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Source: (consider it) Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity
Nightlamp
Shipmate
# 266

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To some extend Joan you are proposing is not total relativism. It is the form of relativism that is perfectly acceptable to western society.

I would consider what you are arguing for is relativism dressed up in spirtual language.
If I am incorrect please point out the differences between my summary of your arguement and what you are actually saying in how it would apply in some ones life.

Canucklehead is arguing for absolutes but he would find some of the biblical absolutes unacceptable hence I suspect he might well relativise some of it.

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp


Posts: 8442 | From: Midlands | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Hmm, maybe we have a linguistic difference. Are you talking about the relativisation of truth itself, or are you calling the fact that we are not infallible in our perception of an externally-existant absolute truth "moral relativism"?

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nightlamp
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# 266

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Joan as I said in my earlier post

quote:
Ah yes Moral relativism it's quite popular at the moment.
As long as what is happening between people is mutually loving then it is fine

Making love in to some form of absolute but love is purely subjective. The absolute becomes our own perceptions our subjective self.

Moral relativism today has no external truth it has an internal one. What Joan you seem to me doing is christianising societys concept of morality so that christians can feel happen with it. This has been a common practice of the church down the years

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I don't know what you are talking about so it couldn't have been that important- Nightlamp


Posts: 8442 | From: Midlands | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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quote:
Originally posted by Nightlamp:
What Joan you seem to me doing is christianising societys concept of morality so that christians can feel happen with it.

Not at all, Nightlamp. What I am doing is looking at Christianity, working out what I think it says about relationships and sex and then applying that to my own life. In this way I reach conclusions different from those that part of today's society reach. For example, I believe that sex is sacred and sacramental, and the place for it is in committed and emotionally intimate relationships. Therefore I do not agree with for example one-night-stands, even when there is consensual mutuality.

In re: "moral relativity", I'll set it out again. The terminology I am using (which I think is standard, at least in philosophy - I'm a lay(wo)man as far as theology is concerned)is:
Absolutism: there is absolute truth and we can know it for certain.
Relativism: there is no absolute truth: "anything goes".
Pessimistic realism: there is absolute truth but we can never get to it so we might as well act like relativists.
Fallible realism: there is absolute truth, but we can never know it for certain, BUT we can evolve in our understanding of it and get closer to it.

I am a fallible realist, in my life, my work (physics and philosophy) and my relationship with God.

I hope this has cleared up the "relativist" confusion.

In re: "Making love in to some form of absolute but love is purely subjective."

It seems that "love" being referred to here is not the Christian understanding of it, but rather the sort of wishy-washy pink-clouds-and-singing-bluebirds Hollywood idea. The Christian understanding is very much absolute: "God is love" (my emphasis, not Paul's!); Christian love is the centre of Christian morality ("love God and love your neighbour as yourself; on these hang all the Law and the Prophets"); and this has been the experience of mystics down the ages, who perceived God as the Love at the centre of the universe - in Dante's words, "The Love that moves the Sun and the other stars". Love is the first gift/fruit of the Spirit for Paul, and his love is definitely not limp-wristed!

Leaving my own words for now, I'd like to quote from my (ie CofE) House of Bishops statement 'Issues in Human Sexuality' (that concluded against homosexual sexual relations) to show the view of relationships I'm coming from (it's the start of Chapter 3):

quote:
It would seem appropriate at this point to set out an account of the Christian ideal or vision for human sexuality as this has developed within the context just described [ie Scripture]. Because secual love is a wonderful gift from God, then through it, if all goes well, a man and a woman can be united in a relationship which for depth, intensity and joy is unique in their experience. They can find a strength and support in one another which helps each of them to mature as individuals. They can form a partnership which is both a blessing to the whole community and also the stable and loving environment in which children need to be brought up. Being much more than simply physical organisms, they share their lives with one another at many different levels - bodily, emotional, intellectual, social and spiritual. To share at the bodily level alone is to make a relationship far less than it could be. But the body makes a unique contribution. Because full sexual relations are intimate, and can be ecstatically happy, they can make the partners supremely precious to one another, and so help them to treasure their sharing at all other levels. In this way an incomparable union can be built on the physical foundations.

Because of this affirmation of the body one basic principle is very definitely implicit in Christian thinking about sexual relations. It may be put this way: the greater the degree of personal intimacy, the greater should be the degree of personal commitment.




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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Sebastian

Staggering ever onward
# 312

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It seems that some of us are defining homosexuality and it's "temptations" solely, or nearly so, in terms of sexual activity. Lord knows there are plenty of straight people who will have sex with their own gender, for various reasons. Being gay is about who you love and are emotionally drawn to in that deep way that straight men and women are drawn to each other. Sex is the natural expression of that. My two cents.

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St. Seb

In Spite of Everything: Yes.

