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Source: (consider it) Thread: Dead Horses: A new Christian line on gay marriage
Tukai
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I saw this report today on one of the Australian rugby players at Rugby World Cup. He has clearly thought deeply about subjects other than rugby and beer.

In particular,
"I don't see what the big deal is with the whole gay marriage debate in Australia," Pocock told the New Zealand Herald last week.

"Being brought up in a Christian home and still identifying as Christian, I get pretty annoyed with the Christian lobbies around the world who say gay marriage destroys families and all that kind of rubbish.

"They claim to follow someone who always stood up for the oppressed and marginalised.

"I guess it is a fear of the unknown - if you talk to someone who doesn't like gay people you can almost guarantee that they don't know too many.

"These are the prejudices that you have to challenge and break down. Emma [his partner] and I decided not to get legally married until our gay friends could do the same."

What do shipmates think of this line?

(Those who only want to discuss his prowess at rugby compared to his New Zealand rival Richie McCaw can post on the rugby thread on the Circus.)

[ 08. April 2017, 01:19: Message edited by: Louise ]

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George Spigot

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Good for him. And I hope it encourages more people in the media to speak up. However I think your thread title is a little unfair. I know many Christians who support gay rights so to call this a “new Christian line” suggests that the majority of Christians are against them.

Having said that I'm in the UK so I'm blessed by living in a nation more sensible than most when it comes to this issue.

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Daron
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It's an appealing argument rooted, I suspect, as much in his personal desire to be liked and thought well of as in his personal sense of social justice and equality.

It isn't rooted in a theology of marriage though, so it doesn't actually say anything meaningful about what marriage is and how marriage is understood from a biblical perpective.

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Ender's Shadow
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And it's certainly not new.

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Daron:
It's an appealing argument rooted, I suspect, as much in his personal desire to be liked and thought well of as in his personal sense of social justice and equality.

That's quite a judgement to make, Daron. I've never heard of the guy, but I'm inclined to accept his rationale at face value. Are they not, as expressed, considerations which are appropriate for any Christian? Even if you disagree, it is a perfectly legitimate position to hold that the underlying, essential element in the "theology of marriage" as you put it, is a theology of faithfulness, rather than one of gender.

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Matt Black

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There's nothing new about it IMO.

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fletcher christian

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I've long thought the church needs to realign it's thinking back to those medieval concepts of chastity and fidelity. I'm pretty tired of hearing christians lambasting gay and lesbian couples who are faithful and contented and then when they hear about a marriage break up of a heterosexual couple due to infidelity they fall oddly silent - I'm afraid it points to only one thing....

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Baptist Trainfan
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It's not new, but it's coming from an interesting place (i.e. not the clergy!) which may make people sit up and listen.

The idea of him not getting married till gay marriage became legal is interesting, though.

[ 14. October 2011, 08:58: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Daron
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It would be highly unusual of someone famous to say something that they knew would decrease their popularity. It's a popular argument couched in popular terms founded on popular categories. It's PR.

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Matt Black

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quote:
Originally posted by Baptist Trainfan:
It's not new, but it's coming from an interesting place (i.e. not the clergy!) which may make people sit up and listen.

The idea of him not getting married till gay marriage became legal is interesting, though.

Wasn't that Brangelina's line? Again, hardly original.

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"Protestant and Reformed, according to the Tradition of the ancient Catholic Church" - + John Cosin (1594-1672)

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Baptist Trainfan
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quote:
It's a popular argument couched in popular terms founded on popular categories. It's PR.
Are we sure about that? I don't know how conservative or progressive is the culture he's coming from. Can anyone shed any light on that?

[ 14. October 2011, 09:38: Message edited by: Baptist Trainfan ]

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Jolly Jape
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quote:
Originally posted by Daron:
It would be highly unusual of someone famous to say something that they knew would decrease their popularity. It's a popular argument couched in popular terms founded on popular categories. It's PR.

Well, you think what you think. I don't see that an appeal to the example of our Lord is the normal gambit of a celebrity attention whore, nor do I see such an appeal as one couched in popular terms. Plus, if you care to read the link or google the man, I think that he could reasonably have been said to have paid his dues.

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Justinian
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quote:
Originally posted by Daron:
It's an appealing argument rooted, I suspect, as much in his personal desire to be liked and thought well of as in his personal sense of social justice and equality.

It isn't rooted in a theology of marriage though, so it doesn't actually say anything meaningful about what marriage is and how marriage is understood from a biblical perpective.

Marriage from a biblical perspective? The biblical perspective that says a rape victim has to marry her rapist? The biblical perspective with polygamy and concubines? The biblical perspective saying that a widow must marry her deceased husband's brother if there's no heir? The biblical perspective that allows men to force marriages on prisoners of war?

Too damn right it isn't based on a biblical perspective. We've moved on since then. So, whether or not you want to admit it, have you.

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Barnabas62
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Whether the story represents anything particularly new or not, I think this thread belongs in Dead Horses.

Reasoning as follows. The subject of the thread appears not to be the theology of marriage, which would be proper to Purg, but Christian understanding of gay marriage, which fits into the "any aspects of homosexuality" guideline for Dead Horse topics.

