Thread: Homosexuality and Christianity Board: Dead Horses / Ship of Fools.


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Posted by Lizzabee (# 1719) on :
 
This quote comes from the sex before marriage thread, but in replying, it seemed appropriate to move this discussion over to
a new thread or risk bringing things entirely off topic...


quote:
Originally posted by Elijah on Horeb:

We have seen therefore arrogance, bigotry and lack of love at both ends ofthe spectrum, and many of us are caught in the middle, wanting to accept homosexuals as Christ would have accepted them ...But we are still very aware that the whole tenor of both OT and NT teaching ... we must also bear in mind that neither do self-righteous judgmentalism and bigotry have any place in God's scheme.

I have a Christian friend who came out of the closet over the last few years. Those Christians around him have struggled with this issue.

Most churches I have seen seem to lean either towards the outright condemnation of the act, which then chases homosexuals out the door, or to outright acceptance of the lifestyle, which seems to go against Bible teaching.

The only way I have come to terms with this thus far is that I love my gay friend first, and in that his sexual preference is irrelevant. I can support him in his struggles and when others treat him unlovingly.

BUT, where does he fit into Christ's church? Either he hides who he is and lives a closet life while in church or he just does not go to church. Should homosexuality and Christianity be that mutually exclusive?
What hope can I offer my friend that Christ loves him when Christians are so afraid of his even truly knowing him?

[ 24. October 2003, 01:18: Message edited by: Erin ]
 
Posted by Fiddleback (# 395) on :
 
This again?! Perhaps we should just have an entire board dedicated to the subject.
 
Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
 
As Fiddleback so charming said, we have had this discussion many times in the past. But as we are continually attracting new members, there will almost certainly be a desire to talk about this subject.

I used to take a very hard-line approach and say that homosexual acts were sinful, and that homosexual feelings were 'confused'. But after having listened in to a number of these debates I am firmly undecided!

What I know now is that Jesus died for all, not just the people that we like.

bb
 


Posted by Bing (# 1316) on :
 
I had a friend who 'came out' as a lesbian. She knew of my faith (and as she had been raised a Catholic and was worried about her eternal state) asked me what God would think (as if I'd know that) I said that I reckoned that on the scale of horrors that have been, and are, perpetrated in this world, how she got her orgasms hardly made the seismic calibrator wobble.


 


Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
good one, bing...and then there's always the troublesome thought of how many of the heterosexuals get theirs...not usually dragged out into the gory light of day (thank God...except in Bill Clinton's case or on the sex before marriage thread.)

how about condemning the real atrocities like marital rape or pedophilia, not, by the way, a homosexual problem as is commonly assumed, as any daughter who has been molested by a heterosexual relative will attest to.

like anything else, there's no easy way to categorize...you have to take each person individually, and hope they extend the same courtesy to you.

i think the issue is mostly a smokescreen...it's the finer details of interpersonal relationships that i imagine God is more concerned with...how much love did i offer? how much compassion did i extend?
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
BUT, where does he fit into Christ's church? Either he hides who he is and lives a closet life while in church or he just does not go to church.

This is the bit I never understand. I am heterosexual, but I don't consider it "Who I am". I don't feel any inclination to "come out" and tell everyone I'm heterosexual The thing is be the whole person that you are and don't fixate on that one part of you which is your sexuality.

I do believe homosexual activity is sinful, but I see a hundred other things that I do everyday as sinful too it's no more or less sinful than anything else and no less forgivable by Gods grace.

There is simply no point in shouting about homosexuality being sinful, as if we scare homosexuals away from the church then essentially it is US who have consigned them to hell.

In essence we should pardon the crime, as God does, we should forgive as Christ forgave, but surely the point is Christ forgave peoples sins? Not that he told them they hadn't actually sinned at all in the first place?
 


Posted by babybear (# 34) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:
The thing is be the whole person that you are and don't fixate on that one part of you which is your sexuality.

That is fine when things are going great. But when things are less than great then it can become the thing that defines you. The same is true for disabilities, skin colour etc.

Saying "don't fixate on one part of your life" just does not help! If that is the area that is causing grief then it needs to be addresssed. People need to find a way of living with themselves, otherwise it can cause massive problems for themselves and others.

bb

P.S. Matt, are you prepared to talk about anything other than sex and sexuality?
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Actually, yeah, I am. You will find I've posted on boards about music, and my own self named thread in Hell is all about lizards. So there

I'll be addressing the predestination thread at length at some point (You have been warned)
 


Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Matt the Mad Medic:
I don't feel any inclination to "come out" and tell everyone

Maybe you're married(or will be one day) - strikes me as a pretty blatant way of telling people what one is. (Although, of course, not all married people are straight: it's a good cover!)

I have no desire to tell people what I am either (and, for what it's worth, I'm not sure I know!) but I do know that, whatever I am, and whatever sin it involves, God will be forgiving: good job, too. There are plenty of sinful married folk out there.
 


Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
Oh, hell! I must stop this double post lark - I just keep thinking of new things afterI've posted. Sorry.

I was just reminded of a friend - a serious and capable theologian - who argued that God must have been gay, since no straight man could have thrown the sort of queeny fits evident throughout the Old Testament! All that smiting stuff is just too queeny for words, he insists!
 


Posted by rewboss (# 566) on :
 
I have a friend who, for a long time, thought that she was a really good Christian because she didn't have the slightest desire to have sex. She even had a boyfriend and never had any carnal thoughts about him at all. She decided that being a Christian was the easiest thing in the world.

Until she discovered the reason why she wasn't interested in men.

Well, she had been a hard-line anti-homosexual sort of Christian so this really devastated her. She tried hard not to be a lesbian, but that didn't work. So she tried hard not to be a Christian, and that didn't work either.

Eventually she gave up, and told God to sort it out. Which he did.

She is now a Christian and a lesbian. And she feels that God has accepted her as a Christian lesbian.
 


Posted by PaulTH (# 320) on :
 
I don't think many homosexuals or lesbians are that way through choice. Many of them struggle against it for years before having the courage to "come out". As a young man, I used to be totally intolerant of homosexual behaviour, but I have learned over the years that it is an incontrollable proclivity as was for example St. Augustine's hypersexuality. Although hterosexual, Augustine's sexuality wreaked havoc with his spiritual life, as did my own as a young man for the same reason.

As homosexuality is so obviously against the teachings of the Bible, it is impossible to expect the church to condone it. That doesn't mean that on a pastoral level they shouldn't be accepted. "Let he who is without sin among you cast the first stone."
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
I thought I'd inject a little public service announcement into the discussion. Here, for the facilitation of discussion, is a handy cut-out-n-keep guide to the various standard attitudes towards this Question. Now there is no need to spend a page saying nothing new to specify your position, you can simply say for example "I'm a number 1" or "I think 2 and 4". Although the crusaders amongst you will be disappointed at this curtailment of an opportunity to spout, it will make it easy to spot any new and original points and arguments. So here they are:

1) Fags are intrinsically evil and are all paedophiles anyway [I am a bigot]

2) Homosexuality is inconsistent with six passages in scripture [I am the Lambeth Conference]

3) Homosexuality is not part of God's ordained plan for loving relationships, which require the complementarity of male and female [I am a natural law nut]

4) Homosexuals in themselves are sinful [I am judgemental]

5) Homosexual feelings/people are not sinful, but homosexual acts are [I am a dualist]

6) Gays should not be ordained [I have no idea how many already are]

7) I think 2) really, but it isn't that big a deal [some of my best friends are gay]

8) It's all a gray area [I am David Hope]

9) The evidence for homosexuality being inconsistent with scripture is questionable [I have actually looked at context]

10) The argument for homosexuality being inconsistent with scripture is incorrect [I have a gloss and I know how to use it]

11) Male-female complementarity is not the only complementarity for relationships [I think natural law arguments are idiotic anyway]

12) Homosexuals are made that way [I have a clue]

13) Homosexuality is a choice [I've never talked to a gay person]

14) Homosexual people and homosexuality are as good or bad as hets and hettyness, and homosexuality as well as hettyness is to be celebrated as a gift from God [I am incarnationalist, hurrah]

15) Lets go shag whoever we want [I am a rebellious teenager]

===

On a slightly more serious note, please remember that you are talking about people and intimate parts of who they are. If you love someone, try and think about how you would feel if someone told you that your feelings for them were sinful or the result of a handicap, and were not proper love. This precious bond that you share with another person is being declared at best second-class. Be aware of this in your arguments; be sensitive to others' feelings.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Question:

Why is 4 judgemental?

If I add to it the statement "just the same as heterosexual people are sinful"?
 


Posted by rewboss (# 566) on :
 
16. Homosexuality is a massive red herring and society in general is obsessed with sex. [I am rewboss]
 
Posted by Stephen (# 40) on :
 
17.Another thread on sexuality.Arrrrrrgh.....[I am Stephen]
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Oops, forgot one...

18) The failure of the Church fully to engage with questions of homosexuality is really the failure the engage with issues of sexuality fullstop. Gays make useful scapegoats. [I've seen how uncomfortable people get debating this stuff].

FWIW, I'm 10, 11, 12, 14, 17 and 18.
 


Posted by Nancy Winningham (# 91) on :
 
Will one of you please explain "het" and "hettyness"?
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
Nancy,
I take these to be short-hand forms for heterosexual and heterosexuality.

Louise
 


Posted by calvin's granny (# 1731) on :
 
If we're posting all this stuff, how come the church isn't fully engaging with homosexuality.

Serious point: could Joan the Dwarf tell m e how context is supposed to show me that homosexuality may not be inconsistent with Biblical teaching ?
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Joan, you are a genius. I shall be passing your handy-dandy guide around the church office this week. Might put it in the newsletter, too, if there's room. Thanks a bunch! I'm always looking for good newsletter stuff.
 
Posted by Crucifer (# 523) on :
 
I am relatively new to SOF's boards and I don't know if anyone has already posted this link elsewhere, but FWIW, I will recommend this site as an interesting look at the issue. http://www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk/
 
Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
19) Who can I be mean to? I'm just waiting. Agog with anticipation. It's been ages since I've flamed someone. [You are The Coot]

PaulTH is leading the pack at the moment, for classifying homosexuality as an 'incontrollable proclivity' akin to hypersexuality.

And I have to have a flouncy, queeny fight with Joan (by PM of course, so's not to titillate nasty hetty voyeuristic tendencies) because. Just because.

I do so hate being thought of as a primal creature directed by my native instincts. Celibacy, the ultimate demonstration against. Or is it just the catchphrase for peer rejection, undesirability and failure to get a pick-up on a Friday night?
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sibling Coot:

PaulTH is leading the pack at the moment, for classifying homosexuality as an 'incontrollable proclivity' akin to hypersexuality.

Oh my, I missed that. Must be losing my touch

Mind you, that is a nice example of 18). I'm guessing the idea of "incontrollable [surely uncontrollable?] proclivity" comes from seeing all these homos banging on about wanting to be able to bang one another, and hets thinking "ooh, that's in such bad taste to talk about it". There is a failure to realise that if hets too were suddenly told it was sinful to have sex then it would sure as hell become important for them. A lot of the time gay people challenge straight ones because we are living proof of how important sexuality is for everyone - it's just that hets can get away with not thinking about it if they a) tie it up in 'acceptable' marriage, and b) cast gays into outer darkness.

quote:

And I have to have a flouncy, queeny fight with Joan (by PM of course, so's not to titillate nasty hetty voyeuristic tendencies) because. Just because.

Oh good grief no my dear, we're meant to be big butch dykes in biker jackets, don't you know. Nothing at all queeny, we leave that to the boys.
 


Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
No! No! Femme is the new Butch! (Septimus told me).

It's a sort of role-reversal thing like Violette le Duc dressing up in a male body stocking to come on to Jean Genet.

M'dear, I am of course, a dyke on a bike. (Do Vespa scooters qualify?) Excuse me, I have to apply some lippy. Where's my handbag?
 


Posted by Siegfried (# 29) on :
 
It's all just a symbiotic relationship, sweetie darling. Lesbians repair our plumbing and do our remodeling, and we decorate their homes and do their hair (well, at least for the non-butch ones!)

Sieg

PS-darn it! Just broke a nail! Wouldn't you know?!
 


Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
I'm chortling with butchily camp, potentially transgender delight!

Where's that nice, young 'St. Whatisname' gentleman? We could parade around on the thread in a sort of online Mardi Gras.

(Come on, jemmi dear, all is forgiven... hop up onto the float... oh! and I see bicurious tedward in the distance)
 


Posted by rewboss (# 566) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by calvin's granny:
Serious point: could Joan the Dwarf tell m e how context is supposed to show me that homosexuality may not be inconsistent with Biblical teaching ?
One argument is that the ban on homosexuality was relevant to a particular society, not necessarily our own.

The Israelites were, at this point, a band of refugees wandering around the desert looking for a place to live. They were open to attack, and needed as many fighting men as possible. This meant they needed as many children as possible: men to fight, and women to bear children. So all men were to be encouraged to impregnate women.

This idea has merit, especially as it explains, for example, the existence of the cautionary tale of Onan, condemned for practising the withdrawal method. And given that soldiers tended to die relatively frequently, it would explain why polygamy was allowed, but not polyandry (one woman, many husbands), as well as the logic behind the Levirite marriage (if a man died childless, his brother was duty-bound to marry that man's widow).

So the context is a tribe in the desert, constantly under threat of attack. That context doesn't exist now, so (the argument goes) the ban on homosexuality is irrelevant.
 


Posted by frin (# 9) on :
 
20) I am thinking about questions around homosexuality and ordination but will not attempt to make my mind up in the next 6 years (I am the United Reformed Church in the UK)
 
Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
This idea has merit, especially as it explains, for example, the existence of the cautionary tale of Onan, condemned for practising the withdrawal method.

To be fair, I don't think this story had any big social context. More simply Onan was dishonest to God. I think that's the sin that was committed surely?

Incidently, I have a friend who is bisexual..she has a boyfriend, but also simultaneously a sexual relationship with her best female friend. She insists both are essential and feel natural to her, and she could never possibly make up her mind which to choose if she had to choose between them.

What do people (particularly the "inclusives") think about this?

Matt
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Dear Matt, I'm not going to pass judgement on your friend (judge not lest ye also be judged, so good biblical precedent there, y'know). What is your exact question? Is it right to be in a relationship with two people at once? Is it right for homosexuals to do this? Is it right for bisexuals specifically?

I would never ever under any circumstances have an intimate relationship with more than one other person. The emotional and sexual bond in what I feel to be the most intense and spiritual form would simply preclude that. Trust, openness and honesty could not survive for me in such a situation, which I feel are imperative in a relationship. I didn't think this in my hetero-repressed days (yes, I cheated on a boyf once), but having discovered what real, deep, spiritual and sexual love actually is this is now my opinion. Monogamy forever!
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
My question, was that my friend is convinced her sexual activity is natural, normal, and she could not behave in any other way without feeling repressed or restricted. Does that neccessarily mean her practice is ok?

I should point out both the boyfriend her her female friend are aware of the situation, not only that, but my impression is the whole thing functions as a three-way relationship in fact. So there is not a question of "dishonesty" being at work here.

Incidently, no..I am not judgemental of her. As I said, this person is a friend, and I wasn't using the term with irony.
 


Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
21). I do not believe that homosexual acts are intrinsically sinful but will not say so because this will cause a blazing row and affect my chances of future preferment. (I am several prominent members of the Church of England who I will not name lest the hosts have apoplexy caused by the state of the libel laws in the UK).
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
WARNING! LONG POST!

Sorry, Calvin's granny, the on-line Mardi Gras kind of obscured your qu.

There's much theological writing out there on the subject, so I'm only going to be able to summarize the arguments, rather than actually argue properly (that would take an even looooooonger post!). Further reading at the end.

The 'bible bullets' commonly used against gays are:

1) Leviticus 18:22: "Do not lie with a man as you lie with a woman - that is detestable"

On a personal note, I have no problem with this. Lying with women is fine by me
More seriously, this is part of the Jewish Holiness Code. We are not Jews, we're Christians. As Paul says repeatedly, we don't follow Jewish Law (cf allowing in uncircumsised Gentiles as Christians in NT churches, Peter's dream about eating non-Kosher food "That which I have made clean you shall not call unclean", etc.).

2) Leviticus 20:13 "If a man lies with a man as one lies with a woman, both of them have done what is detestible."

Ditto as for 1). Also, look at verse 18:it prohibits sleeping with a woman during her period on the same terms. There's also prohibitions against wearing mixed fibre clothing. Anyone got a polycotton shirt on?

3)Genesis 18-19: the story of Sodom and Gomorrah.

The sin isn't one of sodomy, it's about abuse of hospitality and gang-rape. If the men of Sodom were really raging raping pooftahs, would they have accepted Lot's daughter instead of his male guest and raped her until morning? Also, you have to talk very hard to try and get a prohibition against homosexuality out of a judgement against homosexual AND heterosexual gang rapes.

4) Deuteronomy 23:17: "No Israelite man or woman is to become a shrine-prostitute"
5) 1 Kings 14:24: "There were even male shrine-prostitutes in the landl the people engaged in all the detestable practices of the nations the Lord had driven out before the Israelites"
6) 1 Kings 15:12: "He expelled the male shrine-prostitutes from the land"

These all talk about prostitution rather than committed relationships, so say nothing about homosexuality per se.

7) Romans 1:26-17: "Even their women exhanged natural ralations for unnatural ones. In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men"

Finally, something that talks about lesbians!
Paul in Romans is talking mainly to the Jews, and is showing how Christianity is a natural extension of Judaeism, and the law of love the successor to the law of Moses. He starts off by trying to puncture the Jews sense that they are justified by their works by showing that they don't follow even their own laws. Basically, he says: look at these nasty heathen who did all these things that Mosaic Law prohibits (that's the bit where the quote comes from), aren't they bad, oh by the way you're like that. He's using the Jews' ideas against themselves (remember, Paul was VERY well-trained theologically): it would need quite a lot of argument to show from this that he thought homosexuality was wrong.
Other points made are: Paul's talking about hets who do homo practices, ie go against their own natures. And he might be talking about the homosexual practices that went on in Pagan temples.

8) 1 Corinthians 6:9-10: "Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homsexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God."

There is a translation problem here. The relevant bits are: male prostitutes, and homosexual offenders. The Greek is 'malakoi arsenokoitai'. 'Malakoi' means 'soft', but no-one knows what 'arsenokoitai' means - the meaning has been lost. 'Arsen' means 'male', and 'koites' means 'bed' or 'sexual intercourse', but there is no recorded use of 'arsenokoitai' before Paul, so we don't know to what it was referring - temple prostitutes, call-boys, child male prostitutes or what? Taking it to mean simply 'male homosexual' (again, there's nothing about lesbianism here) is a very large assumption. Here, the two words have been translated separately: malakoi as male prositiute, arsenokoitai as homosexual offender, but no-one really knows how to translate it.

9) 1 Timothy 1:9: "We know that law is made not for the righteous but for law-breakers and rebels... for adulterers and perverts,... and whatever else is contrary to sound the sound doctrine"

Again, this is the NIV translation. Again we have 'arsenokoita', translated in this passage as 'perverts'. See above.

10) Jude 7: "Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion"

See 3). Also, Jude does not specify the perversion - it may be referring to the legend that the women of Sodom had sex with angels. Basically, Sodom became a byword for lust and perversion: how you can get from that to a prohibition on loving and monogomous homosexual relations where there is no compulsion or exploitation is beyond me.

AFAIK this is all the bible says that could possibly be interpreted as refering to homosexuality. Do let me know if I've missed anything.

FURTHER READING:
What the bible says about homosexuality

Difference is not a sin

Chapter 2 of 'Issues in Human Sexuality' by the House of Bishops, 1991.

Finally, here's a few other bible quotes to ponder:
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believes in him should not perish but have everlasting life." -- John 3:16

"God, who knows the heart, showed that He accepted them by giving the Holy Spirit to them, just as He did to us." --Acts 15:8

"There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." -- Galatians 3:28

"The voice spoke to him a second time, ' Do not call anything impure that God has made clean.'" -- Acts 10: 15

"By your fruits will you know them" --- [can't remember]

"So, my brothers and sisters, you also died to the law through the body of Christ, that you might belong to another, to him who was raised from the dead, in order that we might bear fruit to God." -- Romans 7:4

"The commandments, 'Do not commit adultery'...[etc]... and whatever other commandment there may be, are summed up in this one rule: Love your neighbour as yourself."

And from the liturgy: "We are the Body of Christ; by one Spirit we were all baptised."
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Oh boy, double post, sorry...

Matt, you seem to have a very naive view of liberalism. You're expecting a liberal to say "oh well, if she feels it's OK for her then that's all that matters", aren't you, and wave their limp wrists? That sort of a response is as much a cop-out as an evo response of "no, it's all wrong outside of marriage full stop" - they're the two extremes, whereas truth, as always, lies in the difficult middle ground.

How do we tell what's right? The best answer I've found (I can't off the top of my head remember where) is that we have to look at what forms of life lead to an increase in holiness and Christian living and love. In terms of relationships, do they bring people closer to God and an understanding of his love? Are they a blessing to the world around them?

I personally cannot imagine a relationship that is a blessing to the people involved and other people and is holy and God-centred but involves more than two people.
 


Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
J the D - thanks for your 13:03 post.

I have stayed out of these discussions before, being, I guess, a number 8!!

Review now underway.

I especially liked your gentle wrist-slap reminder at the end!
 


Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
If the men of Sodom were really raging raping pooftahs, would they have accepted Lot's daughter instead of his male guest and raped her until morning?

I think you are thinking of Judges 19, where an incident similar to Sodom occurs. In Sodom no daughters were raped - the men were struck with blindness. Both the Sodom and Gibeah stories seem to be meant to depict the absolute nadir of civilization.

And, Joan, I find it hard to accept your explanations of those various Bible verses. Whether or not you believe that homosexuality is wrong, attempting to reconcile it with the Bible is a fool's errand. It requires too many logical leaps and unorthodox assumptions to hang together.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Freddy, you're right, they didn't actually get hold of Lot's daughter. Although why would Lot have offered his daughters in the first place if he knew the men only wanted other men?

As for a 'fools errand', well we disagree, fairly obviously. I think it's a fools errand to try and get a prohibition against loving, committed and monogomous homosexual relationships from the Bible as it doesn't talk about them anywhere. And BTW as I said these are not "my" arguments - I just summarised what many properly-trained theologians have argued in much greater detail.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Note to self - STOP double posting!

quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:

attempting to reconcile it with the Bible is a fool's errand. It requires too many logical leaps and unorthodox assumptions to hang together.

Unfortunately you have not backed this statement up. As I showed in my post, I think the unorthodox assumptions and logical leaps come in the attempt to prohibit homosexual relations from scripture. I'm now waiting for your refutation of these arguments...
 


Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Unfortunately you have not backed this statement up... I'm now waiting for your refutation of these arguments...

Sorry. I tought they were obvious. This topic is just a little too scary for me. The anger is palpable.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:
Sorry. I tought they were obvious. This topic is just a little too scary for me. The anger is palpable.

Yes, I'm angry... sorry it showed. I'm angry that people dismiss biblical scholarship as "logical leaps and unorthodox assumptions". I'm angry that the arguments weren't taken seriously - do you really think I would have posted that long post if it was "obvious" that the arguments don't stand up? Freddy, I don't want to be angry over this, but I can't argue with non-arguments like "it's all silly and that's obvious". You may be a number 2, but that doesn't mean that's end of story, end of discussion. Back it up, and we can have a good, fruitful, non-angry discussion!
 


Posted by Stooberry (# 254) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
why would Lot have offered his daughters in the first place if he knew the men only wanted other men?

just to throw in a classical perspective here...

the distinction between heterosexuals and homosexuals was not one the Greeks found (i cannot speak for the Hebrews, but i thought an ancient viewpoint might throw some light on the matter). it was perfectly natural for middle-aged Greek men (with wives) to take young boys (just entering adulthood) for lovers in order to teach them. (unfortunately, we have very little evidence either way for women - sapho's poetry, but that's about it). as far as i am aware, the greeks did not believe that a person had a defined single sexuality. indeed, it seems to be a (relatively) modern construct.

the distinction the greeks made, in fact, was between (apologies for bad taste) penetrator and penetrated. the penetrated was always the "inferior" party.

if this kind of view was shared by the Hebrews, then there would be no problem with Lot offering his daughters instead - these men were perhaps not so much after sex with a particular sex, but rather just sex with whoever they could lay their hands on.

i dunno if that actually adds anything to the discussion or not, but hey-ho.
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
Rumwald jumps on...

Sodom story has always interested me 'cos

1) God had decided to destroy the city before the inhabitants got round to wanting to 'know' Lot's guests

2) As angels do not have genitalia it's a dead end anyway

Right. Angry bit.

And just to whip back up the thread to the strange post

quote:
This is the bit I never understand. I am heterosexual, but I don't consider it "Who I am". I don't feel any inclination to "come out" and tell everyone I'm heterosexual

Shall we lay this one to rest now? It's heterosexuals, usually bigotted ones and sometimes well-meaning 'liberal' ones, who perpetuate the whole 'defining by sexuality' business. The responsibility for that waste of time is all with the breeders. I'm sure the gays of this world would be quite happy not to be defined by sexual orientation if only you lot would let them be. OK? To some, if sexual orientation is not hidden away safely in the closet it's being shouted from the rooftops. Perspective please!
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
Double post time!

Sorry should add an absence of digestive system to genitalia for angels as well.
 


Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Back it up, and we can have a good, fruitful, non-angry discussion!

Joan, I can understand your feelings. I would love to go through them point by point, but I'm afraid I haven't time right now. However, since these points have been dwelt on ad nauseum in other threads, it might be easy to just look them up. The assertions and counter-assertions about the Biblical view of homosexuality are fairly standardized at this point.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Yes, they are standard arguments, and I know pretty much how you would try and refute them - what I was objecting to was simply having the arguments brushed aside as if they weren't worth bothering with.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
Yes, sorry about that. The effort for a movement to attain legitimacy in an institution that has traditionally regarded it as a terrible evil is a very painful one. It is no wonder that conversation about it is difficult. I agree that it is most important for any conversation on this topic to be conducted in a way that is as polite and free from anger as possible. I didn't mean to simply dismiss your arguments. Perhaps when I have time I will reply to them one by one. Or maybe someone else will.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Pax
 
Posted by rewboss (# 566) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by St Rumwald:
angels do not have genitalia
How do you know?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by St Rumwald:
It's heterosexuals, usually bigotted ones and sometimes well-meaning 'liberal' ones, who perpetuate the whole 'defining by sexuality' business. The responsibility for that waste of time is all with the breeders. I'm sure the gays of this world would be quite happy not to be defined by sexual orientation if only you lot would let them be. OK? To some, if sexual orientation is not hidden away safely in the closet it's being shouted from the rooftops. Perspective please!

Emphasis added.

So are you painting all heterosexuals with the same brush or not? If you are, please don't. It's a violation of the Ship's third commandment.

RuthW
Purgatory host
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by RuthW:
So are you painting all heterosexuals with the same brush or not?

Erm, no. What a curious idea. I apologise unreservedly to the sane among the heterosexual community.


Angels & genitalia...

Surely you jest?

They would be entirely superfluous and redundant. God is not known for creating things with pointless parts to them (apart from the male part of humankind that is) Why one earth would they have them, having no need to reproduce? Are you arguing from not having specific references to them NOT having them?

I'm unaware of a single instance of their depiction or description with them or mention of them (though of course I can be- and usually am- proved wrong).
 


Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
[22] I guess I must be a screaming queen because I laughed out loud and had tears running down my face as I read the first few posts (especially loved the "I am the Lambeth Conference" bit!) but then got really huffy and p***ed off when people starting writing serious comments. Snapped my handbag shut and all that could be heard was the sound of my stillies clacking down the hall.... :x

(that particular smiley means "my Bishop may be monitoring this site...)
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
How many angels can w@nk on the head of a pin?

Er, I'll go to bed now, shall I?
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by St Rumwald:
Erm, no. What a curious idea. I apologise unreservedly to the sane among the heterosexual community.


 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Joan,

In your extensive (and very helpful) list of biblical Homosexuality references, you missed Judges 19.

Which incidently wins my vote as one of the sickest passages of literature ever written..particularly as I'm not sure if the girl was dead or alive when she was cut into a dozen pieces....
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Cheers Matt! So *clears throat, adjusts bowtie*, here's number 11...

Judges 19: It's Sodom revisited! Visitor in a town, whose people want to rape him. Visitor's host offers his concubine, they accept and rape her until morning and then killed her. Nice.

See comments on the Sodom story, it's the same thing again.

Also, one further comment to these stories: anyone who works with victims will tell you that rape is not about sex - it's about power and abuse. There are an awful lot of rape cases of men by heterosexual men.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
I see what you are getting at Joan, but be careful not to generalise . Rape can be about many things.

Some rape is about sex. It's about sexual gratification from sadism.

Some is about power, as you say.

Some is almost political...like when soliders go raping and pillaging in wars.

Incidently, can you explain a little more fully your theory about Lot (and the judges thing) and what the sin being committed was? this whole hospitality thing?
 


Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
Oh blast! Well give me a dose of CC's (22).

Just when I thought the thread was getting fun again... St Sebastian. That's who I was thinking of. Last time he posted he was thinking of joining the Orthodox. Well there'll be no Mardi Gras there, let me tell you.

How resplendently butchy you look with the bowtie, JtD - just the thing to catch the Canon's eye.

Thankyou and Goodnight.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Matt - it's in the further reading. Try Genesis 18 & 19 and Genesis again specifically.

Why thankyou my dear Coot, I'm glad you like the tie *gives a distinctly unbutch blush* - do you really think she'll like it? And I must say your lipstick is looking perfectly wonderful today.

Oh my dear corpie, you shouldn't snap your handbag like that, you'll break a nail! Darling Sieg can tell you how utterly traumatic that is. But I must say you look divine in those heels (from a purely Platonic point of view, of course ).
 


Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lizzabee:
where does he fit into Christ's church? Either he hides who he is and lives a closet life while in church or he just does not go to church. Should homosexuality and Christianity be that mutually exclusive?

I don't know what church you go to, but none of the services I've been to have required every member of the congregation to make public their sexual preferences.

"I shouldn't have to hide" isn't an excuse for shouting from the rooftops.

Not sure if this is on Joan's list of standard attitudes (?platitudes?) or not, but it seems to me not impossible to hold simultaneously the belief that God loves us all individually with the belief that homo and hetero are not equally valid "lifestyle choices".

Suppose I have sexual feelings for my sister. It doesn't mean that I'm bad, doesn't mean that I'm less moral than anybody else, doesn't mean that God rejects me, but also doesn't necessarily mean that I should try to force everybody else to accept that a sexual relationship between the two of us would necessarily be moral just because I want it.

If you're still not convinced, try substituting for "sister" any other inappropriate object of sexual feelings.

Russ
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Russ, it's a version of 5). Also known as "love the sinner, hate the sin".
 
Posted by calvin's granny (# 1731) on :
 
Joan the Dwarf,

Thank you for your long and detailed replies to my questions on context. I'll try and post a reply in the next few days when I have time to consider your arguments thoughtfully

 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
How long, O Lord, how long? How long are we, your children, part of your creation, to be cast out into the wilderness as scapegoats, sacrificed on the altars of fear and prejudice, shut out, made into silent shadows, denied, ridiculed, dehumanised, made less than that we are. Our love, our souls and bodies declared unclean, in the sight of the God who threw down the prison walls of the Law and let in the light of the law of love! How long will ignorance and fear keep us out? We are the body of Christ; by one spirit we were all baptised. How long, O Lord, how long?
 
Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
Russ:-

no comment on your message, but your signature was DEEPLY offensive. Everybody with a vaguest degree of insight knows that life is a game of cricket and God is an Englishman. After all, His Son played square leg for Lancashire.
 


Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
Joan,

"Hate the sin and love the sinner" is an excellent maxim, and I do indeed believe that this is what our attitude ought to be.

But I don't identify with your attitude #5, because it labels all homosexual acts as sinful, and this seems to me too simplistic.

I struggle with this, and don't have a fully-thought-out view, but it seems to me that it is choices rather than acts which are morally good or bad. It does not seem impossible that in some cases the best achievable outcome might be two people of the same gender setting up house together. Exactly what acts they get up to in the privacy of their own home is their business.

We're all broken people in our different ways. But let us not set up our brokenness as an ideal to which others should aspire.

It is the shouting about sexuality, the demands for equal status, the militancy which seems to me wrong, unloving, putting one's own feelings before the feelings of others. The Christian answer to persecution is not a counter-persecution. People with "old-fashioned" views are also to be loved and tolerated.

Babybear was right to say that "people need to find a way of living with themselves", but not at the expense of others. Becoming completely defined by some aspect of ourselves is something to be resisted.

Don't know if this answers Lizzabee's question...

Russ
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
What liberating words! NOTHING separates us from God. Not homosexuality, not disbelief in certain creeds, Bible passages, litanies or opinions of other believers. Not sin, not death, not anything. My fundamentalist friends, do you realize the freeing beauty of those words??? Nothing!! NOTHING! Will you take those words to heart? Will you believe the Holy Word Of God when it says NOTHING separates you from God??? Or will you continue to thump your Bible and point out all those who *you* believe have been separated from God?

The above is taken from the website whosoever.org that you linked to Joan, thanks for that.

A very good website it is too. Rational and balanced.

However, the above quote (which is her comment on the famous passage in Romans 8)seems to me to be performing a bit of slight of hand with the wording of the scripture.

Romans 8v39 says nothing can separate us from the love of God. This is a dramatically different thing to saying "nothing can separate us from God".

To use the parable of the lost son in Luke 15, the point is that the son was never separated from the father's love even thought he WAS separated from the father by his rebellion.

There is no contradiction at all, in saying "God loves homosexuals" and at the same time saying "homosexuals are in rebellion" than there is in saying "The Father loves his son" and at the same time saying "The son was in rebellion"

The writer ends up saying "Sin cannot separate us from God" but what is sin, but exactly that: "Separation from God"? Sin is the great devide between us and God which He bridges through Love he showed at the cross.

If Sin did not separate us from God then it would not matter. But Sin matters hugely. It matters enough for God to lay down the life of his own Son to defeat it.

The difference between saying "nothing can separate us from God" and "nothing can separate us from the love of God" is enormous and has far reaching implications.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
They would be entirely superfluous and redundant. God is not known for creating things with pointless parts to them

I don't know about that. The male human body is fairly extravagant for what is essentially just a life support system for a penis.
 


Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
Hi

As there is some experience of these things on this board I have a genuine question:

Why do some gay blokes camp it up?

That is a serious question.

My only conclusion is that for the same reason that some lads, for want of a better expression, lad it up. Loudness, competitiveness etc etc.

My only experience of a gay friend was that he was a lad but just had male partners, although he found the 'scene' very destructive on him emmotionally and I think spiritually. But he has moved away from where I live now and I no longer see him, so any questions I may have once been able to ask I can no longer do so.

cheers
 


Posted by Huw (# 182) on :
 
Joan - thank you for posting such a beautiful prayer. You echo a Psalm (can't remember which, I'm afraid) and articualte a deep need with great spiritual sensitivity. Thank you.

Matt - your penultimate posting saddened me. While you may be making a reasonable exigetical point, please remember that this is not an abstract issue for many. There are real people involved in all of this who can only be hurt by statements such as "Homosexuals are in rebellion [against God]", however you intended it. I have known peopel who have attempted suicide because they are both gay and christian, when other christians have expressed what they see as an objective view of "what the Bible teaches". These others were not intending to be destructive - but when you're in a vulnerable position you can get hurt very easily indeed. I know you don't intend to cause offence, but please take care how you make your points. (The other post - about the penis - I found hilarious!)
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Maybe this is more than just number 5... Ok then:

23) I'd be fine with homosexuals if they would just shut up about being gay. They're doing more harm than good trying to shove it down other peoples' throats, I mean why do people insist on being camp in public, can't they just do it in the privacy of their own homes, rather than in front of ordinary decent people? [I am an ostrich]

I find this perhaps the most depressing view - certainly, that's why I was depressed last night. It's the view that we'd be acceptable so long we kept quiet, so long as people could blank it out of their minds that we were gay and not have to deal with it. That "what you do is your own business", which means: "it's shameful but I'm not going to get into an argument with you". But what if we don't think it's shameful? What if we want to bring the whole of who we are into our Eucharistic community? If we want to celebrate our love and all the ways in our lives in which God works?

Of course we have to treat other people lovingly - that's why I do not advocate Peter Tatchell-style campagning However I do not think that the ideas of stumbling block and loving extend to retreating into silence and shadows and acting ashamed of part of who and what we are, just to pander to other people's prejudices. Personally, I find public displays of heterosexual love (kissing, cuddling etc) disgusting: but I don't try and make them hide because of what I feel, however much I wish they would!

There are the two extremes that we have to be warey of: hiding so that no-one sees us, and getting up on a soapbox all the time. In the middle lies the openness in love that everyone can learn from. That's where the challenges are on both sides: a lot of hets want us to shut up because any degree of visibility means they have to confront these issues and that makes them uncomfortable, so they blame gays for making them feel bad. A lot of the time 23) can be a cover for "if you shut up I won't have to think about it and won't find my world-view threatened". Similarly, gays can react to the threatening nature of the argument by being over-agressive, un-loving and not engaging in dialogue.

I know I keep on getting it wrong, being too soap-boxy, and for a variety of reasons tend to get over-angry in these discussions. This is something I've got to learn - you lot are helping, and I'm sorry for those who got on the wrong end of it. But I'm not going to go to the other extreme and become invisible.
 


Posted by Paul W (# 1450) on :
 
Hang in there Joan. For what it's worth, being around the Ship for the last few weeks, and reading this thread in particular, has done an awful lot to change my own attitudes to sexuality. I think I started off somewhere near #5, but I'm getting closer to the 10-11-12-14 kind of thing now.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
[24] I do not define people, as such, as fundamentally "heterosexual, homosexual, or bisexual," but instead think in terms of what we do with our genitals. As part of my obedience to my faith, I do not believe in genital sexual intercourse (which, as I understand it, is genital penetration of any bodily orifice, and/or deliberate stimulation to orgasm) outside of male-female marriage. I am, happily, an active member of the gay community and of the leather community. I cheerily am OK with, advocate, practise, and/or teach (in at least one club I am a member of) practically everything else under the sun (within safety and consensuality limits) apart from the previously defined notions of sexual intercourse. (No-one ever seems to suggest that two (or more) men or women could have intimate, loving, physically affectionate relationships without sexual intercourse. It works well for me is all I can say.) So that's it. I hope this was not too explicit; I try to be careful. But then since I am making distinctions between specific actions which I believe to be forbidden -- and a way of life -- well, here is my own position on the matter. [I am not a number; I am a free man.]
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Matt the MM, do you concede that we are all sinners ?

Pyx_e
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
OK. As a good little evangelical (GLE), I started off as a combination of 5 and 7 - mostly because I've had gay friends for as long as I've been a Christian. I don't come froma GLE family, and therefore was didn't form my views before I started meeting gays.

These days, I'm not sure where on Joan's list I come. I would have to say that having read and read the Sodom and Gomorrah Story, I would never have realised that it was useable as an argument against homosexuality if I hadn't been told. I thought it was about a City in which there was not one righteous man to be found - this being the final implication of gen Ch 18, v 16-33 - and an illustration of quite how unrighteous it all was, is a particularly nasty gang rape. It never occured to me that the point of the passage was in any way homosexuality.

In terms of the passages in Leviticus, I think Joan is correct to point out some of the other commandments in the same part of Leviticus - which we now ignore as we think them totally irrelevant. A lot of OT laws relate to hygiene - things like the laws about spots and blemishes and nasty skin diseases - and just aren't relevant in our society, although they were very important to keep a nomadic tribe alive. Bear with me - I am not about to say that homosexuality is unhygienic. However, anal sex is a pretty good way of spreading nasty STDs - as is heterosexual sex. I read somewhere, however, that without lubricants etc (which they didn't have then) the more forceful nature of anal sex, makes bleediing and hence the spread of infection more likely. This is not really relevant now, but in a society with no KY jelly (or whatever) and no condoms, an act which has no procreative purpose, but which easily spreads infection, could easily be forbidden on grounds of hygiene. But, we don't keep the Jewish hygiene laws today. So basically, if you want to ban homosexuality on this basis, I reckon we'd also better reinstitute burning mildewed clothes and sending people out of the town if they have particularly bad acne. Any takers?

However, the passages in Paul writings, I struggle more with. Having said that I struggle with a lot of things in Paul. Joan's right in saying that the translation is difficult, and frequently inconsistent. Those of us who are women here have to figure out whether to cover our heads in church and remove oursleves from any positions of authority in the church, before we start casting stones at homosexuals. Cultural context is important, and should be considered before we start leaping into condemnation of people on the grounds of biblical statements.

In the end the 2 greatest commandments are ...

1) Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind and strength
2) Love your neighbour as yourself.

I can see no way that being gay or performing gay sex acts in the context of a loving relationship can prevent you from keeping the second of these. As for the first - even if we interpret those bible passages conservatively and homosexuals are disobedient to God, they can still be doing the best they can to love him as much as they can. Maybe the rest of us should start loving them more - they are our neighbour as much as the next person.

All the best,

Rachel.
 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
This is pretty plain to me.

I am no Falwell or Phelps. I don't hate gays. But the Bible says, and life proves, that male/female relationships are the natural thing.

The most simple look at physiology makes it clear that homosexual conduct is not natural to the human design.

Having said that, I harbor no hate or fear of gays or lesbians. I believe they should be reached out to. But I also believe that a truly repentant homosexual can be brought to celibacy OR heterosexual relationships (and yes, I allow that the homosexual inclinations may never cease, and celibacy is the moral option.) Just as one can be have bigotry, addictions, and hate removed by the power of Christ, so can the homosexual. They're no worse than anyone else who is not living by God's standard, and they need our compassion, but also in being compassionate, we should not go through gymnastics to come up with a supposedly "Biblical" excuse for things that are obviously not in God's plan/will for human relations.
 


Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
It seems to me, DrakeDetective, that you have a tendency to play God. You should no more DEMAND that a homosexual be celibate than a homosexual DEMAND that you be celibate. It is between each person and God to work out what is right in that circumstance. Now finding out where Drake's body is resting, that would be a far more productive use of your time. I live in Drake country, and get fed up of people asking in which churchyard they can find his grave!!
 
Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Stephen:
17.Another thread on sexuality.Arrrrrrgh.....[I am Stephen]

Fortunately, this discussion isn’t about sexuality: it’s about justice. And how we interpret God's love. And how one should be faithful to God when the chips are down. And I don’t see how any thinking Christian can ignore it.

It was partly my response to this issue (along with such old chestnuts as the doctrine of hell) which defines the Christian I now am – the type of church I go to, the way I approach the Bible, the way I think or talk (on the rare occasions I’m brave enough to do so) about my faith.

It is an important issue for me (and I see for others who have posted on this thread) because I am faced with a particularly intense conflict between my ordinary sense of justice and the views which appear to be held by some writers of the Bible.

There is no moral reason (convincing to me) outside the Bible why gay couples cannot have a committed sexual relationship recognised and blessed by the surrounding community in the way that straight couples can. I see great suffering caused to gay Christians by the church’s refusal to accept that a gay relationship can be ‘a valid lifestyle choice’.

So, do I accept the prohibition of homosexual acts because I see it condemned in the Bible, despite every protest of my rebellious conscience?

Erm… well, I’ve never been much of a rebel, but…

No, I jolly well don’t. Am I by doing this following my own conscience rather than what I understand in the Bible? Well, yes. In this instance. And from that point there really is no turning back. In fear and trembling, the whole development of my faith then differs substantially from someone who comes to a different conclusion.

Now I read Joan’s summary of alternative interpretations of the troublesome passages with interest. So Paul was not necessarily a gay-basher? I’m very pleased for him.

 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
I've never seen so much pure desire to plainly ignore Biblical and biological facts. Why do any of you BENEFIT by jumping into obscure and questionable loopholes?

Part of the reason you probably struggle with is that pure reason and conscience tells you that homosexuality is not standard for humanity.

If I were an atheist, I would still have serious philosophical differences with homosexuality. The fact that I am a Christian only provides a definite moral law.

As to celibacy, I'd hold homosexuals to the same standard I do unmarried straight couples. Abstinance. The only thing is, in this case, I can find nothing in the Bible that would accept anything less than total abstinance from homosexual acts.

Oh some try to rationalize it because of what they "feel" or what God supposedly tells them, but God didn't write the Bible to go around and provide exception clauses to everyone that had attractions to goats, relatives,or members of the same sex. Nature is nature, right is right.

I am what some consider a "aberrant" Christian, and I admit there are many misinterpretations of Scripture in the church, but prayer, study, and research have led me to my current and assured position on this issue.

I harbor no hate or fear for the homosexual, any more than I fear or hate those in adultery, abuse, or any other lifestyle contrary to God's standard.

Like I say, I'd love to believe that our behaviour really didn't matter. But God has set things up, and His system is the one we are called as Christians to follow. Homosexuality is simply not in that plan according to any measured and accurate reading of the Scriptures, nor is it scientifically or physiologically correct.

Doesn't ANYONE understand what I am trying to say here?
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
Matt - your penultimate posting saddened me. While you may be making a reasonable exigetical point, please remember that this is not an abstract issue for many. There are real people involved in all of this who can only be hurt by statements such as "Homosexuals are in rebellion [against God]", however you intended it.

I stand by my statement. With the additional statement:
"heterosexuals are equally in rebellion".

I am sure I made this point in an earlier post that I am not in anyway marking out homosexuals as "especially bad". Just that they are bad, exactly like the rest of us. Myself included. Including every human being from Mother Teresa to Charles Manson. With the one exception of Jesus Christ.

In any discussion on anything to do with sin...including homosexuality, I always approach it with the assumption that we are all sinners and there are NO "better sinners" or "worse sinners". (although you'd have to go a long way to be better at sinning than me!)

It seems to me not that we are SINNERS because we SIN, but in fact the other way around: We SIN because we are SINNERS!

The manifestation of actual Sin...of any type...is a symptom of the disease.

When I say that homosexuality is sinful what I mean is that for that particular individual, the disease which we ALL suffer from (Sin) has chosen to mainfest itself in that particular behavioural symptom.

For me, I have the same disease, but different symptoms. Greed, pride, arrogance, lust. They are all on my list of symptoms.

The truth is, that regardless of the symptoms, the consequence of the disease is always the same if left untreated...death.

Fortunately, God has provided a medicine that cures the disease, in Jesus Christ. But just like a medical disease may leave a permenant scar, in the same way, even though we are healed, we are (for the present moment in this life) still suffering residual symptoms of the disease of Sin.

It is like the chickenpox scar I have on my neck. Harmless to me, but a reminder of what I was before I was healed.

So in this sense the sin we commit now as Christians is harmless to ourselves. The only danger of it...like my chickenpox scar...is that it makes us ugly to others.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
drakedetective, simply because your name interested me, i've been following your posts today. you've posted on three threads. two of them have been on the subject of homosexuality, including the "jerry falwell" one which you had to unearth from the bowels of hell, as it hadn't been posted on previously in quite awhile.

why are you so hung up on this single issue that you have to go looking so deeply for references to it, and ignore all the other wealth of interesting subjects this board has to offer? why are you so fascinated by what consenting adults do in bed, to exclusion of any other subject (except for one post on the "pinups" thread, i think it was...)
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
Joan...
quote:
I know I keep on getting it wrong, being too soap-boxy, and for a variety of reasons tend to get over-angry in these discussions.

No, no, no. It's only soap boxy and over-angry for people for whom ANY display or open acknowledgement of homosexuality is 'ramming it down our throats'. Some people will never be satisfied.


DrakeDetective...
I'd be interested to know why a

quote:
The most simple look at physiology makes it clear that homosexual conduct is not natural to the human design.
This is perhaps one of the most asinine arguments that crops up time and again. Perhaps you'd care to elaborate?

rachel_o

quote:
I read somewhere, however, that without lubricants etc (which they didn't have then)

Without wishing to elaborate too much, lubricants of animal, plant or human origin would have been then available. But more to the point, the assumption is that sexual relations between two men are usually of a particular kind which, statistically, in fact, comes a poor third.
 


Posted by Abouna (# 290) on :
 
Re: The participation of Lesbian/Gay folk in the Church.

In my years as a priest, I have not yet been able to find an answer to this dilema. My advice to everyone is to come and participate in Church, no matter what else might be happening in their lives.

Abouna
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
As a footnote to my comment in my last post that we Sin because we are Sinners, not the other way around.....

Lets not kid ourselves. My heterosexuality is corrupt and sinful anyway. Everything I do is corrupt and sinful. Even when I'm being nice, I'm usually doing it for my own ends ultimately.

Regardless of whether homosexuality is intrinsically sinful or not, it seems to me a slightly irrelevant question. Your homosexuality is as corrupt as my heterosexuality.

Vehmently trying to resist this seems to me to be trying to argue out a little corner of our lives which we can say "this is NOT sinful! Jesus, I don't need YOU in THIS bit of my life, I've already got THIS little bit of my house in order by myself thankyou! I don't need your forgiveness for this bit."

It strikes me as being the last vestiages of our pride taking their stand. This isn't about homsexuality. It's about human nature.


Saying homosexuality (or anything else)isn't sinful
For example, it's like me trying to argue that my giving money to a homeless person yesterday was not sinful. I could show you a thousand bible verses which show how rightous it is.

It doesn't change the fact that the reason I did it was because I was with a girl who I was trying to impress with what a nice guy I am.....

My attempting to argue the points of law on it not being sinful is like the pharasee and misses the point completely. We are so sinful everything we get our grubby hands on..be it sexuality or charity...gets mucked up too.
 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
Medic, thank you for your reasoned responses. Though not directly for me, I appreciate your feedback here.

Nicole, I have been browsing these boards at random as a new member. I happen to have some beliefs on this issue, so those were the threads I've responded to thusfar. I'm sure you'll see me in many other threads over the course of my time here. It's just the odds. And yes, I will reply to "dead" threads if I feel I have something to say. Who when first coming to a message board doesn't??

St--Please, read some biology and then try to tell me that the human body was designed to be sexually interchangeable..far from even the morality of it, homosexual acts are obviously not "in the flow" of natural actions.

All, I cannot believe that I am the only one here who understands what I'm saying in my posts. What a welcome. *sigh* It's as if I offered someone wine at an anti-drinking league. At any rate, if you're tired of this subject but just want to lend a little *gasp* agreement or something, feel free to email.

And REALLY, I'm not hateful and I DON'T BITE.

Hi gang!
 


Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
Seems to me the person who has talked the most sense on this thread in the past few days is Abouna.
 
Posted by Sibling Coot (# 220) on :
 
Chast, I have pick up on your comments in another thread.

The Coot.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Hello Drake.

I refer you to my earlier exchange with Freddy for an answer to your particular expression of your number 2 views.

Also, people don't struggle with this because they know in their hearts that fundamentalist teaching is right and they're trying to escape it. People struggle with it because extreme and simplistic views are rarely correct, however emotionally tempting they are.

Oh, and your 'biology' argument deserves its own number, thankyou, I forgot about it:

25) A man's penis fits in a woman's vagina. Therefore by natural law homosexual sex is unnatural [I am another type of natural law nut who only thinks about blokes]
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
PS Dear Sibling Drake, it is biologically unnatural to put a headphone earpiece in my ear. I have sinned against the natural flow of my body, I repent before thee, in the absence of Rev Gez.

Moreover I have (woe unto me!) taken unnatural medicines to curb my natural illness. Indeed I verily repent.

As for those spawns of Satan, tampons, I have inserted them where only a manly member should go, ah ah ah I put on dust and ashes.

Ever so slightly more seriously, if you want to go down the line of the 'natural' argument, you're going to have to do it a bit more rigorously. 'Natural' is a very slippery word, as is acknowledged in the literature on the subject; most authors start by defining what they mean by it. 'Natural' as normally used in theological discourse is to do with God's ordained purpose in making something the way it is. So what's God's ordained purpose for sex? Looking at biology, we see its purpose there is for reproduction - penis fits in vagina for the purpose of producing babies. However we are not just biological creatures: as humans we are also emotional and spiritual beings. The Anglican Church at least has long recognised these aspects to sexual relations: intimacy and bonding, personal and spiritual (see eg the 1662 marriage service for couples who can't have children, and the 1958(?) pronouncements on contraception). The 1991 House of Bishops report states that "The potential blessing of this bonding are such that a theology of creation will very properly see them as also 'natural', that is, within the purposes of God."

I cannot see the end of the 'what fits where' argument as anything other than: all sex must be for the purposes of procreation. This is because it ignores the emotional and spiritual side of sex.

Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful things about homosexual sex: it points to an understanding of sexuality that is unavoidably spiritual, because we cannot pretend that it is about biology and procreation. Love is the most important thing - real, deep, spiritual love and bonding body and soul with another human. It's taking us beyond mere biological necessity, showing that sexuality and sexual bonding can be good things in themselves at their best, and in good circumstances lead to our growth as human beings in our relationships with one another and with God. It shows just how important it is to be fully human: integrated body with soul, not to carry our body around like a sinful lump but to be our bodies. Ultimately, for me, this is incarnational: Christ became fully human and fully divine, each part in harmony, to help us reclaim every part of who we are.
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by St Rumwald:

Without wishing to elaborate too much, lubricants of animal, plant or human origin would have been then available. But more to the point, the assumption is that sexual relations between two men are usually of a particular kind which, statistically, in fact, comes a poor third.

Please remember I'm a GLE, and therefore don't necessarily have the knowledge about sex to figure out things people don't elaborate on.


Having siad that...


In reference to lubricants..... these people were wandering in the desert, and being fed manna and quail from heaven, they probably didn't have much around by way of animal or vegetable anything.

With reference to your 2nd point - I'm not sure I understand, but I'm assuming you mean anal sex is not the prevalent form of sexual activity between gay men? If so, then the verse we are talking about in Leviticus strikes me as irelevant anyway.

All the best,

Rachel.
 


Posted by Viola (# 20) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
PS Dear Sibling Drake, it is biologically unnatural to put a headphone earpiece in my ear. I have sinned against the natural flow of my body, I repent before thee, in the absence of Rev Gez.

Moreover I have (woe unto me!) taken unnatural medicines to curb my natural illness. Indeed I verily repent.

As for those spawns of Satan, tampons, I have inserted them where only a manly member should go, ah ah ah I put on dust and ashes.


Hurrah for Joan. I was just in the middle of composing an angry post when I read yours.

See Drake - I respect the conclusions you've come to from scripture. Sometimes I agree with them too. But I can't agree with the 'natural' stuff. Just doesn't seem right or fair.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
PPS Drake - have you thought that people might understand you and still think that you're, erm, wrong?
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
All, I cannot believe that I am the only one here who understands what I'm saying in my posts.

Dear Drake's Detective,
I think most of us here understand your posts very well.

They seem to indicate that there is only one right view - yours - and that you are not very open to the views of others (on the Falwell thread in Hell, you actually said that you found the differing views of others on this issue 'disturbing')

You also seem to be pushing a simplistic natural law argument which is, literally, medieval and which probably qualifies by now as a PRATT - point refuted a thousand times.
Yet you seem to think it offers some kind of irrefutable insight.

In fact this argument has been around in its developed form since the days of St Thomas Aquinas, and its flaws have been pointed out ad nauseam long before now. I'll give just one example.

If I walk on my hands then I am using a part of my body for something it wasn't 'designed' for and which 'naturally' I should be doing with my feet.

So let's ban gymnastics - totally unnatural if you ask me.

Also you seem to think there's only one possible way of interpreting scripture - yours again.

I'm sure you are not hateful, but your posts come across as, well, somewhat lacking in charity and respect for others, to put it mildly.

This issue has been discussed many times on these boards, but here you come, barging in, spouting off a commonplace argument as though none of us will ever have heard it before and we'll all go 'Duh! why didn't we ever think of THAT before?'

Try pondering the concept that it's a good bet that many of us here have heard that sort of argument before and rejected it.

Louise
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
The most simple look at physiology makes it clear that homosexual conduct is not natural to the human design.

I don't wish to make this board X-rated with too many details, but as a medical student, I can tell you research shows that the type of conduct you are referring to is suprisingly common among at least a fair percentage of heterosexual couples on at least one encounter.

Surveys also suggest that a fair number of those who havn't had a heterosexual encounter of this nature would like to at some point in the future.

Did I put that delicately enough everyone?

(Incidently, most people will notice that this post goes against my side of the argument in anyways, which only goes to show I'm just looking to tell it like it is, not how I want it to be.)
 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
For the record, I'm far from anti-sex. I think a good Christian marriage, (egalitarian no less) should be a lovely, very vibrant sexual relationship.

But I also respect what God says about sex and the boundaries He placed on it.

That's all. No hate, just my simple convictions, and I'm sorry if they are not welcome here.
 


Posted by daisymay (# 1480) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by DrakeDetective:
For the record, I'm far from anti-sex. I think a good Christian marriage, (egalitarian no less) should be a lovely, very vibrant sexual relationship.

So maybe you are experienced in sex aids?
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
Medic, thank you for your reasoned responses. Though not directly for me, I appreciate your feedback here.

I would just like to take this opportunity to distance myself from anything drakedetective says. My "fundaMENTAList" alarm bells are ringing where our new friend is concerned.....

I hope he reads my posts...about us all being equally sinners. He says homosexuality is "unnatural", but hey...get this...God thinks we are ALL unnatural! imagine that! Any sin is completely alien to God's nature and therefore unnatural to him. drake, every time you are angry, or hurt someone you are being as "unnatural" to God as those "repulsive faggots" imagine that drake!!! Uncomfortable thought huh? Good job we've all got Grace then isn't it?.

(DISCLAIMER: previous "foggot"phrase was deliberate sarcasm use of language...quote marks do not represent quote by specific individual)

quote:
Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful things about homosexual sex: it points to an understanding of sexuality that is unavoidably spiritual, because we cannot pretend that it is about biology and procreation.

Joan, you've come up with some good stuff on this thread, then you go and spoil it with this...errmmm...ok. Sorry, I've offended you before but I won't again.

Coz there is no procreation involved, the sex is automatically superspirtual?! ha!

Well, if I go out to euston station pick up half a dozen rent boys and stick my big end *ahem* "where the sun don't shine" to each one in turn would that be spiritual just coz they aren't gonna get pregnant?

No, it would be sordid and repulsive to God. Homosexual sex can be every bit as sordid too, and you know it. It doesn't strike me as "unavoidably spiritual" in the least. (sorry...that was extremely crude...had to be to make the point methinks)

quote:
Ultimately, for me, this is incarnational: Christ became fully human and fully divine, each part in harmony, to help us reclaim every part of who we are.

We don't reclaim anything. Christ reclaims us...all of us. God reclaims us for himself.


quote:
They seem to indicate that there is only one right view - yours - and that you are not very open to the views of others

Louise, I kind of know what you are getting at here, but you state it like it's an intrinsically bad thing.

I believe that 1+1=2. I think that is right, I think it is the only right view. I an not very open to the views of others on this issue. So if you think 1+1=3, I am very sorry, but I do not accord your view any weight.

Clearly, drake believes (possibly incorrectly) that this issue is an issue of this type. Given that he thinks that, it is not suprising he responds in this way. It doesn't neccessarily mean he is wishing to be opinionated and judgemental. He just happens to see this issue in a black and white way. Critisising the manner in which this makes him respond is a pointless exersise.

You should address the assumptions he is making which lead him to stop considering the issue in the same light you or I would consider "1+1=2".

quote:

If I walk on my hands then I am using a part of my body for something it wasn't 'designed' for and which 'naturally' I should be doing with my feet.

So let's ban gymnastics - totally unnatural if you ask me.


If you are going to use analogies you should use them in a consistent way.


The consistent application of the analogy for someone who lives a lifetime of homosexual activity would be if someone tried to walk on their hands their whole life and never used their feet.

Gymnastics in the analogy would be the equivilent of having a few homosexual encounters, as opposed to being a homosexual.

Also, no one is suggesting that homosexuality be "banned" (as in your analogy gymnastics is). They are simply saying it is not what God intended and harmful to us.

And we all know that gymnastics can be extremely harmful and result in an increased risk of injuries, precisely because we are using our bodies in unnatural ways.

If you are using the analogy to prove your point then it is a flawed argument. I'm not saying your wrong...but your particular argument is not a convincing one.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Drake - Any opinion is welcome - what becomes unwelcome is manners of posting. Here's a friendly (and I do mean that) word in your ear: post with a little more humility. At the moment you're posting your opinions as "this is what is right, I've had it direct from God, come on people you know I'm right stop being so silly". I think you can see how this would get on people's wicks

No-one here's got a hotline to God or an infallible interpretation of Scripture - not me, not you. How about we do a deal: you don't call my Scriptural exegesis "gymnasics", and I won't call yours "mindless literalism"; you don't dismiss my spiritual experiences as my own wishful thinking, and I'll not dismiss yours as your wishful thinking; you don't say "oh come on, how can you possibly disagree with me", and I won't say the same thing to you. Deal?

Oh dear daisymay you are naughty - LOL!

And Matt - I'm impressed. Even GLE Rachel should not be blushing from that description
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Sorry, yet another double post, just wanted to reassure Matt that I for one was not lumping him and Drake together!
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
Drake,

Instead of constantly telling us "what God says", as if you are a prophet with a direct line to the Almighty and the only possibly correct interpetation, how about if you tried saying

"What I think God says is..."

or

"What I think the Bible says is..."

or even

"My interpretation of x verse in scripture is y" (whatever that might be).

Then you might not sound as if you believed you were the only person in the world who had a valid opinion on this matter.

Just a suggestion.
Louise
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Wow, a TRIPLE post! Bear with me, shipmates all, then I shall retire to my hammock and vex ye no more tonight

I said:

quote:

Personally, I think this is one of the most beautiful things about homosexual sex: it points to an understanding of sexuality that is unavoidably spiritual, because we cannot pretend that it is about biology and procreation.

Matt replied:

quote:

Joan, you've come up with some good stuff on this thread, then you go and spoil it with this...errmmm...ok. Sorry, I've offended you before but I won't again.

Coz there is no procreation involved, the sex is automatically superspirtual?! ha!


I echo your 'ha' a hundred times. However that wasn't what I said I said homosexuality points to an intrinsically spiritual understanding of sexuality (that is, gay or straight). The difference is, for example as Christians we have a spiritual understanding of life. That doesn't mean that every event in life is experienced as spiritual!

The beauty of homosexual sex that I was pointing out was the spiritual nature that it flags up of ALL sex - het and gay. IMHO sex as it should be is spiritual, because sexuality is spiritual. Of course a lot of the time sex isn't - one doesn't have to go banging rent boys to see that That doesn't divorce our sexual nature from our spiritual, it's just an example of sinning.
 


Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Louise, I kind of know what you are getting at here, but you state it like it's an intrinsically bad thing.

I believe that 1+1=2. I think that is right, I think it is the only right view. I an not very open to the views of others on this issue. So if you think 1+1=3, I am very sorry, but I do not accord your view any weight.

Clearly, drake believes (possibly incorrectly) that this issue is an issue of this type. Given that he thinks that, it is not suprising he responds in this way. It doesn't neccessarily mean he is wishing to be opinionated and judgemental. He just happens to see this issue in a black and white way. Critisising the manner in which this makes him respond is a pointless exersise.

You should address the assumptions he is making which lead him to stop considering the issue in the same light you or I would consider "1+1=2".


Matt, I don't see
"Criticising the manner in which this makes him respond" as "a pointless exercise. "

I see it as an important one. There are issues on which I hold extremely strong views but if I simply declare 'I'm right and you're all wrong' that is not discussing the matter constructively or helpfully.


In my opinion stating 'God says' rather than 'I think' or 'my view of scripture is' or 'my argument is' is simply another way of stating 'I am right and you are all wrong' and that doesn't seem (to me) to be leaving room for constructive debate.

To go back to the analogy thing, if i decided to walk on my hands for the whole of my life, that would be odd, but I doubt if anyone would consider it to be deeply sinful.

I didn't spell it out but my point was not the physical effects thereof, but that walking on our hands is not something most of us would consider to be earth-shatteringly sinful.

To pick up your point that it's not something we'd do for life.

Right now, as a lifestyle, I am spending hours in front of a computer monitor, an exercise (or should I say lack of it!) which is not exactly good for my body, but which has many other benefits.

It's not using my body for what it was originally designed for, as I'm not a hunter-gatherer in Africa, but I wouldn't say that the only possible life-style for humans is hunter-gathering and that anything else, outside of hunter-gathering, is to be abhorred.