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splodge
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# 156

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I agree Saint Seb, the desire for intimacy and the wish to give and receive sexual pleasure is a natural extension of loving somebody. It is not wrong to love somebody. No moral law is broken by homosexual love, if the golden rule is simply love your neighbour. In any event the bible & church's "problem" with homosexuality is not to do with morality; it is not concerned with the motive for the behaviour but the behaviour per se. It is hung up on the naturalness of that behaviour in the context of the idea of created order. Yes no theologian believes in natural law any more and there are lots of gay critters out there - However i'd refute the idea that it is as easy to dispense with the issue of "naturalness" as some people think. Even if we do away with the idea of God, and take it from a purely biological perspective (of course christians are not going to accept these reductionist arguments, but never mind, I'll soldier on...) then the physical act of sexual activity with ones own gender whether amongst humans or sheep, is difficult to explain from a naturalistic perspective. One does not have to be Richard Dawkins to note its genetic suicide for animals to be gay. Clearly our genitalia are evolved/designed for heterosexual sex even if they can be stimulated in sundry and diverse creative ways! Of course, to be strictly accurate gay people don't have sexual intercourse/coitus in the biological sense, rather they simply lovingly, mutually stimulate each other for pleasure. Presumably gay animals do the same because either a) this has some social bonding function which is also beneficial to the species or b) the animal wrongly believes the animal it is shaging is of the opposite sex. IMO a) is the more likely explanation for humans and possibly animals.
Okay, so what my tutees, what have we discovered?
Some people have a deep need to have wonderful friendship and love from a member of the same sex. This relationship often expresses itself in intimacy and mutual sexual pleasure giving. This is not surprising. The relationship of love and intimacy per se is as valid, as real and as important to the person as someone having a heterosexual relationship. However biology and Bill Clinton would try to insist that only coitus is, strictly speaking, "relevant to the question". So we have this dichotomy, the gay relationship is as valuable as the straight relationship in terms of the love it professes and opportunity for commitment and mercy.
But if we insist straight and gay physical relationships always have a factual equivalence ("two sides of the same coin" or " just like being left handed") then this is not true. And all truth is God's truth. The church has to contest with two equally inescapable realities: the moral and spiritual validity of homosexual love for another person while being honest to say that biologically we are physically created/designed/evolved for heterosexual relationships whether we have them or not.

Discuss (please write a minimum of 2000 words)

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Splodge


Posts: 145 | From: Newport | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Not the natural/unnatural argument again!!!

Sex is more than biology.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
the famous rachel
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# 1258

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With reference to some of the above comments -

I would suggest that everyone who is busily saying that the Bible absolutely forbids homosexual practise, go back over the earlier parts of this thread. Whilst I'm not sure that I agree with the interpretations given by some of the comments, they are all certainly scholarly. In terms of the Bible's teaching this is NOT as much of black and white issue as GLE people (like me) are taught.

Also, in reference to comments about gya people being "healed" and becoming straight. I'm not too sure about this, but I believe there is a difference between people who are gay by nature and people who are gay because of past hurts etc. The latter type of people are perhaps going against who they really are, and can/should be healed. The former sort are a different matter.

All the best,
Rachel.

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A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


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Russ
Old salt
# 120

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
The difference I see between homosexuality and the other things people try and lump it with is that between two adults in a proper relationship you can have the emotional physical and spiritual bond that I believe is a God-given gift to humanity...

This is not to say every straight or gay relationship is like that, but that this is the ideal for relationships, and it is empirically observed to be possible in straight and gay relationships.

However when we consider things like bestiality, necrophilia and paedophilia we can see very clearly that they do not have the potential to be a part of this idea of relationships. There is no mutuality, and the relationships are fundamentally self-centred and abusive.

...I do not believe in the principle of "what people get up to behind closed doors is their own business" if that is abusive and degrading for both parties...

...Lumping homosexuality in with bestiality etc is generally a good way to upset people... ...but... ...I just giggled


Dear Joan,

Glad you're able to giggle, and thank you for what I would ordinarily describe as a straight answer...

Funnily enough, I did put bestiality in the original draft, but edited it out before posting.

I think we're at the point of distinguishing what is moral from what is classed as socially acceptable. God can see into our hearts, and can judge the extent of sin in our intentions and the quality of our relationships. Society has to go by what things look like from the outside.

Few would argue with you that a spiritual and loving relationship is good, and an abusive and degrading one is bad. The difficulty comes when different people have different perceptions of what is uplifting and what is degrading.

I think the logical conclusion of your argument is that any form of perversion between any two people (of whatever legal relationship) is OK provided that the two of them view the act and the personal relationship between them as loving and uplifting and non-abusive.

You may argue that there are some practices that you find difficulty in believing are consistent with a mutual and spiritual love. But some people feel like that about homosexual acts...

A relationship between someone who is one year below the age of consent and someone who is one year older may be loving and spiritual and fulfil your ideal in every way. But that doesn't necessarily mean that our society would be better without an age of consent.

Russ

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Wish everyone well; the enemy is not people, the enemy is wrong ideas


Posts: 3169 | From: rural Ireland | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Inanna

Ship's redhead
# 538

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quote:
Russ stated:
You may argue that there are some practices that you find difficulty in believing are consistent with a mutual and spiritual love. But some people feel like that about homosexual acts...

Isn't this a natural result of the fact that most people /do/ just think of 'sex' when the issue of homosexual relationships comes up? (as has been evidenced and pointed out over and over again in the preceding 5 pages)

For me - I can't separate out the 'acts' from the relationship. My love for my partner is an entirity. Mutual, spiritual.

The other examples you gave (and I heard a sermon at my church many years ago which also lumped homosexuality together with bestiality and incest) - don't have the same potential for mutuality. One cannot have an intelligent conversation with an animal, no matter how 'hot' the sex. And, as all the literature on incest and abuse points out, that is about power and control; the adult using the child, rather than about sex.

