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Source: (consider it) Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity
Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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I wouldn't do it myself, but I'm not going to condemn them, I agree with the spirit of what they are saying - no, more, I do agree with them, full stop. I'd probably go further in terms of what I think about the SBC!

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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I agree with Mike here. I think that they were right to do what they did.

And, um, what's wrong with Rev. White's theology, exactly? Not being confrontational. Just want to know.

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Narcissism.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology. I think he's working within an evangelical approach to scripture/ doctrine which I personally don't agree with. However, within that framework he's doing good work, all power to the man.

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology. I think he's working within an evangelical approach to scripture/ doctrine which I personally don't agree with. However, within that framework he's doing good work, all power to the man.

You see, I think that the fact he's working within an evangelical framework is his greatest strength, given that it is the only way to reach the people at whom his material is aimed.

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Narcissism.

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology.

Well, he believes that sexual intercourse between two members of the same sex is permitted to Christians. (I'm more Catholic doctrinally as well, but the former is what I was referring to specifically; hence my statement (emphasis mine) that I "don't think it would be any more appropriate for more traditionalist sorts to do the same kind of thing at, say, the Metropolitan Community Church." I wasn't referring to his evangelical theology but to his doctrines of sexual morality.)

This is also why, though I'm a happy and proud member of the gay community, I haven't joined up with Integrity or Dignity, even though the latter has a leather wing (O! So near, and yet so far!) called the Defenders -- because, as I understand them, both Integrity and Dignity specifically are focused on encouraging the Church to accept certain specific sexual behaviours which I don't believe are permitted. (I should look at those groups again and see if I'm reading too much into them OR if I might conceivably be OK with joining without agreeing with everything. It's not necessarily the same thing as having to recite a version of the Nicene Creed I don't agree with on Sundays...).

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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Oh, and for those who don't know of it, here is a link to the Metropolitan Community Church's website.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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I think thats a totally bogus argument, since there was no distinguishing between 'behaviour' and 'orientation' in Biblical times, also, are you suggesting that 'intercourse' ( also not defined) is taboo, whereas S&M is OK ?

If so, thats one of the feeblest cop-outs I have ever heard!

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I think thats a totally bogus argument, since there was no distinguishing between 'behaviour' and 'orientation' in Biblical times, also, are you suggesting that 'intercourse' ( also not defined) is taboo, whereas S&M is OK ?

If so, thats one of the feeblest cop-outs I have ever heard!

MerseyMike, this is Dead Horses, not Hell. I'd appreciate your not accusing me of using "feeble cop-outs," thanks.

My position has also been stated again and again on threads I know you have read, so my beliefs (and our disagreement) on these matters are surely no surprise?

I only posted the above to clarify what I meant re: Rev. Mel White.

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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Fair enough.
no real difference between your position and that of the ex-gay movement, then - I don't think you wouldbe eligible for the groups you mention, as they are for people who fully affirm gay relationships.
I would hope they would be monogamous and faithful ones as well!

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
no real difference between your position and that of the ex-gay movement, then - I don't think you wouldbe eligible for the groups you mention, as they are for people who fully affirm gay relationships.
I would hope they would be monogamous and faithful ones as well!

Actually, my position, apart from the intercourse issue, is almost precisely the opposite of the ex-gay movement. [Smile] For one thing, my identity (at least on an earthly level) is indeed very much, and intentionally, bound up in the gay and leather communities. They are the tribe (or tribes) I belong to. Whereas the ex-gay groups I know of have, as part of their specific beliefs, the desire to reorient people's same-sex attractions (leading to opposite-sex marriage in particular), I believe in not only sublimating them but even in channeling them. Exodus, one of the better known groups,
quote:
views homosexual expression as outside of God's will. EXODUS cites homosexual tendencies as one of many disorders that beset fallen humanity. Choosing to resolve these tendencies through homosexual behavior, taking on a homosexual identity, and involvement in the homosexual lifestyle is considered destructive, as it distorts God's intent for the individual and is thus sinful. ... [Exodus wants people to]grow into heterosexuality.

I certainly don't think I fit into that.

And of course I believe my own position does fully affirm gay relationships -- it just doesn't believe in specific sexual acts.

