Kuro5hin.org: technology and culture, from the trenches
create account | help/FAQ | contact | links | search | IRC | site news
[ Everything | Diaries | Technology | Science | Culture | Politics | Media | News | Internet | Op-Ed | Fiction | Meta | MLP ]
We need your support: buy an ad | premium membership

[P]
Acceptance of Gays in Major American Religions

By Icestryke in Culture
Tue May 24, 2005 at 01:20:46 AM EST
Tags: Culture (all tags)
Culture

A major 'hot-button' issue in the American religious world the the acceptance of gays, lesbians, and bisexuals into religious faith. Denominations disagree on this issue, and on many related to it. For example, many denominations disagree with the generally accepted belief that homosexuality cannot be 'cured', and any attempt by a psychologist to change a person's sexual orientation is unethical.

This article will examine this issue and why it is so controversial. First, a historical perspective will be given concerning gays in the early Christian Church. Second, various denominations and congregations within those denominations will be examined and compared to show their differing levels of acceptance of homosexual and bisexual laity and clergymen. Third, an analysis of Christian theology relating to this subject will be presented. Finally, a proposition examining the larger problem behind this issue will be shown.


Homosexuality was commonly accepted in classical Greek and Roman civilization. The Spartans encouraged homosexual relations between their soldiers, Roman emperors married other men, and even Alexander the Great had a male lover.

The Christian church did not condemn homosexuality until at least the 11th century. As John Boswell said in his speech entitled "The Church and the Homosexual, a Historical Perspective", given in 1979:

"As late as the eleventh and twelfth centuries, there appears to be no conflict between a Christian life and homosexuality. Gay life is everywhere in the art, poetry, music, history, etc. of the 11th and 12th centuries. The most popular literature of the day even heterosexual literature, is about same sex lovers of one sort or another. Clerics were at the forefront of this revival of the gay culture. St. Aelred, for instance, writes of his youth as a time when he thought of nothing but loving and being loved by men. He became a Cistercian abbot, and incorporated his love for men into his Christian life by encouraging monks to love each other, not just generally, but individually and passionately He cited the example of Jesus and St. John as guidance for this. 'Jesus himself," he said, "in everything like us. patient and compassionate with others in every matter, Transfigured this sort of love through the expression of his own love. for he allowed only one - not all- to recline on his breast as a sign of his special love; and the closer they were, the more copiously did the secrets of their heavenly marriage impart the sweet smell of their spiritual chrism to their love."

The condemnation of homosexuals (A term that was not coined until the 19th century) began at about 1150 A.D., about the same time that the Medieval Inquisition began. During the 12th and 13th centuries, governments of Christian states passed laws making homosexual behavior punishable by death. These events reflect a general shift in the philosophy of the early church in that time period.

Shifting from history to the present day, acceptance of homosexuals varies widely by congregation. Many churches and denominations have official positions about the sinfulness of homosexuality and the suitability of homosexuals to be clergy, from the United Church of Christ's accepting position to the Catholic Church's restrictive one. These polices cause significant controversies within a particular church. For example, the election of Pope Benedict XVI was seen as a support of a conservative viewpoint on this and many other issues. Also, six Episcopalian priests are not paying their dues to the diocese because they do not agree with the bishop's decision to ordain a gay clergyman.

However, the acceptance of a homosexual or bisexual in a congregation has more to do with unwritten social mores than official policy, although there is a correlation between the two. For example, a Lutheran church in a liberal community is more likely to be accepting than a Lutheran church in a conservative community, simply because the attitude of the congregations are different. Homosexuals are more likely to be seen as an out-group in more conservative communities, both in the church and the community at large.

Many fundamentalist Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. Some of the Bible verses they use to support this belief are Genesis 2:24 (Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.), Leviticus 18:22 (Thou shalt not lie with mankind as with womankind: it is abomination.) Romans 1:26-27 {For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature. And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with man working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompense of their error which was meet.), and 1 Timothy 1:10 (For whoremongers, for those that defile themselves with mankind, for menstealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine;)

A literal interpretation of these verses would show that homosexuality is indeed a sin. However, this poses a dilemma. One of the central tenets of the Christian faith is that man can redeem himself and conquer sin through Christ. This means that one could conquer sinful behavior, such as homosexuality, though belief in Jesus Christ. However, scientific study shows that homosexuality is a part of a person's nature. From the APA's website (http://www.apa.org/pubinfo/answers.html)

"Human beings can not choose to be either gay or straight. Sexual orientation emerges for most people in early adolescence without any prior sexual experience. Although we can choose whether to act on our feelings, psychologists do not consider sexual orientation to be a conscious choice that can be voluntarily changed."

This creates a division between religion and science similar to that concerning evolution, and both of those topics are the subject of vigorous debate between fundamentalist Christians and students of the sciences. This is one of the key reasons why homosexuality is such a large issue in church governance.

Another reason why homosexuality is such a big issue in religious organizations is that it represents a fundamental paradigm shift in a central aspect of life. During the first half of the 20th century, homosexuality was literally invisible to the average American. It certainly did exist, but its underground subculture was very sequestered. This left most Americans to believe that homosexuals were a small group of sexual deviants, on the same level as pedophiles and sadomasochists. However, this view was disproved by Alfred Kinsey's Sexual Behavior of the Human Male. Most people reacted with revulsion at the very mention of homosexuality, simply because it was against the social mores of the time. Two men or two women having sex was simply unthinkable. This attitude pervades American culture to this day, especially in conservative communities that hold on to traditional values. Some people that hold these values feel threatened, they believe that their whole world-view is under attack, so they shut out homosexuals and bisexuals from their lives. Considering that religion is traditionally considered to be one of the primary sources of our values, it is only natural that conservative congregations would discriminate against homosexuals and bisexuals.

NOTE: I, Tobias Pace, hereby relinquish all copyrights to this work and release it into the public domain.

Sponsors

Voxel dot net
o Managed Hosting
o VoxCAST Content Delivery
o Raw Infrastructure

Login

Related Links
o Also by Icestryke


Display: Sort:
Acceptance of Gays in Major American Religions | 110 comments (83 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
Brainwashing (2.33 / 3) (#1)
by wre on Sun May 22, 2005 at 02:24:21 PM EST

Brainwashing is only unethical when it only goes half-way. If it doesn't work at all, no problem. If it works perfectly, then no problem.

However, I do agree with you. Homosexuality and heterosexuality are equally stupid. Bisexuality - doubly so.

Bisexuals are just greedy /nt (none / 1) (#89)
by HollyHopDrive on Wed May 25, 2005 at 11:53:54 AM EST


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Homosexuality is not hard wired (1.81 / 11) (#4)
by Stick on Sun May 22, 2005 at 02:49:13 PM EST

Just like the way I enjoy having animals rubbed over me during sex isn't hard wired.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
Wrong Point (none / 1) (#25)
by blackpaw on Mon May 23, 2005 at 06:18:50 AM EST

You could as easily say that heterosexuality isn't hard wired, a good point now I think of it - if homosexuality  isn't hard-wired then heterosexuality can't be either.

If heterosexuality is hard wired then you have to accept the fact that other sexualities could be programmed in via that same set of neurons (or whatever).

[ Parent ]

It's not hard wired either (none / 1) (#36)
by Stick on Mon May 23, 2005 at 11:14:38 AM EST

If it was we wouldn't have gay people.


