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Source: (consider it) Thread: Where did the demonisation of homosexuality come from?
lilBuddha
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Yes, it was a reasoned and thoughtful post. It highlights some things to me. One is that the bible is highly contextual and not simply read and declare which, IME, is what many anti-LGBT do.
Another is that more of it is temporal than oft accepted.
One passage that I've used to highlight the inconsistency between what the bible says and what contemporary Christians do, is the one about killing your disobedient children. In looking it up, I ran into this piece. which claims the injunction is more a plea for leniency than a cry for blood.
Not that I do not still take issue, but it does highlight the need to look at context and maybe, just maybe, consider how soft the stone in which it was written truly is.

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Mudfrog
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To my musings I would add, what would happen if we discovered that the reason for the sodomy prohibition was reasonable in the bronze age - as we might surely suspect it might be, along with the others - and found that the underlying principle was still sound and valid?

At the very most in that situation we would be wanting to say 'No' on that basis alone to anal intercourse but would still have nothing whatever to say about relationships or other genital expressions of same sex love and affection.


The other thing of course, just to balance the argument, is that we need to ask about the other prohibitions: are they only valid in that soft stone context too? Is there a case for lowering the restrictions on other forms of relationship and activity?

What about same sex filial relationships?

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Starlight
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I tend to use the categories of "religious/ceremonial", "medical" and "harm/help to others ('moral')" to analyse OT laws.

There was definite religious motivation for the levitical ban, because about the time Leviticus was being written the Babylonians had a religious ceremonial practice involving homosexual/transgender sex. This is generally thought by anthropologists to be the primary motivation for the levitical ban.

Medically we can observe that their society's lack of condoms, and lower access to showers, soap, toilet paper, and personal hygene products, would have presumably meant anal sex resulted in a significantly greater STD risk than the present day, and was significantly less clean and sanitary.

In terms of any other social harms, Jews of many periods were concerned about maximizing their population and reproduction rate. Apart from that, the last 30 years of conservatives getting paranoid about homosexuality, scientific groups researching it, and 100 or so court cases about it, have fairly conclusively shown there is not a single valid argument to be made against it.

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mousethief

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Maybe the prohibition about sodomy was just the squick factor of (to be blunt) shit. The OT laws had a great deal about cleanliness and (seen in retrospect) preventing the spread of infections. The Israelites were given pretty explicit instructions on how to shit outside of camp. Shit (and menstrual blood to take another example), were icky unto the Lord.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
Maybe the prohibition about sodomy was just the squick factor of (to be blunt) shit. The OT laws had a great deal about cleanliness and (seen in retrospect) preventing the spread of infections. The Israelites were given pretty explicit instructions on how to shit outside of camp. Shit (and menstrual blood to take another example), were icky unto the Lord.

That reminds me of another common mistake conservatives often make about anal sex: They assume shit is somehow involved. I have heard conservative politicians talking about how in their imaginations anal sex involves sticking the penis into shit and then rubbing it around in it. Which strikes me as being about as true as describing vaginal sex as sticking a penis into blood and rubbing it around in it.
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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
What about same sex filial relationships?

I know of a sort-of one. A's father married B's mother - both had been widowed when the children were little more than 18 months - 2 years old. They married when the boys were about 5, B being slightly the older; the boys then grew up with each other. When A turned 16, B seduced him. Over 30 years later, they are still together.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
That reminds me of another common mistake conservatives often make about anal sex: They assume shit is somehow involved. I have heard conservative politicians talking about how in their imaginations anal sex involves sticking the penis into shit and then rubbing it around in it. Which strikes me as being about as true as describing vaginal sex as sticking a penis into blood and rubbing it around in it.

Of course it's easy to give the conservatives a little slack on this because, having no experience of it, and knowing that's the end poop comes out of, they might well think there's always a little poop hanging around in the last 4" (or further if you're better hung than the average Greek) of the colon.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
That reminds me of another common mistake conservatives often make about anal sex: They assume shit is somehow involved. I have heard conservative politicians talking about how in their imaginations anal sex involves sticking the penis into shit and then rubbing it around in it. Which strikes me as being about as true as describing vaginal sex as sticking a penis into blood and rubbing it around in it.