As for whether those groups promote monogamy, Integrity does but Dignity's site says in their section on sexual ethics:

quote:
Generally, we seek relationships that are whole and not just the expression of genital sexuality. Most of us almost instinctively reject sexual activity that is selfish or manipulative, that harms or exploits. Some prefer to reserve sexual lovemaking for one person in the context of a lifelong commitment, and many regard lifelong fidelity in a monogamous relationship as the ideal to strive for. Other couples have remained faithful to one another while allowing for some sexual expression outside their relationship, and some attempt completely open relationships. Others of us are sexually active as singles, either because we choose to be single, or because we have not yet found a companion. Some of us abstain from sexual activity for a variety of reasons. ... Diversity of sexual and genital behavior is more visible and more openly discussed in the gay and lesbian community than it is among heterosexuals. We differ among ourselves in evaluating some of these practices. As we discuss them together, we are challenged to recognize the quality of each relationship and to find within it the presence of God. In doing so, we find that we can come to a greater understanding of sexual rituals that are not part of our own lovemaking. We see this as a valuable way of continuing to learn from one another and to care for one another.

Hmmm.

And the page of the Defenders says that
quote:
The primary mission of Dignity is to respectfully dissent from the position of the Roman Catholic Church that homosexuals must be celibate to be followers of Christ.
which would sound as if, despite the above about abstinence, I might not fit.

The same page also says
quote:
Although its primary interaction is with the Catholic Church, Dignity Chapters welcome men and women of all spiritual traditions. We are a bridge between the Leather Community and the Christian Community.

which does sound like my membership in the Episcopal Church would not be an obstacle.

David
pondering, though this would be joining yet another "club"...

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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But many of the UK groups, such as True Freedom Trust, concentrate far more on 'acts' than 'orientation' - the founder says that he is still gay, but celibate.

Still, as you say, we have had this conversation before - and I don't honestly regard you as a gay ally.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Chimakwa
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# 3413

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My hubby was involved in chartering Philly's chapter of the Defenders.. I think the DC chapter is quite active. Your ECUSAness wouldn't be a problem -- they were trying to get me to join until my partner decided to leave the group for various reasons -- but I wouldn't expect to find much agreement with your stance on sexuality either. I know that won't come as a shock. [Wink]

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athanasia (n): to induce death by means of Quicunque Vult
(Shipmate Formerly Known as Anglicub)

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Anglicub:
My hubby was involved in chartering Philly's chapter of the Defenders.. I think the DC chapter is quite active. Your ECUSAness wouldn't be a problem -- they were trying to get me to join until my partner decided to leave the group for various reasons -- but I wouldn't expect to find much agreement with your stance on sexuality either. I know that won't come as a shock. [Wink]

[Smile] Nope! But what I know of my local group doesn't really make me rush in to join; it's more like a lot of other local leather clubs I know (I'm a member of my local bondage/SM club, but not a "leather club" per se -- most of which seem to be run on the fraternity model, with pledges and the like, etc. and not much of the sorts of things I'm interested in). They're nice people but I honestly expected something like a gay version of the Hermanos Penitentes. You know, special ceremonies at Lent, etc. But while they may do many things which help the community, it does not quite seem like my cup of tea.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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Merseymike, ChastMastr's position (which I wholeheartedly disagree with) is not a 'feeble cop out' but one which, as he has shown time and time again, that a lot of thought has gone into.

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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To say the least.

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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We shall have to agree to differ. I think its sophistry , but CM knows where I stand.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
# 4398

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I can see from reading these boards over the last few months that Chast is a deep and logical thinker. Personally, I think same sex relationships are fine and, according to my own logic, based to some extent on Andrew Sullivan's arguments in 'Love Undetected', I don't quite understand the ojection to same sex intercourse, especially within a supportive and loving relationship. I know the Bible(in parts) and the Catholic Church condem sexual intercourse between those of the same sex but I think it's important to view the bible in it's socio-historical context and I hope we've now reached a better understanding of human nature. I can understand, however, if Chast thinks that expressing his gayness through intercourse compromises his spiritual nature, even though I think it won't - but then I'm not him (and I'm not gay either).

MerseyMike you have great views, which I often support, but I think you need to respect Chast's position on this.

By the same token, Chast,if you don't mind me asking, what's your opinion on gay Christians who do feel comfortable with same sex intercourse?

J

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Protestant head? Catholic Heart?

http://joansbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
# 4398

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Ooops something bizarre occured when I was checking for sense and spelling!!! PLEASE READ THE SECOND POST...perhaps a moderator could remove the first post.

Ta
J
[Always willing to oblige - first post in the set deleted as requested; this post will be in a day or so. TK]

[ 17. June 2003, 08:07: Message edited by: TonyK ]

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Protestant head? Catholic Heart?

http://joansbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
By the same token, Chast,if you don't mind me asking, what's your opinion on gay Christians who do feel comfortable with same sex intercourse?

I think they're mistaken, as I imagine most of them would think me mistaken.