I think also with this argument of 'revulsion' we need to be very careful not to be imposing cultural conditioning on the situation. A lot of revulsion can be predicted by the society and culture we're in. So, here in England, and probably in America too, the idea of eating horsemeat gives us instant revulsion. "Ew! Unnatural!". And yet to the French, it's entirely normal.

I don't quite see how the age of consent laws apply in this situation. Sorry. I may just be being incredibly dense this morning.

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


Posts: 1495 | From: Royal Oak, MI | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Russ: "I think the logical conclusion of your argument is that any form of perversion between any two people (of whatever legal relationship) is OK provided that the two of them view the act and the personal relationship between them as loving and uplifting and non-abusive."

No, Russ, because I'm giving a definition of what is a perversion or not.

Also, it doesn't only matter what the people involved think. It's what the relationship actually IS that matters. Is it abusive and degrading, is it sinning against God and God's love, does it increase the holiness of the participants and those around them? This is the best way I can see of telling what is a perversion or not. Ultimately it's not about what people feel about the relationship, it's what God feels about it. How do we find out what God thinks? Read my post above about fallible realism.

Also: "You may argue that there are some practices that you find difficulty in believing are consistent with a mutual and spiritual love. But some people feel like that about homosexual acts..."

This is where I differ from such people: theirs is a feeling, mine is an argument. As I've said before, I have 'ugh' feeling about heterosexual sex, so I know what these people are feeling. However it is just that: a feeling, a gut reaction, and not a consequence of a theological or spiritual position. If you wish to give the arguments why some people feel that way then we can have a discussion. If not, other peoples' gut feelings are not an argument or a response to an argument.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
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# 28

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russ notes that it is genetic suicide to be gay.

last week i attended the funeral of a 27 year old fireman who went into the twin towers on 9/11 and was carried out 40 days or so later. as he was unmarried and left no children, this was genetic suicide on his part. but i do not think that most of us would say that it was immoral or displeasing to god.

(btw, i didn't know this young man personally, but he was from my area of queens, and the fire dept. is encouraging the general public to attend firemen's funerals, as the dept is spread so very thin now)

celibate priests and nuns are commiting "genetic suicide" too, come down to it.

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


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
St. Sebastian

Staggering ever onward
# 312

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The French eat HORSE MEAT?? And we're wasting energy debating the morality of homsexuality when an entire nation is indulging in a clear abomination???!!

By the way, (and now I've forgotten who said it, maybe Russ?)I don't actually have a problem, per se, with the idea that homosexuality is not equivalent to heterosexuality. Clearly, as we generally aren't going to reproduce (without a willing lesbian or straight girlfriend), there is a level where heterosexuality has, if I may express it this clumsily, a higher potential calling. However, so what? I don't think it means that homesexual love is a lesser calling. Who knows what God might have in mind by creating gay people? The Orthodox (or at least something Orthodox I read recently) posits that all sex is a result of the Fall (not that it's not good and fun); it was not part of the original plan. I think the Church and society should encourage and support love and commitment wherever they find it. I'm probably rambling. My window is all shrunk up and won't get big and I can't see much of what I'm typing.

Staggering Ever Onward,

Jeff

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St. Seb

In Spite of Everything: Yes.


Posts: 962 | From: Burlington, North Carolina | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
splodge
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# 156

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Oh yes, the natural law argument. Sorry to raise it again, but I just can't get it out of my head.
But then other people keep spouting the line " well, God made me like this" (gay etc) as the basis of their theory of sexual ethics. Sorry you have to deal with the nature/creation argument a little bit more deeply if you raised it. So is homo sexuality justified by nature or creation. No, its a non starter because christian theology considers nature to have "fallen" out of sync and harmony with God's intention, so that man's soul in particular is no longer in harmony with the physical universe including his/her own body. Any deep philosophical reflection upon nature and creation would tend to the conclusion that given that physically we can function as heterosexuals our psychological orientation is out of sync with this. It is far better explanation to conclude that the state of homosexuality orientation (in humans and in other animals) is just one small aspect of the general fallenes and disorder into which creation is bound. But this is NOT the same as saying homosexual behaviour is immoral.
Cosidering biology and nature does not invalidate or downplay the existential experience of love, intimacy, tenderness in homosexual or any other relationships. Indeed as gay posters have told, this love, can be part of the redemptive process by which any and all human "falleness" is transformed into something very good and a way for people to grow spiritually.
This debate shows truth is a bit more complex than "conservatives" and "liberals" on this issue usually make out. Shallow thinking. The logic of 90 per cent of the points made in these debates is either "the bible says it so there!" or "whatever makes you feel happy and loving is good". Sorry but this ain't clear thinking. Not surprisingly the participants yet again flog the debate to an acrimonious standstill.

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Splodge

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Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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OK, now I'm really confused. Sploge, I can't see the connection between your post and the way the discussion has been conducted on this thread. No-one (AFAIR) has argued starting from the fact that being gay is not a choice (certainly I haven't). You say I brought up the natural/unnatural thing. Erm, no, I didn't. I've talked about my position on that before - I've even presented the only natural/unnatural argument against homosexuality that I think stands up for any length of time (and the one that theologians use nowadays - and the one on which Anglican doctrine on homosexuality is founded), although no-one picked up on it. And I've answered the charge of my position being "if two people love each other then that's OK".