Of course it's easy to give the conservatives a little slack on this because, having no experience of it, and knowing that's the end poop comes out of, they might well think there's always a little poop hanging around in the last 4" (or further if you're better hung than the average Greek) of the colon.
The level of slack I am willing to give them for their ignorance tends to lessen rapidly when conservative law makers use it (YouTube) as an excuse to deny equality to gay people.
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mousethief

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I'll give you that. What we imagine people get up to in the privacy of their own homes is no excuse to deny them rights granted to others.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Pomona
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Mudfrog - thank you for a thoughtful and reasoned post. My own stance (and given that I don't rely on Scripture as my sole authority and realise that my stance will differ from yours a lot) is that there is a focus on emasculation in the OT. Things between men that are abominable are called that because it makes a man into a woman. Now, it doesn't take a lot to see how misogynistic and transphobic this is. However, Isaiah 56 and Jesus' blessing of eunuchs would indicate to me that God's take on gender roles is more nuanced than what Leviticus/Deuteronomy would suggest. So while I respect your stance of 'God says it therefore we do it', surely some cross-referencing is appropriate? What if there are verses that are (or appear to be) deeply racist, for instance? Most evangelicals I know would go 'well God isn't racist, so let's cross-reference that'. I think that is perfectly reasonable - why is 'well God isn't a homophobe, so let's cross-reference that' not reasonable? And yes, the Levitical verses are homophobic taken with no context whatsoever.

I would also say that parts of the Bible can trump other parts. For example, in your example of alcohol, I would say that the commandment to have Communion would trump the commandment to be set-apart (especially since alcohol was explicitly used by the Jews religiously and as a symbol of God's blessing - I'm surprised you can go along with teetotal denominations given this). The same would go for same-gender sexual activity - one verse may disparage it, but that doesn't mean that verse can't get trumped by another.

Another question to ask is why same-gender sexual activity between women is barely mentioned in the Bible, if same-gender sexual activity is so forbidden? Why the focus on men? Why are gay/bi women so invisible? I would suggest that this speaks loudly to my first comment about emasculation being the issue, not sexuality.

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Palimpsest
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One of the reasons sodomy was not approved of by the Jews was that it was part of the degenerate Greek lifestyle of the invaders.

It's possible to come up with all sorts of reasons. Are the kosher meat laws driven by the theory about only eating the part of the animal that symbolizes the animal? Were pigs an ecological disaster in a deforested country or was it the fact that the neighbors loved pork?
If eating milk and meat together is so awful why was that the snack Abraham offered God when he dropped by for a visit? Did circumcision help prevent irritation in a desert or was it useful as a way to make sure that soldiers wouldn't desert the army?

It's easy to come up with some evidence, but it's also easy to invent just so stories.

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
One of the reasons sodomy was not approved of by the Jews was that it was part of the degenerate Greek lifestyle of the invaders.

Greeks? In the Levant in the 8th century BCE? I'm having a hard time with this.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
One of the reasons sodomy was not approved of by the Jews was that it was part of the degenerate Greek lifestyle of the invaders.

Greeks? In the Levant in the 8th century BCE? I'm having a hard time with this.
While I agree that chronologically it doesn't really work to blame the Greeks for the levitical prohibition itself, probably a lot of the Jewish anti-gay prejudices around NT times owed as much, if not more, to anti-Greek sentiment than to honest obedience to levitical law. eg. Wisdom of Solomon 13-15, paraphrased by Rom 1:18-32, claims sodomy as one of endless evils of the degenerate gentiles that result from their idol worship, whereas Jews who worship the right God would never engage in any sins like those awful degenerate Greeks.
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Dennis the Menace
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quote:
Originally posted by Gee D:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
What about same sex filial relationships?

I know of a sort-of one. A's father married B's mother - both had been widowed when the children were little more than 18 months - 2 years old. They married when the boys were about 5, B being slightly the older; the boys then grew up with each other. When A turned 16, B seduced him. Over 30 years later, they are still together.
They could at least admit they are 'brothers' if necessary.

We are a same sex couple and have been together for 34 years and, not sure why, but we often get taken as brothers. Depending on the circumstances our replies vary. From 'yes differents parents', which mostly goes over their head, to a rarley used 'when you have slept together for as long as we have you would grow to mirror each other too'. Mostly we just look at each other, laugh and say 'no'. Had a woman insist we were vrothers one day and we couldn't convince her otherwise, she even suggesting we were twins!!