---
Stick, thine posts bring light to mine eyes, tingles to my loins. Yea, each moment I sit, my monitor before me, waiting, yearning, needing your prose to make the moment complete. - Joh3n
[ Parent ]
that doesn't follow. :) (none / 0) (#45)
by aphrael on Mon May 23, 2005 at 02:18:38 PM EST

The fact that some people are gay does not imply that those who are straight do not have a hard-wired preference for heterosexuality.

That only works if you assume that the hard-wiring is the same for all humans - but that's a bizarre assumption. Handedness appears to be hard-wired, but there are both left-handed people and right-handed people.

[ Parent ]

Probably wrong (3.00 / 2) (#59)
by tetsuwan on Tue May 24, 2005 at 04:58:21 AM EST

Scientific evidence tend to favor the point that sexuality is quite hard-wired. A recent study found that gay men react to male pheromones in the same way heterosexual men react to female pheromones. I know that the role of pheromones is debated, but this limited study shows a clear pattern.

Njal's Saga: Just like Romeo & Juliet without the romance
[ Parent ]

Homosexuality can be cured (1.15 / 13) (#6)
by mostes on Sun May 22, 2005 at 02:55:48 PM EST

with lots of shock therapy.

links... (none / 1) (#11)
by SaintPort on Sun May 22, 2005 at 04:07:39 PM EST

(I am not a hate-mongering homophobe. I number self-proclaimed gays among my friends. But, I just cannot condone the lifestyle, and have shared my views here to flesh out the discussion.)

From my K5 diary (after failed queue attempt):
  A Christian Apology Regarding Homosexual Marriage

Focus On The Family on homosexuality.

http://www.exodus-international.org/

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

an aside (3.00 / 4) (#16)
by mtrisk on Sun May 22, 2005 at 08:19:56 PM EST

(I am not a god-bashing atheist. I number self-proclaimed christians among my friends. But, I just cannot condone the lifestyle, although I have not shared my views here to flesh out the discussion.)

Meh. I think religion is immoral, you think homosexuality is. Oh well. I don't think I'll post any anti-religious links though.

______
"If you don't like our country, why don't you get out?"
"What, and become a victim of your foreign policy?"
[ Parent ]

wll then... (none / 1) (#28)
by SaintPort on Mon May 23, 2005 at 08:10:49 AM EST

peace out, dude.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Exodus International (none / 1) (#71)
by Rojareyn on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:42:27 PM EST

Footnote: A number of the founders of Exodus International later renounced their status as "ex-gays". I believe this organization, while originally run by many "ex-gays", is now mainly run by members of many conservative denominations.

You may wish to reference Setting the Record Straight".

Please note that the APA has stated that so-called "conversion" therapy is harmful and has all but denounced the practice as ammoral. I also note that the founders state that all it does is lead to hatred and self-loathing.

[ Parent ]

In Ten Million Years, Perhaps... (3.00 / 9) (#12)
by Pluto on Sun May 22, 2005 at 04:39:00 PM EST

Yet another statement about discrimination against homosexuality, this one with some interesting historical notes. Will the ensuing discussion bring enlightment? This debate may never further because humans have an extremely primitive consciousness.

Case in point:  People are obsessed about how other humans -- throughout the world -- people they will never know -- are using their wee-wees.

This infantile obsession (which like homosexuality is also pre-programmed into the physical brain) seems not worth the wear and tear on the neurons to discuss, much less to hope to influence through rational thinking.
_______________________________________
Burgeoning technologies require outlaw zones... deliberately unsupervised playgrounds for technology itself. -- William Gibson

seems like (1.00 / 4) (#13)
by thar keesh on Sun May 22, 2005 at 05:04:39 PM EST

your precious "evolution" isn't all it's cranked up to be, huh?

[ Parent ]
primitive consciousness? (3.00 / 2) (#14)
by Polverone on Sun May 22, 2005 at 05:41:21 PM EST

If humans have some sort of primitive consciousness that causes them to care too much about regulating others' sexual behavior, how do you explain the historical examples of societies more sexually permissive than Christian America? Did ancient Greeks and Pacific islanders attain a higher consciousness, only to somehow fail to pass on their enlightened genes to their descendants? If it's a physical programming to care about sexual mores, have those people who cease to care transcended the physical world?

People generally think that other people's personal behavior is their business, I'll grant you that. Whether it's black men having sex with white women, men having sex with men, or adults of any sort enjoying cocaine, there's always been a vocal minority willing to condemn it and a passive majority unwilling to fight the condemnation. Social norms are one thing, but many of these condemnations unfortunately have been or still are codified into laws with attached penalties.
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]

When it's not sex, it's something else. /nt (none / 0) (#19)
by wre on Sun May 22, 2005 at 10:26:51 PM EST



[ Parent ]
People think other people's personal (none / 0) (#30)
by TheVenicianEffect on Mon May 23, 2005 at 08:46:28 AM EST

behaviour is their business, and I reckon this may have a tiny bit to do with their parents (and school, government) interfering in their own sexual lives - something which perpetuates itself into the next generation.

Did ancient Greeks and Pacific islanders try to control their children in such ways and stop them having sex?

[ Parent ]

a mistake (2.80 / 10) (#18)
by SocratesGhost on Sun May 22, 2005 at 09:43:13 PM EST

"The Spartans encouraged homosexual relations between their soldiers"

No, they didn't. You're thinking of the Theban Band of Lovers which were destroyed by Alexander the Great.

The famed warriors of Sparta (who are more famous for their loss at Thermopylae and their almost complete inability to fight successfully outside Laconia) were notorious for having a relatively weaker emphasis on homosexuality. I say notorious for two reasons. For one, it went against the rest of prevailing Greek culture and foreign commentators on Spartan society considered it an oddity(see the writings of Xenophon (section 12 and 13) whose commentary on the Lycurgan law reveals that romantic love between men was forbidden; Aristotle, Plutarch and others made similar comments). The second more interesting aspect to this notoriety is the strong penalties for pursuing women. This was largely a warrior culture and from early ages men and women were separated into separate barracks. If a man was found "courting" or "wooing" women, they would be beaten. But consider what this does: it made women more tempting for their men (and a read of Lysistrata shows the power that Spartan women had over their men) and it encouraged the soldier to be more clever and industrious in pursuing their affairs. As a result, the man who succeeded the hazing to become a husband was a man worthy of having a wife.

Just do a Google search and you'll see that almost every reference to primary source material is the exact opposite of your original claim. It's only in unsupported secondary material do we hear that Spartan society encouraged it.

-Soc
I drank what?


You do realize... (3.00 / 2) (#42)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon May 23, 2005 at 01:53:01 PM EST

...don't you, that you're taking a position which lies far on the hitherside of scholarly consensus on this issue? That homosexual behavior, if not homosexuality in the modern sense, was an institutionalized part of the Spartan pedagogical practices is presently the dominant view. The record is very incomplete and thus venturing opinions on the matter is highly speculative, but I personally see no reason to reject the predominant view here. The evidence to the contrary seems to me to hinge upon misinterpretations of the source documents, such as Xenophon's Constitution, where he is not claiming that Lycurgus' laws prohibited homosexual activity, only that it was prohibited in cases where it motivated soley by lustful appreciation of physical beauty; a proper concern for cultivation of the youth was required on the part of the lover. Additionally, the practice of pederasty stood in dynamic conflict with the Greek honorific codes, which assailed weakness and passivity, leading a number of conventionalized depictions of the practice which are hard to reconcile with our understanding of the human behavior generally (eg., that the boys involved derived no pleasure from the act.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
evidence and lack of evidence (none / 1) (#49)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 23, 2005 at 04:24:35 PM EST

I admit that there is debate on this, but the evidence seems to tilt toward a lack of homosexuality. To say it was a part of their military regimen is a stretch when it's difficult to determine whether it's even a part of their society at all. The only evidence we have for Spartan homosexuality is circumstantial, such as the mentor relationship that senior soldiers had with their fellow hoplites or the traditions of the Spartan wedding night.