See guidelines.

So I'm sending it to the appropriate forum.

Barnabas62
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George Spigot

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quote:
Originally posted by Justinian:
quote:
Originally posted by Daron:
It's an appealing argument rooted, I suspect, as much in his personal desire to be liked and thought well of as in his personal sense of social justice and equality.

It isn't rooted in a theology of marriage though, so it doesn't actually say anything meaningful about what marriage is and how marriage is understood from a biblical perpective.

Marriage from a biblical perspective? The biblical perspective that says a rape victim has to marry her rapist? The biblical perspective with polygamy and concubines? The biblical perspective saying that a widow must marry her deceased husband's brother if there's no heir? The biblical perspective that allows men to force marriages on prisoners of war?

Too damn right it isn't based on a biblical perspective. We've moved on since then. So, whether or not you want to admit it, have you.

[Overused]

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LutheranChik
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I think it's time that the Church comes to terms with a "theology of marriage" that is often rooted in archaic ideas like property rights/management (women being the property), obsession with female chastity (spoiled/stolen property), and the like.

And even when Paul talks about spouses loving/respecting one another...I don't think he shares the modern assumption that friendship, companionship and an equal life partnership are bases of marriage. I think in his mind marriage was a kind of temporary concession to the human urge to procreate and the wider culture that was best avoided but, if it couldn't be, could be managed, for lack of a better term, in a way that was spiritually and practically non-harmful/beneficial for both parties until "the coming of the Lord" when presumably we'd all be over that sort of thing.

I don't know about the rest of you, but that's not exactly my idea of a working "theology of marriage" for our times.

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Alogon
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quote:
Originally posted by Daron:
It would be highly unusual of someone famous to say something that they knew would decrease their popularity. It's a popular argument couched in popular terms founded on popular categories. It's PR.

So the way for even a sports star to be popular with fans is to say gay-friendly things. It's not difficult to remember times when it would be just the opposite. I see no reason to doubt that you are correct, but I also see no reason to doubt that he means what he says. Not only are such statements as his popular, but so obviously popular that you can doubt their sincerity? How refreshing.

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leo
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What he said is good inasmuch as it is about time the laity speak up for their beliefs instead of the public thinking that all Christians are homophobes because of statements out out by bishops and popes.

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bib
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If gay marriage is seen as legal, what do we now say about a father marrying his daughter, mother marrying her son and sisters marrying brothers? Surely equality will demand that these are also acceptable. I'm not advocating any of these, but pointing out how demands can move into ridiculous and unacceptable situations. At some point we need to say enough is enough!

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Boogie

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
If gay marriage is seen as legal, what do we now say about a father marrying his daughter, mother marrying her son and sisters marrying brothers? Surely equality will demand that these are also acceptable. I'm not advocating any of these, but pointing out how demands can move into ridiculous and unacceptable situations. At some point we need to say enough is enough!

I'm not sure what you are saying here bib?

I think that maybe you have looked at two subjects you personally find icky and just compared them at a simple, instinctual level.

Are you speaking about marriage or sex?

How can homosexual marriage be compared to incest?

What about sex between brothers?

Why are you comparing incest with homosexuality? They are completely different things imo. Incest itself is a fascinating subject and would merit a thread of its own - but it is by no means a simple or straightforward subject.

<edited for dodgy spelling>

[ 16. October 2011, 08:35: Message edited by: Boogie ]

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bib
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What I am trying to put forward is that changing the law to allow relationships that have previously been proscribed is to open the floodgates to anyone who wants to get on the bandwagon and push for equal rights to legalise relationships that society has always regarded as unacceptable. Gay relationships may not cause the same problems, but relationships that could be incestuous or involve minors are certainly unacceptable INMO. I fear that to slacken the laws will allow people to demand whatever they want under the guise of human rights.

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"My Lord, my Life, my Way, my End, accept the praise I bring"

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Louise
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Laws on who people can/can't marry have been changed many times in history - categories where there has been significant fluctuation over the past two thousand years have included godparents, cousins, relations of deceased marriage partners, relations of divorced marriage partners, race, religion and age, just to name some of the changes.

The canonical ages for Christian marriage were 12 for girls and 14 for boys for hundreds of years - 'traditional' Christian marriage used to have no problem with what we'd now regard as child abuse. It was rejecting long standing religious traditions about marriage which allowed that option for legal sex by adults with children to be closed.

[Can one of our RC canon law buffs help me with that - is it still canon law, 12 for a girl, 14 for a boy for a valid marriage or has this been addressed somehow? ]

With such a history of variation in marriage customs, the slippery slope argument just doesn't work, or the minute church reformers started accepting that there wasn't really an impediment to you marrying one of your child's godparents for example, it should all have gone to Hell in a handcart.