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Arabella Purity Winterbottom

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At least that's better than being taken for my partner's mother! And she's 8 years older than I am. We don't look remotely alike, but are very frequently taken for sisters (she looks middle Eastern Jewish, I am very blonde and fair-skinned).

My observation is that many straight people just don't recognise closeness between two people of the same sex. They explain it away as "sisters," or "brothers."

The encouraging thing is that when corrected, they smile, on the whole, and apologise for their mistake.

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Gee D
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quote:
Originally posted by Dennis the Menace:

Mostly we just look at each other, laugh and say 'no'. Had a woman insist we were vrothers one day and we couldn't convince her otherwise, she even suggesting we were twins!!

People often grow to look like their dogs also, so I suppose you're a variation on that theme. No way that either Madame or I look like Dog though - he's a beagle, Madame is 5"10' and I'm 6'1'.

But congratulations to you both on your long relationship. That, and the one I referred to, are 2 of the huge number that put the lie to the old canards about the inevitably promiscuous "gay life=style".

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Pomona
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Rather baffled at the idea that the Greeks somehow invented sodomy and that it applied retroactively to the OT period. More than one ancient civilization had some kind of approval/acceptance of same-gender relationships.

The championing of the Greeks as some kind of utopian gay-friendly culture is a problem. It was not. It was no friend whatsoever to young boys or to gay/bi women, but only to socially powerful older men. Certainly by the time of the Romans, same-gender sexual encounters were purely sexual, romantic attraction between men were seen as effeminate and undesirable, especially for socially powerful men.

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

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leo
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Starlight:
That reminds me of another common mistake conservatives often make about anal sex: They assume shit is somehow involved. I have heard conservative politicians talking about how in their imaginations anal sex involves sticking the penis into shit and then rubbing it around in it. Which strikes me as being about as true as describing vaginal sex as sticking a penis into blood and rubbing it around in it.

Of course it's easy to give the conservatives a little slack on this because, having no experience of it, and knowing that's the end poop comes out of, they might well think there's always a little poop hanging around in the last 4" (or further if you're better hung than the average Greek) of the colon.
Don't conservative men ever wash their bottoms?

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I think it's fair to say that shit is a hazard in the rectum however much one washes (unless you go in for douches). I think most practitioners of anal sex tend to stop to clean up if they find more than a fleck or two.

Having said that genitalia are not exactly sterile, but there's a quantitative if not qualitative difference.

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mdijon nojidm uoɿıqɯ ɯqıɿou
ɯqıɿou uoɿıqɯ nojidm mdijon

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Palimpsest
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The Greeks didn't invent sodomy.but the Bible, especially Leviticus gets periodically reshaped around what's important at the time. The Talmud fits nicely in the period when dealing with the temptations of the Greek lifestyle ( Sodomy! Theater! Government Debate!) needed to be dealt with.
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Pomona
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
The Greeks didn't invent sodomy.but the Bible, especially Leviticus gets periodically reshaped around what's important at the time. The Talmud fits nicely in the period when dealing with the temptations of the Greek lifestyle ( Sodomy! Theater! Government Debate!) needed to be dealt with.

Sorry, can you please clarify this further? Leviticus was edited or otherwise changed at the time of the Greeks, or written in the first place at the time of the Greeks?

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

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Dennis the Menace
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quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
At least that's better than being taken for my partner's mother! And she's 8 years older than I am. We don't look remotely alike, but are very frequently taken for sisters (she looks middle Eastern Jewish, I am very blonde and fair-skinned).

A couple of years ago when my partner was in hospital for a day procedure I received a call from the attending nurse saying my 'father' was ready to be collected. Was tempted to say that they had performed a miracle as he had been dead for 25 years. When I arrived at the hospital same nurse told OH that his son was here and constantly refered to us as father and son. He obviously need to go to Spec Savers as we are the same age and look nothing like each other except we both have moustache and glasses. I am 3/8 Chinese and OH 5 generation Oz.