You made some very interesting points earlier about the nature of sinfulness, but I'm too tired to give them the exploration they deserve. Just want to say I'm not lumping you in with DD either.

cheers

Louise
 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
OK.

I am sorry for being irritating.

Matt, I truly am not a real funda MENTAL ist. LOL. Unless you mean I think alot. Heh.

Anyhow, I agree with your point about the extreme sinfulness of us all. I know I am.

I would counter with my opinion, as I understand the Bible, that a sin such as homosexuality or fornication or adultery is usually (not always) perpetually lived in as a lifestyle, continued on a daily basis.

The Bible, to me, expresses that we should turn from our old lifestyles and aim to live a more holy life. That doesn't mean we'll always tell the truth, abstain from sex, or always love our neighbor. But it means overall, that is what we do and we avoid sin in its forms as much as possible. I simply don't see where daily living in a homosexual lifestyle is compatible with that.

And very funny about the "aids" BTW. I can't be TOO tight, I did like the joke.

Well, I hope I haven't ruined my chances of making friends on here. Even if I disagree with this, you are all certainly an interesting group.
 


Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
Is there anybody that can spare the time to answer my previous question please? I know it was ignorant and shows ignorance, but I do want to know.

Why do some gay blokes camp it up so much?

Please see my previous question for the my tiny little toughts on this.

thanks
Simon
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
simon - I'm still not sure if you're trolling, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt

Why do some gay men act differently from het men? Well, um, because they're not hets? Why should they be expected to act the same? To save the feelings of tight hets? Welcome back to 23!

Why do some fewer gay men go overboard on the screaming queen routine? Off the top of my head... desire to belong in a community (especially acute for those rejected by most other communities), bonding by shared behaviour (pretty ubiquitious in humanity), defensive persona (again, common amongst the rejected), emphasis of self and difference to overcome repression...
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
rachel_o
quote:
In reference to lubricants..... <snip>

With reference to your 2nd point - I'm not sure I understand, but I'm assuming you mean anal sex is not the prevalent form of sexual activity between gay men?


Point one- saliva or quail grease would do.

Point two- quite correct. 3rd on the range of the activities but first in everybody's minds. As to whether this would make Leviticus irrelevant, I don't know. I mean, if we follow Drake's arguments (more below) it would be impossible for man to lie with man as with woman, as at least one of them is missing the requisite bit of anatomy. In fact, this appears to be prohibiting the impossible, which is fine by me. Or is Leviticus suggesting that man and woman have non-vaginal sex? Perish the thought!


DrakeDetective...

quote:
St--Please, read some biology and then try to tell me that the human body was designed to be sexually interchangeable..far from even the morality of it, homosexual acts are obviously not "in the flow" of natural actions.

As has been said subsequently, this argument is reallly rather PRATT. I don't need to read biology, I'm trained in medicine, thanks all the same.

I can, however, suggest you read some zoology and / or anthropology to see homosexuality occurring, perfectly 'naturally' 'in the wild' so to speak. I suggest you read some history and see that homosexuality has been there in every society in every age.

Would you class heterosexual non-reproductive or non-vaginal sex as 'unnatural'?
 


Posted by DrakeDetective (# 1778) on :
 
I admit..this is a point where I fail, as I am not against non-reproductive heterosexual sex.

So..I suppose my "nature" argument would fail there.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Don't be so quick to quit on it Drake, heterosexual "social sex" takes place in other animals apart from humans, most notably primates.

However, while some animals will engage in homosexual activity in unusual circumstances, exclusive homosexuality in animals is virtually unheard of, and even preferential homosexual activity rarely takes place in animals except in those with specific neurological functions impaired, or in lower species, where they are confused by masked phermones.

So IF you were assuming humans were animals then I believe your natural law argument would be highly valid.

The debate is that we are not animals...are not entirely anyway. So do the same rules apply? This is a difficult question because in different cases different trends apply.

For example, as a basic rule, Christianity usually tells us to suppress our animal instincts...or at least have them under control and use them in appropriate time and place. Complete obedience to our instincts would make us animals. The ability to surpass merely instinctive behaviour is one of the defining points of Human nature.

On the other hand, what you so rightly say is that homosexuality does not appear to be an animal instinct in the strict sense as it does not occur in other animals. It seems rather unique to humanity.

This raises a diffcult question, because humanity is a double edge sword. some aspects of it are good, some are bad.

Is homosexuality simply part of the joys of the additional choice, freedom and expression available to us that is not available to animals?

Or is it the fact that our humanity gives us the opportunity to be far more bad than a lower organisim?

A worm can be neither very good or very bad, a dog can be much better or much worse, a man can be better or worse still, a genius man can be a monster or a hero. This continues all the way up the hirachy of existing beings right up to satan himself...a super-human being.

As it stands, the natural law argument does not help us to discover which of these two alternatives is the true state of affairs.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
*sigh*

i was hoping not to have to do this again, and maybe i won't but...

matt, if i tell you that the last time we had this debate on this site i pulled out quite a few links to prove that same-sex sexual activity occurs with great frequency in animals in natual settings, will you take my word for it? or will i have to search them out again?

alternatly, they might be on one of the threads in the archive....
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
Point one- saliva or quail grease would do.

This whole "medical hygine" argument relating to anal sex seems to me to be spurious.

If this was the reasoning the bible would simply say "do not have anal sex". However, there is no mention specifically of anal sex (correct me if I'm wrong people) so presumably it is ok for heterosexuals. (although my guess is you are not gonna hear that preached from the average pulpit!!!)

And don't kid yourselves that the innocent little people back then didn't know boys and girls could do that kind of thing together. Classic literature is full of it.

quote:
I mean, if we follow Drake's arguments (more below) it would be impossible for man to lie with man as with woman, as at least one of them is missing the requisite bit of anatomy. In fact, this appears to be prohibiting the impossible, which is fine by me. Or is Leviticus suggesting that man and woman have non-vaginal sex? Perish the thought!

I'm saying the following simply exploring the original meaning and purpose of the Leviticus law...not whether we are bound to that law today:

To your comment about non-vaginal sex, It's quite possible I should think, it was a fairly common practice in the ancient world.

However, what is more relevant is that the wording in leviticus is as you say, vague: "lie with a man as a woman" seems to be referring to broad sexual activity than specific act.

I think this is intentional. This is a book of law, and in any legal document, wording is important. I don't think it is mere shyness because the subject happens to be sex which causes the vague wording. As proof of this, check out laws on checking whether or not a girl is a virgin, laws about women grabbing mens balls etc...leviticus is quite direct and clinical about human anatomy and physiology in these cases.

It seems to be vague because it is an inclusive law.

For whatever reason, at that time, in that place, the jewish people believed God did not want them to have sexual relations with men and it was not specifically about anal sex hygine.

quote:
I can, however, suggest you read some zoology and / or anthropology to see homosexuality occurring, perfectly 'naturally' 'in the wild' so to speak.

This is a myth. homosexual acts occur in nature, agreed. However, the animals involved are virtually always bisexual. They just happen to be the randy kind of animals which will shag their way. There is no recorded example in nature of an animal showing intentional, purposeful and persistent homosexual preference.
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
matt, if i tell you that the last time we had this debate on this site i pulled out quite a few links to prove that same-sex sexual activity occurs with great frequency in animals in natual settings, will you take my word for it? or will i have to search them out again?

You had better, because you are making assumptions way beyong the evidence.

What the zoological evidence tells us is that homosexual activity occurs in animals. agreed. HOWEVER:

1. These animals are usually, to put it bluntly, randy species which are highly promiscuous in their normal heterosexual behaviour. These animals are not the best examples. male dogs will mount other dogs when they get randy...agreed. However, they will also mount peoples legs, tree stumps..soft toys etc. It prooves nothing.

2. very rarely occurring in preference to heterosexual activity. Give two male dogs a bitch to play with and the only "mounting" they will do of each other is having a fight over who can get to mate with her first!

3. To my knowledge never occurring as the exclusive sexual preference of any other animal. That is to say, there is not any animal anywhere in the world which turns it's nose up at heterosexual sex if given the opportunity without the opportunity of homosexual activity.

The only exception to that is some research done into specific nuro-transmitters and their genetic controls in mice which enabled them to produce exclusively gay mice in the lab.

Incidently, to reiterate what I said. The natural law argument is in itself only a single piece of evidence anyway...I'm not actually sure which side of the arugment it benefits to be honest. Read the whole of my previous post.
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
Why does any discussion regarding whether a particular sex act is sinful or not generate such strong passions compared with other activities.

Take for example "smoking". Nobody gets upset if the church talking about smoking says "Hate the Sin Love the Sinner".
There are no proposals put forward in synod that smokers should not be allowed to be priests.
On first becoming a christian (except in a few fundie churches) a smoker is not expected to give up smoking immediately.
Smokers don't get all offended and say that it is to do with their identity.

Sorry, I may have offended some people with this, but I wanted to give examples of how both sides react (rightly or wrongly).

Still if smoking caused the same upsets it would give a whole new meaning to sites like "We Hate fags"
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
matt:

gay sheep

book review

Salon article

another article

zoo exhibit

hope these all work ok.

[URLs fixed, subsequent posts correcting them deleted]

[ 15 November 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
I only popped in once on this thread earlier but I have been following it intently. You guys go at it. But you are preety civil. I am amazed.

Seems like threads on sex always lead to everyone vougeing and looking over shoulders. I think it has something to do with the intenseness of the human body and the gift of sex from God.

Has anyone heard of the Theology of the Body (TOB). Indirectly it has something to do with this thread. The TOB suprised me and made some things like Sex, the Trinity, the Body and our ultimate destiny in heaven stick together. Talking about strange bed-fellows. Caramba!

Here are 6 one page articles by Christopher West who gives conferences on the significance of the Theology of the Body (TOB).

Basically these articles try to show that our religions should not be going around saying "Spirit good. Body Bad!". The body is very good because it symbolizes the essence of the Trinity. The TOB is much more complex than that and I am sure I am butchering the ideas and making your skin rumple. So just check out the articles.

Here are the articles:
1. Naked Without Shame: Behind the Fig Leaves
2. Naked Without Shame: The Scandal of the Body
3. Naked Without Shame: The Great Divorce
4. Naked Without Shame: Epiphany of the Body
5. Naked Without Shame: Karol Wojtyla's Cure for Cancer
6. Naked Without Shame: God, Sex, and the Meaning of Life

This is what I get out of the articles: the male and female body when loving fully are physical symbols of God's life giving esssence. This idea is not a club to beat over anyone's head. This is a proposal of what love and sex originally were meant in God's original plan before original sin.

[UBB fixed]

[ 15 November 2001: Message edited by: Alan Cresswell ]
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
snif - thanks for the links.

Re: homosexuality in other animals - I'm not sure that's either here or there. A human understanding of sex is more than the understanding of other animals - there are the emotional and spiritual elements as well. Biology only becomes important if you take it as pre-eminent, in which case you need a concept of all sex being purely procreative, so as I said you need to be anti-contraception (including rhythm method) and ignore the emotional and spiritual aspects of sex. If you won't go there then you can't use biology as an argument against homosexuality because it won't hold together.

However, don't despair Drake - there is a 'natural' argument out there that you can use. Basically, the only 'natural' argument that's ever got anywhere is number 3). As far as I've seen it is along the lines that a natural (in the sense of in line with God's purposes) necessity in sexual relations is the 'complementarity' of male and female (this is not simply in terms of biology - it's more sophisticated than a 'what fits where' argument). Homosexual sexual relations are defined thus as unnatural because they do not incorporate the required complementarity.

IMNSVHO this falls down (primarily on the fact that I have not yet seen an argument for the uniqueness of this type of complementarity), but it's an argument I at least respect enough to engage with, rather than the 'what fits where' argument which one just has to stand back and watch trip over its own feet as soon as it's out of the starting blocks

I'm afraid I don't have any references for this natural law argument - if I find any within the natural (ho ho) lifetime of this thread then I'll post 'em.

Can we talk about body theology now? That's what I think one of the real issues is - as I posted before and Matt misunderstood, I think the phenomenon of homosexual sexual love at its best gives us a clear example of the spirtual and the physical inseparably linked. Basically, sexual love is an act of creation, in some cases of babies and in all cases of real love of creation of the bond between two people and a spiritual entity that is more than the individuals concerned. With het sex we can kid ourselves that the latter isn't there - "it's just for making babies, that's all" - but with gay sex we can see the latter creation uncluttered, and IMHO a part of God's creation and intention, for both gay and straight.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by simon 2:
Why do some gay blokes camp it up so much?


If you mean "camp" as in drag, idolisation of famous female film stars (Judy Garland, Bette Davis, etc. over here in the US), referring to oneself and one's male acquaintances using female words ("You go, girl! Sister! Etc.!"), the explanation I've most often heard (as someone who doesn't really get into that side of things; not all of us do) is that many gay men identify with women in the way they have been treated, marginalised, etc., and that some of those film stars (esp. the grand yet tragic ones) have had lives which resonate with their, or our, experiences. There are other aspects, I am sure, but this may be one also.
 
Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
Body Theology?

Joan the Dwarf:

quote:

" babies ... and ... love ...
With het sex we can kid ourselves that the latter isn't there - "it's just for making babies, that's all"


Please show me the robotic wanker in the 21st century who kids herself/himself into believing that sex does not feel good to herself and/or his/her partner?

The point that good sex deepens the bond between the two - even if the bond is non-existant before the act is known like the palm of my hand. Not knowing what sex was - was the problem before the sexual revolution. Right? People were so Victorian and uptight that they needed to be coerced into thinking about sex as fun and potentially full of love.

The Sexual Revolution (thank God) changed all that. June Cleaver is long gone. Ward Cleaver went before June. And Beaver Cleaver and Eddie Haskel are getting them some while Wally waits his turn in the hall.

Gay love is good for many things and is a beautiful human thing but I wouldn't say that it is by definition a higher spiritual love than het love. Because it cannot create a baby makes it more spiritual?

Honestly I strain and nothing comes out on this one.
 


Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
I am only making a suggestion here, as I don't know enough 'camp' people to talk knowledgeably about it, but from observations of TV stars maybe it is in some way to make themselves more popular? I am thinking of people like Julian Clary, Kenneth Williams, John Inman - this style is hugely popular and wows the audience, certainly of women, and maybe men too. I certainly find their kind of humour hugely entertaining, and they get laughed with rather than laughed at when they behave in this way.

As far as church matters are concerned, I wanted to climb up a Cathedral tower recently, and bought a ticket just as it had come to the end of the roll (where the coloured dye starts to show). The steward handed me my ticket and in his campest voice said 'ooooh, you've got a pretty pink one!' which sent my young son into stitches - it made his day as much as the tower climb.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Oh dear OK, I'll try and say this for the fourth time, hopefully clearer than the previous three

Sniffy: "by definition a higher spiritual love than het love. Because it cannot create a baby makes it more spiritual?"

No, no no and no! Honestly, someone ought to invent telepathy then we wouldn't have these misunderstandings. Here's the hopefully unambigous version of what I was saying:

I place het and gay sex on an exact level emotionally and spiritually.

Het sex can also produce babies.

Some people can get hung up on a biological justification for sex (ie all sex must be about procreation).

Less extremely, some people can say that the primary function of het sex is to have babies, anything else is just a nice side-effect.

Both of these are ways in which people can chose to denigrate the emotional and spiritual aspects of sex.

Neither of these are available cop-outs when considering gay sex.

Gay sex is a plainer example of what all sex is. IMHO it shows that the emotional and spiritual parts of sex are valid ends in themselves, quite apart from the biological (but NOT apart from the physical). That is why I find it beautiful.

Gay sex is as spiritual or as unspiritual as making-baby sex. Gay sex helps us see this side to All sex, gay and straight.
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:

I think the phenomenon of homosexual sexual love at its best gives us a clear example of the spirtual and the physical inseparably linked. Basically, sexual love is an act of creation, in some cases of babies and in all cases of real love of creation of the bond between two people and a spiritual entity that is more than the individuals concerned. With het sex we can kid ourselves that the latter isn't there - "it's just for making babies, that's all" - but with gay sex we can see the latter creation uncluttered, and IMHO a part of God's creation and intention, for both gay and straight.


Gay relationships (I am thinking of stable couples in their social context, not anonymous trips to Soho to find rent boys) are also a powerful statement about the magnificent arbitrariness and unnecessariness of love and desire – gay and straight. It shows us that the sexual love is not just an evolutionary imperative to ensure the survival of the species, or a mindless succumbing to your family’s expectations, or acquiring a status symbol or suitable parent for your children, a path to social acceptability or (getting all feminist now, are we?) an exercise of patriarchal power, but a gift from God.

If you’re gay, you can’t really demand that your partner stay chained to the kitchen sink where she belongs and give up her career to cook your dinners. You don’t find yourself making out with a same sex peer at a teenage disco because all your friends are doing it. You don’t move in with your gay lover because your parents are moaning at you to settle down. (Though it would certainly shut them up if you did.)

But the fact that gay people pursue relationships against all social expectation and sometimes in the face of extreme prejudice, is in itself a statement of the strength of a bond of sexual love, even when uncalled for and unsought for and unsupported by a social stamp of approval.

Of course, I’m not saying all straight relationships are full of gender stereotyping and nasty power games and that gay ones are always full of sweetness and sharing.

Only that it is generally an example of a type of relationship which can have no purpose or compensation except in the enjoyment of itself. Perhaps it is this which can embarrass people - a relationship with that degree of nakedness.

(I was wrong earlier – it looks as though this thread is about sex after all. Ulp.)
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Nicole, looked at your webpages.

I'm not impressed. The books by Bruce Bagemihl and such are not research papers. You can write anything you like in a book. It makes some valid points, but at the end of the day it is not a scientific study.

In general, all the studies seem to be reiterating something we already knew; in some species (usually those which are promiscuous anyway) have sexual activity with the same sex. All these documents you listed make this point very well because it's well attested to, it's old news. What they then do is slide in the supposition this is exclusive based on far less compelling evidence.

And to return to my point, the nature argument is not valid for Christians anyway, since we are set apart from animals. What is right for them is not neccessarily right for us. What is right for us is not neccessarily right for them.
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Elaine from the bar:

But the fact that gay people pursue relationships against all social expectation and sometimes in the face of extreme prejudice, is in itself a statement of the strength of a bond of sexual love, even when uncalled for and unsought for and unsupported by a social stamp of approval.

(I was wrong earlier – it looks as though this thread is about sex after all. Ulp.)


Hey Elaine- well said. Very 'cue swelling quasi-romantic God-Bless-America' type music.

Of course the thread is about sex. When heterosexuals start discussing gay people sex is, depressingly, always top of the agenda (OK, there's an occasional 'who's the mand, who's the woman').

I must agree with Joan that the 'natural/unnatural' argument is a bit of a red herring 'cos we will never be able to know what is 'natural' for humankind, and of course this doesn't necessarily fit in with God's scheme of things.
 


Posted by St Rumwald (# 964) on :
 
Double posting...

Mad Medic

We agree on something at least, that you can't argue to humans from ethology (sorry Desmond Morris), even if I may have brought this into the discussion.

Still, considering how much writing there is in the Bible, and how much of it is genuinely concerned with homosexuality (statistically negligble), it's amazing how people get so hot under the collar about it. Methinks this is man's perennial habit of twisting religion to suit his own biases.
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
Quick aside John Inman is not gay (though he may be bi-sexual). There have been enough newspapers acticles about the women in his life to make Jeffery Archer jealous.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
matt, did you actually read the gay sheep article?
 
Posted by Lizzabee (# 1719) on :
 
Sorry everyone for starting a thread and then abandoning you all to duke it out over the issue.

Still not sure where I stand in Joan's list, but I know I care more about my friend as a person than what he does in the bedroom. The rest is up for debate (as we have well seen) and really is up to God to figure it out. It just ain't my place to decide what is a sin and what is not.

Thanks one and all for giving me so much to consider. (Especially Joan for stretching what I think.) Also thanks for the encouragement that there are other Christians out there that aren't afraid to discuss sensitive issues.
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by St Rumwald:
Point one- saliva or quail grease would do

OK, I take your point(s) and withdraw my earlier comments about hygiene, which were made in all innocence. I am finding all this very educational, and you will all be pleased to know that you have made me blush! !

Whatever we all think about this, I hope we are agreed that we'd like homosexual people to be welcome in the church. How they live out their Christian life can only, in the final analysis, be their choice. I believe that fs our moral choices are only made because they are forced upon us from outside, they become meaningless. All I can say, is that I am really glad that I have brothers ans sisters in Christ who are gay, and I'm pretty sure God's glad to have you with Him as well! I am also sure that you can all educate me a whole lot, but please only do it on the boards where you can't se me blushing!

All the best,

Rachel.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Purely in the interests of GLE education (well, she did ask... ), here' Everything you wanted to ask about lesbians but were afraid to (well, lots of it anyway). Not explicit (well, not that explicit ), and follow the link at the bottom for the second page. If you dare, follow the link on the right for the gay men one - it's a wee bit more x-rated, so I won't link direct to it

Oh, and note: SHIP OF FOOLS IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CONTENT OF EXTERNAL SITES!!!!!!

Education's fun
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
quote:
matt, did you actually read the gay sheep article

As I said before (and I'll say again). It makes not one iota of difference to the debate where humans are concerned.

Yes. I did. I wasn't impressed. It appeared on the personal homepage of some guy. It was based on a "study" done by some postgrad student.

Come on! Post-grad students do "research studys" on some of the most bizzare things for their PHds. It prooves nothing whatsoever.

The student made several subjective comments, but the only statistic mentioned was "8% of sheep are gay" or something like that. To which I reply "92.3% of statistics are made up on the spot".

I wanna see the hard figures. Standard Deviations. P-values etc.

HOWEVER....to reiterate AGAIN. As people on both sides of the argument have said, I really couldn't care less if the whole of the rest of the mammalian Kingdom were subscribers to "We Hate Fags Monthly" or if they were buggering each other sideways.

It wouldn't make a jot of difference to us humans, because as all Christians know, Humans are not just animals right?

The rights and wrongs of the animal Kingdom are not directly referable to us.
 


Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
Thanks Joan

The question was genuine, and your answer was pretty much the same as what I thought might be the case. It may seem very silly but I would not want to pressume any form of behaviour is driven by whatever motive if I don't do that. Just along the lines of nobody knows the heart of a person except that person themselves and God.

So it is essentially for the same reason that het blokes might act laddish and loutish. To fit in and belong. This might be another whole thread so sorry if it is, but with het blokes who 'lad it up' all I can see is really personal insecurity, some lack of real deep self worth and identity, and so a group is needed for personal identity. And so one might say the same for gay blokes I geuss. But then a personal insecurity is more understandable from a gay bloke who has had swim against the tide one way or another.

thanks again joan

Simon
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Simon -

I think that's right as far as the 'over the top' camping is concerned. Boys being camp (or girls being butch) at all is a different matter, and one I still haven't fully worked out. The stereotype of all gay boys wanting to be girls and all gay girls wanting to be boys is rubbish, but less extrememly and by no means pertaining to everyone, gay boys tend to be less laddish and gay girls less girlie. Being repelled by insensitive laddishness could, I guess, lead people to being attracted to a more feminine modus operandi. I don't know.

One thing I find interesting is a description of a camp man in 'The Well of Loneliness' (v. famous lesbian book). This was written early last century, before being camp was widely seen as a defining feature of gay men, before even there was a language to talk about this - it's quite amusing to read descriptions of small hand movements and high-pitched voices etc and then suddenly think 'oh yes, that character's being camp'. So it seems to be a part of a lot of mens' experience of being gay.

I don't know. I'm kind of groping in the dark as far as blokes are concerned. From the other direction, I know I'm less feminine than most straight women... I was a regular tomboy as a child, until I was developed enough that I couldn't be mistaken for a boy. Even then I just couldn't get into this girlie thing, despite trying for so many years because I was told by all and sundry and society that I ought to and I was warped because I wasn't happy with my femininity.

Rambling even further from the original point, I think this sort of assault on gender stereotypes that gays make by our existance is another thing that can get hets anxious or feel threatened. A female who feels uncomfortable wearing dresses and who does some things most commonly thought of as 'male' yet who has no desire to be male can be quite puzzling and disturbing to some people!
 


Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
It's funny because I see the laddish behavour as more a perversion of a Godly character than a sensitive slightly camp character. I love my wife and want to be as sensitive and gentle as I can be, helping her to be the person God created her to be. I know I am still very sinful, but I have a lifetime and a gracious God and wife to help me through my temper, fear etc. (although I tell her she is
perfect she tells me otherwise). However there is a Godlyness to wanting to protect people and stop being the recieptient of physical or emmotional harm.

I see the laddish aggression and competitiveness and really quite bad.

Definitely another thread I know, But I really dont get on with competitiveness, and I hear so many christians proclaiming it as a virtue. I mean where in the bible does it say, beat everyone whenever you can. The race is personal, marked out for each indicidual. This is something I would love to explore further if anybody else wants to too.

I find this discussion on the right or wrongness of it all challenges my paradigm on sexuality. And that hurts me a bit. But almost all I believe is up for grabs. I don't want to join in right or wrongness as I know nothing (manuel style).

cheers
Si
 


Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
Hey my sentence structure just gets worse and worse.

Sorry everyone, I will try to read what I write, well I do, but never spot the mistakes till later.

Simon
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
From Joan the dwarf
quote:
Gay sex is a plainer example of what all sex is. IMHO it shows that the emotional and spiritual parts of sex are valid ends in themselves, quite apart from the biological (but NOT apart from the physical). That is why I find it beautiful.

Gay sex is as spiritual or as unspiritual as making-baby sex. Gay sex helps us see this side to All sex, gay and straight.


Nice. I agree that gay sex is a plainer example of what sex is because it shows sex to be firmly rooted in the physical and emotional world. It also shows that humans alone, when all is said and done, are in charge of their sexual realities and experiences. It shows that there does not have to be the possibility of a biological reason for sex.

I also would like to enhance that thought with the fact that contraception makes het love very close if not the same as gay love. It's our attempt to remove biological justification from het sex. So, het and gay sex both point out this beautiful clarity of sex for sex's sake.

At the same time this sex for sex's sake has been there for eons, regardless of gay or contraception sex. There have always been people who could not conceive. Gay sex and contraception sex do not alone make the point that sex is good just for sex's sake. There are many couples that cannot conceive and these people were born that way.

Is het-contraception sex, gay sex and cannot-conceive sex the same thing? Are they better or worse than plain ol' naked het sex?

Where does the Trinity fit in this? By the Trinity, I mean that The Father (representing the Creator) and the Son (representing the Incarnation) generated the Holy Spirit. That is the Father "knowing" (in the full biblical meaning of that word:rolleyes the Son generated the Holy Spirit (or Third Person of the Trinity). The fact that we are created in God's image and that God creates through intimate "knowledge" has me on the fence on this issue.

Is our love supposed to be open to life because it seems to be God's very essence to be a creator based on love? And I don't simply mean to create "love" but a person with a soul who is capable of union with God. And are gay couples, contracepting-het couples and cannot-conceive couples not fully imaging God's essence by their incomplete acts?

Huh? Not sure if I was able to get across my questions there. Hey, it's no fair when your brain smells of Vodka and Cranberry.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
snifter - had a wee few have we?

I really can't say anything more than repeat yet again:

quote:
Gay sex is as spiritual or as unspiritual as making-baby sex. Gay sex helps us see this side to ALL sex, gay and straight.

I would add: gay couples are a public statement of this side of sex - you don't have to know the details (ie whether they use contraception or are infertile) to know they aren't going to procreate biologically.

And no, sexuality as spiritual isn't modern - as I'm arguing that it's natural then I wouldn't be saying that, would I!
 


Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:

I don't know. I'm kind of groping in the dark as far as blokes are concerned.


Erm.....
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
I just wanted to share this with you. It was written by the ECUSA priest who gave the Last Rites to Matthew Shepard (US college person who was killed in 1998 because he was gay).
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
joan, not being episcopal, i'm not sure if i have a right to an opinion on that. but i do have one, and i think its beautiful. amen.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
I'm jumping in late here, and guess that I really just wanted to share my own experience.

As a former funda-definitelymental-ist, I've had to deal with the issues of sexuality as part of my own journey towards wholeness.

I came out as a lesbian ten years ago now, and had to leave the Church in order to do so. It felt like it was either the deepest instincual part of me, or my faith. And I couldn't believe in a God who would tell me that everything I was feeling (and I'd been a Christian for nine years or more) was wrong.

I've known God do an awful lot of healing in my life. I can point to ways in which I have been changed through prayer, some sudden, some more slowly.

And yet, despite many frantic, desparate, heart-felt pleas, God did not change my sexual orientation.

It took Metropolitan Community Church, and a lot of God-incidences to help me realise that I can integrate my faith and my sexuality - that they can even inspire and help eachother, as Joan has been saying.

I have a partner, also a Christian. We have a committed, monogomous relationship. And we have seen God working through us, ministering as a couple, to people around us. Our prayer has always been to have God at the centre of our relationship. And that we were - and are- willing to give up anything in our relationship that was displeasing to God.

All we have seen are blessings. And those around us who know us will add their support and testimony to this.

We try and live by the "meat before idols" principle - we are discreet when in church and do not "flaunt" our sexuality or our relationship. Because we don't want to cause offense to anyone who does believe that homosexual behaviour is sinful. And while there are times that we have cried, and longed for a "marriage-of-sorts" type ceremony to affirm our love and committment in the heart of the congregation where we worship, I think that realistically, this is a long way off.

I'm rambling a bit now, and congrats to anyone who's read this far...

Peace,

Kirsti
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
After a period of inactivity enjoying reading what people have written.
Thought the Gay sheep link was a joke thought it quite funny.

Won't be joining in this debate been here several times before on these boards.

Though it has to be said my opinion has changed as a result has any one elses?
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
One more thing... (sorry, just discovered this thread and it's obviously one that I'm somewhat verbose about)

.. the gay men=camp thing... my personal theory on that, and on the very "aggressive butch" attitude you see from some lesbians.. the whole "loud and proud, in yer face" attitude...

... I think comes from a deep sense of hurt at being left out of society, a feeling of rejection at some level.

And then it's all too easy for that hurt and rejection to swing into "Well, I'm going to be NOTHING like them! I'm going to be different! And I'm going to show just how different I can be!" - and thus you get the sort of behaviours mentioned above.

And sadly, the gay subculture seems to embody a lot of the worst of these. And, if you're feeling isolated and insecure, the subculture offers instant acceptance - and its own, easy to follow, rules of behaviour, dress, conduct, reading material, festivals ...

(and yes, someday I'm going to write an essay on the parallels between that and the evangelical Christian sub-culture)

Peace,

Kirsti
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
quote:
(and yes, someday I'm going to write an essay on the parallels between that and the evangelical Christian sub-culture)

Please do, as an evangelical christian who cannot stand the evangelical sub-culture I hope that it will be a best seller

LOL
 


Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Lizzabee:
It just ain't my place to decide what is a sin and what is not.

Lizzabee,

If you're a thinking human being then that's exactly what you have to decide. You're responsible for your own conduct. If you have children, you're going to have to teach them right from wrong to the best of your ability.

What it isn't our place to do is to impose our individual ideas of what's sinful or not sinful on other people (over and above that minimum consensus of values that is necessary for community life).

Both those who seek to use the Bible to impose their conservative views, and those who seek to use their victimhood to impose their right to do whatever feels good, are equally IMHO on the wrong path.

I'm very impressed with Inanna's post combining humility, self-acceptance, and concern for the feelings of others. Whatever inner resources or community situation make this sort of maturity possible, I pray that they may grow to be available to all.

Russ

(PS: sorry to quote my own post, but couldn't resist highlighting the contrast between the view that we're all "broken" and Matt's view that we're all "bad").
 


Posted by Gracia (# 1812) on :
 
I'd like to thank our host for pointing out that ad hominems do not belong in respectful discussions
The term "breeder" is purposely offensive, I believe. Regardless of one's orientation, I think it would be hard to show that our Lord has anything but respect for procreation.
 
Posted by Gracia (# 1812) on :
 
I am a very new member, and i think this discussion is important. Many people I love and respect,who are not Christian,state as a major objection to identifying oneself as a Christian is their perception that Christians are bigoted and hateful toward homosexuals.
In my "crowd" this is the stereotyped view of Christians. I never had to think about the issue too much until i was saved and grew into Christianity. I very much respect Joan the Dwarf's thoughtful posts. If I stick to Jesus' 2 great commandments,I can evaluate my own words and behavior using them as a standard.
As far as trying to explain to my nonChristian friends that because i am now a Christian, that does not mean i have become homophobic,this discussion is giving me perspective and food for thought,and helping me clarify my own position. Thanks,
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Inanna - thanks for your posts.

I can't imagine what it must've been like for an evo to come out - I'm finding it difficult enough as an anglo-catholic!
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Wow. Joan, Russ, I'm blushing (do we have a 'blush' smiley?). Thank you so much for your kind words.

I've written more about my coming out journey hereif anyone wants to read.

And Joan - actually, converting to Catholicism has helped me grow more secure in my sexual identity as a part of my whole personhood. The Catholic teaching of "conscience" as your guide, and what you will be judged on when you stand before God is incredibly freeing, and a wonderful invitation to develop a mature adult faith. Yes, we have to inform our consciences by knowing what the Bible says, what the Church teaches, but also what psychology and science tells us, and, most importantly, what the voice of God-living-in-me, and my gut instincts tell me.

I'd disagree with the "we are inherantly sinful" theology. I much prefer Russ's brokenness. But, when I was baptized, I became a "new creation". God didn't just throw a white sheet over my old, sinful nature. Instead, I am now living from God's Spirit within me.

Anyway, before I get into rambling again.. thank you for the warm welcome. I spent most of today feeling incredibly vulnerable wondering if there were going to be any replies and if so, how people would react. I can breathe slightly easier now.

Peace,

Kirsti
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Well, thanks for being so open in your posts that you did feel vulnerable.

Personally, it's really good hearing from someone who's further down the line from me and is female - a consequence of being AC is that all my 'role models' of gay christians are male ! Also someone who's reached an accommodation within themselves about their church - I've nearly left the Anglican church on many many occasions over the last months because I felt unable to reach a healthy one.
 


Posted by sharkshooter (# 1589) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:

.. the gay men=camp thing... my personal theory on that, and on the very "aggressive butch" attitude you see from some lesbians.. the whole "loud and proud, in yer face" attitude...

... I think comes from a deep sense of hurt at being left out of society, a feeling of rejection at some level.

And then it's all too easy for that hurt and rejection to swing into "Well, I'm going to be NOTHING like them! I'm going to be different! And I'm going to show just how different I can be!" - and thus you get the sort of behaviours mentioned above.

And sadly, the gay subculture seems to embody a lot of the worst of these. And, if you're feeling isolated and insecure, the subculture offers instant acceptance - and its own, easy to follow, rules of behaviour, dress, conduct, reading material, festivals ...


...which then leads to even more and stronger reactions from those who believe that homosexuality is not acceptable.

If the idea of peanut butter and banana sandwiches disgusts me, and that is OK, why is it not OK for the idea of homosexuality to disgust me? Others may like peanut butter and banana sandwiches - I'd just prefer if they did not put them on my plate or eat them in front of me.

(running quickly, because I expect to get jumped on for this...)
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
sharkshooter, what possible applicability your "peanut butter and bannana sandwhich" analogy has to homosexuality, is beyond me.

how has anyone ever attempted to force gayness on you? were you the victem of a rape attempt? thats the only possible comparison, and that not a good one, to someone trying to put a peanut butter and banana sandwich on your plate. as to eating one in front of you, i'm sure you would be annoyed if, as you were about to dig into your nice rare roast beef at a restaurant, someone came up to you and said "i'm a vegetarian and i find that disgusting, so you mustn't do it."
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
thank you for the warm welcome. I spent most of today feeling incredibly vulnerable wondering if there were going to be any replies and if so, how people would react. I can breathe slightly easier now.


Hi Inanna. As a fellow newbie I completely understand your anxiety - I have been feeling just the same over my computer-less weekend, having posted on this thread last week for my first venture into Purg (perhaps, for my own peace of mind, I should have worked up from a less controversial topic!) even though I'd not said anything as personal as you have.

I appreciated your posts and am glad you felt that you could share your experience here.

From what I've seen of Purgatory, most people do realise that it takes a lot of courage to share their personal experiences and they will respect that in their responses.

Dodgy arguments, on the other hand, may get ripped apart - but even then people don't tend to jump down your throat unless you're being insufferably arrogant.

I like to think that the Ship is a safe space for vulnerability and uncertainty.

So, welcome, and thank you for joining us.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Hey sharkshooter - I can sympathise with what I call the "primative ugh" reaction: I have that towards heterosexuality. It does not, however, give me any sort of moral etc right to tell hets to stop what they're doing or even to call it sinful. We're both allowed to feel as repelled by the other's sexuality as we like, but we're not allowed to act out of that feeling towards one another!

Inanna - I second Elaine's comments, the Ship is a safe place. It's very safe to explore in as well: I've found people have been pretty patient with me, even when I go into one of my ultra-agressive moods

Elaine - I should've said, thanks for your posts, they both made valuable contributions.
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by sharkshooter:

If the idea of peanut butter and banana sandwiches disgusts me, and that is OK, why is it not OK for the idea of homosexuality to disgust me? Others may like peanut butter and banana sandwiches - I'd just prefer if they did not put them on my plate or eat them in front of me.

I think that the main difference with this is that there are all sorts of other things to eat other than peanut butter and banana sandwiches (can I also add an 'ew' at the idea?). And even their most devoted advocate would not suggest a diet solely of such substance.

But, for those of us who are lesbian and gay, there really is no other alternative when it comes to relationships. We don't have the choice to "eat something else" (OK, I know there's an innuendo there, but I'll keep this PG for now )

So it's a case of trying to compare apples and oranges - the analogy doesn't really hold up....

And as for your other point about the cycle continuing - absolutely. I think it's such a real shame that the image most heterosexual Christians have of gays and lesbians is:

a) entirely focused on our sex lives
and b) based on the worst stereotypes from gay pride parades and the 'angry vocal' minority.

And likewise, I'm sure there are way too many gays and lesbians who sterotype Christians as narrow-minded and homophobic.

[I]Peace,[I]
Kirsti, who thinks that discussions like this are a great place to break past those stereotypes.
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Elaine, Inanna, Gracia, Sharkshooter, and any other new posters I may be omitting, not to mention lurkers who are wondering if this is really all okay ...

Welcome aboard. Yes, we are very glad to have your thoughtful and considerate responses on this thread. Homosexuality is a frequently recurring topic on the Ship, and we hope that we provide a safe place for people to explore ideas on the subject. As long as posters are obeying the Ship's Ten Commandments (most important ones in this context: Don't Be A Jerk and Attack The Issue, Not The Person), all views are welcome.

RuthW
Purgatory host
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
[tangent]

Inanna... you seem familiar... did you use to post here, way back in the beginning?

[/tangent]
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Hi Erin...

.. and yes, I did. Way way way waaaaaaaaaaay back.

Kirsti, very impressed with your memory.
 


Posted by Lev (# 50) on :
 
Kirsti!!

Hello matey, do you remember me? I met you at Holy Joes about 3 years ago and raved on about your website.. now if you do remember me from way back then I will be VERY impressed.

Welcome back,

...Lev
 


Posted by Matt the Mad Medic (# 1675) on :
 
Inanna, I was really impressed by your posts, you write in a considered, thoughtful, non-militant way that wins respect.

I'm interested to know how you went from fundamentalisim to Catholicsim though?

I guess you found catholic attitudes to homosexuality more in line with your own, but there must have been an awful lot of other issue's to weigh up on the other side of the scales?

Some of you may remember Ann Widdicombe becoming catholic over the issue of women priests?? (I think I am remembering that correctly?)

It struck me that whatever I felt about women priests a single issue wouldn't get me changing denominations like that.
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Matt...

Thanks for the kind words.

And actually, the official position/teaching of the Catholic church is about the same as evangelicals - they don't believe that the orientation is sin, but is "objectively disordered" (I think that's the phrase).

Most of this is based on Aquinas's natural law argument, which ends up saying that masturbation is a greater evil than rape or incest (*boggles quietly to herself*) and hence one I feel free to respectfully replace with a more up to date theology.

As far as my reasons for converting.. I'm not quite sure they belong in this thread, but are mainly to do with the sacramental view of life and faith as a Catholic. I no longer have to "work really hard" to try and believe or feel God's presence, or hope for an ecstatic worship experience ... the Eucharist promises that God will be present, whether I believe or not, whether the priest believes it, or not ... it's about God, not about me. Which I really really like.

Peace,

Kirsti
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
My goodness, another original resurfacing. Welcome back, Kirsti.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
[random chatter]

Thanks Erin for the welcome-back message... good to know that I'm still remembered.

And Lev, OK, I had to surf through your website looking at all the past piccies, but yes, I do indeed remember you being so nice about my webpages at HJs way back when.

[/random chatter]
 


Posted by Papa D (# 1696) on :
 
This has been interesting and helpful and I kinda wish there were even more safe spaces to discuss this issue and how one pursues the journey either personally or just as important as an accompanist to a friend working through this issue.

I was talking with a good friend of mine last night who is doing his personal journey with his sexuality. One of the things that was poigniant in our conversation was that he hoped that we could go beyond the support stuff and start of really talk about the issue and to work through this part of our relationship.

My friend said that this journey is dangerous particularly in the church world and some have already felt that the friendship is too much to take on emotionally and so do not make the necessary time for various reasons

The challenge for me as a friend is issues around accompaniment. For me - it is my friend who has the integrity to be working through the truth of his sexuality in his life and my integrity is working through what it means to be a friend in spaces that are hostile to my friends situation.

For some who I worship and work with this can either a) question me and my judgement or
b) alienate me for stuff that I wish to do because of association issues
c) Respect the fact that this person is first and foremost a friend prior to disclosure. I wish it were c) all the time but it is not a perfect world!!

I am not sure whether we have engaged with the accompanying part of this issue especially for friends who might be people who have a higher profile.

Be interesting to hear some more views on accompaniment in church life.
 


Posted by Corpus cani (# 1663) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
It does not, however, give me any sort of moral etc right to tell hets to stop what they're doing or even to call it sinful.

Quite so, and whilst we're at it, can't we come up with a better word than "hets"? Apart from anything else, it's so naff. We have to be so careful about what we call others. Well, FWIT, I am offended by the word "hets" simply because it's such an ugly abuse of the English language. Much worse than those "odd" boys who've hijacked that lovely English word "gay".

OK, the last sentence was ironic (in the sense of "some people won't get the humour") but please! "HETS"???? "Homos" went out even when I was a lad so "hets" can't be any better.

Where are the shipmates with imagination who can come up with some terminology (if we must have it) that neither offends anybody nor is an abuse of the language?
 


Posted by Stooberry (# 254) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Corpus cani:
Where are the shipmates with imagination who can come up with some terminology (if we must have it) that neither offends anybody nor is an abuse of the language?

unfortunately, i don't think it's gonna happen. no-one likes to be defined by what they do, and the only words that can define these two groups of people obviously centre in on the differences. someone is gonna be offended by whatever is written... unless we can come up with some unloaded, completely unrelated terms picked at random from the dictionary...

um: "kidney-machines" and "swiggletrees"???

(mind u... i'm sure we could find someone who found those offensive, if we searched hard enough!)
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Corpus - I would gladly use another word if one were provided. But not 'straight', for fairly obvious reasons (because the opposite is 'crooked'!!). And I'd get RSI if I had to write 'heterosexual' every time!
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
If homosexuals have the right to have taken over the word 'gay' as their name-badge (a word my father still resents them being referred to by, as he remembers the 1920s-1950s when it still meant 'happy'), then the majority 90%-plus of the population has the right to be called 'straight' and not by the absolutely horrible 'het'.

Joan the Dwarf's use of that word immediately turns me off anything else she has to say, especially when coupled with her quite aggressive style (IMO).

Thankfully we have, by contrast, Inanna, who puts her case very reasonably and has probably got the attention and respect of the likes of myself and Matt the M.M. (who I believe share a similar starting point of view on the subject).
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
I know I've posted aggressively on quite a lot of this thread. All I can do is apologise again; I am trying, this is very difficult for me. I wish I could post like Inanna, I'm sorry. If anyone can have the patience to put up with me, thankyou. This is still very new and raw for me - I've only been out for a couple of months. I am trying to improve the way I post, you don't have to bludgeon me over the head with my failings. I'm sorry. This whole conversation is very painful and not easy at all. And I never intended 'het' to be pejorative at all, even when I was being aggressive. But after remembering the 'Welch' situation, 'straight's fine by me.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
For those of us who are only able to see the world from a purely heterosexual viewpoint, the contributions made by Joan the Dwarf are very useful and enlightening. Keep posting! We may find such views hard to handle but that is probably our problem, not hers.
 
Posted by Tina (# 63) on :
 
Thanks, Chorister, just what I wanted to say! And thanks Joan for your many gracious posts.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Please! The board and the world would be incredibly boring if everyone posted like me.

I've appreciated and enjoyed reading Joan's comments, and - IMHO - if she's sounded agressive, that's probably because she's felt like she has to defend her corner in the face of attacks.

When you're just coming out, and just dealing with all this, and the attitudes of the established church, and your own feelings of "I've always thought this must be wrong, but help, it's me, and it doesn't feel wrong at all.." it's very easy to see rejection and shock everywhere. And get defensive as a result of that.

Me, I've lived with this for a while, I have an incredibly supportive Christian partner, we have a great church (they hired my partner as assistant music minister knowing she was lesbian, and the priest there gave the two of us a private 'engagement blessing' service..) and I've done an awful lot of reading, of thinking, and of praying to get to a point where I'm reasonably secure in my faith and my sexuality.

Joan - you're doing great. Keep listening to God, listening to your instincts, and email me if you want to talk off-board.

Peace

Kirsti
 


Posted by jeff_mb (# 1850) on :
 
Is there *anything* in Leviticus that applies to Christians? Using the language of Article VII ("The Old Testament is not contrary to the new..."), is everything there Ceremony and Rite, i.e., not Moral?

On this and so many other topics, I have many more questions than answers....
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
Oooh! Bagsy me to be called a 'Swiggletree'. I hereby claim it to describe my unique sexuality, so no-one will be able to pigeon-hole me.

I don't like the word 'het', which I'd not come across before reading this thread - Joan's defence of it is rational, I see that, but there's no denying the ugliness of the word. And, although I have used the word in my previous posts as the lesser of the two evils, I don't particularly like being referred to as 'straight', either - it suggests I don't get to crack any gags, which is a shame.

Language, hey. Insoluble problems. We'll just have to make do.

On another note, I don't find the tone of Joan's posts aggressive. They come across to me as confident and intelligent. I hope I'm not just saying that because I pretty much agree with them... I don't think so.

I must admit I had doubts whether a thread on this topic could avoid becoming a storm thread, but, apart from a couple of hairy moments, I have been impressed by posters' restraint and courtesy.

And Inanna - I see I shouldn't have referred to you as a newbie!
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Thankyou everyone. I was wondering about taking back my comments that the Ship was a safe place after Alaric's comments, which I found pretty brutal and upsetting. But I think I'll stick by them - thanks. I've learnt an awful lot over the course of this thread about controlling my instinct to defend by attacking, and about actually engaging with people who think differently, rather than just assuming they're ignorant/bigotted. And learning not to think less of people because they disagree with me on this subject (it was actually Steve on the Falwell thread who made me see how that was possible). Bear with me, I'll get there in the end
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
After saying I wouldn't post on this thread again I have to say i am quite happy to be 'the straight man '.

One of my irritations after the claiming of the word gay by the homosexual community. Is the word 'partner' to mean some one we are having sexual relations with. Partner used to mean some one I did sketchs with the person i worked with.
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Community Editor hat ON

Joan said:

quote:
I was wondering about taking back my comments that the Ship was a safe place after Alaric's comments, which I found pretty brutal and upsetting.

The Ship being a safe place does not mean that you (or your style) will be accepted without question, or that everyone will like you. I strongly encourage people here to take stock of what they say before they say it, particularly if it is on highly personal subject. Alaric had as much right to his comments as others had to object to them.

Community Editor hat OFF
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Nightlamp wrote:
One of my irritations after the claiming of the word gay by the homosexual community. Is the word 'partner' to mean some one we are having sexual relations with. Partner used to mean some one I did sketchs with the person i worked with.

That's a tough one. Because what else can I use to describe the woman I love, who has been a part of my life for seven years, and who I hope will be with me until the end of it. Our relationship, our love, consists of an awful lot more than just "sexual relations" Nightlamp - just as any husband would say of his wife that their marriage is more than just what goes on in the bedroom.

I don't like to use "girlfriend" - we're both in our 30s, and it seems somewhat teenager-ish.

I don't really want to use "lover" because, as I said above, our relationship is about an awful lot more than sex. And "lover" seems to be heading for the "rubbing-it-in-people's-faces" which really isn't appropriate in my book.

And I can't use "wife" because we have no official marriage ceremony. (Though I have called her my fiancee on occasions.)

"Life-partner" is way too cumbersome and unwieldy, as is "significant other" (and that also implies that everyone else in my life is non-significant, which certainly isn't the case). "Companion" sounds like I'm an old lady being taken care of, which is also nowhere near the truth.

So any other suggestions as to a word which encompasses the depth of a loving committed relationship, while not offending anyone, or taking more than a few syllables to spell out would be very welcome.

Peace,
Kirsti
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Erin, I was not crying foul play, I was giving my reaction to Alaric's comments. A safe environment includes being safe from personal attacks, which was how his comments came across. Come to think of it, isn't that a 10cc?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Host hat on

No, Alaric's comments do not constitute personal attack. It seems to me Erin's already made that clear.

Host hat off
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Saying that he finds your style aggressive, that he dislikes the use of the word "het" and that he isn't inclined to listen to you is not a personal attack. Speaking administratively, I don't have a problem with aggressive posting; "het" is just as offensive and derogatory as "homo"; and whether or not he listens to you is entirely up to him. None of them breached any commandment.

I have always felt the need, however, to make sure that people don't equate safe with unchallenged or universally liked. It saves me from work in the end.
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
Inanna I can't think of a word but I still use the word partner for some of the people I have worked with

Some of the forms of work I have done have meant more than working togther it was an entire life style we were partners then and as far as i am concerned they are my ex partners.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
*inclines head to hosts* Thankyou for your considered replies. If it's a hostly judgement that 'het' is an offensive term then I will treat it as such here, and apologise for any inadvertant offence caused by my ignorance surrounding its negative connotations.

And no, Alaric has not violated a 10c in his content. It was the nastiness in his tone I was objecting to, hence I didn't yell for the hosts. My last post about the 10c's was a cheap jibe at Erin because I was angry at being told off for being upset - I was trying to pick a fight with you, thankyou for not rising to the bait.

Erin: "I have always felt the need, however, to make sure that people don't equate safe with unchallenged or universally liked. It saves me from work in the end."

For me, safe=safe to challenge and be challenged. As shown by the first 3.5 pages of this thread

Peace? Or have I missed something?
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Sorry, double post...

Back to the thread: maybe it'd be useful to have 2 words, for writing and speaking. In speech I've often heard "other half" (only one more syllable than "partner"), and if thats too much to write then in text I've seen "SO" (for Significant Other). Just don't mix 'em up - calling t'other half your "Esso" in speech might get you a few wierd looks and petrol-station comments
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
It's fine, Joan -- I wasn't trying to tell you off for being upset. If that's how it came across, my apologies. I just wanted to clear up the safe thing and to remind everyone that you do take a risk in sharing (I speak from bitter experience).
 
Posted by jlg (# 98) on :
 
I just read all of this all in one sitting and don't know where to start making replies. I'll just content myself with a big hug to Joan for her endurance, especially since I had no idea that she was newly "out" -- I had always taken you, Joan, as someone who was arguing with the aplomb of years of experience (on other topics, too, not just this one). Unlike others, I did not hear anger or undue agressiveness.

I have to admit that I read this topic because I find it so mind-boggling that homosexuality is such a big issue for so many heterosexual people. I guess somehow I lucked out and didn't pick up any early indoctrination about it, so as I grew up and became sexually aware of people, I just gradually discovered that there were different sexual attractions and added it to the long list of attributes that people have in our minds which causes our brain to sort them into interesting/sexual, interesting/nonsexual, boring.

The much more challenging question to me is how to deal with the sexual urges of the adolescent and young adult (without pushing them into early marriage and children) while also creating a civil and religious system that creates and supports stable 'families' which DO provide the proper environment for raising children? And I put the emphasis on *stable*, which is why the 'families' is in quotes.

I realize that for good bible-based Christians, this is just blather, so don't bother arguing with me. But I had to say it.
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Joan suggested:
In speech I've often heard "other half" (only one more syllable than "partner"), and if thats too much to write then in text I've seen "SO" (for Significant Other). Just don't mix 'em up - calling t'other half your "Esso" in speech might get you a few wierd looks and petrol-station comments

Yeah, I tend to use SO online a fair bit - problem is that very few non-net-literate folks have any clue what it stands for.

As for 'other half' this is a peeve of mine and probably belongs in a Hell-bend rant ... I really dislike the implications that I am somehow giving up half of myself by joining in a relationship. Also, for me at least, it has somewhat sexist connotations where it's used in a demeaning way.. "my better half", when in actual fact, he means "the little woman at home" kind of thing. [disclaimer]Please note, I don't mean this about all men, or all people who use that phrase. this is purely my own gut reaction to it.[/disclaimer]
 


Posted by Elijah on Horeb (# 1614) on :
 
It seems I was at least partly responsible for starting off this thread by some remarks I made on the Sex Before Marriage thread - it seemsagesago! I sure opened a can of worms, didn't I? I thought I knew how much fear and angst the very mention of the word "homosexual" could create, but you people have introduced me to new depths!

And for a lot of what was written, I would have to say it was just that - depths of fear and angst which clouded rational thinking and gave rise to the same kind of adolescent "humour" with which so many of us try to hide our deep-seated uneasiness at anything remotely related to sex, especially its physical manifestations. I'm afraid I was less than impressed with a lot of the semi-flippant interchange, especially when it deviated into a kind of delighted recognition and greeting of old friends like that which you see at school reunions.

On the other hand I did appreciate the serious discussions by those who either attempted to exegete the biblical passages involved, or by talking openly of their own experiences gave me a fresh insight into what it's like to be homosexual in a heterosexually oriented Church. Thank you - there are too many of you to mention by name.

I should perhaps confess that I have never had any doubt that I am veryheterosexual, and that I have in fact had very little to do personally with homosexuals (or if I have I still don't know it!) But because the whole question has been very much a hot potato in our Uniting Church here in Australia I have had, like many others, to think deeply about issues which previously had never occurred to me as issues, and to try and arrive at some position which takes account of both God's purity and His love. Let me now try to wind up this thread, certainly my own contribution to it, by spelling out some conclusions which I have reached so far - "conclusions" not being the best word, since I don't pretend for one moment to have all the answers, and that the whole subject is too complex for there to be one final answer anyway:-

First, we should ask, "What is a homosexual?"(and for the purposes of this dissertation I take the word "homosexual" to embrace "lesbian"!):

Is a homosexual one who through no fault of their own finds themselves with the feelings for one or more of the same sex that one would usually expect to feel toward the opposite sex?

OR

Is a homosexual one who actually engages with another of the same sex in physical activities normally associated with physical "love-making" between a man and a woman?

All the biblical passages refer to the latter - overt physical sexual acts. Biblical writers were not in the habit of dissecting psychological motive and subconscious intention, as our society is. So let us be clear that the Bible speaks against physical acts within same-sex relationships - it has nothing to say against deep and abiding relationship between man and man(eg., David and Jonathan) which may well transcend even the relationship of husband and wife.

On the other hand, we cannot avoid the fact that the Bible makes it equally plain, especially in the example and teaching of Jesus, that while certain behaviours may well be labelled "sin against God", there can be no ostracism or rejection of those who perpetrate those behaviours. The story of John8:1-12: the woman taken in adultery, could I believe have equally well been told of two emn caught sodomising each other: "let him who is without sin cast the first stone at them . . . Men, has no one condemned you? . . . Then neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more!"

Surely it is possible for Christians, and the Church, to both declare that homosexuality has no place in God's purpose for humanity, and to demonstrate by word and deed God's self-giving love for all people, regardless of who they are or what they do. I really cannot see that this should be such a problem for so many. It is probably because of society's obsession with physical sex that the whole issue has got out of proportion - someone onthis thread rightly reminded us that sex involves awhole lot more than just this one thing.

Sure, this raises many questions over which there will always be differences of opinion, maybe even radically different answers for different situations. Questions like, What is our attitude to homosexal "marriages"? Should homosexuals be ordained or commissioned to spiritual ministry within the Church? What about the adoption of children by homosexual couples?

I could go on, but I think I've said more than enough already! Surprising how these trains of thought go onfrom point to point before one realizes it!

Over and out!!
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Elijah on Horeb:

And for a lot of what was written, I would have to say it was just that - depths of fear and angst which clouded rational thinking and gave rise to the same kind of adolescent "humour" with which so many of us try to hide our deep-seated uneasiness at anything remotely related to sex, especially its physical manifestations. I'm afraid I was less than impressed with a lot of the semi-flippant interchange, especially when it deviated into a kind of delighted recognition and greeting of old friends like that which you see at school reunions.


Hmm. I think that's a bit sweeping, and a bit harsh.

As I've said before, I've been pretty impressed with the level of debate on this thread, and the use of humour hasn't, to my mind, detracted from it, as it so easily could have. This is in contrast to the 'What is sex' thread which I understand has spiralled inexorably hell-wards because of its graphic content.

I also think the humour has served a useful, if not essential, purpose in diffusing tension when feelings have been running high. If cracking jokes had been a way of ducking the issues or taking the mick out of certain groups of people, yes, it would have been irritating, but on the whole I don't think it was.

I can do no better than echo good ol' Mr Lewis on this one, and point out that, 'We must not be totally serious about Venus. Indeed we can't be totally serious without doing violence to our humanity'.

As to why heterosexuals should get so het(!) up about the issue, I've already said my piece, as have others, and I won't get into it again. Suffice it to say that it's not always a prurient preoccupation with other people's personal lives. (Of course, I have that too, but I do try to keep it off this thread...)

Peace, folks, and well done, I say.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Nope, I'm not going to do it. I'm not going to take sexuality as a grim matter of life-and-death that one cannot be playful and bantering about at all. If people find exchanges such as in the first bit of this thread difficult to deal with, all I can say is - lighten up. And deal with whatever makes you find homosexuals joking together uncomfortable, rather than blaming them. Sexuality is a gift from God. Humour is a gift from God. Chill, guys.
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
If 'life-partner' is too long-winded, and 'other half' offends you, then what is wrong with the plain and simple 'partner'. As this is regularly used by long-term live-togethers it is a well known term and usually well-respected.
Those who mean the word in a business sense need only to add 'business partner' to avoid confusion of meaning.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Elijah on Horeb pronounced:
Surely it is possible for Christians, and the Church, to both declare that homosexuality has no place in God's purpose for humanity, and to demonstrate by word and deed God's self-giving love for all people, regardless of who they are or what they do. I really cannot see that this should be such a problem for so many.

So, you're reducing it all back down to a "love the sinner, hate the sin" aspect; and using the grounds that the Bible only refers to homosexual actions to conclude that all homosexual behaviour is a sin?

Your comments made me wonder - how much of what gay and lesbian Christians have been saying did you really read? Take in? It's not as simple as your statement makes out.

You focus right back on the sex again, with your example of "two men sodomizing eachother" - and your very choice of verb is one that would offend and upset many gays and lesbians. The story of sodom is not about homosexuality. So using 'sodomize' in this context is inflamatory at best. (And, from what my friends tell me, anal sex is not necessarily a part of many gay men's sexual behaviour anyway.)

You are right in stating that the Bible in no way condemns - and actually in several places affirms male-male friendship ("More pleasing to me was your love than the love of women" as David said to Jonathan or vice versa), and the female bonding of Ruth to Naomi, where the words originally said from one woman to another are now often used in wedding services.

And I would say that from there is the place of acceptance of lesbian and gay relationships. Not focusing on what may or may not go on in anyone's bedroom. But meeting us as children of God, as equals, with a right to form monogomous faithful partnerships, just as heterosexuals have.

Peace,
Kirsti
 


Posted by Tirian (# 149) on :
 
Incidentally, does anyone here remember Roy Clements? Resigned from EA and several other organisations a while ago after coming out of the closet . . . I thought he had disappeared from the face of the earth, but here he is again http://www.royclements.co.uk - with some very interesting letters and articles on his site. Worth a look.

Tirian
 


Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Having had (as usual) a weekend away from my computer, I have only got round today to reading the responses to my post.

I am sorry, Joan the Dwarf, for any nastiness of tone -looking at my original post it could have been put nicer. It is remiss of me to criticise someone for 'aggressiveness' and do so in an unpleasant manner. I also aplogise for it seeming to you to be a 'personal attack'.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Alaric - . Thanks.
 
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
jlg, you are not alone.

quote:
I have to admit that I read this topic because I find it so mind-boggling that homosexuality is such a big issue for so many heterosexual people. I guess somehow I lucked out and didn't pick up any early indoctrination about it, so as I grew up and became sexually aware of people, I just gradually discovered that there were different sexual attractions and added it to the long list of attributes that people have in our minds which causes our brain to sort them into interesting/sexual, interesting/nonsexual, boring.

I have the same feeling when I get into these threads -- even ones that are as well conducted as this one has been. We had so many gay friends around growing up that it never occurred to me that it was an issue. My parents did say that they'd rather I was straight because parents want their children to have a good life, and (especially at the time they were speaking) being homosexual could make life difficult.

I remember how astonished I was (as a child) when I first heard a serious argument, the implications of which were that many of my honorary uncles were apparently doomed to hellfire, a position not preached in my church, which generally taught on more pressing international issues, such as the obligation to work for justice and alleviate suffering, etcetera. As a result, I tend to regard extended public debate, and indeed, extended speaking from the pulpit in this regard an active distraction from our primary duties as Christians, in over-focusing on something that just doesn't matter in the grand scheme of things, using a convenient group to blame and hate, for no reason than to spotlight our own supposed holiness.

There are so many other things condemned in the scripture these same people aren't yammering on about. It's just extraordinary to pick this one thing and make it such a huge issue.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
amen laura. i've never understood it either. it always seemed such an odd thing to care about. why would anyone care who someone else was having sex with, as long as it was consensual??? and yet, some people seem to absolutly fixate on it, as though its the most important thing in their religion... the "godhatesfags.com" bunch (deliberatly not a link), for instance. thats the major focus of their faith? good grief. so pathetic.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
As for 'other half' ... I really dislike the implications ...

As well (oh dear, this is going to freak some people out) as implying that the relationship is limited to two.

I wouldn't describe my doulos David as my "other half" (though I don't think I'd call him my "partner" either) partly because he's not the only doulos in my life, though he is (at present) the most committed one.

I know some people, too, who are partners and yet are no longer lovers as such, and seem relatively content with their (sexually open) relationship.

This is probably going to confuse, baffle, and/or disturb some people...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
[guilt]
Enough to kill the thread... and it was going along pretty well, too...
[/guilt]
 
Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
it must be the multiple partners that have silenced us. maybe there needs to be a new thread to discuss that angle...don't look at me.
 
Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
No, no, don't feel bad, Chastmastr!

Myself, I was just thinking I'd leave this thread alone now because I've pretty much said anything even semi-original I have to say, and was worrying that people might think I was unhealthily obsessed with homosexuality issues/sex/the conduct of this thread if I didn't go and post elsewhere!

Or that I might indeed become so, given time...

I must have a chat with you about C.S. Lewis (on another thread) at some point instead.

Yours affirmatively

Elaine
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Open relationships and all that's not particular to homosexuality - maybe it could go into the sex thread that's swanning around somewhere...

Getting back on topic, some good news from me on this whole subject. I had a visit from my parents (first time of seeing my mother since I'd told her I was gay), and not only did we end up going out for a meal in Soho (gay village bit of central London) but also mother told me she'd come a long way in her thinking, and now she hoped I would find someone to be with and she wanted me to be happy!!!!!! If you heard a distant thud on Friday night that was the sound of my jaw hitting the floor . It's nice not having the oppression of having to ignore her opinion, and I'm impressed with the amount of thinking she's obviously done.
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
Joan - hurrah and ((hugs)).
 
Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
quote:
i've never understood it either. it always seemed such an odd thing to care about. why would anyone care who someone else was having sex with, as long as it was consensual???