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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I know it's been said many times before, by many other people, Chast, but I honestly don't see how fisting doesn't count as sexual intercourse.

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Narcissism.

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

The Bishop of Chichester has signed a letter to today's Times, criticising the Bishop of Oxford's appointment of a gay man to a bishopric.

The Bishop of Chichester! For him to criticise someone for appointing gay men, is a bit like Margaret Thatcher criticising someone for appointing rightwingers, as anyone who has met the clergy of his diocese in any kind of numbers will appreciate.

[Killing me]

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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For the record my problem with CMs position is that I don't think that S+M is acceptable practice for any Christian, gay or straight, whereas I think same sex intercourse can be. My reasons for this are that I think the criterion of our ethics is becoming people whose lives express God's love. I am less fussed about the rightness or the wrongness of particular acts than with the kind of people we are - hence loving same-sex relationships may help form us 'in Christ'. I fail to see how violent sexuality can.

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Merseymike
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# 3022

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And I am in agreement with Dwarf here, on both matters. Our Bishop is on the list, as per usual - must go and prepare for the radio interview I am doing in an hour or so about it....

And Wood ; I agree as well - quite clearly, these activities are 'sex' and to try to define them as something else merely to ensure that your own preferred sexual activities are not 'sex' , so preserving your integrity, is sophistry.

Dorothea ; its for the above reason I find CM's position laccks integrity. As much as I disagree with them and know that they can often lead very lonely, unhappy lives, those who remain celibate because they believe their faith tells them to do have integrity. Those who work for change within the church, the same. Those who preach that only the sex they like is OK for Christians (and that sex being violent and bereft of Christian values) - well, I don't consider that a position of integrity.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I don't consider that a position of integrity.

Um, in David's defence here, while I consider his position to be inherently contradictory, I do think it's possible to hold an inherently contradictory opinion and still have integrity.

I don't think that doublethink is necessarily cognate with hypocrisy.

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Narcissism.

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ChastMastr
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# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
I know it's been said many times before, by many other people, Chast, but I honestly don't see how fisting doesn't count as sexual intercourse.

That's fine. We can disagree. [Smile]

quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
And Wood ; I agree as well - quite clearly, these activities are 'sex' and to try to define them as something else merely to ensure that your own preferred sexual activities are not 'sex' , so preserving your integrity, is sophistry.

Quite clearly to you; obviously, not to me. Please also note that I have been using the term "specific sexual practices" so as to make my position clearer.

There's really no need to accuse me of sophistry. Thanks.

quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Dorothea ; its for the above reason I find CM's position laccks integrity. As much as I disagree with them and know that they can often lead very lonely, unhappy lives, those who remain celibate because they believe their faith tells them to do have integrity. Those who work for change within the church, the same. Those who preach that only the sex they like is OK for Christians (and that sex being violent and bereft of Christian values) - well, I don't consider that a position of integrity.

MerseyMike: No offence, but is it really that difficult to simply say, "I disagree. I think you are wrong" rather than:
  • saying one's position "lacks integrity"
  • saying that one's behaviour is "bereft of Christian values"?
You know I disagree strongly with you on several subjects. Quite seriously and even vehemently. Indeed, I disagree quite sharply with many on the Ship and elsewhere. But I don't think it's appropriate to treat you, or them, this way.
To the best of my knowledge, I have never accused you of willful (or spiritual) dishonesty; if I have done so, I genuinely apologise.

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Thank you, Wood. [Not worthy!]

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Wood
The Milkman of Human Kindness
# 7

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You're welcome, although I was hoping for a little more than "we can disagree", vis - à - vis: why don't you consider fisting to be a sexual act?

I've avoided this subject like the plague before, so forgive me if this is old ground for you, but I am genuinely curious.

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Narcissism.

Posts: 7842 | From: Wood Towers | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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Wood : I should clarify ; I mean intellectual rather than personal integrity. I am sure he is sincere in what he believes. but there seems a dissonance which I cannot reconcile.

CM : I hope that clarifies. I share Wood's interest on this one as to your explanation, although I think I may have read it before and wasn't convinced. Christian values to me, however, incorporate mutuality, non-violence and monogamy, irrespective of whether we are talking about homo or hetero-sexuality.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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Warning. T'n'T explicit language follows!

CM: I'm also curious as to how this "fisting does not equal sex" applies in a lesbian context.

What would you say constitutes lesbian sex? If I penetrate my girlfriend's anus with my fingers, that's not sex, but penetrating her vagina with my fingers is? Or can't lesbians have sex by your definition of the word?

In which case, I think that's proof of a somewhat flawed definition.