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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by Pomona:
quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
The Greeks didn't invent sodomy.but the Bible, especially Leviticus gets periodically reshaped around what's important at the time. The Talmud fits nicely in the period when dealing with the temptations of the Greek lifestyle ( Sodomy! Theater! Government Debate!) needed to be dealt with.

Sorry, can you please clarify this further? Leviticus was edited or otherwise changed at the time of the Greeks, or written in the first place at the time of the Greeks?
Oh things are never changed they're reinterpreted more correctly or ignored. This is an ongoing process, but if you're looking for changes around the time of Jesus
THe Life and Teachings of Hillel is instructive.

quote:

The Talmud is composed of two parts The first part is the Mishnah (Hebrew: משנה, c. 200 CE), the written compendium of Rabbinic Judaism's Oral Torah (Torah meaning "Instruction", "Teaching" in Hebrew). The second part is the Gemara (c. 500 CE), an elucidation of the Mishnah and related Tannaitic writings that often ventures onto other subjects and expounds broadly on the Hebrew Bible

This article talks about Grreks and Hebrfews. The codification of the Torah and the creation of the Greek translation happened during the period of Greek control and influence.
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Horseman Bree
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Does the demonisation of homosexuality actually make the demoniser (more) stupid?

Imagine : you are the pastor of a not-affirming independent church. You accept to do the funeral of a youngish lady, mother of two. Once the service has started, you notice that the crowd is a bit unlike your usual group, and, when some evidence surfaces that the lady was actually married to another lady, you stop the service and kick everyone out. The service is finished at a mortuary across the street.

Despite public protest, you do not return the cost paid for the funeral.

Does this do anything to improve the image of your church or of Christians as a group?

And the inmates of the Christian cell wonder why people aren't joining up any longer.

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It's Not That Simple

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stonespring
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In the case Horseman Bree, mentioned, the church knew that the deceased lady (may she rest in peace) was a lesbian and had a policy (growing among certain evangelical churches) of welcoming gays to participation in church while not changing church doctrine concerning homosexuality (and therefore avoiding any imagery in a church service that would imply church endorsement of gay marriage, or at least of gay sexual relationships). It's a Twilight-Zone like situation of doublethink likely to upset both conservatives and liberals equally - and if the liberals in the RCC get what they hope from Pope Francis (ie, gays in relationships and perhaps even gay civil marriages being welcome to be fully out while participating fully in church life, receiving communion if they do so with pastoral guidance and in the "right frame of mind," etc.), it will probably lead to the same thing...but the current situation in conservative churches that either bar gays from communion/funerals/jobs/etc when they are outed as getting married or break their own rules to make exceptions is just as bad and is being attacked just as severely by the LGBT activist community.
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Fr Weber
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Two things :

The church claims to have returned the fee for the funeral. I have no way of knowing whether that's true, of course.

The issue seems to be regarding an image of the deceased kissing her wife. It's not surprising that the church might object to showing that during the funeral, and that they might feel they had the right to do so.

The church made at least a couple of mistakes. Their first mistake was in allowing their building to be used as a rented hall. It's very difficult to retain any kind of veto power once you've made that arrangement. Their second was not to have viewed the slide show immediately. It's extremely shabby to stop a service as it's supposed to be beginning in order to inform the family that they need to make changes. At that point, you're committed, and the best thing to have done would have been to swallow it and allow the service to go forward--learning, hopefully, from the mistake and being more careful in the future.

Finally, it seems to me that rather than being concerned about how such-and-such a thing makes us look to secular people, we should be concerned about what is true. Those Christians who believe God is not concerned about homosexuality and those who believe he forbids it have, I hope, made their decisions alike on theological grounds and not socio-political ones. I can't see how it would inspire confidence to learn that your church has taken positions with an eye on opinion polls.

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Palimpsest
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The church may or may not care about "how they look" to the general public. In fact they may want to emphasize the divide between the elect and the fallen.

I do think there is a payback going on. As the younger generation has moved on to endorsement of same sex marriage, the churches just look embarrassing to younger people in the same way that theological statements opposing inter-racial marriage did a generation ago.

Of course, behaving like Cardinal Raymond Burke who views feminization as the cause of the Catholic Church problems is unlikely to impress.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
The issue seems to be regarding an image of the deceased kissing her wife. It's not surprising that the church might object to showing that during the funeral, and that they might feel they had the right to do so.