And as for those evil English permissives in 1907 allowing people to marry their deceased wife's sister, well obviously that was immediately followed by an outbreak of masters of foxhounds marrying their favourite hunter, the royal family deciding to emulate the Ptolemies and have brother-sister marriages, and children being forced up the aisle... Except none of that happened and on the age front things went in the other direction: clamours to raise the age of consent from the National Union of Societies for Equal Citizenship, led to the age limit being raised to 16 for both sexes in the Ages of Marriage Act in 1929.

So historically that argument has a really dodgy track record. If you wanted to seriously make it, you would need to also argue against inter-racial marriages and say that liberalisation on them caused a dangerous floodgates situation too, because it was done on human/civil rights grounds and allowed people to "push for equal rights to legalise relationships that society has always regarded as unacceptable." like gay marriage.

But in fact marriage legislation can tighten in the wake of specific reforms as well as liberalise - for example look at how many US states have revised their marriage ages upwards during the period that 'anti-miscegenation' laws were coming off the statute books.

The slippery slope/floodgates argument needs us to believe both that history is a one-way street which always leads towards widening definitions of marriage and that changing one variable in marriage law automatically leads to wholesale loosening of marriage law.

Neither is true.

cheers,
L

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Jamat
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I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really. I wonder why God didn't create another 'man' for Adam out of his rib?

If anyone is serious about God, they have to put their agenda aside. As long as 'gay' is your bottom line you won't be hearing his voice simply because you are refusing to listen to what he has already said.

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Louise
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Because God didn't create anybody or anything out of ribs, except possibly laying the basis for some tasty cookery in the case of animal ribs (or cannibal feasts in humans!).

quote:
The mammalian X and Y chromosomes evolved from an ordinary pair of autosomes; the X retained and the Y gradually lost most ancestral genes. Through studies of surviving X-Y gene pairs, we have begun to reconstruct the evolutionary history of our sex chromosomes, which apparently had their origins about 240-320 million years ago, shortly after divergence of the mammalian and avian lineages

(quick research summary from this page)

Genesis is neither a biology textbook nor a basis for marriage legislation, unless you're really into concubines, polygamy, incest, and murdering your in-laws after conning them into getting circumcised, (not to mention dressing up as a prostitute after you get widowed and having sex with your father law and nicking his stuff, and him threatening to burn you alive while you're pregnant), but that would be very kinky. (I do hope Jamat isn't seriously listening to this stuff, I'm sure a lot of it's illegal these days [Eek!] )

I prefer nice married gay people personally.
cheers
L.

[ 16. October 2011, 21:15: Message edited by: Louise ]

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Dafyd
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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really.

I'm afraid that verses 27 and 28 got left out of my Bible. In my Bible Chapter 2 ends at verse 25. Perhaps it's a liberal plot?

The only bit of the chapter that is actually divine legislation is the bit about not eating from the tree of the garden. The only other bit that claims anything like normative status is the bit about the man leaving his father and mother.

How many men these days don't leave their father and mother's house until they get married, and then go to live with their in-laws?

Unless the man leaves his father and mother only on marriage, he's not obeying that 'divine' legislation. It is I suppose ambiguous as to whether the woman can leave her father and mother before marriage or whether she may not leave her father and mother at all. But unless you're affirming that bit of the 'teaching' as well, you are picking and choosing to suit yourself and not to suit God.

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John Holding

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
What I am trying to put forward is that changing the law to allow relationships that have previously been proscribed is to open the floodgates to anyone who wants to get on the bandwagon and push for equal rights to legalise relationships that society has always regarded as unacceptable. Gay relationships may not cause the same problems, but relationships that could be incestuous or involve minors are certainly unacceptable INMO. I fear that to slacken the laws will allow people to demand whatever they want under the guise of human rights.

Except that recognizing same-sex marriage has not led to these problems in the countries in which it exists. I grant you that 10 years isn't a very long time, but the opponents of same-sex marriage warned at the time of imminent disaster, rather as some on this thread have done, and it simply hasn't happened. They were, and are wrong. Just because it happened in a country not yours, doesn't mean it didn't happen.

In general, those who continue to articulate arguments that are clearly contrary to the demonstrated facts need to look carefully at what they are saying and why they are saying it.

John

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
What I am trying to put forward is that changing the law to allow relationships that have previously been proscribed is to open the floodgates to anyone who wants to get on the bandwagon and push for equal rights to legalise relationships that society has always regarded as unacceptable.

Only if you don't understand the rationale for the policy change, or have one. If the change is 'just because' then yes the floodgates are open. But if you think the argument is purely a 'just because' then you're rather missing the point.

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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really. I wonder why God didn't create another 'man' for Adam out of his rib?

Because God didn't flunk biology. Nor did he confuse the relational function of marriage with the somewhat procreational function of sex, as you have just done rather spectacularly.

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Johnny S
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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really. I wonder why God didn't create another 'man' for Adam out of his rib?

Because God didn't flunk biology. Nor did he confuse the relational function of marriage with the somewhat procreational function of sex, as you have just done rather spectacularly.
I don't think that is fair on Jamat.

Assuming Jamat meant to quote Genesis 2: 24, then you'd then have to say that Jesus flunked biology when he quoted this verse (authoritatively) in Matthew 19 when discussing divorce.