The reports of its absence or disapproval do exist as we saw in Xenophon and also in Aristotle. Aristotle noted that the strong willed nature of Spartan women was typical of martial societies that didn't practice homosexuality. If Sparta were an exception to this tendency, you would think he would have noted it. Plutarch also intimates this as well as others.

The circumstances of the overall society must also be considered and not simply whether men simply see each other more often in the barracks. The Lycurgan law forced males to sublimate their desires to the state and it would no doubt consider sexuality to be an extravagancy that wouldn't have a place. These were men who wore poor clothes, ate horrible food (some Greeks joked that this was the reason no Spartan feared death), and lived in a barracks until retirement age. Comfort was for other places in Greece, I just cannot see it being for Sparta and that would encompass the comforts of sexuality with either men or women.

But more interesting than that is the lack of evidence that we would expect to find. While we do have the rare laconic love poem to a woman, we find no similar poetry dedicated to other men. The best that I can determine is that pederasty and/or homosexuality may have existed but was discouraged enough not to be a visible part of Spartan society.

Either way, the original author's definitive statement is overstepping its authority.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Agreed (3.00 / 2) (#51)
by cr8dle2grave on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:06:36 PM EST

The author's categorical statement is indefensible. I just wanted to point out that this is a somewhat controversial subject, which is by no means a settled, one way or the other. Although, it is my impression that the majority opinion falls on the side of there having been homosexual practices in Sparta, I'm no classics scholar, and thus could be rather off-base here.

In any case, what we do know is that the Spartans institutionalized as part of its conventional pedagogical practices the relationship between an older man and a younger teenage boy, where the roles were referred to using the same language as elsewhere in the Greek speaking world where it most certainly had an erotic element to it (sorry, can't recall the greek terms which are often translated as lover and beloved). It is certainly possible that the Spartan institution had been denuded of all traces of sexuality, but I find that rather unlikely.

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Geertz (completely off topic) (none / 0) (#52)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 23, 2005 at 05:55:44 PM EST

I finally had a chance to pick the brain of my friend, an anthropologist. It turns out that he received his doctorate at Princeton under the guidance of Hillary Geertz, the wife of Clifford. My friend and I were enjoying a picnic with wives and girlfriends and we pretty much talked the entire time about symbolic anthropology.

So, thank you for introducing me to Geertz's work. It felt good to be able to hold up my end of the conversation and be able to advance my understanding, too.

-Soc
I drank what?


[ Parent ]
Glad to hear it! (none / 0) (#95)
by cr8dle2grave on Wed May 25, 2005 at 04:00:05 PM EST

What did you think of The Interpretation of Cultures anyhow?

---
Unity of mankind means: No escape for anyone anywhere. - Milan Kundera


[ Parent ]
Older man and younger boy (none / 1) (#103)
by black orchidness on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 08:18:43 PM EST

I remember reading something in my ethics class during the homosexuality unit that discussed this. I can't recall exactly what it was, but from my understanding, the relationship was not like our modern definition of homosexuality. The older man would (I think), masturbate between the teenage boy's legs, but there was no anal sex, kissing, oral, or any of that. The relationship was less physical and more student/teacher/companion-like, I believe. Just kind of an interesting side note.

[ Parent ]
homosexuality (none / 0) (#110)
by Battle Troll on Fri Jun 10, 2005 at 03:39:41 PM EST

Was practiced differently in different Greek states (and at different times.) A cursory glance at Xenophon (as cited, conveniently, by SG above) demonstrates this. For instance, a lot of what we consider gay sex today (eg, anal sex) was forbidden under Athenian law and custom, and (in theory) harshly punished; we don't really know what force this proscription had.

My own pet theory is that the law was a sop to the rural population that never really prevented sophisticated urbanites from getting their rocks off. I like to think this less because there's evidence for it than because it so parallels contemporary America.
--
Skarphedinn was carrying the axe with which he had killed Thrainn Sigfusson and which he called 'Battle Troll.'
Njal's Saga, ca 1280 AD
[ Parent ]

Who cares? (1.00 / 6) (#26)
by LIKE A GOD on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:20:42 AM EST

Jesus christ, I don't give a fuck about gays or what else, but if I have to endure much more of this bullshit I'm going to have to reevaluate my position. Can any group that generates the creation of such moronic god-awful ramblings as this really be good for the world? I know for a fact that today, if not for gays, I wouldn't have read this goddamn abomination of an article--surely THAT would be something positive. As it stands I want to claw out four fifths of my brain so as to retard myself enough that I care about this article.

Might I recommend... (none / 1) (#96)
by Eccles on Thu May 26, 2005 at 11:23:44 AM EST

Might I recommend you find a browser that doesn't click on links you would otherwise and skip, and that doesn't force you to read an article you don't care about?

[ Parent ]
Are there major American religions (none / 1) (#29)
by TheVenicianEffect on Mon May 23, 2005 at 08:40:43 AM EST

apart from Christianity?

As you say, as society accepts gays and rights movements make progress, churches will naturally accept them as well more and more - they will be forced to by people. Of course if the church preached a certain way people would probably follow, but it is unlikely for it to happen that way round.

You glossed over the point of why Christians started having a thing about homosexuals. I have lost the website I saw on metafilter once about victorians, that had the theory it all started because pagans etc. did it, so it was easy to stamp out their religion by making people hate the things they do. But that doesn't really make sense anymore, and the issues nowadays are questions of letting gay people into the church.

So what is the reason for people high up in the church to reject them nowadays? Are they just ignorant or stuck in their ways because that is the way things have been in the church? Or are there other reasons that 'spreading this hate' benefits the church?

Possible benefits of hate and fear (3.00 / 2) (#31)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon May 23, 2005 at 09:41:50 AM EST

it keeps your sheep in line, keeps 'em "happy". How can they be sure they're god's chosen people unless they have others to look at and shudder who aren't? You gotta tell 'em to hate and fear others, and that those others are going to hell in order to make your congregation feel special.

If they don't feel special then they'll start to wonder why they bother doing anything you tell them, then you have lost.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
American Christianity is far from monolithic. (2.66 / 3) (#33)
by glor on Mon May 23, 2005 at 10:07:42 AM EST

That aside, the answer to your question is still yes.

--
Disclaimer: I am not the most intelligent kuron.
[ Parent ]

Missing one very relevant discussion (2.77 / 9) (#32)
by SocratesGhost on Mon May 23, 2005 at 10:06:02 AM EST

Part of the problem in an essay like this is that it fails to discuss the overall architecture in which homosexuality existed. That is, it fails to discuss the church's reaction to sexuality and love in general.

For example, the neoplatonists of the early church embraced Plato's threefold division of love: agape (God's love), eros (romantic love), and philia (friendship). No less of a person than St. Augustine (430 AD) embraced and encouraged this view of love. The consequence of this view is that the love that is best is a love that is not tied to physical desires. This holds true particularly in heterosexual love where the flesh was meant to be inured against all physical desire to better prepare oneself for the greatest of all loves. Under this view, having children becomes an academic or economic issue and not a consequence of desire and passion. Further, homosexuality has no place and love between men can only occur in the realm of philia, admiration, and intellectual pursuits.