It seems incredibly foolish, though, if they knew they were performing the funeral service of a lesbian, that it didn't occur to the church before the funeral service that there might be signals of the affection between the deceased woman and her partner in the funeral service.

If wasn't going to be a visual signal, it would have been a verbal one in a eulogy. Funeral services are about a particular person, not generic exercises, and the bereaved family and friends are going to personalise them.

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Ad Orientem
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
If wasn't going to be a visual signal, it would have been a verbal one in a eulogy. Funeral services are about a particular person, not generic exercises, and the bereaved family and friends are going to personalise them.

Thank God for liturgy then, innit. Or at least for those who still do it in the traditional manner. The priest says the prayers and that's it. Eulogies and that sort can be done elsewhere.
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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Ad Orientem:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
If wasn't going to be a visual signal, it would have been a verbal one in a eulogy. Funeral services are about a particular person, not generic exercises, and the bereaved family and friends are going to personalise them.

Thank God for liturgy then, innit. Or at least for those who still do it in the traditional manner. The priest says the prayers and that's it. Eulogies and that sort can be done elsewhere.
Well clearly this church wasn't performing the service in that manner, or there wouldn't have been a slideshow.

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
Two things :

The church claims to have returned the fee for the funeral. I have no way of knowing whether that's true, of course.

The issue seems to be regarding an image of the deceased kissing her wife. It's not surprising that the church might object to showing that during the funeral, and that they might feel they had the right to do so.

The church made at least a couple of mistakes. Their first mistake was in allowing their building to be used as a rented hall. It's very difficult to retain any kind of veto power once you've made that arrangement. Their second was not to have viewed the slide show immediately. It's extremely shabby to stop a service as it's supposed to be beginning in order to inform the family that they need to make changes. At that point, you're committed, and the best thing to have done would have been to swallow it and allow the service to go forward--learning, hopefully, from the mistake and being more careful in the future.

Finally, it seems to me that rather than being concerned about how such-and-such a thing makes us look to secular people, we should be concerned about what is true. Those Christians who believe God is not concerned about homosexuality and those who believe he forbids it have, I hope, made their decisions alike on theological grounds and not socio-political ones.

Actually, I made my decision on the basis that there's obviously nothing wrong with being gay so I can't for the life of me imagine why God would have a problem with it. Those who have claimed to speak for him over the centuries, yes.

Not sure which that is.

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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stonespring
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Re: the kerfuffle over the slideshow at a lady's funeral in Colorado (a rather rapidly changing state demographically and politically, with a bit of a pendulum-like thing going on in elections, by the way)...

The photo was not only of the lady and her wife-to-be kissing, it was of her proposal to her, unless the early reporting was wrong.

The RCC has long and especially recently been in the "business" of giving Catholic funerals to people that for all kinds of reasons Catholic doctrine has said should not receive one unless you work on the assumption that they privately repented of and confessed whatever their publicly-known mortal sin was before death. Even in those cases, there has been the idea that the funerals of such people, especially if they are politicians or celebrities, should be private and low-key, so as not to appear to give the Church's endorsement to their actions. Take Ted Kennedy's funeral as an example and the debates over how "public" it should be.

This was not a Catholic funeral (the more Protestant view is that funerals are for the benefit of the living, not the dead, and certainly not to pray for the dead), so the issue of whom or whom not should be "given" a funeral after death is less important. It is all about whether the church's teaching and its understanding among the faithful appears to be compromised by the service.

However, the words "pastoral" and "caritable" are often used in Catholic circles to describe why rules are bended to allow funerals, weddings, situations where there is some doubt as to people's sincerity in following Church teaching. I suspect that this Protestant church, even if it was being rented out, was trying to be like this, and found itself walking a thin line and also was rather awful in not going over the slideshow long beforehand. If you don't bother to go over the slide show before hand, don't discover the slide in questions until people are already seated for the funeral, you go ahead and do the funeral and don't move it to a different location. For me, that's a pretty clear What Would Jesus Do example.

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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
]Actually, I made my decision on the basis that there's obviously nothing wrong with being gay so I can't for the life of me imagine why God would have a problem with it. Those who have claimed to speak for him over the centuries, yes.