(I'm not sold on Bib's 'slippery slope' idea though.)

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Johnny S
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quote:
Originally posted by John Holding:
Except that recognizing same-sex marriage has not led to these problems in the countries in which it exists. I grant you that 10 years isn't a very long time

I agree generally with your point against the slippery slope but I also think that you are massively understating here - 10 years is not even one generation. I'd be wary about commenting on the impact of same-sex marriage on society even after 50 years.
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orfeo

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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really. I wonder why God didn't create another 'man' for Adam out of his rib?

Because God didn't flunk biology. Nor did he confuse the relational function of marriage with the somewhat procreational function of sex, as you have just done rather spectacularly.
I don't think that is fair on Jamat.

Assuming Jamat meant to quote Genesis 2: 24, then you'd then have to say that Jesus flunked biology when he quoted this verse (authoritatively) in Matthew 19 when discussing divorce.

(I'm not sold on Bib's 'slippery slope' idea though.)

My point is that I don't see how THAT verse demonstrates anything about biology at all. When Jamat asks why God didn't create another male, the most obvious answer to me is that a pair of males don't have a womb between them for baby-making and God was rather keen on the idea that the human race would last beyond the first generation. It's not because two males couldn't get married.

If anything in Matthew 19 might be relevant it's not the quote of Gen 2:24, it's the quote of Gen 1:27 with it. But Gen 2:24 is about union, not about sex. If you try to read it as about physical sex it makes no sense, especially not in the light of Jesus' remarks. How can the physical act of sex be regarded as a permanent, unbreakable bond? It might be EVIDENCE of a permanent bond, it might help CREATE a permanent bond, but to regard sex itself as the actual 'one flesh' that can't be broken by a divorce is an interpretation that makes precious little sense to me.

[ 17. October 2011, 07:31: Message edited by: orfeo ]

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IngoB

Sentire cum Ecclesia
# 8700

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The problem with the slippery slope argument is that "gay marriage" is hardly the beginning of the slide. This is at best about trying to stop mid-slide.

But to explore the future downward direction a bit: can anyone who is for "gay marriage" explain to me why polygamy / polyandry between consenting, independent adults that love each other is wrong?

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They’ll have me whipp’d for speaking true; thou’lt have me whipp’d for lying; and sometimes I am whipp’d for holding my peace. - The Fool in King Lear

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Eliab
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# 9153

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
But to explore the future downward direction a bit: can anyone who is for "gay marriage" explain to me why polygamy / polyandry between consenting, independent adults that love each other is wrong?

It isn't - or at least if it is it is 'wrong' only in the sense that gay marraiage is wrong in that it is a personal moral choice which violates a number of ethical codes, including the one associated with traditional Christianity. It isn't 'wrong' in the sense of being an egregious injustice that requires the intervention of state power to prevent. Therefore it should, as a matter of principle, be legal.

The argument against is that permitting polygamous marriage does not in practice only permit it to "consenting, independent adults that love each other" but to those engaging in sexist and abusive marriages as well. We have good reason to think that legitimising polygyny will lead to increased injustice and diminished liberty for people who need more protection not less.


The whole slippery slope idea is nonsense (as Louise points out). We aren't moving from a strict ethic to a more liberal version of the same at all. We are moving from one definition of principle, based on an ethic of authority and conformity, to another definition of principle based on an ethic of equality and consent. We are, on the slope anology, moving across the landscape, not down it, and taking hold of an entirely different rope to hold us in place as we go. You might rationally be sceptical that the new and untried rope is as securely fastened as the one we are letting go, but you can't sensibly doubt that it is a rope at all.

But in any case, the new rope is the only one that is going to save us from falling. Society has taken enough of its weight off the old one, that in practical terms it isn't supporting us any more. If you want to keep us from tumbling down the slope, the rope that is actually in our grasp, the one that can offer real principled reasons which we might actually take hold of to prevent our further descent, is the one anchored by equality and consent.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It might be EVIDENCE of a permanent bond, it might help CREATE a permanent bond, but to regard sex itself as the actual 'one flesh' that can't be broken by a divorce is an interpretation that makes precious little sense to me.

No complaints from me here.

Marriage is much more than sex between a man and a woman ... it is not less than that though (or why else would Jesus quote that particular verse?)

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
It might be EVIDENCE of a permanent bond, it might help CREATE a permanent bond, but to regard sex itself as the actual 'one flesh' that can't be broken by a divorce is an interpretation that makes precious little sense to me.

No complaints from me here.

Marriage is much more than sex between a man and a woman ... it is not less than that though (or why else would Jesus quote that particular verse?)

He quotes it because it's the pertinent verse for saying that the relationship is lifelong! But to see the verse as making gender important begs the question somewhat. There were only a man and a woman available at that moment in time (putting aside questions of Genesis' literalness).

It says 'for this reason'. For WHAT reason? If it's fundamentally for relationship, and sex is the expression of the relationship not the whole cause and reason for it, then is the fact that the sex is heterosexual sex really as important as you're claiming?