I don't think it is just anybody who cares about who you are having sex with, it is God who doesn't want us to sin.
Personally, I don't view homosexuality to be different from any other sin. When my best friend's marriage took a slide and he started shacking up with another girl I didn't shun him or love him any less, but rather I stood by him and encouraged him to return to his wife, which he thankfully did. After all, we are all sinners in need of Christ's forgivness, and homosexuality is no worse or better than some of the sins I struggle with on a daily basis. Hopefully, we are all seeking forgiveness for our sins as well as release from the grip they may have upon our lives while we struggle to abstain from them.

Gary
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
The thing is, as I'm sure you will have noticed from reading the previous four pages of this thread, that many of us don't think there's anything sinful about homosexuality. Thus our bafflement that anyone cares.
 
Posted by Steve_R (# 61) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Canucklehead:

Personally, I don't view homosexuality to be different from any other sin

As one who has, elsewhere on these boards, quite clearly stated my opinion that the bible prohibits homosexual practice, I must come in here (having restrained myself as much as possible to date).

Let me make this clear: Homosexuality is not repeat not a sin. This has been agreed even by Pope John-Paul II. All arguments on this and other threads revolve around homosexual practice, something that is a matter for debate, but has been done to death here and which I, for one, have no wish to rehearse again.

As I have said elsewhere on these boards, we cannot know God's mind but can only guess. I strongly suspect that when each of us has the opportunity to ask him in person for his views on sin in general and any particular ones that concern us, then we will all be quite surprised, some more than others!
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Open relationships and all that's not particular to homosexuality

Well, to some of us it is related, because people (on the boards and elsewhere) keep mentioning "committed couples," particularly monogamous ones, as their example of morally acceptable gay relationships. (Mind you, as I've stated here and elsewhere, I don't believe in sexual intercourse outside of male-female marriage, promiscuous or otherwise, as permitted to Christians. I also think Christians should not try to tell non-Christians what to do or not do in the bedroom...) When I see the assumption that we're talking about monogamous couples, I feel baffled and frustrated, because to me that's not the issue, and is completely irrelevant to my own life and to the lives of most of the other gay men I know. (I'm quite unlikely to meet monogamous gay men in the social venues I am part of, so I have no real idea what the proportion of monogamous to non-monogamous gay male relationships are.) To me "committed" also doesn't mean "exclusive," and so I felt I had to comment.

Sometimes I think my communities (mainly leather but I'm connected to the "bears" as well) are not well-liked by some others in the gay community who are fighting for acceptance, because the image they think will be most acceptable (two committed, exclusive partners, no more, no less) to outsiders who are dubious about gay relationships is far, far away from the way our own lives go. They don't like it when we march in gay pride parades in leather -- sometimes we are not even invited to, though we are often in attendance -- they think it gives the rest of them/us a bad name. Yet for me and for many others, the way we approach being gay is just as valid as theirs; all we want is to be accepted, or at least not persecuted, for not matching their model.

Some of us in the gay community are even dubious about legalised "gay marriage" (despite the obvious benefits to us) because it will still leave us out, or perhaps even pressure us to conform to that image. (Which may be part of the reason we accept "domestic partnership" more.)

Sorry for nattering on (and on) -- and I truly hope none of this is inflammatory to anyone.

David
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Sorry, Chast, I didn't realise. I thought open gay relationships were as likely as open straight ones. Open mouth, insert foot. Sorry.
 
Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
It is completely natural for people who engage in a certain activity to not want to view it as being in any way negative. I know several people who claim to be Christians, but one of their favourite hobbies involves downloading and using/distributing software and games off the internet form warez sites. What they are doing is sinful (stealing) but because they enjoy it and want to keep doing it they try hard to pretend there is nothing wrong with it. I believe the same is true with "christian" homosexuals. They don't want to face up to the fact that what they are doing is wrong because then they would have to take steps to change and avoid a behaviour which they clearly enjoy. But the point I was trying to make is that Christians should not ostracize them and force them out of their churches, but rather should welcome them and support them as the seek to break free of their unnatural lifestyle and turn their hearts toward God.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Is this guy for real? Or is it a case of "please do not feed the troll"?
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
joan, maybe he thinks that everyone whos been on the one side of the debate is gay?

ahem.

canucklehead... i'm straight.

and i don't think homosexual acts are sinful.
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Canucklehead, although your comments about not ostracizing people are welcome (and I doubt anyone here would disagree) there are a couple of points about your last post I would want to raise.

If you've read this thread you will realise that many people here do not consider someones' sexuality as unnatural. To say people are homosexual because it is simply something they enjoy fails to recognise the struggles many people have had coming to terms with their sexuality.

Second I find the use of speech marks in the phrase "christian" homosexuals implying that homosexuals are not Christians. On this Ship we do not take it upon ourselves to decide who is or is not a Christian.

Alan
Purgatory host
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
Not any single person can say what God is or isn't going to do (unless you are a Catholic and the person is the Pope and he happens to be wearing his infallible hat - which only happens about once every century or so).
Basically, God knows what is right. He knows our innermost hearts. He will judge rightly because he is the one with the crown o' thorns.

So, regardless of the rhetoric or who agrees with whom or who doesn't agree with whom, God will judge each of us justly. The justice may not have anything to do with anyone's rhetoric on this thread. Or it might. Regardless, our souls are in the balance.

If you aren't 1000% sure of how things will wash out, then change. Even if 95% of people think you're a kook for changing. If on the other hand, you are 1000% sure, then don't change. Even if 95% of people think you are a kook.

The bottom line is:
Kook is okay. Sin is not.

We should avoid sin. Since homosexuality seems to be in the gray area, then just watch it and stay in the white. People are obviously concerned for your everlasting souls.

But, Homosexuality definitely is not a reason to push someone out of the church. And it definitely isn't a reason to say "Oh gross, that must be crushed." And most definitely, homosexuality is not a reason to abandon God's grace or say someone has abandoned God's grace.

We shouldn't sin and we shouldn't judge like we are God.

Hit me please! And thanks in advance. I needed that.
 


Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
If you've read this thread you will realise that many people here do not consider someones' sexuality as unnatural. To say people are homosexual because it is simply something they enjoy fails to recognise the struggles many people have had coming to terms with their sexuality.

Second I find the use of speech marks in the phrase "christian" homosexuals implying that homosexuals are not Christians. On this Ship we do not take it upon ourselves to decide who

Alan, I will in the future avoid the use of speech marks in the way that I did, thankyou for pointing this out to me. However, just because people struggle with a sexual issue doesn't mean it isn't unnatural, the fact is that homosexuality is not found in nature; hence it is "unnatural".

Joan, simply because I do not see eye-to-eye with you on this matter does not me that I am trolling. I have known several homosexual people, some of whom I have considered friends. That doesn't mean I accept what they do as being normal or in any way condone their actions. I DO NOT hate people - homosexual or otherwise. However, I do believe that ALL sin is an abomination to God, and I do believe that the bible treats homosexual activity as a sin. I know you will disagree with this and I don't write it simply to be unpleasant to you. It is simply what I believe in my heart to be true.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
I'm not going to hit you, Sniffy

The problem with saying stay away from homosexual practice 'just to be on the safe side' is that there isn't a 'safe side'. There's no default practice that God's calling us to. It's flatly unnatural for a homosexual to engage in heterosexual practices, so steering clear of homosexual practice would mean celibacy. This isn't something to go for just because we can't do anything else - it should be a positive choice in its own right (ask any religious). There is no 'white' for a homosexual to stay in.

This actually ties up with what canuckle said, that we should "seek to break free of their unnatural lifestyle and turn their hearts toward God.". Putting aside the sanctimoniousness of his/her post, this is actually exactly what I have done by coming out. I've broken free of the unnatural lifestyle of first pretending to be straight, and then when that didn't work pretending that I was not a sexual being and not interacting with people sexually. My heart was turned towards God when I broke free of that pretense and oppression. Being homosexually active is something I see as a natural consequence of the way I am (not just as gay) - I am not called (at this time) to celibacy. Denying that side of a relationship would be denying what I feel God is leading me to, and has healed me enough to be able to do at some point. Avoiding sexual contact would be, I feel, wrong, and wronging God. For me, coming out was sacramental: it was a visible sign of God working within me. I mean more than that, but I don't have the words.

It feels like I've rambled in this post. I hope it makes some sense nevertheless.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
canucklehead, have you read this thread?

please go back to the beginnning and take a look at my links on homosexual animals.

its perfectly natural.

which, as others have pointed out means nothing about its morality in the first place. but thats besides the point.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
LOL! I was about to start my post asking canucklehead if s/he'd read the thread, but nicole got there first!

Anyways... if you had read the thread, you'll realise you're only the second time I've questioned if someone's a troll, out of all the people who've disagreed with me. It's a perfectly reasonable question on a thread such as this when someone comes in who looks as if they haven't read the thread, who hasn't posted anywhere else, and who says that anyone who disagrees with them is in denial because they want to carry on with something they like. I have to say I laughed out loud when I read that, it's not an argument that I find easy to take seriously

Read the exchanges with Drake, as this seems a bit familiar: his first posts were saying "come on guys you know I'm right". The point is we're debating - we're all entitled to our own views and to have those views taken seriously, rather than told we're trying to justify something that we know in our hearts is wrong because we enjoy it. It's common debating courtesy to engage with the issue, not try and psychoanalyse people. I've restrained myself a lot on that score

BTW, welcome aboard. Have a tramp around the boards, there's a lot more here than just homosexuality.
 


Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
Canucklehead,

You say you've read this thread but then you raise exactly the same positions about homosexuality being unnatural or not occurring in nature which were responded to at length several pages ago here.

Similarly, the position that all homosexual activity is prohibited by scripture has also been argued against intelligently and in detail on this thread.

This is a debate board and not a place for you to simply announce, as if from on high, that you think something is 'unnatural' or not 'normal' or a 'sin' or 'abomination'.

If you want to debate, then please give original and cogent reasons why you find the previous rebuttals of your positions unsatisfactory.

If you don't want to debate, then why are you posting on this board?

Louise
 


Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
nicolemrw - you're right that I haven't exhaustively read the entire thread, it was just getting too long by the time I got around to it so I did some quick scanning of the posts that looked interesting. As for following your links that will have to wait until later because I am at work right now and the last thing I want is to hit the firewall while attempting to follow a link about gay sheep. I would certainly become quite a topic of conversation around here if I did that.

Joan - thanks for the welcome. I have lurked the boards for some time now, and although this isn't the first one I have posted to it's true that i haven't been very active. I suppose that in some sense my psychoanalysis, as you called it, of people justifying what they are doing so they can keep doing it is my way of trying to understand a behaviour that is so (in my mind) wrong. Anyway, as you can plainly see I have some very deep seated views on the topic which are not about to be changed anytime soon. But, as I alluded to in an earlier post, I am a sinner too and have my own sins to struggle with, so I don't view homosexuals to be any different from myself on that level at least. I do recognize that my viewpoint is offensive to you, but I do think it needs to be expressed at times.

Gary
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
Joan et all,

I never said that one should avoid homosexual practices. I just said, just watch it and stay in the white. If to you there is no white, then that is fine. Stay in the lightest shade of gray as you can. I am not going to tell you what that is.

I am not God and neither is this Canucklehead. I am not agreeing nor want to be put in the same pot with him/her. On other things sure, but this - not the same Corningware for me.

Let me clarify, as it seems that I didn't write like my mind thought I was writing ...

We should avoid sin. Since homosexuality seems to be in the gray area, then just watch it and stay in the light gray area. I do not know what that means for you. It may have to do with practices, it may not. Again, I say I do not know. But somewhere there is a line over which it would be a sin, natural, unnatural, feels right, feels wrong ... regardless there is a line. God and you alone know what that area is for you. Follow that and have no fear.

Even if Canucklehead says he knows, he don't. Only you and God know. Stay gold and avoid sin. That is all we can try to do. Right?

That is all I am saying. No judgement here. I got too much to clean up over here. My backyard is awfully littered with wood. As you detect those things, please let me know and I'll think about them.

I'll take another please. And thank you.
 


Posted by Elaine from the bar (# 1668) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
[
people (on the boards and elsewhere) keep mentioning "committed couples," particularly monogamous ones, as their example of morally acceptable gay relationships. [...] When I see the assumption that we're talking about monogamous couples, I feel baffled and frustrated, because to me that's not the issue, and is completely irrelevant to my own life and to the lives of most of the other gay men I know. (I'm quite unlikely to meet monogamous gay men in the social venues I am part of, so I have no real idea what the proportion of monogamous to non-monogamous gay male relationships are.) To me "committed" also doesn't mean "exclusive," and so I felt I had to comment.

I suppose I'm one of the people who has quoted the example of a committed gay couple as an 'morally acceptable' relationship. Though I wouldn't use the phrase 'morally acceptable' in this context as it sounds rather grudging. It would sound as if I was saying, 'Okay, I'm willing to tolerate your being a practising homosexual so long as you do it in as respectable and heterosexual a way as possible, right down to the white dress and joint mortgage,' which is not what I have meant to say at any point, and apologise if it sounded that way.

I quoted the example because it's one I'm familar with: pretty much all my gay friends are 'non-scene', and so I don't have any experience of the sort of situation you describe, Chastmastr.

From my position of extreme ignorance, I have no idea how the dynamics of a non-exclusive sexual relationship, gay or straight, would work itself out in a loving way, having been brought up in a culture that sees long-term monogamy as the ideal.

But I'm sorry if the terms of this debate have been framed in a way that excludes a wide section of the gay community. Please don't stop posting on that account! We need to know if there's an aspect we're ignoring.

(Looks as though I'm not leaving this thread after all. )
 


Posted by Abo (# 42) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Elaine from the bar:
[QB]From my position of extreme ignorance, I have no idea how the dynamics of a non-exclusive sexual relationship, gay or straight, would work itself out in a loving way, having been brought up in a culture that sees long-term monogamy as the ideal.

QB]



From my experience of answering a Lesbian Line for five years I'd say that for most lesbians non-exclusive sexual relationships don't work at all, and from listening to straight friends who experimented with it I'd say the same. But gay men seem to be very different with regard to being non exclusive anda happy couple. Lesbians tend more to be serially monogamous than having several partners at the same time, but that's another problem.

Maybe it is not such much a problem of being gay or straight but of being a man or a woman.

Abo
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
sure! haven't you ever heard:

higamous hogamous,
women monogamous,
hogamous higamous,
men are polygamous


but i don't think thats true all the time anyway. no wide generalization ever is.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
snif - don't worry! I wasn't potting you with canucklehead, or thinking you were against homosexual practice - I was just pointing out that it's not as simple as, say, eating red shellfish - there isn't the 'safe' option of just not doing it if we're not sure we ought to (if there was a Deuterine prohibition against it, for eg. Maybe there is ). It's the outward consequence of an inward state, rather than an action divorced from an internal being.

canucklehead - not reading a thread properly and then posting isn't a great idea. You just piss people off by coming out with stuff that's been dealt with before. It also lays you open to accusations of crusading/trolling
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Well, I've definitely been one of those folks promoting a committed monogomous relationship.

Because I believe that this is what gay Christians are called to. In the same way that straight men might like to have multiple partners, or casual sex, but their Christian ethics and beliefs mean that they aim for the ideal of monogomy - which has, as far as I know, been the church's teaching on marriage since the days of the Church fathers.

And it's not about 'aping' heterosexual partnerships - I simply believe that monogomous and faithful is the Christian "norm" for relationships, be they gay or straight.

Jeffrey John makes an excellent case for this in his book "Permanent, Faithful, Stable: Christian same-sex partnerships", published by Darton, Longman & Todd, which I highly recommend. It's a small book, and only £3.50 too.

And yayy Joan for your own news!! *Cheers loudly*

Peace,
Kirsti
 


Posted by sniffy (# 1713) on :
 
Joan,

Thanks for letting me clarify my point.

By the way, I didn't say I was for or against homosexual practices. And I don't think it matters where I weigh in on that.

That is between anyone who ever practices homosexual acts and God. (I did as a 8yr old kid with a friend). Determining if it is a sin or not is between every person and God. It is not for me, a crowd of people or anyone else to say what is a sin for anyone. The Church is our source for the truth (that is if we believe that the Church is guided by the Holy Spirit). If the Church is fine with it, then go baby go, there should be no sin and it is good. If it is gray, then be cautious - be bold too and live well and hard.

My point was: We all bring our skin to judgment. That's just the simple point.

P.S.
I love homosexuals. I have an uncle who is gay (he gave me 5 cousins too, before he came out). He is a great guy who impresses me with his understanding and compassion. I have a brother in law who is gay. A friend is also a homosexual. They are great people. And my dear ol' mom thought I was a homosexual until I was in college and started to date. But that is beside the point.

Friends regardless. Snif.
 


Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
unfortunately, some churches are not fine with someone's being gay. so it isn't always that simple. we can't always just leave it to The Church and get on with our lives.

but to return to the ideas of what is "morally acceptable"...and multiple partners...i was wondering what do people think of the fundamentalist mormans who practice polygamy/polygny? there are estimated to be 50,000 or more polygamists in utah. and some say there are many more but they are urged to be discreet...many utahans(?) are descended from polygamists. apparently in the 50's the us govt tried to prosecute a bunch of polygamists in utah in Short Creek() and separated their children from them and threw the men in jail...but the country made such an outcry the govt., never did that again. even though it is technically illegal. (strange, that.) so some people have figured a way to exist with multiple partners within a context of scripture. it seems they base their beliefs on the old testament and J. Smith's revelations. what are the actual Christian teachings forbidding multiple partners? (seems like a stupid question, i know...but then, i really don't know.)
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Polygamy is a fascinating topic, blackbird -- but it needs to be its own thread, please.

RuthW
Purgatory host
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
joan, maybe he thinks that everyone whos been on the one side of the debate is gay?

ahem.

canucklehead... i'm straight.

and i don't think homosexual acts are sinful.



And I'm gay, and I don't believe in homosexual sex!

(And we can even discuss our views without fighting.)

See, we really do run the gamut here at SoF.
 


Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf:
quote:
The problem with saying stay away from homosexual practice 'just to be on the safe side' is that there isn't a 'safe side'. There's no default practice that God's calling us to. It's flatly unnatural for a homosexual to engage in heterosexual practices, so steering clear of homosexual practice would mean celibacy.

I knew a man at a previous church I attended that had been in the same University Christian Union as me. In my student days I had no idea he had homosexual inclinations (I choose my words carefully). It was a major barrier between him and his father (AFAIK) that he was 'gay'.

Now, many at that church were the sort that believed God could 'change' someone from having homosexual inclinations to being 'straight', and believed this was possible in his case. Someone must have put him in touch with a place 'down south' that he could go on a 'residential' (or more than one) for counselling and prayer. So he went.

Eventually he had a girlfriend, one who knew exactly wht he had been through. I believe they meant a lot to each other. Then they split up, which AFAIK was NOT because of his 'past' homosexuality. Then he got another girlfriend, and this time they got married (I and Mrs the G. went to the wedding).

As far as I know they are still happily married. Are they 'wrong' to ever have done this? For he is the best evidence I have seen that God can change one's sexual orientation 'permanently'. (I have read about another, more 'extreme', example in 'Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire' by Jim Cymbala). If this is so, it suggests God does want to help homosexuals to stop being 'gay'.
 


Posted by Karl (# 76) on :
 
There is of course such a thing as bisexuality.

The whole 'ex-gay' thing is massively muddied by the growing number of 'ex-ex-gays'.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Alaric: "If this is so, it suggests God does want to help homosexuals to stop being 'gay'. "

Does it?

There is a whole range of what sexuality is - a sliding scale with completely gay and completely straight at the extremes. I think most peoples' sexuality is a lot more in the grey areas than they think .

Basically, I think God wants to help us be who we are (that's certainly been my experience, talking as an "ex-straight" ).
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
I do also believe that God can change some people who are deeply unhappy with their sexuality.

I was part of an online community debating the whole issue of Christianity and homosexuality, with the aim of "bridging the divide" and enabling good honest communication with people on both sides of the issue. (It's at Bridges Across if anyone wants to check it out)

And I met people there who claimed that God had healed them, and who had families etc to back up their evidence. And could show God at work in their lives, and told of how deeply unhappy they were with their sexuality prior to healing.

I also met people like myself for whom God's healing had taken the form of helping us to accept both our sexuality and our faith.

I don't believe we can limit God. I do believe that the former instance - the true "ex-gay" is incredibly rare, and that for many people, the ex-gay ministries have caused an awful lot more emotional damage than they were trying to heal.

And this even applies to its founders - the two men who ran the ex-gay group Courage (I /think/ it was that one) are now living together in a committed Christian partnership, and have apologised for the damage that their ministry caused.

It's a tough area. But I don't want to deny what God is doing in other people's lives. I also would like other people to respect what that same God is doing in mine, and how I am "working out my salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who is working in me."

Peace,
Kirsti
 


Posted by SteveWal (# 307) on :
 
I don't really want to add to the debate here, except to say how impressed I am by the way people have thought through these issues for themselves, often in very deep ways.

It's such a contrast to the "debate" on the christianity & renewal site, where there just seemed to be lots of very prejudiced people, some with rather weird obsessions!

In the end, God's love encompasses all of us in our struggles. I have my own struggles with sex and relationships, and I'm sure I've been as imperfect as the rest of us; but God loves us anyway.

Thank you everyone. Aside to Joan: I'm really happy that your mother has changed her mind. God works in mysterious ways...

Steve Waling
 


Posted by Nancy Winningham (# 91) on :
 
Concerning "normal": The American Psychiatric Association has put out several editions of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Psychological Disorders (known as the DSM).

In the original DSM, homosexuality was listed as a mental disorder; same in DSM-II. In DSM-III, homosexuality was a mental disorder ONLY if it was "ego-dystonic"--which means that it is a psychological disorder if one feels this way: "I'm homosexual, but I don't want to be."
In the DSM-IV, homosexual is not mentioned as a psychological disorder at all.

The changing culture makes a difference regarding the idea of what is and is not a disorder.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
yes indeed. i read this, i think, in stephen j gould, that in slavery times there was an "illness" that caused slaves to have a tendency to run away from their masters!!!!
 
Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
Correct me if I'm wrong but the relatively small number of homosexuals in proportion to the general populace would push them out to the far edge of the bell (normal) curve. Doesn't this by definition make them abnormal - not within the curve.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
no, it makes them at the far end of the bell curve of normal sexual behavior. just as, for instance, the fact i'm 5'3" puts me at the far (short) end of the bell curve for height, but doesn't make me abnormal. being at the far end of the curve is just as normal as being in the middle. its just not as typical.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
To reiterate an already-made point, but one which I think bears repeating, especially when we talk about curves, and numbers and so on....

Sexuality is not a 'duality' situation. Not "either homosexual or heterosexual". It's a continuum - in fact, several continua (if that's the correct plural form?

See Using the Klein Scale to teach about sexual orientation for more on this - people may have very different 'attractions' from 'behaviours', 'emotional preferences' to 'sexual fantasies'. (How else, for example, would you classify a gay Christian who believes that his sexual attractions to other men are wrong, and so has married, and is having sex with a woman, while fantasising about men?)

Kirsti, muddying the waters once more...
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Karl:

The whole 'ex-gay' thing is massively muddied by the growing number of 'ex-ex-gays'.

Must... not... make... pun... about... whether or not... ex or ex-ex- or ex-ex-ex-gays... are "uncanny"...

Agh, too late. The comics fan (Marvel Comics' Uncanny X-Men) in me took over.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
I was part of an online community debating the whole issue of Christianity and homosexuality, with the aim of "bridging the divide" and enabling good honest communication with people on both sides of the issue. (It's at Bridges Across if anyone wants to check it out)


I love BA! I'm there also, baffling and disturbing people as I do here. The question of whether I count as Side A or Side B depends on definitions...
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
PS: I don't personally define people in terms of "gay" or "straight" but I don't see it as a continuum as such either. I think much of what we do in the gay community is perfectly fine even though I don't believe in the sex part. For me it is like being a Roman citizen, and Christian, in ancient Rome -- though most Romans do, and are expected to, pour out libations to the gods, as a Christian I must not, though I am a happy and proud member of Rome. (The same goes for being in the leather community -- and lest someone think I am being salacious, if I haven't made it clear, for me "leather" (with attendant traditions, principles, philosophy, etc.) is a way of life and not some kind of "kinky thing" as such. I'm in the minority on that these days, alas, which is one reason I must keep our traditions alive, and depending on who you talk to, am either boring as heck or I go a bit too far with it. C'est la vie!)
 
Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
we're all entitled to our own views and to have those views taken seriously, rather than told we're trying to justify something that we know in our hearts is wrong because we enjoy it.

Joan,

This struck a real chord with me.

It's not immediately obvious to me (which may be my own stupidity) whether your defence of homosexual acts amounts merely to special pleading, or whether you have a genuine philosophy of what morality is, which happens to allow that homosexual acts are morally permissible.

For example, homosexual acts have something in common with incest, cannibalism, prostitution, or necrophilia in that:
• they are morally wrong according to Christian tradition
• they're about bodies and what we do with them
• there's a strong element of public disgust which can impede rational discussion.

Is there a substantial moral difference between these and homosexual acts, or do the same moral principles permit or condemn each equally ? Do you have a consistent moral philosophy which applies the same considerations in each case ?

I suppose that I grew up with the phrase "consenting adults behind closed doors". (Meaning that if there is no sin against other people, then it's not for other people to condemn homosexual acts, or incest, or anything else. God can sort out any sin against God).

While it may be stretching a point to call this a philosophical position, it is a consistent point of view which I would be happy to apply (at least provisionally, as a starting point pending further thought) to any of these sort of "issues". (I can't say that any of them as such have actually been a big issue for me personally, but the question of what morality is is an issue for everyone).

People do try to justify something that they know in their hearts is wrong, because they enjoy it. We're human; we're like that.

I don't know how far this applies in your case, and want to give you the opportunity to demonstrate otherwise...

Russ
 


Posted by Maestro (# 1881) on :
 
As I see it - the man-man, or woman-woman sexual realtionship is no more or less sinful than the one which I have with my Girlfriend. All 3 fall short of God's idea, all are sins, and all can be confessed and forgiven.

However, the bit which I do find difficult is that my Bishop won't ordain me unless I either marry my girlfriend, or end the relationship. (We're both happy with it as it is) However, he is happy to ordain practising homosexuals.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this ???

Maestro
 


Posted by sharkshooter (# 1589) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Maestro:
As I see it - the man-man, or woman-woman sexual realtionship is no more or less sinful than the one which I have with my Girlfriend. All 3 fall short of God's idea, all are sins, and all can be confessed and forgiven.

However, the bit which I do find difficult is that my Bishop won't ordain me unless I either marry my girlfriend, or end the relationship. (We're both happy with it as it is) However, he is happy to ordain practising homosexuals.

Does anyone have any thoughts on this ???

Maestro


IMHO (which opinions are not all that well received on this thread) confession is not genuine unless it comes with a commitment to not comit the sin (any sin) again. To assume that forgiveness is granted when the confession does not carry with it a genuine intent to stop the sinful behaviour suggests that confession/forgiveness is more like a licence to continue to sin.
 


Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
Yes repentance is more than saying sorry it is (trying) to stop sinning. So either you think not being married to your girlfriend is a sin or it is not.

If it is not then you have no need for forgiveness concerning it.
If it is a sin then repentance involves stopping living with her outside marriage.

Paul had something to say about continuing in our sins - but I have not got a bible handy.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Russ:
Joan,

This struck a real chord with me.

It's not immediately obvious to me (which may be my own stupidity) whether your defence of homosexual acts amounts merely to special pleading, or whether you have a genuine philosophy of what morality is, which happens to allow that homosexual acts are morally permissible.


Yes, I do - I'm not "special pleading". More below...

quote:

For example, homosexual acts have something in common with incest, cannibalism, prostitution, or necrophilia in that:
• they are morally wrong according to Christian tradition
• they're about bodies and what we do with them
• there's a strong element of public disgust which can impede rational discussion.

Is there a substantial moral difference between these and homosexual acts, or do the same moral principles permit or condemn each equally ? Do you have a consistent moral philosophy which applies the same considerations in each case ?


First, I'll be terribly improper and quote myself, on the first page of this thread. I don't have an algorithm for deciding what's right cos Christianity doesn't give simple answers . I said:

quote:
How do we tell what's right? The best answer I've found (I can't off the top of my head remember where) is that we have to look at what forms of life lead to an increase in holiness and Christian living and love. In terms of relationships, do they bring people closer to God and an understanding of his love? Are they a blessing to the world around them?

The difference I see between homosexuality and the other things people try and lump it with is that between two adults in a proper relationship you can have the emotional physical and spiritual bond that I (and an awful lot of theologians) believe is a God-given gift to humanity (not saying those theologians endorse homosexuality!). There is mutuality, love, and the creation of an entity that is more than the sum of its parts. This is not to say every straight or gay relationship is like that, but that this is the ideal for relationships, and it is empirically observed to be possible in straight and gay relationships.

However when we consider things like bestiality, necrophilia and paedophilia we can see very clearly that they do not have the potential to be a part of this idea of relationships. There is no mutuality, and the relationships are fundamentally self-centred and abusive. There is not the reaching out to God and one-another that characterises a Christian relationship of love. An abusive straight marriage would be similarly bad. As would an abusive gay partnership. All of them are "actions against the Kingdom": things that sin against building God's Kingdom in our lives and our world (that may seem oddly phrased, but it's something I've felt quite strongly about since September 11).

I do not believe in the principle of "what people get up to behind closed doors is their own business" if that is abusive and degrading for both parties. However I also don't agree with the idea of breaking down the doors and barging in sermonising As someone said, we've got to decide for ourselves what is sinful or not, but we have no right to impose that on other people, we have to proceed in love, understanding and openness.

A slight aside: I understand your question and that you were genuinely asking, but it could have been phrased better. Lumping homosexuality in with bestiality etc in generally a good way to upset people and raise the temperature hell-wards. Think! I don't know if you've got a partner, but imagine if someone asked you what the difference between your relationship and shagging a sheep was because they couldn't see any - wouldn't you feel a wee bit upset? Don't worry, I wasn't in this case - I think this thread has developed a thicker skin on me cos I just giggled
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
Maestro the answer to your question is commitment. The churches understanding over female male commitment is the fact that they are married means that they are committed to one another. Certainly marriage is the norm expounded in the NT.

With Homosexual and lesbian couples there is no equivalent to Marriage. the Bishop will belong to one of three camps,

1)practising homosexuals should not be ordained (the official line)

2)I don't know whether they should be ordained or not so i won't ask the question, (lot's of variations here)

3) they can be ordained i won't make a big fuss about it but I want to make certain they are in a relationship that is committed and is near to marriage as possible.

The answer to your question maestro is that in the churches opinion you are not committed to your girlfriend until you are married.
The DDO (?) will almost certainly think that your call for ordination can not be genuine since you are unwilling to jump through the hoop of being married.
 


Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
Joan, in your last post you made a comment that we are all to decide for ourselves what is sinful or not, which strikes me as just a bit too liberal. Does that mean that I can basically do whatever I feel like just so long as I can convince myself that it is not sinful. With somewhere in the neighbourhood of six-billion on earth we would then have approximately six-billion different opinions as to what is right or wrong. I think there has to be some kind of an absolute standard by which right and wrong can be measured, and I think the only acceptable standard can come from God via the Bible. Without an something absolute I could convince myself that rape and murder are completely acceptable, and since it is all up to us to decide for ourselves then who could say with any validity that I was wrong.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
canucklehead - no dear, if you'd read the rest of my post then you'd see I don't say it's a free-for-all. I believe in an absolute concept of truth and morality, but I don't believe anyone has infallable access to what that is. No, not even me. The way we get closer to truth is by intelligent dialogue, discussion and listening, bringing together peoples' ideas and experiences, in the light of our traditions and understandings of our religion and God, and the special record of God contained in the Bible.

It's an interesting statement you made: "Without an something absolute I could convince myself that rape and murder are completely acceptable". That's very black-and-white: either we have a 100% sure case-iron easy-to-understand moral code, or else anything goes. There are other options - there's all the area in the middle where we're trying to get towards the absolute truth with all the resources available to us (as I've said above), and we know that we might be wrong, that we can't be sure of what we've said, but nevertheless it's all we are ever going to have to go on, and it's rational to base our moral choice on that. It's OK not to be 100% certain - it can be frightening at first not to be sure of things, but ultimatly IMHO it's necessary for our growth to relax and open ourselves to God and not imprison God, ourselves or others in our own rigidity. Not knowing everything doesn't mean that we can know nothing.

This is all very Pauline - and one of the points, IMHO, of the Incarnation and the whole New Covenant: the Old Covenant was one of strict rules, and one could say unambiguosly if something was sinful or not; in the New, humanity was taken out from the juristiction of the law (Paul) and given the Spirit behind those laws from which to work (love God and love your neighbour as yourself). This is the grown-up, frightening, empowering, disturbing, loving religion that is Christianity - it is not a set of rules that we can be safe within, it is the dynamic living out of a relationship with God letting the Spirit move in our actions, and taking risks and not being safe but being with God and within God, unbounded.
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
Ah yes Moral relativism it's quite popular at the moment.

As long as what is happening between people is mutually loving then it is fine.

Unfortunately the bible does provide absolutes. The vexed question is how is this tension between society and the Churches understanding of it's identity resolved.

There are two answers
one is what the hell lets go with society

The other lets hold on to the absolutes.

To go for the middle ground which is what most people here seem to go for is tricky if not impossible.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Nightlamp: in re: the middle ground between absolutism and moral relativism, see above

It's not an impossible place. IMHO it's the place as Christian's we're called to be. It ain't easy - absolutism and moral relativism are both the easy options, at the two extremes. As I've said many many times, IMHO truth lies in between, if we have the courage to abandon the safety of the edges to go there, trusting in God rather than ourselves.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Sorry, double post...

Nightlamp, is the statement "As long as what is happening between people is mutually loving then it is fine. " your parse of my 19.51 post?? If it is, do read it again, hon, that ain't what I'm saying, there's a wee bit more to it than that!
 


Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
To some extend Joan you are proposing is not total relativism. It is the form of relativism that is perfectly acceptable to western society.

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

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


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Hmm, maybe we have a linguistic difference. Are you talking about the relativisation of truth itself, or are you calling the fact that we are not infallible in our perception of an externally-existant absolute truth "moral relativism"?
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
Joan as I said in my earlier post

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

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

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


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Nightlamp:
What Joan you seem to me doing is christianising societys concept of morality so that christians can feel happen with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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



 
Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
 
It seems that some of us are defining homosexuality and it's "temptations" solely, or nearly so, in terms of sexual activity. Lord knows there are plenty of straight people who will have sex with their own gender, for various reasons. Being gay is about who you love and are emotionally drawn to in that deep way that straight men and women are drawn to each other. Sex is the natural expression of that. My two cents.
 
Posted by splodge (# 156) on :
 
I agree Saint Seb, the desire for intimacy and the wish to give and receive sexual pleasure is a natural extension of loving somebody. It is not wrong to love somebody. No moral law is broken by homosexual love, if the golden rule is simply love your neighbour. In any event the bible & church's "problem" with homosexuality is not to do with morality; it is not concerned with the motive for the behaviour but the behaviour per se. It is hung up on the naturalness of that behaviour in the context of the idea of created order. Yes no theologian believes in natural law any more and there are lots of gay critters out there - However i'd refute the idea that it is as easy to dispense with the issue of "naturalness" as some people think. Even if we do away with the idea of God, and take it from a purely biological perspective (of course christians are not going to accept these reductionist arguments, but never mind, I'll soldier on...) then the physical act of sexual activity with ones own gender whether amongst humans or sheep, is difficult to explain from a naturalistic perspective. One does not have to be Richard Dawkins to note its genetic suicide for animals to be gay. Clearly our genitalia are evolved/designed for heterosexual sex even if they can be stimulated in sundry and diverse creative ways! Of course, to be strictly accurate gay people don't have sexual intercourse/coitus in the biological sense, rather they simply lovingly, mutually stimulate each other for pleasure. Presumably gay animals do the same because either a) this has some social bonding function which is also beneficial to the species or b) the animal wrongly believes the animal it is shaging is of the opposite sex. IMO a) is the more likely explanation for humans and possibly animals.
Okay, so what my tutees, what have we discovered?
Some people have a deep need to have wonderful friendship and love from a member of the same sex. This relationship often expresses itself in intimacy and mutual sexual pleasure giving. This is not surprising. The relationship of love and intimacy per se is as valid, as real and as important to the person as someone having a heterosexual relationship. However biology and Bill Clinton would try to insist that only coitus is, strictly speaking, "relevant to the question". So we have this dichotomy, the gay relationship is as valuable as the straight relationship in terms of the love it professes and opportunity for commitment and mercy.
But if we insist straight and gay physical relationships always have a factual equivalence ("two sides of the same coin" or " just like being left handed") then this is not true. And all truth is God's truth. The church has to contest with two equally inescapable realities: the moral and spiritual validity of homosexual love for another person while being honest to say that biologically we are physically created/designed/evolved for heterosexual relationships whether we have them or not.

Discuss (please write a minimum of 2000 words)
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Not the natural/unnatural argument again!!!

Sex is more than biology.
 


Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
With reference to some of the above comments -

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

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

All the best,
Rachel.
 


Posted by Russ (# 120) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
The difference I see between homosexuality and the other things people try and lump it with is that between two adults in a proper relationship you can have the emotional physical and spiritual bond that I believe is a God-given gift to humanity...

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

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

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

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


Dear Joan,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Russ
 


Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Russ stated:
You may argue that there are some practices that you find difficulty in believing are consistent with a mutual and spiritual love. But some people feel like that about homosexual acts...

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Russ: "I think the logical conclusion of your argument is that any form of perversion between any two people (of whatever legal relationship) is OK provided that the two of them view the act and the personal relationship between them as loving and uplifting and non-abusive."

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

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

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

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


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
russ notes that it is genetic suicide to be gay.

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

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

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


Posted by St. Sebastian (# 312) on :
 
The French eat HORSE MEAT?? And we're wasting energy debating the morality of homsexuality when an entire nation is indulging in a clear abomination???!!

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

Staggering Ever Onward,

Jeff
 


Posted by splodge (# 156) on :
 
Oh yes, the natural law argument. Sorry to raise it again, but I just can't get it out of my head.
But then other people keep spouting the line " well, God made me like this" (gay etc) as the basis of their theory of sexual ethics. Sorry you have to deal with the nature/creation argument a little bit more deeply if you raised it. So is homo sexuality justified by nature or creation. No, its a non starter because christian theology considers nature to have "fallen" out of sync and harmony with God's intention, so that man's soul in particular is no longer in harmony with the physical universe including his/her own body. Any deep philosophical reflection upon nature and creation would tend to the conclusion that given that physically we can function as heterosexuals our psychological orientation is out of sync with this. It is far better explanation to conclude that the state of homosexuality orientation (in humans and in other animals) is just one small aspect of the general fallenes and disorder into which creation is bound. But this is NOT the same as saying homosexual behaviour is immoral.
Cosidering biology and nature does not invalidate or downplay the existential experience of love, intimacy, tenderness in homosexual or any other relationships. Indeed as gay posters have told, this love, can be part of the redemptive process by which any and all human "falleness" is transformed into something very good and a way for people to grow spiritually.
This debate shows truth is a bit more complex than "conservatives" and "liberals" on this issue usually make out. Shallow thinking. The logic of 90 per cent of the points made in these debates is either "the bible says it so there!" or "whatever makes you feel happy and loving is good". Sorry but this ain't clear thinking. Not surprisingly the participants yet again flog the debate to an acrimonious standstill.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
OK, now I'm really confused. Sploge, I can't see the connection between your post and the way the discussion has been conducted on this thread. No-one (AFAIR) has argued starting from the fact that being gay is not a choice (certainly I haven't). You say I brought up the natural/unnatural thing. Erm, no, I didn't. I've talked about my position on that before - I've even presented the only natural/unnatural argument against homosexuality that I think stands up for any length of time (and the one that theologians use nowadays - and the one on which Anglican doctrine on homosexuality is founded), although no-one picked up on it. And I've answered the charge of my position being "if two people love each other then that's OK".

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

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


Posted by Siegfried (# 29) on :
 
Is any new ground being covered here that hasn't been covered in the archived threads mentioned at the very beginning of this one? Or is this thread just running around in circles, chasing its own tail? I mean, the natural/unnatural argument alone has been covered at least twice in just this thread!!
 
Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Siegfried:
Is any new ground being covered here that hasn't been covered in the archived threads mentioned at the very beginning of this one? Or is this thread just running around in circles, chasing its own tail? I mean, the natural/unnatural argument alone has been covered at least twice in just this thread!!

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

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

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

What does anyone else think?

All the best,

Rachel.
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Just to clarify quickly - the House of Bish's concluded AGAINST homosexual unions. I quoted them because our views on relationships are the same - they used the natural law argument which I presented waaaaay back to say that.

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


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
PS but there's a thread in the archives on this specifically ("gay marriage and blurred boundaries"), so we'd prob. get yelled at for discussing it
 
Posted by rachel_o (# 1258) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Joan the Dwarf:
Just to clarify quickly - the House of Bish's concluded AGAINST homosexual unions. I quoted them because our views on relationships are the same - they used the natural law argument which I presented waaaaay back to say that.

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


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

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


All the best,
Rachel.
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ok, i think i have an issue that hasn't really been discussed yet.

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

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

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


Posted by blackbird (# 1387) on :
 
just heard on the news that in a city a bit north of me, a high school just voted a lesbian couple as "Class Sweethearts" for their upcoming high school yearbook. the principal initially disqualified the couple because they were same sex, but there was such an outcry of protest by the students in the school that the principal rescinded her decision and resinstated them as official "Class Sweethearts." you gotta love those kids.
 
Posted by RooK (# 1852) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
so why do some people get this "yuck" response?

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

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

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

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


Posted by Steve_R (# 61) on :
 
I found the following whilst looking for something completely different (if you must know I typed Fosters Lager into the search engine hoping for a picture of the Feng Shui ad)

Homosexual Agenda

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


Posted by the Angel of the North (# 60) on :
 
moving this up for someone who came into the cafe this evening.

Angel
 


Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
nicole, I wish someone would answer your question, because I really wonder about this, too. I used to have the "oh, yuck" feeling about sex of any sort -- but then I, well, got older and it went away. But I do have the "oh, yuck" feeling if someone comes onto me and I am really not interested -- perhaps some straight people's gut reaction to the idea of homosexual sex is akin to that?
 
Posted by simon 2 (# 1524) on :
 
For me personally (married bloke) the idea of another man just doesn't appeal. I find my wife attractive as a person and physically too. I don't think I am capable of finding out why the idea of sex with another bloke doesn't really appeal. If I answer straight off, I would say it is because thats how I am. If I went to see a pyscotherapist they would get their paradigms answer. If I went to see a gay councellor I would get their paradigms answer. Each method of probing these reasons seems to have an agenda and when you probe the human heart I think you get the answers you look for rather than the truth very often.

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

Sorry its rambly
 


Posted by Elijah on Horeb (# 1614) on :
 
It's a couple of weeks since I looked at this thread, because, frankly, I got tired of the endless going around in circles. But out of curiosity I have looked again - and t hasn't improved! No offence intended - I realize that people are talking about and reacting to things that touch them very deeply, and therefore often painfully, so all that is being said should be treated with respect and taken seriously. But that doesn't alter the fact that after a while any discussion on this sort of topic ends up generating more heat than light, which is not really helpful to anybody. So, I am sorry if I have offended anyone. All I wanted to do was try to stand back a little from the whole vexed question in order to get a slightly more detached overview of the whole thing. Maybe that can never be done with any question involving sex/sexuality anyway - it,s too close, too much part of who we are.

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

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

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

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

Enough!!
 


Posted by Huw (# 182) on :
 
Elijah, I am surprised that you've re-opened this thread as - despite your very gracious tone - you haven't really engaged with the arguements explored in it. Maybe it would be worth taking passages like Romans 1 to Kerygmania so that exegetes could thrash out what it actually is saying - I think it is a fascinating passage, that can be taken more than one way.

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


Posted by Emilie (# 569) on :
 
quote:
What, may I ask, is wrong with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach?

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

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

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

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

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

Emily
 


Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Even though I think Elijah showed extremely poor taste in resurrecting this thread, I have to take issue with the objections to his argument. If someone is going to use the argument that something is okay simply because "this is how I am", his response is perfectly valid and legitimate. He is not comparing homosexuality to mental illness, he's taken the ABSURD argument of "well this is how I am so clearly it's sanctioned by God" to its logical conclusion.

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


Posted by Emilie (# 569) on :
 
quote:
He is not comparing homosexuality to mental illness, he's taken the ABSURD argument of "well this is how I am so clearly it's sanctioned by God" to its logical conclusion

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Erin, I couldn't agree more.

Emily
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Recidivist paedophiles are made that way (nature/nurture, doesn't matter). Heterosexuals are made that way. The fact that homosexuals are made that way says nothing about whether we're morally OK to have relationships - the arguments for and against are very different. All that the knowledge that we're made this way argues against is the uninformed view that one's sexuality is a choice.
 
Posted by Pyx_e (# 57) on :
 
Elijah asked “What, may I ask, is wrong with a "love the sinner, hate the sin" approach?”

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

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

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

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

P
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Actually, I believe in the principle of hating the sin but loving the sinner, though I don't like it when people misuse the phrase as an excuse to go right on hating the person they think is sinning, or more often patronise them. But really doing it is not easy; praying for their good when you want to grit their teeth, but remembering that, after all, Jesus died for them just as He did for you, etc. Political leaders I regard as destructive, etc., are people I must try to have genuine charity for even when their policies could harm me personally, for example.
 
Posted by mezzaninedoor (# 2230) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by nicolemrw:
ok, i think i have an issue that hasn't really been discussed yet.

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

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

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


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

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

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

not sure if iv'e added to the debate,

i think i'm rambling....

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


Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
I discovered after doing some soul-searching on this one that I really have multiple voices in my head on the whole question. What my answer will be to any given question will depend on which voice it appeals (applies) to.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks for listening.

Reader Alexis
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Mousethief:

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Sixthly (spot the academic ), it's just too EASY to be right when you've got society behind you, I mean those heterosexual relationships are so easy because you've got the approbation of society, you've got institutions and role-models to prop you up. The homosexual relationship is a challenge (and thus a growth opportunity) because there are no roles to play, no support from outside, nothing that can take the place of real love and sheer hard work to make the relationship work. Heterosexuals can just go with the flow and do as they're told by society, and never use the relationship to explore themselves, the other person and God.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
Firstly, I must make it quite clear that I am
not Joan the Dwarf (in fact I'm neither called Joan, nor a dwarf) - I'm just using her computer. OK?

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

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

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

Love to you all. xxx
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
Poster who's not Joan posting as Joan the Dwarf,

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

Alan
Purgatory host
 


Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
(Hey Alan, go easy, the poor boy's only here for one evening, and registration isn't THAT quick ).
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Well, actually, yes it is.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
Well, actually, yes it is.

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

PS, in re:

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

Not Joan asks: is that Gerry or Douglas?


 


Posted by GUNNER (# 2229) on :
 
One more this is a subject I feel inadequate to make a comment on all the same I will. Part of me is concerned that we pick and choose the parts of scripture we like and reject the rest. The idea that God is Love and is uddly and Ok seems fine with most of us. But we ignore or try to exuse the bits of scripture whih prohibit sex outside marriage, divorce, adultary and same sex. I have to be honest and say I am confused - I'm no bible scholar. Part of me wants to accept everything and everyone - but the fear of meeting God eye ball to eye ball and him saying "I never knew you is serious". I therefore play for safety and I'm never sure whether this is honest.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
<tangent>

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

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

</tangent>
 


Posted by Mousethief (# 953) on :
 
Yes, I see your point, Joan. It's probably the case of "the other sexual preference's grass is always greener."

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

Rdr Alexis
 


Posted by Atticus (# 2212) on :
 
My uncle is gay, he is a sixty-year old man who tried until his midtwenties to be straight in a strict fundamentalist background, i've heard it all: it's the way a father brings a child up, it's eating habits, it's how tight your underear is...
And it doesn't make sense. I've also heard the argument "God wouldn't make someone predisposed to sin, so He can't make homosexuals." Right, everyone else on earth is NOT predisposed to sin. C'mon. Now it seems to me that the only question is whether or not it is a homosexual Christian's responsibility to curb his or her desires, or rather activities based on desires.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Atticus:
Right, everyone else on earth is NOT predisposed to sin. C'mon.

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


Posted by HHH (# 472) on :
 
I thought that turning toward God, as did Jesus, was the essence of the Christian religion. i.e. The Faith is defined in terms of God not in terms of sin!

a propos this thread in general:

What a mercy that practice is more fun than theory!


 


Posted by Dan Gross (# 2246) on :
 
Dear People of God (as my bishop likes to say):

I just registered and boarded SOF earlier this week. I've read the first two and the sixth pages of this thread. I wish I had time to read all pages, but I'm a middle-aged first-year divinity student somewhat overwhelmed by all the studying I have to do.

Anyway, on this day (known to some of my Anglo-Catholic friends as the commemoration of St. Charles, King and Martyr), I plunge in to this particular fray. At the moment I don't feel inclined to launch into a long description of my views on this subject. I do feel moved to say I'm impressed and heartened by the extent to which the people participating in this thread strive to debate in an atmosphere of Christian love. I do have thoughts on this subject and they're greatly influenced by the fact that I'm a gay man who--through reading, thinking, discussing, and an enormous amount of praying--has come to believe my sexuality is a gift from God.

Having said that, I'm also someone who is enormously pained by the ways in which disagreements about Christian faith and sexuality have rent the church universal. I grieve at the extent to which people on opposite sides tend so readily to demonize each other.

So, I'm heartened by most (though to be honest, not all) of what I've read on this SOF thread. It seems we're striving to be pilgrims here, trying to remember to love each other as members of the Body of Christ.

Sorry, I didn't mean to get preachy. (Am I breaking the rules?) I simply wanted to articulate my strongly-felt gut response to my first visit to this thread.

By the way, Joan the Dwarf, I can't refrain from expressing my admiration for your postings. You're brilliant!

I'll shut up now.

Dan (who's reading I Corinthians and St. Anselm this week, among other things, and finding his head swimming from time to time)
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Hi, Dan, and welcome to Ship of Fools!
 
Posted by Ender's Shadow (# 2272) on :
 
Having plodded my way through the 6 pages of this, I'm feeling rather underwhelmed. So in an attempt to stir things up, I've placed an NY Times article about a quaint cultural custom from Afghanistan in Hell, and I'd invite you to apply your theological arguments from above to it....

I hope you find the challenge interesting!
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
enders shadow, if you have a point to make kindly do so without the *nudge nudge wink wink know what i mean* stuff. thanks.
 
Posted by Siegfried (# 29) on :
 
You should know by now that you're not supposed to feed the trolls! It just encourages them.

Sieg
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
sorry seig *hangs head in shame* mea culpa... but i just couldn't resist...
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Haven't read the article yet but, applying my mystic powers to it, I can see through the swirling mists of destiny that this challenge will be:

a) intellectually demanding

b) oozing with Christian love and compassion

Am I right? And, if so, does it prove I'm possesed by a demon of divination?
 


Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
wanderer my dear, words fail me. check out the hell thread yourself and see.
 
Posted by Joan the Dwarf (# 1283) on :
 
*constipated expression on face*

Lord, we just want to just cast out just this just false demon that's just possessing our just brother, Huw. Lord, we just want to say that just you're so great, just like wow... (cont for 94 hours)
 


Posted by Gracia (# 1812) on :
 
I tend to agree with joan the dwarf and innana that if a relationship is a blessing to those around them (and i would add, images Christ's love)that it is something to be held up, and not labeled sinful. (We should all be so lucky!).
I know of several homosexual partnerships which fit that model - that is to say, long-term, & a blessing to the people around them. (I wouldn't know if they are monogamous, but they seem to be).
 
Posted by MarkthePunk (# 683) on :
 
*also with constipated expression*

Oh Lord, I call down HELLFIRE on whoever ressurrected this VILE thread. Oooooooh Lord, may this thread DIE!

YE EVIL THREAD, DIE DIE DIE!

*hyperventilates and carries on for three hours*
 


Posted by Gracia (# 1812) on :
 
SORRY!!!!!
It's been around so long and racked up such impressive numbers!
 
Posted by Canucklehead (# 1595) on :
 
Wow, the thread is alive again, and this time it only took two posts before the dreaded accusation of trolling was raised again. Perhaps there should be a new corollary to Godwin's Law.
 
Posted by Shai-Hulud (# 658) on :
 
quote:
Oh Lord, I call down HELLFIRE....

Wouldn't HELLFIRE come from the other direction?
 


Posted by Alan Cresswell (# 31) on :
 
I would like to see constructive and relevant posts to this thread, and so far I've only seen one such post here in the last day.

If you don't have any such comments to make please say nothing. I'm leaving this thread open incase anyone wants to add to the discussion, if there's any more off-topic posts then I'll close the thread.

Alan
Purgatory host
 


Posted by gandalf35 (# 934) on :
 
I find the Nature vs. Nurture question very fascinating, as well as the "gay friend" syndrom. I have many friends who fill both sides of the spectrum, and find it hard to believe that anyone would label a true friend. It reminds me of an aunt i had who would introduce some of my friends by whispering there race, oragin, or anything she might find distastefull eg: This is Bobby (Gandalf's colored friend).
I have also read that there is a strong black or white issue on Choice vs. Nature. In my experience, The vast majoraty of my friends say that their sexuality was from birth, I do have some that say it was their choice. One, in fact, chose to be homosexual because he had some deformaties from birth and the homosexual population was much less judgemental about this. I have not seen him for the last year or so but he seemed to be living in a loving relationship for several years.

And for my last word, When I was about 14, I fell in love with a young girl who is black, I am not. Because of family, and church pressure "Do not become unevenly yoked" we were forced to split up. My point is be careful of using the bible to condem someone elses relationship as sinful, you may have to answer for it later.
 


Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
In preparation for the moving of another thread here, here's my post from that thread:

quote:
Originally posted by alexliamw:
It is not a choice they make! Any homosexual will tell you this.

Except for the nice folks at QueerByChoice.com.

But I agree, this belongs in Dead Horses.
 


Posted by alexliamw (# 2875) on :
 
At New Wine Youth, I attended a talk on sex and Christianity. Within this, I was shocked to hear the whole panel expressly state that they believe homosexuality is wrong. How can this be said at what claims to be a modern, forward-looking event? The church has alienated enough people without this problem making it worse. If Christianity hopes to be acknowledged as accesible and modern, it has to take all this on board. Surely an organisation such as this should be preaching a tolerance as opposed to a holier-than-thou homosexuality is wrong status.
I was even more annoyed to hear a panelist say that she hated the view that gays cannot change their sexual orientation. It is commonly accepted that homosexuals are born that way and it is a fact like hair colour which they cannot naturally change. It is not a choice they make! Any homosexual will tell you this. I'm straight, but I've been brought up my both my mother (a Christian) and my father (an atheist) to respect others and as part of a church that had a homosexual vicar for 18 years and welcomes all people into its congregation, I could not believe that a serious Christian group was saying this as if it were the divine truth.
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
quote:
alexliamw said How can this be said at what claims to be a modern, forward-looking event? The church has alienated enough people without this problem making it worse. If Christianity hopes to be acknowledged as accesible and modern, it has to take all this on board.

Well i shall answer this question and not flog this horse any more.

In a major bit of being simplistic christianity holds on to various absolutes ie Jesus was the Son Of god Trinity ect and these are reavealed in the bible and the creeds.

The problems partly lies where do the absolutes end and start. One group (the evangelicals well more or less) holds on to more absolutes and another group (modernists terrible label then there you go) hold on to fewer absolutes.

The former group hold on to a more literal interpretation of scripture than the latter.

The evangelicals say that practicing homosexuality is wrong because that is what the bible says and how we have traditionally understood it.

The modernists say well the bible was a text for its time and the writers didn't understand what it was to be a in a loving homosexual relationship.

Both have a failing the evangelicals almost always have actually cut away at one or two absolutes already and just happen to have kept this one. The modernists actually have a problem of defining which absolutes should be kept and which should not.

In the UK at the moment the evangelical wing of the church is more dynamic section of the church hence many up tempo events are run by that particular branch of theology.

I hope that helps if you wish to read the details of the arguement please read the thread!!!
 


Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
My big prob is why Gay Society acts the way it does.

What makes gay people have the burning desire to bed as many people in the shortest possible (esp men)Saying that I'm probley as guilty as the next man (espically after I came out fully.

Its fine to be proud to have an idenity but why is it if you don't subscribe to the "lifestyle" then you're looked down on (& why does this all seem very familar)
 
Posted by Chorister (# 473) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by alexliamw:
At New Wine Youth, I attended a talk on sex and Christianity. Within this, I was shocked to hear the whole panel expressly state that they believe homosexuality is wrong. How can this be said at what claims to be a modern, forward-looking event?

You have probably been told that such events are modern and forward looking because they have modern music instead of sixteenth century motets. But theologically such events are often very conservative, some still being in the dinosaur age, or at least positively mediaeval. There is a huge difference in being radical in your choice of music and radical in your theology. Christians often confuse which they mean.

Mr. Pink I think you will find there is a large section of the heterosexual community eg. the clubbing crowd who are just the same.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
quote:

Mr. Pink I think you will find there is a large section of the heterosexual community eg. the clubbing crowd who are just the same

True but then most of the straight clubbing crowd have usually been aided and abetted alcholiccaly or chemically.
 
Posted by SteveWal (# 307) on :
 
What, and you mean gay people never drink or take drugs before having sex?

How moralistic of them! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
No but think about this why is it you don't see hetrosexuals cruising or cottaging (shudder)?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
There are some unhealthy things in gay culture, but I think the oppression and repression to which gays have been subject for so long is in part to blame. Millions of people were (and frequently in some places still are) forced to hide their sexuality - that kind of constraint is bound to have unhealthy consequences.

Not that people don't bear any personal responsibility for what they do. And not that there aren't plenty of straight people who engage in unhealthy sexual activity.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
I agree with the sentiments but as society has changed why hasn't attitudes. I've tried since I came out to hold the same set of values that I had before I was "out" however I'll admit I did feel the need to catch up somewhat (though always safely) basically as I felt I'd missed out (see Gay adotion thread) However even people in long term realtionships seem to have a anything goes (I.E. I'm committed when it suits me but if some bit of totty comes along then ...)I know it happens in the straight world & causes as much if not more grief esp when there are children involved. In my expeirence someone always gets hurt & not always directly.
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
I would say there are a number of reasons why the gay community in general is more promiscuous & generally hedonistic than the wider community.

First, not much more than 30 years ago the community faced very real problems of legal oppression that largely forced people into a clandestine underground existence. Whilst it is true that this ended at the end of the 60’s I would suggest that the 1970’s remained a period of significant social oppression. It has only been since the 1980’s that a more tolerant society has truly begun to emerge.

There are therefore people in the community today – basically anyone aged 40-50+ - who grew up in that environment. I would argue that the experiences of their youth not only shaped their lives & behaviours but of younger people coming into the community & being influenced by them as role models. Do not under-estimate the ongoing impact of this.

Second, society, the establishment and Christianity has been anti-gay for centuries. Mainstream Christianity is still anti-gay in a big way and is therefore of little or no use in providing any meaningful moral guidance within the gay community. Teaching that homosexuality is “a sin” is about as much use as a chocolate teapot and doesn’t even get us to square one as far as offering any meaningful ministry to the gay community is concerned. It can’t be that much of a surprise therefore that many people in the gay community prefer a simple clear-cut break from the values of the society that they rightly believe oppresses them. The logic runs like this:

1) Society says gays are bad BUT I know gays are good.
2) Society says promiscuity is bad – that is probably wrong too.
3) Christianity says homosexuality is a sin therefore Christianity and Christian values are evil oppression.

I know someone in the gay community who is an advocate of the promiscuous lifestyle. His opinions on Christianity in general are simple, to quote him:

“Christians are like strange dogs. If you make a habit of stroking strange dogs, one day you’ll get bitten. Gays trying to mix with Christianity is the same thing – they hate us – it is in their nature – sooner or later they bite.”

There is therefore a strong attitude of rebellion that encourages people to behave promiscuously. Society hates us what ever we do – therefore it does not matter what we do – lets party! According to many Christians we are all damned anyway so why bother worrying about it – lets make the most of our ever diminishing sex lives whilst we can.

Third, why are heterosexuals more monogamous in the first place? Animals in general are promiscuous by nature, monogamy is a largely socially constructed behaviour – i.e. you are brought up to be monogamous – you learn it & society encourages you to behave that way. How are gays and lesbians brought up? Often they are just told that they are perverts and that is that. They are given no advice on adult relationships by either their parents (unless they are very lucky) or their school – they are cast adrift and left to find out for themselves what it is that they really want from their sex lives. Section 28 ensures total silence in the classroom on these matters – young people often have no adult they can turn to for advise or help until they actually go out in the gay community and start having sex. Just imagine how heterosexuals would behave if they were raised like this?

Fourth, there is no marriage institution for gays and lesbians. Again, a major force for monogamous behaviour in the heterosexual community is marriage. If there was no such thing as marriage I doubt if the heterosexual community would behave as monogamously as it does.

Fifth is peer pressure and cultural pressure. Gay culture embraces promiscuity partly for the reasons I’ve mentioned and partly because this is the way it has always been historically for centuries. People are conditioned to behaving in this way because this is the way in which many people behave. You naturally match your behaviour to fit in with those of your friends. Few people – gay or heterosexual – are that strong willed that they can break entirely from such peer pressure and sometimes it affects people sub-consciously.

Therefore, promiscuity in the gay community is basically a product of the culture and society of our times. Gays can behave monogamously if they are encouraged to do so by society as a whole. Once upon a time they did! If you ever read Plato’s Symposium he mentions – almost as an aside – that homosexuals were generally far more monogamous than heterosexuals. The only reason for this was because the society and culture of the day encouraged them to behave monogamously.

Right now I think the way our society/culture is as a whole is that many gays and lesbians are discouraged/forced away from a monogamous relationship. I would like to see the day where people in the gay community were able to feel more comfortable that they really did have that option. To do that, society as a whole would need to value gay and lesbian relationships far more.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
Interesting posting Paul.

I agree in theory r/e the break with acceptted society howver if Gays want to be different why are they fighting to have the same rights as hetrosexual couples e.g pension rights, next of Kin ect?

As someone who "crossed" the great divide why does it seem to me that a large percentage of gays have the emotional maurity of a gnat and still act like my four year when they don't get their own way. Have appaling musical taste and are quiet happy to be ripped off by the culture they support?
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Mr Pink,

What a strange handle for a gay basher!?

MMMmmmmm! Seems you're the kind of person that Paul's gay friend was talking about.

I'm sure you'll be used mightily to win many gays and lesbians to Christ, with your attitude. [Roll Eyes]

Christina
 
Posted by Ginga (# 1899) on :
 
All this talk of hedonism is making me a little uncomfortable.

Can I just put in a vote for the lesbian scene? Although extrememly incestuous it's certainly more toned down than its male counterpart (at least the versions of each scene that I've experiences). Sure, it's got its hedonistic side - as has straight culture. Been to Leicester Square on a Saturday night recently? - but mostly when me and my mates go out it's for the purposes of "having a nice beer and a chat and a dance and maybe a little rowdyness if the fancy takes us". It's about going somewhere where our relationships are accepted, not somewhere where we can pull everything going. And most of the girls that behave in the slightly more morally loose fashion tend to be quite looked down on.

We're not perfect. But even when we get a little...close, the trust is still there. I don't think any of us would dream of even kissing another mate's girlfriend, and everyone's always definite on who's going home with who at the end of the night.

Maybe we're an odd bunch though. My own group of mates got together in a similar way to the Ship. Sort of lesbian unrest. There is a lesbian scene that's based on materialism, hedonism, alcoholism and a whole load of other isms. But thankfully it's becoming the minority.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Paul,

I think what your gay friend is referring to, is the practise of many christians, to be friendly to gay and lesbian people, until they realise that they are not going to change their sexuality.

Promiscuity, I believe, is rooted in death and despair. The antidote to this is the Gospel.

Personally, I buy neither the Nature nor the Nurture argument. I believe it is a mixture.

If a gay couple came to church and heard the gospel, and came to trust in Christ, I believe the Holy Spirit should be trusted to address their sexuality. He knows whether it is because of psychological damage (victim of sin), or inborn. I have met bisexual people who have at first described themselves as gay, to me.

By keeping gays and lesbians and transgendered people out of church, we only add to their despair, which can lead to promiscuity.

