs have funny services and their priests dress up."

I agree with your suggestions that non-churched people in NZ are likely to treat any statements by RC and Baptist leaders the same. However, I think churched people in NZ are likely to dismiss out of hand anything and everything the RC says because they are well aware it spouts nonsense on a continuous basis on sexual and social issues (eg no contraception), while they will actually read statements by other mainline denominations and treat them as legitimate statements of opinion. In my personal case, a year ago I was reading an article about the same-sex marriage legislation and there was a quote from the Catholic leader saying they opposed it and I sniggered at the stupidity of Catholicism in general, and then there was a quote from the Baptist leader against it and I thought "WTF?! YOU SAID WHAT?!"... two very different reactions.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]
1. From the theology department of Manchester University, sorry. But Leo said a similar thing and listed the author, so presumably my ideas are intrinsically suspect because I am not a middle-aged man.

1. That's hardly grounds for overturning two millenia of specific understanding and interpretation.

2. Your ideas aren't suspect at all: I welcome them and actually enjoy them as they make me think. Ideas, though, are ideas and therefore personal opinion. But you didn't express your understanding as an idea, you expressed it as fact.

Even that isn't suspect per se, but it can be if not supported by evidence and source. If it isn't supported it remains an opinion which you, of course, have a right to hold. Equally I'm able to question what you present as fact and request evidence - a useful check, don't you agree, otherwise this site would become another internet hub for urban myths.

3. The ideas of middle aged men are necessarily ok are they? So untouchable that they can't be questioned? Not in my book nor IME. Perhaps you imagine me as a middle aged man and you're trying to have a sarcastic pop at me? If that's true please say so and I can then reply accordingly.

[ 10. March 2014, 07:56: Message edited by: ExclamationMark ]

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by ExclamationMark:
quote:
Originally posted by Jade Constable:
[QUOTE]
1. From the theology department of Manchester University, sorry. But Leo said a similar thing and listed the author, so presumably my ideas are intrinsically suspect because I am not a middle-aged man.

1. That's hardly grounds for overturning two millenia of specific understanding and interpretation.
Well, yes, it might.

For most of the past 2,000 years:

The New Testament authors used the Greek Septuagint

After 400 years, people used Jerome's Latin Vulgate.

It isn't until the reformation that people start going to the Hebrew - BUT they've been conditioned by 1600 years of tradition based on a translation of a translation - so when they translated the Hebrew, these assumptions coloured much of their guesswork when it came to obscure passages, of which Genesis 1-3 and the H code in Leviticus are prime examples.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
However, I think churched people in NZ are likely to dismiss out of hand anything and everything the RC says because they are well aware it spouts nonsense on a continuous basis on sexual and social issues (eg no contraception), while they will actually read statements by other mainline denominations and treat them as legitimate statements of opinion.

Actually, the Catholics are rather good on social issues outside sexual ethics. I listen to them quite enthusiastically on issues of child poverty, education and social welfare generally. And they're out there doing something about it.

I have a lot of respect for the nuns I know (and to be honest, they get pissed off about the nonsense spouted about sexuality as well). I have met one really obnoxious priest who preached a furiously anti-gay sermon at a heterosexual wedding and nearly caused a walk out by the choir and their gay director (the couple looked a bit sick as well, so I'm guessing they had no idea he was going to vomit in public). Most of the priests I know are cautiously supportive of gay and lesbian people.

I don't have a dog in the fight, given I am no longer a church goer (was Presbyterian), but I've found protestant ministers much nastier in person than Catholic priests and nuns. If you're talking about the public pronouncements, there's not much to pick between them.

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ken
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:


The New Testament authors used the Greek Septuagint

After 400 years, people used Jerome's Latin Vulgate.

It isn't until the reformation that people start going to the Hebrew


That's blatantly false. NT uses a variety of OT sources. Some looks like what later became Septuagint. Some seems to be direct from Hebrew. Some is distinctly obscure. Maybe it is quoted from memory, maybe now-lost Aramaic versions.

Of course as Temple-worshipping Synagogue-attending Jews, Jesus and the disciples would have used the Hebrew. Jews of the diaspora may have used Greek. As is clear from the NT depictions of synagogue services (which, for what its worth, are our oldest extant eyewitnesses to synagogue life).

Jerome translated direct from Hebrew and added bits from Greek later. So the Vulgate is intermediate between a modern translation from Hebrew and the Septuagint tradition.