So, instead, you mention St. Aelred and ignored the influence of Augustine whose philosophical impact on the church was probably greater than all but Christ. You focused on how homosexuality survived the church's rejection of it but never really attempted to discuss why the church rejected it in the first place apart from a modern literal interpretation. Instead you waved your hands and uttered the magic words "inquisition" as though this really explains it. But you made it clear that this article is about the acceptance of gays, a narrow one-sided view to the issue that ignores much that is relevant. Thus, it comes across as somewhat revisionist.

Accompanied with my earlier comment about how you simply got the Spartan history egregiously wrong, I find this article too unsupported to vote up.

-Soc
I drank what?


Homosexuality is a sin period. (1.00 / 15) (#38)
by V on Mon May 23, 2005 at 11:58:05 AM EST

It is fucking spelled out in the fucking bible. Can't any of you "allies" read?

And saying that psychology is scientific discipline? That's beyond ridiculous.

What a fucking waste of time.

V.
---
What my fans are saying:
"That, and the fact that V is a total, utter scumbag." VZAMaZ.
"well look up little troll" cts.
"I think you're a worthless little cuntmonkey but you made me lol, so I sigged you." re
"goodness gracious you're an idiot" mariahkillschickens

Lol, so is eating shellfish (1.50 / 2) (#39)
by Have A Nice Day on Mon May 23, 2005 at 01:14:06 PM EST

It says it right there man, and you'd better not ever wear a shirt made of mixed fabric, god really hates that.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
lack of understanding your comment indicates... (2.00 / 2) (#83)
by issachar on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:29:48 AM EST

seriously. You're missing the distinction between Jewish dietary and purity laws and moral teaching. You're treating the bible as though it's a single monolithic book that comes from modern western publishers with no historical context.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]
Well if you want historical context (1.50 / 2) (#84)
by brain in a jar on Wed May 25, 2005 at 04:24:37 AM EST

then surely you have to allow that the old testament, just like the new testament, was written by men, not by God and that these men inserted into it to some extent their own prejudices. The references to the ownership of slaves, and the "proper" treatment of women are commonly ignored as being simply too out of date to be taken seriously. I would hold that this is also the case for the prohibitions on homosexuality.

If you reject some of the old biblical laws, you must justify why you do not also reject the old prohibitions against homosexuality. You need to show that there is a good reason for this prohibition, whereas there is no longer any good reason to adhere to the laws which you reject.

Loving sex between two adults is a positive activity, it harms no-one. What possible justification can their be for upholding the prohibitions against homosexuality other than the fear of that which is different. A fear which Christians should generally try to overcome.


Life is too important, to be taken entirely seriously.
[ Parent ]

Of course the bible was written by men... (2.00 / 2) (#93)
by issachar on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:28:57 PM EST

It was written by men inspired by God. This has always been Christian teaching on the Bible.

Why do we not follow the dietary laws? Well the obvious reason is that the Apostle Paul said it was okay in his letter to the Corinthians. (In the New Testament).

As for love not harming people. It depends on what kind of love you're talking about. (the Greek words are more complete) The english word "love" encompases many things. Agape or Filios between two adults or between any number of people is good. Eros is limited to a married man and woman because sexual love between anyone else is harmful to themselves.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Why are the purity laws ignorable? (1.50 / 2) (#86)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed May 25, 2005 at 05:37:56 AM EST

and not the homosexuality prohibitions?
I'd like to know a non-bullshit reason for that as it seems to me that the bible is very specific on the rules there.

Also, why aren't you out burning witches? There's plenty of them and "Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live" after all.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
the purity laws.. (none / 1) (#92)
by issachar on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:23:12 PM EST

the purity laws are different because they were all about making the nation of Israel distinct from the surrounding people. The text has a context.

And we don't want to burn witches because Jesus told us to forgive people and to love our enemies as ourselves. It's sad that it's taken us so long to figure that out and we're still not doing it right. As a result Christians who follow this teaching don't want to burn homosexuals any more than they want to burn witches.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

as i've said a million times before (3.00 / 2) (#46)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 23, 2005 at 02:37:12 PM EST

i await a social conservative who can, in plain and compelling words, describe to me the grave threat homosexuals pose to the family and heterosexuality and society

there is no threat, none whatsoever

period, end of story

everything beyond that essential point, that ends all other arguments, is pure unadulterated bullshit

really


The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

and here's the heart of it (3.00 / 2) (#54)
by Polverone on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:36:45 PM EST

The social conservatives will tell you of the grave threat in words that they find plain and compelling. You won't find them plain and compelling, though. For the most part, I don't think either side convinces the other's partisans of changing their opinions by argumentation. The balance of public opinion is changed more by old people dying and new children receiving the messages of their parents. Argumentation may also persuade people who happened to grow up without strong opinions on a topic, but partisans are rarely converted. In the long run the trend toward greater sexual freedom is clear, but the future would be here sooner if people of the tolerant liberal persuasion bred more :-P
--
It's not a just, good idea; it's the law.
[ Parent ]
not wholly true (none / 0) (#55)
by circletimessquare on Mon May 23, 2005 at 07:44:23 PM EST

change is good, at a certain rate

therefore, the resistance of some to certain change is good

social conservatives just resist change too much

while social liberals embrace change too much

the truth is that both groups are equally detrimental for the health of society, and they naturally balance each other out

change is all about an idea being created, and gradually filtering it's way across all of society

but plenty of bad ideas are created, so natural resistance to change is good so the bad ones get weeded out

unnatural resistance on the other hand is not good

on the issue of homosexuality, social conservatives are truly the rock hard morons on this topic, the last bit that won't dissolve, the retarded junk of society

as you suggested, homosexuality is all but obviously harmless and all but a stone's throw from being accepted without reservation by enough of society that it is laughable to be seen as threatened by it

The tigers of wrath are wiser than the horses of instruction.

[ Parent ]

Dunno (none / 0) (#57)
by blackpaw on Mon May 23, 2005 at 09:23:54 PM EST

I have yet to hear a conservative give any reason other than:
- Its against the bible
- Its disgusting

Neither of those arguments, even if you buy into them actually translate into a threat against the family et al.

[ Parent ]

you forgot (none / 0) (#61)
by SaintPort on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:01:57 AM EST

 - It is an unhealthy lifestyle, causing higher risk of disease and higher healthcare costs for everyone.
 - It is a non-reproducing lifestyle, which means that it is not in agreement with nature, and that new inductees will be sought, meaning our children are at increased risk.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
Counterarguments (none / 0) (#63)
by virg on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:46:22 AM EST

> - It is an unhealthy lifestyle, causing higher risk of disease and higher healthcare costs for everyone.

Then your stance on obesity is incongruous. Why aren't you condemning all of your overweight congregants? That's by far much more unhealthy.

> - It is a non-reproducing lifestyle, which means that it is not in agreement with nature, and that new inductees will be sought, meaning our children are at increased risk.

Firstly, if non-reproducing is against your tenet, why don't you dissolve marriages that don't produce children? And "increased risk"? Sorry, but study after study shows that people don't choose their sexual orientation. Therefore, gays will appear no matter what, and there's no need to "induct" anyone, and even if there was, nobody who's heterosexual can be "converted" like that anyway. If the drive isn't there, it's not like someone can be talked into it. If you think they can, consider what someone would need to do to you to convince you to become gay. The only increased risk is that your kids will notice that you're a bigot.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
counter-counter (none / 0) (#64)
by SaintPort on Tue May 24, 2005 at 10:11:49 AM EST

Then your stance on obesity is incongruous.