"God is the Saviour of all men, especially those who believe." (But not if you're homosexual)

Christina
 
Posted by andy_s (# 2792) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
Mr Pink,

What a strange handle for a gay basher!?

MMMmmmmm! Seems you're the kind of person that Paul's gay friend was talking about.

I'm sure you'll be used mightily to win many gays and lesbians to Christ, with your attitude. [Roll Eyes]

Christina

Christina, if you scroll up just a little bit and read Mr Pink's previous post, you'll see that he talks about having come out. Just between the two of us - he might just be, you know, well, ummm g - a - y himself.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
As Jamie says in Beautiful Thing "I'm very happy"
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Ooooooooooooopppppppppppppsssssssssssssss!! [Help]

My apologies. [Waterworks]

Mr Pink,

I believe that certain Christians have had the same opinion of me during the time when I was deeply hurt, and expressing quite a lot of anger over judgemental attitudes.

What's changed, is that God has led me to forgive all the people who have hurt me, and also ask that God forgive them too. It took several months, and I believe it has led to inner healing. Not total healing, but a lot.

I'm glad you're happy. [Wink]

Christina
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I must be the only one here (am I?) who has no problem per se with the promiscuity. But then I don't believe in the sex as such. However, if I did, I don't think I'd see the promiscuity as a problem. I'm fairly promiscuous with regard to cuddling, kissing, and more dramatic things, just not sex as such.

David
chaste wanton
 
Posted by Dorothy's Friend (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MR PINK:
Interesting posting Paul.

I agree in theory r/e the break with acceptted society howver if Gays want to be different why are they fighting to have the same rights as hetrosexual couples e.g pension rights, next of Kin ect?

As someone who "crossed" the great divide why does it seem to me that a large percentage of gays have the emotional maurity of a gnat and still act like my four year when they don't get their own way. Have appaling musical taste and are quiet happy to be ripped off by the culture they support?

Perhaps because we want to be different? [Wink]

Because ALL straights are very mature for their years and never have tantrums.

They all have impeccable taste in music, and wouldn't dream of spending 100's of £££'s on season tickets for their favourite football team. [Confused]

Pursuing a different lifestyle and having a different sexual orientation does not mean that I should be denied the same rights, priviliges and responsibilities as anyone else.

Including having a 'partner', which the House of Bishops' current statement denies to me as a priest.
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
Of course, whilst a distinct group of individuals within the gay community may act in an immature manner & throw tantrums etc - this group is, I think, a minority. Generalisations can be dangerous.

You might point to famous gay people like Micheal Barrymore & Elton John and say - look - immature behaviour and tantrums. Contrast this with the behaviour of famous heterosexuals on the other hand - say Russell Crowe and Naomi Campbell and - err - you can immediately see how much more mature the the heterosexual community can be!
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
I'm considered something of a freak by my "gay" friends as I'm in a mongomous realtionship & don't subscribe to live today & don't worry about it school of thought.

One of the major sticking points is my kids. Most of my gay friends think they should know by know however both me & their mother don't think so. therefore I'm regarded as a hypocrite for being openly gay in the adult world & "in the closet" with my offspring.

I agree we all wanna be different this is a major bone of contention with my dad & not just because I'm gay. He's being trying to makke me fit into his Maily Dale" view of the world since I was knee high & the fact that I've gone off the rails in his view while his "darling" daughter has after a period of rebellion come back into the fold (nice house, well off husband & kids) doesn't seem to wash.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
As to promoscurity yes when I came out I shagged anything that showed any interest in me party because after years of feeling little or no self worth I lapped the attention up. Ok it wasn't statisfying but sometimes a quick fix is satisfying temparily.

As to poor misical taste please explain why grown men rave about talentless bands of no hopers who prance & mince regurgating stale cliches that were embrassing enough in the 70's & 80's when there are talented acts that never get the props they deserve.
 
Posted by Dorothy's Friend (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by MR PINK:
I'm considered something of a freak by my "gay" friends as I'm in a mongomous realtionship & don't subscribe to live today & don't worry about it school of thought.

One of the major sticking points is my kids. Most of my gay friends think they should know by know however both me & their mother don't think so. therefore I'm regarded as a hypocrite for being openly gay in the adult world & "in the closet" with my offspring.

Screw your friends - not literally! [Big Grin]

Rejoice in your relationship. There's probably a tinge of envy in their attitude. [Wink]

As for your kids - that's none of their business.
I have only one nephew, who's also my godson,and my sister and I have talked about telling him that Uncle D is gay. It will be when SHE thinks the time is right. He's being raised with open and accepting attitudes, and I don't believe there will be a problem. But it's his mother's decision.

Be different, Mr Pink - be yourself. [Angel]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Hi. I'm a gay man, also non-scene, liberal anglo-catholic, and in a long term monogamous relationship of 10 years or more.

I think that we are in danger of judging all gay people by those we see on the commercial scene. They make up only a small number of the gay people who exist. Its a bit like judging the entire heterosexual population by looking at behaviour in the average nightclub

I agree that cottaging and cruising are not ideal. but....are they not at least partially a result of being 'outsiders', and also the inability of the Church to be able to place gay relationship within Christian ethics.If all gay people here is the hatred of the fundies or, perhaps even worse, the 'love the sinner, hate the sin' brigade (I'd rather just have 'hate' - at least its honest) - can we be surprised that they don't exactly want to hear the Christian message on love, faithfulness, commitment, and so on.
All of which I firmly believe. If Rowan does get chosen for Canterbury, perhaps his gentle, considered views on this issue may start to change some hearts and minds, by his example
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Mike,

I agree with you entirely. If people are persistently told that they're going to hell because of their sexuality, it can lead to extreme behaviour. Many churches and Christians offer no hope at all to gblt folks. They don't listen. Listening is the first sign of love.

Christina
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
It is perhaps stating the obvious to point out that if someone is persisently told that their sex life is inherantly "sinful" they will naturally have difficulty forging long term relationships. If they are purusaded to even half believe that every sexual relationship they have is somehow "dirty" - regardless of whether it is monogamous or a casual encounter in the men's loos - they stand very little chance of living anything other than a promiscuous lifestyle.

It is silly to expect that anyone with lgbt community should accept that their relationships are inherantly sinful. This is no difference from expecting a heterosexual man to believe that his marriage to his wife is a dirty sin. Human beings just can't view their own sex lives this way and remain sane.

It is about time Christianity grew up and ditched this "homosexuality is a sin" nonsense before it entirely discredits the religion and people start thinking "well, if that's what it says, it must be all made up like father christmas then". In fact I even know of one or two heterosexual agnostics who point to negative Christian teachings on homosexuality as a good reason as to why Christianity is unlikely to be anything other than made-up stories.
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
quote:
Mersymike sai , perhaps even worse, the 'love the sinner, hate the sin' brigade (I'd rather just have 'hate' - at least its honest)
I don't like that phrase but I stand at the conservative end of the argument and believe that Snx of any form outside marriage is not God's ideal. (I neither have the time or energy to define sex or marriage).
I find the phrase trite but it is close to what I believe.

I bear no one hatred please do not judge me.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Careau:
It is about time Christianity grew up and ditched this "homosexuality is a sin" nonsense before it entirely discredits the religion

Unless, of course, it's true, and then I suppose we'd be stuck. [Razz]

Mind you, I don't think being gay and doing any number of things is a sin at all, but I do believe that we are not permitted to have sexual intercourse outside of male-female marriage. I'm not even convinced masturbation is allowed to me, as a Christian.

David
leaves in an hour for the Radical Faeries potluck
a strange promiscuous celibate person, he wanders the world, leaving baffled and disturbed people in his wake; "tra-la-la," he cries
 
Posted by sharkshooter (# 1589) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Paul Careau:
I would say there are a number of reasons why the gay community in general is more promiscuous & generally hedonistic than the wider community.

First, not much more than 30 years ago the community faced very real problems of legal oppression <snip>

Second, society, the establishment and Christianity has been anti-gay for centuries. <snip>

Third, <snip> How are gays and lesbians brought up? Often they are just told that they are perverts and that is that. They are given no advice on adult relationships by either their parents (unless they are very lucky) or their school <snip>

Fourth, there is no marriage institution for gays and lesbians. <snip>

Fifth is peer pressure and cultural pressure. <snip>

Therefore, promiscuity in the gay community is basically a product of the culture and society of our times. <snip>

Right now I think the way our society/culture is as a whole is that many gays and lesbians are discouraged/forced away from a monogamous relationship. <snip>

A lot of reasons why everyone else is to blame. "It's not my fault!"

quote:

Originally posted by Paul Careau:
It is about time Christianity grew up and ditched this "homosexuality is a sin" nonsense before it entirely discredits the religion

to which ChastMastr replied

quote:
Unless, of course, it's true, and then I suppose we'd be stuck.
I can't believe you said that, but, yes.
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
Nightlamp:

quote:
I bear no one hatred please do not judge me.
I think you are misguided but I don’t hate you. You have not seen the things I’ve seen, so I can forgive you.

Chastmastr:

quote:
Unless, of course, it's true, and then I suppose we'd be stuck
No mate – then we loose our faith. Are you really that blind to the knife edge along which so many tred?

Sharkshooter:

quote:
A lot of reasons why everyone else is to blame. "It's not my fault!"
Very good reasons however. If we abolished marriage for heterosexuals, for example, would that stabilise or de-stabilise heterosexual relationships? Unless we acknowledge these reasons and deal with the issues that lie behind them we will not be able to move forward. Ultimately, of course, we all need to take responsibility for our own relationships but we also need to lay to rest the ghosts of past oppression.

(as it happens - I personally am monogamous - not necessarily a "moral choice" as such - just the way the cookie crumbles.)
 
Posted by Dorothy's Friend (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
If Rowan does get chosen for Canterbury, perhaps his gentle, considered views on this issue may start to change some hearts and minds, by his example

We shall see, as he has been confirmed as the 104th occupant of St. Augustine's chair.

I agree with your comment about the 'hate the sin, love the sinner' thing.

I don't actually believe that homosexual relationships are sin.

It is a very condescending argument.
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
quote:
Dorothy's Friend says It is a very condescending argument
why?
In my opinion it is consistent with traditional christian morality and compassion. As I said before I find it a trite phrase.
 
Posted by Dorothy's Friend (# 2824) on :
 
You say 'trite', I say 'condescending' - yours may be the better assessment of the phrase.

I don't believe that my relationships are sinful per se.

When you say 'hate the sin', I ask 'what sin'?

I don't deny that I am a sinner - that's part of the human condition.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
Where does a realtionship begin?

I have a friend who knew he was Gay when he was 12/13 & he used to fancy me but never did anythinf about it @school because as far as he knew I was "straight". If I kissed him or tossed him off would that mean I had sex outside marriage (Blimey I was 13 for all I knew I might of become a monk) Isn't the choices we make (not asin I choose to be gay but I choose to live as a fufilling life as possible with the information I have to hand at that time.

The passage regarding Masturbation is at best vague (spilling the seed) as most men didn't know how babies were made when the bible was transcribed so where did the notion of seed come from?

My personal view is that Christ came to fufil the OT not uphold it.

As to those decry homsexual realtionships what about eating Shell fish, aving sex with a woman during her period ect. If you're gonna live by the rules play by the rules.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Dorothy's friend wrote:

"You say 'trite', I say 'condescending' - yours may be the better assessment of the phrase."

about the 'hate the sin, love the sinner' bit of spin, common in Christian circles.

I think it is more serious. It is similar to the Pharisees making the Word of God to no effect through their tradition. This horrible littel catchphrase is not just unscriptural, but leads people to be disobedient to Scipture.

Here's why.

If you think, 'hate the sin, love the sinner' when in a situation where you think another person is sinning, what have you just done? You've judged them! 'Judge not, lest you be judged, with what measure of judgement you measure others with, shall be measured unto you.'

When you judge someone as sinning, in some area, you will be condescending. You may not SAY anything condescending, but we communicate with far more than just our words. You cannot judge someone, without it showing on your face, for example.

It's not just trite, it's not just condescending, it is a traditional phrase which is unscriptural and leads Christians to disobey Jesus. It also has a devastating, negative, effect on evangelism.

To those who point out that Jesus told the woman caught in adultery, to 'go and sin no more', I point out that Jesus DID NOT tell the Samaritan woman to leave her partner, did he?

Christina
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
Interesting ChristinaMarie I would have guessed that Jesus's command for her to sin no more was a command to return to the man to whom she was married. This by definition means a change in her current life style i.e. giving up on one of her partners.

In 1 timothy 3 there is an expectation that people who are leaders of the church will have blameless lives obviously some one has to judge the individual as worthy or not. In Hebrews 12:16 there is an expectation that there will be no immorality in the church so who decides if no judgement is allowed.

Unfortunately judgement is needed in the church do you employ a crooked accountant as your treasurer?

I believe Jesus is condemning judgemental attitudes and warning people when you judge someone then bear in mind you will also be judged.

The church has to live the tension between being legalistic and a free for all.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Nightlamp,

"I believe Jesus is condemning judgemental attitudes and warning people when you judge someone then bear in mind you will also be judged."

Precisely, that's my point. 'hate the sin, love the sinner' leads people to judgementalism.

Evangelicals (I used to be one), come out with this statement all the time, regarding gays. In private, they slag them off rotten. I've seen and heard the venom!

Christina
 
Posted by Nightlamp (# 266) on :
 
That ChristinaMaria sounds fairly judgemental of all evangelicals. Am I correct in reading it in that way?

I am an Evangelical and quite happy to be one.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Sorry, that should have been many, if not most, of all the Evangelicals I have met in 15 years of being one, 1982-1997.

Note: Not as an Evangelical Anglican.

I was once asked to visit a gay guy who was dying of AIDS related illnesses, by his mother, in Scotland. I was in London. I was an Evangelical.

I went on behalf of our Evangelical Church, to visit him, quite a few times, and I would update the Elders (2). I found myself dumbstruck, didn't know what to say, but I kept visiting, in hospital and in his apartment.

One day he said, 'I've repented and I trust in Jesus now.' He told me he'd repented of his gay lifestyle too, to which I stated that I'd sinned sexually in the past too, in other ways.

I told the Elders he'd become a Christian, they were pleased.

I then got another phone call from his mother asking if our church would bury him, as she was disabled and infirm, and in Scotland.

When I asked the Elders, they refused! They didn't want gays in the church!

They wouldn't see to his funeral, EVEN THOUGH HE'D BECOME A CHRISTIAN!

Christina
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I used to be one too, Christina, and I must concur with what you say.

I am certainly aware that , for example, the Evangelical Alliance has stated that gay people, living in relationships should not be welcome in affiliated churches unless they accept their 'line', which is tantamount to saying that they are not Christian. Their view on transgendered people is equally unbending.

You can't really be surprised, then, Nightlamp, that many gay Christians feel that evangelicalism is a prison from which they were only too glad to escape.

In any case, if someone doesn't love who I am, which is a gay man in a partnership - then I fail to see how they can love me in anything more than a perfunctory, partial way. I have always regarded that sort of love as bogus, to be honest. I don't separate my sexuality or my relationship from the rest of me, and thus I don't give others permission to do so either
 
Posted by andy_s (# 2792) on :
 
I still have friends from my 'past life' in an Evangelical Anglican church.

Some now accept me, new revelations and all. Maintaining those friendships is possible, if a bit of an effort as we no longer catch up with each other at church! [Smile]

Some just can't cope with the 'new me.' (Not that I've really changed - I've just dropped a lot of pretences.) My response is : Fine! Live long and prosper.

Others feel that gay sex is wrong in God's eyes, but don't want to lose me as a friend. I've had 'love the sinner, hate the sin' said to me.

These are the hardest to deal with. We can work on keeping the friendship alive, but some areas of conversation cause them to 'freeze up' - talking about life in the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) I'm now part of, or talking about my partner (who lives at the other end of the country), or any sort of criticism of my old church (though I do try to avoid that anyway). Different people have different tolerances and sensitive spots.

The critical thing, I've found, is whether these friends can be happy for me as my life unfolds. If they can be pleased that I've found a church and pleased that there is someone else in my life and take an interest despite their reservations, then the friendship continues to grow.

If they can't be happy about these things and rejoice with me, then I'm not comfortable around them. I feel more judged than loved.

I'm not trying to get at anyone here. I have my own understanding of where I am and why. Love the sinner, hate the sin is a response to a tension between things that can seem irreconcilable. It can work, but it's hard. I just wanted to comment on how it feels where I am at the moment. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Dorothy's Friend (# 2824) on :
 
I was reminded by one of our shipmate's signature block of words of a fellow Staffordshire man, the great Dr. Samuel Johnson:

"God Himself, sir, does not propose to judge a man until his life is over. Why should you or I?"
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
I've had "friends" who after I came out dropped me like a hot potato. I stopped going to the evangelical church I was a member of because I felt that not only was it wrong to go to a church that did not condone "homosexual love" even though one of their staff was openly gay (though celibate as far I know) but because I felt it was time to move on. As to my friends well lets put it this way it's up to them. They are my daughters godparents & have caerefully avioded me by several coindences. As I said it's their loss.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Hi Merseymike,

You wrote:

"I used to be one too, Christina, and I must concur with what you say.

I am certainly aware that , for example, the Evangelical Alliance has stated that gay people, living in relationships should not be welcome in affiliated churches unless they accept their 'line', which is tantamount to saying that they are not Christian. Their view on transgendered people is equally unbending.

You can't really be surprised, then, Nightlamp, that many gay Christians feel that evangelicalism is a prison from which they were only too glad to escape. "

Yes, I agree with your last statement, but I haven't become a liberal in my theology, or understanding of Scripture. It annoys the hell out of me, that a theologically conservative guy like Rowan Williams, gets labelled as liberal, because of what he's said about same-sex relationships. My stance on theology and sexual ethics, is, I think the same as mine. I consider mainstream. I appreciate the Liberals for asking the hard questions, but don't agree with their conclusions. I appreciate the Evangelicals for their stress on the importance of Scripture, and a personal trust in Jesus. (I don't normally use the term 'born-again Christian' to describe myself, as I find it divisive, and used in judgemantal ways, but I am a born-again Christian, and Donna, my partner, became a born-again Christian 2.5 weeks ago.)

My views about the Evangelical Alliance are very strong. I think they are a disgrace. The book they wrote on Transsexuality, was farcical. It was obvious that they had only spoken to like-minded people. They claimed intellectual integrity, Press For Change have written a strong critique of the the EA's integrity, at their website. www.pfc.org.uk

How anyone in the UK can write a book about transsexuality, claiming intellectual integrity, without consulting Dr Russell Reid (without having to agree with him), is beyond me. He's the best known Consultant Psychiatrist dealing with transsexual people, and is usually asked by TV (that's television :-) ) companies to attend talk shows on the subject.

The book was very paranoid too. It keeps making references to transsexual lobby groups, making out there's some kind of conspiracy going on.

Fact: There's only ONE TS lobby group in the UK, Press For Change.

It also stated that these lobby groups keep arguing that transsexuality be explained using the 'brainsex model'. (That it is caused by hormonal development going wrong, while in the womb)

Fact: Press For Change argue AGAINST using aetiology! They see it as dangerous.

It also stated that there was a HQ in Northen England for one of these lobby groups. (PFC)

Fact: PFC don't have a HQ! PFC is run by people using their spare rooms!

What is inexcusable, for people claiming integrity, is that these facts are readily available publicly, at the Press For Change website.

What is worse, is that the EA made a statement that they were going to do this study, they were going to do it with integrity and that they would be consulting transsexuals.

Fact: Press For Change offered to talk with the EA, to give them their informed point of view. The EA refused to talk to them! Furthermore, PFC checked with every TS support group in the country, and NONE of them were consulted.

Fact: One of the leaders of PFC told me on the telephone, that she had spoken to Don Horrocks of the EA, and asked why they hadn't consulted transsexual groups, etc. It took a long time, but in the end he said, 'We only speak to like-minded people.'

I know that there are thinking Evangelicals out there, I really do, but many just claim to be thinking Evangelicals. The EA is the case in point.

From my viewpoint, the EA say it is not okay to seek treatment as a transsexual person, but it is okay to lie.

Christina
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
In response to Mr Pink's post,

To all gay, lesbian, bisexual, transsexual and transgendered Christians, who have been rejected by people:

Remember, Jesus was rejected by religious people too. He was labelled a 'sinner' too. He was misunderstood too, sometimes genuinely, sometimes deliberately. He was hated too. He was despised too.

If you meditate on this, you may find, as I have done, that you can empathise more with our Beautiful Lord and Saviour.

Many Christians who 'fit in', don't experience these things.

Every 'curse' can be turned into a blessing, if you belong to God through Christ. As the Scripture says: 'All things work together for good, to those who love God.'

If you find this hard to accept, go to your Father with it, and tell Him. He'll answer you.

Christina
 
Posted by Dolphy (# 862) on :
 
Well said and bless you Christina.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I suppose this does come down to definition again - what do we mean when we say liberal or conservative ?
I mean, if one equaltes 'liberal' with the 'Sea of Faith', then I'm not liberal. If one says 'well, the core of Christianity is the Resurrection and the personhood of Jesus, but liberal Christians, whilst working within these orthodoxies, believe the Bible is not literal truth or inerrant or a 'fax from Heaven', but requires interpretation in the light of culture, history, knowledge, reason and experience ....then I am a liberal.

Does that help ?

Put it like this, I think most conservatives regard me as a liberal! But, then, conservatism appears to be largely about what you think about seven-day-literal-creation and your views on gay people these days.

I certainly feelmore comfortable with liberals, but perhaps thats because they don't begin with condemnation.
Liberal catholic is the best way to describe me.

Mike
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Thank you Dolphy, and may god richly bless you too. [Smile]

Christina
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I suppose this does come down to definition again - what do we mean when we say liberal or conservative ?
I mean, if one equaltes 'liberal' with the 'Sea of Faith', then I'm not liberal. If one says 'well, the core of Christianity is the Resurrection and the personhood of Jesus, but liberal Christians, whilst working within these orthodoxies, believe the Bible is not literal truth or inerrant or a 'fax from Heaven', but requires interpretation in the light of culture, history, knowledge, reason and experience ....then I am a liberal.

Does that help ?

Put it like this, I think most conservatives regard me as a liberal! But, then, conservatism appears to be largely about what you think about seven-day-literal-creation and your views on gay people these days.

I certainly feel more comfortable with liberals, but perhaps thats because they don't begin with condemnation.
Liberal catholic is the best way to describe me.

Mike

Hi Merseymike,

Your descriptions of conservative beliefs certainly fit Fundamentalism, and some Conservative Evangelicals.

I fit into your own self-description, but don't consider myself liberal.

To me, a liberal would argue that the miracles in the gospels, were not really miracles, because miracles cannot happen, we know that from science.

Fundamentalism and liberalism of this kind, are 2 sides of the same coin. The coin is modernity. Modernity is dogmatic, either in a scientific way (liberals) or a biblical literalistic way. (fundamentalists)

Post-modernity is much less certain about things, and that underlies my reasoning. I seek balance between Scripture, Tradition, Reason and Experience. They are like 4 legs of a chair. The seat, is conscience.

I have shifted from a Sola Scriptura position, because it is does not work in reality. Baptists and those who believe in Infant Baptism, argue from Scripture to 'prove' their positions.

When I learned that Infant Baptism was practised by the Early Church, I shifted my Baptist position. Same with Communion, I know longer see it as merely symbolic.

My shift in understanding regarding homosexual relationships, was based on hermeneutics, and the fact that every reference in the Bible, is about cultic activity. Furthermore, I checked out a website AGAINST gays, which had a lot of extracts from Early Christian Writings, and it too, was all about pagan cultic activity and pederasty.

I've met and fellowshipped with a lesbian Evangelical couple, and could not deny they belonged to the Lord, and there relationship was a good one, and their children were happy. (from a previous marriage)

My partner, Donna, was born again, in the Evangelical sense, 2.5 weeks ago, after knowing her for 2.5 years. Was it a coincidence, that it happened the same Sunday that I returned to the Anglican Church, in a committed way, and took Communion for the first time since September?

Anyways, I consider myself mainstream. I feel a lot closer to God now, than I did when I was a 'male' open air preacher, an evangelical of evangelicals.

I do not consider Genesis 1-11, to be literal, I believe it is a polemic against the Gilgamesh Epic and other myths, but it is full of theological truths. A literal approach, obscures these sometimes. It's a genre thing.

God bless,
Christina
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Does anyone else here (I suppose mainly gay males) find being gay a help in approaching Jesus as Lover/Bridegroom?

David
 
Posted by incurablyGeek (# 3207) on :
 
I recall (though my memory may not be entirely trustworthy) a couple of years ago during the hotter periods of the renewal a worship chorus describing how we would dance on the streets of heaven and one verse involved embracing and kissing the bridegroom.

I thought at the time, as I sang the words, "I wonder how the Kinsey 0's are dealing with this?"
 
Posted by incurablyGeek (# 3207) on :
 
Ok. I mis-remembered that song. I described the David Ruis song but it doesn't have the line in it I recall. Some other song. Anyway, sentiment remains.
 
Posted by incurablyGeek (# 3207) on :
 
not intending to do a double post (it's been a few days, anyway).

Just adding a link to an article in the Telegraph describing Carey's warning of an impending schism in the Anglican communion over homosexuality.

Blessings,
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Trust Carey to go out as homophobic as the day he arrived.
Thank God he is going. Bye George. You won't be missed
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
I think I've reached a point where I just want to scream.

Why the hell do you care? Why does it matter to you who I love? I'm not hurting anyone, I'm doing my very best to be a faithful follower of Jesus, and I am living and growing in love with my partner, who is my soulmate and my best friend, and who shares my faith and journeys with me.

Why are you officials and bishops so concerned with what genital equipment she has??????

When there are injustices happening across the globe, and children dying, and abuse going on and on, and poverty, and war, and all those other things that seemed to bother Jesus so much more than sex.

[Flaming] [Flaming] [Flaming] [Flaming]
 
Posted by Alaric the Goth (# 511) on :
 
Posted by Inanna:
quote:
and children dying, and abuse going on and on, and poverty, and war, and all those other things that seemed to bother Jesus so much more than sex
I'm sorry, but a huge amount of poverty and death in Africa and parts of Asia at the moment is due to a sexually-transmitted disease (HIV/AIDS) which is killing huge percentages of the populations of some countries, and leaving millions of orphans. Yes, I know that the transmission is nearly all heterosexual, but it's largely due to people ignoring (or being unaware of) the Biblical ideal of faithful marriage to one partner. I think Jesus is rather concerned about sex in this context.

I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion, which George Carey does not want to see torn apart because of the refusal of certain individuals (bishops, etc.) to accept what was agreed by a majority of Anglicans (or their representatives at Synod), and what he, as Archbishop of Canterbury, has authority to support.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Alaric the Goth:
Yes, I know that the transmission is nearly all heterosexual, but it's largely due to people ignoring (or being unaware of) the Biblical ideal of faithful marriage to one partner. I think Jesus is rather concerned about sex in this context.

OK. Fine. Talk about promiscuous sex, talk about sex outside of marriage. But do not equate that with homosexuality. The VAST majority of same-sex people I know are not promiscious. Are looking for, or are in, commited, monogomous, faithful, stable relationships. I imagine that the same-sex couples seeking to have their relationships blessed in church will be couples who hold Christian beliefs. And who have absolutely nothing to do with the situation you mention above.

quote:
I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion, which George Carey does not want to see torn apart because of the refusal of certain individuals (bishops, etc.) to accept what was agreed by a majority of Anglicans (or their representatives at Synod), and what he, as Archbishop of Canterbury, has authority to support.
Sure. But what my rant was about is that, on one level, I don't understand why it's an issue. Why should anglican priests be concerned with the gender of the person I'm having sex with, when that sex is taking place in the context of a committed faithful relationship? Why is the church threatening to split over this, and not, say, the fact that many Anglican clergy and theologians will deny the bodily resurection of Christ? Or that many sections of the Anglican church hold very different views as to the authority and literal-ness of Scripture? Or the expectations of how the Holy Spirit will manifest? If the Anglican church is going to split, why the ^$^$"$ is it over something about which Jesus never said a single word?
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
I am afraid that the answer to your question, Inanna, as to why the church might split over this issue is because many people within it are still largely homophobic. The same is true of most mainstream Christian churches.

By extending the concept of marriage to the gay community the church would, in effect, be taking positive steps to discourage promiscuity in the community and encourage people to be more positive about long term relationships. That can only be a good thing. But somehow I feel the church is too concerned about satisfying all of the people all of the time and, in particular, with its image with the "blue rinse" lobby.

In order to ever be truly relevant to the gay community the church will have to ditch the Lambeth position. This agreement was only ever a fudge in the first place in my opinion.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
quote:
I also see that He would be rather concerned about an issue which seems set to divide the Anglican Communion,
i doubt he cares much about that at all. all these divisions are man-made, not god made, and i can't see the divine giving a darn, except for as it affects the well-being of each individual member.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
But whether relevant or not, is position A, B or C true?
 
Posted by Royual Peculiar (# 3159) on :
 
Churches are funny places. The vicar of the church I used to attend preached (and wrote in the magazine) that all homosexual acts are wrong. Yet he couldn't have been more welcoming to me and my then partner.

Nowt so odd as folks
 
Posted by incurablyGeek (# 3207) on :
 
More anguish.

"Reform" have thrown down the gauntlet.
[Disappointed]
 
Posted by Brandy Alexander (# 2792) on :
 
Well, that was predictable.

How does an Anglican church declare itself to be 'out of communion' (the usual response of sufficiently wealthy Reform churches to the appointment of a non-anti-gay bishop) with the ABC without leaving the denomination? Hmmmmm, tricky.
 
Posted by Royual Peculiar (# 3159) on :
 
Reform menbers have 4 options
1. form a new denomination
2. change to another denomination
3. seek alternative episcopal oversight within the C of E
4. continue to work with thier diocesan bishops and remind tehmselves that ++ABC is not

I hope tehy chose 4 but somehow doubt they all will.
infallible.
 
Posted by Royual Peculiar (# 3159) on :
 
sorry, should have read"remind themselves ++ABC is not infallible"

This will teach me to post in a hurry
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
Can someone explain to me why groups like reform don't actually practise what they preach.. As in if you are going to apply the book of life then why aren't people catisgated for using diary products after eating, eating shell fish , pork products or having sex with your wife during her period to name but three. These are perfectly normal everyday sins carried out by perfectly "normal" Christians so why aren't they speaking out about these important sins against the one true faith. After all one sin is just the same as another is it not?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, actually, for some of us (me, at least), the book of Acts deals with the minutae of the Hebrew law pretty well -- God tells Peter to "kill and eat" when showing him all sorts of unclean animals, and tells him not to call unclean what God has made clean -- which of course applies to the Gentiles as well (er, that Peter should consider them clean now, not that he should kill and eat them); and later when the young Church is resolving what to do about those pesky Gentiles who never got circumcised, never learned the Mosaic Law, etc. but have become Christians, it is decided ("it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us...") not to lay any further burden on them but to avoid idolatry and sexual immorality. (What the whole deal is with women and menstruation and sex, I've never been quite sure.) But I think the "avoid sexual immorality" part of the "rules for the Gentiles" would apply here; and I don't follow sola scriptura anyway, but Christian Tradition as the correct way to understand Scripture.

Just my own two cents, pence or milli-Euros,

David
openly and proudly gay, strangely kinky, sexually celibate, cute'n'cuddly orthodox guy
 
Posted by Royual Peculiar (# 3159) on :
 
I have just heard the Church sSociety on the radi and repeat my previous postings about Reform.
I'm not leaving the C of E-it's as much my church as anyone else's. I accept not everyone agrees with me, but I don't go around demanding thier resignation.
 
Posted by MR PINK (# 2979) on :
 
Blimey hasn't even started the job & there's grief.

The archbishop in waiting has actually issued a statement in reply to Reform saying it is a private matter and that he has never made his postion public.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
This is a reply to Vague's post on the closed thread. I will also send to him privately

Hi. I think that I would first, direct you to former discussions. Then to George Hopper's book, Reluctant Journey, which you will find on www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk .

What I am actually interested in is your view that 'being gay is not a sin' but 'being in a gay relationship is'. I'm using my own terminolgy there because I don't want to be associated with what was once considered a medical condition, and I don't 'practice', any more than heterosexuals do.
The reason I ask that is that there is absolutely no Biblical basis for that statement. Sexual orientation, as we now understand it, does not exist in the Bible. There is no description of anyone as beiong gay or lesbian by orientation :indeed, in terms of the way we understand it, it is a relatively recent revelation and insight. There are still cultures where the concept is unclear.
What does exist in the Bible are a number of references which all link particular types of same sex activity ie temple prostitution, various rites, with idolatry, and the passage which suggests that men and women 'abandoned their natural inclinations', which can either charitably be interpreted as referring only to those naturally orientated towards heterosexuality, which I think is a bit unconvincing, frankly, or can be read as assuming that the natural state is heterosexual for everyone, hence gay orientation again doesn't even come into the picture.

Using the old adage 'love the sinner, hate the sin' , in the case of this topic, simply doesn't work, because the Bible doesn't clearly distinguish any such thing as gay sexual orientation. I have always felt that a more appropriate conservative interpretation is that it simply isn't a concept which should exist in God's order, if we assume that is what the Bible describes. The Bible doesn't actually clearly distinguish between 'being' and 'doing', because those concepts were not available for them to do so. This is the basis of thinking behind the exgay movement and those who seek to change what they view as a flawed orientation. However, I do recognise that few British evangelicals hold that view.

Now, many people who use the argument that, to quote the tired old slogan, we should 'love the sinner and hate the sin', use contemporary concepts of sexual orientation to separate the doing from the being. The Bible doesn't. The concept of sexual orientation is now widely accepted as a reality, as you do here, Vague, but if you are to do so, you are already accepting that the Biblical vision of sexuality as universally heterosexual in design is flawed - and if you wish to accept it, then the logical position is to condemn both being and practice, for there is no gay sexual orientation in the Bible.

If, however, you do accept that the Bible doesn't have this concept within it, but it is one you now accept, the final crossing of the Rubicon to see loving, faithful partnerships within the values of Christian relationship as something which would be acceptable taking on board the knowledge we now have, and very largely accept.
 
Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
This is a reply to Vague's post on the closed thread. I will also send to him privately

Hi. I think that I would first, direct you to former discussions. Then to George Hopper's book, Reluctant Journey, which you will find on www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk .


Oh good, someone else who has discovered George Hopper's work. I stumbled upon his book a couple of years ago while I was searching on the Web for references to Simon Harvey's suicide, alluded to by George. Simon was a very close friend to me at one time, who committed suicide in his mid twenties, and only years later did I learn (via a TV programme about him of all things) that he had been gay, and it was his failure to reconcile this with his evangelical faith that had ultimately caused him to take his life.

George Hopper's work was the first thing I read about the subject that seemed to make some sense of the conundrum, and yet as a conservative evangelical myself, I still find myself unable to accept it fully. Here is a quote from some correspondence I had with George Hopper at the time:
quote:

It was most thought provoking to read your booklet on the WWW. It is interesting to see how the various biblical passages may not necessarily mean what we think they do. The fact that your approach is firmly based on scripture, gives it much more credibility to me than much of the 'liberal' pro-gay lobby.
Nevertheless I cannot agree with your conclusions. If God accepts loving intimate relations for gay people, why did he not institute a form of marriage for these to be exercised in? In the heterosexual community, for our sexuality to be expressed within the will of God it can only be within marriage. I realise that people fail to meet these ideals, but I see gay sex in the same light as heterosexual sex outside marriage (ie fornication adultery etc). Heterosexual people who are not married are required by God to remain celibate, and the same goes for homosexuals. I agree that its tough for them, and we need to accept them in the church etc, but not to condone a physical relationship. So I guess my basic position has not been changed by my quick reading of your publication, but nevertheless I found it most informative to see how others can come to a different position by careful study of the scripture. Certainly something I will bear in mind in the future when I come to look at theses passages again.

Merseymike, your comments that in Scripture there was no such thing as homosexual orientation add further light to this area for me. I'm still not convinced, but I'd be rather slower to condemn than I might have been before. Having known someone like Simon Harvey, who was one of the finest Christians I've ever known, and to see what this did to him, really does make me think.

On a completely different tack, I'd like to respond to a quote from Erin in the closed thread in Purgatory
quote:
I guess my question is this: are you concerned about "condemned" (sodomy, oral sex, masturbation, etc.) sexual practices in the bedrooms of married heterosexuals?
Excuse me Erin, but where are these things condemned? (really getting worried now! [Embarrassed] [Wink] )
 
Posted by eutychus (# 3081) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Using the old adage 'love the sinner, hate the sin' , in the case of this topic, simply doesn't work, because the Bible doesn't clearly distinguish any such thing as gay sexual orientation. I have always felt that a more appropriate conservative interpretation is that it simply isn't a concept which should exist in God's order, if we assume that is what the Bible describes. The Bible doesn't actually clearly distinguish between 'being' and 'doing', because those concepts were not available for them to do so. This is the basis of thinking behind the exgay movement and those who seek to change what they view as a flawed orientation. However, I do recognise that few British evangelicals hold that view.

MM I only noticed this thread was live again after starting "is Frodo gay?".

I think (he said choosing his words carefully!) I identify with the position you outline in this paragraph.

And thanks for the rest of the post. Even if we don't look like agreeing, I think it's a really constructive contribution to the debate [Smile] .
 
Posted by Paul Careau (# 2904) on :
 
I would urge anyone who wishes to understand more from the perspective of gay christians who have struggled with their sexuality & religion - and who have actually tried hard (and failed) to change their orientation to read the following series of testimonies:

http://www.hrc.org/newsreleases/2000/000724.asp

(It's a link to a downloadable acrobat file.)

It is fairly long, but if you'd like to see more of the "gay" side of the story I think it is well worth the read.
 
Posted by Vague (# 2398) on :
 
*Long post warning*

Dear Mersey Mike
I said that your reply required due consideration before I replied and I'm sorry it has taken me so long to do so. As you suggested I have been reading previous discussions, but have yet to do more than scratch the surface of the link that you provided (Plying through this thread took a least 4 hours). It was never my intention to engage in the debate regarding whether homosexual sexual acts are right or wrong. The reason why this debate ping-pongs back and forth is because the two sides of the argument have a different world view.

Your terminology slightly twists what I originally said, because I think it is possible to have a relationship without consummating it. However apologies if 'practice' was offensive in anyway. My main intention was to state my position, knowing full well that it does not agree with the stance taken by many on the board. I would also like to say it does not bother me if any shipmate, church worker or person in the next seat on Sunday Morning is gay or not. They are a wonderful human being made in the image of God.

In general my personnel opinions agree with the those expressed by John Stott, Issues facing Christians Today (second edition) Marshall Pickering 1990. (Chapter 16 Homosexual Partnerships?). This is a good a statement of the Evangelical view that I know as it outlines and critiques most of the arguments contained within the proceeding posts to date. I would add a qualification that I would hope that the more recent editions of this work have updated the section about aids and 'healing' of gays. Although I consider Stott to be a fine theologian, he does not convince me when he strays into the field of medicine. This may simply be a result of his references being at least 12 years old. To summarise, I feel that a case can still be argued that sex between two people of the same sex to be wrong.

I freely concede that I will not be able to convince you or others, so will not even attempt to try. Since we approach the subject from different starting points and hold to different standards of proof we are simply going to have to agree to disagree if we are to discuss a more substantive topic of how Evangelicals are to accept LGBT or be in fellowship with them whilst considering what they may do to be a sin. Similarly how are LGBT to come to terms with Evangelical or other traditions of the Church when they consider them to be bigoted and judgmental for insisting that they believe that something is wrong.

The experiences related by Paul carau (as I quoted in the post to which you refer) and Christina Maria are, in my view, a canker on the vine that is the church. How can someone who has confessed Christ not be a Christian? What sin could ever undo salvation? Therefore, how can anyone judge another and disown them as a brother or sister before God? The problem is how to overcome and heal the pain felt by those who feel they are rejected and demonised without a complete denial of either the Evangelical's convictions, or dehumanising the LGBT person because of what maybe a fundamental building block to their sense of identity.
Reviewing this post one more time, I may not have answered this point:
quote:
Now, many people who use the argument that, to quote the tired old slogan, we should 'love the sinner and hate the sin', use contemporary concepts of sexual orientation to separate the doing from the being. The Bible doesn't. The concept of sexual orientation is now widely accepted as a reality, as you do here, Vague, but if you are to do so, you are already accepting that the Biblical vision of sexuality as universally heterosexual in design is flawed - and if you wish to accept it, then the logical position is to condemn both being and practice, for there is no gay sexual orientation in the Bible.
Perhaps I may venture to say that the bible has no concept of the Copernican theory of the motion of the planets nor does it provide a scientific understanding of sexual orientation. This does not negate the claim that God created the universe and the very laws of physics that we use to describe creation. The bible could be said to lay down laws and guidelines how we should live and treat each other. It is not unreasonable to believe that the bible only sanctions monogamous heterosexual lifelong partnerships. For all we know Jesus could have been Bi or Gay and could have chosen to be celibate for that reason. There is no evidence one way or another because the Bible, as you said, has no understanding or sexual orientation.

As far as the old slogan is concerned, it is simply a reminder to attempt to see others how God sees them as it says in Ephesians 5:1-2
quote:

Be imitators of God, therefore, as dearly loved children, and live a life of Love. Just as Christ loved us and gave himself up for us as a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.

I would also point to the passage starting at 1 John 4:16. (God is Love). John shows us what we should all aspire to.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
No, its not unreasonable - if you accept that the Bible is a work which reflects the attitudes of the people who wrote it, and the age in which it was written.
I honestly feel, if it has the message you say, and that I am thus not included, that it really would make Christianity worth rejecting. I honestly find it difficult to handle those who believe that something so important in my own life is 'wrong'
 
Posted by Tiffer (# 3073) on :
 
MerseyMike I have not read any of the above except for your most recent post, and a reply which you made to a post of mine recently made me feel I wanted to say my bit.

I believe that homosexuality is wrong, as I believe that not giving to beggars is wrong, or spending too much money on sweets. Bear in mind that I sin by the latter two frequently, and I know I could do the first quite easily.

Right now that is out of the way, the more serious problem I think you may have. Pride. None of us know it all. You have already expressed that your ways are higher than those in the bible, which is a bit silly, and I find it hard to believe that Jesus really is at the center of your life if you can discredit anything you like from the gospels. How must that feel, each time you find something in the gospels you dont understand or find tough and you just say that it is wrong and you are right? Come on, wake up, homosexuality is not what keeps you from Jesus, pride is!

In love,

Tiffer xx

PS Ok well pride is a bigger fish to fry anyway.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Tiffer, dear, while I'm more doctrinally on your side (even including, if I read you right, on slavery) than on MerseyMike's, I've got to say ... accusing someone of spiritual Pride based on their beliefs about the Bible? [Projectile]

Honestly I think an approach like that (spiritual finger-pointing, digging out other people's splinters rather than one's own planks, etc.) keeps far, far more people from Jesus than either homosexuality or someone's approach to the Bible!
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Host Mode <ACTIVATE>

Tiffer - much as I hate to to criticise anyone (especially an apprentice) I feel that your response to Merseymike trangresses both the 1st and 3rd of our 10Cs and is likely to be considered as a personal attack.

As such, under the 4th C it belongs in Hell if it belongs anywhere.

Could I suggest that you reread the 10 Commandments. A link is to be found in the panel on the left.

As this thread either originated in Hell, or transferred through that board on its way here, it may contain such material - however it is not acceptable in new posts on threads here in Dead Horses.

An apology would be appreciated. If you wish to challenge MM on these points (and he wishes to respond) I suggest a new thread in Hell.

But watch out for the Hell Hosts who wield big toasting forks as the least of their enforcers [Big Grin]

Host Mode <DEACTIVATE>
 
Posted by Tiffer (# 3073) on :
 
I submit to the kind words of ChastMaster and TonyK, I apologise to MM if it sounded like a personal attack, I apologise. I have had a bad day and am feeling rather emotionless at the moment, and thought I would take it out on anyone I could.

Sorry to be so petty, delete my post as appopriate.

Tiffer xx
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Thanks Tiffer - rapid response much appreciated. We all have to learn - and most of us have to do it the hard way!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
[Not worthy!] Tiffer [Not worthy!]

So, back to gay stuff.

Has anyone here ever found homosexuality (in one form or another, whether sublimated or not) to be a help in their Christian walk?

David
 
Posted by Rowen (# 1194) on :
 
I thi8nk 2 of my Spiritual Directors have been gay- from things they mentioned about themselves, and the general knowledge of the small town we lived in..
They were remarkably open and inclusive people, and heard the pain of a woman who often felt excluded from the Church because of gender. Maybe they spoke from some sort of fellow-feeling of pain?
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
Has anyone here ever found homosexuality (in one form or another, whether sublimated or not) to be a help in their Christian walk?

Has anyone ever found heterosexuality to be a help in their Christian walk?

Straight people who have found a fabulous spouse with whom to walk might say yes. And it can work the same way for gay people.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
That, as well -- I was thinking more of the sort of thing Rowen mentioned. (Not even getting into the whole "Jesus as our Bridegroom" aspect, which could still be relevant.)
 
Posted by Abo (# 42) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
... (Not even getting into the whole "Jesus as our Bridegroom" aspect, which could still be relevant.)

Not very much for lesbians, I'm afraid, ChastMastr [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Um, true. [Embarrassed]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Thanks Tiffer. All I can add is that this isn't a decision or a view I came to without an awful lot of study, prayer, and life lived....

Chas...yes, very much, actually. Isn't Christianity about walking in the shoes of Jesus ? I think having to face discrimination can give you an inkling of that and a recognition of the power of God to defeat prejudice.

Also, being gay is what and who I am, and I thank God for it, and for the partner who I share my life with. I do believe that those of us who are gay and Christian have something to say to the Churches, and I am sure that the ability I have to express views, to work for change, and to help others in the same position as myself has been something which has greatly strengthened my faith - although the attitudes of others can give it a bit of a battering at times.
 
Posted by Hope Seeker (# 4051) on :
 
Hi MerceyMike,

Well this is my first post to the Ship...(okay, my first post ever...28 years old and still a relative internet neophyte...). Anyway I know this topic is under the "dead horses" category but I think it's a really important one and I hope discussion will continue.

My church's Synod just met and we had a very long debate about the blessing of same-sex unions (I'm from Canada, and this topic is all the rage right now). The debate was very respectful and I appreciated it. In fact it got me to thinking that I need to talk to MORE people about this issue. I find it's so hard to talk about without being labelled or yelled at or brought somehow to shame. I especially want to hear from people who are gay and who are Christians, because I need to hear your perspectives, joys, struggles.

Anyway I guess that's all. Always happy to keep talking! [Confused]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
*HUGS* Welcome, Hope!
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Vague:
The problem is how to overcome and heal the pain felt by those who feel they are rejected and demonised without a complete denial of either the Evangelical's convictions, or dehumanising the LGBT person because of what maybe a fundamental building block to their sense of identity.

Oh I missed this. My italics. Kindly don't include trans* people in discussions of homosexuality as if they, as a class have gay orientation. And I don't ask this because there is some shame in being gay - rather that it is an offensive failure to understand the condition known as transsexualism. Transsexual and Transgender people express all sexualities: straight, bi, gay. Gay and Bi TS people are ordinary men and women and are quite ably represented by the LGB part of LGBT.

People of conservative theology may be convicted that TS/TG people are in error, but that is a whole issue apart from homosexuality.
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
I meant 'bold' rather than 'italics'. You get the idea.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Welcome aboard Hope Seeker - and thanks for your comments so far. I can't guarantee that you won't be 'labelled or yelled at' (especially if you descend to the Hell Board!) but you will find many onboard who share your concerns and/or outlook and are willing to discuss these matters with you.

As you have already seen, Dead Horses is where we keep those threads that have already been round the block several times, but they are open for further debate. New threads on related subjects, (for example your Synod's debate) can be opened in the appropriate Board, but if subsequent posts start re-hashing material already in DH, the hosts will close the thread and refer posters here.

Have fun; try the other boards; post where you feel you have something to contribute.

In the Styx Board you will find a thread where you can try out some of the facilities, without disrupting the flow of a normal thread.

See you around

Yours aye ... TonyK
Host, Dead Horses Board
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
quote:
Originally posted by Vague:
the LGBT person

Oh I missed this. My italics. Kindly don't include trans* people in discussions of homosexuality
Um, I don't know what it's like where you are, but here in the US we get a lot of people who are upset when the T is left out of the LGBT. I don't know if there are different "parties" on this issue in the T* community, or if it's an international issue, or what, but much of the time people in the trans* community here are upset by being left out rather than put in. There are always angry "letters to the editor" by people in the local trans* community whenever a gay-rights or anti-discrimination law is under discussion and trans* rights are not included -- is it different outside the US? [Confused]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
A few links of the sort of thing I mean -- and I recall a while back the division between "transgendered" and "transsexual" came up, but people who have actually had the operation are involved here, whichever term is used:

That lingering trans-bias

Transgendered community seeks understanding, acceptance

The Question of Gender Identity

Trans-fuse! (UK site)

News Item on the Human Rights Campaign

The HRC's own site on the subject

Is it different elsewhere? All of these are pretty clear to me about the perception of (or desire for) a link, from the trans* side of things, with the GLB community(ies). It may be more political than anything else, but it's still being treated as something very important by a lot of people, at least over here.
 
Posted by Gracious rebel (# 3523) on :
 
OK sorry for resurrecting this Dead Horse - I thought about posting this in TnT for a wider readership, but I know that it really is dead horse material, so I'll stick to the rules and post it here.

Today I read an article by J I Packer from Christianity Today Why I walked Now he's a theologian I guess many here would respect, and feel his views are worth a listen ('Knowing God' has got to be one of the best theology books there is IMO).

The article defends why he left the Anglican church over the issue of homosexuality. Yes for the most part it is going over old ground that has been discussed here ad nauseum. But something stood out that I wanted to comment on. When discussing what he calls 'artificial interpretation' where people might say "What Paul is condemning is not my sort of same-sex union." he writes the following

quote:
I do not, however, know how any reasonable person could read Robert A. J. Gagnon's 500-page book, The Bible and Homosexual Practice: Texts and Hermeneutics (Abingdon, 2001), and not conclude that any exegesis evading the clear meaning of Paul is evasive indeed. Nor from now on can I regard anyone as qualified to debate homosexuality who has not come to terms with Gagnon's encyclopedic examination of all the relevant passages and all the exegetical hypotheses concerning them. I have not always agreed with James Barr, but when on the dust jacket he describes Gagnon's treatise as "indispensable even for those who disagree with the author," I think he is absolutely right.

Now I've never heard of this book, let alone read it, but I just wondered if others have, whether you are pro or anti acceptance of homosexual practice for Christians, and whether indeed this particular author's treatment of the subject does throw any light on the minefield that is this subject.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Gagnon's book is fine if you are a conservative. Personally, I tend to think that conservative theology is actually the problem, not being gay. I don't try and bend conservative theology to fit my own perspective. I reject conservative theology and would advocate that others do the same.
I think Barr's view would be very much on the lines of 'know your opponents'
I hope that a few more will follow Packer.
 
Posted by MadFarmer (# 2940) on :
 
quote:
Nor from now on can I regard anyone as qualified to debate homosexuality who has not come to terms with Gagnon's encyclopedic examination of all the relevant passages and all the exegetical hypotheses concerning them.
IMHO, if Packer really thinks that in order to apprehend the meaning of one very tiny aspect of Scripture, one must read a 500-page book, something's awry with Packer's theology. Is smacks of elitism to me.
 
Posted by Molly Brown (# 4195) on :
 
Very well put Merseymike!
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Gracious rebel:
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
This is a reply to Vague's post on the closed thread. I will also send to him privately

Hi. I think that I would first, direct you to former discussions. Then to George Hopper's book, Reluctant Journey, which you will find on www.gseh65.freeserve.co.uk .


Oh good, someone else who has discovered George Hopper's work....
Does anybody have a copy of this booklet or know where the website has gone off to? I've tried now a couple of times to access it and haven't been successful.

You know, this has been an interesting thread in my journey. I first posted on this thread last September. I came out to my kids in October and my wife and I decided to divorce. I've since moved to Houston and am starting chapter 2 of my life as an Christian out gay man. The ship, GCN, and B-A have been my anchor and refuge during this crazy time. Bless you for being here.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Hi ; wow, sounds like you really have made some major changes.

You will find that the George Hopper site is back up now - I think he has aded another chapter to the book
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
Thanks Mike. It is indeed available now and I snagged a e-copy of the booklet for reading and sharing with my "concerned" Christian sibs. I appreciate his perspective (from a heterosexual p.o.v) and that may be really helpful.

Blessings,
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
'Bring on the dead horses'

As a fairly isolated liberal with a well hidden charasmatic streak, I found this thread really useful, especially the contributions from Joan the Drawf (These arguments may be 'fairly standard' but some are new to me and support my personal intutitive stance on these issues, so thanks Joan and others [Smile] )

About 12 years ago, I worked with a gay colleague whom I loved to bits. A year or so after we stopped worked together, we had lunch in Manchester and he told me how he'd been to visit a girl he'd been at college with who had recently been 'born again' and who expressed her concerns about his sexuality. We talked about this and I tried to explain that although I was a Christian who had recently gone back to church after many years absence, I couldn't follow this line of thinking - although if I am totally honest, I was a little concerned about my ex-colleague's behavaiour at that point.

My concern for him coupled with my frustration over anti-homosexual theology and attitudes within the Church, troubled me a lot, however, a few weeks later in church the sermon dealt with the incident in Acts 11, v 5-10, in which Peter has a vision in which things previously considered unclean (in this case types of meat) were made pure. Sitting in the pew, I had a sudden realisation (see what I mean about the Charasmatic streak?)that this piece of scripture could have far wider implications. As the early Jewish Christians had to learn to accept their Gentile brothers, so the modern Church in the light of humanistic, pyschological and scientific understanding of sexuality, must learn to accept gay people. The sort attitude that actively preaches against homosexuality, sincere though it may have been, in my opinion, did little to help my colleague.

After that sermon, I felt the burden I'd been carrying fall away, although I haven't always had clear confirmation that there are other ppl within the church who feel like this, as his isn't an issue for many people in my church apart from some of the more vocal evangalists who seem to take who take quite a hard line. However, I am now finding myself in a position where I have to be very clear about my own theology, so thanks Ship of Fools for providing a forum where I can read and reflect on these sorts of issues.

Although I've been looking for an on-line Christian forum for ages, I've only just discovered this place due to publicity in the secular press about your 'ark' game.

Dorothea.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Welcome aboard, Dorothea - glad that you found us regardless of the route!

And congratulations on an interesting and relevant first post (though it sounds as though you may be familiar with bulletin boards!).

Can I in our usual hostly way draw your attention to our Ship's Ten Commandments (link in the blue bar to the left) if you haven't already read them. You will also find that each board has its own introduction, which defines the material/behaviour appropriate to that board.

Wander around, check out other boards, contribute where you want. You may only be an apprentice now (virtual mop for virtual deck swabbing supplied!! [Big Grin] ) but 50 posts will elevate you to the status of shipmate!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Great post, dorothea! I will be looking forward to reading more!
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Thanks for the feedback ship mates [Smile] . I have been invloved with a couple of other on-line discusion groups but not any quite like this.

Mopping decks is hard work but in between shifts and sleeping I'll take some out time to explore the ship.

Dorothea.
 
Posted by Degs (# 2824) on :
 
Dorothea, welcome aboard. You might like to take a look at another Ark, which is relevant and in your area. Just click on this.

D+
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
...the sermon dealt with the incident in Acts 11, v 5-10, in which Peter has a vision in which things previously considered unclean (in this case types of meat) were made pure. Sitting in the pew, I had a sudden realisation (see what I mean about the Charasmatic streak?)that this piece of scripture could have far wider implications. ...

Welcome, Dorothea. An argument very similar to what you "realized" is made in Miner &
Connoley's "The Children Are Free" which is where I first encountered it.

I've a friend in Minneapolis whose mother recently told him that he couldn't be in her life as long as he refused to change. I stayed on the line with him as he sobbed, saying over and over "why doesn't she love me?" He is especially close to her as she never married his biological father and so it was just them two as he grew up. That kind of tearing apart wounded him deeply.

The same friend called me this morning for a short chit-chat just before work and related a conversation he'd overheard of two guys at the next table at the restaraunt where he took breakfast. They were proclaiming to each other how right it was that they would have nothing to do with anybody who professed to be gay. This was motivated out of their christian convictions.

The *only* people Jesus ever cut off were the self-righteous religious authorities and those who would make a marketplace of the temple precincts.

My thought is that there are going to be a whole lot of surprised Christians when we all get to heaven.
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
It's good to know that Alpha style responses to this issue are not the only type of responses from those who hold the faith.

It's good to know that ++Rowan is putting forward a more inclusive approach to human sexuality. It will be interesting to see if he can have an impact on CofE policy (is that the right term [Help] but y'know what I mean.) I don't know what's happening in other parts of the world, except that American Episcopalians seem to be quite inclusive and that some Anglican Bishops in Africa are pretty anti.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
I don't know what's happening in other parts of the world, except that American Episcopalians seem to be quite inclusive ...

At the General Convention of the ECUSA this summer they will vote on blessing same-sex unions. So we'll find out just how inclusive we are. The director of Claiming the Blessing came and spoke at our parish in the fall, and she was very optimistic about the chances of this passing.
 
Posted by Lyn Clev (# 4406) on :
 
I know what my Bible says about homosexuality and I know what it says about a loving God. And I pray that my friend who 'came out' a few years ago has the peace and knowledge of the love of God that he used to preach about to multitudes of young kids on a path to knowware holds him in the palm of a loving forgiving God. Because a lot of his friends certainly don't have him in theirs anymore!

[Yipee] [Love]
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Are you saying his (Christian?) friends actually rejectd him after he came out? If so, how very sad.

D
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I know what the Bible says, and I know about God's love, and I went to God one day in prayer, thinking of some gay Christians I know who had confided their struggles to me, and said. "Lord, it is absolutely nothing to me to accept my gay friends the way they are and embrace them as brothers and sisters in Christ.I'm gonna just move forward with this attitude."

And I have never looked back.
 
Posted by sarkycow (# 1012) on :
 
Welcome to Dead Horses, and to the Ship in general, Barb. Please take a few minutes to familiarise yourself with the Ship's 10 Commandments, and also with the different guidelines for each board. Other than that, do wander the boards, enjoy posting here.

Viki, temporary DH host
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
Are you saying his (Christian?) friends actually rejectd him after he came out? If so, how very sad.

Can be, yes. But in my own case I think I'm better off without them. [Smile]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Mind you, it's still sad sometimes. [Frown]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
((((David)))

Anyone who can't appreciate a gem like Chastmastr does not deserve the human gifts God gives them.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
[Embarrassed] *hug* [Tear] [Love]
 
Posted by Henry Troup (# 3722) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
It's good to know that Alpha style responses to this issue are not the only type of responses from those who hold the faith.

...

I've been involved with Alpha for quite a while. And I absolutely disagree with Nicky Gumble on three of his seven Questions of Life. Hmmm... maybe I should start a Purgatory thread on that...
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
Just a post to ask if any of you have heard of American Evangelical gay rights activist Rev. Mel White.

He runs an organisation called Soulforce.

Particularly interesting is his pamphlet What the Bible says and doesn't say about homesexuality which gives a pro-gay argument from an Evangelical standpoint, without IMHO any of the "interpretational gymnastics" that some have been accused of. It's 24 pages, but they're small pages with big type. It only took me about 20 minutes to get through it.

Even if you don't agree with him, his contention about how hate-crimes against gays are still hate crimes, and, even if you don't agree with him on the Bible stuff you should be supportive of a gay person's right not to be beaten up or murdered is, I think, worth reading.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Yep, I've got a lot of time for Mel White. I even got to meet him last time I was in America - Soulforce Detroit were protesting outside a Focus on the Family ex-gay conference, and he'd come to lend his support.

His story is pretty amazing too - his autobiography, Stranger at the Gate, is well worth reading. Basically, he used to be the speechwriter and ghost-writer for all the autobiographies of the great and the good in the US Evangelical world. Until he came out.

He's set up Soulforce to apply the non-violent principles of Ghandi and Martin Luther King to the right wing Christian world. He and his partner have moved to Lynchburg, so they now live right opposite Jerry Falwell's church. They sit in the front row and smile up at him each Sunday.

Well worth supporting in my admittedly-slightly-biased opinion [Big Grin]
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Thank you, Wood. I've printed and read the pamphlet, but I'll have to wait until I get home to look at the site.

Very interesting.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
Just a post to ask if any of you have heard of American Evangelical gay rights activist Rev. Mel White.

Yep!
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
Just a post to ask if any of you have heard of American Evangelical gay rights activist Rev. Mel White.

He runs an organisation called Soulforce.

Sure. Soulforce is just a ways down the freeway in Laguna Beach. In 2000 the Presbyterians had their annual meeting here in Long Beach and Soulforce protested. The More Light Presbyterians had their worship service in the church I work for.

quote:
Particularly interesting is his pamphlet What the Bible says and doesn't say about homesexuality which gives a pro-gay argument from an Evangelical standpoint, without IMHO any of the "interpretational gymnastics" that some have been accused of.
Just goes to show how revolutionary it can be to read what the Bible actually says!
 
Posted by Anglicub (# 3413) on :
 
Definitely heard of Mel White but hadn't seen that brochure before. Thanks for the link -- that is just the sort of thing that my parents could benefit from, being evangelicals themselves and appreciative of that style of exegesis..
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Innana wrote:

quote:
He's set up Soulforce to apply the non-violent principles of Ghandi and Martin Luther King to the right wing Christian world. He and his partner have moved to Lynchburg, so they now live right opposite Jerry Falwell's church. They sit in the front row and smile up at him each Sunday.


[Killing me]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Priceless! That is PRICELESS!

Mel shall overco-o-ome...
 
Posted by Gill H (# 68) on :
 
Thanks Wood, that is an extremely helpful pamphlet. Isn't Mel White the guy mentioned in 'What's So Amazing About Grace'?

(Several people I know read that book and thought it was absolutely wonderful and life-transforming 'apart from the bit about the gay man, such a pity he put that in the book'. Talk about missing the point. [Mad] )
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Yes - thats right. Mel White and Philip Yancey are friends, and whilst Yancey still doesn't feel he can 'cross the Rubicon' to a fully affirming position, he has , through that friendship, moved considerably.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Priceless! That is PRICELESS!

It is ... but to me, the greater value is that fact that he and his partner are taking time to befriend individual members of Falwell's congregation; inviting them to dinner; and letting these people see that a gay couple is not something of which to be afraid.

That's the real miracle in this situation. And that's the way that lives and beliefs and attitudes are changed... slowly, just like Philip Yancey is experiencing. It's hard to pronounce God's judgement and hatred on homosexuals when you had a really nice evening round at their house last week...

Kirsti, offering an open invite to dinner at hers [Big Grin]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I've liked many of the things Soulforce has done in the past, but I have been hearing of a shift from engaging in respectful dialogue with their opponents to acts of civil disobedience and the like, which they didn't really do before. This sort of thing, whether I agree with all of their beliefs or not, saddens me. [Frown]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
No, I don't agree. I think there's a place for this too. I may have thoroughly disliked the direct action taken by Peter Tatchell in the UK, but whatever way one looks at it, it was that which actually got the talks going again.

Non violent direct action is a long standing and honourable tradition, and sometimes it has a place.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
I agree with your post, Inanna, and I hope mine didn't sound flip, because that was pretty much what I was thinking. You can't keep hating someone who adopts you as family.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Non violent direct action is a long standing and honourable tradition, and sometimes it has a place.

Sometimes, perhaps, but I don't agree with the kind of disruptive behaviour they seem to be engaging in. I also don't agree with their theology, but I don't think it would be any more appropriate for more traditionalist sorts to do the same kind of thing at, say, the Metropolitan Community Church. It would be appalling and (for me) embarrassing if that happened, even if it were with regard to doctrines I agree with.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I wouldn't do it myself, but I'm not going to condemn them, I agree with the spirit of what they are saying - no, more, I do agree with them, full stop. I'd probably go further in terms of what I think about the SBC!
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
I agree with Mike here. I think that they were right to do what they did.

And, um, what's wrong with Rev. White's theology, exactly? Not being confrontational. Just want to know.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology. I think he's working within an evangelical approach to scripture/ doctrine which I personally don't agree with. However, within that framework he's doing good work, all power to the man.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology. I think he's working within an evangelical approach to scripture/ doctrine which I personally don't agree with. However, within that framework he's doing good work, all power to the man.