Not sure which that is.

I can't for the life of me imagine why God has a problem with lots of things, but that's beside the point. God requires obedience, so I do my best.

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--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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Horseman Bree
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Ah, but: Obedience to God or Obedience to The Church?

In our rather jaded age, there is seen to be a difference between the two.

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It's Not That Simple

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L'organist
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Well of course there's a difference between the two.

AFAIK the only rules that God has given to man (if you are Jewish or Christian, at least) are the Ten Commandments: any other 'rules' are of our own invention.

Granted various people - prophets, popes, apostles - have claimed that rules they've pronounced were given to them by God but we only have their word for it - as indeed we only have the word of Moses for the origins of the Ten Commandments ...

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

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Horseman Bree
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This seems to be appropriate to the OP

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It's Not That Simple

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Karl: Liberal Backslider
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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:
]Actually, I made my decision on the basis that there's obviously nothing wrong with being gay so I can't for the life of me imagine why God would have a problem with it. Those who have claimed to speak for him over the centuries, yes.

Not sure which that is.

I can't for the life of me imagine why God has a problem with lots of things, but that's beside the point. God requires obedience, so I do my best.
Really? What other than this particular deceased equine can you think of where God allegedly has a blanket ban but there's no conceivable reason why?

For me, it's most certainly not "beside the point". I have very little time for demanding blind obedience, even from God. If he's got a reason, since I'm a rational being, I think I should be granted the dignity of knowing what it is.

[ 19. January 2015, 11:29: Message edited by: Karl: Liberal Backslider ]

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Might as well ask the bloody cat.

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Horseman Bree
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quote:
Originally posted by L'organist:
Well of course there's a difference between the two.

AFAIK the only rules that God has given to man (if you are Jewish or Christian, at least) are the Ten Commandments: any other 'rules' are of our own invention.

Granted various people - prophets, popes, apostles - have claimed that rules they've pronounced were given to them by God but we only have their word for it - as indeed we only have the word of Moses for the origins of the Ten Commandments ...

I am mildly surprised that the words of God, or at least His Son, here in flesh in the World, aren't to be taken seriously.

quote:
37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

40 On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets.

Seems kind of direct to me.

And relatively easy to follow. No nitpicking about the details of rules or the whims of the leadership.

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It's Not That Simple

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Palimpsest
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quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
To my musings I would add, what would happen if we discovered that the reason for the sodomy prohibition was reasonable in the bronze age - as we might surely suspect it might be, along with the others - and found that the underlying principle was still sound and valid?

At the very most in that situation we would be wanting to say 'No' on that basis alone to anal intercourse but would still have nothing whatever to say about relationships or other genital expressions of same sex love and affection.


The other thing of course, just to balance the argument, is that we need to ask about the other prohibitions: are they only valid in that soft stone context too? Is there a case for lowering the restrictions on other forms of relationship and activity?

What about same sex filial relationships?

Well, what about that important Bronze age principal that you should kill or enslave all other Bronze age people who don't share your religious belief? What if that's still found to be sound and valid? Let the wars commence.

What ever that underlying hidden still valid reason that homosexuality is bad, you'd have to explain how it didn't ruin all those other cultures that didn't have the prohibition. Many of them did a grand job of subjugating Jews. You might decide that the underlying truth is that Judaic Law and Homosexuality are incompatible and one of them has to go in any culture.

Most Bronze age "scientific" reasons haven't aged well.
You don't have to eat with your right hand and wipe your ass with your left hand since the invention of toilet paper (or leaves), indoor plumbing and forks. Women can go out in any part of their menstrual cycle.
Then their are the hidden no doubt still valid reasons are discovered why cheeseburgers, bacon sandwiches and shrimp cocktails are bad.

This is a self indulgent fantasy (my belief in my scripture is found to have sound underlying reason, Now those people who found it antiquated nonsense will be sorry.) It should be possible to state those reasons if they actually existed. Note that failure to be able to do so in the Same Sex Marriage trials recently once you eliminate "because the priests say so" as a valid reason.