I'm not sure what's going on here - it feels quite frustrating because I feel like you're not engaging with the debate as we're having it. I cannot see how your post a) fits in the with thread or b) says anything that we haven't already covered. Do you want to talk about how you've seen the debate covered in the past? If so, say so - at the moment it feels like people are only reading what they expect/want to read, and not what's actually being said.

If it's that you're not clear about the natural/unnatural argument that we had earlier, say that too - please don't phrase it as "you haven't dealt with this".

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Siegfried
Ship's ferret
# 29

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Is any new ground being covered here that hasn't been covered in the archived threads mentioned at the very beginning of this one? Or is this thread just running around in circles, chasing its own tail? I mean, the natural/unnatural argument alone has been covered at least twice in just this thread!!

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Siegfried
Life is just a bowl of cherries!

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the famous rachel
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# 1258

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quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
Is any new ground being covered here that hasn't been covered in the archived threads mentioned at the very beginning of this one? Or is this thread just running around in circles, chasing its own tail? I mean, the natural/unnatural argument alone has been covered at least twice in just this thread!!

oh, we're running round chasing our tails - most definitely.

I think there are some things we haven't covered in this thread though - but most of those must be in the archives somewhere - Gay marriage, Gay priests, Gay parents etc. Is anyone going to have a shot at reviving this thread, or shall we continue to circle?

OK - here's a starter for 10. Given Joan's concept - also expressed in her quote from the House of Bishop's statement, that "the greater the degree of personal intimacy, the greater should be the degree of personal commitment", what is a good attitude to Gay marriage. If I'm honest, my "primitive ugh" instincts cry out against this. However, I can (just about)argue myself to a place where I seeno Biblical prohibition against homosexuality, so within the House of Bishop's statement, allowing gay marriage would seem an obvious conclusion.

What does anyone else think?

All the best,

Rachel.

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A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


Posts: 912 | From: In the lab. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Just to clarify quickly - the House of Bish's concluded AGAINST homosexual unions. I quoted them because our views on relationships are the same - they used the natural law argument which I presented waaaaay back to say that.

Speaking personally, I sincerely wish that at some point I will get married.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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PS but there's a thread in the archives on this specifically ("gay marriage and blurred boundaries"), so we'd prob. get yelled at for discussing it

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
the famous rachel
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# 1258

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quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Just to clarify quickly - the House of Bish's concluded AGAINST homosexual unions. I quoted them because our views on relationships are the same - they used the natural law argument which I presented waaaaay back to say that.

Speaking personally, I sincerely wish that at some point I will get married.


I know that the House of Bishops is against homosexual unions. I just thought it was a jolly neat description.

Also, I think everything we've discussed here has been gone over in the archives as well, and we haven't been yelled at yet. I was trying to find a new tack for a thread I found interesting which has reduced itself to continual repition.


All the best,
Rachel.

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A shrivelled appendix to the body of Christ.


Posts: 912 | From: In the lab. | Registered: Aug 2001  |  IP: Logged
Nicolemr
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# 28

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ok, i think i have an issue that hasn't really been discussed yet.

just why the "primitive ugh" response? speaking just for myself, i couldn't care less what two consenting adults do in bed. in fact, straight as i am, i can find gay porn, both male and female, a turn on. and apparently many men find the thought of lesbian sex a big turn-on, hence the "obligatory les scene" in most porn flicks.

so why do some people get this "yuck" response?

i asked this before and didn't really get an answer, so i'll ask it again, and i'm serious in asking... why does anyone care about it? even if you think its immoral, theres not this sort of public outcry about other things considered immoral. theoretically divorce and remarriage could be considered as immoral... certain adultary usually is. but you don't see he sort of mad outpourings of vitriol heaped upon those things that you do on gays. so whats the fixation so many have with gays?

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


Posts: 11803 | From: New York City "The City Carries On" | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
blackbird
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# 1387

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just heard on the news that in a city a bit north of me, a high school just voted a lesbian couple as "Class Sweethearts" for their upcoming high school yearbook. the principal initially disqualified the couple because they were same sex, but there was such an outcry of protest by the students in the school that the principal rescinded her decision and resinstated them as official "Class Sweethearts." you gotta love those kids.
Posts: 1236 | From: usa | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
RooK

1 of 6
# 1852

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quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
so why do some people get this "yuck" response?

Just a theory, but I suspect that the "yuck" response is just a shared cultural stigma. A fad, if you will. Just a couple centuries ago, good, decent Christians would yank down their trousers and relieve themselves on the street. Compared to ducking the contents of chamberpots tossed from upper storeys, sodomy seems a little less distasteful.

This same theory rambles on to compare the horrors of movie violence to eagerly-attended public executions - but that's another rant.

Nobody ever claimed that society was an especially clever entity. I'd go one step further, to postulate the opposite.

...I don't need to quote what numerical type I am, as listed waaaay back on page one in order to join this thread - do I?


Posts: 15274 | From: Portland, Oregon, USA, Earth | Registered: Nov 2001  |  IP: Logged
Steve_R
Shipmate
# 61

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I found the following whilst looking for something completely different (if you must know I typed Fosters Lager into the search engine hoping for a picture of the Feng Shui ad)

Homosexual Agenda

I felt that this thread was the best to put it on.