You see, I think that the fact he's working within an evangelical framework is his greatest strength, given that it is the only way to reach the people at whom his material is aimed.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I don't know what ChatMastr thinks is wrong about Rev. White's theology.

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

This is also why, though I'm a happy and proud member of the gay community, I haven't joined up with Integrity or Dignity, even though the latter has a leather wing (O! So near, and yet so far!) called the Defenders -- because, as I understand them, both Integrity and Dignity specifically are focused on encouraging the Church to accept certain specific sexual behaviours which I don't believe are permitted. (I should look at those groups again and see if I'm reading too much into them OR if I might conceivably be OK with joining without agreeing with everything. It's not necessarily the same thing as having to recite a version of the Nicene Creed I don't agree with on Sundays...).
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Oh, and for those who don't know of it, here is a link to the Metropolitan Community Church's website.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I think thats a totally bogus argument, since there was no distinguishing between 'behaviour' and 'orientation' in Biblical times, also, are you suggesting that 'intercourse' ( also not defined) is taboo, whereas S&M is OK ?

If so, thats one of the feeblest cop-outs I have ever heard!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I think thats a totally bogus argument, since there was no distinguishing between 'behaviour' and 'orientation' in Biblical times, also, are you suggesting that 'intercourse' ( also not defined) is taboo, whereas S&M is OK ?

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

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

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

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

David
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Fair enough.
no real difference between your position and that of the ex-gay movement, then - I don't think you wouldbe eligible for the groups you mention, as they are for people who fully affirm gay relationships.
I would hope they would be monogamous and faithful ones as well!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
no real difference between your position and that of the ex-gay movement, then - I don't think you wouldbe eligible for the groups you mention, as they are for people who fully affirm gay relationships.
I would hope they would be monogamous and faithful ones as well!

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

I certainly don't think I fit into that.

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

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

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

Hmmm.

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

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

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

David
pondering, though this would be joining yet another "club"...
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
But many of the UK groups, such as True Freedom Trust, concentrate far more on 'acts' than 'orientation' - the founder says that he is still gay, but celibate.

Still, as you say, we have had this conversation before - and I don't honestly regard you as a gay ally.
 
Posted by Anglicub (# 3413) on :
 
My hubby was involved in chartering Philly's chapter of the Defenders.. I think the DC chapter is quite active. Your ECUSAness wouldn't be a problem -- they were trying to get me to join until my partner decided to leave the group for various reasons -- but I wouldn't expect to find much agreement with your stance on sexuality either. I know that won't come as a shock. [Wink]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglicub:
My hubby was involved in chartering Philly's chapter of the Defenders.. I think the DC chapter is quite active. Your ECUSAness wouldn't be a problem -- they were trying to get me to join until my partner decided to leave the group for various reasons -- but I wouldn't expect to find much agreement with your stance on sexuality either. I know that won't come as a shock. [Wink]

[Smile] Nope! But what I know of my local group doesn't really make me rush in to join; it's more like a lot of other local leather clubs I know (I'm a member of my local bondage/SM club, but not a "leather club" per se -- most of which seem to be run on the fraternity model, with pledges and the like, etc. and not much of the sorts of things I'm interested in). They're nice people but I honestly expected something like a gay version of the Hermanos Penitentes. You know, special ceremonies at Lent, etc. But while they may do many things which help the community, it does not quite seem like my cup of tea.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
Merseymike, ChastMastr's position (which I wholeheartedly disagree with) is not a 'feeble cop out' but one which, as he has shown time and time again, that a lot of thought has gone into.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
To say the least.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
We shall have to agree to differ. I think its sophistry , but CM knows where I stand.
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
I can see from reading these boards over the last few months that Chast is a deep and logical thinker. Personally, I think same sex relationships are fine and, according to my own logic, based to some extent on Andrew Sullivan's arguments in 'Love Undetected', I don't quite understand the ojection to same sex intercourse, especially within a supportive and loving relationship. I know the Bible(in parts) and the Catholic Church condem sexual intercourse between those of the same sex but I think it's important to view the bible in it's socio-historical context and I hope we've now reached a better understanding of human nature. I can understand, however, if Chast thinks that expressing his gayness through intercourse compromises his spiritual nature, even though I think it won't - but then I'm not him (and I'm not gay either).

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

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

J
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Ooops something bizarre occured when I was checking for sense and spelling!!! PLEASE READ THE SECOND POST...perhaps a moderator could remove the first post.

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

[ 17. June 2003, 08:07: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
By the same token, Chast,if you don't mind me asking, what's your opinion on gay Christians who do feel comfortable with same sex intercourse?

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

David
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
I know it's been said many times before, by many other people, Chast, but I honestly don't see how fisting doesn't count as sexual intercourse.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]

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

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

[Killing me]
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
For the record my problem with CMs position is that I don't think that S+M is acceptable practice for any Christian, gay or straight, whereas I think same sex intercourse can be. My reasons for this are that I think the criterion of our ethics is becoming people whose lives express God's love. I am less fussed about the rightness or the wrongness of particular acts than with the kind of people we are - hence loving same-sex relationships may help form us 'in Christ'. I fail to see how violent sexuality can.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
And I am in agreement with Dwarf here, on both matters. Our Bishop is on the list, as per usual - must go and prepare for the radio interview I am doing in an hour or so about it....

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

Dorothea ; its for the above reason I find CM's position laccks integrity. As much as I disagree with them and know that they can often lead very lonely, unhappy lives, those who remain celibate because they believe their faith tells them to do have integrity. Those who work for change within the church, the same. Those who preach that only the sex they like is OK for Christians (and that sex being violent and bereft of Christian values) - well, I don't consider that a position of integrity.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
I don't consider that a position of integrity.

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

I don't think that doublethink is necessarily cognate with hypocrisy.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
I know it's been said many times before, by many other people, Chast, but I honestly don't see how fisting doesn't count as sexual intercourse.

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

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

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

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

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

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

David
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Thank you, Wood. [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
You're welcome, although I was hoping for a little more than "we can disagree", vis - à - vis: why don't you consider fisting to be a sexual act?

I've avoided this subject like the plague before, so forgive me if this is old ground for you, but I am genuinely curious.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Wood : I should clarify ; I mean intellectual rather than personal integrity. I am sure he is sincere in what he believes. but there seems a dissonance which I cannot reconcile.

CM : I hope that clarifies. I share Wood's interest on this one as to your explanation, although I think I may have read it before and wasn't convinced. Christian values to me, however, incorporate mutuality, non-violence and monogamy, irrespective of whether we are talking about homo or hetero-sexuality.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Warning. T'n'T explicit language follows!

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

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

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

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

Kirsti
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, first of all -- I have covered these subjects almost literally ad nauseam. I started another Leather Thread on T & T this year and I think most people's interest had been done -- or questions answered -- on the one from the previous year. I'm trying very hard, coy jokes and references to whips and kink aside (which the astute reader will note I have done less of in recent times), not to turn any given thread into The ChastMastr Show. I'm aware of being possibly the oddest person here, with the most wildly unusual combination of beliefs, and I am sure I come across sometimes (or to some) as a very strange but well-meaning heretic of possibly dubious sanity. And I also don't want to bore or disturb people needlessly. I don't "fit" into any modern paradigm very well -- not most contemporary Christian thought, not most contemporary gay-community notions, nor (since I have been flying my flag re: the paranormal) most contemporary Pagan/"New Age" thought for that matter. So I've been trying to not be overwhelming, or trollish, or salacious; to a degree it's been a relief when someone else posts a long Lewis quote (thanks, Josephine) and I can just put in a silly little rhyming couplet (sorry, Laura) about how I agree with them, and then read the next thread.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David
(again)
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Its a lot more straightforward being a liberal, CM!
 
Posted by thegreent (# 3571) on :
 
im not sure i *really* want to get into this discussion but.....

CM - can you reply to iannas comment, as i think by your definition its pretty impossible for lesbians to 'have sex'. Particularly as, again by your definition, in theory its ok for doctors to 'go there', but i certainly dont think thats the same as it is with my husband.....
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
CM.. so you basically don't believe that the Bible prohibits lesbian sex? Since none of that involves a genital penetrating any orifice.

I just want to check that I've correctly defined your..er.. chicken. Based on your reading of the Bible and church Tradition:
Is that right?
Kirsti, thinking there's an awful lot of inherent sexism and flaws with this way of defining things .. it certainly wouldn't work for me as a consistent guide to live by.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I still but can't help think that its a convoluted way of justifying what you want to do and like doing as 'not sex'. CM.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
Oh, and to add to my "chicken definition" questions...

Let's take a hypothetical, unmarried, heterosexual couple.
Ummmmm.... really really not convinced.
Kirsti
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by thegreent:
im not sure i *really* want to get into this discussion but.....

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

It's much easier taking a biological line - you could say that if there aren't gametes and so at least the possibilty of involved it isn't sex (which it isn't, in a biological sense). So no homosexual act would be "sex". Or indeed no act involving a woman past the menopause. They would all be something else - whether right or wrong is another question.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by thegreent:
CM - can you reply to iannas comment, as i think by your definition its pretty impossible for lesbians to 'have sex'.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

David
 
Posted by dolphy (# 862) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
I think the word "sex" in this context can be misleading, see above.

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

(I'll get my coat)
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dolphy:
what happened to making love? Certain people here seem to refer to the act of 'sex', what about lovemaking... In my very humble opinion, they are two different things...

[Not worthy!] I am thinking of the "permitted or forbidden" issues surrounding specific acts, but of course everything is affected by attitude toward the participants, and love is the heart of the law. I don't think it intrinsically makes something forbidden permitted, but I definitely think it helps -- and if one does these things without genuine love and charity for those involved, then no matter how much it fulfills the "rules" of who puts what in what orifice, it's still morally defective because the attitude lacks that love.
 
Posted by nicolemrw (# 28) on :
 
ok, chast, you know me and you know that i'm not trying to be hostile here or anything, but i have to say, although you have said what you think is and isn't prohibited, you have never, that i can think of, said why you think these things are or aren't prohibited. how you came to those conclusions, that is. i mean, as far as i can think off hand, the closest the bible ever comes is the "laying with a man as with a woman" line... we assume that refers to anal sex, but its certiainly not specific. from that single reference, how do you get this entire definition?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, for one thing I don't get it just from that passage; I'm not sola scriptura, though I try to accord Scripture its proper weight in understanding these matters, and I look to Tradition for how to understand it, for the most part.

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

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

I hope this is helpful. I didn't really want to overwhelm everyone with David's Point Of View like this. That's why I did those leather threads in T & T -- so it would have its own place rather than taking over other threads. [Embarrassed] (And of course it takes forever to write all this because it's not simple or quick for me; I think it's pretty complex and well-balanced, in a good way, but explaining it, and how I got from Point A to Point B, is also going to be complicated. Even becoming a Christian was complicated for me... much less a celibate (by my understanding) gay leatherman Christian who's OK with even odder things than that... [Embarrassed]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
The idea that any of us can be consistemt, logical, coherent, plausible, convincing about sex (to ourselves and each other) strikes me as the funniest thing ever! [Killing me]

We all have things we will and won't do which may or may not be consistent with other things which overlap or don't overlap with what others do or won't do. I guess that the range stretches from "just about anything" (hopefully legal) to "practically very little." Surely the most important thing is that we find what is most comfortable and acceptable mutually between ourself and our partner. Problems only arise when that becomes a rule to put before someone else. So there!!!! I'm the real liberal here!
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Fr Gregory wrote:

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

That about sums it up.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
As does this:

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

That is SOF T-shirt-worthy.(And I mean that in the most respectful of ways.) [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Just been reading through the last few days of posts - I think I'll take the CM definition of sex because it should solve all the problems I'm having with the church as a lesbian with a partner. [Killing me] I wish it would work, but obviously it won't because the church is defining sex much more widely than CM.

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

Seriously though, I'm with Dolphy - it angers me that the church hierarchy just sees sex where I see a 10 year (and climbing) relationship that is plain wonderful, enduring and loving. I simply can't imagine anyone else being better for me than my beloved, and it pisses me royally that the church puts itself in the position of treating that with disrespect.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
it angers me that the church hierarchy just sees sex where I see a 10 year (and climbing) relationship that is plain wonderful, enduring and loving.

Beautifully and succinctly put, Arabella.

[Not worthy!]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Just as a matter of interest, CM, if the doctrine of the church was changed to reflect this wider definition, would you then become celibate under that definition?

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

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

David
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
Just as a matter of interest, CM, if the doctrine of the church was changed to reflect this wider definition, would you then become celibate under that definition?

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

I'm just interested, although I have to say that I don't understand your arguments relating to gay sex at a gut level. What you advocate sounds very like what my more fundamentalist straight friends call "Christian" sex - anything but vaginal penetration - which you can have before marriage. Interestingly, it allows for anal sex, which I gather does happen on occasion. It sounds to me like obeying the letter but not the spirit of the law.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
The msot extreme example of 'Christian sex' casuistry that I have come across entails the belief that sex using a condom is not really 'sex' because the couple concerned are not becoming 'one flesh' (owing, it would seem, to a few nanometres of rubber.)
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
No, what I meant was that if the Vatican came out with a definition of prohibited sex acts that went beyond genital sex and described explicitly what wasn't acceptable for a good Catholic (say for an example that affects me, tribadism or that affects you, fisting) would you abandon your current sexual practices?

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

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

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

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

I still don't quite get why people keep bringing up fisting; I've done it a total of twice in my life, once as top and once as bottom. It honestly isn't -- at least at the moment -- something which powerfully appeals to me. This may change but while I do believe it is quite permissible, at the same time I am much more into other things -- particularly cuddling and snuggling, which most people would not regard as terribly "kinky." [Smile]
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:

[qb]I still don't quite get why people keep bringing up fisting...

For me, it's because of the contradiction this paints. You often state that you don't believe in sex outside of heterosexual marriage - and yet, for many people, fisting and the like is an activity which would be construed as, at the very least, sexUAL.

Hence I was interested in how you reconcile "I'm celibate" with "I think that fisting's OK and am undecided about mutual masturbation". (Is that last statement true? I can't quite recall exactly what your..er.. position is on this one.) This has nothing to do with your views on the leather scene btw, at least not as I'm understanding it, though I can imagine that for you it's hard to separate the two sometimes.

I find it interesting because Terry and I are currently exploring what counts as "celibate" as we move in together and wait until we are married. I think we've drawn the line at anything beyond holding hands and cuddling - so I wouldn't feel comfortable describing an activity so genitally-focused and intimate as fisting, or the like, as compatible with being celibate.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Inanna:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:

[qb]I still don't quite get why people keep bringing up fisting...

For me, it's because of the contradiction this paints. You often state that you don't believe in sex outside of heterosexual marriage - and yet, for many people, fisting and the like is an activity which would be construed as, at the very least, sexUAL.

Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like "certain sexual practices." As I say, I've met people who even define hugging and kissing as "sex." And others who don't define oral sex as "sex." Which is why I went through that whole tedious thing with references to {it} before. I would define "sex" that way but since this really does lead to lots of confusion (I'm not even thinking of the Ship but of people I meet in the gay community) I'm trying to be more specific.

quote:

Hence I was interested in how you reconcile "I'm celibate" with "I think that fisting's OK and am undecided about mutual masturbation". (Is that last statement true? I can't quite recall exactly what your..er.. position is on this one.) This has nothing to do with your views on the leather scene btw, at least not as I'm understanding it, though I can imagine that for you it's hard to separate the two sometimes.

Oh! All that, I think, can be found on the two leather threads referenced above. And I should note that saying I think fisting is morally permissible is not the same as saying I think fisting is on exactly the same level as a peck on the cheek. It could be on the outer edge of what's allowed, depending on the situation, I suppose.

Oh, and the masturbation thread ... let me look... crap, I think it's gone now. Looked through Limbo and Dead Horses, though I know it started in T & T... anyway, I don't think I technically have an intrinsic problem with it, either solo or otherwise. (I should add that I do tend to think that certain actions in a male-female context may go against propriety if not chastity, however, in my extraordinarily gendered worldview, and that I don't see same-sex exploration of such matters in the same way. Yes, that's right, I have less problem -- as I understand matters at the present time -- with two men or two women exploring their genitals than I do with a man and a woman. But it was all on the other thread, which now no longer exists.)

I should also mention that technically having no intrinsic moral problem with people doing X or Y or Z is not the same as saying "right, everyone in the whole world should go have an orgy now as long as Tab A never enters Slots B, C or D." There are all sorts of things I don't technically have an intrinsic problem with as far as my Christian faith is concerned which I don't therefore think I, or everyone, or even anyone, should go do. (Smoking tobacco or taking recreational drugs, for example.) And of course attitude is REALLY important. If I were doing various things with the wrong attitude -- or even with inappropriate fantasies -- then as far as I am concerned, in that instance, I am sinning, so I must be careful with that as well, even if I think a given practice is technically OK.

quote:

I find it interesting because Terry and I are currently exploring what counts as "celibate" as we move in together and wait until we are married. I think we've drawn the line at anything beyond holding hands and cuddling - so I wouldn't feel comfortable describing an activity so genitally-focused and intimate as fisting, or the like, as compatible with being celibate.

And I understand and respect your choice even if I don't view things the same way you do.

[Love]

David
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I think I really ought to add something. Whatever people think of me regarding the whole sexual/erotic/sensual/etc. thing, I use exactly the same principles for everything else, or at least I try to. It's just that no one ever jumps on me about them (not that I want them to). I make references to things all the time on the Ship which people either don't pick up on, don't care about, or back away slowly, nodding and smiling at the crazy person -- I'm not sure which in any given case. But my worldview does not fit easily with any modern paradigm on all sorts of other levels as well. However, I have no deep desire to derail this thread into that sort of thing. I'll just say that I suspect if people here knew or cared that this particular issue is the tip of a huge iceberg of "weirdness" then they'd probably either... well, I don't know how they'd react. Sometimes I think I get on better with the Pagans I know but maybe that's OK.

I don't believe I am insane nor inconsistent, basically; for me it all fits together with my understanding of How The World Works, including Jesus and the rest of it. And to me, what I understand to be orthodox Christian belief is a part of it, and none of it contradicts another part of it. It may be a precarious balance sometimes but I still believe it holds together and is as close as I have yet gotten to an accurate understanding of reality.

Sorry to go on for so long. [Embarrassed] [Frown]

David
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Let me preface by saying that simply because I am a feminist , there are probably many, many issues upon which Chastmastr and I dissagree (lovingly, of course)Whatever.

This is how I look at it: Samson (a man of God)was a Nazarite, and had certain beliefs, rituals, practices, and duties that I don't.He also had talents and opportunities that were probably enhanced by his remaining true to these beliefs, etc.To expect me to be like Samson, to eschew drink, never cut my hair, etc. etc. etc. would be unfair--that is not how God has called me. Likewise to expect Samson to gainsay the directions he has been given is unfair--he couldn't do so honestly or morally, and indeed shouldn't because it would compromise his walk with God.

In short:
1.If there is any one person on this board who consistantly practices what he preaches while respecting the preaching of others, David would have to be that person.

2. I believe that David is on the path that God has chosen for him, and that he is dilligently seeking God's guidance in following it.

3. I believe that I am on the path that God has chosen for me, and that I am dilligently seeking God's guidance in following it.

4. I believe that the differences in our outlooks and behaviour are largely due to the fact that I am Kelly, and David is David, and that is how God wants it.

I think David had tried to explain where he's coming from and where he is at presently--what is the point of grilling him?

(this took me a long time to compose--please forgive any redundancies, etc that may arise from crossposting)
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Kelly, I respect what CM believes, but as a lesbian it is incredibly difficult to listen to another gay person suggesting that genital sex outside heterosexuality is wrong. We get more than enough of that from homophobic heterosexuals. And CM's is a very, very minority position among lesbian and gay people - I can't say I've ever heard it before.

I suspect Inanna and I are coming from a similar position of liking CM but being quite mystified by his position. And if Inanna has had anything like the experiences I've had in the church for the last 20 years, we'll be scratching our respective heads and wondering, even after CM's explanations, where the hell he's coming from. The church pretends to define homosexuality by sexual acts, but in actual fact the mere fact of being queer is enough to put you out into the cold - the logical end of CM's position is no touching whatsoever of someone you love if they happen to be of the same sex, as far as I can see.

I like CM - I think he's warm, funny and generous (and I even like his doggerel). But pastorally, I'd worry about him if he was part of my congregation.
 
Posted by Inanna (# 538) on :
 
What Arabella said. Ditto lotses. [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
I would only worry about somebody in my congregation if they started laying down rules for everyone else. (It's none of their business for starters). Chastmastr has not done that anyway. He is entitled to argue for his position without judging others ... even though his position is incomprehensible to many. Time was when Christian heterosexuals regarded anything other than the missionary position as out of order AND TAUGHT OTHERS THE SAME.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
He is entitled to argue for his position without judging others ... even though his position is incomprehensible to many. Time was when Christian heterosexuals regarded anything other than the missionary position as out of order AND TAUGHT OTHERS THE SAME.

Good Grief, Gregory. Have you been taking Correctness Pills or something? You keep saying these things I agree with.

It's just wrong. So very wrong.
 
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
 
Since when does the civil liberties (including gay) community insist on acceptance of some sort of standardized position? You could take some of the statements posted here, change the nouns and verbs, and come up with something reminiscent of the blanket moral pronouncements everyone hates to hear from "the church". The irony is overwhelming.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Scot:
Since when does the civil liberties (including gay) community insist on acceptance of some sort of standardized position?

Presumably not the missionary position?
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I think the recent discussions have largley been 'in-house', Scot, but I think that the civil liberties/ gay rights advocates are talking from a position of arguing for equal citizenship and abolition of legal discrimination. I think that is a moral position.

The debates on this thread have been , recently, largely looking at how gay sexual activity is realised by different gay Christians and how it fits into their theology. I certainly think these are relevant and important issues, I for one certainly don't believe in anything goes, and I think thats what the discussion has been about - where our boudaries lie.
 
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
<snip a little> Time was when Christian heterosexuals regarded anything other than the missionary position as out of order AND TAUGHT OTHERS THE SAME.

And not even that, if you weren't taking the hex off it by diligently trying to procreate.

(Side thought: I wonder about that term, that "missionary position", for ten-toes-up-ten-toes-down. Considering what missionaries have so often done to cultures they gut, I would think "missionary postion" would be a good euphemism for "rape".)
 
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
 
Merseymike, my objection is to the assertion, evident on this page, that everyone should see things the same way just because they are <insert characteristic here>.

You know, statements like,
quote:
All Christians should believe that genital sex outside heterosexuality is wrong.
or this
quote:
All homosexuals should believe that genital sex outside heterosexuality is not wrong.
There are lots of things about Chastmastr that I don't understand, but I really admire his insistence on an integrated life. I can't see any value in a libertarianism which applies in the civil realm, but is ignored (or actively reversed) in matters of theology and morality.

I'm not trying to weigh in on where the boundaries lie. I don't really have a horse in that race. I'm just surprised at the moving standards for acceptance of one another's positions.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I wouldn't really describe my position as libertarian, though I suppose I do think that there are things I wouldn't do because I am a Christian, which I wouldn't make illegal - like be unfaithful to my partner.

I think that gay Christians do have to work these things out though - given that there are questions as to what can be defined as 'sex', and that we don't have marriage available to us. I think thats what you have been witnessing.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Load of rubbish, Scot. I was talking about a specific argument, namely CM's. It is such a minority position I've never heard it before. I've heard varieties of it from homophobic heterosexuals and the no-touching-at-all version from homophobic hets and homos.

I have friends who have one night stands (het and gay), I have friends who are in long-term committed relationships (het and gay), I have friends who are still working through their own homophobia (het and gay) and I lived for four years with someone who kept her own single bed in the (vain) hope that no one would know that we were lovers. They're all good people, and so, as far as I can tell, is CM (like I said in my last post).

I've been queer and in the church since 1980, I've read a lot of pro and anti queer theology, and the variety of views is truly mind-boggling.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
[Not worthy!] @Arabella
 
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
 
I don't think anybody has claimed that Chastmastr position is mainstream, including Chastmastr. Please explain to me how the relative size of the minority which holds a position makes any difference to the legitimacy of that personal position? As long as the minority is not attempting to force their views on anyone, I cannot understand why those views should be difficult to hear or problematic for anyone's congregation.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Scot, CM is perfectly entitled to his personal opinion, and to his life. I don't believe I've ever questioned that. I am just trying to understand an argument which doesn't have legs, to my way of thinking.

As I am currently holding a very minority position in the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa (that lesbians would make fine ministers, and that actually, the church needs them) I am not likely to be casting rotten eggs at other lesbian and gay Christians.

However, from his arguments, I do think that CM might cast those very eggs if I was turned up at his church seeking an ordained ministry position, were I a gay man in a committed relationship that involved genital sex. And that is homophobia of the kind I face every day. He's already said that he doesn't associate with other gay and lesbian Christians particularly, because of his views.

Maybe I malign him, but that's what I hear, so don't be giving me the evils for asking questions.
 
Posted by Scot (# 2095) on :
 
Which is it? Are you trying to understand his argument or are you concerned that he might be opposed to a sexually active gay minister in his church?

If you are simply trying to understand where he is coming from, then I applaud you. I must have been thrown off by the comments about his opinions being hard for you to hear.

It seems to me that each member of a church is entitled to take part in the selection process to whatever extent that the membership is involved. Further, I would hope that they would do so in a manner consistent with their own convictions.

Finally, I think it is both inaccurate and overdramatic to mischaracterize Chastmastr's beliefs as homophobic. Everyone who disagrees with you (and I don't care who you are) is not necessarily afraid of you. Claiming that they are only serves to weaken your own credibility.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Scot ; the term homophobic may have initially come from psychology and meant 'fear of gays', but it really isn't used tomean that most of the time - it simply means 'anti-gay' or 'opposed to gay equality'. Personally, I tend to prefer those terms.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
I hear the argument perfectly OK, I don't understand it, and I've said I have no problem with CM living it. My experience is long and broad on the subject of people's justifications for what they do being OK - everybody does it, even those who stick to the missionary position and are heterosexual.
 
Posted by SeraphimSarov (# 4335) on :
 
Maybe a better term would be "Heterophobic"- a fear of "difference" which is anti-gay?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
He's already said that he doesn't associate with other gay and lesbian Christians particularly, because of his views.

I have? [Confused] If I sent a confusing message, my apologies... actually, other than on the Ship, at ShipMeets, and attending church, I hardly hang out with other (self-proclaiming) Christians at all, gay or otherwise. But that has more to do with attitudes in general, particularly tolerance, as well as -- erm -- intellectual stimulation. (Indeed, when I was temporarily going to another church than the one I have returned to, part of the attraction was that it was more overtly "gay-friendly" -- but the few gay people I met weren't any more "hey, let's go out for pizza!" than the straight people at the other church. It would appear -- alas! -- that "meeting new friends at church to hang out with" (whether gay, straight or what-have-you) was something which only happened in my life when I was at the university at the religious student centers, and that recapturing that is simply not in the cards...) For some time now the Ship has been (almost) the only context I've had to meet new friends with whom I can have interesting discussions. I wish you all lived nearby... [Waterworks]

I have met interesting and friendly people at the Radical Faerie potluck suppers, though. [Yipee] So I suppose it is no longer merely the Ship. And my wonderful cub David is very cool and intelligent. [Yipee]

I think in some ways I get on better with Pagans (real ones) than with many modern Christians, I will say that. (Again, gay or otherwise.) It is sad and frustrating for me that I don't have as much common ground with the "average" Christian I meet as I'd like.

If it is any consolation, from as far back as I can remember, long before becoming a Christian or part of the gay/leather/bear communities, I have never really had a lot of common ground with anyone. Plus ça change, plus c'est la même chose... Wish I did, but alas, I don't.

David
used to "orbit" the priest at coffee hour back in college, because he could chat about theology and C.S. Lewis with him when the other congregants were not as interested in such matters... [Embarrassed]

[ 25. June 2003, 15:12: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Common ground can be very comforting. It establishes and confirms identity through congruence, a shared perspective. I hang out with Orthodox Christians because, sharing their perspective, I can find understanding and a common approach to life which is supportive and enhancing. However, there are limits to "common ground" and those limits have to do with exclusion ... a seeking for conformity ... even an enforcement of the same or a marginalisation of those who don't fit our group. Jesus did some pretty amazing things for and with "outsiders." One of the more attractive aspects of English culture is a fellow feeling for and with the "underdog." No one is on the outside when it comes to God. We mustn't let our comfort constrict our vision. Get out of that comfort zone!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
No one is on the outside when it comes to God. We mustn't let our comfort constrict our vision. Get out of that comfort zone!

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
No one is on the outside when it comes to God. We mustn't let our comfort constrict our vision. Get out of that comfort zone!

Hey, I agree! My partner once wrote a letter to a more fundamentalist magazine after they published an article on how practising homosexuals could be cured. She said that she was quite happy with her life, heavily involved with her church and trying her best to do God's work in the world.

The month after her letter was published three letters to the editor proclaimed that:

We didn't bother responding.

And quite honestly, I feel incredibly privileged within church circles because at least people can see that I'm being treated badly. My severely speech disabled friend, a prophetic woman if ever there was, is treated like an imbecile most of the time, notwithstanding her Masters degree in Social Policy.
 
Posted by Degs (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
Scot ; the term homophobic may have initially come from psychology and meant 'fear of gays', but it really isn't used tomean that most of the time - it simply means 'anti-gay' or 'opposed to gay equality'. Personally, I tend to prefer those terms.

I don't use the term 'homophobic' either. In my experience the opposition and villification I have had to endure at times have had nothing to do with irrational fear - they have been deliberate and premeditated!
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Degs:
I don't use the term 'homophobic' either. In my experience the opposition and villification I have had to endure at times have had nothing to do with irrational fear - they have been deliberate and premeditated!

Interesting question though - I'd agree with the deliberate and premeditated bit, but what underlies it? I think its the "yuk" factor, which is homophobia pure and simple, whatever logic is dreamed up to rationalise it.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
I can understand that Degs; ... as an aside "homophobia" represents that condescending and awfully superior attitude that "you hate me because you're frightened. There, there now, (pats head); don't be frightened." We all know that fear can lead to hatred but not all hatred is inspired by fear.
 
Posted by coffee jim (# 3510) on :
 
'Homophobic' has become part of my working vocabulary, but it's still an unfortunate term for the reasons others have described. I've also come across the attitude from reactionary columnists (can I say 'Peter Hitchens types' even if I can't actually quote him on this?) that 'I'm not afraid of homosexuality - I just don't think it should be seen as morally equivalent'.
A far better word would be 'heterosexist'.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Well, while it's not the OED, Merriam-Webster defines homophobia as "irrational fear of, aversion to, or discrimination against homosexuality or homosexuals," but it doesn't have a definition for "heterosexism."

Dictionary.com defines the former as "Fear of or contempt for lesbians and gay men" or "Behavior based on such a feeling." It defines heterosexism as "Discrimination or prejudice against lesbians or gay men by heterosexual people." But this may beg the question as to what constitutes discrimination or prejudice. Would a genuine intellectual disagreement with "gay" activities intrinsically count as such?

Aha! Oxford does have a site! Though again it's not the comprehensive OED (yes, I am an OED snob, but it's the best dictionary on Earth as far as I can tell). It defines homophobia as "hatred or fear of homosexuals" but does not have heterosexism.

David
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Yes, but in reality, homophobia is used to mean 'anti-gay' or 'discriminatory or prejudiced against gays'. I try not to use the word much.

Heterosexism is more about an assumption that the world is completely heterosexual. So, homophobia imples something definitely and 'positively' anti-gay, heterosexism is more not taking gay presence and perspective into account and discriminating passively, or covertly - often without intention. Institutionalised, rather than the result of actual and directed prejudice.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I agree; I would say that there is a difference between someone's doctrinal disagreement with what many of us do, or with what I do for that matter, and approaches to things which don't take day-to-day realities into account. I tend to be very annoyed at advertisements which suggest that (for example) all men are obviously going to be getting together with women for Valentine's Day -- or for that matter, not only re gay issues, with the Father's Day ad I saw in which the father was holding his child and his wedding ring looked not only prominent but oddly prominent, and I realised that it must have been photo-enhanced -- the thing practically glowed -- and I thought, "gee, if I were a single father with children, I'd feel kind of left out." The same thing goes for Mother's Day ads. It's not only heterosexism but -- I don't know, "the only family structures we're even going to acknowledge as existing are ones with two parents of opposite sexes and their biological children"-ism.

There's an excellent site on how gay people are treated in advertising called The Commercial Closet which I heartily recommend.

David
 
Posted by Degs (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
I can understand that Degs; ... as an aside "homophobia" represents that condescending and awfully superior attitude that "you hate me because you're frightened. There, there now, (pats head); don't be frightened." We all know that fear can lead to hatred but not all hatred is inspired by fear.

Yes Fr Gregory you have it. The misguided attitudes on both sides.

The hatred I have experienced is not inspired by fear, and I do not dismiss it with condescension, but oppose it with dtermination.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
In my own case, my ostensibly close friends knew about my "struggles with the weird kinky stuff" in some detail for years before it became a Good Thing (in my view) in my life, before I joined the gay community, and before I met my Master/Foster Dad. I had very few social skills, was in poor health, and was basically a mess. Then once things changed and my social skills, health, etc. improved many of them dropped out of my life. My politics also shifted to the left, which may have played a part. Before things changed for me -- and whatever anyone may think of The Weird Things I Do, there were many MANY changes for the better in health, attitude, hygeine, clothing sense which I think no one can deny were incredible improvements -- oh, and my stress levels decreased a lot -- but the fact is that these people knew all about my struggles with the scary weird stuff I didn't know how to deal with, and had known for years before... so I'm pretty sure it wasn't fear per se which was the deciding factor in my case either. In some cases I'm pretty sure it was because I had become self-identified with "them."

I find it kind of strange and sad that when I blathered on and on like some kind of tedious verbal tank about all manner of things (my bad childhood, the history of the pre- and post-Crisis DC Comics universe (yes, really, for hours), theology (for hours), etc.) with people who were not too interested, they were happy to have me in their lives -- when people told me to my face that they could only handle me in "small doses" -- and so on -- but then later when I didn't act like that anymore, and people commented on how much calmer and more relaxed I was -- they started slipping out of my life.

How much of this was "the gay thing," "the leather thing" and "the liberal thing," I honestly don't know. I guess they probably think I've turned to "the dark side" or something. Yet none of them tried to talk me out of it, or sent a letter saying "I think you've made a terrible mistake" or anything like that.

Mind you, I also started around this time to stop keeping old friendships on artifical life support by always having been the one to call. When I started letting them make the next move -- well, who knows, maybe had I done that without any of the other changes, they'd have just dropped out my life the same way. But for a long time I was the one to call them, and while they were happy to chat, they never called me.

There are still a few of these people I'm pretty sure dropped out for the other reasons, though.

My parents and I seem to have mended fences over the last year, though they don't ask me or make comments or references to my being gay in any way. At some point I am sure they'll call to leave a message on voice-mail and the cub will answer. (He's been staying with me for a month now.) They don't want to know anything about that part of my life, or at least they said so a year ago... [Roll Eyes]

Sorry to ramble...

It does hurt sometimes to look back at people and wonder what their motives were in letting go. Maybe they were never really hanging on all those years and I was the only one still clinging...

David
life is better now, though, and my cub awaits me as I head out of the office now...

[ 26. June 2003, 21:00: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Degs

quote:
The hatred I have experienced is not inspired by fear, and I do not dismiss it with condescension, but oppose it with determination.

So should we all! [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by ReVoltaire (# 4351) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
Dear Degs

quote:
The hatred I have experienced is not inspired by fear, and I do not dismiss it with condescension, but oppose it with determination.

So should we all! [Not worthy!]
I've been lurking around this thread for weeks, and was beginning to feel like a Peeping Thomasina, so I'm going to use my appreciation of this beautiful line to let y'all know I'm here.

Degs [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] It applies to so many who've experienced hatred. I'm inspired [Angel]
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
Right, let's get qualitative and absolute and back to fisting.

This is the situation: Chastmastr is saying the sky is red, when the sky is blue. Inanna at the top of the page tried to point out the Emperor's New Clothes as I have (for about 18 months). His argument is that fisting is morally permissible because it is not sexual. He doesn't consider it a sexual act. Well ya know, there are a few inescapable objective realities in life: for instance, you can insist that the earth is flat all you like, you can believe it with all your heart. But it will not change the fact that the earth is not flat.

Fisting is sexual. It stimulates nerves responsible for erotic sensation. It is a conscious act. The arousal resulting from fisting is not the same as incidental arousal as from a body function. That's the argument that Chastmastr has used in the past, and it is pure sophistry.

Goddamnit Chast I like you, but your insistence that you are chaste and celibate drives me wild. Do you see that the way you define chastity and celibacy protects you from the painful reality that faces gay people? That is, by your standards (and those of many other christians) of what is allowed 'genitally' sexually a gay person must either forego sexual intimacy or commit sin. But you never have to face this, because you are getting sexual gratification (you don't call it that) with moral impunity.

You are effectively holding others to a standard that you don't meet (In your eyes you do, but I have not spoken to one single gay or bi bloke that doesn't consider fisting a sexual act - that from inside the community. From hets, the same). Now, you will say that you have technically no moral problem of other people having 'genital sex', casuistry again! You're words are contradictory to your beliefs! If you state publically: 'I don't believe genital sex is biblically permissible except between men and women in marriage', the corollary of this is that anyone who is having 'genital sex', who is not a man and woman in marriage is doing something that is not biblically permissible! It's a logically inescapable conclusion!

Let's explore the implications of you saying you don't have a moral problem with other people having 'genital sex': either a) you believe there is no moral problem with anyone having 'genital sex' - but this can't be the case, because if it were, why would you forbid it to yourself on moral grounds? or b) there is a moral problem for you having 'genital sex' but not for other people. I don't buy it, it means your circumstances have so little overlap with other people that such a universal thing as sexual contact has unique moral implications for you, but not others.

There's a swag of contradictions going on here and something's gotta give.

These are the ramifications of your publically held views and observed behaviour:
1) You add your voice implicitly to those who oppose fullness of life in gay christian relationships.
2) People think it is a) a great joke or b) hypocrisy. ('Preach the gospel, use words if necessary')
3) It is a huge piss off to people who are genuinely struggling with chastity. You're getting your rocks off while earnestly affirming that you are chaste and celibate. That's pretty galling.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Coot ; that is exactly what I think too. I know it won't be popular in some quarters, but thats why I referred to 'sophistry' earlier, and its also why, despite what CM says, I don't regard him as part of the affirming lesbian and gay Christian community.
I've got a feeling that the other side of the fence wouldn't be too impressed either.

Come on CM. Stop kidding yourself. You do have sex - gay sex - as I do, we just like different types ( and whilst I see no need to publicise the details of my sex life, it is with one partner only and I don't happen to like anal sex....)

[ 27. June 2003, 14:01: Message edited by: Merseymike ]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like "certain sexual practices." As I say, I've met people who even define hugging and kissing as "sex." And others who don't define oral sex as "sex." Which is why I went through that whole tedious thing with references to {it} before. I would define "sex" that way but since this really does lead to lots of confusion (I'm not even thinking of the Ship but of people I meet in the gay community) I'm trying to be more specific.

... I should note that saying I think fisting is morally permissible is not the same as saying I think fisting is on exactly the same level as a peck on the cheek. It could be on the outer edge of what's allowed, depending on the situation, I suppose.

...

I should also mention that technically having no intrinsic moral problem with people doing X or Y or Z is not the same as saying "right, everyone in the whole world should go have an orgy now as long as Tab A never enters Slots B, C or D." There are all sorts of things I don't technically have an intrinsic problem with as far as my Christian faith is concerned which I don't therefore think I, or everyone, or even anyone, should go do. (Smoking tobacco or taking recreational drugs, for example.) And of course attitude is REALLY important. If I were doing various things with the wrong attitude -- or even with inappropriate fantasies -- then as far as I am concerned, in that instance, I am sinning, so I must be careful with that as well, even if I think a given practice is technically OK.
...
And I understand and respect your choice even if I don't view things the same way you do.

[Love]

David

David
experiencing deja vu

[ 27. June 2003, 15:07: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by Asdara (# 4533) on :
 
quote:
I think I really ought to add something. Whatever people think of me regarding the whole sexual/erotic/sensual/etc. thing, I use exactly the same principles for everything else, or at least I try to. It's just that no one ever jumps on me about them (not that I want them to). I make references to things all the time on the Ship which people either don't pick up on, don't care about, or back away slowly, nodding and smiling at the crazy person -- I'm not sure which in any given case. But my worldview does not fit easily with any modern paradigm on all sorts of other levels as well. However, I have no deep desire to derail this thread into that sort of thing. I'll just say that I suspect if people here knew or cared that this particular issue is the tip of a huge iceberg of "weirdness" then they'd probably either... well, I don't know how they'd react. Sometimes I think I get on better with the Pagans I know but maybe that's OK.

I don't believe I am insane nor inconsistent, basically; for me it all fits together with my understanding of How The World Works, including Jesus and the rest of it. And to me, what I understand to be orthodox Christian belief is a part of it, and none of it contradicts another part of it. It may be a precarious balance sometimes but I still believe it holds together and is as close as I have yet gotten to an accurate understanding of reality.

Sorry to go on for so long.

Chast [Love] [Love] [Love] [Not worthy!] [Love] I understand what it is to be different. [Tear]
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
experiencing deja vu

David, that isn't good enough in a serious debate space.

From the Purgatory guidelines: "All views are welcome – orthodox, unorthodox, radical or just plain bizarre – so long as you can stand being challenged."

Basically, I'm asking you to put up or shut up.

You've had a charmed life on these boards, anyone else making known their view on what is and what isn't sexually allowed to gay people so frequently and flamboyantly as you would have been slapped down a long time ago. (I'm thinking of people like Matt the Mad Medic, Mark the Punk, Martin PCNot). Why should you be treated any differently?

Unfortunately, the Purgatorial safety valve whereby weirdarse points of view are challenged, packed up and went home because you are a generous loving guy (I believe that too, but it's not gunna stop me from kicking the shit outa ya).

This is Dead Horses, it's the place for deja vu. So let's go!

And if you're going to resort to 'this is what I think/feel, how I view things, you may view them differently' well that's fine, but don't damn well share your thoughts, feelings, and views in a public debate forum under the pretence that they have some sort of intellectual currency.
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
Asdara: please don't imagine I am tackling Chastmastr because he is 'different'. I am calling him to task as I would anyone who puts forward a blatantly false proposition (ie. arseplay is not sexual). Now if this was purely a forum for sharing and affirming I might hold back, but it's a debate space.

Chastmastr is trying to have it all ways, but in the cold hard light of day it does not compute. I would even go so far as to say his position is offensive to queer Christians. (I think Arabella was implying this re: the point Scot took up).
I've seen a lot of people reinforcing Chastmastr over the last 18 months, mostly people trying to understand or empathise, but the queer Christian shipmates on board have tended to stay strangely quiet.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Not me, Coot.

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
experiencing deja vu

David, that isn't good enough in a serious debate space.

Sorry, but I posted the above because I believe it answers your points, though I am aware that you disagree with those answers. You say, "His argument is that fisting is morally permissible because it is not sexual." And I had posted on this page above, "Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like 'certain sexual practices.' As I say, I've met people who even define hugging and kissing as "sex." And others who don't define oral sex as "sex." Which is why I went through that whole tedious thing with references to {it} before. I would define "sex" that way but since this really does lead to lots of confusion (I'm not even thinking of the Ship but of people I meet in the gay community) I'm trying to be more specific." Yes, I used to phrase it that way some time back, but since this led to nothing but confusion, not in doctrinal debate but with other people I met in person, I found that clarifying what I mean helped quite a lot.

I don't appreciate the term "sophistry," and while I very strongly disagree with positions I know both you and MM hold, I don't believe it is appropriate to use that term in reference to either of you. I have tried to be polite in my disagreement with you both, here and elsewhere, and if I have not done so, I am heartily sorry and I do apologise.

quote:
your insistence that you are chaste and celibate drives me wild.
Well, I am sorry that it affects you that way. But I can't change my position based on that, because I believe it is true.

quote:
Do you see that the way you define chastity and celibacy protects you from the painful reality that faces gay people?
Actually no. Just defining myself as gay -- and openly so, at my job, church and everywhere else -- and I generally don't go into details with my co-workers about what I do and don't do for the most part, though church people may be different -- tends to bring on the same sort of thing, because people assume I'm sexuallly active in the same way. And the bits about leather and kink are, if anything, considered even weirder, frankly, by a lot of people. People know someone is staying with me right now, for the most part (my cub to whom I have referred), and they probably assume all manner of things. Whether they would be more comfortable or far, far less if they knew we don't have genital penetration, but do "other things" is a good question, but I honestly think they'd be happier with the 'vanilla' sex.

And I can -- as we see on this board -- get it with both barrels, from the "straight" community and from many people in the gay community. Just being into the leather scene, and as a way of life, without the whole monogamy thing, even without genital penetration, is weird enough for many gay people. Being into it without g.p., and up till November 2002 without wanting orgasm at all, comes across to many of them as outright bizarre. No offence to anyone, but oh shock horror. I'm used to being considered weird. What matters to me is what I understand to be true and real. I know I'd get a hell of a lot more dates, even within my own leather community, if I'd do the more conventional sexual things. But whether we call it "sex" or "genital penetration" or "mxyzptlk" -- I do not believe I can do so.

It's about what I believe to be true. Not about what makes anyone else like me or think I am a good person, or for that matter what makes them think I am sane.

quote:
That is, by your standards (and those of many other christians) of what is allowed 'genitally' sexually a gay person must either forego sexual intimacy or commit sin.
Oh, right, they're all thrilled with bondage and S & M too? With (though I wish to emphasise yet again that I have only done this twice in my life, didn't particularly enjoy it though I feel almost *obligated* to try it again in case I meet someone who wants or needs such exploration, as a top I found it dull and as a bottom I found it exhausting) fisting as well? If so this is news to me.
... I'm sorry, I don't like being sarcastic. But seriously, I don't hold the same standards as most other Christians do either. Surely you know this? I had to face this when my political views changed -- most of the Christians I knew and knew of were politically "conservative" in the capitalist sense, but I concluded 'liberal' politics -- many though not all positions -- were more right. This, alone, at least among the people I knew then, put me at odds with most Christians I knew. That's changed a bit, especially now that I know people on the Ship. But my point is I don't think I fit with "those kinds of Christians" either.

quote:
I have not spoken to one single gay or bi bloke that doesn't consider fisting a sexual act
Okay. See above re the terms I am trying to use.

quote:
Now, you will say that you have technically no moral problem of other people having 'genital sex', casuistry again!
When did I say this?? I don't believe in putting legal obstacles in the path of consenting adults' behaviour but this is not the same thing. But I don't also believe in being pushy about what I believe with them either -- which is not the same thing as holding a belief. I posted recently on the "conversion of people of other religions" thread about needing to be truthful, yet careful and courteous, re disagreement with people because of what Christians have done in the past; so here. I make it plain (esp to possible dates - don't want to lead people on) what I believe I, as a Christian, am allowed to do, but I also don't go round evangelising for non-genital-penetration either.

quote:
If you state publically: 'I don't believe genital sex is biblically permissible except between men and women in marriage', the corollary of this is that anyone who is having 'genital sex', who is not a man and woman in marriage is doing something that is not biblically permissible! It's a logically inescapable conclusion!
That's correct, yes. Though I don't use the term "biblically" partly because I am not sola scriptura. I also don't think one should expect people who don't believe in certain doctrines to act as if they should; as Lewis puts it, I would be quite annoyed if people in a teetotal religion tried to stop everyone else from drinking wine.

quote:
Let's explore the implications of you saying you don't have a moral problem with other people having 'genital sex'
I'm still not sure where this comes from, I'm sorry. Yes, I think they are mistaken. I even believe that it is, for Christians, a sin. But I don't believe it is appropriate for me to be pushy or rude to them because of it, or love them any less. The human being who has mattered more to me than anyone else on the face of the earth -- whom I could almost be considered to commit idolatry with regard to my atttitude toward, so I must be careful -- had lots and lots and lots of this kind of sex. I also consider the man -- the non-Christian man, for that matter -- to be closer to a living saint than anyone I'd ever met. My cub, whom I love dearly, will be having sex with other men because I don't believe in forbidding him that just because my own religious views forbid *me* to do it. And he is a Christian himself, but as his beliefs are not the same as mine, and he has not asked me to make it a rule for him, I think it would be inappropriate for me to do so. This principle doesn't apply to everything -- in the past he has used some drugs (this is no secret), and he doesn't have an intrinsic moral problem with it -- but those I do forbid for reasons which are not strictly limited to morality, and he accepts that.

The lesbian issue (i.e., how can they engage in genital penetration, and does this mean they are freer in a way than men are?) is an odd one which I have pondered off and on. In my understanding they may very well be freer than men. Is it "fair"? I am not sure that enters into it. People of any sex or orientation can sin sins of thought, of course, whether having intercourse or not.

By the way, I think I should point out that I don't think I've said or suggested that I'm in any way more virtuous than anyone because of my beliefs or attempted limits on behaviour. Far from it. But it's what I believe and I am stuck with that.

quote:
There's a swag of contradictions going on here
Obviously I don't think so or I wouldn't hold them. I think there may be paradoxes but not contradictions. Or even I'm just bloody weird but you know, I am okay with that.

quote:
You add your voice implicitly to those who oppose fullness of life in gay christian relationships.

I don't think so, but I think we define "fullness of life" differently. And actually I vote for candidates and such who are freeing up the laws, working for legal recognition of people's relationships, and the like. As for the church I am not sure what to say. Do you really think that the "conservative" side approves of my position? I'm one of the ones that would get held up as an example -- "see, here is what those people are like, sick perverts into leather!" -- whether I do genital penetration or not.

quote:
People think it is a) a great joke or b) hypocrisy.

Well, I'm terribly sorry people think that way. But I am stuck with what I believe is true. And I cannot change it because some people, or even the vast majority of them, think that way.

quote:
It is a huge piss off to people who are genuinely struggling with chastity. You're getting your rocks off while earnestly affirming that you are chaste and celibate. That's pretty galling.

And I am sorry we disagree on this. Not sure what else to say.

MM said:
quote:
despite what CM says, I don't regard him as part of the affirming lesbian and gay Christian community.

And I'm sorry you feel that way too. Or think that way. Not sure what that is defined as, admittedly. I think I've posted elsewhere on this thread that I wish I could join some of the groups you would likely include in that definition but I don't know that I would agree enough with their mission statements to do so.

quote:
I've got a feeling that the other side of the fence wouldn't be too impressed either.
Well, if you mean the genuinely nasty people who actively work against gay rights under the law, I don't want them to consider me on their side, and I don't think I'm in much danger of that. But regardless I must follow what I think is TRUE. I don't expect anyone else to believe it. If others do, that's cool.

quote:
Come on CM. Stop kidding yourself.
I don't think I am. But I've been saying that, and will have to continue to do so unless my beliefs change. Thus far nothing I have seen here inspires that shift.

quote:
You do have sex - gay sex
See above re terms.

quote:
From the Purgatory guidelines: "All views are welcome – orthodox, unorthodox, radical or just plain bizarre – so long as you can stand being challenged."

Basically, I'm asking you to put up or shut up.

Well, I have. Over and over and over. I don't know what else to say; from my point of view, I've answered these questions on at least three separate multi-page thread almost ad nauseam. Our views may simply be so different that we can't see eye to eye to even see the roots of our disagreements or agree on the same reasons to believe A or B or C or D, much less X, Y, Z, and pi.

I'm sorry we don't agree. I'm sorrier that you aren't willing -- if I read you right -- to extend the same courtesy I am trying to extend to you regarding polite disagreement. If I am not reading you right, I apologise.

quote:
You've had a charmed life on these boards, anyone else making known their view on what is and what isn't sexually allowed to gay people so frequently and flamboyantly as you would have been slapped down a long time ago. (I'm thinking of people like Matt the Mad Medic, Mark the Punk, Martin PCNot). Why should you be treated any differently?
But I have been reprimanded by hosts and admins in the past. And when I have, I have tried to accept that and do what they say. I have tried to modify my behaviour accordingly when this has happened before. Sometimes I do get out of line with the silly jokes in particular. But especially in Purgatory I try to remain within the rules. And I try not to be too salacious, even in Hell.

quote:
Unfortunately, the Purgatorial safety valve whereby weirdarse points of view are challenged, packed up and went home
But people also do challenge me there and elsewhere. I state my position as politely as I can, and as clearly as I can. I'm even aware of this being a weirdarse point of view. This may be fairly helpful, in fact, because I don't really expect people to suddenly agree with me, or think that it's just so obviously right that anyone will leap right on over to my postion and adopt it. I don't even know -- I've often wondered -- how I would have felt about it, say, ten or fifteen years ago, if my future self went back in time and explained it all. I'd like to think I would not think my future self a blasphemous heretic or something. I'd like to think that I'd understand and agree. But I don't know that.

And I try to apply these principles of argument, such as they are, when it's less exotic stuff as well -- say, sacramental theology or whatnot. I don't expect a Baptist to agree with me there either. Or in politics. Meeting courteous debaters, or nice people, on the "conservative" side here on the Ship has really kept me from thinking bad things about all political conservatives, because I can always say that Shipmate X (or Y or Z) isn't like that, whatever else I may think about the "rest of them."

quote:
it's not gunna stop me from kicking the shit outa ya
Well -- sorry we disagree -- but I can't really just change my views because of things like that.

quote:
This is Dead Horses, it's the place for deja vu. So let's go!

But when the deja vu is from less than a page back, on the same page, isn't that a bit too much deja vu? I felt like people hadn't even read my post.

quote:
And if you're going to resort to 'this is what I think/feel, how I view things, you may view them differently' well that's fine, but don't damn well share your thoughts, feelings, and views in a public debate forum under the pretence that they have some sort of intellectual currency.

Well, I'm sorry, but I think I have tried to give my reasons for them -- I do think they have intellectual currency -- and I intend to continue stating what I believe when it seems appropriate.

quote:
a blatantly false proposition (ie. arseplay is not sexual)
Please see above re terms.

quote:
Chastmastr is trying to have it all ways
No, I'm not. There are all sorts of things I believe I can't do and as I say, it would make life MUCH easier if I could.

quote:
in the cold hard light of day it does not compute.
Obviously I think it does. Whatever happened to "I statements"?

quote:
I would even go so far as to say his position is offensive to queer Christians.
Probably depends on the queer Christian. But even if the majority of them think badly of me I think my position is true.

quote:
It's inconsistent to say you fully affirm gay Christians and at the same time say that the only permissible sexual relationships are those between men and women in marriage.

When did I say "fully affirm gay Christians"? If I am misremembering my posts, please show me where and I will apologise for using unclear language, but in this context I am not even sure what the phrase means.

Re: "sexual relationships," see above re terms.

quote:
It's inconsistent to say you are chaste and celibate and then to indulge in arseplay and leatherplay.

I am -- again -- sorry we don't agree.

I do engage in more than leather play, I should emphasise. For me it's a way of life. See the two other threads linked above.

quote:
I've seen a lot of people reinforcing Chastmastr over the last 18 months, mostly people trying to understand or empathise, but the queer Christian shipmates on board have tended to stay strangely quiet.

Well, if any of them would like to say more, please do.

I'm not sure, for my part, what I can say in this present debate which will not be repeating myself. It seems to me that you will only be satisfied if I say your position is correct. And I cannot do that because I don't believe it is so. I am stuck. I believe my position is correct or else I would not hold it. No offence is meant toward anyone by this, not you or MM or anyone else. But it is what I believe.

You know I hold a host of other beliefs shown elsewhere which surely you know are not held by many other people on either "side" of the sexuality debate, Christian or otherwise. I'm not trying to be an anomaly for its own sake. Honest and true. But it really seems to me that not only in this matter but in a host of others, I don't easily fit into the standard, acceptable categories most people hold in this time and place. And I am stuck with that as well. Some things have changed -- not only regarding masturbation (which still remains more in the "I technically accept this as correct" sense rather than emotionally comfortable sense; working on all that but thus far my position remains the same as of November 2002) but also the ordination of women to the priesthood (which changed to acceptance of its validity in December), both due to discussions on the Ship. Neither was easy and both took painstaking care to work out, but my positions on both did change, albeit with glacial slowness, and because I thought the new positions were correct.

I am sorry for the length of this post, but I hope I have clarified my position better.

Love to all

David
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
David ; I understand your position, but I think you are kidding yourself.

Its all too convenient.
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
I read your post Chastmastr. It's long and sincere. I don't doubt for a minute that you believe that your position is true, and that as you've said, you hold the beliefs you hold independent of the beliefs and opinions of anyone else.

But there is a single glaring false premise in the translation of your theology into practice. And around that you've built an edifice with the beauty and complexity of the Agia Sophia.

quote:
Chastmastr:
Re fisting specifically: In my view, if a doctor can do it without its being [that thing, often called "sex," which I believe is only for the marriage context] then so can someone else without its being [that]. If a doctor can reach in wearing a glove for a prostate exam, or using a device, and that is not [that], then -- in my view -- so can another.

The above seems to imply that anal stimulation by fingers or toys is also acceptable from your point of view. Is that correct?

Previously, you used the body function analogy to determine whether something was or was not sexual in nature. Now you're using the medical analogy. Am I missing any other explanations?

You know, I approve of working things out from First Principles. But there are some things which don't require Isaac Newton-style thought experiments for their determination.

Please confirm if the above is your basis for determining whether anal contact is sexual or not and we can continue.
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
I've been reading this thread for a bit and have to say that I think Mike and Ic, etc. are right. Bondage and fisting are sex. Leaving out intercourse does not make these acts any the less sex. Sex isn't just penetration. However, David your choice not to engage in penetrative sex, is cool but the idea that sexual intercourse is forbidden except between married couples doesn't sqaure with me. David, I wonder, do you link intercourse soley ti procreation? And is that why you think that while it's okay to fist intercourse is wrong/forbidden/perverted between guys or unmarried heterosexual couples?

As a liberal protestant my view is that sex (and sexual intercourse) between commited couples (gay or otherwise) is no big deal, apart form the fact that in this context it's an expression of love and therefore totally healthy and normal. (I use the word 'normal' in the sense of a safe commited relationship for exploring and fulfilling each other's needs and desires.)

David I think people come down on you because you justify your own sexuality whilst describing what many people engage in e.g intercourse between homosexual and unmarried hetro couples as wrong (e.g forbidden).

I do indeed support the institution of marriage but I lived with my partner for just over 11 years - since was 16 in fact - before we tied the knot. We're still together after 28 years and I don't think the sex we had before we were married was somehow less sancfified than the sex, penetrative or otherwise, that we've had since.

So the bible says...but we aren't all evangelicals. The notion of the bible as rule book is too restrictive...rather I see it as a guide.

J
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Aplogies for typos; guess when I get passionate about a theme my typing skills fly out of the window [Embarrassed] . My commitment to some sort of sanity on Christian sexuality does not.

[Votive]

J
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
The "final cause" arguement which states, in part, that homosexual intercourse is morally wrong since it cannot result in procreation is deeply flawed.

If an act which cannot result in procreation is sinful, then celibacy must therefore logically be sinful. Consenting, adult, hetrosexual intercourse would also be sinful if one or both of the partners was infertile. The arguement is arrant nonsense and is often a mere rationalisation for hetrosexist bigotry.
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Also, I admit to being somewhat surprised that Chastmastr regards mutual masturbation between two lovers of the same gender as more permissible (although still sinful) then mutual masturbation between hetrosexual lovers.

Sure, the extent to which mutual masturbation is sinful may well vary according to circumstance (in my view, by far the most significant variable is in whether one or both or the mutual masturbators is committing an unfaithful act vis a vis another partner) but why it should matter whether the two sets of plumbing are the same or different is, I'm afraid, beyond me.

Out of interest, Chastmastr, what is your position of mutual masturbation within het marriage? I have to be honest and say that I don't find your position all that intelligable (sp?) but that I am certain that ou do, and that you think it is true. I admire your honesty in discussing something as personal as your own sexual experiences, preferences and beliefs (I'm not sure I would be prepared to discuss mine quite so openly, in quite as much detail)but your position on mutual masturbation leaves me feeling very [Confused] [Confused]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
David ; I understand your position, but I think you are kidding yourself.

Its all too convenient.

I'm very sorry we disagree; there's no need to impugn my motives, though, is there?

quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
But there is a single glaring false premise in the translation of your theology into practice.

You mean, you believe there is a false premise, right?

quote:
Please confirm if the above is your basis for determining whether anal contact is sexual or not and we can continue.

May I point you, again, to what I said above re the term 'sex'? Which applies to the term "sexual"? Specifically, I said:

quote:
Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like "certain sexual practices." As I say, I've met people who even define hugging and kissing as "sex." And others who don't define oral sex as "sex." Which is why I went through that whole tedious thing with references to {it} before. I would define "sex" that way but since this really does lead to lots of confusion (I'm not even thinking of the Ship but of people I meet in the gay community) I'm trying to be more specific.

It seems very much to me as if people are arguing with terminology I've abandoned, and stated several times on this thread that I've abandoned. If I have been unclear here it is, condensed:

quote:
Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like "certain sexual practices." ... I'm trying to be more specific.

I know we disagree about whether it is permitted or forbidden. I don't honestly expect this to change. Definitions of "what is sex" really do seem to vary wildly among people of my acquaintance, which is why, more than debates on the Ship or elsewhere, I started making my position more specific. I would meet someone and tell him "I don't do sex" and they would assume practically anything as to what that actually meant, from my being okay with oral sex (I'm not) to not being okay with hugging and kissing (yes please!).

"And we can continue." Continue what, exactly? No offence meant, but I think I've stated my beliefs pretty thoroughly, and why I hold them, for not only several pages on this thread, but for two threads wholly devoted to the subject on the T and T boards.

What, exactly, do you want to continue in this line of discussion? [Confused] How many times do I need to state my views? I disagree with you and with MM on many things but I don't hammer you about them, and -- again, no offence meant -- I'm beginning to feel hammered at.

Dorothea said:
quote:
I've been reading this thread for a bit and have to say that I think Mike and Ic, etc. are right. Bondage and fisting are sex.
And since many people view it that way, I replied and reply:

quote:
Which is why I'm trying to use phrases like "certain sexual practices." ... I'm trying to be more specific.

quote:
David, I wonder, do you link intercourse soley ti procreation?
I've wrestled with that one for some time, but after the long discussion on masturbation on its own thread (gone now, alas) I reached the conclusion that it didn't have to be. I suppose it's a corollary of the other.

quote:
David I think people come down on you because you justify your own sexuality whilst describing what many people engage in e.g intercourse between homosexual and unmarried hetro couples as wrong (e.g forbidden).

Actually it's more the other way round -- I worked at determining what I consider to be OK and then try to remain within those parameters. As I've said, I don't care much for the thing most often brought up in this discussion -- fisting -- at all. But I have mentioned it as "something I think permitted." I haven't gone into tons of detail about what I do -- in terms of physical acts -- largely because I don't want to make the discussions salacious -- so I've tried to keep that theoretical. (I have gone into much detail regarding the personal, emotional, spiritual stuff in my own life, yes, but I think saying "Oh, I like to do this and this and this in particular, ooo, this is quite nice, but I don't care much for that" would move things into a somewhat different realm and practically make it into a personal ad or something. There's a big difference between saying "I think Christians are permitted to play sports games with marsupials -- and here is a list of the games and the species to which I believe this applies" and saying "I quite enjoy playing tennis with wombats."

quote:
My commitment to some sort of sanity on Christian sexuality
I think I have a commitment to that as well.

quote:
Originally posted by Ben26:
Also, I admit to being somewhat surprised that Chastmastr regards mutual masturbation between two lovers of the same gender as more permissible (although still sinful) then mutual masturbation between hetrosexual lovers.

Actually if my conclusions are correct, then (barring one's attitude, which can be inappropriate in same-sex, opposite-sex, or solo) it needn't be sinful at all. My apologies if I did not make that clear.