I'm reminded of a seminar at Greenbelt a few years back, on the subject of homosexuality, when a vocal minority started off with the "orientation is OK but sex isn't" line. The speaker asked them to say what they'd define as "sex" and they came back with the "penis inserted into anus" line. To which all the lesbians gave a resounding cheer [Big Grin]

Kirsti

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All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Well, first of all -- I have covered these subjects almost literally ad nauseam. I started another Leather Thread on T & T this year and I think most people's interest had been done -- or questions answered -- on the one from the previous year. I'm trying very hard, coy jokes and references to whips and kink aside (which the astute reader will note I have done less of in recent times), not to turn any given thread into The ChastMastr Show. I'm aware of being possibly the oddest person here, with the most wildly unusual combination of beliefs, and I am sure I come across sometimes (or to some) as a very strange but well-meaning heretic of possibly dubious sanity. And I also don't want to bore or disturb people needlessly. I don't "fit" into any modern paradigm very well -- not most contemporary Christian thought, not most contemporary gay-community notions, nor (since I have been flying my flag re: the paranormal) most contemporary Pagan/"New Age" thought for that matter. So I've been trying to not be overwhelming, or trollish, or salacious; to a degree it's been a relief when someone else posts a long Lewis quote (thanks, Josephine) and I can just put in a silly little rhyming couplet (sorry, Laura) about how I agree with them, and then read the next thread.

What I don't do is, basically, genital penetration of any bodily orifice. Jokes about Clinton aside, there really is a lot of variance about "what sex is" amongst people, Christian or otherwise, gay or otherwise. I used to say -- until a long -- I mean long -- several-page masturbation thread which lasted something like a year if I recall correctly, starting in last year's T & T and finishing in Dead Horses, I think -- that I did not believe in "deliberate stimulation to orgasm" either (particularly masturbation, whether solo or otherwise -- and my jury had been out re contraception as well!) -- until some discussion with various people (thanks, Father Gregory) helped convince me otherwise. (And I shall remain convinced until further evidence to the contrary turns up -- even though my own emotional feelings on the subject tend to look at it askance, I must follow what I believe to be true.)

I don't want to start a new tangent for this thread (unless it really is appropriate) about "what sex is or is not." It might be suitable for another thread in Purgatory, though it was already on Dead Horses. I've seen a host of definitions ranging from ones which exclude oral sex to ones which include kissing and hugging, and it almost seems as if people have their own definitions of the words. But what I am personally concerned with is not "what does the word sex mean" but "what actions, whether you call them 'erotic' or 'sexual' or 'sensual,' are permitted, forbidden, encouraged, etc.?" And then once I have an idea of that, which isn't really (on God's level) in human words anyway as such, but which has been expressed in the Hebrew and Greek and then translated into English as cleaving to ... or knowing ... or whatever, whether it involves X or Y or Z or not -- then translate that concept into words which I can make clear to people, both friends (as here on the Ship) and people in the gay community who might be interested in exploring certain things, but to whom I must make clear what will, or will not be, involved. I've told some people that I don't do "sex" and they then say, "but you will do X, right?" ( [brick wall] ) or they say "... do you kiss?" and I have to clarify. It's amazing how many people have such varying notions. So I have to say I don't do genital penetration of any bodily orifice and that generally clears it up.

Re fisting specifically: In my view, if a doctor can do it without its being [that thing, often called "sex," which I believe is only for the marriage context] then so can someone else without its being [that]. If a doctor can reach in wearing a glove for a prostate exam, or using a device, and that is not [that], then -- in my view -- so can another. Now mind you this may be unwise, unhealthy, etc. but this is a different subject. (There are other things I don't do for safety reasons but it is not because of [that].)

Fisting is largely about the subject learning to relax more than anything else; many seem to find it peaceful and calming. I have no intrinsic moral problem with it; I haven't done it very much, though (i.e., since I started exploring with others six and a half years ago, I've done it once from each side).

Goodness, sometimes I feel like a tribesman from some hunting/gathering society which has a taboo about eating chicken, meeting someone from an ethical-vegetarian society. "You don't eat chicken?" "Right!" "But you do eat beef?" "Yes!" "You even eat duck?" "Well, is it chicken?" "No, but it's still poultry." "... Right, so?" "How can you eat duck? It's not even beef; it's just like chicken!" "Er, because the great god Motophoto said that our tribe must not eat chicken, and he never said anything about duck, or beef." "Don't you know that eating meat is all the same? And poultry especially?" "Um, no, I don't know that. They seem like different things to me." "And how can you use a rooster to wake you up by its crowing? Isn't that a chicken?" "Well, yes, but I'm not eating it, am I?" "Same thing! You're using it..." "But I'm not eating chicken. I'm eating duck, and beef, and platypus, and I'm using a rooster's crowing to wake me up at dawn, and I'm wearing these chicken feathers on my necklace, and--" "OH! You're wearing chicken FEATHERS, are you? How hypocritical!" "But -- I'm not. Eating. Chicken." And so it goes and so it goes and so it goes... not to mention the friend who comes up and wants to go out for a chicken salad sandwich ("It doesn't have wings or feathers, does it?" "Yes, but it's still chicken." "What a prude!" "What about a hamburger?" "No, I have to eat chicken or I'm still hungry -- have a nice day, bye").