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Love and Kisses, Steve_R


Posts: 990 | From: East Sussex | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Reepicheep
BANNED
# 60

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moving this up for someone who came into the cafe this evening.

Angel


Posts: 2199 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
RuthW

liberal "peace first" hankie squeezer
# 13

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nicole, I wish someone would answer your question, because I really wonder about this, too. I used to have the "oh, yuck" feeling about sex of any sort -- but then I, well, got older and it went away. But I do have the "oh, yuck" feeling if someone comes onto me and I am really not interested -- perhaps some straight people's gut reaction to the idea of homosexual sex is akin to that?
Posts: 24453 | From: La La Land | Registered: Apr 2001  |  IP: Logged
simon 2
Shipmate
# 1524

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For me personally (married bloke) the idea of another man just doesn't appeal. I find my wife attractive as a person and physically too. I don't think I am capable of finding out why the idea of sex with another bloke doesn't really appeal. If I answer straight off, I would say it is because thats how I am. If I went to see a pyscotherapist they would get their paradigms answer. If I went to see a gay councellor I would get their paradigms answer. Each method of probing these reasons seems to have an agenda and when you probe the human heart I think you get the answers you look for rather than the truth very often.

eg. if you ask somebody how they feel you probably wont get a good answer, but after tehy give you that answer what they feel may transform into that answer. If a councellor probes then they get a different (supposedly better) answer, which is more correct because it fits in with the current thinking on why these things happen.

Sorry its rambly

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sorry for my spelling and bad gramma


Posts: 495 | From: in a forest | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Elijah on Horeb
Apprentice
# 1614

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It's a couple of weeks since I looked at this thread, because, frankly, I got tired of the endless going around in circles. But out of curiosity I have looked again - and t hasn't improved! No offence intended - I realize that people are talking about and reacting to things that touch them very deeply, and therefore often painfully, so all that is being said should be treated with respect and taken seriously. But that doesn't alter the fact that after a while any discussion on this sort of topic ends up generating more heat than light, which is not really helpful to anybody. So, I am sorry if I have offended anyone. All I wanted to do was try to stand back a little from the whole vexed question in order to get a slightly more detached overview of the whole thing. Maybe that can never be done with any question involving sex/sexuality anyway - it,s too close, too much part of who we are.

But ]Inanna[/B]: What, may I ask, is wrong with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach? And why, after having accused me of being too preoccupied with physical acts do you then focus on whether or not "sodomise" means only "to have anal intercourse"? I thought the word referred to homosexual acts in general, but perhaps I'm wrong.

Anyway, you must surely acknowledge that, whether we like it or not, the Bible consistently warns against homosexual behaviour of any kind, and that this must surely mean that this is because homosexuality really has no place in God's ultimate purpose for his people. God knows that such practices are ultimately destructive, spiritually if not physically, and therefore he warns us against them. What was Paul really saying in Romans ch.1, if he was not naming homosexual/lesbian behaviour as a step well down the road humanity has taken away from God?

Sure,there are many people in the world who through no fault of their own find themselves with this preference. They deserve all the love and support we can give, because many of them will never be able to change, nor should we expect them to. There are many people who through no fault of their own are schizophrenic, or manic-depressive, or have Downs Syndrome or some other debiltating disorder. Does this mean that these things should be regarde as part of God's ultimate purpose?

I guess I've just proved my own point, that all this is too close to home for me to deal with it without getting wound up! But I stand by my views on this one. Let us in Christ love and accept one another whatever the differences, but let us at least be clear about what is or is not part of the New Life to which Christ has called us. I still say that the Church should be able to find a way to declare God's love and God's holiness at the same time!

Enough!!


Posts: 20 | From: Brisbane Queensland Australia | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged
Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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Elijah, I am surprised that you've re-opened this thread as - despite your very gracious tone - you haven't really engaged with the arguements explored in it. Maybe it would be worth taking passages like Romans 1 to Kerygmania so that exegetes could thrash out what it actually is saying - I think it is a fascinating passage, that can be taken more than one way.

(Oh, even though I'm sure you didn't mean it, when you equate homosexuality with a range of physical disabilities it does sound deeply patronising. I'm not sure that anyone likes to be patronised.)

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Keeping fit was an obsession with Fr Moity .... He did chin ups in the vestry, calisthenics in the pulpit, and had developed a series of Tai-Chi exercises to correspond with ritual movements of the Mass. The Antipope Robert Rankin


Posts: 8927 | From: In the pack | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Peronel

The typo slayer
# 569

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quote:
What, may I ask, is wrong with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach?

Because the implication is that someone's relationship, which can be one of the most precious and meaningful things in their life, is something sinful and dirty that they should be ashamed of.

Because that approach can force people to choose between their relationship and their faith. How many heterosexuals, if asked to choose between their husband/wife and God could honestly say they'd walk away from their marriage. Every individual who loses their faith through other people's judgement of their actions is a tragedy.

quote:
There are many people who through no fault of their own are schizophrenic, or manic-depressive, or have Downs Syndrome or some other debiltating disorder

Please don't tell me you're equating homosexuality with mental illness. There's a definition of mental illness that I read somewhere that runs along the lines of anything that impedes an individuals ability to function. A strong relationship, be it same sex or not, enhances life. Mental illness most definately does not.

As to whether these conditions are part of God's ultimate purpose, well, the question of why there is suffering when our God is a God of love is well out of the remit of this thread.