The question of propriety -- for example, should there be nudity in a non-married mixed-gender context? -- might in fact suggest that -- if same-gender nudity (say, when swimming) is okay but (unmarried) mixed-gender is not -- mutual masturbation might actually be more acceptable between people of the same sex than unmarried people of opposite sexes. [Eek!] Which was also on the masturbation thread ages ago. (My profound apologies for, as I recall, writing all that as a long doggerel-rhyme poem, by the way. [Embarrassed] It may have not exactly made my position clearer... [Frown] )

quote:
Out of interest, Chastmastr, what is your position of mutual masturbation within het marriage?
As I understand it, it would indeed be permissible.

quote:
I admire your honesty in discussing something as personal as your own sexual experiences, preferences and beliefs
Bless you. [Love]

David
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
I need to be certain I have correctly quantified the latest refinements in your applied theology of sexual contact. Refresh my memory, Chastmastr. (Please indicate 'True' or 'False').

Except in female-male marriage:

So, anal sex between 2 men is not permissible, but if one man uses a strap-on dildo to penetrate the other, this is permissible? Inquiring, chaste, celibate, sexually desperate minds need to know.

quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
But there is a single glaring false premise in the translation of your theology into practice.

You mean, you believe there is a false premise, right?
No. This is where your 'that is how you view it, I view it differently', 'that is true for you, not true for me' rationalisations don't stand up. As I've said before, there are some things that are objective realities. You can insist all you like that anal contact is not sexual - but your position is not supported by measurable physical and physiological phenoma.

What do you think is most likely? The sky is red and the rest of humanity has got it wrong, or the sky is blue and you are deluding yourself?

You are being hammered. You are being hammered precisely because you have hammered your insistence that you are chaste and celibate onto everyone else for 18 months. You've repeatedly made public declarations about it in the serious debate forum. Why is that? Is it purely for the purpose of sharing? Is it because you think there is something edifying or worth promoting to a wider sphere? Are you holding yourself up as someone who is able to meet scriptural and traditional sexual mores? If the former, share it somewhere where your integrity (of which I don't have any doubts) is affirmed but where the substandard intellectual derivation of your position is not scrutinised.

Ring my bell and I will answer.
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
I orginally wrote:

quote:
David I think people come down on you because you justify your own sexuality whilst describing what many people engage in e.g intercourse between homosexual and unmarried hetro couples as wrong (e.g forbidden).
Your reply suggests this was not your intention, that you are merely defining your own position, rather then suggesting what is right for others.

Apologies if I misunderstood.

[Love] J
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
But there is a single glaring false premise in the translation of your theology into practice.

You mean, you believe there is a false premise, right?
No. This is where your 'that is how you view it, I view it differently', 'that is true for you, not true for me' rationalisations don't stand up. As I've said before, there are some things that are objective realities.
No offence intended here, but I have never said that I view the world in terms of "'that is true for you, not true for me'" notions. I am asking you to use "I believe" statements not because I don't believe in objective truth, but because these are the rules of civil and courteous discourse, as I understand them, particularly when one disagrees strongly. If I have not made that clear, my profound apologies, but that is what I have been trying to say, so I am going to make it clear here in this post.

quote:
You can insist all you like that anal contact is not sexual
No offence meant -- again -- but I have said repeatedly now that I don't claim that, and have posted repeatedly that, due to my experience of the varying definitions of "sex" and "sexual," I am stating that I avoid certain sexual practices. I don't know how I can make this clearer, and I don't know why people continue to say "but you're claiming X" when I am not claiming X at all.

quote:
Originally posted by Icarus Coot:
You are being hammered.

Then, whatever your motives, sorry, but I won't play. I think I've pretty clearly stated my beliefs, and I have tried, as best I can, to debate such things with courtesy and respect for my opponents. But if you refuse to extend to me the same courtesy in this context, then I really don't see why I should continue.

I appreciate your concern for me, and for my spiritual well-being, but I believe I am indeed being consistent, I have worked this through for some years now, I have posted what I believe and why numerous times (trying to remain in proper contexts, and without giving inappropriate amounts of information), and when I have stepped over the line as regards excessively salacious humour and the like, Hosts have very appropriately pointed this out to me, and I have accepted their judgements and changed my behaviour accordingly.

I do indeed believe that what I consider (at least technically -- attitude and circumstances play a significant part in the morality of any action) permitted and forbidden for Christians to do is universal; I do not consider myself to be free to disobey the "general rules" as I understand them. Some of the things I have mentioned I have little desire for myself, and/or little experience of, but I am trying to understand things comprehensively. It's not a matter of "Oh! Here's what I like -- I want to be able to do them, but what these other people like is another matter." It's more "what is permitted? A, B, and C? Well, I've never tried C, but I suppose I can explore it as long as I am careful."

So, dorothea, yes, I am indeed suggesting what I believe to be right for other Christians. (In just the same way, every theological statement I make about anything is what I believe to be objectively true about God, the Church, various doctrines, etc.) And people are free to disagree with me, which is appropriate for a debate forum. But the kind of pressure IC is putting on me on this thread is, I believe, inappropriate for a debate forum. I have posted much on these matters on the other threads -- the links are on a previous page but if necessary I can post them again -- and I think I have explained myself fairly well, if tediously and pedantically.

But -- I am sorry -- I will not be bullied or baited. I'll discuss things with people if they will be civil with me, but not otherwise.

No offence to you is meant, IC. I have liked our conversations in the past and I have learned things. The way this is being carried out, in this case, however, seems not right to me, and I have found it frustrating, and if I have been angry in my replies, I apologise.

Peace.

David
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
<HOST MODE - ACTIVATE>

I have watched recent discussion posts on this thread and have wondered:-

1. If this is Dead Horses or T 'n' T?

2. Whether or not the majority of shipmates are really interested in this level of detail?

3. Whether or not the current round of discussion between Chastmaster, Icarus Coot, Ben26, dorothea, Merseymike, Asdara and other interested parties is actually going to be resolvable?

I am suggesting therefore (suggestions from a Host are, of course, more than just a suggestion) that this phase of the discussion be terminated from about 20:00GMT Tuesday evening (i.e. 28 hours from now).

Any parties wishing to take this further could either use a private room in the cafe or communicate via PM's. In the (unlikely) event that a consenus is reached, perhaps one of you could publish a joint statement here!

<HOST MODE - DEACTIVATE>
 
Posted by Asdara (# 4533) on :
 
I agree with that. I think this long ago turned into "we want to break down Chast's person view of his sexuality to see if we can" a few pages back. The only reason I posted here at all was to lend some support to someone who was trying in all honesty to be as co-operative as possible with the group. I don't think it's anyone's business what Chast does and does not do in his own bedroom... I further think that it is none of anyone's business how Chast decides to refer to himself. (Honestly, is it that major a thing for him to think of himself as Chaste? Really? Is it keeping people up at night? It must be.)

I suppose to a point it was relevant. I suppose to a point it was a question of : do you mean your without any sexual experiance whatsoever, or are you mearly not engaging in traditional intercourse? But once that question was answered it was answered and you just wouldn't let it go.

Not to sound hellish, and I know I'm not exactly a "member in good standing" but this whole thread disgusts me. It makes me want to vomit. It makes me think that there is not one ounce of decency in the human race left to save.

Not because of the sexual matters discussed, not becuase of the "fisting" (which you insisted on bringing up time and time again and again when it was clearly requested by the main member of the discussion that you not) but because I watched good "Christian" people beat down one of their own morally, emotionally, and to the point that he was "calling uncle" and past that point as well.

I think you need to examine which is more important to Christianity: Sexual behavior or how you treat your fellow man. Do onto others, right? Please. You would never desire to be treated the way you have treated Chast here. You should be ashamed . I think you all owe him an apology. I'm not a moderator, so my suggestion is merely a suggestion.

Before I close I'd like to point out one more thing. You've done your religion an injustice here. I mean what I say and I don't care if you disagree. You've been terrible examples of your faith by attacking relentlessly the way you have been (and here I exclude those of you who apologized already, those of you who recanted when you realized what Chast meant by "this is my belief", and any others who showed judgement and remorse when it became apparent that this had become an attack thread). I am not christian now, but I was once. I would hate to think that some misguided person came to this board, read this thread and said screw it, this religion is not for me I'll just go on being athiest because these people will attack me if I am outside their theories. Mainly I would hate it because faith, no matter what demoniation, is always preferable to believing in nothing at all.

With that I will close. I weep for you and your lack of humanity if you find none of this to strike any cord within you.

[I'm sorry Chast, I had to say it]
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
And with that post, Asdara joins the ranks of those to whom David* refers in his signature. As always, extremely useful information.

*Admin/Hellhost David, member #3
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Um, Asdara, I haven't (in all honesty) attempted to abuse or insult Chastmastr and have spoken to him in the cafe about this too.

If you mean all of us, say all. If you mean some of us, say some. Thx.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Asdara:
I agree with that. I think this long ago turned into "we want to break down Chast's person view of his sexuality to see if we can" a few pages back...

You are being disingenuous; not one person here is going out of their way to break down Chastmastr's view of sexuality.

quote:
With that I will close. I weep for you and your lack of humanity if you find none of this to strike any cord within you.
Don't be such a drama queen. People have been engaging in a robust debate. That happens here. Not once has anyone - and that includes Chastmastr and Icarus Coot - stepped outside the bounds of acceptable debate.
 
Posted by Presleyterian (# 1915) on :
 
Still searching for the "relentless attack" of which Asdara complains.

If ChastMastr wishes to express his opinion on sexual matters or garden gnomes or any other topic, he's free to. But he should expect -- as should we all -- careful scrutiny from other posters who spot what they believe to be inconsistencies or logical fallacies in his argument. He's then fully free to counter their objections, as he has articulately done many times before. That's simply how the game is played.

And as for the personal nature of the inquiry, people in glass houses shouldn't be surprised when neighbors start asking questions about what goes on inside.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
I've actually been finding the ongoing discussion genuinely interesting and informative. I don't think anyone's been TOO out of order.
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
[Post moved to Hell, apologies for Hellish sentiment in Dead Horses]

[ 01. July 2003, 00:57: Message edited by: Icarus Coot ]
 
Posted by Sean D (# 2271) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hatless in the "One sin most don't feel tempted to commit" thread:
The obvious counter to this is to ask why fundamentalists and evangelicals don't equally fervently oppose gossip, usury, purpresture (bet you have to look that one up!), denying justice and compassion to the poor, etc. These are all more clearly condemned in the Bible than is homosexuality.

And the obvious counter to that is to say that they do. To take one example, there are many evangelical organisations which campaign for justice and which work in developing and developed countries with the poor.

As far as I am aware, no churches wish to ordain people who say that helping the poor is wrong or who deliberately and actively oppose charity. The situation is just not comparable. If ever they do and the evangelicals do nothing then you might have a point - but only then.

(I should add that clearly I am not making a moral equation of any kind between consensual homosexual activity and opposing charity - merely exposing the fallacy in this argument.)

quote:
Homosexuality is actually a dodgy case, biblically, because though there are references to male homosexual behaviour, the idea of homosexual orientation, of homosexuals seems not to be there at all.
Leaving aside whether this is the case or not (personally I believe orientation is referred to in Romans 1, although not condemned as sinful but mentioned as a consequence of sin), nearly every evangelical group and church that I know of does not oppose homosexual orientation but homosexual practice. I have no problem with celibate gay people in ordained and episcopal ministry (see the Jeffrey John thread) but would have a problem with a still practising gay bishop.

I know that there are some evangelicals and fundies who oppose people with a gay orientation, but they are by no means a majority.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Asdara:
It makes me think that there is not one ounce of decency in the human race left to save.
...I watched good "Christian" people beat down one of their own morally, emotionally, and to the point that he was "calling uncle" and past that point as well.

If it's any comfort, I would expect the same to happen to this man as well, if he were to get on here.

It's not easy to be kind to people you disagree with.
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
What about this guy?

http://www.soulforce.org/whatthebiblesays.pdf

Which is a link I posted a couple pages back, but which deserves discussion. What do people think about this - specifically those who wouldn't be inclined at first glance to agree?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TonyK:
I am suggesting therefore (suggestions from a Host are, of course, more than just a suggestion) that this phase of the discussion be terminated from about 20:00GMT Tuesday evening (i.e. 28 hours from now).

Just under the wire...

David's Closing Statement (on this sub-topic, not on the thread as a whole)

I want to basically say that:

(1) I stand by what I have said, both with regard to my position and with regard to my concerns as to how this discussion has been carried out;

(2) I will continue as I have before on these boards as regards my beliefs, statements thereof, discussions and the like, as if this whole tangled mess had never happened, and while I am happy to discuss our differing beliefs or definitions, I will not be bullied, harassed, or cowed by any of this (and I do think that statements like "you are being hammered" and "kicking the shit outa ya," despite my repeated attempts at civil replies to what has been said, are attempts at precisely that, and -- just to nip this in the bud in case it is a danger -- I will not be harrassed in private either). If anything I have said on this or other threads has been malicious or hurtful, I APOLOGISE. But I will not apologise for my beliefs or even the definitions I use;

(3) Up until now, at least, despite our serious disagreements on this and other matters, I have had quite a lot of respect for IC and am sorry to -- apparently -- lose IC's friendship, which probably hurts more than anything else (I have not been all that close to MM thus far, though I don't want to close that door either);

(4) I think -- apart from Ben26's statement which I think is completely correct -- Asdara's comments are wholly correct, and I am grateful to her for them;

(5) I am sorry, but I don't believe that anything I can possibly say, short of "I agree with you," will be sufficient for either IC or MM on this matter, which is a shame, I believe, not because I expect them to agree with me, but because I believe in civil and courteous debate, especially when the parties disagree as strongly as we apparently do here.

(6) I’m glad that this has been informative for some people (Divine Outlaw-Dwarf said it was for him) but I honestly don’t think one millimetre of new ground has been covered that has not been in this or other threads.

(7) I do wish to refute one point: IC says that “I've seen a lot of people reinforcing Chastmastr over the last 18 months, mostly people trying to understand or empathise, but the queer Christian shipmates on board have tended to stay strangely quiet.” Well, actually, the people who have supported me privately (in this situation and previously) I will not name, but there are quite a few gay brethren who have. And I don’t think one determines the correctness of one’s beliefs by counting noses. [Smile] I’m not even really sure how many people have been reading this thread… it is in Dead Horses, after all! …

(8) I honestly have tried very hard to be as courteous and civil despite serious disagreement in this particular situation – and, I strongly emphasise again, despite pressure bordering on harassment. Just as – apparently – to IC and MM it looks like I am being willfully ignorant or mistaken (if I read you wrong, my apologies), to me it looks like my repeated statements about trying to be clear about, not “sex” (whatever people use the word to mean) but about “specific sexual activities,” were deliberately ignored -- it was as if I had not said it at all. Many times. I felt like I was beating my head against the wall day after day after day. “Maybe I’m not being clear enough; I’ll try again.” And, as Billy Pilgrim put it, so it goes.

(9) I sent this message to someone as a PM, and here it is for perusal; it sums things up pretty well from my point of view:

quote:
I hope very much that I have behaved well on this thread under what I consider to be pretty rough treatment bordering on harassment. (I've even told someone who PMed me, asking my permission to call one of the other participants to Hell for their behaviour on the thread, that I'd just rather the participant in question stopped pressuring me.) No, I don't think this is resolvable, which is why I have been trying to point people to my other statements on this and other threads rather than go on and on debating. I desperately don't want to argue with MM or IC in the Cafe, or in PMs or, frankly, at all at the moment if this is the way they're going to argue.

I'm perfectly happy to debate (in an appropriate venue) this or any number of other subjects as long as the participants will do so with courtesy and respect, but it doesn't seem forthcoming from MM or IC. [Frown]

I've been very happy that on the Ship I have become on good terms, if not in-person friends, with all sorts of people with all sorts of beliefs, and whenever I am tempted to think nasty things about "everyone who believes a certain way" I can almost always point to some nice ShipMate who, despite our disagreement, is a good or kind person -- so I mustn't label people with that kind of broad brush. I'm very glad of that, and am sorry I've become (on this thread, anyway) such a hot-button topic.
quote:

Originally posted by ChastMastr, on 17 June, nearly two weeks ago:
Well, first of all -- I have covered these subjects almost literally ad nauseam. I started another Leather Thread on T & T this year and I think most people's interest had been done -- or questions answered -- on the one from the previous year. I'm trying very hard, coy jokes and references to whips and kink aside (which the astute reader will note I have done less of in recent times), not to turn any given thread into The ChastMastr Show. I'm aware of being possibly the oddest person here, with the most wildly unusual combination of beliefs, and I am sure I come across sometimes (or to some) as a very strange but well-meaning heretic of possibly dubious sanity. And I also don't want to bore or disturb people needlessly. I don't "fit" into any modern paradigm very well -- not most contemporary Christian thought, not most contemporary gay-community notions, nor (since I have been flying my flag re: the paranormal) most contemporary Pagan/"New Age" thought for that matter. So I've been trying to not be overwhelming, or trollish, or salacious; to a degree it's been a relief when someone else posts a long Lewis quote (thanks, Josephine) and I can just put in a silly little rhyming couplet (sorry, Laura) about how I agree with them, and then read the next thread.

All I can say is, I tried. [Frown]

(10) As this is my closing statement – and I really don’t want to carry the bad blood from this conflict over into the rest of the boards – what I said about continuing to behave as I have before this started also applies to my approach to other people on this thread. I fully intend to be civil toward IC and MM, and would like to say that, even if we strongly disagree about whether either of us is right, or even whether either of us is correct regarding the definitions of “sex,” “chastity,” or “celibacy,” I believe civility and courtesy, and even friendship, is still possible in such a situation. If you think I am terribly wrong and even imperiling my soul by either unchastity or hypocrisy – then pray for me. But please, let’s not sour things here on the Ship. There’s no need to keep fighting over this; we know we disagree. And I can disagree with conservative Shipmate A, liberal Shipmate B, bi/gay/straight Shipmates C, D, and E, orthodox Christian Shipmate F, heretical (in my view) Christian Shipmate G, non-Christian Shipmates H, I, J, K, and many others; with their definitions of things, with their notions about the Bible, tradition, the Church, Jesus Himself, God, metaphysics, politics, music, and literature – all without putting them down, accusing them of having bad motives, or the like. I’d like to ask you – and I am going to even implore you – to do the same. You know we disagree, even about each other’s self-definitions, but this is not news. I would like to remain civil to both of you, on the Ship and (should we ever meet) in person, and even leave the door open to possible friendship in the future, without expecting to agree with each other.

I’m not going to change my beliefs based on anything I have seen or heard here thus far. And that’s going to include what I believe about how one behaves toward those with whom one disagrees.

David
moving on now

[ 01. July 2003, 14:33: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by Presleyterian (# 1915) on :
 
quote:
ChastMastr wrote:
I will not be bullied, harassed, or cowed by any of this (and I do think that statements like "you are being hammered" and "kicking the shit outa ya," despite my repeated attempts at civil replies to what has been said, are attempts at precisely that, and -- just to nip this in the bud in case it is a danger -- I will not be harassed in private either).

“Bullied, harassed, or cowed?” Oh, please. All Icarus Coot has asked of ChastMastr is that he defend his position. To my mind, a look at the context in which IC made those two statements makes that clear:

quote:
Unfortunately, the Purgatorial safety valve whereby weirdarse points of view are challenged, packed up and went home because you are a generous loving guy (I believe that too, but it's not gunna stop me from kicking the shit outa ya).
quote:
You are being hammered. You are being hammered precisely because you have hammered your insistence that you are chaste and celibate onto everyone else for 18 months. You've repeatedly made public declarations about it in the serious debate forum. Why is that? Is it purely for the purpose of sharing? Is it because you think there is something edifying or worth promoting to a wider sphere? Are you holding yourself up as someone who is able to meet scriptural and traditional sexual mores? If the former, share it somewhere where your integrity (of which I don't have any doubts) is affirmed but where the substandard intellectual derivation of your position is not scrutinised.
When any of us expresses an opinion on such an emotionally charged topic, we should expect – nay, welcome – that our position will be scrutinized, our premises will be challenged, and our logic will be tested. If for any reason that’s a threatening or painful process, we all have the option of being circumspect on particularly sensitive issues. While forcefully disagreeing with CM’s argument, IC went out of his way to express his opinion (an opinion I daresay is shared by just about anyone who's read any of CM's thoughtful and articulate posts) that he is a generous and loving man of integrity. If that’s being "bullied, harassed, or cowed," where do I sign up?

[ 01. July 2003, 15:12: Message edited by: Presleyterian ]
 
Posted by hatless (# 3365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sean D:
And the obvious counter to that is to say that they do.

That is, oppose other sins condemned in the Bible with equal fervour to their condemnation of homosexuality.

Well, yes, evangelicals are improving, particularly in the areas of social justice. I still think that there is a disproportionate amount of attention given to homosexuality as compared with gossip which the Bible seems to regard as a far more serious matter.
 
Posted by Jerry Boam (# 4551) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Wood:
What about this guy?

http://www.soulforce.org/whatthebiblesays.pdf

Which is a link I posted a couple pages back, but which deserves discussion. What do people think about this - specifically those who wouldn't be inclined at first glance to agree?

I'm not in the category your asking for responses from, I am inclined to agree at first glance, but I appreciate the link. You are certainly right that this deserves discussion. I have downloaded the PDF and hope to use some of the argument in it when discussing these issues.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
<Host Mode - Activate>

And that, my friends, is that .... further discussion on ChastMaster's personal views is closed (on this thread at least!).

The thread is, of course, still open for further discussion on the general topic of 'Homosexuality and Christianity'

<Host Mode - Deactivate>
 
Posted by G.R.I.T.S. (# 4169) on :
 
Quoted by hatless on "the one sin that most do not feel tempted to commit" thread in Purgatory:
quote:
The obvious counter to this is to ask why fundamentalists and evangelicals don't equally fervently oppose gossip, usury, purpresture (bet you have to look that one up!), denying justice and compassion to the poor, etc. These are all more clearly condemned in the Bible than is homosexuality.

Yes, all those things are taught against in the Bible. However, they are not among the sins listed that will keep one from inheriting the kingdom of God, as found in I Corinthians 6:9-10. And homosexuality is.

And, trust me -- our minister whips our butts regularly about gossip, divisive talking, idle chat, etc. We rarely ever hear a word about homosexuality.

(BTW, you should warn people if you're going to use terms probably found only in old legal dictionaries.)
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
So GRITS,

Please tell us, does your Pastor accept people who have divorced and remarried as being okay? You see, one could argue that Jesus said that anyone doing this is guilty of adultery, and that is one of the sins in the passage you quoted.

He also said that lusting after another person is adultery too.

Does your Pastor teach against re-marriage for divorcees? Or, does he fall into the majority COLLECTIVIST mindset prevalent in Christianity, which seems to teach, 'well, if the majority see divorce and re-marriage as acceptable nowadays, so can we.'

Christina
 
Posted by G.R.I.T.S. (# 4169) on :
 
Hello, Christina. We generally teach that divorce, except for unfaithfulness, is unacceptable, and remarriage after such a divorce is wrong. We don't throw them out, or spit on them, or make "examples" of them, if that's what you're implying. And, thankfully, we don't have to deal with it often. In our congregation of 400 we haven't had a member divorce in about 5 years. Lusting -- bad, too, just like it says in the Bible. But it happens. Teaching against sin -- any kind of sin -- does not make one sin-free, unfortunately.

I entered this thread to respond to hatless, as we were directed by the host in Purgatory. I will leave now, as I'm sure I have nothing new to add. Best to all.
 
Posted by Sean D (# 2271) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
That is, oppose other sins condemned in the Bible with equal fervour to their condemnation of homosexuality.

Yes. Certainly in my experience, anyway. On Sunday I heard my first ever sermon on the issue, and it came with apologies and disclaimers that they even had to talk about it then (I live in the Diocese of Oxford). Out of all the churches I have been to, evangelical/charismatic conferences, bless-ups and get-togethers I have been to I have never heard a sermon about it before. I have on the other hand heard plenty of sermons about pride, about injustice and poverty, about spirituality and about controlling our tongues.

Just because some evangelicals are obsessed with the issue does not, by any means, mean we all are, or that it is top of the list of sins we oppose. Some liberals are obsessed with the issue - but that is not the only thing liberalism stands for. I believe gay sex is a sin like any other, it is not worse than gossip or adultery - and often (even usually) it can be considerably less immoral than them, in my opinion. I do not doubt this.

But the argument you put forward, which has become so very routine for many, rests on a badly false premise. Just because gossip and adultery and pride are bad and Christians must try to live holy lives which avoid them doesn't mean that other things are not also bad and should be avoided. The good should not be the enemy of the best.

Secondly, evangelicals are up in arms on the issue because those who disagree with them are working for change on the issue. Nobody is trying to get the church to change its stance on charity, or gossip. If they ever did, I trust that the evos would oppose them every bit as much.
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
Re: GRITS post on Corinthians 6: 9-10. Could someone check the greek for me on that verse? My (lamentably unused) Hebrew Greek Study NIV lists the word as 'homosexual offenders' superscripted as '780' (Vines? Strongs?) But 780 is missing from the lexical aid section. [Roll Eyes] Typical. I'm guessing it's 'arsenokoitai' 'cos that's where it should be alphabetically.

Which is hardly cut and dried 'homosexuality'...

When I see the word from the modern greek perspective I see a noun made out of the word for male (αρσενικός) 'arsen-' and 'to look' (κοιτάζω) 'koit-', which I've always imagined to be something like 'cruisers' in the 'sexual predator checking you out' sense. [Wink]
 
Posted by Icarus Coot (# 220) on :
 
Actually, if someone is looking that up in an actual greek new testament, could you give me the article if it's in the list and correct ending. The 'ai' ending doesn't look right but I've got no grammar knowledge for classical/koinei Greek. (There is also the possibility that I'm ascribing it to the wrong root so to speak [Wink] )
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
Hi Coot,

My understanding of the word translated 'homosexual' is actually 'male prostitute'. Which, of course was very common in those days at cultic places.

Christina
 
Posted by Wood (# 7) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChristinaMarie:
Hi Coot,

My understanding of the word translated 'homosexual' is actually 'male prostitute'. Which, of course was very common in those days at cultic places.

Christina

It's actually even worse, more like "paedophile" or something like that, since the prostitutes in question were often 12-year old boys.
 
Posted by Isaac David (# 4671) on :
 
Dear Icarus Root

I haven't worked out yet how to write in Greek characters (so I'm using H to substitute for Eta and @ for Theta), but the 'ai' ending is correct - arsenokoitHs is masculine and comes from arsHn (male) and koitH (bed), hence the translation 'male bedders' employed by J.I.Packer.

Although the word doesn't appear anywhere else, the LXX of Lev 18:22 is meta arsenos ou koimH@HsH koitHn gunaikos (you shall not lie with a man as with a woman)- suggesting a possible derivation.

Isaac David
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sean D:


Secondly, evangelicals are up in arms on the issue because those who disagree with them are working for change on the issue. Nobody is trying to get the church to change its stance on charity, or gossip. If they ever did, I trust that the evos would oppose them every bit as much.

I've made by thoughts about the casual use of the phrase 'the Church' as regards teaching about homosexuality clear on another thread.

The point I'd like to make here Sean is that it is not just over gay sex that people disagree with evangelicals, or seek to change the CofEs practice. I, example, believe that the bread of the Eucharist truly becomes the Body of Christ. You no doubt disagree with me. I would take every available opportunity to change current liturgical practice to make this belief more explicit, and would use any influence I had on synods etc. to effect such change. However, people who disagree with me seem quite capable of debating the point rationally with me, respect my opinions (and practice, genuflecting etc.), and accept me as a fellow Christian. The thing that concerns me is the tone and intensity of the opposition to gay sex. How does this differ in kind from any other kind of issue?
 
Posted by Sean D (# 2271) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I've made by thoughts about the casual use of the phrase 'the Church' as regards teaching about homosexuality clear on another thread.

I apologise - using the phrase "the church" in that context was sloppy of me. What I probably should have said (wordier but more accurate) was "the official agreed-upon stance of those appointed to ordained or equivalent leadership positions within a particular church structure". Obviously lay people have a very large role to play in leading the church as well but at the end of the day the people who chiefly lead the Church of England are ordained, consecrated ones, apart from the Queen due to historical circumstances about which I suspect you know rather more than I do.

quote:
The point I'd like to make here Sean is that it is not just over gay sex that people disagree with evangelicals, or seek to change the CofEs practice. I, example, believe that the bread of the Eucharist truly becomes the Body of Christ. You no doubt disagree with me.
Whoa there! As a matter of fact I have very few views on the real presence or otherwise. Be a little careful with your assumptions/stereotypes!

quote:
I would take every available opportunity to change current liturgical practice to make this belief more explicit, and would use any influence I had on synods etc. to effect such change.
You would, of course, have every right to do so - and would expect as you acknolwedge that not all would agree with you.

quote:
However, people who disagree with me seem quite capable of debating the point rationally with me, respect my opinions (and practice, genuflecting etc.), and accept me as a fellow Christian. The thing that concerns me is the tone and intensity of the opposition to gay sex. How does this differ in kind from any other kind of issue?
Firstly, I am not defending all evangelicals. Certainly some are frothing at the mouth and horribly intense about this issue. However, my experience in this debate has been one of rational discussion and loving but firm disagreement. I am sure I would disagree with the tone of some of the debaters (on both sides of the debate - those who believe gay sex is morally acceptable have plenty of frothing and angry types too) - what I am protesting about is the stereotyped and ignorant assumption that all or even the majority of evangelicals are rabid and intense about the issue.

In hatless' post which I cited above, what I therefore objected to most was brandishing the terms evangelicals and fundamentalists about as if they were all the same.

Compare these two statements:
"evangelicals are awful in the way they oppose gay sex"
"some evangelicals oppose gay sex in an appalling way and they are awful"

The first is plain wrong. The second I agree with entirely.

I do not think that this is an issue which differs in kind from that of many other moral issues. Please see my previous post in which I pointed out that I have never heard a sermon on the issue before, and I come from a very strong evangelical/charismatic background. I repeat: evangelicals are not obsessed with it, but it is one of the things which those who disagree with them are trying to change and therefore they are arguing their case.

[added para]

[ 02. July 2003, 14:51: Message edited by: Sean D ]
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
Sean, fair point r.e. evangelical/ fundamentalist distinction. Looking at my post, I lapsed into the same confusion. For which - apologies.
 
Posted by Moo (# 107) on :
 
<tangent alert>

Isaac David, there is a thread in Kerygmania that tells you how to write Greek letters.

The word αρσενοκοιται does not occur elsewhere in the Bible, but it does occur in secular documents.

</tangent alert>

Moo
 
Posted by Isaac David (# 4671) on :
 
<tangent response>

Χαρις δε τω Βοω (Thanks be to Moo)

[Not worthy!]

</tangent response>

Isaac David
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Hello Isaac David - may I extend a hostly welcome to the Ship.

And such a learned post too - I'm impressed [Not worthy!]

I'm sure that you have read the Ship's 10 Commandments (see the blue panel on the left)and you will also see guidelines at the head of each board. Check the other Boards, get a feeling for the place and enjoy!

At this stage I normally offer the apprentice his virtual mop and bucket and point him in the direction of the decks that need swabbing (if we don't get them to do it, the decks stay dirty!) but in the presence of such learning I'm not sure............ yes I am - get up there and start work [Wink]
 
Posted by Isaac David (# 4671) on :
 
Thank you for the welcome TonyK, you are very kind, but I'm really just a dilettante with access to some useful resources. And I think a bit of (virtual) deck swabbing will keep me in my place!

Isaac David
 
Posted by hatless (# 3365) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sean D:
Just because some evangelicals are obsessed with the issue does not, by any means, mean we all are, or that it is top of the list of sins we oppose.

I'll happily agree that not all evangelicals are obsessed with the issue, but it does have an exaggerated profile. I am an accredited minister of the Baptist Union of Great Britain. As such I must obey a rule of conduct which says that homosexual genital conduct is incompatible with the pastoral office (don't do it in the vestry?!) and says that I may not advocate homosexual genital relations as an acceptable alternative to heterosexual marital relations.

There is no rule saying that I may not be racist or advocate compulsory repatriation. No rule to prohibit physical violence against my children or partner, no prohibition of drunkenness, gambling, usury, or gossiping. In fact we have no other rules of conduct at all. I can have a criminal conviction or get divorced and remain accredited, but if I do the genital thing with another bloke or even speak in defence of the same I am disqualified. That seems disproportionate to me.
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
Hatless,
I wonder if this rule hangs on as a
result of a deep seated fear or the fact that the 'Church' (in this specific instance the Anglican Church in my particular diocese) tends to be quite reactionary? (Having said that, the Rector of Bolton Parish Church - in the neighbouring diocese - has put forward some very positive comments on gay relationships in the local paper.)

To return to my point, my first real confronation with what I would describe as Anglican fear/prejudice occured several years ago, when I attended a meeting where a bloke reporting back from Synod to a local group and was unable to even mention the word 'homosexual'. He physically shuddered and gabbled something about 'dirty stuff' before moving on to another topic. The product of a liberal eduation and a relatively recent returnee to the Church, I was struck dumb with shock and pity especially as there were some nods and mumbles of agreement by some members of the gathering.

Speaking in general terms, people are scared by 'otherness' and as the bible does seem to condem homosexual attitudes one can only hope that enlightened attitudes within Church scholarship, and, perhaps more realistically, via secular institutions, will eventually become the norm within both the Church and society.

Slight tangent> I still, find it hard at times to admit to being a Christian, not because I am ashamed of Christ but because I imagine people will think I am reactionary, intolerant and homophobic (is this just my baggage???). The Ship of Fools as been a blessing in that sense; it is helping to give me the courage of my convictions within my Church and to 'come out' as a Christian with my non Christian friends.< end of tangent.


J
 
Posted by dorothea (# 4398) on :
 
forgive me my typos and spelling mistakes.

J [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
 
It is disproportionate, Hatless.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by dorothea:
Slight tangent> I still, find it hard at times to admit to being a Christian, not because I am ashamed of Christ but because I imagine people will think I am reactionary, intolerant and homophobic (is this just my baggage???). The Ship of Fools as been a blessing in that sense; it is helping to give me the courage of my convictions within my Church and to 'come out' as a Christian with my non Christian friends.

I think I said about 4 pages ago that it is a wonderful evangelism opportunity! I work in an office which is quite anti-Church, and with good reason, since our decisions are often challenged on specious grounds by homophobic Christians mainly because our executive members are a gay man and a lesbian woman. The atmosphere was so thickly anti-Christian that I didn't "come out" as a Christian until I'd been working there 4 years, although everyone knew I was a lesbian.

The staff have really had to reassess their attitude to Christianity, because on the whole, they like me. And I found it fascinating recently, when we had to deal with the suicide of a staff member's partner and the death of a much loved retired staff member, that people came to me to ask what they should say to the family.

I remember our previous Chief Executive, a lovely straight woman whose funeral service I took, talking to me about the need for an unofficial chaplain while she was dying. She wanted me to take it on, but I was too scared - now, I realise she was quite right.
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
To add to Arabella's excellent points,

It may help also to tell the story of Jesus and the Samaritan woman at the well.

1. She was a Samaritan.
2. She was a woman.
3. She was a repeat divocee
4. She was living with a man who wasn't her husband.

5. She was the only person who was told straight by Jesus, that He was the Messiah. Peter, on the other hand, had an affirmation of his correct answer to Jesus' question.

Who was Jesus tolerant toward?

Who was He intolerant toward?

1. The Pharisees
2. The money changers in the Temple
3. His disciples when they refused women to bring their children to Jesus.

Is there a pattern?

Christina
 
Posted by ChristinaMarie (# 1013) on :
 
I don't think I was clear enough.

Today, what is the greatest character flaw a person can have, that doesn't include criminal tendencies?

Intolerance?

What is a great 'virtue'?

Tolerance?

Okay, make a list of what Jesus was tolerant about, and what he was intolerant about.

Then, show the list to a non-Christian, who thinks highly of tolerance, and ask his/her opinion about Jesus' pattern of tolerance and intolerance.

My guess is, that the non-Christian would think highly of Jesus.

With the gay / lesbian question, one could point out the story of the Centurion's servant, and this curious affection he showed his servant in begging Jesus to heal him.

Christina
 
Posted by Zealous Convert (# 1996) on :
 
Hey all,

Bit of a left turn for this thread, but I think this may be the only appropriate place to ask this question.

Can anybody explain to me why Anglicans make such a big deal about homosexuality when we are not Bible literalists?

This may be a very stupid question, but honestly, I don't understand it at all.

Thanks!

Katie
 
Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Zealous Convert:

quote:
Can anybody explain to me why Anglicans make such a big deal about homosexuality when we are not Bible literalists?
The short answer is, of course, that some of us (particularly in the Third World) are. Where traditional values are being eroded by globalization and capitalism, retreat into religious fundamentalism provides the clear certainties which are otherwise being eroded. Furthermore, in areas where the church is in competition with militant Islam, it is perhaps difficult to sympathise with the "well, on the one hand...." approach beloved of Anglicans in the developed world. (It has never been made entirely clear to me why churches facing the horrendous difficulties that exist in the developing world are so concerned about the private life of clergy in the South East of England, but there you are).

I think homosexuality has become a focus for this kind of conservative and rather defensive form of Christianity. I think that it is a combination of the visceral distaste that some people have for homosexual practice allied to a defense of the authority of scripture. The people who get worked up about this issue, IME, also tend to believe that the Church is in danger of being swept away by a tide of relativism and scepticism. If Paul was wrong about this, what else was he wrong about....

Mary Midgely makes the interesting point that when womens suffrage was first advocated, opponents believed that the result would be the virtual breakdown of society. Of course, womens suffrage was passed and things went on much as before. The point is that gender roles are ontological, to alter the way women and men relate to one another seems, to many, to attempt to alter the structure of the cosmos. I suspect that sexuality, for many, works in a simillar way.

A fairly common story is of the parents of a homosexual child who thought that the bottom had dropped out of their world when he or she first came out, but a few years later is quite relaxed about it and happy to meet the latest partner. I suspect that part of what the Church is going through, at present, is the anguish of Dad who thinks that junior is not a 'proper' man. Of course, what holds the family together during these moments of crisis is the fact that, despite everything, Dad still loves junior. At the moment I really don't know about the Church.
 
Posted by anglicanrascal (# 3412) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by hatless:
There is no rule saying that I may not be racist or advocate compulsory repatriation. No rule to prohibit physical violence against my children or partner, no prohibition of drunkenness, gambling, usury, or gossiping.

Just out of interest, when did this rule come into force? Is it a national rule, or just one for your local church? Do you know what led that rule to come into force?

Imagine this situations: what if there was a vocal group within your church pressing for those with extreme racist views or those who supported domestic violence to be held up as examples and teachers of the Christian faith? What if there was a goup that said that life-long drunkenness, usury, gambling or gossip should be accepted as a Christian virtue? How do you think your church would respond? Maybe it would be quite natural for rules against promotion of such things to come into force?

quote:
In fact we have no other rules of conduct at all.
NONE?? [Eek!] Ermmm, shouldn't you be above reproach, self controlled and temperate, honourable, hospitable, seeking good, not addicted to wine, not greedy, able to exhort sound doctrine, able to refute false teaching...?

Pax out,
anglicanrascal
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Imagine this situations: what if there was a vocal group within your church pressing for those with extreme racist views or those who supported domestic violence to be held up as examples and teachers of the Christian faith? What if there was a goup that said that life-long drunkenness, usury, gambling or gossip should be accepted as a Christian virtue? How do you think your church would respond? Maybe it would be quite natural for rules against promotion of such things to come into force?
And what's the common denominator of all these things you mention, Anglican Rascal?

Clue: they all harm and hurt people

Can you explain, in your view, how a loving committed relationship between two gay adults would be comparable by causing the kind of damage that alcoholism, back biting, financial exploitation and compulsive gambling do?

L.
 
Posted by anglicanrascal (# 3412) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Louise:
Can you explain, in your view, how a loving committed relationship between two gay adults would be comparable by causing the kind of damage that alcoholism, back biting, financial exploitation and compulsive gambling do?

Hi Louise,

no, I can't really explain the details of the harm that homosexual relationships provide. But I trust that the Creator of the universe, of humans, and of human relationships, does. And I know that he is an infinitely loving God who wants the best for those who he has created.

If homosexual relationships were a gift from him for the betterment of humanity, I fully trust that that would be preached from the pages of Sacred Scripture. As I don't find approval of homosexual activity or relationships in God's word, but rather that they are warned against, punished and condemned, I trust that God spoke as he did for our benefit. I might not know all the details of why God speaks as he does, but I know that he is trustworthy.

Yours respectfully,
anglicanrascal

[ 07. July 2003, 12:06: Message edited by: anglicanrascal ]
 
Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Anglicanrascal:

quote:
If homosexual relationships were a gift from him for the betterment of humanity, I fully trust that that would be preached from the pages of Sacred Scripture. As I don't find approval of homosexual activity or relationships in God's word, but rather that they are warned against, punished and condemned, I trust that God spoke as he did for our benefit. I might not know all the details of why God speaks as he does, but I know that he is trustworthy.
Oh, that's another reason for the level of vehemence, ZC. The condemnation of homosexuality can be found in scripture but empirical data suggesting stable, faithful and monogamous relationships between homosexual couples tends to be lacking. I think the screaming is supposed to conceal the weakness of the arguments.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Janine:
It is disproportionate, Hatless.

I think those folks sound rather mean
And I agree here with Janine.

 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
In the Purgatory thread on Jeffrey John, Adrian posted the following:

quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
For what it's worth I'm not into "queer bashing" but the thought of what homosexuals do still turns my stomach.

I Do. Not. Get. This.

I simply do not understand why people focus on what gay men (and it's almost always MEN) do in bed. Especially since many heterosexuals enjoy the same types of sex (oral sex, anal sex, etc.) that homosexuals do.

Why do you think about it? What about it makes your stomach turn?

What's it to you, anyway?

And what does it mean that you are "not into queer bashing BUT..." I find the use of that conjunction quite disturbing for some reason.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
I've kept quiet up until now, but I have to answer this.

quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
In the Purgatory thread on Jeffrey John, Adrian posted the following:

quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
For what it's worth I'm not into "queer bashing" but the thought of what homosexuals do still turns my stomach.

I Do. Not. Get. This.

I simply do not understand why people focus on what gay men (and it's almost always MEN) do in bed. Especially since many heterosexuals enjoy the same types of sex (oral sex, anal sex, etc.) that homosexuals do.

Yes, but they're generally not the ones who say things such as the quote. There are plenty of hetero folk who find anal disgusting between any two people. There are also a lot of men who find the concept of performing oral on another man abhorrent.

Whether we find the act abhorrent doesn't have to affect how we feel about someone who does it. "Love the sinner, hate the sin" isn't just a nice phrase to bandy around, it's a genuine way to behave as well for many people.

quote:
Why do you think about it? What about it makes your stomach turn?
Sadly, it's almost impossible to discuss homosexuality these days without without making it a de facto discussion about sex. That's just the way society is at the moment - it's the same for most discussions about hetero relationships.

And yes, it makes many people's stomachs turn, but not for any reasons I can put words to. Imagine things that make your stomach turn, then try to explain exactly why. It's a very hard thing to do.

quote:
What's it to you, anyway?
Assuming you mean this in a general sense, and not specifically to Adrian, nothing. But this is a public discussion board where everyone has the right to their opinion as long as they don't break the 10Cs. I don't believe Adrian did that.

quote:
And what does it mean that you are "not into queer bashing BUT..." I find the use of that conjunction quite disturbing for some reason.
In a lot of cases I'd agree with you. This style of opening does tend to preface postings which do exactly what they've just said they don't (if you follow..). I don't think this is one of those cases though.
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
Sadly, it's almost impossible to discuss homosexuality these days without without making it a de facto discussion about sex. That's just the way society is at the moment - it's the same for most discussions about hetero relationships.

I have a major problem with this argument. In my view, this is about heterosexual people making sex the focus of discussion.

I don't think the heterosexual people (and I am one, if it matters) never seem to realize how much they flaunt their own sexuality. They cannot see how the simplest things---a wedding ring on their finger, a picture of their children on their desk at work---announce that they are (most likely) having sex with (most likely) a person of the opposite sex.

They cannot "see" this because they have normalized heterosexual sex so that they do not have to think about sex every time they think about marriage or children. (After all, we wouldn't want to have to imagine good old Mum and Dad, or the next-door neighbors, going at it, now would we?! [Wink] )

I see the same issue when (American) white people discuss "race." For most of them, when you mention the word "race," they immediately picture someone with brown skin. They don't see themselves as racialized because they are the majority and whiteness is the norm. Same thing with heterosexuals---they think all the discussions about sex are being done by gays and lesbians because they cannot see themselves as defined by their heterosexuality in the same way they wish to define homosexuals by theirs.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
And yes, it makes many people's stomachs turn, but not for any reasons I can put words to. Imagine things that make your stomach turn, then try to explain exactly why. It's a very hard thing to do.

The only thing that turns my stomach is violence, and I think that's pretty easy to explain. So I still don't get it.

And if you cannot put into words what about certain sexual practices disgusts you, then I would suggest you are having an illogical reaction to something and need to examine it further before you just give it over to "It's a very hard thing to do."

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
What's it to you, anyway?
Assuming you mean this in a general sense, and not specifically to Adrian, nothing. But this is a public discussion board where everyone has the right to their opinion as long as they don't break the 10Cs. I don't believe Adrian did that.
I don't think he did either. I'm just trying to understand.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
quote:
And what does it mean that you are "not into queer bashing BUT..." I find the use of that conjunction quite disturbing for some reason.
In a lot of cases I'd agree with you. This style of opening does tend to preface postings which do exactly what they've just said they don't (if you follow..). I don't think this is one of those cases though.
As I noted, I found the quote disturbing. Like you, I want to give Adrian the benefit of the doubt. I've PM'd him, and hope he comes here to discuss.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
Same thing with heterosexuals---they think all the discussions about sex are being done by gays and lesbians because they cannot see themselves as defined by their heterosexuality in the same way they wish to define homosexuals by theirs.

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
Same thing with heterosexuals---they think all the discussions about sex are being done by gays and lesbians because they cannot see themselves as defined by their heterosexuality in the same way they wish to define homosexuals by theirs.

I think I disagree with almost every word of this segment of what is otherwise a good post.

Nobody thinks all the discussions about sex are coming from the GLB brigade. How many TV programmes, magazines, newspaper articles are there about straight sex every day? If straight people have a tendency to define GLBs by what they do with their genitals it's because there exists a loud section of the gay community who do just that.

In their worthwile struggle for recognition and equal rights (especially over the age of consent), gay people have unfortunately been forced to define themselves in exactly the way you describe above. There was no other way to do it without staying in the shadows.

I think what I'm trying to say is most straights aren't defined by what they do in bed because to us it's not the defining part of our lives. To many gay people it is, so should they be surprised if other people define them that way as well?

quote:
The only thing that turns my stomach is violence, and I think that's pretty easy to explain. So I still don't get it.

And if you cannot put into words what about certain sexual practices disgusts you, then I would suggest you are having an illogical reaction to something and need to examine it further before you just give it over to "It's a very hard thing to do."

But what about violence disgusts you? Or is it just an illogical reaction to it? Why must Adrian further define what he means when you're content to stick to overall concepts, like violence? Sorry to be so pedantic, but I really must get my point across here. "There's just something about it that turns my stomach" is to me an adequate explaination.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
Now that was an ironic cross-post! We quoted exactly the same part, word for word, with completely opposite reactions [Paranoid] . How odd.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
In their worthwile struggle for recognition and equal rights (especially over the age of consent), gay people have unfortunately been forced to define themselves in exactly the way you describe above. There was no other way to do it without staying in the shadows.

By whom?

And for the record, I dearly wish that I had nothing better to do than sit around and fantasize about what other people do behind closed doors. Talk about having WAY too much time on your hands!
 
Posted by The Former Mr PInk (# 2979) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
In their worthwile struggle for recognition and equal rights (especially over the age of consent), gay people have unfortunately been forced to define themselves in exactly the way you describe above. There was no other way to do it without staying in the shadows.

By whom?

And for the record, I dearly wish that I had nothing better to do than sit around and fantasize about what other people do behind closed doors. Talk about having WAY too much time on your hands!


 
Posted by The Former Mr PInk (# 2979) on :
 
opps. Erin i've always thouught what goes on between consenting adults behind closed doors shoud stay there. Ok I love sex but why should anyone want to know what I do & with whom. Its my business and it should stay in the bed room or wherever & between the people concrned. We waste too much time busing ourselves about what isn't our business. I think this hy I've never been into porn though my imagination might have something to say about that.
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
In their worthwile struggle for recognition and equal rights (especially over the age of consent), gay people have unfortunately been forced to define themselves in exactly the way you describe above. There was no other way to do it without staying in the shadows.

By whom?

And for the record, I dearly wish that I had nothing better to do than sit around and fantasize about what other people do behind closed doors. Talk about having WAY too much time on your hands!

In order to succesfully campaign for equality of ages of consent (in the UK at least - I don't know if they were already equal in the US or elsewhere), the gay community naturally had to create a wider awareness of the issue. When ages of consent are being discussed it's inevitable and unavoidable that people will think about sex, and especially in this case gay sex.

That was all I meant.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Um, I should clarify -- I don't think all straight people do that at all. But yes, some do, I believe.

quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
How many TV programmes, magazines, newspaper articles are there about straight sex every day?

Well -- a good way of asking about this is to take a given programme, magazine, newspaper article, or advertisement and ask yourself how it might read with a same-gender pairing. There is a constant stream of material assuming a mixed-gender world. It's not unlike all the material from years past depicting women as housewives, or all families as white. When Cosmopolitan and New Woman and Maxim and FHM all pretty much run sex articles assuming a straight readership, with adverts on the front page of what's inside... when most jokes about sex on movie or television comedies, except on "gay programs" or in a specific gay context, are about straight sex... well, as far as I can tell there are quite a lot of them.

I recommend (and may have before on this thread, not sure) The Commercial Closet for some good analysis of the varying ways gay people are shown in advertisements, at least. How we're depicted in other contexts, I am sure there is a good site out there...
 
Posted by Presleyterian (# 1915) on :
 
A Modest Proposal: We’d all be better off if everyone went back into the closet.

I think paigeb is right that heterosexuals "flaunt their own sexuality" in ways they don’t even realize. And yes, I agree with Marvin the Martian that some gay people "have unfortunately been forced to define themselves" in a similar way. I for one – perhaps the only one, I realize – am sick to death of it on both counts.

That's why I’m not a fan of the many perks extended to people who have voluntarily chosen to enter into heterosexual marriage. Touching on some of the issues in Scot’s recent Theology of Marriage thread, to me it’s a covenant involving two people and God. And what goes on between two people and God is simply none of anyone else’s business. It’s especially not the business of the state.

Therefore, my fix wouldn’t be to extend partnership benefits to gay couples. I’d prefer to see an end to any benefits (e.g., pension rights, tax breaks, family leave) extended preferentially on the basis of who’s (ostensibly) doing who in the State-Approved Heterosexual Fashion™. An alternative would be to extend equal benefits without regard to the nature of the relationship (e.g., each employee can cover one additional person on his or her health insurance, regardless of whether it’s a parent, spouse, friend, or neighborhood homeless person).

On another point raised in Marvin’s post, to my knowledge, the age of consent issue seems to be much more controversial and divisive in the UK than in the US. I wonder why. Really.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Presleyterian:
An alternative would be to extend equal benefits without regard to the nature of the relationship

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Marvin the Martian:
I think what I'm trying to say is most straights aren't defined by what they do in bed because to us it's not the defining part of our lives. To many gay people it is, so should they be surprised if other people define them that way as well?

And this statement demonstrates exactly what I mean. You, as a heterosexual person, do not believe that what you do in your bedroom defines you as a person. Can you not see/acknowledge that it defines you in precisely the same way as it does for a homosexual person?

In a truly fair world, your choice of sex partners/practices wouldn't define you in any way, shape, or form---because all of us are so much more than what (or whom) we do in the bedroom.

The difference in the current world is that, as a heterosexual person, you are in the majority, and that group gets to CHOOSE what defines people. Heterosexual sex (of any stripe) doesn't "define" heterosexuals as people simply because heterosexuals say that it doesn't. They/We could have exactly the same standards for gay and lesbian people, but they/we don't, because we're too busy asserting our power over the minority and deluding ourselves into believeing that we are somehow "protecting" ourselves and our families from the Big Gay Menace.

quote:
But what about violence disgusts you? Or is it just an illogical reaction to it? Why must Adrian further define what he means when you're content to stick to overall concepts, like violence? Sorry to be so pedantic, but I really must get my point across here. "There's just something about it that turns my stomach" is to me an adequate explaination.
I get disgusted by seeing people harm other people or animals. My feelings of disgust are saved for those instances/situations where there is clearly harm to one or more parties. Under that definition---which, of course, you are free to disagree with--gay sex just doesn't cut it as a "disgusting" practice.

My point about gay sex--or any particular sexual act, for that matter--is why should anyone find it disgusting? Why not just say "It's not my cup of tea, thanks!"? Why must we paint someone who chooses a different practice than our own as somehow less than human (see the comments of the Archbishop of Nigeria for an example)?

To me, "There's just something about it that turns my stomach," is NOT an adequate explanation---it is the reaction of a child, not a rational, thinking adult. My 7-year-old son has that irrational reaction to pizza. When we have it for dinner, he builds a wall of cereal boxes around himself so that he doesn't have to look at it. There is nothing intrisincally disgusting about pizza---millions of people eat it every day and don't bat an eyelid. I think he's being silly---and I think people who cannot get past "what homosexuals do in the bedroom" are in the same group with my son. His excuse is that he's 7--what's theirs?

Presleyterian---I think your suggestions are splendid. Now if I could only find a political candidate with the gumption to espouse them. Want to run for office? [Big Grin]
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
paigeb. I am delighted to respond to your invitation to take up the debate here.

In terms of what's been said recently on this thread I would say that you can't simply define people in terms of what they do in the bedroom or, for that matter, what their natural preferences and inclinations are. It's simply not possible to split people's lives up into categories like that.

However, sex does tend to be a defining point though quite simply because we nowadays live in a sex obsessed society and, for good or ill it's what sells - well it sells tabloids anyway. Not unnaturally the focus tends to be on that aspect of relationships, be they straight or gay.

My own stated view as you know is one of pragmatic tolerance towards consenting adults doing whatever they please in private so long as they are discreet and don't insist on rubbing everyone else's noses in it. There is, however, a big difference between exercising that kind of tolerance and giving certain lifestyles unqualified approval.

Much the same can be said about the countless heterosexual couples who insist on co-habiting nowadays either as a preparation for eventual marriage or as an alternative to it. Whilst I accept the practice and don't raise too strong an objection to it, I would prefer that in every case they were married. Indeed the church should probably concentrate its efforts on supporting and encouraging marriage.

Just a few thoughts for you to mull over.

[Ultra confused] [Snigger] [Mad]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Paigeb and I are colluding! No, actually, my interest in disgust has a separate origin. I shall follow the debate here and I await with interest to paigeb's last question. However, since disgust is a wider phenomenon with religious connections (cleanliness taboos etc) I have put a new thread in purgatory on the subject.

Disgust at gay sex seems to pass over the fact that when hets do oral or anal sex fellow hets don't seem to blink, (nowadays anyway). So, perhaps we should just concentrate on the male-male / female-female thing and forget the plumbing.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I'd also say that I've observed reactions (including the expected humourous response on various ads -- see the Commercial Closet for examples) to the whole idea of two men touching, hugging, kissing, or expressing vulnerability -- not just where their willies are involved. It seems to me that this may be a factor -- not just a disgust response to what people do with their genitals, but a response involving what people expect "real men," in general, to be like. I remember watching The Birdcage and realising that someone watching it could wonder precisely what the characters did which would make their relationship morally objectionable...
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
My own stated view as you know is one of pragmatic tolerance towards consenting adults doing whatever they please in private so long as they are discreet and don't insist on rubbing everyone else's noses in it. There is, however, a big difference between exercising that kind of tolerance and giving certain lifestyles unqualified approval.

Adrian---thanks for responding!

At the risk of seeming to pick on you personally (which I hope you understand I'm not trying to do), what does it mean to be "discreet" and to refrain from "rubbing everyone else's nose in it"?

Would you apply the same standards to heterosexuals holding hands as they walk down the street? What about chaste kissing (i.e., a wife kisses her husband goodbye as he catches the train for work)? Would you agree that those folks are rubbing their heterosexuality in everyone else's face? How about wedding rings and family photos on people's desks at work?

I take your point about being tolerant versus offering approval---and you can guess where on that spectrum I fall. But if we are talking about open displays of sexuality shouldn't we have the same standards for everyone? Or is it okay to decide that gays and lesbians are "flaunting" just because they want to enjoy something that straight people have considered their sole prerogative?
 
Posted by Zealous Convert (# 1996) on :
 
Presleyterian -- excellent suggestions. It would be better for all if the state just got out of the approving or disapproving relationships business.

Adrian, I too would like to know what the definition of "rubbing everyone else's noses in it" is. In my experience, "flaunting it" or "rubbing people's noses in it" usually turns out to mean anything that is not being in the closet, i.e. holding hands, discussing what you and your girlfriend/boyfriend did over the weekend, that sort of thing. But perhaps you have a different definition.

As for the whole "stomach-turning" issue, I actually think that sexual practices that don't turn you on often turn your stomach -- I can certainly think of some that have that effect on me. But that doesn't mean that the people who do them are bad, it just means I don't want to do it.

Katie
 
Posted by Marvin the Martian (# 4360) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Presleyterian:
An alternative would be to extend equal benefits without regard to the nature of the relationship

Which, incidentally, is currently being done in the UK.

I agree with ZC's last paragraph above regarding the "stomach-turning" thing. Just because it disgusts me doesn't make it wrong, but just because it isn't wrong doesn't mean I'm not disgusted by it. It's just personal preference at the end of the day.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
paigeb and Zealous Convert. Thanks for responding. I think everyone's sexuality is their own business but, despite being a child of the (early) 1960's, I don't like to see it publicly paraded before the world. For people with a sense of propriety, ostentatious public displays of affection are quite simply distasteful. I don't particularly mind a heterosexual couple having a peck on the cheek in public - or on the doorstep. However, walking through town and holding hands as though they daren't let go of one another provokes one response in me - yuck. Without going into too much detailn it suffices to say that there are other 'public' expressions of affection I would rather not see!

I have to admit that I find the sight of two people of the same sex kissing or holding hands mildly sickening because for me it is not normal. It is a way of life which although alright for some, is certainly not the norm. For this reason I would prefer it if same sex couples kept the expression of their affection private.

Finally, there is a powerful gay lobby within the church, not least of all the Church of England. This I think is why we hear about homosexuality ad nauseum. I've just visited the Church Times forum (where I operate simply as Adrian) and an advert popped up there for the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) whilst I was scrawling down the page.

[Eek!] [Mad] [Roll Eyes] [Razz]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
There are people working for acceptance of gay people in the Church of England because there needs to be. Recent events display that clearly.

And I don't honestly think that your views on 'normality' should matter at all with regard to what the law says, Adrian. I don't hapopen to find hetereosexual sex appealing to me, but I don't get bound up with questions of 'taste' or 'normality'
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
I have to admit that I find the sight of two people of the same sex kissing or holding hands mildly sickening because for me it is not normal. It is a way of life which although alright for some, is certainly not the norm. For this reason I would prefer it if same sex couples kept the expression of their affection private.

Adrian, I really appreciate your honesty, but I have to confess that this attitude makes me sad. Basically, you are appropriating to yourself the right to decide what is "normal." Since there are homosexuals in EVERY population, I would say that makes homosexuality a "normal," if limited, condition.

I would suggest that revulsion at the sight of two people simply expressing a love for one another (in an appropriate way, of course) is nothing more than prejudice---and I think part of our Christian duty is not to allow ourselves to hold to our prejudices.

Jesus spoke powerfully to this in his story about the Good Samaritan, and in his interaction with the Samaritan woman at the well. St. Paul did likewise in dealing with prejudices in the early Christian community about what one could/could not eat.

I think its important to acknowledge our prejudices, but I think it is equally important to fight them. Growing up in the American South, I was taught that black people were lazy welfare cheats, that Jews were cheap and avaricious, that gays and lesbians were Satan's minions, and that Catholics were apostates who worshipped the Virgin Mary. It would have been very easy to hold to those views, because most of the people in my family and immediate environment held them.

By the grace of God, however, I was given a chance to examine those views. I found them to be both inaccurate and evil, and I have done my best to eradicate them from my life. Of course, there is always some new prejudice waiting to pop up (Republicans come to mind [Devil] ), but I keep praying about that and working to keep myself from falling into the trap.


quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
Finally, there is a powerful gay lobby within the church, not least of all the Church of England. This I think is why we hear about homosexuality ad nauseum. I've just visited the Church Times forum (where I operate simply as Adrian) and an advert popped up there for the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) whilst I was scrawling down the page.

Funny---I see a very powerfuly HETEROSEXUAL "lobby," who forces the issue of homosexuality on to the agenda at every possible opportunity. I wish they would stop doing that and focus on demonstrating the love of Christ in the world.

And I am grateful to live in a time and be part of a faith community that recognizes the existence and the special faith needs of gay and lesbian Christians. I honestly see this recognition as the working of the Holy Spirit.
 
Posted by Fibonacci's Number (# 2183) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
I have to admit that I find the sight of two people of the same sex kissing or holding hands mildly sickening because for me it is not normal. It is a way of life which although alright for some, is certainly not the norm. For this reason I would prefer it if same sex couples kept the expression of their affection private.[/QB]

Are you suggesting that everything which isn't "normal" should be kept out of sight of society in case it offends people?

My hair is dyed bright orange, which isn't "normal" either, but nobody so far has told me they find it sickening, or suggested I should wear a hat whenever I am out in public.
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Paigeb - [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
It would have been very easy to hold to those views, because most of the people in my family and immediate environment held them.

By the grace of God, however, I was given a chance to examine those views. I found them to be both inaccurate and evil, and I have done my best to eradicate them from my life. Of course, there is always some new prejudice waiting to pop up . . . but I keep praying about that and working to keep myself from falling into the trap.

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Degs (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
I would prefer it if same sex couples kept the expression of their affection private.

Yes, quite right. It might frighten the horses!


quote:
I've just visited the Church Times forum (where I operate simply as Adrian) and an advert popped up there for the Lesbian & Gay Christian Movement (LGCM) whilst I was scrawling down the page.

And if you put your hand in your pocket you can advertise there too. How about Victorian Values?
 
Posted by SeraphimSarov (# 4335) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:



For this reason I would prefer it if same sex couples kept the expression of their affection private.


[Eek!] [Mad] [Roll Eyes] [Razz]

This reminds of a great slogan on a T-Shirt I saw at San Francisco Gay Pride 2 weeks ago "I don't mind straight people as long as they act gay in public!!" [Wink]

People just have to learn that the world is not all heterosexual and maybe open their minds to others in their midst.
Gay people have just as much of a right to express affection in public as we see straights enjoying (and no, this does not mean having sex in public)

[ 09. July 2003, 16:25: Message edited by: SeraphimSarov ]
 
Posted by Astro (# 84) on :
 
Report on the BBC monday night

"Former ArchBishop of Canterbury George Carey admitted that he had ordained hetrosexuals to become Bishops. A church spokesman said that it is OK for hetrosexuals to become bishops provided that they pounce about and wear dresses"
 
Posted by SteveWal (# 307) on :
 
Gay people have just as much of a right to express affection in public as we see straights enjoying (and no, this does not mean having sex in public)

Although there are times when a well aimed "Get a room" might be deemed appropriate! I mean, think of the poor singles...
 
Posted by coffee jim (# 3510) on :
 
Adrian, assuming your concept of 'normal' involves the views of the majority, I suggest you check out popular culture to see how it is changing:
Leafing through the pages of FHM (ahem... [Embarrassed] ), what's a tad disturbing is the way that male and female homosexuality is presented. 'Situational bisexuality' among women is viewed as 'normal' and desirable (since a 'threesome' has now become an aspirational sex act); lesbianism is seen as titillating but threatening; and male homosexuality or bisexuality the subject of jokes, but generally not spoken of. Heterosexual anal sex also seems to have been normalized, although female-on-male penetration is still somewhat taboo.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
Oh dear, I am getting a slating for expressing my sincerely held views honestly! Was I really wise to accept paigeb's invitation to comment on this thread? I wonder.

In my perception of the world, and I'm sure it's not all that bizarre, men and women are meant for one another and to enjoy intimacy together, a not altogether incidental dividend being procreation and the perpetuation of the human race. Indeed biologically, that's how it happens.