Have you not heard that gluttony is a sin?

Therefore, gays will appear no matter what, and there's no need to "induct" anyone,

Then quit it. It is very common practice for gays to attempt to seduce hetros.

... and even if there was, nobody who's heterosexual can be "converted" like that anyway. If the drive isn't there, it's not like someone can be talked into it. If you think they can, consider what someone would need to do to you to convince you to become gay.

I believe there is a much thinner line here than you portray. Homosexuality is a sexual behavior so it releases endorphins and such.

If you posted on slashdot that you a great orgasm with a vacuum cleaner, there'd be scores of wanna-be vac-sexuals who will try it. If they enjoy it, they may well begin a new lifestyle.

  Ooooo baby, how many amps do you draw?

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

Close the Circle (none / 0) (#65)
by virg on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:48:02 AM EST

> Have you not heard that gluttony is a sin?

Good point. Now close the circle. How come fat priests aren't defrocked? Why don't you protest people talking about accepting fat people on TV and in the media? Why aren't you heckling people who are proud of their weight? Why aren't you boycotting McDonald's? This is part and parcel of hypocrisy. Why do you harp so strongly on the sin of homosexuality and not gluttony? The actuarial tables say that your child is hundreds of times more at risk from heart disease than STDs.

> Then quit it. It is very common practice for gays to attempt to seduce hetros.

I'm sorry, but you're badly deluded or simply lying. It's so uncommon that most heterosexuals never even know about the homosexuals in their midst. You're beginning to sound irrationally paranoid.

> I believe there is a much thinner line here than you portray. Homosexuality is a sexual behavior so it releases endorphins and such.

So, you're saying you could be convinced to become gay? Sorry, but again I call BS. What you believe is basically irrelevant, because demonstrated studies have shown time and again (and much to the chagrin of "lifestyle choice" proponents) that sexual orientation is not something that you can simply choose to change, any more than left- or right-handedness. Sure, a gay person can act straight, or have sexual relations with opposite sex members, but that won't stop the attraction any more than you having homosexual sex would stop you from desiring heterosexual relations.

> If you posted on slashdot that you a great orgasm with a vacuum cleaner, there'd be scores of wanna-be vac-sexuals who will try it. If they enjoy it, they may well begin a new lifestyle.

You'd have a hard time convincing me or anyone else that someone who had no desire to get it on with a Hoover would do so just on my say-so, and if the desire is there, then my say-so isn't the driving force, now is it? Again, do you seriously think you'd try gay sex just because someone approached you? My guess is that you'd respond with revulsion, much like most other people do.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Damnit (2.50 / 2) (#66)
by LilDebbie on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:58:39 AM EST

Let's be absolutely clear on this: studies show that sexual orientation is determined at a very early age (5-6 IIRC), NOT that you're born that way. This is still a behavior that develops as a result of environment. Homosexuality simply cannot evolve as a behavior because homosexuals DO NOT REPRODUCE.

Now, I'm perfectly willing to believe that humans have a differential aptitude for homosexual behavior. It's well documented in other primates. However, the idea of an exclusively homosexual lifestyle is absolutely ludicrous (at least at the levels the GLBT movement suggests - I could see a very minor fringe on par with, say, the level of prevalence of schizophrenia). Therefore, it IS a behavior and can be controlled just like any other behavior.

plz keep in mind when framing debate kthnx!

My name is LilDebbie and I have a garden.
- hugin -

[ Parent ]
Could be genetic (none / 1) (#76)
by GhostfacedFiddlah on Tue May 24, 2005 at 06:05:58 PM EST

Homosexuality simply cannot evolve as a behavior because homosexuals DO NOT REPRODUCE.

This is a fallacy.

For instance, if the "gay gene" propogated exclusively through straight females, then it could continue in perpetuity.  If the "gay gene" gave an advantage to the females (larger breasts, resistance to disease, etc), then it could even become more common.

This "battle" between male and female genes is quite common, and there are plenty of genes that provide a benefit to one sex and a detriment to the other.

[ Parent ]

More examples (none / 1) (#101)
by NoBeardPete on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 09:04:58 AM EST

There could be other genetic explanations, too. Sicle Cell Anemia has evolved because having one copy of the gene produces resistance to malaria, while two copies cause an evolutionarily harmful disease. Nonetheless, the benefits of being resistant to malaria are strong enough that some low level of the disease can be expected in relevant populations. I see no reason in principle that homosexuality couldn't evolve through similar means - having one copy of a relevant gene might be evolutionarily advantageous, while having two (or just having that one in concert with certain other genes) leads to something evolutionarily disadvantageous.


Arrr, it be the infamous pirate, No Beard Pete!
[ Parent ]

False assumption (none / 1) (#82)
by tassach on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:31:29 PM EST

Homosexuality simply cannot evolve as a behavior because homosexuals DO NOT REPRODUCE.

Balderdash.  On the kinsey scale, there are at least twice as many people who are moderatly to completely bisexual (Kinsey 3-5) as there are who are exclusively homosexual (Kinsey 6).  Furthermore, there is a lot of social and family pressure for gay people to enter into "cover" marriages, and even raise children, while keeping their true sexuality buried or closeted.

I personally know several people who openly self-identify as being either gay or bi who are successful parents with intelligent, well-adjusted and well-behaved children.  Two of my best friends are a lesbian couple, yet both of them were previously married to men.  

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

Several Misses (none / 1) (#87)
by virg on Wed May 25, 2005 at 09:53:28 AM EST

> Let's be absolutely clear on this: studies show that sexual orientation is determined at a very early age (5-6 IIRC), NOT that you're born that way. This is still a behavior that develops as a result of environment. Homosexuality simply cannot evolve as a behavior because homosexuals DO NOT REPRODUCE.

Compelling if only it were true, but there's nothing preventing gay people from reproducing. There are many gay people with children produced from their own genetic material. Also, what hand you favor when writing doesn't seem to appear until you actually start writing, but it's well accepted that it's "hard-wired", so the argument that sexual orientation is determined solely by environment is unsupported.

> Now, I'm perfectly willing to believe that humans have a differential aptitude for homosexual behavior. It's well documented in other primates. However, the idea of an exclusively homosexual lifestyle is absolutely ludicrous (at least at the levels the GLBT movement suggests - I could see a very minor fringe on par with, say, the level of prevalence of schizophrenia). Therefore, it IS a behavior and can be controlled just like any other behavior.

If you're willing to allow for differential aptitude, then this argument fits heterosexual behavior exactly as well as it fits homosexual behavior, so your argument is valueless.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
Already there (none / 0) (#68)
by SaintPort on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:17:11 PM EST

Why do you harp so strongly on the sin of homosexuality and not gluttony?

Because the gay movement is trying to change the status quo. It is a reaction. Also, the Scripture speak about homosexuality in our midst as a cause for God's judgment to fall. Scripture is not quite so hard on the fatties.

It's so uncommon that most heterosexuals never even know about the homosexuals in their midst. You're beginning to sound irrationally paranoid.

Sorry, you are discussing this with a guy who has been approached by male friends and strangers, (gay,bi, bored and/or just frustrated) on numerous occasions for sex. This seduction/recruitment seemed almost flattering when I was younger. Now as an old fart, I understand the danger to the body and soul, and thank God for moving my spirit to say no.

Sure, a gay person can act straight, or have sexual relations with opposite sex members, but that won't stop the attraction any more than you having homosexual sex would stop you from desiring heterosexual relations.