I can't see why that should be so. I don't see why a homosexual man can't leave his father and mother, and join with another homosexual man, for exactly the same 'reason'.

Elsewhere on the Ship I've recently mentioned the phrase 'a narrative is not normative'. Just because Adam and Eve are a heterosexual couple, you've got some work to do before you can show that the nature of their relationship depended upon their heterosexuality. Heterosexuality is terribly common, and you lot do a wonderful job at the whole going forth and multiply bit, but the leap from being a biological norm to a MORAL norm is where it gets iffy.

(I'm suddenly reminded of the fact that people think the gender of a rape victim is terribly important in the Sodom story. Never mind the destruction God rains down on men that rape women elsewhere in the Bible, he CLEARLY destroyed Sodom because it was a gay thing.)

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Crœsos
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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
The problem with the slippery slope argument is that "gay marriage" is hardly the beginning of the slide. This is at best about trying to stop mid-slide.

Indeed. It could be argued that "traditional marriage" has already been destroyed by heterosexuals when they established women as the legal equals of men. A marriage defined by strictly-enforced gender roles has much less to offer a same-sex couple than does marriage defined as a loving partnership of equals.

I guess if you regard this as a bad thing, the question become how far back do you turn the clock? Overturn Loving v. Virginia (if you're an American)? Re-instate coverture laws? Legally forbid women from working high-end professions? How "traditional" do you want "traditional" marriage to be?

quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
But to explore the future downward direction a bit: can anyone who is for "gay marriage" explain to me why polygamy / polyandry between consenting, independent adults that love each other is wrong?

Leaving aside questions of wrong or right, from a legal perspective it would be a mess. The whole body of family law (at least in the West) is built around the presumption of each person have at most one spouse at a time. As such, same-sex marriage can be slotted in to existing marriage laws fairly easily, in much the same way the legalization of inter-racial marriage in the U.S. did not require extensive re-writes of its laws. Or the way same-sex couples have been slotted into existing marriage laws in Canada and several other countries. On the other hand a system that involves mulitple spouses, and spouses of spouses, and their additional spouses as well, renders all kinds of questions about property inheritance, child custody, power of attorney, etc. unclear in the existing framework.

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Humani nil a me alienum puto

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Dafyd
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# 5549

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quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
But to explore the future downward direction a bit: can anyone who is for "gay marriage" explain to me why polygamy / polyandry between consenting, independent adults that love each other is wrong?

Let's make a distinction, ultimately Aristotelian, between two kinds of 'wrong' - there's what's absolutely unlawful and what's unwise. Things that are unwise are contrary to some virtue or other: they develop some vice or other. However, the degree to which they develop virtue or vice may be variable from person to person: they are the kinds of things about which Aristotle said they are true only for the most part and in most cases. Gambling might be an example; excessive consumption of food, and so on. Although individuals are usually subject to illusion in their own cases on these matters, it's not the case that a virtuous person might never do them. Things that are absolutely unlawful run directly counter to the possibility of humans living together to seek the common good: murder of non-criminals is perhaps the central case.

The response to someone living their life in a way that's unwise may be to advise against if asked, and possibly to cease to associate if living with such a person requires approving their unwisdom; to someone doing what is absolutely wrong only condemnation is appropriate.

Polygamy and polyandry are confessedly not absolutely wrong according to all conservative Christian ethics, since the patriarchs were multiply married. Patristic ethics argued that there was a special dispensation at the time, due to the need to people the world, which has since been revoked.
However, they are contrary to the practice of certain virtues. It indulges a fantasy of unlimited sexual possibility, it means that at least one party to the marriage is still on the sexual market, in the forms of pure polygamy and polyandry it means that the relationship has an inexcapable imbalance in it, and so on. But some people might be able to live like that with minimal spiritual or moral harm to themselves. There is a further benefit to society of considering them wrong: single partner marriage takes people off the sexual market, freeing up their efforts for other activities, while multi-partner marriage doesn't. That's probably not sufficient to outweigh the freedom of individuals to pursue their lives according to their judgement about what is their good, but it might be sufficient to justify the state in not recognising it formally.

quote:
Originally posted by Croesos:Leaving aside questions of wrong or right, from a legal perspective it would be a mess. The whole body of family law (at least in the West) is built around the presumption of each person have at most one spouse at a time.
I really don't think that the convenience of the state is a sufficient or even good reason for restricting people's freedom to live their lives as they choose.

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we remain, thanks to original sin, much in love with talking about, rather than with, one another. Rowan Williams

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Robert Armin

All licens'd fool
# 182

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orfeo:
quote:
Heterosexuality is terribly common, and you lot do a wonderful job at the whole going forth and multiply bit, but the leap from being a biological norm to a MORAL norm is where it gets iffy.
I recently saw a t-shirt that said: "Hetrosexuality isn't normal - it's COMMON".

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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

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
He quotes it because it's the pertinent verse for saying that the relationship is lifelong! But to see the verse as making gender important begs the question somewhat. There were only a man and a woman available at that moment in time (putting aside questions of Genesis' literalness).