Homosexuality on the other hand does happen but it's an experience (dare I say 'choice' without opening a can of worms) of a small proportion of the population. Looking at the hard facts it is hard to conclude though that it is what either nature or the creator intended. Whether between men or between women, homosexual expressions of intimacy cannot and do not result in procreation and the perpetuation of the human race.

With a greater mercy than many working class heterosexual men, I don't shout insults at homosexuals and I would not set out to harm them or their reputations simply on account of the fact that they are 'different.' That does not mean, however, that I feel able in good conscience to extend unqualified approval to their lifestyles and practices or regard them as normal. Homosexuality is NOT normal, because it is a way of life which simply isn't meant to be. Men and women are joined together both physically - and in marriage - for a definite purpose, not simply the pursuit of pleasure or the desire to express affection, legitimate though those goals are.

That said, I am prepared to extend a friendly tolerance towards good people of all sexual orientations and none. However, I prefer it when people exercise restraint and keep the most intimate expressions of affection private.

[Mad] [Mad] [Mad]
 
Posted by SeraphimSarov (# 4335) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
Oh dear, I am getting a slating for expressing my sincerely held views honestly! Was I really wise to accept paigeb's invitation to comment on this thread? I wonder.


Well, this seems to be a wish for the crown of martyrdom!


In my perception of the world, and I'm sure it's not all that bizarre, men and women are meant for one another and to enjoy intimacy together, a not altogether incidental dividend being procreation and the perpetuation of the human race. Indeed biologically, that's how it happens.


Yes, this does exist and exists for a majority. This does not invalidate the loving relationships of gay people in any way.


Homosexuality on the other hand does happen but it's an experience (dare I say 'choice' without opening a can of worms) of a small proportion of the population. Looking at the hard facts it is hard to conclude though that it is what either nature or the creator intended. Whether between men or between women, homosexual expressions of intimacy cannot and do not result in procreation and the perpetuation of the human race.


Again, as pointed out by many wiser in science then I, homosexuality does exist in nature and in the experiences of gay people, their feelings of affection exist from a very early age. Yes, it is a minority but such minorities DO exist in nature and in the different ways God has made us all.
Also, I would point out that sexual expression even in heterosexual relationaships do not only exist only for the purposes of procreation but as a sign and proof of love and unity between the couple.


With a greater mercy than many working class heterosexual men, I don't shout insults at homosexuals and I would not set out to harm them or their reputations simply on account of the fact that they are 'different.' That does not mean, however, that I feel able in good conscience to extend unqualified approval to their lifestyles and practices or regard them as normal.


You do not have too. But I would ask you to keep your mind open to the experiences of gay people and the Christian gay people on this forum and learn from their experiences of life. There are many eloquent voices here.


Homosexuality is NOT normal, because it is a way of life which simply isn't meant to be. Men and women are joined together both physically - and in marriage - for a definite purpose, not simply the pursuit of pleasure or the desire to express affection, legitimate though those goals are.


Your first sentence is a complete non sequitar. Sort of like "I Believe this because i believe this" or "Credo quia absurdum"

Please remember that there are gay people joined in equally loving relationships and that are based on mutual sacrifice not on pursuit of pleasure.



That said, I am prepared to extend a friendly tolerance towards good people of all sexual orientations and none. However, I prefer it when people exercise restraint and keep the most intimate expressions of affection private.

[Mad] [Mad] [Mad]

This is scant tolerance indeed. Gay people should not be afraid to express those simple marks of affection that straights take for granted in public. Restraint, yes i agree, but restraint across the board!!!!

[Edited to fix mis-placed response]

[ 10. July 2003, 07:48: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
That said, I am prepared to extend a friendly tolerance towards good people of all sexual orientations and none. However, I prefer it when people exercise restraint and keep the most intimate expressions of affection private.

The saddest thing is that you really do believe you're being tolerant.
 
Posted by Dyfrig (# 15) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
Homosexuality ... (is) an experience ... of a small proportion of the population.

Well, yes, I suppose, but then the choice to identify oneself as "British" makes one part of a very small group indeed, whilst being white comes a poor fourth or fifth to other colours on this planet. And there are more men women on this planet than men. So, being a white British male means belonging to a far smaller minority than being gay. And if you factor in being Christian, then I'd say that Adrian1 belongs to a group of barely 1/12,000ths of the world population.
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Adrian1 - a sincere question. Do you honestly believe/agree with the "final cause" arguement? I.E the arguement that sexual activity that cannot result in procreation is wrong? If so, why?

The final cause arguement has always seemed incredibly weak to me for several reasons. These are.

1) Sexual pleasure/excitement is blatently a legimate part of sexual expression.

2) Final cause positions tend to imply that even consenting hetrosexual sex within marriage is wrong if one or both partners is infertile. This seems slightly bizarre, and implies that couples should undergo verility tests before sexual intercourse which doesn't strike me as terribly realistic.

3) Some propenents of "final cause" come close to arguing that procreation is the normal result of sex - which is clearly horseshit and is pure sophistry in any case. Lots of things are not "normal" but are clearly not immoral such as train spotting for example.

4) the arguement is highly illiberal

5) the arguement states that only marriage or celibacy (including a refrain from masturbation) are permissable, yet celibacy cannot result in procreation. Therefore, a consistent Final Causer should condemn celibacy.

Please say whether you have adopted a final cause position and if so, how you overcome the problems with your position out-lined above.

Thanks you.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
Interesting responses.

Firstly, I would point out that nothing I have said so far is a denial of the love and affection which can exist between two people of the same sex. I'm quite sure that homosexual and lesbian relationships can be expressions of a great deal of love and affection. That doesn't make them any less of a minority occurence or a departure from what for most people is the accepted norm though.

Secondly, it is perfectly possible for affectionate relationships to exist between two people of the same sex without sex per se entering into the equation. It's not necessary for men to be agressive to one another in order to prove how "manly" they are or for women to be bitchy to one another for equivalent reasons. Close same sex friendships are perfectly possible without them being sexual.

Thirdly, I don't think my pragmatic tolerance is in any way scant and I rather resent the suggestion that it is. On the contrary it is a recognition of the fact that willingly acknowledge the existence of various expressions of sexuality I feel unable, in conscience, to endorse homosexual relationships in the same way that I would endorse appropriate heterosexual ones.

Fourthly, I probably take my cue too readily from Rome (and traditional Anglicanism) but I do believe that the primary function of intercourse is procreative. That's not to say that couples for whom procreation isn't a possibility shouldn't have it. On the contrary. I think we have to keep the primary of purpose of it before us though.

Finally, I am aware that there are many good Christian people on this forum, some of whom are gay or lesbian. Nothing I have said should be regarded as personal slight or rejection of them in any way and I wish to make this clear. Indeed I would like to affirm them as people even though I may not approve of all that they do in private.

I hope this answers some objections.

[Mad] [Roll Eyes] [Confused]
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
But your affirmation appears to stop prior to the point of actually acknowledging their gayness. They can be gay as long as you don't know about it, right? If you don't see them holding hands when walking down the street, or kiss each other good bye when parting, or have pictures of their partners on their desks, and all that.

Forcing people into the closet so that you won't be compelled to fantasize about their sex life (does someone hold a gun to your head or something?) isn't tolerance.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I have come across Adrian on another forum and to give him some slack, I don't actually think he is as homophobic as his language may indicate here
(he has often expressed far more sympathetic views).

But, Adrian, what I think you are doing is falling into the natural law trap of assuming that anyone gay is actually claiming that their normality is the majority, or that it is ever likely to be anything other than a majority. I am fully aware that procreation is required to populate the world ( although we are over populated, and I have often wondered what the population would be if all those who had gay orientation in the developing world were not participating, compulsorily, in heterosexual activity). Procreation has nothing to fear from gay sexuality, because only gay people will have sexual relationships with one another. Thus, for those people. procreation will not be part of the equation. That is also the case for almost a third of heterosexual couples too - whether through infertility or choice.


I am fully aware, and not at all threatened, by the majority staus, of heterosexuality. But being a minority occurrence does not make me unnatural ; natural law needs to get to grips with the reality of diversity (and to be fair, some good pro-gay catholic theology is starting to get to grips with this)

And of course relationships don't have to include sex. Lots of my friends are women, and I don't have sex with them. Nor my male friends. I only have sex with my partner. And thats why our relationship is more than a close friendship. It would still be so if at any time in the future, like many married couples, we stopped having sex. We wouldn't be 'just friends'.

I think, Adrian, to be honest, that you feel a bit queasy about what we do in bed. I do find that a bit odd, because whilst the thought of hetero sex makes me want to [Projectile] , it honestly isn't something I ever think about. It doesn't follow that I disapprove of it just because I don't happen to like the idea very much for myself.
 
Posted by Prowler (# 4713) on :
 
Adrian, if you want to know what your mindset (I am not berating you, I know you are trying to be fair, I just think you do not fully understand) does to homosexuals, just talk to a few about their experiences about coming out of the closet to their parents and close friends, and the fear they have of being rejected by those they care about. The fact that people are "disgusted" by you can play on your mind and terrify you when thinking about coming out of the closet.

Another thing, how would YOU feel if people told you that small romantic gestures in public made them sick.
 
Posted by Byzantia (# 3586) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:

Thirdly, I don't think my pragmatic tolerance is in any way scant and I rather resent the suggestion that it is. On the contrary it is a recognition of the fact that willingly acknowledge the existence of various expressions of sexuality I feel unable, in conscience, to endorse homosexual relationships in the same way that I would endorse appropriate heterosexual ones.

Fourthly, I probably take my cue too readily from Rome (and traditional Anglicanism) but I do believe that the primary function of intercourse is procreative. That's not to say that couples for whom procreation isn't a possibility shouldn't have it. On the contrary. I think we have to keep the primary of purpose of it before us though.


Dear Adrian1

Huh?

#3
quote:
willingly acknowledge the existence of various expressions of sexuality


#4
quote:
I do believe that the primary function of intercourse is procreative
<snip>
I think we have to keep the primary of purpose of it before us though.



I can see it now.

"Honey, make love to me."
"Well, OK. But remember, we're not procreating."

[Killing me]

[edited to tidy up as requested]

[ 11. July 2003, 08:31: Message edited by: TonyK ]
 
Posted by The Former Mr PInk (# 2979) on :
 
I'm with Mersey Mikeon Homosexuality is normal but not the norm.

Over the last 4 (or 5 if you count when I was outed & started to come to terms with my homosexuality)I've been surprised at how people have treated me. Ok they're were people who knew me at work and socially who didn't rise an eyebrow (or did because I'm just your average guy) who carried on going to the pub, liking the same things he did before & loved being a father to his two kids. I'm out but not balantlly so if people suss fine if they're none the wiser thats fine too. I've never really been interested in what people do behind closed doors & with whom. I sexual but it's my business. I have big problems with certain gay behavior (cottagging/cruising ect) but I've done it espically at the start of my journey but just as my journey as parent has changed my opions r/e how to bring up my darling offspring so has my attitude to so called gay culture.

Im no killjoy & if people want to act in certain way fine but please whatever happened to being yourself.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
I think part of the 'problem' in terms of my approach to homosexuality is that it's not part of my experience and therefore I don't understand in the same way as someone who is gay. It's just something that's alien to me and the experience of, I suspect, relatively few people. However, I do try to be tolerant and I don't ill treat people on account of their homosexuality which I hope counts for something in a society such tolerance can't be taken for granted.

[Wink] [Smile] [Razz]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Adrian1

Well said ... but probably not as few as you think. I know that it's stupid playing the numbers game but if 5% is a conservative estimate for those whose dominant (but not necessarily absolutely exclusive) sexual orientation is gay / lesbian .. that's 3 million people in Britain, 15,000 in my home town of Stockport.

I think all I can say is that tolerance (at least) and empathy leading to support and friendship is possible for all if the personal issues can be worked through. Sadly, increasingky, our culture is not known for its willingness to work things through. Just react! [Frown]

[ 11. July 2003, 18:05: Message edited by: Fr. Gregory ]
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
I take your point, Fr Gregory. However, we can all play the numbers game. If, as you've suggested, roughly 5% of the population is gay, that means that roughly 95% isn't. A thought worth bearing in mind? [Wink]
 
Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
 
If we're going to play numbers, perhaps it's also worth bearing in mind that Jesus was interested in each person, individually. So whether you're one of the 95%, or one of the 5%, your orientation, feelings, and emotions are valid, real, and important.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
As I said the numbers game is a mug's game. If there was only one gay person that person would be of infinite worth. I only raised the 5% issue to underscore the fact that we are talking about a substantial number of folks whose voices deserve to be heard and not stifled or repressed.
 
Posted by Lyra (# 267) on :
 
Yes, I thought that was what you meant. It was the comment about 95% I was having a problem with!
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
On those figures, there are more gays than regular churchgoers of ALL denominations!
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
[Obligatory exegetical tangent]

And don't forget, all the sheep are in the wilderness (Luke 15:3-7). [Razz]

[Obligatory exegetical tangent over]
 
Posted by Infinitarian (# 4513) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
I take your point, Fr Gregory. However, we can all play the numbers game. If, as you've suggested, roughly 5% of the population is gay, that means that roughly 95% isn't.

Doesn't mean they're all exclusively straight, by quite some distance.
 
Posted by Never Conforming (# 4054) on :
 
Going back a little way, people being really bothered by sexuality in churches.

A little bit of background first... I attended a conservative evangelical church until I went to uni, and there I went to a liberal church. There were (and still are) gay members of the church at uni. The knowledge that they were there was very helpful when I came out, but I am still at a relatively early stage of this (a year and a half). I was particularly helped by an excellent group of (mainly straight) student christians.

I am now at home again, and as mentioned on the JJ thread in Purgatory I went to my home church last week. It is times like that, that I think the topic needs to be discussed. It has never been discussed in the services at this church as far as I know. Last week the service was about trying to combat persecution, but when I mention JJ not taking the job there were cheers. This felt hypocritical to me. It also made it awkward for me. I now want to bring the topic up properly, but don't want to have to out myself in the process, as I don't believe it to be any of their business. I would like to be able to discuss the topic and HOPEFULLY make them think without a personal level. I can dream.

Sorry if this is somewhat garbled.

Jo.

P.S. I really don't like being referred to as US and THEM. These phrases don't seem particularly necessary, and further help to reinforce the idea that there are differences between US. [Mad] [Mad] [Mad]
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear Infinitarian

quote:
Doesn't mean they're all exclusively straight, by quite some distance.
That's probably why I said this! ....

quote:
... whose dominant (but not necessarily absolutely exclusive) sexual orientation ...
Dear Never Conforming

Making the right kind of challenge is never easy but I believe that it can be done (if this is preferred) in a non-personal way. Provided that you're ready for the kick back you could ask what the congregation would do if there was a gay person in their midst and how that might take into account how the person felt during the "cheer." Of course, if they are hard cases it's probably best not said at all. It's quite a cross to bear the insults of others as someone who becomes tainted with even the slightest hint of support for an unpopular cause, (asylum seekers comes to mind). Sometimes though people will say outrageous things because it never crosses their mind that:-

(1) any "right-thinking" person would disagree.
(2) there are no such "wrong-thinking" persons present.

I am not suggesting that you should try any of this ... I suppose I am just thinking aloud.

[ 12. July 2003, 14:26: Message edited by: Fr. Gregory ]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
On one level, no, Never Conforming, it is none of their business. On the other hand, do you really want to be in the position of having to sit on your hands should the conservatives get their way - which is, to expel you ( and me!) from the Church altogether.

You see, the problem is that they are never faced with the issue on a 'personal' level - it is all about theory , there are no real people involved who they actually know. Evangelical parishes have virtually no openly gay members who are affirming of their sexuality, and so its all too easy to talk about 'it' in theory. I think if the people there who knew you well realised, then they may actually start to think about the issue not as just theory, but as reality.

But, also being honest, I think you would probably be asked to leave the church, and because of my own views and experiences I could never sincerely advise any gay Christian to stay within a conservative evangelical church. I think its a lost cause, simply because I don't believe that conservative evangelicalism is 'redeemable' as a philosophy. Its the actual beliefs which cause the anti-gay behaviour, its the beliefs which are the problem.

If you are an Anglican, I would recommend that you join Changing Attitude who are working for change within the Anglican church, and are developing a network of local groups ( I'll come clean - I'm a local group convenor and have been invited to be a national Trustee).

If you need some support - please feel free to email me or send a private message.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
Yes, Changing Attitude is a real beacon of hope in the CofE, a church I am otherwise quite depressed with at the moment.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Oh, me too, Dwarf. Me too. Our parish is another beacon of light, though. And there are many other parishes who seriously don't like the sort of thing which is going on.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
Friends,

I'm new here to SOF, and I'd like to chime in on this debate.

I'm from Vancouver, Canada, but I've been following the issue in the UK very closely. Since Canon John stepped aside, I have grown increasingly convinced that the evangelical voice on this matter is one that is becoming more and more marginalized -- and it is becoming increasingly acceptable to perpetuate it.

The reason I believe this is because of the way the debate is being framed, even on this message board. It's become a question of inclusion vs. non-inclusion; acceptance vs. non-acceptance; Justice vs. injustice; Love vs. non-love. It seems to me that, if you're in favour of the conservative view of this matter, it's like opposing apple pie.

That, of course, is how you marginalize any viewpoint. You simply frame their views as being uncouth or out-of-step with everyone else. You fringe-ify it, make it unpopular, mean-spirited, and un-enlightened. Most importantly, you end debate. Noam Chomsky famously said there's no rational reply if someone calls you a Nazi, the only thing you can say is "No I'm not". That way you've diverted the discussion away from the real issues and towards how much of an Nazi that person is.

I feel terrible for the evangelicals: the media brands them as sex-obsessed, but they never raised this issue, they were forced to respond to it. Certainly Canon John's appointment broke the spirit of the church's policy meant to address issues such as this. And certainly the policy itself is being ignored repeatedly all over England. It seems to me there's nothing wrong with expecting policies to be adhered to until the people that decided on them changes them.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
I don't know how closely you've followed the happenings in the CofE, but the reason so many of us have accused the conservative evangelicals of being devoid of love, being intolerant and so on, is not because of their views per se (which we disagree with) but because of the MANNER IN WHICH THE 'DEBATE' HAS BEEN CONDUCTED. Putting an individual's relationships under immense scrutiny, threats to withdraw quota from the diocese, round-robin letters to the secular press. This is not the way, I would suggest, that the Church ought to seek to discern the will of God.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
I feel terrible for the evangelicals: the media brands them as sex-obsessed, but they never raised this issue, they were forced to respond to it. Certainly Canon John's appointment broke the spirit of the church's policy meant to address issues such as this. And certainly the policy itself is being ignored repeatedly all over England. It seems to me there's nothing wrong with expecting policies to be adhered to until the people that decided on them changes them.

This incident blows wide open the hypocritical stance of certain strands of evangelicalism in the church. We have heard, ad infinitum, that their approach to homosexuality is "love the sinner, hate the sin". Well, that has been revealed for the bold-faced, evil, disgusting lie that it always has been.

So explain how they were "forced to respond" to a celibate homosexual in the manner in which they did?
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
The evangelical voice 'marginalized' ?

Get real. The fact is that they represent, outside their own narrow confines, a view which is justly becoming more marginal and unacceptable. Their tactics, as Dwarf has outlined, have perhaps been that of a group which perceives marginalisation, but was rather more akin to the playground bully.

Erin is right ; despite some of their warm words and supposed support for the compromise fudge of 'Issues...', if their beliefs are as they say, then the logical conclusion is that we should be out of the church altogether. I know I have been accused of being OTT in my response to evangelicals in the past, but I feel totally vindicated by this whole affair.

[ 13. July 2003, 12:58: Message edited by: Merseymike ]
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Hi TheMightyTonewheel and welcome aboard.

I'm sure you will have studied the Ship's 10 Commandments (see the blue panel on the left) and will have spotted the guidelines to each Board as you enter them.

Bounce around the Boards a bit and have fun.

Oh and BTW - here are your virtual mop and bucket - swabbing the virtual decks is something all apprentices have to do. A mere 50 posts will release you from this welcome chore!
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
...the reason so many of us have accused the conservative evangelicals of being devoid of love, being intolerant and so on, is not because of their views per se (which we disagree with) but because of the MANNER IN WHICH THE 'DEBATE' HAS BEEN CONDUCTED. Putting an individual's relationships under immense scrutiny, threats to withdraw quota from the diocese, round-robin letters to the secular press.
Fair points all. First point of my own: I'm not sure how it is possible to oppose Dr. John's appointment without somehow referring to his relationship. It would be nice to discuss the matter in generalities, but the fact of the appointment didn't allow for that. I'm further not sure how one can expect to uphold any church policy without some kind of scrutiny -- unless you want to start calling it "advice" instead of "policy". No doubt the media scrutiny was unseemly and unnecessary, but it's unfair and wrong to imply that the evangelicals were the author of the media interest in all this.

Second point: I'm very unsure that the liberal side of this should be exempt from criticism about how to debate this issue. Colin Slee and Peter Tatchell have hardly been the poster children for Christian love.

Third point: I'm sure many evangelicals would respond to your comments by saying, "What debate??" Nothing wrong with a good debate, but in this case, there was none. Instead, the appointment was made and Bishop Harries went on the radio to say how the church needs to be more inclusive. That's not a debate.

quote:
This incident blows wide open the hypocritical stance of certain strands of evangelicalism in the church...So explain how they were "forced to respond" to a celibate homosexual in the manner in which they did?
There are two ways of seeing this, let me see if I'm getting your version right. The first is that, since Canon John was celebate, he is abiding by the policy of the Church, and therefore should qualify for leadership/clergy positions in the church. So any attempt to oust him is really a homophobic attempt to rid the church of homosexual people, not uphold the policy of the church. A fair point: if he's celebate, why can't he be a Bishop?

Let me put it this way. Let's say I was the pastor of a church whose denomination taught that the biblical view of human sexuality is either heterosexual marriage or celebacy. Not terribly uncommon. And a minister applied for a job as assistant pastor. He's known as a strong critic of the church's views on sexuality, but is willing to abide by them. He says he's single and celebate (and I believe him) -- but has a close female friend who he is intimately in love with, and owns an apartment with. He used to sleep with her, but doesn't any more, to abide by the church's policy, which he thinks is daft. I know that my congregation will definately be very unsure about this, as will the rest of the denomination.

Now...the main concern I would have is not whether this guy is really celebate. The concern I would have is whether this guy is really abiding by the spirit of what his church teaches. I would wonder how someone can teach anything with enthusiasm if he doesn't agree with it and barely lives by it. I don't think anyone could blame me for saying no to him. If I went ahead, should I be surprised if the denomination has some stern words for me? No. Should I be surprised if the congregation has some major problems with it? No. Does turning this guy down on the basis of the circumstances make me an intolerant, unloving bigot towards single people of common-law relationships? Of course not.

There are of course some major differences between this story and Canon John's appointment. But I am only saying it is not fair to challenge the spirit of the church's policy in the way the Diocese of Oxford did. It comes across as Bill Clinton-esque, who didn't technically have sex with anyone, and technically told the truth under oath. But everyone knows that the spirit of the law matters.

The trouble I have with evangelicals is when they treat gays with more alarm than everyone else. In any parish, there are pews full of sinners of all kinds, sexual and otherwise -- but if a gay couple strolls in, who gets the attention? One evangelical priest I know recently said he realized he had preached on homosexuality twice this past year, but not once on greed. Most reasonable evangelicals realize that their legitmate and honestly-held beliefs about human sexuality are sometimes intertwined with a set of very human prejudices. Of course, this extends both ways, I believe.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
Erin said:

quote:
This incident blows wide open the hypocritical stance of certain strands of evangelicalism in the church. We have heard, ad infinitum, that their approach to homosexuality is "love the sinner, hate the sin". Well, that has been revealed for the bold-faced, evil, disgusting lie that it always has been.
I'm sorry but I beg to differ with you over this. Not only Evangelicals but some central churchmen and Anglo Catholics (like myself) find themselves in the difficult position of being unable to affirm or endorse homosexual practices and lifestyles in the same way as appropriate heterosexual ones, for perfectly good reasons of their own. They are in the difficult position of trying to square a cirle. On the one hand, they don't want to appear bigoted or intolerant but on the other hand they don't want to sacrifice their own dearly held beliefs about what is right and wrong - normal or abnormal. So far I have tried to maintain the integrity of my own position here whilst extending an olive branch of tolerance towards those who I regard (rightly in my opinion) as different. Needless to say it has not been made easy.

Never Conforming. I think it would probably be best to change your home church and go to a more liberal one if that's an option for you. It would certainly be easier than trying to tough it out in an environment where you no longer feel comfortable or at ease.

[Razz] [Roll Eyes] [Wink]
 
Posted by SteveTom (# 23) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
This incident blows wide open the hypocritical stance of certain strands of evangelicalism in the church. We have heard, ad infinitum, that their approach to homosexuality is "love the sinner, hate the sin". Well, that has been revealed for the bold-faced, evil, disgusting lie that it always has been.

I agree wholeheartedly with the kernel of reason within Erin's rhetoric. [Smile]

John played it precisely by the Evangelicals' book. "We accept gay sexuality, because we distinguish between involuntary sexual orientation and voluntary sex acts," they say. So you can be gay but you must be celibate."

Which is what he did. And they tore him limb from limb.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear TheMightyToneWheel

I doubt whether you could present me any minister in any church / denomination whatever who is ENTIRELY in agreement with his / her church's teaching on all issues. Certain distinctions have to be made.

(1) The formal teaching of the Church which usually applies to primary issues of faith and life; eg., the Incarnation, abortion etc. (I am not of course saying what those beliefs are or should be ... mileage will vary).

(2) Contested or unsettled issues of faith and life within that particular church or across the churches more generally; eg., genetic engineering, Christianity's relationship to other religions etc.

What goes in (1) and (2) will vary (wildly sometimes!) between the churches.

If a potential minister fulfils no. 1 in that he or she in his or her FORMAL role upholds the the teaching of his or her church then that should not be a disqualification for ordination even if he or she has reservations about such teaching personally. These doubts may even be expressed in preaching IF there is nonetheless a clear undertaking to try and get to grips faithfully with the issues from both the official and the reserved positions. To suggest otherwise would be to foreclose debate and deprive that church of the strength that can come from having cherished notions challenged.

If a potential minister expresses strong views, even from the pulpit, on contested issues ... he or she has the right to do so provided that he or she submits to a wider debate in the Church (beyond his / her denomination indeed) and listens to the views and opinions of others.

This distinction between received but challengeable doctrine on the one hand and theologumena or theological opinions as a work in progress on the other, is a useful way of looking at responsibility and accountability in relation to the clergy and other authorised teachers and leaders.

In this case JJ clearly stated his willingness to abide by "Issues in Human Sexuality" when it was published. He is entitled to dissent from that document and, if he is honest (and he is and has been [Not worthy!] ), in his practice and in his formal teaching role then he has every right (indeed a duty) to put out his variant theological opinions and convictions UNDER HIS OWN NAME.

That's the crucial distinction ... the freedom to contribute to a debate by not claiming to speak for the whole Church ... which is not something his evangelical protagonists have done but something which he has done.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Too late to edit. Oh dear. [Embarrassed] In the last sentence it should say, of course, "antagonists" not "protagonists." A most grievous error. Mea culpa! [Waterworks]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Seems like we are back to the CCTV cameras in the room again, doesn't it.

So, not only have gay people got to be celibate, but also lonely and isolated. Just goes to show what a sham the line about 'its only the sexual acts which are 'wrong'' is.

In any case, like the vast majority of gay men, Christian or otherwise, I am not celibate, and have no intention of being, and if the Church doesn't like that, it can go fuck itself, which is what it does for the vast majority of the time, hence its risible irrelevance in the wider national picture today.Its a pity, because there are some good people there, but on the whole, it deserves everything it gets.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Adrian1:
Not only Evangelicals but some central churchmen and Anglo Catholics (like myself) find themselves in the difficult position of being unable to affirm or endorse homosexual practices and lifestyles in the same way as appropriate heterosexual ones, for perfectly good reasons of their own.

Explain, since I am clearly stupid, what you are expected to "affirm or endorse" with regard to a CELIBATE homosexual.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
And cut the 'lifestyle' whilst you are at it. I have a loving relationship of 11 years with a man I spend my life with. That isn't a lifestyle.

[ 14. July 2003, 11:39: Message edited by: Merseymike ]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
I'm not sure how it is possible to oppose Dr. John's appointment without somehow referring to his relationship.

He referred to his relationship himself, in writing, more than once. Going by what he said it is not only well within the guidelines, but is a type of relationship that has been not at all uncommon amongst celibate priests in the past.

To be brutal, if we were to get rid of him on these grounds we should kick out half the high-church priests in the diocese of London. And quite a few down in Brighton as well.

Do you want to do that? Do you want a sort of Gay-Finder General in the Church of England, going from parish to parish with binoculars and a stopwatch counting up how much of their social life priests spend with men and how much with women?

"Oh look, Fr. X has been to dinner with Fr. Y twice! And once they went for a walk in the country together! Lets send the Arcdeacon round to tell them that Special Friends aren't allowed!"


quote:

Second point: I'm very unsure that the liberal side of this should be exempt from criticism about how to debate this issue. Colin Slee and Peter Tatchell have hardly been the poster children for Christian love.

Is Peter Tatchell a Christian? Is he an ordained minister? Would we expect him to be a "poster-child for Chstistian love"?

And what is it that Colin Slee said that you think is ourt of order? This statement?

Looks fair enough to me.

quote:

Third point: I'm sure many evangelicals would respond to your comments by saying, "What debate??" Nothing wrong with a good debate, but in this case, there was none. Instead, the appointment was made and Bishop Harries went on the radio to say how the church needs to be more inclusive. That's not a debate.

That's how appointments of Suffragan bishops are made in the Church of England. Like it or lump it. There is no open discussion, no debate, no election. It is all done in a hole in the corner.

We need to change that and break the Establishment. That is the way out of this mess.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
Adrian1 since this is DeadHorses I'll say something I've said squillions of times already:

You may not endorse Jeffrey John staring lovingly at another man across the dinner table of an evening. That's your perogative. But I don't accept and endorse a lot of things a lot of other bishops get up to. For example, I think the Bishop of Carlise's stated practises and beliefs regarding exorcism are incompatible with an orthodox Christian worldview and likely to be extremely pastorally damaging, far more so than those stolen glances over the fusilli al pesto. Yet I am not campaigning for his removal.

What is it about the 'gay issue' that means diversity cannot be accepted the way Anglicans are used to accepting it with other questions? Could it be (surely not) that beneath all the theology there is a lot of subconscious disgust and hatred?
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
I don't think there's anything subconscious about it, DOD. Adrian1 has already cheerfully told us all that he is disgusted by what homosexuals get up to.
 
Posted by CorgiGreta (# 443) on :
 
Is he similarily disgusted when these same acts are performed by heterosexual pairings?

Greta
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
And cut the 'lifestyle' whilst you are at it. I have a loving relationship of 11 years with a man I spend my life with. That isn't a lifestyle.

[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
 
I consider my life with one man for 22 years "a lifestyle".

Not a fantastically interesting one maybe -

Just because people make generic/blanket statements about "the homosexual lifestyle" doesn't mean there aren't at least some things one can start from to try to understand "them".

You know, "them". Homosexuals or heterosexuals or kindergarten teachers or burly dockworkers or sweet little old bluehaired ladies. Any "them".
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
I simply fail to understand why who I or anybody else does or does not shag is anybody elses business at all.

Having said that, TheMightyToneWheel has presented what is easily the best defence of the non-apointment of Jeffrey John I have seen. But, still, I believe that JJ is celibate and, whether the conservatives believe that or not, it is none of their concern at all. whatsoever. It does not have anything, ANYTHING, ANYTHING to do with them. JJ is a perfectly good candidate in all respects unless they are looking for sinless perfection. How many of them live in a state of sinless perfection? None of them! None! They all, like everyone else, live in sin. We are all sinnners.

Sheesh.

Ben26
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Janine:
I consider my life with one man for 22 years "a lifestyle".

Not a fantastically interesting one maybe -

Just because people make generic/blanket statements about "the homosexual lifestyle" doesn't mean there aren't at least some things one can start from to try to understand "them".

You know, "them". Homosexuals or heterosexuals or kindergarten teachers or burly dockworkers or sweet little old bluehaired ladies. Any "them".

Look, homosexuality isn't a lifestyle. It's a sexual orientation. Your life with the same man for 22 years is indeed a lifestyle, one of many open to people whose orientation is heterosexual.

A lifestyle is something you consciously choose and can change. My lifestyle includes living with two cats, eating mac and cheese out of the pot, and reading the LA Times with friends at the local coffeehouse every Sunday afternoon. Being straight is not a lifestyle choice for me - it's a defining part of who I am.
 
Posted by Sine Nomine (# 3631) on :
 
Could someone please provide a link that will give more information about this "homosexual lifestyle"? It sounds quite exciting. Far more exciting than checking out a stack of books from the public library every two weeks, walking the dog, going to work, the grocery store, and trimming the hedge. Would it require a new wardrobe? I'm willing to learn.
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
The description is in the appendix to the Gay Agenda™.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
I'd look here first.
 
Posted by Sine Nomine (# 3631) on :
 
You mean this agenda?
quote:
6:00 am Gym
8:00 am Breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites)
9:00 am Hair appointment
10:00 am Shopping
12:00 PM Brunch
2:00 PM
1) Assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, State and Local Governments as well as all other national governments,
2) Recruit all straight youngsters to our debauched lifestyle,
3) Destroy all healthy heterosexual marriages,
4) Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with agents of Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels,
5) Establish planetary chain of homo breeding gulags where over-medicated imprisoned straight women are turned into artificially impregnated baby factories to produce prepubescent love slaves for our devotedly pederastic gay leadership,
6) bulldoze all houses of worship, and
7) Secure total control of the INTERNET and all mass media for the exclusive use of child pornographers.
2:30 PM Get forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from stress of world conquest
4:00 PM Cocktails
6:00 PM Light Dinner (soup, salad, with Chardonnay)
8:00 PM Theater
11:00 PM Bed (du jour)"


 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
You mean this agenda?
quote:
6:00 am Gym
8:00 am Breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites)
9:00 am Hair appointment
10:00 am Shopping
12:00 PM Brunch
2:00 PM
1) Assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, State and Local Governments as well as all other national governments,
2) Recruit all straight youngsters to our debauched lifestyle,
3) Destroy all healthy heterosexual marriages,
4) Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with agents of Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels,
5) Establish planetary chain of homo breeding gulags where over-medicated imprisoned straight women are turned into artificially impregnated baby factories to produce prepubescent love slaves for our devotedly pederastic gay leadership,
6) bulldoze all houses of worship, and
7) Secure total control of the INTERNET and all mass media for the exclusive use of child pornographers.
2:30 PM Get forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from stress of world conquest
4:00 PM Cocktails
6:00 PM Light Dinner (soup, salad, with Chardonnay)
8:00 PM Theater
11:00 PM Bed (du jour)"


[Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me] [Killing me]
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
I really must object to the chardonnay at dinner. How cliché.
 
Posted by Never Conforming (# 4054) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:

quote:
6:00 am Gym
8:00 am Breakfast (oatmeal and egg whites)
9:00 am Hair appointment
10:00 am Shopping
12:00 PM Brunch
2:00 PM
1) Assume complete control of the U.S. Federal, State and Local Governments as well as all other national governments,
2) Recruit all straight youngsters to our debauched lifestyle,
3) Destroy all healthy heterosexual marriages,
4) Replace all school counselors in grades K-12 with agents of Colombian and Jamaican drug cartels,
5) Establish planetary chain of homo breeding gulags where over-medicated imprisoned straight women are turned into artificially impregnated baby factories to produce prepubescent love slaves for our devotedly pederastic gay leadership,
6) bulldoze all houses of worship, and
7) Secure total control of the INTERNET and all mass media for the exclusive use of child pornographers.
2:30 PM Get forty winks of beauty rest to prevent facial wrinkles from stress of world conquest
4:00 PM Cocktails
6:00 PM Light Dinner (soup, salad, with Chardonnay)
8:00 PM Theater
11:00 PM Bed (du jour)"


[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Sine Nomine (# 3631) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
I really must object to the chardonnay at dinner. How cliché.

Yes, it's one of the uglier stereotypes promulgated about gay people. Last time someone demonstrated outside our church, one of the placards said "Chardonnay drinking pervs are going to hell." Fortunately I drink Cabernet Sauvignon.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Fr. Gregory:
I doubt whether you could present me any minister in any church / denomination whatever who is ENTIRELY in agreement with his / her church's teaching on all issues.

Agreed -- although I would say, in the context of other world religions and Christian denominations, it's very unusual to have the level of profound disagreement on human sexuality in the way the Anglican church does. But I am not seeking a monochromatic church.

quote:
(1) The formal teaching of the Church which usually applies to primary issues of faith and life; eg., the Incarnation, abortion etc. (I am not of course saying what those beliefs are or should be ... mileage will vary).
Yes...although, I would suggest even these are not particularly enforcable. I think Spong, Holloway, and Ingham were/are all dissenters of first order issues.

quote:
This distinction between received but challengeable doctrine on the one hand and theologumena or theological opinions as a work in progress on the other, is a useful way of looking at responsibility and accountability in relation to the clergy and other authorised teachers and leaders. snip That's the crucial distinction ... the freedom to contribute to a debate by not claiming to speak for the whole Church ... which is not something his evangelical protagonists have done but something which he has done.
I generally agree with you. But of course, the problems come when we try to assign where the teaching on human sexuality lands in importance. I wouldn't consider it as important as the resurrection or incarnation. But I don't think it's unimportant, either, for two reasons. First, I think there's alot of biblical doctrine tied up into human sexuality, I don't think there are many Christian doctrines or spiritual beliefs at all that you can separate completely from it. Even non-Christian spirituality is closely linked to sexuality. It's not like we're talking about how many fruits of the spirit there are, or whether to baptise infants or not. How Christians see themselves, their bodies, and their sexuality has alot with to do with their understanding of God and life.

The second reason is...not sure how to put this...underpinning the disagreement about human sexuality are some very fundamental differences about the person of Jesus and His purpose. In some senses, the church is under alot of pressure to replace the Jesus of the scriptures with a kindler, gentler, more inclusive Jesus. But that wasn't Jesus' message. The first time we meet Jesus in Mark, His first instruction is "repent". All throughout the Scriptures, He wasn't fighting for our pasty 21st-century version of justice and inclusion, but for us all to humble ourselves and turn to God. In Luke, when he was told of the slaughter of Galileans, he said "If you don't repent, you'll die too." When's the last time you saw that on a fridge magnet? There's the equality and justice. The message of Jesus never weakens or rests for a moment: "every single one of you, no matter what kind of sinner you are, isn't going to make it without me."

The modern church has lost touch with the Jesus, and we've made Him into a Jesus of our own wishful thinking. The reason is obvious: we don't want to hear what He has to say. This isn't fault or the invention of the gay Anglican community, but I think they've been victimized by our consumer-Christian culture.

So I agree, Fr. Gregory, that the issues are perhaps not on the same level as first-order issues, but they're still very important. And the Anglican church would essentially be one of the few denominations/religions in the world that has such profound disagreement on human sexuality.

By the way -- may I say that your comments on this issue, in my view, have been given with the utmost of graciousness and care? A model for discussion, no doubt. Bless you.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
But perhaps some of us find this interpretation of the Christian faith a lot more convincing than the one you are convinced by ?

Its rather like saying that the Christian message will always be interpreted and understood, and applied in the same way no matter what happens in the world.
Now, I recognise that is the core of the evangelical gospel ; but there are also approaches that suggest eternal values and verities can be separated from the details of faith which are situational, historical and culturally contained. I would place both teaching about sexuality, and seeing Christianity as the only valid way to God, as being in the latter section.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
To be brutal, if we were to get rid of him on these grounds we should kick out half the high-church priests in the diocese of London. And quite a few down in Brighton as well.

Do you want to do that? Do you want a sort of Gay-Finder General in the Church of England, going from parish to parish with binoculars and a stopwatch counting up how much of their social life priests spend with men and how much with women?

I think it's disappointing you're see that as the only option. Of course no one wants that. The Christian model of accountability (it seems to me) is not one that is forced by a select few with microscopes and flashlights. It's mutual, voluntary, and loving. And necessary: once, another Christian challenged me on what I saw as a private matter. But I was glad he challenged me, even though it hurt at the time, and actually made me angry. I suspect that what you're really advocating is that we don't challenge anyone on anything.


quote:

Second point: I'm very unsure that the liberal side of this should be exempt from criticism about how to debate this issue. Colin Slee and Peter Tatchell have hardly been the poster children for Christian love.

quote:
Is Peter Tatchell a Christian? Is he an ordained minister? Would we expect him to be a "poster-child for Chstistian love"?

And what is it that Colin Slee said that you think is ourt of order? This statement?

Looks fair enough to me.

For Colin Slee, I was thinking more along these lines: "Anglican Taliban" comments ...which he quickly toned down. The statement you referred to is one of the calmest of his I've read.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
But perhaps some of us find this interpretation of the Christian faith a lot more convincing than the one you are convinced by ?

Its rather like saying that the Christian message will always be interpreted and understood, and applied in the same way no matter what happens in the world.
Now, I recognise that is the core of the evangelical gospel ; but there are also approaches that suggest eternal values and verities can be separated from the details of faith which are situational, historical and culturally contained. I would place both teaching about sexuality, and seeing Christianity as the only valid way to God, as being in the latter section.

I didn't say that Christianity should not be applied differently throughout the ages. It's impossible not to apply Christianity differently. Our faith is lived out in our daily routines and interactions, and since we live in an ever-changing world, obviously the application will change over time. But some things never change, and the core message of the faith is truly timeless. For example, the greedy people of Jesus' day were tax collectors. Today, they're business people and investors (or whatever). The application changes, but the message to greedy people doesn't change even in the slightest. Do you think greedy people are somehow constitutionally different than they were 2000 years ago? Jesus told the rich man to sell all his lovely first-century status symbols and give the proceeds to the poor. Do you really think anything about Jesus' message has changed, except the details about what those goods are?

I get where you're coming from, Mike, but you must understand there are all kinds of philosophical problems with your approach. If you put a box labelled "rat poison" on your kitchen table, is there any reason to think that the same box would contain jello a week later? That's what you're doing. Early Christians believed that Jesus was the only way to God, and many of them died horribly instead of recant. Today, you're saying their belief was "cultural" (even though it was un-cultural to be a Christian at the time). You're saying "Christianity is the only way. Or Islam. You know, whatever." I'm not saying you're wrong, how should I know? But gosh, look at your methods!
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Ummm...you don't know my methods, because I haven't explained them.

But the simplicity of yours are astounding! Not all investors and businessmen are 'greedy' - honestly, being naively left-wing is no better than naively right wing.
Nor did I suggest that you can blithely shrug off Christian exclusivism in the way you suggest, but a complex world does suggest to me that the simplicities of a far more straightforward world (including its interpretation and application of faith) do need to change.

Sexuality being an example.

Remember though, that deliberately misrepresenting anothers position does nothing to boost the credibility of your owm.

[ 14. July 2003, 20:24: Message edited by: Merseymike ]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Sine Nomine:
Yes, it's one of the uglier stereotypes promulgated about gay people. Last time someone demonstrated outside our church, one of the placards said "Chardonnay drinking pervs are going to hell." Fortunately I drink Cabernet Sauvignon.

I'm an O'Doul's Amber man, myself. [Razz]
 
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
 
David-
Re: the O'Doul's...
Yet another checkmark on my ever-lengthening list of "Reasons Why I Like ChastMastr".

RuthW, all I meant was that implementation of my sexual orientation - or taste in macaroni - not just philosophizing about it but living it out - creates a facet, a pillar, of a lifestyle. Not a whole lifestyle, of course.

What a thought. A whole lifestyle created from, consisting of, and devoted to SEX. Wow.

Where do I go to get one of those?
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:


I get where you're coming from, Mike, but you must understand there are all kinds of philosophical problems with your approach. If you put a box labelled "rat poison" on your kitchen table, is there any reason to think that the same box would contain jello a week later?

Philosophical problems, eh?

I think there are many problems of a philosophical nature with YOUR approach, not least that you seem to read the Bible as though there were, as the philosopher Wittgenstein put it, 'one mode of discoure' - in other words as though statements were either positive, literal, assertions, or else were meaningless. This clearly doesn't do justice to the multiplicity of ways in which human language expresses meaning. Hence the unsuitability of the rat poison analogy.

I can think that accounts of Paul's dealings with the Corinthian church can inform me, inspire me, and in many other ways contain meaning and be authoritative for me, without having to assume that they constitute an ahistorical repository of moral truth. And until you give me a sound theological reason why I should read the Bible as though it were a letter sent by God to me this very morning, I will abstain from so doing.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Indeed. Once those one is discussing with can recognise that the Bible is neither infallible, written by God, nor unaffected by the culture and understanding of the men who wrote it, we may have a level playing field to do some real examination of it.
 
Posted by Fr. Gregory (# 310) on :
 
Dear TMTW

quote:
I generally agree with you. But of course, the problems come when we try to assign where the teaching on human sexuality lands in importance. I wouldn't consider it as important as the resurrection or incarnation. But I don't think it's unimportant, either, for two reasons.
I think my distinctions were based not on importance contrasts but settled / not settled contrasts. I don't think that we can or should revise what God has done for us in Christ. Human knowledge, no matter which direction it takes us, is not going to alter that one jot. Of course the expressions of that will vary but the core will not. Other matters ... particularly those concerned with our common humanity are bound to be in state of flux. There is cultural diversity but beyond that there are differences that go far deeper. We know more about human sexuality today than we did before ...we have science and psychology to thank for that ... not theology because the theology has been poor ... I would even say heretical, (that's another big can of worms!). Theology is "God-talk" but we are made in the image of God ... it's a two way traffic. A Christian humanism will take Christian revelatory insights into human nature (where ALL is compromised and ALL is glorious) and combine that with descriptive insights into the shape of human behaviour and interiority ... insights that are being continually refined with more that we know.

The conservative case on human sexuality (and other issues where the natural sciences have an input) is flawed because it thinks it can go to the Bible and SIMPLY read the answer off the page. If such Christians reviewed HOW they used the Bible we might be less polarised. Instead, conservatives have seen the fruit of biblical criticism as being doubt and confusion .. not enlightenment. Hence we see the reaction and the intranisgent crusade against the "bloody liberals" whom they see as conniving manipulative cuckoos, (not my view I hasten to add. I am liberal myself ... but not at all in doctrine). The struggle to stay in the nest, sadly, then ensues with great bitterness. This IS a battle ... not a "gentlemans' disagreement."
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:


I think there are many problems of a philosophical nature with YOUR approach, not least that you seem to read the Bible as though there were, as the philosopher Wittgenstein put it, 'one mode of discoure' - in other words as though statements were either positive, literal, assertions, or else were meaningless. This clearly doesn't do justice to the multiplicity of ways in which human language expresses meaning. Hence the unsuitability of the rat poison analogy.



First, let'e be clear about something. The "rat poison" analogy was meant to address this idea that the Christian message is undergoing this constant soft-transformation over time. To me, Mersymike was being totally indiscriminate about what was eternal and what was fluid. It was not meant to convey that all scripture is like the label on the rat poison.

I have no objection with the idea of "the multiplicity of ways in which human language expresses meaning". Applied to Scripture, all that's saying is that the bible writers had many different possible ways of saying the same thing. That's obvious. But that's not what you're saying anyway. You're saying that one bit of human language can express a multiplicity of meanings. I'm saying hogwash. If someone writes you a letter that says "Don't run around into the street or you'll get hit by a car" (which is how Jesus spoke sometimes), you can say their secretary took dictation wrong, or they themselves are wrong. But you cannot say meant many different things to different people. No author writes anything with the intention of communicating mutliple contradictory meanings.

We still have the task of trying to figure out what that meaning is, but if you say it has multiple meanings for multiple people, you're ducking the question.

quote:
I can think that accounts of Paul's dealings with the Corinthian church can inform me, inspire me, and in many other ways contain meaning and be authoritative for me, without having to assume that they constitute an ahistorical repository of moral truth. And until you give me a sound theological reason why I should read the Bible as though it were a letter sent by God to me this very morning, I will abstain from so doing.
Well, one good reason to read scripture as an ahistorical repository of moral truth is because that's how Jesus read it. I don't think I can be blamed for trying to read the New Testament the way Jesus read the Old.
 
Posted by Adrian1 (# 3994) on :
 
quote:
Yes, it's one of the uglier stereotypes promulgated about gay people. Last time someone demonstrated outside our church, one of the placards said "Chardonnay drinking pervs are going to hell." Fortunately I drink Cabernet Sauvignon.
Actually, there's nothing wrong with a good Chardonnay. Plenty of straight guys and their wives/girlfriends enjoy it too! Mind you I try to drink Cabernet Sauvignon more these days because I'm assured that it's better for the heart. I hope Anselmina, the ship's barmaid, would agree with me over that.

[Roll Eyes] [Big Grin] [Razz]
 
Posted by The Former Mr PInk (# 2979) on :
 
What is this mythical gay lifestyle we hear so much about?

Is it the same as the "pink" pound/euro/Dollar (delete where applicable)

Most gay people I know have to get up, go to work & fit all their committments and responsbilities around actually earning some money without which there wouldn't be any sort of ligfestyle at all.

We don't all worj in the meedia (darhling) or head Dot.coms. Some of us are regular 9 to 5ers who work hard to keep roofs over our heads and food on our tables just the same as any god fearing (or not hetrosexual)
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
I can think that accounts of Paul's dealings with the Corinthian church can inform me, inspire me, and in many other ways contain meaning and be authoritative for me, without having to assume that they constitute an ahistorical repository of moral truth.

Well, DOD, this is CLEARLY because you are not willing to take Jesus' yoke upon you. [Roll Eyes] [Disappointed]
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:

No author writes anything with the intention of communicating mutliple contradictory meanings.


Simply untrue. Read, say, William Blake's 'The Rose', a piece deliberately admitting a multiplicity of readings.

But I agree in the concrete case - Paul had one intention in writing to the Corinthian church, that is, to communicate his thoughts about various issues, in the light of the Christ event, to the Christians in Corinth. The question then arises of how these letters, which the Church receives as Scripture, are to be read in our contemporary context. Can you not see that reading a letter addressed to people in one particular situation as though it were universally applicable is to smuggle in a hermenutical premiss? You need to have some idea of HOW you read Scripture, with WHOM you read Scripture (i.e. how Scripture is to be related to the thought of the Christian community, past and present), and WHY you read Scripture like that. In other words, you cannot escape doing theology!



Well, one good reason to read scripture as an ahistorical repository of moral truth is because that's how Jesus read it. I don't think I can be blamed for trying to read the New Testament the way Jesus read the Old.


[Killing me] Hello, Jesus and the Mosaic law!

(Incidentally, the idea that Jesus qua man cannot make mistakes sails IMO dangerously close to Apollinarian heresy, but that's a different thread. Suffice it to say that if Jesus was truly human then his human knowledge (as opposed to the eternal knowledge of the Word) was socially and historically conditioned, and limited by the understandings of the time.)

[ 15. July 2003, 18:53: Message edited by: Divine Outlaw-Dwarf ]
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:

No author writes anything with the intention of communicating mutliple contradictory meanings.


Simply untrue. Read, say, William Blake's 'The Rose', a piece deliberately admitting a multiplicity of readings.

But I agree in the concrete case - Paul had one intention in writing to the Corinthian church, that is, to communicate his thoughts about various issues, in the light of the Christ event, to the Christians in Corinth. The question then arises of how these letters, which the Church receives as Scripture, are to be read in our contemporary context. Can you not see that reading a letter addressed to people in one particular situation as though it were universally applicable is to smuggle in a hermenutical premiss? You need to have some idea of HOW you read Scripture, with WHOM you read Scripture (i.e. how Scripture is to be related to the thought of the Christian community, past and present), and WHY you read Scripture like that. In other words, you cannot escape doing theology!

You're absolutely right that texts need to be understood in the context of the audience they were intended for, etc. There's no realistic alternative. To use a basic example: the only way to understand the Good Samaritan story is to understand the context, particuarly how Samaritans were perceived by Jewish society in that culture. If you don't know this, the story won't make sense.

But just because the story has a context does not mean it has no universal meaning. To suggest so is to say that all Truth is bound by context, which is really saying there is no truth, only context. When Jesus told the story of The Good Samaritan, does the meaning He intended to convey have any application today, even though it was told in a particular time and a particular context? I would argue all the meaning of the story has application. Jesus wasn't talking about the nature of Samaritans and Jews, He was talking about the nature of humans.

Of course, the idea of universal truth is easily demonstrated in the world of physics. A man jumping off a balcony in the year 1428 is going to splat in the same he would 2003. And in reason, too: an argument that contains a fallacy is as invalid in the stone age as it is in the cyber age. The very idea that fallacies exist as a test for composing good arguments suggests a universal truth. Even the fact arguments take place at all suggests that they both believe that there is such a thing as right and wrong. Otherwise, why argue?

The problem I have is when the context of a text is use to suppress, modify, or dismiss its meaning instead of enhance our understanding of it. If people want to do that, it's fine with me: but they no longer consider scripture to be an authority of they do. I you read a letter written to you a hundred or a thousand years ago, I can understand if you factor in its context when trying to understand its meaning. But if I dismiss its meaning because of its context, there's simply no way I can continue referring to it as an authority.

That's why these accusations that evangelicals read Scripture literally are actually red herring fallicies. If Evangelicals read scripture literally, there would be a lot more plucked-out eyes in the Church of England. Of course, some evangelicals do read Scripture literally, and selectively, and wrongly. But ultimately, that doesn't mean anything: Scripture can still contain everlasting moral truths, it can still be an authority, and it can still be God-breathed, even if there are nuts on both sides of the debate.


quote:

Well, one good reason to read scripture as an ahistorical repository of moral truth is because that's how Jesus read it. I don't think I can be blamed for trying to read the New Testament the way Jesus read the Old.


[Killing me] Hello, Jesus and the Mosaic law!

(Incidentally, the idea that Jesus qua man cannot make mistakes sails IMO dangerously close to Apollinarian heresy, but that's a different thread. Suffice it to say that if Jesus was truly human then his human knowledge (as opposed to the eternal knowledge of the Word) was socially and historically conditioned, and limited by the understandings of the time.)

Heh. This off-the-chart postmodern nuggest gets the prize. Think through this. If Jesus' teaching was socially and historically conditioned, by bother observing it at all two thousand years later? Why call him "Lord"? Do you have any idea how radical he was for his time?
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
Of course it was socially and historically conditioned. How could it not have been. That doesn't mean that much of it doesnt contain truth today, but we are not talking here about the teachings of Jesus.

We are talking about OT law, and two quotes from Paul, one which does not refer clearly to 'homosexuality' at all, and the other which more than adequately demonstrates a total lack of understanding of sexual orientation - hardly surprising, given the concept didn't exist.

quote:
Do you have any idea how radical he was for his time?
Absolutely - but time has moved on, with new revelation, and what could be seen as radical then is not so now.

[ 15. July 2003, 22:19: Message edited by: Merseymike ]
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
DON'T CALL ME A POSTMODERNIST!!!!

I am a critical realist, that is an epistemological relativist but an ontological realist. Yes there is universal truth. Yes we can, falteringly, access it. But we always do so through the particular.

Oh, and the christological bit is (give or take) fourth century. So not very postmodern really. Unless they were getting in early. IMO a lot of the christology behind ultra-conservative scriptural hermenutics is heretical, because it is premissed on a Christ who is God walking the earth, unmediated by any kind of meaningful human nature.
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
PS : Even radicalism is socially/ historically situated. Yes Jesus was (indeed, is) radical. But he was not radical in the same way that, say, a 20th century feminist is radical - the issues, social forms, means of communication, political options and so forth were different.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Tone Wheel
quote:
Well, one good reason to read scripture as an ahistorical repository of moral truth is because that's how Jesus read it. I don't think I can be blamed for trying to read the New Testament the way Jesus read the Old.
With wonderful creativity and the freedom to reintrepret some fundemantal ideas then?
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:


We are talking about OT law, and two quotes from Paul, one which does not refer clearly to 'homosexuality' at all, and the other which more than adequately demonstrates a total lack of understanding of sexual orientation - hardly surprising, given the concept didn't exist.

At least we're back on topic.

First, you can't make an argument about what is wrong or right based on what the Bible doesn't say. The Bible doesn't say alot of things. Anything about child pornography? White collar crimes? Cybersex? When Paul talks about adultery, he didn't mention cybersex because it didn't exist. So it can't be wrong. Right?

Second, Paul's talking about homosexual activity, which did exist. The term "homosexuality" it a recent term -- but it's not fair to coin a term in the 20th century then say it must be ok because Paul didn't mention it in the first. You might argue that we now know people are born with homosexuality and thus it is a natural attraction, but then you've saying that anyone that has any kind of urge or orientation they were born with is morally excused from acting on it. I dearly, dearly hope you don't mean this, because pedophiles are going to want a piece of that pie. As Robert Gagnon said, the Christian view "incorporates the notion of a human fall from an original sinless state—that innate impulses are not necessarily moral simply because they are innate."

Third, the claim that there is minimal evidence that biblical writers took a dim view of homosexuality is a cheap analysis. I won't recite all the texts (there's more than two from Paul), but we're talking about more than a handful of isolated references. We're talking about some of the strongest condemnations in the entire bible, strong echos in language and ideology between the NT references and OT references, and VERY strong (obvious!) links to the language of the creation story and God's plan for humankind. Not so easily dismissed.

This is no doubt coming across as heavy-handed. But it's not, or shouldn't be. There's nothing the church or scripture is asking of you or anyone else that we're not all subject to. No one's asking anyone to admit anything the rest of us are not already guilty of. I know of my own sin because I trust scripture -- and for the same reason I know of His grace in spite of my sin.

quote:
Do you have any idea how radical he was for his time?

Absolutely - but time has moved on, with new revelation, and what could be seen as radical then is not so now.

There's a new revelation? What is it? Has it made Jesus passe?
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
Um, I suggest you might want to reconsider the aptness of the homosexuality/ paedophilia comparison. A lot of upset has been caused in the past by people saying similar things. I'm sure there is another way of you making the point you intended to make.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Tonewheel:
quote:
Third, the claim that there is minimal evidence that biblical writers took a dim view of homosexuality is a cheap analysis. I won't recite all the texts (there's more than two from Paul), but we're talking about more than a handful of isolated references. We're talking about some of the strongest condemnations in the entire bible, strong echos in language and ideology between the NT references and OT references, and VERY strong (obvious!) links to the language of the creation story and God's plan for humankind. Not so easily dismissed.
Seven passing references in the entire Bible, IIRC. All of them with major exegetical problems, which have been done to death earlier on this thread. I know this is Dead Horses, so I shouldn't expect fresh thinking, but have you read the arguement to date? You might find it useful. [brick wall]
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
Tone Wheel
quote:
Well, one good reason to read scripture as an ahistorical repository of moral truth is because that's how Jesus read it. I don't think I can be blamed for trying to read the New Testament the way Jesus read the Old.
With wonderful creativity and the freedom to reintrepret some fundemantal ideas then?
Can you give me an example of how Jesus "reinterpreted" fundamental ideas?
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf:
Um, I suggest you might want to reconsider the aptness of the homosexuality/ paedophilia comparison. A lot of upset has been caused in the past by people saying similar things. I'm sure there is another way of you making the point you intended to make.

I realized it would cause offense when I wrote it. But then again, I didn't compare homosexuality and paedophilia. Read what I wrote: I said the oft-cited argument that people are born with same-sex attraction, and therefore it must be natural, and therefore acceptable -- this argument can also be used for pedophiles. I agree, then, that the argument is offensive, which is why I am trying to defeat it. But it is not a comparison.

There really is no other way to demonstrate how offensive an argument is other than to explain what exactly is offensive about it.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
Tonewheel:
quote:
Third, the claim that there is minimal evidence that biblical writers took a dim view of homosexuality is a cheap analysis. I won't recite all the texts (there's more than two from Paul), but we're talking about more than a handful of isolated references. We're talking about some of the strongest condemnations in the entire bible, strong echos in language and ideology between the NT references and OT references, and VERY strong (obvious!) links to the language of the creation story and God's plan for humankind. Not so easily dismissed.
Seven passing references in the entire Bible, IIRC. All of them with major exegetical problems, which have been done to death earlier on this thread. I know this is Dead Horses, so I shouldn't expect fresh thinking, but have you read the arguement to date? You might find it useful. [brick wall]
I hardly think Romans 1:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 could be prefaced with an "Oh, by the way..." And if they all had such "major exegetical problems", why did his audience, and indeed the early church, understand him perfectly?

I have read all the arguments questioning the traditional interpretation of these passages. They all have a range of problems. Very few of them actually agree on what's wrong with the traditional intrepretation, for one thing. The most repeated arguments (by the late John Boswell) have been discredited even by secular scholars. Some arguments are don't even have the facts straight: one website in Canada says the word "malakoi" means pedophile sex.

For me, it's really just a matter being unconvinced of the scholarship and philosophical rigor surrounding this issue, and the model of Jesus and the gospel that has been used to support it.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
No, Tone, the problem is not recognising the limitations of the Bible full stop. It is a document of its time and reflects the lack of knowledge and understanding of sexual orientation. If, just for once, we could remember that the Bible is a book, written by men, and should be regarded as culturally and socially conditioned, just like any other book of its provenance, we may actually start to get somewhere
 
Posted by Infinitarian (# 4513) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
First, you can't make an argument about what is wrong or right based on what the Bible doesn't say. The Bible doesn't say alot of things.

And why is that?

You see, one of the (many) big problems I have with trying to interpret the Bible as a set of moral guidelines for modern life is this business of cultural context.

Proponents of this kind of reading agree that Paul didn't mention homosexual orientation because his culture had no concept of it, and yet are happy to accept the comments he did make as coming with divine authority. (Apart from the ones endorsing slavery, obviously.)

If God was inspiring Paul to write his letter to the Corinthians with the intention that that letter would be incorporated into a scriptural canon and used as ethical advice by generations of Christians up to 2000 years later -- and if God condemns sex between people of gay orientation -- then why doesn't the letter say anything specific about the matter? Paul may not have had any concept of homosexual orientation, but are we suggesting God didn't? Or couldn't have explained it?

Why exactly could God not have inspired Paul to write something along the lines of:
quote:
1 There are men who desire not women, and women who desire not men, and to them it seems good to lie man with man, or woman with woman, as God ordains men and women should lie together. 2 They take pleasure in these acts, yet God condemns such acts as wrong and contemptible in his sight. If such people wish to serve Christ, they must give up all such sinful actions, and submit themselves to a life of celibacy, 3 and even if they do, they should definitely not be given episcopal authority over the diocese of Reading [αναγνωσισ].
? That would have been unequivocal and clear, and saved a great deal of grief and division among the people of God.

In fact God could, via Paul, have just as easily condemned cybersex [ερωσ κυβερνετικοσ] if God had wanted to. It might have baffled the Corinthians, but many of the things Paul said to the Corinthians baffle us. Why is that, if God/Paul intended these words to be of universal application?

My answer: because God wasn't dictating to Paul, and the concept is clearly ridiculous. Paul was struggling to understand the revelation he'd received of God's nature and goodness, and in the process a large number of his own cultural biases crept in. How can we tell, from the distance of 2000 years, what came from God and what came from first-century Palestine? Um, we can't. Which rather puts paid to the idea of looking to any biblical writer as an arbiter of 21st-century ethics.

[ 16. July 2003, 09:09: Message edited by: Infinitarian ]
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Tone said:
quote:
I hardly think Romans 1:24-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9 could be prefaced with an "Oh, by the way..." And if they all had such "major exegetical problems", why did his audience, and indeed the early church, understand him perfectly?
I don't want to go into these in detail, because that really would be repeating very old material. However:

a) The Romans passage talks about people chosing homosexuality. None of the gay people I know chose to be homosexual; some would have given a great deal to chose to be straight.

b) The Corinthinas passage uses a word found nowhere else in classical or biblical Greek. Hence we can't be sure what it means, but many scholars think it might mean "homosexual prostitutes". I have several gay friends, but none of them are prostitutes, so this doesn't seem to apply to them either.