So what. That's what self-control is all about.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

There's a difference between self control (none / 0) (#85)
by Have A Nice Day on Wed May 25, 2005 at 05:34:17 AM EST

and outright repression of your sexual identity.

--------------
Have A Nice Day may have reentered the building.
[ Parent ]
Not as "There" as You Think (none / 1) (#88)
by virg on Wed May 25, 2005 at 10:08:44 AM EST

> Because the gay movement is trying to change the status quo. It is a reaction.

Truer words were never spoken.

> Also, the Scripture speak about homosexuality in our midst as a cause for God's judgment to fall. Scripture is not quite so hard on the fatties.

Izzat so? Numbers 11, 31-34 seems to disagree. Unless a plague doesn't count as "God's judgement".

> Sorry, you are discussing this with a guy who has been approached by male friends and strangers, (gay,bi, bored and/or just frustrated) on numerous occasions for sex. This seduction/recruitment seemed almost flattering when I was younger. Now as an old fart, I understand the danger to the body and soul, and thank God for moving my spirit to say no.

Ever been approached by a woman for sex? Did you think those women were trying to recruit you into a lifestyle? Did you not see the same danger in that to body and soul? More to the point, when you told these male friends and strangers you weren't gay, or weren't interested, how many of them tried to talk you into it anyway? This isn't recruitment, it's an attempt at a connection, like any other attempt. You seem to think that gay people are out there actively looking for straight people to hit on, and that's just screwy of you. They're (unsurprisingly) looking for other gay people, and my guess is that you seemed like a good prospect.

Virg
"Imagine (it won't be hard) that most people would prefer seeing Carrot Top beaten to death with a bag of walnuts." - Jmzero
[ Parent ]
negating yourself (none / 0) (#99)
by C0vardeAn0nim0 on Thu May 26, 2005 at 09:14:10 PM EST

Sorry, you are discussing this with a guy who has been approached by male friends and strangers, (gay,bi, bored and/or just frustrated) on numerous occasions for sex. This seduction/recruitment seemed almost flattering when I was younger. Now as an old fart, I understand the danger to the body and soul, and thank God for moving my spirit to say no.

stating that you refused their aproach negates your previous statements about homosexuality being a threat. you just proved that not all straight persons are subject to seduction by same-sex individuals.

i myself have several gay friends and none of them ever tried to seduce me. so ?

http://www.comofazer.net
[ Parent ]
The gay person steps in (none / 0) (#102)
by ZuG on Wed Jun 01, 2005 at 01:03:40 PM EST

Actually, the bible guy is right, from my own personal experience. Sometimes gay guys will hit on straight guys they are fairly certain are straight. Many times, they just find them attractive and aren't 100% sure of orientation. It's actually pretty common for straight married men to get blowjobs from gay guys in an anonymous manner, so it's not that big of a stretch, IMO, to expect somebody that may seem straight is not. Some people also do it to piss people off, but they need to be smacked upside the head.

[ Parent ]
Cite? (none / 0) (#67)
by Nimey on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:09:51 PM EST

It is very common practice for gays to attempt to seduce hetros.
Cite? I would think it's more common for gays to stick with other gays.
--
Never mind, it was just the dog cumming -- jandev
You Sir, are an Ignorant Motherfucker. -- Crawford
I am arguably too manic to do that. -- Crawford
I already fuck my mother -- trane
Nimey is right -- Blastard
i am in complete agreement with Nimey -- i am a pretty big deal

[ Parent ]
either it is common (none / 0) (#69)
by SaintPort on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:19:17 PM EST

or I'm just queer-bait.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]
You are probably right... (none / 1) (#73)
by tonedevil on Tue May 24, 2005 at 01:06:43 PM EST

you shore do got a pretty mouth.

[ Parent ]
Well, sucks to be you then (3.00 / 2) (#74)
by Jazu on Tue May 24, 2005 at 01:11:18 PM EST

And I advise you not confuse hit-on with try-to-convert-to-their-lifestyle. An atempt at "seduction" is a fairly common response to seeing someone one finds attractive.

[ Parent ]
must be a cock tease. n/t (none / 1) (#78)
by livus on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:06:06 PM EST



---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
In denial? (2.33 / 3) (#79)
by tassach on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:12:13 PM EST

I (and countless others) have made the observation that many of the most vocal homophobes are themselves deeply closeted homosexuals who can't reconcile their natural biological drives with their artificial belief systems. Just because you've never had gay sex doesn't mean you're automatically straight, any more than being a virgin makes you automatically gay. In my (fairly extensive) personal experience, people who are completely comfortable and in touch with their own sexuality are rarely (if ever) threatened by anyone else's sexuality, even if it's something they personally don't like. The BDSM community has a saying: Your kink is OK, it's just not my kink. It's an admirable attitude of tolerance that more people should develop. It is only the sexually repressed individuals who feel threatened by other people's sexuality, and attempt to impose their own hang-ups on everyone else.

"The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants" -- Thomas Jefferson
[ Parent ]

kink (none / 0) (#94)
by SaintPort on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:34:54 PM EST

many of the most vocal homophobes are themselves deeply closeted homosexuals who can't reconcile their natural biological drives with their artificial belief systems

I buy that.

Just because you've never had gay sex doesn't mean you're automatically straight, any more than being a virgin makes you automatically gay.

I am making a clear distinction between inner drives and behavior. To me, a homosexual is one who engages in homosexual acts.

Someone who feels homosexual desires is a human with homosexual desires, not necessarily a homosexual.

people who are completely comfortable and in touch with their own sexuality are rarely (if ever) threatened by anyone else's sexuality,...

I do not feel threatened .

only the sexually repressed individuals who feel threatened by other people's sexuality, and attempt to impose their own hang-ups on everyone else.

who's imposing? I don't care what floats your boat. Just don't try to get me to ok your public  "kink", or subsidize it.

--
Search the Scriptures
Start with some cheap grace...Got Life?

[ Parent ]

might as well join the frey here .. (none / 0) (#70)
by Rojareyn on Tue May 24, 2005 at 12:20:57 PM EST

Then quit it. It is very common practice for gays to attempt to seduce hetros.
Simply because one person in the gay community attempts to seduce a hetereosexual, does that mean all of them do it?
I believe there is a much thinner line here than you portray. Homosexuality is a sexual behavior so it releases endorphins and such.
And so does heterosexuality ... your point?
If you posted on slashdot that you a great orgasm with a vacuum cleaner, there'd be scores of wanna-be vac-sexuals who will try it. If they enjoy it, they may well begin a new lifestyle.
I think you're confusing orientation with a fetish. Also, if that were posted to slashdot, it cause any web server that mentions the practice to be instantly slashdotted ;)

[ Parent ]
Smoking Shakers (none / 0) (#106)
by Kadin2048 on Sun Jun 05, 2005 at 06:50:40 PM EST

So if I went out and founded a sect of cigarette-smoking Shakers, you'd condemn me as well?

Not to mention that the Catholic Priesthood meets the second of your two categories, and if half the accusations of abuse by priests are true as well, then it probably meets the first also. Should we abolish it?

If those really are your reasons for condemning homosexuality, then apply them universally and accept the consequences. I think there are a lot of people besides gays that you'd have to eliminate also, and which nobody seems to give a whit about.

Otherwise, keep digging for better rationalizations.

[ Parent ]

"against the bible" is by definition (none / 0) (#77)
by livus on Tue May 24, 2005 at 08:04:06 PM EST

a threat, given what happens in the Bible to people who go against it. You could get collaterally damaged by brimstone or a flood.