Early cultures practices weren't necessarily about health concerns for the protection of every individual in the culture. As Jared Diamond pointed out in his recent book about ecological collapse, a number of cultures had institutions to check population growth. War, human sacrifice, massive polygamy and prolonged celibacy all can help prevent overpopulation in a crowded place with limited resources. So the "it's all for health" argument may not be all that the laws are for. Maintaining social stability ( the rich stay powerful) and full employment for the priestly caste (Someone has to make sure the animal is good enough for sacrifice) may be more important to those writing the laws.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Fr Weber:
I can't for the life of me imagine why God has a problem with lots of things, but that's beside the point. God requires obedience, so I do my best.

If God required blind obedience, he could have saved a lot of trouble by not creating anything more complex than a puppy.

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Starlight
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quote:
Originally posted by Palimpsest:
quote:
Originally posted by Mudfrog:
To my musings I would add, what would happen if we discovered that the reason for the sodomy prohibition was reasonable in the bronze age - as we might surely suspect it might be, along with the others - and found that the underlying principle was still sound and valid?

What ever that underlying hidden still valid reason that homosexuality is bad, you'd have to explain how it didn't ruin all those other cultures that didn't have the prohibition.
At face value it may sound reasonable and thoughtful to say "what if there's something bad about homosexuality that nobody's thought of?"

That's always a worthwhile line of thinking when considering an activity that has yet to be tried. However, we can observe the results of homosexuality in our culture, and in other cultures that have accepted homosexuality, and see a lack of negative results. We can be sure there's no giant negative effect of homosexuality that we haven't thought of, because we can see that there isn't one by observing reality. Reality is a great testing ground for ideas.

[ 20. January 2015, 01:47: Message edited by: Starlight ]

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Penny S
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I don't think massive polygamy is a control on population growth, except as an effect of reducing diversity and therefore resistance to disease. You need to control the numbers of mothers, not fathers. See the numbers of men with a Y chromosome possibly derived from Genghis Khan.

Discussion of this inheritance.

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Horseman Bree
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Starlight:
quote:
Reality is a great testing ground for ideas.

Try that line on the hierarchy of your church, and record the response for our amusement.

Reality is something to be explained away by dogma.

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It's Not That Simple

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Horseman Bree
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Not that this has much to do with the OP, But I found it amusing coming so soon after my last post:

"Catholics need not breed like rabbits" from The Guardian:
quote:
One of Pope Francis’s strongest messages during his Philippines trip seemed to be that today’s families are under threat from efforts to redefine what “family” is, but I wonder whether the truth isn’t that the Catholic church is under threat from an avalanche of common sense that is now unstoppable.


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fluff
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Do rabbits breed in the wrong position for the Catholic Church then?

Or is it the wearing of floppy ears in bed that they object to?

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mousethief

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quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Starlight:
quote:
Reality is a great testing ground for ideas.

Try that line on the hierarchy of your church, and record the response for our amusement.

Reality is something to be explained away by dogma.

Reality is not attainable to human beings. It can only be filtered through our worldviews. It's all in Kant, all in Kant, what do they teach them in these schools?

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
quote:
Originally posted by Horseman Bree:
Starlight:
quote:
Reality is a great testing ground for ideas.

Try that line on the hierarchy of your church, and record the response for our amusement.

Reality is something to be explained away by dogma.

Reality is not attainable to human beings. It can only be filtered through our worldviews. It's all in Kant, all in Kant, what do they teach them in these schools?
Plato, presumably, if I'm getting the reference correct.
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mousethief

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But Plato didn't say that. Kant did. It's a paraphrase, I tell you, it's a paraphrase.

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“Religion doesn't fuck up people, people fuck up religion.”—lilBuddha

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Arethosemyfeet
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quote:
Originally posted by mousethief:
But Plato didn't say that. Kant did. It's a paraphrase, I tell you, it's a paraphrase.

I meant that they were teaching Plato, rather than Kant, and hence the lack of knowledge.
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Fr Weber
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quote:
Originally posted by Karl: Liberal Backslider:


For me, it's most certainly not "beside the point". I have very little time for demanding blind obedience, even from God. If he's got a reason, since I'm a rational being, I think I should be granted the dignity of knowing what it is.

I believe the line forms behind Mr. Job. I hope you're prepared to wait a while.

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"The Eucharist is not a play, and you're not Jesus."

--Sr Theresa Koernke, IHM

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