Emily

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Lord, I have sinned, and mine iniquity.
Deserves this hell; yet Lord deliver me.


Posts: 2367 | From: A self-inflicted exile | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Even though I think Elijah showed extremely poor taste in resurrecting this thread, I have to take issue with the objections to his argument. If someone is going to use the argument that something is okay simply because "this is how I am", his response is perfectly valid and legitimate. He is not comparing homosexuality to mental illness, he's taken the ABSURD argument of "well this is how I am so clearly it's sanctioned by God" to its logical conclusion.

I couldn't care less who anyone around here nails, so long as it's another consenting adult. However, if you're going to use piss-poor logic to back up your argument, then deal with it when people turn it back on you.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Peronel

The typo slayer
# 569

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quote:
He is not comparing homosexuality to mental illness, he's taken the ABSURD argument of "well this is how I am so clearly it's sanctioned by God" to its logical conclusion

I wouldn't say that's an absurd arguement. Its not one I happen to agree with, but I can see validity in it. If you grant the assumption that we're all created by God then you could argue from there that however we're created is how God wants us. The alternative is either that we're deliberately all created flawed, some are created more flawed than others and some are created so flawed that they can never reach God. Or that something got in the way and prevented us being made right. Again, it all boils down to the arguement that if God is loving then why is there suffering. Which is bigger than this thread.

It's certainly no more absurd than an alternative arguement 'anything I don't like/makes me uncomfortable/I don't understand/I don't agree with can'tbe sanctioned by God.'

However, I haven't proposed either arguement, and I haven't read anyone else do so either. I do argue, though, that whether something is sanctioned by God is very difficult for any of us to figure out. The only way to do it is through time, thought, prayer and study of the bible. Noone (unless they're directly invovled) has the right to judge or condemn the conclusion another's conscience has reached. On homosexuality or any other issue.

For what its worth, as someone with mental health problems, I do feel that they are sanctioned by God. I wouldn't be half the person (or half the surgeon) I am without having had those hurdles to overcome. So I guess I agree with the logical conclusion of an absurd arguement.

quote:
Sure,there are many people in the world who through no fault of their own find themselves with this preference. <middle bit cut> There are many people who through no fault of their own are schizophrenic, or manic-depressive, or have Downs Syndrome or some other debiltating disorder.

That sure sounds like a comparison to me. Of course, you're entitled to read it any way you like. I guess the only one who can really tell us whether or not it was intended as a comparison is Elijah on Horeb

quote:
However, if you're going to use piss-poor logic to back up your argument, then deal with it when people turn it back on you.

Erin, I couldn't agree more.

Emily

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Lord, I have sinned, and mine iniquity.
Deserves this hell; yet Lord deliver me.


Posts: 2367 | From: A self-inflicted exile | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Recidivist paedophiles are made that way (nature/nurture, doesn't matter). Heterosexuals are made that way. The fact that homosexuals are made that way says nothing about whether we're morally OK to have relationships - the arguments for and against are very different. All that the knowledge that we're made this way argues against is the uninformed view that one's sexuality is a choice.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Pyx_e

Quixotic Tilter
# 57

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Elijah asked “What, may I ask, is wrong with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach?”

One of the many things I find wrong with this unwholesome and trite little saying is that it is unbiblical. Which is ironic as it is only ever said by those who seem pretty keen on quoting the bible when it suits them. Of course one may infer some biblical depth to it but then you can most things.

Elijah also said “Anyway, you must surely acknowledge that, whether we like it or not, the Bible consistently warns against homosexual behavior of any kind”,

I surely do not acknowledge it. I have heard this many times, why have you not heard the contra arguments? As far as I am concerned the bible seem to be abundantly clear about fornication, rape and prostitution ( usury, stealing, inhospitality etc etc ) and stunningly vague about homosexuality. So I find the tone of Elijah’s post (un-intentionally ?) ironic; Giving so much emphasis to a non-biblical quote and placing a similar emphasis on parts of the bible I would strongly disagree with.

The whole post in its “not wishing to offend” tone has offended me not least because it seems to be just an attempt to have the last word, in such a way as to say “ well done but here’s the truth”. Which does not the the previous discussions any justice.

P

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It is better to be Kind than right.


Posts: 9778 | From: The Dark Tower | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
ChastMastr
Shipmate
# 716

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Actually, I believe in the principle of hating the sin but loving the sinner, though I don't like it when people misuse the phrase as an excuse to go right on hating the person they think is sinning, or more often patronise them. But really doing it is not easy; praying for their good when you want to grit their teeth, but remembering that, after all, Jesus died for them just as He did for you, etc. Political leaders I regard as destructive, etc., are people I must try to have genuine charity for even when their policies could harm me personally, for example.