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Ken

L’amor che move il sole e l’altre stelle.

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SvitlanaV2
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quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
I never said millennials in general regard protestant churches as moral authorities - they certainly don't. I merely said they tend to regard protestant churches as moral actors - ie entities whose standard of conduct can be judged. One of the traits very typical of millennials is an almost complete lack of respect for authority. As this summary puts it, one of the core values typically shared by millennials is that: "Respect must be earned; it is not freely granted based on age, authority or title." In the past the church has laid claim to moral authority and past generations have given respect to the church and taken it for granted that the church is a valid source of moral authority. Millennials tend to find that kind of thing incomprehensible, and tend to find the idea of self-appointed "authorities" humorous. So there is certainly no general thought of "I'm interested in hearing what the church has to say about this moral issue, because I view the church as a moral authority"!

I agree with you here.

quote:


However if a millennial reads a newspaper article and sees person X saying Y about some moral issue Z, then the millennial may judge that person negatively or positively depending on what that person is saying. And that is what I'm thinking of when I say protestant churches are often regarded as valid actors in the sphere of morality - namely that when a millennial reads a statement by them the particular statement may be subjected to moral judgment by the millennial resulting in a more positive or more negative view of the protestant church giving the statement.

As I mentioned, and as I discuss further below, Islam and Catholicism are typically not even considered subjects for moral judgment because they are viewed as entities that are just too silly and/or too vague to render judgment upon and/or too unknown. Because of the low rate of Catholicism in my country, and the high percentage of Catholics who are nominal, most millennials probably know no-one who is an actually-church-attending Catholic (I don't, for example), whereas most millennials do have at least some friends who have attended protestant churches at some point.
v
This is perhaps where your experience in NZ might differ from that of someone in Great Britain. I don't get any particular sense that young British people are likely to view the RCC as lesser than Protestantism. IMO the main PR problem for the RCC at the moment is the stream of stories about child-abusing priests, but in terms of church allegiance more people attend RC Mass every Sunday than attend CofE churches. (This figure is boosted by immigration, but the same could be said for other churches as well.)

The age profile in independent evangelical Protestantism is lower than either the RCC or the CofE, but the main reality is that few young people in England, Wales or Scotland are likely to have significant awareness of or connection to any form of church, and if they do, it could involve any of them. Some young people get their knowledge from having attended church schools, which are mostly RC or CofE.

Regarding Islam, the UK is likely to be very different from NZ. Many of our large cities have considerable numbers of Muslims (mostly of Asian or African origins), with a lower age profile than Christians. Some estimates suggest that in a few decades there will be more practising Muslims than churchgoing Christians here, but this will be more due to natural increase rather than to conversions. I don't know what non-Muslim youngsters think of Islam. There's hostility borne of the poor job prospects in some multicultural areas, but OTOH people often just accept the cultural differences they see as they're growing up. People in all-white areas might be more wary.

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ExclamationMark
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quote:
Originally posted by leo:
[QUOTE]Well, yes, it might.

For most of the past 2,000 years:

The New Testament authors used the Greek Septuagint

After 400 years, people used Jerome's Latin Vulgate.

It isn't until the reformation that people start going to the Hebrew - BUT they've been conditioned by 1600 years of tradition based on a translation of a translation - so when they translated the Hebrew, these assumptions coloured much of their guesswork when it came to obscure passages, of which Genesis 1-3 and the H code in Leviticus are prime examples.

So we can throw tradition out at this point but we can't do so when it demands, for example, that priests dress in such bizarre ways?

People went back to the Hebrew way before the Reformation. Leo you are practicing eisegesis on this text: you're coming it at it looking for the meaning you want instead of allowing it to speak for itself. The so called obscure passages are only obscure if you find the translation difficulty in terms of its demands on you personally.

Perhaps you ought to revisit your hermeneutics training ....

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leo
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But they had the mindset of centuries of teaching from the translation of a translation of a translation (Latin - Greek - Hebrew.)

What do you make of Leviticus 18:22

אִשָּׁ֑ה מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י וְאֶ֨ת־ זָכָ֔ר לֹ֥א תִשְׁכַּ֖ב

+ With male* not lie the lyings woman

* male –not man – so maybe referring to male children

Every other use of אִשָּׁ֑ה in Leviticus refers to incest. When Paul writes about this verse in1 Corinthians, it follows a condemnation of incest.

Is it not obscure?

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