Actually your interpretation depends entirely on it being a completely historical account. The only way you can say 'it just happened to be a man and a woman' is if the writer is only seeking to record exactly what happened at the time.

However, even YECies tend to view the creation accounts in Genesis as etiological myths. Verse 24 is the conclusion (one might even say climax [Biased] ) of the search for a suitable partner for the man. In Genesis 1 the writer (or editor) has already used enough Hebrew words to be able to speak of man as humanity as well as to distinguish between male and female. If the writer had wanted to say that the man needed a partner who was 'of his flesh' he/she could easily have done that generically. Surely the whole point of Genesis 2 is that the man needed the woman as a partner and that relationship is seen in marriage?

Jesus certainly saw it as an etiological myth for marriage. Regardless of whether Genesis 2 is meant to be a historical account your interpretation is highly idiosyncratic.

[ 17. October 2011, 21:39: Message edited by: Johnny S ]

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Knopwood
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quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really.

I'm afraid that verses 27 and 28 got left out of my Bible. In my Bible Chapter 2 ends at verse 25. Perhaps it's a liberal plot?

quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
Marriage is much more than sex between a man and a woman ... it is not less than that though (or why else would Jesus quote that particular verse?)

But then, "Not all can accept this teaching ... Let anyone accept this who can."

I wonder what other bits have been swapped in/out of the "Conservative Bible" ...

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Alogon
Cabin boy emeritus
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quote:
Originally posted by bib:
changing the law to allow relationships that have previously been proscribed is to open the floodgates to anyone who wants to get on the bandwagon and push for equal rights to legalise relationships that society has always regarded as unacceptable.

But society has not always regarded polygamy as unacceptable. One is hard put to find it discouraged even in the Bible. It must have been fairly common and well-accepted, at least in some places, if Saint Paul had to advise that a bishop should be "the husband of [no more than] one wife".

So why is it unacceptable in our society? There are good reasons why.

quote:
Gay relationships may not cause the same problems, but relationships that could be incestuous or involve minors are certainly unacceptable INMO. I fear that to slacken the laws will allow people to demand whatever they want under the guise of human rights.
Is this what has happened? Since about 1975, gay relationships have become more accepted and adult-underage relationships even less so, to the point where pedophilia has become our society's defining obsession and taboo. Your fear seems to be quite devoid of support from the evidence.

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Patriarchy (n.): A belief in original sin unaccompanied by a belief in God.

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by LQ:
quote:
Originally posted by Dafyd:
quote:
Originally posted by Jamat:
I believe there is some divine 'legislation' about marriage.

Genesis Ch 2:27,8 kind of says it all really.

I'm afraid that verses 27 and 28 got left out of my Bible. In my Bible Chapter 2 ends at verse 25. Perhaps it's a liberal plot?

quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
Marriage is much more than sex between a man and a woman ... it is not less than that though (or why else would Jesus quote that particular verse?)

But then, "Not all can accept this teaching ... Let anyone accept this who can."

I wonder what other bits have been swapped in/out of the "Conservative Bible" ...

I don't understand this.

I presumed Dafyd was joking - Jamat obviously made a typo (either referring to Genesis 1: 27-28 (about procreation) or Genesis 2: 24 (about sex). Maybe Jamat can clarify?

As for the bit you quote from Matthew 19 I don't see what relevance it has to the way Jesus understood Genesis 2.

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
He quotes it because it's the pertinent verse for saying that the relationship is lifelong! But to see the verse as making gender important begs the question somewhat. There were only a man and a woman available at that moment in time (putting aside questions of Genesis' literalness).

Actually your interpretation depends entirely on it being a completely historical account. The only way you can say 'it just happened to be a man and a woman' is if the writer is only seeking to record exactly what happened at the time.

However, even YECies tend to view the creation accounts in Genesis as etiological myths. Verse 24 is the conclusion (one might even say climax [Biased] ) of the search for a suitable partner for the man. In Genesis 1 the writer (or editor) has already used enough Hebrew words to be able to speak of man as humanity as well as to distinguish between male and female. If the writer had wanted to say that the man needed a partner who was 'of his flesh' he/she could easily have done that generically. Surely the whole point of Genesis 2 is that the man needed the woman as a partner and that relationship is seen in marriage?

Jesus certainly saw it as an etiological myth for marriage. Regardless of whether Genesis 2 is meant to be a historical account your interpretation is highly idiosyncratic.

I thought this might be where we were going...

So man needs a woman as a partner. The implication being no other partner will do.

Well, I've already pointed out the obvious reason why only a woman will do. She's got a womb.

But are you arguing anything apart from that? Are you going to tell me that I can't, in relationship terms, love a man and share my life with a man in exactly the same way as you can love a woman and share you life with a woman? Is there something your relationship has, other than the ready-made ability to procreate, that my relationship would fundamentally lack?

Do I not feel things in exactly the same way you do? Can I not have all the exact same highs and lows of relationships - finding someone who makes me weak at the knees, having my heart broken, the thrill of discovering more about a person and deepening the bond, the fights, the betrayal, the joy - that you can have?