And then there are the theologians who claim that because flamingo is not indigenous to Motophoto's followers' region, then flamingo is really just as forbidden as chicken, with which our imaginary tribesman would strongly disagree, but that's another story...

David
PS: As I was composing this I saw more messages - OY! I will say to Inanna that I just looked over Leviticus' sexual laws online -- not comprehensively, as I am at work and have spent a LONG time on this post -- and note that it doesn't say anything at ALL about a woman lying with another woman as she would with a man -- (!) -- but before anyone says that women weren't important enough to mention, it does mention a woman going to an animal to be mated with it -- as well as other things it forbids women to do but in a male context (if a man "lies with" a woman and her mother, all are put to death etc.) -- so whether we call it "sex" or not, at least in that chapter of Leviticus it would appear that there is no forbiddance...

quote:
I mean intellectual rather than personal integrity. I am sure he is sincere in what he believes. but there seems a dissonance which I cannot reconcile.

I appreciate that, MM -- and I thank you.

David
(again)

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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Its a lot more straightforward being a liberal, CM!

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Emma Louise

Storm in a teapot
# 3571

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im not sure i *really* want to get into this discussion but.....

CM - can you reply to iannas comment, as i think by your definition its pretty impossible for lesbians to 'have sex'. Particularly as, again by your definition, in theory its ok for doctors to 'go there', but i certainly dont think thats the same as it is with my husband.....

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Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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CM.. so you basically don't believe that the Bible prohibits lesbian sex? Since none of that involves a genital penetrating any orifice.

I just want to check that I've correctly defined your..er.. chicken. Based on your reading of the Bible and church Tradition:
  • Heterosexual sex within marriage is OK. By your definitions, oral sex outside of marriage is not OK.
  • Lesbian sex is OK because a genital doesn't penetrate an orifice.
  • Gay male sexual activity up to and including masturbation and fisting is alright, but no genital-orifice penetration. But anything penetrative needs to be reserved for heterosexual marriage.
Is that right?
Kirsti, thinking there's an awful lot of inherent sexism and flaws with this way of defining things .. it certainly wouldn't work for me as a consistent guide to live by.

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And all shall be well
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Merseymike
Shipmate
# 3022

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I still but can't help think that its a convoluted way of justifying what you want to do and like doing as 'not sex'. CM.

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Christianity is not a problem to be solved, but a mystery to be experienced

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Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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Oh, and to add to my "chicken definition" questions...

Let's take a hypothetical, unmarried, heterosexual couple.
  • Male partner goes down on female partner: no genital penetration of an orifice, so it's OK and not prohibited outside of marriage.
  • Female partner goes down on male partner: genital penetrates orifice, so it's not OK and is prohibited outside of marriage.
Ummmmm.... really really not convinced.
Kirsti

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All shall be well
And all shall be well
And all manner of things shall be well.

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ken
Ship's Roundhead
# 2460

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quote:
Originally posted by thegreent:
im not sure i *really* want to get into this discussion but.....

CM - can you reply to iannas comment, as i think by your definition its pretty impossible for lesbians to 'have sex'. Particularly as, again by your definition, in theory its ok for doctors to 'go there', but i certainly dont think thats the same as it is with my husband.....

It's much easier taking a biological line - you could say that if there aren't gametes and so at least the possibilty of involved it isn't sex (which it isn't, in a biological sense). So no homosexual act would be "sex". Or indeed no act involving a woman past the menopause. They would all be something else - whether right or wrong is another question.

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Ken

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

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by thegreent:
CM - can you reply to iannas comment, as i think by your definition its pretty impossible for lesbians to 'have sex'.

Yes, this is an interesting conundrum. I may have missed something; it's not been as direct an issue for me but I've wondered about it. If deliberate stimulation to orgasm is indeed permitted outside of male-female marriage for Christians, the question of appropriate contexts, methods and so on does arise. (Back before I concluded in November that such was permitted, of course, it was less of an issue.) But also as I say I am not concerned with the definition of "sex" or of "have sex" but about what is permitted/forbidden.