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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
mezzaninedoor
Apprentice
# 2230

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quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
ok, i think i have an issue that hasn't really been discussed yet.

just why the "primitive ugh" response? speaking just for myself, i couldn't care less what two consenting adults do in bed. in fact, straight as i am, i can find gay porn, both male and female, a turn on. and apparently many men find the thought of lesbian sex a big turn-on, hence the "obligatory les scene" in most porn flicks.

so why do some people get this "yuck" response?

i asked this before and didn't really get an answer, so i'll ask it again, and i'm serious in asking... why does anyone care about it? even if you think its immoral, theres not this sort of public outcry about other things considered immoral. theoretically divorce and remarriage could be considered as immoral... certain adultary usually is. but you don't see he sort of mad outpourings of vitriol heaped upon those things that you do on gays. so whats the fixation so many have with gays?


just to clarify, i'm a newbie so excuse my newbie-ness. I'm trawling some of the threads on the message board to try and help my understanding of certain areas because I find most things in life very grey these days and though I became a christian when I was about 14-15, i felt i had more answers then than i do now (37).

i don't think ( well with me anyway ) it's so much a yukk factor as an I don't understand factor, that isn't just an issue with gay love, there are plenty of things that we don't understand as we are all different in character, feelings etc. etc.

however i have 2 young lads and though i have acceptance of my gay friends/work colleagues, i know deep in my heart i would prefer my lads to have hetty relationships and though i'm pretty sure i would be loving and accepting as a father if either or both were gay, i just know that i would prefer the whole hetty thing to work out for them

not sure if iv'e added to the debate,

i think i'm rambling....

apologies if iv'e upset anyone as i'm just running the race like everyone else

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'He Never Said 'Touch the Screen and Your'e Gonna be Healed''


Posts: 10 | From: not so great yarmouth | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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I discovered after doing some soul-searching on this one that I really have multiple voices in my head on the whole question. What my answer will be to any given question will depend on which voice it appeals (applies) to.

Thus, for instance, I have a voice that is strictly an aesthetic reaction (yukk, as mezzaninedoor expressed).

Then there is a voice that comes from my civic/political side, which says that the state has no business making distinctions and treating people different under the law.

Then there's the amateur psychologist that says it's just too EASY to be right. What I mean is, that learning to get along with a person of a different gender is an entirely different project than learning to get along with a person of the same gender. The heterosexual relationship is a challenge (and thus a growth opportunity) in a way that the homosexual relationship can never be.

And there's the part that respects the faith of the early church fathers (and mothers!), who say that sexual relations outside of heterosexual marriage are wrong. And this voice has great power with me (after all, I'm Orthodox).

And then there's the part of me that looks at the relationships I've seen between people of the same sex, and this voice says that the difference isn't all that great, in terms of human interaction. People are people, and we all struggle with the same set of questions and difficulties regardless of whom we're attracted to.

And some of the homosexuals I know or have known are family, and family is family no matter what. They are still part of my life, they remain part of my prayers (and I do NOT pray for them to become heterosexual!), and ultimately a part of me.

Another voice notes that many of the people I have met who claim to be homosexual have a history of sexual abuse (i.e. they were victims), and then there are others without that history, and that voice wonders if there isn't a difference between people who are born homosexual, and people who are driven to homosexuality because of sexual trauma. And other voices point out (quite rightly) that this is the sort of question you can't even ask in the current world setup.

So (and if you're still reading this far, and haven't written me off as a homophobe or anything else equally undesirable, bless you!), I don't really have "an" opinion on the question. My inner voices are too numerous and quite in conflict.

Thanks for listening.

Reader Alexis

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...


Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:

Then there's the amateur psychologist that says it's just too EASY to be right. What I mean is, that learning to get along with a person of a different gender is an entirely different project than learning to get along with a person of the same gender. The heterosexual relationship is a challenge (and thus a growth opportunity) in a way that the homosexual relationship can never be.


I'm sorry, I had to respond to this because it is just so patently wrong. Firstly, learning to share your life with ANYONE is a challenge! Imagine you, as a heterosexual, spent the rest of your life with a man rather than your wife, doing everything apart from having sex. Are you really saying this would not be a challenge??

Secondly, please explain why I (and this is a common gay woman experience) have always got on better with males than females, and felt more at home with their friendship?

Thirdly, I have TRIED to like men sexually. One tends to do this when everyone's telling you that unless you do then you're warped. When it doesn't work you invent all sorts of things to blame the failure on yourself - exactly like this, you think you're just not mature enough to face the challenge etc etc etc. This in my case went on for over ten years.

Fourthly, the general populace, especially teenagers, are not noted for actively seeking out challenging emotional situations. If homosexuality was the sort of default easy relationship, why on Earth isn't it the first one everyone tries, and hence a LOT more common?

Fifthly, have you ever read Bridget Jones' Diary? Bridget's mother has this exact view, and it was hearing the self-flagellating voice in my head coming from her mouth that finally enabled me to laugh at it and go on to face the real challenge and grow. I can't find the reference, but it's something along the lines of
B's Mother: oh dear, but it's just laziness: they can't be bothered to relate to the opposite sex.
Bridget: Mum, Tom's known he was gay since he was ten.

This isn't meant to bash your post - thankyou for it.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Sixthly (spot the academic ), it's just too EASY to be right when you've got society behind you, I mean those heterosexual relationships are so easy because you've got the approbation of society, you've got institutions and role-models to prop you up. The homosexual relationship is a challenge (and thus a growth opportunity) because there are no roles to play, no support from outside, nothing that can take the place of real love and sheer hard work to make the relationship work. Heterosexuals can just go with the flow and do as they're told by society, and never use the relationship to explore themselves, the other person and God.

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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Firstly, I must make it quite clear that I am
not Joan the Dwarf (in fact I'm neither called Joan, nor a dwarf) - I'm just using her computer. OK?