I really want to know: is that all you've got as the difference? Because if so I have two responses.

1. You've reduced 'one flesh' to 'penis goes into vagina' again. And seeing as how it's a permanent thing, I guess it's 'penis goes into vagina and never comes out'. As previously discussed, this is silly.

2. I look forward to the introduction of fertility tests before marriage. Because as soon as you started allowing infertile heterosexuals to marry (post-menopausal women being the blindingly obvious example that was around long before modern science provided extra diagnostic tools) you kind of lost the ability to justify the exclusion of gays and lesbians on purely on the grounds of either having not enough wombs or not enough penises.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:


But are you arguing anything apart from that? Are you going to tell me that I can't, in relationship terms, love a man and share my life with a man in exactly the same way as you can love a woman and share you life with a woman? Is there something your relationship has, other than the ready-made ability to procreate, that my relationship would fundamentally lack?

Do I not feel things in exactly the same way you do? Can I not have all the exact same highs and lows of relationships - finding someone who makes me weak at the knees, having my heart broken, the thrill of discovering more about a person and deepening the bond, the fights, the betrayal, the joy - that you can have?

You are moving the goal posts here.

I haven't said anything about these questions at all.

You jumped on Jamat for claiming that Genesis (1 or 2!) gives a biblical mandate for heterosexual marriage. I pointed out that he was actually being consistent with Jesus here. That is all.

Since Jesus took Genesis 2 as an etiological myth about heterosexual marriage it seems to me that the burden of proof rests on you to show that 'become one flesh' is not a specifically male - female thing rather than on me to demonstrate that Genesis 2 cannot equally apply to homosexual marriage.

Was it just a coincidence that the writer describes a serpent in chapter 3? (i.e. are we to conclude that horses should crawl on their bellies now too?) It may be possible for a homosexual couple to become one flesh in the way Genesis 2 describes, but you cannot deduce that from Genesis 2. Genesis 2 is a story explaining why men marry women.

My overall point was about the text. Do you think that it is possible for some Christians to hold convictions about morality just because they believe God has revealed objective morality in the bible?

Or are you convinced that such a thing is impossible, and that it can only be because of latent homophobia?

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orfeo

Ship's Musical Counterpoint
# 13878

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I'm not moving the goalposts. I'm saying that you can't discuss becoming one flesh without discussing 'For this reason'. WHAT reason?

Is my capacity to love dictated by the shape of my body?

As for your questions at the end, I'm not one of those people who think that people can't sincerely and honestly believe stuff. People can sincerely and honestly believe all sorts of wrong-headed things though. The sincerity of the belief tells me nothing about how they actually got there. People get to a belief in an enormous amount of ways, from careful reasoning to not-so-careful reasoning to circular arguments to because an authority figure in their life said so.

Nor is there any correlation between the sincerity of belief and its accuracy. To take a trivial example, how many people sincerely and honestly believe that Shakespeare wrote the immortal line "Alas, poor Yorick, I knew him well!"?

I'm usually far less interested in what people believe than in why they believe it. Don't give me the conclusion, give me the premises it's based on.

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orfeo

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# 13878

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Addendum: The show 'QI' is entirely built on the basis of lots of people sincerely believing things that are demonstrably false. Sirens go off every time this happens.

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Technology has brought us all closer together. Turns out a lot of the people you meet as a result are complete idiots.

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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
I'm not moving the goalposts.

Yes you are. You are asking me to argue from human biology why I think homosexual marriage is wrong. I'm not attempting to do that. I have no biological clue as to why God might say that. I am saying that the only reason I believe it to be wrong comes down to my interpretation of the bible.

I also believe that Muslims are wrong. This has nothing to do with them being intellectually inferior or in some way deficient as human beings. My reasons are theological. As you say, someone can be sincerely wrong.

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

I'm saying that you can't discuss becoming one flesh without discussing 'For this reason'. WHAT reason?

[Confused]

For the reason he states in Matthew 19 - 'at the beginning the Creator made them male and female'.

As I said in my last post it may be possible to argue that homosexual union could also be equivalent to the 'one flesh' Jesus talks about here. I'm just saying that it is impossible to do so from this text. Jamat was being consistent. As you rightly pointed earlier Genesis 2: 24 does not mention procreation. I can see how using other passages of scripture it might be possible to mount a case for defending homosexual marriage as a divinely mandate covenant. Personally I'd say that Genesis 2: 24 needs be interpreted in the light of Genesis 1: 27-28 ... but at this point we really need Jamat to return and put us out of our misery. (Indeed I'm not sure we can make much progress without him making clear what he was alluding to.)

If you read a tale by Kipling explaining how the leopard got its spots, it may prompt you to wonder if cheetah's got their spots the same way (and you may even be right) but the story doesn't tell you.

quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:

I'm usually far less interested in what people believe than in why they believe it. Don't give me the conclusion, give me the premises it's based on.

I have done, on several occasions. You want me to accept your premises and then argue my case.
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Johnny S
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# 12581

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quote:
Originally posted by orfeo:
Addendum: The show 'QI' is entirely built on the basis of lots of people sincerely believing things that are demonstrably false. Sirens go off every time this happens.