Certainly of course there are the thoughts one has, whatever one's bodies or devices are capable of doing, which could be considered "adultery in one's heart" in this or any other situation.

quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
CM.. so you basically don't believe that the Bible prohibits lesbian sex? Since none of that involves a genital penetrating any orifice.

This would follow, yes. Though I do also look to Tradition (or traditions, depending) for how to interpret the Bible.

And again I think the word "sex" in this context can be misleading, see above.

quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
thinking there's an awful lot of inherent sexism and flaws with this way of defining things .. it certainly wouldn't work for me as a consistent guide to live by.

Well -- I think I've been pretty clear -- and I hope, with proper respect and politeness -- that my worldview has a lot of what many people would classify as "inherent sexism" to it. (I did finally reach the conclusion back in December that I believe a woman can indeed be validly ordained to the priesthood and the the bishopric, but I did not reach it via means which had anything to do with gender issues per se at all...) Whether there are flaws is, I suppose, what we're discussing.

But I don't expect people to agree with me. [Frown] Nor am I trying to be offensive to anyone. I try to choose my words with care but I know I don't always succeed as I'd like. [Embarrassed]

quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I still but can't help think that its a convoluted way of justifying what you want to do and like doing as 'not sex'. CM.

Well, I'm sorry you think that way. I've worked very hard, even with converting to Christianity in the first place, at not letting my personal wishes interfere with being honest with myself and trying to reach the truest conclusions I can. When I first became interested in Christianity, I had to be very severe with myself lest it turn out to be Just Another Hobby like Dungeons and Dragons or whatnot, a pleasant fantasy world to escape into. The same goes for the paranormal, and the same with this. It's been damned difficult; I'd wake up in the morning and start not only thinking about what the story of Abraham and his almost-sacrifice of Isaac meant about the nature of God's character, but worrying, and forcing myself to face that dread as logically and rationally as I possibly could. Actually trusting Jesus rather than merely (important though it is) reaching a rationally valid set of conclusions about His existence and Nature is something else, of course. And all of this applies to this sort of thing as well. I don't, by the way, even though I think other Christians who do have {sex/whatever we call this thing} outside of faithful male-female marriage, say that I think they're chucked into Hell or something; I trust that Jesus is dealing with my errors, whatever they may be, and with their errors, whatever they may be, on an individual basis, and I trust and hope very much that He's aware of all the blind spots we each have, whether it's mine about my notions of chastity, or someone else's about sex, or some other person's about fasting, or loaning money at interest, or whatever. And if I reach the conclusion that some thing I do, or set of things I do, is actually forbidden to me (as a Christian in general or in some David-specific case), then I'll just have to stop.

quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
Male partner goes down on female partner: no genital penetration of an orifice, so it's OK and not prohibited outside of marriage.

That's an excellent question also. How much does the tongue count as a sexual organ? Does it count as a sort of oral "penetration" by the vagina? I am not comfortable even with the penile equivalent for the reasons I mention above, as while it might not strictly involve oral penetration, it's still too close for comfort for me. I haven't made a list (and don't have a desperate longing to right now) of "things which may be too close for comfort for me but which may not technically fit into the precise categories I've given."

quote:
really really not convinced.
That's okay. [Smile] I don't really expect everyone, or even anyone, to be. But I figured I should answer people's questions. I hope I've done so in ways which aren't rude or inappropriate.

Non-salacious, non-gender-specific hugs to all...

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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dolphy

Lady of Perpetual Responsiblity
# 862

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
I think the word "sex" in this context can be misleading, see above.

OK, I have been reading this thread, purely out of interest, and do not wish to get *involved* but, I do have a question... what happened to making love? Certain people here seem to refer to the act of 'sex', what about lovemaking... In my very humble opinion, they are two different things...

(I'll get my coat)

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Looking forward to my rock moving closer again.

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by dolphy:
what happened to making love? Certain people here seem to refer to the act of 'sex', what about lovemaking... In my very humble opinion, they are two different things...

[Not worthy!] I am thinking of the "permitted or forbidden" issues surrounding specific acts, but of course everything is affected by attitude toward the participants, and love is the heart of the law. I don't think it intrinsically makes something forbidden permitted, but I definitely think it helps -- and if one does these things without genuine love and charity for those involved, then no matter how much it fulfills the "rules" of who puts what in what orifice, it's still morally defective because the attitude lacks that love.