---
HIREZ substitute.
be concrete asshole, or shut up. - CTS
I guess I skipped school or something to drink on the internet? - lonelyhobo
I'd like to hope that any impression you got about us from internet forums was incorrect. - debillitatus
I consider myself trolled more or less just by visiting the site. HollyHopDrive

[ Parent ]
Reasons homosexuality is a no-no (none / 0) (#104)
by black orchidness on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 08:36:04 PM EST

These are not mine mmk? I'm just quoting from my ethics class, so argue amongst yourselves.

1. slippery slope. (if we let gays do their thing, pretty soon the pedophiles, goat..ahem..lovers, and all manner of odd people will be clamoring for their rights)

2. it destroys the sanctity of the man/woman relationship

3. it produces no children, and is therefore pointless

4. it is morally wrong (how, I'm not sure, but it probably goes back to the bible again.)

I can't remember anymore, but watch a few minutes of Fox News or something and you'll probably get a bucketful of bullshit reasons.

[ Parent ]

They believe it's a choice (none / 1) (#62)
by HuguesT on Tue May 24, 2005 at 09:40:21 AM EST

Social conservative may by and large believe that the homosexual lifestyle is a choice. They also believe that it is a sin. Therefore they are worried that homosexual men and women will corrupt their sons and daughters, and the society at large. This is the root of their fear. In the social conservative defense, a significant portion of the population (up to 10%), of both sexes, at some point in their life experience a homosexual relationship or adventure, yet largely remain heterosexual, marry, have kids, etc. This was first documented by Kinsey. The proportion of people who remain homosexuals throughout their life is apparently much lower.

[ Parent ]
We're both in for a long wait (none / 1) (#100)
by daani on Fri May 27, 2005 at 03:02:47 AM EST

Personally, I await the schoolyard bully who can describe to me why he gets to beat up other kids and take their things.

The problem is that these people are assholes. They like to make themselves feel less insecure by victimizing others. Often they hide behind religion because they are cowards also. But the fact of the matter is that social conservatives, like our schoolyard bully, are assholes with a whole bunch of personal issues.

There are no two ways about this. Don't bother trying to find middle ground or look for a compromise. There is no such thing as the "gay issue", or the "gay marriage issue" or the "gays in religion issue". There is only the "that pack of assholes is victimizing people issue".

Incidentally Christians, misrepresenting God or the bible is a pretty serious thing to do (check the last page of the old book). It may be fun to bash the poofs in God's name, but be careful - if your beliefs turn out to be true you may be paying for it for a long time.

[ Parent ]

homosexuals = neo (none / 0) (#58)
by auraslip on Tue May 24, 2005 at 04:12:22 AM EST

they are to bring about the downfall of a dying civilization in a fun and hillarious way.

think of the romans, instead of defending the borders they were busy being frisky with their butts.  
124

just like evolution? (none / 1) (#60)
by boxed on Tue May 24, 2005 at 05:14:00 AM EST

There's no real controversy in Christianity on evolution, and there hasn't been for a long time. The Catholic Church, by Pope command, accepts evolution, and so does the vast majority of Protestant denominations. Saying there is controversy in christianity on evolution, is like saying there's controverty in science about evolution. Only the creationist fuckwits claim it is, and they're numbered in the thousands, compared to the billion on the more reasonable side.

The church has much to learn (3.00 / 3) (#72)
by Low End Dan on Tue May 24, 2005 at 01:03:06 PM EST

First, we must differentiate between desire/orientation and action. Wanting to run some idiot off the road is not the same as doing it. Whether one is tempted by homosexual behavior, heterosexual behavior, or something as benign as eating too much is part of the internal life.

If someone lusts after children or members of the opposite sex, it is no different from lusting after someone of the same sex. Fondling children and rape - that's another thing altogether. When it leaves the mind and enters the external world, then we have the potential for sin.

According to the legalist, homosexual activity is sinful. But if they really want to follow al of the rules in the Bible, so is sex during a woman's period, eating pork, lending at interest, and not paying employees on a daily basis.

Christians run the gamut from strongly legalistic to so tied to grace that they could literally get away with murder. Most of us are somewhere between the extremes.

We realize that there is sin in the world, that sin is forgivable, and that actions have consequences. So we don't think sexual promiscuity is a good thing. We think abortion is a horrible form of birth control. And we think divorce is not good either.

From a Christian perspective, there are boundaries on sexual behavior. Promiscuity is bad. Rape is bad. Cheating on your spouse is bad. Yes, there is forgiveness, but it's better not to do those things in the first place.

There is a strong association between homosexuality and promiscuity in the minds of many legalistic Christians - conveniently ignoring the rampant promiscuity among straight people.

But more than that, there are the Bible verses that talk about homosexual behavior and desire as unnatural. They seem to forget that a central teaching of Christianity is that we live in a fallen world. There is sin. Things aren't the way they should be.

That means some become gluttons, some thieves, some promiscuous, some deviants, and some self-righteous. They forget that we have all fallen short and need forgiveness, making it easier to justify hating their enemies instead of loving them.

Homosexual orientation, behavior, and marriage are much less a threat to Christian morals and "family values" than heterosexual orientation, behavior, and divorce. If we can't even make our own relationships work, who are we to tell others what to do?

There will always be homophobes and bigots. That's part of living in a messed up world. And there will always be gays and bisexuals - just another part of that same world. The question isn't whether to approve every sexual behavior but whether to accept every human being regardless of orientation.

In that, the church has tended to fall far short of the mark. Jesus called us to love our enemies, not murder abortionists, drag gays to their death, or burn crosses. Self-righteous pride is perhaps the deadliest sin.

I'm afraid that's not Christ's teaching... (none / 0) (#81)
by issachar on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:27:44 PM EST

When it leaves the mind and enters the external world, then we have the potential for sin.
Jesus taught that lust in the heart is the same as action. It was in the Sermon on the Mount. Let's be clear on what Jesus taught.

You also need to look up the difference between Jewish purity laws and moral teaching. I'll let you look into how and why they're different. Equating the two is simply reading the text as if it were written to Westerners in the 21st century.

As for the whole promiscuity thing, that really is irrelevant as far a Christian teaching is concerned. Homosexual relations are biblically condemned. So is promiscuity. So is adultery. Links betweem them are not required.

No argument with your call to love our enemies though. That is the only real answer of course.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

The problem with 'clear teachings' (none / 0) (#90)
by Low End Dan on Wed May 25, 2005 at 12:50:54 PM EST

It depends on what you mean by lust. In conservative Christian circles, viewing a member of the opposite sex with appreciation is considered lust. Saying something like "she's hot" shows you're not spiritual enough. The word Jesus used is stronger than that, essentially saying "if you look at a woman and fantasize having sex with her" - probably not the same thing Jimmy Carter referred to as "lusting in his heart."

As for purity laws vs moral teachings, the legalist tends to make no such distinction. Instead, there are two categories: continuing laws and obsolete laws. And they don't tend to have any consistent standard for choosing which laws fit which category. On top of that, they love to add their own laws - Thou shalt not consume alcohol. Thou shalt not gamble. Thou shalt not dance, smoke, attend movies, etc. And these are often given the same status as the Ten Commandments - or higher!

American Christians are confused by mixed messages, like the Catholic couple who would rather abort a baby now and then (sinning infrequently) than use birth control (sinning much more frequently). The pluriformity of the church here has taken away its voice. On almost every issue, the church is divided, even on the matter of Jesus' teachings. (What, he said he was the only way? Someone must have recorded it wrong....)