QI is a favourite show of mine, although you meant to say "... things that Stephen Fry believes are false."

I seem to remember a classic show on Christmas (which did make me laugh a lot) but was full of stuff on Mithras which any decent academic would tell you came straight from the daily mail.

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Eliab
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quote:
Originally posted by Johnny S:
You jumped on Jamat for claiming that Genesis (1 or 2!) gives a biblical mandate for heterosexual marriage. I pointed out that he was actually being consistent with Jesus here. That is all.

Since Jesus took Genesis 2 as an etiological myth about heterosexual marriage it seems to me that the burden of proof rests on you to show that 'become one flesh' is not a specifically male - female thing

I'll have a go. Genesis 2:23.

Look at the way Adam's heart seems to cry out in delight when he sees for the first time the person who was made for him, when God brings them together. That's marriage as it ought to be. That recognition, which is more than love and certainly more than lust, that God has made the two of us to be one, is what Christian marriage aspires too. Anyone who has felt like that has already experience something hallowed, "instituted of God in the time of man's innocence", on which marriage can be founded.

The question then, is whether a man's heart ever has cried out with Adam's "This at last!" on recognising his perfect companion in the person of another man? Or if a woman has ever felt that when realising how completely she could love another woman? Because if they have, it seems to me that the burden is on you to show that this feeling is unworthy, or mistaken. If orfeo (for example) can say in good faith that, yes, he recognises, with the same grace that Adam recognised, the person made for him, then he's inside the Genesis 2 model. You can't take him out of that model by arguing that his choice is unsuitable. The whole point of the story is that Adam didn't have to be told which of God's creatures was the right one for him, he saw for himself, and knew, and rejoiced. If gay people have that same exhilarating experience, then this is their story, too. Gay men are Adam's sons no less than straight ones.

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"Perhaps there is poetic beauty in the abstract ideas of justice or fairness, but I doubt if many lawyers are moved by it"

Richard Dawkins

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Justinian
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# 5357

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quote:
Originally posted by Eliab:
Look at the way Adam's heart seems to cry out in delight when he sees for the first time the person who was made for him, when God brings them together. That's marriage as it ought to be. That recognition, which is more than love and certainly more than lust, that God has made the two of us to be one, is what Christian marriage aspires too. Anyone who has felt like that has already experience something hallowed, "instituted of God in the time of man's innocence", on which marriage can be founded.

The question then, is whether a man's heart ever has cried out with Adam's "This at last!" on recognising his perfect companion in the person of another man? Or if a woman has ever felt that when realising how completely she could love another woman? Because if they have, it seems to me that the burden is on you to show that this feeling is unworthy, or mistaken. If orfeo (for example) can say in good faith that, yes, he recognises, with the same grace that Adam recognised, the person made for him, then he's inside the Genesis 2 model. You can't take him out of that model by arguing that his choice is unsuitable. The whole point of the story is that Adam didn't have to be told which of God's creatures was the right one for him, he saw for himself, and knew, and rejoiced. If gay people have that same exhilarating experience, then this is their story, too. Gay men are Adam's sons no less than straight ones.

Not only that. But Adam's heart cried out because Eve was made for him. Even for your standard to be reached it needs to be demonstrated that men other than Adam have had their hearts cry out in that way. And then when gay people are in love it is qualitatively different.

quote:
Originally posted by IngoB:
The problem with the slippery slope argument is that "gay marriage" is hardly the beginning of the slide. This is at best about trying to stop mid-slide.

But to explore the future downward direction a bit: can anyone who is for "gay marriage" explain to me why polygamy / polyandry between consenting, independent adults that love each other is wrong?

Where you see a slippery slope, I do too. But that's because we aren't sliding - we are mountaineering with pick and crampons. Jesus didn't even preach against slavery, it was so ubiquitous. We have almost ended it. Jesus caused the dead to rise. We've had to redefine death from heart stopping to brainstem death. And as for the lame walking, that's commonplace. Jesus preached that "The poor shall always be with you." And we are at a point where we can ask why. Violence has massively decreased (and if you want to talk about genocide, read your OT - then your Ceasar).

This isn't to say we've made it. There's still a lot to do - and Usury is a serious problem. That we can ask why doesn't mean that we've answered the problem that people are poor. Or that there's enough power and will to actually fix things. And then there's global warming and other such issues. But compared to the times Jesus was preaching in when this would have been unimaginable we live in a paradise.

I too see the danger of the slide. But the danger I see is people like you trying to drag us back down the mountain to about 1st Century Judea. Taking us from marriage based on mutual consent back to a biblical definition of marriage based on property rights, in which if a woman was raped the woman would marry the rapist.

As for polygamy, no I can't explain it being wrong if it's between consenting adults. Authorising it would, however, be an enabler to certain forms of abuse.

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My real name consists of just four letters, but in billions of combinations.

Eudaimonaic Laughter - my blog.

Posts: 3926 | From: The Sea Coast of Bohemia | Registered: Dec 2003  |  IP: Logged



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