There are, I think, two important theological points to be made on the question of homosexuality. It is often assumed that the "conservative" camp (no pun intended) have 'orthodoxy' (whatever precisely one means by that 0-so-elastic term) on their side. BUT...

Firstly (again), if we believe that in the Incarnation God has assumed and deified humanity in its entirety, then he has done so to ALL of humanity, ALL its faculties ("what he has not assumed he has not healed" - S. Gregory, concomitantly what he HAS assumed he HAS healed). This presumably goes for the sexual faculty. Moreover, the Christian hope for universal salvation demands that the 'results' of the Incarnation are transmisible to all. This being so it must be the case that the sexuality of homosexual people is taken up in the Incarnation and redeemed. It would seem bizarre if there were a redeemed faculty incapable of expression (Kenneth Leech's book 'The Eye of the Storm' makes this point very well.)

Secondly, in saying God CANNOT call lesbian and gay people to loving relationships are we not limiting God? We all have vocations, who are we to say that the vocation to a loving gay relationship is not of divine origin? Karl Barth, hopeless reactionary that he was on this issue, nonetheless makes a pertinent point - "the essence of morality is precisely the same as the essence of sin" (CD III/2) - both limit the sovereign freedom of God.

Love to you all. xxx

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Alan Cresswell

Mad Scientist 先生
# 31

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Poster who's not Joan posting as Joan the Dwarf,

Welcome to the Ship of Fools, however, it is difficult to follow who's saying what in a debate when more than one person uses the same id (not to mention confusing when trying to refer to them - see the first line of this post!). It would have helped if you'd registered under your own id before posting, and since registration for the boards is free and quick I see no reason why you didn't do so.

Alan
Purgatory host

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Don't cling to a mistake just because you spent a lot of time making it.


Posts: 32413 | From: East Kilbride (Scotland) or 福島 | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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(Hey Alan, go easy, the poor boy's only here for one evening, and registration isn't THAT quick ).

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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."

Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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Well, actually, yes it is.

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.

Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
Joan the Outlaw-Dwarf

Ship's curiosity
# 1283

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quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Well, actually, yes it is.

OK, my bad - it took several days when I joined up...

PS, in re:

quote:
"When did ignorance become a point of view?" (Adams)

Not Joan asks: is that Gerry or Douglas?



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"There is a divine discontent which has always helped to better things."


Posts: 1123 | From: Floating in the blue | Registered: Sep 2001  |  IP: Logged
Sola Scriptura
Shipmate
# 2229

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One more this is a subject I feel inadequate to make a comment on all the same I will. Part of me is concerned that we pick and choose the parts of scripture we like and reject the rest. The idea that God is Love and is uddly and Ok seems fine with most of us. But we ignore or try to exuse the bits of scripture whih prohibit sex outside marriage, divorce, adultary and same sex. I have to be honest and say I am confused - I'm no bible scholar. Part of me wants to accept everything and everyone - but the fear of meeting God eye ball to eye ball and him saying "I never knew you is serious". I therefore play for safety and I'm never sure whether this is honest.

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Used to be Gunner.

Posts: 576 | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Erin
Meaner than Godzilla
# 2

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<tangent>

You joined when we were under moderated requests, that's why. I took that off some time ago.

And it's Scott. It's the name of the latest Dilbert book.

</tangent>

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Commandment number one: shut the hell up.


Posts: 17140 | From: 330 miles north of paradise | Registered: Mar 2001  |  IP: Logged
mousethief

Ship's Thieving Rodent
# 953

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Yes, I see your point, Joan. It's probably the case of "the other sexual preference's grass is always greener."

Keep in mind I was speaking about my own thoughts and feelings, not about objective reality. I'm not willing to make broad, sweeping claims about objective reality in this area, as I noted, because my own thoughts and feelings about it are all over the map.

Rdr Alexis

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This is the last sig I'll ever write for you...


Posts: 63536 | From: Washington | Registered: Jul 2001  |  IP: Logged
Atticus
Shipmate
# 2212

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My uncle is gay, he is a sixty-year old man who tried until his midtwenties to be straight in a strict fundamentalist background, i've heard it all: it's the way a father brings a child up, it's eating habits, it's how tight your underear is...
And it doesn't make sense. I've also heard the argument "God wouldn't make someone predisposed to sin, so He can't make homosexuals." Right, everyone else on earth is NOT predisposed to sin. C'mon. Now it seems to me that the only question is whether or not it is a homosexual Christian's responsibility to curb his or her desires, or rather activities based on desires.

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This time it's for real, I'm really gone until August. For real. Gone. Bye.

"My life would be a lot simpler if I were gay."

Posts: 321 | From: off the deep end | Registered: Jan 2002  |  IP: Logged
Freddy
Shipmate
# 365

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quote:
Originally posted by Atticus:
Right, everyone else on earth is NOT predisposed to sin. C'mon.

That's right. We're all predisposed to sin. Turning away from that predisposition is the very essence of the Christian religion.

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"Consequently nothing is of greater importance to a person than knowing what the truth is." Swedenborg


Posts: 12845 | From: Bryn Athyn | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged
HHH
Apprentice
# 472

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I thought that turning toward God, as did Jesus, was the essence of the Christian religion. i.e. The Faith is defined in terms of God not in terms of sin!

a propos this thread in general:

What a mercy that practice is more fun than theory!



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HHH


Posts: 38 | Registered: Jun 2001  |  IP: Logged



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