Going back to the title of this article, that's why there is no uniformity in the church when it comes to dealing with gays. Some see them as an abomination even God can't love, others view them as exemplars of Christian love, and the rest of us shake our heads at the spiteful intolerance found at both ends of the issue.

[ Parent ]

hmm.. (none / 0) (#91)
by issachar on Wed May 25, 2005 at 01:19:57 PM EST

speaking as someone who actually is a conservative Christian, I have to say that your characterization is not my experience. The concept of purity laws has always been quite clear in the Christian teaching I've heard in conservative churches. I think you might be taking your cues about conservative Christians entirely from Christians with a weak understanding of Christ's teaching. Every church has them and it's sort of like taking your understanding of a political party's platform from people who vote for the party because their parents did. Not the best source.

I'm not suggesting that Christians are perfect. That would be a tad heretical. But the failure of people to follow Christ's teaching doesn't change the substance of Christian teaching.
---
Vegetarians eat vegetables. Humanitarians scare me.
Diary? I do a blog.
[ Parent ]

Natural Law (none / 0) (#75)
by knowugotadollar on Tue May 24, 2005 at 04:07:48 PM EST

My understanding of Roman Catholic teaching suggests that the Vatican's current, obstructive stance on "practicing" homosexuals is based not on a strict interpretation of a handful of arguable scriptural references but instead a call to natural law. Where natural law is derived from Aristotlian thought that any "thing" is as good as it efficacy in serving the purpose it was designed for. The Church argues that since man was clearly designed for making babies, and that homosexuality1 thwarts that design, it is inherently bad2. Natural law, as far as I know it, is used only in a few select instances where the Church is on weak scriptural ground.

1. By this rationale so too are masturbation and prophlactics "bad."

2. Note that in Nicomachaen Ethics Aristotle does not use the term "evil."
redefining life
Christians vs Gays (3.00 / 5) (#80)
by Shibboleth on Tue May 24, 2005 at 11:21:27 PM EST

Christians in general, have no problem with homosexuals. Whilst they believe that homosexuality is a sin, and homosexuals are sinners, the Church believe that every single person is a sinner, so homosexuals are no different from you or me. You may have seen the common sign in front of your local church - 'Church is not a club for saints, it's a hospital for sinners'. Of course, there are some Christians who hate and despise homosexuals for merely existing, but these views are an extreme minority opinion. (There are many non-Christians who share this view. The Church is a cross-section of society itself.) The conflict with homosexuals comes down to two main issues; gay marriages and homosexual priests.

Christians believe that marriage is a 'Holy Sacrament' instituted by God Himself. It is only between a man and a woman. By allowing Gay marriages, the church believes that this institution is being polluted by the state.

The Church believes that Marriage is a religious act in and of itself, that belongs to the Church, and should not have its boundaries defined by the State. Hence the latest political craze towards 'civil unions'. These have largely appeased many Christians, since their territory is not being stepped on, but other Christians (particularly the ones who get air time), are still against it.

Practicing homosexual priests are a continuing controversy for some Christian denominations around the world. ('priest' being used here to describe any senior, particularly pastoral, role in the Church). The main argument seems to centre around whether homosexuality is a sin or not. If homosexuality is not a sin, therefore it's okay to have homosexual priests. If it is a sin, then they shouldn't be priests.

However, if homosexuals are sinners just like the rest of us, and the rest of us can become priests, why can't they? It stems from whether they are 'practicing' homosexuals or not. If they are practicing homosexuals, then they are 'proud of that sin', and show (by their actions) that they think it is not a sin, hence going against their own Church's beliefs. If any priest stood up and stated that he was an alcoholic and proud of it, or that he didn't give any money to the poor, and was proud of it, or had three wives and was proud of it, then that priest would suffer exactly the same alienation from the Church as any homosexual priest (Well, depending on the congregation).


Well.. (none / 0) (#108)
by neuroplasma on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 03:06:50 PM EST

Aren't all sinners "practicing sinners?"

--
"...you know how you pple are... very sneaky with untrusting slanty eyes" - LxXCaligulaXxl@aol.com
[ Parent ]
Kinsey's reporting and the APA's stances... (none / 0) (#98)
by J T MacLeod on Thu May 26, 2005 at 06:17:30 PM EST

...are hardly scientific.  They can be used for argument, but cannot be used to state something as fact.  

Beyond that, I think all relevant points have been made.  

Did I Miss the Proposition of the Larger Problem? (none / 1) (#105)
by black orchidness on Thu Jun 02, 2005 at 08:42:48 PM EST

Here's how I see it. Christians, Muslims, Jews, and Hindus (that covers almost everyone right?) will always have their independent views on homosexuality. I don't care to change their viewpoint. It's not worth my time or effort, and it's probably not going to happen anyway. What I do believe in, is tolerance. I think people who get off by peeing on each other are gross and slightly weird. But you know what? I don't really care, and furthermore, it's none of my business. They do their thing, I'll do mine, and we're all happy, consenting adults having a good time. If the church would adopt the position of tolerance instead of feeling like they have to rub out sin vehemently, I would have no problem with them. But I strongly dislike intolerant people.

I understand your point (none / 1) (#107)
by HollyHopDrive on Mon Jun 06, 2005 at 07:41:08 AM EST

but the position of tolerance would compromise the Church's very nature of existence. It doesn't exist to tell everyone that they can do what they like. It exists to tell them what it believes is the "right" way to live, and the way to get to heaven. It does, in fact, exist to try to "rub out sin vehemently" although it knows this is impossible.

As someone said lower down, the Church does believe gay sex is a sin, but it also believes that all people are sinners, so a homosexual wouldn't be worse than anyone else. Obviously, like any ideology, the Church is open to abuse, exploitation and perversion. But its entire purpose is to rub out sin as it sees it, so that much isn't going to change.

If I understand correctly (and I don't consider myself a Christian, which means I'm not one), the idea is to love the sinner and hate the sin. In other words, a Christian would dislike homosexuality, viewing it as a sin (I don't), but not extend this to a dislike or judgment on the homosexual individual himself. A Christian could tell a homosexual that God considers it sinful, to try to inform him, but could not pretend that his own sins are lesser just because they are different in nature. Judge not lest ye be judged and so on.


I make too much sense to be on the Internet.
[ Parent ]

Too Brief (none / 0) (#109)
by spuddybuddy on Tue Jun 07, 2005 at 03:03:13 AM EST

This post is far too brief to be a serious exposition on modern Judeo-Christian attitudes towards homosexuality. They run the gamut from outright condemnation to tolerance and even celebration.

A deeper investigation into how the different positions evident in the modern Church came to be would be quite interesting. But, like the media, you've focused on one viewpoint of many.



Acceptance of Gays in Major American Religions | 110 comments (83 topical, 27 editorial, 0 hidden)
Display: Sort:

kuro5hin.org

[XML]
All trademarks and copyrights on this page are owned by their respective companies. The Rest 2000 - Present Kuro5hin.org Inc.
See our legalese page for copyright policies. Please also read our Privacy Policy.
Kuro5hin.org is powered by Free Software, including Apache, Perl, and Linux, The Scoop Engine that runs this site is freely available, under the terms of the GPL.
Need some help? Email help@kuro5hin.org.
My heart's the long stairs.

Powered by Scoop create account | help/FAQ | mission | links | search | IRC | YOU choose the stories!