All of which has been said in a far more intelligent and nuanced manner earlier in the discussion. If you want to get to grips with this issue you could do worse than read all the 9,999 posts that make up this thread to date.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
If, just for once, we could remember that the Bible is a book, written by men, and should be regarded as culturally and socially conditioned

Which of course not all of us agree on...
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
If, just for once, we could remember that the Bible is a book, written by men, and should be regarded as culturally and socially conditioned

Which of course not all of us agree on...
And even if we did agree, it doesn't mean it can't be the word of God, because God being omnipotent can do things like that.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Good point, Ken! [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by Tone:

quote:
I have read all the arguments questioning the traditional interpretation of these passages. They all have a range of problems. Very few of them actually agree on what's wrong with the traditional intrepretation, for one thing. The most repeated arguments (by the late John Boswell) have been discredited even by secular scholars. Some arguments are don't even have the facts straight: one website in Canada says the word "malakoi" means pedophile sex.
What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The theological position underlying the St Andrews Day statement is Barthian, the theological position underlying the condemnation of homosexual acts in the Catechsim of the Catholic Church is natural law based. The theological position underlying Peter Akinola's article in the Church Times is fundamentalist. Akinola's article alleges that homosexuality is unknown in the animal kingdom when, in fact, the converse is true.

On the grounds adduced above, therefore, we are quite justified in rejecting the traditionalist case against homosexuality, no?
 
Posted by Divine Outlaw-Dwarf (# 2252) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
If, just for once, we could remember that the Bible is a book, written by men, and should be regarded as culturally and socially conditioned

Which of course not all of us agree on...
And even if we did agree, it doesn't mean it can't be the word of God, because God being omnipotent can do things like that.
This is precisely the point: human words can be the the Word of God, without ceasing to be human (and therefore social and historical) words. In fact the Word of God speaks human words by virtue of the Incarnation. Christian faith is founded on the conviction that what is ultimate and infinite can be communicated through that which is contingent and finite.

But therein lies the rub, it is through finitude that the infinite is made known to us, it is through humanity that we touch divinity. How does the fact that we learn about the universal from the particular affect, say, the way we view God's revelation in history, and the way we read scripture?
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Infinitarian:
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
First, you can't make an argument about what is wrong or right based on what the Bible doesn't say. The Bible doesn't say alot of things.

Proponents of this kind of reading agree that Paul didn't mention homosexual orientation because his culture had no concept of it, and yet are happy to accept the comments he did make as coming with divine authority. (Apart from the ones endorsing slavery, obviously.)

If God was inspiring Paul to write his letter to the Corinthians with the intention that that letter would be incorporated into a scriptural canon and used as ethical advice by generations of Christians up to 2000 years later -- and if God condemns sex between people of gay orientation -- then why doesn't the letter say anything specific about the matter? Paul may not have had any concept of homosexual orientation, but are we suggesting God didn't? Or couldn't have explained it?

Aside from this interesting idea of God giving ethical advice, [Roll Eyes] this is a good question. The reason that Paul didn't speak against homosexual orientation is because, well, it's not wrong. How can a preference be wrong? In all matters, scripture makes a very clear distinction between the desire to act and the act itself. And I would argue that Paul did say something specific about that.

quote:
Why exactly could God not have inspired Paul to write something along the lines of: There are men who desire not women, and women who desire not men, and to them it seems good to lie man with man, or woman with woman, as God ordains men and women should lie together. 2 They take pleasure in these acts, yet God condemns such acts as wrong and contemptible in his sight. If such people wish to serve Christ, they must give up all such sinful actions, and submit themselves to a life of celibacy, 3 and even if they do, they should definitely not be given episcopal authority over the diocese of Reading [αναγνωσισ].

quote:
That would have been unequivocal and clear, and saved a great deal of grief and division among the people of God.
You're suggesting that you won't obey Scripture unless it's spelled out for you in infinate detail, letter-of-the-law format. The kind of test you're setting up is the same kind the Parisees set up for Jesus. Of course, even in your explicit instructions listed above, many will still have objections. Was he really talking about our modern understanding of "episcopal authority"? Of course, what Paul understood as a "Bishop" is different today than it was then. And the first century understanding of "celebacy" was different then. Or, like Mike, you could simply sweep it all away under the catch-all aucpice of "there were men writing culture". On and on it goes.

quote:
In fact God could, via Paul, have just as easily condemned cybersex [ερωσ κυβερνετικοσ] if God had wanted to.

There's no way Paul could have condemned cybersex in a way that would meet the criteria you seem to advocate. You're looking for a literal list of right and wrongs. You don't think that there would be a thousand scholars lining up to say he wasn't talking about our modern understanding of cybersex?

quote:
How can we tell, from the distance of 2000 years, what came from God and what came from first-century Palestine? Um, we can't. Which rather puts paid to the idea of looking to any biblical writer as an arbiter of 21st-century ethics.

You're right, it's a tough job. But I would like to know your answer. How do we understand these collected works and their meaning, in their imperfection and humanity, as God-breathed and authoritative?
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
a) The Romans passage talks about people chosing homosexuality. None of the gay people I know chose to be homosexual; some would have given a great deal to chose to be straight.

The Romans passage does not talk about "choosing homosexuality". We have all said Paul didn't talk about "homosexual orientation" at all.

quote:
b) The Corinthinas passage uses a word found nowhere else in classical or biblical Greek. Hence we can't be sure what it means, but many scholars think it might mean "homosexual prostitutes". I have several gay friends, but none of them are prostitutes, so this doesn't seem to apply to them either.

You're wrong about this. The word in the Corinthians is not found in the Greek lexicon prior to Paul's usage, but it was found after a number of times. That doesn't mean that his audience didn't know what he was talking about. And it is highly unlikely it was used to refer to "homosexual prostitutes", since are a handful of Greek words that far better than "arsenokoitai" to describe that.
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
I know this is a dead horse, but I think we are re-running dead horses, or attempting to.

The material about orientation has been covered above. The Bible does not clearly make a difference clear, because there was no recognition of sexual orientation. Thus any distinction is one you make to suit your argument.

Other than that, you're just going over the same tired conservative arguments which only matter if you believe that sort of theology in any case. I don't, and I wouldn't try to defend my position from a perspective I think is incorrect.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
No, Tone, the problem is not recognising the limitations of the Bible full stop. It is a document of its time and reflects the lack of knowledge and understanding of sexual orientation. If, just for once, we could remember that the Bible is a book, written by men, and should be regarded as culturally and socially conditioned, just like any other book of its provenance, we may actually start to get somewhere

Yes, Mike, I already agree with you. I agree the bible is literature, written by men, within their particularly culture. Where we go from there is the problem. There are two extreme responses: the fundamentalists who say that, word-for-word, the bible is somehow transcultural, and there is nothing that is bound or influenced by culture. The other extreme is to dismiss it all, or at best become a self-appointed editor.

But I also believe it is still God-breathed and authoritative. What I see emerging is a trend of dismissing certain passages, or the tenor of a combination of passages, because they say things that make us uncomfortable. As Peter Kreeft said: if the church is a ship, and scriptural teaching is its cargo, once we start throwing off bits of cargo, we haven't just gotten rid of a little cargo, we've actually made ourselves the Captain.

If we're reading the Bible right, I truly believe it will be both a deeply offensive and deeply joyful book. If we remove the offense, we remove the joy.

So I don't worry that people have specific criticism of specific passages. I worry that we look at Scripture as a sort of consultant's report: interesting, informed, maybe even pivotal -- but no longer an authority. If we do that, we will have set outselves adrift.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Professor Yaffle:
Originally posted by Tone:


What's sauce for the goose, is sauce for the gander. The theological position underlying the St Andrews Day statement is Barthian, the theological position underlying the condemnation of homosexual acts in the Catechsim of the Catholic Church is natural law based. The theological position underlying Peter Akinola's article in the Church Times is fundamentalist. Akinola's article alleges that homosexuality is unknown in the animal kingdom when, in fact, the converse is true.

On the grounds adduced above, therefore, we are quite justified in rejecting the traditionalist case against homosexuality, no?


No.

Your survey of traditionalist arguments is fewer than 75 words and hardly comprehensive. Of all of these, I am only aware of one argument, and that's Akinola's. I don't think his precise claim was that homosexual activity is not found in the animal kingdom. In either case, his arguments don't convince me.

But philosophically speaking, while it gives me a reason to reject this particular argument, it doesn't give me any reason to reject all traditionalist arguments. I might claim I saw Jim at the grocery store on Monday because Jane saw him there. But, even if I later discover that Jane got her days mixed up and actually saw him there Sunday, that doesn't disprove he was also there Monday.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Tone - have you read the rest of this thread or not?
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Originally posted by T'Mighty Tone

quote:
If we're reading the Bible right, I truly believe it will be both a deeply offensive and deeply joyful book. If we remove the offense, we remove the joy.

So I don't worry that people have specific criticism of specific passages. I worry that we look at Scripture as a sort of consultant's report: interesting, informed, maybe even pivotal -- but no longer an authority. If we do that, we will have set outselves adrift.

That Jim was at the grocers on Sunday does not prove that he was not also there on Monday. I agree. However, it does not prove that he was there either. In fact, that Jim was at the grocers on Sunday provides us with no information at all, no basis for any strong view (in and of itself) regarding the question of whether Jim was at the grocers on Monday.

In the same way, that we know Paul to have been guilty of anti-gay paranoia does not tell us whether God is for or against gay/lesbian relationships. To argue that Paul's perpectives is automatically the same as God's is nonsensical, I beleive.

So, here we are with the tired fact that there are only 5 or 6 verses in the entire bible which directly alluded to homosexual acts in any way. (I am assuming that verses about hetrosexual sex/relationships are irrelavent to the current debate since they do not mention gay/lesbian activity).

Of these, some almost certainly do not apply today. For example, the Leviticus text is part of the Mosiac law and, on my understanding of scripture, the Mosiac law is not binding either on Christians or on gentiles. Therefore, I do not consider the Leviticus text to be esp. important in this debate. Similiar arguements can be made against the remainder of the O.T passages as while as the arguement that the sexual preferrences of men who wished to rape angels (which is a mythlogical story to begin with) is perhaps not the most important aspect in the story. Perhaps (just perhaps) they were condemned for being rapists, not for being gay.

Also, the text does not say whether the men in the story were gay by choice or by nature for the reasons outlined by others above. However, it seems important to me that this distinction be made before we apply the text willy-nilly against people today.

We are then left with maybe 3 or so verses in the NT which may form credible evidence against gay/lesbian sex. Whether you like it or not, many scholars do not understand these verses in the way you do, MightyTonewheel. Therefore, it is possible (I say possible, not certain. and a possibility is all that is required) that your interpretation is in error.

Morover, it is further possible that these are expressions of Paul's personal prejudice, or hang-overs from the age of law or later insertions into the text. Again, a possibility is all that is required.

So, ladies and gentlemen of the jury, we have before us the question of whether gay/lesbian sex is outlawed by scripture. If you find there is a reasonable doubt concerning the assertion that gay/lesbian sex is impermissable from scripture, then you are obliged either to reject the notion as being unproved or else, at the very least, to hold a non-dogmatic, non-legalistic attitude towards it. To treat the truth or falsity of the assertaion as ambivalent, if not as downright false.

To treat the assertion as ambivalent or false does not entail a rejection either of scripture or of the authority of scripture. Is there sufficient evidence that gay/lesbian sex is outlawed by scripture?

I submit that there is not.

Therefore, I further submit that is is a little irresponsible to submit our gay and lesbian siblings in Christ to guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice and an unfullfilling "lifestyle" on the basis of a weak and unproved assertation.

Ben26 (who hasn't argued every point in this post in full detail for reasons of both time and space)
 
Posted by Infinitarian (# 4513) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
Aside from this interesting idea of God giving ethical advice, [Roll Eyes]

It's not my idea...
quote:
You're suggesting that you won't obey Scripture unless it's spelled out for you in infinate detail, letter-of-the-law format.

No, I'm not. I'm saying I don't see why some of the Bible is couched like that ("Slaves, obey your masters" is pretty unequivocal, after all), while other areas are so interpretable. At least, I do see that, because it fits quite happily with my view that the whole book is a culturally-mediated mishmash containing some close approaches to divine truth and some arrant nonsense. But I don't see how the fact can be made to square with a more "respectful" view of "Scripture".
quote:
How do we understand these collected works and their meaning, in their imperfection and humanity, as God-breathed and authoritative?

Well... we don't, or at least I don't. The Bible in my view is "God-breathed" if by that you mean inspired by God, but then so are King Lear and The Lord of the Rings. Authoritative? No thanks.

The way to read the Bible (or King Lear or Lord of the Rings) is by exercising our God-given gift of discernment. God gave us consciences for a reason, and I believe one such reason is that we should not justify prejudice and oppression with quotes from distantly mediated ancient texts.

(Didn't work, of course.)
 
Posted by Infinitarian (# 4513) on :
 
quote:
I said:
The Bible in my view is "God-breathed" if by that you mean inspired by God, but then so are King Lear and The Lord of the Rings

Probably "inspired in part by God" would better express what I'm trying to get at there. (And no, those aren't the only three books...)
 
Posted by Eanswyth (# 3363) on :
 
Bravo Ben, well done.
 
Posted by Elizabeth Anne (# 3555) on :
 
I'll second that.

Ben [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ben26:

In the same way, that we know Paul to have been guilty of anti-gay paranoia does not tell us whether God is for or against gay/lesbian relationships. To argue that Paul's perpectives is automatically the same as God's is nonsensical, I beleive.



Herein lies the problem. You've taken the views of Paul and simply dismissed them as "anti-gay paranoia". Anybody can do that with anything Paul said, or anything anybody said. It's building arguments on rhetoric. I could just as easily say the stop-sign at the nearest corner is anti-driving paranoia. If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?

quote:
So, here we are with the tired fact that there are only 5 or 6 verses in the entire bible which directly alluded to homosexual acts in any way.

Of these, some almost certainly do not apply today. For example, the Leviticus text is part of the Mosiac law and, on my understanding of scripture, the Mosiac law is not binding either on Christians or on gentiles. Therefore, I do not consider the Leviticus text to be esp. important in this debate.



The Levitical text you're referring to also cites adultery, incest, and bestiality as condemnable acts. You sure none of these are binding on Christians today? In the case of incest and bestiality, neither of them are even even directly mentioned in the NT -- yet we still consider them awful acts, even though homosexual activity IS mentioned several times in the NT.

So, in other words, if the biblical evidence against homosexual activity is not enough, on what biblical grounds can we possibly continue to condemn incest and bestiality?

quote:
Also, the text does not say whether the men in the story were gay by choice or by nature for the reasons outlined by others above. However, it seems important to me that this distinction be made before we apply the text willy-nilly against people today.


From cover to cover, the text never ever makes this distinction for any kind of moral behaviour. Where does it say "It is wrong to commit adultery, but only in cases where my adulterous behaviour is by choice and not by nature? No where. That's because it's ALWAYS wrong to commit adultery, even though some people's instincts (all people?) are telling them that it's the most natural thing in the world. You're essentially advocating that if somoene is born with such-and-such an instinct or natural inclination, it must be ok to live out that inclination. Think about this. As I have argued again and again, think of all the nasty "natural" behaviours that your argument excuses, even blesses.

Scripture says we all have an natural inclination to do the wrong thing, we're born with it. But we're all called to do the right thing even if our natural selves are pulling us in the opposite direction. This is all Christianity 101, spelling out in vivid detail in Romans.

quote:
Therefore, I further submit that is is a little irresponsible to submit our gay and lesbian siblings in Christ to guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice and an unfullfilling "lifestyle" on the basis of a weak and unproved assertation.


This is a truly frightening assertion. Think of what you are saying. You're saying that anyone that is guity of some kind of Scriptural prohibition -- even one that we can both agree on -- it's submitting them to guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice and an unfullfilling 'lifestyle'". That's awful. I'm a sinner -- is that kind of treatment you want for me?

There's this mysterious misunderstanding surrounding this debate. It's this idea that if someone is told they are doing the wrong thing, it's the same as condemning them to Hell. So, this is the choice: either we all accept and bless something (doesn't matter what "it" is), or relegate those that do "it" as lepers.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Ben26:

In the same way, that we know Paul to have been guilty of anti-gay paranoia does not tell us whether God is for or against gay/lesbian relationships. To argue that Paul's perpectives is automatically the same as God's is nonsensical, I beleive.



Herein lies the problem. You've taken the views of Paul and simply dismissed them as "anti-gay paranoia". Anybody can do that with anything Paul said, or anything anybody said. It's building arguments on rhetoric. I could just as easily say the stop-sign at the nearest corner is anti-driving paranoia. If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?

quote:
So, here we are with the tired fact that there are only 5 or 6 verses in the entire bible which directly alluded to homosexual acts in any way.

Of these, some almost certainly do not apply today. For example, the Leviticus text is part of the Mosiac law and, on my understanding of scripture, the Mosiac law is not binding either on Christians or on gentiles. Therefore, I do not consider the Leviticus text to be esp. important in this debate.



The Levitical text you're referring to also cites adultery, incest, and bestiality as condemnable acts. You sure none of these are binding on Christians today? In the case of incest and bestiality, neither of them are even even directly mentioned in the NT -- yet we still consider them awful acts, even though homosexual activity IS mentioned several times in the NT.

Here's a question -- were they named as "wrong" because of the culture, or are they just wrong no matter what culture you're in?

So, in other words, if the biblical evidence against homosexual activity is not enough, on what biblical grounds can we possibly continue to condemn incest and bestiality?

quote:
Also, the text does not say whether the men in the story were gay by choice or by nature for the reasons outlined by others above. However, it seems important to me that this distinction be made before we apply the text willy-nilly against people today.


From cover to cover, the text never ever makes this distinction for any kind of moral behaviour. Where does it say "It is wrong to commit adultery, but only in cases where my adulterous behaviour is by choice and not by nature? No where. That's because it's ALWAYS wrong to commit adultery, even though some people's instincts (all people?) are telling them that it's the most natural thing in the world. You're essentially advocating that if somoene is born with such-and-such an instinct or natural inclination, it must be ok to live out that inclination. Think about this. As I have argued again and again, think of all the nasty "natural" behaviours that your argument excuses, even blesses.

Scripture says we all have an natural inclination to do the wrong thing, we're born with it. But we're all called to do the right thing even if our natural selves are pulling us in the opposite direction. True?

quote:
Therefore, I further submit that is is a little irresponsible to submit our gay and lesbian siblings in Christ to guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice and an unfullfilling "lifestyle" on the basis of a weak and unproved assertation.


This is a truly frightening assertion. Think of what you are saying. I accept that no one should be subject to "guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice" -- but is that what we're doing, as Christians, by trying to name what is right and wrong, in ourselves and others? How about those things we CAN agree are wrong? Should they be subject to shame and guilt because they're sinful people and have done some wrong things?

Ben, you and I are having a discussion about different gospels. Forgive me, but I do not think sinners should ever be put through guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice. I'm an acknowledged sinner. I sin everyday, in the most hideous of manners. Is that kind of treatment you want for me?

When one Christian points to another's wrongdoing (which we should all do), they are not condemning them as lepers. They're saying, "Pal, you're just like the rest of us". When Paul said there is no man, woman, Greek or Jew under the gospel, he meant we're all broken and in need of God's grace, which is available to everyone. Recognizing one's own brokenness is not a recipe for guilt and shame -- it's the only door to the gospel.
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
How do we understand these collected works and their meaning, in their imperfection and humanity, as God-breathed and authoritative?

Well... we don't, or at least I don't. The Bible in my view is "God-breathed" if by that you mean inspired by God, but then so are King Lear and The Lord of the Rings. Authoritative? No thanks.

Ah, thank you! Someone finally admitted it. It's actually really refreshing to hear this, because at least we know where we stand. It's fine to consider the Bible divinely-influenced, shall we say, like a King Lear or Lord of the Rings. But if someone were to take Lord of the Rings, build a doctrine on it, hire clergy to preach it, build buildings where it is read from every week, marshal about a third of the world's population to sign up as followers -- that's a lot of fuss for something that's just a book with a handful of nuggets of wisdom. I mean, a book club is one thing...

The reality is that almost all Christian churches consider scripture to have some special authority. I accept (and appreciate) that you dissent from that, but if that's the case, we don't really have much to talk about.

quote:
The way to read the Bible (or King Lear or Lord of the Rings) is by exercising our God-given gift of discernment. God gave us consciences for a reason, and I believe one such reason is that we should not justify prejudice and oppression with quotes from distantly mediated ancient texts.

Well of course we are to read with discernment, that's why we have threads like this. We're not cooking here, we're trying to discern. But dismissing one approach as "prejudice and oppression" is really just a old tactic debaters use when they run out of points to make. I could just as easily say your way is used to justify self-centredness, arrogance. There, we've each made argument-less accusations, we're at a standoff. Surely this isn't the kind of discernment you were talking about.
[Wink]
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
Wups...sorry for the double post. The 2nd version is holy.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
I repeat:
quote:
Tone - have you read the rest of this thread or not?
Because, unless you have and are prepared to grapple with the intricacies of the arguments already presented, there really is no point in continuing this discussion.

(Sigh. Why do I bother? This is Dead Horses after all.)
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
I repeat:
quote:
Tone - have you read the rest of this thread or not?
Because, unless you have and are prepared to grapple with the intricacies of the arguments already presented, there really is no point in continuing this discussion.
Yes, I have read through the thread. As far as I'm concerned, if you're implying that I'm offering nothing new, or I can't "grasp" the arguments, I would suggest that both sides are guilty of that. After all, you said:

quote:
The Romans passage talks about people chosing homosexuality. None of the gay people I know chose to be homosexual; some would have given a great deal to chose to be straight.


...a point which, I would suggest, isn't exactly fresh ground. One of the central pro-gay arguments about the Romans passage is that Paul referred to the concept of "in nature" -- which could not have been referring to those who were lifelong, committed homosexuals who were clearly born with their orientation and did not choose it, therefore it's "natural". Yes yes, I've heard it all before.
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
quote:
if you're implying that I'm offering nothing new, or I can't "grasp" the arguments
Yes, that is what Iwas implying. At last we can agree on something! [Devil]
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Dear Tone,
Do you have any other interests in religion? 20 of your 23 posts on the Ship have been in this one thread. The rest of us get out and around a bit more.

Yours in Christ but highly pissed off
APW
 
Posted by TheMightyTonewheel (# 4730) on :
 
quote:
Do you have any other interests in religion? 20 of your 23 posts on the Ship have been in this one thread. The rest of us get out and around a bit more.

Yours in Christ but highly pissed off
APW

You're actually pissed off off at me because of my posting ratio?

Friends, I enjoy a good debate I am not interested in personalizing these discussions. Some of you have been very engaging and respectful, and have given me a good deal to think about.

Shalom.
 
Posted by paigeb (# 2261) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
You're actually pissed off off at me because of my posting ratio?

You really ARE dense, aren't you? [Roll Eyes] [Disappointed]

Is your ONLY mission on this board to convince those of us who believe that homosexuality is not a sin that we are in error? If so, you have failed miserably.

If not, try engaging in discussion on something other than this topic. People might get the idea that you were more than a one-trick pony.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
You're actually pissed off off at me because of my posting ratio?

Hm, no, I'm wondering why the only thing you seem to be interested in talking about, on these incredibly varied and fascinating boards, is your views on homosexuality? Which is a dead horse.

Most of us spread ourselves around a bit more. I personally find it difficult to read your condemnations of a group of people to whom I belong when you don't seem to have anything else to be interested in. I am very familiar with people like you appear to be, and I don't much like them. Engage on something meaningful, why don't you? Some of us lesbians and gay men are quite good on, oh I don't know, the resurrection, Augustine, liturgy, the Reformation, liberation theology and music, etc.

And please don't patronise me by suggesting that you're not being insulting. I am currently going through a judicial commission which is debating whether I should be allowed to be a member of the church I belong to by baptism and confession. The views that are being expressed are exactly the same as yours, and they are being used to try and exclude me from Christ's church. Which stinks, since I don't believe Christ would do that.

Your opinions are only your opinions. My life is my life.

[ 19. July 2003, 12:16: Message edited by: Arabella Purity Winterbottom ]
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
Arabella: [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]

PS [Votive] for all you're going through.
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Hi TheMightyTonewheel,

You seem to have a number of objections to my latest post on this topic. Let me take them one at a time.

quote:
Herein lies the problem. You've taken the views of Paul and simply dismissed them as "anti-gay paranoia". Anybody can do that with anything Paul said, or anything anybody said. It's building arguments on rhetoric. I could just as easily say the stop-sign at the nearest corner is anti-driving paranoia. If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?
but we are talining about a tiny handful of verses. If gay/lebian sex was such a major issue, don't you think more would be said about it? As I said, I do not personally happen to believe that Paul's utterances prove the point one way or the other. On the other hand, are you seriously suggesting that Paul was not a homophobe? Everything we know of him suggests that he was.


quote:
The Levitical text you're referring to also cites adultery, incest, and bestiality as condemnable acts. You sure none of these are binding on Christians today? In the case of incest and bestiality, neither of them are even even directly mentioned in the NT -- yet we still consider them awful acts, even though homosexual activity IS mentioned several times in the NT.

So, in other words, if the biblical evidence against homosexual activity is not enough, on what biblical grounds can we possibly continue to condemn incest and bestiality?

Yes, but it also forbids wearing cloths made out of two or more types of material, and orders you to show to a priest any item of clothing you may have which has mildew on it (13:47). This is why we have to use common sense, not just pull verses out of context and use them against our siblings in Christ or anyone else for that matter.

In any case, if you believe everything Paul said then you will agree that Christians are not under law and that the Mosaic law was not intended for the gentiles. To say that Leviticus is not binding upon us (and I'm sorry, but I don't think it is) does not mean we have no defense against bestiality or adultery since perfectly good moral arguements against these acts exist entirely independantly of Leviticus. Are you seriously suggesting that everyone who rejects Leviticus embraces bestiality?

quote:
From cover to cover, the text never ever makes this distinction for any kind of moral behaviour.
Which is exactly the point, the Bible fails to make valid distinctions between choosing to be gay/lesbian and happening to be gay or lesbian whether you like it or not. There is a distinction. The Bible doesn't make it. Which is one piece of evidence in favor of the contention that Biblical knowledge is outmoded in some departments

quote:
This is a truly frightening assertion. Think of what you are saying. You're saying that anyone that is guity of some kind of Scriptural prohibition -- even one that we can both agree on -- it's submitting them to guilt, shame, resentment, prejudice and an unfullfilling 'lifestyle'". That's awful. I'm a sinner -- is that kind of treatment you want for me?

There's this mysterious misunderstanding surrounding this debate. It's this idea that if someone is told they are doing the wrong thing, it's the same as condemning them to Hell. So, this is the choice: either we all accept and bless something (doesn't matter what "it" is), or relegate those that do "it" as lepers.

You seem to have deliberately misrepresented me on this point. I am sorry, but there is no other to say it. I thought I said the precise opposite of what you are implying I said. I said that I don't want people to be subected to prejudice, shame, an unfullfilling life etc. That includes people I disagree with, such as yourself, as well. I didn't say people were not sinful. Since I believe that sin is falling sort of God's standards (I.E not being perfect) the claim that we are not sinful would be an absurd one for me to make.

Also, while you may not intend to make people feel condemned (which is very, very, very, very different from making them feel convicted of sin) it is the effect that attitudes like yours yours often have, to tell people that their sexuality is unacceptable. I have no objection to condemning certain acts, but I want a slightly better rerason to do so then the final cause arguement or an appeal to the Mosiac law. I find neither tactic convincing.

quote:
You're essentially advocating that if somoene is born with such-and-such an instinct or natural inclination, it must be ok to live out that inclination. Think about this. As I have argued again and again, think of all the nasty "natural" behaviours that your argument excuses, even blesses
What a weak arguement. Are you really saying that every single inclination I ever have is evil? If not, you are saying this:

A) Some of the things human beings wish to do are evil. (I agree with this)

B) I don't like gay/lesbian sex, and neither does Paul as it happens, so gay/lesbian sex must be one of the evil things ( I do not agree with this)

C) Therefore, gay/lesbian sex is evil.

That is very nearly a circular arguement, MightyTonewheel.

I shall refrain from commenting on your implication that I don't have the faintest idea what I am talking about.

Ben
 
Posted by Professor Yaffle (# 525) on :
 
Originally posted by TheMightyToneWheel:

quote:
Your survey of traditionalist arguments is fewer than 75 words and hardly comprehensive. Of all of these, I am only aware of one argument, and that's Akinola's. I don't think his precise claim was that homosexual activity is not found in the animal kingdom. In either case, his arguments don't convince me.

But philosophically speaking, while it gives me a reason to reject this particular argument, it doesn't give me any reason to reject all traditionalist arguments. I might claim I saw Jim at the grocery store on Monday because Jane saw him there. But, even if I later discover that Jane got her days mixed up and actually saw him there Sunday, that doesn't disprove he was also there Monday.

Umm you've missed my point. You originally suggested that liberal arguments were to be rejected because:

a) they contradict other liberal arguments
b) secular scholars have confuted some of the points made
c) some liberals make obvious mistakes

My point was exactly the same could be said about traditionalist arguments. It is the nature of a contested field, I think.

And yes, you should find more on the ship than this one dead horse. [Wink]
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by paigeb:
People might get the idea that you were more than a one-trick pony.

I have here, vouchsafed from, well, me, this month's OTP Award, and it DOES go to The Mighty Tonewheel. Congratulations, dude. You have TOTALLY earned it.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Mighty Tonewheel, since you're new to the Ship you may not know that posting only on one subject comes across to people -- whatever that subject is -- as "crusading," which is officially something we're not supposed to do here. The Ship is a different place than many others on the Net -- it really is a community -- and as you can see from the location of this thread in Dead Horses, this particular subject has been beaten to death repeatedly.

In addition, I think many of us are a bit sensitised to gay issues right now -- there's been a huge conflict over in England over the ordination of Jeffrey John, a gay (but celibate) priest, to the Bishopric, or the lack thereof, and tempers have been running very hot after the way that wa
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
... after the way that was handled. [Embarrassed]

[ 21. July 2003, 14:50: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?

Maybe there might be a point here?
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
If the evidence for the resurrection consisted soley of a handful of badly translated verses I would perhaps doubt it as much as I doubt the verisimilitude of conservative arguements against homosexuality.
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?

Maybe there might be a point here?
And there's more justification for keeping slaves, and much more condemnation of usury.

Has anyone read the Guardian (I think) interview with Gene Robinson, elected bishop of New Hampshire? He firmly refused to agree that he was causing any split in the Anglican communion because he wasn't planning to leave. He said he was sorry if others thought they had to, but that was their decision, not one he'd made for them. I must remember this argument!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom:
And there's more justification for keeping slaves, and much more condemnation of usury.

None of which is mutually exclusive with the other material, for that matter. Though I'd certainly like to see more done with economic justice issues from the pulpit than I ever hear...
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
None of which is mutually exclusive with the other material, for that matter. Though I'd certainly like to see more done with economic justice issues from the pulpit than I ever hear...

Indeed. I've just been reading about the Jews in medieval Spain again (an interest of mine) and pondering the persecution they went through. Some of it was related to what the church saw as usury - which had been forced on the Jews by Christians, who who made laws so that Jews couldn't own land. Feels just as twisted as the arguments against us queers.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Arabella: No kidding, no kidding, no kidding.

Obviously at some point Christianity at large decided that usury was not a hill to die on. Probably about the time it became a profitable venture. ( [Roll Eyes] )

That doesn't really bug me so much; if the world changed and collecting interest became less diabolical then so be it. The problem I have is that the same people who will roll their eyes and dismiss the Bible's words in this arena will be the same people who will rend their garments, beat their tom-toms, and exhaust themselves combating people who suggest that it is time to apply the same cultural re-evaluation to the verses about homosexuality. Meaning the priority is material comfort rather than spiritual unity. That, in my view, is not reflecting the kind of priorties that Jesus, Paul, and pretty much all the epistle writers reflected. So when did we, the cultural chuch, decide that our priorites were more important than God's?

To me, prioritizing is the only way out of this mess; if we try to sieve everything through strict literalism we'll never get anything useful done. This does NOT mean we have to pooh-pooh inerrancy; what it does mean is we have to actively seek out the common priorties found in Scripture.Happened in the OT, too: Hosea finally had to tell people "Just shut up, do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God."

(Was it Hosea?)
 
Posted by AdamPater (# 4431) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Kelly Alves:
Happened in the OT, too: Hosea finally had to tell people "Just shut up, do justly, love mercy, and walk humbly with your God."

(Was it Hosea?)

Micah. Chapter 6, verse 8. Besides the two commandments of Jesus, the only summary needed of the requirements of the Almighty and Beloved.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Thanks, mate. [Big Grin]

Edited to add: Of course I added the "shut up" part.

[ 22. July 2003, 05:37: Message edited by: Kelly Alves ]
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
Parker Palmer cites this poem by May Sarton in his book about finding self in his book "Let Your Life Speak":

quote:
Now I become myself.
It's taken time, many years and places.
I have been dissolved and shaken,
Worn other people's faces. ...

May Sarton, "Now I Become Myself," in Collected Poems,
1930-1973 (New York: Norton, 1974), p. 156.

As we struggle for authenticity in our lives, may we wear our own face. May we become that which God intends us to be; not what our culture, family or religion might want, or even coerce, us to be.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
God Bless, iGeek. [Votive]
 
Posted by kevb (# 4691) on :
 
Hi folks,

Just thought I d let you know about some Good News, to coin aphrase, I have just 'come out' to my friends in a good ole c of e church that condemned homosexuality. The up shot is I am accepted for me and maybe I was a little too judgemental about those I percieved to be judgemental. It was lonely out there, you know. My mission now isnt so concerned with what it means to be a gay christian but rather what it means to follow Jesus. I have been very fortunate I know this.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Welcome, Kev, and many hugs!!

[Love]
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Hello kevb, and a hostly welcome aboard the Ship. I'm sure (in the light of your first post) you will find many kindred spirits here!

I'm sure too that you will have read them already, but I'd like to draw your attention to the Ship's own 10 Commandments (link on the left) and also to the guidelines at the head of each Board. Move around the Ship a bit and have fun.

It only remains for me to hand you your (virtual) mop and bucket and to remind you that apprentices get the thrilling task of swabbing the decks - that's your area, over there!
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
Great first post, kevb. [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
Woo HOO! Congratulations and happy coming out Kev.

Feels good to be out of the closet, eh? Glad you're here and God bless as you walk your journey.

quote:
My mission now isn't so concerned with what it means to be a gay christian but rather what it means to follow Jesus.
Amen!
 
Posted by Zeke (# 3271) on :
 
Best wishes to you KevB. I know it is a very difficult and frightening thing to do, but I hope you can feel more at home with yourself now. All the best,
Zeke
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Go Kev. Never feel as though you're on your own.

Kia kaha
Deborah
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
Since liberals have expounded endlessly on this issue without the slightest peep of protest, suffer a conservative to do the same without being flamed into oblivion. I promise I just have some stuff to get out of my system and this will be the only time.

Memo To God:

"Lord, having found several parts of your Scriptures incompatible with our current sexual mores, we have taken the liberty of ignoring several verses which we find terribly inconveniant.

Our next action will be to pen rubrics for the scolding of icons of Saint Paul the Homophobe like a naughty child, for his inconveniant writings on the matter of sexual mores in 1 Corinthians.

Sincerely: Episcopal Church USA."

Zach
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Since liberals have expounded endlessly on this issue without the slightest peep of protest, suffer a conservative to do the same without being flamed into oblivion.
Should we draw the conclusion that you haven't troubled yourself to read this thread or keep up with it, and hence are ignorant of the substantial contributions to it from a conservative position?

quote:
Memo To God:

"Lord, having found several parts of your Scriptures incompatible with our current sexual mores, we have taken the liberty of ignoring several verses which we find terribly inconveniant.

Our next action will be to pen rubrics for the scolding of icons of Saint Paul the Homophobe like a naughty child, for his inconveniant writings on the matter of sexual mores in 1 Corinthians.

Sincerely: Episcopal Church USA."

Yes, you clearly haven't bothered to read this thread, as much if it is about why people who take scripture seriously do not agree with the usual conservative position on this issue.

Why don't you run along to Hell and post your pompous little rant there, where it can get the attention it deserves?

Louise
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
Oh, get off it Louise. I was talking about Purg and Hell. If I have missed the major Conservative threads in one of those two forums, forgive me.

Zach
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
If 'taking Scripture seriously' means ignoring insight and understanding, and setting up the mores of the past as some sort of artificial ideal just because Paul expressed his own opinion about it, then I'm glad I don't.
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
Oh, get off it Louise. I was talking about Purg and Hell. If I have missed the major Conservative threads in one of those two forums, forgive me.

Zach

Perhaps you've missed various conservative points of view on this issue being put at length elsewhere on the boards by people such as Flying Belgian, Anglicanrascal, Jesuit Lad, Junior Fool and Enders Shadow?

There are certainly plenty of people making conservative arguments on this thread, if you had been bothered to read it.

If you post on a Dead Horse thread you are meant to be adding to the discussion on the thread AFTER having read the rest of the thread and being aware of what it contains.

It's not a special space which has been created on the boards for you to post juvenile rants which tell us more about your mentality than about the issue at hand.

L.
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
I might have been inclined to repent my lack of forsight in posting here, Loise, if Mike hadn't graced us with a confirmation of what I wrote.

Zach
 
Posted by Gremlin (# 129) on :
 
My turn:

Live and let live!

What people do in their own between *consenting* adults, is absolutely up to them, and nothing to do with you!

Gremlin
 
Posted by Louise (# 30) on :
 
OK then Zach, you and Mike can both deserve each other [Big Grin]
L.

[ 04. August 2003, 20:06: Message edited by: Louise ]
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
quote:
What people do in their own between *consenting* adults, is absolutely up to them, and nothing to do with you!
Politically I agree with you. I was against that Texas sodomy law for this very reason.

Religion is not politics, though.

Zach
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
So just out of curiosity, what the hell does Merseymike, whose name betrays his Englishness, have to do with the ECUSA?
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
*cough* As much as I, a United Methodist, do. But surely we all believe in the holy catholic church here, Erin. One baptism, one loaf, one church and all...

Zach

[ 04. August 2003, 21:19: Message edited by: Zach82 ]
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
All part of the Anglican Communion, Erin - for what that means....
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
I was baptised in the UMC. The official teetotal stance of the church is what finally sent me away. [Smile]

However, you can't use someone of a different province as proof of anything in the ECUSA. If that were the case, I could throw up Jack Spong as evidence of the unorthodox beliefs of the Church in Wales. I will grant that there are definitely people in the ECUSA who feel as Mike does, but I think that you're taking a far too trite and mocking stance at an incredibly painful process for those of us on the board who are watching our beloved province fall apart.

Besides, doesn't the UMC value scripture, tradition, reason and experience equally? That's what my UMC pastor told me.
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
You are most right, Erin. Scripture, Reason, Tradition, and Experience are equally valued in Methodism.

I will pray for the Episcopal church, Erin. Forgive me for being trite.

Zach
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
Thanks... I know that to those in other traditions it is a clusterf*ck of epic proportions (and to be fair, it is), but watching all of this just leaves me, anyway, with a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I honestly don't believe that there will be any true winners here, no matter what the outcome. [Frown]

But we can get back to slagging each other off about homosexuality in general. [Smile]
 
Posted by Zach82 (# 3208) on :
 
At the last meeting of the UMC in 2000, the gay lobby's resolutions on things like homosexual ordination and acceptance of gay marriage were defeated terribly, almost 90% against on them all.

When the convention refused to continue debate on the hopelessly defeated bills, the gay lobby refused to leave the floor, and said they would have to arrest them or continue debate. The convention had no choice but to go with the first, and several bishops and pastors were arrested and tossed in jail by the police.

So actually, the Episcopal debate has been quite tame in my view. [Wink]

Zach
 
Posted by Degs (# 2824) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Zach82:
as much as I, a United Methodist, do.

No. More. As he said, he is an Anglican, and the appointment of Gene Robinson is an Anglican matter that has implications for the Anglican Communion.
 
Posted by Morph (# 4803) on :
 
The topic isn't really up for discussion. First Corinthians and Deuteronomic and Levitical law make this clear. The fact of the matter is: The homosexual offender will NOT inherit the kingdom of heaven. However, if a person repents, they will be saved. It is perfectly possible that a person who is homosexual and truly repents of this sinful state is forgiven by God . However, a person who continues to live like this and is unrepentant of it is damned. All sin is sin, and a heterosexual who has sex outside of marriage and is unrepentant is in the same boat. The law does not change and neither does God's standards. Now we have the grace of God this does not mean we have the right to flagrantly disregard the Torah of YHWH.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Morph, have you read this thread? No? Thought not.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Oh. God. No. [Eek!]

Morph, I see that this is your very first (and only) post on the Ship. Whether we end up agreeing or not on this subject, please for goodness' sake don't stay focused on this one (or any other one) subject. I know it's very important, which is why the debate here has raged for more than a dozen pages, but please be wary of winding up a one-issue poster, and also of how you express what you believe here -- see the Ship's 10 commandments.

We've had several people recently come on board and focus exclusively on one topic, particularly sexual morality (and particularly gay stuff), and it makes them come across as crusaders.

As a fellow fan of the X-Men (... that is where your name is from, yes?), I implore you to act better than they did. They're mostly gone now. Perhaps looking over the threads on other boards besides Dead Horses (which is where threads which have been debated to death wind up -- this is not an issue on which people will be convinced quickly or easily, if at all) -- Heaven and All Saints are less contentious places.

David
David is not a host, but is a caring nurturer, a member of several twelve-step programs, but not a licensed therapist. His show "Daily Affirmations" is... no, wait, that's Stuart Smalley

PS: Sorry if that sounds over-anxious; but this is my panic, and I own it.

David
now being extremely silly, quoting Stuart Smalley again; naughty David!

[ 06. August 2003, 20:51: Message edited by: ChastMastr ]
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
Hmmmmmmmm. Morph, you really should read threads before you post on them. I know this from bitter experience. If you had read this thread, you would realise how unconvincing your post is.

Regardless of whether I agree with you or not (and, tbh, I don't) the fact that all your points have been discussed at length and that there is evidence against your claims kinda makes you look like an arrogant, clueless prat.

Ben26
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Morph:
The topic isn't really up for discussion.

[Killing me] [Killing me]

The irony in posting that statement to a discussion board is beautiful, man.
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
I am a Christian. I have read the bible. I am not gay. I haven't got any strong confidence as to what God intends Christian people who'd very much prefer to cuddle with members of their own gender to do with their lives. It is therefore a very good thing that I don't need to have a strong, clear, confident position on it, as it isn't my concern for any reason.

I am much more confident that, as a Christian, I do not feel that I am under the Mosaic Law as laid out in the Torah, but under the law of Liberty, having died to the world and to the obligation to keep the law with Christ, who once and for all fulfilled the law. You will therefore see me making no attempt whatsoever to live up to the standards of the law. I am not attempting to live a life that is merely "right", but one that is actually *good*, and I personally think that's harder and better to do. You can't achieve good by doing evil. Unless it could be proven that homosexuality is evil, rather than merely unlawful for non-christians (for Christians, of course, all things are lawful, but some things edify not) I don't think you've got a lot to say about it.

I think I just might have looked after a woman or two to lust after them, committing adultery in my heart. My grandfather divorced his wife because she was clinically insane and refused treatment her whole life. A friend of mine shot himself through the head while playing Russian Roulette. I do not understand why they did these things, nor do I know if the work of Christ "covers" them. I wouldn't be surprised if it did, but it's not up to me nor can I know without oversimplifying the message of the bible, which isn't written specifically to me, to answer my curious questions and let me know that I'm living "right".

I have no clear motivation to stand up and say "You! You're wrong! And you're going to Hell!" to anybody for anything.
That's not my business. I don't even know who's going to Hell. That's not part of my job. I know that Hell will have people who cast out demons in the name of Christ in it (which I've never quite been able to do), and many other people who will be quite shocked and outraged that they're there.

To me (a man who seems intended by God to seek out sticking his penis in a worthwhile woman who very much wants him to do that and has promised to let him and only him do it) homosexuality does seem a little wierd...a little "outside" what I personally understand. It also seems a bit amusing (from a third party viewpoint.) It might even be more funny than heterosexual sex, and that's saying a lot! (anyone who thinks hetereosexual sexual acts aren't funny need only hit fast-forward during a heterosexual sex scene in a movie, pornographic or otherwise. This also works for birthing videos and videos of people eating.)

I don't fully understand the urge to want to put my penis anywhere near another man, but I understand even less the desire to stand at Christ's right hand, pointing and shouting "Yeah! You Sodomites there! I'm talking to you, you fairies! You're going to Hell, so THERE, nancy boys! I was right all along and you were...liberal! Ha! Burn, baby!"

In fact, I go so far as to question that such an attitude would be even lightyears near the spirit of Christ. I think that anyone who is quicker to judge than Jesus Christ needs to remember what his or her job is, and how little his or her opinion really matter when it comes to matters of eternal damnation and inheriting the kingdom of God. It would be nice if that person could say something worthwhile and good, rather than just make it clear once and for all who is "wrong."
 
Posted by Icarus the Happy Coot (# 220) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ken:
quote:
Originally posted by TheMightyTonewheel:
If God was "against" same-sex activity, why do want Him to get that across to you in any way that is different than the way He got the resurrection across to you?

Maybe there might be a point here?
As time goes on, I am more and more convinced that it is the case:

Jesus died on the Cross to STOP HOMOSEXUAL ACTS AT ALL COSTS!

[Snigger]
(Give me strength. And a few sordid homosexual-offender-who-won't-inherit- the-Kingdom liasons)
 
Posted by Arabella Purity Winterbottom (# 3434) on :
 
Cool post WP! Made me laugh it was so honest, but great sense of straightforwardness. I wish everyone was so straightforward.

I particularly like the bit about sex being funny - you don't read much about it, but I agree 100%. I don't know whether any one kind is funnier than any other kind, but its all funny on a simple visual level. (Of course that's not normally our perspective...)
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
In the last few days I've read three anti-gay posts by first time posters, none of whom (so far) have posted anything else: calpurnia, whyberight... and now morph. Does this indicate some sort of pattern? Are they all the same person, and are they all sockpuppets of someone who has been banned?
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
I understand even less the desire to stand at Christ's right hand, pointing and shouting,
"Yeah! You Sodomites there! I'm talking to you, you fairies! You're going to Hell, so THERE, nancy boys! I was right all along and you were...liberal! Ha! Burn, baby!"

Actually, I understand it pretty well. I'm certainly not immune to it. Absolute certitude about an issue can be a heady intoxicant. One can derive a certain amount of self-esteem going about pointing out other peoples (presumed) shortcomings. Remember the social dynamics when you were, oh say between 12 and 18?

quote:
In fact, I go so far as to question that such an attitude would be even lightyears near the spirit of Christ.
Yeah. I think think so as well.

Excellent post, WP, though the graphic imagery you invoke of physical intimacy between men and women gave me the heebie-jeebies. *shiver* [Razz]
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
Oh, no point in being paranoid. There's no real shortage of people in America who are afraid they won't be able to get a good night's sleep, what with the din of gay sex emanating from houses all around them.

Whether they be lurkers finally speaking up about something they feel they can't sit by idly by during, or people who don't normally "feel led to" post being stirred into action by the "controversial" nature of the topic, I think we can assume that they are three separate examples of three seperate people with similar views on The American Family or The State of The Church.
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
quote:
It is perfectly possible that a person who is homosexual and truly repents of this sinful state is forgiven by God . However, a person who continues to live like this and is unrepentant of it is damned.
What you're really saying is that if a person pretends to change, it makes you more comfortable.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
Morph

Normally I would be happy writing this post as I gave you a hostly welcome to the Ship.

However, not only have you started off on the wrong foot - you've done so in just about the worst way possible.

For an explanation, please read the Ship's Ten Commandments (with special attention to 1,3 & 8). You should have already read these as part of the joining procedure - if so please re-read them. Also please read the Guidelines at the entrance to each Board.

I can understand that you have strong views on the subject - but so do many other shipmates and their views are diametrically opposed to yours. If you read all the posts in the thread (yes, even though there are several hundred) you will see that your views have already been forcefully expressed - and ultimately we have had to agree to differ. Attacking those who hold opposing views is not debate or discussion - and debate and discussion is what the Ship is all about.

Normally I would issue a formal hostly reprimand at this point, but as you are new I will simply warn you that repeated postings of this sort will result in you being banned.

Please accept this warning in the kindly way I intend it. Many shipmates now in good standing started off badly - it will not be held against you if you now start 'playing by the rules'.

If this is not clear, or if you feel I have been unreasonable, please feel free to email me or send me a Private Message - see 'My Profile' for details of P.M.s.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
iGeek: Bingo! Because as Gene Robinson said about the whole Jeffrey John fiasco, the real "h" word we're talking about here is honesty.

[oops]

[ 06. August 2003, 22:36: Message edited by: RuthW ]
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
WP, if virility can be measured by the prowess of a man's posts, then lucky the woman who... well, you understand.

(Seriously--excellent post [Not worthy!] )
 
Posted by Ben26 (# 4201) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by The Wanderer:
In the last few days I've read three anti-gay posts by first time posters, none of whom (so far) have posted anything else: calpurnia, whyberight... and now morph. Does this indicate some sort of pattern? Are they all the same person, and are they all sockpuppets of someone who has been banned?

we have another one in Purg.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
Speaking officially ...

They are not all the same person.

There is a new link to the gay bishop thread in Purgatory from the ship's front page (you remember the main part of the ship, right? the magazine?), and that is probably why we're getting a few more new people than usual at the moment who have opinions about this particular topic.

RuthW
Member Admin
 
Posted by The Wanderer (# 182) on :
 
quote:
(you remember the main part of the ship, right? the magazine?)
I'm sorry but you're really confusing me here. You seem to be suggesting that there is a part of a Ship that isn't on these discussion boards. Clearly that doesn't make sense - I think I need a lie down.
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
Well, it's the middle of the afternoon and, upon checking the active threads today, there are eight other active threads primarily discussing homosexuality (besides this one), none of which are in the Dead Horses section.

Arguments ranging from "The Bible Says Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve!" to "We attend a Full-Gospel Traditional Lesbian Episcopal Reformed Unitarian Society of Religious Friends Chapel in Croyden where we speak in tongues every Sunday" rage unchecked all over Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and even Gehenna (a new section devoted primarilly to temporary tattoos and hair-dye).

I have no personal motivation or vested interest in having a position, building up a body of knowledge or trying to get to the bottom of the whole homosexuality issue itself and the issues peripheral to gaiety in general. Because of this, I find myself feeling almost left out of things on this Ship Of Fools today, unless I take the subject up as a hobby, which I don't think I'll do. I live in a part of the world where same-sex couples can and do marry, can claim full spousal healthcare benefits and so on.

I have a confession to make:
"I'm straight, I'm here, I'm a virgin by choice (and disciplined, strict adherence to a grueling regimen of daily masturbation) and I'm proud of it all! It's who I am!"

Isn't there any discussion, or any role models on the ship that are relevant to me and my (admittedly unusual) chosen lifestyle? Remember, I have to learn how to commune on a very deep and trusting level with a whole different gender before I can be part of a "couple".
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
and even Gehenna (a new section devoted primarilly to temporary tattoos... )

I got it! I got it!!! [Yipee] [Yipee] [Yipee]

David
unnervingly proud of this
 
Posted by Erin (# 2) on :
 
TWP is trying to pick up het chicks on a thread about homosexuality!! [Big Grin]
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
TWP is trying to pick up het chicks on a thread about homosexuality!! [Big Grin]

This, on the other hand, I actually didn't get, thus absolutely ensuring I win the 2003 "Captain Oblivious" award. [Eek!] [Embarrassed]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
"I'm straight, I'm here, I'm a virgin by choice (and disciplined, strict adherence to a grueling regimen of daily masturbation) and I'm proud of it all! It's who I am!"

Isn't there any discussion, or any role models on the ship that are relevant to me and my (admittedly unusual) chosen lifestyle?

"admittedly unusual"???? Leave out the phrase "by choice" and it describes half the men on the planet.
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
I was bored and felt like "coming out."
 
Posted by Merseymike (# 3022) on :
 
So you want a support group for wankers?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
I'm still proud of getting the "henna" pun. [Yipee]
 
Posted by Laura (# 10) on :
 
quote:
Arguments ranging from "The Bible Says Adam and Eve, Not Adam and Steve!" to "We attend a Full-Gospel Traditional Lesbian Episcopal Reformed Unitarian Society of Religious Friends Chapel in Croyden where we speak in tongues every Sunday" rage unchecked all over Heaven, Hell, Purgatory and even Gehenna (a new section devoted primarilly to temporary tattoos and hair-dye).

I knew there was some reason I've been feeling vaguely ... suicidal.
 
Posted by Anglicub (# 3413) on :
 
Yeah.. there was a time that discussion of Christianity and homosexuality would have been interesting, like maybe 4 or 5 days ago -- being as how I'm, y'know, one of Them. But I think I'm reaching my saturation point! [Ultra confused]

Who'da thunk it?
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Anglicub:
being as how I'm, y'know, one of Them.

You're a giant ant from a 1950s movie? [Confused]

David
absolutely loves using that line whenever someone refers to "Them"
 
Posted by Ariel (# 58) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by ChastMastr:
quote:
Originally posted by Erin:
TWP is trying to pick up het chicks on a thread about homosexuality!! [Big Grin]

This, on the other hand, I actually didn't get, thus absolutely ensuring I win the 2003 "Captain Oblivious" award. [Eek!] [Embarrassed]
Neither did I. If that's an example of a chat-up line, there is no hope for future generations.
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Merseymike:
So you want a support group for wankers?

A few days ago I was wandering around some mildly derelict council estate in London, as one does, when I saw graffiti, I guess about a schoolteacher, that said something like: "Mr. X is a fucking cunt wanker tosser".

And I thought "Lucky Mr. X".
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
Some women's expectations for male chat-up lines are so low, that any man who publicly admits to being single (and not bent upon staying that way) is seen as delivering a pick up line or come on. Mediocrity is the fruit borne of low expectations.
 
Posted by RuthW (# 13) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
Isn't there any discussion, or any role models on the ship that are relevant to me and my (admittedly unusual) chosen lifestyle? Remember, I have to learn how to commune on a very deep and trusting level with a whole different gender before I can be part of a "couple".

You're asking this question on a thread called "Homosexuality and Christianity"?

One suggestion: if you don't see a thread relevant to you, start one.
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
quote:
You're asking this question on a thread called "Homosexuality and Christianity"?
Yes I am. It's more of a rhetorial question, or complaint. I got sick of the maximum overgaeification of the message board of late, feeling it had gotten rather one-note and tedious. I haven't read my bible for a week or so (which I should do, as that always raises more questions than it answers) so I didn't have any ideas for new threads and was really hoping other people would. Rather than start a nasty, stupid and negative thread called I'm sick of all of this gay talk. I'm not gay and it doesn't interest me much or apply to me either, I thought, "Why not go where the maximum number of gay people are most likely to be reading and just let them know how I feel. They can do what they like, but I just want my own personal feelings to be heard and then move on. If others feel the same way, this may be a relief to them." Going to the source, as it were.

I realize that the news lately is chock-full of stuff that absolutely doesn't relate to me in any way, and I know that I live in a part of the world where same-sex marriage is recognized making the whole question less pressing where I live, but I was just venting a bit. I do believe there is such a thing as too much of almost anything.

I'm really glad that we have the Ship, where we can talk about almost whatever we want. I just tend to hope that some people come up with topics other than eight different ones about Christian's Sexual Orientations, and that all of the threads about "what is marriage?" and "do you need the church to marry?" would not be overrun with gay issues only, or that some of the discussions on more or less the same exact subject could be grouped. I could swear I saw at least three different threads about Gene the Gay Bishop in America. "Why three?" is my question? And also "Is his being gay such a huge deal?" Not for me it isn't. Carry on sharing. Also, go forth and make new and interesting threads on a broad range of topics so I'll have to look things up in my bible again.
 
Posted by Freddy (# 365) on :
 
Now that we have a lull in the conversation ( [Snigger] ) I thought I would ask a question that I have been wondering about.

Is the percentage of the population that engages in homosexual sex relatively static, or does it change according to different factors?

If it does change, what are the factors that might cause this? And is this conjecture, or are there any kind of reliable statistics about it? Is it known to change from one country and culture to another, or is it relatively uniform world-wide?

Maybe this should be a separate thread, since it really has nothing to do with Christianity, and has nothing to do with judging the rightness or wrongness of homosexuality. On the other hand, maybe there are already enough threads in Purg on this topic... [Roll Eyes]
 
Posted by ken (# 2460) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by Freddy:

Is the percentage of the population that engages in homosexual sex relatively static, or does it change according to different factors?

Must change cos seems to be more in male-only places than in general society

quote:

If it does change, what are the factors that might cause this?

No-one knows


quote:
And is this conjecture, or are there any kind of reliable statistics about it?

Conjecture. No-one gathers reliable statistics. For example people estimatge proportion of gay men in Britain anywhere from below 1% to well over 10%. All nonsense.

(As my own home town is the most gay-friendly, or at least the least gay-unfriendly city in Britain, probably in Europe, and lots of gay men have moved there to live, and the total number of out gay men in the not-very-big city is certainly not very much more than 10%, the higher figures are certainly nonsense)

quote:
Is it known to change from one country and culture to another, or is it relatively uniform world-wide?
No-one knows, partly because there are places they kill you if they think you are buggering men, so who can gather figures?
 
Posted by geelongboys (# 4870) on :
 
This is an email I sent through to...well...you'll guess pretty quickly.

FTR......I am a same-sex attracted Christian..who believes homosexuality is sinful...but doesn't think it's THE sin...(even though I slip and indulge from time to time) and believe I'm justified by faith in Christ and God's grace like fellow sinners. [Smile]

"Hi.

I wrote to you at godhatesfags.com a while back with some questions that I felt didn't fit within your FAQ. Since I've been doing some more thinking and studying on this after my last email, I thought I'd fire off to you a more broadly outlined query.

I was impressed with Fred Phelps' admission that at one point in his life...he realised that he was a sinner, who needed to totally rely on the grace and mercy of God for salvation, through Christ's redemptive work on the cross. I think just about every Christian minister in the world would say....that is the way of salvation.

An assertion you have made repeatedly is that 'fags' will not find salvation because they are ...'dogs....swine....hogs...abominations'..etc ..whom God hates ..and therefore He will not turn their hearts around so they can be saved. Repentence from sin being the evidence that God has redeemed an individual.

So what happens to people who profess to be saved....and yet continue to engage in the sins of hubris...and reviling? These seem to be little understood concepts in Christian circles....but the bible is exceedingly clear about their sinfulness...and their seriousness.

The sin of hubris (translated in English as 'pride' http://www.lewrockwell.com/wallace/wallace121.html) is described in proverbs 16:5 as 'an abomination to the Lord ...which will not go unpunished.' The last person to see their pride is usually the person committing the sin of pride ...........because of their pride. There is a pride which has become popularly known as 'gay pride'....but that same hubris is unfortunately found in many others who can not humbly (opposite of pride)...accept that they are just as sinful as the most sinful.. (The apostle Paul can not be described as being proud...or having hubris....because he described himself as the Chief of Sinners...after conversion to Christ). Yet the ministry of Westboro Baptist church not only tolerates this hubris/pride within it own ranks.....but embraces the sin outright.

Then there is the matter of reviling. (often confused with the word 'revellers'). 'Revilers' appears in the same sentence...(not the same book...or the same chapter but the same sentence) as the prohibition on homosexual behaviour in 1 cor 6. The text is clear. As with homosexuals...revilers (verbal abusers)...will not inherit the kingdom of heaven....apart from those who were revilers...and have been washed ..sanctified and justified through Christ Jesus.

I have to question whether there has been a true repentence of the sin of reviling....given the routine verbal abuse dished out by your church to friends and foes alike. As part of the church's denunciation of sin ..in all its forms...I think it would be helpful for your church to tell the truth as it needs to be told....that reviling is sinful behaviour....which must be sincerely repented. Do not tolerate it in your own lives...or the lives of others. Revilers...and reviler-enablers...will not see the kingdom of heaven. Please embrace this scriptural truth.

I realise.....true repentance of the sins of hubris/pride and reviling may impact severely on your ministry activities. But that is part of the cost that must be counted in following Christ.

The main question I ask Fred Phelps is....'In 1946/47...when you (genuinely I believe) confessed to being a sinner...and renounced and repented of sin........did that include the sins of hubris/pride and reviling?. If not, like other sinners, you can always make a fresh start through the grace and mercy of God.....through the one who paid the price for the sins of pride and reviling, Jesus Christ.'"
----------

Hmmmm......suppose I should have added...'so there!'...somewhere in the email...oh well.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
[Not worthy!] [Not worthy!] Well Done! [Not worthy!] [Not worthy!]
 
Posted by The Lurker (# 1384) on :
 
Welcome to the boards, GLB.
 
Posted by Janine (# 3337) on :
 
Nicely put, GLB.

Perhaps more nicely than many would have put it.

It may be too subtle for the recipient(s).

But it may actually get you a real reply, too.
 
Posted by Kelly Alves (# 2522) on :
 
..and I love your sig.
 
Posted by TonyK (# 35) on :
 
geelongboys - may I extend the customary hostly welcome aboard our Ship (noting with regret that I have been beaten by other shipmates [Embarrassed] )

And thank you for a thought-provoking post.

I'm sure you will have read them as part of the joining procedure, but can I remind you about the Ship's own Ten Commandments (link on the left) and the Guidelines which you will find as you enter each Board.

Other than that it only remains for me to wish you 'Bon voyage' - oh, and by the way, to give you your (virtual) mop and bucket enabling you to carry out your apprenticeship duties of swabbing the (virtual) decks!
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
Welcome, geelong! [Yipee]

David
 
Posted by iGeek (# 3207) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
...I got sick of the maximum overgaeification of the message board of late, feeling it had gotten rather one-note and tedious. ... Rather than start a nasty, stupid and negative thread called I'm sick of all of this gay talk. I'm not gay and it doesn't interest me much or apply to me either, I thought, "Why not go where the maximum number of gay people are most likely to be reading and just let them know how I feel.

"Welcome to my world". I'm sick of all this het talk (and ubiquitous, *public* het expressions of opposite gender affection). I'm not het it doesn't interest me much or apply to me either. Alas, I'm queer in a one-note, tedious world of het-ness which *doesn't* come and go; there is no respite.

(feeling petty and petulant today)

[ 18. August 2003, 21:54: Message edited by: iGeek ]
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
I understand completely. The fact that people relate to and are helped by talk that doesn't interest one is absolutely no consolation, is it?
 
Posted by Sine Nomine (# 3631) on :
 
quote:
Posted by That Wikkid Person:
I thought, "Why not go where the maximum number of gay people are most likely to be reading and just let them know how I feel.

Thank-you for sharing.

In return, let me suggest you don't bother reading threads you're not interested in. I don't. I may groan inwardly when I see that they've gone to four or five pages, but I don't have to suffer through them. Cuts down on my annoyance level considerably.
 
Posted by ChastMastr (# 716) on :
 
quote:
Originally posted by that Wikkid Person:
I just want my own personal feelings to be heard and then move on

May I suggest that this attitude is not really conducive to real discussion, regardless of topic?
 
Posted by that Wikkid Person (# 4446) on :
 
I can't seem to help myself. I've had no job all summer (out of work teacher) and, having no cable(or antenna) TV, I've found reading heaping gobs of other people's ideas on spiritual matters to be a fairly good use of my time. I particularly like to read the opinions of people who I am likely to disagree with, just so I really understand that point of view, rather than walk around feeling I understand it when I don't. I also like to actually give other people a chance to change my mind about things.

Sometimes I've gotten a bit silly on the boards. Going on this thread and complaining about "too much talk about gay stuff and I'm not gay" was pretty silly. It amused me and took some of the sting out of the strong feeling I was getting that the Boards were no longer "for people like me." I'm sorry that it may have annoyed some people (or made them wonder what was wrong with me.)

I really didn't want to start a "I'm sick of all of this gay talk" thread, but wanted to say "We're really beating this dead horse more than is necessary all over Heaven, Hell and Purgatory rather than just in Dead Horses" to people who were into the discussion instead. A host told me to go start a "I'm sick of all of this gay talk" thread, so I started a "Do we talk too much about gay issues on Ship of Fools? Discuss..." thread purely as a joke, believing people would come on and say "Very funny, but I'm not falling for that" and now it's getting more action than this (real, serious) one, mostly with gay Christians having a lot of fun on there and joking around and stuff.

I am extremely relieved whenever I see a sense of humour being used while discussing deeply serious issues like this. I think it's a sign of character and sanity. (I am, of course, open to the idea that I personally have an infantile sense of humour) Is there room for more than one Ship's Fool?
 
Posted by kevb (# 4691) on