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Nicolemr
Shipmate
# 28

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ok, chast, you know me and you know that i'm not trying to be hostile here or anything, but i have to say, although you have said what you think is and isn't prohibited, you have never, that i can think of, said why you think these things are or aren't prohibited. how you came to those conclusions, that is. i mean, as far as i can think off hand, the closest the bible ever comes is the "laying with a man as with a woman" line... we assume that refers to anal sex, but its certiainly not specific. from that single reference, how do you get this entire definition?

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On pilgrimage in the endless realms of Cyberia, currently traveling by ship. Now with live journal!

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Well, for one thing I don't get it just from that passage; I'm not sola scriptura, though I try to accord Scripture its proper weight in understanding these matters, and I look to Tradition for how to understand it, for the most part.

When I try to figure out what, precisely, is forbidden, I come up against a variety of things which seem to have been accepted at various times in a Christian context, but it appears to me that the consistent thing which One Does Not Do is the whole genital penetration of orifices thing. I don't define people as gay or straight per se -- I think much of that is a fairly recent paradigm, and that much of what we would presently call "homoerotic" seems woven into the fabric of day-to-day life in the past. I am a proud member of the gay (and leather, and bear) community, or "tribe" (tribes, etc.) but I consider that not genetic but an act of self-definition. (My feelings and impulses would largely be considered to be intrinsically gay by many, however, so to some degree it's a moot point, since by their understanding I'm already so gay that Liza Minnelli waits
in line to see me...) So I had to work out, if men hugging and kissing were OK in a specifically "thou shalt not {have sex}" context, if sleeping (and usually nude!) in the same bed was as well, if hierarchical relationships were considered not only acceptable but part of the order of the universe, if Robert Bly and others are correct about various things about male bonding in the past and its absence today (etc. etc. etc. -- see Leather Thread One and Leather Thread Two for lots and lots of history in all this) -- then what, precisely, is forbidden?

Some people have argued that (for example) David and Jonathan in the Old Testament were sexually active (in the penetrative sense, presumably) lovers. In the sense most people mean that, I'm not convinced, even though much of the way they acted toward one another would be considered, under the modern paradigm, to be obviously a relationship of romantic lovers. But as I post everywhere else on the Ship, I don't follow that paradigm in many other ways. (Though I also try not to do the "EW! It's MODERN! Get it off me! Quick, pass the disinfectant! [Eek!] " thing as much as it probably looks like, though I used to... [Embarrassed] I want to learn what I can from the present era as well as from past ones, even though I try to give Tradition highest weight...)

I hope this is helpful. I didn't really want to overwhelm everyone with David's Point Of View like this. That's why I did those leather threads in T & T -- so it would have its own place rather than taking over other threads. [Embarrassed] (And of course it takes forever to write all this because it's not simple or quick for me; I think it's pretty complex and well-balanced, in a good way, but explaining it, and how I got from Point A to Point B, is also going to be complicated. Even becoming a Christian was complicated for me... much less a celibate (by my understanding) gay leatherman Christian who's OK with even odder things than that... [Embarrassed]

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Father Gregory

Orthodoxy
# 310

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The idea that any of us can be consistemt, logical, coherent, plausible, convincing about sex (to ourselves and each other) strikes me as the funniest thing ever! [Killing me]

We all have things we will and won't do which may or may not be consistent with other things which overlap or don't overlap with what others do or won't do. I guess that the range stretches from "just about anything" (hopefully legal) to "practically very little." Surely the most important thing is that we find what is most comfortable and acceptable mutually between ourself and our partner. Problems only arise when that becomes a rule to put before someone else. So there!!!! I'm the real liberal here!

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Yours in Christ
Fr. Gregory
Find Your Way Around the Plot
TheOrthodoxPlot™

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dorothea
Goodwife and low church mystic
# 4398

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Fr Gregory wrote:

quote:
Surely the most important thing is that we find what is most comfortable and acceptable mutually between ourself and our partner.
[Not worthy!]

That about sums it up.

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Protestant head? Catholic Heart?

http://joansbitsandpieces.blogspot.com/

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Kelly Alves

Bunny with an axe
# 2522

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As does this:

quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
The idea that any of us can be consistent, logical, coherent, plausible, convincing about sex (to ourselves and each other) strikes me as the funniest thing ever! [Killing me]

That is SOF T-shirt-worthy.(And I mean that in the most respectful of ways.) [Not worthy!]

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I cannot expect people to believe “
Jesus loves me, this I know” of they don’t believe “Kelly loves me, this I know.”
Kelly Alves, somewhere around 2003.

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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Just been reading through the last few days of posts - I think I'll take the CM definition of sex because it should solve all the problems I'm having with the church as a lesbian with a partner. [Killing me] I wish it would work, but obviously it won't because the church is defining sex much more widely than CM.

Just as a matter of interest, CM, if the doctrine of the church was changed to reflect this wider definition, would you then become celibate under that definition?

Seriously though, I'm with Dolphy - it angers me that the church hierarchy just sees sex where I see a 10 year (and climbing) relationship that is plain wonderful, enduring and loving. I simply can't imagine anyone else being better for me than my beloved, and it pisses me royally that the church puts itself in the position of treating that with disrespect.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
it angers me that the church hierarchy just sees sex where I see a 10 year (and climbing) relationship that is plain wonderful, enduring and loving.

Beautifully and succinctly put, Arabella.

[Not worthy!]

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Just as a matter of interest, CM, if the doctrine of the church was changed to reflect this wider definition, would you then become celibate under that definition?

I don't understand -- if you mean that I reached a different understanding of what's permitted or not, I would (and indeed have done, see previous posts) change my behaviour. In fact, what I concluded I was permitted to do was itself the result of a very long time of reading, study, prayer, etc.; before that I tried very hard to avoid doing anything of the sort, and I still think -- given that I did not believe it was morally OK at the time, and "whatever is not of faith is sin" -- that it was right for me to fight against it until the time came when my beliefs changed.

As for the "doctrine of the church" being changed, if you mean "what the church (or churches) is (are) saying now," well, that's not where I derive my understanding of Christian doctrine from; once again, I try to study tradition more than the present moment. Lesbian issues are something I haven't studied as much, so I welcome more info on early discussions of the subject in particular.

David

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

Trumpeting hope
# 3434

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quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Just as a matter of interest, CM, if the doctrine of the church was changed to reflect this wider definition, would you then become celibate under that definition?

I don't understand -- if you mean that I reached a different understanding of what's permitted or not, I would (and indeed have done, see previous posts) change my behaviour.
No, what I meant was that if the Vatican came out with a definition of prohibited sex acts that went beyond genital sex and described explicitly what wasn't acceptable for a good Catholic (say for an example that affects me, tribadism or that affects you, fisting) would you abandon your current sexual practices?

I'm just interested, although I have to say that I don't understand your arguments relating to gay sex at a gut level. What you advocate sounds very like what my more fundamentalist straight friends call "Christian" sex - anything but vaginal penetration - which you can have before marriage. Interestingly, it allows for anal sex, which I gather does happen on occasion. It sounds to me like obeying the letter but not the spirit of the law.

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Hell is full of the talented and Heaven is full of the energetic. St Jane Frances de Chantal

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Divine Outlaw
Gin-soaked boy
# 2252

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The msot extreme example of 'Christian sex' casuistry that I have come across entails the belief that sex using a condom is not really 'sex' because the couple concerned are not becoming 'one flesh' (owing, it would seem, to a few nanometres of rubber.)

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ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
No, what I meant was that if the Vatican came out with a definition of prohibited sex acts that went beyond genital sex and described explicitly what wasn't acceptable for a good Catholic (say for an example that affects me, tribadism or that affects you, fisting) would you abandon your current sexual practices?

I'm just interested, although I have to say that I don't understand your arguments relating to gay sex at a gut level. What you advocate sounds very like what my more fundamentalist straight friends call "Christian" sex - anything but vaginal penetration - which you can have before marriage. Interestingly, it allows for anal sex, which I gather does happen on occasion. It sounds to me like obeying the letter but not the spirit of the law.

I'm more of an Anglo-Catholic than a Roman one -- sorry if I have been unclear. I don't consider the Vatican's rules binding; if I did, I would follow them (and attend a Roman Catholic church regularly, of course).

In my understanding, actually, both anal and oral genital penetration aren't OK. I do agree that one has to be careful about the letter vs. spirit of the law, most definitely! And as my two threads mentioned above go into, for me the leather-related practices are a bit deeper than sex. Or, while eroticism is involved, I look at it as sublimated eroticism. But that's really a whole other topic which is all on the other threads.

I'd also definitely add that if someone is not morally comfortable with going as far as I do, I would not at all advocate their doing so! "Whatever is not of faith is sin" and all.

I still don't quite get why people keep bringing up fisting; I've done it a total of twice in my life, once as top and once as bottom. It honestly isn't -- at least at the moment -- something which powerfully appeals to me. This may change but while I do believe it is quite permissible, at the same time I am much more into other things -- particularly cuddling and snuggling, which most people would not regard as terribly "kinky." [Smile]

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My essays on comics continuity: http://chastmastr.tumblr.com/tagged/continuity

Posts: 14068 | From: Clearwater, Florida | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged



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